Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

Advertisements

Pragmatics

Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning. Pragmatics encompasses speech act theory, conversational implicature, talk in interaction and other approaches to language behavior in philosophy, sociology, and linguistics. It studies how the transmission of meaning depends not only on the linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar, lexicon etc.) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance, knowledge about the status of those involved, the inferred intent of the speaker, and so on. In this respect, pragmatics explains how language users are able to overcome apparent ambiguity, since meaning relies on the manner, place, time etc. of an utterance. –Wikipedia

LuxRender: Open-Source, Unbiased Renderer

luxrenderLuxRender

LuxRender is a new, open-source, free software rendering system for physically correct, unbiased image synthesis. Rendering with LuxRender means simulating the flow of light according to physical equations. This produces realistic, photographic-quality images. – LuxRender.net

As I understand it, an unbiased renderer is one which attempts to simulate the physical properties of light. Biased renderers allow you to create images which would not be possible in the real world. For instance light in a biased renderer travels directly from light sources to objects in their path. Once the light strikes an object it stops there. Any surfaces in the shadows would be perfectly black. In unbiased* renderers the light travels from light sources to the objects in the scene and then continues to bounce around until then energy drops to an insignificant level.

* July 4, 2009, When I originally posted this I wrote biased which is incorrect. Unbiased = close to real world physical light simulation. Biased = fake, less realistic

Proof that God Exists

proofThe first thing you see when you visit ProofThatGodExists.org is a page with four buttons.

“Absolute Tuth Exists”
“Absolute Truth Does not Exist”
“I Don’t Know if Absolute Truth Exists”
“I Don’t Care if Absolute Truth Exists”

The first button takes you to a page with two buttons.

“Laws of Logic Exist”
“Laws of Logic Do Not Exist”

If you continue to click on the first button on each page then you will read that the laws of logic, math, science and absolute morality are immaterial, universal and unchanging and could only exist in a universe governed by God.

This sounds like a syllogism:

(1) Absolutes exist.
(2) Absolutes can only exist in a universe governed by God.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

In order for the conclusion (3) to be true, both (1) and (2) must be true. I don’t know if the first is true, but it seems to me that it is possible that it is true. [I have discussed elsewhere the idea of absolute morality.] Premise (2) on the other hand is more difficult to believe. Maybe it is just part of the nature of matter to behave in a way that gives us what we call the laws of science. When I have discussed my doubts with Christians they tell me to ask God to show himself to me. They say that if I immerse myself in the Bible I will begin to see the truth of God’s existence. If prayer is necessary to believe in God, then what is the point of using deductive logic?