The Lord of the Flies Is Again Re-enacted

Summary

Background Reading

This all began when someone on the ChainLink Forum did a nice thing and Doug decided to opine:

My friend Ezra of Fast Boy Cycles has only a few more months to live
Posted by Crafty Cycling Chick on February 12, 2013 at 4:05pm

My friend Ezra of Fast Boy Cycles has only a few more months to live. I know how much he appreciated the kind words you had for him in the September 2008 issue of The Derailleur. Would you consider sending him another postcard, card, letter, or care package or leave a comment on his blog?

Reply by Douglas Iverson on Wednesday
I have always had a problem with the aspect of longevity. No matter how long we live, wheather rich or poor, happy or sad once we die we will never know that we ever existed, ie, a rock. So it’s a moot point which is why God was invented.

Reply by Juan Primo on Wednesday
I’m into celebrating life instead of evangelizing atheism.

Reply by Douglas Iverson on Wednesday
I’m not an athiest. I’m agnostic. It would be equally unrealistic to say that God exists or doesn’t and either way it can not be proven, at least not in life. Just because something can’t be seen doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. To say that Uranus is the last planet at the time seemed reasonable until Clyde Tombough discovered Pluto in 1930 which existed before it was discovered. Having formally studied cosmology (I even met Steven Hawking) and learning that matter, virtual particles, can and do come into existence from a quantum vacuum, ie from nothing and that only stars can create elements heavier than helium meaning that we and everything we see and touch is nothing more than the waste particles synthesized by stars that exploded and that the big bang created space/time meaning that there is no such thing as before the big bang, at least in this universe I came to the realization, as most scientists do that not only is a creator not necessary but doesn’t fit in with what has been proven. I feel for the impending loss of this person because he/she/they do but for me it’s all happenstance.

The ChainLink is something of a blunt instrument. People are either “tone deaf” on delicate subjects like race or are always bludgeoning automobiles and their drivers and wondering why the general public seems so “anti-bicycles“. It is akin to holding the kind of views that the GOP does on undocumented immigrants and speaking them aloud and afterwards being stunned that “illegals” is an offensive term and that Hispanics as a group decided to vote Democrat. As I said before “tone deaf“.

Reply by Juan Primo on Wednesday
Why is this thread more about you than Ezra? Meanwhile, I found a nice card for Ezra and put it in the mailbox. Why don’t we all? Great idea, CCC

Reply by notoriousDUG on Wednesday
You people are assholes.
Stop having any kind of discussion about religion or personal beliefs and start paying attention to the life that is ending.

Reply by dan brown 4.4 miles on Wednesday
+1.
way to hijack a thread that had a very noble and worthwhile intent.
no one here really cares about your thoughts on God (god), etc.
why don’t you go and discuss with the crazy homeless guy on the corner, he’ll be interested I’m sure.

Okay. So now that everyone has been brought up to speed, let’s begin our foray into the wonderful, lovely world of the ChainLink Forum. Keep thinking happy thoughts as you stroll past the men with their long knives and blood-soaked hands. Whistle something cheery and perhaps the imprecision of language won’t seem so daunting…

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Over and over the ChainLink Forum re-enacts the Lord of the Flies. Different members get to play the various roles each time. What always remains despite the role changes is the hatred of automobiles and suburbanites. In this particular re-enactment Douglas Iverson learns the hard way how the roles are assigned:

Why do most people confuse fact from opinion?
Posted by Douglas Iverson on February 14, 2013 at 3:06am
No Description

What is not obvious from this inauspicious beginning is that Doug has felt hurt over being misunderstood. He is having difficulty in expressing himself to the rest of the group. His awkward beginning sparks a round of sardonic responses:

Reply by Duppie 13.5185km on Thursday
Unless you have some data and research to back that statement up, I say it is just your opinion, not a fact.

Reply by Peenworm Grubologist on Thursday
I have done extensive testing and research which concludes that vanilla ice cream tastes the nicest. Fact.

Reply by Sue Clark on Thursday
“Seventy-six percent of the statistics on the Internet are made up on the spot.” — Abraham Lincoln

None of the responders has bothered to ask for any clarification. There is usually very little sensitivity amongst ChainLinkers unless someone does something utterly stupid like getting doored because they refuse to ride outside the “Door Zone”. When this sort of thing happens the lawyers spring into action to get their names before the “faces” of potential clients and clamor for justice for their client. The hunt for the hated motorists who hit the person or fled the scene as well begins. And someone gears up to print stickers to “teach those stupid motorists how to open their doors” but no one offers much hope that lessons on how to avoid such mishaps in the first instance will ever be taught or learned. And thus in continues:

Reply by Zoetrope on Thursday
Terrible thread is terrible.

Reply by Tricolor on Thursday
I can’t tell if I’m confusing fact from opinion or fact for opinion. Or is someone listening to your opinion deriving some unstated (and unintended) fact?

Reply by Anne on Thursday
you’re all wrong!

Reply by Tricolor on Thursday
Yeah, well that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

Reply by h’ 4.5 on Thursday
From what this discussion is about?

