Imbak para sa Setyembre, 2011

The Horror!

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , on Setyembre 23, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran
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This can’t be real.

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , , on Setyembre 23, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

 

Scientists at CERN have clocked neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light!

This is huge!

That would mean that a founding pillar of physics formulated by Einstein himself (E=mc2) is false! And if indeed certain particles can travel faster than light that would make possible not one but two dreams of science fiction. Time travel and Light speed travel!

This would completely redefine science as we know it if confirmed. We have to completely rethink not only the theory of relativity but the Big Bang as well as every other theory of physics. The behavior of gravity, blackholes etc.

Kicking the dog

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , on Setyembre 19, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

I cannot fathom (no matter how hard I try) the apparent inexplicable and often all-encompassing virulent animosity of a large fraction of Filipino people to the national football team the Azkals.

This much is apparent whenever one reads online articles featuring the underdog team on or off the pitch. Comments like:

“puro publicity lang ang azkal. nka isang panalo lang lalaki ng agad mga ulo”

“as usual puro porma at yabang lang”

“Losers.”

“magartista na lang kayo. bano nman kayo ss football!”

“tangna nyo azkals!”

“O_ E_ R _T _D!”

Even the fans that offer a mild balance to the discussion have been targeted.

“cge sumuporta k s plaging talo”

“theres a big difference between ‘real football player’ and ‘artista’! ang askal kasi puro papogi lang sa camera. walang galing talaga sa football. picture! picture!”

“mas bobo ka brad”

All these comments have been given multiple thumbs ups or were supported by other comments of the same line of thinking.

And what are these “puro pa-porma” and “mayabang” “na bano naman sa football” players up to in the mwntioned article that garnered them such malignment? Playing for charity http://ph.news.yahoo.com/azkals-play-charity-next-week-050001702.html

As you can see by the spelling errors that these are not paraphrased. These are the real thoughts and words of the public, well at least the noisy part of it. This is probably the first that I’ve ever heard a national team become so loved and then become the target of such violent criticism in so short a time.

Much of this apparent anger may be surmised to stem from a combination of jealousy, disappointment and lack of common sense. Jealousy because of the sudden insurgent rise of some of the players whether it be through playing ability or good looks. Disappointment at the supposed string of losses the team had failed to live up to expectations even after being backed by multiple sponsors. And the lack of common sense just encompasses all of their reasons.

I can understand the animosity regarding the some of the players fame when the rest of the team are as deserving of media exposure. However, is it necessarily the fault of such players that they were given such opportunities and others weren’t? If they were offered support in furthering their cause and spreading their message about playing football because of their passion for the game in exchange for doing a commercial or two do you expect them to refuse?

There is also the issue of racial prejudice against half Filipinos who make up about 60%-75% of the total fighting force of the Azkals.

“Bakit hindi sila kumukuha ng mga player na sariling atin?”

Simple, because there aren’t any. And newsflash the half-Filipino players don’t have to come and play for the national team. They don’t have to travel half the globe to represent a bunch vindictive scumbags who don’t know a thing about the game they play.

They make 10-20,000 euros by playing in their own countries. A pay-day that the country can not hope to match in this lifetime. The Azkals are a charity case. Because they want to uplift the image and honor the country that one of their parents hailed from the best way they can. Because they feel a connection, a heritage to these far-flung group of islands. And what do they get in return? Ridicule. Snide, uncultured, misplaced egotism based on racial prejudice and intellectual ineptitude.

I can also understand their disappointment at the losses the team had in the few months of their campaign. But statistically since their recognition started of their upset of Vietnam they went up against Mongolia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kuwait. Out of nine matches they drew three and lost four. Of course we want them to win but what can you expect from a developing team that’s only getting started. Even the heads of the PFF acknowledge that it’ll be another four years (at least) before we can see a homegrown star like Chiffy Caligdong.

These comments are uneducated, idiotic and (insert your favorite swear word here). They are born of an unreasonable jealousy that is ugly and makes the rest of us not want to be associated with them under the nationalistic title of Filipino.

Inbred thinkers that think just because they have a computer, watched two football games, and have the freedom to say what they will (no matter how inane) they are suddenly experts in every field, and topic that crosses their dull witted sights.

