Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

trump-clownReblogged from Quillette

[Editor’s Note: This article was rejected by 45 different magazines, periodicals, and journals across the political spectrum: Far left, left, center, unaffiliated, right, far right, and libertarian.]

Trump is a monstrous choice for president. Monstrous. He’s a demagogue with a clear bent to authoritarianism. He’s completely politically inexperienced and has no clear idea what constitutes successful, appropriate, or even legal behavior for an elected official. He has repeatedly proven himself to be virtually incoherent on foreign policy, economics, diplomacy, and the military. His only true assets are self-promotion, juvenile tweets, and belittling his enemies. He’s barely qualified to be president of anything, especially anything with a military. It goes without saying, then, that essentially no one in their right mind should want him as President of the United States of America. The problem, however, is that America is no longer in its right mind. Major political cancers are driving it to madness.



David Cameron’s #projectfear uses a well know psychological technique called loss aversion. Wiki:

In economics and decision theory, loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Most studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.[1] Loss aversion was first demonstrated by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman.[2]

This leads to risk aversion when people evaluate an outcome comprising similar gains and losses; since people prefer avoiding losses to making gains.

This is why politicians always say in advance they will “run a positive campaign” but then end up running a negative one – fear of downsides outsides potential benefits of upsides in the average person’s mind.

That’s also why entrepreneurs, inventors and explorers tend to be in the vanguard of the Leave campaign – they don’t allow irrational fear of small risks to keep them from trying for the big prize.



Oct 23-24 2015  Yougov   Feb 3-4 2016

Reblogged from Rt Hon David Davis MP’s website, this is a comprehensive look at the case for Brexit.

David Davis: Brexit – what would it look like? – 4 February 2016

It has been over 43 years since Britain joined the European Economic Community. For all that time there have been calls for Europe to reform. For Europe to be more democratic, more competitive, more functional. And for Britain to lead that reform.

The result? If anything Europe has become less democratic, less competitive and more dysfunctional. And Britain has become more side-lined.

The EU has been in decline for some time now. There is no change of course in sight. The risks involved in staying are clear for all to see – low growth, high unemployment, and waning influence.

In 1975 the EU was the bright future, a vision of a better world. Now it is a crumbling relic from a gloomy past. We must raise our eyes to the wider world.



UPDATE: The talkshop pledge is now up to £500 + a reserve, see comments.

Brexit: The Movie, is a new project set up by Martin Durkin, of ‘The great Global Warming Swindle’ fame. Martin is a top documentary maker, but none of the big TV channels are going to finance this one. Check out the trailer above and you’ll know why.

Climate sceptics have a lot of reasons to be eurosceptics too, given the nutty energy policy being dictated to the UK from Brussels thanks to their mad climate policies.


Piers Corbyn brought a friend, Mark, to the Paris Climate Challenge who helped enormously with the video editing and interviewing work. He runs his own site called ‘Windows on the World’ where he has posted a half hour program showing interviews with some of the attendees at the Paris Climate Challenge, including Niklas Morner, Franco Maranzana and Philip Foster.


Click the image to see the video at Mark’s site – help raise his hit count please.

We were unable to cover any of Mark’s expenses from our shoestring budget and we’d like to, as he’s on a shoestring budget himself. If anyone would like to help, please use the donate button in the top left corner of the talkshop. All donations, of whatever size are appreciated.  – Thanks for your help. With it, we can keep on fighting the corruption and disinformation wrecking science’s good name and impoverishing the ordinary people of the world.


Yesterday in Paris, religious extremists murdered twelve people and critically wounded several others at the offices of a satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, including the editor, cartoonists and writers, and police personnel. This morning a policewoman has died and a council road sweeper is wounded following another murderous attack in south Paris. The kalashnikov toting murderers in the first massacre shouted as they left that their god had been avenged.

The magazine has courted controversy over the years, with its deliberately provocative cartoons satirising and criticising politicians, nationalities, various religious faiths and boorish Frenchmen among others. Last night, many thousands including members of all faiths gathered in the Place de la Republique in a demonstration of solidarity and defence of free speech.


Credit – Associated Press

So why are we in the west so obstinate and determined to maintain our right to freedom of expression, and why do we hold those who use it provocatively but intelligently in such high regard?



Reblog from BD live

MANY of the world’s leaders in science, engineering and other relevant disciplines will no longer comment publicly about climate change. They fear being labelled scaremongers, or deniers, or funded by special interest groups, or not caring about the poor.

This must change this year or what promises to be the largest global warming agreement in history will be signed at the United Nations climate conference in December with little or no input from many of the brightest minds in the field.

Taming the noxious and illogical climate change debate will not be easy. We will need strong public leadership from philosophers and other scholars who study rational argumentation to help us overcome the errors in thinking that are sabotaging the discussion. At stake are billions of dollars, countless jobs and, if activists are right, the fate of the global environment itself. Intellectuals have a moral duty to tackle this problem.


