31 December 2012

Top 10 of 2012

The top ten stories of 2012, by view count. Some may surprise you.

1. The Walking Dead
Yes, AMC's masterfully crafted zombie drama took the top spot this year, just as candy coloured ponies took the top spot last year. Starting to see the trend?
Actually, the post speculated on why a zombie apocalypse could not happen if everyone had to get bitten. The musings were made irrelevant two months later when it was revealed that everyone is infected. Nine months later and people are still reading it.

2. Jesus' Life and Death
Similarly, the number two story is also about someone rising from the dead.
Was there a plot to kill Jesus and blame it on the Jews? The greatest story ever told, or at least a timeline for the life of Jesus, serves as a nice framework for a much larger subject, which touches on history, archaeology, mysticism, religion, politics, economics, philosophy, linguistics, numismatics, paleoastronomy, astrology, and some other stuff that will all go into the book once it's finished (currently working on an expanded version of timeline).

3. Discussing Gay Marriage
Whether it be Plutarch, Alan Keys, or some guy no one ever heard of named Rick Santorum, it seemes like a lot of people at least tried to talk about gay marriage in 2012. A few of them focused on the purpose of marriage and why societies have a vested interest in regulating it, and one tried to have an adult discussion with a bunch of children who pretend to be tolerant, but only tolerate people who think exactly like them.

4. Obama Food Nazi
Thar the President's wife blows! This one here is interesting. A little story about a few kids who had their lunches thrown away by government lunch inspectors managed to force its way into spot number four. The inspector was later suspended indefinitely, with full pay and benefits, because the school system in this country is bankrupt morally, affectively, and financially. There was a false-flag terror attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, perpetrated by al Qaeda and the CIA, in which four Americans were tortured and killed, and that story did not make the top ten, but chicken nuggets did. I'm glad people are paying attention to the government infringing on the rights of citizens, but I think you couple of readers here are missing the bigger issue.

5. The Problem With Bombing Iran
What would happen if the United States decided to simply bomb Iran's chocolate chip factories? Will Iran use nuclear blackmail against its gulf rivals to gain hegemony over the entire Near East? Would Russia or China ever want to go to war over Iranian nukes? Why is ESPN racist, using the phrase "chink in the armor" 3,000 times? The answers are not pretty, that's for sure, but they definitely bring in readers.

6. Transpersonal Psychology: A Brief Definition
Seems a lot of people are interested in transpersonal psychology, Ken Wilber, psychadelics, and some other stuff. That's real good, seeing as how it is the meat and potatoes of what inspired The Urban Mystic way back in 2006 (even if other stuff has taken over the spotlight since). This video is only twelve minutes long - perfect for 2012 - and I highly recommend you watch it and bring in the new year with new perspectives.

7. An Exercise In Debunking Documentaries
A program called "5th Dimension" does an hour show on debunking reincarnation, so I decided to take some time debunking the irrationalists who produced the program. A rationalist is a philosophical term for someone who believes that true knowledge can only come from the mind and not the senses, whereas the debunkers who hijack the term rationalist believe that there is no mind and everything is just dead matter. Irony.

8. Kony 2012 Exposed
Trendy liberal's gonna' get Kony!!!!1 So, you tweeted about Kony 2012, that must make you a real activist, right? Follow the money, not the guy who was naked and jacking off in public, and maybe you'll discover that Kony has probably been dead for years and the whole thing is one big scam.

9. The Story of Sathya Sai Baba
How appropriate, number nine is a nine minute video biography of the life of Sathya Sai Baba. There is no narration, so you will have to read the video text. This is the second year in a row Sai Baba has made the top ten list.

10. The Bible Code
The book that spawned a documentary and a sequel, written by a journalist who thinks he is James Bond and Indiana Jones combined. By the way, if you didn't know, Michael Drosnin is an atheist. Brendan McKay cheated with Moby-Dick (and admits it!), Michael Drosnin does not believe in God, and here's two pages of code tables. Now, there are the codes, which are real and probably written by ET, and God, who needs him, and here are some code tables to pad the length of the book. Why does evil exist when God could just fix everything himself? I'll give you three guesses, and they're all ET.

Oh, by the way, Michael Drosnin, totally doesn't believe in God, and here are a few code tables to prove it.




Lastly, some stories that didn't quite make it, but either came very close or else are real important and just flew under the radar.

Questioning the Quran
What happens when you bring together the strange bedfellows of critical scholarship and Islam's holy book (something that happens a whole lot to all other world religions)? You get some interesting questions about the lack of diacritical marks in the Uthmanic text (the official Quran of the first Caliphate), the preponderance of Syrio-Aramaic loan words in Arabic, Muhammad's undoubtedly good memory as an illiterate merchant and its implications vis-a-vis cryptamnesia, and an anecdote regarding white grapes. Very interesting, but not likely to affect the way the Quran is interpreted.

Benghazi
Need I say more?

Balancing the Budget WITHOUT Raising Taxes
Yes, Grover Norquist is right, and it is possible to balance the budget without raising taxes, which is important because all serious economists will tell us that we are already at the revenue maximizing point on the Laffer curve, and raising taxes will result in a decrease in the amount of tax revenue collected by the IRS. To put it another way, you come home to find the sewer has backed up inside your house. Do you remove the shit or raise the ceiling?

The Games We Play
Whether we're talking about witnesses, shadows, bruised egos, puzzles, pity parties, getting over yourself, getting over yourself, wearing masks, hurting yourself to see if you still feel (oops, haven't written that one yet!), getting shit faced, getting fat, or just getting over yourself, this has been one very important subject that you couple of readers just seemed to miss this year. Shame.

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