Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Gman on Drugs RePost -because I hate having a temporal anomaly at the top of my blog.

No, I'm not on drugs. No, seriously, I'm not.

The Gman on Drugs
OK, maybe I indulge in caffeine and ethanol a little bit but I am not on drugs, thanks for misinterpreting the title of this post.

This post is my opinions on the decriminalization and demonizing of drugs in our serendipitous society.

That's right, you heard me, I am all for drugs being decriminalized (or rather, legalized). And my reasoning for this is NOT BECAUSE I AM A DRUG ADDICT, MMMMKAYY?

No, I have several logically sound and understandable reasons for supporting the legalization of drugs. Perhaps not all drugs, I am willing to make concessions. But there is something seriously wrong with our society if we persecute Bill and Ben the flower pot men, when Benson and Hedges are killing millions, one Marlboro at a time.

Which is the other way we could go... Criminalize every drug there is. I don't think this is the solution either because it would fuel the criminal underworld as they make more and more money off the lucrative drug trade.

Legalizing drugs serves several purposes:

Firstly, it eliminates all drug related profits that fund organized crime.

Secondly, government regulation means that drugs can have quality control. This WILL save lives. Currently, street drugs have all kinds of nasties in them. If the drug doesn't kill then that Arsenic in your "H" will.

Don't misunderstand me, there are plenty of additives to cigarettes and they are legal, but any man or woman can go to a tobacconist and acquire some additive free pipe tobacco. (Although I would be much happier if they just banned those additives all together).

My last and final reason is that legalizing all drugs eliminates the current hypocrisy that I mentioned before. What hypocrisy? The fact that harmless drugs like Lysurgic Acid and Cannabis are illegal but harmful drugs such as Alcohol and Nicotine are readily available. For the record I don't think alcohol is that bad although this is because I am a shameless alcoholic.

Nicotine certainly is is bad though. And LSD and THC (active ingredient in cannabis, along with a few other chemicals) have no detrimental long term or short term effects. If you disagree, then please post me an abstract of a scientific paper that supports your view, because I have searched and searched and found no journal papers to contradict my views. In my honest opinion, the prohibition of hallucinogens and cannabinoids was a knee jerk reaction by western governments at a time of political conservatism.

There is one danger of decriminalizing drugs; it will make drugs readily available. As if they are not readily available already....

Again, though, I am willing to make a concession here. First option is just to decriminalize but not legalize hardcore drugs (ie, using the drug is legal but selling it is not) and legalizing the softer drugs. The other option I am more than happy with is to prohibit all nicotine related products and legalize pot, acid, dmt and the other soft drugs whilst keeping all the other hardcore drugs illegal.

Perhaps you don't agree with such a decision, that's okay. But I think we can all agree that drug abusers need to be treated as victims, not criminals. Unless they are addicted to WOW. In which case they are criminals.

Anyway, I shall leave you with my vain and futile attempts at creating an anti drug ad using only fraps, fallout new vegas and ms paint, enjoy.



That hot jet black blazoned ballistic-fisted bitch is my beloved Sarah. She is level 18 and spends her time fisting deathclaws and lezzing out with Veronica.

Public vs Private and sc2 shenanigans

First might I just say that I'm sinking back into the old habit of playing sc2 instead of winning at life. oh well.
I introduced my 8 year old nephew to 4's randoms today. It was a very facepalmy affair, but he was very keen to try it and he's also sick to death of doing co ops where I carry him like well... an 8 year old.

We still won some matches though and the matches we lost didn't affect my place on the 4v4 random diamond ladder, not that it matters. It's hard to take 4v4 seriously. I am still anticipating the day where we both roll zerg with 2 zerg allies, If there is one thing Liam excels at it is 6 pooling.

Anyway now for my blog's namesake. As much as I admire the human race and that despite how evil the system is, I still have food in my belly and a roof over my head. Nevertheless, there are a few niggling things that we representational nations need to change. As a start we should murder all private health insurers and burn down all private schools, with a rusty knife and petroleum respectively.

We need to eliminate private health and private education. Sounds ludicrous right? Ridiculous? Nonsensical? That's ok, I just ask you to hear me out.

Al of you dear readers believe in free education and health right? That even if you are born to the poorest family on earth, you still deserve an education because it is not your fault that your parents' spend all their money on the pokies and beer?That you still deserve to be seen by the doctor despite the fact that you couldn't afford college and had to work your ass off at el cheapo-mart that barely let's you pay the bills?

Sure you do. If you don't then I'm sorry but you need to walk a few miles in the shoes of someone who faces these problems. Then you need to give those shoes back because they are not yours and stealing is wrong mmmkay.

So we have established that free health care and education for all is a good thing but why does that mean private health and education needs to go? Surely they can happily work together side by side?

To which the answer is a reluctant yes, because although the system still works with both public and private options being available, unless it is heavily regulated, private health and education catalyzes the decay in the public system. Which, ladies and gentlemen, results in discrimination. Since the respective private systems are much better than the public, the financially challenged have to endure the public system and are at a disadvantage to those who can afford and happily pay for private health and education.

I would have thought in such a politically correct world, that discrimination would be quashed by now, but obviously class warfare is still alive and strong. Not that it's that great for the rich either. They are the people who are literally paying for it. So let's end this once and for all. So we can learn and live well once and for all. Instead of being left to die on the street just because the paramedics don't see a health insurance card in your wallet.

The Gman on Drugs

No, I'm not on drugs. No, seriously, I'm not.

The Gman on Drugs
OK, maybe I indulge in caffeine and ethanol a little bit but I am not on drugs, thanks for misinterpreting the title of this post.

This post is my opinions on the decriminalization and demonizing of drugs in our serendipitous society.

