Saturday, July 5, 2014

People Wanting to Remove Google Search Results?

     An article in Brussels came out stating that there has been an increase of requests for Google to have certain search results removed. As of July 3, 2014 over 70,000 requests have been made for the removal of these results, according to Google.

     Each request asks for the removal of almost four links, meaning Google has to evaluate more than a quarter million requests.

     Since Google must adhere to strict privacy rulings made in May, we may see the search giant having to comply with some, if not all, of these demands.

     What search results may Google have to remove from the internet? Embarrassing personal information of individuals when their names are searched.

     So don't worry, people can still search for cute kitty pics or what stage prop Miley Cyrus is dry humping this week. But I wonder if this would even be fair to Google. 

     When someone does a search on Google, or any search engine, key words from the search field are matched with words found in articles, photos, videos, etc., and are then displayed as search results. So it's not like Google is trying to show the world "embarrassing information" about these people. If anything, it is the fault of the people for posting their information on the internet. 

     Sure, sometimes a company may post some information about you on their website as far as what your role is in the company, or someone can find your Facebook page just by searching for your name. But we all know that whatever we post on social media sites can be easily found in a Google search. With that in mind, why would anyone post something embarrassing anywhere on the internet, and then get pissed when it shows up in a Google search?

     It's like putting your hand in fire and then getting mad at the fire for burning your hand. 

     I suppose there is one thing to consider: angry exes. No one can really control what someone else does, but it can still be argued that it is the fault of the individuals and Google shouldn't have to remove anything from their database of search results..

     I would appreciate any thoughts on this matter.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

China's Leaders Begin to Notice Pollution...or do They?

     Well, it's about damn time. According to a report on my News Republic app, on Thursday,  "China's Supreme Court has set up a special tribunal to deal with environmental cases..."

     Over the last three decades China has seen a rapid industrial expansion that has taken a heavy toll on the environment, and the Communist leaders  are becoming  "concerned by an increasing number of angry protests over the issue."

     That last bit is what got me. They're concerned about the protests but don't mention any concern about the general well being of the populace? Do China's leaders not know that no matter how high ranking they become, they remain human? What's hazardous to the peasant is hazardous to the king.

     They, China's leaders, make no mention of being concerned about health, but only about the "angry protests" that are becoming more and more frequent. 

     According to recent studies, approximately two-thirds of China's soil is polluted, and 60 percent of underground water is too contaminated to drink. Studies have also show that people in cities such as Beijing are regularly exposed to hazardous levels of air pollution. 

     These levels of contamination don't happen over night and China's pollution levels have been an issue for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until March that Premier Li Keqiang "declared war" on pollution. 

     My question is, what the hell took so long for these people to wake the fuck up?

     China has made an amendment to its environmental protection laws, "imposing tougher penalties and pledging that violators will be 'named and shamed'." The report goes on to explain that enforcing these new laws will be more difficult in practice, especially for a country focused on driving growth. 

     "Fewer than 30,000 environment cases a year were accepted by Chinese courts from 2011 to 2013, said Zheng, out of an average 11 million total cases annually."

     I'm not sure why so few cases on this monumentally important matter have been addressed by the courts. My only guess is that the pollution levels are indicative of growth, and the most effective way to lower pollution levels would be to slow growth, at least until a cleaner for of energy can be used. But as stated in the report, China is bent on growth.

     Eventually, it's going to boil down to money, and if the world knows anything about China (or any other super power, for that matter), they love their money. China will have to make less money by slowing down production, while at the same time spending their beloved currency on cleaning up their country. 

     We'll see if this is just rhetoric, or if China is really going to step up and take care of the important things in life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Twitter-Incited Rant About "Theory"

     "Evolution is just a theory, it's not a fact." 

*Unless otherwise specified, I will be using 'theory' in the scientific sense for the remainder of this post*

     I cannot tell you how many times I've addressed this statement. The only way I've been able to get through to some people is by telling them to replace the word "theory" with "explanation". Evolution is a fact. No matter how much you want to believe it's not true, it is. It's been proven through genetics and supported by the fossil record. Micro-evolution, which leads to macro-evolution, has been observed in numerous species. Evolution is a FACT.

     The Theory of Evolution is different from the fact of evolution. The Theory explains how and why evolution occurs. 

     Think about the Law of Gravity vice the Theory of Gravity. The Law states that objects with mass attract each other. The Theory explains WHY the attraction exists. 


  A theory is an explanation of facts. Key word: EXPLANATION. Even if the theory of evolution was proven to be wrong, the facts of evolution would remain! The theory would just have to change.

     You can also think of theory as the plot to a story. As you read about events and characters' actions in a story, you can then formulate a plot. You can use what you've learned so far in the story to make predictions about what may happen later in the book. If you get a new piece of information that goes against what you thought the plot was, then the plot changes. But everything else remains! The past events and actions of the characters will have not gone away, but new information can change the plot.

