Monday, July 18, 2005

The modern Humanist

It's interesting what they are saying and how soft they are going in some ways. I remember debating them in the 90s and they were not like this. (I found it on uncommon descent.)

E.g.
...the number of debates I have engaged in has diminished to a trickle over the years, reflecting a change of heart I have had about the whole approach. Once again, Genie Scott was right...debating head-to-head against creationists is a bad idea because most debate formats favor sound bites, and sound bites are easier and more effective for people who wish to attack science than for those who want to defend it. It is relatively easy to throw hundreds of apparently damning questions to a scientist in the span of a few minutes; it is very difficult for a scientist to seriously address even a few of those or, more importantly, to explain to the public how science really works (as opposed to the caricature presented by creationists).
I.e., "We just lost a lot of debates and we got tired of it. I still like to think that it has to do with being scientific or somethin' though. Why, I feel downright scientific saying so right now! Yeah, I've still got it baby. I'm still scientific, yay!"
...the best strategy we have is to talk to the public directly, on our terms, and using the arsenal of tools available to science educators.
If you lose a debate then problem is with you or your incorrect position and not with the public or how scientific you are being. I'd hate to see what they'd do if they actually won debates or found much empirical evidence to support mythological narratives of Naturalism.
So, please, don't call me again for future debates, OK?
It seems that some little fellows are running back into Mother Nature. I guess she can only select for them to argue about how scientific they are, naturally enough. That doesn't do one much good when the issue being debated is origins.
Lastly, let's talk about this "Brights" thing. As some readers may know, the Brights are a recently emerged movement within the general area of freethought. Brights decided to call themselves that way because they (rightly) realized that most other terms (e.g., atheist, skeptic, etc.) tend to carry negative connotationsthat can stigmatize non religious people and justify discrimination against them.
So that was serious!

But there they go again, the Left keeps discriminating against my Discriminating People.

You know, the good thing about Discriminating People is that they can discriminate between dumb and dumber. The Gay© business of the 90s was dumb and this Brights business is dumber. Yes, yes, we know the propaganda! Mother Nature selected your entire life for you, naturally enough. So Gays© are just the hapless Victims of their environment and genetics while the main argument of Darwinists is that all things are selected by Mother Nature anyway. Why are they the same type of arguments and why is there such an affinity between them? Why didn't "America conquer its [supposed] fear & hatred of Gays in the 90's"? He goes on:
So, the proponents of the Brights movement said, why not emulate the success of the Gay community and use a positive word to describe who we are?
A few of the successes of such identity politics:

"The very experience of acquiring a homosexual or bisexual identity at an early age places the individual at risk for dysfunction. This conclusion is strongly supported by the data."
(G. Remafedi, “Adolescent Homosexuality: Psychosocial
and Medical Implications,” Pediatrics 79, no. 3 (1987), pp. 331—37)

" . . For each year's delay in bisexual or homosexual self-labeling, the odds of a suicide attempt diminish by 80 percent."
(G. Remafedi, J. A. Farrow, and R. W Deisher
“Risk Factors for Attempted Suicide in Gay
Bisexual Youth,” Pediatrics 87, no.6(1991), pp.869—75)

But nevermind, that is empirical evidence and for all the talk about how much the Left loves its Gays©, they love their own moral vanity more.
The initial response from many authors (including myself, in an earlier Rationally Speaking column) was very positive, even enthusiastic in the case of Dan Dennett and Richard Dawkins. The problem, of course, was pointed out immediately, and even the brave proponents of the Brights movement themselves acknowledged it and wrestled with it: going around affirming one's "Brightness"...isn't exactly the best way to diffuse the image of intellectual snobbery that afflicts skeptics and freethinkers (the latter being another word of questionable usefulness in this context).
Generally you'd need a much better identity, marketing campaign, and a better understanding of how to manipulate human psychology. So, that's true. It would actually be possible to use the Bright idea if science geeks had a better sense of style, a sense of image and image control. I suppose he could try reading the writings of Gay© activists and then he'd understand it better. You use what you have and not what you don't, and the weak minds all bundle together in a Herd anyway. Those stuck in Plato's cave (i.e. the womb of mommy Nature) focus on images, so image control is key. Something said of Nazism was that it was the triumph of the image over the word. I.e., it is an attempt to put the perceptual before the conceptual and the deed before the thought, a triumph of the will, if you will.
Indeed, I have never actually introduced myself as a Bright to anybody. .... As Carl Sagan once put it, be careful not to be so open minded that your brain falls out!
Yet the average Leftist mind does seem to be open enough that almost anyone can come along and put some crap in it.

NASA may find life on Mars

The US space agency believes the two rover spacecraft scuttling across the red planet are carrying bacteria from Earth.

The bacteria, bacillus safensis, were found in a chamber in California that had been used to test the rovers. Officials believe it is likely that some of the microbes, possibly from scientists' skin, were on board when the mission left. (News.com.au)

So there may be life on Mars after all.

Just think if the scripts of Darwinian scriptures and narratives were correct and all the improbability and impossibility of such stories could be overcome....then millions of years from now some martian form of life might look up at the sky and wonder about its existence. I bet that if Earth had finally suffered an extinction event that wiped out all terrestrial life then few such life forms would think that the trail of cause and effect in their existence included some little space ship with some bacteria on it.

Would they link themselves back to a vast and ancient civilization or mythological gods who came from the sky? Would some ask the ultimate question, "Well, then why was that civilization there? Why is there something instead of nothing? Where do all stories begin?" I'm sure that someone would come up with something or other, as creatures that can think always seem to come up with something instead of nothing. There does not seem to be anything the matter with pure thought.

For better or worse,


(Related post: Martians, ID and Evolution)

Update...

From Iraq is the Model (English is his second language.):
Sadly, some stand reluctant and [are] afraid [...] that calling things with their real names might approximate them with the side they oppose politically.

This kind of people usually find it easier to blame America or the Iraqi government as that would preserve their pride, and all we hear are things like "there would have been no terrorism if there were no Americans in Iraq...bla bla bla".

They hate to admit the fact that terrorism existed in Iraq long before America came to Iraq; terrorism and the regime were one hand committing a genocide against the people of Iraq, only it was broader and crueler than today's war but the difference is that no one could hear of that genocide; concrete walls and basements that housed countless torture chambers and the bodies were buried in secrecy and under the cover of the night. (The full post)
Is he writing there about the general anti-American prejudice and ignorance of the Arab street or the prejudice and ignorance typical to American progressives?

After September 11, 2001, a horrible date in our history when close to 3,000 people perished, Americans once again came shining through; there was a rejuvenation of the American spirit as we responded with patriotism, anger, and a determination to make sure such an attack would never happen again. We were reminded of every reason why we should be proud and protective of this country.

