Friday, December 30, 2016

Intellectual Parity

There's a certain concept that I've decided to define in my dealings with people when it comes to having a discussion regarding various topics, most notably, climate change and that is the idea of intellectual parity. For me, I use debate to challenge my own opinions and those of others in order to get as close to truth as possible. Lately however, I've found myself in the position of having to argue facts vs those who simply deny them. It's one thing where everyone is on equal footing intellectually but once a conversation moves towards fabrications vs reality, the only participant that stands to truly benefit is the one in denial.

For example with climate change, the majority of our efforts are going towards the discussion between those who accept the facts that have been presented vs those who don't. Those who don't have unfortunately filtered into positions of government that stand to make policies. In this system we don't have intellectual parity and, as a result, decisions made will either have disastrous consequences or potentially viable solutions. Compare this to a system that both parties readily accepted facts and were now in a position to debate those solutions. One might decide to strongly support carbon taxation & the other financial incentives for companies transitioning to clean energy. In this scenario, both parties are moving forward to solve the problem and, because they're at intellectual parity, are challenging each other to make improvements to reach a desired goal. Instead of completely dismissing the idea of taking action, they're criticizing a plan's specifics which will ultimately lead to helping to iron out flaws.

We use intellectual parity in various other practices for very good reason. Doctors are required to have a certain level of understanding of the human anatomy before they can even attempt cutting into someone even with supervision. We go to these painstaking lengths because a person's life is at stake and we want the best possible outcome for a patient. Say we were to do away with all that and simply have someone in an office armed with WebMD and a scalpel. This would be absolutely absurd to any rational individual and yet we're allowing similar scenarios to occur on the political landscape. A more appropriate equivalent would be someone in an office telling patients that there's nothing wrong with them only to have them drop dead a few days later.

Society needs to start demanding a certain level of intellectual parity in government in order to have any hope for progress. We can't afford having a debate on facts anymore at a political level. People entertaining caustic uninformed opinions fueled by fabricated untruths should be removed from influential positions and replaced with individuals who can provide results for those they are representing. Otherwise everyone loses.

Friday, December 23, 2016

You're not a skeptic

Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson. If I asked you what these people have in common, one would likely say that they generally move towards social libertarian politics & heavily criticize the left for its authoritarian ideals when it comes to enforcing social justice. How many of you would peg them for climate change denialists? Because they all are and this is a pattern that has gone unnoticed by a lot of people within the skeptic community. So called rational, intellectually honest, critical thinkers seem to have glanced over this enormous flaw when it comes to individuals on the right even when they've completely abandoned those qualities,

As a skeptic, my ultimate goal is to get as close to the truth as possible. In the realm of the quantifiable however, this task becomes much easier due to scientific endeavors and the peer review process. This ensures that all work and data collected is scrutinized by individuals who also have expertise in the required field. Once enough of these studies are performed supporting a consensus, the proposed conclusions become facts. Scientists don't fuck around. Yet, you'll still have a parade of imbeciles deciding to wave the time necessary to go to school, specialize and author a paper. They'll chime in and tell individuals that the scientists somehow got it wrong. Do they review the collective published works to point out the scientists errors? No. They simply repeat from one of many flawed fabrications and avoid putting in the same amount of work scientists have in the first place.

Those claiming the title of liberal, skeptic and intellectually honest are surprisingly silent when it comes to criticizing the right with the same diligence. I mean here we have a phenomenon that has been verified by the scientific community which has the 6th mass extinction event as a worst case scenario. This is not hyperbole. You'd think, given the weight of verified evidence presented, this would be something to call people out on however there's not even a whisper from these individuals.

We're at a point now where these untruths have become mainstream. Keep in mind this is the House Science Committee for the 2nd largest producer of Co2 which is the US. That tweet was met with myriad responses by climate scientists providing factual data debunking the claims made and setting the record straight. Did Breitbart & the Daily Mail retract their articles or provide corrections for their readers? Of course not. So now anyone who missed that exchange is now armed with this little nugget of complete shit that they'll gladly share at a table whenever the conversation strays in the direction of climate change or how scientists "don't know nothing".

