Something to think about as you’re lighting up Chinese fireworks in celebration of our country’s unsurpassed greatness

Following up on our conversation about the purposeful dumbing down of America, I though that I’d share this tweet, sent out today by renowned American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

This is in reference, for those of you who don’t know, to the fact that, earlier today, physicists near Geneva, at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, officially announced that they’ve proven the existence of the particle known as Higgs boson, informally referred to as the “god particle.” The following background comes by way of the LA Times.

…The focus was the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that exists for a mere fraction of a second. Long theorized but never glimpsed, the so-called God particle is thought to be key to understanding the existence of all mass in the universe. The revelation Wednesday that it — or some version of it — had almost certainly been detected amid more than hundreds of trillions of high-speed collisions in a 17-mile track near Geneva prompted a group of normally reserved scientists to erupt with joy.

Peter Higgs, one of the scientists who first hypothesized the existence of the particle, reportedly shed tears as the data were presented in a jampacked and applause-heavy seminar at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

“It’s a gigantic triumph for physics,” said Frank Wilczek, an MIT physicist and Nobel laureate. “It’s a tremendous demonstration of a community dedicated to understanding nature.”

The achievement, nearly 50 years in the making, confirms physicists’ understanding of how mass — the stuff that makes stars, planets and even people — arose in the universe, they said…

So, yeah… back to Tyson’s comment above… our nation, it would seem, ceded the field of particle physics to the Europeans when we decided not to invest the billions of dollars required to get into the particle collider game. We, of course, had other priorities, like the passage of historically unprecedented tax cuts for the wealthy.

By the way, Peter Higgs, who first proposed the existence of the subatomic particle (that now bears his name) 48 years ago, looked pretty damned happy today. Of course, not everyone shared his joy. Stephen Hawking, for instance, pointed out that the discovery came at a cost… It would seem that, when the particle was discovered, Hawking lost a long-standing $100 bet Gordon Kane of the University of Michigan…. I’m tempted to call Kane and see what he intends to do with the money. If I were a real newsman, I would. Instead, though, I think I’ll keep staring out my window, hoping to spot any fires that flare up in my super-dry backyard thanks to the drunken neighbors who keep shooting bottle rockets over the fence. (Thanks, Lansing, for making it even easier for untrained Michigan drunks to acquire airborne explosive devices.)

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95 Comments

  1. Edward
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Somewhere, in an American science class today, instead of learning about Higgs boson, kids are learning about the Loch Ness Monster and how its existence disproves evolution.

  2. Greg Pratt
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    I rode through my neighborhood, in which the humidity and heat along with gunpowder smoke made it like a warzone in the swamp (mind you I have only experienced the swamp part firsthand).

    While riding past some of the idiots firing off mortars I happened to have with me a megaphone. This megaphone has a “siren” function.

    It was a blast freaking those idiots out.

  3. mark k
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    How can you Liberals have so much hate in your heart that you can’t even celebrate a great national holiday without complaining. I feel sorry for your miserable lives. WOW!

  4. Greg Pratt
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    it was a ***blast*** and I love that you are upset by it.

    Keep being upset.

    It helps me sleep better at night :)

    ahhhhhh peace and self-satisfaction. nighty night!

  5. someone
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    NOAA released a statement last week that aquatic humanoids – yep, mermaids – don’t exist.

    http://www.livescience.com/21377-mermaids-no-evidence-noaa.html

    So, you know. We’re right up there.

  6. Alexis
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    making explosives is a science project most american kids can get behind. I made rockets in 6th grade and watched my 11th grade chemistry teacher blow up a hole in the ceiling accidentally. I think the youth would come into a scientific adulthood okay if they got to recreate an episode of Mythbusters every day in class.

  7. Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Nonsense. The united states still dominates science.

    There aren’t many things about America that make proud to have a blue passport but american science and the quality of American research sit at the top of the list.

  8. Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Mark, you of all people should know how far ahead of the game American science is.

    I usually really like your posts, but this one was kind of disappointing.

  9. Tom
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Fully agree with Peter. We have a problem implementing nation-wide K-12 science education, but we are very good at conducting research.

  10. Eel
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    The quote about Americans sucking at science wasn’t Mark’s. That was a tweet from Neil dG Tyson. If you don’t like it, send a letter the Hayden Planetarium.

  11. Knox
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Peter, I don’t think anyone was arguing that American research doesn’t excel in certain areas. I believe Mark was just saying that, in areas like particle physics, we were losing ground. I’d offer our space program as another example. We used to think big and lead the world. Now, it’s becoming more rare. And, if we elect Romney, it will become even more rare, as Federal research budgets will surely be cut. I can understand your pride as an American academic, but the truth is we aren’t investing in big, bold programs the same way we used to, and it will eventually trickle down to other areas of research.

