November 27, 2007
We can no longer trust our major media to report the news properly any more because of corporate interference trying to sell us hot pants and fast food which, you would think, are fairly mutually exclusive items*- if we’re lucky. The other area where it affects us heavily is medicine. It was pointed out long ago by concerned research scientists that if you put combating disease in the hands of profit-oriented companies alone without having government labs involved what you will get is only treatments- not cures. A cure, after all, is only for Christmas- a treatment is for life.
The first truly awful science of my generation was the way AIDS was handled in the 80′s. Cargo-cult science from a doctor of dubious repute connected a retrovirus to a syndrome and transmission to sex and we were told, with the usual enthusiasm of the tabloid media, of the bodies piled high on the streets come the year 2000. Sex sells. Sex kills. Those alive, paying attention and not out shopping for hot pants holding a bucket of KFC would have caught, at the time, the BBC Panorama documentary which questioned the science and pointed out that the odds on contracting the HIV retrovirus, should it exist, from sex was thousands to one**. The threat increased to one in hundreds only if both partners had an open wound on their genitalia. I personally lack the commitment to have sex hundreds of time with my penis bleeding profusely and even if I did I lack the charm, I feel, to talk another person into rigorous sex whilst suffering from severe blood loss.
Lunatic fringe thinker, I, joined only by Nicholas Regush of ABC News, Harpers, a few Nobel Prize winners for chemistry and around ten thousand scientists outside the USA whose income is not dependant on companies making billions from HIV treatments in thinking there is some less than robust thinking here are now re-joined by the BBC.
The method that has been proposed (but never proved) by which the retrovirus kills our T-cells has as much credibility as a trial lawyer representing OJ Simpson or Robert Downey Jnr. according to, for all my dissing Americans, a study led by Emory University in Atlanta. In reporting the story the Beeb, though, fearful of the American treatment of the English language, decided to get a quote from a trustworthy British scientist at Imperial College, Cambridge. Professor Jaroslav (very British) Stark said: “Scientists have never had a full understanding of the processes by which T helper cells are depleted in HIV, and therefore they’ve been unable to fully explain why HIV destroys the body’s supply of these cells at such a slow rate. Our new interdisciplinary research has thrown serious doubt on one popular theory of how HIV affects these cells, and means that further studies are required to understand the mechanism behind HIV’s distinctive slow process of cellular destruction.”
What’s worrying is this: they decided HIV causes AIDS by killing T-cells without ever understanding or proving the process by which it happens. Then how do you know that HIV is doing it, exactly? There is a word for this kind of thing: it is called a guess. Guessing, as you may conclude, is not great science. Guessing is what loses you huge amounts of money at the track. Guessing is what you do when you try and win the lottery. Guessing is not something you want from, say, a person packing your parachute, deciding on the length of your bungee cord or sending you to a foreign country to find weapons of mass destruction. So filling yourself with toxic chemicals to kill a retrovirus which may be sitting around, chilling, and generally showing the activity and work ethic of a procrastinating grandma on a weeks break in Torremelinos based on a guess may be considered to be less than smart.
The problem is the way we demand answers from medicine. Other sciences get to dabble around and have fun trying to make the universe accidentally fold up or putting new elements together to see how big a bang we can get. We, as individuals, don’t really care so we place no pressure on them. But we want to be cured of every tiny ill. Since none of us really believe in heaven any more we are afraid of death, otherwise we would let ourselves be “taken” at the first opportunity. Lying there, measle-infected, “See God,” we could utter, “it’s not suicide- just your will. See you in a minute- put my sexy birds on ice and pour me a Martini.” So we believe in something new: we have faith in medicine. Which is dumb. Medicine is reason and evidence. And profit. When we substitute reason and evidence for faith we end up with faith and prophet. Possibly one called Mohamed, or Jesus, or Dave The Amazing Faith healer. Or GlaxoSmithKline.
It is really our fault. Our brain seeks conclusions to problems and it seeks them quickly. We are designed to suffer anxiety about the unknown because early humans who were not quick to decide the best option when faced with, say, a large and pretty kitty with sharp teeth and savage claws, never got to decide anything ever again… least of all who to accidentally get pregnant at the prom.
