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longship's Journal
longship's Journal
April 18, 2013

West Michiganders stay safe: Big storm coming in.

Also Tornado watch in effect for much of Michigan lower peninsula until 6PM.

I am going to move my car into the garage as this storm has been reported to have 3/4 inch hail.

We've had a lot of shitty weather here the past two months or so. The last week has featured flood warnings and advisories. All we need is more rain. The ground is saturated and a heavy storm isn't going to do us any good.

April 9, 2013

Spring comes hesitantly here in rural MI.

Thunder and lightning, a sure harbinger of MI Spring, is what prompts this post, although recent winters have also given rise to thunder snows. But those aberrant weather occurances aside, I know it's finally Spring here in the Manistee National Forest because we have a great thunderstorm rolling through.

This may not excite many DUers, but after a not too snowy but nevertheless extended winter, to hear the thundering bellows of a springtime storm rolling across the forest here is welcome relief from a cold, dismal winter.

I've been hearing Red Wing Black birds setting out their territory and mourning doves (with their seemingly soulful cries) the past few days. They will be here throughout the warm seasons; their arrival provides hope as much as their songs, both strident and mournful. The trees have begun to bud.

It's been a tough year here in the national forest. But nature's power being expressed here gives me hope. It will soon warm, in spite of snow forecasts for later this week. The annual spring cleanup is already in progress. And nature will provide an occasional reminder, whether through flora, fauna, or meteorology, that there is good in the world. I can hardly wait for the morel mushrooms to show themselves. Mmmm! Mushroom barley soup is perfect on a late spring evening.

Thanks to all DUers in helping get through the bitterness of winter and giving all hope for a better time. More than once, you all have made my day when nights were cold.

Skäl, my friends.

Here's to warmer months.

March 23, 2013

Bronowski's ethical argument.

In the late 60's I became a fan of The Ascent of Man, the BBC's production of 13 essays by Jacob Bronowski, a mathematician and humanist. These video essays were a revelation. But of the 13 essays, none expressed the philosophy of science more precisely than Knowledge or Certainty.

In this one, Bronowski lays down the quantum physics in a way that no one has ever done before, nor will ever again. Furthermore, he lays down an ethical framework within science operates.

It is both a passionate and ethical argument, one in which answers can only come from a base of something like the scientific method.

Here's a quote from Bronowski's essay:

It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.
Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."

I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.

The Ascent of Man is a great collection of essays. But Bronowski really lays it all out on this one.

Just putting this out for other DUers.
March 14, 2013

Axelrod tweets about 47% videographer.

@TheLastWord: #Lastword from @davidaxelrod: It's fair to say Scott Prouty has no future in bartending. Politics, yes.

Enough said?

Unfortunately we will probably have to drag the SOB, screaming.

This person is one of the most ethical persons I have ever experienced. His story is, and I hope, always will be the same.

I wish him well. There are those who wish he would run for Congress. My advice is that we don't need him in Congress, we need him, and many others just like him, on the front line.

What Scott did is oh so much more important than anything that Congress even attempted.

I would advocate to let the guy do what he wishes, even if that means he fades into obscurity. He's already done a great service to the country.

Celebrate what he did. But, let him decide what he wants to do. This thing has utterly changed his life. Only he can decide what to do with this situation.

In other words, let's not presume he wants to be President. Or even Congress Critter.

But I would encourage him, if he thinks he could do some good. If I were a House Democrat, I would be ringing his phone.

March 8, 2013

Young Earth Creationist Duane Gish has died.

Here's the story from the NCSE:
(Sorry! Wouldn't let me copy/paste an excerpt.)

Of course, PZ Myers wasn't going to be quiet about this:
The Gish Gallop finally comes to a halt
A notorious old fraud has kicked the bucket: Duane T. Gish is dead. He was a true pioneer in the art of lying: he was infamous for his “Gish gallop” style in which he’d simply rattle off distortion after lie after BS at a rapid-fire rate, trusting that any intellectually honest opponent would never catch up with him. He mastered the Chewbacca Defense before it was even named.

I saw him debate a biologist at CalPoly Pomona a few years ago. Gish was without a doubt the most dishonest charlatan I have ever witnessed. Churches bussed in devotees from all over the area.

I cannot say that I am sad that he is gone. But at 92 years old he did a lot of damage before went.
February 13, 2013

Did Nugent get on camera? Or...

Is he cooling his heals outside on the Mall.

I didn't see him. I'll bet he wasn't there.

February 9, 2013

Wow! Two people love me!!

I love all you DUers back.

Thanks to all you beautiful people.

February 7, 2013

Michiganders, hunker down, here comes the snow!

First major storm in two years. Forecasts here are for a foot, more than I can shovel way out here in the stix.

I am holed up here with plenty of food, heating oil, and wine. Now if the snow plow clears my road soon and my neighbor can get his tractor going to clear my driveway, I may be able to get out by Friday.

I have movies, lots of books to keep me company.

Hope the power stays on.

February 1, 2013

Al Gore, passionately: It's pitiful! PITIFUL!

Concerning global climate change and the fact that not one question by the media in the past election campaign addressed climate.

On Charlie Rose.

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Member since: Thu Aug 12, 2004, 03:43 PM
Number of posts: 40,416

About longship

Home town: Detroit, MI Current residence: Paris, MI. Manistee Nat\'l Forest.
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