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Showing posts from 2011

God - That Which Is?

Here a thought: the name of God given in the bible is "Yahweh". I understand that the exact meaning of that word is unknown, but I've read that it can be interpreted as "that which is." If "is" means what I think it does, then it would be hard to deny the existence of "that which exists". Sort of a "cogito ergo sum" for theology -- "That which is, IS!!!" If you suitably define your terms, anything is possible! Good is bad, recession is boom, mediocre sophistry is philosophy. <= (warning... this is sarcasm.) Given this definition, I suppose I'm a believer, though I'm not sure we can know what "that which is" IS, relative to anything else.

On the other hand, it's not difficult to be "atheist" with regard to an anthropomorphic god -- the one on a throne in the clouds with white robes and all -- or any variation of that, regardless of whatever philosophical accessories are attached. But…

A Political Syllogism

I. (A) If Republicans block President Obama's economic plans, then (B) the economy will not improve.
II. (B) if the economy doesn't improve, then (C) the people will blame President Obama.
III. (C) If people blame President Obama, then (D) they will vote for his opponent in the election.
IV. (D) If people vote for President Obama's opponent, then (E) Republicans will take the White House.

Obviously... Republicans want to block any plan that might improve the economy. If you really want to know who to blame for the continued malaise of the economy, look no further than the GOP.

A Refresher on Rhetoric and Reasoning

I didn't write this... it was posted on an AOL music forum in 1992. Lots of flame wars were breaking out in early days of social networking. This is a really good synopsis of rules of debate and logical fallacy. If this were a disease and could become an epidemic, we could all be well again!

---------------------- THE ORIGINAL POST -------------------------

When arguing a case or examining the arguments of another, look for these common fallacies. Avoiding these problems makes a case stronger. Further, finding these fallacies in other's statements can make your rebuttal easier. Argue the point, but don't belittle the person.

The "Straw Man" fallacy is committed when an arguer distorts an opponent's argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it. This often happens when someone quotes another member out of context.

"Circular Reasoning" occurs when stating in one's proof that which one is supposed to be proving.

The "Missing the Point"…

Default Ain't My Fault

It's not easy to get a grip on this "debt ceiling" thing, but here's a thought experiment.

Suppose you're the CEO of a corporation. In many ways, the buck stops at your desk. But, you answer to a board of directors and there are certain decisions that must be made with the consent of the directors.

Business has been tough in the recession. Though you've done your best to control costs, there are some expenses which have resulted from investment in equipment and facilities while business was brisk. Like all busniesses, you financed expansion by borrowing. The payments on the loans are still due regardless of your current business level.

The problem right now is that you're up against the credit limit that's been established. You need to fulfill current orders and to receive the revenue for these orders which will allow your business to continue, and hopefully to weather the current storm. But, you can't pay for the raw materials, front the payroll,…

Ten Rules for Musicians

1. Play the song, not just your instrument.
2. Know the melody and HOW to play it. If you don’t know the melody, you don’t know the song.
3. Know the lyrics and what the song is about.
4. Listen to the other players, particularly the drummer and bass player.
5. Participate in the groove.
6. Pay attention to the band leader.
7. Give it 100% from load in to load out.
8. Don’t denigrate your band mates. For sidemen, make the front person sound good. For front persons, make the sidemen sound good.
9. Load your gear for money… play for the love of music.
10. Always eat the free food.
11. Never believe that any complex topic can be summed up in ten rules!

Important Pop Music? Really?

Question recently asked on Facebook:

Do you agree that most of the important white pop music of the 20th century has been based on white musicians imitating black musicians?

This is a complicated question because it comprises several nested questions, each of which is complex in its own right.

Question 1: What is “imitation” and what is influence.

In my life, it has been a de facto assumption that Elvis fashioned his vocal style from Otis Blackwell (“Don’t Be Cruel”), Little Junior Parker (“Mystery Train”), Arthur Cruddup (“That’s All Right Mama”). Led Zepplin went so far as to copy a Willie Dixon tune and claim authorship (“Whole Lotta Love”). And fergit about Vanilla Ice, fer cryin’ out loud!

However, the lines are not clearly cut. For example, Jimmie Rodgers undoubtedly heard and admired early rural delta blues performers. But, conversely, great bluesmen such as Muddy Waters and Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett professed to be fans of Rodgers’ music, the latter even suggesting that h…

Agnosticism and Faith

This is a comment on a blog with appears in a related blog at this URL:

Big Thick Glasses Blog

Mr. Thick-Glasses (or may I call you just Big?) I have just a few additional notes, both elaboration and extension.

Many religions posit an interactive deity -- one to whom you can pray (talk), a creator, an overseer, punisher of evil. Clearly this common, naive concept of “God” is an extension submission to human royalty, supplication to a king – evidenced by the use of the term “Lord” to refer to god. This god is omniscient and omnipotent; eternal, yet temporal; loving but swift and unwavering in justice. The problem – if not a logical contradiction – in these positions is that all attempt to a circular dodge to the examination of faith and reality: you have to believe because the religions authoritative document(s) (Quran, Bible, Vedas, etc.) say you must! If you can’t believe – you’ll go to HELL! Yikes… better safe than sorry, right?

It’s these “isms” that I find “offensive”. They trivial…