Friday, June 10, 2011

This Just In: Earth Older than 6000 Years.

Well let's see what's in the news today...

Ancient Babylonian Tablets Translated

Wow, 90 years to compile an ancient Babylonian dictionary. Fascinating. I once learned the Babylonian numeration system in a college class. Turns out it wasn't even 'base 10.' It was based on the number 60. Hard to manage in your head...

It would seem that here we have a series of clay tablets which tell a complex story of a complex thriving culture that pre-dated the writing of the Old Testament. The tablets are approximately 4,500 years old, and speak of a three-thousand-year-old culture that contributed greatly to the flowering of ancient Greece and Rome, and thereby our western world.

A three-thousand-year-old culture.

Let's do the math, christians. The tablets are how old? Hmm... 4500 years. And how old a culture do they speak of? 3000 years.

Now I'm not sure whether today's christians still do arithmetic. I mean, they've convinced themselves that most of modern science is completely wrong on the say-so of such authorities as a bloated ex-drug-addict radio host so filled with open hatred that it almost literally oozes out his ears, because hey, he's so credible and all as compared to accredited scientists who've studied really really hard for all their lives; and they also believe that the world is only 6000 years old because of some rheumy religious moron's interpretation of the 'begats' in the bible, which is itself an ancient hodgepodge of various mostly anonymously-written texts based on oral traditions that were compiled and edited by corrupt Roman politicians with hugely vested interests in maintaining earthly power.

(Why, that's at least half as reliable as how Harold Camping so accurately determined the exact date and time for armeggedon!)

That's why I figure that it's not out of the realm of possibility that they've abandoned arithmetic as well. If not, they will after they finish reading this post.

Therefore for the convenience of those who have faith instead of intellect, beliefs instead of ideas, I'll provide the solution...

It means that the earth absolutely has to be *at least* 7,500 years old. 4,500 + 3,000 = 7,500. Years. 7,500 years. Old. The earth. You listening?

And further, that culture didn't just spring up instantly when the world was 'created' either. A culture doesn't develop like that, now does it? It takes quite a while for cities to form from a primitive agrarian culture, and even longer for a primitive agrarian culture to develop from even more primitive hunter-gatherers. So let's say at least a few more thousand years. Over ten thousand all total, most likely, at the minimum.

So there it is, christians. Read it and weep. Or deny it to yourselves, as you are wont to do. It's just another pesky fact, after all. Shouldn't present a problem to true believers like yourselves. You've already denied several million; what's one more?

(sigh)

So then, tell me why it must be wrong. Why it *has* to be wrong. Why it is *certainly* wrong.

I mean, it has to be wrong, right? You certainly can't be. Not with god on your side... With god on your side, you can't be wrong. God is infallible, and the bible is his revelation.

I mean, just ask Harold Camping. He's never wrong, either.

1,943 comments:

  1. Fox News, in a bid to upstage the Onion, has been following up allegations that Congressman Wiener may have been attempting to communicate with pro-life-mother-to-be's-fetus, claims the allegation.

    The alleged mother-to-be is allegedly furious at Mr. Weiner due to the possible future predatory behaviour displayed by him towards her possible daughter, or even worse, son!

    "All we know for sure is that the women he did contact were once little girls, and no-one, not even Mr. Wiener is denying this!", is a statement that someone may have said, alleged some Fox news viewer, allegedly.

    "I mean, MY GOD! Think of Anthony Wiener. Now think of little girls! Mr. Wiener must resign his position! If you disagree, we may have to think of YOU while thinking of little girls too, so you better watch out buster!"

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  2. Brian, Brian,

    It's wrong because it doesn't sell. When it does sell it'll be the truth.

    Bible?

    Best seller.

    Televangelists?

    Money makers.

    History, science, and truth?

    Where's the gold at Brian?! Where's the plata?!

    Judge you!

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  3. Is there in Truth no Money?



    I'm just wondering when exactly Gordon Gekko took over the country.

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  4. In this country lately, 'immorality' equals 'sex scandal.'

    There seems to be no other thing that people even notice.

    Start a needless war that kills thousands of innocents? Not as bad as a blowjob. Destroy the american economy and still not want to pay your fair share of taxes? Not as bad as tweeting your dick. Start torturing people as US policy? Eavesdrop on private conversations? Throw a terrified puppy off a cliff to its death as one US soldier is on film doing? Not a problem. Stage dogfights for fun and profit, torturing dogs to death in the process? Sure, come back to the NFL... nice arm you got there.

    But have sex in any way WE don't approve of?

    OFF WITH HIS HEAD!

    (Unless he's a republican of course; that sort of thing is to be expected in that lot)

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  5. This country's morals suck. So twisted. Fine to lie and cheat and steal, and even fine to 'throw grandma off a cliff' in your budget, but GOD FORBID it's anything SEXUAL!!! AGGGGG!!!!

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  6. Apparently god doesn't forbid any of that other stuff.

    Just the fucking.

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  7. The reason of course that there aren't ever consequences for republicans for even the most shocking sex scandals, is that most of the outrage this country feels at a sex scandal is manufactured by...
    (drum roll)
    The republicans!
    Ta Da!

    Always the leaders in false moral outrage. The only kind they can have, come to think of it, due to their having false morals in the first place.

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  8. Brian,

    It means something because we Americans can't get enough of the obvious. Krishna forbid an analogous proper name for a "scandal."

    Weiner.

    I wish it had been Boehner. Somebody would at least have made him admit it is actually pronounced 'boner.'

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  9. "Having Good Morals" is not defined as 'That which makes us feel grossed out and yucky.' That's called 'immaturity.'

    This is the confusion. People think that if something is immoral, it'll naturally gross them out. If they're not grossed out, it must be moral.

    Who even started this? The church? I bet it was the church. They're the ones that would have most benefited from it.

    Thus, destroying the economy for personal gain is moral, because it isn't stomach-turning to puritanical hypocrites. Same-sex kissing is. Even saying 'gay' is. Black people are. The poor are. Cheating on one's spouse is, but only to women, but they tend to control their households or at least heavily influence them, so no matter, the guys all lie and say it grosses them out too...

    Puppy killing grosses ME out, a whole lot... but them, not as much. Animals have no souls and were put here to serve us, and to feed us. So Michael Vick isn't shunned like a leper as he should be. Too much talent (read 'money') to let that bother us.

    It's a sick world, and it's a lot sicker because of the unfortunate dynamic of the 'blindly believing ignorant sheep and the wolves who herd them.' In other words, religion.

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  10. I know Harry, but look on the bright side...

    Someone just gave the 'lamestream media' 2400 pages of homework.

    Weiner will likely fade into background noise in the next week or two.

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  11. My wife sells daguerreotypes on ebay. She's also a collector.

    Whenever she corresponds with people from Texas she closes with 'god bless.'

    She gets paid more promptly, she says.

    She asked me if there's anything wrong with her, an atheist/wiccan, saying 'god bless' to christians to get their money.

    I said 'hell no, that's what the religion was designed for!'

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  12. She even pretends to be religious in prolonged conversations. It works... every time apparently.

    Hey, it's a fantastic scam. Glad she could find a way to make it work for her that doesn't rot her soul. Separating christians from their money is one of the most moral things a person can do nowadays. The less money they have, the less harm they can do with it.

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  13. I should say, anything separating a christian from their money is okay as long as it does nothing to further promote christianity or doesn't cast one's self in the role of 'pastor' or whatever. Best case scenario would be to take money away fro christians and donate it to atheist organizations. That'd be peachy-keen.

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  14. I think this Weiner guy is an arrogant ass hole, but he has been toped by a congressman, Dana Rohrabacher who says Iraq should pay the US for the war. If I were the head honcho in Iraq I would be ready to sue the US for the illegal war that they forced upon Iraq. Attacking an innocent nation and wanting paid for doing so is arrogance beyond my wildest imagination. I am upset over Obama not having a full investigation into what really was the reason for attacking Iraq in the first place. If it was what I believe to be the cause, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfield would be sentenced to the rest of their life in prison. If so, Obama could them pardon them if he chose, but it would send a message to all politicians that this type of behavior would not fly. I do think Obama is denying the citizens of this country the justice we deserve regardless of the outcome of a serious investigation.

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  15. I disagree with you and Brian on the 'spiritual aspects' of your life experience Jerry, but you can see through Observant, MI and fanman and the like.

    I think that you can see that the right's policies wrong, that the old, the sick and the poor deserve help, children deserve a decent education, and women deserve control of their own bodies.

    I DON'T think that Observant's glib, "You're just saying that 'cos you're poor!", does anything much more than 'open the door' to his motivation.

    But, and this is just a general observation now, not to you in particular Jerry, where is the Christian left?

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  16. I DON'T think that Observant's glib, "You're just saying that 'cos you're poor!", does anything much more than 'open the door' to his motivation.

    Not sure what you are saying here. If you are saying that because I am monetarily poor and that causes me to think certain ways I would question that. I am monetarily poor because I do not want to put my energy into becoming better off. Like I said before, I am centered on enjoying life, and when I was about 30 years old I figured out that money did not necessary add to my enjoyment of life. At that time money went from first place to also ran as far as I am concerned. It would be nice to be wealthy but the price is to high for me to pay. As far as Observant's motivation, I think it is probably good as far as his understanding goes. It appears to me he is highly motivated, but his critical thinker is not being used, in my opinion.

    Where is the Christian left. I believe there is at least two answers to that. Many are into seriously trying to help there fellow man live a better life, mostly in a martial way. Many are into answering their conditioning, like Pavlov dogs, they answer to there conditioning as taught by their environment. The combination of these two will catch most, I think the Christian right is in the same boat, but with different ideas how to best live and help their fellow man. Bottom line for me is I think, most if not all, people are doing the best they can to live the best life possible in a way they understand. I listen to Ann 'Rand, and her ideas, while I do think some of them are good they leak like a sieve to deeper thinking, but at the same time I understand the appeal to people buying into them. We are not all deep thinkers, and I think it is a fault to not have the tolerance for those that do not posses the ability to do so. Like, should we all think we are lacking to have at least as deep as thinking as Einstein, Socrates, etc? In other words I am a fallible human being, and refuse to accommodate those that think I should be perfect, according to their thinking. I see others in the same boat.

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  17. mostly in a martial way -- mostly in a material way

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  18. I think pboy meant that observant was talking about all the poor people, the poor in general, not referring to you, jerry. Similar to when I was talking generally and it seemed that I was directing it to you. Hard to tell the difference when you (anyone, not you!) can't hear inflection and tone of voice. Typed words are most easily misinterpreted that way.

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  19. 'Course you're right Brian, I wasn't talkin' about Jerry at all, in fact Observant has accused me of defending the poor because I'm poor, and not Jerry at all.

    I'm just supposing that he assumes that anyone at all who defends the poor, the old, the sick etc. etc. just has a vested interest in taking their money to pay for it.

    Anyways, glad that's cleared up.


    Brian, just wanted to draw your attention to this, under the heading 'Existence'.

    "In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them."

    I like this definition, philosphers can rot in HELL. Bwahaha!

    " Anti-realism is the view of idealists who are skeptics about the physical world, maintaining either: 1) that nothing exists outside the mind, or 2) that we would have no access to a mind-independent reality even if it may exist."

