The Wulfric the Wanderer Series

The Wulfric the Wanderer Series
A Sword & Sorcery Series written by Charles Moffat

Friday, October 08, 2021

Scientific Arrogance and Ignorance at Work

Men (and consequently male scientists) have often made large mistakes based on assumptions because they are inherently biased, arrogant about their own intellect, and yet ignorant of the things they don't know.

In the words of Samuel L. Jackson's character 'Gin Rummy' from Pulp Fiction:

"Well, what I'm saying is that there are known knowns and that there are known unknowns. But there are also unknown unknowns; things we don't know that we don't know."

And therein lies the problem with certain branches of science, wherein there are too many unknowns and the scientists involved are sometimes just guessing based upon their personal biases.

Take for example Egyptian Archaeology.

We don't know a lot about the ancient Egyptians. Ergo, there is a lot of unknowns, and worse, there are also unknown unknowns.

Thus when archaeologists assert something, I have a tendency to disbelieve whatever they are saying because I have frequently noticed that archaeologists say stuff that is only supported by their biased viewpoint and a lack of evidence.

Let's take for example the following...

A regular person (someone not versed in the history of physics) would probably just look at the above images and think "Hmm. Okay. The Egyptians must have figured out to make a light bulb. That's bizarre and yet interesting."

Except it is NOT a light bulb.

It is something far more significant than merely creating light.

What you are looking at is something similar to a Cathode-ray tube or a Crooke's tube, which were used by early physicists to prove the existence of electrons and sub-atomic particles.

So definitely NOT a light bulb...

But something far more important.

Let me explain...

The Crookes tube (also called the Crookes–Hittorf tube) dates back to early electrical discharge experiments using a partial vacuum, and was invented by English physicist William Crookes, Johann Hittorf and others around 1869-1875, in which cathode rays, streams of electrons, were discovered.

Ferdinand Braun developed the first cathode-ray oscilloscope in 1897, a sort of precursor to the television set.

The CRT became the cornerstone in developing a fully electronic television by 1927.

America's first nuclear explosion occurred on July 16, 1945.

So it only took 70 years to go from discovering sub-atomic particles to splitting the atom using nuclear fission.

The "Tinfoil Hat / Ancient Alien" people out there would like you to believe that Ancient Egyptians had much greater technology than we care to admit, while the stodgy "I wouldn't stake my reputation on it" scientific crowd would never dare to even talk about such things.

Both groups are talking from a position of ignorance, and also arrogance.

They don't know, and therefore they make assumptions. And they base those assumptions on their biases and whatever side of the railroad tracks they've decided to setup camp on. It is basically tribalism.

"I am right because I say am I right, even if you have evidence to the contrary."

The people claiming such Egyptian devices are light bulbs from aliens are the true morons, because they are assuming that Ancient Egyptian scientists couldn't just invent these things on their own. Meanwhile the Egyptologists denying the existence of such devices or refusing to talk about them for fear of damaging their reputations are just as bad, because shunning the pursuit of knowledge or trying to slam the door on the investigation of such devices means they are choosing to willfully ignore historical evidence.

There needs to be an open space in the middle, where people can freely discuss things on a purely scientific basis (without any mention of either crackpot alien theories or damaging reputations).

Which leads me to the idea that perhaps such ideas should be discussed anonymously, so that scientists who are worried about their reputations can just do so anonymously without fear of losing their job or damaging their reputation because they supported a theory that Egyptians may have been a lot smarter than what we give them credit.

The Egyptians did manage to build the pyramids, one of the few man made structures easily visible from space, using rocks so big that modern scientists still don't know how to lift them or cut them with such precision. Do you know of a machine that can lift a 200 tonne rock?

That is the problem. We are still just ignorant.

And every time we ignore that the Ancient Egyptians were more technological advanced than we give them credit for indicates that our arrogance on the subject needs to be corrected.


Here's some genetic science for you to think about...

Almost every redheaded person in Ireland can trace their genetics back to Queen Scotia, who according to Irish legend was the first queen of Ireland and Scotland (hence the name), having conquered the region from the tribes who used to live there.

