Monthly Archives: July 2017

“Reason and evidence does sweet fuck-all”

Consider the source (the video will start at the beginning part of the conversation, for proper context): Molyneux is an atheist who is 150% invested in the Western philosophical legacy, stretching all the was back to the big three—Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Admitting that reason and evidence isn’t the panacea it’s purported to be is telling. He mentioned it in previous videos, but not quite so succinctly (or profanely).

And, as I have mentioned before, the blob of people known as “society,” cannot be run on “reason and evidence,” because the effectiveness of material epistemology goes straight to zero when broadened above a small group of agents. It’s best at the individual level; when it becomes a overarching strategy, it just ends up being tradition with heavy reliance on reliable authority, i.e., nearly every scientific fact is based on the trust of another’s observations and conclusions, unless we have replicated, via the same process and with the same results. Nearly everyone reading this will not have done this for a majority of scientific facts, including myself. Most implementations of “reason and evidence” as the gold standard for a society to live within usually involve the threat of violence. It really can’t be codified another way.

And even then, individuals only engage in reason and evidence effectively when it’s in small fits and starts, on equally small-scale, easily-perceivable objects: organizing the family calendar in the coming weeks, or following a cake recipe. It can also be effective in slightly larger groups, like a team of engineers working on a propulsion system.

The ethos of “I’m a scientist. I live by logic and reason,” is an bald lie, or at least a very hairy obfuscation of terms. The scientist, like any human, lives nearly entirely on instinct, senses, rote habit, and the force of tradition. The only time he lives by his professed credo is about a quarter of the time he is engaged in his profession.

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That Star Trek Wormhole Scene

I rewatched this movie recently, and I was reminded of when I first saw this scene when I was 10 years old or so. It was the late 80s and CGI effects weren’t what they are today, so this wasn’t too far off from the state of the art for the time (the film was released in 1979). The whole feel of the scene still a little bit disturbing to me, but you get a sense of relief when they finally blast out of it.

From imdb.com’s trivia page for the movie:

Issues with the wormhole sequences caused further delays. The footage for the scene was filmed two ways; first, at the standard 24 frames per second, and then at the faster 48 frames; the normal footage was a back-up if the slow-motion effect produced by the faster frame speed did not turned out as planned. The shoot dragged on so long that it became a running joke for cast members to try and top each other with wormhole-related puns.

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Public Service Announcement: Buy a Domain Name

Back when I did freelance web design (when “web design” was a term still used) I’d always tell my musician-type clients to buy a domain name. This was a time when bands relied heavily on mp3.com, Myspace, and Purevolume to get their music online. My advice was based on a long-term survival strategy, since sites that offer streaming services in a social media environment could come and go, but you’ll always have a domain name, and assuming you keep up with renewals it’s near impossible to lose a domain.

You “have” a domain because one buys it; streaming media sites allow users, based on the site’s terms of service, to rent a little slice of their server space. You don’t actually own anything on those sites, but a domain is owned by you, or the band, or organization. You can have your social media properties taken away, though unlikely, especially if you happen to express opinions that a gatekeeper finds distasteful. Search engines can and do play funny with their search results, so you can’t necessarily rely on those to get people to find you when your social stuff burns up.

Even if you don’t have a site, you can still use a domain as an email router. For instance, fart.farm is an available domain. I can buy it and set a email forwarder on jaybutt@fart.farm and have all emails that go to that address go to my Gmail address. Email providers also let you connect your domain email, so that when you reply to emails, it shows the local-part@yourdomain.com. Wouldn’t you love getting an email from jaybutt@fart.farm?

There’s plenty of top level domains available. el cheapo. Here’s an official, very plain text-looking list of all of them from ICANN. Here’s a more eye-friendly, searchable/sortable version.

