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(Some Guy)   Do you know any people with really nutty beliefs, like that ZIP codes are illegal or that courtrooms that have flags with fringe on them are illegitimate?   (forum.freestateproject.org) divider line 457
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13317 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Feb 2012 at 8:31 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-23 01:50:33 PM  

YouPeopleAreCrazy: Constructor guy working in our building looked at me in all seriousness, and said "You know Beethoven was Black, right?"


This person seems to agree.
 
2012-02-23 02:03:48 PM  
I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

And, my ex-boyfriend believed that he and his deceased mom had been consistently followed and probed by aliens all their lives. Yeah, he read a lot of Whitley Striber.
 
2012-02-23 03:08:08 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: yukichigai: his sweat is more acidic than most people's

I have something like that, too, though apparently milder, or at least different. I've had a few el-cheapo watches turn green on me (acid + copper alloy), and leave black marks and irritation on my skin. They all worked just fine, though, and I don't recall any of them acting weird, ever. (Any more than any other cheap watch will.) I was really unaware of any problem until I dated a girl with sensitive skin (or at least skin with sufficiently different pH, I guess? I'm not a chemist), who complained that my skin 'burned' her, and showed me the redness. (This happened overnight, not instantly. I noticed nothing myself. But the marks were visible. And she was no delicate flower: Her hobby was swordfighting, and when she broke her arm doing that, she drove herself to the hospital -- in a stickshift.) Nothing electronic behaves strangely around me, at least not that I've ever noticed. The only other thing besides that one girl's complaint that I've noticed is that a lot of fabrics just kind of rot on me. I can't own clothes for years and years, like many people can. They just don't last. :(


I'm pretty sure the electrical side of my little brother's problem comes from the increased mineral content of his sweat on top of the high pH. All you need is some mineral with a different valence than whatever metal is touching your skin and bam, electrochemical cell. A small and pathetic one to be sure, but it's still there.

Do you happen to have thyroid issues, by chance?
 
2012-02-23 03:10:50 PM  

PyroStock: she sent him $5k+ for an emergency which he promised to pay back (but never did);
etc


Heh, easiest 5k I ever made.
 
2012-02-23 03:11:09 PM  
I work for a retail music store. We had a customer who ordered a piece of music. We set up an account for her and tole her her account number. She didn't want that number because it started with a 6 and she believed that the numbers 6 and 9 were evil. It's an automated numbering sytem, so she was stuck with it.

She mailed in a check for payment. She wrote her zip code as "Six310Nine". She also wrote out a "Nine" in the numeric total box of the check.

Ultra Jesus freak.
 
2012-02-23 03:15:58 PM  

Silverstaff: I went to college with a guy who was really out there. At first he seemed okay, a little eccentric and kooky, but decent enough to hang out with occasionally.

Over the next couple of year it turned out he believed:
1. He is psychic
2. He receives mystic visions of another world/dimension where his soul goes when he sleeps.
3. Every night he spends years on this other world, where he's a mystic warrior who goes around slaughtering the wizards on that world because they are tainted by cosmic evil.
4. Is fighting an evil overlord of immense, nigh-godlike power who has conquered that world and wants to conquer ours.
5. This evil overlord wants to invade our world, and in doing so kill God and become the new God.
6. Only he can stop this overlord from killing God and conquering our world, and to do this he'll need the unquestioning support and help of people around him.
7. Strong similarities between the full version of his story and many fantasy novels mean that there are other people who have seen incomplete visions of this world and his role in it and have tried to explain it the best they can, so those novels are actually true (but distorted) tales of what he does but only he has the complete truth and knows it's reality and not fiction.

He actually started convincing some of my more gullible friends about this and trying to muster up some sort of cult. I ended up losing a few friends and basically getting ostracized from a social circle I'd been a part of for several years because I called bullshiat on all this. Last I heard, he still had a half-dozen or so followers.


Thomas Covenant frowns upon your friend's shenanigans.
 
2012-02-23 03:31:34 PM  

Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.


This was confirmed on Mythbusters.
 
2012-02-23 03:34:38 PM  
wonkroom.thinkprogress.org

Believes that Obama is waging a war against religion
 
2012-02-23 03:44:43 PM  

Inchoate: So I see that this is mostly a fatuous thought experiment intended to "disprove" atheism, but I will bite:


I think you misunderstand: this isn't intended to disprove atheism, but to point out the absurdity of this specific argument used by some atheists.

A belief in God, or psychic powers, or out-of-body travel, can be silly but for completely different reasons---not, "there's never been any evidence for it." The world is full of real phenomena that are beyond the scope of documentary evidence.

You are of course right about sleeptalkers/walkers etc, but we could just as easily substitute other cognitive phenomena, for example consciousness. Consciousness as in sentience, not simply being awake, but being self aware and having free will. Consciousness is a perfect example of an everyday phenomenon experienced by everyone, but completely beyond the scope of scientific observation: there's nothing in physical law that predicts or even explains it, and there is no way to prove it's even a real phenomenon.

If you'd like to argue the contrary - that there is some vastly improbable, complicated collusion of sleepers, patients, scientists, etc. - be my guest.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that zillions of people also believe they have experienced some sort of psychic phenomenon, or seen a ghost. If they're all wrong, wouldn't that also be a vastly improbable complicated collusion of people?

But you don't need widespread collusion to have a lot of people experience something that isn't real. You only need brains to be sorta fritzy, and for people to interpret their fritz based on what they are told by other people.
 
2012-02-23 03:45:26 PM  
My father claims he invented the question mark.
 
2012-02-23 04:00:46 PM  

unlikely: I used to work with a guy who had refused to pay his income taxes for like 20 years.