As a skeptic, I can't put stock in what these people and publications have to say anymore. I have neither the time or the patience to deal with those who reach towards fabrications and have the inability to evolve their opinions. It takes far more effort debunking their claims than it does for them to manufacture them. Having a failure of critical thinking on this scale can only lead to repeat offences in all maters. These individuals have no place speaking at any learning institutions as a result. This isn't a free speech thing, this is a motion to have an intellectual standard. We expect students to have a certain level of academic accomplishment, it's only fair to ask the same of those invited to speak there. They certainly have no business in office informing the public.

I mentioned how, as a skeptic my ultimate goal is to get as close to the truth as possible. This happens to be the default position of every scientist. Everything needs to be verified before proven so that collectively, humanity can make informed decisions. Science should be treated as the immovable object unless met with the unstoppable force of discovery.

This era of feel good bipartisan "everyone is entitled to an opinion" mentality needs to end. A reality TV star who believes that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese will be the President of the United States. If you happen to be a citizen there, have the idea that your country has become a world laughing stock sink in. As for the so called skeptics who have let this happen on their watch unchallenged, you don't get to call yourself that anymore. "Right wing shill for batshit insania" would be far more fitting and appropriate.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Since I wrote this there have been some changes revolving around Chris' initial opinions. As a result what's been said here is no longer a reflection of Chris' views and should serve as a simple window into my initial impressions and reaction

When someone's able to course correct so quickly, admit that they were wrong about something, that shows a very rare character trait that I can't help but respect and admire. This is also a quality that entitled cunts don't possess, so on that front, I was flat out wrong. All I can do is say that I'm sorry.

There are however some people who are still holding onto these idiotic notions. On reflection, I'm not going to shy away from calling people out, even though my opinion about Chris changed, as it likely leads to these kinds of changes. People who overreact and use censorship as their shield to protect their livelihood don't deserve my respect or admiration. They deserve to be knocked down a peg, which what I wrote does beautifully.


A lot of people are suddenly crying censorship over recent modifications to the YouTube platform. These modifications make it so certain subject matter is automatically flagged and demonetized.  As a result, people are livid however their reasons for their outrage are somewhat suspect.

The video that I linked here by Chris shows some rather heavy adjectives for what's actually going on. Things like "terrifying" or "Orwellian" shouldn't go hand in hand with things like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. People overestimate the importance of these sites and by proxy overestimate their own importance. Private companies, regardless of the amount of people they service, dictate how those services are distributed and who gets to be a part of them. There's nothing terrifying or Orwellian about that. If someone comes to your house, starts acting like a cunt, you're in your right to tell them to leave. Same as if someone comes to your house and they're making you uncomfortable by no fault of their own. If you don't like it, you have the option of making your own website, in essence getting your own house and having your own rules.

The focus of this video is more related to YouTube however and here's where the whole "terrifying" and "Orwellian" crazy train loses steam and crashes into a big steaming pile of shit, which is their argument. For one, censorship is pretty much out the window considering demonetization doesn't mean people can't see your video. All it does mean is that if people do chose to click on the video, an ad won't play and you don't get paid for it. That's it. But somehow this is being tied to some sort of a broken headed conspiracy theory that the "regressive left" or "SJWs - Social Justice Warriors"  are out to get them and prevent them from talking.

In reality if you're YouTube, looking to get kickback from providing free services and relying on advertisers to do so, a moderated environment with options would obviously be the preferred choice. Nobody wants to sell their product over videos that might put said product in a bad light. Think of Pampers advertising over an opinion piece about the bombing of a nursery for instance. To avoid this, YouTube is taking steps to make their platform more appealing to the people actually giving them money and ensuring they themselves can earn a living. Unfortunately YouTube's living isn't provided by the guy with an opinion, time on their hands, a camera and a lazy career choice. There are plenty of people like this to go around.

