Monday, July 02, 2007

My Argument Against Universal Healthcare

This is the foot that was "just a sprain, ya wuss, tough it out."

Then, it was "maybe a fracture."

When a civie doctor looked at it, it was broken in four places.

My little Brother, the loonie, did two jumps on a broken foot.

Why do smart folks say stupid things?

I find the argument that the problem with immigrants is illegal immigration pretty uncompelling. First of all, it's almost (not always) made by people who don't want to let those people (or equivalent numbers of their more law abiding compatriots) in legally, and react against any proposal to do so with exactly the vehemence that they complain about the illegal entry of illegal immigrants.

Thank you, Mz. "Can someone explain this in terms that don't devolve into "But the Mexicans are brown".

The author is smart, and usually sensible. Why does this turn her into a raving bigot? (Yes, I consider those who project racism onto others to be bigots. Ditto for those who project mental disorders.)

I'm very much against letting thieves get away with breaking the law. I'm also against giving them the goods. These aren't contradictions.

To respond directly to the accusation, I am against illegal immigration because they are breaking into my house.
The breaking of laws which shows an almost total disregard for the country they are entering is a major reason I am greatly against illegal immigration, beyond the law-abiding instincts I may have.
I wouldn't mind having the same number of folks coming in, if they could be integrated into the existing society and if they would be useful to the country. I don't think that those two items will be fulfilled.
Earlier waves of immigrants gave us something we needed-- bodies.
They also didn't predominantly come from a country that is right next door, and that has a historic claim to some areas. (Valid or no, there is a historic claim.)

They are not related issues, although it may seem like they should be-- one I object to because those involved prove they have no interest in following the rules of the land they are invading. The second I am not for because I do not see the benefit to the country.

I really, honestly don't know why the author has abandoned her usual thoughtful style to throw this junk out. (I honestly don't agree with her even 1/4th of the time, but she's good enough that I enjoy reading anyways. It's sad that a topic that it would be enjoyable to read in her usual style instead brinks out this junk.)

Friday, June 29, 2007

'Nuff Said.

You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

I'm not perfect, but I'm Irish.....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Guide to Summer Drivers

The Underpowered-- the guy in the 4wd, 1/2 ton pickup pulling a nice boat.... on a solid steel trailer that weights more than the boat and pickup together. The reason those horrible other drivers that you passed on the downhill are zooming buy on the uphill is because you can't go over 50 by the time you hit the top of the hill, even if you were doing 90 downhill. Upgrade your pickup, get a new trailer, or just pick vacations in areas that don't have mountains between you and them.

The Tick- Please, leave more than half a car's length between you and the next car if you're going to set there for an hour, especially if they are following the truck speed limit, rather than the car speeds.... You might even leave enough room for some of the fifteen folks behind you to pass.

The Long Jumper- Please, learn to count. You're supposed to pass cars one at a time. Nobody is impressed that you passed six, even though it forced the lead car and oncoming traffic to slam on their brakes to keep you out of a head on. (I can see if there was a Tick, especially if you thought they were being towed until you passed them... not that I'd ever so such a thing. *innocent*)

Telepaths- Sorry, your psychic message that you're going to change lanes just isn't getting through. Can you use that funky thing called a blinker for those of us who are impaired? Just until the psychic links are re-established.

Zoom-Zoom- Ballet dancer of the road, your movements are a sheer joy to behold. Unless the beholder happens to actually be on the road themselves, in which case you may want to know that it's customary to pass on the left, not the right, that most folks like more than a foot of clearance-- as much as two feet, sometimes-- and that the little dotted lines on the road mark different lanes, they aren't a lane in and of themselves, even if we lesser drivers aren't using the space between the cars.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wish me Well....

On the road for a while seeing family with my brother.

I'll try to come up with some fitting posts while I'm away!

In the mean time, I hope I don't get killed with these summer drivers....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My blog is Rated....

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

The only objectionable word was "rape".

