Sunday, June 4, 2017

97% of Scientists Confirm Man-made Climate Change?

I just today saw a video of Leonardo di Caprio once again repeating that 97% of scientists say that human beings are causing global climate change.  I want to discuss how exactly that figure of 97 % was determined, because the criteria by which the author of the study being referenced used to determine whether a scientist affirms man-made climate change is completely fraudulent, deceptive, and dishonest.

The author of the 97% study looked at all the peer-reviewed scientific literature referencing whether human beings are causing climate change.  If a scientist even implied that we might be changing the climate at all, he included that scientist as affirming man-made climate change.  There were a lot of scientists who said we might be having some affect on climate, but the author of the study did not take into account how much effect.  This author just lumped all the scientists who even allowed for some possible climate change as if they all believed that human activity is going to cause global catastrophe as the alarmists like di Caprio, Al Gore and others proclaim.

I watched a video of a scientist who said that he wrote that human beings might possibly cause some change in climate, but even if it were so, it would not be very much at all, and he was included as belonging to the 97% of scientists who say that man-made climate change as well.  How many other scientists who believe it is possible that we might be causing a negligible amount of climate change were included in this figure of 97%.  Someone should do a study on this.  So when someone says to you that 97% of scientists say that human beings are causing climate change, how many of those scientists only said it is possible, or that if it is happening, it is negligible?  How many scientists included in that number actually stated that human beings are going to cause the end of the world as we know it because of Co2 emissions, etc?  The study which originated this 97% figure is dishonest.  Most of these climate change statistics we have do not come to us with a description of the method by which the figures were calculated, or the computer models which they used to derive that date.  When you actually investigate how these numbers were calculated, much fraud is brought to the surface, and for me, at least, and many others who do not buy into the chicken little hysteria behind these claims, the people promoting these scares, more and more lose their credibility as people who are basing their message on science and reason, and moreso on political and economic ideologies and anti-human philosophical biases and agendas.

I personally believe that the ideology behind the man-made climate change and hysteria is that of anti-human genocidal population reduction.  These people believe that there are too many human beings on the planet and that we need to vastly reduce both the number of people living on the planet and the amount of energy and resources we each use.  This will require a global government dictatorship to ration how much energy people are allowed to use and what technologies can be used to produce it.  The whole global warming, climate change hysteria is a vehicle for arguing that we need some kind of global authority to dictate to the world how much energy and resources people can use.  Not all environmentalists are aware of this agenda.  Some are, and openly support such measures.  But this is the agenda and ideology behind environmentalism and global warming/climate change hysterics.  If I were to believe that these climate change and global warming warnings were true, I would openly support genocide and population reduction measures as well as a global dictatorship to tell everyone throughout the world what kind and amount of energy, technology, and resources they would be allowed to use.  If man made global warming and climate change is real, and we have a moral obligation to stop it, then genocide, global dictatorship, and population reduction measures (i.e. killing lots of people), would be completely moral and justified measures to respond to the threat to the planet.  So if you believe in global warming and man-made climate change, just cut through the bullshit and admit that we need to kill lots of people, put the people under a global energy dictatorship, and reduce the standard of living for everyone who isn't part of said dictatorship.  Because if the global warming, anthropogenic climate change warnings and temper tantrums are true, those are the only means by which you are going to stop such threats to our planet.

If global warming and man-made climate change are real and need to be stopped, this would justify and necessitate global genocide and dictatorship, and since I believe genocide and dictatorship are immoral, I eventually conclude that global warming and man-made climate change are lies, for truth can never justify or necessitate immorality, evil, or sin by us in order to solve it.

Friday, June 2, 2017

From Academics to Real World Work Skills Education

I believe there needs to be a shift in what kind of things we seek to learn in our educations.  Too much focus is made on academics, that bear little use in the world of making a living.  I recently have signed up for a job skills training program for a store chain which teaches about the various parts of the day to day functioning of working in a store.  Now, while academic education is great and all, for most people who are graduating with degrees from colleges, this type of education is almost worthless in terms of actually preparing one to work in an actual job.  We tell young people to go to college and get an academic degree far too much.  While this may be a good path for some, it probably is not the best path for the majority of people looking to learn real life job applicable skills and knowledge.

