Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Why there is no God

Nice piece by Richard Dawkins at the Times today. Pass it on to your religious friends...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Peter Tatchell

While I disagree with much that Peter Tatchell has to say, particularly on green issues, when it comes to civil liberties he's generally pretty sound. When Sir Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain made anti-gay statements a while back, Tatchell was asked to comment. Did he attack Sacranie as anti-gay bigot who should be prosecuted for hate speech? Nope. Tatchell stood up and said that Sacranie should be free to say what he likes. The only proviso being that Sacranie should in turn be prepared to listen to those who espouse anti-Muslim sentiments.

There's a good piece at the Guardian today where Tatchell points out the hypocrisy of those Muslims who bleat on about Islamophobia but who espoused some of the most reactionary bollocks you'll hear in this country (even more reactionary than the BNP for example). He also makes a point of mentioning the parasitical Left like the SWP who ally themselves with Islamic fascists.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Consciousness is king

In an earlier post Debuking the debunkers I mentioned the theory proposed by some people that consciousness is an illusion. There's an interesting review on LondonBookReview.com of a book called 'A Mind So Rare' that sets out to attack that idea and to put consciousness to the fore. Well worth reading.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Genius or crank?

Randell Mills is a genius - there's no doubt about that. The question is 'a genius at what'? Self-promotion and exploiting the gullible? Or as a scientist making fundamental breakthroughs in physics.

It would be great to have him proved right. Those who hate the weirdness of quantum physics will be relieved to find that his more classical approach explains many of the results of quantum mechanics without the counter-intuitive and down-right strangeness offered by Bohr, Heisenberg and the like. And, as important, if his theories are correct there's the promise of whole new power sources.

On the other hand, his work is so far against the grain that it seems too good to be true.

However, it's the scientific method which will ultimately clear the doubt. If he's a clever con-man then he'll be exposed. If what he says is on the right track then those scientists who are risking ridicule by taking him seriously will be doing us all a great service.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Debunking the debunkers

The normally reliable spiked-online currently features a confused piece on 'Debunking the debunkers'. An attack on what the author, Ben Pile, calls a loose movement to oppose the 'attack on science', the piece seems to link together a number of disparate strands of thought to form a composite 'sceptics movement' which it attacks in turn for lacking the confidence in rationality itself.

To quote:

The view of scepticism that emerges is that it feels impotent, is terrified of the world, and lacks trust in other people’s ability to determine their own interests or make their own decisions. The leading thinkers of the loose movement of sceptics end up coming across not as confident individuals who have radical visions about how to use their rationalist outlook to change the world, but rather as timid souls, keen to advance the idea that that world is a dangerous place, made all the more dangerous by ideas themselves.

In part it does this by suggesting that many sceptics subscribe to the 'meme' hypothesis proposed by Richard Dawkins. This is the theory that ideas themselves are discrete units that can reproduce and spread through a population - they are the mental equivalent of genes in other words. Firstly it's not clear whether Dawkins meant that memes are real or whether he's speaking metaphorically. The whole thing is confused and confusing. However, to suggest that the majority of sceptics subsribe to the idea is bizarre. It's not clear on what evidence Pile bases this assumption.

Pile also assumes that the sceptics accept the computationalist view of consciousness - in other words that we deny the central role of conscious thought and instead view it as a convenient fiction to rationalise deeper semi-conscious processes. In this view mind is composed of competing agents - independent units of thought - which somehow come together to direct our actions and which we then piece together a narrative called conciousness.

Again, to propose that this is a widely accepted idea within the sceptics community seems to be based on wishful thinking on Pile's part.

The central message that rationalists have is that it's the scientific method which is primarily the engine for debunking pseudo-science and religion. And, far from being embedded in the establishment, it is increasingly those who refuse to accept the primacy of 'faith' who are in the minority.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Diversity Training

A nicely satirical look at Diversity Training over at www.TechBookReport.com. Very funny. Unlike the real thing of course...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Center For A Stateless Society

For those interested in a 'markey anarchist' or 'anarcho-capitalism', thenn the Center For A Stateless Society is worth investigation, particularly the FAQ.

Iranian left activists manhandled on stop the war demo

What's interesting about the above post to the UK Indymedia site isn't just the details of how the Stop The War coalition allies itself with supporters of Iran's Islamofascist state, but also the comments that attack the author of the piece.

