Friday, November 16, 2007
God and All - Thoughts on humans, evolution, religion and more: Deregulating the Dream God and All
Posted by batcave911 at 6:26 PM
America is close to being a 3rd world country when it comes to class and wealth.
Americans (mostly republican) constantly brag about how we are the BEST at everything, the problem is that we are not.
Its time we faced facts and started actually DOING something about it, instead of hiding our head in the sand not wanting to believe it.
If you talk to most republicans, they will DENY that our educational system isnt the BEST, instead of realizing it, and wanting to god something about it.
Fighting the truth gets us no-where.
Our educational system is comparatively marginal at best.
Our health care system hardly gives any help at all to low income people.
Our prison system is VERY overcrowded, and we have more people in jail per-capita than any other country on earth.
We spend 288,000,000 a DAY on the war in Iraq.
Army "deserters" are up over 80%
Our military is stretched to far in case we need them for a REAL threat,
OR, a natural disaster.
More Arabs and Muslims hate us than they did 5 years ago.
1 million Iraqis are dead.
We have lost many of our civil rights.
We are being spied on (probably right now)
We haven't invested (fast enough) on clean renewable energy.
Oil prices can bring this country to its KNEES,
and nothing is being done about it.
Global warming threatens our future, and not only are we EXTREMELY unprepared, but some people actually believe its not a threat.
We trot along in our daily lives with memories of "Leave it to Beaver",
thinking that our world will not change as long as we follow goos Christian morals and defend our country from the "terrerasts".
We don't realize that 1 of 100 things could put a damper on our dreams, like the Yellowstone caldera blowing and destroying 80% of our country.
Not only is our military not here, or prepared to help us, but we are not prepared for it physically, OR mentally.
What if we go to war with Iran, the biggest Saudi refinery blows up,
and send oil prices to 15$ or $20 a gallon ?
With $20 a gallon gas, the country WILL shut down as we know it.
Food prices would soar, companies would shut down, people couldnt leave their homes, the Gov would have food lines, there would be martial law, and all chaos would break out.
We are already in a class warfare, and only 1 side is waging the war.
Most of us are totally complacent thinking that as long as our daily lives are not too disrupted, like loosing cable TV, or our cell phone, that our Government is taking care of us.
But what if its not ?
If some major change happens, and its very possible, it could throw this class "warfare" in a spin, leaving only the top 1% of the country able to live comfortably.
I read a report the other day saying the 1/2 of all the BEES in the U.S. have died.
If not stopped, this could leave no fruits or vegetables in our grocery stores, and could have much farther reaching implications.
This is one small example, but MANY things could happen.
Our society is very fragile, and we need to realize this and prepare for it.
Spending 288 million dollars a day on an illegal war isn't helping much.
Its time we stop bragging about how good we are,
and start ACTUALLY DOING something about it.
Hopefully a DEM will do that.
Deregulating the Dream
No natural disaster has hit the American middle class, scholars and activists who gathered in North Carolina last week agree, just a series of political decisions that have privileged the powerful.
November 12 , 2007
Just 1 percent of Americans currently hold about half the financial wealth of the entire United States.
Meanwhile, notes Washington University sociologist Mark Rank, the nation’s bottom 60 percent hold less than 1 percent of that wealth, and 75 percent of Americans, sometime in their adult lives, can now expect to “experience a year either in poverty or near poverty.”
How much more unequal can the United States become? Plenty
If the United States keeps to its present course, Rank predicted last week at an insight-rich national conference on inequality in North Carolina, the nation could “begin to reflect the bifurcation patterns more typical of third-world countries,” with the privileged opting to “physically separate themselves from the middle and bottom.”
That separation, Rank added, has already begun — via everything from gated communities to growing private school enrollments.
The good news? Inequality amounts to an unnatural disaster. Conscious political decisions have helped make the United States deeply unequal. Conscious political decisions can, by the same token, help undo that inequality.
That theme sounded repeatedly last week on the University of North Carolina campus as Mark Rank and dozens of other academics, activists, and policy makers converged for two days of discussion and debate on “Wealth Inequality and the Eroding Middle Class.”
The conference — hosted by the university law school’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity — didn’t make many headlines. The conference had perhaps a more important role: helping Americans make sense of the headlines we already see.
Headlines, for instance, on the subprime mortgage market collapse. The subprime market, University of Connecticut law professor Patricia McCoy explained last week, didn’t even exist a quarter-century ago.
But in 1980 “waves of federal deregulation” began reshaping the banking industry, stripping away meaningful limits on mortgage terms and rates. Lenders soon became able, for the first time, to “segment the mortgage market between stronger and weaker borrowers” — and manipulate the weaker into paying through the nose.
