Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Best Of Me (Saint Brian Quotes Over The Years)

Believers believe and thinkers think; however the aforementioned believers always believe that they are the real thinkers, and that the actual thinkers are the real believers. So which one are you?

To accuse another of not possessing morality due to the fact that they do not believe in the same things as you do, is absolutely an immoral act that injures the other person involved and proves you the immoral one.

I had a God-Shaped Hole in my heart once. I managed to fill it with cookies.

Mankind looked around, and science was born from what they saw. Religion was born from what they did not see.

Beliefs are thoughts that the ego fell in love with.

The best answer to an ignorant, self-important Christian is and always has been a lion.

You can lead a Christian to water, but if he doesn't believe that it’s water he'll die of thirst. Or maybe he'll just fuck the horse.

It is self-evident that the insane are willing to resort to things that the sane cannot even consider nor sometimes even imagine. Therefore they always have the element of surprise.

Telling someone that they’re entitled to their own beliefs but not their own facts presupposes that they have the ability to tell the difference.

The truly proud man believeth himself to be humble, but the truly humble man knoweth himself to be proud.

The culture that we are raised in as Americans is completely saturated with Christian conditioning. It's so pervasive that literally, if you can't see it, you’re a victim of it.

The 'halcyon days of yore' are a perpetual illusion that revisits itself upon each succeeding generation. In reality, yesteryear sucked, and sucked more in direct proportion to how long ago said yesteryear was.

When what you believe in is a fantasy there's always a defense for your belief, since you're not constrained by the rules of logic and reason when making one.

Common wisdom is never reliably true and rarely actually wisdom. For instance, common wisdom in some circles is that people are like lemmings, however even that is wrong. Lemmings don't jump off cliffs unless pushed by Walt Disney, but people can be talked into just about anything including jumping off a cliff. So we're more like how Disney portrayed the lemmings, than how the lemmings actually are.

Christians don't listen to their own God. Only love can conquer hatred. That's the gist of it. So you don't blindly hate those who blindly hate you. That way goes on forever. Showing basic respect and as much love as is possible to show for them in return for their hatred, is the only thing that produces results, ever. The nobility of it captures minds, a few at a time. Everybody wants to be respected and loved. The problem is, it takes a long time, perhaps generations, for that love to overcome the pent-up hatred of centuries, and few people seem to have the patience to give it a chance. Even though Jesus would have approved, I'm quite sure.

Nowadays if Jesus came back and didn't let anyone know who he was, the religious right would label him a total pussy hippy dirtbag wino who hung out with far too many men for their comfort.

If only wishes were fishes I could feed the multitudes better than Jesus Christ Himself.

Jesus Christ is good enough to hide an awful lot of evil in a man.

The Modern Christian Credo: 'Since we're definitely going to heaven, let's start looking down on people now just for practice...'

You know, what you know, isn't really what you know. What you know is what you think you know but it's not what you know. What you know is what you believe you know. And that's not knowing anything at all. You claim to know, but what you do not know and only believe that you know is that you do not truly know. And knowing that, I can also know that what you actually know is not anything worth knowing.

Informed feelings can be far more accurate than unfeeling logic. Never discount the power of intuition.

"The oddity
is that the sanity
of humanity
is in short commodity"

All truth is possibly false. All things should never be given more than 99.9999 percent chance of even existing.
But there is truth, and there is truth. All being relative as it is, there is the most likely true and the highly unlikely to be true, and many people find the two indistinguishable.

Denial is not just a standard Christian mental state you know. It also sounds a lot like a river in Egypt.

Ark Ark?
What's there?
Just another proof that the Bible is a joke.

Beliefs are terrible things, since they're very often wrong, and even when they're right the world goes and changes on them and they never, ever adjust to that cold, hard fact.

The word ‘faith’ should be an expletive that is not proper to say in polite company.

You too can have the peace that passeth all understanding, as long as you are sufficiently lacking in understanding.

Those who are not intelligent cannot see virtue in intellect, and therefore spurn it instinctively.

You underestimate your inability to not reason incorrectly.

The religious man has no trouble believing the ridiculous and only wonders why he's so much better at it than everybody else is. This he takes as a sign from God.

The biggest egomaniacs always see themselves as being modest, along with every other good thing. It's inconceivable to them that they're really shallow and self-centered. That's why they are.

-Atheist: The nature of ignorance is such that the person who is ignorant cannot possibly know it and will reflexively assume that it is not they who are ignorant but the person who is informing them of their ignorance. This is the basic nature of true ignorance. True ignorance is believing that one is not ignorant, and thus not bothering to learn new things. The truly ignorant are too ignorant to ever know that they are ignorant. If they could know such a thing, they wouldn't be ignorant in the first place.
-Christian: Are you calling me ignorant? I'm not ignorant, *you're* ignorant!

Religion is most like a computer virus for brains. It comes complete with instructions for development and propagation of the virus, and code that prevents the person from deleting it or noticing that it doesn't conform to reality. It is orchestrated, organized, and officially sanctioned psychosis, made easily digestible and palatable to the masses.

Everyone was wrong about everything in the past, so why would any sane person not at least seriously question a bronze-age belief system? Why is that forbidden?

Learn to think before you learn to believe, or you’ll soon believe that you don’t have to think.

It's easy to win an argument with a Christian, since they are based in beliefs rather than thoughts, faith rather than reason, fantasy rather than fact. The hard part is getting them to see that they've lost the argument, for the same reasons.

If you cannot feel the pain of a stranger, it cannot be said that you truly love anyone but yourself.

If any hypothetical belief system dislikes science, which is without a doubt the best method of finding the truth about reality that we have ever come up with, the next question is naturally "What do they have to fear from the truth?"

Fear of God is a barrier to real morality, not a path to it.

Wanting to be right so bad that you come to actually believe that you are right, is not the same thing as actually being right. If you can't tell the difference, you're hopelessly lost, and no one can help you anymore.


  1. If morality is what we do when nobody is looking, by definition believers in an all seeing and all knowing god are without morals.

  2. I like that, because it's technically true.

  3. Its a variation of one of today's cartoons

    1. I love this one, Pliny. It's one of my favorites of yours so far.

  4. Wow, St Brian. You get a lot of comments to your posts.
    Sorry if this is off topic.
    I spent many hours studying Buddhism. I should get an honorary PHD for all the time spent reading Mahayana writings. Hell, once I even took a Greyhound bus to San Francisco so that I could attend a two week meditation thingy at the San Francisco Zen Center. I lasted a whole two days before I slipped out under the cover of darkness (too much bowing), Later, I found the local Hard Rock Cafe, drowned my sorrows in a coke and hamburger, and watched Jimi Hendrix on the big screen TV.

    I grew up a Southern Baptist, and it took me decades before I could finally reject the Bible. Two books: "Drunk With Blood" and "Jesus, Interrupted" helped seal the deal. During the Egyptian plagues, God behaved like a true asshole. Moses was a bonafide mass murderer. King David was a cock-grabbing weirdo. And poor ol' Jesus of Nazareth was a failed prophet. Most Christians today would be considered gnostics by the early Church. What a pile of shit.

    My favorite New Testament story:
    I think it was Matthew who misinterpreted early Jewish writings. The early Jews used to have a kind of poetry where they would sometimes use a parallel/doubling way of describing something. Supposedly, the future messiah was to enter Jerusalem riding a horse (or some other animal, I forget exactly). Anyway, when the early Jewish author wrote the piece, he used that parallel/doubling poetry type of description so that it sounded to an outsider as if the messiah ends up riding in on two animals. Well, Mark and Luke understood the parallel style and had Jesus riding in on only one animal, but Matthew took it seriously and has Jesus riding in straddling two animals. LOL.

  5. Nothing is really off-topic here, Burningmouth. (I am always tempted to shorten that to BM, but somehow I don't think you'd like it if I did!)

    Years ago I used to go by "Godless Heathen Brian" which got shortened to "GHB" which is apparently a date-rape drug. Eventually when I was elected to the Sainthood (one of my favorite hoods!) I changed it of course.

    Yea verily, I am the Patron Saint of Godlessness, so while you can pray for my intercession in any matter, all you'll get back is a crisis of faith.

    This place used to be a lot busier a few years back but I basically kicked all the christian nutbags to the curb, a move which did have the side-effect of making the place more boring. Lately I've considered shutting it down, but I've reconsidered. I love the conversations here. Old friends, and hopefully even some new ones.

    The Matthew story... how typically idiotic. I'd never heard that. Yet another ridiculousness in a whole sea of them called "The Bible."

    Stop by anytime. Your perspective is welcome.

  6. Don't shut this site down. You'd probably regret it. I'm always scouring sites like "Reddit" looking for what's really trending in America. There are some smart dudes commenting on the Reddit site. Not you're typical 'Yahoo' types.

    One thing I've noticed lately is how the liberals are really starting to come down on Obama. The republicans are a basket case, but even the democrats are floundering in the water. The latest edict from the Obama admin. is some new law which makes it illegal to stream copywrited content. The dems believe that it's just another example of Americans losing another freedom; and they're probably right.

    I'm starting to worry that Obama is going to send the feds in to Colorado and Washington state to stop the legalization of marijuana. I used to think that Obama was cool, but now I'm not so sure. He has no problem with executing innocent people with his drone strikes. That's another reason the dems are becoming wary of Obama.

    Don't get me started on the republicans: a bunch of knuckle-dragging, faith-based idiots.

    Ok. I feel better now. Later..............

  7. Well said, and I agree that Obama is doing a lot that is against the image that he portrayed to the American people while running for office.

    Rant here anytime, dude! We like it that way!

    1. The Ooooooh. Man's certainly not panning out as we'd've expecting -- I mean----- here comes a shariah law to a town near you: no doubt at all.

  8. Thanks for this, Brian! The walk down memory lane - enjoyed every line, and seeing why I ended up here the first time. Even though I didn't see any "tasty baked goods" references :-) . It gives a bit of a poke at deflating your "good old days is all crap" idea, which I believe is true, except not in this case. Good good old days in this post.
    Pliny...will now be checking out your sarcastic cartoons, I had no idea you had this talent and were posting them. I will adhere strictly to your schedule of "whenever...."
    Brian, I read that article on HP, too...trial for murder of Jesus. Mindboggling, don't even have too much to say about it (what is there to say?) The history of those biblical stories you guys were talking about at the end of the last blog certainly explains the progression from falling for that crap to lawsuits. I think....if I can twist my mind, knock three times, twirl a baton and balance a cup on my nose....yep...there is the path! LOL
    Agree on Obama, much more moderate and even conservative on issues than I would like. No clue how Repubs get the liberal/socialist label sticking to him for their masses. Of course, they don't delve into facts and reality much, so it's much like proving those old miracles I guess. I would still vote for him over any TP/GOP wingnut, but would like to see some bigger progressive balls. How's that for a visual?
    OK, off to the job of 4 legged care! You'll notice I'm an early morning visitor...fits my 5am schedule, but out of step with everyone else probably.
    Oh anybody else awaiting Breaking Bad, or just me? This series has to finish up so I can get over saying "Yo, bitch" when speaking to husband/kids. LOL

  9. I especially liked the one where, as I imagine it, you dress up in a cartoon animal costume and say, "Me like cookies! COOKIES!"

  10. The God-shaped hole filled with cookies, you mean? Lol...

    Don't worry Jude... About the 5 AM thing.... I sometimes stay up that late!

  11. Thought this was cool. Not relevant to your post though.

  12. It is cool. In the comments someone mentioned the "Dunning-Kruger Effect." I only learned about it a few months ago. It's nice to see a technical explanation for the first saying on my list:
    "Believers believe and thinkers think; however the aforementioned believers always believe that they are the real thinkers, and that the actual thinkers are the real believers. So which one are you?"

  13. That was cool, pboy.... sometimes guilty as charged (gulp), pretty eye opening when willing to accept our own foibles. Which is the problem isn't it? People willing and open to reality will let it in but those who need it most will not due to the very explanations stated! A circular conundrum. Brian, I came across Dunning-Kruger Effect a few years ago, cool stuff. Right after learning about it came across a guy on line who fit every definition. Over estimated his intellectual superiority, was actually incompetent, so incompetent that he lacked the ability to judge just how stupid he was. Impossible and frustrating to try to have any reasonable conversation....maybe that's what you ran up against when you threw all your Christians on the blog to the lions? LOL I feel your pain.

