"And I'm sure Vision will try to bury the fact that the number of car accidents at the north end of Burrard Bridge has doubled since the bike lane experiment there."
Spartikus has cut your "arguments" to pieces well enough, but I'd like to know where is the source of this fact..?
And, even that aside, more accidents between cars are an illustration of the drivers.
Living directly over this area for the last 8 years (not a statistical fact, just in case you want to read into things as you seem want to do), I have seen fewer serious accidents. The more serious accidents tended to be oncoming accidents occuring between, first, east/west drivers and, second, north/south. I've seen or heard about the same amount of rear-enders on the south on-ramp. Even if its more, there are less oncoming--more dangerous--accidents.
In case you've forgotten your driver's manual: rear-end accident are always the driver's fault.
Most importantly, I think, is that more people--especially families with kids--are using Burrard Bridge to cross on bikes now because it isn't as threatening to drive on as it used to be.
Finally the Mustel Group's business is market research. You make the (unsupported, and ridiculous) claim that their poll isn't statistically significant...and why..? Because you know a thing about statistics...yeah. If you did know anything about statistics, you'd know what a contact poll is and that it is significant.
"Put up or shut up" as the saying goes, bub.
Having read, literally, everything Adams has every written, and having celebrated Towel Day ever year, I have to grudgingly agree Terry Lavender here.
Perhaps, though, there could be some possible respite in hoping that introducing readers to the HHGG will lead them to his Last Chance To See (recently revisited by none other than Stephen Fry!), or to his many public lectures on critical thinking and evolution.
As Lavender notes, Adams was an incredible and prolific writer who spoke on many important issues beyond his comedy. So, perhaps as an entry point to bigger and better things, the choice of this book may provide us with, if not answers to, then information on life, the universe, and, well, everything, I suppose...
Given that the "documentary", Waiting for Superman, isn't amongst the films being replayed, one has to wonder why the review--cut and pasted from a review two weeks ago--is even included here.
The contrived aspect of this "documentary" would make even Michael Moore blush. And, no, this is not a case of artistic license. Guggenheim's film is chock full of staged and cherry picked scenarios, and contains so many errors that readers & viewers can rightfully question the competency of anyone who'd make a statement like "this is a very informative film." But what can a person expect from a reviewer that cuts and pastes his own reviews..?
My response to Richter's original "review" is posted below the original. For those who are interested in this film's (egregious) errors and ommissions you can start at no better place than Not Waiting for Superman, or by spending your time more wisely and watching a couple of the much better researched films on the same subject: Race to Nowhere and The Education They Deserve. The forthcoming, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting For Superman will probably be more informative than the original.
The only observation Richter makes that has any use is whether or not this film, and the American education situation, speaks to anything in Canada. The answer should be relatively self-evident to anyone even passingly familiar with education in Canada: No. If people uncritically accept what they are fed instead of informing themselves then, yes, this may be where we end up some day.
Here's hoping audiences will be more critical than this reviewer...
Richter ends with, "[d]espite the omissions, this is a very informative film," but I would beg to differ. The information in Guggenheim's 'documentary' presents a one-sided, erroneous, and ideological message that has, in the end, a product--in the form of a 'solution'--to sell. So, I can only accept this 'documentary' as informative if we reduce the word to being otherwise meaningless.
Guggenheim and others will try and tell you that thie situation in the US and Canada are similar; however, they are not. This is not to suggest schools in Canada, and here in BC, can't improve--but one would have thought that obvious. Here, as anywhere else, such endeavors are always ongoing, everchanging, and dynamic. Unless, of course, one takes a narrow, singular, approach...
Folks familiar with the education debate in Canada are often fed 'solutiuons' from either the US or the UK (J. Abbott or K. Robinson), often in the guise of a catchy phrase (or jingo) as in '21st Century Learning'. Personally, I won't presume to understand the situation, in either of these foreign countries, intimately, but, as an educator and public education advocate, I am relatively well versed in them here.
Historically, the US and the UK systems, in fact many public systems, were gutted and attacked in the 80's under Reagan and Thatcher in ways we cannot even imagine here--then under Mulroney, or now under Harper. That being said, Ontario under Harris had a taste of it; and, BC under the "Liberals" of Campbell can expect to see more of it soon.
