Lately the list format for articles has seemed to be in use at an all-time high. While seeing “7 Reasons Not to See Believe” and similar titles has never been super rare, especially with Cracked being a reliable source of such things, almost everything linked on Facebook is becoming of that format. I was considering sardonically using that format with something like “Top 5 Albums of 2013”, but then decided to take a swing at the medium itself. #YOLO or something.

 

4-Churned Articles

Most articles require something to actually write about. But, as explained by the article linked to above, list articles let that bit just slide away. If I wrote “5 Best Nirvana Songs” and just had embedded YouTube videos of 5 popular Nirvana songs under each heading, it’d be a legit article, apparently. If I wrote “‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, ‘Rape Me’, ‘In Bloom’, and ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ are pretty cool songs.” that would be called a sentence. The ease of making content, for major sites who can really afford to make good articles worth reading, lets the quality slip harshly. This tendency lends easily to

3-Overuse

In the past, finding an entertaining 3000-word list article happened every once in a while, and then maybe a Cracked binge here or there. However, at the point we are at now, it’s becoming a spamish level. If I see “17 ways” or “26 tricks” or even “69 sex moves to”, then my mind associates it with poor-quality, cheap writing. Sometimes it still gets a click; sometimes high quality isn’t needed, but now there’s an assumption being tied in. The reaction used to be “Oooh, that looks cool.” Now it’s “Eh, probably shit.”

2-False Interest

Ignoring the reaction that’s starting to grow as just mentioned, the list format leads to more palatable titles. “Number adjective verb noun” comes across as interesting easy bits of entertainment, which suits the contemporary writing style of shorter bits rather than the older SVO headline format (and sentence format) which apparently evoke a sense of having to think and not be idly entertained. This isn’t to deride easy entertainment, I’ll watch Family Guy if it’s on in front of me, but it does make for a trend of relying on cheap entertainment to drive views rather than anything meaningful, which means quality content is getting replaced with cheap content.

1-Brevity

If the list presupposes bite-sized entertainment, just putting a fucking .gif for every entry on the list is somehow okay.

 

Ultimately, the issue comes down to a matter of quality. The lists are entering a point where spam can be passed off as professional writing because of a list of heading. While popular internet writing, or often any popular writing, has never been at the highest level, the fact that “Hey, these are things you know about” or “Here’s some gifs” count as professional writing rather than these writers actually writing quality content serves no one except the publishers. Writers don’t get to express solid ideas and readers don’t get to read interesting ideas. But hey, ad revenue.

 

So herein lies the final revelation of the weekdays, as I said before Sunday I will reveal all. As suggested by the title, today is Vanity Sunday; a day where I write whatever I want. After all, I write or otherwise make a fair bit of stuff, but a lot of it just does not fit within six or seven defined categories, but I may still want to put it on here rather than merely my Facebook (even if my Facebook has a massively larger audience).

As I write this, I realize a cool benefit to this method is I can write something when it comes into my head, say early Thursday morning for this one, and then publish it in a few seconds later, like right now. I write everything in Google Drive and the formatting to make it WordPress-friendly is pretty minimal. Lists are about the worst of it, at least until I start including graphics. I’m not sure I want to start including graphics; hell, it might be easier to link to graphics because links are fun and friendly and not format-heavy. (I’m not a huge fan of making things particularly aesthetically pleasing, anyhow. At least not in web format. Using everything in 200% zoom doesn’t really help either since I know whatever I see is not what you see. If you zoom in enough on Facebook you actually lose the sidebar.)

Anyway, the categories are as follows, with descriptions and reasonings:

-Media Monday: Every Monday I write about music, movies, books, or any other media-related topic. Sometimes it’ll be a review, other times it’ll be discussion of the industry itself, other times it’ll be some form of original content. When first figuring out what I wanted to do with this blog, I planned on Music Mondays, but other ideas crowded all the media forms into one nice little package. It gets a day because I’m interested in that kinda stuff. If you were to scan my Facebook wall, you would find stuff like “List of Nickelodeon shows that ran the longest and who is soon to be usurped”. Also, the answer in the Rugrats, but Spongebob either is about to or already has taken over. I don’t remember when I checked, and the spin-offs make the count arguable.

