Scientists conclude that Peggy Noonan kills brain cells

Even reading Peggy Noonan through an Attaturk filter is dangerous. I read this little scrap and felt neurons popping throughout my cortex.

During the past week’s heat wave–it hit 100 degrees in New York City Monday–I got thinking, again, of how sad and frustrating it is that the world’s greatest scientists cannot gather, discuss the question of global warming, pore over all the data from every angle, study meteorological patterns and temperature histories, and come to a believable conclusion on these questions: Is global warming real or not?

Jebus. Now not only do scientists have to figure out all that complicated data stuff, they have to be able to explain it to one of the stupidest people on earth? That’s an excessive demand.


  1. says

    Why hasn’t anyone in science thought of that? What a great idea: gathering together, discuss science, poring over all the data, study more data, and come to a conclusion… this could revolutionize science!

  2. Steve LaBonne says

    Shoot, I hate it when my head explodes. Makes such a mess in the lab. Thanks a lot, PZ.

  3. says

    The key word in all of that is, of course, ‘believable’. Any conclusion other than the one that she wants is not ‘believable’, so even if it’s already been done, it still hasn’t been done, and won’t be until the ‘believable’ conclusion has been reached.

  4. says

    If only we could get all the scientists together, to pour over evidence, discuss the findings, explore the research and finally come to a decision over whether water is truely wet, then we would finally know.

  5. Alex says

    I’m beginning to believe that blind ignorance and fantasy is somehow desirable selection-wise. How else could the population be teaming with so many nuts? Surely there must be some work on this.

  6. PaulC says

    I’m disappointed. When I read “Attaturk filter” I thought there was a piece of software that could take any text and turn it into a speech about the secularization of Turkey. Now that would be interesting…

    Noonan’s speech is pretty dumb. The wishful thinking and denial is palpable. The idea that global warming will somehow be beneficial is just ridiculous. There will probably be some winners, but unfortunately there will be a lot of losers. The last time I checked we were not building cities that were easily relocated. So any sudden redistribution of climate will clearly be negative because of the scale of migration needed.

    The idea that scientists haven’t agreed that human activity causes climate change is just wrong and ignorant. I’m guessing what she really wants is to figure out a way to corral all the atmospheric scientists into one place and cudgel them into making a statement consistent with her ideology.

  7. Carlie says

    Oh, my word. She can’t even agree with herself, as evidenced by this exerpt from later in the same column:

    This is one reason the media is important. (Not “are important.” Language evolves; usage changes; people vote with their tongues. It’s not the correct “return to normality”; it’s the incorrect “return to normalcy.” It’s not “the media are” it’s “the media is.” People see the media as one big thing.)
    One big reason the media is important is that they change things.

    That was worthy of a spit take. Rant and rave and be oh-so-condescending about the singular use of “media”, then refer to it as “they”.

  8. frank schmidt says

    From the same article:

    “I note here what is to me a mystery. It is that people with lower IQs somehow tend, in our age, to have a greater apprehension of the meaning of things and the reality of life, than do our high-IQ professionals, who often seem, in areas outside their immediate field, startlingly dim.”

    Peggy Noonan must have a high IQ. She provides a regular dose of startling dimness.

    In the immediate example: They already have done so.

  9. Scott Hatfield says

    I had a guy at my church explain to me that he thinks global warming is a come-on to attack his way of life. To say that I was offended approaches understatement. I sent him a copy of an article from Science that actually does summarized the case for the reality of global warming:

    Perhaps someone could point this out to Ms. Noonan and pass this along to any other troglodytes we might encounter on this topic. It’s short, simple and declarative. To hold, after reading this article, that global warming still hasn’t been satisfactorily demonstrated is to announce that you think the entire community of science is trying to pull a fast one.

    Peace (sigh) . . .Scott

  10. kamensind says

    What a great idea ! Who is this Peggy Noonan ? Clearly an eminent thinker ! Some of us coming together, discussing things, reach conclusions. We could call it, a scientific meeting, then we could publish something, let’s see – we might refer to that as “the proceedings”. Perhaps we could even have our grad students and postdocs present some data. The possibilties boggle the mind.
    Well Alex, genetic variation guarantees that some of us reside in the shallow end of the gene pool.

