Blog Comments

  1. PeterL's Avatar
    It may be nice to be nice, but it is more intellectually and philosophically satisfying to be true to one's ideals, even if that does mean pointing out, rather obliquely, that someone is a moron.

    This isn't my best, but it's worthwhile.

    BTW, hundreds or even thousands read my blog, and I hope that some more will find the compilations in print or on Kindle are also worthwhile.
  2. AuntShecky's Avatar
    I think this is a good post, but who am I to judge?

    Seriously though, you make some good points. Most of us Americans have been raised on the principle of "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." Normally, that's a good rule to live by, but as you say, we can take our reluctance to "judge" to the extreme.

    Wouldn't you love it though if you could tell somebody he's a moron w/o getting punched in the nose?

    PS I hope I'm not the only NitLetter reading your blogs. They're too good to be ignored.
  3. Bluebiird's Avatar
    I've actually set aside a notebook just for that, but it takes a while to write it in detail. So far I'm only half way through my birth........
  4. Virgil's Avatar
    Why thank you Qimi. Well, grandfather you cannot be (well I guess you could with some surgery...lol) but you can certainly be a doting grandmother. Not sure if you're one already but perhaps your children will bless you someday.
  5. qimissung's Avatar
    Rosie is adorable! And Matthew is adorable with her. Everyone should get to be around small children and puppies and kittens on a regular basis. I always feel like the grandfather on "Everybody Loves Raymond," inhaling the scent of their innocence and beauty and life.
  6. Virgil's Avatar
    Oh I'm so glad to hear you don't have any health issues. GREAT!

    You should never let water drip into your house. It can only lead to bad things. I've got a drip around the back door, but only on a windy rain when it comes from a certain direction. No matter how much I caulk everywhere I still get that darn drip.

    What a family saga you have. Have you ever thought about writing a crazy family novel? You have a lot of material there.

    If my son ever gets to be lazy, I'll remember your advice.

    Rosie is a great name for a dog!
  7. Virgil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore
    Labs are great dogs; we had one also. Two things to be aware of: They are very energetic and active pretty much their whole lives, and they are intelligent enough to get bored.
    Yes, thank you. This is our second Lab. If you go a few blog posts back here on my Lit Net blog you can see the post on where our previous dog was too ill and had to be put down. We had her as a pup too, and before Brandi we had a Golden Retriever, also raised from a pup, and they are as active as Labs.
  8. Virgil's Avatar
    Oops, apparently the second link was the same as the first in the post above. A little bird gave me a heads up. It's all fixed now. The second link takes you to the post with pictures of the litter.
  9. Calidore's Avatar
    Labs are great dogs; we had one also. Two things to be aware of: They are very energetic and active pretty much their whole lives, and they are intelligent enough to get bored.
  10. farnoosh's Avatar
    She's so precious! I agree, every family needs a dog although we're more a cat lover family plus my mom doesn't like dogs that much. But just looking at this cute little one makes me want one too Great pics Virgil, thank you!
  11. Bluebiird's Avatar
    Didn't want to do two blogs so putting the rest in here.

    Recent news for me.

    My ultrasound was fine. There seem to be no abnormalities and the thing that happened that set me down this course hasn't happened again, yet, so maybe it was just something to do with my hormones or diet or environment or stress or something like that. If it happens again I'll go back to the doctor.
    Napoleon's back from Canada. Haven't seen him yet but had to call him regarding the next item.
    My the ceiling in my bedroom leaks. Well, technically the vent. The other day I went up to bed. It was raining heavily. Suddenly I see drips of water running down the wall. I have posters and nice pictures on that wall. I recently put up a nice picture of some irises. The water trickled in one trail from the vent, some way above the picture, was absorbed by the picture and came out the bottom of it in 4-6 separate trails Right next to my bed, so I can't reach down there easily (there's a ton of stuff under my bed. I'm not kidding it's a mess). I wondered if the irises were cursed but I don't think so, they absorbed at least a little bit of the water.
    What worries me most is that I have an extension cable down there and water and electrics don't mix.
    I mopped up the water and that, combined with the rain letting up seemed to stop it. I checked around that are and found a little blister where water had gotten under the wall paper. Not wanting to let it rot in there I stabbed the blister and drained out the little bit of water. Now I have to keep an eye on it when it's raining heavily, like now for example. So I'm finally ending here.