     A theory and a fact are two different things. A theory does not become a fact, and a fact is not the next step up from theory. A theory is the highest graduated level an idea can achieve. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

See-Through Skirts and Panties

     If you had a booger on your face or food in your teeth, would you want someone to tell you, especially if you were in a public setting? I know I would want to know. There are few things worse than the post-embarrassment of realizing that you've spent all day conversing with people while you had a piece of lettuce stuck in your teeth. With that said, I was confronted with a dilemma the other day while I was at work, and it's been troubling me ever since.

     While I was at work (I work at a grocery store) a rather attractive girl wearing a pale yellow skirt walked into my department. Let me clear the air for the ladies here, if you're attractive, you will be checked out by nearly every straight man who sees you, and you will be judged and measured by every other girl. So yes, I checked her out. I'm not a pervert, I'm just man, get over it. Anyway, I quickly noticed that her skirt was somewhat see-through and I was able to deduce in less than a second that she was wearing dark blue booty panties with white stripes. My first thought was that this girl just got way hotter, my second thought was whether I should tell her or not. I don't mean to tell her in a way that was creepy or anything, but to just inform her that it was possible for everyone to see through her clothing.

     Does she know? Would she even care? If she didn't know, I would end up making her feel extremely self-conscious in a very public setting. If she didn't care that her panties were visible through her skirt, then there would be no reason for me to tell her. What if I did tell her and she accused me of being a pervert and made a complaint to my manager?

     These were the questions that plagued me for the rest of the day, and I wish I had answers to them which is why I'm writing it here and hoping someone will have an answer for me. I asked a buddy of mine what I should have done and if it would have been out of line for me to tell her, and he told me that it was good I didn't say anything and that I would have just come off as a pervert. He was probably right, but I would still like a woman's perspective on this. Again, I wouldn't have told her because I'm a pervert, but rather because I saw the situation to be similar to someone having a booger on their face.

     The above picture is an example of what I am talking about. Clearly this woman's undergarments are visible through her clothing. There seems to be less of a stigma on bras being visible, but the panties in the photo above are pretty obvious. She seems a little older and so probably doesn't give two squirts of piss about whether her underwear is visible or not, but try to imagine a younger woman, early to mid twenties in this picture. Would it be out of line to let her know about the "booger on her face"? Or just let it go?

     I'm not some panties-should-not-be-visible-in-public activist or anything, it's simply a situation that seems to have many questions that I don't think I can answer on my own and would like some feedback.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Only Religious People go to Prison!

Only Religious People Go To Prison

     Yes, I know the title presents an obviously outrageous claim and you may feel compelled to argue against it, but let me explain.

     While perusing the Twitterverse this morning, I came across a post claiming to be a factual account of the religiosity of prison inmates: 

     The validity of this information didn't matter to me, what mattered to me was that atheists were counted as having a religious affiliation; not having a religious affiliation is not the same thing as having one (duh!). You're either religious or you're not (atheist), but since both demographics are included in this table as belonging to a religious group, only religious people go to prison. And since everyone on the planet is either religious or non-religious, this table can also say that everyone goes to prison. Clearly, this isn't the case. Here's why:

     Atheism isn't a religion and doesn't maintain a set of beliefs, it is a lack of belief in a divine power. It is a point of view on a particular topic and is not a world-view. For instance, if you were to interview a dozen Catholics individually about topics such as, abortion, birth control, euthanasia, Noah's fucking arc, or the origins of the universe, chances are you would get very similar response because they all share the same set of beliefs. On the other hand, if you were to present the same questions to a group of atheists under the same conditions as you did the Catholics, you may get very different responses. You can be an atheist and be against abortion. You can be an atheist and reject the theories of evolution and the big bang. Again, atheism is not a religion, and therefore not a world view (a framework of ideas and beliefs forming a global description through which an individual, group or culture watches and interprets the world and interacts with it). It is a single position on a single issue.
     I'm not offended or upset in any way, I just wanted something to write about this morning.

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”

― Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion

Monday, January 13, 2014

Car Insurance Companies Discriminate!

My Car Insurance Company is Guilty of Discrimination

     Ever since I moved to Georgia, I've noticed a steep incline to the rate of my car insurance premium. I'm not sure why it took me so long to look into it, but I was amazed as to why my rates were so high.

     Some insurance companies, if not all, will raise your rates if you've been in an accident. Well, I've been in four, none of which were my fault, but I figured that was why my rates may have increased. But why now? I haven't been in an accident since I lived in Washington, so why are my rates so high? It turns out, that in Georgia, they charge you more for car insurance if you're not married. No joke. When I learned this tidbit of information, I thought to myself, "self, that's borderline discrimination, isn't it? It's like charging me for wearing grey t-shirts." 

     Sure, not much of an argument there, but then I thought, "what if I'm not married because I'm gay (I'm not, but just stay with me here) since Georgia doesn't recognize same-sex marriages?" Hmm, does that not sound like discrimination to you? It certainly does to me. The only thing that would make it worse would be if they charged me more for being a guy...oh, wait. THEY DO! But I've known since I first drove a car that my rates were higher because I had a penis, it just never clicked that it qualified as discrimination.