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Now back to reality

This is around those photos of what the d*mn town kids did to the national forest, but... notably less damaged. *Grin*

Doesn't it look like it would be loud? It's not, really-- and the slightly blue spot up top is a pool, with some decent crick-fish. (Not to be confused with a river fish-- size is the difference.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Little Bit of Logic is a Confusing Thing

As I stated in the post below, I just finished a logic class. It had a very cool tool to help you learn how to apply logic. It works best when paired with Hurley's Concise Introduction to Logic. (I have the 9th edition.) I've added links where I think they'll be useful, but all links were provided to the class by Mrs. Roth, the instructor!

Now, the example I used was S>~I S*I // G

Let me give you the stuff to translate this out, since part of what tickled me pink about this class is that we spent a lot of time translating English-- well known for the wiggle room available-- into math, which is... not.

~ in front of a letter means that it is not so, that it is false.
* means that both are true-- it's "and"
v means "or". At least one of the two is true.
> is kind of like starting the phrase with "if" and putting "then between the two. If the first one is true, the second one also is; the first can be false and still have the second be true, but the second can't be false with the first one true.
= (it's got three lines in the formal symbols, but eh) means "if and only if"-- no matter what, if the first one is true, the second one has to be. If the second one is true, the first has to be. Ditto for false.
// symbolizes that you are going from the argument to the conclusion. Whatever is after // is the answer that's offered, and you have to figure out if it's right or not.
() or {} or [] are used to group the arguments. When things get complex, you can't just say A*D*R, or AvD*R. That's too much wiggle.
~~ is a double negative-- basically, it doesn't effect anything except for symbolizing, but it's got its own rule called "double negative". You can add or remove these at any time without effect.

S>~I S*I // G
would translate as
If S is true, then I is false. S and I are true. Thus, G.

The letters stand for phrases in the argument-- as Anon mentioned, the argument makes no sense, because G has nothing to do with S or I in the argument. (Is that you, Darth? The writing seems familiar somehow, but not like my guildmates.)
Although we didn't cover this in class, I'd venture that it it's an informal fallacy, such as missing the point or Red Herring. However, I'm trying to focus on, well, formal logic. That means it's either valid/sound or invalid/unsound. Truth really doesn't come into it much. It's bloody obvious that you can't have both S causing ~I and S*I both being true, someone has to be wrong.

Now, the first rules we learned, among the rules of inference, were:
Modus Ponens: if P>Q, and you know P is true, then you know Q is true. This makes sense, since it's basically restating "If P, then Q."
Modus Tollens: if you know P>Q, and you know that Q isn't true, then you know that Q isn't true, either. This is a bit harder-- and the "MP or MT" messed me up a LOT-- but it also makes sense, since if P "causes" Q, and Q didn't happen, P must not have, either.
Hypothetical Syllogism: If P>Q, and Q>R, then Q>R. This one is practically the ideal of logic that I grew up with-- "we know that if P is true, then Q is true. We know that if Q is true, then R is true. So *of course* we know that if P is true, then R is true!"
Disjunctive Syllogism: if QvP, and ~P, then Q. Also, pretty basic-- if you have steak or fish, and it's not fish, it's steak.
Constructive Dilemma: Given (P>Q)*(R>S) and PvR then you can say QvS. I think this is related to the following rule of simplification:
Simplification: If you know A*B, then you can simplify to A. If you use the rule you learn later, called Commutativity (where you can switch any arguments around a v or a *) you can make it B*A, and simplify it to B. It's pretty easy to see why this works. "I know today is Tuesday, and I get ice-cream on Tuesday. I know today is Tuesday." Now, I said above that I think this is related to CD, and that's because if both P and R are true, and both Q and S result, then it would be almost like-- not actually true, but almost like-- P could result in Q and S, since if you know that P *or* R is the case, then Q *or* S is also true.
Conjunction: Knowing P, and knowing Q, you can say P*Q. It's just the opposite of simplification-- you know they're both true, so you can join them up.
Addition: this one is a weasel. If you know that P is true, then you could also say that PvQ, since v only means that at least *one* of them is true.

