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Comment: Re:No thank you (Score 1) 267

by alexgieg (#48341835) Attached to: 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

Yes, a reboot. Each generation is a complete new story, reworking from the ground up characters, replacing several and adding new ones, changing the setting etc. Except for character names a new generation has no relation storywise with previous ones.

1983's Generation 1 is good but at (a very distant) second place compared to G4, with three TV seasons, a few TV specials and a movie.

1997's G2 didn't have a TV series.

2003's G3 and 2009's G3.5 didn't have TV series proper, but had a few kinda boring direct-to-video releases.

2010's G4, the current version, is so good it has four TV seasons, two limited theatrical releases movies, is about to enter its 5th season (with at least four more planned) and to spawn the first season of a spin-off series, has a feature film planned for 2017, and something between 5 and 12 million adult fans worldwide. ;-)

Comment: Re:Logically only God could have created.. (Score 2) 429

by alexgieg (#48334603) Attached to: Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Of course there is: Everything appears due to interdependent coorigination. There's no beginning, and no end. All supreme gods are, like us, interdependent cooriginated beings who mistakenly believe themselves eternal and infinite and creators, but who will, in due time, also cease existing like everything, giving thus origin to other causal sequences. Behind it all the only constant is Vacuity, which we can access and become one with by following the eightfold path (right action, right thinking etc.), thus achieving the positive extinction of the self (nirvana).

Also, relying on a god, even a supreme one, is a fools' errand. No matter how many eternities you get to live in bliss in that god's paradise (or in torment in that god's hell), once he himself ceases to exist you're back at the starting point, still bound by causation. The only real escape is nirvana. Everything else is suffering either now, or in future, even if it's a very, very distant future.

That's Buddhism 101 for you. :-)

Comment: Re:Haleluja ... (Score 1) 669

by alexgieg (#48266237) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

Not really. Aristotle assumed this philosophical god of his had some form of "knowledge", yes. However, he concluded it had only knowledge about itself, not about anything else, and particularly not about the stuff over which it caused change to happen. The universe and us existing would be unknown and utterly indifferent to it.

Besides, Aristotle doesn't limit the concept of a first mover to be unique. You can have several first movers, each one completely indifferent to anything but itself, they all causing stuff other than themselves to move, and their different moving abilities interacting with each other to cause, among other things, us. And they'd be ignorant of each other too, since they, being first movers, aren't moved by anything, including other first movers, so there's no way for them to detect other first movers.

For an analogy, think of this like different physical laws interacting while they (the laws themselves) don't change in any way due to such "external" interactions. That basically covers it, except for the fact that first movers are way more "general", so to speak, than "mere" physical laws.

Comment: Re:Haleluja ... (Score 1) 669

by alexgieg (#48266187) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

Why not?

Try it with any discipline. Do like a children and ask from any established knowledge "why?". Then to that answer ask "why?" Proceed a few cycles and you'll reach a point in which you start looping. That's the analogue of the first mover in that knowledge set. If the set you're looking at is "all knowledge about everything", the same will apply: you reach a base point that loops over itself. That's an actual first mover. (And there can be many such.)

Doing this however yields very little information, something like this (using jargon): "a first mover is simple being in pure actuality acting over pure potentiality". And that's it, everyone goes back home happy as there's nothing else to say on the subject. Which is indeed what Aristotle himself did. He spent a few pages on the subject and then moved on to more interesting stuff as there wasn't much else to do with this other than thinking "Neat, that's solved! So, what's next in my todo list?"

This is also why Christians trying to generalize from this Aristotelian "god" to their tribal one makes no sense really.

Why must there have been a base? If that base could be uncaused, why couldn't the universe just be uncaused?

Ah, that's easy! Because the universe is composed of changing stuff, and we're trying to thing that which causes changes but doesn't suffer any change. For example, math fits. All the in-universe changes happen under mathematical laws that don't change no matter how much the stuff "under" them goes around crashing all over itself.

See also my reply to the person who commented above your comment.

Comment: Re:Haleluja ... (Score 1) 669

by alexgieg (#48266105) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

The Greeks were more subtle that you give them credit. It isn't "any form", it's one specific form: the totality of everything. You can have several infinite regresses within it, but not for the whole of it. For example, nothing prevents the universe having infinite causality and thus no beginning in time, so much so that's exactly what Aristotle thought was the case. However, the totality of the universe's set of causes and effects themselves is located "within" the finite set of formal causation extending from Physical laws down to the the basic axioms of logic, and stopping there. In other words, the "first mover" isn't physical, it's at least meta (beyond, outside) physical, and probably beyond even that.

Comment: Re: Haleluja ... (Score 1) 669

by alexgieg (#48262479) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

You simply will not have it held against you on judgement day if he is wrong and you follow that bit of being wrong.

The moral problem isn't that being held against someone on judgment day. The moral problem is the notion of a "judgment day".

According Aquinas and other Christian authors, both ancient and recent, during it and afterwards all the saved will rejoice and cheer in utter delight seeing all the condemned, including their own children, spouses, parents etc. being thrown into a furnace of eternal suffering, because it'll be "just". And that'll be so because God will fuck up every saved's minds so that they don't give a damn about billions if not trillions of people being tortured for perpetuity, because "glory" of "justice" being served and whatever.

