Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weird things bother me...

Does it bother anybody else that differentiation is a lossy operation?

2x^3 + 5X + 3

Differentiated is,

6x^2 + 5

Then integrated (with respect to x),

2X^3 + 5x + C


It lost the 3 and now has a more general constant. I know, there's no reason taking the change in a line need have all the original precision of the line, but somehow math is suppose to be idealized and perfect and with lossy operations it seems a little odd. I mean I can understand when it at least has the good sense to throw an exception.

Y * 0 = 0

Sure, we can't get Y back out of the equation, but only because the math throws a fit.

Monday, March 30, 2009

If Atheists Ruled The World...

Hm, seems about right. The final bit is from a well known fundies say the darnest thing. Which I knew before being told.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Isn't that kind of sad?

Seriously this overview of various bits of color theory and how it pertains to color distance in a non-linear fashion while still being somewhat able to be approximated via Euclidean distance is the most insightful thing I've read in a few days. *sigh*

Monday, March 23, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

-- Tatarize you've neglected your blog for days.

Have a demotivator I made, they shall be happy.

-- Couldn't they just go to your flickr stream and look at them all.

No. I demand they trickle out and readers be impressed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rational Explanations

You need a brain to use a brain. Always a catch.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So many people are less than three.

Seriously, there's no end in sight:

Misa Camo <3
Firefly <3
Blahgirl <3

Seriously, why are so many otherwise nice people less than 3?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jon Stewart Vs. CNBC

This is more destructive than the time Stewart got Crossfire canceled by going on the show and begging them to stop sucking in astounding detail.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

False Dichotomies, Fractals, and the nature of beauty.

There is within apologetics an argument which actually serves to, when one properly understands the flaws in the argument, point out an interesting oversight people make about the nature of reality. The general problem with apologetics is that they argue for the existence of God and thus, by the non-existence of God, are going to be wrong. However, the flaws of the surviving apologetics almost always are indicative of inadequacies of explanations. For example, Paley's argument for the design of nature is and was compelling because there was an underlying problem of how to design natural things in a mindless fashion. When Darwin answered this, there was considerable wind taken out of the sails of the underlying argument. To some extent there are similar bits to be found in other popular apologetics. After all one must note that there is some evolution taking place. Silly arguments are only made once. If somebody else is repeating the argument there must be a reason they suppose they won't be laughed out of the room.

"Does that mean that universals like 'Good', 'Beauty', 'Justice' amd nimbers and ideas are lost because they cannot be found in space and time?"

Here we find subtle throws toward the Transcendental Argument for the existence of God (TAG). And should, if my idea holds, find that any seeming plausibility of the argument is because there's an underlying real and impressive failing. We can certainly fault the argument across the board for various failings on validity and soundness, but it must be tapping into something real and something misunderstood to seem plausible enough to repeat.

There is ultimately an underlying contradiction within such arguments. The relevancy of the concepts of numbers, beauty, goodness, justice, morality, etc. simply extends from the underlying usefulness of those things to us.

The real problem is the assumed dichotomy which is actually a false dichotomy. Everything which doesn't physical exist is a concept. -- This is the underlying mistake. It actually lines a number of different apologetic arguments and needs to be kept in mind. There do exist somethings which don't physically exist but which aren't concepts either. I could think of a number that nobody has every thought of ever before, where was this number before I thought of it? Did it physically exist? Did it exist as a concept? Was it real before? Is it different now? Some arguments within apologetics rely explicitly on this distinction such as the transcendental argument for the existence of God which offers that because math, logic, science, morality etc. exist but do not physically exist, they must therefore conceptually exist (false dichotomy). And since conceptual existence would make them subjective they therefore cannot be the concepts of anything imperfect like people but must be the products of the mind of God.

