It’s Just a Ride

Posted by Anti Citizen One on November 16th, 2017

Thx to AFP for the pointer to this.

The Onion: We Will Never Be United As A Nation As Long As There Are Other People Besides Myself

Posted by Anti Citizen One on July 24th, 2010

This is a great parody of all those moralists who assume the right to improve mankind:

This is a difficult time in our nation’s history. There is a rift—a deep, enduring wound—among the people of this once-great land, and while I’m not sure it will be healed in my lifetime, I do not think all hope is lost. I believe change is possible, but the road will be long and difficult. The truth is, this nation can never be united as long as it is home to people other than myself. The Onion

I am deep into reading Waldon. It’s good so far.

AC1

The First Rule of Tautology Club

Posted by Anti Citizen One on February 17th, 2010

Honor Societies

I am lazy and just reposing comic and satire sites these days, but I am in the middle of The Origin of Species. I have been a fan of xkcd for some time and it often has language and meta-reality based humour.

AC1

Can Anyone Can Really ‘Win’?

Posted by Anti Citizen One on February 8th, 2010

MIAMI—As the Super Bowl captures the country’s attention, excitement over the NFL’s championship game is muted somewhat by the persistent question of whether winning, or losing for that matter, holds any absolute value—a question that has many football fans pondering the meaning of the game itself. The Onion

Meta-Dreaming

Posted by Anti Citizen One on November 15th, 2009

I had a really odd dream last night. It was probably caused by thinking about philosophy 🙂

  • Dreamed about stuff (the usual – having psychokinesis, etc) then I experienced a false awakening
  • I then thought it would be useful to record my dream imagery in the previous dream. (I had a gizmo to do that, apparently.)
  • I then wondered if I went into this dream, when I awoke I might not be about to tell for sure if I was dreaming. (Of course, this thought occurred inside a dream.)
  • I then dreamed about thinking about Plato’s cave.
  • I started to prepare to enter this “dream” state from my “awake” state, then I woke up again.

The only question: am I dreaming now? Ask me if I have psychokinetic powers. If I say yes, I am definitely dreaming!

Anti Citizen One

Either one does not dream at all, or one dreams in an interesting manner. One must learn to be awake in the same fashion: — either not at all, or in an interesting manner. FN

How to Deal with an Existential Crisis

Posted by Anti Citizen One on May 19th, 2009

I noticed this semi-serious “how to” guide on existential crisis survival. A few points make me scratch my head (such as “Turn on a light, preferably 75 watts or brighter.”) but I am pretty sure it would not hurt to try – lol

It also says “Don’t do too much thinking after midnight. That never goes well.” Ironically this is a moment of realisation in Thus Spake Zarathustra:

There is an old heavy, heavy, booming-clock: it boometh by night
up to thy cave:-
-When thou hearest this clock strike the hours at midnight, then
thinkest thou between one and twelve thereon-

AC1

The Ennui of Travel

Posted by Anti Citizen One on March 24th, 2009

I just finished Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground and I’ve started Kafka’s Metamorphosis, so this made me laugh:


Prague’s Franz Kafka International Named World’s Most Alienating Airport

Pigeon Theology

Posted by on March 17th, 2009

Just read this fantastic section that is both informative, provacative and tongue-in-cheek from the excellent book “God’s Mechanics: How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion” by Vatican Astronomer and Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno. I will eventually write a review of sorts. Suffice very briefly to explain that the book is not a missionary work, Consolmagno seeks not to gain any converts, rather it may be described as a sociological work outlining how and why (to quote the blurb) “scientists and those with technological leanings can hold profound, “unprovable” religious beliefs while working in highly empirical fields.

Philosophical Preamble

A little boy prays to God for a red bicycle, when it doesn’t magically appear the following day he decides that God is a fake. However, more worryingly if the little brat does get a red bicycle the following morning (i.e. by generous parents) then he may conclude that it is his prayer that caused the red bike to appear. “A faith based on a lie is worse than no faith at all.”

This type of faith is a fallacy – mistaking chance for cause. Although it is a fundamentally basic concept in our thinking that the cause always comes before the effect – it is really misleading.

Because event A occurs before event B we are sometimes deluded into thinking that A causes B.

Logicians refer to this fallacy as post hoc, ergo propter hoc – “after that, therefore because of that.”

What event B following on from event A can tell us at a basic logical level is that B cannot be the cause of A. It is useful information but it does not equate with A therefore B.

Pigeon Superstition

B. F. Skinner, the famous behavioural psychologist, performed a classic experiment describing “superstition in pigeons” in the late 1940’s. He had developed a method of training pigones by making them hungry (starving them to 75 percent of their normal weight) and then putting them in a box that would provide food whenever they did whatever he wanted them to do – stepping in a certain pattern, say, or pecking at a certain image. But as he describes in a paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 1948, he also put some hungry pigeons in boxes that would feed them at regular intervals with no reference at all to what they were doing. He reported that the pigeons would train themselves to do whatever it was they were doing the first few times they were fed, as if their behaviour – walking in circles, pecking at the left side of the food dish, or whatever – was the cause of their feeding. This, Skinner said, was an example of how superstitions arise among people. More aggressive skeptics have used this result as an explanation for why people are so foolish as to believe in religion itself.” p.84-85

The Moral

Consolmagno states here that the skeptics have a good point, a religion that is adopted solely for the percieved benefits of what it might grant (afterlife, winning the lotto etc.) is one that descends easily into superstition, even if the percieved benefits are forthcoming (by chance).

“Superstition is faith based on quicksand. And when it fails, as inevitably it will, it can at the very least destroy your capacity to believe in better things and at worst pull you down and destroy you, the way that trusting in a quack medicine can kill you if it prevents you from taking a real cure.” p.85

This type of faith is the fallacy of “after that, therefore because of that.”

The Paradox (and the fun)

Lets consider the Pigeons.

“Consider their theological system from their point of view. If a pigeon walks in a circle and then gets fed, causing it to think that there’s a connection between its walk and its food, what is it really believing in? It believes that there exists a Big Food Server (we’ll call him BFS for short) who lives outside of its cage – which is true. It believes that this BFS, who has the power to feed it, is actually watching it, to see what it is doing – which is also true. And it believes that the BFS is delighted every time that it does its meaningless little dance – which, I am sure, is true again, as I can imagineB. F. Skinner chortling and pointing out the behaviour of those silly pigeons to his friends and colleagues and planning how he would write up his paper expposing their superstitious behaviour. So in what way was this pigeon theology false?” p.85-86

‘No God’ campaign draws complaint

Posted by Anti Citizen One on January 8th, 2009

…organisation Christian Voice has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority saying they break rules on substantiation and truthfulness. BBC

It’s a funny old world.

AC1

Would You Vote for Kierkegaard, Descartes, Kant, Hume?

Posted by Anti Citizen One on October 23rd, 2008

I found a series of fictional advertisements in the style of political negative campaigning against various “candidates”. Most amusing.

Kierkegaard in ’08
Descartes Attack Ad
Down with Hume

AC1

Update: Found two more Kant related spoofs: Kant: The Motion Picture and Kant Book Review.