Zero Hedge reports on one of Rock & Roll’s heroes acting like a hero.
Pink Floyd song writer Roger Waters slammed Mark Zuckerberg during a press conference recently, announcing that the Facebook owner had offered a “huge, huge amount of money” to use the iconic song Another Brick In The Wall Part II in an advert for Instagram.
Speaking at an event to raise awareness about imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Waters noted the deep deep irony of Facebook wanting to buy and use a song that rails against ‘thought control’ and mindless conformity.
Waters described the development as part of Zuckerberg’s “insidious movement… to take over absolutely everything.”
Waters read out Facebook’s request, which noted “We want to thank you for considering this project. We feel that the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and so necessary today, which speaks to how timeless the work is.”
“And yet, they want to use it to make Facebook and Instagram more powerful than it already is,” Waters urged, adding “so that it can continue to censor all of us in this room and prevent this story about Julian Assange getting out into the general public so the general public can go, ‘What? No. No More.’”
“So it’s a missive from Mark Zuckerberg to me… with an offer of a huge, huge amount of money and the answer is, ‘f**k you! No f**king way!’,” Waters boomed to rapturous applause.
“I will not be a party to this bullsh-t, Zuckerberg,” Waters added.
He then asked “How did this little pr**k, who started off going, ‘She’s pretty, we’ll give her a four out of five. She’s ugly, we’ll give her a one’… How the f**k did he get any power in anything?”
“And yet here he is, one of the most powerful idiots in the world,” Waters emphasized.
On 13 September 1877, Captain Frederick Benteen led a company of the 7th Cavalry into the Battle of Canyon Creek armed… with a fly rod! Richard Lessner at the Museum of American Fly Fishing blog explains the key role of Salmo clarkii in George Armstrong Custer’s disastrous defeat one year previously at the Little Big Horn.
Bolshevik-Nonsense-Wallah Raj Patel, in the Guardian, tells us that apple pie is baked up from a recipe of historic crimes involving ” stolen land, wealth and labour.”
This is what results from admitting exotic, Third World immigrants to advanced Western democratic countries, and educating their offspring at elite institutions like Balliol College, London School of Economics, and Cornell.
Apples were first domesticated in central Asia, making the journey along the Silk Road to the Mediterranean four thousand years ago. Apples traveled to the western hemisphere with Spanish colonists in the 1500s in what used to be called the Columbian Exchange, but is now better understood as a vast and ongoing genocide of Indigenous people. …
Not that the recipe for apple pie is uniquely American. It’s a variant on an English pumpkin recipe. By the time the English colonized the new world, apple trees had become markers of civilization, which is to say property. In Virginia, apple trees were used to demonstrate to the state that land had been improved. John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, took these markers of colonized property to the frontiers of US expansion where his trees stood as symbols that Indigenous communities had been extirpated.
In The Revolt of the Public, Martin Gurri traces the exalted status of the modern scientist to the mythical figure of the early twentieth century renegade scientific genius, embodied most famously by Albert Einstein. Einstein, Gurri reminds us, was hardly a creature of the academy. He nearly dropped out of high school, and when he began publishing his scientific insights he was working not at a university but at the patent office. But Einstein’s singular genius, combined with his tenacious devotion to The Truth, made him first the equal and then the superior of every credentialed academic in the world. Like Copernicus, the intrepidness of Einstein’s spirit and the independence of his mind elevated him above the banal muck of human affairs, bringing him a step closer to the gods of nature.
This mythological image, Gurri writes, remains the template for our popular conception of the professional scientist. But the myth is wildly at odds with the reality of what science is today.
The modern scientific research industry is like a cross between a giant perpetual motion machine and a game of musical chairs. Scientific research is underwritten, in large part, by a steady stream of government funding. To keep the lights on in their labs, scientists need to tap into that stream. They do so by designing research projects that conform to whatever the government prioritizes at any particular moment. If, for instance, there was just a major terrorist attack and Congress was concerned about the threat of bioterrorism, scientific research that related to that concern would be likely to be fast tracked for funding, so it may be a good time for a savvy principal investigator to start pitching projects aimed at developing vaccines for bioengineered pathogens. The successful scientist is the one who is particularly adept at writing fundable grant applications pegged to some politically salient research objective, and then generating laboratory results that make some sort of incremental progress toward that objective to justify a renewal of that grant funding in the next cycle.
