Casually Causal

Because you said so.
Make a face.
There's always tomorrow.
With a heart much more lovely.

``This is why it is so heartbreaking to see what is being done to mathematics in school.''

I'm wrong! About the one thing I really thought I was good at, and maybe I once was, but I can see I have not been for quite some time (at least since tutoring physics in college). Teaching is much more about presenting mysteries in a captivating and comprehensible way, at the appropriate difficulty to challenge the student. I need to learn that if I hope to be a good teacher one day.

Stars of the Lid and their Refinement of the Decline

Perform the reduction!
Mike Huckabee repeatedly implies that the main reasons for abortions are that the mother is concerned that the child will be an economic burden. What if they are afraid the child will not be loved? Or not provided for? What if they fear that cannot take care of or support a child, or give the child the life that the mother thinks every child deserves? What if the mother can see her own fate, and knows that will most likely result in absolute isolation? What if the mother fears any number of these? How many people were scared by their own upbringing, and may fear (for whatever reason), unavoidable scarring of their offspring in the same manner? (I've heard people raised in foster homes wouldn't wish it on anyone, though I imagine some people were fine with it.) If you could know with absolute certainty that if you conceived, your child would eventually take their own life, would you hesitate? Would you feel guilty if you were aware of such an outcome, and yet conceived the child anyway? This sounds far-fetched, but what it's not far fetched to imagine two people with detectable but recessive genetic disorders that result in a high likelihood of their offspring having severe chronic illness, or even having a high likelihood of childhood death. Given an adult couple aware of this, is the "miracle" of an accidental pregnancy worth the risk?

Death by excessive sunshine.
Ha ha ha ha, this is one of the most disturbing phrases I've ever heard.

Whatever's clever.

How about a good drug story for once?


You know, I hear a lot of people complain about movies having generic plots, or being formulaic, or all that jazz. And I just watched Role Models, and it definitely succumbs to that. But I enjoyed it a lot, and I don't really care if it is loosely fit onto a cookie-cutter plot. There are definitely things in the world I find much more problematic than Hollywood's unwillingness to take a risk, or whatever other way you'd like to phrase similar criticism.
I believe we are witnessing the death throes of religion.
These are creative folk you are dealing with.
It's a good thing there isn't a god, because there is no way it would ever forgive us for this.

Look, it's just an all around shitty situation. You know what would have been an acceptable method of interrogation? Lie detectors, solid evidence, decent, humane treatment, some basic concepts of respect even. These methods would also have the benefit of not increasing the resentment, and potentially creating terrorists out of mistaken identities, and misunderstandings.

I've always been very trusting of people, and therefore gullible. Fortunately, I've also always had a very hard time understanding people, both in what people say, and what they mean, so I've tended to just interpret what I think they say, and what I think they mean, on my own. This works very well in science, where you have context from causal relationships from which you may infer meaning, but not so well with humans, where human nature (rather than reason), tends to be the dominant force for meaning.

Oooo, PZ Myers posted some advice for new commenters (my spellcheck says that isn't a real word), including this:
As this is a science blog, a greater proportion of the readers and commenters here well- educated, and, if not scientists, are reasonably well-versed in logic, observation, empiricism, debate, and rationality. As such, their responses will likely be pointed, eloquent, articulate, and highly opinionated.

I find this interesting due to the last two words. I am highly opinionated, it is where my severe arrogance originates.

Get on the anchored ship. Get on the shore-bound boat. Bring on a blade to cut the rope.

Iron aged tribalism.

No homosexual should accept any form of christianity, islam or judaism. No woman should accept these religions. The god of the old testament, which is included in all three abrahamic religions, is a homophobic misogynist, and this is on top of the whole thing being completely ridiculous. In Richard Dawkin's words, "the god of the old testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." And if you don't agree, go read the bible, read the old testament, and PAY ATTENTION. If you find yourself pausing to explain stories in terms of your own understanding of god, tally it up. When you're done, count your tally marks, and ask yourself if maybe your understanding of right and wrong is more advanced than the people who wrote those stories 2500+ years ago.

How is it that people can think that ancient tribes, who knew almost nothing about reality, were speaking to god, rather than just under superstitious delusions? Why can we all agree the Salem witch trials were fabrication, but most of us can believe that god spoke to moses as a burning bush? I'm very sorry how offensive I come across to my christian friends, assuming any of them read these things, or ever hear me rant about it in person, but please, trust me that I truly believe organized religion to be the single most harmful set of institutions in the world, and that I am only so vocal as to do as much as I can to lessen that harm. If there were an accessible way for me to lessen the production of AK-47s, or feed hungry children the world over, or teach war-torn poverty stricken parts of Africa about effective STD prevention, or teach most of the 3rd world peoples about basic sanitation, or a host of other things, I would. But I don't know how to do that. And I do know that if I can just convince you to be a little less devout, to question a little, to pass it on to the next generation in a weaker form than you received it, then we will all be much better off. Religion really does poison everything. If you've ever second guessed your religious authorities, have you ever continued it on, and asked what made them religious authorities in the first place? What sort of problems did they have to resolve, and what where the methods used to resolve them? And whether those methods were even supposed to be accessible or inaccessible to you? Did years of seminary really teach them how to solve a sort of problem that you cannot solve? I can say that years of physics classes did that for me, and that probably a decent chemist, biologist, geologist, engineer (of all sorts), or many other professions, can say the same. Is it odd that I spend as much time researching and discussing and writing about anti-religion as many dedicated religious folk spend in pro-religious thinking? Am I any less motivated? I would expect that I would be less concerned about people's future, given that I don't fear they will be punished in some hell after life. But then what motivates me? Is it just that I care for people? Do I just care for some people, and strongly believe that the rest of the people can have negative effects on the smaller fraction of people I care about? Maybe. I probably should reserve self-judgement. You can decide. And do you really think I've overlooked the grand truths that other people have allegedly received? Is it possible I have not fully considered my opponents views? No. You can claim that on a number of advanced physics topics, but not on religion. It is obvious. It is clear as the day.

Casually causal?

Kate Capshaw had to be taught how to scream.

"Wear your jewels to bed, princess?" "Yeah. And nothing else. Shocking?" "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." "So as a scientist you do a lot of research?" "Always." "And what sort of research would you do on me?"
"Nocturnal activities." "You mean like what sort of cream I put on my face at night. What position I like to sleep in." "Mating customs." "Love rituals?" "Primitive sexual practices" "So you're an authority in that area?" "Years of field work." "I don't blame you for being sore at me. I can be hard to handle." "I've had worse." "But you'll never have better." "I don't know. As a scientist I don't want to prejudice my experiment I'll let you know in the morning."
Win for the scientists! (I'll selectively omit the rest of the dialogue.)

It's a little unpleasant to say, but science is really about separating your human biases from the evidence about how the world is, and although I've been pretty high up on the science rankings among my peers, for my entire life, it still seems that any time I get comfortable in my position I experience great suffering due to my biases creeping in and clouding my objectivity.

