Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Noah, You are TOOO Much!

I have been thinking about the story of Noah and the ark. (Not the Ark of the Covenant that Harrison Ford and the Nazis all seemed to want because it contained the ten commandments and could be used to strip people down to their skeletons which must have been a riot at parties. There was a similar device in the movie The Nude Bomb which only striped people down to the birthday suit and probably should have been called the Ark of Uncover it). Since so many people believe in the literal truth of Noah'?s ark, I thought I would examine the subject. Some may say that it is unfair for an atheist/agnostic/cargo-cultist to pick on the flood story when many Christians believe it is an extended parable and not meant to be considered history. I however, think it is unfair of them to criticize unbelievers for being skeptical of the whole Bible as the word of God as if skepticism were a character flaw, while never criticizing those who take the flood and other stories literally, thereby encouraging our skepticism.

Non-literalist Christians seem to be very tolerant of the mixed message being sent yet are unwilling to accept responsibility for the fall out, preferring to blame the skeptic for his confusion. A similar comfort with mixed messages comes from the Intelligent Design/Creationist movement. They are very offended if you associate them with the religious young earth creationists but if you look into their previous writings and speeches you find that they are almost always evangelistic/born again-ers and many believe in a young earth or else refuse to even guess and the age of the earth and will not discuss their religious beliefs. Yet these 'experts in cross disciplinary pursuits' (my sarcastic way of saying that they work outside their field of competence) almost never feel the urge to criticize young earth creation religions or condemn using biblical verses in arguments. How can you condemn being associated with someone that you refuse to distance yourself from? (I asked this question to my shadow, he pretends not to hear me, not to know me - Bastard.)

And the argument against a critical examination of Noah is further undermined by the fact that it is not nearly as widely regarded as non-literal as many liberal Christian?s might like to believe. Today an author sells his book in the gift store at the Grand Canyon which claims that the canyon must have been caused by Noah'?s damp year. (Despite the fact that erosion is caused by the amount of water making contact with the rock not the amount that flows far over top of it - if the claim is that water receded so fast as to speed erosion then: a] Why is the canyon so meandering? and b] How could the ark have not been swept out to sea by such fast moving currents instead of gently lodging on a mountain top? Did the water recede that much more slowly on one side of the planet than the other?) I have also heard such "theories" (from psuedo-theology non-experts, working as far from science as you can get without actually leaving the planet to write) as the idea that certain petrified trees were not, as geologists claim, knocked over and buried by a landslide millions of years ago (apparently landslides never make trees lie in the same direction when it pushes them over despite what geologists and common sense would tell you is possible) but were in fact knocked over by the great flood and kept in line until the seas receded at which point they fosilized very quickly.

Given that American Christianity (TM) has decided to help the public school system teach biology by giving itself the task of redefining the definition of science without asking scientists what they think of the definition (see Kansas science curriculum), it seems likely that biology will only be the start and that the flood "?controversy"? will soon be taught in those American (later Canadian and then European) schools which are luck enough to get any geology instruction so a discussion of what will be taught might be wise.

First of all, let us ignore the inability of certain flood proponents to build a similar ark even using steel scaffolds and a crane. And let us ignore the fact that the evidence for such a re-emerging expansion of human civilization and all land based bio-systems from a single spot on the planet only a few thousand years ago comes not from dense crops of barnacledacles and coral on (not embedded in) mountain rocks nor the archaeological placements of villages towns and cities plus roads, customs, pottery and other cultural and technology styles nor from population growth patterns, genetic migration patterns nor any other field that we would expect to detect evidence of such a recent spcenteredntred on Turkey, but instead comes from the placement of one rock that someone at the CIA thought looked kind of like a boat on the side of a mountain and another rock-like depression that the Turkish Government thinks looks like a depression which the ark would have made. Let us ignore the fact that both sites have been examined, and even some who would like the ark to have been found think these are not the ark. In short Let us ignore the fact that all the evidence we would expect to find is missing and all that is termed evidencfavoravour of the flood and ark story has been found and promoted by people who really want the story to be true and that even if it had been strong enough to convince someone without a vested interest in the story and with the expertise to evaluate its claim to be evidence, it STILL would not prove the story.

Let us just look at the story and whether it is believable.

The story, as I remember it (and I seem to remember it being told twice in the Bible with some differences as to how long they were at sea), begins with God realizing that the whole human world thing is just not working out as it had on paper. After the security breach in the garden of Eden and the interpersonal problems he had initiated by plafavoritesrites with the Cain and Able brothers, things had really gone down hill. It was time to scrub the lot of these wicked sinners from the planet and since a global plague would leave lots of smelly corpses to clean up and turning everyone into a pillar of birdseed and seit would take way to much effort, he hit on the idea of a massive world flood. This idea was so appealing to him that even though he agreed never to do it again, he needed to be reminded of this every time the kids started acting up (see Moses and his disagreements with God). Plus, by giving the heads up to the one righteous man and his nearly righteous family he could get them to do all the work to save themselves and get them to save the planets animals while they were at it. God would not need to lift a finger or aim his lightning bolts or anything. Perfect.

Unfortunately for the righteous fellers it meant a lot of hard labour and the vacation cruise from Hell. Not only did they need to share a boat with smelly, scary animals; every animal known (that includes every human parasite ever known, many of which can not survive in other hosts so it must not have been a pleasant journey for anyone); it was a boat which stays aloft for over a year (or under a year depending on the version) in a world flood that kills every person and animal but somehow forgets to kill all the plants. But that is not the most unbelievable part. Noah also had to share the boat with his kids and their spouses (vacationing with the in-laws - I would rather bunk in the sasquatch quarters.

Now when the ark puts down, Noah'?s gang must have come to a bleak realization. Individually, most land plants don't do very well deep under water and whole ecosystems with large numbers of plants animals and fungi in relationships do even worse. If an ecosystem is partially destroyed by flood it can, over long periods of time recover as species re-establish their relationships from the healthy sections. Unfortunately there were no healthy sections. The land is covered with rotting algae blooms, seaweed, sea salt and waterlogged trees. Sure Noah and his wife brought seeds for their crops and maybe every tree, plant and cactus happened to put out seeds, berries, nuts and other reproductive bits at the same time that year, all of which floated and survived the flood. Unfortunately, those which were not washed into the sea as the water dropped, landed on soil that was airless and was quickly drying rock hard. Fish had eaten the worms in the soil as they left to swim to places with less dense soil which would not be found in their lifetimes and now, with the water gone it was going to be some time before anything grew on this planet except for the huge areas of land Noah and the kids needed to till to feed themselves, their domestic animals and the wild animal herbivores (large numbers of which would have been needed to feed the carnivores until the ecosystems were stable).

