Thursday, February 16, 2017

ICE Arrests Domestic Violence Victim at Texas Courthouse

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/02/ice-arrests-domestic-violence-victim-at-texas-courthouse.html?mid=emailshare_di

The Trump immigration policy (which is either actively supported or simple ignored by almost every Republican in Congress), simply treats undocumented immigrants as a lesser kind of person.  They happened to be born in another country and came to the US for a better life.  However, they will soon be forced to live below the law.  They will refuse to ever go to any law enforcement agency out of fear of deportation.  If they are a victim of crime or a witness, they simply will not go.  This will inevitable lead to people committing more crimes against undocumented people.  They will no longer be protected by either the law or law enforcement.

I ask everyone out there to put yourself in their place.  You are born into a poor area of Mexico, that is just where you happen to be born (you don't get to choose where you are born).  You grow up seeing some terrible things around you, what do you do?  Would you consider sneaking into the US to improve your opportunity?  If you believe the US is the greatest country in the world, why not (do you believe that?).  Now you are here and living a normal life, normal job (just imagine you have the same job, life, income, children that you actually have now).  Now imagine that on your way home, you are attacked at raped (this applies whether you are male or female).  You get a good look at your attacker and could identify him.  What do you do?  If you go to the police, they will deport you.  You are in this country illegally, which means you have committed a crime, and therefore you are a criminal.  Really think about it, what would you do?  And if you do nothing, what message are your sending to the rapist (and other potential rapist, or muggers, or whatever).  What is the scenario was a little different, but if an undocumented person witnessed you being raped?  Would you expect them to come forward and help you (at the risk of them being deported and their family ripped apart)?  This is not some thought experiment, it has been happening for decades in the shadows of society.  Now it will be public policy.  The entire concept of a "Sanctuary City" is to avoid these tragedies.   How can anybody be against this?  How selfish do you have to be or create a system that puts people is such danger just because you think they are taking your job?  Of course unemployment is lower now that at almost anytime in the past 40 years.  So that line of thinking is not just immoral, but based on inaccurate assumptions.

I am not religious, but I am utterly confounded that it is the same people who claim to be guided by Christianity that support selfish, cruel, immoral, policies like this.  What would Jesus do?  Do they talk about this at Church?  How is it justified?  There is the law of the land, and the law of god, which do they follow and why?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The "Deal"

This sums it up...

"“Conservatives do and should view [Trump] as their current best chance to get conservative policy enacted into law because that was the grand bargain made,” said Rory Cooper, a Republican strategist who opposed Trump’s candidacy for president. “The idea was they would overlook certain behaviors and distractions from President Trump in anticipation of being able to have a willing signature on the other end of conservative legislation.”

Republicans will support/ignore whatever Trump does as long as he supports all their legislation.  It is a very simple concept.  Trump policies on immigration, trade, education, elections, etc., are not a concern for Republicans, so they won't object.  In return, Trump will (supposedly) support a conservative agenda to lower taxes, reduce public assistance, be pro-life, and reduce regulations of almost any kind.  It empowers both Trump and Republicans in Congress to be as aggressive as possible.  However, how will they react when one of the policies is extremely unpopular.  Will they stand together?  Will they care?

On a related note, Democrats are still not holding Republicans for this deal?  If Trump is a disaster, Republicans won't be implicated as much as they should be.  They should be getting Republicans on the record supporting Trump's policies, ability to govern, decision making, ethnics, cabinet members, etc.  For example, they should have people on record if "They supported Michael Flynn", "If they trust Trump's judgement when appointing somebody like Michael Flynn", "Would you have appointed Michael T. Flynn"?  They should be doing this for everybody and everything.   


It is worth noting that the Democrats had  control of both houses in Congress for two years during Obama's first term.  They used this to implement the affordable care act, which will be repealed in due time.   

