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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Blogger is currently screwing up, and has been screwing up since at least 18 hours ago, with nary a word from support.

Updates will resume when it is no longer screwed.

[Addendum: Blogger has been unscrewed, after 18 hours]

Friday, February 17, 2006

"The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on." - Joseph Heller

***

Me: this is hilarious
I'm the only non smoker in a house of 7
but 5 of them are trying to quit

My favourite test tube washer: quit? join them lah!
keep you warm in winter
reduce appetite
what more can you ask for

Me: ...
I already have enough risk factors leading to my death at an early age from various nasty diseases

My favourite test tube washer: by the time you reach that early age we'll have thought of something

Me: how optimistic
remember how the future was foreseen in blade runner and 2001!

as the saying goes:
"Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it dozens of times"

***

VoipCheap: The World's first discount VoIP provider! - Though the website is different, the screenshot looks oddly familiar. The rates are different though. I give up trying to track all of the clone VOIP services.

RIAA et al. says CD ripping, backups not fair use - "Even if CDs do become damaged, replacements are readily available at affordable prices."

Breast Cancer: Do Bras Cause Breast Cancer? - "The World Health Organization calls chemical toxins the primary cause of cancer. But poisons accumulating in breast tissue are normally flushed by clear lymph fluid into large clusters of lymph nodes nestling in the armpits and upper chest. The Singers found that "because lymphatic vessels are very thin, they are extremely sensitive to pressure and are easily compressed." Chronic minimal pressure on the breasts can cause lymph valves and vessels to close."

Thus with a kiss I die: but not in the school production - "Romeo's dying gesture in Romeo and Juliet — when he demands a last embrace and a kiss — would be restricted to a chaste peck on the cheek under guidelines for school plays. Teachers will have to cut love scenes containing any “intimate physical contact”, according to guidance to prevent inappropriate sexual behaviour in school productions."

Treehugger: How To: Convert Your Diesel Car to Run on Food Grease - "If diesel just isn't good enough for you, head over to Greasel.com or Greasecar, where DIY kits will help you convert your diesel vehicle into veggie-powered transport. The kits go for about $980 ($600), but one user claims that she made her money back in only nine months"
Someone: read 001001. it's hilarious!

the entire magazine is just quite ridiculous (:
bad grammar at random places... weird love advice

but i suppose tts NUS
NUS Science (:

Me: hahahahaha
soppy right

"A woman needs love, care and attention."
Sounds like a pet


Fwd: amusing articles from this month's issue of the NUS Science Club Magazine 1

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scan001001.jpg

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Most people ignore most poetry
because
most poetry ignores most people.

- Adrian Mitchell

***

Someone on someone criticising the alleged decline in drug addiction in Singapore:

"It just seems to me you are just carelessly distorting innocuous remarks made by the drug-busters to serve your insatiable need to put them down.

The way you handle disagreement, I see you are being little different from the very powers you despise."

Indeed, this is a trap some of us fall readily into.


Feedback email:

"Are all those "Someone"s real?

I kind of really like reading them, sometimes even more than your own entries."


1877kb/s upload. New record.

***

Another blow to "Asian Values":

Party elders attack China censors

"A group of former senior Communist party officials in China have launched a scathing attack on the country's handling of the media and information... They said strict censorship may "sow the seeds of disaster" for China's political transition. Among the signatories are an ex-aide to Mao Zedong, a former newspaper editor and a former party propaganda chief.

"History demonstrates that only a totalitarian system needs news censorship, out of the delusion that it can keep the public locked in ignorance," the group said in the letter, according to Reuters news agency."

Someone on Young Republic: Singapore's own argument has long been the opposite: that denying the public freedom of speech prevents group confrontation and social unrest. Granted, China's on the verge of a revolution; Singapore is far from it.

Assume that a civic-minded, politically active youth is essential for the success of political institutions. If Singapore is to develop the "critical thinking" faculties of its youths (I refer you to another ST forum letter which proposed the introduction of an (haha) "Intellectual Development Week"), discussions will inevitably have to include "sensitive-therefore-must-be-restricted" debates on what makes society tick; issues of politics, race, and religion.

***

Is cell phone use in cars really dangerous? - "What gets you into trouble, it seems, isn't so much fumbling with the phone (though that doesn't help) as the apparent fact that driving and conducting a conversation at the same time consumes more mental processing power than most people can spare."
In that case, we should ban drivers from talking to their passengers.

Are bears more likely to attack menstruating women?

VoipStunt - The Other Free Calls Company - This is by the same people behind VOIP Buster, uses the same client (with a different colour) and offers free calls to landlines in even more countries (including Singapore). Speculation on their business model: Finarea SA & VoipBuster. I don't think I can use up 10 euros' of credit in 120 days anyway, unless I keep having to call a certain someone on the mobile line first to make sure that I can call the landline, since the former costs 18 times the latter.