  12. Posted July 5, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I disagree. The united states may not invest in sexy projects that make headlines, but it still invests more money in research than any country in the planet. The united states sets the standard that the entire world sticks to when conducting research.

    I don’t know anything about particle physics or the space program to be able to argue for their respective costs and benefits, but the simple fact is that the US is funding important research that other countries wouldnt touch with a rotten stick.

  13. Posted July 5, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I admit, though, that I’m also concerned about funding cuts, but I think that they will come regardless of who wins on November.

  14. Mr. X
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The space program is responsible for everything from the audio cassette to the personal computer. The impact was incredible. It changed the world.

    I just looked up research funding as a percentage of GDP and found that the US now trails Korea, Japan and Sweden. Sweden is the only country to exceed 4%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funding_of_science

  15. Mr. X
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    The following is from the AAAS in 2008.

    GUIDE TO R&D FUNDING DATA-
    HISTORICAL DATA

    Federal Research Investments Continue to Decline in 2009 Budget

    Although high-priority investments in physical sciences research, weapons development, and human space exploration help to keep the federal R&D outlook brighter than the bleak outlook for domestic programs overall, the FY 2009 budget continues the recent trends of declining federal support for research.

    The federal investment in basic and applied research would fall in real terms for the fifth year in a row if the FY 2009 budget is enacted. Federal research did very well between 1998 and 2003 because of the campaign to double the budget of NIH, the largest federal supporter of research. Other agencies also increased their research investments in that time period because a string of budget surpluses freed up resources for domestic appropriations. But with the return of budget deficits in 2002 followed by restraints on domestic spending thereafter, growth in research funding for NIH and other domestic agencies slowed in 2004 and then reversed. At the same time, DOD research support lagged as the Pentagon went to war in 2003 and shifted resources away from research toward near-term projects, and NASA research fell even within a stable R&D budget as it shifted resources from research to development. As a result, federal support for research is now in decline, with potential gains in the physical sciences more than offset by eroding support for biomedical research and other disciplines. The 2009 budget would continue the downward slide in federal research funding and leave the federal research portfolio 9.1 percent below the 2004 level in inflation-adjusted dollars.

    Federal research investments are shrinking as a share of the U.S. economy, just as other nations are increasing their investments. As shown in the Figure below, the federal R&D investment exceeded 1 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) until recently, buoyed by big increases in weapons development, but is now declining sharply. Federal investments in development, mostly in DOD, have held steady as a share of the economy, but the federal research/GDP ratio is in free fall down to a projected 0.38 percent in 2009, below the long-term historical average of 0.4 percent after gains in the late 1990s. Despite an increasingly technology-based economy and a growing recognition among policymakers that federal research investments are the seed corn for future technology-based innovations, the U.S. government research investment has so far failed to match the new realities despite the rallying points of innovation and the American Competitiveness Initiative, and has also failed to match the competition. Asian nations are dramatically increasing their government research investments: both China and South Korea, for example, are boosting government research by 10 percent or more annually.

    – revised March 7, 2008

  16. Meta
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    This probably explains why, in part, NdGT was pissed.

    The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) (also nicknamed the Desertron) was a particle accelerator complex under construction in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas that was set to be world’s largest and most energetic, surpassing the current record held by the Large Hadron Collider. Its planned ring circumference was 87.1 kilometres (54.1 mi) with an energy of 20 TeV per proton. The project’s director was Roy Schwitters, a physicist at the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University. Dr. Louis Ianniello served as Associate Director. The project was cancelled in 1993 due to budget problems.

    Read more:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_Super_Collider

  17. Dr. Z. Smith
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Peter,

    If you’re interested, here’s video of Tyson fleshing out his thoughts on this matter.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Usaao1NU_Y

  18. John Galt
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Blowing things up is better than discovering them. If you don’t agree, you hate America.

  19. Meta
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Higgs boson also gives us a glimpse into how religion may have started.

    http://i.imgur.com/fs9hz.png

  20. anonymous
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Some people who don’t understand science apparently think when these scientists found the ‘god particle’ they actually discovered evidence of god, and now they’re gloating.

    http://i.imgur.com/Y69cF.png

  21. anonymous
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    My favorite: “Suck that, atheists!”

  22. Erin T
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Funny you should mention this. The following comes from an op-ed in the New York times yesterday. (http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/space-the-missing-frontier/?nl=opinion&emc=edit_ty_20120705)

    With Florida a key battleground state in the presidential election, the White House and the political appointees at NASA will argue furiously that the president has not walked away from our human space program. They will point to his plans to land astronauts on the asteroids one day. Right. That goal, exactly like George H.W. Bush’s plan in 1989 to send astronauts to Mars, is simply fiction.

