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Myth: Separation of Chuch and State

April 14th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

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Wow – I’ve been citing “separation of church and state” from the Constitution ever since I can remember and the fact of the matter is it’s not worded that way. I was wrong all this time. The first Amendment simply states Freedom of Religion and there is an establishment clause that says that government shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. So it’s not necessarily anti-religion, rather it’s the government not sponsoring any “one type” of religion. INTERESTING!

Now considering myself a Universalist and no longer an Atheist or just a Christian for that matter, I feel better about our founding fathers. When I was in “atheist mode” I used to always pontificate about how the old-time framers of the Constitution were all really atheists. In fact, the opposite was probably true – they were believers of a sort. Check out this quote “A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and DEGRADE religion.

So WhaDaYaThink? What do you think ? I’m definitely not married to my positions, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, etc. I’d like to think of myself as an extremely open minded person weighing all the best evidence no matter where it leads. And true, though I was quite the strident atheist for some time, I now view the new atheists as quite frankly –ARROGANT and self-righteous in their own intellectually snobbery way! Arrogant in fact to a degree of a ranting and raving lunatic theologian. The truth is NOBODY knows – not the pope, not the new atheists, not Richard Dawkins, not Charles Darwin – NOBODY!!! Yes we now have quantum mechanics, string theory, Higgs Bosom and other science, but we still know virtually nothing about what consciousness is. That obviously leaves room for speculation about whether or not some sort of awareness survives the death of the physical body. I hope so anyway (but only if there’s no such thing as hell – lol. That scares the crap out of me. Those fucken nuns and priests ruined my life! They drilled that fiery hell stuff into my undeveloped child-brain and I STILL – at the age of 53 am terrified of eternal damnation. Don’t you think preaching eternal fiery hell to a child is tantamount to child abuse?)

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Splitting the Atom

April 9th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Image result for atom bomb hiroshima pictures Image result for atom bomb hiroshima pictures Image result for atom bomb hiroshima pictures

This is one of the most haunting clips I’ve ever seen. Oppenheimer, head of the Manhattan Project and the making of the atom bomb. “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”. When I saw this clip I couldn’t help but think about our current situation and AGI. Unintended consequences of progress. It’s not exactly the same (we knew what we were doing…it was a race – a necessary evil. We thought the Nazis were much further along, but the absolute malevolence of Man)

This is an absolutely must-see clip:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb13ynu3Iac

The absolute sadness and regret of it all!

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A Nefarious Advanced Civilization Having Fun With its Toy

April 3rd, 2017 by Michael Tabor

 

I’ve been writing and talking about Simulation theory for years now. Phillip K. Dick talked about it in 1977 & people thought he was a crank. Now most mainstream scholars are all but convinced that we’re indeed living in a simulation. Why I personally believe in the simulation hypothesis is “The Problem of Evil” in other words I cannot fathom a benevolent God that would allow all the horror in the world.I can, however, certainly imagine man or an advanced civilization that is ruthlessly EVIL. SCARY !

 

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WTF?????

March 30th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Image result for universe makes no sense Image result for universe

This is a restatement paraphrased from Neil Degrasse Tyson – ” The universe is under no obligation to make sense to “us” (homo sapiens) nor is “God” for that matter.”

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The Human Animal – Who are we?

March 20th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

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I am utterly fascinated with us – human beings. I am interested in who we are, our intentions, motivations, our behavior, etc. In a nutshell what makes you-you and why do you do the things you do. Do you have freewill? Watch this endlessly engrossing lecture by one of my intellectual heroes – Robert Sapolsky from Stanford. Sapolsky compartmentalizes human behavior into what he calls buckets e.g. 1. Genetics 2. pre-natal events 3. Evolution 4. Environment 5 hormonal – endocrinology & more. This is a gem watch the whole lecture it will stick with you forever.

Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology

Professor Sapolsky provides an overview of the course curriculum. Also, he awards a bagel with cream cheese to a fellow New Yorker.