  14. and PS: I left out the most amusing part! Everyone else in the discussions on that board often commented "maybe we don't know enough about X" or "if we throw out Y maybe that will change something..." but NEVER him. When I threw Dunning-kruger at him, guess what happened? Yes, he embraced it. It was his proof that he WAS intellectually superior, and the reason no one else (and I mean NO ONE) could see how much more he knew than anyone else, and why we couldn't acknowledge his rightness. Unlike anyone/everyone else, he COULD judge his superiority, and it was there. He never had a single doubt about any of his conclusions, ever. It really reminds me of Bush, Jr. and Cheney, who never had a doubt about anything (good god, man, you should) would never do anything different even if new information was available (wth?), and easily dismissed information because they just knew better.

  15. It really is exasperating. The far right sees black as white and white as black. They're been conditioned to do this for decades now. The GOP has tried to use them to win elections without regard for the fact that they were sleeping with the devil. (Almost literally!) So now they're stuck being evil OR ELSE. They can't do a good thing if they wanted to. It amazes me.
    When my wife and I first saw the beginnings of the Tea Party when Obama got elected in '08, we LAUGHED AND LAUGHED. We said "This is all they've GOT?!" I mean, it was a great joke to us at the time; we thought everyone else would laugh with us. Then to our HORROR, more and more of these fucking parasitic knuckledragging mouthbreathers came out from under their rocks and made it into a political force to be reckoned with, THE POWER OF STUPID made itself known to us, and we were appalled. We had no idea that so many Americans were absofuckinglutely idiotic. No idea. No clue how malignantly insane they were, and how that was somehow not only acceptable, but the NORM in a lot of southern states, and even some northern ones. These parasites had infiltrated every branch of government, national and local, by the '10 elections, which I had thought would be their rout, their defeat. I had not counted on one thing, one tiny thing that I couldn't help but overlook... I could not count on their unbelievable level of RACISM. Once the black man won the white house, these scumbagggers came out in force, and they think they're the REAL AMERICANS! I mean, they are nauseating. I don't even want to be a hater, I don't believe that hating others is a productive thing, and I truly beleve that if I hate someone else, it lessens me, however I face a conundrum that is hard for me to solve: How, if you are a lover of the good, can you not hate hatred itself? I'm still having a problem with this. Not hating them, is as hard as not hating evil. They are the very definition of evil, and I'm supposed to despise that with all my heart and soul, and so how can I not, even if that lessens me and strengthens them?

  16. And then there's people like Eric. Or Renzo. The Catholic Apologists.

    I'll never forget that first night. The first night that Eric and I had a 'discussion.' He presented some byzantine maze of rationalizations, and I stared at it and stared at it... it took me about an hour to puzzle it out, because on the very first read an alarm went off inside me that screamed "THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!!" but I couldn't put my finger on WHY it wasn't right for quite a while... then I took my time and figured it out and answered him, literally thinking that I could reason with him, since he sounded so intelligent, not like a right winger at all. So I figured out the mistake he was making (how naive was I???) and informed him of it, and expected the conversation to proceed from there, expected him to see my point at least. I'm no philosopher, but I do think very logically after all, so I just used good old-fashioned logical discourse and made my point.

    What did I get back?


    And so on, for ever and ever and ever. All mazes lead to other mazes. This was an entirely new kind of evil that I'd never run across. I was stunned at first, then determined to wade through it, then totally discouraged when I realized that there was no END to it, and then eventually enraged. Over time the rage grew, until after something like six years of taking it, trying to ignore it, trying to live with it, trying to deal with my anger at it, I just couldn't take it anymore and told him that he was nothing more than a liar and that I would not tolerate any more lying on my blog, since after all, it's my blog. He came back with a lie of course, and I DELETED IT! This really pissed him off, but I maintained my stance that he cannot lie here, that I would not tolerate it, and so eventually he left for good. Do I feel bad? Yes, but only for my other friends here that seemed to derive pleasure from running his mazes for some reason. Maybe just for the mental exercise. As to him, he's a piece of pedantic garbage. No bad feelings there for me.

  17. I did stop deleting his posts... but I basically told him off when he lied from then on... it didn't last long.

    I can't understand the motivation of a person like that. What, you wanna be seen as smarter than everyone else? Then be smarter, not cagier, not more deceptive. Not so practiced in fabricating convoluted scenarios in which it's easier to find fucking Waldo than it is the truth. He uses 'truthiness' in place of the truth. He surely has the ability to see that what he's doing with his life is becoming a great bullshit artist for the Lord, but this pleases him somehow.
    I think these people see opportunity in the reality that on the side of the idiots, even someone that just sounds smart is elevated and rewarded. I mean, look at Dinesh himself. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. He knows this. It's the same reason that some black people join the GOP. A much shorter path to fame and power and wealth. All you have to give up to get there is your principles and your moral compass, and I guess some people see no real value in those things. Those things don't make them any MONEY, so let's just jettison the unnecessary stuff like that.

  18. I believe it was Eusebius, Constantine's biographer, that said (and I paraphrase) that "it's okay to lie if the lie is in defense of the religion" but I never thought that in this day and age, some people would take that as a freaking commandment!

  19. Brian, it's really simple when you get right down to it. If you have the truth behind you, you don't need convoluted semantic gibberish, insults, condescension, or obfuscation. You simply speak the truth and it usually has an innate sense to it (ignoring quantum mechanics obviously). If you don't have truth on your side, you have to hone your debating skills.

  20. Don't believe a word that last guy said.

  21. HA!

    Pboy's our resident insurgent today.

    It makes a point, though. I can have the truth and it doesn't make one whit of a difference to those that embrace lies as their truths. It's like their brains have had their polarities reversed, plus where it should be minus and minus where it should be plus. They're is no talking reason to the unreasonable.

    Hence that saying of mine about the lion. It's really the only way.

  22. Okay, I know we all are civilized and consider ourselves above such things, but really, wouldn't you have to tune in if instead of a football game on Sunday it was Mitch McConnel and Eric Cantor and the entire Tea Party Caucus in a stadium against a pride of pissed-off angry lions?

    I mean, the answer is obvious, no?

    (Just a tiny jot of snark)

  23. smoke some shit and put this on 'replay'.

  24. An excellent song! I think I may have heard it many years ago, but I'm not even certain. I really liked that one... it's going in my IPhone.

  25. Go lions! Go lions!! Go lions!!!! Uhhmm, of course that's what I would say if not above it all...:-) Yep, Pliny nails it with the debating skills needed, highly developed in folks that have to create the mazes you spoke of, creating misdirection, and never being honest because they can't really defend their positios on facts or reality....hence you get teabaggers. About not wanting to be haters, I get it, doesn't seem to jibe with our seemingly tolerant views on "everybody can believe what they want". Except sometimes they CAN'T, because their views are not just personal beliefs, they are actions that harm others, create public policy that deny women access to healthcare, or children access to Head Start, or gays access to marry,and even hungry people the right to eat...the list goes on forever of what their strongly held religious/political beliefs inflict on others. So yes, many times I do hate them for their ignorance, intolerance, and willful destruction of others because of it. If you can have a party that calls deregulation of air quality standards to the benefit of corporate profits and call it "Blue Skies Initiative" or can make yourself believe you are strangling planned parenthood because you care about the safety of women, you are a menace. There is nothing, and I mean really nothing, about teabaggers that is worthy of respect. Not a single strongly held belief they have is based on facts, reality, history, science, or results...but they can argue with you about it forever if you follow the maze, just like religion.

  26. I felt that old synchronicity thing happen when running into Brian on HP when I did. Just 2 weeks before, I had blown off my last remaining contact with a cousin on my mom's side. We grew up together, lots of shared childhood memories. Out of touch for years, she "found" me about 3 years ago, and started off good, nice emails. Soon I ended up on her mass email list (arrggghh) filling my box with religiously uplifting material. I told her I was atheist, but she sent them anyway. Then it moved to "OMG, Pepsi is removing god from their cans!!!!" and "Atheist removing crosses from graves at Arlington!!!" I would privately send her the snopes link so she could correct her mass misinformation mailings, she never did. So...directed all further emails to spam, and after a few months again she wrote a personal letter, ok, private email about mundane stuff was fine. Until she sent me and everyone else the Trayvon Martin Hoax, picture of some 40 year old gangster rapper, this was the real Trayvon, a hoodie wearing criminal who deserved killing somehow. I hit reply to all on this, added snopes link, and said inventing fear based lies was just WRONG. She wrote back to me, saying she knew it wasn't Trayvon, but IT DIDN"T MATTER!!!!! Because he was a criminal racist punk who got what he deserved, and poor George Z was going to jail because white people always go to jail and black racist thug/punks always get away with it. O M G. At this point I chose to torpedo any kind of future relationship ever, and told her what I thought of her and her religion and ethics. Go lions, go! :-) I've not heard from her since, and I'm not sorry one bit. I was nice, and non confrontational for way too long. I don't need that shit around me in such a personal way, ever.

  27. Holy Guacamole, she's back...ah, well, it's Sunday morning, I've got no place else to go. :-) In summation (clap here!) in an ideal world, if someone is basing their entire views on misinformation and outright lies, you would think that any rational person, when given real facts would conclude that new information requires new thought processes. But it just doesn't! My cousin saying it didn't matter, Bush/Cheney saying no WMD did not change anything, starting that war was still the right thing to do... Then you have tea baggers railing against taxes going sky high (no, your taxes are lower under Obama) or he's running up the deficit (no, it's lower than under Bush, and historically it is R's who run huge debt.)
    IMO there are several layers to this. Smart politicians who don't believe it themselves, but in their interest to propogate it for power and personal gain (Boner,Turtle Mitch,Cantor the alter boy), and then teabagger politicians who actually believe it because they really are stupid ala Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, Todd Akin, Rick Santorum, et. al. And the people who they get to buy into it because facts that don't fit their prejudice, fake outrage and religious views can be,yeah, taxes are lower now, but just you wait. Or Saddam really did have wmd, I don't care that we didn't find them. Trayvon may have been a 17 year old kid, but in 10 years he'd be that angry black man whose picture I sent, and be out to kill you, so the killing of him was justified. Truth that doesn't fit a set agenda means nothing to baggers or their leaders.

  28. Religion is in the business of justifying the unjustifiable. So, you're a worshipper of Jesus the Christ, Prince of Peace, whose Kingdom is not of this World?
    So what? We're the good guys, we've always been the good guys, we will always be the good guys. Whether we now condone torture, or redefine it, or simply hire less picky people to do it for us, whether we have a not-so-hidden class system in which we are all equal, but some are more equal than others, there's an invisible moving line between feeling good and moral and right because you see us doing good, moral, right things, and, just feeling that we are good and moral and right because that is how we've defined ourselves.


  30. Gee Pboy, that's strange... I mean, it just can't be true because I've heard a lot of people online telling me that our military is just the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful group of human beings they've ever known in their lives...

  31. Psy-Ops? Might as well be I suppose. The old, "My husband is over in the Middle East fighting for your freedom of speech, so you should just shut your face before I break your nose!"
    Think this is Confusion Technique, couching the threat of violence for you freely speaking as the 'right' which you're actually getting. The right to remain silent.

  32. I was channeling Raymond Shaw. Didn't you recognize it?

    1. Sorry, not even sure WHICH Raymond Shaw you were channeling.

  33. That was some article,Pboy. When I'm reading some of the outrageous comments, even on HP that bastion of left wing media, it may answer some of my burning questions as to "who ARE these people???" Maybe not real people at all? Although I meet enough baggers in real life to know they are out there. Your example of torture is maybe one of the greatest mind manipulations ever done.
    For decades, centuries even...torture was agreed upon the world over as immoral, unacceptable, a true war crime, and a tool proven to be useless in getting any kind of reliable information. Hell, waterboard me and I'll swear puppies are ugly and dolphins have a plot to take over the world. What else do you want to hear? Along comes Cheney, and somehow, someway, you have formerly civilized people aghast at the thought of torture defending it right along with him. Christians, "patriots", saying it was ok for us to do, the patriotic and right thing. ie: the first to scream barbarian and criminal at the war crimes of other countries, and who would scream for justice if US military was subjected to the same.
    LOL Brian..that is the line...all of our military are heroes. Well, they ALL are just not. Some are there for lofty ideals and hanging onto their humanity, then you have Abu Graibe (? too much trouble to look up spelling :-) soldiers peeing on dead bodies, raids on civilians wiping out whole generations of one family, etc. Not to mention raping their fellow female soldiers. Who then come home and beat their wives and children after becoming broken. These the heroes the GOP claim to support, who then call them takers when they need a psychiatrist and a doctor.
    Is there more than one Raymond Shaw?

