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Dec 01 2011

Episode CCLXXIX: Oregon!

I’m a Pacific Northwest boy at heart, so how could I not enjoy these gorgeous timelapse scenes from Oregon? Although I have to protest that there aren’t enough scenes from the coast or the green valleys of the Willamette — but then, it’s got an astronomy bias and the skies are not clear as often. I suppose a timelapse of winter skies like seething gray oatmeal is just not as photogenic.

(Episode CCLXXVIII: Evolution, sorta.)

680 comments

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  1. 1
    rorschach

    Oh, I’ll try this again then !

    Has this been discussed here yet ? Siri Fail

    PZ, are you going to any of the 2 conferences in May in Germany next year ? I’m trying to make travel plans atm.

  2. 2
    SQB

    Re: Siri, Alethea had this to say about it:

    AAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHH!

    WRONG WRONG WRONG
    http://amaditalks.tumblr.com/post/13513981784/siri

  3. 3
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    The Siri thing has indeed been discussed. I think twice, actually.

    Apple released a statement saying that Siri isn’t anti-choice, it’s just “in beta”. Which is major bullshit. Apple doesn’t release anything that’s actually in beta.

  4. 4
    carlie

    There are also claims that Apple subcontracts out for the actual databases, so perhaps it’s the third party who has restricted the search results and Apple didn’t know about it.

  5. 5
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    A few chemical-imbalance quotations:

    “In 2000, the authors of Essential Psychopharmacology told medical students ‘there is no clear and convincing evidence that monoamine deficiency accounts for depression; that is, there is no ‘real’ monoamine deficit’. Yet, fueled by pharmaceutical advertisements, the belief lived on, and it caused Irish psychiatrist David Healy, who has written a number of books on the history of psychiatry, to quip in 2005 that this theory needed to be put into the medical dustbin, where other such discredited theories can be found. “The serotonin theory of depression,” he wrote, with evident exasperation, ‘is comparable to the masturbatory theory of insanity’.” – Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic (pp. 74-75)

    “The field promoted the idea that its drugs fix chemical imbalances in the brain when they do no such thing…” – Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic (p. 304)

    “I know of no serious psychiatrist who believes that psychotropic drugs ‘fix chemical imbalances in the brains’ of their patients.” – Abraham Nussbaum, Denver Health and Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine, in a review of Whitaker’s book

    “[T]he results of decades of neurotransmitter-depletion studies point to one inescapable conclusion: low levels of serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine do not cause depression. Here is how the authors of the most complete meta-analysis of serotonin-depletion studies summarized the data: ‘Although previously the monoamine systems were considered to be responsible for the development of major depressive disorder (MDD), the available evidence to date does not support a direct causal relationship with MDD. There is no simple direct correlation of serotonin or norepinephrine levels in the brain and mood.’ In other words, after a half-century of research, the chemical-imbalance hypothesis as promulgated by the drug companies that manufacture SSRIs and other antidepressants is not only without clear and consistent support, but has been disproved by experimental evidence.” – Irving Kirsch, The Emperor’s New Drugs (p. 92)

    “[T]he main problem with the theory is that after decades of trying to prove [the monoamine hypothesis], researchers have still come up empty-handed.” – Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief, NEJM, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    “Angell uses an outdated and disproven chemical imbalance theory of depression (i.e., serotonin deficiency) as a straw man…” – Richard A. Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director, Psychopharmacology Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College; Andrew A. Nierenberg, Director, Bipolar Clinic and Research Program, Associate Director, Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

    “For decades, scientists believed the main cause of depression was low levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine…. [However, a] depressed brain is not necessarily underproducing something, …it’s doing too much…. Instead of focusing on boosting neurotransmitters (the function of the antidepressants in the popular SSRI category such as Pr*zac and Z*loft), scientists are developing medications that block the production of excess stress chemicals.” – Thomas Insel, Director, NIMH, 2007

    “While the neuroscience discoveries are coming fast and furious, one thing we can say already is that earlier notions of mental disorders as chemical imbalances…are beginning to look antiquated.” – Thomas Insel, Director, NIMH, 2011

    “Contemporary neuroscience research has failed to confirm any serotonergic lesion in any mental disorder, and has in fact provided significant counterevidence to the explanation of a simple neurotransmitter deficiency. Modern neuroscience has instead shown that the brain is vastly complex and poorly understood. While neuroscience is a rapidly advancing field, to propose that researchers can objectively identify a ‘chemical imbalance’ at the molecular level is not compatible with the extant science. In fact, there is no scientifically established ideal ‘chemical balance’ of serotonin, let alone an identifiable pathological imbalance. To equate the impressive recent achievements of neuroscience with support for the serotonin hypothesis is a mistake. – Leo Lacasse, 2005, “Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature.” PLoS Medicine 2(12): e392

  6. 6
    PZ Myers

    I’ll be at the AAI convention, 25-27 May, in Köln.

  7. 7
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Leo Lacasse, 2005

    That should be Lacasse and Leo

  8. 8
    rorschach

    I’ll be at the AAI convention, 25-27 May, in Köln.

    Ah ! I was born 30km from there, and my father still lives there. That might be worth considering then !
    I note that Rebecca is invited to the Berlin one, still thinking about that one, too, although it has a few too many German speakers for my liking.

  9. 9
    Thomas Lawson

    Goonies never say die!

  10. 10
    birgerjohansson

    When you go to Köln, ask the natives if rocket entrepreneur Lutz Kayer is going to get any compensation from the new Libyan government for the rocket prototypes Ghaddaffi stole from OTRAG. It would be good if the low-cost launch system could finally be developed into an alternative to the other systems.
    — — — — —
    Abrupt permafrost thaw increases climate threat http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-permafrost-loss-worse-climate-peril.html

  11. 11
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I have been to Oregon on a couple of fires (up near The Sisters, down near Crater Lake, and in the mountains north of Halfway in the east). Beatiful state. And good beer.

    And, apropos of absofuckinglutely nothing: I really do hate dreams (well, nightmares, anyway) that include smell. Smells that hang around long after the dream is over and I am awakened in terror. How the hell does my mind pull out the worst smell I have ever experienced, one that I am trying so very hard to forget, and toss it into a dream? And then the smell hangs around for hours but no one else can smell it because it is the residue festering in my mind?

    ‘Intelligent design’ my hairy pink arse!

  12. 12
    rorschach

    Dan Barker, “How to talk to a Fundamentalist”. Part1 Part2

  13. 13
    Emrysmyrddin

    Testing ability to link, but it’ll give you a laugh, especially if you’re in the UK.

  14. 14
    Emrysmyrddin

    Oooh, link success! :D

  15. 15
    PZ Myers

    Rebecca will be in Köln, too.

  16. 16
    rorschach

    So I should make it a double whammy then, is that what you’re saying…:-) I’m meant to be saving for a new mortgage LOL…*sigh*

  17. 17
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Repost from last tet before portcullis: Maureen Dowd on Gingrich

  18. 18
    cayborduin

    To make people jealous – I look out at Mt. Hood right here at my computer desk every morning. That is, when it is not cloudy and raining. Ah, Oregon.

  19. 19
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    . . . I look out at Mt. Hood right here at my computer desk every morning.

    Thpppbt!

  20. 20
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Damn, lost a fairly decent post to the portcullis! Oh, well, it was probably tl;dr anyway. The Executive Summary:

    Walton:

    “Comrade” shouldn’t have thrown you off, as J. Robert had a glorious past as a lefty, and was later victimized (stripped of his security clearance) for it. If you have time for more than the wiki, read American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.

    ***
    ahs:

    Your characterizing that quote from me (about the synthesis of community) as articulating an “anti-Thatcher” position made me feel correctly understood in a way that I rarely do around here: I had initially thought about teasing The Walton about Mrs. Thatcher in my original comment, but had edited the line out. Made me feel all tingly inside! ;^)

    Also, your byplay with Gilliel (starting @711, IIRC) was illuminating. I think it’s actually fatalism that I find “intolerable,” and that I would “spend the rest of my life trying to forget” if it were true; if you hold fatalism to be false, perhaps we disagree less than it seems.

    But the no free will conversation always seems to me (no doubt owing to my own poor understanding) to circle back to an assertion that fatalism is true (mind you, now, I’m talking about the whole conversation, not only your arguments). That, I think, is why it sometimes vexes me.

    I should read Dennett… but I’m guessing it’s not well suited to 20 minute slices of audio during my commute, and that’s the bulk of my reading time these days.

  21. 21
    myeck waters

    Mt. Hood is on your desk? That’s some sturdy furniture.

  22. 22
    Weed(less) Monkey

    This brouhaha about free will seems quite strange to me – I feel it’s intuitively right to think of myself as a machine that behaves in a way all my earlier experiences have taught (or even programmed) me to behave. And hopefully I’ll learn more and more stuff all the time, that will modify the way I’ll behave in the future.

  23. 23
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Since I gained “trivium”, I thought I’d give one back!

    @theophontes: “micro-biologists – specialising in yeast” = Zymologists

  24. 24
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Weed Monkey

    Yes, but it is also important to consider that this can happen in the absence of free will. I can’t say I’ve really thought about this properly before.

    @ changeable moniker

    ZOMG … Zymologists! Yes, exactly. We need to press-gang more of those.

    {and now to catch up with TET}

  25. 25
    Weed(less) Monkey

    theophontes, indeed! I don’t think free will can exist. Maybe I wasn’t so clear about that before.

  26. 26
    Sili

    Spinsterhood, a fate worse than death.

  27. 27
    Sili

    Rebecca will be in Köln, too.

    I hope the accommodation is single-floor.

  28. 28
    Rey Fox

    Yeah but you’re from Washington. Screw that state to the south, right?

    Could certainly have used fewer mountains and more coast and desert. Nice that they got Leslie Gulch in there though.

  29. 29
    rorschach

    I hope the accommodation is single-floor.

    Chances are that any German misogynists won’t know how to make a proper threatening proposition in English. One can hope.

  30. 30
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I am soooooo stupid.
    For years (and I mean years) I’ve been avoiding certain college-related tasks (like picking up certificates, or getting in contact again with professors) because I was afraid that I’d get a negative answer, and the longer I pushed it off, the more anxious I became until I’d gotten myself in the mess I’m currently in.
    But, well, I started, I wrote those emails, I asked people and surprise, I’m getting nothing but positive replies.
    EVEN NOW AFTER ALL THAT TIME
    *head->desk*

  31. 31
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Yay Giliell! I know how hard that first step can be when you’ve convinced yourself that the response will be negative.

  32. 32
    RichardAustin

    Bleh. One step forward, two steps back.

    Kentucky church votes to ban interracial couples

    It’s a small church, and apparently most of the members left to avoid the vote, so it’s not quite as bad as it sounds – but it’s still pretty horrible.

  33. 33
    SQB

    Giliell, are you me?

  34. 34
    chigau (違う)

    ahs ॐ
    last thread @727

    and perhaps I suspect chigau of being an incompatibilist sympathizer…

    I’m not entirely sure what this means but I am putting it on a t-shirt ;)

  35. 35
    rorschach

    I really don’t know what people see in Skyrim. Having a discussion with Rebecca Watson and err, followers, on FB about it. I’m not into computer games really, maybe that’s my blind spot !

  36. 36
    RichardAustin

    Oh, and not sure if this made it to the horde here:

    There’s this nifty little piece of software on most smartphones that “can” (whether it does or not is apparently in question) log everything about the activity of the phone, including apparently making it available to law enforcement. It’s even been found in iOS.

    Removing apparently involves “rooting” your phone, which of course violates most contracts (though I seem to recall that being thrown out by a court).

    Still waiting to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes…

  37. 37
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    previous TET

    @ Kitty
    I should really join toastmasters. It looks like a good way to build confidence when speaking in public. My suggestion, if you are worried about security, switch too Linux but run clamav to keep your passed-on files clean for your microsoft and apple buddies.

    @ ahs

    “what would my peers do?”

    That would be too self-referential (one hand clapping). We must consider peers that supply a leadership role and also (people like us) that provide alternative inputs and transform outcomes.

    There is no human without society.

    Google the term “Ubuntu”. “We are only human through other humans.” Communities are a fundamental part of what it is too be human. Sadly Maggie failed to understand this. Eg: Bishop Tutu (so frikkin’ sad this guy is a goddist – he makes a pretty good humanist. We easily accept the idea of “no-one left behind” when it comes to school kids and army rangers, why not then for so called “criminals” and any other group of “other” people. ) & Nelson Mandela. (By “traveller”, he obviously means “cyclist”…)

    The coin reminds me of a method of checking subtle intuitions.

    I am quite sure I brought this up in Science Blogs a long time ago. It is something I learned from my sister. I don’t know whether she learned this somewhere or came up with it herself. It is a fairly typical thing for her to have come up with. I use it from time to time.

    The other way is to just go with your gut. This is not irrational at all. Our emotions are an important part of what we are, we can also think quite logically about looking after them.

    @ Tigger & Alethea

    Hugs.

  38. 38
    ChasCPeterson

    German misogynists won’t know how to make a proper threatening proposition in English

    Kaffee in mein Zimmer, Fräulein?

    a little eyebrow-wiggling, perhaps a suggestive glance down at the lederhosen; no problem.

  39. 39
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I read

    I hope the accommodation is single-floor.

    as

    “I hope the accommodationists is single-floor.”

    And my little mind started wondering about three-floor accommodationists. And went downhill from there.

  40. 40
    Psych-Oh

    Giliell – That’s great! We are our own worst enemies sometimes.

    I can’t stop thinking about lunch. I really can’t focus on work until I eat. This is a problem because I can’t leave the office until 12:30. Maybe I have some tictacs in my handbag.

  41. 41
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    There are also claims that Apple subcontracts out for the actual databases, so perhaps it’s the third party who has restricted the search results and Apple didn’t know about it.

    I’ve always wondered how that excuse is supposed to work:
    Sorry, but we hired people whom either we didn’t tell clearly what their job is, or we didn’t bother to check whether they were doing what they’re being paid for, so don’t blame us if the result is shitty.

    SQB
    Hmmm, I don’t think so. None of my many personalities* owns up to being you.

    *old roleplayer here, not actually claiming I had different personalities. Giliell disagrees, so does Shihaya. Kurios isn’t decided yet while Lal obviously thinks I’m nuts.

  42. 42
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Bill D.

    [Absence of free will = fatalism] That, I think, is why it sometimes vexes me.

    Or think that you are a “community of memes” or rather a club that must let new meme members in. Is the new idea compatible? We can predict this. But also notice that once let in the general “geist” of the club has changed. Can we really predict what this new “club” is like? Possibly, but it is not as brute a concept as “fatalism”. Things can also turn about for equally logical reasons. (I think a lot of charlatan community leaders realise this. People in the community might sense all is not right and a new inspiration can bring about radical change at the tipping point.)

    (I doubt we can ever get a sufficiently meta view to even vaguely predict sufficiently to qualify as fatalistic. I would not fret.)

  43. 43
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Re the siri thing I am not sure that part of it works at all down in Australia. Though it might offer to search the web, but I can’t ask for directions apparently.

  44. 44
    Rey Fox

    I really don’t know what people see in Skyrim.

    Meh, you either like running around in a big online world killing stuff or you don’t.

    Also, you either have a computer that can run those big new games, or you don’t. I wanted to play Portal a couple years back, but it wouldn’t run on my 2007 Lenovo.

  45. 45
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Chas

    Kaffee in mein Zimmer, Fräulein?

    Oder: {shoves blob of peanut butter in mouth}:”Wann Ich erdnüssen essen bin ich immer soooooo scharf!”

    /eeuw

  46. 46
    rorschach

    Though it might offer to search the web, but I can’t ask for directions apparently.

    The anecdotal field experiments that I did with the IPhone 4S of some of my work collegues seem to suggest that it’s ok with giving directions.

  47. 47
    rorschach

    Oder: {shoves blob of peanut butter in mouth}:”Wann Ich erdnüssen essen bin ich immer soooooo scharf!”

    See, this is exactly why I have some reservations about attending the 2 conferences in Germany next year ! Just too high a cringe factor.

  48. 48
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ rorschach

    See, this is exactly why I have some reservations about attending the 2 conferences in Germany next year ! Just too high a cringe factor.

    Wait till they start smearing it all over themselves…

    (Sorry, I am getting groß now.)

    @ Josh (or recently pressed ZOMyGologists)

    Phoenicia has gone completely crazy! My mix is starting to bubble like a pot of hot stew. Is this normal?

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I really don’t know what people see in Skyrim.

    See, I feel exactly the opposite. I’m not much of a gamer. Loved the GOd of War series, but I mainly stick to casual games (like my obssession with Virtual Villagers and Diner Dash).

    But Skyrim is the first game to come out that makes me want to buy a new gaming system to play it. I read a cracked article about it recently that has made me seriously consider it.

  51. 51
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The Sailor:

    She also wants to close our embassy in Iran.

    face palm coupled with a head-desk

  52. 52
    Rey Fox

    The anecdotal field experiments that I did with the IPhone 4S of some of my work collegues seem to suggest that it’s ok with giving directions.

    My brother’s HTC led us into the middle of a neighborhood in the far-flug Illinois suburbs of St. Louis when were trying to find a way to I-64 to get to Nashville.

  53. 53
    The Rat King

    You have dysentery.

  54. 54
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    Better than cholera.

  55. 55
    Dhorvath, OM

    Biggest thing for me about Bethesda style large world RPG is that I am not on rails, start up and walk away, do something, see what happens. I am enroute to Solitude in SKyrim to learn how to be a bard, but I don’t need to do that, I could be collecting mushrooms, or chasing treasure instead. The open nature attracts in a manner that many other games do not, (although dialogue trees are still a problem and any given idea I may have will still be limited,) it is easier to pretend a connection when your options are so broad.

  56. 56
    Rey Fox

    If anyone has a burning interest in the intersection of rape and pro sports culture, I like the cut of this guy’s jib.

  57. 57
    Grumps

    For Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort and all you other transgender pharyngulovelies

    My Transsexual Summer Episode 1

    Episode 2 and 3 are also wonderful. Haven’t watched 4 yet.

  58. 58
    Dhorvath, OM

    Weed Monkey ,

    I feel it’s intuitively right to think of myself as a machine that behaves in a way all my earlier experiences have taught (or even programmed) me to behave. And hopefully I’ll learn more and more stuff all the time, that will modify the way I’ll behave in the future.

    This. That I am interested right now in being better in the future leads me to seek things that will promote that better behaviour. If that is fatalism, damn, I will take it and run with it.

  59. 59
    Dhorvath, OM

    Rey Fox,
    Thanks for that link. Well written and at least a level deeper than I had given consideration on the topic. I don’t follow sports, but some of these ideas give me hope for a better conversation the next time someone defends their self centred enthusiasm.

  60. 60
    bird.is.the.word

    That video fires me up to go snow camping on the rim of Crater Lake this winter. Wahoo!

  61. 61
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Note to anyone doing a speech in the future:

    Big rooms are intimidating. If you mess up don’t apologize cause people won’t notice. Subject verb agreement is good. Take a breath.

  62. 62
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Dhorvath – your are baiting my hook! That’s exactly what attracts me to the game – the freestyle format. Its why I liked the Sims. But, the problem with the Sims was that there was no real goals, you just sort of played it. Skyrim does have an actual storyline to accomplish AND you don’t *have* to stick strickly to it.

    What system is this game for? Xbox?

  63. 63
    Dhorvath, OM

    I have the 360 version, and it’s typical Bethesda, starting up a new character sucks, but give it an hour and play is wide open.

  64. 64
    Dhorvath, OM

    Oh, it’s available for PC and PS3 as well I think.

  65. 65
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Katherine
    Sounds like you did a good job.
    I often prepare such things by really talking to myself in the mirror to get the sentences rolling

    —–

    Another piece of trivial information:
    In cooking, you usually don’t have to slavishly follow the recipe, but if you want to make cookies, it is a good idea to include sugar or something similar.

  66. 66
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Katherine:

    I regularly speak (and sometimes sing) before large groups of people, some of whom know parts of the subject better than I. I have found that forming transitions from one part of a talk to another, to the point of actually memorizing the phrase or sentence that will allow you to move from this point to that point, and then aiming for that transition in the more free-wheeling part of the talk, does wonders. If I can hit my transitions (which are essentially a combination of a conclusion for the segment and an introduction to the next segment) the rest of the talk is a breeze.

  67. 67
    Sili

    I’ve just been to a lovely little talk on ageing.

    So fun to hear professionals agreeing that Aubrey de Gray is nuts.

  68. 68
    Dhorvath, OM

    Giliell,
    If it looks like sugar and it’s in a syrup container do not, do not, assume it is sugar.

  69. 69
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    If it looks like sugar and it’s in a syrup container do not, do not, assume it is sugar.

    QFFT!

    I once had a bad experience making cookies with some stuff that looked like light brown sugar but was actually some brown Mexican salt.

  70. 70
    Sili

    Fucking parents.

  71. 71
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @ahs, prevthread:

    It feels like this contra-Thatcher thing that I’ve been trying to articulate. There is no human without society. None of us, and none of our recent ancestors, could have been born without the imposition of rules which benefitted group cohesion

    I guess this is WRT “no such thing as society”? If you’re defining society as an epiphenomenon of human interaction, you have support from an unexpected quarter:

    “[Society is] not an abstraction, separate from the men and women who composed it, but a living structure of individuals, families, neighbours and voluntary associations.”

    The unifying theme of [redacted, see link] is that the most enduring social institutions are shaped by spontaneous evolution, rather than by intellectual design. [...] inter-dependent social systems and institutions bring a natural order to human affairs. Its details are evident in the common law, in rituals and in customs and practices handed down the generations. This evolving order allows individuals to give expression to their personal choices [except, of course, they sorta don’t]; and, by those choices, systems and institutions are shaped through continuous adaptation.

    Source. ;)

    More.

    And even more, including prophetic “if”.

    [meta: Yes, I’m contrarian moniker this week. It’s fun!]

  72. 72
    madbull

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2067391/Why-DO-young-women-dressed-like-We-meet-nightclubbers-unsettling-answer.html

    Can you believe this article ?
    wtf is wrong with the world, and this is the UK trying to act like the taliban , :x

  73. 73
    Rey Fox

    Fucking parents.

    Hey come on. I heard them through the wall once, that’s all the exposure I need to that.

  74. 74
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ Sili

    Who’s Aubrey de Gray and why is he nuts?

  75. 75
    Ingdigo Jump

    Sigh. I sank the money on the DLC for new Vegas only for the game to glitch under the weight of data apparently and become unplayable (never got to finish the main story either since it glitched me there too). Is there any point in getting Skyrim or is it going to turn out to be as big a bloody buggy mess as Fallout?

  76. 76
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Fucking parents.

    Can’t have one without the other, y’know.

  77. 77
    Dhorvath, OM

    Look, no amount of encouragement is going to make me think that swinging a stick at a projectile is a fun and good thing. Just get over it would you.

  78. 78
    Dhorvath, OM

    Ogvorbis,
    I think they figured that one out.

  79. 79
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Giliell,
    If it looks like sugar and it’s in a syrup container do not, do not, assume it is sugar.

    Won’t happen in this household.
    Mr. is pedantic about having potentially dangerous items propperly labelled and stored appropriately.