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Duality Erased

Initially, the object was only perceptible to the array of sensitive instruments focused onto the area, though it soon became visible to those gathered: astronomers, linguists, physicists. It emerged out from the blankness of dead space, like a chick from its shell, at the exact coordinates and time received from the transmission of unknown origin. It spread outward in all directions, slowly, as though entertaining cautious exploration of its alien surroundings. Taking the form of a thing immediately unearthly, paradoxical, the object’s hard angles were at the same time gradual curves; its opaque, shimmering colors were transparent; organic flesh, yet mechanical. It was a device depicted from the fever dreams of a surrealist who fancied himself a medium for a lost civilization—a device unfathomably familiar, as though it contained immediate, urgent answers for all possible questions about the universe. When the object’s awful symmetrical emergence into the human world had slowed, it blossomed even further outward while the terminations of its limbs seemed to arch and feed back into itself, as though to allow more space to generate and extend out from its central point of origin. A neverending Mandelbrot set of a fourth-dimensional object projecting itself to minds in a time-bound universe. They had finally arrived.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 24

Warning: lots of music here.

Spotify Sucks
It does. Just let me hear the song, dude.

Fleshkiller – Parallel Kingdom (Official Lyric Video)
This is a welcome change to a lot of the Christian metal that’s been coming out lately.

70000TONS OF METAL – The World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise
This looks like a fun idea.

ForeverAtLast – Ghosts Again 2015 [Full Album]
I dig this band. Aggressive, but not overly so, and a good vocalist who doesn’t grandstand.

Half Price Books Textbook Scholarship Sweepstakes
College doesn’t make you smart. It probably affects intelligence somewhat, but it doesn’t make a dumb person suddenly become markedly more intelligent. I don’t have any external evidence on that—just a hunch.

Scientists find link between people impressed by wise-sounding, ‘profound’ quotes and low intelligence
Another hunch of mine confirmed. By the way, have you ever seen the quote graphics I made for Pale Blue Scratch? Are you impressed by them?

If you ever wanted to waste time. My name on there is Not Bill Gates; don’t hurt me if you see me.

You losers need to stop saying ‘disruption’
“Disruption” is currently the worst buzzword in the tech world.

Hattusa: The Ancient Capital of The Hittites
Illuminati Hittites confirmed.

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“We’re meant to die.”

“We’re meant to die. That’s what makes anything about us matter. Living like this is torture. We’re just ghosts.”
-Æon Flux

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Fibonacci Fidget Spinner

Here’s a video I made of my fidget spinner making some interesting Fibonacci patterns on my laptop screen.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 23

I think Jill took it down (or it takes itself down after a while), but she mentioned me in one of her Periscope broadcasts. Thank ye!

Top 10 Science Fiction Films of All Time
Pretty good list. I personally would take Contact out—I like the movie but the tropey characterizations were almost unwatchable—and Prestige, since I’ve never heard of it. I’d replace them with Bladerunner and The Empire Strikes Back.

Fermi’s Paradox
Listen in as a few bourgeoisie agents and academics get upset about not meeting aliens. Why was it ever labeled a paradox, anyways? It’s just an unanswered question with plenty of plausible explanations.

What is a good explanation of Boltzmann Brains?
I find these more fascinating.

Marathon man preps for second live stream, with multiple iPhones, iPad
It’s an old story, but the guy’s narcissism called to me from beyond the void.

Could Donald Trump Save the Internet?
Net “Neutrality” is retarded and is the worst idea since adult coloring books or California.

SpecFaith Reviews: Wonder Woman: The Heroine We Need
Eh? I guess. Unless the writer styles herself a goddess, it’s odd to claim Wonder Woman is an accurate representation. No one claims Thor as such for men; that would be silly. I do, because I’m tall, sexy, buff, blue-eyed Nordsman*.

Low-carb diet can have similar effect on brain as ecstasy
I have never experienced this. Warning: this is a Daily Mail link and the page load time is astronomical.

The Only Way to Fix Healthcare Insurance in the U.S.
Eh, not really. The big reason GitHub works is because the results are immediately testable, as application code normally goes. Scott Adams is just proposing a glorified suggestion box. The best way to “fix” healthcare is to remove the bureaucracy from the equation: person A pays person B for a good or service, then person B gives it to them. It works for shoes, bananas, and Oriental rugs.

NASA announces the Kepler space telescope has identified 219 potential new worlds
Speaking of bureaucrats, there has to be at least one of these worlds with life that exists without any bureaucrats at all. Imagine that…

Fake News
I remember one of my communications professors slipping and mentioning stuff like this once in a while, and Rashad’s career was part of those non grata unmentionables of media politics.

* One and a half of these things are true.

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