    1. Back when Iraq was the New War my wife ran across a YouTube video of a US soldier in Iraq throwing a live puppy off a bridge. So I already know that a lot of our soldiers are themselves 'sick puppies.'

  34. Ha! Just wasted 20 min. of my life on HP....yesterday the article on the judge changing baby Messiah's name because she was a christian and mom can't pick that name. Yesterday all commenters blasting judge for illegal decisions, today the trolls are out supporting the judge. Sock puppets? They don't see the irony of law based on judges religious belief and their hatred of Sharia law.
    Go figure.

  35. The difference is that they hate Sharia law, not because it violates separation, but because it isn't their code of conduct. They'd have no problem ramming dark ages Christian doctrine down every bodies throats

  36. Raymond Shaw from the Manchurian Candidate. Lawrence Harvey. His character. The brainwashed soldier.


      The famous quote

  37. I guess that it wasn't Raymond Shaw talking, it was the other soldiers talking about him whenever they were asked. They'd get that glazed look in their eyes and just spout the line they were conditioned to spout.

  38. That's the only Raymond Shaw I know of, I didn't know if pboy knew of another one or just messing with you. :-)
    Question for you guys...when we talk about disgust with baggers/religion and their disconnect from reality, hypocrisy, etc. I can't help but try to examine my own, and what I'm guilty of. One of my biggies is free speech...belief of it, but not for everybody. LOL! I often feel it's a horrible thing! Westboro Baptists, KKK, Neo Nazi's, and the like. They are hateful, violent, intimidating to others, their free speech tramples over innocent people. Our current laws on libel, slander, and not yelling fire in a crowded theater don't seem to do the job of actually protecting people from this. Anyone else have an issue with this, how do you handle it, or do you have some other personal inconsistancies that you struggle with? I am outraged every time the kkk gets a permit to march.....

  39. Yea, hmm. It's like hating the haters is good, but really hating the haters is becoming a hater yourself. What's the difference between a terrorist who wants to blow up stuff and a patriot who wants to blow up stuff, for, apparently, opposite reasons?

    And what's the difference between a strongly religious person who has been educated by religious people and a strongly irreligious person who has been taught by that same system?

    Seems to me that people who step on others necks are of the opinion that, according to the, 'Do unto others..', credo, are doing it because they're sure that if you had the advantage, you'd be stepping on their neck.

    Is it us or them? Well no, of course not, but the believers think it is, and the same ancient 'fight or flight' response that we rely on to get us out of trouble, makes us our own worst enemy.
    "Middle road? WTF? You should HATE THEM with all your heart, 'cos you know, you know deep down that they HATE YOU, with all their heart!"
    Of course that's a lie, but the liars control the believers if the believe, right?

    1. Yes...right. Except your questions and points did not give me any usable reasons to justify my hypocrisy, damn it! I should go to a meeting, stand up and say....Hi, I'm Jude and I hate free speech - for those guys. :-) I think it's going to be a life long problem.

  40. What's the difference between some right-to-lifer pretending that they have scientific proof that fetuses feel pain to make their political point, but believing they're right, and right-to-choosers pretending that we have scientific proof that they don't feel pain to make our political point?
    I don't believe that fetuses 20 weeks and under have the nervous system developed enough to 'feel pain' because some news pundit TOLD me that scientists don't believe that, but, through the eyes of a right-to-lifer, taking into account their belief that material reality isn't all there is and that 'pain' is something that can be felt in the supernatural realm AND by our 'soul' or 'spirit' and that they feel comfortable believing that 'of course the unborn baby 'feels pain', since it is a living soul, of course, that's a scientific fact that needs no clinical proof since MY intuition is plenty!!!

    So there are these 'veneers' we have to see through to understand these guys.
    I'd say, "Pfft, these daft buggers think I'm ignoring 'half the picture', 'half the picture' that is totally imaginary!"
    They'd say, "Pfft, this daft bugger is ignoring half the picture! Why it is totally intuitive to KNOW that a fetus MUST be in pain, horrible pain, when it Is ripped out of it's mother's womb and discarded like so much garbage!"

    LOL, I'm waxing beerological right now!

  41. I think it's a tricky question, but to be truthful if it were me deciding these things I'd want to see at least a slight movement toward restricting freedom of speech when said speech is harmful to other people or expresses hatred toward them. So for example with Westboro, I'd still give them some way to express themselves, but not by physically disrupting funerals or otherwise directly hurting people. The penalty would be fines, not jail time though. They don't seem to mind getting arrested, but I bet they'd mind monetary fines with no glory or possible perceived martyrdom attached to them.
    However to me it seems that the Westboro sun is setting. Maybe it is better that they do heinous things, since they're almost universally reviled nowadays. So maybe we're okay where we are after all.

    I don't understand the American people. The Tea Party is awful, and in the US approval of the Republican party is at like 20 percent... however if you ask them who they will vote for, it's still like 50-50 rep VS dem! So they hate the republican party that they still feel compelled to vote for? WTF?

    1. Yes,maybe fines would be the answer...glad you're thinking restrictions too, it seems we have laws that are supposed to protect people from harrassment and intimidation, but free speech always seem to trump others rights to not have it trample all over them. See pboy, that's what I was looking for! LOL As to Westboro, agree they are fading fast. I love the Rainbow House across the street from them, a perfect response.
      Hmmm...well, if BO was up for reelection again I'd say it's because of the black man. But upcoming elections? It makes no sense for so many people to vote against their own interests, they've either bought into the phony fear of Dems agenda arguments, or they're just plain uninformed. I'm kind of a political junkie, it catches me off guard sometimes at how little most people pay attention to any of it and honestly just don't know what's going on.

  42. What about a pro-choice person like myself that also believes that a fetus feels pain? Because I do. It's sad, really, that there is just no middle ground in this fight. I could be persuaded to restrict some later-term abortions, yes I could be, if only the other side weren't composed entirely of raving fanatics that hate me for not being a raving fanatic.

    Just like how I am aware, or perhaps I should say that I *KNOW* for a fact that about half or so of all welfare recipients are scamming, at least a little bit, but the answer to that is not eliminating welfare! That's just insanity! I could be convinced to reform the system, because it sorely needs it, but not by these assholes. They're not interested in a conversation, not interested in any compromise, it's always their way or the highway, so basically, fuck 'em.

    1. And there is another one, agree. But pro-choice doesn't mean one LIKES it. Part of the answer to early term is education, available BC, freely given morning after pills, and RU-486....all things which baggers make as difficult to implement as possible. Unfortunately, later term abortions are one's you can't possibly prohibit, that's when most of the devastating issues arise. Restricting the "I just decided I don't want it" ones would be ok, but life of mother or information on baby status should still be a reason for termination imo. Those are things you never know right away.
      I dismiss eliminating welfare because of the % of scammers, too. Yes, try to weed them out but if a few get through in order for the truly needy to get theirs, so be it. I also see a huge disconnect between those screaming welfare fraud, so worried about a few million dollars (peanuts in the budget) but are ok with the biggest welfare frauds, also known as big oil, and others. To the tune of BILLIONS in subsidies while making obscene profits.

  43. I'll tell you one thing: If the right really wanted to decrease the number of abortions, they would help provide support mechanisms for poor people that are pregnant or have just given birth, and perhaps learn to give a tiny little shart (if not a full shit) for the already-born. But no, these morally bereft vacuous assholes can't ever see anything beyond their ideology. Disgusting. They think they look good and holy for 'caring for the widdle babies' but they aren't caring for any babies that have managed to make it out of the womb. They do not give one microfuck about them.

    1. What about Project Rachel?
      And the free counseling and assistance in order to help put the babies up for adoption?
      Many Christisn Churches collect baby and Mama necessity items together for a baby shower for soon-to- be Momma...

  44. I think the NRA needs to pressure Washington (as it's so good at) to allow a 'stand your ground' defense for grieving family members at funerals... a slap on the wrist if one of them shoots a Westboro Member who decided to get in their face at their son's funeral, that sort of thing.

    (Not really, but it would be better than what the NRA is doing now at least!)

    1. That is the one and only NRA petition I would sign! OMG, now I'm going to have to go to another meeting...Hi I'm Jude and I hate violence and guns and sorta believe in free speech but...
      pboy, help!!

  45. You know the truth, Brian, if you cross your legs and cut off the nerve for awhile, your leg goes 'dead', it has no feeling, until you stop cutting it off, then you feel it!
    Same thing with an under 20 week fetus, it hasn't got nerve connections to cut off, so it can't feel pain.
    Do you imagine that a dissected frog feels pain if you put a voltage up its leg? The leg twitches, therefore, intuitively, it must hurt, right?

    1. Apparently you haven't seen the image of a fetus crying out in pain . It's heavily documented in ecperiments....and is plain as day on sonogram.....

  46. I would then imagine that said nerve connections are definitely in place by the time of birth, lending credence to objections to late-term abortions, no? So then, at what point are the nerves 10% connected? 50%? See, it's not an easy question with a definite answer, is it?

    Hey, I'm just no fan of abortion, but I also am pro-choice since I can see that they are sometimes for the best, and besides, if we take that decision away from the mother, I just don't like the 'feel' of that, it's too authoritarian for me.

  47. Furthermore, if a fetus can move around, by definition that means at least the nerves for motion are connected, right? So where do we get the idea that the pain nerves aren't also connected?

    (Now I'm sounding like a right-winger, but still, it begs attention, no?)

  48. Brian:
    There is no way to determine at which point in fetal development "pain" may be felt. To begin with, even if a fetus might react to a "painful" stimulus (say, by withdrawing its hand from a pin prick), this says nothing about whether or not it can perceive that pain at the brain (consciousness) level. We already sometimes carry out surgical procedures on late term fetuses while still in utero without any anesthesia to the fetus. Does this make it "cruel" or reprehensible?
    The real issue her is obviously that the right to lifers will grasp at any straw to enable them to restrict or, better yet prohibit any abortion. And, of course,their "take" is that it is God's will that any conceptus ought to be brought into the world, but that once here it is no longer of any concern to God and, therefore, of no concern to them. QED


    Study shows religious persons less intelligent than atheists

    We all already knew this.

  50. I happened to check out the comments, and this was the very first one:

    "Oh pish tosh. Lots of geniuses believe(d) in God. Say what you want, right or wrong, I believe there has to be a God. How else do you explain ghosts."

    So precious!

  51. "How else do you explain ghosts."

    There really isn't any other way to explain ghosts, is there? And could you try to explain vampires and werewolves, the fairies at the bottom of the garden and the tide coming in and going out?(hint: no-one knows why.)

  52. Second time today I saw that "tide" line referenced. That was hilarious! Glen Beck is such a tool.

    1. Pboy and Brian, you're seriously telling me that Glen Beck thinks we don't know why the tide goes in and out?
      "How else do you explain ghosts." That oughtta be done in needlepoint, it's a question suitable for framing. :-) Can you believe in ghosts and not god? Must they go hand in hand, or are they stand alone issues?


      Glen Beck on how the tides prove the existence of God

  53. I've watched the Nova series on the Universe with Brian Greene theoretical physicist.
    He sets up the scene, in one episode, imagining time steadily moving forward from the Big Bang(of course) 'til our now, now.

    Then he has us imagine an alien somewhere across the universe observing us, why his now and our now should be identical, right?
    Now, what if the alien travels away from us, that would be equivalent of slicing the 'loaf' of time at an angle and now the alien would be seeing our past!
    Similarly, if the alien now travels towards us, the time slice would be skewed towards our future, strongly suggesting that what we think of as 'the future' is already happening from, say, a distant alien traveling towards us's perspective!


    NONSENSE! How can this guy teach us this drivel and expect to walk around not hanging his head in TOTAL SHAME, for the rest of his miserable, glib, head-up-his-ass, existence?

    Let's imagine the same scenario but we'll put one number in. The alien is, say, 3000 light-years away from us. If we are not moving relative to each other, he sees us as we were, 3000 years ago!

    Now if he NOW moves away from us, he'll either see us at a lower frequency or he might, might if we're to take for true that bit of Mr. Greene's theoretical musings, he'd see a bit further back into our past.

    If he is looking at us through his telescope and sees us, then moves toward us, he'd see us perhaps more in towards the blue end of the spectrum, and perhaps moving more quickly, not into our future but less into our past! i.e. Not 3000 years ago from our perspective, but moving to, say 2900 years ago and lessening as he gets closer!
    Unless he has a magic telescope which can see us as we are NOW all the time, in which case he'd always see us now, no matter where we were in space, maybe with a bit of shift to the red or blue!

