Two Species of Human Beings

One of my all time favorite experiments dealt with visual perception.  I’m recalling this from memory of a book I read long ago, but maybe someone can let me know the original source.  In this experiment scientists raised two batches of kittens in different controlled environments.   Half the kittens were raised in a room with no vertical lines and the other half brought up in a place with no horizontal lines.  After six months they let the kittens out into the normal world.  The kittens who were raised without horizontal lines would not jump up onto a flat chair seat or shelves, and kittens raised without vertical lines would walk into chair legs.

When I read this I wondered what was missing from my vision because of my limited upbringing.  This current election makes me think of that experiment, because the Republicans are shouting at the Democrats, “Hey, Liberals, can’t you see the vertical lines, they’re right in front of your face!”  And the Democrats are yelling back, “Dudes, can’t you see those horizontal surfaces, they’re right there!”

Global warming deniers are making me wonder if there’s two different species of human beings living side by side.  Their absolute refusal to see the problem is so adamant that I have to wonder if it’s a matter of failed perception.  I don’t know what to say to them.  They clutch their false out-of-date data like it was handed down from God on stone tablets and they refuse to look at any new data because they think it’s from false prophets.  No matter how much information I’m willing to provide, they deny that it’s valid or that it really exists.  They are like the kittens raised without vertical lines that can’t see chair legs.

But the implications are far greater than this.  The division of the two species divide other issues like politics and religion.  How can we as a nation solve our problems, especially big problems, if we’re always polarized?  I wonder if the deniers have an innate sense of the cat in the quantum box, knowing at an unconscious level that as long as they don’t look inside the box the cat will be okay?  Will a global warming denier even understand what I just said?

To me the issue has gone beyond global warming.  I’m starting to worry that there is an even more dangerous problem than climate change, and that’s this division of perception that polarizes the population.  Is it like a law-of-nature barrier that keeps anything from going faster than light.  What if the average intelligence of the human race limits how far we can progress as a species?  We’re seeing more and more big problems that will require us to work cooperatively if civilization is to survive, but we’ve reach a total impasse on communication, refusing to do anything because we can’t agree.

Let’s avoid the global warming issue for the moment since it’s such a touchy issue.  Many of the climate change deniers scoff at climate predictions because various scientists have made predictions in the past that have apparently turned out not to be true.  Or appeared that way for awhile.  Two books, The Population Bomb (1968) and The Limits of Growth (1972) are often used as examples of failed predictions.  The trouble is, these deniers didn’t wait long enough to give the forecasts time to unfold.

Forty years later, many people think the world is just fine with 6.7 billion people and figure we can grow much larger, and they don’t think our rich lifestyles show any limits.   Perception is everything, but we’re on a roller coaster that’s climbing to the peak of the Kingka Ka, because we haven’t started the blazing ride down yet.  Now that China and India have taken up our American consumer habits, and resources are starting to be fought over, and hundreds of little stories tell me that The Limits of Growth is about to come online,  I’m getting the feeling that we’ll arrive at the peak of the climb soon.  Hold on for the ride down.

The people with rose colored corneas, obviously don’t watch a lot of documentaries, or keep up with diverse science magazines.  Conservative news shows tend to focus on the same old tired issues while ignoring the little stories that shows a whole lot of different barometers are all falling.  It’s funny that millions welcome the Christian apocalypse, but can’t see the world possibly ending in some other way.  The trouble is, the world doesn’t end, we just end up in a big mess that we’ve got to clean up.

It worries me that so many people enjoy the end-of-days stories that are so popular.  Why is it so easy to believe that an imaginary superior being will destroy us, but so hard to believe that we can destroy ourselves through pursuing those same old seven deadly sins that that same superior being warned us against?  You can not drive a SUV through the eye of a needle to get to your destination.

Maybe it’s a matter of language, and science is not the language to use to communicate across the gap that divides us.  I’ve been listening to the Bible this past year, on my iPod.  I know it’s an odd thing for an atheist to do, but I consider it learning a language.  I find it fascinating that all the things that the New Testament teaches are the things we need to do to change ourselves to avoid problems like global warming, over population and dwindling resources.

