Over at SP I wrote a post called God, as perceived by scientists
. It's not very good, but seems reasonably well-received.
Several people wrote comments beginning with "As a scientist..." but only one was frankly negative. That fellow apparently subscribes to the Popperian school where only the successes count as "doing science". Popper's philosophy of science
is fine as far as it goes (and his political philosophy is also good), but it describes only a small fraction of an actual scientist's daily activity.
A New Age-y person thanked me for writing "good nonsense", while a conservative fundamentalist Christian opined that "the diary was good and maybe the poll choices were nonsense". It seems that the "scented melon-breasted woman" item in particular was over the top. I'm giving my "most insightful comment" award to Ms. Shakti, who says
All of us are dealing with our own perceptions, gathered through our uniquely tuned sensory apparatus, processed through individual brains with their own idiosynchrocies, and filtered through our individual life experience and understanding. It doesn't matter what I think god is, or what my experience of god is, it will only make sense to me and most likely be nonsense to everyone else. Some people perceive God, some perceive no god, the difference is not in absolute reality, the difference is all in our perception.
Overall, 42 comments and 13 poll respondents isn't bad for a stupid little post! But zero people voted for "God is the reason why so many experiments fail", which was arguably the thesis of my post. So I guess my thesis is bad and should be discarded.
Maybe next I should do a post on "Is God Hyperdimensional?" Short answer: we don't know and we can't know, but it's fun to speculate.
* * * * *
After Christmas, Kid #1 told me that there was a Dr. Who
marathon coming up on January 2nd and none of the video-recording equipment in our household was up to the task of recording it while we go out for our monthly "lunaversary" celebration. So I bought a USB TV tuner
to convert Kid #1's laptop into a TiVo. As expected, the included Windows software is crap—just the excuse needed to switch Kid #1's computer over to Linux! But MythTV is horribly difficult to install (I eventually got it to show a single station with no sound). I tried a few other PVR
packages but they were even worse, e.g. Freevo couldn't seem to figure out what the channel frequencies were. After spending two days fighting with the thing (instead of working my paying job), I began to wonder what my SP post had to do with this TV tuner thingy. What was God trying to tell me that I didn't want to hear?
Meanwhile, Wifey is complaining that I'm playing favourites among our children. Kid #1 gets this new $100 toy while I refuse to kick in $50 for a Wii for Kid #2 (because he didn't want it until after Hanukkah gift-giving season was over). Wifey is really annoying when she's right.
So I decided that what God was trying to tell me was that homemade PVR technology is not yet ready for prime time and I shouldn't be working on it. The tuner has been set aside, to be returned to my local brick-and-mortar BestBuy store (on the other side of Kitchener, only 25km away). We had take-out Chinese food on January 2nd so Kid #1 could watch the Dr. Who
marathon without having to record it. Meanwhile, Kid #2 and his Wii are still up in the air.
Of course, I could be wrong about this. The only person to write a "customer review" at the BestBuy website says he likes the thing because he can use it to connect a Wii to his computer. What a remarkable coincidence! I may regret returning it. But you know, sometimes you've just gotta pick a path and walk it. As a professional software engineer, I can keep pushing the rock up the hill with the best of them. But some hills end up being much much higher than originally predicted and a good engineer will recognize when a project has become a "runaway freight train to Nowhere". Yadda yadda, insert your own lame excuses here.