    But dragging out annectdotes: When I was a kid our caravan would be on a campsite all year except for the holidays and we’d spent most weekends there.
    One of those summer-weekends in the 1980′s, my uncle came for a visit. He was sweaty, he was thirsty, he went for the fridge, took out a bottle of water and started gulping it down until he strated spitting it out. He’d grabbed dad’s home-made Quetsch schnapps. He spent the night with us.

    Oh, and *hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm*
    Chocolat, coffee and peppermint combined, the essence of gluttony.

    Fucking parents.

    I hear that in the majority of cases this is still a prerequisite.

  80. 80
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    @ madbull

    Dat article. I’m full of rage now. I’d expect nothing better from the Daily Mail

  81. 81
    chigau (違う)

    Ing
    Nice last word on the Forgiveness thread.
    (I stand by my belief that it was a coincidence.)

  82. 82
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Chigau

    Huh?

  83. 83
    slignot

    @Ing, on Skyrim I think it really depends on what platform you are able to purchase the game. There was a recent patch that has caused a bunch of problems, but even before that there were problems with unoptimized save files on the PS3 that would cause the game to break at some point.

    If you have a PC and are thinking of buying it on Steam, it’s worth it. Partially because you can easily prevent the game from automatically updating until they fix what they broke in the recent patch. I’ve really enjoyed the game so far and I haven’t had the same complaints about the inherently screwed up leveling system that Oblivion had.

  84. 84
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Slignot

    I have PS3

  85. 85
    chigau (違う)

    Ing
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/11/27/i-do-not-forgive/comment-page-2/#comment-202549
    and on the debating creationists thread, do you mean solipsism?

  86. 86
    Rey Fox

    I call firsties on the “fucking parents” joke.

    Look, no amount of encouragement is going to make me think that swinging a stick at a projectile is a fun and good thing. Just get over it would you.

    Who?

  87. 87
    slignot

    @Ing, in that case, I can’t recommend it. I’ve been hearing far too many horror stories.

  88. 88
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Chigau

    It was irony because I was criticizing the Rat squad’s language that constantly praised the fucker and kept saying he was giving out icecream, either explicitly or implicitly. He then criticizes me by correcting me that Andy never gave away icecream and criticizes my reading comprehension. That is ironic.

    Also probably yes.

  89. 89
    Ingdigo Jump

    I’ll wait for the game of the year release then

  90. 90
    Dhorvath, OM

    Rey Fox,
    The text at Sili’s link.

  91. 91
    chigau (違う)

    Ing
    I really liked the way “IRONY!” ended 2 pages of … whatever that was.
    It was good timing, otherwise PZ would probably have been forced to say something pithy.

  92. 92
    Sili

    StarStuff! Because f**k you, that’s why says:

    Who’s Aubrey de Gray and why is he nuts?

    A nutcase who’s afraid of dying. Terribly, terribly afraid.

  93. 93
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    A nutcase who’s afraid of dying. Terribly, terribly afraid.

    Do I need to mention that he looks much older than he is?

  94. 94
    Ingdigo Jump

    De Grey argues that the fundamental knowledge needed to develop effective anti-aging medicine mostly already exists, and that the science is ahead of the funding. He works to identify and promote specific technological approaches to the reversal of various aspects of aging, or, as de Grey puts it, “the set of accumulated side effects from metabolism that eventually kills us

    An article about SENS published in the viewpoint section of EMBO Reports by 28 scientists concluded that none of de Grey’s therapies “has ever been shown to extend the lifespan of any organism, let alone humans”.[14] The SENS Foundation, of which de Grey was a co-founder, seems to agree with the EMBO Report as it states, “If you want to reverse the damage of aging right now I’m afraid the simple answer is, you can’t.” [15] Nonetheless, De Grey argues that this reveals a serious gap in understanding between basic scientists and technologists and between biologists studying aging and those studying regenerative medicine.[

    What

  95. 95
    strange gods before me ॐ

    changeable moniker,

    I’ve read Charles Moore’s piece before. Your Thatcher quote does not surprise me. She probably was high on burke when she said it.

    If you’re defining society as an epiphenomenon of human interaction

    I don’t think I am. If I do so accidentally, well, that’s precisely what I want to avoid.

    A weak version of what I want to say, which I think is contra Thatcher, is that it’s not sufficient to address the needs of individuals and expect that society will work out alright. Humans thrive or stagnate or wither in various types of societies. In order to produce one in which we thrive, it is necessary to manipulate institutions and favor some demographic segments.

  96. 96
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I’ve said it before, but it is unwise to believe (actually, read) the Daily Mail.

    http://dailymailoncology.tumblr.com/

  97. 97
  98. 98
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @ahs, I understand; was riffing for fun. But there’s something to be said for examining the other side, at least in terms of trying to understand how to define a utility function to maximise, right?

    Case in point:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-01/raise-taxes-on-the-rich-to-reward-job-creators-commentary-by-nick-hanauer.html

    (Caution: May cause apoplexy, at “airplane”. Or “Middle East”, which is somewhat wrong. Better answer: Canada.)

  99. 99
    Lynna, OM

    In reference to the Kentucky church that banned an interracial couple (comment #32), mormons have picked up on this story and featured it in the Deseret News:

    A tiny all-white church in rural Kentucky has voted to ban interracial couples from joining its flock, pitting members against each other in an argument over race.

    Members at the Gulnare (guhl-NAIR) Free Will Baptist Church in Pike County voted Sunday on the resolution, which says the church “does not condone interracial marriage.”

    Member Melvin Thompson crafted it but says he is not racist. He calls it an “internal affair” of the church.

    Church secretary Dean Harville disagrees. He says it came after his daughter’s African boyfriend sang for the congregation. The 9-6 vote was held after Sunday’s service.

    Free Will Baptist churches are autonomous, but the leader of their national association says there are interracial couples at many churches and there is no policy against it.

    Linkage
    In the comments below the article, mormons are calling the actions against the interracial couple “shameful” — and they are completely ignoring their own racial prejudices:

    See the current mormon manuals online: http://lds.org/manual/aaronic-priesthood-manual-3/lesson-31-choosing-an-eternal-companion?lang=eng
    “We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question”

    Mormons say one thing, and do another. The prevailing mormon culture in Utah is still quite racist. But I will give them credit for being less racist than they used to be.

  100. 100
    Weed(less) Monkey

    My weapon of choice is bass guitar and holy fuck how awesome Melvin Gibbs makes it sound: Rollins Band – Disconnect

  101. 101
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    And, @ahs, if (vanity) #97 was at me, I didn’t see it until I’d posted #98. That (possibly) made it sweeter.

    On which subject, @Dhorvath: “If it looks like sugar and it’s in a syrup container do not, do not, assume it is sugar.”

    I was fearing the Pulp Fiction outcome. *alarm*

  102. 102
    Dhorvath, OM

    CM,
    Oh! Yeah, I think that might be alarming.

  103. 103
    The Sailor

    I’ve read the Siri debacle (can’t find the link at the moment) is due to the meta data contained in the respective web sites (in NYC) of PP and the anti-free choice ‘Pregnancy Crisis Centers’. They concentrate the word ‘abortion’ in the meta-data of their websites and PP, as we know, doesn’t concentrate on that aspect of their services.

    This article also mentioned that in Chicago this apparent bias doesn’t happen in the results returned.

    I know I didn’t provide a link, but I think we might want to wait for more info before deciding. (p.s. I don’t own a smart phone of any brand.)

  104. 104
    slignot

    @Lynna, I don’t think I give them that much credit. I used to think that people had gotten more subtle in their racist bullshit here in Salt Lake, but I’m now positive that’s entirely my privilege talking.

    For background, I’ll relate just one incident from the last month. My cousin is getting married. When someone came by her parents’ house to pick up something they’d listed for sale in the classifieds, she ended up being the only person home at the time. This stranger felt comfortable enough to ask of her fiance, “He’s white, right?”

    Yes, anecdata and all that, but I’ve had far too many friends who’ve dated someone of another color tell me stories that track. Hooray for Utah, where we’re still pretty fucking racist!

  105. 105
    Grumps

    The Daily Mail Song

  106. 106
    Walton

    In my recent anecdotal experience from Facebook, it seems that those people characterizing the Siri thing as no big deal, or repeating over and over “it’s a beta version” and “it’s probably just a bug that will be fixed” and so on, are almost invariably men.

    (Moral of the story: if you are a man, and you find yourself telling a woman that she is “overreacting” to an issue of sexism, it’s probably time to stop talking and check your privilege. Sometimes I wish some of my well-meaning friends would realize this.)

  107. 107
    Inaji

    Giliell:

    Fingers are crossed for Chas remaining a gentleman.

    He may not be hetro, he seems to be singularly uninterested. He was more interested in Alfie.

    *****

    The ongoing free will chat: reminds me of the robot peasant in The Honking – “I choose to believe what I was programmed to believe!”

  108. 108
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @grumps, thank you, that was awesome.

  109. 109
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Bill Dauphin:

    If Victor Stenger is correct, quantum fluctuations are uncaused [Q10].

    Thus, there are always events occurring which are not fully determined by what preceded them. There will be events in the future which are not connected to the present or past by a causal chain.

    Therefore fatalism is false. (This is one of the easier ways of showing it.)

  110. 110
    cicely

    Has anyone here done hobby-type work with silicone rubber? I’m finding the idea of light-up jellyfish ornaments for a holiday tree…disturbingly beguiling. And a fast google for “translucent rubber jellyfish” suggests that the tree-ready jellyfish market is poorly served.
    -

  111. 111
    strange gods before me ॐ

    “it’s probably just a bug that will be fixed”

    Heh.

    That’s true.

    A bug is not defined by whether or not someone meant to do that.

    And it probably will be fixed now that the bug reports are so public.

    What a very clever equivocation.

  112. 112
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

  113. 113
    strange gods before me ॐ

    And, @ahs, if (vanity) #97 was at me, I didn’t see it until I’d posted #98. That (possibly) made it sweeter.

    :)

    A coincidence, as far as I know. I’m not aware of aiming it at anyone.

  114. 114
    cicely

    I read a cracked article about it recently that has made me seriously consider it.

    I read it, too. Luckily, there is no way in the Netherworld-of-Your-Choice that 1) my machine could run it, or 2) I could afford the upgrades my machine would require to run it, or I would be in a great deal of very serious trouble, indeed. People could shout “PEAS!” and “HORSES!” all over TET all day long, and wonder at the lack of response.
    -

  115. 115
    SallyStrange

    Katherine, your points sound good. One thing I was wondering was whether you’d address how to gauge how much information to share on the internet. How to judge whether a site will be responsible and not exploitative with your personal information, should you choose to share it. But perhaps that’s beyond the scope of your talk. Otherwise, it sounds good.

  116. 116
    Inaji

    Cicely, I haven’t worked with silicone rubber, but I do work with Realistic Water and Water Effects. Those might work for what you want to do.

  117. 117
    Walton

    And a fast google for “translucent rubber jellyfish” suggests that the tree-ready jellyfish market is poorly served.

    I’m shocked by this news. How can it be that such a fundamental need of human existence is not being filled?

  118. 118
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    A bug is not defined by whether or not someone meant to do that.

    I disagree. Bugs are, by definition, unintended behavior.

  119. 119
    Dhorvath, OM

    It’s a conspearacy.

  120. 120
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Yeah i may break down this weekend and get Skyrim but I’ve got a shit pile of RL things I want to do so probably not. Plus SWTOR early access is in a couple weeks and I beta tested it and it’s fairly fun. Not as much as i was hoping, but that’s also a good thing for my RL activities.

  121. 121
    The Sailor

    cicely -”Has anyone here done hobby-type work with silicone rubber?”

    Why, yes, yes I have.

    It’s fairly easy. You can make a 2D mold in clay or anything, pour in the glop. It will become floppy upon retrieval. No melting, no breaking of mold. silicone is an inherently ‘mold release’ substance. (Not intended for silicone adhesives.)
    +++++++++++++
    So everyone is willing from one biased article to attribute evil to Apple IRT Siri?

    Sorry, needs more data.

  122. 122
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Has anyone here done hobby-type work with silicone rubber? I’m finding the idea of light-up jellyfish ornaments for a holiday tree…disturbingly beguiling. And a fast google for “translucent rubber jellyfish” suggests that the tree-ready jellyfish market is poorly served.

    I’ve never even considered the idea before, but the mental image I’m getting from this is just so awesome that is HAS to be done.

    If I knew a glass-blower, I’d get it done in glass myself. But silicone rubber would be less prone to damage, wouldn’t it?

    Either way, this is an idea that needs to see reality.

  123. 123
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/12/01/bachmann-racial-slurs-fallon/?hpt=hp_t2

    Just when we thought the media furor between NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Rep. Michele Bachmann was finished, this could stir things up again: Fallon’s band leader and drummer ?uestlove says “Tea Party extremists” are hurling racial slurs at him on Twitter.
    “I’ve seen some really colorful epithets in the past four days, but ‘n—er f–khead ghetto stick’ is probably the one that takes the cake,” The Roots musician told Pitchfork.com. “I’m still trying to get my head around that one. Blocking 3,500 Tea Party extremists [on Twitter] in a three day period is no fun, especially when you’re a drummer dangerously close to carpal tunnel.”

  124. 124
    dianne

    Well, this is charming. Woman ordered to marry her rapist. It’s a good thing we invaded Afghanistan and restored women’s rights isn’t it?

  125. 125
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    [Aside, Caine & Gilliel, thank you. The decorative carnage has subsided, but I'll keep that in mind.]

    @me, prevprevthread: “D (?)”

    Almost as far wrong as it’s possible to be wrong: A# (actually, somewhat flat of that, but not flat enough to be A).

    Gah, EVH and his low tuning and his fucking TransTrem. Also, the time it takes between me posting and actually researching what I’m talking about. :-(

  126. 126
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    How does one heat silicone rubber? I have some experience with glassblowing (fine arts requirement in college) but I cannot imagine doing it in rubber.

  127. 127
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    How does one heat silicone rubber?

    Well I know one reliable way…

  128. 128
    SallyStrange

    So, I’m drinking an unfiltered pale ale by UFO. It’s delicious. I’m about to relax with The Twilight Samurai, a long movie for a change, and some pizza. I want to fall asleep early tonight, I’ve been working a lot to get my hours in before the big trip.

    This beer is fucking delicious. Tomorrow, more English tutoring, gym, then driving. Wait, I have to pack somewhere in there.

    I was reading and wondering, “Is there something I’m missing about the definition of free will that makes it incompatible with being a bag of deterministic chemical reastions?” So I google “free will definition and I hit this the third line down:

    The Nature of Freewill

    Freewill and determinism are both true. This philosophical position, called compatibilism, requires a true and specific understanding of the two key concepts involved. A number of core problems and misconceptions have so far prevented this view from becoming generally accepted:

    * A mis-identification of what “freewill” actually refers to.
    * Confusion between two different aspects of determinism: mechanistic causation, and predictability.
    * The mistaken belief that freewill cannot be a mechanistic mental process.
    * Various other fallacious objections to determinism, freewill, and compatibilism, including deeply embedded beliefs, powerful intuitive misconceptions, and “cognitive illusions”.

    The last point raises a particularly tricky problem: many of the concepts involved in understanding compatibilism are extremely abstract and far removed from everyday experience; they requires complex conceptual models and substantial philosophical context. Because of these limitations, a good grasp of compatibilism requires solid, intuitive understanding of the core concepts involved. Unfortunately, much of our existing gut-level comprehension of freewill and determinism is based on old, mistaken ideas. From personal experience I have found that even after thoroughly understanding and working through the issues, it is easy for some old, deeply embedded misconception to produce powerful emotions of discomfort. Many of us can on occasion still intuitively fall prey to the Gambler’s Fallacy, even long after we consciously understand its error.

    In this article I will explore each of the core points: the true nature of freewill; how it emerges from a mechanistic brain; and how that understanding actually improves the scope and effectiveness of our self-determination. I will show how determinism and freewill intersect, and why they are not contradictory. Finally, I will touch on some implications of this theory of freewill. A scientific, non-mystical approach to the questions of mind and consciousness is assumed throughout.

    I’m about halfway through it. I don’t think I’m going to make it the rest of the way for a while though, I’m about to turn my brain off. So I thought I’d share it to see what anyone interested thought about it.

  129. 129
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I disagree. Bugs are, by definition, unintended behavior.

    Hm. If bugs are what are tracked in a bug tracking system, then there are plenty which do not meet specifications but were still intended to be released as good enough.

  130. 130
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Going to a friend’s strange 40th B-Day dinner tonight which is at a place I normally think of for teenager’s b-day parties…

    Japanese steak house.

    Campy, over priced and fairly obnoxious.

    Haven’t been to one in years.

    Kind of looking forward to it.

    The Sake better watch out, cause I’m coming.

  131. 131
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Well shit. We got Bachmann all wrong. She says of course a gay man can get married.

  132. 132
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I write a program that behaves exactly as I intend and expect it to. There are some rare inputs which, ideally, I could make it handle, but this is prohibitive. This occasionally frustrates and disappoints me, therefore I regard it as a bug.

    Perhaps this is the wrong word?

  133. 133
    Inaji

    I’ve got to get out and on the road next week, I have the Dec. 13th slot for the Advent Calendar on Moblog. Time to get the winter clothes out.

  134. 134
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Rev BDC, linkbork!

    Bugs are, by definition, unintended behavior.

    Define “intend”. (Am I getting this now?)

    Several threads ago, I mentioned “the logical necessity of proof”. Turns out it was in relation to these:

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RVpG_4sPOc8C&lpg=PR11&ots=D3w4ALGppN&dq=Wright's%20Truth%20and%20Objectivity&lr&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/modality-epistemology/

    My head hurts.

  135. 135
    x

    Oregon is the best state. But then, I’m biased. I’m drinking Stone IPA and shlepping through sequence data (in a fun way, with an attitude biased towards discovery, yet experienced with disappointment), with a great sense of relief: almost ready to deliver software to colleagues! Then I’ll really really really start looking for work. Really.

  136. 136
    Inaji

    Rev. BDC:

    She says of course a gay man can get married.

    Without looking, I’m gonna bet that it’s “of course a gay man can get married. To a woman.”

  137. 137
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    bingo

  138. 138
    x

    We went camping out at Mosquito Creek on the Olympic Peninsula once, with one of us having quit drinking. However, the rest of us hadn’t and had brought some 100 proof Rumplemintze in water bottles.

    Dry Friend got up early the first morning and thought to make some coffee, boiling some of the the transparent fluids available in the various bottles, which ultimately resulted in enraged spitting noises and a bunch of cursing, waking the rest of us up. Well, needless to say, the rest of us felt compelled to start the partying process a bit earlier than previously planned, rather than let a done deed go to waste.

    Coffee brewed by filtering boiling Rumplemintze through fine grounds: not so bad! Add a shot of (actual) water to every cup and it’s quite drinkable!

  139. 139
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Funny ya’ll should mention gay marriage. I had the worst fucking morning….

    We have this family friend, been friends with my dad longer than I’ve been alive. And he’s a christian.

    This morning he was spouting a bunch of right wing crap about gay marriage undermining heterosexuality.

    It wasn’t until he said something along the lines of “If I had my own ideal society, those gays would have the CHOICE of gettingout” that I walked off saying “Well it’s a good thing you have no political power” The word ‘douchebag’ might also have come up.

    My family did not like that one bit. When I pointed out to dad that he himself has a gay brother, and our ‘friend’ there was certainly making no exceptions, god you should have seen the fucking explosion.

    I’m so depressed about the whole thing. My dad isn’t a homophobe, but it’s like he didn’t want to say anything an wanted to excuse all that crap in his mind because this guy is ‘his friend’.

    This guy is not a horrible person. If he was, I could just say “Fuck him forever” and leave it at that. That’s the real horror of it. Perfectly ‘decent’ people driven to believe ridiculously hateful stuff about people who really don’t effect them personally in any way.

    He could talk about how greedy rich bankers given themselves fat bonuses even as they destroy the economy undermine society, but fuck that, clearly it’s two grown men having sex with each other that’s the REAL problem.

  140. 140
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Cannabinaceae: One thing I’m not following: Wouldn’t all the alcoholic content end up being ‘boiled off’?

    Anyways, you’re right, it doesn’t sound bad.

    Bad is when you pull an all nighter, and then mix tequila with the blood of a fresh kill at dawn because it sounds so badass in your mind.

  141. 141
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Perhaps this is the wrong word?

    A feature?

  142. 142
    The Sailor

    Cannabinaceae, at 100 proof, he was lucky there wasn’t an unintended fire;-)
    ++++++++++++++++
    I know a RL horror story of not labeling bottles that have been refilled.

  143. 143
    strange gods before me ॐ

    A feature?

    :) I hope not.

    The sticky point is, it meets my expectations, but it does not meet other users’ expectations. They didn’t write it, so they have a totally different way of viewing it: they intuitively expect it to handle all inputs the same way.

    They’d think I’m fucking with them if I tell them it’s a feature; I have to say it’s a bug that is not planned to be fixed, and offer a workaround instead.

  144. 144
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Oregon is the best state. But then, I’m biased. I’m drinking Stone IPA and shlepping through sequence data (in a fun way, with an attitude biased towards discovery, yet experienced with disappointment), with a great sense of relief: almost ready to deliver software to colleagues! Then I’ll really really really start looking for work. Really.

    From what I hear, Oregon is a lot like BC.

    Also, one of the greatest teachers of my life (an autistic gymnast who I met on IRC and who tried to explain privilege to me years before I came here and got enlightened) comes from Oregon.

    I think I wanna visit someday.

  145. 145
    x

    The Laughing Coyote (Papio cynocephalus) :

    Yes, the alcohol would have eventually boiled away, but by the time we got to it it had only just come to a boil and then been poured over ground coffee.

    The kicker was that Dry Friend had noticed the viscosity (but not the minty aroma) yet proceeded anyway.

    The Sailor: yes, we all had a jolly laugh about that as well. If I recall correctly, the alcohol actually became superfluous long about that afternoon and for about 24 hours thereafter. Did I mention the bioluminescent plankton that sparkle in the sand during black night as you stomp around at low tide? Hint: they also sparkle when you’re not tripping, so they’re both real and unreal, rather than just unreal, and therefore even more awesome!

  146. 146
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    They’d think I’m fucking with them if I tell them it’s a feature; I have to say it’s a bug that is not planned to be fixed, and offer a workaround instead.

    Just do what most software companies do: supply a link to pdf that has been run through Bad Translator. Any misunderstanding is on their side.

    Unless you actually have to work with these people. In which case I withdraw my suggestion.

    You could explain the computer program has free will?

  147. 147
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Belatedly watching the video. Gorgeous scenery. And *there*’s the drop at three-quarters through. How very Hollywood. ;)

  148. 148
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Oh my glob, Bioluminescence. I lived by the ocean for 11 years, and in that time I never saw a whale in the wild, or the phenomenon of ‘biolumineescence.’.

    Needless to say, my life is incomplete.

  149. 149
    Sandiseattle

    @Sili: thx 4 the link to Aubrey de Grey, very interesting

  150. 150
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I take that back, sorry. I think I’ve overdosed on TVTropes or summat.

  151. 151
    Sandiseattle

    “a gay man can get married. To a woman.” IIRC, the term is ‘lavender marriage.”

