Author Archive | Brother Elias

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Denies Being a Giant Space Lizard

Lizard Knows Best (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

Lizard Knows Best (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

This may lay your fears to rest, or further confirm your suspicions.

via The Daily Dot

Call it a perk of living in a small country: when you ask the prime minister whether he’s secretly a reptilian from another planet, he may actually take the time to answer.

That was the hardball question—included in an Official Information Act (OIA) request—that New Zealand PM John Key found himself addressing in comments to the national press this week. He adamantly denied the charge that he was part of an extraterrestrial conspiracy.

“To the best of my knowledge, no,” Key said. “I’ve taken the unusual step of not only seeing a doctor but a vet, and both have confirmed I’m not a reptile … I’ve never been in a spaceship, never been in outer space, and my tongue’s not overly long either.”

Auckland’s Shane Warbrooke was the man who submitted the request to Key’s office; the form demanded, as well as data for Warbrooke’s UFO research, “any evidence to disprove the theory that Mr.

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New Study: Internet Trolls Are Often Machiavellian Sadists

373px-Portrait_of_Niccolò_Machiavelli_by_Santi_di_Tito

Famous posthumous portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527). (PD)

This reminds me of the Native American proverb of the two dogs.

via Mother Jones

In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet “trolls” (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.

That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of so-called trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called “Dark Tetrad”: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).

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Redistribute Wealth? No, Redistribute Respect.

Some_respect_please

Some respect please (CC)

Could a shift in perception heal the divide between the haves and the have nots in western society? What say you, Disinfonauts?

via The Week

What happened to America’s sense of egalitarianism?

“It is said that heaven does not create one man above or below another man.”
— Yukichi Fukuzawa

I’ve always been a communist revolutionary at heart. Inequalities between human beings have always annoyed me, and I have the strong desire to see them eliminated. In American society, we generally discuss three kinds of “equality”: 1) “equality of outcome”, usually meaning equality of wealth or income, 2) “equality of opportunity”, and 3) “equal rights” under the law. The first is typically supported by true communists and socialists, and some liberals; the second by centrist liberals; and the third by libertarians and conservatives. The arguments between proponents of the three types of equality are voluminous and endless.

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An Insider’s Story Of The Global Attack On Climate Science

The Denial of Saint Peter

The Denial of Saint Peter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)(PD)

This article explains how NZ tax payers will likely have to foot the bill for the antics of doubt mongers.

via ars technica

An epic saga of secretly funded climate denial and harassment of scientists.

A recent headline—”Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss“—marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly funded climate denial, the harassment of scientists, and a tying-up of valuable government resources in New Zealand.

It’s likely to be a familiar story to my scientist colleagues in Australia, the UK, the US, and elsewhere around the world.

But if you’re not a scientist and are genuinely trying to work out who to believe when it comes to climate change, then it’s a story you need to hear, too. Because while the New Zealand fight over climate data appears to finally be over, it’s part of a much larger, ongoing war against evidence-based science.

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UT Austin Engineers Build First Nonreciprocal Acoustic Circulator: A One-Way Sound Device

The Conversation

The Conversation (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (FU)

It appears that snoops may soon have access to a powerful tool that may likely be used to abuse privacy.

via utexas

A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering has built the first-ever circulator for sound. The team’s experiments successfully prove that the fundamental symmetry with which acoustic waves travel through air between two points in space (“if you can hear, you can also be heard”) can be broken by a compact and simple device.

“Using the proposed concept, we were able to create one-way communication for sound traveling through air,” said Andrea Alù, who led the project and is an associate professor and David & Doris Lybarger Endowed Faculty Fellow in the Cockrell School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Imagine being able to listen without having to worry about being heard in return.”

This successful experiment is described in “Sound Isolation and Giant Linear Nonreciprocity in a Compact Acoustic Circulator,” which will be featured on the cover of Science in the Jan.

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Overpopulation Is Not the Problem

Malthus cautioned law makers on the effects of...

Malthus cautioned law makers on the effects of poverty reduction policies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

Adhering to the apocalyptic overpopulation narrative  has proven to encourage human rights atrocities. It has the effect of dragging anchor on social progress and innovation. To move forward, I feel it is in all of our best interests to weigh anchor, sail out to the horizon, and throw Malthus overboard on the way. What say you, disinfonauts?

via The New York Times

MANY scientists believe that by transforming the earth’s natural landscapes, we are undermining the very life support systems that sustain us. Like bacteria in a petri dish, our exploding numbers are reaching the limits of a finite planet, with dire consequences. Disaster looms as humans exceed the earth’s natural carrying capacity. Clearly, this could not be sustainable.

This is nonsense. Even today, I hear some of my scientific colleagues repeat these and similar claims — often unchallenged.

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Charges Over Scout Leaders’ Destruction of 170M Year-Old Utah Rock Formation

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (CC)

Remember the dimwitted Boy Scout leaders who push over the rock formation at Goblin Valley state park? They have been charged and awaiting possible conviction.

via the guardian

Taylor, 45, is charged with felony criminal mischief and Hall, 42, faces one count of felony aiding and assisting in criminal mischief, the director of Utah state parks, Fred Hayes, said in a statement.

If convicted, each man could face up to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 and restitution for damages to Utah’s protected natural resources.

The men were stripped of their leadership positions with the Boy Scouts of America after the video surfaced, igniting a furore and flooding the state parks office with angry calls and emails.

“From literally from around the world. Folks who have either been there [to Goblin Valley state park] or even just seen pictures of it,” Hayes told Reuters at the time.

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