ROBERTSAPOLSKYROCKS.COM

 http://www.robertsapolskyrocks.com/intro-to-human-behavioral-biology.html

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God and Psychedelics

March 7th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

I’m reading “The Psychedelic Gospels” by Jerry and Julie Brown. The case they present is the ONLY way to understand and experience God (make any sense of it all) is to ingest psychedelics (like Aldous Huxley did). Check this out:Gordon Wasson (1898-1986) took some sort of psychedelic mushroom and had a soul-shattering religious experience – ecstasy. he writes”…it permits you to see, more clearly than our perishing mortal eye can see, vistas beyond the horizons of this life, to travel backward and forward in time, to enter other planes of existence, even (as the Indians say) to KNOW GOD.” Though I’ve never personally experimented with psychedelics, this does make it absolutely enticing and compels you to think that YES there maybe a God.

Now the optimist in me says – yes this is real ! The theory is that God made mushrooms (so its natural) man ingests them, the pineal gland is activated and it allows man to get on the same “wavelength” so to speak to actually relate to God. Now the skeptic side of me is that this is all bullshit – you’re on a drug and your brain is firing abnormally or whatever. I don’t know, but I find it fascinating nevertheless. BTW, if you ever visit the Vatican, check out all the sculptured pine cones symbolizing the pineal gland which as I said is what’s affected when ingesting mushrooms. so, Whadayathink ? What do you think ?

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The Future – Artificial General Intelligence or The GOD Machine

January 9th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

 

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So if we don’t destroy ourselves i.e nuclear war and barring some sort of cataclysmic  event such as a flood, volcano, climate change, an asteroid hitting us, etc. or anything else that might eliminate all life on this planet we can expect our species to continue to strive to make things better for ourselves –easier. What makes life better and easier? AUTOMATION. We will continue to automate (we already have the technology for self-driving cars, and many other things) and innovate. Driven by free markets and Profit incentives big corporations will continue to invest in Labor saving technology –i.e. machines that will create and produce better consumer goods and services at a faster and more efficient rate. In fact, these machines will replace all forms of human labor. No more horrible factory or assembly line jobs. No more drudgery. Indeed we will have a machine that makes the machines. And this machine will more than likely be powered by sunlight so we’re only dealing with the cost of raw materials. Eventually we will not only replace blue-collar jobs with these efficient labor- saving machines but also artistic and scientific jobs. Yes AI Or AGI (Artificial Intelligence or Artificial General Intelligence) The super wealth-generating machine, idea producing machine or whatever we call it will eradicate the need for people to work at all. After this entire AGI machine can do anything and everything better, faster and more efficiently than any human being. And it rarely if ever makes mistakes. There is of course the hacking possibility but that’s another rabbit hole I’ll discuss later in another blog.

Yes we will have in our possession the perfect oracle – a GOD if you will. To think this is not possible is to be shortsighted. Again, look at where we are today and understand that we are advancing technology at an EXPONENTIAL rate. The growth is not linear – every 18 months technological improvements with miniaturization lead to the doubling of everything we learned before. At that rapid speed, the GOD  machine is inevitable. The REAL key to all this is the fact that this device is intelligence that will be able to make refinements to itself . YEP –the system will be able to make changes to its own source code and get better and better at learning and more and more knowledgeable with instant access to all human and machine intelligence. Just picture thousands of years of research every second. The sum of all human and machine knowledge doubling every day. That is a           GOD.  We are talking about a device so extraordinary that even a Stephen Hawking will simply not have the brain power to have even an inkling of understanding of the power it wields. And now imagine the GOD machine doubling its intelligence every week AND making improvements and refinements at doing what it does. Even if it were limited and just able to reach human level intelligence and no more and it was just faster, its circuits would be a million times faster than any biological system –and again that’s an undersell. The machine will be able to provide unimaginable happiness and we will never be sad. We’ll all be gods and goddesses and each of us will have perfect health because the machine will have figured out how to eradicate disease. Yes it can make you a new heart – one that beats forever because after all we’ll have attained immortality (if we want it). Lastly, along with all this we will undoubtedly have the ability to not only clone or make a copy of ourselves, but also the ability to create whole worlds with other people who are conscious just like us. YES we will be able to simulate our world  and the rub is that the simulated people in this simulated world won’t know that they’re merely a simulation. And to get really spooky, the programmer or simulator of that world might also be a simulation in someone else’s simulated  universe ad infinitum – as they say “it’s turtles all the way down”.

