Sunday, June 22, 2014

School's Out FOREVER

School is a waste of time.
Oops. Let me rephrase that.
School is a COMPLETE waste of time.
There, that's better.
I don't mean just "primary" schools and "secondary" schools. I mean ALL schools, including colleges.
Rhetorical-question alert!
Does it REALLY take 12 years for kids to learn the basics of life: math, reading, writing?
Does it really take four or six or eight years to learn to be a surgeon or lawyer or architect or engineer or programmer or astronomer or chemist or fashion designer or journalist or WHATEVER?
Kids learn to read and write and do math in less than a year. I've seen it happen with my own child and dozens of other "homeschooled" children.
The rest of the crap they teach in school is just, well, CRAP.
Sociology? Really? Crap.
Social science? Really? Crap.
History? Snooze. Really? Crap (to most all kids).
Science? Really? Not necessary for those NOT going into science and a waste of time for those who can consume ten times the needed information at home in their own pink lounge chair.
"High" math? Really? Please read answer immediately above.
Literature? Really? A complete bore to virtually all kids for several reasons. They simply aren't interested. Or they haven't lived enough life yet to understand Shakespeare or Austin or Dumas or L.M. Montgomery or whomever -- AND they can read on their own time whatever they might want in the, yep you guessed it, the pink lounge chair.
And college? Don't get me going on that! OK, I'm already going, yes, I admit it.
WASTE WASTE WASTE WASTE WASTE!!!!!
Most of what you learn in college is not even CONNECTED to your primary career path. (well-known fact, of course). Waste!
And the stuff that IS connected you could easily learn much quicker and better in an apprenticeship -- which brings me to where we SHOULD be in this world, concerning learning.
Apprenticing.
All careers are essentially trades -- or "crafts," however you want to say it. All work is crafting. All work, outside of maybe a few intellectual jobs like psychologist and a few other "mental" careers, is hands-on. And the best way to learn is with your hands and your eyes and other senses.
The information you need outside of this hands-on learning is so little, you can learn it at night in your free time in, you guessed it again, your pink lounge chair -- even psychology (watching tapes, studying cognitive analysis, etc.)
At this point, many of you have just two words for me. ... No, not THOSE two words. These two words: Prove it!
OK, here goes.
Journalist: I got a college degree in mass communication (I know, I know, I'm embarrassed, too), with a specialty in journalism. I learned EVERYTHING I need to know about journalism by working at the college newspaper -- everything except some simple libel information, which basically boiled down to the following: you can't slander a politician because they put themselves in official "public" roles, but you better not say false things about private people or your ass is in trouble.
Programmer: all information used to be in books and is now on the Internet (let's call this the Internet Rule). There are some 12-year-olds making millions of dollars right now after teaching THEMSELVES programming and creating programs worth, yeah, millions.
(Let me stop here for a moment to say that careers could easily start at 13 or 14 years of age in a free society, unencumbered by "schooling." Kids who are homeschooled or unschooled usually learn quickly what they like to do, since they are not in a "school" wasting their time and trying to be obedient to the common core dictators.)
Chemistry: all substances, formulas and theories. Easily understood via Internet Rule.
Literature: all books and analyses. Easily accessible via Internet Rule.
History: all books and analyses and opposing opinions. Easily accessible via Internet Rule (By the way, it is hogwash to say that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana, who penned that ridiculous phrase, didn't understand that one need only know the proper role of government -- to prevent and prosecute the initiation of force against another human -- to not "repeat" history.)
Architect: books, pictures, design, math, theories, calculus. See Internet Rule. (Google has a free starter architect computer program for beginners and intermediates that is KILLER!)
Surgeon: information on the body and medicines, watching it done, practicing under supervision, etc.  Doogie should NOT be just fiction!
Pilot: information on air dynamics, plane makeup, watching professional in person, practicing in front of professional until proficient.
Need I go on? Please say NO!
The only science, the only INFORMATION, that absolutely everyone needs to be happy and have a happy and productive career can also be done in private: objective philosophy.
Rational (fact-based) philosophy guides everything we do because it is the broadest science and encapsulates every thought and action and emotion we have, since it has to do with the fundamentals of life: metaphysics (nature of universe), nature of humans (rational), epistemology (how rationality works), morality (virtues necessary for achieving things on way to happiness), and politics (proper role of government in a setting where two or more people are present).
My daughter is learning objective philosophy the way she taught herself to read and write and do math: by watching, listening, doing, judging, asking questions, evaluating (all outside of a "class"). She's beginning to consciously place the principals she's learned in the front of her mind, organizing thoughts and action from once-scattered ideas. That's the way it's done OUTSIDE OF CLASSES.
If you learned anything from this post, you did it OUTSIDE of a classroom -- and maybe in a pink lounge chair.
School's out!
FOREVER!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Sound and Fury of Human Shadows

