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John R. Ellis
Worked at Retired
Attended Rice University
Lives in Amarillo TX
14,679 followers|3,022,713 views


John R. Ellis

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33 kindred souls with ODD

I'm telling you, don't tell us what to do.  <irony>

Via Advocates.
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+Rick Macmurchie It's not a problem, it's a feature.
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John R. Ellis

Discussion  - 
Trolling a troll?

excerpt~~Anyone who knows anything about Cruz will immediately recognize this isn’t a domain from the real Ted Cruz, considering how much of a vocal opponent he has been of Obama and his immigration actions.

He’s gone as far as accuse the Obama administration of “counterfeiting immigration documents.”

But isn’t the only site trolling Cruz. redirects to
His official website is

All of this is a cautionary tale on how public figures — especially politicians running for office — should lock up any and all domain names that could be associated with them.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also learned that lesson, after CJ Phillips and Charlie Rainwater, a self-described “tech bear” couple, bought and are using it as a platform to educate people on the impact of politics on LGBT families.
Today, while Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is officially announcing his 2016 presidential bid, is trolling him.
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I despise this man and what he stands for. Please troll him more internet world.... :)
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Human nature and bias

The attached religious meme from Modern Atheist G+ Community has a point about human nature, often discussed by +David McRaney in his YANSS podcast, although the meme wording is a bit too short to fully encapsulate it.  Even if we know we MUST be wrong about some things, we don't know what those things are, and we all feel like or believe we are right about what we think we "know".  Those who disagree are "wrong" unless they can change our mind with new information, which is easier said than done.  And most of us do think it is better to know more, and be right, than to know less and be wrong - it used to be that elite knowledge was a good thing, but now "elitism" has been given a bad connotation.  We are all biased, but we don't all recognize that we are, or how we are.  Skeptics at least TRY to overcome their biases and adopt what is right or truthful.  Which in my not so humble opinion makes us better than the drooling unwashed masses of ignorati who don't care to learn how things are.  Is it better to be right than wrong?  Is it wrong to be better than worse?

#bias   #criticalthinking   #skepticism   #sundaysermon  
Rick O'Keefe's profile photoAmber Petchey's profile photoTohho 1972's profile photoDoubting Thomas's profile photo
I agree as long as negative actions are not done to anyone because of belief
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John R. Ellis

Bacon  - 
From the other Bacon Community.  Bacon-wrapped Crocochicken on the barbie.

A crocodile wrapped in bacon with a chicken stuffed in its mouth. They tell me it's the turducken of Australia!
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That is either a very small croc or a mighty large chicken. 
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John R. Ellis

Discussion  - 
Science vs Faith

Of course, "Science" can refer to a system of thought (the scientific method) or the body of knowledge that is continually being refined by experiments and data collection.   Brian is referring to the first one.....

Scientific success and the failure of faith.
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A picture emailed to me by +Barbara Wilson +Barbara Wilson of some Austin TX beekeepers inspecting a Top Bar hive frame....

#honeybee   #topbar  
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English, the Language

25 neat easy-to-read maps and short discussions:

#englishlanguage   #linguistics  
From Beowulf to Wikipedia, here's how English grew, spread, and changed.
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Haha hahaha haha
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Nice to see that other cities also have a "34th street" situation....

#Amarillo   #potholes  
Steve Jackson's profile photoJP Gwinn's profile photo
Yeah 34th is priority the rest of the city will have to wait #potholes. In the meantime don't text and drive....ha.
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On the topic of preserving old data and pictures

This topic was discussed a bit on a recent SGU podcast.  Steve has a lot of data from the early days of the New England Skeptic Society on 5.25 inch and 3.5 inch floppy disks, and nothing to read them or decode them now.  OTOH - I have boxes of old photographs and negatives handed down to me, and no idea who the people are or the importance of the photos. Our childhood movies were transferred to Beta video tape, since surely that would forever be playable.   I've lost all my own digital photos and documents in a number of hard drive crashes with no back ups, and that was sort of liberating in a way - not having to "manage" that data any more.  Of what value are a zillion smart phone photos of people, places, pets, and meals, that no one cares about now, much less a thousand years from now?