We need to take a hard look as a society and investigate what kind of businesses, institutions, companies, services, and ventures will be needed in the near future and create educational opportunities based on what those required tasks will need in terms of what sort of skills, knowledge, processes and concepts workers, managers, entrepreneurs, etc. will have to be equipped with.  We should gear our educational policies and institutions to providing education necessary for instilling work seeking people with these skill sets, etc.  There is too much focus on telling everyone to go to a 4 year college, possibly go to graduate school etc, in hopes it will lead to better job prospects.  There are so many jobs that not only do not require an academic traditional college degree, but are in fact utterly useless for performing the tasks of that job.  And why keep telling young people to go into massive debt for a degree that gives them no experience, skills, or knowledge that actually applies to getting a job, when they could get an education in a trade, or in a certain business field, etc?

We need more education in trades, more education in sales and business, in many other kinds of jobs that actually exist.  If a young person wants to work in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, then going to a 4 year college or graduate school makes sense.  But for many other degrees, the academics are not really useful for any real jobs.  We need to create and organize more trade or practical job training programs, to teach the ins and outs of real job creating organizations, so that people actually have some experience and training that applies to actual aspects of real jobs.  Enough of the massive student debt bubble which is going to burst eventually when more and more students with four year degrees can't find actual jobs in order to pay of their debt.

I saw a video someone posted on Facebook regarding this subject, where Mike Rowe (I believe that was his name) was talking about the fact that most of the required jobs that will need to be created will be in the trades, and that instead of herding everyone into massive debt in order to go to academic colleges where they are not given any skills that will help them get and maintain a remunerative job, we should encourage more education in trades.  We need more trade schools, we need more educational programs and institutions which teach real job skills and give opportunities to practice those skills.

Another thing is we need more education in entrepreneurship.  This idea I get from reading the financial education books of the "Rich Dad" series by Robert Kiyosaki.  We need more people to create businesses which create lots of jobs.  There is little education about how money works, and how to create businesses which create jobs.  I recommend his books also.

But we need to educate people in skills and experience that actually will help them make livings at jobs that actually will exist.  Jobs in the trades need to be more emphasized, because a lot of the jobs that will be created are in these fields.  Not everyone needs or should pursue expensive 4 years or more college degrees which serve no useful purpose most of the time in actually preparing someone to work at a real job or in creating a business that creates work.  Except for STEM education, and certain other fields, going to traditional academic college makes no sense for a lot of people.

I would love to hear other people's thoughts on this subject.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stories in Focus: "Ghostbusters" 2016

I have been watching quite a few movies through Netflix, and haven't written a "Stories in Focus" article in quite a bit.  I have just watched a movie which I must give a review of now.  Yes, I have just watched the new Ghostbusters movie in the theater, in 3D at that as well.

I won't spoil anything.  I will be honest.  Judging from the trailers that this movie was going to be horrible.  I expected the worst.  Well, I will spoil one thing.  I enjoyed it.  I thought it was a fairly decent movie, and had parts that were funny, parts that were exciting and action packed, and parts that were just fun.  While I do not think that this movie is as good as the first two movies, I am pleased to say that this was not bad in my opinion.  There are some aspects that are cheesy or kind of lame, but this movie has some redeeming features.  There are some fairly hilarious moments, especially involving the daft secretary played by Chris Hemsworth.  The cameos by the cast members of the original movies are humorous.  The proton packs and other ghost-busting "weapons" the characters use are cool.  In some parts, the movie is almost like an action movie, with some pretty cool fights between the female Ghostbusters and the hordes of demonic ghosts destroying New York City.

There are some lame and cheesy moments, but I think this movie has enough good aspects that I am grateful it was made.  It probably could've been done better, but I hear there are going to be more installments in the works.  And I am glad for the female cast.  My first ever niece was born a week or so ago and I will be happy to be able to get her Ghostbusters action figures instead of Barbie dolls.  The female cast plays super smart scientists, and I hope that this might inspire a lot of young girls to become scientists or engineers or whatnot.  Better than talking Barbie dolls who say "I hate math!"

Overall, I recommend watching it.  You don't have to see it in theaters.  You can watch it when it comes out on disc or Netflix or whatnot, but be sure to watch it sometime.  I hope you get some enjoyment out of it, as I did.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was not horrific as I was expecting it to be.  I will soon be checking for others reviews. I forced myself not to listen to any reviews or comments about the film until I saw it.  I wanted to watch it myself without knowing what other people think.  This was a highly controversial installment because a lot of people thought it was going to be horrible before they even saw it.  The trailers do not do this movie justice.  The movie has its flaws and shortcomings, but it was a fun watch in my opinion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mental Illness and Shame

Having a mental illness or diagnosis of some mental condition can be a source of shame for anyone.  What mental illness actually is can be a vague subject at times.  Is it caused by biological and genetic factors, environmental and cultural circumstances, a combination of many external and internal factors?  I do think that the model and understanding of what mental illness is needs to be updated and reviewed, but that is not the point of this entry.  My main intention here is to not be ashamed if you have a mental illness, and to seek out help when you need it.  Going to a therapist, psychiatrist, mental health professional etc. does not mean you are crazy, insane, dangerous, etc.  In fact, when you are dealing with mental, emotional, or cognitive illnesses, seeking out help is a sign of sanity.

