Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach

Monday, 27 August 2007

The Child Sex Triangle

I found the image above from pro-pedophilia site Defending the Paederotic. It suggests that "antis" or those against pedophiles are horrendous people because they do not allow children to choose whether to be sexual or asexual. The antis are as bad as the child molesters because they force asexuality on children just as the child molesters force sexuality on children. Pedophiles often like to make distinctions between child molesters and pedophiles. Pedophiles, they claim, are not as bad as child molesters because although they may have sexual attraction towards children they don't necessarily act upon those urges.

This child sex triangle reminds me very much of the Nolan Chart, which is skewed in such a way as to encourage people to become libertarian.

Under Heavy Attack, Pedologues Shuts Down

Pedologues is a podcast that promotes pedophilia. Due to intense outrage from anti-pedophile groups including those from Perverted Justice, the podcast had to be shut down because many of those who were associated with the podcasts received death threats.

According to the Pedologues site,
I have just received word from the hosts of The Sibling Rivalry Podcast that they have been receiving harassing and threatening phone calls to their homes by someone who calls himself "Mikel Bruce" due to their having interviewed me on their show.

At this time, I believe it would be morally irresponsible for me to continue fighting this when innocent bystanders are beginning to be affected. This constant stream of blind hate, cyberstalking, and libel tactics from those at Perverted Justice against uninvolved Libsynners is, in my opinion, reprehensible. Nevermind how wrong people might consider me or what I believe in, a solid line is crossed when this form of criminal act is laid upon the rest of the public. No matter how those on the sidelines might feel about me closing shop, I think it is my personal responsibility to respond to this abhorent action duly. I am clearly dealing with people who have no scruples or honor.
Over at Independent Media Centre there is a piece called One Leader of the Pedophile Movement, Four Companies that Support Him. This piece makes the claim that there are four companies that are supporting pedophiles: Wikipedia/Wikimedia, Libsyn.org, CafePress, and Blogspot/Google. The piece even has contact details for people if they want to complain about the Pedologues podcast on Libsyn.org.

A Boywiki.org (now gone) article on Pedologues gives us an idea of how ferocious the attack on the guys at LibSyn.org was:
Perverted Justice ... urged people to harass and spam customers of Liberated Syndication which hosted Pedologues.

Thousands of unsolicited emails hammered the various unknowing podcast hosts, who then lodged complaints to Liberated Syndication's owners about the harassment. Most podcasters were apathetic, stating that although Pedologues' content might be socially offensive, as long as its participants were not advocating illegal activity, that it had a right to exist. A handful of podcasts including Stacy Harp's "Active Christian Media" left the host in protest of a pedophile podcast existing.

Rookiee was contacted by Dave Chekan, Liberated Syndication's founder, asking him what was going on. Rookiee informed Chekan of the current situation and agreed to an internal investigation and review of his podcast. Chekan agreed that what was occurring was not appropriate, and that he was not about to pull the plug on the podcast simply because of cyberbullying. Rookiee volunteered to halt production of his podcast until he manually transcribed all 30 of his episodes for Liberated Syndication's lawyers to review.

Subsequent to the Perverted Justice Opinion piece, hackers from Alt.Hackers.Malicious (AHM), who were withholding action upon Rookiee, set off to unmask Revolyob. Also, Perverted Justice threatened the Wikimedia foundation to remove Rookiee's Wikipedia user profile or face public humiliation. Rookiee's YouTube, Xanga, and other online accounts at very commonplace websites were removed.

Other podcasters were intrigued at the situation posed to them by Pedologues. The hosts of the Sibling Rivalry podcast offered to interview Rookiee on their podcast to discuss the First Amendment issue. After a less than satisfactory experience, they posted a severely truncated version of the interview in the form of four short sound bites. After posting it, the hosts began receiving threatening phone calls from Velocity from Alt.Hackers.Malicious who posed himself under the name "Mikel Bruce."

Rookiee pulled the plug on Pedologues subsequent to these harassment, citing: "it would be morally irresponsible for me to continue fighting this when innocent bystanders are beginning to be affected."

Protesting Against International Boylove Day

Link: Protest International Boylove Day

According to Absolute Zero, 23 June 2007 is International Boylove Day, a day invented by pedophiles to celebrate sexual relationships between adults and little boys. Think NAMBLA. On this day, pedophiles light a blue candle in public. The anti-pedophiles want to oppose this by burning white candles instead.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

The Libertarian Schism

There seems to be a shift in libertarianism caused by the War on Terror. Paleolibertarians oppose the war while Neolibertarians favor the war.

The biggest paleolibertarian is Lew Rockwell who has said the following: "Paleolibertarianism holds with Lord Acton that liberty is the highest political end of man, and that all forms of government intervention — economic, cultural, social, international — amount to an attack on prosperity, morals, and bourgeois civilization itself, and thus must be opposed at all levels and without compromise." He then goes on to say, "What's more, paleolibertarianism distinguishes itself from left-libertarianism because it has made its peace with religion as the bedrock of liberty, property, and the natural order."

Paleolibertarianism has made peace with religion? The question that comes to my mind is: which religion? Christianity, Islam, Satanism, Scientology? What does it mean that paleolibertarians have made peace with religion? Do they favor theocracy? If so, that is a contradiction because theocracy is inherently anti-freedom. Many religious people are happy to ban pornography and censor the Internet in the same way the Chinese Communist Party censors the Internet. If paleolibertarians make peace with religion, will they allow this? If they do, how can they claim that "all forms of government intervention - economic, cultural, social, international - amount to an attack on prosperity, moral, and bourgeois civilization itself"? How?

Neolibertarianism on the other hand makes more sense. According to the Wikipedia article on neolibertarianism,
Neolibertarians generally believe that the drawing of an arbitrary boundary such as a border does not exclude those outside of it from the inalienable human right of liberty. They believe that if someone truly believes that Liberty is a self-evident, inalienable right, that it is immoral to deny it to those who fall outside the jurisdiction of arbitrarily-drawn borders.

Some neolibertarians consider themselves extremely idealistic - holding deep convictions about the inalienability of liberty across borders. This branch generally believes that no country has a right to vote or mandate against liberty in the public sector, and that those who believe that the right to liberty ends at borders are no better than those who believe that only some WITHIN a country have a right to it; they believe that convictions about the importance of liberty holds no value unless it is applied to every human being on earth, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or nationality.
Libertarianism values freedom from the tyranny of the state as well as tyranny from other members of society. If rights are only endowed on those within an artificial border draw by the state, then big government once again determines who has right and who doesn't based on the stroke of a pen.