It should be noted that, after riding out this flood for that long, it dropped them pretty much in the same part of the planet that they left from. Not the new world, not east Asia not in the middle of the ocean where they would drift to a coast somewhere in a manner that would make the tale seem a bit more plausible, right down in Turkey - a stone's throw from Babylon (north of which would be Eden where Noah'?s ancestors supposedly came from. Babylon was a civilization which also had a similar but contradictory world flood story that no one tries to get taught in geology class for some reason).

The standard rejoinder is that with God, all things are possible but the same also applies to the human imagination. The whole boat story seems as if it is meant to make the story of the wrath of God in a giant flood seem more possible but simply sending the angel of death seems like it would have been much less of a hasle. Noah could have put some blood on his door to keep the angel away and centuries latdescendantsendants could have celebrated the day that Noah was passed over. It would not require people to believe that everything we now know about biology and ecosystems was supernaturally suspended for a few years or that there used to be huge amounts of water above the stars which came down one day and met the water from below the earth (Geologists please take notes. You will be teaching this one day.) and disappeared eventually. Everyone in the ancient world knows that water can vanish as it does when cloths dry and the content of bowls evaporate, never to be seen again. It is only we faithless mordern people who have forgotten God's word what believe in invissible water vapor and a water cycle that obeys a conservation principle. All of this is to accomplish something that could have been done far more easily (and be far easier to believe) if God had just worked smarter rather than harder. Once again our souls rest on our minds' ability to believe things that do not sound true.

Monday, May 30, 2005

A Chain Letter That is Interested in You

There seems to be this new phenomenon called "tagging" where someone answers some questions and asks five more bloggers to answer them and pass it on. This is an even more virulent meme than a chain letter because it does not require you to be gullible to spread it but just like talking about yourself. I like talking about myself so here goes.


Libertopia tagged me so I will link to his answers first HERE.

1. The number of books I've owned:

I tend to sell books after I have owned them for some time due to space and the fact that much of what I read is progressive in nature so I need to make room for new works. Also I would say that a huge portion of what I have read comes from periodicals like Scientific American, The Economist, Foreign Affairsetc. When I think about how many times I have dumped several huge stacks of those things at the hospital so they could bore people from obsteericst to the geriatric wards, It makes me realize that my thirst for knowledge has destroyed several trees. Strangely enough that does not bother me. As for the total number of books I have owned I would have to say, I have absolutely no idea.

2. Last book I bought:

The Space Between our Ears by Michael Horgan. While I preferred On Intelligence
by Jeff Hawkins with Sandra Blakeslee as a general look at neurology, and Hogan's book is a few years old now (I found it in a bargain bin) in a field that is fast moving to say the least, I found the centered focus on how the brain represents and "perceives" space to be well written, highly informative and interesting.

3. Last book I read:

I have been reading both The Space Between our Ears, and The Art of War by Sun Tzu. I have finished The Space... but I have just started The Art of War. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the work it is an ancient Taoist work for both kings and generals but it has good advice for just about every discipline. It does not glamorize war but merely treats it as a subject of study; one with such important stakes as to deserve deep consideration.

4. Five Books That Mean A lot to Me:

  • Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Both the TV series and the companion book (a weighty tome) had a profound effect on me by encouraging me to think about the size of the universe, what was possible over vast stretches of time and what civilization really is and where it might go.
  • A Brief History of Time By Stephen Hawking. What Cosmos did for my childhood, ABHOT did for my adolescence. Black holes and the beginning and end of time can be interesting subjects to say the least. People would often ask during that period, "Do you own the book?" and follow up a "yes" answer with the question "Have read it?" While I do have to admit that I needed to read it three times to get most of it (I was a young teenager trying to comprehend theoretical physics - cut me some slack) I enjoyed it each time and learned something each time.
  • Out of Controlby Kevin Kelly. This book first exposed me to the idea that live is a technology - the ultimate technology according to some though I think intelligence deserves that distinction - and that principles of this technology were applicable outside of biology.
  • Fire in the Brain: Clinical Tales of Hallucination. This was the first book I read that I would think of as being on the subject of neurology. The author uses case studies of people who experience hallucinations from mental illness, drug abuse, brain trauma/damage, torture flashbacks and even does a brain scan of a girl with a particularly vivid imaginary friend. It is one of the first exposure to the concept of learning about the regular state of a system by looking at the system when it is not in its regular state.
  • On intelligence by Jeff Hawkins. While I mentioned it before I must say it had an effect on me because it gave me the impression that Intelligence and the brain could be, in part at least, understood. I have continued to look at new discoveries and asked myself if it looks like they confirm, disprove or are neutral towards his views. As far as I can tell I have yet to see any of them disprove him. There even seem to be people who are working along similar lines in practical matters of computer science.
5. Tag five people and have them do this on their blog:

The number of people who would read this blog enough to tag would probably not total five and some of those would have already participated so here is what I will do. Anyone who reads this and wants to participate can post their web or blog site in the comments section. Therefore, if it is an exciting subject, lots people will do it and if it is not interesting, blogosphereic selection will cull it from the net.


I was also tagged about the following:

List five things that I don'?t "?get"?, but my friends and/or family does.

Actually, while my family and friends quite intelligent (for the most part), I tend to be the one to "get" or comprehend attraction of something at least in the abstract even if it does not help me to understand.

I guess that "not getting things" or "not even trying to get things even for the sake of understanding it" are my only ones. Everyone else seems to be fine with dismissing things as nonsense or stupid or evil without even caring about what the real motivation or reasoning is. Most people seem to think that understanding something is the same as encouraging and excusing it so if you don't like something you should never try to understand it. I don't get that.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Is your religion mainstream enough to expose your children to? Not if you are a Wiccan in Indianapolis. Now everyone knows that this judge has no leg to stand on with this. He was either smoking crack in his chambers or is being blackmailed by some snakehandler preacher who has pictures of him with an elephant seal in a seedy hotel room. But a win is a win for fundamentalists.

