’22 A To Z Challenge – A

A word for our times – fake news – faux news – Fox News.  Also see: Donald Trump.

AGNOTOLOGY

Agnotology is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. The neologism was coined in 1995, by Robert N. Proctor, a Stanford University professor specializing in the history of science and technology. Its name derives from the Neoclassical Greek word ἄγνωσις, agnōsis, “not knowing”, and -λογία, -logia.  A basic characteristic of the conservative movement, since conservative beliefs regarding race, class, and foreign policy are all shown to be failures.

“Dude, all the scientists who are believe in (sic) global warming are part of a universal conspiracy to gain research dollars by destroying American industry.”

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, 1980

Within the sociology of knowledge, agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product or win favor, particularly through the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.  More generally, the term also highlights the condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before.

It is a disappointing fact, that there are segments of the American public who consider intelligence and intellectualism, as suspect.  😯

And so, I’m off to another great start.  I could have reserved the letter A in this year’s challenge for the word Asshole, but we’re already overstocked.  😉

Smitty’s Loose Change #17

You can win at life if you simply avoid two things – Comparing, and Expectation.

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I am so proud of Waterloo Catholic District School Board trustee Kevin Dupuis, and happy with the decision he made regarding the school board’s Pride flag flap.  He is a man of integrity!

He was unable to be accepting, and rise to the level of “hate the sin – love the sinner.”  He has told the board that, if he does not get his way, he would resign.  Instead of staying to help continue to guide the board in the direction that he felt was correct, he decided to just give up and leave.

He must have seen the writing on the wall.  It was his own handwriting, reading, “You are not welcome here.”

Archon

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The arrival of volunteers from Newfoundland, in the war against the pandemic that is currently raging across Ontario, recalls a similar moment, when young women from Newfoundland left their friends and families, to risk a dangerous trip during the Second World War, in order to aid in another war effort.

Leaving their homes in Newfoundland, they braved the submarine-infested waters of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, to assist Dominion Woolens and Worsteds in Hespeler.  There they would spin and twist the many thousands of pounds of yarn required, to keep khaki uniform cloth flowing out of the Hespeler Mill.

In April 1949, after the war’s end, when Newfoundland became a Province of Canada, the company’s newsletter expressed its thanks to the 243 young women from Newfoundland who had worked at Dominion Woolens and Worsteds, offering a most joyous welcome to the people of Newfoundland, saying, “Welcome girls” and “Welcome Newfoundland.

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Conspiracy Theorists, and Christian Apologists – they are often the same people – can be quite entertaining and amusing, if somewhat confused and confusing.  I recently read a Denialist explaining that, when the Titanic sank, there was a huge solar flare, which would have blinded the radar, and made radioing for help impossible….

Except that – The Titanic sank in 1912 – and radar wasn’t invented until 30 years later, during WW II, and their radio calls for help are a matter of historical record.

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Click-Bait, My Pretty Little Click-Bait

A Man Spent Years Studying The Last Original AGM Zero Fighter Jet, And He Uncovered A Chilling Fact

It only took him 20 years, and he discovered that it’s NOT a jet.

To be fair, the story reveals that it was an axial-engine, prop-driven plane, but that doesn’t get you back among all the ads.

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It had to happen.  In a town where streets ramble and meander aimlessly, never running North/South – East/West…. A traffic warning reported that a water main had burst at the intersection of Browning Road West and Lancaster Street West.

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How to screw up a joke – Part II
How did the hipster burn his mouth?
He sipped coffee before it was cool
.
He only got the concept, the English, and the punch line wrong.  😯

Flash Fiction #274

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

ROSE COLORED GLASS

Anxiety and dissention are the unfortunate results of the Internet Age.  It was once comfortable to believe that we were all basically the same.

Rose-colored glasses are passé.  We now must view our world through kaleidoscope specs.  Freedom of information also means freedom of misinformation.  Every bright and shiny, sharp-edged sect demands its own recognition.

