What is the strangest thing you believe to be true?

The guys at MemeTherapy have been running a series of interesting threads about Strange Beliefs over the last few weeks. It’s a fun read. I thought the kind folks here at the Bastard’s might like to give it a try.

Their question:
“What is the strangest thing you believe to be true?”

My response…

At first glance this question appears simple enough. I can think of many fascinating subjects I have read about over the years; nanotech, “gray goo”, 11-dimensional space, relativity, the possibility of time travel, quantum entanglement, wave particle duality, virtual reality. There flows a never ending stream of ideas that wells up from the spring that is the Mind of Man. I could have selected any item from this list, or more, and would have provided a reasonably interesting response. How does one choose from such a fantastical array of knowledge? Technology can indeed appear strange or magical to one unfamiliar with a particular field of study. Some feel that medical wonders, from stem-cell research and genetic engineering to face transplants, are the definition of the word “strange”. Others may perceive the political and ideological mindset of their “enemies” to be the pinnacle of the eldritch.

But to ask an atheist what he “believes” to be true introduces quite a different “texture” to the question posed. The meaning of the word “believe” may easily be misconstrued. I am often bewildered by the multiple usage of some words from the English language. To some, “belief” is only given to that which has overwhelming evidence to support it, such evidence that there is no point to even use the word “believe”. Does one say: “I believe the sky is blue”? No. We say: “The sky is blue”. We can test this statement through many types of observation, experimentation, and verification. We know the sky is blue. Some use the word “believe” in the same manner that they use the word “think”, e.g. “I believe I’ll have another beer!” – the two words are interchangeable here. Then we come, of course, to the most common meaning of the word “believe”, that equivalent to “faith”; acceptance of a proposition without any need, or desire, for supporting evidence whatsoever.

I avoid the use of the words “believe” and “belief” because of their imprecise usage. There are, however, certain words I’ll use in spite of their misuse. For example, I have no qualms stating that I’m an “atheist” even though that word has been intentionally misused and demonized, perhaps since its inception. An atheist is simply one who does not believe. To be an atheist one need only answer “no” to the question “Do you believe [in god(s)]?” No further assertion is made.

I prefer to use the verb “know” instead of “believe” and, like Great Lady Science, accept that knowledge can be transitory and must evolve as new evidence is discovered. Ironically, my answer to the question “What is the strangest thing you know to be true?” would bring me back to the issue of faith.

The strangest thing I know of is the ability of the human mind to accept the most incredible of statements by the simple application of the magic word “faith”. How is it that, in the 21st century, we still have people that believe the world is only 6000 years old in light of the evidence from various fields of science in support of its vastly older age? How can one ignore mounds of fossil evidence for the progression of evolution and only see the “gaps”. What is it that allows the brilliant scientist who, otherwise, demands empirical data to advance his theories, to assert that there is a god when no one has presented any evidence to corroborate the existence of said deity? Is it a mental blind spot, a type of intellectual laziness used to avoid investigating fully the reason one believes one fable over another?

This strange thing called faith intrigues me. I have studied several of the mythologies of various civilizations throughout history and I find the subject fascinating. The majority of us appear to be so desperate for answers that we will accept any concept of reality that we are subjected to at an early age. We indoctrinate our children into a system of thought handed down by our progenitors and our children will usually teach their own children the same vision; the meme propagates. The evolution of religion presents the prime example of this strange ability to close the mind to healthy skepticism and reason. I wonder if we have herein evidence for the existence of a parasitic meme, one that propagates from the pulpit and lives in symbiosis with those that hunger for its anesthetic affects.

I look forward to a future where such strange ideas as faith and belief have faded into obscurity and disrepute as have the gods of old. A future where the unknown is regarded as an opportunity, not an enemy to be feared and obscured by the blinders of myth.

What’s the strangest thing you “believe”?

 

224 thoughts on “What is the strangest thing you believe to be true?

  1. I believe that quantum physics is largely bullshit and that religion is largely bullshit but that eventually science will discover something larger than both.

    It fits the criteria of belief in the classic sense, since I have no evidence to back it up… just a deep sense that it is true.

  2. Probably the strangest thing I believe in, from an outsider’s perspective, would be UFO’s. More specifically, the notion that some are extraterestrial in origin. Unidentified Flying Objects are fairly commonplace. After all, in the broad sense, the term simply means that it has yet to be identified. Granted, the “strange” label probably comes from the multitude of nutjobs who investigate them and the lack of serious research into the matter by a credible agency.

