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Archive for April, 2010

So the british, at least, are finally starting to openly question whether their island has reached the limits of sustainability, as they contemplate having 70 million people packed into the UK.  That’s really quite a few too many; 20 million is just plenty, thanks.

What really strikes me as sad, is the number of people who will respond with a “but there are plenty of empty or underpopulated places on the earth… if you feel too squeezed, just move there!”

Yes, but the elephant in the closet is something that economists call “central place function,” which simply means that humans need jobs, and jobs are concentrated in cities, because people and resources are concentrated in cities.  Sure, I could move to Bumbleville, SD, but, what would I do to earn a paycheck?  Farm?  The agrobusinesses have made it so that individual farming is unsustainable.  My only option would be to drive 60 miles to a job at Wal-Mart.  (more…)

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So in a recent poll, 54% of republicans said that Obama is a muslim.  And a full, jaw-dropping 24% of them said that they believed that he “might be the antichrist.”  Wow.  So here’s the link to the poll, which also shows significant numbers of republicans saying that Obama “wants the terrorists to win.”  Yep, folks, Obama actually hopes that the terrorists will next year occupy the white house, after blowing up several American cities.  He hopes and prays to Allah every evening for this to happen.  No, really.  And Vice President Biden is in on it too. 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailybeast/20100323/ts_dailybeast/7269_scarynewgoppoll

This poll  is disturbing, for several related reasons.

1)  The worst, is that I have not heard a single peep from my intelligent educated republican friends on this matter.  The issue is really up to them to fix.  As a democrat, these benighted souls won’t listen to anything I say, because they are too far radicalized by years of Rush & co.  The pollsters note that a college education is a strong barrier to the most ridiculous of these opinions.  My educated republican friends know that this gobbledygook is not true, but they persist in, and feel perfectly justified in, saying nothing.  Why? 

2)  Because most of them are businesspeople, who

a) belive that “the democrats are spreading just as much misinformation.”  If so, please show me a poll where 25% of democrats thought that Bush was actually “the antichrist.”  No, sorry folks, most of what the democrats believe is far more rational than this.  It might differ from republican opinion, but it’s much more logic-based.  Why is that?  Because the Republicans contain the large radical christian evangelical element, who is already conditioned to beleive wildly unscientific stories (i.e., the earth was created 6,000 years ago, during the civilization of the ancient sumerians, and that “the rapture” is due to occur any day now).  So de facto the republican base is much more illogical than the democratic base, and so blatant misinformation is easier to sell.   

b)  Because they work in business, they have accepted the ‘advertising model’ of selling stories, which means that most of them have no problem with saying “coke is it,” for a living, when they know that this is merely psychological manipulation for the naked purpose of profit.  I just saw the latest head and shoulders ad, where the bottle is spewing white goo at the same angle as an erect phallus, after a gaggle of nurses were stroking this dude in the shower.  Hello!  Obvious Freudian manipulation.  But businessguys are trained to maximize profit, and “if people are stupid enough to fall for it, then great, more profit for me!” (more…)

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Posted on Good Friday, 2010. 

Though I hesitate to call myself theist (see for example my post “What would it be like to have faith?”), I also find that I instinctually recoil at people and organizations who call themselves ‘atheist.’

Why is that?

Type 1 Atheists. 

Partly, I am suspicious of their motives.  Biologists tell us that the nearly universal human desire to worship god is a displacement of our parental instinct.  That is, we have all evolved with a strong sense of needing a parent to protect us.  This has served a very useful evolutionary function, because animals which rely on parents have higher survival rates than those which do not.  And so the need for god is a symbolic manifestation of this instinct, only we map our notion of ‘parent’ on the cosmos as a whole.  This is why religion is almost universal in human society.  And this is why a psychologist would first look at any atheist, and wonder how much of what they are asserting is due to genuine ideological conviction, and how much of it comes from their personal need to rebel against whatever their mind sets up as “parent figures.”  This will weed out a certain portion of strident atheists, I think, and suggest to them that their issues with “god” may well stem from issues with their own upbringing.   Because, I mean, why assert the non-existence of god so stridently?  There is, as any theologian will tell you, no positive proof that god exists, and so, why beat up on the poor guy? (more…)

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