Monday, August 28, 2006

One Voice vs. AdCom

FYI. Got this from the One Voice mailing list.

The Manila Times asked the Advocacy Commission and One Voice to
answer 10 questions. Here is part 1 and part 2
The AdCom replies were written by Dr. Jose Abueva. He served as
chairman of the Consultative Commission that drafted the
recommendations that President Arroyo endorsed to Congress last year
for the new Constitution to replace the 1987 one. A former president
of the University of the Philippines, Dr. Abueva is now president of
Kalayaan College.

The One Voice replies were written by Dr. Rene B. Azurin. He
authored the Dissenting Report of the defunct Consultative
Commission and is a convener of One Voice, the nonpartisan
organization against the Charter-change efforts of Sigaw ng Bayan,
the Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP) and Adcom.
He teaches Strategic Management at the University of the

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design

As per Dr. Myers request at the Pharyngula. I would like to inform you that the folks at the Panda's Thumb is doing a review of the the book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design by Jonathan Wells.

A quotation from the Introduction of the review
"One thing is for sure, Jonathan Wells is too modest. His recently published, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, is not only politically incorrect but incorrect in most other ways as well: scientifically, logically, historically, legally, academically, and morally."

Friday, August 25, 2006

The consequences of allowing Porn

First it was gays now its porn, my going to hell has become a real possibility. :)

Dispatches from the Culture Wars informs us about a new study that "points out, rape has decreased by 85% since 1970, while pornography has become vastly more available and more popular."

He also warns us that correlation does not necessarily mean causation so be warned.

Update 10/05/2006

Here is an article by James McConvill who actually read the study.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dirty Tom Bonney

My pirate name is:

Dirty Tom Bonney

You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Anti-Escultura

"Grigory Perelman, a 40-year-old native of St. Petersburg, won a Fields Medal - often described as math's equivalent of the Nobel prize - for a breakthrough in the study of shapes that experts say might help scientists figure out the shape of the universe"
The story from the Wall Street Journal
"In 2002 and 2003, he posted two papers to an online archive. Usually, a posting serves a flag-planting function - "I solved this first!" - until the paper is published in a journal, which can take years. But as the math community waited for him to follow up his postings, a realization set in. Dr. Perelman, long affiliated with the Steklov Institute of Mathematics in St. Petersburg, apparently has no intention of saying more. He probably feels he proved the Poincare conjecture, mathematicians surmise, and has no interest in the $1 million bounty. (He did not respond to emailed requests for comment.)"
"Putting his proof online rather than in a journal is only one example of Dr. Perelman's iconoclasm. He admits that he gives only "a sketch of an eclectic proof of" a more general conjecture from which Poincare's follows; he never mentions Poincare. The papers are difficult to understand, and sketchy in the extreme. He asserts that one can prove something by a variation on an earlier argument, but it isn't clear what the variation is. "Perelman's papers are written in a style rather different from what would appear in a journal," says mathematician Bruce Kleiner of Yale University."
"Others have taken it upon themselves to explicate his work - and find no major flaws. Like Torah commentaries, they dwarf the original. Dr. Perelman's 2003 paper is 22 pdf pages; the 2002 paper is 39. But "Notes on Perelman's Papers," in which Prof. Kleiner and John Lott of the University of Michigan explain them almost line-by-line, is 192 pages. A book on the papers is expected to top 300 pages. A "complete proof" of Poincare, based on Dr. Perelman's breakthrough and published last month in the Asian Journal of Mathematics (which Prof. Milnor describes as throwing "a monkey wrench" into the question of who gets credit), is 328 pages long."
He put his proof online and did not answer questions nor defend it, yet other mathematicians recognized the worth of his work continued it and still gave most of the credit to Mr. Perelman. so much so that he won a Fields Medal.

Meanwhile the Gauss Prize that Dr. Escultura has claimed he won was awarded for the first time to Kiyoshi Itô

Ever SEEN an actual firefox?

geek joke + a super cute puppy

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan...

