#10 Various Stories
The Irrational World Blog 2011

When you drink, you are what you think
nice headline pity the science is suspect

- An excellently presented piece on Four Thought BBC radio.. The "scientist" explained that conventional opinion on science had got it wrong.

- There is a reason why British people get violent and promiscuous when they consume alcohol and Mediterranean people don't; it's not cos of the alcohol it's cos of the social expectations in a culture
..hence the headline "When you drink, you are what you think". It's commonly accepted that in British society that people get violent and promiscuous when they drink, so when people do actually drink alcohol they do behave like this.. it's not really the alcohol that does this, it's purely the expectation that does this.
- This is backed up by the fact that when people are given alcohol free drinks which they believe contain alcohol they do get drunk. And that in experiments you can give people alcohol, but tweak the conditions like giving them motivations to behave sensibly through bribes or social pressure and sure enough their behave stays mostly sober.

- But to parody the headline : people believe what they want to believe
- so when Kate Fox says alcohol isn't all that bad a lot of people believe her even though .. 1 minute after checking the facts I find in the listener comments that she is funded by the alcohol industry
- I was certainly taken in by listening to the radio prog "hey there is this scientist from Oxford on the radio saying that conventional thinking about alcohol is wrong"
- Rule 1 check the source; controversial viewpoint from non acadaemic body funded by the alcohol industry. Sourcewatch (only lists rightwing as it's Monbiot), infowars (info on leftwing lobbyers)
- Rule 2 Good researchers go to peer reviewed journals before they go to the media.

- The research might be perfectly valid but Shame on you BBC for not highlighting the alcohol funding link on the radio prog or text
- Why didn't the BBC sourcecheck ??
The Telegraph journalist checked

-The news story now has the phrase "SIRC has conducted research for companies in the alcohol industry, as well as the government and others"

Other good listener comments
- 1 "It's interesting to me that many alcohol suppliers actively promote the ideas of promiscuity and aggressive behavior in their advertising."

- 2 "This seems to confirm my hypothesis that a lot of people have a couple drinks not because they want to get drunk, but because they want an excuse to act stupid."

Fullfact says why accuracy matters
- Fullfact says why accuracy matters
- the media is so bad that almost nothing can be taken at face value,
- Every photo is faked
- almost every statistic presented has a problem with it

right wing news sources have the best logic ?

- strange that right wing news sources have the best logic these days Andrew Bolt Blog
- Rod Liddle
- new Audio thefifthcolumn.co.uk

Gary McKinnon

- That a young lad is being extridited to the US cos he hacked into the US military system ..forgotten what this is about
- OK I think I mean to say ..Look if an American killed a Brit and fled to America we would be appalled if they refused to extradite him. He'd come here and have a fair trial ..and return if found not-guilty.
- If a certain countries trials are not fair we should be shouting that they fix their justice system right now. The justice of the worlds top 40 countries is not flawless, but it's magnitudes better than the bottom 40.
- Allowing Gary McKinnon to be extridited is the best way of assuring the US justice system is kept fair. Since his treatment would be highly media scrutinised If he is treated unfairly then he would show up as some kind of Example case.

Windfall Tax would stop Planning Permission abuse

- Why are people allowed to make a vast windfall profit simply by getting the planning permission to change worthless agricultural land into development land you can build on ? - it encourages problems and corruption.
- A simple solution would be a windfall tax equal to the increase in value of the land
-idea : #ukgov should windfall tax planning permission which changes agricultural land into development land, so stop #dalefarm type problems

- it's obvious see the 2005 report ..."planning gain supplement" independent.co.uk, Liz Peace CEO of the British Property Federation credits herself with helping to get it abandoned.
- it seems to me that once again my bright leftfield ideas are scupppered by me not knowing much about current practice. It seems that Local Authorities have for a long time done it on a case by case basis and don't want central government to get the cash. When a corp wants to develop a site for say flats the LA cut a deal whereby the company pay for a school or sports centre etc. ..OK I can see some economies in that, but corruption seems easy to hide.

- Of course the seemingly good idea of a A land value tax overlaps with my windfall tax idea.

- 2. I noticed when the 2008 Global Financial Crisis happened and the government had no money the average UK householder was sitting on on 10s of thousands of pounds of gains in the value of their houses, the government could have got money from some of these untaxed gains

That BBC Doc on the Ninos Robados stolen babies in Spain
- link was even more shocking than I expected. Tens of thousands of babies trafficked over 1940-96 and what do you think the Catholic Church has said ? "something terrible has happened, we apologise sincerely and we are doing all we can to investigate & prevent it ever happening again" NO, they just say "no comment"

- Conspiracy theories are usually ridiculous cos how can you keep such things secret, but in this case there were the government, doctors, nurses, nuns, undertakers aswell as the people that bought the babies.. almost unbelievable, but the evidence is 100% now with exhumation and genetic tests.

- and another example of what happens when dogmatic organisations which are supposed to champion morality become twisted into evil.

- First Franco's crew thought it was OK to gift the babies of their victims, then take babies from politically active parents, then the religious doctors deemed it was OK to tell "unfit mothers" that their newborns had died. Some twisted thinking nun said they were right cos somehow stealing babies stopped them being aborted. God this went up on till 1996 !

an example of "regression to the extreme" stories
- BBC Radio 3 Freethinking fest Germaine Greer spoke in authorative & scientific way, but it's bunkum as not backed up by data
- people who would have listened to Germaine Greer would have been believers, so would have accepted her spurious figures unquestioningly

- She went on like other feminists have done with some justification about the exponential growth in pornography. However she went too far "ever exponential growth". This shows she has no mathematical feeling for real world maths; people watch 4+ hours of TV per day. Regular TV & media, sport etc so surely they dwarf the porn industry in revenue and influence in that we spend many more hours watching them. Stats quoted about porn usually seem to have no scientific basis (Forbes : "When one really examines the numbers, the porn industry--while a subject of fascination--is every bit as marginal as it seems at first glance")
- Credit card companies should be able to give a breakdown

- good comment - "Why does anyone still pay Germaine Greer for her opinions? She'll give them to you and then directly contradict herself for free you know."

fact checking - Other Figures I found seem to have no scientific basis, but rather are sourced from a company selling porn filters, who in turn say things like "according to the newspapers" ..Things are easy to say but it's evidence that counts.

- It seems to be an example "regression to the extreme" stories..where the extreme makes a better story

..preaching to the deluded ? Her audience lap up what she has to say, I cannot imagine them fact checking too much .. they get as much of a kick out of being enraged as Daily Mail readers do.

1 234 5 6 7 8 9 10
a Stew Green Opinion

NEXT -->