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Date: 2006/06/20 07:23:42, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I fail to believe that DaveTard is actually that ignorant about the fundamental forces.

Electromagnetic repulsion is approximately 10 to the power of 42 (that's a million billion billion billion billion) times stronger than gravity. If your left bicep represented the strength of gravity, then your right bicep would have to extend beyond the length of the known universe to represent the strength of the electromagnetic force. Experiments have also show that the nuclear strong force is approximately one hundred times as strong as the electromagnetic force, and about one hundred thousand times as strong as the nuclear weak force.

"High mass regimes" be damned, DaveTard. The only reason the electromagnetic force does not completely overwhelm gravity in the world around us is that most things are composed of an equal amount of positive and negative electric charges whose forces cancel eachother out. We're lucky!

Why do you think we can't find the gravitron? Finding the smallest bundle of the weakest force is quite the challenge.

Date: 2006/06/20 11:25:25, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I don't think the undectability of the graviton really affects the scientific status of that part of gravity theory. I mean, by the mid-80s experimenters had definitely established the existence and detailed properties of the other force particles (gluon, photon and weak gauge bosons), and we've known all along that an agent particle for gravity must also exist, and that it must also be terribly difficult to detect.

Scientists have also carried out theoretical studies that show things about the graviton--for example, that it must be massless.

To be honest, I don't understand why DaveTard or any of the folks over at UncommonlyDense are even discussing modern physics.

Modern physics is bleak. It is chilling, and impersonal, and considering all their ranting and raving about "materialistic atheist dogma", they should be appalled by it. The idea that they and their world can be reduced to a matter of particles or fields and their interactions, must certainly make them feel diminished.

That the gravitron is even being mentioned at UD is kind of funny. I always thought that the ID movement was strongly averse to reductionist science.

Hey UncommonlyDense people: The wonders of life and the universe are mere reflections of microscopic particles engaged in a pointless dance fully choreographed by the laws of physics. Your feelings of joy, sorry, boredom, and even religious experiences are nothing but chemical reactions in the brain--reactions between molecules and atoms that, even more microscopically, are reactions between electrons and quarks, which may turn out to be nothing but vibrating strings. Everything from the Big Bang to your crappy blog can be described in terms of underlying microscopic physical processes involving the fundamental constituents of matter. How horrifyingly godless.

How can you not stand up to the materialist Bohrian (?) orthodoxy! Modern physics is an atheist sham!

I think it's time for the Discovery Institute to abandon the doomed evo/creo debate and take aim at quantum theory or something.

Date: 2006/09/18 13:31:20, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
For Skeptic's sake, it's worth mentioning that the imperialist ideology contained in PNAC is more or less regurgitated as official policy in the National Security Strategy 2002, also available publically. This was the standard interpretation in foreign policy circles both at home (check Foreign Affairs) and abroad. You can also see identical language in leaked portions of the policy statement "Defense Planning Guidance" that Wolfowitz prepared for the Defense Department in 1992.

Nevertheless, I would argue that there is nothing fundamentally new or radical about the policies of the Bush II administration. For one thing, we've already seen this exact circus before; keep in mind that these are essentially reactionary extremists left over from the Reagan administration--the same people who created the "war on terror" 20 years ago. I would argue that America's imperialistic tendencies have been common to all administrations since Truman, possibly farther back; I think the historical and documentary record overwhelmingly supports this interpretation.

I think Cheney, Rumsfield, Wolfowitz, Perle & Co. are just more open about it.

As far as 9/11 being a conspiracy: I find it very unlikely. It's almost certain that something would have leaked. Bits of classified documents leak constantly--it's always been that way, and there's not much a government can do about it. Secrets are extremely hard to keep, and if something had gotten out they all would have been in front of firing squads and it would be the end of the Republican party forever. To take a chance on that is just insane.

Date: 2006/09/18 14:43:12, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Well, yeah. I agree. I mean, every administration since WW2 has commited hideous war cimes/crimes against humanity. This current one is no different. In fact, if the Nuremberg laws were taken seriously, there isn't a president in the last 60 years who wouldn't be hanged. The US can get away with this because it is was for a time the overwhelming economic power in the world, and remains the overwhelming military power in the world--who, exactly, is going to stand up against it?

The answer, of course, is that the US public should. But the truth of the matter is that many are confused/indoctrinated/apathetic when it comes to international affairs. That's not to say there isn't a massive and heroic anti-war movement going on--there is now and there have been many throughout history. But they have always been in protest of atrocities carried out against other civilian populations--never has the US government orchestrated terror against its own population, deliberately planned the mass killing of its own innocent civilians, etc. I mean, maybe you can look at things like COINTELPRO, but 9/11 is a very different matter. If it were true, can you imagine the effect it would have on the domestic population (not to mention abroad)? Can you imagine the massive popular uprising it would ignite? I think such a concession would certainly amount to firing squads and the destruction of the Republican party.

