Comment Archives: Stories: Last 30 Days

Re: “Westworld vs. Realworld

I was intending to add this video to my first reply because you made at least two truth claims in your article. Its just the last minute or two and will start there...

Posted by Robert Lockett on 07/27/2017 at 10:35 PM

Re: “'Nothing in Writing'

The Board of Supes clearly doesn't work for the Indigent people of Humboldt County. They will find that out when the Grassroots movement takes place to remove them all from office in the next election. Their failure to listen to the community that deals with Mr. Marcus on a daily basis will be their downfall in the next election. Can you post the entire deposition? Did it discuss whether he's even tried a case.. ever... in his career? Or in the last two decades?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by I. A. C. on 07/27/2017 at 7:21 PM

Re: “Dates with David Marcus

It is a travesty that the Board of Supervisors has dug their heels in and now at county expense they're litigating a lawsuit, rather than admit that they did not follow law, made a mistake, or just simply misinterpreted the government code for the minimum qualifications to be a public defender. Furthermore as soon as they learned that Mr. Marcus had lied on his application and in his interview, they should have taken that opportunity to fire him. Frankly, it seems like a joke that his review was in front of the Supes, not a review by his peers. Nobody on that board knows anything about criminal defense. Frankly, I doubt anybody on that board cares about criminal defense. They just let a brown nose "nice guy" tell them what they wanted to hear rather than listening to the people who actually deal with him on a daily basis. The people that suffer are the most vulnerable people in our community.. they do not have a voice and they do not have competent representation when Mr. Marcus is their lawyer.

Posted by I. A. C. on 07/27/2017 at 7:17 PM

Re: “Westworld vs. Realworld

First things first, fantastic article, great questions. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to put it out there.

The fact that a subject has been debated since forever does not mean that has not been reconciled. It only means that it is a universal problem that most thinking persons will wrestle with at some point if they really struggle with questions of meaning and purpose. If they are not familiar with what others have concluded on the matter, then naturally they will keep on debating something that others may recognize as settled.

Barry writes: "If our innate belief that we have free will, that we're captains of our ships, that our decisions have real meaning if all that was successfully challenged? That is, what happens when we adopt the materialist position that we're mere bundles of atoms assembled following the dictates of nearly four billion years of evolution "using only one tool: the mistake," to quote Westworld's fearsome leader, played to the hilt by Anthony Hopkins. If atoms don't have free will (they don't, right?), then assemblages of them don't, not even a body's worth of 7 x 10^27 of them. So goes the materialist argument."

So far as I know (and I have studied the subject pretty thoroughly), no one has 'successfully challenged' our innate belief that we have free will. For one, it is far more than a mere belief, it is a rational and logically consistent belief. That may not prove it (which I will address shortly), but it demonstrates that it is at least rational in that it is not a logical contradiction.

The materialist position contains a fatal logical flaw as was well articulated by C.S. Lewis. I touched on this in a reply at LoCo with regard to consciousness.

"All possible knowledge, then, depends on the validity of reasoning. If the feeling of certainty which we express by words like must be and therefore and since is a real perception of how things outside our minds really must be, well and good. But if this certainty is merely a feeling in our own minds and not a genuine insight into realities beyond themif it merely represents the way our minds happen to workthen we can have no knowledge. Unless human reasoning is valid no science can be true.

It follows that no account of the universe can be true unless that account leaves it possible for our thinking to be a real insight. A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid, would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have to be reaching by thinking, and if thinking is not valid that theory would, of course, be itself demolishedIt would be an argument which proved that no arguments was sounda proof that there are no such things as proofswhich is nonsense.

Thus a strict materialism refutes itself for the reason given long ago by Professor Haldane: If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true, and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. (Possible Worlds, p. 209.)"

But whether belief in free will is logical or not, there is another answer to your question, "What happens when we adopt the materialist position that we're mere bundles of atoms assembled following the dictates of nearly four billion years of evolution...?"

Here is a quote from a man who found out at least ONE thing that can happen:

If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.

I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment; or as the Nazi liked to say, of Blood and Soil. I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers. Viktor E. Frankl

Barry writes: "And, of course, any case you can make for free will is countered irredeemably by the simple response: "How do you know?"

