Saturday, 23 November 2019

The "National Geographic's" Gone All PC Again

      The National Geographic is lucky I have a subscription, because I wouldn't have purchased the November 2019 issue if I'd seen it on the magazine stands. The National Geographic, as you no doubt aware, functions to introduce its readers to interesting geographic sites around the world. This mission has permitted them to include such fields as wildlife, archaeology, and prehistoric life into their ambit. Occasionally, they have gone off onto tangents: such as discussions on chocolate, the sense of smell, and the King James Bible, all of which were nevertheless worth reading. But in February 2017 issue they lost the plot completely with an issue devoted to "gender". This month they have done it again, and devoted the issue to "Women".

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Life Was Better in the 1950s and '60s (1 of 3)

    Life is good. I was born in 1949, and my parents had to scrimp and slave to make ends meet. Now I am an affluent retiree. I've seen the world, and the world is at my fingertips by virtue of the machine with which you are reading this. When I get sick, as I eventually will, there will be medical treatment available which was undreamed of when I was young. Nevertheless, I shall go out on a limb and state that life was better in the 1950s and '60s - not materially, but in the things which really matter. Compared to today, it was particularly good for those growing up. I quail at the thought of the challenges the grandchildren will have to face.

Life Was Better in the 1950s and '60s (2 of 3)

     In Part 1 I explained what life was life was like in the 1950s and '60s. Materially, it was not as good as today, but was still prosperous. Socially, it was much better in most instances. However, recently I saw how a columnist claimed that, over the last fifty years, life has become "more free" for most groups, and he singled out women, Aborigines, and homosexuals. Is that true? Let us have a look. You will see that, at best, it is merely a half truth.

Life Was Better in the 1950s and '60s (3 of 3)

     Every index of social disintegration has got worse in the last fifty years. In Part 1 I described what life was like in the 1950s and '60s. In Part 2 I explained why much of what is considered progress is, at best, a mixed bag. In the following article I shall list all the ways life has become much difficult and more challenging for those growing up than it was when I was a boy.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

     At the beginning of the year I wrote an article about the literary parasites who prey on first time authors. I also mentioned that Amazon offered a self-publishing facility called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for e-books, which appeared legitimate, but I hadn't tried it at the time. I have now tried it, and discovered that it allows publication, not only of e-books, but of paperbacks in a print-on-demand (POD) manner. It is also free. Whatever else might be said about it, you won't be ripped off.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Global Warming?

     I've noticed that nearly all the propaganda information on global warming is about just that: global warming, not carbon dioxide. No, I am not "denying" the science. In order to do that, I would have to become an efficient climatologist. In any case, I don't think anything is gained by the parties abusing each other as "deniers" or "warmists". But I am sceptical - because that is what a scientist is supposed to be. When you hear that "the science is settled", we who are not climatologists, but who nevertheless have a background in science, know that the statement is ridiculous. Which science? And to what degree is it settled?

Monday, 3 June 2019

An Unlosable Election?

     I was just as amazed as everybody else on the evening of the May 18th Federal election to see the Coalition returned to office. Whether I was elated or appalled is beside the point; it wasn't supposed to happen - not if the opinion polls were to be believed. Since then there has been endless soul searching: firstly with the pollsters, who turned out so wrong, and secondly by the Labor Party which, like the American Democrats, feel "We was robbed!" Well, I have no intention of revisiting and analysing the various policies, but I do intend to elaborate on normal voter behaviour, and show that the results weren't so extraordinary after all.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Race and IQ

     Jared Diamond expressed the view that uncivilised people are more intelligent than civilised ones, but didn't actually provide any evidence. Now, I am a zoologist, not a psychometrician, but two things are pretty obvious to me. The first is that intelligence is not a social construct; some people really are born smarter than others. The second is that race is real. We may be all brothers under the skin, but my blood line separated from that of the Aborigines about 2,000 generations ago, and from Africans nearly 3,000 generations ago. A lot can happen in that time. Therefore, I find it extremely unlikely that the various races can differ in (say) average height, but be exactly the same in average intelligence. On the other hand, some of the extremely low racial IQ I have seen quoted make my baloney meter light up.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Wannabe Authors, Beware!

