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The Halos of Barack Obama
Posted: 20 August 2008 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Perhaps some of you will too. Original and thought-provoking ideas, that is.

You know, the kind that are worthy of an adult conversation.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Careful, guys, we’re getting a bit close to personal bickering here. Let’s try to redirect the discussion to the ideas, not the individual.


Little John,

How do you define “original” and “thought-provoking?” Any specific examples?

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Posted: 20 August 2008 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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No problem. Three posts and not one idea - I was annoyed, but I’m good now. Thanks for gettin’ me back on track.  cool smirk

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Posted: 20 August 2008 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Barack Obama may have some faults as a president. Compared to his predecessors, I’m not sure what they would be but the office seems to ‘stress’ them out of people. However McCain is too old, too confused and too corrupted to take a chance on. The only way he could be elected is if his handlers out-Rove Rove, and I suspect even Satan has his limits.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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mckenzievmd - 20 August 2008 09:43 AM

Careful, guys, we’re getting a bit close to personal bickering here. Let’s try to redirect the discussion to the ideas, not the individual.


Little John,

How do you define “original” and “thought-provoking?” Any specific examples?

Sure, that’s easy to define: ideas and their originators that don’t demonstrate an uncritical acceptance of norms and conventions. Examples in the scientific field would be Freeman Dyson, Robert Bussard and the late Richard Feynman. In particular, Bussard’s research into IEC fusion shows a lot of original thought and a determination to buck the prevailing powers in the nuclear industry. The commercial space flight enterprise being undertaken by people such as Burt Rutan and Richard Branson is another example.

Politics is not a field that encourages a lot in the way of original thinking – as can be seen in the kinds of responses made in this thread. It’s mostly a pragmatic undertaking, or should be anyway. Original political theories have had a tendency to go horribly awry when people attempt to implement them. The idea that Barack Obama represents something new is simply wrong. His presentation is somewhat novel, and many of his supporters have invested a tremendous amount of personal emotion in his candidacy. But when you can pin him down, he reveals that he’s nothing extraordinary or uncommon at all: he’s a very conventional, liberal Democrat politician.

A word on the bickering - anybody that continues to come at me with innuendo, personal slurs and ad hominem attacks will simply be ignored. It can be amusing at first (and quite revealing of character) but it quickly gets tedious.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Little John,

Thanks for the serious response. I certainly agree, truly original ideas are dangerous in politics. I have a mixed background in literature and the sciences, and I’ve noted that often in the former field, originality is valued for its own sake without regard to other measures of quality. The exact opposite is true of science since wildly original ideas are often brutally criticized until they have passed muster by the methodology. So while I agree originality is the key to change, I also think most stunningly original ideas turn out to be bad ones, so I don’t think we should revere originality in itself but only ideas that succeed, by whatever criteria are appropriate in the relevant domain.

As for the bickering, we try to encourage a civil atmosphere for debate here, and certainly choosing not to respond to personal attacks is often the best course. By the same token, “peanut gallery” can be seen as personally disparaging of one’s opponents, so I think the tone was less than ideal from several parties. Anyway, thanks again for the response, and welcome to the forum.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Little John - 20 August 2008 06:47 AM

This is an interesting forum, and I’ll probably come by to offer a comment or observation from time to time.

If you’d like, go to your local newsstand or big box book store and pick up a copy of Skeptical Inquirer and hopefully you will like what you read in it.  It always offers me fun and interesting articles to read while I’m on the treadmill.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Little John - 20 August 2008 02:22 PM

Sure, that’s easy to define: ideas and their originators that don’t demonstrate an uncritical acceptance of norms and conventions. Examples in the scientific field would be Freeman Dyson, Robert Bussard and the late Richard Feynman. In particular, Bussard’s research into IEC fusion shows a lot of original thought and a determination to buck the prevailing powers in the nuclear industry. The commercial space flight enterprise being undertaken by people such as Burt Rutan and Richard Branson is another example.

