Page 4 of 66« First...23456...10...Last »

Photo: Riverside Bank

Photo: Riverside Bank

Riverside Bank was a good bank. I liked their free coffee and cookies. TD Bank is good too, but doesn’t put out free coffee and cookies. Regions does, but their policies suck. $7 to cash a personal check for a non-account holder? Insane!

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/1600, F4.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-09-25T10:12:37-04, 20080925-141237rxt

Location: 1060 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Pictures of Pictures

Photo: Pictures of Pictures

“Pictures of Pictures” — 8×10 print copies of my photos in frames, from when I was trying to get into the Southeast Museum of Photography. September 28, 2008

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/100, F3.5, 18mm, ISO100, 2008-09-28T16:22:29-04, 20080928-202229rxt

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Needlework Tears

Photo: Needlework Tears

“Needlework Tears” — photo of a stitched portrait of a woman crying (or wearing makeup) that I saw on the right of way next to a house when going for a walk down my street. March 22, 2011

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/640, F3.5, 50mm, ISO400, 2011-03-22T19:07:30-04, 20110322-230730rxt

Location: Valencia Ave., Ormond Beach, FL  32174

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Attacking Abortion

Fetuses are an easy mark to kill, because they can’t fight back. If each fetus was equipped with sharp teeth and snake venom to bite and kill the doctor while being aborted, it’s very likely that abortion would end, because doctors would be unwilling to perform them due to the immense danger involved.

Abortion is not a problem that can be solved at the same level at which it was created. All societies degenerate into slaughtering innocents sooner or later, but few institutionalize it, besides gladiatorial combat, witch hunts, sacrificing maidens to volcanoes, capital punishment for illegal drugs, and abortion in modern nations.

Abortion fits well into the Satanic agenda, because it sets a precedent for corrupt beliefs in individual lives. If you, a friend, or a family member has had an abortion, you may believe that infanticide is justified in certain situations, and that these women should not feel guilty. To form divisions, you may complain about women (the “others”) who “abuse” abortion as a form of birth control, instead of only undertaking it with a heavy heart. Instead of protesting the doctors who perform abortions, you may justify it by claiming they are only doing their jobs. That didn’t work for the Schutzstaffel officers in the post-World War II trials, so it shouldn’t work for hypocritical doctors in 2011.

In the same vein, pro-choice advocates refer to pregnant women as “women” instead of “mothers,” because they have to keep up the charade that the humans mothers are carrying in their wombs are no better than goiters or cancerous tumors. Mothers who abort their baby and then go on to have more babies will teach their unaborted children that the child(ren) they aborted would have had unhappy lives because of some reason or combination of reasons, i.e. she was working on her career, going to college, the father ran off, the baby wouldn’t have been loved, she wasn’t emotionally ready for motherhood, she didn’t have a job, there was no money, or she didn’t want to have a “welfare baby.” Then, her unaborted children will grow up and either 1.) carry the same belief with them to justify their mother’s abortion; 2.) carry the same belief justified by the Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton argument (“pro death”); 3.) become staunchly pro-life (“anti choice”); 4.) adopt some middle ground to explain the past and guide the future, i.e. be pro-life but say their mom made a mistake, or adopt situational ethics (kill babies during an economic recession and choose life during boom times).

Just because a child takes 9 months to be born and 18 years to grow up does not mean that is not a worthy investment. Even from a utilitarian viewpoint, we need more humans to continue the American way of life, to invent new technologies, to build new machines, to create new art, and to develop new philosophies. And from a human perspective, we should all be able to imagine what would have happened if our mothers would have aborted us in the womb — instead of being alive on the earth, there would be the emptiness of no earthly existence whatsoever. Fetuses are not supposed to be slaves, no more than the black people were supposed to be slaves to the white people before the 20th century.

The Bible says “God created man [men and women] in his own image” (Genesis 1:27), and said to us, “be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl [birds] of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28). It does NOT say “reduce your numbers,” “engage in homosexual relations to avoid having children,” or “implement policies of zero population growth once the population reaches 7 billion” (or 500 million, or whatever number).

In ejaculation, up to 500 million mobile spermatozoa are released in a solution of semen to reach the fallopian tubes through the birth canal and eat through the jelly-like matrix (ovum coat) around the unfertilized egg (ovum). One spermatozoon implants itself, creating a zygote (fertilized egg), which moves down through a fallopian tube by the beating of cilia and implants itself in the lining of the uterus to grow like a cancer for 9 months, creating a baby. In dogs, 39 male chromosomes combine with 39 female chromosomes, creating the seed for a puppy with 78 chromosomes. In humans, 23 male chromosomes combine with 23 female chromosomes (or 24 in trisomy-21, a.k.a. Down syndrome) to create the seed (zygote) for a baby with (hopefully) 46 chromosomes.

