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Posted: 03 January 2008 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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inthegobi - 03 January 2008 07:52 AM

Eccentric-orb theory is a very interesting stage in the history of science, because they’re unobservable entites like quarks or gravitic force, and because eccentrics violate the accepted physics of its day.

Kirk, a little off topic (maybe we could start a thread in this subject if you have a position) but you’d bet that the delayed publications of Gravity Probe B result is due to the lack of positive results?.

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Posted: 04 January 2008 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Barto - 03 January 2008 11:11 AM
inthegobi - 03 January 2008 07:52 AM

Eccentric-orb theory is a very interesting stage in the history of science, because they’re unobservable entites like quarks or gravitic force, and because eccentrics violate the accepted physics of its day.

Kirk, a little off topic (maybe we could start a thread in this subject if you have a position) but you’d bet that the delayed publications of Gravity Probe B result is due to the lack of positive results?.

I haven’t been following that twist. I doubt the data is being delayed because it conflicts with quantum mechanics. I’m rather an anti-conspiracy theorist! “Three can keep a secret, if two are dead.” (Benjamin Franklin). Got a link that’s interesting you? Let’s see it in the science forum.

kirk

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Posted: 04 January 2008 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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J Free - 02 January 2008 09:21 PM

Sorry Occam, but I’m going to ruin the trend here!  I am very much ‘right-brained’ in my approach to the world, and talents smile 
I am a guitar instructor and am lucky enough to love what I do.  I have young kids at home and my job enables me to work from our backyard studio which I also love.  I have 14 students this year, and will expand next year, hopefully if I can fit it into my and my husband’s schedule.
 
I really enjoy music and my philosophy for teaching is to first and foremost instill a love of music to my students.  If I sense frustration or struggle that takes from the joy of it I try to alter the course to their musical tastes, or if they are too young to have any yet, I try to lighten up the lessons big time and focus on what they can do and add to that bit by bit.  I teach classical technique to begin with and then broaden the lessons to include accoustic pop and folk style playing as the students progress, and again, according to their interestes.  Very fun. 

I also do a bit of song writing and have done some recording, but since having children have not put anything together as far as an album or anything.  But I’ll play at weddings, or the local coffee shop and really enjoy doing that as well.  That is more of a hobby though since it’s not a money maker when it’s not full time it seems.  But maybe one day…


for the record, my husband who is also a free thinker type is an artist at heart as well - he’s currently studying to teach high school - but what he really loves is web design and designing tattoos and interior design.

Though I am an analytical, meticulous, computer specialist, I am also quite creative. I am a graphic artist, musician, poet, and I consider myself a philosopher. I don’t believe my attention to detail, problem solving skills, and technical experience has restricted my creativity, but may have actually refined it. I can’t say for certain that my creative side alone has led me to be interested in CFI type topics. I think my critical and reasonable side led me there. However, a creative side can and often does reflect an openness to ideas. Nevertheless, my reasonable side takes those ideas, and determines which ideas are most probable to be true. When designing, it doesn’t matter; you just let yourself go free as you can while maintaining the integrity of that in which you intend to design. But when determining truth, the creative side allows me to open to all views, and then lets my logical side examine the supporting evidence to determine the verity of that in which is being examined.

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Posted: 13 January 2008 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I am a lost and confused college student.

But, at least, now I am a lost and confused college student who has made a 3.0 or greater the past two semesters and am knocking down some classes for credit that I need as my basics.

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BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”
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Posted: 13 January 2008 09:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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mckenzievmd - 12 December 2007 04:14 PM

If you’re lucky, your job is challenging and stimulating, an expression of or outlet for your personal gifts, a chance to contribute to others or “humanity,” an opportunity to create something more important, and perhaps more enduring, than your own life. If you’re not as lucky, it’s a torment you endure to survive.

In my first big career I was a documentary filmmaker, which I loved but it was sort of like banging your head against a wall over and over again to raise money.  So, to pay the bills I was a freelance editor, which can be soul-sucking, torturous work.  After years of editing mind-numbing home and garden patio makeovers, infomercials selling pathetic former celebrity weight-loss products, flashy tech TV in the 90’s touting the latest and greatest start-up gadgets (which usually faded into oblivion the following month), PG&E;training videos, and badly reported local news, I thought I would lose my mind.  Luckily, I was given a second chance at life when I had my kids.  Maternity leave, while hard on the cash flow, can be a wonderful gift.  I took the opportunity to re-evaluate my choices and took a chance on a new career.

Now, I’m a parenting educator working part-time supporting families as they adjust to parenthood.  Watching babies and young children learn and grow as they begin to interact with the world around them is an amazing process.  And the job of helping new parents navigate the emotional and physical stresses of the first few years of life is very fulfilling.  I definitely feel I’m making a difference in the quality of people’s lives and that is a very satisfying experience. 

Vanessa

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Posted: 18 January 2008 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Wow, compared to you lot, I’m boring as hell.

