Monthly Archives: November 2018

good reasons to hate Delaware

https://newrepublic.com/article/61902/rogue-state
They’re a rogue state.

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http://web.archive.org/web/20141019033209/https://www.eccu.org/resources/advisorypanel/2013/surveyreports20

https://holysoup.com/the-shocking-truth-of-church-budgets/
This study says 83% of church funding doesn’t go to charity but to administrative expenses. I haven’t looked at it closely, but I am not surprised. This is why I think there need to be taxes, because private charity just dissent work.

Johan Harri

I love this quote by Jiddu Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” I found it because of this podcast by Johan Harri:

(Apparently Johan has edited his own wikipedia article and been accused of plagiarism though his ideas seem to be intuitively true and justify democratic socialism as a humanizing solution nicely.)

How star trek evolved toward pacifism in the Vietnam war

https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/62/franklin62art.html

A good read. It’s enlightening to see someone analyze the air dates to provide more context to some of my favorite episodes. Still, I thought “the Omega War” was pretty stupid with it’s extreme parallel evolution, and that really broke the 4th wall for me.

I wish Gene Rodenberry were still alive and writing. I’d love to hear his take on our modern problems, just as I’d love to have heard Hitchens have a field day with the Christians who wanted to massively retaliate against the Sengalese islanders who killed their missionary last week.

The “Little War” episode which focused on maintaining a balance of power was pretty inconclusive and I honestly wasn’t sure what to think of it. (I actually thought Kirk had decided at the end to leave the planet without giving them the flintlocks.)

 

It never occurred to me that “City on the Edge of Tomorrow” was supposed to be commentary on the Vietnam War, and I thought instead that it was commentary on WW2. Of them all it was my favorite episode, I loved the tragic drama, and how Kirk had to make a hard ethical choice and choose the ends over the means.

I also wasn’t aware of how much of the war wouldn’t have been familiar to Gene Roddenberry when the series began. So much of the war is obvious to me now, but back then no one knew much and there definitely wasn’t as much information or the internet. I had sort of thought the intellectuals would have knpwn netter, but it probably did take a long while for information and the truth to trickle back to America.

 

I would have liked to have seen Gene Roddenberry have a discussion with Christopher Hitchens on whether it made sense to invade Iraq, and to keep occupying it for 20 or more years. I also think “Day of the Dove”, should have been included on the list.

 

I get the impression Star Trek opposed war, and believed in self-defense and self-determination, and struggled with interventionalism. It did seem to oppose American exceptionalism as a form of arrogance like in that episode where Kirk and another Klingon commander were stopped from starting an interplanetary war by indigenous people they had thought were more primitive than them. Star trek tends to say leave the people alone until they’re ready to engage with you: That’s the idea of the Prime Directive. It’s the intuition pump Star Trek has popularized.

Still, religion based terrorism and refugees have changed the world and challenged Cold War era political doctrines. I wonder what Gene would say if he had lived through 9/11? Betrnard Russel sorta stopped being a total pacifist in the face of the Nazis, as Hitchens did in the face of “theocratic fascists” (which often meant non-secularists.) In all the Star Trek episodes that dealt with WW2, they just coincidentally intevened on the side of the allies. So much for that prime directive: clearly Gene hadn’t figured out a short algorithum with a better ethical calculus, and had to include unwritten exceptions to his rules.

Falun Gong is another cult that refuses medicine

View at Medium.com

Link here. Back in the day I sided with them on the grounds of religious freedom, and because the CCP was harvesting their organs and ruthlessly trying to stamp them out. I didn’t have a perfectly consistent position because I always made exceptions that favoured Christianity.  Let’s just agree that both sides are bad. Continue reading Falun Gong is another cult that refuses medicine

Debate topic: How can we stop global warming?

A new UN Climate Report came out today which warns of hundreds of millions of lives are at stake if temperatures rise by 2.7 degrees by 2040 (which they will if emissions remain at their present levels.) How can we make fighting carbon emissions a global commitment?
The political challenges are enormous, and if history has been any indicator, then free market solutions will not be enough to reverse generations of past neglect to the atmosphere. In fact, every atom in the free market will resist change because it’ll hurt his own short term-profit. Unless actors can drastically change their values, then there will need to be revolutionary thinking at a systematic level.
Some ideas: We have to increase our efficiency, and lower our energy consumption, or cutting carbon emissions won’t happen. Old power plants need to be shut down, and every business needs to start thinking about how to reduce its carbon footprint. 1st world cities need to make laws that require that all new housing developments have solar roofs, or be powered by renewables. New laws should mandate new power lines, and more efficient power sharing. There need to be massive investments in renewable energy plants, and we may need some new nuclear power as a stop-gap measure.
Second question: if we succeed, then what will be the unintended consequences that we must prepare for, such as in the Middle East when they can’t export much oil anymore?
(And before any boring “global warming skeptics” reply, I’d like to ask everyone to avoid arguing about  for the sake of better arguments to be had. If you still don’t believe global warming is occurring in your hometown in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence and the historical record, then at this point you’re no better than a Flat Earther. Or a kid from the 70’s. But most kids accept global warming now, so just find just find another kid to argue with and get schooled.)

The Wonder of Guadalupe

So a family friend retired and moved to a 3rd world country to be a missionary. Ten years later she fainted while walking and quickly died. She was already kind of sick and prone to fainting, but she refused to see a doctor because she thought she could pray it away. Before she died she sent me this- the wonder of Guadalupe by Francis Johnston.

She wanted me to give out flyers to my family too. And to give the book to her half brother after I read it, even though he is already a Catholic pharmacist and he flew to the Philippines for her funeral. Btw I barely even know her, I haven’t talked to her in six or 10 years, so it was weird getting this. Catholics always do this shit.

Pg 51 had testimony of a dead man rising in the 1500s due to a Mexican group’s prayers after being shot through the neck with an arrow. There is also a part where a cathedral is slowly being flooded which could destroy a relic, a friar prays to god, and the water slowly exceeds which is a miracle.

Reply:

As someone living in Latin America, Virgin of Guadalupe is one of my favorite hoaxes in history.

95% of it is mass hysteria, fabricated in folk process and then assimilated by the Church for its strategic value. Needless to say the Vatican’s 2 greatest clients nowadays are Latin America and Sub-saharian Africa. They go after the poorest and dumbest, for they are they easiest to get convinced by bullshit and the most likely to breed irresponsibly, thereby passing the virus down generations more effectively.

liberty is bleeding

Catholic miracles are really shitty and unspectacular. Look, I have as much proof the statue of liberty bled blood as you do that your statue is a message from God.

bleeding-lain-statue-gif

Miracles are a dime a dozen these days.

Thought leaders

This kind of manipulation using well-known marketing techniques is annoying. It’s why I hate Jordan Peterson and am often suspicious of Sam Harris. A good trick when you’re done listening to a presentation is to remove the distractions and just look at the words that were said and ask yourself precisely what new insights you learned that you didn’t know before?

I love the tag-team of comments that observed:

“Average Baptist Sermon: a ted talk is pretty much a religious sermon in our modern world.”