If you've got the hang of logic, despite me, you've probably figured out that Addition is the way that you can end up with a result that isn't even kind of related.

Now, back to the problem:
S>~I S*I // G

Well, we have to prove everything out, so we take S*I and simplify it down to S. (Save this, then go get the rest of the parts.)
Then we go back to S*I again and switch it around with Commutativity, so that it's I*S.
Then we simplify I*S down to just I, same as we did with S*I.
Once we have I, we use the double negative rule-- adding a ~~ without any real change being made to the equation-- so that it says ~~I.
Since we now can prove that ~I is false-- that's what ~~I translates as, remember-- then we can take the disjunctive syllogism and prove that S is also false, so ~S.
You then go back to S and use addition-- that weasel I mentioned?-- and say that SvG is true.
Since you've said that either S or G is true, and right there in the paragraph above you proved that S isn't true, you know that G must be true.

And that's how you can end up with a *valid* logical formula that is just silly.

I don't know why, but this just tickles me pink....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I ACED my logic final!

Got an A overall, too!

This is a lot more impressive-- or less, if you're math-minded, as I am-- when you consider that logic has a lot of the stuff below (Re-written so it's not cheating, just in case.)

S*I// G

That means that if S, then not I. S and I are true. The final conclusion has to be G. This one is actually a bit tougher than others when it's NOT in normal English.
If Smaug knows that Bilbo is there, then Bilbo won't be saved by invisibility. Smaug does know Bilbo is there, but Bilbo was saved by invisibility. Therefore Samwise is the best character ever.
S= Smaug knows Bilbo is there
I= Bilbo is saved by invisibility
G= Samwise is the Greatest

I rather consider this a lesson in how logic can be easily abused-- you *can* follow the rules perfectly and have a formal proof that Samwise is the best because Smaug knew Bilbo was there, but Bilbo was saved by The Ring. There are the informal fallacies, and I think this would be a good example of "Missing the Point"-- or Ignoratio Elenchi. Only problem is, for that fallacy to be identified, you SHOULD be able to identify the logical response.

I'll edit this post with the logical rationale for why the above argument is valid when the class is over, just in case.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Global Warming and/or Climate Change

Well, duh, of course it's happening. I haven't seen many wooly mammoths around here lately, have you?


Alright, more seriously. There's all kinds of evidence that the way the world is now, weather-wise, isn't how it has been in the past.

There's also all kinds of records that show that in fairly recent history-- well, times AD, this is a kinda broad swath, after all-- the were were warm and cold times. The Vikings probably profited from the better temps-- Greenland, anyone?-- and I'm still chuckling at NOAA's trying to refute the idea of a Medieval Warm Period that would have been ending around 1200 using a single study that they believe reaches as far back as 1000-ish. Sorry, I'll sooner believe a study is wrong than belive that, for example, wine grapes suddenly stopped being able to grow in the climate of England after the Romans, then suddenly could be grown again in the Middle Ages, and stopped, and just now are slowly becoming able to be grown again.
I'll throw out the freezing or lack thereof on the Thames River-- an area where we do have rather good history dating rather far back-- and just leave it at the statement that, though there aren't a lot of studies drilling into ice to figure out temperatures, you can figure it out otherwise.

I'm also amused that a lot of the warming charts from actual measurements-- not the ones adjusted, not the ones pumped out of a computer simulation-- show the temps going up over 150 years ago. Dang, those horses were HORRIBLE for carbon emitions, eh?

I don't think we should shoot ourselves in the foot by destroying economies on the maybe-possible-chance of fractionally reducing a lesser greenhouse gas when we don't even agree on what models are right. We don't even know if it will be bad to have the temperature go up-- worked pretty good for the dinosaurs, no? (That was a joke. Much like that horribly flawed movie, "The Day After Tomorrow.")

Long story short: No, I don't believe we should turn over control of all our worldy goods to someone so they can save us. I do try to reduce what I use, but that's just basic manners-- also economically sound.

Mom's Shutterbugging

Fred, Rest in Peace