It’s Not Lying! It’s Just Research Lite!

Thou shalt not bear false witness
                                               – Exodus 20:16
It surprises me how many people of the Abrahamic Faiths (Islam, Judaism, Christianity and associated splinter movements) can remember random bits of their faith but forget something as simple as the ten commandments. The ten basic rules you are supposed to live your life by, and they forget them. Mainly because it’s impossible to live your life by the rules in these faiths without either sacrificing some of the more stupid ones or being an industrial grade douche.

Sometimes the very best lies are the ones told because you refuse to see the truth, because the truth will force you to change your attitude to the way things work.

Before I went to Uganda, I knew all about Bill Gates and his billion dollar vaccine campaign. I had read the stories of him going into remote African villages and vaccinating children with the measles vaccine at gunpoint. I knew about the thousands of cases of children in India becoming paralyzed after receiving his polio vaccines. I’ve researched the African children coming down with the mysterious “nodding” disease” immediately after vaccination. I’ve listened to the interviews where Bill Gates calls his vaccine campaign “population control”.
Check out those rad links, there are variety of problems here.

1. Anti-Vacciners are very guilty of thinking that Mr. Gates is personally out in Africa giving out vaccinations. How much money do you bet that “Mrs. I know all about Mr. Gates and his vaccine campaign” gets her information from Infowars, Natural News and a variety of other news sources that make Fox News look fair and honest? 

2. The story of Bill Gates going to remote African Villages to vaccinate children at gunpoint turns out to be from a quack website that claims that 131 children in Malawi (A country where Measles has a 15% Mortality rate, but whose mass vaccination scheme has dropped the total number of cases quite spectacularly). A quick check on the original website shows that the article was pulled. Possibly because it was hearsay and gossip (but it hasn’t stopped all the usual suspects from running the story.).

3. The polio vaccine in India was being rolled out by the Indian Government and has very little to do with Mr. Gates. The magic 47,500 non polio acute flaccid paralysis cases are being blamed on the polio vaccine despite the cause of NON POLIO Acute Flaccid Paralysis being anything that is not polio. AKA these are individuals who showed up with Flaccid Paralysis and when tested for Polio showed negative. Now anti-vax will say that the test isn’t sensitive, but frankly it’s the same test we use for matching blood types. What they are doing are confusing diseases. The OPV has a peculiar problem. The virus is damaged using the cold and indeed the medium of the vaccine. It however can be excreted via faeces and get into the water supply where it can regain it’s virulence causing an infection in some people whose immune systems are reduced and who aren’t vaccinated (Oh!). However? This is rare. Incredibly so. In India last year there were 11 people out of 1.2 billion who had this. (If the entire world recieved the OPV and had Indian like sanitary conditions there would be 77 people. Of which most made full recoveries. Unlike proper polio which would leave a trail of broken bodies and dead people.). I am not the Cookie Monster but I am sure that 11 cases is lower than 47,500. It’s one thing to say stupid things because you are ignorant.

4. The Mysterious Nodding Disease is mainly found in Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. An area with rather low vaccination rates. It began in the 1960s in Tanzania and due to the increase of travel in Africa got spread. No one knows the cause yet anti-vax (with their massive testing facilities, intimate knowledge of biology and willingness to experiment) have declared this disease to be related to vaccinations rather than say… nematode infestations, consumption of infected meat, and vitamin B6 deficiency or a combination ther of (all implicated in the disease).

5. The Bill Gates foundation actively gives out sex education and condoms and anti-vax LOVE to think it’s the vaccines that drop birth rates. Is it lying or are you guilty of quote mining if you don’t say the entire statement? Vaccines help reduce the birth rate by creating high rates of survival which translate to more children surviving which means you don’t need to have a bunch of them to beat the odds of survival. That was what Bill Gates tried to say, but anti-vax don’t read the second half.

So what has the lovely lady done to change all this? That’s right! It’s a anti-vax nutter doing charity! Let’s see what she got upto!

During my time in Uganda, I saw it.

It wasn’t 10 minutes down the road from the airport, that I saw all the big banners hanging. Bill Gates vaccine campaign had been in town the week earlier. Big posters reading “Any child under 5 can come get free polio & measles vaccines”. Woo-hoo. Nice, I thought.  Well at least that happened the week before. I did not want to witness it.
Because giving out free vaccines to those who need it is evil. These people should be praying to a 2000 year old dead carpenter who died by the fruits of his own trade.
The students did a skit for us. They held up signs that represented their current childhood epidemics. Yellow Fever, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Diarrhea, etc.. then the skit showed how the body fights sickness through white blood cells. One of the kids was the “white blood cell body guard” that protected the body. It was a very cute skit and informative.
Well there you have it folks. Even a simple skit aimed at children couldn’t make this woman understand how the immune system works.

None of the children held up signs that said “Autism” or “Asthma” or “Allergies” or “ADHD”. Or any other autoimmune disorder that is currently affecting 1 in 6 American children.
The children in Uganda also don’t receive 49 doses of 14 vaccines.
They also didn’t hold up signs that said “Whooping Cough” or “Measles” or “Polio” or “Chicken Pox” or “Hep B”. Nope. None of those.
One of the major things you are told when you work in something like providing medical care in a third world nation or disaster zone is to select your volunteers carefully. No one brings a dermatologist or an oncologist to a disaster area. Their skills while useful aren’t that useful in terms of the situation on the ground. Likewise I am sure the OP is a lovely mum, but a terrible aid worker.

Autism, Asthma, Allergies are all present in third world nations. It’s just that it is less of a problem than Malaria, AIDS, Yellow Fever or Diarrhoea.

