Thursday, June 30, 2005

ran across a good post about abortion

also about Howard Dean, who I also really like.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Who's my daddy? Dawkins is my daddy.

Agnostic conciliation, which is the decent liberal bending over backward to concede as much as possible to anybody who shouts loud enough, reaches ludicrous lengths in the following common piece of sloppy thinking. It goes roughly like this: You can't prove a negative (so far so good). Science has no way to disprove the existence of a supreme being (this is strictly true). Therefore, belief or disbelief in a supreme being is a matter of pure, individual inclination, and both are therefore equally deserving of respectful attention! When you say it like that, the fallacy is almost self-evident; we hardly need spell out the reductio ad absurdum. As my colleague, the physical chemist Peter Atkins, puts it, we must be equally agnostic about the theory that there is a teapot in orbit around the planet Pluto. We can't disprove it. But that doesn't mean the theory that there is a teapot is on level terms with the theory that there isn't.

Now, if it be retorted that there actually are reasons X, Y, and Z for finding a supreme being more plausible than a teapot, then X, Y, and Z should be spelled out--because, if legitimate, they are proper scientific arguments that should be evaluated. Don't protect them from scrutiny behind a screen of agnostic tolerance. If religious arguments are actually better than Atkins' teapot theory, let us hear the case. Otherwise, let those who call themselves agnostic with respect to religion add that they are equally agnostic about orbiting teapots. At the same time, modern theists might acknowledge that, when it comes to Baal and the golden calf, Thor and Wotan, Poseidon and Apollo, Mithras and Ammon Ra, they are actually atheists. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

from Snake Oil and Holy Water, originally from FORBES ASAP, October 4, 1999 (forbes online version here)

the entire article is great, but for some reason that part just jumped out at me.

now I'm off to read the next page...

Dawkins’ Hyper-Rationalism
A critical review of "A Devil’s Chaplain – by Richard Dawkins"
Review by Ian Glendinning, March 2003.



just read it. it's brilliant.

(maybe moreso for those of you familiar with the recent rulings related to eminent domain etc.)

(thanks again goes to yath)

yay canada!

Canada approves same-sex marriage

glad to see another country in the world with more sense than the United States.

hell, polar opposites on the sense scale. I mean, they put it into law to permit it, and what is Bush trying to do? get a Constitutional Amendment to ban it.

oh - my - fucking - god.

this man never learns.

like Condi Rice said folks, we're in it for a "generational commitment".

God Bless America.


and here's another one: Mixed world reaction to Bush speech

Harry Prasetyo, a porter at a Jakarta hotel, said he had not seen the Bush speech, but he said it was time the United States left and allowed the Iraqis to "build their future by themselves."

"This conflict has gone on too long. If the United States doesn't leave Iraq, the Muslim countries around Iraq will increasingly hate America," Prasetyo said. "The biggest impact is on the (American) people. They can't go anywhere. They have too many enemies."

just ask PC about that. he got jumped in a bar in Europe just for being an American because of this bullshit war we're in.

Bush slammed for Iraq link to 9/11

A-fucking-MEN. even the stupid people are wising up to that old trick. IRAQ HAD ABSOLUTELY NO LINK WHATSOEVER TO 9/11. GET OVER IT BUSH.

(that needed to be in all capitals. sometimes you just have to "yell".)

suspended animation

Scientists have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

while the story is written to be a bit sensationalized for the layman (see the original format of the article here, I pasted the link to the print version above to avoid the distracting snarling dog picture), the actual facts behind it are rather intriguing. this is not the same as normal cryogenic preservation of humans after death (see the cryonics entry on wikipedia for more info)... this is actually bringing them back to life after the complete halt of metabolic function for hours on end.

I would love to see more details about this... such as how long could a person or animal remain in this state etc. it's not perfectly frozen, but just above freezing... so it makes me wonder if you'd go bad just like food in the refrigerator eventually does. :-P

anyway... I'm sitting here enjoying my "The Great Fantasy Adventure Album" CD and checking out Inkscape for doing vector design. I know I should probably be using Illustrator... but proc pestered me to try out Inkscape because it's free (as in gratis and libre) and (therefor also) open source, and that's just dandy. so.. I downloaded it, and am now perusing the Wiki and other online resources. sorry proc, I generally RTFM a bit before I dive into things. :-P

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A friend had an idea about voting...

we were discussing this evening about the downfalls of our current voting system. and as usual, I had my defeatist pessimistic approach "it's rule by the majority, and the majority are fucking idiots, so we're perpetually fucked. the end."