Just like our bodies can be injured or endure illness, our minds, our brains, our neurological "equipment", can falter and become damaged or ill as well.  How this happens is a matter to be researched and looked into, but when you need help, seek it.  Don't feel bad if you need to be hospitalized, or prescribed medications.  You have to take care of your health and be safe to yourself and others, before you can be any use to yourself or anyone else.

I also would encourage, in addition to taking care of your physical and mental health, to pray for help in finding the right doctors, the right course of treatment, the right medications, diet etc.  Pray for those who are treating you, and ask God to guide them.

And also remember, that no one is perfect, and no one can read your mind, so be honest about what is troubling you or going on in your life.  But never feel ashamed for seeking out mental health.  Not everything in our lives, including our own minds and emotions, can be controlled completely.  Seek help when things which are out of your control begin to overwhelm your life and your ability to function.  A lot of people who need mental health help don't look for it, and the ones who do look for help are usually the most healthy because they are cognizant that they need help and recognize their own limitations.  Again, it is a sign of sanity to seek professional help when you are having mental struggles.  Don't let anyone put you down for seeking help.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Game Daze #6: "Uncharted" Entry 1

I work at Amazon, and currently they are advertising the new game Uncharted 4 on many of their packages.  I mentioned to someone that I have the first 3 Uncharted games for Playstation 3 yet have not played any of them, upon which she replied I should play them.

I started playing the first game tonight.  I began the game on Normal Difficulty setting, hoping I can handle the game at that level.  The game starts out with the main character Nathan Drake uncovering an empty tomb of sailor Francis Drake, which contains a diary with his notes and maps and diagrams that lead to a supposed gold treasure of El Dorado.  The first playable portion of the game starts off with pirates attacking your ship at sea and you are required to fend them off.  There is combat using your handgun and you can also fight hand to hand.  I died once in this segment but was able to finish this section pretty quickly.  What I have learned about gaming is that I am not very good at combat that requires good aim.  The combat in the game is intense and can be frustrating if you get killed frequently.  One of the things I want to do in this column on gaming is to point out the features and options in games that I like, and those that I don't like, and also speculate on what kind of game I would like to make in the future, based on these observations, when I am able to program a game myself, or coordinate one with other people interested in creating a video game with me.

But the combat is frustrating when I keep getting killed.  The first two chapters and beginning of the third involve a lot of platform jumping, climbing, monkey swinging on vines, and other acrobatic feats and simple puzzle solving and environmental puzzles and tasks to advance in the game.  There is one portion where you have to outrun a bunch of collapsing platforms and wooden bridges and jump for dear life to the last ledge of an underground area.  I died a couple of times in this part but eventually made it through alive.

The game uses a checkpoint save system where the game automatically saves at specified points in the game, usually occurring after a difficult puzzle or action sequence.  Personally, I like this kind of save system better than a save anywhere orientation.  I stopped playing during the third chapter in which there is a lot of combat and shooting, and I kept dying, so I am taking a rest from the game, and hope to get further on tomorrow.

So far the game seems promising.  As long as the combat isn't too difficult, and the puzzles are interesting, this seems like a promising game and promising series.  As my co-worker said at work, it must be a good series if they are on the 4th game.  So far I have enjoyed the puzzles and platform jumping action, and as long as the combat does not overwhelm me, I will play the game until I finish it.  It is fun so far.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Game Daze #5: "Baldur's Gate" Final Entry

I have occasionally been playing Baldur's Gate but this time cheating using a Save Game editor called "Gatekeeper".  It allows editing of stats and other attributes of characters in your party in the game.  At first, I just edited my characters hitpoints, or life, so that I could actually get into fights without getting killed everytime.  Eventually though I came across some enemies who had the ability to kill with one hit, and I realized I needed to edit my Saving throw stats so that I would not die from these attacks.  I also gave my characters the best weapons they could carry.  I have now reached a point where even with all this cheating, there is still an enemy I cannot defeat, and I have apparently edited my characters such that the game crashes when I engage in a certain battle.  I have officially decided that I am quitting this game for good, and will now give some final remarks on what I think of the game in general.

