The Insanity Parade: Electric Windmill Car Edition
Last time, you'll recall, I went after one William Cooper's arguments that the Apollo moon landings were hoaxed. Now, I'm not saying they weren't hoaxed, though I have never seen any plausible evidence in support of such a notion, but Mr. Cooper's arguments violated basic physics so egregiously as to make them utterly ridiculous. That he, and others, apparently took them seriously makes me weep for the failures of our educational system. At the end of that edition of the Insanity Parade I promised that, the next time, we'd explore the work of a man who seems entirely unaware of the concept of friction. Indeed, that is what we shall do today.
Allow me to introduce Mr. Greg Buell, founder, CEO, and (so far as I can tell) sole member of the Light Year Conquest Corporation. We will be exploring his charming website which is, if nothing else, a warning to others about the misuse of animated banners.
Now, before we really get going, I think it's important to note something: Mr. Buell is insane. I don't mean that metaphorically either, I mean that he is totally bugfuck crazy. To say that this guy barks like a moonbat is, frankly, somewhat insulting to the moonbats. If he isn't currently receiving professional help, he should be, and if he is, he needs more.
With that out of the way, we can proceed to discuss the tremendous contribution Mr. Buell makes to the internet. And a tremendous contribution it is, too! He is to start with a prolific poet. His most recent masterpiece, regarding how he spent his 57th birthday, is simply magical. I am particularly fond of the line that reads, "Gravity spectrum goes from Mexicans to Aliens." Such a witty double entendre, Greg!
Indeed, as a poet Greg Buell's output is simply staggering, including other works of genius like: Famous Wives, Orwellian Hell of no sex and alone on New Years Day 2003, (Sing it brother!) "Do you want to have sex with me?," and, my personal favorite, She Said Lousy Lover He Hit Her With His Golf Club.
There is so much more to Greg than just the poet, however. He is also an astute political analyst, noting that a large portion of American policy is actually dedicated to preventing him from inventing "gravity control." Indeed, the U.S. government appears to be hard at work using clones of Greg's supposed paramour Leslie Coon, to torment him. And you thought these pictures came from Abu Ghraib. Greg's analysis even goes so far as to expose a conspiracy among Colorado lawyers, or, as Greg says:
Torture, repression, suppression in Boulder Colorado caused cops and kids to die burning in fiery car wrecks for more oil money. In this case Boulder, Colorado was following orders from DC - this is on video tapes!
Boulder Colorado lawyers who hang out at the Boulder Rock Club rape boys (and there probably are pictures in some observers digital camera scrapbook.) It's blatantly sadistic fag behavior but all the fags in Boulder Colorado know it feels good to ram it in boys - or men in Iraq. The worst is yet to come for DC and Boulder Colorado.
Now, some of you are probably wondering why "burning in gasoline" comes up so frequently in Greg's writing. That is, simply enough, because Greg is the inventer of the Electric Windmill Car. What is this, you ask? Well, details are sketchy, but so far as I can tell it is an electric car that is covered in- wait for it- windmills! Doubtless one is expected to wear wooden shoes while driving it. The basic idea appears to be that as the car drives, the windmills will turn, generating electricity to recharge the batteries. Thus, one need only charge the car once and it will be able to drive forever more with the assistance of its windmills. Pretty neat, huh?
It would be pretty neat, except that it doesn't make any sense. The second law of theormodynamics, you know, entropy, tells us that energy tends to spread out, become less concentrated, and disperse throughout a given environment. Put more concretely, in the real universe we are subject to friction and, as a consequence, loss of energy. So, in short, the amount of power generated by those windmills will not equal he amount of power spent moving the car- especially when you consider that the windmills will increase drag, thus increasing the amount of power needed to move the vehicle. Yes, you read that right: you will have to spend power to get power out of the windmills, and the amount you spend will exceed the amount recovered by the windmills because of friction. So, far from eliminating our need for fossil fuel, the electric windmill car would actually increase it. Nice try, Greg. Keep working on it, though- I'm sure you'll invent that perpetual motion machine eventually. So long as "eventually" means "never in a million years" anyway.
