CBC Strives for Supermarket Tabloid Status

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As a source of credible journalism, CBC used to be one of the standards by which other media measured themselves. It was reliable, honest, and responsible. Oh, how far CBC has fallen from that perch. Decades of (mostly CONservative-implemented) cuts to reporting and editing staff, egregious layoffs too often in parallel with high executive bonuses ($14.9 million paid to roughly 1,100 people in 2023), coupled with an executive management which has clearly lost focus and has been flailing about aimlessly have taken their inevitable toll … click below for more ↓

Those Wacky 5G Conspiracy Believers

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Although it surfs the tidal wave of anti-intellectualism and anti-science in our society, the whole “5G-is-evil” conspiracy has been amusing, I must admit. From burning down cell towers, to accusing Bill Gates of spreading COVID through 5G waves, it’s been a delightful cavalcade of the funniest, stupidest notions to flitter through the internet. They have a Marjorie-Taylor-Greene wackiness about them (albeit without her nastiness); the sort of conspiracy nuttiness not quite attached to gravity or reality, like the flat earth, creationism or Trump won in … click below for more ↓

Brandolini’s Law

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Ever had the frustrating experience trying to correct someone’s obviously un-factual post or meme on Facebook? And found yourself in a swamp of comments all telling you you’re wrong, an idiot, it’s just your opinion, it worked for my friend so it’s true, or you don’t know anything, followed by insults and accusations? Welcome to the backlash from Brandolini’s Law. According to Wikipedia, Brandolini’s law states that it’s easier to spread bullshit than to debunk it: Brandolini’s law, also known as the bullshit asymmetry principle, … click below for more ↓

The day that reason died

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I’m not a believer in alien visitations and UFOs, but I’ll bet if an alien did swing by, after an hour or two observing us, checking out Facebook or Twitter, they’d lock their doors, hang a detour sign around our planet, and race off. They’d tell their friends not to visit us because we were all nuts. Scarily, dangerously crazy. Seriously. What sort of world can be called civilized when it has people touting — and believing — homeopathy? Reiki? Chemtrails? Anti-vaccination screeds? Anti-mask whines … click below for more ↓

How the pandemic defines who we are

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, wrote Charles Dickens in the opening of his novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Those words seem eerily prophetic when read today. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in humanity. Every day the news brings us stories of people rising to the challenges to save their communities, to show courage, spine, and care for others; and yet many others falling to their lowest, succumbing to wild conspiracies and … click below for more ↓

The death of critical thinking or just bad journalism?

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There was a recent article on Patheos.com with the scary headline, “Young People Are Choosing Horoscopes and Crystals Over Fundamentalist Religions.” The last part of that might seem good news, but the first part is highly troubling. It suggests a continued descent into the New Dark Ages where science, logic, and reason are replaced by woo hoo. Let’s be clear from the start: astrology is bunk. Magic rocks are bunk. Guardian angels, reiki, homeopathy, psychic readings, tarot cards, energy healing, reflexology, phrenology, and iridology are … click below for more ↓

GWT treatment a sure cure for NAWHS syndrome

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After years of research* and development, I have finally worked out the details for the treatment of the viral NAWHS (New Age Woo Hoo Susceptibility) syndrome: GWT or Gullibility Whack Therapy. And I’m going to found my own institute: The Whack-a-Wacko Institute of Common Sense Therapy. I stand to make millions. It works like this: Every time a client utters a comment about the healing benefits of any flavour of New Age woo hoo including homeopathy, who avoids vaccinations, gluten and GMOs, who quotes Dr. … click below for more ↓

Local media is letting us down

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Rule number one in The Elements of Journalism is: “journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.” Number three is “Its essence is a discipline of verification.” Keep those two in mind as you read this. I recognize that local reporting is not always the same calibre as the investigative journalism we expect from national media, but in my view (and experience as a former reporter and editor), blindly accepting claims about health, wellness or science without questioning, let alone confirming them through a credible source, … click below for more ↓

What is science? It’s not this stuff.

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Recently in a Facebook post, two of us were squabbling in typical Facebook-fashion over “alternative medicine” and related treatments (many of which came into the discussion as links to pseudoscience and/or charlatan’s websites). As is my wont, I continued to debunk these with links to actual medical sites and discussions on the topic from health services, universities and real doctors. The other person posted a link to a piece that had Dr. Nuzum – a naturopath*, not a medical doctor, who promotes himself and his products … click below for more ↓

WTF is wrong with people these days?

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Into everyone’s life comes the realization that we are not young and in between the time when we were, the world has changed. Not always for the better, either. In fact, it’s hard not to conclude the whole world has gone to shit since the internet arrived. Aging is not something that, as a culture, we embrace. After all, who wants to be old? Being a senior today is way too often portrayed in the media as being vulnerable, out of touch and cranky, as … click below for more ↓

Another bad year for ‘psychics’ and quackery

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The year 2018 was another bad year for so-called ‘psychics,’ astrologers and others in the prediction business – and yes, it is a business – because nothing they predicted came true. Nothing specific or meaningful, that is. Sure lots of general “predictions” and vague lifestyle comments phrased as “predictions” were made – many which echoed what others have been saying in real news. But that wasn’t because of some astrological or ‘psychic’ effort. When you read these sites you find a lot of that bloviated … click below for more ↓

Astrology: millennials in search of woo hoo

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“Astrology is not a science; there’s no evidence that one’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality.” I was disappointed to read that line in a story in The Atlantic, a piece titled, “The New Age of Astrology: In a stressful, data-driven era, many young people find comfort and insight in the zodiac—even if they don’t exactly believe in it.” Disappointed not because it isn’t true – it is: astrology is woo hoo – but rather that writers still feel the need to state the obvious. … click below for more ↓

More rapture, less reality

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According to some, the rapture is coming again, April 23. I’m so tired of this event. I’m still cleaning up after the last rapture. And the one before that. And the one before that, and before that, and before that… it’s even more frequent than an annual event. But next week it’ll come again. the whole shebang: Christians rising from the dead, the messiah prancing about, angels flitting about like birds, the confetti, the glitter, champagne corks and party balloons all over the place. Raptures … click below for more ↓

Raw water: the New Age death wish

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Would you willingly expose yourself to cholera? While treatable, this highly infectious disease causes great physical distress and suffering to its victims, and is even fatal to some. Most readers have never experienced it because it’s rather a rarity in developed nations, those that have the benefit of modern water and wastewater treatment systems. That’s thanks to decades of stringent and effective health and safety standards and constantly improving treatment systems. But for some, it seems, those systems are a terrible burden; a worrisome threat … click below for more ↓

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