Saturday, October 27, 2018

Stupid Mail

Simps is a scumbag who would use anything for whatever ignoble purpose he wanted.   I don't care what he says at Eschaton, there are so many like him there.  People like him congregate there. 

Update:  I'd point to the relevant comment the asshole made at Eschaton, with one upvote, but it's more assholish than I'd publish.  Like the Gab social media platform, Duncan will publish just about anything as long as it doesn't criticize him. 

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Nigel Kneale - The Road

Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough star as a philosopher and scientist investigating ghostly outbreaks in a country wood in 1768. Neither is quite prepared for the shocking truth that they uncover. Nigel Kneale’s legendary lost 1963 TV play, famed for its haunting climax, has been adapted by Toby Hadoke.

GIDEON COBB .... Mark Gatiss
SIR TIMOTHY HASSALL .... Adrian Scarborough 
LADY LAVINIA HASSALL .... Hattie Morahan
JETHRO .... Colin McFarlane 
TETSY .... Susan Wokoma
LUKEY PLATT .... Francis Magee
BIG JEFF .... .Ralph Ineson

Directed by Charlotte Riches

You've got a limited time to listen to this one.  But it will get you through Halloween. 

On Hearing Stupid Trump Supporters Denying That Cesar Sayoc Was One Of Them And The Even Greater Stupidity of Secular Lefties

I have been doing election work on the probability that someone who gets one of the post-cards I label and stamp is more likely to vote for Democrats in the next two weeks than someone who reads one of my blog posts.  That's why there was no post yesterday.  I'm waiting for the next batch of labels so I might be able to write something today or tomorrow.

Listening to a program where they talked to Trumpzis waiting to get into his Nazi style rally yesterday about the Trump fanatic who sent the bombs, listening to them come up with the most ridiculous and implausible of reasons to deny it was one of their own who did it makes me point out again that those people are created by FOX, by Sinclair, by Alex Jones and other fascist media.   They're in the business of pushing vulnerable people over the edge into dangerous irrationality and selling the mentally ill people they make to their advertisers while they manipulate them for their own and their patrons' profit.  You can snark about their stupidity, and, admittedly, some of them seem to be quite stupid but even stupid losers vote and allowing fascists to exploit their vulnerability in the electronic mass media that is so easily absorbed is even stupider than they are.

That is something which democracy can't survive, any "free speech-free press" theory that doesn't distinguish between telling the truth, which there is a right to tell and to tell lies is an indirect means of doing the same thing that FOX does.  There is no right to lie, relatively harmless lies might be tolerated because it's impractical to punish harmless ones but the ones that the Republican-fascists and their media tell on behalf of billionaire oligarchs have the ability to destroy democracy and, in the end, destroy peoples' actual rights and to kill them.

The 1950s-60s theory of absolute free speech and free press, based on a fundamentalist reading of the First Amendment has been given the test of time over the past fifty-four years, it is destructive of democracy and of rights because it stupidly and unnecessarily enable lies told on behalf of fascism and Nazism and, yes, Marxism.

The lies told for Marxism - perhaps the motive of the creation of the theory of free speech absolutism in lefty journals and law school faculties - are, in fact, harmless because the media is owned by billionaires who will never allow Marxism to get a foot hold.  Not that that's necessary, Marxist regimes of the 20th century have totally discredited Marxism.  The expression of Marxists could have been allowed or totally suppressed and there would have never been any danger of Marxists taking political control of the United States because of that self-discrediting of even U. S. Marxists on behalf of those foreign dictatorships.

Those told on behalf of fascism and, as we have seen, even neo-Nazis are the real danger that Marxists never would be.  The owners of the media, other forces indigenous to the United States have no allergy to fascism.    It was entirely stupid to trade the protection of real rights through the punishment of lies in the media on behalf of Marxists and the porn industry.  It was entirely stupid for the secular left that were the great champions of that to not foresee who it would empower, those who could sell their lies most effectively in the ambient media environment.   The secular left that did that has also proven to be a danger to democracy through that idiocy.  I think a lot of them never cared all that much about egalitarian democracy through self-government.  They certainly didn't mind that such things never happened in the Marxist governments so many of them liked.  A lot of them are affluent snobs who disdain The People as much as the billionaire oligarchs do.

That secular left has no useful role in any real future left.  They discredited themselves by enabling the fascists.  Neither does any religious left that fell for that stuff.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

For What It's Worth, Pew Study On Attitudes Of Religious Groups To Each Other And Why I Don't Buy It

Anyone who has read a lot of what I write will know I'm extremely skeptical about the social sciences and, specifically, the practice of surveying and polling.  Most typically my reaction to it is everything from mild skepticism to pointing out that any particular one is an obvious fraud.  So I'm coming to the Pew Center report on how different groups in the United States view different religious groups with more than moderate skepticism.  However, someone cited it to me the other day so I felt obligated to look at what it said. 

