Anton Aylward

What’s Wrong with the Internet?

http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00311

I hate and despise articles like this for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, I hate people making money out of fear-mongering, be it racist in nature (“the immigrants are crowding us out!”), religious in nature (“the heretics, schismatics, infidels, pagans, Christians, Jews, Islams or whatever are crowing us out!”) our some variation on economics (“the ignorant masses are crowing us out!”) or any such variation and permutation thereof. It doesn’t matter if is about starting a Church, Political Party or Society of believers and gathering money or political power, getting elected so that you can pass legislation and give preferential jobs the cronies or, once again, variations and permutations thereof.

The second is related to the first. It is, depending on how you look at it, either simple ignorance or wilful ignorance. Selection of facts.
We see this with the “Family Value” crowd quoting the Bible but ignoring the passages about slaves, concubinism and Lot’s prostitution of his daughters and later incest with them (Genesis 19:1–11 and Genesis 19:30–38). No, they rely on 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the record of the Old Testament is for an “example” to us. Only they get to pick and choose what parts to use an example, ignoring others.

That’s what’s going on in this article, ignoring history.

All the “annoying” things that the Internet is bringing have been brought about before by social changes. For example, fledging America ignored copyright, and in turn had its copyright ignored. American printers freely reprinted the works of European as well as other American writers. This is one reason Poe died in poverty despite his works being widely published and his contemporaries recognising his brilliance.

Technological innovation has always brought about social disruption and even philosophers such as Alfred North Whitehead have pointed out that ever since the discovery and application of fire, innovation has been morally ambiguous in this sense.

There’s a saying that Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.

There’s also this:

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical
invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.
–Mark Twain

In either sense the author of this article is a Conservative. He assumes the attitudes of his parents generation and the generation he grew up in, which, coincidently is also mine, is somehow ‘better’ even tough it came about by disrupting what went before (even to the point of global warfare and bring us to the point of thermonuclear destruction), and that the cycle of history repeating, yet again, to change what he grew up with, is a bad thing.

Can you say “Dinosaur”?

http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Genesis%2019.1%E2%80%9311
http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Genesis%2019.30%E2%80%9338
http://biblia.com/bible/esv/1%20Corinthians%2010.11

Anton Aylward

Mt. Vernon, Texas, whorehouse sues local church

I don’t know how authentic this is, but it’s an interesting theological conundrum.

MT. VERNON, TEXAS, WHOREHOUSE SUES LOCAL CHURCH OVER LIGHTNING STRIKE
Diamond D’s brothel began construction on an expansion of their
building to increase their ever-growing business. In response, the local
Baptist Church started a campaign to block the business from expanding
— with morning, afternoon, and evening prayer sessions at their
church. Work on Diamond D’s progressed right up until the week before
the grand reopening when lightning struck the whorehouse and burned it
to the ground!

After the cat-house was burned to the ground by the lightning strike,
the church folks were rather smug in their outlook, bragging about “the
power of prayer.”

But late last week ‘Big Jugs’ Jill Diamond, the owner/madam, sued the
church, the preacher and the entire congregation on the grounds that the
church “was ultimately responsible for the demise of her building and
her business — either through direct or indirect divine actions or means.”

In its reply to the court, the church vehemently and voraciously denied
any and all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise.

The crusty old judge read through the plaintiff’s complaint and the
defendant’s reply, and at the opening hearing he commented……….

“I don’t know how the hell I’m going to decide this case, but it appears
from the paperwork, that we now have a whorehouse owner who staunchly
believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that
thinks it’s all bullshit!”

I recall reading years ago a line that claimed “In an infinite universe, anything is possible”. It was trying to explain why there was life on earth and other pan-galactic oddities.

But this fails to explain my so many of the seemingly impossible things seem to occur in the USA.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Anton Aylward

Cosmic Emergence

When explaining emergence
I sometimes say, half jokingly that:

The English language is an Emergent Property of the Hydrogen Bond

We usually talk of emergent properties of complex systems in the contemporary world, things like bio-systems and ecology, complex social systems and of course consciousness and “intelligence”.

Emergent properties are usually the result of complex interactions.  Simple, first level interactions such as sodium and chlorine, neither of which are crystalline or salty, combine to make salt – which has properties that are not inherent in either of them.  However basic chemistry does tell us that such chemicals can make “salts”.  Water, however, has complex physical properties that are unique in chemistry and cannot be predicted from knowledge of how similar elements combine.  Merely saying that:

“An emergent is a higher-level property, which cannot be deduced from or explained by the properties of the lower-level entities.”

is inadequate.  It may be simply that we don’t have the detailed knowledge.  Non-chemists, for example, will not be aware of the chemistry of “salts”.  There are no shortage of stories based on having such a superior knowledge to “impress the natives”.  Or be a stage magician.  See, for example, Penn and Teller explaining how they do their “magic” tricks.   Continue reading