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StatSurfer

Visits today: 31

Word Descriptions.

Magic: The ability to alter reality through the use of will, with physical tools being limited to symbolic use.

Roleplaying Game: a game where the purpose is to play a role. Ron Edwards’ “Sorcerer” is an RPG where the purpose of playing is to play the role of a sorcerer exploring the price of power and knowledge.

Purpose: Why something is done.

Goal: A thing to achieve.

Story: A narrative of rising dramatic tension leading to a climax in which one party succeeds over another, and a denouement in which lose ends are tied up and things brought to a final conclusion.

Stray Thought on Domestication

Is it possible there are animals that don’t need domestication? Spider monkeys, capuchin, white rhinos, giraffes, tasmanian devils, leopard seals. aftrican wild cats (wait, we already did them), carp?

Sometimes You Just Gotta Sit.

This time the plea is for a mere $30.00. The item in question is a folding chair at a local deep discount grocery, and it goes for $20.00.

+8% sales tax.

+PayPals fees.

+Leeway funds.

Use the PayPal button to your right.

What will the chair be used for?

Down here in the computer lab some clod (or clods) has (or have) taken three of the six chairs for use with the computer. Right now I’m using the chair that came with my room, but I’d like to have something that’s distinctively mine. Can you help?

Gotta Post Something

So I think I will.

Over on G+ a fellow posted about his desire to see more full frontal nudity of men on tv. On cable and the like I can see it. Don’t see it happening on broadcast. Why not?

Because the penis means much to people, some disturbing.

The human penis is used for a lot of different things. Urination is one, and while vital it isn’t necessarily the one we are most concerned about. We use it to impress, terrify, entertain, draw attention. We use it for recreation, and sometimes (in a great while) that recreation leads to added responsibilities.

The penis is a column of tissue that acts as the terminus of the male human’s uretha. It has a counterpart in a women’s clitoris, and shares further simularities where nerves and nerve responses are concerned. In short, the nerves of a penis evolved to make men react in a certain way when stimulated. For this reason there is no such thing as an innocent shot of the penis, for everybody who sees one is going to react to that.

Some will be aroused. some will be angered. Some will be embarrassed and seek to avoid the scene, others will seek to see further examples. Seeing a penis is always titallating, and some people don’t like that.

In American society we take great pains to instill a complex regarding sex in our young. “Sex is wrong.” “Sex is evil.” “Sex gives you bad ideas.” “Sex is for procreation only, not recreation.” Yet time and again people give no thoughts to any possible consequences for sex before or during the act. In plain speech, sex is fun, and it is the most fun when at least two are involved.

Sex, and the role of the penis in it, also serves to remind us of our animal nature. There are many who can’t stand that fact. So to protect us from sex they’ll do most anything they can, or need to, to keep any mention of it suppressed. They say sex is filthy. They say sex damages somehow a person’s psyche. Heaven forbid that children ever be exposed to sex, for who knows what that could lead to. And heaven forbid we ever lose sight of how important sex can be.

Of course it can be important, but in the middle of a tussle there are very few who are going to be concered with that. No, sex is not only fun, but to be successful, as in leading to orgasm, it needs to be mindless. Let go and enjoy the ride.

So will we see more penises on tv? Not likely, for the human phallus is too important a thing to be displayed all the time.

At least, not while we continue to teach that the penis is evil, vile, a temptation, and a foul dispensor of wickedness and depravity.

At least until images of the penis so become so ubiquitous they become just background noise.

Then we’ll see the male member on broadcast tv. But not until then.

Perseverence

As a follow up to the post just below I present this piece. The first question I’m going to answer is this, why do I call Darren Naish a coward?

Because he is.

He does speak out in favor of the existence of bigfoot and the yeti, but it is a half-hearted, please don’t revile me, you know I’ll tacitly support your mindless, anti-science, if bigfoot isn’t a fraud I’ll have a massive meltdown lie.

The anti-sasquatch contumely is based on the notion that there was no way for a large, bipedal, anthropoidal primate to make it from Asia to North America over a land called Beringia back some 20,000 years ago. Tell that to the Huron. To the Crow, the Cherokee, the Kumayaay, Nahauc, Lakota, Paiute, Choctaw, or any number of Indian tribes descended from bands of large, bipedal, anthropoid primates that are part of the human species.

Couldn’t get here? Walking is the art of falling down and catching yourself with one foot before you land on your face. Billions of people do it sucessfully every day. Thousands of years ago thousands of people did this going west to east across Beringia, and settled a new world. Since one large, bipedal, anthropoid primate did it, what’s to stop another large, bpidal, anthropod primate from doing it?

Can’t has no part to play in this debate. The matter is one of, did or didn’t. We have no accepted evidence that bigfoot did or didn’t, but there is no evidence that show that they couldn’t. As far as I can see, they could. As far as I can see there is evidence available, ready for competent testing, that says they did. Will we get it?

Not until the bigots and cowards get over themselves, get over their meltdown, and accept it is a possibility. Astronomy was balked until astronomers accepted elipitcal planetary orbits. Geology was balked until geologists accepted plate tectonics. It took evidence supporting the mechanics of the phenomenons, but when that evidence was known, and accepted, the respective theories changed the face of the sciences, and the face of our world.

