Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. The god Apollo fell in love with her and granted her the gift of prophecy. However, she did not return his love.
As the Greek gods are want to do, Apollo got all huffy and cursed her. The curse was quite insidious, no one believed predictions. Even after the came true again and again, no one believed her. Various other bad things happened to her, but her gift and curse is what has brought me to name my new blog after her.
You see, there is an insidious plot afoot in the world today. Very simply, it is the destruction of our ability to think. People are being manipulated into believing some truly dumb things. One of the goals of this blog is to fight the ‘woo’.
John Beddington said it very well and is one of the reasons I’m doing this. He’s the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government, has had enough and isn’t going to take it any more. He’s urging a more vigorous response to the creeping woo.
“We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of racism. We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of people who [are] anti-homosexuality… We are not—and I genuinely think we should think about how we do this—grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the building up of what purports to be science by the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and the failure to use scientific method.”
“One way is to be completely intolerant of this nonsense,” he said. “That we don’t kind of shrug it off. We don’t say: ‘oh, it’s the media’ or ‘oh they would say that wouldn’t they?’ I think we really need, as a scientific community—and this is a very important scientific community—to think about how we do it.”
Beddington said that he intends to take this agenda forward with his fellow chief scientists and also with the research councils. “I really believe that. . . we need to recognise that that is a pernicious influence, it is an increasingly pernicious influence and we need to be thinking about how we can actually deal with it.”
“I really would urge you to be grossly intolerant,” he said. “We should not tolerate what is potentially something that can seriously undermine our ability to address important problems.”
A Note on References
I often cite wikipedia as a source for some of my more generic information. I do this more for convenience than any other reason. I do not assume that wikipedia is a true source of information. I will say thought, that it’s fine for some things. However, wikipedia also includes the source references for their documents (in most cases). So if I reference to Wikipedia, then you can go through and read the original sources.
The image on my home page is a shot of the Tao Galaxy  taken with a 15 inch telescope in the Canary Islands. This is the picture I took. I don’t know what the green lens flare is, but it’s pretty awesome.
You can take similar pictures at Slooh.com
Ogremkv, I hereby award you the Ben Goldacre Honorary Award for the Debunking of Popular Bollocks and Bad Science, and bestow on you the title of Defender of the Verifiable Conclusion.
12h 34m 20s
8deg 11′ 53″
52 million lightyears
Notice the green color and well defined arms. I do not know what the green flare is, though I suspect a much closer star.