Sometimes I have a month of work and personal interaction with people whom only Shakespeare can sum up:
For these people, "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Ah yes, so Shakespeare had idiots! "Sound and fury, signifying nothing." Yummy.
Three weeks ago I had to fire a relative who lied to our customers and didn't do his job -- and then he yelled at ME! HE was upset! Why? Who the fuck knows. He was innocent, by damn. He went into a litany of furious charges against me (none true) in which he simply transformed reality to his own liking -- and then he BELIEVED the new reality he'd just created.
It was almost like a thief, caught red-handed, saying: "Hey, dude, why are you looking at me like that. I just put my hand in your back pocket, but I didn't steal your wallet. Yeah, your wallet's in my hand, but I didn't do it. I don't know how it got there. Oh, yeah, I remember, YOU put it in my hand. Why the fuck did you put your wallet in my hand?!"
Surreal. Sound. Fury. Shadows.
Reading Shakespeare, I realize that altering reality to one's own purposes is nothing new, and the sound and fury are nothing new.
Two weeks ago, a friend called me up and accused me of not being friendly anymore at a business meeting we were at that morning. I didn't know what he was talking about. He said that when he saw me, when we hugged, the hug wasn't real. Told him I had no idea what he was talking about. He wouldn't have it. He started yelling on the phone, out of nowhere. When I asked him for facts, he said, "Oh, facts, yeah, David, you're all about the facts. You ALWAYS have to be right!"
I said bye and hung up. He tried to call back with more sound and fury and more of his reality-altering monologues. I finally answered the phone and said, "Look, if "bye" is too short of a goodbye for you, let's try this: Fuck you."
He hung up. I drank a glass of wine.
Four days ago, my almost-11-year-old daughter was at her friends' house. A babysitter was at the house for the 3 year old who was there, but the babysitter was not sitting for my daughter. The babysitter starts telling my daughter and two other older kids what to do and not do, out of nowhere. My daughter told the babysitter she wasn't doing anything the sitter said. Sitter got furious and told the parents of the 3 year old that if my daughter came to their house, the sitter wouldn't sit for them when that happened. (That babysitter got fired the next day by my friends.)
When I called the sitter and asked for her view of the events that happened, she changed her story several times and got so furious at my calm questions that she screamed, "I don't want to talk about this anymore! If your daughter comes over, I won't be around! She makes me nervous!"
The sitter is 19 years old, an idiot telling tales, full of sound and fury.
Yesterday, in a big conference meeting, I had to fire my company's marketing group in New York City for lack of performance. The group's CEO denied the lack of performance, despite my laying out the facts of the nonperformance. She then went on a several-minute tirade accusing everyone in my company and outside my company for the faults that were hers. At several points, she blatantly lied in front of several people whom she should've known knew the truth, but it didn't stop her from lying anyway. Reality was what she made it. She threatened a lawsuit against our company for alleged breach of contract, while I was firing her for breach of contract. She demanded payment for nonperformance.
Sound, fury, shadow, tales.
All the above reminds me of a quote by Ayn Rand in her 1974 essay, Selfishness Without the Self, in which she says that the person who has no solid sense of self "finds ... reality a meaningless term. His metaphysics consists in the chronic feeling that life, somehow, is a conspiracy of people and things against him, and he will walk over corpses -- in order to assert himself? No, in order to hide (or fill) the nagging inner vacuum left by his aborted self."
Shakespeare gives us his singular images, and Rand explains it.
The popular metaphor for such people is zombies, but I like Shakespeare's shadows. They are empty, dark, even ominous in their unpredictability.
And they are loud!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The priest at his human feast