#DataDarkAge   #Digitalvellum  
Can you open this Office 95 doc?

excerpt~~Our life, our memories, our most cherished family photographs increasingly exist as bits of information - on our hard drives or in "the cloud". But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution.

"I worry a great deal about that," Mr Cerf told me. "You and I are experiencing things like this. Old formats of documents that we've created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed.

"And so what can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is."

'Digital vellum'

Vint Cerf is promoting an idea to preserve every piece of software and hardware so that it never becomes obsolete - just like what happens in a museum - but in digital form, in servers in the cloud.
If his idea works, the memories we hold so dear could be accessible for generations to come.

"The solution is to take an X-ray snapshot of the content and the application and the operating system together, with a description of the machine that it runs on, and preserve that for long periods of time. And that digital snapshot will recreate the past in the future."
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6 comments has been doing of things like archiving magazine cover discs and other relatively ephemeral media.
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John R. Ellis

Survivor  - 
Meet Max Dawson: Survivor professor, Survivor Internet’s best friend, Survivor contestant — and now, Survivor casualty.Not that he views himself as a victim, mind you. For all the flaws he demonstrated as a Survivor player, Dawson has nothing but pride in the experience. Well known among Survivor fans for teaching a college course on the historic [...]
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H/T:  +Max Dawson 
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John R. Ellis

General G+ discussion  - 
Just an FYI - G+ is behaving terribly for me right now - some new posts are not showing up in Communities or on Post tabs.  Hopefully, this means they are rolling out new code that fixes ALL the problems that people complain about.  :-)  Or they are shutting it down today - who knows?  ;-)

Edit - and not too unexpectedly, a Chrome Update rolled out to me shortly after posting this.  Version 41.0.2272.101 m

John R. Ellis's profile photoKenny “KitkatRai” Pathos's profile photoWilliam Hanes's profile photoTinc Dumitru's profile photo
Strange, everything seems to be working fine for me... though missing notifications I've experienced as well, maybe the stray late one too
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Have him in circles
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Internet Curmudgeon, Atheist, Skeptic
Triangulator, Rumorist, Information Curator
  • Retired
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Amarillo TX
Amarillo - Houston
Contact Information
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
Not to mention apophasis - my favorite paralipsis. And you can't Reason with Delusion.

Communities radically changed how G+ works.  I post almost exclusively to Public and Private Communities.  That's why I (usually) leave my Community posts visible on my Post's page.  If you know me in real life - please notify me when you circle me!

Which Circle?  If I were putting me into my Circles, I'd choose my Favorites circle, my Skeptics (Consumer Protection Advocates who use Science and Reason to debunk harmful frauds and scams) Circle, and/or my Atheists (people who have not found any credible evidence of any gods, angels, devils, ghosts, or souls) Circle.  I doubt there will be a major theme to my occasional original posts or re-shares - just what strikes me as interesting at the time - but that is more likely to be related to Neuroscience or Technology.  Here is a list of the Podcasts I subscribe to, which indicates what I'm most interested in:

As a general rule, I don't believe in banning, blocking, censorship, or flagging. "John Stuart Mill argued that silencing an opinion is "a peculiar evil." If the opinion is right, we are robbed of the "opportunity of exchanging error for truth"; and if it's wrong, we are deprived of a deeper understanding of the truth in its "collision with error." If we know only our own side of the argument, we hardly know even that: it becomes stale, soon learned by rote, untested, a pallid and lifeless truth." - Carl Sagan  It is most unlikely that you will offend me with posts or comments, unless you post moronic idiocy, of course, or try to convince me that Your God really exists, and Your Religion actually knows her, or you post only Spam or Spam my posts.  If you circle me and want to be Notified of my rather infrequent posts, put me in a Circle where you have Notifications set to On. 

Getting started in G+.  Add this entire circle linked below to gets lots of interesting posts and interactions in your Home Stream:

And here is a circle of Pages that Share circles - you can visit them to see what sorts of circles they post that might interest you and add them, or have them add you to the circles some of them maintain on certain topics.

Next - go to Communities and enter in some topics that interest you into the Search bar to find Communities built around those topics.  Join a few of them that show lots of members and lots of posts, and start commenting on those posts or posting your own contributions to the topic.  Before long, you'll want to throttle down the firehose of information coming your way!

