Friday, September 30, 2011

Blasphemy Day

There most likely is no god.

Evolution is demonstrably true.

Priests, ministers, and people of faith are mere mortals like the rest of us.

The god of the Bible is a cruel, psychotic egomaniac. Thankfully, he doesn't exist, and even if he did, it's good to know he can be defeated by iron chariots.

The god of the Bible lacks the ability to feel love on par with the average human being.

Faith is an act of deceitful arrogance and hubris. Saying "I don't know" is an act of honest humility.

The universe has no inherent purpose or meaning. We create meaning and purpose.

Marriage is about love. It is not about procreation, religion, tradition, or greed.

An attack on same sex marriage is an attack on all marriage.

Religion has been used to justify countless evils, and the good attributed to it can and should be replaced with secular pursuits and institutions.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quote of the Time Being: Supernaturalism

From Sastra: "Supernaturalists seem to have a lot of trouble trying to make sense of abstractions and levels of experience: they want to take everything literally, as irreducible substances. Love is only real to them if it’s a thing, a sort of spiritual-substance which is made of neither matter nor energy because it is the immaterial essence of love. Ironically, that makes them super-materialists — spinning material into finer and finer substances until like only comes from like. Love is derived from love. Otherwise, it can only have the same properties that were there in its origin.

Despite their claims to be so comfortable with “higher levels” of reality, supernaturalists are concrete thinkers. They can only make sense of immaterial abstractions by turning them into spirit-things in a spirit-world. It’s the same sort of composition fallacy that causes people to have a serious problem with understanding how life can come from non-life. Things are supposed to be stable, discontinuous units of essential natures which are forever separated by what they ARE. If inert matter can live, it must be because a vital force made of life gets into the matter to somehow to make it live."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In Lighter News: Zombies

I stumbled on Project Zomboid one day, and something about it caught my interest. It's still early in development, and they have a deal like Minecraft where people who sign up in Alpha will continue to get updates and help contribute to the creative process. What makes this different from other zombie games I've played (Most often with my brother who's a fan of zombies. A very big fan.) is part of the premise: "This is how you died."

It reminded me of an article I read a long time ago about some old school games, especially shooters, "It's man versus machine. You know the machine's going to win, but the question is how long can you last?" Project Zomboid has no win conditions, and fittingly, it has a "sandbox mode" right now.

For the zombies themselves, the creators look towards Romero for inspiration. An individual zombie slow, stupid, and easy to splatter with a baseball bat, but you can't last forever against a horde. They're attracted to light and noise, so carrying a flashlight and firing your shotgun are generally unsafe actions. Once, while I was hiding in my safehouse, I ran instead of walked and ended up making a small thump which attracted a zombie to bang on my door, which subsequently attracted the nearby mob. I had to abandon that safehouse and run for another shelter.

Right now, the game is very solitary, but the creators plan to create more interactive NPCs. Once they have that going, the real danger may very well be your fellow humans. Got scratched by a zombie? The gun nut might prefer to shoot you now, rather than waste food on a potential zombie in the making. Hyperactive kid making lots of noise? You've got a decision to make about whether or not he lives.

Aside from keeping your belly full in the current version, there are psychological mechanics in the works. Staying indoors for days at a time causes boredom, making it worthwhile to grab newspapers and magazines along with other supplies. Psychological effects will build up into dangerous things like hallucinations and other insanity.

As I was typing this post, news on a big update comes through my brother. Things are going to get a bit more interesting. I should probably keep my food closer to my bedroom if NPCs are going to actually going to 'play the game' now.

...I hope they fix it so that I can get wood from barricades back when I take them down.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Real Patriot

The big man PZ posted about her. Ms. McKinsey is an example of what I think of as a real patriot. She used a powerful example to show one of the core values that once made America great: Freedom of expression. She stepped on an American flag to demonstrate that we have the freedom to express our feelings without fear of government reprisal. That includes criticism against the government or the nation as a whole.

For her valor, she gets rewarded with an insane mob of idolators who worship the flag but hate America and everything that flag represents to us. If these people had their way, the flag would become an icon of nihilism, tyranny, stagnation, and ignorance. I stand by Ms. McKinsey. I hope that the children took her lesson to heart, even when so many adults have failed to do so.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Quote of the Time Being: Vitalism

From puppygod: "The problem with vitalistic theories is that they are wrong. Demonstrably wrong. Thanks to modern biochemistry and physics we understand in quite fine details where the "life force" come from, how it is transformed and distributed. It comes from hydrogen fusion in the sun, plants capture photons energy in chemical bonds of hydrocarbons, we can move thanks to energy released from ATP hydrolysis etc. etc. Postulating some kind of metaphysical "life force" different from well-known biochemical reactions is ridiculously superfluous. It's as ridiculous as claiming that cars move thanks to motion spirits that dwell in the oil fields and are transferred via gasoline and willpower of the driver into cars and make the cars go. And adding half teaspoon of powdered cheetah bones to brakes fluid will repair windshield wipers of your car and make it go faster by making motion spirits happy. "