Basically, there are systems which arise out of basic rules as emergent properties or general themes or monsters of various sorts. Fractals (initially called monsters by mathematicians) are a good example. Fractals are generally things we simply couldn't imagine but they are really there and are heavily utilized by natural selection. Even if fractals aren't used by something they can still be described and prescribed and derived. That they function in the real world and are very useful simply testifies to this fact. The same could be said for all such designs. Where is the giraffe located? There are giraffes now, but before they evolved they didn't physically exist nor did they exist as a concept of reproduction, mutation (monstrosities as Darwin called them, "another sort of monster"), and selection. However the general design for the giraffe would have still worked assuming the proper environment even without physical or conceptual giraffes. Ultimately another transcendental example (and a better one for understanding) is design space (the space of the infinite number of possible designs). Better than logic or mathematics which are coaxed by design to only allow a limited array of possible answers we have the infinite set of possible designs to be utilized within physical space. They aren't concepts and they aren't objects, nor does it hold that they are entirely non-existent either.

While things like beauty might be subjective, things we consider good or just may actually have non-physical non-conceptual components to them. It may actually be better to eat a cheese cake than to murder an entire school full of kids, not simply as a concept but as an actually. And though, you cannot touch the reason for this betterment, it does actually exist. Change some of the parameters and you change the resulting outcome or solution, but that's not to say the same best solution and same general approximations of a solution do not really exist (even though they aren't concepts or objects). Every time you use proper mathematics to add 2 and 2 you will get 4. Not because God wills it, or because it is the nature of God to provide a consistent mathematics, this will always work because that is what the system requires. There are infinite other varying systems which allow contradictions and thus collapse, but there's also this structure which allows for amazing complexity. Much like when you change some of the variables in a fractal you get basically nothing.

The underlying mistake is that the transcendental myriad of possible possibilities are considered illusionary or simply recrafted as God or aspects of the nature of God. Ultimately the compelling parts of the argument are the parts which suggest that there's some here here, because there is. Just as there was something to that which Paley was suggesting. It certainly isn't as breathtaking as Darwin's revelation, but it's certainly real. Mathematics exists. It isn't physical and it isn't conceptual, but it's real. We need to properly understand that, and know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New ARIS report, no religion is #1 contender.

New ARIS report on religion.

So many Americans claim no religion at all (15%, up from 8% in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists. In a nation that has long been mostly Christian, "the challenge to Christianity … does not come from other religions but from a rejection of all forms of organized religion," the report concludes

No religion is steadily gaining ground all religions are losing ground to the non-religious. Non-religious has a massive retention rate and good inflow. Religions like the Jehovah Witnesses have pretty consistent inflow rate and outflow rate and thus lose barely break even even with the hard selling. Wicca to her credit actually gains a lot and keeps them pretty well. All in all it seems we're getting progressively less stupid as time goes on. But, I'm sure when the hard times hit people will flock to religions.

Religion# in million 1990 percent 2008 percent Change
Catholic 57.2 26.2% 25.1% -1.1%
Baptist 36.1 19.3% 15.8% -3.5%
No religion 34.2 8.2% 15.0% 6.8%
Christian, generic 32.4 14.8% 14.2% -0.6%
Mainline Protestant 29.4 18.7% 12.9% -5.8%
Don't Know/Refused 11.8 2.3% 5.2% 2.9%
Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.0 3.2% 3.5% 0.3%
Protestant denominations 7.1 2.6% 3.1% 0.5%
Mormon/latter-day Saints 3.2 1.4% 1.4% 0.0%
New movements (such as Wiccan), other religions 2.8 0.8% 1.2% 0.4%
Jewish 2.7 1.8% 1.2% -0.6%
Eastern religions 2.0 0.4% 0.9% 0.5%
Muslim 1.4 0.3% 0.6% 0.3%

Pastor deflected gunshot with Bible...

Shot dead...

I don't know how shooting a bible counts as having a bullet deflected. The myth busters have tried that and it doesn't work.

Police: Ill. pastor deflected gunshot with Bible

Wow. One bullet hit a bible. That's not deflected you dumbass.

MARYVILLE, Ill. – Illinois State Police say the pastor gunned down at a church in a St. Louis suburb used a Bible to deflect the first of four rounds fired during his Sunday sermon.

State Police Director Larry Trent says the Bible exploded, producing what appeared to be confetti.

Wow. The Bible has magical powers.

Trent says only one of the four rounds fired from the .45 caliber handgun struck and killed 45-year-old pastor Fred Winters.

