27 December 2009

Uri Geller Bends On

The following is from pages 4-6 of The Geller Papers: Scientific Observations on the Paranormal Powers of Uri Geller, edited by Charles Panati. Geller demonstrated his metal bending ability for physical scientist Eldon Byrd of the Naval Surface Weapons Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, in 1973. He bent samples of the metal nitinol, which was, at the time, very difficult for the public to obtain.

Nitinol wire is composed of approximately 55 percent nickel and 45 percent titanium. It has a physical memory. That is, a piece of nitinol wire actually "remembers" the shape in which it was manufactured. No matter how much it is crumpled or bent, a nitinol wire, when heated, springs vigorously back to its original shape. Byrd is quite familiar with the properties of nitinol. He knows that no simple ordinary force can alter the wire's memory; he wanted to see if Geller could.
      Geller arrived at the Naval Surface Weapons Center in October of 1973. in one test Byrd held a five-inch straight piece of nitinol by its end while Geller "gently stroked" the middle of the wire with his thumb and index finger. After twenty seconds Geller felt a "lump" forming in the wire. He removed his fingers and there was a sharp "kink" at the wire's center. Byrd placed the wire in boiling water, which should have removed the kink. It did not vanish. "Instead of [the wire] snapping back with some force into a straight shape," Byrd writes, "[it] began to form approximately a right angle." Byrd then placed the kink over a flame, but still it did not straighten out.
      In his paper "Uri Geller's influence on the metal nitinol," Byrd states that a crystallographic analysis of the kinked section showed that the crystals that contain the wire's memory had actually increased in size. Such a change requires that the wire be reannealed by being heated to a temperature of about 900o F. "There is absolutely no explanation as to how Geller bent the wire by gently touching it," says Byrd.
      Perhaps not, but the metallurgists at the Naval Surface Weapons Center were intent on removing the kink. They put the wire under tension in a vacuum chamber, and heated it by passing an electric current along its length until the wire was glowing and almost molten; in other words, they reannealed it into a straight shape. When the wire was removed from the chamber and laid on a plate to cool it was indeed straight; it appeared to have regained its original memory. But when the wire cooled to room temperature, the kink spontaneously returned. "The day following the experiment, writes Byrd, "I took another piece of nitinol wire and tried to bend it into as tight a kink as Geller had formed; I used the point of a screwdriver ... It was impossible for me to [do it] without using Bunsen burners and pliers." Byrd also tried various chemicals on pieces of nitinol wires to see if the wires could be temporarily "softened" so that a kink might be formed without extreme heat and sizable force. The nitinol proved impervious to all the chemicals tested.
      But experimentation between Geller and nitinol does not stop there. Byrd realized that anomalous effects can occur in the best of experiments. Perhaps the wires Geller altered (there were several of them) had a structural defect: Is this why Geller had been able to change their memory? Byrd pondered this question for eleven months before he got another chance to test Geller. This time it was not at the Naval Surface Weapons Center, but in an informal setting at the home of a friend of Geller's in Connecticut. Byrd brought with him three pieces of nitinol wire; all had been thoroughly tested at the lab to make sure that on being heated they sprang back to straight configurations. Geller rubbed the wires one at a time, and all three became deformed. Heating would not straighten them out. On later examination, nitinol experts at the lab concluded that the only way "permanent deformation" could have occurred was through the use of intense heat and mechanical stress. "All of the bends that Geller had produced thus far in nitinol wires have been permanent deformation," says Byrd. "The wires can be ... twisted into any shape by hand, but on being heated ... [they always] return to the shape Geller had imposed upon them."
      Could Geller have somehow cheated to achieve the results he did? Because of the unusual nature of nitinol, the scientific controls essential for an unambiguous investigation are, for the most part, built into the testing material. Byrd and his colleagues conclude that Geller would have had to either "palm" a Bunsen burner or substitute his own pieces of nitinol, manufactured to his specifications, if deception is to be the explanation for the events that took place. Geller had to deform the wire, Byrd thinks, by paranormal means.

24 December 2009

The World Benefits from America's Health Care System

When it comes to health insurance reform, California State University, Northridge economist Glen Whitman emphasizes, "We have to make sure we don't just fix the parts that are broken. We also have to make sure we don't actually break the parts that are working very well. And it turns out that one of the areas that America is really great at is innovation."

Reason.tv's Ted Balaker sat down with Whitman to discuss his new Cato Institute policy analysis, coauthored with Raymond Raad, "Bending the Productivity Curve: Why America Leads the World in Medical Innovation."

Whether it's Nobel laureates in medical fields or the most important recent medical innovations, Whitman and Raad find that the U.S. has contributed more than any other nation, and in some cases, more than all nations combined. Whitman cites some key factors that account for America's innovative ways, and warns that if America adopts a more centrally planned health system we may not only innovate less but we might not know what innovations we're missing.

Interview shot by Alex Manning and Hawk Jensen; it was edited by Manning. Approximately 10 minutes.

And some people want to change our system that shoulders the burden of the world and leads it in innovation into something resembling a system that doesn't.

23 December 2009

Uri Geller at SRI

The Stanford Research Institute in California investigates the psychic phenomena associated with Uri Geller in the 1970s (you can tell by the tight pants and poofy hair everyone has). The ESP and remote viewing tests provided the best results (the one test had odds against chance of a trillion to one). Geller also produced a full scale deflection of a magnetometer, altered the reeding of a weight on a scale that was under a glass dome, and dowsed for water, sugar cubes, and ball bearings inside sealed metal tins. The experiment where Geller moved a compass needle was discarded because of bad protocol. Informal demonstrations were conducted of Geller's metal bending ability on a variety of objects with different compositions. The entire series of videos lasts about 30 minutes.




-Dee

21 December 2009

Urban Mystic Classics: Summer Spoons

Reprint from 22 August 2008.

In the same vein as an earlier entry this month, "Michael Chriton on PK", I have returned to the world of metal bending. While out eating I took the coffee spoon in my hand almost unknowingly and began the process of bending it. I'm not sure why I did this; perhaps the spoon wanted to be bent or wanted me to bend it. When I felt that it was in the state where it is ready to bend I approached with mild trepidation and decided against anyting spectacular for what I hope would be reasonable and obvious reasons. Anyway, here is the result of that.




Although I had no way of officially measuring it the spoon did seem more bent after an hour or so from the time I had put it down than when I initially bent it. This has been known to happen often. -Dee

20 December 2009

Urban Mystic Classics: Michael Chriton on PK

Michael Chriton talks about his experiences with psychokinesis and metal bending a la Uri Geller. This is a reprint from 11 August 2008, back before The Urban Mystic changed URLs. This will begin the series on Uri Geller and metal bending.