Phantom Heresies: The Deeper Side of Star Wars - ""Phantom Heresies" will run on SPACE.com until May 11, the first anniversary of Episode One's gala premiere. The goal of the series is to refresh some fans and surprise others through pointing out the film's hidden complexities, culminating in a full appreciation of The Phantom Menace as ritual theatre."
These people must be literature students. The article on Jar Jar is enough to convince you that they're nuts.

Steak and BJ Day - "March 14th is now officially "Steak and Blowjob Day". Simple, effective and self explanatory, this holiday has been created so you ladies finally have a day to show your man how much you care for him."

The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas for 2006 - 20. Why They Call It Work - "Similarly, employees animated by the corporate ideal believe in the existence of a “right” job that meets all the needs on their own, personalized versions of Maslow’s hierarchy. But even a good job in a good company is bound to produce disappointment. In time, these deluded souls will realize that the business is more interested in what they do than in who they are. They will be required to perform tasks they consider tedious or misconceived. They will find that their input is not always welcome. As a result, they will feel frustrated, disappointed, and demeaned."
Addendum: Alternate link

Israeli group announces anti-Semitic cartoons contest! - "“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Sandy “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

On reflection, buying rose-variant lip gloss was not the brightest idea, since it looks like lipstick.

[Addendum:

Someone: u bought lip gloss?
r u nuts?
that's for girls

Me: it's to prevent my lips from cracking
but I dont like the feeling on my lips

Someone: u're not supposed to get lip gloss
it's LIP BALM
gloss is for girls lips to appear sexy and glossy
or whatever

lip gloss is put over lipstick
for the shiny effect

Me: that's lipstick lah

anyway what I got was the right thing

correct lah
whatever it's called

"Laelloe Lipcare
Rose

Dagelijkse intensieve verzorging en bescherming met een vleugje rose"

"Daily intensive care and protection with zest rose"

in singapore most people use the term interchangeably [with lip balm]

Someone: oh no wonder
that makes sense now]
Although there was much ill-feeling about last year's NUS fee hike, in the end most students accepted it as unpleasant but necessary, coming as it did after several years of static fees.

The latest round, though, seems to have struck very raw nerves, coming on the heels of the last one - we've now had 2 fee hikes in as many years. Once again the hike has been dumped unceremoniously on everyone as students are taken for granted, being a captive market.

Further aggravating everyone is the fact that NUS has obviously spent so much on their new University Hall administration building, complete with glass facade, Koi pond and metal sculptures, as well as the year-long centennial celebrations (one reports that at some celebratory events, there is a free flow of alcohol).

Student anger is palpable from the IVLE Forum (login required) set up by NUSSU to discuss the issue. As of time of writing, it's on paper 9th most active forum on IVLE with 804 posts, but really the 2nd most active one, since 7 of the more popular forums contain posts from past semesters (the runaway crowd favourite is, of course, the Used Textbooks forum with 7603 posts - more than twice the runner up which, I feel compelled to note, I helped foment).

The most interesting ideas so far come from Farhan:


Topic: NUSSU Constitution Article XI – Call for Extra-ordinary General Meeting – Please append your name

Message: Dear fellow students,

I refer you to the National University of Singapore Students’ Union Constitution, a copy of which is attached. In particular, we draw your attention to Article XI, clauses 4(c) and 9(1), pertaining to the call and convening of an Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Many students have been shocked by the sudden announcement in the tuition fee increase, a reaction that can be verified very clearly from the large number of responses in this forum. Ironically, some have pointed out that responses to this forum illustrate the very idea that NUS students are not capable of anything more than verbal protests.

Thus, we appeal for action in the most sensible and rational way possible. We appeal for your names to be appended below to call for an EGM within 14 days, involving union members (all undergraduates) and NUSSU. There will not and shall not be any formal vote of no confidence as this is disallowed under the constitution if done in an EGM. The agenda is solely to discuss the fee hike, events preceding it, and the best course of action in an issue that concerns not only students’ welfare and finances, but also our own student voice. To face the administration, we students need to be united first, and fast.

We need your support in the following:

1) Append your name below, in support of this call for the EGM. We (Farhan Ali and Godwin) will send the letter with your names (at least 45 members) to the Honorary General Secretary of NUSSU, who shall convene the EGM within 14 days of receipt of the application.

2) Ensure 200 union members (every undergraduate in NUS is a member) are present during the EGM (to be announced by the Honorary General Secretary) in order for it to convene.

We seek your common decency to refrain from personal attacks and cynicism in this thread (or any other in this Forum).

Fellows students,
Farhan Ali
Godwin Tang

[Ed: Regardless of whether this is successful, I have a feeling the constitution will be changed quietly soon.]

Any NUS students who might be reading this post are strongly encouraged to append their names to the thread "NUSSU Constitution Article XI – Call for Extra-ordinary General Meeting – Please append your name farhan b ali 16/02 2:33" in the IVLE "Fee Hike Response" forum. This forum may be accessed by logging into IVLE and clicking on "Fee Hike Response" in the right sidebar:

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Topic: Personal letter to Mr Quek, NUSSU President

Message: Dear Mr Quek,

This is not a personal attack. It is an appeal to the moral duty of a leader.