By 2006, American families were carrying adjustable rate mortgages with interest rates that could double at the first reset. And if these families went to refinance those mortgages, they faced prepayment penalties that could hit as high as $9,000 on a $150,000 loan.
All this deregulation would prove spectacularly lucrative for the nation’s biggest lenders — Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo, for instance, pocketed $295.7 million over a five-year span — and spectacularly devastating for struggling families.
“By year-end 2008,” notes the University of Connecticut’s McCoy, “over 2 million subprime loans are expected to go into foreclosure.”
The inequality that deregulation has nurtured could, in theory, be offset by tax policies that target extremely high incomes. But current tax policies, University of Oklahoma law professor Jon Forman pointed out last week, are doing precious little to redistribute excess.
We now have, Forman noted, “hardly any taxes on wealth and investment income.” Taking just one small step to change this situation — by eliminating the current tax break for capital gains and dividends — “could raise about $130 billion a year.”
Lawmakers could take all sorts of other steps, conference presenters made clear, to broaden the distribution of America’s wealth. You can check them out outline, where the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity is this week posting conference highlights.
— Sam Pizzigati
Saturday, November 10, 2007
ive recently become a fan of this guy...
Gravity As Thermodynamics:
The Explanation For The Universe. / S D Rodrian
The IMPLODING universe !
Gyudon Z either lives in Japan or he just couldn't sleep at all
last night (damn, he posts at nearly 3 AM), so he walked around
and, finally, apparently made it to my front door... where he knocked
(very slowly, like sleepwalkers & other insomniacs are wont to do)...
And then he stood there staring past me with huge, blood-shot eyes
mumbling something (while I was trying to remember where the Hell
I last saw my baseball bat)... so I but think this is what he said:
>>The ONE thing you have to realize
>>is that the modern cosmological constant
>>does NOT come from the discovery of its source:
>>Scientists did not discover the "crazy matter"
>>that produces anti-gravity. The recent discovery
>>that the Big Bang theories are physically impossible
>>(prohibited by the laws of physics)
> One would think the Big Bang theory would be less popular
> if it was impossible.
Are you familiar with any form of religion?
> The Clue Meter is reading zero.
You probably need to go to bed now (I wouldn't
necessarily drink more coffee, if I were you).
>>have sent those
>>theoreticians (who still refuse to accept the fact
>>that the ONLY force at work in the universe is GRAVITY)
> How is the interaction between charged particles
> the force of gravity?
It is not--Unless you're asking what gravity is: A
force, and I can only describe a force in Newtonian terms
(except to categorically state it is the purest form
of energy we can think of)... know energy is not material
at the level of charged particles of any kind: There is
a potential of energy in charged particles just as there
is a potential of energy in a coiled spring and they can
both be released, but it's useless to speak of either
form of energy as material themselves (this is why it is
possible to speak of gravity/energy/force as truly something
fundamental... because it cannot be further "simplified"):
In the same manner... gravity IS energy AND it is constantly
"at work" (which requires us to believe that gravity "uses
up" energy, or itself--Where then does gravity get its energy
if not from E=MC2?). And if gravity holds the universe together
(the strong force, et al is/are just very localized forms
of gravity)... gravity is siphoning energy/mass from "matter"
... what then must we assume is happening to that matter which
is constantly being shrunk by the subtraction of its mass?
> Or the
> nuclear forces?
All nuclear reactions are the result of the universe's
children (the youngest particles) playing in the yard.
>>scurrying to rationalize a view of the universe
>>which goes against the laws of physics (e.g. how can
>>in an universe in the grips of the force of gravity
>>galaxies be flying away from each other?).
> You sound like Ed Conrad again.
I gotta hear this Ed talking! He must be
the owner of a quite mellifluous voice!
> The universe is expanding using momentum alone.
Ah! It was pushed by the Big Bang explosion!
Unfortunately for your notion... the expansion of
the universe is accelerating. And ONLY a continuously
applied force causes acceleration (momentum going
against a force causes anti-acceleration... and
the last time I checked, the universe was in the grips
of the force of gravity). Think! You're talking
physical impossibility here: The notion that the
universe is expanding goes against the laws of physics.
> You remember momentum from physics class, don't you?
Boy do I remember her! Every guy in our class had to
go out with her at least once!
> You did take it, I trust.
I stole it, but it's practically the same deal.
>>they do not know (or cannot accept) that all the forms
>>of matter are just that--forms--and believe there ARE
>>fundamental forms of matter... it is hard for them to
>>understand how an imploding universe could escape
>>turning into a great big black hole filled with
>>galaxies flying towards each other.