     So you've written your first book! Isn't it hard to find a publisher! Some of the biggest companies refuse to accept unsolicited manuscripts. In other words, they outsource to literary agents the task of culling out the badly written chaff from the wheat. Finding a good agent is almost as difficult as finding a publisher. You virtually have to have a reputation before you start. After all, a first time author gets little money, and the agent gets only a fraction of that, so they operate on a shoestring. Besides that, your book may well be poorly written - especially if it is a novel, which requires a whole more skill than non-fiction. Yes, we've all seen published rubbish which makes you wonder how anything ever gets rejected. Just the same, most people have an exaggerated idea of their own writing skill. But even if your book is good, it faces competition from a lot of other excellent works, and the publisher just might not have enough scope to fit it in. But beware! There are predators out there waiting to exploit first time authors.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

INDEX

I might give this blog a rest for a while, but since it covers a wide range of subjects, let me help you find what might interest you by presenting an index. Some articles, of course, have multiple tags, but the major ones are: Books, Theology, Sex, Science, History, Islam, Politics, Social Issues, and Odds and Ends.
To read the appropriate article, click on the asterisk in front of it.

Books
* What you don't know about making books  * Wannabe Authors, Beware!
* Kindle Direct Publishing
* Walking through walls and rationing days
* Rider Haggard      * Lionel Fanthorpe       * Robinson Crusoe's anonymous friends
* A forgotten childhood classic                   * Forgotten Australian comics
* Little Red Riding Hood and the werewolf

Theology
* Why I am a Christian     * Tradition and Doctrine     * Women's Ordination
* People's Damascus Road Experiences       * Dreams, Visions, and Muslims
* The Christian Explosion in China              * On the battlefield or scaffold
* Your Christmas Crib is Wrong                  * The Problems of Pontius Pilate
* The Hallowe'en that changed the world (1517)  * A Licence to Steal

Sex   I got my degrees in animal and human behaviour. Therefore ...
* The science of sexual morality
* Homosexuality in the lower animals?
* Rates of cures for homosexuality [one of my most popular articles]
* Same sex "marriage"?        * Same sex "marriage" and the Australian Constitution
* Transsexuals [I have personal experiences with them.]
* The National Geographic gender issue 
 * Lies, damned lies, and suicide statistics [Am I the only person to have read the paper?]          * The high cost of preventing AIDS
* Breasts were meant to be sexy.     * Toplessness 
 

Science
My M.Sc. was on the Behaviour of the Koala, and since this is an animal dear to the hearts of Australians, I have summarised it in layman's terms in seven parts.
* 1. Background     * 2. Basics        * 3. Bringing up baby     * 4. Communication
* 5. Sex                 * 6.  Fighting    * 7. Comments and references [important]
In addition, I have written:
* Understanding those strange scientific names
* Antechinus or Why it doesn't always pay to be too macho.
* Vegetarianism          * Evolution as a theory    
* Of course, there's such a thing as race.     * Race and IQ

History
* Wini, the Wild White Man of Badu [one of my most popular articles, possibly because I seem to be the only person to write about this unusual facet of Australian history.]
* Why the Norse didn't settle America     * Why Columbus didn't write in Italian
* When a superpower was written off.     * When history is just a matter of chance
* Ned Kelly     * The Germans did not know about the gas chambers.
* On the scaffold or battlefield.     * The case for colonialism
* The miracles (?) of Apollonius of Tyana     * The riddle of the Amazonian amazons

Islam
Myths About Muhammad *1. Moon god     *2. Demon possessed      *3. Pedophile   
*4. Violence     * Muslims in Australia    * Polygamists in Australia      * The tragedy of an English jihadist     * Geert Wilders     * Dreams, visions, and Muslims

Politics
* Why I am not a liberal - or a conservative.
* Flogging the dead horse of the republic
* Why I would have voted for Trump if I had been an American.
* Why I voted for One Nation in the Queensland election.
* Guns in Australia and America     * The Australian voting system   
* Health Insurance in Australia        * An unlosable election? (2019)

Social Issues
Life Was Better in the 1950s and '60s. Parts 1, 2, and 3
* Domestic violence (facts)     * The "Respect" campaign     * Women's careers
* Working women and housing     * What we can learn from hobos.

Odds and Ends
* Hinduism and Buddhism      * The crazy ideas children have.     * Shaving
* Murder is not as easy as fiction makes out.  * Getting away with robbery is even harder.     * Do we all have a double somewhere?       * The philosophy of an Aboriginal tribe     * How salt can lose its savour    * Wedding presents     * None of my best friends belongs to a minority.