    Seems to me that you, with your BB Theory, are the 1)st. kind of anti-realist, if 'the mind' is taken to be an all encompassing mind.

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  20. Seems to me that you, with your BB Theory, are the 1)st. kind of anti-realist, if 'the mind' is taken to be an all encompassing mind.
    ------------
    Why yes, Iam. When I think about the 'universe as a vast mind' or anything related to the BB stuff, of course I am being an anti-realist. I would contend that if that is true, that mind is the ultimate reality, so in a way I am being an ultra-realist. It's just words. And calling me an anti-realist is like me calling you a liberal. In other words, 'yeah, so what?' :-)
    Of course and conversely, when I consider that the BB might not be anything other than a flight of fancy, then I have my 'realist' hat on. Again, so what?
    I am if nothing else, mercurial.

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  21. My 'working philosophy' if you want to know, my way of synthesizing a 'path' for myself in life in spite of the fact that I hold two possible interpretations of reality in my head at the same time, is based in the fact that if the BB is true science is unchanged. All that would change is our understanding of what all science is based on, in other words, what is the ground of all being. So in knowing that, I can feel safe in having a 'working mindset' that is entirely a 'realist,' and then having the option of speculating in whether there is more to all of that. More to science's understanding of reality, I mean. So I can definitely think as a realist, but a realist who allows the possibility of me being wrong. About it all being just matter and energy. See, nothing about the BB invalidates science, so I can be fairly sure that as long as I limit what I think that I *know* is true to science and its present limits, I am safe in thinking that it's likely true. I never say to myself, 'the bb is likely true.' I try not to, at any rate. It's an optional add-on, if I ever decide that I have enough evidence that it is true. It is liely that I never will, but I can live with that. It will likely always remain my 'bb speculations' and not my 'bb theory.' Even to me, I mean.

    I don't see anything in the 'rules' that says a true realist never admits to even the possibility that he himself is wrong. That he can be wrong. If anyone is that SURE due to science and evidence and fact, as good as all of that may be, to say that it reaches the magic 100 percent mark, that man is as much of a fool as any evangelical. We just can't be sure it isn't a dream, not ever. We're not smart enough to tell if it is. I have far less problem dismissing deities, than that idea. That idea, is not dismissable.

    To me, it's a matter of balance, and me not losing mine.

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  22. Hmmm.. so your reality contains one quarter moisturizing cream.

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  23. That's an interesting way to look at it. So I am a bar of dove soap?

    If that were true, my mind would be significantly less dirty, I think.

    You're an interesting character, you know that?

    I take it then, that you are one of the realists that I speak of that is absolutely positively certain that reality is pretty much what it looks like.

    Isn't the certitude a comfort to you?

    I hate that comfort. I guess over time I've been conditioned by reality to realize that it's always the times I'm absolutely certain that shit hits the fan and lands on my face.

    I used to be certain about god, as a kid. Fool me once...

    So, even with ALL of the evidence pointing to there being nothing more than what meets the eye pretty much (and I even dispute that, but whatever...) I would not be so bold as to assume that I have ALL of the evidence that exists, just all that we have gathered thus far and comprehend fully.

    I guess it's a form of humility in my opinion. To not just assume we have mostly the right answer now. Before quantum physics, a famous physicist, I forget whom, said (I paraphrase slightly) that "all we need now is to dot a few more i's and cross a few more t's and we'll have a 'theory of everything."

    That was like seventy or eighty years ago now.

    And *especially* as long as 'quantum weirdness' exists, as long as there are aspects to elementary particles that seem counterintuitive and so forth, as long as we can't explain them adequately, I will continue to doubt that we have all the answers, and even that we are necessarily on the right track for true understanding. We can always just be wrong, you know. Never forget that.

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  24. Is this blog more fun when I am playing the part of the 'irrational one?'

    I've wondered that.

    Since we lack regular christians, sometimes I feel (note my choice of words there) that you all have more fun if I 'spout irrational theories.' (note my quotes of course)

    Do you think this is true? Just wondering. It won't stop me from spouting them, have no fear.

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  25. If you are referring to the BB idea I consider it controversial, not irrational, and controversial ideas always stir the pot. Without controversial ideas the blog will probably die in time.

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  26. Brian:
    So, with regard to your revelation about how your wife sometimes deals with "believers" in conversation/business dealings....
    As I have told you, I am a Jew, but now an atheist. I am also a physician for some 40 years. I have learned to couch certain phrases I use frequently when trying to connect with patients and their families who I suspect are "believers" (BTW, this applies to both Christians and Muslims)in appropriate references that suggest to them that I am also a believer. I have never lied about my personal beliefs (if asked), but I find it very helpful in many of these situations to allow them to assume that I am "one of them".
    This invariably puts them more at ease and, not infrequently, seems to give them more confidence that I am giving them good advice (telling the truth?). For a while, rather early in my medical career when I was much more concerned with being "intellectually honest" about my recent conversion to atheism/agnostocism, this troubled me from an ehtical sense. I wondered if I was "using" their beliefs" to coerce them. Eventually, I have come to realize that it is my responsibility to "manipulate" them in any way possible that is not against their best interests (from a medical standpoint) and which does not rob them of their rights to self-determinatiuon as fellow human beings.
    What do you guys think about this?

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  27. "...tweeting your dick."

    Ya know, five years ago, if we had a guy named Congressman Weiner tweeting his dick....

    What would the rest of the world think??

    Oh, and by the way, Camping didn't predict Armageddon, he predicted the Rapture. Just sayin'...

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  28. Harvey said,

    "...Eventually, I have come to realize that it is my responsibility to "manipulate" them in any way possible that is not against their best interests (from a medical standpoint) and which does not rob them of their rights to self-determinatiuon as fellow human beings.
    What do you guys think about this?"

    I think you got it right. If a little white lie contributes to a patient's well-being and healing, then they have no need to know your personal feelings on the subject.

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  29. Does the brain create consciousness?

    Interesting article, pretty much along my speculations...
    Now I now that it means little in the big picture but the author is at least, a physicist. Slightly more credible than me.

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  30. more on the role of consciousness

    A lot of people seem to be thinking along similar lines to me...

    I know, I know... bunch of flakes with mail-order degrees.

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  31. "...Eventually, I have come to realize that it is my responsibility to "manipulate" them in any way possible that is not against their best interests
    -------------
    They ask to be manipulated. They're designed for it. It's their preferred mode of input. It's like their brain has a 'god-socket' in it that anybody that wants to can plug into.

    Just say 'god bless' or mention jesus' and YOU'RE IN! Gets you right past the firewall.

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  32. Oh, and by the way, Camping didn't predict Armageddon, he predicted the Rapture. Just sayin'...
    ----------
    Nitpicker. Armageddon follows rapture, last time I checked.

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  33. Thank you Jerry, but I knew that I wasn't irrational to you. Only to the hyper-rational amongst us.
    ;-)
    And I don't consider myself irrational at all, of course, hence my use of the quotes there.

    To me, 'knowing' as in 'being absolutely sure that you're right' is like a death-trap. Hard to make others see that though. When they know they're right and all.
    Applies to christians and atheists alike.

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  34. Yea Harvey, that's a real puzzler.

    It's been my opinion that theists who react 'badly' to atheism do it at least partly because they are trained to and partly because they feel it puts them at an advantage and that it's a form of hypnosis, confusion technique.

    I guess from that point of view, we can see how the subject might arise in your office in the first place, the patients 'offering' that they are willing to thank God for your help and expecting you to grant them their wish.

    How unfair is that of them to not only expect your best effort at healing their body, but for their peace of mind they need to believe that you are under the same religious 'spell' as they are?

    Brian, I was kind of under the 'spell' of some rum last night when I copied the Dove commercial.

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  35. Brian, I was kind of under the 'spell' of some rum last night when I copied the Dove commercial.
    ----------
    That's okay dude, I was under at least three 'spells' when I answered it.

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  36. So to any christian looking in, now you know that we atheists sometimes pose as your fellow christians so that you accept what we say. And you do. You just do.

    See how easily you are manipulated? Now just think... think hard... think on who else in your life might be doing that.
    Your political party perhaps even? Your closeted gay pastor perhaps? People trying to sell you various things?

    The easiest way to 'sell' a christian, is to pretend you're one too.

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  37. "She asked me if there's anything wrong with her, an atheist/wiccan, saying 'god bless' to christians to get their money.

    I said 'hell no, that's what the religion was designed for!'"

    I condone, in fact applaud any attempt at disingenuity for the sake of gain. That is how all great religions maintain their girlish figures.

    Tell your wife if she feels like making more of a blatant enterprise out of this she's welcome to the Pharisee family for a certain phee, which is not in any way shape or form a fee.

    It's not really a fee because it's spelled differently. It's spelled differently because it's holy, and it's holy because it's not really a fee.

    You get the idea.

    A thousand dollars. Cheap!

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  38. which does not rob them of their rights to self-determinatiuon as fellow human beings.
    -----------
    Although, when you consider that if you hadn't used that ruse they might not have listened to you and chosen a path with a worse health outcome.... You've altered the outcome. They would have chosen (self-determined?) not to trust you and hence, their own worse health, even their own eventual demise...

    Harvey, you're standing in the way of evolution!
    STOP!!!!!!!!!!
    Let them go... Have you even seen 'Idiocracy?'

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  39. Harvey, dude, here's what you need to say from now on...

    Do your usual good work, give them the results and your honest recommendations, but then... then...

    Then you finish it all off with the sentence '..and I feel absolutely certain that that is your problem here, because I am a clear-minded atheist!'

    That should do it.

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  40. "Peter Russell is an author and public speaker, who is recognized as one of the leading thinkers on consciousness and contemporary spirituality. His books include The Global Brain, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God, and his video The Global Brain won international acclaim."

    From his Wiki bio, "He then went to Rishikesh, India, where he trained as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi."

    You didn't think that his piece sounded a bit like a sermon at all then Brian?

    I think that it is a bit of a reach to suggest that 'physicists' are coming to the conclusion that consciousness is 'whatever Russell is saying it is'(I'm not sure what it is he is saying it is), don't you?

    I think that Russell wrote that piece qua 'true believer' and NOT qua physicist, don't you?

    (whisper) He thinks he can float in the air! (wiggles eyebrows)

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  41. Harry, you check out the link?

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  42. "..an atheist/wiccan, saying 'god bless' to christians to get their money."

    I knew it, I fucking KNEW IT!

    I was doing the old Sherlock Holmes thing in my mind, thinking, "Why? Why the BB Theory with 'benefit of anti-clergy'? Who do I know who sounds like this without the 'I may well be wrong's?

    My niece thinks she's a witch! Of course I read up on Wicca when my niece declared that she was a witch, explained cold-reading to her, scared the bejeezus out of her cold-reading her, and that.

    Turns out the spells and philtres are tools and it is the intention 'focused' by these tools that is the important thing. Of course there is no 'failure' in such ventures either, much like prayers.

    "The love spell/philtre didn't NOT work, just not in this 'world' or not yet or there was an anti-spell/philtre, you see?"

    Still, nothing wrong with either her going along to get along nor you going along to get along, is there?

