How principled are opponents of scientific research?

How principled are opponents of scientific research?

How principled are opponents of scientific research?

What's happening in our readers' forum.
July 7 2006 2:48 PM

Stem Sellouts

How principled are opponents of scientific research?

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Having "been one of the working poor all my life," Sewells1951 thinks that the so-called progressive agenda, aimed at "making life better for the working poor … for 40 years now," is in need of rethinking:

How long are we supposed to wait for Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society to pan out? Instead of making things better for the working poor, what it has yielded is health care that only the affluent can afford and a wealth distribution curve that is growing more skewed every day.

Theory is indispensable but at some point one has to pay attention to the exprimental results and when they aren't what one's theory predicted then one simply must recognize that one's theory needs revision.


For amykate, a missing point in the debate is location, location, location:

People from cities often don't understand this, but those in rural areas have nowhere else to buy things, low cost or otherwise. Walmart has succeeded because it puts stores in places that need both places to buy things and jobs for workers. Many towns are thrilled to have any jobs at all and low prices are a bonus.

I live in a small town (around 10,000) surrounded by hamlets so small they don't even rate dots on a map. The nearest mall is 35+ minutes away. If I want groceries or painting supplies or a ceramic elephant, I buy them at Walmart because there are few, if any, other places to buy it. I would love to rail against the dominion of box stores or about how Walmart is driving down wages, but can't because I'm too happy that I can buy what I need without making a 3 hour sojourn across the state line and that a few hundred people in my town have jobs.

On a related note, Sibyl_Vane wonders what will happen to Wal-Mart's "market share as the diffusion of technology and knowledge allows rural Americans to purchase goods off the internet instead of relying solely on the Wal-Mart store that serves 3 counties."

For a fascinating article on the influence of Ozark culture and its "brutal hill-country society" on the present-day corporation, read Simon Head's 2004 article from The New York Review of Books. AC ... 6:09pm PDT


Thursday, June 22, 2006

In Best of the Fray, switters has produced a parodic masterpiece capturing the essence of Fray life and culture. Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Slate, it seemed worthy of reprinting here in its entirety, with one modification: the neologism Enterfraynment Tonight© has been provisionally trademarked. Here goes:

Ready for "the new look"? Didn't think so.

With a new makeover for Slate comes a new makeover for The Fray. Sassy, hip, fresh, "phat" boards. And we here at Enterfraynment Tonight© couldn't be more excited about them. So here's a sneak peek at some of the things on tap for Slate's loyal readers, and our "new blood".

Reality Roundup, focusing on today's most important reality television shows, will be linked to articles reviewing, recapping and re-inventing reality as we know it, at least on our TVs. Good times!

Obituarfray will help regulars keep track of who's dead but still manages to find time to post, and help make our new readers aware of the fact that some people here (most?) are truly troubled.

Go Fuck Yourself will tackle everyday life encounters with grass roots issues that really hit hard on the home front and come out smelling fresh on the other side.

Quake 3 Frayrena will be a one-on-one venue for flaming, complete with play-by-play "sidebars" by the editorial staff who announce the winners after all the spittle has settled.

I Write The Songs That Make The Whole World Puke, dedicated solely to the creepily insane army of Barry Manilow fans, or "Fanilows", will allow you to make fun of him and them. [!!!Warning!!! Extreme density of earworm prevalence makes this board highly volatile, and the editorial staff highly recommends blasting Led Zeppelin's epic Presence whilst visiting.]

Vanity Not Fair, dedicated solely to the creepily insane army of Vanity Fair fans, or "Fair Weather Friends" (ourselves here at EFrayT included), will allow you to make fun of it and them. One special feature of this board will be links to pictures, say, of Dominick Dunne's head on Kate Moss's body, and the like. Let the hilarity ensue!

Issues surrounding today's parents will be highlighted in Hey Dumbass!, a new board where readers can explore the problems of kids having to grow up too fast, or not at all, and why the little brats have such an acute sense of entitlement not seen since the civil rights movement.

Shoot&Scoot, utilizing our patented new Censorizor™ software, will allow only "eom" posts. The soul of wit may be brevity, but a well-timed "drive-by" has been known to take out more than a few innocent bystanders.