If, and that is a very big, "if" you are going to take its results as a picture of reality,  several things in it are very interesting.  Look at the chart on page 6 of the report.  One is that it is fairly consistent among the various breakdowns in the identity of respondents that Jews rank as the religious group most consistently regarded positively by those asked, across groupings.  Jews received the highest "mean thermometer rating" of 67° .  I was surprised that Catholics came in second with 66° followed by Mainline Protestant, Evangelical Christian, Buddhist, Hindus, Mormons, Atheists and, the only group that comes in below 50°, Muslims at 48°.  Atheists achieve 50°.  I wouldn't be surprised by the lowest rankings, Muslims certainly being the religious group which is most consistently presented negatively in the media, by politicians, by talking heads.  Nor am I particularly surprised by the rating of Atheists for reasons of my experience that the survey would support, if I took it seriously. 

Other charts in the Pew breakdowns can be looked at to come up with some interesting ideas.  I was surprised by some of them and unsurprised by others.  Since the person who brought it up to me was an atheist whining about the low rating of atheists in that generalized breakdown,  I can point to the chart of the report in which people who identified themselves as being members of different religious affiliations ranked other groups in terms of positive feelings toward them. 

I was, on the whole happy to see that there were a lot more positive  feelings expressed for people in other groups.  Media and online presentations of it in all or nothing terms leads to the feeling that people hate a lot more than they seem to. Though, in what I think is probably the most credible finding in it, wasn't surprised that people tended to rank their own group most positively. 

I was curious to see how Jews and Muslims rated their groups, what with the heightened possibility of animosity being exacerbated by Middle Eastern politics but Pew didn't give breakdowns for Muslims on that, Muslims, along with Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons weren't large enough samples in their survey to yield what they considered data of significance on that point.   I was surprised that the Jewish respondents gave Muslims a 51° ranking, If I'd guessed I'd have guessed it would be lower.  Jews seem to be, according to the report, about the most consistently friendly to others, perhaps why they're well liked, in return.

I did note that the lowest score given by any group for any other in the survey, 29° was that given by Atheists to Evangelical Christians, matched by the slightly warmer 33° given by Evangelicals to Atheists, the second lowest "temperature"   Evangelicals attitudes towards Muslims was given as 37°, the next lowest figure. 

Atheists in the survey consistently gave the coldest feelings in the survey, but to Christian groups all below 50°, non-Christian religious groups ranked higher, except Muslims.  They gave themselves the third warmest ranking in that chart, 82°.   Jews giving themselves the highest of 91°.  I don't know if the Pew survey distinguished between religious Jews and Jews who were non-religious or atheists (or who had family or friends who were), so I don't know how that might have impinged on that ranking.  Also in that, I note that Atheists gave Buddhists a 68° reading, I wonder if that doesn't reflect the often repeated assertion that Buddhism is "an atheist" religion (it's most generally accurate to say it's "non-theistic" not atheistic).

I will note that, though people tended to give their own group high ranking, none of the strictly religious identities except Catholics (83°) and White Evangelicals (81°) seems to be that far gone on their own group. 

What's to be made of this?  Beats me.  I don't think it's of any knowable reliability.  I can see all kinds of problems with it.  The classifications mix in different ways.  Some of the given classes in the report mix different groups together.   As I mentioned someone can be considered to be Jewish if they're religious or if they're an atheist or an agnostic or "Nothing in particular".  There are different groupings of religious Jews, everything from the most inclusive to Orthodox groups that don't recognize other Jews as Jews.  There are different denominations of most of the religious groupings while Catholics and Mormons are pretty much defined by membership in one church.  I don't see that Pew controlled for those very real things that could skew their results.  Considering the size of their sample,

One of the things I wonder about this kind of thing is the extent to which sociology has created artificial categories for people to think about, pretending such categories of people mean something and then do things like ranking them.  In that the practice would seem to exacerbate some of the worst tendencies in people, to consider people in terms of identity, assigning them preexisting prejudices, negative as well as positive, instead of considering people as individuals.  That is something entirely different from people identifying THEMSELVES with a group of people who they then see as individuals.  I will note even among those groupings which ranked their group highest, none of them gave that group a 100% positive ranking.   I'd like to know how many individuals so surveyed did that, if any. 

