Completely Unannounced

Wherein I complain to myself.

Words: perfervid, sui generis, perspicuous

I've wondered frequently what it is that drives my humanism; why should I care about everyone so much? It'd be a lot easier to not care about people on the other side of the planet blowing themselves up in the name of ignorance, it's hard to really find a way to connect it to me. But I think I'm starting to get it now. I think it has to do with "the human condition." Which is a phrase I would have normally blown off as buzz-wordy or cliche, but I'm hyper aware of our position in the universe, and quite honest with myself about the prospects of their being more to life than what we choose to make of it. I guess I've noticed and shared an alarming degree of loneliness in the world. And it doesn't need to be, which is the strangest bit. People are so eager to form cliques, to belong to groups and for some odd reason, too often then expel others from those cliques. Divisive categorization seems to permeate our planet—nationalities, genders, ethnicities, religious belief, political opinions, social, personal. It's so vastly counter productive! And it is heartbreaking. And people are so susceptible to being told it's us versus them, but it so isn't!

God invented rainbows to remind himself not to exterminate all life on earth whenever he gets frustrated with their behavior. This isn't a joke, I didn't make it up, this is the story of Noah as written.

I'm beginning to view a lot of our behavior as humans in terms of pattern recognition that is trying to cope with a noisy and complex world. Superstitious behaviors abound wherever signal-to-noise ratios are high. I have a feeling the underlying mechanism that drives superstition is far more pervasive than I would have previously imagined—it doesn't always lead to clearly illogical or irrational behavior, like witch hunts or zeus, sometimes it may lead to mere confidence, or lack thereof. Which on the surface of things might never show up as superstition, if nothing ever totally shakes the confidence (or contradicts the doubt) strong enough to topple the superstition. I wonder how much of this I suffer from.

Go directly to work. Do not pass "Go". Do not collect 200 dollars.

What effect has the entertainment industry had on our hopes and expectations and dreams? Do we suffer from a dream bubble? (An artificially inflated sense of what it means to succeed, or be happy, etc., distorted by the limitless potentials portrayed in fiction.)

Holy fuck–to put the pope in perspective, can you think of any other group with a billion members? Most of whom donate money every week? for hundreds of years. Controlled by a single monarch? Not the Chinese, or Indians, whom have larger populations.

Watching the 10 commandments… is that a volcano? in the middle east? And did you know this movie is 3 hours and 38 minutes long?

Idolatry and vile affections
This sounds awesome.
I don't like how the pharaoh doubts Moses a whole bunch, passing off each demonstration of god's will as a parlor trick, but then he ultimately gets punished for being a doubter. All religions do this: the preach that faith and trust are integral. That you should question. Like that ultimate absurdity the garden of eden, where all of humankind is punished for a single couple's mistakes—if you can even figure out how to blame people who allegedly don't know right from wrong for breaking a rule. Yup, we're all sinners because a couple of people had to go ahead and express the most basic element of humanity: our curiosity. Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain. Ha ha, reminds me of Bill Hicks, "I'll show you politics in America, 'I think the puppet on the right hand shares my beliefs.' ... 'I think the puppet on the left hand is more to my liking.' Hey wait a minute, there's one guy holding up both puppets! — 'Go back to bed America, your Government is in control." Actually, I'm not nearly as cynical as he was, I still really like Obama, and Clinton, and I almost see the democrats as being a natural product of the divide between people who think and people who don't. It reminds me of how I'd expect both asexual and sexual reproduction to exist anywhere in the universe that life develops reasonably well, and single and multicellular life, and plant and animal. There must be a good science word to describe this... natural consequence of the rules or something, I'll ponder.

It is disgusting the way the Abrahamic faiths unnecessarily manufacture guilt where none need be. As Bertrand Russell put it, "So long as there is death there will be sorrow, and so long as there is sorrow it can be no part of the duty of human beings to increase its amount, in spite of the fact that a few rare spirits know how to transmute it." Yet we promulgate most effectively beliefs built on the looming fear of a creator who concerns itself with our personal habits and desires. Such fear mongers draw upon human nature for social approval to instill guilt in peers for behavior that most animals are free to perform without hesitation. 

Religion: the original slippery slope. (essay)
Topics: garden of eden, original sin, christ, made in the image of god, covenant with god
People talk about the purpose of their lives instilled in them by god; what is that? The command to be fruitful and multiply? To be his servant? To what end? It could be noble to be "christlike" or "godlike", as those behaviors (in the popular concepts of those things) would be good behavior, which would be more likely to please others. But to make someone who you certainly can't get to know in as personal way as you can get to know any human? Or just to have offspring? When the world runs out of resources, can we stop multiplying? cause thats kind of happening. Could we start living for ourselves, and the people we care about? How about we live for all humankind?