My friend, on the other hand, had an idea... mandatory testing to ascertain your fitness to vote. if you don't have a fucking clue about the truth behind the candidates involved, or about the social issues, international issues, cultural issues etc... then no vote for you... or at last your vote would have diminished value relative to your actual knowledge of the pertinent events.

you want your vote to count? then try actually putting the slightest effort into learning something about why you're voting, what you're voting for, who you're voting for and what your vote is likely to actually accomplish etc.

this was one of the factors that brought about the electoral voting process in the first place... so why not take it a step further and start to actually move towards a voting process that wouldn't shut out a candidate for actually having the intelligence to understand and act correctly on very complex domestic and foreign issues etc... rather than a stupid monkey who is "trying to do his best"?

we're shooting ourselves in the feet if we elect the worse candidate simply because we allow a bunch of clueless dolts to be led around like sheep and to vote for the moron most like themselves, which is exactly what happened in the last election.

I could go on, but that's a sufficiently inflammatory start. ;-)

dealing with trauma or insensitivity.

Tumbling Woman

this is from an older article from Sept 30th 2002. works of art were already being taken down and removed at that time because they were deemed "insensitive" to survivors or families of victims of the September 11th 2001 attacks.

I'm not sure how many have been taken down since, but I know that even as of a few weeks ago I saw another mention in the news of an "artist" being trash talked for doing a performance piece on the jumpers.

I also saw a page with a collage of the jumpers and a note to "show this to your liberal friends!" as though somehow we weren't familiar with what happened, or that seeing pictures of people who were forced to jump to their deaths is going to change our stance on the actions of George W and friends.


sometimes things are truly horrible... but I suppose those conservatives aren't looking at all the civilian casualties and child victims from Iraq either. maybe I should make a collage for them? doesn't quite have the dramatic effect of people falling 100 stories... but seeing lots of burned and mangled children missing limbs or eyes or blackened over half their bodies etc... you tell me what's worse.

war is hell... time would be better spent on learning what caused those people to fly into the WTC, rather than just blindly backing a war first in a country that was only marginally involved (while ignoring one of the main culprits), and then in a country that had nothing at all to do with it... while still ignoring the main culprits...

this crap gives me a headache.

I've covered it in past blogs. I'm not going to rant about it again now. I'm worn out.

Monday, June 27, 2005

fact and theory

Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. [...] In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

- Stephen J. Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory"; Discover, May 1981

(thanks again yath)

it doesn't get much more concise than that.

supporting the troops.

Balloon Pirate tracked down yet another excellent article. head over to his post to check it out. (the link to the article is at the bottom of his post)

Thanks BP!

the pure word of god.

*chuckle* thanks yath. ;-)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

on Stem Cell research, for Lisa.

make special note of the section entitled "Blastocyst stem cell ethical debate" around half way down the entry. notice that these Blastocysts, from which the stem cells are extracted, are already being legally used by in vitro fertility clinics, "and when not used in additional therapy or in embryonic stem cell research are destroyed or frozen indefinitely by the thousands."

so... rather than actually try to help humankind by destroying a 5 day old clump of cells with no nervous system etc, which will absolutely be destroyed anyway if not used in an actual fertility procedure... let's just hose the whole thing because we're a bunch of bleeding heart religious conservatives with a personal agenda who can't put 2 and 2 together to see how stupid we're being. :-)

Bush pledges to veto stem cell bill - May 23rd 2005

US stem cell research in jeopardy - January 24th 2005

make special note of the last two sentences in that article: The existing rules cited are designed to prevent the destruction of further embryos from which stem cells are extracted. The process has provoked considerable polemic in the US, with George Bush coming down firmly on the side of the antis.

*ahem* let me make this clear...

They're going to be destroyed anyway you clueless dolt. Now because of your ignorant dogmatic politicking, we're going to lose all the possible benefits that might be had.

have I made myself clear?

thanks Chief.

Bush is such a fucking IDIOT.

Now, I'm going to head one argument off at the pass by playing the devils advocate here.