He also carried 3-4 guns at all times and said that someday when the revenue guys came for his kids his family would die free.


This will probably end badly. I had a neighbor who was in his 40s and lived with his elderly mother. He had all sorts of anti-government stickers on his pick-up. He got pulled over for running a stop sign and got out of the car guns blazing. Ended up dead on a neighbor's front lawn. They later found a false wall in the basement of his mom's house and a room full of neonazi shiate.
 
2012-02-23 04:10:48 PM  

Straelbora: in his 40s and lived with his mother.
all sorts of anti-government stickers on his pick-up
room full of neonazi shiate.


sounds pretty par for the course. we have lots of those here.

he must have been one of the 'youngster' tea party members, as the rest of them are in hoverrounds. they come out and camp out and wave signs at an intersection near downtown here pretty regularly.
we refer to it as the "Occupy Ignorance" rally.
 
2012-02-23 04:33:09 PM  

Xcott: The problem with this line of reasoning is that zillions of people also believe they have experienced some sort of psychic phenomenon, or seen a ghost. If they're all wrong, wouldn't that also be a vastly improbable complicated collusion of people?

But you don't need widespread collusion to have a lot of people experience something that isn't real. You only need brains to be sorta fritzy, and for people to interpret their fritz based on what they are told by other people.


I wondered if somebody might respond with this. To drive the rest of the point in:
We observe that people (as well as some animals) sleep, and that phases of sleep correlate with brain activity. We observe that the reported framework of dreams - arbitrarily rearranged memories, sensory experiences, is cross-culturally consistent. We observe physical actions (speech, movement, etc.) consistent with later reported dream content. We observe that certain substances and sleep habits result in independent, statistically significant reports of changes in the quality of dreams.

There is a great deal science does NOT know about dreams - exactly why they happen, how they work, how our memories may distort them. However, unlike ghosts, psychic phenomena, much of religion, etc., the basic existence of dreams is the most logical, parsimonious, and likely conclusion based on the hard information we do have. Different situations.

Consciousness - its definition(s), its verifiability, and all that jazz - is a fascinating subject and a more effective analogy, although I don't feel like devoting lots of time to that tangent in this post (I'm not even sure we disagree on that). Wish you'd started out with that topic. :3

You are quite correct in that the host of cognitive biases humans possess, and the nature of memetics/sociocultural suggestion, is a big influence on all of these things - especially widespread supernatural explanations for certain experiences. As usual we just have to do the best, with what we have, to untangle things.
 
2012-02-23 04:46:15 PM  

Xcott: Hogwash. There is zero scientific evidence that anyone dreams. The only "evidence" is people being totally convinced that it happened to them, just like alien abduction experiences and feeling the Holy Spirit.


This should help you sort things out:

Statements that are well supported by evidence:
People experience dreams.
Some people see things they believe to be aliens.
Some people have experiences they believe to be religious.

Statements that are not well supported by evidence:
Dreams are put into people's heads by angels.
People are sometimes abducted by aliens.
People's "religious experiences" correspond to "God" or to an actual spiritual realm.

You are confusing the existence of known mental states with poorly supported speculations about their causes and meanings.
 
2012-02-23 04:52:49 PM  

jrg1199: I work for a retail music store. We had a customer who ordered a piece of music. We set up an account for her and tole her her account number. She didn't want that number because it started with a 6 and she believed that the numbers 6 and 9 were evil. It's an automated numbering sytem, so she was stuck with it.

She mailed in a check for payment. She wrote her zip code as "Six310Nine". She also wrote out a "Nine" in the numeric total box of the check.

Ultra Jesus freak.


When I was a McDonald's crew member, I made the mistake of telling a customer that her order number was 666.

/Maybe she just had a bad experience with a boyfriend who wanted 69.
 
2012-02-23 05:02:00 PM  

nbrfwhoooo: I personally don't believe we landed on the moon.

I am 33 and cannot believe it has happened. We had the tech then but not now? Explain to me why this has never happened in my lifetime even though shiat sewers like China and
India want to get there? Perhaps they want to be the first to really claim true global dominance? Maybe HDTV scares NASA as it would be easier to dissect their lie to keep funding (what little they deserve because they are basically wishful dreamers). Funny that Mars looks like our Earthly desolate deserts. Almost convenient.


Assuming you're not trolling- We had the tech then, as well as the political will to devote the necessary money to it. The Cold War and fear of the Russians/Chinese and communists in general loomed incredibly large over a lot of Western civilization. China and Indian are pushing manned space programs now for the same reason the US and USSR did in the '60s- as a display of technological prowess and an economy capable of supporting such a prestige - not unlike vying to host the Olympics.

And Mars looks like the desolate places on Earth because, you know, they're kind of made out of the same stuff, but one has a biosphere that has dramatically altered the surface of most of it. Have you ever been to a desert? The first time I was in the American Southwest desert, my Midwestern brain had a hard time wrapping around the idea that nothing could grow in those rocks and sand. In the Great Lakes area, if it's not winter, any cleared earth or pile of dirt will be covered in weeds in a few weeks. So, if the Earth were colder and drier by really a small factor, it would look even more like Mars.

Seriously, though, we did do this. I've met people who worked on both the Amerian and Russian space programs. Tons of money were dumped into both programs, and the Americans were lucky enough to get to the Moon first. Once that goal was accomplished, look how quickly people became jaded and disinterested, and how rapidly the program money dried up. I was a kid at the time, and I remember getting up at 5:00 am (when the TV normally just had static) to watch lift-offs. By the second Apollo mission, people had already gotten bored with it.
 
2012-02-23 05:11:02 PM  

nbrfwhoooo: I personally don't believe we landed on the moon.