  152. 152
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    My gay uncle was married to a woman for a long time. During that time, he was a workaholic unlikeable asshole, always visibly miserable about something, always yelling at us kids (me n the adopted cousins) for inconsequential shit. No fun. Absolutely none.

    In other words he was profoundly and deeply unhappy, such that even a little kid could tell. It’s like he became a whole new person when he came out, more fun and friendly, more happy and free. There is no stretch of imagination I can manage where this is a ‘bad thing’.

  153. 153
    cicely

    Oooh! Thanks, Caine!
    *creates new folder: “translucent jellyfishables”*
    -

    And a fast google for “translucent rubber jellyfish” suggests that the tree-ready jellyfish market is poorly served.

    I’m shocked by this news. How can it be that such a fundamental need of human existence is not being filled?

    I know! Crazy, isn’t it? My faith in Teh Intarwebs is shaken (though not stirred).
    -
    The Sailor, do you have a favorite glop-source?
    -

  154. 154
    strange gods before me ॐ

    SallyStrange: your reading selection is, as the author indicates, basically some stomped-on Dennett.

    If you want the pure, uncut stuff, here’s this free book chapter from Dennett that might serve as a stand-in for Freedom Evolves, since he has basically been saying the same thing about this over and over for decades.

    To that, about two thirds down the page, Thomas W. Clark responds (ctrl-f for Dennett will get you there).

    +++++
    In your selection from Peter Voss, I find this:

    Before I expand on the meaning of “free”, let me discuss a question that is often, but mistakenly, posed as a test for freedom of will: “Could I have chosen otherwise?” However reasonable this question may seem, I contend that is quite meaningless and invalid within the usual context. Let’s try to make its premises and context explicit: Could have chosen otherwise – if what? If everything was the same? Naturally, if everything was the same, including our will, then we would have chosen in the same way. If on the other hand we assume that our will was different, then what would that tell us about freewill? Not much, because we would be talking about a person with a different will or context. To illustrate this point, what is the sense of saying for example “I could have chosen to lie to you”, unless we define the circumstances under which this statement can be judged as true or false? I could have lied to you – if I was less honest? If I wanted to avoid hurting you? If I had thought more about it? If I had reason to? If I held a different morality? If I was I different person? Or, whatever. Each of those scenarios introduce new variables, new motivations, new information. It is hardly controversial to say that humans can make different choices when faced with different situations, beliefs, or motives. Yet we have no reason to believe that in identical circumstances we would choose differently. This line of thinking does not help to illuminate freewill.

    Well, it doesn’t illuminate what a compatibilist wants to illuminate, that’s for sure.

    If determinism is true, as Voss supposes it is, then how could his will have been different at that moment? How could he have been less honest? How could he wanted, any more or less than he did, to avoid hurting someone? How could he have thought more about it?

    If Voss understands the implications of his own position, then he knows it means these different contexts could not have occurred. If determinism is true, then at every point in history, he necessarily must have faced circumstances identical to the circumstances he faced.

    This is why I say compatibilism gets the meaning of “free will” wrong: people want it to mean that we could have chosen to choose differently than we did. Voss appears to understand that we couldn’t have, but he goes ahead and calls this “free will” anyway. I say that’s misleading.

    He and Dennett can call that free will if they want to, and I will call my coffee cup the law of identity.

  155. 155
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The Laughing Coyote,

    It wasn’t until he said something along the lines of “If I had my own ideal society, those gays would have the CHOICE of gettingout” that I walked off saying “Well it’s a good thing you have no political power” The word ‘douchebag’ might also have come up.

    I do not see the SpokesGay around here at the moment; in such cases I am authorized to speak on behalf of the Homintern:

    Thank you.

  156. 156
    rorschach

    She says of course a gay man can get married.

    What I really want is civil unions for heteros.

    What platform does Skyrim run on ? I’m wondering about making an impulsive lust purchase and get a PS3.

  157. 157
    Walton

    I think it’s hard to define what I mean by “free will”, which makes the discussion very confusing. Indeed, the reason everyone on the thread has been disagreeing about it is because each person seems to have a different understanding of what “free will” means, and I’ve done a terrible job of communicating what I mean by that phrase. Indeed, I still can’t explain it concisely in plain unambiguous language; I know what I mean, but the limits of language (and perhaps the limits of my own intellect) don’t permit me to explain it very clearly.

    Really, the reason I care so much about it is more emotional than intellectual. I keep thinking about this, and feeling horribly conflicted about it, in discussions about how society should treat people who do terrible things – serial killers, rapists, génocidaires, fascist thugs, and so on. When such discussions happen, I feel very keenly aware, emotionally, that I could have been equally as terrible a person and done equally terrible things, if my brain had happened to be wired differently, if it had happened that my genes and my environment had predisposed me to do evil. Just as I didn’t “choose” to be who I am – it was all determined for me by my genes, my brain chemistry and the environment in which I have lived – so, too, Adolf Eichmann, Ted Bundy and Osama Bin Laden didn’t “choose” to be who they were, or to do as they did. If my personality was shaped by my genes and my environment, so were theirs; if my character traits, good or bad, were produced by my genes and my environment, so were theirs. None of us get to choose our psychologies; the good and the evil alike are, like Jessica Rabbit, just drawn that way. That’s a very powerful, scary and emotionally-overwhelming idea, when one really accepts it and thinks through its moral implications. (That’s a point on which crowepps is absolutely right.)

    It puts me in mind of an old maxim: “there but for the grace of God go I.” But it’s even more arbitrary than that: as far as any of us can tell, there is no God, and no “grace”, and no guiding will or purpose behind our fates, just the luck of a directionless lottery.

    This is especially powerful for me, because in an earlier chapter of my life I was, at times, a nasty and bigoted person who caused much emotional pain to others, and I can’t escape the memory of that. Of course I can play the free will game and try to make excuses: I can point out that I was a teenager, and that I had and have mental health problems. But what difference does that make? After all, everyone’s personality, however young or old and however disordered or healthy, is shaped deterministically by genes and environment. If I had no choice but to do as I did, then neither does anyone. And I don’t feel as if I’m entitled to sit in judgment on anyone else; because the only difference between me and the world’s greatest evildoer is merely that we have differently-wired brains. Neither of us chose our characters or our fates.

    If there are evil people, then I have to face the fact that I’m one of them. It’s a rather more palatable conclusion, to me, to argue that there are no evil people.

    (Sorry if this is completely incoherent. I don’t even know what I mean, precisely, so I’ll be very surprised if anyone else completely gets what I’m trying to say. Though ahs might, since he’s always seemed to have something of an intuitive understanding of how I think.)

  158. 158
    Walton

    (Shorter me: I hate philosophy. But it preys on me, like a small and unpleasant dog snapping at one’s heels.)

  159. 159
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Though ahs might, since he’s always seemed to have something of an intuitive understanding of how I think.

    Well I should certainly hope so.

  160. 160
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I haz the jitters.

    My Ph.D. defense is in 11 hours. Eek!

    And how are my jitters manifesting, you ask? I’m searching for “bagpipe” on YouTube and working my way through all 38,000 results for that search.

    Some of them are terrible.

  161. 161
    carlie

    More on Siri: turns out she can find you all kinds of results related to men and sex; for women, not so much.

    Jill: I want my dick sucked.
    Siri: I found twelve escort services fairly close to you.

    Jill: I want a blowjob.
    Siri: I found twelve escort services fairly close to you.

    Jill: I want my clitoris licked.
    Siri: I don’t understand “clitoris.”

    Jill: I want my vagina licked.
    Siri: Your language!

  162. 162
    carlie

    Longer quote on the Siri thing, because it’s really good:

    I doubt many people seriously believe that the programmers behind Siri are out to get women. The problem is that the very real and frequent concerns of women simply didn’t rise to the level of a priority for the programmers. Even though far more women will seek abortion in their lives than men will seek prostitutes, even though more women use contraception than men use Viagra, and even though exponentially more women use contraception than men seek prostitutes, the programmers were far more worried about making sure the word “horny” puts you in contact with a prostitute (a still-illegal activity) than the word “abortion” puts you in contact with someone who could do that for you legally.

    The problem isn’t that anyone involved with this hates women. The problem is that they just don’t think about women very much. Siri’s programmers clearly imagined a straight male user as their ideal and neglected to remember the nearly half of iPhone users who are female. That the tech company that’s the standard-bearer for progressive, innovative, user-friendly technology can’t bother to care about the concerns of half the human race speaks to a sexism that’s so interwoven into the fabric of our society that it’s nearly invisible. It’s a sexism that often only reveals itself in the absurd, such as when you’re asking a phone what it would take for you to get a little cunnilingus around here.

  163. 163
    rorschach

    It’s a sexism that often only reveals itself in the absurd, such as when you’re asking a phone what it would take for you to get a little cunnilingus around here.

    Brilliant ! And extremely embarrassing for Apple. That was my impression too, that a bunch of nerdy boys wrote this, and women didn’t really feature in the program design.

  164. 164
    Inaji

    Carlie:

    Jill: I want my vagina licked.
    Siri: Your language!

    So…vagina is a dirty word. Nothing new there. :sigh:

    a sexism that’s so interwoven into the fabric of our society that it’s nearly invisible.

    And it is exactly this ^ that is so difficult to get into so many brains every time we have a thread on sexism. I’m saving that, to repeat in the next thread.

  165. 165
    rorschach

    I’m off to the shops to have a look at game consoles. Especially since the Aussies are losing wickets quicker than anyone can say “short fine leg”.

  166. 166
    Walton

    Esteleth: Good luck! And I entirely understand the procrastination, since it’s exactly what I do when faced with impending stress.

  167. 167
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    RevBDC:

    …a place I normally think of for teenager’s b-day parties…

    Japanese steak house.

    Campy, over priced and fairly obnoxious.

    I’m a proper philistine: I luuuuurrrrv all that campy shit. Flipping the shrimp into the chef’s hat? The onion-ring volcano? Brilliant! And the little cartoon-character squeeze bottle that pees sake in your mouth? Bring that on! ;^)

    ***
    Funny things that happened on an otherwise not-funny day today:

    1. At my wife’s Dr.’s office (more about that when we have a real diagnosis, maybe), where she was asked for a sample for blood work we didn’t expect…

    Wife: Why do they want so much blood?

    Me: [jokingly] Maybe it tastes good?

    Wife: [furtively whispering] Hush! My doctor’s from Romania!

    2. After the vet told us to buy baby food for our 17-yo cat, who has relatively suddenly mostly stopped eating, we went to the grocery store. Standing in the baby-food aisle talking about what flavors and how much to buy…

    Wife: We shouldn’t stock up; we don’t know if she’ll eat it.”

    Me: And we don’t know how much longer she’ll be around.

    As we walked away, we realized that the young father who’d been in the aisle with us had stopped his cell-phone chat with his wife and gone silent… and then the penny dropped: He didn’t know we were talking about an elderly cat! “Don’t know how much longer she’ll be around,” indeed!

  168. 168
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Walton,
    Yes, very good, but why bagpipes? I could be procrastinating in my usual manner: the threefold path of Pharyngula, Cracked, and TVTropes.

  169. 169
    consciousness razor

    He and Dennett can call that free will if they want to, and I will call my coffee cup the law of identity.

    I don’t think Dennett’s doing anything quite so drastic. I have mixed opinions about it. Everyone’s just desperate to have this vital commodity they’ve heard about called “free will,” despite having no clear idea what it is. Since that doesn’t exist, he redefines it to mean things which do exist, so people will at least have the cheap toy version to play with, hopefully without feeling completely ripped off. He makes it clear that you don’t have libertarian free will or a soul, that you can’t change the future, etc. So, while redefining it adds to the confusion a bit, at least people who have read his take on it aren’t completely misinformed.

  170. 170
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Oppenheimer,

    Indeed, I still can’t explain it concisely in plain unambiguous language; I know what I mean, but the limits of language (and perhaps the limits of my own intellect) don’t permit me to explain it very clearly.

    Sounds like big trouble. You’re going to need plenty of legal advice before this thing is over. As your attorney, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top. And you’ll need the cocaine. Tape recorder for special music. Acapulco shirts. Get the hell out of Cambridge for at least 48 hours.

    +++++
    Remember when I said this? Don’t read the obvious into it; it’s not the obvious which I intend now:

    «You ever think of a witty comeback, decades too late?

    In early adolescence another kid said to me, “you’re trying too hard. You should just be yourself.”

    I did not understand the proposition. Of course I was myself. Who else could I be?

    But this kid was popular so I attributed much value to their words, and spent some fruitless time analyzing what they could mean. In retrospect, of course they were also too young to know what they were talking about, and were probably just repeating an insult they’d heard from TV.

    Now I have a comeback!

    “I am being myself. I am someone who tries too hard.”»

  171. 171
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Sounds like big trouble. You’re going to need plenty of legal advice before this thing is over. As your attorney, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top. And you’ll need the cocaine. Tape recorder for special music. Acapulco shirts. Get the hell out of Cambridge for at least 48 hours.

    Advice: beware of the bats

  172. 172
    consciousness razor

    In early adolescence another kid said to me, “you’re trying too hard. You should just be yourself.”

    Bossy kid. Why shouldn’t I do that? What if I put as little effort as possible into being someone else?

  173. 173
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    OK, I know the Siri conversation is a serious one, and I don’t want to trivialize anything, but I confess I literally laughed out loud at this (from the Feminste link):

    Jill:</b I want my pussy eaten.

    Siri: I have found eleven pet stores in your area.

    Maybe it just reminded me of the cat food/baby food mixup I mentioned @167?

    Seriously, Siri is no doubt sexist, but xe may not be wrong about the relative difficulty of getting one’s pussy eaten (professionally, I mean) versus getting one’s dick sucked: I know it’s only anecdotal, but a female caller to Dan Savage’s podcast a couple episodes ago asked Dan for advice on how to find a male sex worker, and the best he could do was direct her to rentboy.com, and suggest that she might find an escort there willing to book women as clients.

    Then on the next episode, somebody who actually works for rentboy (runs the blog/advice column there, IIRC) called in to say even that might not work: Apparently many of the escorts there who list themselves as straight/gay-for-play are really gay, and are employing what this fellow called “marketing spin.”

    So it seems that the imbalance of Siri’s responses may reflect the reality that straight women looking for sex workers get the short end of the stick.

    Which, of course, is itself a manifestation of sexism.

    [Aside: I desperately want an iPhone for other reasons, but couldn't imagine myself actually using Siri, even before this issue came up. OTOH, I couldn't imagine myself using a GPS device, either... until I got one.]

  174. 174
    strange gods before me ॐ

    As your attorney I advise you to drive at top speed and it’ll be a goddamn miracle if we get there before you turn into some kind of big dumb chimp. Are you ready for that?

  175. 175
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I’m a proper philistine: I luuuuurrrrv all that campy shit. Flipping the shrimp into the chef’s hat? The onion-ring volcano? Brilliant! And the little cartoon-character squeeze bottle that pees sake in your mouth? Bring that on! ;^)

    So we were there with 20+ people, enough to occupy both sides of the tables. Two grills.

    The other side, great performer, sounded like fun.

    Our side? The grumpiest chef ever. No extra entertainment, no conversation, no nothing.

    I tried to spark something from him but he was worthless.

    total experience? fun with friends but sort of solidified my non desire to ever go back to one again.

    Or at least a low rent neighborhood one like this again.

    The 6 years between this and my last visit was not long enough.

    At least the husband of the b-day girl had party “favors”.

    Too bad I need to be on my game tomorrow.

  176. 176
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    As your attorney I advise you to drive at top speed and it’ll be a goddamn miracle if we get there before you turn into some kind of big dumb chimp. Are you ready for that?

    I doubt it.

  177. 177
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Pig fucker, pig fucker, pig fucker, pig fucker, pig fucker, pig fucker, pig fucker!

  178. 178
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Thompson on free will:

    Gonzo: [After cocaine blows away in the wind] Did you see what GOD just did to us man!

    Duke: God didn’t do that, you did! You’re a fucking narcotics agent, I knew it.

  179. 179
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    nice

  180. 180
    cicely

    I could be procrastinating in my usual manner: the threefold path of Pharyngula, Cracked, and TVTropes.

    Ah, the Threefold Path! The very noblest and best of time-wasters procrastination aids!
    *genuflect*
    -

  181. 181
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Esteleth

    Or catch up on some sleep. Try this: Flick through the TV channels until you find one that is out of tune. You’re looking for white noise. Turn up the volume full bore. (It’ll also keep the bats away.)

    @ Josh

    Spawn of Phoenicia is in the oven right now. Butter, tomato, Branson Pickle and cheddar are at the ready. This is not going to be pretty…

  182. 182
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Alright, I’m off to bed. Hopefully, I’ll sleep.
    Ph.D. defense in 10 hours.

  183. 183
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

    Turn on lantern.

  184. 184
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    From the previous TET –

    Alethea #654

    As to the “lame” question – while we have actually disabled people disagreeing on whether it’s a problem or not, then I think we still have room to talk about it. Clearly it is a problem for CripDyke and not Cicely – but “crip” is not a problem for CripDyke? Odd, that sounds much more insulting to me. Or is that deliberate? Is it a regional difference? Is it an in-group thing? More information and discussion can only help at this point.

    Darn it, darn it, darn it. That’ll teach me to keep skipping TET.

    Okay, I disagree with Cicely on the wisdom of using lame in certain contexts, but we do *not* disagree on what is wrong about certain usages and why those usages are to be avoided.

    I do not aks people to stop using lame. What I ask is for people to not use it to mean “boring, unintelligent, uninteresting, or worthless” which is, unfortunately, quite a common practice. To be lame or to be crippled (short: “crip”) is not an insult. It’s a fact of life, as it would be to be blue-eyed, bald, left-handed, a sprinter, or 7-fingered. As long as you’re using lame or cripple consistent with that, I have no quarrel with you.

    Like most any noun, adjective, or verb, “lame” can also be the foundation of a metaphor. If the metaphor relies on understanding lame to be about difficulty in movement, the metaphor is also fine. Saying that a movie’s editing was “lame” makes perfect sense to me and is about movement, transitions. There is no need to hypothesize that the speaker is making the unfounded assumption that we who are lame are also boring, uninteresting, unintelligent, or worthless. However, it’s quite clear that the majority of time that lame is used in relationship to popular media, it is insisting that lame is inextricably tied to b/u/u/w properties.

    Now Alethea used an example where she was talking about popular media using lame in a way that carried no unwarranted assumptions about lame people in her intended meaning. However, there wasn’t enough detail that I saw that would make it clear that she was not intending the b/u/u/w associations. If I were in a room full of cripples & we were talking and someone used lame to describe a show without specifying editing, I would be more willing to assume that the person is not making assumptions about the value of himself, me, and the others in the room (although I still might ask for clarification b/c assuming isn’t much in my nature). On an internet board where no one knows about your perspective on disability, it is unjustified and unwise to trust that no one will hear BUUW when that is, unfortunately, the most common intent when used in description of media. So my small quibble with Alethea would be that in communicative spaces where there is no context allowing the thousands of unknown readers appropriate cues that you mean your word-with-more-than-one-use to be understood in a way unrelated to oppressive assumptions, I think it’s better to stay away from the word. Alethea, on the other hand, wishes to use the word regardless of context (and, presumably, knowing that some will misconstrue her usage). Again, I wouldn’t do it, but I could understand it as another form of activism undermining others’ assumptions that lame and BUUW are related…assuming that along the way she uses other words perhaps in the same or other comments, that cause persons to question, “Did I understand Alethea correctly?”

    Her methodology relies on inducing self-questioning. My methodology stresses (without entirely dispensing with self-questioning) a refusal to employ usages likely to reinforce a f*d up and entirely erroneous association.

    Again, I am NOT against using the word “lame”. I am against you using the word “lame” as a synonym for b/u/u/w – because, frankly, the implied metaphor is that lame people are BUUW, and so this use carries an implicit insult to cripples every time that metaphor is used.

    I am FOR using the word lame to mean what lame actually means. And, if there are qualities that you’ve noticed are common in lame people, you are free to create new metaphors that reference those qualities. However, I warn you in advance: I am not a farmer of organic arugula, so any metaphors relying on the universality of organic arugula farming among cripples is bound to…fall flat.

    So, does that make sense?

    And as for why I’m fine with “crip” when I’m not fine with “lame”…it’s because I”m actually fine with both – so long as they are used accurately. My discussion 2 TETs ago about the word lame depended on critiquing the BUUW association, not the mere mention of lameness. In fact, rather the opposite is true for me. I prefer to make dis/ability something that we can talk about in public spaces, not something taboo (as it too often is).

    So, I expect people to call me out on excessive comma use laming the flow of my sentences and such. Fear not. But be willing to be questioned if your use appears to depend on understanding lame as something other than disfluid motion.

  185. 185
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Ooops, darn it: In my post # 184, every reference to Alethea except the quote at the top should actually be to Cicely.

    My apologies to Cicely and Alethea, both.

  186. 186
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Josh or Dr Audley or Alethea

    The bread is looking good, other than being a little undercooked. Usually the times I use work perfectly. Does one need to cook longer for sourdough? Is there something else that I must change too?

    @ Esteleth

    “Break a leg!” (And don’t forget your Profs are on your side and are fascinated by what you have to say anyway.)

  187. 187
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    @rorschach

    Though it might offer to search the web, but I can’t ask for directions apparently.

    The anecdotal field experiments that I did with the IPhone 4S of some of my work collegues seem to suggest that it’s ok with giving directions.

    In Australia? Using the Australian voice/recognition? I just get a ‘I’m sorry, I can only do that in the USA if you are using the USA voice recognition thing’ effectively.

    I can make notes, reminders, call people, schedule appointments, send messages, and check the weather using Siri, but if I’m looking for something specific like directions or businesses I just get redirected to a web search. We don’t have that functionality here yet. Unknown why.

    Admittedly I like some of what Siri does, as it means I only have to fix typos/recognition errors rather than tapping in entire notes, but I could easily live without it.

  188. 188
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Ahs:

    The Laughing Coyote,

    It wasn’t until he said something along the lines of “If I had my own ideal society, those gays would have the CHOICE of gettingout” that I walked off saying “Well it’s a good thing you have no political power” The word ‘douchebag’ might also have come up.

    I do not see the SpokesGay around here at the moment; in such cases I am authorized to speak on behalf of the Homintern:

    Thank you.

    I dunno what to say, I appreciate the appreciation, but I don’t feel particularly heroic about it.

    Defending those of alternate sexualities doesn’t feel really much removed from just defending myself. I’m not gay…. but I am wired differently in a way society often frowns upon. Though, there are no specific biblical pronouncements against ‘my kind’. That I can think of at the moment. I’m probably wrong about that last bit.

    I hope this doesn’t sound privileged or anything.

  189. 189
    rorschach

    Skyrim loading on PS3, gotta love capitalism. WHat is everyone smoking in here btw ?

  190. 190
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Funny you should ask Rorschach. This bag of high grade marijuana I illegally acquired earlier this evening is particularly good. It’s smooth, flavorful, not too heavy on the head, but potent enough to be worth the money. It is probably a variant on ‘Kush’, which seems to be popular these days. I’m pretty good at discerning it by scent.

  191. 191
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Are the cool kids around here playing Terraria? (I don’t do multiplayer, but I’ve been told it’s fun.)