  3. Come to think of it, we had an incident not too long ago near our airfield that caused quite a stir at our command. I haven’t been specifically “ordered” not to disclose the details of what happened but I was told it would be in my best interests not to. So, here’s what happened….
    About two months ago, the tower operations center identified an object approximately five nautical miles from our perimeter that was moving erratically and promptly dissapeared from radar after about ten minutes. I was stationed on the flightline that night and the AC (Air Controller) on duty had spotted what she later described as a bright orange ball hovering about 500 meters above the ground no more than roughly half a mile outside base. The Catania Airport which is about 25 nautical miles out also tracked the object on radar until they too lost contact with it. The AC repeatedly made attempts to contact the pilot or pilots and received some sort of static interference at which time she notified myself and the ODO(Officer of the Deck) and FES(Fire and Emergency Services) because she believed it was an incoming aircraft with an engine pod on fire. Well, we proceeded to the inboard runway to wait for its arrival but nothing ever showed. The flight logs from the tower had no scheduled aircarft for that night (0000-0600) and neither did the Catania Airport. We contacted the local Carabinieri and Polizia through our translator liazon’s office and they said they had recieved several reports of the object, but they had otherwise failed to find any more information on it. The following morning while we were in dismount it was brought to the attention of the watch section that NCIS had been notified as well as the AMC(Air Mobile Command) and not to speak of it. Our watch commander for the night said that it wasn’t an official order but that it would be prudent if we just didn’t talk about it. After that, the AC concerned was transfered to a different division of the operations department, the ODO was relieved of command and I haven’t been scheduled for a flightline rover watch since. I honestly don’t know what to believe, but I do know that the circumstances were incredibly suspicious.

  4. Nice post, Spocko, and welcome back!  I’ve missed your learned and slightly weird slant here.

    I agree with you about the trouble we get into saying we “believe” something, especially when the “something” is “having another beer”.

    I actually don’t find the phenomenon of faith that strange.  True, it doesn’t take too much knowledge of the world to see that it’s not six thousand years old.  But as you say, it’s a very powerful meme.  Some say we are probably genetically predisposed to religion, but even if we aren’t, we are certainly predisposed to believe what our parents tell us.  Our lives depend on it.  And for those who have gotten accustomed to life, and fear death (if we didn’t know we were going to die, I can’t imagine religions ever evolving), religion has a powerful carrot and stick: heaven and hell.

    Not only that, but religions have proved time and again their prowess in organizing societies and fighting off enemies.  So I find it easy to imagine the power of the faith meme.  Of course, nowadays religions are proving to be more and more troublesome.

    swordsbane:  I don’t know much about quantum physics, and what I do know is surpassingly strange.  But I sort of doubt, that is I suspect, that most of it is not bullshit.  I turn you over to Richard Feynman:

    The theory of quantum electrodynamics has now lasted for more than fifty years, and has been tested more and more accurately over a wider and wider range of conditions. At the present time I can proudly say that there is no significant difference between experiment and theory!

    Just to give you an idea of how the theory has been put through the wringer, I’ll give you some recent numbers: experiments have Dirac’s number at 1.00115965221 (with an uncertainty of about 4 in the last digit); the theory puts it at 1.00115965246 (with an uncertainty of about five times as much). To give you a feeling for the accuracy of these numbers, it comes out something like this: If you were to measure the distance from Los Angeles to New York to this accuracy, it would be exact to the thickness of a human hair. That’s how delicately quantum electrodynamics has, in the past fifty years, been checked-both theoretically and experimentally.

    That’s pretty impressive confirmation that they’re at least on the right track.  Of course, it might well be that quantum mechanics is tossed out by the next revolution in physics.  But it certainly is good enough to make pretty accurate predictions.  Newton got defenestrated by Einstein, but Newtonian physics is still good enough to get us to the Moon and back.

    Neodromos- strange stuff.  I think it highly unlikely that any extraterrestrials are visiting us.  But I too saw something strange once, and strangely enough, it was in Italy too- on the island of Sardinia.  We were hiking along the coast back home one evening, and I saw a flock of birds over the Mediterranean.  Then, in the sky among the birds (or behind or in front- they were backlit and too far away to see clearly) I saw two or perhaps three objects.  Cursing for having brought no binoculars, I tried to make them out.  They looked spherical, and one seemed to have a cross-shaped top.  I watched them until they disappeared over the island.

    Now, it was probably something explainable.  I first thought “weather balloons”.  The strange thing was though, they were moving with the birds, not drifting.  Perhaps some experimental aircraft?  I’ll never know.