<devils_advocate>being frozen indefinitely does not mean destroyed. doing the stem cell extraction procedure on the blastocysts will actually destroy them, whereas being frozen indefinitely doesn't.</devils_advocate>

fair enough I suppose. I don't know enough about the process of storing embryos used in in vitro fertilization procedures. I'd have to ask.

however, we know that not all are even frozen indefinitely (or as the following article states, "for a long time"), but that at least some, if not most are destroyed under the current procedures, and they been handled as such for awhile now I'd guess... but again, I'd have to research more.

so, guess what I'm off to do? ;-)

ok, just from that, we know that this has been going on since roughly 1978. 27 years now. and while we see that many of the same "concerns" are being raised, obviously this procedure has been allowed to continue because of it's obvious, directly observable, desirable effects... namely, allowing parents who might not be otherwise able, to conceive and bear their own children.

that's the trouble with ignorant people... the more abstract or complicated an issue is, the less likely they are to understand or accept it.

put simply, some of the issues here are:
  • lack of knowledge of all the pertinent information.

  • lack of ability to comprehend the pertinent information even when available.

  • lack of ability to perceive long term benefits.

  • desire to adhere to the religious/conservative group ideology.

put very simply, fear of the unknown.


remeber kids, the following things are wrong! now can you tell me why?

  • Bypassing the natural method of conception.

  • Creating life in the laboratory.

because only the imaginary sky god is supposed to be able to do that! if we can create life ourselves, we're heading down the path of making the imaginary sky god obsolete.

and we just can't have that! we need to stay in the dark ages where intellectual thought and literacy were suppressed to maintain belief in the church (and yes Markavillie, I know that there were mainly "political" motivations behind that, to maintain a power structure dependant on the absolute belief in the Catholic Church as the sole means of communcation with god, the sole channel of biblical learning and hence the sole means of salvation.), the bible, and it's imaginary sky god and outdated, backwards, and downright heinously erroneous ignorant fictitious worldview.

*walks away in disgust*

I'm starting to get pissy, and when I get pissy, I start losing my objectivity. so that's it for now.

Friday, June 24, 2005

things I'm pondering

First... I've been reading a lot lately about things relating to the Left and Right... to Liberal and Conservative.... Democrat and Republican...

I'd been considering for awhile that my view of the differences between the Democratic party and Republican party was colored by my rather recent introduction into politics, and that I was weighing my view of each party and what it stood for by the beliefs and actions of the candidates put forth by each party.

lately I've been starting to realize that that was not quite correct. so I've been starting to try to get a better grasp on what each stands for and why. I've been reconsidering things.

I think this somewhat came to a head about 2 days ago when I stopped by Barnes & Noble and picked up the latest issues of 2600, SKEPTIC and The Philosophers Magazine. There was an article in The Philosophers Magazine (Issue 30) entitled "The Hobbesian state of America". It went into how the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke affected the American ideology and how this in turn affected foreign and domestic policies, perceptions, relations etc. This article really sort of pushed me over the edge to the point where I feel that I need to do some serious studying on the roots and historical foundations of these groups or ideologies, rather than basing too much of my understanding on contemporary empiricism. :(

Second... I was reading the latest SKEPTIC (Vol.11 #3) and came across an article entitled "Flashbulb Memories - How psychological research shows that our most powerful memories may be untrustworthy" which went back over a number of experiments going all the way back to 1899. this got me thinking that if there was such repeated scientific evidence from all these studies done about the fallability of human memory, from as short a time as 24 hours, up to 3 years later... and that with many of the subjects and essentially all of the subjects from 2 and 3 years later, the false memories had actually completely supplanted the original memories... and even when subjects were shown video and/or their own written descriptions of the events at the time they actually happened, they retained the new false memories! these false memories had essentially become reality to them and they were unwilling and/or unable to revert back to the real memories of the real events. these memories were simply gone. vanished, erased, replaced by fabrications of their minds.

can anyone see where I'm going with this? these are people who had directly witnessed events in their lives... things which had taken place directly to them... and they had fabricated false memories that had completely replaced their real memories, and in other cases the memories were completely fabricated... of events that never happened. and remember, this almost irreversible loss and replacement of memories happened within 2 to 3 years.

now imagine that you have memories of events which are written down, not by anyone who directly witnessed the events... and which are not written down for decades... events which follow similar patterns to those in the article... would or should this cast doubt on the authenticity of those accounts? especially given obvious inconsistencies and discrepancies between the different accounts? given our newfound understanding of the fallability of human memory etc?