Uganda is free from Polio and has had zero (that’s right ZERO) measles deaths in the past 2 years (I think it’s three now) because of the usage of the vaccine which was rolled out simultaneously across the entire nation. It’s one of the success stories of vaccination in reduction of mortality rates and the Measles rates in Uganda are falling as we speak. Measles however in other parts of Africa can reach mortality rates of upto 15%. Hepatitis B is more common in Uganda than AIDS with 3 million sufferers. It’s just that these people don’t see it as an infectious disease in the same calibre as AIDS or Yellow Fever. Nor have they seen children die from Diarrhoea.

The children in these remote villages are sick and dying from malnutrition and unsanitary living conditions. They are not dying from undervaccination and they are certainly not injured from over-vaccination.
They simply need Food, Water, & Sanitation.
Uganda’s Infant Mortality Rate is 63/1000 live births. Ours is around 4. You are ten times more likely to die before the age of 1 in Uganda than you are in the UK.

They drink the same water they bathe in.
That water comes from dirty stagnant water sources.  They bathe on a dirt floor. They eat outside on the same dirt floor.

Sure malnutrition and unsanitary conditions play a role, but you know who is fighting for sanitary condtions and improvements to food supply? Oh right!

And agricultural reform and microfinance is pivotal in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s plan to improve Africa as is the empowerment of women and stance against practices such as the treatment of “witches” and female circumcision while pushing for education.

And the naked little girl above was suffering from measles. I asked why. I was told that someone came into the village 2 weeks prior and gave the kids measles vaccines. Now the little girl has measles. They kept putting her in a tub of water to help with the itching. It was truly heartbreaking to witness. With no medical means to care for her illness, they are left to deal with the after mass of what we call “preventative healthcare”. Ha!
Lying for Jesus is still Lying.

Wait? So it’s truly heartbreaking to watch this poor bairn get Measles right? But its completely acceptable to not vaccinate your child so that they get Measles on purpose… This Jesus bloke must be a hell of a drug if it can make you this crazy.

And they put her in the tub to deal with her Fever. Remember children there are six signs of measles. Rash, Fever, Koplik’s Spots, Cough, Coryza and Conjunctivitis.

I don’t care who you are or what side of the vaccine philosophy you fall under, there is no logic in the world that can explain that going into a remote village and giving children who only eat one meal a day and have never had clean drinking water, a vaccine. Seriously? Think about it. Can you imagine walking up to this precious little girl and saying: ”I know you are starving, but here is a measles vaccine instead. I promise this will make you much healthier than food or water”.
I don’t care how many times you manage to get pregnant but being a mother doesn’t make you an expert on anything. Uganda is a third world nation. Yes, I know a lot of people don’t like using that term but frankly?

Uganda is a terrible place to live compared to the paradises that we are from. This is the sad truth but that’s how it is. Colonialism and the Civil War did screw them over. Uganda is trying it’s level best to transition from such a society into one like ours. It’s actually doing better than many other african nations. But it’s got a long way to go. It doesn’t have the money to build clean drinking water and feed everyone. And there is a reason for that.

How much money do you bet that Mrs. G here has bananas in her kitchen? Bananas not grown natively in the USA and shipped at expense to her supermarket or grocer or whatever for her to purchase. She is part of the problem. Our system of agriculture produces so much food that 3 to 6% of our population is easily capable of outproducing between 70 to 90% of their population due to the usage of modern farming methods. This means we have access to insanely cheap food that we also subsidise so as to maintain a tactical surplus in case of disaster. However? This makes the price of food very very cheap. So cheap that it puts third world farmers out of jobs. It’s a catch 22 and the best way to fix this problem is via empowerment and consolidation of farms while reduction of population so that the future generations have more choices than subsistence farming.

And it’s not a zero sum game of vaccines or farming. It’s a combined process. It’s just that vaccinations are easier to get out there because doctors and nurses are willing to go speak and treat people while there are very few agriculture educators who are willing to do the same thing. This is changing as people like Mr. Gates try and improve agriculture by education, but it’s a slower process than the vaccines because education means fighting against ignorance. If Mrs. G who grew up in the lap of luxury in a first world nation can be ignorant then what hope do people who haven’t had the chance to be educated have?

Here’s what we did. We showed them what preventative healthcare really looks like.We gave them a water syste
Now fresh rain water will drip into this big water bin, so they will have clean water.
I normally don’t criticise people who try and help but that privilege only exists if those people who try and help don’t criticise medical help. But Mrs. G started it so let’s look at what she has done with a critical eye.

The average rainfall in Uganda is 1180 mm of rain per year. It’s around the same of what I get here (1300 mm of Rain).

Rainwater harvesting reduces your reliance on groundwater… BUT it won’t replace it because your rainfall is firstly not guaranteed and rainfall generally occurs during rainy seasons creating a boom/bust water scenario. So this would only work during a period with rains. After the rains go then what? Back to the ditch? Out here I have a shower so my water consumption is really low compared to most other people (they prefer a mug and a bucket of water which uses a lot more water) and even I would burn through that much water.

And I really hope that the guy on the ladder hasn’t climbed up to check how the water level is doing. Mainly because that tank looks awfully “tall”. See most rain water harvest tanks are sunk into the ground rather than fitted onto raised platforms. The water stays cooler and less of it evaporates particularly if you build your tank out of metal. In addition you can place some fancy filters to keep the dirt out.

In addition they are usually fitted with covers and filters but this one doesn’t seem to have any of that. It just seems to be a simple “water falls on roof, goes down gutters into big bin” dealie. It’s basically a big bucket of water placed right next to the orphanage which is rainwater harvesting at it’s cheapest and easiest.

Can someone tell me why that’s a bad idea? Answer? [Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Filaria and Chikungunya are all spread by mosquitoes which live in small pools of water. Like in drains and indeed in the big bin of fresh clean drinking water.]

