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Old Blog Posts September 2, 2007

Subject The word of the day is Mytheme
Posted Date: September 2, 2007 – Sunday – 12:45 PM
“The uploads replicate and develop relationships. Most of them go very bad. You sometimes get an entire virtual planet of four billion people devoted to building prayer wheels in an attempt at a denial of service attack on God.”
Newton’s Wake, by Ken MacLeod
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Subject Where’s My Money?
Posted Date: September 1, 2007 – Saturday – 5:17 PM
One of my favorite Family Guy moments:

There’s this great Sopranos episode that could have inspired this, where Chris beats up his AA advisor over a gambling debt.

Or maybe the paperboy in Better Off Dead, “I want my two dollars!”
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Subject Landover Baptist Bible Punishment Quiz
Posted Date: August 28, 2007 – Tuesday – 7:21 AM
Be the first to take this awesome quiz. The correct answers are here, supported by scriptural references.


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Subject Happy Happy Fun Fun Day! See ya, Alberto!
Posted Date: August 27, 2007 – Monday – 3:16 PM
Hurrah! Alberto Gonzalez announced his resignation today, effective Sept. 17th. Anybody who has read my blog has seen his name on here a number of times, never in a good light. See the controversies section on Wikipedia for a good summary.

This is a good day for America. And in that spirit, I’ll offer up some happy happy fun fun links.

Calvin on war. I love Calvin and Hobbes.

Weird Archie Comic. Did you know that Betty was a young earth creationist?

I HAET U SO HARD. LOLcats are still hot, check out this great flowchart.

Geeks love flowcharts. Here’s another.

The Mandelbrot Set on acid. Really cool fractal art. And here’s a great video intro to this sort of stuff.

Mac, the Satanic OS. In some ways, this page captures the essence of comment boards. You’ve got some guy’s crazy rant, a couple of half-connected comments, and then a poster at the bottom with a smart assed comment. I always imagine a pause before the laughter; like the beat Trey and Matt perfected in South Park. Good stuff.
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Subject UFO Haiti
Posted Date: August 23, 2007 – Thursday – 3:52 PM
This is so awesome! I love this stuff. The video got posted on youtube, and was picked up by digg and other blogging and social networking sites. Lots of viral excitement and plenty of overexcited people.

Never mind little green men, but it’s quite possible our government has floating planes like this. But, turns out that it’s a hoax.

I love the way the bloggosphere went through a memetic spasm. Blogs and comments: Is it real, or is it not? Nope, it’s probably CG. Where are the eyewitnesses? evidence, theory, research, heuristics, observation, refinement, etc. etc.

I see these same sort of memetic wars on Wikipedia. Not just hoaxes or mystical philosophies like these, but memes of various sorts vying for replication. In a world of vastly expanding networks, judging the value and accuracy of disparate, biased and contradictory information is going to become more and more important.

The sort of analytical methods now necessary to do scientific work will soon be necessary for even basic employment. 10 years ago you didn’t need to know much about computers to get a desk job, now it’s an absolute requirement. What skills will we need 10 years from now?

We will certainly need the ability to judge and filter information based on advanced heuristic scoring. I’m sure some of it can be automated; in fact, we might soon be “teaching” software instead of “building” software. But still, PLBKAC; we’re going to have to learn.

As part of this, somehow we’re going to have to deal with and utilize emergent phenomenon.

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Subject Happy Belated Birthday, Habeas Corpus! Or, How I Learned to Start Worrying and Love the ACLU
Posted Date: June 19, 2007 – Tuesday – 6:06 AM
June 15th marks the 792nd anniversary of the birth of Habeaus Corpus in one of the civil rights first triumphs, the Magna Carte. In a fit of reverence for the ideas of a bunch of dead white guys who were in charge, and a deep sense of disgust about the ideas of certain living white guys now in charge, I’ve gone and done it. Signed up, I’m now a official card-carrying member of the ACLU. Conservative friends, take your pound of flesh. Not literally, please. I swear to become a member of the NRA to make up for this.

I must admit, I’m uncomfortable with many of the ACLU’s positions, especially those that support civil rights on a secondary basis at best. But they are, so sadly, one of the last institutions that strongly recognizes the incredible importance of habeaus corpus and due process of law.

Some platform stances seem to go against the basic concept of equal rights for everyone, like the stance for Affirmative Action. This is really is a movement to give special rights to people to adjust for crimes committed against them and/or their ancestors. While I fully aknowledge racial crimes and the injustice that arises from them, I reject the very concept of “special rights” as anthema to “civil rights”, which requires the equality of all people under the law. Not that I have all the answers here; but there should at least be some debate and dialogue on this issue. Can we find more creative solution than “reverse racism”?

I agree with their stance on reproductive rights, but I believe we need to take a second look at abortion, and the various concepts of family that are separate from biological reproduction. Both of these issues are hot button topics that are probably not nearly as important as those involved in the Culture War seem to to think. On either side. Emphasizing basic human rights for everyone will do more good for the LGBT coalition AND for those that take a literal approach to scripture.

