Saturday, December 27, 2008

Get 'Em Boys

Hamas launches over 70 rockets towards Israeli civilians...
One Israeli civilian killed.

Muntadhar Al-Zaidi is a hero!
He threw a pair of shoes at G. W. Bush, the president of America.

Egypt saves the day.
Egypt sends ambulances to Palestine in response to Israeli attacks that killed and injured hundreds.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 3

The Book of Lucifer:
The "book of Lucifer" is my personal favorite part of the Satanic Bible. This is the book of Enlightenment. While the "book of Satan" states many of the Satanic beliefs, it lacks presenting explanations and justifications for those beliefs. The "book of Lucifer" is basically the more explained and justified part of the bible.

Lavey provides this magnificent introduction:
The Roman god, Lucifer, was the bearer of light, the spirit of the air, the personification of enlightenment. In Christian mythology he became synonymous with evil, which was only to have been expected from a religion whose very existence is perpetuated by clouded definitions and bogus values! It is time to set the record straight. False moralisms and occult inaccuracies must be corrected. Entertaining as they might be, most stories and plays about Devil worship must be recognized as the obsolete absurdities they are. It has been said "the truth will make men free". The truth alone has never set anyone free. It is only DOUBT which will bring mental emancipation. Without the wonderful element of doubt, the doorway through which truth passes would be tightly shut, impervious to the most strenuous poundings of a thousand Lucifers. How understandable that Holy Scripture should refer to the Infernal monarch as the "father of lies" - a magnificent example of character inversion. If one is to believe this theological accusation that the Devil represents falsehood, then it surely must be concurred that it was HE, NOT GOD, THAT ESTABLISHED ALL SPIRITUAL RELIGIONS AND WHO WROTE ALL OF THE HOLY BIBLES! When one doubt is followed by another, the bubble, grown large from long accumulated fallacies, threatens to burst. For those who already doubt supposed truths, this book is revelation. Then Lucifer will have risen. Now is the time for doubt! The bubble of falsehood is bursting and its sound is the roar of the world!

References:
The Satanic Bible, by Anton Lavey (PDF)

In this series:
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 1
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 2
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 3

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beginning of Unwisdom

"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."

Richard Dawkins

Enough said.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sado Maso 2

A second look at the dark side of life:

Mortal Love in "I Want to Die":
We have touched for the last time
You are long gone, in love with someone else
I now fear nothing but life itself
And I have learned that living is just a slow way to die
I do not believe in life or in love anymore.
The joy I feel are the joys of emptiness
I hate myself for loving you
The fear I feel night after night has developed into a disease
No-one can see the emptiness in my eyes.
To escape life itself now seems the only solution
With relief I look forward of letting go of the pain
Finally... there is peace in my soul
To lie dead without a concern, without a tear,
You own my heart
And life without you is so immensely painful
Just to think of you, talk about you, dream of you,
makes tears stream down my face
I cannot imagine happiness without your beautiful smile,
your angelic face,
your wonderful body and your good heart:
You are everything, I am nothing
I want to die
But really... I am already dead (Full lyrics)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 2

The Book of Satan:
The "book of satan" is composed of five parts. It contains several verses that contains relevations about the falsehood of several religions and the 'religious institutions'.
Lavey provides this introduction:
The Devil has been attacked by the men of God relentlessly and without reservation. Never has there been an opportunity, short of fiction, for the Dark Prince to speak out in the same manner as the spokesmen of the Lord of the Righteous. The pulpit-pounders of the past have been free to define "good" and "evil" as they see fit, and have gladly smashed into oblivion any who disagree with their lies - both verbally and, at times, physically. Their talk of "charity", when applied to His Infernal Majesty, becomes an empty sham - and most unfairly, too, considering the obvious fact that without their Satanic foe their very religions would collapse.

The Book of Satan I:
  1. In this arid wilderness of steel and stone I raise up my voice that you may hear. To the East and to the West I beckon. To the North and to the South I show a sign proclaiming: Death to the weakling, wealth to the strong!
    In this verse, Lavey admits the truth that the "Rule of the Jungle" is the supreme law. This law is justifiably true - and in my personal judgment is also fair.

  2. Open your eyes that you may see, Oh men of mildewed minds, and listen to me ye bewildered millions!
  3. For I stand forth to challenge the wisdom of the world; to interrogate the "laws" of man and of "God"!
  4. I request reason for your golden rule and ask the why and wherefore of your ten commandments.
    Lavey publicly and clearly states his challenge to the "laws of Man": The laws of man are those laws that are created by people to control other people. He also claims a challenge to the "laws of God". In this context, Lavey mentions God in its Christian interpretation [hence he uses "God" with quotes].

  5. Before none of your printed idols do I bend in acquiescence, and he who saith "thou shalt" to me is my mortal foe!
    Lavey states his refusal to follow divine idols or commands. The term "thou shalt" means being given orders, but Satanists hate to be given orders, and so Lavey states animosity towards those who give orders.

  6. I dip my forefinger in the watery blood of your impotent mad redeemer, and write over his thorn-torn brow: The TRUE prince of evil - the king of slaves!
    In Christian mythology, as Jesus [The son of God] was on the cross, "a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." (Luke 23:38)(*). Lavey mentions this incident and states the slogans he would think be more befitting:
    1- The TRUE prince of evil: Lavey states that Jesus is the true evil, because his story is meant to spread lies, teach hypocrisy, and enslave his followers through a questionable sacrifice.
    2- The King of Slaves: Many followers of the Abrahamic religions consider themselves as slaves to God. Hence the name the King of Slaves. Here we notice that Christianity and other religions are trying to take away the poison of the concept of Slavery. Slavery and enslavement is a very great offense, but we find that in those religious circuits people would be calling themselves as slaves without any sense of shame or indignity.

  7. No hoary falsehood shall be a truth to me; no stifling dogma shall encramp my pen!
    Lavey makes a solid statement about his and other Satanists' commitment to the truth. He states that he will not believe in falsehood, or support false religions or ideologies.

  8. I break away from all conventions that do not lead to my earthly success and happiness.
    Ethical Egoism: Every person has a duty to be happy and successful. Lavey and other Satanists need to accomplish that duty even if that meant having to break customs and conventions.

  9. I raise up in stern invasion the standard of the strong!
  10. I gaze into the glassy eye of your fearsome Jehovah, and pluck him by the beard; I uplift a broad-axe, and split open his worm-eaten skull!
  11. I blast out the ghastly contents of philosophically whited sepulchers and laugh with sardonic wrath!
    Again, Lavey is challenging other religions to prove their worth. Lavey issues a personal challenge to Abrahamic God and his teachings, and describes them as being powerless and philosophically corrupt.


References:
The Satanic Bible, by Anton Lavey (PDF)
The Christian Bible / The New Testament(*) (PDF)

In this series:
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 1
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 2
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 3

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 1

Introduction:
It is important to note that, although the book is titled "The Satanic Bible", it does not represent satanism fully. Satanism has no authoritative books that can be taken as absolutes in Satanism. Further more, this bible was written in the late 1960s by Anton Lavey. Anton Lavey has created what is called The First (above-ground) Church of Satan, representing satanism as a religion at par with other religions. And in his view, creating a church and a bible was necessary. Many Satanists have criticized Anton Lavey and what he has done, especially that for many Satanists, Satanism was never meant to be an organized religion.
Personally, I don't agree with everything Anton Lavey says in his book. Nonetheless, I do recognize the importance of his work. Anton Lavey's work has created a sect called "Laveyan Satanism" to differentiate them from other Satanic beliefs.

The Nine Satanic Statements:
  1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!

    Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary defines indulgence thusly: "To give oneself up to; not to restrain or oppose; to give free course to; to gratify by compliance; to yeild to." The dictionary definition of compulsion is: "The act of compelling or driving by a force, physical or moral; constraint of the will; (compulsory, obligatory)." In other words, indulgence implies choice, whereas compulsion indicates the lack of choice.

  2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!

    This is for the most part a criticism of prayer in other religions. Many religions advocate wasting one's life on prayer and other 'spiritual pipe dreams'. On the other hand, Laveyian Satanism advocates living the moment, in an effective manner, by taking action. After all, actions speak louder than words.

