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The inequity of how we discuss “innocent until proven guilty”

Here’s the problem with “innocent until proven guilty” when it comes to accusations of rape or sexual assault:

It’s not that it’s wrong, but that people only talk about the accused and don’t accept the fact that the accusers are also innocent of false accusations until proven guilty.

We forget that two parties sit in judgement: the accused and the accuser.

Both deserve the right to due process.

That’s why we can’t watch these cases solely looking at the accused and saying they deserve due process, happy to conjure up any imagined scenarios that would absolve them, whilst never providing the same respect to their accusers.

Whenever you watch a case of a rape or sexual assault allegation unfold, it’s always the same story.

We think of every scenario that could allow the accused to be innocent, including accusing their accusers of lying, and pretend if we can’t rule them out then they are innocent – but we don’t grant the accusers the same due process. We don’t look at them and say “here’s every scenario where they could be innocent of lying, and if we can’t rule them out then they’re innocent.”

We saw it in the Kavanaugh case last month.

His innocence of rape was assumed, but his accuser’s innocence of lying wasn’t.

Why is that the case?

We all know why that’s the case.

We all need to change that.

If you grant an accused presumed innocence, you have to grant their accuser presumed innocence.

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The non-future of homelessness

Generations to come will not know homelessness.

They will look back and read homeless stories like we read Dickens novels talking about children sweeping chimneys.

This is my dream.

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”

Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism.

As I live and shall die, always this.

Ending currency

Actually, I want the transition to a post currency economy to start now.

Money already has lost its meaning – if it can be argued to have ever had one beyond power hierarchies and control, which I’ll concede was possible back in our history.

Automation is reducing employment rate below what is possible for currency to have meaning.

When employment rate reduces whilst scarcity of resources reduces, currency begins to lose all meaning beyond abuse in order to maintain power over others.

Universal income is a quick fix – a band aid for capitalism faced with rising unemployment due to a lack of scarcity and need for human labour.

The most worrying thing is that the more we try to pretend a currency based economy is the only way, the more we force people to either face poverty or become snake-oil salesmen. And beyond those two choices, we force people into jobs that do nothing except prop up an economic system that has no purpose – selling people insurance for things that can be easily replaced, or banking systems that circulate currency that has no value beyond its circulation.

Gene Roddenberry was right about one thing:

The economics of the future will be entirely alien to a currency based culture.

Whether we like it or not, our great-great-grandchildren will live in a world without currency, or at least one where it only exists to promote an artificial division in society.

Beyond that, our great-great-great-great-grandchildren will live in a world where currency literally makes no sense to them at all.

Unless we blow this world back to the Stone Age before then.

We are already at the point where currency is becoming obsolete.

It’s about time we embrace it and work towards a world without it.

If this seems alien or unimaginable to you, think of how your ancestors in the Middle Ages considered serfdom ever becoming a thing of the past.

You’re poor? Fuck you!

If I work 40 hours a week and spend my wages buying 4 beers a day (even adding a Weekend’s worth of drinking in between), with a high enough paid job to not go bankrupt, nobody blinks an eye.

If, however, I work 40 hours or more a week and spend my wages buying just 4 beers a day, without a high enough paid job, and I go bankrupt, it’s my fault.

Addiction isn’t just excusable and sustainable if you’re rich. It’s actually celebrated.

If you’re poor, then even lower levels of addiction are enough to condemn you.

Why is that?

(Hint: it’s because we’re conditioned to hate poor people and blame them for their poverty, whilst ignoring the economic system that both makes them poor and happily punished them for the same behaviour we absolve rich people from displaying.)

Royalists should choose their arguments more carefully

To those saying the UK should keep the monarchy because they generate tourism:

I don’t think you really want to go down the “tourism dollar” route.

For starters, France beheaded their whole aristocracy and still has a roaring tourist trade – even looking at the old palaces and castles.

Secondly, ok, let’s talk dollar.

We behead the monarchy in Trafalgar Square and put it on pay-per-view live.

I guarantee that billions would pay to watch it – probably enough at the right price to more or less wipe the national debt.

Then we still get tourists flocking to the old palaces, and even re-enact the event in Trafalgar Square every anniversary to crowds of people who will definitely turn up to watch such a historic event being re-enacted, and have tourists flocking to re-enactments of old monarchy-days traditions with cheaper actors instead of expensive royals playing the roles.

We’ll make way more out of them that way.

I’m not saying we should do this at all.

But if the tourist dollar is all you care about, then I’ve just used your argument to demonstrate that executing the royal family is fiscally responsible.

So why not try to come up with something meaningful, rather than an idiotic idiom?

Hey, you’re argument was pure capitalism.

By pure capitalism I’ve come up with a better and more lucrative argument for getting rid of them.

Don’t blame me if your argument was so flawed.

Rule #78

Every true statement regarding how lies are perpetuated and maintained, and how those deceived will react to people who debunk those lies, will be used by those perpetuating and deceived by lies against those who debunk them, and to maintain or justify their lies.

