1. notes

    12 months ago

  2. notes

    1 year ago

    Hm, I can’t tell the last time I posted on this blog.  It was a long time ago, apparently.  Okay.

    Well, got a new Tarot deck, and I’m preparing to review it here, so that should be fun.  Also… oh, planning to re-up The Wicked Messenger Tarot website, which has been down for some time.  The real world has largely intervened in the last six months, and it hasn’t been fun, but what can I say, I’m a wild optimist.

  3. notes

    1 year ago

    "The word “supernatural” is used to label all things that have an existence that is loosely defined and debatable, ranging from the outlandish to the common.
    There is a void in our current knowledge. Sometimes things happen which may not be explained by our current level of scientific knowledge. I mean, you can debate this if you like- but it’s true. We are hardly the enlightened creatures you pretend we are. Our science is hardly advanced. Fuck, until a few centuries ago it was “natural philosophy”, not science. The “science” of science is pretty basic.
    [[MORE]]
    There are these dark shadowy gaps, and some people point at them and use religious labels to define them “possessed by a ‘demon’”. Some people use atheism to negate their existence “possession-doesn’t-happen-even-if-you’ve-seen-strange-happenings-first-hand-because-I’m-an-atheist”. Both camps love to discuss how stupid the other camp is for not labelling/ refusing to acknowledge the knowledge gap.
    I just wish an hardcore “atheist” would let that settle in for a while, that they are merely doing the opposite of what the religious people are doing, by staunchly refusing to acknowledge that something even happened.
    There are other people who say “well the problem is either internal or external. So let’s look at the likelihood of both, and come up with a conclusion. If it’s internal they could be schizophrenic, or have multiple personality disorder or something, but considering our ‘possessed’ friend just spoke to us in latin, and we all got the heebie jeebies when we first came into this room, even before all this stuff happened, maybe it is external. Like an energy on a frequency humans can’t sense, or maybe thoughts exist on a different frequency instead, so we were just kind of “sensing” a thought process, or a change in our friends mental state.”
    I like that. That’s better science, because your senses and your feelings should be vaguely reliable resources. Not “but-possesion-doesn’t-exist-y’all-probably-experienced-a-draft.” Acknowledge *everything* before dismissing it logically with deduction, or giving a variety of hypothesises. These hypothesises don’t have to fit into our current knowledge of the universe, that’s terrible science. That being a scientific laggard, rather than being progressive. The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift- Einstein."

    dangerousinthedark: The “Supernatural” 

    This is very nicely written.  If there is one thing about being atheist-friendly, which I am, as well as religious-friendly, which I usually am, it is seeing the limitations of both, and thinking gee, there should really be some kind of logical middle ground, seeing as both of these parties have largely committed to throwing logic, exploration, and real science out the window.

    (Source: dangerous-muse)

    science

    atheism

    religion

    everything really

  4. notes

    1 year ago

    Outlandish hatred of Homeopathy, and other thoughts

    I haven’t been back to this blog for awhile.  That whole pesky “life” thing, you know.  Anyway.

    A day or so ago on Twitter I noticed remarks from the Faux Skeptic/True Atheist crowd, on the subject of homeopathy.  For those who don’t know, homeopathic medicine is an entire and elaborate school of medicine, but for most of the Faux Skeptics it’s just shorthand for herbal medicine.  And herbs, we all know, are completely useless and have no properties and there has never been scientific research done on them and they absolutely do nothing for anyone at all, except the part where none of that is true.

    There are REAMS of scientific research— let me define that, actual studies, in labs, by scientists, that are then peer-reviewed and published and the whole lot— on herbs.  However a lot of it isn’t done or published in the United States.  Most is done in Europe, and we all know those Europeans are totally backwards and uneducated and have no modern medicine over there and have never innovated anything medically ever, excpet the part where none of THAT is true.

    The studies that ARE done in the United States seem to fall into two categories:  in the first category, a major pharmaceutical company (99% of the time) decides to research not an herb but a CLAIM about an herb, so let’s take echinacea.  Echinacea is a very well researched herb, actually— in EUROPE.  But in the U.S., where it has been used well before white people ever showed up around here, it hasn’t had a lot of serious research.  And since American research is the only research that counts, well.  But one kind of research that American pharmaceutical companies have done is the half-assed kind made for reports on the evening news, and here’s how those work:

    1.  Take a false claim made by non-herbalists, like “Echinacea!  It cures the common cold!  Buy it from us here at Mass Produced Outlet Health Foody Thing Store!  You’ll Feel Better We Swear!”