    The Satanist realizes that man, and the action and reaction of the universe, is responsible for everything, and doesn't mislead himself into thinking that someone cares.

  3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!

    The Satanic Bible starts with this excerpt to show the amount of hypocrisy and self-deceit advocated by some religions, including Christianity:
    "On Saturday night I would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing the organ for tentshow evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday night they'd be back at the carnival or some other place of indulgence."
    "I knew then that the Christian Church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man's carnal nature will out!"


  4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!

    This is a direct contradiction to the Christian teachings of "Love your enemy"! This obviously is another act of hypocritical self-deceit that is mentioned in #3.

    You cannot love everyone; it is ridiculous to think you can. If you love everyone and everything you lose your natural powers of selection and wind up being a pretty poor judge of character and quality. If anything is used too freely it loses its true meaning. Therefore, the Satanist believes you should love strongly and completely those who deserve your love, but never turn the other cheek to your enemy!
    Love is one of the most intense emotions felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love.


  5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!

    This -again- is a direct contradiction to the Christian teachings of "And unto him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other;" (Luke 6:29)(*). This Christian teaching is flawed in every possible way. When someone hurts you or attacks you, you should not standstill welcoming for a second attack. Maybe the black slaves should have not fought for their freedom, and offered their children for slavery?! Right?! Wrong!! But thats the kind of behavior that Christianity is teaching.

    He who turns the other cheek is a cowardly dog!

    "Love one another" it has been said is the supreme law, but what power made it so? Upon what rational authority does the gospel of love rest? Why should I not hate mine enemies - if I "love" them does that not place me at their mercy?

  6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!

    I already discussed the need to recognize and immobilize psychic vampires. (X-Ref).

  7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!

  8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

    This should be interpreted in the light of the first statement: "indulgence instead of abstinence". The moral taboo advocated by religions create compulsion through abstinence. Satanism represents the abolishment of religious taboos (aka sins).

  9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!

    A very satirical -yet very true- statement of the relation between Satan and the Christian church.


References:
The Satanic Bible, by Anton Lavey (PDF)
The Christian Bible / The New Testament(*) (PDF)

PS: The italicized parts are explanations quoted from The Satanic Bible

In this series:
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 1
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 2
Readings From The Satanic Bible - Part 3

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The More I Live, The More I Ignore!

Papa Roach in "Not Listening":
I'm not listening, not anymore
The more I learn, the more I ignore
I'm not listening, not anymore
The more I hear, the more I ignore, the more I ignore

Cause I've lost my innocence
And I'm a stranger, A life changer
I'm a man thats not afraid of danger
I walk my own path, and blaze my own trail
Because I'm not afraid to derail
I won't get in line or be a middle man
So fuck you I'll make my own plan

And I got respect and I don't neglect
The people that I really care to protect
Am I a failure if I got nothing to lose
No, I'm not a failure, I got something to prove (Full lyrics)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Drapetomania: The Mentally Ill Slaves

Drapetomania is a mental illness that causes black slaves to flee captivity.

Samuel Cartwright has discovered this mental illness, and he also uncovered its cause. This disorder was a consequence of masters who made themselves too familiar with their slaves, treating them as equals. With good whipping, the slaves' unacceptable behavior can be fixed.

Fuck those mentally ill bastards! How dare they disobey their masters?! Thank you Samuel Cartwright for showing the world the right way to deal with those mentally sick slaves.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Responsible For Me

"I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

Ayn Rand

Amen.

Born Gay?

Born Gay is an article that holds preliminary findings about the homosexuality and its genetic influence. This post is mainly to support the comments on this older post that suggested that homosexuality might be in fact hereditary.

In short, in one study it was found that male homosexuality is inherited from a heterosexual mother, and that female homosexuality is inherited from a heterosexual father.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hello, I'm a Mac - Funny Apple Ads

Nah, I'm not a Mac, I use PC. Apple started some ads campaign called: "I'm a Mac", it starts with two guys, the first one identifies himself as a Mac, and the other as a PC. The two guys represent their respective computer models and engage in conversations that are aimed to highlight the drawbacks of using MS Windows; Windows Vista in particular. No amount of description would suffice but viewing the actual ads.

This is a handpicked few of such ads:
1- Hanging windows
2- Creating a home movie
3- Spyware plague
4- Viruses
5- Vista's UAC
6- Choose a Vista

There are many other good ones, just search on Youtube with keywords: "I'm a Mac" or "Get a Mac".

While those ads are created to point out the flaws of MS Windows, it is false propaganda that apple does not suffer at least some of those flaws. For this reason, some people created spoof ads that shows that neither OS is perfect, and concludes the ad with: "Computers suck!". Two such spoofs are here and here. Other spoof ads were made to bash Macs, like this, this, and this.

But the funniest ads that were inspired by apple's ads had nothing to do with computers. One funny ad, titled "PC vs Penthouse pet - Vagina", really cracked me up. Another spoof ad with the same theme titled "PC vs Penthouse Pet - Fun". One spoof called "Mac vs Porn" is also fun to watch. Other themes included the comparison of men and women using the catch phrase "I'm a man. I'm a woman.".

But my favorite spoof is an ad for the Wii versus Playstation 3, where the Wii being portrayed as sexy, slutty girl... While the Playstation 3 is portrayed as an overweight, mild-mannered girl. "I'm a Wii" is a must-see!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who Is Satan?! - Subjectivism And Satanism

Satanism, and the figure of Satan represent many things. The common thing between all that Satan represents is the human nature. Interpretations might differ, but there are few things that most Satanists would agree on.

The most direct answer you can get is: "Satan is You, Yourself!"... And that's true... That's who Satan really is!!! While this is an accurate and precise answer, this answer is to most people confusing at best!! Further yet, the statement "Satan is You" is a conclusion - the final answer, you might call it. So instead of this short answer, I will explain how this statement has been reached.

Philosophically speaking, Satanism is the bridge between Nihilism (Non-existence) and Rationalism (Existence of Self). Nihilism is an Objective philosophy, while Rationalism is a Subjective philosophy... Satanism is simply a way to be both subjective and objective at the same time. Okay, this is still confusing, I'll try to elaborate.

Can you objectively say that you exist?! Can you prove that you exist?! Can you logically justify your needs?! The answer to the above three questions is NO!! The concept of "Self" cannot be formulated by objective means. Can you make us a mathematical formula that tell us who you are?! What are we anyways?!

The above reasoning would put anyone in the corner!! So what if someone tells you: "Okay, I am gonna shoot you, rape your mother, and take all your money... You don't exist! Actually, neither any of us exists, so why would you care anyways!!" - This sure would put any philosopher who advocates pure objectivity in a tight corner!!

Obviously, its irrational to give up your life (and personal interest in general) just for a small game of words, isn't it?!

The solution is simple. We need to first understand that through the above reasoning, defending yourself and not defending yourself are BOTH objectively irrelevant. Objectively speaking, it doesn't matter if you die - And it doesn't matter if you live, either! So whatever you do is a valid outcome. For this reason, subjectivity is valid. Since both answers are valid through objectivity, we create a new system that we judge our decisions by. This system simply admits that you exist, and that you have needs, and satisfying those needs is a favorable outcome. [This solution is similar to the solution of justifying knowledge within skepticism]

Through admitting subjectivity, you admit your own existence, and is able to achieve Rationalism. And satanism is basically, being yourself through the understanding of the path between Nihilism and Rationalism. Since Satanism is admitting your own existence, then Satan is You!! Because without Satanism the word "I" would not have meaning.

Apart from the philosophical aspects, one the most important features of humans is responsibility. Once a person admits responsibility, he would automatically understand the other things Satan represents.

Knowledge for example is a responsibility. Humans are responsible to create a good life for themselves. Knowledge is the best tool to create a good life. Consider all the benefits of knowledge... With knowledge we conquer all life's problems, we create tools to help us solve problems.

