There were these 2 elephants sitting in a hot tub. The first one says, "Hey, pass the soap." The second one says, "No soap, Radio!"

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Have you seen Eula?

I beleive that should I ever have a child, and it is a girl, I'll name her Eula.

I think it's vitally important to protect one's intelectual property, and having an iron clad Eula is certainly an accepted method. This way we can prevent any unauthorized copying or use of our daughter. In addition, this pretty much garauntees that boys will ignore her until they're old enough, mature enough, and patient enough to fully read her before pushing the Next button.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Karma is a Bitch

Ok so a while ago Amy and I got talking about Karma and how it might work. I'm not sure why - probably from watching Earl. She somehow had the idea that whatever you do comes back at you three fold. I think it's some sort of Wiccan thing that's supposed to keep you from doing bad Mojo.

Anyway, I've got a pretty deep background in science and engineering, so ideas that may "sound good" don't always do it for me. They need to hold water. So I started thinking about how to characterize karma.

First, I figured that the "threefold" idea couldn't possibly work because it violates the 1st law of Thermodynamics. This is the conservation of energy law that says energy can be niether created or destroyed. If we consider human acts as a form of energy, the whole threefold thing would result in a whole bunch of new energy.

So what could be happening? Well, things are of course compicated by the relative nature of good and bad - as things that are deemed good in France may be seen as Taboo in, say, Omaha. That aside, we can consider good and bad in terms of how the individual being acted upon percieves the act. In short, if we're talking about George, and George doesn't like something, then it's bad, regardless of what Temperance thinks.

OK. So let's say that Temperance does something - intentionaly or not - that George doesn't like. Then we can say that Temperance is adding Negative Energy to George. The 1st law of Thermodynamics says that the amount of energy in a closed system is the amount of heat (energy) transferred into or out of the system plus the work done by the system. So if we consider Temperance's act the heat, then for system to balance out, George needs to do some work. Typically negative work.

Now here's where it gets tricky, because the system isn't really closed, and there's also a time factor involved. Temperance and Geaorge are living in a community that is connected to a bunch of other communities, so both of their actions can also be informed by the actions of countless other people. So for the equation to really balance, we need to look at the sum total of the actions as they relate, in this case, to George, since we're trying to figure out how the bad energy Temperance gave him might get back to her.

So if we consider that the brain may act as a sort of "heat sink", storing all kinds of positive and negative energy received from other people, and that behavior is influenced by the relative amounts of good and bad energy in the "sink", then it's possible for George to store Temperances energy before he does any work on it. In other words, George may not be mean to Temperance today, tomorrow, or ever. But the probability is high that this negative energy will make itself known in other ways. It will find a way to do work eventually. And when it does, it will work its way into other heat sinks maybe with more neagative energy in them. In this way the negative energy gets passed around.

I would suggest also that the sum of positive and negative energy is essentially constant, but that their relative values may fluctuate. What this suggests is that by passing negative energy into the system around herself, Temperance is increasing the probability that she will be receiving some negative energy in the near future.

So there you have it - karma is a bitch. [Especially because of all the math we need to do to figure her out]

Friday, January 20, 2006

Home of the Paranoid...

So when exactly did our country go from being Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, to Land of the Co-opted, Home of the Paranoid?

The obvious answer most people would point to in 9-11. But in my mind that's kind of simplistic. Honestly, I think that if there had been a different reaction to 9-11 by our administration, the world (and the people in it) would be much happier. I remember a huge outpouringof support from basically the whole world. The US had the greatest opportunity to unite the world that maybe history has ever known...

And then we pissed all over that opportunity.

Instead of joining together with allof the countries that weere offering us their support, instead of elevating the UN to credible levels, we chose instead to - as Cartman might have it -"Blame Iraq". We chose to build an enormous beaurocracy called the Department of Homeland Security and use it to issue color coded terror alerts based on shoddy intelligence. We chose to enact a law that would open the door to the kind of tyrranical powers for the executive branch that Nixon could have only dreamed of. In short, we freaked out over a 1 in a million attack and decided to use it as an excuse not just to take over the rest of the world, but also to send our country down the slippery slope to a police state.

So now we have a government that tells us to "be afraid, be very afraid", instead of bolstering our confidence by telling us that "there is nothing to fear but fear itself". As a result, our economy is in the dumps, and the rest of the world has come to hate us.

Pretty much every reaction we had to 9-11 validated what the terrorists were saying about us. And now terrorism really is a big problem. Iraq is now a shooting gallery. And all we can say about it is - well, the intelligence was wrong - must be the CIA's fault. In spite of the fact that everyone on the ground in Iraq (remember Hans Blix?) was telling us that Iraq was not the problem.

So basically we chose to fight fire with fire. But what if we had chosen to fire with water? I mean really - if your house is burning down, do you pour fire on it to stop it from burning? Sure the fire will go out, but not untilthe house has burned down. If you want to save the house, typically you might want to use water.

So how do you combat terrorism with "water"? Remember that every time you hit a terrorist back he sticks to you like a tar baby. You work within the framework of international law to cut off their finincing for one. You avoid shooting at them. That invariable ends with a lot of collateral damage. Even if the innocent civilians caught in the cross fire aren't so innocent, it only takes one news report to turn opinion against you. Remember that the more terrorists you attack, the more you recruit. If you need to eliminate these guys, do it the smart way. Massive air strikes may look cool on CNN, but they have a tendancy to inflame civilian populations living near the drop zone. So target selectively, quietly, covertly- and don't use jets. Especially in this case, religion can be your friend. A mysterious death is much more effective than gun blaing finale. First - you don't have to worry about the Martyr Factor, and second, you can cast doubt on the target's piety. Why would God strike such a man down if he truly is a prophet after all? So consider how you might eliminate someone with tainted felafel. Better yet, embroil him in a sex scandle with young boys. Discredit the man, and you can discredit the movement.

Well - that's just a thought anyway.

What is an iMonk?

The iMonk is revolutionary new product derived from the popular Electric Monk personal belief system. Those familiar with the Electric Monk will recall that it was revolutionary for its time. By today's standards, it seems a bit quaint, but its functionality proved to be just what the market needed.

The Electric Monk persoanl belief system was an analogue organic bipedal appliance that was capable of believing up to 50 mutually contradictory ideas simultaneously. Simply bring the Electric Monk into your home, and you could be freed from the mundane practice of actually having to believe in anything, and you could get on with your life's pursuit of money grubbing and hedonism.

Recently, though it has become apparent that the Electric Monk has really become obsolete. With the advent of the internet, an analogue personal belief system seems rather antiquated. Today, ideas, tenets, and dogma are evolving freely over the net at an alarming rate. This makes the Electric Monk's 50 idea memory register woefully insufficient to deal with the number of contradictory thoughts that can be encountered in just one hour on the internet. Add to that upload times that seem exeedingly long by today's standards. Often, a complex idea might take as long as a whole week to be fully appreciated by the Electric Monk. It's easy to see that the Electric Monk's time has passed.

Thus, the iMonk! Belief has now entered the Digital Age with the iMonk. The iMonk (seen below) is a fully digital personal belief system that uses 32 bit architecture. That means that it can believe up to 4294967296 complete contradictory ideas simultaneously. In addition, it's USB 2.0 connection means no more long waits for the new belief to be uploaded.
iMonk (version 1.0)
But that's not all! For just $10 a month you can subscribe to and get access to all of your favorite beliefs for download over the internet. Want your iMonk to believe in angels and quantum theory? No problem; with iTenets, it's just a few clicks away. So don't delay - pick up your iMonk today, and subscribe to You simply won't believe it!