I don't understand conservatism. If any archetypical conservatives come across this statement, could you, to the best of your abilities, answer this question: why can't you trust the government with industries like health care, banking, or basic manufacturing (car industry), but you can trust the government with nuclear stockpiles and munitions up the wazoo? Typically I'd rather hand anyone in society (pariah, asylum inmate, nobel-prize winning physicist, doctor, banker, NRA president, world-class marksmen, etc.) my money, my vehicle (for repair) or my hospital care, before I'd hand them a firearm. Especially if I demanded that they use the firearm in my best interest while simultaneously insisting that I pay them as little as possible for their efforts. (Seriously! Conservatives, how does this work?! Though I suppose republicans typically have no problem with large military spending, which I would consider a significant deviation from conservative values.) And if I were a pure capitalist (maybe I am?), I'd further wonder why we can't just think of government as a competing company among other car manufactures, banks and healthcare plans. Why not just consider the government to be a company that our society allows to operate at a loss in industries we deem non-profitable (i.e., unable to turn a net profit). Obviously there are other good reasons to invoke a government run industry—it could be that the industry involves large rewards for unfair behavior (or maybe just an industry in which getting away with cheating is easy), in which case we would tend to prefer a regulatory group, independent of profit (and ideally independent of motive beyond our interests), to monitor, discourage, investigate, prevent and punish companies treading in the unfair area of behavior that are detrimental to our society. I would typically put insurance, and healthcare, near the top of the list, along with education and other well-being related industries. There are two reasons, first, like stated above, that these are industries without much profit, with great benefits from cheating, and for which the main focus is not mutual improvement of the provider and the customer, but rather solely improvement of the customer (yes, we'd all like better doctors and better teachers and better insurers, but we don't tend to think that these industries should exist for profit, so much as they should exist for human benefit). Second, because the products of these industries are all beneficial to the entire society—we all benefit when the average child is better educated, we all benefit when less of us suffer disease less often and/or less severely (insurance follows directly from that). How about this for government-run health care: consider that health insurance is basically a bet between two parties, the insurance company, betting you will be fine, and you, betting you will not. Now just like any other betting scheme, there are three possible distributions of the odds: either the bet is in your favor, the bet is perfectly equal, or the bet is not in your favor. In the case of insurance companies, if it was anything other than "not in your favor", they wouldn't be profitable! That doesn't necessarily mean the true odds of the basic concept of health (or life) insurance aren't in your favor, it just means that the overall odds of the company's strategy, providing insurance to you and many other people, is in their favor. It's exactly like a casino: if the odds weren't in their favor they wouldn't be a business. Stake limits and rules are all designed to ensure that the casino remains profitable, and insurance companies must be the exact same way. The only alternative reminds me of an SNL sketch for "the change bank", where you can exchange coins and cash and any combination of the two. And when asked how they make money the man replies confidently: volume. Back to seriousness, the insurance companies are obviously making money (any NPO insurance companies out there?), which means the bet is obviously balanced in their favor, which means that the industry is no longer centered on our well-being! Help me! Show me the way! Please! (And I'm serious, I really must know how these conclusions are arrived at.)

100 questions, 170 minutes. And these are hard physics questions, so 1.7 minutes might be only 0.7 minutes after you have comprehended the question. (The topics list is very intimidating!) Though if I can answer ~45-50 of them correctly, and not answer many incorrectly, then I will have done very well. So I should really give myself more like 3, or maybe 4 minutes per question. Maybe I should train myself to "feel" 3 minutes pass. On an episode of The Office I watched with Corey the other day, Jim trained Dwight to want altoids whenever his (Jim's) computer rebooted (like Pavlov's dogs). It made me wonder if I've trained myself to react to me alarm (on my phone) in a specific way in the morning (hit snooze a bunch). Though I suppose thats very typical and maybe I was just feeling like that was an important idea because I was half-asleep this morning while doing that and thinking all this (a good time to be wrong about the profoundness, or even the basic coherence of an idea).

What sort of original grammatical errors do you think persist in the bible? Seriously, how many books that long do you think could have not a single grammatical error? Especially considering the retranslations and more than a millenia of hand written and word of mouth passing along. Assuming any of that stuff was real in the first place (which I have no reason to think anyway), it seems extremely unlikely that whatever survived 2000-3500 (or maybe only 2500) years of the game telephone by people who couldn't figure out Maxwell's law of induction, Newton's universal law of gravitation, Darwin's theory of the Origin of the Species, Copernicus's theory of the Heliocentric Solar system, condoms reduce risk of HIV, and so on. Honestly, we're better off just outright betting against the statements of religious authority, based on simple probability.

This is maybe an interesting thought. Regarding relationships, I think I have been right about when a girl likes me, and wrong about when a girl likes me, as well as right about when a girl does not like me. But I don't think I'm ever really wrong about when a girl does not like me. That is, I don't think I've ever assumed a girl didn't like me that actually did. Or at least not since 7th grade. Though obviously I have no real clue. And worse, I think I might be wrong myself.

"Unlike humans, chromosomes can't betray, deceive, or willfully lie. The truth is all they state."
Though, knowing just a little bit too much about biology completely ruins this moment. What if he was a chimera? Then both the test could be correct and yet the conclusion could be wrong. Is it unlikely? Sure. Is it impossible? Far from it. Impossible, like infinity, is very, very far away. But the doctor, if he had known, should have stated this possibility, however unlikely it may be. Of course there are other physically realizable situations as well. I find it interesting that many of the bible's statements about jesus aren't really physically impossible. Immaculate conception, though highly unlikely, is not entirely impossible in humans (though I suppose to produce none-genetically identical offspring may be even more unlikely; that is, typically asexual reproduction would result in a clone, which would be female.) Though can we conceive of a physically possible situation which could result in this? Sure! We could just invoke chimerism again, in combination with asexual reproduction, we could chalk it up to the miscommunications, it could be a variety of additional genetic disorders that resulted in the mother carrying a Y chromosome as well, or in the offspring expressing male phenotypes, and probably a large number of things we don't yet know!

I can't pick fights with strangers. I need someone who I think actually deserves getting beat up. I'm comfortable with the idea that I deserve getting beat up, but not whoever it is that will mostly beat me up.
"Where did you come from, angel? How did you know, I'd be the one?"

Today on my way home from work, I wondered, why do humans have emotions? I've always assumed emotions are a natural mechanism to instill responsibility to care for young, or for various other reproductive reasons (as is ultimately true about everything). But suddenly it really strikes me hard—is there a good reason that humans couldn't have evolved from our less intelligent ancestors completely devoid of emotion? My first thought was: isn't it reasonable to imagine an intelligent species caring for it's young and making parenting bonds (and whatever else is required for successful reproduction and rearing of young), where they care for their young out of purely logical reasons? And I thought that was reasonable, but maybe I was very tired (after all, I did take an hour long nap on my way home). Now that I reconsider it, that is not very reasonable; it requires logic, it requires a lot of insight into the future, it involves cognitive processes far beyond the capabilities of even our more human ancestors (let alone the apes we came from). Many of the emotional artifacts we possess are implemented in much less sophisticated life forms as well. If I recall correctly, voles even have complex relationships, with monogamy and cheating and all sorts of the complex relationship issues humans typically experience as well.