Once this goes to the supremes and they have to strike it down, Frist and Delay can cry about judicial activists even though anyone with half a brain can see that a court barring a parent from teaching their child their religion is so unconstitutional as to call the sanity of the judiciary of
Indiana into question. Since Wicca is the fastest growing religion in North America they will have to either drop the Spanish inquisition mindset or start dropping Christian sects from constitutional protection as Wicca surpasses them. If you assume that the Wiccan fraction is the cut off point to be considered mainstream then many non-Christian sects like Scientology are already "illegally" exposing their kids to their faith, though, given the corporate structure of that group, child labour laws may be more appropriate then any religious litmus tests (I call no lawsuits! Can't tag the butcher!). But the Unitarians, while apparently growing in number are only at double the number for Wiccans and if Wicca is growing as fast as demographers claim they had better have their children now if they want to raise them in their faith. Once the pagans eclipses them they are out of here.

Buddhists and Muslims have some more breathing room but only a little. They are each five times as large as the Wiccans but at 0.5% of the U.S. population they should hope that the definition of mainstream does not get much stricter. It may not matter, if the constitution gets torn up to protect it from "activist judges" they can just draw the line at anyone who is not a Baptist. There are enough forms of Baptist to still make the claim to being a religiously free nation even if just under 50% don't think so. If the Jedi religion merges with the Wiccans and technopagans the Baptists will really be sweating. Imagine three fast growing minorities merging into a single group composed of hackers with lightsabers and mistletoe. That even makes me nervous.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The BBC Record is Stuck. Still

The title of the BBC article is "Iraqi living standards 'plummet'" people skimming the headlines will shake their heads and say that it is perfect proof that the U.S. presence is causing the country to spiral out of control. This is not long after NBC nightly news quoted a government memo (another one) from an unnamed government official (another one, or possibly the same one who did not see but thought they saw a memo about a report on a sewer bound Koran) as declaring that Iraq was in a state of civil war.

Funny how there can be a civil war going on with only one news agency noticing. Is it still on? Where is the front line located? So many questions, so few journalists. The media have stopped showing footage of Iraq during the day because the site of cars and markets is confusing to the viewers. Night footage helps convey the fact that nearly all Iraqis are now dead and only the most violent survivors patrol the streets in a Mad Max kind of world while the dogs and the journalists (both of them) sneak across the post apocalyptic landscape at night.

Wonderful article but I might point out a few things to people who were too depressed by the headline to click on the article.

The living standards which the BBC says have plummeted are measured over the last 25 years. They even grudgingly admit that part of that problem may kind have been caused by factors that predate the invasion.

Another thing I would like to point out is that the BBC seems to have, in all good faith, seems to have... shall we say, not noticed something:

"Iraqis living in Baghdad, for example, now only have about ten hours of electricity each day, half of what they enjoyed in 2003."

You see, during Saddam's time, he had some tasks that required electricity. Things like bathing yourself in riches while your country starves and running a totalitarian state require a certain amount of electricity so he had the grid set up in such a way that most of the countries electricity was directed to Baghdad and very few people living near the power plants had electricity service anything like what was being delivered to Baghdad and even at that the BBC admits (accidentally) that back in the pre-American glory days they were getting only 20 hours a day. Either the BBC reporters and editors don't know this which means they don't have anyone on staff who researches Iraq (Hell even I knew this) or they knew and did not think this information was necessary for its readers to grasp the editorial bent they were trying to get across.

They end the article with a series of displays showing the crappy state of the infrastructure in different parts of Iraq. There is no sense of how the rates have changed over time. Even a estimate would have given a sense of whether or not the reconstruction was actually the complete failure they are making it out to be. I guess that once again we are not in a need to know position as far as the BBC is concerned. I wonder why such records are not available from the Saddam era? Could it be that the regime just did not care about who had services and who did not?

I suppose that when it comes to stories which a news organization is emotional about they just can not even try to be objective. It is a shame that some of those journalism schools could not try to instill a respect for truth in its students. For them balance is when you give truth and lies equal respect and the motto is "If you can't say something nasty about something it does not exist".

As for how the media which certainly "supports the troupes" I would like to link to the words of one of the armed forces about what he thinks about the media.

For some news about Iraq that you will not generally see on the news, try Portal Al Iraqi or Chrenkoff's Good News from Iraq - part 25 or you could read some of the Iraqi blogs (Saddam was never one for encouraging the internet in the areas of Baghdad which "enjoyed" 20 hours of electricity but strangely enough many Iraqis are having their say. This site has a good blogroll of Iraqi sites for English language speakers. But then maybe the BBC does a good enough job of tracking down the opinions of Iraqis. They could not do any worse than they do at reporting the facts.

Cutting Edge Koreans

Well, the Koreans have dropped a bombshell and it is not nuclear and it is not the North Koreans. You just had to know that a nation with such high bandwidth penetration, densely urbanized and educated population and some disposable income to kick around was going to be a force to be recognized. Plus they have a lot of video gamers and we all know that they are a superior life form regardless of what the horrid yet dwindling mass minority of ungamed cretins may think (if you are an ungamed cretin, my apologies for offending you, perhaps we could make more of an effort to produce more remedial games to help the digitally challenged like yourselves :-)

Where was I... Oh yes, Korea. While the people in the North are barely subsisting on charity aid from the evil Western and Asian conspirators because the great cult of the commie nut-bucket is busy trying to micro manage every aspect of life from hair-cuts to horse shit timing and otherwise killing time before the next famine, the south is doing the heavy lifting of civilization that the west quivers at, specifically in this case, pursuing medical research.

Now George Bush, many Republicans and countless bio-ethicists (they are the ones with clerical collars, crucifixes and bibles handy but with no biology training; lots of credentials like theology, philosophy ant thinkology but they get their biology training from Jack Chick) have immediately condemned the Korean research. They then hurried off to find someone who could explain to them what it actually was and why exactly they were against it.

What is really interesting about this controversy is that it marks a complete 180 degree turn for the pro-life and bio-ethicists. They have not actually followed through with the reasoning yet but they must effectively give up on the idea that life begins at conception. The Korean experiments do not involve conception in any way.

During conception, a gamete (a specialized reproductive cell which in mammals has half the normal number of chromosomes) from one organism fuses with another gamete, usually from the same species but from a separate organism, to form a "fertilized" cell which is diploid - meaning it has the full double set of chromosomes that will be inherited by every successive body cell except those which become the next generation of gametes (again we are dealing with mammals because my knowledge of worm and jellyfish reproduction is far from complete and I imagine that it is human conception that bio-ethicists/evangelicals are jumping about). The egg cells used in the experiment have not been fertilized via conception because they can not be. They have had their chromosomes removed; they are not haploid gametes, they are not even, strictly speaking fully eukaryotic cells (of which all human, animal plant and fungi are composed). They would even lack the standing of living cells because they can not divide, metabolize, grow or repair.