The reaction on our campuses, however, was quite different, with an amazing refusal by both students and professors to recognize right and wrong, good and evil. It gave average Americans a shockingly clear picture of the effects of moral relativism at institutions ranging from the local community college through four-year state colleges to the most prestigious universities. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit group dedicated to academic freedom, reported on a whole host of extraordinarily revealing comments made by faculty and staff at respected universities across the country. If you’re wondering what mentality drives those who have been charged with developing and molding the minds of the next generation, here are some examples:

“Anybody who can blow up the Pentagon gets my vote.” —professor of history, University of New Mexico

“[W]e should be aware that, whatever its proximate cause, its ultimate cause is the fascism of U.S. foreign policy over the past many decades.” —professor of English, Rutgers University

“[The American flag is] a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression.” —professor of physics, University of Massachusetts—Amherst

“{I]magine the real suffering and grief of people in other countries. The best way to begin a war on terrorism might be to look in the mirror.” —professor of anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

These comments fairly represent an Intellectual Elite that is completely out of touch with the attitudes and values of the average person in this country. When faced with a monumental tragedy, those in charge of higher learning exposed their moral vacancy by blaming America first. The Left are no longer able to see the simplest of truths embodied by 9/11: America stands for progress, equity, and
freedom. We educate people (both men and women, thank you), help make dreams for the future come true, and create a society in which individuals can thrive. Radical Islamists, as a cultural phenomenon, cut people’s throats [including charity worker's], destroy buildings, murder huge numbers of people, and condemn the future. Anti-Americanism persists, in the face of such obvious signs of right and wrong, because it is a requirement of moral relativism. If a student, or any one else, is to be successfully indoctrinated with the idea that all cultures and ideas are equal, then pride and loyalty to our nation, her past, and our heroes be comes anathema and must be eradicated. The special history, achievement, and greatness of America prove, simply by counterpoint, the existence of good and evil, right and wrong. Our history and accomplishments are the antithesis to the moral relativism of which today’s professors are so enamored.
(The Death of Right and Wrong (Random House: 2003)
By Tammy Bruce :159-161)

In a way it is a backhanded complement to America that the usual Leftist egalitarians feel the need to bring America down. If it did not stand for higher principles then moral degenerates would not need to bring it down for the sake of equality.

Perhaps America does not hold principles as high as it should all the time, indeed it cannot. Yet it often holds them higher than the supposed "world opinion" that progressives are so fond of trying to hide themselves in.

(I know a watchful fellow who seems concerned with world opinion and saftey. Saftey first!)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Apeman revisited...



...one can't forget about this fellow. Unlike the ancient mythologies with their Bullman, Goatman and Crocman as well as those beings revisited in modern movies like Spiderman, there are those who believe in Apeman.

Poor Apeman, Mother Nature just didn't select for him to survive through her natural selections, naturally enough. I wonder what story Mother Nature wrote for this mythical creature, a sad one perhaps. It was probably a shortage of bananas that caused a struggle for survival.



...and after a while of Nature's selections here we are, banana shortage be praised! That's the miracle of millions of point mutations for you.

I did some writing.

It's a few posts down under "Fun with Darwinists."

Philosophy and science on the Farside



Like the parable of Yellow and Pink I think that the answer to a lot of philosophy cannot be "proved" with physical evidence from inside the system. Yet it seems to me that a lack of physical proof does not mean that an answer cannot be sought and found.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Telic Thoughts

I looked up the blog Telic Thoughts because I was told that I wrote some rather telic thoughts by a half-wit who cannot think such thoughts. Maybe that was meant to be, although that might be of some annoyance to the half-wit.

This article about the usual Darwinian claim of "bad design" is based on telic thoughts, which is good.

I would note that there very well may be degeneration or even "bad design" and artifacts of malevolent intelligence in Nature. Distinguishing between malevolent and benevolent design may be an issue for philosophy, natural theology, history or UFOlogy for that matter. That is not the type of distinction that ID is about.


Don't laugh about UFOlogy, there is some good scholarship being done with respect to the study of UFOs. And I'm sure that if some "UFOs" or "beings of light from the sky" appeared over Jerusalem tomorrow then suddenly everyone would be interested in aliens, UFOlogy, mythology, the Bible or even demonology for that matter. They'd probably follow anyone given a minimum amount of signs, whether benevolent or malevolent. Heck, a generation that seeks after signs while rejecting knowledge will probably even look to salt stains under a bridge for guidance.

But at any rate, the claim of ID as a science is minimal with nothing to say of benevolence or malevolence. All the claim seems to be is that the detection of the work of metaphysical intelligence as an artifact in the physical can be accomplished through the systematic thought and empirical tools typical to what we usually call "science." If it is possible, then ID might even be used to prove that a salt stain is just that. I doubt that would be very complicated. Simple.

Note that the recognition of intelligent selection is the only way to falsify notions of natural selection, so you would think that Darwinists would be happy to have a way to verify and falsify natural selections. Yet they are not because for all the talk of science (Science!) the fundamental issue for them is not limited by the limited empirical view and precise systematic thought typical to science. They tend to believe that all things are Nature's "selection" and tend to believe and argue that such belief is the best belief for other people to have too. Therefore, they stick with the belief they consider beneficial no matter what the systematic thought as applied to empirical evidence typical to science indicates about the matter of matter. They believe that Naturalism is the best belief system and philosophy for people to have lest they kill each other over religion like some Islamic terrorists and so on. All other beliefs just aren't as safe as their own, you see...and so the fundamental issue for the average Darwinists is not one of science. (More on saftey and the Left, see post below this one.)

Yet ironically even as they discard science in favor of Naturalism and saftey most Darwinists seem quite concerned with what gets labelled as science. Their main concern and the majority of their writing is about what is or is not scientific and not with seeking after knowledge or the truth about origins. It would seem that is because what is scientific has to do with their career or vested interests as scientists while reason or what is true and epistemically sound does not. The situation seems to be similar to what goes on in the Court system where you can pay a scientific expert to testify to one story of past events and pay another to say the exact opposite. How can that be when only one version of events can be true? To at least some extent it is because there are careerists who work in scientific fields yet are not interested in what is reasonable or true. Note that if you were only allowed to pay those who told one type of unreasonable story then that is the only story that would tend to be told scientifically. There might be a few mavericks to blow careerists out of the water with empirical evidence and so on. But they would be few and only a few others would seek them out, which would make them safe to ignore. The general Herd that goes by, "Well, all experts say..." would believe the official story as long as it was surrounded with some type of jargon that sounded scientific.

In America Darwinists have succeeded in structuring a system in which only experts that tell one type of story can be payed by the State, thus the proliferation of mythological narratives of Naturalism should not be surprising to anyone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Study finds that a lot of studies come to the wrong conclusions, new study expected tomorrow to disprove such claims.

(Study: What's good often turns out bad
By Lindsey Tanner (Seattle Post))
The refuted studies dealt with a wide range of drugs and treatments. Hormone pills were once thought to protect menopausal women from heart disease but later were shown to do the opposite, and Vitamin E pills have not been shown to prevent heart attacks, contrary to initial results.

Contradictions also included a study that found nitric oxide does not improve survival in patients with respiratory failure, despite earlier claims. And a study suggested an antibody treatment did not improve survival in certain sepsis patients; a smaller previous study found the opposite.

Ioannidis acknowledged an important but not very reassuring caveat: "There's no proof that the subsequent studies ... were necessarily correct."
I would note that it is not really that bad of a track record, being wrong 30% of the time is still being right 70% of the time.

But there are those who seem to have certain types of psychological dynamics who get a little lost in the science of it all. They tend to be all about saftey and health, healthy health. They keep stretching their supposed concern and their supposed knowledge about it all. Then here comes the State at their behest because you are not concerned about your own health enough. In fact, it turns out that the most helpful helpers are even more concerned for your safety than you are! So that's why they must help you. They're so helpful, these little helpers, all concerned for your health. Saftey first!
The current near-hysterical preoccupation with saftey is at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism
(State of Fear, by Michael Crichton :571)

I recently happened across the blog of one watchful fellow who is keeping a close watch on what is safe and what is not. Let me see what his blog says today. Well, color me surprised it seems he is concerned with saftey again. Actually, color me orange, as the watchful fellow who keeps watch over such things reports that we have been in a Code Orange Ozone advisory these past days.

