28 March 2013

Marriage Inequality

Rights
Marriage is not a right, it is a privilege (like a drivers license) granted to certain people who meet certain conditions to regulate procreation because 1. the tribe does not want siblings to marry and have retarded babies and 2. the tribe does not want its members to have children with members of other tribes to prevent the other tribe from gaining control of the tribe's property and power. That's what marriage is. That's what it always has been. It has nothing to do with love (although love couldn't hurt), it has to do with the responsibility of the individual to provide for the continued existence of the tribe through procreation. Marriage is about the needs of the few giving way to the needs of the many. That's why married people get financial benefits, because it is implied in the marriage contract between the tribe and the two individuals that they are married to have children and children are expensive. The very idea that "I'm going to marry someone I love/lust as an expression of that love/lust" is a very odd idea, and one that has only just begun to gain prominence. For most of history people didn't even get to choose who they got married to!

This whole charade is an outgrowth of Boomeritis: the pernicious combination of narcissism and relativisim (both cultural and moral) that has infected postmodern society. "I am special, I am special, look at me, look at me!" "My happiness is more important to me than doing what is right, and I am the most important person in my life, so fuck you."

Let me put this in terms any idiot can understand (but an ideologue might choose not to understand): if you want to say a cat is a dog, nothing you can do will ever change the fact that a cat is not a dog. If you yell really loud and go to court and have the court change the definition of dog to include cats, that still won't change the fact that cats are not dogs. All that will prove is that people are stupid enough to use words incorrectly to make themselves and others happy.

Or: if you want to say pi is 3.2, nothing you can do will ever change the fact that pi is not 3.2. Even if you go to court and have the court change the definition of pi to be 3.2, that still won't change the fact that pi is not 3.2. All that will prove is that judges are not the proper authorities on mathematical facts.

Thankfully, pi was not legally redefined as 3.2. If we can only be so fortunate as to have intelligent justices on the Supreme Court put an end to this asininity once and for all.

25 March 2013

Dating Creation

Taking the geneologies found in the Masoritic Text and fitting them together with an estimate of when the Exodus occured, we might be able to figure out when the Bible places the creation of the world. From Adam to Moses, we can construct the following chart:

Patriarch    Born    Died
Adam           1*          931
Seth             131      1043
Enosh          236      1141
Kenan          326      1236
Mahalalel     396      1291
Jared           461      1423
Enoch          623      988 ("Walked with God")
Methuselah 688      1657 (Died seven days before the flood)
Lamech      875      1652
Noah           1057    2007    1657 = The Flood
Shem          1557    2157
Arphaxad    1657    2095
Shelah        1692    2125
Eber           1722    2195
Peleg          1756    1995
Reu             1786    2025
Sherug        1818    2048
Nahor          1848    1996
Terah           1877    2152
Abraham     1947    2222
Isaac           2047    2267
Jacob          2107    2254

Some interesting things appear when we view this data in chart form. Lamech was the last patriarch to see Adam alive (he died 126 years before Noah was born). Noah not only outlived his great-great-great grandson, he also outlived his great-great-great-great-great-great grandson Nahor, who died quite young (relatively speaking). Abraham also had 215 years to get to know Noah, and so he had a direct testimony of the flood. Key events from creation to when the Israelites enter Egypt are not more than two people removed.

Moses was 80 years old when the Exodus happened, which took place exactly 430 years after the Israelites (Jacob's family) entered Egypt, when Jacob was age 130. Meaning:

2237 = Israelites enter Egypt
2667 = Exodus
Time spent in Egypt = 430 Years (to the day)

Moses died at age 120. From this we can calculate the dates of Moses' life:

Moses    2587    2707

I've estimated before that the Exodus** happened around 1550 BC. 1550 BC now becomes 2667 after the beginning of the sixth day (yom).This would mean Adam was created in the year 4217 BC. The world, according to this calculation, would be 6,230 years and 5 unspecified yom old.

Solomon's temple was supposedly built exactly 480 years after the Exodus, or year 3147 AA (After Adam), or 1070 BC according to my estimate. This was the fourth year of Solomon's reign, so he became king in 3143 AA, or 1074 BC. His father, David, reigned for 40 years with Solomon being his immediate successor. David became king at age 30, so he lived a total of 70 years. This places his life at 3073 - 3143 (he had Solomon the year of his death, apparently) or 1144 - 1074 BC. This is about a hundred years before he is traditionally placed.