Hank's Adoption Announcement

This is a really nice story about a family that adopted a boy from China.

Any Religion Can Say Anything


Many Protestants go on about how following the bible makes life simpler because they only have one book that tells them everything they need to do. The bible is like a handbook for life.

The only problem is that different people can have different interpretations of the bible. I've read some people who say that masturbation is a sin based on biblical evidence and another person say that masturbation is not a sin also based on biblical evidence. With enough effort, I am convinced that you can make just about any religion say anything.

Rich people who have the resources to pay the wages of scholars can than cook up biblical evidence in support of anything. This doesn't necessarily apply to the Christian religion but other religions like Islam or Judaism in which the Koran or Torah can be used.

A good idea then is to have a scriptural marketing firm where scholars are paid to find interpretations of sacred scripture that supports a certain viewpoint.

Hard Versus Soft Sciences

I actually don't believe there is any distinction between hard sciences and soft sciences. Below are some of my writings from Wikipedia:
One perceived difference supporting the distinction is the degree to which conclusions in different fields are controversial within those fields. Some believe that conclusions from physics or chemistry tend to be less controversial among physicists and chemists, versus how much of political science is controversial among political scientists. However, in most physical sciences there has been extensive debate about issues like whether atoms exist and whether randomness is inherent in subatomic particles. Russ Roberts from George Mason University claims that although many people romanticize about the objectivity of the so-called hard scientists, many physical scientists constantly engage in controversies and arguments.

There is much difficulty distinguishing between soft and hard sciences because many social sciences like economics use the scientific process to formulate hypotheses and test them using empirical data, i.e. econometrics. Furthermore, many social scientists engage in experimental work within the field of experimental economics. In most cases the methodology used by practitioners of the so-called soft scientist are the same as those used by practitioners of the hard sciences and the only difference is the object studied. Physical scientists tend to look at atoms, energy, waves, etc while social scientists tend to look at societies, individuals, firms, etc.

In all experimental or empirical sciences there is a need to set up experiments. One necessary feature of experiments is the need to control for all factors. It may be hard to control for all factors in an experiment because the experimenter may not account for all factors. This problem exists in the social sciences and the physical sciences. To establish causation the experimenter needs to have a control group where only one variable, the variable of interest, is changed, and all other variables held constant. The difficulty is in how to control for all other variables when there could potentially be infinite variables.

Review of The Mormons

Link: http://www.pbs.org/mormons/

The Mormons is a 4-hour online documentary about the Mormon faith. I have just watched the first 2 hours and I must say it's very fascinating to look into the lives of these people.

It all started when Joseph Smith the founder claimed to have a revelation from God. Of course I am highly skeptical about all this. Anyone can claim to have a revelation from God. Many Americans thought the same. In fact, Mormons for a long time were oppressed by Christians in America. Laws were made forcing them to move from one place to another. They were not allowed to vote and their property was taken away from them.

In the supposed land of freedom, these Mormons were kicked around and bullied by the government. The pressure was so strong that, facing intense pressure, the Mormons had to let go of one of their sacred beliefs, that of polygamy or plural marriage.

Today the Mormon church, also known as Latter Day Saints, seems to have turned against itself. Although the Latter Day Saints have renounced polygamy, many Mormon fundamentalists still practice it.

Wagner Boycotts Google

Thomas Wagner sent an email to Google asking them to take down Lindsay Ashford's pro-pedophilia website. As of 19/8/2007, the site in question, puellula.com is "on sabbatical." (Update 15/6/08: Puellula.com is no more.)

The reply Wagner received from Google was not to his liking, so he now urges everyone to boycott Google and instead use PeaKaBoo.Net, a family-friend search engine that bans all adult sites, hate sites, etc.

The only problem with this family-friendly search engine is that it practically contains nothing. For example, suppose I wanted to research about Mormonism. A google search of "Mormonism" gives 1,920,000 results. A Peakaboo search for "Mormonism" gives only 1 result, which turns out to be a site that has nothing to do with Mormonism.

I don't think this boycott is going to work.

Incest and The Libertarian Question

Stanley Kurtz wrote a piece titled The Libertarian Question in which he attacks polygamy, incest, and homosexuality. His title refers to the question that libertarians ask about polygamy, homosexuality, and incest, that if these minority sexual practices are legalized, how does it harm those with normal sexual practices? There is no harm in a physical sense. A gay couple having sex in the house next door does not affect me in the same way that a murderer stabbing me in the chest with a knife does. Even though fringe consensual sex doesn't physically harm other people, Kurtz is still critical of the practices. He begins by looking at incest.
The deeper problem, of course, is the sexual abuse of children by older family members. The impossibility of real consent, as well as the potential psychological damage in cases of incestuous child abuse, are matters of very serious concern.
Even if a libertarian wants to spread freedom, the ability to consent is assumed to come about with sufficient maturity. This means that usually libertarians will not advocate total freedom for children simply because they are too young to make decisions for themselves. Most libertarians then would not advocate sex between children and adults even if both parties consent. However, if it can be argued that child sex does not harm children, as some pedophiles like Lindsay Ashford claim, then things may be different. If a father or mother decides to have consentual sex with his or her daughter or son who is above the age of consent, what is the problem? One argument that can be made is that incest increases the odds of genetic diseases in offspring, which can be seen as harmful to future generations. Kurtz doesn't use this argument though. He claims that if sex between fathers and mature daughters is allowed, this makes sex between adult and children more tempting.
To see the mechanism of our incest taboo at work, imagine a world in which consensual adult incest was legal. Once we see or hear of couples — even a relatively small number — who engage in legal, consensual, adult incestuous relationships, the whole idea of incest with minors becomes thinkable.
Pretty much, because you see the act happening around you, you are more likely to do it yourself. But if we are to take this idea and apply it to other aspects, then we would have to ban all violent movies because people might think it's okay to murder. We'd have to ban driving because driving under the speed limit might make it too tempting to drive over the speed limit. We'd have to ban mobile phones because their existence makes it too tempting to use these mobile phones as timing devices in bombs used for terrorist attacks. The list goes on. Any politician can claim this causes that causes this. In this complex world, just about everything causes everything.