How far has Alex Magno gone away from his leftist roots? Very far. He is so far gone that he either forgot or was unwilling to directly attribute a quote from Karl Marx. In his column today, he wrote
"They just thought history would simply do a re-run, forgetting Hegel’s famous injunction: that when history seems to repeat itself, the first time it is a tragedy, the second time it is a farce."
I have always thought this was a quote from Karl Marx but I was taught that Marx borrowed a lot of ideas from Hegel and since Alex Magno was one of the teachers who taught me that, I had to consider that I might be mistaken and Marx actually quoted Hegel. So I googled the quote and found out that I was right. Marx was the originator of the phrase, it was the first sentence in his work "The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte".
"Hegel remarks somewhere[*] that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidiere for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire."
This sentence was followed by my favorite quote from Marx
"Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language."

Bakit sa Tagalog

Para sa araw ng wika (galing lang din sa e-mail)

Kung ang I LOVE YOU ay INIIBIG KITA, bakit ang umiibig (I) at ang umiibig (YOU) ay mukhang tuwirang naglaho sa pagkakasalin? Dahil ba kung umibig ang Pilipino ay nawawala ang AKO at IKAW at nagiging isa at nagsasanib sa KITA? Iyon din marahil ang dahilan kung bakit ang kasal ay PAG-IISANG DIBDIB at ang asawa ay KABIYAK NG PUSO.

Bakit may tawag tayo sa limang daliri ng kamay --- HINLALAKI, HINTUTURO, HINLALATO, PALASINSINGAN, at KALINGKINGAN --- pero sa daliri ng paa ay wala?

Kung ang bicycle ay BISIKLETA, bakit ang motorcycle ay MOTORSIKLO at hindi MOTORSIKLETA? O kaya’y BISIKLO?

Bakit ang SILANGAN (kung saan sumilang ang araw) at KANLURAN (kung saan kumakanlong ang araw) ay maliwanag ang ibig sabihin, pero ang HILAGA at TIMOG ay hindi mo alam ang pinagmulan?

Kung ang likod ng tuhod ay ALAK-ALAKAN, bakit wala tayong tawag sa likod ng siko?

Kung ang IN ay ginagamit sa gitlapi sa prito para maging PRINITO, sa gisa para maging GINISA, at sa paksiw para maging PINAKSIW, bakit sa laga ang ginagamit at ang unlaping NI para maging NILAGA. Bakit hindi LINAGA dahil hindi naman natin sinasabing NIPRITO o NIGISA o NIPAKSIW? Alin ba ang tama?

Bakit may tawag tayo sa four seasons – TAGLAMIG, TAGSIBOL, TAG-INIT at TAGLAGAS – gayong ang panahon sa Pilipinas ay TAG-ARAW at TAG-ULAN lamang?

Kung may inang PUTA, bakit walang amang PUTO? Lahat ba ng lalaking kalapati ay matataas ang lipad?

Bakit nakaugalian na nating sabihing isang SENTIMO at limang SENTIMOS? Wala naman sa balarilang Tagalog ang pagdudugtong ng “s” sa pangngalan para ito maging maramihan. Hindi naman natin sinasabing limang PISOS, ‘di ba?

Kung ang left-handed at KALIWETE, ano ang right-handed? Kung tradisyunal na nating tituturing na ang ama ang haligi ng tahanan, bakit ang asawang babae ay ang MAYBAHAY at ang asawang lalaki ay ang TAO lamang?

Bakit nakasanayan na nating sabihin NAKAKAINIS, NAKAKATAKOT o NAKAKAALIW? Di ba ang dapat na inuulit at ang unang pantig ng salitang-ugat? Kaya dapat ay NAKAIINIS, NAKATATAKOT, at NAKAAALIW.

Kung sinasabi nating AMOY ARAW, LASANG IPIS, o MUKHANG ANGHEL, mayroon na ba talagang nakalanghap ng araw, nakatikim ng ipis o nakakita ng anghel?

Mayroon naman tayong LOLO at LOLA, AMA at INA, at TIYO at TIYA, bakit wala tayong isang-salitang katumbas ng SON at DAUGHTER, NEPHEW at NIECE, at GRANDSON at GRANDDAUGHTER? Itinuturing ba nating asexual ang ANAK, PAMANGKIN at APO?

Bakit sa Tagalog maraming katumbas ang LOVE --- PAG-IBIG, PAGMAMAHAL, PAGSINTA, PAG-IROG, PAGLIYAG, PAGGILIW? Dahil ba ang Pinoy ay likas na palasintahin?

Friday, August 18, 2006


A friend sent this and asked that it be circulated so I am reproducing it here in full.


