Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Not a hit piece

Although clearly lacking some understanding, this article tells a lot of truth that, with such understanding, gives a stronger foundation in christian faith. A true christian is not a gullible fool. Faith, should not be and true faith is not, gullibility. Christians are told, not just to be reasonable, but to make it apparent to other reasonable people. The article makes errors in conclusions, but gets much of the historical facts correct. So what needs clarification or correction?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and the bible makes one very important extraordinary claim... it is the word of god.
2 Timothy 3:16,17...  All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
I believe the bible does contain this extraordinary proof and the linked article includes support for an accurate understanding of that proof. It really is not a hit piece even if the author intended it to be such. A true christian should be unafraid of the historical facts, even embrace them, to be a true christian. Setting things straight requires people willing to be set straight so we need to start with that attitude.
They are God’s frauds, cafeteria Christians who pick and choose which Bible verses they heed with less care than they exercise in selecting side orders for lunch.
Frauds yes, God's no. Jesus foretold this in the parable of the wheat and the weeds and Jude confirms the apostasy had already started in the first century as the apostles that protected the congregations died out.
(Jude: ...certain men have slipped in among you...These men are murmurers, complainers about their lot in life, following their own desires, and their mouths make grandiose boasts, while they are flattering others for their own benefit... call to mind the sayings that have been previously spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ...)
That apostasy is greater today and the linked article does much to explain how and why.
America is being besieged by Biblical illiteracy.
Absolutely true (and obvious given a moments thought.) This is in accord with prophesy that will cause politics to turn on these illiterates even as another sign occurs... truth found in the bible will be declared throughout the earth (even in their own languages in a large way.) Those teaching truth will also be turned on but this is described as poking god's eye to which he will react. Otherwise the kings of the earth are inadvertently doing god's will by devastating the weeds.
evangelicals [not just] accepted the attitudes and beliefs of the Pharisees—religious leaders depicted throughout the New Testament as opposing Christ and his message—more than they accepted the teachings of Jesus.
Again absolutely true and prophesied at Matthew 7:22  ...many people will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name and expel demons in your name and do lots of miracles in...
the topic has become too important for Americans to ignore
As pointed out, government worldwide will not, as has been the case for over a century now and soon will reach a climax.
At best, we’ve all read a bad translation [of translations of translations of copies of copies.]
This misrepresents the truth by asserting at best, but does contains the truth that bible text was copied many times over centuries and english was not the original language (and certainly not king James english as some particularly ignorant seem to believe.) It leaves out history that blunts his point and doesn't consider that even with these facts, god's will to be understood will never be completely denied. The wheat has never been completely choked out by the weeds. The good news about god's literal kingdom will be declared earth wide and the end of those that take no note will occur without fail. This is not any man's work.
About 400 years passed between the writing of the first Christian manuscripts and their compilation into the New Testament.
Misleading. The bible has never included everything said or written by the apostles or the prophets or said by Jesus because that is not required for god's purpose. Accurate knowledge is possible but requires effort. The linked article actually contains some of that effort but simply falls short. The bible itself does not fall short because it interprets itself and has been kept safe by god himself even with thousands of years where god's enemies have tried to destroy it. Those trying to destroy inspired scripture over the centuries are one of the best ways to identify those enemies. The text had originals. Over the years copy errors did occur, but today we have a more accurate text than even a century ago because we have more text to compare and the errors show up and can be removed. Perhaps not all, but enough... just like an encoded message that may get a few words wrong. It may still be understood with important parts being with certainty.

With some of the personal letters Paul wrote, do you imagine they were the only one's? Not all of them were required for us today. All of the apostles and others were used to teach with accuracy even after the apostasy down to our day. By reason, I reject that god's will to teach us has been lost. Our feelings, the heart, can't be trusted. Our reason, our minds, can not be fully trusted. But true faith, supported by abundant, undeniable evidence (Hebrews 11) can be. It's why the linked article actually makes my faith stronger as I was mostly aware of the many true facts it contains. You just have to be aware of what's left out and some of the biased conclusions. My bias, after decades of research being unafraid to hear others arguments (but less inclined to hear them repeated after I've done my personal research) is let god be found true even if it makes everyone else a liar (including me... god wants the humble and teachable.) I actually prefer the arguments of atheists since they carry less baggage (but with regard to biblical truth often just as willing to ignore evidence that would lead to other conclusions.)