Date: 2006/09/28 09:12:17, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Just out of curiosity, why does eric murphy keep referring to Paley as "Bill"? Was it established somewhere down the line that his name is Bill, or that he's William Dembski, or something?

It's kind of annoying, since he goes out of his way to do it approximately seven times every post. Also potentially embarrassing if GoP isn't actually named Bill.

Carry on!

(Actually don't; I am also of the opinion that GoP should focus on proving his extensive backlog of insane assertions to be true before taking on a new project. Otherwise credibility and interest are quickly eroded.)

Date: 2006/10/12 14:56:50, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 11 2006,21:14)
Sal waffles:

30 minutes of inference, looks like, evolution can't explain..

And gets slapped:,38.0.html

Seriously, Sal, if this is the best your shower of shoite have, start packing up your big tent now.

I'm surprised. Sal's blindingly retarded contributions to UD always gave me the impression that he was a sad, rambling old man.

Turns out he's a sad, rambling young man.

Listening to this inteview hammers home not only how scientifically vapid Intelligent Design is, but how freaking boring it is. Wake me when it's over. I have an active interest in the evo/creo world, and I wanted to turn this crap off. I can't imagine anyone who would find this program compelling.

PS: How many times does he kiss Dembski's ass?

Date: 2006/10/12 15:28:55, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
To be honest, it's DaveScot who keeps me coming back for more--he's an unremitting source of mirth, and sometimes downright fascinating in his dumb arrogance. He's truly a freakshow. Someone should do a case study on him. I think that if he dropped out of orbit at this point, ID wouldn't even be able to maintain the interest of its critics. Which is pretty sad.

Just wait until the next big legal extravaganza rolls around. They'll be churning out comedy by the hour.

Date: 2006/10/16 05:24:39, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 15 2006,18:29)
52. crandaddy // Oct 15th 2006 at 5:39 pm

If there’s no meaning at all in life or the world, that means that Provine’s very proclamations of no meaning are just as devoid of any meaning!

That’s right! I just love it when naturalists say that the universe is meaningless! They say it so innocently–as if they’re clueless to the disasterous consequences it carries with it.  

Comment by crandaddy — October 15, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

I really don't get the IDiotic obsession with "methodological naturalism = meaningless universe." It must take some kind of gut-wrenching deformity of the rational mind to wind up believing that the scientific method says something about the meaning of life. Also, it baffles me how these people can act as if existentialism never happened in philosophy. If they really are such avid Christians, they would do well to read Søren Kierkegaard instead of William Dembski.

Date: 2006/10/16 09:12:35, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I don't really know what's going on in this thread, but I'm going to parachute myself in here because whenever I hear "MMA" all I can think of is the awesome beast that is Fedor Emelianenko.

Date: 2006/10/16 15:31:12, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I think Fedor admitted in one interview or another that Coleman was his toughest fight, probably the closest he ever came to losing (which is to say, not very close at all). It'll be interesting to watch what happens the second time around. Of course, I don't think anyone has much doubt as to the outcome, so long as Fedor's hand is okay and he's been doing lots of good ole' high-altitude training with his brother.

I don't know much about the MMA world. My interest is limited to following the truly godlike fellas, such as Fedor. From what I understand, though, UFC is no match for PRIDE. I'm sure Fedor could vaporize any ten UFC heavyweights. Simultaneously. Bowling pin style. Getting hit by Fedor seems to be about as devastating as swallowing a nuclear bomb.

Anyway, carry on with your dialogue about Hispanic hydrogen orbits.

Date: 2006/10/24 14:57:50, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Dawkins is great and all, but this is much more entertaining. (And on-topic.)

Nope, just can't get enough of Carl Sagan!

Date: 2006/10/25 09:26:17, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (GCT @ Oct. 25 2006,07:41)
Anyway, I got him to sign The God Delusion and Unweaving the Rainbow.  I told him that I enjoyed the talk and like his books, but he really lit up when my gf told him that she loves his tie (the one he wore on the Colbert Report actually.)  Apparently his wife painted the tie for him and he was very excited to talk about it.

That's cute. He did remarkably well on the Colbert Report, I thought. Stephen was going a little overboard tryng to shut him down (with lots of distessingly non-ironic audience support) and Dawkins managed to hold his ground to the very end.

Date: 2006/10/25 09:48:04, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 25 2006,11:40)
Overwhelming Evidence has all the ambience of a deserted barn.

Seriously. With a daily reach of approximately 0 people, Overwhelming Evidence is definetely a failed website.

The major problem with Intelligent Design is that it's boring. Boring! Sooooo incredibly booooring. I nod off every single time I try to read UD. I can only imagine how disappointed Dembski's target market, "young people", must feel when they boot up that godawful blog. The last thing I would want to do if I were a teenage creationist is be forced to read Salvador Cordova. Or, even worse, Denyse O'Leary, to who most teenagers are intellectually superior anyway.

They've gotten so wrapped up in their own fringe culture that they're incapable of appealing to anyone but vulnerable zealots.

