Friday, June 29, 2007

When I was a kid, Mr. T came to my school.

When I was a kid attending Richmond Elementary School in Fullerton California, Mr. T came to our school and myself and other children were taken outside.

I recall my thoughts:

I don't know who this is, but he wears a lot of jewelery and has a funny name. I want to play on the monkey bars. He's saying something about drugs. I bet I could do one of those twirly flips on that one bar. Who is this guy? Why do people care?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hidden Palms, troubled by a lack of zombies.

The CW show Hidden Palms, already fast tracked for cancellation is probably due to the very obvious lack of zombies. None of the main actors had any chemistry at all, and in fact, I didn't care who died or who lived as I watched the show. The only thing which could have kept my attention would have been a zombie outbreak. Just one undead individual coming back to life and turning the show into a zombie flick. I would have happily finished watching the season. Why don't people just start murdering people left and right with the undead when a show starts going downhill. Wait Mr. Executive, we have something great up our sleeve... zombies!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Spot ten critial errors in the following video, or you're a complete moron.

If you wish to opt out of the challenge due to the mental pain the video is causing you. Feel free. It shouldn't take more than a minute to rack up the ten.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Westboro Baptist Church - God hates the World - Watch more free videos

Why do people dislike the Phelps? I think it takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in, when what you believe in is so insane as to warrant near disbelief. They believe that the US is like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah and that all the bad things which happen are the result of God's hatred for America because we are all "fag enablers" -- Apparently not doing what it says to do to homosexuals in the Bible (kill them/their blood will be on them/Lev. 20:13). They feel inclined to warn people that God hates them, and thanking God for the instruments of his wrath (AIDS, IED, Iraq).

Biblically I don't think their argument is that bad. Really, if you read the Bible it's a reasonable conclusion to come to if you are inclined to accept that the Bible is not horrific fiction worthy of scorn.

It seems pretty clear that they are using their first amendment rights to free speech to spread their first amendment right to religion via their first amendment right to protest. Their Biblical interpretations aren't bad... the only thing really that bad in this whole debate is the Bible. Anybody who believes that is going to be this batshit insane. But, they are within their rights and non-violent.

And if you notice from their theology and certain interviews they gives that they never interject their own opinion on the issue, it's always God. God hates fags. God hates America. They are careful not to express such beliefs directly. This is a very real line that they do not cross. It is, I feel, much the same as the line which many atheists are careful not to cross by insulting people. Focusing instead on the beliefs people have rather than the people themselves. Apparently people recognize this distinction just as often in their case. They are very careful to present the Biblical view on reality rather than their own. It is akin to God hates the sin, God hates the sinner.

If the Bible were not cruel bronze-age immoral fiction, they would have a pretty good point. Sadly however, this actual reductio ad absurdum isn't more widely understood. Rather we are left with the vague hatred which says gays shouldn't be allowed to marry their lovers or care for children. Really this is just a purified form of the Biblical hate bantered around to deny people rights. They aren't shallowly using the Bible to justify their own hate, they are presented the hate the Bible expresses as truth. I prefer the Phelps' God's bigotry to the kind which is effective in creating constitutional amendments to get introduced on the floor of congress.

I flew my ship into her Super High Gravity Location, if you know what I mean

In an official renaming probably as successful as renaming Uranus (your anus), Uranus (Yur a nus). Black holes deemed offensive to people of African descent are being renamed Super High Gravity Locations. From now on rather than Black Holes we shall have these SHaG Locations.

Friday, June 22, 2007

C.S. Lewis' Trilemma

For some unknown reason many layfolks believe that C.S. Lewis is the end all of Christian Apologetics, despite having worse arguments than real Christian apologetics. One of his more famous arguments was the Trilemma: Lunatic, Liar, or Lord. Basically he held that Jesus was either a Lunatic, a Liar, or God. To rule out Lunatic and Liar he basically asked why are you saying such mean things, and then suddenly concluding that Jesus was God. I have no clue how anybody could be bamboozled by this nonsense, but it's apparently as popular as his "atheism is just too easy" argument.

Even skipping the clear problems with his arguments against the first two L-words. We are still left with a false 'trilemma'. We aren't able to conclude that the story is just fiction. It fits perfectly well into the fiction category. The story is written such that it falls perfectly well into the Hero's journey. It makes much more sense from a mythicist point of view than from one based in reality.

Either Hercules was a lunatic, liar, or son of Zeus. Clearly he wasn't lying or crazy. Therefore, he's the son of Zeus. Zeus exists.

Quote: Thomas Paine

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kyle X, Why?