So consider yourself advised of that.

But one can't forget the Homeland Security Advisory System which is usually at code blue. So we have a mixture of blue and orange codes....mixing blue and orange makes code brown. Code Brown? Yes, this combination makes for the little known Code Brown. It is on my bullcrap advisory system. And it's a real Code Brown on some days.

Well, I scanned/read the page of the watchful watcher. It's not really too bad today, some good points. Yet seeing the mind behind the text I am reminded of this quote: "The safest sin: envy, which is easily disguised as enthusiasm for equality."
(The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary
by Thomas Szasz :37)

There are some psychological dynamics that turn some fellows just Green with envy. Say, maybe Ralph Nader could color code that and put it in one of their advisory systems. I would like to be kept advised to keep me safe from more Code Browns.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Fun with Darwinists....

I'm having some fun at the Panda's Thumb this evening. I should probably be writing here.

(Ctrll-F: mynym to find me if you are interested.)

___________________________________

Edit: They shut down comments sections sometimes and did so on that section. I'm not sure on what criteria the decision is made. One further note about little fellows who engage in argument along these lines, "According to Christianity we should expect perfect design, perfection!" Wrong. According to a specifically Christian sort of natural theology one should expect to find remnants of perfection, not perfection.

So one fellow says:
I am also having trouble making some connections [in my neural nets] here [because connections like that would be like lightning bolts from the sky or somethin']...specifically, I am having trouble understanding how the indiscriminant Biological and Cosmological ID ramblings in your posts are even remotely compatible.

Indeed, they are mutually contradictory. The cosmological fine-tuning argument necessarily requires no evidence of further intervention by the designer to account for biological phenomena. Likewise, biological ID necessarily requires a poorly-tuned universe that would not produce and sustain life on its own without the intervention of a designer.

So which is it?
All of that seems to be based on the same notion argued throughout that thread in which a Christian natural theology would predict a sort of anthropic perfection in Nature, cosmologically or biologically. I.e., things are designed perfectly for us to live as biological beings and perfect little anthropic people and so on. Actually Christianity says the opposite about us and about Nature, it is a total worldview. So yes, on the one hand a Christian can argue from the remnants of good design and on the other from a sense of evil.




I suppose these fellows miss the fact that in the very beginning of the scripts of Scripture one son beats another to death and so on. Did the one being murdered call out to God to make things more anthropic, or at least human centered enough to save him from being beaten to death? Did his parents weep for him and wonder how such misanthropy could come to exist in their remaining son and in Nature? Of course, all of this leaves open the fact of which is more misanthropic, Nature or Man. According to some cold toads there is no distinction between Nature and Man, yet they no sooner finish saying that then they have contradicted their Selves.

At any rate, I am no theologian, but suffice it to say that the knowledge of some little fellows about what a Scripturalist natural theology would be seems to approach nil. They just do not know and so their ignorant criticisms about how perfect things ought to be given Scripturalism lacks force. Yet that is what their argument about perfection seems to be based on, i.e. some form of prissy Christianity in which no one could ever be beaten to death because God is the ultimate Nice Guy, just like the prissy Christian believes themselves to be. There is an atheism that seems to be a reaction to that sort of prissy Christianity and it shows itself in this structure of argument: "God is not a Nice Guy, just look around us at all the evil there is! Since God can only be a Nice Guy, kind of like I am, then that means God does not exist. Even if God did exist, if he cannot be made in my Nice Guy image then I won't believe in him. I'm a nice guy, so I know. I could make things better than God but God is a Big Meanie, so I don't believe in him. So take that, God!"

And so on. It's possible to make a satire of it because it is the material of satire. It is a reacionary sort of atheism. And it seems to be what is adhered to by the fellows at the Panda's Thumb, which is why the blog is named the way it is. Things should be better and if only God were as nice a guy as they are then everything would be nice! There is this little problem that they lack the capability to create anything approaching the creation and the little fact of evil in the history of man. In fact, they are just creatures. But quick, look over here so we can all blame Good for Evil once more! We all like to do that sometimes.

I wonder though, who will blame Evil for evil? Ah, but Evil does not exist as more than a metaphor for "Something I don't like." in the modern age...or it does exist in a slithery subtle way, just enough to blame Good for itself. How tricky!

Or not.

Fighting back against Darwinian proto-Nazism....

The fact that an organization is fighting politically and legally now is probably quite frightening to some cold toads. They like to hop around in the State unimpeded.

(Discovery Institute Files Public Records Request in
OSU Evolution Academic Freedom Case)
SEATTLE – Discovery Institute has filed a public records request with the Ohio State University (OSU) seeking all documents related to Darwinist attacks on OSU doctoral candidate Bryan Leonard. The request was submitted under the Ohio Public Records Act.
In June, Leonard’s dissertation defense in the area of science education was suddenly postponed after three Darwinist professors at OSU attacked Leonard’s dissertation research because it analyzed how teaching students evidence for and against macroevolution impacted student beliefs. According to a news report in The Columbus Dispatch, the professors admitted at the time that they had not read Leonard’s dissertation.
(story cited at: Uncommon Descent)

Scientists told to be careful of monkey-business...

'Human-brained' monkeys:
SCIENTISTS have been warned that their latest experiments may accidently produce monkeys with brains more human than animal.

In cutting-edge experiments, scientists have injected human brain cells into monkey fetuses to study the effects.

Critics argue that if these fetuses are allowed to develop into self-aware subjects, science will be thrown into an ethical nightmare.
(By Nick Buchan of NEWS.com.au)

Scientists said to have replied to critics, "Who, us? Why, we just got done peer reviewing ourselves to be experts last week!"

Terrorism News

Police make arrests, suspect London bombings were suicide bombings. (Nottingham Post) Olive-skinned men rummaging repeatedly in their rucksacks now viewed with suspicion.

(Olive-skinned men who want to rummage repeatedly in their rucksacks said to be self-defining as "Rummage People" and organizing marches to protest discrimination against people who are rummaging.)

A change in attitude: BBC Calls Terrorism Terrorism (CNSNews.com)

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Cliff

Once upon a time there was a cliff and a little fellow who had fallen down onto a crag in the cliff. He lay on the crag unconscious, a ways from the top. Then he woke up because a voice called down, "Hey, you've fallen and you can't get up."

The fellow rubbed his head a bit and called back, "Oh..." But being a little prideful he replied, "I can get up."

"How did you fall down there, anyhow?"

"Well...I was with all of my friends and all my friends walked off the cliff, so I tried it too."

"Didn't your mother tell you about all of your friends walking off a cliff?"

"Yeah..." the fellow replied.

"Why didn't you listen to her?"

"Because I'm a skeptic. Besides, she didn't really say not to so when Timmy said, 'Did your mommy really say not to walk off of a cliff?' I thought about it and she might not have, she only said what if they did. Besides, he said we would not necessarily get hurt and plus we could be like superman!"

The voice paused, "Are you like superman?"

"No...but maybe I can...well, the least I can do is get back up this cliff on my own."

"No you can't because little Timmy was lying. I can get you back up the cliff. I'm the owner of this property so I know how. That is the only way because there are beasts at the bottom of the cliff who will eat you if you slip down further. I would think you would have learned that you are not superman. You are just a child who didn't listen to the wisdom of his mother."

