The Madhouse
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Complex Variable

This is the place for serious, thought-provoking, intellectual discussion. Please, no spam, nor any verbal rough-housing. Also, make sure that you're being intelligibly intelligent; there's no use in having an incomprehensible discussion. That's just annoying.

This is the thread for level-headed, engaged, intellectual discussion and debate: politics, history, art, the sciences, philosophy, and so on.

And, just so we're clear, this thread is for non writing/literature/etc. Those go to The Society of Literature and Badass Fiction Writing. Thanks for listening.

Mods: Complex Variable , ShatteredUniverse

12/18/2012 . Edited by SolarisOne8, 4/2/2013 #1
Annything

Okay, so... The apocalypse is apparently tomorrow. Can someone explain very slowly how this is supposed to happen? :I

I don't really understand the whole "solar clouds" and "violent sun radiation" thing. I just... What? xD

12/20/2012 #2
Annything

I just don't understand the science that the believers have to back themselves up. Okay, calender ends tomorrow. But... What's with all that science stuff they have? Either I'm dumb or it's a bunch of BS.

12/20/2012 #3
Complex Variable

People have been going on about the end of the world for millennia. Usually, there is a surrounding belief that a certain date has a significant meaning (for example, in the year 1000 AD, many Europeans believed Christ was about to return to Earth, or, the whole Y2K thing). This belief than gets "reinforced" by pseudoscientific theories about how the end of the world might actually occur. Essentially, it's an instance of what we call "reverse causality"—knowing that you want event x to happen, you try to find a reason for event y to happen, such that, if y occurs, then x occurs.

12/20/2012 #4
Annything
There is no evidence that Earth will be destroyed by a solar flare that day and scientists have not detected any planets likely to break Earth's orbit and bump against us. Those in the know are also saying that the end of the Mayan calendar does not portend any disaster.

Dumb this down for me and tell me what a solar flare is.

12/20/2012 #5
Annything
Essentially, it's an instance of what we call "reverse causality"—knowing that you want event x to happen, you try to find a reason for event y to happen, such that, if y occurs, then x occurs.

X being the end of the world and Y being a solar flare and a planet crashing into us. I see, so the end of the world is more physiological (If this is the word, lol) than scientific?

12/20/2012 . Edited 12/20/2012 #6
Annything

Actually, I read right here that even the Mayans didn't believe the world would end tomorrow. They've planned dates farther than that, they just stopped there.

There are many misconceptions about the Mayans. If you look at their calendar alone, the Mayans kept three calendars. The one that has prompted the end of the world predictions was their "long count calendar" — a 5,125 year calendar. The calendar began August 11, 3114 B.C. and ends Dec. 21, 2012.

She said the Mayans wrote about dates beyond Dec. 21, 2012 "well, well into the future, trillions of years." They also wrote about dates before the 5,125 year calendar began.

12/20/2012 #7
Annything

Also, on this same website it's saying something about World War three breaking out or something. xD I just... What? Wars do not break out in a day.

  • Nostradamus – That famed French seer from the 1500s has been credited with predicting several end-of-the-world scenarios that some believe will take place in 2012. The website December212012.com points to the potential sparking of World War III on this date.
  • The collision of Earth and the supposed planet Nibiru – This supposed space catastrophe was initially predicted to strike in 2003. The planet in question was supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, according to NASA. When the world didn't end in 2003, the date was moved to December 2012 for the deadly collision with Earth.
12/20/2012 #8
Complex Variable
There is no such thing as "reverse causality".

Indeed. That's the flaw of most all doomsday prophecies.

12/20/2012 #9
EyeofLight

You remember the case of Dorothy Martin?

Just goes to show that even though the end of the world has been forecast, and never happens, people will continue to believe.

Indeed, sometimes beliefs get stronger when disproved. that's why if you are arguing with someone, they do not listen to your arguments, even if they are valid. If that's the case, it's better to give up.

1/14/2013 #10
SolarisOne
they do not listen to your arguments, even if they are valid. If that's the case, it's better to give up.

I've found most people are like that to one degree or another. This doesn't mean most people are fanatics. It means that most people have one or two areas where they stubbornly hold onto their beliefs in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Sometimes, that can be just as bad, believe me.

3/16/2013 #11
Complex Variable

New Topic:

Have we—that is to say, the "modern" world—just basically abandoned Africa?

(Look at the map at the right).

It just reminds me that there are tens of millions of people, living in poverty, desperation, oppression, and disease, and at the very heart of the human race—our place of origin.

KwaZulu-Natal is a province in South Africa; 39% of the population is infected with HIV.

Child soldiers, blood money, land-mines of old and new wars, hidden in the ground, waiting to spring.

