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See and read it all here and now.

Animation on the UPGRADE01A YouTube channel. Read other information here.

Science fiction and politics is covered mostly at this space-time, but every category listed is mentioned in a blog, story or commentary here.

The free exchange of ideas, hopes, dreams, goods, services, peace and love should prevail. Education is alive and free online and in the world’s libraries.

#OccupyLiberty

Every person, no matter what their opinion is, consistently follows the laws of nature, whatever those laws turn out to be. At this fundamental level, we are all consistent. We all must follow the laws of physics (or nature), because we have no choice – whatever nature is, we are a part of it. We just don’t know what those laws are.

In my opinion (at the time of this posting at least), the Universe and everything in it, including all the people living in it, are made up of matter, energy, and within the framework of causeless spacetime, where a state of nothingness probably never existed. There are many possibilities of “true reality” that fall within this general theme. This view may be considered as a Materialists point-of-view (if one is permitted to include in this definition energy, space and time are a part of the overall fabric), but the term “materialist” can be misleading (it does not mean that I value material possession over love of my family, or that I believe everything is made up of very tiny little pebble-like bits). In any case, it is my considered opinion that what we think of as atoms and sub-atomic particles are highly underrated and under appreciated by the majority of my fellow humans.

Still other people have multiple variations on the opinions or belief that there is another, supernatural aspect to life and the cosmos that somehow exists outside of nature.

Many people hold beliefs that on the one hand embrace the more-or-less materialist viewpoint, but to some degree hold onto the Dualist point-of-view. They hold onto a kind of middle ground, if you will, between the realm of the spiritual and the material. Usually this middle ground involves a spirit or soul that somehow effects human beings and possibly all living things, but not inanimate objects.

Not all of these opinions can be correct. Some people may not agree with the statement just previous to this sentence.

Regardless of where the ultimate truth may be (I was tempted to say use the term “lie” here instead of “be” but decided against it), it seems to me that there must be a single, underlying foundation, a single law or set of laws that can describe the entire universe, even if we never fully understand what those laws may be. Of course, those that believe that each of us make our own reality will not agree with the me on this point. If the laws are never discovered, does it follow that the laws do not actually exist and is this merely an argument over semantics?

If the current understanding of the laws of the Universe can be bent or changed, or in some way altered, then we have yet to discover the fundamental laws. The laws that are altered, must not be the entire story. It may be the case that the fundamental laws can never be discovered by humans, but we should never give up trying.

By “The Universe”, in this context, I very roughly mean that part of the Universe that most physicists believe to be about 13.7 billion years old and is commonly believed to have “started” with a big bang (probably much bigger than the Hubble Volume, but no one knows for sure). Explaining what I mean here is but one example of where talking about “beliefs” can rapidly become very fuzzy and difficult to accurately discuss. The meanings of many words are ambiguous. The everyday use or missuse of words tends to increase the ambiguity of words (Is there such a thing as language entropy and does my very reference to the word entropy in this metaphorical context further contribute to it?). 

Our “understanding” of what the Universe “is” is even more ambiguous, given that the nature of science itself is a dynamic process, and there are various competing theories, none of which are completely worked out. Most people (and I include myself) do not understand much beyond the high-level concepts described to us by scientists (and most of us can forget about ever understanding the mathematics involved) to really understand any of the details. On the other hand, I think that those that side with the Supernatural camp have much much bigger hurdles to cross, and they must admit that they at least have hurdles of similar magnitude.

Perhaps we can all learn from each other, and try to find the positive aspects of the opinions of others. Everyone’s opinions (or set of beliefs, or worldview) must be based, at least in part (even if the Dualist point-of-view turn out to be correct), on their previous experiences, and ultimately the initial state of their entire set of atoms and energy, and the state of all their surrounding atoms. At least to a certain extent, people really cannot help what they believe. Furthermore, natural human language has far too many ambiguities built into it to for any lay person to fully and completely describe their beliefs accurately to another human being.

To make matters worse, I would wager that most or all people would have a difficult time explaining their own beliefs to themselves in a completely consistent, non-dynamic way that does not drift at least a little bit from day to day and from one emotional state to another. We each think we know what our beliefs are, but when we delve deeper into our own thoughts we run into inconsistencies, ambiguities, doubts, and other forms of uncertainties. We change our minds in subtle ways that we may not always be consciously aware of.