I have been thinking for days on how to reply to global warming deniers, and it is now occurring to me that I can’t recommend studying science.  That isn’t their language.  My reply to them is to buy an iPod and get a good audio edition of the Bible and really listen to it.  Listening is far superior to reading, and start at the beginning.   Pay attention to what’s happening chapter by chapter.  I know you conservatives don’t like the word “evolution” but the Bible shows an evolution of spirit.  Pay particular attention to the transition between the Old and New Testament.  Fundamental thinking is based in Old Testament philosophy.  It teaches about nation building.  The New Testament teaches about soul building.  For the people of the Earth to survive climate change will require a lot of soul building.

It is my belief that climate change deniers are worried that changing the world requires changing themselves, and they just don’t want to change.

JWH 9/22/8

10 thoughts on “Two Species of Human Beings”

  1. I think perception is a big…very HUGE part of the issue. And I think the problem is one of language and does involve something that perhaps isn’t happening right now, and that is for scientists with solid Christian beliefs…and I don’t think those are as rare as some would like us to think…to stand up and be heard about scientific issues. The problem is one whose blame can be laid at everyone’s feet, not simply with one side or the other. If non-Christians, especially the ones with the loudest voices and most frequent media attention, weren’t so quick to dismiss people with strong moral, ethical, “Christian” beliefs as out-of-touch wackos then perhaps Christians would be more open to listening to what they have to say. Many of the most well-known proponents of things like global warming are not the educated, ‘normal’, down-to-earth scientists…they are celebrities and sarcastic talk show hosts and a whole host of people who actively and loudly support so many of the things that Christians are wholly against. The truths get mixed up in a lot of craziness when things like that happen.

    And this is true for both sides. There are many Christian leaders, etc with worthwhile things to say and worthwhile input that are dismissed out of hand because people like Fred Phelps and his “God hates fags” message and a statistically small amount of Catholic priests who have disturbing sexual problems are the way that many non-Christians want to categorize Christians.

    It takes both sides coming together and honestly I think we are a long way from that happening unless some kind of large disaster brings us together. Because honestly the media is never going to focus on the majority of Christians and non-Christians who work together every day and make things work. It isn’t newsworthy. As long as the media drives things the way it is many Christians will continue to believe that global warming proponents are blindly following bad science the same way that Christians are accused of blindly following bad science. It is an ugly catch 22. I am all for finding and supporting some voice of reason in all of this. I just don’t see those people getting the air play.

    Have you ever seen Penn and Teller’s show Bullshit? The episode on global warming/ecology is an interesting one, not because it disproves these issues but because it shows just how ignorant the group of people are who support climate change, etc. Admittedly not all people are that way, but it would be safe to assume (in my opinion) that there are an equal number of people on both sides of the global warming issue that couldn’t give a coherent reason as to why they support their belief of choice. I would bet only a small number of people on either side have legitimate scientific/logical/reasonable reasons for the side they support. It is really sad, but am I wrong?

    Until some strong, level-headed Christian leaders step up to the plate and take the message of being ecologically responsibility to the masses it is always going to be like this. And until non-Christians stop bashing Christians for their beliefs it is unlikely that Christians will listen. I marvel at how Christians are sometimes accused at being stubborn in their belief systems while non-Christians (or better yet, insert Conservatives and Liberals, respectively) seem to deny their own stubbornness and intolerance. You can see it in election coverage today. Obama supporters are so certain that McCain supporters are ignorant of the issues and if, God forbid, McCain wins you will here a hue and cry like you wouldn’t believe. Liberals will be sure that the world is indeed ending. It amazes me.

    But, back to your issue, I think there are folks out there who can bring people on both sides of the issue to a level playing field but I’m not sure those people will ever have the voice that people like Al Gore or Michael Moore do. And that is sad, it really is because the truth of their message gets lost in the noise of the things about them that drive Christians crazy in the same way that the truths Christians try to assert get lost in their poor behavior and, frankly, in the ignorance that they often display when it comes to scientific and global issues.

    Lord, I do ramble on so. Does any of this make any sense?

  2. That’s one reason why we’re so polarized. So many people judge the whole by a few. I’m an atheist, but I know we need a system that has room for religious people. I don’t expect to disprove religion, or that religious people will suddenly change their opinions. They need a political system that will make them happy, and so do I. As long we we try to engineer a system that only makes half the population happy we’re going to maintain chaos.

    That’s why I’m suggesting the two species idea. We’re both looking at the same reality, but I see through the language of science, and religious people see through the language of faith. We need to find a way to make policy that works for both worldviews.

