You probably don’t want to know.
Except you know you do, don’t you?
Mmm. Naughty, naughty.
It’s okay. You can blame Adam.
Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 6 September 2016.
While not everything wrong with Ben Carson’s presidential campaign can be pinned directly on the good doctor, his own inability to communicate with others while respecting reasonable bounds of reality has left many questioning whether or not the man who believes so many absurd notions about history, science, and humanity is smart enough to be president of anything. And in that context, no, the latest failure of his campaign staff just doesn’t help.
Happy Geography Awareness Week! Recognizing that “too many young Americans are unable to make effective decisions, understand geo-spatial issues, or even recognize their impacts as global citizens,” National Geographic created this annual observance to “raise awareness to this dangerous deficiency in American education.”
Ben Carson’s presidential campaign inadvertently underscored this point Tuesday night, when it took to social media to share a map of the United States in which five New England states were placed in the wrong location. The campaign deleted the Twitter and Facebook posts Wednesday morning after media outlets and social media users pointed out the error.
Dr. Carson doesn’t help his assertion of Christian virtue with bigotry and cruelty toward war refugees; he certainly doesn’t help his assertion of presidential competence by losing track of New England.
Image note: Composite sources ― Ben Carson Campaign/Twitter via Washington Post; Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
Ingraham, Christopher. “Ben Carson’s campaign made a U.S. map and put a bunch of states in the wrong place”. The Washington Post. 18 November 2015.
“OK so there’s flowing water on Mars. Yip yip yip yahoo. You know me, I’m science 101, big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I’m all in. But, NASA has been corrupted by the current regime. I want to find out what they’re going to tell us. OK, flowing water on Mars. If we’re even to believe that, what are they going to tell us that means? That’s what I’m going to wait for. Because I guarantee, let’s just wait and see, this is September 28, let’s just wait and see. Don’t know how long it’s going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda. I don’t know what it is, I would assume it would be something to do with global warming and you can―maybe there was once an advanced civilization. If they say they found flowing water, next they’re going to find a graveyard.”
What stands out is this is not, really, so unexpected. Neither is the part where the man who mouths a golden mike described the “challenging existence” of always being right.
Every once in a while, these inflammatory media stars not so much let down their guard but find themselves actually hiding behind their falsehoods. One or another of the FOX News hosts once admitted he knew he wasn’t describing real facts; Rush Limbaugh once tried to duck controversy by posturing himself as a comedian, even comparing himself to Bill Maher, who rightly and roundly rejected the sleight. Still, though, the point persists, as does the concomitant question: Mr. Limbaugh and his fellows are entertainers. Why do their audiences receive them as purveyors of fact?
The thing is that we probably would not look at any one NASA event and predict Mr. Limbaugh would respond as he has, but now that he’s gone and said it, well, you know, is anybody really surprised?
Just keep this one in mind; you will hear it in the murmur and buzz around you. You know, the dude at the pub; that one guy at work; your proverbial crazy uncle.
And when you do encounter this bit of tinfoil, remember that even Mr. Limbaugh knows he’s full of shit. And ask yourself why these people you encounter might believe it. Or, hell, ask them; that ought to be interesting; you know, proverbially.
Because if Mr. Limbaugh is a comedian, how is the joke not on the Dittoheads?
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh talks with guests in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., 13 January 2009. (Photo: Ron Edmonds/AP)
Media Matters Staff. “After NASA Announces It Found Water On Mars, Rush Limbaugh Says It’s Part Of A Climate Change Conspiracy”. Media Matters for America. 28 September 2015.
You know, after all that―
Royal Dutch Shell said Monday that it would stop exploration off the coast of Alaska “for the foreseeable future.”
―something goes here about poetic perfection, or, if one is so inclined, how this latest news sounds pretty much just about right. Nor are those conditions mutually exclusive.
Image note: Protesters on the Willamette River in Portland, Ore., waited as a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker prepared to leave for Alaska in July. (Photo: Don Ryan/Associated Press)
Reed, Stanley. “Shell Abandons Disappointing Offshore Alaskan Well”. The New York Times. 28 September 2015.
Just remember that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants to be president. And remember that for some reason, Senate Republican leaders saw fit to give him the chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveneness. David Levitan picks it up from there. The summary, from FactCheck.org:
During his critique of NASA’s spending on earth and atmospheric sciences at a recent committee hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz made some misleading claims regarding the agency’s budgets and the science that it conducts.
• Cruz said there has been a “disproportionate increase” since 2009 in funding of earth sciences. There has been an increase — and it is larger than some other NASA areas — but spending on earth sciences is lower now as a percentage of NASA’s budget than it was in fiscal 2000. And the increase reflects an effort to restore funding that had been cut.
• Cruz also suggested that the “core mission” of NASA does not include earth sciences. In fact, studying the Earth and atmosphere has been central to NASA’s mission since its creation in 1958.
• In criticizing NASA’s spending on earth sciences, Cruz also said the agency needs to “get back to the hard sciences” — meaning space exploration and not earth and atmospheric research. The term “hard sciences” refers to fields including physics and chemistry, which are central to the research being done as part of NASA’s earth science programs.
Now, perhaps it might occur to wonder why Senate Republican leadership would put so dishonest and incompetent a person in any committee chair. And the answer is about as obvious as it can be. Remember how conservatives like to complain that government does not and cannot work?
Yeah. This is called laboring to prove the thesis.
And if it occurs to wonder why anyone would go out of their way to sabotage an entire society just to prove a petulant political thesis, we need only remind that this is what your conservative neighbors want. This is what they vote for. Stupidity and incompetence are of great value in the Republican Party, right now, since they have nothing left but to try to wreck the place just so they can thump their chests and boast about being right all along, that government cannot and does not work.
Levitan, David. “Cruz Distorts NASA’s Mission, Budget”. FactCheck.org. 18 March 2015.
Write this up as user error.
No, seriously. We’re talking about the software industry, which never makes any mistakes anywhere, ever. It’s always user error.
Yes, we’re confident about that assertion, or, at least, the fact that it exists. Living in Microsoft country, we have enough friends who work in the software industry to start dropping friends when this issue comes up.
To wit, the image below is a composite of the daily stats report for This Is. In truth, we’re happy to break fifty hits a day, so thank you all for stopping by.
But do you notice the problem?
No, really. Just … look. The only reason you might need to look carefully is that what is missing is much larger than the mistake it might compel you to make.
That is to say, if you’re wondering why WordPress has the United Kingdom so far to the east, it’s because that isn’t the U.K. It is Kaliningrad, Russian Federation.
See? User error.
That WordPress apparently thinks the U.K. doesn’t exist on this planet is immaterial, or else it’s another user error. Because, you know, Automattic is a software company, and software companies never make mistakes.
It’s always user error.