Little Tommy didn't like that answer and he shouted up angrily, "So you're the owner?! Why do you let this dangerous cliff exist on your property? And dangerous beasts too?!" Tommy stomped around the crag rather petulantly.

The voice answered, "This property is perfectly safe for boys who listen to their mothers. I am with a group of scientists studying the beasts at the bottom of the cliff. We study their behavior so that we can capture more of them and save little boys from being eaten. Tommy, we're at the point that you have to trust me to guide you back or you can continue believing Timmy about being like superman."

"Maybe Timmy wasn't right but I can stay on this crag and figure things out, the cliff isn't all that high. I'll bet my friends are at the bottom safe and you just want me to come up there to take me to the police. I think you're making up stories about beasts to scare me, is all!"

The scientist replied, "Okay Tommy..."

So Tommy began walking on what seemed to be the best path back up the cliff, it seemed safe enough, it was even looking grassy and there was not so much of a rocky edge. Then he walked on a soft spot and slipped down the rest of the way. He worried a bit but thought, "I still know the way back if I can find my friends. ...and see, it wasn't all that high or the fall that bad, just like I thought. That scientist was just trying to scare me."

But then little Tommy saw a shadow moving up the ravine toward him and his breath caught in his throat. Shaking and sniveling Tommy tried to clamber back up the slippery part of the slope, then he turned and saw something coming down the ravine toward him too. He wet his pants.

But while he was standing there wetting his pants a strong hand grabbed him by his collar and began pulling him up the cliff. He looked up and saw some scientists who had repelled down the cliff and heard a voice say, "Aw man, looks like your little skeptic wet his pants. Careful Joe..." The man pulling him up just laughed, then turned down to him and said, "You thought you were going to get torn apart by beasts? We can't have little boy's stories ending like that, now, can we?"

Little Tommy looked up gratefully and asked, "What about my friend Zed?"

Joe replied, "Some stories do end that way, Zed is dead Tommy....Zed's dead."

Index I
Index II
Index III
Not indexed yet, Science Fiction
The Extracosmosials

The Metaphoric

Mathematics is a language without metaphors. That is why it is the perfect tool for conveying precise meaning — and perfectly useless for inspiring people.

Music is a language with nothing but metaphors. That is why it is the perfect tool for moving people (as in religious or martial music) — and why it is perfectly useless for conveying any precise meaning whatever.
[...]
Ordinary language combines all of these qualities.

(The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary
By Thomas Szasz :57)



Half-wits engage in denying about half of all wit, to wit the spirit of the writ. The dead in the head will bear a false witness until the curse of the verse that brings their hearse is written in this, our universe. Is it not, after all, quite a Book of Death? There are only a few verses in it transcribed from a Book of Life.

Every verse has a writer, that is something that the half-wits deny.

The equivocations of moral equivalency

The Leftist tendency towards treating ideas and actions equally under the guise of treating people equally often leads to a lack of judgment. The irony is that American progressives sometimes get sanctimonious about this type of lack of judgment based on an odd view of Christianity. They honestly seem to feel that it is Christian to constantly seek a lack of judgment, as if you can have mercy without justice and forgiveness without an understanding of good and evil as its foundation.

Captain Ed notes of a European Leftist:
Drawing a moral equivalence between [Israel] building a security wall and [Palestinians] deliberately blowing up women and children demonstrates a surrender of the sense of moral outrage necessary to identify between good and evil.
The tendency towards moral equivalency is often the same with American progressives. So it is little wonder that they sympathize with Europeans and seem to worry over what Europeans will think. They actually try to draw parellels between the Founders and the Islamists as if the American Revolution is morally equivalent to Islamic revolutions. That is just ignorant. Yet it is a willful sort of ignorance and they have perfected ways of clinging to a lack of judgment, a lack of "discrimination." Sometimes they cling to their lack of judgment or ignorance by claiming that pretty much any act of definition is a "stereotype." That can be a way of stifling knowledge because knowledge is based on an awareness of distinctions and definitions. That is that and this is this.

Yet in my experience seeking ways to lack judgment is something that progressives do time and time again. In fact, if there is a progressive reading this they may very well want to write, "That's a stereotype of all progressives based on the actions of a few!"

Is it?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A Delawarean progressive....

I was reading some blogs and somehow came across this one: Delaware Watch. It seems to be written by a real tie-dyed-in-the-wool type of fellow caught in mommy Nature and so on.

He has a post up on the G-8 protestors. What I don't understand is the tendency among Leftists towards dressing up as clowns to protest, although it may be appropriate. E.g:



(I suppose that she sure showed the establishment the error of their ways. Because, well...dressing up as a clown and kissing a police shield is a fine example of public policy analysis and demonstrates that she knows how to solve Africans' problems for them. If only the establishment would follow her advice because Third World thieves, dictators, fascists and assorted con-men that pretty much make the Third World what it is probably just need a kiss!)

I think I'll keep watch on this Delaware Watch since it would be good to know the perspective of a local Leftist.

The degenerative....

That the Smithsonian as an institution pulled its support is really indicative of society today. That scientists centuries ago had no problem putting science and theism on the table at the same time is historical. That we cannot do so today is degenerative or retrograde.

(Todd Peterson in Christianity Today)

The worst offenders as far as following the subpagan tendency of rebellion against transcendence often seems to be the American Judiciary and oddly enough, mainline American churches too. It's not that they explicitly deny theism, yet they separate it from anything having to do with real life. They might say that this sort of separation is what the American Founders wanted. Yet it wasn't, which is why modern pagans come to a position that would make the theism of the Declaration of Independence and numerous state constitutions "unconsitutional." How can all of this be unconstitutional, didn't the Founders know of the contradiction? For that matter, the Constitution is also "unconstitutional" based on the version of separation adhered to by the ACLU because unlike political documents of the French Revolution it followed the old expression "In the year of our Lord..." which places God as sovereign over time.

Unfortunately, the American universities in which the American judiciary is being educated apparently do not have professors that teach American history nor basic civics for that matter. Given that, we have a Judiciary which will argue that the same sort of admission that God is sovereign* to be found in the Constitution itself is unconstitutional. The curious thing is that textual degenerates want to pretend that they are in agreement with the Founders. That may be because the foresight and wisdom that the Founders had through text is still apparent to most Americans.

I should note that even if people try to follow the diktats of those who rule by textual degeneracy it will not be possible. If the texts of a textual degenerate are static then such a person has lost their power to dictate by their own will whatever decision they will. Decisions are made to be an impossible maze of principles and concepts that cannot be defined clearly so that the petty tyrant can rule by their own will alone. Example: Kansas tried to set up a display of the Ten Commandments and historical documents in a historical way to follow what seemed to be the rules of the Court, only to have it struck down. That's because increasingly the Court rules the way it will rule. It is not making rulings based on principles and the veneer of principle it places on its decisions becomes thinner and thinner.

Do people wonder at how acrimonious and political the nomination process has become? Many things are the fault of Congress, yet that is not one of them, not entirely anyway. Instead that comes about because the Court politicized itself more than it had in the past and not because the Congress suddenly politicized the Court beginning in the 70s. There were some political decisions before too, yet the Court brought the new politicization on itself by making more numerous political decisions based on its own will or its perception of the people's will. In a political decision it exchanges the legal for the political instead of making legal decisions based on the text written to limit and define its decisions. Rejecting limitation, it now sets itself up as having the authority to define the very text intended to limit its own decisions. The Courts want to make the decisions that they will make and so what brings together all the disparate legal confusion created by political decisions are that they increase the power of the Judiciary.