And we gave them a cow and a years worth of rice & beans.
The lovely Mrs. G is a raw milk junkie. How much money do you bet that she encouraged these people to drink unpasteurised milk? Something responsible for 30% of all diarrhoeal diseases? Pasteurisation drops diarrhoea rates by 30%. The same concept can be applied to water dropping it even more.

It’s why in India the travel suggestion is “Drink Tea/Coffee”. Because boiled water and milk mean you are less likely to catch something wicked. So yes, Mrs. G probably went to Uganda. Built a giant source of still water which allows the vector for a variety of tropical diseases to survive and told these individuals that unpasteurised cow milk is good for them while rubbishing vaccinations.

Atleast she gave them rice and beans which is nice.

And we painted their finger nails. Because little girls want to feel loved and pretty.
They want to know people really do care about them.

 So let me get this straight.

Vaccines which have saved millions of lives are toxic… But nail polish which contains butyl/ethyl acetate isn’t?

Caring about someone isn’t the same as helping someone. From what I can see, Mrs. G has gone to a third world nation to make things worse.

They don’t want to walk around their remote villages hungry, and the only people who show up are people who are there to stick a needle in their arm and make them sick.
Every now and then, when I write a post, I’m just plain mad.
I like to refer to it as Righteous Anger.
This is a Righteous Anger post…
Instead we should create a system which results in pools of stagnant water in gutters to allow Aedes Aegypti (Dengue and Yellow Fever vector) to grow and a large pool of deep cool water to allow Anopheles and Culex to spawn in (Vectors for Malaria and Filaria). We should also encourage these people to drink something responsible for 30% of Diarrhoeal cases (and 30% of deaths) which is preventable by a simple procedure discovered more than a 100 years ago…
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
 for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;

defend the rights of the poor and needy”
-Proverbs 31: 8-9
Don’t volunteer to help people if you have no idea what you are doing. Good intentions are no match for calm rational thought.

Of Ducks and Pigs

One of the rising trends in medicine is the concept of integrative medicine. The idea behind this is the combination of Western, Eastern Traditional Medicine and other Traditional Medicine practices into a single cohesive practice. Actual medicine is combined with yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy and a variety of other practices in order to treat the patient. It’s champions include Deepak Chopra and Prince Charles, and it claims to provide succor to mind, body and spirit…

It sounds wonderful, but it is pretty sinister. It’s proponents make the claim that they are providing medical care from every single source in a complimentary fashion.The idea being that there is a wide range of effective treatment options from every source and therefore patients should (theoretically) recieve the best possible care. Many of it’s champions try and delineate medical conditions into ones treatable by alternative medicine and ones that aren’t. So they won’t interfere with real diseases while providing support for chronic conditions. The also make the claim that with an integrative model of medicine you will have more choice and greater compassion.

The core of the claim lies in the workload of the average doctor. I as a student have had days in India where I have had to go through 70 patients. A queue of patients almost constantly coming through the door to be seen and “processed”. There is no time for understanding, hand holding, empathy and sympathy because it doesn’t help these patients. You can treat 5 patients or 70. The so called art of medicine is a lot more rougher this way. It is here the quacks rule. They do not have 70 patients to see. They have just one. They can afford the time to listen and indeed take down a variety of things that they are interested in. The modern doctor is portrayed as inhuman, technical, heartless and soulless.

Modern medicine is not perfect. But the truth remains. That we in the west have the best medical care available not only in the world but also throughout history. And it can only get better via the scientific basis of our medical science. Alternative medicine functions by making faulty claims about the weaknesses of medicine and that it can cover up these defects by the usage of it’s treatments. Now these quacks normally wouldn’t be able to match their treatments to medicine because they are clearly bogus treatments or scientifically proven to not work. So how does one gain legitimacy?

By quacks piggybacking onto medicine and utilising the lack of understanding of the layperson to further the belief that alternative medicine works. It’s the difference between wrapping your broken leg in plaster of paris or some sort of pristene clay handled by virgins. The plaster of paris may function perfectly fine but it isn’t as romantic as clay handled by individuals who have not had sexual intercourse, so people will assume that this magic and above all hypothetical clay is superior to plaster. The clay handling virgins will make a profit while the patient will get treated and everyone goes home happy. At it’s core integrative medicine is merely an attempt to legitimise quackery by stealing the benefits of actual medicine and applying it to quackery.

Except that the patient will have payed for something that doesn’t do anything better or faster than the medical alternative. In doing so the patient will believe it was virgin plaster and indeed spread the word mocking real orthopaedic plaster users as soulless barbarians who would encase their own limbs in concrete rather than the gentle caress of clay mud. And thus a quack piggybacks onto medicine to gain legitimacy.

One doesn’t need to disconnect the compassion in medicine from science. Cold hard fact can sit side by side with compassion. One doesn’t need to trade science for woo in order be compassionate. Integrating unproven and disproven treatments will not improve science and it certainly won’t improve bedside manner. All it will do is provide inferior care for patients. A good doctor is one with science, knowledge, skill and bedside manner. The very idea that a doctor cannot be compassionate but a chiro or a homeopath can is an insult to every doctor who does the best to meet the needs of his patients. The bedside manner of a quack no matter how good does not give validity to his quackery.

As doctors and medical students (and indeed as nurses and the various healthcare staff) we need to emphasise the art of medicine even within the limited time frame that we do have to see a patient. Otherwise the word “Doctor” will cease to have any meaning.

The Hags of Lag

Videogames tend to have fewer female participants in the competitive and indeed the online scene. There are a tonne of reasons which we can get into later but the primary reason is one that everyone can guess. Well if you are part of Men Going their Own Way it’s because men’s brains are superior

What i find amazing is that the cube you are viewing above is as one-dimensional as the text you are reading, yet the eye is tricked into perceiving depth.  We see three dimensional space where there is none.  My point?  Since cubes and sqaures do not exist in nature, somebody, some inquiring mind lost to history discovered that, by linking the corners of a sqaure to other squares at thier vertices one could create this 3 dimensional shape now known as the cube.  Such is the brilliance of human thought — our ability to see the unseen, to solve problems by simply imagining hypothetical scenarios and bringing them to life.