That's right, you heard me, I am all for drugs being decriminalized (or rather, legalized). And my reasoning for this is NOT BECAUSE I AM A DRUG ADDICT, MMMMKAYY?

No, I have several logically sound and understandable reasons for supporting the legalization of drugs. Perhaps not all drugs, I am willing to make concessions. But there is something seriously wrong with our society if we persecute Bill and Ben the flower pot men, when Benson and Hedges are killing millions, one Marlboro at a time.

Which is the other way we could go... Criminalize every drug there is. I don't think this is the solution either because it would fuel the criminal underworld as they make more and more money off the lucrative drug trade.

Legalizing drugs serves several purposes:

Firstly, it eliminates all drug related profits that fund organized crime.

Secondly, government regulation means that drugs can have quality control. This WILL save lives. Currently, street drugs have all kinds of nasties in them. If the drug doesn't kill then that Arsenic in your "H" will.

Don't misunderstand me, there are plenty of additives to cigarettes and they are legal, but any man or woman can go to a tobacconist and acquire some additive free pipe tobacco. (Although I would be much happier if they just banned those additives all together).

My last and final reason is that legalizing all drugs eliminates the current hypocrisy that I mentioned before. What hypocrisy? The fact that harmless drugs like Lysurgic Acid and Cannabis are illegal but harmful drugs such as Alcohol and Nicotine are readily available. For the record I don't think alcohol is that bad although this is because I am a shameless alcoholic.

Nicotine certainly is is bad though. And LSD and THC (active ingredient in cannabis, along with a few other chemicals) have no detrimental long term or short term effects. If you disagree, then please post me an abstract of a scientific paper that supports your view, because I have searched and searched and found no journal papers to contradict my views. In my honest opinion, the prohibition of hallucinogens and cannabinoids was a knee jerk reaction by western governments at a time of political conservatism.

There is one danger of decriminalizing drugs; it will make drugs readily available. As if they are not readily available already....

Again, though, I am willing to make a concession here. First option is just to decriminalize but not legalize hardcore drugs (ie, using the drug is legal but selling it is not) and legalizing the softer drugs. The other option I am more than happy with is to prohibit all nicotine related products and legalize pot, acid, dmt and the other soft drugs whilst keeping all the other hardcore drugs illegal.

Perhaps you don't agree with such a decision, that's okay. But I think we can all agree that drug abusers need to be treated as victims, not criminals. Unless they are addicted to WOW. In which case they are criminals.

Anyway, I shall leave you with my vain and futile attempts at creating an anti drug ad using only fraps, fallout new vegas and ms paint, enjoy.


video

That hot jet black blazoned ballistic-fisted bitch is my beloved Sarah. She is level 18 and spends her time fisting deathclaws and lezzing out with Veronica.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Mandatory Religious Post.

 Readers, you never cease to amaze and amuse with your comments. The last two posts weren't easy topics either and I can't help but wonder what is the difference between gender discrimination and a man and a woman just doing whatever they can to stay on top. I am going to leave that topic to rest for now. And so now it is time for a religious post because they are the least common post of mine.

I am beginning to dislike doing religious posts. There is only so many ways I can say "God doesn't exist" and every time someone says "God doesn't exist", God kills a kitten.

Like this one.


So instead of killing kittens, I am gong to discuss some key differences in monotheism and polytheism and my pussy placating opinions on them.

What are monotheism and polytheism? Monotheism is the belief in one god and one god only. Polytheism is the belief that many gods exist.

If you have read my post on the first cause argument, then you probably can recall that a problem with the existence of a god is the origin of that god. Polytheism gets around that without resorting to the weaselly "He exists outside of time". The origin of the god/s is simply the mother of said god/s. Problem solved. And the origin of the mother of the god is simply another godlke mother, and so forth. Not all polytheistic religions prescribe to this, many of them draw the line a few generations back. I admire the analogy to human lineage and the ingenious belaying of the first cause.

The biggest problem of polytheism though, is not it's plausibility. The scientific side of me says that the existence of a god is equally as probably as the existence of many. No, it is the appeal of monotheism over polytheism that makes polytheism seem weak..

There is a deep seated psychological appeal in one all powerful masculine god. One divine bloke, that has absolute power over your destiny. One bloke that can solve all your problems in a heartbeat, all He asks is you to follow the rules of His universe and love Him as much as He loves you. Sound familiar? That was my father when I was 5 years old. All Powerful and All Knowing.

This isn't a new concept, many other writers before me have sagely pointed out the similarities of a monotheistic god and a child's interpretation of his/her own father.

In puberty, our god is shattered as we find out that our fathers are not omniscient and omnipotent. We are fatherless and that's where god comes in.To fill in that paternal void.  For all you religious gurus out there, I pray that you are not offended. I couldn't ignore the obvious.

Polytheistic religions try to fill this void too, but when there are other gods on the scene, the "father"  god seems less important, less omnipotent and less unique.

Again, this doesn't affect the plausibility of polytheism. However, people do not believe in gods out of scientific plausibility. We believe in gods out of emotion and personal thoughts, needs and desires, which makes monotheism by far the most believable.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Gender in General

Last post I discussed the gender power imbalance on the internet, inspired by my inability to transcend the gender role divide and cook. I burnt down the kitchen :(


Not my kitchen, but close.
I don't want to talk about it...

I'm all for breaking down gender stereotypes though. Aside from this incident I do cook more than just the furniture, and it tastes delicious. The trick is to render the recliner with  radish relish before roasting.

Thanks for all the comments last post by the way,. The prevalent opinion of non-existent women on the internet supports my hypothesis on all internet women being transsexuals. Meanwhile the  "women" commentators happily ignored this and posted nice comments anyway. :D :D :D

I digress...