If someone asked me to do such a survey I'd have to tell them that I couldn't give them an honest answer.  Other than certain self-adopted identities, Nazis, Republicans c. 2018, certain other political parties and members of some political groups, I couldn't tell you how I felt in general about them.  And, I'll note, I could only do that if I regarded membership in such a group as definitely negative.  Any of the groupings in this survey I'd have to refuse because I don't have a general feeling about them.  There are Catholics I admire and there are Catholics in significant number who I definitely don't.  There are Mormon politicians I despise and would never vote for if they were candidates, and those I would vote for.  While I could often give you an answer about a specific public figure I certainly couldn't for the group they might belong to.  And there are all kinds of those I know who fall in the middle AND I WOULD NEVER PRESUME TO JUDGE THOSE I DIDN'T KNOW.   I think asking for people to make such group assignments is far from morally neutral, I think it's generally a bad thing to do. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

You don't expect the butt of a joke to be the one to find it funny and Simps is nothing if not a butt. 

That's not a joke, that's an observation. 


I've been busy doing election postcards for Democrats all day.  I'll try to post later. 
While formerly sprinkled with wits
But now such have all called it quits,
Baby Blue fades to dun, can
It be other spun than
Eschaton's a collection of eejits

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Stupy As Auteur

Stupy, it's not that I've never gotten a joke, it's that you've never told one that was funny.   Where I come from jokes are supposed to be funny.  

You are to Eschaton what Jerry Lewis was to the most pretentious part of the ass end of French pseudo-intellectual pretension, that is if they have gotten over that idiotic fashion.  And Eschaton ain't France. 

As the late Roger Ebert said, 

Once, a very long time ago, Jerry Lewis made me laugh. I was seven at the time. He still seems to be making movies for the same audience.

I never laughed even once at Jerry Lewis but, then, I don't think I saw one of his movies till I was eight.  I was a lot older than that when Eschaton started.  And Jean-Luc Godard is a horses ass.  

I threw that in to make you go all Darren Nichols.  That's the only time you're funny. 

Update:  I checked with my brother when it would have been we went to the Saturday Matinee and he said it couldn't have been before I was nine because he wasn't old enough that our parents would have allowed him to take me until that year.   And I didn't think it was funny, I thought Jerry Lewis's character was stupid even then. One of the ones with Dean Martin. Don't know which one. 

Really Stupid Mail

Of course the word "accompanist" is dated, according to Merriam Webster, it dates from 1768.  I'd have to look up that first use, I have to admit I'd never thought of it before just now and my first guess would be that it might have been the British writer on music, Charles Burney who invented the word, based on the conception of music that started in the "gallant" style popular at the time.  The time period for that might be right but I'd have to get to an Oxford English Dictionary, the real thing and not that flyspeck edition that I can't see even with those annoying oblong magnifying glasses that suck for reading.   I also wondered if it it could have been whoever it was at the time who slammed J. S. Bach in favor of the facile triviality of composers such as Daniel Gottlob Türk (seen mostly today in  grade 1 or 2 piano methods) though I'm not sure the chronology of that matches.  I don't recall who that idiot of that period was. 

The idea that an someone who plays with a singer or other instrumentalist on a piano is there for "emotional support" has some reality but it's not a musical reality, it's a musical liability.  As someone who has accompanied people who haven't prepared or who have some emotional problem, yeah, you can end up providing them "emotional support" as you conclude that you'll never again say "yes" when they ask you to play the piano part for them.  But that's a psychological issue, not a musical one.  When the person you're playing with does well, it's a partnership that puts the music to the front.  As that, it is probably nothing like Simps has ever experienced, either as a guitar strummer or as a listener.  I doubt he listens to music like that, he's got a one-line attention span that lasts about three minutes, top.  I know his view of piano music is that stupid, a true successor of the idiot 18th century critic whose name I don't recall above.   Why should music be any different, in that regard? 

Now, I've got to do something productive so I'll go scrub out my oven.

Even More Hate Mail - And Richard Wolff And Anti-Nostalgia For The Khrushchev Years

I don't know if he actually said it or if it's an invention by a script writer but I do know in that dumb movie they made about the young Stephen Hawking, "The Theory of Everything," he tells his girlfriend that cosmology is a religion for atheists.  I don't remember any atheists whining about them putting words in his mouth over that movie or not but, as I pointed out, he clearly said something like that in this last book that is in the news. Go whine about what they had him saying in that movie before you whine about what I pointed out with quotes from him.

Sort of off movies about great scientists since finding out the writers and director of "Einstein and Eddington" screwed with the history for dramatic purposes.  Movies and TV shows misrepresenting history is dangerous.  And that's with the great and beauteous David Tennant playing Eddington.   I hate it when they lie in the mass media, especially in movies that get more viewers.  I wonder what the two greatest astrophysicists of the early 20th century, Eddington and James Jeans would have said about that line in The Theory of Everything.  I'm pretty sure neither of them would have seen it that way.