    Mr. Greene should think about his daft musings a bit more before converting everything to math, diddling with some numbers and then trying to convert those back to a physical model that is beyond ludicrous. STUNNINGLY ludicrous!

  54. Um, I understood Brian Greene's point there. It's considered to be well understood. As in, it's real. And it's not doppler shift or anything like that. Time is not constant across the universe. That's why it's understood that there can never be a 'Galactic Empire.' Yes, all that great science fiction is not possible.

    Why are you, and how can you be, so sure that it's drivel? I'm curious here because now I'm seeing the same reaction from you as I get when I talk about salvia, only now you're discrediting hard science out of hand. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

  55. In fact Pboy, at first on reading your last post, I thought that you were joking, being sarcastic.

    I thought you had some degree of 'faith' in hard science, at the bare minimum. I mean, since neither you nor I understand advanced calculus and celestial mechanics and quantum mechanics beyond the popularized veneer, it seems rather presumptuous of either one of us to just discount it.

  56. "Um, I understood Brian Greene's point there."

    Good, you can explain how I'm misstating him then!?

    " It's considered to be well understood."

    Good, you can explain how I'm misstating how 'they' are understanding it then?

    " As in, it's real."

    I'm sorry Brian, That's called an assertion.

    " And it's not doppler shift or anything like that."

    What's is 'it' that's not the Doppler shift? The 'totally real' yet unexplained 'thing'?

    " Time is not constant across the universe. That's why it's understood that there can never be a 'Galactic Empire.' Yes, all that great science fiction is not possible."

    This isn't the explanation of how I'm misstating Greene and 'them', I hope.

  57. Let's say the alien is 3000 light-years away from us and he has a ship that can travel at the speed of light.

    From his perspective he takes zero-time to reach us, right?
    From OUR perspective, he takes 3000 years to reach us.
    When he arrives, he'll look around and think, "Wow, I travelled into their future!"
    But he'll be wrong, it'll still have taken 3000 years (our time) for him to reach us, just like it takes light, that same light he uses to look at us through his telescope, right?

    Now back 'there' he's seeing us as we were 3000 years ago, then he switches on his 'warp drive' and instantly shows up here(from his perspective) some 6000 years ahead of his last 'observation'.

  58. 3000 light-years isn't even inter-Galactic distance Brian.
    "The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy some 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter."

    Basic astronomy explains to us that since we measure interstellar distances in Light-years, the distance that we'd see an object away would correspond EXACTLY with how long light has taken to reach us, right?
    e.g. if a star is 4 light years away, the light took 4 years to reach our telescopes.
    If we're looking at the Sun(with our eyes squinted, kind of not too 'directly', that light took 8 minutes to reach us. i.e. we're looking at the Sun as it was 8 mins. ago, right?

    Let's make the numbers smaller. The alien is orbiting Proxima Centauri, some 4 light years away, and is observing us with a state of the art, Acme Giganticus Telescope!
    He's seeing light from your calendar, since, for the sake of this argment, you've moved to Australia.
    He takes a snapshot of your calendar.

    Now he starts travelling away from us at 1/10 light speed. What's going to happen?
    Well as he recedes the flow of light to him is going to slow down since his distance is increasing and it's going to red shift, showing that he is moving away! So things happening on Earth should appear to slow down a bit.

    Does this seem reasonable or no to you Brian?

    1. All of it, yes. Except the flow of light doesn't slow down, only it's frequency does. Although in this scenario that seems impossible, but that's how it's supposed to go. Either way, your point is still valid.

  59. Let's assume that that seems reasonable to you Brian, even discounting the fact that we know zip about 'advanced calculus and celestial mechanics and quantum mechanics'(although why QM would even come into it in this scenario, I can't imagine)

    Okay, now the alien is back at Proxima Centauri, some 4 light-years away and is observing your calendar through your window, some years ago(for us) since he's seeing light that has traveled across 4 light-years, yes?

    Okay, now he travels towards us at 10% light-speed, what happens? Things go by quickly through his scope as he's 'catching up' with the light traveling toward him. The light is blue-shifted. but the dates are flipping by faster because his distance from us is shrinking.

    NO WAY he's seeing our future at all, no matter how fast he goes. Let's say he jumps to 99% light speed, well things have no doubt went so far into the blue spectrum that he needs to have special filters or something to see whatzappenin'.

    But since he's closing fast, the things that happened are zipping by fast until he gets to us and has to put on the ACME brakes, whereupon, it's now for us and it's now for him!

    1. This is the point at which I become entertained observer...
      I refuse to comment on the grounds that it may incriminate me as totally out of my league. Which would be true, I can't tell if you're insanely genius or just making stuff up. :-) Although it occurs to me if he puts on the ACME brakes, the roadrunner gets away, yes?


    At the 21'30" mark, they start with their loaf of bread ~ loaf of time model.

    It's a shite model, Brian. Sure I could 'think of a star exploding 'now' half way across the universe, but that'd be shite.

    No, the common sense picture of time doesn't go out the window at all. Just because you can put up a graphic of a loaf representing time doesn't mean it's a good model.

    But there are no 'slices of time' it's a computer graphic model, a shite model.

    23:23 The alien, 10 BILLION light years away, no less! LOL

    So, there is no observation even, they just pull the different angle slice out of their ass, and they have ALREADY set up the slices past, now, and future as CERTAINLY THERE, right?

    GAWD, he's sickening, "our great-great-great grand-daughter teleporting from London to Paris." (BARF)

    This bullshit is based on 'numbers don't lie' and there doesn't seem to be a rule that says 'things can't go backwards and such'.

    But GEEZ, he's kind of talking about perspective, from someone's perspective. And it's nonsense because the loaf of time model is shite to start with, we CANNOT 'observe' the now here and the now 10 billion light years from here. We can't do that, therefore it's shite.


    1. Don't dismiss the whole thing just because of the silly theatrics. They have to make this stuff entertaining to the kiddies. I disagree with the idea of teleportation, because all they're talking about is teleportating the *quantum states* of the particles involved. No matter is transmitted, so basically you'd have to die here, or else if you lived, there'd be two of you, one here and one at the destination, assembled out of local particles.

  61. This whole thing sounds to me like some shite philosophical musings gone crazy like St. Augustine speculating that no-one could survive the harsh conditions at the equator and other nonsense about people living(or no) in the Southern Hemisphere.
    From his perspective,from his knowledge base he deduced everything perfectly, but he was WAY OFF.

    Now the idea that when we move our time-frame shifts, I'm fine with that. The idea that we're looking into the past if we look at far away objects, I'm fine with that.

    But this nonsense is of the same ilk as our universe being information on the event horizon of a black hole being projected.
    But event horizon of a black hole is spherical, so why add a two dimensional "reality" and a magical projector?

    1. Now the idea that when we move our time-frame shifts, I'm fine with that. The idea that we're looking into the past if we look at far away objects, I'm fine with that.
      But you are missing that we do not look into the *actual* past, my friend. We look at a planet a thousand lightyears away, and see the light from a thousand years ago, but that's just how long it took to get here.

      Reversing this, if I were the alien looking at Earth through my superduper telescope, right now, I could possibly look in on Henry the second, Holy Roman Emperor. Now if I, the alien, got into my instantaneous transporter and appeared here, I'd arrive now in 2013, not 1013.

    2. That notion, that we're looking at the distant galaxy's past and therefore if the alien moves away from us, his 'now' remains his 'now' while our 'now' is now our future, is what I think the problem is with Greene and his partners' theory.

      Their theory seems to be based on the idea that there is no known reason why physics cannot run backwards.

      How is the very intuitive notion of a 'now' for everyone, in a static universe, you see, the slices of the 'now loaf' depend on a static universe, then they change the behavior of one hypothetical alien bicycling either towards us or away from us.

      But the universe isn't static. so no loaf, no model, no possibility of ever verifying the theory, therefore until there is, no 'real past, real now and real future'.





      Mumbo jumbo.

  62. " Except the flow of light doesn't slow down, only it's frequency does. Although in this scenario that seems impossible.."

    If the alien is moving away from us, it seems intuitive that only the frequency of light will change, BUT, as the aliens distance increases the distance light has to travel to get to his telescope increases.
    What did take 4 years to get to the telescope now takes 4 years plus the aliens distance traveled.

  63. IOW I'm not saying the light will slow down, I'm saying that the events the light has recorded will slow down for the alien watching them.

  64. Let me reprint that here, since I deleted it before knowing that you had already answered:

    All true, but as I understand it, irrelevant to Mister Greene's point. It's more like relative velocity either in the direction of or in the opposite direction of the other planet (say Earth) produces large differences in relative time. Without getting the numbers right (since I forget the exact numbers involved) it's more like if you are on Earth and I am on a planet ten thousand light years away from earth, and our relative positions are constant (the planet is not moving either towards or away from earth, which is admittedly practically impossible, but still) then if I am on the other planet and not moving, then our time frames are constant also, as in, we would exist in the same time frame. This is excluding any trip times... so let's say that I traveled to that planet, Planet X, instantaneously, appearing there in our present time frame, but of course ten thousand years in the future of the light that we had been observing from Planet X. So now we're using our handy-dandy instantaneous subspace walkie-talkies and we can have a conversation. However, if I were to walk away from you at ten miles an hour (okay, run away) and still try to talk to you, it turns out that we're not in the same time frame anymore and you weren't BORN YET. (Or perhaps it's the reverse, that you were long dead.) It has zero to do with the speed of light in the sense of time passing because of movement toward the other object. I know that's the common-sense thing to think, and that's precisely why this phenomena is so unusual and worth taking notice of, because it defies common sense such as you just displayed.

  65. I'll have to get back to you.... need time to respond, and my kid and wife need my help right now...

    fun talking to you.

  66. I'm sorry but the slice of time loaf model is just circular reasoning.

    1) presume the loaf of time model is real
    2) Do a thought experiment with an alien across the universe and surmise what gives with this, what does it mean?
    3) Conclude that the real past(past slices of the loaf), the now ( the now slice of the loaf) and the future (the future slices of the loaf), that is the entire loaf, is real!

  67. ANother thing. If we look across the universe with our most powerful telescopes and see they are very, very red shifted, we know that they're moving away from us at a very high speed. This may well be our speed away from them combined with their speed away from us, if that even makes sense.
    Now, to imagine it's now is somehow our way future is a semantic game, since we are looking at it's past, it's deep past.

    It doesn't work to play games with this idea and to say that if we're looking at it's deep past NOW, it's NOW is looking at our future! NO, because the notion that we're looking at it's past is a function of the speed of light, not some loaf of time model.
    In reality, anyone on that very distant galaxy looking at us will see US as a very, very red shifted galaxy.

    FURTHERMORE! If both us and the other distant galaxy are moving closer, then that must mean that it's now is our future, but our now is it's future!

    And what about relativity? If we move towards it, relatively it's moving towards us. Are we really looking at each other's future?

  68. Something weird like regressing at 10 mph changing 'now' for us simply because we're a colossal distance apart is just fucking stupid. All you'd need to do is stop! LOL

    What you'd REALLY be saying is that handy-dandy ACME sub-space walkie talkies wouldn't work, since there'd be no real way to not be moving relative to us, taking into account planetary motion around it's star, it's day/night cycle(spin), slight gravitation pull of other planets, galactic movement and rotation and on and on.

    1. Something weird like regressing at 10 mph changing 'now' for us simply because we're a colossal distance apart is just fucking stupid. All you'd need to do is stop! LOL
      I think that the general idea is, that there's an equivalency between distance and time that is subtler, but similar in kind to the equivalency between energy and matter. A relativity almost. That at those differences, slight changes in relative velocity result in actual differences in timeframe. Apparently the math works out. So all of what you mention exists, all that "planetary motion around it's star, it's day/night cycle(spin), slight gravitation pull of other planets, galactic movement and rotation and on and on," all those small things *also* influence the relative timeframe, but Mr. Greene was just simplifying in order to not clutter the issue. At those distances, and only at such extreme (to our common frame of reference) distances, relative time is changed by relative velocity. Not *apparent* relative time as in, we're seeing old light, but actual, real, in the moment, relative time.

  69. On THAT note, Republicans are living in a time-warp, and us moving away, politically from them or vice versa, makes us see them in the past, wanting to drag us into the past. Their 'now' is the past.
    This is why they want to take away everyone's loaves but their own, right! So we won't be able to figure it out since we won't have a model to accidentally slice it at an angle and discover their secret!