    2.  Make sure to never mention that actual herbalists don’t think there is a cure for the common cold, and that echinacea isn’t a cure for the common cold, and that there’s plenty of research showing what this herb actually DOES do.

    3.  Prove echinacea doesn’t cure the common cold.

    4.  And then say LOOK HOMEOPATHY DOES NOT WORK!  Buy our Mass Produced Chemical Stuff Instead You’ll Feel Better We Swear!

    There’s a secondary step you can take in this type of “research”, and that is you can make sure to not use correct dosages, or the correct plant.  For example, in the case of many studies on echinacea, the plant echinacea purpea is NOT used, but other less potent strains are.  Also, just to be on the safe side, the experiments are always conducted using far lower dosages than an herbalist would recommend for what echinacea is actually for— which is not curing the common cold, by the way, it’s for helping to prevent catching one, among other things.  Once the cold is underway, you gotta ride it out.  But just in case you might avoid even catching a cold and therefore show echinacea has some usefulness, by all means, make sure to not use it correctly when conducting an American experiment.

    In a way, though, that’s fair, because the makers of most so-called “herbal supplements” and “natural remedies” that you can go buy in any store?  Those particular pills are highly suspect to begin with.  It’s not that homeopathy doesn’t work— it’s that the vast majority of people who think they are trying it?  Aren’t really trying it at all.  Wrong plants, substandard extracts, wrong dosages, inaccurate claims, all of that is being peddled as homeopathic medicine when, in truth, the vast majority of it is no such thing.  But I digress.

    (Incidentally, for those homeopath skeptics who like to accuse those who have been helped by real herbal remedies of just benefitting from the Placebo Effect, let me explain something.  You don’t know what the term “placebo” means, apparently.  Placebo Effect is something that can largely only be determined in a controlled setting, because it is only had in control groups.  The true Placebo Effect is had when the person participating in the test doesn’t know which group they belong to.  You can measure the effect at that point.  Someone who knows what they are taking who gets a result from it is not necessarily experiencing the Placebo Effect, and in fact at that point there’s no way of telling.  This is one reason why you don’t tell folks testing drugs or herbs what they are taking.)

    There’s one other type of study being done CONSTANTLY on an herb in the United States.  In fact, one might argue this study is one of the best studies ever done upon any herb in all of human history, and even better, this study is being done both inside and outside the lab, and has been documented pretty well for close to one hundred years.  That study is on marijuana— specifically the homeopathic uses for the herbs cannibis indica and cannibis sativa.  This is textbook homeopathy, and one we should take a good look at before looking at skeptics spouting off ignorant comments and saying Wow you are amazingly intellectual why oh why didn’t I see this before?

    1.  Pharmaceutical companies haven’t been able to hijack the conversation about marijuana’s usefulness, because too many people have grown it themselves and used it.  Most people don’t grow their own echinacea (though a surprising number do, they just don’t know it.  I see it growing in gardens around here all the time.  But again, I digress.)  Many people grow their own pot.

    2.  No one can say marijuana doesn’t do anything at all, because the GOVERNMENT has made such a big stinking deal about it for such a long time.  At various points in American history, marijuana was the destroyer of all decency and civilization.  It would cause the breakdown of the family, race-mixing, homosexuality, the undermining of authority, the destruction of all church-related values.  It would create sweeping waves of suicide, irresponsibility, mental illness, refusal to buckle down and participate in wars and Elk’s Lodges.  It would cause Satanism and Paganism and Thrill Kill Cults to flourish.  I mean, marijuana is some bad-ass shit.  Except that part where it isn’t.  However all of the propaganda is, without a doubt, rooted in the scientific fact that marijuana does SOMETHING.

    3.  Pharmaceutical companies have been desperately attempting to separate out all the things about marijuana that make it useful as a drug.  They want to remove the properties the government arbitrarily finds objectionable, like THC, for example, and see if it still works as well.  This has been a disaster.  It doesn’t work at all when you separate all the component parts.  And, again, people know this, because a lot of people smoke pot.