The surest foundation the Founders could create in having a written Constitution has indeed become a "thing of wax," just as Jefferson said it would.

* (E.g.: "...under God..." in the pledge or "In the year of our Lord..." in the Constitution or "...endowed by their Creator..." in the Declaration.)

The eyes of the sandlance...

There they are.
This little fish (2 cm long) has independent eye movements like a chameleon. It is like a chameleon in many other ways, including unusual optics where the focal point of the eye in well in front of the centre of rotation....thereby generating monocular parallax cues by pure rotation of the eye without the need to make revealing translation movements of the head.

Note also that both eyes move in alternation....a visible interhemispheric switch!(University of Queensland, Australia)
There is a problem with this sort of continuity between disparate natural categories for Darwinists. Ironically, it is not the type of continuity that they need to write their mythological narratives of Naturalism.

Although it is evidence of some type of commonality between different life forms it is not the sort of sequential commonality in common descent predicted by Darwinism and the "Tree of Life." The Darwinian prediction is that an organism can be traced back in a sequence from twig, to branch, to trunk, to root. The twigs on the tree can be quite disparate life forms, yet the prediction is that they can always be traced back into evolutionary pathways through other life forms, even back into a primordial pool as the ultimate common ancestor.



The problem with organisms like the sandlance for Darwinists, interesting little fellow that he is, is that he is a part of the empirical evidence that refutes Darwin's prediction of commonality at the root of life in common ancestry with more disparity and adaptation at the twigs. Instead what is observed empirically are these odd commonalities at the twigs as the sandlance and numerous other examples support the notion of a common design that seems to be designed to refute notions like Darwinism or the subpaganism of the ancient Asherah poles.

Although it is true that if you really want to put things in a sequence then you can arrange them in a sequence, gaps or no. Michael Denton notes in Evolution A Theory in Crisis that this is easier to do with bits of rock than it is with living organisms.

Interesting to think about what a helpful or harmful empirical observation would be for common design vs. common descent:


I suppose it depends on the order you consider things to have evolved given common descent. Don't laugh, there is not much reason that the duck billed platypus should have Mother Nature "select" its duck bill supposedly through the same environment in which other organisms do not have a duck bill "selected" by her. Other organisms have similar features which give evidence for a Designer's selections over Nature's "selections." How does the inanimate make a "selection" and why do Darwinists use such a term if they don't mean that it does?

At any rate, I think that tucan-fish would fall under evidence for common design, if it existed.

Inverted:




Fish-parrots....I know they'd certainly be counted as evidence for common descent by Darwinists. They count almost everything you can concieve of as such evidence, after all. Their heads would be labelled atavistic, etc. Unlike the incorrect sort of sequence illustrated in tucan-fish, the order is more in line with the Darwinian notion that birds have an ancestry in fish. Interesting to note, as some Darwinists count every piece of empirical evidence as evidence for Darwinism that they might argue that tucan-fish is ancestral to tucans. In a similar way, they might say that the sandlance is ancestral to the chameleon or that Nature somehow "selected" the same unlikely design twice or thrice in two or three different environments. It was not unlikely enough once?

When smarty pants feel a little tight....

People perceived as the most likely to succeed might also be the most likely to crumble under pressure.

A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work with no constraints. ...

"The pressure causes verbal worries, like ‘Oh no, I can’t screw up,’" said Sian Beilock, assistant professor of psychology at Miami University of Ohio. "These thoughts reside in the working memory." And that takes up space that would otherwise be pondering the task at hand.
"When they begin to worry, then they’re in trouble," Beilock told LiveScience. "People with lower working-memory capacities are not using that capacity to begin with, so they’re not affected by pressure."

The findings are detailed this week’s issue of Psychological Science.

(Smart People Choke Under Pressure
By Bjorn Carey, LiveScience)

A most fabulous trick...

A kitesurfer going by when I was windsurfing:











More windsurfing pictures are back in the archives.

Friday, July 08, 2005

A few notes on the American oligarchy...

"One single object...[will merit] the endless gratitude of the society:
that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation." --Thomas
Jefferson (The Federalist)

Same issue discussed in an African American Newspaper, The 19th Century:
On this subject of the power of the Supreme Court, numbers of Mr. Jefferson's letters might be quoted, to the same purport as the above. I have only time to present brief extracts. In a letter to Judge Roane, date Poplar Forest, September 6, 1819, he says, referring to the Supreme Court:
In denying the right they usurp, of exclusively explaining the Constitution, I go further than you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist of an opinion that 'the Judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the Government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the Judiciary is derived.' If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de se. For intending to establish three departments, coordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one, too which is unelected by, and independent of, the nation.

* * *

The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax, in the hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any Government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law.
To Thomas Ritchie, whose name as the editor of the Richmond Enquirer, is familiar to us all, Mr. Jefferson wrote, under date of December 25, 1820, as follows:
The Judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners, constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our Constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special Government, to a general and supreme one alone.
I should weary you if I were to quote a tithe of what Mr. Jefferson has left us on this subject. What I have presented will suffice to show you that he entertained a deep-seated jealousy of Federal encroachments upon the rights of the States, and that he utterly repudiated the modern doctrine of the party which claims to be Democratic, that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of constitutional questions.
(THE NATIONAL ERA
April 21, 1859
Washington, D.C., Vol. XIII No. 642 P. 61)

Despite the fact that the law is based on text the federal judiciary is largely made up of textual degenerates. The Founders argued that the surest foundation of our government is its written Constitution. Those who would make all of the people's discriminations for them argue that it emits "penumbras" that only they can see. If the people are increasingly illiterate then they are textual degenerates of another sort who will tend to rely on someone else making all their discriminations for them. So they will be blind to tyranny until it has an obvious impact on them personally and by then it is too late.

(This issue is discussed from the angle of the issue of abortion over at Hyscience.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Asians stuck in feudalism work as serfs....inside computer games

"Sack" is the only name I'm given for the person I'm supposed to contact. He lives in the Fujian province of China, but his place of business is online—he plays Lineage II. He's paid about 56 cents an hour to work in a videogame "sweatshop."

If the term sounds familiar, it's because of Lee Caldwell. The notorious MMORPG scripter got busted four years ago for admitting that his company, BlackSnow, hired workers in Tijuana to earn gold by "farming" in Ultima Online. Caldwell sold that in-game tender online for a handsome real-world profit while only paying his employees pennies on the dollar. Since 1998, the second-party market for MMORPG loot has steadily grown. Last year alone, this newfound industry grossed roughly $500 million, according to Bob Kiblinger of UOTreasures. CGW decided it was high time to go underground and find some of the key players who are going after a piece of the action.
(1up.com)
(From sweatshops to stateside corporations,
some people are profiting off of MMO gold.
by James Lee)

MMO = Massively Multiplayer Online, or something like that. They're big virtual worlds. Funny, the virtual world is like the real world for parts of the world stuck back in feudalism.

It should be noted:
For all the so-called virtual sweatshops discovered, a lot of these young men and boys don't mind their jobs, and they aren't exactly working in sweatshop conditions. There's a world of difference between making sneakers and watching bots fight all day. However, they are underpaid, or as Smooth Criminal puts it, "They get paid dirt. But dirt is good where they live."
(Ib.)

