Satire is dead, again

Some alt-right wackaloon has announced a new vidyagame, Jesus Strikes Back: Judgment Day. It features a gun-toting Jesus, “Dolph”, an Austrian with a toothbrush mustache (not to be confused, they insist, with Hitler), an orange blonde guy named “Tromp” (not to be confused, etc.), “Pootin” (ntbc…), “Mussolino”, etc., etc., etc. as the heroes, who are on a mission to kill “radical social justice warriors,” “radical feminists,” “radical LGBT militants,” oh god I’m already bored and tired of this bullshit game, and it hasn’t even been made yet. Oh also, one class of enemies are “Doctors”, who vaccinate people.

The story of JSB:JD is so utterly complex that it simply cannot be conveyed by mere words on a webpage. It is a story so beautifully crafted and rich in detail that it could of very well been written by Tolstoy himself. A story so powerfully moving that it is guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of even the most reserved, indifferent man.

JSB:JD follows the story of seven different men on their own one-man-crusade to destroy the radicals and the New World regime, and how this shared goal forces their destinies to entwine. With the odds stacked against them, they have nothing to rely on except the triumph of the will if victory is to be theirs. Although they may not share the same beliefs or characteristics, their shared hatred of the radicals and New World regime unites them together, ultimately forming mankind’s last hope for salvation against the tyrannical regime.

They may not always see eye-to-eye, but they must put aside their differences if they ever wish to liberate the world back to rightful law and order. They must struggle against all odds – against the whole world – if they are to be victorious.

Fuck, I don’t care. I don’t care if they’re trying to satirize SJWs, anti-SJWs, or whatever…this is just bad, clumsy, unfunny, tedious crap.

If it makes them feel better, they can go ahead and claim they owned me. Don’t give a damn. Except to say that my cynical despair over the state of humanity is confirmed once again.

We can all stop worrying about climate change now

Thanks for the reality check, Steve Milloy!

All we need to do now is learn how to live with temperatures of 465°C (870°F for the benighted among us) –we’ll need to use some kind of refrigerator for baking, since that’s a little on the high side. I suppose we could breathe CO2 if we completely changed our biochemistry and metabolism. I guess while we’re doing that, we could also learn to stand unharmed in concentrated sulfuric acid at 90 atmospheres of pressure. Small changes. You know, nothing like the unbelievable stuff the Warmists are proposing, like meters of sea level rise.

This is Milloy’s bio.

Co-founder . Trump EPA transition team. Eagle Scout. Biostatistician. Lawyer. Author. FOX News contributor.

I think the new Trumpster slogan ought to be “Turn Earth into another Venus”, since there are nothing but good associations with the goddess of love.

How can you not want to live there?

Santa, all I want for Christmas are spider eggs

When I got home from my week in Denver last night, the very first thing I did was rush off to the lab to check on the spiders. They were fine! Completely unperturbed by a week of neglect! They even produced egg cases for me! Well, one healthy egg case. Vera continues her habit of dumping dessicated dead eggs in ill-formed egg cases, which you may recall was something Gwyneth did before she died, too.

Oh, yeah, then we checked on the cat. She was fine, too.

On our way home

We’re in the midst of our trek from Denver to Morris, Minnesota, and we are sad. We had a lovely week with our two month old granddaughter, here in the arms of her grandmother.

Maybe she’s not so disappointed at our departure.

Kidding! She was a good little girl the entire time we were there, and we thought about smuggling her home with us. Here’s a nicer picture of Iliana sitting at the restaurant table like a serious adult.

Now we just have to figure out how to find the time to go back again.

As if America needs more monsters

We’ve been missing out. America shed the European tradition of monsters and debauchery on Christmas in the 19th century; all we have left is one saccharine fat man who brings toys. Until now. Scattered small bands of heroes are trying to resurrect the Krampus tradition.

It seems like a good idea to me. Maybe the imaginary monsters will displace the real ones that run the country.

Also, maybe it will succeed if we tell the capitalists that it’s a strategy for extending the retail holiday season from Halloween to New Year’s.

Sneaking political commentary into science papers? Glorious!