One reason I can't take most christians seriously on their "faith" is that I know they simply don't read the bible and have no real idea that it says that plants existed before the sun, that dudes surfed in whale's mouths, that their "god" drowned everybody on Earth (yes, babies, too) except for eight lucky people, and that virgins were ravaged with alacrity. It seems to cause christians no pangs to know that the "virgin" Mary was ravaged by "god" before her husband Joseph consummated their marriage with his corporeal penis.
Perhaps christians know many of these "highlights" but simply don't think about them much. As the wonderfully eloquent and witty Robert Ingersoll said about 150 years ago: To read the bible is to giggle. And christians aren't giggling.
Damn Ingersoll for saying that before ME!
Which brings me to the people who actually READ the bible. The shamans, the magic men -- known in common parlance as "preachers."
If you don't go to church, you know them by their job six days a week: thinking of cute things to put on signs in front of their churches: "If you need to talk to someone, put god on speed-dial"; "a friend in need is a friend in need of god"; "the Sermon on the Mount is for those stuck in a valley"; "the bell tolls for the belles and the beasts." Ouch!
Shamans are not Shakespeares. Here, I must quote Ingersoll again, who said: I'll take Hamlet over all the religious sayings, quotes and books every written or said.
Hallelujah, Bob!
The life of a priest is a bazaar thing really. His life is built around a book filled with a thousand contradictions and thousands of violations of reality. Leprosy is not cured with a tough of a finger, and when we die, we decompose, and the universe is 13 billion years across, not a shell (firmament) a few miles up (as the ancient bible writers thought).
The priests know all this and must commit their minds to, basically, saying, "Shit, I need to get paid, so I have to try to make sense of all this shit to my flock, who's going to be here in 10 minutes!"
Those are the "honest" ones, the ones who have some sense that the bible is primitive BS. These "honest" ones try to modernize and have "gigabyte" meetings, replete with a coffee bar so the youth can have their mochas and lattes. It ain't about the bible; it's about the caffeine. But who's asking?
The dishonest priests (but I repeat myself) REALLY believe the bible. When Jesus says that he has not come to change "one iota" of the previous (Moses) laws and then proceeds to change ALL those laws, the dishonest priests turn a blind eye -- and then find a clever way to explain this contradiction to their sheep.
The dishonest priests are pretty damn good salesmen, if their engorged parking lots are any indication. On Easter Sunday, with a straight face, they say that jesus has risen. Their flock screams hallelujah. They smile and weep. Then they all have lunch and lattes.
The priesthood is not about honesty or information. It is about power, like politics -- the power over people. It's a heady thing, I'm sure, to look out on a thousand faces and see rapture and attentiveness, while you fill their minds with giggly bile.
But what does such evasion on an unimaginable scale do to a man, a priest? How does a mind deal with the thousands of contradictions of reality replete in the bible on a daily basis, while the rest of us are living real lives? What HAPPENS to such a mind?
It becomes the grinning monster. The shaman of old. The personification of cognitive dissonance. A twisted, distorted, special case of insanity attempting hourly, daily to fight back the rational mind that is screaming: "Get out, get out, get out of here! Go LIVE"
That's why when you see priests at the store or on TV, they have that ethereal, far-off, fake-smiley look on their face -- like they are secretly having your kittens tortured while you shop.
You cannot read daily that an alleged god blithely wiped out entire villages of men, women and children for his alleged "chosen ones" without annihilating your own good judgment of the fact that that alleged god is a murderer of the highest order.
You cannot read that the vast majority of human beings, according to jesus, will endure an eternity of torment and excruciating pain in "the undiscovered country" simply because they won't "worship" and "have faith in" jesus -- without, again, suspending your own better judgment as the fairness of such malevolence.
Let's not even mention the fact that ANY being would wish to be worshiped. Talk about low self-esteem!
These "men of the cloth" have sold their minds to a boundless ugliness, and they attempt to convince others every week to do the same. They prey on the most precious thing we humans have: the mind. They are far worse than pedophiles, who seek only the body of the young.
They feast on humans, the human mind.
They are the modern-day monsters.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"O" told you not to pick your nose while driving!