  5. Help I cannot stop myself. 

        I beleive that the aliens are already here controling our government.  They have a secret base under the airfield Neodromos is posted at and now all the humans who know about it must be “eliminated”, via transfer, orbital mind control laser or mind control powers (source of control unknown) or worse.  Neo you are in serious danger!  Do you have any tinfoil?  Make yourself a hat from tinfoil as soon as posible to protect you from the orbital mind control lasers.  They may also try to abduct you, so be careful and don’t travel alone, at night, in the countryside.  Watch out for people talking into their watches which are known to be used as alien communication devices.  Don’t wear sunglasses as they may think you are onto them and try to eliminate you.

    Here are tips on making a thought screen helmet:

    Stop Abductions

    Here is inforamtion to help protect you from alien abduction:

    Abduction Home

    On a more serious note,  I want to believe in UFO’s etc, however I believe it is more likely a natural phenomenon of the universe we have not yet come to understand (coloured lights in the sky) like a form of ball lightning.  The gulf of space is so large, this star and it’s orbiting debris may be all we have.  I believe we will go to other stars but clearly and unfortunately not in my lifetime

    Great post Spocko and thanks for sharing Neo
    tongue wink

  6. While natural phenomena would account for some incidents and aircraft others, have a look at the Tehran UFO Incident. Good stuff.

  7. That assumes that both aliens and God are equally unlikely.

    Personally, because of what I know about all the ridiculously extreme environments on Earth that life shouldn’t be able to exist in but does anyway, I consider the idea that life exists on other planets to be a safe bet to take. Given what I understand of the problems that need to be overcome to facilitate interstellar travel I find it considerably less likely that said aliens are visiting Earth on a regular or even semi-occasional basis.  That said I still find the possibility that aliens exist and have developed the means to visit the Earth way more likely than the supposed existence of God(s).

    And when you consider just how unlikely I think it is that we’ve been visited by aliens that should give you a good idea of how unlikely I consider the possibility of God(s) existing to be.

  8. Aliens: natural
    Gods: supernatural

    That’s the basic difference.

    As Les said, it seems likely that there’s life out there, although the authors of Rare Earth make the case that, while simple life forms are likely to be common in the Universe, advanced forms are much less likely.  They point out many unusual conditions conditions on Earth, including the fact that we have a giant planet not too far away, Jupiter, that sweeps up most of the debris that would otherwise hit the Earth, with devastating effects.  Check it out.  Of course, there are many imponderables, so who knows?

    But if there are no aliens, where did the Body Thetans come from?

  9. I can see your point, although I don’t neccessarily agree with it in full.  I guess the best way I can explain it is that I believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial life.  There are more than 200 billion stars in our galaxy alone, trillions in the whole Universe.  Each star has the possibility of supporting at least one planet.  Statistically, there is a fair chance of finding some form of life amongst trillions of possible planets.  That doesn’t mean I actually believe that little green men are flying down into cornfields in Oklahoma and bungholing drunken rednecks.  My belief in the possibility of aliens is rational, given information known.  Since I have yet to be presented with any reputable evidence of this happening, I don’t believe that they come to Earth and annaly probed Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel.

    Following this train of thought, the possibility of a deity is not irrational.  However, there is no evidence for the belief, hence my lack of belief.

  10. Consi: Is anybody else laughing their ass off at the scoffing at a God, but a belief in aliens?

    No, Consi, I can’t say I am. Think about how expansive the universe is, and think about how many other galaxies there are out there. We don’t (yet) have conclusive evidence of extraterrestrial life, just as we don’t have any evidence for a supernatural creator. However, the two examples are far from comparable: one involves a phenomenon that could possibly even in our lifetimes be discovered; the other is a matter of faith alone.

  11. “Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”

    Crash Davis

    Sorry, couldn’t resist….

  12. Strangest thing I believe- Somehow that everything will turn out alright. Given the people I have to deal with daily- completely irrational, and that’s before I have to force myself to ignore Mass Extinction Events.

  13. It seems improbable to me that we’re alone in the universe given its size and the varied forms that life can take—not to mention the bizzare environments in which life exists here on earth.

  14. I believe Aliens or extraterrestrial life is possible but I doubt that anyone has seen any.  The way I rationalize this is by asking two simple questions: “If you were traveling to another galaxy and came across a planet you assumed had life on it, would you sneak in and check it out?  Or would you try make contact? 

    To me it doesn’t make sense that another life form that was intelligent enough to do some of the shit believers claim, would say, “Hey I wonder what people are doing on that planet?  Ah come one Fred just a little peak? wink

    I believe in the possibility of a creator of the universe, but doubt the existence of one.

