“Facts ignore ideology”
In a set of rather bizarre tweets on Sunday, notorious atheist Richard Dawkins argued that eugenics, the practice of selective breeding supported by the Nazis, would work perfectly well if applied to humans, because it works on animals.
“It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice,” Dawkins wrote.
“Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology,” he added.
It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) February 16, 2020
Okaaaay, Mein Führer.
Sensing that his comments would generate immediate backlash and Hitler comparisons, Dawkins clarified that he wasn’t advocating for eugenics, merely acknowledging that it would be a very effective practice.
“For those determined to miss the point, I deplore the idea of a eugenic policy,” he said.
“I simply said deploring it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. Just as we breed cows to yield more milk, we could breed humans to run faster or jump higher. But heaven forbid that we should do it.” Dawkins explained.
A eugenic policy would be bad. I’m combating the illogical step from “X would be bad” to “So X is impossible”. It would work in the same sense as it works for cows. Let’s fight it on moral grounds. Deny obvious scientific facts & we lose – or at best derail – the argument.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) February 16, 2020
Dawkins has previously made his thoughts on eugenics clear, writing that he suspects “that the idea is too dangerous for comfortable discussion, and my conjecture is that Adolf Hitler is responsible for the change.”
“Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular.” Dawkins continued, adding “The spectre of Hitler has led some scientists to stray from “ought” to “is” and deny that breeding for human qualities is even possible.”
“But if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability? Objections such as ‘these are not one-dimensional abilities’ apply equally to cows, horses and dogs and never stopped anybody in practice.” Dawkins urged.
“In the 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous – though of course they would not have used that phrase.” Dawkins further asserted.
“I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler’s death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them. I can think of some answers, and they are good ones, which would probably end up persuading me. But hasn’t the time come when we should stop being frightened even to put the question?” the evolutionary biologist stated.
Dawkins’ latest considerations on eugenics quickly opened up a torrent of disbelief.
Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, was one of the first to respond:
So unacceptable for Richard Dawkins to tweet about eugenics without clearly condemning it. Dawkins is *supposedly* one of our exemplars of humanism & science outreach. Yet today he's given every manner of passive and active bigot an opening to "consider" persecution on steroids. https://t.co/jycoxZQJFP
— Greg Epstein 🩸🦷 (@gregmepstein) February 16, 2020
Others joined in:
This eugenics crap is so dangerous. In the US it lead to forced sterilizations of women in the South — sometimes against their wills, often without their knowledge — that became so common that they came to be referred to as “Mississippi appendectomies.” https://t.co/TKFQGFc0dL
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) February 16, 2020
While Richard Dawkins is a noted biologist, his science on eugenics is bad. We turned magnificent wolves into pure breed dogs with severe genetic defects causing joint and heart problems and cancer. In fact, many Cavalier spaniels develop mitral valve and neurological disorders.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 16, 2020
I have literally never seen an argument against eugenics that hinges on the idea of whether or not it "would work." The issue is what would it mean to say that eugenics "works," which you conveniently have not defined. Care to elaborate on what a "working" model of eugenics is?
— Rani Sadbutt Baker (@destroyed4com4t) February 16, 2020
You absolute pin-headed simpleton. It doesn't work in practice because too many of the goals turn out to be arbitrary fantasies, and too many of those fantasies are the pet projects of abusive bigots who fuck up any civilization they get their hands on. Are you new here? Christ.
— Scott Lynch (@scottlynch78) February 16, 2020
what does 'work' mean, richard
— Shaun (@shaun_vids) February 16, 2020
You're gonna start talking about 'useless eaters' next. We see you.
— Mike Stuchbery 💀🍷 (@MikeStuchbery_) February 16, 2020
yes, facts ignore ideology, except in this instance because your definition of “works” would necessarily be influenced *by ideology*
— Avery Edison (@aedison) February 16, 2020
This is racist trash, Richard. The analogy you draw here between the ideology of eugenics and the domestication of cows or horses is false, dangerous, and historically illiterate.
— Dan Hicks (@profdanhicks) February 16, 2020
Orwellian Surveillance Hell Touted As ‘Future Of Tourism’
‘The new normal’
A CNN report published Wednesday details how Venice, Italy has created a disturbing monolithic surveillance grid to track and trace everyone who enters and leaves the city, and claims that this could be the ‘future of tourism’ in a ‘post-COVID world.
The article begins:
They’re watching you, wherever you walk. They know exactly where you pause, when you slow down and speed up, and they count you in and out of the city. What’s more, they’re tracking your phone, so they can tell exactly how many people from your country or region are in which area, at which time. And they’re doing it in a bid to change tourism for the better. Welcome to Venice in a post-Covid world.
The piece then explores how Venice has commandeered a huge warehouse and transformed it into a state of the art technological ‘control room’ to “track tourism” in the city.
The piece details how in the future the city limits could be controlled electronically, and visitors could be charged for access, but the most disturbing aspect is the fact that a Chi-com like surveillance mini state already exists in Venice.
Everything is being recorded at all times, and can be replayed, effectively giving officials a “time machine” that they can use to look back.
The report notes that “The system not only counts visitors in the vicinity of cameras posted around the city, but it also, in conjunction with TIM (Telecom Italia, Italy’s largest telecommunications provider), crunches who they are and where they come from.”
They know this by having access to cell phone data. Simple. But don’t worry because no ‘personal details’ can be accessed, the report claims.
Authorities know exactly which streets people are walking down, how fast they are moving, and whether they should be there or not, owing to COVID restrictions.