-Tech Tuesday: On Tuesday I talk about computer or tablets or phones or something. I do computers for money occasionally (even though I usually despise it) due to having spent so much time figuring them out. You’re more likely to find software stuff from me, as I prefer finding and using better software rather than understanding why Ivy Bridge is better than Sandy Bridge (answer: Intel Graphics HD 4000). I also started this bloggy series on the same day I got a new laptop, so everything is coming from the ground up, giving me lots of topics to go with.

-Numbers Wednesday: As already seen a few days ago, on Wednesday I embrace my inner math nerd (fun fact: I’m a maths major and therefore do it daily anyway) and discuss an interesting topic with lots of numbers. I like numbers; they’re neat. I don’t even need a reason; the elephant weighs negative pounds. (More on that later.)

-Controversy Thursday: Also will have been written and posted by the time I post this. I originally had philosophy and politics with separate days, but the two overlap a lot (like how math and physics do), so whatever, they can share. I couldn’t think of a word for the two until I recalled they always start fights. So Thursday lets me go into the end of the week in a fight. Or something. Need some Friday hate brewing.

-Gaming Friday: I love games. Like, if I could be a game designer for a living, I would. However, I have no idea how to go about that. I don’t even know where I would go to learn beyond practice (which, some examples of my work may end up here). Also note video games are not the limit here, even if the first topic was about video games, as I love card and board games. A bit off topic, but the primary blockade in playing such games is lack of someone to play consistently with. I get into strategies for games and will also be quick to suggest adding complexity to anything too simple for my tastes (like chess which is basically solved; I’d rather something where neither player knows what to do beforehand besides a few heuristics perhaps). Reviews, original games, and modifications to existing games are to be expected.

-Humour Saturday: I like being funny. I’m also good at it. So Saturday I spend some of my weekend being hilarious.

-Vanity Sunday: Because it’s my blog and I want some free space to write.

So, why the theme day format? I need some force to write. Saying to myself “write about anything” is not going to get me off TVTropes on actually writing. Saying to myself “Write a damn tech article by Tuesday” will get somewhere. Having categories helps with ideas and also makes the whole thing feel less disorganized. There’s a few posts from earlier hanging around, but they have nothing to do with anything and thus stifled any will to create more. Hopefully this plan works.

 

You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

Question to discuss:

What do you imagine the distant future will have? (If there’s no apocalypse)

You: Cocks. Cocks everywhere

Stranger: i’m ok with that

You: Probs a lot of cum, too

Stranger: yeah… comes with cocks…

You: WOO CUM

You: It’ll be the main foog group

You: Also the only food group

Stranger: hmm

You: 😀

Stranger: yeah… it’s not for everyone

You: No, it’s definately for everyone

You: There will be no corn

You: Only cum

Stranger: will those cocks be attached to men?

You: Nope

Stranger: just cocks.

You: Yes

Stranger: farmed for food

You: Everywhere

Stranger: okay

You: No street signs, just cocks

You: No crops, just cocks

You: No people, just cocks

Stranger: soo… what did go wrong in your life?

You: Cocks

Stranger: do you have one?

You: Nah

Stranger: really.

You: Though there’s often one in my mouth o.O

Stranger: that’s a good place to be for a cock

You: 😀

You: Do you have a cock?

Stranger: yes

You: Put it in my mouth

Stranger: okay

You: Now thrust

Stranger: will do

You: Pelvically

Stranger: like this?

You: HARDER!!

Stranger: this is…

Stranger: good

You: Now cum. I’m hungry.

Stranger: well

Stranger: i’m kinda… laughing. 😉

You: o_O

Stranger: but i can cum, if you want me to…

You: Dooo ittt

Stranger: okay, i’m cumming

You: Woo!

You: Tastes pretty good

Stranger: yeah… yeah it does

You: I’m full now v_v

Stranger: that’s good

You: You should have some, too

Stranger: i should…

You: Drink a gallon!

Stranger: where would i get a gallon of cum?

You: Your dick

Stranger: hmm

You: Just suck it all out

You: Like a straw

Stranger: can’t suck my own dick, unfortunately

You: Take out a few ribs

Stranger: it’s not worth it…

You: Hmmm….could suck a friend I suppose

Stranger: yeah

Stranger: i should ask my friend…

You: Should suck Chris. He would appreciate it.

Stranger: who’s chris?

You: Your friend….<_<

Stranger: nope

Stranger: i don’t have a friend with that name

You: Yes you doooo

Stranger: really…

You: yes

Stranger: okay

You: Now call him

You: And suck

Stranger: can’t

Stranger: it’s too late here

You: how late is it?