    But some words should overlap in meaning for both sides. Words like security, commitment, fairness, responsibility, greed, sacrifice, gluttony, and so on. We should be able to agree on what basic human qualities are good and bad.

    I can understand what you say, Carl. I’m a liberal and Michael Moore rubs me the wrong way. So many pundits from both sides want to be heard and they do that through strong attacks and self promotion.

    I can’t understand why Al Gore angers so many conservatives though. He’s not inflammatory. He’s soft spoken and well mannered. He works hard to be fair minded. But he does push buttons.

    The congressional hearings on the financial bailout will probably also illustrate how we’re so polarized. I have no idea what the solution needs to be, but we won’t find consensus.

    I doubt there will ever be a solution to this communication divide.

  3. I doubt it too and that is sad and needs to be overcome, because quite honestly it is the average joe’s like you and me (and I mean no offense by the description, of course) who must make that communication divide happen.

    From a Christian perspective what I think many people need to hear is an acknowledgment that science itself is filled with leaps of faith and is founded on faith. Now that faith may not seem to be defined the same way for both groups but I think that is wrong. I think it is the same word. It is trust and belief in things that cannot be seen. Science takes leaps of faith all the time. It is the hard line view of a need for religion and science to be seen separately that scares off religious people and makes them want to reject scientific speculation, proof, etc.

    I was watching a program on You Tube last night where the musician Missy Higgins took an eco tour of the U.S. It was a nice but not very insightful mini-documentary. One of the first people she visited with was an atmospheric scientist (forgive me, I cannot recall his actual job title, but suffice it to say he was billed as a scientist). In discussing global warming he made a statement to the effect that there is no other way possible to interpret the data available today. It was such an all or nothing statement that it immediately put me off. It presupposes that there is no way possible that any part of his science could be wrong. What scares me about those kind of statements has nothing to do with science and everything to do with the idea that his suppositions could all be wrong if the foundation that he is building them on is wrong. If his starting point for interpreting his data is off even a tiny bit.

    Now I realize I am reading things in to a brief statement of his but if a statement like that can immediately make me want to take a step back, and I am really open minded about science and feel some environmental responsibility, then I can see why someone who has less faith in science and more faith in…faith…would recoil at that. Unfortunately that is the approach I often see people of science approaching people of faith with. Which is even more sad because it is exactly the same kind of thing non-religious folks accuse the religious of doing–coming at them with a ‘my way is the only right way’ mindset.

    While it may seem ridiculous and counterproductive to do so someone is going to have to approach religious people of all faiths in that way regarding scientific, political, etc. issues. And again I posit that this will be more effective coming from people who can effectively merge their scientific and religious beliefs in a way that the religious see as both sincere and well informed. Here is where I exercise my faith–I do believe those people exist.

    Earlier this year on NPR I heard a story about the leaders of several major Christian religions and many non-Christian religions putting out a call to come together to meet at the table to discuss ecological and other issues with the idea that yes, our moral beliefs, etc are important but that we needed to not let those things get in the way of addressing the crisis our earth is in. It gave me hope.

    I’ve long felt the conviction that I personally need to be more environmentally conscious. But I also feel the need to do so in a non-ignorant way. I get frustrated when I feel that people are buying into a global philosophy just because someone is tugging their emotional heartstrings rather than them doing any real research. For example, I have read many well meaning book bloggers talking about not buying books because of the environment issues and that they should go the electronic route for reading. My first question to those people was whether or not they did any research at all into the environmental cost of producing kindles, of computer production to access books and music electronically rather than the old fashioned way, etc. Has anyone ever researched if recycling paper, etc. is environmentally friendly or do the plants that do this cause as much harm to the environment as cutting down trees to make paper products? I know the research must be out there but it this idea that we could all be assuming that everything we are being told is ‘right’ that obviously bothers me and I think drive many religious people absolutely crazy.

    Fanaticism scares everyone who is not a fanatic, be it religion, science fiction, sports, or the environment, and I have to admit that sometimes people talking about the environment just seem too fanatical and I question how informed they are about the things they ‘believe’ and ‘preach’. Again I refer to Penn and Teller for a more humorous yet admittedly juvenile and mean-spirited example of ‘those people’.

    But I’m preaching to the choir here, we both understand this, for me it just helps to talk it out. Again, using your site for therapy. You should bill me.

