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Bhim last won the day on April 11

Bhim had the most liked content!

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About Bhim

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    Jesus-hating idol worshiper

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    Religion (of course), Hindu/Christian interactions, Christian proselytism, astrophysics.
  • More About Me
    I suppose I'm somewhat unorthodox as far as ex-Christians go. I was raised Hindu. In college, specifically in 2004, I gave up my "heathen" ways and converted to evangelical Christianity. Six years later, in 2010 I realized the extent of my foolishness in being a Christian, and returned to Hinduism.

    I am a scientist with a PhD in astrophysics, but have defected from academia to industry. I am also a Trump voter.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Hindu God/gods

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  1. Well, I don't know if it was the first or the second (since Sgr A* has also been studied). But the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has reported results here: Event Horizon Telescope Very important discovery, in part because data from multiple telescopes designed by different collaborations was successfully combined.
  2. Heh, no argument from me that BAA's absence is sorely noted here. He would have had a field day with a paper like this. I only skimmed the paper, but it looks like they made some probabilistic assumptions about the factors of the Drake Equation and computed conditional distributions. I would say that all hope of intelligent life is not lost. The paper's conclusion states a 53-99.6% chance of no life in the galaxy. I'll see if I can examine this further and see what the posterior distribution looks like in order to find out what is the expectation value on this distribution. Thanks for tagging me on this guys!
  3. Yeah that's a good point. I'm living the life now, but I suppose we're one economic collapse away from me being out in the cold.
  4. I'm surprised no one likes to talk about this. Since the Vietnam Era the President's powers have increased dramatically, and it is Congress that has ceded this power. The liberals are currently complaining about Trump's National Emergency declaration, ignoring that this power is made possible by an act of Congress. I'm glad Trump is doing what he is doing to stem the effects of Obama's leniency towards refugees and Muslims (neither of which have a place on American soil, in my opinion). But in general, I hope this leads Congress to take its power back from the Presidency.
  5. Well, we're not just standard conservatives. We're ex-Christian conservatives, meaning we think for ourselves! I have no idea if this is a liberal or conservative position, but I would actually say that it's a bad idea to comment on the situation in Venezuela. I think Trump might be using this as an opportunity to bash socialism (in which case I agree with him). But taking sides in the affairs of craphole countries is a bad idea. It's like getting in the mud to wrestle a pig. It just makes you dirty, and besides that the pig likes it. In keeping with my apathy towards those less fortunate, I would say that we should let these people kill each other if only to reduce the pool of potential illegal immigrants.
  6. Wow, is that possible once you've defected to private industry? I don't think I could take the pay cut, but I do miss something about academic life, Chinese speakers and all. My company lets me go to an academic conference every year, and I have to admit it makes me miss that side of the world. I'm happy for you Prof!
  7. Thanks for engaging me on this. The reason I don't want to spend a single dollar on these people is because I don't care about them. You do care about them, and if you'd like to spend money on them then I wouldn't stop you (the vacation suggestion was hyperbole, charity would indeed be more efficient). But you should spend your own money, right? There's a common understanding we all share in civilized society that your rights end when your actions begin to affect me. Spending your own money doesn't affect me, but spending money from the communal pot of tax dollars that we have allocated for the good of the tax payers has a deleterious effect on me. So by the code of ethics that we both share, it's wrong for you to do this.
  8. Totally agreed on the Mexican flags and the utility of us learning other languages. And you'll get no argument from me that speaking Spanish shouldn't result in a police incident. The furthest I'd go is to say that English enforcement should be purely at the cultural level. Someone who can't speak English should not be able to so much as go to a grocery store and get food. There should be no resources available to translate for someone who didn't learn English before arriving here. If you can't speak our language, you have effectively nothing in common with us and shouldn't be here.
