Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brand New Day

No more serious talk for a day. Today, approach the day with a sense of wonder, of the wide eyed amazement of a 5 year old.

Everything is new, its a brand new day. Everything is rocket ships and blast offs. I actually have the Radio Flyer Rocket ship shown above. Its in my apartment, to remind me just such occasions.

What can you see for the first time today?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Post Pattern Makers

So in my post about the 'pattern makers'. what I was trying to get at is that humans try and find some pattern and subsequent explanation for the the things they see. In this case, what appears to be a face viewed from a certain angle on the surface of Mars. How could such a thing come into being on it's own, is the argument.

Lots and lots of arguments to discuss here. (What follows are thoughts about this kind of logic, but the thoughts are not ordered, just crap I think about. So the logic itself is random.)

1) Its only a face because humans are programmed to 'see' that pattern, along with many others. LOTS of patterns appear on celestial bodies, many of them don't fit our recognition pattern so therefore are ignored.

2) The idea that there are some astronomical (no pun intended) odds of it appearing on its own is a version of the gamblers fallacy. Post- event odds making is at work here.

Other logical fallacies that grind my beans:

1) You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. Well, I DO play the lottery, and I also expose myself to lightning strikes, but what I don't understand is why people cross these two together. All that they have in common is that someone has worked out the math on both, based on what they felt was the appropriate criteria.

My exposure to lightning is probably a LOT higher than many people, so my odds are probably a LOT higher. On the other side, since I do play the lottery, I understand the odds, but they are astronomically higher than someone who doesn't play. Someone does win eventually. Playing the same numbers is no greater guarantee of success, and in fact studies of the numbers that do come up shows that the pattern is much more random than the people who CHOOSE their numbers would account for. Most people choose low numbers coinciding with DATES (Birthdays, anniversaries, whatever) which are always low numbers, and usually evenly distributed. In contrast. there have been multiple instances of FOUR of the SIX numbers appearing in successive drawings. What are the odds of that happening? HA. STOP post -pattern making. The drawing of the numbers this week doesn't have any knowledge of last week.

2) The theory of evolution has been postulated false by some creationist with this analogy. Life starting the way Darwin describes it is an unlikely as a tornado blowing through a junkyard and creating a 747. Its called Hoyles Fallacy.

GACK. I hate this one on so many levels. First, equating a complex or simple chemical process to a purely mechanical one has so many holes I can't even begin to wade through it. Second, the 'pattern' of a 747 is recognizable to humans, not nature. Third, you can't equate a single short term event to a long term process. "No biologist imagines that complex structures arise in a single step". It needs INFINITE amounts of chances, which it has, through millions of years and hundreds of thousands of specimens. Fourth, an analogy is not a PROOF, nor an invalidation of a proof. To wit, the analogy of arguing in FAVOR of evolution, using the Line Analogy is just that: its an attempt to 'bridge' a gap in our understanding, not explain or prove the actual process. Lastly, and most importantly we must always remember that proving or disproving any theory of evolution or natural selection has nothing to do with proving or disproving intelligent design. We need to stop leaping and linking those unrelated arguments and proofs. One negation does not promote the other, nor does one's proof promote or negate the other.

OK, so I have diverged and gone kinda all over the Logical spectrum today. Suffice to say that all the Borels Laws you want to muster up, all the odds makers and pattern makers and seekers of reasons why we exist, the fact is WE DO. HA. Stop post- pattern making.

Lastly, I leave you with this quote, concerning probability out of natural outcomes: "If all possible outcomes of a natural process are highly improbable, then a highly improbable outcome is certain."

(Don't get me started on the lady who sold a piece of toast with Jesus' face on it. Fore more fun with fallacies and logic, read Predictably Irrational, or Sway.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The World is Black

The world is black and white.

You either believe god created the world, or you believe in evolution, right?

Some folks (religious and not) are fond of arguing against evolution. But even if they could 'prove it' false, it gives no further evidence to the claim that god created the world. This is faulty logic: that proving one thing is false automatically proves the other is true: if NOT A, THEN B.

This is a false dichotomy. A dividing of an idea into two opposing sides and assuming they are incompatible.

We do this a lot, humans. We take a complex idea and boil it down to choice of either 'this' Or 'that'.

I am all for exploring the existence of a higher power; as humans, we cant help it. I am all for exploring the theory of evolution; to me the theory makes sense, but its not without its problems. I do insist that we keep the two separate topics, with their own merits.

Next topic, but I plan on coming back to this and discussing further.... Look for an update.
So here's a question for you. I read a billboard the other day, advertising nothing. No logos, no tag lines, no phone numbers, no offers. Nothing. Here it is.

THINK! Its not illegal....... YET.

So, black and white world, is this poster of billboard a Conservative, or a Liberal?

I could argue that the author is a conservative, and is trying to convey the message that Government is too far reaching, and limiting our civil rights, creating too many laws, etc.

I could that the author is a liberal, and warning of BIG BROTHER mentality, of an over-reaching current of restrictive compliance, of 'tea party' yes-man ideals.

But then, I would be busy labeling, and placing my own judgment based on my beliefs and ideals about the world in general.

And I don't like to do that..............

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Whew. I don't have the years, but I've got the mileage of that truck.

Been busy. With work stuff mostly. Transitions transitions. Life changes, things come and go.
At my current company for 21 years, and soon it will be no more.

Me? I've been great. I have multiple opportunities with several options coming my way.

Don't know for sure where I'll land. Could be, somewhere north, like Madison. Could be somewhere south, like Paddock Lake, WI. Big Corp America kinda feels the same all over. So maybe this time, I pick the one that gives me the most time and freedom. Screw the money, what do I need it for?

Time, Miles. You can't buy em back.

Some days when I am on a conference call, and enduring yet again someone talking more than they are listening, or I am in a marketing meeting where we are trying to figure out what shade of gold to spray paint our turds this week, I think of this quote from Ed Abbey. That's him, above in the photo.

The only truly tragic part of this quote is that he was wrong about one thing: he didn't out-live them, he died way too soon at the age of 62. But it sure as hell didn't mean he didn't LIVE.

Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am-a reluctant enthusiast… a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.”

-Edward Abbey