The nucleus of the so-called cloned human does not fertilize anything; it is diploid to begin with, diploid after and contains the same genes that it had before with no crossover events, no random sorting of chromosomes nothing that makes it a gamete. It is an Apesnake nuclei before the transfer, it is an Apesnake nuclei after. Period.

If none of the defining characteristics of conception are present, yet a new life is supposed to have been created, Live does not begin at conception. In order for the anti- therapeutic cloning argument to make sense, (there is of course never any real burden on people these days to make sense but that is a different issue) life must begin before conception. While this makes the Roman Catholic church's position against birth control and masturbation somewhat more understandable (every sperm is sacred) it does not make it any less bizarre.

I wonder when the religious groups are going to get tired of being wrong about EVERYTHING, ALWAYS, ALL THE TIME, WITHOUT A SINGLE EXCEPTION! You know... slavery, segregation, "social justice" (aka supporting tariffs, socialism and poverty), creationism/ID, the concept of homosexuality being of demonic supernatural origin, the idea of life beginning at conception, the belief that the American founding fathers were all theocrats (rather than the atheists, deists and secularists which they actually were) and that priest who are sexually abusing children should be shuffled around so that they can have "an eye kept on them" rather than just turning them over to the cops and firing sick hides. Oh and the belief that no teenager or young adult or, hell anyone should know factual information about sex, sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy or any other biological process, I almost forgot about that one. Now globalization treats us to the spectacle of religious organizations from around the world being wrong about everything. Like staging a riot over the alleged treatment of one or two of their holy books; a riot which kills their own people while not batting an eye over sectarian violence which burns down mosques and results in the destruction of hundreds of copies of the same book.

I am sure that religious experts from around the world are even now scouring trends and current events, looking out for that next new thing to be wrong about. I have no doubt that before most of us have even heard of an issue, church groups will have formed an organized wrong response to it. Who says organized religion can't keep up with the times.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Lots of Positive Things Which Have No Connection.

1) Have you ever wanted a personal elevator? What about just having the opportunity to be naked in a big plastic tube? Maybe this is for you.

2) As a Canadian it is a ritual of spring to watch lane after lane of traffic shut down while the lines which were scoured away by winter salt and sand are painted back on. Once the lines look nice, the potholes are filled which temporarily cover the lines and then lines and patches are torn up along with the road as the damage from frost heaves is repaired by a complete resurfacing. I have always wished that someone would do a little research into engineering roads that last longer than a cheap pair of socks. If the Romans could make roads that are still in use today, surely... But then there need to be temporary seasonal work for road repair crews to distract them from the fact that if we were not spending all this money on roads we might be able to build some infrastructure. Well shiver me timbers they have come out with bendable concrete. The only problem is that it is only cheaper in the long-term as it does not need to be replaced as often. Since public works budgets don't operate on a long-term basis it will probably never be used for public roads and highways. But it should be useful enough to improve the private construction industry. Now if they can just find a way to keep the snow off the road we could save huge amounts of money.

3) One of the biggest let downs to those of us who were science and or technology geeks in the late 1980's is that the room temperature superconductor has not come out and changed the world. Advances in superconductors, and more crucially, methods of keeping them cool in the real world environments have made short distance and high load electrical "pipes" possible by pumping cryofluids down lengths of 'pipe wire' but the hand held MRI machines and near zero resistance power lines are not in the near future. But for some uses a better conductor could bring about huge changes while we wait. With these, we know they can exist, all we need is a way to make them long enough. That is what this project is about. It has a much better near term likelihood because its chemical structure is known. Not to mention that nanotubes have lots of great properties for everything from molecular computers to building and product materials.

4) More good news for those who study
ancient civilizations. While restoring a Christian era Ethiopian obelisk to its original site after a long stay in Rome, a set of vast pre Christian era funerary chambers were found. Other such finds had already been looted but this one remains unpillaged. Also, one knock-out of a mummy was discovered in Egypt recently. Every time finds like these are made, one of the greatest hopes is that the increase in hieroglyphics and imagery will add to our knowledge of their mythology and society, though missing pieces of their history are also often supplied by common household technology and tools. You never know when some simple new piece of information will open a window on something that was never suspected about these civilizations. One more story about ancient civilizations is the newest technologies being used to see below the ground before a shovel hits the dirt. It might not be too long before shovels are the last tool used rather than the first. With new aerial and satellite imaging making the invisible visible, we will soon see huge portions of human history made plain to modern minds.

5)Will nations like China, who want to have all the benefits of a technological society but who can just not bring themselves to allow people to communicate freely, be able to maintain the Chinese firewall when people are
sending jpegs and audio files while they play video games. Are they going to have all video games run through central servers with people constantly watching to see if anything subversive gets through as they try to do with other forms of electronic expression? It sounds pretty laughable but then banning all video games while hoping to attract I.T. businesses to your country is pretty laughable too. (No offence to Greece which tried banning video games in the attempt to combat online gambling - He he he!) This is just about the Xbox right now but how long will it be before someone makes an open source PC application that does the same thing?

6) They have
Zarqawi's computer. They have this charming soul. The end of Al-Qaeda, when it comes will not make the world free from terrorism (God knows that my people - the Irish - are still about.) but it will make it a much nicer place. Then we can get back to worrying about the neo-Nazis, the Christian Dominionists and the Maoist. To update, someone claiming to be Zarqari made some statements which I initially thought were so stupid that they had to be a hoax but when I read them in context sounded like how Z-man would probably try to justify his actions.

7) I have always wanted to switch to Linux but I never thought that using Windows and Linux on the same machine was practical given my experience with P.C. emulators at work. I am a bit of a gamer after all so Windows is kind of necessary. Intel may be on to a solution though. On a larger scale, the open source movement is finding converts in science, industry and just about every project that anyone is working on anywhere. Open source combines the entrepreneurial spirit with the "compassionate" mentality that until now lead people to the socialist nonsense. Perhaps, combining these two human traits can unleash a lot more of humanity's potential.