Humans can be both good and evil, and so is Satan. But Satanists (in general) prefer the naked truth... They don't like disguises. They don't like to make up stories to answer questions they don't know the answers for. They don't want to behave in a manner dictated on them by hypocritical systems, including -among others- religious institutes that advocates human-made rules as God-sent rules.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Google CodeJam (2008): My Solutions

Google CodeJam is a coding contest for programmers... The first round (Qualification round) was today, and I joined the fun [geeky fun - mind you]. The contest can be found here, and included three problems.

I published my solutions to all three problems at this location.

The first two problems were really easy. The third problem was a bit of a challenge because it required going back to geometry and trigonometry. The problem descriptions can be found at the contest location provided above.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My New Desktop Computer

Recently I got a new desktop computer - an impressive new computer to say the least. Its specifications are:
Processor: Core2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz - 8MB L2 cache)
Motherboard: Intel Q35
RAM: 8GB DDR2 @667MHz
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT w/ 512MB GDDR3 Dedicated RAM
Hard Drive: 500GB SATA @7200rpm
Monitor: 20" widescreen LCD

The total cost of the computer was 1300 JDs (around $1700)... I based it on an offer of a computer priced at 990 JDs and added a few upgrades that made the sum 1300 JDs. The first upgrade was the GeForce 9600GT priced at 215 JDs, the original offer contained GeForce 8400GS priced at 80 JDs. While GeForce 8400GS is a very good graphics card, but for an impressive computer, we need an impressive graphics card... I recommend this graphics card to anyone considering buying a new PC. Sure enough, that isn't the best graphics card... But for the big cash pockets, there is the GeForce 9800 GX2 (not sure about the price, but expect it to be around 500 JDs - Thats if you found it anywhere in Jordan) or even having two such cards in SLI mode for the ultimate performance (1000 JDs, OMG you can buy a computer at the price of this setup of graphics cards!).

The other upgrade was the 8GB DDR2 RAM. The original offer was 2GB DDR2 RAM, but I thought that 8GB would be best. The reason is simple: DDR2 RAM prices are at the lowest point they will get! The other choice was RAM DDR3, but consider this: 1GB of DDR2 costs 20 JDs, while 1GB of DDR3 costs 124 JDs!! So I bought 8GB DDR2 at a price slightly higher than 1GB of DDR3...

There was another upgrade that I wished to have, but I couldn't find it anywhere!! In honesty, the Jordanian market for electronics sucks... The prices are higher than they should, and the good quality equipment cannot be found (even if you were willing to pay more). Consider the GeForce 9800 GX2, sure its expected price would be around 500 JDs, but you will not find it anywhere! Even if you were willing to pay 500 JDs for a graphics card, there is no where you can get it... Thats pathetic! Even the GeForce 9600 GT was really tough to find.... I went to many computer stores, and only found it in one store... I almost lost hope of finding the GeForce 9600 GT, and when I found it, it was like I found a gem!

Back to the upgrade that I couldn't find, its the processor... The best processor that can be found in Jordan is the Core2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz - 8MB L2 cache)... Better models were no where to be found, although there are models that run at 3.2GHz!! The processor I bought was priced at 230JD, I was willing to pay a bit more for a higher clock speed, but that was a gem not to be found! Again there are processors that cost around $1200 (around 900 JDs) which is the Core2 Extreme QX9770, but thats beyond the Jordanian market!

All in all, I am pretty much satisfied about my new computer. I was especially satisfied that it got a Windows Experience Rating of 5.5 (the maximum being 5.9). All my components are rated at 5.9, except for the RAM which is rated at 5.5 (probably the maximum ratings go to the DDR3 RAM).

Finally, I installed Windows Vista 64-bit Edition w/ SP1. It worked perfectly fine. I am glad that my transition to the 64-bit computing was flawless as I want to be one of the early adopters of the 64-bit computing as I believe it is an important advancement in the computers world. Any computer with a "Core2" processor is 64-bit capable. And for those who have that, I recommend that they try the 64-bit OS, and move permanently to 64-bit if things work out fine (and it probably will).

32-bit computing is almost over. It reached its limit! I think that in two years 64-bit will become mainstream... 32-bit OS'es and computers can handle a maximum of 2GB to 3.5GB of RAM depending on the specifications of the computer. With 2GB of RAM being common these days, and RAM requirements doubling almost every 1.5 years, this means that 4GB of RAM should be pretty common in a year or so... But 32-bits can't handle all that RAM, so computers will have to move to 64-bit computing. After that, 8GB of RAM will be due, which would mark the end of 32-bit computing. In short, it is expected that 8GB of RAM to become common within 3 years, and moving to 64-bit will be necessary before that time!

Supporting more RAM is not the only advantage of 64-bit computing. But for the average computer users, RAM requirements will be the driving factor that makes 64-bit computing popular...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Homosexuality And Darwinism

The other day I was thinking of how homosexuality came into existence, and whether or not homosexuality might be genetically influenced. The idea is that if homosexuality was nothing more than an anomaly, you would expect it to vanish, or at least be a very rare case. But the matter of fact is that homosexuality is common, and it would be very hard to suggest that it's an anomaly.

One idea that came through my head was that social pressure was probably a very influential factor that sustained homosexuality. Thats to say, social pressure exerted upon homosexuals forced them to undergo the process of reproduction, and hence that anomaly was sustained through human generations. Following this line of thought, it seems that the easiest way to eliminate homosexuality is to allow guilt-free homosexual activity, since this would simply decrease the survival value of the homosexual "gene".

But again, saying that homosexuality is an anomaly might not be wise. Much evidence shows that many animals exhibit homosexual behavior. Those animals probably don't face the same kind of social pressure that humans exert.

This evidence has challenged Darwin's "sexual selection" theory [NOT "survival of the fittest"]. Darwin simply viewed sexuality to be motivated by reproduction. But strong evidence shows otherwise. The truth is, as humans, most sexual encounters are not reproduction related, and don't fit Darwin's description. Consider this:
Darwin had very specific sex roles for males and females. He wrote that females are docile and dainty and always prefer mates who are attractive and vigorous. But the world doesn't work like that. A quick look at humans tells you that women don't always prefer musclebound models. It's really obvious, but women choose all kinds of men as mates, and very rarely do those choices have to do with exhibited traits, like the peacock's tail or a stag's antlers, that Darwin thought represented "good genes."

In fact, the whole good-gene idea is suspect. The idea that a female could look at a male and tell by his appearance how good his genes are and how those genes are going to play out in 20 years is extremely far-fetched. Scientists have been trying to prove this idea experimentally, and it never bears out. It doesn't bear out, because not even supercomputers can offer that kind of predictability. (source)


In short, I think anyone who would say that homosexuality is an anomaly, or would think that homosexuality has no survival value, is shown to be incorrect by evidence from our reality. Homosexuality has gained ground in many aspects of life, including the political arena... This can't be an anomaly that we are talking about! Homosexuality should have a function in humanity that caused it to have such strong presence, and denying that is being blind to the fact of its influence...

PS: The scientific validity of the claims is NOT asserted

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Meta-Definition

Suppose we define a horse's tail to be a leg. How many legs does a horse have?

This question is part of a joke, but I decided to turn it into a real question... What do you think the answer should be?!

Read More:
This question is part of a joke that goes like this:
A mathematician, scientist, and engineer are each asked: "Suppose we define a horse's tail to be a leg. How many legs does a horse have?" The mathematician answers "5"; the scientist "1"; and the engineer says "But you can't do that!"


The joke is basically to ridicule engineers, as they are stereotyped to not have a great command of the concepts of hypothesizes and inferencing. But the joke includes another implicit stereotyping of the difference between mathematicians and scientists.

In the field of mathematics, new definitions and theories are usually inclusive of all the definitions and theories that preceded it. Hence, a mathematician would consider a new definition to be inclusive of previous definitions. There is actually another joke about this specific idea:
Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.

Hence, the mathematician's answer is 5!

In the field of science, usually new theories replace older theories, thats why the scientist's answer assumes that the new definition abolishes the older definition. Hence the scientist answered 1!