"find your own hole to crawl into. Mine's full."

The process: god will punish you if you break his rules —> god loves you and will forgive you for you mistakes/guilts/deviations —> god might not intervene/interfere with our lives, but he created us and loves us and is good/just/right —> god must exist because without him we wouldn't know right from wrong —> god is obviously inherent in everything, from the beauty of our bodies to the unbelievable intricacy we observe in all living things —> god might not be a person but it must have created the universe (cause what else could?), and he must have tuned it just right so that we would come into existence —> god = the mysterious and fundamental rules of the universe (deism & pantheism, rather than some human-like entity) —> god might not exist at all, and maybe isn't needed to be moral or good, but at least the belief in god has led to good stuff (fear of punishment leading to good behavior, comfort of a grand forgiver resting your nerves over other's guilt, etc. for each subsequent step) —> god does not exist, it is not needed for acceptable moral structure, and he has not done good. To the contrary, at every step of our intellectual evolution it has stood in the way of progress. Unnecessary guilt, escape from responsibility, inadequate answers to exciting, important and productive questions, unnecessary conflict, certainty where there should be none, destruction on nearly every scale ever experienced; it is time we inoculate our species from this grand disease.

Where does the word god come from? Does it predate english? (Because english isn't that old.) Oh, thank you wiktionary:
From Middle English, from Old English god (“supreme being, deity”), Old High German got (a rank of deity) originally neuter, then changed to masculine to reflect the change in religion to Christianity, both from the Proto-Germanic *ǥuđa-, *ǥuđan, from the Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰuto- (“that which is invoked”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵhau- (“to call, to invoke”) or * *ǵheu- (“to pour”). Not related to the word good.

Ha ha, not too surprising that the word god is not related to the word good—after all, how could it be, with all the horrible shit that god was associated with until recently? (And in my opinion, as much now as ever.)

But how did YHWH of the ancient Israelites (allegedly) come to be god? I once objected to our money using the word god, when many religions don't call it that, and since I'm an atheist, I find it somewhat excluding of me... the response I got was that `god' is referring to the same thing for all those people; regardless of what they call it, it's the same thing. (Of course, this still excludes atheists, who outright deny, or highly doubt the existence of such a thing, though I still maintain even overlooking us non-believers, it is a highly biased statement, and should be removed, LET ALONE my own perspective on the matter.)

Let alone.

It appears I have been experiencing hypographia lately. At least to a minor degree.

``Wrecking ball outside the door.''
``You'll have to shout even louder.''
``Send my cinders home to mother.''

We train ourselves. I've trained myself to watch movies while eating. Or put on a movie while going to sleep. In both cases I am well aware that the movie does nothing of value. They don't help me.
I want Roger Fenton's waggon
Dan sent me this. It's pretty funny.

I say, let it.

You know who you are, even if nobody else does.

The only argument I've heard against allowing openly homosexual people in the military is that it may drive out hundreds or even thousands of excellent service men and women (presumably for reasons ranging from an acceptable discomfort they may experience to flat out homophobia), but I would contend that anyone who would leave the military based on the military's policies, is not a good service person anyway. The military is entirely dependent on the command structure and the strict obedience of the person at the bottom. This is precisely the mechanism required for military personal to carry out enormously destructive acts, such as participating in a nuclear exchange.

At what point in our culture's history did marriage proposals become surprises? Didn't ancient cultures all have prearranged marriages? Isn't that the opposite of a surprise? Or maybe it originates from even before prearranged marriages, when we were more animalistic and men just overpowered women? (Did that ever even happen?)

Well, first of all, there clearly are no such thing as universal morals. Pick anything you think everyone believes to be wrong, and you are guaranteed to find a person somewhere who has completely disobeyed it without the slightest internal conflict or guilt. From eating people to molesting children to molesting old people to sex with dead people and I'm sure far more things that I've GLADLY never even heard of.

According to Oliver Sacks on The Daily Show, "you never lose rhythm, rhythm is deep deep in the brain... and thats a purely human thing, chimpanzees can't dance."
NOVA's Musical Minds, I'll have to make sure I watch that at some point.

And it's still unknown. Just how much distance means we're on our own? And can we be happy alone?

Your skin's so fair it's not fair. You remind me.

Vortex rings in microgravity.
Neat house.
I need to find some cober, cause she seems real cool.
And others.
Faint young sun paradox
CBO budget outlook ...and not the largest tax increase in history. LIARS.

"Permit me to be infantile by myself."
"If I said no could you ever be sure?"

"I'm different than other women Ted. And by different, I mean better."

It's probably a problem. Problemably.
I guess I don't have so much a problem with praise, it's just undeserved praised.

Friend: it's funny, you instilled this sense in me that if an action were detrimental to my hard drive, it shouldn't be allowed to do it, and that makes a lot of sense. Except that as things get more complicated (which computers and drives certainly are), it becomes increasingly difficult to determine what is and is not safe. I really don't know if this is true or not, but it is not inconceivable that the system is so complex that it is intractable to determine what actions are safe and what actions are not. If this is the case, then there could in fact be things you can do which are terrible for a drive.

Shouldn't a news organization that gets so much wrong so quickly lose it's right to be journalism? Can't we take them to court or something? Fuck you, Fox.

Completely ridiculous.
"Sports is to war as pornography is to sex"

Myocardial infarction.

You're giving me the spins.
Even at the risk of chaos.

Now hiring partners in crime.


Deprived of Depravity

6·14·09 (again)
When I said I don't think AI is that far off, it does not imply that we would be able to perfectly reproduce a specific human individual, which I doubt will ever be possible, or even desirable. What I am saying though is that I don't think it will be too long before machines can do everything humans can do, in general, and that if that is true, it won't be long before they can do more than we can, and better. There are a few things I would omit, mostly sex, but probably some other physical and emotional tasks as well. Thinking, however, seems likely to become primarily their domain, and I struggle to see how we can compete (or if).

You've heard me complain a lot about religion, and get very excited about science. Why do I feel like those two things are me entirely? What else do humans typically have? Hobbies and favorite entertainment types/instances? I have those too I suppose, though I am not real picky with them I don't believe.