Kurtz says the following: "The reason we need an incest taboo is because there is no effective way for the state to protect children from sexual abuse by family members. Children are essentially at the mercy of the adults who care for them." He is pretty much saying that a ban of incest is needed because if you don't ban sex between children and their parents, they will do it anyway. But if he thinks that a ban on child sex is insufficient to stop parents from abusing their children, what makes him think parents are going to stop having sex with their children after incest is banned?
[O]nly by building into adults a psychological mechanism of disgust and horror at incest can society protect children from the psychological harm of abuse by close relatives.
Why can't a psychological mechanism of disgust and horror at pedophilia be established to protect children from psychological harm? Why attack something more general and therefore forbid harmless and innocent acts? For example, let's take the act of having adult sex in general. Adult sex can be classified as consensual sex or non-consensual sex. Using Kurtz's arguments, I could argue that there needs to be a psychological mechanism of digust and horror at all sex (even consensual sex) so that victims of rape can be protected. Why not just condemn rape specifically in stead of targeting sex in general? By targeting sex in general you forbid both consensual adult sex as well as rape. If nobody can have sex then the human race will be extinct in the long run. Likewise, why forbid all incest when incest between father and mature daughter is harmless and incest between father and immature daughter is assumes to be harmful?

The rest of the article is very long and he talks about homosexuality, polygamy, as well as many other abnormal sexual practices. But I will restrict this post to the topic of incest.

What annoys me most about this piece is that the author Steven Kurtz is a member of the Hoover Institution, an institution that claims the following in its mission statement: "[T]he Institution itself must constantly and dynamically point the road to peace, to personal freedom, and to the safeguards of the American system."

Personal freedom? Why then does this guy condemn homosexuality, incest, and polygamy?

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Why I don't Like Democracy

Many people talk about democracy as if it was holy and perfect, but I myself do not like democracy because democracy implies rule of the majority and therefore tyranny of the majority.

Why don't I like democracy? Simply, voters are dumb. Believe it or not the politician who follows exactly what it is people want become hated by the people by people who vote don't tend to think about the consequences. E.g. people support a ban on free trade to stop Made in China products coming in however they also don't want to price of toys, etc to go up. Whether they answer surveys on way or another depends on things like the order you ask the questions, how you ask the questions, etc. How they vote depends entirely by the way the media frames issues, etc. I have no faith in people.

The idea that voters are not rational has been explored in Bryan Caplan's book The Myth of the Rational Voter and he talks about it in an interview with Russ Roberts.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The Relationship between Inequality and Polygamy

I am going to assume that when women want to marry they only care about how much money a man makes. This may or may not be true.

Some people say polygamy can be good for women because just about all women want to marry a man with lots of money and have babies with him. In a society where there is a huge gap between rich and poor, e.g. Australia under John Howard, this puts a lot of pressure in females to marry the rich men. The females go to huge lengths to compete with other females to marry the rich men before it's too late. If they don't get the rich man by the time they're 30, chances are they will be too old and will have to settle for the poorer guy, the Aussie battler. Why would any woman want to marry a man who both votes for John Howard and complains about him at the same time?

If polygamy were legalized, then rich men would naturally want hundreds of wives each. Women then have a good chance of fulfilling their dream of marrying rich men. The losers from polygamy would be poor men.

Monogamy then can be seen as protectionism by low-income males.

One could argue however that a female would not like to be with a man if she has to share him with hundreds of other females. Suppose a rich man is willing and able to spend $1000 on his wives per week while a poor man is willing and able to spend only $100 on wife per week. If the rich man already has 10 wives and a female is thinking about being his 11th wife, then assuming the $1000 is shared among all wives equally, each wife would get $90.90 (1000/11). That female would have been better off getting the $100 from the poor guy.

Clearly then the degree of polygamy in society will re-equilibrate itself to changes in social inequality. As inequality increases, the female demand for polygamy will increase. As inequality decreases, the female demand for polygamy will decrease.

Suppose a country only allowed monogamy. If all of a sudden there were an inequality shock and all the wealth in the country were put into the hands of one man, then one woman is lucky while every other woman is worse off because she wants to marry that rich man but cannot. We can see monogamy then as a welfare loss for society and women during times of high inequality.

What I would like to do is to collect data on countries around the world where polygamy is legalized and then, for each country, get data on the average number of wives each man has. Then I will see whether there is a statistical relationship between the average number of wives men in that country have and the Gini coefficients.

CRITICISMS OF POLYGAMY

One of the criticisms of polygamy is that poor or ugly men don't get any women to marry because all the alpha males have taken away the women. As I said before, monogamy then is a protectionist policy that protects poor males. If they were not protected then they may go crazy and do silly things. Tyler Cowen in The Economics of Polygamy talks about the problem of "sexually frustrated males who are led to revolt, thus destroying social order."

Economists argue that the wretchedness of losers is no excuse for protectionism. Instead, they recommend that it's better to allow free trade and then set up a redistributive system to transfer wealth from winners to losers. For example, some people believe that capitalism as opposed to communism is evil because not everyone is talented enough to make money. Some people are going to be poor because they are not skilled enough. Under communism it is each according to his needs, each according to his abilities, etc. However, economists recommend there be free trade so that wealth can be generated in the first place. Once the wealth is generated, then taxes take away money from the rich and gives it to the poor in the form of welfare. This is arguably better than the communist system because the communist system usually doesn't work and no wealth is generated, meaning the poor can't eat anyway.

Applying the same concept to the marriage market, what should be done then is that money is taken away from rich and given to poor. Then women will not be so willing to marry the richest men as much.

Even if each man has two wives, it is clear that many men will lose out. But this is not all horrible because if there is equality for males and females then not only will men be able to have multiple wives but women will be able to have multiple husbands. If we assume that women want money then it follows that women will want to collect multiple husbands as well.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Review of Hand of God

Link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/handofgod/view/

Hand of God is a Frontline documentary about a priest who sexually abuses a young boy after the boy confesses to him that he has been masturbating and therefore sinning. You can watch the entire documentary online by clicking on the link above.

It is surprising why priests, ministers, or pastors would have sex with young boys. After all, aren't they the one who preach about the sinfulness of homosexuality, underage sex, and sex outside of marriage? One of my friends believes that religious people are more likely to have paraphilias because they spend their whole lives repressing their sexual desires. Remember just because there is much media exposure about molester priests and ministers, it doesn't mean that a priest or a minister is more likely to be a child molester. It could just be that the media is far more likely to report cases of child molestation if the perpetrators are priests or pastors.