Yes, I also am guilty of that myself but over decades have learned that only god (not those that claim to represent him) can be trusted. He actively, to this day, causes his past statements to be true in ways even the superior intelligence of the angels marvel at.
some 1,500 years passed between the day the first biblical author put stick to clay and when the books that would become the New Testament were chosen.
I think it's closer to 1600 years in which 40 writers wrote. Even with all the different styles and languages of writing the single author is clear. For example, the theme of the bible throughout is god's kingdom starting in Genesis 3:15 - I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring.

How this relates to a kingdom is clear from many other bible books and identifies these offspring or seed. Jesus made this theme a prominent part of his teaching. The book of Revelation, although not the last book actually written in the canon, continues the theme also clearing up that judgement day is during this kingdom rule for a thousand years (with Jesus king and Peter only one of many judges.) God causes the earth to be inherited by the meek (teachable) fulfilling his Edenic intent (part of the reason god is incapable of lying and his intelligence is superior to ALL others.) Then kingdom rule is handed to his father, by Jesus.
they did not start copying the letters and testaments about Jesus’s time until centuries after they were written.
False. Every congregation copied the originals from the start, but on perishable materials. The dead sea scrolls made today's bible even more accurate with respect to the originals.

Then the linked article makes two more valid points and draws another wrong conclusion. Translation is often ambiguous and later copyists did add spurious text. How does he know the text was spurious? Because people cared enough to remove them and continue to remove language ambiguities where they can. Those that are unwilling to use a more accurate translation in the face of these undeniable facts are simply proving they are the weeds. The spurious text the author mentions, are not found in my bible but is in KJ.
religious convictions [often] determined translation choices
Absolutely true, but ignores that bias is not uniform so something unbiased is possible. Even more likely if that conviction is "let god be true, even if all others are liars." If all possibilities are considered, the most accurate translation can be found by letting the bible interpret itself from other verses. People that say, "only as far as it's translated" are simply looking for a way to diminish the bible and aren't interested in an accurate translation. They prefer their own thoughts to god's.
a fundamental tenet of Christianity—that Jesus is God—was reinforced in the Bible, even in places where it directly contradicts the rest of the verse.
First century christians, when the apostles were around to fight false teachings, believed what scripture clearly says, Jesus was the first of gods creations, his only directly created son. God's son then created everything else. First the other angels (including those that by wrong desires made themselves demons.) These angels witnessed god's master worker, the firstborn Jesus, create the physical universe. Trinity, taken from Pagan religion, came with Constantine; who was clearly not a christian (christians do not war. they are known by their international love for one another even in time of war.)
It seems nonsensical, but the belief that he refused to convey a clear message has led to the slaughter of many thousands of Christians by Christians.
A christian that intentionally kills a christian is not a christian. The clear message, that history records, is that first century christians did not believe trinity nonsense. There is only one almighty god and his firstborn son isn't he, no matter how closely Jesus does his father's will; who may have been alone with his father for longer than the other angels and this universe have existed, but not forever.

Constantine was a political power bearing absolutely no relation to christianity. The fact that he is identified as such only shows how vigorous the weeds are.
Things that are today accepted without much thought were adopted or reinforced at Nicaea.
Yep. By non-christians.
There are also deep, logical flaws here that should be apparent to anyone giving the Bible a close read.
Which the author already points out most don't do but should. What the author fails to realize is those flaws go away with a deeper read.
the Messiah will be a descendant of David
Joseph was the legal father of Jesus for the purpose of identifying the messiah. Joseph was not the biological father. You can certainly argue this to be a logical flaw or you can just accept the truth as presented. Incidentally, my father told me when I was twenty that since he didn't raise me, I was not his son except genetically. I had to agree with the jerk. No logical flaw there either. Different premises lead to different logical truths. There is no contradiction.
The stories in the four Gospels of Jesus’s death and resurrection differ as well.
Yes, which actually confirms truth. Different witnesses confirm truth when they are not identical. Identical witness usually means collaboration and usually indicates an intention to mislead. True witnesses are going to focus on different things. Different perspectives should be expected and does not mean someone is lying unless there is an absolute contradiction. Every so called contradiction I've ever come across in the bible has resolved itself with careful reading. Bad assumptions, like not mentioning some so we assume they weren't there is one example. Confusing different instances as one is another. Confusing timelines in two accounts is another. Taking an incomplete account and asserting nothing more is another. Going directly to "they lied" says more about reader bias than truth. Understanding often requires contemplation.
the Second Coming of Christ
Again requires more than a casual reading. Prophesy often had minor fulfillments and words matter. Roman sacking of Jerusalem in 70ce was such and had some amazing prophesy associated with it. The bible talks about parousia which means presence more than arrival and can refer to more than just physical presence. It is no surprise that the weeds misunderstand this. Or that soon can be in reference to more than one thing, especially in prophesy that has a minor aspect.
The editors of these modern Bibles just made it up.
Translators choose words to convey meaning. To assume intent is mind reading by the author. Perhaps true in some cases, it borders on slander.
sins aren’t ranked
A keen insight... for all fall short. But to suggest that homosexuality is not included among sins is more than just a stretch. At the same time Jesus ransom sacrifice applies to homosexuals as well as anybody. God is not partial. All that repent can be saved.