Friday, February 10, 2017

How to win in a world with no moderates

@HuffingtonPost @CNNPolitics @politico
When I studied political science, they explained that most people were moderate and fewer people had more extreme ideologies (top chart).  If this is the case, the way to win an election was to be as close to other candidate as possible, but very slightly to your ideology.  This meant that candidates were actually very similar and whoever was more mainstream won.  However, this might not apply anymore.  Perhaps there aren't very many moderates and people feel much stronger about their positions (second chart).  The implications are numerous.  In order to win your party's nomination, the candidate has to be more extreme.  Jeb Bush would have probably done great 20 years ago (attracting  moderate Republicans and Democrats, but now neither of those exist is large numbers).  So you end up with two candidates that are further and further from each other, with moderates disliking both of them.  So if the button chart reflects the population, how can a candidate win the nomination and not be seen as a radical by the rest of the party.

For example, if Hillary Clinton had actually taken up some republican policies she would have won easily (see purple star with blue line).  If she came out for gun rights, lower taxes, and against some international trade agreements, she would have easily beat Trump.  However, she might not have beaten Bernie Sanders to get the nomination.  What past candidates have done in this situation was say one thing for the primaries and another for the general elections.  Hillary could have easily done this, but instead she doubled down on her principals thinking that when she won, she could do everything.  However, she didn't win, so it doesn't really matter.  Future candidate will face this same issue for both parties.  If Democrats move their entire platform to the right (which is definitely a concession), they can dominate.  However, Republicans could do that same thing, but moving to the left (stop cutting social programs and stop with the tax cuts for the rich).


I know this isn't anything new, but I always wanted to visual it.  

Note: If Hillary Clinton had promised not to introduce any legislation or regulations reducing gun rights, she might have won and gun sales would go down.  For all of Obama's plans to have gun laws, he didn't do anything meaningful and every time he tried, gun sales went through the roof.  If it isn't an issue you can win, why lose votes over it?  It's called a compromise.  


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Are we all immigrants?

The media says “We are all from immigrant families, how can we discriminate against new immigration.  Immigrants built this country and helped make it great”.  Of course, this is technically true, but I fear that this line of reasoning is actually having the opposite effect of what they are trying to accomplish.  A significant number of people in this country, especially in the south, do not consider themselves immigrants, or their family immigrants. Tens of millions are descended from families that have been in this country for 400 or even 500 years; they were the ones that actually settled the land, build the first cities and farms, fought in the revolutionary war, wars with native Americans and Mexicans, the Civil War, WW1 and WW2.  They consider themselves truly “Americans” and fundamentally different from the immigration waves in the 19th and 20th century.  They see a completely different set of values in immigration, and many believe that every new immigrant is taking a job away from an American citizen (this is especially worrisome for in the immigrants do not share their Christian values).  Exposure to new immigrants is also particularly interesting.  19 states have a foreign born population less than 5%.  8 states have a foreign born population over 15%.  The two states with the largest percent of foreign born residents (New York and California) are actually very supportive of this population.  Sorry, drifting off topic.

The media, by their insistence on the “everyone is an immigrant” message is actually feeding right into Donald Trump’s message, which is that the media is trying to manipulate you and they are part of some un-American liberal conspiracy (and not to be trusted).  Which raises the question of what would be a better strategy to communicate the importance of immigration and diversity in a language that everyone can relate to.  The media can make a stronger correlation between diversity and “Patriotism”.  "That the founding fathers valued diversity; and that all Americans were willing to fight and die to protect others in WW1 and WW2.  That Trump is trying to destroy the values that our grandparents died to protect.  They understood that American has the opportunity to be the good guys, to protect those in need, to shelter those who fled from tyranny, and embrace diversity.  We cannot, and will not be the bad guys, we will not destroy families, we will not torture people, or turn people away.  It isn’t Christian, it isn’t American, and if they support the walls and the bands, they are the ones who are part of an un-American conspiracy."

In the end, you cannot change somebody's mind without talking to them in a way that is meaningful and honest to them.  There are tens of millions of people that aren't sure what to do and think.  They are getting facts (and alternative facts) from everyone and in the end the might listen to those they trust and understand.  

