Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Handed Keyboards and Evolutionary Computing

If you’re reading this you likely have one advantage over me when it comes to typing. You can type the word QWERTY faster than I can.

These letters are found in order on the top row of the majority of the world’s keyboards and typewriters. The arrangement prevents keys jamming together, a design flaw inherent in 19th century typewriters that has long since been remedied. The arrangement was not intended for speed.

So, why am I so slow to type QWERTY? My keyboard is different. I’ve been using a Dvorak keyboard layout for just shy of a decade. Where you have QWERTY I have the letters ‘,.PYF. For your ASDF I have AOEU. The rest of the keyboard is similarly rearranged, the goal being to design an arrangement more conducive to efficient typing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Orderly Explosion on O'Connell Street

Some months ago I spoke to a chap on O'Connell Street intent on curing me of my atheism. He opened with:
"I could never be an atheist. Give me one other example of an explosion leading to order."
As luck would have it I could think of a few.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Porn, rape, Hamza Tzortzis and statistical analysis

Hamza Tzortzis has recently published a response in his questions and answers section entitled "Do Liberal Societies Facilitiate Rape via the Legalisation of Pornography?" In it he attempts to link liberal society with consumption of pornography, consumption of pornography with rape, and offers Islamic society as a corrective solution.

As a member of a liberal society I read the article with much interest. If he's right it's the most important article on the internet. as head of research with iERA he is "responsible for ensuring all of the research projects are ... of the highest standard". His team and target market are both based in liberal countries as of course are many of the world's Muslims, so it would be best if he tackled the subject with tact and care to avoid the offence caused by inaccurate research.

Let's see if he was of a similar mindset:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lennox, evolution and honesty

If you have a moment, perhaps you could add a comment to my Amazon review of God's Undertaker? There are four creationists commenting on it at present (generally polite chaps) and regrettably I don't have the time to give all of them lengthy replies.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Disciples Wouldn't Die for a Lie

"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

-Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:14, NIV

The resurrection is the sine qua non of the Christian faith and much has been written in its defence. Today I'd like to address one I've heard from a few different sources. My suspicion is that it originated with Lee Strobel's 'The Case for Christ' but I haven't given the origins investigation extensive time. Getting through the Case for Christ was trial enough already.

Anyway, on to the argument. It proceeds as follows:

  • Witnesses to the events of the resurrection are listed in the Gospels
  • They would not have been willing to die for their faith if it were based on a lie

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

With A Pinch of Salt

"The Qur'an is full of scientific miracles. You'll enjoy it!"

I'm outside the GPO where an enthusiastic fellow Irishman offered me a pamphlet concerning a man who favoured red underwear. It didn't strike me as immediately relevant so I asked if he'd be willing to talk me through a sample scientific miracle instead.

Monday, November 7, 2011

No Sacred Cows

Perhaps I should introduce myself. Or perhaps not. A minor part of me values my privacy. A more significant part of me realises the information will not be interesting to either of my readers. Perhaps it's better if I introduce my interest.

I talk to street preachers. Almost exclusively street preachers. I'm not the sort of chap who'll spot a pensioner clutching a set of rosary beads and demand the owner explain the distinction between the output of a Peritus and output caused by pertussis. I don't initiate conversation, though I have been known to walk past stalls incredibly slowly. In short, anyone who wishes to discuss their views on the nature of reality will likely find in me a receptive ear.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dark Side of the Moonies

A few days ago I blogged about meeting a Moonie evangelist outside the GPO in Dublin. I was polite. She was perplexing. The meeting spawned some research on my part and I now regret my civil tone.

It seems her Messiah said the 6 million Jews that died in the holocaust were paying their just indemnity for killing Christ., and that they had to suffer for 2,000 years as a result.

Like many religious leaders, he reserves his greatest opprobrium for those who love people of the same gender. In a world where every psychopath and mass murder is the fruit of heterosexual relationship I find the logic confusing.

The official church website employs hamfisted alliteration  in its description of homosexuals as dirty dung eating dogs. He longs for the day when [t]here will be a purge on God's orders, and evil will be eliminated like shadows. Gays will be eliminated ... If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist purge but at God's orders.

Debating creationists in Dublin

Anthony Brazabon, Dublin street preacher, blogger and podcast host is disappointed at the lack of debate on young earth creationism.
So I've volunteered my services.
I'll let you know if he gets back to me.