Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Nerd music!

Here are a few fine pieces of musical silliness for the ubergeek in all of us.

Videogames: Nintendo acapella

Philosophy: I'm a robot programmed not to know that I'm a robot

Advanced Math: Finite simple group of order two

Tip 'o the hat to MC^2, Patri

UPDATE: Let's not forget Moosebutter's Star Wars/John Williams Tribute: (WMA) (OGG)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Peak Oil and Religious Environmentalism

The religious doctrine of Environmentalism teaches that using oil is evil, driving SUVs is evil, drilling for oil is evil, having large houses, large incomes, and large televisions is evil; we are all wicked sinners for living in a society that does these things; we will be punished for our wickedness by a great economic calamity known as Peak Oil.

Failing that, we'll all be struck down by a great environmental calamity known as Global Warming.

If neither of those do the trick, there's sure to be some other thing that causes suffering. Maybe a plague. Doom! Dooooooom!

Other tenets of Environmentalist faith are: pollution is always increasing, the population is always increasing, recycling is good (no matter how expensive or wasteful), "alternative energy" is good (ditto), "pristine" wilderness is good, nuclear energy is bad, "non-native species" are bad, we are undergoing a massive and unprecedented wave of extinctions.

What fills the role of a deity for this faith? Government. We pray to politicians to solve all our earthly problems. Sure, the politicians don't know how to solve our problems and aren't highly inclined to do so even if they could, but we pray anyway. Because we have faith, and it's something to do. And heck, it's at least as useful as praying to any other deity!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sweetwater Diet, part III

I've given up on the sweetwater diet, since it wasn't working for me. Forcing myself to drink a bunch of extra (sweetened) water initially made me feel quite full, but I adapted to it in a matter of days. I'm a glutton at heart; if I eat when and to the degree I feel like eating without worrying about the calories, I'll tend to eat too much. And I did, and I gained back some weight I had earlier lost.

The main thing that made SWD appealing compared to The Hacker's Diet was not having to worry about specific calorie counts. But, it didn't work for me.

There are some confounding factors, though: I recently moved to San Francisco and have been exploring new neighborhoods, trying out new restaurants, going out to dinner with people. There's too much variety in what I'm eating and when. After I've been in SF for 6 months or a year things will probably settle down a bit. I might try again later. But for now, I'm ending the experiment and returning to my former diet-and-exercise regimen.

I have a new theory as to why it works for others. If you drink slightly-sweet water for two hours with an hour of not eating bracketing that time, that's four hours straight of very little calorie consumption. This has two useful effects: (1) it prevents you from snacking during those four hours, (2) if you can get used to being a little hungry during that time, this may extend to other times as well - it increases your tolerance for long periods of non-eating.

Performancing