"but other magicians, such a James Randi, claim that spoon bending isn't a psychic phenomenon at all, just a trick.

"But I had bent a spoon, and I knew it wasn't a trick. I looked around the room and saw little children, eight or nine years old, bending large metal bars. They weren't trying to trick anybody. They were just little kids having a good time.
"

Michael Crichton, world famous best selling author and global warming skeptic explains why the skep-dicks' explanation that spoon bending is just a trick is wrong. You can't deny experience. The experience for what it is, experience, is beyond chriticism.

It's refreshing to see someone as famous as Mr. Crichton is sympathetic toward psi. So just what is the secret to spoon bending?

" The only thing I noticed is that spoon bending seemed to require a focused inattention. You had to try to get it to bend, and then you had to forget about it. Maybe talk to someone else while you rubbed the spoon. Or look around the room. Change your attention. That's when it was likely to bend. If you kept watching the spoon, worrying over it, it was less likely to bend. This inattention took learning, but you could easily do it. "

I can attest to that. My old teacher told me about focused inattention in teaching me spoon bending (it's been a while since I've done it, so am badly out of practice; it can become an expensive endeavor).

-Dee

26 November 2009

¡Climategate!

The folks who lied about global warming, saying it was all our fault, studying only 12 trees, and constructing a hocky stick graph, they made Hitler cry. Shame on them.

16 November 2009

15 November 2009

A Student in Arms: The True Artist


An exerpt from Donald Hankey's book A Student in Arms. Sometimes it takes a war to find out what makes us truly human. The depth of our humanity can only be approached through the harshest of struggles. It is through this that we are able to find out who the true artist is: the one with the true sense of the dramatic.

Includes a brief history of Mr. Hankey and the book.

-Dee

11 November 2009

Veterans Day: Its History and Meaning


11 November 1918: after four years and 20 million lives lost the war to end all wars came to an end. Heroes rose and empires fell. In the years ahead wars would arise and heroes would once again be needed to heed the call of duty to protect those who need protection and to stop those who would cause others harm. This is what Veterans Day is about. We honour those who rose to greatness when their country, and the world, needed them.
It is now 90 years to the day since the war to end all wars came to an end. The last of those brave men who served in that struggle for freedom won't be here for much longer, so while I still can I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to you who served. And not only to those who served in the First World War, but in all wars since, and to all those who continue to step up when the world needs them most. Thank you.

-Dee

16 October 2009

I'm a Zionist for the Same Reason I Support Tibet

Myths and Facts about Israel's Roots goes far to refute claims made by modern day liberal racists and a-rab Jew-hating terrorists. Before the modern era there were no such people as the Palestinians. They have no legitimate claim to the land of Israel. Terror groups like Hamas attack and murder Israelis, especially children, and the liberal racists of the world (espcially the BBC) celebrate when they murder children, but whenever an Israeli counterattack accidentially results in the death of a "Palestinian" child the world condemns them because the liberal racists of the world hate Jews as much as they hate God (and if they're dyslexic they hate dog too). From the page:

Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most of the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.”[5] Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted: We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.[6] In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: “There is no such country as Palestine! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.[7]
The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations submitted a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947 that said, Palestine was part of the Province of Syriaand that, politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity. A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.”[8] Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War and Israel’s capture of the West Bank.



























Map of the British Mandate

Also:

During the British mandate alone, more than 100,000 Arabs emigrated from neighboring countries and are today considered Palestinians.

When approached by a student at Harvard in 1968 who attacked Zionism, Martin Luther King responded: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”[19]

That's okay. If Dr. King were around today the liberal racists would throw him under the bus because he's far too conservative for their liking.

Now, you may ask why I'm being so one sided. They have answered the question for me:

Even the most committed friends of Israel acknowledge that the government sometimes makes mistakes, and that it has not solved all the problems in its society. Supporters of Israel may not emphasize these faults, however, because there is no shortage of groups and individuals who are willing to do nothing but focus on Israel’s imperfections. The public usually has much less access to Israel’s side of the story of its conflict with the Arabs, or the positive aspects of its society.

Getting back to the title. I'm a Zionist for the same reason I support Tibet and East Turkistan and other countries where a native population has been displaced. The liberal racists all agree the Tibetans deserve their homeland back after the Chicoms invaded it. Most liberal racists don't know about the Uygurs, but their homeland was invaded by the Chicoms too (renamed Xinjiang). I support their return to sovereignty and I support the Jews' right to sovereignty of Israel too.

-Dee

17 September 2009

Peak Oil Update - 16 September 2009

The Carnegie Institute's Geophysics Lab demonstrated that hydrocarbons can be created in the Earth's mantle abiotically. Combined with the findings of Russian drilling expeditions around the world this presents a fine case that abiotic oil is at least as good a theory as the alternative and deserves farther scientific investigation.
I know in the video I asked for "congenial debate," but someone already decided to call me a moron for not believing in King Hubbert's conjecture. The now deleted comment raises a few points that will be addressed here.
1. If oil is being generated abiotically it isn't fast enough to replenish our supply.
Well, considering how there's a 100 year supply of oil in the Alberta tar sands alone I don't see how running out of oil will ever be a problem. My big thing on abiotic oil is to eliminate fear of oncoming disaster "when the oil runs out" as one mocumentary states. I don't honestly believe humanity will still be oil dependent in 100 years nor do I want that to be the case. In the video I clearly state that we'll never run out "in our lifetimes," I never said there was an infinite supply. We keep drilling until over the next few decades technology becomes economically viable to replace oil. That's it.
2. Hubbert's equations were "very accurate," especially on the US peaking.
The US did not peak in the 1970s. Arab oil was discovered dirt cheap. Why remove expensive oil from US soil when cheap oil can be bought from the Arabs? A number of oil wells in the US have begun to refill, megafields have been discovered in Alaska, the Gulf coast, and the Dakotas, new technologies allowing us to break up rock in formerly depleted wells to start extracting useable oil from them again all show that there is an abundance of oil within the United States. There was no peak. Aside from that Hubbert created the bell curve first and then moulded his findings to fit his equations afterwards, sort of like the global warming people today making computer models and when reality doesn't match the models they proclaim that the models are correct and the Earth is somehow mistaken.

-Dee

10 September 2009

Darwin and Dawkins Dilemma: Climbing Mt. Improbable

A clip from the new film Darwin's Dilemma.
Richard Dawkins has famously elaborated on Darwin's theory of natural selection, arguing that through a slow incremental process, evolution can explain the rise of new species. The new film, Darwin's Dilemma shows where Dawkins goes wrong. Growing evidence suggests that the creation of novel genetic information requires intelligence, and thus the burst of genetic information during the Cambrian Explosion provides convincing evidence that animal life is the product of intelligent design rather than a blind undirected process like natural selection.

