Category: Uncategorized

A change in branding

I haven’t posted here since October for…reasons.

Mainly, I wasn’t feeling my own branding. It no longer felt honest.

When I started Ars Skeptica, I wanted it to be thinky. I wanted it to incorporate the best critical thinking I could muster. I wanted it to be more serious than not.

In many respects, I think I failed that mission. Skepticism, in the sense of just plain doubt, I have in spades. But I also tend to find fault in supposed motives. That’s more plain, rank cynicism. I’ve got that in spades, as well. I’m a bad person. I’m okay with that.

And there’s only so long I could keep posting putatively “skeptical” material that was really, maybe, just cynical.

But I post, anyway. Just not here. Mostly I annoy my friends on other social media with posts that are far too wordy for that medium, maybe just about perfectly right-sized for…a blog. My own blog. Where my own shit belongs. It just hasn’t fit here.

So this calls for a serious rebranding!

At first, I thought I’d be clever, because we see how well that works out for me. I’d just move over from Ars Skeptica to Ars Cynica. Poifect! Except, no. Just no. That didn’t work for me.

Punny sort that I am, though, I though maybe it would be clever to play on the wording. How about…ArsEnica…Arsenic-A…

Nah. I’m the only one that would get it after about two posts, and it’s just not that clever. But hey, what about just calling it Arsenic? A slow poison. Some heavy metal. A nifty looking alchemy sign. Except some other mag uses something too close. Bugger.

Finally, after much poking around, I did settle on something. Something that corrodes, eats away, that describes my style and my goal all in one.

So, with no further adieu, I present:

CausticBanner1000

Yeah, I couldn’t get the sexiest plain ol’ caustic.wordpress.com, so it’s a clunky URL. I don’t care. Nobody is going to be punching it in that way anyway, I imagine. Mostly people will be clicking in, so that would be…just fine. And the one’s that are for some odd reason? Probably know what they’re getting into and won’t give a shit.

Anyone wanting to see what I might be up to after this post can just click on the ol’ banner there, and voila, you’ll be transported to a world that mostly sucks, if what we’re looking at is mob sentiment and political or religiose motives. Otherwise, it’s pretty damned awesome. That’s the province of individual thinkers, leaders, and creators, or small groups of them, and I don’t mind giving credit where credit is due.

Brain food: various & sundry

Highlights from the past week

Six Easy Ways To Tell If That Viral Story Is A Hoax: I Fucking Love Science

The Deep State Hiding in Plain Sight: Moyers & Company

Physicists Plan To Put A Microbe In Two Places At Once: I Fucking Love Science

Scientists create the first digital ‘tree of life’ for 2.3 million species: The Christian Science Monitor

Disney To Re-Release Theatrical Cuts Of The Original Star Wars Trilogy: Comic Book.com (more…)

The week in fluff

Various social media shenanigans from the past week

A Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: Wherever the Trail Leads

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Mapping the United Swears of America

Jack Grieve, lecturer in forensic linguistics at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, has created a detailed set of maps of the US showing strong regional patterns of swearing preferences.

(more…)

How can we best honor our fallen heroes on Memorial Day?

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

Honoring those who died in service doesn’t mean forgiving those who put them in harm’s way.

Today America honors its war dead, those who gave their lives in the service of freedom – not only ours, but in many cases they died to save innocent people in far-flung corners of the globe. This isn’t idle rhetoric, either. Ponder what the world might have been like had the Allies lost World War II.

Unfortunately, in recent years I have grown more cynical about “freedom” and those who died for it.

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Half-measures won’t fix Social Security

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

The GOP just isn’t trying hard enough

Today, Robert Reich had this to say on Facebook:

“Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and other Republican hopefuls are already pushing to raise the eligibility age for Social Security to 69 – which their big-business Republican donors have been urging for years.”

This is the kind of tepid thinking that lets those lazy olds off the hook way too easily.

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