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Warren DeMontague

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Name: Jack Pruitt
Gender: Male
Member since: Thu May 20, 2004, 05:02 AM
Number of posts: 62,811

About Me

the true caliber of a man is measured in scoville units

Journal Archives

Verse #1: The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Tue Sep 1, 2015, 11:15 PM (0 replies)

No, I'm not "sure", LOL. However, I have yet to see a mathematically consistent, coherent

"Theory" of space-time which posits anything like a "center" which is located somewhere within, again, our 4 dimensional spacetime itself.

Now, extrapolating the old "flatland sphere" idea, if spacetime were curved - and closed- in such a way that the universe was a sphere in a higher mathematical dimension, then yes there would be a "center" which nevertheless existed in a higher mathematical dimension outside of our spacetime, much as the core of the earth is nowhere on its surface--

But that said, observational analyses to date have all indicated that spacetime is neither curved in on itself (spherical) NOR outward (saddle-shaped) but rather, "flat" at largest scales, albeit again in 4 dimensions.

Also if one steps outside of "time" (as much as is mentally possible) and accepts current big bang/hyperinflation theory, it is possible I suppose to argue that a "center" (if not "the" center) sits at the big bang, both in space and time- but the big bang occurred everywhere, so again, if you're talking now the center is, like the leftover 3 degree echo of the big bang, everywhere.



Positing a "center" somewhere in our own, current spacetime as it stands now, runs into all sorts of logical problems, not the least of which is that it implies an "edge" or boundary, and then what's beyond that?

(one of the appealing factors of the spacetime-curved-into-a-higher-dimension-sphere idea is, of course, that it avoids that problem by saying if you go far enough in one direction, you end up coming back from the other way, sort of like flying off the right side of the screen in Asteroids and coming back in in the left.



But unfortunately, again, observations don't seem to indicate that one is true)

Personally, my own leanings are towards something like the infinite self-propagating eternal inflationary theory of Guth and Linde (of which our own Universe would be a tiny bubble), and I believe everything is mind-bendingly infinite in all directions and across all scales, not just multiverses but an infinite number of multiverses and beyond that types of multiverses, and so on. And as mathematicians know, asking what the "center" of infinity (much less infinite infinities) is, is a meaningless question.


...also, adding a brief detour out of science and math and into philosophy- as the solipsism jokes upthread allude to, from a purely experiential/zen/existential standpoint for me, the universe DOES have a center, and yes, I'm sitting at it right now. Meaning, as much as my own experience is concerned, from the moment I first became conscious, everything that has ever taken place, from my perspective, has happened with me smack dab at the center. Wow! I must be important! Or something. I don't say this because I have a huge ego (although I do) but rather because If I'm being rigorous from an experiential viewpoint, well, the ONLY experiential viewpoint I have or will ever have, as far as I know, is mine. The only vote that matters, so to speak.

And as such the whole fuckin' shebang revolves around (or to some extent, takes place inside) my own head. So as for a "center", there's that, I guess.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:43 AM (4 replies)

Hillary Clinton: "I respect those who believe..there are no circumstances under which any abortion

..should ever be available"

NYT, Jan 2005: "Clinton seeking shared ground over abortions"

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/25/nyregion/clinton-seeking-shared-ground-over-abortions.html?_r=0

How is that any better than the statement you're using to try and hang Bernie Sanders- with his 100% NARAL rating- out to dry?

Is it okay because back in 2005 everyone was supposed to be courting "values voters", which is also the justification under which Hillary Clinton (but not Sanders, notably) was at the time openly campaigning to keep "marriage between a man and a woman"?



Posted by Warren DeMontague | Mon Jun 22, 2015, 05:44 PM (1 replies)

Porn isnt protected speech? There's a 10 Billion dollar a year industry that disagrees.

And SCOTUS "standards" on the matter are a joke- starting with Potter Stewart's "I know it when I see it" all the way up to the so-called standard in use today, the "community standards" definition of "obscenity".

"Community standards" for obscenity are a joke because it is basically impossible to argue, in our 21st century interconnected media world, that there is any sort of definable "community" who would find consenting adult sex acts "obscene" in such a way that it could be drawn broadly enough to criminalize the speech of, say, youporn or the like. Or in other words, for every community that doesnt like it, there is another that DOES.