  70. By the way, I was wondering if you were 'reading back,' as in, noticing that I've also answered you 'back there' using the individual post response system.. The good old 'IPRS,' as it were. Sounds military.

    I'll also talk more tomorrow... it's been a busy day. Thanks for the conversation.

    You too Jude. I like really enjoy what you bring to the mix here. Makes for more fun. Goodnight.

  71. And if someone says that if we go faster than light, that is, if we pour enough energy into our system to drain all the energy in the universe, that time would go backward, I'm going to scream.

    Bad enough using enough energy to drive the entire galaxy to reach the speed of light, where you and the spaceship's time would stop, therefore there is no 'coming back' from that, no time to come back from that, y'see.

    No time to come back from light-speed, therefore no time to add energy to a ship AT light-speed!
    Get it?

    "Two seconds to light-speed, I will now put the brakes on... ... ...", oops, time stopped before you hit the brakes, time is stopped.

    1. Perhaps at the moment of lightspeed it leaves the universe? Or else, it's simply impossible to exceed C in any way. Getting close, maybe, but of course the time dilation would be enormous, and more enormous the closer that you got to C and the longer you stayed at that velocity.

      I really think the only hope of ever exceeding C is for us to find a way to travel through some sort of "not-normal space." It can't be done just by applying more and more power. That way is just stupid.

  72. Just on principle, that NOTHING travels faster than light, even with a static universe model thought experiment.
    The alien moving away from us may affect the 'now' we're at, but not for 10 billion years!
    YAY, I win!

    1. Is it considered a 'win' if it's just that your level of disbelief exceeds my level of skepticism?

      If so, you're the reigning champ! :-)

  73. And why do you suppose it is that the further we go in exploring and hypothecating about the very cutting edge of knowledge, the more silly it sounds?

    Because it's all "The Big Brain" my friend! We rebel when we face the fact that at it's most basic level, reality makes no fucking sense. That is because in looking for it to make sense at that basic level, we ourselves are not making sense. We're creating it.

    Or not. That's always an option. I don't believe in Brian Greene, either. It's all informed speculation. It's just that hey, he's very fucking informed, and not considered a flake, and yet he's still saying things that drive you nucking futz, isn't he? I can't *dismiss* him as you seem wont to do. I just consider the data, and the source. He's more credible than many sources are.

  74. I would remind you that there still exists a small cadre of actual researchers in the field of quantum mechanics and quantum physics that accepts the Copenhagen Solution and thinks that our personal consciousnesses are involved in the manifestation of our reality. I know that's a form of appealing to authority, a logical fallacy, and yet again, such people, en masse, are harder for me to dismiss than a convention of sanitation engineers. So there's that.

  75. Is it so 'outre' to think that perhaps, just perhaps, if our reality is dreamlike and essentially unreal in the sense that we like to think of things being real are real, that when we choose to examine smaller and smaller portions of our consensual dream, like as in individual particles and their behavior, such tiny 'sub-dreams' are not as capable of deceiving us into seeing them as normal? It's kind-of like seeing nothing but a television screen all your life and believing that to be reality, and then one day deciding to check it out up-close and suddenly noticing the pixels for the first time.

  76. Okay, now I'm really off to bed... goodnight all!

  77. Good morning! Glad you 2 got that all worked out. :-) And thanks Brian, it's nice being back. About "reading back" and replying that too confusing? I've been doing that too, but wonder if it's not what you normally do and just interrupts the fluid nature of the comments. I think I completely missed Harvey the first time around. (Hi Harvey!) What does everyone prefer? In going back, noticed an Anonymous came to visit...wouldn't have seen that the first time around either.

  78. Hey Jude!!
    Some of these comments "appear" after a first read because of delays in internet traffic and, in some blogs, the need for "adjudication". In any event, we are all gald to have you back.

  79. :-) Thanks Harvey.... glad is better than galled(gald). LOL I saw your comment way back that mentioned fetal surgery, which is pretty much how I am not convinced that pain receptors are in place. I too think that it is another "tool" of the anti-choicers to act concerned. Every other indicator says they just don't care about people, really. Side issue... I've never understood how they claim "playing god" if people want to pull the plug on hopeless cases. Life is precious, keep anybody alive as long as possible no matter what the circumstances, they are pro-life. I think that if someone can't survive and has no chance at recovery, needing machines breathing, beating the heart,taking in food, and brain activity gone, etc., then they are playing god by ignoring the fact that the god that they believe decides these things has already decided they are dead. I have a HUGELY specific living will in place, I hope no one ever tries to fight it on my behalf if it comes into play.
    How's mature living going? Are you all adjusted and settled in?

    1. Despite having moved into this truly lovely "retirement" village over two years ago, I am still somehow working three days every week, two of them seeing outpatients and one doing a full surgical schedule. This is probably a good thing, inasmuch as my wife/nurse (who is much younger than I) really doesn't tolerate me around the house too often. If all goes well with recruitment to replace me underway, I should be able to pack it in by next July 1st, at which point I will be 75 (if the Lord spares me!)

  80. And to everyone, from above....I still want to know if you have to believe in god to believe in ghosts. Same issue or separate? LOL I swear there have been times/experiences, very few, but really weird, hearing diembodied voices. NO, not that way. I heard my Dad call me once, in his English accent, so clear that I answered! Broad daylight, out in the woods with the dogs. I'm thinking ambient sound of wind, tree rustles, running water which my brain interpreted as speech. On the other it seemed so real.
    (play twilight zone music here.)

    1. No you don't. All of existence can be explained through Venn diagrams. Belief in gods is a subset of mystical beliefs. Belief in ghosts is part of the inclusive set of mystical beliefs but only overlaps with the set of believing in god. There, does that help? ;)

    2. :-) Yes thanks, it does, Pliny. I'll have to read up on that more, I think I pretty much just lump all mystical thinking in the whole religion/god group as a rule, and dismiss it. My ambient noise explanation. Mostly. You know we own an Assisted Living residence...and we have this ongoing thing. I always yell "ghosts I tell ya!" when it happens each time, everyone says "you don't believe in god!" LOL Anyway, on at least 12 different occassions involving 8 or so different residents, over many years time, they have rung the call bells at night reporting "children in their room who just stare at them and don't say anything." They always describe the same children, about 4-5, mostly the girl, 3 x's it's been the boy. Brown hair. OK, the residents are old, on meds, some have dementia. But have to tell you, it is STRANGE and makes you wonder. Especially because certain rooms are hotspots. Room 116 has had 4 reports from 3 different people with years in between.

    3. A dear friend of mine sent me a Halloween card many years ago, knowing my general disdain for all things mystical. It was titled, "A Halloween card for people who don't believe in ghosts" When I opened the card, there was a drawing of a ghost flipping me the bird.

      I still have that card in my desk.

    4. Part of the confusion is that all mystical beliefs use essentially the same arguments and leverage the disconnect we experience between our perceptions and physical reality. Whether it's Reiki, gods, mind expansion, religion, ghosts, etc., reproducible facts usually don't win out over personal perception. That which seems real, must be real. That which you can't prove as false, must be reasonable. Except that it isn't true. In a nutshell that describes Eric's approach after tens of thousands of dollars (alleged) of education. Arguing with an apologetic algorithm was uninteresting. You can cherry pick any set of conditions and come up with a supporting argument. As long as we trust or perceptions over demonstrable reality mysticism in all forms will be around.

    5. Agree... despite a few cases of real heebeejeebies over totally weird coincidences, I give myself a good hard talking to not to go down that road. When I say "it's ghosts" I'm kidding but a bunch of the employees do believe it. Seeing things is a common event for dementia, "sundowners" and lots of meds, the coincidence of the same stories gives you a start, and plain to see how easy it can be to indulge the fantasy. I usually put them on the doctors list, and order the lab work to make sure meds are ok. :-) But really confess it can sometimes catch me off guard, and start that wondering. I love your halloween card!! Perfect.

  81. And because my mind has not stopped ruminating about this in the last 2 hours.... in the spirit of the previous conversation that I could not follow on any level... space/time/light about dimensions? OK, standard physics says there are 3 of space and 1 of time. String theory says there are 10. M theory says 11. What if there are a whole bunch of parallel universes in close dimension that we just can't see? Voices there in different dimensions? I can't believe we are anywhere close to knowing what possibilities are out there, less than 100 years into real technological advancement. So just because I don't understand it, can't dismiss it as impossible. There's your other explanation for ghosts! Ta da!

    1. For someone who claimed to not be able to follow the conversation you're pretty familiar with the two major theories!

      Those are other dimensions, but not other universes or planes of existence, right? The extra dimensions are supposed to be all curled up small-like. To me the really amazing stuff comes with the idea of infinite parallel universes coexisting with this one, all overlaid as it were. So other beings might be passing through our bodies all the time, except we can't see them, because we're not able to be aware of the other planes. The multiverse, or more extremely, the omniverse. To me that's as crazy as anything the occult has to offer, as crazy as the Big Brain, as crazy as anything. Infinite universes? All of 'real matter?" Not planes of consciousness? Infinite? Where did all the matter come from to make an infinite number of infinite universes of it? Common sense alone should tell us that it's more likely that they're actually consciousness. But hey, that's just me and my pet ideas...

    2. I was figuring that if there are other dimensions we don't know about, then the possibility of parallel universes coexisting on a very near plane might be possible. Then an occasional "rip in the space/time continuim" type thing, where things slip in and out of our dimension and plane, and visa versa might be happening. Maybe their matter is different than ours? Less rigid, but more than consciousness? I don't know if it makes any sense at all but the thought of it is fascinating. :-)

  82. Jude, I get to see the other dimensions when on salvia divinorum. They look real to me. LOL. Maybe they actually are, huh?

  83. Well, Julie, that's exactly what I'm saying about Greene's model, it's a big 'what if'.
    What if the universe were steady state and we could think of every second going by as a slice of bread on a loaf, a new 'now'.
    We conveniently make our 'now' not at the end of the loaf adding new slices as time goes by!
    We make the distance so large, 10 billion light-years, to dazzle us, who can imagine 10 billion light-years away?

    Well, it turns out that Greene can and with his sliced bread static-state analogy, just to keep it simple for us poor saps who can't understand 'the math', we can picture it about 6ft wide on his computer generated image!

    So, 'how the math works' to make this a real phenomenon, that the past, the present AND the future are all 'real', it seems to me to amount to semantics, that there is no reason(that we know) why time operates in one direction, and so on.

    Well we can't just look and see or send signals across that distance since if we look, we're looking a light that had to cross the vast reaches of that space, and that would be light, in this case that is 10 billion years old, and if we send a signal, same thing, it'd be 10 billion years before they got the message.

    Nothing travels faster than light-speed, you see. Now when you turn everything into mathematical equations, it gets stripped of all context, so they can truthfully say that there is no law of physics stopping time from running backwards.

    But in reality, down here on Brian's blog, we just know that time doesn't run backwards, time running backwards doesn't make any sense to us.

    Similarly, the static-state loaf version of time makes no sense to me because the demonstration, the thought experiment, only seems to prove that that is the way they 'set it up', with future 'nows' in place, to demonstrate that there are such things as future 'nows' in place!

    Greene might as well have placed stones in a row representing time passing, picked a stone in the middle saying, 'that's our now', now see the stones in the future and the past? Can you see that the stones are REAL? Then all 'nows' are real too!

  84. Then all 'nows' are real too!
    Meaning, all those points in the past and in the future are real nows even though they're gone for us.

    But if that's true and all future nows are in place, we are truly like a movie playing, with no way to change that future 'now' to something else.
    Brian can't have his cake and eat it too here, according to Greene he was destined to do exactly what he does from moment to moment, I was destined to write this comment, you were destined to read it, and so on.

    And that's not what Brian thinks, I know that, you see?

  85. I am of the idea that everything happens at once, but our consciousness flows from low entropy to high along the worldline of the universe. Thus, while I am here, I am also still having my first kiss, and also, I've already died.

    Nah, just shitting you... it's all a big fucking dream.

  86. But if that's true and all future nows are in place, we are truly like a movie playing, with no way to change that future 'now' to something else.
    Salvia insight: All possible futures are there, but in potential, not realized. As we realize one of them, the others collapse.
    More economical than the Omniverse idea of all of them actually existing.

    1. Salvia insight: All possible futures are there, but in potential, not realized. As we realize one of them, the others collapse.

      sounds more like a salvia induced restatement of the uncertainty principle.

  87. A dream where all possible outcomes exist in potential, like a shadow existence, only realized when we select one of them, thus discarding all the others.

