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What culture is

I’m sure everyone has heard of “culture” but the American educational system never really gave me a good idea of what “culture” is. So let me try to explain it.

I currently live in Missouri; however I moved here from Ohio.
When I first moved here I noticed that everyone referred to Carbonated beverages
as “soda”. I however had always referred to it as “pop” as did all of my
friend in Ohio.

I had also noticed many other differences in the way
people acted here. There were many little details that were different.
They drove in a way that was far less safe. They had read different children’s books as kids, they had an obsession with hot sauce, etc.

I later found out that all these little differences are
differences in “culture”. People from one isolated region in the world
act very differently from people in another isolated region.

I can not tell you how many arguments I had
gotten into with people about the proper name for these carbonated drinks.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that this is why humanity is on a
path to destruction. Not because we call carbonated drinks by the wrong name, but
because of how we treat people of different cultures.

There is something deep within the human mind that causes us
to become angry with people who are too different from us. When I
came to Missouri people were angry enough to get into arguments with me
over the proper name for fizzy drinks. These arguments I had gotten into are
perhaps some of the stupidest ones I’ve ever had because they are arguments
about the least important details in the world.

Now think about this on a global scale. Cultures can have much bigger
differences between them. Some cultures can be so different that someone
from one culture literally can’t communicate with someone from another culture
because they speak two different languages (and yes language is in fact a part
of culture).

Some of these differences can lead to wars between different countries.
We often can get so angry at someone for being different that we can
feel the need to kill them.

Do not worry though; for I, like a good con artist salesman, have a solution for the problem (or at least part of one), and that
solution is understanding.
To anyone considering becoming a soldier so as to bring world peace, please don’t. War can not bring peace. As JF Sargent from Cracked.com said

“If you’re trying to violence somebody into being peaceful then you don’t understand violence, peace, or words in general.” -JF Sargent

What we need is not war. What we need is understanding.

Understanding is what has led us to countless amazing accomplishments.
We have created thinking machines (aka “computers”) and have sent them across the infinite void of nothingness to other worlds altogether
so that they could allow us to see what they have seen by using invisible beams of light. We have built a vast network of these thinking
machines so that we can instantly share our thoughts, ideas, stories, knowledge, and wisdom with people around the world. We have
taken to the skies using machines that we built using our understanding of the world. We have reached out across the infinite void and touched our
own moon. We have created shelters for ourselves that can protect us from dangerous elements.

We have done all these great things and countless others because we gained an understanding. For those things we used SCIENCE which
is a process we can use to gain understanding.

“Science is the best tool ever devised for understanding how the world works.” (Michael Shermer).

With science we have understood how nature works by simply following the process. We came up with psychology, and neurology to understand our own minds,
mathematics to master the art of logic, chemistry to understand the materials around us, biology to understand our own bodies and the bodies of all other
living things, and physics to understand the physical world (as you can tell by the name, physics is the most all-encompassing science because it
is the original science and the most sciencey science).

World peace will be all too easy to accomplish once we have an understanding of different cultures.
Misunderstandings have led to many great wars, but a bit of curiosity from everyone, and some healthy skepticism can do wonders to fix that.

Prolog tutorial

I’ve recently found an interesting programming language called “prolog” (short for programming with logic”). It’s a language that can logically deduct things given some information. here is a tutorial for the language.

Also it’s important to note: the first few pages of this tutorial are assuming that you aren’t actually running their examples until later on. For those who (like me) want to run them: you should take the examples, put them into a file, and in the same directory as the file run
prolog [name of file]
Where “[name of file]” is the name of the file you saved the example in.

My proof that the Earth is at roughly the center of the known universe.

There seems to be some confusion about where the sun and Earth are located in the universe. I am going to attempt to clear up some confusion here by proving something mind blowing.

I realize of course many people are going to navigate away from this page when they see the title (and I can’t blame them) but if you’re willing to spend some time reading this I think you’ll agree with me at the end.

Before I show my proof, let’s talk about the history of our understanding of the universe. Those of you who have lived in cities your entire life might be surprised to learn that once (before bright city lights existed) the sky looked like this:

What you’re seeing in this video is a sped of recording of the night sky which was most likely recorded some place very far away from cities and artificial lights.

Once upon a time the night sky looked like this for everyone all the time. So hopefully it’s easy to understand why some people would be so fascinated by the night sky. Many people tried to keep careful track of the strange lights and objects in the sky.

Around the 16th century the church tried to convince everyone that the Earth was the center of the universe and that all these things that would move through the sky throughout the day and night were actually moving in giant circles around the Earth.

Their reasoning was that God created the entire universe just for mankind, and that therefore mankind was the most important thing in the universe. They thought that since we live on the Earth, and that one of the most interesting parts of the universe is its center, that this therefore meant that the Earth was the center of the universe.

However it was around this time that Galileo Galilei suggested that the sun was the center of the universe and that the Earth orbited the sun. This was his attempt to explain the strange movement of things in the sky that he had noticed.

It’s important to notice the wording here though “the sun is the center of the universe” This was proposed long before anyone fully grasped just how vast the universe truly is. This has confused a lot of people because the sun probably isn’t the center of the entire universe. For one thing it is in orbit around the galaxy and therefore is constantly moving.

Today we realize that the sun is the center of the solar system, and that (of course) the Earth orbits the sun in the solar system.

However consider this for a moment: the Earth is roughly 8 light minutes away from the sun. This is a very small distance in comparison to the vast distances of the entire known universe, so for the moment let’s pretend that the Earth was the center of the solar system (yes I realize this is scientific heresy, but it simplifies the math here).

The “known universe” is defined to be all of the universe that we can see from here on Earth. We can only see a certain distance into space because light from beyond the KNOWN universe has yet to reach us. Interestingly, regardless of which direction we look in the night sky, we will only be able to see the same distance outwards.

So imagine for a second that we started point our telescope in as many different directions as possible and were to somehow mark all of the points that we have seen through these telescopes. If we were to do this then each of those makers would be the same distance from the Earth. These markers would form some kind of shape, where the markers could only be placed on the surface of this shape.

It’s important to know that all points on the surface of a sphere are equally distant to the center of the sphere, and that a sphere is the only 3 dimensional shape that this is true for. Also the center of the sphere is the only point in it that is equally distant to all points on the spheres surface.

Since all of these markers are equally distant to the Earth, and are at the boundary of the KNOWN universe, this must mean that the known universe is a sphere and that the Earth is roughly at the center of it (“roughly” because the Earth isn’t actually at the center of the solar system).

Of course we are probably not the center of the actual universe; however we are at the center of the parts of the universe that we can actually see.

Google cardboard

A few days ago I was able to create my own Google cardboard which is a virtual reality headset made out of cardboard, a smart phone and various other things. So far I’ve managed to improve upon its design by stapling rubber bands on to the side. Like such:

staple

You can also combine rubber bands without having to break them using the following method:

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to turn around in the VR. It seems that most Android phones lack a part called a “gyroscope” that would allow it to better detect where I’m looking.