Debunking Conspiracy Theories – Chemtrails – Pt. 2–Why do some contrails last longer?

So, to continue what I started on June 24 – (not even three full months ago ) – I now return to the Chemtrails conspiracy. Last time together we took a look what are Chemtrails really.

To summarize quickly, just in case you are not interested in visiting the part 1., aircraft do leave trails behind. But they are actually a phenomenon that occurs when the byproducts of burning the aircraft fuel mix with cool air. The process of burning aircraft fuel leaves behind carbon dioxide and water. So, there is water vapour in the engine exhaust. This means that water droplets can form. How? Well, in essence, hot and humid air exits the engine. This is kind of like when you breathe out hot air from your lungs into the cold air outside. What happens? You provide moisture to the air, so condensation happens. This is not the whole story, as the contrail freezes in the cold air. By cold air it’s usually meant below -30°C. When you have air that cold, that means that those water droplets freeze very quickly. So, you now have ice particles. This is what the contrails are made from.


It all sounds logical, doesn’t it? It should, as the basic things are not that complicated. If you try to explain it using non-fancy terms even very young people can understand it. And not only that but plenty of conspiracy theorists do agree that there is such thing as contrails. What they are arguing is that sometimes – it’s not contrails, because well, various reasons. Either contrail stays a bit longer, or they look different from what these people imagine they should look like .. or yet something else. So, let’s try to tackle these objections … some now, some in the next post.

Let’s go.


Sex, Consent, Alcohol, Driving–answering the false equivalency

You know how the argument goes:

“If you can get drunk, get into an accident and then be responsible for decision to drive, why can’t you be held responsible for agreeing to have sex while drunk? Why is it rape?”

If you are looking superficially, the argument looks pretty solid. However, it is also invalid. Let’s see how.

NOTE: I am not a legal expert or a professional philosopher, this is what I concluded through researching/thinking about it for myself. Here I wish to present the thoughts and arguments against the initial premise. There are a lot of people who would present it better, so please leave a comment with your own thoughts.

So, my initial thoughts are - I THINK it's because they committed an ACTION themselves. By driving, you are committing an action. You do not need your own consent. You do not need to consent to your own crime. You are making an action. It also wouldn't excuse you if you are drunk and try to rape somebody. You do need to consent to an action that ANOTHER PERSON takes that has the potential to harm you, otherwise a bank could get you drunk and get you to sign some rather nasty documents, for example.


But what about if a woman gets really drunk and wants to have sex/initiates it? My thoughts are that is not a moral action either as quite possibly also very much against the law – or at least it should be. Reasoning is - You can get drunk and demand that somebody cuts your ear off. That doesn't mean that they are allowed to do it. You cannot give permission (even if you demand it) to an act that might be hurtful to you in this state. You have the potential to be the injured party.

Clearly there are nuances, and you could go into minutia, but I think this is the difference. But when you get drunk and DO the action AGAINST someone personally or their property, it's not you anymore who can get hurt. It is you who are "doing the hurting" to somebody else. Like I said before - a bank could get you drunk and get you to sign whatever. The opposite also cannot be allowed - that somebody robs a bank and then later says - sorry, I was drunk.

So, this is basically the argument – being drunk is about actions and consent. You do have to give consent to an action that is being done to you. You do not have to give consent to yourself for performing an action.

We could leave it at that, because this is how it seems to me that the law is written. But it even gets stranger – because in some countries you are not even fully responsible in all circumstances for driving drunk – bars have an obligation to make sure the guests do not get too much to drink.

“In the context of alcohol sales and service, this means that both the licensee and servers have a legal obligation to protect patrons and others from harm that can result from the activity of drinking, whether that harm occurs on or off the premises.”

- Alcohol and the Law

Also, during research it, I did found a note what must be done for someone to be proven guilty:

- Alcohol prevented a person from resisting/encouraged bad decisions

- The person on trial knew/should have known this.

Rape of Intoxicated Woman or Spouse

Basically, drunk sex is between two people, where one person is taking advantage of another person’s condition. Drunk driving is a situation where one person did a guilty act themselves. By the very definition, one does not even need any determination of responsibility as in one case a VICTIM got drunk. Being raped is not an action. Raping or robbing are actions.

An action in law is treated under a “Guilty Act” doctrine. To quote Wikipedia:

The relevant circumstances might include consent in the case of rape. The act of human sexual intercourse becomes a wrongful act if it is committed in circumstances where one party does not consent and/or one or more parties concerned are below the age of consent.

I recommend that you read about the “Guilty Act” on Wikipedia.

A reminder - What this page is about

Sorry for not posting for more than 20 days, it was vacation time. Anyway, we are back now and to kick off another season, let’s say a few words about this page and it’s goals, simply to try and clear up any misunderstandings that might have happened.

Most people that like the page are probably non-religious so you might feel annoyed by some of the arguments and thoughts being published here and consider it "preaching to the choir". You do not need to be told this. You already know it.

Thank You For Being Here

Truly sorry for that, but the goal of this page is and always will be is to familiarize believers with those arguments as well. People tend to go about their lives, not thinking about things and accepting them at face value - they simply do ...not have time to read about it, to think about it because they are too busy with life. So, it might be helpful to some to have an argument or a critique randomly pop up on their FB timeline - they might just give a thought about it.

Even if they dismiss the argument or unlike the page, to have someone think about something and then dismiss it is a LOT better than not having information at all - and effectively being lied to - by omission.

So, thanks for tolerating such posts and for being here. We are just beginning. See you out there.

Science is not the only answer to everything. We need to get involved as well.

I love Science. I feel science is the greatest enterprise humanity has engaged in. I am moved to tears by reading Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking and realizing how far humans have come by using principles of science.

Scientists are human.