Any leader who has integrity and moral courage will know he should resign if he betrays the people he is supposed to fight for. The only moral course of action for you and your administration is resignation. Put in a new office or an interim management. In the meantime, I myself am willing to volunteer for any working committee to study and challenge the university’s decision. Academic year 06/07 hasn’t started; it might not be too late.

Sadly, Mr Quek, your office will forever be known as the union office in one of the top universities in Asia, that allowed unilateral back-to-back fee increases amidst multi-million dollar celebrations and projects by the university. This has severe ramifications beyond mere dollars and beyond our generation of undergraduates.

It is a question of leadership and moral courage. Of students and their place in a university.

Yours,
Farhan Ali
Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life is not already to preserve the English tongue, it should be. You can smell a grammatical inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is revered by the underlings, though some may blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just jealous. Go out there and change the world.

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla
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View from apartment window

On Sunday I was wondering why it was so cold, and when I looked out the window it looked like it was snowing. However, the precipitate was falling too quickly to be snow, and snow wasn't building up on the ground, so I stuck my hand out to catch some of the particles on my coated arm, and saw that what was falling from the sky was really small chips of ice, like what you get in ice kachang. Damn sleet.

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What is outside my back door


Being from backward Third World countries, those of us not from the EU, EEA, US, Canada, Japan, Israel or similar countries have to go for a tuberculosis test to apply for a residence permit, required to reside in the Netherlands for more than 3 months. Luckily the test was free, so we weren't fleeced yet again (the visa already cost me €250 and the residence permit will cost another €188).

The hot drinks machine in the clinic was amazing to behold, charging €0.50 as it did for, of all things, hot water.

The sex field in the computer the nurse registered me in had "M", "F" and "O" as options. You gotta love these progressive Europeans. [Someone: probably because of chernobyl. thats why have all these other sexes come out.]

The changing room in the TB test place was interesting. From my limited experience of chest x-rays, what usually happens is that you enter a changing room, change into a gown, come out, put your belongings into a locker and then enter the X-ray room. This place was different: I entered the changing room, locked the door behind me, placed my bag on the ground and removed my upper clothing. The nurse then opened the door on the other side of the changing room (there was no handle on my side), giving me access to the X-ray area. When I was done I entered the changing room again and she closed the door on her side. I didn't need to bother with a gown or a locker.

Though I'd touched the lock in the changing room to lock the door, when I touched it again to unlock it after my X-ray, I got zapped. I wonder what the machine pelted me with besides X-rays.


I called my mother after the TB test (I was waiting for someone who'd gone back to get his passport) and for a 4 minute 24 second call I paid €6.88. Damn, I should've put down earlier.

One of my housemates says we can save at least €100 a month getting a comparable room (in the city to boot) not from the housing agency: if one understands Dutch (she does, a bit, since she's been here for more than a year) one can look for housing in the classifieds. I'll only be here till June, so I'm not sure, given the transaction costs and the possibility of a screwup.

Classes here seem to require more group project work and individual study than in NUS. I need to read 3 chapters of my textbook per week for one of my modules. Gah.

This must be the first time ever I've had a room to myself, with no one telling me how to keep it. It feels great.

I bought 2 apples last week to protect myself from scurvy, but on reflection, potatoes nowadays are probably enriched with Vitamin C, like how salt is dosed with iodine, so a daily dose of patat frites should keep me healthy (hurr hurr).

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Vla - vanilla and chocolate

One thing I like about the Netherlands is Vla. It's a sort of dairy pudding, except that it flows quite readily, with a viscosity similar to custard. It's mild-tasting, not too rich and only slightly sweet. A certain someone used to bring a few cartons home in her luggage when flying home from the Netherlands.

The korean housemate was complaining, after less than a week, that he was sick of bread. I've had it thrice since I came, but I think I'm perfectly capable of living without rice till end July.

I did a maiden stir-fry of some pork with soy sauce, paprika and garlic powder. It went well except that I spurted soy sauce onto the wall twice because I tilted the bottle too soon. !@#$

Hopefully Avenue Q will come to London before end July, then I can go over to eat Krispy Kreme as well!

Seen in Toko Central, the Asian food store: Yeo's "Singapore Hot curry sauce" and "Malaysian Mild curry sauce". How cunning, sneaking a calculated insult to our neighbors here, where they thought no one would notice it. Luckily I'm vigilant. They also had 'kwee lapis' (actually the rainbow kueh - I'm sure there's a Malay name for it), 'onde onde' (actually sesame balls) and red packets.


Quotes:

chee'curn (chicken)

This fish has a lot of spines. (bones)

Sometimes I do something for you students when it is not in my interests. What is in my interests? To stay at home watching TV and drinking a beer. Why [do I not do this]? I have no idea.

banner'vor'learn (benevolent)

bar'bay'rious (barbarous)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Maybe this world is another planet's hell." - Aldous Huxley

***

The best way to respond to a MLM is with another MLM.