29 August 2009

Kabbalah and Cosmology with Harold Gans

Someone once asked me about the Medieval Kabbalistic estimate for the age of the universe of 12.5 billion years. DOD cryptographer Harold Gans has the following to say on the subject.

04 August 2009

C'est la Vie, 3 August 2009

This is too funny not to share (you may have to click on the image to see it completely, depending on your screen resolution).

23 July 2009

Religious, Spiritual, Mystical II


More people today are described as "spiritual" but not "religious." What does this mean? What implications does this have for the world? I'll tell you: tasteless food because fake trans fats have to be removed, everyone's on diets, concerned about what problem the TV tells them they have, taking pills, having their kids forced to learn Spanish to cater to illegals, neohippies, and much worse!

21 July 2009

We Choose to Go to the Moon

20 July 1969, 4:18pm EDT: the moon landing. President Kennedy's vision of the future came true on that day. The world watched as Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Today, the 40th anniversary, was a wonderful day to reflect on this achievement. Human beings walked on the moon; there's nothing more to say.

15 July 2009

Many Lives, Unconvincing Masters

I just finished reading Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss, and I must say it was a lot like Random Harvest: the exciting final chapter didn't make up for the several boring ones that preceded it. The Masters part of the title is a reference to spiritual "masters" whom the author speaks to throughout the past life regressions of his patient. I am disappointed for a number of reasons, mostly relating to the lack of science (Weiss admits this was not a scientific study, unfortunately he does so half way through the book so any potential readers wouldn't know this until after having bought it). There is one test subject (a neurotic hospital employee with supermodel good looks), and none of the information from the rather vague past life regressions was ever checked for accuracy! Yes, when certain lifetimes were recalled months apart the details were the same, but that doesn't make up for any of the previously mentioned lacks.

I am struck by just how many times Weiss must mention his patient's physical attractiveness. Isn't there an ethics issue involved here, and isn't he married with children? Does a book about reincarnation need passages like "I knew she was smoking hot before, but now that she's cured..." (not actually in the book).

The revelations from the "masters" seem like fancy new age-isms that never once struck me as profound (definitely not as profound as the author claims them to be) and many contradict the findings of the past 150 years of mediumship research, NDEs, and what genuine spiritual masters have told us over the centuries. For example, one of the "masters" says that we are not all created equal, to which Dr. Weiss casually muses, what would the founding fathers have thought about this? Well, if you're talking spiritually all souls come from God and to God they must return. All souls possess the same potential for enlightenment. If you're talking physically we all start at ground zero as infants, completely helpless, unable to do anything. Certainly we all possess different talents which set us apart from one another (Mozart was a musical genius and Hank Aaron could hit home runs better than anyone until steroids came along), but if, as the book mentions several times, the point of life is to grow more godly over several lifetimes then shouldn't we look past these transient talents at the soul within?

In fact the good doctor seems to contradict himself on this point at the very end. In what was my favourite part of the book, he recounts a dream he had months after the regressions:

On another night, in a different dream I was asking a question. "How is it that you say all are equal, yet the obvious contradictions smack us in the face: inequalities in virtues, temperances, finances, rights, abilities and talents, intelligence, mathematical aptitude, ad infinitum?"

The answer was a metaphor. "It is as if a large diamond were to be found inside each person. Picture a diamond a foot long. The diamond has a thousand facets, but the facets are covered with dirt and tar. It is the job of the soul to clean each facet until the surface is brilliant and can reflect a rainbow of colors.

"Now, some have cleaned many facets and gleam brightly. Others have only managed to clean a few; they do not sparkle so. Yet, underneath the dirt, each person possesses within his or her breast a brilliant diamond with a thousand gleaming facets. The diamond is perfect, not one flaw. The only differences among people are the number of facets cleaned. But each diamond is the same, and each is perfect.

"When all the facets are cleaned and shining forth in a spectrum of lights, the diamond returns to the pure energy that it was originally. The lights remain. It is as if the process that goes into making the diamond is reversed, all that pressure released. The pure energy exists in the rainbow of lights, and the lights possess consciousness and knowledge.

"And all of the diamonds are perfect."

The book is slow, repetitive, and unconvincing. I would recommend giving this one a pass.

-Dee

14 July 2009

Religious, Spiritual, Mystical

I wrote this on Saturday while taking my daily walk. I should have a video done to this theme (mostly a direct reading) by week's end.

Religious, Spiritual, Mystical

I remember when I was a kid. Things were a lot better. For starters the quality of television and food was better. People weren't always on diets, trying to get everyone else to diet and taking the taste out of my food. There were no trans fats back then. Actually, there are no trans fats now. Trans fats are a fiction invented to ruin food. Television was entertaining and taught by example using well planned, intelligent exposition. They didn't try to teach kids with psychology, meaning assuming everyone is retarded and doesn't realize there is only one item presented before them to choose from and so is given several minutes to think over the nonproblem while condescending adults on screen pretend the problem is harder than it actually is while providing phony reassurance. No cartoon characters tried to throw alternative lifestyles down our throats, or PC values, or teach us how to speak Spanish because English was intolerant and we had to cater to illegals.

And there were values, and discipline, and love. Since then the world has really gone to hell. People can no longer spend five minutes in silence. Instead they must play with their music boxes and ever more annoying phones. They must call up the people whom they will speak with in person in only five minutes so as to announce their arrival and prepare an itinerary of useless things to do.

And when we are not being dumbed down, told to abandon our cultural heritage in favour of a usurper's, presented with impossible standards of beauty in the name of the Almighty Dollar (stretch marks are ugly, dark circles around the eyes are ugly, hair here, there, everywhere is ugly! Why can't I decide for myself what I think is attractive and what is not?), we are told our God must go too. We are presented with a science that is the business arm of hard core materialists. We are presented with zealous atheists trying to convert us (or deconvert us, I'm not sure) or told we believe in a "mythic sky god," whatever that is, Mathfails never responded to my question.

And then we are told that more people are spiritual but not religious. What are they doing? They are chasing cars with no idea of what to do should they actually catch one. They are spiritual epicureans, tasting bits and pieces of whatever and turning it into fluff. They are drinking soy pudding and vodka and wheat grass juice (which is as disgusting as it sounds). They are forming drum circles and prancing around in their neohippie tunics, chanting about peace and love and not practicing either. They are trying to take materialist science, like string theory and many worlds, theories openly antagonistic to spirit, and wedding them to talk of goddess or the divine feminine, trying hard as hell to stay away from Christianity or masculinity. Their practices are spiritually vacuous, or worse, involve wisdom without compassion. Sure, they can sit under a tree for days but they're still heartless jerks, communist sympathizers, "spiritual atheists" (whatever the hell that means), or smug elitists.

