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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday

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  • McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview.
    ENG 371WR:
    Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era
    M-W-F: 11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
    Instructor: Robert Lanham

    Course Description

    As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words traditionally associated with the writing trade. Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era focuses on the creation of short-form prose that is not intended to be reproduced on pulp fibers. . .


  • Respectful Insolence: Fresh from HuffPo: Antibiotics cause cancer?
    It used to be that I just disliked it intensely. The reasons are, of course, obvious. Ever since its very beginning nearly four years ago, HuffPo has been a hotbed of antivaccine lunacy. Over the years, it's served up pseudoscience and antivaccine nuttery from such "luminaries" of the antivaccine movement as David Kirby, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Dr. Jay Gordon, Deirde Imus, among others, in an unholy tradition that continues to this very day. HuffPo didn't limit itself to just antivaccine lunacy, either. It wasn't long before the Dark Lord of All Things Woo, the Sauron of Woo himself, Deepak Chopra joined the woo crew at HuffPo.

    But still that was not enough.

    Just this year, HuffPo added still more pseudoscience. While continuing to host the stupid stylings of the likes of old guard HuffPo antivaccine activists David Kirby and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. spewing nonsense far and wide, it has recently added to its stable some up and coming woo-meisters. For example, there's Srinivasan Pillay, "certified master coach, psychiatrist, brain imaging researcher and speaker, who's served up the woo hot and steamy and stinky (just like a turd) in the form of promoting "distant healing," The Secret, and hilarious attempts at discrediting science because scientists don't always behave rationally. Let's not forget, also, the addition of "Dr." Patricia Fitzgerald, author of The Detox Solution: The Missing Link to Radiant Health, Abundant Energy, Ideal Weight, and Peace of Mind, whose promotion of detox quackery doesn't quite reach the wackiness of Pillay, but it does, unfortunately, uphold (or should I say "downhold") the low standards for which HuffPo is legendary when it comes to medicine.


  • Study finds pirates 10 times more likely to buy music | Music | guardian.co.uk

  • How to pay for inequality reduction: follow-up « Consider the Evidence
    According to research, those who download 'free' music are also the industry's largest audience for digital sales
  • Obama recognizes: whether to prosecute is not his decision - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

  • Court turns down challenge to jury's use of Bible - Boing Boing

    The juxtaposition of scriptural references is beautiful. How are you spending your Sunday?


  • Consulting Mr Mill
    Before quitting the subject of freedom of opinion, it is fit to take some notice of those who say, that the free expression of all opinions should be permitted, on condition that the manner be temperate, and do not pass the bounds of fair discussion. Much might be said on the impossibility of fixing where these supposed bounds are to be placed; for if the test be offence to those whose opinion is attacked, I think experience testifies that this offence is given whenever the attack is telling and powerful, and that every opponent who pushes them hard, and whom they find it difficult to answer, appears to them, if he shows any strong feeling on the subject, an intemperate opponent.

  • Rudy’s Family Values » Mad Kane’s Political Madness

  • MediaBloodhound: Story of the Day: Mark Danner Schools David Gergen on CIA Torture

  • Earth Day wouldn't be complete without George Carlin


 

Comments

Norm,

You can add one more to your list of brilliant medical minds spreading paranioa about vaccines: Jim Carrey

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-carrey/the-judgment-on-vaccinesb189777.html

I remember when Carlin died, hearing Stewart say that he never would have been able to make a Daily Show unless there had been a George Carlin before him. Whether or not that's true is beside the point; the influence he had and continues to exert on social comics is unquestionable.

As for HuffPo, I can't understand the shock. I've been publicly calling it what it is for over 2 years now -- a gossip mill modeled after British tabloids, that (like those same British tabs) contains gems that you simply have to dig for (Dean Baker, for instance). Otherwise, it's shrill gossip and cheesecake porn. People seem to like that, and advertisers shell out for it. By all means be offended by their garbage (I am and have written at length about it, even during the campaign last year when it was considered forbidden to criticize a fellow lefty blog) -- just don't be surprised.

Re: Jim Carrey

I read his diatribe and hardly consider him to be raising paranoia about vaccines. I guess if raising questions is tantamount to inciting paranoia then you're right but there's entirely too many people on both sides (and I don't mean the real scientists who can only show correlation and causation, not how you should behave) lecturing on what you should/should not believe. Frankly, smoke and you take chances, eat and you take chances, see a doctor and take chances, see a healer and you take chances. If you live, you're taking a chance (and death is still inevitable). So people stop expecting guarantees from either side and take your frickin' chances. Today, carrots are healthy, but tomorrow they're deadly. Honestly people, they won't take your vaccines away from you. This stuff only freaks people out who a)want a 100% guarantee that whatever they hear is accurate and b)don't want to research for their OWN decision and responsibility. If you rely on any person 100% for how you should act/believe you're !@#$%^ (and the list is long..science, religion, healers, mystics, Joe on the corner, your bookie, etc.)

I agree with your overall premise: "life sucks, get a helmet"

However, when it comes to vaccines, there is a reason for the public to be concerned. The power of a vaccine to remove a disease from a population relies on public support. If 10% of the public had refused the polio shot, polio would still exist today.

It is certainly an interesting case. As always, we have the issue of individual choice v. the greater good- my favorite paradigm. But we also have a growing segment of the public that simply does not trust its healthcare industry or government to protect them. That's a pretty loud condemnation, if you ask me.

Scary fucking shit those batshit insane idiot jurors consulting the bible to convict a man, no matter what the hell he did. I'm taking this Sunday off.

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