You don't argue with anything I said in my posts on this.  Is that because you can't? 
It's funny that you accuse me of using the atheist's substitution for God, "science" to promote religion when that's not what I did at all.  What I did was refute atheists like you using science to promote your religion, distorting science to do it.  That's a practice that is rampant among atheists who, unlike people who believe in God, always inject their atheist religion directly into science.  I think Hawking came to that because he came to adore his celebrity and he knew if he said things about science proving God doesn't exist would get him ink and TV time, not to mention it would sell books.  I think it's pretty much why mid-brow hack writers like Douglas Adams and seriously unfunny comics like George Carlin and Bill Maher do it.  It's sad when a past-it scientist whores after fame and celebrity that way.


And if they misrepresent history in the movies, atheist polemics is a feast of falsification.   I listened to this Youtube of the often seen, often printed Marxist economist Richard Wolff and it really brought me back to the kind of Western academic atheist distortion of history such as I remember from the Khrushchev era.  He, rightly, slams Jordan Peterson for his ignorant blather about Marxism, criticizing it as "cold war" era propaganda as he, himself, listed all kinds of crimes of Christians as a means of saying you shouldn't talk about the crimes of Stalin.

The valuable content of such academic Marxism, most of it in the criticism of capitalism, isn't aided by that simplistic and distorted attribution of sins of Christians when those are a drastic deviation from the Gospel of Jesus, the letters of Paul, James, etc. the practice of the early Church as set out in Acts.  Not to mention The Prophets and The Law.  To attribute Nazism to Christianity is a grotesque distortion of the history, one which has become common in post-war academia due to the ideological hostility of people like Wolff to Christianity.

Nazism was so opposed to Christianity, centered around Jesus, a Jew, his named early followers, almost to a person Jewish, first brought to the gentile world by, not only a Jew but a man who, in his own words described himself as a Pharisee, that the corrupted Lutheran establishment proposed stripping Christianity of all its most basic content in order for something so called to survive in the Nazi era they believed was dawning.   And they certainly were opposed by other Lutherans, not to mention other Christians.  There were many thousands of Christians who were oppressed and murdered for their religious beliefs and work under Nazism, I have looked and have not found a single one murdered for atheism.  I've posed that as a challenge a couple of times and no one has proposed one, yet.

The Nazi plan was explicit, to replace the cross with the swastika, the Bible with Mein Kampf.  It was really not so different from what Stalin wanted to have happen, in an anti-Christian, anti-religious purge that started under Lenin and with Stalin's death regained renewed strength under Khrushchev, who, among other things, promoted anti-Christian, especially anti-Catholic propaganda where it found some of its most willing recipients among Western academics and those in show biz.

And, then, there is the fact that after 1937 the Vatican was among the foremost anti-Nazi forces there were.  Even as Stalin was making nice with Hitler to carve up Poland and other states lying between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Just as looking into the primary documentation of Darwinism led me to realize that I'd been sold a series of obvious lies surrounding his relationship to eugenics, looking at the history of atheist anti-religious polemic has led me to realize how much of that was a flimsy fabric of lies.  I didn't become disillusioned with capitalism because I'd never not realized it was evil, I never really bought Marxism because the enormous crimes of the Marxist regimes - so denominated by a large majority of Marxists of the West  - were so well documented,  were known even in my childhood.  But I did get suckered by a lot of that post-war propaganda which was current in academia and in the lefty magazines and other media.  Large parts of that doesn't much stand up to fact checking or reading primary sources, either.

Wolff is an economist.  He makes a point in the video of saying he's not going to criticize the sleazy Jordan Peterson on the basis of his academic topic, psychology (I believe Wolff's wife is a professional psychologist) but on his foray into economics.  An historian might make the same point about Wolff's clearly double-talking use of the history of Christians.

He uses that old stand-by of anti-Christian, anti-Catholic polemics, the Inquisition.  I'd rather have been accused of heresy by the Inquisition than by any court in under just about any Marxist government, I'd have stood a far higher chance of being acquitted.  To compare even that admitted black-mark against the Catholic Church to the terror state and show trials of Stalin is disgustingly dishonest, something which depends on the ignorance and bigotry of those you are talking to, not on anything like a standard of honesty.

Marxism as a possible political system is dead.  It is as dead as the dead parrot in the Monty Python sketch.   Even the Marxists in former Marxist countries don't want to pretend about it anymore, preferring oligarchic gangster capitalism.  Only among the contented cattle of university faculties and the scribbling classes is there any torch for it being held.  And that mass of deluded upper-middle class to affluent folk are a dead weight on what will be the only real left that has a chance of acting as an alternative to gangster governance.