Rule #78(b):

Even this one.

Secularism isn’t the enemy of religion

For those still confused by this:

Secularism isn’t a push for an atheist agenda or an attack against religion and god.

Secularism is merely the idea that no beliefs have dominance or will be given special treatment.

It’s the antithesis of theocracy, which tries to make a single belief system dominant.

So if you’re religious or spiritual or neither of those things, secularism is in your interest – because it means your freedom to believe in what you do will not be violated.

No laws shall be passed that deny your beliefs, criminalise them, or offer preferential treatment to others who believe something else.

The opposite is theocracy, where a select group and their beliefs are given preferential treatment, and all other beliefs are marginalised, denied or criminalised.

Chances are, that will end up including your beliefs – even if you hold to the dominant religion of the theocracy, because “heretical offshoots” (those groups who on any way challenge the denomination favoured by the state), are treated in the same manner as non-believers. In fact, they’re often treated worse.

So, if you’re religious, secularism is in your interest, because only secularism guarantees your freedom to worship and practice your faith.

Theocracy prohibits it, even for those who are part of the dominant religion.

Stop pretending secularism is the enemy.

It’s only the enemy of those established groups who now have to give ground to all of us who don’t share their beliefs (whatever our personal beliefs are), and fundamentalist cults who fancy themselves creating a theocracy in the future (who would all be dead by now if they didn’t have a secular culture to thrive in – oh irony!).

Secularism is this: the acknowledgment that your survival to hold your beliefs (or lack of them) and follow your beliefs freely necessarily entails others to be able to hold and follow their beliefs freely. Because without that universal freedom, your freedom to hold and follow your beliefs is not guaranteed. In fact, the criminalisation or persecution of your beliefs is guaranteed, unless you accept and promote that universal guarantee for all beliefs (or lack of them) to be respected.

You can either stand with secularism and the tolerance of all religions and those who aren’t religious, or you can – out of a zealous philosophy – sow the seeds of your own destruction.

By the way: society is overwhelmingly choosing secularism, because the majority of people understand how rational thinking works.

So if you’re still confused, I suggest you catch up. Whatever you do or don’t believe.

Crypto-fascists, antisentism and islamophobia

I am disturbed by the obvious and increasing number of crypto fascists using claims of “antisemitism” in order to justify their racism and islamophobia – and worse, the increasing number of people they are successfully gaslighting.

That whole argument of “why aren’t you also protesting X?” which they give away by never asking any other campaign movement the same thing or holding them to this non-existent standard (none of them condemn those campaigning against Russia’s involvement in South Ossetia for not also campaigning against Georgia’s treatment of Abkhazia, or those campaigning for West Papua of not also campaigning against the treatment of the rohingya muslims);

The people claiming all Palestinian protests are some Palestinian terrorist group conspiracy;

And the folk who shamelessly post tommy Robinson and fascist memes;

And nobody challenges them in the conversation, which is worryingly ironic.

It’s almost as if they care more about their academic debate over antisemitism (in which they want to ignore any Jewish groups who disagree with them), than about a discussion about racism and islamophobia.

I really struggle to understand why 🤔

And to clarify, the “why aren’t you protesting X as well” argument is both logically defunct (might as well berate doctors working to cure malaria for not also curing every disease on earth), and is a major problem with the IHRA wording – because groups that campaign for Palestinian human rights are being called antisemitic for not campaigning for other human rights causes – as if the West Papuan campaign actively campaigns for Yemenis against Saudi Arabia, or the Sikh groups campaigning for justice for 1984 are actively campaigning for justice for Orgreave.

Groups campaign on their issues, but that wording is being used to suggest that by campaigning on that issue, Palestinian human rights groups are being antisemitic – as if every human rights group actively campaigns across the board, which, SPOILER ALERT, they don’t.

They can’t.

Because that’s not how you create an effective human rights campaign.

Try it and watch how quickly you run out of time, money, interest and other resources.

And as for anyone trying to pretend all Palestinian human rights protests are just Hamas or Al-Quds fronts.

Fuck you.

Your crypto fascist BS isn’t fooling us.

The gall to believe you can push a narrative that every single person campaigning against human rights abuses that are admitted and openly enforced by a government….

You might as well try to tell me that all Biko supporters in South Africa were burning tyres around people’s necks, you ignorant and/or fascistic fuckwits.

And as if you even care about the issues facing Jewish people around the world!

You’ll happily trade Jewish people in as a scapegoat – and do it openly without prompting!

When you go to such lengths to justify a government that is exercising an apartheid regime that matches the definition of apartheid as defined by the South African government *during* apartheid, fuck you.

(Ethnic segregation; second class citizenship based on race and ethnicity; impunity to harass, torture, displace or murder people based on race or ethnicity with no recourse; actively courting groups calling for genocide of people based on race or ethnicity; the control of resources to a population of a certain race or ethnicity in order to obstruct its infrastructure; the collective punishment of a certain race or ethnicity for any violation by a select group – it’s the *literal definition employed by the apartheid government of South Africa*! How much more until we’re allowed to call it “apartheid”?)