There are many ways that our society discriminates against gender.  It is important though not to get side tracked and support one gender and not the other. Feminism falls into this trap. I fell into this trap too once. When I was younger I used to think that behind the scenes it was women who ruled the world, men might have held all the apparent power but each man had a wife and each and every man did exactly as his wife ordered. Ergo women rule the world through proxy via superior social power (in actual fact it is the babies who rule the world, since all women do exactly as their baby requires).

I am quite serious, that is what my high school self firmly believed. Maybe it is true, but doesn't mean that men don't mistreat women based on gender either. As I stated in the last post, men clearly do mistreat women. Both genders hurt each other in different ways, and in sometimes the same way. I'm sure you have heard the innumerable cases of women mutilating their husband's pride and joy. That's like cutting off a woman's clit. For the record, men are guilty of this too.

These are extreme cases but in some parts of the world they are not crimes. This needs to change.

For all of you who, like me, live in western nations, gender discrimination is a lot softer and subtler but that doesn't mean we should sit by and let it happen.

Let me give you an example: Deliberately hiring a female candidate instead of a male because the employer feels that he/she needs more females in his/her firm in order to not look like they discriminate is discrimination. That's bad. Just as bad as hiring a man instead of a woman because the employer doesn't want to pay for maternity leave down the track.

Speaking of maternity leave... I support paid maternity leave. But I also support paid paternity leave. It's not fair for a man to be away from the house when his woman and his child needs him most. He needs to be there. It's a crucial time for the baby and its a make-or-break time for the relationship.

Another example: How many times have you blokes dressed up to the nines to go out clubbing yet been turned away by the bouncer because you're "not dressed appropriately" and yet the hot girl behind you in thongs and a boob tube goes right in? That is discrimination.

Then there is the fact that men never get offered secretarial positions and that only hot women get to work behind the bars at clubs (with a few exceptions). But then, women are never chosen to be laborers or bouncers (if it can be helped).

There are countless more examples but the point is that we need to do every little bit that we can to stop gender role stereotyping and gender discrimination.

So please dear readers! Do your part!  Hire sexy male secretaries! Promote women wrestlers and weightlifters!



You know you want to...









And for god's sake, let me into the club damnit!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

On Gender Online

You can thank the feminine commentators on my blog for this post. Once it got over 20% and after reading Erika's post on Girl On The Internet Syndrome (the web's version of mesothelioma), I felt obliged to post.

First let me give you my honesty on the matter. Girls on the internet scare me. After years of persuading women IRL that I am not a keyboard jockey, I find it disturbing that there are women who would claim that they ARE keyboard jockeys... Do they have no libido? Has evolution granted them an uber-libido that makes them want to sleep with the internet as well? Or perhaps they are just male to female transsexuals in need of some loving. That must be it.

I baulk at the sight of innocent men pandering to the effeminate side of humanity online. That includes me too. There is something wrong about it. How easily men sell their soul to someone they have never met and never will.

So how does all this relate to war, religion and politics?

It relates to all three. In a sense there is the age old battle of the sexes being waged online. Men worshiping the fabled GOTIS is a religion and gender politics is exactly that.

I am not sure how much of a war it is though... It seems rather one sided. In the male dominated forums, white knights protect the few females and in the female dominated forums, the few men there are gay.

Perhaps I over exaggerate.

I do think it is wrong to put women on a pedestal. It is degrading to the man doing so and in the long run it only hurts both parties. It is expectancy theory. If everyone expects you to be a genius then you will be a genius, if everyone expects you to be a man, you will be a man, but if everyone expects you to be a princess... Then you will be a princess... Until you finally wake up to the reality that you are just another woman living in a cruel world that only values you for your vagina.

So guys, I ask you. Please treat women the same way you would treat a man. If that means verbally abusing them and accusing them of being a 40 year old virgin then so be it. Because they deserve to be recognized solely on their merit, nothing else.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Irrelevant Starcraft Post

Forget war, religion and politics, I am going to be selfish and make an off topic post.

This morning I woke up at 1am with a pirate's hangover (Let's just say I was drinking on "stranger tides" on Sunday). After doing my usual routine My nephew joined me for a few 4v4 randoms. If you have read any of my previous posts you will know that my now-nine-year-old nephew is terrible at starcraft. But this morning, he was not playing like a 9 year old at all. He actually had good macro, for the first ten minutes of the game he always had less than 400 minerals. I was so proud, but what truly made me smile was this:

 The green marines are mine and the cute little pink marines are Liam's and we are just about to break through the wall off of an unfortunate teching terran. As you can tell by the time, our marine builds were not ideal, I'm sure if a master was trying to get as many marines out by 6 minutes they would have done a better job, but as the mineral count shows, our macro wasn't too bad.

Here is us killing the zerg. Now this zerg was particularly troublesome because he single-handedly speedlinged and caused the ragequit of our random protoss ally (our allies were pretty useless btw, we carried them like babies).

Here is us storming the front of one of the two protoss opponents.



And now here is us attempting to take out our last remaining foe. It did not work though, for his carriers simply retreated out of range of the marines but kept them within his own carriers' killing range.

This did not bother us in the slightest, for when he attacked our bases, his base was undefended, allowing me to finish him off with a few remaining marines.


 
I was so proud of my nephew this morning. He is now no longer a one trick 6 pooling pony but a marine massing master.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Top 6 National External Debts

Sovereign debt as a % of GDP can be misleading. GDP can be misleading; it does not distinguish consumerism from production. So nations with a high GDP but with a primarily import economy may have a harder time paying off their sovereign debt. And so here are the top 6 countries when it comes to external debt.

Now a word of warning, this list is equally misleading, because it does not take into account debts owed to the country in question nor overseas assets and it includes private debt as well. So it is more of an analysis of the economy of the country as a whole in terms of production vs consumption.



