This blog is intended for rational audiences. Its contents are the personal opinions of its author. If you quote from this blog, which you
may do with attribution, please assume personal accountability for any consequences of mischaracterizing these expressed intentions.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Закат над островом

Rule #6: Everybody loves a spectacular view!


Закат над островом by Daniil Demkin on 500px
Photograph Закат над островом by Daniil Demkin on 500px


Post 2,503 Закат над островом

Running in the Sky with Seventies

Rule #3: Cosmological Art


Reflections on the 1970s, Jimmy Walker, APOD


Post 2,502 Running in the Sky with Seventies

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's wrong with these names?

Image via Wikipedia

Name What's wrong with the name? Better Name
Lake Titicaca One of these things doesn't belong in a lake. Lake Titirump
Boring, Oregon Oregon's not boring. Boring, Idaho
Idaho Ida is a nice girl. Idanotaho
Loveladies, New Jersey Discriminates against other species. Lovegoats, New Jersey

There must be millions of these. Feel free to suggest others in the comments.
Post 2,501 What's wrong with these names?

Pegasus in the Sky with Deer Licks

Rule #3: Cosmological Art


NGC 7331 and Beyond, Tony Hallas, APOD


Post 2,500 Pegasus in the Sky with Deer Licks

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It had to be d'you

It sucks to be Jew



(Image via sodahead.com)
"We don't need no stinkin' Juice. We
just want their money and expertise."
— World leader of the Jew-hating
choomband, "Chickenshit Herpes"
Related source » Ben Shapiro: Obama Leads 'Jew-Hating' Administration: 'via Blog this'
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]

“The fact is that the president of the United States is a morally bereft man. It's the only way to put it. […] To equate the people who were hacked to death in a synagogue while praying to their God to the people who did the hacking is astonishing … This is an administration that is Jew-hating.”
— 19 Nov 2014 (newsmax.com)



I'm just a senior man; senior and Jew. I once was PaulAnka — with something to do.

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times … The cycle is now closing. Again.

I was born in Nazi-occupied Poland; I survived. I came to America; I flourished. And now, "all the way" suddenly (gradually, but at an accelerated pace), insanity à gauche re-emerges, as this stinkin' world turns, and comes around, again.

I have seen this movie before. The scumbag Jew-haters fade away. Alas, they never actually die. They're like herpes.
Post 2,499 It Had to be d'You

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cassiopeia in the Sky with Heart and Soul

Rule #3: Cosmological Art


W5: Pillars of Star Formation, WISE, et al., APOD


Post 2,498 Cassiopeia in the Sky with Heart and Soul

Monday, December 15, 2014

Spectacular Autumn Sunrise!

Rule #6: Everybody loves a spectacular view!


Mount Stuart Autumn Morning by Zhou Dong on 500px
Photograph Mount Stuart Autumn Morning by Zhou Dong on 500px


Post 2,497 Spectacular Autumn Sunrise!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Carmen

Rule #5: Pretty Woman


Sesión Carmen 4 by DanielPerdigueroPhoto on 500px
Photograph Sesión Carmen 4 by DanielPerdigueroPhoto on 500px


Post 2,496 Carmen

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Old Dogs, New Tricks

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

← William Wordsworth

Related source » Maverick Philosopher: Old Man, Happy Man: 'via Blog this'
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]

“You are free to be yourself and live beyond comparisons with others. You can enjoy the social without being oppressed by it. You understand the child's fathership of the man, and in some measure are able to undo it. You have survived those who would define you, and now you define yourself. And all of this without rancour or resentment. Defiant self-assertion gives way to benign indifference, Angst to Gelassenheit [fear to serenity].” [emphasis added]
— Bill Vallicella, December 13, 2014 (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)


Perhaps Bill (Vallicella) is right — so long as you are long enough in the tooth, and marooned on Selkirk's island. If, however, either condition does not (yet) apply, it seems to me one must rely on "[sufficient] measure [of ability] to undo [the child's fathership of the man]".

To be marooned, and old to boot, is a dreadful scenario to entertain.

Post 2,495 Old Dogs, New Tricks

Vision in the Sky with Spectra

Rule #3: Cosmological Art


The Infrared Visible Andromeda, Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), et al., APOD


Post 2,494 Vision in the Sky with Spectra

Friday, December 12, 2014

Marvelous Impressionistic Photo!

Rule #6: Everybody loves a spectacular view!