When we are sad or frustrated about our own life, we may begin to doubt some of our own beliefs. When we are on top of the world, and everything is going our way, we are often so certain that we know what we are doing. Even those that have dogmatic beliefs (as seen from the outside by the rest of us) and can recite their beliefs word for word from one book or another, or perhaps from memorization will inevitably run into ambiguities in the very words they speak. They will realize (or they should realize) that they do not understand everything they utter or think or pray with one hundred percent understanding.

I was just lucky enough that “my” particles, or rather my patterns (life is more like a process than a thing) collided with other particles in such a way that my opinion turned out to be the more or less correct one! I can’t help it if I’m lucky! I cannot help it if I think that I know that I am mostly right, at least in the bare-boned essential fundamentals. You probably feel the same way about your opinions. You think that you know that you must essentially be correct about what you consider to be important. Of course, you and I are probably wrong about many of our personal beliefs. There is a good chance that we both are missing more than a few important details about the reality of this Universe. You probably believe know a few facts that I do not know and some of those facts may be important insights that I am missing. On the other hand, you are most likely missing bits of information that, if you knew them, might alter your view of this world in some very radical ways.

As an example, most people are in denial about how much their own political opinions have changed over time.

As another example, most people are in denial about how much their personal viewpoints have changed after they fall in love. Compromises inevitably take place. New ideas and concepts are learned from your partner. We fail to see flaws in the person we fall in love with. That is a part of the nature of falling in love. Many (or most? or all?) people had doubts about the existence of the kind of love they experience only after falling in love (which is of course at least somewhat different than the love we feel for our siblings, which is different than the love we feel for our parents, and the love we feel for our neighbors, our friends, and chocolate). Most people do not want to make love to a piece of chocolate or to their parents, for example.

Beware, here comes a tangential point (or is it a fuzzy wave? or both?):

I could not resist creating this post. Of course, I created this post because I wanted to create this post, but I did not create it on my own free will in the traditional sense. If free will did exist, that would imply that I could choose to do something other than what I want to do.

I am certain that other’s do not agree with this post. I am reasonably certain that my opinion and understanding of the world has already and will continue to change over spacetime. I am certain that my opinions are not made very concise or clear in this post. I have changed this post several times already today, and it is still not written down to my complete satisfaction. New ideas and variations on ideas keep popping into my consciousness.

I believe that story telling is one good way that people can learn new ideas, explore beliefs, and be entertained at the same spacetime.

Using logic and rational discussion is another way, but consider the following bit of simple logic:

A is A.

In one sense the above statement is true. It is the Law of Identity first described by Aristotle and seemed to be one of Ayn Rand’s favorite statements. However, the moment we try to apply this simple bit of logic to any entity in the real world, even for this most simple fundamental truth in logic, it does not absolutely apply in all instances.

Here is a silly example of what I am (not) talking about, but it does give a point of how confusing even simple concepts can become misunderstood: In the real world, that first “A” exists several pixels to the left of the second “A”. The statement “A is A” above is located on your computer screen at time X, while the same sentence is located on my computer screen at time “Y” (and it looks different inside the editor than it does to me when I save and post again).

Suppose instead, as was presumably intended by both Aristotle and Ayn Rand, we take “A” to represent an entity. In that case, the second “A” can be said to represent the same entity as the first “A”. However, in the real world, both the laws of thermodynamics apply and time exists. Real entities change over time. In the real world entities do not have precise edges on them, even if we discount quantum theory. Atoms constantly break away from the outside edges of physical, material entities. Electrons move around, jump from one atom over to another, absorbing light that came from other places, both from outside and inside of the entity.

Suppose we take the word “is” to apply to entity “A” in a single instance of time. In the real world we cannot freeze time at a single instant.

Suppose we could freeze time at a single instant, and the variable “A” represented the single musical note “A” (at 440 cycles per second). In this case, the note would vanish, since frequency implies time.

Instead, let us suppose that “is” is taken to mean “to exist”. If I play A-440 on my piano, by the time I tell you about this note, it will have faded away. What is meant by “to exist”? Does a musical note traveling through the air exist in the same sense that a solid rock exists?

If “A” stands for “apple” and I tell you “this apple is delicious”, that could mean that I ate the apple and found it to be delicious, or that I ate a similar apple, perhaps from the same batch of apples at the store. It does not mean that “apple” and “delicious” are two words for the same entity. It does not mean that all apples are delicious. Yet I said:

apple is delicious.