Don't these morons realise that the Islamists would have no compunction about suppressing the Left? Can't they see what the Islamists have done in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and other countries?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize

I would have expected that Muhammad Yunus, who founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and triggered the micro-credit revolution, should have got the prize for Economics. No matter that it's the Peace Prize instead - he deserves it.

Just as you cannot impose democracy from above (see Iraq for more details...) you can impose free markets or prosperity from above either. Micro-credit works because it's bottom up, given people access to small amounts of money that they can decide how to spend. It's the perfect example of (complexity economics at work.

Why is the white working class despised?

Excellent article in the Daily Telegraph today. To paraphrase slightly, it points out that the only group that is regularly attacked in the media are the white working classes. In particular it's the liberal left who hate the working classes the most. The contempt the left feel for the white working class is most obvious in the alliances that people like the SWP have made with Islamist activists.

The article in the Telegraph is good, and not one I would expect to see in the Guardian, but it only echoes the views of people like the Independent Working Class Association. The IWCA reject the politics of multi-culturalism but from a class perspective rather than because they are racists. They, and people like them, are the true anti-racists in this country.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Not a terrorist?

Imagine the headlines - a massive haul of explosives, extremist literature, rocket launchers... But don't panic, because these people are members of the BNP. If they'd have been Asian or Arabic would the reaction have been the same? No, probably not. You don't have to be an Islamist (the last thing that anybody could accuse me of), to point out the rank hypocrisy in the way the media have been pretty much silent on this story.

Harriri Potter

This is the story of a Islamist boy wizard and his adventures. Harriri is very surprised to one day discover that there are two sorts of people in the world - Muslims and fakirs. He's even more surprised to be told that he is going to be a wizard, and is soon packed off to a very special madrassa - the Bogwartistan School For Islamic Wizardry.

His first year at Wizard school is described in the book 'Harriri Potter And The Philosophers Stoned'. Harriri joins the wizard school and in the first weeks he and his chums hear about a philosopher who casts doubt on the existence of Mohammed. The philosopher is tried and convicted by the wizards and is then stoned to death. The young wizards are also told that Quidditch is un-Islamic because Mohammed doesn't mention it in the Koran. Harriri and friends are told to read the Koran instead of playing Quidditch.

In the second book of the series 'Harriri Potter And The Chamberpot of Secretions', the young wizard begins to discover his sexuality. The teachers at his school put a stop to this and warn him that sex is bad, bad, bad. Harriri is so pissed off that he and his mates find some fakirs to attack. By this stage Harriri has discovered that there's only one piece of magic taught at his school. It's making people disappear. Usually in a blinding explosion that kills many people, including the wizard. The older wizards explain that the wizard who has disappeared has gone to a better place, where there's sex on demand. Harriri is very pleased at this.

In 'Harriri Potter And The Prisoner of Abu Ghraib', young Harriri and friends are incensed by what the fakirs do to a bunch of Muslim prisoners. Many of the young wizards perform the disappearing trick, mainly among people who have no idea what went on at Abu Ghraib, and who disapproved of it when they did find out. Also in this book Harriri's friend, Hermione is accused of immodest behaviour in showing a bare arm and is stoned to death by the other wizards.

In the fourth instalment, 'Harriri Potter Gobs In The Fire', the young wizard learns how to make the special balm that is used in the disappearing trick. He learns how to make it, strap it to himself and how to make sure the balm is bulked out with nails, bolts and other bits of metal. Harriri is also able to recite the Koran from start to finish. Having to do this stops him thinking about anything else. He feels so pissed off at having to do this that he and his friends regularly claim to be victimised by those who don't have to do it.

In 'Harriri Potter Orders A Pizza', things only get worse. Harriri and friends in the wizard school are told that pizza is un-Islamic. They are so incensed that they kidnap a fakir and behead him. They also behead a Muslim who says that Mohamed used to eat pizza all the time. Harriri can't wait to do the disappearing magic - no sex, no beer and no pizza. What's the point of carrying on, especially as the fakirs have it when they want it?