  11. Ken says

    Didn’t we just get a report from a large gathering of scientists that stated flat out global warming is real and caused by humans? Seems to me that if Peggy kept on the news she would know we already got this.

  12. ctw says

    the inevitable consequence when supposedly responsible public figures (politians, journalists, pundits, et al) engage in anti-intellectualism. most of us have no way of knowing what to think about most complex topics other than “believing” what real experts say. and we’re to greater or lesser degrees dependent on which “experts” those public figures either quote or invite to speak and on the honesty of real experts. when politicians routinely ignore real expert opinion, journalists play the “he said-she said” game between real experts and charlatans for “balance”, and even some real experts prostitute their intellect for personal advantage, what’s the non-specialist citizen to do? assuming PN is sincere (OK, OK, for a moment let me indulge in fantasy to make my point), the only difference in ignorance (as opposed to “stupidity”, which is a different issue) is that most of us are limited in displaying our resulting profound ignorance of most issues to social chit-chat or blog comments, whereas the PNs of the world are paid (handsomely, I assume) to do it in much more public fora.

    back to reality, PN is – of course – engaging in transference: because she lies for partisan purposes, she assumes everyone does. or maybe it’s a meta-lie: she knows that isn’t true but is lying about lying. now that really hurts the head.

  13. George says

    It must be said:

    D******D F***WIT

    “If global warming is real, and if it is new, and if it is caused not by nature and her cycles but man and his rapacity, and if it in fact endangers mankind, scientists will probably one day blame The People for doing nothing.

    But I think The People will have a greater claim to blame the scientists, for refusing to be honest, for operating in cliques and holding to ideologies. For failing to be trustworthy.”


  14. PaulC says

    George: A shorter translation of that Noonan quote would be “Even if it turns out you guys are right, we still win. Neener. Neener. Neener.”

  15. Inky says

    Oh, no. You should read the last snippet of her column, too, wherein she claims stupid people appreciate life more. She *revels* in saying that she’s not as smart as some other people.

    This after she claims that immediately after 9/11, journalists were the leaders of America. I guess then Mayor Guiliani should have just stayed home and watched tv.

  16. kamensind says

    CTW, these are good points you are raising. Unfortunately since the current regime took over, some aspects of science have become totally politicized. This is particularly true in regard to the climate debate and the stem cell issue. A good source of information are organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences or the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which have websites and publish journals. The key is to go and find information from reliable sources rather than to listen to pundits on Fox or CNN.

  17. Rey says

    Just reading the excerpts quoted on this thread…did Jean Teasdale start writing current events columns?

    “It is that people with lower IQs somehow tend, in our age, to have a greater apprehension of the meaning of things and the reality of life”

    Well, of course they do, because they don’t have all that information and knowledge interfering with their pat answers.

    I wanted to be a columnist once upon a time, but I had my doubts about whether I could handle the rigors of researching and putting together a coherent piece every week. Now I know that one could just drool onto a piece of paper and be employed by the Wall Street Bleeding Journal.

  18. King Spirula says

    I think her source of science news is the microfilm from the Raygun years. You can see her “denial membrane” starting to strain, but don’t worry, cause in ‘conservative world’ no one’s reality cherry is ever popped.

  19. phil says

    I read it, and sent in a comment. If a message appears from “Bob Zimmerman”, that was me. Somehow, I doubt it will get posted, since I was a tetch sharp.

  20. sglover says

    You should read the last snippet of her column, too, wherein she claims stupid people appreciate life more. She *revels* in saying that she’s not as smart as some other people.

    Well, we kinda figured that from everything she wrote before…..

    There’s something I’d really like to know about Noonan and media gasbags like her: Did they ever take even high school algebra? If so, did they pass? I suspect most of them would disparage it as arcane and needless — an interesting point of view for people who claim to offer informed opinions about a society that reveres technological progress.

  21. says

    Poor Peggy–she can’t afford the IPCC report (freely downloadable) and she doesn’t have any friends smarter than a broom handle to inform her. But the ultimate unfairness is, how much does she get paid for being an idiot? Way too much, I think.

  22. says

    Well I don’t know who this Peggy is ‘cuz I’m one of “those” leftists who depend on Chomsky for my NY Times reading and who, with the help of got rid of Ralph Reed’s bid.

