Monday, November 24, 2008

pseudo linquistic humbuggers

My reply to a comment I found on skepticblog.org

  1. My comment is on the pseudo linguistics (I call them humbuggers! (I did not know by the way that “‘em” was a word. Maybe newly (re)-defined? Hmm, maybe language does change after all))

    Same-sex “marriage” is possible because the word “marriage” is (or will be) re-defined. The word “Marriage” has NOT meant the same thing for about ten thousand years: the committed union of a man and a woman as husband and wife.

    For one the word is only as old as the English language. (Earliest record around 1290. (See also: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/marriage) Oh and for your information, the fact that a word had a specific meaning for and during a certain time does not mean it will always stay like that. The interesting thing about language is that, just like life, it evolves over time. Words change, words appear, word disappear and so on. The good thing really is that there has never been any group, legislative body, pressure group, government or any other socio entity such as a religeous congregation that has been able to claim ownership to a word. Hell, even the words god and atheist have multiple meanings. (thank your brain for that btw)

    This entire argument is being obscured by those who think they might loose certain rights if they allow others (oooh, scary, different people) to “marry.” This is patently true.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with two (or more) people (or other species) living together in a committed relationship. There are even long-established legal AND SOCIAL procedures for doing so. “Partnerships, tenants-in-common, tenants-by-the-entirety,” etc.

    The question IMHO is why should agitators be able to have government HIJACK a word (for the underwhelming minority (POV is very important here)) that has clearly changed over the past decade. WOW, eons of anthropological conservatism.

    If different-sex couples (or other multiples) wish to cohabit, let them feel free to do so and call their relationship by any term they so wish INCLUDING “MARRIAGE,” because “marriage” means: A joining of two parts (Amongst a slew of other things)

    Churches and all other religeous institutions should be brought around to allow same-sex family visitations (between consenting adults please, the other stuff we’ve seen too much off already) and POA (Power of Attorney) rights merely by boycotting those who don’t offer such recognition.

    This same principle can be applied to any other situation.

    Call ‘em “civil unions.” “partnerships,” “companionships,” or any other word that some word smith deems appropriate, INCLUDING “marriage,” BECAUSE “MARRIAGE” BY NEW TRADITION IS BETWEEN TWO CONSENTING (as opposed in certain cultures/religions) ADULT PEOPLE

    I wonder why such “oppressive and restrictive” people can’t solve such a simple “problem” without stirring up such a brouhaha ! Could it be that there is something more (sinister and disclosed) on their agenda? Such as to rid the world of non-believers or to bring heaven to earth or …?

    As for genes, I firmly believe what I have read from the experts.

    Genes in humans surely can make suggestions” or “create urges” toward certain human actions. Genes in human do dictate irresistible, “soft-wired” behaviour (Proper spelling is with of without an u?) patterns as we see in “other-animal” behaviour.

    This means that I think heterosexuality is not a definite choice. In some, it is a conscious choice (often made by others) (the IQ crowd pleasers). In others, they just feel “drawn to it” (the EQ crowd pleasures)

    In any case, “can’t we all just get along?” Live and let live and quit trying to HIJACK a word from us “ultra-hot” people.

    Comment by Erik — November 25, 2008 @ 2:09 am

  2. My comment is on the “gay” question (I call ‘em perverts).

    Same-sex “marriage” is impossible unless the word “marriage” is re-defined. “Marriage” has meant the same thing for about ten thousand years: the committed union of a man and a woman as husband and wife.

    This entire argument is being obscured by those who think some might be denied certain rights if they aren’t allowed to “marry.” This is patently not true.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with two (or more) people (or other species) living together in a committed relationship. There are even long-established legal procedures for doing so. “Partnerships, tenants-in-common, tenants-by-the-entirety,” etc.

    The question IMHO is why should agitators be able to have government REDEFINE a word (for the overwhelming majority) that has had the same definition for eons?

    If same-sex couples (or other multiples) wish to cohabit, let them feel free to do so and call their relationship by any term they so wish EXCEPT “MARRIAGE,” because “marriage” means a man and a woman.

    Hospitals and all other institutions can be brought around to allow same-sex family visitations and POA (Power of Attorney) rights merely by boycotting those who don’t offer such recognition.

    This same principle can be applied to any other situation.

    Call ‘em “civil unions.” “partnerships,” “companionships,” or any other word that some wordsmith deems appropriate, except “marriage,” BECAUSE “MARRIAGE” BY ANCIENT TRADITION IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN.