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  43. Still, nothing wrong with either her going along to get along nor you going along to get along, is there?
    ---------------

    Nice try but she was what she is now when I met her, and I was already many years into my 'bb' stuff by then as well.
    It did make for great conversation, no doubt. Still does. So in that sense, we re-inforce each other, since we agree about a lot of things. Plus, she is 'solitary' and doesn't 'worship' anything. She just likes the nature-based philosophy, since she's an incredible nature and animal lover. No covens, she's not interested. That's why I modified it with 'atheist.' A wiccan in general philosophy only, not in worship of any gods or goddesses.

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  44. Well, I still think that there may be a very close agreement between the general Wicca theory and the BB theory, and not just that there's a lot of wooo in both of them.

    The idea that both 'practices' believe that reality can be manipulated by focusing one's consciousness.

    If you think about it, Botts version of Christianity is more like this in that he is convinced that he has extra-sensory powers which involve focusing his consciousness, than some other versions of Christianity perhaps.

    A while ago I watched a pastor(I suppose) on Vision TV preaching about 'the Blood of Christ'. He must have said, 'the Blood of Christ' or 'the Blood of Jesus' twenty or thirty times in his sermon and it was a 'consciousness tool' apparently to focus the mind on obtaining health and wealth(what else?).

    Seems to me to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy considering there he was putting on a show for donations and all. I mean "plainly" it works! Just look at all the bucks he gets in the mail!

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  45. Oh yea, I almost forgot about Russell's word-magic way of communicating with us.

    Quantum effects? This is word-magic pure and simple and I think that you, Brian, tend to use this in that way too. I don't think that this is necessarilly deliberate on your part or even Russell's.

    Christian example. If we were to talk about how silly the idea of talking snakes are and how silly it would be to take a book which has a story which includes a talking snake, somewhere during the telling of it the Christian's focus changes from 'silly talking snake story' to 'Oh, you mean the Devil, Satan'.

    But the Bible goes on to explain, even after the supposed metaphorical point has been made, that the snakes punishment is to 'crawl on it's belly', you know, like a snake!

    This is word-magic in different ways. The story being metaphorical, there was no Adam, Eve, snake, Eden even, just a story with some sort of 'truth' to it as in any other fable with talking animals, yet NOT metaphorical as in there WAS an Eden with Adam and Eve and a snake which we can identify as Satan.

    Confusion. Word-magic.

    Both you and Russell are using Quantum effect for a similar effect. Small packets(quanta) of energy-matter act in strange ways when compared to macro objects.

    Just 'saying' Quantum effects conjures 'mysterious' out of 'scientific' and I know you are much impressed with this and with the fact that below the electro-magnetic 'horizon' the notion of solidity 'disappears'(because you have told us that)

    Russell makes much of telling us that his is a new paradigm when putting the slightest thought into it reveals it as the oldest of paradigms, the idea that consciousness can directly affect our world because our world is just part of our conscousness.

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  46. "Harry, you check out the link?"

    I sure did.

    "I freely embrace it."

    I bet you do Weiner. Though I'd be more inclined to support you if the pronoun was in reference to your pecker and not being a sleaze.

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  47. Shit is the emergent property of the ass. Mind is the emergent property of the brain.

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  48. "According to Larry Dossey M.D.: "In 1993, only three U.S. medical schools had courses devoted to exploring the role of religious practice and prayer in health; currently, nearly 80 medical schools have instituted such courses".."

    Pretty much sums up your second link, Brian.

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  49. Quantum effects? This is word-magic pure and simple and I think that you, Brian, tend to use this in that way too.
    -------------
    I use it to refer to quantum effects.

    What else should I call them? Do I need to specify every single 'strange' experiment or phenomena out there? The double-slit, the quantum-eraser, entanglement, the observer effect, and more?
    I prefer the shorthand. You like to try to invalidate words, don't you? Well, no magic here. Just a convenient phrase.

    When I say it, you know what I mean. That's all I need.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Of course if you're describing the experiment itself it's fine to use the terminology, but it was you who put up the links from Russell and Dossey.

    Dossey is a fair bit vaguer still, but not 2 minutes into his video about premonition of illness he's talking about a woman who dreamed that she saw three white spots on her ovaries and just knew it was cancer.

    According to Dr.Dossey these were ovarian cysts, great success as far as the premonition was concerned and a passing mention that it wasn't cancer at all!

    Wow! Even when the woman is wrong, she is right!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Yeah, I never heard of them before. I agree that ovary thing is really thin. Plus it could even have been a woman with unusually good kinesthesia, the ability to feel her body. It is possible to sense parts of one's body that one is not normally able to sense. So it would follow that some people might be able to do this unconsciously. So perhaps she sensed something and her imagination lept to cancer when it was just cysts. Or perhaps it was her imagination all along and she got statistically 'lucky' with her guess. Or lucky-ish, I guess, since it was inaccurate.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I just thought the articles were pertinent. And just because a person thinks some flaky things doesn't mean that they're not on to something with *some* of their other thinking. Just saying. Francis Collins is after all a fundy christian and he helped discover disease genomes. So some of his thinking has value.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Pboy 1:
    "Quantum effects? This is word-magic pure and simple and I think that you, Brian, tend to use this in that way too."


    Pboy 2:
    "Of course if you're describing the experiment itself it's fine to use the terminology, but it was you who put up the links from Russell and Dossey."

    So, when have I used it to not describe the experiments? Have I? Maybe, but all I remember is using them to describe the experiments. It was my conclusions from the experiments that you disagreed with, if I recall correctly. So how is it that I use it to describe the experiments, and yet I also tend to use the phrase as 'word magic?'

    I'm not seeing it.

    You are going too far in an attempt to invalidate that which you think you know is wrong. You don't know it. I don't know it. We're not at the point of knowing much, yet. And yet you're actually conflating my use of the phrase with uses of it that you discovered those two authors using, that I haven't even read yet. So do try to retain your objetivity in the face of what must be strong emotions.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  54. When I saw the movie 'what the bleep do we now' I remember being pissed off that they mixed the concepts that I was interested in, with sheer flakery. Ramptha---> Phooey! Quantum Consciousness? Hate the term. So much of it was balderdash. So I can see that the people out there championing this are drawing silly conclusions from it.
    I wonder if in galilleo's day some idiot said something like 'this telescope thingy is amazing! Why, you can not only see the moon as if you were right up next to it, but you can also look at a person and see their heart beating and their blood pumping and be able to tell if their ovary has cysts!'
    What I mean is, paradigm shifts are accompanied by both the scoffers, and also those too easily sold on 'something new' who promptly take it way too far and destroy their own credibility and that of the more serious people involved. This obscures the issue and delays the shift. That's how they work.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Harvey,
    I do appreciate the dilemma caused by ethical questions. I believe everyone is confronted by them, but the ones I have is not dealing with people under stress as the ones you described probably are. I agree with your decision to handle them the way you described. Often there is an answer that fits the situation where one can be fully truthful, but not always, and quite often minutes, hours or even days after the fact. The reason I think this type of question is important is, we as individuals have what I call spiritual gravity, maybe better phrased evolution gravity, and ethical decisions determine our progress. I also think every ethical decision plays a part in the collective consciousness of the whole of mankind and our progress in evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I actually think its ethical to bilk people if you are only appealing to their own sense of superiority over you. It's like judo.

    Caveat idiot, I always say.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Shit is the emergent property of the ass. Mind is the emergent property of the brain.
    ----------
    And shit-fer-brains is the emergent property of the republican party.

    ReplyDelete
  58. T think that the closest we come to magic, in the sense of changing the world with a word, "Abracadabra, you're a chicken!", kind of thing, is the power of persuasion.

    As a materialist, as I have been persuaded that I am over the course of my life, one of the 'jobs' I impose on myself is to sort out what is wooo from what is real.

    One job of 'the spiritualist' is to have a worldview(a fiction) which includes unseen realms composed of perhaps pure consciousness that are some kind of over-reality and, this is the important part, to persuade me that this worldview is reality and that reality as seen by me is simply a worldview(a fiction) of mine.

    This is an answer to Brian's asking us if we enjoy his attempts to persuade us that reality might conform to his BB Theory.

    Well yes, yes I do. It makes me think about shoes and ships and sealing-wax, of carpenters and kings, of why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

    And that's a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  59. How doth the little pboy
    Improve his shining mind?
    And pour out all his knowledge
    Upon my sad behind?
    How cheerfully he seems to say
    That I am full of 'woo...'
    And welcomes anyone else's voice
    that seems to say so too...

    I get it, I get it...

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hmm, Harvey, that's a tough one. I know a great many great physicians who tailor their language to religion, and I don't know the answer, or even if there is one.

    I don't. I try to be as compassionate as I can be but, I also don't ever add anything even vaguely religious into my discussions. But it's also true that I don't tell, and few ask. I'm not being critical at all. But for me, it's easier to personally avoid a slippery slope of rationalizing by forgoing it as entirely as I can.

    In my own hospital, believers have come to me time and again to ask questions as to them, "I do not compute'. They see me behaving in what they consider a moral and ethical way without belief. How can that be? It's lead to some interesting discussions.

    I'm not trying to be a political activist either, but I do think it may help in the long run for people to see as many ethical individuals as they can who are transparently non believers. I sometimes wish some of our scientists would have been the same. How many believers quote some scientist who uttered the word god in a sentence as a metaphor as a sign of closeted belief?

    This course is sometimes costly to me. I didn't make too many friends at a recent NGO gathering when I discussed how our AI system was designed to avoid human cognitive errors based upon a study of evolutionary biology and neuroscience. Since NGO's are notoriously well staffed with evangelicals, that explanation wasn't too popular, even though the system worked well.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm not trying to be a political activist either, but I do think it may help in the long run for people to see as many ethical individuals as they can who are transparently non believers.
    -----------
    That would be giving them credit for being able to observe and draw accurate conclusions from it.

    I would never go that far.

    The real deal is, when seeing someone acting in a moral and ethical manner, they assume that god is involved even if the person denies it. Or else they must assume that somehow it's all a ruse or something, that there is just no real way that the person CAN BE moral, even if they act it. 'The poor deluded atheist thinks he's moral and decent without god, poor thing...'

    They absolutely will not go against their conditioning in any way. Not that I can see.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I've gone back and forth with observant on this very subject. He is strangely unmoved by the concept of morality without god.

    To him, it is not a possibility. He's made that much plain.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Nono Brian, what I'm saying is that it is important to be reminded of the power of persuasion, the closest thing to magic that we have.

    I can go on the YouTube and watch video after video 'outing' Fox News for their blatant propaganda techniques.

    But Fox News is a powerful tool of the rich, to persuade 'defenceless' people that the GOP has their interests at heart.

    I mean, how many people sit around and think about the power of persuasion, about how the rich can afford to hire the very best in persuaders?

    Will they persuade the American people(as they are so fond of saying) that it is in their interest to lower taxes on the wealthy to the point where your country is in dire straits, then point to the dire straits as evidence that 'government' is broken, not by them but by it's power to tax and make rules?

    Seems to be working fine to me. They seem to be begging voters to kick them out, voters being in need of health care, being the union workers they loathe, being the pot-smokers they're determined to crush etc. etc. and for some fairness, for some responsibility, for some good government we rely on the whim of the 'independent voters', the people most likely to be persuaded by propaganda.

    As far as I can see, the right's latest paradigm is, "The old, the poor and the sick will take the blame for the economy or we will wreck the economy! Someone has to take the blame for the situation and it's not going to be the wealthy and it doesn't matter if it's the wealthy's fault!"

