Stephen Bayley writes in today’s UK Telegraph an article that is stuffed full of bizarre and strange claims, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much daftness packed into so few words.
The entire article consists of just two paragraphs, and they pay him to do this? However ever little it was, it was still too much. Here it is in its entirety (with my comments embedded in blue).
Who is to say that the internet is not the Devil’s work? [Anybody with an ounce of sense, it has profoundly improved all our lives] It daily corrupts the concentration of billions: [corrupts!!] idle hands are very welcome in cyberspace. Wanton flesh and dishonest money are its staple items of trade. [Should we jail the founders of Amazon and ebay perhaps?] It immerses us in a seething babel of irrelevance, [He obviously has not found Wikipedia yet] promises sociability [Really!!, who made that promise?] while creating alienation [Creating!!] and, so far from being “clean”, has destructively enlarged global demand for electricity. [“destructively” enlarged!!] And if you want more evidence of Satan at work, just look at the agents he has hired to do his work. [Does he really believe this stuff?] What is it about computer professionals that discourages dissimulation? My current adviser says he is a property developer and his predecessors were really geneticists and musicians. Mephistopheles comes camouflaged. [This reference to the fictitious demon in the Faust legend does indeed label him as a bit of a Luddite – lots of claims, but no evidence that the Internet is evil incarnate, I do hope for his own sake that this is a poe and that he is not that daft]
Which, talking of dissimulation, brings me to Richard Dawkins, [You know this is not going well when he associates deception with Richard] a fanatic disguised as a scientist. [he appears to have redefined the word “fanatic”] And surely, in the powerful counterproductive sway of his noisy arguments, proof of the existence of God? [Nope] Terrible to awake in that groggy matutinal state when things lodge in your addled brain and hear shrill, ugly, cruel arguments on the radio. [Now there is an ever so subtle clue that Mr Bayley is a believer] Atheists seem to be very good at dogma.[“dogma”? – a belief held without evidence, yea thats a credible claim] Dawkins seems not to understand that his own zealotry is itself a sort of religious quest. [He actually thinks non-belief is a religious belief!!] And he applies the “logic” of science, [not a fan of science then] itself a fallible human construct, [yep, clearly he dislikes it] to a beautiful mystery [and is apparently far happier to embrace a fantasy]. Sure, organised religion has caused appalling conflicts. [Yep] But it has also caused Michelangelo, Milton and Bach. [“caused”! … I think not] Organised atheism has produced North Korea. [More bollocks!! …Fanatical political beliefs did, not non-beliefs] There is really not much more that needs to be said. [I agree, when you abandon evidence and logic as he clearly has, then you are completely fucked and have no way to work out what is really true]
Finally, I note that the bio at the top of the article claims “Stephen Bayley was once described as “the second most intelligent man in Britain” … you be the judge, what do you think?
I must admit, I just fear I will never be able to soar to such dizzy heights of reasoned, intelligent, courteous analysis, expressed with such delicacy and restraint, and such scrupulous avoidance of ad hominem, as we have seen above.