Near death experiences are evidence for materialism

Near death experiences happen to many people when they’re near clinical death and survive. They’re often profoundly meaningful or life-changing to those who have them. They’re also frequently used to argue that there is an afterlife, a spiritual realm or “something more” out there than scientific materialism posits. A recent Intelligence2 debate on the existence of the afterlife (which I recommend everyone watch) had nothing but the testimony of a neurosurgeon about his near death experience as the case for the for side. I think near death experiences can be pretty good at convincing people that our consciousness is not […]

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Gale Boetticher and “sympathetic” victims in fiction

Gale Boetticher’s death in Breaking Bad is one of the most heavily accented of the show’s 271 deaths. If you haven’t seen the show or want a refresher, here’s a quick summary of Gale from Breaking Bad Wiki: Gale Boetticher, B.S., M.S., was a was a German American chemist hired by Gustavo Fring to help set up the superlab and manufacture methamphetamine. Gus Fring hired Walter White after Gale praised a sample of Walt’s blue meth as the purest he’d ever seen. Following this point, Gale became Walt’s lab assistant. Gale holds an MS degree in organic chemistry and is […]

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The impossible dream: a non-awful satire of Gina Rinehart

[CN: misogyny and fat-shaming] If you’re not Australian, you might not have heard of Gina Rinehart. She’s the richest person in Australia, currently the 4th richest woman worldwide. A mining heiress who inherited an enormous fortune from her father, she’s has grown it ever since. She’s also a horrible person who supports class warfare to the extreme. She’s expressed concerns that Australian miners getting paid too much won’t be able to compete with $2 a day mining wages in “Africa”, painted essential social services as reflecting an entitlement mentality and is into climate change denialism. In other words, a woman […]

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Thoughts on a burqa ban

On October 11th 2010, France banned wearing clothing intended to conceal the face in public, with a 150 Euro fine. While the law did not specifically name Islamic dress, the target was the niqab (full covering minus an opening for the eyes), burqa (full covering with the criss-cross pattern pictured), paranja (a similar cover from Central Asia) etc. A French citizen took France to the European Court of Human Rights and last week, she lost. You can find the court’s very short decision in a PDF here. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s status as the victim of the law since […]

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Being annoyed by the World Cup: good reasons vs bullshit reasons

You know what I find annoying about the World Cup? Loud self-congratulations by some people about how much they don’t care about the World Cup. Yes, if you’re someone who doesn’t care about the games (like me), then the volume of coverage on traditional and social media can get tiresome. But it’s pretty silly to react by pretending that not following the World Cup is some subversive bit of counterculture. You’re not that special for not caring. And, as Alan Baxter rightly points out, if you say things like “people are idiots for being into the World Cup,” you’re the […]

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Could you be like Oskar Schindler?

Most people have probably heard of Oskar Schindler through Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List. Schindler is the most famous member of 25,271 people called Righteous of the Nations. These are non-Jews identified by the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to have committed courageous acts that saved Jews during the Holocaust. Schindler was a member of the Nazi party and an industrialist who ran some factories during WWII. He ended up saving approximately 1092 Jews by registering them as workers for his factory and bribing Nazi officials to be allowed to do this. Originally this was with a profit motive but apparently he […]

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Where are all the “real racists”?

Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald published a turd of an article titled How racist are you? by Mark Sawyer. It was so screwed up and misguided that I thought it’s a perfect thing to pick apart. It inadvertently does a great job of highlighting some of Australian society’s many failures on race. So who’s a racist? Not you, of course. Certainly not me. Hey, maybe none of us. It starts off so promisingly: by noticing the fact that the vast majority of people don’t consider themselves racist. When coupled with the undeniable evidence of racism in Australia, this could […]

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Being more productive

We are all guilty of slacking off. You know it and I know it. We justify these activities by downplaying their harm. Our language reflects the seeming innocence of “taking a break”, but in reality this masks a whole lot of evil. As even the most common individual [who's attended the London School of Economics] knows, productivity is the backbone of an economy. This is why Qatar is the most dedicated, hardworking country in the world and the Democratic Republic of Congo is the laziest. There’s simply no other explanation and anyone who says otherwise is simply trying to justify […]

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Eilat vs Aqaba

This March I was in Israel for a wedding. We flew to Eilat, a holiday destination at the very south of Israel, on the Red Sea. Eilat is right near the border of Egypt and Jordan and you can see both countries right across a small stretch of water: Here’s a photo I took of Eilat, sharpened to overcome the haze in the air: A close-up of the fanciest hotels: And this is Aqaba, Jordan, which is just across a short stretch of water.: Throughout my time there, I kept thinking about what inhabitants of each city would think of […]

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Armchair diagnosis and attributing violence to mental illness

You’ve probably seen stuff about the Isla Vista shooting everywhere (I’ll have links to good resources at the bottom of the post). Still, I thought it was worth addressing whether or not Elliot Rodger had a mental illness or not. Here’s a Facebook post by Maddox that has 14,034 likes at the time of writing: 100% of gun massacres occur by people with mental illness. If you disagree with that statement, be prepared to make the case that there are some rational, cool-headed people who, after thinking clearly and weighing the pros and cons, decide to commit mass killings. There […]

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About this blog

The thinly-veiled identity of lives and rants in Sydney. Views not his own, provided by hivemind. All my original work on this blog is licensed under a CC BY-NC License.

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