    I wonder why such “creative and artistic” people can’t solve such a simple “problem” without stirring up such a brouhaha ! Could it be that there is something more (sinister and undisclosed) on their agenda?

    As for genes, I firmly believe what I have read from the experts.

    Genes in humans merely “make suggestions” or “create urges” toward certain human actions. Genes in human do NOT dictate irresistible, “hard-wired” behavior patterns as we see in “lower-animal” behavior.

    This means that I think homosexuality is definitely a choice. In some, it is a conscious choice (the high-IQ crowd). In others, they just feel “drawn to it” (the non-introspective crowd.)

    In any case, “can’t we all just get along?” Live and let live and quit trying to force a word-redefinition on us “un-cool” straights?
    *******************************************************

    Comment by Old Curmudgeon — November 19, 2008 @ 7:14 pm

Monday, August 18, 2008

Devine medication?

It's official now. The Americans have gone crazy. Apparently some 57% of Americans believe that God will intervene where medical specialists have determined a patient will not recover.

The most stunning about this is that, yet again, there is NO evidence to support this believe.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Monday, September 17, 2007

Moraly superior?

So, tell me, why is it that believers such as Christians claim to be morally superior to non-christian-non-believers but have a believe system that excludes people for the simple fact that they don't believe?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cause and Effect

Today we learned of the horrible news of an airplane crashing in Thailand with more than 85 dead. On the evening news the mother of one of the survivors shared her feelings about when she heard about the news her daughter had survived. She ended by stating that she was grateful to god that her daughter had survived. After that we could hear a telephone interview with her daughter who also alluded to divine intervention when she said: "I was graced by god"

Both mother and daughter were happy with their god for intervening. And that raises some interesting questions

If their god intervened, for whatever reason, did that same god also cause the death of the other people?
If the death of those other people was not caused by their god but by an evil force such as satan why did their god only save a few people?

The fact of the matter of course is that we can't answer these questions for the simple reason that their is no god.

But that does not eliminate the issue at hand. The issue being that people will gladly embrace their god for saving their loved ones but will not scold or denounce that same god for killing others in the same instance.

That bothers me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reap-as-they-sow-Managers

I just heard an interview on the radio with Robert Epstein, the author of the book “The case against adolescence”. His basic point in the book is that we keep our teens from becoming adults and treat them too much as big children. It's not an argument for more freedom but an argument for more responsibility.

The author shows that teenagers have more capabilities than most grown ups are willing to admit.

We coddle our teenagers too much and treat them as if not capable of making sound decisions for themselves. We treat them as stupid. And guess what? That's how they start acting.
So, are they acting irresponsible and stupid because they are or because we made them that way?

Based on the findings of Epstein and my own experience in the “grown up” - world I argue the latter. There is a more universal principle at work here: The principle that if you treat someone a specific way that person will start acting that way. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy by proxy..

In my encounters in the business world, the world of management, the workforce, I've come across a lot of “reap-what-you-sow” situations. Managers, bosses and supervisors complaining about their irresponsible, untrustworthy staff while not noticing that they themselves are more than anything else the cause for this behaviour.

I once had the pleasure of attending a role playing management game with a twist that proofed this point very clearly. It was one of those games where a simple case was presented with different functions/roles to be played by the participants. It was an airplane manufacturer with a sales manager, an hr manager etc. Each of the participants was given a short (not all the same) description of the situation and a description of the role and responsibilities of the person they were to play. So far nothing out of the extraordinary. The twist was that each of us got a cap and on that cap the facilitators attached a sticker with a character description. It was a short one or two letter description of the type of person we were. The catch was that no-one knew the description. The added instruction was that we had to treat the other participants as per the sticker. We were not to tell the others about the description on their caps.

So there was 'a flirt', 'a comic', 'a tyrant', 'an indecisive guy', and a whole bunch other. And do you know what happened? Within the hour everyone was acting more or less as described on their caps. So the crabby gal was really crabby, the dumb guy was acting dumb and the bossy clerk was bossing everyone around.

I know that this not a scientific exercise but it has learned me very clearly that the old saying “As you sow so shall you reap!” is very true. Especially when applied to dealing with people.

If you treat your people like imbecils don't be surprised when they start acting like that.

Ambidexter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Should I get it or not?

I am contemplating getting an Iliad by Irex Technologies.

A what?










The iLiad is an eBook.
Apart from being a neat tech-toy it actually would be of use.
It could contain all my digital documents, I could use it for note-taking, I could use it to read books without having to carry them around with me and I could use it to read news feeds with.
It's not a pencil though!