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Tensorman last won the day on March 30 2012

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  1. The new font looks ugly on my screen, uneven, with thick and thin lines, which makes it difficult to read. Fortunately the theme "IP board" brought back the old crisp and sharp font, so I've no complaint. But I just wonder why the other font looks so ugly on my screen (I've seen the same effect on some other sites). Has it something to do with the resolution (1920 * 1200) that I use?
  2. I find those bulging silicon balloons a horrible sight, I can't understand that there are really men who find those attractive, it's so obvious fake. It's something different if the woman is completely flatchested or has those long and hanging breasts with nipples pointing downward. In such cases a modest implant and/or lift may be an improvement. But natural breasts are always sagging more or less, unless you're a young girl. That's part of their charm, als long as they're not going too low.
  3. "wasn't exactly sad news" is a classic example of litotes. It's dripping with sarcasm, I'm sure no other interpretation was meant.
  4. I think Rand would have been horrified by the cheap remark by Binswanger. It's one thing to give a critical evaluation of the life of a person who has just passed away, but quite another thing to be a jerk saying that he's glad that that person is dead, at least when it doesn't concern some mass murderer or a similar criminal. Someone like Lindsay Perigo, who hasn't been Barbara's friend for many years (to put it mildly) at least gave a decent reaction on his site.
  5. That something contradicts "known facts" doesn't mean that it is a logical contradiction. It can mean that our knowledge so far was not complete: what seemed to us to be incontrovertible facts, were not. So it seemed to us for centuries that time was a universal variable, for everyone the same. Now we know that this is not true, see the twin paradox, which breaks a law that we thought to be an incontrovertible truth. A famous statement by Arthur C. Clarke is "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", the fact that something looks to us like magic doesn't mean that it is a contradiction, something impossible. A God who could use the most advanced technology you can imagine, could very well do things that would look like pure magic to us. A logical contradiction would be for example a triangle with 4 angles or a married bachelor, there is no way that these could exist, but the fact that a known law is shown to be violated in some cases is not a logical contradiction. You cannot disprove the existence of God by pure logic.
  6. You cannot logically disprove the existence of God. At most you can show that some interpretations or attributes of "God" are selfcontradictory, for example the attribute of omnipotence. But such contradictions are easily evaded, in the case of omnipotence by claiming that God may not be literally omnipotent, but at least very, very powerful in what he can do. There are many different interpretations of the concept "God", from an irascible old man with a beard, inspired by the stories in the bible (a jealous God!), to the vague general God of Spinoza or the God of the deists. The only valid argument against the existence of God is the fact that there is no evidence for it. What is usually brought up as "evidence" is not worth of serious consideration: texts written a few thousand years ago, personal "revelations" or inevitable gaps in our scientific knowledge for which it's claimed that the only possible "explanation" is "God did it" ("The God of the gaps"). Pointing out contradictions in the bible is not a logical disproof of the existence of God, it's merely showing the weakness of biblical arguments for the existence of God.
  7. That's a silly rationalization, trying to fit music into the category of "selective re-creation of reality" by bringing up subjective associations by the listener, totally unintended by the composer. Rachmaninoff did not write a selective re-creation of reality in the form of a space opera, that's your subjective association, that's the essential difference! Anyone can have memories and associations with almost any kind of stimulus, including abstract paintings, but for example also with clouds or street noise or a particular odor or taste (Proust!). So following you reasoning not only abstract paintings, but also clouds, noise and odors are examples of art. Subjective associations are irrelevant to the enjoyment and judgment of art. So can a musical person enjoy music in its own terms, without having recourse to some accompanying story or pictures. Music is not a selective recreation of reality.
  8. This is true in the sense that perfect circles don't exist in the physical world, they're a mathematical abstraction. But when you say "there are only natural numbers in the universe", that would also mean that the number 1/3 doesn't exist in the universe (what is 1/3 of a hydrogen atom?), but that doesn't mean that it is irrational! In the same way an exact square doesn't exist in the physical universe. Mathematical terms like "irrational", "imaginary", "transcendental" have nothing to do with the supposed "existence" or "non-existence" of such numbers. In that sense a "real" number is certainly not more "real" than an "irrational" number! However, those terms don't have any physical meaning, they are abstract concepts that have an exact meaning on the basis of mathematical axioms. In that sense they all do exist, just like geometrical constructs like squares and circles. You shouldn't confuse mathematics with physics, even if the first is used extensively in the second.
  9. Neither are we aware of existence in terms of musical sounds. Music - with a few exceptions - doesn't depict entities. Is it therefore not art?
  10. Genesis 3:4: “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So for Eve it became a question of God's word against the serpent's word. The lessen she eventually learnt was "don't trust serpents" and "you'd better believe God", but without any prior knowledge of good and evil and no information or experience about the reliability of the serpent's word against the word of God, there couldn't be anything morally wrong in her choice.
  11. Bernard d'Espagnat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_d'Espagnat) comes to mind.
  12. It has an enormous amount of solid experimental evidence. Your computer, phone, dvd player and all other modern electronic gadgets can only exist thanks to tha application of quantum mechanics. Nope. The famous Schrödinger cat paradox was a thought experiment by Schrödinger in the early years of quantum theory to describe the difficulty of the transition from QM in the microscopic domain to classical physics in the macroscopic domain. It was at the time not clear why the superposition of quantum states in the atomic realm disappeared for large objects (like cats), it seemed that only the fact of observation by a conscious observer destroyed the superposition, which gave rise to weird speculations about the importance of observing by a consciousness. However, this problem has already been solved long ago. The observer is not necessary, it is the phenomenon of decoherence, due to the interaction of the quantum system with the environment, that explains that there can be no superposition of an alive and a dead cat. The cat is dead or alive long before anyone looks into the box, just as classical physics predicts. Experiments have shown that superposition of states can exist for relatively large molecules like fullerenes, but these are still far from macroscopic objects, for which any superposition decoheres in extremely short times. It seems however that many popular accounts of QM are still decades behind the facts.
  13. Costella has now withdrawn his criticism, the link is the same one: http://johncostella.webs.com/neutrino-blunder.pdf
  14. "Emotions are produced by man’s premises, held consciously or subconsciously, explicitly or implicitly." (The Virtue of Selfishness) "Your subconscious is like a computer—more complex a computer than men can build—and its main function is the integration of your ideas. Who programs it? Your conscious mind. If you default, if you don’t reach any firm convictions, your subconscious is programmed by chance—and you deliver yourself into the power of ideas you do not know you have accepted. But one way or the other, your computer gives you print-outs, daily and hourly, in the form of emotions—which are lightning-like estimates of the things around you, calculated according to your values." ("Philosophy: Who Needs It")
  15. In fact Rand did not limit her notion of "tabula rasa" to the idea that people are not born with any conceptual notion (which would be a rather uninteresting and trivial claim anyway - except perhaps some believers in reincarnation nobody thinks that people are born with knowledge what a table is, or a house, or philosophy): In other words: Rand claims that people are also born without emotions, as these in her opinion are the result of programming by the conscious mind. While this may be true in some cases, there is now overwhelming evidence that this is in general just false. And if we use Rand's own definition of values ("Value" is that which one acts to gain and/or keep), a baby does have value judgments, even if it doesn't have a conscious concept yet of what it values.
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