If you believe that a zygote or fetus has no value because it has only the potential for human life, just as each spermatozoon has only the potential for human life (when combined with an ovum), try disturbing a nest of sea turtle or eagle eggs. Then, you will see that the State cares more about an endangered species than humanity, because the State believes that we are too plentiful and need to be expunged.

Every breath you exhale increases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but every breath that plants and the oceans (71% of the earth by land area) inhale decreases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Plants and the ocean also create or help to create oxygen. Just because half the world is dying of starvation does not mean that you should not have children if you are living in a first-world country. It’s natural to want to have a family and have children, not out of selfishness, but out of both selfishness and selflessness simultaneously. If you believe life is beautiful, you are being selfless by having children, and if you believe life is decadent, you are being selfish by having children, but the truth is there are elements of good and elements of evil in the world, but we have to take the good with the bad. The worst option is not to fight.

Though nature may beseech us with hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and volcanoes, the reality is this is OUR PLANET, belonging to God first, humans second, and all other organisms and forces a distant third. We have the right to have children.

Death

Earthly accomplishments do not allow you to die in peace anymore than water keeps you from starving to death. Leaving behind a legacy is important to some, but must be balanced with living each moment for yourself, and not necessarily your spouse, friends, family, or children.

The story of the Wandering Jew says that a cobbler taunted Jesus, saying “go on, go on!,” to which Jesus replied, “you too shall go on,” which cursed him to eternal life until the Second Coming. Immortality on this earth would actually be quite depressing, because you would out-live everyone you know and love. The division between life and death gives life structure, continuity, and meaning.

The religion of atheism encourages hedonism, because it says that man is a useless passion — there is no imperative purpose to life, and death is eternal, complete, and final. Unfortunately, humans are naturally spiritual beings, and all encounter supernatural experiences in life which cannot be discounted as vagaries of perception, so atheism is ultimately appealing to only teenagers and twenty-somethings.

When we look at other animals — dogs, cats, spiders, tigers, alligators, blue whales, chimpanzees, pigeons, etc., we see animals who do care about preserving their lives, but do not have the soul or consciousness that humans possess. We are special, like no other species on earth, because we philosophize beyond our existence, create works of art and science to stand the test of time, and (hopefully) strive to improve ourselves.

Death is as natural as birth, and it should be self-evident that both should be understood, but neither should be obsessed over. It’s important to entrench yourself in a belief system that allows you to make short and long-range decisions about how to conduct your life, be it believing in salvation, damnation, neutrality, reincarnation, or nothingness after death, but it’s also important to recognize that a belief that’s true at 6am in your life may not be true at Noon or at sunset. What you believe at 60 years old will be far different from what you believe at 30, and at 90 years of age your outlook will be different than you can imagine now.

American culture tells you that you should spend 13 years in public school (K-12), and then at least 4 years in college, and then start a career in a specialty field and follow that path to the end. You are also told it’s very important to divorce yourself from your parents and your family, because they are holding you back and you should have the joy of having a car payment and rent payment every month. Individuality is very important, which is why you should eat junk food, never read anything, never get married or commit to anyone, drink your fluoridated and chlorinated water, believe in phony environmentalism, always be dumb, never find Jesus, be vain, get tattoos, and die of cancer at 55.

Okay, I’m exaggerating, but the point is while this path may be fine if it makes you happy or gives your life definition and purpose, it’s probably not fulfilling unless you want to die with regrets and squashed dreams. We have it good in the first world, and if you are stressed about being unemployed or overweight, a trip to Haiti, Nigeria, or Iraq might put your life in perspective. Personally, I prefer to stay in Florida where it’s safe.

In truth, a life of danger can be fulfilling, but sticking close to your family and avoiding the shackles of slavery gives you more potential. I live with my parents, so I don’t have to worry about paying a strange landlord rent or watching my back at night. I don’t have a job, not because I’m unsalable, but because I’m lazy and hard to work with. I take pictures because it’s more fun than painting, and I play piano for myself, though impressing others is nice.

When you lock yourself into a mode of thinking, you blind yourself from other possibilities of existence. It’s kind of like using a digital SLR camera with only one prime lens. You can do a lot with one lens, but experimenting with other focal lengths and apertures will broaden your understanding multi-dimensionally.

