30 December 2013

Top Ten of 2013

What a year. Just looking at the numbers there seem to be more people reading than the previous year.

1. The Sufficiently Alien Hypothesis
To be fair, there were six posts in this series, and it just barely made number one in page views. I'm thinking this is something most people wouldn't really be into, but some posts did get pretty good numbers on their own. Basically the series is my musings on philosophy of mind and basically why I am a creep and a weirdo.

2. The Government Shutdown
The biggest non-event of the entire year! It would be like someone's car breaking down on the freeway and nobody getting hurt making national news for weeks. A purely manufactured crisis to distract us from all the real issues like the NSA spying on us all the time and drones murdering thousands of innocent brown people. Come to think of it, why DIDN'T I write about the NSA? That's the real question. Like the alien question, I have no answer for this one either.

3. The War in Syria
Saudi Arabia dragging the US and Russia into a new world war over Syria? Selling chemical weapons on the black market? Check and check. And how did the biggest anti-war guy, John Kerry, all of a sudden become the biggest hawk? Isn't that weird?

4. Duck Dynasty
When I got an entire inbox full of mail about some guy I saw on a pillow in Wal*Mart I knew I should write an article (or three) on him. It paid off. Long story short: I don't like government interference in business, except when it comes to enforcing contractual agreements and preventing disastrous things like human trafficking and selling weapons to really bad people (Fast and Furious ring any bells?). But when it comes to anti-discrimination laws, they're really just pro-discrimination against people we dislike, and they treat adults like children.

5. The Difference Between "Fairness" and "Equality"
My desire to avoid the bukkake theater that is politics backfired and I ranted after just nine days. I actually think I focused more on politics this year than last year. I had enough of the mental contortions leftists go through with defining their words so vaguely that they can mean anything at all, and then getting pissed when you don't use one of the definitions that appears on their approved list of possible vague definitions. What is fairness? What does it mean to be rich? And why can't anyone ever give a concrete number when it comes to how much taxes any given person should pay? I'm guessing it has to do with brain damage caused by inhaling one's own farts for too long.

6. Enoch Strife 2024
My "America First" platform for when I run for president (meaning let's get America's shit in order before we start policing the world, not American national socialism). I plan to end the Fed, pass a balanced budget amendment, create a flat tax, bring our troops home, and investigate war crimes, among other things. A bunch of you seem to agree.

7. Trayvon Unmasked
A really long piece on what I think really happened and what the media circus that devolved around the situation says about who they are and who we are as a people.

8. Dreams of Foreign Suns
A pretty sad piece on why I think all the dreams of space travel I had as a kid reading science fiction stories will never happen. Humans seem doomed never to leave the Earth.

9. Lego, The Hagia Sophia, and Terrorism
Lego makes a toy that kind of sort of looks like a secular museum in Turkey and Islamists get pissed, threaten violence, and the toy gets pulled. Funny, the same group that wrote the "angry letter" also pretends the Armenian Genocide didn't happen. I wonder what's worse, making a toy that maybe looks like a building in Turkey or killing two million people and then ignoring it for the past hundred years? That's a tough one.

10. More On "The Walking Dead"
Yep, two years in a row! There are several reasons why Walking Dead style zombies are impossible (and that makes the show more interesting). Here's a funny quote I forgot about:

The zombies decay to the point where a fireplace shovel can cut through a skull like a chainsaw through pound cake, or you can pull a face off a skull easier than ripping off a band-aid, yet they never collapse under their own weight, bugs don't eat them, and they can bite through limbs like jello. I don't know about you, but if perfectly healthy and alive me were to bite into someone wearing overalls' leg I would not only not take a huge chunk out of his flesh, I would probably lose a couple teeth, yet these aspic soft zombies can bite through denim and muscle with no problem.


And what topics did I think not get enough attention? Well, pretty much just one.

On Gratitude
A lot of people complain about a lot of things (myself included). It is important to remember what we have to be thankful for, because, in the long run, those things are more important. If we have our health, loved ones, relative security and prosperity (a poor person in America is like a rich person in Namibia), we shouldn't focus so much on all the petty crap in our lives like that guy who cut us off in traffic, or the price of gas going up thirty cents.

I hope you enjoyed 2013. I look forward to spending the next year with y'all, and hopefully getting away from all the negative crap in the world.

Always Love

29 December 2013

I'm a sexy woman, so stop objectifying me!



Why is it deemed perfectly okay for women to objectify David Beckham, while men who waggle their eyebrows at pretty young women are considered pigs?

Watch and subscribe. Brilliant channel.

28 December 2013

The Adjustment Bureaucracy

HE'S BAAAACK!



I guess A&E knows how to count after all. 14 million viewers is the bigger number than a couple thousand butthurt professional activists who never watched the show in the first place. The quasi-free market (which is really a corporatist global oligarchy) has adjusted itself just like... wait for it... I mentioned a few days ago:

If a business doesn't want to hire someone, fine. If a people don't want to shop there as a result, fine. Markets adjust and societies reach equilibrium without needing to be micromanaged by a top-down bureaucracy.

Phil Robertson is back with A&E filming episodes for "Duck Dynasty", the higest rated show in cable history. From the article:

In a statement released late Friday afternoon, A&E said, “While Phil's comments made in the (GQ) interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the ‘coarse language’ he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would ‘never incite or encourage hate.’"

The network added that “Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man's views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family, a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A&E Networks also feel strongly about.

GLAAD (GLobalist Anti-American Douchebags) made some shit up about Robertson "comparing gay people to terrorists and praising Jim Crow laws," which anyone with basic reading comprehension of the English Language can clearly see he never said and never implied. Even someone new to the English Language or with a first grade reading level who actually took the fifteen seconds to read Phil Robertson's actual statement can see this statement from the New World Order front group is a bullface lie.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said ... "A&E Network’s reversal in the face of backlash is quite telling to the American people who are growing tired of GLAAD and cultural elites who want to silence people and remove God and His word from every aspect of public life."

Got to love that mean green. Turns out greed is a bigger motivating factor than intimidation, even among the globalists. A step has been taken to restore the balance created by exactly 50 years of tyranny.

23 December 2013

Free Will and Individual Liberty

A VERY abridged version of my very long Duck Dynasty piece.

Why can't businesses discriminate against whomever they want? Because mommy and daddy government want the children to play nice? Because the enlightened bureaucrats know better than us? Why can't we treat the businesses, the workers, and the customers like adults? If a business doesn't want to hire someone, fine. If a people don't want to shop there as a result, fine. Markets adjust and societies reach equilibrium without needing to be micromanaged by a top-down bureaucracy.

The attitude of the power elite and the lemmings who support them right there is the non-problem of evil. God, the ultimate parent, lets us have free will to choose to be good or not so we'll grow up on our own. The all powerful authoritarian nanny state wants to keep us in Matrix pods where we can't hurt ourselves or anyone else (WE can't, but they hurt us all the time with the deadly psychotropic drugs they push on everyone, endless abortions, GMO foods, and hormones and fluoride in our water), and where we can't make any of our own choices. And all this time I thought they were "pro-choice"! No, they're pro-abortion and anti-choice. They don't want us to have free will and as such we cannot say we are living in a free society.

REAL crimes against persons and property (murder, arson, theft, rape) still have consequences in this world, just as there are consequences for transgressing God's law as well, but to force people to "get along" and to force people to do business with people they do not want is totalitarian evil. It is anti-free will, it is forced will. Thought and will are no longer free and so society is no longer free.