When you try to justify a regime whose leader has explicitly tried to redefine the holocaust in order to minimise the role of the Nazi party and blame the Palestinian people:

*Fuck you double.*

You’re not only a disgrace to the human rights of Palestinians, you’re a disgrace to the millions of Jewish people who died because of Nazi extermiation. You’re happily taking part in historical revisionism in order to diminish the horrific role played by the perpetrators of their murder.

And the same goes for when you’re silent as the regime’s leader endorses Poland’s policy of revising history to whitewash its role in the wholesale slaughter of millions of Jewish people – FOR A TRADE DEAL.

You don’t care about antisemitism.

You’ve made it clear.

Like Netanyahu, you only care about justifying your racism and islamophobia.

If you cared about the plight of the Jewish people and the inhuman injustice they’ve endured, you would keep the truth of the Shoah alive, and not let anyone whitewash it for trade agreements and racist ends.

We know exactly what you’re saying.

It’s not antisemitism.

It’s justifying your ability to dehumanise Muslims and Palestinians and Bedouin.

And we won’t stand for it.

Both the Jewish people and the Palestinians deserve better than your bullshit.

Terraforming geologically dead planets like Mars is going to be hard – and for more fundamentally tough reasons than you think.

There’s been a lot of talk over the past few years about terraforming Mars.

A lot of that conversation has been misleadingly simplified, with some people even pretending to themselves that it’s something that could be done quickly and probably very soon after we first send humans to Mars.

The problem is that Mars is a geologically dead body. And terraforming a geologically dead body is a very difficult thing to do, compared to a geologically active one, for reasons that very few people are talking about and even fewer are starting to get to grips understanding – because were only just beginning to understand the complex relationship our geologically active planet has with the ecosphere we inhabit.

Look, an absent active core presents a myriad of problems for terraforming a planet that need sorting out.

There are 2 big ones that stick out.

First off, you have to build an atmosphere whilst it faces being stripped away.

The solar wind doesn’t wait until your atmosphere is complete. It strips it whilst you try to build it, so you need to expend a lot of energy and resources into fighting that atmospheric depletion *whilst* you build the atmosphere up.

If you can’t get a magnetosphere up, then even if you build the atmosphere, it’s unlikely to be a planet that can keep a macroscopic ecosystem going for very long, both because the atmosphere doesn’t have to be completely stripped before it can no longer support that ecosystem, and you likely need the ecosystem going for a very long time in order for it to become self-sustaining rather than just heavily managed.

You’re going to be trying to set up with Flora and fauna that are not adapted to that planet, and getting them to a point where they are adapted enough will take a very very long time, because evolutionary processes take epochs, not generations. Your atmosphere needs to last that long and more.

It may or may not be plausible to induce a magnetosphere on Mars without an active core, but that doesn’t help with the next problem with living on a geologically dead planet.

Atmospheric stripping, assuming you can build one up, may take a long time even absent a magnetic field to deplete, but soil degradation is much quicker.

There’s not much point of a breathable atmosphere on a planet incapable of growing plants and food, because the soil is being continually depleted by agriculture and natural overuse with no mechanism to replenish it.

For that, you need geological activity, like plate activity and vulcanism, which requires an active core – which also creates a magnetosphere and helps with a lot of other problems you face when terraforming a planet.

Terraforming is much more complex than “build an atmosphere and plant a few trees and crops”.

You can try that.

You’ll be dead in just a few generations, even with an atmosphere.

Can you solve all these problems without an active core, on a geologically dead planet?

Possibly.

But 1) nobody’s actually talking about the complex role an active core plays in generating and sustaining an ecosphere and what all those different aspects are and how to sort them out absent an active core; and 2) just getting an active core solves them all – maybe even more efficiently and with less energy and resources than trying to solve them piecemeal, even if it means trying to get an active core.

Is it possible to get an active core going on Mars?

Who knows.

But recognising and understanding the complex role that it plays on generating and sustaining the ecosphere is paramount – instead of going in half-cocked and trying to deal with major problems we fail to foresee by ignoring it as we go along.

It controls the atmosphere, the soil cycle, the water cycle, the migration pattern of many animals, even the weather and a lot more that we’re only beginning to figure out.

Until we can fully grasp its interplay with our entire planet, we can’t pretend it’ll be easy to terraform a planet that is geologically dead.

The “skeptic community” is not fit for purpose

When so many flat earth debunkers are idiotically perpetuating the Eratosthenes myth as if it was valid, I’m both utterly unsurprised that flat earthers are becoming more prevalent and able to argue against such red herrings, and angry that idiots pretending to be “rational” think they can jump into a centuries old debate with zero research as if their tone of ridicule was a valid substitute for a rational argument without further damaging the education level of humanity.

The way the “skeptic community” both failed to anticipate the flat earth resurgence, and failed to successful counter it because their ego meant more than doing any actual research into basic geometry and understanding the people they were arguing against, is a damning indictment against their neo-religious bullshit.

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