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Hidden Forces of Flow
  posted by Ren, 6/2/2011
Water always flows to the path of least resistance. Either in that form or something similar, it's a saying that most people have heard at some point in their lives. Watch a river or stream or even just a little drop of water as it moves along some path and you'll see it in action. Block one path and the water will flow through an easier path. From a casual observation, it makes plenty of sense. However, when people use the phrase, they are typically metaphorically referring to other people. Are people really like water? Perhaps we should start out with an even stranger question, is water really like water?
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Strange, I'm Still Here
  posted by Ren, 5/24/2011
Unless you've been disconnected from the TV and the internet for the past couple weeks, I'm sure you've heard about the end of the world. You know, the one that was supposed to happen May 21st. Some kooky old man out in California has been declaring it for awhile now and he happens to be a very big person at some radio station. So the station put up all sorts of billboards and other advertisements for the end of the world because this old guy somehow interpreted the Bible to give an exact date of the Apocalypse. If you're like any sane person, you didn't believe this nut for a second, so who cares, right? Well, you should.
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The Burden of Proof
  posted by Ren, 12/10/2010
Prove it! It's a common phrase and for good reason. We expect people to be able to provide proof for their claims because we assume that people are rational. We assume that rationality forces people to have actual evidence for what they believe in and if they don't have it, we are not convinced by what they say. Yet, sometimes we make a logical mistake. We try to flip the scenario around and throw the burden of proof on the wrong person. Rather than forcing someone to prove something exists, we try to force people to prove that it doesn't exist. It's a problem which destroys many philosophical debates.
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Reframing Pascal's Wager
  posted by Ren, 11/13/2010
In philosophical circles, Pascal's Wager is one of those classic arguments in a debate. Every new philosopher will be exposed to this concept at some point in their studies. These days, there are many counter-points to it, but at the time of its inception by Blaise Pascal, it was quite groundbreaking. Part of what makes it so interesting is that it comes from an accomplished person in subjects other than just philosophy. As you might remember from math class (Pascal's triangle and probabilities), Pascal was a mathematician. In Pascal's Wager, he took his knowledge of math and used it in an argument to convince people that religion is the best path to take in life. So what is Pascal's Wager and how can I argue against it?
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