Jean Nicholai

San Francisco, CA, United States

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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
Do we Ignore incarcerated men, women and juveniles or help Restore them back into community?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_contemplative_programs We don't use the tools we have already, not enough. I wonder what would happen if prisions required inmates to spend an hour in study and meditation, instead of requiring them to stand, sit, bend over and spread-em on the whims of poorly trained guards. I wonder what would happen if prisons were set in the remote wilderness and the only shelter was that which inmates collaborated to provide?
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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
What does cave art mean to you?
Cave art (and rock art, hill art, etc) to me is the legacy our fore bearers left to point the way back to our dreaming power. That Stonehenge, Tadrart Acacus, Nyero, Cerne Abbas, the Marree Man, and the Nazca Lines have survived thus long is a testament to our ingenuity and our appreciation for the natural systems observable. Above whatever immediate function they served, I imagine these proto-Michelangelos thought "Wouldn't it be great if this lasted ten thousand years? I bet our decedents will be so confused!"
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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
Is there room for God in science (Creationlism vs Evolution)?
Heh, I should've known you were a sith lord; no Jedi would make fun of Obi's name. All hail, brother. The following are responses and musings in order: 1. If G*d is a cis-female then that explains everything...the mood swings, especially (I'm just kidding Marylin Vos Savant, please don't destroy me with your intellect!) Also, have you read Norse or West African Mythology? Loki or Anansi would definitely do something like make a platypus. Also, to play the Devil's (heh) Advocate, I'd like to quote 2 Peter 3:8, "A day for the Lord is like a thousand years". Sure, Xtian fanatics use that passage to assert that the planet is only 6k years old (sooooo stupid), but think about this: Humans have been worshipping the sun for as long as it took the sun to decide whether or not to fart. Yes, I know, it's an illogical statement. 2. Science cannot explain why The Aristocrats joke is funny. I defy you to publish a scholarly paper defying my defiance. And yeah, you're right, no need for an *external* G*d to explain why roses smell awesome. That's the G*d within (and to be clear, that's the one I worship; so Namaste motherfrakker). 3. Oh shit, you skipped that one, or I'm not awesome enough to make it un-invisible. D. First, I believe in every G*d that was spoken of in the whole of existence. I follow the Terry Pratchett model of Deity interaction (which is the one true way and if you say otherwise, I'll destroy you!); to be honest, science's tendency to (mostly) peacefully resolve intellectual conflicts is a page from the playbook that should be applied to religion (poor JP2, he was trying to do that, now he's drinking mimosas with Gabriel). I've found that my interactions with the Religulous tend to make me irritable; I really appreciated your stoic defiance of the possible non-existence of an interactive Divine. I will be burning that phrase (If theres no loving G*d, Tough) on a frat paddle and going to a Baptist church on Sunday.
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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
Has Antimatter Been Discovered?
I believe we have a small bank of antimatter in our Van Allen Belt as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Allen_radiation_belt Now if we could only build an antimatter Ram Scoop...
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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
legalize ALL narcotics
I'll second and say that Sweden probably doesn't have a huge meth/heroin problem. Regulation and taxation though...it's what NORML is fighting for (and it would be an economic booster...weed is for waaaay more than smoking). I still feel weird about anything that's not classified a hallucinogen. Course, we're seeing in California how (near) legalization isn't (really) impeding productivity so...maybe it's worth a shot? I really really would like to trust that every adult can make an informed decision on when to stop their usage...but again, California has some horrendous meth problems; I'm not sure stimulants or deliriants should be classified in the same category as THC, MDMA, LSD, Mescaline, or even Alcohol and Tobacco. One thing we should do here is increase taxation on alcohol in tandem with the increases in tobacco. It's preposterous that we don't. And when I say increase, I mean a modest increase, not what my idiot representatives proposed: http://laist.com/2010/03/26/initiative_to_tax_alcohol_could_bri.php I know, I know, that's supposedly what canada pays. We're not Canada. That said, if I had to pay two dollars extra for every drink, and I knew that money was going to reduce the deficit, pay for universal healthcare, and ensure quality education for my neighbor's kids...I'd become an alcoholic.
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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
Solar power from the moon
Was anyone else reminded of Clarke's "The Time Oddyssey" trilogy? Couple of things: @Peter: "People are concerned that the .25w microwave transmitter in your cell phone might give you cancer. A 500gigawatt beam from space might make people nervous." Fair enough. I wonder though, could we build the receivers in relatively remote deserts/tundras? Nearly every continent has one...also, a lagrangian orbit is probably the best bet, yeah? No need for occasional trajectory readjustments (reducing the payload slightly, I imagine) @KrisztiƔn: "[It's a]huge cost. with satellites, every gram of material needs to be carried up[...]a large amount of initial transfer is needed. compared to a 1-2 ton satellite weight, a moonbase requires probably tens of thousands of tons carried to a much larger distance." Right you are, which I imagine is why the space race is focused on tourism over industry right now. What I really hope is that this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leik_Myrabo makes a breakthrough real soon. If he does, we're all going to be doing the moonwalk for pennies on the dollar! Mining makes the most sense for the moon, here's some layman's specs on the regolith: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_rocks#Classification I know, right? We could have macbook pros built of moon titanium and moon silicon! Bet they'd work better too.
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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
Is there room for God in science (Creationlism vs Evolution)?
Um, point of order: We seem to be anthropomorphizing G*d continuously as an old white guy in the clouds. If we're going to be silly (because, IMSIO, religion nowadays is little more than a fun alternative translation of why things are awesome and how to appreciate awesomeness) why aren't we picturing G*d as the sexy sun goddess Ameratsu, the mysteriously cool Odin, or the kick-a** party monster that is Legba? Just wondering. @Roy: "Given the earth, we have molecular formations being guided by the octet rule. Could any other rule have applied? If the answer is yes, then molecular formations are all built on chance. If the answer is no, then why not?" F***ing brilliant. Let's anthropomorphize it, since the laws of Physics are so boring. The Ameratsu within compels all molecules to get together in a orgy of edutainment until new and interesting things happen. The law, therefore must be "if it feels good, synthesize it". Or, maybe more simply, "Quarks just wanna have fun". Why is it wrong to imagine that every single point of "mattergy" is just trying to find happiness and joy? Personally, I think the atoms were laughing at Heisenberg as he was trying to measure. @Gabo: "If you are being much more generic and want to call the way things work "God." Fine. But I find the thought useless [...] Creationism is mere mythology (and quackery)..." But, but...don't you find it mind numbingly boring to see the world as a series of uncaring natural systems, "destined" to serve their function as cold pieces of interstellar machinery? Also, mere mythology? Were it not for mythology, for the dreams and allegories of our fore bearers, Romulus and Remus wouldn't have been the inspiration for stories about one of the greatest civilizations our world has seen in antiquity. Were it not for mythology, the movie Master of the Flying Guillotine would've been a boring historical movie. Were it not for mythology, our reach wouldn't be bothered to try and grasp at all...
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Jean Nicholai
Posted over 2 years ago
How can we achieve social integration in cities?
RB, I wonder what your answer is to Qui Custodiet Custodes? My point is that it's all unfair to someone. Families in Kansas don't get high speed rails and families in the Bronx don't get subsidies for necessary crop production (I am being willfully blind here in regards to the efficacy and goodwill of these programs). Further, even though we're all receiving aid in some capacity (whether directly or by association), everyone I've met gets incensed at the words "social program", either winding up to defend it or tear it down. Why do we do that instead of listening to what the program can offer, analyzing it's cost effectiveness and then approving or discarding it?