Science for the epic motherfreaking win
October 21, 2013 9:05 PM   Subscribe

 
The thing is this allready feels dated.
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 PM on October 21, 2013 [21 favorites]


I fucking love Bacon
posted by hank at 9:11 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


epically motherbitching sick

Stopped reading.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:12 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


( aw hey I just remembered the first time I saw The Communist Party t-shirt, at that park full of soviet statues outside Budapest. It was like a big ole Commie theme park, get your photo taken in a Lada!)
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on October 21, 2013


epically motherbitching sick

Stopped reading.


You and I are cut from different cloth my friend.
posted by vorpal bunny at 9:16 PM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm glad someone said it.

Other news just in: grammar is cool. And so is atheism.

*yawn*
posted by Salamander at 9:18 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Better late than never.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 9:22 PM on October 21, 2013


Better latent than never.
posted by drhydro at 9:23 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, how dare young people be enthusiastic, or express that enthusiasm.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:26 PM on October 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


Points for correct use of 'literally' though.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:26 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Reads somewhat like the creator of The Oatmeal is second-guessing his place in the world but hooked on success so opted to satirize his core audience* under a pseudonym.

*yes, I checked and can see he's trying to move away from content that directly maps to this. That just makes it seem more plausible.
posted by pahalial at 9:27 PM on October 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


Yes, how dare young people be enthusiastic, or express that enthusiasm.

Yes, and former young people can express their disdain for the same old shit in a different motherfreaking bottle. Circle of goddamned life.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:33 PM on October 21, 2013 [20 favorites]


My drunk subconscious somehow managed to escape and write a blog post, how embarrassing.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:38 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


This post reminded me that I no longer have any particularly cool t-shirts and that I haven't been to Threadless in a good long time. So, thanks.
posted by Sara C. at 9:40 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


reddit.txt
posted by hellojed at 9:40 PM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, fuck this essay. I too see no problem with the overall trend in our culture to distill complex ideas into memes and glib infographics. Nuanced discussion of scientific and political issues can only be enhanced when clicking "Like" on a Facebook post provides sufficient proof of one's commitment to an idea in lieu of actual action towards it. People who do not agree with me are old and don't understand the Internet and its magical postmodern forms of communication.
posted by schroedinger at 9:42 PM on October 21, 2013 [33 favorites]


Basically.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:42 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nuanced discussion of scientific and political ideas can only be enhanced when clicking "Like" on a Facebook post provides sufficient proof of one's commitment to an idea in lieu of actual action towards it.

So basically, you're saying I shouldn't favorite your comment...?
posted by zachlipton at 9:44 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you, but I prefer the subtle route to lampooning pop scientism.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:44 PM on October 21, 2013 [72 favorites]


Yes, how dare young people be enthusiastic, or express that enthusiasm.

Eh. It's enthusiasm for science as a cultural marker rather than as a vocation and a discipline.

On preview, what schroedinger said.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:45 PM on October 21, 2013 [21 favorites]


I still can't get over how ...passe this feels? Bacon? Tesla? Motherfucking win? Those are from THE PAST.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


On preview, what schroedinger said.

That's easy for you to say. You looked at his comment.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:49 PM on October 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


"I still can't get over how ...passe this feels? Bacon? Tesla? Motherfucking win? Those are from THE PAST."

Referring to things that were popular two years ago as if they were separated from us by a vast gulf of time is so over.
posted by escabeche at 9:52 PM on October 21, 2013 [32 favorites]


Actually learning science (instead of metaphors and simplifications that explain scientific concepts) takes work. It isn't always fun, especially when there's equations to grind through and strange terms to memorize. And it's a lifetime job, because there's always something new to learn, or something you've only just begun to understand.

But the more you learn, the more satisfying it is to really understand how birds fly, how magnets work, why the sky is blue when the sun looks yellow, how to cook meth, all that cool stuff.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:54 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still can't get over how ...passe this feels? Bacon? Tesla? Motherfucking win? Those are from THE PAST.

Sure, about two years into the past. Hell, two years ago the Boston reddit board game meetup had someone say "The Narwhal bacons at midnight" out loud, in public, to a bunch of real-life people, expecting them to laugh, and some of them did.

On preview, what escabeche said.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:54 PM on October 21, 2013


I still can't get over how ...passe this feels? Bacon? Tesla? Motherfucking win? Those are from THE PAST.

Unless you're in an undergraduate science program at a fairly backwater regional university, in which case they are very much of the present.

"HAVE YOU SEEN EPIC MEALTIME? BACON IS EPIC! I have an Oatmeal shirt! Look at it! Did you know that creationism is a thing in America and also maybe Korea? LET ME TELL YOU MY FEELS ABOUT STUPID AMERICANS AND KOREANS WHILE WE ARE TRAPPED IN A LAB TOGETHER FOR THREE HOURS."
posted by jaynewould at 9:54 PM on October 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


"She worked very hard at writing the chapter, until one day she showed what she had written to Mister Rogers, who read it and crossed it all out and wrote a sentence addressed directly to the doctors who would be reading it: You were a child once, too." (source)
posted by belarius at 9:57 PM on October 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yesterday there were literally two back-to-back Facebook posts on my feed that were different pop science articles and both were posted with the comment "Science!"
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:59 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never literally pay money for T-shirts.
The figurative purchases are cheaper, funnier, always fit, and never need laundering.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:15 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everybody knows that Woot! shirts are the best. My "Say No to Scurvy" shirt remains a crowd-pleaser after all these years.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:21 PM on October 21, 2013


Eh. It's enthusiasm for science as a cultural marker rather than as a vocation and a discipline.