In the sixth book of the series, 'Harriri Potter And The Half-Price Prints', the young wizard helps his friend Ron ibn-Weasley perform the disappearing trick. Ron is successful and takes many fakirs and innocent Muslims with him. However, Harriri has sent the film of the trick to a cut-price photo-lab, and the half-price prints are so useless that Al-jazeera refuses to air them. Harriri is so angry he and the other wizards attack fakir embassies to complain.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Battle For Spain

Good review of Anthony Beevor's 'Battle For Spain' over at the LondonBookReview.com site. Beevor's book is interesting to the extent that it exposes the despicable behaviour of the Communist Party in attacking the Anarchists. But rather than just validating much of the Anarchist critique of the Stalinists, it also points out the paralysis that meant the CNT and the Anarchists in the FAI were side-lined and defeated by the statists inside the Republic.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Climate change denial

A very thought-provoking piece by Brendan O'Neill over at spiked-online on the rampant authoritarianism and denial of debate on climate change. Anyone disagreeing on the 'consensus' is deemed a 'climate change denier' - on par with Holocaust deniers - and therefore to be silenced.

The bottom line: is global warming the first scientific theory in history which cannot be disputed? Isn't it the duty of scientists to do science and not to clamp down on the free exchange of ideas?

Increasingly I feel that the global warming debate has taken on a religious hue. Global warming is the new dogma, and in place of a God that needs to be placated we have the environment. Where men had once to bow down before an invisible and omniscient deity, now they have sacrifice economic development to appease a merciless planet that we have angered.

John 'Mustafa Pie' Prescott

In an extraordinary move deputy Prime Minister John Prescot today announced that he had adopted the veil as a statement of solidarity with Muslim women. Mr Prescott, pictured below, has criticised Jack Straw's comment that the veil is viewed as a mark of separation.

'Listen, lad,' Mr Prescott is quoted as saying, 'I can fully understand why these women hide behind the veil. I'm sick of being objectified and viewed as an object of sexual desire. Wearing this burqa allows me the privacy of wearing my cowboy outfit without fear of ridicule. And there ain't half loads of room for hiding pies and the like.'

Muslim community leaders have welcomed Mr Prescott's move, though some have questioned whether the deputy Prime Minister isn't breaking the rules my munching pork pies under his burqa.

Abu Musa Smith, (formerly Crispin Tarquin Smith), a well-known community leader had this to say: 'We demand that John Prescott decapitate Jack Straw to show the world that Islam is a peaceful religion. Only then can we take this government seriously.'

Friday, October 06, 2006

More on Kriss Donald

To those who deny that Kriss Donald was the victim of a racist attack - read the above report from the trial.

Where are those who are demanding justice for Muslim victims of racism? This poor lad was the victim of an unprovoked murder by Muslim men. I don't see anyone attacking their racism.

If this was the story of a Muslim lad attacked by white men, who kidnap, torture, kill and then set fire to the body there'd be uproar. Kriss Donald was white and working class, does that mean he's fair game?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Kriss Donald - Victim of racist murder

The trial has begun of the three men accused of the racist murder of a schoolboy in Scotland. Unlike most such crimes, this is not one that is receiving much in the way of publicity, nor will you find much on Leftist web sites. Given the horrific and brutal crime, why is it being ignored?

The answer probably lies in the fact that Kriss Donald was white and the three men accused of his racist murder are Asian.

At the time of the murder I posted about it on the IndyMedia website. The reaction was typical - I was accused of being a racist, a supporter of the BNP, and of course that I'm white (I'm not, but is that really the point?).

Now, with the trial under way there's still the same silence. Where are the condemnations of racism? Where is the spleen vented at the animals who would torture and kill their innocent victim.

The fact remains that there are lots of people who claim to be on the Left in this country who refuse to attack racist violence if the victim is white. The hypocrisy is disgusting and does nothing but drive people into the arms of scum-bags like the BNP.

Compare the silence on this case to the mass publicity in those cases where the victim isn't white. Why the difference? I can't work out whether it's fear of being labelled racist or a simple refusal to believe that black people can be as racist as whites.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rosia Montana - Romania

Like a lot of people I'd read about the controversy over the plan to start open-cast gold mining in Rosia Montana in Romania. I'd read about the environmental disasters waiting to happen, the suffering of the people and so on. It looks like the classic case of big bad western multi-national looking to exploit the poor in another country.

Reading Kirk Leech's piece on spiked-online paints another picture. In this case the western multi-nationals are NGOs, and the people they're exploiting are those desperate residents who are hoping for the new mine to deliver work, income and investment. Instead of which the environmentalists are promising tourism (of an eco-friendly sort, no doubt), back breaking work in the fields and none of the 'bad' quality of life things we take for granted in the west.

Whether you think Leech is being as one-sided as the NGOs is open to question - but there's no doubt that the story he tells is not one that you'll be reading in the Guardian, the Ecologist or IndyMedia.