"You would just, spread your arms as wide as they go and say 'this much Penny.' "

The best argument against torture, one which I haven't provided, which no one has really mentioned in the debate, is this: when we allowed the CIA to perform "tough guy" questioning on Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, he lied to us, and we invaded Iraq, based on his lies. Before all this, they didn't have a real good reason to hate us, it was mostly religious and ideological differences, and they were being very irrational about how to deal with it. But now? Can any of us still say they have no good reason to hate us? And if you don't think what we did (or do?) is torture, where do you draw that line? I don't know where I draw the line, but you can be damn sure it isn't anywhere near here.
Also not what I was looking for.
And what the FUCK? Where the fuck is the media? Why haven't I heard of these things? Have you?
Obama is being criticized currently for government spending as relates to the economic situation. Why has no one criticized the massive cost of the Iraq war, which we were led into with false pretenses, with forged documents?
If you were wrongly detained, imprisoned, tortured, and then released, without ever being charged or tried for anything, what attitude would you have towards the country responsible?
No man's (but maybe a woman's? no...) stature is so great that I am willing to compromise my own morals. Torture is Wrong. And god itself could descend from heaven, grab me by the balls and promise me an eternity of damnation and torture, and the only acceptable reply (assuming I wasn't completely totally immobilized/destroyed by the ball-grab) would remain: "FUCK YOU". Because my morals cannot be altered by god. My sense of right and wrong are for me and me alone to judge; no ancient text, no authority figure, no sum of money, no religious figure can help me sleep at night once I cross the line of what I consider wrong.
And how the fuck can people say Bush kept our country safe, when the worst attack in our history occurred during his watch?
I really hope that the rapture happens, and all the asshole christians and/or jews get whisked away. Life here on the terrestrial plane would be greatly improved if the holy land were just desert, and there were no chosen people, and there were no prophets or saviors (whether moses, jesus, muhammad, nostradamus, l. ron hubbard, or anyone else).

Ha ha ha ha ha:
George Carlin: Another thing I'm getting tired of is when after six policemen stick a floorlamp up some black guy's ass, the police department announces they're going to have "sensitivity training". If you need special training to be told not to jam a large, cumbersome object up someone else's asshole, maybe you're too fucked up to be on the police force in the first place.

"He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels. He lives vicariously, through himself. He is, the most interesting man in the world."

Superstition is the dodo bird of conceptual evolution.
Intelligence is the human peacock feather.

Giardano bruno was burned at the stake to save him from eternal hellfire, when have atheists done such a thing? (killed to save?) Killing dissenters always has been and always will be a method used by people who have no better method to deal with their problems. Science doesn't do that, science prefers dissent, as it is the only path forward.
Science is the purest form of free market competition: if an idea works, NOTHING matters, other than how much it works, in practice. In many cases that means directly in the real world, while in other cases it applies to theory so abstract that the only measures of 'fitting' are entirely within other abstractions. Mathematics of course is the purest form of the latter type.

If I ever have a kid, I should name him or her "Rad", like the kid in Weeds.

I was thinking, last night, while in the shower, that people, despite how much the claim to disdain drama, they don't. People love drama. It's why there are so many emo kids. It's why Shakespeare still matters. It's why shows like Law & Order and it's many derivatives are so popular. It's why people make so many strange decisions throughout their lives. It's why we'd rather be in limbo than in happy. It's why if you have a close friend who hates drama will still listen to you whine about it all day long and still give you good honest advice, instead of telling you to shut the hell up. I'm talking about friends giving me advice, by the way, so don't take offense. And thanks for the help.

"From one fucking mistake to another."
"There's no wall in the sky."

Maybe sometimes I must think that if I could only understand myself a little better, a little more completely, I could fully disarm my flaws; correct my mistakes, compensate for my shortcomings; but I never change. I am the same person I have always been, or very nearly so. I'll make the same mistakes this year as I've been making since 5th grade. No matter what I learn about my own behavior and the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind it, I always succumb to the same situations. Always the same mistakes, hesitating over the same decisions, delaying the same actions, and producing the same results. It doesn't matter how clear it was, in retrospect, the correct path last time—I always lose the same game.

Do we feel worse when we realize there is no one to forgive us? Or better when we realize there is nothing to forgive?
It's kind of funny that describing oneself as being in "a mood" is typically supremely negative while describing oneself as being in "the mood" is typically supremely positive.
While I find President Obama's fly-swatting skills impressive (not that fly swatting skills can even get that impressive), I think that the media attention in garnered says something negative about our society: swatting a fly in an interview provoked more news than the interview itself.

My life is full of petty regrets.
It is faintly tragic that virtually all humans want the same exact things, but many of us are relatively uncomfortable, timid, or afraid of vocalizing it. The Culture of Silence is cataclysmic. I don't like that our culture emphasizes breast size as directly related to sex appeal. Though my motives might be distasteful, as it is more due to my preference for girls with smaller chests rather than the more conventional objection that beauty and sex appeal should not be pigeonholed, or that women should not be objectified. While I agree to a degree with such sentiments, I think it is probably important not to shy away from my own human nature, and more importantly, to be open and honest about the fact that all of us are human. Though I have never really understood humans, and maybe I have misjudged the species in assuming it could be beneficial to be more open about such matters. (One alternative avenue would be that humans value privacy over an openness regarding their nature, though I'm sure we come in all varieties of flavors.)

Well I know where I am going for vacation! I can't figure out why anyone would ever go here though...

We are not sweet mistakes.
An unwelcome obsession.

"And your whispering eye."

Peter Singer interviewed by Richard Dawkins.

Is there any way to amend this?
An Opinion Research Business (ORB) survey conducted August 12-19, 2007 estimated 1,220,580 violent deaths due to the Iraq War (range of 733,158 to 1,446,063.) Out of a national sample of 1,499 Iraqi adults, 22% had one or more members of their household killed due to the Iraq War (poll accuracy +/-2.4%.)[283] ORB reported that 48% died from a gunshot wound, 20% from car bombs, 9% from aerial bombardment, 6% as a result of an accident and 6% from another blast/ordnance. It is the highest estimate given so far of civilian deaths in Iraq and is consistent with the Lancet study.[59][284] On January 28, 2008, ORB published an update based on additional work carried out in rural areas of Iraq. Some 600 additional interviews were undertaken and as a result of this the death estimate was revised to 1,033,000 with a given range of 946,000 to 1,120,000.[32]

"stirrings of revolution are percolating in the coffee shops."

What did I say...? (No, seriously I have no idea what words were just created by my mouth.)

"I guess sometimes when fate knocks on your door, it has a search warrant."
"Oh yeah! This is something called, 'boat cleaner'... I think it's used to clean boats with." --"Give me the boat cleaner, in a needle."

I was thinking today about how LIGO can measure something like half a proton's width (supposedly), and how to explain that to people. And I think I can explain it like this: first, build a device that can measure a meter wave, like reasonably large ocean waves (for the east coast at least). Then make it measure waves one millionth that size. Then make it measure one millionth that size.

Oh, wait, I was way off... I thought it was about 10^-15, but it is 10^-18, and LIGO is supposed to be sensitive to one part in 10^21! So I need to add in another million and then another thousand... I should learn more about it so I can present it accurately.

I think I am in love with St. Vincent. And the Portland Cello Project. And Brazilian Girls. And so much more.


Everything Shimmering and Bright

Did Darwin realize that plants animals and bacteria all share common ancestors as well?