The modern professional scientist is thus less like Albert Einstein than like his co-workers at the patent office. He is a bureaucrat, albeit a highly technical one. His goal is, to be sure, to seek The Truth, but only within the very narrow parameters of what other bureaucrats and politicians have deemed to be questions worth asking.
Anthony Fauci is the Platonic form of the scientist-technician-bureaucrat, which is why he has held his position as one of the top scientists in the nation for decades and through multiple administrations. As a creature of both science and politics, he has made himself indispensable as an interface between the two worlds and as the individual best positioned to mold the former to suit the needs of the latter. After 9/11, he transformed NIH into the agency at the front line of defending America against the imminent threat of jihadis armed with weaponized plague viruses. He championed “gain-of-function” research, which essentially meant building those superviruses before the terrorists did, the better to find vaccines for them. And once the Islamic terrorist threat faded a bit from our collective memory, he re-tooled this heftily-funded research into humanity’s front line of defense against Mother Nature, “the worst bioterrorist.” Unfortunately for Fauci, in the process, he may have — oops! — created one of the biggest pandemics in human history. …
At every such juncture, we’ve been admonished to “believe the science.” But this is not science; it’s politics. Science demands a reflexive posture of skepticism toward received wisdom, tempered by trust in empirical evidence. Bowing habitually to expert authority on the strength of titles and credentials is the antithesis of the scientific mindset. It is precisely what Democrats adopted the “party of science” moniker to reject: willful obedience to those who hold cultural and political power.
To study the Sydney funnel web spider, one researcher tags along from a distance with the help of tags the size of a grain of rice.
After four or five minutes of breathing carbon dioxide gas, Caitlin Creak’s eight-legged subject is fully unconscious. Working quickly—she has less than a minute before the spider, named Harold, starts to wake up—Creak pins the creature’s legs under a foam doughnut, leaving the shiny black body exposed. Using an especially strong super glue, she attaches a tracking device, barely larger than a grain of rice, to his back. The next day, she’ll release Harold near where she found him on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, and study his movements as he continues on his all-important journey to find mates.
Harold and the other participants in Creak’s research are Sydney funnel web spiders, the most venomous spider in Australia, a country that certainly does not lack for venomous eight-legged beasties. In children, a funnel web bite can be fatal in as little as 15 minutes. Typically measuring less than three inches long, including legs—record-holder “Big Boy” topped the charts at nearly four inches—the funnel web spider certainly isn’t Australia’s largest, but it’s one many people from cooler regions of the world would likely describe as intimidating, and impressively chunky instead of delicate and spindly.
“These spiders certainly have impressive-looking fangs and very strong bites. They rear up in impressive threat displays and actually drip venom from their fangs, which is very unusual—most spiders try to conserve their venom,” says Samantha Nixon, a spider venom researcher at the University of Queensland. Nixon says funnel web spider venoms are some of “the most chemically complex venoms on the planet, containing over 3,000 peptides.” Researchers are even studying some of the venom peptides from another species of Australian funnel web spider as potential treatments for stroke, epilepsy, and certain types of pain.
But while their venom is well-studied, Creak says relatively little is known about the spiders themselves. “They’re a very understudied species,” says Creak, a PhD student at the University of New South Wales who originally considered becoming a vet before getting hooked on spiders during an invertebrate biology course in university. “We know how many ways they can kill a person, or a rat, which is great, but we don’t know anything about their life history. It’s such an iconic species; I think it’s really important to uncover more.”
My wife brought me one home from a business trip to Oz, safely encased in Lucite.
Kurt Schlichter is dead right about credentialed experts. A badge or a diploma does not make anyone omniscient or invariably trustworthy. In fact, these days, membership in the community of fashion elite pretty much guarantees intellectual conformity and the absence of critical intelligence.