A Critique of Active Nihilism

What is nihilism? Nihilism suggests that everything is of no significance, value, or meaning. It therefore surprises me to see some self-proclaimed nihilists think that there is significance, value, and meaning in life. They call this sort of thing "active nihilism."

To me this active nihilism seems like selective nihilism. These active nihilists are using the philosophy of nihilism to destroy everything they don't like and then they put nihilism away to elevate those values they do like, yet these values they elevate seem immune from the nihilistic philosophy they applied to all other values.

The essay I will critique is called Nihilism - The Continuity of Life. Let's begin with the definition of active nihilism given by the author:
Active Nihilism: Nihilism seen as a continuous process, meaning one strips the outlook on life of all values, and then create new values out of the void, thus turning nihilism into a form of mental weapon, that one can use to examine different interpretations of reality.
What was described as passive nihilism is what I'm used to. I've never heard of active nihilism. When new values are created out of nothing, who is to say that the values you adopt won't suffer from the same flaws inherent in the values you just tore down? What do you do to ensure your new values are better or more true? The article says active nihilism can be used to examine "different interpretations of reality." But honest pursuit of truth cannot be productive if you are biased towards those perspectives that are different or novel. Something different isn't true or real because it is different.

The passive nihilist rejects all value and claims nothing is real. The logical fallacy here becomes obvious: if we claim to believe in no values, we've managed to create a new value; the belief in non-belief. Thus passive nihilism is a self-contradictory state that leads us to the realization
I've heard this being labelled the liar's paradox in Wikipedia.

"It may be a reasonable reply that the nihilist has not accessed truth directly, but has come to the conclusion, based on past experience, that truth is ultimately unattainable within the confines of human circumstance. Thus, since nihilists believe they have learned that truth cannot be attained in this life, they look upon the activities of those rigorously seeking truth as futile. Of course one may add that that nihilism is a self fulfilling prophecy, as without making any attempts to attain the truth one is surely far less inclined to find it."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

I mentioned before I am searching for truth, but the search based on my person experience is indeed proving futile. Of course, I haven't given up yet, and that explains why I am here. Ultimately, the way I see it, if you search for truth for too long and success is nowhere to be seen, then it's likely in a probabilistic sense that it's just not there, that essentially nihilism is reality. This sort of process actually mirrors the scientific method.

This means that while all physical matter, like our body, is transient and eventually will become something else, ideas like cultural values, symphonies, paintings, and ideals, can remain intangible but eternal. We cannot "feel" or "touch" a symphony, but the composer can write down notes, reflecting certain tones played on an instrument, on a paper, and if read by a skilled musician, be remembered and passed on to future generations to come, that will be able to listen to the symphony, performed by an orchestra and a conductor. More or less all European philosophers have claimed that this is the only way to reach immortality: to create something lasting that will live on beyond our mortal lives. Ludwig van Beethoven's music is still alive, so are the paintings of Casper David Friedrich, and the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Their bodies are gone but their ideas - their art - is still alive and praised around the world. They've reached immortality through idealism.

The human individual is thus no longer a sacred absolute, which no one may kill or hurt, but a part of a larger life that is far more important. We call this the final realization of a mature active nihilist: integralism, the continuity of life, via philosophical nihilism.
I think what is being said here is that certain concepts that are higher than an individual's own self is more important and more valuable. Don't you think this is a value judgment totally counter to nihilism? In my opinion, Beethoven's music is just sequence of sound frequencies that achieved greatness through social consensus because of our bodies' biological response to certain sounds. The article claims to be skeptical of social norms yet uses social consensus as the basis for elevating Beethoven's work. The article then criticizes crowd mentality.

we can bypass our depression and passivity by creating new values and finding things in life we deem as important and beautiful, like nature, art, struggle, and love.
I find that things I thought were beautiful at first, e.g. beautiful people, love, etc now seem as if they are the product of biological evolution. My attraction to a certain female is a biochemical reaction. My impulses are hardwired. I am then just like a machine. I can sense some free will and conscious choice but they always seem to be at war with my impulses. There are some impulses I like, e.g. sexual attraction and perception of beauty in females (both are probably the same impulses acting) and there are impulses I hate, e.g. the impulse to conform to society as well as the impulse to engage in addictive activity like online chat. Yet these personal judgments about what is good and bad are just judgments. They are subjective and indulging in one impulse while thinking it is good while suppressing what I think are bad impulses would be delusional. I have no basis for arbitrarily labeling some impulses as good and others as bad.

Our suburban cities are placed far away from green forests and blue lakes, thus many people today cannot relate to nor understand the beauty and wisdom of nature, as they've disconnected from it and spend their lives in front of computers, televisions, and office desks.
Oh dear. Nihilism philosophy as I'm used to it rejects any objective beauty, significance, or value. To say that computers, televisions, and office desks are inherently valueless or ugly is, to put it politely, arbitrary and unsubstantiated.

"money and material pleasures do not satisfy us in the long run," claims the nihilist, "we need to return to nature and live lives that are more fulfilling and meaningful. We must re-reconnect our lives to nature, not only to understand our own life better, but also to learn how to appreciate beauty in things that also may seem violent or dangerous. A bird eating another bird, is it "evil", or just another inseparable mechanism of the process of life?"
The bird eating another bird is described as "another inseparable mechanism of the process of life." Most people with a scientific or more specifically a biological or perhaps zoological background would know this is just how nature is. Many people find the mechanisms of nature to be cruel and scary, which explains the popularity of religion since religions tend to teach that indeed there is behind this apparently cruelty some design and significance. However, if we accept the idea that a bird killing another bird is just a natural process, the same can be applied to "money and material pleasures." Many animals like apes hoard things. They understand, like early humans, the concept of resources. When the concept of resources clashes with the concept of conflict, then business is formed. Scientific studies have shown that women tend to look for wealth and dominance in men when selecting partners. Men look for signs of reproductive fitness in women, e.g. large hips, youthful features, etc. The crass materialism evidence in modern society then is a primitive expression of natural impulses, just as the bird eating the bird is.

