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About Ferb

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  1. KhanAcademy is quite a good site, particularly for maths. It doesn't cover all subjects equally, so you can't get by with just that alone. For things like science, I'd say it probably covers some of the later grades and assumes you already have some of the earlier knowledge, and subjects like language aren't covered at all. But for maths, it covers everything from early stuff like addition right up to some university-level stuff (e.g. I was learning about Fourier Analysis on there the other week), and everything through high-school level includes exercises to test yourself on, and it's all free. And the videos are usually about ten minutes long, so should be within your daughter's attention span. (The only thing to watch out for is a chunk of the biology section teaching evolution, but I think you find that in any curriculum.)
  2. I think there are a lot of people who are seen as great scientists, who are actually just people who weren't very good at science and so turned to television as their career path instead, and that's basically what Neil DeGrasse Tyson is. The man repeatedly seems like a complete idiot, and yet is constantly on TV. I've seen him give a lecture about how badly designed he thinks the universe is so there can't be a God, but simultaneously he thinks it's so well designed it must be a computer simulation? What kind of scientist is so stupid they can't see the contradiction between those two arguments? (Except, I guess, someone who knows the scientific facts point to a designer, but is emotionally biased towards refusing to accept there's a God.) It reminds me of the scripture at Psalms 10:4, "In his haughtiness, the wicked man makes no investigation; All his thoughts are: There is no God." Examples like this show that the real spirit behind the promotion of atheism today has nothing to do with scientific evidence, because even atheists are perfectly capable of recognizing how the evidence points to a creator - just so long as you change the language of the debate to avoid the creator being referred to as God, because in their haughtiness they refuse to acknowledge the moral authority of God, even while they themselves are actually pointing out the evidence for him! Firstly, you've made the same mistake there that I always do when I try to say his name - it's Hawking, not Hawkins. I'm never sure why I always do that - I think it's because I'm confusing his name with that of Richard Dawkins who also makes fantastic claims about things he has no understanding of - but it's good to know someone else does it! Secondly, the difference between real intelligence and a very complicated algorithm hasn't stopped computers from beating world champions at Go, learning to visually recognise objects, or being able to answer general questions well enough to win at Jeopardy, all of which would have been considered impossible for a computer ten years ago, so I wouldn't be dogmatic about them learning to simulate human intelligence in other ways. They would, however, have to be extremely stupidly programmed in order to consider destroying mankind. The computer that won at Go, while making moves that were never predicted, was essentially programmed to play Go. The computer that beat humans at Jeopardy was programmed to answer questions in that format. It's hard to see a computer, no matter how intelligent, destroying mankind unless somebody programmed it to pursue the most effective ways it can find of destroying all humans. This is widely recognized as a bad plan. What's more, if a computer did want to do this, it would have to be quick about it, given that pretty much every computer depends on humans for it's continued operation - even if it doesn't require any parts replacing for a few years, it probably needs the power grid to remain operational, and it wouldn't be able to keep up a worldwide attack if the internet went down - all these things are maintained by humans, so its attack would be suicidal, as well as being ineffective if it didn't have a worldwide effect instantaneously, which is why if some computer did want to attack us, it would surely do so with some sort of biological weapon or something. Killer robots would be the worst possible choice of weapon for an AI since they use so much energy - our energy-efficiency would be the one advantage we would still have if there were computers as clever as we were! Asimo has to charge for ages to walk up some stairs and needs a massive battery on it's back, we recharge for another hour's activity by eating a biscuit! (Which is one possible answer to the question 'Why did Jehovah make us get injured so easily?' - stuff made out of denser material takes much more energy to sustain.) Also of course, there aren't very many killer robots, because most people recognize that, as noted earlier, mass-manufacture of killer robots is a bad idea. https://what-if.xkcd.com/5/ But there is one last note. Even if no machines turn against humans in the natural course of events, there are various instances in the Bible of Jehovah affecting situations so that people's chariots, the modern weapons of war in that time, were useless. At Armageddon, what will happen to any modern weapons of war? Will they turn against their operators? Or just be made useless? "Computerized drones, fight back against the angelic army!" "I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that."
