The Grand Magicians and False Prophets

There is no magic; There are only illusions. There are no wizards; There are only magicians. The crowd waits for the reveal with bated breath. The curtain drops, and what was, is no longer. The magician bows and accepts the prestige of the illusion. They love the show, and the lights, and the costumes. The crowd love watching the impossible become real. Not because they really believe it, but because they know, ultimately, that it is all a lie. That’s the fun of it. We know that what our eyes see and our hears hear is not what is true.…

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Why We All Have High Hopes for Net Neutrality

1: Radio emerges. Some stations broadcast on the same wavelength. 2: Create the FCC to keep the airwaves “clean.” 3: FCC creates broadcast monopolies within each local market, hurting consumers and benefiting established broadcasters. 4: FCC institutes sweeping censorship laws retarding the growth of art and prevents wholesale any political discourse. 5: Television emerges to challenge radio. 6: FCC licenses, monopolizes, and censors television. For decades, only three major networks exist. 7: Cable companies emerge to challenge existing broadcast monopolies, offering a much wider variety of programing direct to consumers. 8: The government grants cable companies a total monopoly in…

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Nostalgia Chronicles Part 2: Super Mex Cantina

Continuing my series on nostalgia, which for me is a feeling akin to a flashback, only packed with emotion and often consisting of highly condensed time, I thought I might speak about a place that was near and dear to my heart, rather than a piece of intellectual property. That place is Super Mex, a Mexican restaurant and bar at Sunset and Pecos in the city of Las Vegas. I say that the place “is” Super Mex because, even though it has been re-worked by the owner and is no longer known by that name, the memory and reality of…

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Man! Why is the sound so bad at this concert!

A veteran’s insight into live amplified sound. “Man, that band would have been amazing if it weren’t for the awful sound!” I said as the house lights went up and the band known as Holy Grail, along with what few people constituted their road crew, began hastily clearing their gear away for the next act. “I know, all I could hear was bass drum,” Matt said, pulling his ear plugs out. “If you go in the bathroom you can actually hear the guitar,” Ron said, sipping his bass pale ale. It was our last beer of the night before the…

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Discrimination: Rights and Consequences

There has been a great deal of jabs thrown about a bill recently passed by the Arizona state legislature that is intended to protect freedom of religion or enshrine discrimination against gays, depending on your position. The bill, called “SB1062” (or AB 1062, the assembly version) in the typical fashion of laws, is short by most legislative statutes and attempts to expand the state’s definition of free exercise of religion to include economic activities, or more specifically, the denial thereof. Though no specific mention of LGBT categories of persons are made, both proponents and opponents of the law have made…

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Nostalgia Chronicles, Part 1: Berserk

Nostalgia… For me, nostalgia is always an interesting phenomenon, like the sudden influx of déjà vu and yet clear and tangible. My memories, when I slip into them rather than merely draw upon them for some piece of information, are akin to a waking dream. I can see myself where I was, smell the smells around me, and even feel part of the emotions that I felt when the memory was made. When I am overcome with the images and words of the past, I call it nostalgia. It’s an intense experience, and can create feelings undulating between extreme pain…

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A Visual Guide to Identifying Genetically Modified Dogs

The above is a takeoff of a Facebook page’s “A Visual Guide to Genetically Modified Corn,” found here:IFLS People are often very misled about what “genetically modified” means. Man has been altering life-forms to suit his needs for thousands and thousands of years through the mechanisms of selective breeding, hybrids, and only lately through direct modification of code.Corn is a great example of this. It’s nature-made predecessor looks nothing like it. The ears are tiny and unusable; the casings of the kernels are thick and chewy. This makes sense for a natural plant, which seeks to spread its seeds, not provide…

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Deep Time, an Introduction

From Deep Time, created by Matthew J. Wellman and David V. Stewart. Written by David V. Stewart. You can find Matt’s blog here: http://thespiritualvoluntaryist.blogspot.com/ Malcom Macbeth stood on the iron walkway extending into what he called the “nose” of the ship, likening it in his mind to one of the mechanically propelled airships that humans used before they had made the leap to space. A glass nose, complete with fire turret, and a glass belly and tail, used to defend the mighty airship as it delivered it’s precious cargo of living fire. That time in history seemed so brief to him…

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Minimum Wage: Moral, Amoral, and Practical Arguments; Ad Hominem Non-Arguments.

The minimum wage as a political issue has long been a dangerous one to oppose. Recent trends have included phrases such as “living wage” in addition to a minimum, though the sentiments are much the same as they were when the minimum wage was first enacted back in 1933 (a law the Supreme Court later found unconstitutional). Proponents of wage controls generally make moral arguments, primarily that wages should reflect some correlation to the cost of living at some level of affluence, and that failing to pay such a wage was an immoral act. Opponents, however, tend to focus on…

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Prometheus Weeps

     Prometheus charged Olympus and stole the fire. He brought it to his creation, man, to help him in a cold, dark, and deadly world. When man was handed the flame, he looked upon it, beautiful and bright. It lit the world around him, and at last he could see his surroundings. There were frightening sights, of sharp rocks and strange beasts, and trees that loomed over him like monsters.      Man threw the fire into the mud. He crushed the torch with his heel.      “Why did you do that?” Prometheus asked, trying to gather the…

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