8) When the Republicans came back to power the military thought that the good times were back. It turns out that they were just as civilian as the last lot. While the military was a professional high-tech organization which had kicked ass in Desert Storm v1.0 and who's leaders read The Art of War by Sun Tzu ( a book which I am currently enjoying) the new Republican administration were draft dodging Vietnam era civilians who were reading Curious George flings his Poo by... Ok there was never a Curious George book by that name but it would have been cool. Anyway -

Now the Republicans are trying to cut the military off at the knees by cutting bases (okay maybe there is a need for that but it can not be going down well in the towns which loss their base) and now trying to ditch the chicks. Now if you move out of the "Jesus hates ladies" area of the country and ask the military they will say that the women who they are trying to ban are doing a great job but politicians are not the type to listen to those who ought to know better. (Like geologists know how old the earth is or biologists know anything about biology or the army knows about army stuff- ha, the hubris) Until know everything in this post has been good news. Why the change? Because this is good news. The military is learning that it can not trust Christian fundamentalists to be their best friends. While they are trying to make sure new recruits are Christian as all hell (pun intended)

Limbaugh embarrasses himself. Whether you are on the right or the left this is always good news if you care about intellectual discourse.

10) Here is a cheap way to filter your water and here is a cheap way to keep your veggies cool. Both developments have the potential to save poor people time, money, and prevent health problems. Good for them.

They Violated Saddam's Privacy. Um... So?

I find it amazing that so many people, even people who I would normally consider to be sensible emotionally balanced folk, are hurt and outraged that Saddam was photographed in his grandma undies.

"Oh sure" they will say, "he sucks and everything but no one should be humiliated."

Let us review some items in his biography.

  • Mass murderer - Not just the burst into your home and kill you quickly. He also enjoyed the "round them up put them in prison and make them wait for execution" style mass murder. Oh, and the ever popular "expose them to poison gas so that they die an agonizing painful gasping death with their children in their arms" kind of mass murder.
  • Torture - Both physical and psychological, sometimes both at once. Like when he would force doctors to remove a prisoner's ear so that everyone would know he was an enemy of the state. No woman would marry someone with the ear chopped off and if they would be willing her relatives would never allow it. No employer would hire an enemy of the state. You would not get service at a shop. Your live was effectively over; it was execution by suicide. I first heard of this when a former army officer was interviewed on the news. He made the mistake of complaining aloud in a market that all the best produce was reserved for the Baath party officials. If you can not feel any sympathy for people like this, think about the doctors. For some reason the regime wanted this done as a surgery. (They probably didn't want the people dying before they could be an example in their community) These doctors go in to medicine hoping to help people and are ordered to do this, knowing what this will mean and knowing that if they do not they will either meet the same fate or leave their children without a father. I have a family member who is a doctor. I could not imagine having sympathy for anyone who would give him that choice - certainly not over a candid Calvin Klein ad (he still looked pretty well fed). And in case anyone says that the U.S. uses third countries to do torture for it, I would like to remind you that either torture is wrong or it is not. If we ever see Bush in his undies (shudder) we can talk about him then. This is Saddam's karma we are dealing with. And the fact that the U.S. supported him in the past is irrelevant. They certainly did not ask him to be a sub human monster, that was his choice and if he did not like the subsequent treatment he should have thought twice about accepting Uncle Sam's support in the first place. Frankly the fact that the U.S. propped him up during the cold war, which allowed him to make himself a mythical object of fear is more of an argument for them to kick the supports out from under him when they are done, both literally and metaphorically. If you have to go camping on someone else's land you should at least clean up your trash when you are done.
  • Systematic campaigns of fear, intimidation and cruelty that rivals the most practiced of twentieth century autocrats
  • He let his two sons do all the same things he did plus the added charm that one of them was a serial rapist, in a culture where victims of rape are often blamed for the act. This make the fact that people are complaining about him being shown in his droopy drawers is a violation seem even more incomprehensible.

Maybe I am all turned around on this. It always seems that people have so much sympathy and mercy and compassion for the bullies and thugs of the world and such contempt for the weak the meek and the innocent. Perhaps there is such a limited supply of compassion in the world that if we spared it for those who deserve it it will be spread vanishingly thin. If it is reserved for the elite, those who can capture it by hook or by crook, it would be more evident in our world.

Or maybe the phrase "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth" is not a teaching but a warning. Down with the meek! The innocent are a subversive threat.

Or maybe humanity just has its priorities stuck some place warm for safe keeping. It might be time to pull them out, wipe them off, and put them to use.

It is just a lingerie shot. Lets not go nuts. (Lets not see them either for God's sake!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The weird looking thing is Che Guevara. (Part of him at least.) He is no friend of mine but he has a distinctive look. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Germany tries for Title of 'Earth's Stupidest Nation'

There are a lot of contenders but Germany has broken into the lead with a retro goose-step into bygone days.

This was the same country where the gay community were worried that if the zookeepers knew which penguins were gay they would use that information to trample the birds' civil rights.

Looks like they should have spent more time promoting civil rights for humans. They need not worry though, Nazis always come for the Jews and foreigners first so the gay community can get all the penguins to safety before they need to worry. Perhaps they could just paint over the black feathers and tell the Nazis that they are seagulls. Nazis are stupid enough to believe anything. Especially today's crop. Not exactly military geniuses and experts in social engineering. Today's Nazi is more like

Posted by Hello

clones of Beavis and Butthead after a trip to Chernobyl. Notice how 3 of them have their mouths open - this poster was done for a skinhead audience hoping to make themselves look heroic. Let us make some observations. The guy on the far right (no pun intended) is playing with his nipple while making an obscene facial expression. God only knows where his other hand is. The guy next to him is helping out by pointing. (Probably the brains of the outfit.) The guy in the foreground is leading the charge by standing still. He has started punching before there is anyone close enough to hit. (Why waste time, Nazis are nothing if not efficient.) Peter Pan-zer (second from left) has learned to fly and is readying his hand to shoot lightning like the emperor in Return of the Jedi. And the guy on the far left has a club. He must be the guy who keeps the group informed about the latest technologies. Only two of them seem to have figured out how suspenders work. All of them seem to be constantly wading through something which they don't want touching their pant cuffs, possibly their own horse-shit.

The poster is called (snicker) Skinhead Glory and the description on the site which sells it is pretty funny in its own right:

Radiating courage (I think it is radiating from their slack-jawed mouths but that might just be halitosis)

Impact: A Skinhead can tell you what glory he feels and what purity he embodies. (I am sure he can though not with multi-syllabic words.) In defending his home, neighborhood and homeland his patriotism really radiates, (from whichever orifice the courage is radiating from no doubt) as he offers strength courage, brotherhood, hope and victory to his compatriots and countrymen. (Thanks for the free offer but the product is defective. Please return to sender.)
Now just as not all Germans are Nazis, to be fair, not all Nazis are bald. They do seem to manage to scare up several

over-stuffed Bavarians
who can scrape together enough hair follicles to look (almost) respectable.

