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News Briefs 31-05-2007

Happy birthday Dad, for yesterday…

Thanks Shadow and Loren.

Quote of the Day:

Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dust-cloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to…Any one will renovate his science who will steadily look after the irregular phenomena.

William James

  1. Radio Screams
    Oh, I thought you were talking about Britney Spears and inane talkshow hosts. 😉

    Last week at work, our radio was continually getting hit by lengthy periods of screaming static. Not your normal static, but literally screams of interference. I joked that it was due to sunspot activity. Next time, I won’t mock the Cosmos!

  2. Banning Books Is Stupid!

    Attempting Harry Potter Books from libraries is, in my opinion, stupid; but, I thought the same thing about the ban on Mark Twain’s “Huckelberry Fin”, not to mention Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer”.

    What do you think?


    {You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can’t Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

    1. Enid Blyton
      Don’t forget cnek that a lot of Enid Blyton’s books were banned in England.
      The Noddy books were banned because he and Big Ears slept in the same bed.
      The golliwog books were banned, maybe rightly, I don’t know a lot about golliwogs.
      Then I heard they were going to ban the Famous Five books for being too twee or something.

      Reminds me of the Catholic Index.Gosh I’ve read a few books that are on that Index, but you would be surprised how many Catholics still consult it or whatever has taken it’s place.

      My ex DIL has banned Harry Potter because she is worried that the children could call up evil spirits.
      She believes that the evil spirits that are running my life ( her words ) have been called up by me because of the books I read and the Eastern pics and statues I have in my house.
      Wait til I get that one of Pan I have been after.Then she’ll really give up on me.
      I hope.


      1. Unseen majority
        The vast majority of banned books are never seen or known about. They are those that are written and rejected by publishers because:
        1. You’re not an expert.
        2. You’re not a celebrity.
        3. We’ll never be able to categorise it.
        4. Hey, we’re here to make money, not cause controversy, or make people think …

        Sin is what you’ve done once you’ve been caught.

        Anthony North

        1. Tell Me About It!

          This is another reason that I would argue for internet publishing!

          What do you think?


          {You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can’t Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

        2. tony, why are you howling at the moon?…
          You mean Voltaire, Marx, a whole slew of atheist writers are worthless trash according to yer cheap shot categorization. I wonder, by what criteria do you ascertain books are to be banned? if you actually believe its on the part of publishers they are banned.

          The Church set up the Index as a means of categorizing content within a book as having no ‘redeeming’ merit to them. The Church takes a very positive attitude and atheists take a very negative stance about the same concept, how come?

          Why should the Church set its stamp of approval on a atheistic theme? just ‘cuz the author has an axe to grind.
          Folk who winge and whine about power of the Church should set up their own. The guy who set up church of satan in california, Scientologists, Mormons, Moonies, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Branch Davidians, etc did that and publish stuff the world at large has very little knowledge of.

          There is a Don Quixote complex that comes out in this finger pointing, instead of pragmatic solutions.

          1. Don’t shoot the messenger …
            The Church can do what it wants with its lists nowadays, because people have the ability to choose, so books are hardly ‘banned’, as such, today. In the past they didn’t have that right, and a proscribed book really was banned.
            One of the main reasons why we have the freedom to read today is that publishing had the guts to offer the public new ideas, challenging ideas. The point I was making is simply that our supposed ‘publishers’ rarely live by their past today. Too many accountants. Not enough book lovers.
            Cheap shot categorization? Yes. But not by me.

            I’m fanatical about moderation

            Anthony North

          2. I’m fanatical about

            I’m fanatical about moderation

            Hey, I like that! It’s right up there with “I am a fervent believer in the power of science” or “there are no absolutes in this world”.

          3. Thanks
            Ever heard of irony?

            I’m certain of only one thing. Nothing is certain.

            Anthony North

          4. Tony, I can’t find yer point…
            I guess yer tongue got in front of yer eye tooth and ya couldn’t see what yer saying, or something like that. I miss the connection you make to the reflection I made to your original premise of banning books.

            What is it zakly, yer saying so I get yer drift. Are ya saying the church has a say in what publishers consider to be trash? You switched over to the economical side of an intellectual content quandry, yes? no?

            So what, zakly is behind a motivation for banning books nowadays, obscene profits for churning out such drivel as Harry pooper books? librarians getting hassled ‘cuz the only copy was stolen? This is a cogent topic but not cogently dissected. I am for ‘Net distribution, but a good friend of mine survives on his book translations. He complained to Pirate Bay they steal his livlihood for every book title they allow to be bit torrented without his or his publishers permission.

            This sort of economic deprivation is what is driving the big media co’s to censor the ‘Net’s content and they be allowed to play litigators in the future and have long distant law suits.

          5. Confusion
            Jaako I think you are a little confused.It was I who wrote that the Catholic Church banned books by putting them on an Index.
            Anthony, in my opinion, wrote that books can’t be published because you have to be famous to get them published.
            Your first reply on this issue appeared to me to be answering both Anthony and myself at the same time.

            Maybe I’m confused.


          6. Thanks
            Good Morning everyone,
            Thanks for that, Shadows. I was getting confused myself … in a moderate kind of way …

            I’m fanatical about moderation

            Anthony North

      2. I Understand!

        What we need is internet publishing. Then, books can be written and included in e-book sites.

        But, however distasteful it may be, I would never ban a book or argue that a book deserved to be banned. We have the freedom not to read any book that we choose not to read!

        What do you think?


        {You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can’t Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

        1. internet publishing
          Correct me if I’m wrong, but we already have internet publishing. You can set up your own website for very little money, something like 2 pints of beer per month. There is free software that lets you write your book, nicely formatted, with any kind of illustrations you want, with a nice index and table of content, everything you want. In fact a lot of books are done with this free software. It works great for journal articles too.

          All the tools are there to publish, they cost nothing or very little.

          Spelling is a lossed art. (that’s grammar, isn’t it?)

          1. I Agree; But,…

            What I’m talking about is some sort of internet site that will allow people to publish their books. This way more people will be able to read the books and there will be a greater assortment of books. This will, in my opinion, attract more readers to the site. And, with a large number of visitors, advertising revenues could easily pay for the site and possible provide the authors a little revenue also. The authors revenue should be based on the number of people that read their books. But, even if the authors don’t receive any revenue, I still think that it is a good idea!

            What do you think?


            {You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can’t Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

          2. They already exist
            There are sites like this, cnnek. Lulu is an example, with POD publishing. But when I began this I was talking of major publishing. Think Colin Wilson, and the numbers of books he used to sell. This kind of high profile book is unlikely to come from internet publishing at present.
            A Colin Wilson couldn’t happen today in mainstream publishing.

            Humour without knowledge is lame, knowledge with humour is blind.

            Anthony North (with a little help from Albert)

          3. Thank-You!

            I was unaware of sites like Lulu.

            What do you think?


            {You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can’t Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

      3. If Your Ex DIL Thinks That Evil Spirits Run Your Life,…

        She’d think that I was the Devil Incarnate, Satan Himself!
        Needless to say, we have many of the same interests!

        “Blessed Be”

        What do you think?


        {You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can’t Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

  3. “Face” on Mars 3D or not
    If you look at it upside down, cross eyed while squinting and after a few VB’s it looks even more like it did before…nothing at all.

    Oh well, sure do keeps the “Gowrsh Gee lookit dat” crowd happy don’t it?


  4. Let’s Not Confuse Religion And Science!

    I think that any alliance between religion and science would be dangerous. Science deals with verifiable reality and religion deals with unverifiable beliefs. This is not to say that there isn’t more to reality than science understands; but, scientific research is what is needed in the investigation of reality, not religious ferver! And, an alliance between science and religion would, in my opinion, hinder scientific progress. And, hindering scientific progress is, in my opinion, dangerous, very dangerous!

    What do you think?


    {You Can Teach People How To Think Or What To Think; But, You Can’t Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think!!!}

    1. Religious Fervor

      Science deals with verifiable reality

      Well, in theory (pun intended). But have you been keeping up with the Global Warming debate? There is plenty of religious fervor on the part of those who claim to have science on their side. And the whole human evolution argument is still officially a theory since humanity’s evolutionary tree remains just a bunch of disconnected twigs.

    2. I have to agree with you cnnek
      Actually I am at a loss as to how to interpret this article.

      Does one side think it is going to lose out to the other,or is it just some one-off thought that well, why don’t we make the world happy by combining both.

      It would be like asking a lion and a hyena to play nicely together.


  5. and Hitchens’ point is?…
    I read the article about Hitchens, afterwards I asked myself which political office is he running for with with his non-answer answers. His books to me fall into the category of ‘OPINION’ reminds me of the sarcastic definition of opinion. Opinions are like anal sphincters, everybody has one and they are always backed up by a huge pile of s__t.
    Hitchens takes the stance in his non-answer answers, a reader of his book should take a consider-the-source approach. This is quite a putdown to his own book, since he is the source.
    In the questions put to him regarding mankinds’ responsibility for the state of the world, Hitchens blames it on believers in a God, that to him don’t exist. This hypocrisy of his comes thru every time a question revolves around his theory.

    Hitchens is a kvetcher, a timer honored yiddisch expression, he is not a thinker in the intellectual sense, he is just ranting, raving, bitching, moaning that the religious belief system is unfair to atheists, which is hardly a new spin on things.

  6. Essential Stupidity of People
    Though I have no special love for Islam, being one of the few religions I’ve yet to try. Hitchens and Sam Harris have both pointedly bashed it. Its just fashionable to do so, as is bashing the catholic church for pediphile priests and the death of limbo. I’ve pretty much become an atheist myself. The use of religion to divide and hate those that are different then one self. And as a powerful tool to sway the brainwashed. Has put me off it completely. Any religion can and should be at some point shredded , laughed at , and dismissed. And it is stupid to say religion is responsiable for all our ills. People are responsible for their own actions. Be it the booze or god talking.

    1. “The use of [placeholder] to
      “The use of [placeholder] to divide and hate those that are different then one self. And as a powerful tool to sway the brainwashed.”

      Sample values for the placeholder:
      Political Party

      Religion, in and of itself, is not the problem. I can point to the tens of millions killed by God-less dictators who feared no higher power that they might eventually have to answer to, due to the fact that they viewed themselves as the highest ompipotent being in their own little universes. No, individual human shortcomings are the cause of our ills. Anything else is an excuse used by those whose agendas are served by throwing religion, or some other institution, under the bus. At least you arrived at a rational and logical train of thought at the end when you admitted that religion is not responsiable for all our ills, but rather it’s the actions of individuals.

  7. Essential stupidity of religion
    Dwayne Booth should have called his article ‘How to p*ss on Christopher Hitchins from a great height’.

    Hitchins is a hated man;hated by both sides of politics, by the Dems because he left their side, and by the Repubs because of all the horrible things he said about them before he left.

    But he says it all well.I can see now where he made the change in his politics….it was obviously when he was thinking about writing this book and he looked up Islamic belief.
    He does not appear to know that not all Islamic people are fundamentalists.
    But that doesn’t matter, tar them all with the same brush, according to Hitchins.

    A good point I picked up on in this piece is that Hitchins says that morals preceded religion, ethics preceded religion.
    I believe that too.

    Man invented religion when he had time on his hands, that is when he stopped being nomadic and settled into life as a farmer.
    He depended too much on his fellow man for his life while hunting, to bother trying to isolate or confuse him with manufactured condemnations.
    Someone put a link up recently to a story of a Bulgarian monolith built by nomadic tribes before the pyramids were built.
    There had to be an immense cooperation of people involved to have done that, specially if they were nomadic.
    Maybe that all stopped happening when man became settled and agricultural.

    I don’t like Hitchins.I don’t like people who make a living saying one thing and then change horses.
    But I prefer to read this book over Dawkin’s, whose ‘My way or the highway’ attitude is a bit sickening.

    Again…Booth should declare his beliefs.


    1. Partly true
      Hi Shadows,
      I think you’re right about religion being invented when we changed to agriculture, but I’d class that as formal religion.
      If we go much further back, I think the idea of religion, spirituality, etc, began with the storyteller around the camp fire. Indeed, there’s a timely piece by me on this in the weekend roundup.
      Through the story, I think man began to appreciate animism, and developed a bond with the environment and his society through this process.

      Sin is what you’ve done once you’ve been caught.

      Anthony North

      1. Animism came first
        Animism came first I believe Anthony when man believed that everything on the earth had a spirit.
        Paganism came after that, and the Gods were invented to alleviate the ills of mankind and to explain how the various factors of life came about.
        Then religion came when the Hebrew people invented JHVH.

        Religion was a whole nuther kettle of fish.

        The Australian Aborigines, the oldest people on earth still are animists.
        They have the Dreamtime where the spirits still inhabit the rocks and trees and animals.


        1. Chcken or the egg?
          Which came first, animism in terms of understanding of spirit, or the story to define the idea of spirit? I think it may be a chicken or the egg problem. The former suggests a spirit world is absolutely real, the latter, a human appreciation that spirit is real.

          Morality takes two. One to do and one to judge.

          Anthony North

  8. and scientists aren’t believers?..
    its a given in the experimental world of research that them that pays gets what they pay for. Its not a question of ethics its all about results, that are quick, cheap and hopefully profitable. The medical field is rife with a slew of lawsuits due to hastily produced medicinals allowed on the market by slipshod evaluation processes at FDA. This ain’t nothin’ new yawl, it be goin’ on fer years.

    I know a cancer researcher who refused to compromise her integrity and has been denied funding for research projects if she don’t fudge the results. This lady’s claim to fame in her field is being able to raise white mice, inject then with tumor causing substances and keep them alive long enough to have experimental chemicals injected into them and do live biopsies before they expire. Her uniqueness is her ability to do these things consistently. The problem comes in with results of autopsy’s she does on these mice. The variations of effects of chemicals vary on amount as well as type of blending. Once a favorable result comes in the first thing the drug co’s want is to cut corners in the final product. The approval process requires a series of identical autopsy results.This is where ethical conflicts arise.

    Folk who believe in the sci process are misled, scientists who expect to be able abide by the valid sci process are marginalized, those scientists who actually believe sci can do what it theoretically proposes to do are the most dangerous of all. Results have to meet expectations of their theory. A lil’ nudgin’ and fudgin’ ain’t gonna hurt nobody goes the rationaliztion here.

    These folk ain’t as fussy as the pedantic cancer researcher who demands the strictest of verifiable standards and reliability of test materials, ya know, any old mouse will do, any tumor causing agent will do, who cares if the mouse dies before we get the 1st living biopsy sample before autopsy. Its all called science, that the dangerous part.

    Really well documented quality research can be duplicated, the nudged and fudged stuff is allowed to resemble quality work and gets patented before any duplication work can be done for verifiability, to protect the patent.

    A scientist who perps this type of fraud belives he won’t be caught if the company who hires him has enough money to pay lawyers to protect him, otherwise they take their services to a competitor who will.

    Is this the belief in sci folk want?

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