This is What I Think About!

One of the recent television commercials for the U.S. Navy depicts two police officers in their cruiser, patroling a sketchy urban neighborhood. Suddenly they pick out a boy in a group of friends, and call him over to the vehicle. One of the police officers points to his laptop, annoyed, saying, “It, uhh… it crashed again.” The boy glances at the laptop screen and says proudly, “Reboot with F8 in Safe Mode.

Now, it is true that pressing F8 during the boot sequence will allow you to enter Safe Mode. However, going into Safe Mode is a very temporary measure, and by no means the solution to the underlying problem! Booting into Safe Mode should only be done in the most extreme situations (e.g. a malfunctioning video driver), and should never be used for anything except repairing critical errors in the operating system, and then making sure the computer can boot back into normal mode.

The Navy-bound computer whiz-kid should never have let the officer drive off with the computer still in Safe Mode. If anything, the officer will encounter more problems (or at least annoyances) trying to work in Safe Mode than working normally with an occasional crash. Is this kid really the kind of person we want working as an Airborne Ops Tech?

Bible Code Finder

At long last, I’ve recovered the source code for my Bible Code Finder application. It’s covered in more detail in this article. The program takes a plain text file (preferably a large one), and allows you to scan it for occurrences of words with equidistant letter spacing. Download the program and, if you’d like, the source code repository. To download the full text of the Bible (or a great number of other texts), visit Project Gutenberg.

Example Bible CodeIt works like this: start the program and open the text file that you want to search (the program automatically strips punctuation and whitespace). Then enter up to seven words to look for, and click the Start button! The program will find the first occurrence of all words within a certain range, unless you select “Find All” instead of “Find One.” The result(s) will be shown in the Results tab.

The “Frame Size” parameter is the range (in letters) within which all words must be found. “Min Delta” and “Max Delta” are the minimum and maximum letter spacing of words to search.

Obviously, longer words will take longer to search for. Generally it’s highly improbable to find combinations with words longer than 8 letters. On the other hand, don’t search for words shorter than three letters, since too many results will be found. As a rule, try to enter longer words first, then shorter words. This will result in a quicker search.

Another Thought on New-Age Nonsense

Why is it that the more ancient a certain alternative healing technique is (or the more Eastern it is), the more “hip” it is to practice it?

Isn’t it well-established that people in ancient times were less smart than we are today? What does this say about the medicinal techniques they employed?

With the advent of modern (“Western”) medicine, the average human lifespan has nearly doubled, numerous diseases have been completely eradicated, and we are well on our way to reverse-engineering the very structure of life itself. This is due only to the fact that all forms of voodoo, magick, and pseudoscience have been eliminated from the medical profession.

For New Age proponents to attempt to reinsert pseudoscientific quackery into medicine and “restore harmony with the ancient ways” is not only counterproductive, but dangerous, and ultimately futile.

Getting NTFS to Work in Linux

This is really not that difficult, but I thought I’d document it here for my own reference later on. First, download the kernel module RPM from the official linux-ntfs site. Install the RPM:

rpm -ivh kernel-module-ntfs*

Then load the kernel module:

/sbin/modprobe ntfs

And that’s it. If you want to permanently mount an NTFS partition at a certain directory, add a line to /etc/fstab:

/dev/sda1    /home/username/mydir    ntfs    ro,umask=0222    0    0

It’s best to mount NTFS partitions as read-only, since NTFS support in Linux is still incomplete, and we don’t want to risk damaging the partition.

Takionic Follow-up

There’s something I forgot to mention in my previous post on the absurdity of Tachyon Energy. What good is any New Age healing technology without the endorsement of one or two controversial medical practitioners, and some anecdotal evidence from athletes and friends of the inventors? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find in the “Testimonials” sections of the Tachyon websites.

No doubt, endorsements from doctors and other professionals can be used to lend more credibility to a theory as radical as tachyon energy. An endorsement from a physicist would really be preferable, but no such luck. Still, let’s examine the credibility of the professionals that the Tachyon websites quote as being full supporters of the tachyon technology.

The most prominent figure in the field of Tachyon research appears to be David Wagner. Indeed, Mr. Wagner is actually the founder of Advanced Tachyon Technologies, whose website was the main focus of my previous article. He is also the supposed inventor of the mysterious Tachyonization machine, which is claimed to alter any substance at a “submolecular” level, so that the substance becomes “tachyonized.”

One would think that, with a breakthrough of this magnitude, Mr. Wagner would have published a paper or two in well-known scientific journals, or offer his device for testing in a laboratory. But a simple search turns up no results for Wagner in any publication, except a book about Tachyon energy that he cowrote with Gabriel Cousens, a medical doctor (again, not a physicist). I would wager that the book contains similar drivel to that found on the ATT website. Truthfully, some of the explanations reminded me of Gene Ray’s discourse on his Time Cube theory! But at least Gene Ray isn’t selling anything.

With the purported infinite healing properties of Wagner’s tachyonizing device, wouldn’t Wagner have a moral responsibility to give up his invention for the greater good of the planet? With the potential for healing millions of people, Wagner would gain worldwide renown, not to mention a Nobel Prize. But instead, Mr. Wagner has kept his tachyonization process “proprietary” for years, and only focuses on refining his business model for recruiting distributors for his wares. Does this sound like a true inventor, or simply a clever con-artist?

The other prominent name mentioned on the Tachyon websites is that of Dr. Hans Nieper (1928 – 1998), a German cardiologist and oncologist. Dr. Nieper was indeed a well-known doctor who used radically unorthodox methods for treating cancer, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular problems with megadoses of mineral supplements. Nieper did achieve impressive clinical results, but what exactly does that have to do with tachyons? Notice, once again, that Nieper is not a physicist. In fact, here’s what Russell Mills of the Delano Report says about Nieper:

Unfortunately, Nieper’s exposure to physics seems to have consisted of taking just one undergraduate physics course and then doing a great deal of reading over the years – an approach that seldom leads to excellence in such an intellectually demanding field. Thus, despite being very intelligent and having a fine memory, Nieper did not reach a deep or correct understanding of theoretical physics. In fact, his views on physics were superficial and naive, and the medical theories he tried to derive from them were rightly considered by physicists, biologists, and medical researchers to be errant nonsense.

Apparently Dr. Nieper, with his minimal formal training in physics, began to weave nonsensical theories about unseen energy fields, subatomic fluctuations, the ethereal realm, and of course tachyons, all of which he related to maladies of the human body. Naturally, New Age “researchers” snatched up Nieper’s theories and declared them as canon. Incidentally, the enthusiasm with which New Age proponents adapted these theories says something about their level of experience in physics, too, not to mention their experience in critical thinking.

And still, no publications exist that confirm the existence of tachyons, none that confirm the existence of the Tachyonization machine, and none that confirm the influence of tachyons on personal health.

I gladly welcome any of the Tachyon distributors to send me a sample of their product (I’m certainly not about to pay for it), so that I can conduct a simple double-blind test of the product’s effectiveness, a test that every one of the distributors forgot to do.