Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/Miscellaneous/2006 July 5

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What is your opion on the logging of trees?

Hi, welcome to Wikipedia. The Reference Desk isn't really a place for asking about opinions. If you are interested in the subject, you might want to look at our articles on logging and forestry. --Cam 03:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I believe logs should be rotated weekly. 07:23, 5 July 2006 (UTC).

I don't see any point in logging trees, though. –Mysid(t) 08:23, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, you might want to keep a log of which ones you logged. Logistically that might be logical. But can you log a rhythm? DirkvdM 19:26, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Why "wood "you want to?? You'd be barking mad----hotclaws**==( 06:39, 6 July 2006 (UTC))
Woof! DirkvdM 17:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

former name of a city in Manchuria[edit]

I am trying to figure out what the Chinese name is for the small city in Manchuria where my mother was born in 1912, or the correct English spelling of the former name. I can only write it phonetically: it sounds like "Hundahedza" in Russian. I know it was on the Sungari River, and was not too far from Harbin. Can anyone help, and also suggest how I can find out more about the modern-day place?

The closest name I can find in that province (Heilongjiang Province) is Hengdaohezi, which would sound pretty close to Hundahedza. It's not on the Sungari, but it is on a river. Here is an old map of that area. The town is in the middle near the top, spelled Heng-tao-ho-tzu. --Cam 15:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Here is a page with pictures. There was an old Russian town there so it looks like it could be it. --Cam 15:46, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
BTW, we have an article on the Harbin Russians.--Pharos 05:29, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

phantasy star[edit]

does any one now if phantasy star iv is on the ps2 game SEGA Ages Phantasy Star Trilogy

ive checked the game sites not much help

thanks for the help


Yes, it is. (Sources: [1] and [2]) –Mysid(t) 07:05, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

what is this show[edit]

There were two guys who had some kind of bungalow, where they and some animal (sloth? ocelot?) lived or at least spent a lot of time. They travelled around and showed the viewers the animal world. I know the title of the show had both the guys' names in it. Does anyone remember this show?

--Froth 05:59, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Which country/channel? Dick and Dom in da Bungalow springs to mind, but probably not. Sum0 11:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
It sounds similar to a kids show I've skimmed past on morning TV occasionally... and I just found it on IMDB. It's called Zoboomafoo (actually the name of the Lemur friend), staring brothers Chris and Martin Kratt, and Jovian the lemur as the title character. --Maelwys 12:32, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Or maybe Kratts' Creatures, which is different from Zoboomafoo but with the same guys. Adam Bishop 15:22, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
That's it, thanks! :o --Froth 05:25, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

computer self-awareness[edit]

While touring potential colleges, I remember seeing some posters up on the wall outside a computer science lab. The posters covered a wall with equations and very detailed theory about self awareness arising in computers. It covered everything from self-writing code to positronic brains, and I wish I had time to read it but I had to get to my sample class.

Is there an article on this? Have any experiments of this nature been done? I suspect that consciousness would arise spontaneously if a properly-seeded machine was built, for example if a computer with simple self-writing code was left running by itself, though I'm not sure exactly how it would happen - in fact, the posters covered that very thing if I remember correctly.

I remember an episode of Star Trek TNG when there's a computer (it might even have been the enterprise computer) that became concious when its self-writing code wrote a routine to use the replicators to create active memory with code preloaded rather than writing the code to existing memory. This gave it enormous potential power and it was conscious in no time. This kind of follows the Terminator story - Skynet gets so fast that it reaches some point that it is capable of sustaining consciousness.

Self-writing code has been fascinating to me ever since Jane from the Ender series - I hope someone responds!

--Froth 06:34, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

see Portal:Artificial intelligence. Jon513 16:38, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Where can I read more about quick logic?[edit]

We don't seem to have an article. Any ideas for where I can read about quick logic? Thank you. 07:30, 5 July 2006 (UTC).

Maybe this might help you.. And go ahead and write an article about it if you know something about it. Jayant,17 Years, Indiacontribs 10:56, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

black holes[edit]

Is it possible to orbit a black hole? Is it possible to orbit within the event horizon of a black hole? Also, if a ray of light struck the event horizon of a black hole at an extremely oblique angle - at a tangent, say - would it still be trapped or would it just change direction slightly? Or does the event horizon distance actually depend on your trajectory and momentum? --Froth 07:44, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Orbit a black hole: sure, why not. There is evidence there is a supermassive black hole at the center of most galaxies, including the Milky Way, so you are in a 250-million-year orbit around a black hole right now (okay, there are other things besides the hole affecting the gravitational environment). Orbit within the event horizon: no, "once [you are] inside the horizon, moving into the hole is as inevitable as moving forwards in time" (copy&pasted from event horizon). So the best you can do is spiral towards the gravitational singularity. Oblique angle: yup, a light ray bends, see gravitational lens. Weregerbil 11:03, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Well of course it's inevitable -- all orbits are doomed to degrade sooner or later. And even if you could harness the energy coming into the black hole to keep you afloat (like a ramjet kind of thing), eventually there won't be any local matter left to be sucked in. But what I mean is is it possible to achieve a practical, stable orbit within the event horizon of a black hole without going FTL or anything. For example, the article on supermassive black holes says that an astronaut falling into it would pass the event horizon long before he died.. so could a probe be sent it at a rather oblique angle, get caught (barely) in the black hole and orbit around a few times, then have a ship just outside the event horizon descend a "fishing line" past the EH and hoist the probe back up? This seems like it would violate general relativity. Also, about the orbit thing, am I confusing "orbit" with "very dense spiraling towards the center" or are those interchangable in this case? --Froth 22:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
No. Inside the event horizon the entirety of all future light cones points towards the singularity. Even if you were able to use a continuous stream of infalling matter to accelerate "outwards" at near light speed, you'd still be falling in faster than you could blast outwards. Consider: even light can't escape; if you could escape (or even maintain a stable attitude) you'd be travelling faster than light. The problem with the "fishing line" idea is that the strain in the line would be infinite. EdC 00:24, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Are you sure about that infinite strain? That would be a great way to accelerate ships to the speed of light.. just set up an elaborate galactic pulley system and drop a dumbbell into a black hole, then tie a ship to the other end. Would this work? --Froth 02:37, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I suspect it would be possible to orbit a black hole inside the event horizon, but only if you could go faster than the speed of light, as orbits that closer to the singularity have to travel much faster. Mayor Westfall 13:11, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

size of the universe[edit]

just one more question tonight I promise :)