    Why should they take any blame when they can hire people to persuade you that the fault lies with the old, the poor and the sick? Why would they?

    The so-called left-wing media plays right into their hands too. All we hear is about the debt, the economy, jobs and the price of gas. All things that the right can pretend to care about and can foist the blame on the left or on government in general.

    The weird thing is that the economy 'belongs' to them and it is the economy that they're holding to ransom.

    Either way, de-unionizing, ditching the disenfranchized etc. slows the real economy (who are you going to sell to if everyone is broke?), or throwing the economy directly off a cliff by reneging on the national debt fucks them up too.

    Guess we need people who can persuade the wealthy that it's not in their best interest to destroy the economy.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Guess we need people who can persuade the wealthy that it's not in their best interest to destroy the economy.

    Agreed. The power peoples that take advantage of their fellow man is in fact trying to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. However it is double tough to convince those that have been blinded by greed, be it for power or other types of wealth. All anyone can do is live lives dedicated to the highest values they know, and depend on evolution to take care of business. Slow process, but I see no other answer. We can see many things happenings that are without question barbaric, and could be made better very easily. However I do think overall the world today is advanced over the past, and appears to be moving in the right direction.

    ReplyDelete
  65. The power peoples that take advantage of their fellow man is in fact trying to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
    ----------
    Not in a global economy. In fact that happens to be one of the many, many flaws to libertarianism. That the rich are or can be or should be motivated to not let the middle class and the poor slide into oblivion because they're the ones buying the products of the rich.
    Nah, they don't care about that at all anymore. Just market your products in richer nations. And outsource your labor to poorer ones. Or variations on that.

    They're killing OUR goose, and moving on to someone else's elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Pboy, totally agree with that last post of yours.

    Seems there's nothing to do but watch the country slide.

    Harder for me than you, what with me living in it and all...

    I hate what they've done to the place.

    And how much farther they want to go.

    They're going for total destruction, as far as I can see. Down to ashes, and they must figure they'll be like kings in whatever's left.

    I used to think they were doing it just to make obama lose in 2012. But no, it's their philosophy, isn't it? The old-school white racist pig philosophy. Screw everyone else, I'm getting mine first!

    ReplyDelete
  67. We don't have time for that Jerry. Be fine if we lived 1000 years or 10,000 years and could look back and see trends and how we eventually realized our folly and such, but, as things stand, I have maybe 20-30 years if I'm lucky and can only hope that this 'end of the world' mentality loses traction after the end of 2012.

    We both sat at our televisions and watch the Bush Administration lie us into accepting that torture isn't torture unless the person being tortured dies.

    Same thing now with some States making laws allowing them to boot duly elected local governments and such.

    Things aren't getting better Jerry, we're staring over the cliff at this point.

    You're voting in people who think that they can make a law which can make their pet bill into law, which is equivalent to a kid, given three wishes figuring out that he can simply wish for more wishes.

    But if they're that naive about bills and how they turn into laws, and they are 'true believers' when it comes to the 'no new debt' thing even though raising the debt ceiling is 'just paying the bills', then they could easily vote down raising the debt and ruin the World economy, easily.

    These Tea Party legislators are like a natural disaster waiting to happen, and the one and only reason, real reason it's happening?

    So that Barack Obama will be a one term President.

    The entire World economy is being held hostage because they no likee Mr. black man in the White House.

    ReplyDelete
  68. So that Barack Obama will be a one term President.
    -------
    Yeah, I was just talking abhout that.

    Is that really it, you think?

    I used to think so, but now I think that it's at least a little of them sensing an opportunity to really finally force their agenda down our throats. Their 'mandate for change' that they think they got in the last election, they wanna play it into their ind of change and not the kind the voters had in mind. But they're still dressing it up as just what the voters 'meant' and that might still work, so stupid are we. Or they, at any rate.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hey, when the smart-but-evil control the good-but-stupid for long enough the good-but-stupid start to believe that good is evil and evil good. So now they are the 'think-they-are-good-but-they're-wrong' and see the whole world ass-backwards, so it's no wonder that they can easily be made to vote against their own interests. They're nothing if not well-trained.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Ste B, I'm kicking off my election coverage with a new post.

    ReplyDelete
  71. We don't have time for that Jerry. Be fine if we lived 1000 years or 10,000 years and could look back and see trends and how we eventually realized our folly and such, but, as things stand, I have maybe 20-30 years if I'm lucky and can only hope that this 'end of the world' mentality loses traction after the end of 2012.

    I understand, but this is a major difference between your, and my philosophy. I am not so concerned what happens in my life time as you are. I am concerned what happens in thousands of years even though I will not be here to experience results.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Yea, right there, ya see. You must have redefined the words 'life' and 'death' to suit yourself, Jerry.

    Brian, I think you're right, the Obama thing is all about getting the racist vote. If Obama was white they'd still behave exactly the same way.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I'm watching the new hampshire republican presidential debate.

    A total Obama hatefest. All complainiing about all the things Obama didn't do because they sucessfully prevented him from doing it.
    As expected. A cavalcade of dunces.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Yea, right there, ya see. You must have redefined the words 'life' and 'death' to suit yourself, Jerry.
    ----------
    Really? I didn't get that. I got that he is concerned with the future of humanity and the world, even after he's not in it anymore. So am I.
    What, are we treehugging hippy wusses or something?

    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hmm.

    Jerry, Born 19-oatcake, died, 20-beans on toast.

    Whichever number 'beans on toast' turns out to be, that'll be when Jerry stops worrying about everything.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Whichever number 'beans on toast' turns out to be, that'll be when Jerry stops worrying about everything.
    -----------
    Um yes, a given. At least, if consciousness continues, it's doubtful to me that it would be in a form that would worry about such things.

    Is that all there is to you?

    Am I reading this to mean that 'not pboy floyd' couldn't care less about the future of humanity 'post-not-pboy-floyd?'

    Dude, that's a bit odd, don't you think?

    I suppose you think you're just being a realist, but if everyone shared your abysmal level of optimism we'd be done as a species. There has to be hope, man.

    Doesn't there?

    Am I so over-idealistic?

    Is it that dark?

    Is it so empty that it really doesn't matter?

    Is that all there is to it? Deeper meanings and sentiments rendered as useless as wrong beliefs? Rendered as merely more magical thinking?

    Sad, if so.

    ReplyDelete
  77. More on the debate:

    Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good! Obama bad! Me good!

    Mixed in there somewhere is Ron Paul sounding like an obtuse economist on crack.

    ReplyDelete
  78. What?

    In the last World War it was the 'good guys' who dropped fission bombs on civilians.

    And the rationalization? "Think of the lives it saved!"

    Really? That's sad, Brian.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Yes it is, but I'm not getting your point pboy. Can you explain it in simpler terms?

    ReplyDelete
  80. It's almost like you're saying that since even the 'good guys' are bad too, there's no point in hoping or wishing for a better future for humanity where we all get along and co-operate and care about each other and all life.

    But I don't want to believe that of you...

    ReplyDelete
  81. One thing that really effected me was watching fishermen fish for shark's fins.

    The shark laying on the bottom of the boat, and you could see it in it's eyes that it was wondering what was going on as the fisherman surgically removed it's fins.

    It didn't look like the guy went home to a mansion either, he was just part of the machine.

    Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Whichever number 'beans on toast' turns out to be, that'll be when Jerry stops worrying about everything.
    ---------
    Even if so, is it not admirable that while he's alive, he worries about humanity's future?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Admirable? Really? Okay. Fuckin' admirable!

    But after 20-beans on toast, it woon't matter a shit what he thought, will it?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Geeze pboy, are you of all things a 'sensitive type' that cares about all living things, and are just in some sort of agressive denial of it all, dismissing all of humanity for the callous destruction of a shark?

    Hey, if so, I can respect that. I disagree, but I can respect it.

    ReplyDelete
  85. But after 20-beans on toast, it woon't matter a shit what he thought, will it?
    ------------
    Only if you firmly believe that it's impossible that we'll ever 'get there' as in, become a peaceful, loving, co-operative species. If you do believe we will, then every voice like jerry's is valuable, and without such voices, we will never get there at all. If you don't believe we ever will, then I can understand your derision. It's cynical, but I understand it.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Moreover, even if you believe that we won't 'get there,' if you have even an ounce of optimism you wouldn't want to just close off that option. And without voices like jerry's, consider it closed off.

    ReplyDelete
  87. In short, if no one believes that it can happen someday, it will never happen, period.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Admirable? Really? Okay. Fuckin' admirable!

    But after 20-beans on toast, it woon't matter a shit what he thought, will it?
    --------------
    So it's admirable, but you don't admire it? Or you do admire it, but you think it doesn't matter because he'll be dead someday?

    Doesn't sound like you really admire it, being my point.

    I don't know.... am I wrong, or is your attitude a tad, oh, I don't know... egocentric? Or is that okay nowadays and I missed the memo?

    Isn't that the very 'sin' that makes the republicans so evil?

    Do you have kids? I mean, I worry about the future like I always did, but now I also worry about my kid in the future. It's rather bothersome to me in fact.

    I just think that those of us that can see the possibilities inherent in the future should work toward the best possible version of said future. Even if we're long dead by the time it happens.

    ReplyDelete
  89. oh come on Brian. What I'd 'like' for us, the human species, in 1000 years, 10,000 years is unthinkable.

    Honestly, I think, to 'make it', we need to spawn AI and send them to the stars, but like I say, so what? What is one opinion in 7 billion? Why would it count what I think?

    ReplyDelete
  90. What is one opinion in 7 billion? Why would it count what I think?

    For two reasons, one for yourself, and second for all man kind. I would be glad to go into detail how I came to that conclusion, and what that conclusion, at this time is, if you want.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Well, even if your opinion didn't count, your attitude does.

    Let's postulate world peace. Let's say in a thousand years.

    Will we ever get there, if no-one today has the attitudes that set the stage for it?

    What if everyone was suddenly a republican? No people caring about the environment or poor people or the middle clase or anything but themselves and their money...

    We would never make it at all.

    So we need people NOW that have the right attitudes to allow it to even happen at all, even in a thousand years.

    You imagine world peace (lol) but then you work backwards from that future, to now, and that way you can see what needs to be done now to ever get there. Then you do that.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hell with it.

    Here's a picture of my penis!

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/01475980562742243007

    ReplyDelete
  93. So is it more shocking that I would suggest that there is a link to a picture of my penis OR that I would lie about a link to a picture of my penis?

    ReplyDelete
  94. It's more shocking that your penis looks just like you and your bird.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Thank goodness I got a response. I was imagining you all 'stuck' in a dilemma, "Should I look or.. maybe I don't wanna look or.. it's likely not.. or.. what if it IS?"

    ReplyDelete
  96. To look, or not to look - what a horrid existential fly trap....

    ReplyDelete
  97. Yeah no.

    One thing I'm not, is a prude.

    After 'tubgirl' and 'two girls one cup' you really expect me to be conflicted or angst-ridden about the possibility of seeing someone's penis?

    Plus, let's be honest, what were the chances that you had actually posted it?

    You're funny, though. Have to give you that.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Awww....

    I was going to post a picture of my penis, but I don't have a panoramic lens.....

    ReplyDelete
  99. I was going to post a picture of my penis, but I don't have a panoramic lens.....