It's the science equivalent of people reducing "geek" to the shit they buy instead of what they do.

/shakes fist at glowing screen
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:21 PM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Science the new religion. We need a new meme that says that there is no place in science for certainty.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 10:24 PM on October 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


i still prefer empty hurrahs for science and art over sports and swag.

disclaimers:
none of those things are mutually exclusive.
art usually makes its own gravy.
hurrahs aren't a goal, but they make a good catalyst.

The best and brightest deserve the cheerleaders.
posted by es_de_bah at 10:27 PM on October 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'd rather caucus with the "I don't noes much about science but appreciate it and wish it were tught more because I think it's cool" crowd than the FUCKIN' LET ME TELL YOU USIN' THIS SCIENCE-MACHINE HOW SCIENCE IS THE DEVIL'Z TOOLBOX OF DELIVACIOUSNESS
posted by lordaych at 10:28 PM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Also, I love fucking, science! Please invent ultimate magic birth control and eliminate all STDs. Thanks bro
posted by lordaych at 10:30 PM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yo. Science. What is all about?
posted by lordaych at 10:31 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's so funny watching a bunch of 30-somethings get all worried that their cool has expired.

I fucking love science is a talisman against the evils of the anti-intellect creationists.

Also, worrying about your cool is totally uncool, and proves you've become an old fart. Welcome to the club.
posted by Goofyy at 10:40 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


WE CAN COMBINE ART AND SCIENCE FUCK YEAH X-RAY SCANNING TO FIND PREVIOUS SKETCHES.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Brilliant!
posted by dangerousdan at 10:46 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's so funny watching a bunch of 30-somethings get all worried that their cool has expired.

I fucking love science is a talisman against the evils of the anti-intellect creationists.


I'm 25 and have been massively irritated by this sort of thing for years, SO THERE

Watch as I grind my heels into your lawn
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:51 PM on October 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


Eh. It's enthusiasm for science as a cultural marker rather than as a vocation and a discipline.

Yeah, this.

It's not bright-eyed kids who are waxing lyrical all over my FB feed about science/bacon/atheism/grammar, either, or I'd cut them some slack. The vast majority of my FB 'friends' are 30+. It's so fucking...lame.

In fact, I've just had someone post another 'Science' quiz, with 'I got 100%!' above it. God. (Sorry, no-God.)
posted by Salamander at 10:54 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Facebook is the magnifying glass
to the sunlight
of our own
fragile egos,

aimed with burning precision
at the ants of conformity.

Also, FUCK YEAH SCIENCE DOT TUMBLR DOT GODDAMN
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:57 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


wow

so satire

nice
posted by brundlefly at 11:10 PM on October 21, 2013 [24 favorites]


On preview, what Rustic Etruscan said.
posted by EnterTheStory at 11:12 PM on October 21, 2013


I fucking love science is a talisman against the evils of the anti-intellect creationists.

But stupidity carried out in the name of intellect is not really all that much more defensible than any other kind.

The really ill-placed aspect of this satire is the regressive schoolmarmish bullshit about "swearing" and "say[ing] rude things with no consequences," not the idea that waving Science! around as a talisman of cultural allegiance is a fairly self-defeating way to be on the side of intellectual rigor. Dialectic of Enlightenment this ain't.
posted by RogerB at 11:14 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


A million disembodied hands, each making the jerking-off motion.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:16 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Look, the problem is that there's this whole group of people who are hostile to scientific discoveries or even what would appear to be truths that they find uncomfortable, and they do real-world harm in various ways using groupthink and propaganda. We need people to be on the side of reason no matter how pure their motives, rather than to be all GET AWAY UR ENTHUSIASM ISN'T RIGOROUZ
posted by lordaych at 11:17 PM on October 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


Then maybe their children are like "I will learn actual science and my parents will be like whoa and impressed" instead of "you are a dumb nerd who will burn in hell" which is probably not a precise thing parents say but having lots of people superficially interested in something that ultimately leads some of them to a deeper understanding is OK
posted by lordaych at 11:18 PM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


One can be happy that people have this shallow, affected enthusiasm for SCIENCE! and also find this funny as hell. Multitask, people!
posted by brundlefly at 11:30 PM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


On the one hand, yeah, there's a grating fannishness here that doesn't have much to do with actual science or actual scientists and definitely deserves some sending up.

On the other hand, making fun of nerdy high schoolers who want to seem edgier than they are takes some finesse. This just comes off as gratuitous, like making fun of nerdy kids who recite Monty Python sketches at the drop of a hat. Real life is probably trolling them hard enough.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:34 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look, the problem is that there's this whole group of people who are hostile to scientific discoveries or even what would appear to be truths that they find uncomfortable,

Like people who think evolution on Earth has come to its conclusion and that humans should act with compassion towards each other, that we should interfere with the evolutionary process through birth control, selective abortion, vaccinations, science, etc. instead of letting nature take her natural, pitiless course.

Anti-science humans have interfered with both natural selection and the process by which species form isolated groups so that they may evolve independently. This is derided as racism! Such an anti-science mentality!

On the other hand, people who let nature and science rule them usually get what they deserve: extinction.
posted by three blind mice at 11:58 PM on October 21, 2013


I feel slightly slighted.
posted by Alexsandra at 12:10 AM on October 22, 2013


On the other hand, people who let nature and science rule them usually get what they deserve: extinction.

The amount of sheer compassion displayed here is breathtaking.

Evolution truly has achieved its pinnacle!
posted by Wolof at 12:11 AM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


So,
am I still allowed to read Nature Methods while wearing a "Science: It works bitches" T-shirt, or is that too ironic now?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:18 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like people who think evolution on Earth has come to its conclusion and that humans should act with compassion towards each other, that we should interfere with the evolutionary process through birth control, selective abortion, vaccinations, science, etc. instead of letting nature take her natural, pitiless course.

Anti-science humans have interfered with both natural selection and the process by which species form isolated groups so that they may evolve independently. This is derided as racism! Such an anti-science mentality!


lol, what even is this, an attempt at satire?
posted by en forme de poire at 12:23 AM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the argument is that since John Foxton Ross Kerr's cells all didn't immediately lyse when he published his apoptosis paper in Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology, he's nothing but a poseur.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:26 AM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I started to type a clever comment here but before I was halfway done I was so over it. So I decided to type this instead so you'd know that my being over shit cred never mind fuck I'm over that too
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:42 AM on October 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


Thank you, but I prefer the subtle route to lampooning pop scientism.

These are pretty funny! But the author seems to have forgotten that Neil deGrasse Tyson has a name. Won't someone be a dear and remind them?
posted by narain at 1:01 AM on October 22, 2013


Hmm, I don't know it's really the height of anything to criticise t-shirts, teenagers and facebook for its inanity. I mean, no one's gonna be printing an article from PLOS or whatever on a tshirt, are they?

Naturally, "science!" is an identifier for a lot of people, and young people especially. In this age, identifiers and cosigns are incredibly important across a range of things - and I find it rather... ironic (I went there!) that some of the people agreeing with the presumed critique are those happy to do something very similar with metafilter t-shirts, or mefi more broadly.

I dunno, if you have a problem with something, by all means attack it, don't distort its worst aspects until this one facet consumes literally every aspect of the target.

You know what I think is really passe? Cynicism, and snark in general. I feel that the writer actually buys into the whole discourse he's critcising. The writer is not criticising science t-shirts because they are using a nebulous thing as an identifier - he's criticising them for doing it badly and not cool enough-ly.

The entire rant presupposes that someone wearing a science t-shirt is incapable of a more nuanced understanding of science, that they care what someone in - what is to them - an outgroup thinks of them, and they are not simply appreciating a t-shirt, for a t-shirt.

Overthinking a plate of beans? I suppose I am, but shit, I'm with HTWRT: I like enthusiasm. I think it's grand, I like that people like things so much they get them on a t-shirt - especially when it's things that are positive and encouraging - and goddamn it, I will defend to the death anyone's right to engage in shallow pop culture as a hedonistic and fun activity. Or even have a joke t-shirt, or post up a shitty macro on facebook. If it makes them happy it doesn't really matter much to me, and I don't think it's demeaning Science! as a whole (as if there is such a thing), or Einstein or whatever.

/owns communist party t-shirt. Chuckled when I bought it 3-4 years ago, still chuckle now.
posted by smoke at 1:08 AM on October 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


I wish my T shirt could play Major Tom in space.
posted by surplus at 1:24 AM on October 22, 2013


The thing is this allready feels dated.

I thought it was going to link to the Best Page in the Universe article from last year.
posted by Gary at 1:40 AM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


My main takeaway was that, though potentially amusing in tiny snippets, this method of fuck yeah, woo! CAPS LOCK and non-sequitur reference to beloved items!-style writing gets very tiring in bulk.

That it's a shallow interaction/expression of science that's being made fun of is just because it appears to have been adopted as a geek vernacular.
posted by gadge emeritus at 2:44 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


The comments in this thread are more sociologically interesting than the satirical linked piece. Also, (some) are more risible.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:29 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I genuinely thought this was written using some kind of markov generator. Or maybe this kind of writing always feels that way bacon zombie much?
posted by mippy at 3:29 AM on October 22, 2013


Where is the MIT cheerleading team?


Oh. Well then.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:35 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yesterday there were literally two back-to-back Facebook posts on my feed that were different pop science articles and both were posted with the comment "Science!"

I'm waiting for more people to move past "WOOO SCIENCE!" and start thinking more critically about how science is still letting us down. Raise your standards, geeksheeple.
posted by jaynewould at 3:50 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thing is this already feels dated.

I thought it was parody
posted by thelonius at 4:03 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am totally fine with people expressing enthusiasm for things I like in ways I find distasteful or trite. I don't have to -listen- and it can only help.
posted by solarion at 4:16 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It should be noted that the author is one of those Weird Twitter guys, so, yeah, it's most certainly a parody.
posted by sigma7 at 4:41 AM on October 22, 2013


specifically, this guy
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:43 AM on October 22, 2013


oh hey
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:44 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter, I am enjoying the textual squirming above.
posted by mobunited at 4:56 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


This didn't strike me as anti-enthusiam, as much as anti-"reddit" crowd. You know, the horde of 13-20 year old content locusts, who have free time, strongly-held, poorly-informed opinions and a complete lack of perspective and little, if any, empathy.

They're also always up on my lawn.
posted by DigDoug at 4:57 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's STEM...STEM FTW, dude. Because, like, engineers want some of that science cool, too...

I run into some really dumb, dogmatic and just plain unscientific people who are science groupies... OTOH...really and truly: science FTMFW...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:04 AM on October 22, 2013


On the other hand, people who let nature and science rule them usually get what they deserve: bacon.

Fixed that for you.
posted by erniepan at 5:07 AM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, if ignorance of science wasn't being celebrated as a virtue no one would have needed to come up with this. But in a world where people standing knee-deep in storm surge waters claim there's no such thing as global warming it's sadly necessary.
posted by tommasz at 5:28 AM on October 22, 2013


Some mornings I wake up and remember that MeFi doesn't do satire well. I mean, it's not subtle at all, but just because they're making fun of the way some people talk (nominally about science, but it could be any topic) doesn't mean they are trying to disavow SCIENCE.
posted by Think_Long at 5:35 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I fucking love science is a talisman against the evils of the anti-intellect creationists.

No, see, this is what those shitburgers mean when they use their made-up word "scientism". Don't help them be right.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:36 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I fucking love science is a talisman against the evils of the anti-intellect creationists.

I think that's exactly right because much like an actual talisman, it doesn't fucking work.
posted by griphus at 5:38 AM on October 22, 2013 [29 favorites]


Re: this being some critique against "teenagers having fun"

I know it's a very limited poll, but I have only two teenagers on my facebook friendlist (my two young cousins) one of them barely ever posts, the other one is too busy talking about Pokemon and writing iPhone apps to repost memes about 'fucking' loving science.

Most of the LOLBACONSCIENCESIRARCHAOMG comes from people my age (32) or older, who work office jobs and squee over Dr. Who.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:47 AM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Some mornings I wake up and remember that MeFi doesn't do satire well. I mean, it's not subtle at all, but just because they're making fun of the way some people talk (nominally about science, but it could be any topic) doesn't mean they are trying to disavow SCIENCE."

Yeah. But when I read these comments earlier, I was befuddled because I couldn't figure out if people were reading the piece straight, or they were also being ironic in their comments. I actually think both are true (though not for any individual comment).

Another factor is that ironic pieces like this often play it more straight at the beginning, but somewhere near the end of the piece signal the irony by going a bit too far. In this piece, this penultimate sentence plays that role:
"Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and read the latest Tesla listicle and then share it on Facebook so everyone knows that I know who Tesla is."
(Although halfway through there's this: "I think I would like school a lot more if it was compacted down into meme format", which is pretty blatant.)

So one thing that happens here is that people don't read the linked piece, or don't read all of it, and so take it straight because they never saw the wink. I'm guessing.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:51 AM on October 22, 2013


Look, the problem is that there's this whole group of people who are hostile to scientific discoveries or even what would appear to be truths that they find uncomfortable, and they do real-world harm in various ways using groupthink and propaganda. We need people to be on the side of reason no matter how pure their motives, rather than to be all GET AWAY UR ENTHUSIASM ISN'T RIGOROUZ

QFT.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:12 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most of the LOLBACONSCIENCESIRARCHAOMG comes from people my age (32) or older, who work office jobs and squee over Dr. Who.

Yeah, most of the people at the Reddit meetup I mentioned upthread were my age at the time (23) or older.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:15 AM on October 22, 2013


see also.
posted by spbmp at 6:21 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish I lived in the world the commenters here talking about how "EPIC BACON WIN" is so old and over live in. I really do.
posted by Legomancer at 6:30 AM on October 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


I fucking love science is a talisman against the evils of the anti-intellect creationists.

No, it's not. It's why we still have to put up with that kind of crap because the "FUCK YEAH SCIENCE!" brigade is too intellectually shallow to actually read and understand so they are no use in the fight but instead of standing on the sidelines, they wind up being the loudest voices and drown out the smart voices allowing for the anti-intellectual crowd to continue to act as though there's a legitimate debate to be had.

As stated above, the I Fucking Love Science re-posters on Facebook are just using it as a cultural signifier; it could be about Miley Cyrus if liking her made you sound smart. And I'm sure we're less than a year away from a piece in the Paris Review suggesting exactly that.
posted by yerfatma at 6:33 AM on October 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


I still can't get over how ...passe this feels? Bacon? Tesla?

What? You think you're too cool for bacon and Nikola Tesla now? Nikola Tesla begs to differ, my friend. Nikola Tesla begs to motherfreaking differ.

(Also, any fule kno that you can't just buy cool t-shirts, you have to hunt them, like free-range bacon.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:34 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


"EPIC BACON WIN"

Francis or Roger?
posted by thelonius at 7:07 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tesla was a crank. If you actually liked science you'd be a fan of the guy who actually manufactured and distributed hundreds of inventions.

Also I love Stefan.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:22 AM on October 22, 2013


On preview, what EnterTheStory said.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:23 AM on October 22, 2013


I do agree that the only off note of this otherwise funny essay is its claim that teenagers participate most annoyingly in these memes. In my estimation it is more the mid-late 20s post college dudes/dudettes. But anyone using cutesy over-the-top played-out memes to communicate, whether its tough guy hip hop slang or Squee Scared-of-spiders shmoopy, is ripe for satire because it's so unselfconscious about its shallowness. Think about what you are saying is a good rule. Anyway, [insert Weird Twitter Meme][insert meta Metafilter reference][open Parachute].
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:33 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Was that supposed to be about something?
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:37 AM on October 22, 2013


Huh. I'm now wondering whether one of the signs of aging is getting to a point where you think that yeah, you probably have enough t-shirts.

