perjantai 28. marraskuuta 2014

I am horrible

and now I have to write a book

so, seriously, blogging stops now.



torstai 27. marraskuuta 2014

keskiviikko 26. marraskuuta 2014

I'm tired as Jesus. Maybe even more. Jesus. Jesus. When I'm tired, everything is Jesus.

I have no idea what I've been talking about for the past few hours. My responses have been robotic.

These days, when I sleep, my dreams are weird and strong. I'm about to sleep again.

I'm possibly gonna take a break from blogging. Especially activism. I'll do that stuff a bit later in life. First, I've got a book to write. A couple of them, actually. Oh Jesus how I love them. The books. And Jesus. Jesus was 5ft 1 (155 cm) and weighed 110 pounds (50 kg).

Btw, the reason that I post these long rants about ethics is that there's a possibility that eventually in the future, I will have a career and somebody may actually want to read these.

Not that I want you to read them, my friends living in 2014. Don't do it, they're depressing.

Elise Andrew and the annoying vegans

I think that it's a really good thing that "I Fucking Love Science" exists.

One of the most important things to understand about the human psyche is that people are playing identity games all the time. To humans, things like facts are secondary compared to our need to identify with the people and the things that we consider socially good. Socially, we want to be on the winning side, and in most cases, we want to be normal. When we don't want to be normal, we want to be one of the cool dissidents. More than anything else, we want to be a part of a group that we consider socially better than the other groups.

Therefore it's great that we now have a popular Facebook page presenting science as something neat. "Loving science" has become a "cool" thing to do. "Geekiness" is something that people want to identify themselves with. This is nice, because it means that there are more people than ever before interested in scientific progress.

But there's one quite problematic thing about IFLS that many have started to notice over the past months.

One thing is that in the IFLS universe, things like factory farming simply don't exist. They do publish important articles like this one, but all in all, the animal industry is never mentioned. They write about climate change, but they systematically ignore the meat industry's role in it.

The fact that other animals are conscious like us is scientific reality, so it would make sense to at least mention that we currently have an industry that's producing and, well, torturing hundreds of billions of them when we could, well, simply eat something else.

This is happening and it would make sense to say something about it.

I mean: you have the power to really educate people about these things and make things better.

Still, the silence is understandable. You know, you can just sincerely forget to mention things. The more alarming thing is that, over the past months, IFLS has actually published a couple of really shaky anti-vegan articles. They've either been silly pseudoscience easy to debunk, or the article has presented actual scientific findings in a way that turns the whole thing into something that the scientists never said. You can't justify this by later explaining that you were just kind of joking. You know that people are reading it as factual information.

The person behind the page is Elise Andrew. People – vegans and omnivores alike – have asked her to explain why I Fucking Love Science is publishing such unscientific stuff when it comes to the subject of veganism. This is where we get to the most alarming thing: Andrew's reaction.

I saw a guy ask Andrew to explain her motives, and very elegantly and appropriately reminding her that with IFLS, she really has the power to make a difference in terms of animal welfare. Elise Andrew's response? "Fuck off."

When people discussed the matter on Andrew's personal Facebook page, she actually deleted the comments that disagreed with her viewpoint. Deleted. For example, someone named Michael Fry-White commented:

"Not vegan, but admirable of them. They make a pretty large sacrifice for their beliefs. How about letting them be? Eventually we will live in an animal-meat free world and you people will sound like my South African friend's racist grandparents, only your comments immortalized on the internet."

A very good comment... Deleted.

Considering that Richard Dawkins is one of Andrew's heroes, it would be interesting to know what she thinks of the fact that Dawkins' opinion on meat-eating is pretty similar to the view expressed by Michael in the comments section:

"I would like everybody to be a vegetarian", says Richard. "In 100 or 200 years time, we may look back on the way we treated animals today as something like we today look back on the way our forefathers treated slaves."

I think that this is rather inevitable. It's only a question of when. The job of activists is to make the change as easy and fast as possible.

As for Andrew, the question is why. Why the... hmm, emotionally charged response to the topic of veganism? The cynical answer is that she's apparently working for a company that profits from animal testing. Another possibility is that she's simply annoyed by vegans. A lot of people are. Really, when the whole society is kicking dogs in the head, the person who refuses to kick dogs in the head is annoying; they're making you question your own actions. More importantly, they're making you question your own identity. You identify as a "good person", and it's like they're saying that they're better than you. That is uncomfortable, and uncomfortable easily turns into annoying.

In any case, it is dangerous when one person's human irrationalities affect the way a page this popular presents scientific information. As humans we are full of irrationalities, all of us, but in this case we're talking about a page that reaches millions and millions of people every day. You can't escape the huge responsibility by simply telling people to fuck off.

