Sunday, August 28, 2011

New and Improved End of The World Date!

Perhaps Dec 21 2012 next?

I wonder where the next date will go?

Folks, this is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with a horrible insanity inducing monstrous presence!

Prepare to be devoured!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ooops, they’ve got me now…

Synopsis: There's no water cycle.

Bonus points to anybody that can spot the bad science.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jesus Camp

A couple of months ago I ran across this video:

And posted it here. I’ve never really decided if this is a joke or propaganda, but I find it about as likely to be true as Russell’s teapot. Dawkins is an educator and wants people to see reason, expand their minds, and learn: not kill them.

Today I ran across this:

It’s the trailer for a movie called “Jesus Camp”. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the trailer scares the crap out of me.

Nobody ever talks about the “Army of Atheism” or the “Army of Dawkins” or any other kind of army (except the ones with giant robots built with evil technology). People do, however, refer to the “Army of God”.  Frequently. These people are indoctrinating children and giving them a jihad to fight. At least part of this movie is right here in Kansas City just over the state line in Lee’s Summit.

Seriously, are you all coming to kill me?

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Prayer for Michele Bachmann

Here I bow my head to pray
But not to MY God, I am ashamed to say
For He is not sanctioned by the state
So some other prayer I must make.

It all started out so well and good
'Put God Back In School' we said we would
But then the society around us changed
The 'official' God now has a different name.

We were warned, but we couldn't wait
To abolish the separation of church and state
Because the majority was on our side
Our religion was worshiped far and wide.

But the world grew smaller as years went by
And others moved in as we began to cry.
'They don’t believe the same as we do!'
Suddenly, our decision we began to rue.

Politicians in office now had a different God.
They vowed to make us follow Him, they would.
And since the state now decides our belief
We can blame only ourselves for our grief.

So now I bow my head to pray
And wish I could go back to that day
When we didn’t know what we would lose
And I could worship the God I choose.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Truth of Science is Not Determined by Public Opinion

In a sleepless bout of late night web surfing, I ran across this:

Let’s get the easy criticisms out of the way first. Yes, she does believe evolution is a myth. No, she did not answer the question (but that’s normal for politicians). A national education standard is not a violation of the constitution. And letting local school systems decide what should be taught is a terrible idea.

For those schooled in logic, yes I am about to invoke the slippery slope argument. I don’t think it’s out of place though, because the slippery slope is their agenda. While it may be bad logic to say “because A happens then B will happen”, It’s not necessarily bad logic to say “They want A to happen because it enables B to happen.”  The slippery slope does sometimes happen.

Only a creationist would argue this. It’s the same rehashed party line nonsense that’s been coming from the right (google “State’s Rights”), but this is a frightening turn for it. The problem is that some parts of the country are more fundamentalist than others, and this policy, if it came to pass, would enable those parts of the country to begin teaching religion (read “creationism”) in schools. Creationism is religion. There is no scientific basis for stating that a higher power created the earth and mankind. That science cannot explain everything is a poor excuse to interject religion into federally funded schools. People, Kansas would jump on this in a heartbeat, and I have to live here.

Allowing local schools to determine their own standards could lead to all kinds of nonsense. Would this policy still make sense if a local school system in rural Kansas decided Algebra was too hard, and it was no longer necessary? That’s what she’s arguing for, the right to do that. A national standard for education is not a bad thing.

Once again, there are not two sides to this argument. There is science, and what people believe with no evidence (e.g. not science). In science class, you teach science, not not science. If we can prove there was a big bang, but we cannot say what caused it, then the schools teach that there was a big bang, and that we cannot definitively say what caused it. You don’t say “God” because we don’t know!

The answer is simple here. Teach science in science class, teach religion in Sunday school. If we don’t know what caused life to begin, teach what we do know in science class. Teach them that “God did it” on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What? No death threats? No hate mail?

Apparently Dave Mabus a.k.a. Dennis Markuze, a mentally ill Canadian with religious delusions, has threatened to kill more or less every Atheist, science blogger, and rationalist on the internet.


Except me.