It is actually quite the other way around as articulated by C.S. Lewis as per Haldane. How can you know that 'we're mere bundles of atoms assembled following the dictates of nearly four billion years of evolution,' if our brains are simply composed of atoms? How do you get outside the box to claim an objective truth when you are determined BY the box?

At the very least the question of 'knowing' in the sense of having been proven emphatically does not appear on either side of the ledger. We cannot 'know' in that ultimate sense either way. We are forced to rely on which of the two makes the most logical sense. Forced that is, if our ultimate plumb line is logic and not our own biases, fears, or ambitions.

Barry writes: "And in a sense the free will vs. determinism debate is a lost cause, an apples and oranges argument. My free will whatever rational analysis tells me is a feeling..."

I think it quite the opposite. Our 'feelings' are driven by bias, fear, or ambitions that look desperately for ways to NOT be free or accountable. Free will is really just consciousness, and the ability to logically reason and think [freely] outside of the box of emotion that materialism leaves us trapped in.

Barry continues: "...Determinism, on the other hand, is a process. Meaning I'll blithely carry on in this life acting as if I'm free, even while logic assures me I'm essentially an 86-billion neuron machine and a prisoner of my genes."

I find that very confused. Determinism IS indeed a process. It is the chemical and mechanical part that drives the emotions that our free logical faculties must keep in proper alignment with reason. And in any case, it isn't LOGIC assuring you that we a neuron machine, but the philosophy of materialism that is itself logically invalidated by its own prison. Logic says otherwise.

Back to this notion of proof: "How do you know?"

I can't help but notice that that is the essence of what the serpent asked in Eden, "Has God really said...?" But simply put, we don't. To fall for the trick that the proof is in the empirical pudding, the fruit that can be seen, touched, tasted, and smelled is to first BELIEVE that there is proof BEFORE the proof is made. It leaves us chasing a perpetual promise of that ultimate knowledge or as the serpent said, "... you shall be as God".

Barry writes: "As we rapidly approach the era when the likes of Hal of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lieutenant Commander Data of Star Trek: the Next Generation become actual possibilities (not to mention Westworld's Maeve and Dolores), we're going to be forced to confront our own intuitions on what it means to be alive."

Tell me another one Evans. The proof is always JUST around the corner, and then we will 'KNOW' right? We won't have to live by faith in Logos anymore. Barry, you have to believe that by FAITH before you can chase that fruit mirage. I am surprised you haven't figured that out yet being the skeptic you are. You should put that skepticism to use on your own beliefs too you know?

As I said elsewhere, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. We all life by faith and we must believe that logic is valid because it is the only tool we have to make 'sense' of things. It is the tool we use to demonstrate that an argument is rational and coherent (without contradiction), as well as the tool we use to recognize mistakes (contradictions). We use it consistently in mathematics. Why do we fudge in our philosophy? Could it be we really DO want to be our own gods? And if so, maybe God was wise to remove immortality and subject us to a time constraint until we come to our senses. But then again we have to do that individually. You are a free man. Its your choice to make.

If logic is NOT valid. All bets are off, we slide back down the materialistic slide into holocaust because none of that matters if we are just a bunch of atoms anyway. Crushing people becomes no different that crushing rocks.

The reason you live as if you are free in spite of holding a materialistic philosophy is because you are willing to live with contradiction. Either that, or you did not recognize the contradiction. But I get the impression you WANT materialism to be true. If that is correct, then it is your bias, fear, or ambitions driving you. I highly advise all persons to make logos, at bottom, their only plumb line. To do that means we sometimes have to throw ourselves under the bus in the process and let go of some things we thought important. We may have to subject ourselves to humility also and admit we've been a very very bad boy. What sits at the center of our will, as our God matters. God did not command us to worship him alone because he is insecure. Quite the contrary.

Posted by Robert Lockett on 07/27/2017 at 6:12 PM

Re: “EPD Retracts Plans for Homeless Meal Voucher System

I find it absolutely disgusting that EPD would even consider a program that uses starvation as a punishment tool. Can you say, "obvious human rights violation" boys and girls? But then again, EPD has quite the reputation for human rights violations.

