Tabloid Newspapers: symptom of the end times

September 22nd, 2010

Tabloid newspapers are the only type of newspaper that is managing to stay afloat – and even grow – in today’s modern media landscape. And that is a very worrying trend.

You see, tabloids don’t care about the news as such. They don’t care about reporting events accurately, they don’t care about being unbiased and independent, they don’t care about thoroughness and clarity.

In fact, tabloids care about the exact opposite: disinformation, innuendo, manipulation, and lies. The general public knows and understands this. People seem keenly aware that the news as reported by tabloids is, simply stated, wrong.

So the continued growth of the tabloid news industry reveals a telling aspect of modern society: people stopped caring. We’ve stopped caring about the truth, we’ve stopped caring about getting the proper facts before we form our own opinions, we’ve stopped caring about accuracy in the news we consume.

Instead we’d rather get ready-made opinions, no matter how wrong and ill-informed, that we can then spout off to our friends, relatives, and cabbies everywhere.

Tabloid news is a symptom of the ever-downwards spiral of human intellect. Its continued growth is testimony to the failures of our modern society.

The Internet: resembling the human brain

August 11th, 2010

nerve cellsApparently the human brain has a structure very similar to that of the Internet: “a vastly interconnected network”.

If the brain has a hierarchical structure like a large company, as neurology has long held, the “to” and “from” diagram would show straight lines from independent regions up towards a central processing unit: the company’s boss.

But instead, the researchers saw loops between differing regions, feeding back to and directly linking regions that were not known to communicate with one another. This is a better fit with the model of vast networks such as the internet.
Source: BBC News

The BBC News article goes in to the specifics of what this means for our understanding of the human brain, but I’d like to flip the perspective around: what does it mean for the potential of the Internet?

If the Internet is similar to a human brain, does that mean that – in due time – it may start doing similar things? Such as, you know, think?

Cloning and GM: the victory of paranoid ignorance over scientific fact

August 5th, 2010

Cloned cowsHere in Europe there’s a big fuss going on right now about a pair of cloned cows in the UK whose meat and perhaps even milk may have ended up in the food chain.

Apparently that’s a big no-no, as people here are afraid they might catch weird diseases from cloned meat. It’s straight in line with the irrational fear of genetically modified food.

Somehow people have got it in to their heads, probably courtesy of ill-informed environmentalist propaganda groups, that eating GM food is dangerous and can cause you to grow a second head or some such nonsense.

The argument goes that GM food and cloned meat is ‘unnatural’ and therefore dangerous.

The fact is that as long as agriculture has existed, our food has been grown ‘unnaturally’. There’s nothing natural about modern farms, even the so-called ‘organic’ ones.

Humans have always used tricks and technology to increase their crop yields and produce better livestock. From cloning plants (did you know bananas are clones?) to selective breeding, everything produced by modern agricultue is modified in some way, and has been for millennia.

GM and cloning are merely the latest technological advancements that enable us to produce more food while using less natural resources. There is no scientific evidence that GM foods and cloned meat are dangerous in any way.

The utterly irrational fear and paranoia that is restricting the use of GM and cloning technologies has no basis in scientific reality, but is instead fueled by ignorance, Luddism, and in some cases religious fanaticism.

Of course this resistance against what are probably the only means we have of ensuring our food production keeps up with the exponential growth of global demand helps accelerate the rise of famine and mass-starvation in many under-developed areas of the world.

It’s typical how only those who live in luxury can afford to be opposed to GM and cloning.

Scientist: humanity extinct in 100 years

July 5th, 2010

Frank FennerIf you think I’m a cantankerous old cynic with an overly pessimistic view of the world, you’re probably right. But my pessimism is shared by some pretty smart people.

Among them the lauded Australian scientist Frank Fenner. In an interview with a newspaper Fenner admitted he believes humanity is heading towards global extinction:

“Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years,” he says. “A lot of other animals will, too. It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off. Mitigation would slow things down a bit, but there are too many people here already.”
Source: The Australian

So there you have it, even scientists agree we’re all screwed. So we better hurry up with creating artificial life, lest we disappear from this planet without any lasting legacy save for catastrophic environmental damage.

Banks: pure evil

July 2nd, 2010

I’ve already mentioned some of the flaws inherent in our capitalist society. Banks, as the dark throbbing heart of the capital-driven economy, form the rotting central core of all this. The Wall Street meltdown as a result of the relentless pursuit of profit on the real estate market should have made that lesson abundantly clear to all of us: Banks are scum.

But banks are not just scum. In fact, the misbehaviour of our banks as we understand it is just the tip of the iceberg. Banks aren’t just scum – they’re pure distilled evil:

By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You’re wrong. There’s more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here’s the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.
Source: The Independent

To summarize, these banks have speculated on famine. They earned money from starvation. Their unbridled greed was fed by the hunger of millions.

And we let them get away with it. Every month our salaries fill their coffers, supplying them with the mandate and resources to continue their unimaginably cruel pursuit of more profits, more bonuses, more everything.

This system doesn’t just deserve to collapse, it must collapse. For the sake of all humanity, banks – as they exist today – must die.