So we get betrayed, every day, by our Selves. Our Selves are not something to be trusted. They will fuck with us at every given opportunity making us think our hair looks bad, our hot-pants don’t suit us and make us buy another bucket of comfort-KFC. We tend to believe what will make us happy and accepted rather than what is inconvenient and, quite possibly, true.
One of those things is: you’re going to die. Get over it. Stop worrying about it. Get laid. And use a condom not because you think you’re going to die from some random infection but because you’re considerate, because you are careful, and because if you have kids they will want you to send them to school and college and will want to borrow your car- which will eat into your drinking money and destroy your social life. Who wants that? Honestly.
*- bridged by the diet supplement market.
**- “Male-to-female transmission was approximately eight times more efficient than female-to-male transmission …The constant per-contact infectivity for male-to-female transmission was estimated to be 0.0009 [Meaning that female-to-male would be 0.00001125 or about 1/10,000]…We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study…No transmission occurred among the 25% of couples who did not use their condoms consistently, nor among the 47 couples who intermittently practiced unsafe sex during the entire duration of follow-up. This evidence argues for low infectivity in the absence of either needle sharing and/or other cofactors” Padian NS et al. Heterosexual Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Northern California: Results from a Ten-Year Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1997 Aug;146(4):350-7
August 13, 2007
With all our world leaders jostling with one another to explain how safe they are going to make us we have ended up with some pretty bloody stupid airport security around the world in the last few years*.
The fact is that any team of 5 people determined enough and willing to sacrifice their lives can bring down an aircraft without bringing a single, solitary weapon on board. De-pressurizing an aeroplane in just the right way is easy and enough and all you have to do for the flimsy thing to go pffffft and leave a whole lot of people regretting that they are now tied to an extremely heavy seat shortening their life span by a good minute or so.
If after that little revelation you’re too paranoid to get in aircraft that means (1) that you have an appalling ability to assess and compare dangers and (2) we get to keep a glacier for another minute and three seconds and I get another four days before I have to start building anti- flood barriers around my house and, well, every bit helps.
But if you genuinely want top notch security in airports, the best in the world, for free, you sell gambling rights, right there in the departure lounges, to top Casino companies. Everyone knows that Casinos, to protect their cash, have the very best security in the whole world. Make them apply that knowledge in defending your planes and you will be far better off than you are with 50c an hour security guards trying to stick their fingers up your butt while you turn on your laptop computer. And their tax is making sure nothing bad happens- or they lose their contract and investment.
No more missing luggage, either. Anyone trying to nick your iPod from your suitcase will find themselves at the bottom of a nearby river and you, after having the iPod replaced, will have a free three night stay in a suite at one of their casino hotels. Hookers and cocaine an optional extra.
These people know how to protect their assets. You do not have to trust them- just their motivations.
*- You cannot make a bomb on a plane using liquids. You just cannot. You blow your hands off/ burn them beyond use long before you can create anything damaging. You can easily get a laptop computer to turn on and boot up with loads of space available inside it for all sorts of dodgy shit that you CAN blow an aeroplane up with.
May 3, 2007
I recently, through lack of planning rather than design, changed the light-bulb in my room to a green one and it caused me to notice something about physiology that I was never taught in school.
If I lay there and read under a green light for a little while and then moved into a room with more normal lighting the lighting in that room, for about 30 seconds, would appear red. This means one of three things. Either (a) the individual photocells in the eye can increase their sensitivity to light if necessary or (b) the brain adapts any information coming in via the eyes to maintain the light balance it is most used to seeing by or (c) aliens are fucking with the lights in my house.
I was taught that the only control for light sensitivity was the iris opening and closing to let in more or less light not brain sensitivities, photocells or aliens.
April 8, 2007
If you have a day where you are feeling a little dumb. A day, lets say, where you have written your first ever predictions column for a sports magazine and got everything, against all odds, horribly, terrifically and spectacularly wrong. To feel better and have restored to you some sense of intelligence and cognisance above that of a lemming, brick, politician or talent-show judge one need only to turn to the news.
Intelligence and stupidity are, after all, comparatives. So what is happening that I can compare myself and my various vagaries to out there in the world that will make me feel better?
