freedom to curb freedom

I’ve been looking for comprehensive videos on hate speech for a while and thought this one was pretty good. I think the problem of hate speech is probably the best argument against the BBC putting Nick Griffin on Question time. Whether what Griffin said can be classed as hate speech isn’t too difficult to work out, especially once you watch this video, and that realisation just really scares me. I was having a conversation with a friend on facebook about this a couple of weeks ago, and back then I think I was at a point when maybe I didn’t want to admit to myself the full extent of damage it could cause having the BNP on QT. Hopefully with my friend’s permission, I can recount our conversation in this post soon…



what’s your utopia?

I found this interesting youtube channel – tvo or tv ontario – it’s canada’s equivalent to the BBC but goes further by using its youtube channel as a platform for videos that aim to “empower people to become more engaged, better informed citizens.” The nub I initially came across, below, has academic Rinaldo Walcott talking about his vision of a better world. I was wary of his rant at first because I am a tad fed up of people using the same line about capitalism as right-wing america is using for socialism (being the root of all evil and all that.) It’s just the same broken record running backwards. But I think he makes some compelling points after that short vociferation, take a look:

Nub of Life

Okay, so we all know that there are people across the world currently engaged in various shades of war against the theory of evolution. By and large, I’m not convinced that scientists have done a good job of putting together a clear and easily understandable rebuttal of the anti-evolution argument. Generally, it seems when rational reasonable people are faced with arguments based on wackadoo, they shrug their shoulders and think that everyone else can see that is the case.

But failing to step up to the plate ends up conceeding ground and puts the reasonable position on the back foot. For example, despite Richard Dawkins Spock-like inability to comprehend the value of religion, he also seems to miss a few tricks when it comes to dismissing creationist arguments, at least when I’ve seen him. Rather than give them the point by point fact smack down, he seems to rely more on just arching an eyebrow and emphasising the ridiculousness of the religious position.

This video by the Wellcome Trust features the natural history legend that is Sir David Attenborough, and takes us through the ‘narrative’ of evolution. I think it goes some way to putting the theory of evolution into a more easily understood story that challenges the creationists claim that evolutionary changes are too large to happen by chance, through emphasising the incremental nature of the process. It’s not  a knockout blow by any means but it is put together beautifully. The only thing that irks is the way that evolution is referred to as if it were acting on organisms rather than the actual fact that evolution is a description of the process that is occurring. I’m not sure if that is just a semantic point, or if I have explained that particularly well, but either way, here’s a great video about a great idea.