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Messages - Dr Van Nostrand

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 18, 2019, 07:20:07 PM »

Somebody pony up a single verified claim that Trump won the goddamn election due to some fucking Russian trolls on the internet.

Page 1 of the report ...

"The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and
systematic fashion."

If you don't believe the sweeping and systemic interference from the Russians had any effect on the outcome of the election, it's ok. The Russians learned a lot in 2016 and with the help of the Republicans will do much better this time. Perhaps the North Koreans will want to get involved also. Since it makes no difference, let Chinese get in on it too.

With enough help from dictators around the globe Trump can win!

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 16, 2019, 09:27:03 PM »

No fucking charges of obstruction.

Very lawyerly how you specified 'charges of obstruction' rather than 'obstruction', you could probably be Trump's attorney and do a better job than Giuliani is doing.

If fact, if you repeat that line over and over, very loud with a red face and bugged out eyes, you could be Guiliani.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 15, 2019, 10:05:38 PM »

I suggest the snowflakes section themselves off from the rest of society, form their own thing, build their own shit on their own terms, and see how long it lasts...

There's some anger there sir. It would work well with a tiki torch and a MAGA hat.

I didn't actually mention the AG but since you bring it up, yes, he's a corrupt lying sack like everyone else in the administration. He knew exactly what he was doing when he buried Mueller's summaries and substituted his own. Even Trump fell for his lies. Did you notice in the days after the report was released that Trump was crowing "Total Exoneration!" and he was going on about what a great job Mueller had done on the 'exhaustive and thorough report." But a few days later when people actually read the report and found out that's not what it said then Trump went back to "witch hunt," "total hoax" and Mueller is out to get him.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 14, 2019, 10:05:49 PM »

Even though the Russian interference did absolutely NOTHING to help the Trump campaign, it is a big deal.

It was an election between the two most hated presidential candidates in the history of the U.S. The vote was split between the popular vote and the electoral college. In a race that close, everything made a difference which includes all of Russia's national applied trolling resources.

Hundreds of dumbasses showed up for political events created by the Russians on Facebook. Russia has found a way to America's own stupidity against it and it turns out that American stupidity is a weapon of unimaginable destructive power.

Like who?

John McCain, Khzir Kahn, the military intelligence community, all the transgender troops currently serving....

BTW about trans troops, if a man is willing to leave his home for months or years, go to a fucked up country and face death to defend America, I as a taxpayer have no problem buying him a nice set of tits and saying, "Thanks for your service."

You don't mind lies at all.

Quit lying.

Tom Bishop may not even be a real person but at least he comes here and tries to answer questions before the discussion gets circular and illogical. The Trump White house doesn't even bother with press conferences anymore.
... and when Tom Bishop cherry picks facts to take out of context and twist to his argument at least he started with a fact. Trump just makes all his shit up on the fly.

Wait!  That's it!   Tom Bishop for the Republican Presidential nominee!

Stop listening.

The people of Venezuela should have been listening years ago, now they're fucked.

The whole idea of income taxes is BS anyway.

I've always supported a consumption tax like a national sales tax. But tax breaks and tax subsidies are now political currency and no one wants to give up their break. Changing the tax structure is a major political challenge that gets fought on all sides by everybody.

However, while the tax structure debate is a good one, it is irrelevant to my main point that Trump is a turd. He's not your normal mainstream political human size turd, he's a giant turd left by some large, quadruped animal, perhaps a wildebeest or rhinoceros.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 09, 2019, 10:05:26 PM »
Here’s a piece from ‘The Hill.’ It’s an opinion piece but it’s not too slanted and recounts the facts of both Starr and Mueller.

For me, the most disturbing aspect of reading the Mueller report (and I did read it) was the way the Republicans aren’t bothered by the massive Russian influence campaign that it documents. The Russian campaign was not ‘fake news.’ It was vast and systemic but Trump and the Republicans still say it’s no big deal. “It could be some four-hundred pound guy sitting on his bed,” Trump tells us. The Republican pundits say that Russia couldn’t have made a difference when they know Russia brought its full Soviet-era propaganda resources to bear. Now, the Republicans are dragging their feet on election security because they want Russia’s help again.