My answer to this question is "5"... It was actually my first reaction, and also after some thought I think its most convincing. The argument is that: The question doesn't specify whether or not the conventional concept of a leg is still called a leg. First of all, we can agree that the question does not specify; Which is -after all- why the answer is debatable. But the first rule that comes to the mind is that the best answer is the one with the least problematic assumptions. As a rule of the thumb, when something is not explicitly stated to have changed, then leave it as it is. We shouldn't assume something to change when the question doesn't explicitly state that it was changed.
[+] Show\Hide

Update: Added an explained answer

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Plagiarism

"Well, if you want to get technical, all writing is plagiarism because you're using words that already exist!"

Sandi / Daria

Originality is overrated!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sexual Misconduct: Rape And Exploitation

The Pillars of Proper Sexual Conduct:
Sexuality is an important aspect of human life. Many people seek sexual activity in several ways most of which are natural and of proper conduct. Regardless of the details of the sexual activity, consent is an important pillar of proper sexual conduct. While most of the sexual misconducts are known to many people -say, forceful rape- there are other sexual misconducts that are less obvious. As I always say, awareness is the first line of defense.

Lets first define our first pillar: Every person has the legitimate right to join any sexual activity where all parties that are directly involved in the act are consenting to that act.

Our second pillar is: Any sexual activity that includes direct participants who are not consenting to that act, would be an illegitimate act.

A good system should grantee both the first and second pillars.

Legitimate Sexual Activities:
Here we can define two types of legitimate sexual activities:
1- Positively consensual sexual activities: Where all participants are consenting to the sexual activity, and are involved for a positive will to join the sexual activity. This would include the most common scenario, where two or more people are involved in a sexual activity for any of several reasons including -among others-: Love, lust, and enjoyment.

2- Negatively consensual sexual activities: Where all participants are consenting to the sexual activity, but one or more of the participants don't necessarily want to join the sexual activity - and are involved to complete a transaction, or abide terms of a contract. The most common scenario for this is prostitution, where the prostitute is consenting to the sexual activity, but the sexual activity is not a goal, but rather a side-effect to a trade. This would also include consensual engagement in sexual activity with a partner who may not want sex at the time, but does it to satisfy their partner's needs.

Illegitimate Sexual Activities:
Having identified the two possible legitimate forms of sexual activity, lets look more closely at the illegitimate forms of sexual activity.

1- Forceful rape: The type where physical force is used to force one party into sexual activity against their consent. It includes two types:
1a- Blitz rape: Being raped by a stranger. The type of rape most people know, and is usually punishable by most legal systems.
1b- Date rape: Being raped by an acquaintance (ie. someone who is not a stranger). This type is usually less known among most people. This type is not strictly applicable to dates - Don't let the name fool you. It is not necessary whether or not this type of rape is preceded -or not preceded- by consensual sexual activity. Prior sexual activity is irrelevant. This type of rape is sometimes not reported by the victims because of its confusing nature to human emotions, especially when prior sexual activity was established. A special case of "Date rape" is "Spouse rape".
1b'- Spousal rape: Being raped by a spouse (or someone with whom the victim has established a medium-term to long-term relationship with). This type of rape is common, yet is usually not reported -especially where women are the victims-!! Two factors depreciate the act of reporting spousal rape. The first reason is that in many cases the victims don't realize that they have been raped. Some women think that just because their husband has earned their socially imposed right to sexual activity -marriage that is- that that man has the right to engage in sexual activity at all times including when she is not consenting. This is obviously a fallacy. No one should be able to force anyone into sex, even if they are their spouses. The second factor for not reporting is that law enforcement in certain countries are uncooperative in those cases. Law enforcement has at times abstained from enforcing rape laws between married couples. [X-Ref: Law enforcement abstaining from homicide laws in "honor killings"]

2- Non-forceful rape (aka sexual exploitation): Non-consenting parties are directly involved where explicit consent is not given, and physical force is not used.
This includes many types including -among others-:
2a- Drug facilitated rape: Several types of drugs are used for this technique, including -among others-: Drugs that cause unconsciousness, drugs that cause hyper sexual activity, drugs that subvert rational decision-making (eg. Alcohol). Sexual activity where the participant is unconsently unconscious is illegitimate. Also, sexual activity where the participant's consent is unconsently subverted, is also illegitimate.
2b- Imposing rape: Using psychological or social pressure to subvert consent. This is the type that is most challenging to identify or handle. Several types of psychological tricks -including reverse psychology- can be used to manipulate the victim into sexual activity. For example: "You should have sex with me, to prove that you love me.", "Don't expect me to stay around if you are not willing to satisfy my needs.", or "Well, if you don't want to have sex with me that's fine. I get the message!"... etc, are all methods to impose sexual activity to a person who otherwise would not engage in sexual activity. Sure, the wording may not be as explicit as the examples I gave, and may include implying instead of declarations. Social pressure is sometimes used to subvert the victim's consent into sexual activity. [The opposite of this may also happen, where social pressure is used to subvert consent into abstaining from sexual activity.] [X-Ref: An example of using social pressure to subvert consent (although not in a sexual context) is demonstrated in The Observer's fictional story]
2c- Blackmail rape: Using the method of blackmailing to subvert consent. This technique can be used in several ways. This method usually includes a forceful bargain of not disclosing certain information in return for sexual favors. Two versions of blackmail rape are -disturbingly- common in sexually conservative societies (like Jordan!). The first scenario goes like this: One participant of a previous socially unapproved sexual activity blackmails one or more of the other participants into sexual activity for not disclosing details of the previous sexual activity. Or in more specific terms, a guy who has slept with a girl would threaten to tell about the sexual affair if the girl does not continue the sexual relationship. The girl would have to continue the sexual activity for the fear of honor killing. A second scenario goes like this: A person witnesses a socially unapproved sexual activity, and blackmails one or more of the participants into sexual activity for not disclosing his knowledge of that sexual activity. Or in more specific terms: A guy walks into a guy and a girl participating in pre-marital sexual activity, and threatens to tell about this affair if the girl does not do him some sexual favors. The guy who witnessed the sexual activity may -or may not- do this with participation of the guy involved in the sexual activity. Sometimes a guy may try to make a favor to another guy by giving time and place details of a sexual affair, so that the other guy walk into the scene and practically force the victim to give the other guy sexual favors. Again, the victim has to comply for the fear of honor killing.

While it may not be easy to avoid most forms of rape, awareness of "imposing rape" and -to a lesser extent- of "blackmail rape" can help avoid those types of rape. Imposing rape cannot always be protected legally. That's to say, no law could exist to prevent certain patterns of imposing rape. The only tool for protection from certain patterns of imposing rape is awareness - and no other type of protection could be provided in those cases. Manipulation using psychological or social pressure does not always involve any criminal activity of any kind. On the other hand, blackmail rape does involve criminal activity, but would most probably not be reported for the fear of disclosure of the information that was used in the blackmailing procedure. For example, a woman who was intimidated by honor killing would unlikely report the blackmail rape for the fear of honor killing.

It might be argued that "blackmail rape" is a subtype of "negatively consensual sexual activity", and hence can be seen as a legitimate form of sexual activity. It might be argued that the "bargain" made in blackmail rape turns it into some form of a trade. There is an important factor that differentiates a trade from blackmailing. A trade is consensual and opt-in. Blackmailing is forceful. For example: A prostitute can at will provide sexual favors for money. She consensually makes the deal, and can refuse to make that deal. On the other hand, blackmailing includes a threat (and threatening people is a criminal activity). The victim of a blackmail rape has no choice to opt-out.

