Personal

Private posts will be published only on your personal blog.

Old Thread: Subjectivity and Justice

This thread was inspired by a review of a cowboy movie. Continued here and here and here and here and here (need to review the order). Later discussion here.


Old Thread: Deficits versus spending

Comment on Ideology


Old Thread: War Posts

Here are links to my posts and comments on war following the release of the "Collateral Murder" video:

Video of U.S. Military gunning down civilians

America: the contested legacy

Individualism, Collectivism, and War


Using Beer to Determine the Value of Mustard

Paul is hosting George and his dog, Alan, for lunch at his apartment.

The available lunch fixings are as follows:

2 plain hot dogs with buns
1 raw hot dog for Alan
1 empty dog's dish for Alan
1 sealed foil pak of mustard, enough for only 1 hot dog
1 16 oz unopened can of beer
1 empty 16 oz plastic cup

Assumptions : As soon as Paul has poured a measured amount of beer from the can into the plastic cup, the rest of the beer in the can will be poured into the dog dish. If there is no beer remaining in the can, the dog dish will be filled with water from the tap. Neither the cup nor the dog dish can be shared.

Paul has no idea what George's food preferences are. Alan's preferences are beyond the scope of this problem.

All of Paul's actions shall be assumed to be in his own short term self interest.

Plot :

Paul sets two places at the table. Each place has a hot dog with bun.

One of the places has the foil pak of mustard and the other has the plastic cup containing beer.

George is allowed to choose where to sit.

Question #1 : What have we learned about George's preferences?

Question #2 : What do we know about the quantity of beer in the cup?

Question #3 : What do we know about the economic value of the mustard pak?

Question #4 : George has been snooping in Paul's kitchen cabinets and, just before Paul pours the remaining beer into Alan's dish, George finds a second 16 oz plastic cup. How does this change the process above and what is the effect on the answer to question #3?

Regards, Don

end


Free Ed Hardy Tattoo


Healthy Weight Gain Men


Free Coats And Clark Crochet Patterns


Ron Paul on Secession

Rambles a bit, but it's refreshing good sense on secession. I've posted this to experiment with the colored border option.


Style and Substance

Due to the limited creativity of journalists, the temporal proximity of two events, and the melanin content of certain epidermises, we are bound to be treated to comparisons between Martin Luther King and Barack Obama over the next few days.

But to compare the two is to elevate symbolism to the level of substance. King and his generation did the heavy lifting to eliminate racism codified into law and deal a fatal blow to racism in the American mind. They risked their lives and livelihoods for their beliefs, and often spent time in jail for opposing unjust laws.

How does Obama's election compare? If he had lost to Clinton or McCain, would America be more racist?

Perhaps he may do good things once in office to leave a respected name and legacy. But his election itself means little. On the eve of a "historic" inauguration which will see millions of people flood DC for a glimpse at Dear Leader, I am having a hard time getting excited.


Optics and Astro-physics Make Me Vote for Obama

Seen in a blog comment:

TO THE NEXT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NEW PRESIDENT:

SIR:

"MAY I CALL YOU "O" ?"

Because of MAIN STREET !

Because of WALL STREET !

Because of the final electoral sprint - ending soon next coming november 2008 - while THE WHOLE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA has its eyes on YOU.

Everyone expects You to be democratically elected and see that something happen in America.

In March 1983, one of humanity's most famous spokesmen, Pope John Paul II, came to our country - 'Haîti' - and loudly proclaimed what each and every one of us had been whispering:

"Something must change here !"

Today, more than ever, a lot of people of The United States of America stand up, longing for something and working to make something happen.

"Go thou America ahead and show us thy true countenance in a positive light.' It is up to everyone to play his or her part in order to let thee regain thy mark of excellence !"

With this letter, I am communicating with You, SIR, and with the whole people of The United States of America.

You offer this country what it takes to be a 'Wonderfull Land.' Yes, let us say 'with a great people living and working together.'

Go thou, America, go ahead, following in the footsteps of one of thy sons who is now becoming one of thy statesmen.

With this in mind, to whom else could I entrust this letter sent to his Holiness Pope John Paul II when he set foot on Haitian soil for the first time, as well as its acknowledgment by the Vatican?