I would like to see more protection for all children as well, as birth control should become more PROACTIVE, not REACTIVE. Let’s face it, abortion is a piss poor and brutal form of birth control. Pill, anyone? But also, what happens to a BORN child should be even more important than that what happens to a cell that has only divided 100 times. Granted, this is a slippery slope, but denying any difference between life and the “potential for” life is wrong. There is a biological and moral compromise here, whether we can see it or not.

The importance of protecting children and mothers from abusive culture and families should be a higher priority for the ACLU, and those who prey on them should be judged to fullest extent of the law. Religion or political affiliation can be no excuse for sexism and abuse…men and women should have the same rights.

Their basic stance on privacy is laudable, especially from a Constitutional point of view. However, I do see a need for further dialogue due to technology driven problems and opportunities. Nevertheless, we need organizations like the ACLU to at least stem the tide of “one-way glass” and the nanny state, so I fully support them here.

All this to say, the reason I join the ACLU is simple. Most of their cases related directly to privacy, the First Amendment, equal protection under the law, and due process, including habeaus corpus. The Patriot Act, the Military Commision Act of 2006, warrantless searches and wiretapping, and various other incredibly chilling acts have lead me to this basic belief; we need organizations like the ACLU, and more of them!

Consider this a small start to the neocon-theocracy backlash, ladies and gentlemen. Or maybe not; perhaps moral people on both sides of the line can find common goals and acceptable compromises; but I have my doubts.
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Subject Sir, spare some change for a database dude?
Posted Date: June 1, 2007 – Friday – 11:57 AM
Great. My company just went belly up. As of today I don’t have a job. Feels like 2000 all over again. What a hassle!

I loved the company, I loved the people I was working with, and I loved my job there. I am totally bummed.

Now I have to find another job. And go on unemployment. And figure out if I can still do this Vegas vacation. And if I don’t find a job, I have to find medical insurance.

Drat and bother.

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Subject Fascist Fries and Last Episodes
Posted Date: May 25, 2007 – Friday – 1:46 AM
Interesting story. It’s official, we’ve scared ourselves silly! Now every petty rent-a-cop thinks they are top dog, and that they have the right to harass you for no good reason.

In other news, the Season 3 finale of Lost was AWESOME! I almost gave up on this show, but they changed writers just in time. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil it for those who didn’t get a chance to see it. Can’t wait for next season.

The season finale of Heroes…not so hot. Not bad, just rather anti-climactic and kinda questionable. Here’s hoping Season 2 doesn’t suck!

I have to wait until next week for the last House M.D. this season. Oh well….

The Third (and final?) installment of Pirates of the Caribean is out; I’ll be seeing it this Sunday with my cousin Brian. I enjoyed the last one, which means I’ll probably like this one (they were created together instead of separately).
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Subject The Little Lad Dance
Posted Date: May 24, 2007 – Thursday – 12:19 PM
HAHAHAHAHA…thanks, Gail, I needed that.

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Subject Monica Goodling: “I crossed the line”
Posted Date: May 24, 2007 – Thursday – 10:50 AM
Interesting, very interesting. Gonzales sacrificial lamb has stepped up to the plate and admitted here wrongdoing in the dismissal of the U.S. Attorney’s due to partisan disagreements.

Gonzales, previously best known for being Mexican and for crapping all over the Constitution, has been on the hot seat over this latest scandal. Nice of Monica to step up and take one for the team.

Monica is one of the 150 people in the Bush Administration who graduated from Regent University, a bottom tier college in Virginia. Many people have been disturbed by how many people the Bush Administration has hired who are not highly qualified for their job. Especially all theose people from Regents and other schools like it.

Regent University, originally named “CBN University”, was founded by the same man who started the Christian Broadcasting Network and The 700 Club, Pat Robertson. Now that Falwell’s kicked the bucket, Robertson is America’s number one religious hatemonger. Don’t believe me? This guy is deeply insane.

Most of my religious friends can’t stand CBN, TBN, or the various other networks that fleece people in Jesus’ name. Robinson is and was the epitome of the televangelist. Some of my non-religious friends like to watch it for laughs, but for me it is no laughing matter. These people are sick and wrong, and they take advantage of elderly people. My grandmother included, TBN is her drug of choice.

So how is it that 150 people from this small (4,000 students last year) Christian college were hired by the White House? Kay Coles James doesn’t explain it all, were these guys somehow more qualified? Certainly only certain type of people would go to a college founded by a TV Evangelist; are these the sort of people we want running our country?

Monica is guilty, no doubt about it. She is guilty of having a “faith based” approach to politics, and of trusting those in authority to uphold the law.

But she is no more guilty that Gonzales, or even Bush; this “scandal” here goes much deeper than the firing of seven U.S. Attorneys. From top to botton, people have been hired because of their religious beliefs. People have been hired because of their loyalty to the Republican party, and to the neo-cons in the White House. And not just to partisan positions, but to supposedly unpartisan positions in the Judicial Branch and elsewhere.

More to come, I’m sure. For now I’ll leave you with some quotes:

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson, fundraising letter, 1992

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”– George Bush

I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”–Randall Terry, Founder of Operation Rescue, The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 8-16-93

“Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It’s no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.“–Pat Robertson, 1993 interview with Molly Ivins

“It is interesting, that termites don’t build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have…. The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation.”–Pat Robertson, New York Magazine, August 18, 1986

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