In Harry Potter, there is a certain very bad man who cannot be called by his name. He is called "He who cannot be named."
We have the same sort of "he who cannot be named" in the Oval Office of the White House. And he is NOT happy with American drivers and what they are costing his insurance extravaganza.
Let's call him "O".
O led the light brigade many years ago on banning texting while driving and has successfully killed more Americans with such laws because those Americans were (surprise) holding their phones down while texting (so police wouldn't see them) and couldn't see the road. Result? More crashes. More deaths. Fewer people needing insurance because they were dead. O's many other edicts have been just as successful, such as forcing Americans to buy his health insurance so Americans could pay a lot more for fixing their bodies. Very successful.
O also decided it was time for America to be the Sesame Street of the world and make everyone, including very bad countries, have fun and be happy with us in the new Sesame world. Result? More terrorism. Russia invades another country. Iran builds nuclear weapons. Afghanistan falls. Iraq devolves into chaos. Israel is all alone against the murderers. Syria slaughters at whim. North Korea threatens Japan and even America.
Again, O has been highly successful in his foreign policy. Fewer people in the world means lower insurance costs.
So, with so many successes behind him, O is considering new bans while you are driving. You will soon not be able to do the following:
1) Sneeze (you have to close your eyes)
2) Adjust your radio (music makes you too happy anyway)
3) Fart (you usually lift one butt cheek to allow proper expunging, and THAT is dangerous)
4) Pick your nose (remember, TWO CLEAN HANDS on the wheel)
5) Look at a pretty woman or handsome man on side of road (first of all, that is simply OBJECTIFYING the opposite sex, and second of all, EYES ON THE ROAD)
6) Blinking (see EYES ON THE ROAD above)
7) Talking (talking means you are not PAYING ATTENTION, and, plus, you may be talking about how much more you're having to pay for health insurance)
8) Singing (what, you think you're WHITNEY FUCKING HOUSTON?!)
9) Yelling at kids (even though O thinks this is generally a good thing, yelling means your mouth is open, and when your mouth is open, your eyes squint, and THAT IS DANGEROUS)
10) Smoking (though O is a smoker and smokes in his taxpayer-provided, bullet-proof limo, your smoking will cost his health-insurance plan shit-tons, and the smoke could make you sneeze, and THAT is not acceptable)
11) Eating (obviously, this will make you fat and cost the health insurance plan MORE money, and that greasy drumstick could cause your hands to slip off the steering wheel and your car may hit a squinty-eyed liberal who votes for him)
12) Everything else (O couldn't think of anything else right now, so he invoked an alteration on the 10th Amendment to the Constitution)
Happy trails!

No news is good news

Planes crash, bridges collapse, thieves steal, Jesse Jackson drools, murderers murder, schools enslave children who feed on each other, unions sleep, presidents rob and smile, natural disasters wipe out villages and take down electricity, the earth warms and cools, fat people don't like to be called fat people, news "anchors" (readers) look VERY serious, weather happens, houses burn down, people text while driving, teenagers have sex (lots of it, sacre bleu!), some businessmen are crooks, terrorists terrorize, Russia invades, liberals confiscate and smile, conservatives secretly watch porn because they've banned it and hate it, politicians lie and smile.
It's called the news. Been happening this way, in one form or another (Caesar didn't have planes, but Jesse Jackson was drooling 2,000 years ago), for thousands of years. The chaos didn't begin when news readers took to the TV with 4.6 pounds of makeup.
I haven't watched the news for over 10 years. I would, if the lovely reader ladies went topless, but then I wouldn't be watching the NEWS.
The news takes away from the good life, from living. Doesn't teach us much of anything -- not the way it is done nowadays. As Don Henley says, "Get the widow on the set, we've got dirty laundry." Dirty laundry ain't fun to watch.
I'd rather be watching a good movie or TV series, or talking with someone, or drinking wine and reading, or playing with my daughter, or planning out some business strategy, or, frankly, watching grass grow.
If you already know what's right and wrong (morality, politics, liberty, productivity, thinking), then the news is a parade of dunces and denizens in real time -- the same ones they had 2,000 years ago, except with different names and bodies.
No news is good news.

