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Everything posted by Carlos

  1. Recommendations

    I'm seeing this late, but late is better than never. If you like Louis L'Amour, must-reads of his are "Last of the Breed" and "The Haunted Mesa". The Haunted Mesa is a really weird book, and may not be something you'd traditionally expect from L'Amour. It's lots of fun though, and a little spooky in parts. "Last of the Breed" is the literary equivalent of an 80's guy movie. The hero's chest hair has its own chest hair, and he could bare knuckle box a bear. It also is quite a departure from L'Amour's traditional western books, but certainly a neat and fun read. The girl is pretty in both books.
  2. Pussy Riot - Putin/Russia's Breach Of Justice

    I guess not much has changed in Russia...
  3. Pussy Riot - Putin/Russia's Breach Of Justice

    Here's the video of the incident... They are a feminist punk rock band. I think their political views are implied...
  4. Pussy Riot - Putin/Russia's Breach Of Justice

    They did a vulgar flash-mob performance in a church... this was an "exercise of their right to peaceful protest and free expression" in the same sense as when the Occupy nihilists go uninvited to someone's restaurant and attempt to disrupt their business through protests. There is no principled rebellion or thoughtful resistance here. It's just an unruly and irrational counter-response to the irrational responses of their government. There are no heros here, it's just madness...
  5. Second Career

  6. Rediscovering the Pencil

    Wow... Exquisite pencil work!
  7. O'Reilly and Faith

    I don't doubt your experiences, but the world had changed dramatically since the 50's, especially in regards to the average person's attitudes towards alternative lifestyles, religious beliefs, etc. I really don't think the average American is as religious as they think they are.
  8. O'Reilly and Faith

    My emphasis, because there shouldn't even by an "atheist culture". Atheism isn't a belief, it's a negative; you can't base your life around a negative. But many militant atheists do, and they are often nasty people and give atheists everywhere a bad name. I think it's very similar to how many Americans still don't like gays, simply because the popular presentation of gay culture is such a bad one. No one is going to take you seriously if you are going to march down the streets of San Francisco in pink bondage attire...
  9. O'Reilly and Faith

    I totally disagree with this. When my atheism was discovered by the residents of my super small Texas town, many people responded in revulsion not because they were afraid of my atheism challenging their theism, but because they viewed atheist culture as being valueless and disgusting.
  10. O'Reilly and Faith

    I wouldn't read a whole lot into this honestly. O'Reilly is a pompous gasbag who certainly doesn't represent most conservatives. "Ace of Spades", a rampagingly popular conservative blog (the successor to little green footballs after Charles Johnson went crazy) is ran by an explicit agnostic, and is anything but socially conservative... Regardless, I can't blame conservatives for having a dim view of atheists, given how atheism and atheists often present themselves. Many are militant about their atheism, and are often hardcore leftists/communists/socialists and amoral to boot.
  11. Another Greenspan nugget

    Probably the only people who take her seriously are die-hard leftists already, so it's just preaching to the choir.
  12. "Curiosity" mission to Mars

    Taxypayer funding of science/space research has a miniscule presence in our budget compared to the fiscal leviathans that are welfare, entitlements, various medical programs, etc. The science/space research does produce value, albeit less efficiently than the private sector and with other people's money. Regardless, it produces more value than subsidizing cocaine consumption in ghettos. Getting rid of taxpayer funded research would be getting rid of one of the last few things the government does well.
  13. "Curiosity" mission to Mars

    Even if our entire government were run by Ayn Rands and John Galts and Howard Roarks, there still would be no long-term substitute for military and scientific superiority. No matter how allied the world gets in its moral condemnation, there will always be another soviet Russia, communist China, or Nazi Germany, who will begin aggressively conquering and expanding their power. If you don't have the bigger gun, you will die eventually.
  14. Black Hole Factory