I am sick of Trump insulting our military heros who risked everything to protect his rich spoiled lifestyle.
I am sick of him insulting my intelligence with his bullshit lies (If you’re going to lie to me at least make it believable.)
I’m sick of his childish name calling.
I’m sick of hearing about how smart and rich he is.
I’m sick of hearing about Hillary.

As a Libertarian, I use to support Republicans in races that didn’t have a Libertarian candidate. But until the Republican party disavows this reality TV buffoon, man-child, I will never vote for a Republican again.

BTW. Don’t think for a minute he’s kept his promise to close any of those rich people tax loopholes he used all those years while we (who didn’t have an army of tax lawyers) paid our taxes. His tax plan was a windfall for the rich and is producing the largest budget deficit in our history.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: April 19, 2019, 02:13:13 PM »
Remember Bill Clinton and the Starr report?

Independent counsel Kenneth Starr investigated Bill Clinton over shady real estate deals and the investigation expanded over two years to reach into the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It was released on the internet a few days after it was completed ( pages 445 pages.)

Now imagine instead, that after years of investigations producing a 400 page report, Ken Starr didn't publish the report but instead gave it to Janet Reno, the Attorney General that Clinton appointed. Then Janet Reno only publishes a four page summary exonerating the Bill Clinton. The Republicans would have had a melt-down.

Understand that the Republicans are lying about Trump's complete exoneration. The report from Mueller said specifically that the President could not be exonerated from obstruction of justice charges. It also documents a number of untruths told by Sarah Sanders to the press. It also documents the Russian efforts to get Donal Trump elected and sew division in our country.

BTW: I'm a Libertarian. I don't hold any slant right or left and I've downloaded the full report today to examine it with my own eyes.

Flat Earth Investigations / Re: The Dark Side of the Moon
« on: January 04, 2019, 05:03:34 PM »
But still, what would constitute real 'proof'?

Unless you are standing on the far side of the moon in a space suit looking at the landed equipment, how can it be proven?

If one takes all the telemetry and data to be fake how do we prove this?

Flat Earth Theory / Re: Underside of a flat earth
« on: January 03, 2019, 07:12:04 PM »
It's not a theory, it's a hypothesis. When the spaceship returns from the underside of the earth, we'll have evidence and it will become a theory.

Flat Earth Community / Re: FET popularity
« on: December 30, 2018, 03:19:45 PM »
mainstream media will steer clear of FET
If what you say is true, why does it contradict reality? This year alone, we've had coverage from the BBC, The Economist, Metro, Daily Mail, Newsweek, International Business Times, and many others. If those are "smaller media outlets", where are the big names hiding?
*yawn*  Wake me up when FOX News gives you favorable coverage.  In the mean time, Ars Technica gave the FE movement (but not TFES) some coverage.

There is an argument to be made for "all coverage is good coverage" idea. The constant attention gives the flat earth community a platform for any evidence or arguments they actually do develop. If they were to turn up any serious evidence of government conspiracy or terrestrial flatness (something that 100s of hours of YouTube hasn't done yet) they could rush to the presses with it. I think if Pete wanted to do some major press release and really worked the media connections, he could get a statement onto some pretty sizable outlets. Attention is a resource one would want to use sparingly and strategically otherwise it loses its impact.

There was a time when someone could have told me the U.S. Federal Government is developing a system that can track and search all emails and cell phone calls made in North America. "They can see everything I write! They know who I'm calling!" It sounded crazy but it turns out that the guy in the tin foil hat was right all along.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Build Wall
« on: December 24, 2018, 04:06:58 PM »
As reality has descended on Trump he has started backed away from the thirty foot wall he promised in the campaign (which defiantly became a forty foot wall when Mexico said they wouldn't pay.) It was also supposed to go six feet underground to prevent tunnels. He was pretty specific, "On the fence -- it's not a fence. It's a wall."

Of course, he later wanted the wall to be see-through so people wouldn't be killed by giant bags of drugs being flung over the wall by catapult. That idea was so outlandish, I didn't believe he actually said it and chalked it up to the usual media bias. But, it's on tape in front of the whole press corp. Parts of the wall need to see through so people don't get hit by bags of drugs. "Because if you get hit with a sixty pound bag of drugs, you're done." Yep, he said that. +facepalm+

After that, I was haunted by the image of an old cowboy riding his horse across the desert when a big bag of drugs comes whistling out of the clear, blue sky and obliterates him.

Trump sold the idea of a cartoon wall to a public that believes the crap they see in late night TV infomercials while the rest of the Republican party cringed. Now they're trying to find something practical angle to spin it. His followers were never chanting, "Build the fence!"

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Build Wall
« on: December 24, 2018, 03:08:55 PM »
I grew up in Texas and traveled West Texas a lot. I've been from the Gulf of Mexico 'round the Big Bend all the way up to ol' El Paso, etc. many times.

Anybody who thinks they're going to build a forty foot concrete wall through the middle of the Chisos Mountains is an idiot. It's not going to happen for 200 billion, it's not going to happen for half a trillion. Seriously, just not going to happen.

Mexico is not going to pay for it. You can't force a country pay for anything they don't want to. Even collecting on a judgement from an international court would take force upon a country that chooses not to pay. Tariffs against exports to Mexico would take centuries to recover even a small portion of a wall cost and would result in tariffs against our imports to Mexico. We can't make Mexico pay for a wall any more than Canada could make America pay for a wall to protect them from our mass shootings.

In Texas, the Rio Grande River is the border. He won't be able to build his wall on the soil of the Mexico side of the river. He can't build it in the river. Is he going to build a forty foot concrete wall between the people of the U.S. and the waters of the Rio Grande? Is he going to give Mexico the Rio Grande?

Walls don't work. They used to work thousands of years ago but now walls don't work. Motion detectors work, drone patrols work, electronic frontiers work. A border wall is not border security. A border wall would be another bankrupt ruin erected as a monument to Trump's ego like the carcass of the Taj Mahal casino.

There will be no wall. The crowds of radicalized, chanting rednecks are being film-flammed just like the suckers who lost tens of thousands of dollars in the Trump U scam.

We need to spend a few hundred billion on our nation's cyber security but the U.S. Secretary of Cybersecurity is an idiot who can't even keep his twitter account secure.

I'll debate people over the flat earth but the great wall of Trump is a non starter.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: Illumination of clouds' undersides at sunrise
« on: December 11, 2018, 11:02:58 PM »
If those clouds were a mirror, would you see the sun at the horizon?

That's what the clouds are in this case; a mirror. Those clouds a little higher up in altitude are seeing a sun that is higher above the horizon, and which is not sending out as much red light.

I can't picture this.

With h2>h1, show me how that can be possible.

h1 and h2 are not constant due to perspective. In that illustration the lands are not ascending as they recede, for example.

The lands ascend in altitude, the sun (or the image of the sun) descends in altitude, and everything meets at a finite distance away, rather than the infinite distance away as imagined in the Continuous Universe model of the Ancient Greeks.

Hey Tom,

I wanted to know if I'm looking at your diagram correctly.

The heavy black line is the surface of the earth right? So you're proposing an optical effect (perspective?) that drops the apparent position of the sun below the altitude of the clouds? If we made the 'earth line' horizontal, your sun would be at a very low altitude. Your diagram also places the sun at the same altitude as the clouds?

BTW: Yes, Bobby has posted some very cool pics on TFES.

Announcements / Re: We've got five years, stuck on my eyes
« on: December 08, 2018, 04:34:13 PM »
As much as it sucks, it's a fact of life that the world holds counter-cultural people and points of view to a different standard than mainstream people and points of view. Bill Nye can show up for a flat earth debate wearing a zany novelty tie and people embrace it as evidence that he's a fun, clever guy. If the flat-earther shows up in a zany novelty tie, it's taken as evidence he's a crack pot. TFES has to maintain a seriously serious persona because so many people walk in the front door with the preconception that this place is full of whackos. It's a bummer that we have to dampen the jocular drollery in the upper forums but it's understandable.

It's not just TFES but any non-mainstream viewpoint has to watch how they carry themselves. An activist in front of their state legislature who's trying to legalize pot can't show up looking like Cheech and/or Chong. They have to look straight just like the people their trying to talk to.

For all the arguing over moderation, I have to say TFES has done ok.

Raises a bottle of mad dog in salute...       just before a wave of nausea from the morning's hangover causes me to blow chunks....

Science & Alternative Science / Re: On the notion of geocentrism
« on: November 20, 2018, 04:47:47 PM »
I think that geocentrism spent a lot of its time wrapped up with theology which made it simple.

"God said it, I believe it and that's that."     It doesn't get much simpler.

of course, it went on to, "Some dude said God said it, I believe it , that's that."

Another variant, "The Church said God said it, I believe it, that's that...  otherwise they'll put me in prison."

Flat Earth Community / Re: Logan Paul allegedly comes out as a Flat Earther
« on: November 18, 2018, 03:44:41 PM »
I would see TFES responding the way any civil group would respond. How would Pizza Hut respond if Logan had worn a Pizza Hut t-shirt in his Japanese forest video? They might release a generalized response to questions on social media but won't play with him directly.

The dude's a question mark. Treat him like any newbie poster.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will disproved
« on: November 18, 2018, 03:20:59 PM »
There's an uncertainty principle at work in our existence. There's a point so far away in any combination of distance, size and time that there's a sort of wave form collapse into pure potentiality. For us to measure it, we have to artificially pin down one aspect to measure any other. There's a limit to what we can know so beyond that limit we get to make up what ever we want.

If determinism really freaked me out I would take comfort in the opposite, more new age ideology that the observer is part of the observed. That consciousness is relative and without it, nothing manifests either backward or forward in time. These people say that not only do we have free will but the world around us is actually a quantum mechanical manifestation of our own.

As an experiment, we could get 200 determinists and 200 followers of Deepak Choprah fight in a melee armed with short pieces of pipe to beat the crap out of each other. If the determinists win, it shows the outcome was predestine from the beginning of time. If the Choprah followers win, it proves they manifested their outcome from consciousness. It works with our religions, the one with the most resources and followers gets to declare universal truth.

I think my post also proves the existence and role of Useless Tautology in our universe. Useless Tautology ( abbreviated UT) is the force that accelerates the flat earth upward creating the gravity and physics we experience.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will disproved
« on: November 16, 2018, 05:26:15 PM »
People pick their perceived path of pleasure. My belief that I am predestined to have a certain kind of dinner in no way diminishes the fact that I enjoy dinner, I need dinner, and it will be my (say it with me now) perceived path of pleasure.

This seems pretty inarguable because there's literally no way to prove it true or false. No matter what scenario myself or Thork gives, you'll just say "oh whether you know it or not, that's your perceived path of pleasure". I've done things that I've gained no pleasure from because I feel like it's The Right Thing To Do™, even if I selfishly don't want to do it and feel shitty and grumpy about it. But I'm guessing you'll say I think it'll bring me something in the long run or whatever. Which, again, loops around to my point of what's the point of even discussing this if literally any answer we give is going to be rebutted with "actually that's your perceived path of pleasure, either now or later"? If I'm writing a song and need a rhyme and decide lamp or damp or ramp or tramp, I am exercising free will and considering it, and I will end up going with one for a myriad of reasons. Maybe it fits the song better, maybe I like something else but think another works better thematically.

But, again, I'm guessing: Perceived Path of Pleasure©
Also, things that feel bad physically are usually done only if they feel good in your head. As in you would feel bad if you didn't do something that benefits someone else. In this case, if doing something hurts you but helps someone else, then you will try to figure out if it would feel worse to help someone or don't do anything. In any case, you will pick the one that feels better compare to the other. Again, unless your a masochist, you will pick the path that feels the best. And that feeling does not need to be physical.

Keep in mind, it's the determinists oppressing all free will with no escape.

What you perceive as pain or pleasure is a result of your personal biochemistry and personal psychology. You biochemistry is the result of everything that ever happened to your genetics since the first organism. Your personal psychology is is the result of everything that ever happened to you. The things that happen to you genetically and psychologically was spawned by the events that happened before and they were spawned by the previous events. Their theory says that everything you do or feel can be traced back to the beginning of time. If you change your mind about something at the last minute, that last minute change is as preprogrammed in you as your hair color.

It's easy for someone to connect aspects of our existence to a large scale frame of reference that can't be proven. We need to come up with a thought experiment or equation trying to connect with a frame of reference beyond all that is possible. There was Goedel's Ontological Proof formula which purported to prove the existence of God but my understanding is that it had problems that rendered it unusable.

