Friday, January 29, 2021

Sea birds, QAnon and the quicksand of conspiracy

Stormy Sea, by Eduard Hildebrandt (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

     The common murre is a big seabird, a type of auk found, among other places, on an island in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Sweden. The New York Times science section ran an article about those murres on Tuesday and I read it, even though I have no particular interest in seabirds, the Baltic Sea, or Sweden. It was lunchtime and the Science Times was right there.
     I’m glad I did. The article explains how biologists are eagerly exploiting the pandemic shutdown of global travel to see what effect the departure of humans has on ecosystems such as the murre colony at the Stora Karlsö nature preserve. The general perception when it comes to the natural world is humans = bad. But here “the sudden absence of tourists at Stora Karlsö during the pandemic set off a surprising chain reaction that wreaked havoc on the island’s colony of common murres, diminishing its population of newborn birds.”
     Oh no! What happened?

     The murres aren’t the only birds in the area. There are also white-tailed eagles. Researchers discovered that the eagles don’t like people — and who can blame them?— so they stay away when tourists tramp about. But with people gone, the eagles are emboldened, and their presence, swooping around, throws the ungainly seabirds off their egg rearing.
     I love that. Because it supports my belief that the world is complicated, interconnected and counterintuitive. Though if scientists found the opposite — with people gone, the murres are having a jubilee — I’d accept that, too. Because I’m an adjust-my-outlook-to-the-facts kind of guy.
     The world doesn’t always tickle your biases. That seems, to me, a given. Not everyone got the memo, though. Many swap this enormous, beautiful clockwork of endless complexity for a little ball and cup contrivance of their own dry imagining. Because its plop-plop makes them feel better about themselves.
     On Wednesday, a video surfaced of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-QAnon) harassing Parkland massacre survivor David Hogg.
     “Why do you use kids?” she yells. “Why kids?”

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  1. 1. Zoos have noticed that the animals miss the people.

    2. Let's spread the rumor that Marjorie Taylor Greene is the unknown second shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS.
    She's already batshit crazy, maybe that would drive her even farther over the edge & accuse Alex Jones of brainwashing her into believing this insanity!

  2. In 1856, a pro-slavery House member from South Carolina beat a Massachusetts senator nearly to death, right in his own workplace. I would not be surprised if there is a fatal shooting, or even a gunfight, in the House or the Senate before the year is out. That is the level to which our governing bodies have sunk.

    When this Georgia__________ (your choice), and that other harpy from Colorado, finally get the Second Civil War that they seem to desire, they will not be immune from its consequences. Like all the other disloyal traitors and domestic terrorists, they, too, will have targets on their backs for loyal American patriots to aim at. Be careful what you wish for.

    1. Those that threaten them with violence may also have the same.

  3. This Marjorie Taylor Loon is the latest in a series of nitwits whom right-wing media have anointed as a counterpart to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of "The Squad." Indeed, when she was running, she posed with a gun (she loves posing with guns) pointed at images of AOC and the others, with a big headline: "SQUAD'S WORST NIGHTMARE."

    And it all implodes, because AOC is smart and those right-wing "counterparts" are dumb.

  4. I'm a wait till scientists watch a little longer and run some double blind peer reviewed study's that can be replicated kinda guy and try not to swing like a gate with a broken latch on a windy day.
    Anecdotal evidence even from scientists especially first glance type of stuff is to be avoided. Better to wait for definitive evidence. That's how facts are established.not by the number of people who agree something's true. That's how you get religion . It trouble me that so many people preface a statement with "I believe in". It doesn't matter what we believe in. Even the statement I believe in science . It's like saying I believe in electricity or geometry. They exist as facts whether we believe in them or not. Facts are not a democratic process. We all believe things that are fallacies. Some more than others

    1. “Belief is in the mind of the believer” :)

    2. science has its own demons and sometimes acts like a new inquisition when its beliefs are threatened as well.

  5. I hope the free press will tell us more about Trump’s and Greene’s debauchery in the Bermuda Triangle. It’s still there, folks.The q-anon stories pale in comparison to that inhuman crap.

  6. Don't forget Margie's belief that a Jewish space laser started the fires in Paradise, CA. I am not shitting you. She said that.

  7. It would be laughable if that kind of craziness weren't contagious.



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