Sunday, August 29, 2010

I think my idea got used on the Atheist Experience.

Back in March, I recommended that rather than do pause bars they switch the background after the announcements. On account of having a fancy background thing that they can easily change and that pause bars would be nearly impossible to find if you were bouncing around.looking for em. It started happening later on in March. Then on #668 Matt said after the announcements "So now you can change the background graphics if you remember. It's replaced the pause bars." ~6:20

"Yeah me!"

While this blog has been mentioned in passing before (I posted a dictation of the Jesus Loves the Little Zygotes and my blog noting I was catching up on the show was the first hit, enough to warrant mentioning in the show(non-prophets radio)). And the guest on #668 is Aron Ra, who is a hero of mine and once used a demotivator than I made in a video. The idea for which was taken from the Atheist Experience #540.

I have sub-quasi-fame sufficient to influence some with quasi-fame.

*takes a bow*

*shoots some naysayers with said bow*

*shoots the homograph-pun haters with the bow*

Computer cases are backwards.

You know, I'm going to turn my computer backwards from now on, because reversed is as close to correct as anything. Computer cases are backwards in general. I have like 2 silly USB plugs up there and like 8 on the back. All my wires are here. I don't even have a DVD rom or anything on the front. Just a couple lights and pointless bits of nonsense. There's really no reason to need access to the "front" at all. And the back has every important wire and plug there is. So why is my silly computer pointing the worthless end at me?

I'd really like a case that takes such things into account. I don't need the power supply there and it can be moved. It doesn't have to look like cold steel. One could properly give easy access to all the wires, and plugs and such without making it look like something nobody should see. In fact, if you moved the power supply to the far side, you could easily have room for a DVD-Rom drive at the top. And a few buttons and lights. Really, all the harddrives and such should be stored in the back and the motherboard and add-on card access stuff should be in the front. The closest thing to a proper case like this is to turn the computer around. It should properly consist of a mother board staring at you, one 5¼ bay at top, power and reset buttons. and the back sides of the card bays. The back of the computer should be a bunch of harddrive bays.

I realized this a bit after turning my computer "backwards" and realizing it was 1) easier, and 2) that I would never need to turn it around. Forward mount the damn motherboard and put my harddrives in the boonies. Which would be right below the power supply by the way (hows that for easy).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Indext: Seen and Not Heard

Indexed is a great blog of indexed cards and observations. Also, awesome.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mutant Christianity, a disagreement.

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.

Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of "Almost Christian," a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity.
She says this "imposter'' faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches.
Apparently more and more Christian teens are treating Christianity like a self-help sort of deistic sort of God is out there to help you with your struggles kind of faith. This is making them abandon religion at an alarming rate. Because, everybody knows that the real faith is that Jesus demands that you act like his slave and do exactly what he says or you will burn forever in loving hellfire. This impure form of Christianity is the reason why teenagers abandon religion in droves. -- I disagree.

I think the fact that Christianity is able to morph into an amorphous blob of God is Love, is one of the few reasons why it's at all surviving. It really has become like a software license and "Christians" scroll to the end and click "I agree". While this results in the nominally faithful, who are happy to invoke paroxysmal reactions to atheism and pay lip service to the idea of Christianity, and lends a certain amount of credit to Christianity for having followers, in the same way that Microsoft tries to measure the using of Internet Explorer™ by the number of times it's installed (it's installed on my system, but I never use it), rather than the browser based traffic. It's a bit like when religions leave people on the rolls even though they quit a long time back. But, it gives a very general idea that paying lipservice to religious ideas of a virtue.

That this is done, is the reason why Christians are still "Christians". It isn't that this is the reason why they lose their faith, but rather a stop gap measure used to prevent them from losing their faith. If all the wishy washy nonsense was dropped from religion and they were only permitted to state their beliefs, everybody would walk away in droves.

The study, which included in-depth interviews with at least 3,300 American teenagers between 13 and 17, found that most American teens who called themselves Christian were indifferent and inarticulate about their faith.

You'd be amazed how many "Christians" cannot name any five books of the Bible. It seems a lot like all one needs is a bit of momentum and a change in the cultural zeitgeist that promotes Christian ethos as positive ethos. If not for all the wishy-washy self-help god-is-love crap, it would seem as wounded as it is.

Many teenagers thought that God simply wanted them to feel good and do good -- what the study's researchers called "moralistic therapeutic deism."

Yeah, God is like a cheerleader who wants you to be happy. Why focus on hellfire and the fact that you are to give away all your things and go out and preach the word to the unconverted. Although, really it seems this study would argue that you really need to preach the word to the converted, because apparently they are doing it wrong.