    Going back to my earlier thoughts, I do think there is hope. I think the messages about taking personal responsibility for one’s own ‘carbon footprint’ seems to me to be a more reasonable campaign that is going on right now, one that is much easier for a Christian to take, examine in light of the Bible, and get on board with.

    I went to a Christian university and just before I moved to KC I took an environmental chemistry class with a fantastic teacher. One of the things that I asked him about was whether there was any good literature out there teaching Christians to be environmentally conscious and to have a more Biblical view of the earth God created for us rather than simply dismissing it as something doomed for destruction. He was actually just getting ready to unveil a curriculum that he was working on. I really need to see if I can track him down to see if he did this. Who knows if he did, but if he actually followed through with this I would love to get a hold of it.

    That was 10 years ago and even back then…even back 20 years ago when I first went to college…I was being taught Christianity and Geology and Earth Science and Old and New Testament by professors who were good friends and were working in tandem to teach that the majority of faith and science are not incompatible. So again, I have hope. If a major charismatic university (ORU) was teaching this back then I do have faith that there are Christians out there willing to listen, willing to come to the table, and willing to lead towards unification of purpose.

    Unification of ideas scares Christians away, they don’t want to feel their faith is being watered down or brushed aside. I do have hope that Christians can be taught to take the environmental issues seriously without compromising faith in any way.

    As for Al Gore, I think the fact that he was such an ineffective presidential campaigner makes some people feel that he is now just a puppet for environmentalists. This is just a guess on my part, I think he is very intelligent and funny and really blew his opportunity to be a great leader by not being effective on the campaign trail. How Hillary didn’t learn this lesson from him I don’t know.

    Dare I end this with ‘Have faith!’? 😉

  4. Hi Jim. Thx for another stimulating essay. My surgeon removed some of the sutures in the roof of my mouth, and I’m much more comfortable today. But here in Vermont, the coldening world is closing in. My sweet potato vines were killed by frost last night–3 weeks earlier than normal. Sort of a micro-metaphor about how real climate change impacts real food supplies. Even worse, I attending a regional planning commission meeting to address the local cold weather crisis. Hundreds of our neighbors may be forced from their homes this winter–or worse–because they can’t afford to fight the cold. I’m being asked to come out of retirement to provide some practical answers to this emergency. Just to give you an authentic perspective on how science and society can work together.

    Yes, I agree that curiosities in visual perception are fascinating. But I’m more interested in literary perceptions. Let me help you with that.

    —“They are like the kittens raised without vertical lines that can’t see chair legs.”

    This kind of simile will always get you into trouble. Whenever you are forced to compare your human opponents to animals or inanimate object, you lose. It is obscene to indulge in dehumanization, and diminishes you more than anything else.

    —“Global warming deniers”

    I can’t imagine that you need me to remind you that derisive nomenclature is self-detonating. But here I am. It is fair enough to diminish an opponent in critical writing. Contrarily, punitive-naming only diminishes yourself. The reader is left wondering why you are beating yourself up.

    —“my limited upbringing”

    False modesty is false. If you really feel unqualified to write about a particular topic, write about something else. When you do write, favor your readers with every positive reason to believe you.

    —“Their absolute refusal to see the problem is so adamant that I have to wonder if it’s a matter of failed perception.  I don’t know what to say to them.”

    Is there really such a thing as a failed perception? No, this is simply a failure of influence.

    In his guidance on how to write influentially, I think Horace got it right–dulce et utile. Many, many people have thoughts on how to implement that advice. None of it includes disrespect, fallacy, and combativeness. For example:

    —“They clutch their false out-of-date data like it was handed down from God on stone tablets and they refuse to look at any new data because they think it’s from false prophets.”

    This hyperbole only serves to give knowledgeable readers an unfavorable impression. That induces disregard for your ideas.

    Do you realize that scientific measurements show our world has been cooling for the past decade? And you do realize that northern polar ice on Mars has been dissipating, just like Earth? Do you claim that I worship false prophets when I note that no theory of Anthropological Climate Change can explain this? Do you claim that my data is false and out-of-date?

    —“But the implications are far greater than this.  The division of the two species divide other issues like politics and religion.  How can we as a nation solve our problems, especially big problems, if we’re always polarized?”