There are however, some arguments that go along the lines of sanity. These arguments go:

“Why should we support the Azkals who have all these sponsors but haven’t won any major matches when similar obscure teams like the Philippine Dragon Warriors who until have no major sponsors and worse have been stripped of their national team status and yet bring back gold to the Philippines”

Yes I agree we should support the Philippine Dragon Warriors. And yes they do seem more deserving of our support because of their success (Assuming any of you have even heard of them before 2010). However, this does not mean that we should withdraw support from anyone else. Unlike oil nationalistic pride is a reusable resource. It is possible to support both teams, and why not? Is there a rule that says if you support the Azkals you can’t support the Warriors, or the Volcanoes, or the Smart Gilas. They all play for the country why should you limit yourself in choosing in which team to support when all Philippine teams goals are exactly the same.

What is at play in this argument is the “Kapit sa Panalo (o sa tingin mo kung sino mananalo)’ thinking prevalent even during elections. The logic goes “If you vote for the candidate you when that candidate has little chance to win, you wasted your vote. Instead vote for a candidate you don’t necessarily like but you think will win.” This is a stupidly flawed idea of the need to being on the ‘winning team’. The same goes here throw our support behind the winners so we can be winners too…No, not really. It’s insecure and immature to think like this

Oh yeah, James and Phils mother died two Saturdays ago but are still going to play in the Long Teng Tournament for the Azkals. You should feel really proud of yourselves now.

The Answer

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , on Setyembre 15, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

Let’s get right down to it. The country was up in a roar for the recently held Ms. Universe pageant where Ms. Philippines Shamcey Supsup finished as the 3rd runner up or 4th place.

This is one level higher than last years representative Venus Raj who finished in fifth place or 4th runner up.

But, as with last year the usual gripings made its rounds of how Shamcey should have won if it were not for one fatal obstacle; the Q&A.

The Q&A portion is the most dreaded of any pageant for reasons unknown to me (because the contestant are supposed degree holders answering one question competently shouldn’t be that much of a challenge) but then again it takes much more effort to sound intellectual and insightful than to walk around a stage.

However it was the question posted to Ms. Philippines by Vivica A. Fox that really turned heads in the entire competition. “Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person you loved.”

Astonishingly Shamcey said no. “Whoever loves me should love my God too.” This answer has been repeated over and over and over again on television news networks and youtube gag videos that it became tiresome after only 24 hours. But let’s get to the meat of things.

A few things to note; 1) Shamcey definitely had the misfortune of the most difficult question asked during the pageant. 2) Lea Salonga getting a lot of criticism for her fluffy and basic pre-school question to eventual winner Ms. Angola. 3) Shamcey was the only finalist that did not use an interpreter. 4) Politics in pageants.

On the first thing; As an atheist I don’t think I have to explain why I don’t care very much for her answer but, it was definitely honest and no one can fault her for that. However, as it is a sensitive topic Shamcey may have chosen the honest response it might also have been the unwise one as it goes against the vehemently popular “Love conquers all” ideal that is proliferated all over the world, most especially in the Philippines. Furthermore, she seems (with her answer) to reinforce a not-always-positively-viewed stereotype of the religious Filipino. Some even harsher critics have even labeled her answer as narrow-minded, religiously arrogant, and presumptive.

No matter what my views on religion and the Church I will reiterate (for those who might misconstrue my article) I know her answer was honest and knew it to be true and for that she deserves to be respected (even if I disagree).

A lot of people have surmised that Shamcey should have won the Q&A hands down because she was fluent in English and did not need an interpreter. Many people including former beauty queen Bianca Manalo who described the interpreter system as a strategy for time buying in order to think of an appropriate answer.

This is complete bullshit. First of all, explain to me how anyone can “buy time” when you have a time limit. Unless the contestants have the power to distort the laws of physics through interpreters this allegation doesn’t make much sense.

“No, she has time to think while the interpreter translates what she said”

This assumes that people don’t or can’t think while speaking themselves, and that they need shut their mouths in order for their brains to operate. This is not only insulting to contestants it’s also insulting to the human species.

“But Shamcey is fluent in English and didn’t even need an interpreter, that means she’s better”

The Q&A portion is an obscure part of the competition to measure the contestants intellect and insight into topics such as current events, international relations, connecting with the youth, education, and of course world peace. The ability or inability to speak in English is hardly a point for or against the intellect of any person.

Which is ironic since I assume a lot of people who said anything similar to the above quote also expressed outrage at the “Filipino is not the language of the learned” article that came out a few weeks back.

Oh and Oprah expressed her support for Shamcey saying she had the best and most direct answer of them all…oh wait, no she didn’t.

To be fair it could be argued that she had the best answer because she had the hardest question.