Hegel And Bagels will feature a weekly Monday morning breakfast breakdown of Germany's favorite omni-cosmologist, not to mention purple onions, cherry tomatoes, cream cheese and salmon! It's BYOBagel, though.

We're really excited about The Yammering Cunt, which, through the magic of our other patented new software program, ScourMate3000™, will earmark posts made by the "challenged" amongst us, yank them out of the other boards, and place them all in one convenient location for us to pour over and enjoy for days on end, and really feel better about ourselves.

The Golden Age will give old-schoolers a home to relive their glory days of yore, when The Fray didn't suck. Cross pollinated with Nursing Home Nabobs, this should help keep the fast-moving boards free from the clutter of thoughtfulness, and hopefully will cut down on the intellectual incontinence of spammers. (Speaking of which…)

Cut&Waste, using a technology similar to that of ScourMate3000™ called ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZap!™, automatically, well, "zaps" posts that are little more than copied articles on other internet fora, usually, thus eliminating the much unnecessary middleman. Hey, isn't that what we're after: a clean Slate?

Gay Jew Central, Slate's foray into all things conspiratorial, will cover everything from the latest trends in fashion, banking, and what it's really like controlling the course of world events from a hermetically sealed killer 3 bedroom/2 bath "apartment" deep within the core of our planet, earth. We're hoping GJC will make The X-Files look like The Parent Trap (the original, with Hayley Mills) and help reveal the anti-semite in all of us.

Dickhead, which, it turns out, you can say on National Public Radio, which Bob Garfield of On The Media did three weeks ago, will be devoted to discussing NPR personalities, their hobbies, and various and sundry Ann Taylor soup recipes. (Speaking of which…)

What's For Supper? will be devoted to castigating France for being French with a zealousness heretofore not seen on these boards. But know that there will probably be no shortage of references to that one movie, The Freedom Connection, or that other movie, The Freedom Lieutenant's Woman, or to the lovable character on the old Brian Keith TV show Family Affair, "Mr. Freedom" []. Viva la Freedom sur la Marche! (Speaking of which…)

Go Play In Traffic won't be so much a board as it will a complicated system of links and portals that will open up dozens of hardcore porn windows just as your boss walks by. Oops!

Be on the lookout for Regulation Hottie Retard Smackdown, the board to which posts made to an article stupidly linked to the "front page" of are redirected, posts which are summarily heckled to within inches of their lives by the likes of fraybabes rundeep, bright_virago, et al. Don't get it? Okay. Say poor Troy Patterson, Slate's go-to TV guy (and a great writer to boot) has the unfortunate assignment of writing about the upcoming Beverly Hills 90210 Reunion Show. Some nimrod editor links it on the front page, and faster than you can say, "Try thinking with your mouth closed," every idiotic retard with a modem is posting anything and everything that crosses his or her walnut sized brain. E.g. "I better Melrose like than Code now even more with Jason Prester have logs on yummy hair"; "BRING IT BACK FOR GOOD!!! BEST SHOW EVER YES!!!"; "blothle snork taff mulket lurbie…" &c., and on. You just want to shake these people. And that's the beauty of it. You don't have to. What you can do is sit back enjoy the show when deep and bright do the smacking for us. Thanks, lovely ladies!

Meat Locker. This one's a standalone. We're just gonna see where it goes with a name like that. We're hoping it creates the same sort of confusion Heavy Petting did when we launched that board. Hot stuff!

Then there's Yahtzee, about board games. In every sense you want to interpret that.

And, of course, swittersville, Population: Funny! (note that I'm the only one who gets italics in his/her title), a new board linked to my flagship column about all things southern – with lots of racism, bigotry and profanity.

But we don't want to give away too many secrets!

Yes, we here at Enterfraynment Tonight© are pretty dagnabbed excited about Slate's, and The Fray's, new look. You should be, too. Because when things get "a new look", it usually means that they're "taking something off the menu" that you really liked.

In the words of topazz, "we're not worthy." Contribute your ideas (legitimate or otherwise) for a Fray face-lift here (for BOTF-eligible) or in Slate's 10th Anniversary Fray. AC12:51pm PDT


Wednesday, June 21, 2006