    Many people with a taste for Totalitarianism tell us that unity makes the trains run on time. Some of us still cling to the notion that diversity of opinion and honest dissent from Common Knowledge is healthy and productive. This is why a writer needs to use caution when invoking evolution denial. Those of us who do appreciate the power of natural selection, have a clear understanding of the frailty of Collectivism.

    —“I’m starting to worry that there is an even more dangerous problem than climate change, and that’s this division of perception that polarizes the population.”

    I fully support that proposition. But what do you expect when the messiah of global warming flaunts his messianic wealth with a 30X normal ThermoMansion, habitual private jetting, and a 100 foot luxury yacht? I don’t even need to write his name to cite his conspicuous consumption and extraordinary fraud.

    If you want to construct divisions in the population, how about this one: Some of us are old enough not to be fooled again by these gluttonous charlatans. And some of us are not.

    —We’re seeing more and more big problems that will require us to work cooperatively if civilization is to survive, but we’ve reach a total impasse on communication, refusing to do anything because we can’t agree.

    Yes, more communication and cooperation is beneficial. However, the “total impasse” you cite is more a projection of your own intransigence. For example, I completely disagree with your position on climate apocalypse, but that doesn’t stop me from creating real advances in community action, petroleum conservation, and building science. I’m a Humanist. My clients, associates, and students would laugh at me if I ever tried to promote conservation with scare tactics.

    —“Many of the climate change deniers scoff at climate predictions because various scientists have made predictions in the past that have apparently turned out not to be true.”

    Yes, the absolute absence of *any* scientific confirmation is surely the most important reason for continuing to question Anthropological Climate Change theories. Another important reason to generally question Environmental Doom theories, is that their protagonists have all been reckless frauds. When assessing the squirrelly predictions of miscreants like Rachel Carson, Michael Mann, M.King Hubbert, Charles Davenport; our skepticism has served us very, very well.

    —“The trouble is, these deniers didn’t wait long enough to give the forecasts time to unfold.”

    That’s the fallacy of random action. If you roll a pair of dice enough times, one of them will inevitably fly off the table and into the glass with your dentures. There are two problems with public policy based on this type of unsound reasoning. First, chasing false models–diddling them to fit the data–is no better than using circles within circles to track the Sun’s movement around the Earth. It subverts scientific exploration into religious dogma.

    Second, we only live in the present and we have plenty of real problems to solve right now. Real people are really being starved, diseased, exploded, and frozen right now. Global cooling will really make it worse. Maybe if we wait a hundred or a thousand years, humanity may really be able to influence global climate. Of course, those future people will be much better equipped to deal with their future problems than we can imagine.

    Real results from the Kyoto Treat prove that humanity is presently incapable of affecting climate.

    —“Forty years later, many people think the world is just fine with 6.7 billion people and figure we can grow much larger, and they don’t think our rich lifestyles show any limits. ”

    Who are these people? Name names. I have never encountered any sincere expressions of this.

    —“I’m getting the feeling that we’ll arrive at the peak of the climb soon.”

    I submit to you, that these feeling are an expression of your own intolerance to change. I feel it myself when I put $60 of gas in the wagon. That’s the problem with feelings. In reality, I’ve never paid such a tiny portion of my income for fuel.

    —“The trouble is, the world doesn’t end, we just end up in a big mess that we’ve got to clean up.”

    Of course. When do we get to the bad part? I suggest you take care of yourself and your fellow man. The Earth simply doesn’t give a crap.

    —“I find it fascinating that all the things that the New Testament teaches are the things we need to do to change ourselves to avoid problems like global warming, over population and dwindling resources.”

    Everyone deserves comfort and joy. Here’s the thing about religion: We need mythology to preserve ancient wisdom, so the wheels of civilization don’t have to be reinvented every generation. Religion also preserves ancient falsity. I feel no obligation to consume every dish at the buffet. That’s part of growing up.

    —“I have been thinking for days on how to reply to global warming deniers, and it is now occurring to me that I can’t recommend studying science.  That isn’t their language. ”

    Har, har, har. Thank God I’m a chemist. You butchered the metaphor of Erwin Schroedinger’s Cat. When the box is closed, the cat is in a quantum state of alive and dead. When the box is open, the wave function collapses and we find the cat alive or dead.

    Here’s a self-evaluation that may be useful. As you mature intellectually, you will begin to savor the company of those who challenge you, far more than those who acquiesce. Or not.

