I’m much the same as Bill Gates in one respect. Bill had little formal training to facilitate his transformation from pimply-faced geek to gozillionaire geek. I have had little formal training in my transition from uneducated trailer-trash lout to the internationally recognized know-it-all that I am today. Yet, we both somehow get by.
I owe much of my success as a bore to my lifelong pathological obsession with reading science journals. I succumbed to this disease before the age of ten, when I began pilfering copies of Scientific American from local newsstands. After my first introduction to law enforcement, I got a paper route and subscribed. While other illiterate preteens were looking at the pictures in comic books, I was looking at much more interesting pictures in my carefully preserved and continuously expanding library of science journals. At that point my comprehension level was approximately -97%.
Now that you have sufficient background information, I shall proceed with my tirade.
As I have previously bragged about, I am a card-carrying PROFESSIONAL member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. How this came about, I have no idea. I suspect that the organization conducted a random search for suckers and my name popped up. I received my membership card, which I have proudly displayed to hundreds of perfect strangers and a one year subscription to Science, the mouthpiece of the organization.
The gotcha, of course, came at subscription renewal time. I was torn between (A) forking out about Two Hundred U.S. Bucks to renew the subscription or (B) carrying around a membership card that was clearly expired, exposing me as an EX Professional Scientist. I considered carefully modifying the expiration date on the card, but I’m far too ethical to do anything so shady . . . mmmm. Eunie, finally tiring of my whining, said, “Write the cheque and shut up!” I sighed a sigh of pure love. I like the rough stuff.
Anyway, I continued to wade through Scientific American, for which my comprehension level was approaching 93% (more about that later) and added Science each week, beginning at a CL (I’m getting tired of typing) of about -17%.
However, I’ve noticed lately that my CL has been rising exponentially. I attribute this not to any elevation of my brain power, since this is clearly not the case, as I’m reminded daily by my friends. I lay the blame directly on the publishers of science journals. I’m not a conspiracy geek, but I am beginning to wonder . . .
As a case-in-point, I present the cover of Science for 27 November 2009:*
Not wishing to portray Science as the originator of this massive dumbing-down of science, I should mention that Scientific American was, indeed, the perpetrator, commencing with it’s infamous “Toy Boat” issue of August 1987:
Here we see, in this astonishingly cheesy Nikon ad, Albert Einstein equated to The Three Stooges:
A few pages later we’re confronted by the ineptitude of Scientific American’s copy editors:
Okay, I have flogged Scientific American enough, already.
Let’s get back to flogging Science. Here is example of the silly pandering that’s dragging science down to the least common denominator and artificially inflating my CL:
As further evidence, I present a mystifying illustration which had nothing whatsoever to do with the content of the article:
Speaking of drawing pictures, here is a suitably illustrative example of what I’m talking about. Has anybody yet figured out what I’m talking about? No? Good, that’s my point exactly:
Another area of concern is the use of famous personalities to try to convince us that science is “easy”:
Patience, I am nearly finished.
As a final, and I might add, convicting bit of evidence, here is a complex graphic that claims to explain the previously mysterious principles of “up”, “down”, “right” and “left”:
Give me an equation!
* There may be individuals who are so humourless that they fail to recognize the forgoing as a fun-loving jab at a prestigious organization. If you are one of those individuals and you are feeling litigious, I refer you to George Carlin’s lawyer.