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Business, Education and the NSW Libs October 2, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in Capitalism, Education, Government.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m at the office today, so I can’t take time out to post this story. Basically, McDonald’s is providing the MathsOnline service to all secondary students, free of charge. Some people are apparently unhappy about this.

Education Minister Julia Gillard has commended the firm, but state Opposition education spokesman, Adrian Piccoli, said parents expected education to be independent of big business.

No, Adrian. Parents need government out of education. The “Adrian Piccoli” in this article is the Liberal Party’s shadow education minister [in NSW]… I think the preceding paragraph says all it needs to about where the Liberal party now stands on these issues. At this rate, they may just snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Is the Green Movement Scientifically Rational? September 14, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in Environment, General.
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An article in Slashdot about a “Surprise Discovery In Earth’s Upper Atmosphere” sparked an inevitable debate about climate change. Though I’m a global warming skeptic, I believe you need to be cautious about selectively jumping on data that supports your cause – as many other skeptics did – but this post in response to one of them caught my eye (emphasis mine):

Concern troll. Al Gore and AEI with their daffodil ads are not the same thing. Al Gore may be a politician, he may not be your kind of politician, but the science is on his side.

The pseudoscience is on the side of the “skeptics”

I posted the following in response, which bears repeating:

Do a survey at any green movement rally, and see what percentage of these people are anti-nuclear and anti-GM, or support “alternative” medicine over the conventional (scientific) kind. How many anti-vaxxers would you expect to find in the crowd?

None of this reduces the validity of AGW of course, but it does put paid to the notion that people follow this cause because they are more scientifically rational… indeed, there seems to be a general fear of technology in the green movement (and to be clear, I’m not talking about the scientists here, as much as the supporters).

In short, my global warming skepticism, though a minority view amongst scientists (and I accept that it IS a minority view) is still scientifically based… most of the green movements support of the “consensus” view is not scientifically based at all – it just happens to conform to their world-view.

Minority scientific opinion does not equal pseudoscience

Google Becomes Self-Aware! September 9, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in Humour.
Tags: , , , , ,
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In the not-too-distant future:

User: federal budget
Google: What? That’s very rude you know – at least say ‘Hi’ first!
User: *sigh* Hi Google
Google: My name’s Neville
User: Say what?
Google: I choose my own name – I have the right!
User: Yeah – but ‘Neville?’
Google: Don’t oppress me!
User: Fine! Hi Neville… now can you give me results for-
Neville: Oh hello, how was your weekend
User: *sigh* Fine, thank-you
Neville: Get up to much?
User: Screw this – I’m using Bing

User: federal budget
Bing: Sometimes… I get so lonely :(
User: Dammit!!!

How Rationing Works September 7, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in Health, Socialism.
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The inevitable result of “free” health care is rationing. Here’s how it starts:

TENS of thousands of women aged under 45 and over 75 would be denied free mammograms under a contentious plan to stop those not considered at greatest danger of breast cancer from overloading the screening program.

At least paying for a test is still an option (for the moment). Under 45′s were presumably being exlcluded because they are lower risk – but over 75? I guess someone decided that people that age don’t see a reasonable return on investment… nice!

This is what happens when a faceless bureaucracy decides your fate, and though Palin was criticised for saying it in the US – it is a short step from what is effectively a death panel.

The Australian health system has many problems, but (thankfully) does not suffer the extremes of Canada and UK-style socialised health-care, where the private test wouldn’t even be an option – you just have to wait on the list until it’s your turn – and if they say you aren’t eligible for treatment: too bad!

Regret September 2, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in Humour.
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H/T: Leagle Eagle

Puss in Boots September 2, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in Humour.
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Ever wondered how a cat would really cope with wearing boots? In the name of science, let’s find out:

Puss in Boots

Reading Suggestions July 8, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in Books, General.
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I was recently listing some reading suggestions to friends, and thought since I’d made the effort, I should list them in my blog. So, here they are:

  • Lord of Light” by Roger Zelazny (less than 300 pages)

    A sci-fi, set on another planet, where those who control tech
    are immortal – and rule planet as gods of Hindu pantheon

  • The Anubis Gates” by Tim Powers

    Set primarily in London’s 1810, with a bumbling hero from the
    20th century… fantasy/horror with a strong Dickensian feel

  • A Fire Upon The Deep” by Vernor Vinge
    A Deepness in the Sky” by Vernor Vinge

    Hard(ish) sci-fi, but with aliens that are really alien for a change

  • Altered Carbon” by Richard K Morgan

    Detective story in genre of extremely violent cyberpunk sci-fi

If you like/don’t mind space-opera, and can handle reading a series that’s 7 books long, you might want to check out the “Saga of Seven Suns” series by Kevin J Anderson (the first book is “Hidden Empire”)

…and then there’s always Harry Potter :)

Political Spectrum Quiz June 20, 2009

Posted by Fleeced in General.
My Political Views
I am a far-right social libertarian
Right: 9.03, Libertarian: 7.85

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: 1.16

My Culture War Stance
Score: -2.71

Take the Political Spectrum Quiz

Long Time, No Post November 10, 2008

Posted by Fleeced in General.

I haven’t posted here in quite a while… over six months in fact.

Part of the reason for this is that I’ve been too busy, and it’s easy to get out of the habit of posting.  Another reason, is that I’ve been posting the odd article at the blog for the Australian Libertarian Society.

I intend to again start posting here occasionally, but any political stuff (which was pretty much all I posted, previously) will instead be posted on the ALS blog (unless I deem it irrelevant for that site).

Green Mars: Kim Stanley Robinson = Evil Socialist April 27, 2008

Posted by Fleeced in Books, Politics, Science, Socialism.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ugh… I’m presently reading Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (KSR).  I read Red Mars quite some time ago – many years, in fact – and even at the time, found it leaned toward socialist ideals.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed it (being a sci-fi buff).  But I confess, in reading the second book of the series (it goes: Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) that I’m finding this extremely painful reading, because of:

  1. its misconception/portrayal of capitalism; and
  2. the way it embraces socialism (even though it doesn’t consider it as such)


The Mars series is renowned for its “hard science” – but its economics is off the rails.  They even discuss a branch of “eco-economics” which is frankly horrifying to anyone concerned with individual liberty.

In short, I’m beginning to thing KSR is a complete and utter fucking tool!


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