More important than a Bill Gates. More important than a thousand workers in their prime is that little old lady, blind and crippled who is the storehouse of wisdom and virtue. She who has given of herself selflessly all her life and now, in one last act of compassion, has granted us the opportunity to give of ourselves to serve her for our own benefit, is who is truly important.

More important than all the material knowledge in the universe, than any potential technological progress is the potential we must grant ourselves and others to grow spiritually. The sun will fade, the Earth will be no more, but spirit is forever.

Ours is a society whose economy is bankrupt because we are morally bankrupt. A few who are corrupt, who have fallen to avarice, can destroy the lives of millions who are too comfortable with their cel phones and their reality television to stand up and take notice; to stand up and do something to fix the state of the world.

Being spiritual and not religious is like having a car and no map or a finely choreographed fight scene with no explanation of how the characters got into that mess and why it is significant. To be spiritual and not religious is to have content with no context for which to frame it. Not only is the content, the practice, important, but the context is important or you won't understand anything, and important too is the teacher. You literally need someone who is well qualified and has crossed the gulf before to drag you kicking and screaming into authentic mystical realization. No fancy words, no ego stroking, or getting in touch with your inner brat of a child. Sit down, shut up, get over yourself. As a great Scotsman once said, if you want to touch the sky you better first learn how to kneel.

-Dee

11 July 2009

The Greatest Genius

Today (10 July 2009, though where I'm at it's technically the 11th), would have been Nikola Tesla's 153rd birthday if he were still alive. He invented alternating current (without which I would be typing this on a type writer and posting it to a nearby tree), wireless power (which the government didn't like and took away from him), the first major hydro-electric power plant on Earth at Niagra Falls (which powered all of New York state, except Pearl Street, Manhattan, which Edison's DC power monster plant lit up), everything George Westinghouse supposedly invented but really stole from him when he worked as an intern (sure, Westinghouse got lucky a few times on his own), the radio (which Marconi stole credit for), and some kind of doomsday device that may or may not have involved charging the atmosphere to direct lightning strikes (according to papers a source gave me).

Tesla was probably the greatest genius of the 19th and 20th centuries. He also wanted to give everyone in the world free electricity, but, as mentioned earlier, the government took it away from him. Happy Birthday, Mr. Tesla.

WILD Update Another conscious sleep experiment has turned up no results.

-Dee

02 July 2009

Where the WILD Things Are (Not)

Only once before have I fallen asleep consciously, proceeding through lucid dreaming to lucid sleeping (conscious awareness in dreamless sleep). It is said that only the most advanced spiritual practitioners are able to do this at will. Last week (20-27 June) I tried to repeat the experience: watching the basic images and sounds arise, seeing those forms crystalize out into a full landscape leading directly into the dream state, and going on to meditative practices while dreaming to become consciously aware of deep sleep. After trying for the whole week i did not succeed (though on the final day I did have a "normal" lucid dream). The days since have been spent without any attempt to fall asleep consciously. I think I might try again tonight.

-Dee

27 June 2009

I Might Not Be a Creep for Long!

The posts at UD seem to have culminated with this message from herb:

UrbanMysticDee,

“Debunking” is not and has never been part of science. Science doesn’t debunk, magicians and media skeptics debunk. 7% of the UFO sitings in Project Blue Book special report remain unidentified. If instead it were 7% of drugs tested had the potential to cure every form of cancer researchers would be doing everything they could to investigate those 7% farther, not saying “most drugs can’t cure cancer so we shouldn’t even try.”

Nice post. What I find most interesting about UFO’s is that just about everyone seems to have a story. Both my parents have had paranormal/UFO encounters, and I myself had a sighting which I can’t explain about 25 years ago. Whatever the cause, I think it’s clear something is going on, whether it’s aliens or some sort of government coverup.

This seems to be a good end to the discussion.

-Dee

26 June 2009

I'm Still a Creep II

More from UD.

From lamarck:

Urbanmystic, I agree with you that aliens exist, I think they must have seeded us on this planet, looking at DNA alone. One interesting alien vid is the cell phone alien from mexico. Scientists visited the sight later and found high radiation levels at that spot alone. Another one is the dogon tribe’s astronomy predictions. One more is the race of small and odd looking people in eastern or southeastern asia, can’t remember their name. I’d like to see someone study their DNA, they look like aliens to me. Their caves were found which they formerly lived in and tablets were decoded, actually disc-like objects, which say they crashed on this planet in an emergency and they’ve been stuck here. I also know about the recent crop circles which are much different. If you know more interesting alien evidence please site some.

From JTaylor:

UrbanMysticDee: “The 1% estimate is a gut feeling that I never said was scientific. I am able to criticize bad science without having to provide an alternate theory. And I never said my feeling was scientific. I extrapolated from what I’ve read and heard from first and second hand sources that there seems to be a number of different extraterrestrial species that have been witnessed and that they are obviously gregarious otherwise encounters wouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

But you do realize that your 1% means that 1 in 100 stars (just in our galaxy) would have to show signs of intelligent life? This is an enormous number. No offence, but I think you need to recheck your gut! Personally I think I would trust Drake’s equation than yours (or mine) gut, because it is based on sound suppositions rather than what I feel. Of course feel free to show how you extrapolated and calculated that number if you think otherwise. But right now your 1% is little more than an assertion and not all that helpful.

And, to date, about 350 exoplanets have been discovered (and I think this is “good” science) - and so far none of them look likely for life. According to your gut, we should have already found ~3-4 intelligent lifeforms. Of course maybe scientists have been unlikely, but according to your gut the galaxy should be absolutely teeming with life, and certainly there is no evidence yet that this is the case.

You assume incorrectly that I accept that extraterrestials exist. I do not find the evidence conclusive and much of it is too anecodtal (or based on hearsay) to be of any value (I would say it is about on a par with the evidence for ghosts). A large number of UFO settings have been debunked so I think it there is good reason to be very skeptical here. As to ‘extraterrestrial species that have been witnessed and are obviously gregarious’ you need to provide more solid evidence for such a statement before it can be considered seriously.

My Response:

lamarck (22)
For UFO evidence please see point four below, esp. the links.

