Psychology, philosophy: believe and don’t-believe

Self-tutoring about philosophy and psychology: the tutor reflects about thinking and believing.

In my post from December 30, 2018, I reflect about what qualifies as proof. An observation I make is that photographs and expert testimony seem sufficient to prove some claims, but not others.

Typically people will claim, for instance, that they don’t believe in aliens, although there are photographs of UFOs as well as trusted authorities who say they’ve seen them. The same is true for sasquatch.

Reflecting, I’ve come to the idea that believing does not necessarily reflect truth, but rather, likelihood. Bodybuilding holds a great example.

I’ve watched my son grow from weaker than I, to much stronger, in less than a year, because he lifts weights. The progress he’s experienced I would describe as unbelievable: I wouldn’t think it even remotely likely, if I didn’t witness it.

Safely you could say that I didn’t believe he’d progress the way he has. Does that mean I thought such progress impossible? Importantly, I felt it was.

When someone says they don’t believe in aliens, they might be talking literally: they haven’t made up their mind to accept that aliens visit Earth. Perhaps such a point of view doesn’t mean they think aliens are impossible; rather, they think encountering one so unlikely, that believing in them is irrelevant.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Biology: metabolic cost

Self-tutoring about biology and zoology: the tutor researches American alligators.

Alligators in southern Florida typically develop more slowly than those of northern Florida. A suggested reason is metabolic cost.

Being cold-blooded, an alligator’s metabolism increases with the surrounding temperature. Therefore, an alligator in a hotter environment consumes more energy than it would in a cooler one: to a cold-blooded creature, higher temperature means higher metabolic cost.

Perhaps because of higher metabolic cost, the alligators of southern Florida, compared with their northern counterparts, have less spare energy to develop, so they do so more slowly.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Vocabulary: irrupt

Tutoring English, new words – especially short ones – are always interesting. The tutor mentions irrupt.

irrupt (verb): to suddenly arrive, or else increase. A population can irrupt, for instance.


Mish, Frederick C (editor). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Windows: more about move command

Self-tutoring about the Windows move command: the tutor continues…

Following up yesterday’s post:

From the premise that the directory newdirname already exists, let’s imagine the command

move olddirname newdirname

Now, olddirname will be moved to a subdirectory of its same name within newdirname.

From the original directory, if I then recreate the directory olddirname:

mkdir olddirname

and next repeat the move command

move olddirname newdirname

I am asked if I want to overwrite. If I say Yes, I am told Access is denied.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Windows: move command behaviour

Self-tutoring about Windows command prompt: the tutor mentions the move command.

The following behaviour I’ve observed in Windows 7 command prompt:

To move a directory to another, the command is

move olddirname newdirname

If newdirname already exists, olddirname will be stored as a subdirectory within newdirname.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Black-capped chickadee: part II

Self-tutoring about bird watching: the tutor follows up about the black-capped chickadee.

I mention a black-capped chickadee in my post from April 15, wherein I mention that some sources don’t acknowledge its presence here.

Apparently, others report seeing black-capped chickadees around here: one such report is from July 2014, at Mt Washington, which is around 50km from here.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Graphics: aliasing and anti-aliasing

Self-tutoring about graphics: the tutor mentions the concepts of aliasing and anti-aliasing.

Aliasing refers to the jagged “stairway” pattern that can develop on a computer-generated curve or oblique line. It can occur when visual units are squares whose edges are horizontal and vertical.

Anti-aliasing attempts to smooth out the jagged, boxy effect you might otherwise see from aliasing. Imagined simply, anti-aliasing works by adjusting pixels’ colors along the edge, blending them more similar to the neighbouring colors.


YouTube: GameSpot

YouTube: Just Leo


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Windows: folder has different name in Windows Explorer vs directory in Command Prompt

Self-tutoring about Windows file system: the tutor mentions a discovery.

Today, checking a backup directory, I noticed that, in Windows Explorer, the backup folder for Desktop (desktop_backup) isn’t there. Rather, Desktop is. Yet, in command prompt, Desktop isn’t there, but desktop_backup is.

Checking the dates last modified, I found them the same: apparently, on my backup drive, Desktop and desktop_backup match. Why different names, one in Windows Explorer, the other in Command Prompt?

My reading seems to indicate that desktop.ini is the reason: it gets copied right along with the other desktop contents. Normally hidden, it tells Windows Explorer how to display the folder. Since desktop_backup is a copy of Desktop, it contains desktop.ini, so displays as Desktop in Windows Explorer. Yet, the Command Prompt shows it by its real name, desktop_backup.

Interesting, eh?


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Biology: what is a relict?

Self-tutoring about biology: the tutor mentions the term relict.

relict (noun): a population that was once included by a larger one, but has grown isolated due to changing conditions.

Changing climatic conditions can cause relicts, as can changing geography (collapse of a land bridge, for instance).


Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Bird watching: black-capped chickadee?

Self-tutoring about bird watching: the tutor observes black-capped chickadees.

Reading today about black-capped chickadees, numerous sources suggest they don’t live on Vancouver Island. While I don’t want to be controversial, I believe that they do live here, and that I see them often.

A story about one: Early last February, late on a Sunday afternoon, my younger son and I went for a walk in the woods. We intended to retrace steps from when he was much younger; back then, my two sons and I walked in the woods every weekend. In recent years, we’ve all but stopped. Therefore, returning to the woods that afternoon was a welcome, yet somewhat melancholy, occasion.

The temp was around -4C, the day dry, but gray. Apart from us, the woods were well-nigh deserted. We arrived at one of the destinations the kids loved to visit when they were younger, then casually milled about, talking about life.

The woods were cold and still; the sun was trying to break though the clouds before it set. I wondered how life could return to this frozen place.

Suddenly, a quiet sound reached my ears, and I turned toward a light bustle near the ground. Close by, a bird flitted in and out of view. I asked my son to describe it, but I saw it as well: it looked to me like a black-capped chickadee.

The bird often made a single-note call as it darted nearer and further away, sometimes keeping just out of sight behind a wide tree. Its call I would describe as the “tseet” that Lesley mentions in her video among the sources below.

Lesley describes “tseet” as a call made towards strangers. Were we, indeed, being formally contacted by the chickadee? Its presence reassured me that indeed, nature would restore life to that quiet hollow.

I hope to return there and reconnect with that chickadee: Perhaps we’re no longer strangers:)


YouTube: LesleytheBirdNerd

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.
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