Freedom of speech: it’s probably not what you think it is

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of yelling on social media about free speech. It seems that “free speech” has become the defense du jour against criticism for speech which is offensive, bigoted or prejudiced.

Adapting a line from a favourite film: “You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Freedom of speech is actually quite a tricky issue in Australia. I might eventually get around to doing a proper post on the subject, but for now, I’ll just outline the basics. Continue reading

This week in stupid: Sarah Palin is not a scientist

imageYou’ve got to give Sarah Palin props for consistency. She is wrong about pretty much every issue she takes on – whether that’s evolution, US foreign policy or climate change. And now she’s taking on Bill Nye the Science Guy.

At the invitation-only premiere of the climate denialist film  Climate Hustle on Capitol Hill – an event hosted by Lamar Smith, the Republican Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee – Sarah Palin had this to say:

Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am. He’s a kids’ show actor. He’s not a scientist.

Continue reading