6. Japan

I was going to make this another top 5 but when I saw number 6 on the list I couldn't help myself. The cause of their $2,246,000,000,000 USD debt is the same reason for its public debt, their boomer generation has grown old and now consumes much more than they produce.







5. Netherlands

I have no idea why Netherlands is on this list with a debt of $2,344,296,360,000 USD. I did a little bit of digging and the Dutch economy is strong, in fact they have a trade surplus. Each year their exports earn a lot more than their imports. That said the Netherlands does have a nice hefty 62.7% public debt by GDP but this is less than half a trillion dollars. It could be explained by the trade side of their economy. Typically trade economies have a large amount of both creditors and debtors and this may have skewed the figures.







4. France

With the second largest economy in Europe, France is number 4 on the list with a debt of $4,698,000,000,000 USD. While France does have a large economy, it has has a large trade deficit. French imports exceed exports and let's not forget their whopping large public debt (~1.6trillion USD)




3. Germany

 Germany has the largest economy in Europe and has an even bigger external debt than France. Like the Netherlands, it is puzzling to see Germany on this list because Germany has a marginal trade surplus. Some of this is undoubtedly due to Germany's large public debt of approximately ~2.5 trillion USD. Germany's external debt is $4,713,000,000,000USD









 2. United Kingdom

 In second place with an external debt of $8,981,000,000,000USD is mother England. So how did the UK claim it's rightful place as number two? Britain had it's hey-day back in the colonial era where it made a tonne of cash by exploiting the colonies and this got even more lucrative with the industrial revolution. One particularly large trade triangle was between Africa and the US. Slaves were shipped over to America from Africa by British trading ships and then the US would ship basic foodstuffs and raw materials to Britain who would then make manufactured goods and ship it back to America.

Unfortunately for Britain, after the American Civil War, the US had its own manufacturing industry and it was booming. Britain could not compete with it.

Another source of income for Britain was colonial debt. When England colonized places like Australia they gave the colony the bill to pay for their big investment in colonizing the place. The colonies have been paying off their debt since.

In World War 2 though, Britain borrowed a lot of money from the US to keep their war effort going. After the war, the US used this debt to pressure. England into giving up her precious colonies. Ever since, the UK has been an import economy and has been racking up debt.





And the WINNER is..................................



































1. The United States of America. That's right, The US is still number one when it comes to gross debt. Back in September 2010 the US debt ascertained the lofty height of $14,392,451,000,000 and it is only growing larger. Why is it so high? Partially because of it's public debt but also due to it's economy as a whole. The US, like the UK, had it's peak but now its manufacturing industries have long since died to the Asian markets. The US is now an import economy and is losing money. Remember how I said in my last post that the US could pay off it's debt? I take that back. How do you pay off a debt when the nation's GDP is all imports?


So to my American audience, be proud. You are still number one!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Top 5 Sovereign Debts (by % of GDP)

Struggling with your home mortgage? Having a hard time paying off that last credit card bill? Or maybe that car loan is getting you financially bogged down. Well, you ain't got nothing on these 5 nations...

5. Greece



Like the US, Greece had a financial boom in the naughties but then crashed in 2009 and it's GDP has been falling since. Is this the reason for it's whopping 142.8% of GDP debt? Of course not. No this is an issue that has long been largely ignored by the respective Greek governments. Greece is a country rife with political and economical corruption so it is no surprise that they have done little to stem the rising tide of debt until they were recently faced with the possibility of defaulting on their loans. The International Monetary Fund agreed to bail them out in May 2010 provided they curb their spending .

4. Zimbabwe



The cause of Zimbabwe's 149% of GDP debt is simple: Robert Mugabe's mismanagement of the economy and the government budget. Mugabe was never particularly good with balancing the budget and when he started nationalizing Caucasian-run farms, the economy took a rapid downward spiral and hyperinflation took root which of course resulted in exponentially decreasing tax receipts (in terms of real value, as opposed to Zimbabwe dollars whose value is approaching zero faster than a Kenyan running down to the local KFC).

3.Lebanon



In third place is Lebanon with a debt that is 150.7% of its GDP. AS to the cause of it's debt, look no further than its war with Israel in 2006. Wars cost money, and this war was no different.

2.Saint Kitts and Nevis



Surprisingly in second place, with a debt of 185% of its GDP comes these two islands in the West Indies. Never heard of them? No? Neither have I.


1.Japan



 No surprises here. Japan's debt is 225.8% of it's GDP. How did it get so high?
Japan's debt is primarily demographically driven. Remember how Japan was an economic superpower back in the 80's? Everything remotely technological was made in Japan during that time. Well the generation of young Japanese entrepreneurs and power workers that fueled that boom have all grown old. Too old to pay their taxes. Instead of reacting to this by curbing their spending or raising taxes, the successive Japanese governments have resorted to borrowing more and more money. It is interesting to note that a lot of it comes from the US...


Speaking of the US... Did you think it would be on the list? I would have thought so. But in a material world like the one we live in, the US comes a lousy 36th when it comes to public debt. It only has a measly 58.9% debt as a % of GDP. Which means that it can realistically pay of it's debt unlike some countries...

My home country, Australia is 107th on the list which doesn't give me any relief in the slightest. A debt of 22.4% of our GDP is not going to be easy to pay off. Thanks a lot Kevin Rudd. Thanks for stimulating our debt with your little package.

Source: Wikipedia of course! all figures are from 2010

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

First Cause Argument Continued

I was going to post this earlier, but dinner preparations have delayed me. For some reason, after successfully making uber gigantic cupcakes by bastardising  Margaret Fulton's recipe, I am the cook of the house. Little did they know that I had prepared for them a meal greasier than the two fat ladies on cannabis.