I don't, however, think that posting a couple of silly articles is that dangerous. All in all, IFLS are doing a great job. They're educating people about many extremely important issues. They're making science cool. I just really, really, really hope that the future is brighter and that posting a couple of silly articles wasn't just a start for something that could actually harm the planet and its animals.

I believe in Elise Andrew. She's smart as hell, and I'm pretty sure she's good too. So I'm not actually expecting things to get worse... It's just that you can never know.



Andrew says that vegans have "threatened to kill her". Now, I don't know if this is true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. There are lunatics in every social movement, and I'm painfully aware of the fact that there are quite a lot of people in the animal rights movement acting in idiotic ways. Calling people murderers and just generally being stupid.

Acting idiotically is understandable in this case. You realize what's going on, and you realize that most people are actively ignoring what's going on and mocking you when you try to speak up. When things are this fucked up, it's easy to respond with aggression.

But the aggression isn't helping the animals at all. Jesus, how I wish that animal rights activists stopped behaving in ways that only make the situation worse for the animals. Activists should

realize that their own irrational human psyche is sometimes making them behave in ways that make effective activism impossible,

realize that understanding the mechanisms of the human psyche is the key to making the animal rights movement mainstream.

What we're doing now isn't working. -> Let's do something else.



I hope that activists realize how important it is to get the pop science people on our side. Maybe 20-30 years from now I Fucking Love Science won't exist anymore, but there'll at least be something similar, and we'll probably live in a world where cultured meat has become a reality. With cultured meat it will be, socially and psychologically, a LOT easier to get people on our side. Popular science media could play an important role in introducing the product to the public and countering the pseudoscience of the animal industry. The animal industry will be frightened, and they will be aggressive, and we need someone to stand up for the facts.

So. Let's not be stupid now.

sunnuntai 23. marraskuuta 2014

The world outside is covered in snow
my room is warm
and everything I eat tastes like heaven.
Soon I'll go out and ride buses
I don't sleep very much these days, and when I do, it usually happens when everyone else is awake, and this has blurred the passing of time dramatically.

Don't let your heart kill your brain, and don't let your brain kill your heart, and you will be an okay human being.

It's difficult as fuck, I know

John Lydon's teeth, and so on

If I should meet thee
After long years
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

I have a whole new life.

I look like the saddest kind of youth criminal. Like those kids who kill other kids because the other kids are so much better-looking. I have to find pride in who I am. I will never look like a hero. That doesn't matter as long as I can find the guts to be a hero.

I used to spend time fantasizing about writing an autobiography. How I would tell this story, how I'd recreate my life and make myself seem heroic in it so that everybody would like me. (Why is this child talking about a life story that doesn't even exist yet?) But I'm starting to realize that the whole point of writing autobiographies is honesty.

Anyway, I watched a documentary where Stephen Fry waddles around the world to see how gay people are treated in different countries. I like Stephen Fry. He's so cute and British and sympathetic. Although I can imagine that trying to explain animal rights to Stephen Fry would probably be like him trying to explain gay rights to a priest in Uganda. I'm not sure why. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that he might be someone who's spent decades fighting for his rights and isn't necessarily open to the idea of fighting for the rights of others after all this. You just want to breathe out. I can understand that. I may be wrong. If I'm wrong, correct me. Always correct me if I'm wrong.

20 minutes ago I stumbled upon this ridiculous thing written by Tim Booth: "I’ve been swimming with Dolphins in the wild many times. I will eat most things. It’s the paradox of life – we kill to live. But there are some creatures off the menu." Jesus fucking Christ! Here we go again. There's this disgusting idea that only dogs, cats and dolphins matter. Most other vertebrates exist only to be used for the convenience of humans. You see, if we don't produce, torture and kill thousands and thousands and thousands of billions of pigs, cows, birds and fish, Tim Booth will simply stop living. Tim Booth has this medical condition that requires systematic cruelty and violence towards the most vulnerable individuals in the world. Otherwise he just dies. Let us keep the wheels of the most violent industry in known history turning, so that Tim Booth can keep living.

Tim Booth

Btw, John Lydon, the existence of your teeth isn’t forcing you to support the meat industry any more than the existence of your hands is forcing you to strangle your neighbours.

People can sometimes force themselves to be somewhat rational when it comes to simple stuff like mathematics, but when it's about things like morality, people get hysterical and emotional and defensive and, quite simply, start yelling and stop thinking.

Most people can't work around taboos. The taboos are there and people can't see through them and look at the matter in hand. For a human being, it is more or less impossible to see reality as it is, but when you're letting even the most inane ideas of the surrounding culture restrict your own thinking, your own thinking stops happening. Don't be so afraid. Challenge yourself, every day.

Most people don't think, because they already have the prevailing culture telling them that left is right and that black is white and that people with dark skin are slaves and that women are reproduction machines and that what we do to animals is acceptable.