Genocides, dictators, and unspeakable corruption runs rampant. The entire fabric of the continent was utterly shredded by European Imperialism over the course of more than three centuries.

The civilizations of the "New World" was doomed the instant Europeans set foot on it. Anywhere from a third, to possibly even three quarters—or even more—of the natives were wiped out by disease alone; smallpox, that minister of death. The New World died; so many tragic bygones.

Yet, Africa remains. Europe took steps back, in some cases, being actively thrown off—Algeria, in the 1960s, for instance. Yet, things seem to only have gotten worse, with the sparsest of exceptions.

I mean... what do we do about this, as a species? Do we turn a cold shoulder, and hope they can climb out of the pit on their own? Do we try and intervene, and risk bringing about even more suffering? Are we responsible? Are they responsible? Or is it something in between?

3/16/2013 #12
SolarisOne8

I'm Neil Conan, and this is Talk of the Nation. . . (jk)

In all seriousness, it seems as if CV's topic didn't get off the ground. Because of this, I've decided to propose a new topic.

New Topic:

In the US, the bill originally called the Affordable Healthcare Act, (otherwise known as "Obamacare",) is set to take full effect on 01 January 2014. Yet, even as it is entering it's third year, most Americans are still grossly uninformed or, worse, misinformed about what it entails. This has precipitated the sweeping public disapproval of many things that, when discussed separately from the Act, are taken to be good things by a majority of Americans

Why is it that we as a nation are so uniformed about such a sweeping change in our healthcare system? What are your thoughts? Are you one of the uninsured or uninsurable who is looking to gain coverage through the provisions of the law making it mandatory for insurance companies to accept you, despite having preexisting conditions?

The floor is open for discussion.

4/2/2013 . Edited 4/2/2013 #13
SolarisOne8

Since there's no rule outlawing this (for a Moderator, anyway), and since I'm kind of @#$@# that no one wants to discuss anything, I'm going to "BUMP" this thread so it gets more exposure.

BUMP.

4/5/2013 #14
Annything

I would have definitely said something if I had anything to say. Dx Unfortunately, I am quite oblivious/ignorant when it comes to these things.

4/6/2013 #15
TheOneAndOnlyBangBang

New Topic:

Do you ever wonder if you're in a coma? I mean seriously, my supposed 'friend' tried to make me go into an existential crisis the other day, and the day after all he would say to me is 'wake up'. The scary thing is that I got that feeling you get when you think about death and your actual point in life (maybe just me, but thinking outside of the human box makes my stomach turn and my head starts to spin, literally). By the end of the second day I was almost crying and trying to push him away from me, but what scared me the most is that it felt like I was doing it instinctively. As in, I was lashing out at him for trying to 'wake me up' when my body (If I really am in a coma) doesn't want to sort of thing. Basically that really terrified me, and I notice strange things nobody else does. Such as a candle on the dining room table flickering in the corner of my eye and when I look at it its gone and nobody else noticed. Basically, if I am in a coma you are all constructs of my subconscious and you will likely not truthfully reply to this because you can't. If I'm not in a coma, feel free to discuss right here!

5/10/2013 #16
SolarisOne8

I'm one of a kind, mother******. Your subconscious mind definitely can't think me up.

5/10/2013 #17
Annything

You're not in a coma. I don't wanna believe that I am just a character that your mind created. It hurts my self esteem, bro.

But, yeah, I know where you're coming from when you say you feel like that. When I was in the hospital, a nurse told me to be quiet and I freaked out and had a dissociative episode. A nurse found me hyperventilating. Basically, I just feel like whoever was occupying this body before me had gone cuckoo and I somehow got into their body and I was interested kinda. I was thinking, "I wonder who this girl is and, wait, is she in a hospital? And, she's kinda freaking out right now. Am I this person? Who is she? I can't be her, that's not me." And then I tried to convince myself that I am a girl named Ann and that I did end up in a psych ward and that I did, in fact, own the memories in my head.

Sometimes I wonder if I am just a person inside of Wings head too. Or that she's just a part of my brain so I could cope with life. Because, sometimes, when I don't have access to my computer, I do talk to her in mind and it makes me feel really crazy. And then my mind talks for her in ways that she would. And then I try to imagine her body language and her tone and shit and IT MAKES ME FEEL A LITTLE WEIRD THAT I DO THAT.

I guess I'm kinda confused because I don't know how to deal when people are paranoid and I'm not sure exactly what will make them calm down. I would try repeating over and over that this is real life, this is not a dream, this is not my subconsciousness, this is me in real life right now. It helps me when I'm dissociative to repeat to myself, "My name is Ann Smith, I am fourteen, I am bi for the most part, my best friends are Becky and Wings, I have three cats and one dog," and on and on until I begin to believe that I really am that person.