    I worked in politics for a long time, but I began life as a space geek. I started a scrapbook on the Soviet space program when I was 10 and decades later got to write a book about the 12 men who have walked on the moon. After my time in government, I worked as a consultant for NASA and the Space Shuttle team. In other words, I admit that I have always been a fan of humans in space. Any humans in space.

    That said, the humans who are now winning the space race come from the People’s Republic of China. It is clear from their own propaganda that China means to replace us as the “world’s leading spacefaring nation.”

    It has been argued in the past that while the United States and other Western nations see the future in terms of months or years, the Chinese see it in terms of decades or even centuries. With that perspective in mind, the Chinese government intends to win not the space race, but the space marathon. They intend to take military, industrial and scientific advantage there.

    Wang Jianmin/Xinhua, via Associated Press
    China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang, waved as she came out of the re-entry capsule of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft on June 29, 2012.
    After the just completed launch and recovery of China’s first female astronaut — Liu Yang, who with two male astronauts, was part of a very successful 13 day mission to dock with a Chinese space station — many in the media covered it as a human-interest story or even a politically correct equal-rights story. Nice, but the completely wrong way to view the Chinese achievement.

    Naïve and irresponsible beliefs aside, China’s space program is essentially military. Its every function is designed to carry out a military objective or one that improves the welfare of the state. Nothing else matters to the Chinese leadership.

    Toward that end, the Chinese government has been investing a great deal of time and talent in a wide range of anti-satellite weapons and technologies. Aside from direct ascent kinetic kill vehicles (like the one it tested in 2007), the Chinese military space program is also working on laser, jamming, microwave and cyber-weapons.

    Why? Because the Chinese leadership — the same leadership that has made hacking our military and commercial computers a priority — understands that no nation on earth is more dependent for its overall survival on its satellites than the United States. Satellites control our military communications, our financial transactions and our day-to-day lives. What if they went dark or were destroyed in orbit?

    The Chinese leaders — and others — would certainly say that a military advantage in space is “tangible” and a goal worth attaining. But preeminence is space is about much more than military advantage. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, outlined that argument when he told Popular Science earlier this year:

    “If China sets up a permanent base on the moon, and tries to explore Mars on a time scale shorter than ours, that will be another space race. I am just certain of it. I am trying to get people to do this without having to view it as an act of war, or an act of a response to an adversary. One way is because of economics; the government could do this, and they could say, “The economic return is the scientists and technologists who invent the new tomorrow.” Space exploration is the carrot that incites people to become scientifically literate. So I view it as an economic development plan.”

  23. Dan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Mark

    The united states have contributed over $500 million to CERN

  24. Dan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Im surprised that you have such nationalistic views and envisions of scientific superiority. These types of MULTINATIONAL endeavors are much more fruitful

  25. Dan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Not to mention that the US has invested well over a billion dollars in the RHIC in New York which was the largest particle physics center in the world until LHC was built and still has operating budgets over $100 million per year

  26. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Human beings need to focus on reclaiming our dwelling on Earth, and attempt to reconnect ourselves with the self-disclosure of being, which we are all but cut-off from. We need to free our there-being from the enframing of technological nihilism and allow ourselves to be the natural beings of the Spirit we are, in an enlightened and authentic being-in-the-world, unafraid of death, where we are guardians of that which is nearest in the clearing of releasment. We will only go insane in outerspace, we have no business attempting to bring our destitution off of the destroyed Earth to despoil another planet. We need to look more closely within, then we do aloft.

  27. kjc
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    @Thom Can you say more about freeing oneself from the enframing of technological nihilism? Considering our thrownness into this world (in Heidegger’s terms), how are we to do more than be aware?

  28. Dan
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Yes Thom

    Id also like to hear more about how you are freeing yourself from technological nihilism while you are posting things on the internet

  29. tom
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Thom-
    That you fail to recognize the LHC and other ‘big’ physics projects are the deepest investigation into the matter within us and the earth and the physical manifestations of inumerable thoughts is evidence of your incomplete understanding of the human mind.
    Tom

  30. Red Dawn
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    What good is this discovery? Can we make even bigger bombs now with this Higgs-Boatswain thing?
    That really would prove the existence of God. And it would prove that he has a great sense of humor too.

  31. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    @Tom. Sir, the Mind is not matter, no amount of the study of matter will yeild a deeper understanding of Mind then the Upanishads, people must stop thinking modern scientific materialism will illumine every dark corner of existence, or that the mystery of being will be uncovered by such means. Such a thing is not possible, let alone desirable, the beam of the flashlight of humanity disappears into the infinite distance of mystery. The rishis of the Upanishads were the original astronauts, exploring into the farthest galactic reaches of Mind, which no amount of modern physics will ever best. You will never carbon date the sublime, you will never collide particles into wisdom.