And this is precisely where the disconnect happens. These people who are doing nothing more than recording their opinions for others to listen to, jazzing it up, uploading it to YouTube, not paying for bandwidth or space allocation feel like they should be paid for that "work". Otherwise they'd simply upload the video to YouTube and call it a job well done without painting demonetization in this light. You know, what they did before they became popularized. These aren't professionals by any stretch of the imagination either and their "work" essentially revolves around reading shit on the Internet and talking about it. These are the same people that will call someone like Anita Sarkeesian entitled because she's raising funds for her project that some people, including myself, find to be a waste of time and money. The second people feel the same way about their body of work however, they'll blame closeted ninja regressive leftists and SJWs. Might as well be blaming the patriarchy for fucks sakes.

Well, advertisers have their opinions as well, and in this thing called "real fucking life", they might not coincide with yours. It's incredibly hypocritical to critique certain aspects of society, yet, when it comes to yours, you should be immune. That's not a thing. Advertisers pay YouTube and YouTube pays you. If you happen to say something that's even remotely on the cusp of turning away revenue, you should put on your grown ass adult pants on and deal with those consequences. Consequences like YouTube allowing you to remain on their virtual property, speak your opinion however not receive money from YouTube for doing so. So fucking harsh and Orwellian man!

"But this is unfair. Look at this video here about a rape joke. That should be fair game". Alright, tell you what. You come up with a method that doesn't require a small country to screen all YouTube videos to make sure the automated flagging system is being fair to a massive group of people who are paying 0 dollars to use the service and you probably get to work at YouTube. When one realizes that an hour of video is going up on the site per second, you'd realize that your demands of the free service are childish, asinine and obtuse. If you don't like it, make your own web site, pay for your storage, pay for your bandwidth & hunt down advertisers that aren't already on board with the superior platform which is YouTube.

In closing, I've never seen a generation of more entitled hypocritical cunts. You'll actually bother to call what you're doing "work" when the cost to you is something that every human being on the fucking planet has. Time and an opinion. Most chose to actually do something where they won't be at the mercy of a single solitary company and build up a resume that will actually get them hired. Take people working at places like the New York Times for instance who spend their days fact checking, travelling and writing a penned product that would put anything you've ever done to shame. Actual entrepreneurs who have moved heaven and Earth to ensure the success of their business should take insult for anyone saying they "post videos on YouTube" and "It's hard work". You've had it extremely easy up until this point. Nobody is preventing you from linking monetized videos in your non monetized ones, nor are they preventing you from advertising your paymetons account. You keep reeling on how safe spaces aren't going to prepare people for real life, well, here it is, kicking you in your ass and telling you to put a little effort in what you're doing. You know, instead of demanding Facebook, YouTube and Twitter be your safe space.

Original source of the Paymetons video and inspiration for the title comes from here

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Thesaurus Thumpers

I doubt anyone who has taken part in an actual debate these days has avoided running into someone who inevitably pulls out a dictionary as a means to illustrate the apparent misuse of a word. I've recently encountered this phenomenon demonstrating the intellectual failures revolving around Trump and his followers. Giving people an English lesson is starting to become enough of an issue that I thought I'd drop some knowledge here for the next time these kind of non-arguments come up.

Here's an example from a user by the name of ArmouredSkeptic. His interests primarily lie in preventing an authoritarian approach that will undoubtedly lead us into the inevitable loss of freedoms. Although I understand his motives and agree with him on multiple issues, the approach used in this video is problematic.

The first complication occurs with the word racism. This is a term that's used far too often by those looking to push an authoritarian agenda and not often enough by those leaning towards social libertarian values. Perhaps in that shuffle is where people have become confused regarding its meaning.

Words have multiple definitions. The term race can be synonymous with ethnicity. In fact, this is the definition that most people who have had a formal education, lean towards. It can even be something as nebulous as a "group of people". So when someone's calling another person a racist for systematically targeting Mexicans, they are in fact correct in using the word racist by that extension. Race is rarely used in its biological form because it has been found to be unscientific. Yet for some reason people are still clinging to that definition and using it to stifle argument.

So now that you're armed with the intended and proper definition, let's take a look at Trump and see if it applies. For Mexicans alone he's looking to deport illegal immigrants to the tune of about 11 million which are primarily from that group. He's looking to build a giant fiscally irresponsible wall to ensure no more illegals get in, which it won't and is galactically stupid. He refereed to those immigrating as rapists/murderers. He singled out a US born judge stating that he can't be trusted for the simple fact that he was a Mexican in response to his ruling regarding the shady practices of Trump U. And that's just for Mexicans.