We, members of the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (LAGABLAB-Pilipinas), wishes to thank Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Isagani Cruz for giving us yet another proof that homophobia still exists in our society today. His column ("Don we now our gay apparel, August 12, 2006, Page A10) tells us that, indeed, a law penalizing discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) should be urgently enacted by Congress.

His stark hatred against homosexuals represents a common belief system that continues to deepen the prejudice that the LGBT community encounters. Mr. Isagani Cruz fails to see that such display of bigotry is easily translated into acts that concretely violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, values whose universality and primacy a former Supreme Court justice should have been able to grasp and uphold. After all, the Supreme Court as an institution has a long tradition of defending civil liberties and human rights. It is therefore ironic that one of its former justices finds it easy to dehumanize us, target us for exclusion, and deny us the right to celebrate our diversity and dignity.

He claims that his scathing homophobia is only reserved to homosexuals who do not conduct themselves decorously. However, his sense of propriety, going by his narrow-minded perspective, means conforming to the destructive boundaries and restrictive stereotypes that our conservative society has established for LGBTs. It means tolerating biased labor policies and practices that act like a glass ceiling that blocks our productivity, or enduring verbal and physical abuses from our own family members or from our immediate community. Mr. Cruz wants us to believe that the fate of homosexuals who openly claim their space in our society as equal members of the human family is a lifetime of humiliation and discrimination. Unless we conform to the whims of people like Mr. Cruz, we should willingly accept that fate. To him, only when we are invisible or servile to what he claims to be the "privileged sex" can we expect acceptance from our society.

Mr. Cruz should understand that human dignity has no sexual orientation or gender identity. Homosexuality is hardly a dilution of the male and female sexes, and femininity and womanhood, upon which equal scorn and prejudice have been heaped by Mr. Cruz, are not synonymous to weakness. The 'third sex' that he ridicules does not exist at all, since we are all equal in dignity and respect, as affirmed by our Constitution, our laws, and the international agreements on equality and human rights that the Philippines signed.

The Filipino LGBT community will continue to march – in sagalas and during the annual Pride parade – because we do not take bigotry sitting down. The likes of Mr. Cruz can't – and we will not let them – push the Filipino LGBT community back to invisibility.

Gay Men are Funny

Don't believe me? I can prove it. And scientimagically using deductive logic.

Our first premise is contained in this article entitled "O brother, where art thou? The fraternal birth-order effect on male sexual orientation". The article
"provides evidence that the social influence of an older brother is irrelevant to whether his younger brother will develop a homosexual orientation. It is the number of older biological brothers the mother carried, not the presence of older brothers while growing up, that makes some boys grow up to be gay. Older stepbrothers in the home have no effect, although older biological brothers raised apart still exert their influence. These data, by elimination, strengthen the notion that the common denominator between biological brothers, the mother, provides a prenatal environment that fosters homosexuality in her younger sons."
The second premise is contained in this article which states that
"Just over half of younger siblings questioned said it was easy to be humorous, compared with just a third of those who were first-born.

And just 11% of only children had the skill, according to the study of 1,000 people by psychologist Richard Wiseman."
So the first premise, gay men tend to have older brothers and the second premise younger siblings are more likely to be funny and the conclusion is gay men are funny.

Ok, so I really did not prove the it. But the two articles combined suggests that the proportion of gay men within the set of all funny men should be higher than the proportion of gay men in the set of unfunny men or the set of all men. In fact maybe I have it all backwards, maybe gay men are not funny, maybe funny men are gay? :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Failure of Logic

This is old news, but I still wanted to write something.

I was taught the different Logical Fallacies when I was in high school and again almost immediately after I entered college. The determination whether a statement is logical or fallacious is a skill every one should possess. This skill can help us parse through arguments and determine if it holds up or whether it is full of baloney

In his August 11 column entitled "Foreign investors’ letter proves Monsod wrong", Mr Jarius Bondoc started out with baloney and goes downhill from there. He started out with this sentence:
"One Voice, an elitist front to demonize Charter changes of little folk, keeps screeching the claim of its head Christian Monsod:"
This is one of the oldest logical fallacies, argumentum ad hominem, He immediately attacks the personality of the organization whose position he is arguing against by calling them elitist without explaining why they are elitist and how the heck does being an elitist makes their argument less valid. He even characterizes their argument as screeching, they are not presenting their opinion, they are screeching.