I’m disabled, on SSDI (for HIV) and am a stay-at-home mother of two kids, five and (nearly) two. I think my “work” other than that for the past two years has been a custody battle that would more appropriately be on a movie of the week than in a real person’s life.

When i did work, I was a white collar grunt, if there is such a thing. My last gig was as a legal secretary for a products liability/plaintiff’s injury firm in San Francisco. currently I pay my legal bill to my awesome atheist attorney by cleaning up his paperwork once a week or so, as I don’t have much money and my ex isn’t really interested in paying his child support.

I’m also an artist, though I haven’t had time for it since the kids came along.

But I’m an avid reader, and I spend a lot of time arguing with theists on the internet, so I guess you could say I’m getting an unofficial education in evolutionary biology, religious debunking, and critical thinking.

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
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Posted: 18 January 2008 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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AP,

Well, my own experience as a parent suggests that as a job it is the most taxing and wonderful, tedious and passionate one could find. It certainly connects to your “real life” in a way paid outside work hardly ever does. And I imagine it might be a bit like an artistic vocation in that it engages you deeply and yet it also compells you, since most people generally feel it is something that can’t lay aside even on the days they want to (though I haven’t a shred of artist in me, sadly, so I’m just speculating). As an only child of a single mom with no early exposure to children, I was the last person to have more than a vague, theoretical interest in being a parent, yet it’s been for me as transformative and instructive and joyful an experience as the schlockiest Hallmark poetry could describe. Boring? Well, I guess two-hour bouts of playing My Little Pony Fashion Show does wear a little thin after the first two or three hundred times, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! grin And it’s clear my own experience of being a parent has been a lot easier than yours, so your experience doesn’t sound boring at all. Not as showy as what some of us do, but pretty close to the traditional core human experiences of birth, love, parenting, death, joy, and sorrow. And a philosopher to boot! Good on ya!

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Posted: 18 January 2008 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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red face Thank you! A boost to my self-esteem is always welcome. Been a hard decade.

What I’d like to know, is have I blown the OP’s hypothesis, or am I at one extreme of the bell curve?

I was so bad at math, and did awfully in my pre-physics class in 8th grade, that I got an impression that I couldn’t “do” science when I was young. I didn’t know about all these math- and physics-less fields of study.

But somehow I’ve groped my way out of the dark and into the land of reason, so I must be doing something right.  LOL

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
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Posted: 19 January 2008 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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First, humor an old fud and tell me what OP stands for.

Second, I have a theory about scientific education that’s probably not accepted by others, but from personal experience I’ve found that I did extremely well in those courses in math, chemistry, physics, and zoology when I had played around with the field before hand (doing math puzzles, making home made explosives, playing with electronics, visiting local tidepools, etc.).  Once I had actual, real world experience as a framework, I could fit the academic stuff into it easily.  When I went into something new to me, I had a harder time.  Others, had a different approach.  They seemed to be able to absorb all the information in the book and lectures then regurgitate it beautifully on tests even if they didn’t really understand it.  (Years later I found that they had forgotten most of the stuff they didn’t work with, but I still remembered it.)

A_P, you may have the kind of mental structure that requires you to get first hand experience before you can accept all the information rather than do so purely by authority. 

Occam
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Posted: 19 January 2008 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Could be, Occam. It makes sense. Though I bet even now advanced mathematics and I will probably never be on speaking terms.

OP = Original Post

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
Split hairs, not atoms.

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Posted: 19 January 2008 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Thanks.  I was sure it didn’t have the same meaning as the brand I smoked many, many years ago while I weaned myself away from cigarettes. LOL (other people’s)

Well, there’s not much real world experience one can have that acts as a structure into which to fit advanced math. 

Occam

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Posted: 21 January 2008 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Atheist_Pariah - 18 January 2008 09:09 AM

I’m also an artist, though I haven’t had time for it since the kids came along.  But I’m an avid reader, and I spend a lot of time arguing with theists on the internet, so I guess you could say I’m getting an unofficial education in evolutionary biology, religious debunking, and critical thinking.

I appreciate you sharing your story, A_P.  Being a parent is definitely the 24-7 job you just can’t leave at the office.  What sort of artist are you?  It sounds like you’re finding an artistic outlet in your writing, so that’s great.  Hopefully that helps you cope with the stresses in your life.  I wonder if those of us who don’t find comfort in religion seek alternative ways to connect in some spiritual way with the world—possibly through artistic expression. 

Vanessa

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Posted: 21 January 2008 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Unfortunately, vanessa, I had to go on blood pressure medication today, too much stress. But I don’t have time for my art, so maybe you’re on to something.