Three pounds of "spirituality"

The religious folks like to talk about faith (not thinking) and grace (getting something for being bad) and hope (something bad happens and you hope like hell it stops happening) and prayer (talking to themselves and sometimes, unfortunately, out loud, because we are all, um, bad).
But today's topic is "spirituality."
Ask 10,000 religionists what that is and you'll get 10,000 different answers, but they'll all pretty much agree it's about this (pointing at themselves): being alive and awake and some sort of shit (they don't say "shit") is happening on a major scale in some sort of way that is beyond understanding and it exudes from you and MUST be derived from elsewhere.
We humanists/objectivists call that shit that's happening "the brain" -- which weighs about three pounds in adults. We don't call it spirituality; we call it "that shit that's happening."
It's happening because we THINK. We don't know exactly how that whole neuron network works yet, but we know that if somebody gets Alzheimer's or has a bad seizure or is a liberal that that "shit that happens" pretty much stops happening, pointing to the fact that "spirituality" is physical and not "derived from elsewhere."
The religionists' caveman belief in "spirituality" and its separation from this world and our bodies is called dualism: there's one physical world and then there's that "other world" elsewhere, somewhere, out there, in there, over there. They can't, of course, prove that other world, and they can get downright sniffy if you ask them to, but they KNOW it exists and that when babies are born -- BAM, a spirituality transports in and shit starts happening.
Now, it's pretty damned awesome that that three pounds of meat in your head with trillions of neurons can grasp the extent of the universe, plan 10 years ahead, grab a Frisbee at a dead run, build a supercomputer, paint the Mona Lisa, compose a Ninth Symphony, articulate morality, put a bullet through a quarter at a thousand yards, speak 10 languages, and express love in a sonnet of overpowering eloquence.
But that's what it is, isn't it? That's WHO we are! We are that three pounds, in bodies ranging from 80 pounds to 580 pounds. No matter what we weigh, we are all three pounds. Three pounds of "spirituality," of thinking and doing.
I was thinking of trying to prove the religionists wrong in this post, but have you ever tried to convince the man in the insane asylum that the birds he's talking to AREN'T really talking back? Don't work, and he can get downright sniffy.  

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

BUY Insurance and DON'T BUY Light Bulbs!!

You may have already heard that the 2007 law signed by the idiot savant (without the "savant") George W. Bush that bans all Americans from producing incandescent light bulbs (you remember Thomas Edison, right?) begins today.
You probably already know that today marks the day when The Occupier government takes over health insurance in America and you are required to buy insurance, whether you like it or not.
You MUST buy insurance. You CAN'T buy certain light bulbs.
Welcome to America.
You must pay taxes. You can't buy weed.
You must have a "Social Security" number. You can't buy any gun.
Welcome to America.
You must buy car insurance. You can't drive without a government license.
You must pay for losers (welfare). You can't get drugs without government approval.
Welcome to America.
You must be a hetero. You can't be a homo.
You must school your children. You can't be naked in public.
Welcome to America.
You must be a racist ("affirmative action"). You can't be a racist.
You must honor pets' "rights." You can't honor your children's rights to liberty.
Welcome to America.
You must pay property taxes. You can't own property the government "needs."
You must explain large amounts of cash in your possession. You can't leave America without government approval (passport).
Welcome to Occupied America.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Jesus Christ!!!

A new Harris Poll indicates that the number of Americans who believe in a Big Mystical Kahuna (aka "God") is dropping at 1% a year. It is now down to 75%, from 82% in 2007.
Young people are especially prone to not "believe."
I'd like to think it's because the young people are doing a little beach-reading with the Bible and are dumb-struck by the God-murders (for not being a virgin or cussing at your parents or being homosexual or being the child of a bad person or for not believing or for working on Sunday or for being part of the human race or for lying or for lust, etc.).
But, really, I would imagine the young folks are just bored with it. It gets in the way of Twitter and Facebook and working and playing and, well, you know, LIFE. As a child, only one thing bored me more than "public schooling, and that was the pastor. He was SO serious (I guess I'd be serious, too, if I knew I'd been lusting a little and knew it could mean DEATH). When he smiled, he didn't look happy.
Religion ain't fun. A philosophy of life should be fun. It should be about how to have as much fun as possible in our playground, in our sandbox. It should guide us on how to govern ourselves and treat other people properly so they can have fun in their sandbox, too.
But the Bible is not about sandboxes. It's about Hell and eternal damnation and extraterrestrial whimsy that could allegedly strike you down at a moment's notice for who-knows-what!
Maybe young folks are getting this. Hope so. If so, we might just be outnumbering the mystics in about 26 years.
Can I get a "Jesus Christ" on that?!
Hallelujah!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chase-ing my tail