And if that doesn't work, look to the bible...
Leviticus 19:33-34 and 24:22 – When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.  The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself.”

Deuteronomy 10:18-19 – “For the Lord your God...loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. 


Monday, February 06, 2017

Superbowl 51

😟

(nothing more to say)

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Democrats in Congress don't have a plan

I am shocked that Democrats in Congress don't have a plan (at least not yet) to really hold Republicans accountable for their support of Donald Trump.  They should circulate a petition that says "Good judgement is a part of being a good elected official.  I believe Donald Trump will be an excellent President and I support all of his Cabinet nominations.  When he is a great President, I want everyone to know that I supported him.  If he turns out to be a disaster, than my judgement is clearly poor and perhaps I am not fit for this position." Of course it could be written better, but there is no negative to this, even if Republicans don't sign it.  Unless Trump is great, but this really wouldn't change anything in that case either.  Democrats need to make a strong association that every Republican who supports Trump's nominees for executive orders is the same a Trump.  That they are "putting party above country".  Likewise, democrats need to get every Republican on the record either supporting or non supporting every questionable decision.  Do they support the firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates?  Yates is probably going to sue over this and if she wins, as many people as possible should be accountable.  Likewise is the travel restrictions are deemed illegal, Trump will have fired a person who refused to enact a regulation that was illegal (which is her responsible and obligation to do).  This goes the same with the Executive Orders.  If Trump fails, Democrats can really leverage that to try and take back Congress.  If he succeeds, than you can bet the Republicans will do everything they can to increase their majority.

Friday, January 27, 2017

End of the world

Nuclear weapons changed the world; they provided a deterrent unlike anything the world has ever known.  All previous wars in history would not have happened if either side had nuclear weapons.  Of course nuclear powers still have wars against each other, but now they are proxy wars (like Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc), but that is a story for a different day.  

However, there is one technology that would reserve this.  With all the technological advances in the world, countries seem to fall flat trying to create this one thing, but eventually it will happen.  That technology is an extremely effective missile defense system.  It doesn't seem that difficult to create a technology that can identify an incoming missile (or bombs) and blast it out of the air (using a high powered laser would make sense).  Hypothetically, if China and Russia invested $100billion a year into this technology, for however long it takes, until they developed an effective laser grid, what would be the result.

Note: The United States, Russia, China, India, Israel, and France are all investing in this technology, including $10billion the US spends on it every year.  However, none of them are even close to 100% effective, but there is no reason why this technology won't be perfected at some point in the future.

Every single empire in the history of the world has fallen.  Almost every country has been invaded and occupied.  Why do we have this believe in America that such a prospect is impossible (it has happened to everyone else, why are we so special).  The nuclear deterrent is one very special reason why (plus our geography), but our nuclear weapons only work if they can each their target.

So let's say that China and Russia (who have virtually unlimited resources and dream of world domination) create this technology and actually invade.  They nuke Washington, Hawaii and threaten to nuke a major US city every day until we surrender.  We could fight back with traditional weapons, but just look at the size and capacities of those countries (without the ability to ability to launch missiles, our biggest advantage is lost).  If we don't surrender, we fight.  Both sides races to build more tanks and ships; are we really to win that contest (do we understand the manufacturing and population capacity of China)?  They have more people, more resources, and nuclear weapons.  Even if we get a few nukes past their defense system, would they really even care about the damage.  Maybe, our best bet might to obliterate the entire world environment with the nukes we have, which would cause both sides to lose.  Would the rest of the world rush to our aid?  Maybe England would, but perhaps the rest of Europe would remember that the US didn't exactly rush to their aid during WW2.  It certainly wouldn't help if we had a President that took us out of NATO, defunded the United Nations, and declared an America-first policy.