  32. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    @kjc. The enframing’s (the ubiquitus technological worldpicture we are thrown-into midstream) insidious structure must be made plain in the difference between calculative thinking, which is all modern technicity requires, and the trackless depth of meditative thinking, for which modernity has no use. All it is required of you, and all its possible to divulge from contemporary existence, is calculative, pragmatic, materialistic, superficial thinking. All we workers want are jobs to buy objects, the economy is the most important aspect of human existence, the earth and matter itself are to be set-upon, made-over into resources for ordering and consumption, and nothing besides.

  33. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    What must occur, and the only thing that may save human being itself, is the personal turning which occurs in meditative thinking, releasing you into the mystery of ‘the region’. Of course, because the saving power is in thought, this means human being may not, or probably won’t be saved. Because of the way human beings have so taken scientific materialism, realism, and modernity into their hearts and minds as the only truth, reawakening even the subject matter of being as something of importance to the BW3 eater is next-to impossible. Meditative thinking is thinking which is not a willing, not an ordering, not a setting-on for arrangement, but a waiting-upon the mysterious pathway to unfold.

  34. tom
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Ah, classic Thom! Sidestep the presented issue with a strawman argument.

  35. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Great, illustrate the strawman for me? what is it I have sidesteped, I thought I had addressed your concern. People are falling all over themselves about physics, as if physics were going to anwser our big questions, when in fact the mystery grows ever greater with every discovery, and what & who we are is opaque as ever. You called the LHC the “deepest investigation” into what & who we are, and I disagree. I believe the oldest thinking is the purest and deepest investigation into those catagories, and it has the added advantage that it is the method where anyone can go down to the dilapidated used bookstore, brush away the accumulated dust, and pick up a copy of the deepest investigation into our matter that exists.

  36. Tom
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    This is what I said:
    “he LHC and other ‘big’ physics projects are the deepest investigation into the matter within us and the earth and the physical manifestations of inumerable thoughts ” I never mentioned the mind, nor the Upanishads, nor said that these were the big questions. Nothing in that sentence (two clauses, really) addresses what you claim it to.

    My concern still stands. You fail to recognize the serious thought of the scientists, engineers and machinists whom have worked since 1962 to create the environment in which a specific theory (ie a thought) on the physical nature of matter could be accurately tested. So your strawman argument is this: the mind cannot be manifested. Ok. I am not talking about the mind, I was talking about looking inside the literal, physical elements of everything (ie things listed on the period table) to find what is in there–and so are those scientists, engineers and machinists. The point I was making was this: look at the great mental effort that this took.

    I bring this up because you seem so concerned (angry perhaps) at what you perceive to be a lack of earnest thinking in our society (all societies in the past 100 years?) and, yet, upon this great example of rigorous thought, you choose to discuss technological nihilism. I suggest that humans who brought these new facts to light cannot be nihilist because they have dedicated their lives to a deep meaning: the pursuit, sharing, teaching and using of knowledge. The LHC was created for the sole purpose of testing thoughts. Sure, this is different thinking than that yours (but not mine), but should you not recognize the ability and dedication it took?

  37. Dan
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Thom’s enlightenment still fails to acknowledge the fact that he uses the same technology he rails against. He purchases the same consumer goods and services he rants about, and supports the same evil corporations that he blames for murdering the Earth.

    Until he stops using his computer and internet, and stops working all together and sleeps in the woods with nothing but his library card and some old books, then hes nothing but a hypocrite

  38. mark k
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Dan must liberals are hypocrite, the say we’re killing the earth, then hop on a jet to all corners of the earth and say how the Republicans are driving gas guzzlers. One commenter here resently went to I believe china and africa. The commenter bring me more entertainment then Mark does.

  39. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Dan, I drive a car, use a smartphone, have a credit card, I’m a legal assistant, the 160 yr old house I live in has central air, I am utterly trapped in modernity. I would be thrilled if there were a way to get back to a more authentic use of technology that didn’t purposefully destroy the Earth, or enrich the lowest form, or a way to participate in society without them alltogether. Of course, because the problems of modernity are totally transperant to you as an eater, pardon me, you prefer ‘consumer’, you see no problems here at all, but prefer to accept bovine existence as the ideal. Not just accept, but wallow in smug complacency of your sickening consumption.

  40. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Tom, it is actually refreshing to see someone out there in the dim ether challenge me that I am not thinking hard enough, or appreciating thought thouroughly enough, as opposed to the submental braying of my typical detractors. Clearly the creation of such a device and its success in discovering what it set out to is commendable, surely Higgs will get the Nobel, but does it help human beings to be more mindfull of the sacred nature of being? Or is it being used to further the worldview that everything in being is a mechanical process, in an absurd and meaningless universe, where human beings are an inconsequential addendum to an unfeeling cosmos? While the Earth itself is in peril, and all life we know of is in the most serious danger as a direct result of this worldpicture.