But where did Queen Scotia come from? According to legend, Queen Scotia came from Egypt. She was the daughter of a pharaoh. She brought to Ireland with her the Stone of Scone (upon which Kings and Queens would later be coronated), a stone which scientists have since determined is made of a type of rock not native to the British Isles, but matches the types of rocks found in Egypt.

Now naysayers of the stories will no doubt tell you that there is no way Queen Scotia really was the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh. She couldn't possibly be. Right?

But then scientists checked the DNA of various Egyptian mummies with red hair and made some startling discoveries... 70% of the redheaded people in the British Isles, mostly in Ireland and Scotland, were direct descendants from Egyptian pharaohs.

So if you're Irish or Scottish and have red hair and just learning this now, congratulations! You're descended from Egyptian royalty!

Honestly a lot of people on the British Isles apparently are... So you're not alone. There's a whole lot of you...

But this just goes to prove several things.

#1. We should never ignore the possibility that ancient myths and legends might actually be based on true events.

#2. When in doubt find a way to scientifically check to see if it is true. Checking the DNA is a pretty accurate way of confirming something.

#3. We cannot just assume things must be true or false based on lack of evidence. We need to find evidence that definitively proves something is true or false. Otherwise we are just dealing with unknown unknowns.

Food for thought!

Friday, October 01, 2021

Rich White Men at Work

 Do you know what the biggest difference is between rich white men and poor white men (and everyone else for that matter)???

Well, financially speaking it boils down to one thing:


Seriously the stock market is the biggest difference between the rich and the poor, of which the majority of wealth in North America is owned by rich white men.

  • Jeff Bezos
  • Bill Gates
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Warren Buffett
  • Elon Musk
  • Etc

It is a long list of rich white men, sprinkled with the rare woman like Alice Walton.

Or the rare person who isn't white and male.

And what do they all have in common?


Most of their networth is based on how many stocks they own in valuable companies.

Companies like PayPal, which is basically a bank, and it is mostly owned by Elon Musk.

And here's the rub...

  • Stocks go up in value.
  • Stocks pay dividends on the company's earnings.
  • The government doesn't really tax stocks the same way we tax normal income. It is almost completely tax free.
  • If you're rich enough you can borrow against the value of your stocks.

Thus we're talking about rich people who don't pay income taxes like the rest of us, borrow money against the value of their stocks so they never have to cash them in, and they are making hand over fist as the stocks continue to go up in value plus pay stock dividends.
There are many types of stocks too.
Growth stocks, which go up dramatically over time.
Dividend stocks, which go up and down, but pay you a share of the earnings every year, every quarter, or sometimes even every month.
Growth/Dividend stocks which do both at the same time.
And in order to be financially stable many people diversify their stock portfolios so they have a little bit in tech stocks like Google, Apple, Shopify, etc, a little bit in mineral mining (eg. gold, silver, copper, etc), a little bit in ETFs, specific retail stores, etc.

So let's pretend that you invest in growth stocks, and your stocks go up (on average) in value 10% per year.

Put $1,000,000 into that and a year later it is worth $1.1 million.

Wait another year. $1.21 million.

Another year. $1.331 million.

In the USA if you take a percentage of those stocks and sell them then you pay 15% taxes on any profits you made. Not the value of the stocks, only 15% on the profits.

So if you sell $100,000 worth of stock that you originally paid $70,000 for 3.5 years earlier, you made $30,000 on the stock. How much taxes do you pay?


Peanuts. You sold $100,000 worth of stock and only paid $3500 in capital gains taxes.

You can also... get this... sell $100,000 worth of your stocks that aren't performing quite so well. Let's pretend some of your stock portfolio wasn't doing so hot and you didn't actually make money off of those stocks.

So you sell $100,000 worth.

Guess how much taxes you pay on those stocks?

Well, if you didn't actually make any money off those specific stocks the amount of taxes you pay is zero.


Zero. Nothing.

Your other stocks are going up in value, but you are just selling the stocks that aren't performing that well.

Or maybe they only went up in value say about 1.11%.