Eventually, the technology to defend against nuclear missiles we be developed and one country will be first to have it.  If that country has a desire to take over the world, than we may be doomed.  History has shown that there are a few blood-thirty megalomaniac, dictators at all times.  If Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Tojo, Chiang Kai-shek, or any other dictator would have been able to mass produce nuclear weapons first, they (realistically) could have taken over the world.  However, the US was the first and Truman decided that world domination wasn't our thing, which is lucky for everyone.  However, the technology to stop nuclear weapons is just an important.  Perhaps we should make sure that we win this technological race as well.

Side note: The UN tried to ban all countries from building such a missile defense system (which would maintain the status quo and avoid this issue indefinitely), but the US voted against it.  We also had a treaty with the Soviet Union to minimize any missile defense systems that we have (again maintaining the status quo), but the US withdrew from that as well.  Of course, in our defense, we might not believe that some other countries would comply with these agreements, putting us a significant risk.

This was my thought in the shower last night.  Perhaps is it just my mind trying to think of something less depressing that the current news.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sight beyond Sight

15 years ago, I made one of the best decisions on my life.  I had LASIK to correct my vision.  It took 5 minutes, costs about $3,000 and my vision has been wonderful ever since (more on that in a bit).  Prior to the surgery, my vision wasn't terrible, but bad enough that I had to wear contacts/glasses all the time.  I could have remained in contacts forever, but the investment was well worth the increase in quality of life.  How much money is it worth to never have to worry about contacts, or to be able to see in the middle of the night?  Over 15 years the cost of contacts would have easily exceeding $3,000, but even without those costs it would be worth it.  For 50 cents a day, I see clear.

Appreciation of what you have is one of the most difficult things for anyone.  It is why people always seem to want more and don't actually become happier (even as technology makes our lives much easier).  I rarely appreciate the wonders of indoor plumbing, air-conditioning, cars, or computers; however, I regularly appreciate my vision.  I earnestly think about it at least once a week and am grateful.

15 years later, my vision is just barely starting to get worse (which is pretty amazing considering that I stare at the computer screen most of the day).  My left eye is 20/25 and my right eye is 20/40.  There is no need for contacts and I can see everything that I need very well.  Still, wouldn't it be nice if my vision was even sharper.  And so, I went back to Dr. Dello Russo last week (this was my first visit to any eye doctor since my original eye surgery).  They said that they can correct the vision in my right eye without an problem.  The procedure now takes only as few seconds, which is ridiculous (it used to take a few minutes, which seemed just fine to me).  However, this time I don't really "need" vision correction, it would it like upgraded from a HDTV to 4K (more on 4K in a future post).  Do I spend the extra cash to correct my right eye forever, or just deal with what I have?  The longer I wait, the less value, so if I'm going to do this eventually, the sooner the better.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Trump Message for 2017

There was so much I could have written about the presidential election, but that time in past.  Perhaps one day, I'll write to write a retrospective.  I wanted to make a few quick predictions for the upcoming year.

- Trump is justify many of his actions with a phrase similar to "I know things that you don't, which I can share because they are top secret, but Believe Me, there is a good reason for this."  This is a great line that can justify just about anything and impossible to disprove. I think this will become a powerful theme for the next year.

- I don't know if it will be all out "trade war", but I firmly believe that he will be able to pass significant rules/legislation that reduces the incentives for companies to out-source to other countries. This is overwhelmingly popular among the masses, although it will be opposed to big corporations (who makes tons of money from outsourcing).  This could split the Republican party, but I think it will still happen.

- The Wall.  I see very little reason why Trump can't build a significant part of a border wall.  The cost is actually quite low in the big scheme of things.  New York just spend $6 Billion on the somewhat necessary 2nd Ave Subway line.  $30 Billion for a wall won't a financial barrier.

The world is a complex place and sometimes the simple ideas just don't work.  Threatening North Korea seems like a great idea, but they can slaughter 15 million people in an instant.  Regulations are put there for a reason and removing them can have negative consequences.  Lowering taxes sounds great, but if the economy doesn't show tremendous growth that is a problem for the budget (fyi, there is no historical evidence that lower taxes leads to overall growth for the economy, specifically for the middle or lower classes).

