So I was thinking this morning, as I was reading a book called The Golden Ratio, Really big heads.all about the, um, golden ratio, and it occurred to me to wonder… what would I think about things if I had not been taught what to think all my life, but I still, somehow, had all my wits about me? If I lived to be 50 or whatever, how much would I be able to figure out about how the world works, like the guys back in 3500 B.C. who were just starting to notice that there were patterns to what the moon and the sun and the seasons were doing. How long would it take me to notice pairs of things? How high would I be able to count? Would I settle for the status quo and count 1, 2, 3, ‘many?’ Would I try to make some marks on something to help me remember things?

The real questions are:

  1. What’s really ‘out there’ (epistemology) and what have I just been taught that may or may not be true (pedantry)?
  2. How does someone get to look at the world with such fresh eyes that they can invent ‘The Calculus’ or the Theory of Relativity?

I mean, I never watched a single episode of X-files, but I believe ‘the truth is out there.’ I also agree with the great Martin Gardner (of Scientific American’s Mathematical Games fame) when he says in his book Did Adam and Eve have Navels?, ‘I believe there are truths as far beyond our grasp as calculus is beyond the grasp of a cat.’

Happy Birthday, America!

In the words of the website I borrowed this from, read The Declaration of Independence again for the first time:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

Well, this is pretty cute. It’s the first thing that comes up on Google for a search on ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (without the quotes). Click it here and read carefully. Weapons of Mass Destruction

I read on Excite today that Kraft is planning to ruin, er, I mean, rework all of their products next year: Kraft to Revamp Products. The article says that Kraft, as the largest producer of processed foods, is worried that with people suing McDonalds for making them fat, someone might try to hold Kraft liable for widespread obesity.

Now maybe it’s just me, and I’ve eaten my share of Oreos and Velveeta in my day, but I think whatever you decide to put in your cakehole is one of those little life decisions that you are solely responsible for. I saw Zig Ziglar speak a few years ago, and one of the things he said was, “I used to weigh over 200 pounds by choice. Now, I say ‘by choice’ because, to my knowledge, I’ve never put anything into my mouth by accident.”

My real concern is that they’re going to ruin things just the way they ruined Lawry’s Seasoned Salt a few years ago when they took out the MSG, which was far and away the most Pure MSG=Nectar of the Gods.important ingredient. When I start my own line of junk food, Sugar Salted Fat™, I will be sure that every product includes plenty of MSG.

Here’s what the Accent site has to say about the ‘umami’ of MSG:

Recent studies show that Accent produces a unique taste that is called “Umami” in Japan and described by Americans as a savory, broth-like or meaty taste. This “Umami is the fifth basic taste in addition to salty, sweet, sour and bitter. The discovery of the “Umami” produced by Accent is likely to increase usage of this already popular product.

It’s kinda like those newfangled seedless watermelons, which are an abomination in the site of God. Spittin’ the seeds is half the fun!

By the way, I imagine that in the future, they’ll figure out a pratical way to make cars that run on water. I say this because the same people who get all bent out of shape when gas tops $2 a gallon will happily stand in line right there at the gas station to fork over $5/gallon for a bottle of filtered tap water.