Politics have been surmised as one of the reasons for the result of the pageant. Really? politics in Ms. Universe. Duh. Of course there is, but not on the scale people imagine them to be.

Sen. Miriam for example said in an interview that maybe the reason they didn’t let Shamcey win was because Asians kept winning. Basic history and a quick google search shows that isn’t true at all.

2010-Mexico

2009-Venezuela

2008-Venezuela

2007-Japan

2006-Puerto Rico

2005-Canada

2004-Australia

2003-Dominican Republic

2002-Russia & Panama

2001-Puerto Rico

2000-India

There have been only two Asian Ms. Universes in the last eleven years (including 2011). In fact, the only political maneuvering and lobbying that resulted in anything was Ms. China. I’m not saying the chinese pulled any strings, it’s just that seeing China in the top 5 is as common  as seeing a teenager reading a newspaper.

So the scale of politics people imagine that goes into the decision of crowning a Ms. Universe is (as it stands) still imagination and no foul play occurred anywhere (as far as we know).

Oh, and a lot of people are misinformed in saying that Gloria Diaz was the last Philippine Ms. Universe when in fact the Philippines won the title again through Maria Margarita Moran in 1973.

Proving a negative (1999)

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , , , on Setyembre 6, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

by: Richard Carrier

(An essay on how the negatives of reality ie. Unicorns, Dragons, Goblins, Vampires and ultimately God do not exist can be proven disrupting the evasive theist argument that the belief in such things are justified given the lack of evidence to their disproof.

Considering that the argument “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist” is purely elementary and a blatant example of shifting of the burden of proof this essay will further demonstrate why it is logically the theists who should and must be the ones looking for evidence of their claims (and not the other way around.) and how they have spectacularly failed to do so.)

I know the myth of “you can’t prove a negative” circulates throughout the nontheist community, and it is good to dispel myths whenever we can.

As it happens, there really isn’t such a thing as a “purely” negative statement, because every negative entails a positive, and vice versa. Thus, “there are no crows in this box” entails “this box contains something other than crows” (in the sense that even “no things” is something, e.g. a vacuum). “Something” is here a set restricted only by excluding crows, such that for every set S there is a set Not-S, and vice versa, so every negative entails a positive and vice versa.

And to test the negative proposition one merely has to look in the box: since crows being in the box (p) entails that we would see crows when we look in the box (q), if we find q false, we know that p is false. Thus, we have proved a negative. Of course, we could be mistaken about what we saw, or about what a crow is, or things could have changed after we looked, but within the limits of our knowing anything at all, and given a full understanding of what a proposition means and thus entails, we can easily prove a negative in such a case. This is not “proof” in the same sense as a mathematical proof, which establishes that something is inherent in the meaning of something else (and that therefore the conclusion is necessarily true), but it is proof in the scientific sense and in the sense used in law courts and in everyday life. So the example holds because when p entails q, it means that q is included in the very meaning of p. Whenever you assert p, you are also asserting q (and perhaps also r and s and t). In other words, q is nothing more than an element of p. Thus, all else being as we expect, “there are big green Martians in my bathtub” means if you look in your bathtub you will see big green Martians, so not seeing them meansthe negative of “there are big green Martians in my bathtub.”

Negative statements often make claims that are hard to prove because they make predictions about things we are in practice unable to observe in a finite time. For instance, “there are no big green Martians” means “there are no big green Martians in this or any universe,” and unlike your bathtub, it is not possible to look in every corner of every universe, thus we cannot completely test this proposition–we can just look around within the limits of our ability and our desire to expend time and resources on looking, and prove that, where we have looked so far, and within the limits of our knowing anything at all, there are no big green Martians. In such a case we have proved a negative, just not the negative of the sweeping proposition in question.

The Method of the Best Bet (not Paschals Wager)

Logicians note that it is easier to prove that there are such beings than to prove there aren’t simply because we only need to find one of them to accomplish our proof, and thus will not have to look everywhere–unless we are so unlucky that where the one Martian is just happens to be the last place we look. But in the final analysis, it is not being “negative” that makes a proposition difficult to prove, but the breadth of the assertion. For instance, “there is gravity on every planet in every universe” could be disproven by searching just one planet and finding no gravity, but if we kept finding gravity we could never decisively prove it true, any more than if we kept failing to find Martians in the universe would we be able to decisively prove that “there are no Martians in the universe.” Thus, what people call the “you can’t prove a negative” axiom is actually nothing more than the eternal problem of induction: since we can’t test a proposition in every place and at every time, we can never be absolutely certain that the proposition remains true in all times and places. We can only infer it.