"Struck and killed" apparently the first bullet gets magically stopped (probably just slowed down) the rest get to kill you.

Prediction: Within a week this story is going to passed around without the subsequent death.

Some Sayings Are Stupid.

Witty things are better with visual aids. For more examples see Indexed.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Praying for lower Gas Prices...

There was a story heading around about groups praying to lower gas prices. I scoffed. You can't really lower the gas prices the amount you can pump depends on the sources you have and even pumping as hard as we can we only get less than what we pumped back in 2006 and the rate has started to decrease. With increasing demand the price of gasoline and oil more directly is going to continue to go higher and higher without fail or end in sight.

But, the Lord works in mysterous ways. They started praying as national gas prices were at $3.53/gallon. It was near 4 dollars when the story was being picked up nationwide. Today the national gas prices have fallen below $1.80/gallon.

Wow. How did God do it?

That's the DOW Jones from May 2008 until today. Crashing the world's economy reduces demand. If you don't have a job, you don't have to drive there.

I was clearly wrong. I lacked imagination as to how gas prices could ever be lowered given increasing demand and stalled output. I figured that peak oil would crush us under the mighty and clear implications that we were wanted more of a limited resource than could be produced. I simply didn't consider crashing the world's economy.

"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers." - Oscar Wilde.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cantor sets, normal numbers, and memorizing pi.

I have decided to memorize the digits of pi. But rather than do that whole memorize the digits in a very direct and straight forward way I have decided to memorize just the zeros. It took me a while, but I'm done now. I have memorized all the zeros in pi. Interestingly enough, that means by Cantor's proof and the normalcy of pi: I have managed to memorize as many digits of pi as there are digits of pi.

Cantor proved that infinite numbers are of equal size if you put them in countable sets. So the first 0 in pi counts as Z(1) whereas the first digit of pi is D(1). From D1 to D(infinity) there is a corresponding Z value. As both of the sets are of equal size the fact that I memorized all the zeros suffices to say that I have memorized as many digits of pi as there are digits of pi.

Now, there is some speculation that pi is a normal number. Meaning that there are as many occurances of each digit as any other. It suffices for my purpose to assume that because Pi is an irrational number there should be at least Aleph-null zeros within it. Thus rendering my statement true.

I have memorized as many digits of pi as there are digits of pi!

As for the straight-forward way:


What a peice of work is a man.

I take to memorizing impressive things. I spend too much time memorizing Shakespeare, at least the 150ish digits of Pi I stuffed between my ears is only scratching the surface.

I have of late--but
wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

1 year ago today.

Tantric master attempts to murder Sanal Edamaruku on live TV.

Having failed to do so properly initially he moves on to sacred water throwing and knife wielding.

That having failed the tantric says that he could totally kill him with this super bad ass spell he it would need to be at night. And that Sanal Edamaruku is being totally protected by the Gods he worships. Sanal says that he's an atheist and doesn't worship any Gods and he'd be glad to let the Tantric master kill him that night.

Tantric master fails to kill him that night.


Sometimes you got to love rationalism. This was actually breaking news in India. It overwhelmed all the programming and kept being pushed back with massive ratings as people waited for Sanal to die.


Also 27 years ago today... I was born.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Any theist who supposes that damning people to hell is an effective tactic against people who do not accept the logical precondition of hell are doomed to fallimbo.

Fallacy Limbo (or fallimbo) is a horrific place where people are doomed to be constantly bombarded with a high pressure sales pitch for Gibbiers. You are never told what they are, but you are repeatedly told that you want them, you can't see them, and it's rude to ask too much about them. But you simply must buy some! You won't have any money in Fallimbo, but the salesmen are confident that if you beg something called Yano for them, it will buy them for you. To increase the likelihood of this you should also become a salesperson.

This is truly a terrible fate, so you should avoid making such stupid claims in the future because having this befall you would be unspeakable!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Leet PHP skills...

In case anybody hasn't noticed (you probably haven't) the quote at the bottom of the page is an autochanging quote from a list of quotes which generates and displays the image of the quote within specific guidelines. The quotes themselves are from About: Atheism/Agnosticism forum and gathered by one of the members there (TWSH). If you reload the page it changes each time.