Others practice a "gospel of niceness," where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted, she says.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and don't rock the boat. In reality, if you're trying to get by in life. Those are great bits of advice. And while I'm certainly in favor of the former as a pretty universal moralistic approximation of Tit-For-Tat, I'm not sure the latter is called for if you think the boat is heading towards some rocks, you should rock it. You really should go ahead and stand up for your beliefs and be firm and articulate. Sure it makes you seem arrogant or strident, but if you're right, then you're already a majority of one. And, this is the sense that Christians are right when they accuse atheists of being like evangelicals. Sure, we atheists don't evangelize but we do not subscribe to the doctrine of be niceness where nice is defined as 'shut the hell up'. Atheists, like Evangelicals, talk about religion. That's all they really mean about it.

More teens may be drifting away from conventional Christianity. But their desire to help others has not diminished, another author says.

Duh, because Christianity has nothing in the way of motivation towards charity. It's simply hijacked charity. People have charity, and to claim that Christians have some sort of monopoly will end up causing you to be surprised when atheists are moral or when people still are charitable.

A parent's radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.

As a potential stop gap, the study author argues that parents can make some dramatic appeal, some grand gesture to bring their children back into the fold. And while turning down a job  and spending a summer abroad may seem a little weaksauce and fail to convey the message needed. After all charity isn't diminished, what has gone away is the theological underpinnings that God did not come to bring peace but a sword and that anybody who is not ready to hate their family, isn't ready to be Jesus' disciple. What's really needed is something that shows commitment to Christianity without being charitable in the mainstream sense, I highly recommend murdering abortion doctors accordingly. Now that's radical, and your kids won't see God as some vague cheerleader in the sky after that.

"If you don't say you're doing it because of your faith, kids are going to say my parents are really nice people," Dean says. "It doesn't register that faith is supposed to make you live differently unless parents help their kids connect the dots."

If you don't tell your children that you're being nice because of religion, then your kids will just think you're being nice. They don't realize that religion makes you live differently, unless you're living exactly the same as other people but giving credit to religion. WTF? Seriously? Unless you tell your children that religion made me do this, they might credit it to something more obvious and mundane and true. Unless you show children that charity must be hijacked, and that secular values of love towards your fellow humans are to be relabeled as Christian Love™, then they won't understand that the exact same actions taken by others for the sake of being reasonable people  are not different. That's not a deep and life altering faith, that's the relabeling of generic humanistic values as religious values.

Don't be nice as you're apt to do even without orthodox faith, be nice and say it's Christian niceness!

Thank goodness that no other religions thank goodness, or that might undermine Christianity. After all, non-Christians eat babies.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ray Bradbury, Awesome²

The video F*ck Me Ray Bradbury is awesome. But, what is awesome²? Is it knowing that holding alt and typing 0-1-7-8 makes a ² symbol? No, it's Ray Bradbury watching F*ck Me Ray Bradbury:

Today is his birthday. August 22nd.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tat's Trivia Bot, v 3.6

Tat's Trivia Bot 3.7

Update: Latest Tat's Trivia Bot 3.69

See latest blog and version 3.61

See Tat's Trivia Bot, 3.65Though, I'm mostly out of the scripting game. I did half a decade ago, make one of the foremost trivia scripts ever, with more features than anything else anybody else could dream of. So, it's still pretty much top of the market, in a niche and aging market, but with advances in mIRC occasionally things break as some backwards compatibility breaks down. So I dusted off the old skills and found what changed and de-broke it.

Tat's Trivia Bot v.3.6

Well, it turns out the functionality between mIRC 6.35 and mIRC 7.1 has a noted difference in $read. If you call $read on a non-existent file, it will hit an error message and stop processing. Before it would continue but return $null to the $read. So $read($trivfil), then checking if there was anything there, caused it to crash correct answers in 7.1, because it wouldn't go beyond $read. So I searched the file and made sure to add a check to all the $read commands to see if the file exists before trying to read from it.

Previous blog notes about the script are good. Also, I use to own which is worth noting for the sake of people googling me. And I do have an outpost at And the Mediafire host has question files etc that are worth looking at. If you want to get in touch. I have a mail account and Tatarize has always been my name for pretty much everything, so if you do a little math you can figure my email (not explicitly said for the sake of spam).

Friday, August 20, 2010

This is either one of the most brilliant things I've ever said, or unintelligible.

With regard to Christians and the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Christians were part of the fall, not the cause of the fall. Dictatorships work well when there's a good dictator. And not all of the Roman Emperors were terrible. They could have kept on keeping on, had they not torn themselves apart. The downhill slide began far earlier than the Holy Roman Empire. And the rise of the Christians were, in part, a step along the slide that helped to ram things into the ground, but certainly they didn't cause the fall. They were simply offered the fruit, with several bites already taken out of it, and helped Rome, like the serpent, bite the dust.

The last line "... helped Rome, like the serpent, bite the dust." is clever as hell. Though it requires knowing that in Genesis the serpent is punished by being forced to move on its belly and eat dust. The tangled sort of metaphor may simply be brilliant using Genesis' Fall of Man as a metaphor to the Fall of the Roman Empire. And the comparisons of Adam being offered fruit that was already eaten a bit, with the Christians taking over an empire already in shambles and just making it a bit worse. The whole post might be worth reading, but that end part is just clever.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

F*ck Me Ray Bradbury

(via Pharyngula)

That is fricking catchy.

