Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The New World Order is craftier than we thought.

Measles is making a comeback in the U.S.

Gaining strength in the patriot community is the belief that vaccines, especially the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, cause higher rates of autism. Some cite this as a New World Order plot to reduce the population - kill them off by mandating the use of dangerous vaccines and all that.

So, to fight back, there are communities and clusters of people who have chosen not to vaccinate their children. Take that, NWO!

As a result, these children are now more vulnerable to measles. Some of them are dying.

Umm... take that, NWO?

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Explanations

Let's play a little game. Following are some of the explanations I've heard put forward - in all seriousness - for the current outbreak of swine flu. For fun, I've included an original theory: the most outlandish one I could think of. Find the one that's mine among the theories of the fringe:

1) The flu is transmitted by cell phone towers. Turn off your phone before you're infected, and stay away from these pillars of death.

2) The current flu strain was engineered in a military-industrial-intelligence laboratory. It accidentally escaped.

3) The flu is genetically engineered to kill only Mexicans as a eugenic weapon deliberately released by the global elite.

4) The swine flu virus is the genetic counterpart to the Confiker computer worm. The anticlimactic non-action of Confiker through April first was just a cover for its release of the virus.

5) The current flu outbreak of the widespread use of flu and other vaccines. Some of those vaccines my have been intentionally contaminated.

6) The only reason anyone is getting infected with this flu is because their immune systems have been weakened by years of flouride in the water, heavy metals, and stealth infections.

7) There is in fact no swine flu. Instead, the Mexican people have rebelled against their government and have begun a civil war. The American mainstream is covering up the deaths of the Mexican rebels with a spurious story of 'swine flu'.

8) President Obama is patient zero. He was deliberately infected before his trip to Mexico of recent weeks. The evidence is in his initial speech to the Group of Twenty in Europe; the President suffered two coughing fits during the speech.

Googlebombing for a cause: 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Breaking News

U.S. Federal government disbelieves that noted cyberpunk author Bruce Stirling is married properly. He and his wife Jasmine Tesanovic apparently haven't left enough of a paper trail. They do everything online. Here we have a case of an identity crisis: the biological and psychological identities involved are held to not correspond to the dead-tree informational ones.

It's also a demonstration that the glacially slow mechanisms of traditional government can't comprehend that modern, internet-based living doesn't need them or their antiquated concept of national borders and government approval of life choices. It's evidence also that the government doesn't understand the internet and the culture it has empowered enough to actually control or manage it intelligently. This should be a cautionary tale for any government beurecrat.

Let's all close our eyes, grab a Bruce Stirling book and repeat one of the cyberpunk mantras: "The future is portable, disposable, and transcends any sense of place."

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Argumentum ad hominem

The arguemtentum ad hominem is an informal fallacy. It is the assertion that a given argument is valid or sound (or invalid or unsound) for no other reason than the qualities of the person making it.

It is a principle of logic that arguments are valid or invalid based only on their forms. That is to say, that a formal argument is valid if and only if (iff) for all arguments of this from, true premises can never lead to a false conclusion. Validity is a quality contingent only on form. It does not matter who formulates it, how, or why. A sound argument is a formally valid argument that has true premises, and -- by virtue of being a formally valid -- a conclusion that must therefore also be true.

Let's take 'X=2+2'. therefore 'X=4'. A very popular argument, generally considered arithmetically valid and sound (ignoring for a moment Bertrand Russell). If we accept this argument as valid and sound, it is valid and sound no matter who says it: it's true if formulated by a white male. Or a black man. Or a Jew. Or a child. Or a mass murderer. Or someone developmentally disabled. Or Lucifer himself. To assert otherwise would be to make an argument ad hominem.

Or we can take an unsound argument: 'X=2+2' and 'X=5'. This is not a valid or sound arguement, no matter who says it. Being formulated by a priest, or a politician, or a media pundit, or a doctor of philosophy, or Yeshua ben Yosef cannot make this a valid or sound argument. To assert otherwise is again, an argument ad hominem.

Now of course, this treads dangerously close to the concept of 'appeal to authority'. Appealing to an authority is also technically an informal fallacy of the form ad hominem. The only realm where appeal to authority can be a successful argument is when it can be strongly asserted that the authority in question has a specific body of knowledge, training or understanding by which such authority can make decisions about the truth or falsity of assertions that canot be made by someone lacking that knowledge, training, or understanding. That is to say, I can appeal to authority if it can be shown that if I were to undertake the training necessary in that field and gained for myself the expert knowledge and understanding in question, I would be capable of making the exact same determinations.

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