Despite what that old linear graph of political identity holds, there are only two forms of government  and those are so basically different that they are inevitably in opposition.  There is egalitarian democracy and there is rule by gangsters.   One is by the consent of those governed equally, chosen by those governed, a government which promotes the welfare of all.   The other which comes in various levels of ever descending depravity, is a racket in which the government rules for the benefit of an elite, using various factions against each other in order to maintain power and to steal as much as they can out of those who produce wealth.  Marxism, in reality, is just another form of gangsterism, the present day post-Marxists of the old Soviet establishment and in places such as China govern as a criminal gang does.  Marxism has no legitimate part in any real left.  It should have been kicked out of the left in the 1920s as the real character of Marxism in reality became obvious.  In 2018, there is no excuse for not knowing that.  In American politics, Marxists have had a uniform effect in kneecapping the real left, of being a tool of capitalist oligarchs and fascists to discredit the real left.  Richard Wolff is not helping fight them, not one bit.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Stupid Mail and Hate Mail

Any "Law of Gravity" that Stephen Hawking or Lawrence Krauss could propose as their creator god would be expressed in mass, time, distance, etc. which are all aspects of the physical universe as people have experienced it and from logical analysis of physical observations.  Any theorized ur-gravity that would have been present "before" the Big Bang couldn't be expressed in those terms because they didn't exist until the Big Bang.   While pure mathematics deals with objects that exist only in the imagination, science deals in things which exist in space, in time and which have properties that are known of and tested through their existence in the known physical universe.  That didn't exist "before" the Big Bang.  I've never even seen anything like a convincing "thing" for that "before".  Even to say "before" is problematic when you're talking about it because time is supposed to have started then, too.

I doubt that that physics or cosmology could come up with such a "thing" or that any proposed "thing" to be that ur-gravity could be meaningfully considered to be  even an imaginary product of scientists, science fiction written in equations.  I can't see that the known laws of physics could be relevant to it.   If someone proposes the existence of such a "thing" is testable by the claimed methods of science, I'd love to know what "things" about it they would propose they test.  I can't even see how they would apply the mathematics of probability to such a "thing".  How would they come up with a means of defining the probability of any of it and how would they know what other aspects of that "thing" they haven't included might be there. How would they know probability - which, itself is a product of our experience of the physical universe of experience - would have held for it?  My guess would be any proposed test of such a thing would not give rise to universal acceptance and would be prone to extreme instability as even a concept.  If you want to call that kind of thing "science" no one can stop you but without verification in the physical universe, I wouldn't believe it.

If any competent person would like to address those assertions, that would be nice for a change.


The citations in Does God Exist?  by Hans Kung cover about 92 densely crammed pages in small print.  None which I've found are of frivolous or pop writers.  You will find it full of some of the foremost writers of atheism and anti-religious criticism.  You can contrast that with the citations in extra-scientific scribblage of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins which is full of citations of the second rate TV writer Douglas Adams and Carl Sagan's pop crap - much of it going back to the light weight, even by Sagan's popular writing standard, crap he produced for Parade Magazine.  For anyone who isn't familiar with Parade, it's stupid and light-weight even by European tabloid crap standards.

The standards of review in academic theology are far higher than they are in the reviewed literature of the social sciences, if Retraction Watch is anything to judge by, and it is, the standards of review in science, in general, are not as sold.

I was stunned a few years back when I was reading about the Marc Hauser scandal how disgustingly lax the standards of review in science can get, considering the claims of rigor and the repute such rigor allegedly supports.  I'd never have dared trying to get away with that level of stuff. I asked a biologist friend who is quite diligent in her work and who has often been asked to review papers about how the reviewers just took Hauser's claims on face value without looking at what was behind his "data,"  the very thing that, when looked at, created the scandal.  She said they never look at that, they take it on trust.  And all of that was going on for years as his own grad-students said they knew something was wrong but they didn't dare say anything for fear of damaging their careers.  I've wondered, once in a while, how much of the science that cited Hauser's discredited publications was ever revised or retracted.  I don't know the answer to that.  I have called Marc Hauser a social-scientist in the past but from what I see, he was, perhaps still is considered an evolutionary biologist.  If that's what scientists considered him, biology will have to take the blame for including what he did in the science of biology for so many years.

So, don't give me the PR lines on that.  Science has let itself go to hell.  It has never been the pristine font of pure knowledge that PR crap claims, it is still as variously virtuous and grubby, rigorous and slip-shod as it always has been.