Date: 2006/10/30 09:12:54, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 30 2006,14:47)
Personally, I don't think that's so bad. I think that most women are looking for a man who takes charge anyway. Some just hide it better than others*.

*In my experience, when things go wrong, most women seek out the nearest alpha male to resolve the crisis. Feminism is the politics of comfort.

I think virtually every female of my generation (I'm 20, live in Canada) would fall over laughing if you said this to their faces. And then they would kick your ass.

I know you're speaking from experience Paley, but a lot of your comments seem hopelessly out of touch. Either that, or they're ripped from a BDSM lifestyle website.

Date: 2006/10/30 19:20:06, Link
Author: Seizure Salad

It's possible the "truths" you speak of have vague psychobiological underpinnings, and thus are more or less universal among women, but from what I can tell it's more likely that social factors are at play.

I believe that the traditional, patriarchal, taken-in-hand concept of women you describe is the product of societies that are conservative and patriarchal, and therefore express such values. Women growing up under those conditions tend to have this role instilled in them as part of the socialization process, and the men expect them to fulfill it. But as soon as you examine other societies with different values, your "truths" dissolve.

Case in point: I lived in London, Ontario until I was eighteen. London was pretty much the last bastion of British strength in North America, and as a result remains a nexus of arch-conservativism (by our standards--by your American standards it's still fairly liberal). The point is that London has as close to conservative, traditional values as you're likely to find in Canada, and as a result the gals I know do look to men when the going gets tough. It's not far from what you describe at all.

However, now I live in Montreal, which is the most leftist city that North America can offer, and the social values here are completely different. It's a different world--there is no comparison at all. None of the women I've met, including my current girlfriend, behave anything like the girls back in London. They're all fiercely independent, strikingly headstrong, incredibly decisive and self-sufficient. It's been a shock, but I think it illustrates a rather important point. And, well, there it is.

Y'see, being a hormone-addled kid, I'm interested in these things.

(As and aside: ID is so irrelevant here that it's been burned to death and its ashes incinerated into nothingness.)

Date: 2006/10/31 10:05:03, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 31 2006,10:28)
I beg to differ, because the cause of the behavioral differences is rooted in biology. Women are hardwired to respond to confident, dominant males, and this is reflected in the socialization process. By the way, I've heard that young Canadian women are easy marks for any hustler. My experiences mirror this: confident, brash young women are the most easily manipulated women. It's the traditional women that are tough.

I'm not so sure that the cause of behavioural differences are rooted in biology in this case. I admit that this could very well be true, probably is true to some degree, but I'd like to see some proper research that points to that conclusion.

Again: from what I have observed it's very much a result of social factors. Paley, you have a very traditional, conservative concept of women, which grows out of the patriarchal value system that women have been steadily emerging from for the past century, but is still preponderant in many parts of the world. Montreal was one such society during the "dark ages" of Quebec when the entire province was heavily Church-oriented and economically/culturally/socially stagnant. When the
Quiet Revolution came along and destroyed the old system, the city did a complete about face and is now an ultra-left core, and needless to say, the social values are completely different. The values that you are familiar with are not instilled in the minds of women here, they aren't part of the socialization process, they don't really exist. As a result, female Montrealers are very different. So are the men.

I suppose one only needs to look to matriarchal societies of the past and present to understand my point. It would be very unlikely that they would exist if human biology is averse them.

As for Canadian women being particularily vulnerable: I'ven't heard anything like that up here, so I can't really comment. I would be interested in seeings some stats that suggest this, if you can dig any up. One thing though: I would definetely be careful when refering to "Canadian women", given that Canadian citizens do not have a coherent national identity, and therefore few unifying traits. We're not like the United States, or Germany, or other patriotic nations. Everything is regional up here, to the extreme; the people in British Columbia seem like complete foreigners next to the folks in the Prairies, etc. It's why there are secession movements in almost every province. But anyway, as an anecdote, one of my friends thwarted a hustler-type with a knife two weekends ago. So that's prety kickass.

Lastly, I'm afraid I don't understand how confident, headstrong women are more easily manipulated than traditional women who willingly depend on the supposed dominance of men.

Date: 2006/11/01 16:06:31, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I think it's much more accurate to say that all youth are vulnerable to manipulation, not just young women, or especially young women.

As far as your example goes, it's an interesting one, but it doesn't prove much, as plenty of men are also conned in sex tourism. Besides, women are just as capable of preying on the vulnerability of lonely men, or conning them the old-fahsioned way. There are plenty of examples on both sides, and neither speaks to fundamental truths about either sex, just human fallibility in general.

What I meant to imply in my question is that "traditional" women who willingly submit to the supposed dominance of men have already been manipulated and conditioned by the patriarchal value system that has pre-determined their social role and destiny. Therefore, I felt that claiming they are less suceptible to manipulation than women who are determined to redefine themselves outside of said value system was pretty ironic.