I personally don't believe the Egyptians built the pyramids. They had the tech then but we don't now? Why hasn't someone built a giant stone pyramid with mummies in my lifetime?
 
2012-02-23 05:15:23 PM  

phoolishone: Xcott:When I first started college, the bookstore's New Age section had a book on fortune telling using runes. It got my attention because it came with a set of clay runes in a bag, which is like crack for gamers---forget what the book's about, runes! [snip]

But what astounded me was the author's excuse. He said he had to make it all up, because nobody knew how the Norse played with runes---because their society "didn't keep any written records." Here he is playing with the Norse ALPHABET, a thing you use for WRITING, and his book even had some engravings of runestones with WRITING ON THEM, but oh, they didn't have a written language. [snip]

Yep! Just like how modern Wicca was made up out of whole cloth by people like Starhawk. Most of the less-educated Wiccans believe they're practicing something that's been handed down "in secret" since ancient times. Meanwhile, Starhawk & Co. are laughing all the way to the bank.


I actually know Starhawk through some friends, and she's not 'laughing all the way to the bank,' although her husband laughs at the name "Starhawk." She's sincere in her beliefs about an Earth-based religion, and makes no claims to ancient, handed-down knowledge. She does say that she's tried to revive ancient practices as best as they can be reproduced, not unlike the way the founders of the US were trying to recreate ancient notions of democracy and republican government after millenia of pretty much the divine right of kings.

She doesn't take herself very seriously at all, except in things like protesting environmental or human rights abuses. Perfect example, when I told her that I admired her use of nonviolent protest, in that I don't think I could hold me temper in the face of riot geared cops, etc. , she just laughed and said, "Well, if I were a big guy like you, I'd probably be cracking heads and paying for it later. But I'm just a fat little Jewish woman, so I work with what I've got."

Not to say that there aren't tons of Wiccans, etc. , who claim ancient handed-down wisdom when really they're just doing crap made up by Crowley et al.
 
2012-02-23 05:43:41 PM  

jezrakreider: I've got a good friend who doesn't believe in the moon. Intelligent, well-spoken guy in every other area, but you can't convince him that the moon is real, even by pointing at it.


I-- what-- HUH? Well, what does he think that thing is? He can see it, right? So he must acknowledge *something*. What's his theory?

CliChe Guevara: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: She wasn't a sociopath, she was a psychopath.....

She went on to become a cop

somehow this doesn't surprise me.

at any rate, its still a shame - you were her boss, she thought she could not be held responsible for anything she did if her boss told her to do it, and she had a complete and utter contempt of all people.

i completely understand wanting rid of her - still, it sounds like you could have gotten rid of her in a much more amusing way than just firing her. at a word you could have really gotten her to do something epic, and had her leave in a straightjacket while the news crews covered the disaster response!


Eh, unfortunately, it wasn't quite like that. I was only *technically* her boss, in that I was the manager and she was not, but her family owned the place. So she didn't really consider me her boss, and she was, in many practical senses, correct about that. And by "fired" her I mean that I had to call up her family and talk to them first, because I didn't really have that power individually, or at least I felt sure that I did not. Part of the problem was that no one really bothered to establish any such rules. Family-run places are often like that, substituting traditional familial hierarchy for formal business ones. So when a non-family member is in a management position, it's important to clarify what their powers are, because they can't be assumed in the same way. But they didn't get around to that until much later, after the fact; I was still pretty new there at the time. She'd also been there before me, which probably contributed to the attitude problem. I think it bothered her that her family had to bring in an outsider to run the place, because it pretty much confirmed that none of them were able to, including her. In the beginning, she liked to act like she was in charge, and I sort of let her get away with that, so some of this is my own fault. Again, rules were not clarified for either of us early on.

I knew she was stealing, but I figured it was between her and her family, and it has been going on and they knew about it. They didn't, and when they came to me about it, I told them. There was some private family discussion about it, and she accused me of "telling on her," and was extremely chilly to me from then on. Which was fine with me, because the stupid shiat she said all the time drove me up a wall. Eventually, though, it got to be too much. Conflict was her hobby, and she would start fights just because she was bored. She got bolder as it went, because she interpreted my ignorance of her as weakness. (Yeah, she was one of those.) Finally, one day, right after she left after a day of shooting off her mouth, I decided to call her bluff. I called up her old man and told him that one of us had to leave, and he would need to decide which. It took him about two seconds. It wasn't that he liked me more -- he couldn't have -- but that he needed the place to run, and knew she couldn't do it.

She would not have followed orders if I gave them. I had to massage her precious little ego to get her to do anything, and it was also important for her ego that it not be too obvious that I was telling her what to do. I had to figure out different ways of doing this without making it seem like I was bossing her around. That takes a lot of energy, and gets very tedious after awhile. I would have been just as relieved if the owners had invited me to quit instead.

Inchoate: I don't see much point in ragging on people's spirituality, as long as they understand that nonreligious justifications are necessary for anything that spirituality seeks to require of others.


Well put. Wish I'd though of that wording.

tsalaroth: AmazinTim: Aarontology: yes, I know some RON PAUL supporters.

I know folks who are going to vote for Obama. Again.

Until the Republican party fields a competent candidate who isn't racist, bigoted in other ways, a chauvinist, religious fundamentalist and actually behaves as if he/she believes in responsible spending in government, Obama is my choice.


LoneWolf343: YouPeopleAreCrazy: Constructor guy working in our building looked at me in all seriousness, and said "You know Beethoven was Black, right?"

This person seems to agree.


Cecil Adams has a good piece on this.

yukichigai: Do you happen to have thyroid issues, by chance?