> You have not proven to anyone's satisfaction except yours
> that the universe is
Actually I'm just mentioning that I've discovered
the universe is imploding. Is it a worthwhile mention?
It's a bother, really--What practical benefits can such
a discovery bring for the discoverer? Does such a discovery
validate my own personal existence? Could I really dare
to believe that... had I not lived, humanity would never
have discovered the universe is imploding? Hardly: The
hints are far too obvious! It is true that for thousands
of years people thought the universe orbited the earth
but we finally discovered the truth... and we would have
discovered the truth even if we'd had to wait thousands
of years more. Humanity can wait. Individuals can not:
And so I mention that the universe is imploding, in passing;
and then I will try to get back to my music and my other
sundry hobbies. What I have done is the equivalent of
mentioning the rain falls from the clouds in the sky:
It's totally unimportant to most human beings. But you
are a new-born child, as it were... you've never before
heard that the rain falls from the clouds. You exclaim:
"Ah-uh! No it doesn't!" And so I take you outdoors on a
rainy day and show you it's all true. [All my proofs are
explained with all the simplicity one uses with children.]
Once you see the thing for yourself you will marvel at
the wonders of the universe. And then you will go to other
things... skipping rope, perhaps. And I will remain as if
standing there, in the end, having accomplished not much
in this word by having pointed out to you the obvious:
Do you remember who it was first told you the rain falls
from the clouds in the sky? No you do not (although somebody
did just that). And when everybody knows the universe is
imploding... I'll be left as if standing there too, while
people who recognize me whisper: "Look, that's the guy
discovered the rain falls from the clouds in the sky!"
And the echo that will reply to that will be: "Yeah! So?"
>>Sorry, my man: Einstein knew what he was talking about
>>when he called it his greatest blunder BECAUSE he knew
>>that (like the modern theoreticians who are now grasping
>>at straws by reviving it), he knew that IT SATISFIED NO
>>REAL PROBLEM... Einstein's Cosmological Constant is not
>>a scientific development but comes only from Einstein
>>having thrown his heads in the air and said, "Well, if
>>the universe is static there must be something neither I
>>nor anybody else knows about which must be forcing it to
>>remain static... and let's call that whatever-it-is The
> The universe is not static.
Well, you're too late if you're thinking of emailing
Einstein: Hubble beat you to it.
>> That IS your cosmological constant:
>>"Some'n out there." (Although I have no doubt that the
>>same math guys who brought us the 67 dimensions will soon
>>get to work on 67 reasons behind the Cosmological Constant:
>>It's the Eternal Constant of Human Nature.) BUT:
>>Once you understand what really IS causing the acceleration
>>of the Hubble Constant, you won't need to resort to any such
>>moronic rationalizations as "inflation theory" and the CC.
> You haven't really explained the "acceleration"
> of the Hubble constant. Is it
> really changing by units of m/s^2? Because that's
> not just a number shift; it's
> a unit shift.
Try to understand it this way: The universe is NOT
really expanding (I prefer the term exploding), it
is imploding. The Hubble Constant refers specifically
to the recession of the galaxies from each other (which
IS occurring): Therefore to say the expansion of the universe
is accelerating... is misleading and confusing. It is
closer to the truth that the Hubble Constant is what
is, properly, what is increasing. Sorry if I misled you.
>>Sorry, pumpkin, but... apples & oranges: The "apparent"
>>older galaxies (older then the universe) stem from
>>your not having taken into consideration distances/time:
> You sound like a creationist in reverse.
Is this the one that cries out: "Satan is King!" Or
the one says, "Elvis is King!" (I haven't scratched out
the record myself.)
>>I am convinced that the universe is vastly older than
>>conventionally thought, but you still have to take into
>>consideration that the "given" age of the universe stems
> And what empirical evidence other than empirical
> observations can you bring to
> bear against them?
Let's leave it at the level of a condemnation:
The age (and thereby the size) of the universe
is a factor from a number of assumptions, not least
of which is the running backwards of the cosmic film
all the way to the Big Bang: And if there was never
any Big Bang, all assumptions from it are incorrect.
The same can also be said of calculations made from
naked (albeit informed) guesses about the nature of
distant galaxies/quasars used to gauge/guess distances:
If the assumptions are correct, the results are too.
But we mustn't forget they are, at the bottom of it,
assumptions... however well informed.
>>(and things we have not yet seen, but
>>which may prove the universe much older, do not come
> Argument based on something that does not exist
> (as far as we know) is
> logically fallacious.