Date: 2006/11/02 09:00:03, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Remember, it's the one who controls the spending, not the earning, who has real power in the household. And in many traditional societies, the women control the spending. Give trad women a little credit.

Point taken--this is definetely true sometimes. And naturally, it's often true in reverse. Nowadays it's most common, however, that husband and wife maintain their own respective bank accounts, and perhaps one joint account, which I believe is the best way to manage finances.

That being said, there was a time not so long ago when many banks would not allow women to withdraw money from their own accounts without consent from their husband. Fortunately, North America has moved past such flagrant discrimination, but it remains so in developing nations.

PS: Paley, your avatar is pure awesomeness. What is it?

Date: 2006/11/02 13:43:09, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
My money's on GSP--he's technically the better fighter, and seems to be at the top of his game right now. Plus he's my homeboy. I think that Matt Hughes' time has come. I know he's a freakishly insane demon of a man who never gives in, and part of me is worried that if they spend too much time on the ground he'll somehow manage to pound GSP into oblivion, but...we'll see.

On a side note, I found it hilarious that the second Emelianenko-Coleman fight was pretty much a repeat of the first. Now I want him to fight Mirko Filipovic again, that would be exciting.

Date: 2006/11/02 15:30:57, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Yeah, that added a bizarre edge to the whole event. Coleman is off his rocker. I read his daughters were in tears after the match. I can only imagine what kind of fucked up childhood you must have when your father is a (waning) competitive heavyweight MMA fighter.

Date: 2006/11/02 15:40:35, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Dembski and Wells conveniently omit that when William James Sidis was on trial for participating in a Communist demonstration he announced to the court: "For me there is no God, but evolution."

Date: 2006/11/09 00:47:30, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
DaveScot is right to be grumpier than usual. The midterms are already affecting ID.

Two more nails in the coffin.

Date: 2006/11/23 18:49:57, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
So, how long before UD pounces on this?

Wait, are Muslims allowed to be ID activists? With all the thinly-veiled racism that flies around in Tardtopia I keep forgetting the ground rules.

Date: 2006/11/30 11:36:24, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Alan Fox @ Nov. 29 2006,16:16)
He's back!

What the ####? DaveScot actually calls people "homo", and actually makes unspeakably lame gay jokes, and actually laughs at them awkwardly in CAPS LOCK? He reminds me of this kid I knew back in elementary school, who had an emotional disorder and came from a messed-up family. He used to call people "homo" whenever he didn't get his way, and then laugh unnaturally loud to himself aftwerwards while everyone slowly backed away from him. Creepy.

I mean, this whole time I thought you guys were just, you know, going a little overbaord in your mockery, but whoa.

Oh, and moments before he was complaining about being called "grandpa" or whatever and calling for civil discourse. Priceless.

Date: 2006/11/30 12:08:52, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Isn't Dembski's Wikipedia article factually accurate? What's the issue?

PS: Yet again, DaveScot gets shut down on a foreign corner of the internet and retreats to UD.

Date: 2006/12/05 14:16:02, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
This is DaveScot on Matt Cutts' weblog:

After all that we still weren’t reindexed until November and that I suspect was only because users who were shareholders in google phoned or wrote to investor relations asking why a blog with a 6/10 rank at google run by a famous professor/author (William Dembski) and linked to by hundreds of .edu sites had been delisted.

No comment necessary. It's hilarious enough by itself.

Date: 2006/12/12 20:44:01, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I know this is a bit off-topic, but it's way too cool not to share with y'all.


Date: 2006/12/15 00:49:29, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Everyone check out Dembski's latest post. The opening sentence "ID is dead and has been defeated by real science," deserves to be quote-mined forever. (EDIT: Not that I ever condone the practice of quote-mining, but c'mon.)

As for the usual overdose of irony: Hasn't ID always been trying to make progress on legal and political grounds, precisely because it does not and cannot occupy scientific grounds?

Naturally, tribune7 chimes in with a "Yup-a-roonie!" What is wrong with these people?

Date: 2006/12/15 22:02:38, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 15 2006,17:32)
BTW, what teen-agers sit around saying:

"Dude! 'We will enter an order permanently enjoining defendants from requiring teachers to denigrate the theory of evolution!' I cannot believe that any judge would rule this way! What a dweeb!"

"Yeah, Dude! 'The breathtaking inanity of the board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop, which has now been fully revealed...' So, like, okay, people lied and ID died. That's no excuse."

Oh, yeah. Bring on the TV series: My So-Called Designer!  :D

I wish teenagers were that articulate. I'm a teen myself (or, rather, until just recently was), so I can tell you the conversation pretty much goes as follows:

Me: "So, Intelligent Design was in the news. It got shot down in a court ruling in the US. What do you--"

Friend: "Intelligent Design? Like, God made everything? Like, Adam & Eve and shit? *pause* Dude, what the ####. That is retarded. Why did you even bring that up?"