Via Jonathan Eisen, a simple exercise.

Please take a minute to experience for yourself one of the greatest scientific Easter eggs in a long time.

Step 1: download the PDF of this paper:

Step 2: Go to Page 3.

Step 3: Zoom way way in on the turd in Figure 1.

Step 4: Enjoy and share.

The article is titled “Methylation-based enrichment facilitates low-cost, noninvasive genomic scale sequencing of populations from feces”, in case you’re interested.

For those of you who don’t want to take the trouble, I’ll put the illustration of a baboon turd below the fold. You never know, someone might decide to insist on having it redrawn.

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Everything is a religion, according to Andrew Sullivan

I’m away. I’m on a break. I’m distracted by an adorable baby granddaughter. But even with those diversions, the stench of Andrew Sullivan’s latest column has disturbed my rest. It is just too stupid. I was stunned by the first paragraph, staggered a little further, and collapsed in defeat.

Everyone has a religion. It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being. It’s in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society.

I’ve seen this a thousand times before, and I know what will follow. Sullivan is going to give us his own, personal, idiosyncratic definition of “religion” that he has made so broad and nebulous that he can assign it to everyone, no matter how godless they might be, and he’s going to rely on general human properties that he can then interpret as “religious”.

By the way, no genes for religion have been identified. Not one. He’s lying, unsurprisingly for someone who liked The Bell Curve. He links to a book by some guy named Dominic Johnson, who does have a degree in evolutionary biology, and from what I can see relies entirely on bullshit evolutionary psychology to make his claims.

Here comes his redefinition:

By religion, I mean something quite specific: a practice not a theory; a way of life that gives meaning, a meaning that cannot really be defended without recourse to some transcendent value, undying “Truth” or God (or gods).

I see that he has also redefined the word “specific”, because that is broadly vapid nonsense, not specific at all. A “practice”? So is writing garbage for NYMag his religion? Appearing on Bill Maher’s show is a religion? Except that it is specifically not a theory, but at the same time it requires a “transcendant value” that gives “meaning”. This is such a muddled mess of contradictions and immeasurable assertions that it in itself gives the lie to the idea that it could be based on something as concrete as a gene. He really wants us to believe that this wobbly bullshit is a load-bearing pillar…of jello. And it’s all set up to support this groaner of a familiar assertion by theists.

Which is to say, even today’s atheists are expressing an attenuated form of religion.

If your definition of religion is so amorphous that you can claim everything is a religion, then you’ve said nothing useful. You’ve turned religion into white noise. Religious people ought to find that as offensive as atheists do.

Their denial of any God is as absolute as others’ faith in God,

Wait. I thought religion was a practice, not a theory. But now he’s including “faith” and ideas about a hypothetical concept. He can’t even stick to his own definition!

…and entails just as much a set of values to live by — including, for some, daily rituals like meditation, a form of prayer.

So now it’s defined by daily rituals? I get up in the morning, brush my teeth, have a cup of coffee…this is now, in the mind of Andrew Sullivan, a religion. Hey, if I didn’t get out of bed, my life would be meaningless, if I never brushed my teeth, I’d be disgusting and would die of dental disease, and no coffee…that would be an unimaginable hell.

Also, my spiders spend their days in the endless ritual of maintaining their webs, and their lives would end without them. Therefore, spiders are religious. Maybe they don’t have a concept of a god (which I don’t know for sure), but remember…religion is a practice that gives meaning to life. And is genetic. If you can claim that atheists who explicitly reject gods and religion are religious, we’re at the point where you can’t stop me from claiming spiders are religious.

…(There’s a reason, I suspect, that many brilliant atheists, like my friends Bob Wright and Sam Harris are so influenced by Buddhism and practice Vipassana meditation and mindfulness. Buddhism’s genius is that it is a religion without God.)

OK, I’m done. I can read no further than the point where he claims Sam Harris is a brilliant atheist because he follows some Buddhist practices.

When will NYMag wake up to the fact that they’ve got a columnist who writes drivel? Probably never, since the NY Times has a similar problem, and will never change.