If I do, then my doctors are keeping it a secret from me. I was in hospital for a total of about ten days a few years ago, with tons of tests, and lots more in followup, including now. I'm sure someone would have noticed.

The only electrical thing I've never noticed is that I seem to be more suspect to static electricity than a lot of other people. But I've always blamed the cheap clothes I wear most of the time. I feel sure that if I wore nothing but natural fibres, that would be much less, or at least not more than most people.

jrg1199: I work for a retail music store. We had a customer who ordered a piece of music. We set up an account for her and tole her her account number. She didn't want that number because it started with a 6 and she believed that the numbers 6 and 9 were evil. It's an automated numbering sytem, so she was stuck with it.

She mailed in a check for payment. She wrote her zip code as "Six310Nine". She also wrote out a "Nine" in the numeric total box of the check.

Ultra Jesus freak.


A guy I knew who worked in a convenience store told me that a lot of people around there were really superstitious. If a sale rang up to $6.66, they'd buy something else, to make it change. Really.

That also reminds me of a deli I worked at many years ago that was famous for its rude service. We had beef tongue, and one of the menu sandwiches was made with it. The Gene Simmons was priced it so that with tax, it rang out to $6.66.

StoneColdAtheist: Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

This was confirmed on Mythbusters.


Cecil Adams has one on this, too.

Xcott: But you don't need widespread collusion to have a lot of people experience something that isn't real. You only need brains to be sorta fritzy, and for people to interpret their fritz based on what they are told by other people.


Okay, I admit it, I'm just not sure where you're coming from at one point, or what, as an old friend of mine used to say, "your game is." It's all very interesting, though, so I'd like to hear more. I like some of the points you're making. It's a compelling thought experiment.

Pincy: My father claims he invented the question mark.


I'm sure your father was pulling your leg.

I actually went and looked this up, even though it's an obviously absurd claim, since the mark dates back centuries. But I expected to find *some* answer, yet it seems that no one's actually sure.

My father and his father told me that they'd written all the jokes in the world. When I was three, I did not find that ridiculous.
 
2012-02-23 05:48:09 PM  

ko_kyi: nbrfwhoooo: I personally don't believe we landed on the moon.

I personally don't believe the Egyptians built the pyramids. They had the tech then but we don't now? Why hasn't someone built a giant stone pyramid with mummies in my lifetime?


Pssht. Mummies can't build pyramids, you should know that.
 
2012-02-23 05:57:40 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: I-- what-- HUH? Well, what does he think that thing is? He can see it, right? So he must acknowledge *something*. What's his theory?


He's knows it's there, but doesn't buy that it's a naturally-occurring satellite of Earth. It was manufactured, either by people or aliens. He has books upon books on the subject. Absolutely refuses to accept any (rational) explanation.

http://www.revisionism.nl/Moon/The-Mad-Revisionist.htm
 
2012-02-23 06:01:21 PM  

nbrfwhoooo: I personally don't believe we landed on the moon.

I am 33 and cannot believe it has happened. We had the tech then but not now? Explain to me why this has never happened in my lifetime even though shiat sewers like China and
India want to get there? Perhaps they want to be the first to really claim true global dominance? Maybe HDTV scares NASA as it would be easier to dissect their lie to keep funding (what little they deserve because they are basically wishful dreamers). Funny that Mars looks like our Earthly desolate deserts. Almost convenient.


Here's how to believe we went to the moon: Russia. They were watching very closely, and if we had faked it, you can bet your bellybutton Russia would've ridiculed the U.S. the world over for it.
 
2012-02-23 06:11:09 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: StoneColdAtheist: Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

This was confirmed on Mythbusters.

Cecil Adams has one on this, too.


Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.
 
2012-02-23 06:13:17 PM  

gimmeafarkinname: meat0918: Yes, and I've described him before.

The craziest is a coworker.

He believes Jews control the world, but not just any Jews, a small cabal extra-dimensional demon alien possessed Jews. The majority of the Jewish world has no idea, and the only way to defeat these demons is with love. Killing, hatred, pain, all feed the demons.

The flag fringe is part of it, but he is 100% batshiat crazy. He's a gun owning pacifist "Because Obama is going to ban guns".

And yes, he is a Ron Paul supporter.

Holy shiat , and this guy holds down a job??/? Crazy.


The military surplus and survival stores always need cashiers and stockboys.
 
2012-02-23 06:14:40 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: I'll play devil's advocate if I think some facet of a discussion is being overlooked, if the I think the conversation is too one-sided based on some unaddressed consideration, or similar circumstance. I look at discussions like a lump of dough you're trying to compress into a ball, but it's too big for any one person to handle. A group of people need to make sure they've got a hand on every part of it, or else it will come out lopsided, or slip and fall. That sometimes means appealing to various sides, for the sake of perspective. I don't have a single fixed perspective on people like police. But I've come to their defence when I felt the argument did not treat them fairly, or made baseless accusations without evidence. But I've pummeled them also, when I felt it needed to be clarified that not all cops are Officer Friendly, either, and some whole departments need to be hauled into court.


You're probably right, I caught you in the one thread that had overbalanced in the cop-hater's direction and you tipped it back the other way. Cops are like congressmen: everybody hates all of them except their own.

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: You guys reminded me of something my cousins used to believe when we were kids. Coors bottle labels used to have a series of one to four dots on the back. They were probably printing codes. My cousins believed that if you could peel a rare four-dotter off the bottle perfectly, and get a girl to sign it, she legally had to put out. Seriously.

I'd be interested in hearing about their attempts to prove this theory. I'm guessing they never got the label off clean, or convinced a girl to sign it if they did?


