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Everything posted by reason.on

  1. The Battle of the Trees The Book of Taliesin VIII. From The Four Ancient Books of Wales I HAVE been in a multitude of shapes, Before I assumed a consistent form. I have been a sword, narrow, variegated, I will believe when it is apparent. I have been a tear in the air, I have been the dullest of stars. I have been a word among letters, I have been a book in the origin. I have been the light of lanterns, A year and a half. I have been a continuing bridge, Over three score Abers. I have been a course, I have been an eagle. I have been a coracle in the seas: I have been compliant in the banquet. I have been a drop in a shower; I have been a sword in the grasp of the hand I have been a shield in battle. I have been a string in a harp, Disguised for nine years. in water, in foam. I have been sponge in the fire, I have been wood in the covert. I am not he who will not sing of A combat though small, The conflict in the battle of Godeu of sprigs. Against the Guledig of Prydain, There passed central horses, Fleets full of riches. There passed an animal with wide jaws, On it there were a hundred heads. And a battle was contested Under the root of his tongue; And another battle there is In his occiput. A black sprawling toad, With a hundred claws on it. A snake speckled, crested. A hundred souls through sin Shall be tormented in its flesh I have been in Caer Vevenir Thither hastened grass and trees Minstrels were singing Warrior-bands were wondering At the exaltation of the Brython, That Gwydyon affected. There was a calling on the Creator, Upon Christ for causes, Until when the Eternal Should deliver those whom he had made. The Lord answered them, Through language and elements: Take the forms of time prinncipal trees, Arranging yourselves in battle array, And restraining the public. Inexperienced in battle hand to hand. When the trees were enchanted, In the expectation of not being trees, The trees uttered their voices From strings of harmony, The disputes ceased. Let us cut short heavy days, A female restrained the din. She came forth altogether lovely. The head of the line, the head was a female. The advantage of a sleepless cow Would not make us give way. The blood of men up to our thighs, The greatest of importunate mental exertions Sported in the world. And one has ended From considering the deluge, And Christ crucified And the day of judgement near at hand The alder trees, the head of the line, Formed the van. The willows and quicken trees Came late to the army. Plum-trees, that are scarce, Unlonged for of men The elaborate medlar-trees Tue objects of contention. The prickly rose-bushes, Against a host, of giants, The raspberry brake did What is better failed For the security of life. Privet and woodbine And ivy on its front, Like furze to the combat The cherry-tree was provoked. The birch, notwithstanding his high mind, Was late before he was arrayed. Not because of his cowardice, But on account of his greatness. The laburnuin held in mind, That your wild nature was foreign. Pine-trees in the porch, The chair of disputation, By me greatly exalted, In the presence of kings The elm with his retinue, Did not go aside a foot He would fight with the centre, And the flanks, and the rear. Hazel-trees, it was judged, That ample was thy mental exertion The privet, happy his lot, The bull of battle, the lord of the world Morawg and Morydd Were made prosperous in pines. Holly, it was tinted with green, He was the hero. The hawthorn, surrounded by prickles, With pain at his hand. The aspen-wood has been topped, It was topped in battle. The fern that was plundered The broom, in the van of the army, in the trenches he was hurt. The gorse did not do well, Notwithstanding let it overspread. The heath was victorious, keeping off on all sides. The common people were charmed, During time proceeding of the men. The oak, quickly moving, Before him, tremble heaven and earth. A valiant door-keeper against an enenly, his name is considered. The blue-bells combined, And caused a consternation. In rejecting, were rejected, Others, that were perforated. Pear-trees, the best intruders In time conflict of the plain. A very wrathful wood, The chestnut is bashful, The opponent of happiness, The jet has become black, The mountain has become crooked, The woods have become a kiln, Existing formerly in the great seas Since was heard the shout:-- The tops of the birch covered us with leaves, And transformed us, and changed our faded state. The branches of the oak have ensnared us From the Gwarchan of Maelderw. Laughing on the side of the rock, The lord is not of an ardent nature. Not of mother and father, When I was made, Did my Creator create me. Of nine-formed faculties, Of the fruit of fruits, Of the fruit of the primordial God, Of primroses and blossoms of time hill, Of the flowers of trees and shrubs. Of earth, of an earthly course, When I was formed. Of the flower of nettles, Of the water of the ninth wave. I was enchanted by Math, Before I became immortal, I was enchanted by Gwydyon The great purifier of the Brython, Of Eurwys, of Euron, Of Euron, of Modron. Of five battalions of scientific ones. Teachers, children of Math. When the removal occurred, I was enchanted by the Guledig. When he