Tweet: The Bible to Christians
To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click "I agree".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fun Proof of the Day.

People say that when you see an image it's displayed upside down and your brain flips it to be right side up. Well, it turns out that this little factoid can actually matter. Get a flashlight (torch) with a pretty good amount of light output and place it on your forehead. Close your eyes if need be. You'll see a bright red glow coming from what looks like down to you. Because you are getting light to your eyes that doesn't go through your lenses. The reason it looks like it's down, is because it's really up and you're use to everything being flipped.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

According to my work, I have 15 days to live.

Your personnel record contains the following date(s) that require your attention:
Tuberculosis Expiration Date Monday August 30, 2010 - Expires

Yes, I'm set to expire on the 30th, and of Tuberculosis. That's odd. An expiration due to TB. And I can't believe I once mocked that disease because it killed so few people.

Music Videos for the Deaf.

Well that's a clever idea, also awesome.

Friday, August 13, 2010

WOW! Futurama For the WIN!

Seriously, you need to find, watch, have, and know the latest episode 609. It's just fantastic.It's about evolution and creationism and holy crap is it good... for about the first ten minutes.

From the flying spaghetti monster appearing and talking, the whole missing links giant line, and several other bits are to be quite likeable. Overall the message gets tweaked to the point where it's stupidish. I'm sure there was a better episode that they got talked out of making.

The parallel structure and suggestion of tiny nanobots to start life off and then it evolving from there is a bit stupid when you look at the science behind abiogenesis (there's no first sort of nanobot). The structures and forms of evolution just take normal meat and fat form, which is a little silly. And then the complete ignoring of how exactly evolution actually works is pretty bad. But, for the first ten minutes it's the greatest episode. Well, last weeks episode was pretty fricking awesome too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rape Victims and Lie Detectors.

As a fun quip about sexual assaults and lie detectors in principle about the accusations against Al Gore (I'm a big fan by the way) there was the claim made that the individual who made the accusation failed a lie detector test several times. To which a friend noted that they can't be wrong (lie detectors are notoriously terrible and complete bunk) and I added:

Yeah, Maggie. I mean how is a device that measures your heart rate, breath rate and sweat rate and determines you're lying by the fact that you start sweating, breathing harder, and have your heart rate increase going to be fooled into thinking a woman is lying when she's talking about a time when she was sexually assaulted. I mean, she's clearly lying if she can't talk about her sexual assault without being cool as a cucumber.

And, now I'm actually kind of worried. How often are these machines employed to figure out of a woman was raped or not? Because, frankly I don't see how any rape victim could pass accordingly. Is it actually common? And if so, how terrible is that! Lie detectors try to show you're lying by picking up signs that you're nervous at some particular point. Well what if you have a good reason to be nervous, isn't that going to be called a lie?   --- Apparently it's very common and often a prerequisite for beginning an investigation.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Firefly Dr. Horrible Parody

He actually has several songs. Reavers is pretty good too. And the parody of One The Rise would be better if the sound were better and the singing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mocking Talking To God.

Apparently if God tells you things, you should never ever tell anybody about it and you should employ your rational mind before acting on God's advice. WTF? Why wouldn't you do what God said to do, without question? I mean I understand the practical implications in that there is no God and anybody who thinks God is talking to them is crazy and they really need to be careful acting upon voices in their head. But, what kind of religious authorities go around telling people to ignore the all-powerful creator of the universe's advice? It seems like if you accept the premise, you should be required to be bat-shit-crazy Phelps-style! Because these hybrid solutions where you accept that the Bible is the word of God but then ignore everything the Bible says because you never actually read the thing just sort of annoy me.

I know, sometimes good people are good in spite of the Bible, but it's like they are hitching a ride on secularism and then claiming that God did it. It's a bit like saying God is Love. Sure, they don't really mean that Jesus Christ is an emotion when you ask them, but "love" makes a great catchphrase and hitching your imaginary friend to it seems like a great political move.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Degrees of Wrong.

Stuart: "It's a little wrong to say to say a tomato is a vegetable, it's very wrong to say it's a suspension bridge." - The Big Bang Theory: The Hofstadter isotope.

I firmly believe this to be one of the best lines ever on TV. Only surpassed by a couple quips on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
"Yes, let's not jump to conclusions."
"I didn't jump. I took a tiny step and there conclusions were."
(Although, comparing quips with Buffy in the running is a bit unfair, "That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo." is the worst and it's actually pretty great because it's suppose to be bad.)

Back to the topic, much of my belief that this is a great quote comes from my love of understanding the gradation of wrongness and how it pertains to science. In short that science is the process by which we get less wrong over time by testing what we think might be the case against reality which is the case.

In a sense, it's a little wrong to say that gravity is Newtonian force, it's a lot wrong to say it's the spirit energy of everything trying to go to their ideal location.