For me, one of the most irritating things about woo-mongering is the implication that we need magic and fairy stories to make something awesome. But as this blog as a whole and this series of posts in particular aims to prove, reality is plenty awesome enough on its own.
Today’s example of awesomeness is… The Internet!!111!eleventy!
Yep, the internet. If ever there was an example of something really really real and really really awesome, the net is it. So here are some reasons why:
1. If it weren’t for the internet, I wouldn’t know I was a skeptic.
It was almost exactly a year ago when I had just finished reading Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science, and decided to check out the web forum. From there I followed a link to Mike Adams’ (yes, that Mike Adams) list of “Things Skeptics Believe” and onwards to the various skeptical take-downs of that piece of drivel, including PZ Myers‘and Steven Novella’s. Somehow I found my way to the website of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and their Skeptics with a K podcast. I listened to their take-down of The List, wept with laughter, and suddenly realised. “Hey, I’m just like them”.*
Sad as it sounds, I had always sort of assumed that my lack of belief in woo-woo and pseudoscience was a flaw on my part. I always felt like maybe I was missing something. But not any more, thanks to the internet, (and SWaK)!
2. If it weren’t for the internet, you wouldn’t be reading any of this post, or the other Twelve Days of Awesome.
I’ll leave it for you to decide if that’s awesome or not!
3. If it weren’t for the internet, my work would be a whole lot harder.
The internet makes mind-bogglingly huge amounts of information available in an instant. Whether an Undergrad has just asked me a fundamental question that I should know the answer to and have shamefully had to Google, or I’m literature searching for a new bit of research, I’m sorted. The internet makes my collaborators easily accessible, wherever they are. The internet allows me to work on computers that happen to be the only ones in the whole world that can do the thing I’m trying to do, even when they’re a hundred miles away. Obviously science happened prior to the internet, but I’m glad I’m part of the new generation…
4. If it weren’t for the internet, few of the crazy woo-peddlars and quacks would have a platform.
Wait, why’s that a good thing, you ask? Well, if these things are made very, very public, then there’s a good chance that they will be properly dealt with, or at least properly ridiculed.
5. The internet made Twitter.
That is all…
So, there you go. I’m sure everyone has their own examples of why the Internet is awesome, because it really, truly is.
*Except I don’t say bollocks nearly as much.