Ya know, I honestly don't know. I'll have to call my cousin and ask him. Knowing him, he may very well have convinced some gullible young lady that her signature legally obligated her to provide entertainment. Reminds me of Richard Pryor using the old saw that sex cures acne:

Richard: Um, uh... could you help me with my pimples?
Her: Well, I've got some cream...
Rich: No, I mean...
[pregnant pause]
Her: WHAT KIND OF GIRL DO YOU THINK I AM?!?
Rich: I dunno, just a girl...
Her: Well I'm NOT! I'm a VIRGIN!!!
Rich: Well ya can't top that...
 
2012-02-23 06:29:55 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Pincy: My father claims he invented the question mark.

I'm sure your father was pulling your leg.


*coughaustinpowerscough* :)
 
2012-02-23 06:36:48 PM  

jezrakreider: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: I-- what-- HUH? Well, what does he think that thing is? He can see it, right? So he must acknowledge *something*. What's his theory?

He's knows it's there, but doesn't buy that it's a naturally-occurring satellite of Earth. It was manufactured, either by people or aliens. He has books upon books on the subject. Absolutely refuses to accept any (rational) explanation.

http://www.revisionism.nl/Moon/The-Mad-Revisionist.htm


Wow, that's a special kind of crazy. That person smoked a lot of pot.
 
2012-02-23 06:40:45 PM  

Straelbora: phoolishone: Xcott:When I first started college, the bookstore's New Age section had a book on fortune telling using runes. It got my attention because it came with a set of clay runes in a bag, which is like crack for gamers---forget what the book's about, runes! [snip]

But what astounded me was the author's excuse. He said he had to make it all up, because nobody knew how the Norse played with runes---because their society "didn't keep any written records." Here he is playing with the Norse ALPHABET, a thing you use for WRITING, and his book even had some engravings of runestones with WRITING ON THEM, but oh, they didn't have a written language. [snip]

Yep! Just like how modern Wicca was made up out of whole cloth by people like Starhawk. Most of the less-educated Wiccans believe they're practicing something that's been handed down "in secret" since ancient times. Meanwhile, Starhawk & Co. are laughing all the way to the bank.

I actually know Starhawk through some friends, and she's not 'laughing all the way to the bank,' although her husband laughs at the name "Starhawk." She's sincere in her beliefs about an Earth-based religion, and makes no claims to ancient, handed-down knowledge. She does say that she's tried to revive ancient practices as best as they can be reproduced, not unlike the way the founders of the US were trying to recreate ancient notions of democracy and republican government after millenia of pretty much the divine right of kings.

She doesn't take herself very seriously at all, except in things like protesting environmental or human rights abuses. Perfect example, when I told her that I admired her use of nonviolent protest, in that I don't think I could hold me temper in the face of riot geared cops, etc. , she just laughed and said, "Well, if I were a big guy like you, I'd probably be cracking heads and paying for it later. But I'm just a fat little Jewish woman, so I work with what I've got."

Not to say that there aren't tons of ...


Good to know that at least Starhawk has a grip on reality. Latched on her name because I admittedly know few Wiccan self-styled authorities.
 
2012-02-23 06:49:14 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: StoneColdAtheist: Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

This was confirmed on Mythbusters.

Cecil Adams has one on this, too.

Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.

E. coli

also lives in soil, esp. soil fertilized with waste that isn't properly composted. It's just a very plentiful bacterium; it is found in shiat, but is not shiat itself. The human body gets along with it most of the time just fine. Just wash your vegetables, and wash your hands after you poo, and you'll be fine.

/tired of OMGPANICECOLI
 
2012-02-23 07:00:27 PM  

phoolishone: StoneColdAtheist: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: StoneColdAtheist: Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

This was confirmed on Mythbusters.

Cecil Adams has one on this, too.

Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.

E. coli also lives in soil, esp. soil fertilized with waste that isn't properly composted. It's just a very plentiful bacterium; it is found in shiat, but is not shiat itself. The human body gets along with it most of the time just fine. Just wash your vegetables, and wash your hands after you poo, and you'll be fine.

/tired of OMGPANICECOLI


It's getting along that actually causes the bacteria to be dangerous if ingested. You have a strain of E. coli in your intestines right now, and it has tricked your immune system into destroying competing strains if they appear.
 
2012-02-23 07:01:40 PM  

phoolishone: StoneColdAtheist: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: StoneColdAtheist: Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

This was confirmed on Mythbusters.

Cecil Adams has one on this, too.

Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.

E. coli also lives in soil, esp. soil fertilized with waste that isn't properly composted. It's just a very plentiful bacterium; it is found in shiat, but is not shiat itself. The human body gets along with it most of the time just fine. Just wash your vegetables, and wash your hands after you poo, and you'll be fine.

/tired of OMGPANICECOLI


Point taken. I was just having a laugh at Crazy Talk Al... ;^)
 
2012-02-23 07:09:10 PM  

LoneWolf343: ow, that's a special kind of crazy. That person smoked a lot of pot.


That's what makes it so crazy! Doesn't smoke (drinks like a champion, though), and in every other aspect of life is rational, thoughtful, and reliant on facts. But, then, out of nowhere, is a card-carrying (or tin hat-wearing, I guess I should say) lunatic when it comes to the moon.
 
2012-02-23 07:27:50 PM  

jezrakreider: LoneWolf343: ow, that's a special kind of crazy. That person smoked a lot of pot.

That's what makes it so crazy! Doesn't smoke (drinks like a champion, though), and in every other aspect of life is rational, thoughtful, and reliant on facts. But, then, out of nowhere, is a card-carrying (or tin hat-wearing, I guess I should say) lunatic when it comes to the moon.


I suppose there is a reason why luna is the root word of "lunacy."
 