I suppose the overall sentiment is a-okay, though. I'll point out that I'm in Canada, where the ID movement doesn't really exist, and if it did would immediately be associated with the American south, thus dooming it to endless mockery.

The creationist teens are more angry: "Evolution is just a religion and you have no reason to believe in it. Atheist conspiracy! JESUS!" Some kid actually found some Duane Gish books in the school library and threw them at me. I was more upset that there were Duane Gish books in the school library, although they were filed under the "Religion" section.

Date: 2006/12/21 18:08:26, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Bing @ Dec. 21 2006,17:45)
I'm currently living in a small town outside of London, ON, Canada and  alum of UWO.  Go Stangs!

Also in London, Ontario Canada. Attending Fanshawe, not UWO.

Date: 2006/12/23 00:41:40, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 22 2006,19:56)
Uncommonly Denyse sounds as goofy as she reads.  Click here and search for 'O'Leary' to download an MP3 of D'OL! lecturing on ID.

Awwww, kinda cute.

Her lecture is unimaginably terrible. Rambling, awkward, devoid of focus, full of holes, logical fallacies, and brainless claims that she can't back up, etc. You forget what she's talking about halfway through, and you don't care, either. Pajamagate? She sounds old and senile.

I mean, Salvador Cordova is just as bad when he opens his mouth (and sometimes even more boring), but at least he can stay on track.

Does anybody know what a Dembski lecture sounds like?

Date: 2007/01/25 17:36:06, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 25 2007,05:18)
GilDodgen 01/24/2007 8:57pm: The future of atheism is bleak, because humans are aware of their mortality, and are programmed with an ineluctable sense that their lives must have some ultimate purpose and meaning — otherwise, life is absurd. Despite claims to the contrary, atheism peddles nihilism as its ultimate product, and most people intuitively recognize this.

Hah, go tell it to Camus. I've never understood why the UD denizens parade around pretending that existentialism never happened to philosophy. Turns out the best way to confront an inherently meaningless universe is to imbue your life with your own sense of purpose. For some people this begins with bravely coming to terms with the reality of their existence by committing to atheism. Go and read The Myth of Sisyphus, or some Kierkegaard, you ignorant weirdos.

PS: Where the #### is Church Lady?

Date: 2007/02/16 19:13:55, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Just, uh, so I understand all of this: DaveScot wages his thoroughly Tardtastic campaign against global warming because global warming, like evolution, is somehow associated with "left wing" politics in the United States, right? (By virtue of the fact that the Democrats do not exploit the anti-science sentiment possessed by their religious constituencies, or because the Democrats do not cater so obviously to the corporate interests who want to keep pumping the atmosphere full of CO2...) Dave completely fell for the "culture wars" crap, and global warming is just another girly liberal conspiracy that needs to be exposed?


PS: Is it just me, or does denying global warming at this point more or less put you in league with the Flat Earth Society? I really hope Uncommon Descent is around in, oh, say, ten years when the planet starts to get really messed up.

Date: 2007/02/16 19:34:56, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Feb. 16 2007,19:23)
Quote (Seizure Salad @ Feb. 16 2007,19:13)
PS: Is it just me, or does denying global warming at this point more or less put you in league with the Flat Earth Society? I really hope Uncommon Descent is around in, oh, say, ten years when the planet starts to get really messed up.

Well, the chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee thinks so, and he's SERIOUS about it.   (snicker)  (giggle)

Actually, it puts you in league with the ID/creationists and the anti-abortionists ---- it is, after all, not a coincidence that in all the "teach the controversies" that DI conned state legislators into introducing after their losses in Kansas and Ohio, "global warming" and "stem cell research" were prominently featured as "controversies" that they wanted taught along with creationism.

Hm. I wonder if DaveScot will eventually target stem cell research, since it's also been associated with the "left wing" of American politics. It's kind of different, though. Stem cell research is not a "theory" you can "disprove" by googling crap every day on your silly blog. You can't say: Stem cell research doesn't exist! It's all lies! Lies propagated by dogmatic materialists for political points! Please believe me, I have really old SAT results, I worked at Dell, I was in the marines before I got fat and weird!!!!


We'll see.

Date: 2007/05/02 03:20:13, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 01 2007,17:33)
Quote (phonon @ May 01 2007,16:58)
Well, see, you say something about the right wing and liberals to start the last paragraph, then you end it by saying something that make it clear you don't really think it's about right/left. Of course it's not, it's what it's always been about, rich and powerful versus poor and divided.


And alas, the Democans have never been, and never will be, "left".  They are kinder, gentler, Republicrats.  Nothing more.

BTW, happy May Day, everyone.  "Ariiiiiiiise, ye victims of opppreeeeeeeeesion . . . . . "


My (rather profane) analogy has always been this: the Republicans are the brawny jocks, and the Democrats are the gangly nerds, but both of them are fucking the cheerleader in the ass.