 The Gman's Cupcakes of Doom. Guaranteed to send Maggie Fulton mad with anguish at what has become of her recipe...


I got a lot of interesting comments last post. I definitely stirred up the hive, and I think I may have not done the topic justice. Civilization has forever been perplexed by this puzzle and so it deserves some more time (for all those muso's and hypnosis guros out there... see what I did there?).

I digress. It's a topic most people don't want to discuss but that is the purpose of this blog really, to discuss what every non-indoctrinated free thinker does not want to discuss

Just like Cheshire commented on my last post, Big-Bangers and Creationists are very much alike.
They are both locked in an impasse when it comes to disproving the other.

In light of the other comments, perhaps the question that should be asked is whether the first cause argument has any merit anymore. The Big Bang's premise is that time existed when space existed, asking what happened before the big bang makes no sense and as for God, God lives outside of time. If we assume these to be true then the first cause argument falls flat on it's face and does not argue for or against anything. It still does not stop Christians from using it though.

Reflecting on my last post, I think I have willingly fallen into the age old trap that Dawkins refers to as the argument from "personal incredulity". I want String Theory to be true because a timeless god makes about as much sense as an event with no cause.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Religion: My problem with the first cause argument



I'm going to do my usual thing and talk about how awesome my life is (apart from being dirt poor) before i get into the main meat of the post. Yesterday I was conscripted into a nice little family outing with my two older sisters, their friends and of course my adorable niece and nephew. We spent the day at Seaworld, it was fun, but I guess as you get older amusement parks seem less and less fun.

Mostly my older sister took care of my niece which consisted of having to sit with her on the merry-go-round all day. I spent the day accompanying my nephew on all the exciting rides he could barely go on and then cheering him up after being told he was too short for some of the rides. The highlight of the day was high ropes course with maybe the dolphin show coming a close second (I think I shall have to do a post on how humans treat dolphins at some stage).

My neice's souvenir from seaworld, which I kidnapped from her room.


The high ropes scared me. I was shuddering in fear the whole way through. I was there accompanying my young and therefore too-short-to-go-on-the-course-unaccompanied nephew which meant that any 50m high tightrope he walked, I had to do too. If he was scared he certainly didn't show it, he just kept walking rickety rope after rickety rope.

It was a fun day and I came back exhausted. Which is interesting because this next topic is not quite so fun but equally exhausting.

Why does the universe exist in the state it is in? Every effect must have a cause, ergo the universe must have a cause... 


So what caused the universe? Well, duh, it's god. Who else could have done it? It would have had to have been a god!

This little argument is called the first cause argument. At first it seems like a solid argument for the existence of god. That is until we start applying the same logic to god:

So what caused god's existence? God himself must have a cause otherwise he wouldn't exist? Did another god create god? If so then where did the other god come from, who created HIM?

To which christians and theists alike will claim "ah but God exists outside of time!"

That is a contrived statement. It sounds like absolute bullshit. Big-Banging atheists are just as bad (as opposed to gang-banging atheists who seem quite "gansta"). You ask them what caused the big bang and they will not know. They will claim that the question is ludicrous because time did not exist before the big bang.

Another contrived answer. All events must have causes! Even the popping into existence of time itself!. At this point in the discussion, quantum mechanics, fresh from repairing physicist Bob's old quantum will say that causality didn't exist in the big bang. Quantum mechanics does my head in with the rusty old ratchet he uses to fix singularities in black holes.

Now the scientific community ain't all that bad with respect to this conundrum. There are a few hero phsyicists, vainly trying to prove/disprove string theory so that their explanation of "universal membranes colliding together to create big bangs" will solve this puzzle.

Sound confusing, doesn't it? It isn't as bad as you think though...
The premise is that if a universe can be imagined as a big rubber sheet with gravity creating dints in it then what happens if there are two or more universes in close proximity with each other? What happens if their gravitic dints touch each other? The answer is a big bang. Thus the universe has a cause.

I hope string theorists have success with proving their hypothesis, because  right now the unexplained first cause conundrum is the biggest concept leveling the playing field between Theism and Atheism.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Great Generals -Georgy Zhukov

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the hero of the Russian Empire....

Marshall... GEEEEORGY ZHUUUUKOV!

Georgy Zhukov, the best Russian Zerg Rusher of all time
Now at this point I could copy-paste from wikipedia or even paraphrase... but that's not necessary and would make this short article long and boring. Instead of talking about WHO Zhukov was, I'm just going to talk about WHY he was so damn awesome.

Firstly, he kicked Japan's butt in Russia and Japan's little border war at the start of World War 2 (before Germany signed the defensive pact with Japan).

Now Stalin, being quite paranoid, was suspicious of Zhukov's success and promptly demoted him (which is a lot better than being killed by the Russian secret police which is what Stalin tended to do).

Operation Barbarossa (Germany's invasion of Russia), saw the soviets losing more and more territory. Germany laid siege to Leningrad (aka ST Petersburg, aka Petrograd, former capital of Russia under Tsar rule), Stalin saw some sense for once and in September 1941 he was made commander of the Leningrad front where he promptly kicked nazi ass.

Then when the Germans laid siege to Stalingrad, Zhukov was sent there and led the soviets to victory, despite the fact that they had previously been pushed back to occupy the west bank, only 10% of the city. Zhukov flanked the Axis army, causing the Italians who were guarding the German flanks to route and then proceeded to encircle them.

Now the battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in the history of the war. Historians agree that after the soviet victory at Stalingrad there was no possible way the Germans could conquer Russia. The Russian reversal had begun.