There is always some Marxist around who thinks that the solution to exploitation is to make everyone unemployed through some totalitarian system. Ironically, Marx himself argued that capitalism is a necessary step between feudalism and communism.

In related news: New Chinese clinic aims to combat online gaming addiction (GameIndustryBiz)


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I rather like some cold toads.



A Book Review

I read a book over the weekend that happened to be in my parent's vacation house. It was State of Fear by Michael Crichton, the first novel I have read in a few years. Ironically, although it is fiction it deals with a form of scientism in our times, i.e. "global warming." It's like one can't escape it these days. I found the way the author paints verbal pictures of the mommy Earth type of New Man amusing. I suspect that some scientific cold toads will be hopping mad about it. Anyway, onward....an example of the New Man:
“Listen,” he said. “I have to go see Nick for a bit.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“I’ll come back,” he said, “as soon as I can.”

“I’ll be fine,” she repeated. He stood, and she stood, too. On a sudden impulse he gave her a hug. She was so tall they were almost shoulder to shoulder. “It’s going to be okay,” he said. “Don’t worry. It’ll be okay.”

She returned the hug, but when he released her, she said, “Don’t ever do that again, Peter. I’m not hysterical. I’ll see you when you get back.”

He left hastily, feeling foolish. At the door, she said, “By the way, Peter: Do you have a gun?” “No,” he said. “Do you?”

“Just a 9-millimeter Beretra, but it’s better than nothing.”

“Oh, okay.” As he went out the front door, he thought, so much for manly reassurances for the modern woman.
(page 152-153) It seems that the New Man has a hard time separating from the feminine sometimes. He also feels that he comes up short and resents her for it. By page 323 things are still pretty much the same:
...Sarah looked at Peter. He was good-looking, and he had the strong physique of an athlete. But sometimes he behaved like such a wimp.

“You ever do any sports?” she said.
“Sure.”
“What?”
“Squash. A little soccer.”
“Oh.”
“Hey,” he said. “Just because I don’t shoot guns. . . I’m a lawyer, for Christ’s sake.”

She was disappointed with him and not even sure why. Probably, she thought, because she was nervous and wanted somebody competent to be with her. She liked being around Kenner. He was so knowledgeable, so skilled. He knew what was going on. He was quick to respond to any situation. Whereas Peter was a nice guy, but...
The New Man is a nice guy. That's pretty much undeniable. By the way, I should note that Real Men don't write about what New Men or Real Men do or don't do. Yet that does not stop me!

It wasn't all so bad for the New Man in this section:
"...but...She watched his hands on the wheel. He drove well. And that was important today." (Ib.)

Well, there's the good hands and at least some sort of spatial reasoning. Maybe the New Man can be a Real Man? Maybe...but he'll probably have to quit being so prissy, die fighting evil and then be born again. Where do such scripts come from? By page 358 it was done:
He realized then that his experience in the crevasse had changed him—and changed him permanently. Someone had tried to kill him. .... [H]e could not have predicted the way that he felt changed by it now. He felt as if he had been physically moved—as if someone had picked him up and shifted him ten feet to one side. He was no longer standing in the same place. But he had also been changed internally. He felt a kind of solid impassivity he had not known before. There were unpleasant realities in the world, and previously he had averted his eyes from them, or changed the subject, or made excuses for what had occurred. He had imagined that this was an acceptable strategy in life—in fact, that it was a more humane strategy. He no longer believed that. .... The world was not how you wanted it to be. The world was how it was.
The "crevasse" was quite a wordly womb and the New Man had to be pulled on out of there to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Otherwise he'll always skirt the issue of Good and Evil by hiding behind Mother Nature's skirts or crawling back into her womb. Look carefully, he sometimes looks out from her skirts with fearful eyes! Fortunately, some New Men are born again:
She noticed that Evan's voice had lost its boyish hesitancy. He was no longer protesting everything Kenner said. He sounded older somehow, more mature, more solid.
So by page 359 he's coming along nicely! How nice. Well, you get the idea, I liked the book as a fast read and found it amusing. Also, he has apendices in the back of the book which deal more seriously with his research and so on. (No book that deals with scientism would be complete without mentioning the eugenics movement and the Nazis.)



Spoiler: There is a spot where a Hollywood half-wit type Leftist gets eaten alive by their supposed noble savages. Yes, believe it or not there are evil people living in Third World nations. It has to do with how they come to be Third World nations in the first place. Yet as much as I agree with doing away with stupid and ignorant ideas, having someone get eaten alive may have been a bit heavy handed. At any rate it is true, Rousseau's noble savage is not so noble while the New Man's typical refusal to deal with Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, is often dangerous to himself.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The accompishments of Ape-man......or some humans who were a few evolutionary steps closer to him.



Some examples of the accomplishments of our primitive ancestors are the foundations of what would later become the temple mounts of various civilizations. These foundations often seem to be built with rather large stone blocks.

The most famous and important in modern politics is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Another example is a different foundation that later civilizations built their temples on:

...it was time to start our own investigation. It led, first and foremost, out through the Jupiter temple all the way back and around the ruins, to the western retaining wall with its immense stone blocks, including the famed Trilithon.




The stone blocks that make up the Trilithon weigh more than 1,100 tons each, and they do not lie on the ground itself, but are placed higher, upon other immense, though smaller, stone blocks, cut to have a slanting face, that weigh “only” 500 tons each. (By comparison, the stone blocks in the Giza pyramid average only 2.5 tons.)

There is even now no man-made machine that can lift such weights. Yet in antiquity someone—the “giants,” according to local lore—not only lifted and placed such colossal stone blocks, but also carried them from their quarry located several miles away. This is an indisputable fact, because the quarry has been located and in it one of those colossal stone blocks, whose quarrying had not been completed, still lies partly attached to the native rock. Its immensity is illustrated by the many photographs we took there; its size exceeds that of the Trilithon blocks.




.... Everywhere the original stone blocks were immense; where later additions were made, the stone blocks are much smaller and look pitiful by comparison.

Whatever once stood upon the immense platform, other than in its cut-out northwestern part, one can only speculate. It is clear, however, that whoever planned, constructed, quarried, and transported the colossal stone blocks and then placed them one on top of another had a specific purpose in mind. Whatever went on there in the ancient past seems to have required this massive structure that rose up and up by massive stages.

(The Earth Chronicles Expeditions: Journeys to the Mythical Past
By Zecharia Sitchin :173-174)


That is the mythical past and speculation about mythologies and archaeology ought to be and are noted by scholars as fraught with uncertainty. That should not hold anyone back from studying such issues. Uncertainty is what tends to keep the scribbling scribes scribbling and the sages of the ages wondering and pondering.

In contrast, Darwinists often try to merge the mythological narratives of Naturalism that they sometimes write in with basic empirical observations or "scientific facts" like the earth being round. It seems that they want people to assume that their mythological narratives have reached the same epistemic level as basic empirical observations. Yet making that sort of associative argument and seeking to conflate Darwinism with basic empirical observations may indicate that the person knows little about extending Darwinian principles far, far into the past while at the same time making them elastic beyond current empirical observations. That type of argument of association made by Darwinists: "It's a fact that all of Life came about by natural selection acting on random mutations...as certain as gravity!" may also illustrate a failure to admit to the limitations of science in general, which can become the foundation of scientism and so the beginning of a path to proto-Nazism if history is any measure.

