Comment by a reader in a Financial Times article about Brexit, sadly behind a paywall but accessible via Google search results. Emphasis added by me, highlighting the parts that are sadly applicable to recent US politics.
A quick note on the first three tragedies. Firstly, it was the working classes who voted us to leave because they were economically disregarded and it is they who will suffer the most in the short term from the dearth of jobs and investment. They have merely swapped one distant and unreachable elite for another one. Secondly, the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors. Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Wells novel. When [British Conservative, pro-Brexit politician] Michael Gove said ‘the British people are sick of experts’ he was right. But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has lead to anything other than bigotry?
Four classics for the price of one:
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”
“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born”
“If you don’t fail at least 90 percent of the time, you’re not aiming high enough.”
“People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”
Who’s Alan Kay you ask? Wikipedia.
“It was one guy screwing a monkey…”
Explaining how AIDS began and why it is “virtually impossible to get AIDS through heterosexual sex”. Read the full article here.
From an SMS conversation shortly after launching thefacebook.com:
There are now over 900 million “dumb fucks” signed up to Facebook and submitting all sorts of personal information. I’m one of them.
Source: Business Insider
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.
― Isaac Asimov
I will add a second one by Walter Isaacson from his excellent book Einstein:
A popular feel for scientific endeavors should, if possible, be restored given the needs of the twenty-first century. This does not mean that every literature major should take a watered-down physics course or that a corporate lawyer should stay abreast of quantum mechanics. Rather, it means that an appreciation for the methods of science is a useful asset for a responsible citizenry.
The theme is clear: The lack of not only scientific understanding, but of basic respect to science is commonplace in the United States. Issues such as global warming are debated and questioned by politicians, media, and the general public on a daily basis in spite of there being near complete agreement among scientists about it. I think that this attitudes will cost the U.S. its scientific leadership unless it is reversed.
“That the smaller earthquakes are releasing stress that would otherwise show up in a large earthquake is a pretty common fallacy and, for the most part, is entirely wrong.”
Jack Boatwright, seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Full article here.
As always, the urgent leaves no time for the important.
Actually by Argentinian master cartoonist Quino.
“I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal, I’ll let his wife call him that instead.“
…in reply to a coment by potential rival Rick Santorum. This is great news, as it confirms she does believe in evolution after all! Also, because it gives me an excuse to use that photo.
Director of Tron: Legacy speaking about “The Grid”, the virtual world in the movie, on his interview by Discover:
I really liked the idea that this was a closed-off system like the Galapagos Islands, where the simulation has been constantly evolving and growing on some server locked away in some hidden place. That way it felt more like a Western: The world is large and expansive, but at the same time, there’s a code or a set of rules you have to follow. If you want to send a message to someone, you can’t just beam it across cyberspace. You have to get on your light cycle and deliver it in person.
I saw the movie on Saturday and it’s quite the visual spectacle. Try to see it in IMAX and in 3D. And don’t worry if you haven’t seen or don’t remember the original.
On the rape accusations against Julian Assange:
To be fair, I don’t know if Assange’s alleged broken condom is because the product was defective. We have good evidence that Assange has the world’s biggest set of nuts, so assuming some degree of proportionality, he’d put a strain on any brand of condom that didn’t have rebar ribs.
He really does have balls.