And short of culture war reprobates like Rick Santorum, no one on either side of the aisle is remotely interested in trying.

Simply put, if the SCOTUS had been even the slightest bit interested in putting the kabosh on pornography, they wouldnt have overturned Clinton's online decency law (Reno v. ACLU, 1997). Instead, They did, and now that horse is long out of the barn.

And a wise decision, as well- because leaving aside the moral panic "culture in crisis" concerns, it is well nigh impossible to come up with a consistent and enforceable universal standard of "obscenity" in a pluralistic, interconnected, 21st century society. What is "obscene" to some people- oral sex, gay sex, al yankovik getting freaky with bubble wrap- is a wholesome saturday night's entertainment to others.

And so it is with so-called "hate speech". What is hate speech to one person or group, is not to another. The government not only should not be in the business of making objective determinations about the content of speech, it simply can't. Not rationally, not consistently. Not without taking a position that one set of beliefs, belonging to one group, is the "right" one, to the exclusion of the view of others.

Bottom line, though, the principle of free expression is far more important than silencing even the most obnoxius voices among us.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Sun Jun 21, 2015, 06:47 PM (1 replies)

perhaps rather than trying to use the term as a schoolyard taunt to tar people we agree with

we should ask ourselves, okay:

Is the word "liberal" synonymous in the popular consciousness, with ending the drug war, legalization of marijuana, ending domestic spying, protecting the 4th amendment from the myriad abuses and encroachments it has suffered from in recent decades, the right of the terminally ill to choose their own pain-free exit on their own terms, insisting that consenting adults should have the right to make their own decisions about their own consenting adult choices, pertaining to sexuality, expression, and other personal matters?

...is it? Really?

I think it should be. Seems pretty obvious.

And if it isn't, why not?

And, interestingly enough, in places where the Democratic Party is both "liberal" AND expressly committed to these exact sorts of values (cough. Oregon) the "Liberals" WIN elections.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Wed Jun 10, 2015, 06:24 PM (0 replies)

I think it's a completely manufactured division that simply doesn't reflect reality.

No rational political analyst would EVER try to assert that somehow Bernie Sanders, or someone like Liz Warren for that matter, would ever be less committedly "liberal" on social issues than Hillary Clinton. That's fucking ridiculous. Sanders and Warren are not coming from the wing of the party which brought us triangulation, DOMA, and pandering to "values voters". It's a complete crock.

It's a story that someone invented out of thin air for DU, as near as I can tell, because the actual parameters of the actual political field are not favorable to some imaginary "white male Democratic Party elites out to stop Hillary Clinton's express train of social progress" narrative.

It's on the level of Orwell--- "war is peace"- the idea that somehow the people fighting for a livable min. wage or bank reform or a SPHC system, are the real 1%ers, oppressing the masses.

It wouldn't fly most places, the fact that some people have bought into it in GD doesn't speak well for their grasp on reality.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Wed May 27, 2015, 01:32 AM (10 replies)

is it gonna be Clod-man?

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Sat May 9, 2015, 05:04 PM (1 replies)

"Forcing Clinton to go on the record on controversial issues" - aha.

Your problem, i think, is that you have bought into this beltway conventional bullshit wisdom which says that actual brave leadership is BAD.

It's the same genuis thinking that led Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to run a 1990s "tough on drugs" script when confronted about medical marijuana.

News Flash: The world has changed. It is a new century. The American People WANT real leadership.

If someone is afraid to go on the record about "controversial issues", THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Sat May 2, 2015, 09:20 PM (1 replies)

Fie! Enough of this flim-sham flapshatterry!

I don't know what that means, but I really wanted to say it.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Tue Mar 10, 2015, 06:33 PM (0 replies)

The IWR was a "minute detail"?

No, it wasn't.

Yes, we all understand that the Dems who voted for it, did so by and large out of craven political calculus and fear of being called "soft on terror". Hell, that was obvious in 2002.

This is not something that can be re-packaged, 13 years later, as good politics or smart manoeuvring. It was a flat-out moral failure, and it sure as shit isn't some badge of honor.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Wed Feb 25, 2015, 06:00 PM (1 replies)
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