October 31, 2009
David Hubel has an opinion piece in the current issue of Neuron that is a total complete pile of hoary bullshit whiny-ass moaning and groaning about the “good old days” and how today’s PIs don’t perform “the real science”. Here is but a small sample of the steaming pile of tedious glurge:
I have no illusions that biological science is likely to return overnight to the system that prevailed a generation ago, but I believe a start could be made in that direction. If I were 40 years younger and a group leader and found myself imprisoned in an office most of the time, I would adopt a 5-year plan to change my scientific style. I would choose a project to share with one partner, put aside a lab bench that I could call my own, and submit a research proposal to fund that project. I would encourage any postdocs in my lab to do the same, with their own funding and independent projects. I would give advice gently and sparingly, realizing that strongly worded advice from a senior person can be hard to ignore and that in science making one’s own mistakes can be an important part of learning. I would limit my committee assignments to one or two and encourage my more senior postdocs to do the same. (I vividly remember asking George Wald, of visual-pigment fame, how he managed to avoid all the wasted time on committees. He answered: “It’s simple: I accept all committee assignments, and never show up for a meeting.”) I would make it a rule that a name on a paper means that one has actually sat at the bench twisting the dials. I would continue to teach because I enjoy teaching and think I do it well. One has to learn to teach and to develop one’s teaching style, and for that reason I would give everyone in my group the chance to try it. [emphasis added]
Yeah, only knob-twiddling counts as real science. What a fucking joke. You’d think a scientist as distinguished as Hubel would have taken a scientific approach to his naked assertions, and presented some motherfucking evidence that science practiced as he lionizes actually works better than the current model. It is also disconcerting that Neuron wasted page space on this kind of completely unsupported blithering.
October 31, 2009
Tenured Radical hits one out of the park in her review of a new book by Stanley Fish:
I particularly like the idea of administrators doing their job well so that I can pay close attention to what I was educated for: teaching, scholarship and providing sane advice on who we ought to hire, not shadowing and carping at administrators. Like Fish, the older I get the less attached I am to shared governance. In part this is because I don’t think there are many examples of faculties who have exercised it effectively and usefully, and in part, I don’t think it exists except as something we gesture towards. I prefer a clear set of regulations that are effectively and fairly enforced by objective parties who are truly interested in what is going on at the level of the department and willing to intervene when people are being screwed. I would prefer pay equity. I would prefer a union. I would also prefer, as Fish suggests, to get all the information possible, to make the preferences and reasons for those preferences known, and then to forget about it while a set of competent administrators settles the issue in a way that is fair.
If I had a dollar for every minute I have sat in faculty meetings listening to washed-up tenured deadwood fuckwads who can’t even successfully manage a research laboratory containing half a dozen scientists blither on and on and on about all the bad decisions the dean of our medical school is making and how if they were the dean everything would be totally unicorns and rainbows flying out of all of our asses, I’d be a motherfucking bajillionaire!
October 29, 2009
Human beings tend to be overconfident. Thus, we should continue to give the greedfuck ultra-rich corporate oligarchs who spent the last 10 years utterly destroying the United States economy complete unfettered free motherfucking rein to continue feasting on the blood, sweat, and tears of the other 99.9% of American citizens.
October 25, 2009
Oh, this is so, so sweet!!!!!!!!
GO MOTHERFUCKING YANKEES!!!11!!11!1!!!
October 24, 2009
This motherfucking “patriot” shit is really getting on my motherfucking nerves. Listen cockwad, you’re not a motherfucking patriot. You’re a selfish, greedy, lazy, stupid, ignorant, racist, theobigoted, woman-hating, cowardly piece of shit. You’re so fucking artlessly shit-for-brained, you haven’t the faintest fucking idea what’s coming around the bend. And when it comes, it’s gonna knock you flat on your sorry ass, hard.
October 23, 2009
ScienceBlogs has enlisted a new blogger who is an accomplished and well-respected evolutionary biologist, David Sloan Wilson. Unfortunately, however, the dude can’t seem to resist the urge to engage in blithering wackaloon fuckwittitude concerning the relative epistemic status of religion and science.
In one post, he writes the following:
Science can even be regarded as a religion that worships truth as its god. It might seem provocative to put it this way, but I find the comparison compelling and challenge my readers to show what’s wrong with it.
As was pointed out very clearly and in detail by a number of commenters to that post, this analogy is pathetically stupid (and mind-numbingly boring). Science doesn’t “worship” anyfuckingthing in the sense of “worship” that applies to religion. Yeah, this analogy might be “provocative”, but only because grotesque conflation and word-twisting tends to piss people off.
Science is nothing more than organized systematic doubt; religion is based exactly on the rejection of doubt.
In another post, he argues that science and religion are each “meaning systems”, as if that provides a useful common framework for understanding both science and religion:
Once we focus on meaning systems as the main object of study, then we can study the elements associated with religion and science in the context of meaning systems.
Of course, the difference between religion and science as symbolic meaning systems is that every single bit of evidence that has been amassed over the millenia of human experience indicates that the referents of religious symbols don’t exist, while every single bit of evidence that has been amassed over the millenia of human experience indicates that the referents of scientific symbols do exist. Seems like an important difference to me. I wonder why he doesn’t point this out?
Dude, do yourself and all of us a favor, and stick to the motherfucking science. Lay off the smarmy inane gibbering, bogus analogies, and whiny apologetics.
October 19, 2009
Is it just me and my browser, or is the American Express account management Web site douchetastically slow?