What’s going on here, with bigfoot and yeti and other creatures?

That will have to wait for next time, as we have a look at cowardice in scientific fields, and an antipathy against things that unman us and threaten our oh so important ego. Till then.

This is Science?

Tales From the Cryptozoologicon: The Yeti

Take a look at the original post; then look at the comments. Note how many are of the nature, “canst be no thing”. Even the original author—for all that he protests about matters cryptozoological, has the bad habit of insisting that any possible evidence pointing to bigfoot can’t be true, because it doesn’t match what he earlier learned about such an animal.

Let’s start our critique of Dr. Naish’s post with a look at the subject of the scientific method.

What’s that? I can hear you ask.

It’s really very simply; according to the link just above you’re supposed to follow these steps [My observations in brackets]:

1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

[Remembering to eliminate as much as possible bias.]

2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

[Just remember to incorporate all observations, not just those that please you.]

3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

[Regardless of where they lead. Science is not a way of confirming your bigotry, science is a way of challenging it.]

4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

[And note the magic word, "properly." Which means without fear or favor, without ignorning results that do no please you.  Without insisting your results can't be so because that is not what you were taught.]

In I Had the Bigfoot DNA Tested in a Highly Reputable Lab: Here’s What I Found the author of the piece, Eric Berger says, in effect, that he sent samples of the DNA itself to a major lab and had them test it. One problem, he sent no such samples. What he sent were the results gained by Dr. Ketchum and her crew for analysis. If effect, what Berger was writing on was an analysis of an analysis, a meta -analysis; and a meta-analysis done by individuals who, as far as I can tell, think that upholding a doctrine more important than scientific inquiries. The lab in question, which Berger doesn’t name so you can’t check out their bonafides, appears to have decided that their pre-conclusions are more important than discovery. i would ask some of the people Mr. Berger mentions in an early article, but I can’t find their contact data. (I’ve gone ahead and contacted one school.)

The impression I’m left with here is that certain parties are more than willing to disregard proper science just say they can say, “It can’t be.”

Let’s now take a look at the difference between “can” and “does”. “Can” simply means that something is able to be. Saying that a thing can perform an action is simply saying that that subject is able to do that thing. “Does” means that the subject in question is able to do a thing. When you say that ducks do float on water, you are saying that ducks can float on water. When you can’t you don’t

Which brings us to “can’t” (can not) and “don’t” (does not). When you can’t you simply don’t. Ducks don’t visit the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Mariannas Trench not because they absolutely can’t, but because they don’t have the means to go there. Were you to take a duck with you in your specially designed submersible, that duck would visit the Challenger Deep in puzzled comfort and safety.

The proplem with sasquatch deniers is that they insist that bigfoot can’t exist, based on what they had learned earlier. About a little something we call the Bering Strait. At the present time the straits are flooded, and you can only cross them by swimming, boat, or flying. Wasn’t always the case.

Once creatures such as mice, men, wolves, bison, etc cross what are now the Bering Straits by the simple measure of, walking. Beringia, as it was known back then, was at the time dry ground. What a hominid could cross dry shod a prospective relative of hominids (and possibly) Australopithecids. could.

But we don’t yet have conclusive evidence that a giant bipedal ape cross to North America.

As of yet.

At least, none that some people will accept, because they are all caught up on the idea that bigfoot ancestors couldn’t cross Beringia and therefor the modern bigfoot can’t be here. Soince they can’t be here any evidence found has to be false.

So here’s a lttle news for folks, it is possible, the sasquatch could be sharing North America with us right now. The evidence could be valid, but first it needs to be honostly evaluated.

This one Might Work

I have bronchitis. I have Medicaid (via Molina Healthcare). I have a cough, I need cough syrup. I’m broke, so cough syrup is unavailable unless insurance pays for it. Molina won’t pay, even though they get paid by California, and thus it is not their money they’re spending. So I come to you.

A sawbuck will bring to a successful completion this fundraising. Any extra will be used for frivolities such as food, clothing and such stuff.

And a thought. When you think about it, it makes no sense that a benevelent, all potent Creator would ever cobble up such a haphazard ness as Man.

Unacknowledged Prejudice.

I’ve been reading Out of America by Keith B. Richburg (Basic Books, 1997 isbn 0-465-00187), on p37 he has this to say;

[I] would imply; sometimes not to subtly, that the real reason they talked so much about “the crime problem” is that they were really racist. What they really feared, I argued, was black people—so many of them. White people weren’t used to being in a minority.  being swamped by a sea of blacks[.]

Funny thing, they were both right. At that time Nairobi in Kenya had a serious crime problem, and in crime aimed at whites. At the same time you did have the matter of culture schock affecting newcomers and visitors. Mr. Richburg assume his audience had to be wrong, because he couldn’t see how they could be right. His people, blacks, were being attacked for being black, and he could not see how fellow blacks could do wrong, thanks to all the false attacks made against them in the past. This we call prejudice (pre-judging), and it involves contradicting what another says, because what the other says makes one uncomfortable. Richburg is not alone in this.