"It seems to me that there indeed are differences between cultures and races, and that these differences make life interesting. But if you force two or more cultures to adhere to the same norms in society, you destroy these differences, which creates a grey mass without identity, other than McDonald's and corporate jobs. What if each culture and each race had its own space? Then they would be able to develop themselves freely without the intervention of other cultures and people."
Let's be precise her. What is culture? I define culture as the characteristics or a group of people. Race is different. Race is concerned with biology, so I hope this article didn't just think race and culture are equivalent. The mathematical reality is that if we accept the definition above, there are infinite cultures in the world. Many define culture accord to variables of nationality, e.g. French culture or Spanish culture. But culture may be defined accord to any variable perceivable. Thus there can be working class culture, boy culture, youth culture, among many others. Any perceived difference can create a culture, e.g. if we divide people by height and categorize people according to tall culture and short culture. All these cultures exist but most humans may focus on only a few because of salience, emotion, or just habit. However, as the article agrees, crowd mentality is no path to truth, so indeed the culture of German people is treated equally as a concept as the culture of all people who wear green t-shirts.

Suppose you pick one variable, e.g. language. (There is difficulty even among linguists about the boundaries of language, when one language ends and another begins, but let's ignore that.) If you segregate people based on language, e.g. have all English-speaking people in one geographical location, all French-speaking people in another geographical location, etc, then you will still have cultural conflict because within the French country you will still have the working class versus the elites, the feminists versus the housewives, the old versus the young, etc. The only way to eliminate all differences through segregation is to divide every single person until he lives in his own country. Each country would have population=1. If there are two people in a country, unless the two are perfect clones, you would have differences and potential conflict. This is reductio ad absurdum.

To me this active nihilism seems like selective nihilism. Use the philosophy of nihilism to destroy everything you don't like and then put nihilism away to elevate those values you like, yet these values you elevate seem immune from the nihilistic philosophy you applied to all other values.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Legal Pedophile Jack McClellan

There is a legal pedophile in America named Jack McClellan. He admits to everyone that he is a pedophile in that he has a sexual attraction to little girls as young as 3, yet he has committed no crime. He only thinks about child sex but never acts upon it. However, the government has forbidden him from being near children.



Watching some of the videos of him speaking, Jack seems like a shy and harmless guy, seemingly far less harmful than Lindsay Ashford, a highly literate and polished pedophile activist who many believe is very dangerous.

Parents who want to protect their children may want to know what Jack and Ashley look like. Follow the links and you will find out. Parents may also want to install content filters that filter out harmful sites on the web so that children can surf the web without finding nasty surprises. I recommend the free software K9 Web Protection.

A highly detailed site about Jack McClellan can be found at Corporate Sex Offenders.

I am Muslim. Help Me Assimilate


I call myself Muslim because of upbringing and habit. I came to Australia a year ago. I am a teenager and I go to high school.

Although my parents are nominally Muslim, as a family we try to assimilate to Australian and Western culture. I go to a Catholic school. At school, I am surrounded by sexual promiscuity. Students always talk to me about oral sex, bondage, and all sorts of other things. If I don't talk and do that sort of thing, I fear I will be
considered a baby and I will be ostracized and isolated.

Kids nowadays are highly sexualized. From memory I think about 1 in 5 kids aged 13 have had sex. Up to 70% of teenagers in the average American school have had oral sex and based on my experience I suspect that sex rates in Australian schools are similar. There is also evidence that in most cases boys seek out girls for oral sex, suggesting that girls are hunted like prey and don't enjoy giving oral sex because they are pressured into the act.

I am worried because, on one hand I want to protect myself from sex because I am young and I don't think I'm ready, yet on the other hand I don't want to isolate myself from Western culture and want to assimilate as John Howard says I should.

What should I do?

This also reminds me of another problem. Do I do as they say or do as they do? About 70 per cent of Australians claim to be Christians. In America the number claiming to be Christian is even higher at 82 per cent.

The bible says the following:

Malachi 2:16, "I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel."

Matthew 19:6, "What God has joined together, let man not separate"

Yet, according to Religioustolerance.org, "Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience."

So if I see many Christians telling me that divorce is evil yet virtually everyone does it, do I conform to what they say or conform to what they do? Suppose I am married. I have two choices. Either I divorce or not. If I divorce, I am going against the bible, the Word of God, and John Howard makes a big deal about how Australia has Judeo-Christian origins. If I do not divorce, I am not assimilating to the divorce culture that is commonplace in society. Either way, I am not assimilating to something.

So what do I do if I want to assimilate?
Source: http://groups.google.com.au/group/aus.politics/msg/8af2308bddf890ff

Image from Flickr by Shazron, posted under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

International Internet Language Learning

Globalization is great. It brings the world together so they can do business. However, with greater integration of the world's economy there comes challenges. One of them is the differences in languages and culture around the world. When many people think about culture, they tend to think only about cultures in terms of nations, e.g. Japanese culture or American culture. But culture can be defined by other variables like income, e.g. poorer Americans behave differently and have different values to richer Americans.

I live in Australia. Suppose the governments of France and Australia decide to remove all trade barriers between the two countries. Suppose I wanted to buy French cheese and suppose the only place it is made is in France. If there were no free trade then I cannot get any French cheese. If there is free trade then I can go to France, talk to a French guy, and then buy French cheese. However, if I speak English and the Frenchman speaks French, I cannot communicate with him. This is a problem. Does this mean free trade is bad? No, because had there been no free trade I couldn't even go to France and there is no change I could get the French cheese. Now that there is free trade I can go to France to get the French cheese but unfortunately there is a linguistic barrier between us.

To really improve the efficiency of global business then it is better for the world to start moving towards one language or at least a few languages. Assuming that a parent wants the best for his child, then to set him up for future career success, the child should learn languages that are used most by rich people around the world. So then the English language is a must. Japanese, German, French, and even Chinese would be good as well. There is no inherent reason why these languages are good other than the fact that projected wealth in the future will fall upon people speaking these languages.

Today we see this sort of phenomenon. In Asia almost all parents serious about their children's careers teach them English. In America the demand for Chinese languages learning is soaring.

Language is best learned when you are young. It is too late for me to learn French but it is not too late for my children to learn French. The benefit of learning when young is that it is more effortless. There is no need for structured classes. To get a child to learn, say, French, simply speak French to the child. Let the child play with French children. This will allow the child to develop not only a type of French that is conversational and therefore more sociable but it also allows the child to develop good accents. The problem is the scarcity of French children in Australia. How can I import a French child to Australia if I want my child to learn French? It probably can be done but only if you bribe the parents with enough money to persuade them to give up their children. Chances are most people won't be able to afford it.