Tea Party and Trumpers separate from Republicans and Democrats.  Anti-vaxxers abound.  Flat Earth is a growth industry.  There are still Christian mega-churches, but more and more, worshippers are doing what they did two millennia ago – gather in groups of 10 or 15 in private homes.

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If you’d like to join the fun, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Fibulous Fibbing Friday

Each month, Pensitivity101 publishes a list of questions or statements that we are encouraged to provide creative, adventurous – if not exactly truthful – responses to.  The following is my most recent attempt.

  1. A stitch in time saves……………………………………..
    2. Too many cooks…………………………………………….
    3. Many hands make………………………………………….
    4. A bird in the hand ………………………………………..
    5. Actions speak louder……………………………………….
    6. All that glitters………………………………………………
    7. People in glass houses……………………………………
    8. Fools rush in ………………………………………………..
    9. Don’t count your chickens ……………………………..
    10. Give them an inch…………………………………………

A stitch in time saves – me from having to complete this 5K “Fun Run” that I so unwisely signed up for.  If God had intended us to run, He wouldn’t have invented Uber.  😮

Too many cooks – add so many red-hot peppers, that you could die at a Texas Chili Cook-off.  😥

Many hands make – a complete game of bridge, although I don’t understand why anyone plays it.  I just don’t have the attention span.  😉  😆  See what I did there?  😕

A bird in the hand – can be quite messy.  Always use your COVID gloves.  The drunk said to the host, “If you don’t have any lemons, I think I just squeezed your canary into my drink.”  😳

Actions speak louder – to get the attention of members of the Woke generation.  Sometimes it takes a good slap upside the head to convince them that they’re not as right as they imagine they are.  😯

All that glitters – is impossible to vacuum out of the carpet.  Who invented that shit?  Chinese terrorists??!  Sawdust is guy-glitter, but at least you can sweep it up.  😎

People in glass houses – should buy thick curtains.  Clean windows are important, but so is privacy.  😛

Fools rush in – and guys like Trump get elected.  😳  😯

Don’t count your chickens – because I raided your freezer.  I came over last week to ‘borrow’ a cup of Zinfandel, but you were driving your husband to the airport, so I ‘borrowed’ an entire bottle while I waited for you.  (Don’t count on your wine supply, either.)  I didn’t have anything in stock for supper, and one thing led to another….   😯

Give them an inch – and the anti-vaxxer conspiracy nuts won’t be any closer to protecting themselves and the rest of society.  😳

I’ll publish another post in a couple of days.  I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….ish.

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Baby

Hey Bob, why don’t you and Brenda join us?  We’re having a little meeting in the back room of Krispy Kreme.  We’re gonna discuss how us snowflake Millennials can lead better, commercially-oriented lives, by not having children.

What??!  WTF!!

Yeah man, this thing is really taking off.  We figure by summer, we’ll be able to hold a big rally and parade.  We’ll pass out condoms, and use a megaphone to yell, “No kids!  Screw the Church!  Use birth control.”

Does the above scenario seem somewhat foolish and highly unlikely??  Me too!  But, apparently not to an increasing number of Christian Apologists.

To be clear, you realize I was arguing against anti-natalism, right?  If the logic that entails anti-natalism also entails that it would be a good thing if we all died in our sleep tonight, then I think that’s something worth pointing out.

https://reasonablydoubtful1.wordpress.com/2020/01/14/a-refutation-of-anti-natalism/

In the barrage of garbage verbiage, that was the only thing that was clear.  What wasn’t clear, was Why.  You’ve created a conspiracy theory out of thin air.  You’ve identified a problem that isn’t.  You’ve given it a name – an identity – so that you can demonize it, like Jews and Negroes.

The only problem that I can see with individual couples exercising their personal reproductive rights, is that, collectively, it works to eliminate the richest and the smartest, both people, and nations.  Within 50/100 years, we’ll be hip-deep in little sheet-head terrorist wogs, because they breed like rats.

The only place that anti-natalism has ever been instituted by a government, was in China, and it may have been too late.  I think we should export anti-natalism!  India would be a good place to start, as long as it doesn’t eliminate online IT support – or maybe to Brazil, before they burn down the entire Amazon rain forest.