But seriously, the overlap in policy between the Republicans and Democrats is so slight that they end up being two factions of the same party, which can correctly be called the Corporate Party, or Business Party, because those are the interests that are served. It's so absurd that in the 80s the parties exchanged their traditional economic policies (the Democrats had typically been more in favour of big government spending Keynesian stimulation, and the Republicans had been more in favour of fiscal conservatism) and nobody noticed. They completely switched their economic policies, and nobody even pointed it out. That's how meaningless the distinction is.

There's actually been a lot of very serious, very detailed work done by Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts. He makes a very powerful argument that the state is controlled by shifting coalitions of investors who join together around some common interest, and this trend goes all the way back to the 1930s. He points out that more high-tech, capital-intensive, export-oriented sectors tend to rally around the Democrats, whereas more labour-intensive, domestically oriented sectors tend to rally around the Republicans. The point is, it's a business-run society, and conflicts only arise when groups of investors have differing points of view on what public policy should look like.


Date: 2007/05/05 17:55:54, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ May 04 2007,09:46)
Now that usually gets a laugh even among pacifists. But suppose we replace "10000 dead lawyers" with "Alan Dershowitz"? Suddenly the joke isn't so funny any more, especially if the the listener is Alan Dershowitz himself.

Well slap my ass and call me Norman Finkelstein, I wouldn't mind seeing Dershowitz dead at the bottom of the ocean.

Anyway, carry on.

Date: 2007/05/05 21:49:06, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 03 2007,19:03)
Quote (phonon @ May 03 2007,18:14)
I didn't realize there was a revolution looming. I did hear about a proposed <a href="e://" target="_blank">coup d'etat.</a>, so someone saved FDR's ass too.

Not looming, certainly, but definitely a possibility in the not-distant future.  The union movement (particularly the CIO) was then at the height of its power, and was taking on (and beating) some of the largest corporations in the world.  The Communist Party also had quite a large membership, particularly among educated people, and had extensive ties to the CIO and the rest of the labor movement.  It also had a quite large number of sympathizers who weren't actual members.  (Indeed, if you look carefully at the McCarthyite hysteria of the 50's, it focused almost exclusively on people who were Commie Party members in the **1930's**, not in the 1950's; and the reason is simple -- the CP was at the height of its influence then, and that scared the crap out of a lot of people.)

It should also be noted, though, that the FASCISTS also had a lot of sympathy in the US, particularly amongst the corporados (Henry Ford went so far as to write a book titled "The International Jew" that was happily reprinted by Hitler in Germany).  So if the Depression had continued for much longer, a fascist takeover was just as likely as a commie one.

Whether either the commies or the nazis could *actually* have taken over in the US at that time is not really the point --- the point is that a lot of people (including the corporados) THOUGHT that one or the other could.  Indeed, one of the major reasons why so many corporados in the US openly supported the fascist movement was because they viewed it as a counter to the potential for a Bolshevik-style revolution in the US.

Had the Great Depression continued for a few more years, that potential would have been, well, more than just a potential.

I suppose, though, it could be argued whether FDR actually saved the US by ending the Depression, or whether *Hitler* did it for us . . . .

Didn't fascism take over anyway? Wasn't that what The New Deal was timidly groping towards?

I don't mean fascism in the social sense--gas chambers, and Bergen-Belsen, and secret police, et cetera--but economically speaking. After all, the reason the US economy didn't sink back into the depression after WW2 was because it maintained the essentially fascist economic model the had been developed to sustain the war effort. I am speaking of military Keynesianism, government stimulation of the economy, etc., which is the way every industrialized nation eventually managed to save itself from the sinkhole of free market capitalism. Germany was just the first nation to stumble on it.

Date: 2007/05/06 04:35:16, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 05 2007,23:01)
That's one reason why, after the Cold War ended, the "war on terror" has taken global proportions and now substitutes for the Cold War.  Not only does the huge bloated American military machine need a continuous reason to justify its existence (and its ever-growing budgets) for its own bureaucratic interests, but without that bloated military machine, the economy would collapse utterly.  Not to mention that the US has always found it convenient to have a fear-inspiring external enemy to focus everyone's attention upon  . . . .

Yeah. There's lot of hilarious leaked documents regarding the creation of a new enemy. Snippets of the 1994 Defence Planning Guide (authored by dear old Wolfowitz, of course) discuss how the government needs to think up new enemies to justify the permanent war economy and thus save "industrial policy".

But the "war on terror" really started under Reagan, in the early 80s. I suppose because they'd just screamed "the Russians are coming!" too many times and nobody cared anymore. Same people are in power now. Figures.

Imagine how much healthier the US would be if the government pursued social spending instead of military spending. I know it'll never happen, but it would stimulate the economy to roughly the same extent (lots of good studies on this). I suppose it would have a democratizing effect; people care about schools and stuff, and would want to get involved and help make decisions. But if you decide to build an F-22 Raptor instead, it really excludes people from having any kind of participation. That's great for the elites.

Date: 2007/05/09 16:15:45, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

Date: 2007/05/09 16:35:23, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Arden sez this merits it's own thread, so...