    4.  Marijuana is not illegal everywhere.  In fact it’s not even illegal everywhere in America anymore, at least at the state level.  Consequently doctors are prescribing it— maybe even overprescribing it, but hey, less dangerous than the average pharma creation, so whatever— and people who need it are using it.  And it works.

    5.  It worked before research was ever done on it.  It works in spite of being demonized, in spite of research being manipulated by political/law enforcement forces, it has worked for thousands of years.  It is, like all herbs, both benign and dangerous.  (All herbs have side effects— in fact it’s interesting so many anti-homeopath types natter on at length about how dangerous herbs can be, but in every other regard they claim they are useless.)  Marijuana has been used by indigenous people with great success.  Marijuana, being unregulated due to being, you know, illegal and all, has not been standardized in terms of dosage, and yet it still works.  New research shows it is such a successful anti-inflammatory, in fact, that you can smoke it like a chimney, and guess what?  You ain’t getting lung cancer.  It’s good for pain caused by injury and illness, for pain and nausea caused by cancer treatments and AIDs drugs, for relieving depression and migraines, for easing the symptoms of glaucoma.  It helps people who can’t be helped by any other means, certainly not by anything pharmaceutical companies have come up with.  It doesn’t destroy the environment.  It’s a beautiful plant.  And, hey, since we’re on the subject, guess what?

    IT’S TOTALLY HOMEOPATHIC.

    ***************

    My basic working theory about atheism in general and skepticism (you don’t have to be an atheist to be a skeptic, by the way) in particular, is this:

    Humans aren’t really good at having no beliefs, so skepticism, for many, becomes a new belief form.  It’s really not skepticism at that point.  It’s Contrarianism.  And as we’ve all witnessed from those who have determined that, say, Global Climate Change isn’t happening, this is an irrational belief.  It’s not based in science.  It’s based in desire.

    In the case of skeptics who like to target homeopathy, first, much like those who like to target Tarot readers, none of them know what they are talking about.  If they did, that would be one thing.  There’s a lot to target in the Tarot community, and in the Herbalist community.  I’d love to permanently root out all the New-Agey Karma/Religion based Faux Pagan crap that has infiltrated both camps, I would.  As someone who is in fact naturally skeptical, I can sense bullshit at thirty paces.  It’s one reason why I’m good at spotting bullshit among atheists and skeptics as well.

    I’m a person who has suffered from a few specific health problems since adolescence.  That’s right— Lady Problems.  The worst kind.  Mostly because of the absolute lack of knowledge, to this day, among allopathic medical practionioners.  Most medical doctors don’t know shit about the uterus, they know nothing about periods, they have not a clue.  Women entering the field of medicine has not changed this fact, as yet.  I STILL get medical professionals telling me, contrary to all that science understands about the physiology of the female body, that the menstrual cycle is a totally passive emptying-out of unused baby housing.  That because the uterus is only the size of a small pear, my descriptions can’t be true.  That it’s all in my head.  Cuz, well, I’m a lady.

    It’s funny to me that atheists, skeptics, and even feminist atheists basically fall back to this same position when it comes to the subject of homeopathy.  It’s all in your head.  It’s the placebo effect (see above for why that is bullshit).  IT DOESN’T WORK BECAUSE IT CAN’T WORK BECAUSE I DON’T BELIEVE IT WORKS.  That’s pretty much the summation of that position.  Never mind research, science, medical journals, history, your own experience (oh no!  not your own personal experience!  That’s not anything!).  You have to distrust all of that, listen to only limited information from limited sources, and

    well

    I guess BELIEVE.

    To which I can only say, No.

    skepticism

    homeopathy

    herbalism

    marijuana

    science

    atheism

    belief

    even Tarot I guess

  5. notes

    1 year ago

    early-onset-of-night:

Alaska Congressman uses ethnic slur to describe migrant workersIn a move that could inflame the debate on immigration, Alaska Congressman Don Young (R-Dipshit), referred to the migrant Mexican laborers employed seasonally on his daddy’s ranch as “wetbacks”.“My father had a ranch,” said the 21-term lawmaker in a radio interview with KRPD. “We used to have fifty, sixty wetbacks to pick tomatoes.”This writer can only presume that his eyes were misty with nostalgia.Of course, Congressman Young apologized. In the U.S., it is standard operating procedure to apologize whenever you get called out saying racist crap.“I meant no disrespect,” he explained hilariously.

    early-onset-of-night:

    Alaska Congressman uses ethnic slur to describe migrant workers

    In a move that could inflame the debate on immigration, Alaska Congressman Don Young (R-Dipshit), referred to the migrant Mexican laborers employed seasonally on his daddy’s ranch as “wetbacks”.

