recently found quotes

"be yourself and style will follow" -- guy tal

"we are who we are - eventually." -- constantine

"no-on has truely 'lived by the sword'for at least 300 years. everything since the 17th century is mostly fanciful imagining. This was already mocked in the early 18th century as ka-do, flower arranging." -- ford hallam

"artists try to say things that can't be said. in a fragile net of words, gestures, or colors, we hope to capture a feeling; a taste; a painful longing. but the net is always too porous, and we are left with the sweet frustration of almost knowing, which is teasingly pleasurable." -- alan alda

"creativity, no matter which of its many definitions you favor, requires something new, a different interpretation, a break from the twin opiates of habit and cliche." -- denise shekerjian

"steer clear of ideology. like jargon, it can be a substitute for thought. the lure of the simple solution can lead to handing over your life to people who make the trains run on time --  but who take away your freedom to go where you want on those trains." -- alan alda [kenyon college commencement address]

"it is the mark of the dull mind to mistake a conversation opener for its last word." -- julian baggini ["should you judge this book by its cover?"]

"westerners like to conquer mountains, while easterners like to contemplate them. as for me, i cannot see a mountain as a thing to be analyzed; it is a work of art. i like to taste the mountains." -- santoka teneda [journals, sep 20, 1930]

"you're a bloody psychopath!"

"high-functioning sociopath. with your number." [sherlock s3#2]

"after this year, the only history I want to come in contact with is the one drawn by larry gonnick" -- the kid

"if knowledge is power,

and if books are knowledge,
books are power -
an unread book is untapped power." -- eren yigit

"my memory of you is better than you" -- lao tzu [according to chuck lorre vanity card #303]

"the Go way is not to simulate inheritance, but to avoid it altogether." -- mark summerfield ["programming in go"]

"My primary interest in trolls is their elimination. Trolls are not profitable; trolls drive everyone else away. Trolls are anti-profitable." -- Yonatan Zunger

"irony is a way of having one's cake while appearing to eat it." -- john updike

"It wasn’t just a matter of making an inferior or sloppy product; anybody could have done that. But to create one that reliably failed after an agreed-upon 1,000 hours took some doing over a number of years." -- Markus Krajewski ["the great lightbulb conspiracy"]

 "all literature could be said to originate from sales receipts." -- daniel j. levitin ["the organized mind"]

"but one of the things that really irritates me in products is when I'm aware of designers wagging their tails in my face." -- jonathan ive

deniers are not sceptics [csi open letter]

Deniers are not Skeptics

December 5, 2014

Public discussion of scientific topics such as global warming is confused by misuse of the term “skeptic.” The Nov 10, 2014, New York Times article “Republicans Vow to Fight EPA and Approve Keystone Pipeline” referred to Sen. James Inhofe as “a prominent skeptic of climate change.” Two days later Scott Horsley of NPR’s Morning Edition called him “one of the leading climate change deniers in Congress.” These are not equivalent statements.

As Fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, we are concerned that the words “skeptic” and “denier” have been conflated by the popular media. Proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims. It is foundational to the scientific method. Denial, on the other hand, is the a priorirejection of ideas without objective consideration.

Real skepticism is summed up by a quote popularized by Carl Sagan, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Inhofe’s belief that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” is an extraordinary claim indeed. He has never been able to provide evidence for this vast alleged conspiracy. That alone should disqualify him from using the title “skeptic.”

As scientific skeptics, we are well aware of political efforts to undermine climate science by those who deny reality but do not engage in scientific research or consider evidence that their deeply held opinions are wrong. The most appropriate word to describe the behavior of those individuals is “denial.” Not all individuals who call themselves climate change skeptics are deniers. But virtually all deniers have falsely branded themselves as skeptics. By perpetrating this misnomer, journalists have granted undeserved credibility to those who reject science and scientific inquiry.

We are skeptics who have devoted much of our careers to practicing and promoting scientific skepticism. We ask that journalists use more care when reporting on those who reject climate science, and hold to the principles of truth in labeling. Please stop using the word “skeptic” to describe deniers.

Mark Boslough, Physicist

David Morrison, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, at the SETI Institute

Bill Nye, CEO the Planetary Society

Ann Druyan, Writer/producer; CEO, Cosmos Studios

Ken Frazier, Editor, Skeptical Inquirer

Barry Karr, Exec Director, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

Amardeo Sarma, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Executive Council, Chairman GWUP (Germany)

Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Ronald A. Lindsay, President & CEO Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and Center for Inquiry

Kenneth R. Miller, Professor of Biology, Brown University

Christopher C. French, Dept of Psychology, Goldsmiths University of London

Daniel C. Dennett, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University

Massimo Pigliucci, Professor of Philosophy at CUNY-City College

Douglas Hofstadter, Director, The Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition, Indiana University

Stephen Barrett, Co-founder of the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), and the webmaster of Quackwatch

Scott O. Lilienfeld, Professor, Department of Psychology, Emory University

Terence Hines, Dept of Psychology, Pace University

James Randi, President James Randi Educational Foundation

Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer and Director of the Center for SETIResearch

Joe Nickell, Senior Research Fellow, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

Henri Broch, Physicist, Emeritus, University Nice Sophia Antipolis, France

Eugenie C. Scott, Chair, Advisory Council, National Center for Science Education

Edzard Ernst, Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, University of Exeter, UK