The MRA movement has it’s heart and soul in pseudointellectualism. It’s the idea that it’s members are actually the fittest and finest humanity has to offer and that women actively make terrible decisions when they don’t talk to them because the world is at some sort of intellectual nadir. They are the eloi to our morlocks.

The article then continues with a quote from the Manipulated Man, a book that espouses the idea that women in the 1970s were dominant because they had conditioned men to behave as pavlovian dogs into becoming their slaves in exchange for the right to do the horizontal mambo. It’s clearly a book written by someone who lives in bizzaro land.

Of all the qualities of man, his curiosity is certainly the most impressive. This curiosity differs basically from that of woman. A woman takes interest only in subjects that have an immediate personal usefulness to her. For example, if she reads a political article in the newspaper, it is highly likely that she wants to cast a spell on some political-science student, not that she cares about the fate of the Chinese, Israelis, or South Africans. If she looks up the names of some Greek philosophers in the dictionary, it does not mean she has suddenly taken an interest in Greek philosophy. It means she is trying to solve a crossword puzzle. If she is studying the advertisements for a new car, she is not doing it with a platonic interest in its technical features, but because she wants to own it.
It is a fact that most women – mothers included – generally have no idea how the
human fetus is formed, how it develops in the womb, or what stages it passes
through before birth. Of course it is entirely unnecessary for her to know about these
things, since they cannot influence the development of the embryo anyway. It is only
important to know that a pregnancy lasts nine months and that for the duration one
must take care of oneself and, in case of complications, immediately consults one’s
doctor, who will, of course, restore everything to order.

By the Power of Greyskull! If you actually believe in this woman then you clearly are stupid. Women are just as curious as men are. Reading a newspaper won’t let you “cast a spell” on a political science student. Actually knowing something about politics will help you, but you aren’t going to convert a few minutes of paper reading to political science.

And most men have no idea how a human fetus is born either.

Man’s curiosity is something quite different. His desire for knowledge has no personal
implications, is purely objective and, in the long run, is much more practical than a
woman’s attitude. One has only to watch a man go past a building site where a newly developed machine is being used, for example a new kind of dredger. There is hardly a man – regardless of social status – who will pass by without a glance. Many will stop to have a good look and to discuss the characteristics of the new machine, its advantages
and disadvantages, and its differences from previous models.

I wouldn’t stop to ask about a dredger and it’s advantages and disadvantages from previous models. Most men would probably look at the dredger for a bit because it’s interesting, but I am sure women also would find it interesting. I wouldn’t know bucket from tread on JCB, but I know the guy on the machine wouldn’t know his sacrum from his capitulum. This woman’s work seems to be quite the primer to MRA beliefs. Granted there are some women who think like her in terms of “casting spells on men” but quite frankly most women don’t think that way. Hell, I am sure most men wouldn’t want ANY woman to think that way.

Suffice to say, the male is curious for curiosity’s sake alone.  He needs no explanation as to why knowing the inner workings of some technological device will benefit him directly — the satiation of his inquiry is all the benefit he needs.  He derives pleasure from discovery, obsessing over the euphoric high he receives when his neurons fire off in just the right way, providing to him a rush of clarity and understanding.  He despises having others rectify things for him that he suspects he can rectify himself.

Which is why there are no women in science at all. And men do require the knowledge of how and why a device will help him. Yes, men hunt mammoths for women and all that jazz, but really? The idea that all men are pocket geniuses who derive a euphoric pleasure from curiosity is unfathomably stupid. Everyone has different interests.

So why are men better than women in a world of games?

It very well may be that men have a higher aptitude than their female counterparts for understanding highly technical concepts and schemata. The Purdue Spatial Visualization Test functions as a preliminary litmus test to gauge how students aspiring to become engineers will fare in a math intensive engineering curriculum. Men perform significantly better than women on this portion of the test. It seems men have a natural and superior ability to visualize and rotate objects in their mind — and yet a study conducted on gender differences in regards to performance in a game such as tetris, shows us that with regular practice, women not only shed their mental rotation deficiencies, but maintain them on par with men months after the original test. That an innate proclivity in male human nature allows them to traverse complex ideas and intricacy better than women do is certainly possible, but the degree to wich this gender discrepancy exist’s is not enough i think, to account for the massive discrepancy in male/female creativity and innovation. I wholeheartedly believe that what causes such a huge disparity between men and women in term’s scientific and creative invention/innovation is this sustained curiosity. The conviction to question any amount of convention, supplanting his own groundbreaking and revolutionary concept, while rigorously testing it against objectiv
e scrutiny until he proves his speculation true.

So women suck at videogames because they are allegedly terrible at spatial awareness. And black people can dunk and white people are prone to being bit by snakes.

The reason for scientific discrepency between women and men is that women for a long period of time were not allowed to indulge in scientific pursuit or in creativity. There were no Dutch Mistresses because their paintings wouldn’t have sold and would have been derided because of their gender. Even individuals such as Madam Curie only survived because she was a complete badass, but the average woman of the time would never have had the chance to do the things she did and even she only did those things because she had the opportunity through her husband. That was the society of the time.

The finest example of the loss of gender discrimination is medicine. The field has an equal number of male and female participants due to the loss of gender roles in it. There are still a few (Surgery is a boy’s club. Gynaecology and Obstetrics is a girl’s) gender roles left that need to be broken down but overall the field is split evenly across gender. By contrast Engineering in the west is heavily male dominated. So people think women cannot do mathematics or are terrible at it.