    Don't look now, but as I have just taken complete control of the big brain and have changed the inputs, you are now hung like a gnat...

    ReplyDelete
  100. Niiiiice....

    Well then, guess I'll be going on my rounds satisfying all the female gnats in the neighborhood.

    Better get 'buzzed' first....

    Ahhh. There.

    Now I'm a priapic gnat. Huzzah!

    ReplyDelete
  101. Interestingly enough to a science nerd, I have a piece of dominican amber that has two gnats in it, fucking. I like to think of it as 'coitus non-interruptus perpetua...'

    They've been going at it now for fifteen million years or so. Gotta hand it to 'em.

    ReplyDelete
  102. explains why they didn't see the resin oozing toward them, doesn't it.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Cute, but that's either some fast resin or some really slow fleas.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Flea foreplay?

    "A little hair of the dog you bit my dear?"

    "No thanks, I'd rather gnat."

    ReplyDelete
  105. "'Flea foreplay?

    'A little hair of the dog you bit my dear?'"

    D'oh!

    Gnats, fleas, pelicans, same difference.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Harry, you're confleating again.

    Siphonaptera vs diptera?

    That'd be 'the wingless suckers vs the two-wingers.'

    (Love the latin)

    Yeah, they're not so much alike, really.

    Hey, ya know, many years ago when science was a baby, people thought fleas were tiny bloodsucking grasshoppers.

    Um, nope.

    Now, my two gnats are a flyfuck. Diptera.... maybe worth about four hundred dollars, since flies are common but flies 'in fragrante dilectu' are rare... But fleas?

    Think about it. Flies fly around and are attracted to wet-looking things like fresh tree resin... or might just blunder into it in their frenzied mating... but a flea, how's that gonna get stuck in amber? It'd have to be a scenario where a mammal with fleas stopped by a puddle of fresh resin, and a flea happened to jump the wrong way. Very rare.

    Over a thousand dollars, the going rate last time I checked.

    Even more rare: Mammal hair.

    Most rare: Whole frogs or lizards. 25,000 dollars plus.

    ReplyDelete
  107. My favorite insects in amber, and some of my favorite insects period:

    The reduviidae. The assasin bugs.

    Stealth ambush hunters with a poisioned dagger. And grotesque looking to boot.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Do you have a pic of your 'you know what', Brian?

    Gnats in amber, I mean, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Idon't have pics of them anymore. I had some excellent shots I took through the microscope, but can't find them now.
    They're small, only about one mm long each.
    I also have a flower with a small bee floating right in front of it. Doesn't look like it's flying though. Just looks like a small dead bee.

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  110. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Brian, you have single-handedly made me laugh more than any other atheist gemologist.

    Confleating... (chuckle).

    This picture of your bug is pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Oy vey, fucking Bachmann. She and Romney should fuck so homo sapiens can have a new breed of square-faced children.

    America is done. Just done. Shit, did it ever begin?

    Our marriage to the democratic and republic ideal is a farce. We're a plutarchy with an I heart democracy t-shirt on.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Heck, our government IS Harry C Pharisee.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Harold Camping has Stroke; punishment from God?

    Check it out.

    Think about it though... he had a stroke. His speech is slurred. His speech. He spoke lies about god, and god silenced his speech.

    I've got goosebumps. You go, god!

    ReplyDelete
  115. That's a cool one, harry. The assasin bug pic. Thanks.

    They can get a lot more strange looking...

    Pic

    Pic

    And an even weirder relative:

    ambush bug

    The bee doesn't even see it in the flower.... it's a bee killer.

    ReplyDelete
  116. The ambush bug is like a more evolved assasin bug. The assasin bug has front legs that are slightly modified to grasp prey whereas the ambush bug has proper claws. Nasty looking, like reverse-lobster claws. A more muscular but similar arrangement to mantises.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Oy vey, fucking Bachmann. She and Romney should fuck so homo sapiens can have a new breed of square-faced children.
    -------------
    Homo Sapiens?

    Generous of you.

    He's a mormon; just add her to the stable; she'll be throwing colts in no time.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I think it might be a sign from hypertension, which is at least transcendent.

    ----

    The bug talk reminds me of some interesting speculation Darwin made about morals and bee evolution in the Descent of Man.

    Chuck D

    ReplyDelete
  119. My favorite bugs have always been mantises...

    ReplyDelete
  120. Brown Mantidfly

    If you like mantises, and you like hornets, check this out!

    Best of both worlds... No stinger though. Just mimicry.

    It's as predatore as any mantis. Not related in the least. Related to lacewings and antlions.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Harry C. Pharisee for president!

    You're a shoe-in on the republican side.

    Except... are you rapacious enough?

    One wonders. It's a highly competetive area.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Sometimes I think that the real 'republican litmus test' isn't agreeing with the ryan budget.

    It's being able to, with your bare hands, kill and eat a baby. Don't worry, it's a liberal atheist baby.

    ReplyDelete
  123. If you can't do that harry, then I don't think you have 'the right stuff.'
    Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  124. There's even an assasin bug that has hairs all over its body that secrete a sweet liquid.

    Ants love it. They crowd around the bug and drink it.


    Except, it's drugged.

    The ants go to sleep.

    And then of course the assasin bug drains their bodily fluids, leaving hollow ants. Quite the system.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Hey, that's how Republicans work, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  126. Yeah, except they drain your fluids right in front of you while you're awake so they can laugh in your face.

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  127. Thinking of running for the Republican Party.

    "I promise that we will have a dream that America is GREAT! We'll have no abortions or gays and we'll wrap ourselves in the American flag at all times!

    I promise to instill hatred for the Democrats at every opportunity, the National debt is their fault. When I assume power I will declare bankrupcy, starving the beast, no government(except for my life long pension and 100% healthcare of course) equals no debt!

    The jobless rate is of course the Democrats fault, and I will fix the problem immediately by outlawing any statistics on such things. From the moment I'm sworn in there will be no jobless, there's be real Americans, and bums on the street, the poor are always with us.

    MY job, my main job as I see it is to figure out how many countries I can get into a scrap with, and win, securing my place in history as an American hero!

    Long live the Corporate States of America!"

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  128. The jobless rate is of course the Democrats fault, and I will fix the problem immediately by outlawing any statistics on such things.
    ----------
    That'd do it, alright.

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  129. How stupid is america?

    We had a walmart gift card for $55.98. Didn't want to go to walmart and spend it.

    My wife noticed that people often sell gift cards on ebay.

    We put it up for sale there.

    We got 56.25 for it.

    You read that right. We made a profit. On a gift card.

    Do people know that the money they're using to buy the gift card is actually accepted at walmart?

    We checked other gift card sales. It's pretty common for them to sell for more than the face-value.

    Pretty common. To buy a gift card and pay more than the face value of it.

    For our next trick, we're putting $100 dollar bills up on ebay. We figure we'll get an average of 101.25 for them.

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  130. k.. this is what I think may be happening.

    Youngster wants to buy something that mam and pop says and emphatic, "NO!", to.

    Kid buys gift certificate with mam's card, everyone is suitably clueless.

    Kid then uses gift card to buy 'thing' that mam and pop say is a nono. Extra cost 6 and a quarter, putting one over on the folks, priceless!!

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  131. BTW, how is Walter with your son?

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  132. Walter wishes desperately that Connor would notice that he's alive. Connor seems to think he's an animate pillow or something like that, not worth paying attention to. I would assume that when connor's a bit older he'll realize the dog's alive... The dog certainly would like that.

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  133. Kid buys gift certificate with mam's card, everyone is suitably clueless.
    -------------
    If the kid has a paypal account he can buy anything.
    (The person used paypal)
    If it's his mom's paypal he has to have her password.

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  134. This is weird to explain, and it is mostly 'aimed' at Brian and Jerry.

    Is it not 'possible' that the 'spirituality' you guys feel is a psychological component we feel, how we rank ourselves in comparison to others?

    I'm talking about the reverence shown charismatic people, dominant people, so called Alpha personalities, the 'calm assertive energy' that the dog whisperer, Cesar Milan projects, which dogs 'pick up on'.

    Certainly we can see this in the responses from fanman, MI, Observant and Eric locally, and how Fox News 'analysts', people like Vox Day, political and religious leaders in general.

    It's the same 'thing' that a cop and a dog handler express to be effective at their job as a pastor projects, that a sergeant is trying to project when he is ordering a civilian to 'shut up' because he fought for the freedom of speech that his opponent is 'misusing'(in the sergeant's eyes, of course).

    Would you not concede that at least this psychological dominance thing is mixed up with the spirituality thing, if there is any difference at all?

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  135. Would you not concede that at least this psychological dominance thing is mixed up with the spirituality thing, if there is any difference at all?
    ----------
    I'm afraid that I can't even see a connection pboy. Either I am totally misunderstanding you, or you are totally misunderstanding me and my ideas.

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  136. I'm afraid that I don't consider myself nor the big brain stuff spiritual. It's just more science to me. If it is real, it is totally natural, more natural than anything in fact, and can be described (eventually) by science.

    Plus I don't consider spirituality, if it even exists or matters, to have to do with what you as a person project to others. I think a lot of self-styled spiritual people feel that way, but to me, if you're spiritual (assuming 'spirit' exists) it is something inside you, how you think, not what you project. I think many 'spiritual' people actually attempt to project a calm to others that they may not even posess themselves. I think that in some cases at least, is ego. Certainly your example of the soldier 'fighting for our freedoms' telling that guy to shut up, is pure ego.

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  137. I mean, what does someone being 'psychologically dominant' have to do with an alternate theory of reality, and how reality might be more of a dream-like state than what we assume it is?

    The only factor I can see it playing, is in the scoffers being sucessful at devaluing it. They're the ones using 'psychological dominance' in lieu of facts to deny that which they can't possibly know of.
    (Note that I do not expect acceptance; just not kneejerk denial)

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  138. A 'paradigm shift' is described as a complete change in view, but never one that devaluates the previous view. It always builds on the previous view. Includes it. So if the BB is a real future paradigm change coming down on us, when it 'shifts' science will still be science. Still the same, mostly.

    That's something you could never say of any religious view. If any religious view is true, science is false.

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  139. It's the same 'thing' that a cop and a dog handler express to be effective at their job as a pastor projects
    ------------
    Okay, if I'm seeing this correctly you're conflating 'spiritual' with 'forceful.' Or perhaps 'dominant.' That is not spiritual at all, if anything can be said to be. And yes, many pastors exhibit what you're talking about. So do you think that I think any pastor is spiritual in reality? How can they be when they believe in a 'belief system' written by other people. That sort of thing, spirituality, is not to be learned from a book. It is to be explored and experienced entirely within.
    Or so I hear.

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  140. So if the BB is a real future paradigm change coming down on us, when it 'shifts' science will still be science. Still the same, mostly.
    ---------------------------------

    I have to disagree with this as well. If one concedes the possibility of a level of existence that is in essence a complete fabrication of mind, then is there is no way that the scientific method could ever be trusted or validated. If a big brain existed and behaved as you say, then it really could be turtles all the way down, and there would be no reason to not assume that a bigger brain created the illusion of the big brain, and so on.

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  141. Tha't s thinking about it like an actual brain, and not a field of consciousness that exists alone with nothing else beside it, constituting all that exists.

    I don't see 'turtles' much less 'turtles all the way down.'

