Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 1.19

Amanda

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

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13 Comments

  1. OK, seriously, who in their right mind would send useless electronic junk to a disaster zone? Between the Scientologists and the Australian group sending solar powered talking Bibles to Haiti, I’m struck speechless in annoyance. At least paper Bibles would have some utility as firewood, or toilet paper.

  2. I’m waiting for someone to disect these homeopathy studies. Until there’s a mechanism described that explains how it works (and how someone just guessed and got it right over 200 years ago for that matter), I will be extremely skeptical of any study that says that it does work. Extrordinary claims and all that.

  3. @Zapski: I’m very hopeful that cunning Haitians will grab the bibles by the boatload and yank the solar panels included and use them to power cell phones and such it seems like a very good use for them. If they are really skilled they might even be able to turn them into solar powered radios which could be helpful as well.

  4. Re: The Escapist article
    That’s the problem with the intarwebitubies. People think because it’s “virtual” the ethics and laws that try to maintain polite society no longer apply. I’d wager the jerk in question would either feel it immoral to do that IRL, or fear being punched in the face andor arrested.

    There’s a mental disconnect where people do things to other people “virtually” that they’d either never do in person – or there’d be immediate consequences if they did.

    Being ethical on the internet isn’t something people seem to be taught. I’ve heard about some teachers who have started such programs, and think that’s awesome.

    I don’t think the technology used is relevant, but the intent and result.

  5. The solar-powered Bibles debacle makes me realize something.

    There is at least some contingent of Christianity that has become a death cult.

    I’m not saying they sacrifice virgins, or anything like that. To be a death cult means that they want you to embrace death, not to fear it, and to know you will be taken care of in death. The Vikings and Norse mythology in general was very strong on being a death cult. A lot of different religions had aspects of a death cult, including Islam (though that aspect is warped by extremists for their own ends). It shouldn’t be a pejorative thing (or at least any more pejorative than religion in general), because it does try to give people comfort in their time of need.

    A death cult is one of the few types of religion I can really respect, as it stays out of politics, it stays out of controlling people’s lives, it simply stands at the sidelines and comforts those who are dying and those left behind when a loved one dies.

    So they send solar-powered audio Bibles to disaster victims rather than food, clean water, medicine, or other aid. They’ll even boldly state that this is to comfort those victims in their time of need. But doesn’t do anything to stave off death.

    Because they shouldn’t want to stave off death.

    Of course, the major problem here is that this is entirely contrary to ever goddamned Christian teaching. Jesus barely talked about death, a large contingent of Christianity that probably funded those solar-powered Bibles as part of the death cult are afraid of death. Which is why they created the rapture, in the hopes they could avoid death.

    It’s a fuster cluck. But an interesting fuster cluck.

  6. @slightlymadscience:

    Trust me, there are dudes that do things this tasteless do them “IRL”, too. In college, I had an array of plain dark black, blue and brown skirts that barely qualified as “mini” (some young female teachers on campus wore shorter). I wore them with absolutely opaque matching tights and the de rigeur Doc Martens (well, knock-offs, couldn’t afford the real thing ;) ).

    These were skirts you could easily sit down and move around in – not at all indecently short, because I usually paired them with my father’s cast-off sports-coats from the early 60’s. Dad is 6″ taller than I am, and I was (and am) modest enough that I thought you should actually be able see that I was wearing a skirt underneath the jackets that were already long on me.

    One afternoon I was walking towards downtown on an errand, and sidewalk repair forced me off the main drag. I had to go one block over into the quieter residential neighborhood. Where this middle-aged guy pulls up next to me and rolled down his window.

    I thought he was going to ask for directions (the main drag was a straight shot through town, but the neighborhoods had all sorts of dead ends because of geography and it could be hard to find your way around), and instead he pointed to the ground and said “Hey, look, there’s a dollar!” I just stared at him in confusion and then he said “Oh c’mon, I’ll give you a dollar to bend over.”

    I didn’t say a word, but slowly lowered my sunglasses and gave him the deathiest death-stare I have ever given in my life. He, in turn, got a look of abject fear and burned rubber peeling away.

    I told my male friends when I got back to campus (Geology majors – the few other girls in the department were off somewhere), and after making sure he hadn’t hurt me and that I was just angry, they laughed. Not because of what the guy did (even college-aged guys thought it was stupid and gross), but because they knew how stupid that had been of him – while I had a sense of humor, I was not a girl to be messed with, and they all knew it.

    Gotta have a death stare. Guess you can’t have one in an MMO, though.

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