If a person is forced to be good that person's deeds are no longer good because they are meaningless. Forcing someone to do good is slavery, and forcing someone to give charity is theft, and silencing dissent and punishing thought crimes is rape of the mind and soul. These actions are all the hallmark of tyranny.

Maybe if we stop treating adults like children they will stop acting like children.

19 December 2013

Duck Dynasty and Individual Liberty


Now, y'all have probably heard about this issue with that Duck Dynasty guy Phil Robertson being fired ("suspended") from his hit A&E series. I had not heard of Duck Dynasty until not that long ago when, at the store, I saw cupcakes with pictures of old men on them. I could not imagine kids wanting to buy these things, but I brushed it aside. Days later I came across a pillow with those same old guys; on the reverse was the words "Duck Dynasty". I decided to look it up (okay, I asked some friends). I found out it's a reality series about a family that manufacturers duck calls and it is "not bad, as far as reality television goes." I also caught a video of one of the sons and his wife talking about not having sex until marriage. That's always good, what with the rampant outbreak of bastard children and the toll it is taking on the welfare system, not to mention the psychological damage children of single parents face (as just such a child, I can assure you, not having a good female and male role model to teach you properly in feminine and masculine ways how to be a responsible adult does have negative effects).

That said, I have not watched the series. I have no opinion one way or the other on the series. I do not have cable, I rarely watch television, except for the weather and sometimes The McLaughlin Group and Nature on PBS, and the occasional NFL football game.

What this all stems from is an article in GQ (and I had to search through a forest of links to find the original article - one thing I've learned is the value of original documents cannot be downplayed) where Phil Robertson was interviewed to cash in on the meteoric success of his television series Duck Dynasty. And I am not exaggerating. With 11.8 million viewers for the season premier this year they brought together numbers that network execs have wet dreams over. It is the highest rated series in A&E history. This is a gold mine, no question. I say this purely from a marketing standpoint (since I have never seen the show before and am writing this article just to draw traffic to my site) it is a huge mistake, financially, to anger 11.8 million dedicated viewers by messing with the formula of their program (14 million, according to the original GQ article itself - more than the Breaking Bad finale).

From the article (written by Drew Magary, who has a completely nondescript appearance, like any random sloppy beer belly guy you will see on the street and not some hoity toity Left Coast journalist):

"[Phil Robertson] is welcoming and gracious. He is a man who preaches the gospel of the outdoors and, to my great envy, practices what he preaches. He spends most of his time out here, daydreaming about what he calls a “pristine earth”: a world where nothing gets in the way of nature or the hunters who lovingly maintain it. No cities. No buildings. No highways.

"Oh, and no sinners, too. So here’s where things get a bit uncomfortable. Phil calls himself a Bible-thumper, and holy shit, he thumps that Bible hard enough to ring the bell at a county-fair test of strength. If you watch Duck Dynasty, you can hear plenty of it in the nondenominational supper-table prayer the family recites at the end of every episode, and in the show’s no-cussing, no-blaspheming tone. But there are more things Phil would like to say—“controversial” things, as he puts it to me—that don’t make the cut."

Now, before I get into the controversial things, let's look at what this Phil guy likes. He likes wilderness free of cities and highways. An environmentalist's dream (even the World Wildlife Fund acknowledges that regulated hunting of elephants has increased their numbers and dealt a serious blow to poaching in African countries where hunting is legal. Cities and highways produce carbon, which is bad, and forests absorb carbon, which is good. Need-e forget that all those indigenous groups liberals like to say lived in perfect harmony with nature were hunters. A recent survey in Wisconsin found that 92% of hunters wanted to be closer to nature and only 19% wanted trophy kills. 60% wanted meat that was not tainted by GMOs and artificial hormones created in factory farms that kill millions of animals a year and produce carbon, which is bad, and methane, which is much worse.).

Now here's the controversial part. In Phil's own words: "It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical."

Here's another quote that is not the subject of ire in today's manufactured outrage: "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."

Drew takes the time to point out next: "And then, of course, there is their faith, which plays no small role here. During the family’s initial negotiations about the show with A&E, Jase told me, “the three no-compromises were faith, betrayal of family members, and duck season.” That refusal to betray their faith or one another has been a staple of every media article about the Robertson family. It’s their elevator pitch, and it has made them into ideal Christian icons: beloved for staking out a bit of holy ground within the mostly secular, often downright sinful, pop culture of America."

Or as one brilliant martyr of this sinful world once said "come as you are."

Phil began his life as a sinner, as he would say. He was a drug addict who went out picking fights (one of which got him kicked out of the state of Arkansas). He hit rock bottom and then found salvation in Jesus Christ and turned his life around. In his own words: "My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."

He also said "We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?"

Drew asked "What, in your mind, is sinful?"

"Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right."

And that's the problem. Homosexuals are the pet minority of the power elite in 2013. They'll be dumped really soon, as we're seeing the rise of politicians openly supporting polygamy. It's not moved into the arena of hard and fast laws, yet, but those in power are letting the people know they will not tolerate polyphobia! That was quick. And they said the slippery slope was a fallacy. Newsflash: The government does not give a single fuck about homosexuals. The government does not give a single fuck about black people, or Hispanics, or women, or anyone else. They are using minorities to grow their own power. When a single unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat dictates something by fiat without putting the issue to a vote, everyone's voice is silenced, even if you agree with the decision (as happened in New Jersey, where 1 judge got a single vote and the other 9 million people got a middle finger, even the ones who agreed with her). You may be happy now, in your slave chains, growing fat off of massa's scraps, but they still hang from your neck. And there is no telling when massa will see you as no longer useful and cast you aside like yesterday's trash.

He's also badmouthing adultery, prostitution, bestiality (sex with animals, which is legal in Jersey as long as you can prove you're not hurting the animal), drunkenness, greed, slander, and theft. He's also badmouthing swinging, or the "hookup culture," where young people have anonymous sex out of boredom. He also did not compare homosexuals to zoophiles (animal fuckers), unless you are 1. dishonest or 2. admit he compared heterosexuals who have sex out of wedlock to zoophiles too, since they both appear in the same list.

What I think is interesting is his choice of wording. "Homosexual behavior" is sinful, as are "homosexual offenders" but he doesn't outright say homosexuals or homosexuality is in and of itself sinful. Having desires is not a sin, whether they be desires for certain types of sexual acts or for drinking alcohol to excess are not themselves sins, but acting on those desires is. That's at least how I interpret what he is saying.

In a general sense I agree, that acting on desire is sinful while having the desire itself is not, though I disagree with the specifics. I don't think homosexual behavior is a sin. In fact, when I started out with the idea for this article I was going to talk about sex in the context of Classical Greece and the good and bad ways men can have sex (between the thighs is good, up the butt is bad, that's the brief synopsis). This is getting very long, so I'll hold that off for a future date. I also think prostitution is a lot better than casual sex and should be legal, though well regulated to prevent the spread of diseases, and that pornography is also better than causal sex, even if the people all look pretty much the same and multiple cuts create the misperception that guys can go for hours without ejaculating. And what's with the sudden fashion of chopping off all pubic hair? Not having bush looks gross, plain and simple. You don't have to have an out of control forest down there, but try to keep some ground cover for display purposes. As for vaginas themselves? They're great. Too bad they're attached to women.

