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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 05:46 PM   #141
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
What do you mean......."someday"* ?
Yeah, I know you meant this as biting sarcastic social commentary (or something), but that's an interesting question.* *When will the universe die?* Google didn't tell me the answer and I'm too stupid to calculate it myself.* *It used to be thought that the end-point of ever-increasing entropy was "heat death" in which the universe becomes a homogenous distribution of matter at some equilibrium temperature.* *But gravity (and black holes) and the expansion of the universe complicate that picture.* *I guess the end-point is one big black hole.* *It's a LONG ways off, though.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 06:31 PM   #142
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Ah yes 2-3 day old 'erster shells' in the heat - before da garbage man comes - tweaks up the nostrils.

Camps used to put them in driveways and parking areas - took about a year to 'season' and the smell to dimish - give or take.

Toss in a few more varieties of seafood - a little heat, a little humidity - hmmmm.

Fresh out of college - one of the Boeing plant parking lots would catch the stockyard smell in summer. I remember Stan (from Iowa) walking in with me one day - "Ah, The smell of money."
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 07:08 PM   #143
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Herb Caen - was he around in the 60's when I read the Portland and Seattle papers?

Name rings a little bell - not a big one - my memory being what it is.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 08:14 PM   #144
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Wab-- Yes. To my knowledge entropy is a concept that defines the process of the breakdown of matter, both inorganic and organic. Things break down from a higher order of complexity to a lower order of complexity. For example, grass, after it's cut, slowly decays into a sort of brown substance that we call compost. Entropy, in general, captures that process that exist in the world. The word entropy captures a specific pattern that exists in the universe, the degeneration of matter. Does this pattern exist in nature? Most people would agree that it does because it has been verified by scientific method and groups of people as repeatable, having a cause, etc., etc.

At some point in time, one person discovered this pattern, thought about it, talked about it with others, etc.--until it was generally accepted by the majority of the population. Before that, people didn't know, didn't examine or see it as science or a pattern with a specific series of steps included in that de-generation. They just called rot or rotten. Or they said it was magic. Or they thought it was just something created by God that wasn't necessarily his most interesting or important sub-creation. But even here, I suspect people saw patterns: The rot didn't start until someone cut the grass or fall arrived. People have always looked for patterns and then tried to explain them.

REW: I'll prattle less. I'll do a much better job with 'random.' Seriously.

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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 08:45 PM   #145
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
To my knowledge entropy is a concept that defines the process of the breakdown of matter, both inorganic and organic.
Not exactly. It's more about energy states than states of matter. Plants don't decompose due to increasing entropy -- that's actually an active process aided by hungry bacteria.

Here's a little entropy primer and history if you're interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_...thermodynamics
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 09:02 PM   #146
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Was thinking earlier today, noticing Charlie's departure (sad), that there was no way I'd get sucked into this thread!

However, Herb Caen reference did it.

My parents are SF natives and so somehow I knew about him. Then I lived in the bay area in the late 80's, early 90's and got to be a fan myself.

Took them back to SF for their 50th anniversary and if I had thought about it I should have bought them a book of his columns. I am sure there is one out there.

Thanks for the quote and memories!
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 09:36 PM   #147
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Structure implies intelligence at work. But entropy is always increasing in the universe.
One possible conclusion is that the universe we currently live in is not meant to be our home forever. If our true home is elsewhere, there is no need to maintain order here indefinitely.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 10:09 PM   #148
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Herb Caen...visited the University near our home for a lecture about 20 years ago. When he got back and wrote his column, he stated that town is the type of town that carries Velveeta Cheese in the gourmet section at the markets.
The Chamber and a lot of locals were pretty upset, and it was a long running feud (actually, a good natured feud for a long time.
About a year before he died, he wrote another column, and said he had paid another visit to the University town, and by golly, they have the Velveeta Cheese exactly where it's suppossed to be.
I really miss his column.
You're talking about Chico (Velveeta capital of the World) aren't you ....Boy he got alot of mileage out of that. His column and Charles McCabe's were the first ones I read every morning. I miss reading him also. There is an excruciatingly bad columnist here in the Twin Cities that makes me realize how good he was...
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 11:24 PM   #149
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Thank you, wab. I read some of the article. I could say perhaps that I re-cognized it from thirty years ago. Maybe the memory had just deteriorated in my mind over time as my energy level for new knowlege decreased. That tricky 2nd law.

