WaPo reports that the National Science Foundation is funding a project to analyze Twitter data to detect what the project researchers deem as “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” memes that spread throughout pop culture. The “social pollution” targeted includes “political smears,” “astroturfing,” and other forms of “misinformation.”
Hmm. A government-funded initiative is going to “assist in the preservation of open debate” by monitoring social media for “subversive propaganda” and combating what it considers to be “the diffusion of false and misleading ideas”? The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.
Read the whole thing.
The feds are spending your money to monitor your political speech on Twitter. There may be a better way for you to spend your cash. Tar and Feathers are available from Amazon.
My codefendant Erick Erickson has a post over at RedState about the Democrats’ attempt to blame ebola on the Republicans. He points out that under Obama the Centers for Disease Control has spent money trying to determine why lesbians tend to be overweight.
Hey, and let’s not forget all the money the CDC spent to convince people to stop smoking and now we need tobacco to manufacture the drug to fight Ebola.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE—Seen on the road …
The New Republic has a piece up called What the Next Two Awful Years Will Look Like. It makes some guesses about what will happen in Congress if the Republicans win control of the Senate. Among their predictions are
• The gutting of Dodd-Frank
• Keystone XL being approved
• Strategic cuts to Obamacare
• Difficulty in the President getting his appointments confirmed
They seem to think these would be bad things.
Katherine Timpf reports over at NRO that a
Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.
The piece quotes the Lincoln School Superintendent as saying, “We don’t get involved with gender preferences. We’re educating all kids . . . and we can’t be judgmental.”
I wonder what kind of critical thinking skills this sort of accommodation of gender identity disorder will teach the purple penguins in Lincoln.
Matt Ridley asks that question over at WSJ. (H/T, Instapundit) It seems that global warming really has been on hold for at least the last 15 years.
Most science journalists, who are strongly biased in favor of reporting alarming predictions, rather than neutral facts, chose to ignore the pause until very recently, when there were explanations available for it. Nearly 40 different excuses for the pause have been advanced, including Chinese economic growth that supposedly pushed cooling sulfate particles into the air, the removal of ozone-eating chemicals, an excess of volcanic emissions, and a slowdown in magnetic activity in the sun.
I note this climate trend began to take hold in the early years of this century. The cause is obvious.
I blame Bush.
Mystery holes open up in Siberia. (H/T, Instapundit)
Is progressivism a genetic disorder?