The author makes good points about prayer but doesn't seem to understand the 'our father' prayer is not meant to be repeated exactly (like some formula or incantation) for just before Jesus said... When praying, do not say the same things over and over again as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words.

Prayer is a personal conversation, but can be said in front of a small private group.

I'm getting tired, but one last point has to be made.
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
These. So why did he leave out the first and more important?
“Teacher, what do I need to do to inherit everlasting life?” He said to him: “What is written in the Law? How do you read?” In answer he said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” He said to him: “You answered correctly; keep doing this and you will get life."

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lack of resourses

I left for Los Angeles on Dec. 24 but a bearing gave out in Globe. I got a tow to Pep boys in Mesa. They wanted $300 just in labor to replace a belt! No way. It took about ten minutes to fix and that was with complications.

But I've lost another month. We will try again next payday.

After an oil change and two new front tires, I will try again next month. I'm not exactly starting with nothing, but I used to have more and I know the difference.

When I got back to Springerville it was 9 degrees. Slept in the Jimmy. Stuck here for another five weeks.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Olive oil, honey and Skippy natural peanut butter

How much food to take to mars using this as a metric? That 41,600 calories in 1.59 cubic feet would be 923,520 in one cubic meter which is about a year of calories (massing 312 kg not counting water.) Include the high calorie foods in the title for better caloric density.

Water can be recycled at better than 90% efficiency. You need about 2200 kg of water per year per person. With recycling 300 liters should be enough, but to be safe 688 liters giving us one ton total of water and food per person for a year (for an 8 month trip.)

That's about a ton less than I've been using in my calculations. Mars should be closer than I've been saying. It's really just a matter of when somebody picks up the tab which is really only about 1% the cost others will scare us with. You see how frustrating it is not to be a billionaire? You could even have my coffee ration!

Curiosity sees tenfold spike in methane

A human crew would know if bacteria was the cause.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Tomorrow. If space were important, the real Orion could have done it... within our solar system at least. Provisioning for a stellar trip would have been quite a balancing act... it will be interesting to see how this three night movie represents it.

About the only vision that survived the sixties seems to be marxism which is not just the wrong stuff but pure evil.

Adults with the minds of children are running things. We can't blame them. We allow it... because we no longer have the right stuff. Do you imagine the democrats of JFK's day would have allowed it? Would the democrats that voted for Reagan have allowed it? WTF is wrong with us today?

Can we ever get the right stuff back? A good start would be to realize we don't need government blessings to claim our natural rights. If we fought for them we could win. You can't put up such a fight with turncoats in the leadership.

For something different consider Spaceland.

Update: It's all just a social experiment? It's not Orion? I will be so disappointed.

Update: So magic kid sends a lone crew member to a planet around a different star than the one they weren't heading to? So all hope for a great new science fiction series is gone since they've firmly departed into fantasy territory. They had a workable premise. All they had to do was start a couple of years before landing. Even though they had some good moments (honeypot) I am so disappointed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

550 tons of yellowcake

This stuff never existed in Iraq according to the media.

Making war affordable

At $0.59 per shot.

How do you shoot down helicopters and not shoot people?

