It’s the sound of ball bearings grinding against fragments of broken glass on a wet pavement. It’s being wired straight into my jaw in full-frequency Dolby surround. Yes it hurts, but if I didn’t have a face full of lidocaine I’d be squealing like a pig in a combine harvester. There’s a man with his fingers in his mouth asking the woman next to him for “that burr, the one shaped like a bullet”. It could be worse. Back in Cambridge my dentist was a white South African who crashed her car a lot. Local anaesthetic during dental surgery: just another way the kids of today are being cushioned against “first hand experience of the world they live in“.
One of the authors of this stupid, stupid letter to the Telegraph:
"Since children’s brains are still developing, they cannot adjust—as full-grown adults can—to the effects of ever more rapid technological and cultural change."
—that’s right, granddad: who do you get to program your mobile phone?—is Susan Greenfield, a woman who successfully studied classics and neurophysiology at Oxford University, two of the most rigorous and demanding subjects taught by one of the most rigorous and demanding universities in the World (unless you’re an undergraduate reading modern history). So why does she write intellectual tofu?
I’m just back from an Enterprise Agency networking evening where I won first prize in the business card draw: a course of six sessions of reiki treatments. It’s okay. I swapped them for the second prize: the business psychology seminars. According to the woman offering it, the “spiritual healing” would relax me and reduce my stress levels. I tell you what would reduce my stress levels: people not believing this stuff. Completely made-up statistics show that a reduction of ten percent in my exposure to evidence-free hokum increases my happiness three-fold. Perhaps it would cheer up those kids “depressed” by “junk culture” too, but not as much as a video game in which they get to play McDonald’s characters driving humvees and push hordes of “concerned” middle-aged middle-class “professionals” off a cliff.
There’s no shortage of scientists in this country. There is a shortage of science.