REW: You deserved better from me. I reverted to Kantian-speak or Hegelese, which doesn't accomplish much--anywhere.

One year in college I independently read three books over the course of the school year. The first was Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. It took about four months to get thru some of it. I would read things like 'The thing-in-itself when operating outside its self for other is oftentimes not without . . . .' until they made sense. Or I would get up and pace, worried about the consequences or whether it changed the meaning of the previous sentence. Then I'd sit down and reread it to verify my thoughts. I would wake up from nightmares later in the evening, worried that these things had moved from there proper position inside whereever that was. I am not making this stuff up. I worked very hard at it. Hey, all the big time philosophers thought Kant was great. I also learned a new language. Hegel was really fun, The Phenomenology of Mind. Hundreds of hours involved in two book, maybe even more time.

--Greg
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-20-2005, 11:29 PM   #150
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
One possible conclusion is that the universe we currently live in is not meant to be our home forever.* If our true home is elsewhere, there is no need to maintain order here indefinitely.
Occam's Razor:

one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything

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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 04:36 AM   #151
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
Occam's Razor:

one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything

Galt's Hypothesis:

God's just messin' with y'all.

JG
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 04:48 AM   #152
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
Thank you, wab.* I read some of the article.* I could say perhaps that I re-cognized it from thirty years ago.* Maybe the memory had just deteriorated in my mind over time as my energy level for new knowlege decreased.* ** That tricky 2nd law.

REW:* You deserved better from me.* I reverted to Kantian-speak or Hegelese, which doesn't accomplish much--anywhere.*

One year in college I independently read three books over the course of the school year.* The first was Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.* It took about four months to get thru some of it.* I would read things like 'The thing-in-itself when operating outside its self for other is oftentimes not without . . . .'* until they made sense.* Or I would get up and pace, worried about the consequences or whether it changed the meaning of the previous sentence.* Then I'd sit down and reread it to verify my thoughts.* I would wake up from nightmares later in the evening, worried that these things had moved from there proper position inside whereever that was.* I am not making this stuff up.* I worked very hard at it.* Hey, all the big time philosophers thought Kant was great.* I also learned a new language.* Hegel was really fun, The Phenomenology of Mind.* Hundreds of hours involved in two book, maybe even more time.

--Greg*
I won't higgle over Hegel, nor quibble about Kant. People tell me I would enjoy kipling. Alas, I've never kippled. Only so many hours in my day
I guess.

JG
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 04:52 AM   #153
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
You're talking about Chico (Velveeta capital of the World) aren't you* * ....Boy he got alot of mileage out of that. His column and Charles McCabe's were the first ones I read every morning.* I miss reading him also. There is an excruciatingly bad columnist here in the Twin Cities that makes me realize how good he was...
Almost anyone can write a column or host an advice program. Very few
can do it well.

JG
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 08:57 AM   #154
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Enlightenment comes from listening - understanding is sometimes an illusion. The word is not thing - per S.I.H. the California dude.

After a thunderstorm recently and getting a shock from a circuit shut off at the fuse box - a circuit that had chewed up a Direct TV box with appropriate sparks and the smell of ozone - so much for circuit protection strips - I invested 9.98 plus tax in a Lowes plug in tester. From yesterday to today - go from three lights to hot neutral reverse to good circuits on three supposedly independant circuits - in a variety of combinations.

Beyond two cups and two doughnuts - communication suffers from the limitations of the medium.

I will be happy to get it fixed - enlightenment is lagniappe.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 12:44 PM   #155
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
To my knowledge entropy is a concept that defines the process of the breakdown of matter, both inorganic and organic.* Things break down from a higher order of complexity to a lower order of complexity.
OK, folks, I think it's time to bring in the kayaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Off topic a bit, but noticed your Herb Caen quote.* He died a few years back and wrote a column for years in San Francisco for the Chronicle.* His column was "Baghdad by the Bay".* He was well known in the Bay Area, but don't think nationally anybody knew who he was.* I always enjoyed his stuff.
He's famous for being the inventor of the three-dot column, a journalist's vengeance on editing.* His ellipses frustrated editors for years!
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 09:43 PM   #156
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything
The temporary nature of our universe is consistent with the Bible's assertion that another place is our eternal home (heaven). Don't know what Occam would think of this.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 10:33 PM   #157
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Adding a "heaven" and "creator" just adds unneeded complexity.