The distinction between a guess based on circumstantial
evidence, and a guess based upon evidence which cannot
be absolutely and unanimously agreed to be beyond doubt
is... minimal: We all base our reasoning upon every
sort of weird superstition and prejudice to some extent
(which is why I have striven to categorically state
the observations upon which I base my conclusions; and
those notions for which I cannot personally find indisputably
valid evidence--which satisfies me, at least--I have but
mentioned as speculation on my part: you can read, I assume,
read in my quoted statements when I am saying I know
something to be the case, and when I just have an opinion
it may be the case?
S D Rodrian
Posted by batcave911 at 3:02 PM
The philosopher Derek Parfit put it starkly: we are not what we believe ourselves to be.
Actions and experiences are interconnected but ownerless.
A human life consists of a long series - or bundle - of enmeshed mental states rolling like tumbleweed down the days and years, but with no one (no thing) at the centre.
An embodied brain acts, thinks, has certain experiences, and that's all. There is no deeper fact about being a person. The enchanted loom of the brain does not require a weaver.
Ive been saying this for years.
We are different people every day.
Brain cells die, and electrical pathways change.
So, the idea that theres a SOUL is nonsense.
I think for our species to survive, we need to throw away these notions of religion
and the soul. If not, it will be our downfall.
We are animals, like other animals on this planet.
We have DNA, tissue, and bone.
At this pointy i have to look at the hypocrisies of the human spirit.
We look at things like "conspiracies" and think how outrageous they are.
We look at things like Aliens and UFO's, and think that one must be crazy to believe in them.
Not to mention one religion looking at another and thinking they are outrageous.
So what is so strong in the human spirit to make us not want to believe whats before our eyes ?
What makes us look at reality and want to see something else ?
I think it has to do with not wanting to take responsibility.
For what you ask ?
For the future of mankind my friend !
Is the human race to survive ?
Well, thats not up to us is it ?
Well, YES, it is.
Many other creatures have perished on this planet, many that have tried to adapt to changes, but at some point , for some reason still didnt make it.
Its very possible that we wont make it either, even IF we learn to live together without killing each other. A meteor could hit us tomorrow wiping the human race off the map.
Its possible too, that before that happens, we could learn to leap into space and develop colonies on other planets.
Just like any other species, its in our nature to survive and procreate...
god and all
Posted by batcave911 at 10:52 AM
IN 1957, biologist Julian Huxley, brother of Aldous, coined the term "transhumanism" for the idea that we should use technology to transcend the limitations of our bodies and brains. Huxley believed that "the human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself" through "evolutionary humanism".
Almost half a century on, transhumanism has become a real possibility, pointing the way to an unbelievably transcendent future that would have been unimaginable even to Huxley. The choices we make today are deciding an answer to the question "What comes after human civilisation?"In the pre-Enlightenment world view, human beings were the pinnacle of creation, made in God's image to dwell on an Earth that was the centre of the universe. Enlightenment thinking - particularly science
Posted by batcave911 at 10:10 AM
I am creating this to share my ideas about man, our civilization,
evolution, and our place in this world.
Ill start it off with these 2 questions...
WHAT is our subconscious ?
What does that word really mean ?
Since i was raised more of a scientist than a mystic, or religious type, i am inclined to believe that all of our brain activity is from electrical impulses.
But what exactly spurs all these thoughts ?
I think that there is a universal "thread" that binds us all together
I think our consciousness taps into this, especially when we are asleep.
I also think that this has a LOT to do with our ancestors
You know the theory that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, it rains in Africa or something...
I think that every thought we have somehow effects everyone on the planet, even if in a very small way.
If i go to work and have a bad day, and come home and yell at my kids, all of this has lasting effects, even to the guy on the freeway that i ticked off.
So everything we do, every thought we have becomes part of the record of humanity.
It is there forever, it can never be changed or erased.
The effects of everything our ancestors said and thought are felt today.
Whether or not any of this is embedded in DNA i dont know, but i think it is with all of us
Animals have instincts that tell them what they can eat etc...
I think this is very closely related.
How are we different from animals ?
What makes us different ?
Ive heard lots of explanations, none of which i agree with, id like to know everyones view.
I personally think that we ARE an animal, actually, we share over 96% of our DNA with chimps.
HUMANS are a species just like any other animal
We know we have larger brains, and are pretty sure that came about from our ancestors standing upright, the head got larger to expel heat from our bodies better.
The combination of having a larger brain, plus, having 2 free hands to be able to manipulate our environment has led us to be able to create this society.
but thats about all...
human, evolution, animals, god, religion