Oh, and the condemned will all have their minds fucked so as to also believe what they're going through is "just", so that none among them will ever be able to think along the lines of "at least I'm not serving as wired-like zombie under a sadistic tyrant". Nope, they all will "know" they've been infinitely sinful and hence that their infinite torture is somehow "right".

There are modern Christians who reject all of the above? Yep. But not surprisingly, they aren't considered true Christians by the older churches, being instead labeled heretics and, yeah, condemned to Hell by the later unless they repent and start looking forward towards becoming after-death sadistic torture cheerleaders themselves.

So, uhm, no.

Comment: Re:Haleluja ... (Score 1) 669

by alexgieg (#48262309) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

who the fuck created your creator? The God God? And then who made him? It's turtles all the way down no matter how you look at it.

That's the whole point. It cannot be turtles all the way down, at some point reality must have some base that is uncaused, and from which everything (causality itself included) arises. Aristotelian philosophy called this a "prime mover", since it's the first thing that "moves" (causes change) to anything else. And then it defined the word "god" as meaning "a prime mover".

Christianity took the idea, which in itself isn't problematic, and said "Oh, nice! We'll take this 'god' of theirs and confuse things by saying it refers to our desert tribal god of war rather than to a generic, neutral, philosophical concept as originally intended! Sweet!" And since then things became very confused indeed. But that's about it.

Comment: Re:Ahhhh.... (Score 1) 489

by alexgieg (#48185135) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

A Libertarian will be the ones trying to remove such laws.

Which is why, although I admire libertarian economics, I'm not libertarian myself. I know people who have had their livelihood destroyed by organized cyberbullying built around pure hate for the "wrong" opinions.

For a libertarian, a billionaire that decided to spend millions in a wide multi-front campaign to utterly destroy the life of someone, everyone they love, and their friends and friends of friends, using as many indirect proxies as possible, would be an entirely fine thing provided he didn't use direct violence, only speech.

That's not how a healthy society is build, that's ideology. Libertarians, liberals and conservatives, are all of them, each in his own peculiar way, disconnected from the real world. And we all suffer due to this.

Comment: Re:Why..... (Score 5, Interesting) 259

by alexgieg (#48148391) Attached to: "Double Irish" Tax Loophole Used By US Companies To Be Closed

"Shareholder capitalism is the doctrine that companies exist solely to make money for their shareholders. It is frequently contrasted with stakeholder capitalism, which holds that companies exist for the benefit of their customers, workers and communities, not just for ever-fluctuating number of mostly remote and unengaged passive investors who just happen to own stock in them, often without even being aware that they do.

"The rise of shareholder capitalism in the U.S. is often dated to an influential article in the Journal of Financial Economics in 1976, titled “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure” by Michael C. Jensen and William H. Meckling. They argued that shareholders should demand higher returns from complacent corporate managers. The idea of shareholder value was publicized by a 1981 speech in New York by Jack Welch, who had just taken over General Electric, and by Aflred Rappaport’s 1986 book “Creating Shareholder Value.”

"The shareholder value movement sought to persuade corporate managers to ignore the interests of all stakeholders like workers, customers and the home country, other than shareholders. Granting CEOs stock options, in addition to salaries, was supposed to align their interests with those of the shareholders.

"The theory had an obvious problem: Who are the shareholders and what are their interests? Most publicly traded companies have shares that are bought and sold constantly on behalf of millions of passive investors by mutual funds and other intermediates. Some shareholders invest in a company for the long term; many others allow their shares to be bought and sold quickly by computer software programs.

"Unable to identify what particular shareholders want, CEOs with the encouragement of Wall Street have treated short-term earnings as a reliable proxy for shareholder value. (...)

"Shareholder value capitalism in the U.S. since the 1980s has even failed in its primary purpose — maximizing the growth in shareholder value. As Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto points out in a recent Harvard Business Review article, between 1933 and 1976 shareholders of American companies earned higher returns — 7.6 percent — than they have done in the age of shareholder value from 1977 to 2008 — 5.9 percent a year.

"For his part, Jack Welch has renounced the idea with which he was long associated. In a March 2009 interview with the Financial Times, the former head of GE said: “Strictly speaking, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.”

"In the aftermath of the failed 40-year experiment in shareholder capitalism, Americans need not look solely to other democratic nations for models of successful stakeholder capitalism. The U.S. economy between the New Deal and the 1970s was a version of stakeholder capitalism, in which the gains from superior growth were shared with workers, CEOs were moderately paid and the rich engrossed far less of the economy. In reconnecting with America’s native tradition of stakeholder capitalism, American companies can learn from the example of Johnson & Johnson, whose credo was written by Robert Wood Johnson in 1943:

"We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.We are responsible to our employees, the men and women who work with us throughout the world.We are responsible to the countries in which we live and work and to the world community as wellWe must be good citizens.and bear our fair share of taxes.We must maintain in good order the property we are privileged to use, protecting the environment and natural resources.Our final responsibility is to our shareholders.When we operate according to these principles, the shareholders should realize a fair return."

The failure of shareholder capitalism, Salon, Mar 29, 2011

Comment: Re:Hoax (Score 4, Informative) 986

Of course not. First, Physics Nobel prizes are given for experimentally tested stuff, not for pure theory, particularly when said theory can (in principle) be subjected to testing at some point. Second, Nobel prizes are never given posthumously. The methods for testing GR were only developed near Einstein's death, and GR was only fully experimentally confirmed after he had already died. Hence, by a+b, no Nobel prize for him. Had he lived a few more years and he'd have won it.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.