Infinity (In Jest)

In the video below one of the Brothers Winn from What You Ought to Know here states several misconceptions on the idea of infinity as well as alternate universes. Multiverse theory follows that ‘this’ universe exists along side many other universes. Some suppose that when a quantum event occurs, e.g. an electron moves, a different universe is created with each distinct possibility.  Or as what the gentleman in the video below comically says “you are batman, and a woman.” A popular misconception is infinity means everything or anything can happen. Any mathematician or someone with an elementary school education will tell you there are an infinite set of numbers between 2.34 and 2.35. Numbers such as 2.341, 2.342, 2.3421 and so on. None of these numbers, however, are 7.938. Or in other words there might be an infinite set of universes but none where he is right.

Philosophy: Mind and Manner

Interesting article on Crooked Timber by John Holbo: “In philosophy, after the speaker is done, it is fine for someone to raise his hand and say: ‘but it seems that your central premise – the claim from which all these other things follow – is actually ambiguous between four different claims, two of which are logically false, one of which is obviously empirically false, and one of which is a tautology that won’t support your conclusions at all …’” As an armchair philosophy student (technically my minor) I find this sums up much that I have tried to express. Chiefly its important to question base assumptions in process. As Holbo continues: To put it another way, these aggressive-seeming questions are not intended as conversation-stoppers but as conversation-starters. Read the whole well writen article on Crooked Timber.

China Needs More Gay

Two China-related stories kept coming up in the blog chum bucket today, one sounding like a clear solution for the other. First there was this look at China’s surplus of young men in the Wall Street Journal: Thanks to its 30-year-old population-planning policy and customary preference for boys, China has one of the largest male-to-female ratios in the world. Using data from the 2005 China census — the most recent — a study published in last month’s British Journal of Medicine estimates there was a surplus of 32 million males under the age of 20 at the time the census was taken. That’s roughly the size of Canada’s population. 32 Million males who can’t get laid is a lot of Limp Bizkit concerts. On this point, Kenneth Anderson notes that with such a gender difference, you’ve ended up in a situation similar to polygamous societies, with their accompanying troubles with […]

The Internet is Pictures of Cats: Superbad

The granddaddy of internet weirdness, the digital id of the late-90s, the reason we all got excited about JavaScript in the first place… I present to you, gentlemen, Superbad. This has been the homepage on at least one of my browsers since 1998.  I remember plumbing its depths on a dial-up, making animated GIF-laden homages with AOLPress in the wee hours of the night through high school.  I basically spent my college career as ‘guy in the dorm who knows computers’ stealing code off this thing and turning it to woefully conventional purposes for skinny blondes and pointless presentations.  For such a sin, I owe penance. Apparently, this is the work of a fella named Ben Benjamin, a decomissioned code ammunition dump and something that could be tagged with that dusty, decrepit tag of ‘net art’. (Hey, are any of you old enough to remember when the infowebhighwaysurfnet had Artist(e)s?) […]

Unanswered Mail: Joe Biden's Dislosure

Michelle Malkin is a syndicated columnist, contributor to Fox News, and Photoshopped images of liberal politician enthusiast. In late May, she wrote on the shocking revelation that– get this– Vice President Dick Cheney had been hiding in the basement of his own house. She did not have the time or care to respond to this email.

Human Lessons: Heinlein Weighs In

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -Robert A. Heinlein, in Time Enough for Love A favorite quote of my father’s.  A good basic measure, though additions and subtractions can be endlessly debated. – – – Human Lessons being: instruction and commentary on skills deemed essential to humans not foolishly tied to the expectation of a single, unchanging standard of living.  All advice to be taken as hearsay until proven otherwise by direct observation (AKA don’t blame me, I’m just the guy who linked it.  This is the internet here, people.)

Origin Story: Lies about Michael Crichton

Way back in the dark ages of 2008–a year sure to be called, henceforth, “The Fuckening”–my original designs for titleofmagazine were largely fermented cubicle thoughts merging pop science blurbs with lies about authors whose names appear in raised type on their books’ dust jackets.  I had fantasies of gently ribbing airport bookstore gods such as Dean “Groping Golden Hand” Koontz and Michael “Gigantor” Crichton into turning my life into a treeless version of The Most Dangerous Game. But alas, Crichton’s heart gave out.  The man was 6’20” and given to flogging the writing muscles until they squeezed out the purest extracts of commuter-ready techno-thriller and such a strain finally took its toll.  He died the undisputed king of jamming the Clif’s Notes version of modern science up a tyrannosaurus’s ass and then rolling in its cash scented excretions.  A wild ride indeed. So instead of a running joke, I offer […]