2012-02-23 07:33:25 PM  

LoneWolf343: phoolishone: StoneColdAtheist: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: StoneColdAtheist: Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

This was confirmed on Mythbusters.

Cecil Adams has one on this, too.

Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.

E. coli also lives in soil, esp. soil fertilized with waste that isn't properly composted. It's just a very plentiful bacterium; it is found in shiat, but is not shiat itself. The human body gets along with it most of the time just fine. Just wash your vegetables, and wash your hands after you poo, and you'll be fine.

/tired of OMGPANICECOLI

It's getting along that actually causes the bacteria to be dangerous if ingested. You have a strain of E. coli in your intestines right now, and it has tricked your immune system into destroying competing strains if they appear.


My comment was predicated on that fact, thank you for fleshing out the details (I don't mean that sarcastically.) It is the mutant E. coli that we have to worry about, not the normal variants that live happily in our guts.

/level of detail
 
2012-02-23 07:34:39 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: phoolishone: StoneColdAtheist: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: StoneColdAtheist: Crazy Talk Al: I had a co-worker who was convinced that E. coli was actually spread by releasing fecal matter into the air when you poot.

This was confirmed on Mythbusters.

Cecil Adams has one on this, too.

Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.

E. coli also lives in soil, esp. soil fertilized with waste that isn't properly composted. It's just a very plentiful bacterium; it is found in shiat, but is not shiat itself. The human body gets along with it most of the time just fine. Just wash your vegetables, and wash your hands after you poo, and you'll be fine.

/tired of OMGPANICECOLI

Point taken. I was just having a laugh at Crazy Talk Al... ;^)


Oh okay. Sorry I got my seriousness all over your banter like that. :D
 
2012-02-23 07:55:52 PM  
This gal at work thinks all illegal aliens get free health care. My neighbor tells me they get free college tuition.
 
2012-02-23 09:25:30 PM  

LoneWolf343: I suppose there is a reason why luna is the root word of "lunacy."


I love it when usernames and comments combine like this. :D
 
2012-02-23 09:26:18 PM  

jezrakreider: http://www.revisionism.nl/Moon/The-Mad-Revisionist.htm


Okay, that's pretty obviously a very elaborate and very well-done joke. I mean, it does knock Poe's Law around a bit, but it's got enough gags in it to be clearly intended for amusement. So either you're pulling our leg, or your friend was pulling yours.

StoneColdAtheist: Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.


That's why I don't worry about it more than I think is reasonable. It's a lot less effort and stress to improve my own immune system than to try (and probably fail) to sanitise an entire house constantly. I honestly think that people would be better off if they didn't obsess so much about cleanliness.

phoolishone: Good to know that at least Starhawk has a grip on reality. Latched on her name because I admittedly know few Wiccan self-styled authorities.


I think you're probably thinking of Gerald Gardner, more than anyone else. But to be completely fair, whatever its provenance, Wicca makes as much sense as any other faith tradition, and FSM knows, however annoying a lot of its adherents are, they're much less harmful than most others.

edmo: This gal at work thinks all illegal aliens get free health care. My neighbor tells me they get free college tuition.


There's some truth to this, in that it's illegal to deny emergency care to anyone, no matter who they are, and that free college education may be available also regardless of other considerations. But this latter is the decision of schools, or in the case of public schools, the jurisdictions that control them. Those decisions are made by taxpayers therein, through their elected representatives -- not imposed on them against their will or without their knowledge.

The fact that many people simply don't bother to apprise themselves of what's going on, from readily available (and often official) sources, may create for some of them the sense that government is 'hiding' things from them.

My favourite is all the people who 'hear' that *every* U.S. Representative is up for re-election in a particular year. (Typically 'next year,' when you see this.) They act like it's some kind of coup. They're flabbergasted. They want to know why it's not headline news. And the best ones of all are the ones who are *cautiously suspicious* about the 'rumour' they heard: "Can this really be true?" (By the way, *every* U.S. Representative is up for re-election *this* November!)
 
2012-02-23 09:33:38 PM  

phoolishone: Good to know that at least Starhawk has a grip on reality. Latched on her name because I admittedly know few Wiccan self-styled authorities.


Gardner.

I used to go out with a Wiccan, who I met through a Wiccan friend. best I can tell, sometime in the early/mid 20th century, Gerald Gardner decided he liked naked young women and started a religion that allowed him to have many of them parading around outside, sleeping with him from time to time. He invented a story about being trained at the feet of the last of a reclusive dynasty of witches that lived in a village in a forest somewhere in the UK.

Wicca as it seemed to be practised in London about a decade ago seemed to involve cattiness, powerplays and infighting, plus the credulous acceptance of anything and everything. If you want a good belly-laugh, read up on the "Wiccan Charge" in which one invites the god into oneself to give forth his will and advice. Of course, to do the charge properly takes much preparation, up to and including writing the fscking speech...
 
2012-02-23 10:09:26 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: StoneColdAtheist: Yeah, basically everything in your house and place of work has poo germs all over it. That includes your toothbrush, clean dishes in the cupboards...EVERYTHING.

That's why I don't worry about it more than I think is reasonable. It's a lot less effort and stress to improve my own immune system than to try (and probably fail) to sanitise an entire house constantly. I honestly think that people would be better off if they didn't obsess so much about cleanliness.


I don't worry about it at all. First of all, there is nothing you can do to prevent exposure to germs, so why spaz over it? And as noted above, if you wash yourself, your food and your eating /cooking utensils regularly you'll keep things under control.