  88. All possible futures are there, but in potential, not realized. As we realize one of them, the others collapse.

    NONONO! The alien across the universe is on the same 'now' slice as us. He then moves away and now here now is the past, which is still set in stone, if he cycles away our now is when Columbus crossed the ocean blue or whatever.

    But that leads inexorably to our real now, the now we're at as we're typing away, right?

    But the now the alien has altered the now here to a really real now, when Columbus was crossing the ocean, you see?

    If that's real, then when the alien cycles FORWARD, he is in a now where our now is far in the future but set in stone, just as now is for us now, Columbus's now is for HIM and so on.

    You going to try to wriggle out of this with probabilities collapsing, you sly dog you.

    Then the past 'nows' are set in stone, the present 'now' is set in stone, but the future now is ethereal?

    1. And how are you so sure that they past is fixed and the present is fixed? Just because it looks that way from our pathetically inadequate point of view?

    2. Perhaps by it's initial observations of our now, here where we're typing, said alien entangled itself with our timeline. Thus to it, when observing Columbus (after observing us here typing) it is locked into only seeing the future of that time as this present, since it had already observed it.
      In any case, it's the mind selecting the timeline.

      This must confuse you since I find myself switching back and forth between my science side and my mystic side here, and in the latter, it all being a dream, this is just interplay of consciousness and even time is an illusion. So, sorry about that.

  89. Yes, the future in which you made that exact comment already existed before you made it.

    What I'm saying is, so did the future where you didn't make the comment.

    You discarded that one. No predetermination here.

  90. By the by, Brian, I wasn't setting a trap for you here, I watched NOVA, it was on when I started saying that I thought it was bullshit and Greene should hang his head in shame etc.

    You countered with, "Thought you were kidding, our knowledge is far beneath Greene.." ..and so on.

    Now you seem to be stuck with a predetermined 'dream', a movie role we all play out.
    "Why if the alien moves away, he's kind of pushed rewind a bit!"

    Free will and 'set in stone' "nows" are incompatible!

    If you are going to wake up and burn your house to the ground tomorrow, it's REAL, and it was always going to be that way, dream or no dream, right?

  91. "Yes, the future in which you made that exact comment already existed before you made it.

    What I'm saying is, so did the future where you didn't make the comment.

    You discarded that one. No predetermination here."

    This makes no sense in light of Greene's theory, where, when his now and our future is now is SET IN STONE, just as when his now is our past and the now he lines up with is Mary, Queen of Scots now!
    Sadly Mary has no option but to get her head chopped off!
    If you go along with Greene, sadly we have no option but to proceed along the nows, 'til we get to the future now(set in stone) that is the now when the alien is moving towards us.

    This isn't a hard concept to grasp Brian, you're caviling.

  92. "And how are you so sure that they past is fixed and the present is fixed? Just because it looks that way from our pathetically inadequate point of view?"

    I'm not trying to be mean, Brian, but you either believe Greene's theory here, or you agree with my first assertion that Greene is being a glib, head up his ass, dickwad!

    You cannot imagine Greene is right and that Green is wrong, at the same time, depending on whether it disagrees with me, surely.

  93. Caviling and grasping are two different things. It's not like I grasp the 'loaf' idea of time intuitively. It's not something I can 'grok' very well. You may even be right about time being set in stone. We just don't really know these things yet, do we? I merely suggest things in the moment that might be possible. And as I say above, in this discussion I play two roles, one where I am trying to follow the science, and another one where I am suggesting ideas that science doesn't even agree with. That must look like caviling. Sorry.

  94. I'm not trying to be mean, Brian, but you either believe Greene's theory here, or you agree with my first assertion that Greene is being a glib, head up his ass, dickwad!
    What if I pick "C?"

    As in, I do not 'believe' anything at all, but I can see that this is a serious man with a serious theory that sounds cockamamie, among other serious men whose theories all sound cockamamie, and yet which seem to agree with the math... which to me just lends credence to the idea that they're all equally deceived by the fact that this is all a dream. When we try to see the fine details of the dream, it all becomes hazy and weird. That means something to me.

  95. Back to the science though... the distant alien observer would be entangled with our timeline, so to it, it would be set in stone. It saw us here typing, then saw Colombus, so it must see us again here typing when it moves toward us again. That in no way prevents Mister Colombus back then, from deciding not to go to the new world after all. However the alien only sees the timeline that it is entangled with already, just like we only see the one timeline that we are entangled with.

  96. NOPE. Greene's theory here definitely points to a completely deterministic cosmos where past, present, AND future are all set in stone.

    That's his 'revelation.

    Either you agree or you don't, there's no third option where you 'fuzzy' it up, tell me that it's complicated, or such.

    That's equivalent to saying that I'm neither right nor wrong too.
    BUT, you seem to be pretty fucking certain that I'm wrong, right?

    How does this, "Ian is always wrong!", thing, work?

  97. Going back to my notion that religions use Confusion Technique, God is all light and God is all darkness, kind of thing, leading one to ask 'how can that be?'.

    Well the short answer, minus all the 'it's complicated', and the analogies and the metaphors, we get to the Christian(in the case of Christianity) 'answer', the Christian 'get out of confusion', which is, "For God so loved the World.."

    No explanation of how God can be both, just 'shut up and believe'.

    I see a similarity between that and your explanation that Greene can be both right and totally wrong, except the 'excape hatch' for you, is, "You're WRONG, it's a fucking dream!(i.e. I'll ALWAYS be wrong 'til I understand that it's all a dream.)

    You're proselytizing.

  98. Well, I know that you're wrong in dismissing Mister Greene out of hand, since he is credible and knowledgeable. That doesn't make him right of course, but it does make anybody wrong that dismisses him out of hand, wrong in the sense of being too skeptical. It should be considered, not rejected nor believed in.
    If this is a multiverse, then any one universe within the multiverse is 'set in stone.' However, we switch universes all the time, with every decision, right? That's where the 'free choice' comes in. And in a multiverse, there are an infinity of such "fixed" universes, all with different outcomes, every possible different outcome. That's a very free choice.

  99. "However the alien only sees the timeline that it is entangled with already.."

    There's no 'timelines' in Brian Greene's theory here, you can't just add, "It's to do with timelines you see.", when it pops into your head!

  100. BUT, you seem to be pretty fucking certain that I'm wrong, right?
    Not at all! I argue the other side, as best as I can. I don't pretend to know the answers. It's all speculation, isn't it? Nobody can be said to actually know.

  101. There's no 'timelines' in Brian Greene's theory here, you can't just add, "It's to do with timelines you see.", when it pops into your head!
    That was me suggesting one way in which Mister Greene could be mistaken about the future being fixed; so of course "there's no 'timelines" in his theory. Maybe there should be. There are in other physicist's theories. The Omniverse or Multiverse is still considered serious science, not silly in the least.

  102. "Well, I know that you're wrong in dismissing Mister Greene out of hand, since he is credible and knowledgeable. That doesn't make him right of course,"

    That's bullshit Brian, if he's not right, he's wrong!

    "... but it does make anybody wrong that dismisses him out of hand,"

    Bullshit Brian, if he's wrong, he's fucking wrong.

    ".. wrong in the sense of being too skeptical."

    Bullshit, Brian.

    ".. It should be considered, not rejected nor believed in."

    Bullshit, Brian, I'm not your acolyte. I'm not a Buddhist, I'm not trying to figure out a koan, I call bullshit when I think I see bullshit.

    You're just slipping and sliding, dancing around so I'm wrong!

    Even if Greene is wrong, I'm wrong to say he's wrong?

    In that case, even if right-to-lifers are wrong, I'm wrong to say they're wrong.

    Even if they're both right-to-lifers AND strict free market libertarians, I'm wrong to say their wrong!

    Apparently nothing is wrong for me to say so, just I am wrong for trying to say something is wrong.

    Is that right?

  103. Furthermore, I gave my reasons why I thought Greene was wrong; there was not explanation from you that you disagree with me because you respect Greene, no.
    I was led to believe that you disagreed with me since you thought HE was wrong.
    This new idea that you simply dismiss my reasoning out of hand because Greene is an authority, yet you don't agree with Greene's conclusion, is mind-bloggling!

    me:- I disagree with Greene's model and his conclusion.
    you:-you're not allowed to.
    me:- but you disagree with Greene's model and his conclusion
    you:- hey, have some respect for Mr. Greene here
    me:- but you, yourself, vehemently disagree with Greene's conclusion, you can't have your cake and eat it too!
    you:- (points finger and screams like a pod person on The Bodysnatchers) SKEPTIC!!!

  104. That first part was a bit jumbled 'cos I get distractions here all the time.

    But we can't both disagree with Greene's model and the conclusion he derives, which is that the Cosmos is 100% DETERMINISTIC, proven by his model, and then you NOT disagree with him because he's MR. Greene, then add a mile and a half of slack with timelines and 'it's complicated' and so forth, which ISN'T in the model or in the CONCLUSION his model reaches!

  105. Okay pboy, you're right and I'm pathetically wrong. Sorry to bother you. Jeeze.

  106. Here's you yesterday, "Um, I understood Brian Greene's point there. It's considered to be well understood. As in, it's real."

    Here's you today, ".. you're wrong in dismissing Mister Greene out of hand, since he is credible and knowledgeable. That doesn't make him right of course..", and, "..of course "there's no 'timelines" in his theory. Maybe there should be.."

    What happened to 'well understood and real'???
    I'll tell you what happened to it, it morphed into 'complicated', and, 'right even if he's wrong'!!

    The question is not whether you give me an insincere apology or no, it's to do with whether or not you see that Greene's model and the conclusion he arrives at, is wrong.

    So, is it wrong?

  107. It may be wrong. However it's not Marco Rubio proposing it. So I'll listen more than normal. That's all I meant.

    Well understood in the sense that all quantum physicists can see what it means, whether they agree or disagree. They can't point to math that says 'it's not true.' Real in the sense that it's not considered fringe or flaky or quackery, and the math doesn't disallow it, and some would say that it's mainstream now, as I understand it, mainstream in the minds of quantum physicists in general. Now is it true? I doubt that it's all true, part of it may be, hard to say, but worth talking about as if it's possibly true in order to discuss it.

    My turn to ask you a question: Why is it that you *seem* to get rather vehement with me when we have such conversations? If I didn't know better, I'd think that you were trying to insinuate that I was a liar or just someone trying to bullshit you, and you're waaaay too smart to fall for it of course. It always surprises me when it happens. Kinda annoying. Can you possibly control that? Just asking as a friend.

  108. If you're seriously asking me if Brian Greene's theory there, which incidentally I doubt is his in the sense of authorship, but anyhow, if you're asking me if I think he's wrong, all I can possibly do is ask you back in return, do you seriously think I am qualified to know? See, I don't go there, not even in my inside-the-head imagination. I consider it, and consider it's implications, without believing that it's true or false. What I do take away from things like this though, is that my own ideas are no less crazy than the actual, generally acceptable, serious quantum physical research and theories. In other words, if this is what the think reality is, then my answer is saner, requiring merely one paradigm shift rather than overturning the very foundations of 'common sense.'

  109. "... but it does make anybody wrong that dismisses him out of hand,"

    Bullshit Brian, if he's wrong, he's fucking wrong.
    Okay then, in your vernacular, who the fuck are you to know if he is or isn't? Who the fuck am I to answer you as if I knew? Are you another victim of that demon Pride, sir?

    You're not seeing my point here. I don't hear all the other quantum physicists coming out of the woodwork and telling us how he's full of shit. On the contrary, I've seen this before from other sources. This is not considered to be mere bullshit, but you seem to think that you can somehow proclaim it to be precisely that on cursory inspection with no knowledge of the math. I just don't get that. Neither one of us can possibly say that we can know that it's wrong; any such statement from either one of us would merely be evidence of our pride. Egotism. So then you ask me the corollary, whether he's right or not, right? If you ask me if the Big Brain thing is right, I'd react the same way. No way to tell, and anything else that I may say is me being a peacock. You hate my lack of decisiveness here? Is that it? To be decisive in matters like these is to be a fool.

  110. Mr. Green proposes a theory of time that goes against the grain of common sense. It sounds stupid.

    So does entanglement. So does the double-slit experiment. So does just about everything now being seriously discussed by these researchers.

    From my point of view, I see you looking at its apparent ridiculousness and scoffing at it.

    You're in good company though. Remember the saying "God does not play dice?"

    Albert Einstein's way of saying that the idea of the wave-partical duality is hogwash.

    Didn't turn out to be, though.