On science and origins:
How, then, should the scientist “approach origin questions”? With due modesty, I would say, born of the sobering recognition that his methods provide access only to a certain “outer shell” of things. There is of course more than enough work to do for the scientists within his own proper domain; and it could also be said that, to him who has “eyes to see”, that domain, bounded though it be, points beyond itself—even to “the invisible things of God”. At the very least, however, scientist should be aware of the distinction between primary and secondary origins and wary of forcing the former into the mold of the latter as the Darwinists have done. One should remember that science turns forthwith into pseudo-science and superstition the moment it oversteps its own proper bounds.
(Cosmsos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life and Homo sapiens
Edited by Henry Morgenau and Roy Varghese
Astronomers, Mathematicians and Physicists: Wolfgang Smith :116-117


I'm back.

Sheesh...the summer isn't that great a time for blogging. I went windsurfing over the Fourth of July weekend, read three interesting books, went out with my parents boating, out to dinner, etc.

I will probably make a few posts on the books I read. They were interesting. Just thought I'd leave a note that the blog isn't dead although it will be one day, just like me.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Shhh....

It's fox-bee and camel-fly. They're a little like frog-bird and flower-snail.



It seems that you never can tell what Nature may select by her natural selections because like the evolutionists say, all natural categories to be found in Life can be merged back to their common ancestor in a primordial pool. There's camel-fly, at rest on a plant.

I bet you can't tell who the common ancestor of this little fellow is.



"Don't look at me." says dogman....



Why it doesn't happen:

...specially shaped protein on the egg. No foreigners are allowed; a wrong species’ sperm would waste an egg. Only if the match is proper can the sperm force its way in, and fertilization occur. A new potential life is under way. Entrance of the sperm stimulates calcium ion channels in the egg’s wall to open. This immediately closes the egg’s membrane to all other invaders. One is company. Two’s a crowd, genetically speaking. The closure is first induced by a change in the electrical charge across the membrane, and then by a release of a chemical hardener that cross-links the gelatinous outer membrane coating.

The sperm is now within the egg, but it is kept at bay. The egg still has a full set of chromosomes, twenty-three pairs. Half must be discarded. At this stage the egg undergoes meiotic division, division without chromosome replication. Though the egg’s chromosomes are divided equally between the two new cells, as before, almost all the cytoplasm is concentrated in one daughter cell, that which contains the sperm’s nucleus. This done, the sperm and egg each duplicate their respective twenty-three chromatids, motor proteins move the two nuclei together, the nuclear membranes open, and the chromatids mingle, each finding and pairing with its corresponding partner. Spindle fibers and motor proteins then pull one member of each pair to opposite poles, two nuclear membranes form, and mitotic cellular division occurs. Another bio-ballet, a coordinated dance of molecules within the body, has passed. A few days and several further mitotic divisions will go by before this new bit of life reaches the uterus.

At this point, one has to bend over backward to accept that all of these necessary and interwoven steps have evolved randomly. There are only two forms of reproduction, mitosis and meiosis. There are no intermediate forms visible in nature. Yet somehow, according to evolutionists, a batch of lucky mutations allowed meiosis to blossom on the tree of life.

In human reproduction, meiosis gives way to mitosis, but with an amazing twist to the mitotic principle of daughter cells being replicas of the parent. As the cells divide, some of the daughters discover or interpret how and where to become the cells of a heart, and some a nose or toe. How this miracle of structuring occurs remains a speculative mystery. The knowledgeable differentiation among the newly forming cells appears in principle to be orchestrated by concentration gradients of specific molecules within the cluster of cells, but the wonder of it remains. Who or what supplied the scheme? Wisdom is encoded in the very stuff on which it must act, the blueprint and the builder all in one.
(The Hidden Face of God: Science
Reveals the Ultimate Truth
By Gerald L. Schroeder :77-78)

Fisherman catch and eat fish that scientists were trying to study.



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fishermen in northern Thailand have caught the biggest catfish on record -- a 646-pound (293-kg) giant the size of a grizzly bear -- and eaten it, the WWF and the National Geographic Society said on Wednesday. (Continue reading)

The New Thought Police

Modern "liberalism," an example from Europe:

'Brainstorming', the buzzword used by executives to generate ideas among their staff, has been deemed politically incorrect by civil servants because it is thought to be offensive to people with brain disorders.

Instead staff at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Belfast will use the term 'thought-showers' when they get together to think creatively. A spokeswoman said: 'The DETI does not use the term brainstorming on its training courses on the grounds that it may be deemed pejorative.'

Sources inside the department said there was concern that the term would cause offence to people with epilepsy as well those with brain tumours or brain injuries.

But the Campaign for Plain English complained that the decision had 'reached the point of real ridicule'.

'You do sometimes wonder if some people haven't got anything better to do with their time,' said spokesman John Wild.

(Now brainstorms are off the agenda
By Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday June 26, 2005
The Observer )

See:
(The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds, by Tammy Bruce)

Benjamin Franklin, vegetarianism and flatulence

Benjamin Franklin wrote a half-serious letter on the subject of flatulation to the Royal Academy of Brussels. The letter, which was never posted, may be found in the Stevens Collection of the Franklin Mss. at the State Department, Washington, D.C. It reads in part: “He that dines on stale Flesh. . shall be able to afford a Stink that no Company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some time on Vegetables only, shall have that Breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate Noses and if he can manage so as to avoid the Report, he may anywhere give vent to his Griefs, unnoticed.”

(Adolf Hitler's Guilt Feelings: A Problem in History and Psychology
By R. G. L. Waite
Journal of Interdisciplinary History,
Vol. 1, No. 2. (Winter, 1971), :236)


If only people didn't discriminate against flatulent people then all would be well, but that's discrimination for you. Do you discriminate against stinky people? Is it not bigotry to discriminate against all stinky people based on the smell of a few?

Word of the day: flat·u·lent Etymology: Middle French, from Latin flatus act of blowing, wind, from flare to blow -- more at BLOW1 a : marked by or affected with gas generated in the intestine or stomach b : likely to cause gas2 : pompously or portentously overblown : INFLATED- flat·u·lent·ly adverb

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hackers

A story of three blind mice who were not very nice...well, being nice isn't everything.
[Three blind brothers] pulled off Mamet-worthy phone cons, employing cell phones, Braille-display computers, ace code-writing skills, and an uncanny ability to impersonate anyone from corporate suits to sex-starved females. [...]
The phone phreakers' term for this is social engineering: using a combination of brains and guile to obtain codes for trespassing into systems to rejigger them via strings of touch-tone code. Combine this talent with supersensitive hearing - the brothers can dissect an international connection the way wine expert Robert Parker pulls notes from a glass of Bordeaux - and you have what BernieS, a legendary phreaker and contributor to the hacking journal 2600, calls "a formidable skill set."

At one point during my visit with the Badirs, I pull out my cell phone and make a call. Before it even connects, Shadde, who is sitting across the room, recites all 12 digits perfectly.

Ramy smiles at the parlor trick. "It used to be disgusting to be blind," he says. "Today, you scare people. You possess skills that those with sight cannot possibly understand."
(Wired)

A small-time hack:

The most popular hack, which works on most models, is the "Instant Walk." Three short clicks, followed by two long, one short, two long, and three short; turn [virtually] any crosswalk signal from "don't walk" to "walk" with a matching change in the traffic signals.
(Hackerz)

There are other hacks because it is all just machines. But I wouldn't know all that much about these things. I am just a simple fellow.