From $99,000 to $100,000. So you only made $1000 off of those specific stocks. How much do you pay in capital gains tax?

You only pay $150 in taxes for cashing in $100,000 of your poorest performing stocks.

And you wonder why the rich get richer and the poor stay poor? It is because the rich people don't really pay much in terms of taxes on their earnings, and the poor people don't own any stocks.

Seriously. Do YOU own stocks?

Do you?

Chances are fairly even that you do or don't.

Only 56% of Americans own stocks, although some of them own very little. The other 44% of Americans don't own a single stock. So roughly half of all Americans don't own any stocks.

Only 65.6% of Americans own a home (January 2021 stat).

It is no wonder so many Americans have problems with poverty. Roughly one third of Americans are unable to save money, invest in stocks, buy a home, etc. It is amazing that the poor haven't just risen up and started killing the rich. Buying a gun is so much cheaper in the USA.

The banks don't make it easy either. They charge people fees to buy stocks, which basically keeps the rich wealthy and the ability to buy stocks out of the hands of poor people. Some of the banks charge as much as $10 to make one stock trade. So if you only want to buy $100 worth of stock, but you are paying $10 per trade you've already lost money on purchasing the stock. It makes no sense.

But there are companies working to fix that.

RobinHood in the USA, and its counterpart WealthSimple in Canada, are two apps which allow poor people to buy and trade stocks, but they don't charge such ridiculous fees because the trades are all done via computers. Instead the apps make money by offering premium services while just using the apps with the basic features is free.

In fact in Canada if you join WealthSimple they will even give you two free stocks to trade. Use this link, and get two free stocks to trade:

What you really want to ask yourself is, aren't you tired of the banks taking your money, charging you bank fees, and then giving you almost zero in interest? Isn't it time your money started working for you, instead of just benefiting the bank?

Seriously. The banks just nickel and dime you with fees these days, buy pay almost nothing in interest because the interest rates are so low.

Meanwhile stocks like TXF are going up in value and paying 10.02% in dividends. See the stats below to see what I mean.

You don't even have to know much about stocks these days. You just have to know that if you buy ETFs that your money is being spread around between different companies and the people managing the ETF fund is doing all of the work for you. Just look at the yield below to see how much the ETF pays out per year in dividends and you will realize that certain stocks pay for themselves.

Seriously. There's a reason the rich white men keep getting richer. They're making all of the money off the stock market while the rest of the poor schmoes do all the work.

Isn't it time you got a piece of that??? Make your money work for you!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sexist Men are more likely to think Romeo is the main character of Romeo & Juliet

This just in...

In a rather unscientific poll of people on Twitter and Instagram, men are more likely to think that Romeo is the main character of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" as opposed to both characters being "main characters".

First, let's define what is a main character or protagonist.

"A protagonist is the main character of a story. The protagonist makes key decisions that affect the plot, primarily influencing the story and propelling it forward and is often the character who faces the most significant obstacles."

Using this definition, we see that Romeo and Juliet are both main characters because they both fit that definition, since they routinely make decisions which push the plot forward, and bring it to its final conclusion when Romeo chooses to kill himself, and Juliet similarly chooses to kill herself.

It should also be noted that the roles are reversed. Juliet is female, but she is portrayed as being more aggressive, determined and intelligent, whereas Romeo is male, but he is depicted as a whiny bitch (albeit a charming one) who loses his temper and goes off the rails.

Despite this, some men when polled stated that they believed Romeo was the main character, and refuted the idea that it was possible to have "two main characters" in a story. Some men argued, in typical sexist fashion, that Juliet is just a supporting character that is just there to be the object of Romeo's romantic desires.

One male responder to the poll also argued that the theatre production should be called "Chad and Stacy" and went on an insane rant about how "all women like Juliet are just cockteasers who put you in the friendzone while looking for a Chad". (I had to look this up, but apparently Chad and Stacy are "incel terms", which tells us that this particular responder is a virgin who cannot get laid - probably because he's a creepy sexist pig.)

Despite the sexist male component, the poll did determine that an overwhelming majority of people do agree that both Romeo and Juliet are main characters.