Friday, December 23, 2016

Constant Contact: How to Create List of People Who Never Opened an Email - Success!

Constant Contact is one of the bedrock platforms for non-profits to community with their supporters.  It has tremendous advantages, which outweigh its limitations.  However, there are several limitations, particularly in how you can export data.  For example, if you wanted a master list of all your contacts and their response to all your e-blasts (did they open, not open, bounced, etc), that is virtually impossible.  This bothers me because it is the organization's data and they pay for this service.  Recently, I wanted to know who on my list has never, ever opened any of our emails.  If people aren't going to open the e-mails, than why bother sending them.  I searched the web and couldn't find the answer, but saw that many people has the same issue as me.  

Here is a method that I just figured out.  It takes about 15 seconds per campaign, so if you have hundreds, this might take a while.  I had 70 blasts and the entire process (all the steps) took me only about 13 minutes.  This might seem like a lot of steps, but it's it pretty easy.

Step 1) Go to your list of Campaigns and create a new one called "Ever Opened" (or whatever you want).  You could even do this by year, if you wanted.

Step 2) Click on the Campaigns icon and a list of your most recent ones will come up.  For each one, right click (open in new tab) the percent number above "open rate".  Creating new tabs for each one is much quicker. 

Step 3) For each tab, under contacts, select the first box (to the left of where it says "name") and this will auto-select everyone.  This will also make the "manage list" option appear.  Click "manage list", than "add to list", and select your new group (which I called "Ever Opened").  Repeat this for all the tabs you opened.

Step 4) Go to your main contacts page, which provides your entire list on contacts.  Select all, click Export, than Export Contacts. Note: Leave the default export option alone, do not select or unselect anything new). Click on "Activity" on the upper left to go to the actual reports.  Download it to Excel. Note: you do not need to download the "Ever Opened" report, just the master list.

Step 5) Open Excel.  If you stayed with all the default setting, column F should be called "email lists".  I'm pretty good with Excel formulas, which is how I sorted everything.  In box G2, put in the following formula exactly "=SUMPRODUCT(--ISNUMBER(SEARCH({"Ever Opened"},F2)))>0" Note: you don't include the quotes, just everything inside it.  Note: If you decided to call your new list something else (not Ever Opened), just replace those words in the formula with the name of your list.

Step 6) Click on a random box and single click back on G2.  You will notice on the lower right hand side of the box is a little square.  Click and hold on that little box, and than drag your mouse directly down until it goes to the button of your list.  

In the G Column, if it says TRUE than that person has opened an email.  If it says FALSE than that person has never opened an email.  

Step 7) Sort the list and delete all of the "TRUE" people.  This will leave you with only people who have never opened any email.  If you want to delete all these people at once in Constant Contact, do the following.  Save the Excel file with the Never opened people.  Go back into Constant Contact, go to contacts, click "add contacts" and than "upload from file".  Select the Excel file we just created and upload.  Click to create a new list, which you can call "NEVER Opened".  Once uploaded, you can delete everyone on this list at once.  Ta-Da!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Never Ending Campaign

There is so much about the election that I want to share, but I'll save that retrospective for another time.  Right now, I don't understand why the national political parties or super-pacs don't continue to push their agenda all year, every year.  For example, Trump is going to nominate Rex Tillerson, the president and chief executive of ExxonMobil, to be Secretary of State.  Why don't democrats run ads presenting his qualifications (from their perspective) and ask people to contact their Senator if they think he is a good choice.  The point isn't to actually make somebody change their vote, but it makes that Senator a little more accountable for his votes.  If he votes to approve Tillerson and either he (or the Trump Administration) falters, then the democrats have already planted a seed in the minds of voters that their Senator is not effective.  It is a simplification, but the point is that constant marketing works and I'm shocked that political marketing doesn't overwhelm society all the time.  I don't think this would be very good for society, but it is also inevitable.
.