The Internet however can save the day. Why not start a company that brings together children from all over the world and let them play online, letting them talk to each other over webcams, allowing them to develop conversational linguistic skills as well as good accents? One way of making money is through arbitrage, buying where something is undervalued and then selling it where it is overvalued. In France there is an excess supply of French children, which creates under-valuation. In Australia there is excess demand for French children, which creates over-valuation. Simply bring the two together and profit from it.

Of course, is a virtual friendship the same as a non-virtual friendship? Can a distant relationship via webcam last? That is yet to be seen. Even if it doesn't last, the desire for Australian parents to teach their children French as well as the desire of French parents to make money will see a solution. If the two children don't get along, simply shuffle and introduce the children to different friends. Start over again.

Image from Flickr by Tom Purves, posted under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Self-Interested Selective Protectionism

Many programmers are not happy that they may have to compete with lower cost programmers from other countries. They argue that there should be trade restrictions to protect local programmers. If there is free trade, they argue, local programmers will lose their jobs.

The problem is that programmers themselves cause other people to lose their jobs. For example, in the past cars were assembled by hand. Mechanical engineers and software engineers created robots and machines that assembled cars and what this did is caused many workers who assemble cars to lose their jobs. The workers could not compete with the machines developed by software and mechanical engineers.

If programmers and software engineers are serious about protection, they should give up their jobs and let companies go back to the days when machines, computers, etc didn't exist. Then those workers who did routine tasks that is now replaced by computers can continue with their old jobs.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Why I Prefer Excel over Calc

I've always been a Microsoft Office user, but after I had to reformat my computer and reinstall everything after a spyware attack, I decided to install OpenOffice instead of MS Office. My brother uses OpenOffice and he says it is fine. Many businesses and government agencies also use OpenOffice because it is compatible with MS Office and, more importantly, it is free whereas MS Office costs money.

I'm a big fan of free software simply because I am a cheapskate. It have no credit card, so I am unable to buy anything over the Internet. This means I love using Open Source Software. Winzip is one example of a costly product that was great. But the free alternative 7-Zip I found is just as good, if not better, yet less expensive. I am a big fan of small, simple, and effective programs.

I only ever used Word and Excel in MS Office (I sometimes used Powerpoint but rarely) and likewise I mainly used Writer and Calc, the respective OpenOffice equivalents. The word processing program Writer was not bad. Even though it didn't have a grammar checker, I wasn't too fussed because the grammar checker in Word was pretty crap anyway. Writer was a fine product. When you type, Writer automatically predicts the words you are typing and displays it. If you press enter, Writer puts that word in. I found this feature annoying at first, but it's not too bad and in the long run, as I get used to it, it may actually increase how quickly I write.

Calc was a disaster. I am a big speadsheet user. I use spreadsheets all the time at university since I am a statistics and economics student. I use spreadsheets to organize my whole life. Every minute of exercise I do, every minute of study I do, every file I make a backup of--everything goes in my spreadsheet. I have a 180kb spreadsheet file that I wanted Calc to handle. The problem was that Calc was just too slow. I entered a number into a cell, and then the whole thing would freeze for maybe 10 seconds or more. I thought at first this slowness was caused by the number of programs I was running the background, but when I installed Excel and tried the same file on Excel, I noticed that the problem definitely was Calc. For some reason Excel is just much faster and much more polished and user-friendly whereas Calc was just frustrating.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Review of The Village (2004)


This review contains spoilers. Watch the movie first before reading this.

The Village is about a group of people who isolate themselves, similar to the Amish. They have been told that there are creatures around them. Fear grips the community when dead animals are found all around them and they hear noises coming from the woods.

We later learn this is not the case at all. The monsters that surround the village are fake. Everything is an elaborate hoax perpetuated by the elders designed to keep the villagers from leaving. It is done to keep the villagers' way of life alive, to protect their culture.

I didn't watch this movie in the cinema where it was perfectly quiet or on DVD where I could read subtitles, but instead I watched it on TV, so sometimes it was difficult to hear the actors talk. In most if not all Shyamalan films, characters tend to talk very quietly, often whispering. This I don't think is a problem if there is enough silence in the room.

This is not a horror movie like House of Wax where we are served endless blood, gore, and homicides, all delivered with sudden music swells during moments of silence to shock the audience. I thought the mood was creepy and throughout the film there was a mild feeling of anxiety, but no masked killer will appear from nowhere to make you jump in your seat and there will be no over-the-top torture scenes to make you cringe like in Hostel.

One member of IMDB, bartond57, gave what I believe is a very good commentary on the film: "I felt is was a story about the power of myth, and how far people will go, even for good reasons, to perpetuate their myth. Innocence is a topic as well. How does one keep people innocent and trusting in a evil, sinful, world. And how far should someone go to 'protect' one's innocence? I grew up in a conservative religious subculture. This movie speaks to that experience. In the end, the decision by the elders was to continue their myth, regardless of the circumstances. I found this disappointing, but how true is it today with many religions? Religion can be a good thing, but it is always a struggle to know how much 'innocence' should be protected. How sheltered should we be? But even in the movie, the evil they were trying to run from (murders) took place in their own edenic setting. In other words, we can't run away from human nature. It is part of the human condition."

I feel the same way. The movie says a lot about how much of a role deception plays in keeping communities together. It reminds me of what Plato said about the Noble Lie, how the survival of a population relies on grand myths. People need to believe in ideas greater and more significant than their own individual selves or else they will descend into nihilism, which leads to chaos and a breakdown of society. These ideas are still popular in modern times with people like Strauss and even with today's politicians like Wolfowitz, who envisioned a role for America as a noble hero that fights injustice and spreads democracy on a world scale.

Health Food I Try to Eat

The following is the food I try to eat at the university. I try to eat healthy.

Sushi
V8 Juice
Nuts
Flavored Milk (mainly iced coffee flavor)

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Kids with Magical Powers

This is what happens when you let your kids read too much Harry Potter. Those fundamentalist Christians were right.

Mary Byler and Amish Abuse

The Amish seem like good people. In fact, many of their philosophies seem very nice. E.g. they do not permit the taking of photographs in the hope that families do not compete with each other trying to produce the perfect family photo, which may lead to envy and other things the Amish consider sins. The Amish live without any technology and they isolate themselves from the rest of the world.