Hard-to-Classify Sexual Activities:
Finally, I wish to point out some of the "gray" sexual conducts which cannot be easily classified as legitimate or illegitimate due to subtle details of consent.
Drunk sex: Having consensual sexual activity with a drunk person. Similar to "drug facilitated rape", where "drug facilitated rape" is a purposeful act to subvert consent, while drunk sex is only taking advantage of improper decision-making ability of a person. That's to say that the other participant did not subvert the drunk person into drinking, or manipulate that drunk person to sexual activity. The drunk person is considered as not in their right mind to make the decision, and hence acting on that consent can be problematic. A good solution to this problem would be asking for consent before drinking. For example, asking: "If you get drunk and start to want to engage in sexual activity, should we proceed?"... Asking this question -or another version of the question to the same effect- would make drunk sex unambiguously legitimate.
Statutory rape (with consent): Having consensual sexual activity with a minor. Most legal systems would criminalize sexual activities with minors - regardless of consent. The argument is that a child cannot give consent. While being different from "drunk sex", it is argued that a child is not in the right mind to make the decision. There are several problems that put child abuse in the gray section. Unlike drunk sex, where it is possible to solve it by asking for consent prior to the drinking, there are no similar solutions. The second problem is that based on the first pillar of this discussion, every person has the right to participate in consensual sexual activities. Denying a child from his right to consent is dubious [X-Ref: The problem of Age Discrimination]. It is very problematic to simply rule out that a child cannot give consent, or rule out that a child is not in the right mind to make a decision. It is important that we preserve the second pillar (prohibiting non-consensual sexual activities), but it is equally important that we preserve the first pillar (every person's right to join consensual sexual activities). A good solution is hard to make, but I would suggest a combination of sexual education to minors who are willing to engage in sexual activities, and a way for case-by-case assessment, that would assess whether or not the minor understands the decision he is making. Last, but not least, parents should take better responsibility to educate their children about sexuality, so that they can make informed judgment about their choices.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Why Do I Blog?

I have been tagged. The proposed question is a tough one, with many dimensions... I will try to summarize:
- Blogging is enjoyable
- Good way to pass time
- A reference for me about myself and the change of ideas, method of presentation, and feelings in time...
- Documenting myself for people who know me, or will know me
- Practicing organizing my thoughts coherently, instead of them being chaotically unrelated bursts of thought in my head
- Documenting the details of my personal religion and political thoughts
- Expressing my ideas with the style I see fit
- Egotism: The ideas presented will be available worldwide, which reflects a feeling of self-importance.
- Peer reviews: Allowing other people to criticize my ideas, which will increase the quality of my thoughts. Thinking without feedback would mean certain ideas don't undergo critical thinking. Documentation of ideas and being criticized by other people will force me to rethink of my position in many aspects.
- Increase knowledge of people to issues of interest to me
- Create an atmosphere where intelligent ideas are exchanged

These are some of the reasons that I blog, listed such that more important reasons come first.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Expressions And Meanings - Part 4: Conclusion

We have already disqualified some of the interpretations about what Timmy [of part 1] is saying. Since we established what cannot be said about Timmy's beliefs from an observer's POV, the question is: What can an observer say?

One suggested answer would be this: "Timmy says: '666 is a prime number', which is a false statement when interpreted in English language." - Notice that when we qualify a sentence with a language we can judge its truthfulness and falseness, but without a reference language this judgment is impossible. Thats because language is relativistic. And as previously discussed, a relativistic value is inseparable from its reference.

Since -in most cases- the meaning is the goal, rather than the expression, it is important to express ideas in pre-specified reference language. In short, without language interpreting an expression becomes impossible. For example, if you are reading this article without assuming that it is written in English language, understanding it becomes impossible.

Since defining language is important, there need to be certain references that explain the terminology of language. These references cannot be formalized, because of the relativistic nature of language. But since conventions need to be established to pave the path for communication, such conventions are established. The most commonly agreed references that define languages are usually called "Dictionaries". Dictionaries are references that are established to define lingual terminology.

While terminology can be redefined in sub-cultures [that is a group of people can agree that certain terms mean something different that the conventional terminology], this practice hinders mainstream understanding of the language. In fact, this practice can be viewed as a form of encryption where the parties that have knowledge of the encryption scheme can decrypt the message.

For this reason, any communicator needs to establish a reference language for the expressions. For example, it is a good practice for a blogger who wishes for his articles to be understood worldwide to write in a language that is known worldwide and to conform to the conventions proposed for it by the dictionaries that are established for that language. Another example is standards-compliance of the internet or documents, as proprietary formats can lead to problems like vendor lock-in or vendor lock-out.

In this series:
Expressions And Meanings - Part 1: Introduction
Expressions And Meanings - Part 2: Elaboration
Expressions And Meanings - Part 3: Linguistic Relativism
Expressions And Meanings - Part 4: Conclusion

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Expressions And Meanings - Part 3: Linguistic Relativism

But a big problem arises: Is there any concrete argument to say that Timmy [see part 1] expressed his ideas incorrectly?! Not really!! The matter of fact is that all languages are conventions. Thats to say, there is no good reason that the utterance "prime number" means [a number that is divisible only by two different numbers: itself and one]... This expression is valid to express that idea only because it was agreed that this utterance means that concept. There is no innate value to that utterance, or any concrete basis for the connection.

Hence, the judgment that Timmy expressed his idea in an incorrect manner is baseless, because there is no expression that is more correct for an idea. Thats true, but this is a fine line, and we need to pay attention to the difference between an expression and meaning.

Lets get back to the observer's POV. Timmy says: "666 is a prime number". From the observer's POV we have no access to the meaning, only the expression. So we must now attempt to interpret the utterance! But an expression can mean anything! Absolutely anything! If we don't interpret the utterance with the assumption of a particular language (for example, English) the utterance can basically mean anything! So in order to have a practical value for an expression, we must have some assumptions about the language this expression is constructed with. So, simply said, to interpret an expression we must have a reference language.

Can an observer say: "Timmy believes that 666 is a prime number. He also believes that prime numbers mean cool numbers." - Not really! We have already established that saying: "Timmy believes that 666 is a prime number" is not correct. And saying: "He also believes that prime numbers mean cool numbers" is again incorrect. He does not believe that the concept of primeness and coolness are synonymous. He only thinks that the utterance of 'prime number' and 'cool number' are synonymous. So when we say: "Timmy believes that 666 is a prime number", this is interpreted in our language not his, because its us who are making that utterance.

Consider the smart answer that Richard provided: I should have stipulated that Timmy intended to use his words in the same way as the rest of his speech community does (so when we tell him what the rest of us mean by 'prime number', he will respond, 'oops, my mistake').

That answer signifies an important realization: There is no right way or wrong way to express an idea, except in one case: When that expression has the goal of being correctly interpreted, and to communicate the idea that it means.

So we have two cases:
  1. The speaker is NOT concerned how his expression is understood. The expression is taken to have value in and of itself. Here there are no qualifiers to the rightness or wrongness of an expression.
  2. The speaker intends to convey an idea. The expression not the goal, the idea (meaning) is the goal. Here, it becomes important to express the idea in an understandable manner.
Then again, if we refer to what we have already established in Part 1, which is that meaning is the goal of an expression, we can say that most speakers fall in the case numbered (2) where it is important to express an idea in an understandable manner.

In this series:
Expressions And Meanings - Part 1: Introduction
Expressions And Meanings - Part 2: Elaboration
Expressions And Meanings - Part 3: Linguistic Relativism
Expressions And Meanings - Part 4: Conclusion

Friday, March 21, 2008

Slaves Until Things Change

This post was provoked by a fictional story about a fictional girl character who is a spinster. The theme [-that is relevant to this post-] is that this girl lives in a conservative society where pre-marital relationships are taboo. This girl is disconnected from the male-world for too long that she got to an age where she is no longer marriage material. This girl feels that she has been unfairly made into an outcast. At some point she says (and I quote): "I protected their honor. I played with their rules. I worked hard in silence to make everyone happy, and yet never been good enough." - This sentence provoked me by what I would consider extreme stupidity - the thing that I consider the greatest sin of all sins.

No one would respect an "ass-kisser"!! If someone spends his\her life trying to play by other people's rules, they become slaves. It doesn't need a genius to figure that the rules people make are self-interested. Each person makes the rules that serve them, and if someone else plays by those rules, they become slaves to the person/system who made those rules!!

Sure everyone loves to have a slave, but no-one respects a slave. And thats exactly whats going on: People make some rules about how a "nice" person behaves... And someone decides to be the "nice" person... And they get all the compliments... In case of our fictional character, it's the girl who is too busy being nice, because she is being called "honorable", "pure", and "chaste"... Or in other words: A good slave! A good slave who nobody wants to do anything with, except to keep her a slave for as long as possible!!

