It’s a bonus Useful Idiots entry because I have two examples for you today. This is going to be its own category from now on. The idea is that falsehoods, hysteria, injustice, pseudoscience and more are propagated in two ways: one is through state edict and force; the other is via the Useful Idiot Network of everyday people who continually seek out external authorities in every matter of their lives, believe virtually everything they are told by these external authorities, and become activists for "the cause" to varying degree. Nowadays, state force often comes on the scene after the Useful Idiot Network has paved the way by whipping up its series of "problems" where none previously existed or needed to exist.
When the state initiates force–from demanding a building permit to locking up peaceful people to stealing our incomes in taxation–it is always evil, all of the time, in any and all degree that it exists. When mysticism, lies, and hysteria are propagated–not by force, but by Useful Idiots–it’s evidence that very nearly all of the world’s population is utterly and completely stupid; i.e., they can and do believe virtually anything and everything and will perpetuate or acquiesce to virtually any evil in order to advance or protect themselves.
While human beings are capable of so much greatness, they’re also capable of great evil. They are lazy, by nature, and thus live mostly mediocre, short, unhappy lives waiting to die; where they hope to subsequently "live" an unearned, effortless life in "paradise." Most people believe some form of this. I know…
The first example is from Kyle Bennett. I too never believed that sun-causes-skin-cancer hysteria for a single minute. Turns out that not only does the sun not typically cause skin cancer, but the minuscule risk one avoids by staying out of the sun or by using UV blockers comes at a far higher price. Well, in my experience, 99.99999% of people are complete and total morons when it comes to cost vs. risk analysis.
You watch. Someday the second-hand-smoke-causes-lung-cancer hysteria will be equally exposed for the utter bullshit it has always been. Here’s your chance to stop being a moron about that one right here and now (as an added bonus!).
My second example actually comes from an article that I quoted in an entry yesterday, but before I cite it, how abouts a little quiz. Now, read the following passage and see if you can guess what this awful, dangerous, genetically engineered substance is.
Strange is the word, for […] is a genetic monster. A typical […] is hexaploid—it has six copies of each gene, where most
creatures have two. Its 21 chromosomes contain a massive 16 billion
base pairs of DNA, 40 times as much as […], six times as much as […] and five times as much as […]. It
is derived from […] in two separate mergers.
The first took place in […] years ago, the second […] years later.
So, what is this monster, created by mad scientists? Pay attention, because I’m trying to cure you from henceforth being a fucking moron; easy prey for the Useful Idiot Network:
Strange is the word, for wheat is a genetic
monster. A typical wheat variety is hexaploid—it has six copies of each
gene, where most creatures have two. Its 21 chromosomes contain a
massive 16 billion base pairs of DNA, 40
times as much as rice, six times as much as maize and five times as
much as people. It is derived from three wild ancestral species in two
separate mergers. The first took place in the Levant 10,000 years ago,
the second near the Caspian Sea 2,000 years later. The result was a
plant with extra-large seeds incapable of dispersal in the wild,
dependent entirely on people to sow them.
Yes, that’s right: wheat. No, not "Good Earth," you moron. "Good Man." Man genetically engineered wheat, beginning about 10,000 ago, and the genetic manipulation, mutation, evolution continues to this day; only now it’s far more precise, efficient, rapid, and beneficial in terms of yield per acre, climate sensitivity, drought tolerance, and pest tolerance.
Same thing with corn, rice, and a host of other stuff. Virtually all fruits, vegetables, and livestock that we eat on a daily basis were genetically engineered by man going back thousands of years. Even your dog and cat were man made genetically engineered mutations.
"Natural" does not mean better. It doesn’t even necessarily mean good. Arsenic is "natural." Natural is simply what is. The world that people believe God made could support at most a few hundred-thousand people. And, they died early. Man came along and added goodness out of the "God-created" malevolent, harsh, and short existence. He created food that would sustain billions, built massive structures to shelter them, invented textiles to cloth them, and discovered medicines and technologies to sustain and extend their lives to double and triple what the inferior "God-created" world allowed for.
Your choice is clear, and how you view existence and man’s role in it will determine whether you lead the way forward or become useful fodder for those who must live off of the values created and produced by others.
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We have to be all the more careful when referring to "natural" law that we don't let it be confused with this kind of "natural". Don't wanna get hoisted on our own petards.
I love when people throw around the old "natural", it's almost as good as when they say that they don't use anything with chemicals in it. Umm, impossible. Then you try to explain that everything is made up of chemicals and their eyes glaze over.
I am allergic to so much stuff and people are always saying I should just "use natural products." I have to point out that people die everyday from allergic reactions to strawberries and milk and eggs and wheat and peanuts.
Common sense is dying, not that slowly, but very painfully. Keep on setting them straight, maybe it can make a comeback. Common sense can be the new black.
I don't think rich is literally denying the cause/effect. But where the hysteria comes in is that people act as if it is a 1:1 cause and effect, rather than a statisitical one. Yes, there has been such an hysteria, with people seeking to prevent *any* esposure to the sun, particularly for their children
"I'd like to argue with your comment about second-hand smoke… but I haven't see the data."
Several studies show the link to be bogus, and at least one of the major ones that purported to show a link has been discredited. I don't have them either, but here's opne abstract from some outift called "The National Cancer Institute":
"Our results indicate no association between childhood exposure to ETS and lung cancer risk. We did find weak evidence of a dose-response relationship between risk of lung cancer and exposure to spousal and workplace ETS. There was no detectable risk after cessation of exposure."
There's some links on this (blatantly biased) site, but I don't vouch for them:
And here's an American Heart Association critique of another study. The critique basically boils down to an argument from authority, an assertion that being married to a smoker would not increase your exposure, and the old catch-all: they're biased because of their funding source – but read it for yourself:
And some unlinked references in a Fox News Piece, take it for what it is worth:
All the links were found on Google, and there's lots more. Happy reading:
We haven't had a good debate in a long time. 🙂
> I too never believed that
> sun-causes-skin-cancer hysteria for a
> single minute.
Since we both espouse observance of facts over theology or personal opinion, let me clue you in on a fact:
UV (as in, from sunlight) is the number one cause of skin-cancer. It's not hysteria. I don't have the appropriate research at my finger-tips at the moment, but I've seen it in the past.
Kyle is right… moderation is the key. Too little sunlight, and the body suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Too much, and the risk of skin-cancer rises dramatically.
NO ONE (well, no one with any sense) is going to say that (for your average person) getting one wicked sunburn is going to kill you. But it's a *fact*, well demonstrated: large doses of ultra-violet (the kind of dosages that are obtained by hanging out at a beach a couple hours a day, three or four days a week) are a major cause of skin-cancer.
I'd like to argue with your comment about second-hand smoke… but I haven't see the data. But Rich… it's a fact: UV causes skin cancer.
I suspect what this is going to come down to is you're going to claim there's a hysteria among the populace that says *all* UV exposure is bad for you. I'll tell you right now that I don't believe any such hysteria exists. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people understand that sunlight is good for you, but that long term UV exposure is harmful.
> Common sense is dying, not that slowly, but
> very painfully.
I see that thought expressed regularly in blogs such as this one and Billy Beck's.
This is my personal opinion, but I think you're full of shit. 🙂
Common sense has *always* been in short supply… the fact is woven into the history of humanity. The great bulk of people have *always* failed at thinking in straight lines… and there have *always* been a minority of people who did have common sense, and it is those people who move the world forward.
Gang… I agree… idiocy abounds. But take heart, because so does brilliance. Just because idiocy gets more press-time, doesn't mean it's on the rise.