Register and Vote

October 4, 2008

…and send this video to five friends. Ok, you guys are not exactly my friends, but at least I have the most amount of audience here.

Vote people, this is an election of utmost importance. We have many issues along the line, like global warming, economic disaster, and Iraq war management. We can’t leave those stuffs to ignoramuses. This country is already ruled by ignoramuses, we don’t need anymore. So, choose the candidate you think is the best, not for partisanship or whatever. Vote candidates for their stance on issues instead. For example, I choose Obama/Biden because not only do they seem more educated, but other than some exceptions, I agree with many of their policies, while McCain seems to be like the usual Republican that has been dominating this country for 8 years. It’s just that the Republicans these days… seem out of touch. Anyways, I oppose most Republicans because of their issues, not the label or whatever muckraking the yellow journalism does these days. I am sure there are decent Reps somewhere… hidden. Anyways, the point is, McCain is no “maverick.”


Blogging and Ethics

October 4, 2008

Blogging these days are a very successful format, and very recent. It is incredible that these days, common people like you and me can be some sort of journalists. It is what Jay Rosen calls citizen journalism, and even though it is user made, bloggers seem to have develped their own ehtics. This is what he writes about in this post and talks about in this lecture. (hat tip to around the clock) Also, it is neat that blogging is so influential these days, as evidenced by this news article. Anyways, I encourage people to blog, and remember, linking=popularity, and check your facts people.

The Man Who “Talks” to Babies

October 4, 2008

I found something really sad in the internet (hat tip to skepchick). In that link I just put, there is a series of videos, which is a documentary about a man who thinks he can talk to babies. He goes on to be tested so as to validate his claim. He loses a test by proffesor Chris French and magician/skeptic James Randi and his million dollar challenge. The sad part is, he really believes he can do it. After French’s test, he cried, saying he wasn’t a liar. I don’t think he is a liar or a fraud, and he seems to be a nice guy, but the tests are conclusive in that he uses cold reading.

Cold reading is a technique “psychics” use to fire very vague questions, and when the person responds, it validates what the person says, making the “psychic” know what parts are true. The other person, then, thinks it is very accurate, and that he couldn’t have gotten it anywhere else. This way, frauds decieve many people. People might say, “You are being close minded.” I have seen videos of them doing it, all right, and none of them seemed really psychic to me, and they all fell apart with Randi’s tests. Which is why I hold critical thinking very important. It is less likely you will get decieved if you think about the validity of the claim, and every claim should be tested that way, the way scientists have tested all of their claims which either failed, passed, or got modified. I really dislike psychics, they give me the chills for those reasons. All I can feel about this guy, though, is sympathy.

As for the last test, that was really lame. This guy just read the brain wave of the “psychic,” and just said that it validates it because he was using the non verbal, emotional part of the brain. What the ********! That was so lame that there is no word for it. Even the lamest jokes can’t compare with the lameness of this test. Talk about a strong case of confirmation bias. Woudn’t the best explanation be that that was the brain part he was using when he does the cold reading stuff? Whatever.

Part 1 of the doc:

Video Game Physics

October 4, 2008

You have got to give credits to this guy (dot physics). He (or she?) tries to figure out the rules of “nature” in a videogame called linerider using theoretical physics, which is basically a whole lot of math. If you know vector and trigs, this could be a good reading for you. Yes, probably most of you hate math, science, too complicated, yaddy yadda, bla bla. Still, isn’t it cool that people are able to formulate stuff about motion even in videogames? Not only that, videogames have their own set of rules, so exploring their physics can be a brave new world. (hat tip to Built on Facts)