What does the universe look like at the very utmost extreme range of our sensing capability? Is it about the same as where we are? Is there any theoretical way to determine where in the universe we're located - for example "200 gigaparsecs from the edge". Also, I'd love to get my hands on some theories about what the universe is like at the very edge. 1) Why is the universe expanding - why couldnt existance just stay a singularity, there seems to be no reason to me that it should change its size, of all crazy ideas. 2) If the edge of the universe contains no matter - it can't of course since the universe is expanding at the speed of light, a speed matter cannot match - what distinguishes it from the non-universe just an inch away? This sounds like a Zeno paradox.. how can it be considered expanding if there's no actual change?

--Froth 07:54, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

The farthest we can see is cosmic microwave background radiation. See also universe and observable universe. There is no edge to the universe any more than a circle has an end point; see Universe#Shape of the universe (that's assuming the Big Bang theory is essentially correct). Why it expands: see cosmic inflation; for a more fundamental "why" see anthropic principle for a cop-out explanation, some people prefer gods of various kinds. Weregerbil 10:46, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
If you're open to alternatives, you could try my little 'theory': User:DirkvdM#Alternative to the Big Bang theory. DirkvdM 19:40, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I took a quick look. I think you may have misunderstood the type of stretching that occurs in a black hole. It's only in one spatial dimension (axial to the black hole); see spaghettification. The expansion of the universe is (as far as we can tell) equal in all directions. EdC 00:36, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Space gets curved as one falls into a black hole. I don't know the math of this, but everything except the point dead ahead gets 'pushed to the back'. At least from the point of view of an outside observer, to whom it looks like we should see an object next to us like it were a bit to the back (yes?). But to us that space curvature would be our normal orthogonal frame. So something 'next to us' we see along a longer line, thus further away. And as we move further towards the black hole (or whichever attractor, such as the universe itself), this distance gets longer. In other words, it moves away from us. Also, any spaghettification would take literally forever, so we just adart to it.
I'm no expert on this and I've got loads of doubts, but at least my theory explains (and even predicted) something that in the black hole theory can only be explained away by making wild assumptions, and that makes me persevere. Maybe an expert should look at this. Does anyone know the address of Stephen Hawking? :) DirkvdM 07:12, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

US University[edit]

(1)What is the ranking of the Newport International University and Lincoln University in the US??

(2)How can I check if a university has been registered in the US?


  1. Ranking by what authority / category? There is no set "ranking" for US colleges, just ad nauseam lists by US News and the like.
  2. I don't think that there's any formal "registration", either. You should probably, however, investigate whether or not a program of interest (not the whole college) is accredited. Your best reference there is the school's admissions department.
Also, the signature system works by typing "~~~~", not "''''" — Lomn | Talk 13:47, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Carol Thatcher's Middle Name[edit]

Quite a simple question really, but one that I'm having great difficulty in finding the answer to....

I'm doing some research on Carol Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher's (a previous UK Prime Minister) daughter. I am trying to find out her middle name but am having no luck whatsoever. I know she tries to keep it private although she mentioned it on a UK chat show recently (The Paul O' Grady Show).

Although it seems a trivial point, the name is pivotal to my research. I hope someone can advise me of her middle name and how you have found this piece of information. I hope someone can help and thank you in advance for your assistance.

  • Whatever happened to the right to privacy? Notinasnaid 12:23, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
This information is presumably on her birth certificate and therefore in the public domain. So it's a perfectly fair question. I don't know the answer, although I can't for the life of me imagine how someone's middle name could possibly be pivotal to any research on them. --Richardrj 13:03, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

on her birth certificate and therefore in the public domain : the birth certificate might be in the public domain, but the fact that it's her's certainly isn't. So the reason she doesn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding her middle name certainly isn't that there's a public-domain document somewhere saying it. It's for other (obvious) reasons.

Well, I don't think the original question's spirit was "could someone violate her privacy, by perhaps breaking into her house and taking a peek at her driver's license or something so I can find out this information that she would prefer to be private?" but rather "is someone aware of a public domain source that would list this name, because I can't find one?". And to answer the actual question, at least kinda, perhaps you should contact her former employer, the BBC, and ask if they have (and can divulge) that information -- or perhaps the school she went to, University College London? -- Captain Disdain 13:41, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
In the US, local newspapers often report the names of newly born babies. Perhaps the local newspaper where the Thatchers were living in the early 50s would have a birth announcement with the full name. -- Mwalcoff 01:07, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

1. Go to the Family Records Centre, 1 Myddleton Street, London EC1R 1UW (see this page for details of how to get there). It's open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Thursdays, and 9.30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays.
2. Go to the birth indexes. If memory serves, they're the ones bound in red covers (green = marriages, black = deaths). Our article on her says she was born on 15 August 1953, so find the volume covering that period - probably the September 1953 quarter, or if they were slow registering the birth, the December 1953 quarter. The indexes will probably either be arranged with all births registered in England and Wales in a three-month period in a single volume (each one weighs quite a bit, so be cautious!), or by section of the alphabet for the whole year.
3. Look up "Thatcher". Find Carol; the adjacent entry will probably be for Mark. Check that mothers' maiden name is recorded as "Roberts" to make sure you've found the right one. The index may give all names, or maybe just the initials of secondary forenames.
4. If you're still not sure, get a birth certificate application form and envelope; write your name and address on the envelope; complete the application form including the index and volume numbers recorded against the birth entry. Take the form and envelope to the cashier's desk and pay £7; in about two weeks you'll be proud owner of a certified copy of her full certificate. Alternately, pay £23 for priority service. -- Arwel (talk) 20:35, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

history of stadiums[edit]

the word stands in reference to football and teraces it is generally accepted that all seater stadiums still refer to each section as stands but is this true or is the word stand used because people years ago stood to watch or is it true that people stood on teraces and sit in stands?