***

Someone: recommend u this anime called yakitate
it makes u wanna eat bread

incidentaly this is a story about how ther eis french bread, english bread, german bread..but no japan bread..and so this boy genius go in search of making a bread taht is represenative of japan

it is damn funy and interesteing

Me: damn japs

***

Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS (1974)

"This, of course, ignores the use of satire as part of political communication. Indeed, until the past decade or so, the Nazis were often portrayed as ridiculous and incompetent – and not just in "Hogan’s Heroes"; the tradition was spawned most notably by Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940). Frankly, I’m not sure that insisting that the Nazis must be portrayed as sinister is a step forward. I mean, first of all, they were ridiculous. The Nazis were some sort of cosmic joke – led by a deranged, would-be artist, and populated with various petty criminals, perverts, and drug abusers, all of them narcissistic and sociopathic. Second, from a political perspective, insisting that the Nazis must always been portrayed as sinister, menacing, and above all else, ruthlessly competent is problematic. As I mentioned in my review of American History X (1998), this message is more likely to recruit a generation of neo-Nazis than anything else. If you’re an alienated kid, sinister, menacing, and competent is precisely what you aspire to. In a weird way, the Hogan-Ilsa version of the Nazis as laughable and deranged is a more powerful condemnation. (BTW, you can apply this logic to other issues too... like cigarettes. I suspect that anti-smoking campaigns would be more effective if they used ridicule rather than dire warnings. I mean, is there anything more laughable and pitiful and a bunch of nicotine junkies bundled up against the cold or rain puffing away in the doorway of buildings on cigarette breaks? Commercials on that theme would be more useful than grimly worded threats on the side of packages. The message would be, it’s not so much that cigarettes will kill you as much as that they will make you a laughing stock.)"

I actually saw this for sale in JB.

***

Catholic Apologetics International - The Geocentrism Challenge

"CAI will write a check for $1,000 to the first person who can prove that the earth revolves around the sun. (If you lose, then we ask that you make a donation to the apostolate of CAI). Obviously, we at CAI don't think anyone CAN prove it, and thus we can offer such a generous reward. In fact, we may up the ante in the near future...

Scripture is very clear that the earth is stationary and that the sun, moon and stars revolve around it. (By the way, in case you're wondering, "flat-earthers" are not accepted here, since Scripture does not teach a flat earth, nor did the Fathers teach it). If there was only one or two places where the Geocentric teaching appeared in Scripture, one might have the license to say that those passages were just incidental and really didn't reflect the teaching of Scripture at large. But the fact is that Geocentrism permeates Scripture. Here are some of the more salient passages (Sirach 43:2-5; 43:9-10; 46:4; Psalm 19:5-7; 104:5; 104:19; 119:90; Ecclesiastes 1:5; 2 Kings 20:9-11; 2 Chronicles 32:24; Isaiah 38:7-8; Joshua 10:12-14; Judges 5:31; Job 9:7; Habakkuk 3:11; (1 Esdras 4:12); James 1:12). I could list many more, but I think these will suffice.

Now, of course, someone will immediately object: "Well, we don't have to interpret these passages literally." Says who? The Church has made no dogmatic teaching saying that we don't have to take these Scriptures literally. In fact, Leo XIII taught in Providentissimus Deus (1893) that, in the first instance, Scripture MUST be interpreted literally, unless there is some compelling reason to interpret it otherwise."

Maybe Andrew Loke can try to convince them that the earth revolves around the sun.

Hopefully in 100 years creationists will be looking this stupid. Am I being too optimistic?
No matter how sophisticatedly the cosmological argument might be phrased, it still contains within it the seeds of its own demise:


Andrew Loke:

Aqaqooqa

>Even if I grant your point, if intelligence was required, wouldn't greater intelligence be required to create that first intelligence? We thus enter an infinite regress explaining nothing (just like the cosmological argument).

* The cosmological argument is not an argument which explain nothing , but it is the answer to your question which is exactly what Dr Richard Dawkins asked in his evolutionist book , Climbing Mount Improbable :

[I]f we postulate him as our cosmic designer we are in exactly the same position as we started. Any designer capable of designing the dazzling array of living things would have to be intelligent and supremely complicated beyond all imagining. And complicated is just another word for improbable —and therefore demanding an explanation. (p.68)

Dr Dawkins' question is answered by the cosmological argument :

First of all , we must ask ourselves a question : Is it true that everything must have a cause ?

To the surprise of many , the answer is no . Logically speaking , if something has no beginning , then it must be uncaused.

But how do we know such an existence exist ?

This is what the cosmological argument proves :

The cosmological argument ( in brief ) :

PREMISE 1 :

Some things do exist.

PREMISE 2

Of things that exist, they can only belong to either one of the 3 categories

- A 'caused-by-others' existence

-A 'self-caused' existence

-An 'uncaused' existence



PREMISE 3.

