The aggregate of our joy and suffering

Promises of achievement will always seem empty, right up until they are met. As 'they' say, "proof is in the pudding". So It is understandable that we remain skeptical until the pudding is complete.

If it comes down to you or them, send flowers.

Holy crap.

I think that the ozone layer is a prime example of scientific investigation circumventing global disaster, and I think that is a fairly well established historical fact. Given the option between a small lifestyle change and no change at all, with the respective results of no lifestyle change at all, or a significant change in future lifestyle (like say extreme importance of sunscreen), how many people would choose the later over the former? It is simple cost-benefit analysis, and we all do it; in the case of large scale environmental decisions, industrial regulations, and highly technical consequences, it is very understandable that governments and institutions may more acceptably intervene, as opposed to the relatively uninformed typical consumers.

Trade in happily ever after for a full refund.
And you are always just about to leave.

If I put you in the (admittedly unlikely) scenario of having an eminent threat, say a gunman intending to kill you, with the possibility of prevention through a subtle pull of a lever—lets say that by pulling the subtle lever, a heavy weight will be released, crushing your eminent threat and disabling their ability to destroy you—I would expect that most people in most situations would enact the lever and attempt to secure their own survival. What is strange is the idea that if the causal relationship is much less direct, or less well established, than the threatened player is decreasingly likely to attempt intervention.
This is the situation with global warming.
Ultimately, this is the situation with human well being in many cases: improving the most impoverished of us tends to benefit all of us, as opposed to improving the most fortunate of us, at most appears to have a mere incidental benefit to the majority.

How is this in keeping with the tenets of small government (as most people assume is a republican premise)?

Republic National Convention brought to you by:
Mace. When someone's standing in front of you, and you want them to move. Mace. When 'get the fuck out of here', just won't do.

This happened last time too. Somehow they divide the electorate left to right on the same exact issues. So Kerry's military record paints him as a traitor, despite verified service, while Bush's military record consisted of a serious joke, and was not called into question. Now it's, "Obama lacks experience, but Palin is a breath of fresh air."

Happy LHC day.
Every day, its getting closer. Going faster than a roller coaster. A love like yours will surely come my way. Hey hey hey.

One of the few conclusions we should arrive at as individuals, is that an individual cannot verify sanity. We should reject the notion of "the last sane human on earth", and instead accept that our sanity requires others to be verified. Though we should also remember that it does not require a majority, only a small minority. The determination of sanity is obviously a complicated issue, since even 900+ people could verify the sanity of the Jones town followers.

After the initial declaration that there is no right and wrong, we are then free to do what pleases us. To claim that the lack of a right implies that nothing is worth doing is stupid—whatever it is that makes you happy, is something worth doing.

Cognitive consonance.

"Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values."

If life gives you lemons, SAVE THE RECEIPT.

ha ha ha ha
"The book of Leviticus makes a lot more sense when you think of ancient lawgivers first sorting everything into two categories: "disgusts me" (gay male sex, menstruation, pigs, swarming insects) and "disgusts me less" (gay female sex, urination, cows, grasshoppers)."

No. Evolution is science.
Even at the kindergarten level, science is defined as a way of learning about the natural word; natural meaning in accordance with the laws of nature. Nature is further defined as the sum of all forces or phenomena in the entirety of perceptible reality. Everything that really exists has properties and anything that can be objectively indicated measured and tested is therefore natural. The supernatural is contrasted with this theme...

Friend: I'm not arguing that the debate doesn't exist, or that involving oneself in the debate doesnt implicitly endorse it. I am saying that by completely refraining from the issue we allow the proponents of creationism (a.k.a. opponents to evolution, reason and science) free reign to say and do what they like. My opinion is that the correct course of action is to combat the ignorance of creationism on any front possible. Inoculate people with education, cure people with reason, and ultimately eradicate creationism from mental health.

In a completely free market, how do market forces prevent the (temporary) benefit of disregard to environmental well-being? Free market forces, to me, appear almost entirely profit driven, so any instance in which the 'best choice' and the 'most profitable choice' do not coincide, we generate there is potential for someone to get screwed.