'Flashbulb memory' theory fades in light of new findings

9/11/01 - Reactions of Psyhological Scientists - FLASHBULB MEMORY RESEARCH

Third... now this third one isn't such a serious thought... I was just thinking about how it was such an odd coincidence that the things written in the bible all just happened to be exactly what the people of the time saw around them. contemporary fiction as it were. the animals of creation were the animals around them because they didn't know of any other animals before those... it wasn't a divine vision from god of the actual creation... it was a story derived from what they knew. Gods only begotten son just happened to be sent to earth... and that just happened to be right in northern Israel... not in the Americas, or Asia etc... nope... out of the entire universe (see my earlier post on the Hubble Ultra Deep Field), the one and only son of God just happened to end up right there in their back yard (of course, this also goes for other religions too... but that just bolsters my point).

now, I'm sure you can turn this around and say "of course it's that way... the bible was written after the fact because he was born there... you're switching it around!", but then we have the issues of him conveniently fulfilling prophecy, the old testament etc... and I've heard arguments about how he must be the messiah and whatnot because how else could he have fulfilled so many prophecies? again, it couldn't possibly be an issue of the facts being bent to fit the prophecy could it? especially in light the factors I explained above in point #2?

(not to mention a lot of the modern scholarly work into the origins and authorship of the bible, and the historicity of the events depicted etc. political pressures, personal agendas etc.)


this is the kind of stuff I'm usually always thinking about. taking a holistic view of things and comparing, contrasting etc... finding connections and new ways to look at things using information from a different source, on a different topic. for instance, the Hobbesian state of America article grabbed my eye because of the discussions I was having with Markavillie... so I read a little further and decided I had to buy the issue.

I'm constantly trying to read information on many many different topics so that I can stay as well informed as possible, and have a larger, deeper pool of knowledge to draw my associations and holistic view from.

for instance, read this entry on Cold Reading and maybe even do a little further research... and notice how much of a difference it can make on how you perceive the world from then on (assuming you didn't already know this specifically).

hopefully this gives you a little idea about how my mind works... and maybe some interesting things for you to think about for yourselves.


remember, if you see something you can't explain, and it makes you think of a ghost, that is how you generally would explain it... the human mind fits things to what it knows... it by nature attempts to categorize, explain, figure out... it doesn't like unknowns, so it fills in the blanks. and what it fills those blanks in with can seem just as real, or as experiments have shown, even more real than other events.

but it doesn't make them true.

this is all about getting to that truth and trying to learn to avoid the cognitive pitfalls along the way.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

on flag burning

proc was kind enough to point me in the direction of some flag burning posts this morning, so I'll pass them along for your consideration. you might get a laugh... and then a pretty serious look on your face as you continue reading.

what does happen when you burn an american flag?
and a little commentary from Sean on the above link:
<koden> "Symbols are everything in politics. They can get you elected or defeated. That's why Democrats fear getting singed by a proposed flag-burning ban, forced into a vote that Republicans will cast as a test of patriotism."
<koden> Fucking retarded.
<koden> It's nice that we live in a world where style is more important than substance.
<koden> That article is a perfect description of why I hate Republicans and Democrats.

and a flag desecrator in action! -

(credit for all of these links goes to other people. I'm just aggregating them here.

burning united states flag

personally I'm for the right to burn the flag. freedom of speech. I think putting that much force behind nationalistic imagery... it's leaning towards the trappings of fascism. dissatisfaction with a symbol should be allowed to be expressed, not repressed. it's just a piece of cloth, regardless of what it stands for.

people need to start realizing that we have to STOP MAKING IT ILLEGAL TO FUCKING OFFEND PEOPLE. IF I'M NOT HITTING YOU, HURTING YOU, STEALING FROM YOU OR OTHERWISE ENDANGERING THE SAFETY OF ANOTHER PERSON, YOU CAN FUCK THE HELL OFF. YOU DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO NOT BE OFFENDED, BUT I (AT LEAST USED TO) HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. Jesus Fucking Christ... does anyone actually have the slightest concept of what our founding fathers wrote down? I'm really starting to wonder.

*smack* *smack* *smack* *smack* wake up and quit whining! this is the kind of ignorant bullshit that happens when people are too busy trying to make everyone else happy, and everyone is afraid to tell someone else they're being stupid because they're afraid to offend them. in the meantime it becomes ILLEGAL TO OFFEND ANYONE. and just spirals into abject idiocy... and what's fucked up.. is that once these rights start flying out the window, and you've handed them over to the government... you can rest assured, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THEM BACK WITHOUT A VIOLENT FIGHT.

take a fucking lesson from history people and WAKE THE FUCK UP.