  192. 192
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I dunno what to say, I appreciate the appreciation, but I don’t feel particularly heroic about it.

    That is OK. Homintern directives state that you aren’t required to.

    Carry on.

  193. 193
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Carry on.

    OK, thanks, will do!

  194. 194
    Inaji

    TLC:

    This bag of high grade marijuana I illegally acquired

    Wish I had something to smoke. :Grumbles:

  195. 195
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Haven’t read Thread, sorry. Must complain.

    1. Toilet overflowed. Plunger didn’t work.

    2. Water backed up alarmingly.

    3. Took toilet out completely and snaked with a 25-foot auger.

    4. Did not work. Auger got stuck, would not budge.

    5. House is 140 years old and has no “clean-out” trap in basement cast-iron pipes.

    6. Problem is worse than initially apparent; washing machine which drains on separate line (but into the same main that meets city sewer) also backed up. This means major clog deep in house’s plumbing bowels.

    Now waiting for plumber to call in the morning. With no bathroom. Kill me now.

  196. 196
    Weed(less) Monkey

    One of those summer-weekends in the 1980′s, my uncle came for a visit. He was sweaty, he was thirsty, he went for the fridge, took out a bottle of water and started gulping it down until he strated spitting it out. He’d grabbed dad’s home-made Quetsch schnapps. He spent the night with us.

    :)

    Another anecdote: a few aeons ago I had my last wisdom tooth pulled out. The hole it left got a bit infected, and my dentist gave me a syringe to flush out food scraps out every time after I ate something, with saline water. Well, I boiled some and left the rest of it in the fridge for the next use. My sister thought it were cool fresh water and drank it. She vomited immediately and violently in front of the fridge.

  197. 197
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Holy Shit Josh!

    Ok, my emergency can wait (#186). You better get TLC to send some kush over the interwebz STAT.

  198. 198
    Inaji

    Now waiting for plumber to call in the morning. With no bathroom. Kill me now.

    Aaaargh, so sorry you’re dealing with this, Josh. Last time we had a major backup, we snaked, did all the stuff we should have, no help at all. We had to call in a plumber, ended up having to take half the carpet off the lower stair landing to get to a specific drain access. Turns out the roots of our juniper tree were getting a little enthusiastic. The plumber broke 6 blades before he could clear the drain, now we have to have him out every two to three years to keep the roots under control.

  199. 199
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Theo:

    Since I have naught to do but sit here drinking wine until I go to sleep (perchance to have nightmares of plumbing bills), here is some bread advice:

    1. Really the best way to bake this stuff is in a cast-iron dutch oven or similar (a Le Crueset, etc. ). A stainless steel pot with a tight-fitting lid will do in a pinch.

    2. Preheat the oven *and the covered pot* to 500 F for at least one half hour.

    3. Get your potholders out, take the lid off, then peel the dough out of the bowl and into the pot. Cover and put in oven. Reduce heat to 450 F.

    4. Bake 30 mins.

    5. Remove cover from pot and bake an additional 15 minutes, plus or minus. You want a deep brown shatteringly-crisp crust.

    6. Remove from oven. If the loaf doesn’t easily tip out of the pan, let it sit and cool. The bread should cool for at least an hour and a half anyway. If you slice into it while it’s too hot, it’ll be gluey and unpleasant. You need to give it time to dehumidify and “set.”

    The best loaves I’ve ever baked are with the no-knead method. Look up “NY times no knead”, and simply substitute 1/4 cup starter for the yeast. You cannot fuck this bread up-it’s superb. Better, by far, than any bread you’ve ever made. It only requires time to sit and ferment. I don’t knead my bread at all any more, regardless of the type. I just plan a day in advance to give it a long proofing time.

  200. 200
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Caine:

    The plumber broke 6 blades before he could clear the drain, now we have to have him out every two to three years to keep the roots under control.

    I shudder to ask, but I must: How much did it cost?

  201. 201
    Inaji

    Josh:

    I shudder to ask, but I must: How much did it cost?

    It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we thought, $125 and that included coming out right away and from Bismarck, too.

  202. 202
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Phew, Caine, thanks. That’s in line with what my local friend S told me when she had to have her line snaked out to the main. Cross your fingers for my budget:)

  203. 203
    SallyStrange

    This is why I say compatibilism gets the meaning of “free will” wrong: people want it to mean that we could have chosen to choose differently than we did. Voss appears to understand that we couldn’t have, but he goes ahead and calls this “free will” anyway. I say that’s misleading.

    So what is “free will” then, according to you? The idea that, if everything were exactly the same, “I” could have made a different choice?

    As Walton points out, it’s emotionally overwhelming to think that what one thinks of one’s positive character traits (“I” don’t kill innocent people with hijacked planes because of my politicized Islamist beliefs) are merely the results of blind luck.

    Really, the reason I care so much about it is more emotional than intellectual. I keep thinking about this, and feeling horribly conflicted about it, in discussions about how society should treat people who do terrible things – serial killers, rapists, génocidaires, fascist thugs, and so on. When such discussions happen, I feel very keenly aware, emotionally, that I could have been equally as terrible a person and done equally terrible things, if my brain had happened to be wired differently, if it had happened that my genes and my environment had predisposed me to do evil. Just as I didn’t “choose” to be who I am – it was all determined for me by my genes, my brain chemistry and the environment in which I have lived – so, too, Adolf Eichmann, Ted Bundy and Osama Bin Laden didn’t “choose” to be who they were, or to do as they did. If my personality was shaped by my genes and my environment, so were theirs; if my character traits, good or bad, were produced by my genes and my environment, so were theirs. None of us get to choose our psychologies; the good and the evil alike are, like Jessica Rabbit, just drawn that way. That’s a very powerful, scary and emotionally-overwhelming idea, when one really accepts it and thinks through its moral implications. (That’s a point on which crowepps is absolutely right.)

    I agree that if “I” were born to a wealthy Saudi family and were male and attended the same schools Osama bin Laden attended, I’d probably be more likely to agree that some collateral damage amongst corrupt Westerners is a price worth paying, in order to advance the cause of Islam. I don’t think there is an essential “I” that would remain unchanged if the circumstances of my life were entirely different. But it’s a meaningless question to me; the circumstances of my life are what they are. The probability that I become SallyStrange as currently manifested is 1. It reminds me of that thread where someone laid out the astronomical odds of “you” ever existing based on a faulty series of concatenated probability calculations, using it to claim that “you” are vanishingly unlikely and therefore “your” existence is something like a miracle. That is misleading.

    So how do you account for the fact that we make choices that have predictable effects on our lives and can learn how to make different types of choices if we choose to alter our beliefs or habits? What is that phenomenon? It’s not a dualistic phenomenon, the “I” that’s making choices is a crowdsourced plethora of influences, but there is that experience. What is free will and how is it different from making meaningful choices that affect the trajectory of one’s life? I’m trying to change my basic beliefs so that I make different choices going forward. Of course, given the things I’ve experienced so far, my desire to change the choices I make is determined by what I’ve learned from the past choices I made, wherein I experienced unpleasant results from making certain choices. That’s deterministic, right? Just trying to understand the terminology. So “I” don’t really have a choice, “I” have the desire to avoid unpleasantness because I’m an ape and a bag of chemicals and I have certain patterns of stimulus response that I couldn’t change if I wanted to. On the other hand, there are other ways I could try to avoid the negative experience, thought they would be less successful than actually changing my decision-making algorithm regarding certain things in my life: drink, smoke, and try to ignore the situation. I can and do make the choice to employ one or the other strategy, usually a dozen times a day or more. “My” goal is to have the balance of those decisions come down on the more effective strategy, that is, not ignoring the fact that I want to change my decision-making algorithm. That feels like free will to me. But you seem to be saying that free will is a fictional construct, like god, an inherently dualistic concept whose truth is contradicted by reality.

    I don’t think Dennett’s doing anything quite so drastic. I have mixed opinions about it. Everyone’s just desperate to have this vital commodity they’ve heard about called “free will,” despite having no clear idea what it is. Since that doesn’t exist, he redefines it to mean things which do exist, so people will at least have the cheap toy version to play with, hopefully without feeling completely ripped off. He makes it clear that you don’t have libertarian free will or a soul, that you can’t change the future, etc. So, while redefining it adds to the confusion a bit, at least people who have read his take on it aren’t completely misinformed.

    Consciousness razor seems to back up this interpretation of “free will”. It doesn’t exist. But people feel like they have it; they WANT to feel like the choices they make are meaningful. So they resist the idea that they don’t have free will, because it contradicts their experience of having the capacity to make choices, having the capacity to learn from the choices, and having the capacity to choose differently in roughly similar situations in the future. Like when an alcoholic chooses not to drink even though she really really wants to, because her experience has shown her that the consequences are undesirable. She doesn’t have a choice about possessing the knowledge, and she doesn’t have a choice about wanting to avoid things that are undesirable, but she does have a choice about which set of positives/negatives to emphasize in her decision-making. She can drink, or not, on a daily basis. Even an hourly one. Indeed, people struggling with addiction describe the struggle in exactly those terms: choosing over and over again to emphasize long-term consequences over short-term ones in their decision-making. If free will does not exist, can we please then have a name for what is happening during those moments? Because it is very helpful for people who are trying to be healthy, to feel like they can choose different paths moving forward. And I am interested in maximizing people’s opportunities to become more healthy.

    (Shorter me: I hate philosophy. But it preys on me, like a small and unpleasant dog snapping at one’s heels.)

    For reals, yo. This is why I rarely read philosophy books, and probably why I find this whole discussion circular, confusing, and a tad irritating.

    /middle of the night between dreams rambling

    /also in similar situation to Laughing Coyote, wishing I could share with Caine

  204. 204
    SallyStrange

    Sad news: Martina Davis Correia, the sister of Troy Davis, the man who was probably unjustly executed by the state of Georgia, has died. She had breast cancer. I am especially sad knowing she is survived by a teenage son, who has now lost his uncle (with whom he was apparently quite close) and now his mother in the space of a few months.

  205. 205
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Bill Dauphin – #173:

    I don’t really know about paying for oral sex from the point of view of a client, but I’ve personally known several women who did sex work from a separately-maintained apartment, using an ad with a phone number. Of the 3 of them, 2 only had sex with men when paid and both described being overjoyed the few times they had been solicited by a woman or a couple including a woman in which the woman wasn’t just giving a present or watching, but actively involved in playing with my friend. To be sure, neither of them were people that would have refused to have sex with all men, everywhere if they hadn’t been sex workers. It’s just that, given their day jobs, they had no idea to spend their left over sexual energy and private sexy-times on men (or at least cis-men). The third was a bisexual woman who primarily had relationships with men in her non-professional life, but did have sex with women. We never talked to much about her professional experiences, so I don’t know if she would have been willing to work for cis-woman or not, but knowing what I know about her otherwise, I think she likely would have said yes.

    The truth is that when coercion isn’t at play, the people who become sex workers appear to be disproportionately likely to be interested in sex, generally. Thus it may not matter as much as you think, regarding your gender or your body type. If you get ahold of a woman sex worker who is in it by choice because they like sex and think that is a good way to make money, then she has a good chance of being willing to go down on you no matter what is in your pants.

    In fact, she might be particularly excited/enthusiastic to go to work for a cis-woman. Obviously, in individual circumstances YMMV, and I’m not taking away from the conclusion that Siri is sexist in its implementation, but trying those numbers given by Siri isn’t necessarily a waste of time…

  206. 206
    Inaji

    Josh:

    Cross your fingers for my budget:)

    Tentacles crossed. :)

    Sally:

    wishing I could share with Caine

    Me too, sounds most enjoyable!

  207. 207
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Josh

    Thanks for the advice.

    Le Crueset

    *drools* I’ve seen these beautiful things a lot here. Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to fork out the cold hard cash, as much as I appreciate how brilliant their stuff is. (A lot of people are “one cheque away from disaster”, I am one cheque away from a cascade of disasters. I will spoil myself mercilessly when I get more work.)

    6. Remove from oven. If the loaf doesn’t easily tip out of the pan, let it sit and cool. The bread should cool for at least an hour and a half anyway. If you slice into it while it’s too hot, it’ll be gluey and unpleasant.

    I think this could be the biggest problem. I got a bit to carried away in wanting to try it immediately. (Don’t get me wrong, it is still delicious.) I am using a pizza stone, and am sure I’ll find a way to get this to work.

    Complete aside: There is a special type of South African pot called a potjie (“little pot”). It is made of cast iron and has three legs and a heavy lid. I will get Spawn to bring me one when she returns from SA. You get it and the lid really hot on a fire and then drop the dough in and let the coals do their work. Omnomnomnom…

  208. 208
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Tentacles crossed. :)

    Umm. . err. . yes. I believe that’s properly tentacles entwined. Or knotted. Or. . .oh no. I will not think of hagfish.

  209. 209
    strange gods before me ॐ

    SallyStrange,

    So what is “free will” then, according to you? The idea that, if everything were exactly the same, “I” could have made a different choice?

    I believe this is what everyone intuitively expects from “free will” before the compatibilists talk them out of it.

    For your most recent meal, you had available to you Food X and Food Y. You ate Food X.

    The idea that if everything were exactly the same you could have made a different choice is equivalent to saying that you could have chosen to choose Food Y instead.

    And so on, throughout your life. No matter how important or trivial the consequences, it has never been possible for you to have chosen to choose differently than you did.

  210. 210
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Theo:

    Complete aside: There is a special type of South African pot called a potjie (“little pot”). It is made of cast iron and has three legs and a heavy lid. I will get Spawn to bring me one when she returns from SA. You get it and the lid really hot on a fire and then drop the dough in and let the coals do their work. Omnomnomnom…

    Yes. This is precisely the sort of thing you want. Whether it has three little legs or not is irrelevant. The point is that it’s heavy iron with a heavy lid. Any old pot will do — here in the states you can often pick up such old pots at garage/yard/house sales. With a little TLC and seasoning they work brilliantly.

    A baking stone won’t cut it. I’ve tried. There is no substitute for baking the bread in a blisteringly hot and covered pot. Whether it’s iron or crockery is not important. I can’t afford a Le Creuset either, so I make do with a cast-iron “Dutch oven” of one-gallon capacity. It’s old as hell, but it works.

  211. 211
    strange gods before me ॐ

    So how do you account for the fact that we make choices that have predictable effects on our lives and can learn how to make different types of choices if we choose to alter our beliefs or habits? What is that phenomenon?

    It is as you describe it. There is nothing odd here for the incompatibilist to account for. If you have an issue with the word “choice” you can rephrase it:

    “We take actions that have predictable effects on our lives and can learn how to alter our beliefs or habits to take different types of actions in the future.”

  212. 212
    Inaji

    Theophontes:

    *drools* I’ve seen these beautiful things a lot here.

    I am *ever so slowly* acquiring the basic set of Le Crueset. The doufeu, which was the first piece I bought, has paid for itself at least three times over. It’s lovely stuff.

  213. 213
    strange gods before me ॐ

    “I” have the desire to avoid unpleasantness because I’m an ape and a bag of chemicals and I have certain patterns of stimulus response that I couldn’t change if I wanted to.

    That last clause is incorrect. You have the ability to change your habits in the future, and your desire or lack of desire to change will affect this ability. But if, 10 years from now, you’ve changed your habits, then it will be the case that you could not have chosen to choose otherwise. Likewise if you have not changed your habits.

  214. 214
    SallyStrange

    I believe this is what everyone intuitively expects from “free will” before the compatibilists talk them out of it.

    For your most recent meal, you had available to you Food X and Food Y. You ate Food X.

    The idea that if everything were exactly the same you could have made a different choice is equivalent to saying that you could have chosen to choose Food Y instead.

    And so on, throughout your life. No matter how important or trivial the consequences, it has never been possible for you to have chosen to choose differently than you did.

    This seems trivially true. Like, the probability I exist is 1. The probability I made the choices I have already made is 1. Free will is a concept only meaningful when applied to choices made in the past then? Seems pretty useless. Where are you drawing your definition of free will from? It seems to my unschooled eyes that the concept of “free will” is weighed down by the baggage of centuries’ worth of dualistic philosophizing. My layman’s understanding of “free will” did not, when I first encountered the concept, differ substantially from what you term “choice,” or the capacity to “take actions that have predictable effects on our lives and… learn how to alter our beliefs or habits to take different types of actions in the future.”

    If I’d been more of a philosophy reader then I would have realized that most philosophers mean something different than that when they talk about free will.

    I don’t feel like I’ve been missing out on much.

  215. 215
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Consciousness razor seems to back up this interpretation of “free will”. It doesn’t exist. But people feel like they have it; they WANT to feel like the choices they make are meaningful.

    Do you mean “meaningful choice” like the ability to have chosen to choose Food Y instead?

    Or do you mean an action which is meaningful, like cheering up a friend or winning a land war in Asia?

    We do have the latter; our actions have meaningful consequences, because humans assign meaning to pleasure and pain and whatnot.

    So they resist the idea that they don’t have free will, because it contradicts their experience of having the capacity to make choices, having the capacity to learn from the choices, and having the capacity to choose differently in roughly similar situations in the future.

    I’m not so sure about this. Check how Weed Monkey and Dhorvath phrased it:

    I feel it’s intuitively right to think of myself as a machine that behaves in a way all my earlier experiences have taught (or even programmed) me to behave. And hopefully I’ll learn more and more stuff all the time, that will modify the way I’ll behave in the future.

    This. That I am interested right now in being better in the future leads me to seek things that will promote that better behaviour.

    I don’t see how this is functionally different from what you described, yet these two do not believe in free will. The lack of free will apparently does not contradict their intuitions.

  216. 216
    SallyStrange
    So what is “free will” then, according to you? The idea that, if everything were exactly the same, “I” could have made a different choice?

    I believe this is what everyone intuitively expects from “free will” before the compatibilists talk them out of it.

    That wasn’t true of me. Nobody talked me out of it. The compatibilists’ interpretation was congruent with the layperson’s understanding of “free will” that I had already begun to formulate. I was following the conversation, not understanding why it’s taken as a given that “free will” means to ability to theoretically make different choices even if everything else, including one’s own knowledge and circumstances, are the same. Why is that taken as a given? It seems a silly and pointless thought exercise. The only reason to make different decisions are a.) different knowledge or b.) different circumstances.

    If you’re saying that free will is an inherently dualist concept, then I must agree that it’s false, illusory, and useless, because dualist is false. However, I would like to understand why it is that “free will” is an inherently dualist concept. Does it have to do with the history of the idea?

  217. 217
    SallyStrange

    Whoops! Of course I meant, “dualism is false,” not “dualist is false.”

  218. 218
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Free will is a concept only meaningful when applied to choices made in the past then? Seems pretty useless.

    Free will is a useless concept because of the reasons that Thomas W. Clark describes (sufficient excerpt here). It couldn’t give a person anything they want; this is ostensibly why Dennett tries to redefine it as some things we do want and already have.

    But the lack of free will applies to the present and future as well. At any moment in time, you do not have the ability to choose otherwise than you are at that moment choosing. Didn’t a moment ago, and won’t a moment later.

    Where are you drawing your definition of free will from?

    Libertarian free will is the free will I’m talking about; you’ll find it defined much the same anywhere you go.

    Compatibilist free will is not worth calling free will, because in any case, we never have the ability to choose to choose otherwise, and this breaks many people’s intuition of what free will ought to have meant: see Coyote’s, Bill’s and crowepps’ reactions. It is understandable that they get upset when they realize they’ve misunderstood reality.

    My definition of free will, then, is the natural and common one, what people typically mean before they’ve been conditioned by compatibilist jargon to redefine it.

    It seems to my unschooled eyes that the concept of “free will” is weighed down by the baggage of centuries’ worth of dualistic philosophizing.

    It is.

    My layman’s understanding of “free will” did not, when I first encountered the concept, differ substantially from what you term “choice,” or the capacity to “take actions that have predictable effects on our lives and… learn how to alter our beliefs or habits to take different types of actions in the future.”

    You’re lucky! :)

    I don’t feel like I’ve been missing out on much.

    You haven’t been. On this, incompatibilists like Clark and compatibilists like Dennett agree: libertarian free will is not worth having.

  219. 219
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Why is that taken as a given?

    Because it’s the traditional view.

    Why it’s the traditional view is quite another matter. Some say it’s because this is how people typically justify their enjoyment of punishing another person, or at least watching or hearing about such punishment.

    Dennett:

    We ought to admit, up front, that one of our strongest unspoken motivations for upholding something close to the traditional concept of free will is our desire to see the world’s villains “get what they deserve.” And surely they do deserve our condemnation, our criticism, and – when we have a sound system of laws in place – punishment. A world without punishment is not a world any of us would want to live in.

  220. 220
    rorschach

    ahs’ “you could never have chosen to choose differently from what you chose” to me is one big glorified affirmation of the consequent argument. Which is why I’m not buying it.
    And playing Skyrim for the last hour reminds me of why I don’t like computer games. Been running around some courtyard aimlessly, and nothing is ever happening. What a waste of time !

  221. 221
    SallyStrange

    Okay, so basically, other people have taken a two-word phrase “free will” and assigned it to a concept that differs dramatically from what I think of on hearing the two-word phrase “free will,” therefore I don’t believe in “free will,” but in “choice,” or “the capacity to take actions that have predictable effects on our lives and learn how to alter our beliefs or habits to take different types of actions in the future.”

    How annoying.

    I don’t like philosophy.

  222. 222
    crowepps

    I remember a discussion here when the suit was filed of the case of Nikki Iacono and her claim to be exempt from her school in Johnston County’s dress code because of her membership in the Church of Body Modification. Happened to run across the July settlement today, which I don’t remember ever appearing here, so thought I would share:

    http://www.onpointnews.com/docs/nose-stud.pdf

    I think the most important part is the school surrendering on the issue of allowing “the principal or other administrator to determine whether a student’s religious practices are central to the religion in question” and agreeing that “the principal or designee shall not attempt to determine whether the religious beliefs are valid but only whether they are sincerely held.”

    IMO government agents have no constitutional role in determining the validity of religious beliefs. I am not inclined to allow them to judge “sincrely held” either but they didn’t ask me.

    Must say, I find the creative ability of people encouraging — it is a marvelous subversion of the cant by conservatives who assert “freedom of religion” entitles them to tell everyone what to do to invent new ‘religions’ that protect minorities’ rights to be/express themselves.

  223. 223
    strange gods before me ॐ

    However, I would like to understand why it is that “free will” is an inherently dualist concept.

    The philosophical answer: because monism doesn’t allow the self to act as an uncaused causer.

    The real answer: because humans just tend to be natural dualists. Dualism is a good-enough heuristic most of the time, and it often requires less cognitive effort to predict others’ intentions by assuming they have some essential self which explains their dispositions, than to think about the circumstances which caused them to act the way they did in a particular situation.

  224. 224
    strange gods before me ॐ

    SallyStrange: you’re the one going against tradition. ;)

    So it’s rather you who’s taken a two-word phrase “free will” and assigned it to a concept that differs dramatically from what I think of on hearing the two-word phrase “free will.”

    (If Dennett gets his way, my use will be archaic in a few hundred years. If I get my way, we’ll all forget about free will soon after we forget about God.)

    +++++
    rorschach:

    ahs’ “you could never have chosen to choose differently from what you chose” to me is one big glorified affirmation of the consequent argument.

    I’m not sure what the consequent argument is.