At a certain point there's a threshold where one has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to identifying a full blown racist. In the case of Trump, the burden of proof supporting that claim should be met. Overwhelmingly. Anyone arguing against this is simply disingenuous and is helping this galactically stupid blatherskite's cause. More often than not it's because they've allied themselves with social libertarians who, for some idiotic reason, support Trump.

Judging people solely on a geographical lottery is as authoritarian and regressive as it comes. Perhaps by putting away antiquated definitions people will be better equipped to understand this and come to rational conclusions beyond a Trump level of intellect.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Outraged Sloths

I'm hard pressed to find anything wrong with Bernie Sanders. That's because I live in Canada. Here, we have a rather robust system that relies heavily on certain socialist aspects and it works. Not so much in the U.S. however. The U.S puts a ridiculous number of its own citizens in privatized jails and does a rather shitty job at providing an environment that would keep them out of such places. That's just one of the myriad problems that's keeping life miserable for some in the U.S. The odd thing is that there seems to be no end of people, who are living there, that are critical of these things. So how in the fuck did they ever get someone like George W. Bush elected or hand over congress to the Republicans? The reason is because they're fucking lazy and useless.

Tonight was the New York primary, the event that would make or break Bernie Sanders as the democratic candidate. Well, he lost. The response on my twitter feed was rather shocking. They'd rant about how Hillary is some sort of hell spawn and they're not going to be voting as a result. I can understand not liking Hillary. She definitely seems like more of the same but consider what got us to this point in the first place. It's precisely because they don't vote and they're not proactive in the democratic process.

Let me explain what I mean by voting. It's the thing that anyone with a social-political opinion that wants to be taken seriously, does. You don't do it by posting shit on Youtube. You don't do it by tweeting about the latest injustice. This requires someone to actually get off their ass, go some place and tick a box. You can even cross out the ballot in protest. By not doing this, you're informing the electorate and its representatives that you don't fucking care because they're relying on voting statistics and not fucking Facebook.

The disheartening reality of what transpired amongst Bernie's most vocal supporters is precisely the reason nothing's ever going to change. They don't vote and they don't write congress. Hell, I'd be surprised if they even know who their representative even is. This wasn't an isolated incident, it was almost across the board. One look at the evidence from the not so distant past is pretty damning. These are individuals that have amassed followings too. Some to the tune of thousands who probably won't vote either after reading their broken headed reasons on why they couldn't be bothered. The result is a huge clusterfuck of apathetic opinionated idiots that are the very reason nothing's changing.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lord of the Flies

It's difficult for me here in Canada to grasp a political climate that would allow the devolution of the Republican party and the rise of Trump. It's transformed into this perversive cult of blithering idiots ready to measure their own dicks at the drop of a hat. Anything that should be talked about, gets glossed over, while the trivial gets to be centre stage. It's absolutely, mind numbingly fucking absurd. The worst offenders of this madness, are Trump supporters.

I want to make something abundantly clear to you. If your political position is to support Donald Trump, then congratulations, you're an imbecile. Allow me to take you by the hand and show you precisely why that's the case. For one, you're looking to elect someone who's had to file for bankruptcy. Four times. Anyone with an iota of intelligence should be of the opinion that this is not something the leader of a country should have on his resume. I'd understand if it would happen once and you'd endorse him. I'd think you naive. Twice? Perhaps slightly stupid. But 4 times?! Congratulations. You've crossed the line into galactically stupid territory. This would be like getting a known sex offender to babysit your children. It's not defensible from any rational perspective. Unfortunately for Trump supporters, there's more. They've traversed into a multiverse of stupid.