    —“It is my belief that climate change deniers are worried that changing the world requires changing themselves, and they just don’t want to change.”

    God put me on Earth to destroy bigotry by example. That’s change you can believe in.

  5. Helen: “Har, har, har. Thank God I’m a chemist. You butchered the metaphor of Erwin Schroedinger’s Cat. When the box is closed, the cat is in a quantum state of alive and dead. When the box is open, the wave function collapses and we find the cat alive or dead.”

    Jim: You missed the point I was making. I’m claiming climate change deniers are refusing to open the box because they know there’s a chance that they could be wrong. They don’t want to face the issue. They don’t want to take a chance of being wrong.

    Helen, you argue from the standpoint there is absolutely no chance of drastic climate change happening from man made causes. No one knows what the weather will be like in fifty years, but the vast majority of scientists working on the problem, and some sources give that percentage well into the nineties, say some bad things are going to happen.

    Climate change deniers are claiming they know with 100% confidence that it will be 0%. And they refuse to open the box to see how the cat is really doing. Why should all of humanity risk their future on such behavior?

    Also, should we make public policy on their beliefs? What if they turn out wrong? Will they take responsibility for whatever does happen? I think it’s better to hedge bets by spreading them across many possibilities. We never know what’s in the box until we open it.

  6. —You missed the point I was making.

    I can see why you might feel that way; you have mistaken my purpose. I stated clearly here that I am more interested in responding to the character of your writing, not another silly promotion of ACC. Those are profoundly uninteresting to me; like so many broken shells on the beach.

    I am pressing the point that the power of prose is diminished by personal condescension, parochial posturing, mangled metaphors, serial stereotyping, logical fallacies, overwrought emotionality, contempt of science, punitive accusation, nasty dehumanization, and humorless scolding.

    But if you would rather be disabused of your ACC fantasies, we can do that.

    —Helen, you argue from the standpoint there is absolutely no chance of drastic climate change happening from man made causes.

    Not really, but it would be counter-productive to bog you down with more nuance. So let’s just say that there is no scientific theory or evidence to contradict that proposition.

    —No one knows what the weather will be like in fifty years

    That is exactly right. The processes that control weather and climate may never be known to the degree needed for such predictions. But there are plenty of climatologists more than willing to fake it. For some unfathomable reason, you seem to feel that people who recognize this absurdity are forming a Wellsian separate and lesser division of humanity. And worse, you now attempt to use that nonsense as a springboard for more.

    —the vast majority of scientists working on the problem, and some sources give that percentage well into the nineties,…

    This is the logical fallacy of argumentum ad verecundiam. Even worse, the proposition itself is demonstrable false.

    Most technicians who are paid to promote ACC, promote ACC. There is nothing scientific about extrapolating cherry-picked data. Meteorologists and other real scientists reject ACC by a ratio of 6:1. The scientific consensus is that ACC is scientific fraud, and that means nothing. Who needs an epistemology that depends on fallacy? If you use that as a crutch, it just makes you look crippled.

    —some bad things are going to happen.

    Have you no shame, sir? Where did you get the idea that ‘no bad things’ were ever going to happen in the future? And how did that get to be a justification for bastardizing science and denigrating the rejection of scientific fraud and Leftist propaganda?

    —Climate change deniers are claiming they know with 100% confidence that it will be 0%.

    Again, you foist the Strawman Fallacy, and here couple it with the Fallacy of Absolutism. See the overarching pattern of irrationality? That just never happens in the pursuit of truth.

    —And they refuse to open the box to see how the cat is really doing.

    Always dangerous ground to argue that someone is blind because he does not share your religious revelations. Generally it reveals an emotional response to those who are really looking too closely.

    ACC is promoted as a scientific theory, but is not testable, verifiable, or falsifiable. Therefore, it is not scientific in any sense, but really a religious belief. This religion is supported by climate models that are neither predictive nor corroborative with historic measurements. It’s just an intellectual trash heap.

    So who is really afraid of looking in the box to see how their religion doesn’t explain the past nor tell us anything useful about the future? All we get from the ACC priesthood is “some bad things are going to happen.” Where, oh where, have I heard that before?

    —Why should all of humanity risk their future on such behavior?