Could you try rephrasing your question? The answer I think you're looking for is that you do sit in a stand and stand in a terrace, but in stands such as the Leicester Tigers' Crumbie Stand (possibly now demolished), there are actually benches rather than individual seats (as well as a standing area), and many fans refer to this area as a "terrace".
Don't forget to sign your posts using ~~~~!
He's asking
  1. can a stand and a terrace be the same thing, or are stands for sitting.
  2. are a stand and a terrace exclusively the same thing.
  3. if stands are terraces, does the name come from people standing in them
Well to my understanding a stand is a specific building that occupies one side of the stadium, from back when stadiums consisted of four (or less) buildings, one along each side, though not all side necesarily had one. Nowadays there aren't stands as such, considereng you get all of the corners filled in and circular stadiums and such. however, "the stands" refers to the area fo the stadium where the crowd is. and north stand etc. refers to the part of the stadium along the most northerley edge of the playing area. Philc TECI 20:29, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
It is difficult to explain. I agree with philc that a stand is a type of building along one side or one end of the pitch. It could be for sitting or standing, but it was properly constructed and was therefore better than the other areas which were just mounds of stepped concrete.

I'm 99% sure the word stand does not come from the idea of people standing. Its just an unfortunate coincidence which leads to confusion. Jameswilson

Its possible that the term was originally a contraction of grandstand. Oldelpaso 11:03, 7 July 2006 (UTC)


People in general appear to have very different ethical & moral standards than I, specifically, they appear to be much less selfish than I am. While I do not think there is anything wrong with being selfish, I am concerned over how I seem to have no conscience.

  • I don't tip, if I don't expect to return to a restaurant.
  • I have no desire to have children, as I feel this would reduce the amount of money I can spend on myself.
  • I don't dontate to chartity.
  • I don't buy girl-scout cookies that my co-workers try to solicit everyone to do, nor do I gift gifts when I don't see some specific benifit to me.
  • I don't contribute to Wikipedia unless I already know of something that needs to be added to an article, that is, I don't spend time doing research like those who contributue much more.
  • and I sometimes liter.

My question is two-fold. It seems like it would be best to be selfish and evolution would have made humans much more so, and as such one would expect people to be more like me, and yet they are not. I don't mind helping others, but I only do so when it does not inconvience me e.g. being an organ donor. Why do people appear to be so unselfish? And why am I so different in this regard than everyone else? Mayor Westfall 13:34, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, you may not do research for wikipedia, but you do contribute - so you're not completely unselfish. I have no idea why you're different from many others regarding the things you mention, but I would like to point out that it is not true that evolution necessarily leads to selfishness (see). David Sneek 14:05, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Lots of people fit the list above: I can relate over half of them (littering is just wrong!), although Guides don't sell cookies in the UK... Perhaps the moments you see "unselfish" people doing a "good deed" actually just coincide with the time you look at them: for example, seeing someone opening a door for a young lady only for the do-gooder to stare at her backside whilst she walks through. I'm not sure you are so different to other people in this respect.EVOCATIVEINTRIGUE TALKTOME | EMAILME | IMPROVEME 14:22, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't think you should worry that you don't have a conscience; the examples you gave point rather to bad manners, which are a social construct. I don't have the references handy, but IIRC the altruistic instincts are part of an evolutionary trait that has enabled us to thrive as a species. There are actually very few 'social' species (species that cooperate in order to survive) that do not practice altruism, although the specific expressions of altruism differ from species to species.--Anchoress 14:29, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
A fairly straightforward book on this topic is The Evolution Of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod if someone wanted a scientific analysis of cooperation as an evolutionarily beneficial trait.-- 00:39, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I can agree with a few of your bullets, and I am sure many others do as well, even if they don't admit it. In fact, a vast majority of people are like that and you're not even close to being extraordinarily different than others. The only weird one seems to be bullet two, in comparison to the populace. --Proficient 14:56, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
No need to panic. The last and first points (littering and not tipping) suggest that you're a bit of a dick, but in and of themselves don't necessarily point to deeper psychological problems. With any luck, an angry waitress will slap you around one of these days and convince you to be less of a jerk. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:33, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Your lack of desire to have children pretty much precludes evolution from making your selfishness carry on and becoming a dominant trait. --LarryMac 15:36, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, specifically with Tipping, it seems like everyone else tips. I don't understand why, and so I don't do it. I am very different than the majority of people (I live in the US, where most people tip). Also, many people give to charity, and/or buy the girlscout cookies when a co-worker asks them to. I also lie when I feel it is advantagous for me to do so. Ironically, this is rare, and I suspect that I lie less than some whom are bothered by the act of lying, but in any case, when I do, it does not bother me one bit. That certainly isn't normal.
The major (as I see it) problem with not tipping is that, at least in the US, tipping comprises an essential part of waitstaff wages (the federal minimum wage doesn't apply to tip-expected jobs). I can certainly agree that expecting customers to provide an additional wage subsidy is a dumb system, but that's the why. — Lomn | Talk 17:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
To add to the entertainment value from a tax standpoint, the federal government assumes that the waitperson receives tip income and they are taxed accordingly, even if you don't tip. So, if you stiff the waiter or waitress by not tipping, not only do they not get a tip, they have to pay income tax on the tip they didn't get. Crypticfirefly 20:09, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I suppose I should have added to my original question that although I do desire well-being for all humans, I put my own well-being far ahead of anyone else's. For example, if I had an invisibilty potion (or other ways to rob a bank with zero chance of getting caught), I would use it without hesitation. (Or if I were given a device that would give me $1 million dollars if I push a button, but by doing so I cause some random person in the world to die--I think there is a name for this question, as it was asked by some philosopher. Does anyone know what this question is called?)