Stranger: 3:19 am

Stranger: though it would be fun to call a friend and tell him that the internet wants me to blow him…

You: DOO IT

Stranger: nope 😉

You: aww 😦

You: but where will you get more cum>

You: ?

Stranger: i’ll just be hungry for the night…

You: o noes!

You: suck in the morning?

Stranger: i’ll try

You: ….sooo…..

You: you should suck my cunt

You: right now

Stranger: that won’t produce any cum

You: No

You: But id like it

You: 😉

Stranger: i’m sorry. i wouldn’t 😉

You: D:

You: Pleeeeease?

Stranger: aww… i really shouldn’t

You: But….you want to *purr*

Stranger: i really don’t want to 😉

You: (are you gay?)

Hmmm……could suck somewhere else…..

Stranger: yes, i’m gay

You: Huh. Cool. So’z I. 😀

Stranger: oh really?

You: Yes. My girlfriend is right next to me….

Stranger: ha

Stranger: maybe you should let _her_ suck your cunt

You: I just did like 5 mins ago….

Stranger: haha

Stranger: but now i’m really curious… why on earth would you fantasize about a world of cocks? 😉

You: It was a joke…..o_O

Stranger: sure, but you had to come up with it

You: Actually she did xD

Stranger: yeeeah, it’s always the SO 😉

You: Sooo…..asl? lol

Stranger: 23, m, germany

You: oooooo

Stranger: you? 😉

You: 18 f usa

Stranger: nice

You: sooo……yea…..you would like a world o cocks? o.O 😉

Stranger: well, i’d like the men too

You: spose that makes sense….

Stranger: would be quite boring without them, i think 😉

You: in a way….

Stranger: soo… i have to sleep now

You: ok

You: cool talking to you

Stranger: yeah, it was fun

Stranger: have a nice evening

You have disconnected.

or switch to text or video

Was this conversation great? Save the log: Get a link • Select all • Or post log to: Facebook • Tumblr • Twitter • reddit

Looking for horny girls? You’re in the wrong place. Go where the girls are! (18+) ×

Gaming Friday: A day for me to talk about games and stuff. More on that Sunday.

I’ve been replaying Pokemon Colosseum lately; I recently beat Evice in my underleveled run. There’s some post-game left and the Battle Mode stuff, but for the most part, the game is over. Considering the length of most games, I’d say Colosseum is a very solid game, clocking 20-30 hours of play, depending on how well you can do underleveled or feel like grinding at the training mountain.

I’m planning on an XD run soon; a friend of mine is using my disc, but when she finishes, which is likely going to be somewhat soon, I look forward to XD. If I recall, XD is more fun to play, even if the story is lacking, and the sidequests and post-game are a lot more challenging and fun. Which brings me to my main point: Colosseum and XD are better than the main series of Pokemon.

Why, you ask? The first reason, and the one that got me thinking, is the story. Pokemon, especially before Emerald, lacks a lot in the story department. Sure, being a 10-year old becoming the best trainer while taking down a criminal organization is pretty cool. The 3rd generation games upped the quality a bit with the Magma-Aqua conflict, especially in Emerald where both are in full force, but even those paled to the coolness of Wes in Colosseum, blowing up Snagem’s hideout in the opening cutscene, riding a bike around the desert into towns of anarchy and crime.

XD seems better than Colosseum, though, and Michael does not carry the same appeal as Wes; the story is back to happy go-lucky 10-year old saves the day. Aside from the main character, though, the setting is still interesting, especially nearing the last dungeons. The Cipher pyramid base and Citadark Isle are two of the most incredible locations in the entire game. The battle scene in Emerald seemed pretty cool, but Citadark’s storms alone blew it away. It does lack the Under, and Pyrite town lacks a lot of its feel from the first game, but really, Orre is just overall a neat region.

The feel can’t be everything, though; Armed With Wings should be an awesome game, but I quit halfway through because the gameplay didn’t do it. So I ask, now, what makes the gameplay of the Gamecube RPGs so much better than the handhelds?

The first thing that pops into my mind is the flow and pacing and such. At first glance, there’s nothing inherently better, but then look at double battles. In the handheld Pokemon games, almost every battle is a single battle (each generation brings in more of other types, but they’re still so rare they make no real difference). The most clear issue is already pokemon are being leveled one-by-one instead of two-by-two. The pull to raise one over the others i pretty strong. Worse, the games are much easier to win with one pulling the pack (Colosseum and XD have the same issue, except with two. I think the legendary trio in Colosseum creates a natural incentive to swap out the starters. XD flat-out hands you an elementally-balanced team. In the first, I ended up with 3-4 strong pokemon on my first run and was fairly overleveled, though by the end I was still cranking out revives against the final boss. My most recent run left me a fair bit underleveled, though beating Mt. Battle 100 once during the game all the way through should about even a player out with the final boss.

So, the level pacing isn’t totally inherently better just because of having two out. What really changes the pacing and moreover the fun of the gameplay is Colosseum play defensively while the handhelds play very offensively. Mantine, for example, is a great choice in Colosseum because it can defend very well, taking several hits and being able to switch in on ground moves without taking any damage at all even though it has trouble causing a lot of damage. Matches in the console games already take a bit longer, but most battles feel like they should be there, less certain dungeons with too many trainers (this happens leading up to the first boss in Colosseum and then never again; XD occasionally gets to be a bit much, but never to the trainer-at-every-corner of the handhelds). The defensive play means strategy is suddenly a major factor instead of just being overpowered. In the handhelds, most teams are just six fast and powerful attackers who can get the spam of pokemon to die quickly. Less trainers and no (or very, very few) wild pokemon let the battles that do exist play out more. As for how this impacts pacing, the strategic gameplay means switching, generally with prediction, is very common and thus more pokemon get to come onto the field. It also means even when the opponent is 30 levels stronger, winning is possible with good enough skill.

X and Y arguably solve the pacing problem, though not the issue of sweepers being overly preferable, because of the experience being given to all party members. The two are also notoriously easy, which suggests the games are not challenging. In fact, that’s pretty much exactly what it means, only in slightly different words because English has synonymous words in it. They also have a better story than pretty much any of the other handhelds, with the 5th gen games being potential contenders, and they have gamecube-level graphics.

The graphics in Pokemon are actually a pretty unfortunate case. Games as early as Battle Revolution were supposed to show the pokemon making actual contact and the field being damaged long-term and other such things. Unfortunately, the motherfucking bastards at the ESRB said doing so would increase the rating to E10 or T. Seriously, fuck rating boards; no children will be harmed by digital cracked ground.

Tangent aside, Pokemon pretty much hit its peak as far as graphics go with XD; more realism in effects are economically not going to happen and nobody wants real-looking pokemon because that would be rather creepy. The youth of the protagonist (which, again, really lessens the impact of the story past age 12) is less apparent, if I recall correctly (I’m yet to play myself). So what sets XD above those two games? Content. Colosseum loses to XD despite coolness because of content.

XD has Battle Bingo, the battle simulators, several colosseums, Orre Colosseum (one of the best battle arenas short of the newest one in X and Y with battling all the old bosses), almost 90 pokemon to purify, Mt. Battle with a massive level range, the whole Battle Now section, etc. The gameplay is varied and stays fun. Emerald’s Battle Frontier comes close, though leveling a team in that game is much more tedious. Somehow three hours beating Mt. Battle 100 just doesn’t seem as long as 3 hours training on a GBA. Especially since trainers give twice the experience wild pokemon do. Also, both Cube games offer training areas with autohealing.

That about wraps it up. XD offers more than most Pokemon games. Could a better game be released? Hell yea. If the ESRB were to be ignored, the visuals could be so much more. Adding more to the side sections would be great. The innovations in moves, pokemon, types, etc. since the 3rd gen would all be awesome in a XD-esque game (except maybe the physical-special split, which I shall explain another time). And, of course, expanding the story always helps. But as far as Pokemon games go, few have reached near that point.

 

(As mentioned yesterday, the weekday titles are explained this Sunday. Basically, expect some topic on Thursday (like today!) that might not sit well with some people.)

 

America has a problem with work. A large portion of the population is infatuated with the ideal of every person working to whatever can be gotten out of them, often out of a sense of fairness. Switzerland is going forward with a universal basic income, much to the dismay of many Americans when told about it. I bring up the topic and the first thing brought up is either either “the free riders will be too numerous and ruin it” or “the free riders existing is inherently unfair”. Even the US’s unemployment payments are going to drop soon under the guise of incentivizing work.

 

None of the three are solid positions. Free riders being too numerous is the easiest to knock out; a universal basic income has been tried several times. In each case the number of people who choose to not seek employment is about the same as the number who are unemployed in a system akin to what we have right now. The only difference is who is working: in the case of universal basic income regardless of work, everyone working is choosing to work. As commonly known, chosen work is going to be more effective than forced labour. The people who are not working are also unemployed by choice. Essentially, the redistribution of jobs to the people who want them results in both workers and non-workers benefitting.

 

The idea that work needs to be incentivized is also very problematic. With the number of people seeking positions outnumbering open positions 3:1 the incentives need to be on making more positions, not more position seekers. There is one result to increasing demand for jobs and that is increased power in the hands of employers who already have a disproportionate amount of power. While employers may enjoy enhanced power, the utility of doing this is pretty minimal. After all, if the number of jobs that need filling are already more than able to be filled, then we do not need more people seeking jobs to fill them.

 

At this point a reader may suggest the lack of employment, whether voluntary or not, hurts growth and thus we ought to have more jobs and more workers. Looking at real GDP, however, ignoring the hit from 2008 as a result of a certain crash, GDP growth has been doing fine regardless of people not working.

 

This leaves the argument from fairness. Or, in question form: “Why should I have to work while they get to lay around all day?” There’s a few issues with such an argument, though the largest one is the actual source of unfairness. In a system of social welfare, the rules are the same across the board; any person who is in the given situation can reap the associated benefits. Additionally, most of the situations are easily attainable by everyone; becoming poor is quite easy to do. In a Universal Basic Income system, the argument from fairness approaches absurdity as everyone by definition of the system receives the same benefits regardless of work (and, for those unfamiliar with such a system, money earned working is put on top of the basic income, so working is still incentivized). The only imperative to work, then, is a personal conscience, not an external force, thus the only unfairness stems from within a person and one making such an argument is merely asserting their own morals on everyone else.

 

I may also note that in the current system some people are born wealthy enough to choose to not work while all others must to survive while in a UBI system. Fairness really isn’t a key here.

 

What we have then is no argument left for requiring work. So why should we let people not work? Basic advancement. If our goal is to make things progressively better, which is a hard goal to argue against, the liberation from forced labour is a pretty solid advancement. People will work better under voluntary conditions and those who choose not to become free to pursue other things, often benefitting others just out of common behavior (that is, people will do things for others regardless of pay because of socialization and culture). Having all hands in the field used to be needed to sustain a food supply. Now we’re at a point in technology where some hands can rest and there will still be a surplus.

 

So, preceding the actual content here, what exactly is Number Wednesday? Well, while I would love to dedicate a day of the week (explanation on that I am saving for Sunday) to Maths and another to Physics and another to some other number-based thing, the fields tend to overlap, especially as soon as application starts to happen. So in the midst of the other days, I’m putting the “cool shit with numbers” day right in the middle.

Anywho, many people have likely already seen some maths regarding Santa Claus and his improbable journey around the world. The numbers have been floating around the web for quite some time in various forms; I recall e-mails from years ago describing them, a website I copied onto my Facebook about a month ago, and lately some Facebook pictures being shared. So the concept is hardly new, but I would like to go ahead and take a harder look.

If we take a look at this post at PayDirt, a pretty common version of the maths is found. If we break the paragraph into basic data, we get:

-2 billion children

-Santa only delivers to Christian children

-Christian children comprise 15% of children, about 300 million

-Household average is 3 children, resulting in 100 million houses

-31 hours of Christmas, thus 900 stops/s

-0.001s to do each home

-Even distribution of homes yields 70 million miles total

-Santa thus moves at 650 miles/s

-Voyager 2 moves about 9 miles/s

-Suggests Santa has a warp drive

-If every child asked for small LEGO set, results in 380,000 ton sleigh

-Requires 250,000 magic reindeer, increasing weight to 460,000 tons

-Titanic weighed 46,000 tons

-Santa experiences 14 quintillion J/s, enough to vaporize reindeer and sleigh

 

So now for the fun part: analysis and criticism!

…and addition.

The claims about quantity of children come first. The number of Christians is hard to pin down, but for the sake of this data, the number 2 billion (2,000,000,000) is close enough with a whopping one significant figure as well as uncertainty due to non-Christians who celebrate Christmas for other reasons. Narrowing down to children should cut down the number, but not as low as 300 million. WolframAlpha gives a 26.8% of the world population being 0-15 years old. Multiplication of 2 billion by 0.268 yields 536,000,000. Smudging upward to 600,000,000 (600 million) because the 16-18 year olds can feasibly account for enough to set the number high enough to round up.

Working from here, the value of 3 children per household works for an average as most sources seem to aim around there. Using division, this resolves in 600,000,000/3=200,000,000 houses for Santa to stop at. Where the hard and sketchy part lies now is distribution. My first guess is the original maths was (earth circumference)/(households). This ignores the issues of things like apartments and non-linear housing arrangements. After all, not every house is in a line around the equator; a lot have houses in all directions. Making the issue more complex is Santa having knowledge of efficiency. For example, when calculating how far the United States can launch a nuclear missile, distance east or west is ignored; instead the path chosen to aim for, say, Russia, is over the North Pole. Considering the distance over the Pacific or Atlantic, Santa can benefit from heading over the Arctic if he hits Canada or Greenland and then Russia. This path also runs the benefit of having multiple loads from the North Pole, where he might be based. We know he can’t be in Norway because the oil drills haven’t found him; I’m knocking out Sweden on a hunch; and Canada is pretty damn close anyway.

What, then, is the best route? A straight line isn’t going to hit everything and zig-zagging hard is going to involve a lot of backtracking. A feasible good route would start at the North Pole, go through Greenland west-southwest, arc through Canada and southward, heading south steadily until leaving the tip of Chile at which point flooring it to Australia over the South Pole (which could be pre-loaded with gifts due to low population), arcing through Asia, Europe, and finishing with Africa. Notably, a lot of ocean is ignored this way, making Antarctica the main time-waster and letting the highest velocity of the sleigh be useful.

So what is Santa’s average velocity? There’s 24 timezones. Assume Santa can work from midnight to 05:00. After all, children can wake up early and Christmas Eve can end late (and in some countries this will vary, but for the sake of simplicity, this is good enough for now). The real issue here is confliction with a good route. While the route I outlined in the previous paragraph is rather efficient, Santa need to start in Western Alaska and head east in order to stay with the timezones (or else go from Greenland to Alaska instantly). So he has 29 hours (24 timezones and 5 hour timespan) and needs to be slow enough in every timezone to not end up coming too early. The latter constraint shouldn’t come into play, but keeping all constraints in mind is good practice anyhow.

So how much distance is Santa covering in 29 hours? He still has a lot of population density to cover. The US has about 4 million miles of road. They criss-cross to give an idea of 2-dimensional inefficiency, but flight still saves time, as does ignoring commercial districts. The US also has a population of 300 million, which would yield about 60 million households. Cutting the roads down a bit due to the savings mentioned by, say, ¼ (or multiplying by a factor of ¾) yields .5 miles/house. How much the separation of Christmas-celebrating children matters is also hard to calculate due to lack of raw data. Nonetheless, at .5 miles traveled to every house, we get 200,000,000*.5=100,000,000 (100 million) miles traveled by Santa in 29 hours. (And, since I did not explain earlier, the roads in the US were used as a sample of distance from family to family because the US has a large population but for the most part is connected by roads, giving some data to work with.

The amount traveled regardless of extra distances (oceans) is going to be very minimal. The distance around the Earth is roughly 25 thousand. That number is nothing at this point. 3,500,000 miles/hour is Santa’s resulting average speed assuming zero time spent inside. Presume 9 hours are spent inside, roughly a third of Santa’s time, as he has a fair bit to do (watch The Grinch. There’s a lot to do.). That results in an average speed of 100,000,000 miles/20 hours=5,000,000 miles/hour. Switching to metric for some easier conversions means he’s at 2,235,000 m/s.

If we take a moment to look back at the original attempt at this problem,

the original claimed 650 miles per second. How does that compare? 650 miles per second is the same as 2,340,000 miles per hour, or roughly half. In other words, if we used the original’s population, the numbers would match at this point. I do wonder what methods were originally used.

I digress.

The Earth itself only travels 66,000 miles per hour. Santa’s going well beyond fast enough to escape the gravity of the Milky Way itself. An incredible amount of force is going to be needed just to stay near Earth. Nonetheless, considering the multiple orders of magnitude greater than the speed of air molecules, some collisions are going to occur and blow things up. So if Santa isn’t killed instantly, everything else is. Also, time dialation.

So, if we ignore the weird physics for a moment and return to Newton (because, really, who actually understands Einstein?), we find a Santa moving at 2,235,000 m/s. Let’s assume he also has to accelerate. Since 2,235,000 m/s is his average, let’s go for 3 million m/s as the peak velocity and .5 miles the average distance, covered in (.5 miles) / (5 million miles/hour) = 1/1 million hours. If he arcs his acceleration and decceleration to peak in the exact middle, he gets to 3 million m/s in .0000005 seconds. The only really comparable things are machine cycles on older computers. In other words, Santa is approaching a gigahertz.

 

So using change in velocity (3 million m/s) over change in time (.0000005 s), we get Santa’s average acceleration while accelerating of 6,000,000,000,000 m/s^2, or 6 trillion meters per second faster per second (do remember he isn’t traveling for an entire second at any point). There’s not much in the physical world to compare him to here. This is faster than acceleration in free-fall on Earth by a long shot. This is actually about free-fall on a neutron star. The Large Hadron Collider that was going to doom us all? Santa passed that 3 orders of magnitude ago.

 

The next step here is how much in presents we have. How much the presents weigh is another toughie to guess. Poverty-stricken children aren’t going to be getting a very massive load, but then some rich children may end up with a very massive amount. Also, anyone who gets a car screws up the average. (Actually, I would not be shocked in some of the ultra-wealthy got entire houses, which is about the definition of outlier.) Also, toys over time have changed and video games are very light. So lets say ten pounds. Ten pounds, six hundred million children, six billion total pounds. I’m not adding Santa’s fat ass nor the reindeer. Despite the popular post that’s sent around, magic reindeer are fucking magic and do not have weight limits. There are ten reindeer, approximately. So we will divide from there.

 

So what’s six billion pounds? Larger than any mobile man-made object. Think “Great Pyramid”. Also think “really heavy”. We’re talking roughly 3,000,000,000 kilograms. Hopefully the transition to force is played out here. Mass (3 billion kg) time acceleration (6 trillion m/s^2) equals 18 billion trillion Newtons. (Written out with zeroes, that’s 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 N or 1.8*10^22 N.) That’s about (really close, actually) to half the force between the Earth and the Sun. That’s not even meaningful in this context; the biggest trains are 16 orders of magnitude less (or, ten million billion times less) forceful.

 

The energy doesn’t really make sense to calculate. I know it’d be fun to point out the 3 billion kg * (3 million m/s)^2 *.5 = 13,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 J of kinetic energy (which, that Joulage is actually only about the amount of energy that the Sun would exert on the Earth that day), Santa is going too damn fast for such things to work nicely.

 

So, in sum, Santa is a relativistic being that by the laws of physics ought to decimate life on his journey of exploding fucking air. So nevermind flying reindeer. The real magic of Santa is not causing mass radiating explosions.

So I happened to be browsing the web and found an interesting list at Tektonics entitled “You May Be a Fundamentalist Atheist If”. I read it and laughed at some and found issues with others. In lieu of trying to hit major issues out of the blue, I will respond to individual listings. All statements in the list are assumed to be humourous in purpose, but with a level of truth supposed. Let us begin.

Part One. The Existence of God.

You became an atheist when you were 10 years old, based on ideas of God that you learned in Sunday School. Your ideas about God haven’t changed since.

This is, in fact, a common thing to be found around any discussion of veracity of Christianity. What perhaps, the author misses, is that both Christians and non-Christians are often ignorant of much of the content of the Bible and the works created over the years related to it. The list does, however, mention Biblical scholars many times, so I shall assume there is a level of competency assumed in the intended audience, regardless of actual competency.

You believe that extra drippy ice-cream is a logical proof against the existence of God, because an omniscient God would know how to stop the ice-cream from being extra drippy, an omnipotent God would have the ability to stop the ice-cream from being extra drippy, and by golly, an omnibenevolent God wouldn’t want your ice-cream to be extra drippy.

An interesting strawman, perhaps. There exists a common Problem of Evil, that is, if God is good and knows of evil and has the power to stop evil, why is there evil? Of course, the discourse surrounding such an issue is very long and varied in views, essentially boiling down to free will. However, there is something to be drawn from this point: humans and any potential omnibenevolent omnipotent omniscient being cannot have the same goods as humans, for if it did, it would prevent extra drippy ice cream which serves no good to humans. We may also conclude that the drippy ice cream fits to this being’s will, and all other things that occur with no human good driving them, such as cancer.

You believe the astronomical size of the universe somehow disproves God, as if God needed a tiny universe in order to exist.