Monday, December 12, 2016

I'm back and have years of blogging to make up...

It has been a couple years since I last blogged.  I really miss it in so many ways.  I'm not sure why I stopped, but I did and when I wanted to start up again, my new blog (2009-2013) had disappeared from the server I had stored everything.  Although I couldn't remember any individual post, I feel a loss for those forever missing posts.  There are a few that were on archive.org and from time to time, I'll re-post them as a glimpse back to my lost achieves.  Here is one from just after I made the move to the new (now lost) blog format.  It's about Molly, who at the time was only four years old.  Time flies...

August 3rd, 2009

The other night, while driving home from the NJ state Fair, Molly was fast asleep in her booster and she started laughing.  She was completely asleep and this wasn’t a little giggle, this was something quite joyous.  Lindy says she does this every once in a while and I saw it only once before, but it makes me wonder if other children do this.  I looked briefly online and I saw a few posts by parents (with older children) who experienced something similar.  It got me thinking about something else that Molly does while sleeping that is more common.  Once she is asleep, it is hard to wake her up.  It’s not just that I could carry her up from the car and she won’t wake up, but I can roll her over, put on her pajamas, pull a blanket out from under her; basically she is going to stay asleep.  It is like her brain has shut down the connections from her body to her brain.  Now, this isn’t the case for most grown-ups.  I wonder why her brain does this?  Does it need to focus on other nighttime activities, like dreams, growing, or recovery? Perhaps it is the most efficient way of sleeping, but over tens of thousands of years, the grownups who slept like this would be in danger from predators.  Grownups who would wake up easier could try to escape or defend themselves, while small children were at the mercy of predators whether they woke up or not.

Children do amazing things when they sleep that grown-ups don’t.  Children heal faster, their brain develops faster, their memory (of certain things) is better, they wake up happier, and other positive attributes.  It would be interesting to study children who sleep this deeply vs those who do not and see if there are any correlations to the physical, emotion, or intellectual attributes of the children.  Then compare those attributes to adults who sleep that deeply as well.


In the end, I’m just happy that Molly is having nice dreams.  :)



Wednesday, June 03, 2009

This Blog has been moved

I am moving my blog to WordPress because I am sick of all the blogger jibber-jabber. Well, overall, Blogger worked pretty good, but not great and per the suggestion of my brother I shall try something new.

Go Here Now
http://dan.kokopop.com/

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blog Templates

Why do all the easy, free blog templates have these wide margins on each side. It just makes things hard to read. Making matters worse, the HTML is pretty complicated for a simple design (probably because blogs are now required to DO much more than just provide a space to write something). Anyway, I'm sure I'll change this one when I have time to find something I like better. Last time I changed, I forgot to add my google analytics to the code, so I don't even know if my readership has swelled into the thousands (or at least more than 2).

In other news, I'm sick. I'm pretty sure it's the flu, although not of the swine variety. My whole body aches and my head in congested, but no fever or coughing. Everyone seems to be sick.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Onion

Watch the videos on the Onion's.

Hilarious.

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/pre_game_coin_toss_makes

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guantánamo Bay and Gun Control

Just a quick thought on the two recent Congressional debates. The first is that they are stalling the closure of Guantanamo Bay because they don't know what to do with the current prisoners. Apparently no one wants them in their town. I'm pretty sure they are going to into a prison and not some work release program. Why would anyone care if there were terrorists in their local supermax prison. They aren't any more dangerous than the other serial killers or domestic terrorists housed there. Or why not just build a new prison just for them, which would be fine since they have a different set of rights (although I think that is not the best use of tax payers money). I live with 20 miles of two major prisons (Riker's Island and Sing Sing) and I couldn't care less. People don't escape. This whole thing looks bad for Obama who couldn't get a single Congressman to take these people (in exchange for good will and some extra funding).