  9. For what it's worth, when I talk about the rudeness of speaking other languages, I'm thinking more about Indians speaking Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, or whatever else, as well as Chinese speaking...well, Chinese. At a philosophical level I have the same problem with Spanish-speakers, but the former two are what I interact with on a regular basis, and in a majority English-speaking country we should not have to deal with this. I would reiterate that speaking non-English languages in public should be regarded as unseemly and an embarassment, and at a cultural level shouldn't be encouraged. People commonly state that America has no official language. What is omitted is that an earlier version of the pledge of allegience includes the phrase "one language." Granted, that pledge also mentions God, so I don't much like it either. But rather than quibbling about history, we should ask whether it's a good idea to encourage foreign languages in public spaces. When you start a graduate program in the sciences, usually a professor will sit down with you and all the other first year graduate students and talk to you about the grand adventure upon which you're embarking. My class - like pretty much every graduate physics class in the nation - had more Chinese than domestic Americans. The professor explained the importance of learning English, and suggested that when the Chinese are at social events with other Chinese, it would be a good idea to use their English as a way of assimilating more easily. This was back in 2007, I wonder if such speech would be allowed in the #woke era. Nonetheless it's good life advice for non-English-speaking immigrants. You should speak English even when no English speakers are around, because the English speakers aren't going to go out of the way to learn your language. In my experience in the very multicultural setting of academia, I worked with people from all over the world. They all spoke English. Heck, at one particle physics institute in Germany, the German scientists spoke English when speaking to each other, because English is the language of science. It's interesting that when Europeans and Asians come to the United States, they are expected to speak English. No one is going to learn Russian just to communicate with a coworker from Moscow, or Italian to interact with someone from Rome. Why is there sympathy for only Hispanic people? This to me seems like the effect of groupthink, whereby the #woke culture is focused entirely on the intersectional politics of refugee migration from South America and Muslim countries (e.g. metropolitan areas offering K-12 education in Somali). I have to ask, how far are you willing to go with this? Are you willing to offer all government services in Spanish? In Somali? In Arabic? How long before Americans have nothing in common with each other anymore? As for the mention of racism, I'll go ahead and say I'm not racist, and leave it at that. If someone thinks that what I say is racist, they are welcome to that opinion. As I am not white, I don't harbor any white guilt, so the charge of racism doesn't sting very much. Heck, even if I were publicly accused of racism, I could simply point out that I'm a brown immigrant and that I've been oppressed by the whites. Or something.
  10. Good questions. Clearly, we ("we" being general society and myself, in this case) help US citizens because we have a common sense of ethics. Where does that come from? I dunno. But as long as we agree on the ethics, we don't need to have the metaphysical debate about where morality comes from, because the only pertinent question is how we logically apply those first principles to others. Now with regard to people from the craphole countries, we do not have a common sense of ethics or morality. I gather you believe in a moral code which leads you to believe that I should use a fraction of my financial earnings to pay to help these people. I, on the other hand, do not believe as you do, and therefore I couldn't care less what happens to these people insofar as they don't affect me or my life. You're free to believe what you want, of course. But the moment you (again, "you" being society in general) help yourself to my finances, your beliefs become my concern. If there's any belief that we ex-Christians are likely to universally share, it's that one man's beliefs shouldn't dictate another man's personal behavior. So based on our overlapping moral code, I can say that you ought not to use the power of the state to use my tax dollars to help the South American refugees or to resettle them anywhere in the country where I might have to share space with them. If you want to go help these people as a private citizen, why not take a vacation south of the border and do this for a couple weeks? Why do you want to resettle even one of them here? Do you want to do this?
  11. Your faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus is...unexpected, given the name of this forum. I'm not trying to sound snide here. This moralizing and preachy behavior (which by no means is specific to you) portends an imminent sermon on whom I should consider to be my brother.