Perhaps the simplest difference between Canada and the US/UK are the disparities between rich and poor. Certainly we have disparity, but not to the magnitude of either the US or the UK. Therefore, our pressures are small in comparison.
This leads to the fact that much of the educational crisis in Canada is, sadly, fabricated. To be clear, we're in trouble and public education is under attack, but the point is it need not be. When a government adopts an agenda whose single-minded (and myopic) aim is to reduce deficits then you can expect significant cuts (or in government parlance, 'transferance') and debts and costs to be downloaded onto other levels of goverment. This leaves less in the pot to go around. From Chretien and Martin to Harper and Flaherty, the Canadian government has gutted its public services to the bone, to then 'blame the victims' and tout P3's or outright privitization as the cure.
Why might parties, traditionally seen as oppostions to one another, hold simlar views? Well, one need look no further than their underlying economic stance: neo-liberalism. This is, to quote Donald Gutstein, not a conspiracy theory. It is simply the dominant economic model of the western world for the best part of the 20th, and now 21st, century. And, this should raise some eyebrows. Perhaps, heaven forbid, some of the economic problems of the latter half of the 20th, and this, century also had something to do with that economic model...Hmmmm...
Certainly, see the documentary, but take it with a grain of salt; and, if you're interested in the debate, look beyond the surface--whether your interests rest in the US, the UK, or here in Canada.
As a corrective to this "documentary" try taking a look at Rethinking Schools new website here: http://notwaitingforsuperman.org/
For a point-by-point review of the myriad of omissions and errors in this film see Rick Ayers Washington Post education blog here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/what-superman-got-wrong-point.html
More researched and even-handed documentaries about the American education 'crisis':
Race to Nowhere: http://www.racetonowhere.com/
The Education They Deserve: http://www.unitedwelearnil.org/
The Inconveient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman: http://www.waitingforsupermantruth.org/
I guess this post from a Homeopath shouldn't come as a surprise as Homeopaths, like most purveyors of snake oil, are woefully ill-informed not only about science and medical science, but technology. Such pseudo-scientist's will often present (better said as misrepresent, I suppose) the mechanisms of science and technology in an ovsersimplified manner while hyperbolizing the 'wonder of it all'. Drury, in this article, is no different.
The idea that Skype somehow breaks down the barriers of time and space (tired metaphor aside) is true only if everyone has forgotten the average run-of-the-mill telephone. If one wanted to look at how boundaries are being changed by technology, the cell phone would provide a more interesting social phenomenon than Skype. Simply put, Skype is simply a telephone using...well...a telephone line...hardly E=MC2.
Equally tired is the paranoia about cyber sub-cultures. Although interesting, intruguing, and worthy of close consideration in the 80's, the internet sub-culture, wiith our Facebook, Twitter, RSS and mobile feeds, is hardly a sub-culture. Its mainstream and common. Given that homeopathy is based on a misguided and defunct series of outdated ideas from the 18th century, I guess this should also come as no surprise. Stick your head in the sand long enough and there'll be many things you find fascinating; however, try and tell the world this is 'new and exciting' because you didn't--or couldn't--keep up hardly warrants a revolution.
An interesting aside regarding internet paranoia is the often--and still widely--touted idea of "child luring." To be true, this does occur, but the internet is hardly the culprit. Statistics from police research have time and time again illustrated that a child will, hands down, be more likely to be assaulted by someone not only they know, but are related too. Furthermore, children that are abducted are more likely to be abducted by this same group, followed second by parents in regards to custody battles. But why look at the facts when fantasy is so much more interesting. Of course, Stephen King writes better stories...is he now a "source"?
Finally, to assme that there is even a reasonable analogy between computer software anti-virus systems and the complexity of the human immun system is laughable, if it weren't for the fact that Drury et al probably believe it to be accurate. Again we see paranoia of things modern (medical science and technology) all while lauding technology as being full of awe and wonder. Such paradoxical and contridictory mindsets are required to believe in such discredited 'therapies' as homeopathy.