The first formal discussion of scientific misconduct was published in 1830 by Charles Babbage, who held Newton’s chair at Cambridge and made major contributions to astronomy, mathematics and the development of computers. In Reflections on the Decline of Science in England and on Some of Its Causes, Babbage distinguished “several species of impositions that have been practised in science…hoaxing, forging, trimming, and cooking.” An example of “hoaxing” would be the Piltdown man, discovered in 1911 and discredited in 1953; parts of an ape and human skull were combined, supposedly to represent a “missing link” in human evolution. Hoaxes are intended to expose naïveté and credulousness and to mock pseudo wisdom. Unlike most hoaxes, Babbage’s other “impositions” are carried out to advance the perpetrator’s scientific career. “Forging,” which he thought rare, is the counterfeiting of results, today called fabrication. “Trimming” consists of eliminating outliers to make results look more accurate, while keeping the average the same. “Cooking” is the selection of data. Trimming and cooking fall under the modern rubric of “falsification.” Scholarly conventions and standards of scientific probity were probably different in the distant past, yet the feuds, priority disputes and porous notions of scientific truthfulness from previous centuries seem contemporary.

I would note that the "Piltdown" hoax had its uses in anti-religious, specifically anti-Catholic polemics within science, even someone as generally forthright as Stephen Jay Gould used it to pin the scandal on a Catholic priest for reasons I suspected had nothing to do with the evidence, which he stretched too conveneintly.  Even the exposure of scandal can have its less than honest uses.

Update:  I thought later that I should have found some room for the next paragraph in that article I excerpted above, it is quite revealing as to the moral quality of science.

In the late 1960s I was eating lunch in William James Hall with a few fellow assistant professors in the Harvard psychology department when a woman named Patricia Woolf sat down at our table. Unbeknownst to us, Woolf was a pioneer in the study of scientific misconduct. She asked whether we had heard anything about the fabrication of data by one of our colleagues. When we said yes, she asked what we were going to do about it. One of us said something like, “Look, our chairman, Richard Herrnstein, is a war criminal. Why should we worry about T—— making up data?” I guess we didn’t take the issue that seriously. At that time Herrnstein was training pigeons to recognize people and sampans in photographs of jungle foliage. The work was supported by the Limited War Laboratory of the US Army and was done off-campus because Harvard prohibited secret research. (With Charles Murray, Herrnstein would later write The Bell Curve, which made incendiary claims about purported racial differences in intelligence.) Herrnstein subsequently managed to help the miscreant find a job elsewhere, forestalling the possibility of scandal at Harvard.

In the past few decades there have been a number of studies asking scientists at every level of research in a variety of fields, and under the cover of anonymity, whether they had engaged in fabrication, falsification or plagiarism, or had direct evidence of such misconduct by others. Although the results were variable and involved different survey response rates and methodologies, the overall picture is disturbing.

For those who don't understand what a total and dishonest scumbag Charles Murray's co-author of their neo-eugenic book was.   He died before their collaboration came out but if he'd gone on I have no doubt he'd never have been kicked out of science for what he did.  Science, by mutual agreement, exempts itself from moral consideration.  Which would lead a reasoning person to not be surprised that it isn't really, basically troubled by the sleazy stuff scientists do unless it becomes too much of a scandal to be convenient.   Theology doesn't.

Some Days The Confirmation Of What I Wrote Writes Itself - Two Comments (Made a minute apart, if you'll notice)

  1. "theologians, for the most part, have had training in philosophy and their academic field is far more rigorous in its review than the extra-scientific god-scribblage of popular atheism. I think in a lot of cases even than academic peer-review in some areas of science. "

    That's so true, Sparkles. Theologians actually get peer-reviewed by God. Unlike physicists, who get peer-reviewed by atoms and shit.
you two have to be the stupidest people that dare to post what they call thought. You two epitomize the happy morons that wallow in their own fucking idiocy they like to call religion.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Heinrich Schutz Aspice, Pater Swv 73

Emanuel Music
Craig Smith, conductor

Aspice Pater, piissimum Filium,
pro me tam impia passum.
Respice, clementissime Rex,
quis patitur, pro quo patitur,
et reminiscere benignus.

Consider, Father, your most pious son
who suffered such evil for my sake.
Regard, most merciful King,
he who suffered, for what he suffered,
and be gracious in remembrance


Modern Atheism Isn't Atheism It's Unintentional Idol Worship

Make that Unintentional Unadmitted Idol Worship

OK, well, as I said, I'm not really interested in what Hawking left for his estate to publish (geesh, I hope they don't drib and drab him out for maximum profit the way Sagan's or Douglas Adams's families have after their deaths) but I'll go over what was published in the Times of London excerpt.

The question is, is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second," wrote Hawking. "If you like, you can call the laws of science 'God', but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you would meet and put questions to.