Posted by WhoAreThesePeople? on 07/27/2017 at 6:11 PM

Re: “'Not the Norm': HSU Students, Faculty Speak out on Racism

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Posted by Bonnie Klein on 07/27/2017 at 5:07 PM

Re: “Alternative Farce

Thank you so much for the kind words about the show and my costume design. I would be remiss if I didn't share the accolade with the costume shop manager at NCRT, Megan Hughes. She did 99% of the patterning and construction and I couldn't have done it without her. Thank you again! - Rae Robison

Posted by Rae Robison on 07/27/2017 at 4:42 PM

Re: “'The People's Chief'

This man is universally reviled by the poor in this community

Posted by James Decker1 on 07/27/2017 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Let's Talk About Rex

Amen to Sally's post

Posted by Irene Hedgecock on 07/27/2017 at 10:37 AM

Re: “'Nothing in Writing'

This is really hard to believe. The board of supervisors can be forgiven for hiring David Marcus, but not for retaining his services at this point. Why is every member of the board so aggressively against the grain of common sense with this issue? Nobody in their right mind can't see what's going on.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Who do the Supervisors worl for? on 07/27/2017 at 6:36 AM

Re: “Online Fortuna Fire Comments Spark Controversy

Holy shit, tell your kids to stop giving a fuck about the internet, stop staring at screens all day yourselves. Teachers, politicians, media reps, PARENTS are setting the worst example possible then scratching their heads over why internet commentary is as it is. Get the fuck over that bullshit, retards...youre literally retarded, retarding your own mental growth and maturity, and turning out retarded kids by example. Next thing you know your kid will grow up to be a hypersensitive idiot.

Posted by What do you expect? on 07/26/2017 at 7:54 AM

Re: “Smoked Monkeyface

Actually, Stoner, you are wrong. Far more pollution, especially in Humboldt, comes from wood burning than from cars or industry. According to the California Air Resources Board, electric generation is responsible for .10 tons/day of fine particle pollution in the county. The vast majority of that comes from biomass -- .09 tons/day -- because wood burning in any form is hugely polluting. The exhaust emissions from all of the vehicles on the road combined in the county -- semi trucks, buses, passenger cars, diesels, etc -- emit, all together, .14 tons/day of fine particle pollution in Humboldt County. Residential wood burning, however, is responsible for approximately one whole ton/day of fine particle pollution in the county. This doesn't include backyard burns -- just wood stoves and fireplaces.

Wood burning is hugely polluting, and many studies have shown that the pollution from residential wood burning is responsible for a range of chronic illnesses and a higher risk of premature death, especially from cardiovascular and pulmonary causes. It's not a coincidence that our county's lung health and cardiovascular death rates are dismal. The particles from wood burning are in the smallest size range -- small enough to pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream, where they carry toxins throughout the body and raise inflammation levels. This is a large and growing research field -- fine particle pollution kills, especially fine particle pollution from wood burning.

Also, the closer you are to a source of pollution, the more of it you inhale. If someone is burning wood or using a smoker right next to your house, you will breathe in way more of that than you would from something some cars are putting out further away.

Wood smoke is secondhand smoke -- it has most of the same toxic chemicals as tobacco smoke, and is just as unhealthy (actually, it's worse -- wood smoke particulates have been found in toxicology studies to be as much as 30 times more carcinogenic than those from tobacco, and more mutagenic than those from diesel).

Attitudes haven't caught up with the science yet, but they will. The peer-reviewed research on this is too vast and comprehensive to be ignored much longer, even by people who think their smoked ribs are more important than a sick or elderly neighbor next door.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chip on 07/24/2017 at 3:37 PM

Re: “Smoked Monkeyface

Curious Chip posted:
""It's depressing to read an article glorifying cooking over a driftwood fire and backyard smoking. All wood smoke is polluting and toxic, but driftwood fires are particularly problematic. Burning driftwood creates dioxins, which are some of the most toxic chemicals you can release into the environment. They bioaccumulate and are potent carcinogenic endocrine disrupters.

