Monday, May 16, 2016

It's Called What? Human Delta Effects...

What is in a name? When a name cares with it a bunch of negative baggage, is it better to live with the name that is likely recognized, or to move on to a new, better name?

We, the beautiful too many... Greg Brown perhaps...

As you likely know, I have become an atheist, yet I do not like the name. I do not like to be against anything, and in fact, I, the singular being, do not care what you actually believe, but only about what is true. You can believe what ever shit you want, as long as you do not try to preach what is wrong.

So how can I say that there is no god? Well, if we want to debate this at the science level of proof, what evidence is there for a god? None, only belief and stories, feelings, and suggestion. Lack of evidence is not proof of non existence, but it is a good indication. So when there is actual proof, I may believe, but until there is proof, I will not believe; and therefore I live god free. Realists, god free or godfree is a much better name that atheist.

Now on to the other big misnomer that is causing problems, "Climate change". Climates are always changing, but it is man's impact on climate that is of concern, and not just man's impact, but man's negative impact on living conditions, both now and for the future. We are drying out the surface of Alberta, south of fifty four degrees, and in the Peace district. This makes farming and living better with respect to available land, but we are draining off fossil water, and as a result interrupting the interior water cycle, that is summer evaporation and thunder storm rainfall. That is what crops and gardens need, rain. That is the real problem, not warmer temperatures.

But then the Co2 goes up, causing ocean acidification. That kills of lots of thing, but most importantly plankton, and other autotrophs that use sunlight to fix carbon, and lower Co2. The solar energy goes to heat water now, which make the problem worse. Climate is fragile, and varying; we humans have pusher climate over the knife edge, and the result will not be pleasant. Cooling is typically the result of particles in the atmosphere, and we are much more effective at cleaning the air out then reducing Co2. Old coal fired and wood smoke produced both articles(cooling) and Co2(warming) effects in the atmosphere. Oh well, I am old now. It will be the young's problem, even if it is our fault. Oh well. But the problem is made worse by the name. Rather than climate change we should call it some more descriptive like man's impact on climate, or the delta effect on climate. I have not yet found a good man made name yet. Oh well.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fort McMurry, Be aware of Sham Aid Collectors.

I was getting a bit of gas yesterday, and a young fellow with a home made sign came up collecting for "Fort McMurry fire victums." I have seen this kid around, always collecting for something. Do you really expect me to believe this kid is that big into charity?

Just like the fake Salvation army Christmas stands.

Or the funding business, that fund charities, and pay their people well. How is one to decide what is legitimate?

Or the food bank collection box that get emptied out and put back on the shelf. I have seen that happen in two separate grocery stores. Oh well.

Now I am not saying to not give, but do so through recognized charities. All that is given is not much in the total picture, and it is mainly so that the giver feels better about having done something anyway. Much of the given is siphoned off as cost of support anyway. There are many parasite floating around all disasters. All you need to do is know a few of them to realize this. Oh well, now I am retired and no longer do any work for a few insurance companies.  

But what do I know?

Socrates pegged it

 “God commands it.” makes any evil act a positive.

Socrates got many things right. One was "man does not do wrong things against his will" or the like. There are so many similar quotes that finding the best is just an effort. It is all about always doing good, not just thinking that we are doing good.

Plato's account of the trial, 28a:   he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong — acting the part of a good man or a bad.

So if someone tells  us to do something, and also represents god, and we believe in god, we are likely to do it. God was likely created to control the masses. Created by evil or good people, but either way it was for control. It is still being used for control today. By telling someone it is good to follow the direction of god and god directs what we know to be evil behavior, which part is wrong? this is the two negatives making a positive, a bit of math, again. It is obvious once we eliminate the god, that both are negative. Both the doing and believing are just wrong. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Self Evident

Somethings are just self evident.... after we recognize them or articulate the concept. Every new generation must learn the same old lessons...  well duh, we start out knowing nothing and need to learn everything. And there is the problem. Some thing we were taught are just wrong. Religions. And once we take a good look we realize this... self evident truth. Duh. Now what?

There is an old saying that before enlightenment the monk chops wood and draws water. And after enlightenment the monk chops wood and draws water. Nothing physically is different after the realization... the change of internal knowledge. So what does one do with this new self evident knowledge. Some try to spread the new knowledge, some try to understand the conversion process to help lead other across divide, some try to create and new religion or a way of thinking, of belief so that our automatic mental processes can be consistent, and some continue on, in ways that are just as before. Making progress is not assured, sometimes we need to clean our own thinking first. "Is the vessel we put this new knowledge into clean?" (after Epictetus.)

Some people think it is abuse to teach children or to indoctrinate children into religions. But the issue is not that simple, for along with the false, there is considerable truth. Society, social aspects of community, virtues of good character and good behavior also frequently taught along with religion. What is needed is religious behavior without the god stuff and the religion. Everything should be questioned, and tested, and only that which can be proven true or can be shown as self evident should be passed on to the next generation. Self evident must be logical, and should always be shown to be true. But wait, the Stoics said that virtue is the only good because virtue is always good, that is even the definition of virtue, and yet human virtues stop being virtues if carried to extremes. Even charity can go to far, for example, parents that give away to the point of being poor, rather than look after their own children. Giving to churches has long been a problem for some families, where one person gives more than her own income. It is no better to give to a church than to be a gambler or drug addict, or a drunk. These are still compulsions, not rational behaviors. (Brain Lock... may the JM Schwartz be with you.) 