Well, there are the people who think we can really do a damn thing about global warming: they’ve lost their minds. Even if we had acted when we first discovered the concept in the late 70′s the odds of reversing or controlling it were small. Only a nuclear winter could stop it now, maybe, possibly, probably not, actually… someone call George W. We need a decider!
Then there are the people who are convinced that we have a clue what the result of global warming will be. They’re gormless too. It could get hotter, it could get colder, it could cause the Alien Lizards controlling our world to finally bugger off because the climate no longer suits them leaving the world in a state of love, peace, harmony and skimpy bathing suits.
I feel a little better already.
Then there are people who think the war in Iraq had anything to do with anything other than money. The Americans that think George W. did the right thing when he invaded Iraq and, as well, the ones that think he did the wrong thing. Americans in general, in fact. With the exception of the ones who watch (and understand) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. And a friend of mine who drinks too much and is fun. And some of his friends. Maybe.
Anyone who is reading the book “The Secret” right now and believes any of the words contained within with their tiny, little brains- except for the word “the” which is used in an entirely truthful context in the book.
Kissing in public is illegal in India and they haven’t made their government to overturn the law, so that’s a billion people being stupid over there. 90% of all people who trust any statistic given to them ever are completely retarded, so I feel much smarter than them, too.
Everyone ever who believes that planets revolving around the sun have anything to do with whether they “are going to have to make difficult personal decisions on Thursday” and, even worse, that believes that if this were true the person who knew the system would be writing a magazine column for minimum wage instead of ruling the entire planet or owning Starbucks. How thick.
So I might have been off a little in some fun predictions in a news column. So what? Look at the world out there. They are insane.
I feel so much better now.
March 28, 2007
Hazel the chimp, in Austria, saved from vivisection and placed in a now bankrupt Zoo, is looking to be adopted by a “legal guardian” and achieve some of the basic rights as humans*. Part of the argument for is based on the science of DNA. Chimps have a 96% similarity in DNA to humans. Here again you have to be careful as statistical medicine rears it’s ugly head. Perspective, in this case, is needed.
Human beings are also 64% related, in their DNA, to bananas. Do we give them 64% of our human rights? We are 94% related to rats and Donald Trump, except that the rats (who are .0001% closer in relation to us than Trump) have far better hair. Do we save them from vivisection?
When considering rights, like the right to not be vivisected in a lab somewhere, I am all for saving chimps and rats but not, as it happens, Donald Trump. We also have to consider that no-one on earth besides Trump himself would be likely to back him for having human rights so I guess that does ease any complications.
When campaigning for human, animal or, indeed, fruit and vegetable rights we need to consider the animal and plant kingdom, too, and how it operates. We, no matter what we think, are no better than other animals except for a creativity born of necessity to what has to be the crappiest predator on the planet (when unarmed). Cows do not think twice when munching away on grass and Tigers don’t think twice when ripping a human head from a human body and later munching on it’s small intestines.
What is my point? I wish I knew. I am off to eat a banana, masturbate in front of a monkey and vivisect Donald Trump. Serves them all right.
*- BBCWorld, 2007/03/28
March 6, 2007
The biggest reason that statistical medicine in general and AIDS specifically really steams my boat is the situation in Africa. In Africa today if you die of an AIDS-related illness you are classified as an AIDS death whether you have been diagnosed with HIV or not. Really. Even in South Africa with a first world infrastructure this is true.
The reason is not insidious. It is just too costly to test a person who is already dead of, say, pneumonia for HIV so it is just classified as an AIDS death. Statistics from AIDS related deaths are then extrapolated to provide assumed HIV infection rates amongst the rest of the population. That’s why the statistics are so high in Africa (and we use a different, less reliable test more likely to show false positives- because it’s cheaper).
There are no reliable statistics that show the death rate as a percentage of population in Africa has increased from disease in the last 20 years. The reason is simple: there are no reliable long-term statistics in Africa. Period. Again the closest you get is South Africa post 1994 when we got our first properly democratic government (hopefully the USA and China will follow our example soon). Even then statistics are not close to properly reliable until, perhaps, 2000 onward.
