atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1585: When is "the slipperly slope" not a logical fallacy?

When it's true. Short form: now that homosexuals are being granted the "right" to marry by an ever-increasing number of states, now polygamists want the same right.

Quoth the article:
The fact that polygamists, and indeed those with other sexual proclivities, would use the same "civil rights" and "equality" arguments forwarded by homosexuals seeking "marriage" rights has been predicted for years.
Oh, we are told, but that's a "slippery slope" argument! It's a logical fallacy!

But guess what? Now that homosexuals are getting their way, now polygamists (and polyandrists) are saying that the law is still discriminatory.

And after polygamists get their way? What's to stop people from marrying their pets? Will we draw the line at pedophilia? Where does it end?

I don't mention pedophilia lightly, here; if you take a good look at the humanities programs of some colleges you find that there are courses that include child ponrography as course material, and not in the context that it is bad for the children. As long as the ACLU continues to defend NAMBLA's freedom of expression you can expect that this crap will be waiting in the wings.

Where does this "right to marry" stuff end? Does it?

* * *

Speaking of the Anti-Christian Liberals Union, the graduating class of Florida's Pace High School gave them the bird at their graduation by standing up en masse and reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Apparently the ACLU was in the process of suing the school to have any and all expressions of faith banned there--there's no mention in the article of any student or student's parent who was offended and brought suit.

Those kids are awesome. Way to go.

* * *

A model rocket that is five feet long and can reach 16,000 feet is not a "model" rocket. It falls into the classification of "high power rocketry".

If you want to launch something like that, generally you need to get an FAA waiver, because launching that kind of rocket is against the law.

The waiver system works fairly well, especially since such launches are anything but routine. When you are going to have a launch, you contact the FAA and apply for a waiver. The waiver has to be for a specific date and time, and generally has a ceiling beyond which no rocket may go. If you work with the FAA you can secure quite a liberal waiver because the idea here is not to prevent amateur rocket launches, but to regulate them so that no aircraft are put in danger.

It would be a nontrivial thing for a 5-foot rocket to spear a jumbo's wing or something, but some of those rockets move fast...and if the rocket hit the plane it could damage something vital. "Could" does not mean "will" but the FAA is in the business of trying to prevent any and every crash, no matter how unlikely.

I understand and accept these rules for several reasons--one being that I understand why these rules exist, another being that they are not draconian--and agree that whoever launched those rockets needs to be found and arrested.

* * *

I can guarantee that this will not pan out. A "magnet-powered motor"? Sir, let me introduce you to my friends, the LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS, simplified version:

1) You can't win.
2) You can't break even.
3) You can't get out of the game.

#1 can alternately be described using Heinlein: TANSTAAFL, "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch". Every machine requires a power input of some kind--fuel, electricity, heat, something--in order to do work. ("Work" in the physics sense, force times distance.)

#2: No machine will return all of the input power as work. There will be some input energy that will be lost as waste heat, friction, noise, WTF-ever.

#3: There is no external reservoir to tap: the universe is it. Your machine does not exist in its own pocket reality; the waste heat it generates must go somewhere and the energy it consumes must come from somewhere, and all of those "somewheres" are part of the observable universe.

There has never, never, ever been any exception found to these rules, no matter how small. Ever. when I hear a story about some guy inventing a motor that needs no fuel, I think, "No. Sorry; no."

It's physically impossible.

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