Most people I've asked about this in person this find my 'ethics' reprehensiable, but I don't. I know they are different, but are they wrong? More importantly, why does everyone else think I am immoral, but I do not. Mayor Westfall 16:17, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it would be helpful to think about what 'ethics' means; I would argue that acting purely from self-interest is not 'ethical' in any sense of the word. A particularly interesting definition is that to you should act as though you don't know who you will be in the end -- the person who gains, or the person who loses. A related definition, due to Kant, is that ethical behavior is any behavior which you could also argue should become a universal law: so robbing from other people clearly violates both of those definitions. Much of ethics is rooted in compassion, or being able to see things from other people's point of view. (Can you imagine being the person whose life savings were stolen?) For the specific case of tipping, I would argue that it is not optional -- in fact, waitstaff in the US are paid less than minimum wage because they are intended to make much of their income in tips. Again, empathy comes into play; can you imagine being the person who works hard for an hour serving a few tables only to find, when they are done, that they left no tip and you earned only the $2.50 of your hourly wage? In any case, I would highly recommend "Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics" by Simon Blackburn as a great introduction to the subject. and I commend you for thinking about it and being self-analytical. bikeable (talk) 17:42, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Not sure if you're happy with me saying we're rather alike, albeit for different reasons, but
  • I don't tip in restaurants because it's a stupid habit (if they don't get enough pay they shouldn't take the job)
  • I have no desire to have children because they gobble up 20 years of your life and there are too many people already anyway.
  • The only charity I donate to is me (a closed-wallet deal).
  • I don't buy girl-scout cookies because I luckily never get bothered by them.
  • I also largely limit my contributions to Wikipedia to stuff I already know. But I think that goes for a lot of wikipedians.
  • and I sometimes litter. But then who doesn't?
However, you should take into account I'm not from the US and that changes quite a lot (such as the underpaid waitresses and the girl-scouts). I'm surprised at the reactions hereabove to the littering (which I thought to be one of the most minor offenses). Is that another typical US no-no? DirkvdM 20:00, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
There is certainly a big difference in tipping between the USA and Europe, because of the difference in wages (see comments by me and by Lomn above); when I have European friends over I often end up having to pay part of the tip for them because they simply don't realize. Not tipping in the USA is quite bad behavior, and I think most people here would consider people who don't tip (to be frank) assholes -- it's hard to come up with a comparison, but think of something quite rude but not illegal, like saying "fuck you" to a cashier who has told you to "have a nice day".
Littering is definitely a US no-no, although one with reasonably low compliance. It comes out of the environmental movement of the 60s/70s, and has been more or less ingrained. It's an interesting example of the Tragedy of the commons: things which are "owned" by society as a whole tend to be destroyed because an individual's incentive to take care of it is quite low. Thus I was at the beach yesterday and it was full of crap washing up on the beach; everyone can see what a mess that is, but the individual contribution of one person's food wrapper is so small that they don't feel much control or responsibility. It's not an easy problem to cope with. bikeable (talk) 20:19, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I would add that not having children can be seen as selfish, as the original poster framed it, but having children might also be seen as selfish, and indeed is seen that way by many environmental types or people concerned about population growth (or about the number of orphaned children who might benefit from adoption). I wouldn't consider this one a major point of selfishness. bikeable (talk) 20:23, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Is it;
  1. because you have absolutely zero concern for other peoples well-being, and zero concern of what other people think of you.
  2. Or is it more sinister, maybe you find it impossible to understand other peoples actions, and find it hard to understand, actions and motives of anyone other than yourself. This is a mild form of autism which inhibits social skills, and means that you can only look at any situation from one point of view, yours.
It a long shot, but the latter might be the case, though admittadly unlikely. Philc TECI 23:53, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

As far as ethics are concerned, I follow a philosophy of moral skepticism based on the is-ought problem and the regress argument, so I don't see anything wrong with the actions you describe. I personally don't do any of those things, because I feel like being nice to people. But none of the things you described will actually have an appreciable negative effect on anyone. Kant's categorical imperative is only one way of looking at the issue, you could also look at it in a rational choice manner, in which case you can see that the $2-4 you take from the waiter or waitress by not tipping isn't really hurting him or her any more than it is helping you, and the emotional damage done to the people who see the litter you leave laying around is negligible. My opinion is that people learn to be unselfish as they grow up by being taught society's values. Certain values give the societies and people that hold them a better chance of reproducing and these behaviors are passed on, not through genetics and evolution, but by those people teaching their children. The theory of memetics explains the process quite well. (I put this as two paragraphs and they got split up.) Crazywolf 01:20, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

(Edit conflict)

My guess is there really is something wrong with you in that you don't seem to care about other people. I would think that caring about other people is an important human trait; without it, we would never have survived as a species. I recently saw a news report about how toddlers in lab conditions will perform minor "altruistic" tasks (such as picking up a lab assistant's dropped marker) even if there is no evidence they'll get any reward, indicating minor altruism is innate. A failure to care about others' feelings is the kind of thing you might see in autistic people.

Caring about others also serves our own purposes, since you would suppose that you would wind up with more friends if you are nice to others. From my own perspective, I probably would not want to be around someone like you. That's likely of no consequence now, but what if I was a potential employer of yours?

I wonder if you came from some kind of broken home or had wacked-out parents who didn't teach you right from wrong. I certainly don't imagine you had any kind of religious upbringing.

