Losing faith in my fellow geeks


I have long thought that us “geeks” who spend a large fraction of our existence working with, and trying to improve technology were a cut above.  Both emotionally and mentally.

This belief has been shattered.  Two threads on Slashdot recently showed me that the geek community is as susceptible and gullible to false claims, and just plain incorrect urban legends.

First was the discussion around the Stanford study that showed Organic foods are not nutritionally better than conventional agribusiness farmed/raised products.  It was truly astounding how many people attacked the study, and waved their belief that Organic produce is grown without pesticides (not true, usually they use non-synthetic pesticides, that are often much more harmful than the synthetics).  They also weighed in that “organic” farming was more sustainable, and could feed the world’s population.  Both are dubious to completely wrong (reduced crop yeields, leads to more land under cultivation to produce the same food, and the energy expenditure is likewise increased.

Not to be outdone, a couple days later, there is a thread about the hazards of High Frequency Trading (HFT).  In the middle of this thread a battle about how shorting stocks should be outlawed because it is fraudulent.  Alas, all attempts to dispell this with facts, and the reason why shorting is and should be allowed seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Truth is, idiocy and ideology exists in all walks of life, geeks being no better at all.  Sigh.  I will not be diving into the next “Global Warming” thread on Slashdot.  That brings out the worst.

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By geoffand


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September 2012

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