JTaylor (21)
1. Again, I never said my 1% estimate was scientific! I never said it was helpful to anyone in any way! Besides, the Drake equation has seven variables of which we can make reasonable speculations of two; everything beyond that is a complete guess based on nothing. The only difference between my gut and the Drake equation is that my gut doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not - namely science.
2. I agree that our skill in finding other planets is increasing but it’s not like we can zoom in with three meter resolution on the planets surfaces and see anything. There might well be intelligent life existing in some form on those planets or their moons that current technology cannot detect or there might not. Right now looking at the gravitational effects on stars isn’t good enough to make any statements about the orbiting planets other than their potential distance and/or mass.
3. I never assumed you accepted that extraterrestrials exist, I said you didn’t up to the point of my posting deny their existence, that is, you did not openly argue that they do not exist. One is a positive statement and the other is a negative one.
4. “Debunking” is not and has never been part of science. Science doesn’t debunk, magicians and media skeptics debunk. 7% of the UFO sitings in Project Blue Book special report remain unidentified. If instead it were 7% of drugs tested had the potential to cure every form of cancer researchers would be doing everything they could to investigate those 7% farther, not saying “most drugs can’t cure cancer so we shouldn’t even try.”
More solid evidence other than the biggest government coverup in history (if no UFOs are extraterrestrial and they’re not national security concerns why doesn’t any government in the world besides Mexico come out and tell what they are? Why has the USAF come out with four different “official” reports of the Roswell crash, each one stating that the previous “official” reports were false misinformation campaigns?). More solid evidence than thousands of trained witnesses - pilots, retired military personel, police - who have come out with their reports to great personal risk of job loss, public ridicule, etc., who have nothing to gain by their testimony. If you want more evidence than that look into the trace cases. Potential landing sites with unusual chemical or radioactive properties, plants won’t grow in these areas even after decades when the surrounding areas are perfectly fine. Some people have gotten radiation burns from handling debris, sometimes leading to cancer and death. A supposed piece of the Roswell crash debris that has changed hands several times, each of the owners meeting with highly unlikely deaths (extremely rare diseases, improbable “accidents”). The website that was going to air a world-wide press conference revealing test results of chemical analysis was shut down, the server the site was on was stolen the night before, threatening phone calls convinced others not to cancel the conference.
Roswell Debris Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjQgqZ6eMP4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q18VaAQneaU
More answers to UFO questions:
http://www.v-j-enterprises.com/sf-ufo-why1.html

-Dee

25 June 2009

I'm Still a Creep

Sorry bout the video, it'll have to wait as the conversations on UD are heating up! Here is a reply from JTaylor, who is fully in on the Drake camp:

Yes, I agree that Drake’s equation is not “pure science” but it is an interesting exercise, and is based on some well thought out variables (and only two have been suggested as additions in nearly 50 years). And of course the data for at least some of the variables now is much better than it was in 1961. Reality of course is that since it is not yet testable and quite likely never will be, nevertheless it could provide some guidance into potential SETI research.
But UrbanMysticDee thinks it’s conceivable that 1% of the stars in our galaxy could host intelligent life (”which I do not doubt is the case”). That would mean that there are some 1 billion stars in our galaxy with intelligent life. And if UrbanMysticDee is skeptical of Drake’s equation what is the basis for this 1%? Drake’s equation is not perfect, but is probably the best we have (other than pure guessing).
Yes, it’s true we may be “special”, but that is not the same as being unique or especially chosen. The honest answer is “we don’t know”.
“As far as I am concerned there is only consciousness - it arose from nothing but instead is forever preexistant.”
Where is any evidence for this? UrbanMysticDee complains that Drake’s equation is not scientific but makes an assertion such as this based on what? Agreed that consciousness may still be mysterious - but isn’t it a bit of a leap to say it is pre-existent? Where’s the evidence for that?

And my reply:

JTaylor

1. The 1% estimate is a gut feeling that I never said was scientific. I am able to criticize bad science without having to provide an alternate theory. And I never said my feeling was scientific. I extrapolated from what I’ve read and heard from first and second hand sources that there seems to be a number of different extraterrestrial species that have been witnessed and that they are obviously gregarious otherwise encounters wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Besides, you don’t seem to deny the existence of extraterrestrial life so any argument between us on estimates as to their quantity would be purely academic.
2.
A. As to your second question, I draw my assertion of the pre-existence of consciousness based on 40,000 years of experimentation from mystical traditions around the world and my own personal experimentation. When consistent data have been coming in for that long by that many people it seems more than reasonable to assume the data are good.
B. Consciousness cannot be reduced to anything physical yet can have effects on the physical world that are independent of time and space. Giants in the field of physics (David Bohm, Evan Harris Walker, John von Neumann, John Wheeler, Brian Josephson, Eugene Wigner, etc.) have proposed the primacy of consciousness and have produced very interesting experiments backing up their theories (observation theories, retrocausality, etc.)
C. Every single experience that can be had while awake can also be had while dreaming. All the senses can be present in dreams equally or to a greater degree than while awake. Waking appears to be of the same category of phenomena as dreaming.
D. Something has to be pre-existente, whether it be quantum laws or the multiverse or inflation fields or what have you, because the universe appears to have come from absolutely nothing - it is not eternal and it cannot be self-created. Reasons A-C have weighed the deck for me toward a non-physical, intelligent, concious entity of immense power.

-Dee

24 June 2009

But I'm a Creep (I Wish I Was Special)

I've been on Uncommon Descent talking about the issue of being special (like Radiohead did, only not as badass). The question, just about, is "Is the Earth special and is humanity special?" The Drake equation (A * B * C *......* Z = ET Will Talk To Us On Our Telescopes) and the SETI (Silly Excuse to Investigate) people say no. Commentator Denyse O'Leary, noted Canadian journalist and UFO critic, gave the same old UFOs are fake tripe to prove we're special. Here's what I said:

Even if one percent of the stars in our galaxy had life of comparable intelligence as humans (which I do not doubt is the case) I would still say we are special for the simple reason that we are here contemplating specialness. Any species that can move beyond mere existence into the realm of abstract thought would be special in my view. We are able to imagine what the world was like before we were here (highly speculative) and what the world will be like should we be go extinct for whatever reason (much less speculative). We can also plan ahead and develop technologies to spread to other planets, should the initiative be taken. If that is not grounds for special status then some people are in denial of their own specialness, which in itself is another special quality.

Boy howdy if you even consider the possibility of extraterrestrial life on UD you get hammered like I did when I brought up how the face on mars was the only one of thousands of photos NASA took that they ran through five seperate filters to reduce the image to a smear to cover up the truth. Here is the first unfair characterization of me by a commenter:

UrbanMysticDee: If the ability for abstract thought can arise through random chance mechanisms/events alone throughout our galaxy and the universe, I wouldn’t see it as special in the context of this discussion. Indeed, if it were that common, it would be, well, common - not special. Given that I don’t think sufficient evidence exists to support your confidence in the arise of consciousness, abstract thought, etc. through materialistic forces (not to mention the lack of any evidence to support the arise of the simplest of DNA-based life forms through random chance), I have no idea where your confidence comes from. Sounds like you, too, suffer from a philosophical approach to this issue rather than a scientific one.