The highlight of Zhukov's career though, was the battle of Kursk. The Kursk salient was a big soviet bulge that was a major eyesore for Hitler and the German high command. Their reaction was expected; blitzkreig the hell out of the Kursk bulge and shorten their defensive line. Zhukov was expecting this and proceeded to fortify Kursk and prepare the perfect counter.

Geoergy's strategem was defense in depth. Defense in depth is nothing new, it is an age old strategy. It was used countless times in medieval warfare, trench warfare and was even used by Hannibal with the result of slaughtering ten Roman legions at once.

It's simple: the defender deliberately gives up ground in order to weaken the attacker. This is usually doen by setting up directional defenses which can be progressively abandoned. The defenses are directional in that they only protect the inhabitants in one direction, so once the attackers takes them, the attackers gain no advantage, only ground. In the process of this the attackers get shot at. Simple, easy.

Yet despite it's simplicity, there were doubts of it working. Before the battle of Kursk, nothing could withstand a German Blitzkreig in full force. The soviets had one battles against the Germans before, but not against a blitzkrieg and not against double encirclement.

Kursk was proof that, the blitzkreig could be countered. Zhukov happily let the german Panzer and Tiger divisions gain their ground (with heayv losses) and then launched a vicious counterattack upon the survivors. At this point, the Eastern front was lost to the Germans. After the battle of Kursk, the Soviet Russia won battle after battle and invaded Germany.

What a hero. That said there are some thing I don't like the about Georgy. Firstly, although he won a lot of battles, he almost always had numerical superiority, but then again, maybe he was an expert at picking his battles.


Another sore point is the fact that he was in charge of the soviet forces occupying Hungary after the war.

Apart from that though, he was a good general and to some extent a good politician because unlike all the other good Russian generals at the time, Stalin didn't try to kill him (Stalin bled the country white with Great Purge).

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Pre Emptive Post

So by popular demand looks like I'm going to do a post about Georgy Zhukov. But not this post.
This post I would like to reflect on your feedback and tell you a personal anecdote. So sit down, get yourself some popcorn and relax.

But do me a favor guys, please don't post "nice post" or "nice blog". If you going to comment then make it worthwhile and tell me what you like about the post. Or better yet, tell me what you don't like. I'm not adverse to constructive criticism, only destructive witticisms...

AS for the rest of you... I love you like Ronald McDonald loves children. :D

Some readers have taken an interest in my interest in starcraft. Starcraft is an awesome game, which I am somewhat addicted to, much to my dismay and I do think it reflects some aspects of warfare. But guys, no matter what you do, do not share this sentiment with the defense force

See, once upon a time I applied to BE an army officer. So I went in there and aced the aptitude test so hard that immediately every single job in the deference force was an option. Then I got to the interview, and me being naive and stupid at the time answered his question of "why do you want to be an army officer?" with "I have a deep interest in history and play a lot of RTS games and I'm sick of being an online general, I want to be a REAL general." As soon as I said it I couldn't help but notice the sergeant's face contort has he struggled not to burst out laughing at my own stupidity.

He said to me: "Kid, war ain't a game. You are not officer material"

My heart was broken. On the plus side, though, I'm not being shot at or being held responsible for thousands of casualties.

So guys, if you ever do apply to be an officer, just say you're doing it out of patriotic zeal.

Battle Tactics and Strategy -Timing

Timing is important. Delivery is important. When I look back at my life, all my successes and failures have been a case of me being the right man in the right (or wrong) place.

Which is why I attribute my failures at the hands of the grandmasters last night in 2v2 teams to just plain bad timing. It is now my firm belief that only gosu gamers play after midnight. Yeah that's right folks, I'm doing another starcraft segue.

On the flip side of the coin,, Shijinn and I would never have gotten so in the 2v2 league if not for our cunning 4minute attack timing which goes a bit like this:
1. Shijinn does a 2 rax bo to get marines out quick, I, rolling random get speedlings, lots or rines out just as quickly
2. Combine armies then attack with workers as meat shields at 4minutes
3. Win the game

It is surprisingly effective. Or was, until we started getting matches against 2v2 grandmasters. We had a huge winning streak and even in our placement we got placed straight into diamond, but then the gm's came and exploited every tiny eensy weensy micro mistake. Cest la vie.

But again, if not for our precious good timing, we would have never gotten the winning streak we did out of it. War is the same. Battles are the same.

Pre-emptive strikes that are never expected,  are effective. Surprise invasions can be quite effective, just ask Adolf Hitler, he delivered quite a few in his time (and also received a devastating one in return that destroyed his Third Reich).

That's war. Battles are exactly the same, but on a more personal level.
In war, the shock and awe element can be exploited to great effect, but when it comes to battles themselves, both sides generally know what to expect. The timing of attacks in battles all depends on the motives of the aggressor. Sometimes the chain of command demands a quick victory for political reasons or to prevent attrition (many of the German generals had this motivation when invading Russia in World War 2).

Often it is up to the general to decide what time of the day or night to attack. Historically speaking, the popular choice has always been at dawn. I'm not sure why. In fact I think it is rather silly because professional armies expect dawn attacks; they are trained for it. I'm with Sun Tzu on this one, war is all about deception therefore attacks should be conducted at the most obscure and unexpected times.

As a bonus, this also serves to break the morale of the enemy, as their sleep is constantly plagued by the nightmare of being woken up by the sound of gunfire and their mates screaming as they die. Good examples of this can be found in the trenches in World War 1, where the psychological integrity of soldiers was grimly tested and many attacks were at night at obscure times. In fact the first battle on the western front, the battle of Liege consisted of the Germans launching a night attack. What the Germans didn't account for was the fact that offensives with infantry against defensive lines in trench warfare is utterly futile.

Timing alone cannot win battles or wars but with the right conditions it is the difference between a quick and glorious victory and a long drawn out, bloody war.