    Which is why I’m not buying it.

    I’m pretty sure we’ve already established that you’re not buying it because somebody had a stroke, and conservatives tell lies.

  225. 225
    SallyStrange

    SallyStrange: you’re the one going against tradition. ;)

    Yes. Tradition, in this case, is a bunch of annoying bullshit.

    So it’s rather you who’s taken a two-word phrase “free will” and assigned it to a concept that differs dramatically from what I think of on hearing the two-word phrase “free will.”

    So? I came at it with fresh eyes, unencumbered by all that fancy-schmancy philomosophical hoo-ha. The fact that my initial response to the two-word phrase was to think of what you term “choice” is simply illustrative that the philosophy and the history behind the phrase “free will” is more hindrance than help to people who are looking for philosophy to be something useful to them. Take a person who hasn’t been trained into even more dualism than humans are naturally prone to, don’t teach them about the traditional ideas of philosophy, give them some basic education about neurobiology, cognitive biases and how consciousness is an emergent property of life, and you will get a person who does not intuitively assume that free will requires dualism.

    I’ve never been much of a dualist, and I’ve never been a big fan of punishment. Maybe it’s because I’ve done so much babysitting over the course of my like. Philosophers should be baby-sitters before they’re allowed to write books.

  226. 226
    SallyStrange

    Maybe it’s because I’ve done so much babysitting over the course of my like life.

    FIFM.

    Okay, back to bed for me.

  227. 227
    strange gods before me ॐ

    SallyStrange,

    Indeed, people struggling with addiction describe the struggle in exactly those terms: choosing over and over again to emphasize long-term consequences over short-term ones in their decision-making. If free will does not exist, can we please then have a name for what is happening during those moments? Because it is very helpful for people who are trying to be healthy, to feel like they can choose different paths moving forward. And I am interested in maximizing people’s opportunities to become more healthy.

    I’m trying to think of something not typically disputed on the front lines of philosophy (it would be a pain to have to pick again in a few decades), which emphasizes inner strength.

    How about inner strength? Willpower? Self-efficacy? Constitution?

  228. 228
    SallyStrange

    But why can’t we just tell the philosophers to take a number for their porcupine and shut up? Why?

    /whine

  229. 229
    strange gods before me ॐ

    So? I came at it with fresh eyes

    I’m not complaining.

    The fact that my initial response to the two-word phrase was to think of what you term “choice” is simply illustrative that the philosophy and the history behind the phrase “free will” is more hindrance than help to people who are looking for philosophy to be something useful to them.

    Your reaction is not so common. Reactions like Coyote’s, Bill’s and crowepps’ are much more typical. Flailing desperation like rorschach’s is unusual, but I’ve seen it before.

    Honestly I’ve never seen someone so quickly shrug this off. Lots of people do learn to shrug it off, but it usually takes practice.

    Ah, but you did say you were Strange.

  230. 230
    rorschach

    Flailing desperation like rorschach’s is unusual, but I’ve seen it before.

    hahaha, you’re funny man. Should I ever be desperate, it won’t be because of philosophical problems discussed on the internet.

  231. 231
    SallyStrange

    Honestly I’ve never seen someone so quickly shrug this off. Lots of people do learn to shrug it off, but it usually takes practice.

    I really do think it’s all the baby-sitting.

    Ah, but you did say you were Strange.

    And that too, I suppose.

  232. 232
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Josh

    No pizza stone.

    I hear you, even if it gives me a mini-sad. I am just going to have to bite the bullet on this one, or start scouring the markets. On the plus side of cast iron, IIRC, they are extremely healthy and dose the food with small amounts of iron while you are cooking. There is a straight edged potjie without legs and a sunken lid (see Caines comment) which holds extra coals on top. If I can get one small enough that it fits in the oven, I can dual purpose it for the braai (barbeque) too.

    @ Caine

    Le doufeu

    *googles*

    Hai Caine , why did you not warn “NSFW!”? That is real foodieporn. ;)

    @ ahs

    Wish I could comment more, but am at work. I will bookmark and lurk moar for a while. This thread has been enlightening.

  233. 233
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Actually, Sallystrange’s take on it made it seem clearer to me.

    But why can’t we just tell the philosophers to take a number for their porcupine and shut up? Why?

    Especially this part. Philosophy. Bah. *farts*

  234. 234
    rorschach

    Aussie poll to pharyngulate, for those so inclined : Do you believe same sex couples should have the right to marry?

    Currently 55-45 in favor. We can do better.

  235. 235
    John Morales

    Bah.

    I have free will under most definitions, and I don’t under a particularly esoteric one. I really don’t know why this bothers people.

    (Big deal. I still make choices according to my nature, I still have preferences yet can act against them, I still can distinguish between coerced and uncoerced choices)

  236. 236
    SallyStrange

    Bah.

  237. 237
    strange gods before me ॐ

    But why can’t we just tell the philosophers to take a number for their porcupine and shut up? Why?

    Well, it’s like when someone who’s totally not racist tells a racist joke in front of a listener who takes this proudly as support for their own racism.

    It’s probable that when the addiction groups are talking about free will, there are members among them who understand this in entirely the wrong way, and spread it to others who understand it wrong. Someone along the way gets a letter saying they have to sit for jury selection; they take their wrong ideas about free will into the courtroom, and use this to justify harsh retribution.

    The law journals are lately talking about how the law will have to change to account for the lack of free will, although they’re not getting much right, still stuck on neuroscience. The philosophers and legal scholars are going to have to keep arguing about free will for a long time; my hope is that we’ll see a reduction in retributive sentencing.

  238. 238
    consciousness razor

    So what is “free will” then, according to you? The idea that, if everything were exactly the same, “I” could have made a different choice?

    Basically, yes. Although it depends on what one means by “everything,” since substance dualists would contend that what causes a freely willed action is some mental substance (a soul). They think souls exist, so they’d include those in “everything.” Since you don’t think souls exist, are there any other options?

    If you aren’t anything other than a physical body, and if everything were exactly the same, then that means you were exactly the same. You can’t be exactly the same and make different choices. How could you? There would have to be something different about you for you to make a different choice, because everything you are, do, think, feel, etc., happens as a result of physical interactions. Your choice can’t just pop out of thin air; something has to cause you to have that choice or some other choice. Indeed, if you think about why you make some choice or another, you’ll notice that you actually want to have reasons which cause you to make those choices — probably good reasons rather than bad ones — not to have them come out of nowhere for no reason whatsoever. The alternative (not counting dualism or solipsism) would be horrific: if we believed we made these choices, but that they were in fact utterly arbitrary and happened for no reason at all. Being caused is nothing at all to be afraid of.

    As Walton points out, it’s emotionally overwhelming to think that what one thinks of one’s positive character traits (“I” don’t kill innocent people with hijacked planes because of my politicized Islamist beliefs) are merely the results of blind luck.

    Err, it’s certainly not just luck. Sort of like how evolution isn’t just blind luck, but whatever…

    You’re still a great person. You’re still a smart, funny, good person, who can plan and make decisions. I don’t know much about you, but that much at least is true. It’s just that you can’t break the laws of physics and you aren’t anything supernatural. You didn’t think that anyway, right? Then nothing much has changed for you, except maybe you’ve learned something about a new idea.

    The problem for most people (who aren’t dualists) is that they think they phrase “free will” more or less means “making a choice,” but that’s not what the philosophical argument is about and not how many philosophers or theologians use it. That’s why it’s often qualified as “libertarian free will” or “contra-causal free will.” Dennett and compatibilists like him reject this kind of free will, but try to use something closer to the ordinary sense of the term because (as you can hopefully see) the libertarian version is utterly useless anyway.

  239. 239
    Inaji

    Sally:

    But why can’t we just tell the philosophers to take a number for their porcupine and shut up? Why?

    I’d dearly like to do so. I’d also dearly like to see all the free will peoples get a room, so a second TET doesn’t get eaten alive with all this yet again, although I’m not hopeful of getting that wish granted.

    Theophontes:

    Hai Caine , why did you not warn “NSFW!”? That is real foodieporn. ;)

    Sorry, sorry! Mine is red, too. :) The price of the doufeu is ridiculous, but it is so worth it. It’s worth shopping around for one, because you can get a decent, if still absurdly high, price.

  240. 240
    John Morales

    consciousness razor:

    If you aren’t anything other than a physical body, and if everything were exactly the same, then that means you were exactly the same. You can’t be exactly the same and make different choices.

    But you (your physical body) change from instant to instant, as does your environment — and nothing can ever be the same.

    (Let’s do the time-warp again)

  241. 241
    rorschach

    Talk about War on Christmas !

  242. 242
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Ha, I’m so glad I (mostly) ‘stuck the flounce’ regarding the free will thing.

    It makes more sense to me now that I see it better explained. Which is still utterly indistinguishable from my understanding of ‘free will’ as it was. I like to ‘believe in the soul’ as a useful metaphor, but I didn’t believe there was anything about my brain that was somehow above physics to begin with.

    Somehow, the perfectly natural physical processes of my brain give me the ability to make choices about how I interact with the world around me. That’s free will to me.

    All the philosophical jibberjabber did was confuse me. :/

    Having stated that, I reiterate my dismissive fart.

    Caine: I wish I could either send you some of this stuff, or find you a local weed guy as professional as mine is. Though what I’d really like is to smoke a few with you some day in the future, I have a feeling you’d give me a lot to think about.

  243. 243
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Caine, dunno if you’ll be amused or dismayed, but you were being dissed in the TR thread to which the troll BWE linked in the last page of the “I do not forgive” thread (page 34 IIRC).

    (Was an amusing read, particularly the way they congratulated themselves on their trolling)

  244. 244
    Inaji

    TLC:

    I wish I could either send you some of this stuff, or find you a local weed guy as professional as mine is. Though what I’d really like is to smoke a few with you some day in the future, I have a feeling you’d give me a lot to think about.

    Oh, I can get it. Mister is subject to random drug testing, so I just don’t think it’s fair to have it in the house, ’cause he loves a good toke. However, since I can no longer drink, I’m leaning towards having a stash again, for the days I’m on my own (Thursday through Sunday).

    I’d love to smoke a few with you, that would be a delightful time.

  245. 245
    Inaji

    John:

    Caine, dunno if you’ll be amused or dismayed, but you were being dissed in the TR thread to which the troll BWE linked in the last page of the “I do not forgive” thread (page 34 IIRC).

    Ah, I had no idea. Can’t say I’m surprised, I’m sure they weren’t pleased about me giving away their raiding party. What did surprise me is that they haven’t come up with a new shtick in all this time. :D

  246. 246
    rorschach

    I just killed a bear. FWIW.

  247. 247
    consciousness razor
    If you aren’t anything other than a physical body, and if everything were exactly the same, then that means you were exactly the same. You can’t be exactly the same and make different choices.

    But you (your physical body) change from instant to instant, as does your environment — and nothing can ever be the same.

    Right, but what’s the point? Do you think that contradicts anything I said?

  248. 248
    John Morales

    consciousness razor, it doesn’t contradict it, it merely renders it moot.

    (IOW, you made a tautological deepity)

  249. 249
    SQB

    I just killed a bear. FWIW.

    NOOO! Pooh!

  250. 250
    Weed(less) Monkey

    No pizza stone.

    I recall Alton Brown recommended something from a hardware store for a fraction of the price.

  251. 251
    consciousness razor

    consciousness razor, it doesn’t contradict it, it merely renders it moot.

    (IOW, you made a tautological deepity)

    The claim I was arguing against wasn’t that people can travel back in time to be in the same physical state again. The claim was that their choices at a given time aren’t affected by their physical state at that time.

  252. 252
    John Morales

    consciousness razor,

    The claim I was arguing against wasn’t that people can travel back in time to be in the same physical state again. The claim was that their choices at a given time aren’t affected by their physical state at that time.

    Tsk.

    No — you were arguing against no such claim, you were trying to justify your definition of ‘free will’.

    (Else, why quote what you quoted and pretend to be responding to it?)

  253. 253
    John Morales

    Dedicated to TLC: Devil sperm collected in bid to save species

    In what could be a last-ditch bid to prevent the extinction of tasmanian devils, scientists are collecting and freezing eggs and sperm.

    [...]

    “What we use is a technique called electro-ejaculation,” she [Dr Tamara Keeley, a reproductive biologist] said.

  254. 254
  255. 255
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi there
    Observation one:
    I’m using much more cinnamon than I’d thought
    Observation two:
    It’s almost impossible to get dried pears to make a traditional fruit loaf. Please remind me to make them myself next autumn

    I also got Mr.’s christmas present.
    Now I need to get him a dummy present he can open under the tree

    Finally: Went to pick up a certificate. Yay. The turtle moves.

  256. 256
    John Morales

    Giliell,

    I also got Mr.’s christmas present.

    That just leaves Christmas past, and Christmas Yet to Come.

  257. 257
    opposablethumbs

    Argh, I’m way too late I think – but good luck and entwined tentacles to Esteleth!

  258. 258
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I also got Mr.’s christmas present.
    Now I need to get him a dummy present he can open under the tree

    Something he can’t open under the tree? That sounds… intriguing.

  259. 259
    John Morales

    opposablethumbs, no worries.

    (You ain’t too late; she said it was in 11 hours, and you’re posting only 8 hours 22 minutes later)

  260. 260
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I know, they belong in the wild. I know that the care requirements would be far more than I can even hope to provide right now. I know it’s also probably highly illegal here.

    But when I see videos like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajc6xr6mNeY&feature=related , this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt_wjrdHWzQ&feature=related , or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=EXFlnlrk2zg

    I want a pet owl so badly. :(

  261. 261
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    Giliell: I like the “Matryoshka gift” idea. He opens a huge gift… containing a slightly smaller, wrapped gift. Repeat until the box is tiny. For added amusement, the innermost layer is a potato.

  262. 262
    carlie

    I see pizza stones pretty regularly at garage sales for a couple of bucks. Turns out it’s mostly a pain to store them, and they don’t get used often, so they show up at sales a lot.

    Bill – you’re probably right on the availablity of sex workers, but it’s the responses to pregnancy that are more troubling. They seem to have programmed actual responses to “my girlfriend is pregnant, what do I do”, but not “I’m pregnant, what do I do”.
    As for the other, sounds like black humor of the best sort. Sounds like you were able to salvage a little bit out of a pretty bad day. For the cat, have you tried syringe feeding? Might give it enough energy to be interested in eating on its own.

  263. 263
    rorschach

    Ok, this is kinda really really bad if you’re not German and drunk. But if you are, you’ll love it. Presumably. There’s a chance anyway.

    Ich war noch niemals in New York – Musical

  264. 264
    Weed(less) Monkey

    I see pizza stones pretty regularly at garage sales for a couple of bucks. Turns out it’s mostly a pain to store them, and they don’t get used often, so they show up at sales a lot.

    They don’t really need to be stored or used in any special way. Just dump it in the bottom of the oven and forget about it! Until the next time you need it, of course – it’s ready. :)

  265. 265
    Nick Gotts

    Somehow, the perfectly natural physical processes of my brain give me the ability to make choices about how I interact with the world around me. That’s free will to me.

    All the philosophical jibberjabber did was confuse me. :/ – The Laughing Coyote

    You’re exactly right – that is free will. This is not just my opinion, but that of Dan Dennett, who explains why in Freedom Evolves.

  266. 266
    birgerjohansson

    New WikiLeaks ‘spy files’ show global surveillance industry http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-wikileaks-spy-global-surveillance-industry.html

    —- —- —- —- —-
    Study debunks 6 myths about electricity in the South http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-debunks-myths-electricity-south.html
    A novel way to concentrate sun’s heat http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-suns.html
    Affordable solar: It’s closer than you think http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-solar-closer.html
    New ‘Achilles’ heel’ in breast cancer: tumor cell mitochondria http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-12-achilles-heel-breast-cancer-tumor.html

  267. 267
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    If you can do with a moment of human greatness:
    Follow this link to Token Skeptic and watch the video

  268. 268
    rorschach

    If you can do with a moment of human greatness:

    It’s a great video. And I posted it 24 hours ago. Just saying lol.

  269. 269
    rorschach

    And yes, I get frustrated lol….Good night.

  270. 270
    Heliantus

    In the News this morning

    Some French rape apologist decided to defend Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a just released book (Michel Traubman – DSK La Contre-Enquete)
    Summary: She asked for it.

    In other news, an Afghan woman condemnmed to 12 years of jail for sex outside of wedlock (i.e. she was raped by a relative) has been set free, under the condition to marry her “seducer”.

    We are just glorified cavemen.

  271. 271
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    In other news, an Afghan woman condemnmed to 12 years of jail for sex outside of wedlock (i.e. she was raped by a relative) has been set free, under the condition to marry her “seducer”.

    According to CNN she doesn’t have to marry him and will be taken to a safe place by a US lawyer:

    The woman is raising her daughter in jail and had previously agreed to marry her attacker in order to be released and legitimize her daughter.

    Karzai said he’s asked the justice minister to meet with the woman and her rapist to find out whether she wants to marry him and legitimize her daughter. The president said he was concerned that if the woman went back to her village after her release, she may face reprisals from the conservative society.

    However, a Karzai spokesman told CNN such a marriage is not a condition of the release.

    Gulnaz does not want to marry her attacker, U.S. attorney Kimberly Motley said from Kabul. Instead, the woman wants to marry an “educated man.”

    Motley told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin she will take the woman to a safe, undisclosed location once she has been freed.

  272. 272
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Breaking news: Jobless rate in the US falls to 8.6% lowest since March 2009.

    Soon to be breaking news: Fox and Republicans [same thing] Blame Obama for it not falling more.

  273. 273
    The Sailor

    Cicely, we always had commercial silicone around the audio equipment repair shop, but a quick Google showed:
    http://www.smooth-on.com/Silicone-Rubber-an/c2/index.html

    http://www.makeyourownmolds.com/beginner-mold-making-kit

  274. 274
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Me: “Happy holidays.” (said to the Convenience Store Clerk)

    Cusotmer : “Merry Christmas. It is the reason for the season.”

    Me: “No, axial tilt is the reason for the season.”

    Customer: “Oh, come on. You celebrate Christmas. Say ‘Merry Christmas.’”

    Me: “No, I celebrate Solstice. And New Years. You know, holidays?”

    Customer: “Oh. And you just waltz in and steal someone else’s holiday? This is America.”

    Me: “You do realize that solstice has been around since before humans existed, and that we were celebrating solstice long before Christianity existed? And a Christmas tree is just a disquised pagan tradition to celebrate solstice?”

    Customer: “No. Christmas came long before solstice.”

    Me: “You are wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.”

    Clerk: “Do you have your rewards card, sir?”

    Customer: “Fucking idiot.”

    Me: “Happy holidays to you, sir.” And to the clerk: “Here you are.”

    Clerk: “Happy holidays to you.”

    Customer: “I’m never shopping here again.” Tries to slam swinging door and fails.

    Me: “I hope I didn’t just cost you a customer.”

    Clerk: “Oh, no. He’s boycotting so many stores that he’ll have to come back here in about four months. After he boycotts all the others. This is sort of like maybe normal.”

    So Christmas predates solstice?

    I’m so happy. My first “Happy Holidays” insanity of the season.

    =====

    Happy Wednesday.

  275. 275
    SQB

    Father Ogvorbis, awesome!

  276. 276
    Ingdigo Jump

    Only way that could be more awesome is if he bought gift cards making his threat fucking hilariously empty

  277. 277
    Ingdigo Jump

    Oh on that note, I accidentally caused a family break down with someone threatening to cut off ties to the entire family because how how mean everyone (me) was to them.

    Because I took exception to a post daring people to be courageous and tell people who don’t like Christmas to GTFO of the country.

  278. 278
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    Customer: “Fucking idiot.”

    Tsk. He made baby Jesus cry.

  279. 279
    chigau (違う)

    We have about half-a-ton of cast iron cook wear.
    Frying pans, dutch ovens, bread pans, cookie sheets, etc.
    None of it is enameled.
    All of it can go directly on an open fire.

  280. 280
    Rey Fox

    Soon to be breaking news: Fox and Republicans [same thing] Blame Obama for it not falling more.

    Or take sole credit for the fall.

    I want a pet owl so badly. :(

    Know also that very few owls tolerate being touched like that.

  281. 281
    The Sailor

    IRT Siri I did a little research of my own. Below are the instances of the word ‘abortion’ noted by frequency in the meta or in a tag in the page source of PP and CPC home pages:

    PP meta tag
    USA 0 2
    NYC 0 1
    IN 0 0
    LA 0 1

    CPC meta tag
    USA 0 3
    NYC 5 7
    IN 0 1
    LA 4 8

    If you search Siri for abortion, which sites do you think will rank highest?
    Siri is nothing more than an algorithm that searches other search engines.

  282. 282
    The Sailor

    formatting failure, it looked so much better in preview:(

  283. 283
    carlie

    Because I took exception to a post daring people to be courageous and tell people who don’t like Christmas to GTFO of the country.

    Slightly to the off center of that point (which is that nonchristians aren’t americans) but somewhat related (and nonamericans suck), I just read (maybe here?) that there is a new translation of the Bible where every instance of “foreigner” or “stranger to this land” or “alien” and the like are all replaced with “immigrant”. Heh.
    story here

  284. 284
    SQB

    Would he even have known what solstice is? To him, it probably was just a matter of ‘my daddy is stronger than your daddy holiday is older than your holiday’, without caring about the facts.

    I mean, in general, when have people like him ever given a shit about the facts?

  285. 285
    SQB

    The Sailor, try wrapping it in <code>.

  286. 286
    carlie

    The Sailor – I heard a podcast just yesterday where they gave Siri the exact same command “find abortion clinics” that they then used in Google with locations on (find abortion clinics) and got wildly different results (zero v. 7), so something is different about the way its searches work.

  287. 287
    carlie

    …That may be a meta issue that is generalized rather than related to abortion specifically, but it isn’t finding the same breadth of results for searches that an internet search finds, even when place-bound.

  288. 288
    SQB

    Other than that, I don’t buy that. Remember, one of the responses by Siri to “I’ve been raped” was “Is that so?”, while asking for a specific clinic by name, street and city still got nothing.
    Also, people have noted that looking for clinics using Google and the same criteria, got them the desired (and expected) results. So if Siri is using a search engine, it’s using Holy Joe’s Christian Search Engine.

  289. 289
    chigau (違う)

    It’s snowing.

  290. 290
    SQB

    Hmm… Holy Joe’s Christian Search Engine

    *gets evil glint in eyes*

    How about a ‘Christian’ search engine that gives different results based on the (guessed, perceived) age of the searcher, giving the Good Christian™ results to the parents and the subversive ones to the kids?

  291. 291
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Father Ogvorbis, awesome!

    Bows. Hits head. Takes aspirin.

    Only way that could be more awesome is if he bought gift cards making his threat fucking hilariously empty

    He was paying for a fillup for his Cadillac Escallation.

    I was buying the gift cards (for Amazon — that way I can get the gas discounts and the solstice gifts).

    Because I took exception to a post daring people to be courageous and tell people who don’t like Christmas to GTFO of the country.

    How dare you be so intolerant as to refuse to tolerate intollerance?

    Tsk. He made baby Jesus cry.

    No, that was a wet diaper.

    Hmm. Did baby Jesus have to go through potty training? Or was that perfect, too?

