Archive for December, 2006

PostHeaderIcon When being politically correct is wrong

canyon(rant warning) 

I have thoroughly had it with all this political correctness business. It’s about time we again say it as it is.

If people are offended by the truth and the facts, then that’s their problem.

The latest “politically correct” idiocy I read this morning was about the Bush administration telling the Grand Canyon Park that their employees can no longer comment on the age of the Grand Canyon, so that they won’t offend creationists (probably based on the incorrect assumption that all creationists think the earth is only somewhere between 6,000 to 10,000 years old). (See link to article)

Folks, this is not politically correct. This is politically wrong!

It is wrong, it is cowardly stupid, it is frightning, it is dishonest, and above all, it’s unfair to our children when we are no longer allowed to teach them the facts of life, simply because a small group of people who are too delusional to accept some simple facts and too afraid to use their own God-given brain, could possibly be offended by the truth.

(the above sentence was designed to offend. Every time my right to free speech or free access to scientific knowledge is infringed upon or blocked in order to prevent some people from being offended, then I will have to protect my rights and access to knowledge by negating the effect of the political correctness by offending the very group that was being ‘protected’.)

So, since we’re now at a stage where, when you ask a park ranger how old the Grand Canyon is, he will put his fingers in his ears, close his eyes and starts humming loudly, we have to wonder how long it will take before he’s forced to explain that, well, there’s a distinct possibility that it’s 5,000 years old, created by Noah’s flood (or by a Scottish tourist who lost a dime). (Link to the Noah’s flood farce)

And why stop at the age of the Grand Canyon? There is a large group of people, who, based on biblical interpretation, are convinced that the Sun goes around the Earth (geocentrism), and not the other way around (heliocentrism). Shouldn’t we tell our college’s astronomy departments to refrain from telling our children that the planet Earth goes around the sun, so that we don’t offend these geocentrists? (see for instance this website -there are many like this, no kidding!-)

And Nasa should at once stop broadcasting images of the International Space Station circling the Earth, since this will, no doubt, deeply offend the good folks of the ‘Flat Earth Society’! (See their website -they’re serious! No, really!-).

Not to mention the majority of all politicians who should immediately refrain from making any sound, because anytime they open their mouths they deeply insult my intelligence.

None of that nonsense! You can’t make an omelet without breaking an egg. Grow up, get a life, work on getting a thick skin. Feeling offended is being insecure. It’s that simple.

I wish I had the power to start a strong ‘boycot-political-correctness’ movement.

Let’s tell and say it how it is. Simple, factual, truthfully and to the point.

PostHeaderIcon No fries with that

WileyYup! I found another one. Another NutCaseOfTheWeek.

This week’s NCOTW’s name is Wiley Brooks.

Wiley Brooks is a Breatharian.

What is a Breatharian? A Breatharian is someone who thinks he/she doesn’t need food (including water). Ever.

Not only does the seventy year old Wiley Brooks not eat, he also sleeps only between one to seven hours per week.

Interested in such feats? Wiley once was willing to teach you all this for only $5000! However, at some point, he decided that only a select number (5) of billionaires were eligible for his teachings, and he would only charge them one million bucks each. He recently opened up his academy again (not many billionaires showed up, I guess) and now everyone who he deems ‘ready’ can get the training for a measly $100,000.

A few excerpts from his webpage:

A Breatharian is a person who can, under the proper conditions, live with or without eating physical food. 

Hm.. silly definition: what’s this “with or without’ about? I though Breatharianism was about ‘without’. Period.

And it doesn’t say how long they can go ‘with or without’ food. Heck, I can live without (see: no sneaky ‘or with’ even!) food too! Been doing it for the past two hours. And what is physical food anyway? As opposed to spiritual food or something?