I would start by the assertion that "the universe" is "determined by a law of science".  What Hawking explicitly states he chooses to "BELIEVE" .  First, he doesn't claim to "know" that, he chose to "believe" that.  So, he clearly figured he didn't have the goods on that to feel comfortable with claiming to "know it" as opposed to what the atheist blog flies are asserting.  What even a Stephen Hawking believes on a topic he has not spent much time on is not worth what the woman at the hardware and feed store downtown thinks about it.   I suspect she's read and thought about it more than Hawking did.

But it's a rather incredible thing for one of the most famous physicists and cosmologists of the 20-21st centuries to claim, that "a law of science" determined the universe because all laws of science are human formulations that human beings have come up with as a means for human beings to make the universe partially somewhat more comprehensible to human beings.  Since the news stories about his posthumous book also say he speculates about non-human intelligence, both extraterrestrial and "artificial"* Hawking certainly opened up the consideration that other intelligence might not find our "laws of science" convincing or even comprehensible.  As I've pointed out before, that's hardly a new consideration for modern physics and cosmology, such considerations became not only relevant but entirely important for physics in the early 20th century to consider.   Arthur Stanley Eddington, who, from what I can see, is heads and shoulders above Hawking in the philosophical consideration of science, was talking about things like that more than eighty years ago.

"It is one thing for the human mind to extract from the phenomena of nature the laws which it has itself put into them; it may be a far harder thing to extract laws over which it has had no control. It is even possible that laws which have not their origin in the mind may be irrational and we can never succeed in formulating them."

This seems to be coming true, though not in the way that then suggested itself. I had in mind the phenomena of quanta and atomic physics, which at that time completely baffled our efforts to formulate a rational system of law. It was already apparent that the principle laws of molar physics were mind-made — the result of the sensory and intellectual equipment through which we derive our observational knowledge — and were not laws of governance of the objective universe. The suggestion was that in quantum theory we for the first time came up against the true laws of governance of the objective universe. If so, the task was presumably much more difficult than merely rediscovering our own frame of thought”.

Since then microscopic physics has made great progress, and its laws have turned out to be comprehensible to the mind; but, as I have endeavored to show, it also turns out that they have been imposed by the mind — by our forms of thought — in the same way that the molar laws are imposed…"

A. S. Eddington: The Philosophy of Physical Science, p 179

The laws of science are imposed by our minds, they are man made, there may well be "laws" of the universe which we are incapable of comprehending or discerning, those laws would in no way be able to become "laws of science".

A scientist of Hawking's stature, in the late 20th and early 21st century, to claim that the universe is determined or that it started from "a law of science" is philosophically and logically inept.   That is especially true if you take the Big Bang model seriously because whatever the universe would have come from at the Big Bang, it would have had to preceded the formation of the very things which human science deals with, physical matter, energy and time.  I know that both Hawking and Lawrence Krauss have made noise about the "law of gravity" guaranteeing the beginning of our universe but the law of gravity requires the very things that weren't there before the Big Bang so it would not have existed before matter, energy and time did. Those came into being with the Big Bang, or at least that's what I was taught that meant.  If it didn't I'd really like an explanation from observation instead of the hardly uninterested speculations of atheist-materialist hacks like  Krauss or Carroll as to why that isn't true.

Hawking, in the only honest part of what he said noted, "If you like, you can call the laws of science 'God'" which is something I said here to some controversy a few days back,
You can call God "nature" or "chance" or "probability" or, as Hawking and Krauss did "the law of gravity" but it's just a different word even as their assertions prove they're talking about God no matter how much you angrily deny that's what they're doing.

It's another coincidence that later the week I wrote that I got to the page in my current book,  Hans Kung's Does God Exist,  where he said pretty much the same thing, though I can't find the exact quote in that very large book this morning,  I will.  I can say that what he has to say about the relationship of science and God is far more interesting than anything I've read any atheist-scientist say about it.  I am intending to write about that in the near future.

While it's tempting to call what Hawking and his fellow atheists who, instead of opening an antique shop or the equivalent, went into the popular retirement career in the atheism industry, ironic,  it isn't ironic when you consider how most of them openly disdain the philosophy that would, if applied rigorously, have shown them that is exactly what they're doing.

They aren't in the business of disposing of God they're in the business of substituting gods of their own liking and, since they want to replace God with the human construct of scientific laws, they are merely setting up less tangible idol in place of God.  I think that is the real nature of modern, materialist, scientistic atheism, it is an unconscious, unintended form of idol worship which only seems more sophisticated than the "primitive" religion that they love to mock.  Even the most simple and literal of those who find images of Jesus in the scorch marks on a tortilla or the oxidation on the side of a building or believe in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin don't mistake those images as God but, clearly, these atheists mistake human made "laws of science" and other things such as I listed as creator gods.  I don't know of any theologian who has even a minor level of academic reputation who doesn't hold a far more sophisticated view of what they address than even these top scientists do when they try to mix science with God talk.  But, then, theologians, for the most part, have had training in philosophy and their academic field is far more rigorous in its review than the extra-scientific god-scribblage of popular atheism. I think in a lot of cases even than academic peer-review in some areas of science.   That these scientists have exposed their naive view of their professional subjects is not ironic, it's pathetic.