Reply by Mike Zumwalt on Thursday
Fact: Opinions are just like…everyone has one.

If you were to come across a transcript of this thread without knowing its origins or the characteristics and ages of the participants you would probably be inclined to think it was from an SMS fest by some high schoolers. Having taught junior high school for a decade I would guess it was a group of 8th graders. But wait there is more:

Reply by Douglas Iverson on Thursday
I believe earth is relatively flat. Everywhere I look it’s relatively flat save for mountains and valleys. I have seen pictures of a round earth but I have never seen that for myself so it must be be a fact that earth is flat. What if I told you that a beam of light knows when it’s being observed? It acts like a wave when not being observed and like a particle when being observed. This is known as the wave/particle duality problem. Look up Dr. Quantum on Google and watch the video clip. Go for the one with the longest length. Fact is stranger than fiction and it gets even stranger than this. How about particle pairs that know what each other is doing no matter how far apart. If one goes from spinning clockwise to counterclockwise the other particle will do the same. When freezing water droplets if the water is spoken to nicely and/or played soft symphony music it will freeze with a near perfect crystal structure but if heavy metal music is played and/or it is spoken to in a harsh voice it will freeze in an unorganized structure. This experiment has been carried out many times. If water reacts like this and we are mostly water it suggests interesting implications.

The original poster (OP) comes back into the conversation and tries to deal with its aimless by joining in the light-hearted banter. He tries a bit too hard to my mind, but that is the nature of how these things go…

Reply by S on Thursday
This is about on par with Deepak Chopra’s Quantum Healing bs.
Light does not know when it’s being observed. It acts like a wave at certain times and a particle at other times. It does not require observation for this, just a measurement of the appropriate sort. The double or single slit experiments give the same results whether there is someone present to watch it or not.
Particle pairs don’t know what each other is doing. There is a phenomena called quantum teleportation where entangled pairs of particles will both have the same spin when measured. However, after the first measurement when they lose their entanglement, the particles won’t remain correlated.
For the droplets, crystallization is a delicate process and it’s not inconceivable that applying different vibrations will result in different patterns in the end. Louder, harsher music/voices apply more vibrations to the droplet and it’s not too hard to come to the conclusion that the content of the sounds doesn’t matter just the loudness.

The first knife strike has been delivered. There is much more of the same to come:

Reply by Douglas Iverson yesterday
I never understood “Ouanyum Leap.” It contradicts its self. Quantum mechanics deals with subatomic particles. Quantum means tiny yet people tend to think it means very large. Another popular misconception is “light years ahead.” A light year is a measure of distance 58,000,000,000 statute miles, not time.

Reply by S yesterday
Quantum doesn’t mean tiny. It refers to the minimum physical quantity for some property. It’s usually used as a reference to the discrete steps systems operate in. Also, you’re off by a factor of about a thousand for your reference to light years.

Reply by Kevin C 4.1 mi yesterday
I believe Douglas has now answered his own question which served as the inspiration for the posting of this thread. Sometimes it just helps to talk these things out.

Reply by Douglas Iverson yesterday
Yes, you are right. I caught my error and edited it but it didn’t go through. It’s 5.8 trillion miles @ 186,200 miles per second in a vacuum. I’ll have to do research on the word quantum but in the field of astrophysics it deals with subatomic particles. At subatomic levels particles behave differently than in the realm of baryonic, every day particles. There are different, still not completely understood laws of physics at the subatomic level.

Reply by Clint H yesterday
While quantum physics does deal with physical events taking place at very smalls scales, the word “quantum” here refers to the idea that some physical quantities can only change in discrete, “quantized” amounts, as opposed to a continual increase. It derives from the Latin, word quanta, which means “amount.” Hence, “quantity.”
For instance, say you have a trivalent molecule–say, CO2–floating around an atmosphere, and energy from the sun is hitting it constantly. Now, the sun emits energy at all wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum, but it takes a very specific, discrete amount of energy to get the electrons orbiting the atoms in this molecule excited enough to jump a level. This quantized amount is found in the infrared portion of the spectrum. We tend to define energy at infrared wavelengths as “heat,” so a CO2 molecule absorbs heat. That’s why CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and why everybody on this site rides bicycles.

Reply by Duane Waller 11 hours ago
Now that we’ve discussed “Quantum Leap”, we should get back to the facts, and discuss “The Facts of Life”. Fact: Joe was a tomboy. Opinion; Joe was kinda hot. Also, fact; the show was 75% terrible.

Reply by Joe Guzzardo 4 hours ago
Global warming is an opinion held by many scientists with reams of data and analysis to back up their assertions. Now who would you rather believe, all those highly opinionated scientists who have staked their professional reputations and careers on these findings or my hero Rush Limbaugh, who only deals with unbiased facts?

Are you following any of this? I guess when you are trying to sound intelligent and witty this is how it reads. I would really hate to be at a bar with this group when they are knee deep in a few beers and someone decides to sound witty because it makes the girls in the group titter…

Reply by Joe Guzzardo 4 hours ago
Hypothetical situation:
If a man says something in the forest and there is no woman around to hear him say it, is he still wrong?

