Most of the smart people I know want nothing to do with politics. We avoid it like the plague—like Edge avoids it, in fact. Is this because we feel that politics isn’t where anything significant happens? Or because we’re too taken up with what we’re doing, be it Quantum Physics or Statistical Genomics or Generative Music? Or because we’re too polite to get into arguments with people? Or because we just think that things will work out fine if we let them be—that The Invisible Hand or The Technosphere will mysteriously sort them out?
Whatever the reasons for our quiescence, politics is still being done—just not by us. It’s politics that gave us Iraq and Afghanistan and a few hundred thousand casualties. It’s politics that’s bleeding the poorer nations for the debts of their former dictators. It’s politics that allows special interests to run the country. It’s politics that helped the banks wreck the economy. It’s politics that prohibits gay marriage and stem cell research but nurtures Gaza and Guantanamo.
But we don’t do politics. We expect other people to do it for us, and grumble when they get it wrong. We feel that our responsibility stops at the ballot box, if we even get that far. After that we’re as laissez-faire as we can get away with.
What worries me is that while we’re laissez-ing, someone else is faire-ing.
Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists. – Blaise Pascal
A British scientist has invented a neologism for ‘someone sexually obsessed in flatulence’. That even takes an extensive academic report in explaining this out-of-the-universe phenomenon. This is the excerpt copied from the website:
“One subtype of olfactophilia [a paraphilia where an individual derives sexual pleasure from smells and odors] is eproctophilia. This is a paraphilia in which people are sexually aroused by flatulence. Therefore, eproctophiles are said to spend an abnormal amount of time thinking about farting and flatulence and have recurring intense sexual urges and fantasies involving farting and flatulence. To date, there has been no academic or clinical research into eproctophilia. Therefore, the following account presents a brief case study of an eproctophile and given a pseudonym (Brad). Brad gave full consent for his case to be written up on the understanding that he could not be identified and that he was guaranteed full anonymity and confidentiality….”
These resources must be indefinitely abundant in gross-out comedy flicks.
Source: Improbable Research
The whole China was left dumbfounded when a man on a wheelchair set off a bomb to himself in Beijing’s international airport last Saturday (20/7).
This man, identified as Ji Zhongxing, claimed that he was a victim of the country’s ‘ravaging’ political and social injustice. He claimed he was captured by local police in Dongguan city, Guangdong province, for owning an illegal motorcycle taxi, but was then severely beaten until he was left paralyzed.
Furthermore, he said that he had petitioned Beijing for a review of his case, but to no avail. He was forced to cover up the court fees, his parents died afterwards, and he ended up burdened in debts. In the climax that followed, setting up explosives was his Hobson’s choice in voicing out his frustration.
The public media itself – and bloggers alike – were largely divided in analyzing this occurrence. Some believed he was ‘victim of the state illegitimacy’, while others, on the other hand, alleged that he was acting like a lone wolf.
And what do you think about this case?
Read further on how the netizens opined on this case in Global Voices Online.