In computers this sort of proof (of the positive or negative variety) results in an infinite loop (or quasi-infinite loop), and clever programmers can give software the tools to recognize such routines before executing them. Then, instead of executing them, they have them execute a simpler subroutine that equates to a “best guess.” Not surprisingly, we all do the same thing: since we have neither the ability nor the desire to devote a dangerous proportion of our time and resources to testing every proposition of this kind, we adopt a simpler rule: given insufficient evidence, then no belief. This is the same thing as “given sufficient evidence, then belief,” since insufficient evidence is the same thing as sufficient evidence for denial.

This amounts to a “best guess” solution, where we recognize that a statement may be true, but have insufficient grounds to believe it. Or, in the case of propositions for which we have abundant but incomplete proof, we recognize that it may be false, but have insufficient grounds to disbelieve it. This is the basic principle behind all hypothetical thought, from the theories of science, to the “sun will come up tomorrow” variety of common sense. Given the set of all propositions of the first kind (where there is a lack of evidence despite some reasonable measure of checking), nearly all of them are false, so it is a safe bet to assume they are all false until proven otherwise. Conversely, given the set of all propositions of the second kind (where there is continuous evidence after some reasonable measure of checking), nearly all of them are true, so it is a safe bet to assume they are true until proven otherwise.

Unprovable Statements

Consider the negative case. When it comes time to decide what to believe, if we did not assume such “unprovables” were false, we would either have to choose which unprovables to believe by some totally arbitrary means, which amounts to a ridiculous “belief by whim” method, or else we have to assume that all such statements are true. Of course, we only have to believe true those unprovables that do not contradict other proven statements or that do not contradict each other, but even in the latter case we have no grounds for choosing which of two contradictory unprovables we will believe, and this is the same “belief by whim” dilemma. But even with these provisions, this policy would result in a great number of absurd beliefs (like “there are big green Martians in the universe”). Thus, when finally deciding what to believe, it is clear that the best policy is to assume that all unprovables are false, until such time as they are proved. In other words, it is reasonable to disbelieve a proposition when there is no evidence. Even if it is less certainly false than propositions which are actually contradicted by evidence (although even that does not amount to a complete certainty), it is still reasonable to regard them as false so long as we’ve done some checking, and don’t ignore new evidence that we come across.

A similar line of reasoning establishes the opposite in all positive cases. If we did not assume all such unprovables were true, we would either have to choose which unprovables to disbelieve by some totally arbitrary means, which again amounts to a ridiculous “belief by whim” method, or else we have to assume that all such statements are false. Of course, it would be plainly absurd to believe that all the statements for which we have some evidence are false. Although “absolute skeptics” actually claim to assume this, they put in place of truth a concept of assent which amounts to the same solution as I have discussed above: betting on the truth of a statement that we have many reasons to believe but can never be certain of. Thus, when finally deciding what to believe, it is clear that the best policy is to assume that all unprovables for which we have good evidence are true, until such time as they are disproved. In other words, it is reasonable to believe a proposition when there is good evidence. Even if it is less certainly true than propositions which are actually irrefutable, such as mathematical truths or “I am thinking, therefore I am,” it is still reasonable to regard them as true so long as we’ve done some checking, and don’t ignore new evidence that we come across. In all cases, we can perhaps move the bar up and down–changing the amount of “checking” that counts as reasonable and sufficient before resolving to believe–but this affects all our beliefs, as the bar cannot be set differently for different things without again engaging in “belief by whim” methods, and we will all find that there is such a thing as having the bar too low or too high, as one can find through the same reasoning as I have engaged in here.

The Unbelievability of Christian Theism

Christian Theism in its most basic sense entails observations that would necessarily be made by everyone everywhere and at all times, and thus it is as easily disproven as the alien in the bathtub. For instance, God is theoretically omnipresent, and granted us the ability to know him (to feel his loving presence, etc.), yet I have absolutely no sensation of any God or anything that would be entailed by a God, even though by definition he is within me and around me wherever I go. Likewise, God is theoretically the epitome of compassion, and also all-knowing and all-powerful and beyond all injury, yet I know that what demonstrates someone as compassionate is the alleviation of all suffering known to them and safely within their power to alleviate. All suffering in the world must be known and safely within the power of God to alleviate, yet it is still there, and since the Christian ‘theory’ entails the opposite observation, Christianity is false. Likewise, God theoretically designed the universe for a moral purpose, but the universe lacks moral features–animals thrive by survival of the fittest, not survival of the kindest, and the laws of physics are no respecter of persons, they treat the good man and the bad man equally. Moreover, the universe behaves like a mindless machine, and exhibits no intelligent action of its own accord, and there are no messages or features of a linguistic nature anywhere in its extra-human composition or behavior, such as we would expect if a thinking person had designed it and wanted to communicate with us.