5/10/2013 . Edited 5/10/2013 #18
TheOneAndOnlyBangBang

That's really deep. I am actually speechless.

5/12/2013 #19
LuckycoolHawk9

I would have to say that I can not be a part of your coma. There is a reason, I sometimes wonder if I am in a coma of my own. There are moments when I am dreaming that I wake up, wondering if that was a dream or a memory. In my dreams, since I was about ten, (before the character even existed), I was Lucky Knight, in my dreams, Superhero/secret agent. Then, there are the random moments where I zone out, get lose in my thoughts, hear noises as if my mind is processing what is happening outside of the coma. There is much more, but I don't want to dive much further into this, it scares me.

5/12/2013 #20
Annything

See, those moments don't scare me because I don't know who I am.

5/12/2013 #21
EyeofLight

You are who you make yourself to be, that is all i need to know. as long as i am 'alive', in any sense of te word, i will try to live. if i am a figment of another's imagnation, then i congratulate their tenacity.

If everything turns out to be fake, at least i lived a life free of worry, rather than focus on the unfixable. never lament over things you cannot change.

5/14/2013 #22
TheOneAndOnlyBangBang

Conventional wisdom has it that the Antarctic ice-cap, in its present extent and form, is millions of years old. On closer examination, this notion turns out to be seriously flawed - so seriously that we need not assume the map drawn by Admiral Piri Reis depicts Queen Maud Land as it looked millions of years in the past. The best evidence suggests that Queen Maud Land, and the neighbouring regions shown on the map, passed through a long ice-free period which may not have completely come to an end until about six thousand years ago. This evidence liberates us from the burdensome task of explaining who (or what) had the technology to undertake an accurate geographical survey of Antarctica in, say, two million BC, long before our own species came into existence. By the same token, since map-making is a complex and civilised activity, it compels us to explain how such a task could have been accomplished even six thousand years ago, well before the development of the first true civilizations recognized by historians.

--An excerpt from Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock, talking about an ancient map of an ice-free Queen Maud Land in Antarctica

EDIT: The map isn't ancient, but the man who drew it couldn't have known how an ice-free ntarctica would have looked as it was drawn in 1513, a time when it was:

a. Antarctica hand't been discovered until 1818

b. He couldn't have been there himself

c. The area was covered in an ice sheet at the time, but the map is of an ice-free Queen Maud Land.

EDIT NUMERO DOS: The guy who made the map, Piri Reis, admitted to using maps from explorers of the Caribbean and South America in combination with maps from ancient civilisations to make the accurate portrayal. What's even weirder is that the ancient sources actually are derived from ancienter (is that even a word) sources. All of which goes back to prehistory, when we were only just flourishing as a species, and when map making was impossible.

So does this mean we are descended from an ancient, and civilised, race of possible proto-humans that died out thanks to the last ice age?

Edit: If you're still wondering, the answer is probably no.

5/14/2013 . Edited 10/25/2016 #23
fanneon

Possibly, what we have to understand is that the Earth itself is millions of years old. There have been many civilizations that we may never know simply because of time. Over time our minds degrade and we forget things, however our minds are also capable of remembering many things at the same time. It wouldn't be surprising if a person managed to remember about this or that and it turns out to be true. Map making as you said is complex, indeed it is. Yet, almost all the techniques of making a map is easily since, in my opinion history repeats itself. For example making maps out of paper, there had to be some sort of civilization back then that had a rudimentary way of making a map out of wood pulp, how is we that knew how to do that? As for how, Piri Reis made the map out of old information? There once was a huge land mass called Pangea and it broke off into smaller continents. Combine in way that makes it look like a land mass and there you go!

8/28/2014 #24
Beecham Thomas

So gibt es heute Elektrohelikopter in einem weiten Größenbereich, vom nur wenige Gramm schweren Microheli bis hin zum elektrisch angetriebenen originalgetreuen Scale- Nachbau mit 2 bis 3 meter Rotorkreisdurchmesser - alles Elektro!

great rc

Why am I trying to sell German RC helicopters on a writing forum? Who the fuck knows? I lost my mind decades ago! Zerstören sie meinen anus! - 29/11/15 Meme Edit

25/10/16 Meme Edit: I'm bored, if anyone reads this pls message me "Swiggity swoothbrush, nationalize that toothbrush." Thank you.

01/12/17 Meme Edit: Still waiting for the above. I am very lonely. Give me this.

9/9/2014 . Edited by TheOneAndOnlyBangBang, 12/1/2017 #25
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