A 'self-caused' existence cannot exist because it would need to exist causally prior to it coming into existence, which is absurd .

PREMISE 4

Therefore only 'caused-by-others' existence and 'uncaused' existence can possibly exist.

PREMISE 5

There cannot be an actual infinite regress of existences consisting of 'caused-by-others' existences.

PROOF ...

1. It is impossible to have an actual infinite number of things to exist in reality ( for example, as illustrated by Hilbert's Hotel )

2. The impossibility of traversing an infinite : It is impossible to reach an actual infinity of caused-by-others existences by successive addition ( 0,1,2,3..) starting from the present . Therefore , it is also impossible to have had an actual infinity of caused- by -others existence causally prior to the present . In another words , the distance " from here to actual infinity ( 0, 1,2,3.. ) " compared with " from actual infinity to here" is the same . Since it is impossible to reach actual infinity from here, it is impossible to have reached here from actual infinity .

PREMISE 6

Since there cannot be an infinite regress of 'caused-by-others' existences, there must exist a first cause.

PREMISE 7

Only an 'uncaused' existence can be the first cause since a 'caused-by-others' existence must have an existence causally prior to itself and thus cannot be the first cause.

CONCLUSION :

Therefore an uncaused existence must exist.



Characteristics of the Uncaused Existence :

1. The uncaused existence is change-less sans(without) the first event.( an infinite regress of change cannot exist )

2. The uncaused existence is beginning-less and timeless(ie. outside of time)

2.1 An uncaused existence is either something that comes from nothing or something that has no beginning

2.2 But something cannot come from nothing

2.3 Therefore the uncaused existence is something that has no beginning .

2.4 Something that has no beginning is either an existence that comes from infinite past or an existence which is timeless .

2.5 But an existence that comes from an infinite past is a logical absurdity

2.6 Therefore the uncaused existence is timeless

3 .The uncaused existence is immaterial.

( Whatever is changeless and timeless cannot be material, since matter inherantly involves change ie .in the protons/electrons etc . )

4 .The uncaused existence is space-less.

-Whatever is timeless and immaterial cannot be spatial .

5, The uncaused cause is personal

5.1. Time has a beginning ( t0)

5.2. The first effect was caused at t0

5.3. Uncaused cause must be Timeless.

5.4. Uncaused cause could not have all the necessary conditions to cause the first effect otherwise the first effect will be timeless as well ( co- existing with the uncaused cause)

5.5 Therefore the uncaused cause cause the first effect by not having all the necessary conditions

5.6. Such a condition is possible only if the uncaused cause has a will to will the first effect to begin in time, while Himself exist timelessly ( a will capable of willing the first event as He pleases without necessary conditions ) Ie it is the only possible scenario in which the uncaused cause can be timeless while the first effect is not timeless.

5.7. Whatever has a will is personal.

5.8. Therefore the uncaused cause is personal.



Identity of the Uncaused Existence :

An uncaused existence which must be changeless , beginning-less , timeless, immaterial , spaceless and personal certainly cannot be the universe itself , as the universe is a material existence existing in time and space .

Now since the universe is not an uncaused existence, it would need a cause for its existence .

The universe is therefore the effect of an uncaused existence, either directly or indirectly.

We can also conclude that the uncaused existence has all the power in the universe , as the uncaused existence is the one that brought the universe into existence .

An uncaused existence who is changeless, beginning-less, timeless , immaterial , spaceless , personal and all powerful is God .

Therefore God exist . ( copyright 2006 Dr Andrew Loke )

We have seen from the above arguments that a uncaused Cause of the universe exist, who is also beginningless, timeless , immaterial , spaceless, personal and enormously powerful. We have also seen how the origination of the DNA warrants the conclusion that it must be the work of a Designer . Linking the above 2 arguments together , we can prove that the uncaused Cause of the universe is indeed a Designer as well :

What we can know is that what is CAUSED and has functional complexity ( as defined by knowledge of what is required for an event WHICH PRODUCE SOMETHING THAT IS FUNCTIONAL plus knowledge that undirected natural forces are not reasonably expected to move in the manner of the requirement => intelligence ) must be the result of a designer. This is what we can prove because this is our uniform experience with caused entities, and SETI scientist used similar pathway of reasoning to recognise intelligence and differentiate it from non intelligent cause for an event as well.

But we cannot prove that an UNCAUSED entity with functional complexity needs a designer , as we do not have any experience of an uncaused entity which is designed. Indeed , we cannot experience an uncaused entity at all with our senses , because the uncaused entity by nature must be timeless , immaterial and spaceless , as shown by the cosmological argument. However, our inability to experience the uncaused existence does not prove that an uncaused existence does not exist ; in fact , it is from what we can observe and know ( ie some things do exist , there cannot be an actual infinite regress of caused-by-others existence , etc ) that we can deduce that uncaused existence must exist , as shown by the cosmological argument . And an uncaused existence neccesarily cannot be designed as design implies causation , and an uncaused existence cannot be caused .