was half-burnt, I was enchanted by the sage Of sages, in the primitive world. When I had a being; When the host of the world was in dignity, The bard was accustomed to benefits. To the song of praise I am inclined, which the tongue recites. I played in the twilight, I slept in purple; I was truly in the enchantment With Dylan, the son of the wave. In the circumference, in the middle, Between the knees of kings, Scattering spears not keen, From heaven when came, To the great deep, floods, In the battle there will be Four score hundreds, That will divide according to their will. They are neither older nor younger, Than myself in their divisions. A wonder, Canhwr are born, every one of nine hundred. He was with me also, With my sword spotted with blood. honour was allotted to me By the Lord, and protection (was) where he was. If I come to where the boar was killed, He will compose, he will decompose, He will form languages. The strong-handed gleamer, his name, With a gleam he rules his numbers. They would spread out. in a flame, When I shall go on high. I have been a speckled snake on the hill, I have been a viper in the Llyn. I have been a bill-hook crooked that cuts, I have been a ferocious spear With my chasuble and bowl I will prophesy not badly, Four score smokes On every one what will bring. Five battalions of arms Will be caught by my knife. Six steeds of yellow hue A hundred times better is My cream-coloured steed, Swift as the sea-mew Which will not pass Between the sea and the shore. Am I not pre-eminent in the field of blood? Over it are a hundred chieftains. Crimson (is) the gem of my belt, Gold my shield border. There has not been born, in the gap, That has been visiting me, Except Goronwy, From the dales of Edrywy. Long white my fingers, It is long since I have been a herdsman. I travelled in the earth, Before I was a proficient in learning. I travelled, I made a circuit, I slept in a hundred islands A hundred Caers I have dwelt in. Ye intelligent Druids, Declare to Arthur, What is there more early Than I that they sing of. And one is come From considering the deluge, And Christ crucified, And the day of future doom. A golden gem in a golden jewel. I am splendid And shall be wanton From the oppression of the metal-workers RCR
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  4. Since my name has recently been brought into this "discussion" again, I want to state clearly for the record that I could not agree more with ES's statement above. RCR
  5. A quick note from the ether: I'd more-or-less decided to disavow myself of this discussion forum for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the ownership's attitude towards repeated plagiarism and consequently the basic intellectual integrity of the list. Since I've been a regular here and elsewhere, I feel the need to state for the record: I agree with everything that ES has written on this thread with regard to Victor and his literary kleptomania. Without question his actions here were morally wrong, and as someone who is on the verge of simply not returning to this place because of them (and how they were responded to), I'd like to know the answer to Ellen's as of yet unanswered question. RCR
  6. In fact, the very first chapter offers just such a summation (although, it is in the context of correcting Gore's elementary mistakes/distortions, and is not a general science lesson): RCR
  7. Michael, I do not believe that I have "demonized" you in the fact, I think it is you who have "demonized" me and what I've posted on this thread representing the skeptical postion; you certainly mischaracterized my contributions a few posts back, and never bothered to correct this error. Also from your response, you seem to suddenly think I am the only person who has critized or become confused by your "appraisal" of Gore's movie, when in fact, I think I've probably said the least out of anyone on this thread; yes, I've posted more outside material than anyone else, but I've said the least. Yet, somehow, you assert that you've been victimized by me...I'm not buying it. Btw, you haven't the foggiest notion of "what was in my head", and I wish you wouldn't make assertions as if you did. And just so my position is clear, I don't think Al Gore is great teacher at all, nor even good. I also think he botches/distorts even the "elementary science" that he attempts to present in the film as the foundation for his particular thesis and legislative agenda (and I've posted much to demonstrate this); what Gore does do very well (as has been mentioned many times by others) is deliver highly effective propaganda, he sells his agenda very well, but giving someone points for style isn't the same thing as saying he is a "good teacher", since the standards for each are quite different. You wrote in your initial post: "I see no harm at all in getting an outline of the issues and basic facts in such a clear and rational manner as he produced." And that's the crux of the issue, I and others have contented and demonstrated that there IS significant harm in doing what you prescribe above, especially if what one seeks is to actually UNDERSTAND climate science; to achieve this, the last person I would look to would be Al Gore (for all of the reasons which have been amply documented in this thread). If on the other hand, you want to learn how to be a very good used car salesman, then Gore is your guy. RCR