There is no anti-female bias in Indian culture with regards to mathematics and engineering. So 50% of engineers are women, a ratio that is completely unheard of in the USA and UK. Indian women aren’t magic, they are the same as the women back home in the UK biologically. The difference is societal expectation in India for these young middle class women doesn’t involve the words “Maths is Hard”.

The advent of video games is an extension of this deep, insatiable male curiosity.  For the fist time, the force that is male curiosity has  made the intangible tangible — creating a completely fictional virtual world for men and boys.  Currently there is arguably no better place for one to observe male curiosity than in the world of gaming.  Take any newly released  modern competitive video game as an example, what you will see without exception, is a male sub-culture emerge around the game itself.  If the game allows for sufficiently intense competition, the gamers, having reached a general stalemate in skill (immediate curiosity), will then turn their attention to the physics engine of the game — looking to discover and eventually exploit whatever glitches they can find as an edge against their competitors (sustained curiosity).

When I play a videogame (I am currently rocking League of Legends despite the lag. AvicennaLast on the EU East Server) I generally am not in it because I am curious, but because it offers me a little escapism and some stress release. Yes I find a thrill in beating people at it through skill and strategy. And yes I know women who find such a thrill too. It’s not uncommon.

Yes there are more men who play videogames. And while MRA’s think it’s because men are fantastic unicorns of curiosity and competition, I think it’s because women are not encouraged to play games either by the games themselves or by society as a whole.

There are a handful of good, strong female protagonists in games. There are a handful of games that don’t portray women as sex objects to be acquired as achievements or to be oggled. When it comes to immersion in game you want to play as something that compels you to push through it. Now games can have a variety of compelling mechanisms ranging from plot, graphics, challenge and freedom. These are important to the game’s progression but what makes you want to play it?

For men it’s a virtual playground of Gordon Freemans. For women it’s a world where all women have impossible waists, even more impossible breasts and the kind of personality found on either doormats or jaded strippers. The women in games are there solely to provide an idealistic representation of what a teenager thinks an ideal woman should be. Why on earth would you want to play as that? The ideal videogame character is one who you would want to play as irrespective of gender. The only one I can think of from the top of my head is the female Shepard from Mass Effect. Women don’t want to play videogames in the same way that women don’t want to go watch strippers for the same reason. Some women will like it but frankly most find it uncomfortable and demeaning because of the subject material.

Finally, women have a terrible time playing online. Playing online is a paradise if you are straight, white and male. If you are black, jewish, asian, GLBT or indeed a woman then you are going to be subjected to every slur known on the planet ranging from the rather benign “Noob” to the “Nigger, Kike, Paki, Bitch, Slut..”.

And that’s without the actual harassment after finding out that a player is a woman. This rules women out of playing in competitive situations unless they wish to be actively harassed. This stops women from working on communications in game such as the VOIP chat necessary for modern games or from things like XFire, Ventrillo or Skype. Women have a handicap that is only avoidable if they are playing with people who won’t harass them such as actual friends. Now, some communities are more positive with regards to creating a safe area for competition but video games and indeed geek culture are forever tarnished by the innate sexism present. There is little drive to actively stomp it out. Women have to grin and bear it and many women simply don’t want to. I don’t want to deal with racists and I expect that women have the same attitude.

Finally, here is a gripe by someone who plays a lot of games. Exploiting the Physics Engine, is basically claiming that utilising bugs in a game is acceptable to gain an advantage. This isn’t sustained curiosity. It’s cheating. It’s what you get when you play a perfectly balanced game where there are only a handful of strategies needed to win and the winner is the one who can execute them the fastest. It is not the hallmark of a great game. It’s the hallmark of a game that is poorly designed, where everyone plays a game in exactly the same way. This isn’t a game so much as a race to match a checklist. To laud this as the epitome of gaming is to completely misunderstand what makes a game good vs. what makes a game great. To complain that an active glitch in Smash Bros Melee (A cartridge and therefore unpatchable) was removed in it’s successor is to fail to understand basic game design. There are fighting games who have a competitive scene. Street Fighter is famous for it. They are designed with this kind of player in mind.

Super Smash Bros. was never intended to be a seriously competitive game. It was intended to be a fun game where you can pound the stuffing out of Mario as Link. It had a complex fighting system but it was complex through simplicity. Each player had a simple move set that interacted in a complex way. The new game wasn’t dumbed down so much as made tighter. In the same way that the new Starcraft II punished rushing and favoured longer strategies. Because it makes the competition more fun.

response to this a group of about 50 professional largely male video game programmers, took it upon themselves to te tediously re-program brawl, with its new characters, stages and features, into a game that included all of the aforementioned glitches, calling it project Melee, or “project M” for short.  Over 40,000 gamers have downloaded the project M patch since its release.  It is only men that would go to such lengths to safeguard a game that allows for such a unique expression o the competitive male spirit.  It is only men that will not accept, (even from the creator of a game itself) Any amount of competitiveness inhibition.  Their curiosity, their sustained curiosity would never allow it.  We have all of the  science and innovation our species can muster as a result.

Here is the “AHA! MEN RULE! LADIES DROOL!” moment.

Project Melee’s goal is to produce the old competitive scene of Smash Bros. Melee in Brawl. These aren’t “Glitches” that are being added so much as improvements to the control system that favours mobility and offence.

If the bulk of videogame players and developers are men then it’s only going to be men who are going to be interested in “fixing” the game rather than women. It’s out of lack of interest for the afore mentioned reasons. One can equally argue that the players of this mod merely want to recreate the older game because they prefer the older play style which is impossible with the same character in the newer game and rather than play the game they want to simply go back to the way things were with nicer graphics. Not due to the undying spirit of masculine competitiveness.