Friend, you objected to my statement that most life on earth has a struggle? Simple proof: any animal that finds itself in a position without struggle will experience greatly increased ability to reproduce, leading to population explosion, leading to either competition between members of the same species, or resulting in new species that take advantage of the success of the first species. All resources at all time are leveraged to their full extent by life on earth, and if they aren't, another species will quickly fill any gaps. The one exception to this will hopefully one day be that humans will not exploit resources, because we are too good at it, and unless we put a lot of the benefits back into maintaining the process, it will surely ruin us. (Ozone, DDT and the dustbowl are three historical examples of this, all of which have been solved. Global warming, over fishing and other pollution and habitat destruction concerns are probably the next big set of problems to resolve.)

It is deeply embarrassing that creationism has persisted into the 21st century.

Notice that both the rate of genetic variation and the likelihood of producing viable offspring for a given species is highly dependent on the error rate while copying the genetic code, and that if the code were copied perfectly, producing identical genetic copies, then asexual reproduction would result in a large number of perfectly identical clones, which would all have the exact same susceptibility to attack, thus if a single antagonist succeeded in exploiting a weakness in the species, it would decimate the entire species. Thus it is obvious that even if it were possible for mechanisms to perfectly reproduce genetic code, it would still not be favorable, and would be selected against. Though when considering sexual reproduction, there is an additional source of variation (besides copy errors). Since half of the offspring's genetic code comes from each parent, and each parent is only passing on half of their own code, the offspring will inevitably be unique. Thus I would expect that if two species had similar rates of reproduction (lifespan, maturation and offspring count), but one were asexually reproducing and the other were sexual, that the sexual reproducing species could have a lower rate of genetic mutation, which I could imagine being beneficial in many ways. Whether or not this is the case can only be determined through experiment, which I am curious about, though I would expect that there are so many confounding factors that it would be difficult if not impossible to determine if this were the case or not (at least right now, though probably not in the near future?). I should ask a biologist probably.

We need to step it up a notch. Anyone who publicly declares there is no evidence for evolution should be invited to learn all about it in a museum, or wherever we can find an appropriate avenue to show a large quantity of supporting data. Anyone who declines should be loudly and publicly criticized, and mocked. And those who both view the evidence but continue to shriek "no evidence" should be demanded to provide guidelines for what clear evidence would be. This discussion should not wane.

A joke with no audience.
Louis CK and a child.

We should stop focusing on fuel efficiency in our cars and begin focusing on total emissions, including the emissions involved in production. Or maybe not. Maybe pollution due to fuel consumption is so vastly larger than production that it's not worth the extra investigation. But we should check that out.

It's funny, for centuries, religious missionaries have felt so compelled by their understanding of the world that they have travelled the globe trying to save people from what they felt was certain eternal misery. Now, based on my understanding of the world, I am very compelled to try to save humans, (though with a bias towards myself and those I know) from the missionary induced misery that I feel is certain in life.

Maybe we are better off a little bit brain dead.

Holy shit, I am SO right. 60% of the population in Afghanistan is under age 20, and the median age is 17(according to Saad Mohseni, while on The Daily Show on June 10th). We totally should send them MTV and all the things kids use to not care about the world.

Have I mentioned yet that I think that if we were to find earth like planets, it would most likely contain life, and that life would most likely have both plant-like and animal-like creatures, as well as sexual and asexual reproduction? And the reason is that I suspect life is not nearly as unlikely to arise as we had previously thought, and that also, if any of those groups were missing, it would leave an enormous hole for other creatures to exploit. (Which is giving the wrong impression, animals do not observe an exploitable gap in the ecosystem and then consciously choose to fill it, but rather natural selection pressures creatures into all the various gaps in available energy, but that is what I am referring to when I describe it that way.)

I don't understand why christianity is so hard to break free from, the greeks predated christ, it's full of ridiculous stories, all of which have clear beginnings long before jesus allegedly existed, and all our favorite holidays have pagan undertones (christmas, easter... halloween... okay, maybe just the two big ones). CURSE YOU TRADITION!

Oh my darling its you.

Francis Collins says that god and atheism are beyond the purview of science, but I would respond that the imagination is not, and neither is estimating the likelihood of a given statement's truth (even if it can only be said to be 50/50). And what science does tell me, or more generally just what I know about the world, is that it is most of the concepts of god humankind has conceived of seem much more likely to be imagination rather than reality driven.

I saw a facebook group the other day that was asking for a "dislike" feature, and I think I'm actually against that. I'd say, if you see something you don't like, be constructive about it, start a dialogue, and comment explaining why you don't like it, rather than just giving negative feedback with no substance.

Why is it that the idea that I (or anyone else for that matter) killed god more devastating than the idea that I killed tinkerbell, or the tooth fairy, or the abominable snowman, or zeus for that matter? In either case, what we mean by "killed" was to show that they do not exist, right? Obviously the statement that I killed the tooth fairy will never make sense, the tooth fairy is obviously purely fiction. So if Darwin, or Nietzsche, or myself, or anyone else, were to destroy the concept of god, why would it be such a problem?

"Painfully, frightfully, and disagreeably, human."

Maybe it is the fact that humans took interest in their own reflection that set us apart from the rest of the apes.

Understand this: there is no force in the universe powerful enough to suppress truth, or technological progress. The benefits of such progress are so great, a phrase which I find highly appropriate regarding capitalism applies equally well for technology and science: If you don't do it, someone else will.

Yes, what is it that we --- why do i have no idea what i meant about this?

"...know that many times I have kissed and cried over this."
-Charles Darwin

I hope someday I'll become a cautionary tale.
Evidence of virtue is anything but.
Each and Every One.

According to wikipedia,
Dawkins had long wanted to write a book openly criticising religion, but his publisher had advised against it. By the year 2006, his publisher had warmed to the idea. Dawkins attributes this change of mind to "four years of Bush". By that time, a number of authors, including Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, who together with Dawkins were labelled "The Unholy Trinity" by Robert Weitzel, had already written books openly attacking religion. These books did well on best-seller lists, and have spawned an industry of religious responses. According to the Amazon.co.uk website, the book led to a 50% growth in their sales of books on religion and spirituality (including anti-religious books such as The God Delusion and God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything) and a 120% increase in the sales of the Bible.
But I don't think that is enough, relentlessness is required; time is of the essence. Discussion of religion is of utmost importance: the more people that openly think and question religious doctrine, the more obvious it becomes that it is the grand plague of humankind. Why do I still stop short of directly confronting my most devout friends? I tend to think we are witnessing a cultural revolution, one that has never really occurred, distinct from say the atheistic aspects of Marxism, which were part of a greater doctrine. Atheism in this sense is really just about not accepting authoritative accounts of reality over your own senses, completely independent of political social and moral beliefs. (That is, you can reject the religious claims without rejecting your own moral or political or social beliefs.)

