commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘logic’ Category

If the House Republicans don’t believe President Bush anymore…

… when can I expect to see the Republican House members introduce a bill for an immediate and total pullout from Iraq?

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Stifled by technology? Take a walk!

In a recent post on a Yahoo!Group, the author bemoaned that he feels stifled by technology.

Somehow he missed the irony that he was choosing to use computer technology to bitch about it.  He wants to return to the wild, yet he is unable to do without computers. I wonder about lower tech items, like indoor plumbing, microwave ovens, gas/electric ranges, electric lights… Somehow his idea of the ‘noble savage’ appears to be a ‘savage’ with all the advantages of technology as it exists to this point.

People who sincerely hate technology should unplug their computers and throw them out so the rest of us don’t have to read their claims to hate that which they voluntarily interface with to preach their dissatisfaction to the world.

Decisions, decisions

My father died some months ago, and although I had determined – through consultation with attorneys – that no civil attorney would take the case, the rest of my family was not convinced. (No civil attorney would take the case because in the State of NJ, civil punishment against a doctor who commits gross malpractice is considered a “windfall” for the survivors, and therefore punitive civil damages are outlawed in NJ.) I believe that – if investigated by the prosecutor – a case could be made for some degree of manslaughter against at least two of the doctors involved in my father’s so-called care, but I agreed with my sibs to hold off on bringing it to the attention of the prosecutor’s office until they double-checked. Not only did they not double-check on their own, but they brought my mother along so that she’s in no shape to go through an interrogation again any time soon.

So now I’m ready to request prosecutorial investigation, as soon as I clear it with my employer (I work in government.) And of course my mother is all for letting my dad’s murderer off the hook, and I have a feeling my sibs will be as well. (Never mind how many cases the doctors screwed up before and how many people they may kill in the future: with no civil punitive damages, incompetent physicians only have to worry about cases where the patient survives with complications or is responsible for supporting minor children.)

One friend suggested that I meditate on it for a while, as the argument over bringing it to the prosecutor will probably sever all my family ties. (Never mind it’s what my father would have done if my mother had been treated similarly.)

One melody came to the harp, the words are:

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father’s sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Tho’ all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

Words of a UU hymn also came to mind:

Once to every soul and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Then to stand with Truth is noble,
While we share its wretched crust,
Ere that cause bring fame and profit,
And ’tis prosperous to be just.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ’tis Truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Then it is the brave one chooses,
While the cowards stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.

If I do not pursue this, all that I am is a lie. I deny my own existence.

“With tragic joy he knew that this cusp was his, not Jill’s. His water brother could teach, admonish, guide – but choice at a cusp was not shared. Here was ‘ownership’ beyond any possible sale, gift, hypothecation; owner and owned grokked fully, inseparable. He eternally was the action he had taken at cusp.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

How can a victim of a police officer get a fair criminal trial?

Prosecutors work regularly with the police.

So how can you expect prosecutors to work against police, such as in New York City?

You can’t.

Maybe it’s time the Sullivan Law was extended to the NYPD.

More quote updates

Robert A. Heinlein:
“Thou shalt honor the noble English language, speech of Shakespeare, Milton, and Poe, and it will serve thee all the days of thy life.”
http://www.heinleinsociety.org/

 

Dr. Dean Radin:
“Maintaining an open mind is important when examining the unknown, but allowing one’s brains to fall out in the process is inadvisable.”
http://www.deanradin.com/

 

R. U. Sirius:
“The genius of the hip left 60’s was that it resolved the tension between altruism and desire by enclosing the erotic, the atavistic, and the visionary within a philosophy of humanism, unifying the personal and political under an ideal of liberation.”
http://revolting.com/

 

Anonymous Seattle Craigslist Poster:
“I am a raging feminist bitch, but I still want to be penetrated like you are planning on fucking my throat from the inside out.”
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/561877622.html

 

Gloria Brame:
“Yes, folks, it’s that Lenten time of the year when religious extremists around the world take to the streets to whip themselves and get nailed to crosses to celebrate Easter. No one better get a sexual charge out of it, though, because then whipping and crucifixion would be frowned on by the Church. Let me explain. This is how to tell the SMers apart from the rest of the world:

  • We do such things because they feel wonderful and magical. So that’s morally wrong.
  • They do them to feel miserable and shattered. That’s morally right.”
http://gloriabrame.typepad.com/inside_the_mind_of_gloria/

 

Eric Flint:
“Online piracy – while it is definitely illegal and immoral – is, as a practical problem, nothing more than (at most) a nuisance. We’re talking brats stealing chewing gum, here, not the Barbary Pirates.”
http://www.baen.com/library/

Full favorite quotations page here.

Winston Churchill was a carrot.

For more details, see Charles Seife’s mathematical proof here.

If you find that interesting, you’ll probably find his books interesting too.

I finally watched “What the Bleep”

and was significantly underwhelmed. Maybe it’s because I’ve already read some of the underlying philosophies (such as that of Dr. Pert); but the thing that really put me off was the channeled being “Ramtha”, or maybe his host – it was never clear which was speaking – called the idea of the Biblical God, a God who is concerned with acts of wrongness by each insignificant human on this insignificant planet in the backwaters of the Milky Way, “impossible.”

Now, granted, I’m no big fan of the idea of the God of Abraham, especially as described in the Bible, as being a sophisticated enough being to create the universe. That said, the underlying epistemology of What the Bleep do We Know? is supposedly the myriad possibilities, and the notion that nothing is impossible. Ramtha simply didn’t fit into the thesis being presented; within the ideas being presented the best that could be said is that such a deity’s existence had not been experienced by Ramtha.

My suggestion: go to a couple of Reclaiming Witchcamps and pick up a book or two on epistemology, and Dr. Pert’s book Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine. As for their quantum physics thing, just watch the episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine where Cmdr./Captain Sisko encounters the prophets. They’re more fun to watch, and convey the same idea without having to deal with the fact that quantum physics theories change so fast that they’re usually obsolete by the time of publication anyway.