Here is my reply:

mtreat
1. I never said or even implicated any connection to materialism or random chance in regards to myself or my views of life in the universe. I’m not sure I can give URLs here but if I can I suggest you peruse my little corner of the internet: http://theurbanmystic.blogspot.com/
* I don’t think consciousness arose through materialistic forces. I don’t even think there are materialistic forces. I’m an idealist. As far as I am concerned there is only consciousness - it arose from nothing but instead is forever preexistant.
* The same goes for life forms, simple or otherwise.
2. After studying the whole UFO/extraterrestrial visitation issue pretty much my entire life I am convinced the evidence is overwhelming that the Earth has been visited by intelligent beings from beyond our solar system and that the cover up of the best evidence constitutes the greatest misinformation campaign in history.
* I myself have seen such crafts.
* The SETI people are in denial about the above. They spent all this time and money on fancy machines and now have to justify the existence of the program by haranguing UFOlogy and repeat their mantra every night that ET will only contact them with their expensive equipment to keep their sanity.
* The Drake equation is based on pure conjecture and isn’t science no matter what the SETI people may say. Neither for that matter is many worlds, string/m-brane theories, and dark energy science as none of them can, by definition, be tested.
3. If one percent of the population of Earth had the ability to fly and see through walls I would still say that they are special just as if one percent of stars in the galaxy had intelligent life I would say such life is special. I think it is a sufficently small number to justify the special categorization.

I'll keep you updated as things go down (expect a video on specialness as the next post).

-Dee

05 June 2009

The Scientific Case for the Authenticity of the Torah Codes Featuring Rabbi Moshe Zeldman

All the critics of the Torah codes ignore more than a decade of data and focus on one test conducted 15 years ago that had faulty protocol. New tests that have been conducted since have never been refuted. People claiming to be scientists (really skep-dicks) make unscientific claims because they can't accept the fact that the Torah codes are real (and by extension the Torah was written by God).

From Irked-Confusion correspondent Art Dains.

-Dee

29 May 2009

Tunguska Flying Saucer

It's In The Stones

Russian scientists (who have clashed with American scientists on the nature of the Tunguska blast of 1908 for decades as part of an ongoing Cold War rivalry) now say that the meteor that blew up in the atmosphere did not do so because of the ram pressure on entering the atmosphere (yes, I had to look it up too), but because a flying saucer crashed into it to spare the Earth from total destruction. Dr. Yuri Lavbin of the Tunguska Spatial Phenomena Foundation says that the flying saucer took on the suicidal mission to save the Earth because the meteor was so large it would have killed all humans on impact. How does he know this? Because he has found ten quartz crystal fragments at the blast site that depict astronomical features speculated to be star charts and even a portrait of the creatures that made the stones. A powerful laser was used to try to etch the stones but found they were very resistant and produced only faint markings. Dr. Lavbin concluded that there is no current technology capable of producing the markings on the stones, ruling out their creation in 1908 or at some other time as a hoax. As usual the Urban Mystic defers making a decision as to the authenticity of the doctor's work until farther evidence is collected.

-Dee

14 April 2009

100 Greatest Battles Update

Here is the updated list of battles.

Agincourt--------------Hundred Years War

Antioch-----------------First Crusade

Cannae-----------------Second Punic War

Gaugamela------------Wars of Alexander the Great

Gettysburg-------------American Civil War

Iwo Jima----------------WWII - Pacific Theater

Jutland-------------------WWI - Atlantic Theater

Kalinga-------------------Kalinga War

Kursk---------------------WWII - Eastern Front

Leyte Gulf---------------WWII - Pacific Theater

Marathon----------------Greco-Persian Wars

Passchendaele--------WWI - Western Front

Persian Gate-----------Wars of Alexander the Great

Plataea-------------------Greco-Persian Wars

Salamis------------------Greco-Persian Wars

Zama----------------------Second Pumic War

-Dee

07 April 2009

Atheists, Death, and the Meaning of Life

If, as I've heard said, "when you're dead, mate, you're dead," can your life have meaning? As I see it there are only two options: suicide or homicide. Enjoy!

-Dee

03 April 2009

The 100 Greatest Battles

The Past Is Not Inevitable... Getting over my first illness in a long time got me thinking about how much I loved the Alexander's Siege of Tyre video. In fact I was inspired to make a 100 part series looking at the 100 greatest battles in history. I'll take you above the fog of war and give you a perspective on these battles the comanders could only dream of getting while they were in the thick of it.

I'm not sure if I'll get through all hundred battles.

I don't have anything approaching a complete list of all the battles I want to cover.

I doubt any of these videos will be under ten minutes in length.

All I really do know is that I sincerely hope you enjoy this new series.

Music from "Roxanne's Veil" by Vangelis and Vanessa Mae

Here is a tentative list of battles:

Battle --- Date --- War

Agincourt --- 25 October 1415 --- Hundred Years War

Kalinga --- 265/264 BC --- Kalinga War

Persian Gate --- January 330 BC --- Wars of Alexander the Great

Gaugamela --- 1 October 331 BC --- Wars of Alexander the Great

Iwo Jima --- 19 Feb - 26 Mar 1945 --- WWII - Pacific Theater

Gettysburg --- 1 -3 July 1863 --- American Civil War

31 March 2009

On Torture

Readers of the old Urban Mystic know my stance on waterboarding: plain and simple, waterboarding is not torture. By the same vein one could say baptism is torture and some highly litigious "advocacy" group should be organizing a class action lawsuit against the Catholic church for torturing millions of babies every year. Joseph Farah at Human Events.com writes:

"
Americans simply are losing their ability to distinguish right from wrong."

He goes on to explain why waterboarding is not torture:

"
Here's why waterboarding is not torture:

"Do you know the U.S. military waterboards hundreds of our own soldiers every year? It is part of the conditioning Special Forces troops undergo to prepare for battle and the possibility of capture by the enemy. In other words, it's OK for us to do this to America's best and brightest, but it's too horrible for our worst enemies? Does this make sense to anyone?

"Many Americans are simply confused about the real definition of torture. Because so little sacrifice is required of most Americans today and because so few have experienced combat, they equate momentary discomfort or fear with torture. They are not the same.My definition of torture is simple: It involves physical or mental abuse that leaves lasting scars. Cutting off fingers, toes, limbs -- that would be torture. Forcing prisoners to play Russian roulette -- that would be torture. Sticking hot pokers in the eyes of prisoners -- that would be torture.
"

I'm posting this because when AOL Journals closed down all the entries I posted on waterboarding went out the window (they're still saved at a secure location, don't worry).