    I desire to remain humble, and not make assumptions based upon my regular-world experience, since we're not really talking about the regular world when we're examining the ultrasmall. All bets are off.

  111. The question is not whether you give me an insincere apology or no
    Is a *transparently* insincere apology really an insincere apology, or is it more likely to be sarcasm in the spirit of levity?


  112. Jude, you still out there? I get a visual of a nice woman sitting at center court watching the tennis ball, her head moving methodically from left to right........

  113. If you ask my *opinion* it's not even that much better. It's hard for me to get a 'gut' impulse from what he said about time and slicing the loaf thingy. It's too foreign to me. I'm just so used to almost everything about the newer ideas about time and space blowing my widdle mind that it just sits there and goes 'hmmmmm...' It might be right. It's no less plausible than one particle decohering into a cloud of probabilities. More plausible, in fact. So where does that leave me? As a spectator to it. I try to grasp what I can. I try to formulate opinions, but no way I can just arbitrarily decide one way or the other if it's bullshit or not.

  114. Now you will likely consider this proselytizing, but when I look at something like this loaf thing, I say to myself, I says 'self, this sounds interesting, and improbable, but if the science backs it up I can't just dismiss it, but no matter how weird it sounds, in my opinion there is also the possibility that all of this is just what happens when a bunch of very bright people who are merely following the logic presented here in this dream-world down to its source run up against the fact that it's a dream world and not where they expected that said logic should have led them to.'

  115. Okay, I thought of a way that I could actually agree with you.

    If you were to ask me "does it *sound like* bullshit, I would say without hesitation "Yes!"

  116. Okay Brian, you know I'm straightforward because I want to put the idea in 'print' more than I want to beat around the bush.

    The thing about this sliced bread model I keep coming back to, which I did not realize myself at first, is that it is total anathema to your notions about reality.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I want to drive my point home that what Greene is saying(whether it's his model, whether he really believes it or not), it's not representative of the real universe, it's practically solid state, compared to your reality, which seems to me to be a 'mind' that can be persuaded to 'bend' somewhat to your will.

    It's like a movie in which we're totally convinced that we have choice, totally convinced that we can influence things one way or another, in the 'regular' material way or in your other 'mindly' way?

    How would math show that the universe was like this at all? How could it? I don't care how many greek letters they use and how many times they integrate shit or differentiate shit, no equation is going to tell us that I don't really have the feeblest choice of whether I'm going to finish this sentence or refill my drink! (I refilled my drink by the way).

    Now they're not saying that there may be different timelines, this would complicate the sliced-loaf time theory to the point of hopelessness, so there's no 'entangled timelines'.(nice try though)

    Point ending, how can you believe the theoretical physicist(not necessarily quantum physicists, most likely not for this theory) if he's actually telling you that your mind theory is kaput!??

    1. It seems that Brian can at least consider theories that contradict his "Big Brain" or that he can find a way to "fit into" it without feeling that he is personally attacked thereby. If a theory remains just that (i.e. not yet fully "proven"), even when it is a product of one's own intellect, it can withstand criticism and even sometimes benefit therefrom.

    2. Not to offend Brian, but he lives in a superposition between materialism and 'mind is everything', which gives him a huge edge over anyone 'debating', 'arguing' against his position.
      Brian and I have been over this in depth and of course it leads to nothing but bad feelings, just like this latest stuff was getting close to straining our, um, relationship(for want(wont?) of a better word).

      Of course I love Brian, in a,(ahem), manly, manly way(LMAO at myself), and he'd likely wonder if I'd had a stroke or something if I started being 'not me'.

  117. "Jude, you still out there? I get a visual of a nice woman sitting at center court watching the tennis ball, her head moving methodically from left to right........"

    Jeeez, you can see me? If I'd known that, I'd comb my hair and wipe the horse snot off my shirt. :-) Still here Brian, yes, doing exactly that, but also still talking to you guys and Harvey and Pliny up above. I think I have to quit doing that, will only post at the bottom from now on. Also trying to keep up with you and pboy conversation, gaining a bit of understand where each is coming from, but it's tough... I feel 4 slices short of a loaf.... (groan here.)

    1. LMAO, that WAS a good one! Did you check out the video for a few minutes at the points I noted. You don't have to watch the whole thing.

      The "time as a sliced loaf" theory is shown in all its glory!
      What's wrong with it? Well, there's NOTHING out at 10 billion light-years away from us that's not careening away from us at unimaginable speed, we're in an expanding universe!

      There's the notion that time depends much on if there is some kind of agent that understands time.
      Basically, if a tree falls in the forest, and there's no-one there to hear, did it make a noise? Same thing, except with time. If something happens and there's NEVER EVER anyone(even an alien) around, does it matter if it ever happened?
      Well, not to us it doesn't, right?

  118. Anyway, Brian, time, to me, is a self-evident meta-process 'through' which events take place. There can be no processes without time, yet it's only because there are processes, that we know about time.
    For example, if you think about something, that's a process that took time, if it didn't, you didn't 'think about that something'.

    When we start to scientifically measure events down to the nanosecond, we may feel that we have a firm grasp on this meta-process, which, by the way is unidirectional by default, no-one has the most fleeting of thoughts BACKWARDS, no-one.

    We talk about events following one another, we talk about solid objects, we're talking about how we understand things and processes in the electro-magnetic range, this middle 'World' we live in.
    It's hardly surprising to me that when we look below that range, beneath that electro-magnetic(sub-atomic) range or we look out to the interstellar range, that things get weird and our standard model of 'how things are' breaks down!
    It's hardly surprising to me that quantum physicists tell us that they 'see' a magical realm where nothing is precise, it's all probabilities, it's hardly surprising to me that cosmologists can justify crazy(to us) theories about 'time' in the inter-galactic scale!

    But, on our scale, call it human scale or the electro-magnetic scale, or the super-atomic scale, or whatever:-
    You know what, you, me and everyone can imagine a world where things DON'T happen as we know they do, it's called wishful thinking!
    I remember wishing this or that HADN'T happened, ALL. THE. TIME. when I was a kid!

    And that would end my sermon for today! LOL

  119. I think one of the things that gets ignored in all the 'quantum reality' stuff is the extraordinary orders of magnitude between events that have a significant probability component and the macro world in which we live. The very existence of higher level forms such as ourselves precludes a lot of the fuzziness that is theoretically possible.

    As for time, there may be no quantum physical limits to the ebb and flow of time, but we live and think governed by the Second Law. The notion of cognition without the arrow of time is a non sequitur.

  120. "The notion of cognition without the arrow of time is a non sequitur."

    Exactly! It actually sickens me when Brian Greene, theoretical physicist, glibly tells us that there's nothing about the laws of physics that says time has to work only in the forward direction, on NOVA, no less.
    Then he goes into his 'isn't it a wonder' mode and shows us how, if time reversed, a broken and spilled glass of wine would, if every part were given the opposite momentum, magically jump back together.
    There's only really one way to demonstrate this, play the video clip backwards! Woa, magic!

    Of course there's nothing in mathematical equations that forces the arrow of time forward!

    But it should be axiomatic! IOW it should be a law of physics since we don't see things around us, which, if they WERE going backwards in time, wouldn't just seem magical, they'd BE magical.

  121. Then he goes into his 'isn't it a wonder' mode and shows us how, if time reversed, a broken and spilled glass of wine would, if every part were given the opposite momentum, magically jump back together.
    I've heard him state it in that way. That is patently wrong. If you actually could reverse time the 'tape' would indeed play backwards, the glass of wine would un-break and so forth, but merely reversing all vectors and momentums would simply create a bigger mess, as all the glass particles and wine and so forth, ran toward the original glass-breaking site and smashed together, creating yet more glass particles and mess. The actual time has to reverse, entropy itself and so forth, and not just all the vectors and momentums. Also, how would all the atomic bonds be re-established?

  122. It seems that Brian can at least consider theories that contradict his "Big Brain" or that he can find a way to "fit into" it without feeling that he is personally attacked thereby. If a theory remains just that (i.e. not yet fully "proven"), even when it is a product of one's own intellect, it can withstand criticism and even sometimes benefit therefrom.
    Thank you. This is exactly how I feel about things. Pboy was asking me to BELIEVE IN it. And I just don't. Not in anything, really. Including the Big Brain. He's like "Well, is it WRONG?" "Do you believe he's RIGHT?" I don't really believe in much, I'm afraid. Everything seems to be possibly wrong to me. At least a slight possibility. So why believe in things? Isn't it better to assign probabilities of things being right in your mind and proceeding from there?

  123. In fact, I think I expressed this very thing in my St. Brian quotes above:

    "All truth is possibly false. All things should never be given more than 99.9999 percent chance of even existing.
    But there is truth, and there is truth. All being relative as it is, there is the most likely true and the highly unlikely to be true, and many people find the two indistinguishable."

    1. Not only do I agree with this statement, Saint Brian, but it rather succinctly puts forward how it appears to me that we Humans actually reason. There is appallingly little that we experience in this life of which we can be absolutely certain. Certainly we have all had many experiences in which we realized that our sensory inputs have been less than accurate, let alone the "accuracy" of anything we are told to believe as "Gospel Truth".

    2. This is an area of great interest to me from the perspective of adaptive digital cognition systems design (My preference over using AI to describe these systems). Adaptive systems have to act on incomplete information in an environment of uncertainty - much like humans.

  124. I think the fact that in physics all the pertinent equations are time-reversible, and yet time can only flow in one direction, at least as far as we can tell, is pretty cool... Deepens the mystery.

  125. How about imaginary time?

    id = ait^2

    Imaginary distance is equal to acceleration times imaginary time squared.

  126. But wait, imaginary time squared is negative time, therefore:-

    Imaginary distance equals acceleration times (it)^2

    Therefore:- Imaginary distance = a negative distance. (since the square root of minus 1 squares to minus one)

    If we simply make time negative, we get a negative distance, which just means the object moves backward but in regular time, so that's pointless.
    Plus in the case of the d=at^2 we don't even get a negative distance since negative times negative is positive.
    It's all very confusing and meaningless really.

  127. You remind me of another thing that I read recently. Apparently in quantum physics, imaginary numbers have found a real use. They seem to predict may effects with absolute accuracy, and yet they're well, not real.

    Imaginary numbers for an imaginary universe perhaps? Hmm?

  128. Imaginary numbers and negative numbers are well understood, but much like the answers to quadratic equations, they don't necessarily mean anything at all.
    Basically, you can use this 'dimension' to solve equations as long as the answer means something real.
    Geez Brian, I'm not Eric(in that I don't pretend to know more than I know, hoping folk reading don't), I don't have a degree in math, but I did get an A in first year math and first year chemistry, so I had a fair idea of what they were teaching me, as opposed to, you know, someone who was scraping by.
    Mathematicians wouldn't bother with imaginary numbers if they weren't at all useful, I know that.


    Cool webpage.

    "However, in quantum mechanics complex numbers aren’t just a convenience: they’re necessary. The fundamental equation in quantum physics—the Schrödinger equation (yup, named for the same dude as the cat)—has an imaginary number in it, and the solutions to the equation are inherently complex numbers. These solutions are called wavefunctions, since they are wavelike in character."

  130. I'm not disagreeing with you here, btw. Just an interesting take on how imaginary numbers are necessary to quantum physics.

  131. Yea, well, Brian, I didn't take a physics/quantum physics course, but I did mention that imaginary numbers represented another dimension, which is shown as the graphic on that webpage.

    The only reason I'm commenting is because you have a nasty habit of saying that I'm wrong but your not saying that I'm wrong.

    Don't recall mentioning anything about complex numbers but I'm sure that every equation that has complex numbers it would be necessary to have them. Mathematicians don't generally throw in stuff just for fun. LOL
    But I'm not saying that you said I was wrong, right?

  132. You're not wrong, but you are a pain in the ass. I do not know math as well as you so I was actually taking your word on it, plus the page I showed you seemed to be agreeing with what you said, but I still wanted to show you that in case there was something there that you did not know.

    I'm realizing something here. It's really, really important for you to be right, and not have people think you're wrong. Relax, dude.

  133. I even felt it necessary to specifically tell you that "I'm not disagreeing with you" and still you are looking for how I do, how I must be. You remind me of my wife. Jeeze.

  134. And incidentally when I said this:
    "Imaginary numbers for an imaginary universe perhaps? Hmm?"

    Do you think that I literally thought that, or was I busting you up because I know how you feel when I bring up my speculations like that?
    Did you think that I actually thought that just because a number is related to the square root of a negative 1, that it somehow invokes a dream-world automatically?
    I think you did.


