I hope you are Grand


Something I wondered recently: science is often vilified, along the lines of having a track record of being arrogant and then shown wrong, or having a big head that leads to devastating consequences later. This is the theme of countless fictional works, (e.g. Jurassic Park), but are there any examples of it happening in real life? The closest I can think of is the atomic bomb, but I find that easily dismissed by two statements. 1. There was a very reasonable, well justified concern that Germany would build one first, and if so, would almost surely decimate it's enemies, possibly winning it's wars. 2. While it was the scientists who dreamed it up, sold it, and constructed it, it was the politicians and governments who chose to use it, further develop it, and stockpile it in copious amounts.
Other than that, what has science done? Nearly eradicated the worst of the diseases, increased the food supply to levels capable of sustaining the population, caught and averted multiple pollution disasters (e.g. ozone layer), developed travel and mathematics and computers and various other technology to reduce the resistance of information flow to nearly zero, extended our foresight, educated us... solved virtually every threat to our existence except ourselves. What the fuck did we do to you people?

I really would like to develop a mathematical model of 'goodness' that could accurately capture the distribution of playing fair versus cheating you would expect to see in real life, with as few as possible details about the players. Maybe we could reduce it to simple replication motivation by genetic material.

I suspect that one of the most important lessons that can be learnt, a lesson which is exceedingly obvious in light of the history of science, is that intuition isn't, and statements exerting any form of supreme certainty should only be dealt out with explicit and comprehensive disclaimers, and adopted only with perpetual uncertainty. It is sub-tragic that Einstein had not learned this lesson before publishing his famous collaborative paper with Podolsky and Rosen.
Although, is it possible that his unwavering discomfort with the emerging quantum mechanical physics was a greater motivation for his exploration of the implications than any sort of acceptance of the theory would have inspired? Could I learn a lesson from this and use my discomfort for spatially and temporally finite cosmological models as inspirations for novel new predictions and tests of the models I so strongly oppose?

Keep your eyes on the prize.
Cause thats where you wanted to go.

I think the fundamental problem with concerning ourselves over genetic predisposition for mental illness is out tendency to treat mental disorders as being equally insurmountable as many physical disorders. Unlike physical disorders, mental disorders are (by definition) largely influenced by the mind, which is an unmeasurably fluid device, defying our attempts at modeling, if only out of desire to remain unpredictable. While I'm not advocating mind over matter, and I'm not saying mental disorders are an illusion or a state of mind, I am saying that the ability of the mind to treat (and improve) itself is probably much more effective than we typically credit it, and without trying that avenue, we forfeit what might be one of the greater resources for treatment. (Though I am almost certainly being overly critical, as whole fields of medicine are centered around treating the mind without concerning the physics.)

Having a joke.

This is great.
This is pretty cool too.
Differential geometry?...!
Do I even know what I am doing right now?
I should try watching Better Off Ted.
Reminder: study the historical income tax brackets for the united states in more depth.

"What if Leaving is a Loving Thing"
"if anyone matters it's you"

Whereas a few months ago, most talk I had heard would have been "there need not be conflict between religion and science", I am seeing the tides turn, and now frequently reading, "the conflict is not really resolvable, the two cannot be reconciled." This is an exciting development, I think the conflict is heating up, and the rationalists are growing more comfortable speaking up, speaking out, and being straightforward.

AQ scores: 34, 44, 38, 41

The difference between us is that you credit the individual for generating the majority of their own wealth, while I credit the society for generating the majority of an individual's wealth. After that, we both reward the credit accordingly with money. We would probably both agree that both the society and the individual are integral to the process, and that both deserve some compensation. In my view, how much we compensate the society is directly related to how much the individual has benefited, in your view, it is a flat rate.

Christianity is a sin.

I think for the first time, possibly in my entire life, I actually feel more dedicated to my career goals than to finding a romantic partner.
The box is probably worth something too. Some boxes are worth a lot.
Communications men.
I'm not sure why but I really like this image.

I really do think that science is the only method by which one can reliably understand anything. That is, you may understand things by other means, but the other means will not work reliably; intuition may work quite often, but it will break down sooner or later. Guessing is another method that might work in some circumstances.

Where does the bible say that an embryo is a human?

As long as the music is playing, there are no losers.

McDonalds Hamburgers, Chinese communism...
High powered money.
Monetary base.

Write your own instruction manual, by experiencing the world, learning, and following your heart.
"It was suddenly clear, they didn't have a clue.
I must have made a mistake.
What a fool I'd been.
I felt betrayed and lied to.
I suddenly felt alone, trapped in a gigantic lie."

I don't think I ever had an imaginary friend. Did you?

Hug harder.
"Recently I've taken up graffiti, it's cheaper than being a writer."

Or can we decide.
And if I fail, I will fail you. Then what?
Can you feel it?
Is this really what we are?

Whoopsy daisy.

I hope you are grand.
I haven't felt myself of late.

I think an artist is not a person who makes things beautiful, but simply one who deliberately makes things as well as he can -- whether he is a clock-maker or picture-painter; because machine-made things are very much better when no "designer" has had anything to do with them -- when they are just plain serviceable things. I think that if you look after goodness and truth, beauty will take care of itself.
-Eric Gill

"It's love, not Santa Claus."
Smash it to Pieces.
"behind the ...nice try."