In this sense of “is” we do not mean equality, but we mean that a particular entity (an apple) as a specific attribute (delicious). It gets even more complex, because the attribute “delicious” is subjective. It is a matter of opinion.

Furthermore, your tongue may have superior taste buds to mine, or your neurons in the taste sensory section of your brain may have superior synaptic connections, and you may sense a bit of bitterness in the apple. Your sensors came up with a different answer.

If I did take a bite out of the apple to determine that the apple is delicious, the apple is no longer a whole apple anymore.

I dare say that the most experienced logician will have a difficult time explaining to a layperson (and perhaps to their selves) how and when or if logic every really does apply to the real world. Is logic merely to be taken as an academic subject, as a kind of model of the real world? Is the real world logical? Is logic logical?

Everybody misunderstands everybody else to at least some degree. Even the best of philosophers have changed their own minds over time. Whenever a person learns more about the nature of his or her world, that person will change in subtle or not so subtle ways. Even mathematicians do not agree completely on what mathematics is?

I do not mean to imply that life is meaningless. And please do not take my one remark about mathematics, or my statements about logic or science out of context. It is my opinion that science with math, logic and rational thought are the best and most effective ways of discovering the truth about the universe around us.

On the other hand, “truth” is not the only game in town worth pursuing. What is “true” or “false” about music, art, poetry, literature, or love? Is the music of Bach “true” and the music of Miles Davis “false”? I don’t think so. Perhaps religion is like music or art for some people. A lot of people probably enjoy a nice religious service.

Perhaps my previous statements about music are somehow wrong or misguided, or perhaps a particular musicologist has an opinion that I am somehow not understanding or listening to music properly in some respect, and if I would only learn what music was all about I would understand that my taste for music was poor and silly and stupid. On the other hand, perhaps the musicologist does not understand properly how the musical notes of a piece of music stimulated a set of neurons in such as way as to cause a cascade chemical reactions that resulted in part of the pleasure zone in my brain to light up making me feel good.

What I am arguing is that we should listen to one another and not use violence against those that do not agree with our own point-of-view. I prefer having the freedom to decide what the meaning of life is for myself. Is it not written the you choose your own path? (now it is written)

Live and let live. If your beliefs lead you to think about flying an airplane into a building full of innocent beings is good, or that dropping bombs on innocent people, in the desperate hope of perhaps killing some of your enemies is just, please take another look at your beliefs. I was hoping this post will get you to change your mind.

Avoid becoming dogmatic in your beliefs, whatever they may be. Consider the possibility that you have no idea what you are talking about. Consider the possibility that people you look up to admire, and respect are perhaps even more confused and misguided than you are. Consider the possibility that much of what you believe is essentially correct, but that you are mistaken in some areas where you might least expect.

Belief in Einstein’s equations did not cause lunatics to fly an airplane into an office building, but neither did belief in Mohamed’s philosophy make the atom bomb possible. Stalin was an atheist, but Adolf Hitler was religious. Terrorism is evil, but so is a misguided foreign policy.

Blaming 9/11 only on religion, without considering the political and the economic components, as some prominent scientists and philosophers seem have recently done (some that I admire and respect in many other regards, and as a fellow atheist, at times I find myself sympathizing with their points about religion and do not completely disagree them on this matter – I am referring to Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens ), makes little or no more sense than blaming the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima completely on Albert Einstein. Such thinking can lead to dangerous ideas.

It was Albert Einstein who persuaded Roosevelt that the atomic bomb was not only possible, but that the Nazis were developing one. Einstein later regretted sending that letter to the president. My feeling on the 9/11 terrorist situation is that Ron Paul, a Christian, has a much more clear understanding of foreign affairs and American foreign policy than any of the above mentioned atheist, scientist, or philosophers. Although I do admire and respect their work and feel that have important comments to consider on this topic as well. If the pro-Iraq camp has a valid point, they certainly have not presented their case very clearly or accurately (see: this, for example – or this). Is it oil, or weapons of mass destruction, or terrorist, and how many innocent lives and how much tax payers money is justified in this fuzzy pursuit, and what about a Declaration of War, and on and on.

My opinions are definitely not 100% correct and your opinions are most certainly not 100% wrong. There is probably exactly one reality, but there are more than six billion perceptions of that reality. The scientific method is designed to be unbiased and self-correcting, but in practice, there will always be politics. Religious institutions promise hope and love, but often promote fear and death.

Science does not have all of the answers, but that does not imply that other institutions have any real answers to any questions. It may be true that science and religion are mutually exclusive, but that is not necessarily the case. No one knows for sure.