This Community will tell you most all you need to know about how G+ works:

What is G+?  (Explanation for the newly invited). The usual uninformed answer is that it is Google's version of Facebook or Myspace.  But it's not like that at all - it is more comparable to Twitter microblogging, but instead of mostly vapid < 140 character tweets, you get a Stream of thoughtful content, links, videos, and articles from people you choose to follow because they share things that interest you.  Which makes it addictive and time-consuming, because if you follow enough People and Pages and Communities, you get a nearly continuous Stream of things you want to know about.  Plus some occasional other stuff you might not even know you are interested in until you've been exposed to it.  And by using Circles and hashtag searches appropriately, you can check out other people or things Topic by Topic.  In summary, Facebook is about people, Twitter is about trends, and G+ is about Content and Information.  While most people use G+ to microblog, it is well suited to full blogging too - you just won't get paid for your work here, but also are not paying for the blog hosting.  Your blog here is more likely to get a lot more eyeballs and comments.  Or you can use G+ to microblog a link to your professional blog, but most people will be too lazy to do that extra click.

G+ is designed to be Addictive!  Almost like playing a Slot Machine - maybe the NEXT Post in your Stream will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, ask a question you know the answer to, or reveal the Secret of Life.  All while your red Notifications box keeps dinging that someone has thought of you.  Be sure to blink every hour, and get up from your chair at least daily.

How Do Circles and Sharing Work on G+?  Explained here:

Sharing is not Sending! I went ahead and made a post of how G+ Sharing and Circling works, based on what I slowly learned on my own through trial and error:

How Sharing/Posting and Circles work on G+

Well if Circles are used to block people from seeing posts, then what does blocking do?

What the Hell is Atheism Minus?

As founder and Spiritual Leader of Atheism Minus - this should answer the FAQs I get:

Copyrights:  Feel free to use any post or statement or idea of mine in an open source, creative commons way.  Credit me if you like - or not.  BTW: that long "rights" thing you see on a lot of About Pages here and on Facebook is legally meaningless.

Disclaimers:  My posts or G+ comments are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Or Legal advice.  Or Stock Market advice.  Or Dietary advice.  Or Political advice.

If you have a concern about any posting or comment being factually incorrect, please contact me. Please provide details of who you are, how I can contact you, what your interest is, and what your concern is. If something has been written that is factually incorrect (and was not sarcasm), it will be addressed. Anonymous complaints will be ignored.

GloMar Response:  We can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of the information requested or records or data on the subject matter responsive to your request - but hypothetically, if such records or data did exist, such subject matter would be classified and could not be disclosed or released to you... 
Bragging rights
Survived Erythroblastosis fetalis. Also backpacked across the Arctic, then ran the Mount Marathon race in Seward, AK. Survived that too. A little worse for wear from all of those. More recently, I was blocked on G+ by SGU's RW, for being an intelligent man with an opinion differing from her clique, which she won't tolerate. Well excuuuuse me... Also, I am Founder and Spiritual Head of the largest Atheist Movement of all time - Atheism Minus (A-). It is comprised of all New Atheists, Old Atheists, and Agnostics who are not members of A+. NTTIAWWT, of course. Supreme Skunk Dick Mims H. Carter has publicly called me a Skunk Dick Squared. I score very high on online Asperger tests, which the NTs might not think is something to brag about, but we know better, as usual. I am Owner of the Advocates - For All the Things! private Community, and of the Irreverent Skeptics ( #IrrSkep ) public Community for fans and Hosts of Skeptical and/or Atheist Podcasts, and Own or Mod many more Communities. Find them in Community Search or links below.
  • Rice University
    Psychology, Electrical Engineering, 1974 - 1978
  • Rice University
    Master of EE, 1978 - 1979
  • Baylor College of Medicine
    MD, 1979 - 1982
  • Baylor College of Medicine
    Neurology, 1982 - 1986
  • Universal Life Church
    Ordained Minister, 2000
  • Irreligiosophy
    PhIrrD, 2010
  • Thunderwood
    Numerous, 2011
Basic Information
March 8, 1957
Other names
Jelly Belly
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John R. Ellis's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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