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Robert Fargher

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Yes, I'm alive. May. 23rd, 2008 @ 03:56 pm

My computer geek score is greater than 100% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Yawn. :-)

Like a moth to a flame, I just can't stop taking these quizzes. I did have to use an ASCII chart, though.

No threat from Microsoft! May. 15th, 2007 @ 11:37 am

Emanual Lasker was World Chess Champion for 27 years, from 1894 to 1921. He
has an oft-quoted maxim that is very applicable to Microsoft's current patent
actions.  According to Lasker, "The threat is stronger than the execution." 
In the past, when Microsoft kept quiet about its patent arsenal, the threat
seemed real.  Now that Microsoft is posturing about executing its patent
threat, we can see just how feeble that threat really was!

  I feel no sympathy for those bastards but they have really put themselves in
a bind now.  Just who are they going to sue?  Their customers?  Yeah, that's
really working fantastically for SCO.  Redhat, Google or IBM?  I don't think so;
those companies have deep pockets and would not back down from a fight, one
Microsoft cannot win.   At best they can hope backroom politics, by lobbying
governments, might be intimidating.

  The FSF has determined that Microsoft is now a distributor of Linux (via its
deal with Novell) and thus subject to the patent licensing clauses of GPL2. 
I doubt very much whether MS would have the appetite to challenge that in a
court of law even though such status undermines their strategy against Open
Source.  And against Open Office, too.

  Monkey-boy can bluster about violating their precious Intellectual Property
(tm) but he's not being taken seriously.  There is likely too much patent
infringement vulnerability on Microsoft's side for them to withstand a close
scrutiny by, say IBM.  Also, if they actually identify their own patents
being infringed they know from the example of Groklaw that pretty much the
whole open source community will focus on finding prior art to invalidate the

  No, they are not in an enviable position right now. And they themselves have
put them there.  They have exposed their own weakness.  They are no longer
intimidating.   Their actions have provided even more credibility to open

  Lasker was right.
Current Location: Camp Chaos
Current Mood: mischievousmischievous
Current Music: Classical on the radio

Jan. 17th, 2006 @ 09:27 am
One more trip around ol'Sol, and travelangel notches up another one. Happy birthday Wendy!

Phenomorphic pleiotropism Dec. 21st, 2005 @ 08:57 pm
The Intelligent Design movement took a body blow yesterday when a US federal judge ruled on Tuesday that "it was unconstitutional for a Pennsylvania school district to present intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in high school biology courses because it is a religious viewpoint that advances "a particular version of Christianity."" I particularly enjoyed his statement that the school board "made a decision of "breathtaking inanity" and "dragged" their community into "this legal maelstrom with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources."" And this from a federal judge appointed by Bush the Lesser.

I tend to think that "inane" is a useful adjective for scientific creationism/intelligent design camp. But that is not a realistic point of view from which to proceed as these folks have a tremendous grassroots support base. They've even managed to get the Kansas State Board of Education to redefine science to include supernatural explanations! And all along here I was, poor me, thinking that science sought only natural explanations for the workings of the universe.

I have been interested in the evolution/creationist "debate" for a long time. And I see scientfic creationism/intelligent design's (the two terms are equivalent, differing only in how much they wish to mask their God as being behind the curtain) political activities as based upon 4 pillars, three of which are logical fallicies and the fourth being a characteristic methodology.

The first logical fallacy is a deliberate misunderstanding & misrepresentation of what evolution is. The best statement of this fallacy is by the astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe (not Sir Fred Hoyle) who stated, "The chances that life just occurred on earth are about as unlikely as a typhoon blowing through a junkyard and constructing a Boeing 747." Now this refers to the origin of life (which is not part of evolution; evolution explains the development of life once it arose, not its origin) rather than evolution. Nontheless, the typhoon/747 metaphor is very frequently trotted out by the creationists as their metaphor for the mechanism of evolution, likening the improbability of evolution creating good ol' Homo sap to the randomness of material pushed about by the wind conglomerating into a functional jumbo jet. I am not going to refute or correct their misunderstanding here. Rather I am going to point out that they are deliberately attacking their misrepresentation of evolution, i.e. they are constructing a straw man and arguing against it. This is the logical fallacy of the Straw Man Argument.

The second logical fallacy is representing their explanation as the only alternative to evolution. In a true dichotomy, it's either A or B: if you disprove B then it must be A. Creationism is based upon presenting evolution/creationism as a dichotomy. If you parse their arguments, you will soon notice that they constantly posit any criticism of evolution as being evidence for creationism. They produce no positive evidence for their position whatsoever, relying entirely on negative evidence against evolution. I see them as thinking that if they manage to tear down evolution, to discredit scientific thinking counter to their Protestant fundamentalist understanding, that creationism is validated by default. If evolution is wrong then creationism must be right, nothing else to be considered, nothing else to be countenanced. And they posit this as evidence?? Well, that is the logical fallacy of a False Dichotomy. You never hear creationists talk about anything else, such as phenomorphic pleiotropism as an alternative to evolution, do you?

