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Thread: General/Opinion

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All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.

Sarcasm Rears Its Ugly Head Again


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Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2014 22:36:38 +1000

According to a recent article in the SMH, a US Secret Service agency wants to develop software that identifies sarcasm.

The story, first published in the Washington Post, purports that a work order was posted by the FBI on June 2nd. The details are sketchy but apparently the Bureau wants to be able to monitor social service media and to be "sarcasm-aware".

Apparently the Bureau also specify that the software should be compatible with MSIE 8.

Now your humble blogger was a little concerned to discover that the FBI were using MSIE in-house, because a study in 2011 concluded that MSIE users had significantly lower intelligence than users of other browsers. The story actually proved to be a hoax, but people who believe that MSIE users have a low intelligence will still continue to believe it even after it has been revealed to be a hoax ... Furthermore your humble blogger, who is perpetuating the hoax by repeating the misinformation, begs your forgiveness dear reader. Because even if the story were not true ... It's so good ... It should be!

And while on the topic of misinformation ... A recent study by the University of Western Australia (fair dinkum this time) concluded that misinformation can continue to be effective long after it has been disproved. The study (not a hoax) was published in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. It suggests that misinformation can continue to be effective long after it has been disproved. This is especially true if the misinformation is repeated and if it concurs with the prejudices of the reader (or viewer).

An article about this on the ABC Science Website titled: Setting The Record Straight Is Almost Impossible, cites "Climate Change" as a classic example ... Where opposing sides only listen to news or views that concur with their already pre-conceived opinion(s).

And your blogger can hardly refrain from humbly opining that this might be one of the reasons that the Liberal Party is so determined to shut down science and public broadcasting ... All in the guise of "introducing market forces" to these ... So that people will pay market price for the science education and their public broadcasts.

It is well known that science and engineering course are the most expensive. And if students were to behave like happy little consumers choosing the course that most effectively maximises their post graduate salaries, they would of course choose accounting, law, finance and/or sales and marketing ... And we would all happily get on with business ... Except of course we would not actually be building, manufacturing or doing anything in the "real" economy ... But at least we would not be talking about climate change?

This goal is obviously near and dear to our Prime Minister's little heart ... So near and dear that he has actually scrapped the Ministry for Science (Soon to be replaced with the Ministry For Truth?) And funding for science has been cut dramatically ... Except for research on "clean coal". We gotta keep those coal fires burning after all.

Your humble blogger will continue to follow this thread while assiduously observing World's Best Practice Humility.


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