Advocating that First-World nations produce more children, does not eliminate the problem.  It only makes it bigger, and worse.  Agent Smith, in the Matrix movie was correct.  Mankind is a virus!  We need fewer and better, not more.

Logic Bomb Explodes

Apologist’s Entire Argument Destroyed

I don’t know why he feels the need to warn about the elimination of the race.  Well, actually, I do.  If everyone died peacefully in their sleep tonight, and he woke up tomorrow and he wasn’t there, he wouldn’t care.  He only cares, now, about the possible future erasure of his self-important little ego.

If another Yucatan-sized meteor smacked into the Earth, we would all die, screaming.  All the warnings that he might give would be just as useless, and the vague likelihood of it occurring are still greater than his religion-fueled fantasy.

This proud branch of a Scottish clan is rapidly dwindling to a brittle twig.  The wife and I followed the ’60s population-control mantra, “We Are Two – We Have Two.”  One of those chose to have none.  The other only had one – and it is no business of this particular Apologist, or any other.  How ‘bout you guys – lotsa kids, or few/none?  😕

Flash Fiction #217

Identity

PHOTO PROMPT © Ulrika Undén

IDENTITY THEFT

Where are we going??

It is not wise to ask. We are going to have our identities removed.

What? Why??!

After the Holy Trump – Blessed be His Name – escaped the seditious impeachment trap set by his enemies, He appointed himself Emperor for Life and decreed that there would be no more division and dissent among his People.

His thoughts would be our thoughts. There would be no more Red States or Blues States, only Orange States, to worship his Divine Hair. Fake news was outlawed, climate change conspiracy was crushed, and He holds our Peace in His tiny manly hands.

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

friday-fictioneers-badge-web

Bad Math

Two plus two

Something Doesn’t Add Up

Trying to argue or debate with Christian Apologists is like trying to spar with fog. They’re never quite ‘there.’ They move the goalposts, or change the definitions. When they argue their positions, they add just enough reality to make it seem real. 2 + 2 doesn’t quite equal 4. They will claim 3.97 or 4.04, hoping that skeptics will concede the tiny difference.

They hold up portions of the Bible which are historically correct, and then claim that it ALL is. See, the Bible mentions Jerusalem, and Jerusalem exists, so the Bible must be true. It’s when you ask them to prove the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah, that the tap-dancing begins.

A very small percentage of archeology remains after three to four thousand years.
A very small percentage of surviving archeology has been discovered.
Of what archeology has been discovered, a very small percentage of it has actually been dug.
Of the archeological digs, only a small percentage of the total area is actually exposed.
Only a tiny fraction of what has been examined and published, has anything to do with the Bible.
Of the unidentified digs, one of them might have been Sodom, or Gomorrah.

Yeah??! And it MIGHT have been Jephthah’s bait shop and sailboard rental. We’re getting down to dancing on the head of that argumental pin.

A YouTuber complained that Atheists are so closed-minded, that even if they observed a miracle, they wouldn’t change their minds. As Proof, he quoted the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. The Jewish leaders plotted to have both Jesus and Lazarus murdered, because all Christ’s miracles were bad for their business. But that was because they believed that the miracles were real. They accepted Christ’s divinity. The circular reasoning is hardly the best example to refute Atheists with.

One Apologist admitted that Christianity had got many things wrong, but defended its existence as a possible font of additional hunches/intuitions/guesses about the universe and reality, which science could then investigate, and either prove or disprove. Contrary to usual dogma, he insisted that Christianity and the Bible should be viewed as allegory, and not taken literally. What did I think about that?

That idea sounds weak and desperate. So far, EVERY one of religions’ wild-ass guesses/intuitions/hunches has proved wrong. I don’t think that any one of them need make any more. If organized logic and science can’t intuit something new, ‘Conspiracy Theory’ is the new growth industry.