Christians attempt to preserve their proposed theory by moving it into the set of unprovables that lack all evidence. They do this arbitrarily, and for no other reason than to save the proposed theory, by creating impassable barriers to observation, just as requiring us to look in every corner of every universe creates an impassable barrier for one who is asked to decisively disprove the statement “there are big green Martians.” For instance, the advanced theory holds that God alleviates suffering in heaven, which we conveniently cannot observe, and he has reasons for waiting and allowing suffering to persist on Earth, reasons which are also suitably unobservable to us, because God chooses not to explain them, just as he chooses, again for an unstated reason that is entirely inscrutable, to remain utterly invisible to all my senses, external and internal, despite being always around and inside me and otherwise capable of speaking to me plainly.

The problem is not, as some theists think, that we can find no explanations to “rationalize” a god in this world of hurt. I can imagine numerous gods who would be morally justified and even admirable, and others who would be neither evil nor good, and still others who are evil, but none of these would be the Christian god. The fact is that Christianity is the proposal of a theory, and like all theories, it entails predictions–but these predictions are not being born out. So Christians invent excuses to save the theory–excuses which have absolutely no basis in any evidence or inference, except the sole fact that they rescue the theory. This is Ptolemy’s epicycles all over again: the motions of the planets and sun refused to fit the theory that they all revolve around the Earth, so Ptolemy invented numerous complex patterns of motion that had no particular reason to happen other than the fact that they rescue the theory of geocentricity. It is simply far wiser to conclude that instead of this monstrously complex and bizarre architecture of groundless saving suppositions, it makes far more sense, and uses far fewer suppositions, to simply admit that the universe doesn’t revolve around the Earth after all. As for all the other theories–all the other possible gods–there is no more evidence for them than for this incredibly complex deity with a dozen strange and mysterious reasons that only too conveniently explain why we never observe him or his actions in any clear way.

Of course, even these groundless “solutions” to the Christian ‘theory’ do not really save the theory, because, to maintain it, at some point you must abandon belief in God’s omnipotence–since at every turn, God is forced to do something (to remain hidden and to wait before alleviating suffering, etc.) by some unknown feature of reality, and this entails that some feature of reality is more powerful than God. And this feature cannot merely be God’s moral nature, since if that were his only limitation, there would then be no barrier to his speaking to me or acting immediately to alleviate suffering or designing the universe to have overtly moral or linguistic features, since any truly moral nature would compel, not prevent, such behavior. Thus, the Christian hypothesis is either incoherent or unprovable, and in the one case it is necessarily false, while in the other it lacks justification, so we have no reason to believe it, any more than we have a reason to believe that there is a big green Martian on some planet in some corner of some universe. This is what it means to “prove a negative.”

Sing along, you know you want to.

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , on Setyembre 1, 2011 by Blue Dela Kanluran

 

Chichi wo motomete
(Looking for Father)

Oya ni hagureta
hinadori mo
Itsuka wa yasashii
hutokoro ni
Kaeru ashita mo aru darou
Danoni naze meguri aenu
chichi no kage
Naku mono ka
Boku wa otoko da
Shinjiteru shinjiteru
Sono hi no koto wo
Kono te de chichi wo
Daki shimeru hi no koto wo

No ni saku hana mo
tsuyukusa mo
Itsuka wa hito to
meguri ai
Kataru yuube mo aru darou
Danoni naze otozurenai
shiawase ga

Naku mono ka
Boku wa otoko da
Taetematsu taetematsu
Sono hi wa kuru to
Te wo tori chichi to
Warai au hi ga kuru to

Mikazuki wo ou
murakumo mo
Itsuka wa kaze ga
huki harai
Kagayaku yoru mo aru darou
Danoni naze kiramekanai
chichi no hoshi

Naku mono ka
Boku wa otoko da
Tatakau zo tatakau zo
Sono hi no tame ni
Kono te ni chichi wo
Tori modosu hi no tame ni