    I mean, in general, when have people like him ever given a shit about the facts?

    Well, there is . . . . Hm. I got nothing. They don’t.

    And you are correct. I would bet dollars to donuts that he has no idea what solstice actually means.

    It’s snowing.

    Hmm. I think there are three kinds of snow: Nice, light fluffy flurries that are pretty (and good), huge storms that shut down the county (and are good), and the snows that are just heavy enough to be a pain in the ass but not heavy enough to close my work or Wife’s school district.

    Which is you snow, chigau?

  292. 292
    chigau (違う)

    Father Og
    The snow is pathetic, tiny-flaked and feeble.
    But we do have 90kph winds.

  293. 293
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The snow is pathetic, tiny-flaked and feeble.

    So not even enough to be a pleasant bit of scenery? Too bad. I like big flakes.

  294. 294
    RichardAustin

    chigau:
    Bah, come to Pasadena; we were getting 80 mph (uh, 148 kph?) gusts Wednesday night. 90 kph’s for kite-flying :P

    (Well, maybe not in the snow)

  295. 295
    chigau (違う)

    I like big, fluffy flakes because it covers the mess I left the garden.

  296. 296
    Walton

    I’m reposting this from the Philip Johnson thread; because this comment by Azkyroth perfectly illustrates why talking about free will is really important, and why it’s not an issue we can just drop or ignore. We need to keep talking about this.

    Why the fuck does every worthless concern troll insist on dishonestly framing our sense that the misfortunes of certain people who have done great harm are well-deserved as a simple matter of “entertainment?” Rather than, you know, a matter of justice?

    See, this kind of unexamined sentiment is why it’s important to hammer home over and over and over again that there is no free will, and no such thing as “just deserts”.

    No one “deserves” misfortune – or good fortune either, come to that. And “justice” has no relevance. There is no free will; we are animals who act in accordance with our genes and our environmental conditioning. Philip Johnson had no choice but to be Philip Johnson, and to do the things that Philip Johnson did; none of us have any choice but to be ourselves, any more than a computer can “choose” not to do what it is programmed to do. The fact that you and I are not creationists is not because we’re “better people” than Philip Johnson; it’s because our brain chemistry and our experiences didn’t predispose us to be creationists. We were just lucky. To purport to take a moral high ground, about this or anything else, is simple conceit.

    And even if this were not true, even if people had free will, the idea of “just deserts” would still be incoherent. It comes from pre-rational thinking: the idea that past wrongdoing angers the gods who must be appeased by blood sacrifices, or that wrongdoing can be “atoned” or “expiated” by punishing the wrongdoer. In reality, it’s all pointless bullshit. We can’t do anything to change the past, and taking revenge on people who have caused harm won’t undo the harm.

    I make no apology for talking all the time about the non-existence of free will and the incoherence of moral desert. Because it’s not just an abstract philosophical conundrum; it directly affects how we can and can’t conceptualize everyday reality, and how we should treat our fellow humans.

  297. 297
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    My wife says that I am a big fluffy flake.

    Probably not the way you mean, though.

  298. 298
    chigau (違う)

    Caine

    I’d also dearly like to see all the free will peoples get a room, so a second TET doesn’t get eaten alive with all this yet again, although I’m not hopeful of getting that wish granted.

    Me, too.

  299. 299
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    I might be getting a job!
    More data entry for me :D

  300. 300
    Walton

    I’d also dearly like to see all the free will peoples get a room, so a second TET doesn’t get eaten alive with all this yet again, although I’m not hopeful of getting that wish granted.

    While I have no desire to annoy you, I cannot in good conscience stop talking about it; because it’s something that everyone here, and indeed every single thinking person on the planet, needs to confront. As long as some people who profess to be materialists and rationalists can still say unironically that certain people “deserve” to suffer misfortune as a matter of “justice”, and can make moral arguments on that basis, we need to talk and talk and talk about free will.

    A belief in free will hurts people: it leads to the conclusion that some people’s suffering is less important than others, because some people are more “deserving” than others. It is this that directly motivates support for the death penalty, mass imprisonment, and all the other vicious things the state does to people in the name of “punishment”.

  301. 301
    Inaji

    Walton:

    We need to keep talking about this.

    No, we really don’t.

    While I have no desire to annoy you, I cannot in good conscience stop talking about it; because it’s something that everyone here, and indeed every single thinking person on the planet, needs to confront.

    You have every desire to annoy me and many others, as well. In case you didn’t notice, pretty much everyone here has confronted the notion of free will and come to terms with it. What everyone has not done is agree with you.

    I suggest you get over that, and while you’re at it, get the fuck over yourself. Everyone does not agree with going so fucking overboard with compassion that it moves into whiny hand-wringing territory.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, Walton, you and others already ate up one incarnation of TET with this, now you insist on doing it again. It’s always all about Walton, ennit? Amazing how that works. Well, have fun, Cupcake. I won’t be around for more of your sermonizing.

  302. 302
    Inaji

    StarStuff:

    I might be getting a job!

    That’s good news. :)

  303. 303
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    Og:

    I’m not fluffy. I’m daaaaaaaamn.

    ####

    Caine, from an earlier subthread:

    You obviously don’t get it. Don’t tell Ibis3 that she can’t talk about her feelings on TET. It’s more appropriate here than in the bunny thread.

    So, Caine, why is walton not granted the same consideration?

  304. 304
    Walton

    Caine:

    Fine. *shrugs* I won’t argue with you. If I’m not welcome here any more, I’ll go away.

    (Perhaps that’s for the best, in the long run.)

  305. 305
    RichardAustin

    I slept really well last night.

    Now I’m totally exhausted and can’t wake up.

    The universe is cruel (or, “biology – how does it work?!”).

  306. 306
    chigau (違う)

    There was already a thread with that discussion.
    Why bring it here?

  307. 307
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    chigau:

    Assuming that was directed at me, there was also a thread with Ibis3′s discussion. Why bring that here?

  308. 308
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    And why am I arguing about it here instead of finishing my lab report?

    I find this amusing: This is a bonus assignment (because some of us (… me) bombed the first test so badly). There’s an opportunity for 2 extra points (beyond the 10 the assignment is worth).

    That’s right: There’s extra credit on the extra credit.

  309. 309
    SallyStrange

    See, this kind of unexamined sentiment is why it’s important to hammer home over and over and over again that there is no free will, and no such thing as “just deserts”.

    No one “deserves” misfortune – or good fortune either, come to that. And “justice” has no relevance. There is no free will; we are animals who act in accordance with our genes and our environmental conditioning. Philip Johnson had no choice but to be Philip Johnson, and to do the things that Philip Johnson did; none of us have any choice but to be ourselves, any more than a computer can “choose” not to do what it is programmed to do. The fact that you and I are not creationists is not because we’re “better people” than Philip Johnson; it’s because our brain chemistry and our experiences didn’t predispose us to be creationists. We were just lucky. To purport to take a moral high ground, about this or anything else, is simple conceit.

    And even if this were not true, even if people had free will, the idea of “just deserts” would still be incoherent. It comes from pre-rational thinking: the idea that past wrongdoing angers the gods who must be appeased by blood sacrifices, or that wrongdoing can be “atoned” or “expiated” by punishing the wrongdoer. In reality, it’s all pointless bullshit. We can’t do anything to change the past, and taking revenge on people who have caused harm won’t undo the harm.

    I make no apology for talking all the time about the non-existence of free will and the incoherence of moral desert. Because it’s not just an abstract philosophical conundrum; it directly affects how we can and can’t conceptualize everyday reality, and how we should treat our fellow humans.

    Well, thanks for the education. I didn’t previously know that the semi-official definition of “free will” included “just deserts,” dualism, and other silliness. Now I know. In the future, I’ll keep in mind that the two-word phrase “free will” has too much baggage, thanks to stupid philosophers, for it to mean what I think it ought to mean.

    Is anybody else unclear on the concept? No? Okay then.

  310. 310
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Sometimes facebook isn’t awful. Someone on my friends list just posted this:

    If elected Michelle Bachmann vows to close the U.S. embassy in Iran! I hope she also closes our embassies in Narnia and Middle Earth, along with all the other embassies that don’t actually exist…

  311. 311
    chigau (違う)

    Benjamin Geiger
    It wasn’t.

  312. 312
    PZ Myers

    I bring the cure. I have created a free will thread, just for talking about free will, if you want. Or if the automaton in your brain compels you.

  313. 313
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    The Laughing Coyote – Re: #190. I’ll be over in 5 minutes, no matter where you live. LOL

  314. 314
    cicely

    I spent the entire night dreaming of making molds for silicone jellyfish. :D
    -
    *hugs* and sympathies for Josh (and his bank account). No bathroom. :( :( :(

    I am firm in my belief that plumbing is one of humanity’s finest inventions.
    -

    I might be getting a job!
    More data entry for me :D

    Great news, StarStuff! Huzzah!
    -

    I’m not fluffy. I’m daaaaaaaamn.

    Not by the pics I’ve seen. Methinks you exaggerate just a tad, Benjamin.
    -

    If I’m not welcome here any more, I’ll go away.
    (Perhaps that’s for the best, in the long run.)

    Now, you stop that right now, young man! :(
    -

  315. 315
    Inaji

    Walton:

    If I’m not welcome here any more, I’ll go away.

    Oh for pity’s sake, this is not about you not being welcome. It’s about your insistence that everyone adopt your point of view, and if they don’t, you’ll obsess over it to the point of swallowing one incarnation of TET after another.

    You now have two threads to talk about free will to your content. Count your blessings, so to speak.

  316. 316
    chigau (違う)

    I’ve tried but I cannot find a decent version of
    “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna go eat worms”

  317. 317
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna go eat worms”

    Think we’ll go eat worms.

  318. 318
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Somehow Gojira manages to sound nasty, filthy and extremely technical at the same time. Gojira – Lizard Skin

  319. 319
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Whew, looks like I can take off my philosophical environmental suit and get back to normal.

  320. 320
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Not the song you were asking for, chigau, but, hey, it is the bloody Pogues.

    Worms

    Concerning a comment in an other thread, you do not need to wait for three comments to rip into someone like pokealot. Remember, three comments is a suggestion, not a rule.

  321. 321
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    In other continent shattering news,*) the Eurocup groups were drawn today, and this is the “death group”:

    Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal

    YIKES.

    The predictions by German experts are like this: Portugal have been on the decline, the Netherlands are seen as on a par with the German team, and Denmark are seen as slightly stronger.

    *) can’t all it world shattering now, can we

  322. 322
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    “can’t call it world shattering…”

  323. 323
    Weed(less) Monkey

    A bit of local news: chairman of Sysmä’s True Finns wrote such anti-gay biblical diatribe no paper is willing to publish it, and even his own conservative populist party is disowning him.

    And this is news and important exactly how, you might ask? Well, it’s really not. It’s just that I got Teh Kitteh from this dudebro.

  324. 324
    Sili

    a sexism that’s so interwoven into the fabric of our society that it’s nearly invisible.

    This seems relavant (I don’t want to give away the punchline.

  325. 325
    slignot

    Have a funeral and wake to go to today (parent of old high school friends, closer to spouse than me). I’m not looking forward the super-duper-extra-Catholicism that will be involved, but since it’s about the life and surviving family who are all very Catholic, it’s not my place to open my mouth.

    Super religious weddings and funerals always weird me out, though.

  326. 326
  327. 327
    Sili

    *relevant

  328. 328
    onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork

    So, I am definitely not back in any true sense of the word, since it appears my current juggling of two positions and working every weekend will be continuing till at least January, since we haven’t found a replacement for the staff I had to fire.

    I have managed to sneak on today for just a little, so consider this a drive-by hello/adieu/*hugs*/glitter/and chocolate/egg nog/festivus greetings/happy monkey…what have you.

    I was swamped with work pretty much the whole of November, sick for more than two weeks and still recovering (note: it really sucks to have a sinus infection & migraine, be throwing up repeatedly and have bronchitis all at the same time), and will likely be swamped with work for December as well. Please forgive me if I owe anyone anything–email me to remind me? (oniongirlsays at gmail dot com).

    So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye!

  329. 329
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Did somebody say worms?

  330. 330
    chigau (違う)

    I opened tabs with three youtubes at the same time.
    I’m pretty sure that I opened a wormhole.

  331. 331
    chigau (違う)

    I’ve always like Linda Ronstadt.
    pitiful me

  332. 332
    Circe

    I just got this email from Amnesty. I am pretty sure most people here would already be aware of the contents, but here goes for those that might not be:

    Amnesty International USA

    This is your movement. Shine a light.

    When journalist Lydia Cacho picked up the phone on June 17, she heard a low, gritty voice on the other end.

    “Shut your mouth or we’ll kill you.”

    As one of Mexico’s leading investigative journalists and women’s rights advocates, Lydia has been on a collision course with some of the most powerful men in her country.

    Her enemies tried to rape her to force her into silence. But she remained undeterred, and opened a shelter for battered women. She went on to write not one, but two books exposing child pornography and sex trafficking rings in Cancun. She remains more resolved than ever to protect children from sexual exploitation.

    We will never stop fighting for people like Lydia, who risk their lives to shine a light on human suffering. On Dec. 10, Human Rights Day, we honor champions of humanity like Lydia and the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Join this inspiring movement. Celebrate Human Rights Day with Amnesty. Become a member today.

    TRIPLE YOUR GIFT: Join our Partners of Conscience monthly giving program before Dec. 31 and a generous donor will triple your 1st monthly gift. You’ll also be eligible to receive a beautiful limited edition 50th anniversary Amnesty candle. It’s a great time to join.

  333. 333
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Good evening
    Well, well, today was rather nice (except for my bank account). Some shopping, picking up a certificate I failed to pick up since 2004(!), wrote some mails I failed to write since about the same time and in the end a sale at Urban Threads.
    Just what my bank account didn’t need.

    I might be getting a job!
    More data entry for me :D

    Three cheers for Starstuff!

    Brother Ogvorbis
    You’re meaaaaaaan.
    I’m slightly in love with you ;)

    Fun fact: I think most atheists in secular Europe have zilch problems wishing people a Merry Christmas. Those submarine christians aren’t mostly able to get the main events of the christmas story in the right order, so it becomes just a thing to say.

    pelamun
    Shouls I put you in contact with Mr? I guess he’s been itching all night to talk about it with somebody whi doesn’t ask “what sport?”

  334. 334
    cicely

    *grumble*

    First, no Holiday Jellyfish; and now I find that apparently no one…no…one…has ever drawn a cartoon of the Diet of Worms, featuring worms, ideally in full ecclesiastic equipage; or if someone has, then Google admits it not.

    I am losing my faith in humanity.
    -

  335. 335
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Well, thanks for the education. I didn’t previously know that the semi-official definition of “free will” included “just deserts,” dualism, and other silliness. Now I know. In the future, I’ll keep in mind that the two-word phrase “free will” has too much baggage, thanks to stupid philosophers, for it to mean what I think it ought to mean.

    THANK You.

    Walton:

    Fine. *shrugs* I won’t argue with you. If I’m not welcome here any more, I’ll go away.

    (Perhaps that’s for the best, in the long run.)

    Oh come on, you know TET, the Hoarde, and pharyngula as a whole better than to say something like that.

  336. 336
    ringtailedlemurian

    90 kph’s for kite-flying :P

    (Well, maybe not in the snow)

    Not anywhere!

    … not in strong winds

    … not on the water

    … in fact, stay away from kites completely.

  337. 337
    chigau (違う)

    ringtailedlemurian
    You seem to have Cicely/Pea Syndrome about kites.
    How do you feel about your mother?
    /freud
    (the preceding was a Joke™, for some values of Joke™.)

  338. 338
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Quick bits:

    First, Giliell, I apologize for spelling your nym Gilliel way up at the beginning of the thread. I blame the old elementary-school mnemonic for spelling parallel, which hardwired me to believe “the parallel lines go in the middle.” Note to self: As Sportin’ Life would put it, “it ain’t necessarily so.”

    ***
    Weed Monkey:

    [Pizza stones] don’t really need to be stored or used in any special way. Just dump it in the bottom of the oven and forget about it!

    Indeed. Not only did AB point that out in the linked video, but the book Cooking for Geeks actually recommends keeping a pizza stone (or, I presume, AB’s hardware-store generic version) in the oven at all times (even if you never use it for pizza), to promote thermal stability and shield the bottom of dishes from direct radiation from the coil (in electric ovens, of course).

  339. 339
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Well, kites are really quite vicious avian threropods. So keeping your distance from a freakin’ carniverous dinosaur would make sense.

  340. 340
    cicely

    Hmmm…I’ve never heard of peas flying kites….but I wouldn’t put it past ‘em, either, as an alternative means of propagating their vile Seed, air-lifting them over and past the moats full of defoliants and fields of burning napalm.
    -

  341. 341
    Nick Gotts

    After my health scare of last week, I’m exercising my free will by taking next week off and going away, first for a short holiday in the Netherlands, then to visit a brother in Wales (I have freely chosen to visit this brother rather than the other one or my sister, I should perhaps add). When I come back, I earnestly hope the tedious topic of free will will have vanished from Pharyngula!

  342. 342
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    cicely:

    Be nice to peas. Without them, we wouldn’t have pea soup. And without pea soup, how would you know how thick the fog is?

  343. 343
    Nick Gotts

    I have created a free will thread, just for talking about free will, if you want. – PZ

    Grateful thanks, PZ! I’ll be avoiding it like the plague.

  344. 344
    Walton

    So apparently “all protestors and activists should be shot”, according to an acquaintance of mine on FB. Judging by his past idiotic statements, I can’t even tell if he was joking. Sometimes I despair of the future of humanity. Between this, and tying myself in philosophical knots until I’m no longer sure whether reality is real or my self exists or my moral opinions mean anything, I… just wish I could concentrate on preparing for finals. I can’t. My brain is broken.

  345. 345
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Apropos Of nothing:

    I finally got caught up on this season of The Walking Dead and . . . uh. . . .what the fuck happened to this show? It was excellent last season. This season is so painfully boring, watching paint dry would be an Olympic event by comparison.

    The writers have reduced all the women to domestic servants, except Andrea who they reduced from bad ass (in the graphic novels) to a simpering moron who can’t do anything unless a man supports her.

    And what the fuck is with the anti-choice diatribes? It’s the fucking zombie apocalypse and we’re seriously questioning a pregnant woman’s concerns about how the fuck that’s going to work while their living in the skeletal remains of civilization? And p.s. morning after pills don’t come in packages labeled “morning after pill” – which are not “abortion pills” as your characters describe them and, dear writers, you actually meant RU-486. Not the same thing. And likely not going to be in a pharmacy in Georgia anyway.

    And all the fucking JEBUS talk.

    Another good show bites the dust.

    P.S. American Horror Show gives me nightmares. Which makes no damn sense, but I love that show. So far.

  346. 346
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Red Kites? Only vicious if you’re a small mammal. Or dead.

    Tonight’s dinner is in the Le Creuset 20cm casserole (Volcano, since you ask). I think it’s 15 years old but doesn’t look a day over “bought yesterday”.

    I wish I’d been made by Le Creuset.

  347. 347
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    re: The Walking Dead

    I have only watched two episodes of the first season and skipped to the second. I liked it, but it did strike me as weaker than what little I have seen of the first season. I’m guessing the whole pregnancy bit isn’t going to improve.

    And all the fucking JEBUS talk.

    Aha! So I wasn’t the only one noticing that.

    P.S. American Horror Show gives me nightmares. Which makes no damn sense, but I love that show. So far.

    Hm. Maybe I’ll try to watch at least one episode. I fear and at the same time delight in the possibility that it’s truly scary.

  348. 348
    cicely

    Be nice to peas. Without them, we wouldn’t have pea soup. And without pea soup, how would you know how thick the fog is?

    Or, indeed, how green .

    I concede the necessity of maintaining a minimum number of peas for purposes of metaphorisation, but see no reason why they should be allowed free run of the place. It all comes down to Public Safety. Once you let slip the Peas of War, the Equine Apocalypse becomes inevitable.
    -

  349. 349
    Dhorvath, OM

    We will always have pee soup. Peas want to be missed, that way they can continue their nefarious plot.
    ___

    Weed Monkey,
    I guess I know what I am listening to today.

  350. 350
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    but see no reason why they should be allowed free run of the place.

    Peas roll, they do not run.

    Well, thin pea soup can run.

    For a given definition of run.

  351. 351
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Illuminata

    I finally got caught up on this season of The Walking Dead and . . . uh. . . .what the fuck happened to this show? It was excellent last season. This season is so painfully boring, watching paint dry would be an Olympic event by comparison.

    It’s probably faithful to the original comic. It turned into the Bold and the Beautiful real soon.

  352. 352
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Walton:

    I don’t want to dive back into the free will argument, and wouldn’t undercut PZ’s attempt to segregate that into another thread even if I did… but this requires a response:

    See, this kind of unexamined sentiment is why it’s important to hammer home over and over and over again that there is no free will, and no such thing as “just deserts”.

    No one “deserves” misfortune – or good fortune either, come to that.

    I share your ire at the political factions (the vast majority, but perhaps not all, of them on the right) and social systems that justify continuing to tread on the downtrodden by asserting that the misfortunate deserve their state in life.[1] But the issue here is that human rights and civil rights inhere simply in being human and a member of a civil society: Rights are rights; they are not earned. And that’s independent of one’s philosophical position on free will. Plutocrats don’t believe the poor deserve to be poor because they haven’t read Schopenhauer or Dennett; instead, they believe that because they’re ignorant and/or selfish and self-righteous.

    Besides, it’s bad social activism: If you want a more just society (and yes, I realize you dissed the very concept of justice right after the part I quoted, but years of reading your posts has me convinced you do, in fact, want a more just society just the same) and you want to hold people accountable for their behavior (again, rail as you will against the concepts of guilt and punishment, you nevertheless post every day in ways that presume the existence and desirability of personal accountability), then you have to meet people (e.g., candidates, legislators, advocates, grass roots activists, etc.) in the real, intuitive, emotional world they actually inhabit. An esoteric, counterintuitive philosophical argument that has managed to put snakes in the heads of even some of the smartest people here is unlikely to get many bills written or laws changed… no matter how true it may be. Eyes on the prize, eh?

    ***
    [1] Any discussion of asshats who think the poor (for just one example) “deserve” their fate always puts me in mind of Alfred P. Doolittle’s riff on the “undeserving poor” from Pygmalion (also found, essentially unchanged from the original IIRC, in My Fair Lady).

  353. 353
    Tethys

    Hurrah, the endless navel gazing philosophy of free will discussion has been moved to it’s own thread. I’ve never been much for dualism. It seems to me a very limited way of perceiving the world. I prefer pragmatism and efficacy, but I too have always been rather strange.

    I think I will ask for Andy Clark’s book Supersizing the Mind for christmas.
    Thanks To Salty Current for the recommendation.

  354. 354
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Dhorvath, I’m glad every time someone understands the greatness that is Gojira. :D

  355. 355
    Sandiseattle

    Josh OSG, sorry to hear about your plumbing probs. Its a pain I know. Live in an old house too. (about 110 y.o.) Hope you’re on your way to fixed by now.

  356. 356
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    theophontes:

    Does one need to cook longer for sourdough? Is there something else that I must change too?