    I no longer believe in stupid conspiracy theory bullshit cause after hoping over to this site I realized it was a waste of time and energy.  The irrational idea of the conspiracy theory seemed enticing at first because it attempts to explain the, well what seems to be, unexplainable of a really emotional event.  But in all actuality it is stupid, irrational, and really a slap in the face to those affected by the event the conspiracy theory attempts to explain.

    I believe that science can explain a lot, but that it’s misuse will become stronger unless something is done to truly take religion out of the government and keep in science.  All I can say is those of you in the US, pay attention to your local government and make sure that the ID bullshit stays out.  At least become active for that cause.

  15. Spocko: At first glance this question appears simple enough.

    It does, doesn’t it?
    I believe, compared to the 60s and 70s, today’s music is crap … is that an opinion, a belief or both?

    Shelley: It seems improbable to me that we’re alone in the universe

    It’s probably why gods were invented – so people would have something to believe in.

    Given the almost infinite wink  numbers of potential solar systems around us I believe it’s rather egotistical to believe we’re the only ‘intelligent’ life-form in it.

    R Buckminster Fuller: Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering.

  16. LuckyJohn: I believe, compared to the 60s and 70s, today’s music is crap … is that an opinion, a belief or both?

    I completely agree. I’d say it would technically be an opinion, though some may also label it a belief (as in, “I believe today’s music sucks in comparison to the great music of yesteryear”).

  17. We had a lot of 78s at home when I was a kid. It was all my parent’s music of course but there was a lot I liked.
    I downloaded Les Paul and Mary Ford’s How High the Moon and The World is Waiting for the Sunrise.
    I still love the sound of them both but, as good as it is, I think my appreciation stems more from nostalgia than how good it was although Les Paul did revolutionise electric guitar and ways to record in general.
    Translate all that to mean I believe every generation knows at least two things: Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it (I’d attribute it to someone if I knew who to).
    Now I’m listening to Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.
    Yeah today’s music is fucked.  wink

  18. I’m just doing swimmingly, my dear. How about yourself?

    Overworked and underpaid with very little in the way of free time, darling. Still, not too bad, having some good times. Alwyas a pleasure to chat you up, but I think we occasionally bollocks up a perfectly good thread with out flirting.

    Maybe I need to work one of these instant messenger type gadgets. Any suggestions.

  19. Actually, I’d label that one as a fact.

    Dammit… you beat me to it.

    is that an opinion, a belief or both?

    I think the difference lies in your conviction of the statement.  LJ, you seem to say that todays music sucks as if you firmly believe it to be true.  I believe that to be a belief. LOL

  20. KPG: Alwyas a pleasure to chat you up, but I think we occasionally bollocks up a perfectly good thread with out flirting.

    I like to think that we enhance already-fascinating threads.  smile 

    Anyway, hang in there. It’s good that you’re having good times, and as Howard Jones once said, things can only get better.

  21. LJ says: Now I’m listening to Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Lights.

    Proof that even in the craziest of humans there are redeeming qualities to be found.  tongue rolleye

  22. Consi: Proof that even in the craziest of humans there are redeeming qualities to be found.

    Many people regarded the late Hunter S. Thompson as one of the craziest of humans. I regarded him as one of the most ingenious and creative.

  23. LJ, Sadie, KPG, Webs- believe it or not, when I wrote my first post here, I considered saying that the strangest thing I believed to be true is that music from the 60’s was better than most music today.  Now is that a strange coincidence, or what?

    Of course, a lot of music from the 50’s was good too: Dufay, Binchois, Ockeghem…  Naturally, I mean the 1450’s. LOL

    Webs: glad to hear you’ve seen through the conspiracy crap.  It is enticing, or it wouldn’t have followers.  But it is indeed crap.  I’ve been chatting up the guys at the Bible Code site, because I’m curious how people can get sucked into such self-evidently ridiculous beliefs.  At least one of them not only believes that 9/11 was an inside job, but is also a Holocaust denier, along with believing all this Bible code crap with the Illuminati and whatnot.  Turns out, though, that for him, what actually happened is secondary:  the important thing is that the Devil is behind it all, and we have to properly interpret the Bible to find out what we should do, and what’s going to happen next.  Rational thinking is not only in short supply among these guys, but it is disdained as a waste of time.

  24. In the 70’s I thought 70’s music was the best. In the 80’s I thought 80’s music was the best. In the 90’s I thought 90’s music was the best. See a pattern here? No one can ever accuse me of being stuck in the past. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love and appreciate The Doors either. Now I’m not an old guy at 42, but to say that music today just sucks is as closed minded as can be, something I wouldn’t expect from this crowd. grin Every decade has it’s shitty music, but if you don’t look deeper, then you’re missing out.