Of course, all this rests on the accuracy of one date: the date of the Exodus. That said, I think it is fairly accurate. I don't know if there was an Adam who lived 6,000 years ago (pretty close to the start of the Egyptian calendar), or what event from 2560 BC would count as the flood (around the time when the Great Pyramid was supposed to have been built). I have no idea what any of this is actually calculating. Sure, there was an Abraham, and the Israelites did settle in Egypt, but what happened before is anyone's guess. It does, however, make for an interesting day's work.




*For some reason many people seems to start counting with a year zero. I have no idea how to count zero years. The current Jewish calendar starts counting with year one (the first five days of creation) and says Adam was created on the first day of year two. Since there is no way to know how long, exactly, those first five days were, I'm going to put Adam's creation at the start of year one.

**Going by the Hebrew calendar, which currently places us in year 5773, Exodus happened 1126 BC,

12 March 2013

TSA (To Sexually Assault) Is A Joke Reveals Insider

NY Post: TSA insider reveals TSA is a complete joke (like I've been saying since day one). I'd like to make a few choice quotes, but there's just so many:

A LOT of what we do is make-believe.

These are the employees who could never keep a job in the private sector. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.

An agent got through Newark last week with an improvised explosive device? That’s not even news to anyone who works there. It happens all the time. The failure rate is pretty high, especially with federal investigators, and the pat-down itself is ridiculous. As invasive as it is, you still can’t find anything using the back of your hand on certain areas.

What are the chances of you being on a flight where something happens? We always said it’s not a question of if terrorists get through — it’s a question of when. Our feeling is nothing’s happened because they haven’t wanted it to happen. We’re not any big deterrent. It’s all for show.

Most TSA screeners know their job is a complete joke. Their goal is to use this as a stepping stone to another government agency.

We work in a culture where common sense has no place. All but a very few TSA personnel know they’re employed by a bottom-of-the-barrel agency.

Supervisors play absolutely no role in day-to-day functions except to tell you not to chew gum. Gum chewing is a huge issue with management. I once saw a supervisor make an officer open his mouth to prove he had a mint and not a piece of gum.

Goofing off and half-hour-long bathroom breaks are the only way to break up the monotony. There is also a lot of ogling of female passengers by the male screeners. So, ladies, cover up when you get to the airport. These guys are checking you out constantly.

A small number of screeners are delusional zealots who believe they’re keeping America safe by taking your snow globe, your 2-inch pocket knife, your 4-ounce bottle of shampoo and performing invasive pat-downs on your kids.

It’s the people who’ve been there a good number of years who could never find employment elsewhere. When you have a real job, it usually means you have to actually work and think, which a lot of them have a hard time doing.

09 March 2013

The Night That Lasted Forever: Terrifying Consequences

I was reading "The Black Cloud" by Fred Hoyle when I got to thinking about Nightmare Moon's plan to eliminate the sun.

Now, in the My Little Pony universe the sun is not some astronomical object out there in space, it is something manipulated by magic. This means that there is not a night side and day side to the planet. [1] This is very important, as will become evident later.

Had Nightmare Moon succeeded in her plan, this "night that will last forever" would completely devastate the entire planet, rendering it uninhabitable to all but a tiny few creatures (assuming they exist) whose lives are not impacted by the sun's existence or lack thereof. Moreover, this horrible fate, the end of all pony kind, would happen in a much quicker timespan than might be imagined by the casual viewer. Allow me to explain with a little timeline.

First, it is important to note that this "forever night" [2] would be very different from an ordinary night. During the night the land surface cools down. This process is mitigated by the effects of the atmosphere. If there are clouds then less heat can escape and the land cools slower. On Earth there is always some point on the surface where it is day time, so part of the atmosphere is always warm, creating convection currents and preventing the entire atmosphere from cooling off. This is why the artic and antarctic never get too cold during their long, sunless winters, because warm air from the lower latitudes circulates, keeping the poles warmer than they would otherwise be. If the entire output of the sun was eliminated somehow (see note 1), then this saving effect of the atmosphere would no longer exist.

It is impossible to make accurate calculations without knowing the size of  pony planet, but we can make some reasonable guesses.

A body the size of the Earth facing an endless night would rapidly begin to cool off. Immediately photosynthesis would stop, and small plants would begin to die as they used up their sugar supplies.

Within a week the surface temperature of the whole planet would reach freezing. The oceans, a considerable heat reservoir, would remain warm for a quite some time.