The whole Quran burning situation is difficult because, on the one hand, you don't want to side with the moron who is threatening to burn it, because he's a religious nut that doesn't think Islam is wrong because of the evidence, but rather because he thinks Christianity is right; he's participating in a religious war.

On the other hand, you don't want to support the Muslims who will undoubtedly take offense to him either. They too are participating in a religious war, though they might be escalating it quite a bit more than the idiot christian, if they proceed with death threats or actual violence. Though the idiot christian is already escalating it by burning the book, though such escalation is really much more mundane than violence.

You don't really want to condone either of their behavior, though you do want to protect the right to burn personal property, (whether books, or symbols of other people's cherished beliefs), and disrespect other's religious beliefs (or any beliefs). While you don't want to protect anyone's right to make death threats or commit acts of violence in the name of their beliefs. (Which doesn't actually exist as a right.) People need to separate themselves from their ideas more—I am critical of the Abrahamic religions, not of the people who practice them. I know that is a nuanced distinction, and it's easy to sound like I am attacking the adherents, but I'm not. I am motivated by what I view is the absolute best possible world we can make for ourselves, which first involves everyone calming the fuck down, and loosening up a little on their devoutness.

How ironic is it that those deeply offended by the actions of certain americans, like burning the quran, respond by declaring our insolence should not be tolerated, and then by burning our flag! Another Bill Hicks reference: the flag itself is nothing, it's a flag, a piece of cloth. But what the flag represents, is all of the freedoms we have, that make our country so much better than so many others (though certainly there are other countries with comparable, arguably greater degrees of freedom), the flag is just a symbol of freedom, including the right to burn the fucking flag.

The problem I have with people claiming there must be a creator, or really even, there must not, or "this is too complex to have evolved", is analogous to the statement, "I saw David Copperfield make the statue of liberty disappear, and I don't know how it could be done, except that if Copperfield is indeed capable of magic (i.e. violating the laws of physics). Since I cannot conceive of a non-magical way, David Copperfield must be magic."

The problem is that you are assuming your observations are strong enough to rule out an enormous number of potential alternative explanations. This would be just as wrong were one to say, "if Copperfield were to have put drugs in the audience's drinks, and then use video editing to fool the home audience, then he could make the statue disappear without violating the laws of physics, but I see no other way to both satisfy the laws of physics as well as make the statue disappear, therefore Copperfield drugged the audience," is just as wrong.

In both instances, the conclusion is built on observations too weak to rule out alternatives. The first situation is the issue that all arguments of the form "god must exist" suffer from; it's the sure sign of a retarded imagination (and I use the "r-word" in it's technical sense). The second instance appears to be what the current cosmologists are suffering from: confidence that their observations (as well as their ability to mathematically model) are both sufficiently complete and encompassing to rule out all possible alternatives. As far as the existence of supernatural beings is concerned however, none of this even matters; from a philosophical point of view, what possibly could be considered "supernatural"? everything that happens happens within nature, whether you can explain it or not. To presume that it violates the actual physical laws of the universe is to presume that we fully understand the actual physical laws of the universe; however, we do seem to have bounded the actual physical possibilities, and there could conceivably be extraordinary evidence that could topple our known laws, but it is inconceivable that such evidence could possibly defy quantification within a new set of laws, in any fundamental way. (Of course single events can appear to violate the current laws, and simultaneously be insufficient for the formulation of new laws, but not because they are fundamentally inexplicable but rather because too little data exists to model them.)

Furthermore, the assertion that a god exists is simply one of the most extraordinary claims imaginable, and correspondingly it requires some of the most extraordinary evidence imaginable; evidence which is entirely lacking in any meaningful sense. (All of the claimed evidence is far from useful---most appears to be evidence of the human imagination, human optimism, and the operational flaws inherent in brains.)
Is it possible that our entire universe presides within the event horizon of a black hole? in which case, what would the virtual particle background look like within the boundary? I think we can't live there actually... or wait, maybe we can... the key would be escape velocity, right? Or do destructive tidal forces always exist near and within the black hole...? Or does anyone even know yet?

The negative potential indicates a bound state. (Physics or poetry?)

So I'm thinking that many astronomers must draw an analogy between when Uranus was observed to have an anomalous orbit, and Neptune was predicted, to the observations of galaxy motion & rotation & the prediction of dark matter. So the question becomes, at what point is the search for dark matter sufficiently ruled out? In Neptune's case it was very straight forward: accurate observations would give a very narrow window for where to look. Dark matter however is postulated to be immune to most methods of observation, and therefore by definition much harder to observe.

