Monday, May 07, 2012

Henny Penny and the machines that gp ping ...

In the pond's absence, the Heartland Institute has been in exceptionally fine form.

Naturally there were visual responses to its quickly withdrawn, wonderfully inept billboard display:

The pond is ill-equipped for photoshop fun, but yearned to juxtapose an image of Hitler with "Hitler believed in gravity and rocketry, do you still think you can fly to the moon?" or perhaps Stalin juxtaposed against "Stalin believed in nuclear fission. Do you really think that nuklear bermb will go off?"

Sorry, no idea how bumbling Inspector Clouseau got into a bumbling Heartland routine. The amazing thing is that anyone takes the place seriously, but it is serious enough, in the way it represents the slide of certain parts of the United States into illogical primitivism, superstition and ignorance. A bit like a mrymidon Murdoch blogger - both Tim Blair and the Bolter have shown a taste for Heartland propaganda.

The pond has in recent times been in the company of many machines that go ping, and people who think the pings make perfect sense.

There has been an explosion in ping insights since the old days, and it reminded the pond of Arthur C. Clarke's thee laws, which turned up on the box last night (ah the joy of the box and raspberry jelly):
  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  • The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. (wiki here)
Perhaps for Heartland, the third law could be varied: Any sufficiently backward advertising campaign is indistinguishable from ineffable stupidity.

These days when you enter the system, it is de rigeur that the surgeon lists the odds. 2,000 to 1 that something major will go wrong, 200 to 1 that in the process an infection will occur, and so on. It reminded the pond that thousands of scientists thought there was a ninety per cent chance that climate science was right, and so the main argument was now the degree and the odds in relation to how much the planet was fucked.

It brought back to mind that glorious moment when Sir Paul Nurse used a medical analogy to take down hapless James Delingpole - you can read about it here and YouTube the moment here.

So any final word from the Heartland?

... the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen. (here)

Between a decent surgeon and the Heartland Institute, the pond will settle for the surgeon every time.

Meanwhile, what's new? Turns out absolutely nothing.

There's Paul Sheehan doing his usual Chicken Little routine, Swan's song of praise to be lost amid all the clucking, and without a shred of irony as Fairfax's chief dumb cluck embarks on an orgy of clucking and doom-saying and neigh-saying, using chicken metaphors at every turn. He surely needs a dose of magic water to settle himself down ...

As usual, there's a wiki that describes Sheehan syndrome - or catastrophist dumb cluck disease - and you can find it here:

The names of the main characters in the fable - Chicken Little/Chicken Licken and Henny Penny - and the fable's central phrase - The sky is falling! - have been applied to people accused of being unreasonably afraid, or those trying to incite an unreasonable fear in those around them. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary records the first application of the name Chicken Little to 'one who warns of or predicts calamity, especially without justification’ as dating from 1895, although idiomatic use of the name significantly predates that attestation. Because of this association, the tale has became politicised.
Fear mongering - whether justified or not - can sometimes elicit a societal response called Chicken Little syndrome, described as "inferring catastrophic conclusions possibly resulting in paralysis". It has also been defined as "a sense of despair or passivity which blocks the audience from actions". The term began appearing in the 1950s and the phenomenon has been noted in many different societal contexts.

Henny Penny Sheehan. Now there's a nick to be proud of ...

Meanwhile, it was almost inevitable that that twittering twit Bob Carr could snatch a stylish response and turn it into a muddy tweet. It's impossible to keep NSW Labor out of the gutter especially when they see the likes of Christopher Pyne and Mal Brough having such fun.

You have to read Phillip Coorey Concealment hurts Coalition's clout to discover the obvious line of attack:

Meeting Ashby once was OK but after that, Brough should have referred him immediately to somebody who had no interest in seeing Slipper harmed politically, regardless of whether he felt Ashby's grievances were genuine.
Instead he met him two more times.

Why tweet about Ashby when there's a low-hanging Brough?

... on Friday when reporters starting hearing the opposite from Liberal National Party sources, Brough changed his tune.
He refused to return calls from the Herald and other papers - in two known cases he just hung up - and instead opted for a tell-all interview with The Australian, complete with a front page picture of himself at home with his wife, Sue.
As one Coalition MP said yesterday: ''A sure sign you're in the shit.''

So Carr offers Pyne and Brough a convenient distraction with a kabuki tweet. Well-played Mr. Carr, you've allowed the preposterous lying Pyne the opportunity to sound like a pompous righteous sanctimonious git chattering on about lack of judgment ... as if being caught out lying, prevaricating, dissembling, what you will, didn't involve a lack of judgment.

Still, you have to admire the efforts of the mrymidon Murdochians in helping Mal Brough out.

Now we just have to wait for a devastating assessment of Brough's activities, on a par with David Penberthy's demolition of Peter Slipper back in April under the header The rorting oddball Labor should have avoided.

What's that Henny Penny? All you can hear is the sounds of machines that go ping?

Must be another News Ltd. contribution to climate science...

(Below: Henny Penny, a true believer back in 1916, when they had the war to end all war, excluding all the wars that were to follow).

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