  41. Dan
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for finally admitting you’re a hypocrit.

    I don’t really see how that is more commendable or mental than someone that doesn’t preach one thing and do the opposite

  42. Dan
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    For example, there are many civilizations in this world that don’t rely on modern technology or destroying the planet. Nothing is stopping you from joining them or emulating then. Nothing is forcing you to be a legal assistant.

    Well, nothing except your hypocrisy and refusal to sacrifice your modern comforts for your supposed beliefs

  43. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Dan, I love how upset this makes you, it shows me at least there is some struggle you’re having with this information, and that it is slowly churning in your confused understanding. How am I to get out the good news of Heidegger and philosophy without these devices, in this ponderously dark age? I basically argue for his perspective, but he wrote books, which you must cut down trees to create. Its unfortunate, everyone in modernity is complicit, even those who fight against it. You can only work to minimise your contribution. The careless eater majority, like you Dan, see no problem here at all. Your lack of interior life which is a direct result of modernity is the real problem, and all careless eaters like you. Hopefully together we can make you self reflective Dan, but its going to be painful.

  44. Dan
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thom,

    What upsets me is that your hypocrisy knows no bounds. You relentlessly rant to everyone who will listen that their life choices are destroying the planet and humanity. You constantly preach to others to stop consumerism and about the uselessness of technology. Yet, there you are, posting from your smartphone or computer, driving around your fossil fuel powered vehicle.

    What bothers me is your obnoxious nonsense about how the long dead ancient thinkers knew better, but your unwillingness to actually follow through on your claimed beliefs.

    What annoys me is that you are more than willing to tell other people that they are submental jerkoffs because they dont sacrifice the comforts theyve worked hard for. When you yourself wont sacrifice them.

    And mostly, what upsets me is that youre the quintessential hipster. Rallying against consumerism and conformity, while at the same time going out of your way to conform and consume. And Id be willing to bet you are doing it on the back of the hard work of your parents.

  45. Knox
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy Thom’s comments on the site. I often don’t understand them, but they seem thoughtful, and I appreciate the fact that he spends time on them, unlike most of us. With that said, I think Dan, while obnoxious, is justified in bringing up the hypocrisy that Thom exhibits when ranting about technological nihilism. I should qualify that, though. I think it’s justified, but I don’t agree with it. None of us are perfect. Those who strive for absolute perfection invariably go off the rails, like Ted Kaczynski. We all make concessions. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t always be questioning them, and discussing them. It would have been easy enough for Thom to lie and say that he lived in a tent, and posted his thoughts from the library. I appreciate the fact that he owned up to having a car, computer and air conditioning. I will say, though, that it would be nice if, from now on, he kept this in mind when criticizing the decisions of others who, for instance, eat meat, live in bigger houses, and drive bigger cars. We’re all on the same continuum. The best that we can do is to help others to keep shifting downward. We need SUV drives to buy electric cars. Or, better yet, we need them to get bikes, and move to walkable communities. And that doesn’t happen though bullying.

  46. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Knox, the cobbler’s house is never finished, I have divested and given up so much, from quitting flesh eating to smokeing, I also perform thankless jobs like picking up the chronic litter in our area. I live a philosophical life, my job isn’t to be perfect, I have said I feel trapped by this reality, and I work on it all the time. My job is to make people think, and nothing else. Dan, for some reason, thinks he knows something about the world, my job is to show people like Dan they don’t really know what they think they know, and in fact, are profoundly ignorent. You can call me a hypocrite all day, Heidegger himself was a Nazi, it makes no difference, the arguement about technological nihilism and its relation to the contemporary world is evident.

  47. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Dan, you’re a parasite on the technological teat, mindlessly entitled to soda pop, chicken wings, and TV, you are the slave of the invented desires of modernity. Until coming here, you have never once considered your behaviour critically. Now, the concepts are inescapable to you. I bet you think about my hypocracy and my thoughts on nihilism and antiquity every day since you encountered me. I bet you had never even heard the word nihilism before, and now, you’ll never forget. You can call me a hipster all you like, I’ll be reading the Hamann’s “Socratic Memorabillia” while you fritter away your days listening to some pinkfaced neanderthal rambleing about his fantesy football picks.

  48. Dan
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Lol Thom. You know me so well. Your hypocracy is only exceeded by your arrogance.

    Thom, you’re a parasite on your parents’ teat. You go on with your nonsensical bragging of the glory of yesteryear. Ill continue basking in the glow of your transcendent hypocrisy.

