Category Archives: Philosophy

Why Kent Hovind dismisses evolution as “STUPID”

If you’re [un]fortunate enough to keep in touch with a lot of people, one of those acquaintances may ask what you think of Kent Hovind.

Hovind has a speech that he was doing called Evolution is Stupid, you can see it on Youtube.

Einstein wrote that:

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler

Hovind wants to poke fun at the theory of evolution. That’s fine. Remember, it’s a Theory. The fact is that there are many many things that we don’t know. Humanity has learned much about the world in only a few thousands years of written history. The most advanced societies on earth today will most likely be primitive and barbaric as viewed from another 10,000 years in the future. We’ll appear little different from the cave man.

Each of Hovind’s soundbite analogies is flawed, to pick one of the most glaring, he uses the Newtonian physics example of children spinning on a ride to explain the spinning of galaxies and universes, but these two ideas are simply not related. If you read Einstein’s Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (written for general audiences not conversant in the math of theoretical physics) Einstein’s observations are completely unexpected, but many have been proven true in the lab. Very large quantities and very small quantities (such as micro-processors) work counter to newtonian physics that are more readily observed at human scale.

The term “evolution” was invented when Darwin wrote on the origin of species, which I haven’t yet read, and therefore can’t really comment on. When the scientific community says “evolution” they are not talking about “cosmic evolution”, “chemical evolution”, “stelar and planetary evolution” (same as Hovind’s cosmic evolution, no?), organic evolution and macro-evolution. They are talking about application of the scientific method to the origin question (origin of the universe, origin of the earth, origin of the species). We could very well all be part of some system bigger than the universe, just as a few hundred years ago any system larger than the solar system was beyond our comprehension, and in only the last two centuries have we come to understand how the milky way galaxy exists as only a small part of a large collection of galaxies.

If somebody believes with religious fervor in the theory of evolution, then they don’t understand the point of the theory. Our goal is simply to use the scientific method (research, hypothesis, experimentation, analysis) to better understand origin. We will probably not arrive at certainty because the real world, just like real life, are not so simple. To quote Sagan, it’s better to light a candle then to curse the darkness.

Sagan also observed:

“I find many adults are put off when young children pose scientific questions. Why is the Moon round? the children ask. Why is grass green? What is a dream? How deep can you dig a hole? When is the world’s birthday? Why do we have toes? Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else: ‘What did you expect the Moon to be, square?’ Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys the grown-ups. A few more experiences like it, and another child has been lost to science. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before 6-year-olds, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that we don’t know something? Is our self-esteem so fragile?”

The bottom line is that we don’t fully understand. There is so much that we don’t know yet. Some things that we may never know. But the fact that we don’t know yet doesn’t mean that we should trust any story to be true, for any reason. Be it the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Torah (translated as hebrew bible or old testament) or some translation of the Christian New Testament, Buddhist texts, Hindu texts, or the smaller religious groups ostracized as cults yet are not better or worse, simply not as successful in conversion, yet. Bottom line, Associate with the people that you like. Sing the songs that make you happy. Believe in the system that gives you peace and success. But be careful of any claim to knowledge or truth that refuses to be scrutinized. Buddha himself wrote:

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Or as Steve Jobs said:

Stay hungry, Stay Curious

Tim Krieder, in We Learn Nothing wrote:

We tend to make up these stories in the same circumstances in which people come up with conspiracy theories: ignorance and powerlessness. And they share the same flawed premise as most conspiracy theories: that the world is way more well planned and organized than it really is. They ascribe a malevolent intentionality to what is more likely simple ineptitude or neglect.

You have real opportunities in front of you. Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and one time boss of Steve Jobs said:

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.


What should I do next? Just ask my future self via email

Sometimes we are not 100% sure what exactly we are supposed to do next. Maybe we’re thinking about who to date or who to marry. Maybe we’re thinking about our career or our business. Maybe we’re thinking about our friends or our family. Maybe we’re thinking about education or investment options.

There is nobody that knows YOU better than YOU know you. So based on that premise, there’s a site called “” that allows you to create an email and send it to yourself at some date in the future.