While all this may seem very romantic, there are downsides. The isolation of the community leads to inbreeding, which means that the frequency of heritable diseases are higher in the Amish community than it is in the general population.

Another fear I have is that because the community is so isolated it may be more difficult to detect or intervene in cases of child abuse. One case that pops to mind is the Mary Byler case. Mary was an Amish child who was sexually abused by her father at the age of 3 and then at the age of 7 she was raped by her cousins and brothers. When the girl told her mother, the mother blamed the girl. This I think is very sad.

I am not saying that sexual abuse is widespread only in the Amish community because, as we all know, sexual abuse occurs just about everywhere, but the Amish's isolation as well as their highly male-centric culture doesn't help protect the vulnerable. This I suppose is my own personal taste, as I simply prefer individualism over collectivism.

I am very uneasy about government interfering in the lives of ordinary citizens, but if it for the protection of basic human rights like the right to not be sexually abused, I'm more tolerant of interference.

Fight Recognition Software to Stop Bullying

Bullying is a problem in many schools. One solution I have to this problem is to install surveillance cameras all over the school. The school can employ a security guy to watch the school with these surveillance cameras, responding to any cases of bullying as they happen. Another idea is to have some sort of software that is able to recognize when a fight begins and then warn security about it. Facial recognition software exists, so I don't see why fight recognition software can't exist.

Of course, bullying can be about so much more than fighting. E.g. it can be about verbal abuse, e.g. calling a child ugly or fat.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Increasing Tariffs to Protect the Australian Car Industry

I have just been at Drive Blog where Glen Butler wrote a piece titled Import tariffs: Why Australia needs them to survive. I had a lot to say and I will write it here as well.
Did you know Australia has the lowest tariffs of any country with its own car industry?
This idea that there be some equality in tariffs in one area over another makes no economic sense. Economic progress usually involves specialization, with areas forming hubs where they specialize according to comparative advantage or because of just convention. For example, take the states of America. Finance is concentrated in New York, car manufacturing is concentrated in Detroit. Entertainment is concentrated in LA. It is concentrated in Silicon Valley. People of similar trades congregate in the same place to take advantage of lower transport costs. For some state in America, say, Florida to say, "We want to have our own car industry instead of importing it from Detroit" would be economic suicide. To intervene into the market and impose some kind of centralized planning that sees industries uniformly distributed for not apparent reason other than numerical aesthetics, is nonsense.
Thailand? We do have a free trade agreement there, too, but it's only free trade one way. Guess which way? That's right, our vehicles are taxed going into Thailand, but theirs are not coming to Australia. Honda's sales have gone gangbusters in the last five years, because almost all its models come from Thailand and can be sold at a more competitive price than others.
This is another sneaky example. You say that cars flowing from Thailand to Australia face low tariffs compared to cars flowing from Australia to Thailand and then suggest that "Australia" suffers. The reality is that Australia is made up of not just car manufacturers but also consumers who may want cars from Thailand for whatever reason.

If you think the Australian car industry needs protection, why doesn't the government protect any other industry? If you're a banker who gets fired for some guy in France, would the government help you? If your firm in Victoria gets beaten by another firm in Queensland, should the Victorian government help you? For the sake of fairness, if we apply one set of standards for the carmakers, we will need to apply it to all other people. Everyone will be able to get protection and handouts from the government whenever they fail. When you go to work, there is no need to work hard. Just sit back and do nothing. Even if the business fails the government will bail you out and pay your salary all in the name of protecting the local culture.

Of course, when there's no competition, laziness, and central control by government, Australia will be recognized as Communist, because these are the symptoms that define Communism.
For free trade to work properly, it must work both ways.
Let me explain why this is not true using a simple story.

Suppose I live with my family in my house. I live with Mum and Dad. Suppose mum used to make a sandwich for me for lunch. However, my mum is not a good cook. Suppose she takes five hours making one sandwich. Because she takes so long making a sandwich she decides to charge me $20 for the sandwich. I have no choice but to buy this expensive sandwich because there are trade barriers around the home (imagine there are walls all around the house) and I can't go anywhere else.

Now suppose restaurant opens up across the road and the walls around my house fall, i.e. trade barriers are gone, or there is a tariff reduction. The restaurant across the street can make one sandwich is five minutes. Because they are so fast and efficient, they charge only $1, and I buy the sandwich from the restaurant and save $19, so I win.

My mum would lose because she can no longer make sandwiches for me, yet she was a horribly slow sandwich maker to begin with. Instead, she gets a job as a nurse at the local hospital and earns $20 per hour for five ours. Her skills are transferred to where it is more productive.

This idea of a level-playing field is absurd. Even though I buy sandwiches from the restaurant, the restaurant doesn't buy anything from me or my household. It doesn't matter. I still benefit.

Suppose my mum doesn't know how to be a nurse. She only knows how to be a sandwich maker. Then she simply walks to the restaurant and asks for a job there. If the restaurant rejects her because she is too slow, that is just the way capitalism works. It rewards the best.

In case you didn't realize, all this is analogous to what is happening in Australia.

THE CANDLEMAKERS' PETITION

In the spirit of Frédéric Bastiat I will submit the following argument against protectionism.

Australia has a local candlemaking industry. See http://www.australianwaxco.com.au/

The problem is that candlemakers face competition from cheap sources of light. This competition comes from the sun, which is able to flood the earth with vast amounts of cheap light.

Australian candlemakers then talk to John Howard, begging him to pass a law that states that all Australians must stay indoors, shut their windows, seal all cracks, and live in darkness. This will restrict the entry of imports of light arriving into the hands of Australian consumers. Because Australians can no longer opt for cheap light from outside Australia (outside Earth even) they are forced to buy more candles made in Australia, thereby creating a thriving Australian candlemaking culture.

To see Bastiat's original paper, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candlemakers'_petition

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Invisible Earphones

I like listening to podcasts with my portable MP3 player, especially the podcasts at EconTalk. When I am at work I like to listen to MP3s because by listening to good podcasts I feel as if I am not wasting my time but instead I am learning and educating myself.

Unfortunately, whenever I wear earphones, co-workers see me wearing earphones and, not wanting to distract me from what they presume is music, decide not to speak to me. Even if they want to talk to me they may believe that because I am listening to MP3s I wouldn't hear them. Wearing earphones then is terribly anti-social. If you want to be isolated in the workplace or even among your friends or family, wear earphones everywhere with you.

What I need to do then is to purchase invisible earphones.