There is no sustained curiosity here, only people wanting to play a game in a specific way, modding a game so that they can do so without issue. The gender of the individual has nothing to do with it, merely the desire to play in a specific way. If you as a man are going to call it the “unique expression of the competitive male spirit”, I am going to have to call you a pretentious wanker and take away your Gurren Lagaan quotes before you hurt yourself kicking reason to the kerb.

Particularly if you are going to claim that all the science and innovation is due to men having curiosity while women don’t.

If you want to see women playing a game? Create a moderated world where racial and gender slurs are not bandied around. Create a game with positive female characters or real female characters. Not ones written by men who think women behave and dress like that. Remove the stigma of women playing games. Punish sexists. If someone says that sexist smack talk is part and parcel of the gaming world then make it change.

I would want any future hypothetical daughter of mine to share in my love of videogames. I would not want her to play online though, not until we change the way players and indeed the games themselves treate women.

A Moderate Proposal

It always amazes me about what people think is reasonable and moderate. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that any article with “Reasonable” or “Moderate” in the title is anything but. I am sure someone in Afghanistan or Somalia has a “reasonable” proposal to use heavier stones in order stone people to death to spare them the suffering of being pelted with smaller and less lethal rocks… Moderate and Reasonable by comparison to the absolute fanatic can still be unreasonably fanatic.

And today’s fanatic comes from the lovely people at NIO who have reposted Derrick Jensen’s work “A Moderate Proposal”.

With that in mind, The Doctor Will See You Now

To the dismay of many of my friends, I’m not unalterably opposed to vivisection. In fact, I’d wholeheartedly support it, were vivisectors to make one minor administrative change. It would be that scientists perform the experiments not on nonhumans but on themselves and their colleagues. Scientists keep telling us how beneficial the experiments are for Science with a capital S, Progress with a capital P, and of course Man with a capital M. If the experiments really are Necessary with a capital N, the scientists should be willing to make this sacrifice (with a small s) for the greater good. In any case, because of strict regulations, according to no less an authority than Lord Sainsbury, British Science Minister, advocate of genetic engineering and owner of a very large supermarket chain, experiments generally cause no more than “moderate” suffering. If this is actually true, scientists shouldn’t too much mind throwing their hats into this ring.

Here is the thing. Scientists experiment on each other all the time. In fact many scientists have WILLINGLY infected themselves with diseases and tried to cure themselves, but are also tempered with the understanding that human life is more valuable than animal life. No one thinks otherwise apart from the animal liberation movement and even then they follow their own apartheid of animal segregation segregation and actively distinguish between the different levels of animal (I am sure they would have no qualms about poisoning or indeed starving rats and the various other rodents that would otherwise eat us out of our farmed food.).

The corollary of this premise is to suggest that the Animal Liberation movement merely refused to use any technology developed through the usage of an animal experiment. (I will point out that this includes seatbelts which were tested on pigs). Because Progress, Science and Man obviously aren’t as important as the animals that died for it and so you shouldn’t use them.

Oh and Lord Sainsbury is a life peer and is a NAMESAKE of the Sainsbury Supermarket group. He isn’t a “British Science Minister” since he is an unelected peer of the House of LORDS (not Commons who are the ministers). And there are currently two of them.

Now, I’m sure you can spot the problem: too many important experiments for the number of vivisectors. Just in Europe an animal is killed every three seconds in a laboratory. In Britain it’s one every twelve seconds, in Japan one every other second, and in the United States one per second. I’m not sure even full-ride scholarships and high salaries will suffice to bring in enough scientists to fill this bill. But that’s okay, because every problem carries within it the seed of its own solution.

The majority of animals used in research that die are things like Caenorhabditis Elegans and Drosophila Melanogaster. Most lab animals are actually way too expensive to be killed in such quantities. C. Elegans is a nematode and Drosophila is a fruit fly. Other creatures used include invertebrates, frogs and fish which are cheap, simple and easily replaced. And most scientists earn pretty small salaries. What this fine gentleman is trying to do is to make you assume that scientists cannot achieve orgasm without the death of a giant panda rather than the reality of biological research where most of the animals used are ones you would probably kill off hand and are probably butchered in greater quantities in order to maintain our food supply.

I probably kill more nematodes and encourage more invertebrate death than any scientist. And my tools are the ever so lethal metronidazole. Well lethal to intestinal parasites in humans. Now if we are to accept that there is no apartheid of animals and that the life of all animals are the same then why should I doom hundreds of roundworms, thousands of hook worms and millions of malarial parasites to death for the life of just one human being? Why should you kill mosquitoes to stop the spread of Malaria, Dengue, Chikunguny and Filariasis? Why should you control Leishmaniasis and Yellow Fever by killing the vector? Surely they have as much rights as you to survive right? If a mouse is the same as a human then why isn’t a mosquito? If you prick it does it not bleed? If it pricks me, I certainly do!

The solution comes through the words of Sainsbury, or rather his existence: add another category of those eligible to be vivisected. This would, of course, be those politicians who speak or vote in favor of experimenting on live animals. Given the importance of these experiments to everything from the economy to national security to shiny-clean hair to new cosmetics, I think the politicians will be glad to serve the public in this manner.

We don’t experiment on people unless they willingly chose to be experimented on because we have gone down that route in the past and don’t wish to do so again. The fact animal liberation activists routinely bring this up as a solution either speaks of people who ONLY speak in Rhetoric meaning that they have absolutely no fucking answers to the problem of animal experimentation (AKA even we don’t like experimenting on animals and would be THRILLED if we didn’t have to in order to progress biology and medicine. However by nature, biology REQUIRES animal experimentation otherwise we would have no progress in biology as a science. It’s like suggesting that you learn electronics without touching electricity.)

The counter argument of rhetoric would be to suggest that “If Animal Lib love animals so much, why don’t they volunteer for experimentation?”.