I predict that the current trends of DM searches will continue to fail to find a clear signal, and that this will at some point be called a crisis of cosmology.

But its just plain old science.

Framing it in terms of a failure of Newtonian physics is interesting too; they omit it, but one good theoretical indicator that Newtonian physics was wrong was Maxwell's discovery that his equations predicted an absolute speed of light. I wonder if there are any analogous hints in theory with current cosmology... but what principle could change?

Ha ha ha, Nobel Peace Prizes awarded to Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore lead people to think the Nobel committee has a left-wing bias? Don't they see that the left-wing has a peace-bias? Who started which wars?

Much like Diderot spoke of the Christian god as being one who makes much of his apples, and very little of his children. Perhaps we are made in god's horrible image after all.

I'm just a measly atheist/antitheist, but didn't Muhammad forbid drawings out of respect? Not out of psychotic rage? 

For a religion of peace, or named after peace, or whatever, islamic extremists are fucking violent. Maybe they don't know what peace means...

I remember in 3rd grade, I had a book, probably from the library, that described peacemaker missiles. It was a terrifying topic to ingest as a young child, and it horrified me that they had named the thing a peacemaker. It's where I first learned about the massiveness of the weapons, and the multiple independent reentry vehicles, that allow each missile to destroy up to 10-14 cities, by separating the warheads up near space. And it had a diagram, I no longer recall the details, except it had distances and temperatures, I think at many many miles, perhaps 100, it claimed that witnessing the blast would be equivalent to standing in front of an oven set to 400F. That was the most distant scale. As it got closer the temperatures got far hotter, though I don't remember the examples, maybe they weren't relate-able.
"There is a famous anecdote inspired by Euler's arguments with secular philosophers over religion, which is set during Euler's second stint at the St. Petersburg academy. The French philosopher Denis Diderot was visiting Russia on Catherine the Great's invitation. However, the Empress was alarmed that the philosopher's arguments for atheism were influencing members of her court, and so Euler was asked to confront the Frenchman. Diderot was later informed that a learned mathematician had produced a proof of the existence of God: he agreed to view the proof as it was presented in court. Euler appeared, advanced toward Diderot, and in a tone of perfect conviction announced, "Sir, \frac{a+b^n}{n}=x, hence God exists—reply!". Diderot, to whom (says the story) all mathematics was gibberish, stood dumbstruck as peals of laughter erupted from the court. Embarrassed, he asked to leave Russia, a request that was graciously granted by the Empress. However amusing the anecdote may be, it is apocryphal, given that Diderot was a capable mathematician who had published mathematical treatises." 

Obviously the only people who think that story paints Euler in good light are people who both believe in god and also do not know any mathematics. As any one with any sense of math should know, that equation means absolutely nothing with respect to the existence of a deity.

I wonder what it is in our brains that correlates to feelings of importance. I think Ketamine might block it. Whatever it is, I seem to have droves of it with respect to a lot of things, like girls, and short phrases that appeal to me.

Whoa, I understand mitochondria all of the sudden. Of course mitochondrial DNA is in the cell, not the nucleus, and apparently it ends up in the ovum, not the sperm, which is not at all surprising.

From there you can conclude that the father has no influence on it, so all children carry their mother's mitochondrial DNA. In light of this, the various levels of inheritance are fairly complex; men get all of their Y chromosome from dad, and all of the mitochondrial DNA and all of their X chromosome from mom, while women get half of their X from mom and half from dad, and all mitochondrial from mom. It's as if our mitochondria are asexual independent creatures living inside the majority of our cells. 

It took 2.8 billion years to invent sex.
Then another 650 million years to invent a brain.

No fucking way... right? Could dolphins really commit mass-suicide?
And max the parrot, witness to a murder "Richard, no no no"

I tend to think it is much simpler than that: Obama was overly optimistic; he simply thought that aiming for moderate policies would unite both parties, and that he could disappoint the extremes of both sides equally. But he underestimated the resentment that the republican party would develop following their loses in 2008, and as a consequence, the unity in opposition to him that we've seen ever since. What he should do is advocate letting all the tax cuts expire. He should say the decision is not based on politics or re-electability, but obviously on what is best for the country. It is a reverting to tax policy that is proven to be effective (under Clinton), and it was only altered when the government had a surplus (also due to Clinton). The downside is that he wouldn't get re-elected, but that isn't going to happen unless the economy turns around anyway. Unless those morons select someone like Palin in the primaries.

I think I used to be more poetic in here, something more akin to romance of sorts. Or at least less political drivel. That seems bad, I am going to fix that. "More action! Less Tears!"

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