They might like to condescendingly snipe about people who believe in the personal God who believers believe "you would meet and put questions to" but their idol, whether it's "nature" or "probability" or "the law of gravity" functions in exactly the same way, especially for scientists.  What was Hawking's entire career as a scientist about if not becoming familiar with "nature" or "probability" through mathematics in order to put questions and come up with answers.  That his means of doing that failed when he went down the road that so many cosmologists did, to try to get rid of God with science, going down the rat hole of multi-verse, M-theory to do so and he insisted on being exempted from the requirement of observation from nature to confirm the reality of his equations only means his god failed him.  He went from being a conventional scientist who chooses "nature" as a god to one who demanded that balanced equations could create universes.   If he hadn't disdained philosophy, he might have realized that's what he did.

* For the love of Mike, don't get me started on the superstition of artificial intelligence right now.  It's scientific Pygmalionism of a particularly stupid kind.

Why did you call it "aŭskult-teatro" (listened to theater)?

I said it that way because I like the German word for radio drama, "Hörspiele"
 ( heard plays). Esperanto allows the spontaneous creation of neologisms which merely have to make sense and use the right grammatical affixes to be "right".  In English I generally prefer the anachronistic term "radio drama" but that's because it's how I first heard it, on hissy going in and out short-wave transmissions from Europe and, at least one occasion I remember, Asia, in a darkened room with only the amber color of the lit up dial and the tubes shining through the ventilation holes in my father's old 1950s era receiver.   I'd be afraid it would cause a fire if I tried turning it on now.

Radio or audio drama is the most logical form of theater for Esperanto because a. if you know how to use your digital recorder and have the right mics (not necessarily expensive ones)  it is incredibly inexpensive to produce top quality material, b. it focuses on the text, the language and whatever meaning and ideas are contained in it instead of spectacle,  c. the spectacle of seen drama, the looks of the actors, the costumes sets, etc. tend to drive down intellectual content and it so often soon looks dated and tacky, d. the wonderful but expensive practice of putting on stage plays for the tiny percentage of the  Esperanto community that will be able to be in the audience is impractical as a means of having an Esperanto theater.

I think it's true for any poor, low resourced language group or minority group*.  And unlike a stage play, the entire thing can be archived to be heard at any time by any one.  It would be nice if the actors, directors, writers and others could be paid for their work but I doubt that's ever going to be done universally.  It will be what the arts are, art other than visual art which is sold as an investment opportunity or funding a lavish or high-status performance as a status achievement for the rich,  done for the love of it and the desire to communicate.

*  Here's an example of a member of a very small minority group,  Drag queen - HIV positive - residents of Northern Ireland about whom this piece of  theater is made, out of his direct experience on the horrible social media, Grindr.  I was skeptical of it the first time I heard it but it gave me so much to think about, especially about various issues of objectification of human beings as the source of so much evil and pain.  And how social media has made really horrible people able to terrorize and hurt people by the same means that people try to hook up for casual sex.  And how it isn't really what he wants.  It is extremely rich in content.  It's not your typical TV - Hollywood bull shit.

Alexander Charles Adams - Hi, I’m Mattie (HIM)

This week, Alexander Charles Adams of SMASH/CUT joins me to discuss their piece, “Hi, I’m Mattie (HIM)”.

Matthew Cavan is an actor and drag queen in Belfast, Northern Ireland; he came out about his HIV-positive status in 2010, and has since faced a torrent of criticism, shaming, and even death threats. The piece we’re playing today, “Hi, I’m Mattie”, is a verbatim piece — that is, the script is taken word-for-word from interactions that Mattie had on the gay dating app Grindr, where he discloses his HIV-positive status up-front.

Afterwards, Alexander (the producer of the piece) joins me to talk about the origins of SMASH/CUT, and many other things besides!

Listening to Alexander Charles Adams in the post play discussion talking  about his challenging collaboration with a far different person at LSU was interesting.  It shows that the extreme separations that the online world seems to exacerbate can be navigated and mitigated and coped with in real life on a human, opposed to an inhuman level.  I think the discussion of Grindr points to how it, like gay porn, comes to be destructive and to enhance self-imposed inequality instead of lessening it is excellent.  That is inevitable whenever people are objectified, whenever people are treated and considered to be material objects and our experience of social media is long enough so that we know that is a danger of it.   It isn't freedom, it is self-oppression.