But I dye grass.

After the interview A&E released a statement: "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

Just a quick note, guys, the Robertson family agrees with Phil, though they're not as "outspoken," and his opinions are reflected in the series Duck Dynasty (according to the original GQ article). He's a gazillionaire. He's not doing the show for money, he's doing it to spread the gospel as he understands it.

Now onto the meat and potatoes of the notes I prepared earlier on this issue (everything above has been off-the-cuff synopsis of the article, which I read in full, and the news I heard on the situation, interspersed with my own brand of flippant humour).

Regarding A&E firing Phil, I don't care. I am of the position that a business should be allowed to hire and fire whomever they want for whatever reason. That's not the politically correct answer, but that is my answer, just as it is my position on private property rights.

Don't like blacks? Fine. Don't like whites? Fine. Don't like Democrats, Republicans, fat people, skinny people, people who climb rocks? Don't like men, women, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, atheists, homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, pansexuals, omnisexuals, asexuals, transgender, cisgender, whatever? Don't like anyone for any reason? I don't care. I really don't. Adults should be treated like adults and have the right to discriminate against whomever they want, and hire and fire whomever they want, for whatever reason they want. Political correctness and quotas destroy our dignity, our productivity, and our freedom.

Are you a "white" Christian man with long hair who speaks out against the government all the time? You will be legally discriminated against. Any other kind of person? You still will be discriminated against, only in your favour. Not as qualified as the white guy? If you meet the racial quotas you can get that job!

Affirmative action is racism and anti-discrimination is discrimination, and these practices treat adults like children.

Here's a quick test.

Look at any two things. It doesn't matter what they are. Could be anything: eyeglasses, coffee cup, pen, Dodge Chargers, whatever. Look at any two things. Now that you're looking at two things, can you tell the difference between them? It may be a big difference, like a cat and a tree, or it may be two otherwise identical paperclips and the only difference is their position in space. But you can tell them apart at least somehow, right? You can?

You are guilty of discrimination.

That's it! That's as complicated as it gets, as simple as it gets. If you can tell any two things apart you have just discriminated. Congratulations, you bigot.

As I have pointed out before, there's a big, massively hypocritical, anti-discrimination movement that is really a great big authoritarian anti-individual liberty, anti-free association, anti-discrimination against certain politically expedient minority groups who are being used to exponentially grow the size and power of government, largely without said minorities noticing it. It really is about treating adults like children by the peace loving, beneficent autocrats who know better, and the eventual extermination of hundreds of millions of people in the creation of a global superstate whose power cannot be challenged.

Remember, LBJ said in regard to his phony stance on the civil rights movement and the Great Society "I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." (He tried to kill the movement in the 1950s under Eisenhower, as he was one of the most stringent anti-black politicians who has ever held office, and revived in the 1960s to distract the public from his murder of Kennedy and his great love of killing kids in Vietnam.)

The power elite keep blacks as victims through soft racism such as affirmative action and race baiters such as Al Sharpton. Blacks are not good enough to compete on their own, they argue, so big daddy government must give them a hand up and take care of them just as big daddy massa did. "Massa don't want to hear that slave shit, sing him something different!"

If you take a look at just about every problem society faces today you can trace it back to people with power wanting more power, disenfranchising one group to play off another, keeping us all separated so we can't unite and defeat them. Racism has always existed and probably will always exist, but the idea of permanent racial victims exists only as a device by the elite to divide people.

If people do not want to shop at white only or black only places, if they do not want to shop at anti-hetero or anti-homo shops, the market will adjust itself accordingly. There is no reason for almighty government to turn adults into children and force them to do things against their will. People have enough good judgment (and if they don't, then in ten years of free market then the government can come back and clamp down, okay?) to regulate themselves. Problems arise when government purposefully dumbs down people and indoctrinates them into the cult of self-indulgence. Government dividing people is the problem, not people dividing themselves naturally into like-minded groups. All class warfare is manufactured by the power elite so they can play both sides off against each other and steal all the power for themselves.

Why do we need to treat adults like children? "Now play nice with people you don't like." We're not talking about assaulting or killing people you don't like (and Phil has said he loves the sinner but hates the sin, that is, he doesn't hate people, just behaviour). That would still be illegal, as it would be causing gross bodily harm on another person - a violation of that person's right to life (which is something the left has no problem denying the unborn). We're talking about the government denying people the right to free association by forcing them to do business with people they do not want to do business with. Forcing people to do business against their will... kind of sounds like slavery.

Informed by the above, let me reiterate, I do not care that A&E fired Phil Robertson. They should have the right to fire whomever they want if he was in violation of his contract (contractual agreements are still to be upheld, as it is one of the few valid jobs of government). From a financial standpoint it's their loss, but they still should be free to do it. Freedom of speech cuts both ways. Phil Robertson is free to say what he wants and A&E is free to exercise their speech by firing Phil Robertson if he violates his contract. Now, if he didn't violate his contract then he rightly can sue for damages, but that's a separate issue. The left doesn't want to talk about firing people who legitimately violate their contracts when the person being fired is a protected minority, but a long-haired white Christian male? No problem. He should have been fired a long time ago for worshiping a "sky daddy" and owning a gun as far as they are concerned.

I find is humerous, and perhaps hypocritical, that A&E, a network that has made millions of dollars and produced hundreds of shows, if not thousands, on Adolf Hitler, letting him spew all his racist hate and advocacy of genocide, but Phil Robertson says one little thing about not liking homosexual behaviour - not homosexual people - and the shit hits the fan and they fire him. Hitler's rhetoric led to the deaths of tens of millions of people; no one has died as a result of Robertson's GQ interview. The execs at A&E should be a little more consistent and stop airing all Hitler programs. But that's just my opinion.

15 December 2013

On Disability

All these pro-disability people are a fucking joke. They're right about one thing, it's not a good thing to mock disabled people, but they're wrong about everything else.

Why shouldn't we look for a cure for blindness or deafness or crippleness? Why should we celebrate disibility like it were a real accomplishment? It is wrong for the exact same reason as chastising disibility. In trying to combat hate or disaproval or "discrimination" or whatever they want to call it, the pro-disability crowd goes off the deep end in the other direction, becoming just as fanatical about celebrating what, in reality, is nothing to celebrate.

That's one of the biggest gripes I have, that it only makes sense to celebrate or take pride in accoplishments, not accidents. Why should I be proud of my height, or race, or the number of fingers and toes I have? I had NOTHING to do with any of that. It took ZERO effort on my part to achieve any of that. In what sense, then, should I be proud of what ammounts to chance and circumstance? If I had nothing to do with it, if I had no choice, didn't set out to do something and then did it, what does it have to do with my greatness (or lack thereof)? Nothing.

Everyone is all on the pride bandwagon. No accomplishments? Didn't succeed at anything in your entire life? Can't win worth a damn? No problem. You too can be a champion! Just pick some random aspect of your person, it doesn't really matter, and claim in a confident voice "I won the genetic lottery!" It's the ultimate self-esteem booster for losers and lazy people, like "Everyone Gets A Trophy Day".

There's accomidating disability (which is what humans do really well, as evient from all those seriously injured cro magnon skeletons that indicated they lived long lives being cared for by others), then there's treating it like it's better than ability, which it's not. Being blind does not make one better than a sighted person. People with proper hearing shouldn't ALL learn sign language, doctors should look for a cure for deafness and blindness. There's a reason we don't have "Polio Pride" or "National Measles Day," because people recognise that fatal diseases are nothing to celebrate. Unfortunately, in this hyper-sensitive society we live in, people DO celebrate non-fatal diseases*.

