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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Friday February 15, 2002
09:22 PM

So open minded their brains fall out

[ #2905 ]

Yeah, I'm pissed. Stop reading lest you be offended.

What the hell is wrong with people? The spiritualists are just as dogmatic as the materialists, damn it. I've talked to many people who love/hate Perl. Perl, like any other programming language, is a tool. If it's the right tool, use it. If it's the wrong tool, don't use it. Don't tell me it's worthless because it doesn't have feature "foo".

It's interesting, though, that if I happen to point out flaws with Perl, or Linux, or the Republicratic party that people assume that I'm against $_. What the hell is up with that? My girlfriend has a mole on her chest. Am I to ditch because of that? Sheesh. Pointing out problems with a thing doesn't mean that I necessarily dislike the thing itself.

Today, I had an issue brought home to me regarding the "spiritualist" version of this. Now frankly, I think that astrology and homeopathy are bunk. They make testable assertions and, in controlled double-blind studies, they're often demonstrated to hold little to no value. So, in this case, yes, I point out a problem with something and I have a problem with the thing itself, but this is because the entire rationale behind the thing is subverted by the problem I point to.

How, exactly, does this make me close-minded? I have been accused of that so often that I am just sick of it. I think many forms of alternative medicine have merit. Naturapathy and acupuncture both appear to have benefits (your mileage may vary, this ain't the point), so I admit that this is potentially good. When it comes to astrology, I don't care if you believe it or not, but if I am going to make decisions based upon a retrogade Mercury or a belching Jupiter (Jupiter has gas?), then I want to see some damned evidence. If I'm wrong, that is perfectly okay. Prove to me that I'm wrong. And no, anecdotes do not constitute proof. Futher, your personal experience is perfectly valid -- for you.

So, I see value in many practices (such as meditation) that some spiritualists espouse, but if I don't tape a crystal to my frickin' forehead and wear a foil pyramid on my head, I'm close-minded all of a sudden? I am required to state that every stupid idea has merit or else I'm not allowed to belong to your elite club of pseudo-intellectuals? If that's your attitude, you can go to ... oh, wait. I don't believe in that, either :)

This rant brought to you by the letter 'F'. Thanks for listening and my apologies to all who may have been offended. This has been a frustrating day.

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  • Perhaps it's better to think carefully about what it means to be closed minded about something, in this case astrology. You can take the position that yes, there is something we and armies of scientists don't know about and astrology is never the less true, or you can take the position that no, there are no grounds to the claims that astrology makes and it is not.

    Of course, you then need to ask which of those two positions is closed minded? Is it more open minded to believe something to be true, or to

    • I hope you don't take this personally. I don't mean it that way!

      quidity wrote:

      You can take the position that yes, there is something we and armies of scientists don't know about and astrology is never the less true, or you can take the position that no, there are no grounds to the claims that astrology makes and it is not.

      As a rule of thumb, I rarely, if ever, take either position when I encounter a new subject. I start asking a question: "does a particular belief make testable assertions?" In th

      • Maybe I'll come back later and just delete all of this :(

        I'd rather you didn't, myself. Just an opinion.

        A feedback loop exists within many of these people that merely reinforces whatever they happen to believe. Nothing escapes their framework, and nothing could possibly contradict it. Everything is because of X, or X's effects.

        So you say, "But what effect is it that causes this? How does it work? How can X cause this?"

        And internally they go, "X told me to expect doubting people today!" whether


        You are what you think.
    • What I think is closed-minded has nothing to do with whether you believe in astrology or not. It has to do with why you don't believe it, and what you think about people who do or don't believe it.

      Example: If you think people who do believe in astrology are morons, then you are probably closed-minded, because you probably haven't really been able to get inside someone's head to know why they believe in astrology. Simply believing it is bunk is fine; chances are that you've been able to weigh it with som