Indre Viskontas, Cognitive Neuroscientist, Host Inquiring Minds Podcast

David J. Helfand, Professor of Astronomy, Columbia University

Mario Mendez-Acosta, Journalist, Science Writer, Mexico City

Cornelis de Jager, Astrophysicist, Past President, International Council for Science

Sanal Edamaruku, President, Rationalist International

Loren Pankratz, Psychologist, Portland VA Medical Center, Retired

Sandra Blakeslee, Science Writer

Benjamin Radford, Deputy Editor of the Skeptical Inquirer Magazine

David Thomas, Physicist and Mathematician

Stuart D. Jordan, NASA Astrophysicist, Emeritus

David H. Gorski, Cancer Surgeon, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Anthony R. Pratkanis, Professor of Psychology, UC @Santa Cruz

Jan Willem Nienhuys, Mathematician, Waalre, The Netherlands

Susan Blackmore, Psychologist, Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth

Ken Feder, Anthropology, Central Connecticut State University

Jill Tarter, Bernard M. Oliver Chair, SETI Institute

Richard Saunders, JREF Million Dollar Challenge Committee, Producer - The Skeptic Zone Podcast

Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Williams College

Lawrence M. Krauss, Director, The ASU Origins Project, Arizona State University

Barbara Forrest, Philosophy, Southeastern Louisiana University

Kimball Atwood, Physician, Newton, MA

James Alcock, Psychologist, Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Canada

Massimo Polidoro, Science writer, author, Executive Director CICAP, Italy

E.C. Krupp, Director, Griffith Observatory

Dick Smith, Film Producer, Publisher, Australia

CSI Consultants

Luis Alfonso Gámez, journalist, the Magonia blog, Spain
Felix Ares de Blas, Professor of Computer Science, Univ. of Basque, Spain


back deck [tanka]

reading at the back deck with the kid - Keith's red, spring breeze, Magritte clouds, peace.



recently noted quotes

"be nice. it's the smart play." -- capt. gregson ["elementary"]

"sometimes the only real difference between crazy people and artists is that artists write down what they imagine seeing." -- scott adams

"To be sure, not all moments are equally fleeting. Some moments last longer than others. And certain events do reoccur more than once and even recur repeatedly. Sometimes you do get more than one chance. Sometimes you don’t. It helps to know how long a window of opportunity you have and if you’ll get another chance." -- john paul caponigro

"trying to prove formally what is seen intuitively and to see intuitively what is proved formally is an invigorating mental exercise." -- g. polya 

"strike while the iron is vulnerable" -- the crazy ones 

there are some rivers you don't 
ever want to step into 
more than once, 
even if it was possible.

"the inhabitants refer to themselves optimistically as Homo sapiens , meaning 'wise man' in an appropriately dead language. Their activities seldom fit that description, but there are occasional glorious exceptions. They should really be called Pan narrans , the storytelling ape, because nothing appeals to them more than a rollicking good yarn." -- terry pratchett, ian stewart & jack cohen ["the science of discworld iv: judgement day"]

"Some movies run off the rails. This one is like the train crash in The Fugitive. I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies." -- roger ebert

"we share our lives with the people we have failed to be." -- adam phillips

"I believe in patterns and sequences, and this sequence does not end well unless something disrupts the pattern." -- bones

"there is no such thing as philosophy-free science." -- dan dennett

"religion is to misogyny as disease is to misery - not the sole cause, but a significant contributor" -- pz myers

"I can't unclench when there is turbulence. you know I'm an atheist." -- jerry [woody allen, "to Rome with love"]

"It's easy to mistake familiarity and the feeling of having something at your fingertips with true comprehension." -- tania lombrozo

general: "what do you think this star means?" hawkeye: "you are tinkerbell?" [mash pilot episode] 

"indeed, the sign that something does matter to us is that we lose our steadiness." -- adam phillips

one unspoken thing about a surveillance state is that it's compelled by its nature to bite off the hand that feeds it.

trust is no longer an issue. it is a lost attribute.

"some of the most powerful patterns in life are subtle." -- scott adams

"I'm confused as to why a poorly designed web site means affordable health care is a bad idea." -- chuck Lorre [431] 


much reflection

autumn days pull 
much reflection - 
a flight of swallows. 

[Oct 21, 2013 - shortly after this haiku was written, i received a call to inform me that my good friend, teacher and mentor, peter roosen-runge had died. so much more to reflect on now]


in canada day...


unlock and keep or lock and lose

today, rogers decided to decline my request to unlock an iphone I have in my account. Their reason: their "policy" states that IMEI number should be associated with an account for 90 days. But that is a laughable comic book policy that has nothing whatsoever to do with the service you are already paying for that phone. When you bought your used phone, did you remember to register its IMEI number with your carrier? Wait, your carrier already knows all about that phone, doesn't it. So what does this "policy" really mean?

Here are the relevant passages from the recent CRTC decision.

"164. The Commission therefore considers that WSPs should make an unlocking service available to customers who have been subscribed to their services for 90 days, at a rate specified in the contract and Critical Information Summary.

165. The Commission also considers that unsubsidized devices, which are fully paid for, should be unlocked immediately upon request, given that the risk of subscription fraud is not relevant in these circumstances." 

What part of these passages rogers failed to comprehend?

I told the apologetic customer retention specialist that this will cost rogers. I know he understood. I doubt rogers does.

[update: after I escalated the issue to the management, with the intention to write letter to the office of the president, and CRTC, unlock request was granted. the damage is done: the phone flew overseas without unlock.]


on practice

practice can make
the wrong thing
you practiced