Both characters do fit the protagonist description after all.

Romeo has a tiny bit more lines than Juliet, but his lines are shorter. Juliet has almost the same number of lines, but her lines are longer. If we compare the total number of words spoken then Juliet is the clear winner. Thus if we use the standard that the character who talks the most is the main character, then there is actually a strong argument that it is Juliet, not Romeo.

But since both characters fit the definition of protagonist, and both of them share "screen time" and "the most lines" almost 50/50, there is an even stronger argument that they are both main characters.

But as usual you can always trust that a sexist male will try to push the idea that the main character must be male. It could even be a film with two women (eg. "Thelma and Louise") and there will be a man out there who will argue that Brad Pitt or Harvey Keitel are the main characters.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Fake Amazon Reviews at Work and why YouTube Reviews make more sense

If you are reading reviews on Amazon and you see certain combinations of words, it usually means the review you are reading is probably fake. Amazon is especially guilty of this. Over 90% of the reviews you see on Amazon are fake. Some products that might be the only reviews even shown. Just 100% fake reviews, with not a single genuine one.

It is a problem that is plaguing the advertising world, as well as shopping/commerce. You can see them on Google, Yelp and other websites too... But Amazon is the biggest culprit.

And for my purposes I am going to use fake book reviews as an example.

If someone writes:

"Wow. I honestly couldn't put this book down!"

That means they didn't actually read the book and don't know what to write.

"This guy is a really good storyteller."

Notice how it doesn't tell you anything about the book? It is just short and completely bogus.

"I just ended up wanting to read more."


"Wow. This book should be made into a movie!"

Again. Nothing about the plot or the characters. The person writing doesn't know what to write because they didn't actually read the book.

So what should a real book review look like?

"I really liked the characters and the plot. I didn't care so much for the one character, Mordechai, he was a real jerk, but I suppose he is meant to be. I am not sure if I will buy the next book in the series. I really don't like it when books end on cliffhangers, but I did really enjoy the book so maybe I will after all. Four stars out of five!"

Yep. Notice the difference?

The reader actually complains about the book, even though they still liked it. That is when you know the review is definitely genuine. They also didn't give it a perfect 5 star rating. If it was a 5 star rating and they had no complaints, the chances are much higher that the book review is fake.

"This book caught me off guard at first because the main character is Muslim, but after the fight scene in chapter two it really picked up the pace and I enjoyed myself. I did think that some of the characters were overly complicated, and wishy-washy, but they also have their good points. Kudos to the author for making a superhero book that feels realistic, but without making the superhero rich like Batman. If you like movies like Unbreakable or Red Dawn then you will probably enjoy this book."

Pop culture references, hmm? Complaints about the character being wishy-washy and too complicated, but also praising the book for its realism. That is a good way to spot a real book review. (The book in question is "The Girl in the Red Hoodie" by Charles Moffat.)

Speaking of Charles Moffat, you should check out his YouTube channel where he posts fantasy book reviews.

Which brings us to the next topic...

Why YouTube Reviews Make More Sense

Amazon, Yelp and Google reviews are very often fake. We get that. Capitalism is so rife with fake reviews these days that for every real review there are 9 fake ones. This is because the people selling their products NEED reviews in order to get sales. Even if they're fake, a fake review is better than no reviews when your goal is to make money.

But on YouTube it is a lot harder to fake a product review or a book review.

In the example of books you actually need to READ the book in order to do it. You can't just say:

"Hello! It's Bob here and I want to talk today about Stephen King's book "The Shining". I, uh... Uh, um... I didn't actually read it so I just watched the movie version instead."

That isn't going to work. Trying to make a fake book review for something you didn't actually read will be pretty obvious within the first minute of making the video and trying to talk about it.

Physically reading the book is important, and video reviews like those you find on YouTube means they cannot be faked. At least not easily. There is a huge measure of authenticity when you watch a video review where the author starts talking about the character, the plot, and while there is the chance for spoilers, they can't really fake it in the normal sense.