Now the Mind of the designer behind the creation of the DNA must be highly complex and functional as well to be able to conceive such highly complex and functional structures, as Richard Dawkins suggested . If such a designer is not uncaused ( eg ETIs ) , then it must have been the work of another designer . But there cannot have been an infinite regress of such designers , as there cannot have been an actual infinite regress of existences consisting of 'caused-by-others' existences , as shown by the cosmological argument. Therefore the only solution is that ultimately there must have been an Uncaused Designer who is not designed.

An uncaused Designer who is changeless, beginning-less, timeless , immaterial , spaceless , personal and all powerful is GOD .

Therefore God exist .


Me:

2. The uncaused existence is beginning-less and timeless(ie. outside of time)
??? Why can't the Universe or Existence in totality exist within the realm of time, but exist in perpetuity?

5, The uncaused cause is personal
You're basically defining your prime mover into existence. If we have different assumptions, we don't need a personal prime mover with a will existing outside the bounds of reality. Besides which, you've a category error: How could the amaterial affect the material or the atemporal affect time?

Here's a better argument:
i) Everything exists within the bounds of and conforms to the laws of material reality
ii) Gods do not
iii) Therefore gods do not exist

Anyhow the very most your argument commits us to is deism. Since your prime mover is changeless, beginning-less, timeless, immaterial , spaceless, it cannot interact with the material world, or it would change. Basically we have an unknowable entity here. But then if the entity is changeless it couldn't have done anything in the first place, let alone creating Existence. So the argument falls apart on its own precepts.

As for your argument from design,

I did not claim that the origin of life by itself warrants a supernatural intelligence, but only intelligence

Didn't you claim in an earlier thread that your argument from design did not posit supernaturality, which would require many more orders of magnitude of proof than SETI finding alien intelligence? You seem to have forgotten that.

Violating the laws of nature I might let pass if I were high on root beer, but violating the laws of logic gets you an automatic red card.

Monday, February 13, 2006

"If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?" - Laurence J. Peter

***

Someone: I used to think all chinese girls had nice straight hair, after that only I realised that it was all rebonded

oh yes also used to think how come so many chinese girls, have fair, rosy cheeks
then i realised it was makeup
I always used to think it was natural

***

VoipBuster - The Free Calls Company

Using this program, I can make free calls to landlines in the Netherlands and Malaysia, but not Singapore. Gah. Though in any case their rate for Singapore is less than 60% of Skype's.

Some catches:
- They round up to the next minute
- They give you only one 1 minute-long free landline call; you need to deposit €10.00 to make free calls after that [Addendum: I just made another free 1 minute-long call, so I don't know what's going on.]
- "Credit in your account remains valid for 120 days after your last purchase." - So if I buy 10 Euros' worth, I will have to call Singapore for 4 hours a month, or the equivalent of such. OTOH, Skype credit expires 180 days after your last SkypeOut call. Jingyang suggested sharing credit with a friend - that's a great idea.

In any case, including the cost of making outgoing calls in Singapore (assuming an off-peak charge of 0.74 cents per minute), if there's no VAT, it's a bit cheaper to call Singapore from my computer using this than to use an international calling card from Singapore.

Surprisingly, they also accept eNETS - the first site outside Singapore I've seen that accepts it; hell, one of the first sites, period, that accept it. An experimental click churned out "Service temporarily unavailable. Please select another payment method." though.

[Addendum: I just called Andrew in Australia - the quality wasn't spectacular, but for a free call it was good. I wonder if the paid calls to places like Singapore have similar quality though :/

Another consideration is that the phone in my room won't work till early March, since they're changing the company to BudgetPhone. I checked the BudgetPhone website, and found that to call Singapore it will cost me at least 4 Euro cents a minute (I'm using the Translation Panel Firefox extension because the website is in Dutch, but I'm puzzling out whether they'll charge me for the fixed line rate or the "budgetphonekaart van bellen" rate). I could also try looking for calling cards in the shops, which should be cheaper.

This is giving me a headache - this is why people often go "heck it" and just go for the simplest and/or most visible option; satisficing behavior because of high transaction costs. I don't expect to be calling fixed lines very much anyway.

Jingyang: "when u dunno the language and there is asymmetric info, u almost always lose"]

***

A search for "non-rival" on Google yields 53,800 results whereas its competitor "non-rivalrious" yields 26,700. The linguistic torture for the former is still gnawing at me, 5 (6?) years after I first heard the word used by The Commander.

Eric Low optimistic 'chikus' in Hougang sure to ripen this time round - "Since then, Mr Low and his grassroots leaders have been working hard to improve the opposition-run ward. The chiku trees at the Hougang Constituency Club have grown with Mr Low in the last four years since the last general election. And since 2001, Mr Low has concentrated on youth programmes giving the youngsters a stake in how they want the club to be run. Hougang's PCF kindergartens are also a draw."
A win-win solution: everyone votes in Opposition candidates so they can get their chikus ripened while strengthening the quality of debate in Parliament!