  49. Dan
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Hey Thom, why dont you share with the rest of the readers who your ‘law firm‘ represents? I think theyd be interested in who youre representing and what they do. if you dont feel like sharing that, its not really all that hard to google and find out.

    youre the biggest fucking fraud Ive ever seen. representing the fucking same dirtbags bags and criminals that ruined this country, and siting here ranting about anti-consumerism. You seriously fucking disgust me.

  50. Dan
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    also, if you will, share with the readers the Better Business Bureau rating of your law firm. thanks,k

  51. alan2102
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Dan: “Thom’s enlightenment still fails to acknowledge the fact that he uses the same technology he rails against. He purchases the same consumer goods and services he rants about, and supports the same evil corporations that he blames for murdering the Earth.”

    Yes, but Thom feels BAD about doing all those things, and it is that suffering that expiates him, washing his soul clean. Whereas you go on merrily doing those things without guilt or pain, you smug complacent brutish neanderthal, you. And I KNOW that what I say is true, because my words are given me by the departed spirits of Heidegger, Nietzsche, and miscellaneous post-modern philosophers of lesser note.

  52. Stupid Hick
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    No offense, Dan, but you’re starting to sound like a stalkery nut.

  53. Dan
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    None taken. I don’t care. Just happy to expose a fraud. I fucking hate hypocrites.

  54. Dan
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    And Thom, please stop embarrassing your self by hiding under the alan2012 handle. Good god

  55. Dan
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I now feel shame. alan2012 has humbled me. Cheers to you

  56. mark k
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    LOL! I Googled that law firm, and all I can say is oh my! Thom I really can’t believe you havn’t ties with your family and changed your name. Have you no shame?

  57. Dan
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Who else is going to pay his bills?

  58. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Its amazing to me this is still going on, that I have so enraged you is awesome to me. Thank you Stupid Hick, Dan is stalking me, its because I broke his mind, this can only be the actions of a person in total ego collapse. Dan, I’m sorry I showed you your shadow, hopefully you don’t kill anyone, or drink yourself to death in your bleak emptiness, which is glaring. I’m not sure if alan2102 gets it or not, I agree with you, I am agonized by modern existence, but the change which comes from awareness of it is truely profound, if that list of things damns me, who has a mindful reaction to the abyss of modernity, what does it do to those who don’t?

  59. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Mark k, my family law firm should appeal to you, it is the janitor of capitalism. If the stark amount people who didn’t pay their bills to your precious corperations just didn’t, our brutally capitalist society would have been in total collapse, and your sacred CEOs would be out selling apples on street corners a while ago. Theft by credit card is utterly ubiquitus. Credit cards companies are basically legal loan sharking, they aren’t set up for people to understand them really, they are a millstone around your neck chaining you to corperate overlords like GE. This is the system you support, the one which is the only moral system according to the horrific polity of the day, pretty, isn’t it.

  60. Posted July 17, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I have a force shield.

  61. Dan
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    “Credit cards companies are basically legal loan sharking, they aren’t set up for people to understand them really, they are a millstone around your neck chaining you to corperate overlords like GE.”

    and yet, your “job” is explicitly to support the “corporate overloads”. via despicable bullying and name calling, much of which is illegal.

    If you werent such a fraud, you’d find a way to make a living doing something more ethical, and more consistent with the rants and raves you post here constantly. But you’ve chosen the easy route. Work for your mommy’s company, even though it stands for everything you claim to be against. You might as well go work for KFC or BDubs. Oh wait, your family doesnt own a franchise of theirs for you to mooch off of.

  62. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Dan, its become very clear to me you’re a significantly ill person, there is nothing which can be achieved from debating anything with you. Again, I’m sorry for illuminating your sickness here for everyone, I got carried away, I thought you were just some regular person who had a mindless life, but it is evident you’re a person with some real problems that my style of philsophising couldn’t possibly help, and has seemingly knocked loose something dark here. Please seek the care of professionals Dan, I can’t help neurosis this profound, and I won’t debate the (de)merits of my existence with someone so obviously sick. Good luck Dan, hopefully you find the help you require.

  63. mark k
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    ” Credit cards companies are basically legal loan sharking”
    And your family is out breaking knee caps, even of people who don’t owe money.
    ” they aren’t set up for people to understand them really”
    Anyone with half a brain can understand how bad credit cards are, come on the monthly statement are constant reminder of how bad they are screwing you.
    “This is the system you support” No it’s not, I’m 50 and have no debt peroid. Never owned a new car in my life, in fact have only owned 5.
    The thing is Thom we don’t need flat screen TV’s, we don’t need $1000 washing machines to clean our clothes, we don’t don’t need new cars every year. Your family is in the misery biz and you should be ashamed with yourself, but the fact that you come on here and try and blame others for the lives your family has destroyed. Google the law firm name, not one person has a good thing to say about it. And to come on here and tell everyone on here how smart you are, I’m only to believe you fully understand what you are doing.