Wiley also has some very interesting (I think .. I didn’t finish reading them) notions about our planet (Future Earth, Transition Earth, and, conveniently, a Fallback Earth: read all about it on his webpage!). Here’s a clarifying quote on that Fallback Earth thingee:

Fallback Earth is distinctly falling away in vibration. Even though there are people incarnate there whose personal vibrations are and still rising, the broad base of its population stands now a vibration level spanning the range between 2.10 and 3.25. The gap between Fallback and Transition is widening, and soon the two versions of future Earth will be entirely separated, except for crossover points in the etheric. 

I’d really be interested in seeing the actual equation that yielded a vibration level range of 2.10 to 3.25! I though it would be much higher (or lower .. whatever). Oh well, at least there will still be crossover points in the etheric when the two versions of future Earth are separated. That’s quite a relief. Phew!

Another deep delving quote:

Converting the human body from a food-based energy to direct cosmic (“free”) energy is like converting a fossil-fueled home furnace to an electric heat pump. The distribution equipment-the ductwork-that distributes energy throughout the body may be maintained in place and will continue to function, though the source of its energy has been completely changed. In order to accomplish this in our bodies, the mitochondria will have to be either phased out or retrained. 

I’m not sure I’m ‘ready’ yet to have my mitochondria phased out or retrained, but if you, my dear reader, are really interested in these enlightning teachings, you will have to hurry: his generous (“starts at an initial costs [sic] as low as“) $100,000 offer ends January 1st, 2007, see his announcement here.

And if, and only if, you’re ready, that wonderful course will include “a visit to Earth Prime in the 5th Dimension in your physical body“.

The only caveat: “All workshop applicants must be pre-qualified by the Breatharian Institute” (I presume that the pre-qualification process involves a look at your bank account).

And of course: “No Refunds

My question to my readers: Is this guy a con man, or simply a severely delusional nutcase?

 

See also:

Wikipedia (quote: Wiley has stopped teaching in recent years, so he can “devote 100% of his time on solving the problem as to why he needed to eat some type of food to keep his physical body alive and allow his (5D) light body to manifest completely.” .. and .. In 1983 he was spotted leaving a Santa Cruz 7-Eleven with a Slurpee, hot dog and Twinkies.
He told Colors magazine in 2003 that he periodically breaks his Fasting with a Big Mac and Coke, explaining that when he’s surrounded by junk culture and foods, consuming them adds balance. )

PostHeaderIcon The Holy Land Experience

HolyLandRecently I have accompanied guests on quite a few visits to the various theme parks in and around Orlando.
Yesterday we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While I love the park, I always seem to forget, and find out too late, that other people, especially kids, are allowed entrance into the park as well. This is very unfortunate, since most of these people don’t have a clue as to how to behave around me.
I will deal with that in another post.

Anyway, that night I had a remarkable dream about a visit to a theme park.
It didn’t appear to be a Disney Park though. It had more of a ‘Holy Land’ theme.

It was laid out according to various Biblical books. It was huge, but I don’t recall all the details, just a few.
In the Genesis section there was a big tent where brothers could play Cain-and-Abel: they were given a blunt foreign object, and he who killed his brother was crowned “Cain” and got to go in unto his mother in order to prevent the human race from dying out right there and then, or so they were told.
Next to the tent was an Egyptian village, where the Nile ran through. Here parents could buy wicker baskets for their babies and place the baskets with their baby in the fast streaming Nile. A popular attraction.
Some houses in the village had bloody stains over the doors. This is where parents could have their first-borns killed by a deceptively real looking Archangel. Parents were complaining about the long lines.
Next to the village was a dry and hot desert-like maze, parents were encouraged to send their kids into the maze to learn about the ten commandments. They could pick up their kids at the other side of the park … 40 years from now.
The center of the Park was the Deuteronomy Plaza, where its most popular attraction was a terrace where parents, so instructed by Biblical law, could stone their children to death for disobedience.
Beyond this point the park would become considerably less crowded: for instance, only a few parents took advantage of experiencing first hand the pedagogical effects of shoving their kids into a lion den, with a fake Daniel and real lions.
The quarter called ‘Numbers’ though was closed. According to a big sign it was being subjected to a ‘re-count’.
But the real highlight was the New Testament part of the park, where, twice daily, one could witness a real, Florida-style botched capital punishment, involving real blood, actual guts and a hydraulic cross, that was so gruesome, real and authentic that even Mel Gibson would have lost his lunch over it. At the end of each crossing, the few remaining bystanders were given little wooden crosses dipped in real blood, to wear around their necks to show the rest of the world their remarkable lack of taste and decency. Proud like kids they showed eachother their bloody miniature torture devices, while they were talking about this deep sense of Love they were experiencing.
I must assume that the brain can only go sofar with weirdness in dreams, that if things get too insane, it has to give up, because here I woke up abruptly. And BOY, was I glad it was only a dream …