Someone would have to go through a lot of effort to fake a book review for something they didn't actually read. Possibly by watching the movie version. But since many books don't have a movie version I suppose someone could also read a synopsis of a book (sometimes available via Wikipedia) and then fake it using that so they at least know something about the characters and the plot.

Plus at the very least the person needs to BUY the physical book so they can show it to the audience. I suppose they could read an ebook version, but when you're making a video you want something physical like the actual book that you can show in your hands.

In Charles Moffat's case he will also often compare different books to one another, so you're not just looking at one book, but also getting an idea of other books which are similar to it. Like in the video below in which he compares the Witcher series by Sapkowski to similar books by Charles Saunders and others.

The point I am trying to get at is that maybe this is what Google, Amazon and Yelp should be doing... Video reviews!

If everyone doing a product review or a book review had to post a video of themselves with the actual product then it would be far more useful to people looking to buy said product or book.

It would be way more honest and Amazon would finally shed their reputation for having so many fake reviews. Video is the perfect way to fix this problem.

And notice also, for privacy reasons, that Charles Moffat doesn't actually show his face in the above videos. Just his hands/arms and the books he is talking about. So if you do it right there is no privacy issues to worry about if people don't want to show their face when making a review.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Why Sex and the City 3 is doomed to fail. Period.


So a new Sex in the City movie is coming out. This will be the third film in the franchise... But with one big difference.

Apparently their budget was too small to get Kim Cattrall (aka Samantha Jones) to come back and put up with Sarah Jessica Parker's personal brand of Karenism and workplace abuse.

That's right, I said it. SJP is a Karen and creates a toxic work environment for her coworkers. It is why Kim Cattrall didn't even want to work with her in the previous two films, so they offered her a lot of money and relatively few scenes where they were together on set.

Now I have to admit the following...

I have seen every episode of the show plus both previous films, and Kim Cattrall's character is certainly my favourite.

In fact. She is everyone's favourite. The other three characters are barely likeable.

And this is why the 3rd film is guaranteed to fail. Doomed. Without Kim Cattrall the core audience of fans will stay away and won't bother to see the 3rd film.

The first film (2008) had a budget of $65 million and brought in $418.8 million at the box office. Which was a whopping success (and got 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, so the fans at least mostly liked it), so, of course, they had to make a sequel.

The second film (2010) had a budget of $95 million and brought in $294.6 million at the box office.

So the 2nd film still made a good $200 million in profit (minus unknown marketing costs), but it only got 15% on Rotten Tomatoes which tells you that even the fans of the show hated it. (I know I did.)

The other problem with the loss of Kim Cattrall is the male factor...

While Sex and the City is certainly within the "chick flick" series of movies, there are percentage of men who watch it (like myself), often because their wife or girlfriend wants to watch it. Plus there is a percentage of gay men who also watch the show/films...

The male factor is a contributor to potential sales. Not a big contributor, but certainly part of the whole. Without Kim Cattrall that male contribution to sales will be nothing or close to nothing.

Coupled with decreasing interest from both female and male viewers, even if they made a third film with a budget of $100 million I doubt they would even make back $50 million of that budget.

When are they going to stop making these films? Are they just going to revisit the same characters every 10 years until the actresses die? Or will they reboot it with younger actors (like Star Trek did)? That could flop if done wrong.

Plus does anyone really want to watch 4 white women in their 40s or 50s or 60s parade around in fancy clothes with their male counterparts who are taking viagra just to keep up with their wives' sexual appetites? Probably not. I think this franchise is doomed to die.

Time to just let it die.

UPDATE / July 2021

It was recently reported in July 2021 that the third film might not even get made after all. Producers don't want to commit $100 million to a film that without Kim Cattrall is doomed to lose money.

Basically this is the same news from 2017 when another earlier attempt to make a third film fell flat, for the same reason. They couldn't get Kim Cattrall to sign the contract because SJP is such a Karen that the only way Kim Cattrall will work with her is if she is offered oodles of money.

Honestly... They should just give her the money... and a percentage of the total from ticket sales and distribution sales. And make her an executive producer so that she has more creative control over the final product.

Even then, even if it did get made, I still suspect it would be a financial flop.

Just let it die already.

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