I wish I could say something which would make the world sit up and take notice, something that would turn viral, which would direct thousands of hits to my lonely blog. Take the case of Lori Alexander. Now, I have to admit, I had previously never heard of her, and I presume most other people would have said the same. Then, a year and a half ago she penned a short article entitled, "Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos", in which she discussed a letter someone had sent her on the subject. Suddenly, the fat hit the fire. Within three days she received 90,000 Facebook comments, a lot of them not just negative, but vitriolic, and at the time of writing the score stands at 126,000. Clearly, it touched a raw nerve with many people. As tends to happen when the opponent has no logical rebuttal, many of them caricatured her position, then argued against the caricature. Others had such a visceral reaction to the title that they apparently lost all reading comprehension, because they argued against statements she never made.
Well, as a man, let me tell you that the title is absolutely correct. Not only that, it is blindingly obvious. It belongs to the same category as "Rain falls from the sky." It shouldn't be necessary to state it. Nevertheless, as George Orwell once said, "[W]e we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men, " so here goes ...
Monday, 10 February 2020
Saturday, 23 November 2019
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 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.