(Seriously, I've actually started looking for alternate things to make out of the t-shirts I have. I'm looking at making a quilt from a lot of my old theater t-shirts, and have turned a couple of other t-shirts into reusable grocery bags.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:41 AM on October 22, 2013


Having a t-shirt with a funny/abstract thing on it is no longer cool folks. Feel free to enjoy it anyway of course, but I had to pack all my threadless joints away in about 2010 along with all of the long sleeve t-shits I wore underneath them with different colored sleeves. Sorry Chris Hardwick & friends :(
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:47 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


As stated above, the I Fucking Love Science re-posters on Facebook are just using it as a cultural signifier; it could be about Miley Cyrus if liking her made you sound smart.

But that's an interesting cultural signifier in itself; anti-intellectualism is such a strong force in the U.S. that any trend towards smart=cool gives me hope for a future that isn't Idiocracy.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:52 AM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


honestly tho I only like Tesla because Bowie played him in that magic movie

GLAM SCIENCE YES
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:53 AM on October 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


I realised a few years ago that I am now too old and too busty to wear T-shirts with 80s cartoon characters. Slogans were already iffy - not only do they cease to be funny after a while, but I'd end up stretching the print out, and people end up staring at your chest. Thankfully the shirt I had with a Velcro patch and an alphabet of stick-on letters didn't fit me after the age of 20 anyway.

However, you will pry my fox-print socks from my cold dead, erm, feet.
posted by mippy at 7:56 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like the "I fucking love science" posts because they are interesting. I share some of them, especially the ones with the pretty insects that I had never heard of before. Lighten up. It's Facebook, not a commentary on our society. If you want a tshirt that says something on it you find funny, buy it, don't fret about whether it defines you as a person. Sheesh.
posted by Kokopuff at 8:06 AM on October 22, 2013


Metafilter: I too would like to take this opportunity to express my superiority over other people.
posted by koolkat at 8:07 AM on October 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


I liked science's earlier stuff, before it went all mainstream.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:38 AM on October 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


But if it wasn't for the bad memes, the snarky anti-meme, & the meta-commentary, I wouldn't have discovered belarius' Mr. Rogers interview. Holy awesome. Well worth a little bacon in my science..
posted by narwhal at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Alchemy is the Uncle Tupelo to science's Wilco. Take that how you will.
posted by gilrain at 9:04 AM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is it okay that I still like to giggle at this shirt (I mean, history rather than science, but still! Funny pun!)
posted by aka burlap at 9:05 AM on October 22, 2013


On preview, what I said.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


On the plus side, this thread has taught me that Woot shirts now ship to Canada! I'm pretty excited. Thanks, orrnyereg!
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:10 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


What I don't understand is, when did referencing the Cthulu mythos become some mark of being a rationalist? I mean, it's a fictional religion, but there exist others, and if you're going to use it as a badge of identity isn't there the whole Invented By A Massive Racist thing to contend with? Not quite getting it.
posted by Acheman at 9:52 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


My fear is that "fuck yeah" movement is not an elixir against anti-science movements, but a fetishization of magical discoveries with no regard to the work involved. I think that is a disservice to science because good science requires a ton of hard work and boring repetition of reaction pathways. If all you see are pictures of explosions, death rays, and glowing Curies, you'll be incredibly discouraged by rote lab work unless your instructor gives you superb context for these basics.

I'm afraid that discoveries sans context translates to "these guys are such geniuses that evolution and relativity simply happened to them". I don't think anyone says that, but I've never seen a meme celevrating years of intense study and thought.

For that, science is just another slogan on a shirt, another symbol to turn into a joke. This never used to bother me, and in fact, I own the Threadless "Communist Party" shirt. One day I looked at it and it hit me: oh my god, millions of people were killed for this symbol.

It stopped being fun. I couldn't wear it on my trip to Vienna, because the Soviets raped and killed untold numbers of people, and plenty of people were alive or knew someone who lived under that guillotine. It would be well within their right to spit on me or worse, all because I thought a hammer and sickle looked like a cool design. I'm lucky to have lived when and where I do, but with privelege comes tacky decisions that may unintentionally offend.

I know that science is not as emotionally loaded as a murderous regime, but it's a similar removal of a symbol from its context to become an icon of a social class. It's an oversimplification of the scientific process, which can be dangerous.
posted by Turkey Glue at 10:00 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


"EPIC BACON WIN"

Francis or Roger?


Kevin.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:03 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


One day I looked at it and it hit me: oh my god, millions of people were killed for this symbol.

I totally respect you wearing (or not wearing) whatever you want to wear, but if it makes you feel a little better, I can tell you that many members of my parents' generation of Soviet emigres are delighted at Soviet Chic because of the colossal irony of icons of Communism being produced, bought and sold for profit in a complete perversion of the awful, oppressive situation they represented.

Also, the Museum of Communism in Prague takes a similar approach, taking the piss out of symbols of occupation (e.g. the "watch out for tanks" street sign) by selling them on t-shirts. I think one of their advertisements explicitly states that the museum can be found above a McDonald's.
posted by griphus at 10:08 AM on October 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


Also, holy smokes! I just found that the 1986 book 'Science Made Stupid' has been translated into a 1996-era web transcription. This book cracked me up as a wee lad...