  64. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Mark k, of course people hate debt collectors, they hate to pay their bills, they hate to be garnished, they hate to have their possessions repoed etc. I don’t give two shits if people dislike my family’s lawfirm, or what they have to say about it on the internet. My mother has been getting hate mail for decades, things like “fucking jew bitch” etc, I don’t care. You need debt collectors if you’re a capitalist, period. The system you uphold as the only righteous or morally correct system works this way, get used to it.

  65. Dan
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    No, Thom, it is I who has expose your dark sickness. However, I am happy to do so. I cant stand loud mouth hypocrites, and you are their king.

    No one should ever listen to a word you have to say again about corporate greed and anti-consumerism or the perils of modernity. You’ve done nothing with your life to support you supposed beliefs. All you’ve done is read some obscure books and wait for your weekly allowance from mom.

  66. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    “We don’t need new tvs etc”. What are you talking about? People are out there as we speak, stealing with their credit cards all sorts of things, not just extravagences. The expression is “charge it to the game”, which means rack up as much credit card debt as possible, knowing you have no intention of paying for it. If this simply went on our capitalist society would grind to a halt. I love how you swine need deregulation and want big corperations to be people when it suits you, but when the undeniably ugly underbelly of capitalism is in view, all of a sudden its the misery biz, as opposed to the beacon of American exceptionalism and freedom.

  67. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Dan, don’t you have some “hard work” to do in front of your computer? Again, I’m sorry for breaking your brain open so everyone can see, I thought I was just talking to some intellectually dead feeder, I didn’t think I was talking to a potentially violent stalker. I’m sorry, please don’t shoot up my house.

  68. Dan
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I see your truuuuue colors… shining through.

  69. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Scary.

  70. Dan
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    lol. Thom, I have a feeling that if I were to actually stalk you, I’d see you ordering chicken wings and burgers. Your fat face dripping with buffalo sauce while you tell the person next to you about how sick their flesh eating habits are.

  71. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Did you take another break from your “hard work” to say that?

  72. Dan
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    No. I can multi task. I’m about to eat a chicken sandwich while I work as well.

  73. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Disgusting. What kind of “hard work” is it again that lets you expose my fraud for days on the internet to bright lights like mark k, and suck down some murdered animal flesh simultainously?

  74. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I at least work when I’m at work, filing documents at court buildings, probate court, looking things up, problem solving etc. What kind of “hard work” is it that my tax dollars are paying for, which lets you widen your pink ass on murdered animals and comment on a blog all day? I’d like you to define what “hard work” is in this context, while you suck down some flesh.

  75. anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    This exchange reminds of the recent online stalking of U-M’s gay student body president by Republican operative Andrew Shirvell. (What happened to Shirvell, anyway?)

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/university-of-michigan-student-body-president-seeks-restraining-order-against-assistant-state-attorn/

  76. mark k
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    “I at least work when I’m at work, filing documents at court buildings” LOL! I’ve had my child do that same work when I couldn’t find a parking spot downtown, and he was 10 at the time. He figured out where Judge Connors office was and also the court clerks office, and he did it all for a ice cream cone. I hope your mom pays you more.

  77. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    You had your child file your objection to garnishment for you? Weird. Isn’t that against child labor laws, having a 10yr old be your legal assistant?

  78. mark k
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Thom you’re so simple minded it’s amusing. So thats all you do as a “Legal assistant” is drop off paper work? Why let that very big, and brillant brain of yours go to waste. How do you like the big dead moose in Conners office? Does it make you sad? My son thought the moose and the rest of his office to be the coolest he’s ever seen. My son thinks being my “Legal assistant” is fun, but thats because he knows what real work is. How about you? You know want real work is?

  79. Dan
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    mark k,

    We’re talking about a 30 something philosophy major at a commuter school, whose tuition, rent, and food are paid for by his mom. You think he gives a shit about work or earning his keep? All he cares about is that he gets enough allowance to be able to read obscure ramblings from long dead “thinkers” and having someone else pay his way while he gets drunk and stoned every day. oh, and he also cares about telling everyone he is better than them, (from his smartphone that he surely doesnt pay for). lol

  80. mark k
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Dan thats why I could never be a democrat, because they go around sniffing their own farts and telling everyone how smart they are, and we must listen to them. But look at what they’ve done to detroit, and when thats brought up we’re racist. Thom is there poster boy, never misses a chance to tell us how smart he is, yet somehow he became a junkie, homeless, and a drunk, and now works at a family biz that if you google it you wont find one nice thing being said about it. If his family cared they’d change the laws that allow people to become slaves to the banks, but no they find a way to profit from it, then bad month real producers like Romney. I have a few liberal friends, so I can see first hand how fucked up it is to be a liberal. The worst part is I’m more in the middle on people issues, but could never vote for a democrat because of what I see first hand from them, “not my fault, it was the mess Bush made” “You people have obama care, but we’ll take the plan we have now” It’s alway them telling us whats good for us, but they take something else for themselves. We need a real leader in the white house, someone that motivates and unites. Not that piece of crap we have now. And I’m really find it hard to believe Mark lets people with differing points of view to post here, much respect to him for that.