The biggest killers in South Africa are still Cancer and Heart Disease. The same as the rest of the world. I do advocate the promotion of condoms, especially in those who get lucky a lot, to prevent the spread of diseases but AIDS drugs are expensive on a continent that has much larger problems.
People in Africa need houses. People in Africa are starving. People in Africa are being massacred by brutal regimes. Yet there is no profit in attending to these needs so they do not get addressed. Do you provide medicine to one person with HIV or feed 20? Do you try and save one person from AIDS or do you save 10 children from being turned into killers?
The money put into AIDS goes straight back to the USA and Europe via pharmaceutical companies. Money put into housing, food aid, debt relief, or encouraging democracy and education does not. It only benefits that country.
For anyone out there who thinks Africa creates it’s own problems I have for you this to say. Countries with no mineral wealth in Africa, almost always, are peaceful. If you have nothing the developed and developing world wants you end up in a war only when armies are ousted from one of the countries that do and are looking for more soldiers.
The son of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, pled guilty recently to a charge of trying to overthrow an African government (Ivory Coast I think) to try and get that country’s mineral rights. He was caught trying to flee South Africa after it all went wrong.
I kid you not at all.
March 6, 2007
I have been meaning to write a piece on statistical medicine for a while now. Since I just got a comment on my post “Should we all be worried by the HIV-AIDS hypothesis?” and also since much of the marketing and, more disturbingly, research into AIDS is done via statistical medicine I thought now might be the time.
I have spilt this into two parts the first is not my writing but two other texts I copied for my own interest some time ago and do not know exactly who to attribute them to.
One is a real medical study showing that “Leos” are 15% more likely to be admitted to hospital with gastric bleeding and “Sagittarians” are 38% more likely than others to land up there because of a broken arm. The second is a flippant piece about the dangers of bread. It is thought-provoking nonetheless.
WHY STATISTICAL MEDICINE IS DANGEROUS, TEXT1 (comedy):
!!! BREAD IS DANGEROUS !!!
Research on bread indicates that:
1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.
4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.
5. Bread is made from a substance called “dough.” It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!
6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and osteoporosis.
7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.
8. Bread is often a “gateway” food item, leading the user to “harder” items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.
9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.
10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.
11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.
12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.
In light of these frightening statistics, it has been proposed that the following bread restrictions be made:
1. No sale of bread to minors.
2. A nationwide “Just Say No To Toast” campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.
3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colours (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
5. The establishment of “Bread-free” zones around schools.
WHY STATISTICAL MEDICINE IS DANGEROUS, TEXT2 (actual study):
PEOPLE born under the astrological sign of Leo are 15% more likely to be admitted to hospital with gastric bleeding than those born under the other 11 signs. Sagittarians are 38% more likely than others to land up there because of a broken arm. Those are the conclusions that many medical researchers would be forced to make from a set of data presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Peter Austin of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto. At least, they would be forced to draw them if they applied the lax statistical methods of their own work to the records of hospital admissions in Ontario, Canada, used by Dr Austin.
Dr Austin, of course, does not draw those conclusions. His point was to shock medical researchers into using better statistics, because the ones they routinely employ today run the risk of identifying relationships when, in fact, there are none. He also wanted to explain why so many health claims that look important when they are first made are not substantiated in later studies.
The confusion arises because each result is tested separately to see how likely, in statistical terms, it was to have happened by chance. If that likelihood is below a certain threshold, typically 5%, then the convention is that an effect is “real”. And that is fine if only one hypothesis is being tested. But if, say, 20 are being tested at the same time, then on average one of them will be accepted as provisionally true, even though it is not.
In his own study, Dr Austin tested 24 hypotheses, two for each astrological sign. He was looking for instances in which a certain sign “caused” an increased risk of a particular ailment. The hypotheses about Leos’ intestines and Sagittarians’ arms were less than 5% likely to have come about by chance, satisfying the usual standards of proof of a relationship. However, when he modified his statistical methods to take into account the fact that he was testing 24 hypotheses, not one, the boundary of significance dropped dramatically. At that point, none of the astrological associations remained.