I think, but am not certain, the problem is a faulty association in the pro-disability people the proposition that |in society it is accepted that the word "disease" = "moral failure of the individual," or, otherwise, that the word "disease" is associated with "moral failure of the individual.| I have pointed out before, many times, that being diseased is not a moral failure. One does not need to feel ashamed to admit one is diseased. One is not immoral because one is diseased. That is true. However, I think the pro-disability people are as guilty of perpetuating this faulty association as the anti-disability people. A scab indicates that a wound is healing. If you pick the scab it will never heal. It's the same problem with race baiters, who sabotage healthy race relations just as much, if not worse, than extreme outspoken racists.

I'm never going to run a four minute mile, I'll never be able to box like Mike Tyson, or write music like Mozart, or see properly without mechanical aid. That doesn't make me immoral, that doesn't make me bad, but I'm not going to celebrate being slow, or frail, or musically disinclined, or having poor eyesight. Those are not accomplishments, and I refuse to be proud of them.

*Disease
noun
A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

If a body part, or mental function, or whatever, isn't working properly it is diseased.

13 December 2013

Eternal Day

A lovely short program (22 minutes) on the Super Specialty Hospitals founded by Sai Baba. This is in celebration of the 22nd anniversay of the hospitals, which opened in 1991. Tragically, Swami cannot be here in person to witness this event, but he is ever present, even if we cannot see his body.

The lovely ideal of selfless service (seva) is exemplified in this pair of free hospitals which have thus far helped 2.3 million patients.



This is the ideal. This is totally different from universal healthcare/ socialised medicine/ single payer. When people give of themselves of their own will selflessly that is the highest virtue. When a government steals money from people and redistributes it as it sees fit that is worse than thievery. A government cannot mandate morality, or else the value is totally removed. One cannot be moral or virtuous if one is compelled to act in such a way. It is only through one's own will that one may be virtuous.

12 December 2013

Funeral Fiasco!

Millions (I guess) attended the funeral of South Africa's most famous native son Nelson Mandela. It was meant to be a solemn occasion, admiring how a radical communist terrorist turned his life around while in prison and adopted love instead of revenge. Instead it was a circus of horrors.

The sign language guy at the funeral had a schizophrenic episode and made meaningless hand gestures instead of real sign language. He also has a history of violence and they let him get within three feet of the President Oblahblah. Guess the Secret Service was drunk that day - very drunk.

oblahblah

Speaking of Oblahblah, he took a selfie next to Mandela's dead body. He then gave a speech in which he talked entirely about himself, not mentioning Mandela once. In total he used the words "I," "Me," "My," and other first person pronouns 5,724 times. His wife was disgusted. The photographer who took the picture of Oblahblah's wife being disgusted at Oblahblah's behaviour apologised and then committed suicide for shaming his one true god. Oh, yeah, Oblahblah also Frenched some blonde.

10 December 2013

Housing Discrimination and Private Property Rights

HUD has a radio ad about "property discrimination." Surprisingly, it is a crime to be discriminating when deciding whom may rent your private property. Maybe I don't want to retrofit my 150 year old building to accommodate people with wheelchairs or who are morbidly obese. Maybe I don't want a crack dealer or gang member or convicted felon renting my property. Maybe I don't want people who can't speak English or who play loud music or have huge parties with their entire tribe at my private property. There should be absolutely nothing controversial about this!

If I can't be discriminating with regard to who rents my private property – people who are my responsibility – then in what sense can we say we have private property rights? In what sense can we call this a free country?

This is a separate issue from the ideal world. Divorced from issues of love thy brother as thyself and judging people by the content of their character rather than the colour of their marble (the Dr. King statue controversy). Al that is still true, and that is the ideal, but this is an issue of freedom. Let's face it, if someone tried to have a "coloured only" fast food shop today the free market wold see the place lose business and close down rather quickly. If we treat people like adults and let them have the free choice the Lord has endowed us all with, many people will choose to do the right thing and the free market will close down many of the other establishments. What this really is about is the issue of a grotesquely bloated predatory government trying to legislate morality. We see how well the government runs the post office and the IRS and public education (fewer than 40% of HS graduates actually have a twelfth grade level of education – "no child left behind" was instituted by Bush because he didn't want to be left behind as a child. It may or may not be true, but it still is funny.). So, with the stellar failure of everything the government does, why do we think the government should try to regulate morality?

And this is all skirting the issue that it is my property! My private property should be something I have more control over. If I want whites only living in my house I should have that right. Other like-minded people will congregate around me and different-minded people will go somewhere else, like adults. People who like to smoke should have freedom of smoking and be allowed to work at pro-smoking establishments and non-smokers would do the same at smoke-free places, just like I should have the right to rent my private property to whomever I want.

I know I'm repeating myself here, but freedom is something I am really concerned with. My earliest memory is of wanting freedom and resenting authority, so freedom is sort of my thing. Again, this is beside the point of loving others and judging people based on their characters – all good stuff – but being good is meaningless when it is forced.


(Written 31 October 2012)

Blan B is Racialist

From Mother Jones:

"The European manufacturer of a pill identical to Plan B says its product won't work for women who weigh more than 176 pounds. Will American pharma companies warn women of weight limits?"

The abortion pill* NorLevo (Levonorgestrel - the same drug sold in the United States as Plan B) is completely ineffective in women who weigh more than 176 pounds (how did they come up with that number? Why not 175 or 177? Why not just round to 170 or 180?), and has greatly diminished effectiveness in women over 165 pounds. Weight data from the CDC indicates that the average American woman weighs 166 pounds and is therefore too fat to use Plan B.

I think the important point to take away from this story is not that American women are too fat. The point to take, at least for me, is that the makers of Plan B are racialist. From the article: "The average weight of non-Hispanic black women aged 20 to 39 is 186 pounds, well above the weight at which these pills are completely ineffective." [Italics added]

The average black woman in America is too fat to use Plan B. Only those skinny white (I'm guessing) women can use it. Isn't that racialist? They make a pill black women can't take to save themselves from bad decisions. Making something for one race and not for black people is racialism, plain and simple.



*The definition of "abortion," like the definition of "marriage," was changed by the quack medical establishment to be "the termination of pregnancy," and of course "pregnancy" is redefined as "beginning with implantation of the zygote [the new human being, fictitious referred to as a "fertilised egg" so it sounds like a tumor or a turd and not something alive with unique DNA]. Since Levonogestrel cannot destroy the zygote once it has implanted itself in the uterine lining it is, by the new magic definition, not causing an abortion. The drug supposedly works by preventing or delaying ovulation (it is admitted that no one knows how it really works, and it is still sold over the counter without having to show ID), however the drug may thin the uterine lining, making implantation more difficult. While not "technically" an abortion, it is still ending the life of a brand new human being with unique DNA who is in no way part of the mother's body. Not "technically" an abortion, it is still homicide.

09 December 2013

Nuclear News You DIDN'T Hear

Have you heard the one about the deal between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan regarding nuclear weapons? No? Maybe the news was too busy focusing on what inanimate object Miley Cyrus was having sex with this week.

Stolen Cobalt-60

A truck delivering 40 grams of cobalt-60 pellets, material used in radiotherapy, was hijacked last week in central Mexico. The truck and the cargo was recovered near Hueypoxtla, and the hijackers are believed to have received a fatal dose of radiation.

This was another narrow miss. There is an increasing number of nuclear incidents in the world today. Cobalt-60 is particularly deadly and persistent isotope that was proposed in use for area denial weapons. An area exposed to the fallout of a cobalt bomb would be uninhabitable for 100 years due to lethal levels of radiation. Had this stolen material been placed in a truck bomb like the kind that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, it could contaminate an area of four square miles[1]. If set off at Wall Street the plume of radioactive debris would probably reach the Empire State Building.

Iranian Nukes

"Saudi King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were not won over by President Barack Obama's pledges in personal phone calls to the two Middle East leaders last week not to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Their skepticism only grew."

He probably said something along the lines of "if you like your nuclear program, you can keep it*"

*"Program" does not include "programs Oblahblah does not like," or "programs that do not include abortion on demand until three years after birth." "Like" is a subjective term, subject to verification by Oblahblah and his bureaucrats.

This is exactly what the mullahs wanted. Oblahblah is eating out of their hands. After stalling for time "negotiating," they managed to get Oblahblah to back down and give them everything they wanted and more. Experts estimate that Iran  has enough material to make four nukes already.

Leaders in Saudi Arabia have made clear that if Iran gets a nuke then they will be forced to get one as well, since they may well be the primary target of attack, before Israel even, due to the fierce hatred between rival Muslim factions. Saudi Arabia funded Pakistan's nuclear program, and if push comes to shove they claim to have an agreement whereby Pakistan will deliver weapons to them as compensation.

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are ticking time bombs in the region. Both are ruled by horrible, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, prehistoric, amoral, psychopathic monsters. The war in Syria is, in part, a proxy war between these two repressive regimes that threatens to suck the entire world in with it. If either one gets their hands on a nuke it would be a disaster for every freedom loving, moral human being on the planet.

Iran will not negotiate at all with Israel, and probably won't negotiate with Saudi Arabia either. In the world of inter-tribal warfare the aim is always extermination, and both proto-nuclear nations most definitely are run by tribal strongmen.



Notes
1. "Here the lethal combination of glass and a bomb projected shards at high speed causing 5 per cent of the deaths and 69 per cent of the injuries outside the buildings for a radius of over 10 blocks from the blast centre."

10 blocks, as seen on a map, is about one mile. A circle with a radius of 1 mile has an area of exactly pi square miles. I rounded up to 4 to be safe.

07 December 2013

A Minarchist Justification of Taxation



Basic points to take away from this very short (4 minute) video:
*Governments are inevitable
*Elected governments are better than warlords
*People should be compensated for their work, including elected officials
*Something has to pay government wages, and that is what taxation is for

Now, there may be some confusion about the title. I'm not saying I'm a minarchist, or anything else for that matter (besides a constitutionalist, as that is the rules of the government we have in place and, since we have them, we should follow those rules and not just invent things on the fly without justification or oversight, but that is not to say I think we have an optimal constitution or anything). My own thoughts on an "ideal society 1000 years from now" can be found, pretty much in this video:



A framework of working out different issues with government can be found in my Integral Politics series.

02 November 2013

Dreams of Foreign Suns

Walking around yesterday I thought about my second great love (my first being freedom), and one of the three original goals I set for my life: space travel. I got to thinking about all those books I loved reading and how the future is almost certainly not going to be like that. The future will not be like The Stars My Destination, Harvest the Fire, Starship Troopers, or The Zero Stone. The future will not be like Star Trek (except maybe Deep Space 9 which was boring and grim and I never watched more than a few episodes) or Firefly.

It has to do with a phenomenon called Dunbar's Number, and a disturbing trend seen with the rapid advancement in technology and the social order.

John Stringfellow in 1848 built a steam-powered flying machine that was the absolute apogee of steam technology. While it did fly it was not powerful enough to carry a person. On 17 December 1903 the Wright brothers made what is recognised as the first piloted powered flight in a heavier-than-air vehicle.

NASA became operational 1 October 1958. 20 February 1962, a little over three years later, John Glenn got into orbit. 12 September 1966, eight years later, Gemini 11 completed the farthest ever orbit of the earth, never to be exceeded, and successfully created artificial gravity with the Agena Target Vehicle. 20 July 1969, ten and a half years later, Apollo 11 lands on the Moon for the first time. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin finally demonstrated that that light in the sky is a real place, and people can go there. 11 December 1972, Apollo 17 spent the most time on the Moon. Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent three days there, and when they left they became the last men ever to land on another celestial body, and the last to leave low Earth orbit.

The past 41 years have been spent doing high school science experiments at 200 km above sea level (and the Russians tried to see if they could kill people by keeping Valeri Polyakov in space for over 400 days. I think he was crippled for about a year after he returned).

Also in 1969 plans were drawn up for Big Gemini, which was superior to the Space Shuttle in every way, but they were scrapped. In 1972 Pioneer 10 was launched. Along with Pioneer 11, and later Voyager 1 and 2 - launched in 1977 - they demonstrated the possibility of sending unmanned spacecraft outside the solar system (as of August 2012 Voyager 1 became the first, and so far only, manmade object to leave the solar system).

NASA had plans for a Mars mission set for 1986 with a colossal football field sized NERVA nuclear rocket, that was successfully tested on the ground (they were buried underground with just the tail spouting highly radioactive jets into the air. At least two men died and had to be buried in salt mines in multi-tonne lead coffins.). The mars mission was scrapped when Congress decided killing Vietnamese people was a better allocation of the $10 billion necessary to build and launch the full size NERVA rocket. There were plans to send manned missions to the moons of Jupiter by the 1990s and Proxima Centauri by the early 2000s using nuclear rockets that were built and successfully tested in the 1960s and 70s. These too were scrapped.

The technology to go to the stars existed 40 years ago and has never been used for political reasons. Yesterday I had the feeling that, like freedom, once the initiative for space travel is lost it can never be gotten back. We will probably never land escape Earth orbit again. (Although the Chinese have plans for a colony on the Moon, let's face it, China is over. The Chinese economy is a house of cards built in mid-air waiting for a stiff breeze and some common sense to knock it over. Without the hundreds of billions in government spending, building ghost cities in the middle of nowhere, the Chinese economy will collapse and then the hundred million surplus men will become the largest demonstration of pure anarchy in history, as, like the man who castrated himself this past week, they have nothing else to live for. It is impossible to build a civilisation on population control and sex-selective abortion that produces 9 males for every 1 female. Sure, the military may crack some skulls and force its way to the Moon, like pretty much everything the Soviets ever did, but the Chinese dreams of empire and space travel are made of gossamer and the dreams of children.)

But there's something bigger than that. A new direction society has taken that threatens the very idea of space travel. As I said earlier:

There is the interesting side question of modern Western society, indeed any extremely affluent society, as to whether it does, in fact, represent a diseased PBC and not merely an alien one. All extremely affluent societies throughout history have been plagued by extreme narcissism and apathy, which is displayed in declining fertility rate. Some societies, such as Japan, are so affluent that they are literally on the fast track to extinction because they simply stop breeding. A PBC that cannot[3] produce children above replacement rate (2.1 births/woman) has no survival value and would, by the above criterion, represent a disease. After the inevitable collapse whatever society that arises to fill the void would be made of individuals who possess viable PBCs. As I mentioned in "Affluence and Apathy", there is a healthy form of affluence, though it has never seemed common enough to prevent an entire affluent society from collapsing. It would be possible for healthy affluent to form a viable society, and so I would classify healthy affluent as alien, though it has never happened before and probably never will.