On a much brighter note, I have 2 ideas on what my next blog post should be about:
a) a piece on Field Marshall Zhukov, whom I hold in regard as the best world war 2 general and the creator of the infamous russian reversal ("In soviet Russia, Russia invades YOU!!!!"
b) a religious article, because I haven't touched religion in a long time

What would you guys prefer reading/enduring?

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Battle Tactics and Strategy -positioning

So I took it easy today, as opposed to working my ass off at god knows what. I played a bit of starcraft 2 1v1. Just 3 games, I indulged in, nothing more than that. The first one was a loss; I rolled Terran against a 'toss and promptly went 6rax marines which failed miserably against his sentry stalker spam. Then I proceeded to win 2 games in a row, a pvt in which I 1gate expanded into 8gate chargelots into stalker spam (I switched to stalkers once i saw the banshees) and a tvp where where I went 6 rax against a proxy gate rush.

What I find fascinating about this game is how much positioning matters. I could have easily lost both of those games if my army was in the right place at the right time. For example, in the pvt, my opponent had bunkers set up outside his natural, so i just walked straight past them and attacked his main, then I slaughtered his army as they walked up his own ramp back into his main.

But even when it comes to big army battles, positioning matters. a concave formation does a lot more damage than a ball formation, except when flanked. As numbers increase, melee units dies more and more easily to ranged etc etc. And this accurately reflects real life.

Ultimately real battles often come down to who has the bigger army. Good positioning though can nullify numbers/technological advantages though and win the battle outright in the right circumstance.

The most famous example of this is the battle of Thermopylae. If you have seen the so-bad-it's-awesome  movie "300", this movie roughly documents that battle. Spartan armies, like Greek armies, work best in formation and the phalanx formation is a directional formation; it is strongest at the front but very vulnerable to flanking. By meeting the army in a mountain pass, the Spartan/Greek army eliminated the possibility of flanks and surrounds and played to the strength of their formation. The Greeks lost of course, but not only because the Persians managed to flank them using an alternate route, (another example of good positioning).

In modern times, battles are fast paced in comparison but positioning is still important if not as crucial as ever. In the American Civil War, Robert Lee won many a battle by simply having a well positioned army to meet and create threats where they came. The battle of Fredericksburg is a good example of where he utilised urban combat and well positioned artillery on high ground to his advantage.

And in World War 2, Germany would have never conquered Europe (save for britain and a few others) if they did not actively bomb enemy railroads to ensure that their enemies' armies were never positioned where they needed them.

So there you go, when it comes to winning battles, it is all about location, location, location.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Blog Update

Greetings again, my readers, it has felt like an eternity since I blogged last. And the view count seems to reflect that too, before my hiatus my views we're getting quite high and now they are non existent. Oh well, it happens.

Let me explain what happened. Currently I am living with my sister. Not my parents. Not my parent's basement, just my sister in a friendly fraternal arrangement. Or so I thought...

Then the unexpected happened. MY worst nightmare came true. After trying to frantically (and legally) download the first season of No Ordinary Family, I finally stepped over the fine internet qouta line. Realizing we were capped and that she was unable to efficiently play her plethora of facebook games, in her rage she cut the household tubes. No internet for ~4days.

It has been unbearable. I have only survived by utilising my emergency cache of anime, tv series and movies.

But now that my sister and I have resolved our differences and the internet is back and uncapped, I can get back to blogging. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Why I hate Trump... part 2

Ok, so as soon as i posted Snoop Dogg and bragged about being a successful blog pimp, my daily views crashed back down to 800. Ok guys, I get the point. I promise I won't post Snoop Doggy dog again. I should also add in my defense that I don't even like him, his pic just came up in the first 20 images of a google image search for "pimp" and his was arguably the best of the miserable lot.

Anyway, so before I got side tracked, I posted about how much I hate trump and how bad he will be to America if he ever gets into power.

I also discussed how he might resolve the budget deficit. Let's analyze how he might do this. Now Trump has already stated that he won't raise taxes, which makes our analysis easy. First of all may I present to you two pretty graphs I fetched from wikipedia which they in turn nicked from CBO Historical Tables, which they got from the government i guess, maybe it was the fraser report. I don't know, but if you do not trust wiki on this one then tell me and I will get off my lazy ass and get you a better sourced graph.



Notice that the the US government lost 1294 billion dollars last year. Unless some dramatic policy or crisis changes the revue and expenditure affects America this year, the figure will remain roughly the same, with the exception of the interest on the debt which will increase, but for all intents and purposes let's pretend it won't change.

Trump says he won't raise taxes so that means only expenditure is fair game. Ok so what they hell is discretionary? Presumably it is money that is spent on whatever the US government wants to at the time, which means it is not mandatory, so we can take that piece of the pie chart and eat it. This effectively halves the deficit, leaving us with a deficit of 634 billion. Great, but the public debt is still increasing at a rapid rate, even though the deficit has been halved.

I'm going to assume that "other mandatory" is indeed mandatory, but even if that was reduced down to zero there would still be a deficit of ~200billion, which is still quite unacceptable if one ever wants to catch up with the 14.25 trillion dollar US government debt.

Which leaves 3 more options (on top of the aforementioned eliminating discretionary spending) to reduce the deficit down to zero or lower (thereby making it a surplus):
1. completely disband the military, this will give a very modest surplus. note that cuts to the defense budget just won't cut it, the military has to be majorly downsized into practically nothing in order to give even a small surplus.
2. eliminate medicare and medicaid OR reduce the expenditure on these programs by ~80% (I cbf doing the math but I know it's somewhere around that figure)
3. halve spending on both medicare and medicaid

Notice that reducing funding to social security isn't feasible because social security also provides 40% of the government's revenue.