The great progressive dream is to dispense with rule by us mere citizens in favor of a government staffed by technocratic, disinterested experts who selflessly apply the principles of science (social science and real science) to create a better, more efficient, effective, and impactful society. Of course, the progressive advocates of expertocracy assume that those experts will share their coastal, urban and blue perspectives, mores, and values – funny how that works. And it has been working, for them at least. We normals are now expected to defer and submit to the commands of unelected functionaries bossing us around for our own good, though this is only good for those said experts and their fellow travelers in the ruling class. Over about 250 years, America has gone from its leaders being selected on the basis of the divine right of kings to its leaders being selected by on the basis of the divine right of nerds with advanced degrees from Yale.
The sordid reality of our glorious expert caste is exemplified by that nimrod gnome Fauci taking a break from generating conflicting stories about how he helped fund a Chi Com bioweapons lab to giggle in his emails about how Brad Pitt played him on SNL, a TV show that was last funny … well, ask your dad when that was – he might remember. See, today even alleged the experts in comedy are falling short.
It might be one thing if the experts demonstrated some expertise. If these doofuses could actually make the trains run on time, at least our trains would be on time. But our experts today are such that they think it’s a great idea to spend billions on high-speed trains running between Bakersfield and Fresno – the one choo-choo journey on earth where you desperately want to be late.
Have you noticed that all the experts…stink?
The experts on war haven’t won one in twenty years.
The experts on diet told us for decades we needed to eat processed carbs and eschew the meat our ancestors thrived on.
The experts in finance gave us 2008; the experts in healthcare gave us Obamacare.
This is not new. Long ago, the experts gave us eugenics and the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, perhaps the best proof one might offer to support the notion of systemic racism since, of course, the experts are a key component of the System.
Now, experts are not always wrong. In fairness to Dr. Fauci he was right about COVID, at least for a moment. Of course, this is only because, over the last 18 months, that ubiquitous shrimp has literally taken every possible position on the pandemic, so he was bound to have been right at least once simply because of the sheer number of different and often contradictory poses he struck. Remember the Great Mask Circle of Jerking Us Around? His just-FOIA’d emails reiterate that idiocy. First, masks were bad, then good, then we needed two masks. One of those has to be correct, right?
And then there are the Wuhan lab lies. “Oh well I never! The thought that commies might have let a bug out of their lab is preposterous, unscientific and – worst of all – racist!” Yeah, it was a real stretch for those nuts on the internet to think the source of a bat coronavirus outbreak might not be the pangolin buffet just around the corner from one of the only labs in the world doing US-funded Frankensteinian experiments on bat coronaviruses. So nutty, in fact, that the smart people at Facebook – experts in fact-checking, according to themselves – suppressed those nuts while the smart people in the media called it a “conspiracy theory.” And guess who was right? The nuts.
But hey, you should totally believe the experts when they tell you that, no Schiff, no foolin’, this time the world really is going to burn to a crisp in 10 years if you peasants don’t give up your trucks, cheeseburgers, and freedom.
LithHub excerpts Grant Faulkner’s new book repining the technocrafication of San Francisco that prices out creative Bohos like himself.
Our sense of place is as important as the other senses because it provides the sense of belonging, and without knowing it, I belonged in San Francisco in the early ’90s, no matter that I wasn’t quite as hip as the other hipsters (I thought about but eventually balked at getting a tattoo of barbed wire around my bicep), no matter that my leftist politics placed me nearer Jerry Brown than Che Guevara. Whether I was doing yoga in the attic of an old Victorian on Dolores Street (yoga studios were still rare and exotic in the early ’90s) or going on my weekly pilgrimage to Fort Mason on the 49 bus to page through the slim binders of jobs at Media Alliance, desperately trying to find a job that better suited my college education than my gig as a waiter, or walking with hordes of people through Golden Gate Park for a free concert, I belonged to San Francisco, and my Midwestern self was fading away.
And yet, the place I belonged to was just about to depart. To be usurped, really. As the dot-coms rolled in, finally providing those jobs that were better suited to my college education, some of my poor writer friends became digital marketers and content providers and would soon climb the ladder to earn more money, and then more again, because it took more and more to live here. Others left for places like Portland, LA, and Austin, places they hoped would provide an easier and more creative life. The rest were pushed out. Rudely pushed out by escalating rents. We thought the Mission, the city, was ours, and didn’t understand how such a thing could be for sale. We were futurists looking in the wrong direction.