Let, uh, the celebrations begin! Somebody get Kristine in here to shimmy triumphantly or something.

"UncommonDescent" is now a doubly embarrassing blog title.

EDIT: Oh,  man. And while we're on the topic of exciting evolutionary discoveries: Chinese researchers seemed to have pinpointed the gene mutation that distinguishes our cognitive abilities from that of apes. I feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with evidence.


Date: 2007/05/10 20:34:28, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I've heard pretty decent arguments that the US was never intended to be a "democracy" in the sense that we're talking, but rather what's come to be called a polyarchy or oligarchy.

This sounds kind of nuts at first, but if you read the debates of the constituional convention, James Madison (whose viewpoint ultimately prevailed) wanted to use the British version of "democracy" as a framework, which happens to be very elite oriented. He basically seemed to be advocating a system of elite decision making with occasional public ratification (which is indeed the system we have), and spoke rather disdainfully of the general public.

Just a thought.

Date: 2007/10/19 23:36:46, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Anything by Paul-Thomas Anderson, including the new film.

I probably don't post here often enough to be participating in this kind of thread.

Date: 2007/10/23 00:49:04, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Yee-haw for photoshops.

I found this one on the SomethingAwful forums a couple of days ago:

It's pretty good, but there needs to be a chunk of text that says "EXPERTS: And why you know more than they do."

Date: 2007/10/23 01:13:37, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Ptaylor @ Oct. 23 2007,01:08)
Quote (Seizure Salad @ Oct. 23 2007,00:49)
Yee-haw for photoshops.

I found this one on the SomethingAwful forums a couple of days ago:

It's pretty good, but there needs to be a chunk of text that says "EXPERTS: And why you know more than they do."

That linkie doesn't work for me:
I get a message "No linking from this host:(", but on C&P-ing it I get:
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Can you fix?

Here y'are:

Date: 2007/11/16 01:05:28, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
I recently opted for this sucker:
instead of a fancy-pants stereo setup.

Right now I'm spinning JS Bach's The Art of Fugue BWV 1080, switching between the Keller Quartet's interpretation, and Glenn Gould's. (For those of you who want astounding complexity not only in your natural world, but in your music as well, this is the music to get into).

Also, the new Radiohead album, which is every bit as awesome as it should be.

Date: 2007/11/16 20:52:37, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Nomad @ Nov. 16 2007,04:17)
Quote (Seizure Salad @ Nov. 16 2007,01:05)
I recently opted for this sucker:
instead of a fancy-pants stereo setup.

Woah..  now that's a keyboard.  

I'm listening to the samples on the page, and... I'm struck by how much this sounds like the soundtrack to the original Doctor Who series (unlike the fairly generic, obviously synthesized orchestral soundtrack of the new one).  Not just the music, but the trippy analog synth sound effects too.

I'd like to learn to play keyboards.  But I need to learn a lot about basic music theory, I'm completely ignorant in that area.

It's probably the most technologically advanced real analogue synthesizer on the market. There's also the Voyager by Moog  but it's overpriced and only has one voice, and the Andromeda by Alesis which has 16 voices, but is colder sounding and complex to program, and the new Prophet 8 by Dave Smith as well which has eight voices but lacks the insane sound-sculpting capabilities of the PolyEvolver.

The PolyEvolver rocks because it's an analogue/digital hybrid, with two digital oscillators complimenting the two real analogue oscillators. Plus it has Curtis Filters and a bunch of other crazy features, like Output Hack and Tuned Feedback and so forth.

The only thing more awesome than these kinds of boutique synthesizers are customized modular systems like the kind you can get from, or Buchla. But they're ridiculously expensive.

If you're getting into synthesizers, you don't need to have mad technical skills on the keyboard. You should know your scales and chord groups, and stuff, but it's really important to learn about synthesis and how to program the things, because that's where the real awesomeness lies. The absolute best newbie synth, no question, is the Alesis Ion It's not real analogue, but it sounds damn close, and its quality/features-to-price ratio is unheard of in the synth industry.

Date: 2008/05/02 15:42:20, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Lurker and once-in-a-blue-moon poster parachuting in with this disturbing news article:

I don't know if this has already been discussed, but it irks the hell out of me.

Date: 2008/05/09 14:46:41, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Meanwhile, back on planet earth, evolution science forges ahead as usual:

I can't believe they figured out the whole genome. I wonder if IDiots will try to put a design spin on this.

Date: 2008/06/09 11:59:07, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Gee-whiz, I wonder if O'Leary will be adding THIS to her stupid blog:

Spiritual brain indeed.

Date: 2008/06/09 12:14:32, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 09 2008,12:10)
Quote (Seizure Salad @ June 09 2008,11:59)
Gee-whiz, I wonder if O'Leary will be adding THIS to her stupid blog:

Spiritual brain indeed.

It's just a big mind-radio, really.