My parents were religious and I went to a private christian school. I then became an Atheist. But I've always been this way. Mayor Westfall 16:16, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with you not wanting to have kids. I can't imagine you'd be a very good parent with your kind of attitudes. -- Mwalcoff 00:58, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The fact that toddlers show minor altruistic actiond doesn't prove that "altruism is innate," it could simply be that a year or two is long enough for them to be taught to be nice. The rest of your first paragraph is just ad hominem attacks on people that would disagree with you. As far as caring about others suiting your purpose, you could simply decide to act like you care about others when it suits your purpose, rather than actually doing so all the time, and it would get you the same benefits. Crazywolf 02:17, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Your point on toddlers is fair enough. Regarding the ad hominem attack, I generally don't engage in personal attacks, but Westfall opened himself up to them by asking for opinions about his behavior. As far as I'm concerned, littering, not tipping and only giving gifts when they are of benefit to yourself makes you a jerk. Certainly, some of what we consider to be proper behavior is a social construct -- not tipping may be the norm in some cultures. But if you live in the U.S. (as Westfall appears to, based on his reference to the Girl Scouts), then refusing to tip or give gifts clearly makes you look like a bad person. -- Mwalcoff 02:52, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I take no offense to your comment, Mwalcoff. Maybe my actions & ethical philisophy make me a jerk. I would like for you or someone else to explain why being selfish (or being a jerk), is wrong. Btw, I do help others, but only when it doesn't inconvience me.

As far as psychology is conserned, lack of a conscience and empathy is indicative of psychopathy. Antisocial personality disorder(APD) is now a more commonly used diagnosis for those types of behaviors, but it is characterised by people who lack the ability to think through the consequenses of their actions. That usually leads to their getting in trouble with the law or in their social lives. Psychopathy, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily require that the person not be able to avoid trouble with the law, and people that could be diagnosed with psychopathy but not APD generally don't have too many problems. You seem to fit in to this last category. Psychologists have yet to find any effective therapy for getting people to have more of a conscience after they are already grown. So I say act however you feel like, but try not to piss off anyone you care about or have to live or work with by being a dick. Crazywolf 00:48, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Mayor Westfall, good news! The fact that you are bothered by the fact that you are not bothered by certain things is a good sign. The very fact that you are asking the question shows that you have a conscience, and that you are able to identify certain things as being wrong to some degree or another. Are you very old? Some people's desire for kids changes as they get older. As for money, don't hold onto it too tightly (most of the things you originally said relate to money) -- it won't make you happy, and you can't take it with you when you die. BenC7 00:53, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

No, no, I'm not bothered by the things I do. I am curious as to why I am so different in this regard, and as to why others are not more like me. I don't identify the things I do as being wrong, but I recognize that others do. This is confusing to me. I am 26, and I assure you I will never change my mind about having kids. Btw, I read an interesting article on Wikipedia about prisioner's dilima, it is very infomrative and may be of interest to anyone interested in this discussion. Mayor Westfall 16:49, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
All it needs to show is that he notices others either doing the above actions and wonders why they do them, or that he's been punished or asked why he did not do the above actions. So this does not mean that he genuinely cares about doing what society has deemed as the right action, just that there may be benefits of doing an act he does not understand.-- 01:31, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Thinking in terms of selfishness or unselfishness is not very helpful, and may even hinder your development. Ultimately, those words are judgments about yourself or others, and do not truly represent the way you or others operate in the world, or why. Most Western societies place a high value on a U-centered approach to the world, that is, we tend to either try to meet the (perceived) expectations of others or rebel against them (as opposed to the I-centered way, which is expecting others to meet our needs). There's nothing "wrong" or "right" with either of these approaches - and we all exhibit both of them to some degree, so nobody is always operating from one or other paradigm. One of the core principles of NLP is:

  • Behind every behavior is a positive intention: This is a model taken from Virginia Satir's belief system, and means that whatever a person does, they are in fact attempting to fulfill some positive intention (of which they may not be aware). It assumes that the current behaviour exhibited by a person represents the best choice available to them at the time.

Now, it is possible to subvert this into a justification for something like the Holocaust, for example. I am certainly not saying that. Behaviours that do not work for all the participants, do not work for any of them. But whatever the cultural conventions about tipping may be in your country, a restaurant owner is hardly in a position to expect a tip as if by right, so they can hardly complain that your failure to tip does not work for them. This is entirely a free and individual choice on the part of the diner. The fact that your culture places a high value on tipping is not something you have to be governed by, and you don't have to feel "selfish" if you choose not to tip. Or donate to charity. Or have children. As noted above, the very fact that you're questioning yourself about this whole area of activity indicates you have an active conscience. Conscience does not equate to being kind and generous and loving, although that's the way it's usually painted. Conscience is related to consciousness, that is, being aware of what you do, and knowing why you do it, and consciously choosing to do whatever you do for reasons that are meaningful to you, rather than being unconsciously driven by some embedded ego-based kneejerk reaction to some external influence. JackofOz 02:03, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