If truth is beauty and beauty is truth, then in that sense, music is beautiful can be true for me, a religious sermon may be beautiful and true for you, and a mathematical proof may be beautiful and true for another. Is one person’s pleasure center more true than anothers? Are you arguing with the laws of physics? The particles in your brain followed the same laws of physics that my brain followed.

At the moment, both the religious and the authoritarians have been a lot more successful at passing both their genes and their memes along than either the atheists and the libertarians. If you want to change someone’s opinion to be more in line with your own, then try to have a little empathy for how they got to where they are. Remember how lucky you are that your particles and patterns happened to collide in just the right ways to give you your the intelligent, rational, and objective insight that you believe you have.

 

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PhilosophyMonty Python style … I Kant understand it. It’s all Greek to me.

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…but when you observe something, don’t you have to shine light “photons” on that something, so the electron would “know” it is being observed, right?

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The Dawkins Delusion

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Beyond Uncertainty

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Climate Catastrophe Cancelled

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Why Do Atheists Care About Religion?

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Peace Train

Lovely song, but on the other hand:

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/columns/column092204.shtml

… but is that really how he feels (and do people change over time?)

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,237698,00.html?sPage=fnc.entertainment/music

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Morning Has Broken

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Bach – Glenn Gould talks about Art of fugue

 

 

Wayne Dyer: Power of Intention … some of this sounds nice

It’s nice to have an optimistic outlook on life, but doesn’t luck have something to do with it? Do the children starving in Africa not “intend” or “think positive thoughts” hard enough? …. Does Quantum theory really say anything about macroscopic objects?

field guide to quackery

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George Carlin on Religion

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The Sistine Chapel

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Bach – Matthaus Passion – 52. Aria A – Koennen Traenen meine

Was Bach thinking of the bad bits of the Bible when he wrote this? I doubt it.

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https://upgrade01a.wordpress.com/links/

Not Exactly God Videos

… but Christians are not praying with the hateful side of the Bible on their minds are they? Aren’t they mostly pretty nice people who want to help others? Answer: Some are and some are not.

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I like much of what Ron Paul has to say… but he is a Christian and I am an Atheist…

I agree with Richard Dawkins that atheists in America should come out of the closet. He has written many wonderful books explaining evolution (I recommend “The Selfish Gene” and “The Blind Watchmaker“, but I think politically he is a bit too “left leaning” when it comes to centralized government, and government spending. Maybe I am wrong about that.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

 

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Note:  Some links are broken now.  Am in the process of fixing some and deleting others…


Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy. God non existence of.


Douglas Adams : Radical Atheist

I encourage others to post their own links which contain a different point of view. Do you believe in The Golden Rule? I do. Perhaps you have a different world view that you would care to share…


Creation Science



Atheist

The following educational videos are intended for believers in the God of Abraham (targeted mostly toward Christians), please watch at least a few of these very short videos with your intelligent, rational open mind…

… Perhaps you feel the above videos miss the point? Perhaps they do. On the other hand, consider this: You may be missing the point and the intention for the so-called “other side.” Do you believe in Love and the joy of music? I do. Did you know that many atheists have a very positive, optimistic viewpoint on life? Many of us see and enjoy the music of Bach, and appreciate the the literature and lessons in the bible. One cannot appreciate the goodness (and evil) behind Western Civilization without reading and understanding the bible.

I doubt that Bach was thinking about stoning people to death as a punishment for violating on of God’s commandments when he wrote “The Passion.”

Perhaps you underestimate the power and beauty of mathematics, the awe that scientists feel when they view the Universe through their eyes. Maybe, just maybe you misjudge the feelings and world view of others.

Maybe there is more to the scientific method than meets the eye…

Perhaps we should learn to get along and tolerate different world views, but does that mean the we should tolerate a world view that advocates random killing and death of innocents? Does one evil deed on one side require another evil deed on the other? Are you sure you understand your own position of what you are advocating? How do you know you are right?

Consider this: No matter what you believe, most people think you are wrong. Surely there is not a single person on the planet who is absolutely right about everything. Maybe your world view has some flaws in it, and maybe you misinterpret what other people or teachings are saying.

Learn more …

Richard Dawkins:Lecture1. Waking up in the universe (1 of 7)

  • The Brights – “A bright is a person who has a naturalistic worldview …”

… Here is a different take on religion, with a different point-of-view that a friend sent me:
Vexon Crabtree on Single God Religions

More videos….

