Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Statistics

Statistics are mostly about two things: data about huge number of event or opinion of large number of people. Well Vi would probably disagree but for the purpose of this post this simple definition will suffice. Statistics are also believed by more then 50% of all Canadian to be lies, as in the book title, lies, damn lies and statistics. But you know what, that statistics doesn’t make that opinion true. In fact, what a large number of people thing as very little to do with what is true or not, an example if that most people (I’m betting over 80% but I do not have a reliable statistic) think people in the ancient world though the world to be flat… but if that was really the case how do you explain the status of atlas holding a spherical earth? Or the fact that the Greek calculated the curvature of the earth sometimes before Christ?

The fact his that people will believe a lot of things, and that the question asked will often shape the answers. For example in the 50s the republican and the democrat each performed a survey to see if their view on war where the most popular… guess what both candidate found that his view was the most popular by far. It was simply a question of how the questions where ask, one asked: are you against the war, while the other asked do you want America to appear weak.

My point is always be wary of any person that will go: x percent of people believe that… to prove a point. They are using a peer pressure argument to win you over to their view and might be trying to hide facts that would be detrimental to their wealth. A good example of this is the evolution-ID debate, 60% of American believes that evolution is false but that doesn’t mean it is, or that ID is true.

The high school sweetheart myth

The high school sweetheart, you know the girl you are supposed to meet if you are a guy and make you life with. Usually the legend goes that you as captain of the football team will fall in love with the head cheerleader (which is incidentally according to legend not only the leader of the cheerleader but the best head giver of them all… but that might just be a rumor.) Apparently, it can also work for any couple that meets in high school and later gets married (very important the marriage part) preferably without having dated or being sexually active before their declaration of love.

Anyway, this would be the “perfect” American dream kind of way of finding love. I call bullshit! I think this myth is part of the high school is the best year of your life deal that apparently fills our society (if it was the best part of your life will congratulation… and enjoy the 60 or so other years you will have to live), you know how that by being successful in high school you will be successful in life (I’d advice not to check this, from my experience you would be very disappointed.)

Now why would I asaathi be ranting about that on the 26th of December, well because I watch the latest American pie this morning (the Fifth one if you are counting, a direct to DVD release call the Naked Mile) and the high school sweetheart thing is basically the point of this whole movie. The story is has follow, a Stiffler is a virgin because it’s girlfriend doesn’t want to have sex, since she doesn’t want him to break up with her over lack of sex, she decide to give him a guilt free pass for a weekend he will be spending with his cousin in a college dormitory. Of course 20 second after he depart she decide to revoke the pass but can’t reach him. The Stiffler at the college is surrounded by big breasted slutty college girl and in about 20 seconds find one that not only would sleep with a high school kid but as a virgin fetish (I kid you not.. oh don’t read the next part if you don’t want any spoilers… if spoilers can be produce for a romantic comedy.) As we watch the girlfriend’s friends try to convince her to sleep with someone to “be on the same dating step” we have Stiffler realize he loves the girlfriend and runs to her. After a slight problem he meets with her and all her misgiving about sex magically disappear and they have magical first time sex. The predictable end.

I usually like romantic comedies but for some reason probably the whole virgin high school sweetheart perfect love kind of deal I found this movie pathetic... well the fact that the actress playing the sweetheart probably weight less then her dress didn’t help. Anorexia isn’t sexier then the half-ton look (and before you say anything, I’ve always said I found woman that are too thin as unattractive as fat woman.) Not to mention that there is no chemistry between her and the Stiffler guy. So I give the high school sweetheart myth a big old thumb down.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Well look who is the men of the year

Well Time as put up who his it's men of the year, in the US version of the publication it is quite simple, it's you.. well only you if you play with youtube, blog, have a myspace account and stuff like that, basically if you are a part of the "new" web. Personally I say blah! Seriously, between you and me, you really don't deserve the title of men of the year, what have you done that is so great? You participate in social web site? Wow, really impressive, so do I and I'm not the men of the year it's you... (yeah I'm just kidding for that last part.)