I've heard people criticize the use of the word "design" when discussing natural selection and evolution, notably Randolph Nesse interrupts himself for his own use of the word during an interview with Richard Dawkins. I propose we clarify that design is a word that can refer to the structure of an object or process, without implying that there is an entity involved in creating that structure. For instance, water molecules have a very specific design, with very specific properties. The design of a water molecule results in all the observed properties from it's peculiar density as relates to temperature, to why microwaves heat your food without heating the plate (directly at least). But the design of a water molecule is easily fully explained by quantum mechanics, which in turn can be defined by a small set of equations and assumptions. In this sense, the word design is fully appropriate in this sense, in my opinion. Though now that I look up the word design, all definitions seem to strongly include intention, so maybe it is best we wholly abandon it.

I didn't say this, but I should have (though it only comes to mind now): the "possible side effects" included in prescription drug commercials are most likely side effects reported during the drug study that occurred with some prevalence above a threshold, i.e. statistically significant. It seems highly unlikely that they would be forced to include any sort of illness that a participant in the study experienced, since many would be known to be unrelated (just imagine how the placebo/control group would experience side a similar prevalence of unrelated ailments). So those side effects that the drug company does include are most likely ones that are actually induced by the drug. And so my question remains: given two groups of people, one on a sugar pill that does nothing, and the other on an antidepressant that does nothing but generate the typical side effects, which group is more likely to doubt they are on the actual trial drug? And given that a group of people have doubts that they are on a trial drug (i.e., suspect they are on a placebo), are they more, less, or equally likely to experience positive placebo effects? I contend that they are less likely to experience positive placebo effects, and as such, any drug that induces physical change, whether brain, mood, happiness, etc. related or not, is likely to perform better than placebo in controlled drug trials. This would be easy to study, it just involves using placebos that generate similar side effects as the drug in development.

My dad told me he heard that all the power in the US, (or the world?) could be generated by a square array of solar panels measuring 93 miles on a side. So I tried to express to him just how huge that is: if you were to pave a road one mile wide, from coast to coast, three times, that would be an approximately equivalent amount of surface area. Later I discussed it with my roommate, and he agreed that is a surprising description, and that the original statement gives a misleadingly small impression. So now I see why, we tend to think of a square 93 miles on a side as being "93 square miles", and that is not true. The correct statement is "93 miles squared". While it is a relatively small area of land (in proportion to the amount of land there is), it is an enormous amount of land to cover, with anything, whether pavement or solar panel material. (Actually, doing the math I see that the third pass back would only make it 88% of the way across, assuming 3000 miles wide. Also, 93 miles squared is about 0.28% of the lower 48 states' total area.)

I propose a new fallacy to aid in the discussion of various phenomena which currently struggle with bifurcation issues as they relate to a continuously varying parameter, I would call it "the fallacy of bifurcation" probably, or maybe the fallacy of assumed discretization, though we could probably come up with something more interesting, maybe fallacious granularity or something. Most likely someone has already explored this extensively and has established terminology. The archetype example would be the the Sorites paradox, (a.k.a. the paradox of the heap). Basically, there are times when we divide things into groups, such as moderates and extremists in the case of religious (or non-religious) groups, and in doing so I think we lose something important. Omitting the spectrum nature of things can cause a lot of trouble, though I do not feel like expanding on this reasoning at the moment. I'd only like to say I see the same issue with respect to mental disorders, as my physics teacher in high school used to joke, "everyone has a little bit of dyslexia in them". Now where possible (basically, clearly and reliably testable), it is useful to define cut off criteria to categorize spectrum-natured phenomena. I've lost interest in this idea too much to continue for the time being.

"I wish I could have kissed you good night."

It is very difficult to not suppose what the universe is like, but it is not very difficult to find out a great deal of what it is and isn't like. The difficulty of presupposition is greatly heightened when introduced by authority figures, and highly dependent on age.


I love the movie Millions so much. "Oh! I know you're only a dream, but I don't care. It's nice to see you, even if you're just a dream."


All Good Wishes to You

I pray to all powerful Atheismo.

Looks like I should move west, since I'm already an 18-49 year old male liberal democrat who never attends church.

Having a bit of a listen.

The catholic church is very thorough.
"Are you out of your fucking mind?"

To you and me.

What's your emergency?

Religion Poisons Everything. No, that doesn't mean that everything poisonous is religious. It doesn't mean there aren't religious people and doctrines and efforts and results, that have done good in the world. What it means is that everything religion is involved in, is worse off because of it; everything would be improved by religion's absence.

We should all ask ourselves, at all times: how do you know that?

Which bible verse does jesus say where life begins? Which book explains jesus' preaching as relates to stem cells? How about nuclear, biological and chemical weapons? Why didn't moses' commandments mention anything about these issues? Which commandment says homosexuals can't marry? When did jesus say that? How about mohammed? Did any of these three people ever mention how to deal with assault rifles? Or drugs?

"Science is interesting, and if you don't agree you can fuck off."
Darwin unified organic matter with physical law.
"Yeah, we have souls. But they're little neurons." -Daniel Dennett

Consciousness, IS NOT, and NEED NOT be a fundamental quantity. Why has it taken us so long, (including myself) to realize the obvious, that a large number of simple interactions can lead to the complexity we observe in ourselves? You always hear the same old criticism: if humans are just a collection of electrochemical signals and patterns evolving with respect to their external stimuli, how can we love, and think, and make mistakes and predictions and build and destroy stuff, along with all the other beautiful behavior we exhibit? But the burden is on the questioner. One might ask the same question of computers: how is it that computers can make decisions, and respond to stimuli in seemingly 'intelligent' ways? No one objects to the simple explanations involving electrons flowing through conductors and semiconductors, with holes and junctions and billions of switches flipped per second, and yet if we apply the same description to humans, it is argued that we have omitted something. But what? Why is it so hard to believe that simple phenomena can lead to such incomprehensible results? In quantum mechanics, even a small number of particles, (less than 100 even), can be COMPLETELY unpredictable just a short time in the future. In fact, 100 particles on the quantum scale require more computational power than the entire universe can provide (in classical computing, all bets are off if we can build a quantum computer).

So I've been working for a couple of years to become more forward, and confrontational and outspoken, and maybe I have succeeded too much, it is an interesting balance to seek.

"We don't need a middle man." –Dennett (21+ minutes in?)
"There's nobody to accept our thanks." -Dennett

How does our predilection to believe in deities relate to our desire to have someone to tell us what to do when we feel directionless, or to thank when we are especially pleased or lucky? Or to forgive us when we feel guilty and alone? Is that why we have jocks and kings and clergy? Some remnant of our alpha male centered ape ancestors?

"On the other hand, infinite power might be nice!" -Zoidberg (kind of?)

We can fear the worst.

If you look carefully, you can see it playing out already. You can see it is happening already. The internet is displacing the newspapers and television. It wreaked havoc on the music and movie industries already. Computers have always improved in every way: speed, capacity, price, efficiency, capabilities. There may be ends to these trends, though it's not clear if they are yet in sight even.

All show and no go.
"If I ever get to sleep, I'll be deep, in my dreams, just you and me."
Ya'll are brutalizin me!