    I’d just like to point out that there is a move by Leftist academics to shift towards a Ptolemaic version of the universe again — if only to spur on action against Global Warming.

    (kinda like when, after I talked down Al Gore for half an hour in the basement of the Bloomington VFW, my final words were “the blood of the U’Wa is on your conscience!” — 2000)

    Point being that the logarithmic-based deductions of Pythagorean Galileo and the Rosicrucians (Descarte, Kepler, Leibniz, et. al.) only helped spread Earth-destroying colonialism.

    But then any future high-tech analysis of Global Warming versus Global Cooling (as if they are mutually exclusive) will rely on the incomprehensible logic of computers that could really care less about “civilization.”

    As the Gaia Theory has demonstrated Earth is in Chaos and Science is a Myth.

    drew hempel, MA

  23. George says

    Sent the WSJ this. Don’t expect it to be posted:

    Oh you who are so infatuated with heroes and mythmaking, if you want to identify the real heroes of this country, you could do worse than name the scientists.

    You no doubt entertained your conservative (and McCarthyite, as I see from one posted response!) audience over their breakfast cereal, but your badmouthing of the scientific community only makes you sound like an ignoramus.

    Peggy “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God” Noonan once again slips the surly bonds of intelligence to touch the face of stupidity.

  24. says

    But then any future high-tech analysis of Global Warming versus Global Cooling (as if they are mutually exclusive) will rely on the incomprehensible logic of computers that could really care less about “civilization.”

    Speaking as a computer programmer, I find the logic of computers to be far more comprehensible than that of most humans. But I suppose I can understand why drew would find in incomprehensible. Maybe if I change all my variable names to things like “CATAPULT_technology” or “electrochemical_hormones”, and make sure there’s something in there about “SCIENCE = logarithms + imperialism” then it would make more sense to him.

    And computers don’t care about anythign at all. It’s a funtion og their not having conciousness. A more important issue is what the people who set problems for the computers to solve care about…

  25. says

    Who said consciousness has to care about anything?!

    Computers definitely have consciousness — everything does because consciousness is the 4th dimension of space and is formless — it’s the ether that Einstein returned to.

    As per computer logic being incomprehensible — just see the Steve Strogatz excerpt that I posted — he’s the quantum chaos expert who did his research on Los Alamos supercomputers.

    Or read Professor Robert Nadeau’s quantum chaos climate destabilization book “The Wealth of Nature” (2004).

    The Economist, in their review, couldn’t even mention the subject matter of the book: supercomputers of Japan and quantum chaos for global environmental management.

  26. DragonScholar says

    Translation: Wouldn’t it be great if scientists did science!

    In most cases if I saw a column like this, I’d figure the person was a poseur, doing the usual pundit claptrap. In Peggy’s case, I’m not sure.

  27. says

    See I read REAL SCIENTISTS for my CRANK material — not stupid websites.

    So, indeed, as per noncommutative geometry of Alaine Connes:


    Now take that up with the quantum chaos scientists. Not me. Although I can assure you that a disproportionate number of them have rejected science and turned to mysticism.


    That might cause some problems.

    Oh and just for the record: No car, no computer, no cell phone, no blackberry, no t.v.

    Just lots of reading and a bicycle.

  28. says

    Given that the Nooner is a devout Catholic of the reactionary wing of the Church, I should send her a nice link to one of those Catholic geocentrism sites, since it is a shocking heresy that the Vatican has not reiterated its old denunciation of the heliocentric model of the solar system. I’m sure Peggy could get a new column out of it:

    I got thinking, again, of how sad and frustrating it is that the world’s greatest scientists cannot gather, discuss the question of heliocentrism, pore over all the data from every angle, study astronomical patterns and celestial ephemerides, and come to a believable conclusion on these questions: Is the Earth at the center of the universe or not?

    It would be a natural for her.

  29. PaulC says

    Oh and just for the record: No car, no computer, no cell phone, no blackberry, no t.v.

    …like Robinson Crusoe, it’s primitive as can be.

    Just lots of reading and a bicycle.

    You don’t live in a hut in Montana by any chance?