What should Germany get if it elects a fascist party and thus wins the title of 'Earth's Stupidest Nation'? How about we cryogenicly freeze their governments and supporters. As they thaw out it will mitigate global warming and by the time they can lift a frosty "Zig heil" again they will be centuries behind the rest of the world. They will be a bunch of anachronistic primitives, alone in a world they don't understand...

Wait a minute, maybe that already happened. Perhaps it was a condition of the end of the second world war and they are thawing out early. Ok which allied nation forgot to pay the electric bill on the Nazi freezer? Oh crap, that was the Soviet Union's job wasn't it? Damn Soviets can't get anything right.

I'm talkin' about you Putin! I know you're reading this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Now THIS Is Foolish. But Funny


It seems bigger than mine.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Is it Foolish to Believe in Supernatural Phenomenon?

Foolish or non-foolish. That is the question.

No, it is not foolish but I believe that it is the wrong choice. Isaac Newton was a well educated and inspired genius. It is not possible for me to call him foolish even though he persuaded several lines of inquiry which I and most scientifically minded people would say had no basis in reality.

But is belief in extra natural or supernatural or paranatural (whatever it is called) helpful?

First off, I would have to specify what I would consider to be extra natural, supernatural or what have you. The natural description of the world is not a single level system of causes and effects. The actions of a person for instance are described by psychology, neurology, logic, and various other models. They must be put in context of the laws of the land, the culture of his society and other factors. Now the brain is a physical system and the information it holds and processes is dependent on its material state. Ram a metal bar through someone's frontal lobe (as with Phineas Gage) and they will not be the person they were before. And yet, if we try to use a completely physical and chemical description of the brain, we will not be successful in describing a person. It is not just the difficulty of calculating the chemical state from one moment to the next but that, without the higher level model of neurology which includes concepts of information, neural firing patterns, model making, predictions etc., and the even higher level of psychology with its motivations, stresses, learning, memories, emotions and desires, you can not make any sense of what the chemistry tells you. All you have is the chemical state of a system, with no use as a predictive model.

As an aside, this brings about the obvious question about determinism. There are two very important concepts in science: the concept of a state (the conditions of a system at a particular time) and that of laws which govern how the state changes over time. Science has always known that the laws affect the state of the system but there are now scientists who propose that the state of the system affects the laws themselves. (I believe I was reading about this in a New Scientist article so I will credit them in case I use too many of their ideas.) For instance a pan of water when heated will produce hexagonal convection patterns of rising and falling water. The individual molecules are following a "deterministic/probabilistic" set of laws. They gain heat - they move faster, they loose heat - they slow down. When they crash into each other they bounce off at an angle governed by quantum physics and it's probabilistic nature. Nothing in the description of their movements predicts the orderly behavior of hexagonal patterns. But there are laws which govern the movement of large amounts of particles when they interact. They describe the densities of gases and fluids as they change temperatures and while they are a consequence of the simple behavior of the parts, they are not deducible from them or even fully dependent on them. A gas will have the same pressure if you switch its atoms around and a liquid will not change it's viscosity merely by altering the position of its atoms. The laws of the system are influenced by the large number of parts interacting (the state). While the state obeys new rules it does this without disobeying the lower rules. Nothing in quantum physics says water molecules can not move in any direction and collide with whoever they want. Deterministic laws do not necessarily mandate a deterministic universe.

Are there levels of laws or special states which have not been described by todays science? I would be surprised if there were not. Are there other systems (universes) with other laws and exhibiting other states in existence? Very possibly. After all, this world we live in is obviously possible so we can at least assume that other nearly identical universes are possible. Is there an experiment that someone could do to tell if they were living in a universe which was real and actual as we assume ours is and one that is merely possible? If not is there a difference between possible and actual? (Ok, too many philosophical questions, my brain hurts. Back to the topic.) The difficulty arises when we say that, because there may be laws and states and universes which are not yet part of our model of the world, we can appeal to them as explanations for things before they are even discovered.

The concept of extra natural phenomena requires we actually talk about a natural phenomena with a supernatural or extra natural cause. We need to see something or hear something... sound or light or maybe just an experience at the the neural level. Perhaps the neurons in our vision centers fire for no explainable reason so that we see a mysterious light that no on else would be able to see or something happens in our temporal lobe where we spontaneously loose the sensation of time and space and we are left with the feeling that time and space are an illusion.

The central property for a phenomena to be considered as non-natural is that the cause must not be of a natural nature. (Sorry) The neural event can not be caused by a stray magnetic field or an excess of blood to the temporal lobe. A slamming door in the haunted house can not be wind or a sudden shift of balance due to frost heaving. Otherwise it is only being attributed to a non natural cause and is in actuality natural. Let us not get bogged down in what might be the properties of a supernatural or extra natural system. However, in order to speak about an extra natural world, we would need to suppose that this second system must in someway be different from the first or else it is just the natural world again. Hexagonal convection patterns in water would not qualify as extra natural because they are an unpredictable yet inevitable result of natural causes.

Believing in supernatural causes takes as a supposition that there are these two systems which usually seem to be completely unconnected. In the natural world for example, events that are probable happen often and events which are improbable happen rarely; matter behaves in a manner that is so consistent that we can model it and make predictions about it. People can not move against gravity without effort or assistance or pass through the same space as the walls of a building. The laws that the natural system follow may be at the level of atoms or the level of the ideal gas law or of psychology but since all of these are part of the same "natural" description of the universe we do not need to use another system to describe them.

Now we have these two suppositions:

1) There are two systems which differ in some manner; in the rules they follow, in our ability to make models and predictions about them... Whatever.

2) They must interact on occasion in order for there to be an extra natural phenomenon to discuss.

The problem is, as I see it, that in order to justify the devision of reality into two separate but interacting realms, you need to attribute some of the observations of effects in the natural world to the causes of the non natural world or else there is no need for one to believe in this non natural world. The reason this is a problem is that it seems to always yield the wrong answers. A good example would be lightning.

Every culture has had myths to explain lightning. Then Ben Franklin came along and everyone assumed that we now had a good natural explanation for lightning; It is the same phenomenon as the spark you get off door knobs. In the twentieth century however, have noticed something odd. The whether balloons in thunder clouds never observe the kinds of charge differentials needed to ionize the air. It requires a large voltage (3 million volts) to get the atoms over a small distance (one meter) to conduct electricity which is why static rarely jumps across the room at us. If we are strongly committed to look for natural causes first, we will simply accept that our model of lightning is incomplete. We know there are high charges in clouds, we just don't know why they are able to make the jump across the atmosphere. Keep studying the phenomena and some extra bit of information may be found to shed light on things.

