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A view on Caster Semenya

CasterSemenyaThe Swiss courts recently released their judgement on the appeal brought by Semenya against the ruling that she cannot compete in women's athletics unless she takes medication to lower her testosterone levels.  Having looked into this case I find that there is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding on the matter - hence this posting.

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Understanding Wolfram

WolframThere is what I would once have called a Teefel man (for those too young, the reference is to an old TV advert which featured large-headed boffins) currently stirring things up in Physics and Maths.  His name is Stephen Wolfram, and he will be immediately familiar to many, via his commercial computational products, like Mathematica and Alpha, or for his work in mathematics.

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The BBC and other media

BBCOver the years - particularly the last 3 or 4 - I've become disenchanted with most of the mainstream media. Wokeness infests the media almost as much as it does my own profession, but facts are now coming back to bite...hard.

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COVID-19

Covid19Several people have asked me for my opinion of where we are with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, and what the future might hold. Obviously I'm not an expert in epidemiology or, in fact, any relevant science. I do, however, have a good basic grounding in science generally, and I have a circle of friends and contacts who are experts in a variety of scientific and medical fields.

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The Problem with the Left (1/2)

regressive birthIn the UK the Labour party is currently a shambles. In the US the democrats managed to loose an election to a reality-show host. Clearly there are some serious issues with left wing politics in general. In this article I try to explain what the problem is and how it arose.

Before I go on I will define what I mean here by 'left wing'. In broad terms there are two viewpoints regarding society and politics. One view is that we should strive to arrange society according to a historical blueprint or a past ideal. The other view is that society is better than it has ever been but needs to progress further by looking to the future, not the past.  We can call the first conservatism and the second progressivism.

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Tech Tyranny

GoogleI have written in the past about my concerns over the concentration of power within the tech sector. Google, for example, has tremendous power with no real accountability. Most people know that the ubiquitous search engine deals with user searches in a 'less than straightforward' manner. It is fairly common knowledge that companies willing to pay can have their listings advanced up the list of search results.  This, however, is the tip of the iceberg.

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Beware Equity

meaningIn debates involving social justice there is one term which is frequently used and which I think is widely misunderstood. That term is Equity.  Most people, I believe, think that this is simply another word for equality - it is not.

Equity, in the sense used here, means equality of OUTCOME, not equal opportunities.  That apparently minor difference is actually huge. It separates the left-liberal (equal ops) from the identitarian/SJW (equity) on the left, and the liberal right from the authoritarian right on the other wing of politics.

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New arrival

fjr1300At last.   For someone with an internet name of Bikerman, I've been without a bike for far too long. For personal and work reasons I had to sell my beloved Yamaha several years ago. Now, being finally in a position to get a new bike, I've bought myself another Yamaha. 

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Me too? No thanks

MetooWe are currently in the middle of a moral panic based on historic wrongdoing (or perceived wrong doing) of some famous men.  Events began with allegations against a famous Hollywood mogul - Harvey Weinstein dating back a couple of decades or so. There is little question that Weinstein is a wretched character. Whether he broke any laws is still open to question and will not be answered until we see a proper trial. There is little doubt, however, that his behaviour was unacceptable - then as now - and few people,  me included, would take issue with that.  Pretty soon, however, scores of women came forward (to the press in most cases) with their stories of historic sexual abuse, and a campaign to encourage others, called Me Too, was started.  Here is where the problems began.
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Correcting feminist misinformation

patriarchy4

The amount of misinformation originating from feminist sources that has now become part of 'common knowledge' is scary. A credulous media seems all to willing to print or repeat the most outrageous nonsense as long as it comes from a 'genuine feminist source'.

As I have demonstrated in previous articles, the idea of a credible feminist source is problematic. Modern feminism relies heavily on the Gallic Postmodernist philosophy which essentially holds that feelings are more valid than statistics or other empirical measures.  What might be 'evidence' to a feminist is unlikely to be so to anyone who is not indoctrinated into feminist dogma.  The aim of this posting is to correct some of the more egregious and persistent of the lies that are routinely trotted out by those either unwilling or incapable of doing even the most elementary fact checking.

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Bikerman's Guide to Special Relativity

dilationThis is a guide to Einstein's theory of Special Relativity aimed at the non scientist. No prior knowledge is assumed, but I will need to assume that you are familiar with basic arithmetic, and that you know something, even if only a very little, about algebra.
{tab Introduction}Please do not be put off if maths frightens you - I hope to show you that maths is nothing to be feared and what have you got to lose? If you know that algebra uses letters to represent values then that should be enough to get us going. If you are more proficient then so much the better. If you know Pythagoras' theorem about right angled triangles then you already know the most difficult maths in the whole guide.
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