Sunday, March 27, 2011

I just watched Atheist Experience: Ray Comfort vs. Matt Dillihunty.

It was basically like they (Matt and Russell) came in with baseball bats to beat a legless chipmunk to death.

You'll see it very soon. It's going to go viral.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why yes, Ed, there was criticism of the Erie Canal.

Just watching the Bill Maher from Friday. (I went to see the Thursday show (jokes, etc, without guests) live and really liked it.) And Ed Rendell says "We use to be a country that took challenges on! When we built the Erie Canal did anybody say 'It's too expensive' or 'it's too complex'". -- Yes. Those things were said of Clinton's Ditch. It got turned down by federal funds by Thomas Jefferson because he said the technology wasn't there and Gov. Clinton got voted out of office in part because of the idea.

Silly ass revisionist history. We don't pay attention to the criticism. I don't think criticism is worth it, when you call a moron a moron and they are a moron you get no credit. But if you call something stupid and it turns out to be a huge success and a vital economic boost for a rather large area, then you get scoffed at. Critics are only footnotes in the stories of successful people, because if the critics are right, they rightly get no mention.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The silliest lack of comeuppance.

I always maintained that one of the suckiest things about atheism was the lack of comeuppance. While Christians can suppose I'm burning in hell when I die. I can't tell them that they'll know nothing after they die and the answers won't be provided for them because they will just die. While there does seem to be a somewhat contrary bit of comeuppance, in denying dooms days. For example a religious group has gotten enough money to advertise their judgment day as May 21st, 2011 and get some billboards up. At the very least in Hollywood where I was yesterday to see them. That's awesome.

Anybody who believes in the Judgment day is an idiot. They are stupid. Even if they believe in perfectly secular ends of the planet they are wrong. Super-volcanoes won't hurt us, large asteroids, and certainly not events from mythology like the Mayan Calendar or return of Jesus. -- Regardless if things like super-volcanoes are real and happen, the lack of comeuppance by snuffing out life before people can say "I told you so" makes things that much easier to say.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Young Earth Creationists and Hyperevolution.

It seems rather odd but if you look for it, a number of YEC people believe in hyper-evolution. They believe that only the "kinds" of animals survived on the Ark and then diversified after being returned to the newly purged Earth. I've even heard some creationists go so far as to suggest that "birds" is a "kind". This means that over the last four thousand years or so that doves haven't just diversified in to the rock pigeon and all the fancy birds that fanciers fancy, but the hummingbird and the ostrich. It is one thing to suppose that a lone wolf became every variety of dog as well as all the varied wolf species, but if we are to believe that a mass extinction of so much biodiversity occurred four thousand years ago, there must also be hyper-diversification over the extraordinarily fast periods of time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

On the calculation of the odds of life.

The idea that there's some way of calculating the odds is wrong. There isn't. Really we don't know what the simplest thing needed is, so calculating the odds of randomly assembling amino acids or to randomly put together the atoms of a DNA molecule. Or to manage to assemble the human genome out of randomly assembled nucleotides is both insufficient and compelling.

We don't presently know what step zero is, so we cannot calculate how likely or unlike it may be. But, even if it were extraordinarily unlikely, it would still necessarily be a better answer than miracles or the supernatural. After all, we have found answers to things and some of those answers have been unlikely occurrences, but none of them have ever been supernatural. The answers to any thing we've ever found answers to have been simple naturalistic forces of things we didn't know. So because the right answer has always been naturalism and never supernaturalism, that is certainly going to be the better answer even if it were far fetched.

If you hear a gallop, you should think horse. Because that's what it commonly turns out to be. But, I freely admit that it might be a zebra. But, the only reason you're asking that I concede the long shot possibility of a zebra is because deep down you believe it to be a unicorn, and think that maybe if the typically right answer isn't certainly the right answer then the never right answer might stand a chance; it doesn't.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I want this. Earthquake warning.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/35090/?p1=A1


Residents of Tokyo likely had about 80 seconds of warning before a devastating quake rumbled through the city after striking 373 kilometers away, off Japan's northeast coast, thanks to a new early warning system.

I live in a town that is going to be flattened by the San Andres quake. And it'll take like a minute to get here. I should be able to be told about this and run off to some place that won't get hit by anything. Also somebody was interviewed and mentioned that her computer screen popped up and said an earthquake was hitting in 60 seconds.

I hate trailers. Especially for awesomeness.