Mike pointed out a shortcoming of my post... and he's probably right. the problem was, I kept editing this post to add to it. it originally didn't have the blurb from Sean, or some of the additional links, or everything including and below the picture etc. I had at one point stopped before that last rant part.. but added it for some reason. I guess the more I thought about it, the more pissy I got. :(

<proc> largo: in your latest blog post, everything is all fine and dandy and then BAM, you hit with the last 2 (and a sentence) paragraphs, where you just go bananas
<proc> save the caps and emotes dude, if you would've continued in the same tone as the rest of your entry, it would've been teh awesome(er) [sic]

ah well. shit happens. I'll keep it in mind for next time.

<proc> 1st corollary to Godwin's Law: First person who uses The Matrix as an example in existenialism related rhetoric loses the argument
<proc> 2nd corollary to Godwin's LaW: First person who uses CAPS in an argument loses the argument
<proc> 3rd corollary to Godwin's Law: If the argument is on /., SA, or Fark everyone loses.


I was watching a special on "Who Wrote the Bible", produced by Channel4, and right at the end, the last 7 minutes or so, the main narrator Robert Beckford stopped to speak with Richard Land (see here for a more in-depth description of who he is, from his own website). The following is a brief transcript of that very tail end of the show. I wonder if anyone else finds it as disturbing as I did. (mind you, seeing someone saying these things matter of factly as he does, and to a congregation etc.... UGH.)

Theologian Robert Beckford
Dr.Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention

hahaha... I was just looking for a link to information on Robert Beckford and ran across a rebuttal of this program, and one quote leaped out at me: "The whole programme, of course, was the devil’s lie."

yes.. of course... if we agree with you, we're influenced by god... if we disagree, it's not our actual studying and research... it's THE DEVIL. such a clear worldview must be very comforting. :)

you can even read the whole thing for yourself here in the evangelical times, just to be fair. I'm sure it will be a fairly unbiased and honest evaluation of the material. ;)

UPDATE: I typed and formatted all of this myself. stepping through the video, writing down and describing every few seconds of video. just wanted to point out that I didn't copy this transcript from somewhere else, which is what Jen thought this morning when she asked me what I spent all night doing. this is what I was doing.


RB = Robert Beckman, Theologian
RL = Dr. Richard Land - President of the Southern Baptist Convention

RB: My journey is almost over. It's taken me back thousands of years, but the questions I've been asking matter today more than ever, and I'll tell you why.

(video clip of George W. Bush. audio byte of GWB saying "Freedom and Fear... are at war.")

RB: US President George W. Bush claims to live by the bible, and between 30 and 40% of the American Electorate are Evangelical Christians who believe that god wrote it.

Just before the presidential elections, Bush knows that if he rallies the religious hard-liners that didn't vote last time, it'll be 4 more years in the White House.

(audio byte of RB's car radio playing part of a sermon by Richard Land (RL): "If the Christians in America get right with God, God will bless America. If they don't, God's not gonna bless America.")

RB: I'm on my way to a baptist church in Georgia to meet a big time preacher who's been dubbed "Spiritual Advisor to the President". He's known Bush since 1988 and even wears Presidential Cuff-Links.

RB speaking to RL: What does the bible mean to George [W.] Bush?

RL to RB: I believe he believes it's God's word, and it's a source of guidance.

(video clip of RL speaking emphatically to his congregation: "God said it. That settles it. I believe it.")

RL to RB: The most important source of knowledge about Good and Evil, Right and Wrong... umm.. meaning and purpose for Human Life... umm.. that is uh.. available to human beings.

RL to congregation: I was asked the other day by a liberal uh.. if I had anything I would suggest the president had done differently, I said "yes, I would have flooded Iraq with American troops. Not 120,000... 500,000."

RB to RL: Is it right for the bible to impact Domestic and Foreign Policy?

RL to RB: Sure. Biblical Truth is Truth with a capital T... and if it's true on Sunday, it's true on Monday... it's true 24 hours a day, 7 days a week... and it should apply to every area of our lives.

RL to congregation: For a Christian to be involved in an armed conflict means that it must be authorized by the legitimate authority. I do not believe that a legitimate authority for the United States is the United Nations. Now, if they want to agree with us, great. But if they don't, (throws hands in the air and makes noise) EHH. I don't care.

RB to RL: Does reading the bible make you a better President?

RL to RB: Well, as a Christian, I believe it does. I would think it would make you a better person, a better husband, a better Senator, a better wife, a better father, a better mother, a better welder, a better lawyer uh... it'll make you a better human being.

RB to RL: On this journey, I've been looking at who wrote the bible, and I've come across theologians who say you don't have to take the New Testament literally.. because it was written decades after those events took place, so surely one needs to be a little bit more flexible...