If however, we are willing to attribute phenomena to either natural or extra natural causes we would say that since we have exhausted all natural causes for the arcing, the only available answer must be that there is a supernatural cause.

Over time some researchers tried out theories about a "cascade of electrons", triggered by cosmic rays hitting atoms in the air which released showers of particles, just like those observed in a particle accelerator. This alone would not be enough to cause lightning to arc so at first the theory was not widely accepted. After sometime, other researchers decided to simulate how these released electrons would behave in the charged environment of a thunder cloud. They found that they would be accelerated (generally downwards because of the cloud's polarity) and that the acceleration would be so great as to make the "electrical drag" of the air molecules less effective, meaning that they could be accelerated even faster. Soon, the model says, these electrons slam into more atoms just as the original cosmic ray did, with all the extra energy imparted from acceleration and - BAM - more electrons to accelerate. An electron avalanche is a good way of looking at it, with the charge difference playing the role of gravity, electrons for snow flakes and a cosmic ray as the skier who starts the whole thing. What would result is that there is an electrical current, moving through the air called a leader which is in effect a lightning rod in the sky, After that the charge in the sky is connected to the opposite charge in the ground which, in short order gets the current accelerating until the air completely ionizes in a flash of sound, light and impressiveness.

Theory requires that the electrons produce x-rays, which have indeed been discovered and I believe that they were doing other tests to look for a correlation between detecting cosmic ray 'fallout' and lightning strikes.

There was no reason to fault the hypothetical scientist with the belief in a non-natural cause. After all there was no natural cause available and no one had any suggestions for one at first. Even when one was put forward it was flawed. Cosmic rays could not account for the number and speed of electrons needed to bridge the gap. For the scientist who believes in the non natural cause, the early cosmic ray hypothesis would really look like the result of a closed minded naturalist grasping at straws.

The development of the naturalistic world view is a constant story of finding that phenomena which we previously thought to be supernatural can actually be described as a result of natural causes.

The task of making sense of the world through pure logic is so immense that even supercomputers can't use logic to interpret even a small part of it. Functional intelligence requires a large amount of pattern recognition to make models of the world around us. It is thus not "foolish" to see connections that are not there but a bi product of our normal brain function. I do feel though that it makes sense to always try to see if a new observation can fit into our natural description of the world without producing logical inconsistencies or massively improbable hypotheses. Since we are not born with perfect understanding of probability this can be tricky. It is estimated that an event with a one million to one probability happens to each of us an average once month. Most of them go unnoticed but when we notice them we give them too much importance.

If we can not fit an observation in our existing natural description it would seem to make more sense to see if the model could be easily adjusted to accommodate the new observation and failing that, it would seem to be more useful to claim ignorance and keep the observation in mind until some future information or ideas can be discovered. Appealing to a completely different description of reality; a super natural model should be our last resort and it would require that something could be said about the new model other than that it is mysterious or unknowable. If something is unknowable it can not be included in knowledge.

In closing I will mention that many of the things which are described as extra natural like hauntings or psychic powers are not even deserving of the title. If conclusive proof of these phenomenon was discovered tomorrow scientists would easily be able to start hypothesizing natural descriptions for them. It is only the lack of such conclusive proof that prevents most scientist from bothering. Indeed many paranormal researchers do this but then fail to use the hypothesis to make any verifiable predictions. I certainly think that our description of the universe has a long way to go before being considered complete (if that is even possible - if ignorance is infinite than intelligence could conceivably grow infinitely large without ever conquering it.). But I have yet to discover any reason to suppose that our growing natural description of it is in anyway unsuitable or in need of a twin.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Kansas Beating a Dead Horse and Cloning It and Beating It To Death Again.

I am not sure who Pitch.com is or what its editorial leanings are but they have done their homework on the Kansas Kangaroo court. It is too bad to hear that creationists have completely won complete control of Turkey (if they can call what they have done a victory).

There are many interesting bits in this article but I have two favorites:

"Great! Congratulations! I mean, that is the point, once people start to see science more objectively."
You will need to read the forgoing in the context of the article to see why it is of interest.

"We are not going to give up until the standards say what we want them to say," Martin told the paper. "Evolution has been proven false. ID is science-based and strong in facts."
Lovely. This whole spectacle will result in one interesting consequence. It will make many young people realize that powerful elements in Christianity, indeed in religion as a whole have been issuing an ultimatum lately - You can have faith in God or evolution, not both. The Christians and Muslims who are manufacturing this dichotomy seem to be very confident that everyone will choose faith; that those who consider themselves Good Christians and Muslims and who believe in evolution will choose their faith over what is "just a theory". Place your bets ladies and gentlemen, the future viability of the faiths is at stake. Winner take all.

Similar wager-ultimatums are being issued over homosexuality, abortion, stem cells, euthanasia, that nasty old rock and roll music. High stakes indeed. It seems that some have decided to steer the religion towards the end. If they get their way, either this world will become a Godly kingdom forever more or it will be the last century of their faiths. It is strange that it is 'people of faithful' themselves who are responsible for this 'put up or shut up' mentality. Meanwhile, the rest of the religious world has to sit back and pray that these people know what they are doing while atheists pray that they don't.

Bush Says Atheists Can Be Citizens Again!

No one mentioned this to me but... Hooray!

But then the only change is a few neurons in the president's speech centers.

Bush no longer thinks that you can not be a patriot or a citizen if you are an atheist. Funny how term limits can divorce you from the views of your most extreme supporters. I wonder if the 'church and state' Christians out there will ever catch on to the fact that Bush has taken them for a ride.

Now George steps back a bit towards secularism and when the followers loose confidence in his Bible credibility, they hitch their wagons to a new generation like Frist and Delay. They get imprinted on the new guys like goslings to any moving object in time for the next nomination committee when one of them becomes the 'faith based candidate' for 2008. You almost have to admire the guy.

It's the circle of life.

Private Lives

Mayor Jim West is a former state senator and current mayor of Spokane.
He is a conservative Republican.
He has opposed gay rights.
He has opposed teenage sex.

He wishes to keep his relations with people he contacted through Gay.com private.
He is said to have believed that one of those he contacted was eight-teen.