The United States is the most affluent society ever. One third of the population is obese, including poor people. And along with affluence comes extreme narcissism and apathy, but there is something more. Something that was engineered by the power elite during the Apollo program. The creation of the welfare state coincided with a fundamental shift in the perception of sex in society. Both happened together because the government was setting itself up to become the new parent. No-fault divorce, ever expanding welfare programs, and the shift away from sex for procreation to sex for fun changed the way people viewed their place in society (to be sure, people had sex for fun since the beginning, but men always wanted sons as a matter of pride and women always wanted men around to provide for their children, and in the 1970s there was a shift away from that to "we'll hold off having kids until we're 40, if ever, and just enjoy our permanent adolescence now!"). Now, with the redefinition of marriage away from providing for children to some vague conception of love/lust, the coup d'├ętat is now complete.

The US Department of Education was created in 1979. Before that all schools were run locally, with education tailored to the needs of individual students. Since there has been a shift in a one-size-fits-all education policy, with "no child left behind." The DoE is a gigantic indoctrination program, and they're not even covert about it. Common Core is demonstrably indoctrination. School officials in Memphis provide breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner to kids, and admit that if they had rooms for beds the kids would sleep there permanently. The government sees the only role of parents to be breeding. Once the children are born, they belong to the state.

How did this all begin? Urbanisation. Cities are a statist's best friend. It has to do with a fundamental limitation of the human brain. The human brain seems to be able to hold detailed interpersonal information on at most 150-200 people. There appears to be a correlation between the size of the neocortex of primates and the maximum number of individuals a primate can keep track of and maintain social relationships with. This is Dunbar's number. This is what kept population size limited during almost all of prehistory. (If humans have been around at least 200,000 years, and writing was invented only 5,000 years before present, then prehistory makes up 97.5% of humanity's entire time on the Earth. The earliest cities appear 12,000 years before present, 7,000 years before the start of written history, so cities make up 3.59% of the duration of prehistory. 94% of the time humans have been here was before the first city was built.)

Timeline

When people live in small communities people care about one another because people can keep track of everyone living in the community. In a city of hundreds of thousands or millions of people this is impossible. People stop caring about the other denizens of the city, and the social structures that keeps a community together never form. The vacuum left over by the lack of a stable community is filled by the government. Private charity gives way to the welfare state, and education becomes indoctrination.

Technology isn't helping either. In 1980 the average person had 3 close friends. In 2011 the average person had 0 close friends. The advent of smart phones, social media, and people taking pictures of their sandwiches and posting them online has served to destroy human interpersonal communication faster than urbanisation ever could. People, for the most part, and especially the Millennials (the first generation to grow up totally under government indoctrination),  are not connected to anyone anymore except the government.

Human sociality is necessary for space travel. Big giant space projects like the colonisation of planets require thousands of people working together, billions of dollars, and the support of entire societies. People stopped caring about space travel, and space programs died in the 1970s. Without all three elements of properly sociable, funded, and motivated people, then landing on Mars or going to the stars is impossible. We appear to have topped out: humans have developed to a certain point, but there is a definite limit to that development, and we're right about there.

Humans appear doomed to low Earth orbit. The future in space I dreamed of as a child seems like it may have evapourated along with the sex and welfare revolutions.

28 October 2013

Book: What Happens When We Die?



Psychic Medium, Spiritual Healer, and Bestselling Author Echo Bodine talks about her new book WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE: A Psychic's Exploration of Death, Heaven, and the Soul's Journey After Death. A lovely ten minute interview.

11 October 2013

Brains, Genes, and Free Choice



Another video about the Sufficiently Alien Hypothesis

Part One
I talk about the "Lord of the Flies Test" to determine if a PBC (Personality, Beliefs, Cognitive Structures) is viable or non-viable.

Part Two
I talk about people being offended about everything and how dignity can only come from free choice not circumstance.

04 October 2013

Men With Standards

Why are women expected to have standards but when men have standards they're "shallow"? Absolutely genius video.

30 September 2013

The Government "Shut Down" In Plain Fucking English

Fuck_Obama
The government is going to shut down and it will be the end of the world!!!!!1
AAAAAAHHH!!!!!111

Actually, no. The government has "shut down" many times in the past forty years, usually for 1 to 3 days. The last, and longest, "shut down" was in 1996 as a birthday present to me, and it remains the greatest present I have ever gotten. It lasted 28 days. Most government employees, deemed "essential" keep working, though they have to wait until the end of the year to get back pay for the few days the government was "shut down."

Here's why there's going to be a "shut down." The extremely unpopular, unconstitutional ZeroCare tax law, which is so unpopular and destructive that Zero himself has granted waivers to everyone who supported it and has illegally postponed parts of the law himself through executive fiat doesn't want the bad conservatives from saving the American people (me) from having to pay hundreds of dollars a month because we are uninsured. The evil conservatives want to continue funding the government, they don't want it to shut down, and they have repeatedly called for special conference committees (the normal course of action) to reach a compromise. Zero cries "WAAAA!!!! WAAAA!!!!! BABY WANTS A ZIMA!!!!!!" The Demoncrats say "all or nothing, even though Zero HIMSELF postponed parts of his own law you evil conservatives are not allowed to postpone anything. We are willing to let everyone in America die if our lord or lords god of gods Zero does not get his way." The media are repeating the lies the Demoncrats. "Why do you hate orphans and want old people to eat cat food? Why do you want to keep Americans from getting the bestest health care in the universe, that's so good that people in Briton die of dehydration in the waiting room trying to drink from potted plants and their bodies are left there for three days and people are flocking in droves from Canada to get care in the US? Health care so good that other countries around the world are going back to an evil market based system because it doesn't work, never has worked, never will work, is just an excuse by statists to take control of the entire economy and punish poor people?"

Fuck you obama, fuck you very much.

27 September 2013

Disease or alien? Answering a question with another question. [1]

Working on the Sufficiently Alien Hypothesis has led me to a tentative criterion for answering the question whether a cognitive mode (I think I'm calling it PBC - Personality, Beliefs, Cognitive Mode - now) is a disease or whether it is alien. This may be a bit definitional, and in today's world people shy away from definitions because "hey man, I'm the only one who can define me," but that's stupid and without definitions we might as well just not try to understand anything. Methinks this question could be answered by looking toward the future.

Could a society structured around beings with similar PBCs be made to function indefinitely? If yes then it is (or MAY[2] be) alien, if no then it is a disease. Of course there is also the question of "could such a society ever come to exist in the first place?" It's a related question, but I don't think it's necessary to answer in order to answer the first question, though it may make answering the first question more difficult. Getting a group of people with similar PBCs (over 2,000 is necessary to allow for sufficient genetic variation in case the PBC turns out to be viable and a perpetually self-sustaining population is to be maintained) and seeing how they get along together would be a step toward finding an answer, but it may not be the only way.

The answer is "yes" for "normal" people, since history is pretty much testament to such a society functioning for several thousand years. It's not perfect, but it works well enough to have marked survival value. As stated before there seem to be some antiquated PBCs that were dominant in hunter gatherer societies thousands of years ago that are displayed in a small number of people today. That would also be alien. Some PBCs are clearly fatal. A society cannot be built around predominantly people with extreme paranoia, or who cannot stand physical interaction, or cannot feed or clothe themselves. Under the above criterion these would be classified as diseases.