-Dee

29 March 2009

Science is a Process, NOT a Position - Evolution

The debate regarding Darwinism has taken a turn for the good! Texas high schools now require teaching scientific criticism of Darwinian evolution, thereby bringing the subject into the realm of REAL science, not scientism (the religion of reductionist materialism masquerading as science)! From Uncommon Descent (from Evolution News):

Big Win in Texas as State Now Leads Nation in Requiring Critical Analysis of Evolution in High School Science Classes Robert Crowther

In a huge victory for those who favor teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution, Texas today moved to the head of the class by requiring students to “critique” and examine “all sides of scientific evidence” and specifically requiring students to “analyze and evaluate” the evidence for major evolutionary concepts such as common ancestry, natural selection, and mutations.

“Texas has sent a clear message that evolution should be taught as a scientific theory open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned,” said Dr. John West, Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute. “Contrary to the claims of the evolution lobby, absolutely nothing the Board did promotes ‘creationism’ or religion in the classroom. Groups that assert otherwise are lying, plain and simple. Under the new standards, students will be expected to analyze and evaluate the scientific evidence for evolution, not religion. Period.”

The new requirements were contained in revised science standards approved today by the Texas State Board of Education. The science standards include language requiring students to “analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations…including examining all sides of scientific evidence… so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.” Equally important, the high school biology standards now require students to “analyze and evaluate” the scientific evidence for key parts of evolutionary theory, including common ancestry, natural selection, and mutations.

Discovery Institute has long endorsed the idea that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, including its unresolved issues.

---------

Also, we here at The Urban Mystic have received our first ever comment on the post regarding Sri Adi Da. To Anonymous, thank you for your comment. We look forward to your patronage.

-Dee

28 March 2009

The Four Kinds of Leaders

An Excerpt from "Discipline and Leadership," Pages 46-50, from A Student in Arms by Donald Hankey.

Of course the types vary enormously. At first it is generally the men who want promotion that obtain the stripe, and they mostly belong to one of two classes. They are either ambitious youngsters or blustering bullies. The youngster who wants promotion has probably been a clerk and lived in a suburb. He is better educated and has a smarter appearance than the general run of the men. He covets the stripe because he wants to get out of the many menial and dirty jobs incidental to barrack life; because he thinks himself "a cut above" his fellows and wants the fact to be recognized; because, in short, he thinks that as a lance-corporal he will find life easier and more flattering to his self-esteem. He soon finds his mistake. He annoys the sergeant-major by his incompetence and the men by his superior airs. Soon he gets into a panic and begins to nag at the men. That is just what they hate. The whole situation reminds one of nothing so much as of a terrier barking at a heard of cows. As soon as the cows turn on him the terrier begins to waver, and, after trying to maintain his dignity by continuing to bark, ends by fleeing for dear life with his tail between his legs. So the young lance-corporal begins by hectoring the men, and, having roused them to a fury of irritation, ends by abject entreaty. Finally he is reduced to the ranks. The career of the bully is different. He is generally a vulgar, pushing fellow, who likes boasting and threatening, likes to feel that men are afraid of him, likes to be flattered by toadies, and likes getting men punished. The men hate him; but he sometimes manages to bluff the officers and sergeants into thinking that he is a "smart N.C.O." Usually he comes to a bad end, either through drink or gambling. When he is reduced to the ranks his lot is not an enviable one. A deplorable number of those who are first promoted finish by forfeiting their stripe. Then comes the turn of the man who does not covet rank for its own sake, but accepts it because he thinks that it is "up to him" to do so. Generally he is a man of few words and much character. He gives an order. The man who receives it begins to argue: it is not his turn, he has only just finished another job, and so on. The N.C.O. looks at him, and repeats: "Git on and do it." The man "curls up," and does as he is told. An N.C.O. of this sort is popular. He saves any amount of wear and tear, and this is appreciated by the men. He gets things done, and that is appreciated by the sergeants and officers. Finally, there is the gentleman, who is the most interesting of them all from our point of view. He is generally a thoroughly bad disciplinarian in the official sense, and at the same time he is often a magnificent leader of men. He is fair and disinterested. He has a certain prestige through being rather incomprehensible to the average private. He does not care a scrap for his rank. He is impervious to the fear of losing it. He takes it from a sense of duty, and his one idea is to get things done with as little friction as possible. He often succeeds in gaining the confidence of his men, so that they will work for him as for no one else. But, on the other hand, his methods are apt to be quite unorthodox and highly prejudicial to the cause of discipline as a whole. His authority is so personal that it is very hard for anordinary N.C.O. to take his place.

26 March 2009

22 March 2009

Challenging The Aryan Invasion Theory

"The aryan invasion theory has been one of the most controversial historical topics for well over a century. However, it should be pointed out that it remains just that – a theory. To date no hard evidence has proven the aryan invasion theory to be fact. In this essay we will explain the roots of this hypothesis and how, due to recent emergence of new evidence over the last couple of decades, the validity of the aryan invasion theory has been seriously challenged."

When the Europeans came to India in the wake of imperialism (the Europeans who came over during the Roman and Hellenistic times heaped nothing but reverence upon Indian culture) they had to justify their racial superiority, and so they created the myth that people from either eastern Europe or central Asia moved into India and displaced the native population. They based this on the similarity between European, Iranian, and Indian languages. These languages needed a common source, and they all knew at the time that it couldn't be India, so they settled for central Asia. The new old langage they invented - "Proto-IndoEuropean."

Unfortunately none of the cities Indus Valley Civilization show signs of having been attacked by invaders. "
Despite the extensive excavations at the largest Harappan sites, there is not a single bit of evidence that can be brought forth as unconditional proof of an armed conquest and the destruction on the supposed scale of the Aryan Invasion," Describes Prof. G. F. Dales.

Furthermore, none of the Vedas make refrences to places outside of India. If they had been written by invading Aryans the Vedas would speak of an Aryan homeland outside of India, which they don't, and they would spea, of religious sites and cities outside of India, which they also don't.

"
The Puranas refer to migrations of people out of India, which explains the discoveries of treaties between kings with Aryan names in the Middle East, and references to Vedic gods in West Asian texts in the second millenium BC. However, the indologists try to explain these as traces of the migratory path of the Aryans into India."

Although the article presented at the top of the page (and again HERE) does tend to use some loaded language (isn't that my job?) it is a very good place to start your search into the truth about the Indian origin of Indian culture.

-Dee

The True Aritst

An Excerpt from "A Sense of the Dramatic," Pages 173-174, from A Student in Arms by Donald Hankey.