RL cuts in on RB: I don't.. I.. I think surely not. umm.. it's not a question of intellect. It's not a question of scholarship. It's a question of Faith. umm.. most of the people that you're referring to come to the bible with what I call a Napoleonic Code... uh.. Assumption. In the Napoleonic Code, you're guilty until proven innocent. umm.. and I come to it with an English Common Law approach. You're innocent until proven guilty. It's God's word until you prove it isn't.

RB to RL: There are Theologians who argue that the biblical text was written thousands of years ago, is inaccurate, and can't be the basis of sound Domestic or International Policy. What do you say to that?

RL to RB: Rubbish. *smirk* *chuckles* You wanted a short answer, I'll give you a short answer. Rubbish. Dangerous Rubbish. When you believe the bible and you follow the bible, God blesses you and you grow. When you stand in judgment of scripture, that is a theology of death.

(video clip of Bush's victory with audio clip of Bush saying "I want to thank you all for your hard work...")

RB: 16 days later, the American Electorate gave George W. Bush a landslide victory. Many believe that preachers like Richard Land, and Bush's own very public relationship with the bible, won the day. It's been an earth shattering journey for me. From my roots, where whatever you do, you certainly never question the bible... first the so called Law of Moses turns out to be the work of many human hands... then I find much of the Old Testament was ruled by ancient politics as much as by Divine Insight. The New Testament too turns out to be a masterwork of spin. Written by people who were nowhere near the events they describe. All gathered together by powerful editors who made sure to keep out ideas they didn't like.

But my Mother always taught me: "Stay intelligent despite your education.", and what she meant by that was "use your experience to work out what's in front of you.", and if I apply that to this journey, Who Wrote the Bible? Well, I've learned that biblical authorship is messy, and it's messy because life is imperfect... and if we can find God in the imperfections of our lives, of my life, then maybe we can find God in the messiness of the text. Who Wrote the Bible? Well it's a complex question, and it takes some thinking through, and that tells me that to have Faith in the world today, is to ask questions and never have the wool pulled over your eyes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

update to the previous "yay religion" story.

a friend of mine had this to say... I couldn't help but share it.

<knix> largo, That nun story is just sad
<knix> I sure hope they got the demon >:F

I have tears in my eyes. :'P

Monday, June 20, 2005

and while we're at it... yay religion! :-D

read it and weep. :)

UPDATE: I'm moving this post back to the top because it kind of got lost in the flurry of other bullshit over the past 36 hours or so. in case anyone else wanted to chime in, or watch the mutual frustration ensue. ;P

and because PC keeps mentioning it.

I'm sure some people are probably wondering by now just what the fuck the "bobbi shirt" is. well, allow me to lay that mystery to rest as best I can.

back in 2000, I met John/Dragon while working out in California on contract work for what was VA Linux at the time (VA Software now, VA Research initially...) doing the front-end design for

in the spring of 2002, John had flown out to attend the Linux World Expo with a bunch of us who were at the time running the booth. PC drove up to attend, as it was in New York, and he was living in New Jersey at the time I believe. I'd known PC for a few years already at that point.

anyway... we ended up renting 2 hotel rooms in Hopatkong for whatever reasons that PC probably remembers better than I do... Kenny was with us, and my friend Bastien, who had flown over from England (he's actually French, but was living in England at the time).

so... John being his normal cocky self, had made the bet that nobody could hack his laptop, and to prove the bet, left it in our hotel room and went off to sleep in the other room. the combination of I think mostly PC and Bastiens skills, maybe Kenny's and probably not much of mine, I don't remember... but we got the laptop booted into single user mode, blah blah... we got access. so as a practical joke, (again, ask PC for the details, I think it was him) someone got the idea to set up his desktop to wait for like 15 minutes of use and then open up a porn video, fullscreen, playing, with sound etc.

this was the very video that was to become the start of a private in-joke that spread like wildfire around the LWCE convention floor, within our social circles.

you see, the video starred a beautiful girl named Bobbi who was, as she stated in the video, from Colorado and just turned 18.

the actual execution of the joke fell far far short of the infamy the video received... John had the lightning reflexes of a shaolin monk and managed to close the video before nary a few frames had hit the screen. this could have had something to do with his wife sitting right next to him... who knows. ;)

anyway... the now (in)famous opening line of the video is as follows:
"hi... my name is bobbi... I'm 18 years old... I'm from Colorado... and today.... I'm gonna get my ass fucked."