But, even without the Electric Windmill Car, there are still many reasons to visit Greg Buell's home on the net. For one thing, he has a number of fine photo galleries that cover a wide variety of topics. These topics include, but are not limited to, geese, Greg's extensive collection of movies, aircraft carriers, the location of Greg's tent, ballerinas, raunchy topless shots, and astronomy. The careful visitor can even find pictures of the woman Greg loves with such disturbing obsessiveness, Ms. Leslie Coon.
Finally, and most importantly, this website hosts what I am prepared to say is the single most awesome mp3 anywhere on the internet. Get a broadband connection (because the file is huge) and treat yourself to a Greg Buell poem, actually read by Greg Buell! What could be better? No, seriously, check it out.
Now, do I bring all this up because I want to take cheap shots at an obviously sick man? Well... yeah, but that's hardly my only point. My real point here is that despite the obvious lunacy of this site, I'm actually glad it's here. Believe it or not, I'm totally serious about that.
I'm a stickler for scientific accuracy, and knowledge of basic physics. I honestly do not see how people can stand to go through their lives ignorant of such things- particularly given that we, as voters, are responsible for evaluating the products of science when we make decisions about pollution, global warming, product safety, and a host of other issues. So, on that level, I really don't like Greg's site because it demonstrates the sort of lack of knowledge that I find so peculiarly disturbing.
Yet, at another level, Greg's site says something positive about our society. Greg is a total nut, but he has the ability to exercise his right to free speech. He has carved out his little niche on the internet and has his own space in which to express himself and his ideas. I may think his ideas are stupid, and his poetry nonsensical, but that's okay. Greg's website, however nutty, is a testament to the power of that simple idea: that we should all be able to say what we think.
It also, however, serves a further purpose: I am a tremendous fan of free speech, as you all know, but I am also a staunch opponent of compulsory listening. The simple truth is that having the right to say what you want, does not mean you have the right to force other people to listen. People have to assess what they hear, judge if it is worth listening to, and then act on those judgements. As in so many things, when it comes to speech, it is a case where the "buyer" must beware. How does Greg's site figure into this? Well, most people who visit it probably decide not to listen to his speech, or not to take it seriously. This plants the basic germ of an idea: one must be an active, rather than passive listener. One must judge whether or not to believe something, rather than sitting dumbly and absorbing whatever comes through the nifty electronic box. Such blatant insanity provides a foundation for skepticism and critical awareness of the media. In short, by being crazy, I like to imagine that Greg is helping the rest of us tell what is nuts from what isn't.
Does this mean that I support the right of religious groups to segregate their children and teach them bad science? Well, yes and no. On the one hand, once all children receive some basic level of education in the sciences that allows them to function in society, I have no particular problem with such schools. On the other hand, I can't say that I approve of schools whose purpose seems to be the preservation of ignorance. If a religious doctrine indeed contains universal truth, it should have nothing to fear from exposure to other ideas. In my view, children should be exposed to a variety of different ideas and taught how to make decisions about them, not hidden away from dissent in a bubble of manufactured conformity. This goes for public schools as well as private schools; as I have said, I have no objection to the teaching of creationist ideas in public schools. I only object to the teaching of such ideas as science- creationism is no more science than my blog is a literary masterpiece.
Free speech and free listening are two sides of the same coin. To be allowed to say what one wishes is divine, but such a right must be accompanied by a healthy skepticism about the words of others. The presence of both in a society helps generate healthy, effective debate and, hopefully, useful solutions to problems. The constraint of speech, or the sheep-like acceptance of whatever is heard, combine to make a society corrupt and incompetent. Greg Buell, and others like him, do us a public service by helping us learn how to decide for ourselves what to take seriously, and what to ignore.
Well, that brings another episode of the Insanity Parade to an end. What will be up next for this series? Who knows? More importantly: who cares?