Looking back at 2010, 2009, or 2008, you can see that everything you did was necessary to get where you are now. This does not mean that you could not be in a better place if you made different decisions in the past — you most certainly could — but the linear nature of time means that dwelling on the past wastes the present and stifles the future. Instead of focusing on what could have been, focus on what can be now.

When my cousin Charles died at 27 of brain cancer in 2006, we saw that Memorial Sloan-Kettering was unable to save him with any amount of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. He died a tortuous, sickening, undignified death, but this prompted my Dad to research cancer and find that a molecule found in apple, cherry, and apricot seeds, wheat grass, raw spinach, and bitter almonds, consisting of 20 atoms carbon, 27 atoms hydrogen, 1 atom nitrogen, and 11 atoms oxygen prevents cancer if eaten in sufficient quantities daily. This really improved my life, since I don’t worry about cancer anymore, or staying out in the sun, using a cell phone, microwaving my food, or checking for lumps. I just take some wheat grass pills everyday and eat the seeds whenever I eat an apple.

If you have fears about death which can be overcome with action or knowledge, there’s no excuse to not pursue those, unless you want to die early. If you are a smoker, you can instantly prolong your life by quitting. If you eat red meat three meals a day, you can instantly prolong your life by replacing that with tofu, greens, and fish. If you live in a high-crime area, you can move to a low-crime area. If you have bad friends, you can abandon them and find good friends. If you are fat, you can lose weight by being hungry all the time. If you can’t sleep, you can drink a glass of warm milk or read a good book. If life is stressing you out, either change your attitude, change your life, or suffer.

I’ve heard of people regretting not having children late in life, but I’ve not heard of people regretting having children. I’ve heard of businessmen regretting spending too little time with their families, but I’ve not heard of businessmen regretting spending too little time at work. I’ve heard of women regretting having an abortion, but I’ve not heard of women regretting not having an abortion. I’ve heard people regretting committing suicide, but I’ve not heard people regretting not killing themselves. Love, kindness, and enjoying life now is the safer option, not because tomorrow may never come, but because today will never repeat.

Avoiding CBC Decisions

The primary goal of all institutions is to avoid case-by-case (CBC) decisions by setting up a bureaucracy to handle every decision not based on possibility (pro-actionary), but based on precedent (reactionary) OR by delegating or removing those decisions to an independent, definitive, un-coerced third party, which is not necessarily or even desirably neutral and fair.

This is why in the United States of America we have a jury system of common people to judge all courtroom proceedings and unanimously determine guilt. If even one of the twelve jurors has doubts, he can deny the State the right to incarcerate, fine, or otherwise punish the defender, be him a victim or a criminal. The jury is not a star panel — any citizen can be drafted at any time for jury duty and jury selection should be of the person’s peers, coworkers, or neighbors rather than strangers, because if his friends rule him not guilty when they know him to be guilty, one to twelve of them will have to fear him on the streets or in public if he is truly a criminal.

Similarly, the system of federal courts and a Supreme Court to prosecute federal law and strike down states’ laws if they violate the spirit of the Constitution is set up hierarchically so that a case can be removed to an independent, definitive, un-coerced third party in a pattern of escalation or de-escalation, unless it reaches the Supreme Court, in which case a CBC or non-CBC decision is made which cannot be appealed, confined, over-turned, or escalated to an international or world court. Similarly, the case can be “thrown out of court” if there is no crime committed, or if the case is not worthy of the court’s time, because all time and resources are finite and never infinite.

While avoiding CBC decisions may be ideal for institutions, it is not ideal on an individual scale because every person has certain gut feelings he or she is unable to articulate. For this reason, personal discrimination is a sacred right which must always be upheld, and you should not hold yourself to machine-like standards because you are not a machine.

Introduction to Mathematics

If you have 3 apple pies and 19 people, how should you slice the pies so that each person gets an equal share? Each person should get 3/19 ≈ 0.1579 pies, but if you make each pie into 6 slices, that’s only 18 slices for 19 people. You have to slice each pie into 6 and 1/3 slices, with each slice being equal except the 1/3 being smaller, and then give the three 1/3 slices to the 19th person.

What if you have 1 pie and the Half-Blood Prince from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the only person dining? Then you have 2 pies per person, assuming he’s half a person. In the expression 1/(1/2), move the denominator to the numerator and flip the ex-denominator, making the reciprocal and thereby converting division to multiplication. 1/(1/2) becomes 1*(2/1) which is just 2, because any number without a denominator has a denominator of 1.

Your neighbor lends you $8000 at 3.75% interest compounded annually, with no payments being required for 25 years and the full balance and interest being required to be repaid at that time. What is the payment? $8000*1.0375^25 ≈ $8000*2.5102 = $20,081.34.