  8. Michael, I am having a very difficult time coming up with any kind of consistent understanding of what the heck you are trying to say in this thread, so I guess I just have one you still contend, as you did with your initial and subsequent posts, that Al Gore presented a worthwhile and GOOD *scientific* presentation of what is known and not known with regard to climate science? RCR
  9. Global Warming Hysteria Has Arrived By Roy Spencer : 04 Apr 2006 On April 4, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to discuss a white paper that Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Pete Domenici (R-NM) released on a mandatory cap and trade program for carbon dioxide emissions. The majority of panelists that will provide testimony in the hearing are for a cap-and-trade program, suggesting the Committee views global warming to be a serious problem and that a cap-and-trade approach is the preferred mechanism for fighting it. The hearing's timing couldn't be better, as it coincides with an intense global warming propaganda campaign by the media that is currently underway. The latest issue of Time magazine has a cover story on global warming entitled "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid". (I wonder if this is meant to provide some balance for stories about the coming ice age that Time published as recently as 1994?) One of the new Public Service Commission's TV ads uses a freight train about to hit a little girl as a metaphor for the horrible impact of global warming on our children's future in just thirty years. (Even if the recent warming trend, since the 1970's, continues for another thirty years, global temperatures will only rise another 1 degree F.) For those of us who are visual learners, Al Gore has a new global warming movie coming out in May entitled "An Inconvenient Truth" which no doubt will be met by critical acclaim, Oscar nominations (probably not for best actor, though), and a possible Nobel Prize. Science magazine recently stuffed as many articles as it could find on the world's melting ice sheets, even though the bulk of the published temperature evidence shows no warming over Greenland or most of Antarctica in recent decades. One wonders, what in the world is going on here? It seems an undercurrent of anti-technology, anti-progress, anti-humanity sentiment is beginning to grip our culture. Al Gore has been giving very effective, impassioned speeches on the ecological destruction that mankind is unleashing upon Mother Earth. With a mixture of science half-truths and religious zeal, Gore is very successfully rallying thousands of people to his cause. In an age where many of us believe that science has all the answers, while others believe that religion has all the answers, a clever mixture of science and religion can be very powerful. Even some of our scientists are joining in the chorus: NASA's Jim Hansen thinks we might have only ten years left before irreversible harm is done. For any of these fears to have an objective basis in fact, one has to believe that the climate system is very sensitive to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I have read recent statements, even from the World Meteorological Organization, that CO2 is the "most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere," which is blatantly false. The warming effect of Earth's most abundant greenhouse gas, water vapor, is about ten times that of carbon dioxide. Water vapor amounts, even globally averaged, go through large fluctuations, with particularly large upward excursions during warm El Niño events. Yet, the climate system never spins out of control. Why is this? The answer might reside in the fact that about 75 percent of the warming potential of greenhouse gases is never allowed to occur. Weather processes, in the form of clouds and precipitation, cool the climate to temperatures well below what they would otherwise be from Earth's natural greenhouse effect. To believe in catastrophic warming, one would need good knowledge of how clouds, and especially precipitation processes (which is how water vapor is continuously removed from the atmosphere), change with warming. I do not believe we yet have this knowledge. Yet, the feeling persists that "we need to do something," even if the science isn't settled yet (indeed, the science might never be 'settled'). I would agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment if it were easy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It is not. Until major technological advances are made, or people start embracing nuclear power again, carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise, especially in India and China. The Bingaman and Domenici hearing on April 4 is a distraction from the real debate this country (indeed, the world) needs to have about how to (or whether it is even advisable to) reduce carbon dioxide emissions now. And more scientists who don't believe in predictions of climate catastrophe need to rise above their fears of losing funding and speak out. Otherwise, this growing storm of global warming hysteria could do some real damage. Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite. He is also a member of the TCS Science Roundtable.
