Thursday, April 23, 2009

Liabilities are a curse, assets are blessings. The unknown is either an asset or a liability, but is uncontrollable either way. Most of the world is unknown to an individual. Collectively we have a lot of information that can be converted to assets, but require a trusted source. Confidence in the source is no different from faith, so essentially one needs faith to be blessed, but the same is true of curses. Too often it turns out to be just another scam. 10 handy "end of the world" dates (Wired)
TV sends the message that Christians are nutters (

Scientific vs Creationist Timeline
Afghan Rape Law
A blinding stroke of absolute stupidity: Creationist Science Fair
How to Choose Happiness: Combat 5 Decision-Making Biases
Schizophrenic Brains Not Fooled by Optical Illusion
Abstinence: if the church can't do it, how can they promote it? Too Many People on Earth
Neurological Roots of Compassion Run Deep

Saturday, April 04, 2009

How to be Unremarkable:

Strife exists. To respond with strife creates more strife, one needs an authority to grant & bestow peace, so one creates an authority from a known model (like a parent or lover), who can say "it's ok" and make it stick. If the model creates strife, it's the wrong model.

To say that George Bush should be accountable for the model he created is an understatement, but also creates strife. What to do? Accountability also reduces strife.

Strife exists within ones self. it's the perception of inequality. So the starting point is that everything is already and always equal. This takes a certain amount of detachment, or at least carefully practiced cat-like disintrest.

A prince named Arjuna was about to go to war against the kingdom next door, but he knew them and was mixed up about his motives because while some of the stuff they did was wrong, some was good. So the gods said "don't worry, be happy, you have a job. Do it & be famous, laugh & dance" etc. ... since he'd recognized the gods as authorities, he took their word as forgiveness and went to war with a clean heart. But also because he was locked in bondage to his social position by being a prince. If he'd been a homeless guy like Joe, he could have said "screw this" & nobody would have missed him, he would have been drinking coffee equanimously in Fresno while the dogs of war chewed on peoples entrails, and 1000 fighting elephants of Chandragupta waded through fields of gore.

Then: returned soldiers with stripes, medals, and scars walk by & see Joe w/ his feet up. They're offended because he ignores their sacrifice. Joe says "Hail noble warriors: don't be iniquitous". They resent missionaries however, are not enlightened, & prefer inequity because it pays better. Not a problem though: some girls walk by & see the soldiers who use the occasion to contrast themselves against unwashed Joe, they score, the shadow of death moves on, & Joe finishes his coffee in peace. The soldiers spend the next 18 years paying child support while their kids drink coffee in Fresno. Sometimes aspirations of greatness are overrated.

Psychic medium, healer (
Indefensible Religious Advice (atheistmissionary)
"The End of Christian America" (yawn) how about "tempest in a teapot"