Besides, your body's immune system needs regular stimulation to maintain itself in peak fitness, just as your heart and muscles do, and regular low-level infections are the way to do that. That's why OC helo-parents who constantly wash little Susie off and won't let her play unsupervised outside in the dirt are setting her up for a lifetime of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
 
2012-02-23 10:10:16 PM  

Straelbora: phoolishone: Xcott:When I first started college, the bookstore's New Age section had a book on fortune telling using runes. It got my attention because it came with a set of clay runes in a bag, which is like crack for gamers---forget what the book's about, runes! [snip]

But what astounded me was the author's excuse. He said he had to make it all up, because nobody knew how the Norse played with runes---because their society "didn't keep any written records." Here he is playing with the Norse ALPHABET, a thing you use for WRITING, and his book even had some engravings of runestones with WRITING ON THEM, but oh, they didn't have a written language. [snip]

Yep! Just like how modern Wicca was made up out of whole cloth by people like Starhawk. Most of the less-educated Wiccans believe they're practicing something that's been handed down "in secret" since ancient times. Meanwhile, Starhawk & Co. are laughing all the way to the bank.

I actually know Starhawk through some friends, and she's not 'laughing all the way to the bank,' although her husband laughs at the name "Starhawk." She's sincere in her beliefs about an Earth-based religion, and makes no claims to ancient, handed-down knowledge. She does say that she's tried to revive ancient practices as best as they can be reproduced, not unlike the way the founders of the US were trying to recreate ancient notions of democracy and republican government after millenia of pretty much the divine right of kings.

She doesn't take herself very seriously at all, except in things like protesting environmental or human rights abuses. Perfect example, when I told her that I admired her use of nonviolent protest, in that I don't think I could hold me temper in the face of riot geared cops, etc. , she just laughed and said, "Well, if I were a big guy like you, I'd probably be cracking heads and paying for it later. But I'm just a fat little Jewish woman, so I work with what I've got."

Not to say that there aren't tons of ...


Yeah...at least she's not Silver RavenWolf.

/blecch
 
2012-02-23 10:14:19 PM  

Gothnet: best I can tell, sometime in the early/mid 20th century, Gerald Gardner decided he liked naked young women and started a religion that allowed him to have many of them parading around outside, sleeping with him from time to time.


But really...who doesn't love naked young women?
 
2012-02-23 10:36:08 PM  
Skyrmion
You are confusing the existence of known mental states with poorly supported speculations about their causes and meanings.

That's what I thought, as well. He is drawing an analogy between "Believing you are dreaming" with "Believing in Angels/etc", despite them not being comparable. That is, we don't doubt that people dream in the same sense that we don't doubt that people have "religious experiences". However, believing that dreams imply the existence some unearthly realm ruled by morpheus is as absurd as believing that a religious experience implies angles/etc. It's as absurd because it's the same thing. BTW, this is how an analogy should work: You have two things that are the same kind of thing, and thus can be used to reason from one to the other. Xscott's analogy, instead, involved two different kinds of things (i.e. "People experience dreams" vs "Angels exist") and failed because of it.

Unfortunately, his later comments seem to imply that he is well aware of this distinction. So I have no clue why he thinks that it makes sense. So, let's look at the claims he's trying to support...

If you're a genuine Internet Atheist(tm), you have to accept that dreams don't really happen, and are instead mass delusions.

Ok, they're delusions. Delusions that occur when people go to sleep. Let's call these delusions something catchy... I know! We can call them dreams! So, "Internet Atheists" need to believe in a logical contradiction in order to be genuine? This isn't semantic nonsense on my part. Dreams are what we call the mass delusion you are referring to.

Alternatively, consider that "atheist" is not the same thing as "nihilist". The assumption that everyone is a liar supports only the most useless worldviews. I believe people when they claim to have had a "religious experience", I merely see no evidence to believe that it implies supernatural forces.

REM sleep? Brain activity? Those are just phenomena we assume are associated with dreams. Surely you can see the bogus logic here:

The logic you used is indeed incredibly bogus. Unfortunately, you are the only one making the bogus jump from "Something is happening" to "Angels did it". Going from "Something is happening, at the same time that the person claims to be dreaming" to "maybe that something is related to dreaming" is one of the most basic methods of logic that you can use. I have no idea why you think that basic causal reasoning is the same thing as claiming that the universe works completely differently from how we have always observed.

To say "XYZ is a nutty belief because there's no evidence for it" is silly, because there are plenty of real phenomena that we can barely measure or maybe never measure. What you dream about is one example. You can't demonstrate this any more than an alleged psychic can document a religious or clairvoyant experience.

In principle, we can. It is a very important distinction.

If you are claiming that there are phenomena that exist but whose existence, even in principle, cannot be tested, then you are full of it. These kinds of claims are the last refuges of the religious, as their claims that are actually testable have been demonstrated to be crap.

So, your quoted statement is not silly. It's, in fact, the way that we should approach the world. If it was not, then what is to stop us from believing in every variety of bullshiat?

Here's a problem with this logic: you can also observe atypical brain activity in a subject having an "out of body experience." That is not evidence that out-of-body experiences are real, and you can't infer their existence from the brain activity.

Here's the one post where you seem to be aware of the mistake you're making, without actually being aware of it. Nobody here is claiming that there is a real dream world as ruled over by morpheus, and nobody who reasons based on the available evidence would think that it was true. I don't see how this supports your point.

A belief in God, or psychic powers, or out-of-body travel, can be silly but for completely different reasons---not, "there's never been any evidence for it." The world is full of real phenomena that are beyond the scope of documentary evidence.

Yes. When asked "Do you believe in X, for which there is no evidence", the correct response is "No". Very few people would have a problem with this when stated this clearly. Why is being intellectually honest an absurd thing? What is the problem with it?