  25. I strongly believe in the existence of aliens, although I doubt that they have ever visited the earth (so perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I believe in extra-terrestrial life elsewhere in the universe).

    From our understandings of the history of life on our own planet, it appears that primitive life formed, was completely destroyed, and reformed several times.  This indicates that forming life is not that extranordinary, if certain criteria are met: right abundance of heavy elements, right temperature range and fluctuation, right radiation sheilding, etc.

    Probably only a small percentage of planets meet those conditions, but the universe is a huge place.  Much, much larger than most people imagine.  Our own galaxy contains between 200 and 400 billion stars (cite).  All the stars that we can see and have studied are in our own galaxy.  (For the sci-fi geeks out there, pretty much all sci-fi stories take place within a single galaxy, no matter what kind of propulsion they are using).  And of the stars we can see, we know that planets are somewhat common.  We’ve already found over 200, and we’re just figuring out how to do it (cite).

    Even if planets capable of supporting life are very uncommon, say one per 500 billion stars, that still means that there are a lot of candidate planets.  In a typical galaxy there are between ten million and one trillion stars (cite), so even with the small number of candidate planets used above, that would give 0-2 candidates per galaxy.

    To get an idea of just how many galaxies there are in the universe, check out the Hubble ultra deep field picture: link.  Do yourself a favor and download the high-res image and start counting the number of galaxies that you can see.  Now consider that that image represents a portion of the sky about one tenth the size of the moon, and that it is typical of what you will see in all parts of the sky.  There are over 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and an estimated 70 sextillion (7×10e22) stars in the known universe (cite).

    Given these facts, I find it almost ridiculous to believe that we are alone in the universe.  (See the Drake equation for more info).

    However, I really doubt that aliens have ever visited our planet.  The distances between planets is amazingly large (the nearest star of 4.3 light years away, and the nearest galaxy is 160,000 light years away), and considering that we have only been broadcasting recognizable signals for about 50-60 years, this give a small range of other planets that could have even detected us, not to mention traveled over to us.

    Furthermore, life needs (relatively) heavy elements to form the complex chemical structures to make intelligent beings.  These heavy elements are only made in the supernova of stars (pretty much all matter started out as hydrogen and helium), and it takes a while for enough stars to go supernova, reform more stars, go supernova again, etc. until there are sufficient heavy elements.  This means that other life couldn’t have been around too long before it appeared on our planet.  I just don’t think that there is enough time for life to have arisen anywhere else and traveled over to visit us.

    And even if aliens were able to detect us and travel over for a visit, do you think that they would use their immense intelligence and advanced technology just to cut up some cows and draw some circles in our crops?

  26. I’ve been chatting up the guys at the Bible Code site,

    Man I don’t know how you have the patience to chat with them.  It’s gotta be like banging your head on a brick wall.

    Saying music today sucks was my half ass attempt at being facetious.  I do like some modern day music, but unless a folk artist wrote it, it probably sucks.  However…

    If you want to hear amazingly good music written by the most famous independent band go here: Dispatch.  Just a little history for those of you that give a shit wink, Dispatch in their final concert had over 120,000 people show, and from 22 countries.  They advertised the entire concert just by word of mouth.  The same way they did all their other shows.  As soon as the link open, you can listen to all their albums using the bar on the top of the page.

  27. DWangerin: Yes, with the exception of one point: although I don’t doubt the possibility of life starting repeatedly on Earth, I’ve never heard of any evidence for it.  Such evidence is hard to imagine- how could you tell the difference, from fossils, between a life form on our family tree and one from another family tree?  I suppose if there were incontrovertible evidence of a sterilizing catastrophe occuring after a time from which fossils are known.  But I’ve never heard of any, and given the incredible range of habitats inhabited by life today, it’s hard to imagine anything having sterilized the Earth without having evaporated the oceans, which has never occurred since their formation, as far as I know.  But if you know of any concrete evidence for multiple beginnings of life, I’d be very excited to hear it.

    If anyone is still interested in 9/11 conspiracies, Popular Mechanics, my favorite magazine when I was about twelve to fifteen, does the right thing.