Now, in Canada Time Canada has it's own men of the year, and no it is not you (what you don't have enought of being the USA men of the year?), no it is someone much more loved by the average Quebecer. Yeah the souverainist favorite hero: Stephen Harper! Sarcasm just doesn't translate well to text but still. Anyway the question becomes does he deserve it? Well we cannot argue that he fufill most of his promises up to now and that he as been an astute politician. While I do not agree with all his decision and policy, I must say that he did mark Canadian politic this year, you cannot deny that everyone else in politic has been watching him and trying to follow. Even with a minority governement he made some interesting decisions.

So in the end congradulation to you and Stephen Harper, it might not mean much but they are time magasin men of the year.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Failling a gender test???

Well this article speak for itself. Now I understand the result, this person that won a silver medail in female athletic and either failed to prove she was actually a girl, or manage to prove on the test that she was actually a man.

But I have to wonder if this will not bring about a debate, if she is a transexual male, where should she compete? With male even if she consider herself a woman and as been taking woman hormones for quite a while? With woman even tho she was a man to begin with and
as a different muscle structure then born woman? Or only with other transexual? There is also the possibility that to increase her atlhetic abilities she as been taking so much hormones and performance enhancing drug that her body does not produce the normal hormones. In that case maybe it is time to get her out of the competition, it can't be healthy.

No matter the answer to the question, I wonder how this is going to affect sport and gender roles in society. Are there male athlete that would decide to undergo a sex change opperation to go from average in their discipline to first or second in the woman division (they might be in for a surprise, woman performace are catching up with men)? Will gender test become mandatory in sport? How do we solve this question without infringing on human right?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Congradulation Yofed

congradulations to Yofed for her newborn daughter, almost a 10 pound baby ;-) I wish her well, as well as her familiy. I hope her big brother will be a great big one!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Product placement

You probably have all noticed/know about the product placement marketing, you know the art of showing in a movie an actor (or more precisely his character) showing a product for a quick zoom with the camera. You probably noticed those movies where they show a can of coke or pepsi for like 30 second for no reason. Well yeah that product placement, Krimpoff could probably say a lot more about it. Anyway, what i want to talk about is the product placement by a particular compagnie, one we don't usually associate with marketing like this: apple.

As a mac owner I tend to notice when I see a mac laptop in a movie or tv show and for the last year or so it seem that just about every character in a movie own a mac laptop. I've seen teenager in movies using powerbook laptop (which makes me jealous since I can't afford them), reporter doing their report on ibook. I've also seen police people using their own eBook to compile information and search for correlation.

I don't mind, except that when a movie is supposed to be set in the real world I expect stuff to fit with the real world I know. That means most people use PC. Oh well I don't mind so much as find it intriguing, and I expect that in a few years/month pc manufacture will plug in their own laptop in movies.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Scared twice in a day.

Well, after the white dolphin extinction , I found another piece of news that "scared" me. Well scared is not the right word, it more like confirmed a worse case scenario I had and will only give munition to groups seeking to promote falacious ideas. You see, a group of scientist in the United State of America as signed a statement protesting about political interference in research (news link). While this news is good, the underlying information is scary as hell, for scientist to make such a statement means that there where political interferences, and according to the article such interference took a 1984 like form. They were apparently pressure to modify scientific data to conform to the current administration policy.

In a way it like saying: well we want climate change not to exist so please publish data that shows that climate change does not exist. But instead of saying please you point a .45 at the scientist head (figuratively of course). What you get of course is a nice happy governement capable of saying see we took the right decision based on "scientific" data. Even worse, it means that future study referencing the data will be wrong and that years (probably not more then a few luckilly) will be "lost" to a political decision.

Also, this give the arguement for science opposant (like the guys for inintelligent design) that science is in fact just a fad, a policy influenced organism (well in a way it is but usually not the data itself), something that is not more rigourous then creationism, spiritism or divination. It also put into doubt the whole scientific method which is the corner stone of research and our knowledge. Not to mention that we do not know how long this as been going and where else in the world as it happened (maybe Canada, some of Stephen Harper's minister have strange ideas regarding evolution and climate change for exemple.)