  81. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    You two idiots are made for each other, mark k a reclusive teaparty nutjob single father who neglects his children while he drinks to forget, and Dan, the maladjusted stalker loner who plays on the internet all day in a sickening fantesy world on the tax payers dime. Glad to see the lunatic fringe, potential serial killers seem to have no problem securing employment at UM, perhaps you psychotic boys can get together and look into my windows at night, while you give each other shame filled brojobs while you weep. Then maybe you boys can actually do a couple of thrill kills together, or maybe just dig up a few graves and have some fun.

  82. Thom Elliott
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Oh, and I won’t have time to pointlessly argue with you submental children, ill be at work, working, while you miscreants wallow in you mindlessness.

  83. mark k
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Thom you are clearly a thinker. First I’ve never been to a tea party anything, and can’t say I know one tea party member. Second my son has a good life, goes to a private school ( I know that one really fucks you up), he’s never had a baby sitter, because if it’s not healthy enough for him to go, I don’t go, in fact we just got back from a week in Ludinton, jet skiing up and down lake Michigan coast, canoeing the Pine river, and fishing many inland lakes. Not bad for a recluse. two weeks before I spent a week down south on my motorcycle with several friends exploreing the mountains, even rode the tail of the dragon at deal gap, again not bad for a recluse. You did get one thing right, I do enjoy drinking a few beers with friend every week, in fact I drank 2 last night in Depot town for bike night. Now that I “THINK” about it Thom, you are the furthest I know from a “THINKER”. You doing drugs again? That would explain your anger, wanna talk? Anyways have a blessed day, gotta get out of bed and make some zuccini bread before work. Life as a hard working Conservitive is good!

  84. Dan
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    lol, yes, I’m the one living in a fantasy world. I’m the deranged individual. Wasnt it you that talks about torturing monkeys and rabbits and digging up graves and thrill kills? Seek help. Oh and whats with your gay bashing?

  85. mark k
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    As long as we’re talking about gays and digging up graves I have a joke. What did the gay mortician say to the other gay mortician? Lets crack open a case and suck down a cold one. Don’t forget to tip your wait staff, and thanks for coming.

  86. Knox
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    When I called you vile earlier, I thought that I may have been to harsh, MK. Now, though, I feel pretty good about the decision. Thank you for confirming my assessment.

  87. kjc
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    it’s so good that gay people were finally brought into this conversation. that’s the problem. not all the straight guys snarling at each other like morons with anger management problems, but gay people.

    peas in a pod if you ask me.

  88. mark k
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Knox coming from you, thats a complement. I bet if you went out and got yourself layed you might lighten up. I know it must suck when you found out the pool would be closed for the summer, but there are other things to do in Ypsi. Check it out Ypsi is a wonderfull city full of great things if you just open your mind a little.

  89. mark k
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh Knox if you think that joke was vile, I have some that would really twist your wig, but I’m not sure your ready for those now, maybe when your older. Just for a tease I have a joke about a girl who wants to borrow the car from her father, but in the end the father promissed it to her brother. That one is really vile, let me know when your 18 and I’ll tell you that one.

  90. anonymous
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    You make a homophobic comment about gay men sucking the cock of a dead man, and, then, when you’re called on it, you suggest that the offended individual, if only he could get himself laid, would see the humor in it. Do I have that right?

  91. John Galt
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    The same goes for rape humor, which, I think most people would agree, is hysterically funny. Quite a few women don’t appreciate it. I believe that would change, however, if only they loosened up and put out more. There’s nothing like a good fucking to open up the humor pathways.

  92. mark k
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    anonymous My joke may have been offensive to you and others, but it was not homophobic. And no where in my joke did I say anything about gay men sucking the cock of a dead man, I may have lead you in that direction, but you went in there all my yourself. I do find it strange tho that Thom’s comment about “thrill killing”, or “digging up a few graves to have some fun”, or this statement, “perhaps you psychotic boys can get together and look into my windows at night, while you give each other shame filled brojobs”, which he wasn’t joking about, didn’t bother you at all. Whats up with that?

  93. I'm Online
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Chinese fireworks, one wonders how many fingers were blown off in Ypsi last night. It sounded like a Tupac was being shot repeatedly outside my house last night.

  94. GC
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    If you don’t like this country, you should move to the USSR, comrade.

  95. Foxy Di Anal
    Posted September 13, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    If you hate America so much why don’t you joins ISIS?

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