Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010


Everything that can value, has a value scale. Some people claim to value everything equally (an impossibility with the human architecture, but let's assume they do), and so all values on the scale are the same. I consider that a wrong view to take, because then a human being is no more valuable than an electron. This is the case to the Universe, but only because the Universe doesn't care--it doesn't value. Values are subjective, or products of a mind. Does that mean no value can be morally superior to another? No, as I'll explain in a bit.

On the road of atheism one must pass by the existentialists. Maybe stay for a few meals, chat with the locals, but the journeyman must move on. Existentialists are perhaps more hypocritical than Christians: they believe that since we're all equally worthless to the Universe (true), that nothing we do matters in the end to the Universe (true), that nothing matters (false). If it doesn't matter whether you live or die, why not choose death and save yourself some suffering? You can argue it doesn't matter if you suffer or not, which makes either choice the same, but from a purely emotional feeling, why choose to suffer instead of not suffer? You'd at least save the Universe from calculating "suffering-ness" on you (not that it cares). It just seems logical that if you believe it doesn't matter if you're alive or dead, then you should choose to die and save yourself some trouble. Note I don't want existentialists to all go and kill themselves. I'd rather have them move on the atheist road. But I assert that killing oneself is the logical thing to do if one is existential. I value life over the rational choice, so obviously I'd want them to not literally follow logic off a cliff and pick new beliefs.

Atheists must move past the existentialists. As a budding atheist, you've just crossed one scary river: God doesn't exist and when you die you're annihilated with no hope of return (with present technology (this is a whisper of the river most people miss)). Now you must cross another: the Universe doesn't care if you live or die. But don't stop on the far bank and make camp like the existentialists! Move on. There's a small stream later on that says "Values are subjective, but that doesn't make it wrong to value things, or value things differently, or make all values just as good as other values." I am an entity which has the capability to value, and I value life. This value keeps me from wanting to kill people. Given the choice (which must be made) to kill an ant or kill a human, I'd kill the ant because I value ants less than I value humans. Preferring any outcome to any other is necessary to make a choice. The human brain obviously has preferences, whether you consciously acknowledge them or not, and if you tortured an existentialist I'd bet he wouldn't like it. That concept of liking things, of having preferences, is there in the brain, and is the reason we can have differences in values.

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A New Job

"Hello, I'm Thomas Bade."

"Welcome to Littleridge High, Mr. Bade. Please, have a seat."

"Thank you."

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My favorite equation

[math]e^{i\pi} + 1 = 0[/math]

Yup, Euler's famous equation. It's a favorite of a lot of people's, including mine, as it unites arguably the 5 most important numbers in mathematics.

Why is this true, though? It stems from the fact that:

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As just revealed to me, apparently there's an annual "write a novel in a month" thing starting today. It could be interesting to try out; I figured it's only about 25 blog posts or so to reach the word count limit.

If I do end up doing it, I'll post bits here. Ideally I'd have a daily "chapter" or part of a chapter, but we'll see. I have some old ideas from years and years ago on the shelf I could dig out, or I might come up with something new and interesting in a dream tonight. In any case, we'll just have to see what happens.

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