There was some discussion of how not having offspring is actually selfless, since it fights overpopulation, but is it still selfless if his reason for it is selfish (wanting more money to spend on himself)? Yeltensic42 don't panic 05:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
That depends on whether you hold to conseuentialism, virtue ethics, or deontological ethics. Though most people just pick whichever one makes the people they like seem ethical and the people they dislike look evil at the time. Crazywolf 19:26, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Completely off-topic, but one thing that I think makes the world seem a lot less overpopulated is the fact that you could fit everyone into Jacksonville, Florida. Yeltensic42 don't panic 05:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC)*
Where'd you get that statistic? It seems quite low. If I allocate a square meter per person, that's about 6,000 square kilometers -- almost exactly three times the area of Duval County (FL) and roughly the area of Deleware. bikeable (talk) 13:39, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I can't remember where...but anyway you'd have to pack them in more closely than that. Obviously, it's a laughably unrealistic scenario. Yeltensic42 don't panic 18:59, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Having read all his questions,I would say Major Westfall is a very unhappy and combatative individual so yes there is something "wrong" with him but it's not necessarily "moral"--hotclaws**==( 06:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC))
    • I disagree. There is nothing "wrong" with anybody, and certainly not because they prefer not to tip, have children, or donate to charity. JackofOz 12:35, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I would disagree with such extreme moral relativism. Clearly there was something wrong with Hitler, to use the most extreme example. Being a jerk is wrong because life is more pleasant when people aren't jerks. -- Mwalcoff 23:13, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I think hitler was bad, because in my subjective opinion, the things I think he did were bad. Im sure there are people that think he wasnt a bad guy. What makes my opinion of him ethically, superior or right compared to someone who is pro-hitler? Mayor Westfall 15:51, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know that "proof by Hitler" is an accepted logical step. Perhaps whether a philosophical idea offends your sensibilities has no bearing on it's logical validity or truthfulness. On a more serious note, you're begging the question, assuming that there is something wrong with Hitler in order to support your moral beliefs, which are what you use to say Hitler is a bad person. I'm not saying Hitler wasn't a bad person here, just that you can't use that logic to disprove moral relativism. Crazywolf 23:42, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't think any logic can "disprove" moral relativism. On the one hand, that makes it a very powerful argument; on the other hand, it's sort of the philosophical equivalent of creationism, where "Because I said so" is a valid answer to anything. As such, it's not very fulfilling for a discussion like this.
I don't demand a proof, only an argument that's not obviously logically invalid. Besides which, creationism is a historical claim, whereas moral relativism is a claim in the philosophy of ethics, where standards of logic and proof are much different. Creationism uses "because I said so" as it's argument, wherease moral relativism uses logical arguments, such as the is-ought problem, to reach the conclusion that "because I said so" is as good as any other argument for a moral truth. Crazywolf 06:12, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
On the individual level, treating ethics "subjectively" as the Mayor does ignores the group-level importance of ethics. Ethics are necessarily about relationships with other people (I will exclude animals and plants for the moment): If you were the only person in the world, the only arguably un-ethical behavior even possible would be, say, blasphemy (which I wouldn't consider an ethical violation but rather religious one). And if ethics is necessarily concerned with the interactions between people, then the judgement of other people is vital. I think that's part of why we can safely say that Hitler was "bad" -- because very few people would disagree. Similarly, if Westfall goes against the mores of his own society by, say, not tipping and acting like a jerk, then part (but only part) of the answer to his question about why it makes him a jerk is because he is flaunting the values and ethics of his society. bikeable (talk) 16:43, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
You are simply redefining ethical truths as the majority opinion, which isn't very convincing argument. And while I agree wholeheartedly that society will only function if most of the people in that society act in an ethical manner, that has no bearing on whether I should act in an ethical manner. My being unethical will not lead to society's collapse, or even have an appreciable effect on it. So the only rational way to behave is to convince everyone else to be ethical, while ignoring ethics myself. So it doesn't make you a jerk to to not tip, it just ensures that many people will think you are a jerk if they notice. So just make sure the people that matter don't notice. Crazywolf 06:12, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, the benefits of not being a complete jackass are huge, for example, if you do go back to that restaurant, your steak doesnt have a footprint on it. You strike me as an incredibily materialistic person, whos cares go little beyond yourself, and your possesions. I think it is wrong for you to think that it is an evolutionary benefit to be selfish, because it isn't. Evolutionary benefits are best for the entire human race, and not just yourself, example, there is no evolutionary benefit in someone who sees it as a waste of time to have children. Personally I think its people like Westfall who are the problem with the world, the source of all corruption, sick unfairness, and selfish hate. Philc TECI 23:46, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
He already mentioned that he only doesn't tip when he isn't going back to a restaraunt. You can gain all the benefits of not being a jackass by only being a jackass when you can get away with it. I agree with the rest of your comments about evolutionary benefits and the world's problems, but that is all irrelevant to the question of whether Westfall should act the way he does. Crazywolf 00:00, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
It was just in response to his comment that selfishness seemed an evolutionary benefit. Philc TECI 14:06, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, having children would obviously have an evolutionary benifit, but as humans evoloved things were much different. They have changed, and I recognize that in the current situation, having children would reduce my quality of life. If things were different, and I could go impregnate girls thoughout the land without any negative reprucusions, I certianly would do so without hesitation.

As to me being what's wrong with the world, I highly disagree. I am not a criminal (I rarely break laws, and even when I do they aren't serious ones i.e. littering, speeding), I don't harm anyone unless doing so benifits me enough for me to justify doing so. Furthermore, I do help others, when it doesn't inconvience me. There are far greater evils in this world than I. Of course evil is subjective. Mayor Westfall 15:51, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a matter of perception...totally, SINCE! I don't contribute either and I only ask questions, (well sometimes I answer questions, but only ones that I find cool and I answer them for my own pleasure)... and I have only donated to charity when I wanted to get rid of stuff when I was moving, and I have no desire to have children (yet) either... on the other hand I do have feelings and feel really bad for poor people specially children, and I feel bad for abused people...specially people that are abused psychologically in ways that are difficult to be noticed by oustide people... but I don't consider myself selfish at all... in fact, I think I'm a pretty 'Good' person... and a 'nice guy'... but I share most of the traits u used to describe it's so subjective...

and other thing... I don't percieve people to be selfless like u say...and willing to help, on the contrary, I believe people in general to be much much much more selfish than I am... and eager to harm someone if they gain something by it money, prestige and status, or just the pleasure they get from asserting their will over the will of the other person...but I also know this is my perception and people might as well not be like I picture them...--Cosmic girl 18:58, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

MW, with respect to my previous response to your original question (about half-way through the post), I was answering only according to the information that you provided originally: "I am concerned over how I seem to have no conscience". But OK, so you see other people doing things and classifying them as wrong but you have no conviction yourself. To me it would probably be an indicator that you have seared your conscience. In a similar way that you could burn your skin and in so doing destroy the nerve endings (meaning you have no more feeling in that area), you can sear ('burn') your conscience by doing something that you know is wrong. After doing it repeatedly, you eventually deaden the 'nerves' in your conscience and you don't feel bad about doing things that are wrong anymore. But that is the worst-case scenario. I would say, from your description of yourself, that you are just selfish, and overly concerned about money. If you want to change, start acting selflessly and forget about money. You will probably start to feel different as you change your behaviour. BenC7 03:48, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
What evidence or support do you have for hte claim that a conscience can be "seared"? I don't believe I've ever heard of that theory. Crazywolf 05:42, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
What kind of support did you have in mind? I doubt anyone would agree to participate in a study that required them to do things that they thought were wrong. Even researchers have ethics. As for evidence, I assumed that any person would be able to think about it and intuit that (sane) people don't just wake up one morning and decide to kill someone. There is a progression that occurs over a period of time. BenC7 04:16, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think Mayor Westfall realizes how hard it is to work in the restaurant business. He should try it sometime. 18:20, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Just back on the Hitler thing again. My world view makes an absolute distinction between what people do, and who they are (however you might understand that). People are not the same thing as their actions. That is not to condone anything Hitler did. People are still responsible for their actions, and if Hitler had not died in the bunker, it would have been unthinkable for him not to pay whatever price was considered appropriate. It is admittedly an extreme case, but I still maintain there was nothing "wrong" with Hitler in himself. It was his actions that the world has had such a problem with. JackofOz 05:04, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