Unfortunately, many researchers looking for risk factors for diseases are not aware that they need to modify their statistics when they test multiple hypotheses. The consequence of that mistake, as John Ioannidis of the University of Ioannina School of Medicine, in Greece, explained to the meeting, is that a lot of observational health studies—those that go trawling through databases, rather than relying on controlled experiments—cannot be reproduced by other researchers. Previous work by Dr Ioannidis, on six highly cited observational studies, showed that conclusions from five of them were later refuted. In the new work he presented to the meeting, he looked systematically at the causes of bias in such research and confirmed that the results of observational studies are likely to be completely correct only 20% of the time. If such a study tests many hypotheses, the likelihood its conclusions are correct may drop as low as one in 1,000—and studies that appear to find larger effects are likely, in fact, simply to have more bias.
So, the next time a newspaper headline declares that something is bad for you, read the small print. If the scientists used the wrong statistical method, you may do just as well believing your horoscope.
Part two to follow…
March 1, 2007
This was inspired by a post of a youtube video on celluloid blonde.# Thanks Max. In some of my writing recently I have been exploring free will. Not so much in the ‘hurting fluffy animals’ or ‘causing world wars’ or even in the ‘getting my end away’ sense but rather more in the thoughtful, considered, might-have-been-smoking-weed sense.
For someone who considers themselves to have a decent amount of intelligence- higher than say George W. or a chicken but lower than ‘Q’ from Start Trek, Yoda from Star Wars or a bloke I know down the pub who seems to know everything about everything- I like to explore what that thought means, if anything, and where it leads, if anywhere, and whether they will have a drink waiting for me when I get there.
After all, that is the hallmark of all civilization and we do rather hope that’s where intelligence would lead us.
So, considering that the normal idea of what free will is finds itself, in the face of science, looking a little silly and embarrassed and hoping someone says something soon so it can pop into the kitchen, do up it’s fly, get itself a civilized drink and pretend nothing happened- considering this and that we are having to face the fact that we are variously ‘intelligent’ meat-machines* where does the intelligence start and stop?
Is our brain the only intelligent thing? The brain-dead body does some pretty smart stuff with only a little help from machines or, in the case of George W., alcohol and his favourite toy- a real life GI Joe (actually 140,000 of them- the whole set). If you think it is only the brain what about part of the brain? How much do you need for intelligence? 90%? 70%? 10%? Would it survive on it’s own? For intelligence to exist it needs support systems.
If the way the body’s organs work together is pretty intelligent and for the most part they don’t need the brain to do it we should accept that the being is intelligent and we don’t distinguish a single part of it because it works together. Then where do we stop? Our friends who we bounce ideas and thoughts off are extensions of our intelligence. Computers that we use for research or to create on are too. As are our teachers. Books.
There is a hive mind that is bigger than the individual. One person alone in a field own without the hive mind learns nothing and does not advance. Sitting in that field eating mud and waving at cows waiting for a “nice kitty” to come along, purring, and rip his limbs off.
And those other animals are part of the hive mind too. For many of us animals are our first steps toward learning empathy, behaviour control and what “big people” do to the disobedient. So they and the ones who teach us (by example) not to sit in the field saying “cute kitty” are part of the hive mind, much like the interacting neurons in your brain.
And this brain, like yours, needs something to support it (preferably something/ one rich and generous). And it has it. The earth becomes part of the organism, the planet, by the same definitions, becomes and intelligent entity, one big brain of thinking parts. It may not have control over it’s direction and movement like most humans but neither does, say, Stephen Hawking. It has the ability to think. The same ideas extrapolated applies to our solar system, the galaxy and ultimately the universe.
We live in an intelligent universe.
Considering this we have to ask ourselves: why don’t the trains run on time and why is most television so utterly stupid?
Perhaps we live in an intelligent universe, but not a very intelligent universe. We got the George W. of universes that everyone points and laughs at. Some very smug creatures somewhere got the Steven Hawking universe and are laughing at us right now.
Just thought you might like to know. That’s all.
*- albeit very sophisticated and impressive meat machines with cool sunglasses, computers and nipple-rings.
February 17, 2007
A friend of mine, one who has known me for years and is greatly aware (and very forgiving) of my failings in social basics like remembering the name of the person I am talking/ writing to (sorry again, Max) once paid me a huge compliment. She said to me that she found me amusing for two reasons. First was the way I could take the disgusting/ immoral/ rude and the intellectual/ scientific/ philosophical and blend them into the same sentence without any apparent effort and the second, connected, reason was that I brought the analytical thoughts to porn and pornographic thoughts to analysis*.