That letter to Pope John Paul II is intended to draw attention to the problem posed by anti-Black discrimination and its negative repercussions on the advancement of scientific progress in the West, and more precisely in the realm of Optics.

In the Western world, according to Newton's widely accepted theory, white is considered to be the synthesis of all colors. Actually, the opposite is true. White constitutes the analysis or 'visible' decoding of light or color, whereas black is its synthesis or 'invisible' composition.

In other words, darkness or blackness and, we might add, "Black Holes'" - a scientific misnomer designating invisible stars or 'Black Suns' - are a source of energy and light. Scientifically, Industrially and Economically speaking, what an asset !

That basic raw material of light energy culminates, in its most radiant form, in the neutralization of all the colors of the spectrum in the form of usually called "white light."

Therefore "absolute blackness", the absorption of all the colors, is a divisible component of light. Needless to say, Newton's theory gives only a partial interpretation of the notion of light, by excluding black. Our contribution aims at demonstrating that the black color is not only an integral part of the color process, but its true synthesis. Light is therefore shown to be a divisible whole comprising an intensity or color scale in which black is the invisible or 'absorbed' form of the energy in question.

Allow me, SIR, in order to support my statement concerning Black Holes and radiation, to pose a question asked by Hubert Reeves, Doctor of nuclear astrophysics and Scientific Consultant to NASA:

"What would have become of the Sun, if it were plunged into a high temperature radiance like the one that existed at the beginning of the Universe? [our translation]"

"Instead of emitting light, it would absorb it and, in the end, it would be completely reabsorbed into the cosmic fluid."

The cosmic fluid is what, due to an "optical mistake", is called "darkness" or the "blackness of Space". We are talking about the electromagnetic flux, that immeasurable ocean in which the planets and stars are bathed, like the sea which links all the continents together. Darkness is thus "The Sea of Space."

"What would have happened if, instead of an ordinary star like the "White Sun", a Black Hole or "Black Sun" were injected into that primordial radiation?"

"According to Einsteinian Physics, a Black Hole is a place where gravity is so formidably intense that nothing can escape it, not even visible light. Such a hole should suck in and absorb radiation and increase its own mass: E=MC2, always."

"But after Einstein came Bohr, Heisenberg, and Quantum Physic. From then on, nothing was the same as before."

"The Einsteinian version of the Black Hole is equivalent to a statement that the matter inside the Black Hole is definitely there to stay, in that volume of space. Let us quote Hubert Reeves: "Such an absolute statement is thus contrary to the "Quantum spirit", affirming that nothing is definitely localized in one place. There is always a probability of escape. If the enclosing wall is too high, a tunnel will be dug; if the prisoners are patient, they will escape. One has only to wait." [our translation]

"According to that principle, Black Holes "evaporate". Matter constantly escapes as radiation. Black Holes "shine!" Their surfaces behave like those of any body heated to a certain temperature and that radiation endlessly feeds that marvelous "Cosmic Fluid" which, wrongly and in bad faith, people keep calling "Darkness."

Nigra sum "sed" formosa!

Yes, but should we not say instead, I am black "and" comely?

Darkness, which is both source and vehicle of light, does not have to defend itself for being the beautiful and infinitely discreet raw material of the Universe. Darkness is the "Mother of the Universe."

Also, beautiful and discreet art thou, Haiti. Discreet, yes, but never outshone! Just like the Black Virgin who inspires and sheds her love on thee from the hilltop and even beyond Cité Soleil (Sun City).

Our purpose was to offer a more constructive approach aiming at correcting the abusive traditional, so-called scientific, theories of Optics.

It’s like to say that in the exceptional circumstances in which we live today - in the point of view of FINANCE and ENERGY - no exploration in the mid or long term, by the american expertise , of an additional source of energy, at the same time safe and economically profitable, should not be ruled out.

That is why, we wrote to that authentic witness to the signs of this age, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the prophet of the new era.

Congratulations to You, Sir, and congratulations to the PEOPLE of The United States Of America - for having made it possible for this day of November to come - to mark the beginning of a "New Era of Hope !"