However, the fact that one loves something should not prevent them from thinking about possible problems with it. Like all humans there were times when scientists did not manage to have and hold the moral high ground. Experiments on animals when they were not absolutely required and purchase of scientific integrity by big oil corporations and food industry comes to mind.

None of them were evil people. They were imperfect human beings, like all of us, that is all. Because of this, when the world gets rid of religion, we simply cannot put science in charge of everything and let it run things by itself and do whatever it wants. There would never be such problems as when religions ran everything, but, still. It is our world too, and we all should be interested in it's future. Even in a world where science is much more important than superstition, our 'work' would not be done.

We have to get rid of desire to be simply led by others. We have to participate. We have to make sure that world is everything it can possibly be. We cannot simply say - there are people working on it, that does not concern me.

The future generations and the World itself are far too important.

By losing religion we lose very little, but gain very much

While it might be brave to have faith in claims of religion, the truth is this is a sacrifice of reason humans do not need to make.

When we make this sacrifice - surrender our ability to reason to somebody else, we are losing much and not gaining anything we cannot possibly experience without religion.

leap of faith

Humans can be good without religion. Without religion humans can still know truths about the Universe - as a matter of fact religion does not help there at all. Without religion humans still love each other. Without religion we can still be curious about the World. Not only that, but religion actually robs us in that regard. If we believe literally in stories from religion or use known philosophical arguments about god to “prove” to ourselves that god was necessary to create the Universe, we are far from being curious about the Real World. We then think we have all the answers – and without any evidence. The truth is – humans have better answer to those questions. Not ultimate answers, nobody has them yet, but at least without religion there’s no delusion about having them.

So, after some introspection, it should be clear that taking religious ideas literally doesn’t get us much. There are better answers out there. Plus, there’s no law requiring that we have to take everything that religion offers. We can choose not to believe religion literally, and still cherish the stories as a metaphor.

If we lose religion, we more-or-less only lose an illusion that we know everything. And we can still keep the metaphors if we like. So, let us have a different kind of courage! Let us have the courage to face reality and experience truth and beauty without being told how to do it. We can do this!

Search Engines are not foolproof

They give you one box, you type in your question or query and press Enter. You might think that there is absolutely no way to use that incorrectly, or that something bad might happen as a result of that search. Yet, you would be wrong.

The thing about search engines is that they use algorithms that were designed to try and find results that are most relevant to your query. Algorithm has a number of factors it considers when deciding how relevant something is. That all sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, for starters, those factors are not whether something was proven true or is something based on evidence, but they are things that search engine manufacturers have decided that are likely to produce quality results. Of course, theoretically those things can lineup, so that search engine really presents you with credible information, but that is not guaranteed in any way.

Search Illustration

To put it simply, google doesn’t care what’s true. It cannot possibly care about what’s true.

Yes, you might say – of course, google doesn’t have all the facts of the world programmed into it, so it cannot answer those types of questions by itself. Google doesn’t want to answer those questions themselves, they want to point you in a right direction. That is all fine – but what this post will try to argue is that search engines are not equipped to correct any initial bias in your query – if you start from a premise you want to prove correct – google will only basically support what you already think you know. Take a look at the following example, where the only difference is singular or plural.

Different results for - Drink and Drinks

Of course, using such terms which are more or less close to each other, you won't get a huge discrepancy. Still, using singular or plural search terms can cause google to not show you the answer snippet from Harvard, but from a fitness magazine. This is not to say fitness magazine doesn’t know what they are talking about, but to show how tiny, miniscule changes in your query can result in differences.

This is what can happen even if you start honestly.

Now, to show a more sinister example:

When I googled it today, the term was on second place:

Bible sources for Scientific Questions

Clearly, this is more or less a case of gaming the system. Two religious arguments on what is clearly a scientific query. So, clearly it is possible to game the system. Either that, or the system is not perfect in the first place. Take your pick. The most likely truth is that it’s actually both. Search engines have not yet attained even the ability to consistently show more or less same results if you change singular to plural. The point is, you simply cannot trust it to reach the conclusion for you. You can use google to find more information, but it is not a fact machine. So, even if you start with NO BIAS whatsoever and ask a honest question, you are still likely to be served with nonsense.


The World Is Getting Better–Part 1–Extreme Poverty

There are days when we all feel that the World is a pretty bad place, that nobody cares about other people and that it's only getting worse. Some people might have extreme-left or extreme-right tendencies and when days like these strike them, they are willing to blame "globalization", or immigrants which in turn does make the world a worse place. So, it is basically a paradox > thinking the world is bad can lead to making the world bad.


But is the World really, objectively bad? Is it possible that the World is objectively getting better, only people are getting more sensitive to the problems that might bother them, so thanks to the Internet which enables communication to others like themselves, they project their imaginary problems on the entire World? Of course, much more must be done, but in this post, I want to argue that compared to the past, we actually live in better times, but are somehow unaware of it.

As there are many factors which can influence view of the World – we’ll split this theme in a number of posts.

First: a DISCLAIMER: this post series will in absolutely NO WAY argue that since things are getting better, we should stop helping the poor, or curing diseases or giving animals more rights or being even more intolerant of rapists. Just because things are getting better, this does not mean that the work is done. Far from it. Actually, the only point this series tries to say is that things are indeed moving in the right direction and that forces behind these changes ("globalization", democracy, science, vaccines) are in fact improving the world and not hurting it.

So, let's begin. In this first post, let's try and tackle the biggest argument about the World being bad. This argument you can hear almost every day, probably even from your friends – people are dying of hunger and malnutrition, people are living in extreme poverty.

Apple is healing

Image: ulleo/Pixabay

Yes, people are living in extreme poverty. It is not eliminated. Yet. But the World is getting there. Seriously.