AutoWeek – Car News: Woohoo, even more Evo goodness! This new model has just a few changes, but they are all improvements and the base price isn’t dramatically increased ($32k for the highest-priced model). The new color is dark gray, which is going to be the new hot color. I’m sick of silver and its variants.

It seems that spammers are using a random dictionary attempt at creating “from” names. I just received an email from “Topsoil H. Motherfucker”. Now do spammers really think I’m going to open a mail from Mr. Motherfucker?

Wired 12.03: The Complete Guide to Googlemania!: My first thought, 13 pages all about Google! This is great, mostly because Google is an interesting company to follow from a technological, political, economic and social aspect. Second thought, crap, 13 pages I have to slog through with a bunch of drivel added since this is Wired. Well, I read the whole thing, and it’s at least worth a good skim. I didn’t learn much, but that’s okay.

I believe George Carlin said it best:

Here is my problem with the ten commandments- why exactly are there 10?

You simply do not need ten. The list of ten commandments was artificially and deliberately inflated to get it up to ten. Here’s what happened:

About 5,000 years ago a bunch of religious and political hustlers got together to try to figure out how to control people and keep them in line. They knew people were basically stupid and would believe anything they were told, so they announced that God had given them some commandments, up on a mountain, when no one was around.

Well let me ask you this- when they were making this shit up, why did they pick 10? Why not 9 or 11? I’ll tell you why- because 10 sound official. Ten sounds important! Ten is the basis for the decimal system, it’s a decade, it’s a psychologically satisfying number (the top ten, the ten most wanted, the ten best dressed). So having ten commandments was really a marketing decision! It is clearly a bullshit list. It’s a political document artificially inflated to sell better. I will now show you how you can reduce the number of commandments and come up with a list that’s a little more workable and logical. I am going to use the Roman Catholic version because those were the ones I was taught as a little boy.

Let’s start with the first three:

I AM THE LORD THY GOD THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME

THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN

THOU SHALT KEEP HOLY THE SABBATH

Right off the bat the first three are pure bullshit. Sabbath day? Lord’s name? strange gods? Spooky language! Designed to scare and control primitive people. In no way does superstitious nonsense like this apply to the lives of intelligent civilized humans in the 21st century. So now we’re down to 7. Next:

HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER

Obedience, respect for authority. Just another name for controlling people. The truth is that obedience and respect shouldn’t be automatic. They should be earned and based on the parent’s performance. Some parents deserve respect, but most of them don’t, period. You’re down to six.

Now in the interest of logic, something religion is very uncomfortable with, we’re going to jump around the list a little bit.

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL

THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS

Stealing and lying. Well actually, these two both prohibit the same kind of behavior- dishonesty. So you don’t really need two you combine them and call the commandment “thou shalt not be dishonest”. And suddenly you’re down to 5.

And as long as we’re combining I have two others that belong together:

THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTRY

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR’S WIFE

Once again, these two prohibit the same type of behavior. In this case it is marital infidelity. The difference is- coveting takes place in the mind. But I don’t think you should outlaw fantasizing about someone else’s wife because what is a guy gonna think about when he’s waxing his carrot? But, marital infidelity is a good idea so we’re gonna keep this one and call it “thou shalt not be unfaithful”. And suddenly we’re down to four.

But when you think about it, honesty and infidelity are really part of the same overall value so, in truth, you could combine the two honesty commandments with the two fidelity commandments and give them simpler language, positive language instead of negative language and call the whole thing “thou shalt always be honest and faithful” and we’re down to 3.

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR”S GOODS

This one is just plain fuckin’ stupid. Coveting your neighbor’s goods is what keeps the economy going! Your neighbor gets a vibrator that plays “o come o ye faithful”, and you want one too! Coveting creates jobs, so leave it alone. You throw out coveting and you’re down to 2 now- the big honesty and fidelity commandment and the one we haven’t talked about yet:

THOU SHALT NOT KILL

Murder. But when you think about it, religion has never really had a big problem with murder. More people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. All you have to do is look at Northern Ireland, Cashmire, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious folks take thou shalt not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable. It depends on who’s doin the killin’ and who’s gettin’ killed. So, with all of this in mind, I give you my revised list of the two commandments:

Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.

and

Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin’ pocket. I wouldn’t mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

MacMerc: Looks like you should never lose at the Pepsi iTunes giveaway! Just hold the bottle at roughly 25 degrees and look at the underside of the cap. If you see “again”, that’s a loser so grab another bottle and try again!

GROW: 11,500 so far. I’m going to figure this out, damnit.

UPDATE: Ok, 13,900. I’m close!

I’ve spent so much time on this site now that I cannot remember where I came from to get to it (No, I can’t just hit back in my browser since I open almost all new links as a tab in Mozilla), but it was probably Slashdot.

Anyway, after having debated for a few years in high school, I learned a few terms for debate tactics, but here is an entire site with terms for each fallacy. Honestly, I must have observed all of these at one time or another. A few are extremely frustrating because it is almost as hard to explain the fallacy as it is to fight in the debate. Some examples are burden of proof, confusing cause and effect (seems easy to explain, just try with some people!), and straw man. I will admit that I have used a handful of these fallacies as well, but I usually know I am using them. They are only used when I do not have quite enough evidence to back up my clain so I attempt to hoodwink someone with a fallacy while I think of better evidence. If someone catches me in the fallacy, now I can give an offical term for the fallacy to show that I genuinely knew what I was doing.

I put almost $700 worth of food on my credit cards in December. Can you believe that? I spent about as much on food as I did on rent! Someone needs to stop eating out so much.