This fictional character was too busy being a humble slave that she forgets about herself. She thinks that when people applaud her, they applaud her for being a good person, when in fact they applaud her for being an ignorant person and a good slave! And not until later in her life the she understood the hypocrisy of the system that she was indulging in...

She argues: "I worked hard in silence to make everyone happy, and yet never been good enough.", oblivious to the fact that working hard to make everyone happy is exactly the reason why she has never been good enough... No slave is ever good enough, there are always more things that a slave needs to do to please his\her master! Heck, the argument itself seems like an "ass-kissing" attempt...

This spinster girl is also taken as a model for the topic of suppression of women. If we go the sexists' way, and model men and women as systems in and of themselves, we may say that each system has its own self-interesting rules that each wishes to enforce. It is generally thought that the men's system of rules are dominant. Under this assumption -which I actually don't think actually holds- it is said that women are suppressed by men. If men were suppressing women, for all I know, they should continue doing so, until women wake up from their nap! Its like a slave humbly asking his master to set him free... But this slave won't get his freedom by begging for it, but rather by fighting for it!

But in truth, this is not a case of one gender dominating the other... Each and everyone of us -who wishes to be free- needs to fight... No slave is set free by a begging! It has been said: "People are born free!" which is true, the question is: "Why did they sell themselves to slavery?!"

It's easier said than done, but I think we should stop for a second and ask ourselves: Do I want to be an ass-kisser?! Will ass-kissing get me anywhere beside being eventually neglected?!

Viva La Revolution!

PS: This post does NOT reflect the original character in the aforementioned story. The character was purposefully taken out-of-context for the purpose of making this post!
PS: Here is an alternative link to the story

Friday, March 14, 2008

Expressions And Meanings - Part 2: Elaboration

Going back to Timmy [see part 1], Timmy says (utters): "666 is a prime number"... What he means to say is: "666 is a cool number"... Lets take things from an observer's POV [POV: point of view]: When hearing Timmy saying "666 is a prime number", it is obvious that Timmy is saying something wrong. From an observer's POV, we have no knowledge to qualify the beliefs of Timmy as true or false, simply because we can't go inside Timmy's head to learn what he means, we only know what he said, and he said something that is obviously wrong!

Can an observer say: "Timmy believes that he believes that 666 is a prime number".... As tempting as it seems to say that, this is not true. Read what the aforementioned blog entry has to say:
What of Timmy's meta-beliefs? He might not have any, if he's very young, but let's suppose that he's aware of himself as a believing agent. What does he think he believes? Jack suggests to me the following: "Timmy believes that he believes that 666 is a prime number". But this attribution seems mistaken for exactly the same reasons. Timmy lacks the concept prime number, so he can't have any (even meta-) beliefs involving it. And nor can he have any de re beliefs about primeness (under whatever guise), because he lacks any alternative grasp of the property in question. He's not capable of having primeness feature in his mental content at all. (source)

Timmy does NOT believe that 666 is a prime number. He says what would conventionally suggest that he does, but he doesn't mean what he is saying. He believes that 666 is a cool number. His mistake is that he thinks that the utterance "666 is a prime number" expresses the idea that 666 is a cool number, oblivious to that the utterance "666 is a prime number" conventionally means that 666 is divisible by only itself and 1.... He may and may not believe that 666 is divisible only by itself and 1, but his utterance is simply unmeant to this concept.

In this series:
Expressions And Meanings - Part 1: Introduction
Expressions And Meanings - Part 2: Elaboration
Expressions And Meanings - Part 3: Linguistic Relativism
Expressions And Meanings - Part 4: Conclusion

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Expressions And Meanings - Part 1: Introduction

In this series, I will ponder on case-scenario suggested by a fellow blogger:
Suppose young Timmy mistakenly takes 'prime number' to be roughly synonymous with 'cool number'. So he goes around saying things like '666 is a prime number'. Does he believe that 666 is a prime number? Presumably not. He certainly doesn't have a de dicto belief involving the concept prime number, since he lacks this concept (he associates the words, 'prime number', with a different concept entirely). Nor does he have any de re beliefs about primes, i.e. beliefs which talk about this property under a different guise: he does not believe, for example, that 666 is divisible only by itself and 1. What Timmy believes is that 666 is a cool number (or, more likely yet, that '666' is a cool numeral), and he mistakenly takes the sentence '666 is a prime number' to express this belief. (source)

As we can see an utterance (an expression) has a meaning behind it. Usually, meanings are the goal and expressions are merely means to achieve that goal. Thats why, it is important that when we hear an expression, we analyze it and start digging for the meaning behind that expression.

The problem is, as humans we are incapable of communicating meanings, we are only capable of communicating expressions. This realization leads to The Problem of Representation (aka representational skepticism) that I have discussed before.

Lingual skepticism and other forms of skepticism like brains in a vat skepticism, and The Matrix skepticism are closely related. They all go around the limitations of empiricism, and the limitations of our senses to grasp reality.

In this series:
Expressions And Meanings - Part 1: Introduction
Expressions And Meanings - Part 2: Elaboration
Expressions And Meanings - Part 3: Linguistic Relativism
Expressions And Meanings - Part 4: Conclusion

Friday, March 07, 2008

God Is Watching

If you masturbate, you must learn that masturbation is an abomination, and the "Veggie Fables" have the right song for you:
God is watching everything you do
When you get undressed or take a shower
When you touch yourself for hour after hour
God is watching everything you do

And He thinks you're a nasty, naughty nympho slut!
You sinful filthy whore you're going to hell!
Your flesh will burn, your bones will churn
Your soul will be torn asunder

You wretched heathen heretic, burn in hell
..... For eternity!
So you better remember!
God is watching everything you do! (source)

Monday, March 03, 2008

My Philosophy

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Ayn Rand

Amen to that!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Law Of Non-Contradiction

In logic, the law of non-contradiction is an important principle. This law states that no instance in the same respect can be in two or more contradicting states. Contradicting states can be defined as mutually exclusive states, or disjoint states.

In boolean logic, the not operator, -also called the negation operator- is defined as the operator which evaluates true as false, and false as true, where true and false are by definition -in the context of boolean logic- two contradicting states.

The law of non-contradiction is a concept that holds several types of logic from dissolving into trivial systems. Even higher forms of logical systems like set theory and mathematics would dissolve into trivial systems if the law of non-contradiction is not taken as part of its axioms.

Now I will try to demonstrate why the law of non-contradiction is important. First in logic. And for people who are not familiar with logic notation, I will then demonstrate it using mathematics. And finally, the importance of the law of non-contradiction for language and communication of ideas in general.


In Logic:
~: The logical negation
^: Logical AND
v: Logical OR

The law of non-contradiction states:
p: any statement
p ^ ~p = False

Denying the law of non-contradiction:
j: is a statement that defies the law of non-contradiction
j ^ ~j = True

The law of non-contradiction prohibits the existence of such statement as j. Lets see what happens if a statement like j actually existed:
p
= p v False
= p v ~True
= p v ~(j ^ ~j) ; Denying the law of non-contradiction
= p v (~j v j) ; By DeMorgan's rule
= j v True ; Tautology
= True ; Tautology

~p
= ~p v False
= ~p v ~True
= ~p v ~(j ^ ~j)
= ~p v (~j OR j)
= ~p v True
= True


The result is that all logical statements are evaluated as True. Even a statement and its contradiction became both true.


In Mathematics:
The law of non-contradiction would say that two different numbers are different.
IF a is always not equal to b THEN a is never equal to b

Lets say that there exists only one exception to this rule. Lets say: "1=2". Denying the law of non-contradiction would mean that a statement like "1=2" can be true. The law of non-contradiction prohibits such statements.