This idea has already been suggested at Halfbakery and apparently the invisible earphone has already been invented by Reece Myers, a 22-year-old who graduated from Brunel University. The article however claims that the inventor is having trouble finding a manufacturer.
Mr Myers' 'Discreet Sound System' consists of a single inch-long thin pad that uses bone conduction to transmit sound directly to the inner ear - technology similar to that used in hearing aids.

The system operates wirelessly using a Bluetooth connection between the pad and the headphone output socket on the MP3 player.

As well as being invisible, the wearer can hear external noise like approaching traffic because there are no earphones to block the eardrum.

Little microphones in the device constantly monitor external noise and adjust the volume to suit, lowering the music when the user is in a quiet area like a carriage or increasing it in noisy locations like train stations.
Another website Examear.com claims to already have an invisible wireless earphone. Some of the reasons why they are selling it seem quite interesting. Their main website says, " Our spy wireless earphones are great for: Students. Both high school and post secondary students... No more breaking your head over a difficult tests or exam." This website looks suspicious. On the About Us page it says, "For what cell phone you intent [sic] to use it [sic]." For all I know the whole site may be a scam.

Should Existing Child Porn be Legalized?


There is evidence that Internet porn reduces rape. According to Lansburg, "A 10 percent increase in Net access yields about a 7.3 percent decrease in reported rapes. States that adopted the Internet quickly saw the biggest declines. And, according to Clemson professor Todd Kendall, the effects remain even after you control for all of the obvious confounding variables, such as alcohol consumption, police presence, poverty and unemployment rates, population density, and so forth." Lansburg even claims that the release of violent movies reduces violence and crime.

The hypothesis for this result is that the availability of pornography allows sexually aroused people to satiate their desires indoors in front of a computer. If the pornography were not available, the individual would have to look for an alternative outlet for his sexual desires, and these alternative outlets may involve the rape of innocent women. Likewise, there are those who have a desire for violence, and violent movies may satiate that desire indoor in front of a television screen. The violent individual then doesn't need to express his anger and violence in public. While this hypothesis sounds plausible, it is important to keep in mind that the study gives a statistical correlation and other hypotheses can be used to explain the positive correlation.

Child porn is banned presumably because its creation involves the abuse of a child. Legalizing child porn may stimulate its production, which leads to more child abuse.

Suppose the government banned the production of further child porn to prevent any further child abuse yet kept a national database of child pornography that already exists. This national database of child porn is freely available to the public so that members of the population with pedophilic tendencies can satiate their desires in private without actually harming any children.

Because no new child porn is produced, no child is abused. Because pedophiles consume existing child porn, this will perhaps decrease child molestation in a way analogous to the decrease in rape and crime following the release of porn and violent movies.

What is required for this argument to be sound is evidence that availability of child porn results in less child molestation. Some will argue this is not the case, that child porn actually encourages pedophiles to act on their instincts. However, if the government takes the policy philosophy that they should ban anything that can encourage someone to do something illegal, then shouldn't violent movies also be banned because they can encourage people to murder?

One problem with this is that victims in legal child porn may not consent to the release of videos of them in public. A victim of child abuse may suffer greatly if videos and images of the sexual abuse were made public. To protect these people, the government would have to obtain consent from victims. The victims will be reminded that the child porn will be made legal because of the belief that legalization will reduce further child abuse. In an act of altruism to future generations, the victims of child abuse may consent to the videos being available to the public. In the event that no child abuse victims consent, the government may have to turn to virtual child porn.

Another problem that someone has notified me of is that the existence and availability of child porn will create demand for more child porn. Even if there is a national database of public child porn, an individual may not want to watch the same videos over and over again. They demand new child porn, which will create supply, which will result in more children being abused. This argument does not apply to virtual child porn or child porn fiction because the creation of these do not involve the abuse of any actual child. If one piece of child porn fiction results in an increased supply of child porn fiction, the creation of child porn fiction comes not from actual abuse of children but from the imagination of child abuse by the writer. It could be argued, however, that even virtual child porn and child porn fiction can induce greater demand for actual videos depicting child abuse or even actual physical contact when children. But then again just about anything can induce demand for child sex, including child photography for clothing catalogs, nudism photography, etc, and banning anything that a politician believes might induce greater demand for child porn may pose a threat to freedom of expression.

It's a slippery slope when we are talking about taking away freedom of expression. Suppose child porn promotes child molestation. Therefore, we ban child porn. Yet even adult porn can promote child porn, which in turn promotes child molestation, and so through a longer chain of cause and effect adult porn causes child molestation. Totalitarianism is limited only by the creativity of a dictator to manufacture statistics proving causation in all the nodes in the chain of cause and effect that leads to child molestation.

Further Reading:

California Court Bans Self-Proclaimed Pedophile From Any Contact With Children Within State (Fox News)


Image from Flickr by wayfaring stranger, posted under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

Private Toilets and Disposable Toilet Seats


While walking around in the city yesterday I realized I needed to go to the toilet. Unfortunately, I have an aversion to public toilets. They tend to be dirty and disgusting. What I would like to see are private toilet cubicles open to the public. You pay a fee, say $2, to go into this toilet and the revenue from fees goes into making this toilet clean. Perhaps the fees can go into paying the wages of someone who can clean the toilet after each person has used it.

While going to the toilet, I can usually see urine spillage on the toilet seat, and sometimes there are feces there as well. This is why I usually do not like putting my own flesh on toilet seats. This may be an irrational fear but I suspect many people have it. A way to fix this problem is to have a disposable toilet seat made out of paper. You put say 50 cents into a vending machine, get a paper toilet seat, and then attach it to the toilet, use the toilet, and then dispose of the paper toilet seat into a recycling bin. A less wasteful idea would probably be toilet seat covers.

Referring to the original private toilet cubicle idea, if the fee to pay the wages of a cleaner is too much (maybe because of uncompetitive labor market regulation by governments) then perhaps the private toilet can provide disposable toilet seats.

Image by Flickr user 80n, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license

Is Angelina Jolie a Believer in the FSM?

According to this Norwegian guy, Angelina Jolie owns a Prius. She has also been photographed driving a Range Rover.

From Popsugar.com I have found a paparazzi picture of Angelina with Maddox. In the picture is a black Prius with an FSM badge on it. If this Prius is Angelina's Prius (it may not be) the FSM badge may suggest she is a member of the Church.

Links: Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster