Words of Wisdom

It is popular to quote famous people who speak about success, victory, life, whatever. It likely seems that what they have to say should be given great weight, because after all, they were successful. Maybe if we follow their advice, we could become successful, too.

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Scientific Hubris

I’m not here to claim that science is bogus or vain; or that it should somehow not be conducted. I believe science has given us many good things, and will likely continue to do so, assuming we don’t annihilate ourselves in the meantime. However, some people have let themselves become arrogant because of all the progress science has made throughout history. I want to take it down a notch or two.

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Scambaiting

According to dictionary.com, scambaiting is “…the practice of pretending to fall for fraudulent online schemes in order to waste the time of the perpetrators.” Basically, a scambaiter acts as though they were naive, gullible, even stupid, in order to get the scammer to spend a great deal of time accomplishing nothing. Somehow this feels satisfying, turning the tables on scammers who try to defraud people of their hard-earned money.

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Gender Identity

What I am going to say here will be highly unpopular with some people. They will accuse me of bigotry or worse. They are mistaken.

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Manifesting

I have long been puzzled by people who say that they’re “manifesting” things – a great job or career, wealth, health, romances, whatever. They seem to be claiming that they can bring these goals into their lives by thinking. One definition of manifesting I found is:

…to make your dreams, goals, and aspirations a reality by believing you can achieve them.

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I Am X Years Young

Occasionally I see someone who claims to be 50 or 60 or 70 year young. This strikes me as being kinda dumb.

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The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect is the observation that extremely minute changes in the initial state of a deterministic system can produce wildly different results. Before this observation was noted, it was reasonably assumed that a minute change would have only a tiny effect.

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Supporting Hamas

I am greatly puzzled and disturbed by the support for Hamas that I’ve seen throughout the world. There have been crowds of pro-Palestine people chanting “Death to the Jews.” There has been vandalism of synagogues and Jewish businesses, attacks against Jews, beatings and murders.

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Humanity of the Neanderthals

I’ve often wondered what it is that makes us human. There have been many attempts to answer this question. We make tools. We walk upright. We developed speech. As we’ve learned more about the world, these answers have proved to be inadequate.

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Kristallnacht

Today is the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a night of antisemitic violence in Nazi Germany where mobs destroyed Jewish businesses, burned synagogues, beat and murdered Jews. Kristallnacht means crystal night, from the large amount of broken glass in the streets that looked like crystals.

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