  28. Consi: Proof that even in the craziest of humans there are redeeming qualities to be found.

    LOL  Thankyou – I think.  wink
    Yeah, I question my sanity every time my mate asks: And where’re you going with this, John? or:
    Back up the truck a bit … how’d you get from what we were talking about to what you’re talking about now?
    And that’s a mate, isn’t it? Someone who knows you, and loves you anyway. 
    I’ve got Les & Mary doing ‘The world is waiting for the Sunrise’ again – far out – if you can download and listen to it and realise there are only 2 singers and 1 guitarist extrodinaire and his 8-track invention … you can tell, can’t you – I had an early start on the Mullumbimby Madness and Mt Bingar Fuity Red.  LOL

    S-Sadie, I like Hunter‘s stuff too. In a weird way he made sense of it all – the first Gonzo… ?
    My favourite Hunter S Thompson quote is: I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me. [and they still do … ambiguity noted]
    Running a close second:
    The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.
    There’s also a negative side …  LOL
    What’s it gonna be boy, Yes or No? … I gotta know right now … Can it get better than NOW!?
    Replay
    Replay

    And … a close third?  The Edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over.
    Yeah … I know … I’m on the edge; I’m taking up a bit of room.

    I had a little trouble thinking about what I was sure of … ‘what do you believe in?’.
    It reminded me of Monkey and: Cleverness learns something, but wisdom gives up some certainty every day.
    I must be fucked.  wink

    Brooks: … love and appreciate The Doors

    I had to Google to remind me when Jimmy died – I was in bed, been back ‘in country’ 6 months and my ‘life support system for a cunt’ woke me up to tell me Jim was dead.
    I didn’t get excited.
    I’d been inured against stuff (?)  .  🙁
    We’re just riders in a storm … stoned … immaculate .. smile

  29. DWangerin: However, I really doubt that aliens have ever visited our planet.

    Why not?
    Picture y’self as a young lad … with all the resources …
    Wouldn’t you go for a cruise?
    Oh, right, we’re dealing with ‘grown up’ civilisations.  LOL

  30. Brooks- I don’t think anyone here is saying that all the music from the 60’s is better than all today’s music.  While I sometimes pass my daughter’s room rather quickly to get away from the noise, other times I go in, listen a while, and ask her what I’m listening to.  There’s even crappy medieval music…

    We’re just riders in a storm … stoned … immaculate ..

    Speak for yourself, bub.  I’m sitting, it’s sunny outside, haven’t had a whiff for months, and I’m sure as hell not immaculate. tongue rolleye

  31. Short on time this morning, but I’m definitely stuck in the 80’s and early 90’s music wise. Some stuff from the 70’s isn’t too bad and there’s even a handful of Disco songs I can tolerate. Outside of a few exceptions (e.g. The Beatles) I’m not overly fond of most music from the 50’s or 60’s.

    As for my strangest belief, I’d have to say it’s my unending faith in my fellow humans’ ability to improve themselves in spite of their nature and despite all the evidence that seems to contradict such a belief.

  32. As for my strangest belief, I’d have to say it’s my unending faith in my fellow humans’ ability to improve themselves in spite of their nature and despite all the evidence that seems to contradict such a belief.

    And you all thought that the 9/11 conspiracy nuts and the UFO aficionados were strange!  Les is an optimist!  Hahaha! Sigh…

  33. Zilch: While I sometimes pass my daughter’s room rather quickly to get away from the noise, other times I go in, listen a while, and ask her what I’m listening to. 

    Please de-mystify the music for me, darlin’ daughter (cos it’s just noise to me). LOL

    I’m sure as hell not immaculate.

    Ah, that word immaculate – PERFECT.
    I know that in any moment of time I am … immaculate.
    Yeah, I know perfection leaves no room for any ‘more perfection’ but as we’ll never (an absolute) be able to define perfection, let alone get there, I am (for me) as close as I’ll ever be, without more knowledge and experience, to perfection. (a lot of provisos in there, A?)
    During my straightest of times I can just sit, relax and breath and recall the ‘feeling’ and the speed of thought processes (or is it the de-acceleration of all thought) and just be here, or there.

    EORave. smile  nearly

    I’m listening to ‘Solace – A Mexican Serenade’ – Scott Joplin – wow, that left hand work is sooo beautiful, mesmerising … immaculate … as are most his rags.  wink

    We’re just riders in a storm

    We are always at the whim of the Goddess called Fortune no matter how much we try or which decision we may make; it’s just a bet against (or is it with?) providence.
    KISS
    I’m listening to Django & Stéphane doing Tears; with two fingers missing he’s still the master.
    Django and Stéphane are as different as Stéphane and Yehudi – it is said that one told Nigel Kennedy it was more important to feel the music; the other told him it was more important to practice.
    Stéphane said: Improvisation, it is a mystery. You can write a book about it, but by the end no one still knows what it is. When I improvise and I’m in good form, I’m like somebody half sleeping. I even forget that there are people in front of me. Great improvisers are like priests, they are thinking only of their God.
    A-mon. smile

  34. LJ- what you said.  Django and Stéphane are great.  I spent a fair amount of time in the 70’s playing street music, mostly Joplin rags arranged for our quartet (flute, clarinet, trombone, and French horn).  Ah, those were the days…  although we never made much money.  Didn’t even have groupies.  But we had a lot of fun.