Those are good examples.

Politics is not a field that encourages a lot in the way of original thinking – as can be seen in the kinds of responses made in this thread.

You could have contributed something original rather than criticize the peanuts. It was your choice.

It’s mostly a pragmatic undertaking, or should be anyway. Original political theories have had a tendency to go horribly awry when people attempt to implement them. The idea that Barack Obama represents something new is simply wrong. His presentation is somewhat novel, and many of his supporters have invested a tremendous amount of personal emotion in his candidacy. But when you can pin him down, he reveals that he’s nothing extraordinary or uncommon at all: he’s a very conventional, liberal Democrat politician.

I don’t care that Barack represents something new. I’m looking for something more intelligent than we have had during the past 8 years. McCain is not it.

A word on the bickering - anybody that continues to come at me with innuendo, personal slurs and ad hominem attacks will simply be ignored. It can be amusing at first (and quite revealing of character) but it quickly gets tedious.

That’s a good idea; one I have followed for some time now.

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Posted: 20 August 2008 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Rocinante - 20 August 2008 03:19 PM

If you’d like, go to your local newsstand or big box book store and pick up a copy of Skeptical Inquirer and hopefully you will like what you read in it.  It always offers me fun and interesting articles to read while I’m on the treadmill.

Thanks for the suggestion - I’ve browsed Skeptical Inquirer a few times but I haven’t sat down with a copy to go through it thoroughly.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Some more Halos of Barack Obama.  Some are blatant.  Some are subtle.  Some are probably accidents.  Many are probably deliberate.  By my count, this makes around 50 pictures of Obama with some sort of a halo.  At that point it ceases to be a coincidence in my book. 

ObamaHalo25.jpg

ObamaHalo24.jpg

ObamaHalo27.jpg

ObamaHalo26-1.jpg

ObamaHalo29.jpg

ObamaHalo30.jpg

ObamaHalo32.jpg

ObamaHalo33.jpg

ObamaHalo34.jpg

ObamaHalo35.jpg

ObamaHalo36.jpg

ObamaHalo37.jpg

ObamaHalo38.jpg

ObamaHalo39.jpg

ObamaHalo40.jpg

ObamaHalo41.jpg

ObamaHalo42.jpg

ObamaHalo43.jpg

ObamaHalo44.jpg

ObamaHalo45.jpg

ObamaHalo46.jpg

ObamaHalo47.jpg

ObamaHalo48.jpg

ObamaHalo49.jpg

ObamaHalo50.gif

ObamaHalo51.jpg

ObamaHalo52.jpg

ObamaHalo53.jpg

ObamaHalo54.jpg

[ Edited: 28 August 2008 09:33 AM by Rocinante ]
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Posted: 28 August 2008 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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What a waste of bandwidth.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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traveler - 28 August 2008 09:33 AM

What a waste of bandwidth.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Your posts don’t waste that much bandwidth.  LOL

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

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Posted: 28 August 2008 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Rocinante - 28 August 2008 09:36 AM
traveler - 28 August 2008 09:33 AM

What a waste of bandwidth.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Your posts don’t waste that much bandwidth.  LOL

Your ‘halo effect’ post is rather slanted. Did you go through ALL of the pictures taken of Obama and compare the number of ‘non-halo’ pictures with your so called ‘halo’ pictures? How can it be ‘not a coincidence’ if the only evidence you produce is the positive correlation. Your post would not stand up to the most casual of scientific scrutiny.

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Posted: 10 March 2009 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Ok, a bit of a change here… This is a photo presented as a thumbnail for the story “Obama, taking on unions, backs teacher merit pay”.  It wasn’t presented directly on the article but instead in the headliner of Yahoos most popular stories.  Looks like there is a stock of Good Obama, Bad Obama photos that some in the news media are drawing on.  The start of a hint of flaming horns above his head.

r1824503962.jpg?v=2

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Posted: 10 March 2009 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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See, now that’s kinda funny. Flaming horns wink

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