"Science for Everyone

Sound simple? It is. Once, when the secrets of science were the jealously guarded property of a small priesthood, the common man had no hope of mastering their arcane complexities. Years of study in musty classrooms were prerequisite to obtaining even a dim, incoherent knowledge of science.

Today, all that has changed: a dim, incoherent knowledge of science is available to anyone. Popular science books, magazines and computer programs - with their simple, fatuous and misleading prose, their garish illustrations, their flimsy modern production values - have brought science within the reach of anyone who can afford their inflated prices or who can mooch off someone else.

Indeed, today a myriad of sources are available to explain science facts that science itself has never dreamed of."

PDF downloads of that book and the followup 'Cvltvre Made Stvpid' here.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:11 AM on October 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rather: "...in a complete perversion of the failed ideals of the awful, oppressive situation..."
posted by griphus at 10:12 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


So here's my question:

Do the people who "fucking love science" actually fucking love science? Are their opinions on "controversial" issues like global warming or the grammaticality of stigmatized dialects actually informed by science?

The reason I ask is I see several comments that say, basically, "hey, they might not understand science as well as I'd like, but at least they actually value science, and we need more of that." I'm not disagreeing, really, but I question the assumption that if you comment with "SCIENCE!" on Facebook, you actually care about science in any meaningful way.

It seems to me that it is getting more and more unacceptable to be openly anti-science. Instead, anti-science positions are often advanced in faux scientific terms. For example, global warming is not controversial because there are a lot of people claiming science isn't even a valid way to address the question. Global warming is controversial because people with vested interests have invented a controversy that they pretend is scientific. Stigma against certain dialects is often pretended to be the intellectual position.

I am not really against the meme - it seems harmless. I doubt it's holding anyone back from investigating the scientific process. I just don't really agree that there's necessarily a relationship between people who participate in it and people who actually care about what science can tell us. "Science!" has turned into window dressing for whatever opinion people want to advance because they think it gives their opinion more legitimacy.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:21 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can tell you that many members of my parents' generation of Soviet emigres are delighted at Soviet Chic because of the colossal irony of icons of Communism being produced, bought and sold for profit in a complete perversion of the awful, oppressive situation they represented.

This is rendered even more ironic by the fact that what they have in Russia now is not so much capitalism as a grimly amusing parody of everything they used to say capitalism was.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:25 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess the thing that bothers me about modern science boosterism is how none of it seems to translate into public support for actual scientific research. Government funding is at a low ebb now, to the point where it's disrupting careers and impeding research efforts in many fields. A lot of young people today who are inspired by SCIENCE! memes on Facebook may get into actual science and find that there just aren't any jobs there because of the cuts.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:45 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do the people who "fucking love science" actually fucking love science? Are their opinions on "controversial" issues like global warming or the grammaticality of stigmatized dialects actually informed by science?

My gut says no considering how many of these same people flipped out about Pluto being designated a Dwarf Planet. If you love talking about how much you love science but don't respect the processes of science when you disagree with them, your support is more about being on Team NERD than any actual concern for science.
posted by Copronymus at 10:51 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


On the plus side, this thread has taught me that Woot shirts now ship to Canada!

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:53 AM on October 22, 2013


Are their opinions on "controversial" issues like global warming or the grammaticality of stigmatized dialects actually informed by science?

Oh man, that second one reminded me that chuckleheads like this tend to be massive pedants who delight in mocking AAVE, which acronym they don't recognize, for "axe."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:54 AM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the SCIENCE! enthusiasm is problematic because it's a valley in the cultural landscape that people get trapped in. There's nothing challenging about scientism, and so it's easy to think when you subscribe to it that you're now an informed, critical thinker on matters where scientific effort is relevant, like technology, or public policy. I can't see anything positive about a group of people who both aren't especially well-informed and have basically been inoculated against thinking that they have more to learn, and that's been my experience with most everyone who parades this brand of science enthusiasm around.
posted by invitapriore at 10:57 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can tell you that many members of my parents' generation of Soviet emigres are delighted at Soviet Chic because of the colossal irony of icons of Communism being produced, bought and sold for profit in a complete perversion of the awful, oppressive situation they represented.

Oh, man, you've triggered a story - my hometown has this grass-roots, come-one-come-all July 4th parade every year. Anyone who shows up at the lineup site in time can be in the parade, no matter what (provided they're not naked or something).

There was a guy whose business was scrap metal, and some years back he joined in an auction to bid on a few tons of scrap metal from Ukraine, sight unseen. And he won. And it wasn't until the metal arrived at his shop and he unpacked it that he discovered that included in the pile of scrap was a 10-foot tall statue of Vladimir Lenin in perfect condition. He thought it was just too weird a situation not to be shared, so he hatched a plan with a compatriot to put it on a wheelbarrow or something and turn it into a mini-float for the parade. But the local VFW heard about it before the parade and had a hissy fit, so he backed out.

A family friend was on the Board of Selectmen at the time, and told us that it was ironic that the VFW got mad - "if you think about it, the fact that he even has that statue at all is proof of the ultimate victory of capitalism." And besides - the thing that the VFW didn't know was that he was going to put the statue in a dress and a flowery hat.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:11 AM on October 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


when did referencing the Cthulu mythos become some mark of being a

Since the Call of Cthulu pulls highly from HP Lovecraft there's both a large amount of book-bragging as well as anti-religiousing going on there. For example, someone who's never read anything in that particular realm would probably not get it, so it still has a bit of separationist feel to it.