This game is far too difficult to anyone who is not very skilled at strategy and computer roleplaying games.  Even with cheating I still could not defeat a fairly early boss enemy in the game.  If you are a roleplaying game fanatic, you don't need me to tell you about this game.  You probably have already beaten it.  The story is immersive, but if you can't get into fights without dying, you can't progress in the story.  I ultimately cannot recommend this game to any one who is not  a hardcore computer RPG fanatic.  It is far too difficult and frustrating, and even when I tried cheating so that I could continue in the game and progress through the plot, it still was too difficult, and then the game started crashing.  So if you can find a way to cheat and get through the game, go ahead and try it.  In the end, I cannot recommend you spend your money or your time on this game, unless you are prepared to die a lot, and get frustrated, and are hardcore in this type of game.  The only way I would play a game like this again would be if there were a simple cheat which did not allow any of your characters to die, essentially a "God mode" or invulnerability cheat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why Am I Not An Atheist?

Today I was reading some reviews on Amazon of Christopher Hitchens' booklength condemnation of Mother Teresa, called "The Missionary Position".  I frequently read books written by people I disagree with, such as Richard Dawkins' book "The God Delusion".  I was looking through some of Hitchens' other books, such as "god is not great" and "The Portable Atheist", and considering whether I should read them anytime soon.  Sometimes reading writings of people I disagree with helps me to understand why other people believe what they do, or points out flaws in my own thinking and beliefs, or the arguments I use to bolster them, or it helps me see the flaws in other's thinking in addition to my own.

So I have thought about reading some of Hitchens' work.  I have considered reading some of the writings of him as well as other atheists.  The truth is, the subject doesn't interest me all that much.  I have decided that I could never be an atheist.  In thinking about this subject, I asked myself why I could never be an atheist.  Even when I did not actively believe in God, I still had a concept of God which I had sort of floating around in my thoughts and actions.  The reason is that I believe that of all the things, persons, or beings which exist, there is one particular being which is greater, more important, more real, than all the rest.  There is some being which is always and everywhere present, has always and will always exist, and which has infinite dominion over all the rest of the beings which exist.

I also believe that everything else that exists was created out of nothing by this being, and the existence of everything else that exists depends upon this one ultimate higher being.  This being is existence itself, and out of this being which is existence, are created other beings who could not exist without a permanent eternal all powerful being whose nature and essence is existence itself.  There is a thing called existence, which is existent by necessity.  Even if I do not call this being God, it is a law of reason and logic that existence must exist.  Existence cannot not exist.  A and not A cannot both be true.  If anything exists, it is existence itself.  If nothing exists, then neither can an idea or principle of existence be real.  And even if nothing existed, the idea of nonexistence would exist, which is a logical absurdity, and a contradiction, and thus cannot be true.  We know something exists, even if it is just sensory impressions and perceptions, so we know that existence exists.  So even if I did not believe or name a being called God, I would still believe in existence or being, and the source of all being, I eventually explored and gave the name "God".  The source of all existence and being I call God.  Once I have established the basic principle of all being, in this case the principle of existence, then I can explore and investigate the nature and attributes and details of this source of all being, and my own relationship to this being.

The next reason for why I could not be an atheist is my relationship to Jesus Christ.  While I can speculate with arguments of reason, logic, and other tools available to the practice of natural religion and theology, Jesus makes the whole study of God much easier and more profound.  My belief in Jesus was more founded on aesthetic principles than just logical or rational analysis.  Jesus is beautiful.  His teaching and His life are beautiful.  His emptying of Himself, and His entrance into our world as one of us, His entering into out suffering and participating in our trials and tribulations, His offering up of Himself in the bloody Passion that was the result of our sins and turning away from God, His enduring through the same pains that we suffer and even worse, to bring us back into right relationship with our Father and Creator, these are the beautiful acts of love which drew me to Jesus and enticed me to attempt to believe in Him as the Son of God, Lord and Savior of all creation, and the source and center of my life.  All I want to do is follow Jesus, and live as He wants me to live, and to know and love God with all my heart, soul, and strength, and help all those who choose to do the same.  I can debunk atheism through natural theology, but I live my belief in God through following and emulating Christ and His love for God and for His children.  Through reason, I eliminate atheism as a viable belief system.  Through Christ, I eliminate atheism as a beautiful or even an interesting belief system.  While I respect some of the ideas, beliefs, and actions of many atheists, if I determine my beliefs merely by process of eliminating the false philosophies, I would first eliminate atheism from my list of possible principles to believe in.

For these and other reasons and reasonings, I am not an atheist.