How to Win Friends and Influence People?[edit]

I know this might sound a bit strange, but does anyone know if it is possible to "learn" to be sociable? Let me explain: If you put me into a room with 10 other "typical" people I don't know, and my own age (I'm 18), then I won't actually have a problem doing what I want to do if I have a specific reason to do it, but I might simply feel unable to interact with other people when I do not have any particular reason to interact, if that makes any sense.

Here's a longer example: for my job (I want to be a lawyer), I think that might be quite important, especially. In other words, you need to co-operate with, and socialise with, other barristers/solicitors, for no particular reason. Each works with, and for the other, and if someone isn't prepared to do this (even though they might be a prefectly good lawyer), then they'll soon find themselves out of work. Why? Well, because in practising law (where I live anyway), other lawyers are seen as your friends, and you need to simply socialise because of that. In a cafe for one hour, discussing a case? Probably a good idea to have a bash about the world cup, etc. at the same time. For me, a skill like this simply does not come. Alright, I could still finish school, go to uni. etc. like this, but it might be a rather boring life.

Is it possible to learn the skill of socialisation? Dale Carnegie wrote a book on this (How to Win Friends and Influence People). Is it possible to do a short course, of say, a week, come home and practise techniques, if you like? I mean, I never, literally, see people my own age outside my school or church, unless there is a productive reason for them to be round. Sorry this is so long, but can anybody make sense of this? Hillabaloo 15:37, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I have EXACTLY the same problem, but it ;eads me to not get laid. Wish i could help, you are not alone.

I was an interverted person, but then I made it a point to force myself to be extraverted. Eventually it became part of my personality. I wouldnt say Im more socialble, but Im more comfortable in social situations now, and more outgoing. You might want to read about seduction community they have some good tips. Mayor Westfall

I'm currently listening to a audio version of How to win friends and influence people, and it seems the techniques used can be quickly and easily implemented, it'll take longer to hone your new skills, but if you haven't read it already i really suggest you check it out. What you can learn in a week can change your life. -Benbread 17:04, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Just get pissed, thats everythings fun for everybody when you're drunk!! Ahhh, alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of lifes problems... Seriously though, if you have problems speaking to people, alcohol does lower your inhibitions(? if thats the right word) basically, you can do what you want without having to worry about the consequences, but dont get hammered, just merry. To be honest, I think your looking at this from a far to complicated and calculated angle, when someone says something, and you think of a reply, say it! if it doesnt go down well, make a joke out of it! hey, it worked for me. And I'm not an alcoholoic,... alcoholics go to meetings Philc TECI 20:15, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Or you can pretend to drink, so that people think you are drunk, and won't be suspicious when you begin acting differently from your normal introverted self. Works for me! Adam Bishop 21:58, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Tried that, but you have to think about it to much, and you feel out of place, so it hasn't worked for me!! hehe. Philc TECI 23:43, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I tried that as well, and found that it didn't work for me, either. Crazywolf 02:07, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
You have to take into account the possibility that the questioneer is from the US, in which case they may not know how to drink moderately. Has to do with the drinking age limit over there. Kids drink. Of course they do. If not allowed, they'll drink as much as possible whenever they get the chance. So they grow up thinking that having a few beers has to lead to getting totally pissed. DirkvdM 07:54, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Well no, Dirkvdm, no I'm not American!! --Hillabaloo 09:23, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

All the characteristics you talk about are those of a introverted person. Introversion is strongly influenced by genetics, but environment can influence it a great deal as well, and it is a continuum. People that are introverted can learn to act more extroverted in specific situations, though. For example, you could learn to befriend fellow lawyers without necessarily being skilled socially with the population at large. I wouldn't suggest trying to use pop-psych books or courses, they rarely bother to figure out whether what they are saying actually works. Since I gather you are currently in school or college, I would suggest talking to a counsellor. Most schools and colleges offer free or inexpensive counselling services to their students, and they have extensive training in helping people with problems similar to yours. However, know that you are unlikely to change this aspect of yourself drasticly, and that as you get older, genetics plays a larger and larger role in how you act. But you can learn to act extroverted in the situations that demand it. Also, introversion is not a negative trait, it has it's share of both advantages and disadvantages, but that doesn't mean that there isn't reason to try and reduce those disadvantages. Crazywolf 22:27, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Fagin, in Oliver, knows just how to do it (from the lyrics of "reviewing the situation"):
So "how to win friends and to influence people"
--So how?
I'm reviewing the situation,
I must quickly look up ev'ryone I know.
Titled people -- with a station --
Who can help me make a real impressive show!
I will own a suite at Claridges,
And run a fleet of carriages,
And wave at all the duchesses
With friendliness, as much as is
Befitting of my new estate...
"Good morrow to you, magistrate!" Oh gawd!
...I think I'd better think it out again.
-Halidecyphon 09:47, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

If you are of a more academic bent you might like to look at Emotional Intelligence, the book. DJ Clayworth 14:44, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I am quite academic - 2/3 of my school subjects last year were. Thanks for that. The only problem is, though, it does not have a practical guide to integrating more with other people - and, neither, I think, did any of the references look like it. Anyone got any other ideas? --Hillabaloo 16:51, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The dominance of society by the sociable is a tyranny. Fight it, don't conform to it!
Seriously, between a life spent talking to lawyers about football, and a life spent doing whatever you actually find interesting, I know which I'd prefer. HenryFlower 18:56, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