As a guilty pleasure I watch the ABC family series Kyle XY. It's mostly crap, but some of it is interesting. Well, this new season involves some "explanations" which well, do no justice to anything. Kyle, born without a belly button has some amazing abilities including memory and speed and a few other fun quirks. Though, a bit silly at times were vaguely understandable.

So they decided to explain why. Kyle XY was grown in an artificial womb for longer than a typical because Einstein did some experiments and said that it was his long gestation period that resulted in his intellect. He gave up later, but his work was continued by some secretive cabal. Now Kyle's creator was the result of this cabal's plan and was born after 14 months in the womb. Kyle spent the better part of 18 years in an artificial one. Designed by this previous iteration of.

Now, where the hell do I start. First off Einstein was a healthy baby born on time and probably has Asberger's syndrome (form of autism). He didn't do secret stuff in biology he was a physicist, and a pretty good one. He was no Newton but he was damned smart. Now, development of children's brains is done by 9 months and more time isn't going to do anything. Oh, and did I mention that Kyle's creator can move things with his mind. Oh... ah... What the hell! Sorry I can't be more articulate about the problems with the plot, they are so many I can hardly enumerate them.

Elephants must be supergeniuses!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Computer

So I bought a new computer... it's hot. In fact, it's on fire now. Or so I am lead to believe. I bought the lowest mhz Brisbane core (3600+ X2) processor I could find. And bought a nice feature ridden motherboard Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe. It turns out the overclocking ability on the motherboard is impressive to say the least. It won't freeze until I put the 1.9 ghz up to 2.7 ghz (9.5 x 285), with stock fan and voltage. Now, this is fine and good, save the issue that nothing can properly tell me the temp of my processor. The Asus program claims it's 45C right out of the gate (leaving it off until it hits room temp and turning it on and checking the BIOS). Other programs claim it's icy when I can touch the heatsink and burn myself.

Long story short, I just clocked it at 2.2 and uninstalled all the reading programs. Either it's going to be fine, or it is going to melt down. I hate not really knowing. Guess it gets to sit, running Genetic Programs in a tiny black box in a hot room in Southern California. Hopefully it'll force a bunch of reboots if it's crazy off heat wise.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Odd fact of the day: Blood horoscopes

If you've ever thought it was downright silly to vaguely judge people by their month they were born and assign some kind of freak power on to that information. You should know that other countries judge other things as important. In Japan, they have blood horoscopes. Blood type is often highly advertised and thought to convey significant information about a person:

...those with type A blood tend to be reserved, punctual, and law-abiding, while type Os tend to be more outgoing, passionate, and driven; it is for this reason they are often considered "warrior" spirits. Type Bs are said to be loners and self-sufficient, as "hunters," while ABs are said to be serious and solitary by nature.

Apparently my B- blood makes me a hunter. As well as a good cook. At least blood type does actually have some significance in some aspect of a person's life unlike freak time a person is born. It seems like a very bad day for AB+ people as the blood bank is really low on supply and would have to give you any other type of blood.

How did they not notice?

I just watched the Season 6 premier of The Dead Zone. JJ was a completely different child! He didn't even look the same, but nobody noticed. Is it some kind of evil plot?

Fun fact of the day: Burnt witch.

You know why the Church burns witches? The given passage says "suffer a witch to live", but why burn them? Oddly, the Church literally read their doctrines and "the church abhors bloodshed" -- this is why they killed people with fire. That way their blood stays inside their body as the die. Apparently nooses are less effective than loopholes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oddest Criticism EVER!

I was lambasted for judging a person, without knowing their astrological sign.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Goodness forbid I cite what the Bible says, as having any authority over what the Bible means.

I told an eight year old once not to eat my cookie. He took it as an metaphor and ate the cookie but promised not to remove the sweetness from my life, or make me less rounded.

I understand the urge to craft one's religious faith into something you can show off to your neighbors without that much embarrassment, but if you're going to strip it of enough to pull off that feat, why not dump the husk that remains and embrace truth without duplicity?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wired for Junk

Wired had an interesting article about Junk DNA and how it is so very important because most of the mutations between possums and humans happens in the junk DNA. Missing the obvious fact that that is evidence in favor of it being junk. The little sections of DNA that doesn't change between organisms are the important parts.

Here's an example from my own evolutionary algorithms. The following are the genotypes of related organisms:


Anybody want to take a guess at what the important bits are and what the junk DNA is? In fact, one can tell which bits are extremely important and which have a little bit of wiggle-room if you look closely.

The original species:

The phenotype is:

So the ending 11 or so digits don't do anything, and thus mutate all over the place. Other sections don't matter much either. =(1,b) to have 8 subtracted later is at most able to change that e + -8 to an e + -7, and thus the 1b digits in the genotype vary greatly. In fact, the digits are different in every subspecies.