Lucien Bonnet

PLease, SEE :
LETTER TO POPE JOHN-PAUL II
in 'BILL A RI AND THERE WAS LIGHT !
http://www.contact-canadahaiti.ca

The author
of this book entitled
"BILL A RI AND THERE WAS LIGHT !" :
Lucien Bonnet
loubonnet@sympatico.ca

"O" Movie Review
Review of the romantic drama, O, based on Shakespeare's Othello, starring Josh Hartnett, Julia Stiles, and Mekhi Phifer.
movies.about.com/library/weekly/aa083001a.htm - 29k - Cached - Similar pages


sorry


Linking

An example of linking.


Good faith execution of contracts

A lease contract for an apartment has a provision by which any late rent will trigger a $50 late fee, the rent is around $1500. On a given month, the tenant sends a check but he forgets to add the cents in the check, therefore 75 cents are missing to the monthly payment. The next month, the landlord asks for 75 cents and $50 of penalty.

Such a behavior can be rational from the landlord in the case of rent control, where his reputation does not negatively affect the price of the rent.

Assuming this silly (and purely hypothetical, honestly I swear) situation applied to you, would you feel justified in saying this is abusive or would you bow to the contractual rule?


About My Personal Blog

With this whole new Distributed Republic thing being a combination of blogs, I need to decide how to place the various bits I blog about. I have often used Catallarchy as a sounding board to get crazy ideas out, and I will still do so. However, there are crazy ideas which I think deserve a more limited audience - or that I'm not sure on how or if to proceed. For that my personal blog will suffice. As always, if I post it I want feedback, but understand I am even less sure of what I post to the personal blog than I am to the main Catallarchy page, if that is possible. Also I will update the posts as I see fit and may or may not indicate any edits. Lastly I may not respond directly to comments, though you can be sure that I want them. As I said "If I post it I want feedback!". So thanks in advance for the feedback.

I guess then that my personal blog could be considered to be home for my "working blogposts".

One of the projects that I will keep to my personal blog for now is a "How to convince the religious to give up religion" project. There are a number of sub-projects to this, one being how (not) to argue for atheism. Another is my own travels from Christian by default to agnostic back to Christian by default, to Christian by choice, to agnostic and thence atheist. And lastly some history and pre-history of the Levant and Mesopotamia and the rise of Abrahamic theology.

Other projects to come.

 


Why Omnibenevolence Allows Bad Things to Happen

Or why the argumant that an omnibenevolent diety wouldn't allow tsunamis, terrorists, and other Bad Things is wrong.

Atheists have long put forward the notion that an ominpotent, omnibenevolent being would not cause so much death and suffering as the Christian god apparently does. But this analysis can only be right if benevolence is taken from materialist assumptions. One would be wise to consider that Christian death is not the same as materialist death. To the Christian, death is just a transition from earth to heaven (or hell). An early transistion is not necessarily bad.

The Christian apology for bad things happening on earth are as follows:

Premises:

  1. Death is the transition from life on earth to life in heaven
  2. Being seperated from the deity is less good than being with the deity
  3. Life on earth means being seperated from the deity
  4. Life in heaven is being with the deity

Theorems:

  1. Life on earth is less good than life in heaven
  2. Death is good.*

Whoa! Why then would an omnibenevolent being have a life on earth then? Rather than a nice little sequence of logic statements, let us look instead at an analogy. When training for an athletic event, the training involves some pain and suffering, yet the athlete considers this as minor to the end good of participating and (hopefully) winning the event. Likewise, the Christian may view life as a sort of preperation, a learning phase where suffering and pain are building and improving the eternal soul.

So, the atheist makes two mistakes in arguing against a deity being omnibenevolent: first is the materialist premises, the second is the false dichotomy of good or bad rather than the continous spectrum of bad to good.

With so many *good* arguments against Christianity, and religions in general, why do atheists continue using this bad argument?

* Yes this is sick. There are also nuances and caveats that I do not go into here, and do not affect this argument, but may apply elsewhere.


The Mystical Binary

Old Wired article: God Is the Machine

About the hypothesis that the entire universe is a computer. Squares well with a lot of mystic traditions as well as some modern physics (as if I know - I wish I weren't such a science ignoramus.)


The Pimpspot

Watch this space. The Distributed Republic hopes to have guest-bloggers periodically stop by. It should start happening sometime in June or July after Jonathan receives his flogging finishes the Mother of All Exams. In the meantime, If you have ideas for potential pimps or think you have the proper attire, send e-mail to jonathanfwilde - on - gmail.