What if you want to make a graph of the increasing amount owed on the Cartesian coordinate system where y is the number of years and x is the dollar amount in thousands? Use the equation y = 8*(1.0375^x).

PROBLEM: Your truck gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Your destination is 38 miles away as the crow flies, 42 miles away through the cities, and 49 miles away if you take Interstate-95. However, taking the interstate requires 5 miles of city driving. How many gallons of gas will be used on each route, which one uses the least gas, and how much does each trip cost if gas is $4.15 per gallon?

SOLUTION: First, note that there are only two routes: 42 miles through the cities and 5 miles through the cities PLUS 44 miles on I-95. Then, do this:
42/15 = 2.8 gallons –> 2.8*4.15 = $11.62 in gas
5/15 + 44/19 ≈ 2.65 gallons –> 2.65*4.15 = $10.99 in gas

NOTE that with the variables provided, the longer route is in fact the cheaper route. However, in reality there would be an inordinate number of variables, such as your engine’s efficiency, time of day, traffic patterns, traffic lights, and unforeseen events. For example, traveling an extra 7 miles may necessitate an earlier oil change or some other maintenance. If you get into an accident on the interstate at 80 miles per hour, you might be instantly killed rather than being only wounded if crashing at a much lower speed in a city. Highway driving vs. city driving requires different mental concentration and one may appeal over the other depending on your upbringing and psychological makeup. In the city, you are more likely to be pulled over by policemen and ticketed. The road surface may be smoother on the interstate, which will prevent your tires from wearing down as quickly. If you break down on the interstate, you may be stranded if you don’t have a cell phone. All math problems simplify.

PROBLEM: The 2012 Presidential election is coming up, and observing that Ron Paul (R) and Barack Obama (D) have won the primaries, General Electric is deciding how much to donate to each candidate’s campaign. GE’s budget is $4,000,000, and they estimate Paul has an 8% chance of winning and Obama has a 92% chance of winning. GE estimates donations to Paul have a political worth three times greater than donations to Obama to secure support from the Constitutionalist movement. How much will GE donate to each campaign?

SOLUTION:
3*0.08 = 0.24
1*0.92 = 0.92
0.24+0.92 = 1.16
4,000,000/1.16 = 3,448,275.862
3,448,275.862 * 0.24 = $827,586.21 to Ron Paul
3,448,275.862 * 0.92 = $3,172,413.79 to Barack Obama

PROBLEM: Steve Jobs is developing the iPad 3 for release November 28, 2012 and must choose between Foxconn’s 64GB isolinear-NAND flash chip and Foxtrot’s 59GB neo-EEPROM flash chip. Foxconn’s chip costs $28.78 and has a five-year failure rate of 2.8%. Foxtrot’s chip costs $26.55 and has a five-year failure rate of 2.1%. Both chips are functionally identical in form factor, read/write speed, power consumption, resiliency, and failure potential, both technologies are equally reliable, both companies use slave labor, and both companies are of equal capacity, reputability, and geographic location.

Apple estimates the market value of an extra 5GB (64GB vs. 59GB) of storage capacity to be $14.50 per unit, and estimates that each five-year failure will have an effective cost of $895.88 on Apple’s image, future sales, and support network. Which chip should Steve Jobs choose?

SOLUTION:
($28.78 – 14.50) = $14.28 effective cost per 64GB Foxconn chip
$26.55 = $26.55 relative cost 59GB per Foxtrot chip
$895.88 * 0.028 = $25.08 failure cost per 64GB Foxconn chip
$895.88 * 0.021 = $18.81 failure cost per 59GB Foxtrot chip
$14.28 + 25.08 = $39.36 total cost per 64GB Foxconn chip
$26.55 + 18.81 = $45.36 total cost per 59GB Foxconn chip

Jobs should choose the 64GB Foxconn chip, even though it is 0.7% more likely to fail in the first five years, because it’s easier to market a 64GB device than a 59GB device so the 64GB Foxconn chip has an effective cost of $6.00 less than the 59GB Foxtrot chip, given the variables.

PROBLEM: General Motors Company is developing a new type of engine that improves fuel economy by 100%, but has discovered that 0.000097% of the engines blow up when reaching a speed of 88 miles per hour, instantly killing everyone in the vehicle and seriously wounding everyone in a 100 foot radius. GMC is considering including this engine in its new SUV, the ThinkNeighbor Plus, which will get 42 highway miles per gallon instead of the standard 21 highway mpg, will be manufactured in a quantity of 5 million, and will sell for $38,000. GMC estimates only 0.5% of ThinkNeighbor Pluses will ever reach a speed of 88 miles per hour, and estimates the Public Relations costs of each explosion will be $8 million. The U.S. State Department has pledged to blame the explosions on domestic terrorist attacks, but only to a limit of three. Should GMC manufacture the ThinkNeighbor Plus?

