This web site is not, necessarily, only about stupid people, or people doing or believing stupid things. One reason for the name is because it is easy to remember (although a bit awkward to type.) Another reason is because a lot of the content will be devoted to various subjects where people show a general lack of knowledge and/or common sense, as well as complete stupidity. Unfortunately, many people, and especially Americans, are showing a greater and greater lack of scientific knowledge, and this is a tragedy in today’s world, where education, and especially education in math and science, is becoming more and more critical every day. It is truly a scary fact that a 1998 University of Texas study showed that fully 1/4 of all high school biology teachers actually believed that man roamed the earth with the dinosaurs!!!! (“The Age of American Unreason”, by Susan Jacoby). Today, we are being impacted by “Swine Flu”, or” H1N1″. It has been benign, for the most part, so far. Of course, if you don’t believe in evolution, then it never existed in the first place, since it is not mentioned in the bible, and it will never “EVOLVE” to kill millions of people. In reality, this virus may evolve, and come back to kill hundreds of millions of people. The 1918 Flu Pandemic started as a relatively minor flu in the Northern Hemisphere in the spring of 1918. It then evolved in the summer of 1918 in the Southern Hemisphere, during its annual winter flu season, and then came back to the Northern Hemisphere in the fall of 1918 as a deadly flu that went on to kill tens of millions of people. If the “Swine Flu” does not evolve over the Southern Hemisphere during it’s winter, and return to the Northern Hemisphere in the fall of 2009, something else will eventually evolve and kill millions of people.
America is rapidly becoming a banana republic, due to a lack of education and a desire for “cradle to grave” security provided by government. Today, a significant percentage (I’ve heard 30%) of high school students don’t even graduate high school. Thus, they are barely qualified to get a job where all they have to do is ask “Do you want fries with that?” How can America ever hope to compete in a world when populated by a bunch of high school dropouts? Today, even a bachelor’s degree is often not enough to get a well paying job, and often, career changes and additional college level education is required to get ahead and stay ahead.
The whole global warming fiasco is another area where a lack of scientific literacy is going to cause huge problems for the United States, as well as the world. As more and more people are beginning to realize, the scientific evidence for global warming caused, primarily, by CO2 emissions is very much in dispute. You can tell that it is not, really, a scientific matter but a political matter, when you see how the politicians, like Al Gore, try to discredit scientists with genuine disputes on the claim of man-made global warming. Because most Americans are scientifically illiterate, they do not know any better. If someone says the sea levels will engulf major cities in the next few years, and the polar bears will soon be extinct, they simply accept those statements as truth. They do not realize that there is a lot of scientific evidence that indicates that CO2 levels, if anything, tend to follow temperature fluctuations, not cause temperature fluctuations. Also, the global temperature, today, is about the same, or even lower, than it was 20 years ago when Dr. Hansen set the whole global warming panic into place. Also, some of the temperature data predicted by key computer models, when compared to the measured data, do not hold up! How can you base policies that may bankrupt the world economy, or at least severely cripple it, when the computer model that you are basing the whole catastrophe on is flawed, and producing data that does not correspond with reality? Rather than correct the models, many scientists claim that the measured data must be wrong! It is a sad state of affairs. On a simplistic basis, why don’t people wonder why Greenland is called “green land” when it is basically a large ice sheet today? Obviously, because it used to be warmer, and Greenland was a “green land”! Anyone who wants to read an excellent book on the subject is invited to read “Unstoppable Global Warming (Every 1500 years)”, by S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery. Other interesting reads include “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate”, by The Heartland Institute. http://www.heartland.org/custom/semod_policybot/pdf/22835.pdf. One of the newest, and by far most voluminous refutations of man-made global warming, was published in June of 2009 by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. It is titled “Climate Change Reconsidered”, and can be downloaded as a pdf document (868 pages), at http://www.heartland.org/publications/NIPCC%20report/PDFs/NIPCC%20Final.pdf Another good reference that refutes man-made global warming is “The Skeptics Handbook”, which can be downloaded at http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/skeptics_handbook_2-0.pdf . For those wanting an entertaining and educational video on the subject, I suggest “Scare”, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvLt3nU14W4&eurl=http://www.heartland.org/ . It is scary to realize that a total lack of scientific literacy on the part of both American citizens, and American politicians, is going to lead to a “cap and trade” bill that will do nothing but enrich certain politicians and corporations, and rob American families of hundreds of dollars per year through higher prices for virtually everything and higher taxes. Most people may not remember this, but the scare in the 1970’s was global cooling. You don’t hear too much about that, today, do you? (Although it may actually be coming, and would be much worse for the world than global warming. Plants, and most mammals, prefer warmer temperatures. Also, plants need CO2 to grow, but you would not know that unless you had at least a little training in biology.) It is not about the science, it is about politics and control of the people.
Personally, I am a self-employed engineering consultant. Although my work generally revolves around the design, development, and prototyping of all types of electronic equipment, most of my work involves wireless communications equipment of one sort or another. I have a master’s degree in electrical engineering from a well respected university. For a while, I was also a Ph.D candidate at that university, although business and other commitments prevented me from finishing my dissertation research and defending my dissertation within the allowable time period. (I did not go back to school for graduate degrees until I was in my 40’s.) Over the decades, I have also made money, on a part-time basis, as a writer, photographer, jump-plane pilot, and ski instructor. Since my oldest hobby is ham radio, you can see that I believe in getting paid to play. My jobs revolve around my hobbies.
Politically, I am a reformed republican. That is, I am a libertarian. I am a fiscal conservative and social “middle of the roader”. (I was going to say social liberal, but I would not go that far.) I believe in the constitution, small government, and low taxes. It disgusts me to see what has been happening to the USA over the last few decades, not only in the level of the scientific illiteracy of the people, but in the increasingly dangerous tilting towards socialism. I am very much an Ayn Rand Objectivist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_(Ayn_Rand). If the founding fathers could see what is happening in the United States, today, they would not be turning over in their graves, they would be spinning in their graves!
I live in what used to be a rural area; mostly horse farms. Now, it is very suburban. New schools had to be built everywhere you look, and taxes are skyrocketing. I will soon be moving to a very rural location, with low population density and low taxes in another state.
My interests include ham radio, fishing, flying, shooting (guns and archery), tennis, skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and scuba diving.
While I am not very active in various societies, I belong to the IEEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers), APS (American Physical Society), AOPA (Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association), ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League), MENSA (high IQ society), and AAAS (American Academy for the Advance of Science).
Religiously, I am an atheist. In reality, I would define myself as an “anti-theist”, along the lines of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris. I agree with Richard Dawkins in saying that “religion is the root of all evil.” While most religions are not as obviously harmful, today, as Islam, some still foster and encourage scientific illiteracy (creationism, now called “intelligent design”), and belief, by grown adults, in fairy tales. Lets face it, Jesus is Santa Claus for adults. It is sad to say that people in 2009 still believe in myths, lies, and legends that date back over 2000 years, and that have no basis in reality. Einstein may have said it best, when he said in a letter in the last few years of his life: “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”
I also have a soft spot for dogs, and especially for Siberian Huskies. Here is my Siberian Husky, and what he did to one of my doors, after I left him for a while before putting him on Prozac. He is a rescue, and he has severe separation anxiety, as you can plainly see from what he did to the door while left alone.
But, as long as he is on his medication, he can be very calm and relaxed.
I can be contacted at ed at howcanpeoplebesostupid dot com