As if on cue, Joe asks the first meaningful question…

Reply by Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi 4 hours ago
Depends. Was the man *always* a man?

Yuck. I guess you would have had to be at the bar to understand all this “cleverness”. But now comes the really painful part:

Reply by Douglas Iverson 3 hours ago
The reason I started this thread is because I unintentionally upset some people. The LAST thing I would EVER want to do is to upset, insult or put down a fellow Chainlinker even if they do it to me. It started when I stated that biblical scripture is not consistant with what science has proven and this is a fact but I was told to keep my religious “opinions” to myself. There also seems to be confusion between athiest and agnostic. Agnostics aren’t sure and uncertanty is not a religion. “These people are assholes.” We can’t use foul language on this forum. Most of the scientific breakthroughs came from non christians. If a non christian discovered a cure for aids or cancer would that non christian still be an asshole? Only about 25% of the world population is christian which leaves a lot of “assholes.” Catholics claim that only catholics will go to heaven. Look at what has happened in Ireland between the catholics and prodestants in the name of peace and love. Which religion is the right one or the most accurate? Maybe none of them. What is wrong with us? What about this free will thing? Would a dog still be able to choose to wag its tail or a lion be able to choose what zebra to bring down if the universe came about without devine intervention? Of course. What happened to free thinkers? Why are most people the same faith as their parents? Is it a popularity contest? Is it to keep peace in the family?
I posted a link of pictures of me and got the following response: “You are so adorable!” I don’t know how to perceive that because I have a face that would stop a clock. Toddlers have cried and/or hid behind their mother if I happened to be heading their way. How about popular misconceptions. Nutrition information. Sodium is not salt. Sodium is a light toxic metal that doesn’t last long when exposed to air and bursts into flames when it comes in contact with water yet the oceans are not on fire. Sodium is an element and chlorine is an element and when they combine by sharing an electron it becomes a compound, a molecule of sodium chloride, salt, which can’t be seperated. Why mislead the public. The FDA won’t respond to my inquires.
Why are all bovines regardless of gender refered to as cows? Cows give birth to calves and the males are bulls. Female elephants, seals, whales, giraffes, moose, wildabeest, bovines, etc. are all cows but are always called by their specie names. Todays newspaper speaks of the meteorite that streaked accross the Russian sky. That is impossible because a meteor is not a meteorite until it strikes the ground or man made object. Notice that most 50/50 shots are almost always wrong.
Just my two cents worth and thanks for putting up with me. Happy riding.

Cyclists sometimes are like eight grade boys trying to get up the courage to ask the girl across the room for a dance. And at first all they can muster is the stuff that preceded this painful, heartfelt reply. Too bad he waited so very long to get “down to business“…

Reply by Zoetrope 3 hours ago
Happy riding to you, too.

And as always the trademark “snarkiness” is displayed…

Reply by Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi 3 hours ago
Yo DI. Go easy on yourself, bro.
There’s only three things that can start a war: Religion, love, and arguments over obscure words in Scrabble, particularly if playing them results in a triple-word score against another player who disputes their validity but doesn’t want to risk losing a turn in a challenge.
Post within shouting distance of any of the “Big 3” on any message board in the Milky Way galaxy, and you’re likely to raise some neck hairs (or scales, or spikes, depending on galactic geography). It’s all good and it’s all love. If I had a dollar for every time I posted something on an internet message board and later regretted it, I’d have three dollars.

Reply by Joe Guzzardo 2 hours ago
Hey Doug, well at least I’m not alone suffering through cabin fever season. I am very happy that Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow this year. It’s a documented fact that his predictions are always 100% accurate.
One thing, as I was riding my bike in the Saskatchewan province, I happened across a flock of geese that was flying over a herd of meese, or was it a flock of gooses and a herd of mooses? Not sure.
Btw, that last paragraph was incontrovertible, factual bs. I’ve never been to Canada, but they say it’s a nice place, eh?
Don’t have a cow, man.

Reply by Douglas Iverson 2 hours ago
If it’s geese it’s not a flock, it’s a gaggle.

Reply by Douglas Iverson 1 hour ago
Once, I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

There is probably a very good reason why lots of the folks on the ChainLink Forum are single. Their level of empathetic communication is a subtle as their reaction to “door-ing”. There is no mute switch in any of their communications. It is either bitter, snarky, or an attempt at ridicule. Touchy-feely they don’t do so well at…

Reply by Joe Guzzardo 1 hour ago
Hey Doug.
Not only were you wrong and mistaken, but your opinions bear no relationship to the facts of the matter at hand. I quote from Wikipedia, the source of all opinionated knowledge:
A gaggle is a term of venery for a flock of geese that isn’t in flight; in flight, the group can be called a skein.
In terms of geese, a gaggle is equal to at least five geese.
That flock I was referring to earlier was comprised of 4 geese and a cute little gosling, so technically there were only 4.2 geese in the air at that time. And I did mention, ahem, that they were in flight when I saw them.
I thought I might have made a mistake a few years back, but then I double checked and realized I was wrong.

Now, I hope this clears everything up? Douglas Adams said the answer is always 42. Now see there, don’t you feel smarter already?