    You’re not immaculate till you’re dead.  Alternatively, you’re always immaculate, since there’s no logically defensible definition of “perfection” that’s any better than any other, except perhaps “nothingness”.  Or “everythingness”.  Whatever.  Good on you.

    Consi- yes, there are some good songs with cowbell.  Who can argue with “Creep”, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, “Purple Haze”, or “Helter Skelter”?  But cowbell does not confer timelessness.  “Rock Lobster”?  “Psychotic Reaction”?  Pulleeze.

  35. Zilch,

    In my (limited) experience, willingness to believe strange things extends from the willingness to question and a lack of willingness to question against. Regarding 9/11, there are still lots of unanswered/unanswerable questions and that means plenty of legroom for laziness.

    I think my strangest belief has to be the idea that people are all on the parallel – that we all have the same potential. I mean, it’s probably useful for me, but I have no idea if it’s right or not. I often act from the other side of the fence. See, when I think of strange beliefs, I think of beliefs that are awkward or make little sense. I’m sure you’ll all find them during my time here, (laughter). Everyone else thinks I’m odd, I’m sure you all will, too.

  36. Regarding 9/11, there are still lots of unanswered/unanswerable questions and that means plenty of legroom for laziness.

    Indeed, Patness.  Of course, lots of unanswered/unanswerable questions are exactly what one should expect in an event of this magnitude.  What exactly happened on 9/11, or, say, exactly how life evolved, can never be known with the certainty that the truth the Bible can be known.

    I already find you a bit odd, but I think all intelligent people are a bit odd.

  37. LJ & Sadie,

    As you’re both fond of the good Doctor Thompson, I have to ask if you’re familiar with Warren Ellis, paticularly his “Transmetropolitan” series about a near-future sf version of Hunter. It’s absolutly brilliant and brutal satire that I think you’d both love.

  38. Giants and Aliens walked the Earth a long time ago. Then they left.

    Then they came back, to Roswell.

    The weather balloon thing is a cover up.

    An agreement was reached with the Aliens that they would give us technology in return for humans not infesting the rest of the galaxy.

    They are coming back, probably sometime in the next 20 to 30 years, at which point they will give us more technology and also reveal some of the secrets of the universe!

    Some of the early Alien visitors played practical jokes on humans, that is how some of the worlds religions got started, by accident!

    Those responsible were punished for breaking the prime directive.

    Other planets.

  39. KPG: I’ve heard the name Warren Ellis, but I’m not familiar with his work. I just might have to check it out, though. Thanks for the reference!

  40. Patness: Everyone else thinks I’m odd, I’m sure you all will, too.

    I’ve never found you weird in any way – but coming from me that means little, yes.  LOL

    KPG: I have to ask if you’re familiar with Warren Ellis

    I hadn’t heard about him.
    Sounds like an interesting character, thanks for the pointer. smile

  41. EO: Some of the early Alien visitors played practical jokes on humans, that is how some of the worlds religions got started, by accident!

    That theory is much more credible than Genesis and goddidit.  wink

  42. Hmmm…if by “strange” I’m talking about foreign to popular belief, I’d say that my belief that George Bush sr. played a part in arranging the assassination of John F. Kennedy while a member of the CIA is right up there. It’s probably one of the only things I can really think of. My evidence is purely circumstantial, but I believe I can mount enough of it to make a minor case. At the very least, he was present in Dallas, was a member of the CIA, he approached J Edgar Hoover to question him about the anti-Castro reaction to the assassination…the CIA has already been implicated by some in the assassination. I also believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was a very willing participant in the assassination. I just think he got screwed over when the going got tough. Great…now I sound like a nutjob. Thanks guys, I knew there was a good reason this question made me feel uncomfortable. smile

    memo: http://www.tomflocco.com/Docs/Jfk/PresJfkBush.gif

    Click the icon in the bottom right corner to increase the size of the memo that Hoover wrote. He mentions Bush sr. and look at the title of the memo. Funny, when asked when he was running for president, Bush lied and said he wasn’t a member of the CIA during this time period.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~twainable/id18.html

    There is other evidence that he was present in Dallas during the assassination, and…well…I believe based on the political careers of both he and his son, it’s pretty clear how they feel about human life.

    He also benefited from it politically.