  30. Steve_C says

    so you’re typing onto keys tatooed onto your stomach and willing the words onto the internet?

    Dude. That timecube site is messed up.

    No gun I hope.

  31. says

    Sorry … and I really mean that, how can you make me defend her? … but using “the media is” and following it with “they” is completely consistent with English – the American version anyway. (Of course, her analysis of why it’s “is” is wrong, but that’s not the point.) Collective nouns take singular verbs in American English. And “they” is the pronoun for non-specified or indefinite or simply possibly uncertain antecedents, and has been for a thousand years, and in this use “they” is not plural – it’s indefinite (though taking plural verbs, just as “you” does when it refers to one person) as a matter of grammatical rather than syntactic or semantic agreement. Just as in “someone called while you were out but they didn’t leave a message” does not mean that “someone” is plural.

  32. says

    T_U_T: Damn you! Here I am putting together a test for my freshman chemistry students and YOU have to go and post a link to timecube. The mere sight of the timecube URL is enough to turn the human brain into an smoking gooey mess. I survived the Noonan article (barely), but heck – I probably can’t even SET UP, let alone solve, an equilibrium problem now.

    In fact, I seem to be losing grasp of the Englsdaklf a skljfalkjsfd. askkdajflks aslf ….

  33. says

    For of all Unabomber was a subject of CIA L.S.D. experiments at Harvard. Sorry but it’s true so DEAL WITH IT.

    Secondly, misplaced pronoun modifiers are THE most common tactic of psychological manipulation (i.e. use “we” at the office while talking to your co-worker — it’s a great way to group yourself with management, etc. Ojibwe, in contrast, specifies the different forms of “we” — i.e. you and me “we” verus me and them “we.”)

  34. PaulC says

    The Ridger: I was about to make the same comment, but in this case “they” as a singular does not make sense. The media as a singular would be “it” since it cannot be a he or a she.

    I also have no problem with saying “The media is.” There are a few cases where you might really mean media as a plural in the sense of a collection of distinct media such as TV, radio, and print news: (“These media compete with each other for audience share.”) But the notion of “media” as an all encompassing aggregate makes sense as a singular in American English. I have noticed that in British English it’s more common to treat collective nouns as plurals (“Spain have won” see for example). I don’t know the rules of British English, but American English often treats collective entities as singulars and “The media is” sounds natural to me.

  35. George says

    Drew kinda reminds me of Philip K. Dick. Paranoia mixed with a LOT of reading.

    I’m guessing he operates out of a library somewhere (every big library has a drew hempel).

  36. micheyd says

    The Ridger: I’d have to disagree slightly with your analysis of “they” – I thought it has more to do with an erasure of the word’s number/gender features to accomodate a need for a gender- and number-unspecified pronoun. I hear this use of “they” most often in the context of discussing an individual where the sex is unknown. I don’t know if linguists would call it an indefinite (indefinites with count nouns, e.g. some people, by default signify plurals). But yes, Noonan is correct on a technicality for American English speakers. Doesn’t make the sentence sound any more intelligent, though.

    (wow, that was OT)

  37. PaulC says

    George: Philip K. Dick could write beautifully and coherently, and was often very funny too. Even at his most delusional, he was a lot more convincing than Drew.

  38. PaulC says

    micheyd: I agree that Noonan is correct about language, but what kind of editor could let her get away with stuffing an irrelevant aside like that into her column? She should save her whiny defense for readers who actually complain about her writing. Most people would read right by it without noticing. If she feels the need to defend her writing in the middle of an essay, she should rewrite the whole thing.

  39. PaulC says

    Yeah, he’s a lot like Archimedes (formerly Ludwig) Plutonium. He seems to have a couple of fixations: logarithms and CATAPULT techology that explain everything. I don’t see what logarithms have to do with anything (older than I thought, though; wikipedia says India, 2nd century BC). It would almost make more sense if he said “algorithmic” where he says “logarithmic.” “CATAPULT technology” sends me back to playing Civilization (the first version of the computer game) where my top priority was to research mathematics so I could start building catapults, which I’d send off with phalanxes to conquer cities. I never had much luck conquering with chariots, and would usually skip researching the wheel, trying to steal the technology instead.