So, I'm standing at the checkout counter at Barnes And Noble with my daughter, Livy, and the lady behind the counter says my debit card isn't valid (I got plenty of cash in bank). I said, please try it again.  Same result. Shaking my head, I pay with cash. I figure it's gotta be a BN computer glitch.
I go to Target with Livy. Same thing. I pay with cash. Now, I'm pissed.
I call the number on my Chase debit card. Wait 25 minutes, cussing Chase for the last 20 minutes. POU (person of uninterest) finally says hello. After usual lengthy "verification" of my identity, POU says that 47 million Chase card users' identity may have been compromised by hackers who broke into Target's data system between Thanksgiving and mid-December.
The POU then says that my card may have been one of those cards and that Chase put a limit of $100 ATM withdrawals on my card and $300 in purchases per day. When I asked why Chase didn't tell me about this, the POU says, "We did it to protect you." I said, "Bullshit, my account is insured by Chase on these kinds of issues, and I couldn't have lost one penny, no matter how much was stolen by the ID theft. You guys did it to cover your own asses, and that is fine, but why the hell didn't you notify me by text, like you do on other matters, like when you're fricking sending me advertisements." After drilling her for another minute, she finally (exasperated) said that Chase would be notifying customers "soon."
When I told her I was stranded at BN and Target (had I not had cash), she just says, "Oh, we are sorry you were inconvenienced. You know, you can go to a nearby Chase branch to get a new card."
So now I (more furious) go to a nearby Chase branch (instead of finishing my shopping with Livy), and I get even MORE attitude from the Chase "officer," who tries to feed me the same "protecting you" bullshit. She says I can't get a new card on the spot (though I found out later with the bank manager that I could've gotten one on the spot at another Chase down the street that is set up for just such occurrences). So the officer lied to me.
I ask the "officer" if she's getting attitude with me (she's just staring furiously at me when I'm asking questions). This is what goes down:
Officer: I don't have attitude. It's YOU that has attitude!
Me: I have a right to have attitude here. You have attitude with me.
Officer: So? What are you going to do about it? (smirk on her face)
Me: (while I stand up and lean toward her) Watch.
I find the bank manager, who treats me with respect and apologizes profusely and explains things well and gets me what I should've gotten at the beginning of this debacle.
Then the bank manager asks: "Mr. Elmore ... what do you want me to do with Ruthie (the officer)?
Me: I think you know what I want done. If she were my employee, she would have 120 seconds to gather her belongings and leave forever.
Manager: I understand.
Me: I know you understand. But will you do it?
Manager: I will have a talk with her and ...
Me: So you won't be firing her, will you?
Manager: Mr. Elmore, I'm sure you understand that I can't discuss what the bank will do with Ruthie.
Me. I understand that you won't be firing her. If my customer for my business got treated that way, I would tell the customer that I'd be firing the employee. In fact, I would fire the employee right in front of the customer and ask the customer if he was satisfied, and then I would give the customer a little something extra and free.
Manager: I understand, Mr. Elmore.
Blah blah blah blah blah.
THAT is modern "customer service."
Oh, and Ruthie actually said "happy holidays" to me and Livy as we were leaving the bank branch. Neither Livy nor I looked at her, but I know what I wanted to do to her. I read it once in an Inquisition history book.
But as badly as I imagined some torture, it was nothing compared to what I imagined I could do to the swill-sucking cowards ("hackers") who barged into 47 million lives and stole time and money from innocent people. I have a special spot in the dank torture chambers for such pale scum.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stardust and our universal playground