If things need a creator to exist, then the creator also needs a creator, ad infinitum.

Of course, all the people who believe in a creator seem to presume that it is THEIR idea of a creator that kicked things off. That seems to ignore all the other people's ideas of a creator that may conflict with their idea.

It is a lot simpler to just say "universes happen". Why add extra complexity to the issue? People can't prove that their particular deity happens to be THE deity. I'll put my money on the IPU (Invisible Pink Unicorn). She's all-merciful, all-powerful, and just as resistant to proof as any other diety that anyone else can come up with.

cheers,
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-21-2005, 11:40 PM   #158
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
Occam's Razor:

one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything

long long ago, when metaphysics was considered "Queen of the Sciences"


The Ballad of Ockham's Razor


I sit with a glass full of suds in my hand
and a thirst which no bottle could quell
Yet I beg of you all to please lend a free ear
To the tale which I'm now going to tell

It began in the Islands of Britain I'm told
In a town too obscure to know well
With a fellow from Ockham who called himself Will
And a razor of his that sent millions to Hell

Now the queen of Will's land reigned supreme on her throne
And her subjects were wont to obey
But a five-o'clock shadow'd obscured her fair face
In a very uncosmetic way

Out of love for his queen Will designed in his shop
What could only be reckoned as keen
A marvelous new razor with a mind of its own
To be used by his beloved queen

In extraordinary fashion he fashioned this tool
With a property ne'er before known
All things uneconomic or superfluous
Would fall prey to its glistening hone

Metaphysical stubble stood not a sad chance
'Gainst a shave so incredibly clean
But the razor's integrity was in excess
Of what William had ever foreseen

Much closer than comfort the shave she endured
On this morn of a new era's birth
When the scarlet red blood of the celestial queen
Stained the face of the slumbering earth

And the people could scarcely believe what they'd seen
Many cowered while but few were brave
And the children looked up but could not comprehend
For as yet they were too young to shave

Not content with its coup the blade flew to the sky
And the townsfolk now thought themselves freed
Not a single foreboding awakened their minds
To the razor's next horrendous deed

"Who sent this damned razor?" they wailed with alarm
Surely God is not filled with such hate
But the razor had already rinsed down the drain
the old meddler's superfluous fate

Fully severed, the stringing that held up the sky,
And the heavens crashed down from above
And the people looked up and they saw nothing there
Gone was God, gone was hope, gone was love

Now the razor has left us with vile-smelling truths
Where the glimmer of fantasy lay
And we sit in our shells and cannot help but ask
Why go on even for one more day?

For the blade that degrades also saves I've been told
Through the virtue of efficiency
It would only be happy to rid the earth of
Its most superfluous entity

If I sound too abstract or my meaning obscure
Don't despair as I squander my breath
For there is nowhere else where one may turn one's fate
Save to blackness, to voidness, to death

And you'll all understand ere the era has passed
For alone I will surely not be
In a world without light we must pray to the blade
For redemption from this misery

Only those who can laugh as they slip through the void
Are content for there's nothing secure
And we all must face black looking forward and back
Midst a present that's just a detour

"Yet a detour from where?" is the question you scream
Surely here there is meaning for us!
With the blade to my throat I now turn a deaf ear
From a question that's superfluous

"doggerel" from Bosco, the Labrador Retriever, circa 1975 (in his younger days, when he was a "true-believing" nihilist, rather than a garden-variety cynic like now)
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-22-2005, 12:00 AM   #159
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Damn, that was pretty good, bosco.* *If I ever start my Church of Wab, can I make that one of our hymns?

I'm thinking about this classic for the Wabist version of the 10 commandments:

Always Wear Sunscreen
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-22-2005, 09:46 AM   #160
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
Damn, that was pretty good, bosco. If I ever start my Church of Wab, can I make that one of our hymns?

I'm thinking about this classic for the Wabist version of the 10 commandments:

Always Wear Sunscreen
no prob. Let me know when the church will open

one hymn I love is "Marching to Shibboleth" part of a Firesign Theatre album called "Don't Touch that Dwarf, Hand me the Pliars"

liked the article you cite, but they forgot "rotate your tires"

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