  136. And yet, people do tend to divide themselves into those who prefer linear thought to those that prefer lateral thought, the Yang and the Yin as it were.

    The physiological basis for it is not important. In fact I always got the 'left brain' and the 'right brain' thing mixed up in my head, since the left brain is (was) supposed to be the logical side and the right the intuitive, when in the kaballah it's reversed, the left being the intuitive and the right the rational, logical one.

    I think if there's an actual physiological basis for it, and I wouldn't even really consider it a basis but more of just the locations where the two kinds of thought go on, I'd gess that the 'hindbrain' is possibly the seat of emotionality while the 'forebrain' (cerebral cortex) the seat of reason.

    However even that doesn't matter much to me. Whatever parts of the brain control it, and maybe it's all in the cerebral cortex, there are still different modalities of thought embraced by different people.

    It's interesting to see that old belief debunked though. I love how you go through your life 'believing' in something that science tells us only to hear science retract it when you're freaking fifty-two. Nothing seems to be an absolute in anything. Which brings me back to my saying about how you shouldn't even believe that anything absolutely positively necessarily exists, even if it's a rock in your hand. It seems the nature of all knowledge to be incomplete.

  137. Most of the 'work' of the alchemist was the balancing of the rational side and the emotional, intuitive side. They called it 'rectification.' A kind of trial-by-fire that a human has to do in order to perceive the occult. The archetype of the androgyne such as in Hermetic Magic comes to mind. Mercury, the metal and the planet, is symbolized by a divine androgyne.
    An old alchemical mnemonic is VITRIOL.

    Visita Interiore Terrae, Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem.

    Visit the interior of the earth, there by rectifying you shall find the hidden stone.

    Go within, rectify the two sides, to find the truth about yourself..

  138. Hey, it sounds good, at any rate. That will be forty dollars. Money orders accepted.

  139. I think I have the perfect personality to piss your kind of personality off.

    I mean, I don't put all of my eggs in any one basket, metaphorically speaking. For instance, I 'believe in' science in that I think it's the single greatest method of finding the truth about our reality that we've come up with. It's not perfect though, because we are so damned imperfect, so I don't literally 'believe in' it after all. I have my alternate theories about this all being interplay of consciousness, and I feel free to invoke those at any time, which to you is not playing fair, but to me is just me expressing my alternate viewpoint. I think that science is knocking on the door of the idea, but doesn't want to admit it to itself, it being so un-sciencey and all. I see eventual convergence perhaps. The ultimate union of Yin and Yang; when science begins to explain belief, and the reverse, at least in some senses. My worldview is a lot more plastic than most

  140. I think that it's better to be proven wrong and learn something new, than it is to be right. You've done this service for me many times.

  141. Hmm. Seems to me that you're glossing over the fact that alchemy isn't one thing. There is the alchemy from which chemistry was 'born'.
    If I talk about alchemy the way most people are taught about it, I don't think it's fair of you to dismiss that as if it is completely false. There were indeed alchemists who tried to transmute base elements into gold and such, even though you practically dismiss this fact as garbage!
    Now this is a religious and philosophical tradition, Hermeticism is split up into The three parts of the wisdom are alchemy, astrology, and theurgy.
    Now although all alchemists may indeed have subscribed to hermeticism in some form or other, no doubt some interpreted the point of alchemy to be practical, to be distilling elixirs, purifying metal and so forth, others took it upon themselves to emphasize the spiritual nature of everything and went ahead and deciphered alchemical formulae as hidden truth about our spiritual goals.
    In that light, turning a base metal into gold would be interpreted as turning our baser instincts into eternal spiritual perfection.

    Still, it was all jumbled up with some alchemists, working on the practical side, no doubt being adherents of the spiritual side of it.

    I see it's still some kind of mix and match thing, what with you looking for "something" by smoking salvia, right?

    Again, I was taught more along the practical line of how alchemy became the basis for chemistry and I think it is a bit disingenuous for you to scoff at anyone who was taught that there were, indeed, alchemists who were searching for an actual elixir of life and an actual method to turn lead into gold.

    This is actually similar to being taught about the practicalities of Christianity through the ages and how it was that many Christians would search for icons to venerate, there ending up being enough splinters of the True Cross to build a proverbial Noah's Ark!
    I'm sure Eric would have been first in line to poo-poo the notion that this was Christianity's 'main purpose', and he'd no doubt have been right, but then again, he'd have been deliberately missing the point to replace it with his different, more spiritual point.

    So, that lesson, must be worth $80, minus the $40 you charged for your one, let's see, (chinga-ching-ching) carry the one, $40! (cheap at half the price.)

  142. I see it's still some kind of mix and match thing, what with you looking for "something" by smoking salvia, right?
    Do you even care that that is insulting to me?

    You don't understand me at all, and there is nothing I can say, or would want to say to you, to justify me and my actions.

    and I think it is a bit disingenuous for you to scoff at anyone who was taught that there were, indeed, alchemists who were searching for an actual elixir of life and an actual method to turn lead into gold.
    I didn't ever scoff at them, I merely point out that many just used that as their cover story in order to get people to give them money and such. Of course many took it the way that you point out. This does what exactly? Did you WIN? I certainly hope so. You're impossible when you don't.

    I love how you openly scoff at me and think it won't bother me in the least. Talking down to me as if you know what the truth is, makes a bit of an ass out of you, in my opinion.

    Why not tell me what your point is? What pisses you off so much about every fucking thing that I say?

  143. I didn't mean to insult you Brian.
    Is it an insult for me to point out that you're 'looking for something' when you smoke your salvia?
    Is it an insult to point out that that 'something' is spiritual?

    I can't find the insult in that sentence, for the life of me I can't.

  144. All I look for are the answers. You know that I had my BB speculations way before I ever tried salvia, and when I did I realized that this was a way to go deep within myself, and possibly get some clue as to whether all of this is consciousness or not. Since you cannot believe that this place is consciousness, will not even consider the idea, you have no reference in your mind to what is in mine, and no idea how I think. And it did seem as if you were using the salvia concept as a degradation, yes it did. It sounded like you were talking down to me. So don't do that.

  145. My entire comment was that I had felt that you were talking down to all of us when you were talking about alchemy as if it were a purely spiritual endeavor. Hey, turn tables on it and take it that I was talking down to you if you like since I'm not about to look back and quote you telling us that alchemy never had any practical applications as if the alchemist's laboratory wasn't filled with beakers, stills and kilns.
    After your last comment on alchemy I looked into it, then I remembered your 'thoughts' on it, that most people get taught about practical alchemy searching for elixirs and purifying metals and so on, but that that is wrong.
    But it wasn't as wrong as you were making it out to be.

    My point about the salvia is clear and simple, if you're on a spiritual quest why would you need to take a drug, since it's a practical application.
    Same thing as the alchemists, if it's purely spiritual, why all the chemistry paraphernalia?

    You imagine you're being all yin/yang, Brian, but a lot of it boils down to you simply being authoritarian.
    You feel that you have some of this Hermetical knowledge backing you and if you feel you're being pushed on this subject, out comes the old, "I'm insulted, shut up, you're talking down to me!", or that I'm insulting some other authority that you happen to like, like Brian Greene.
    This isn't what I want to discuss, Brian, you're dragging the commentary in this direction, not me.

  146. My point about the salvia is clear and simple, if you're on a spiritual quest why would you need to take a drug, since it's a practical application.
    Because it's NOT A SPIRITUAL QUEST. If this reality is thought-based, what better way to discover inconsistencies than to alter my way of thinking radically and observe the results?
    You seek to demote that to a mere 'spiritual quest' but that's not me at all. I consider myself an experimenter in my mind, with my mind, trying to discern if there are any 'cracks' in the facade of reality, if such is the case.

  147. You imagine you're being all yin/yang, Brian, but a lot of it boils down to you simply being authoritarian.
    Authoritarian for presenting my side of things? Really?
    I think you resent the idea of authoritarianism so much that you're seeing it where it isn't.

    Issac Newton was an alchemist. Was he a 'practical' alchemist, striving to transmute metals for profit and fame? No. He was one of the ones that I speak of. He even translated Hermes Tresmegistus. He was 'into it.'

    Was I aware that alchemists also laid down the foundations of modern chemistry? Hey, I went to that Chem 101 lecture too, you know. The syllable "Chem" for instance, in alCHEMy and CHEMistry, is the old name of Egypt, Khem, meaning "black land' for the floodplains of the Nile that are dark. The land where MAGIC originated, not chemistry, by the way.
    I didn't concentrate on that kind of alchemist. That doesn't mean I was ignorant of them. Maybe because I stressed the other kind so much you took it to mean that that's all I thought that alchemy ever was, that it never really, actually wanted to gain knowledge of metals and chemical substances.


  148. Just out of curiosity, does anyone here also think that I was being authoritarian with Pboy? Because although I don't see it, nobody sees their own flaws, so I must ask.

  149. Brian:
    It seems that each of you periodically(perhaps inadvertently) puts a burr under the other's saddle. If either of you never "took it personally", the conversations here would be much shorter and probably not as interesting. Although I personally have no interest in either Salvia (which I have to surmise cannot really give you any "insights"), or whether or not we are victims of determinism, the intellectual sparring and infighting is often enlightening, if only to provide an interesting debate.

  150. See now you're getting 'burr under the saddle' about my using the word 'spiritual', although that wasn't my intention.

    When you use the words 'consciousness' and 'mind' and even 'brain'(Big Brain Theory), you are relating your consciousness, mind and brain to your 'everything is consciousness', 'everything is mind' idea, right?
    Then again you note that what you mean is not 'exactly' brain, not 'exactly' mind, not 'exactly consciousness.

    So there is an equivalent when it comes to Hermetics. is being spiritual beings 'clothed' in material.
    There was no put down here. You said 'mere spiritual' not me.

    Are you telling me that you can't see that the religious hierarchy, with God being the ultimate spiritual being, man being an eternal spirit in a mortal material body, but even material ultimately not being the opposite of spirit, but itself created by spirit, ISN'T equivalent to your Big Brain or Great Mind, except that you're taking away the ultimate authority from the Great Mind and endowing us with the ability to boot-strap material reality because we're just pieces of the Great Mind that cannot accept the notion that we're all one.
    Ultimately the Overall Mind(mind stuff), then us, material but with a spark of mind(mind stuff) creating our own material reality, some of us trying to discover the connection, either to commune with the Overall Mind, or reconnect with it, is so similar to 'fallen man' and his/her trying to commune with and connect to God, I don't think it would be possible not to see it.

    So, calling your consciousness/mind 'spirit' is not to make it a put-down, but to clarify that I'm not just talking about 'the stuff you think of', but the whole idea of you as part of the One Mind that you're trying to see the Matrix of when you do salvia.

    If I can't talk about it at all without you imagining that, because you know I disagree, I must be taking a sly dig at you, that's just an assumption that you're making, not my problem, right?

  151. Then there was the thing about Isaac Newton and alchemy, as if, when we're talking alchemy, well, we're talking Isaac Newton, AND, as if his alchemy DIDN'T have a practical side!

    Alchemy was religious science, in the sense that they were testing nature in light of their spiritual ideals. Perhaps deciphered one step further these guys WERE saying that we could change from being sinners to saints MUCH LIKE it should be possible to turn lead into gold, who knows. Perhaps it was a sign of the times how one felt comfortable writing about alchemy, disguising formulae as balancing the four elements of our spirit and so on so as not to be held to inquisition.
    Much like Nostradamus wrote his quatrains jumbled up and in three or four different languages to avoid the wrath of the church.

  152. Hey guys...just to let you know, got new "worldly" loop thrown, we got results of prostate cancer for my husband. Next step is finding what's next, I'm hoping it's the wait and watch kind, but also worried that that will keep him in perpetual anxiety. But surgery would mean it's the aggressive kind. Doc to advise at appt. tomorrow. He's only you guys be sure to get your PSA's done. :-/ As to this argument, I like everybody here very much, and I hope you sort it out and somehow remember that you (mostly) like each other too. :-) There's a hell of a long history here that I haven't been a part of, but I think it must mean something good even with all these bad feelings being generated on this one.

  153. Not so many bad feelings. We've been through a lot worse. This stuff goes way back. Pboy is my 'brakes.' He keeps me sane, sort-of. As to what function I serve for him, I'm not sure exactly, but I hope it's something positive.

    I REALLY hope the best for tomorrow with your husband. Life is full of curveballs. It can be disheartening sometimes. Not sure what to say... I hope everything works out in a best-case scenario for you and him.