    (Regarding 911, without any conspiracy theories, anyone here have an explanation for how Rice was able to warn her friend Mayor of Sanfransisco Willie Brown not to fly the day of Sept 11th 2001 on September 10th 2001? Because she did, and it’s a fact. Brown was a fool for revealing that information the morning of 911, he clearly didn’t realize what it was implicating. There has yet to be an explanation why or how she would call him to tell him not to fly on 911 without implicating previous knowledge. So no conspiracys. Just a legitimate question that has never been answered honestly. The phone company verified that the call was made, and Brown told reporters she called him to warn him not to fly. The rest is arguably debatable.)

  43. Erhhmmm…everyone here would agree (I presume) that the fire fighters were incredibly brave and selfless on 911. How many of you have seen this video?

     

    Do you think he was lying? The tower came down within a minute of that video. Explanation?

  44. Actually, feel free to throw those claims in to this “strangest things you believe” catagory.

    Here’s the most obvious thing I believe. Something that is somewhat “strange”, but completely obvious and completely factual. It has to do with 911.

    First of all, professionally and scholastically, I have 2 areas of expertise. Finances, and sciences.

    I believe that there are a lot of loopy mistruths being spread about 911 by mostly well meaning people, but when you get truth+emense emotions+imagination the results are pure FUBAR confusion. I have personal experiences with the makers of Loose Change and their regular posters. We do not get along. They and their regulars are all well intending, however they’ve allowed paranoia and fear to cloud their critical thinking skills. There were also a few anti-semites amoungst their regulars that I often fought with. I’m also not a big fan of Alex Jones and many of the largest proponents of 911 consipracys. What I am however, is interested in the science behind 911, because I know for a fact the official story is false. It’s not even a decent hack job to account for what happened. So what did happen? I would love to get the collective of this website to take a challenge I am offering and help all of us figure it out to the best of our abilities. What have we got to lose? If we are not conspiracy nut cases, then there is no harm in examining the science, correct?

    Now, I believe based on my limited experience on this website that the average IQ of the regulars on here is higher than the average IQ of the populous. (I’m right, aren’t I? *laugh*) So this is a great opportunity, to challenge all of you.

    Here is my challenge.

    Watch the following video in its entirety:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6708190071483512003

    The videos title is “9/11 Mysteries” and can also be found in other locations, but google video was the most convinient for me.

    You have to promise to watch the entire video. It is about an hour or so long. The first 40 or so minutes are nearly exclusive science. Physics, chemistry and a little bit of biology. (Mostly physics and chemistry). This is nothing like Loose Change or any of the other conspiracy type videos you will ever see. This is about as close as you are ever going to witness of a scientific break down of the events of 911.

    Please…do not take my word for anything. Do not take their words for anything. In fact, feel free to take the opposite opinion of everything you are about to hear and see on the video if you like. However, when it’s all said and done, I would like to meet with all of you on another thread, set up exclusively to discuss nothing but the science behind 911.

    Now here is the thing…my challenge is not just to watch the video. My challenge is for all of you, or any of you to watch the video and then do your absolute best to disprove ANY of the scientific claims on the video. I consider myself ignorant on many things in this world. I do however consider myself quite knowledgable on many of the sciences that come up in the video, and I’ve spent the past 2 weeks to try disprove the claims. I can find a few websites that were blatant shills for the admin, and have been proven as such, but I really don’t want someone to just post a link to a website that refutes things. I want the group of you very intelligent ladies and gents to prove as many of the scientific claims of this video as you possibly can. Then I’d like to get together and discuss them in a mature, respectful manner. I’m willing to take in new information and ideas from all of you should you prove anything or disprove anything in the video.

    I’m still pretty new on this website, but I think it’s safe to say that we all care about the fate of the world. The implications of just the science of this video are…grander than anything else I can think of right now.

    Please…allow me this one challenge and accept. Please do the research on each of the claims and bring to the follow up discussions anything you wish. I promise I will be more than polite and am willing to hear everyone’s opinions.

    Will you take it? Will you accept the challenge? Is the fate of the world worth it to you? You are just as free to watch it and say “Ahhh…I still don’t believe” if you like. But…then I’d like to have an open discussion of what we all think and why.

    All I can do is humbly hope you accept and if all goes well, several of you will post ideas and theories based on the film and perhaps with our collective intelligence and experiences we can postulate a true accurate theory that reflects the just of all of our beliefs.

    Again…please do me this favor and participate. Even if you don’t, please watch this video.

    Thank you very much, and I have to say it’s been an complete pleasure to meet all of you kind folks.

    p.s. – Admin/Les – Sorry, I’m still a big rookie at this. Should this challenge have been put in it’s own formumn? If so, how do I do that? If you can help or give me advice, I’d really appreciate it!

    Thanks

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