    Presumably it began as a star, and once the star exhausted its fuel it no longer could generate sufficient outwards pressure against the colossal inwards gravitational pressure. At that point the star leaves the main sequence and forms a dense, white dwarf. If the star were heavier from the start it could collapse further to form a black hole. To understand why it collapses you have to understand that by volume the majority of matter is empty space, and the apparent solidness we experience when we touch objects like a wooden chair comes from the underlying fields which produce a balance of attraction and repulsion between the subatomic particles making up that chair. Two neighboring atoms in that chair are attracted by electrostatic forces to form a molecular bond, but if you were to squeeze those two atoms together in a vice eventually there would be a great repulsion between the two atoms, coming from the electrostatic repulsion of the positively charged nuclei. Squeeze hard enough and you can overcome this barrier and short-range attractive nuclear forces will bind the nuclei together, causing a nuclear reaction and releasing a lot of energy. Stars do this with gravity. They start with mostly hydrogen and helium, and go through processes of fusing those nuclei to make heavier nuclei. Through several life cycles they "burn" through the periodic table, making heavier and heavier elements. (this is probably, btw, the source of the heavier elements in our universe). After 57-Fe (an isotope of iron) this process no longer releases energy, because 57-Fe has the highest binding energy per nucleon. At this point the energy released from nuclear reactions cannot sustain the star against the inwards gravitational pressure. Besides electrostatic repulsion, another important kind of repulsive "force" is degeneracy pressure coming from the exclusion principle. Quantum Mechanics says that no two fermions (electrons are fermions, for example) may occupy the same quantum state. As a star is dying and being collapsed and squeezed tighter and tighter, it is theorized you reach a point where it is supported purely by degeneracy pressure. If the gravity overcomes this, it is theorized that the electrons and protons can combine to form neutrons, and a neutron star is formed. As neutrons are fermions, the star is now supported by neutron degeneracy pressure. If the gravity overcomes this, further collapse can happen and you'll probably get a black hole.
  15. "Curiosity" mission to Mars

    I would rather not leave space to the Chinese, the same as I'd rather not have left nuclear energy to be explored first by the Nazi's back in WWII. Maintaining military superiority requires scientific and technological superiority, and being a leader in space exploration is part of that.
  16. That's a good (bad) one that I missed. I sometimes wonder how far we are from censorship of Fox news.
  17. Black Hole Factory

    darnoconrad was asking for discussion in terms of the law of identity. For him to "start with this" would be useless for his purposes.
  18. Black Hole Factory

    Every planet/star/etc has an escape velocity. If you cram the object so it gets smaller in volume and more dense in mass per volume, the escape velocity goes up. If you go far enough the escape velocity will exceed the speed of light in vacuum, and you will have a black hole. There's nothing wrong with this with respect to the law of identity. What's inside the black hole, or what happens when you pass through one? Some of the hypothesized details certainly do violate metaphysics (singularities, going back in time, going to a different universe, etc.) Regardless, the basic idea of an object with such strong gravity that light can't escape is a valid one.
  19. The popular idea that the left is against economic liberty but for civil liberty, while the right is for economic liberty but against civil liberty is a totally false one (as if the two liberties could really be divided in the first place). Other than the left's two pet issues of abortion and gay rights, the left is far more aggressive when it comes to monitoring and controlling how we live our lives, far beyond merely controlling how much we get taxed or how many regulations fall on businesses. Think of Tipper Gore successively forcing video game manufacturers to put the equivalent of PG/PG-13/R ratings on their games (which indirectly censors, as it intimidates video game developers to soften content to get a "better" rating), and not even mentioning her crusade against rock and rap music with the Parents Music Resource Center. Then you have the left trying to destroy cigarette smoking and smoker's rights (while bizarrely simultaneously trying to legalize marijuana in some focused regions), trying to destroy gun ownership, and trying to control what kinds of fuels we can put in our cars and what kinds of foods we can put in our bodies and what kinds of energy we can put in our electrical appliances. Probably the most important "civil" liberty, freedom to choose education for our kids, is aggressively controlled by the left and their teacher union goonsquads. People who think they are morally and legally and constitutionally justified in controlling how we run our businesses and our personal finances for the "greater good" of the country are not suddenly going to barricade themselves from widening the scope of their power and jurisdiction. "We're after power and we mean it" sums it up.
  20. Honor attack numbers revealed by UK police forces

    Welcome to Eurabia.
  21. 2012 Presidential Poll for August 2012

    Can you identity what was wrong, or at least what was so wrong to deserve such criticism?The left will skewer Romney over ridiculous things like this because they must maintain the narrative that he's a blubbering dinosaur compared to the supposed eloquent modern Cicero that is Obama. The reality (as you can find on youtube) is that Obama isn't much of a good speaker once his teleprompter goes away, but the media selectively ignores his blunders.
  22. You Didn't Do That

    She is merely replacing a religious conception of destiny, where some celestial hand guides our lives, with a secular conception of destiny, where the sum of physical influences leads to inevitable outcomes. Either one denies the identity of man's mind as being self-guided. The statement "If it hadn't been them, it would have been others" is an empty conjecture. It's the equivalent of the Keynesians saying, after a failed stimulus project, "But if we had only spent more, it would have worked!" This kind of statement can neither be proven nor disproven, and doesn't deserve consideration. You can't turn back time to that instance and rewrite history to see how it would play out, and even if you could and were proven right again they could always object by saying "but if we had spent more, it would have worked". We could have always spent more, just like if it hadn't been him it would have been others...
  23. You Didn't Do That

  24. Chemistry: Quantum Atomic Model for Atoms

    Sorry I have no idea.