This sort of prejudice, denying that something might be because it bothers one, is a problem many people have. Whether the subject be black crime, evolution, bigfoot, or roleplaying games as games; there are those—and there will always be those—who will insist that something cannot exist because its existence makes them uncomfortable. So they deny and they ignore, just so they don’t have to give the topic the proper consideration.

We tend to forget two horrible facts of life…

  1. You can be wrong.
  2. Everybody can be wrong.

We all make mistakes, we all misapprehend, misunderstand. Keith Richburg insisted comments about black crime in Nairobi had to be samples of white prejudice. Others insist that bigfoot can’t exist because large apes (other than humans) had no way of getting to North America at any time in the past. Both possibilities threaten the self image of certain parties, so either is rejected. And when possible evidence is presented, it has to be a lie. This sort of behavior is called “avoidance” and it is a clear sign to we tend to be irrational in our thinking.

Misinterpreting data does not mean the data is wrong, only that the interpretation is wrong. making mistakes in testing is no proof that the original proposition is in error, it’s when testing is done correctly that one gets an accurate assessment.

Back in the early 20th century a Dr. Wegener proposed that the continents have been drifting about, and provided evidence showing connections between different land masses. Unfortunately, he provided no mechanism for this movement. At least, no mechanism others would consider. Continents didn’t move, and that was the end of the matter. Then we discovered a possible mechanism, which has served to explain how continents (and other bodies) can move around pretty will since the early 60s of last century. We learned that it was possible, and that we had been wrong about the world we live on. Furthermore, we learned that crustal movement was going on all the time, and that it could be observed even today.

The problem here is our tendency to assume that what we know now, what we learned in the past, has to be how things are even today. Surety comforts us, and we are stressed when something contradicts what we think we know. Any possibility that there is more to a subject, and that there are more accurate ways of seeing and explaining things can give many of us conniptions. Yet for all of Galilei’s insistence, planetary orbits continued to be eliptical. We let our prejudices stress us, and insist that we can’t be wrong no matter what we learn.

Unfortunately for our piece of mind, everybody can be wrong.

So prejudice plays a role in our thinking, and we deny things that could change our world, and give us a more complete understanding of that place we dwell upon.

Recently I’ve tried asking people about animals such as the red fox, giant pandas, and southern white rhinos. As part of this I’ve proposed that we have made mistakes regarding animal behavior, relying all too often on a mindless, mechanistic mode of behavior. From the lack of response the only conclusion I can make is that certain people are uncomfortable with the idea that their thinking about animals and animal behavior, and that such behavior can be more complex and more variable than we are willing to admit to. In short, I consider it possible that we have breed domestic zebras; the problem is, for all their domestication zebras remain zebras. Domestiction does not change how an animal basically behaves, only how it treats humans.

(Now to phrase a closing. Let’s try…)

We make errors, we get things wrong. We misunderstand and we deny the misunderstanding because being wrong makes us uncomfortable. We adhere to beliefs because that adherence gives us a false stability. We like stability and fear anything that threatens it. That acknowledging and correcting error could lead to a more secure stability is something we’d rather avoid, for such upset can make our lives stressful until things settle out. Yet accepting that things could be, that matters might take a form unknown to us, can be calming and reassuring in its own right. True reassurance comes from accepting that things can be different.

You can be wrong; everybody can be wrong; the flaw lies in rejecting those facts and carrying on as if our knowledge is infallible. Acceptance and acknowledgement of error is a step towards wisdom.

Can’t do the Work Without the Proper Equipment

I’ve got stuff to do and to get ready for publication, but as long as others get to screw up the hotel computers, and hog all the time, there’s bugger all I can do about it. I’d like to be more productive, but without the tools aint nothin’ gonna happen. Donate, and help me get a MacBook. Five hundred dollars is all I need for a used one. Keep me busy and out of trouble, donate today.

(Getting rid of a virus hotel management is too busy to deal with would be a great help.}

A Plea

It works like this; I use a shared PC at my residential hotel. Said PC is using an unpaid copy of Windows 7 (build 7601) which is not valid. Because it is not valid the OS cannot be updated, or secured. That means that viruses can be downloaded and installed with nary a counter from the security app. What this means is, I cannot consider this, or any other PC at the Metro Hotel in East Village San Diego, reliable. For my work to be secure the OS has to be validated, and the security software brought up to date. The staff at the Metro Hotel (and the Alpha Project in San Diego) apparently believe they are immune to prosecution for software piracy. Since that is evidently the case, I need a computer of my own. Can you help?

A used MacBook would work best; because I’m comfortable with Macs, can use Macs with some ease, and I don’t have the space in my room to use a desktop machine. Since I live in the East Village/Downtown Area of San Diego, there are a fair number of wf hitspots in easy walking distance.

That’s my plea, send a shekel or dinar or quid or yen via the donation button in the right hand sidebar, under Support Mythusmage Opines. For one thing, it means I won’t have to see these pop-up ads a blinkin’ virus inflicts on me.