Is Bush The Lifetime President? - "During a National Guard ceremony gala on Thursday night, Bush was presented with a life-size marble pedestal of his own head and shoulders. Look closely at the inscription on the statue reads 2001-BLANK, indicating that the date when Bush will leave office isn't yet known, despite the fact that the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution only allows incumbents to occupy the office of President for a maximum of two terms."
... and conspiracy theorists wonder why no one takes them seriously, Holocaust denial aside. It's just like how in RI they only put up the Head Boy's name after he graduates.

Asian Guys Get Less Chick - "White guys, they got hair on their arms, chest, back, even their butt. Girls really like that. That's something we don't have. They think it's rugged or something."
I find it curious how Asian is equated to East Asian here. Even the Indian guy makes a distinction betweeen Indians and Asians. I was afraid the politically correct ending would stay, but luckily there's a twist at the end. Heh.
I got a T-mobile phone line, and gratifyingly, the topup and help line is available in English (you just press "7" at the main menu). However, a clueless user would have no idea how to switch the language. So it's a kind of Catch-22, unless someone clues you in.

My prepaid mobile line costs €0.45 a minute to dial out from 8-3 and €0.20 a minute outside of those hours, and €0.09 per SMS. Boo hoo. I get 50 free SMSes with each €10 topup, though. I wonder how long my €19.50 credit will last - it'll probably run out before 30/06/2006, when it expires anyway. I actually had €9.50 credit on my account, but I'd accidentally bought a €10 topup slip before buying the SIM card itself.


In my house, we have a French, a German, a Spanish and a Portugese. To make a bad sitcom, we'd need a Malaysian in addition to me. Fortunately, or otherwise, the 6th housemate (a 7th is coming sometime later) is a Korean.

I saw a shop selling 'American Fried Chicken'. Then beside that sign was one saying 'Exotische kipspecialteiten' (Exotic Chicken Specialities [?]). I hope they didn't mean the American Fried Chicken.

I need to come up with a rule of thumb for whether something is expensive or cheap. Tentatively, I've decided to rate something as cheap if, when multiplying the Euro price by 2, it is cheaper than in Singapore. So a chilled can of Coke from Spar, the supermarket near my housing area (where, despite what my house mate says, most stuff is generally cheaper than in the city), is cheap at €0.45, and a 6-pack is very cheap at €1.89 €2.49 (the previous price is for First Cola). I also gotta get a BJ, preferably a flavour unavailable in Singapore, when I next walk by the scoop shop. [Someone: "expensive is when you look at the price and without converting to S$ your brain goes "WTH" and you walk away quickly."]

Spar, the supermarket near my housing, is situated right smack in the midst of the University. It also sells condoms, but it seems only 12-packs are available. Students here must be really active. I also saw a copy of Penthouse, but it looked really well thumbed.

I got zapped by the metal frame of a chair. Through my coat, which was placed over the frame. Gah.

The Asian food shop here sells hell money.

I think I've exhausted all the major variations on patat frites (french fries). So far I've had them with mayonnaise (thicker than normal mayonnaise), curry (sweet and thick, like the German curry in currywurst), pindasaus/satesaus (so-called satay sauce which is really a peanut sauce with a hint of satay sauce flavour), ketchup (more astringent than normal ketchup) and with chopped raw onions (and mayonnaise and curry). All that's left are things like Piccadilly Piccalilly (no idea what that is) and knoflook (garlic), which aren't found everywhere.


Quotes:

[On the lecturer] Or make an appointment. It is fine with him. He has all the time in the world.

[On the price of books rising and food falling for the second college-going daughter in a family] So she would gain weight and learn less, but she would have the same amount of utility as the first daughter.

The other good thing about the assignment, at least from my point of view, is that there is finally an awareness in this institution that students should have to look for their own data... 'Data frustration'. Or at least that's what I call it... Trying to find your own data.

He has succeeded in explaining something that would usually require a lot of mathematics... I am quite glad that I do not have to explain it to you, because I would be unable to.

***. You should be able to do it. [Student: I didn't do my homework.] No, but you did the Macroeconomics exam so you should be able to do it. Most people didn't do their homework.

Why I love my apartment connection

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Addendum: This is on Bitcomet

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Me: just turned on part 2 of my dual action humidifier
stage 1 is a plate of water
stage 2 is a wet towel over radiator (*** suggested)
stage 2 so mafan.

Patch: what
capillary effect
towel both in water and over radiator

humidifiers are useless things
moisturizers are the way to go

Me: ooh
you're smart
let me think of how to rig it

Patch: it's like terraforming vs space suits
if you're one person you don't terraform mars


felumpfus: tissue paper mass = 0.25 g
kimberly mass = ??? g????

i mean tthe transfer of moisture from that teensy wet towel to te air, then to your body, is v small
at most it wil increase humidity by... what, a few percent

assuming your tray holds 200 ml water, which evaporates. that is 11moles of water.
if your room is 5m x 4m x 2 m that is 40 m^3

uh. basically it's not a lot lah.
:D

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Looks cooked to me. No matter, microwaving won't harm it.