The ideas of the prevailing culture can be absurd and downright horrific, but humans adopt them because... well, it's the easier thing to do. It's so much easier than thinking.

I started thinking about this again recently when I visited Sweden to see Morrissey in Göteborg. I happened to read this article. It's about Swedish Morrissey fans sitting and discussing their Morrissey fandom. It's a sympathetic article, not very remarkable; I did however remark something jättekonstigt about the comments of one of the participants, script writer Peter Birro. (Apparently I can read Swedish to some extent.)

Anyway, Peter seems really nice. He seems like a person I'd sincerely like, and it would probably be really nice to spend time with him. But there's one strange recurring theme in his comments. He keeps returning to it, I don't know, maybe there's something going on in his heart.

Peter Birro (whose name is very beautiful, by the way; I am jealous, I admit it) refers to Morrissey's vegetarianism as "fundamentalistic". You know, Morrissey is the crazy fanatic here, blabbering crazy religious ideas like "We shouldn't torture individuals with human-like cognitive abilities".

Of course, Birro himself has no ideology at all, because he's just a normal person: "Vegetarianism is a side of Morrissey that says nothing to me about my life," he says, and then tells us that he respects Morrissey's vegetarianism anyway (hurting animals is okay as long as you remember to respect people who don't do it), but he "grew up with pappa's lamb stews". Well, that is great. In a society where everybody has slaves, the guy who refuses to have slaves is The Weird One With The Extreme Views.


Birro must naturally mention this comment that Morrissey made a few years ago right after a man named Breivik had murdered dozens of people in Norway:

"Despite the love, we do live on a murderous planet, as you will have seen in the last few days in Norway. Murder, murder, murder. Really, every single day worse things happen in Kentucky Fried Shit and McDonald's. Murder, murder, murder, murder, murder."

Birro thinks that these words are "distasteful".

I think that they are inconsiderate. The timing was awful. We should have empathy for the victims' families; it's not the time for agendas. Besides, suffering is suffering. It's not a race. (I've already written about the case here.) And hurting people's feelings is not effective activism.

Yet, what he said was true. Of course his words are distasteful, but what's a lot more distasteful than inconsiderate words is the fact that we're torturing hundreds of billions – hundreds of billions – of sentient animals every single year. Simply because we want to eat animal burgers instead of seitan burgers. It's happening every second of the day. It's happening while I'm typing this. It's happening while Peter and friends sit and discuss Morrissey. Hundeds of billions of individuals, suffering for nothing. Somebody must say something.

I may disagree with Morrissey's style when it comes to activism, but it's the distasteful morrisseys that are and have always been responsible for starting necessary revolutions. The nice people gasp. They want to be nice. And then, when the meaning of 'nice' slowly changes... the nice people follow. Thinking is painful, and saying the truth out loud takes a certain amount of insanity, and Morrissey certainly has a certain amount of that.

Anyway, this is pretty crazy in itself, letting details like these annoy me so much, writing such long blog posts about it. Based on 95% of the stuff that Peter Birro said in the article, I love him. I'm almost 100% certain that he's a wonderful person. It's just that too many individuals here have spent their whole lives in ruins because of people who are "nice".

perjantai 21. marraskuuta 2014

Jesus, I'm a lot less infuriating than half a year ago.

It's like I'm 10 years older.

torstai 20. marraskuuta 2014

Another theory

There’s quite a lot of pain in my life, and I’m starting to think that I should figure out what to do with it. How to respond to it, how to use it. One option is bitterness, apathy, anger, spending your life trying to make others as miserable as you are. Then there’s the road that can actually make a difference. Learning. This road can 'heal' you. It’s not going to be easy, but I want to become a person who does not judge and hate, but sees that behind most evil, there is usually pain. It may be just an irritating little tingling in your heart, or it may be excruciating headache 24/7, but it is pain that is limiting our ability to think and do the right thing. Try to see that, try to see yourself in the most vicious idiot, and you may be able to change the world. (Ignore the psychopaths.)

I believe that most cruelty is dysfunction. Something is not working and can be fixed. Wars, rapes, hate crimes, bullfights, fish bowls on tables. It is blindness, and one can start seeing again. Society can start seeing again. Biologically, there is a lot of potential for darkness in us, but there is also enough potential for light. Therefore there is hope. See clearly, think rationally, believe in information, believe in psychology, believe in people, and you can change the world.

perjantai 7. marraskuuta 2014

I am a goalkeeper

Usually to be able to listen to a song and like it, I have to somehow like or understand or identify with the person who sang it. The artist is important. But then there are exceptions. Regina Spektor could have killed and eaten her own family, but I wouldn't care, because she wrote Us

lauantai 1. marraskuuta 2014