At fi
rst I toyed with the notion of putting vivisectors’ families on the short list, but decided to keep them in reserve in case they’re needed to provide “spare parts,” as the xenotransplantation literature so elegantly puts it, for those humans rich enough to afford their own personal organ donors. The use of vivisectors’ families should eradicate the technical and moral problems caused by the current planned use of pigs, and should also bring in some extra cash for the corporations that hire the vivisectors (and that’s always been the real point, hasn’t it?): some estimates put the market for pig organs to transplant into humans at $6 billion per year, just in the United States.

Either this is rhetoric which just proves that the NIO and indeed the original poster are paint eatingly stupid, or this is someone who thinks that xenotransplantation is widespread and indeed done for frivolous reasons.

The primary reason for research into xeno-transplantation is for hearts. A pig heart is the same size as a human one. If you can make pigs have the same tissue type as a human you can GROW a human heart in a matter of months. The other use is the usage of their heart valves as a superior replacement to those who have lost theirs. This can range from individuals who have congenital anomalies to those who fell ill. I personally know of a young girl with a heart valve replacement who has a new lease on life (she couldn’t even sit up without fainting and now she is running around and playing) due to mismanagement of her condition by a series of quacks and anti-medical luddites. The biological heart valve means that you don’t have to take blood thinners for the rest of your life unlike the mechanical valve.

Only an arsehole would think that there is no moral and technical problem with using organs taken from a human being against their will causing the death of an individual human being is appropriate in ANY situation. For those rich enough does no justice to the nature of disease and to those who need organs.

The donation of an organ is one of the purest expressions of human kindness. It is the voluntary cessation of the life of a loved one who is dying or whose brain has died so that a complete stranger can live longer by using their organs. At it’s simplest form it is a blood transfusion. At it’s greatest it is life itself. In India due to the shortage of blood donations due to the massive demand I have seen parents fall at the feet of those who gave blood to save their children or loved ones. And only an arsehole would turn such a powerful act of humanity into one of absolute fuckwittery.

Humans Donate Organs Because of Love. Because someone feels empathy for another. And despite that, 60% of people on organ transplant lists die waiting for a match. Xenotransplantation will save a lot of people’s lives. Oh and I want to be an organ donor. I have explicitly stated that. I donate blood, but when I die I hope that my organs will help someone one of the 40% who do get to live.

But we still have the problem of numbers, don’t we? Not enough vivisectionists, not enough politicians. Naturally, CEOs of companies that profit from vivisection need to go on the list, and in these desperate straits—how could we possibly live without draize eye tests?—I think we’ll just need to add everyone who works for those companies, too. Certainly the stockholders. Especially the stockholders.
The Draize test involves a hard set of rules with regards to what materials can and cannot be tested and involve a variety of in vitro tests to determine if the test chemical is irritant or corrosive before application to the eye of a rabbit and washing it out at the first sign of irritation and then waiting for 24 hours to determine if there is any permanent damage. The idea is that rabbit eyes are more sensitive than ours and so if a rabbit can tolerate it, then so can we.

The Draize test is responsible for the development of a variety of safety products and determining the safety of a variety of chemicals that we take for granted ranging from medicine and contact lens solutions to aerosol sprays and various chemicals. The test has saved the sight of humans and helped develop medicine that is still used to save the eyesight of humans.

I notice that Camille Marino and her ilk at NIO love this kind of rhetoric because it is a revenge fantasy. Never mind the fact that humans volunteer for the test too (Oh! After rabbits usually these are tested on human volunteers). As for stockholders? I assume Camille and her ilk keep money in banks rather than barter. I assume they work rather than live of the dole too meaning that they pay taxes and are therefore stockholders in medical research.

I suspect, however, that we still won’t have enough: our culture’s appetite for subjects on which to inflict “moderate suffering” seems insatiable. We need to forcefeed agrochemicals and drano to dogs through tubes directly into their stomachs, and we need to transplant the hearts and kidneys of pigs into the necks of baboons. We immobilize monkeys, lizards, cats, dogs, take off the tops of their heads. We break the necks of baboons. We addict macaques to cocaine, electroshock them if they will not use. We create superviruses that kill everyone they contact. We cut out portions of the brains of marmosets, and leave them as stupid as the experimenters themselves. We cut off the heads of live animals using scissors, then study their brains. We put live animals in freezers and let them try to claw their way out. We teach chimps American Sign Language, then put them in cages the size of cupboards: when they sign they want out, we ignore them, inject them with pesticides. We separate monkeys from their mothers, give them HIV, then put painful coils in their eyes to track where they look.

Ah yes! Medical Ludditery at it’s finest! The OP thinks we only do those things to Dogs and Pigs!

We don’t feed “Agrochemicals” and “Drano” to animals. I believe the research done is mainly to find out how to deal with poisons. These are two of the most common household suicidal poisons and knowing how to treat them is vital. And such testing does not take place anymore because we know how to treat it. This is meant to create the image that we are pouring chemicals down dogs throats while they gag for fun.

These are things we do to humans too to help them. I can think of a reason to paralyse a human for the rest of their forseeable life. It’s often used as a form of palliative care f
or those in terminal pain. Most medical research that succeeds is applied to human beings.

And this is a fantastic strawman. There is a tonne of amazing research done into animals and the problem is that this absolutely stunning example of a complete wanker has no idea about the value of that because he personally is a lucky fucker who doesn’t need that research.

Can you think of one fucking reason we should experiment with HIV and AIDS in animals? Oh right! To find a cure so we can treat HIV and AIDS and not be wankers!