[Addendum: In this shot of the 'raw' patty you can see the texture of the chicken meat, which looks cooked. After I popped it into the microwave for 2 minutes it became a bit darker and softer (about the texture of the one I had earlier today). After grilling it on the saucepan afterwards, I found it was firm enough to eat comfortably.]
I was wondering why it was so cold on Thursday morning, then precipitation started falling from the sky. At first I thought it was snow but it was falling a bit too quickly for that. Examining the particles which landed on my coat, I found that they had the shape and texture (before they melted) of the styrofoam balls that are used to stuff bean bags. Maybe it wasn't cold enough.

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Bean bag stuffing


Besides charging us a ridiculous price for housing, the housing people don't provide us with a pillow or a duvet, and offer a bedlinen pack (bedsheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, pillow, duvet) for €50. I refused to be fleeced any more by them and brought my own (yes, including the pillow). However, the blue silk blanket I brought was not warm enough so for the first few nights I was throwing my coat and pullover on top of it. However, I was shown some discarded bedlinen in the storeroom and salvaged a duvet and pillow, throwing the former on top of my blanket and using my own pillowcase for the latter. Damn, we should find a way of telling prospective tenants that we have spares, so they don't get fleeced.

Right now we have 6 people in the apartment, and we only have 2 fridges and 1 freezer (which come to just below my waist). I don't know what we'll do when the 7th person comes.


Maybe rebonding just before I came here wasn't such a good idea after all. I'm supposed to let my hair down (lit.), including not tucking it behind my ears, for another 3 weeks, but the wind keeps blowing it in my eyes.

I've put into use an important skill learnt from a certain someone - raid the 'reduced to clear' section. For example, I got a (supposedly) 300g packet of Nasi Goreng for €0.97. Unfortunately such sections aren't everywhere, and they aren't always well stocked.

To reduce micromanagement on the part of the driver, the buses here have buttons on the rear doors which you press if you want to get out at a stop.

My right ankle seems to be getting better. Looks like I won't have to visit the Chinese Massage (probably Tuina) guy after all.

I love my connection here. I've counted a 2000kb/s download and a 666kb/s combined upload speed.

One of my NUS professors was saying that the 2 most hideous-sounding languages she'd heard were Korean and Dutch. I suggested Swedish and she readily agreed. For some reason hearing Dutch makes me think of the Swedish Chef at times, given that occasionally an English or English-like word can be heard. I wonder if real Swedish sounds even more like what he speaks.

Although Root Beer is unknown in Europe, strangely enough Dr Pepper can be found in stores. Fie, fie. At least there's probably Nutella if I look hard enough.


Quotes:

Capital wears out. If I use this beamer too much it'll explode. (projector)

Cobb and Douglas were just 2 guys who had nothing better to do. They thought of this production function and now they're famous.

[On a graphical representation of the Solow Growth Model] This is the simplest version possible. This is not the version that won him the Nobel prize. So if you understand it, don't go thinking you are Nobel Prize material.

[On defining Institutional Economics] We use the definition by Douglas North. Why? Because he won the Nobel prize.

[On a straw man argument about Neo-Classical Economics] They didn't study their literature. They just reflected on a view that was 80 years out of date... They use circumstantial evidence and they work around theories to prove their point.

It is forbidden in Dutch labour law to ask a potential employee whether he has any serious diseases, or if she is going to be pregnant in a year, or 2 years' time.

In our relationship, who's the Principal and who's the Agent?... [Student: You... You have knowledge] You think so.

[On the project] I want real countries. I don't want Lichtenstein and Andorra. Well, those are real countries. I'm sorry if there are people from these countries here.

I only want literature in the languages I can read. Which means English, French, Spanish, German and Dutch.

You're just students. You can't use your own theory... You can write your own story, but most of the time - just business, nothing personal - it's nonsense.

[On logging progress] gIf you choose to only communicate via MSN, it has to be reflected in the log. I don't comment on this; I have a comment on this, [but] well.
I'm trying to figure out if I just had a semi-raw chicken patty.

Yesterday at the market they were selling 4 chicken burgers for 1 Euro, where 1 consists of a pre-sliced bun and a patty breaded with orange crumbs. The patty looked cooked, so I warmed up 2 bun halves and a patty in a saucepan, added some lettuce and tomatoes, topped it with a bit of mayonnaise and ate it.

However, when I bit into it, the patty was squishy - not the raw chicken sort of squishy (then again, how much raw chicken goes into patties anyway?), but a squishier sort.

I was always under the impression that breaded patties which come in pre-sliced buns are pre-cooked. Maybe it was half-cooked. I'll use the microwave next time before using the pan to crispen the coating.

I just hope I had enough restoran food in Malaysia to strengthen my digestive system.
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