How fast is Curiosity?

0.000279 mph.

Humans would never be able to keep up with that pace!

A nation of children

Maturity has by now been banished from nearly every aspect of our lives. Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions. We have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial blandishments that would insult actual adults.
Something to consider... the purpose of school.

Recently I heard a talk about how the bible encourages mature working on marriage counter to self help books self indulgance.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mars colonization by annuity

One of the things naysayers say about mars colonization is resupply kills it (like the recent MIT study.) So an annuity that pays forever seems like a natural answer to that complaint. I see annuity rates now at 7%, so 5% seems a reasonable return to me. The only show stopper is funding that annuity. The $20b spent on SLS/Orion would have more than done it, but that's been pissed away already.

I strongly believe we could send a dozen colonist to mars every 26 month launch window for about one billion dollars per mission. A 5% annuity gives us that for under $10b. If I'm wrong, we still go, but at a slower rate unless we do get sufficient funding.

This is more than you can expect from a kickstarter campaign. It's a lot less than the idiotic numbers others throw around (they're real purpose being simply to discourage.) Interestingly, it's not far off from the six billion Mars One is looking for (people doubt they can pull that off either.)

But is it too much to give humanity a whole new world? No, and private investors will one day realize this.

Sharp pointy rocks

Have anther name. It's called ore. Or it might be. We know for sure mars has all the elements we need for industry. Rovers are great and teach us a lot, but people would discover ten times as much in 1% of the time.

The mission cost of the next rover will be $2.5b or about half of Mars One's costs. I could put 24 crew on mars for that price.

Friday, December 5, 2014

There's the rub

acting as legislators

9 pixels wide of Ceres.

The craft that visited Vesta is due to reach Ceres in march. They took a picture that isn't quite as good as the Hubble's but we can expect it to get much better very soon. This mission is really amazing. One day Ceres may become someone's home.

Apparently a fiction story written in 1981 includes my idea for inverted highways (due to low gravity and speed that isn't very high.) Mine were underground. Don't know about theirs.

Interesting factoid

NASA has a $500m annual budget for mars. If I got the job...

1st year:

$100m prize to 1st and 2nd private company for 2500kg payloads each delivered safely within 10 km of a specified point on martian surface. Must accomplish before 4th year prizes are awarded.

$100m to 1st company to put ship in LEO meeting these specifications: Refuelable in orbit, 13 ton ship w/ life support for 12 and 240 m3 of internal volume. Must include storm shelter for solar flares and capable of 6 km/s of delta V after refueling (assuming dry departure mass of 40,000kg.) Ship remains owned by the company that put it in orbit.

$200m for 100,000kg fuel stored in LEO which could be transferred to ship.

2nd year: $500m for additional fuel to LEO.

3rd year: $500m for five more supply landers on mars. (17,500 kg of supplies now prepositioned for the first dozen colonists when they arrive.) Supplies will include radio controlled rovers with 200 km battery range pulling trailers with seating for six and inflatable tent. Solar panels to recharge and really small methane engine generator for backup.

4th year: $500m for six, 2 crew, 2,500 kg payload landers put in mars orbit. Unmanned craft must have successfully demonstrated landing on mars which would likely be one of the seven presupply missions.

5th year: $500m for transferring crew to landers in mars orbit and getting them to the surface. Ship still belongs to private company and they can do what they want with it after crew transfers off.

6th year: Embezzle and head for Rio. Set up mars land title company.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Programming productivty

I've used dozens of computer languages (dozens just of different BASIC dialects... still fond of Bascom) since 1975, but was never more productive than VB6 which seemed to get a lot of things right, but one major thing wrong. It required a runtime module. I want to hand a static compile to a customer and know I'm not going to have any installation or configuration issues. They get an executable and it just works.

But it's not my favorite language. They all have flaws. VB has just enough object orientation. C++ has too much. C doesn't have any and too many ways to do the same thing. Pascal makes my skin crawl. I really like the old Euphoria but it's a pain to compile (you first must translate it to C.) Forth really isn't compiled but can be a single static file.

The Falcon C++ IDE looks interesting.

I own two basic compilers, PowerBASIC and PureBasic, but haven't gotten up to speed with either. Neither has a decent IDE. When my laptop arrives on Saturday I'm going to have to get serious about coding. No Linux this time.