Furthering the point of this potential god and humanity being very different from each other, purposes are also not being connected. A person will be efficient and create whatever is necessary for the given purpose. I will, however, point out many times in the Bible the authors state God creates the universe for his own glory. Thus, the larger the universe, the larger the glory. The real question is “Why isn’t the universe infinite?”

You spend hours arguing that a-theism actually means “without a belief in God ” and not just ” belief that there is no god” as if this is a meaningful distinction in real life.

If the wheels were still on the bus, they have fallen off here. The two are indeed different things. Consider “I do not care if the towel is red or not” vs “That towel better not be red!”. Or, to stay within the sphere of belief, “I have no reason to believe a distant cosmic event currently undiscovered will destroy the Earth tomorrow” vs “I am certain no distant cosmic event will destroy the Earth tomorrow.” One is “There’s no real reason to think such” while the other “The is reason to think not”. Considering the infinite number of possibilities, including an evil deity creating every sign of a good one, the former choice is the more rational and more common to boot.

You consistently deny the existence of God because you personally have never seen him but you reject out of hand personal testimony from theists who claim to have experienced God as a reality in their lives.

The issue here comes down to anecdote vs. logic. Personal testimonies are unreliable in any field and are by no means extraordinary evidence. They are, in fact, trivial, for nearly every religion and nonreligion has been “confirmed” via personal testimony. Logically, however, if a deity desires a personal relationship, it would follow it would act on such a want and initiate a relationship.

You can make the existence of pink unicorns the center-piece of a philosophical critique.

Invisible pink unicorns, usually. The common argument holds, though. Why don’t you believe in pink unicorns if absence of evidence ╪ evidence of absence?

You adamantly believe that the “God of the gaps” idea is an essential tenet of orthodox Christian faith espoused by all the great Christian thinkers throughout history.

I have never once heard a Christian espouse the god of the gaps as important. In fact, the argument exists solely by atheists and secularists. No Christian has a reason to, after all; the argument asserts the idea of god exists to fill in missing knowledge. Regardless of its truth, it is not a Christian argument. 

You call a view held by less than ten percent of the American public “common sense”.

Atheists, of the vocal variety, do tend to make this statement. Though the ten percent statistic is a fair bit off (it has ben growing significantly with no signs of stopping as more young people do not believe in any gods or religions, especially religions), “common sense” is the wrong term. Moreover, it creates an interesting question of why atheists want atheism to be seen as common sense. Wishful thinking is a possibility, but the level of narcissism also would want it to be a rare genius. Of course, some, such as TheAmazingAtheist take that standpoint. 

Going with the definition of “without a belief in God”, you insist that all people are born atheists, and that dogs, cats, rocks, and trees are as well. You make statements like, “My dog is an atheist. Ask him about his lack of belief.”

In all fairness, this is a true statement. As far as we know, animals have no theistic beliefs nor have the capacity to.

While you don’t believe in God, you feel justified on bashing God or attacking those who believe in something that you KNOW doesn’t exist, fighting against or even discussing about a non-existent being are the symptoms of mental illness!

This statement is perhaps the worst of the bunch and least thought-through, and it contains an ad hominem to wrap up nicely a bouquet of insipidity. God exists as a character and cultural figure indubitably. Likewise, literary characters exist in the same respects. Harry Potter may not be a real person, nor magic, however there is quite a bit to discuss regarding what he says and does. This is not a sign of mental illness but of intellectual curiosity.

How many atheists are actively fighting any god I have no data on. Anyone may feel free to bring this to my attention.

You blame God for the starvation, sickness, pain and suffering in the world…when, indeed, it is MAN’s greed, politics, selfishness and apathy that not only causes, but also ignores the sick and the starving masses. We aren’t our brothers’ keepers….but we should be.

God’s ideal of the good and humanity’s good must be very different from this scenario being brought up. We know humanity dislikes starvation, sickness, pain, and suffering. However, if God created everything, those are God-made things. Diseases, a biological need for food, and pain are all biological constructs necessarily not made by humans for they precede humanity. Thus, because God has the power to create these things and did so, we know either:

  1. God’s good includes the suffering of humans, or
  2. God thought he could prevent these things but actually lacks the power

The issue, then, arises in 1 from humans clearly being at odds with God or 2 having an incompetent god. Which is better is hard to say. With 1 you know there will be deliberate pain, but 2 is the uncertain friend, a god who means well but may create even more suffering.

 

Part two will discuss origins. 

The original post I am responding two is found at: http://www.tektoonics.com/test/parody/fundyath.html