Me...

I don't post about myself much, just windsurfing, the origins of the world and dead dogs coming back to life. But I guess people get curious. Why no close pictures...why?! Very well, I had someone else's digital camera today.





I would have smiled but you should try flashing yourself in the face and see if your eyes stay open. Anyhow, I'm busy fixing a computer now. I don't know what people do to these things, I really don't.

Maybe it's like this: "I think I'll install a little program that changes the mouse to a flower. How cute! ...and now, a little birdie too. What's this AIM, what friendly friends... [Click, click....]" Who can say exactly what happens, it's like a divine mystery....but 11 viruses and 25 pieces of spyware don't come from nothing. That's not the computer I'm fixing now. I guess every computer geek has their stories about people and their computers. One I heard: "Why, one time I was fixing the computer of a graphic artist who had hot swapable harddrives so he could take his work home with him and one day he came in and must've shoved the drive in backwards. Six months of work was on it because he wasn't the type to think to back it up. What an idiot...six months!"

I can imagine that moment for the artist though. "Hey, what just happened...uh, wait a minute...wha....that can't be....no, NO, NOOOOO!!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Man without legs runs faster than you or I run with legs, creates questions.

[...]The jaw-dropping performance of a teenage sprinter from South Africa named Oscar Pistorius is raising a question once barely imaginable: can a double-leg amputee run fast enough to qualify for the able-bodied Olympic Games?

And if he did, would he be allowed to compete?

Oddly enough, the first question may be easier to answer: "I have no doubt that Oscar will eventually run fast enough to compete in an able-bodied world championship," says U.S. sprinter Brian Frasure. "He could be ready to qualify for South Africa in time for the 2008 Olympics," Frasure adds, pointing out that Oscar, barely 18, is at least 10 years away from his physical peak. [...]


(Spectrum Online)

Expect more stories like this in the future.

Scientists 'raise the dead' in experiment

...The animals had no heartbeat or brain activity and were classed as being clinically dead.

The saline solution was then replaced with fresh blood and electric shocks were used to restart the heart. The dogs appeared unharmed by their suspension and had suffered no brain damage.

Scientists...hope to use the technique on humans within a year and are in talks with hospitals about trials on trauma patients.

(Daily Mail)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Troy and the gods...

It befell an adventurous businessman, Heinrich Schliemann,

to dispel the myth and prove that Troy in fact existed. Born in Germany in 1822, he took a job in Amsterdam, mastered several languages, became a wealthy merchant in Russia, and took up archaeology as a serious hobby in Paris. After a divorce he married a Greek girl and moved to Athens; there Greek legends and myths began to guide his archaeological interests. Traveling extensively in the Hellenic zone, he accepted suggestions made by others that a site named Hissarlik at the tip of Asia Minor, on the eastern shores of the Straits of Dardanelles, was the location of ancient Troy.

Financing excavations with his own funds, he oversaw archaeological work at the site for almost two decades, beginning in 1870 until his death in 1890, when the work was continued by his assistant Wilhelm Dorpfeld. Schliemann’s own excavations unearthed several successive levels of occupation at Troy, evidence of the city’s fall at a time correlating with Homer’s tale, and artifacts testifying to the city’s opulence and period. A necklace, tiara, and other royal jewelry named King Priam’s Treasure by Schliemann were gifted by him to his wife to wear in public.



Schliemann’s discoveries at Troy, which he carefully documented and artfully publicized, did not result in the immediate appreciation that he expected. The scholarly establishment resented the intrusion into their realm by a self-appointed archaeologist. Few were ready to part with the notion that Homer’s tale was just a myth. Accusations were made that Schliemann faked evidence, that some artifacts were really from other places. Even when, digging in Greece proper, he proved Homer right by uncovering ancient Mycenae and a royal tomb which he claimed was that of Agamemnon, he was still derided. A golden mask that he suggested was the death mask ofAgamemnon was dismissed as a modern fake. [....]

In spite of all that, many now consider Schliemann the Father of modern archaeology. Archaeologists now retain no doubt whatsoever that the site of Hissarlik is indeed the site of ancient Troy, and that in that respect Homer’s tale was no myth. That Troy was destroyed, in the thirteenth century B.C. by siege and war, is also undisputed, though no one can say nowadays whether it was really about the beautiful Helen—or due to the wish of the god Zeus to lessen Earth’s burden by getting some tribes of Mankind done away with.


Yet that is precisely why I chose to start the Expedition to Turkey with a visit to Troy; for, if Homer was right about there having been a city of Troy, and if Troy was in fact destroyed in a war, and if its treasures matched the Bronze Age period indicated by Homer, why doubt the rest of his tale—that not only men but also gods were involved in the conflict?


As the Expedition took the group to other exciting sites in Turkey, such as those of the Hittites or of Assyrian trading colonies, or to museums where artifacts from those past civilizations are kept, the reference to “gods” in inscribed texts and their depictions in countless monuments were omnipresent. As often as not, the depictions showed the gods as towering over their favored human kings. The gods are distinguished by their horned helmets or other garments or footwear, or by the hieroglyph for “divine” or by the title “god” preceding their personal inscribed names.


To the ancient peoples, the “gods” were real, physically present. Without accepting that, traveling from one archaeological site or museum to another was, I felt, an exercise in futility. Having read my books, my group already knew that all the tales of gods hark back to the millennia-old Sumerian tales of the Anunnaki, "Those who from Heaven to Earth came."

(The Earth Chronicles Expeditions: Journeys to the Mythical Past
By Zecharia Sitchin :7-8)


Ruins of Troy:


Depictions of the gods:

(The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse
By Patrick Heron :92)

Interesting fossils:

The head of a normal size person seems to come to just above the knee of what ancients depicted as "the gods" or perhaps "the giants" that the Israelites were called to kill. David vs. Goliath, etc. But anyway, it seems to me that having an ancient philosopher, historian or other type of scholar write of "the gods" as if they had an impact on their national history and so on would be like a modern historian writing, "Then Superman came down from the sky and decided who would be president..." It is possible that a scholar would write such things if they were taking artistic license. But typically, art goes with art and is easily refuted as a matter of fact instead of being mixed throughout otherwise sound scholarship and history.

Jesus, on a god like lightning:


The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Note how he says, "...do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you..." although he just mentioned real creatures such as snakes and scorpions, literal/physical things. There are those lacking in spiritual discernment who therefore lack any discernment of metaphors who focus on literal/physical snakes and scorpions. That's not what Jesus was saying.

Although biblically, are metaphors literalized sometimes? Of course, as the Word became flesh, it is just that even people who have studied literature, words, writ and law all of their lives may not understand the way in which a line between the Platonic world of the Forms and the literal world may be crossed.

Perhaps those who can transfigure into the "Heaven between heavens..." know more. It would figure that you cannot figure some things out. But it is interesting to think about.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I'm back.

I haven't given much thought to writing about anything. I'll post tomorrow using something from a book I read on vacation.

(I did write a little on Carl's blog on Gay© politics and public policy because people are typically ignorant about the propaganda that Gay© activists decided to write into cultural scripts.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Small jump...



There was not much break offshore for jumping today. It was not as windy as Sunday and Monday so I was on a big sail with a wideboard. The wind picked up as the day went on. My dad and I went to the bayside in the evening and found him some smooth water to sail there. I practiced my jibes.