Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Counterintuition

Intuition is used to describe "obvious" facts, but because these facts are obvious, people react in a manner that applies these facts and may even contradict them. This results in the intuitive "fact" being false and a counterintuitive one being true.

These sorts of systems exist very frequently and with great strength. Because people are often unaware of the fact that a counterintuitive system has developed, they tend to continue using their intuition, further reinforcing the very basis of the system--the fact that people use their intuition.

It is in itself counterintuitive to think that people applying their intuition would result in a counterintuitive system, but to think that wouldn't be true would be intuitive and, thereby, reinforce the counterintuitive system.

Yet, it's not paradoxical, and it's built on facts. The reason it feels paradoxical is that it's recursive like many descriptions of paradoxes. Paradoxes are impossible though, and a counterintuitive system is not.

Additionally, a counterintuitive system is built on the assumptions of people, and it's hard to believe anything that sounds that stupid can have any affect on everybody. After all, you're above all that counterintuitive crap, your intuition is sharp.

You're the victim, dumbass.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Last Time, We Could Only Watch

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/08/11/2008-08-11_omg_barack_obamas_vp_choice_to_be_textme.html

A comment in response to the article:
"Barack Obama, keep in mind the more seasoned citizens of this nation don't all have the electronic toys you and your core constituency are so enamored by. Also keep in mind , and you can take it to the bank more seasoned citizens will vote then the I-POD generation's in November. I think this text nonsense way of initially informing the populace of your vice presidential choice, is a slap in the face to millions, WHO WILL CAST THEIR BALLOTS! You have shown abundantly of late your penchant at changing your stance on several thing's. Try it on this one as well!"

More "seasoned citizens" will vote "then" myself and my peers? Alright then, Captain Life Experiences, but I warn you that I, being one of those damn youngsters, will be voting for Obama in November and doing everything I can to get my piers to follow suit.

Things will be different this time. I turned twenty this year. The last time a president was being elected, I was 16. Before that, I was 12. TWICE I had to sit and watch while a senile moron got elected President of the United States, and my peers feel exactly the same. We watched our family, friends, and friend's families get sent to an unjustified war that was established with lies. We could only watch.

Nevertheless, I don't see how using available technology slaps anybody. Just as quick as the text goes out, it will be plastered on the news, Internet news, and blogs like this. However old you are, I'm certain there's at least one person your age who knows how to send a text message or, at the very least, receive one. Don't underestimate and judge your own generation so ignorantly; I'm sure the more savvy of your peers would be insulted. Cell phones are not exclusively sold to people under fourty.

Also, before you start using "the big words," you might want to learn how to correctly use punctuation in the English language. Plural forms of "word's" don't require an apostrophe; that's only necessary for a contraction or the genitive form. Also, dependent clauses do not have a comma before them--nor do verbs--so your sentence, "I think this text nonsense way of initially informing the populace of your vice presidential choice, is a slap in the face to millions, WHO WILL CAST THEIR BALLOTS!" doesn't require a single comma. Your former English teachers should be crying right now or--if they can't do that--rolling in their graves.

Well, I'm off to listen to my iPod and think about how awesome it is that I know the difference between "then" and "than" and when to use each, and perhaps, while I'm at it, I'll gain some of those life experiences that make you so seasoned. After all, just because you're old, that makes you brighter than the rest of us dumb kids, right? Bigger is better, right? Brilliant logic, sir, brilliant logic. Go gripe about how Johnny Carson and all the other "good comedians" are dead, take your Viagra, and get the fuck out of our world inherited.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Forget It; I'm Never Learning Chinese

I was going to look-up a decent place on the Internets to learn Chinese. Instead, I found this:

http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html

Fuck it; I'm learning German.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Emigrant

Throughout history, the general driver of the motion of people from one land to another has generally been some form of disparity or to seek a life with more prosperity. It's thought that the first humans moved from Africa because greater abundances of food existed along the paths people followed--paths that eventually brought people to the Americas. In fact, the settlement of America by the English started with two groups of people: second-born aristocratic sons who wouldn't inherit a damn thing from their fathers and people escaping social and religious persecution.