The other thing is the latest Credit Card legislation. This bill is designed to protect consumers from being abused by Credit Card companies. However, the Republicans included a law allowing concealed guns into national parks. What? How is this legal? Now, I don't have is the gun law is good or bad, but I know it has nothing to do with credit cards. If Obama had some marbles he would veto the bill and insist that Congress sends him two different bills, one for each subject.

The Plauge of the 20th Century

Samaritrophia: A hysterical indifference to the troubles of those less fortunate than oneself

Samaritrophia is the suppression of an overactive conscience by the rest of the mind. "You must all take instructions from me!" the conscience shrieks, in effect, to all the other mental processes. The other processes try it for a while, note that the conscience is unappeased, that it continues to shriek, and they note, too, that the outside world has not been even microscopically improved by the unselfish acts the conscience has demanded.

They rebel at last. They pitch the tyrannous conscience down an oubliette, weld shut the manhole cover of that dark dungeon. They can hear the conscience no more. In the sweet silence, the mental processes look about for a new leader, and the leader most prompt to appear whenever the conscience is stilled, Enlightened Self-interest, does appear. Enlightened Self-interest gives them a flag, which they adore on sight. It is essentially the black and white Jolly Roger, with these words written beneath the skull and crossbones, 'The hell with you, Jack, I've got mine!"

- Kurt Vonnegut, God bless you, Mr. Rosewater

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Poor Euclid

I am currently reading “Is God a Mathematician” by Mario Livio, a book that my brother sent me over the holidays. First, I need to say that 98% of the book has absolutely nothing to do with god or religion in any way. There is about 5% that has to do with philosophy, but it is basically a straight forward history of mathematics. I would bet that the name of the book and subsequent references to God where added after the book was already written. It was a marketing ploy through and through.


I just finished the section on non-Euclidian geometry and it was just silly. Let me explain, for thousands of years, geometry was the basis for much of math and logic. Euclidian geometry is the math we all learn in school. By stating several undeniable “truths” or axioms, people are able to extrapolate more complex concept and truths. These truths were used as the basis for all other mathematical adventures. They include things like: if you have a triangle the sum of all the angles inside the triangle is 180. You can make any triangle you want and it will always match that truth. Another one is: the shortest distance between two points in a straight line. Seems simple, right? Than along came some smart-ass mathematician who said, “well, what if reality only existed on the surface of sphere.” Under this premise, Euclidian geometry falls apart. Triangles will have more than 180 degrees and the quickest way between two points in a curve. People have dedicated their careers to what the math would look like on such a circular reality. In fact, people just kept creating new ways that reality could be shaped and researched the math in their new world. This includes realities shaped like saddles, cones, lines, ellipses, and countless other shapes or functions.


Now there is some utility in concepts like this. A plane travelling from New York to Paris cannot travel in a straight line because that would mean it would have to go through the crust of the earth. The plane has to calculate the best possible curve to reach its destination. However, the curve is still not the shortest way, it is just the shortest way that we can realistically travel. The true shortest path is through the earth’s crust. Non-Euclidian geometry may be useful, but how can anyone consider it a way of describing a reality beyond the arbitrary rules it creates for itself.


Non-Euclidian also allows Mathematicians to do things like calculate the rules of geometry with more than three dimensions. So a cube would have length, width, height, and something else. What would be the math if this meta-physical fourth physical dimension (not time) existed. So they create this alternate reality and an alternate math and claim that the truths that exist in that world are true mathematical truths (which conflict with Euclidian geometry).


(Side note: It is this ridiculous logic that allowed physicists to add extra dimensions into their calculations in order to have their theories fit their observations. This is at the core of M-theory, which I do not even consider a scientific theory since it is based on evidence that can never be proven or disproven.)


Anyway, I am thinking about creating Lipka-Geometry. I will calculate a new math based on the concept of a reality that only exists on the surface of my face. What will a triangle look like? What is the shortest distance between my left ear and my right eyebrow? Uggg, poor Euclid.