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Free will nonsense

Submitted by Darren Oh on Fri, 05/29/2020 - 18:18

I’m listening to an episode of the Science Talk podcast entitled, “Your Brain, Free Will and the Law.” In order to attack the idea of free will, Robert Sapolsky creates a meaningless definition of free will and claims it does not exist. According to his definition,

Free will is what we call the things that biology has not explained yet.

Several times he says that if his choice was determined by “biological luck,” then “it wasn’t me,” implying that our identities are independent of our biology. He goes on to say that because there is no evidence of choices that are not determined by biology, the idea of holding individuals responsible for their choices is unscientific. This sounds like nonsense to me.

Why Christians keep supporting Trump

Submitted by Darren Oh on Mon, 01/27/2020 - 21:57

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, one of the delegates heard a woman ask Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied,

A republic—if you can keep it.

I’m afraid that some of my Christian friends have forgotten their duty to keep the republic.

Force MySQL to ignore key length error

Submitted by Darren Oh on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 23:02

If the following MySQL error prevents you from creating or altering a table, you can get the statement to execute successfully by disabling strict mode:

1071 Specified key was too long; max key length is 1000 bytes

Disabling strict mode will change the error to a warning. The key will be shortened to fit the maximum key length. This is fine if you don’t need the full value in the index.


Cryptography and the right to bear arms

Submitted by Darren Oh on Thu, 12/19/2019 - 13:03

Cryptography is legally protected by the right to free speech. It is also protected by the right to keep and bear arms. Until 2000, cryptography was considered a weapon under United States law, and exporting strong encryption from the United States was banned. The same arguments used to defend gun ownership also apply to the right to use encryption to transmit and store information.


Facts about Christmas

Submitted by Darren Oh on Thu, 12/12/2019 - 19:41

I have often heard (and repeated) the claim that Christmas was originally a pagan holiday. It made sense to me because it is not mentioned in the Bible. Until now, I had assumed that the claim that Christmas was a pagan holiday would not be made unless it had a factual basis.

Some people who believe this claim argue against Christmas decorations in church, so I decided to check the facts for myself. I do not expect facts alone to settle the argument. I just hope facts will help arguments to be based on truth.