A Few Words And Choice Links


So much time spent on reviews that gathering links got neglected, but there were a few worthy of mention. The most amusing bit has been the brouhaha over the ever condescending, fibmeister Neil Degrasse Tyson. Unless you are one of the science-for-the-masses crowd, his downfall won’t be of interest and even so, it probably won’t be of interest. However, Wikipedia has shamed itself over censoring remarks about him and deleting the news source that outed him. If nothing else, this episode is a good reminder to beware what you read on the web. It may or may not be complete or accurate since humans insist on being human. *sigh*


  1. I guess I live in a trivial news vacuum. I hadn’t heard the “earth shattering” news about Neil deGrasse Tyson until I saw your …u hem…comment about him today. After reading through the last week’s news, including the “Federalist” and “The Washington Post ” my final determination was so what? Goodness, since I am just as guilty of confusing quotes, paraphrases and short changing ALL the facts with incidents and occurrences, who am I to cast the first stone? If this is all we have to worry about in this country right now, something is terribly wrong. Plus, the first people to start casting said first stones were those I would worry much more about. Of course it’s always painful when the public places someone on a pedestal only to find they are merely fallible humans, just like them. I guess the minute you place yourself at the mercy of public opinion you must not speak for fear of retribution. I wish many of our politicians followed that route!


    • It was amusing and a break from the more serious news of the week. Unfortunately, NDT seems to have peddled his creative recollections for some time now. I do hold lecturers and professors to a higher standard. I hold politicians to no standards since they have none of their own. Believing what they have to say is folly. The same goes for Wikipedia which cuts more to the crux of the matter. Censorship, misrepresentations, opinions disguised as fact, litter the Internet. Caveat emptor.


      • I concede. I should have read more carefully and realized that the actions of Wikipedia were probably the real story here. I apologize if I came across a bit on the grumpy side. My point which I also realized I had not made at all is that NDT has long been making errors in his quotes and now it’s an issue? I know better than to take issue on highly charged subjects; politics, politicians, determining the truth on the Internet. Caveat emptor, indeed.


        • No problem with your comment. Apparently until the last couple of weeks, no one has bothered to verify his remarks. That in itself is telling. In other words because NDT said it, it must be true as far as his acolytes are concerned. Remarkably narrow but typically human. As you have noted and what I find disturbing, is how Wikipedia has treated the matter. It’s easy to fall into the habit of accepting what we read online as truth and nothing but the truth. Skepticism is far healthier.

          Like you I don’t weigh in often on political matters, but lively discussions are can be entertaining spectator sport. In that I indulge far too often.


  2. Well, I’m months late to the game, had not heard of this, and had a heck of a time finding out what had happened. Is the issue that NDT has anecdotes that are more or less tall tales? That was the only news I could find. It wasn’t anything like he was making up scientific claims, was it? Because I’d consider that far more alarming from a scientist than if he recounted humorous recollections that weren’t true.

    In a tangential note…how is he condescending? I’m genuinely curious, not trying to be confrontational, because I’ve seen some interviews with him and read some of his writing, and he never came across as condescending.


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