indigoneutrino: (Default)
This has just come up on my Tumblr dashboard and I wanted to comment.

Einstein and the existence of God )

Firstly, I'm pretty sure this is a myth. Secondly, Einstein's comment about quantum physics - "God does not play dice" - was actually used to try and demonstrate why quantum theory was wrong, but yet experimental evidence proves quantum theory is right.

True, we can't know if the professor has a brain unless we cut open his skull and check, just like we can't know if Schrodinger's Cat is dead or alive until we open the box. But we can observe the effects of the professor having a brain - that he is living and talking - much in the same way we can observe the effects of adding a second slit in the double slit experiment, even though we can't observe the process of a photon passing through one of the holes.

I'm not even an atheist, but this argument bugs me. Everything Einstein says about cold being the absence of heat and darkness being the absence of light is true, but you can't apply that to God. God is an abstract concept that can't be measured - heat and light aren't. You can have varying degrees of heat and light, you can't have varying degrees of God or faith. That's a personal thing, and just because on person manages to interpret this argument as proof of God, it doesn't mean everyone will because it is subjective and not empirical.

It also bugs me how people think that saying that the student was Albert Einstein lends this argument more validity. It doesn't - it's probably a myth that this was Einstein anyway, and even if it's not, Einstein was wrong about a lot of things. True, he was a genius when it comes to the photoelectric effect and the theory of relativity, but he fluffed up by his own admission with his cosmological constant and the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics proved to be right despite Einstein's insistence it was wrong.

Seriously, I can think of plenty of philosophical arguments in support of the existence of God, but I really hate this one. For what it’s worth, I hate the professor’s arguments about “Is God good?” as well, because again it’s entirely subjective and isn’t so much about proving the existence of God as whether or not God is a good thing. But either way, I wish people wouldn’t quote this to support the existence of God. Keep philosophical and theological debate in the realm of metaphysics and don’t try bringing in actual physics to support your argument.

indigoneutrino: (Default)
I don’t want to sound like I’m going off on one here, but I just had to get this off my chest. The past few weeks for me seem to have been full of one thing after another going wrong.

Firstly, I didn’t get paid for over two months because my employer couldn’t change my bank details straight after I got my student account. And then, when they could change my bank details so I could get paid this month, for some reason they didn’t. I’ve only just managed to get that sorted today after two months of not being paid. I wouldn't have minded so much if that was the only thing I needed to sort out, but it wasn't.

The train company owe me money for a trip I should never have had to reschedule, due to my old school changing around the dates of A-Level certificate presentation evening and forgetting to tell everybody. By the time they did remember to tell anyone I’d already booked tickets for the trip back from uni. I had to rebook for another trip before I could cancel the first one, so they’ve taken double the amount off me. Now it’s going to take ages to get a refund on that, and I’ve had to pay a £10 administration fee for something that wasn’t my fault.

Plus, the exam board who marked my physics A-Level have decided to downgrade my coursework by three grade boundaries and have offered no explanation as to why. It’s been sent off for a remark, and if they have got it wrong then I’ll be upgraded to an A* overall instead of an A. But I’m not likely to get the results of the remark until after I’ve got my certificate, so then I’ll have to mess around sending that off to get it changed.

Sorry for ranting, I’m just really frustrated with everything right now. I think I’ll feel better once I’ve gone and made myself some tea.
indigoneutrino: (Default)
I've just started reading 'The Legion' by Simon Scarrow, and although I'm only twenty pages into it I already feel the need to stop and rant. I feel a bit bad about doing this, as I have huge respect for Simon Scarrow as an author and I absolutely love all the other books in his Eagle series. I even love this one, but there's just one character that bothers me - Julia. She's just been brought up in conversation between Cato and Macro, and I had to grit my teeth because I really dislike her. I desperately do not want her to marry Cato. Why? Because she is one big Mary Sue. I don't throw that term around willy-nilly, but in this case I do genuinely think Julia is one.

Let's see, a list of typical Sue traits that Julia fits:
- Breathtakingly beautiful? Check.
- Intelligent and feisty? Check.
- Can cause an otherwise strong and confident male character to act awkward and embarassed? Check.
- Lacks any kind of depth or character development whatsoever? Check.
- Also lacks any kind of significant flaws? Check.
- Rules of the universe are suspended for her or she is given special treatment? Counting her father agreeing to let her marry a man below her station, then check.
- Has skills that are unlikely in the circumstances? She's a woman in Roman times with developed medical knowledge. Make that check.
- Tragic past? Mother dying when she was young, so check.
- Undergoes needless suffering at the hands of one of the other characters, the only purpose of which seems to be to have her rescued by her love interest? Check. I know it was sort of relevant to the plot, but was there any need to have both her and Macro taken captive? I think it would have been better to show the solidity of Cato and Macro's friendship just by having Cato go and rescue Macro. Having Julia as a motive for Cato to go after Ajax makes Macro seem like second best, and he bloody deserves better than that!

Honestly, everything about Julia screams Mary Sue. It's not even like I dislike her because I'm still hung up on Lavinia, because I didn't like her either. The difference was I didn't like Lavinia because she was a lying, two-faced traitor. I dislike Julia because she's boring. I did like Lavinia at first, but when she started plotting with Vitellius and cheating on Cato I went off her. She was a well-developed character who had believable flaws, and I actually was upset when she died. With Lavinia I actually cared about her relationship with Cato. With Julia, on the other hand, I'm just desperate for their relationship to end ASAP. If Ajax actually had killed her in the last book I wouldn't have been the least bit upset.

I'm hoping I'm not going to put up with her for the rest of this book, or any of Cato's moping over her for that matter. I do want him to be happy with someone, but just not someone as hopelessly bland and shallow as Julia.

Sorry, Simon. As much as I love your books and your other characters, I just don't think you've lived up to your usual standards on this one.

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