Just a link
Commentary link 

PostHeaderIcon Finaly

TimeThis is so cool.

I have waited for it for so long, knowing it would come some day.

But then, I started to lose hope, and after years I simply gave up on it.

And then, all in a sudden: surprise! Out of nowhere … Who’d have thought …

Finally, Time Magazine has elected me ‘Person of the Year 2006’.

Link to Time’s “Person of the Year 2006” site

PostHeaderIcon I’m coming out

ailurophileOkay.

Here it is. Time for me to come out and confess.

I admit it.

I’m an ailurophile.

So. There you have it.

I hope we can still be friends.

PostHeaderIcon A Quiz

EeuwThis is another riddle. And I’m going to use it to gauge if what I just experienced is part of American culture or just a bizarre experience.
I will moderate your comments so as to not give away the clue (if there is one).
This Friday I was driving a car in Cincinnati, Ohio.
With me were my wife, her daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend.
At some point we passed a fast food restaurant and everyone (except me) started to yell.
They HAD to eat there! They hadn’t had THAT in YEARS.
That was SOOOO good .. they couldn’t believe we were so fortunate to run into (actally: pass) one of ‘those’.
They made me turn around.
I parked. We went in. My wife ordered the food and returned to our table with …
(I’m not making this up!) … TWENTY hamburgers!
Did I mention there were only four of us?
I ate 5, my wife ate 4, her daughter ate 5 and the boyfriend, not a big guy at all, ate 8.
I know, that doesn’t add up to 20, but in all fairness, I only ate 3, but when we walked back to the car I burped … and two came back up.
As a further hint I can tell that for the 20 hamburgers, 4 servings of French fries and four soda’s my wife paid … $14.99
A further hint is that the next day we agreed that it hadn’t been such a great experience after all.
We were STILL tasting the stuff, that now was being described as “pure grease and salt”.
I personally agree with the “grease and salt”, but not with the “pure”. I think it was half-recycled industrial waste. Probably radio-active as well!
Sometimes you get what you pay for!
ANYWAY … was this just a fluke or could you think of the name of the hamburger joint we visited?

 

PostHeaderIcon A case of nuts

NutsI recently introduced two NCOTW’s.

One was Donald E Wildmon, founder and head of the American Family Association, the other one was Dennis Prager, a radio talk show host.

These two people now seem to have found eachother!

Dennis got my NCOTW price for his column in which he rails against a Muslim congressman’s intention to swear his oath on the Koran when he takes office.

Donald’s American Family Association now chips in on the issue by publishing Dennis’ column and urging its three and half million members to take action.

See their webpage here (just ignore their spelling errors).

Donald urges his followers to: “Send an email asking your U.S. Representative and Senators to pass a law making the Bible the book used in the swearing-in ceremony of Representatives and Senators.”

Apart from the fact that such a law would be extremely unconstitutional (See article VI: “.. no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office ..”), it would also be extremely stupid.

Let me try to explain this:

“Senators and Representatives are bound by Oath or Affirmation…”, that is, they can choose between simply promising to uphold the constitution, or they can swear to do so.