But I’ve got a plan. Make vivisection duty mandatory for every human who supports animal testing. We are, after all, animals. It will be just like jury duty. You get a note from the county advising you your turn has come, and you are to report next Tuesday. You call the evening before to see if the experiment has been cancelled. It hasn’t, but you learn they only want males. You are, so you show up the next day. You learn you’ll be testing Viagra. Good, you say. I don’t need it (you hasten to add) but what can it hurt? You soon find out. You take the drug. Instead of cutting off your penis, as happened in experiments on beagles, rabbits, rats, mice, and monkeys, the vivisectors (who at the very least have no testicles, else they would surely refuse each time they were told to torture another) cut open your penis and insert an electrode into a branch of the pelvic nerve. They pass a charge through for a minute at a time, causing erections. They then measure the blood pressure of the erection. Their hope is that viagra will help maintain the erection. It seems to do that, but you and everyone else concerned already knew that from many previous tests. Can I go home now? you ask, your opened-penis smarting. Oh, sorry, they say. We forgot to tell you: afterwards all subjects are sacrificed.

Viagra was tested as a blood pressure medication. Medication that lets you live well past your sixties and into your 70s and 80s to the point where we are beginning to consider the 70s as a period of active life. Medication that lets those who cannot maintain an erection to have one. It sounds like something to laugh about but you know what? It’s laughing at someone who cannot partake of one of the actual pleasures of life. Not all of us can get an erection by imagining the torture of human beings. Some of us need Viagra.

And majority of the animals used in medical tests are not sacrificed. Good grief! They are expensive. Those that are “killed” are done so because there is no alternative. But our research animals give us something that we could never as a species have achieved otherwise. We might be at the top of the food chain but we’ve only come as far as we have because of them. They gave their lives, a good portion in some degree of pain or discomfort or sad so that we could improve ours. A lot of what we have is due to them and for the most part they are treated extremely well. Often recieving care that is unavailable to them as pets. It sounds arrogant to say humans are more valuable than animals but it is the truth and we know that. It’s just that animal liberation mean that cute animals are as valuable as humans.

This isn’t the first or the last time that Camille and the NIO have posted such graphic ideas with little grasp of the reality of animal research. It’s the actual problem with animal liberation is that this sort of research only exists in the minds of the animal liberation fanatic.

But as I said. I kill more animals than many so called vivisectionists do in an entire country. Roundworm, Hookworm, Malarial Parasites, Trypanosomes, Tapeworms, Filarials… The list is endless. What makes their lives less valuable than that of the humans they feast upon?

Fundementalist Church of Latter Day Sinners

The Fundementalist Church of Latter Day Saints are not associated with the Mormons. Mormonism is one of those brand new faiths. A cult that has gained religion status (The only difference between religion and cult is timeframe) and expanded into it’s current format. It’s changed a lot mainly due to to the fact that it’s an essentially man made (quite obviously so) religion with the changes often coming from a Prophet or through self revelation.

The Schism between the FLDS and the LDS occured owing to (Seriously) polygamy. The LDS once was a big fan of polygamy. It actively preached the notion that a woman’s place was firmly by the side of her husband and he was the boss. The LDS was infamous for it’s polygamy, wife beating and child marriages.

However while seeking greater approval in the USA the LDS decided to modernise and do away with the practice of polygamy. The FLDS is a splinter group which refused to accept the idea of marriage to a single woman.

Now here is the thing. I am personally not a fan of polyamory. It’s not for me. But I understand some people make it work. Good for them. What the FLDS practice is not Polyamory but a specific belief that a man SHOULD have multiple wives and women can only gain a place in Mormon Heaven if they are completely subservient to a carrier of the Y chromosome. Needless to say that this (in my eyes atleast) is a obvious attempt to control women, but if you are born in such a world as the FLDS are then it’s the only belief you have. 

The FLDS were quiet for most of the 20th century until the murder of Brenda Lafferty and her infant daughter Erica which threw their beliefs into a stark light. Brenda was married to Allen Lafferty. Brenda was a stronger woman than many of the other Mormon wives and more than a match for the men. She was believed to have given advice to Allen’s sister in law (married to Ron Lafferty), telling her to not agree to being in a polygamous marriage and indeed to not put up with the abuse that is so endemic in FLDS teachings. After Ron and his older brother Dan joined a “School for Prophets”, they recieved a personal revelation from God. After which they and an accomplice (Chip Carnes) drove to Allen and Brenda’s house, and cut her and her infant child’s throats.

The law of revelation is a powerful belief amongst the FLDS. That anyone can be a prophet and that the direct word of god must be obeyed.

God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven, we will be ranged under the banner of heaven against the Government...”

Dan and Ron Lafferty were imprisoned with Ron awaiting the ultimate sanction. They still believe they did the right thing.

With this in mind, we can understand the mentality of the FLDS. The FLDS actively excommunicates young men from the church in order to maintain the polygamy ratios. Everything is done to maintain the status quo and this means any who leave or criticise the FLDS are fair game if one recieves a revelation from god.

And in this case? Members of the FLDS recieved the revelation to torment and terrorise Andrew Chatwin and did so by encasing a live kitten in concrete and leaving it at his farm. Mr Chatwin attempted to rescue the kitten but the kitten died six days later after it was freed. Andrew called him Thomas, and Thomas died for the sake of fear and suffered a life of pain for no reason apart from sending a message.

This is an act of unspeakable cruelty that can only be done by someone who believes with all his heart and mind that he is doing something good for the sake of a higher cause without realising that the higher cause is the base instinct of revenge and hatred that is justified by the belief in a higher cause.

No suicide bomber ever set out thinking that they are the bad guys.

It Gets Better – Things Can Change

Normally I stay away from Reddit, it was a bit beyond me and I heard tales of abject misogyny. But this is equal parts inspiring and tragic and makes me want to join in.

Things won’t get better unless we make it better ourselves. Despite all the doomsayers and judgements and deaths, the HIV epidemic in the MSM (men who have sex with men) community is fading away. One day we will defeat HIV, but for now reading the stories of those who survived and learning from their loss is important.