this was (for obvious reasons) shortened to a simple "hi, my name is bobbi..." which became an inside joke that would be spoken as a sort of greeting whenever we ran into each other... (person 1): "hi, my name is bobbi..." (person 2): *starts giggling uncontrollably* "I'm 18 years old..." (person 3): "I'm from colorado..." (person 4): "and today...." (person 5): (by this point everyone is laughing) "what the heck are you guys talking about?"

whereupon we'd have to usher the unsuspecting victim off to see the video and hence become a part of the inside joke. ;P

hi, my name is bobbi...

so, with that said... we decided to make a t-shirt for those of us who attended the expo to commemorate the event... but never got around to it for a number of reasons. the shirt still lives on as an inside joke, and something that most everyone who heard the joke still longs for.

so, without further ado... the design of the shirt:
bobbi t-shirt design

that's the best copy I have of it... I never actually made a hi-res or vector copy to send to a printer to have the shirt made.

one of these days maybe. I still know a few people who keep asking for one.

oh, and we can't forget this; the actual words that inspired a legend:
mp3 of hi, my name is bobbi...

(blame it on PC... he's the one that kept bringing it up. ;) heh blame it on John/Dragon too, he's the one who first showed us the video.)

just how much is really out there.

hubble ultra deep field thumbnail view

follow the top link to view the shot at full resolution (warning: it's 60mb. it's 6200x6200px)... and then do the following:
hold out your hand at arms length, up towards the sky, palm towards the sky, fingers out. now look at the amount of sky covered by your pinky fingernail. that is more than the area covered by that picture. and take a good look at just how much is in that picture.

start reading a little bit about the numbers of stars in the galaxies in just that picture alone, just the ones visible. then imagine that in every direction...

if you can even begin to grasp the sheer amount... maybe you might want to think about things like whether or not you really believe that out of all that... that we are the only life in the entire universe? there could be life all over the universe, right now. traveling around the stars... and we wouldn't know it because unless they were traveling exponentially faster than the speed of light, they wouldn't be able to get here or send us ANY type of signal that we would recieve for THOUSANDS, if not MILLIONS of years. some of what we are just now seeing out there is BILLIONS of years ago. the LIGHT is just now getting to us.

there is plenty in the universe to be amazed about, but don't let it stop you from pursuing the facts and understanding what is actually there. resting on fantasy and superstition isn't going to get us very far, to say the least.

what PC was looking for.

arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics - even if you win, you're still retarded.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

ascii pr0n.

in my IRC channel, sometimes the conversation turns less than intellectual. today's witty banter was between gresco (Geronimo P. from Argentina) and knix (Jimmy M. from California) about each other being gay or variations thereof.

some of the highlights:

* gresco kicks knix in da head.
* knix kills gresco's parents and burns them
* knix jerks off on gresco's face with his dead parents ashes under his foreskin
<knix> hahahha UBER pwnt.
<gresco> I know.
<gresco> of your dirty fantasies
<gresco> like a good Californian.
<gresco> go fuck your Mexican lawner
<knix> ok, done.
<knix> What now?
* gresco beats knix in the stomach.
<knix> Aww, that wasn't very kind
* knix rapes gresco in the ass and defiles his inerds
<gresco> I'm like a washing machine.
* gresco pulls knix teeths off.
<gresco> I'll be right back.
<gresco> knix: are you crying?
<gresco> knix: I won't apoligize motherfucker.
<gresco> apologize, whatever.
<knix> It's ok, you don't have to apologize for being a homosexual
<gresco> who cares
<gresco> knix: I hope Schwazennger runs over you in a big truck.

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<gresco> knix: and what does your father think about you being gay?
<gresco> isn't it the fathers day today?
<gresco> knix: how about telling him the truth as a gift?
<pinskia> yes
<knix> lol
<knix> gresco, At what age were you sexually molested by your father?
<pinskia> heh
<proctologiste> children, children

honestly, it's not always that bad. but considering that gresco doesn't exactly speak the greatest english, and knix is only 17... well... it makes for interestingly entertaining conversation at times.


interesting post on fascism, religion etc.

read a nice post over on Balloon Pirates blog...

as he said, here is a flash animation link for the impatient, however, I suggest you go and read the entire post... hell, read the whole site. he's a lot more focused and articulate than I am. :)

Friday, June 17, 2005


"[The Abrahamic religions] use faith, revelation, and authority rather than evidence in order to conclude what is true about the world. This is a recipe for disaster because when you rely upon faith, revelation, and authority, it is almost inevitable that your brand of faith, revelation, and authority will turn out to be different from that of other people and if you believe with sufficient passion as people in all three religions do, then that is a recipe for fighting."
-Richard Dawkins "Islam, Religion and Democracy" - KCRW radio, October 2, 2001

"To fill a world with religion or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns."
-Richard Dawkins - September 15, 2001 issue of The Guardian

Richard Dawkins

Friday, June 03, 2005

In response to Lisa's "the nature of man" post.