  40. George says

    PaulC: Philip K. Dick could write beautifully and coherently, and was often very funny too. Even at his most delusional, he was a lot more convincing than Drew.

    If Dick was the poor man’s Pynchon, Drew cold be the poor man’s Dick.

  41. micheyd says

    PaulC: Yeah, I agree the writing is painful, regardless. What’s more ironic is her air of authority on language followed up by the last sentence (One big reason the media is important is that they change things.), which sounds like something a highschooler would write in an essay for history class.

  42. says

    I think we’re going to be hearing more arguments like this. As the people who have been sneering at global warming for decades are forced to confront the reality of it, they aren’t going to say, “We were wrong. We ignored the evidence and distorted the debate and politicized the science and contributed to the problem. We are largely responsible for the delay in dealing with this problem and responsible for the consequences of that delay.” Can’t you just hear Rush Limbaugh saying that?

    No, they’re going to insist it was the fault of the scientists for not reaching a consensus and communicating the urgency of the problem in a unified voice. Never mind that the only “scientists” muddying the debate were the crackpots they were promoting. No, it sure as hell won’t be their fault.

  43. says

    Neither am I tied down to any library. I’m a hunter — aren’t all men? 90% of modern human history is hunting prehistory. It’s our true Evo Devo calling.

  44. says

    Drew kinda reminds me of Philip K. Dick. Paranoia mixed with a LOT of reading.

    Drew reminds me of an ALICE program written by a new-age moonbat.

  45. says

    Ultimately stunning in its revelations, Lutz Dammbeck’s THE NET explores the incredibly complex back-story of Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber. This exquisitely crafted inquiry into the rationale of this mythic figure situates him within a late 20th Century web of technology – a system that he grew to oppose. A marvelously subversive approach to the history of the Internet, this insightful documentary combines speculative travelogue and investigative journalism to trace contrasting counter cultural responses to the cybernetic revolution. For those who resist these intrusive systems of technological control, the Unabomber has come to symbolize an ultimate figure of Refusal. For those that embrace it, as did and do the early champions of media art like Marshall McLuhan, Nam June Paik, and Stewart Brand, the promises of worldwide networking and instantaneous communication outweighed the perils. Dambeck’s conceptual quest links these multiple nodes of cultural and political thought like the Internet itself. Circling through themes of utopianism, anarchism, terrorism, CIA, LSD, MK-ULTRA, Tim Leary, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, THE NET exposes conspiracies and upheavals, secrets and cover-ups along the way.

  46. says

    As the saying goes, “You can’t reason someone out of a position that they didn’t get to by reason.” In a nutshell, that’s the whole problem with faith-based pseudoscience — the conclusions are reached via emotions and are what people want to hear, rather than what can be objectively tested.


  47. Caledonian says

    Science isn’t about consensus. The people demanding that a consensus be reached are mostly post-modern nihilists who believe reality is determined by group opinion.

  48. DrShawn says

    I am also thinking of Drew in terms of things like ALICE, or those MIT guys that generated jargon-rich garbage and got it accepted at a conference.

    If this is the case, a tip of my hat is due. Otherwise… Drew… Holy Shit Dude! You’re a waste of water, protein, and lipids.

  49. JamesR says

    I agree with this unique observation of how to gain consensus. Imagine that if scientist had only thought of this before we probably wouldn’t need Peggy to come up with the solution.

    Damn and I used to have a bit of respect for her too. She should have stayed in her apartment and not ventured into reality. I’ll bet it was dificult at first to recognize her NYC in 100 degree temps.

    Proof that the repubs really know global warming exists is the simple fact that people like Noonan are unable to decide. If they side with yes it is happening then they may be left out of some lunch dates. If they say no it isn’t happening then they are lying and they know it. to be polite they refuse to correct their highly opinionated friends and go with undecided. The true cowards position.

  50. says

    Drew kinda reminds me of Philip K. Dick. Paranoia mixed with a LOT of reading.

    Not exactly PKD himself, more PKD’s character Jack Isidore from “Confessions of a Crap Artist”. Although some have suggested that Jack was somewhat of a self-parody of PKD, much like Kilgore Trout was to Vonnegut.

