Sunday, 15 May 2016

Entertainment stuff from the week 9-15/5/16

Hi athletes,

Sorry for the lack of 'of the week' stuff, this week. As fas as entertainment goes, the last week has been something of a disappointment. I did find plenty to long-form write about though. Unfortunately, that means i didn't have much time to do the 'in other news' section. I'll just push them over to next week.

Right, so let's start with a couple of miserable downers, and then try to recover, later on. OK? :-P

'Gareth Gwenlan RIP'

'Rising tide of migration accompanies sea level rises, as predicted'

The IPCC's predictions are consistently cautious. As the years tick by, it becomes clear that their 'if things go badly' predictions are the ones that are coming true.

And yet climate change obstructionists, and outright deniers, still insist on referring to well-informed people as 'alarmists' :-D

For all of the half-billion-year history of motile organisms, migration has been a superior option to adaptation, for the survival of those millions of species. This has not stopped being true, now that humans are around.

It has been inevitable, is inevitable, and will continue to be inevitable, that when conditions become sufficiently stressful for a population, they will migrate to somewhere that is comparatively better.

Whiny nationalist xenophobes love to get their boners on, hysterically noising off about the thousands of immigrants who are 'swarming' toward 'our' shores, but the reality is that there are 7 billion people in the world, and the climatic change that they have been complicit in, to varying degrees, is going to force millions of people to migrate away from their old homes, and toward nicer ones.

In fact, they themselves are products of that migration. Humans have traversed the world, to and fro, for all of their existence as a species. They are being incredibly myopic temporally, as well as spatially.

No amount of bile is going to stop climate change from being real, and no amount of genocidal hate-speech is going to stop people from migrating.

In the last century, the population of the USA tripled to more than 300 million people, but molecule-minded nationalists still think it's a good idea to erect a gigantic wall, to keep the Mexicans out!

More than 300 Mexicans die, every year, trying to circumnavigate the 'wall'. They leave ill-equipped, ill-informed about the journey that lies ahead of them, and they die in the desert, days from home, for their bodies to be cooked in the heat, and eaten by passing animals.

They deliberately forego compasses, because they don't want to be arrested as people smugglers, and so they set off with enough water for one day, and eventually drop to the ground by the sixth. If they're 'lucky'. The number of deaths could be much more than 300, because their corpses are lost or disposed of by predators, in the environment.

Nobody has to die this way. This suffering is purely caused by a pathetic attempt to hold back a sea change in where people live.

Migration is inevitable. Causing gross suffering is unacceptable. Nationalism is inexcusable.

'Are gamers athletes?'

Are chess players athletes?

It depends how you define the term 'athlete'. It usually refers to well-above-average physical performance, such as quickness of movement, or total force that can be applied, with a particular muscleset.

But sports are rarely (ever?) thoughtless activities. The performance of the brain is always involved in sports, in which an understanding of the rules gives one competitor an advantage over another. By outfoxing the opponent. Or simply having a superior understanding of the parameters of the environment.

So, if you count mental athleticism as a potential qualifier for someone being classified as an 'athlete' then chess players and computer game players must be able to qualify too.

In that case, the 'best' gamers in certain genres of game, are akin to the 'best' sportspeople, in their respective tracks and fields of sport.

Whether it makes sense to have scholarships to Universities, just so that people can do these things, however, is a different question.

In my perception, Universities funding sportspeople (and not just sports facilities) is a phenomenon that comes from factionalistic desire to compete with other Universities, and in this sense is a total waste of money and resources.

But if sports companies are willing to pay for it, without incurring costs to the Uni, unless for the purpose of studying their employees, then maybe it can be justified.

Ludicrous story of the week:

'Facebook CEO Zuckerberg seeks meeting with conservatives'

"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to invite "leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum" to discuss recent reports that its "Trending Topics" feature is biased against conservatives"

This is a common conspiracy theorist superstition exhibited by people who are stupid enough to divide the species into 'liberals' and 'conservatives': the belief that they, as 'conservatives' are being oppressed by the 'liberal agenda' to... be nice, or something.

The same people insist that you can't trust Science, because it always finds that they're wrong. Well, of course it does, because they are wrong. Reality, it seems, has a 'liberal bias'.

I've said it before and i'll say it again:

There are no such things as 'liberals' and 'conservatives'. Liberalism and conservatism are behavioural traits that can be exhibited by anyone, in various circumstances. Individuals can be liberal in one situation, and conservative in another. Just because there are people called 'Tom' doesn't mean they all have twin siblings. Just because there are Parties called 'Conservative' doesn't mean the members are all 100% conservative all of the time.