Their third fallacy is my personal favourite. A good example of it is their current argument of irreducible complexity, citing bacterial flagella and the human eye as being so complex, so fit for a purpose with said purpose not being achieved by anything less than perfection (i.e. the end position) that they could not possibly have evolved. Any less than perfect intermediary (to the current construction, that is) would be non-functional (in their view) and could not lead to the perfect functioning complexity that we see. I think that this fallacy is the heart and soul of their world view, indeed lies at the foundation of all religion. The fallacy of so-called irreducible complexity supporting teleological design can be easily shown by re-wording their argument thusly: "I cannot conceive how such an irreducibly complex object could have arisen except by being created". This fallacy is the Argument from Personal Incredulity. Such an argument simply shows their personal limits, not the limits of the universe. That they cannot understand how something occurs can have no bearing on the reality of occurance. Their wishful thinking cannot circumscribe the set of reality. (Parenthetically I note that by doing so, they are also attempting to limit the power of their own God. Who knows, maybe God used evolution to produce man?)

The fourth pillar is that of intellectual dishonesty. This is rampant throughout creationism, being most evident from the days of scientfic creationism (the political precursor to intelligent design). The tenets of creationism, as they apply to science and particularly in their misrepresentation of evolution, have been refuted over and over again. Yet, rather than going and doing proper research, they continually trot out their properly refuted and known invalid arguments over and over again to every new audience. Fallacies 1 and 2 above , for example, are fair enough the first time they were presented. Once they were shown to be wrong you would think that an honest person would retire those arguments and develop new ones (if they exist, that is). But that's not the creationist modus operandi. They present themselves as wanting a fair and balanced treatment of the issues. Never do they mention that every argument they present has been shown to be wrong, that their position has been given fair & balanced treatment and been rejected as fallacious over and over again. Scientific creationism/intelligent design presents lies as the Truth.

Yeah, sure. Nov. 17th, 2005 @ 12:23 pm
Hmm, it would be nice to know what I got wrong so I could validate the results. :-)

Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional
Other entries
» (No Subject)
You are a

Social Liberal
(63% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(41% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

» (No Subject)
Wile E. Coyote!
You scored 85 Aggression, 57 Sophistication, and 71 Optimism!
You are intelligent, sophisticated, and the physical personification of the can-do attitude. No matter how many times something blows up in your face (figuratively or literally) or prized project collapses around you, you will pick yourself up and try, try again. There is a good chance that you are very skilled in problem solving and would probably make a fine engineer. Your main weaknesses (and this is likely obvious to everyone but yourself) are your overconfidence and complete lack of perspective. When you inevitably fail at a task (you can't possibly achieve all of the lofty goals you set for yourself), you tend to take it personally. If you are not careful, you can become thoroughly obsessed with what is not really a very meaty goal. Try taking a step back from time to time and figure out for yourself if it is really worth it, or if your talents could be best put towards a more rewarding goal. Also, your desire for things to work out the way you've planned can make you a bit gullible.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 90% on Aggression
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 9% on Sophistication
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 63% on Optimism
Link: The Which Looney Tune Are You Test written by coolguy3000 on OkCupid Free Online Dating

» But it's a good pain. :-)
On Friday, I took my dog to the vet to get his rabies, etc., shots. On the way back, I stopped into the computer store (http://www.ncix.com) and bought a Powerball (http://www.powerballs.com/). This is a hand-held gyroscope and is really neat. You can control its speed by working it with your wrist, such that you put energy into the rotor spinning by (I think) countering the force of precession. Moving your hand in circular movements in resonance with the precession, slower & larger movements at lower speeds, rapid & small movements at higher speeds, will really get the thing humming!

Naturally enough, the faster it goes (upto 15,000 RPM), the more work is needed to maintain and/or increase its speed. It's marketed as a exercise aid to strengthen ones wrists and a rehabilitation aid for carpal tunnel problems, RSI and arthritis.

Now my wrist hurt. :-) But it's a lot of fun.
» OK, I'm a sucker for quizzes. :-)
You scored as Mufasa. You are Mufasa! Independent, headstrong, courageous and wise, you are a person of principle. Your insight to life and past experiences (even if learned the hard way) have given you a unique ability to relate to others. You are well-respected and well thought of, but you'd never think of taking advantage of others' trust in you. Naturally out-going and personable, you have a knack of talking to people and finding commonality with them. Keep it up, you're the model friend!






















Which Lion King Character Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com

» I'm an amazon? Wow!
You are amazon.com You are the first person people go to when they need something.  People have confidence in you.  You like free shipping.
Which Website are You?

Well, I saw the link on feste's site and my curiosity was piqued. I'm easily piqued. :-)
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