May 16, 2011

I’m also publishing all my posts via twitter @PieterJoubert


Cognitive Dissonance

May 16, 2011

Cognitive Dissonance is defined by wikipedia as:

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously.

Our society and our own lives are replete with examples. It can be something as innocuous as really disliking a music style but still dancing to a specific song in that genre, to something more glaring, like rejecting non-evidence based medicine but still using a home remedy for your cold.

There are two areas of society where cognitive dissonance appears to really shine, religion and politics. The ability to denounce corruption and graft in other politicians while driving a brand new BMW X5 is nothing short of spectacular.

It becomes really interesting when these two spheres of society intersect. Then the cognitive dissonance really starts oozing out of every available crevice.

It’s election season here is South Africa, so the different parties are really saying anything that comes to mind. Or so it seems.

For example:

The ancestors will be upset if the ANC loses control of Nelson Mandela Bay in the local government elections on May 18, President Jacob Zuma has told a rally in PE.

Ok. Let’s ignore the validity of this claim and backtrack to something President Zuma said a couple of months ago:

“When (Jesus) fetches us we will find (those in the beyond) wearing black, green and gold. the holy ones belong to the ANC.”

Ok. One last quote before we wrap this up to it’s nice neat conclusion:

Regard 6437 not them that have familiar spirits 178, neither seek 1245 after wizards 3049, to be defiled 2930 by them: I [am] the LORD 3068 your God 430.

Leviticus 19:31.

Let’s look at that little number 178 above familiar spirits and see that it says:

ghost, spirit of a dead one

And the root of this word:


So essentially, the president is saying that voting for the ANC will allow you access to the heaven of a religion which forbids ancestor worship, but if you don’t vote ANC the ancestors will be angry!

Cognitive Dissonance: Ask your local sceptic if you suffer from it!

It lives…

May 16, 2011

I’ve recently been checking out the options for freelance writing jobs, not really for myself but because someone I know is looking at doing freelance design. Reading through the kinds of jobs available I realised that it would probably be a good thing to have some kind of proof of ones ability, maybe a portfolio of my writing? Maybe something like a blog?

I was about to register for yetanotherblog when I remembered, I do have a blog. This one!

So I decided to check it out again, and lo and behold, its still here… and people are still reading it!

Strange indeed.

So… I thought… why not revive it?

So I’ve grabbed my best lightning conductors, found a ominous looking castle somewhere in Eastern Europe and I’m about to flip the switch to make this sucker live again.

Let’s see what happens…

8th on Google

October 10, 2008

(Edited to include bluegray’s suggestions)

Yep, type in “Danie Krugel” as a search term and the site Stop Danie Krugel is 8th on the first page. Yesterday I couldn’t find it in the first couple of pages and the day before it didn’t even exist.

The Google-Fu seems strong in South African Sceptics 🙂

(Fortunately 5 of the 7 linked sites higher up than Stop Danie Krugel are sceptics sites!)

Claim and Protocol

October 9, 2008

This is an idea I’ve had for a while now and that I got interested in again with the creation of the Stop Danie Krugel website.

Basically the idea is for me to make a claim, similar to Mr. Krugels, about being able to find the location of someone using some kind of extraordinary technique. Then with the assistance of other people (friends, other sceptics, academics) to go through the process of establishing a proper protocol that will conclusively test whether or not I in fact have this claimed ability. The final phase will then be to apply the protocol and test it for real.

The idea is not for me to prove that I have this ability or device (even though I have a cute idea for a mechanism) but to setup and test, the process of testing this kind of ability. I think it’ll be informative and educational, giving some insight into ways to make such a test watertight. It will also, hopefully, serve as an example of the kind of test that is required to prove or disprove, conclusively, the ability of the kind of device Mr Krugel claims to have.

Also I think it’ll be fun in a treasure hunting kind of way 🙂

So if anybody has any ideas on how this could work, or want to help, or even want to steal the idea and do something this yourself, please do comment.

Stop Danie Krugel

October 9, 2008

<Professor Farnsworth voice> Good News, Everyone! </Professor Farnsworth voice>

No really there is some good news at least. Check out

Finally a concerted effort from sceptics to debunk the claims made by this man. Please visit the site, contribute if you have something to contribute, and link to it if you can. The idea being that this site will pop up at the top of a search under the terms “Danie Krugel” so people can get the real information about him first before finding his own website.

A big thank you to all the people involved in setting up the site. Good work guys!


October 3, 2008

This links a little with what I mentioned previously in the post on Education. Africa (and other developing countries) are way behind in terms of access to Information and Technology than the developed world. (The so-called “digital divide”). I recently read on slashdot that Japan is currently installing a 1Gbps Fibre to the home network. This is exactly ONE THOUSAND TIMES as fast as my current internet connection (3G) and probably will be cheaper as well.

So what’s the awesome news? Well some people have gotten together (you might recognize the name Google) to bring cheaper and faster internet to Africa by 2010

Wow… how cool is that. Satellite really seems to be the right solution (for now) for the continent of Africa with its major telecommunications (and other) infrastructure problems. The other awesome thing about this initiative is that its commercially funded and supported. Which means that other worthwhile projects do not need to be sidelined for this.

I have to admit though it’s not just the side of me that’s interested in Development in Africa that is excited. The side of me that wants cheap internet is essentially bouncing of the walls too 🙂