My thanks to Patrick Moore, co-founder and ex Greenpeace leader, and since 1986 ‘the sensible environmentalist’, for his permission to repost this article printed in the Australian recently. The name of Patrick’s own venture – Ecosense reflects his logical and humanist approach to the climate debate.

Patrick Moore: We Need More Carbon Dioxide, Not Less


Australian politics has been more influenced by the climate debate than any other country. Yet Australia is responsible for only 1.5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Perhaps this speaks of Australia’s extraordinary commitment to the international community. Yet Australia has threatened to hobble its own economy while much larger ­nations take a pass while making pious pronouncements.

I am sceptical that humans are the main cause of climate change, and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over”, the “science is settled”.

My scepticism begins with the warmists’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis that increased CO2 due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unliveable temperatures.

Talkshop contributor Cheremon emailed me earlier to say that today is the centenary of the birth of Adventurer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl. Here’s a short Biography of this remarkable man. I visited the museum and ‘ethnological park he built on Teneriffe (with Fred Olson’s money) some years ago, and marvelled at the similarity of the ancient artifacts from both sides of the Atlantic on display next to the pyramids he excavated from a pile of rubble. This from


Thor Heyerdahl Biography

Writer, Academic, Archaeologist, Explorer (1914–2002)
Born in 1914, Thor Heyerdahl grew up in Norway. He attended Oslo University, where he studied zoology. In 1936, Heyerdahl went to live on the Pacific island of Fatu Hiva. He made his world-famous voyage from Peru to French Polynesia aboard the Kon-Tiki in 1947. His book about this adventure became an international hit. In 1953, Heyerdahl led an archaelogical expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Two years later, he traveled to Easter Island. In his later years, Heyerdahl excavated pyramids in Peru and the Canary Islands. He died in 2002. (more…)

I’ve been out of the loop for a while, initially due to being away on holiday, then by a round of job interviews I had to prepare for (no success there), and finally by the hospitalisation of my dear old dad (he’s improving now). I’m immensely grateful to my co-bloggers Tim, Stuart (Oldbrew) and Andrew, who have been minding the shop and putting up lots of interesting articles during my absence – thanks guys.

This period has shown more than ever that the talkshop isn’t a one man band, but a vibrant community of bloggers, contributors, commenters and readers. The theory we are working on is moving along in the background as well as on the blog, along with a couple of other related developments I’ll be able to disclose in due course.

Evening light at Vannes harbour - South Brittany

Evening sunlight at Vannes harbour – South Brittany


Bob Fernley-Jones asks an important question needing wide discussion.

First, let’s quickly review the basics of the existing four or so laws.
[skip to dicussion]


Credit: Marc de Falco [1] (click full size)

  • Zeroth Law: According to Arnold Sommerfeld, Ralph H. Fowler invented the title ‘the zeroth law of thermodynamics’ when he was discussing the 1935 text of Saha and Srivastava. They write on page 1 that “every physical quantity must be measurable in numerical terms”. They presume that temperature is a physical quantity and then deduce the statement “If a body A is in temperature equilibrium with two bodies B and C, then B and C themselves will be in temperature equilibrium with each other”… [Source Wikipedia]
  • Law 1: The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic systems. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed… [Source Wikipedia]
  • Law 2: …The German scientist Rudolf Clausius laid the foundation for the second law of thermodynamics in 1850 by examining the relation between heat transfer and work.[17] His formulation of the second law, which was published in German in 1854, is known as the Clausius statement: Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time. [Or] Heat cannot spontaneously flow from cold regions to hot regions without external work being performed on the system… [Source Wikipedia]
    This is the form of law 2 that has been well defined by the humorous fun of Flanders and Swann (1963) , but ordinary folks should be alerted that despite the truth of the above, there have been “definition refinements” that maybe could be renumbered to Law 2.1:

    • Law 2 Updated: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy… [And much more: source Wikipedia]




Words fail me. Hopefully talkshop comments will be witty, erudite and stay within the bounds of legality.


A letter has been sent to the president elect of the EU by Sense about Science, urging him to reject the call of anti-scientific NGO’s such as Greenpeace to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. You can add your name by clicking on the link at the bottom.

Scientific scrutiny in Europe is essential

We and many organisations across Europe have written to President elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to ask him not to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. Our letter is in response to a call from environmental NGOs to “scrap this position.” We strongly object to this proposal and to any attempt to undermine the integrity and independence of scientific advice received at the highest level of the European Commission. We wanted to respond quickly so we have sent the letter. If you want to add your name your name you can do that here. If organisations feel strongly about this, please write to Mr Juncker yourselves.

Many other organisations are sending their own letters including nine European medical research organisations and the European Plant Science Organisation representing 227 public research institutions across Europe.


The Spectator has a good analysis on the BBC climate reporting bias debacle which coins a new phrase – ‘Climate Correctness’. A few excerpts:

gagging-ordersIt is only a matter of time before Nigel Lawson — if he is allowed on the BBC at all — has to have his words spoken by an actor in the manner of Gerry Adams at the height of the IRA’s bombing campaign during the 1980s. In the case of Mr Adams, whose voice was banned from the airwaves by the government, the BBC stood up for free speech. But it is quite a different story with Lord Lawson. The BBC has effectively banned the former chancellor (and former editor of this magazine) from appearing on its programmes to debate climate change, unless he is introduced with a statement discrediting his views.