Suddenly I go from not caring to wanting to see such a thing. And seriously, I can't have it for a good long while so that's just dreadfully annoying. April 1st, is a delightfully untrustworthy release date and like half a month away or some such thing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Freaky Math: HHH vs HHT in a thousand random flips.

Oddly enough if you flip a coin a thousand times, you'll encounter the string HHT more often than HHH.Don't believe me? Oh well. Doesn't change the correct answer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tat's Trivia Bot, 3.61

Update: Latest Tat's Trivia Bot 3.69

Download: Tat's Trivia Bot, 3.61

See Tat's Trivia Bot, 3.65

This is a feature update. It adds team assignment permanence..

In what is likely the second weirdest thing in the history of Tat's Trivia Bot, I actually added a feature after like half a decade. It seems that the trivia team mode was unduly hampered by not maintaining team assignments in the player files. It would just leave them in the hash table during run time and lose them when the bot stopped. So every team game, everybody would need to do !join or they couldn't play. It also had no power to force assign people to a specific team or to limit their ability to join teams. Combined these would make having the bot run only in team mode, rather effortless. It is the first feature-addition-request/inquiry-if-it-had-such-ability I couldn't just give a bit of award code, point out a secret hidden feature, or justify as too far off the beaten path to ever bother with in half a decade.

!op team (Player) (Team Number)
!op team Tat 2

And a few relevant disables.

I also added !help to the disabled section. So it can be modified in commands tab.

In case anybody cares the weirdest thing was this one time somebody sent me a bug fix with usable code. Usually if somebody finds a bug and fixed it, they added it somewhere odd and it was an eye-sore of a kludge and completely useless. One time though, somebody sent me code that actually worked the way the bot worked and was placed in the correct routine and everything. I actually just pasted it in. It was truly bizarre.


--------------------

There is a bug which causes the ping to not work.

alias -l check.respond {
unset %respond
var %respondlevel = $getset(disable,$1 $+ .respondlevel)
if (%respondlevel == 2) set -u2 %respond .notice $nick
else if (%respondlevel == 3) set -u2 %respond msg $chan
else if (%respondlevel == 4) set -u2 %respond .msg $nick
else if (%respondlevel == 5) set -u2 %respond describe $chan
}

This routine should not actually use $chan by $iden

alias -l check.respond {
unset %respond
var %respondlevel = $getset(disable,$1 $+ .respondlevel)
if (%respondlevel == 2) set -u2 %respond .notice $nick
else if (%respondlevel == 3) set -u2 %respond msg $iden
else if (%respondlevel == 4) set -u2 %respond .msg $nick
else if (%respondlevel == 5) set -u2 %respond describe $iden
}

It'll be fixed next version. Thank you KindOne for the note.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Charlie Sheen, I hated him before it was cool.

"They represent the real gifts and treasures of this life," says Charlie, who also has an older daughter, CASSANDRA. "Anybody that doesn't believe in God hasn't looked into the eyes of their child."

Yeah, that was way back in April 2006. American Atheists had a blurb and it went around the atheist blogosphere. And I figured that that amount of tool-being was generally not easy to recover from. 

"Anybody that doesn't believe in God hasn't looked into the eyes of their child." - Charlie Sheen, tool.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dinosaur Scifi... Ah. The wonders of TV.



(Via Paleo Errata)

Dinosaur scifi is such a limited field down to just about Jurassic Park and a couple episodes of Sliders. But, time traveling to the past seems like such an awesome idea if you have a lot of nice technology. Though, I wonder how hard it would be to get the science right. Somehow it should undoubtedly be a bunch of dinosaurs in a modern looking place, and older-style dinosaurs. So pretty much not difference in the age of the critters or when they actually properly existed and there will doubtfully be any of them with feathers. That's my standard issue complaint about anything with dinosaurs now... not enough feathers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Took a couple years, but the Phelps finally got that stupid decision reversed.

I felt at the time and now that suing the Phelps for being jackasses is like suing the rain for falling. Theologically I understand their position, but because they are completely within the law, it seemed odd that they had the Snyder family Judgment against them. Can the courts actually say you owe somebody money because you used your first amendment rights? No. No they can't.

Phelps v. Snyder finally decided by the Supreme Court and yeah, finally got reversed.

You can't have the courts give you money because a protest hurt your feelings.

For anybody who "Marked my words" back in '07. I dunno if all of that went down, but certainly the reversal was rather required.