Swearing is, by many, considered a stronger version of just promising, and done by invoking something that is sacred to the person swearing (a holy book, a beloved person) (see footnote 1).

The main point is, that they perceive swearing to be much stronger by invoking something that’s sacred to them! Presumably in the sense that if they break their oath, they would be betraying this something or someone sacred!

So, what makes the oath so strong is that something sacred to the person who swears is involved. That‘s the crux of the matter.

For instance, suppose I promise something, but you think it should be stronger than that and ask me to swear on the bible. Since I’m an atheist, the bible doesn’t mean a thing to me (well, at least not a positive thing), so if you really insist, sure, if that makes you happy I’ll do that. The point is that it shouldn’t make you happy, because it’s me who has to keep the promise and I don’t get any extra incentives for keeping my promise from puting my hand on your holy book, the Koran, or last month’s Playboy, to me it would still be a promise.

So .. it comes down to simply this: if you really want someone to swear, that is, promise something in a way that this person feels he can’t break it, then you want him to invoke something that is sacred to him! NOT YOU!

By forcing him to swear on something that’s only sacred to you and not to him you take away the meaning of this little ‘extra’ that an oath has over a promise.

If you want your senators and representatives to swear, you want to make sure that breaking their promise desecrates what they hold holy, not something you consider sacred. By forcing him to swear on your holy books, you actually give him an incentive to break his promise, especially if he finds your holy book offensive!

So, from a pure logical point of view it’s absolute insanity to even consider a law that requires people to swear on a specific holy book.

But then, logic usually involves some thinking, and thinking is exactly what the religious right seeks to ban from society, so I have little hope, that people like Dennis and Donald will ever understand the mindboggling stupidity of their misguided activism.

It’s precisely this fear of thinking and logic that makes people like Dennis come up with drivel like

“America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on”

and has Donald blindly repeat the idiocy on his website.

 

Note 1) In all practicallity, to me personally, there is no difference. If someone doesn’t think my promise is good enough, then I don’t see how my swearing on my late mother would make a difference. The only way it could make a difference is if my promise wasn’t fully “meant”, but that’s not how I personally ‘promise’! But apparently, for other people, swearing on, for example, what they perceive as a holy book, does make a difference (makes me wonder how I should rate such a person’s simple promise, but that’s a different discussion).

PostHeaderIcon Tick Tock

PlanckModern digital computers are clock driven.

That means that there is a clock inside your computer that ticks.  Tick, tock, tick, tock …

And at every tick (and tock) the computer DOES something. It executes an instruction (or, to be fair, in modern pipelined processors, an atomized part thereof).

From a computer program’s point of view it’s without meaning to ask what happens between tick and tock.

If the clock would miss a beat, there is, in principle (meaning, without help of external circuitry), no way for the computer program to detect that. It could have been stalled for YEARS, and it wouldn’t know it.

It’s a consequence of being a ‘digital’ computer, in which everything happens in discrete steps.

This in contrast with our own world where everything is, as we call it, analog … where everything is smooth and connected. Where there isn’t an ‘atom’ of time, and where even the tiniest piece of ‘length’ can be divided by 2.

Or is it (time)? And can it (length)?

What if there IS a smallest unit of time? And lenght? Units for which the question “what is smaller than that” is like asking “what is north of the North Pole”? If that was the case … dang .. then we WOULD be living in a digital world after all. That would almost sound as if reality as we know it, IS computer generated! As if we were living, and experiencing life, in a holographic environment simulator .. we could be someone’s misguided highschool project.

Now … guess what!

Yes … there IS a smallest unit of time. And length.

Anyone familiar with Quantum Physics knows them: They’re called Planck-time and Planck length.

This begs the question: then  … WHAT is reality?

This opens a new category for my blog, called ‘Quantum Reality’: I will soon post more on that.

But for now (leaves holodeck) .. “Computer: save program!”