Houseboat by Judith Duddle on 500pxPhotograph Houseboat by Judith Duddle on 500px

Post 2,493 Marvelous Impressionistic Photo!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pretty Woman [but lose the earring]

Rule #5: Pretty Woman


Sophie BW by Henrik Elstrup on 500px
Photograph Sophie BW by Henrik  Elstrup Aagaard Salminen on 500px


Post 2,492 Pretty Woman [but lose the earring]

The Wonders Of Youth and High Tech

Nothing to see here

Related source » Maverick Philosopher: What's Wrong With This Picture?: 'via Blog this'
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]


The girls are studiously ignoring the boys. The boys are oblivious of the girls. No one is admiring Rembrandt's masterpiece, "The Night Watch". Sigh …

Post 2,491 The Wonders Of Youth and High Tech

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

On the perfectibility of human nature

It is time, on this view, that envelops everything else. It is the only feature of nature that enjoys absolutely the attribute of non-emergence.”

Image via ideas.time.com
Everything about the universe changes, evolves or emerges in time. Even the characteristics of changes change in time. And so do constructs of the mind (such as mathematics), as well as the laws of nature (as we presently intuit and deduce them). The single exception to universal change in time — is time itself.

Hence, "perfectibility" as a goal can be approached in principle to arbitrary precision — in time. But depending on the target of our ambition, the approach to its perfection may take any amount of time, from one Planck time up to the entire lifetime of the universe at its heat death, or in the event it changes into another form of universe in time.

Let's consider a thought experiment. Suppose we had an acceptable measure for the "purity of human kindness" (PHK), and the means to assess the appropriate PHK value for each individual now living and for all those who have lived during the past century. I assume that such a multitude of individuals (lets say ten billion humans) would display a range of PHK values. At one extreme we would group the likes of Mother Teresa. The opposite extreme would harbor monsters like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam, and others equally grotesque.

If we plotted this population of PHK values with respect to coordinate axes for number of humans as a function of their PHK value-interval, we would visualize some form of bell-shaped curve, with Mother Teresa at the extreme tail of saintly beings, and at the opposite tail the monsters of humanity. The average Joe Sixpack would appear somewhere within the centrally located broad peak of the distribution.

With this lengthy introduction, I now turn to my main point of this post: How likely is it that human nature, which we both love and abhor, can be perfected within the lifetime of any organized society? Based on the available historical record, I don't believe there has ever been (to date, of course) an observable change in human nature, let alone a change for the better, which latter would be displayed as a skewing of our above-described plot in the direction of Mother Teresa.

So what can we surmise about the chances that any group of self-appointed individuals (even if all of them were on par with the likes of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, et al.) could establish some form of utopia via centrally devised and promulgated policies (with the understanding that any such worldview relies unambiguously on the perfectibility of human nature)? I assert the chances are slim to vanishingly small.

Alternatively, we have in America a framework for societal organization that comprises: the rule of laws (stemming from a Constitutional social contract, which is amendable but not whimsically so); a tripartite representative government; the concept of personal property; and a free market economy. This framing was accomplished by a group of geniuses who by and large must have known implicitly that a utopia based on the hoped for perfectibility of human nature was a non-starter. There has been much historical evidence that the Framers were right. And there has been much more evidence that the so-called "perfectibility utopians" ushered in hellish monstrosities, without exception.
Post 2,490 On the perfectibility of human nature

Friday, December 5, 2014

Galaxy in the Sky with Satellites

Rule #3: Cosmological Art


Milky Way over Moon Valley, Rafael Defavari, APOD


Post 2,489 Galaxy in the Sky with Satellites

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bear's Hump - Waterton Lakes National Park

Rule #6: Everybody loves a spectacular view!


The View From Bear's Hump by Hector Brian Mejia on 500px
Photograph The View From Bear's Hump by Hector Brian Mejia on 500px


Post 2,488 Bear's Hump - Waterton Lakes National Park

Pretty Warrior

Rule #5: Pretty Woman


Pretty Woman via Theo


Post 2,487 Pretty Warrior

Have It Your Way

… make it a Whopper!


Related source » Ungrateful Husband Smacks Pregnant Wife With McChicken Sandwich: Cops: 'via Blog this'
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]

“Hill said his wife woke him up around 1 p.m. with a McChicken in hand. He admitted to police that he became upset and threw the sandwich at her, then picked up some of the bun, throwing it at her again.

[…]

Police apparently found Hill's wife with 'mayonnaise on her shirt and face'.”
— Aleksander Chan, Dec. 3, 2014 (gawker.com)



The "mayonnaise on her shirt" must have been the final indignity.
Post 2,486 Have It Your Way