One month after sun and most plants have died or been eaten. Herbivoirs would not survive much longer. Ponies (being the equivalent of humans) do not seem to be capable of harnessing geothermal power, or operate submarines, as they seem to have 19th century equivalent technology (steam power). They would be able to burn wood, and possibly coal, for warmth, and live off of grain reserves (say a year's worth), but things would get very difficult very quickly. Many ponies would die early on, leaving the harty survivers to a long, cold, dark, lonley fate. The surface temperature would be arctic cold everywhere. Coastal waters would begin to freeze, but the opean ocean would remain liquid.

Six months after sun and the surface temperature is as cold as it ever gets on Earth, −80 °C (−112 °F). Only a few straggling scavangers will survive. If it can't live in Antarctica it can't live on pony planet any longer. Creatures would not only need adaptation to extreme cold, they would need adaptation to darkness. [3] The last of the ponies has probably died. The water in trees has frozen solid and the only surviving plant life is a few frozen seeds. Even the open ocean is frozen on the surface. Most sea life within the first 2 kilometers has died due to starvation. Deep ocean life continues to survive off of detritus falling from the surface.

One year after sun and the only things left alive are either immortal (Luna as Nightmare Moon, Celestia who has been captured, and statue Discord), or lives far below the surface. The deep oceans, warmed by geothermal activity [4] and insulated by over a kilometer of ice, will remain habitable to deep vent communities (tube worms, shrimp, etc., if they exist on pony planet), and bacteria slowly metabolising the rock near the mantle (if they exist [5]).

After that is wild guessing. Even the longest lived seeds would die after a few tens of thousands of year (maybe sooner, if they can't survive the cold). Global glaciations have lasted for tens of millions of years without freezing the oceans solid (although, the sun still existed). In the total absence of the sun, it would still be tens of thousands of years before the oceans froze solid. The only life would remain deep under ground, where the rock was still warm. The surface temperature would be the same as that of the Moon during night time, −238 °C (−477 °F). The atmosphere would have frozen long ago. [6] If pony planet is like Earth, geological activity will end when the outer core solidifies, a process which will take 2 billion years. Subterranian bacteria will have died long before this event, having used up all available water in the rocks. The entire planet will be dead, and all because a princess got butthurt because her subjects couldn't stay awake 24 hours straight.







Notes

 1. As far as we can tell - unless Celestia does not "raise the sun" but "rotates the planet," which would have the same subjective effect. For purpose of this exercise I am assuming that Celestia actually raises the sun, meaning that when it is night time the entire planet is covered in darkness, and when it is day time the entire planet is covered in light.

It is possible that Nightmare Moon could blot out the sun by putting something between it and pony planet, like the Black Cloud. That object would need to intercept and absorb or divert all incident sunlight, and not in any way warm up, or there would come a time, eventually, where it would get so hot as to become as effective a radiant heat source as the sun itself. Either way, the effect would be the same, and the means of how Nightmare Moon eliminates the sun is unimportant.

2. "Forever Knight" was a TV series about a vampire police officer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPhIEG3JYtg

3. Vitamin D must be created through exposure to sunlight or ingesting something that had created it through sunlight. NONE of the latter survive. Life would entail a constant struggle to acquire this nutrient.

4. Volcanoes do exist, as has been seen on the show. The only question remains if dragons are the only creatures that live in volcanoes or if there are Earth-equivalent lifeforms like tube worms.

5. Ponies can get sick, so assumably there are many different kinds of bacteria.

6. If the pony atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, it would have frozen solid at −210 °C (−346 °F). Offgassing from volcanoes would still release carbon dioxide, which would also freeze, producing dry ice snow. Since volcanic activity won't stop for millions of years the atmosphere would consist of carbon dioxide waiting to freeze and trace gasses like helium.

01 March 2013

Aliens, Serial Killers, and Mental Illness Addendum A: Sufficiently Alien Cognition

A nine minute video detailing my "sufficiently alien" hypothesis; made for a general audience.

Some conditions such as schizophrenia and autism might not be deficiencies, they might be normal modes of cognition under sufficiently alien conditions we are not currently aware of. Just as ADHD would provide optimal survival value in a hunter-gatherer society and be considered normal, while a modern Western post-industrial person who is currently considered normal would, under such conditions, be considered to have a disorder, it is possible that there are hypothetical situations where "shadow societies" could exist where people currently considered to have other types of disorders would be considered normal. I call these people "sufficiently alien."