Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RIP Tom Busch

He was the station manager at KNOM in Nome, Alaska.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy liturgical new year!

Or more properly, perhaps prayerful liturgical new year? Advent isn't exactly a partying season.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Not an engineering problem

A Columbia professor considers the problem of sick or otherwise expensive infants.

The killing of a newborn (neonaticide) is an act that we all instinctively abhor, and, under most circumstances, this revulsion is appropriate. The basic reason we feel this way is that we have in mind images of our own children, or grandchildren, or those of friends or relatives at that stage of life. Obviously the defective newborn situation discussed above is rather different. The above-mentioned cases of child-mothers call for further thought. The key point is that, in such cases, the mother does not want the infant. Assume that, as is usual in such cases, neither does the father. What kind of future would lie ahead for newborns whose parents do not want them?

Our prisons are filled with such people. While there are, indeed, many examples of wonderful people, living fulfilling lives, despite having grown up in miserable circumstances with uncaring, or missing, parents, they are the exceptions, illustrating the remarkable resiliency of humans. Many more victims of such conditions find little happiness, and often inflict a great deal of misery on others thru criminal behavior.

Yes, let's kill all of the people who statistically will be problems. No point in putting any effort into making the world a better place, it's cheaper to kill them.

And of course the usual swipe at religion towards the end, about how I shouldn't impose my religious morality that we should spend money on trying to care for sick children. Alas, the good doctor doesn't consider that it is only my religious morality that prevents me from proposing death for those who hold such opinions. But such is all you can expect when you base a morality around the idea that

The absence of a strong, well enforced, and well known law against killing people would cause painful, well justified, anxiety among all who are capable of understanding that their lives are not protected.

Anxiety. Sounds like a good base to build a society around, people's anxiety. Somehow he does carve out an exemption later for people who become senile or otherwise mentally incapacitated, though he doesn't get around to explaining where that fits in your system. Nor how this interacts with the fact that adults might place themselves in the position of the unfortunate children in this drama and wish to protect some past version of themselves from harm. Not a Rawlsian, then, which is probably a good thing since he tends to make not much sense after a while.

He was a good digital logic professor at any rate.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Taxonomy of logical fallicies



Sunday, November 21, 2010

A better mousetrap

Unlike the backscatter imaging devices that provide revealing body images and which have stoked concerns about radiation, the system at Schiphol uses radio waves to detect contraband.

. . .

If the software identifies a passenger carrying explosives, an outline of the problem body area is displayed on a generic mannequin figure instead of on the actual image of the passenger's body. The mannequin image, which appears on the operator's control panel, "can then be used by security personnel to direct a focused discussion or search," the company website reads.

Pity, I've been wanting to show off my stuff to airport security.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dark Verse 73 is out

Something is very appealing about tales of terror and death. Maybe I don't get enough of that in my daily routine.


Sunday, November 14, 2010


I used to go abroad, and I always felt sick at heart. Nothing special, really -- here's the dawn coming up, here's the Bay of Naples, the sea -- you look, and it's somehow sad. The most disgusting thing is that you're always sad about something! No, the fatherland's better; here at least you can blame it all on everyone else and justify yourself.

Crime and Punishment, Part IV Chapter 1


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tetragrammaton Banned in Liturgy, Songs, and Prayer

But apparently not from text on the internet. Jewish readers may not want to click the above link.

This change dates back to 2008, but I was not made aware of it until I was picking out songs for my father's funeral. One of his favorite songs employed the tetragrammaton in lyrics and the organist kindly told me that it was forbidden to use such songs any more in Catholic liturgies, as decreed by the Vatican! Who knew?! But actually I welcome the change. I was always uncomfortable saying the name of God after I learned about the significance of it and had a Jewish friend patiently explain to me the serious matter of this blasphemy in some circles.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Gaudi a saint?

I like his park bench. Not so much his taste in churches.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Apparently it's now wrong for lions to eat meat - we should train them not to be so cruel.

But if suffering is bad for animals when we cause it, it is also bad for them when other animals cause it. That suffering is bad for those who experience it is not a human prejudice; nor is an effort to prevent wild animals from suffering a moralistic attempt to police the behavior of other animals.

Indeed. Also, it's wrong for galaxies to engulf other galaxies. Stars get thrown all out of whack, planets that might be teeming with life get thrown out into the interstellar void, untold destruction and chaos. Nature should stop following natural laws and start obeying 21st century politically correct conventions.


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