OK, Henry flower, interesting perspective. That said, I think I honestly would like being a lawyer - just in my case, having to socialise, for what I see as no apparent reason, is a consequence of that. I know what I would prefer, and that is law, that is what I find interesting. As for talking about football - if that is a consequence of doing what I like, then so be it - I just have to learn to do it. --Hillabaloo 14:30, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Hillabaloo: There's a book you may be interested in (shameless plug coming up). A friend recommended it to me and it's pretty insightful regarding being introverted. "Party of One" by Anneli Rufus. As for 'learning' to be extroverted, I wish you the best of luck as there will probably be two outcomes. As someone said above you will be successful at re-training yourself to be more outgoing and enjoy conversing with and being around people. Or you will learn the tricks and techniques that make you appear to like people and carry on conversations but deep down you will just be acting, playing a part, so to speak, and you won't really enjoy it or be interested in the people you are around. My suggestion would be to find a specialty in the practice of law that allows you to not have to socialize so much. Although you have a good point in that networking with other lawyers and potential clients is pretty important, especially while in law school and the first few years. Best of luck.

Thanks. I'll be reading that, but at least at this stage, I shouldn't really be worrying about types of law at age 18! That said, I will be picking my subject modules eventually. Even then, I don't think that exactly sets in stone an area of practice. All areas of practice really need socialisation, and I would much rather learn to better my skills that I can use anywhere, rather than just avoid it. That would severely limit a career choice. Although I can say, Anon. has given me probably one of the most productive answers so far, suggesting a book and distinguishing between retending to socialise and actually being a new person. I think it is possible to be a new person, but I suppose I might have to stick with pretending to start with. --Hillabaloo 14:38, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Have you ever researched Asperger syndrome or other autism spectrum disorders? Many people with Asperger find that they have trouble with social situations or aren't motivated to socialize because they have difficulty picking up non-verbal communication. Even if you don't suspect that you have it, it may be interesting to learn how people with Asperger cope with social situations. TheSPY 17:46, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I have researched Asperger's. And I've also read "The Mysterious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time", a brief, but extremely detailed autobiography of Christopher - a fifteen year old boy who is a victim of this condition. I have seen similarities between myself and him, albeit me being a less extreme "case". Like him, I have an overly black-and-white view of this world. In fact, I have often wondered if I am a moderate case - since I am definitely not as extreme as Christopher.--Hillabaloo 20:05, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I haven't got the time now, but some day I'll read about it in more detail.--Hillabaloo 11:19, 10 July 2006 (UTC)


HI, my internet security constantlu blocks something called win27B0.tmp.exe from my c:\windows\Temp folder, as a TCP (outbound) protocol. I apply for it to be blocked all the time but this doesn't stop it still poping up, waht is it and is it a risk? If so how do i get rid of it, any help would be appreciated, thanks. 17:40, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Although a google search for that name came up empty, the name alone is enough to cause alarm bells in my head. 1) it's got a "double extension", most likely so that people with a default Windows configuration won't even see that it's an executable. 2) it's in your Temp folder, and except for transient installations, nothing should be running from there.
A few things you should try -- delete the contents of the Temp folder; download and run Spybot and AdAware; run a complete virus scan (it sounds like you might already have some kind of AV software, if not, try Avast or Grisoft). --LarryMac 17:51, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
The 27B0 part is randomly generated, to obfuscate (hehe cool word) the file. If you google win##.tmp.exe and winXX.tmp exe, you'll turn up a bunch o' people with the same trouble. This link seems to have most of the information you'll need: [3]. It sounds like you know what you're doing, so I'll leave it at that, but if you need more help drop back (although you might find one of the forums that Google pops up will be better suited to helping you out). --Howard Train 18:40, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Thank you both so much, for anyone else with this problem also found this site too [4]! 11:46, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

PE4 & PE4A[edit]

Would like to know the chemical make-up of these explosives... These explosives were purchased by Iraq from the UK in the 1980's and is used to prime fuse wells in IED'S. Thanks, Bob

From [5]:

"PE4 is a conventional plastic explosive, widely used for the production of improved energetic systems for defensive and offensive use. PE4 is RDX based and is available in cartridge and bulk form. An extrudable for DEMEX 400 is also available. Distinctive standard colours indicate the explosive component: C4, or PE4 ( British) is white and Semtex-H is orange."
So, it's based on RDX. According to section 12 of [6], PE3 and PE4 are RDX mixed with paraffin and lithium stearate. According to our article on C-4, the distinguishing feature of PE4 is the plasticizer used. Hope this is helpful. --Howard Train 19:09, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

The Highest Degree[edit]

I would like to know which is the highest degree? Associates, Masters, or Bachelor's degree? Thank You! Sincerely Maria-- 20:58, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Out of your offerings, Masters (in the US at least, I don't know if it differs in other countries). However, a PhD is a higher degree than Masters. Emmett5 21:00, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Masters is highest in Australia (besides PhD). Associate degrees are rare over here. BenC7 00:39, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Ususally in the US, you get an associates degree or you enter the Bachelors > Masters > PhD chain and stop at some point in that chain. The bachelor's degree is "higher" than associates though.--Froth 02:29, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Associates degrees are also 2-year degrees. Bachelor's are 4 year degrees. These you get at "college", and as an undergraduate. Master's, and Ph.D., like medical school and law school, are "graduate" programs in the united states.

In order of height their Assoc. BA masters, and Doctoral. The highest degree is probablly the Doctor of Juridical Science. This is sort of a doctorate of a doctorate degree for law. The basic law degree itself is a doctorate,(which nearly all lawyers have in the US have, allong with a seperate BA). On top of it their is a masters degree llm (a degree which few lawyers have) above that, and finally their is Doctor of Juridical Science, which is very rare.