The spirit that drove these people to come to a new land can be looked at in two lights. On one hand, these people were brave enough to flee their homelands--the comfortable dominions of their forefathers--to establish completely new lives in a place distant and unknown. On the other hand, instead of fighting to solve the problems which resulted in their discontent, they chose to flee and abandon the land of the ancestry.

The emigrant is both a coward and a hero, and the immobile dweller, the same. It is the emigrant who has the courage to make something new but the fear to fight what is stagnant. The immobile dweller fears what is new but knows how to fight what is rotten. It's not that they are cowards or heroes, they are two types of people with two sets of skills and mindsets, and they both do what they want in pursuit of happiness.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Unbridled Power of the Top of the Internets

Nobody controls the Internet; it has no central hub. Nobody can block you out or shut you out.

At least, nobody can shut you out of the whole.

Although the Internet itself is free and open to all, single websites have their own policies and can do whatever they want: shut out users, manipulate content, cause damage, or other nasty things that I can't think of.

This doesn't sound like a big deal. If one website kicks you out, there's others out there. The danger is because of the tendency for the use of websites to obey a power law; generally, one website tends to attain more hits than all the other websites of it's purpose, and the number of hits decreases exponentially for the websites ranked below it. Therefore, for a single aspect of the Internet--search, social networking, music--one website controls everything, essentially. Google gets all the searches, Facebook gets all the social networking, and bands advertise on mySpace.

When one of these websites shuts you out, you lose the aspect of the Internet they represent. The value of social networks are dependent on the number of users they have; the network needs the users before it can have any worth. If Google were to censor search results, they'd be lost to the majority of users. These websites control their part of the Internet.

Thus far, websites have generally not abused their position on top. The philosophies of a lot of web start-ups are very generous in this regard. Additionally, market forces can quickly drive users away from websites. People realized all those old search engines from the late 90's had crap results, so they all dropped them and went to Google. MySpace looks like HTML vomit, so many users have fled steadily to the more clean-cut and utilitarian Facebook. If those on top tend to decline in quality, people have fled before, and they'll flee again.

Capitalism regulates the Internets.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Freedom Tower

When I first heard the replacement structure for the World Trade Center was going to be called the "Freedom Tower," I nearly gagged. No other word in the English language has been as diluted as freedom has been over the last decade.

Saying something over and over again doesn't make it any more true, yet people have a tendency to repeat something over and over again when they don't have it; they are fixated on what is not theirs. After 9/11, freedom in America was at greater risk than ever before, not only due to the hate of the world but Americans themselves who didn't give a damn about protecting the most sacred philosophies of our civilization. We used the word freedom repeatedly because we did not have it.

What I find most ironic about the "Freedom Tower" is that we're not the only country with a freedom tower. In particular, one country whom we are terrified of has their own freedom tower. Naming buildings after ideas doesn't promote or protect them; it makes it obvious that you don't live up to them.

They ought to name the Freedom Tower the United 93 Tower--after all, you don't get freedom by talking about it; you get freedom by fighting for it.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ut-oh, Whar'd Da Erf Go?

A lot of people have been whining about the apparent "danger" of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland and France. There have been theories published that there is a very small probability a micro-sized black hole could form as a result of the experiments done there, and there is an even smaller probability that the entire earth could be destroyed by one of these.

Of course, the media took this and ran with it--the general public has no concept of what a "small probability" even means in physics. There is a "small probability" that you could jump straight through a brick wall, a probability so small that it doesn't ever happen. The chance of something like that happening is so small that the sun will burn out before such an event even has a small chance of happening.

Even if the entire earth were destroyed, the nay-sayers won't have a chance to say I told you so. While it doesn't happen, scientists can say "see, all safe yo." If it does happen, the destruction would be so quick, complete, and painless, it won't even matter--there won't be time to say "I told you so," to feel pain, or say "oops."

Science always wins.
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