26 November 2008

God Trumps: a family card game

Christmas is in the air. You walk down high street and you are bombarded with all kinds of festive songs, ranging from Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and the like. Like it or not, you are bound to hear the same music hundreds of times. It is, after all, the festive season, the season to spend your money, and the music, according to marketing researches, helps you do that. Christmas lasts now about two months each year (1/6 of the year). Christmas needs Gemütlichkeit, everyone around the fireplace (regardless of the temperature outside), and Glühwein, and food and, of course, family games! One of the best games around this season is God Trumps, invented by the New Humanist. It is designed to help the whole family choose the right religion. It's a card game. To play it, print the cards at size 63 mm × 88 mm (or B8 size) and glue on old playing cards or cardboard. (Some family activity too!) The rules are extremely simple and need not be added here for fear of insulting your intelligence.

As an added twist to the game, you may:
(i) Add your own religion. Who knows? You may be a success! And why not? A religion is something that can be invented and changed. The concept of a time-varying religion should seriously be studied in institutions of higher learning hosting schools of theology or divinity.
(ii) Copy the cards many times. Have a stock of dozens of each one and, depending on the way the game goes, see which cards are become dominant. Perhaps this will be an indication of the new cool religionof the year.
(iii) Invite your neighbours. Get involved in outreach activities. Play with your friends, make sure the game is spread all over the town, the country, the world!
(iv) Write to Tony Blair and ask him to adopt it as part of his course at Yale.


  1. If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion
    and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

  2. I absolutely agree. I feel sorry for people who ignore food (how can they? mmm...), who avoid others (they probably have problems) or who fear religion: in the latter case, actually, they must be suffering from some illness. How can anyone fear some myths invented by people in order to keep others subordinate? I'm very sorry, indeed, for people who are scared of religion. If only they could think, they would not be afraid of anything, at least they wouldn't be afraid of fiction. So we agree!

  3. One more thing: I hope you don't belong to the latter category, do you? (Just crossed my mind since you post anonymously...)

  4. How very dare you dessicate Christmas so! You'll be telling us that Santa Claus doesn't exist next. Well let me assure you, Santa does exist, and I have the receipts to prove it!

    It seems that Santa trumps God after all...

  5. To THWOTH

    Really? It is interesting. Could you shown us the receipt? I want one too.

  6. Rigour and rationality?

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant