Daily Archives: Monday, 19:20, June 25, 2012
This will be the first installment of what I hope to make a regular feature on this blog, here posted this day, with plans to post it more often toward the weekend, once each week and preferably each Friday starting next week.
Ideas for regular features have come and gone, like my old, and now defunct series of news item and link dump posts, “Troythulu’s Nu’z,” “Astronomy News of the Week,” “5th Day’s Links Sceptique” (and all of their earlier iterations), My old “Check It!” posts, some of them still extant, and my now discontinued but-still-onsite “Noontide Query” series. This blog is littered here and there with the remnants of my experimentation, some successful, some not so.
Anyhoo, this past month saw some things going on, both onsite and off…
There was, a while ago, the passing of our old cat Gumbyman, the adoption of our new female cat Gorgeous, and now with Mister Eccles, our kitten, we are considering making this once again a full trinity of kittehs by adopting a male who’s part Maine Coon named Rocky!
Today, I got around to adding two new pages to this site for my commenting guidelines and policy, and “What is a Skeptic?” both visible just below this site’s header.
I’m going to add a 5th page for this blog’s site-map and a set of media links to go with it,(Thanks Kate…You’re a genius!) that I most commonly use as my resources and such.
There are several things I’ve planned on doing but just haven’t gotten to…
Two e-books I discussed a while back, on the very best of this site’s posts for the years 2010 and 2011, have not been completed as I had intended them to be over a month ago, and right now I’ve put them on hold. They will be completed, I just can’t say when.
On my blogger site, the Collect Call of Troythulu, I’ve been meaning to start a monthly web-comic on my idiot mad scientist character, Doctor Incompetto (I got the idea for his name from an Enigma song…), only to discover that my artistic ability is not up to par and needs work before I can get things going there. It SHALL get done.
Also, last year, I announced my intention to write my first novella, only to experience first-hand my own ignorance of professional creative writing techniques, so I’m taking lecture courses on prose writing to correct that deficiency as well as making better control of my time and scheduling. It too will be completed, once I’m a better writer.
A couple of weeks ago, or so, I updated the header and background on this site, and you’ve probably noticed the header image randomly changing between page-clicks — that’s deliberate. I’m weighing options on exploiting other options for this blog’s theme, since it’s actually rather flexible in layout.
My study time is important, since I’m preparing myself for actual study at Uni to complete my education and edification, but I enjoy posting things online as well, on all the places of the net that I have active accounts — something worth using well and responsibly.
I’m also working on improving my grasp of pop culture, which is coming along nicely so far. Philosoraptor is cool…
Stat-wise, this site has currently:
154 direct WordPress.com & email subscribers…thank you all!
105,986 or so total pageviews…the collective steely gazes of you, this site’s wonderful readers since December 28, 2008…
1735 posts, up to and including this one…
39 Categories of posts…
2106 post Tags…
1392 comments posted…
about 1456 Twitter followers…
…and 1929 pageviews this month so far.
- Apostasy: Feelings of Loss & Liberation – By Troythulu (martinspribble.com)
- Freshly Freed (for/four) Friday Fractals (buddhakat.wordpress.com)
- 100,000 Steely Gazes and Onward on the Call! (kestalusrealm.wordpress.com)
- For Fractals’ Sake, It Better Be Friday… (buddhakat.wordpress.com)
- Science — Supernatural Causation: It’s Not Even Wrong (gideonjagged671.wordpress.com)
This is an attempt at exploring some new ideas for one of my old alien species, referred to by other civilizations as some local variant of the word “dragon,” as per their reptilian appearance.
They have vents on their backs for a sort of gill-like organ that can extract oxygen from water, and since it doesn’t collapse from gravity on land, can also double as a set of lungs. They retain a separate swimming-bladder like some terrestrial fish.
The Dragons have a bi-modal metabolism: endothermic, or warm-blooded on land, and exothermic, or cold blooded to conserve on oxygen use while underwater.
Not particularly well-streamlined, they sometimes just walk along the bottoms of large bodies of water when there is enough dissolved oxygen at that depth and location.
They are tough, stocky, strong and resistant to great pressures. The tail is vertically flexed, like a terrestrial cetacean’s, for underwater propulsion, and the skin is covered with fine greenish scales.
Their eyes are adapted for both daylight and night-vision use and are particularly well attuned to both blue-green light and ultraviolet, the latter of which their F-Class home star emits in greater quantity than Sol does in our own solar system.
They are a conservative and caste-ridden society, with a meritocratic hierarchy based on childhood personal aptitude tests and continued productive work once assigned to a given caste — ZERO social mobility outside of that, but there’s an incentive to good performance on the job or to be demoted to a lower pay-grade and status in one’s caste.
I owe a hat-tip to my tweep, @NagasakiOsada : Thanks!
I’m not worried by the thought of an afterlife, since I only believed it existed before I found out what I learned after giving up religion, from psychology, neuroscience, physics and cosmology, that souls are unnecessary to explain human thought and consciousness, and that contrary to my wishes, there is no evidence, not just for souls, but for the prospect of an afterlife.
Not a shred.
Not even alleged Near Death experiences (NDEs) make the cut (I’ve had one in 2007, and it didn’t turn me back into a believer — I was not impressed). Here’s a secret: it doesn’t require the nearness of death to have one — other triggering circumstances, like drugs or direct brain stimulation, can suffice. Other sorts of visions and revelations are too contradictory and difficult to corroborate to be credible by themselves, and scripture, across all religions, gives too many mutually inconsistent accounts, and they cannot possibly all be correct.
Every alleged revelation has its rivals.
My awareness didn’t exist prior to my birth, and I’ll feel and know nothing of it after I’m gone. I’ve no good reason to think otherwise.
What about the oft-repeated argument that the soul is eternal because physics says that energy cannot be created or destroyed? Maybe, but we can detect energy, especially sorts not obvious to our naked senses, and while energy cannot be created or destroyed, it does run down, flowing inexorably from a high state to a low state, like a clock’s spring unwinding and needing to be reset to operate again.
But nothing that we could call “soul energy” has ever been shown to exist in any knowable way. All we have otherwise is the mere say-so of theologians and Cartesian philosophers.
The electrochemical activity of our brain, according to the best evidence we have, is what produces what we call “mind” — the mind is what the brain does — and once the energy stops flowing at all along and between the cells of our brains and central nervous systems — brain death — our minds stop, and permanently.
No one has ever fully died and come back to report it, from beyond the state of full brain-death. Near death experiences are called that for a reason, near death, not complete death.
I would no longer even like there to be an afterlife after thinking about it: I find the very notion horrific, spending all eternity even in permanent bliss while the universe grinds endlessly on would be an unbearable bore after the first few million years, and at some point, I would want it all to end.
I don’t need an afterlife, as this life is much more important to me, more urgent, with more good to be done for its own sake and not hope of reward nor fear of punishment in the imagined hereafter.
I will end, you will end, and one day, the universe itself (as far as we know) will end…
…and I’m okay with that.
- From Mortality to Morality – The Key to Religious Power (martinspribble.com)
- Can You Have a Meaningful Life Without an Afterlife? (patheos.com)