The IDE is really important but I'm not up to writing one myself. I think about using NoteTab which has program-ability but that's just another language to deal with (although perhaps once and done.)

Klang is something I muse about (Ken's Language.) But I don't know. Like VB it would have 3 code file types (module, form & class.) 3 scope levels (public, private & local.) Automatic memory allocation/deallocation and sequences like Euphoria (not the usual garbage collection hiccups.)

Only two control structures, loop and if (a case structure.) Nothing more is required and just makes code ugly and less solid. I like simple, bullet proof code. Which means no jumping to labels. No labels period. No file includes. No header files. No macros or preprocessor. WYSIWYG. All routines are order independent (forward referencing is just fine.) Dot notation brings up a proper list of routines in the editor. External calls for other languages absolutely including C. Call by address for machine language and call backs. Only two routine types, Sub and Pub, both return a sequence (Euphoria) that can be ignored.

A database class works directly with all major types (SQLite is default and built in.) ODBC info can be read but bypassed for the actual connection. Methods would include .open, .close, .execute, .error, .next, .EOF, .text(index) and .release (.tran_begin, .tran_commit and .tran_fail as well, but I don't use them much.)

Numbers take as many bytes as required with type conversion functions for external calls (float80, float64, float32, int8, int16, etc.) No limit to decimal expansion. I'm getting tired and questioning this post, so I'm done.

Stupid, limited perspective

"Let's go to Mars, but make sure it's for the right reasons" the title says but he gives no reasons. Actually he has much in common with the myopia of those wanting to terraform mars. Have any of them realized the earth itself is not terraformed? Many places on earth will kill you just as fast as mars. The way to terraform mars is the way we do it on earth... one place at a time.

The author makes the brilliant observation that mars is cold. My bedroom is cold, but there's a fix for that, that works on mars just as well. We call them space heaters. Stuff breaks which means you have more than one heater and big spaces that fail gracefully.

An example of myopia: "it will not become the new promised land."

The promised land wasn't until people arrived to make it so. There is absolutely no reason, not one, that mars could not be a paradise in quality of life.
Living on Mars is harsh, with few natural resources available.
Just plain wrong. It's not harsh, it's completely deadly until we change it, one large habitat at a time. As for resources, that's why we choose mars, because it's abundant in resources. In some respects more than earth. The potential for industry is enormous.
Homesteaders will not be faced with dense forests, clear rivers and abundant wildlife to start a new life. 
No, it's not earth (as if it had to be???) Will they have wood? Why not? Will they have water? Absolutely in abundance. Wild life? Perhaps not, but animals they import. You bet. Probably by insemination of a few brood females to create the genetic diversification required.
About all Mars can offer are minerals, rocks that contain oxygen, and underground ice.
Otherwise known as the periodic table that makes modern life possible. Sheesh.
No one even knows if Martian soil could support plants in a greenhouse.
Wrong again. Plants will grow, but we should take live earth soil as a starter medium. What we don't know is the rate of growth which with high CO2 could potentially surpass standard air.
if you run out of supplies, the delivery truck takes seven months to get there, at a cost of at least a billion dollars.
You never run out of supplies because the essentials already exists on mars. Non essentials from earth cost about $60k per kg as a mass surcharge, making every new colonist a millionaire just by careful selection of personal possessions they bring with them.
Of course, it might be possible to geo-engineer Mars to replenish its atmosphere and make its rivers flow once again, but this would take tremendous effort with no guarantee of success.
Blindness. They just can't see. Totally not required or even desirable.
Why would we give up living in the Garden of Eden to move to a frozen hell?
To live in a community with a touch more vision? To not be at the mercy of those that can't see past their nose but still vote to make other lives miserable? To live where SSTO is easy, opening up the rest of the solar system? Where the resources you disdain haven't yet been picked clean over thousands of years. Where nuclear power really will become too cheap to meter. Where thinking outside the box is the norm? I could go on and on, but that's sufficient.
So, sure, let's go to Mars. In fact, I will volunteer to make the first boot prints in the red soil. But like any traveller in a strange new place, I will think about what I left behind and be happy to return home.
The beauty of colonizing mars is they don't have to live with the blind. You're not invited. They go for a new life. To stay... until others (mainly from mars) go beyond.