When people try to close down debate rather than engage with it, there is a pretty clear conclusion to be drawn: they lack confidence in their own case. The suppression of debate was shown again this week when Vladimir Semonov, a climate scientist at the Geomar Institute in Kiel, Germany, revealed that a paper he wrote in 2009 questioning the accuracy of climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was effectively censored by the scientist to whom it was sent for review.


Guest post from Tony Thomas following up the GWPF story from yesterday about the degree to which schoolchildren are being propagandised by climate activist material and teaching practice.

 Climate Catastrophism For Kiddies
by Tony Thomas 9-4-14

kid-polar_bearGet ’em young and fill their heads with warmist propaganda — that seems to the unofficial motto of Britain’s education establishment, which has just been warned by the Home Secretary that peddling propaganda as fact is a punishable offence

Alarming climate  and eco-activist messages are saturating the British school system, according to a report by noted UK bloggers Andrew Montford and John Shade. On the same  day of the report’s publication, April 8, the response of UK Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove was to warn   teachers they are breaking the law if they fail to provide balanced coverage of climate change and similar issues.

The affair suggests a similar independent inquiry into “climate teaching” in Australian schools would be worthwhile. Anecdotal accounts of brainwashing by activists masquerading as teachers in our primary and secondary schools are legion.


From Benny Peiser at the GWPF:

brainwashLondon, 8 April: A new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation is calling for Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, to institute an official inquiry into the way environmentalism and in particular climate change are being taught in schools.

In the report, authors Andrew Montford and John Shade describe how environmentalism has come to permeate school curricula across the UK, featuring in an astonishing variety of subjects, from geography to religious education to modern languages. Passing examinations will now usually involve the ability to recite green mantras rather than understanding the subtle questions of science and economics involved.

The authors review in detail the climate change teaching materials currently used in British schools, with disturbing results. There is ample evidence of unscientific statements, manipulated graphs, and activist materials used in class and even found in textbooks.

The report also describes how activist teachers try to make children become the footsoldiers of the green movement, encouraging them to harass their schoolmates and pester their parents to bring about “behaviour change”.




Fenbeagle at his brilliant best


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farage-cleggRound two of the Farage vs Clegg EU in or out debate was high on rhetoric and entertainment from Nick Clegg. Farage did call Nick a liar at one point, but mostly kept his cool while Clegg became increasingly shrill, mentioning the EU as vital in our fight against  climate change. He even channelled Stephan Lewandowsky, calling Farage a fantasist who doesn’t believe the Moon landings happened.

“He’s one of those people who see conspiracy theories everywhere!” cried Mr Clegg, gesturing impatiently at the Ukip leader. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he tells us next that there wasn’t a Moon landing, Obama isn’t American, and Elvis isn’t dead!”

Mr Farage, furthermore, lived in “a fantasy world”, yearned to “turn the clock back to a bygone age” when “women knew their place”, and promoted views about the EU that were “a dangerous fantasy” and “a dangerous con”.

Nigel let him carry on, interjecting a sotto  “oh dear oh dear” as  Clegg ranted.

The outcome? The Guradian gave it to Farage 69 to 31. Yougov around the same. The LBC poll has Farage over 90%

The writing is on the wall for the parties which have denied the British people a voice for 40 years. Revolution is in the air. Farage’s parting words were:

Join the people’s army, let’s topple the establishment.


Reposted from Battsby’s blog:

Do you remember Up Pompeii? Frankie Howerd, as Lurcio, regularly encountered a series of unlikely characters who dragged him into their deranged world with increasingly far-fetched but ultimately pedestrian plots, almost always relying on deception and the concealing of truths on pain of death. None of Lurcio’s encounters were met with such dread and derision as those with Senna the Soothsayer. “Woe, woe and thrice woe…”? Well, that’s the climate change lobby, that is.



Bloggies 2014 finalists

Posted: March 23, 2014 by tchannon in Blog, People power, Philosophy

A gentle reminder to our readers. There are still a few days left to vote  Voting ends tonight in this years Bloggies. We have been selected as finalists in the ‘Best European Weblog’ section. Thanks for your consideration.

Voting for the Bloggies 2014

  • Saturday, March 1
    Finalists are announced and voting reopens to all to choose the winners.
  • Sunday, March 23
    10:00 PM EDT (early Monday morning European time)
    Voting closes.
  • Monday, March 31
    8:00 PM EDT
    Winners are announced and the Weblog of the Year receives a prize of 2,014 US cents (US$20.14).

Lets have a look focussing on blogs we know well, no offence meant to others.

Bloggies 2014 finalists (list at end of page there)

Weblog of the Year
*No Frakking Consensus
Quirky Chrissy
Travel Geek Magazine
The Modern Nomad
*Watts Up With That?