WTF? I feel sorta left out here…

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Multi-Level Marketing (or “I’ll never need math in real life”)

In my life I’ve run across a few multi-level marketing schemes organizations. I’ve never become heavily invested in one, mostly because there’s a little voice in my head that always screams “somethin’ ain’t right here” every time I look into one. Since the cult, I’ve noticed that some of the ones I’ve been approached by (Yeah, I’m talking about you, Primerica) exhibit some traits that reminded me of the practices of cults. I’m not saying they’re cults, but they sure smelled like one.

One thing that never occurred to me until recently is to do the math. When you’re entertaining the thought of joining one of these groups, they spend a lot of time and money wooing you. You see people a few levels up who are simply rolling in cash. Giant conventions in Texas where stadiums of people are cheering a couple who “went diamond”.  A guy who just bought a $200,000 car. Your desire for success and wealth kick in and drive out any kind of rational or critical thought. I sort of figure that the voice in my head that’s kept me out of these all these years are those parts of my brain desperately trying to reassert themselves when I go all googly-eyed at the thought of wealth.

They all operate similarly, it doesn’t matter if they’re selling soap or supplemental life insurance. It goes something like this: you sell X amount of product, on which you make N commission (which isn’t usually very much), but the real way you make money is by bringing in people under you. You build your own “network”. You bring in something like 5 people under you, and on all of their sales you make Y commission, which is not much either. But then they each bring in 5 more people, and by the time you have 4 or 5 levels below you, you’re super mega rich and you don’t have to do a thing to earn it anymore! Woot!

Now, let’s run some actual numbers. At the top of the pyramid is one guy. We’ll call him N0. The count of this tier (0) is 1. This can also be expressed as 50.

The next tier will have 5 people, because N0 brought in 5 people. This can be expressed as 51.

The next tier will have 52 people.  Each member brought in 5 more, so this tier has 5+5+5+5+5 or 5x5 or 52 which is 25.

Tier 4 will have 53 or 125. You should be able to see the pattern by now. Each tier will have 5(N-1) people in it. It’s important to note at this point though, that the total number of people required by tier 4 is 156.  This is 125 + 25 + 5 + 1 or image (If I remember my sigma notation correctly). Nobody is making any money yet though.

Let’s jump down to level 13. If you’re joining a MLM, you’re probably down the ladder a bit, right? This tier requires 305,175,781 member in the organization. 304,687,500 of these do not have enough people under them to make any money. They’re in the bottom 4 tiers. This leaves 488,281 of the members actually making money, or about 0.1%. As a side note, the U.S. population as of the last census was 311,933.344. Let’s go just one level deeper so that some of these people at the bottom can start making some money.

Tier 14 has 1,220,703,125 people, bringing the total number of people in the organization to 1,525,878,906. Wow. The number of people in the bottom 4 tiers is now 1,523,437,500, with 2,441,406 people actually making money now. Wow that’s a lot! It’s also 0.1%. Let’s go another level to get those numbers up, shall we?

At Tier 15, the number of people in the organization number 7,629,394,531. Roughly 854 million more people than actually exist, according to the estimate of world population. Whoops, I think we’ve passed a logic barrier here. Let’s ignore that and run the numbers again. 7,617,187,500 people constitute the bottom 4 tiers leaving a mere 12,207,031 in the range that makes money, or 0.1%. I’m detecting another pattern here.

If we roll this back to more reasonable levels, say 8, Then the organization requires 97,656 people. The bottom 4 tiers have 97,500 people with the remaining 156 actually making money. Only 156 people in an organization of around 100k actually making money sounds abysmal. It’s also about 0.1%.

Basically, no matter how you roll the numbers, 99.9% of all members of the organization lose money, while 0.1% of them actually do make money (in varying degrees).

By way of comparison, roulette contains 36 possible numbers, so the odds of winning by betting on a single number of roulette is just below 3%. You’re actually more likely to get rich by placing your entire life savings on a single number of roulette than you are by joining a MLM.

Thank you, little voice in the back of my head. And thank you Skeptoid.