I work(ed) in a lot of different media. Acrylic paint, on canvas, building murals, and styrofoam packing material that has been heat-sculpted. Some photography. My favorite medium, and one I can’t do around the kids until they’re older and can be trusted not to eat it or cut themselves with my tools, is polymer clay, like FIMO. Millefiore work in clay is about my favorite. I really miss making decorative items and jewelry. For a while I was making rosaries, I have no idea why, not being a theist, but the form and the pattern really called to me. I’ve also painted denim and leather jackets for people, including myself. And I’ve owned and/or painted several different art cars. I was also a bassist in an all-girl rock band at the end of the ‘80’s. I also like making safety pin and bead bracelets.

But I have only really owned my atheism fully in the past year or so, and I haven’t done any art since about 2002. I’m trying to do some needlepoint because it’s something easy that can be set aside without interrupting the “flow,” but between two cats that want to be in my lap when I’m doing that, and a toddler that wants to do it too, I haven’t gotten very far.

I guess a lot of what I do is technically “craft” but traditionally crafts were women’s art, and the fine arts were for men. I had a falling out with an organization that used to give me a grant for supplies over that very subject. They said that my polymer clay didn’t count as art, and if I didn’t do something else and produce slides of it, I couldn’t get a grant that quarter, so I stopped applying after writing a letter of protest.

Some of my art is HERE.

the crab and cat, as well as the picture of the Lovecraftian thing, are not my work.  LOL

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People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.—H.L. Mencken
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Posted: 22 January 2008 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I went to a vocational school to learn “visual communication”, which translated to English is commercial art, or art for advertising.  I was focused on illustration.

After graduating I moved to San Francisco.  I picked up a number of part time jobs, while also freelancing as an artist and designer.  A year or two later I hired on as a temp employee at a large Engineering, Construction firm.  I picked up a commodore 64 because it said I could do animation, music composition and other such things.  I quickly realized that this was only possible if I learned the basic programming language.  With the introduction of PCs in the workplace, I became interested in developing software that would replace tools that we were using a mini-computer for.  I assisted an in-house developer in producing the 1st incarnation of a document management system for use on the PC.

At the same time I continued to look for work exercising my artistic capabilities.  I produced a collection of greeting cards, a number of newspaper and magazine ads, did some photo-retouching (with airbrush in those days), along with an occasional painting. 

Meanwhile the software development track was taking off at work.  Local Area Networks for PCs began springing up and we produced the 1st multi-user version of the document management system.  I was extraordinarily busy.  In spite of this, I took on a project developing presentations that were to be viewed using a briefcase sized box that could be attached to a television screen or projection system.  I ended up essentially working 2 jobs, although I worked them both for the same company.

Later on I gave up the presentation work in favor of a full time software development position.  More lucrative.  After 24 years and evolving from a developer to a Manager of Software development, developing products such as internally and externally facing portals, web content management systems and yes, another document management system.

With the trend towards lower cost personnel primarily from India, came the agonizing task of laying off most of my friends, and training my replacements. 2 factors contributed to the end of my work there. 1st, My daughter was struggling in school at the time and I thought it was best to leave (I asked to be laid off), I felt it was a higher priority to find something that would allow me more time with my daughter while there was still time to make a difference.  I’m glad I did.  It has been difficult financially.  I am contracting myself out and work most of the time from home. 

2nd, I have always been interested in philosophy.  From a very young age, I read science fiction.  This lead me to topics that I might otherwise have overlooked.  All through my working life I have introduced such topics into the workplace.  Often at great risk to my livelihood.  Working in a very conservative company, with controversial points of view is a great challenge.  Especially when the ideas conveyed are seen as socialist, liberal, or “god forbid” atheist.

But I survived, and I was even reasonably well respected.  For the most part, my contributions spoke for themselves.  As a result, my controversial opinions were tolerated.

I used to think that I could make a difference by working within the walls of the enemies camp.  I used to believe that I could convince people of the error of their ways, by taking the time to understand things better from their point of view.  I confess that there were times that I could sympathize with their views.  Things are not always black and white.  However, the tide turned with 9/11 and the Iraq war.  The company I worked for was part of that Military Industrial Complex that is so often touted. 

When I began to see some of the things that were being done to acquire and execute reconstruction work in NY, and in Iraq, I was appalled.  I had to leave.  The attitudes were disgusting and I could no longer consider a change from within strategy as having any value.

Now, I struggle with staying true to my principles.  Soliciting work from, primarily, firms that present themselves in a way that I can agree with philosophically.  Living in Marin County, CA has made it easier, but not without it’s difficulties.  I guess as I get older I am less tolerant of company policies that I cannot go along with. 

What does all this have to do with my entry into CFI?  Well, I guess my 1st avenue was the Humanist connection.  The secular component was appealing as well.  Overall, what has made it stick was the thoughtful consideration of it’s members.  Topics are discussed intelligently with respect for a variety of perspectives.  Skepticism, while liberally employed, is generally applied fairly.

In spite of the differences I had with many folks at my long term corporate job, there were also many free thinkers there.  I was able to find sanctuary with them.  After leaving I had a void to fill.  CFI has, in part, filled that void.

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