I've long dreaded with the raise of religious extremist in the world the begining of a new dark age, it seems that we might be at the edge of it. Their might be still time to prevent our fail into darkness (hopefully like the previous one it will still be filled with little lights, and some area of the world will still be beacons of light) but we have to realise the problem first.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Evolution at work or apocalypse in the making?

Reading the news like I do every morning since 9/11 I fell upon a rather troublesome news: China's white dolphin is now extinct. It is always worrisome to hear that the biological diversity of earth has lost another member, particullarly one that has been around for the past 30 millions years (15 times longer then us human if you are counting.)

It is particullary worrisome that we are seeing an ever increasing number of species extinction in our times as it might be a sign that we are at the begining of another mass extinction. The last few of those were not that interesting for large land dwelling species like for example humans. However on the other hand mass extinction have usually being good over all the the evolutions of species and the replacement of the biological diversity.

In a way, bad for us good for the world, however as one of those strange egoist people I'd prefere to have humanity survive...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Come on guys...

I've been reading the Kiss and blog blog for a time now and I find it pretty funny. It's a blog about dating and relationship and I found this post particularly funny in a disturbing kind of way. Really all I have to say about it is: come on guy! Do you really want a girl that will date you because of that? Maybe I'm too big of a romantic but I don't think that’s a good base to build a relation on.

Of course if all you want is a one night, well whatever... but that clearly not for me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Equality, doesn't mean positive discrimination

I've been reading a anti-feminist blog lately, while I don't agree with some of the things that are said there, I cannot disagree with everything. One of the thing I agree with (and that I'm pretty sure pretty flower will too) is that father are not just sperm donor in the lives of children. The presence of the child father is important in the child life, it provide a different view point and provide a different structure that is helpfull (or needed) for a child develloppement.

Another thing I have to agree with and that is the subject of this post is that positie discrimination is a bad idea. The whole point of feminism was to reconise the equality of woman and man (in spite of their differences) before the law and in society. That means that for the same amoung of work both deserve the same pay, that both face the same penality before the law for the same crime and that both have the same right in society. Making laws that ask people to hire woman over man despite the competenses of both to meet so form of quota, is basically saying that woman are worse then men, that they need a boost to fill the same job. It also makes a difference in the law based on gender, something that would be inacceptable if it was in the favor of men.

Now of course the argument could be made that laws have been biased against woman for centuries (or even millenia) and that the current trend is just the justified return of the pendulum. But that like saying well the British have killed native american in the past so now native american should have the permission no the right to kill British people. It doesn't make any senses, two bad doesn't make a right. Particullary now that we claim to be a civilised society one that can think of the consequences of it action, it should be obvious from history that favoring one part of society over another is a bad idea and only lead to problem.

Nice to know good and evil are coded.

"I've been hearing for a while a direct association made between idea from the "right" and evilideas and by opposition ideas proposed by the "left" and good ideas. Well that something thatbother me, I don't think you can build an argument that way or even say that historically theright" (or even the religious right) as been responsibale for more evil then the left.

It like the old "argument" of saying something is what the Nazi or Hitler as done and saying see that evil... The problem with this reasoning is that something is evil not because someone did it, but because it is evil in itself. For exemple, instoring a program to kill all member of a religion or ethnic group is evil, vegetarism isn't.. yet both where practiced by Hitler. So could we finally stop associating morals to political factions and reserve it for the ideas themself? It might really help us open our mind and build a better world.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Stephane Dion... what the fuck?

Well the liberal party of Canada just elected his new leader, and in a bid to find someone even less charismatic then Stephen Harper they opted for another stephen: Stephane Dion. Now I don't have anything agains the guy, I don't know him personally but seriously he doesn't sound like someone I'd want at the head of my country (or any country for that matter, he is probably better then kim Jon il but lets not under estimate the man before he is in office shall we.)

Anyway, I really don't think that this is the way to beat the Torries, well maybe that the liberal's goal, become so pathetic that they don't get more then two seats (remember Charest and the Torries?) maybe they belive that sympathie will give them more vote in two elections. Or maybe they want the bloc Quebecois to be the news governement, a minority one but still. We never know how the wise Liberal will go.

Oh well if worse comes to past it will give a chance to the NPD to actually lead the country for once.