Monday, May 23, 2005

Things That are Irritating

1. It is freaking 50-something degrees today. It is late May. This should not be. But what is even more annoying than that is that, when talk of the weather comes up and everyone begins complaining in unison, without fail some asshat pipes up smugly: "Just wait till this summer. You'll be complaining about how hot it is."
No, Asshat, I will not. It just doesn't get that hot here. I grew up where summer meant 90-degree temperatures with 90-degree humidity. Where you sucked water vapor into your lungs in the summer instead of air, and the mosquitoes swarmed thick and ruthless around your head if you dared to venture outside. Where the poison ivy grew thick and lush and rich, choking the trees and underbrush. Where it was so hot in the spring that creeks ran dry despite the rain, the tadpoles flopping miserably in the thickened mud. Boston summers pale in comparison. I have yet to complain about the "heat" in Boston. Heat?! Tee-hee!

2. They are talking of banning Oxycontin sales in Massachusetts. One reason given for this was that, and I quote: "Oxycontin use leads to heroin use.". Err...sure.

It irritates the fuck out of me when people A) Make stupid generalizations, and B) Incorrectly report scientific data. Have studies shown that a large number of people who use oxycontin went on to use heroine? Than the correct way to report that is "Studies have shown that a large number of oxycontin users went on to use heroin." I despise journalist rifraff reporting a cause-an-effect relationship where there is none. It reminds me of the example a professor gave, waaaay back in undergrad. Do you know that there are three months of the year where both car accidents AND ice cream sales skyrocket? So, of course; that means ice cream causes car accidents. The fact that both of these things happen in the summer has nothing to do with it, right?

I digress. Why that report REALLY pissed me off was the simple reason that it takes responsibility out of the users' hands. Oh, I see, oxycontin use LEADS to heroin use. There were no decisions made there along the way by the users. They couldn't help themselves! They were LED!

Please. This is right up there with people stating that marijuana is some sort of "gateway drug". What crap. It's amazing that people don't stop to think that maybe, just maybe, there are certain people who are more likely to become heavy drug users. Is it unsurprising that they would start with something a bit lighter, like, say, marijuana? I say, NO. But to imply that one thing leads to another is absurd.

Relation is not causation, people!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled NON-angsty web surfing. Thank you.

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