The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

We live yet

March29

Back in August of 2008 I lifted more material from a wide-variety of mediums, including other Blogs, to come up with an incomplete list of ways the world might come to an end. The result was: We are all going to die (probably) 1/.

Part of that effort included a summary around the ominous sounding Atom Smasher:

I rather like this one (not to be confused with Cirith Ungol, as exampled, here).

However, you can learn more about it (the actual scientific experiment, not the Cirith Ungol tune) by watching the following video:

[youtube]IGCAwNjHnwk[/youtube]

Scientists in Europe have been building the world’s largest particle accelerator. Basically its a 27km tunnel designed to smash atoms together to find out what makes the Universe tick. However, the mega-gadget has caused serious concern, with some scientists suggesting that it’s properly even a bad idea to turn it on in the first place. They’re predicting all manner of deadly results, including mini black holes. So when this machine is fired up for its first serious experiment in 2012, the world could be crushed into a super-dense blob the size of a basketball.

I want to get a telephone call or text message just before they pull the lever so I can start jumping up and down to see if it makes any difference (like when an air liner is rushing towards the ground).

Update: Tallyho has reminded me that the Atom Smasher has been turned on, and the world has not yet been destroyed.

Let’s be sure we have dancing in the streets, and possibly (carefully considered) bacchanalian pursuits.

It should be noted that, also introduced in that fateful posting, were the infamous Prudent Society of Optimistic Gentlemen, an ill-conceived group if ever there was one, fully prepared to stand up to the dreaded Illuminati.  As unhappy as they might be to learn of us, they may fear us as well. Although we may not be able to out think or outwit them, we can likely out drink them as we confound our neighbors with scandalous theories of international intrigue, and put on decidedly more impressive airs than the best of them. We challenge any one of them to a wrestling match.

Continued courage.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_______________________

/1 This was followed up with the ill-conceived: We are all going to die (again).

more Darwin

February2

door-handle.jpgBet you thought I had gotten Charles Darwin out of my system – right? /1

Ha!

For my money, Darwin is one of the most important thinkers the human species has ever produced.

What if I said that Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection is:

“arguably the most powerful idea ever” /2

because:

“it assumes little to explain much.”

You probably wouldn’t hate me.

I am thinking that Twenty-first century evolutionary science, if Darwin could return to see it, would enthrall, excite, and amaze him.

However, he would recognize it as his own. We are just coloring in the details.

Darwin raises our consciousness to the sinewy power of science to explain the large and complex in terms of the small and simple. In biology we were fooled for centuries into thinking that extravagant complexity in nature needs an extravagantly complex explanation. Darwin triumphantly dispelled that illusion.

There remain big questions, in physics and cosmology, that await their own Darwins.

Why are the laws of physics the way they are?

Why are there laws at all?

Why is there a universe at all?

Once again, the lure of “design” is tempting, but we have the cautionary tale of Darwin before us.

We’ve been through all that before. Darwin raised our consciousness, and we are emboldened to seek true explanations of genuine power.

Why a door handle?  It’s Monday. I always keep my promises.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_____________________

1/ Just for fun, see my dissertation on “Social Darwinism”. But, my thoughts on Darwin’s Natural Selection are proliferated throughout this Blog history.

2/ Don’t get to worked up around Faith and the Christ elements.  They are tied to – and, transcend an idea. There is more to it than that. Also, Faith is likely a state of being.

brian cork: Defending A Belief

September25

This is me pondering faith, and why we think the way (or, in the manner [process?]) we do (or, don’t).

[Deep Breath]

Scientific validity is not the result of scientists abstaining from making value judgments; it is the result of scientists making their best effort to value principles of reasoning that reliably link their beliefs to reality, through valid chains of evidence and argument.

So, perhaps an answer to the (two-part) question – “What should I believe; and, why should I believe it?” is generally a scientific one:

Believe a proposition because it is well supported by theory and evidence.

Believe it because it has been experimentally verified.

Believe it because a generation of smart people have tried their best to falsify it –  and, failed.

Believe it because it is true (or seems so).

This is a norm of cognition as well as the epistemic core of any scientific mission statement.

This may-or-may-not be related.  But, if you want to go deep, consider the theory of “Probabistically”. /1

Or, perhaps you believe it (a thing, or any thing) because you simply trust your heart and instincts.

Or, someone you know, and like, inspires you to cast aside science, and make the  leap.

There is also the option of believing in a thing only because you want it.

All this aside…  I believe in me – and my discerning judgment.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

______________________

1/ I did not make this word up (this time).  Consider…  Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Facts, Desire, and the Truth

September5

Were we taught through life that there might be a truth in every story?

“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must approve the homage of reason than of blindfolded fear.” /1

So… here is a thought… I think a friend of mine laid this on me a few days ago…

“A scientist brings evidence, a priest brings cool stories”.

I fear (well.. believe. I don’t actually have a fear of any thing [seriously]). /2 this is often the case. It is also the main difference between an evolutionist and a creationist: one believes because of overwhelming scientific evidence and expert consensus; and, the other believes because of a “cool story” in a holy book that they were probably taught as a child — in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence and expert consensus.

Just for perspective, consider my prior Blog post How Long Is Seven Days.

All the evidence in the world could be against creationism (and, it is), and yet many would still believe.

However, paradoxically, you are not doing science when you refuse to seriously consider the other side’s evidence. After all, if we understand there is a God, he can work outside of time and space – right? And, you are not doing science when nothing could possibly convince you that you are wrong. You are doing religion.

And that is why creationism is religion, not science.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

______________________________
1/ Thomas Jefferson as quoted in Jennifer Hecht, Doubt: A History, p. 360).
2/ Believe me… I have faced more awful shit in my life and remain standing than most men could ever hope to endure.
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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

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photos by John Campbell

 

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