There’s a quote that will show up on the rotator over there on the left that I found at Ed Brayton’s place. It reflects the confusion that the reasonable heterosexual man typically feels over the (US) right-wing idealogue talking points about “making” people gay. You know, by extending them rights, admitting that they exist, refusing to bash them, etc, the social fabric is apparently constructing gay people out of heterosexual cloth. This rejoinder is pitch perfect.

I’m not going to say that all homophobes are closeted homosexuals. I just want to point out that anyone who thinks social pressure is all that keeps straight men from forsaking women to pursue other men has no idea what it’s like to be a straight man.

I have a similar response to people like Psi Wavefunction who write:

That is, your results should probably be of a kind that would encourage further funding in your field. Presumably, if you get funding for environmental topics, you’d be better off with results stating your Cute Fluffy Animal is on the brink of extinction rather than ‘oh it’s doing fine’. In that particular case, who the hell is going to dump more money into Cute Fluffy Animal research if it’s not under some sort of threat? Conflict of interests much?

What? Okay, beyond the point of whether scientists might actually believe that Cute Fluffy Animals are on the brink of extinction based on their research and that of their subfield, we have the usual bullshit allegation that scientists just go out and “prove” what their funding agencies want to hear.
It makes me wonder, if a person really believes this, whether they have any idea what it actually means to be a scientist. Now in the case of my usual opponents from the legalize-eet perspective, agreed, they don’t know what it means to be a scientist because they are not scientists. No worries, we should probably shoulder the task of explaining to them how our lives work. For someone who appears to fancy themselves a science blogger though? hmm.

Even blogging about research papers is sensitive, especially within your own field. You have to balance opinion, factual accuracy and style without offending the authors. Some bloggers find it perfectly sensible to unleash a tirade against some paper they don’t like, but I’d prefer not to sever potential relationships with people I’ve never met, even if I do think their paper is a piece of crap. Primarily for selfish reasons: at this point, I’m in no position to start collecting enemies in academia. Or anywhere, really.
If I were a truly independent blogger, that wouldn’t fucking matter, and I’d probably make a point of devouring every crappy paper I come across for shits and giggles.

So 1) speak for yourself and 2) what is UP with these people who assert what nasty nefarious behavior they would get up to if only they had some cover? Seriously?
This ties into the usual allegations from out-bloggers about pseud-bloggers. This unproven assertion that all this nasty id-based behavior is almost impossible to resist, save the social embarrassment of providing one’s own name.
If this is what you really believe then you have no idea what it means to have an intrinsic professional, moral and ethical center.



July 13, 2010

Are we going to get to the bottom of the doping scene in US professional cycling? The FDA is on the case

George Hincapie (BMC) and Tyler Hamilton are among the riders who have been asked to cooperate with the federal investigation into doping practices in American cycling at large and the US Postal Service team in particular, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The criminal investigation, led by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) special agent Jeff Novitzky, is focused principally around Floyd Landis’ recent allegations of systematic doping practices at the US Postal Service team.

Who, btw, is a dumbass. Just so we’re clear on that. I cut my political teeth in part by reading that guy’s column in the local paper. It was amazing. Each and every freaking time I would read through it, nodding along with most of his points. And then right at the end he would reach a conclusion that was 90 or 180 degrees off from where his chain of evidence and logic brought me. It took me quite awhile to catch on to the Republican strategy of talking points. Of saying wtf-ever that either made sense or didn’t just so long as they hammered the talking points at the end. Heck, they probably hadn’t fully cottoned on to what they were doing back then.


Let’s return to the fact that I read his column, and Erma Bombeck and Doonesbury and a whole bunch of other national content, in my local paper.

How? The power of syndication, right? An Op/Ed content provider in the heyday of print newsmedia dreamed of going into nationwide syndication. They started out as local blovitards of some sort and if they caught sufficient attention, other newspapers around the country would want to reprint their stuff. If you lived in the hinterlands of the US, you didn’t have to subscribe to BigCityPaper and have it delivered a day late in the mail or some shit. You could access that content in your local, preferred venue.

Whatever passes for web syndication is not this. Or at least, the dead-tree model of Op/Ed syndication is not a default goal of the bloggers of my acquaintance. In the science / medicine areas anyway.

There is at least one fence-sitting blog friend of ours at DM that is absolutely perfect for old-style Op/Ed syndication. I wonder if it is on this person’s radar screen that this is the perfect solution? Is there a mechanism for this? One thinks not. The only paying blog-collective gigs I’m aware of in the science-y arena are still on the old model of in-house talent. They are not overtly on the model of paying for a post from a high-profile blogger that will appear on websites everywhere. Like George Motherfucking Will’s column.

Who knows. Maybe I should have asked Bora. Maybe this model does exist and I’m just unaware of it. I wonder if my blog holmes is aware of any such?