Junk DNA is actually junk.

Half the planets have rings.

Just an odd fact, nobody has told you. When we first found them around Saturn they were awesome, but now we know that half the planets have rings. Four of the Eight planets in this solar system have rings around them: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. We found Jupiter's rings rather recently and booted out Pluto because Pluto didn't clean his room or something.

My Very Exceptional Mother Just Served Us Nothing (Presently Eating).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Programs to use:

I have been around computers since preschool during the 80s, and now my whole family pretty soundly has computers all over the place and so the best programs for certain tasks get found and used. So, as nobody reads this blog and it's sooo pressing to know. The following are programs you should use.

Web browsing with a much improved browser. I also highly recommend getting adblock as an add-on.

Post it notes for your computer desktop. Many members of my family use them, and use the network features as well. It is not uncommon to toss notes around the house with the program.

Instant Messenger client for all the major instant messenger software suites. It does ICQ, AOL, MSN, Yahoo... and save the hassle of caring about the messengers and having too many odd tray programs.

Net Meter
Displays bandwidth usage and statistics for your computer. You can tell how much information is moving through your system.

Basically the it program for IRC communications. Has a built in language and a vast number of scripts for it. I've written quite a few myself.

FastStone Image Viewer
Graphics viewer. I use to use ACDSee for such a purpose, but they got too clunky.

Team Talk 3

Very basic network speech capabilities, a must for slightly dispersed LAN parties.

Stroke It
Mouse Gestures for windows. Draw a 'C' to close. 'W' for web. Amazing how often they are exceedingly useful.

Still makes the list even though Vuze is just stupid. Great bit torrent client with a good set of fantastic features.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Paris Hilton Finds God?

Poor girl, things just get worse and worse for her.

Science, the Evolutionary Algorithm.

I do a bit of work with evolutionary algorithms. They are exceedingly powerful, and in fact are the only way we know to increase the complexity of a system without direct action. As evolution does not require any intellect to perform.

Evolution needs three things, replication, modification and filtering. You simply need to filter out those things which don't work, create more things, and change them a little. And the most important step "filtering out those things things which don't work" is the most subjective and thus the most powerful. It doesn't matter what you say doesn't work. If you are modifying a text string and the closer the letters are to the end of the alphabet the more likely they are to be filtered out... then you'll end up with large amounts of early letter text strings. Basically you need to be able to figure out what isn't the answer, and that's pretty easy to do.

That's even assuming you have a goal for the evolution to accomplish, which is certainly not needed nor existing biological evolution. The modification also need not be random, though random is probably better than non-random in truth.

This brings us to science. We test ideas scientifically by looking at the evidence. We create a hypothesis (genotype) about how the world works (phenotype) and find a method for testing this hypothesis (filter). We accept and improve upon those ideas which pass this filter creating more hypotheses (duplication) with slightly altered (modification) ideas in order to produce a more exact theory (fitter).

We tend to think that we are awesome in our thinking ability. We are this fantastic thinking individual. We can set our minds to something and through our amazing mental powers determine something truly amazing. In reality, some of the most major discoveries are mistakes. This isn't because we are just lucky with our mistakes, rather our ability to think is holding us back. We do not create non-random modification. We create predictable, often flawed modifications, over and over again, we reject brilliant (accidental) ideas out of hand without evaluation. And tend to only get a little entropy into our science when we fuck up. Most genius is really in not rejecting an idea. In providing that extra flash of insight to induce us *not* to reject an idea.

We aren't that bad ass. We are naked apes, the third known species of chimpanzees. Sure science is great, but really we are just latching on to the power of evolution and performing the operations (often unwittingly) on ideas faster than ever before (most species are unable to adopt ideas at all stunting the process as replication). We are taking evolution to the next level, and frankly, species just can't adapt to us fast enough, save perhaps some bacteria.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Neville Chamberlain Atheists

Neville Chamberlain Atheists the names given by the new "militant" (code for not sit-down-and-shut-up atheists) for those who try to appease religion. I loved the name, though, I only just realized that that would equate Religion with Nazism. Hm. Bonus?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Abstinence only education is terrorism.

Really, what is terrorism? The use of fear to achieve a goal. If that's the case than people who rather than provide good sex education provide fear, lies, and generally terrorize children are actually terrorists. Abstinence is fine, really it's safe, effective, and not really an issue. However, sex education should be comprehensive and that little "only" there means that it is anything but... and usually it involves lies about other methods of preventing STIs and pregnancy. The goal is to scare the sex right out of them. And this is done through fear and misinformation. They don't go into a market place and blow themselves up... but they are certainly taking lives.