So what is it going to be Trump? Are you going to eliminate welfare in America or are you going to leave the US and all of it's citizens defenseless? Or both?

Personally I think it would be just a hell of a lot easier to raise corporate taxes... Which we all know that Trump is never ever going to do.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

2k Views in a day victory post

No that is not Snoop Dogg, that's me bitches! That's right, I'm an african American pimp now! and Those are my hos, unfortunately they are internet ho's which means they are not real women because there are no women on the internet.

I jest. I just feel like bragging about the fact that for some strange inexplicable reason my view count per day shot up from 400 to 2000. I don't know why. I have been networking with other bloggers but I have been doing that for ages. Maybe it is because i signed up for 2leep yesterday. I'm suspecting that's it.

Whatever the reason. Thank you my dear viewers. you made alex a happy pimp today :)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Trumping Obama

So this week/last week has been quite eventful for American politics. Normally I try to ignore American politics, because like Australian politics it often boils down to the choice between a turdburger and a giant douche (to loosely quote south park). But trying to stop yourself from eavesdropping on your neighbour's plans to build a nuclear bomb in their backyard when you already know they have yellowcake sitting on their kitchen bench is just impossible.

I digress.

So apparently Trump has his eyes set on becoming president and has for a while. My opposing thoughts on this fall into two categories. Personal reasons and logical reasons.

Let's start with with the fiery personal reasons which are based on unsubstantiated opinion.

Firstly, Trump is ugly.

Secondly he represents the diseased baby boomer generation who got US into this mess.His aura is that of the now poisoned american dream of making it to the top no matter the cost and no matter how many people you hurt in order to get there.

Thirdly his name gives me the creeps. His name is the name of that old fat guy who always beats you at 500 and bridge and rubs it in every time.

And lastly, he plays too dirty for my liking. I have to ask myself "what kind of man implies another man is an alien?". I think Obama took the issue surprisingly well. I know if my nationality was under question, I would be thinking some serious violence was in order.

The question of who should be head of state should come down to merit and competency, not filthy mud slinging.

But that's all opinion based on my dislike for the man.

So let's try and look at things more logically. The biggest issue for America at the moment is it's economy. Donald Trump seems just the man for the job right? He is a businessman after all, so he knows all about the economy and making money.

Well maybe he is... but just how does he plan on eliminating America's budget deficit (how much money the government loses each year) AND tackle the whopping public debt AND sort out America's trade deficit when he says he will not raise taxes? Where is the money going to come from?

Maybe he will cut down on welfare and make huge spending cuts. That will make sense, but then again it's important to question where he will make said cuts so he is not shortchanging America's future.

Anyway I'll leave the post here on account of being busy with socialising etc. but this is a topic I will return to...

But just think to yourself... how exactly will he fix the economy? Show us the money Mr Trump!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Et Tu Brutus?


Indulge me my dear audience, just this one more post... Now take a good hard look at all that green on the minimap. That is the colour of an empire. My empire.

I have conquered everything except for my good friends the Scipii, the Julii and the Senate Popularesque of Q Roma (I can't remember what the Q stands for).

Apparently I have to declare war on Rome and conquer the fair city in order to claim victory. Which I do not want to do because I happen to like the Roman Senate, I think they make better rulers than Imperators (emperors). Aside from that, the senate loves me on account of a large minority of my 180 family members disliking the chariot races and being damn good public speakers.

I do wonder what will happen if I just take turn after turn but I suspect the only things of interest in this game will be rebellions in my far cities. The senate will just sit there twiddling it's thumbs I suspect.

This has never happened to me before. Generally The senate asks me to commit suicide by now (and generally by the time I get this many territories, I have to not only wrestle with rebellion but also a depleted treasury), instead I'm in a great position under no threat whatsoever.

Anyway just thought I'd brag about a game which has no relevance to real life. Next post I'll be back writing about war religion and politics.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

What I did this weekend (apart from socialising)

Firstly, might I just say that my weekend was awesome, thanks for asking. Unfortunately the product of which has left me with an epic game of Rome Total War which I still have not finished.

I have 32 provinces, mainly on the Aegean Coast, 220 years to go and I'm in the fortuitous position of being liked by both the people and the senate thanks to some of my illustrious family members. I'm also slowly taking huge Egyptian cities, which is a double edged sword because on one hand I am getting cities which I can crank out urban cohorts but on the other I can never move said urban cohorts out of the city for fear of rebellion or siege. Furthermore, I don't want to knock down all the Egyptian buildings to reduce the culture penalty because some of them are quite advanced and giving me nice little benefits.

It's interesting because Jerusalem and the neighbouring cities all have urban barracks while my capital and nearby cities are still producing Praetorians. But that's fine by me. Thank God for Gaius Marius, without his reforms I would still be fending off Egyptian war chariots with principes and velites.

Just before the reforms I was in a bit of trouble, my armies were being whittled down and I was losing some cities, which is no surprise since I garrison all my cities (except for the middle east) with peasants (cheapest unit in the game, excellent at keeping cities from rebelling for some strange, weird reason). So I shifted from an economic focus of adding ports and dockyards to all my cities to building barracks and building every military unit I could get and it has been working thus far.

I would of thought I would be broke by now though... I distinctly recall on previous games going broke and having to face rebellion after rebellion, but maybe that only happens after you get 45 provinces or something.

So yeah apart from sushi with my sisters and chatting with old friends, that's my weekend.Some old school gaming. I haven't played RTW in a couple of years and now I remember why I liked it so much. The infantry are just so tank and hearing the words "THIS LAND IS ROMAAAAN" is just so satisfying.

As always, I am left thinking of why didn't the Romans be sensible and do what I have been doing? Perhaps the empire would still be alive today if they just burnt every barbarian city to the ground and garrisoned them with peasants...