So the first one to develop an equation connecting our everything to some other everything beyond our everything wins a $5 Amazon gift card.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will disproved
« on: November 15, 2018, 06:47:54 PM »
I have worked over the course of my life to be a better person. I aspire to be better and I know I'm more aware, caring, and honest than I was as a snotty teenager. I believe it was my freewill choice to take that course rather than let my emotions, instinct and appetites guide my actions.

The threat to my freewill comes from the deterministic idea that all events in the world are caused by prior events. As I am an series of events in the world, my current actions can be traced to previous events traced to previous events traced to previous events all the way back to the beginning of time. Everything was predestined by the shape of a nugget at the heart of the big bang. It is my personal arrogance that makes me believe I have free will.

However, when we create a frame of reference that is so large as to encompass all that is possibly knowable, it leaves us with an unknowable void that we can fill with anything we choose. We can't know or affect anything beyond all that is knowable so insert the forces, deity or emptiness of your choice.

In the words of one neo-classical philosopher, "I will choose a path that's clear. I will choose free will."
I would agree with most of this but I would not equivocate forces with deities. Deities do fill part of the void with a purpose, reason, etc. However mathematical equations based on the forces observed in nature have incredible predictive ability that give them a tangible value. If having understanding forces was the same thing as having faith in a deity, I doubt we would be able to communicate through forums, on the internet, on a computer. While different people have different interpretations of deities, it took a collective agreement on how electrons, atoms, etc, interact in order to make this conversation possible.

Some good points on deities vs forces but the hard core determinists will say that I'm just a force that can be measured and if they could account for thousands of variables they could predict my behavior just like the weather. If they were to believe in God, they could apply the same logic. "If we had enough data on God we could predict his behavior."

I want to believe that God and I are fine people acting with awareness, purpose and reason. That we're not just a manifestation of molecular jumbling. But I don't have an answer to the determinists other than to tell them, "I know you're wrong because I control my destiny." Since their ideology stretches to the unknowable and untestable they can't prove me wrong. Since they can't prove God wrong, God can just politely show them his big middle finger.

I wanted to take some credit for developing from a snotty teenager into a wise, weird, old hipster but now you shot the shit out of that. Which means now I'm just a balding, old fart with knobbly knees that can't sing or dance destined to be that way from the beginning of time. 

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will disproved
« on: November 15, 2018, 03:11:48 PM »
I have worked over the course of my life to be a better person. I aspire to be better and I know I'm more aware, caring, and honest than I was as a snotty teenager. I believe it was my freewill choice to take that course rather than let my emotions, instinct and appetites guide my actions.

The threat to my freewill comes from the deterministic idea that all events in the world are caused by prior events. As I am an series of events in the world, my current actions can be traced to previous events traced to previous events traced to previous events all the way back to the beginning of time. Everything was predestined by the shape of a nugget at the heart of the big bang. It is my personal arrogance that makes me believe I have free will.

However, when we create a frame of reference that is so large as to encompass all that is possibly knowable, it leaves us with an unknowable void that we can fill with anything we choose. We can't know or affect anything beyond all that is knowable so insert the forces, deity or emptiness of your choice.

In the words of one neo-classical philosopher, "I will choose a path that's clear. I will choose free will."

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will disproved
« on: November 14, 2018, 11:09:11 PM »

Why do you think there is some hierarchy of consciousness that we just happen to be at the top of? What does a higher level of consciousness even mean?
I think that awareness (consciousness) is relative just like movement. There has to be something less conscious, equally conscious, more conscious  or unconscious to be conscious of. If humans weren't around, some other animal would be at the top spot of awareness in the sense they are more advanced that other species.

Meanwhile, there could be some larger consciousness talking about freewill on a forum somewhere looking over us like we're the monkeys .
I can agree that a conscious reality implies a non conscious one, and vice-versa, but you have still not explained what it means to be more or less conscious.

I think it is the distance between the conscious and the unconscious that make one more or less conscious. A virus particle is just a few molecules from inert matter so it would be a 'low form.' An bacteria is 'farther' from inert molecules so it would be higher. The hierarchy would progress as more complex organisms sustain more complex awareness. It takes a certain level of complexity to sustain full-on free will.

If I can make this theory work, I'm thinking of starting my own religion.

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