In the end, and as I've said time and time again, people can spend their money how they want. And, if you, dear reader, wish to pretend the world is dangerous and wonderful at the same time (which it is), but without understanding either, then so be it--there's a bit of Darwin at work there. I guess Barnum was right when he said, "A fool and his money..."
Geez Susan, with such articulate and well informed supporters like Panozzi and Abraham811 I guess I don't really have to worry about homeopathy being taken serious....
Well done you two (amongst many, many others)...nothing refutes a position better than ignorant and ranting proponents!
Homeopathy: How It Really Works by Jay. W. Shelton
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre (chap. 4)
Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine by Simin Singh and Edzard Ernst (chap. 3)
Heck even take a look at the UK Parliament's Science and Technology Committee (Fourth Report)
Which reports, in regards to homeopathy, that "the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos. The [UK] Government shares our interpretation of the evidence. We asked the Minister, Mike O'Brien, whether the Government had any credible evidence that homeopathy works beyond the placebo effect and he responded: "the straight answer is no"
...now watch Panozzi froth at the mouth and bellow wildly about 'anti'-homeopathists!!!
...and speaking of time, I certainly have better things to do with it than try to decipher this incoherent, fallacy-ridden, babble, so I'll leave it to readers to decide which posts have more merit...
When you provide something worth responding to, I'll commit the time to respond. I only respond to Drury's 'articles' to provide an alternative view--what the converted think is hardly relevant now is it...
Three pieces of friendly advice JP: (1) get someone to edit your rants before you post them....it'll be less embarassing for you...(2) look up the word 'skeptic' because you clearly don't have a clue what it means, and (3) learn HT/XML, and save us all our eyesight...
I figure providing the response to the opening quote will suffice here, although it admittedly gives the 'comment' more due than it derserves:
"Very deep," said Arthur, "you should send that in to the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you."
This is a great episode in the original Star Trek series and, oddly enough (or not), is relevant to this article's confusion between science and science fiction.
In that episode a free floating energy being called the 'Companion' has not only saved Zefram Cochrane (the developer of the warp drive), but has allowed him to live to be 150 years old.
Certainly, Cochrane's situation and his Companion are beyond belief for even the youngest, most wide-eyed viewer. Now, truth be told, the episode, like much of Sci-Fi, leaves its audience with many hours of mulling 'what ifs'. In the end, however, all but the most deluded recognise the fact that Star Trek is science fiction.
"But, what if we could live to be 150 years old?"
Perhaps, given the leaps in science and evidence-based medicine in the last century, this isn't on the outer fringes of science ficiton.
Certainly, some things discussed in Sci-Fi have, indeed, come to pass; of course, no one in their right mind would credit landing on the moon to Jules Verne.
Discerning the differnce between fact and ficiton--especially when they share relatively narrowed space--can be difficult; but, it is not impossible. Understanding the world around us as it is, not as we wish it would be, is a good first step.
And this is where the likes of Susan Drury and her ilk fail, and fail miserably.
Take this article for example. In it the author claims that existence is energy first and matter second. Sounds almost credible because of that word 'energy' doesn't it..?
The problem is that it is nonsense.
Peruse through any grade 8 or 9 science textbook and you'll find that energy is nothing like the Companion in Star Trek as Drury would present it. As much as it is more fun to think of energy this way, it is absolutely wrong.
Energy is not a thing unto itself. It is a measurement of somethings ability to do work. Examples would include: calories, the ability of the body to convert matter (food) into work (jogging); electromagnetic, biochemical, etc.
Each of these are forms of energy. There is no free floating 'Companion' of energy out there.
A 13 year old who successfully moves from grade 8 to 9 knows this.
Are you going to trust someone, who is this funadamentally ignorant of such a basic and simple a scientific concept, with your health?
Brian Dunning, in an episode of his excellent Podcast, Skeptoid (Skeptoid episode #1; http://skeptoid.com/), gives reader's this adivce when dealing with new age claims regarding energy: when you hear the word 'energy' replace it with "measure of work potential". If the sentence then doesn't make sense, as Drury's don't, then you know its bogus.
Hey, spend your money and time on what you want
But don't expect anyone to take you serious when your 13 year old reminds you that this isn't Star Trek and that you'd fail grade 8 science...how embarassing would that be..?
- 1 of 3