The glue of delusion

Posted on 12 March 2014 | No responses

Perseid_and_Milky_WaySays Stephen Asma: “If you want to get rid of religion, you can’t ARGUE it out of existence with rationality. Instead, you have to “feed” the hungry emotions something new as a healthier replacement. The emotional brain has a voracious and different dietary appetite than the rational brain.”

It got me thinking a bit. Striving to understand our surroundings and our universe, the struggle to refine our individual and collective understanding of what is true has immense value. As we discover more about the way things are, the way things work, we’re equipped to better ourselves and the world around us. Yet, we’re deeply emotional beings; emotions dictate the majority of decisions that we make in any given day. The awesome roaring power of emotion can overwhelm any argument we care to throw at ourselves. It’s damn near impossible to talk yourself out of gut-wrenching fear or sadness.

I bristle when alternative medicine (I mean the kind that actually, demonstrably doesn’t work at all) offers false hope, or convinces someone to turn down treatments that might actually help. I get cranky when psychics or astrologers or numerologists guide people to make poor decisions or exploit their credulousness for profit.

But what about when a delusion is the only glue that’s keeping someone functioning? A lie that sticks things together enough to stop someone from breaking down completely? What about when the truth is too terrifying to face? Or when the truth simply cannot be known, and that in itself is so horrifying that it’s debilitating?

Rent my room in South Africa!

Posted on 15 July 2013 | No responses

I didn’t even know that one of my namesakes lives in South Africa. Turns out they do, and they have a room for rent. Well, had a room for rent, I may have deleted the ad. Oops

gumtree_room

idiot namesake: applies for adidas job!

Posted on 13 June 2013 | No responses

Do you think my idiot familiar will be successful in his application for a job at Adidas as a team leader?

adidas1

I wonder if I can figure out how to withdraw “my” application?

adidas2

What sort of mischief can I wreak upon this survey?

adidas3

Good luck, idiot namesake!

stuff my idiot namesakes get emailed about

Posted on 10 June 2013 | No responses

I have a pretty sweet gmail account – it’s my firstname.surname@gmail.com. Fortunately for me, I got in early and snaffled it way back when gmail was new. Unfortunately for me, there are other people around the world who share my name, and can’t seem to figure out what their own email address actually is. I suppose by entering mine into countless online forms, they hope that they will somehow claim it through sheer force of will.

Only now has it come to me though, that I really should be sharing with the world what my much stupider doppelgängers are doing with themselves.

They’re signing up for Pirate101:

pirates101

 

They’re signing up for Marapets:

 marapets

And they’re signing up for Herotopia:

herotopia

They’re also leaving the Hyatt quite early tomorrow morning:

 hyatt

More crap as it arrives.

Vale Google Reader; Hullo Tiny Tiny RSS

Posted on 27 May 2013 | No responses

With a month to go until one of my favourite Google services is rendered for glue, I’ve been inspired to hunt for a replacement!

The inspiration came in the form of a reminder about all of my treasured Google Buzz content, and how I might want to back it up before it died. I don’t want to, of course, but it did remind me that Google were killing Reader because they are utter bastards.

Sure, I could switch over to feedly or pay for feedbin or something like that, but I do have a bit of a penchant for rolling my own when it comes to web services. And I do pay for this VPS every month.

Upon poking around, I found an open source web-based RSS reader – Tiny Tiny RSS. Developed since 2005 by a deeply sarcastic Russian, and all full of tasty AJAX, I thought it might foot the bill.

So, install it I did! A little wrestle with PostgreSQL later, an import of my feeds from Reader, and the addition of a Fever API emulator plugin then – voila! A fully featured, super quick, can’t-take-it-away-from-me-capricious-online-provider type application, syncing with Reeder on my phone. And what’s more, an hour or so of my time debugging the Fever API emulator has fixed its compatibility with Postgres.

Look! Ain’t it pretty?

Tiny Tiny RSS

Anyway, yes, very geeky but I’m pretty pleased.

Eclipse Photos Are Up!

Posted on 18 November 2012 | No responses

Edit: Here is a video of the moment of totality, taken from about 50 meters away from where I was watching :D

And here is the sun, fully eclipsed (thanks JJ!)

Eclipsed!

-=-

I’ve uploaded some photos from my eclipse adventures! There aren’t many of the eclipse itself, I only had my iPhone on me at the time. I’ll pinch some from my friend who took a few DSLR shots and throw them in the album soon. Anyway, you should click here and take a look, if you like.

Here are a couple of tasters.

Leafy

Moon Stage

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