Become the havoc in heaven.
All politicians are scum, and they ought to understand that. The smaller the politician, the less scummy they are.
"The answer was grow by six inches. It was, agony, to watch."
"If there is anyone, here, who thinks we're going to fail, they better leave now. Before they infect everyone else."
-Frost Nixon

All good wishes.
Time is the hero.

The greatest shortcoming that science has with respect to the public is the omission of the uncertainty in scientific statements. And not just the uncertainty in measurement, but the uncertainty in experiment. Physics is one area in which this uncertainty is extremely small, so small that it can neglected without harm. Cosmology may not be quite so solid, though I suppose most cosmologists would say it is similarly well verified as physics, but I disagree. Though I should really talk to a cosmologist about this.

"What are miracles? Miracles are not impossible, I won't say they're impossible...
Miracles are so highly improbably that they they are the least possible occurrence in any given instance. They violate the way that nature works. "

Hey, if you think that freaks you out, just think about what kind of person it takes to discuss it so openly.
Nolo contendere
We prefer to be in a constant state of crisis.
She takes notes.
In the end, it was all about who gets what. Ivory, oil, gold. Diamonds.

Compare with the next link.
Are we ready to end our nonsense yet?

Almost martyrs don't count.

This makes me wonder if anyone has looked for something that is highly correlated with murder rates. Unemployment? Wealth distribution? Health care? Family size? Education? Blue or white collar? Politics? Religion? Crime? Gambling? Prostitution? Drugs (including alcohol)? Weed (it's an herb man...)? Climate, sunlight, temperature, mood, disease, stress... Wait, can wolfram alpha do any of this? Apparently no.

Punitive figure.

Oh crap, I just resolved my problem. Consider every re-awakening that follows a state of complete unconsciousness to be like a 're-birth' of your 'soul'. That is, a clone of you, with your exact conscious memory, waking from unconsciousness, would not be able to detect the difference between themselves and you. So then, "you" clearly involves your specific state of consciousness, and when you are asleep that state is typically suspended, and any interruption that occurred during that time would only be detectable if it lead to obvious changes of state (like waking up many days after falling asleep).

Some people fight for or against abortion rights. Some people fight against war, genetically engineered food, for and against drugs. I fight against religion, because I see it as antithetical to science. And I see science as the only path by which we can resolve the truth, make good decisions that help people, and ultimately both minimize the suffering in the world and maximize the joy.

People are so proud to be what? Born somewhere? I just don't get patriotism.

You think it's all my fault. I think it's all your fault, but we were never so together.
We do what is required of us to survive.
Belligerent and numerous.
They bought and sold you.
We've got the same heart.
Invisible star sing me to sleep. Telling secrets, sing me to sleep. Sing me to sleep.
I hope for the best but nothing changes I'm sorry.
It is we that actually provide the purpose, in a universe that would otherwise have none.
She should be pure by now.
I hang out with all the pariahs.



Silly boy, puzzles don't get solved, they get organized, reassembled, or taken apart.

What I am to you, is not what you mean to me.

You'd sting me in the knees, and make them weak, like paper.
To find a beekeeper who puts up with the stingers.

Because we have never been more aware of our own ignorance, and also because we have a tendency to generate questions more rapidly than we resolve them, you might say that we know both more than we ever have before, and less than ever.

I was looking for some thick socks.

Can't and shouldn't.

Stars that shoot.

I think you're wrong, and here's why.

"...I want you all to think very loudly, so the rest of us can hear."
-PZ Meyers

[Human]kind can not will what it wills.
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Concentrated sunlight.

We should try getting some VR goggles to screw around with. And webcams to mount on them. There is some stuff that could be really cool.

Isn't it obvious? Any war, including the ``war on terror'', can most efficiently and effectively and completely be won with a PR campaign. Access to a large advanced well funded pool of entertainment and consumer markets is the true opiate of the masses, and if we want to overpower, control, compete, or invade any country, that is how we should go about doing it. It's how we control our own people.

Force drift
If you look back through the history of science, it is clearly an iterative process, a repeated distilling of information, a limiting process with no clear end.
Science is essentially the repeated distillation of ideas, boiling off the nonsense, and re-condensing ideas that fit in with the evidence.
"that's the way it goes, but don't forget, it goes the other way too." That's the way romance is... Usually, that's the way it goes, but every once in awhile, it goes the other way too.
—Alabama Whitman

What just happened.
Did it go from an obvious consequence to an undeniable reality? or from a 50/50 chance to a randomly selected outcome?
What do you think I think about what you think I think you've been thinking about?

I think
I think you think
I think you think that I think
I think you think that I think that you think

If we begin by assigning prior probabilities to all potential hypotheses, should we also include the possibility that we do not yet know, and should it be weighted differently? The two weighting options that first come to mind are assign the "we don't know" hypothesis a prior probability of 50%, or assign it an equal prior as the rest of the hypotheses (1/(N+1) for N hypotheses).

"If it disagrees with experiment—its wrong. In that simple statement, is the key to science. It doesn't make a difference how beautiful your guess is it doesn't make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, its wrong. Thats all there is to it."
"History is fundamentally irrelevant."
"We never, are right, we can only be sure we're wrong."
-Richard Feynman

Weird. Who are we?
Discovering new laws.
Take the world from another point of view.
Bullet on steal.
And one from an AK.
If surprise fails, there will be a chase.
As many contests as possible.
"I'm engaged in high treason with all means available to me. Can I count you in?"
"...It's almost unbelievable that the final variety of phenomena can come from such a steady operation of such simple rules."
"Up against mysteries, all the way around the edge... And awe. We can talk about mystery and awe."

I should double check my work, but I think there are about 231,000,000,000,000 (plus or minus a trillion) protons in a 1 foot long ruler. It appears that LIGO can measure half a proton distance.

Knowing you, makes all the difference.

Orbit = free fall. If we're traveling too fast, we'll never reach each other's surfaces.
Just, wow. What?!?
I think I'd like to be a quantitative epistemologist.

"we are our brain."
You can't write that number.
So lets go and change this finally. We've ruled ourselves with absurdity long enough.
Let's not and say we did.

Oh, it was Wonderfalls.

"...I love you, what can I tell you.
–Just tell me what to do."

I just got an idea, from the reincarnation bank. I've had this idea before, but now it's a little more developed. We should start a website for people to place bets on when the apocalypse will occur!

"Sometimes we're on a collision course, and we just don't know it. Whether it's by accident or by design, there's not a thing we can do about it."
-Benjamin Button

How much of this shit will we put up with? In just the last few years the catholic church has paid out more than a billion dollars in settlements for sexual offenses; they excommunicated everyone involved in the abortion of twins conceived in a 9 year old when raped by her father; they said that condoms increase the risk for aids; they have known, apparently for decades, about their pederast priests; they have, also for decades, systematically abused and tortured Irish catholic children. When the fuck is enough finally enough? Doesn't the complete deconstruction of the church, with all proceeds benefiting their victims, STILL fall completely short of undoing all the damage? Is there any other comparably reasonable first step to take?