    Exactly! In America we want to be governed by rational, secular principles. Pardon me and the other Trogs for rejecting your religion, your fallacies, your mal-informed condescension, your political extremism, your pedestrian propagandizing, your fake-but-real-climatology, your rejection of planetary science, your hideous two-species elitism, your apocalyptic fantasy fiction, and the buffoonery of your ThermoMessiah. Al Gore is riding boats and planes, puffing on a cigar, and laughing at your naiveté.

    How does it feel to be mocked for promoting your phony belief system, Jim? Shame on you for driving me to illustrate the deficiencies in your writing by counter example. Next time, pick up the clue phone.

    — I think it’s better to hedge bets by spreading them across many possibilities.

    This is America and you can spend your money as you please. But my money will not be wasted on your religious hysteria. I choose to support real solutions, for real people, with real problems, right now.

  7. Helen, I’d love to have a mastery over rhetoric, and I appreciate you offering me lessons. However, the sledgehammer style you are demonstrating isn’t really congenial to my nature. You have provided a wonder lesson to me, albeit as a negative example.

  8. Then my method was successful. Thank you, I’m not beyond affirmation.

    The great gurus always position themselves at opposing extremes, to bring people back to the center. Friends keep their friends in balance. So sledgehammer suits me fine. Bulldozer too. I would shame myself by ever being subtle.

    Practice dulce et utile.

    Connect with the here and now.

    Uplift, enlighten, enthuse.

    Actively pursue success.

    Remember, if you choose to get ugly, there is always someone out there willing to get uglier. You can never win that game.

  9. humans are animals. i know some of you out there want desperately to elevate us above the rest of the animals, but in the end, we are animals and failed animals at that. evolution has two camps: adaptive (successful) and maladaptive (unsuccessful)….open your eyes a little tiny bit wider than a plus or minus margin of 60 years and it doesnt take much to see how maladaptive modern humans are. we are our own machine of extinction. we are not above nature, we are misfits. we dont make our own destiny, we destroy it. we are not masters of our environments, we are outsiders—we are freaks, mutants, outlaws, outsiders, and we dont belong on this planet. but ego drives hubris and some of you make up justifications for our singular status and reinvent us as “special”. well, in reality, organisms that dont adapt to their environments go extinct. we are not only the means of our own extinction, we are are the means of extinction for far too many other organisms.

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A Deep Look by Dave Hook

Thoughts, ramblings and ruminations

Reißwolf

A story a day keeps the boredom away: SF and Fantasy story reviews

AGENT SWARM

Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming

the sinister science

sf & critical theory join forces to destroy the present

Short Story Magic Tricks

breaking down why great fiction is great

Xeno Swarm

Multiple Estrangements in Philosophy and Science Fiction

fiction review

(mostly) short reviews of (mostly) short fiction

A Just Recompense

I'm Writing and I Can't Shut Up

Universes of the Mind

A celebration of stories that, while they may have been invented, are still true

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Make Lists, Not War

The Meta-Lists Website

From Earth to the Stars

The Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Author & Editor Blog

SFF Reviews

Short Reviews of Short SFF

Featured Futures

classic science fiction and more

Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Witchcraft, Magick, Paganism & Metaphysical Matters

Pulp and old Magazines

Pulp and old Magazines

Matthew Wright

Science, writing, reason and stuff

My Colourful Life

Because Life is Colourful

The Astounding Analog Companion

The official Analog Science Fiction and Fact blog.

What's Nonfiction?

Where is your nonfiction section please.

A Commonplace for the Uncommon

Reading, Ruminating, Writing, & Other Neurological Disorders

a rambling collective

Short Fiction by Nicola Humphreys

The Real SciBlog

Articles about riveting topics in science

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

The Subway Test

Joe Pitkin's stories, queries, and quibbles regarding the human, the inhuman, the humanesque.

SuchFriends Blog

'...and say my glory was I had such friends.' --- WB Yeats

Neither Kings nor Americans

Reading the American tradition from an anarchist perspective

TO THE BRINK

Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

I can't believe it!

Problems of today, Ideas for tomorrow

wordscene

Peter Webscott's travel and photography blog

The Wonderful World of Cinema

Where classic films are very much alive! It's Wonderful!

The Case for Global Film

Films from everywhere and every era

A Sky of Books and Movies

Books & movies, art and thoughts.

Emily Munro

Spinning Tales in the Big Apple

slicethelife

hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?

Being 2 different people.

Be yourself, but don't let them know.

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