Lets now deny the law of non-contradiction and say: "1=2".... Now we can simply prove that any number is equal to any other number!
Consider this:
1=2 ; premise

5
= 2 + 3
= 1 + 3 ; premise
= 4 ; Result 1 (5=4)

20
= 5 + 2 + 13
= 4 + 2 + 13 ; Result 1 (5=4)
= 4 + 1 + 13 ; premise
= 18 ; Result 2 (20=18)
= 2 + 16
= 1 + 16 ; premise
= 17 ; Result 3 (20=17) and (18=17)

0
= 1 - 1
= 2 - 1
= 1 ; Result 4 (0=1)


Practically, by having ONLY ONE such an exception to the law of non-contradiction, as "1=2"... We can show that ALL other numbers are equal to one another! Not only for integer, but also for any other number. Observe:
For rational numbers:
0.5
= 10 / 20

We can prove that 10=200, and that 20=13

So we get:
0.5
= 10 / 20
= 200 / 13

For irrational numbers:
SQR: Square root
SQR 20
= SQR 50
= SQR 901


Now someone might say, that the operator of addition (+) is the problem, and that saying "20 = 1 + 19" is the problem. Fine, if we can't do it with addition, we do it with some other operators. Observe:
Using multiplication:
6
= 2 * 3
= 1 * 3 ; premise
= 3

Using power:
^: The power operator
16
= 4 ^ 2
= 4 ^ 1 ; premise
= 4


The end result, that to protect mathematics from dissolving by one such instance where the law of non-contradiction does not hold, you must deny numerous other operators that can be used to dissolve the system, including -among others-: Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, powers, logarithms... etc.

In short, the whole concept of algebraic manipulation needs to be abandoned to hold the system from dissolving into a trivial system.

This would mean heaven for lazy students who hate math and science. Because this means that any answer they put in their exams is necessarily correct!! All students now get 20 out of 20. And its no problem if you get 0 out of 20, because 20 equals 0! So if you are a lazy student, I suggest you start a campaign with the slogan "Say NO to the law of non-contradiction!"...


Communication and Language:
Denying the law of non-contradiction makes communication of ideas very difficult. To deny the law of non-contradiction is to say that: "To say something, and to negate that same something are two compatible views"...

Funny dialogs can result from this assertion. Consider this dialog, between two people: A and B... Hegel is a philosopher who -is said to have- denied the law of non-contradiction, and this fictional dialog was assembled to demonstrate how problematic this denial is.

A: Are you still a follower of Hegel?

B: Of course! I believe everything he wrote. Since he denied the law of noncontradiction, I deny this too. On my view, P is entirely compatible with not-P.

A: I'm a fan of Hegel myself. But he didn't deny the law of noncontradiction! You read the wrong commentators!

B: You're wrong, he did deny this! Let me get my copy of The Science of Logic.

A: Don't get so upset! You said that he did deny the law, and I said that he didn't. Aren't these compatible on your view? After all, you think that P is compatible with not-P.

B: Yes, I guess they're compatible.

A: No they aren't!

B: Yes they are!

A: Don't get so upset! You said that they are compatible, and I said that they aren't. Aren't these two compatible on your view? Recall that you think that P is compatible with not-P.

B: Yes, I guess they're compatible. I'm getting confused.

A: And you're also not getting confused, right?

source: Philosophy, et cetera Blog (link)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quantum Mechanics And Classical Physics: The Limit Relation

I am not qualified to discuss neither classical physics nor modern physics (aka quantum mechanics) but I have some knowledge that I would like to share that should make things easier to understand to make things clearer to an "average Joe".

In short: Classical Physics is the limit to infinity of Quanta in Quantum Mechanics. Thats in a nutshell.

For people who are not familiar with the mathematical concept of limits consider this example:
Say, F(X)=1-5*10^-X (one minus five times ten to the power of minus X). In this example:
F(0)=-4
F(1)=0.5
F(2)=0.95
F(3)=0.995
F(4)=0.9995
F(infinity)=1

This is the concept of a limit, notice that for small values of X, say between 0 and 3 the value of the function changes dramatically. But from the values of 4 and above the change is negligible. Consider how much F(4) is close to one!!

So in Quantum Mechanics the formulas are more complex than Classical Physics, but when the number of Quanta is large, certain parts of the equation can be discarded since they are negligible. Just like how in "F(X)=1-5*10^-X" we can discard the "-5*10^-X" since its almost zero for large values of X. The concept of limits apply when moving from Quantum Mechanics to Classical Physics.

Another hot topic is the probabilistic model of Quantum Mechanics. While we cannot be certain of the outcome of Quanta in overly simplistic scenarios, this does not apply to large numbers of Quanta. Its the same concept of limits.

Consider the following scenario:
Say X is a variable that initially has the value of 0. We throw a die, and we add the value of the die to X. So lets see what happens to X after 3 throws.
Say, the outcome of the die was: 3 / 3 / 6
X=3+3+6=12
Another experiment has this outcome: 4 / 1 / 2
X=4+1+2=7
Yet a third with this outcome: 5 / 6 / 4
X=5+6+4=15


It seems that X is different for each of these trials... This is an analogy to what happens with Quanta. Each Quanta produces a different stochastic (random) behavior. And the behavior of a system of Quanta is the sum of all the behavior of Quanta at that moment.

Consider now the above example with a billion throws. While the outcome of 3 trials might have large differences in each experiment, as the number of trials increases the error margin decreases. The the most basic property of probability. The more the trials the more stable results you will get.

In the above example, I can say that the average outcome of the die is (1+2+3+4+5+6)/6 = 3.5
So in one billion trials, the outcome should be very close to 3.5 billions.

The conclusion is that although when we consider Quanta in isolation they might produce diverse results, studying large numbers of Quanta is much easier and easily predictable with high confidence.

It is worth noting that one proton contains: 2.26*10^23 Quanta!! As you can see, even a single subatomic part contains a huge number of Quanta!! So even for a single atom assuming that the number of Quanta in it is infinite is a reasonable approximation in limit equations!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Games Of Life - Part 2: Equilibrium

Equilibrium is the state where all players have equal benefits and losses. There are several ways to achieve equilibrium. Assuming perfect play, a game reaches equilibrium if the game is balanced. A "balanced game" is the game which when played perfectly reaches equilibrium. Almost all popular games are balanced games. Poker is a balanced game. Card games like Hearts, Bridge, and Tricks are all balanced games. Chess is believed (although not proven) to be a balanced game!

In the case of card games, this does not mean that every round or game will end in a draw!! This means that if the game was repeated a large number of time, the scores will be drawish. The idea is, since cards are shuffled and given to players randomly, then making large number of games will be drawish. The concept is same as rules of chances in experiments like throwing dice. Everyone knows that for a "fair dice" each outcome from 1-6 will appear almost equally given a large number of trials. Thats why to reach balance we need repetitions to form statistically valid results.

Is life a balanced game? Assuming each player is unique from his parents, and considering the way things work, I would think that life cannot be considered a balanced game. Different amounts of effort are required by different players to reach equivalent statuses. This may not be true. It might be that if all the players played "perfectly" all the humans would reach a state of equality (even though they might not start with equal statuses). If we think of life as a balanced game and assume all players are playing perfectly, it should be that the rich get poorer and the poor get richer, until all players reach a state of equality. This may or may not be true. It is observed that the rich gets richer, and the poor gets poorer. But this outcome is not based on perfect play, and so it is not indicative of what would happen in the case of perfect play!

The concept of a "fair" game is different from a "balanced" game. A balanced game is defined as the behavior of the game on the long run. But not all balanced games are necessarily fair games. A fair game is a balanced game that requires equal effort to reach the state of equilibrium. If we assume that life is a balanced game, it probably is not a fair game. Maybe everyone can reach an equal state as other players, but this does not constitute equal effort.

Concepts of evolution suggest that life is not a fair game. A term like "survival of the fittest", suggests that certain individuals are more fit for the game of life than others. Thats why biologists model life as a game with bias towards certain traits that are more adaptive to the environment.

In this series:
Games Of Life - Part 1: The Broad Lines
Games Of Life - Part 2: Equilibrium
Next: Games Of Life - Part 3: Games Of Non-Zero-Sum
Next: Games Of Life - Part 4: Advanced Insight Into Games Of Perfect Information
Next: Games Of Life - Part 5: Gaming Theory And Decision-Making Theory

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Facebook: For The Sheeple of Earth

Reading the "Terms of Use" of Facebook, I found this article:
By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

source: Facebook - Terms of Use

SHEEPLE WAKE UP BEFORE YOU FIND YOURSELVES SELLING GUM AT THE STREET LIGHTS!!! Facebook is blackmailing all its users, and they are like sheep: Happy, singing "Maaa" ("I Agree")!