A sense of the dramatic is, of course, closely connected with a sense of humor. If you have this faculty for getting outside yourself and criticizing yourself, you will be pretty sure to see whether you look ridiculous. If you are a real artist in the exercise of the gift, you will also see yourself in your right perspective with regard to other people. The artist must not be an egoist. He must not allow the limelight to be centred on himself. He will see himself, not as the hero of the story, but as one of the characters – the hero, perhaps, of one chapter, but equally a minor character in the others. The greatest artist of all, probably, is the man who prays, and tries to see the story as the Author designed it. He will have the truest sense of proportion, the most adequate sense of humor of all. Undoubtedly prayer is the highest form of exercising this sense of the dramatic.

19 March 2009

Thoughts on the AIG

these are my thoughts on capitalism, "American capitalism," Rush Limbaugh, AIG, and celebrities who get paid a lot more than they deserve. To see the full video please see this link (the site won't let me embed it).

-Dee

09 March 2009

Global Waffles?

From the Global Warming Petition Project now signed by over 31,000 American scientists*: "We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

*Some "concensus"

-Dee

22 February 2009

Maha Shivaratri 2009

Today (22 February) is Maha Shivarathri in the Americas (it's tomorrow in India and some other places in Asia because they use a different calender or something, I couldn't find a detailed answer why). I've done all I could. Followers of the original Urban Mystic can appreciate this deviation from looking without to looking within, as the original posts were about my own spiritual discoveries. I look forward to next year and will train better for the fasting and sleep deprivation. Always Love. Om Nama Shivaya.

-Dee

15 February 2009

How Many Degrees of Seperation?

The popular notion that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else in just six steps intrigues many. Just today on the Science Channel there was a program that could be described as a six degree polemic. When Prof. Judith Kleinfeld analyzed the data, however, she discovered something interesting.

First a discription of one of the experiments. Stanly Milgram had letters handed out to people all over the world and they were to pass the letters to their friends until the letters returned to Milgram himself. He said the average number of steps the letters had to pass through was six, hence the idea of six degrees of seperation was correct.

What Kleinfeld discovered was that Milgram cherrypicked the data. 95% of all the letters not only didn't make it back to him in six steps, they didn't make it back at all! All the similar experiments involving sending out letters revealed that only about 3% of all the letters made it back. Kleinfeld notes
"If 95 or 97 letters out of 100 never reached their target, would you say it was proof of six degrees of separation?"

The documentary also made huge generalizations. They mentioned how every neuron in the brain is connected to every other neuron through only six steps. A second later they say that the only creature whose nervous system has been completely mapped out is a microscopic worm. They're extrapolating from a single individual to every creature with a nervous system. That's like when they say another Tunguska event is "not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," based on the only Tunguska event ever known to have happened! You can't extrapolate from a single datum to make bold generalizations about how the world works.
I'm not even sure if they said the worm's brain exhibited the six degree trait or not.

Here is another paper on the six degree idea from someone who also doesn't believe in it.

Be careful what you take as fact (read: global warming, ephiphenomenalism, no UFOs, no Psi, etc.), it just may be academia pushing something onto you.

-Dee

30 January 2009

Let's Be Adult Stem Cells

In part reposted from The Urban Mystic 28 Nov 2007.

The readers of the NY Post have sung the praises of advancements made in adult stem cell research.
Now remember, adult stem cells have been shown effective treatment for over 70 diseases and conditions whereas embryonic stem cells have never been shown to be able to do anything. Yet for the longest time Michael J. The Guy Who Can't Act and other limousine liberals said that only Hitler and Capital Bush would want to ban the slaughter of millions of the innocent to fund embryonic stem cell research. For supporters of embryonic stem cell research it's not about curing illnesses or helping people, all that can be done with adult stem cells; no, the crux of the issue is seeing to it that as many abortions as possible are carried out to decrease the surplus population (which is a Malthusian myth) and to prove that God does not exist by forcing people to believe that embryos are just lumbs of goo and not living people.

It's no coincidence that the first Unplanned Parenthood "clinic" was established in the largest black neighborhood in the nation. Founder
Margaret Sanger said blacks were a plague that needed to be exterminated and started Unplanned Parenthood with the explicit purpose of eliminating people she and others saw as racially impure. If you check you will find that the people at Unplanned Parenthood want to establish mandatory stearilization for couples who have more than one child. Adolf Hitler awarded Sanger for her work on advancing the cause of eugenics! The abortion craze started to cleanse the earth of people that were deemed undesirable.

Well the people have spoken.

Joe Mulvanerton of Sunnyside NY said "The silence of the supporters of embryonic stem-cell research over the recent discovery speaks volumes as to their true agenda. "If these supporterswere truly interested in finding cures, they would be dancing in the streets oer this news. "And instead of spending millions of dollars to vilify President [Capital] Bush over his opposition to ESC research, they wold be suing that money to promote the donation of umbilical cords for stem-cell research."

Gregg Nelson of Chester NJ says "While the ethical concerns of cloning may no longer be a barrier to the pursuit of promising medical cures, stem-cell research will no longer advance the left-wing, estremist abortion agenda, an dthe issue likely will fall off the radar screen of the politicians, preening celebrities and special interest groups. "In fact, rather than helping advance the cause, they'll likely go back to trashing pharmaceutical companies for their 'greed' in profiting from new medical treatments."

And now I have found an article from Salvo Magazine, written by Denyse O'Leary, discussing the topic of adult versus embryonic stem cells. From that article:

"Interestingly, the prestigious science journal Nature, when making its case for continuing embryo research, announced that ESCR researchers would actually be relieved if adult stem cells eventually proved the more effective therapeutic path. 'Abandoning work on human embryonic stem cells would allow them to operate with a clear conscience and without having to defend their work all the time.'

"So the researchers knew all along that ESCR was wrong? They were violating their consciences? Previously, we had been assured that only religious fanatics viewed ESCR that way."

At the bottom of the article is a (very) partial list of diseases that can be treated with adult stem cells whereas embryonic stem cells have been shown to be completely useless: diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, heart failure, and spinal cord injury.

-Dee

25 January 2009

Disproving God, Episode One

In 2008 I recorded over an hour of audio in which I assess various proofs against God's existence. All that material was starting to take up space on my computer so I decided to start uploading it on the internet. It's not very good, in terms of audio quality or coherence, but if you have eight minutes to kill this should provide you with some good laughs and maybe something to think about. The video images I added to the audio is completely random. There will be many more such videos in the future.

*Why does the "rock problem" not work?

*Why is the problem of evil an appeal to emotion and not a legitimate argument?

*If God knows everything you can't win an argument against God, so why bother?

-Dee