    The only change to science would be the admission that it's based on the bahavior of 'matter' which is in reality 'thought,' and not 'merely' matter. But it still behaves the same as it always did. It still looks, smells, and tastes like matter.

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  142. "I'm afraid that I don't consider myself nor the big brain stuff spiritual.."

    Oh come on. Are we down to splitting hairs now?

    You don't think that consciousness and spirituality are connected at all?(..at ALL?)

    Okay, I'll 'give you that'. But you don't think that most people see a connection between spirituality and consciousness at all? (.. at ALL?)

    Now let's say you personally don't but you can see that most people do. What does this tell you, and me, about the lengths you're willing to go to to make a tiny point?

    "How dare you imagine that I think as most people do when it comes to a connection (an obvious connection at that) between spirituality and consciousness!!"

    Ooooh, I dare, I dare!

    And I don't think that the sergeant vs. the 'free speaker' scenario is much different. The sergeant is falling back on the propaganda he's been munching up like his porridge in the morning and dishing out like like it's going out of style to his troops day in and day out for the length of his(or her) service.

    And that, is no different from the pastor and his relationship to his flock and the affront that the pastor and sergeant feel if you try to challenge their authority, their own feeling of importance which gets stoked by their underlings.

    Of course you and I, as 'outsiders' in a sergeant/his men or pastor/his flock scenario aren't subject to their authority at all, even though they would have that knee-jerk(as you put it) reaction to basically treat you and me the exact same way they would treat, say the stereotypical wiseguy new recruit, or the stereotypical wiseguy kid who is poo-pooing the pastor's worldview.

    'How dare I compare spirituality in general to say any authoritative intimidation?'

    Well, 'cos that's what they do, right?

    In fact, your last few comments seem to evolve or develop from a total authoritative ("Hey, you don't know you jerk!") mood, to some point where you're actually considering something along the lines of what I actually wrote in my comment!

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  143. Othre people would see it as spiritual only because they refuse to look into it and see that it's natural. I don't. It's that simple.

    Or perhaps if you want to split hairs, I see it as spiritual, but I also see reality as part of it, so reality is spiritual rather than material. What matter which word one chooses to describe that which has never been described? Many words would fit it equally well. Mental, dreamlike, spiritual, informational, data... all would be equally 'true' given the circumstances.

    How's that? Now let loose the dogs of skepticism!

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  144. How am I authoritatively intimidating you here? Curious.

    I have no authority to appeal to other than my own musings. You may reject them as you please. You perhaps sense 'authority' when I maintain that you can't know any fact that disproves it and yet you insist that it is impossible and ridiculous. That does seem to me to be a bit closed-minded of you, and I do protest it when you do that... is that my 'projecting authority' onto you?

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  145. See, I was always going for the conversation where I say 'bb' and you say 'well, if it is true, it must be x' or 'well, if it is true, how do you explain y?' What I guess I wasn't expecting from realists who claim to adhere to logical thought was 'I reject it, and you're silly, and here's why' and then you goin on to prove you're not getting the concept by attempting to use established science to contraindicate it. Where I wish to discuss the possibilities, you insist on only discussing the impossibility. And there just isn't an impossibility here other than that which you create out of YOUR AUTHORITY.

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  146. See, I see what you're saying about the pastor, but I'm seeing the pastor as you here in this scenario! Pretty funny, huh? You're the only one appealing to authority and attempting to project it onto me.

    Well, I refuse. So there.

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  147. "What I guess I wasn't expecting from realists who claim to adhere to logical thought was 'I reject it, and you're silly, and here's why' and then you goin on to prove you're not getting the concept by attempting to use established science to contraindicate it."

    But your not being authoritative or 'nuthin', I see.

    " Where I wish to discuss the possibilities, you insist on only discussing the impossibility. And there just isn't an impossibility here other than that which you create out of YOUR AUTHORITY."

    Boy, yea, you certainly told us off there!

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  148. Much like your 'marine' there, you seem to see the 'hippy' (or whoever)(me, here) 'talking back' to him as someone attempting to project authority onto him, when of course you and I can see that it's the other way around.
    That marine sees the other person as attempting to 'go up against him,' as you see me, and his ego won't let that happen, so he gets angry. Then he projects his righteous authority on the other.
    The marine derives his perceived authority from his military career and his ego. You derive yours from science and your ego. So, very similar. No?

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  149. Boy, yea, you certainly told us off there!
    ----------
    Yeah, I kinda did.

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  150. But your not being authoritative or 'nuthin', I see.
    ----------
    But pboy, I thought that I was 'projecting authority' on you...

    What's it gonna be?

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  151. The question is of course, now that you know your mistake, will you take steps to correct it or insist to yourself that you're not mistaken?

    I wonder....







    (Just bustin' your ass with this one, dude...)

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  152. Is it not 'possible' that the 'spirituality' you guys feel is a psychological component we feel, how we rank ourselves in comparison to others?

    And of COURSE you take into consideration that I have quotes around 'spirituality' in case it's not exactly describing your point of view, right?

    Meh, not if you just want to quibble, I guess.

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  153. Here I thought I was describing in the very broadest sense the ideas that you and Jerry have in common.

    'Course a few, "Harrumph, that's fuckin' ridiculous considering the fine points of my 'theory'!", type of responses 'ought to shut me up, right?

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  154. Here I thought I was describing in the very broadest sense the ideas that you and Jerry have in common.
    ----------
    Jerry has said that some of the bb stuff makes sense to him. He also speaks of many things that I do not agee with. I do give him credit for not dismissing it all out of hand. But we are not in the same belief system, if that's the parallel you're trying to draw. I don't see him taking the idea and running with it. I don't even see him talking about it much. He speaks of that which is interested in, and I speak of that which interests me.
    However that being said, he doesn't reject that which he sees as spiritual (the BB) and I don't even see it as spiritual (but I can see why many would.) So he and I can talk about it more easily. With you it's a tad harder, since you reject it with extreme prejudice as it were, but I still enjoy it. And learn from it.

    We all have our differences. So I guess I'd like to not be lumped in with anyone else here. No more you doing it here, nor christians doing it to me, confusing my philosophy with yours and that of all atheists, as if they all were the same...
    All I can see that jerry and I have in common is an open mind to things that may not be easily accepted by the average person. Or by you.

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  155. Is it not 'possible' that the 'spirituality' you guys feel is a psychological component we feel, how we rank ourselves in comparison to others?

    Funny thing but I can sing it(your responses is it, or excuses) with a cry in my voice.. song sung blue everybody knows one..

    Comparing Jerry's spirituality, whatever that means to him, very generally, with you're consciousness, whatever that means to you, is hardly 'lumping you in with him now'.

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  156. All I did was ask your opinion, you and Jerry mostly, about how you would compare spirituality/supreme consciousness with our inate psychological need, our very common, very pervasive need to project our feelings on each other and to understand and respond to those projections, which include body language and other subliminal(or at least sublingual) phenomena.

    Seems to me that, under the guise of telling me how wrong I am about your particular 'theory', you're running from the notion that they, your feelings about your thang and Jerry's feelings about his thang are tied up with pretty ordinary yet very subtle community relations.

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  157. Is it not 'possible' that the 'spirituality' you guys feel is a psychological component we feel, how we rank ourselves in comparison to others?

    That would not be possible the way I use spiritual or spirituality.

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  158. Very neatly done Jerry, with absolutely no messy explanations about how 'that would not be possible', and leave it at that.

    Guess that would be called a 'pot-shot'?

    Yikes, what's the point of even thinking up half-decent questions, Brian is just going to harrumph about how I'm lumping him in and suggest that super-consciousness and spirituality are completely unrelated and Jerry is simply going to out-vague everyone ever?

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  159. Yikes, what's the point of even thinking up half-decent questions,
    ----------
    Then perhaps you should strive to think up completely decent ones instead of just half.

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  160. If I'm understanding you correctly, you're asing me if I can see a corrolary between my pursuing the concept of 'all is mind' to an ego trip. You see it as one, obviously.

    In a way.

    My ego wants the answer to the ultimate question, and it always has. Why? Because it is denied it. And it doesn't like being denied. For me, that was always 'pursue and study the findings of science.' Now it's that, plus something else. Something more, if you ask me.

    So in that sense, yes, of course.

    It's not the same as wanting to be better or more special than everyone else, the 'standard ego trip' if you will. It's just wanting to know.

    Curiosity.

    Plus, I can admit that I wish that it were true. However I won't let that cause me to believe in it without good reason.

    I have good reason to not reject it. Thus far, I do not have a good reason to believe that it is definitely true. However, I see there seems to be something to it, so I shall continue.

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  161. All I did was ask your opinion, you and Jerry mostly, about how you would compare spirituality/supreme consciousness with our inate psychological need, our very common, very pervasive need to project our feelings on each other and to understand and respond to those projections, which include body language and other subliminal(or at least sublingual) phenomena.
    ---------
    Okay, I see no other way to answer this but literally.

    So...

    Here's how I compare them:

    One is a hypothetical theory of everything, based on 'idealism' in the sense that the ground of all being is thought, and not matter and energy. A theory for which I have actually received some personal confirmation, not that that satisfies me, and a theory which incidentally resolves all quantum-weirdness problems; not only resolves them but totally explains why they are to be expected. It actually makes more sense than our current paradigm.

    The other is an inate psychological need.

    Is that what you were looking for?

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  162. I do research in the one laboratory that no-one else has acces to. My own mind.

    That doesn't mean my research isn't serious, you know. Only that it's restricted and limited by that being the only place that I can possibly conduct it.

    So if this is my ego trip, then one must also say that 'serious' peer-reviewed scientists working on cutting-edge problems about reality, are likewise motivated.

    Because, regardless of the difference in ability and training, my motives are precisely the same as theirs are.

    You must surely see that.

    Do you?

    So then it follows that if you accuse me of doing all this due to how I wish to be 'ranked' socially, then you must also levy the same charges at Steven Hawking et al.

    As long as you can do that, I shall remain unoffended.

    :-)

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  163. Note: I am emphatically NOT drawing any other equivalency between me and Steven Hawking. I am NOT. Only the basic motivation, which is quite simply the very human 'need to know. Curiosity, pure and simple. The thrill of discovery, the frustration of a dead-end. The pursuit of something completely new... I love it.

    I see that men and women of science have mastered the fine art of designing a real-world experiment. So I can do little with my meagre knowledge to assist them in their endeavors. However I do seem to be more able than most people are to think in very unorthodox ways without losing my sanity in the process. I can go very deeply inside myself in meditation, for instance. Although with me it's not like most people think of as meditation. I do not empty the mind; I fill it. But both lead to similar areas, or so I'm told. So I use my strengths. I'm no lab scientist; but I am most definitely an accomplished 'psychonaut.' And being that, I can explore areas of the mind (not the brain) that science not only can't at this time, but has little interest in given the current materialist paradigm.

    The best discoveries are always those that are unexpected, and often come from areas that were not considered 'serious' before that. Before the telescope, who 'in their right mind' would seriously consider the idea that looking through a tube could allow you to see many, many times better than without such an accoutrament? Bah! Magic! Pure WOO!

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  164. To sum it up, "They're not looking here!"

    When I see all of science not considering something, but when pressed can't give a better explanation for not considering it than 'it can't be right' or 'it's just how very small things act and doesn't relate to 'macro' reality' that gives me a 'red flag.' It's not logically consistant. It's denial, to not at least investigate it as best you can.