And what is this "charter change of little folks"? Is this a dig at the stature of President GMA and speaker de Venecia? Certainly he is not saying that the principal proponent of charter change in the Philippines are the masa. Is he?

He then presented One Voice's or as he presents it Christian Monsod's position as
"Restrictive economic provisos in the 1987 Constitution do not bother foreign investors. What they do care about, surveys say, are infrastructure, human capital, consistency of policies and regulations, peace and order."
When I first read this paragraph, the first thought that came to mind was, 'is this even a direct quote?'. I have watched Christian Monsod on television since he was the chairperson of the COMELEC and I have never heard him say such a stupid thing. And even if he was so inclined to say such a stupid thing, I do not think Winnie Monsod will let him get away with it. So I tried to find out if this was an exact quote. Here is the quote I copied from their blog.
"Many other claims of the proponents of the Initiative are not borne out by the facts. For instance, the claim that the economic provisions of the Constitution on land ownership, public utilities, natural resources, media and advertising have closed the doors to beneficial foreign direct investment (FDI). Not only has the 1987 Constitution proven to be resilient to the demands of the times but surveys of foreign investors repeatedly show that the critical factors to FDI are infrastructure, human capital, quality of policies and stability of the regulatory framework, peace and order, among others. Nowhere is amending the economic provisions considered among the really critical."
As you see, the One Voice movement is not arguing that the economic provisions of the constitution do not bother foreign investors, they are arguing that the economic provisions is not a critical factor to foreign investors. Mr. Bondoc basically changed critical factor into bother and that made all the difference. For Mr. Bondoc, a writer to not know the difference between the word bother and the word critical is astonishing. One is a minor irritation while the other one is indispensable or essential.

This is a clear example of a straw man argument. Mr Bondoc mischaracterized One Voice's position so he could more easily poke holes in them by pointing out that
If his (Monsod's) claim were a person, it would slip on a piece of paper and fall flat on its face. That paper is a letter to Economic Planning Sec. Romy Neri, sent July 24, by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines. In it, the umbrella of foreign firms urged the government to liberalize the entry of new investments – by executive, legislative and constitutional action.
Here, Mr. Bondoc is arguing that the JFC letter urging the Philippine government to liberalize the entry of new investments even through constitutional action proves that foreign investors are bothered by the economic provisions of the constitution. Which of course it does, what it does not prove is that the liberalization of new investments through constitutional action is a critical factor for these investors in their decisions to invest in the Philippines. It does not prove that these investors will decide to not invest in the Philippines because of the presence of the economic provisions.

To round up this display of logical fallacies, Mr. Bondoc also falls into an appeal to authority. In the third to the last paragraph, Mr. Bondoc states that
"one of Monsod's favorite provisions consigns Filipinos to cottage enterprises, never to genuine industry based on metal and machine. Written by Monsod himself, it confines industrialization to agriculture and agrarian reform, and effectively prohibits Filipinos from making railways, bullet trains, ships or cars like neighbor-states. "
and this provision is from
"Article XII (National Economy and Patrimony), Section 1, 2nd paragraph ? states: "The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets."
Now, I am not an economist and but I can't see how this article consigns Filipino's to cottage enterprises. It states that our industrialization be based on sound agricultural development. and industrialization by its very nature would include technological innovation, I cannot find any provision here that tells the government or anyone that the industries should be limited to whatever. But Mr. Bondoc cites nationalist economist Alejandro Lichauco's book which states
"And what kind of industries can Filipinos engage in under the constitutional rider? 'Apparently, industries like furniture and carpentry, rice milling, making fertilizer out of animal waste, tree-planting, all forms of handicraft, food canning and the like,' Lichauco writes. 'No engineering or machine tool and metal industry because such industries have no connection whatsoever with agriculture and agrarian reform."
I respect Mr. Lichauco, he is one of our premier nationalists. But that does not make his opinion correct.

Friday, August 11, 2006

David Hasselhoff: 'The Antichrist?'

David Hasselhoff fears he may be the Antichrist after reading conspiracy theories about himself on the internet.
He will always be Michael Knight to me. :) Bring back the Knight Rider, Woo hoo!

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