Besides, Religion is the bully on the block. No Flat Earther has ever threatened me with eternal torment in Hell, or even worse, stretched me on a rack, burned me at the stake, or protested at my funeral because I had the audacity to serve in the military to defend my country, just because I thought the Earth was round.

No Area 51 fanatic has ever put det-cord around my neck and blown my head off, tossed me off a 10-storey building, or put me in a cage and drowned me, because I didn’t believe that the government performed an autopsy on an alien there in 1947.

I don’t feel that we should give any sanction or acceptance to most religions. It only validates and encourages the worst among them. They, and their desperate, insecure, ego-driven adherents, can be quite retrogressive and dangerous.

If you can’t take religion at face value, why take it at all? Playing ‘Pretend’ is for children.

Flash Fiction #174

Flat Earth

Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

ERROR 404 – NO TITLE FOUND

I know that I shouldn’t bother, but I’ve been debating some Flat Earthers online.  The Flat Earth Society has members all around the world.  They’re as bad as the rabid Bible-thumpers – which many of them are.  Their minds are made up.  Don’t confuse them with the facts.

If the argument for a globe were a house, they can refute windows, or roofs, or walls, but not the entire building.   And their ‘proof’ against floors contradicts their ‘proof’ against chimneys.

Sometimes these discussions can be irritating.  Sometimes they can be amusing and entertaining, but often, they just go ‘round and ‘round.

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Don’t be afraid to click on ‘Flat Earthers,’ above.  It’s not a deep Wiki article, just a few thoughts I published on the subject a couple of years ago.  Even the less astute of you may notice that I am willing to plagiarise even from myself.  Rochelle’s photo, coupled with Wednesday’s religious rant, joined forces to give the inspiration for this post.  I slipped in an old, previously published Flat Earth joke, and used the same “Round And Round” hook line from my Nov. 30th Flash Fiction.  That’s just flat-out lazy.  😉

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

WOW #36

Lonely Man

I’m Just a Lonely Boy – or so Paul Anka claimed he was.  I’m not.  Thanx to a chance encounter with a dictionary, (Hah!  As if any encounter I have with a dictionary could be ‘Chance’) I find that I can apply the honorable title of

SOLITUDINARIAN

Noun

a person who seeks solitude; a recluse.

It’s not that I want to beat this concept to death; it’s just that I keep finding more and more dignified words to describe my chosen lifestyle.

Hate People

I don’t hate everybody.  I haven’t met everybody.  Aside from you lovely people, who come here and brighten my days, the less I have to do with the rest of the Smart Phone-wielding, gullible, ignorant- yet opinionated masses, the better for everyone involved.

The chains on my mood swing just broke.
Run!

I once admitted to a reader that I occasionally read Christian web-posts.  Shocked, he demanded to know why I would do such a thing.  It’s not Masochism.  It’s not generally intentional.  It’s that a surprising – almost frightening – number of Christian bloggers label their output with an ‘Atheist’, or ‘Atheism’ tag.

Between them, and the Flat Earthers, and the Conspiracy Theorists, (See Buzz Aldrin’s outrage that the recent movie, First Man, didn’t show the planting of the American flag on the moon) I feel comfortable in my own company.

Many Fundamentalist (with the accent on ‘mental’) Christians refuse to accept the Theory of Evolution, because they don’t want to admit that they might be related to monkeys.  There are just too many folks out there, otherwise known as wastes of space and resources, who act like they are related to jackasses.

Thanx for reading.  See you again soon.  😀

Flash Fiction #162

Robbie Robot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON

I hid out in my barbershop on the mezzanine, but I didn’t hear any screams, so I sneaked out.  “Is it gone?”, I asked the fellow beside me at the rail.  “Is it really The Day The Earth Stood Still, I heard that there was a hundred-foot robot stalking the mall, shooting laser beams, and it zapped some poor woman.”

“You don’t get out much, do you, Mr. Conspiracy Theory?  It’s just the security drone. Have you never seen it, too dumb to even sidestep the fountain?  That’s gonna take a lot of paper towels.  I hope the warrantee’s valid.”

AmphiRobot

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.