Aristotle said that true virtue lies between two opposites, or extremes, which lie to far beyond the center and become vices. So after examining the virtues, we must choose which virtues we will honor or follow. There are too many, so we pick, our body picks, it is chosen for us by our genes, our epic-genetics, our environment,... we have so little control... and we end up what we are... humans.

We are here, at this juncture, due to the choices/decisions/indecision/errors of our ancestors, we the too many, in an overpopulated world. Overpopulation occurs at the point that there are no shortages of people, but there are shortages of resources, including gainful employment. I was just in Northern Saskatchewan for a few days at a planting, where a 90 year old was returned to the the earth. Time travel into the pre-internet world is possible. There you can really see the overpopulation. Crowds, all on the government teats and we were a minority. Oh well, it is a bit of history gone.

Impermanence, non-self, suffering, illusions, delusions, expectations, no gods and death is final. All self evident concepts, once our mind lite on those ideas, but to get the mind to lite is a difficult issue. Oh well, how much will it all matter in a few years? 



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ego driven assholes

We live in a world of ignorance and assholes; that is the only way I can describe it. Assholes, in this case think that there opinions are right and that there opinions matter to me. Ignorant because they do not know the reasons for things, and cannot know the reasons; they have never been told, let alone shutting down there ego long enough to hear and understand the logic.

In order to get in or out of my car, I need to open the door fully. So in the food store parking lot, where the parking spaces are painted quite small, I always park corner wise on two spaces beyond the used portion. It is the only way to be sure of being able to open the door when I return. This is prudent, for in the past, I have been blocked out of my car in that lot, so it is prudent to do this two space parking. This is a simple work around the ignorant and aggressive egos. For some reason, people try to park between the lines, and it is impossible to open the doors it you do. They think it is "right", but struggle to get in and out of their cars. Oh well. They seem to think others should struggle when there is a simple work around.

Parking spaces are not regulated in reasonable size, only in number. The required amount of spaces or retail assumes the store will be busy, and that is seldom the case. For this reason the spaces are too small, as the designer has to get so many onto the lot space. It has nothing to do with the function of the parking space. Oh well, we comply with the regulation.

Well yesterday, some bitch left a note on my windshield, calling me a dink for parking that way. I am reminded of Marcus Aurelius 2.1. let me paraphrase, "the world is full of ignorant and ego driven assholes."

Buddha also had something to say about those kinds of people, let me paraphrase that one for you; walk away from the negative people, ignore them for they are a vexation on the spirit. Stick with the positive people who are pleasant to be around.

But what do I know?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Deconstruct Religion

After we separate our beliefs from our knowledge, we can deconstruct religion. We can separate into five heaps at least; organization growth, fanatic/supernatural, story/myth, desirable virtues/characteristics, desirable behaviors/concepts. Little else remains. The first heap is to provide money and growth to the organization.  Two of those heaps have no real value, and two are important to civilization. These form the foundation of society, without these there would be continual strife.

Except for thieves who steal pensions like this guy... ...   If this is permitted, and not reversed, all "company pensions" are at risk. Now what? Buy the company, borrow money against it, take the money out of the company and pension plan, and walk away leaving the corpse of the company circling the drain. 

Anyway, in a general way Seligman found that that all the virtues/characteristics could be grouped into 6 categorizes: Courage, Justice, Temperance, Wisdom, Humanity, and Transcendence. Even philosophy falls in transcendence, but Seligman seems to ignore that. Oh well. Seligman did not concern himself with the recommended behaviors, and that is where the big difference between the various religions is at. Seligman is considered to be the father of Positive Psychology profession, and has blind spots to the drawbacks; any movement has some.

So now that the desired virtues/characteristics are established we have something to work toward. The behaviors become consistent with the virtues; well sort of, but there is conflicts, and choices. In many cases the choices become any one of many suitable options. There is plenty of space between "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others" and "Whatever you would that others should do to you, do you even so to them". The negative version is more correct; for there is also much space between what we like and do not like. Oh well, life goes on and I remain godfree. What do I know anyway?


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Separation of Faith and Knowledge

Separation of church and state is a fine thing, but more important is Separation of faith and knowledge. Here is a fine example of not doing that.
Even the title is wrong, it should be believing not knowing. Science and evidence is the method of separation of these two.

Absence of evidence is weak evidence of not existence of things like god; enough absence of evidence is must raise doubts, and even more should move us from unable to prove false to probable true range. Oh well, the placebo effect is still a real effect.

Trust of science is something that some of us have, and others do not. Yes, there is wrong science, but most of the time there is also early doubt, or obvious anecdotal condition. Wrong is also different from fraud as in the case of Ansel Keys, and some others. But there is a major step between belief and knowledge, and that must be larger than the placebo effect. You can test one placebo against the other, and pick the best placebo. That is the double blind standard. Unless you can show a real effect, what have you got? The better placebo. Oh well, fun was had by all, dollars turned, and someone made a bit of money.

But what do I know?