    But whatever. They're not. So I will. I can't really give anything of value to science, but I can investigate the one thing science can't seem to see, or doesn't want to.

    Even if you say that it's unlikely that science is wrong here, I am willing to look down both paths, the one where it is right, and the one where it is wrong, to see for myself.

    Just in case. We're only human. It wouldn't be the first wrong assumption science has made.

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  165. The scientific objection that I find the most, well, amusing, is yours pboy. The one about how it's only how the very small things act and it doesn't translate to how big things act.

    Whyevernot? It's not as if the big things aren't all made up of the small things.

    Because the big things don't behave that way?

    How do you know that they don't? If they always fulfill the observers expectations, if by definition they will always fool you into seeing them as solid and real, than how can a person ever make that objection with a straight face?

    It's like saying that the world can't be orbiting the sun because we feel no motion. We're not supposed to feel motion on that scale. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, now does it?

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  166. To my mind, even if the expectations of ONE OBSERVER can alter the state of ONE PARTICLE, we have legalized WOO! And all bets are off.

    And by jimini, that's what happens every time.

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  167. pboy,

    I was in a hurry so made it brief. If you want me to expound on the answer after this next post will be glad to do so.

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  168. And it's not as if science never thought nor considered 'going down this road.'
    Many of the early quantum physicists became mystics due to those double-slit experiments. Look it up. It's for real.

    No, it seems that at some point, they (later researchers) just decided that it cannot be real, with no better evidence than that of their senses and their 'common sense.' Which in this case, and in this case only, are patently unreliable.

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  169. When I was in my teens I figured this culture is a dog eat dog situation. I wanted to have what I wanted, and thought money would buy what I wanted, and to be successful I needed to make as much money as possible. Around the age of thirty I was confronted with the question, what did I want money for. I realized that I had bought into the idea money would get what I wanted in life, and what I really wanted most of all was to be happy, and enjoy life. Realizing I had been conditioned by the combination of instincts, and environment to believe money would get what I wanted was not true, I set out to find out what would answer my desire to be happy, and enjoy life. I thought the best way to find out was to see what made other people happy, so I set out to observe what others were thinking and doing to find happiness. What I found was that happy people were sprinkled throughout society, with no apparent, as least at first, common denominator. Over a period of time I gradually became aware people that helped each other were happier than people who used people for selfish ends. It was not easy to see this as many people who appear to help others were doing so out of selfish reasons instead of helping people without thought of any reward. I was motivated to try this route to find enjoyment for myself. At first, much of the time, I did so with expectations of fulfillment of ego satisfactions. Even so I persisted in my endeavor, and gradually I was able to give of my time and energy without so much thought of what is in it for me, and I found that my overall enjoyment of life increased the more I was able to give unconditionally without desire of any reward. As I became aware that helping people worked , I was aware that I to was people so it was not like becoming a doormat for people to use. I think this does not make sense to our animal nature, but for some reason that I do not really understand it works.

    I rejected the teachings of religions because much of their doctrine is false, I am aware within their phony ideas there are some real gems. The more I thought about the ideas that are credited to Jesus I could see what he was saying is mostly rejected by Christianity, (Jesus was not a Christian) but at the same time is accurate in the best way to think, and live. He was not talking about some other life time, but by losing ourselves in serving others we are saved from being locked into our animal nature, and our lives are elevated to another level of existence he referred to as the kingdom of heaven or the spiritual brotherhood of man. I realized his whole life was a living demonstration of service.

    The ego seems to be the basis of desires, and wants to have these desires fulfilled. At the animal level these desires are mostly selfish so it would seem to be serving others would not fulfill the ego wants, and wishes. Much to my surprise the ego is very satisfied with the service motive, and the desires are changed from serving self to serving all of mankind. It appears that the ego desires change according to what level we are operating on. The height of life lived on the animal level would be fulfillment of desires on that level which would involve things like power, sex etc. On the next higher level, which would be the spiritual level the desires change to serving the whole instead of only the self. Dealing with the human mind, which is the animal mind, it does not make sense that it works, and can only be understood using faith because of inability of the mind to understand how it could possibility work. Once this level of life is obtained it becomes clear that service to the whole of mankind, or to life itself, causes time to become irrelevant, so if it is the now. or a thousand years from now, it is as though they are the same.

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  170. To try to understand how this works using logic, and reason as processed through the animal mind causes a perversion of both the animal level, and the spiritual level. I think that the only way to properly understand the spiritual level is using faith. I realize that using faith has some very real inherent problems, as one can buy into some ideas that are completely erroneous causing untold number of problems, some of which lead to insanity. So it is not to be taken lightly when embarking on a faith trip. What criteria to use to judge what ideas to follow becomes of great importance. The criteria that I have found useful is the result of embracing a thought, by their fruits (results) you will know them. If a thought is not to the benefit of all, it is probably not good. Thoughts that cause separation between people are very doubtful to say the least. Using this criteria, thoughts such as "the fall of man" the main idea of Christianity is obviously very toxic. This type of thought is caused by trying to use the animal mind to understand a level of existence it is simply not capable of. Jesus covered this obvious potential when he said not to put new wine in the old skins, or do not try to use animal level of thinking to understand spiritual level concepts. We can see the harm that is caused to mankind by trying to use the level of consciousness the human mind operates on to understand the level of consciousness that is the spiritual level. Wars are an obvious result of using faith in a perverted way, as well as many other atrocities people do to each other, many in the name of religion. The human mind is a wonderful tool that is awesome in many ways, but it does have its limitations. Faith is a wonderful tool but if misused can, and often does cause catastrophes. Faith, if properly used, can be used to enable mankind to reach heights of joy, and life far exceeding the ability of any other avenue.

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  171. Brian,
    Will you take care of the double post, thanks.

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  172. What double post?


    Just about the best definition of 'spiritual' that I've ever heard. Spiritual more in the sense that the spirit of all life motivates you rather than you had some mystical awakening. In that sense I'd like to think I was spiritual as well. I too see that true happiness is linked to unconditional love which is to say, unconditional giving. I would say that happiness in such an individual is linked to seeing others find happiness. True empathy.

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  173. Only I disagree about faith being necessary. It can also be a negative thing. I don't need faith to love all life. I love nature and science. And I have seen through my own eyes that in the so-called lesser forms there is still that "I AM" consciousness, that viewpoint on reality that we all have, and perhaps even share. So we're all in the same boat, just tryin' to survive.

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  174. Well, I liked your answer Jerry, way better than Brian going 'Charlie Sheen' on me, I must admit.

    I'm not sure how your observations on how some people are doing it 'wrong'(love of money and that) and how you feel you are doing 'right'(and I agree that you are, 100 times more if, as you say it is making you truly happy) is 'spiritual'.

    Seems to me more of a lifestyle thing, after realizing that money isn't 'everything' that you're explaining.

    Here we have:-Timothy 6:10 (King James Version):


    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

    Which seems to explain that you can avoid many sorrows by not 'loving money', much like you noticed.

    Any thoughts?

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  175. Brian.

    I think that you're taking the notion of 'observer' to be 'an aware, sentient being' here and the experiment shows that when the photons are 'counted'going through one slit or the other the interference pattern collapses, yes?

    But we can't 'see' photons going through one slit or another so it is not a 'function' of someone's awareness/sentience that makes the interference pattern collapse at all, it's the photon counter that is 'the observer' not you or I (supposing we were doing the experiment)

    But hey, no, I could be wrong on this. It might be that I'm reading it wrong.

    It (ahem) might be woo after all.(heh)

    There, that's about as 'Charlie Sheen' as I'm willing to go 'back at ya'.

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  176. it's the photon counter that is 'the observer' not you or I (supposing we were doing the experiment)
    -----------
    I appreciate your effort and that makes sense.

    That is the problem. The results do not make sense.

    As in, they have as I've explained (I thought) before (not trying to be snotty here) they've sucessfully designed the experiment in a modified way that eliminated the influence of the counter. (By dumping the data after (AFTER) the counter took it's measurement, before anyone could see it. It was as if the measurement were never taken, when no-one saw the results later. (LATER!!!)
    Plus the delayed choice variety really pinned that all down.

    So it is, apparently, WOO. Sorry. You're not the only one that doesn't like it. Neither apparently do the experimenters.

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  177. And lest you think me not thorough or unscientific, that was the very first thing that I thought of too. Made sense at the time. "Likely it's the measurement, not the observer. It being the observer is not logical...." The easy answer should be the correct one...
    Yeah, so I read more on it, Brian Greene and many others plus online.... looking for peer-reviewed papers of course.
    Nope. The easy answer has already been eliminated in several different (and very creative!) ways.

    So that really got me to thinking.......

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  178. There, that's about as 'Charlie Sheen' as I'm willing to go 'back at ya'.
    ----------
    Ahhhh, I can smell your tiger blood.

    See, the thing is, the scientists think it's WOO, but they can't say why. They don't deny that it's WOO though. That's the whole reason that they dislike the 'strangeness.' That's why they themselves call is 'quantum strangeness' for shorthand.

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  179. Article

    What do you think of this? Also, he uses 'quantum strangeness' once in reference to all this.

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  180. AHA! But doesn't this prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reality that we live in is NOT any kind of superconsciousness because there's no way that scientists would 'contribute' to this kind of inexplicablity.

    Not only that, your 'superconsciousness' isn't the same kind of consciousness that we have because our brains generate a bunch of heat doing the consciousness making 'thang'.

    Your superconsciousness is some kind of metaphor totally unlike your or my regular 'waking consciousness'.

    And it's no use even mentioning the quantum strangeness thing because that has to do with real energy, a real photon of energy!

    Everything except your metaphorical meditation(not 'really meditation or what it was you said) points AWAY from a superconsciousness that uses no energy and is undetectable to scientific enquiry.

    You're not going to say that the superconsciousness remains hidden because it wants us to have faith in it, I just know you aren't!

    (rocking back and forth) I know you aren't, I know you aren't, I know you aren't (and so on)...

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  181. Too tired to comment fully but....

    You're being very silly, sir.

    See you tomorrow... I'll answer your last one then.


    Jeezus.

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  182. PS: Stop rocking. Nope. Not even close.

    You wish.

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  183. Okay, I've read as far as Feynman saying, "Don't go there!"(not an exact quote, and it is the polarization filters first erasing the interference pattern, then a second filter erasing the no-interference thang.

    The observer him/her/itself isn't 'seeming to have much to do with it' as you seem to be suggesting, more the process of observing then the after-jimmy-jammying of the process cancelling out what it shouldn't according to Feynman's earlier explanation of superposition causing the interference in the first place, yes?

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  184. Colbert is not a fan of soccer. It's like watching grass grow, but with a bunch of soccer players in the way.

    The question is, would quantum weirdness 'step in' if the soccer players were coated with fast growing grass seed, much like Chia pets?

    We don't know! We can never know! Don't 'go there'!

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  185. I'm not going to believe that some unexplained phenomena is 'woo' until the observer can turn the interference pattern on the 'downwind' side of a double slit experiment on and off with the 'power of his/her/it's mind!

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  186. Which seems to explain that you can avoid many sorrows by not 'loving money', much like you noticed.

    Any thoughts?