Venice’s creeping surveillance state started as a way of ‘protecting’ the city from damage and overcrowding. However, as the CNN piece clearly demonstrates, the architecture that already exists (and it exists across the globe) could easily be applied more aggressively with COVID justification.
Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the ‘new normal’ world.
With standardised and globally implemented vaccine passports being heavily touted as the future of travel, and other technology being developed at a rapid rate to allow the enforcement of social distancing and any other restrictions the powers that be require, it is not difficult to imagine where this is all heading.
As we highlighted back in October, Hitachi has developed similar technology, which includes cartoon fish swimming around inside the bubble. When the person violates social distancing, the fish escape.
The promo video brags that the technology “can even be deployed inside elevators” and Hitachi is “hoping to get the technology commercialized quickly.”
Given that numerous prominent people are insisting that social distancing and other coronavirus restrictions are here to say, it’s perfectly feasible to imagine a near future in which this technology is widely adopted.
China is already linking coronavirus rules to its onerous social credit score system, in addition to using AI to discipline its slave labor workforce, so the idea that people could be publicly shamed or punished for getting too close to others is a very real possibility.
Cruz: Google Is The ‘Most Dangerous Company On The Face Of The Planet’
Describes big tech as the “single greatest threat” to “free and fair elections.”
Senator Ted Cruz has continued his campaign against the unregulated expansion of Big Tech by labelling Google ‘the most dangerous company’ on the planet.
Cruz made the comments to reporters Saturday at a campaign event for the Georgia Senate runoff.
“I think hands down Google is the most dangerous company on the face of the planet. Google is the most dangerous because it’s the biggest by far. It is the most powerful by far. It controls the vast majority of searches people do,” Cruz noted after describing big tech as the “single greatest threat” to “free and fair elections.”
Cruz referred to the 2016 election where “Google, through manipulated search outcomes, shifted over 2.6 million votes in 2016 to the Democrats.”
Cruz noted that psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein, who testified before Cruz’s Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution “is not a Republican. He is a liberal Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton but is outraged to see that kind of abuse of power. Google is clearly the most dangerous.”
Cruz added that while Google is the most dangerous, “Twitter is the most brazen.”
“We just recently had a hearing where Jack Dorsey testified with a beard that looked like he had crawled out from under a bridge,” Cruz noted.
During that hearing, Cruz asked Dorsey if he believes Twitter has the ability to influence election outcomes, to which Dorsey replied “no”… an answer Cruz described as “absurd.”
“If you don’t think you have the power to influence elections, why do you block anything?” Cruz countered, forcing Dorsey to admit that “more accountability is needed.”
Cruz then asked Dorsey “Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?”
Speaking Saturday, Cruz urged “Look, Twitter brazenly censored the New York Post when it ran stories about Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s corruption concerning China, concerning Ukraine and Russia, and they just silenced it. Not only did they prevent you and I from circulating those stories, for two weeks, they banned the New York Post.”
Indeed, the company did more than that, they even blocked users from tweeting out the link to the Post story.
“The New York Post is not some fly-by-night organization. It is the newspaper with the fourth-highest circulation in the country. It was founded by Alexander freakin’ Hamilton,” Cruz urged.
Cruz added that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has “benefited because Twitter and Google are so rotten that even though Facebook’s pretty bad, just saying free speech is important makes him appear markedly better than his rivals, but all three are very serious concerns.”
The Senate voted last week to pass the National Defense Authorization Act without the repeal of Section 230 that President Trump had requested:
Report: 1.5 Billion Face Masks Added To Plastic Ocean Hellscape
The masks will contribute an estimated 7,000 tons of plastic to the oceans and take 450 years to break down
Approximately 1.5 billion face masks are expected to be dumped into the sea in just one year, according to an environmental group monitoring the level of pollution in the world’s oceans.
A report by OceansAsia concluded that the vast number of disposable masks will further contaminate the oceans with harmful plastic and damage vulnerable marine ecosystems.
“Single-use face masks are made from a variety of meltblown plastics and are difficult to recycle due to both composition and risk of contamination and infection,” OceansAsia’s report emphasises.
“These masks enter our oceans when they are littered or otherwise improperly discarded, when waste management systems are inadequate or non-existent, or when these systems become overwhelmed due to increased volumes of waste,” the report adds.
The report urges that evidence has already emerged of animals being killed by the masks.
Marine conservation organization, Instituto Argonauta reported that a penguin was found dead on a Brazilian beach in September with a mask tangled inside its stomach.
“The consequences of the large number of people who frequented the beaches of the North Coast of São Paulo on the extended holiday of September 7 may have cost the life of a Magellan penguin, whose cause of death is linked to a mask that was found inside his stomach,” the group reported.
The masks will contribute an estimated 7,000 tons of plastic to the oceans which are thought to already contain 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic, and 46,000 larger pieces in every square mile of water.
The plastic in the oceans weighs up to 269,000 tonnes, and every day around 8 million pieces of plastic are added.
The figures reveal a massively horrendous environmental catastrophe on a global level.
OceansAsia estimates that the masks will take 450 years to break down completely.
“This plastic does not ‘go away,’ but rather accumulates, breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces. Annually, it is estimated that marine plastic pollution kills 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, over a million seabirds, and even greater numbers of fish, invertebrates, and other marine life,” the report urges.
“Plastic pollution also profoundly impacts coastal communities, fisheries, and economies. Conservative estimates suggest that it could cost the global economy $13 billion USD per year, and lead to a 1-5% decline in ecosystem services, at a value of between $500 to $2,500 billion USD,” the report concludes.
The report suggests that if masks must be worn, then reusable, washable cloth masks should be used.
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