 

So WhadaYaThink ? Where are we going with AI OR AGI ? Is the GOD Machine inevitable ? Do  you want it ?

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I’m Still Waiting For The News of What Happened Before The Big Bang

March 21st, 2014 by Michael Tabor

Last year we confirmed Higgs Boson (the god particle) and just last week scientists discovered gravitational waves or what they perceive as bigba1bigb2faint echoes of the immediate aftermath of The Big Bang. In Layman’s terms (I’m not an astrophysicist either) we now know precisely of what happened a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang (actually I just learned this yesterday, but it wasn’t really a bang, but rather an unfathomable expansion or inflation).

Physicists are excited beyond words with these amazing discoveries as they should be and it truly is mind – boggling that we know as much as we do, but I’m still not SATISFIED. I want to know what happened BEFORE the Big Bang.
This is what we have so far: The Big bang started out as a sub – atomic particle that was so small it’s almost impossible to even fathom the size ( so even with the most powerful microscope in the world, what one sees or actually observes is the reflected light which is wavelength in shape; the wave is approximately 10,000 times the length of the atom itself – & we’re talking smaller than an atom) . What happened next was the sub – atomic particle swelled to the size of a grapefruit and then exploded or as I stated earlier, it didn’t really explode, it just started expanding and inflating at a speed the human mind cannot possibly comprehend; some have even suggested that things were moving FASTER than the speed of light. Another blog, because you can’t go faster than the speed of light, right ? 186,000 miles per second. 671 million miles per hour….or can you?

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Do you think we’ll ever get the answer to what happened before the Big Bang ??? Will we ever be able to wrap our human minds around the concept of nothingness? What about infinity?
Incidentally, we also know that our universe is 13.9 BILLION years old. I say our universe, because now we have things like string theory, which suggests we have multiple universes (most people think we have 12 but others think the # is much higher).

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What About Arts & Letters Daily as a Homepage???

September 14th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

arts&letters2I’ve had Yahoo as my homepage for more than a decade now because it’s light and breezy, it’s indeed a search engine though not as good as Google, right on the mark with timely  breaking news, and basically everything important that’s going on in the world can be found right there on the site. It’s 2013 and there’s essentially not a single piece of information that exists that cannot be found at your fingertips – both classified (WikiLeaks) and certainly all unclassified stuff .

Obviously , today we can find out anything about anything, anywhere – anytime and it basically comes down to what we want thrown in our face, first thing i.e. Justine Bieber and some real news – Yahoo, your basic no- nonsense best search engine that there is in Google, your work address (yuck, don’t bring work home), or something a little different such as a web portal which happens to be in my opinion the greatest place on the net, especially if you’re interested in an absolute treasure trove of scholarly information and beautifully – written essays of everything under the sun including: philosophy, aesthetics, language, literature, trends, breakthroughs, ideas, criticism, culture, history, music, art, disputes, and of course it includes a tad of gossip.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? If you haven’t visited Arts & Letters Daily http://www.aldaily.com/#google yet, take a look and enjoy !!! This morning I read a little something on Thomas Pynchon, Franz Kafka, Picasso, Shakespeare, on & on … life is short, art is monumentally long.

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Mystery, Doubt, and Uncertainty is What Makes Life Grand!!!

September 12th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

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The late Richard Feynman who died 25 years ago at the age of 69 of cancer was probably the greatest scientific genius since Albert Einstein. What made Dr. Feynman so wonderful was that he was so down – to – earth that he made the most monumentally complex scientific ideas and concepts intelligible to us mere mortals. Yes, he was a little kooky, but when you win the Nobel Prize, you’re no longer goofy, you’re the expected “eccentric genius”.  I don’t want to elaborate here right now on the man who alas is remembered by many as someone who was a part of the Manhattan project but just really urge everyone to find the time to watch this special PBS broadcast which so brilliantly captured the essence of the man who will live on forever in our hearts and minds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlhInhfF3cc  

 

 

Click on and enjoy and of course, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?

 

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