So the next time you’re not sure what exactly to do. Just relax. No rush. Write down all of the pros and the cons about your decision. Or thoroughly describe the situation, including the assumptions you’ve made and describe what it is you need to know next, or what you’re unclear about.

Give yourself 1 month. 3 months. Or even a year. Then press send and breath a sigh of relief. You’ve started to analyze the process. You’ve documented it. Simply persist and greater happiness will follow.

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost’s poem, often misremembered as “The Road Less Traveled” due to the last line…


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Why so many programs?

Why do I have (Email), Skype, Adium (MSN + iChat) and Twitterrific all running at the same time?


Why does my iPhone have one icon for SMS’s and one for Email?

There are some interesting Wikipedia pages about Unified Messaging and Unified Communications, including:

Unified communications (UC) is “an industry term used to describe all forms of call and multimedia/cross-media message-management functions controlled by an individual user for both business and social purposes” [1]. This potentially includes the integration of fixed and mobile voice, e-mail, instant messaging, desktop and advanced business applications, Internet Protocol (IP)-PBX, voice over IP (VoIP), presence, voice-mail, fax, audio video and web conferencing, unified messaging, unified voicemail, and whiteboarding into a single environment offering the user a more complete but simpler and more effective experience.

Maybe an iPhone and a Mac Book Air already qualifies as a “Unified Messaging System”. Fax’s are obviously easily directed to your email Inbox, but there is still something missing.

Sadly, it seems that Google is probably the best positioned entity on the planet to provide “Unified Messaging”. Just plug Google Mail into the gaim/libpurple multiple instant message interface instead of gtalk, and then somehow force the Skype guys to jump on the bandwagon and you’re done with the desktop/web side. Just need to figure out a way to handle SMS and voice.

Maybe the next “Hotmail” is in here somewhere… That simple idea that’s sitting right under our nose. That way that will we can ever so slightly change the way people use computers, that could potentially be worth something.




US_World.jpg america.gif americanview.gif world-according-to-regan.gif reaganposter.jpg

How difficult is it to translate?

I often run into words that are so difficult to translate from english to chinese or chinese to english. As I’m not a linguist or translator by profession, I wasn’t aware that the challenge that I was running into is actually quite a broad, common one. Basically, when you are translating you have choices:

Either the translator leaves the author in peace, as much as possible, and moves the reader towards him; or he leaves the reader in peace, as much as possible, and moves the author towards him. –Venuti, 1995: 19-20


“Domesticating translation” and “foreignizing translation” are the terms coined by L. Venuti (1995) to describe the two different translation strategies. The former refers to the translation strategy in which a transparent, fluent style is adopted in order to minimize the strangeness of the foreign text for target language readers, while the latter designates the type of translation in which a target text “deliberately breaks target conventions by retaining something of the foreigness of the original” –Shuttleworth &Cowie, 1997:59

There’s a great article that goes into very extensive detail on the subject called “To Foreignize or Domesticate“, but for me, the point is simply that it puts your mind at peace — there reason you can’t translate it is because there’s not a word for it, so relax, you’re chinese and english are both OK.

There’s also a great dictionary on the same site with all sorts of business related words that you should be aware of.



AA: 人家说AA制的时候有两种想法.

a) 人要节约一点钱 要节约花费

b) 要完全公平总额分配 分配总额


如果是完全公平总额分配, 开单之前大家要决定什么算完全公平的总额分配.

比如,我只喝红牛,而有人喝红酒,那是否他的酒费我也要承担一部分?, 所以请人喝酒是否我的责任? 其他人请我和红牛到我没口渴的时是否别的人的责任? 如果是B的话,最好一个人全部买单,最后大家开个会处理所有的费用,公平 分配.


轮流的好处就是什么都不用算. 有的时候买单的费用多了,有的时候少了,但是时间长了费用的分配都会比较接近接近一个公平的地方这样最给大家都有面子但是自己本人还会一点不好意思,因为我喝那么多红牛,使别人破费了,还有我真的不是很乐意换到其他的地方去, 甚至我还剥夺了主人自主选择场所的权利。