F–k Anti-Science

Last week was a really, really rough week. Worse than usual, even. Scary terrible things happening, and very suddenly and unexpectedly, as is usually the case with scary terrible things. Lots of complex and intense feelings I didn’t know how to handle. Lots of memories of really awful things that happened to me in the past deciding they’re not keen on being ignored right now. Lots of stuff that had been building up all Spring kind of arriving at a bit of tipping point into badness. And the terrifying realization that having spent almost my entire adult life as an addict means I never actually learned how to deal with rough patches like this. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, or how to get through this, or how to cope. Just kind of have to make it up as I go along.

On Tuesday I met up with my BFF at the comic book store, and we went to sit in the nearby park for a bit and talk. She noticed that my knuckles looked rather red, and asked if I’d been punching the wall or something. I hadn’t, but it kind of occurred to me that I totally did find a punching bag of sorts that morning on the internets in the form of a nice argument against someone promoting dodgy anti-science attitudes of the lefty-academic, post-structuralist vein. The idea that science is this nasty “Western” imperialist concept that pretend it knows everything and thinks it’s the One True Path and disrespects other “ways of knowing” and tries to colonize everyone’s minds and get us all to fit into some particular Western conceptual framework and blah blah blah.

I got a tad more aggressive than usual.

I’m not sure, however, that aggression is an inappropriate response to these attitudes. [Read more...]

Free Thoughts #5: The Apple Pie Problem

Let’s say you’ve got yourself a little diner in the States.

You want to offer pie to your customers, but you’re running a low budget operation, so you can only offer one particular type of pie. To figure out what kind of pie you should sell, you ask some of your regular customers what their favourite pie is, but you get a whole bunch of different answers: pumpkin, key lime, pecan, lemon meringue, tart cherry served heated up with a scoop of vanilla icecream on the side, etc.

That leaves you without much to go on, so instead you ask these same customers to fill out a little survey ranking ten different pies in descending order of preference. You find, looking at the data, that although no one actually picked it as their favourite, apple pie ends up being the one that averages out to being the least objectionable and most consistently “okay” with people. So you decide to serve apple pie, and thanks to your maths and research, it ends up selling better than any other pie you may have chosen instead… even though it isn’t any of your regular’s actual favourite.

I’m pretty sure this is exactly why apple remains the flavour that McDonald’s consistently sells while the other couple flavours they offer rotates throughout the year. [Read more...]

Blogathon Recap

Sorry for my absence. I’ve had a bit of a crisis pop up that’s been taking up a lot of my attention and head-space.

For now, here’s a quick recap of the blogathon posts, so you can find your way through them a bit easier. I’ll have a new essay or two up a little later today. [Read more...]

Blogathon: 24th Hour

And that’s it!

We’ve made it!

SSA Week is now over, and it looks that even though we didn’t quite make it to our goal of $100,000, we did manage to raise an incredible $90,230!!!

Great job, everyone. Sincere thanks to everyone who donated, everyone who stayed awake with me and followed along over the course of these past long, exhausting 24 hours, commented, chatted, tweeted, dropped by with cups of coffee, and all kinds of other little kindnesses.

You’re a fantastic bunch of readers, and I really do sincerely love you all. You make these kinds of things worth it.

Once I recover, I’ll probably put together a little recap of the blogathon posts, with little brief statements about what each was about, to help people pick through for anything they missed or are particularly interested in.

I am almost totally definitely, though, going to be taking the rest of today, and Monday, off.

So, recap post aside, I’ll see you all on Tuesday!

For now, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ever songs. Enjoy!

As for me, I have to stay awake just a tiny bit longer to make sure I get my methadone dose before I crash out. But after that, some wonderful, wonderful sleep.

And maybe I might get to dream about Benedict Cumberbatch again.

<3 <3 <3

Blogathon: 23rd Hour

 

Almost there…

Just a little bit longer…

Hang on, Natalie. Imagine how much sweeter your terrible, cheap, back-pain-inducing mattress will feel if you make it.

And then sleep ’til Monday. Wake up and then PARTY FOREVER BECAUSE EVERYTHING WILL ALWAYS BE GOOD FROM THAT POINT ON WITH NOTHING BAD EVER AGAIN.

I think I might be just about all used up in terms of things to talk about, or things I’m actually capable of talking about in my present state.

I wish there was some kind of grand, awesome, sweeping, thematically-unifying thing I could think of to write here, to somehow tie it all together, but I’m sorry, I just don’t have that. I barely even remember what exactly I’ve written about.

There’s a not insignificant chance I’ll want to just delete it all when I finally wake up. [Read more...]

Blogathon: 22nd Hour

Goddamnit. I just smoked my last cigarette.

Everything is about to become horrible.

Well, I mean, the state I’m already in is well beyond horrible already, but, you know, like… EXTRA horrible!

By the way, I think I totally need to draw a comic called Spiroman vs. Doctor Testostopus.

Anyway… I have some requests!

It seems people would like to know how someone writing a trans character in work of fiction can do so without totally fucking it up.

Well… [Read more...]

Blogathon: 21st Hour

Damn.

The birds outside are being total jerks right now. You have like no idea.

I also think it’s important for you to know that my favourite Marvel characters are totally Dr. Strange, She-Hulk, Mystique, Magneto and Emma Frost, while my favourite DC characters are Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon, Renee Montoya, The Doom Patrol, Wonder Woman, Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor and Zatanna. And maybe Dick Grayson. He’s really warming on me lately.

Right now my brain is functioning quite strangely. Sleep dep and all. That stuff.

And as it happens, I’ve lately been questioning the concept of “neurotypical” lately. [Read more...]

Blogathon: 20th Hour

I’m kinda maybe possibly sorta running out of ideas of things to write about.

Or at least things I can write about with a highly limited time-frame and a brain that is rapidly losing its ability to function.

What is it with superpowers and the colour green, anyway? Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Green Hornet, Green Goblin, Jade, The Hulk, She-Hulk, The Riddler, Beast Boy, Martian Manhunter, The Scorpion, The Lizard, etc.

Like, I know is green is like, a totally sweet colour and all, but this is a little weird.

It’s sort of like the weird tendency for mutants to be blue.

Anyway…

There’s one interesting connection between the whole trans thing and the skeptic thing that I don’t think I ever quite took a chance to talk about, and that’s how being trans can teach a lot about intellectual humility. [Read more...]