The reason I bring this up is the graphic you (internet willing) see here. On the surface it looks amusing so you read it for a few seconds. At this point is where most normal people (the ones with families, friends, pets, intelligence, lives, jobs and so on) would move on with the appropriate items from the aforementioned list.
That I don’t just move on is, in fact, probably at least part of the reason I find myself unfettered by most of the things on that list and instead find myself musing over the accuracies or inaccuracies in the graph at hand.
Is, for instance, the curve projection on horse penises seen really viable? As a fan of sex and a sometimes far-too-liberated human being I do have to call that into question. In fact, I did the next thing no-one in their right mind would do: I decided to research it.
It turns out, whether on the broader internet or whether surfing the porn highways horse penis is actually very, very hard to come by without forking over cash. Which I assume is something that no-one actually does for internet porn considering how much is available free. The most reliable place to catch a glimpse is on veterinarian websites, chinese take-away menus and horse jumping competitions. So I would have to say this graph has some flaws and, with my newfound research information at hand, I can tell you that horse penises should be long, straight and at a slightly erect or ascending angle to be most properly represented. On the graph**.
There were a few other notable errors or inconsistencies, but only 2 worth mentioning. The respect of friends graph is patently absurd and the dip an unscientific assumption up there with creationism and string theory***. Assuming this person started with friends in the first place- the friends that would stick around once the porn obsession levels got so high that answering the front door with trousers around the ankles and a raging stiffy- even for the pizza man, becomes ‘de rigeur’, obviously have no standards and so their respect would not decrease a jot. The levels of available friends would follow the curve of the graph, however, with a small but sharp turn upwards when the soul in question finally joins a support group for both the porn addicted and traumatised pizza men.
Finally there is the girlfriends curve which might well be applicable in Utah, Quebec or Austria. I cannot say for sure. But it is most likely the intellectual product of either a Tibetan Monk, a nun, an 8-year old or a hermit living on a desert island, cut off from the world for the past 20 years (which would beg the question- where did he learn to use photoshop?) and probably wearing some sort of grass skirt with bugs in it. Oh, or a girl who has never had a boyfriend or an orgasm. You see, a certain amount of porn and the realted activities is necessary for a male to not, entirely, lose his mind. No porn and no girlfriend combined together decreases your chance of meeting a girl and saying more than 12 words to her before getting into a hopeless, complicated tangle and making a mess of yourself.
In actuality, societies where porn is still illegal and only available on the black market are notorious for odd arrests of males trying to stick their penises into anything at all. Streets abound with men with their dicks stuck in post boxes, telephone coin return slots, rotating doors, squid, car windows and, on sundays, choir boys.
I do grant that the amount of porn any man will admit to watching, no matter how much he does, is (as represented) static- except when his mother is in the room which we can discount merely as a statistical anomaly and an attempt to save on the whole Freudian analysis thing.
*- the coversational use of the word, not the American use. Unless your analyist is hot.
**- those three words are like doing a drumroll at the end of a joke: if you need them either it wasn’t funny or your audience is dumb. Either way they don’t help and should be left out at all costs.
***- I like the theory, but it’s still absurd.
February 14, 2007
My other site dictum.wordpress.com, has just published it’s first philosophical paper. For anyone who reads my drivel but does not know about it a basic synopsis here, copied from the front page:
Ever felt like all your taught behaviours didn’t feel right? Ever been surprised at your thoughts and how they differ from what you have been told you were meant to be thinking? Fantastic, welcome to the club. You are a human being of the 21st Century brought up on philosophies created by mad old men, many sporting beards and all with no real friends who have been deliberately putting the wind up society over the past 4000 years (or thereabouts).
The philosophy is based on a public vote on whether people relate to quotes or dictum (authoratative pronouncements) from famous people we might actually like if we met them. Mae West. Hemmingway. Ghandi. Oscar wilde. Charile Sheen. etc…
The first paper is appropriate to February 14th, dealing with sex and relationships.