No Eternity for you!

The second “law” of thermodynamics says that in a closed environment, some things can only happen in one direction. They are not reversible.

Calling it a law does not make it absolute; if we see a system that doesn’t work that way – like a cup of water spontaneously becoming ice and warm water – the “law” will be quickly replaced by something that better describes nature. But we have observed many galaxies, and they all seem to follow this rule.

To make things like life happen, there must be energy that we can use. Generally, energy can only transform from one type to another. So barring nuclear fusion, there is always the same amount of energy in a closed system. But because of the second law, a closed system will eventually have no more energy that can be used to do work. Which is the time to buy more gas :)

So it’s great that the Earth has the Sun to provide usable energy, which drives all the life on Earth, including us.

And if the sun will run out of fuel, hopefully by that time (billions of years) we will have migrated to somewhere else.

And if the universe runs out of fuel?

Maybe it will collapse and renew again. Maybe it will fade into coldness. Maybe it will rip itself apart.

Maybe there are more universes outside what we can see.

We currently don’t know enough about our universe to say at this point…

What do I think about the bible (so far)?

I talked to a religious friend about my recent situations, and mentioned that I’ve been trying to read the bible. She asked me what I, as someone who was raised in a non-religious culture, have as my first impression of the bible. (I’ve only read the first few books and Matthew so far.)

My answer was that it was dense. There are so many things in it. And kind of dry too. Things not that interesting to modern societies.

Now that I come back to think again…

  • There are a lot of names in the Bible! Some familiar, like Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah… Jacob (who is Israel), Sarah (meaning Princess), Rachael, Babel, Sodom, Cannan. Some less familiar, like Methuselah, Enoch, Gideon, Jared, Bersheeba (the place with seven wells). Some are just odd, like Noah’s children: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, who had children: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
    • A lot of “English” names are from the bible, but there are many, many more biblical names that we don’t use anymore.
    • C’mon, wouldn’t it be awesome to name somebody “Ham”?
  • Genesis was full of events: generations come and go, civilizations rise and fall, miracles happen. In contrast the next five books was focusing on Moses and his assistant, Joshua.
    • In Genesis, we have:
      • Creation, of earth and Adam (and dinosaurs).
      • Cain (Smith) and Abel (Hunter).
      • Noah’s Ark.
      • Towel of Babylon.
      • Pillars of Salt.
      • Brother feud (again) between Issac and Jacob.
      • Mr. “Wrestles-with-God” Jacob wrestles with God.
      • Joseph brings the Jews to Egypt.
    • Even though the second book was named Exodus, Israel still haven’t conquered Cannan after Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges… are we there yet?
      • Leviticus did have the escaped goat (scapegoat).
    • Mostly because the Torah is full of rules and regulations, that happen to be told in the middle of a story.
      • What bible scholars call the P-document, for “Priestly”.
  • God of the Old Testament is… a bit mean.
    • Flood the world? Turning a city into salt? Yeah, they totally had it coming.
      • I’m of the opinion that Sodom was guilty not of gay sex, but of gang rape, in order to humiliate the messengers of God.
        • … do messengers from heaven even have “compatible equipment”?
    • But condemning the whole Jewish people for a few spies, who report that the enemy is strong, and attacking may lead to disaster? I call it being cautious. God calls it blasphemy. :(
    • That, and hardening Pharaoh’s heart so he will not let Moses’ people go, even though YHWH is in his Egypt, killing all his d00ds.
      • Bear in mind that a Pharaoh is thought to be god incarnate, so this is a my God versus your “god” thing.
  • Of war, the Isarelite are extremely humble.
    • All the victories are the glory of god. All the losses are because we sinned. Surely strategy and intel have nothing to do with it?
    • Maybe “extremely doormat” is a better phrase.
    • Israel, however, was technologically deficient: they had bronze weapons, which is better than plain copper, but some of their enemies know how to work iron. So to win against such overwhelming odds is a miracle indeed.
  • Some of the laws made sense back then. Remember, this was thousands of years ago.
    • No sex before marriage. Well, they didn’t have condoms, so no way to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
    • Stoning as punishment. Well, they didn’t have prisons, because Israel was an itinerant nation, one that hasn’t settled down yet.
    • And they didn’t have the printing press. All the text has to be remembered, or written down by hand.
      • Which made the printing press and movable type a big deal, said my religious friend, because “ZOMG Instant Bible” :)
  • Jesus isn’t like the God of the Old Testament.
    • Teaches that we should be good to our neighbors, love our enemies, and do to others how you would like to be treated.
      • The last one doesn’t really work unless both of you have the same culture background, and thus, expectations. But still, refreshing.
      • Also teaches we should not divorce.
        • If your love for spouse is so lacking that you are divorcing, then you have committed adultery. But that’s my interpretation.
    • Talks in riddles and parables.
      • The parable of sower, where those who have (faith) will have more in abundance, and those who have none will have everything taken, is a good illustration of confirmation bias, where we tend to give better weight to facts and reasoning that supports our own viewpoint.
    • Rebukes the devil and cast out demons from people.
      • But wait, the Old Testament doesn’t mention a devil or any demons. However, there are a lot of idols for other gods (which were all struck down by Jews).
      • Maybe he’s treating diseases, and was just interpreted as casting out demons by the writers? Germ theory didn’t exist then. Miasma theory probably didn’t exist then.

Some other things.

  • Do not covet your neighbor’s fursuit. 😉
  • Jesus teaches “beware of the yeast of the Pharisees” –  those who try to change the teachings of him. A ex-Jehovah’s Witness and an Atheist’s website both talked about Paul, who didn’t meet Jesus other than in a vision, and have no contact with the other disciples. (And was an evil tax collector, who repented.) Yet Paul’s teachings were canonized.


Today I feel kind of cold and shivering, even though I’ve been wearing 2 layers all day…

So for the past three months, I’ve been pondering (read: completely scared) about dying. It’s not something we can postpone with the technology we currently have, and it will not be something we can ever entirely avoid.

It’s all neat and poetic to talk about living forever, but forever is a long time. Writing was only invented 6000 years ago. Dinosaurs roam the earth 30 million years ago. The age of the observable universe is only about 15 trillion years.

Moreover, in an eternity, eventually all the possible tweets will have been written, all the possible TV episodes will have been produced. This isn’t necessarily to say all the books will be written, since there isn’t a size limitation, but every single tweet… is a gigantic number. And it would be quite boring, if nothing is new anymore.

It makes me almost want eternal oblivion.