Now thanks to Trump, we've had the luxury of adding the term "birther" into our vernacular. This level of unhinged paranoia is not a quality that should be present in the next leader of the country. Even after the birth certificate was released Trump continued to press the issue until mysteriously, he stopped. Even when asked recently, he refused to answer. Now that's just a year later. He went from "we need to find out whether or not it was real" to "I don't want to talk about that". Anyone with half a brain should see this as a giant red flag, especially if he's expected to handle matters of foreign policy. This is on a level where the sane would wonder if he has an undiagnosed paranoid personality disorder. It doesn't end. Asks for the birth certificate, sees it, says it's not real, wants college records. And you're going to give him the nuclear launch codes and a world platform? Are you out of your fucking gourd?

And if this wasn't enough there's been his complete lack of foresight with his multiple comments inciting violence. And it's uncanny that so many talking heads are focussing on the violence perpetrated by protesters that followed in its aftermath. No mention of Trump's complete lack of common sense in saying what he said. Nor the equally violent acts of his idiotic supporters. For someone who is going to have a world stage, it should be brutally obvious that suggesting you'd like to punch someone in the face isn't smart. Neither is reminiscing of the good old days when crowds beat the shit out of dissenters. Neither is saying you'll pay for someone's legal counsel if they hit someone that might be looking to throw fruit at you. The kind of escalation we're seeing now is a no-brainer. But somehow, this future President is left gobsmacked. He's Melissa Click^12

"But he's refreshing, and honest!" Yeah sure. So's a dog. And at least that has more personality. It's not this paranoid delusional imbecile that's looking to run a country to fuel their own ego. And that's the point. Voting for Trump is simply the dumbest decision anyone can make at this point in time. You'd be better off throwing salt in your fucking eyes. He literally said he's going to build a wall to keep Mexicans out. He acts like he's still on reality TV showing off a spread of products he never even fucking made! I don't care how well spoken you are, there's absolutely no way you can shine that turd. At least have the integrity and smarts it takes to realize voting for Trump is a very very VERY stupid idea. Both for the fate of humanity itself and the umbrella he's providing for hate mongers.

Anyone who votes for Donald Trump is a fucking idiot.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

FBI vs Apple

I didn't really comment on this matter until now due to the fact that it would seem rather automatic to anyone who's been following the developments regarding the NSA's data mining endeavours that privacy should be held to the highest standards in this day and age. That alone should give anyone pause regarding concessions of civil liberties.

For some reason, however, while listening to certain podcasts or reading various articles, people are still arguing in favour of handing over their freedoms, willingly, to the authorities. The same authorities that were the architects of the red scare, the Patriot Act, the Financial Crisis, etc. That last one I mentioned is pretty big considering no one has been arrested in the public or private sector in its aftermath, yet tens of thousands of lives now lie in utter ruin because of it. It should be glaringly apparent to anyone who's been invested in recent historical events that the government's and its institutions' track record has been catastrophic.

Allow me to elaborate on what the FBI is asking for here. It's not asking for A key to A lock. It's asking for THE key to ALL locks that are Apple devices. Now I've dealt with mobile devices, specifically their technology, on a professional level for over a decade now and from a security standpoint, their request is completely unacceptable. The infrastructure in which devices function, is still pretty much technology that was created over three decades ago. The lock analogy isn't even particularly good in this instance. Think of it more like leaving your front door to your house or your apartment, wide open. This is why Apple is saying no to what's proposed. Because it's insane for any company, who has the best interests of millions of clients, to do something so galactically stupid and irresponsible.

Apple has, however, cooperated by giving the FBI access to devices that didn't have such security measures in them in the past. It's also been cooperative in the present by providing them access to a user's iCloud account. People can and will argue that you can disable the sync with the iCloud environment as well as avoid syncing to a computer, which isn't an argument. There's another device that people can use to store information that's currently 100% secure at this time. It's called the human brain. If someone doesn't want you to know something, no amount of prying or court orders will allow you to access that information. People who are motivated to take this approach however, aren't people going through their day to day lives void of criminal intent. So why would anyone in their right mind give those who would want to harm them, like identity thieves, a wide open door to do so, for the sake of potential information that might have been stored on a suspect's device? Up until recently, Blackberry was the only company that had this level of security on their devices. There's a reason these were used exclusively in government offices. But because this level of security is now in the majority of the public's hand, this is now somewhat problematic?

Well, tough shit.