For a truly universal/everybody-is-welcome-as-long-as-you-realize-the-concept-of-religion-itself-is-what-we're-criticizing deity you should be be looking at the Flying Spaghetti Monster groups.
posted by Blue_Villain at 11:17 AM on October 22, 2013


I think of all the things I really dislike about the Science!/loltheism/capital-r-Rational crowd, it is Flying Spaghetti Monster humor that gets to me the worst. The FSM humor that gets passed around on Facebook et. al. is fruit so low-hanging it may as well be a fucking carrot.
posted by griphus at 11:26 AM on October 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


but how do you know Bertrand Russell's corpse isn't spinning in orbit
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:30 AM on October 22, 2013


wait, apparently he was cremated and his ashes were scattered, never mind
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:34 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, see, this is what those shitburgers mean when they use their made-up word "scientism".

George Bernard Shaw?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2013



The human brain is the most advanced
product of evolution that humans know
of. So, why don't scientists study it?
Well, western science is starting
to do just that.

For centuries, since modern
science began, western science has focused
on what the brain puts out: thoughts, ideas,
theories, models about the nature of reality.
These models have changed, over time, but
science has gotten no closer to understanding
what reality is. What it has done is achieved a
greater understanding of how reality
seems to function, and hence, has developed
sophistication in manipulating those functions.
But…where do those theories come from?
Where do thoughts and ideas come from? Is
the brain just a machine of perception, or,
does it actually produce
the reality we seem to experience?

So, scientists are starting to study the brains
of meditators whose traditions have been
examining these very questions for thousands
of years. One thing that they've discovered
so far, is that experienced meditators brains don't
function the same as people whose minds weren't
developed in that way. They are finding a stable
base of experience in those brains that is not
confused by thoughts or swayed by emotions.

Doh!

The development of western thought, from
science to philosophy, was based on the products
of those brains, without an understanding of the
nature of those products. Scientists are no closer
to discovering what reality is. In fact,
the closer they look, the less they see. The
human brain is well capable of manipulation the
relative world; the world that we experience
through the senses. But, without polishing the
mirror of the mind, the experience of humans
is clouded with all that brain output….some of
it helpful, some not. For hundreds of years,
untrained human brains have been putting out
useless, limited concepts, such as:
"I think, therefore, I am." without asking
the important questions, such as, in this case;
"Who said that?"

Western science, the new religion, has turned,
finally, to thousands of year old traditions
to answer questions that it is incapable of.
posted by eggtooth at 12:02 PM on October 22, 2013


What
posted by invitapriore at 12:04 PM on October 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Western science, the new religion, has turned,
finally, to thousands of year old traditions


It really ought to look at some of the traditions from 2011, too.
posted by RogerB at 12:05 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


eggtooth, is that poetry, or do you pipe all of your posts through par?
posted by en forme de poire at 1:21 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


They are finding a stable base of experience in those brains that is not confused by thoughts or swayed by emotions.

Sure, but that's a scientifically valid method: for some kinds of studies of the living brain it would seem useful to have access to brains in states with diminished extraneous activity, as this may result in cleaner observations of the particular kind of activity you're trying to understand. This isn't an example of where science can't go -- it's an example of science working exactly as it's meant to.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:50 PM on October 22, 2013


I want more people ranting about how much they love science, wearing clothes about how much they do terrible things to science, generally be visible and meet up normally.

Oh, and to also to meet law makers, not on a specific policy, but on a general "Dude(ette)! Look at the cool shit science does, don't fuck that app."

Works for paid lobbyists as far as I can remember.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:49 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


but how do you know Bertrand Russell's corpse isn't spinning in orbit

So you're saying it's corpses, all the way up?
posted by yerfatma at 3:24 PM on October 22, 2013


Is it really that strange that a certain generation of geeky individuals would really find certain things cool, and use the internet to express that they find certain things cool? It's unpopular to be excited by things, I guess. Whether you like it or not, all kinds of subcultures use things liek sharing Facebook posts as a way to communicate things they find nifty. I would rather see I Fucking Love Science than something Jesus-y, which I see just as often because I have some people from my church on Facebook.

I'm not much of a Facebook-sharer. I'm also not a scientist. I'm not a professional computer programmer, either, but I think it's cool and I learn more about it when I can and sometimes I'll IM a friend with something I find neat/amusing/infuriating/whatever. This is human nature. IFLS isn't about pretending you're a real scientist, it's about people realizing that learning stuff can be a source of amusement and wonder, when most of us were not amazed or entertained by the last science classes we had in chronically underfunded public school systems.

Sometimes a nifty thing is just a nifty thing, and we want to share nifty things with people we like. Sure, it's twee, but this just feels like a more-hipster-than-thou thing where we're none of us cool enough to actually be allowed to think that obscure reptiles and meteor showers are cool and bacon is tasty. Some people seem to be reading a lot more into this sort of thing than is really there.
posted by Sequence at 5:58 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would rather see I Fucking Love Science than something Jesus-y

But that's a false conflict created by this whole religion vs. science culture war. The opposite of science isn't religion. There are religious scientists, and scientific people of faith. And why does religion get rpresented by Jesus?

