Monthly Archives: March 2014

Belief Equality Dichotomy

I have noticed a common response to criticism, of  belief systems of a  religious, philosophical or ideological origin,  is to assert  that the beliefs is equal to or just as valued as any other type  and is therefore protected from scrutiny.


Advocating protection of the belief systems will ensure a more peaceful and non intrusive society to live in. Beliefs themselves do not harm people, harm is the responsibility of the individual carrying it out. Extreme beliefs are just that, extreme and cannot be used to criticize similar or connected views. Attacking beliefs causes offence. Tolerance is only achieved though respecting ones beliefs. Intolerance of beliefs equals intolerance of said person. A persons beliefs are personal and therefore cannot be criticized without harm to the person. Challenging ones beliefs usually entrenches them deeper  into it.


It is possible to examine ones beliefs without attacking the person. Beliefs influence a persons bias and actions when interacting with others. A persons beliefs can be objectively judged as harmful. Respect is reserved for a people but not always their beliefs.  Dogmatic following of  beliefs, without evidence stunts personal growth. Challenging a person or group beliefs may cause others in society to examine their own.  Having a personal belief does not protect one from being criticized for partaking in a negative action.


I personally am a strong proponent of challenging religious, philosophical and ideological beliefs (including my own). If a belief is to be deemed valid, it is only fair to examine that belief as objectively as possible. Accepting a majority or tolerating an aggressive belief out of respect, is intellectually dishonest and only protects people with a unchallenged agenda that is enabled by our passivity. (an extreme example) Through critical thinking and debate, we have an open market for society to choose our values.  Instead of unchallenged and  uncritical acceptance of beliefs that, if were adopted, might take that right away or deem it unquestionable.


A Moderated Conversation With Ban Bossy and Bossy

A Moderated Conversation With Ban Bossy and Bossy.

A Moderated Conversation With Ban Bossy and Bossy

*Please note that I cannot confirm the true existence of ‘Ban Bossy’ or ‘Bossy’. The conversation may be purely satirical.

Didgya: I would like to thank, Ban Bossy and Bossy for having this, no doubt, spirited discussion on whether to allow Bossy to retain her position in the youth vernacular.
Ban Bossy: Yes, of course.
Bossy: It is not a question, but thanks anyway.
Didgya: OK, Ban Bossy, what is your best reason on excluding Bossy?
Ban Bossy: First of all, by her mere presences, others good influences like Leadership and Aspiration, will only spend time with the boys.  They have told me this over and over again. Also without them Self Esteem will never associate with the girls.
Bossy: Wrong. You contradict yourself. If Leadership and Aspiration only hang out with boys, then how is it that you and me both know them well? On another note, me and Leadership might look similar but are much different from each other. I know that you have confused us many times in the past.
Ban  Bossy: Then why is it that I never see you together?
Bossy: That is your problem, you are looking for either one or the other. Once you find one of us, you stop looking.
Didgya: To get us back on track, Bossy, how about Self Esteem?
Bossy: We are BFF’s as far as i’m concerned.
Ban Bossy: I would say that you ‘think’ you are friends…
Bossy: Wrong again. I and whoever else that tries to associate with Self Esteem, can. I am not stopping anyone.
Didgya: Ban Bossy, do you think that it is possible that Bossy is a scapegoat for other negative players, young ladies have to deal with? Such as Sexism and Discrimination.
Ban Bossy: To me, those two are just as bad as Bossy herself but have proven to be difficult to get rid of. Why should we not exclude Bossy and maybe those two will follow.
Bossy: I find it insulting to be so flippantly associated with those two. I admit that I can be unpleasant and obnoxious at times but I am my own entity. Not to be conflated with anyone else we spoke of today.
Didgya: Thank you ladies for clearing up your positions today.  Hopefully, in the futures, we can bring together all of players involved to get a complete picture of the situation before taking ineffective and over simplistic action.

Arizona SB 1062: Religious Freedom/Discrimination Dichotomy

(Note: I found it difficult to understand both sides equally but I find it important to not straw-man one side. I can empathize but not agree. )

     When the Arizona SB 1062 bill was vetoed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer, many (including me) were relieved. The bill seemed to support blatant discrimination under the cover of ‘free exercise of religion’.  On the actual bill it reads:

2. “exercise of religion ” means the PRACTICE OR OBSERVANCE OF RELIGION, INCLUDING THE ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

For the religious this probably seems like a reasonable protection. They fear having to accept people that are inherently unacceptable in their beliefs. Also a fear of their holy places being infiltrated if they accept certain people in their businesses. Fear from change and tradition. Unfortunately, included are the bigots who use their religion to segregate and discriminate.  Many times we feel that all who would support them are of of the last ilk but people are well versed in cognitive dissonance and fail to see the ramifications for themselves.  For example, someone quoting anti-gay scripture in Leviticus but ignoring similar passages about not wearing blended fabric.  In scripture both are equally wrong yet I find it unlikely that I will be turned away for my polo shirt.  Selection bias combined with the ability to manufacture any belief system possible, negates any type of special right to discriminate. I would find it interesting to find out how two religions directly opposing each other would be?  Which side would the law be on? 
     Another part of the bill would protect the religious from:

D. A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding…

This overprotection would empower bigotry and leave the discriminated against no legal recourse. Some might say that the refused customer could just take their business elsewhere. In a large metropolitan area, that is an option but in a small community where resources are controlled by a small nucleus of businesses owners, there would be no option other than to to move.  Making an already insular community more isolated and displaced people who’s only crime is non conformity.
  When entering  into a public business it is inherent that an array of differing people are going to access that business.  It is not an infringement for you to treat them equally.  If not, make your business private and only available to others in your belief system.   Let people who truly treat people equally have the right to benefit from a public business.

My hangout|WITH @DIDGYA

My hangout|WITH @DIDGYA.

Kepler’s Last Stand: Verification by Multiplicity

Great blog about Kepler and the math involved in verifying exo-planets

Lost In Transits

TNG_LaPalmaFor 3 months a year, the TNG telescope on the island of La Palma turns its high-precision spectrometer (HARPS-N) towards the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra. This is the field of view that NASA’s Kepler space telescope stared at for more than 3 years, detecting thousands of potential new exoplanets using the transit method. There the TNG scans hundreds of Kepler’s potentially planet-holding stars looking for tiny changes in their radial velocity. If detected, this signal will indicate the presence of a real planet, confirming once and for all what Kepler first hinted at many months before. This is the process that, up until now, has been used to definitively find the majority of Kepler’s 211 planets.

exoplanetdiscoverieshistogram New ‘discoveries’ in context

That appeared to change in the blink of an eye this week with the confirmation of 715 new planets using a new catch-all statistical technique. But how did…

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