There is the interesting side question of modern Western society, indeed any extremely affluent society, as to whether it does, in fact, represent a diseased PBC and not merely an alien one. All extremely affluent societies throughout history have been plagued by extreme narcissism and apathy, which is displayed in declining fertility rate. Some societies, such as Japan, are so affluent that they are literally on the fast track to extinction because they simply stop breeding. A PBC that cannot[3] produce children above replacement rate (2.1 births/woman) has no survival value and would, by the above criterion, represent a disease. After the inevitable collapse whatever society that arises to fill the void would be made of individuals who possess viable PBCs. As I mentioned in "Affluence and Apathy", there is a healthy form of affluence, though it has never seemed common enough to prevent an entire affluent society from collapsing. It would be possible for healthy affluent to form a viable society, and so I would classify healthy affluent as alien, though it has never happened before and probably never will.

The trouble with most alien PBCs is that the individuals are so widely spread out, and so scarce that it may not be possible for such individuals to find each other in sufficient numbers to actually form a society. The result being that while these alien PBCs could form a viable society they probably never will. However, it is not necessary that a PBC form a society to demonstrate its viability.




1. I believe I have clearly defined "alien" by now, but the fact that I later use "alien" to include "normal" people later on may seem a bit odd. It is important to know that all societally viable PBCs would appear alien to all other societally viable PBCs. Viable PBCs may be mutually exclusive.

2. It's possible that there is some overlap. A disease need not be bad enough to inhibit the survival of the society and/or individuals in question. When I actually get around to writing that 200 page dissertation I'll go into more details, but for now all that I'm focusing on is narrowing the field to exclude all societally fatal PBCs, as they definitely cannot be alien.

3. A PBC that CANNOT, not one that WILL NOT. An individual may sacrifice reproduction for the greater good of society, such as defending the society in warfare or uplifting the society culturally or spiritually through extremely dangerous exploration or monasticism. This does not necessarily place all such individuals outside the society, even if these professions may be safe havens for individuals who are. The difference I'm getting at is between those who do not reproduce out of the choice of self-sacrifice for the greater good and those who cannot reproduce because they are terminally incapable. An outlier, an alien within a society who is incompatible with other members of that society is still capable of reproducing with similar individuals, though may never encounter such an individual in an alien society. Such an individual is also not included here.

Addendum B

The following is a comment I made to someone in response to an interesting question he raised in regard to the first Sufficiently Alien Hypothesis video. It's very interesting but I haven't figured out where to put it, so I'm just putting it here. It helps to explain the incompatability of outliers in society.

That's an interesting question: would all differences manifest valueless? I'm not sure. I have not worked out where exactly to draw the line, but as I see it there are roughly four different schemes, and again, this is just me painting with as broad a brush as possible:

1. Healthy Brain/Modal Cognition - e.g. "normal" people
2. Pathological Brain -> Deviant Cognition - e.g. Parkinson's, dementia
3. Deviant Cognition -> Pathological Brain - e.g. OCD, clinical depression
4. Healthy Brain/Deviant Cognition
    A. Antique Cognition - e.g. ADHD
    B. Other Deviant Cognitions - e.g. ?
    C. Sufficiently Alien Cognition - e.g. ?

As it stands, I do not know exactly where various deviant cognitions fit or how to determine if one is truly sufficiently alien or not. Some deviant cognitions do have benefits in normal society. Most psychopaths turn out to have highly successful business careers because there is value in maximizing profit versus caring about other people. We can think of the corporate world as a subset of the normal world.

I would suspect that some traits of these sufficiently alien cognitions may provide benefits over normal people in certain areas. Maybe more concrete and/or abstract thinking ability would allow for better problem solving under certain conditions while certainly proving detrimental in other activities, most notably in interpersonal areas. Sufficiently alien by definition should include greatly decreased interpersonal skill, at least when among "normal" people, because there's that gulf that must be crossed that makes the distinction between "normal" and "alien". Whether sufficiently alien people would have no problem interacting interpersonally with each other or whether there would be physical limitations that prove disadvantageous I'm not sure.

19 September 2013

Aliens, Serial Killers, and Mental Illness Part Two: Transplanting Minds Part 1

I got to thinking about this winning premise I came up with about a week ago in the light of some experiences and a year's worth of musings on what I call "The Sufficiently Alien Hypothesis". How can you tell if someone is a human or an alien disguised as a human, assuming the disguise is so sophisticated that it appears identical to a normal human body at the cellular level? What behavioural clues would give an alien away even with an otherwise perfect disguise? I attempt to argue that a sufficiently alien being would give itself away though its disguise is indistinguishable from a normal human body. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out what criteria to look for, yet. The alien mind would need to be compatible enough with the human brain in order to function using the cellular structures of the human brain (this requires that it be possible to transplant a nonmaterial mind into a "vacant" brain, which I have good reason to suspect is true). However, and here's where it becomes relevant to my story, I suspect that being encased in a human body and brain the alien mind would, in some way, be affected by the physiological processes of the human body. What we would end up with is a being that looks human but acts just different enough to allow us to know it is not human and, at the same time, this being would also act less alien than an alien occupying a fully alien body.

The story I was thinking (and have begun, more or less) is basically "what if Charlie Sheen's mind was transplanted into Scootaloo's body?" I started working thinking Charlie Sheen's mind would be completely unaffected by having a totally alien body, so it would be putting Scootaloo in otherwise exact replicas of situations Charlie Sheen would find himself in. Now I'm thinking that wouldn't work. I'm not so sure personality can be transplanted exactly. I'm still loving the idea of having Scoots snort cocaine and hang with porn stars, but now it's just because of my sick weirdness.

Let's look at a much simpler scenario before getting back to crazy ponies or alien invasions or whatever (I was originally thinking that serial killers, or a number of them, are the aforementioned aliens in human bodies who find the change of body so disorienting that they turn to killing, or something. Not that there aren't well adjusted aliens; I haven't worked it out yet). Focusing just on humans may shed some light on the alien problem.

Assuming that I am not an alien disguised as a human, just a (really abnormal) human male. What would happen if my mind was transplanted into a human female brain? Would my personality, beliefs, and cognitive modes (structures, whatever, the process by which I think) be the same or would they be different? Would I be male mind in a female body or would my new body alter the way my mind works and "switch" it to female mode, or some third mode somewhere in between? Methinks, pretty strongly, that there would be some change, to say nothing of the degree. Which, if true, raises another question: if it is possible to change a person's mind by changing a person's body, to some degree, is it possible to bring about the same or similar change without changing the body? Can we change a person's personality, beliefs, and cognitive modes (PBC's) through some method, undiscovered perhaps, and to what degree?

Would we want to? Maybe I should ask would it be moral or justified to do so? Certainly I would want to, assuming no one else has that power. I believe it is literally possible to cure someone of evil. It would have to be a monumental shift in a person's PBC's, I would argue the greatest possible shift. Curing evil would be the most difficult change possible, but I think it is possible. I certainly believe it is possible, though far from easy, to essentially remake a person as someone completely different, and while I find eliminating evil from all persons in the entire world to be personally desirable, that desire is separate from the question of whether it is moral or justified to eliminate evil, or alter any aspects of a person's PBC's if such a method were discovered.