    Several. It seemed to me the main point you were making is, you want to keep all things, ideas etc within the ability of the mind to understand by objective observance. The main point of what I wrote has little of nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with unexplainable, at least with the ability of the human mind to explain in an objective way. Besides that, what has an objective, what you call realist, way of seeing things go along with money being the roots of anything? It would seem to me that money would be most desirable for anyone who only buys into an objective explanation of reality under any and all circumstances.
    I certainly agree what I am talking about is a life style, but I so not see any way it can be explained by the type of thinking you do. The way I understand what you describe as your take on reality reminds me of a gestalt I did one time. In case you do not understand what I mean by doing a gestalt, It is like doing a fantasy trip of free association with a guide. I found myself in a building about the size of a large two car garage in the middle of a very large field with no other buildings around. There was nothing in the building except myself. On all the windows were bars, and the door was a door of bars. It was like a prison of some type. I felt like being locked in, and the guide said, is the door locked. I tried to open it, and it shook me to the foundation that it was not locked. That is how I see your take on reality, you appear to be imprisoned in your mind to a reality that only takes into account objective reality.

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  187. Okay Jerry. I'm not getting the analogy so I'll try to come up with an equivalent one.

    Your stuck in a world of natural numbers and you imagine there is no way out.

    I say, "What is 10 divided by 3?" and you say, "10 divided by 3 is equal to 3 remainder 1."

    I say, "You are absolutely right, if we're only allowed to use natural numbers. But if you imagine a number line, any point on the line is included as a specific number, so 10 divided by 3 becomes 10 and 1/3 and there is a point on the number line corresponding to it!"

    "It's fine to round down our calculations to the nearest whole number and all but if we represent 'quantity' with a line we can make any point along the line and notice that it represents a unique number!"

    You can see how, with my little teaching moment, you moved from a 'world' of natural numbers towards the world of real numbers by including all the rational numbers. and world of distinct dots along a line, say a ruler marked off 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on, to a ruler with demarquations in 10ths. or perhaps 32ths. and so on, much more accurate representation of the real world.

    Now you're analogy of the room with bars, "surprisingly' the bars keeping the greater world out, is like a 'negative explanation' to me.

    It would be equivalent to me telling you that you're trapped in a world of natural numbers, not figure out for yourself how we might better describe the world by increasing our ability to measure more accurately!

    Actually, it's worse than that because at least in my math analogy I'm giving you a hint at your goal!

    If you are 'stymied', I could give you problems to solve which have both natural number answers and rational number answers and examples to show how rational numbers are a more powerful tool.

    The best you can do, it seems to me, is say, you're locked in the room, open the door and you're on the grass man!

    Now I'm picturing myself out on a grassy field looking back at the open prison bar door of your analogy thinking, "What? I don't think that this is what Jerry is envisioning what I should be envisioning at all!"

    Can you see my problem here?

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  188. "It would be equivalent to me telling you that you're trapped in a world of natural numbers, not figure out for yourself..."

    Will make more sense if it says NOW figure out for yourself!

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  189. I see you as believing that the only reality is an objective reality. End of story. It is fine with me, I do not have a problem with your world at all. I reject that for myself as I have lived with that idea, and found it to confining for me. I do not have absolutes in my way of thinking, other than I am, so your way, Observant's way, MI's way, any one might be absolutely right. I do not think so, but I do not know so because I don't go for absolutes. I do know from what I observe IF all there is objective realty as a fact I am ready to leave this world now. All that is to me is a repeat of what is in an objective sense over, and over, and over, and over infinitum. Not interested, thank you. I do enjoy sunsets, beautiful sights, good movies, lovely women, etc but how many repeats do you want? I do not think by what you say you understand or are willing to take a faith trip because it is to dangerous to you. Exploring the unknown is to my liking, and I have been plunged into the abyss once, and it was the most painful experience I ever had, and I realize the danger of a repeat is always possible, but I freely choose to continue to go on without the anchor of any absolutes. Absolutes are a prison that does not interest me. :)

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  190. My dad was a figurer-outer. His mind was going all the time. Before you opened your mouth, he knew one thing, that he already had you figured out.

    Seems to me that Brian has taken this 'tack' with me lately.

    But doing this 'figuring out' thing, leads to you having a few scenarios about where I'm 'going with this' then attempting to cover the bases, so what I get is, over a few comments, a kind of jumbled up, "Oh yea, well fuck YOU TOO!", mixed in with some kind of attempted response.

    It's like you're saying, "Oh YEA? Well, I can see where you might be going, so I'm going to cover that with suitable language yet if that's not the case, sort of move on as if we can all just now ignore that 'parry' as if it never existed.

    This is what the 'Charlie Sheen' thing was referencing Brian. I don't see any point in baiting and switching all the time, I don't see why you think I'd want to elicit responses such as, "Oh yea, well you've called my theory ridiculous before...", or somesuch, because it is the nature of the format than you can imbue the words with 'force' that was unintended.

    Then we banter back and forth, you practically calling me an asshole, me saying that I was so obviously kidding I can't believe your reaction then you countering that you knew all the time that I was joking but..

    And the 'but' is the thing there, isn't it? 'BUT' you considered it useful to 'argue' with your attitude at the time.

    You're 'really' not thinking that I'm going to be swayed by you getting annoyed or (wink wink)jokingly getting annoyed, right?

    What is the thinking there? Old Ian doesn't see me calling him an asshole and if he does it served my purpose anyways?

    I copy/pasted my original question basically, again, about how our gut reaction(intuition) is our animal mind, practically usless in this format unless you're playing a 'domination' game, and you jumped right in with more or less subtle put-downs.

    Although it may well be a fun experiment to see how hopping mad I can make you Brian, that wasn't my intention at all.

    Okay Jerry, with respect to this, how is it that you know that your 'spiritual grass' outside your 'objective reality based self-imprisonment' isn't just 'asking your intuition, your gut-reaction, your 'animal instinct' to have a vote in your decision making process??

    Some kind of, "How dare you suggest this!", answer is basically saying, "Yes indeed you're right, but we must never mention it!"

    I'm not saying that that is how you answered Jerry, I AM saying that that is how Brian was 'dealing with it' but of course 'blending that in' so we 'get it' that it is clear that Brian isn't going there and doesn't want us to 'go there' too.

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  191. Okay Jerry, with respect to this, how is it that you know that your 'spiritual grass' outside your 'objective reality based self-imprisonment' isn't just 'asking your intuition, your gut-reaction, your 'animal instinct' to have a vote in your decision making process??

    Of course I don't KNOW. I certainly don't think so, but down to the absolute, I don't know. As far as using the prison idea with the gestalt, my bad as I am so used to thinking in the abstract I forget and use an analogy in that sense. Like I said, I do not have a problem with your concrete way of thinking, but it does make it very difficult if not impossible to make my ideas understandable to you. I am not saying here I am right, and your bad at not understand my ideas, not at all. I have an awesome respect for the human mind, but I think it has severe limitations, and if you cannot get outside of it then you are a prisoner within the boundaries. Maybe I am insane or crazy, and just think that I can get outside of it, could be, but I, of course don't think so.
    As for your take on Brian's intent, that is your projection on what his intent is. I think it is better to error on the side he is sincere than to error on the side he is insincere. If he is insincere that is his problem, if he is sincere, and you really don't believe it, that is your problem.

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  192. Okay Jerry, "I see you as believing that the only reality is an objective reality."

    Yea well, that's why I brought this up in the first place, I want to get an idea what it is, this 'other reality'?

    It must be impossible to explain, actually impossible to understand because, honestly, you go into some detail about your gestalt thing and I'm no closer to imagining how that gets you anywhere yourself, never mind explaining anything to me.

    I get this picture in my mind of the green green grass and the blue sky, having let myself out of the gray concrete double garage with the dark metal prison bars which I used to lock myself in.

    Imagine a standard page in a printer with say 1000 possible colours/shades of colour on each pixel and we're going to do a run of every possible 'picture'.

    We'd get a LOT of pages with just a dot or two, a whack of pages that are just dark miasmas, every picture that old Bob Ross could have painted with or without 'happy little trees and clouds 'living' here and there, and a page out of every single book that ever was and ever will be!

    Funny thing is that if we know the number of shades we're allowed, hey, if it's just black and white, we know exactly how many pictures we're going to end up with, and most of them are meaningless.

    Think about it. Even just either a black pixel or a white one, given a decent sized page, we're going to have, somewhere in there, every page of every book that has ever been written and will ever BE written in every language too!

    And this isn't an infinite number at all. We can calculate the exact number of possible ways it can be decided which pixel is black and which is blank.

    Still the vast majority of possible pictures make no sense to us.

    Now thinking of 'the rational mind' or 'my mind operating inside of the double garage using the rules and regs I've learned throughout my life' as opposed(I suppose) to opening the barred door and trying to think in 'bits of thought' hoping that something that makes some sense popping up, doesn't seem to 'help' envisioning that at all.

    See what I'm getting at?

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  193. LMAO!

    And you saying, "Hey, maybe I'm just insane!", isn't helping.

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  194. Okay Jerry, "I see you as Okay Jerry, "I see you as believing that the only reality is an objective reality."

    No, I do not see that the only reality is an objective reality. I do think objective reality is real, but there is much, much more than that. The prison of the buildings I was in represents a prison of the mind. It is only a representation, not to be taken as a real building, or a concrete prison. You are thinking on a concrete level, I get that, I am not thinking on a concrete level that is where we are not communicating. I have seen some sites on the net that tries to deal with abstract thinking, perhaps they can explain it better than I. One idea that comes to mind is, a caterpillar goes into a cocoon and emerges as a butterfly. In the abstract that COULD mean that when we die on the earth we go into a period like the cocoon and emerge as something else other that a human being. Again the same scenario is the tadpole turning into a frog, that is taking an objective real thing and putting it in the abstract, and coming up with many different possibilities that has nothing to do with concrete objective thinking.

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  195. Well well...

    I see jerry being as honest as he can be and humble, and pboy laughing in his face saying 'I win then!'
    Not very nice, but that's linear thinking for you.
    Jerry's not insane; it is possible and even desirable to think in a non-linear manner. And such a person really does have a lot of trouble communicating the concepts to a linear thinker. I've tried this before too, with my 'yin and yang' arguments for using duality as a tool for better understanding. WHOOOSH! is the sound of it all going over (or perhaps under) pboy's head.

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  196. Discounting intuitive thought as 'animal gut instincts' tells me all I need to know about the sheer impossibility of getting you to understand any of what jerry or I am talking about.

    Your 'animal gut instincts' or intuitions are capable of processing information as 'pictures' rather than 'words' and therefore have a huge advantage over your linear mind in both processing speed and complexity of the things processed, *as long as your linear mind trains your intuitions.* By that I mean, over time you learn, you pay attention to when they're wrong and when they're right, and eventually their percentage improves dramatically. However you will never bother to try this, to learn about this, since you discount it all as merely something 'animal' and 'gut.' A shame.

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  197. For instance, one of the most practical uses of the trained intuitive mind is telling when people are lying. Sure you can research their facts but that takes time... good intuitive thought can ring an alarm inside you, even if you have no idea what exactly they're lying about. You can sense an inconsistency, even a very tiny one.... Like every time I've ever spoken with eric for instance, I've always known in my 'gut' that he's lying... usually it's only a matter of figuring out where and how.

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