    “My father had a ranch,” said the 21-term lawmaker in a radio interview with KRPD. “We used to have fifty, sixty wetbacks to pick tomatoes.”

    This writer can only presume that his eyes were misty with nostalgia.

    Of course, Congressman Young apologized. In the U.S., it is standard operating procedure to apologize whenever you get called out saying racist crap.

    “I meant no disrespect,” he explained hilariously.

    oh lordy.

  6. notes

    1 year ago

    Here's an interesting link...

    If, by interesting, one means OMFG WTF???

    On the other hand, this shouldn’t be terribly surprising.

    See, the abortion issue isn’t about “abortion”, per se, any more than the availability of birth control is about, you know, “birth control”.  These things are about one thing only, and that is controlling the sexual lives of women.

    Part of the reason patriarchal males like this sorry excuse for a man have for controlling female sexuality ties to crazy bizarre biblical stories about sin, and how WOMAN is responsible for infecting the human species with it.  WOMAN brought death, disease (because disease is also your fault, don’t you know), and SIN into the world, and so she must be punished.  Which ties into the idea, a fairly modern one in the history of our species, incidentally, that childbirth is a kind of punishment.

    On the other hand, these same fucks want to pretend childbirth is free of all risk, as long as you did everything right, of course, because any misstep should be punishable with death, and that it’s SUCH A BLESSING, even when you can’t feed the kid, you can’t support yourself, you’ll never finish school, and in some cases, oh goody, you get to be tied to your assailant/complete stranger/loser boyfriend/some guy you just thought was cute FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  They also want to pretend that the man has as much to do with the process as the woman, and that they care so much for children, when a cursory glance at our education system alone disproves that.

    But what fascinates me about this dialogue, that a woman’s life literally means nothing, ever, under any circumstance, is that this directly contradicts both logic, and religious traditions from all over the world.  Judiaism, for example, considers the life of the mother of primary importance, for numerous reasons.  There’s a presumption she might have a family and other children, for one thing, but even if she does not, she’s the original.  She’s the mold.  If you break that mold, she’s gone, and that’s a legitimate spiritual issue.  And we’re talking JUDIAISM here, not the myraid of other, equally valid and legitimate religious beliefs across the spectrum that folks of Walsh’s character would like to outlaw and ban.  Judiaism is actually the root of Christianity, and Jesus was a Jew, and a believer in Jewish law.  And so you might ask yourself, based on what crazytown notion would anyone ever think it’s acceptable to stand up in public and say the life of a woman means absolutely nothing?

    It’s very simply, really.  Men have been taught to not relate to women as human beings, at all, to such a degree, that they relate more to an unformed cluster of cells that may or may not become a baby.  That’s how meaningless women are to men of this ilk.  We literally are not human to them.

    When people think we exaggerate, comparing Christian fundamentalists like Todd Aiken and this clown here in the link to the Taliban, I don’t think they quite understand how the Taliban got rooted into the Islamic world.  I don’t think they understand that the same religion and the same hatred of the female that gave birth to Christianity also gave birth to Islam.  I don’t think they understand that patriarchy, as a construct, will never value the lives of women and girls, not in any form, ever, and that there’s zero difference between a man who hates women so much he’d be willing to sacrifice his own wife and daughters and sisters (presumably, I mean, maybe these are just rules for everyone else, he wouldn’t be the first if that was true) for a fetus, a baby, a dead fetus, a dead baby, a cluster of cells, a tumor, or even nothing.

    Oh, I’m sorry, does this seem harsh?  You know what sounds really hateful and harsh?  A man saying Suck it, bitch, you got yourself pregnant, now drop dead if you need an abortion to prevent your own demise from, say, an ecoptic pregnancy, a condition which happens with tremendous frequency all over the world.  In America, until recently, women rarely die from this, because they have access to abortion.  If they don’t, they and the fetus both will die, and this bastard running for public office?  He won’t care.

