Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lili's thought for the day

What a nice cosy club that PubMed Commons must be (by invitation only). Do the select few who manage to make it through the membership process get a free cigar and copy of The Times to read? 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lili's health tip for the day

When they are told they have cancer so many people ask "Why me?" and wonder how they got cancer and what or whom to blame. Well here's a tip; Ethanol or drinking alcohol is a Group 1 carcinogen. 

Lili's work-related gems of advice for the day

For me most entry-level jobs have also been exit-level jobs. The idea that you can get in at the bottom and work your way up if you are smart and work hard is complete bullshit as far as I can tell. If you want to be treated decently and have your work valued at work, get recruited as a university graduate or into a skilled position that is hard to fill, and also look for a workplace that has at least as many men as women as workers. 

Try to avoid working at a job that has mostly women as workers, even if it is a skilled or qualified job. I have found that these jobs are usually marred by sub-standard working conditions and pay and lots of bitchiness and competition between workers. I put this down to collective low self-esteem based on sexist beliefs. Female managers and business owners show little respect for women as workers, female workers show little respect for female colleagues and these women all seem to have little self-respect, and thus don't leave these blighted jobs. My God, what a breath of fresh air it can be to work among only men!

Lili's gardening tip for the day

A gardening tip for my northern hemisphere readers; snake beans will grow happily out of a large plant pot of cow manure mixed with dead leaves. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lili's librarianship thought of the day

If your local librarian speaks of "Google" or Google Search as though it is, or is promoted as, an internet archive or a reference resource or an online library or a question answering website or a public service, she or he shouldn't be working as a librarian. Google Search is a web search engine owned by a large corporation. Sure enough, in the internet you can find an internet archive and many fantastically useful reference resources and important online libraries and a number of (collaborative) question answering websites of varying quality, but none of them are Google. Did Google Search ever claim to be something that it is not? I don't think it ever did. 

If your local librarian boasts that he or she can provide a better reference service than "Google", as some public librarians do, then I think such a claim rests on some kind of false belief or false claim and I believe it shows up the principal librarian as confused or confusing, which isn't a good look for an "information professional". 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I knew it I knew it I knew it

Yesterday it was fun enough to walk into a sizeable city bookshop that I'd never explored before. I instantly spotted a small and modestly-priced book almost hidden among the larger books on the new titles table at the entrance. This book caught my eye because it has biographical content about one of the most interesting people I've written about at this blog. I grabbed a copy and flicked to the beginning of the chapter about the interesting person, and then it was one of those moments of extreme but private amazement, when a fairly profound, original and long-considered theory was found to be confirmed. I am just so right that I amaze myself sometimes. More details later. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tomas strikes again!

It is so disappointing that the popular I Fucking Love Science website and Facebook page has run a story on the supposed acquired synaesthete and maths genius Jason Padgett that lacks the slightest whiff of skepticism! The story is basically book promotion. In many ways this shite mirrors the countless bulldust media stories about Daniel Tammet, another supposed acquired synaesthete and maths genius. It is exactly this type of situation that requires a good strong dose of common sense from our friend Tomas. Go Tomas!

Lili's endlessly repeated thought of the day

Would Mark Wood still be alive today if he had been given a diagnosis that is scientifically valid and linked to effective treatment? Anorexia, anxiety disorder or some poorly-understood sensory condition, secondary to whatever genetic or developmental syndrome he actually had, perhaps? People are dying as a sacrifice to the bullshit idea that labels like autism, OCD and Asperger syndrome are real medical conditions. They aren't, they are nothing more than elaborate descriptions of particular patterns of behaviour, and they are not linked to any scientifically valid explanation, treatment, prognosis or general notion of how to think about or react to these patterns of behaviour. These labels, as are most psychiatric and behavioural labels, are pseudoscience that serves the function of giving the patient and the researcher access to funding or services, and also serve the function of generally establishing the false belief that the forces of science have been brought to bear upon human problems. It's such a pity about the way things work in the real world.

Sure enough, it was wrong morally and logically for Atos to have judged this man to be fit for work, but the guts of the problem is the failure of the medical profession to provide a proper, full and evidence-based explanation and description of why this man was not fit to work, along with an effective remedy for the situation. I find it ironic that the doctor in this press story is made to look like the hero, when in fact he is the person in this story who is closest to the catastrophic failure in this sorry story.