    I can’t be arsed to check if anyone else answered your question, so here’s my response:

    I have no freaking clue. I’ve only made sourdough.

    However, I’ve been baking my loaves at 425° F for about half an hour. (Each loaf contains roughly 2 1/2 cups flour and a half cup of starter.) It comes out dense and chewy, but I’ve never had a problem with it being undercooked.

    I’ve found that the King Arthur flour site to be the best place for basic sourdough recipes. My next project: sourdough pretzels!

  357. 357
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    …. And I see that Josh has helped theopontes out already. Ah well.

  358. 358
    Tethys

    Walton

    Sometimes I despair of the future of humanity. Between this, and tying myself in philosophical knots until I’m no longer sure whether reality is real or my self exists or my moral opinions mean anything, I… just wish I could concentrate on preparing for finals.

    Your acquaintance said something very stupid, possibly just to feed his ego by getting lots of attention.

    You are real, reality probably isn’t exactly as you perceive it, and your opinions won’t effect either of those facts.

    People have been despairing of the future of humanity for all of recorded history. We seem to be muddling along though, so you could put the need to get good grades ahead of the need to correct a trolling acquaintance.

  359. 359
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    “Women For Herman Cain”

    I guess there are the vindictive women who paid to bring him down and then there are the real women.

    (I am not linking to it. If you must, google the title.

  360. 360
    The Sailor

    Thank you for the Free Willy thread PZ!!!
    ++++++++++++
    cicely, did you see my glop links up thread?
    ++++++++++++
    Walton, IMHO, you’re stressing over the small shit, you’ll do just fine. (p.s. No one agrees with each other here all the time, it’s OK.)
    ++++++++++++
    I’m currently decompressing from a tough week ***reaches for a helping of grog & swill (just put it on my tab Nerd or Patricia, whoever is bartending tonight)*** and I’m taking a slightly evil pleasure in the fact that all my colleagues are still at work.

    They are trying to submit their abstracts before the deadline for a conference and the ARVO main and abstract submission websites have crashed due to the fact that vision scientists all over the world have procrastinated as much as they have.

    Tee hee.

  361. 361
    Weed(less) Monkey

    The Shining was on TV. The Kubrick one. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it, it’s always impressive.

  362. 362
    Dhorvath, OM

    All work and now play make Jack a dull boy.

  363. 363
    ChasCPeterson

    red rum

  364. 364
    Dhorvath, OM

    W is creeping around on me.

  365. 365
    The Sailor

    The Shining was horror like Hitchcock was horror, except with added grossness. Lots of things scared me in that movie, but my true AAAiiiiieee moment came when ‘All work and no play’ was discovered by his wife. Just thinking about it now gives me the creeps.

  366. 366
    chigau (違う)

    There’s a non-Kubrick Shining?

  367. 367
    Dhorvath, OM

    Do we have a winner? I think so: The Way of All Flesh What an intro and the rhythm carries through.

  368. 368
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Chigau: Stephen King is a fool – he didn’t like Kubrick’s movie (he complained about it being a domestic violence allegory, which he said his book was not, IIRC) so he made a TV miniseries of it in the 90s. Kubrick’s picture is the highest example of horror as a piece of art, and it’s scary as hell. It’s the standard against which all horror films are measured (possibly along with The Exorcist).

  369. 369
    Weed(less) Monkey

    chigau, unfortunately there is. A miniseries King endorsed because it was more faithful to his book.

    I wouldn’t say it’s completely shitty, but… yeah. Quite shitty.

  370. 370
    Tethys

    This is the oddest thing I have encountered today on the internet.

    Cremation as a power source

    I now mull over the reasons why Europeans opt for cremation, but Americans opt for burial. It seems to be partly for religious reasons, and partly because of land use policies. The closing sentence is amusing.

    Thus, it may indeed come to pass that deceased baby boomers will someday help power your household appliances.

  371. 371
    myeck waters

    Yeah, the Kubrick Shining is a wonderful film. I can’t imagine what King thought he was doing with the TV remake project.

    Of course, this trailer for it is as good as watching the whole damn thing.

  372. 372
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Crip Dyke (@205):

    Thanks for the interesting response. It doesn’t surprise me that female sex workers are happy to book women (or couples in which the woman is an active participant) as clients: I admittedly have no data on the point, but my observation and experience has been that women’s sexuality is generally more fluid than men’s. That’s a dangerous generalization, of course, and even if true, it’s no doubt yet another artifact of a patriarchy-driven gender asymmetry in socialization.

    But the case that came up on the Savage Lovecast was specifically that of a straight woman looking for a male sex worker… and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that straight and gay men and lesbian women all have a significantly easier time finding the commercial sex they crave than does a straight woman looking for dick.

    The truth is that when coercion isn’t at play, the people who become sex workers appear to be disproportionately likely to be interested in sex, generally.

    I agree with that, and I certainly don’t assume that being interested in sex is a gender-specific trait (indeed, I assume it is not). But I sense the (unquestionably sexist) societal presumption is that only men pay for sex, and I think that perception drives what is — and isn’t — available on the market.

    I’ve occasionally glanced at the “Back Page” ads (commercial escorts’ ads, I mean, not adult personal ads) in the local weekly alternative paper (don’t look at me like that; the ads are printed on the page opposite Savage’s column!), and I note that the vast majority of them are women (or transwomen) advertising to male customers, and the majority of the remainder are men advertising to male customers. Only rarely is there an ad that’s explicitly addressed to female customers.

    Of course, I’m not looking for ads in specialty publications, nor on the web, but at the level of broad popular culture… well, notwithstanding what you see on HBO’s Hung (a really well written and acted show, BTW), I’m not so sure a good man isn’t hard to find, after all.

    FWIW, I assume Siri’s algorithm is probably not only sexist but heteronormative. That is, even if Siri were perfectly happy to answer women’s sexual requests, my bet is it’d supply references to only male escorts. That may be fair enough on a purely statistical basis — presumably the majority of men who ask their phones how to get laid are looking for women, and vice versa — but I’m sure it would be annoying to no small number of folks.

    [Aside: Recently we (well, y'all) quite correctly trounced a troll for using gay as a noun to refer to gay men. Any idiot (except, apparently, that one) can see why calling a man "a gay" is obnoxious. Why, then, is it (AFAIK) perfectly acceptable to call a woman "a lesbian," rather than "a lesbian woman" or "a gay woman"? I'm not trying make any point here, or to stir anything up: I'm really just curious about what strikes me as an odd little bit of linguistic asymmetry. Enquiring minds want to know!]

  373. 373
    Dhorvath, OM

    King thought he was making more money.

  374. 374
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    I’m a huge Stephen King fan, but he seems not to understand making movies quite the same as writing.

    Stephen King movies have a high failure rate. They’re never quite as awesome as the books. Even the good ones.

    I think the only ones that really come close are CUJO and Pet Sematary, in that they follow the book faithfully and end up looking pretty good onscreen.*

    IT and The Stand are decent, but much of the scary stuff from the books has a hard time translating to the screen.

    I’m a huge Dark Tower fan, and being that the DT series is kind of like King’s version of Lord of the Rings, I’m looking forward to the 2013 movies/miniseries with some trepidation. Will it be as awesome as the books? Or will they flub it and make it a disappointment?

    *I’m leaving Kubrick’s The Shining out of this. It WAS every bit as awesome as the book. But it was awesome because it deviated from the source material. The book version contains a lot of psychological stuff in it that has a hard time translating to a visual medium.

  375. 375
    Tethys

    I like the bun-o-vision, 30 second version of The Shining

  376. 376
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @Tethys, almost a year earlier than your link, and more tangible (shudder):

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/24/crematorium-heat-swimming-pool-redditch

  377. 377
    Dhorvath, OM

    TLC,
    No. Roland of Gilead does not do moving pictures.

  378. 378
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Dhorvath, it’s like something Sepultura did in the 90′s with their tribal influence – only better :D

  379. 379
    chigau (違う)

    re TV Shining
    Somehow I managed to miss this.
    After looking at the Pfft article, I’m not sad.

  380. 380
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Tethys:

    Re #370, have you read Mary Roach’s Stiff? There’s a whole section about cremation, burial, and other funerary technologies and traditions. Highly recommended… as is anything else by Roach that you haven’t already read yet.

  381. 381
    Dhorvath, OM

    I am, to say the least, impressed. And I hear you on Sepultura, Roots is one of my favourite albums. The obligatory ref: Ratamahatta

  382. 382
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @Bill Dauphin, my Concise OED says:

    lesbian n & adj –n. a homosexual woman, –adj.[...]
    gay adj & n –adj.[1, 2, 3, ...] 4. colloq. (a) homosexual [...]

    i.e., noun vs. adjective.

    Is it different in US English?

  383. 383
    strange gods before me ॐ

    other good Stephen King movies:

    The Green Mile
    Stand By Me
    The Shawshank Redemption
    Apt Pupil
    The Mist

  384. 384
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Bill: I think it’s because of the way homophobes use the phrase “the gays”. They are not similarly consistent in talking about “the lesbians”.

    But I’m just guessing.

  385. 385
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Dhorvath: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Tower_series_film_adaptation

    When I read the books, an awesome movie plays out in my head. If the movies and miniseries are just close to as awesome as the movie in my head, it’ll become the one fandom in the universe I actually flock to.,

  386. 386
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Ahs: I forgot about those, but some I haven’t seen, or haven’t seen fully. I mostly stick to the ‘raw horror’ side of things.

  387. 387
    Tethys

    Bill Dauphin

    I have all of Mary Roach’s books on my wish list. I find death to be fascinating and not at all frightening.

    Changeable Moniker

    Why the shudder? Harvesting the heat energy seems preferable to wasting it, the cremation will happen regardless. But, I freely admit to being strange as regards most things people consider icky.

  388. 388
    Dhorvath, OM

    TLC,
    Roland and his journey are distinctly literary to my mind, funny how different people can read, eh? In any event, that article indicates that this is pretty vapourish as far as projects go.

  389. 389
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I mostly stick to the ‘raw horror’ side of things.

    Try the Mist. It’s got folks holed up in a grocery store fighting monsters.

  390. 390
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Okay. I’m stuck at the office for another 15 minutes, and what do I do? Get on TET.

    I have all of Mary Roach’s books on my wish list. I find death to be fascinating and not at all frightening.

    There is a wonderful documentary about home funerals called A Family Undertaking.

    I only mention it because of death, and the lack of fear thereof, and cool things like Mary Roach’s books.

  391. 391
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @Tethys, I just don’t like swimming pools (shudder).

    That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. ;)

  392. 392
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Ahs: The Mist I have seen, it was one of the ones that completely slipped my mind for some reason.

    My favorite creature was the four-winged pterosaur creature. Creature/monster design is something I definitely enjoy, one of the reasons I’m a Jim Henson fan.

  393. 393
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Coyote:

    Creature/monster design is something I definitely enjoy, one of the reasons I’m a Jim Henson fan.

    Sadly, my wife does not understand my love of Farscape.

  394. 394
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Why, then, is it (AFAIK) perfectly acceptable to call a woman “a lesbian,” rather than “a lesbian woman” or “a gay woman”? I’m not trying make any point here, or to stir anything up: I’m really just curious about what strikes me as an odd little bit of linguistic asymmetry.

    Well, you’d say someone’s gay or straight, but probably not that someone’s lesbian. So it’s consistent with that. But I don’t know why that is, either.

    ***

    I think I will ask for Andy Clark’s book Supersizing the Mind for christmas.
    Thanks To Salty Current for the recommendation.

    You’re welcome! Let me know what you think.

  395. 395
    Tethys

    Try the Mist. It’s got folks holed up in a grocery store fighting monsters.

    I love the little old lady who uses bug spray as her weapon.

    Changeable

    Ah. Death doesn’t bother me, but swimming around in a small chlorinated pool of water with lots of children is rather squicky.

  396. 396
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Oh, yeah. It’s because it came from the island, Lesbos. So that makes sense, though I don’t know why it’s not really used the other way, too – like Canadian.

  397. 397
    Dhorvath, OM

    Tethys,
    Have you seen how much kids pee? It’s nothing compared to any community pool’s volume even if every kid was peeing in it, which I assure you they are not.

  398. 398
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Language isn’t always logical…. But I do have a hypothesis.

    It might have to do with the way adjectives are used in the English language. Nominalisation of adjectives is quite restricted, and usually limited to collectives only, like “the rich don’t like to share with the poor”. You don’t say “Sometimes a rich pays less taxes than a poor”. You need to use use a head noun such as “one” or “man/woman/person”… So “gay” or “homosexual” would fall into this category.

    For demonyms, this is a normal usage pattern, especially for those ending in -ese or -ian. (for demonyms in -ish, there are often alternative forms, such as “Englishman/woman, Swede, Spaniard etc.)
    A Lesbian is a resident of the island Lesbos, so that fits the pattern.

    But what ahs says makes sense too, the way terms are used probably play into this too.

    Giliell,

    Shouls I put you in contact with Mr? I guess he’s been itching all night to talk about it with somebody whi doesn’t ask “what sport?”

    Hehe, I’d like that..

  399. 399
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @Theophontes, thanks. I’m on the mend, even if it is just frustratingly slow at times. I’m a lot less disabled than I was 2 months ago. Also, denser breads usually take longer than fluffier ones, so that’s plausible. And the no-knead method is awesome, even with regular boring old yeast. Le Creuset is expensive, but you can often get plain cast iron quite cheaply; season it and it will be just as good for bread. More maintenance work, is all.

    @The Sailor: just no. That is a totally lame excuse. It has no legs, it won’t go. Metadata my arse! It’s not just abortion – follow the links and read.
    1. http://amaditalks.tumblr.com/post/13513981784/siri
    2. http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/12/01/siri-total-misogynist/
    What makes you think they are biased? One has screen shots. The other is direct reporting.
    Siri “couldn’t find” a women’s health centre when given the exact name and address, and the place was number one in the google search, and it was just about next door. But it could find those fake fundy pregancy “counselling” places. It couldn’t find a specific morning-after pill by name, although Viagra was no problem.

    If it’s just “an algorithm that searches other search engines” then it’s truly astonishing how much it downweights google for certain quite specific things. I’m not as kind as the feministe article. That’s no accidental oversight, that’s a deliberate exception to the usual search strategy, which would have to be programmed in. It could, of course, be an Apple QA fail and a contractor or programmer sneaking things in. But somebody somewhere did that deliberately.

    @CripDyke, that really helps clarify the language question. I’m grateful that you’re taking the effort to go into so much detail. Did I do it rite just up there? I hope so. BTW, I search for my nym up from the bottom to find where I was up to, so I saw your apology before the post. Good, since it meant I was not distracted when I read the post.

    @Gilliell – you can’t get dried pears? How strange. They’re common supermarket stock here. I am very interested in your “traditional fruit loaf” recipe, because where I am a traditional fruit loaf would never include dried pears.

    @John Morales, I’m not sure, but possibly the etymology? A “Lesbian” is a noun in the same way that “an Australian” is a noun. Sapphic was the related adjective . It does seem inconsistent in modern usage, and to the the less classically educated, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it changes.

  400. 400
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    re “lesbian” as an adjective:

    it became an adjective in the 80s, and got more frequent in the 90s. The nominal use still is more frequent.

    Have a look here at this graph

  401. 401
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    I experienced a great disappointment today. My local Occupy group mic-checked Glenn Beck today while he was signing books. I didn’t find out about it until two hours later. I am so disappoint.

  402. 402
    The Sailor

    Alethea, I always assume incompetence before malice. Not that they’re mutually exclusive.

  403. 403
    Rey Fox

    A miniseries King endorsed because it was more faithful to his book.

    I remember reading this article about the five best and five worst King adaptations, and they noted how King had no creative role on any of the top five, whereas he was involved with four of the bottom five. Funny that.

    (Unfortunately, I can’t remember if King’s “dramatic” turn as Jordy Verrell in Creepshow was on either list.)

    I’m a huge Dark Tower fan, and being that the DT series is kind of like King’s version of Lord of the Rings, I’m looking forward to the 2013 movies/miniseries with some trepidation. Will it be as awesome as the books?

    Well, last I heard that project is pretty much dead in the water. And even if it was adapted, I’d probably only be interested in the first three books.

    Roland and his journey are distinctly literary to my mind

    I don’t know if it’s as literary as King seems to think, but enough so that any big screen treatment would probably just trample all over the tone of the story to fit its parts into three-act big-budget Hollywood stuff. It’d be much more at home on HBO, especially seeing as how the first book in particular was more of a mini-series than a novel.

  404. 404
    cicely

    cicely, did you see my glop links up thread?

    Missed it earlier, but picked it up on a second pass, and thanks! I’m a bit confused, though—the clear-as-water stuff that looks interesting (with strategic addition of coloring) looks as if it’s meant to be shattered, which is exactly not the point; and the other things look as if they are opaque. I’ll have to check ‘em out more thoroughly.
    -
    I’ve never seen The Shining, though I’ve read the book.
    -

  405. 405
    John Morales

    Alethea @399, Bill, not me.

  406. 406
    Tethys

    Dhorvath

    Have you seen how much kids pee? It’s nothing compared to any community pool’s volume even if every kid was peeing in it, which I assure you they are not

    I have, I’ve raised several of them. It’s not just the pee. It’s the pee+ all the other body fluids+ the public showers.

    Rationality just doesn’t stand a chance against crowd-sourced germ sharing in my world. I don’t care if it’s been disinfected, I don’t want to swim around in any amount of other peoples body fluids.

  407. 407
    John Morales

    The first “Dark Tower” series book by King bored me shitless; I’m not about to seek others — I read to be entertained or informed, not to be bored.

    (Same as “The Dancers at the End of Time” series by Moorcock)

  408. 408
    Dhorvath, OM

    John M, that’s kinda funny. I loved the first and felt that the series kinda lost something thereafter, although it did have some high points and at least for me was well worth reading as a whole.

    On that note, Rey Fox, I don’t think it’s amazing or anything, but my great delights in reading that centre on words, sentences and rhythms. I guess with careful narration one could encompass some of those passages while still telling the basic tale.

  409. 409
    John Morales

    Dhorvath, maybe it’s a failing of mine, but I’ve never had much luck with enjoying ‘literature’.

  410. 410
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Part of what I love about the Dark Tower series is the world presented therein. Just as some people wish they could live in Pandora from ‘Avatar’, I, for my own fucked up reasons, kinda wish I could live in the world(s) presented in the Dark Tower.

  411. 411
    Dhorvath, OM

    John M,
    I don’t read particularly well and find that most ‘literature’ obfuscates me, but every once in a while something clicks about language rather than plot or characters.

  412. 412
    John Morales

    TLC, nothing wrong with that.

    (I wish I could be a citizen of the Culture)

  413. 413
    Dhorvath, OM

    Unless the alt world has bikes it’s hard for me to want to stay, but a visit might interest. Say, Seven Cities or Darujistan.

  414. 414
    chigau (違う)

    グーゲル翻訳は吸う。
    See what I mean?

  415. 415
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    (Not for everybody, but.)

    Michele Bachmann’s imaginary embassy may not have been stormed.

    This one was.

    Somewhat scary.

  416. 416
    John Morales

    changeable moniker, scary indeed, that.

  417. 417
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    This much is empirically certain: Our kitty no longer has free will, if she ever did.

    She was a sweet old girl.

  418. 418
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Bill Dauphin: My condolences.

  419. 419
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Bodhisattva-Steely Dan

    Josie-Steely Dan

    Green Earring-Steely Dan

  420. 420
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Janie Jones-The Clash

    Armagideon Time-The Clash

    Capital Radio-The Clash

  421. 421
    chigau (違う)

    Bill Dauphin
    *hugs*

  422. 422
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Thanks, TLC. It’s really OK: She had a long, healthy, happy (insofar as we humans can judge these things) life, and her leaving of it was quick and peaceful.

    Odd: At age 51, tomorrow will be the first time in my life I’ve buried a pet.

  423. 423
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Small Blue Thing (2010)-Suzanne Vega

    Blood Makes Noise (2011)-Suzanne Vega

    Left Of Center-Suzanne Vega

  424. 424
    John Morales

    Bill, condolences.

    We cried as we stroked our last kitty while she expired of old age and systemic failure. We knew this was it.

    Buried her in the garden, in a ‘shroud’ made from a pillow-case.

    (Loved pets are like family)

  425. 425
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    Thanks, chigau.

    John, that sounds incredibly familiar right now; thanks for the good thoughts.

    I think I’m going to sign off for the evening now; see y’all later….

  426. 426
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Our old Golden Retriever is still hale and hearty at 13. Few goldens these days are still hale and hearty even at 8.

    But always there’s the awareness that the good luck can’t last forever, because nothing is immortal.

  427. 427
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Hokey Pokey (The Ice Cream Song)-Richard & Linda Thompson

    Withered And Died-Richard & Linda Thompson

    Richard & Linda Thompson

  428. 428
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I rather borked that one. It is Just The Motion.

  429. 429
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    La Grange-Crazy Backwards Alphabet

    Communication Breakdown-D.O.A.

    Black Diamond-The Replacements

  430. 430
    cicely

    Bill Dauphin, condolences for the loss of your kitty. *hugs*
    -

  431. 431
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    About once a year, this video must be posted. Call it the pinnacle of mormon culture. Marvel at the what the fuckness of it.

  432. 432
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Sorry to hear that, Bill. My condolences also.

    (Also, John, sorry for the mixup.)

  433. 433
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Wild Horses-The Sundays

    Doctor Wu-The Minutemen

    Jump-Aztec Camera

  434. 434
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Mr DNA-Didjits

    Louie Louie-Black Flag

    I Wanna Be Your Dog-Uncle Tupelo

  435. 435
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Bill: thinking of you. Our oldest cat Seamus died last year. First time I’d had to bury a pet. He had a life worth telling, though, so I guess it was all worth it.

    May the same be said about all of us.

  436. 436
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Substistute-Richard Thompson

    I Put A Spell On You-Diamanda Galás

    Mule Skinner Blues-The Cramps

  437. 437
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The Wind Cries Mary-Marc Ribot

    I’m Not Lisa-Killdozer

    Bring The Noise-The Unholy Trio

  438. 438
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Telling Me Lies-Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt

    After The Gold Rush-Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt

    Mr Sandman-Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt

    Good night.

  439. 439
    Ingdigo Jump

    No one listed Carie on list of good King movies?

  440. 440
    The Sailor

    I like Top Gear, but Jeremy Clarkson has got to go.

    The Beeb pays him 2 million pounds a year to say this?

    When asked on the show on Wednesday what he thought of the mass strike in protest at changes to public sector pensions, Clarkson said, to laughter from the studio audience: “I would have them all shot.

    The presenters grimaced as he went on: “I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.

    “How dare they go on strike when they’ve got these gilt-edged pensions while the rest of us have to work for a living?”

    And then issue this anti-apology apology?
    “If the BBC and I have caused any offence, I’m quite happy to apologise for it alongside them.”

  441. 441
    opposablethumbs

    Sorry to hear your news, Bill Dauphin. Sounds like your cat had a good life with you (it’s always sad, though, even then. A hug if you’d care for one).

  442. 442
    tielserrath

    Somebody help!

    I’ve been logging in through wordpress without problems, but suddenly it’s logged me out and every time I try to log back in I get a ‘you need to share your email address through wordpress, please log in and follow instructions’, however when I log into wordpress there are no instructions, and FTB won’t recognise that I’m already logged in.