  • Stephen Hawking interviewed on “Yair Lapid” Answers “God question” at the end.
  • Atheism: A Rough History Of Disbelief ep.1 prt.1 This is a very nice documentary.

… See the rest of A Rough History simply by scrolling through YouTube….

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John and Jerry Part I – The Continuing Story of Dr. Chasey Lick

Author: David S. Ullery

May 4, 2007

Note:  Modified on 7/29/2008

Part II to become available soon!

Just barely after John awakened from his new upgrade installation, he mentalmarked to Jerry:

But, try to never overly split infinitives, never say “never” too many times in one sentence, never write lengthy, overly descriptive “run on sentences” (one should avoid the over use of parenthesis, lengthy quotations, and italicized words nested within; such as the infamous sentence: “John, while Jerry had had ‘had’, had had ‘had had’; ‘had had’ had had a better affect on the teacher.” – avoid dashes and confusing the meanings of words like affect and effect, and speling errors); never begin a sentence with “But”, never write self-referencing sentences (this sentence speaks for itself), and last but not least, avoid clichés, redundancies, repeating oneself, and never end a sentence with “and”.

Jerry replied verbally, “Oh, Okay. Thanks for the tip, I will keep that in mind. I think you need more rest!”

John fell back to sleep and would sleep for another 10 hours. While drifting off, his head was full of many strange ideas that were oddly self-referential and whimsical. Where or when had he heard (or seen – he must have seen it – so very very odd!) that strange brain script before?

Jerry closed his eyes, thought for a moment about his friend’s half-conscious, grammatically-odd musings and began laughing to himself. “This sentence has no content other than eight words.” briefly appeared in his mind’s eye, and he laughed and wondered “which eight?” Jerry had had the same upgrade last Tuesday. He suddenly felt hungry for eye of newt, because that is what the witch ate.

Jerry figured that his aberrant thoughts, bizzare appetite, and sudden quaint paranomasia propensity all indicated that his upgrade needed some adjusting, so he pinged Dr. Lick over the web (of course). Dr. Lick’s avatar assistent told Jerry not to worry, she knew what to do (of course), and asked Jerry to lie down on the vacant bed just next to John’s.

Dr. Lick’s avatar left a short mentalmark for the good doctor to notice after it would reach the front of her priority queue:

The patients John and Jerry are both sound asleep. Jerry had had a premature unstable communication linkup with his colleague John right after John had awoken! Recommend adjustments to the upgrade instructions to avoid this side effect on future patients. Please proceed with the minor adjustments to the BrocaScript upgrade unit as soon as possible.

Dr. Chasey Lick had just turned 17 last week and had only began practicing medicine for one and a half years, but she knew that she only had a few hours to act, otherwise both patients would have about a 30% likelihood of suffering from expressive aphasia-like symptoms that would be both difficult and very expensive to repair. Chasey’s reputation was on the line! She was swiftly becoming well regarded in the new BrocaScript specialty, and she could not afford any setbacks. Many of Chasey’s colloquies had expressed concern over her young age, both in front of and behind her back.

Without hesitation, and with great skill, Dr. Lick  swiftly located, modified and downloaded the script that both John and Jerry’s nano-implants would need to adjust and repair their identically-flawed upgrades. John and Jerry would both surely recover after completing their lengthy sleep. Chasey made sure to include a mental note in the script to remind the two patients not to attempt any mentalmarking for at least 8 hours after awakening!

Chasey could relax now, at least for a bit, and get back to her hobby of ancestral searching. She was delighted and amazed with a recent discovery of what appeared to be a quaint old technology known as a slideshow that showed old photographs depicting what was once called a mini-vacation that her great-great-grand-parents must have taken so very long ago. The young doctor leaned back in her flexchair, closed her eyes, propped her feet up on her beautiful oldish Aerogel coffee table.  Chasey slowly took in a deep relaxing breath of high-oxygenated filtered air, further enhancing her newly acquired meditative state, then viewed the old slideshow.

Although the conscious part of Chasey was virtually completely relaxed, a remote part of her subconscious mind was busily processing, puzzling over, and concerned over the concept of, and the possibility of the spread of a potentially new type of meme virus

Chasey’s mind wandered some more, as she started thinking about her poor father, Trevor and his odd story. She laughed nervously, then began to cry once again, as she often did whenever she thought of her daddy.

too be continued …

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