    Bluebiird out
  12. Virgil's Avatar
    Yeah, Brandi passed in December. It's been ten months without a dog. Rosie has especially bonded with my wife since they are both home during the day together. Thanks.
  13. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    Oh, ho, ho...so cute! I remember now that Brandy passed. This animal seems quite special and well matched for you and your family. No family is complete without a dog- agreed. The video it lovely! It's important to teach young children body awareness around small animals. In a way, you are teaching them a specific kind of kindness. What a beautiful little face this puppy has. Puss looks so enthralled! Happy times! Happy times!
  14. Virgil's Avatar
    Hi Farnoosh. Nice to see you again. What a nice picture that is of you.
  15. farnoosh's Avatar
    Someone has their hands full this month. I've never actually read any horror novels or stories, but I do get pretty frightened reading history books.

    Anyway, enjoy your reading!
  16. YesNo's Avatar
    Any life form that can't engage in communication, whether this is because of a coma or not having a language, like slime mold, that we understand, would flunk the Turing test. That doesn't mean that life form is a machine.

    The problem with consciousness is that we can't look inside the other and tell if there is some first person experience occurring or tell if the other can exercise any intentionality. We have to infer this from behavior or through empathy.

    Some philosophers (I'm thinking of John Searles, "Mind") don't trust inferences of this sort unless they can open the box and verify that the inference is correct. But without those kinds of inferences how could we even know there is a Higgs particle?

    The behavior that I think characterizes consciousness of some sort is the ability to make a choice. If it looks like something made a choice, it has some consciousness about it, enough to make the choice. The problem with that is it would imply that even quantum reality is conscious in some way. The experimental results in their indeterministic nature could be replaced by inferred choices.

    Now a machine doesn't make choices as a machine. We know this. We may be fooled and infer that a machine speaking to us has made word choices in conversation, but we have more than the inference to go on. We can check how it was programmed. We can look inside. At that point we know it did not make a choice.
  17. PeterL's Avatar
    There are people with diminished mental capacity who would flunk the Turing test. But I agree better tests than what people have been discussing are needed. How would you design such a test?

    No one has come up with a really good definition of consciousness, and many anilals are quite aware of themselves and so on. This is something else that needs better definitions.

    I understand what that woman meant, and I hope she does better in the future.
  18. YesNo's Avatar
    If a human being can't pass the Turing test, then the Turing test is not able to distinguish very well between humans and machines. We need a better test.

    Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner in "Quantum Enigma" told a story about a female student who claimed she dated guys who couldn't pass the Turing test. What does that even mean? Did she date guys whom she could not tell if they were a human or a machine by engaging in conversation with them? Perhaps they weren't interested in talking to her. Can a machine choose not to participate in a Turing test when you turn it on?

    Forget about machines, does anyone really doubt that animals are conscious? Is a brain even necessary for consciousness? Slime mold and E. coli bacteria, neither having brains, appear to make choices and project intentionality in their efforts to survive. They seem more conscious than any machine I've used.
  19. PeterL's Avatar
    There were strings attached to the bailouts, but they weren't firm or well defined.

    Both panics were much more complicated that I wrote of. The contrast between the two deserves a fat book. It is my opinion that it would be better to have a smaller financial sector that could be bailed out by a handful of money center banks with the feds just depositing a wad here or there to provide liquidity. When it comes to banks, including investment banks, Greed Kills.
  20. AuntShecky's Avatar
    Well done!
    Yes, the effect of the 2007 crash or "near-crash" are still with us. It was originally caused at least in part by selling specious mortgages, including loans made to people rooked into believing they could re-pay them while actually they lacked the income to do so. These "bad" loans, rubberstamped with "AAA" ratings by raters who may or may not have been bribed, were then "bundled" and sold overseas to unsuspecting investors in Iceland and elsewhere. It was similiar to wrapping a hundred dollar bill around a stack of singles and claiming that it was a huge wad of cash.

    Another factor was the arrogance of stock brokers, not entirely like the degenerate character in "Wolf of Wall Street," but goaded by the same hubris. They were cut-throat, and so competitive that the men on Wall Street were often described as "swinging their (you-know-whats.)

    As described in the book by Andrew Ross Sorkin, the banks were considered "Too Big to Fail" and thus received massive bailouts from the government (i.e. taxpayers) merely by asking for them. The bailouts came in two separate stages under two different President administrations, so there's plenty of blame to go around. I've heard that some of the bailout money has been paid back, but maybe I've got it confused tiwht the auto company bail-outs (most of which have been repaid in full.)

    My personal objection to the bank bail outs is that there were literally no strings attached. There weren't any stipulations to benefit the American consumer or to change some of the questionable and greedy consumer banking practices. Elizabeth Warren ,among others, is still fighting for better financial disclosures etc. all these years later.

    Again, this was a thoughtful, intelligent blog post.
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