More headlines from around the world, and their relevance to us as a global geek community. Read on, and absorb the lessons that we may be prepared for the inevitable day that we geeks inherit this bizarre planet.
Reddit and 4Chan Team Up for Gym Justice
The silent guardians and watchful protectors of the Internet have issued their own brand of street justice against another of society’s lowest. This time, it was against someone we can all agree to loathe: the arrogant gym bro.
An Australian man used his iPad (seriously, who brings an iPad to the gym?) to snap and post pictures of those he seemed to deem unworthy of his workout space. “Here we see the Amazing Chicken Man,” the man writes on Facebook. “His 2% body fat is admired by bodybuilders and bulimic teenage girls alike.” The text was attached to a clandestine photo of a patron performing arm curls.
After users on Reddit and 4Chan posted screenshots of the man’s bullying (yes, that’s what this is), he was swiftly shown the one piece of equipment in the gym he should have used sooner; the door. The man did issue a half-assed apology on social media, but he has since been banned from his gym.
Once again, the Internet has shown what a collection of geeks can achieve by working together through a common goal. Cyber justice in the physical world. As a geek and quite the gym rat myself, this is an issue I take to heart. Every January, when the influx of New Year Resolutioners come pouring into the gym, almost everyone I know complains, citing with prophetic pessimism that these people won’t be here in a month.
You know what? Shut up. How about instead of trash talking these newcomers, make them feel welcome? We were all there once. Extend friendship, or at the very least some encouragement.
It does not matter what kind of geek you are, they can be your allies. They can be your
gym partners. They can join your intramural team. They can join your larping guild.
Make them feel welcome. Remind them that they are one of us.
Scientists Implant False Memories in Mice
But if I’m not me, then who the hell am I?
Men and women in white coats at MIT have used the wonders of science to make a mouse believe it had a lovely time in Fiji without ever leaving the lab.
Well, actually, they used optogenetics, a technique by which individual brain cells may
be controlled, to make a mouse believe a previously safe chamber was in fact a dangerous one. You can read more about the experiment here.
The scientists believe this experiment can help give them a better understanding of how false memories are naturally created. This research could be useful in the criminal justice field, as we have seen far too many people who were convicted based solely on witness testimony exonerated by DNA evidence. This could also be used as a tool when investigating all those unusual claims of paranormal encounters. No, you didn’t see a ghost. You saw dust.
Source: The Guardian
Theological Scholar Has the Patience of a Saint on FOX News
Reza Aslan wrote a book. Not an unusual move for a leading theological scholar. When Aslan appeared on FOX News to discuss the book, titled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, he was most certainly prepared for anything he thought the controversial news agency might throw at him.
Aslan responded like a pro, explaining in such a way that even a child should understand.
“Well to be clear, I am a scholar with four degrees—including one in the New Testament, and fluency of Biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades—who also just happens to be Muslim. So it’s not that I’m just some Muslim writing about Jesus, I am an expert with a PhD in the history of religions . . .”
Green continued, in her infinite ignorance, “But it still begs the question why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?”
Aslan gave a fantastic response, “because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living actually.”
He later goes on to say, “And to be clear I just want to emphasize this one more time. I am a historian. I am a PhD in the history of religions. This isn’t a Muslim opinion, this is an academic work of history.”
The obvious undertones of this statement were, I am an expert in this and you are not. Why don’t you try doing your job and stay away from matters you know nothing about?
We as geeks can certainly relate to all of this. Whether it is in our careers or our hobbies, we are all very knowledgeable in our own fields, and nothing is more infuriating than someone on the outside who violently tries to tell you how it really is. We can learn a lot from Reza Aslan. The man did not waiver in his professionalism. Instead, he explained his credentials in a thought-provoking and calm demeanor to an individual who clearly wasn’t going to listen and instead focus on her Islamophobia.
You can never win an argument against ignorance, but you can put it in its place. Well done, Dr. Aslan.
Source: Think Progress