    There is some evil, evil shit circulating in this country right now, and I have a feeling, people are totally asleep at the wheel.  We’re going to have to get terminal before anyone feels the need to do something, and by then, it will be too late.

    I totally get why Hunter S. Thompson just fucking checked out.  I really do.

    abortion

    feminism

    life of the mother

    another fuckwad for congress

    and don't you dare get distracted by the hunter s. thompson remark at the end of this or I will cut you.

  7. 1 year ago

    I’ve had some computer burps recently, and also I’ve needed to rethink the purpose of this blog.

    Frankly Tumblr does things to me.  It’s not like regular blogging because the level of interaction is way higher, and while that’s good, on the other hand it does tend to get me to wander off into other realms, if I do say so myself, such as Politics (oh lordy) and occasionally Dr. Who.

    Speaking of which, some dickwad was ranting about Dr. Who being this long ass television series and the history of it and such, and mixing in facts (like how the plot works) with opinions (about sexism) as if they are interchangeable, and all I can say is, it’s very tempting, when you hang around tumblr, to convince yourself you are the only person for miles around who is over the age of 21, and that you know everything.  You aren’t, and you don’t.  And people should feel free to criticize the current sexist bullshit of Dr. Who right now in the year 2012 without feeling like they need to compare it to improvements made since the 1970s.  One would hope something would improve in that department since the 1970s, and the fact so little has is a sad comment on our society anyway, but don’t use a false measure and personal opinion to basically tell the little girls of tumblr to shut up about sexism.  They’re perfectly entitled to criticize Dr. Who, and so are the grown ups, some of whom are me.

    Now, right there?  Totally not germane to this blog.  So Imma hafta think about that, and how to fix it.  Also I feel like the layout and look leaves a lot to be desired, at least for this project, so… there’s that.

    And now, as my computer again is showing attitude, I say adieu for now…

    snark

    deep thoughts

    personal

  8. notes

    1 year ago

    baturday:

    Toybat, toybat, toyboyt

    *********

    Okay, that’s just adorable.

    (via sistersofmercy)

  9. notes

    1 year ago

    bigmapblog:

Map: Civil War Map: Scott’s Great Snake (1861) originally posted to the BIG Map Blog.

*********
Alternatively titled:  How It Did Not Work Out In Real Life But Then These Things Almost Never Do Do They?
Alternatively Alternatively titled (and you should read this aloud with a Southern accent):  Someone’s Overcompensating!

    bigmapblog:

    Map: Civil War Map: Scott’s Great Snake (1861) originally posted to the BIG Map Blog.

    *********

    Alternatively titled:  How It Did Not Work Out In Real Life But Then These Things Almost Never Do Do They?

    Alternatively Alternatively titled (and you should read this aloud with a Southern accent):  Someone’s Overcompensating!

    historical map

    civil war snark

    or snake?

    no

    definitely snark

  10. notes

    1 year ago

    ryoata:

    next time a stranger talks to me when im alone ill look at them shocked and just whisper quietly

    “you can see me?”

    (via vampiresarecreeps-deactivated20)

    I am so going to do this...

  11. notes

    1 year ago

    "You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better."

    Anne Lamott (via thefreenomad)

    (Source: strangerains, via sistersofmercy)

    truth

  12. 1 year ago

    Dr. What the Fuck?

    I love the dumbasses posting the Dr. Who refusing to save Amy Pond cartoon because it is sexist to save her, because yeah, THAT’s the issue.

    I’m totally not down for Dr. Who these days.  It’s turned into the worst nightmare bullshit damsel in distress scenario ever, complete with baby being ripped away and memories being taken and her man only loving her for her reproductive capabilities/desires or … I mean seriously.  Oh, and we’d better put another shiny new chick in there, and make bullshit jokes about bisexuality.

    WTF?

    If I wanted this kind of shit I’d sit around reading domestic abuse disguised as porn books like Fifty Shades of Whatever.  I realize every series goes through a rough patch, but holy fucking shit.

    How did we get from the Most Important Woman In The World to the fucking Bitch Who Waited?

    dr. who

    dr. no!

    rant

  13. notes

    1 year ago