  12. As someone who comes from a culture where people speak weird and unfamiliar languages (India has 27, last time I counted), I'm not sure one should feel much sympathy here. Speaking non-English languages promotes a sense of disunity and is a generally rude thing to do in an English speaking country. My family was very intentional about raising me Indian and Hindu...which I suppose failed because I became a Christian for awhile. But they were equally delibrate in speaking only English at home and ensuring that I didn't learn a word of our native language, because they wanted me to be an assimilated American. Legalities aside, no one here should be incentivized to speak languages other than English. Speaking other languages in public is unseemly and is not conducive of a sense of cultural unity. Before you disagree with me, imagine how you might feel if people in your community regularly spoke languages that you could not comprehend. You would find it difficult to interact and you would likely wonder if others are talking about you or insulting you. Tolerating various lingual groups seems tolerant and progressive in the abstract, but it's a different matter entirely when people come to your home or workplace and start uttering words that sound like gibberish to you. Being fairly involved in the Indian-American community since my deconversion, this is something I deal with fairly regularly, even in my own family. I would personally find it preferable if people restricted themselves to the language of their host country, and made every effort to forget the language of whatever country they come from. Should people be arrested or detained by the police for doing otherwise? Of course not. But at a cultural level it's not something we should encourage. I would strongly support using every means to suppress non-English languages, short of outright compulsion of course. In other words, get rid of the "press 2 for Spanish" option. If you can't speak English you should be incapable of performing simple daily tasks, because this is an English-speaking society. And for goodness sake don't add support for Hindi. My people already speak English, we just do so with obnoxious accents.
  13. Oh I know your query was directed elsewhere. That said, I found it a useful segway into an explanation as to why I am not my brother's keeper. Like you say, many people, both ex-Christian and never-Christian, are influenced by Christian culture nonetheless and hold to a sense of pathological altrusism (otherwise known as the "go into the world and preach" doctrine). I would propose a different path. People who live in sh*thole countries should be allowed to die in sh*thole countries. I would rather they perish than that one American dollar be spent on their well-being. After all, it is not as though their souls or anyone else's are going to eternal hell...
  14. I hate the people on the other side of the putative wall who think they can come across and freeload off our benificence. Seriously. Anyone who has read what I have written about my deconversion knows that one of my chief complaints against Christians is that the evangelicals I knew would take advantage of my financial resources and call it "fellowship." Now that I am not a Christian, I do not suffer freeloaders any longer. And since I don't believe in Jesus, I am not my brother's keeper and am free to hate any human being I wish to hate, because I know that God will not punish my hatred with eternal conscious torment in hell. I am unmoved by separated children at the border. I have never met these people and don't care what happens to them, so long as they can't take advantage of the money that the government deducts from my paycheck. I do not want to pay for their medical care. I do not want to pay to send their children to school. If they are being pursued by armed drug lords, I don't want to pay for the United States military or border patrol to protect them from the drug lords. I wouldn't spend a red penny towards these people's welfare. One reason I suggest that no one attempt to persuade me with emotional appeals is that I will not react to images of children with a similar skin complexion to my own being ripped from their mothers' arms. Or worse, I may have the opposite emotional response to what Jesus wants me to exhibit. I love not being a Christian, and thus not being bound to Jesus' dictum to love my neighbor. My neighbor should stay on his side of the wall.
  15. The point about FDR's gold seizure is interesting. People on the conservative side will often point out that Roosevelt exhibited a fair bit of tyrranical behavior. He's the only president to serve four terms, and of course he put Americans of Japanese descent in concentration camps for the duration of the war. But the broader point that we should be making is that instances of government tyrrany have occurred many times in American history (see my first post in this thread). If anything, the Trump presidency is an illustration of the rising power of the courts. The Constitution doesn't give the judicial branch enforcement authority or even the explicit power of judicial review, i.e. the ability to strike down laws. It's odd that judges, and not the legislature, are checking Trump's executive power. But the checks are occuring, and perhaps are even more severe than what the framers would envision. Note that the plenary powers doctrine gives the President and Congress authority to block immigration for any reason they choose. And yet it was the courts that (in my opinion unfortunately) blocked the Muslim ban and the recinding of President Obama's DACA order. If anything, Trump has less power than his predecessors, not more.
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