Why can't more people "fucking love religion"? Why can't we fucking love Angkor Wat, and Trappist monks making beer, yoga, and ancient myths that are passed down and told and retold to this day?
posted by FJT at 6:47 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


So there's a pretty relevant blog post up over at NPR (stop and relish the SWPL-ness of that sentence for a sec) that goes into why this kind of fannishness may be selecting for men over women for no good reason:
We've been surprised by just how powerful the computer science stereotypes are above and beyond the actual number of women in a given setting. Even when the setting is gender balanced, stereotypes still depress women's participation. On the flip side, even when the numbers of women are low, neutralizing the stereotype inspires women's participation. That's not to say that numbers don't matter, but the optimistic lesson here is that there's a lot we can do to recruit women, even when it appears to be an uphill battle.
(In the study the article discusses, the stereotypes can be as simple as a dorm room full of Star Wars paraphenalia, video games, and junk food.)
posted by en forme de poire at 7:15 PM on October 22, 2013


"eggtooth, is that poetry, or do you pipe all of your posts through par?"

I wrote this before I saw a place to put it here,
but I figured there would be one.
posted by eggtooth at 7:35 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes a nifty thing is just a nifty thing, and we want to share nifty things with people we like. Sure, it's twee, but this just feels like a more-hipster-than-thou thing where we're none of us cool enough to actually be allowed to think that obscure reptiles and meteor showers are cool and bacon is tasty. Some people seem to be reading a lot more into this sort of thing than is really there.

I used to have a postcard that had a cartoon showing a French cafe full of beatniks, all dressed in black berets, striped shirts, black pants, and sunglasses. The caption was, "They expressed their individuality in a uniform way."

Obscure reptiles, meteor showers, and bacon are indeed all cool and/or tasty, but if everyone in your social circle repeats the exact same comments about the exact same stuff, it gets repetitive and boring. Now multiply that repetition by millions of science-fan-nerd-folk online, and you'll inevitably get a counter-reaction from people who prefer to not be bombarded by the same shit over and over and over again.

Put it another way: the Internet has managed to make bacon passé.

Bacon.

That's just not right.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:14 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


But that's a false conflict created by this whole religion vs. science culture war.

It's a very real conflict created by lunatics who use their religion to justify ignorant and outright anti-science viewpoints.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:54 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why can't more people "fucking love religion"? Why can't we fucking love Angkor Wat, and Trappist monks making beer, yoga, and ancient myths that are passed down and told and retold to this day?

I don't know what you mean here. Are you asking why people aren't so enthusiastic about religion that they make memes out of it, and print tshirts? They are. They do.

And why does religion get rpresented by Jesus?


Because the vocal religious fundamentalists on the English-speaking web are mainly Christians. Usual majority privilege stuff.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:58 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a very real conflict created by lunatics who use their religion to justify ignorant and outright anti-science viewpoints.

I'm not denying that there are anti-science viewpoints. I'm saying setting religion and science in opposition to one another is false. That's like saying freedom and government are in opposition to one another because there are also lunatics who use "freedom" to advance an anti-government agenda.

Are you asking why people aren't so enthusiastic about religion that they make memes out of it, and print tshirts? They are. They do.

That's only Christianity, which is okay, but there are other religions out there. I mean, this is like people wearing shirts proclaiming they only like a branch of science, like fluid dynamics.

Usual majority privilege stuff.

So you agree with me, then.
posted by FJT at 12:00 AM on October 23, 2013


Are you asking why people aren't so enthusiastic about religion that they make memes out of it, and print tshirts? They are. They do.

That's only Christianity, which is okay, but there are other religions out there. I mean, this is like people wearing shirts proclaiming they only like a branch of science, like fluid dynamics.


The Jesus tshirt link was just an example. Your premise is flawed. 10 seconds on Google will reveal that many religious people from many religions are are enthusiastic about those religions. They express that. Even in pop culturery meme form.

For example, Fuck yeah religion!. Here's a Hinduism tumblr. Fuck yeah Buddha! Fuck yeah Chinese myths!

That's just the 'fuck yeah' section of tumblr.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:00 AM on October 23, 2013


Metafilter: fruit so low-hanging it may as well be a fucking carrot.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:30 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


But that's a false conflict created by this whole religion vs. science culture war. The opposite of science isn't religion. There are religious scientists, and scientific people of faith. And why does religion get rpresented by Jesus?

I don't mean to create it into a culture war. It's a very specific example from my own life, wherein there are a lot of people sharing schlocky Christian stuff on Facebook. I am a church-going Christian myself and this is why these things get shared with me. I don't particularly hate it, but I am considerably more likely to actually find something shared on Facebook interesting if it's about robots than if it's about dubious reports of incredibly unimpressive miracles. But I don't really bitch about the miracles. I just hide updates from people who get too repetitive that way. If it makes them happy, great. I'm just saying: This is pretty universal human behavior on social networks, and it is really not worth getting that het up about.
posted by Sequence at 12:02 PM on October 23, 2013


It's a very real conflict created by lunatics who use their religion to justify ignorant and outright anti-science viewpoints.

Yeah, but the conflict isn't about which of the two is better and neener on the other one. The conflict is about "one is better than the other so neener" vs. "they both collaborate on different parts of human experience so yay".

You know? The way to counter "boys rule and girls drool" isn't to say that no, it's the other way around and girls are better than boys, it's to say that "boys and girls are both good and it's the act of saying one's better than the other that is ITSELF wrong". This is the same thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:07 PM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


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