One just can not help wonder just how common this is. Is it possible that the left-wing conspiracies are right? Are a significant fraction of the opponents of gay rights either in the closet or in denial? If new methods of lie detection became more reliable than the current poly-crap tests, would the actual straight opponents of gay rights want to use it to weed out the weak links in their religious and political organizations or would they be worried about loosing too much support by outing their own. It might depend on whether or not the lie detectors focused on voice and infrared facial signatures rather consensual tests like brain waves or MRIs.
Even if these new tests are not accepted as proof, they could be used to find out if certain ministers and senators who harp about morals need to have some looking in to. Not that I would support that but I could scarcely believe that every person on either side of the divide would be above it and if their investigators turn up Jim West hypocrisy how many media outlets would care about how the information was obtained.

Of course lots of people will overlook all the important parts of this story and think that since he sought adult (barley) gay relationships as well as (allegedly) pedophilic ones connects homosexuality with pedophilia. The fact that lots of pedophiles prey exclusively on little girls while having adult relations somehow does not lead to the same conclusion. Logic is hard.

I wonder if Jim West will decide to abstain (he he) from discussions about gay rights in order to keep his private life private. I wonder if he will start advocating privacy rights now that his interests are involved.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Conservative People of Faith Wanted to be American Judges

Hang on, they'll be right over.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hopeful Signs

(Thanks to WorldChanging.com for pointing to the story.)

You can control the media, shut down web servers, monitor the telephone lines, scan the e-mail and throw people in jail for what they say but there is always a network - somewhere. Somewhere people are outside your control, and they are talking. Truth can only be suppressed and denied. It can not be can not be made 'untrue' outside the fevered mind of the delusional.

"Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin -- more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man."

Bertrand Russell.

Freeman and His Laser-Like Criticism.

I guess my answer to his comments were unsatisfactory to freeman because he decided to extend his criticism (of a sort) to his blog with this article. It is a piece which expresses his disapproval for three groups which he feels (more like 'asserts' than 'feels')

"are in collusion with Uncle Sam"

I assume he means that I am an unwitting dupe in my collusion and not that I am secretly working for their covert Internet propaganda department. (Not that there is such a thing... He he, I've said too much haven't I?) I would appear to be in his third group namely:

"State capitalists who falsely claim to be free marketeers"

State capitalism seems to have several definitions from the preceding link to that which freeman gives; one which needs to be extracted from his analogy of a person with broken legs, the government breaking legs, and various attitudes towards crutches. Most of the definitions sound like China or Russia where state monopolies and private companies are so corrupted and entwined that you can't tell where one leaves off and the next starts. While this applies to some companies/political figures like Cheney/Halliburton, the idea that I support a state capitalism model because I am in favor for overthrowing regimes which cut off your ear to mark you in society as an enemy of the state is enough of a stretch to require some explanation. I don't remember being in favor of Russian or Chinese style crony capitalism but I had better re-read some of my old posts. He may know me better than I know myself. Then again he may be reading an awful lot into the fact that I don't oppose the war in Iraq or the reconstruction efforts.

I will post a quote from the article and throw my 2 cents in as well.

"Among the three groups listed above that are in collusion with Uncle Sam, the latter two..."

That would be the honest hard core state capitalist (Republicans) and people like me, state capitalists in denial.

"seem to be especially hostile to those people who steadfastly adhere to the principled promotion of free markets and individual liberty,"

That would be him. He is steadfast in his adherence. We who are not steadfast are hostile to those people like him. This "hostility" may be because I disagreed with him or because I defended my beliefs in response to his comments on my blog. Either way I must learn to be less hostile. I could start by disabling my computer's sarcasm key but I will need to read the manual for that.

"which of course involves condemning all of Uncle Sam's leg breaking excursions, both here and abroad."

Of course being steadfast involves such condemnation. Freeman said it does. What, you need reasons or something? Condemning Baathist leg breaking is someone else's concern. After all what goes on in other countries does not affect our liberty (With the exception of activities in Afghanistan resulting in the patriot act, repeated attempts to get people finger printed at the Canadian border, the government mandating that large amounts of personal data be kept on you in an easily obtainable and abusable form etc. But really how many rogue nations have the power to affect the West the way Afghanistan did?).

"It's amusing to notice these statists who love the leash around their necks..."

We love it do we? He know us so well, the kinky devil.

"defend their masters by barking various slanderous sophisms at those who resent their masters and wish to break free entirely from their leashes. Do they really love their masters that much, or do they just have a serious flea problem or something?"

Humor! (of a sort) Finally something to come out of freeman which I can respect (at least in the attempt).

"Maybe there's another angle to it that I'm just not picking up on."

I think that last bit is a pretty safe bet. Understanding someone's point of view, even well enough to criticize it does not seem to be freeman's strong point. But then it requires much less effort to make sense of the world if you break everything down into simple terms and simple motivations.*

"Whether it be puppy dogs, apesnakes..."

Free plug! Thanks!

"or whomever, it seems that certain critters just seem inclined to bow to authority, even if they like to fancy themselves as being otherwise."

I am bowing now? I certainly can't accuse freeman of "barking... slanderous sophisms" because to be a sophism something must at least sound plausible while being wrong. Well I don't want to look like I am bowing to authority especially in the eyes of... some guy on the Internet.

I had better get in my time machine, go back and be against the war. Better yet I should fight against Uncle Sam and his overseas leg breaking by signing up with Saddam's forces. I just should not go too far back to before Saddam became an ally of freedom. I can then help prevent Uncle Sam from trampling on the Hussein family's right to freedom and liberty and their bastion of free enterprise that state capitalists like my future self conspire to overthrow.

It is decided then. On the weight of freeman's argument I will no longer be in favor of limiting anyone's freedom, no matter how many people they kill or torment. That is unless my sarcasm key is still stuck in which case I may still be hostile to those who are steadfast.

"I guess there may be some readers who are wondering what an apesnake is. Beats me."

Sorry but unless you can send me the illuminati password via a secure channel you are not entitled to that information.

*The lazy man's guide to dealing with life:

Step 1) Identify someone who disagrees with you.

Step 2) Attach an emotionally charged label like "statist".

Step 3) Criticize the label and propose fiendish or base motivations for those who would risk adopting the label by disagreeing with you.

Step 4) Use analogies which make you sound cool and make those who are hostile to you sound like losers.

Step 5) Go to sleep.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A little bit of genetic engineering can eliminate the expense of pants and shoes. Posted by Hello


Day By Day© by Chris Muir.