I'm imagining her lashing out with Hovind-esque incredulity. "IF YOU THINK OUR BRAINS CAME FROM YEAST, YOU'RE PERFECTLY WELL ENTITLED TO THAT OPINION."

Date: 2008/06/14 12:04:30, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
God didn't do it.

Considering this, I personally think it would have been better if we ended up looking kind of like Ridley Scott aliens.

Date: 2008/06/16 10:41:31, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ June 15 2008,14:07)
Hey, check out the cover of Bill's last book there! Bill's doing a product tie-in with Ben Stein!

You know, that hip and edgy thing that the kids dig these days.

How can these people be so out of touch with whatever young adult market they're trying to tap? That book cover doesn't just fail at being "cool", it's actually embarrassing. Same goes for Expelled! Same goes for Overwhelming Evidence.

It's not like it would be impossible to brand Intelligent Design in such a way that it might appear hip, or edgy. I mean, I know Intelligent Design is utterly retarded. But so is fast food. McDonald's is still cool. Its mascot used to be some kind of freaking retro clown--look how THEY recovered. I don't understand why whoever the hell is in charge of marketing Intelligent Design (Discovery Institute, I suppose), hasn't figured out a way to make ID look appealing to younger people. Instead it looks like a parody of some clueless, failed marketing campaign.


I mean, SERIOUSLY, who was responsible for dreaming up the front page of Overwhelming Evidence? ZANY WACKY ACTIVIST. Yeah. It was edgy to use those words in 1952, maybe. You might as well call Intelligent Design "neat", "peachy" and "chipper". Also, how many kids do you think even know who the fuck Judge Jones is? If I were some impressionable young'un, I'd be bewildered and irritated. Imagine trying to show your friends that website when you were 16. You'd be crucified and left out of XBox multiplayer games as punishment.

Date: 2008/06/27 18:23:58, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (DaveScot @ June 27 2008,11:55)
In the same manner as when the National Center for Selling Evolution (NCSE) talks about the theory of evolution they mean that God is a superstitious fantasy and living things are really all just purposeless bags of chemicals - assembled by cosmic accident.

I'm always baffled by this. Who came up with the idea that people need God to have meaningful and/or ethical lives? Why is this idea so pervasive in the United States? You'd have to ignore 75% of Western philosophy to seriously believe it. Someone from UD needs to take a course in existentialism or something. Or just an introduction to ethics.

Also, evolution has nothing to do with any of these questions. It's silly; a paper on evolution in a biology journal has about as much to do with ethics, or existence or metaphysics as it does with the price of pizza in New Zealand.

Date: 2008/08/16 20:30:17, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Meanwhile back on planet earth...

Date: 2008/09/16 10:11:12, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Whoa now, abiogenesis and evolution = TEH SAME THING???

Anticipating the inevitable "omg, but the equations were designed" objection from UD.

Date: 2008/12/21 00:11:02, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Quote (olegt @ Dec. 20 2008,12:51)
That's the great thing about science: anyone can submit their paper to a science journal.  It doesn't matter whether you have a degree: if your paper makes sense, it'll see the light of day.  

Noam Chomsky used to say that the seriousness of an academic discipline can be measured by how much of a fuss is made over credentials. In the hard sciences, nobody cares what letters are beside your name as long as you have a creative and well evidenced idea; he cites personal anecdotes of being invited to speak at mathematics conferences even though, as a linguist, he has no formal mathematics training. His linguistic systems nonetheless make use of different kinds of math, and that's all that matters to the mathematics community.

The social sciences, on the other hand, are some kind of meritocratic nightmare. I can say this because I'm sadly embroiled in them.

(Whoa. I haven't posted here for a long time. I saw a copy of The Spiritual Brain in a local book store and figured I'd better browse this thread in order to pacify myself. It boggles my mind that UD still exists.)

Date: 2008/12/21 00:17:37, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
There's a new Pynchon book coming out summer 2009. It's called Inherent Vice.

Y'all Gravity's Rainbow nerds should Google that shit.

Date: 2009/02/24 00:02:12, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
A ray of light from London Ontario:

I'm in a philosophy of education course at the University of Western Ontario. The whole class is packed full of to-be teachers. One of the papers this semester is on intelligent design, and whether it should be taught in science classes. I took an informal survey to figure out what people were writing, and the entire class is taking the same angle: it should absolutely not be taught as a scientific theory in a science class, but arguably deserves to be taught as a social movement or an aspect of religion in classes appropriate to those subjects.

Thank God we're rational in Canada.

Date: 2009/12/04 23:26:01, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Just started lurking again after a long absence. Questions:

WTF happened to DaveTard and why does O'Leary hate the LHC so much?

Date: 2009/12/05 01:09:53, Link
Author: Seizure Salad
Holy shit. That's so degrading! Dave booted from the very blog he used to moderate with such authority. It's a shame he got kicked for taking a quasi-righteous stand.

It's also a shame that he's gone, period. He was entertaining even when he wasn't being stupid.