And for the last two sentences... There is a catch... Well, you can only pity the not-so-smart ones! (Hint: I underlined the clues)

This sin is not exclusive to Facebook only, but it is God-damned one of the most dangerous Terms of Use on the surface of this planet!! This post is a word for the wise...

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I don't have any degrees in the Law, nor do I claim proficiency in any Legal matters. You may wish to consult a lawyer.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Games Of Life - Part 1: The Broad Lines

Gaming theory is an interesting field of study that has been at numerous time applied to human life. Several gaming types where applied on real-life with different degrees of success. For example, Poker (a gambling game of cards) has been used several times to study tactical operations in war for military purposes. Yet, later it was proved that Poker is not a good model for war tactics regardless of how strong the analogy might be.

Poker obviously cannot be applied to war tactics (or any other aspect of life) due it being a zero-sum game: Life, and especially war, is not a zero-sum game, and modeling it as such is necessarily flawed logic! Sure you might ask what does "zero-sum game" mean...

Games can be divided into several categories according to certain properties. Some games are zero-sum others are non-zero-sum. Some games are games of perfect-information others are games of imperfect information.

Zero-Sum Games:
A zero-sum game is a game where one's gain is another's loss, and someone's loss is another's gain. Consider a game of chess: If one side wins, the other must lose. They cannot both win! There is no win-win situation in a game of chess! Same goes for poker, if someone wins 10$, then someone else must have lost 10$!! If we consider winning 10$ as +10, and losing 10$ as -10, then the sum of it all is ZERO... Thats why they call it a zero-sum game!
This applies to two-player games as well as multi-player games where applicable. Games of zero-sum always adds up to zero for all the players involved.
Life is obviously not a zero-sum game. There are a few win-win situations, but the most dominant situation is loss-loss. Consider the case of a war: Say a country is worth 1 million points, and each person is worth 1 point. Now assume that country A attacked country B, and a war happened that cause 1000 deaths in country A and 2000 deaths in country B, and finally country A took country B. In this hypothesized situation, country A has won 1 million points and lost 1000 points, giving a net of (+999000). Obviously country A has won something. On the other hand, country B has lost 1 million points and 2000 points, giving a net of (-1001000). Adding up the points of both countries the sum is (-3000). It did not add up to ZERO, because certain losses have irrecoverably vanished. So this hypothesized war is a losing game, or in other words a negative-sum game. On the other hand, sex can be though of as a positive-sum game, as both players in that game are satisfied.

Games of Perfect Information:
Chess is a classical example of a game of perfect information. The state of the game is well-known to both players. No player has anymore information than the other. Everything is laid-out in the clear. All possibilities are deductible.
(Most) Card games are games of imperfect information. In a typical four-players card games, one player has information about his set of cards, while having absolutely no idea about the cards of the other three players. This obviously turns the game into a game of imperfect information.
Life can be modeled as a game of imperfect information. Assuming that humans are players in the game of life, we can find that most of the time a player has no knowledge of all the variables that influence the outcome of the game.The element of surprise is dominant.

Games of Chance:
Monopoly is a classical example of a game of chance. Unlike card games, all the players have equal knowledge of the state of the game. No-information is hidden from any of the players, except the output of the dice, which none of the players know in advance. The game consists of what game theory experts call "chance nodes" and "decision nodes"... A chance node is simply the moment of throwing the dice, whose outcome is probabilistically modeled. A decision node is the moment one (or more) of the players have to make a decision that will change the state of the game.
Also, unlike chess, although players have full knowledge of the state of the game, they have no power to influence the outcome of the game assuming perfect play by all the players.

Games of chance might include the element of imperfect information. Texas-Holdem poker is such an example. In Texas Holdem poker, each player has information about his own cards and not other players just like games of imperfect information. But in addition to that, there are chance nodes where cards are revealed in a probabilistic manner. Bets made by players are the decision nodes.

Life can be modeled as a game of chance with imperfect information. So all-in all, life can be modeled as a game of chance with imperfect information and non-zero-sum! Numerous other factors can be taken into consideration to refine the model of life as a game.

In this series:
Games Of Life - Part 1: The Broad Lines
Games Of Life - Part 2: Equilibrium
Next: Games Of Life - Part 3: Games Of Non-Zero-Sum
Next: Games Of Life - Part 4: Advanced Insight Into Games Of Perfect Information
Next: Games Of Life - Part 5: Gaming Theory And Decision-Making Theory

Saturday, January 19, 2008

For The Chess Geeks: An Interesting Position

As I have said before, I am currently working on programming projects. One of the projects that I am working on is a chess engine. Making a computer program that plays good chess (Its in the 2000-2100 ELO points range). I started this project a long time ago, around ninth or tenth grade. It was a great project that I worked on until I finish school, sometime before getting into university. For the past three years at university I halted work on it. These days I reopened that old file.

In order to test the strength and shortcomings of the chess engine, I put the engine to play against human players on the internet. I can't play chess well, so I can't judge it myself (I am in the 600-700 ELO points range)... I need other players to play with it, who can exploit its weaknesses. Some people would think that to make a chess engine you have to be good at chess. Although at some point I didn't suck at chess, I do now. But I don't have to be good. Computer can do what we cannot do. Do you think that whoever designs calculator can find the square root of a large number manually in a second? Probably not!

So now getting to the point of this entry, while watching my chess engine play, it got itself in a bad situation... It saw its own demise, until the opposite player (on the black side) committed a mistake that turned the tables, and switched from being doomed to having the upper hand.

EPD: 8/4rp2/1p6/1qp2kNQ/7P/2P5/1P3nP1/2K4R b - - 0 34
Black To Move


The player continued by playing NxR (f2h1), oblivious to the fact that by capturing the white rook he turns the tables from winning to losing. As the saying goes, greed is no good.

The correct move for the black is: Nd3 (f2d3)
[+] Show\Hide Move

PS: If anyone is interested in additional analysis - just ask in the comments

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lack of Motivation

Everyone of us has a load of things on their daily schedule.... The question is whether those things are for our own amusement or simply things you have to do, you don't know another way to go without doing them!! (Almost) Every other fucking day, I have to wake up to go university... Thats one thing that I have to do everytime whether I like it or not... The question is, WHY?!

Most students as I am have university take up a large part of their time... Its a no joke, its lots of time... And to think that someone is taking the effort to do something so often, you would think: They must have a damn good reason to pay all that effort! We all are full of shit about how much our "future" depends on this... But what the hell is this future really is?! Seriously! I am god damned 22 years old, and still have no idea what this "future" is!!

Future, what an absurd word.... But the question is, what kind of future am I expecting?! I have to admit it, I am clueless! Someone would be a smartass and point out: Your future as an engineer! Thats fucking stupid... A job is not my future... My job is how I "make a living"... Sure "making a living" is supposed to mean how I make money! So we go to work to support our living... But its not "living"!! Its just something you need to do, to keep up living...

So our future is not synonymous with what we do for a living....

So I am working to be proficient in something that I can use to keep on living... I am going to be an engineer, but for what?! I honestly fail to see something worth fighting for... I am going through everyday trying not to feel bad... It just doesn't seem to pay off!!

No Motive, thats what I feel everyday... When I wake up, I tell myself: "Today I am waking up, going to university, attending lectures, and working hard because....", and then I simply can't finish the sentence...

The consequences are obvious... In one subject, we had 20 marks for 10 homeworks, and how many homeworks did I deliver? One. Another subject with a project as a group, how much was I useful? Negative, I actually blew up the things when I worked on it. And today morning, I had a final exam, and what happened? I didn't go to it. And why is that? Because I forgot that I even had an exam! And what did I do? I called a friend, got out and had a few smokes...

I know that alcohol costs money, but I don't need a fucking degree in Computer Engineering if all I was going to do is get drunk until I pass out!! And the shit is, I don't see anything more interesting that I can do with my life...