Consciousness is a perfect example of an everyday phenomenon experienced by everyone, but completely beyond the scope of scientific observation: there's nothing in physical law that predicts or even explains it, and there is no way to prove it's even a real phenomenon.

How is there no way to prove that it's real? We're both experiencing it now. It would be useless to assume that things aren't happening (as well as logically impossible, as you can't "Doubt that you are doubting" or something similar). Again, you seem to be confusing atheists with nihilists. Heck, even the nihilists would be offended by this kind of strawman.

If you mean proof in the logical/mathematical sense (i.e. more in terms of absolute knowledge), then of course you won't find anything. If you don't have premises to start from, logic takes you nowhere. You'll only find this kind of "proof" in purely semantic constructs, in which proof is not a matter of existence but instead consistency. Such kinds of "proof" are useful, but are not what we are talking about. That is, conclusions are only as accurate as the premises that support them. "Proof" in the formal sense is impossible with regard to things in the real world (as opposed to ideas with which we can reason formally).

Moreover, there is no evidence that consciousness is, in principle, beyond the scope of scientific observation. We can certainly observe the effects of it. You're free to confuse the distinction between words and what they represent (as you did with dreams), but that is nonsense. We observe an effect and have called it consciousness. Its causes and mechanisms are irrelevant in establishing consciousness as a real thing, as it is the effect that we have named. It is the same with dreams.
 
2012-02-23 10:49:53 PM  
The teabagger at work basically parrots whatever Rush, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, and now Rick Santorum blurt out. It's great fun to challenge him on just about anything since he has no idea how to argue any of his positions, since they aren't really "his" positions, and he doesn't know when to just stop digging.
 
2012-02-23 11:06:33 PM  

not_an_indigo: Yeah...at least she's not Silver RavenWolf.


That sounds like the name of some 12-year-old's D&D character.
 
2012-02-23 11:56:48 PM  

falkone32: Consciousness is a perfect example of an everyday phenomenon experienced by everyone, but completely beyond the scope of scientific observation: there's nothing in physical law that predicts or even explains it, and there is no way to prove it's even a real phenomenon.

How is there no way to prove that it's real? We're both experiencing it now.


That's not scientific evidence. By that standard, clairvoyance is real, because the crazy lady down the street insists she experiences it all the time.

If you are claiming that there are phenomena that exist but whose existence, even in principle, cannot be tested, then you are full of it.

I gave several examples of such phenomena. Aside from consciousness, there is lucid dreaming (being conscious during a dream---how can you ever test if that's really happening?) and physical phenomenon happening too far away for light to reach us, ever. According to some cosmological theories, the universe is far larger than the distance light can travel from the big bang to the present date. If so, then there are large swaths of our own universe that we can never observe, even in principle. And if there aren't, we can't test that either.
 
2012-02-24 12:06:44 AM  

not_an_indigo: But really...who doesn't love naked young women?


I know, you can't fault his reasoning, right?
 
2012-02-24 12:17:53 AM  

Xcott: falkone32: Consciousness is a perfect example of an everyday phenomenon experienced by everyone, but completely beyond the scope of scientific observation: there's nothing in physical law that predicts or even explains it, and there is no way to prove it's even a real phenomenon.

How is there no way to prove that it's real? We're both experiencing it now.

That's not scientific evidence. By that standard, clairvoyance is real, because the crazy lady down the street insists she experiences it all the time.

If you are claiming that there are phenomena that exist but whose existence, even in principle, cannot be tested, then you are full of it.

I gave several examples of such phenomena. Aside from consciousness, there is lucid dreaming (being conscious during a dream---how can you ever test if that's really happening?) and physical phenomenon happening too far away for light to reach us, ever. According to some cosmological theories, the universe is far larger than the distance light can travel from the big bang to the present date. If so, then there are large swaths of our own universe that we can never observe, even in principle. And if there aren't, we can't test that either.


You're narrowing the definition of "evidence" to where it doesn't have any practical meaning anymore. I should demand evidence that you aren't some extremely clever chatbot powered by a platoon of mice on wheels. Go ahead, prove that you are a real person.
 
2012-02-24 08:27:39 AM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Okay, that's pretty obviously a very elaborate and very well-done joke. I mean, it does knock Poe's Law around a bit, but it's got enough gags in it to be clearly intended for amusement. So either you're pulling our leg, or your friend was pulling yours.


Oh, that "mad revisionist" site is definitely a joke, but it's making fun of the moon conspiracy theorists. A lot of what that guy says are plays on real arguments made by folks that think the moon is fake. I'm trying to remember the name of the book he uses as his main reference. It's pretty much the same as that article, but with all the tongue-in-cheek tone pulled out of it, and lots of attempts to sound very scientific.

...And if he's pulling our leg, he's been a master at keeping it up for several years now. He's not really that type, from what I've known of him for the last five years or so.
 
2012-02-24 09:16:03 AM  

LoneWolf343: You're narrowing the definition of "evidence" to where it doesn't have any practical meaning anymore.


Nonsense. I have a very practical definition of scientific evidence: data and observations that are independently verifiable. What's so impractical about independent verifiability? That is a cornerstone of the scientific method.

I cannot independently verify that you are sentient, and you can provide me with no measurement, no data, no observation that can demonstrate it. Hence it is beyond the scope of scientific evidence.

You may object that it is dumb to discount something you know by direct personal experience, just because you can't prove it. It is indeed dumb, and that is my point, which I have repeated over and over: there are lots of things we know are real, but cannot be verified scientifically. The scientific method is only one way we can know things, and it doesn't cover all physical phenomena.

Hence it is dumb to say "XYZ isn't real because there is no evidence for it." Only chatbots and player pianos would say such a non-sentient thing.
 
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