The enormity of the circumstances that contribute directly to any particular outcome are so far removed from our influence, its amazing we ever get anything done.

"There's no time limit, start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. And if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." -Benjamin Button

Opposition to torture, for me personally, isn't so much because I think it is sick/cruel/inhuman/sadistic/disgusting/SAVAGE/BARBARIC/UNCIVIL and deeply unsettling, it's because it seems very unlikely to be effective. Even in the ticking time bomb scenario, why would they give away their big plan? It's on par with James Bond villains blurting out their plan to their mortal enemy. And even if they gave you valid information, how long is it going to remain valid? Do you think they're so stupid that if one of them got caught, the rest would just proceed with the plan as usual? But the barbarism is plenty of justification to oppose it wholeheartedly as well...

You don't have to know what you really are before you can criticize others for thinking you are something you are not, you just have to know what you really are not—processes of elimination are tried and true, definitions always have been and always will be arbitrary.

Ha ha ha, there's a moment in Benjamin Button where the daughter remembers her one brief encounter with her biological father. And at that moment I realized the entire story was made up by the mother to explain to her daughter her odd affair with a man far younger than herself!

And as I knew I would.

Ha ha ha, imagine your consciousness were flowing through time from the future to the past, so things we consider going from a to b would appear to go from b to a. You'd always be sucking things out of the toilet and hurling whole food onto plates in whole un-chewed bites.

"It's called serial monogamy."

I guess the key is that biological systems are highly resistant to perturbations, so whatever it is that makes you 'you', cannot be too heavily influenced by energy fluctuations.

WHAT??? According to this, legalizing marijuana would generate 1-1.2 billion revenue, and they have a 21 billion dollar budget? Oh, no, 21 billion dollar deficit?

"You can be mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You can swear and curse the fates. But when it comes to the end, you have to let go." –Benjamin Button

By attributing humankind's most majestic qualities to god, all theists diminish the awe-inspiring processes of mother nature's machinery.

"This isn't like you.
—What do you mean like me, there is no like me, I'm not like anything and if I were it certainly wouldn't be me."

Oh, wow... the nature of symbiosis is constant tension, cooperation combating competition. Just like boys and girls.

The Distinction of Past and Future lecture by Richard Feynman.
Introductory Quantum Mechanics II at MIT.
Take the World from Another Point of View by Richard Feynman.
Origami has been solved?
North Korea Detonates 40 years of GDP
Characteristics of Vector Fields lecture by Richard Feynman.

"There's no more wiggle room on your rap sheet."
"The sound of a fuse being lit."
"Slightly damaged, and thats always a plus."
"Bend over for destiny."

If you look at the sky, you can see the beginning of time.
Homo Habitus was the first to use tools.
Speak your mind. Don't back down.
And would you stay?

Yesterday I was working on a kenken puzzle, and I realized that it could involve chains of logic that were just too large for me to grasp, and that computers would obviously be more suited to dealing with these longer chains of logic. Which immediately struck me as a clear argument for why computers could soon "know" or "understand" things that humans simply cannot. It might also lead to computers behaving in ways that are completely incomprehensible (to us).

Do you know your ancestry?

I like the music too.
Ha ha ha haha! This is exactly what happened when I went to college too; tattoos and pregnancy.

Ah ha! Science operates on contradicting evidence. What is important is that you have evidence that indicates the world is necessarily one way, and then you have comparably persuasive evidence indicating that the world is another way. It is the process of seeking out phenomena that are poorly understood (phenomena which lack a complete description, where description means a causal relationship), and evolving the description of the world according to what best resolves the contradictions between the evidence.
Science is that description, as well as the process of evolving it. If science were to have a dogma, it would have to be something along the lines of "evidence and coherency above all else". It should be recalled that humans are not perfect, every one of us makes mistakes of every imaginable sort. Evidence can be a very tricky thing to sort out, and much time and care must be taken to ensure that our own mistakes do not infect our evidence and distort it. The easiest (and maybe only?) way to do this is to doubt everything. Doubt your senses, doubt other's experience, doubt experts, doubt existence, doubt EVERYTHING. But don't let that inhibit the construction of a coherent explanation, just use it to remember that all evidence is subject to rejection in the future. Develop your explanations, and weigh the evidence appropriately. This might be best illustrated by example, and I happen to have an excellent one, related to the eminent physicist Richard Feynman, who was asked about the likelihood that aliens exist. He responded that accounts of extraterrestrial experiences are much more easily explained in terms of the known irrational behavior of terrestrial beings, than the unknown rational behavior of extraterrestrials. Scientists exert incredible effort to artificially construct situations in which the mistakes and biases and irrationality of humans is minimized, trying to expose the phenomena maximally and avoid any tainting by our inherent shortcomings, nevertheless, such shortcomings will inevitably remain to some degree.
Now we can get into the heart of the matter: as conscious organisms with a memory that has some degree of persistence, we make a lot of observations, nearly all of which suffer, from some degree, of our imperfections. However, the base observations are still mostly reliable, though certainly less reliable than scientific experiment, which as I said before, were carefully constructed to remove and resist most of the human mistakes.

Feynman said, "Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers, you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age."

I like how first facebook makes us feel like we have way more friends than we really do, then emphasizes how poorly we all know each other by these quizzes.
But we were never so together. How can you resurrect straight into a wreck?
I have overwhelming urges to share science with anyone and everyone; and yet I know that not everyone cares, and not everyone even needs to, or should care. How far do I go in sharing my passions with others, before it is too far?

Ha ha ha hah ha:
"I’m not going to bore you with the details of what the whole “Is P equal to NP or not?” question is, other than the fact that it’s one of the Great Mysteries of computer science. From a mathematician’s point of view, solving it would be a bigger deal than solving Fermat’s Last Theorem. It’s so big a deal and so hard a problem that there’s a US$1 million reward to the first person to submit a viable proof.
Simply put, I’d just broken up with either the biggest liar I’ve ever dated or the greatest computer scientist who ever lived. Somewhere, Alan Turing’s coffin was experiencing fantastic rotational torque."

Anyone ever notice how one of my more common greetings, especially online, is "hello"? I just found this on wiktionary: "the greeting hello is among the most generic and neutral in use. It may be heard in nearly all social situations and in nearly all walks of life, and is unlikely to cause offense." Likewise, I am very fond of "bye bye", which is listed as an antonym.

"The McNugget numbers are all natural numbers except the non-McNugget numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, and 43 (sequence A065003 in OEIS)."

Try another me and I will try another you. I put my arms around you like I think you want me to. But tell me what you're thinking, I so often misconstrue.

I searched my computer for .mp3 and .jpg and came up with 46,910 and 79,830 songs and pictures respectively. Sort of daunting to clean that out, right?

"I feel far away from you, so what else is new. The moon is closer to the sun, than I am to anyone."

We play to lose.