Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies 7.1

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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  1. Although they identified the man dressed as a ninja, several cryptoninjologists have stated that the authorities are trying to cover up an actual ninja sighting. They are calling for testing of hair fibers that were found nearby and have several excellent casts of ninja footprints.

  2. Although they identified the man dressed as a ninja, several cryptoninjologists have stated that the authorities are trying to cover up an actual ninja sighting. They are calling for testing of hair fibers that were found nearby and have several excellent casts of ninja footprints.

    COTW candidate! I nearly spewed coffee out my nose!

  3. I despise the phrase “lock down”. Prisons have “locked down”. When “lock downs” happen outside of prisons it is more fitting to refer to it as “martial law”. I know, I know, you are just copying the headline… :)

    But what starts in schools soon spreads to the rest of society. I despise this false dichotomy of “security versus civil rights”. Civil Rights are our security. And when they can be dispensed with because of a Halloween costume… they aren’t rights anymore.

    This story is treated as a joke. But it is just part of the mounting evidence that our schools are becoming practice prisons in my book.

  4. Just so we’re clear, schools do go on “lock down.” They did when I was in school, and it seems they still do. I think the prison reference is pretty apt. School is pretty much a neat little jail in which to keep your kids until they’re ready for a different prison.

    Of course, I’ve always been the rebellious type, so I call it long before most people do, but I stand by it in the case of schools, and it’s nothing new. They’ve been crushing the seeds of creativity and freedom of thought for a very long time.

  5. I agree Rystefn that the practice is ongoing and recedes at least into the dim history of the era long, long ago when, free of our walkers and hearing aids, fogies like us darkened the halls of our respective conformity factories. It was after the tragedy at Virginia Tech that the fervor for “locking down” everything from Schools to Chuck E. Cheese’s to entire neighborhoods hit the culture. I am interested in the euphemism aspect of “lock down”. What happens when we have convenient, tip of the tongue phrases like “lock down”? What does it mean for our society when children are well-trained in the notion that anything that formerly had resembling “rights” can be discarded at the first sign of a “ninja”, or presumably anyone wearing anything black, I suppose.

    It’s like “waterboarding”. I am not comfortable that we have a single word for it. I’d much prefer “water torture” or “torture”. Or even “strapping the victim to a board and forcing water into his lungs until he convulses, vomits, goes into a blind panic, becomes convinced he is going to die… and then doing it over and over again until he will say whatever you want him to say, or sign anything you want him to sign.” Waterboarding covers up what is going on. It’s kind of like “pedophilia”. Pedophilia sounds nice. If I didn’t know what it was I would guess it was a flower shaped like a foot. It is better to just call it “child rape”.

    “Lock Down” can mean anything. But my primary issue is that it means that our “rights” are contingent upon “business as usual” and can be discarded at the convenience of the state. If that is the case, they are no longer rights. And people shouldn’t be comfortable with that. “Lock down” should not be a practiced state of affairs.

  6. Once again those Cryptoninjologists have proven themselves to be in the pay of the Dread Pirate Roberts himself. Everyone knows that a true ninja would never leave footprints behind them for others to track. This “sighting” can only be the result of someone pretending to be a ninja in order to discredit the ninja profession as a whole. And who would benefit from discrediting ninjas? Pirates of course! Mark my words, very soon the swarthy, hair-covered hand of the pirate menace will be shown to be behind this so-called sighting.

  7. I wouldn’t say VT was the major turning point so much as Columbine… However, I went to school in the pre-Columbine days, and I can remember at least three separate occasions of schools I was in being “locked down” – using that phrase to describe the process.

    I watched my high school transform during the years I was there into a no one in/no one out facility – at least during operating hours. I was even once told by a teacher that I HAD TO learn to conform. Luckily, by that point, I had already decided to default to the position of disagreeing with anything a person in “authority” told me on general principle.

  8. Re: the search and replace article — OK, maybe I’m just really juvenile (and with a family name of Cox I might be a bit oversensitive to this), but I would have laughed pretty hard anyway at the idea of two people named Gay and Dix shaking hands.

  9. The sad thing is if the “ninja” hadn’t caused a lockdown at the elementary school he would have caused one at the middle school because his plastic sword would be considered a weapon.

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