Backyard smokers are awful, especially for neighbors who have lung, heart or other health conditions. Nobody who cares for the people living near them should set up a smoker in their yard. Even if you only smoke food in your backyard once in a while, it can still make some neighbors very ill.

Besides, smoking foods makes them more carcinogenic. In the words of Dr H. Garber of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment:

"the growing epicurial fad of smoking food represents a huge setback for public health, and a personal choice that is one of the most unhealthy of culinary endeavors. Wood smoke is probably the most toxic type of pollution the average person ever inhales. Burning 10 pounds of wood for one hour releases as many toxic chemicals as 6,000 packs of cigarettes. Wood smoke creates free radicals that are active 40 times longer than those found in secondhand cigarette smoke and 12 times more prone to cause cancer. Wood smoke easily penetrates the indoor air of homes nearby and, with no indoor storm to blow it out, can linger there long after the smoked ribs have disappeared.

If an expensive restaurant advertised that they let their ribs sit on top of 6,000 smoldering packs of Marlboros for hours on end, would you be standing in line to get in? How about if they bragged that their meat had been saturated with diesel truck exhaust until mouth watering, tender and juicy? The toxic chemicals in wood smoke are as harmful if ingested, as if they are inhaled, causing chromosomal damage, immune system suppression, and multiple types of cancer, i.e. pancreatic, colorectal and prostate." (Op-ed: Governor should burn bill that puts special interests ahead of public health, Salt Lake Tribune, March 7, 2017)""

Chip, I'm glad I'm not your neighbor. You would not have these issues if you were of an earlier generation. Most pollutants come from automobiles and power generators so unless you give up cars and electricity you are a hippocrit. Also you can find a study or statistic to prove just about anything so take your goody two shoes pie in the sky holier than thou attitude and shove them where the sun don't shine.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Hugh Stoner on 07/24/2017 at 12:56 PM

Re: “Stay Grounded

Posted by Travels on 07/24/2017 at 12:19 PM

Re: “Stay Grounded

TSA officials at the airport are extremely helpful, patient, and have only the passengers best interests in mind. They are many things, all positive, but being ornery is not a trait that I have ever witnessed them exhibiting. Get your facts straight. Oh, and you owe them an apology.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by JRWhitmore on 07/23/2017 at 6:22 PM

Re: “Hero Immerses, Big Sick Shines

Dear Filmland,
If you review Valerian, I would like to ask you please to call the film out on the weird sexist cliches it is chock full of. Not to mention its treatment of the POC sex slave character. *spoilers* Her stated motivation in life is to please the mens, and she is promptly disposed of by giving her life for white protagonists she just met. I would love to see this movie gender-swapped. I think it would be really illuminating. Instead, both leads captured by same aliens while leads are wearing high-tech combat suits that let them crash through walls. Male lead escapes and plot takes him to red light district and aforementioned sex slave, meanwhile female lead waits for rescue while being dressed in sexy dresses by aliens who only see her as food. Why? Why?

Posted by Esme Pendergast on 07/23/2017 at 12:04 PM

Re: “Hero Immerses, Big Sick Shines

Would be helpful if this review started off with a description of the movie and then a general review, leaving the increasingly detailed, historic, film-school type commentary left to the end so the rest of us who just want to see a film and haven't the time but are trying to get a quick idea if this might be the one can benefit from reviews.

Posted by Noyb on 07/23/2017 at 10:47 AM

Re: “Online Fortuna Fire Comments Spark Controversy

I agree that the firefighters shouldn't have to read the comments and the comments should also remain.
It is all still better than the days when living in a small community without plains and cars when all there was was ink and gossip for info and public mobs...oh wait, maybe that led to more empathy? Don't think so.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Noyb on 07/23/2017 at 10:43 AM

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Posted by sakongbandarq on 07/23/2017 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Community

Oooops. It seems that I was confused. A state of mind that is becoming all too frequent.
Anyway, I now know for sure that Redway really is in Humboldt County and not in the Central Valley.
Must have been something that I smoked.

Posted by Mr. Geezer on 07/23/2017 at 8:14 AM

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