Just finished watching the terrific 8-part Discovery series "How the Universe Works."
And I'm currently reading Charles Darwin's second great book: "The Descent of Man" (written after the revolutionary "On the Origin of Species," which I read many years ago).
For 22 years, I've been reading and applying the works of the objective philosopher Ayn Rand (morality is discovered through reason and applied via reason).
I've been studying evolution, astronomy, geology and other sciences for 30 years.
Got me to thinking: Do Christians and other mystical peoples EVER watch and/or read this stuff? Do they CARE to know about reality? Do they enjoy living in the dark? Are they afraid to be human? Do they really think there is a Devil who is horny (has horns).
'Cause if they did read/watch all of the above, and they were honest, they could NEVER be Christians.
Our universe began with a "big bang" almost 14 billions years ago and is expanding rapidly (we have proof of this via the Doppler red shit and blue shift of galaxies and stars that were first discovered by Edwin Hubble).
All early primitive people, including Christians (Jesus included) thought (without proof) the universe was just some "stars" and "planets" hanging a few miles above the Earth), and that was it. They all also thought the "heavens' were fixed into place.
The universe is 13.7 billion years old. (we have proof of this number via photon red shift and exploding neutron stars at different distances in the universe)
Many Christians say it's only 6,400 years old. (no proof). Some don't "believe" it's that old.
Our Milky Way galaxy is 12 billion years old, and our solar system (sun and planets) are 4.6 billion years old (we have proof via elemental half-life dating and samples from our Earth, the moon, other planets, asteroids, etc.)
Many Christians say it's all 6,400 years old. (they say that if you count the generations in the Bible, they add up to about 6,400 years). These myopists think everything only began with some certain people being alive about 6,400 years go.
There are currently trillions upon trillions of events occurring in the universe every second that humans can't possibly detect all at once, including exploding volcanoes ever second on the moon Io around Jupiter, spinning neutron stars, exploding supernovae, millions of neutrinos going through your body as I write this, hydrogen turning into helium inside stars, trillions of comets and asteroids dancing around space, dark matter pervading the universe and causing its expansion and ultimate perishing, black holes spitting out gamma rays, gold and silver being created by exploding giant stars (no, it's not Jews who make gold).
Darwin and subsequent scientists have proved that evolution is real and that humanoid type individuals began separating themselves from apes about five million years ago (small amount of time on the cosmic scale, but a large amount of time for the 6,400ers). Modern humans (home sapiens) have only been around for about 200,000 years. Our paths out of Africa are now well known, via the proof of genetic testing (mitochondrial DNA, etc.).
Please see "myopists" comment above for those zany little Christian beliefs in 6,400.
Home sapiens have a rational faculty that was finally understood by Rand, who discovered that that faculty is capable of understanding everything in the universe, including the rational faculty itself. It is capable of hegemony, of running itself perfectly without the aid or intrusion of an outsider (an alleged greater being). It is capable of understanding its own goals, its own means of achieving those goals, of honoring others' rights to their own goals, of realizing that happiness is supposed to be the ultimate meaning for life, of understanding that all things real and good must have a basis in the facts of life (proof).
Christians, et al, think humans are incapable and "fallen," that they need help, that they must surrender their rational faculty to verbiage written or spoken by an alleged being that has no physical form or proof. They believe life is a train of hopeless transgressions, instead of a series of satisfying accomplishments that were humanly and willfully designed.
When supernovae explode, they create nucleosynthesis and spit out the primary elements (what sane person doesn't love the Periodic Chart?) in the universe that are vital to life: hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, iron, gold, nickel, platinum, zinc, neon, silica, silver, uranium, etc. This is the "stardust" they spit out. The oxygen and hydrogen fuse together and populate the universe with water (usually ice crystals in space), huge amounts of it. These ice crystals (usually in the form of comets) bombarded the early Earth about a half-billion years after formation and gave us our oceans and fresh water.
This is the genesis of life, despite the crude and primitive ejaculations of the Bible.
We are the stuff of stars (carbon, water, iron, etc.). We are stardust. And, as evolved rational animals, the universe is now our playground.
It is not the place of make-believe worlds of "good" and "evil." There are no gods in the machine. Our very old universe couldn't care less about what primitive Christians or any other mystics (Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc.) have "faith" in. The universe gets the last laugh.
But us rational stardust-folks get to giggle a good bit along the way to the playground each morning when we arise.