  3. Equally surprisingly, another day has passed and I haven't used car driving skills once. Perhaps that shows how useless the ability to drive a car is. Or alternatively, perhaps it shows that I never learned to drive. You never use any skill that you never become competent in - how could it be otherwise? As an example of using algebra, I did a job for £80 and the client wanted to pay me on PayPal. PayPal charges a transaction fee of 3.4% + 20p. So how much did I have to charge? (PayPal doesn't offer to do this calculation for you, by the way, even though you might expect it to - you either work it out yourself, or just realize after you've charged your client that you've ended up with less than expected.) A naive answer would be to add on 3.4% + 20p, arriving at £82.92 - but then 3.4% of 82.92 will be subtracted, which is more than 3.4% of £80, leaving you with only £79.90 - and if that kind of difference happens regularly and with larger amounts, it will lead to some messy accounts. Some clients, aware of this problem but not knowing how to solve it exactly, just offered to make it about 83.50, a round number which they know is enough to cover it - they will be like the girl in the picture, carrying on their lives saying "I've never needed algebra after school!" when really they have needed it - they just weren't skilled enough at it to know that they needed to use it in this situation. If you don't understand how it can help you in a certain situation, you can go through lots of situations where it would really be helpful and yet carry on thinking that you've never needed it and never will. Like people who don't know the truth. The solution, by the way, is that the price to charge, x, is given by: x*(1-0.034) - 0.20 = 80 x*0.966 = 80.20 x = 80.20 / 0.966 x = 83.02
  4. DNA could certainly be tested in plenty of other ways, and I think a cheek swab is more common. I can't really think what use a blood test would be in this instance, except perhaps to check for hormones, but I'm not sure how much hormonal difference is expected between babies anyway. Like almost everything in psychology, it's partly both, but mostly the latter. Like language - it's partly inherent, in that we humans have an innate ability for it, but obviously largely comes from hearing others around us speak the language. Or spirituality - partly inherent, we all have a natural spiritual need, but if we are not taught about Jehovah, we end up not having an accurate knowledge. Yes, there are probably some inherent mental differences between genders - but they are probably mostly caused by outside sources, and just as with the language and spirituality, this is a good thing, all part of Jehovah's plan for what we are supposed to learn, and which it would be negligent to deprive a child of. I don't think it does 'lead to' any suicides, I think the suicides are the result of whatever mental problems cause a person to be so detached from reality that they deny who they are. What's unfortunate is that those problems go untreated for fear of being politcally incorrect.
  5. I'm not watching it anymore, since the current companion was announced to be gay. They'd promoted it way too much already, but now it was just getting silly. I'd say for anything during Matt Smith's time, the amount of immorality propaganda gradually started to outweigh the amount of script quality! Regarding the original question though, I think the David Tennant episodes were the best, then the Tom Baker ones. Before Tom Baker, the episodes were very slow paced, although Jon Pertwee's series with The Master (starting with Terror of the Autons) was good. I particularly like Tom Baker's series 'The Key to Time', especially, 'The Pirate Planet', in which he several times distracts a guard by throwing a bag of jelly babies past him and then takes his flying car, the second time saying to his friend, "I must stop doing this, it's like shooting fish in a barrel!" If you like Doctor Who, you may like to read, "The Feeling's Unmutual" by Will Hadcroft, an autobiography by a witness who also talks a lot about liking Doctor Who as a child. I found it quite relatable to read paragraphs that mentioned excitement over that year's district convention and the year's series of Doctor Who in successive sentences.
  6. A long time ago I had a bit of a manual job and my back would be sore as I was waiting for the bus to go home, but the bus stop was next to a big hedge. At first I assumed my weight would be damaging to the hedge, but one day I was so tired I overbalanced and fell against it while waiting, and I found it took my full weight easily. From then on I tended to lean gently against it, and found that it was the most comfortable thing to lean back against that I've ever found - far more comfortable than leaning back on a chair or a bed, it always seemed to instantly make my back feel much better. Since then I've often thought about the possibility of applying the methods of topiary to make a chair out of a bush, since it would apparently be the most comfortable chair ever. But when thinking about the new system, I've thought further and wondered about the possibility of growing a house rather than building one. I'm no gardener, so I don't really know what are the constraints as regards growing trees or bushes into different shapes. Naturally I'd intend for it only to be a single floor, and not be surprised if it let in some rain during a downpour, so I'm thinking on the basis that the climate wouldn't be too severe as for that to happen too often, and that there wouldn't be any electrical appliances then. But on the plus-side, any cracks that appeared in the wall etc. could be expected to just heal. Of course, you'd have a whole new sort of maintenance trouble to deal with, having to trim it all the time, but at that wouldn't use any hard-to-come-by materials. And the other question I've often wondered about the houses in the new system - will they have toilets, and if so who will have the 'privilege' of maintaining the sewer system - is in this case easily solved: just find some roots and fertilize your house.
  7. It makes me wonder how things will go on if the system continues. A man who believed he was a giraffe, or believed he was Napoleon, would quite rightly be treated for his mental disorder. But a man who believes he is a woman is given the right to be viewed as such and to sue anyone who points out to him that he is demonstrably factually wrong. The lunatics are not only running the asylum - they have ventured outside the asylum and begun legally enforcing their views upon the sane. The question now is, in how many other respects will this happen before the end comes? It's hard to predict what will happen next though - every time brothers and sisters have said the end must be close because things can't get much worse, I've always said, "Oh, it can get worse," but I'd never have expected this 10 years ago. I knew the world would get more bad, but I didn't think it would get so crazy. There's a difference between immorality and insanity, and this is definitely the second one. I think what it shows is that Satan is really behind the changes in society, trying to move people away from God's views. I guess I didn't predict this change because I thought of the change in society, much like worldly people do, as simply a result of the increase of secularism and atheism, people only being willing to accept things if they can see scientific evidence for it - homosexuality for instance had become accepted because people didn't know of a scientific argument against it. But that view would predict that this kind of thing, i.e. claiming that a baby isn't of either sex, would get shot down immediately, because the scientific view is that it obviously does have a gender. So it shows that the path society is taking isn't based particularly on science or secular evidence, but just on however far Satan can get people to go contrary to God's will.