SOLUTION:
NO. Since the question is “should GMC manufacture the ThinkNeighbor Plus?,” it isn’t even a math question because “should” is completely subjective.

More next time.

Photo: CFLs

Photo: CFLs

Two compact fluorescent lights of varied color temperature: one cool and one warm.

Canon Rebel XTi, Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, 1/500, F5.6, 47mm, ISO100, 2011-03-12T15:29:39-04, 20110312-192939rxt

Location: 1985 S. Carpenter Ave., Orange City, FL  32763-7334

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Leafy Droplets 8

Photo: Leafy Droplets 8

A green leaf partially eaten by bugs with water drops on it.

This is one of my first photos with my new Tamron 18-200mm lens from Amazon.com. I like the telescopic range, even though the optics and speed are below most Canon lenses.

For editing, I added a lot of contrast in Adobe Camera Raw 5.0 and Photoshop CS5, and cloned or spot healed many specks of dirt on the leaf.

Canon Rebel XTi, Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, 1/200, F6.3, 200mm, ISO400, 2011-03-05T09:28:24-04, 20110305-132824rxt

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Leafy Droplets series.

Situational Ethics

Since the human mind has limits and time is the eternal constraint, the use of situational ethics can easily degenerate into a moral quagmire that binds you into modes of thought that subtly or severely limit your potential. Conversely, they can splinter your personality into fragments that destroy your cohesive identity.

One solution is to use the same ethics for all situations. This solution is ideal in theory, but leaves you vulnerable to people or situations that conflict with a belief in absolute ethics. For example, if you believe guns are bad, you make yourself vulnerable to criminals with guns who don’t care about your beliefs. If your family is starving to death and you can’t grow or buy food, then stealing from rich people who have too much food (à la Robin Hood) might be a better solution than just giving up and dying. Similarly, if you meet your soul-mate while in a bad marriage, the best choice for your happiness may be a divorce or an open marriage. Absolute ethics may work on paper, but not in real life, because people and situations change. If you live 80 years, that’s only 22,645 days as an adult, so it’s important to make every day count. However, it’s good to have firm guidelines that you only violate in extreme situations.

Another solution is to use ethics that maximize your personal happiness. Doing this in the short term could involve eating lots of chocolate and ice cream, but for true happiness, you should eat a balanced diet that’s good for your body, mind, and spirit. Doing this is not delaying happiness, but extending it over a long range of time and variety of mental states. If you maximize your personal happiness, you might take advantage of other people, but then when that stops working, you’ll be nice to them to get what you want. You may also choose to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you choose to believe in Jesus, Allah, Buddha, or all of them, you do that for yourself and your eternal soul rather than social, family, or peer pressure.

A third solution is to use ethics that maximize humanity’s happiness. While this can obviously be combined with the previous, they are generally at crossed purposes because what’s good for someone else is often not good for you. For example, it might make a stranger happy if I gave them my digital camera, but I would prefer to keep it because I bought it, I own it, and it’s my property.

A fourth solution is to use ethics that maximize your family’s happiness. I like this option best, because I honestly can’t care about all the people in the world or myself alone. Many people are mean and inconsiderate, so it’s important to pick your family closely, and it does not necessarily have to be your blood relatives, but you should not disown them.

Of course, you could also choose to cause as much chaos, death, destruction, and suffering in the world as possible, but this is degenerative and any benefits to this approach are side effects, so it is ultimately corrupt. Nazi Germany used this approach in the Holocaust, as did the United States by nuking Japan and defoliating Vietnam. This leads you down the path of fear, and makes you believe that no one is worthy of trust, which is a very lonely, dis-empowering, and depressing belief.

Traditionally, situational ethics are the domain of the right brain and concrete ethics are the domain of the left brain, but this is a stereotype and like all stereotypes, it is often wrong. You can define your own reality within the constraints life has given you, and you can change your reality to a fault, usually bounded by time and ingenuity.

In general, I would recommend not adopting the mental framework of situational ethics, because it leads to treating other people like objects rather than sovereign humans. It’s better to develop a good sense of intuition to implicitly judge people, while always giving the benefit of the doubt. Finally, it’s important to recognize that words are always less important than actions and that what you see in others is always reflected in yourself, so be careful.

Page 4 of 66« First...23456...10...Last »