  51. Keith Wolter says

    During the past week’s turmoil in the Middle East – at least 300 dead so far – I got thinking, again, of how sad and frustrating it is that the world’s greatest religious leaders cannot gather, discuss the question of what God(s) wants, pore over all the relevant scared texts, study tea leaves and planetary movements, and come to an conclusion on these questions: Does God exist? If so, why does he have us fighting over some stupid piece of dusty land? If God is real, why do so many different groups of people see him/her/it differently? And if there is common ground in all great religions, then why can’t we stop killing each other over the differences?

    You would think the world’s greatest theologians could do this, in good faith and with complete honesty and a rigorous desire to discover the truth. And yet they can’t. Why? Because GOD DOESN’T EXIST, and they are all charlatans.

    And so, in the end, every group has its own beliefs. And since none of them can be proven, and none can be disproven, no one knows what to believe. So no consensus on what to do can emerge.

    Even though God(s) doesn’t/don’t exist, the priests and preachers and witch doctors will probably blame The People, for not believing and worshiping the right way, and every thing that happens will be their fault. Oh wait, they do that already.

    PS: If God did exist, I’d ask him: why do complete ass-hats like Peggy Noonan get columns in the newspaper? And, if she can indeed write, why is she incapable of reading, as in all the mountains of data on the one hand, and the redactions of petroleum lobbyists on the other? Yes, Peggy Noonan kills brain cells, proportionate to exposure levels. This explains why, with such high exposure to herself, she is brain dead.

  52. says

    If you haven’t read “Eye in the Sky” than you haven’t really read PKD and no comparisons to him are allowed. And YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE SO CALLATE!!

  53. PaulC says

    Holy cow! I agree with Drew on something? Eye in the Sky is one of Dick’s best works in my opinion–though it’s early and a little pulpish in terms of writing. I think many people on this board would appreciate it, since it does a great job of parodying a fundamentalist religion (that strikes me as a weird cross between Islam and LDS). The premise is that the characters all (for not very believable reasons) find themselves stuck in the subjective reality of each other character, one of whom happens to be a religious zealot.

    Actually, I have more of a soft spot for Galactic Pot Healer, a somewhat later, also religiously themed work of Dick’s.

  54. PaulC says

    Thoughts on Galactic Pot Healer: I can appreciate a deity who communicates by leaving a message in a bottle in the toilet tank. My favorite scene was the one where Joe Fernwright gets out of a box in a basement by phoning into a radio call-in show. One of the underappreciated elements of Dick is his sense of humor, though I think this came out more in the earlier works. BTW, is A Scanner Darkly any good? I don’t have much chance of seeing anything in theaters these days, anyhow.

  55. George says

    Drew, I haven’t gotten to that one, yet! I’m going through them in order.

    One of my favorite Dick quotes:

    “So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudorealities manufactured by very sophisticated people using sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.” (“How to Build a Universe”)

  56. Ktesibios says

    Quoth Drew:


    Great Caesar’s ghost! In the middle of a veritable forest of stream-of-consciusness crankery I stumble onto an obvious reference to time-delay spectrometry. I yam stunned.

    Personally, for measuring the direct field from a speaker in a reflective environment I prefer dual-channel FFT with gated noise as a signal source, but to each his own…

    The Tr=1/Fr relationship applies to that as well as to TDS. MLSSA too.

  57. says

    BTW, is A Scanner Darkly any good? I don’t have much chance of seeing anything in theaters these days, anyhow.

    Well, I saw it mostly to see the credit given to Buzz Moran, a high school buddy of mine who was involved in the sound editing of the picture, but I thought it was reasonably good. I’ve actually not read the novel though — one of my few PKD omissions. The rotoscoping (coversion of life action to animation, much like the bad 1970s version of the Lord of the Rings) was kind of annoying though.

  58. Rey says

    “As the Gaia Theory has demonstrated Earth is in Chaos and Science is a Myth.”

    All those books read and this is the best position statement you can come up with? It never occurred to you that any of the authors of those books might have used the scientific method in their thinking or that any of the data comes from scientists using the scientific method in scientific experiments or studies?

    No wait, don’t even answer that, I’m sure you’ll just veer off into a dozen other lunatic tangents. I guess all I’m saying is that after all that bluster, I’m rather disappointed in your big message.