    It was working fine before – what did I do?

  443. 443
    Benjamin "Derp" Geiger

    (Loved pets are like family)

    I wholeheartedly disagree.

    Loved pets are family.

  444. 444
    John Morales

    tielserrath, are you running NoScript or similar software?

    You may not be seeing stuff because it’s being blocked.

  445. 445
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hi there
    Have been skimming through, so I might have missed something.
    And I hope that Mr is propperly ashamed. He was asked if he wanted an advent calendar, too, and declined. Which didn’t stop him this morning from moaning and complaining about the fact that he’s the only one without one, until #1 shared and gave him one of her playmobil-geese she’d found in hers.

    Tethys

    I now mull over the reasons why Europeans opt for cremation, but Americans opt for burial. It seems to be partly for religious reasons, and partly because of land use policies. The closing sentence is amusing.

    I woudldn’t say that Europeans, in general, opt for cremation. For ages it was a niche and you really had to put it down officially that you want to be cremated. My grandparents and parents are members in a “cremation-club”. Catholics have traditionally objections against cremation because god can apparently resurrect the dust that was your bones after 2000 years, but not the dust that was your ashes. There even was a bit of a scandal here a few years ago when an elderly priest refused to burry a catholic urn.

    Bill Dauphin
    No problem, I gave you the benefit of Typos. I only get annoyed if people (usually in an argument) manage to produce 4 different versions even after they were pointed out that it’s spelled like it is (for Illuvatar’s sake doesn’t anybody speak Sindarin anymore?)

    Alethea
    Those loafs are also called “Kletzen- or Hutzelbrot”, with both, Kletzen and Hutzeln being local words for dried pears.
    Funny enough, I could get dried mango, pineapple, papaya anywhere but pears only in the organic supermarket.
    I’ll tell you about the recipe when I’m finished. It’s the first tume I’m making it, so no use passing on a bad recipe.

    general kitchen stuff
    I think I’ve shared the “recipe” for budget vanilla already, but here’s also the one for lemon/orange cests.

    Recipes often require lemon cests from untreated/organic fruit. Those can be hard to come by, especially if you tend towards spontaneous kitchen messes like me.
    Now’s the season for those fruits, they’e easy and cheap to get. Buy a bunch, wash them hot, dry them, grate off the peel and mix with sugar. Let dry a bit in the open, then put into an airtight box. Enjoy the fruit.

  446. 446
    'Tis Himself

    I got a new computer at work and it has a piece of very sloppy engineering in it. For some obscure reason Gateway put the coffee cup holder in sideways. How stupid is that?

  447. 447
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Does anyone know what kind of bull is Billings Ovulation Method? It seems that we have a party that is all about natural family planning and claims some sort of connection to WOOMB (World Organization Ovulation Method Billings). Even at a casual glance, it seems puke worthy, but I’m wondering how widespread and known it actually is.

  448. 448
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Cremation

    Here’s a statistic for Europe:
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feuerbestattung#Ein.C3.A4scherungsstatistik
    (In Germany the number of cremations has been growing. In 2010, 46% of the dead were cremated, and 75% of the dead in the former GDR)

    This is most certainly correlated to religious factors. Historically, most pre-Christian cultures in Europe used to cremate their dead, which was counter to Christian ideas of resurrection and ascension to heaven. There is a reason heretics were burned at the stake.

    The Catholic church maintained this prohibition much until modern times, which is why Catholic countries have lower percentages. Same goes for Orthodox. Greece only legalised cremation in 2006.

    But it boils down to a cost issue too, cremations are cheaper than burials, and this affects Catholic areas in Germany too, AFAIK.

    Some fun facts from other world regions:

    - the traditional Balinese cremation, Ngaben, is so expensive that the deceased are buried first and then cremated in a mass funeral when there are enough deceased so their families can finance this ceremony.

    - when Buddhism first came to China more than 2000 years ago, one of the reasons it was opposed by Confucianists was that the practice of cremation was disrepectful to your ancestors. The same thing played out in Japan a 1000 years later. Today, in Japan, almost 100% are cremated, but they use lower tempatures than in Europe. I know this for a fact because I once helped take a urn to a cemetary, and while handling the ashes, I suddenly held a thighbone in my hand..

  449. 449
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    and here’s a statistic for the United States

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_cremation_rate#United_States

    68.4% in Nevada v. 9.6% in Mississippi. National average 33.5%

  450. 450
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    But it boils down to a cost issue too, cremations are cheaper than burials, and this affects Catholic areas in Germany too, AFAIK.

    It’s also about available space. For example, on our biggest city cemetery, Mirogoj, it’s practically impossible to find an empty slot in the part where caskets can be buried. On the part of the cemetery that is intended only for burying urns some more space can always be found. That is the only part of the cemetery that it regularly expanded. It has something to do with the position of the cemetery, of course, but also with the fact that much more slots for urns than slots for caskets can fit on the same piece of land.

  451. 451
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Sorry to hear that, Bill. It’s tough.

  452. 452
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Bill D.:

    Sad about the pet. We’ve buried three this year (Mueunster (a rat), KC and Sherman (both cats)). Hugs. Or beer. Or Scotch.

    And a Hoppy Thursday to all!

  453. 453
    rorschach

    Another good show bites the dust.

    What on earth ?? Best show ever ! Well, best since Buffy anyway, to come out of the US.

    I had a patient with an LPG gas burn today, that was kinda interesting. Turns out they are not actually that uncommon, and mean to treat.

  454. 454
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Wife and I both want to be cremated. And we want our ashes spread in the Hayden Valley, Wyoming.

  455. 455
    'Tis Himself

    I want my body to be disposed of at sea. Because of the body disposal laws, that means either I get cremated or I have the mafia take care of the disposal.

  456. 456
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Sourdough Pharyngufoodies

    Ok. I’m blaming you all for my going out and buying a Le Creuset “Dutch Oven”. I am now the proud owner of a #7 pot. Also I have baked another sourdough loaf therein and it is looking very goood.

    I cannot really afford the extortionary price, but I also cannot do without the joy that this brings me. Thanks.

    @ Janine

    The Sundays, Aztec Camera… Yeah I’m also a child of the 80′s – keep posting.

  457. 457
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I want to be buried in a tree – so that paople look up to me once I’m gone.

  458. 458
    chigau (違う)

    I want to be composted.
    —–
    This link was posted on the hug thread.
    It’s too good not to share.
    http://thebloggess.com/2011/07/would-you-like-to-buy-a-monkey/

  459. 459
    chigau (違う)

    John Morales
    from the free will thread
    A Necker Cube must be an “optical” illusion because it doesn’t work with any of the other senses.
    Right?

  460. 460
    birgerjohansson

    When my cat Oscar got frail I started sleeping on the couch in the living room to keep an eye on him at nights (he preferred that room). When he passed away two years ago I just kept sleeping there since I felt too miserable to revise my habits. By inertia I have left my bedroom vacant, much to the joy of my two new cats who enjoy having a whole room for themselves (when they are not busy tearing down the apartment in a fit of playfulness).
    — — — — — — — —

    Long Now Foundation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Now_Foundation
    -As a symbol of the importance of finding long-term solutions they write the year as 02011 instead of 2011, anticipating the Year 10,000 problem. :-) I like that.

  461. 461
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    I want my body to be disposed of at sea. Because of the body disposal laws, that means either I get cremated or I have the mafia take care of the disposal.

    Or fall overboard.

  462. 462
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Or fall overboard.

    Elicited several waves of laughter.

  463. 463
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    And When I Die

    I like Laura Nyro.

  464. 464
  465. 465
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Two of my favorite songs about being thrown overboard.

    Choas-Stump

    Kid’s Pirate Ship-SF Seals

    Though I suppose it says more about me than any thing else.

  466. 466
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I just noticed this, the time stamp now reflects my time zone. When did this happen?

  467. 467
    myeck waters

    Hugs for you on the death of your cat, Bill.

    I used to tell my wife that I after I died I wanted to be cut up and used for chum for a documentary about sharks. That used to upset her for some reason.

  468. 468
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Sourdough bread cooking times and temperatures:

    Check the actual temperature of your oven. Even a new oven can vary by 25 real degrees (about 12C degrees) from the set temperature. Additionally, unless you have a digital temperature setting, you are never in exactly the same spot with a temperature dial. I rarely time my bread baking.

    If it fails to brown up but otherwise sounds done, I brush some water on it and increase the temperature. If the bread looks and sounds done, take it out.

    Some of the heavier breads, not necessarily sourdoughs, can take longer to bake because of the higher moisture content in the dough. And even the humidity on the day you are baking can change the liquid additions by up to 1/4 cup.

    In other words, don’t worry too much about the actual times and temperatures. They will vary from oven to oven and even from day to day.

    Helpful, ain’t I?

  469. 469
    Weed(less) Monkey

    I just bought some beer and tobacco at the local grocery store. There was some drunken, obnoxious asshole behind me at the cashier’s wearing a t-shirt with the text THANK GOD I’M BORN WHITE. I just couldn’t resist so I said something like “nice shirt, you racist smut”. He immediately freaked out, called me a niggerloving longhair hippie (which is mostly true, anyway) and tried to punch my face.

    I took a few steps back so there wasn’t really a chance he could have actually hit me. And after only few seconds a security guard was wrestling him to the floor.

    It took some time to wait for the police.

  470. 470
    chigau (違う)

    Seconding what Father Og said about ovens.
    I hafta rotate my bread at half-time for even browning.

  471. 471
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    This whole Hoppism religion thing from the “Why I am a Christian” thread? I’ve decided to just skip it.

  472. 472
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Fuck, the adrenaline is finally wearing off and now I’m shaking. That was scary as hell.

  473. 473
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I hafta rotate my bread at half-time for even browning.

    So you only bake bread while watching football?

  474. 474
    chigau (違う)

    Father Og
    I never watch football. I go to the parties for the booze.

    Weed Monkey
    Have a drink!
    And a high-five.

  475. 475
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Lovely story, Weed Monkey.

  476. 476
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    chigau:

    Sorry. Just riffing on ‘half-time’.

    Weed Monkey:

    Confrontations like that can be scary. Most of the ones in which I have been involved have been when I am in uniform (like the solstice asshole yesterday) which gives me a certain advantage (though I have been called a jack-booted fascist to my face). Even when not in uniform, I tend to get very very very calm and cold until the confrontation is over. Then I go into mild to major panic mode.

    Glad things worked out. And I think your comment was not only acceptable, but really the right thing to do.

  477. 477
    chigau (違う)

    Father Og
    Do you actually wear jack-boots?
    What are jack-boots?
    *google*
    ooooh

  478. 478
    Lynna, OM

    slignot @104: Regarding racism in the mormon community, I think you’re right. They are less overtly racist in public forums, but still both overtly and covertly racist within their own communities and in one-to-one situations.

    Supposedly, racism within the mormon church ended in 1978 when the current prophet had a revelation about black men being allowed into the priesthood. (This revelation was mostly a response to difficulties in the football and other sport programs at BYU, and a response to expanding mormon proselytizing in Brazil and other countries with large populations of dark-skinned peoples. More coverage of mormon racism in news media also caused embarassment.) However, just like the anti-polygamy revelation in the late 1800s, mormons said one thing in public and did another in private.

    I recently came across proof that mormons worked hard right into the late 1990s to prevent negro blood from entering the supply offered by the church-run hospital in Salt Lake City. They policed their blood supply in this manner because they still believed in the “curse of Cain.”

    The quoted material below comes from ex-mormon commenter “pathdocmd” and was posted today on exmormon.org.

    The LDS Hospital wouldn’t use Red Cross Blood until the late 1990′s. This all started because it might be contaminated with black blood….

    Since Brigham [Brigham Young] said that one drop of blood from the seed of Cain was enough to disqualify a man from the priesthood, this drastic step was absolutely necessary.

    Up until at least the late 1950′s LDS Hospital openly marketed themselves in Utah has having a blood suply free of negro blood. They drew blood from local donors who would attest that their family tree was free of the cursed blood. Many Utah Mormons would go only to LDS hospital because of this.

    The LDS Hospital became privatized in the early 1970′s, and from then on had no “official” connection to the church. The Morg actually only bank-rolled a not-for-profit company (IHC) to take things over so they wouldn’t get sued in medical malpractice cases.

    The men who were “called” to make this privatization happen were exactly that, “called”. It was a church calling with no compensation. The brother called of God to spearhead this effort was a good-hearted (no, seriously) millionaire. He is now is in his early 80′s and is a sealer in the Bountiful temple. By the time he left, he and others had built up the IHC monopoly to include 34 hospitals and its own health insurance company. The health insurance part of the business made it so they could just transfer money from one had to the other every time someone got sick.

    I’d just like to point out that this is how the LDS Church often handles business or even non-profit organizations that turn out to be controversial.

    The Church gets caught doing something truly evil, like making sure there’s no negro blood in the hospital supply, or like “treating” gay men with shock treatments and nausea-inducing drugs, and what does the Church do? It outsources the activity to put some distance between itself and the controversy. However, as in this case, the Church often bankrolls the new organization, chooses or supports its leaders (see evergreeninternational.org for an example) and continues on as before.

    Although it was no longer openly stated why, IHC continued to collect their own blood for the Mormon hospitals. In the late 1990′s the IHC blood supply operation was slapped by the FDA and told to stop all of their blood collection. IHC had not been complying with all of the required protocols to test blood for HIV. After all, they didn’t need to, right? It was coming from righteous people. (I’m just saying.)

    I was working/training in the laboratory department at LDS hospital when this happened. The head of the blood program was my professor, and I know he caught hell when this happened. They had to start getting blood from the Red Cross. …Of course, they kept this whole embarrassing thing as quiet as possible….

  479. 479
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Weed Monkey’s story reminds me of an indecent I had when I worked as a cashier in a convenience store twenty years ago. An old man was talking to me in order to pass the time. For what ever reason, he went off about all of the “jungle bunnies”. (He was a very old man.) I was not supposed to be confrontational so I just stopped talking and glared at him.

    I like to think he got the message when I would not say a word to him but I have no idea. But I was rather upset afterwords. I was trying to figure out what made him think I would be at all sympathetic to that opinion.

  480. 480
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    chigau:

    No. At the time I was wearing Georgia boots. I am currently wearing some Danner backcountry hikers (good for gravel in a railroad yard). Here is the jack-booted fascist story:

    [[[WARNING: FIRE STORY FIRE STORY FIRE STORY FIRE STORY]]]

    Back in 2007, I was at a forest fire in Idaho. I was stationed at a roadblock at the summit of a mountain pass. I saw about thirty non-fire cars per day, most of which had passes to get into one of the two towns within the closure. The vehicles sans pass sometimes got interesting.

    The day before elk season started, a large Dodge Ram pickup (and I mean large — I think the tyres cost almost as much as my car) roared up and screached to a stop by the roadblock. A young man got out and marched in my direction. He was around thirty, had a buzzcut, and was very muscular. Before he even got up to me, he began yelling.

    “Why’s my hunting spot closed?” he yelled.

    “Well sir,” I answered, “where were you planning to hunt?”

    He began to describe it and I coaxed him over to the closure map. He pointed to a spot two miles inside the closed area. I explained that, due to the 150,000 acre forest fire, that area was closed.

    He then went off on me, explaining in no uncertain terms that the National Forest Service was illegal (this was in a National Forest), that the government was illegal, and asked me “How can you sleep at night with what you do to people?” This entire rant was well peppered with ‘fuck this,’ ‘fuck that,’ ‘fuck the other thing,’ and ‘fuck you.’

    As he walked back to his truck (which had three high-powered rifles in the back window (even though it was bow season approaching)) gesticulating wildly and rudely, and telling me I was a jack-booted fascist (for the record, I was wearing mid-calf Georgia boots), I calmly pulled out my notebook, wrote down his plate number, and told him, “Have a nice day!”

    I then called my manager who called the Sheriff dispatcher. Before he had the plate read out, the dispatcher interrupted him and said, “Oh, thats ________ _______. He’s a loudmouth asshole, but he’s harmless.”

    I just love Idaho.

    [[[FIRE STORY ENDS FIRE STORY ENDS FIRE STORY ENDS FIRE STORY ENDS]]]

  481. 481
    rorschach

    Flat out, worked 10 hours, wtched football, and it’s 4am now. Catch up with Secondlife friend of yonder tomorrow, should be good.

  482. 482
    Jessa

    Father Ogvorbis:

    This whole Hoppism religion thing from the “Why I am a Christian” thread? I’ve decided to just skip it.

    I see what you did there.

  483. 483
    Dhorvath, OM

    Bill D,
    Hugs about your cat, that’s never easy. Take care.
    ___

    Janine,
    Unholy Trio doing Chuck D was pretty funny.
    _

    As for And when I die, I am a Blood, Sweat & Tears kinda person.
    ___

    I am big on having my body used for decomposition research and training at a forensics school. If not, chop me up at a medical school and compost the remains.
    ___

    Weed Monkey,
    Good on you, but that is one very scary situation to end up in.

  484. 484
    Dhorvath, OM

    And Marc Ribot has a cool album title. (The track linked is pretty nifty too.)

  485. 485
  486. 486
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yo, I Killed Your God! has long been one of my favorite titles. I am not sure why…

  487. 487
    chigau (違う)

    Now this is proper snow.
    Big, fluffy flakes wafting to earth (muffling the sounds of all the fender-benders involving people with no snow-tires).

    Wait.. a memory…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_bQi6luDTc
    gotta love youtoob

  488. 488
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Also, in a positive piece of news for freedom of infomation: a German citizen has won a legal complaint against the Research Service of the German Parliament, obliging it to disclose its research on the question of the existence of extraterrestrials, or rather

    „Die Suche nach außerirdischem Leben und die Umsetzung der VN-Resolution A/33/426 zur Beobachtung unidentifizierter Flugobjekte und extraterrestrischen Lebensformen“

    “the search for extraterrestrial life and the implementation of the UN resolution A/33/426 concerning the observation of unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrial life forms”

    Yay.

  489. 489
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    oh, this was merely the first level, the Administrative Court of Berlin. Due to the significance of the matter, the court has left open the possibility of appealing to the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg.

  490. 490
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I can’t add much to the Lesbian-as-known, gay-as-adjective discussion. It does certainly differ because Lesbian *began* as a noun (a demonym for residents of lesbos) and gay “began” as an adjective. (quotes b/c these words, esp gay, may very well have had older histories, but these are the starting points in which we’re interested)

    But I also want to point out that it wouldn’t be such a big deal to make a noun out of gay if it weren’t for the fact that stereotypes attempt to portray gay men as having lives that entirely revolve around gettin’ somethin’ somethin’.

    Lastly, I’d like to add that this resistance to stereotypes *can* cause people to resist use of certain things as nouns even if that is how they started. Case in point – “transsexual” was effectively first used as a noun and as an adjective at the same time. It is not the case that there is some significant adjectival use that predates the noun use. However, the use, “a transsexual” is frowned on by most of the activist trans community and in particular, most of the activist transsexual community (there are more transgender people that are careless about this use than transsexual people).

    So…please do not use “a transsexual”.

    It’s not evil to do so. There’s quite a body of usage that establishes the use of transsexual as a noun. I am not saying it is “wrong” in a linguistic/grammatical sense. But, many people will hear “a transsexual electrician” as a use communicating more respect than, “a transsexual.” It’s a matter of degree, and here you communicate quite a bit more respect using it as a noun than as an adjective.

    The same is true with “a transgender”. Use of transgender as a noun is simply less respectful than its use as an adjective.

    Anyway, I think with lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, transgender, queer, and even kinky, because the people who ID with these words don’t feel that being X is an insult in itself, then using the words to refer to someone need not be disrespectful per se. If your usage is in a context where you are obviously supportive of the individual rights of persons to express themselves when they harm none, then you’re probably fine, even if you are using bisexual or gay as a noun. (I’ve never heard kinky used as a noun, but I suppose it’s possible.)

  491. 491
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Alethea:

    I reread my original comment and though I was very clear in the beginning that I was talking about equating lame with BUUW, in the rhetorical flourish of my conclusion, I wished for people to pounce on the use of lame, without making it clear that I was saying pounce on the use of lame as BUUW. So it’s not unreasonable of you to be a bit confused. This is to say both, you’re welcome for my follow up and I apologize for any part of the confusion which came from my loosely worded conclusion.

    So, yes, pounce on lame the way you would pounce on gay – every wrong usage, but not every usage.

    As for your question about whether you had used lame correctly – yes, it seems to me you did. So long as you mean that something won’t get you very far or moves disluidly or painfully, then you’re fine, even if you’re using it in a metaphor. These are the meanings of lame and there’s nothing wrong with using those meanings in a metaphor or comparison.

    I believe the usage you are referring to was in reference to the excuse where you said to the sailor:

    That is a totally lame excuse. It has no legs, it won’t go.

    yes, this is a metaphor using lame to mean lame and not assuming that lame people are BUUW. Therefore, I have no reason to object. Also, I have reason to be happy: in the context of people constantly using lame to mean BUUW, the proper use of the word without those oppressive connotations and in the face of expectations that disability is impolite to bring up socially, this usage noticeably breaks with bad tradition. I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to celebrate a comment for doing this, but since we’re talking about it, this would be a mildly praiseworthy use of lame, IMVOO.

  492. 492
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Aw,yeah.
    I am a DOCTOR now!

  493. 493
    chigau (違う)

    Esteleth, Ph. fuckin’ D.
    Yaaay!
    Grog is on the way.

  494. 494
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I am a DOCTOR now!

    Conga Rats. The grog is properly aged for the celebration. Put a glass under the USB port as some swill is on the way.

  495. 495
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Well, it’s called zero-conversion, i.e. nouns can be formed from adjectives without changing its form. But it’s restricted to a limited set of adjectives, e.g. from Quirk’s grammar of English (p.411)

    - ancient, black, intellectual, noble, natural, six-year-old

    Transsexual was modeled after homosexual, which is clearly attested to have been coined in 1880 as an adjective (it was a German coinage, committing the deadly sin of mixing Latin and Greek lexical elements, but I digress). In English homosexual entered the language as an adjective in 1892, and then was attested as a noun a few years later. Transsexual was coined only some 50 years ago, but its syntactic distribution is equivalent to homosexual.

    I think we can put forward a hypothesis here:

    - nouns formed by zero-conversion referring to minority groups, EXCEPT for demonyms, often take on a pejorative connotation, especially when used in the singular (though I’m still undecided on this one).

    Motivations for this could be just in the pejorative usage by the majority, but also in the fact that the nouns refer to persons and the minorities affected feel as though they are reduced to this one property.

  496. 496
    chigau (違う)

    I’m going xmas shopping.
    To Lee Valley.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Valley_Tools
    I may need to sell a kidney when the credit card bill comes in.

  497. 497
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Herman Cain is a genius.

    I’m not really running for president anymore, but please keep on giving money to my campaign.

  498. 498
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    No real surprise but Cain has suspended his campaign.

    Kind of a bummer as I was enjoying the train wreck.

  499. 499
    opposablethumbs

    Congratulations Esteleth! That’s fantastic news! Let the rats all dance in their long conga line, uttering ululations like crazy, let the grog flow…

  500. 500
    myeck waters

    Does this mean Esteleth is one of them “elites” we’ve been hearing about?

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