So there's hope for many of the conservatism-factionalists out there, to become better people then. Conservatism is characterised as 'habitual deference to tradition, and the rejection of change'. This is what makes conservatism so stupid - it doesn't even allow for the potential of improvement - because improvement necessitates change, and the rejection of traditions. I'm not surprised that there are far more conservatism-factionalists than there are liberalism-factionalists, because of this.

But as always, there are shades of grey to this particular story, that the hard-of-thinking will reject, in order to deceive themselves into thinking that they understand it better than they really do.

Zuckerberg has said in a statement, that "The guidelines do not permit reviewers to add or suppress political perspectives" but at the same time they're willing to censor images of various human body parts, and the sentiments of 'extremists'.

If the deliberate and complete erasure of their discussion doesn't count as the suppression of their political perspective, then what does???

You can't have it both ways. Either you pander to the professional-victimhood 'conservatives' and admit that you censor some ideas that you don't like; or you let the professional-victimhood 'conservatives' plan their terrorist atrocities on the Pages of your website.

It's an easy choice. Are you going to meet "leading conservatives and people from across the political spectrum", which will include accommodating ISIS, Boko Haram, etc; or are you going to say "screw them all for a game of child soldiers"?

#Googlefail of the week:

'Google wants new emojis to represent professional women'

"Google says it wants to create a new set "with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women's careers and empowering girls everywhere"."

[gags on the cheesy stench of corporate feminism]

How does it seek to achieve this? Well, by representing female humans in the emojis, obviously. And how is it going to do that? Well, let's take a look at some of them, shall we...

Hmmm... they appear to be the same, generic faces, in a variety of costumes... but with long hair.

Men have short hair... and women have long hair...

Sorry Google (and when i say "sorry" i really don't mean it) but isn't the idea that men should be represented by short hair, and women by long hair... a bit sexist?

Length of hair is neither a primary, nor a secondary signifier, of sexual dimorphism.

There are no boobs in the emojis. There are no genitals in the emojis. There are no massively-magnified chromosomes in the emojis. The 'female' emojis contain no signifiers of femaleness whatsoever!

But well done, Google, for perpetuating the idea that the 'emoji' emojis (you know, the standard ones that are already used) are, by being generic, basic emojis, necessarily male. And that therefore, special ones have to be developed to represent women. Because women are special.

Men are basic, derivative, boring people, and women are special people, that need something special, to show off how wonderfully feminine and unmale-and-unboring they are. And you know how the species can collectively demonstrate how much more deserving women are, of specialised emojis, just for them?

By the pixellated representation of a couple of extra inches of folded keratin, exuded from the follicles of their scalps.

Bingo :-D

In completely-different-and-unconnected-and-in-no-way-poetic-considering-the-previous-harmful-sexist-deception news:

"Internet giant Google said Wednesday it will ban all ads from payday lenders, calling the industry "deceptive" and "harmful"."



The 20th May is going to be a bunch of anniversaries in one

The seventh Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

World Metrology Day

International Clinical Trials Day, celebrating the 269th anniversary of the first clinical trial

And of course, Pertwee Day, to celebrate the brilliant Jon Pertwee. I wonder whether they have terrible cases of the twinging screws, in heaven? :-P

In other news:

The head of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition has been found to have close personal ties with Alibaba - a company with global notoriety for hosting counterfeit goods. An investigation published by The Associated Press has found that the IACC's president owns Alibaba stock, has close ties to a key Alibaba vice president and uses family members to run his coalition. Counterfeit goods don't just displace products with lower-quality versions - they are also props in money-laundering operations, and allow manufacturers to make vast sums from markets that regulations prohibit. The 'big six' tobacco companies, for example, produce more than half of the world's counterfeit tobacco products - by selling them across borders, in a black market, they can avoid tax, and influence governments in ways that they couldn't do through the white market. So be warned - many counterfeit goods are funded by familiar suppliers.

The LHC is back up and running, following its upgrades, and a small delay caused by a beech marten frying in a transformer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Oklahoma, having left Arizona after deciding where to go next. Some time later this year, SI2 is expected to make its way over the Atlantic, to Europe.

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'White Island Volcano'

'Image: Antarctic Peninsula ice flow'

'Close-up Hubble images show new details of comet'

'NASA image: Mercury transit'

'A Transit Of Mercury'

'A Mercury Transit Music Video From SDO'

'Fire Man'

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: athlete -- a person trained or excellent in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill

{According to at least. Different dictionaries describe the word 'athlete' in very different ways. Oh, and i changed the word 'gifted' for 'excellent' as it doesn't sound so... Creationist. Not being a god-botherer, myself, i wouldn't want to give the impression that i were condoning it :-D }

Fact Of The Week: the Kellogg's breakfast cereal called 'All Bran' is actually only 85% bran

No comments:

Post a Comment