The Thought Refuse

A Virtual Repository for the Mind

Living In A Non-Judgemental Universe

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Recently, I was engaged in a conversation with a 50 year old housewife when she uttered a phrase I have heard countless times before – “I try not to be judgemental.”  I have always had difficulty accepting this as remotely true for anyone, and it has struck me as a near impossible premise from the first time I heard it said.  For some reason, this time around, it came across as patently absurd.

Let us imagine the daily life of an individual who does not judge.  Lying in bed fast asleep, the alarm buzzes with it’s typically annoying piercing beeps.  Our subject turns over in bed with eyes groggily opening.  He looks at the time, 6:30 AM, and can’t decide if he should tumble out of his bed to get to work.  He’s not sure if earning that paycheck is really worth all the trouble.  Here, our non-judgemental hero would be stopped dead in his tracks.

We all, whether by sociatel pressure or not, make a value judgement as to the total benefit of employment against the effort required to earn a paycheck.  For most, we decide that having a roof over our head, driving a nice car, and being able to purchase those expensive French pasteries we so enjoy are worth the time and energy we put into our jobs.  We judge that money is well worth the time and energy required to earn it.

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Written by huxbux

January 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Logic, Philosophy

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Why Your Blog Hits Aren’t Really Yours

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With the explosion in the number of blogs littering the internet, every blogger takes extraneous efforts to increase their visitor count.  The all important hit count is the singular indicator whether your blog is popular or not.

There are blogs dedicated soley to advising bloggers on who to get their blogs noticed, and attract a larger share of readership.  Focusing on key words, interlinking blogrolls, content distribution, and comment links in other blogs are all part of the “how to get your blog hits” mantra.

You’ve followed all the steps to get you blog hits – selected a topic to focus on, included important key words in your tags and post titles, built a nice shared blogroll with other blogs, and politely commented on other blogs to get the word out about your blog.  After all these steps your blog is averaging a couple hundred hit per day.  All things considered, you’ve done fairly well for yourself.  But your blog is middle-brow.  One of among tens of thousands of other blogs that suffer from medicrioty in terms of hits.

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Written by huxbux

January 12, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Business, Logic, Philosophy

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Cantor Fitzgerald Moving HSX Into The Real World

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The trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald will be starting a real world version of the Hollywood Stock Exchange – an online virtual trading world where players buy and sell movie and celebrity stocks.  Cantor will now offer movie studios to purchase bonds relative to a movie’s financial performance.

Cantor is actively recruiting veteran HSX traders to participate in advertising and selling these bonds to movie studios.  Cantor Fitzgerald needs “experts” to sell their product.  While there are undoubtedly individuals who have fared appreciably more successful then other traders on HSX, I’m hard pressed to say there are any “experts” in the fantasy trading game.

Let us assume the Cantor incarnation will operate similar to HSX.  A movie stocks price is based on it’s expected total gross(for wide releases four weeks, twelve weeks for limited release).  On it’s opening weekend, a movie will adjust according to it’s weekend gross along with an internal multiplier(typically 2.8).

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Written by huxbux

January 7, 2009 at 7:08 pm

The Unpredictability of Sports

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As with all systems that aren’t manufactured, for instance casinos, sports is a highly unpredictable arena.  But littered with experts from former players to journalists eager to give you their arrogant self-predictions for future seasons.

Every season for every sport, these experts publish their predictions in newspapers, magazines, and television shows(the latter particularly prone to bombastic proclamations of arrogance).  The experts put on record every year(and every week) their elevated knowledge in the sports domain.  Take a quick look at just how much these so-called professionals really know, and you’ll find that sports is as unpredictable as most everything in life.  That guy on ESPN whose studied football for twenty years is probably no better at predicting the final NFL standings then you or me.

Take a look at ESPN’s preseason power ranking for the NFL.  The error rate is astounding.  Of the 16 bottom ranked teams, 5 of them made the playoffs this season.  Two of the supposed three worst teams ended up with records 11-5 records(Atlanta and Miami).  The Titans were ranked 16th and ended up with the best record in the league.  The Jaguars, Saints, and Seahawks were all ranked in the top ten, but not one ended with a winning record.

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Written by huxbux

January 5, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Posted in History, Philosophy, Sports

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Contrasting Yahoo And Google Search Terms

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Yahoo.com released it’s top search queries for the year 2008 on Monday.  The results are depressingly typical.  Britney Spears sits in the #1 slot with WWE at #2.  The rest of the list was populated entirely with pop culture items, the exception being Barack Obama coming in at #3.

On the surface, it’s not particularly surprising that celebrity/pop culture references would dominate search terms.  Given how rife our culture is with celebrity news shows and magazines, it’s indicative of our widespread obsession with anything that has to do with our “stars”.  That is until you examine Google’s 2007 Zeitgeist top search terms.

A quick glance through Google’s top search terms reveals a stark contrast between the two search engines.  The Google user base is far more “tech” savy then Yahoo’s user base.  Top Google search terms include iphone, facebook, and daily motion.  Google users are clearly interested in gadgets and social networking, where as Yahoo users display an almost rejection of tech interest.

There is certainly a corollary within this stark contrast, as it relates to the symmetrical rise of Google and Yahoo’s fall.  The success of any internet entity must be founded upon a customer base that knows how to utilize the web as something more then a digital celebrity magazine.

