Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dead baby jokes

"Detective Dever said in the past couple of months police had had several pages shut down, including one that was selling guns and drugs, a page full of dead-baby jokes and a page with ''hateful and hurtful comments inciting murder'' directed at police.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/abusive-websites-could-be-charged-20121018-27tz3.html#ixzz29i9xPT2g"

Well, that fixed that: dead baby jokes in google now only gets About 4,550,000 results (2.35 seconds).

Just to reminisce, 

Q. How do you make a dead baby float?
A. Two scoops of dead baby and root beer.

Q. What's the difference between a truckload of dead babies and a truckload of bowling balls?
A. You can't unload the bowling balls with a pitchfork.

Or, earlier than the plain dead baby, 

"Can Johnny come out to play?"
"You know Johnny doesn't have any arms or legs."
"I know. We want to use him for third base."

"Mommy, why I am walking in circles."
"Shut up or I'll nail your other foot to the floor."

"But Mommy, I hate little brother!"
"Shut up kid, you'll eat what I cook."

"Mommy, mommy! Daddy's on fire!"
"Quick! Get the marshmallows!"

"But Mommy, I hate little brother!"
"Shut up kid, you'll eat what I cook."

"Mommy, mommy I can't stand Grandma's guts!"
"Leave them on the side of the plate, then."

Vide Sydney Smith: "I do not mean to be disrespectful but the attempt of the Lords to stop the progress of reform reminds me very forcibly of the great storm of Sidmouth and of the conduct of the excellent Mrs Partington on that occasion.

"In the winter of 1824, there set in a great flood upon that town - the tide rose to an incredible height - the waves rushed in upon the houses, and everything was threatened with destruction. In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm, Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea water and vigorously punching away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused.

"Mrs Partington's spirit was up; but I need not tell you that the contest was unequal. The Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs Partington. She was excellent with a slop or a puddle, but she should not have meddled with a tempest."


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Journals (lifted from The Conversation)



Open-access science: be careful what you wish for



The system of journal publication that now exists is a baroque excrescence that must be reconfigured for the ground up. Essentially, we're trying to make work a model that emerged from the Royal Society in 1665, and its age is showing. As Booker remarks, journal publication doesn't include the raw data, when it now can.

The problem is that G appears to work on the basis that whatever is, is right. The requirement for journal publication, the existence of an enormous number of overlapping journals of casuistically graduated status, the the existence of an large number of universities of casuistically graduated status - the whole jerrybuilt structure seems so familiar that it seems impossible now to change it.  I think it's likely to collapse under its own weight.

G, where would you have got to if you were free to work on a blank sheet and design a dissemination system that you actually wanted?

Mind you, I write from the perspective of an ex-journal editor in the human 'sciences', where the flaws of the old model are much more marked and the advantages hardly detectable.

and mind you (2), a referee's eye might have noted that Geraint said "The importance of peer-reviewed publications to the career of a scientist cannot be understated" when he clearly meant "The importance of peer-reviewed publications to the career of a scientist cannot be overstated."

Health (lifted from the Conversation)


Weight-loss paradise or just another fad diet? A review of Six Weeks to OMG


Well, we're clearly in breaking-a-butterfly-upon-a-wheel territory here; fad diet books being held to academic standards?  Waste of everybody's time. The only illumination comes from the review's own mad overreach.

Take, for example, "the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine, which include the advice that “Adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment.” Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? And the fact that it's utterly inconceivable that a majority of the population could or would do anything like that leaves them in the enviable position of saying that their panacea has never been tried and thus can't be falsified.  Is Chris seriously suggesting that the way to health is to carry out in full the recommendations of every American College of Remarkably New Professions? There aren't enough hours in the day.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Alan Jones’ Apology, with a few obvious corrections for grammar and style

As a broadcaster, I often find myself in situations where, unfortunately, I express a certain thought or idea poorly, or find my words taken out of context. Indeed, that is what happened this weekend. Upon reviewing the impromptu remarks I made Sunday afternoon, I can now see that I used the wrong words in the wrong way. I would now like to set the record straight with the Australian people and clear up some confusion about what it was I intended to convey.

You see, what I said was that Julia Gillard’s father died of shame because his daughter told lies every time she stood for parliament. But what I meant to say was, “I am a worthless, moronic sack of shit and an utterly irredeemable human being who needs to shut up and go away forever.”

There are days when you just have to concede, man up and say you got it wrong. And in this instance these are remarks which I shouldn't have made. It is clear to me now that I did not choose my words with care and did not get across the point I was trying to convey. In hindsight, I guess instead of using the words “died of shame,” I should have used the words “I am an unforgivable, unrepentant, and unconscionable subhuman dickhead.” Or better yet, “I am an evil, fucked-up man who should never have been allowed on the public airwaves, and anyone who would listen to me me is probably a pretty big fucking dumbshit, too.” See how much more sense that makes? It’s amazing how a few key word changes can totally alter the meaning of a statement.

Because, of course, it’s all about context. And yes, when you take what I said out of context, I can see how it might sound like I’m claiming that Julia Gillard should be drowned in a chaff bag. This is, I assure you, not what I was trying to express at all. Such is the age we live in that one little sentence excerpted in a news report can come back to haunt a person in a pretty big hurry. But if you actually go back and look at the remarks closely, you’ll see that what I was actually trying to convey in my statement was that
(1) I am a big fucking idiot,
(2) I am a nauseating slug of a human being who doesn’t deserve to live, and
(3) I am essentially everything that’s wrong with this country and with humanity in general.

Honestly, that’s all I was trying to get across there. It was a simple misunderstanding, really.
It’s funny, because, in my head, I remember thinking very vividly, “I, Alan Jones, am a bigoted jackass who probably should not be alive, let alone on the airwaves. People need to know what a terrible person I am so they will then remember to punch me in the face anytime they get the chance.” But when I opened my mouth and tried to articulate that thought, somehow I blurted out the thing about Julia Gillard instead of just saying, in plain English, that I am awful, just purely and incontrovertibly awful.

Frankly, it’s hard not to make a mistake from time to time when you’re in the public eye as much as I am. I am constantly having to speak my mind in a public forum, and sometimes, when all I’m trying to say is something simple and inarguable, like, “Sweet Jesus, I am the worst person who has ever lived,” I wind up saying something completely different. It’s frustrating, really. Because I have a lot of very pertinent and very well-thought out things to say about how somebody should just smack me in the head with a goddamned cricket bat because of how brainless and insensitive I am, but instead my words just come out all jumbled.

I guess I just have a habit of putting my foot in my mouth! And for being the very worst that Western Civilization has to offer!

So let me take this opportunity to be very specific about what I meant when speaking to the Liberal Club, which was this: I am not a competent or respectable broadcaster; I am, essentially, a subhuman monster of a prick, a prick as profoundly insensitive as he is monumentally unintelligent in every respect; somebody should apply dozens of layers of duct tape to my mouth every morning so that words are not able to exit my large, dumb, misogynist, imbecilic mouth at any point; I make the planet worse; I don’t know jackshit about any of the topics I spoke about in that interview, or about any topics at all, really; I should apologize every day to the women of the world, but doing so would most likely be an exercise in futility given my rock-bottom intellect and my complete and utter lack of human decency; I am, in no uncertain terms, not even worth the time it took you to read this.
That’s what I meant to say. Sorry for the confusion.


Lifted and adapted from The Onion, August 20, 2012 | ISSUE 48•34

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