Friday, February 24, 2012

Misuse of the term "tsundere"

Yes, I know, two angry posts in a row, meh.  I need a specific reason to post, and I haven't had enough time or money to get new gmaes recently (although someone did give me a copy of Dead Island so I might review that-- the few hours I have spent on it have been quit enjoyable, albeit a bit ), but still-- I'm getting a bit tired of this.

A woman who is a nice person generally, and who says something harsh, is not a "tsundere".  The term and concept for "Tsundere" came about because Anime writer shave no damned clue how to write women, and so they almost always wrote about a plucky girl or about a proper housewife.  Tsundere was an attempt to deepen the female characters by adding one (1) new element of their personality-- usually a mean streak on an otherwise nice girl.  However, it is still lazy writing, because the "tsundere" character is almost invariably very, very shallow.  The term itself comes from "tsuntsun", IE aloof or irritable, and "deredere", IE lovestruck.  And its use goes way too damned far for such a lazy, condescending term.

Unfortunately, Japan being what it is (royally fucked up), and Japanophiles being what they are (also royally fucked up), the term has been used to describe real people instead of half-assed constructs by lazy writers.  A normally nice woman who is groped and tehn gets mad about it is called "tsundere".  Because... what, she's supposed to LIKE having her breast grabbed by impetuous little turd of a man or something?  The man DESERVES the anger.  She isn't being tsundere, she's defending herself from an asshole.   Similarly, if one percieves a woman as a mean bitch but then sees her doing something nice, this also desn't mean she's a tsundere either.   More likely than not it just means that you probably gave her no reason to like you in the first place, or the time you've known her she has been in a situation that you keep caching her in a bad mood due to reasons enitrely beyond her control.

People are more complex than anime constructs.  There are a wdie variety of different personality quirks in a single person, and attempting to define them by comparing them to definitions of pop culture concepts is a stupid endeavor.  Get to know them as people instead, and you'll find that they're far more interesting that way.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homeopathy is a lie, and other frustrations with modern idiocy.

I'ill just get the first part out of the way.

Homeopathy is a lie.  Homeopathic practitioners are liars, fools, and/or idiots.

Homeopathy presumes to work on "resonance", which is an unproven pseudoscientific idea (calling it a theorem or a hypothesis is too kind, it is neither of these) that chemicals maintain a "memory" of atoms they have bumped in to.  This is ludicrous, and completely unfounded.  If that was the case, then every drop of water we drink would have the resonant "memory" of dirt, shit, piss, blood of various species, diseases, salt, mercury, the various organic compounds that compose what we refer to as "oil", semen of various species, just an incomprehensible amount of chemicals which water has come in to contact with over the eons of geological history.  But it doesn't, of course, because the homeopathic "vibrations" concept is utter bullshit.

Following on that, one of the basic principles of homeopathy is that the more dilute a solution is, the stronger it is.  This is because to prepare a homeopathic "remedy", one puts a small amount of it in water, then shakes it, and then dilutes that further, then shakes it, then dilutes it further-- supposedly making it stronger each time.  This goes against every single basic concept of chemistry.  The reason one dilutes concentrated sulfuric acid is to WEAKEN its effect, not to strengthen it.  And we shake/stir/etc our goddamend H2NO3 quite well thank you very much, you fucking lying, thieving charlatans.

But even worse than that, they also try to claim that they can violate the laws of physics and statistics with their remedies.  Their "strongest" solutions are so dilute that they pass a crucial point in chemistry and physics-- Avagadro's Number.  This is roughly 6*10^23-- once a dilution gets past this point, there is only a chance of there being one single molecule of the substance in the mixture.  Some of the "strongest" medicines are so dilute that there is only a one in a million chance of there being only one molecule in the mixture.  This is equivalent to taking a grain of rice, grinding it in to a powder, and then mixing it in to a pool of water the size of the solar system, then adding the same amount of water a couple dozen times, and then taking a single sip out of that mass of water.

THAT... is fucking dilute.  The reason I rage so hard about this, aside from being professionally offended as a chemist who knows that every lie they spout confuses the scientifically illiterate, is that they're fooling people.  Stealing their money by selling miracle water and snake oil.  They're liars, they're cheats, they're worthless trash and scum, every single one of them, and yet they make millions and even billions off of ripping poor, unfortunate folk off, people who don't really understand the science (or lack thereof) behind this quack system of remedies.  They prey on fears, taking advantage of people who are afraid of anthrax attacks.  They prey on the unfortunate, selling miracle water to cancer patients and ripping them off as the cancer patient suffers and gets worse because of their lies.

There's plenty of this crap going around.  Faith healing, psychics, ghost whisperers, and other liars prey on the grieving, the unfortunate, the suffering.  These aren't merely hobbyists, no, if that were the case they'd be magicians/conjurers, doing it for entertainment value.  No, they're predators.

To a lesser extent, this sort of thing has involved itself in the political system of the US as well.  People believe what they want to believe-- damn the facts!  Obama is a jew-hating muslim who wants to sell us to the chinese!  Romney will force everyone to take multiple wives!  Bush is a backbiting hick who sold the country to private military contractors!  And so on and so forth.  People allow themselves to be distracted by the spectacle of it all, they get caught up in the emotional lies that are told to gain their support.

Doesn't matter which side you're on-- think for yourself, not for your party.  Skeptical thinking should be applied to people you disagree with, certainly, but even moreso it should be applied to those you agree with, because they're the ones that can fool you the easiest otherwise.