  10. Interestingly, Michael Crichton used the same story in a speech he made back in 2005... Another telling quote from a different speech: RCR
  11. "If an argument *is* fallacious, does this mean we *ought* not to accept it? If so, how can this be, if it is impossible to derive an "ought" from an "is." RCR Good example. More formally. Premise - Argument A is fallacious. Conclusion - We ought not to accept it. Smuggled "ought" - "Accepting fallacious arguments is bad." Now, notice that I did not say "Accepting fallacious conclusions can lead to error." This is an observable fact - a conclusion of a different kind. But we still need "Accepting errors is bad." to reach the final "ought" conclusion. We ALWAYS need another "ought" in there. Inescapable. Bob Premise - Argument A is fallacious. Fact - Accepting fallacious conclusions can lead to error. Conclusion - We ought not to accept it. Isn't this the generally accepted meaning of the word "ought"? How many mathematicians or scientists would disagree with the conclusion that fallacious arguments ought not to be accepted, because they can lead to error? How many would insist that the proviso be added that "accepting fallacious arguments is bad"? Martin It DOES NOT MATTER how much the "Ought" makes sense. I in fact AGREE with the argument, but it IS NOT DEDUCTIVE. There is a value judgment/opinion inherent in the concept of BAD. It is sloppy thinking to jump over the gap. How can you observe "BAD"? Can't. Bob Firstly, based upon how I responded to Bob a few posts ago, I'm obliged to post another quote from GHS, from another thread on A2 that clarifies his thinking on the first quote I posted (which, I think, I obfuscated). Secondly, I wonder if this quote from GHS (from another thread on A2) sheds any new light on the issue... RCR
  12. Learn How to Deliver the Truth August 28th, 2006 You’ve seen An Inconvenient Truth. You’ve made changes in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. Looking for something else to do to help solve the climate crisis? How about learning how to give the presentation that is at the heart of An Inconvenient Truth? Starting this Fall, Al Gore and a team of renowned climate change scientists and educators will train more than 1,000 individuals to give a version of his presentation on the effects of - and solutions for - global warming, to community groups throughout the U.S. Seven training sessions will be held in Nashville Tennessee from late September 2006 to January 2007. Each training session will be 2 days long, is free of charge (trainees are responsible for their transportation, accommodation and meals), and open to individuals of all ages, educational and technical backgrounds. The two-day program is designed to familiarize trainees with the climate change science, equip them with new presentation skills, and develop a new dynamic online learning community for ongoing activities.
  13. "If an argument *is* fallacious, does this mean we *ought* not to accept it? If so, how can this be, if it is impossible to derive an "ought" from an "is." RCR
  14. I've also found Rand's attitude with regard to evolution puzzling, it's as if she was uncomfortable with the idea. I wonder if this has anything to do with the contemporary admixing of Darwin's theory with those of "Social Darwinists"... RCR
  15. True, but in terms of the question posed that observation is irrelevant (and I think it side-steps epistemological concerns within the overall problem). The question is only concerned with the status of the argument itself.... I could argue, for example, that "grass is green therefore dogs bark" (notice, by the way, the only reason we know that the conclusion is true, despite the fallacious argument, is because we've gone through the proper observation/reason chain to conclude that yes, indeed, dogs bark), but using this kind of fallacious argument isn't how we derive knowledge, or make judgments--we do so, as human beings, through volitional reason, logic, and formal argumentation. Surely, you wouldn't say the above example is a valid argument? Ought not then, we reject it? So, from where I am sitting the question posed by GHS is still unanswered... I could certainly sign on to this as a general statement about Rand's many value prescriptions (without hesitation in the field of aesthetics), adding my own qualifications here and there...but, in terms of the larger problem I'm not convinced that it is impossible to derive an "ought" from an "is". RCR
  16. I'd like to re-pose a question that GHS asked on A2 some years ago, I don't recall seeing a satisfying answer there, so perhaps someone here will be up to the task: RCR
  17. LOL. I disagree. "Mulholland Drive" is Lynch at his very best, and it is also a highly enjoyable "Moulin Rouge", on the other hand, is up there with "Eraserhead" as one of the most painful cinematic experiences I've ever had (note, I finished "Eraserhead", but I bailed after an hour or so of "Moulin Rougue"). RCR
  18. NewsTrack - Science Published: March 15, 2007 at 1:59 PM Danish scientist: Global warming is a myth COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 15 (UPI) -- A Danish scientist said the idea of a "global temperature" and global warming is more political than scientific. University of Copenhagen Professor Bjarne Andresen has analyzed the topic in collaboration with Canadian Professors Christopher Essex from the University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph. It is generally assumed the Earth's atmosphere and oceans have grown warmer during the recent 50 years because of an upward trend in the so-called global temperature, which is the result of complex calculations and averaging of air temperature measurements taken around the world. "It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth," said Andresen, an expert on thermodynamics. "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate". He says the currently used method of determining the global temperature -- and any conclusion drawn from it -- is more political than scientific. The argument is presented in the Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics.
  19. What are you using? If you are on a PC, I highly recommend: I haven't found anything more flexible in terms of the ability to arrange (and it is quite reasonably priced). RCR
  20. That's pretty funny, 'cause it reminds me of Neil's point-by-point debunking of PARC's supposedly air-tight facts and objectivity. RCR