First off, talking about the nature of man using the words "good" and "evil" shows a lack of understanding of the subject matter. While I VERY GENERALLY agree with what you're saying, I feel that some clarification is in order.

Define "evil" here? Rape? Murder? Define those acts? Simply having a shitty attitude is not "evil". Not helping out someone who is drowning is not "evil"... apathetic or cowardly to a criminally negligent extent... sure... but EVIL? Hardly.

The nature of man is self service. Man wants first and foremost what is best for him. By nature man wants multiple sexual partners, anything he sees that he wants, etc etc. It is social constructs such as monogamous relationships and property laws, along with their consequences that make him not follow these urges.

People in the US and most "civilized" cultures would say that cannibalism is evil... but we know that it has been done by "civilized" people in extreme conditions... shipwreck victims adrift at sea... frontiersmen lost in the mountains... plane crash victims in remote areas...

Were these people evil? No. They were following the laws of nature and survival.

Nature is not a friendly place. It is survival of the fittest. Animals kill and eat other animals to survive... they aren't evil for this... they are simply surviving... and as you would probably put it... following the obvious will of god for creating them that way.

We really do have free will... and just because some people truly have no conscience in the sense that they don't respect the lives or property of others... this doesn't make them EVIL... the idea of EVIL is a concept created as part of religious fairytales... black and white... good and evil... and to start categorizing the real world in such a binary manner is simply WRONG.

I do feel that man is by nature selfish... and that that selfish nature is destructive to the world we live in. Generally given the option to serve ones self without the possibility of serious repurcussions, man would do so most of the time... mind you, not all of the time... but most.

This is what has led to things such as law and religion... to setup consequences... both in the material and the spiritual realm... a sort of double fisted approach to reign in the consciousness of the people. If you do something wrong, either you're going to get caught, and get put in jail, killed, have your hands cut off... etc... or even if you don't get caught... there's always the religious approach that states that you're still going to pay for it. God will get you and you'll go to hell etc.

It's easier to just say that people are evil than to understand that we are just animals... capable of free thought and capable of every deed that you can find anywhere throughout the animal kingdom. Just because we've evolved this much, doesn't mean we don't still have a lot of those animal aspects still. We are still predators... forward facing eyes... canines and molars for both ripping and tearing meat etc... and for eating vegetables and such as the omnivores we are.

Man has labeled certain actions "evil" to give them a social stigma... because they are unpleasant and/or undesirable (to say the least in some cases). But in the end, that label is just an arbitrary construct created by man.

Given that in the end there is no such thing as good or evil in some spiritual battle over the fate of mankind, but simply us as humans, with free will... doing what animals have done since the beginning of life on earth... live and breed... by whatever means necessary... your imaginary god simply doesn't figure into the real world happenings. It's nothing more than nature... the way it was long before mankind... and if we are too stupid to avoid our own destruction through nuclear war... or simply from a meteor wiping out around 84% of life on earth AGAIN... (yes, there have been several mass extinctions on earth, and the one where the dinosaurs died was not the worst)... life will go on as it has in the past.

I should probably put together a list of reading material to familiarize you with some of the topics that would give a better insight into the concepts above. I know that some of this is culled from my Cultural Anthropology studies in college... but mostly from a wide variety of sources.
that one covers a lot of the concepts I've tried to convey here in greater depth etc.

Let's boil it right on down. Man is just another animal. An animals primary biological function is to survive and breed. Looking out for the best interests of others is of secondary importance. While it is "admirable" for people to do such, it is only perceived as such because man has labeled it so. This is simply an extension of organisms living in groups giving up some amount of freedom in order to gain the safety of numbers found in a group. In such a group, it is undesirable for one of it's members to disregard the well being of the group in some manner for it's own benefit. Any such action, while possibly bad for the group in part or as a whole, is not evil... but simply the way of nature and unfortunate for the weaker party on the receiving end.

That's life. Survival of the fittest.

Sorry dear, real life isn't a fairytale and there's no man in the clouds to make it all better.