  59. goddogtired says

    One, perhaps the most vital point, has been overlooked – Noonan doesn’t care the smallest amount (at this time) about the issue she writs about. The appalling fact is that she’s paid to write drivel and therefore writes it. She believes nothing and ignores everything that doesn’t either instantly reward or irk her.
    She’s nobody and nothing – a bad animal, in Gysin’s description of such humans.

    If she lived on another planet, alone, this would be comedy.

  60. bernarda says

    Doing research, getting together to talk about it. Gee, I wonder why that doesn’t happen. Some scientists do seem to do those things–on climate change among other things.

    I have my doubts that a Noonan would be capable of interpreting the results.

  61. says

    I can’t believe drew’s referencing Time Cube. The guy who thinks he can redefine Pi (so that he can cheat when he squares the circle). The guy who thinks that -1 * -1 = +1 is “stupid and evil.”

    Now, he’s a crank on a whole new level.

  62. rea says

    Ms. Noonan’s columnns always sound like she’s been drinking–maybe a thousand pints of Lite . . .

  63. xebecs says

    Hi Drew. I’m honestly now sure if you will appreciate it, but I’m going to be kind.

    I see lots of nouns, and lots of references to books and people in your posts. But I don’t know what you are trying to say. Perhaps you are a deep thinker, but unless you slow down and form short, declarative sentences about what you believe and what you think we should believe, our eyes will just slide down the page to the next post.

    Also, ALL CAPS JUST MAKES MY VISION BLUR. It’s like the scene in Dogma where God’s own voice is so loud that people die when they hear it: TOO LOUD results in NOT HEARD.

    May peace, cool breezes and lemonade be your lot today

  64. Dunc says

    As the Gaia Theory has demonstrated Earth is in Chaos and Science is a Myth.

    Yeah, sure. Just like brownian motion is chaotic, so the Ideal Gas Law must be a myth…

  65. says

    T_U_T: You mean the guy isn’t on already? needs a kick in the butt if that’s true – D.H. would make a fine addition to their “illucid” category.

    Rick @ shrimp and grits: At least with Archimedes Plutonium you know somehow it is going to come back to Pu. With this guy …

    PaulC: I have my doubts about that Wikipedia claim re: logarithms. There’s a lot of crank history of math out there. I remember reading something boasting that the Chinese had sovled equations of the 100th degree whereas the Europeans had only done the cubic. What they failed to mention is that the Europeans had done so in full generality and provided a proof. Of course, there’s no algebraic means to solve ≥ 5, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the Chinese couldn’t solve general 100th degree equations. (The example they gave was just x100 – a = 0 !!) That said, the Indian and Chinese mathematicians did do a lot of neat things. According to a brief investigation, the Jaina only had log to the base 2 … still remarkable though.

  66. Torbjörn Larsson says

    “logarithmic-based deductions”

    He he! Well, drew is much like Archimedes Plutonium. If you forget to check who is the comment author, it is evident by the second sentence or so. Cranks remind me of cockroaches, mostly placing their outpourings all over a page but doing fun antics at times. IIRC, rumor was what finally stopped Archimedes was that he died.

  67. thwaite says

    Drew’s musings on the Attic alphabet, mathematics, patriarchy and decline of matriarchy echo far more articulate expositions by Leonard Shlain, in books such as The Alphabet Versus the Goddess; Sex, Time & Power; and Art & Physics.

    Shlain’s prose reads fluidly and he includes wonderful art, natch. However, as one dust-cover-flack paragraph on my copy of Sex, Time & Power notes: “Sometimes incendiary, often hilarious, always profound … ” – well, two out of three ain’t bad.

  68. says

    Please be careful not to jump to stupid conclusions

    1) Gaia gone to Chaos was from an academic study sourced on Web of Science database

    2) Time Cube was my response to someone else referencing it

    3) Time-frequency uncertainty principle can not be solved for the human ear — more complex than sound systems.

    gotta go. — google me for my masters thesis.

  69. CortxVortx says

    The Dark One might well have been addressing Noonan: “You are so blissfully free of the ravages of intelligence!” (Time Bandits)

  70. says

    It’s all an excuse, a way to bash the bad scientists for not saying what Peggy and friends want to hear about global warming, stem cell research, evolution . . .