Written by huxbux

December 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Technology

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Conspiracy Theories: Insulating Yourself From Attack

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How does one ensure that, regardless of outcome, your viewpoint remains “right”?  You make the proclaimation that the possibility of an opposing outcome would presuppose a “fix”.  This is standard practice for individuals whose righteous ends trump the actual search for truth.

I bring this topic up because the Supreme Court is preparing to have the final say in the Obama POTUS eligibilty issue.  The Court is set to hold a conference on the Donofrio case to determine whether or not is should be argued before the Court.

One of the leading proponents rallying in support of the Donofrio case has been the td blog, where the issue of dual citizenship violating the “natural born citizen” clause in Article II of the US Constitution originated.  The Supreme Court conference is the culmination of everything the td blog and similar anti-Obama opponents have been pushing for, in some form or another, for the past four months.

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Written by huxbux

November 25, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Why The Obama POTUS Question Has Not Gained Traction In The Media

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A comment under my post PUMA Radio Program On KPFT Goes Awry link the blogcast radio show Political Pistachio in which the dominating topic was the Obama POTUS issue.  The radio show covered numerous topics that have become mainstream among particular blogs, and repeatedly posed the question – why is the media not reporting this?

The radio host and guests postulate that the primary reason is because it’s far too incineary a subject to present to the masses, creating a violent storm of protest among Obama supporters.  The more probable answer, however, they miss entirely, but that is not uncommon when you hold a radio show that involves people who exist within a closed circle of partisanship(and where the host calls the opposition “silly”).

Everyone will recall the controversy during the 2004 election affectionately called Rathergate, in which CBS anchor Dan Rather reported on 60 Minutes questioning President Bush’s military service and purported to have four authentic documents.  The documents were later proofen to be forgeries when examined by forensic experts.  Several top CBS news executives were forced to resign in the wake of the aftermath, and Dan Rather stepped down six months later, moving up his planned leave from CBS by a year.

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Written by huxbux

November 21, 2008 at 11:00 pm

PUMA Radio Program On KPFT Goes Awry

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KPFT in Houston recently broadcast a one hour radio program hosted by “Jennifer”, a self proclaimed PUMA.  “Jennifer’s” special guest was none other then PUMA founder Darragh Murphy.  Ironically, the bulk of the show’s callers where not PUMA supporters, but rather callers who disagreed with “Jennifer” and Murphy.  And time after time, every caller who aired any disagreement were summarily dismissed or, worse, quickly interrupted.

It wasn’t a radio program in any respect.  Rather, it was a propoganda exercise on the part of PUMA and a poorly handled one.  “Jennifer” conducted a yelling match that just happened to be recorded.  PUMA’s and their ilk are quite adept at controlling one-sided “us-them” screaming matches.  Their only mistake was that, on this occassion, they choose to stage one in a radio studio.  Big mistake.

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Written by huxbux

November 19, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Defining The Election of President-Elect Barack Obama

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In no small terms, the election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States is indeed a historic moment in the history of the United States, in terms of our nation, after electing a Caucasian male to the office of President, ushering in an African-American into the highest office.  Numerous voters and pundits have painted the 2008 Presidential election to be unique in to such elections as Ronald Reagan in 1980 and John F. Kennedy in 1960, in so much as the election cycle was infused with a transcendental candidate.

I would argue that, while the 2008 election possessed uncommon qualities not typical of most Presidential elections, it was not the candidates themselves that created the interest in the 2008 election, but the national conditions that transformed this election into one perceived as important.

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Written by huxbux

November 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Atlas Shrugs Keeps On Truckin’

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I have to credit Atlas Shrugs for their effort.  Their hate and scorn are unimaginably infinite, and they are endlessly determined to destroy that which they do not like.  There is no boundry they will not cross to achieve their goal whether it be ignorance, racism, or lies.  It’s the kind of hate that animosity that tears down all sense of ethical or moral behavoir.  One goal is to be achieved, and no cost is high enough for them to stop in their quest to destroy Barack Obama.

In their first post following the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, they attack the US Muslim group CAIR for congratulating Obama on his victory.  It all presumes that all Muslims are evil people who are not entitled to the same voice and rights in this country as other people.  Atlas Shrugs and it’s readers want to marginalize and, ultimately, reduce all Muslims in this country into powerless peasants.  It’s been evident for some time and this only reminds us that to Atlas Shrugs and it’s readers, “All Muslims are terrorists.”  They would have been better suited to have lived in the 11th century, so they could partake in the Crusades.

Read the comments section.  You’ll be truly disgusted.  I know I was.  There is nothing that Obama can ever do to quench the heinous spite they have for those living in and supporting their own country.  It was not with such appalling abhorrence that I wanted to make the first post on my blog concerning Obama’s victory.  This is just confirmation that the right wing nuts and PUMAS are going to continue their self-righteous war against Obama.  Expect to see flimsy court cases springing from claims of massive voter fraud and the conspiracy theory that Obama is not POTUS eligible.

Congratulations Barack Obama on your historic victory.  May I give you a proper hand shake tomorrow with a more uplifting post.

Written by huxbux

November 5, 2008 at 3:17 am