I need to refrain from 'I believe', or 'I think' and adopt 'my opinion'.

To RZ (did I post this?): I did not imply that the only alternative to the republican party is the democratic party as you assumed; alternatives could include Libertarianism, Socialism and anything in between. While any political party could find itself entangled in creationism, (and consequently sacrificing any possible commitment to the tenets of science), the Republican party is the only one that has arguably done so. As a result, in order to preserve my own commitment to scientific integrity, I must reject any organization that has sacrificed their commitment.
Personally, I would support most Libertarian or Socialist beliefs before I would support a party that accepts a religious fundamentalism in high public office.

Now that the LHC hasn't destroyed the planet, I think it is safe for us to finally say, Chicken Little was full of shit.

"...momentary masters of a fraction of a dot."
I have never been able to understand the desire for power and praise.

"Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you've ever heard of, every human being who ever was lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings; thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines; every hunter and forager; every hero and coward; every creator and destroyer of civilizations; every king and peasant, every young couple in love; every mother and father; every hopeful child; every inventor and explorer; every teacher of morals; every corrupt politician; every supreme leader; every superstar; every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there -- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings; how eager they are to kill one another; how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light."
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand."
"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the only home we've ever known: the pale blue dot."
-Carl Sagan (another dead hero)

When she said, "...I'm not going to disagree with the point that they make, that, man's activities, can be, attributed, to, changes" (at about 1 minute left)—was she misspeaking, completely ignorant of the actual situation, or, (hopefully the most unlikely), so uninformed of science that she has failed to comprehend simple causality? (It is difficult to imagine her being that ignorant.)

How embarrassing that in our most spectacular moments, we recite irrelevant passages from ancient books.

Whim. Passion.

There is a line in the movie Contact, in which a man who believes in a god, asks a woman who he loves, (who does not believe in a god), whether she really considers the 95% of mankind that believes in a god of some sort is delusional. I would like to express my support for the delusional interpretation, and I would like to expand upon it with evidence that our mass delusion is not limited to mysticism like a god, or fringe like UFOs. No, humans harbor delusion in a great many ways, in a natural sense. I took a moral quiz last night, at yourmorals.org and it made me realize that in certain situations, although I have a moral stance, I would not follow it. I began to realize that I had a sense of what was right and what was wrong in the situation, but I would ignore the right, and choose the wrong, in spite of my moral sense. For me to walk around and declare myself a moral person is for me to be delusional. We travel through entire lives, rarely grasping how wrong we might be about this or that thought that we fervently defended the moment preceding. We fail to comprehend the temporal and spatial scales in which we find ourselves. No one has ever comfortably come to terms with quantum mechanics, humanity's most accurately verified scientific theory. We live out our temporally limited lives within a few miles of the surface of Earth, oblivious to the harm we might impose on others simply by pursuing our desires, and maybe rightly so.
I know now that my extremely liberal tendencies are exactly that: extreme. I know that my beliefs are very unrealistic. And yet I still believe them. I cannot help but suddenly relate to Donald Knuth who, despite his well informed concept of physical reality, continued to believe in a god of some sort. Oddly, I still struggle to comprehend the situation in which such a brilliant man can believe such nonsense (a sentiment he seemed to find agreeable), and so to reconcile the situation, I will simply apply this new found acceptance of contradiction. I simply chalk up my inability of acceptance to another instance of my own inability to comprehend his contradictions.

My present, and (remembered) past existence is nothing more than a belief, both to myself and others, either due to internal memory or external evidence. In any case, I cannot positively rule out the alternative that I was only created a moment ago, or that my entire existence is somehow an illusion. The evidence for this is lacking, however (none to be exact), and the evidence for my historical and continued existence is enormous (my entire life and memory, honestly), and so while it is merely a 'belief', it is a very highly probable one, given the information I have to work with.

Whim. Passion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

harold calicut covers asrani respiratory suggestion nces known marshal operate darcys
lolikneri havaqatsu