Brain size.
Synaptic pruning.
Pace your rage.
What do you believe? And why do you believe it?

Everybody wants roughly the same things: happiness, for themselves, for their offspring, for their friends and family. People tend to want to live a comfortable life, to not have to struggle to make ends meet or enjoy the world. And nearly always to have your offspring enjoy a life even greater than your own.

Some hearts are true.

This makes me so angry.
This is fucking hilarious. I love how the points are all centered around what is good and bad about marriage, or children, without addressing anything about homosexual or heterosexual couples.
1 Marriage reduces the risk of poverty for children and communities. The majority of children whose parents don’t get or stay married experience at least a year of poverty.
So... let homosexual couples get married? It sounds like if they do have kids, regardless of means, that it would be best for the child if the couple were married.

2 Fatherless households increase crime. Boys whose parents divorced or never married, for example, are two to three times more likely to end up in jail as adults.
So... don't let lesbian couples adopt boys? But wait, the opener, "fatherless households..." is completely unrelated to the point, "boys [with unwed parents...] are more likely to end up in jail." Reading the explanation alone, again, implies let homosexuals marry, especially if they have children.

3 Marriage protects children’s physical and mental health. Children whose parents get and stay married are healthier and also much less likely to suffer mental illness, including depression and teen suicide.
WHAT THE FUCK. Two options: if you let homosexuals have kids, then it's best if they were married; if you don't think homosexuals have kids, then your point is unrelated.

4 Both men and women who marry live longer, healthier and happier lives. On virtually every measure of health and well-being, married people are better-off than otherwise similar singles, on average.

5 Just living together is not the same as marriage. Married couples who cohabit first are thirty to fifty percent more likely to divorce. People who just live together do not get the same boost to health, welfare and happiness, on average, as spouses. Neither do their children. Children whose parents cohabit are at increased risk for domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. Children born to parents who were just living together are also three times more likely to experience their parents’ breakup by age 5.
I am stupefied; the same responses from above apply to this.

6 Parents who don’t get or stay married put children’s education at risk. Children whose parents divorced or never married have lower grade point averages, are more likely to be held back a grade, and to drop out of school. They are also less likely to end up college graduates.
I know it's wrong for me to say, or imply that these people are somehow mentally handicapped, or 'retarded', or 'fucking idiots' or a host of other things, so I won't say those things. But I'll certainly be thinking it loudly.

7 When marriages fail, ties between parents and children typically weaken too. Adult children whose parents divorced are only half as likely to have warm, close ties to both their mothers and their fathers. For example, in one large national survey, 65 percent of adult chilrden of divorce reported they were not close to their fathers (compared to 29 percent of adults from intact marriages).
Again, same problems as before. We are talking about gay marriage, if you'd like to include adoption rights, fine by me. How about all the statistics describing unwanted children? What do you think the correlation is between birthing an unwanted child and that child's chances of criminal behavior, low standard of living, absence of loving parents, mental and physical health problems, and academic performance? Would you bet against my claim that they are highly correlated? Would you bet against my claim that same sex couples who go through the adoption process are significantly less likely to have unwanted children than traditional heterosexual couples? I doubt their is data on these things, but I'll bet the same correlation would appear between heterosexual couples that adopt versus those that don't, and I'll bet the gap widens when unwanted childbirth between heterosexuals is compared directly to those who adopt. Congratulations 'nation for marriage.org', you've convinced me to not only be pro gay marriage, you've convinced me to be pro gay couple adoption. Don't take it too hard, I was already pro those things. You've just made me more fervently anti-catholic, anti-religious, and anti-conservativism (in the "preserve tradition" and "things should not change" sense, not the republican sense). Not that I could have been any more against those things than I already was.

I love how they don't mention anything about gay couples adopting, but they constantly bring up kids.

How awesome is this?
"Troubled hearts map deserts, and they rarely do come back."
How magnificent must the universe be, before it distracts us from ourselves?

I just realized that humility and arrogance are not mutually exclusive, and that although I am now increasingly arrogant, that previously I was extremely arrogant, but in a timid way. Timidity has probably been my most influential trait within my lifetime, and yet lying beneath it has always been a supreme arrogance. In fact, the very motivation for timidness has more often than not been a fear of destruction, along with a complete lack of fear of being destroyed.

"You'll all feel much better when you let go of belief in the celestial north korea"

Can you think of any examples of pure science resulting in unintended perverse results? It's a common theme of science fiction, but I do not believe it is very common in science. The closest I can think of are nuclear weapons, which I think are much more complicated than "scientists said it'd be fine", and vaccinations, which I think have similar excuses, and which additionally have caused so much good that I think most people would accept the negatives (at least for some diseases, like smallpox). I think I wrote about this at the top of this post too?

Yet more awe-inducing science.
"I don't think this is a brains sort of operation."
I very much like the sentiment of this comic.

Overnight market. Overnight rate. Interbank lending market. Fractional-reserve. Money supply
And a misplaced sense of value?

"You're prettier when you're mine."
"You're out of range."

Because what was true yesterday must also be true tomorrow.

Orcas being brilliant.
and pretty much the same event with a little more info maybe.

Kind of an odd note to end things on.