     I'm not sure why my marital status affects my rates, but at least I know why they have higher rates for men than women, since men "have a tendency to be more aggressive drivers", which is just like saying that every black baby should be on parole, both statements insinuate that because of how we were born we are prone to screwing up. While they're at it, why not take voting rights away from women, or at least charge them for casting a vote?

     I'm not sure who does the statistical analysis for these people, but every bad driver I've ever encountered has been either an elderly person, or some chick putting on her make-up and/or talking on her phone. I don't know any guy who is as glued to their phone as the chicks I know, and I know even fewer guys that insist on wearing make-up.

My Thoughts on Gun Control

     The debate over the public's right to own firearms is nothing new. It seems that every time some chucklehead loses his mind and gets a little trigger happy that people the world over begin, or at least revisit, heated arguments about how to mitigate the abuse of firearms. Some people feel that if guns were wiped from existence then mass murders wouldn't occur (but obviously, history tells us a different story). Others feel that there should be greater or more restrictions on who owns a gun and what guns can be owned by the public. And then, there are some people who just don't give a shit about talking about it because if someone is intent on killing someone, then there's nothing third parties can do about it. In any case, in this post I will briefly explain my position on the issue and address a few popular counter arguments, and I'll do my best not to cite the Constitution here and use that as a scapegoat. 

     Currently, I am in favor of the public's right to own certain firearms for recreational and sporting purposes, and for self and home defense. I say 'certain firearms' because I personally feel that there is no reason to privately own a fully automatic firearm. Of course, in the off chance a home invader, being the criminal and law breaker that he is, decides to ignore the law and get his hands on an illegal automatic rifle and decides to target your home, how will you defend yourself if he has superior fire power? Well, I don't have a good answer for that and the point is made, but I still think legally owning a fully automatic weapon is lacking justification.

     So there ya go, I support gun rights. I do feel not everyone should own a gun because I am aware that there are some unstable mofos out there. With that said, not only should a background check be administered, but also a character test be performed on potential gun-buyers (I don't have the details worked out for that one yet, so feel free to poke holes in that argument and why it wouldn't work). Ok, that's the gist of my position, let's explore some arguments against the public's rights to own firearms, in no particular order.

"You are more likely to get injured by your own gun than you are of getting robbed."
  • My response: You are also more likely to get hit by lightning than winning the lottery. However, that doesn't mean you have to be struck by lightning before you can win the lottery. You are also more likely to be in a traffic accident in your own car than in your neighbor's. I may be wrong on the statistics here, but that doesn't matter. The point is that the above argument is a strawman argument and doesn't appeal to the issue at hand.

"NASCAR is a recreational sport. However, those who own race cars aren't allowed to drive around town at 200 mph. Gun owners and hunters shouldn't be allowed to walk around with their sporting equipment."
  • My response: A NASCAR driver driving around at 200 mph is using his equipment, carrying a gun is not using a gun. This is another argument meant to distract from the issue at hand and appeals to nothing. And besides, there are different types of firearms and I see nothing wrong with someone who has a concealed carry permit and carries a hand gun. But I will allow that it would seem a little inappropriate for someone to walk around town with a Mossberg 500.

"Country X instituted such and such gun laws and reduced the amount of guns owned by the public by Y amount, which resulted in a Z% drop in gun-related crimes."
  • My response: When someone starts throwing numbers and shit at you, challenge them on their source and make sure it's not outdated information. More often than not it will be one or both of those. But let's run with it and assume the information checks out. Obviously, the less guns there are in a country, the less gun crimes are going to be committed by its citizens, at least there will be a drop in reported gun-related crimes. Remember that not all crimes are reported; people get away with shit all the time. And obviously if you take my bed away from me, I will sleep on it less. But that doesn't mean I won't sleep. Additionally, it's mildly frustrating for me when someone starts spewing stats about a country other than America, because other countries have a more structured social and cultural order about them. In other words, they think a lot more alike and the populace will respond more as a whole than we do in 'murica. The next step is to ask the person to define "gun-related crime". Does that mean someone was killed out of cold-blood? Does it include people who defended themselves more aggressively than they should have? Or was a gun simply present and not used in any way during the crime? For instance, for a crime to become alcohol-related, alcohol simply has to be present at the crime scene, regardless of anyone's BAC. And just to make your point, flip the argument and show them that in 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

"13 Children are killed by handguns everyday."
  • My response: Define "child". According to most polls, a child is defined as anyone 19 years of age or younger. Ok, got it. That number also includes "children" who participate in gang and drug activity. Deaths related to gang activity didn't start when guns came into the mix, and gangs have existed since the dawn of time. Before guns, gangs targeted people with sticks, clubs, rocks, spears, anything that could hurt someone. But let's not get off topic here. Next argument.
"Too many criminals purchase guns legally and use them to commit crimes. Background checks and mandatory waiting periods help to deter criminals."
  • My response: 

I'll stop it here. I'm open to discussion so if you agree or disagree with me, feel free to comment. If you will argue against my points, please be respectful and avoid jumping straight to ad hominem. Laters!