15 September 2013

The System Revisited

This is a brief essay I wrote about The System 2014 and its main characters Arthur and Devi. The System was a story I wrote in 2003/2004 and on the tenth anniversary I decided to do a reboot of the story, since the first time around I had hard deadlines and had to make a lot of cuts and compromises to the story to get it done. Now I'm looking to do things right. Enjoy.

There is a fine line in creating something that is completely alien and creating a character that is different enough yet the reader can still identify with so as to make for a more compelling story. The world of Harmonia is not like the other worlds in The System. Earth 776 - the primary world in the original story - and Earth 774 are very similar, but Harmonia is as alien as any world gets. The challenge is to make it recognisable enough that the reader will identify with Devi and yet so totally different that when Devi goes to Earth 776 she has to take a lot of time adjusting to all the changes.

In the first half of The System the hero, the Kosmic Vishnu, the Atlas, Arthur Strife, started from the bottom. Even though he is literally the most important being in the universe, and his existence is vital to the survival of the System, he really gets no love. Not only must he struggle for everything he has, he must struggle for his very life. The entire universe is literally set up to try to kill him, to test him, to see if he is indeed the Atlas, the only one capable of using The Heart of The System to its full potential and keep Oblivion from destroying all existence. He is a poor outcast who is constantly fighting, constantly having to prove himself, and just when he thinks he can finally rest another challenge rears its head and he has to face it too. Finally, when he seems to succeed, he leaves Earth 776, and that's where the original story ended. In the reboot we learn that he went to Harmonia, which he sees as the ideal world full of the most advanced beings who understand the energies and principles underlying the System, and it is here that he will begin the new revolution to wake everyone up.

The second half begins with Arthur in Harmonia, freeing a race of living crystals from the physical god emperor Hyperion and looking to train a successor because, somehow, he has lost touch with The Heart. A whole fourth of the story is devoted to exploring this world and familiarising the reader with these strange creatures to make Devi and her rival compelling characters for the final struggle.

Devi cannot be further from Arthur in their histories and in the challenges they must face. Arthur possesses unspeakable Kosmic power and yet he has to fight tooth and claw every step of the way to rise above his station and claim his divine birthright. He's an outcast, he's living off the charity of the few friends he has, the few people who actually show him love and understanding. And it is only through a series of intense, existential crises that Arthur is able to fully come into being Atlas.

Devi is just the opposite. She is born with innate power and privilege. Singled out by the supreme being, she never has to work for anything in her life. Her every need is instantly fulfilled to make sure she can devote all her available time to understanding how to use her powers. The first time she really has to do anything is when Arthur gives Hyperion his power back to test what Devi has learned as sort of a final exam before ascension.

The importance of why she must go to Earth 776 to find The Heart, the importance of the extreme difference between the two worlds, is precisely to compensate for the missing experiences in Devi's life. She understands the god-level aspects of her job, but it's all just theoretical; there is nothing real, nothing compelling her to move forward except her desire to be the best at everything. What's missing for Devi is precisely what made up the early part of Arthur's life, which is the struggles of powerlessness and depending on the kindness of others to survive. You can't be the messiah unless you care for other people, and you can't care for other people unless you understand other people, unless you understand their struggles, their hardships, their triumphs. She must intimately come to know the people she is serving, in all worlds, to love and embrace them as Arthur had to, and that is why she must be dropped in an alien world where all her powers are basically useless. Unless she is busted down to normal and has to learn to crawl back up to the top through this connection with other people, all her understanding of how to use Kosmic energies is worthless. Remember, it is The Heart of The System, not the Intellect of the System, that is the supreme power in all existence, and without that union of wisdom and compassion, the role of Atlas cannot be fulfilled. Whereas Arthur started with compassion and had to learn wisdom, Devi begins with wisdom and must learn compassion, and with that the story comes full circle in a way I couldn't have done in 2004 when I first wrote it.

08 September 2013

On Marriage

The first new Urban Mystic Show episode since May 2009 begins a new series on marriage. The rest of the videos will be based on previous Urban Mystic posts. Runs 15:37

06 September 2013

On Gratitude

A much more personal subject than most.

Yes, my life has problems, but for the vast majority of people on the planet those problems would be blessings. I had a back injury that nearly killed me and an eye disease that may or may not end up destroying my left eye, but I have been blessed with so much: my time spent with family and friends, the help I have gotten with being out of work for several months, and the incredible joy I get from my writing. I also have the many regular blessings that come from modern Western life. I have luxuries that are unknown to billions of people, including the great kings and emperors of antiquity. I live in greater luxury than Alexander the Great, Marcus Aurelius, Charlemagne, Akbar, or Louis XIV. They may have had more money and power but I have sanitation, hot and cold running water, flush toilets, air conditioning and heating, gas stoves, telephones, the Internet, the automobile, ice any time I want it, fresh fruit all year round, antibiotics, electricity, moulded plastic, the printing press, and any of a number of things they could never have imagined.

A lot of people just don't care. A lot of people's egos get in the way of their caring for other people. They want to complain about their petty shit and when some enlightened soul tells them about the plethora of genuinely unfortunate people in the world they scowl "I don't care about other people, what about me!" I want to strangle these people and shout "what makes you so much better than them?" You, whose curses would be their blessings and the host of fictitious post 1950s Western diseases. I, who have so much laid before me, what right do I have to complain when there are people really suffering, going days without eating, dying of diseases like cancer and malaria, born blind or limbless, having to bury half their kids before the age of five, endless warfare, and vast festering slums and refugee camps that stretch for miles in all directions? Who am I to complain when I am given so much?

I am thankful, immensely thankful, for all I have been given. I thank God every night, even for the bad things I have to face. My hardships have really shaped me, like the great pressure needed to make a diamond. Greatness is never easy; if it were it wouldn't be worth it. Problem of evil? What problem? What would be the point of life if we were handed everything on a silver platter?

First Principles Anecdota



One of the hardest things for people to grasp seems to be first principles. I have such a great volume of notes on the subject it would be a waste not to make a video series about it.

03 September 2013

Why Russia, Iran, and whoever else wants in on the gang bang should co nfront and attack the United States

Yes, the misspelling in the title is intentional. Sometimes I type these fast and make errors (they are fixed in the archive version, and sometimes here if I catch them in time), but this error is for comedic effect.

You see, I received an email from someone calling himself Raul English. Well, actually, the email was sent to julie@nurturingyoursuccess.com, and I just received it somehow else. The subject of the email provided the title of this post, complete with error. The message contains something purporting to be an article written by someone called "Independent Correspondent Aaron Chaney".

Funny thing is, I can't find to which publication Aaron Chaney corresponds. The only other place on the net he appears, as far as I can tell, is the comments section of a USA Today article and a Russia Today article, both on Syria, and both left by someone on Facebook called Alexander Argentina, who is some kind of a loser who writes fictitious news correspondences on his page.

The actual content of the email is either a farce or a testament to the sorry state of our public education system. I can't tell if a monkey hammered away at a keyboard or some genius sunk hours into crafting a subtle and brilliant piece of mockery. It jumps around from Bush and Iraq to Libya to Egypt to Obama in Syria in no particular order with only the most gossamer threads tying these otherwise incoherent ramblings together. Gigantomonstrohippopotamus-sized words are used to look smart in places followed by crude colloquialisms and numerous uses of the word "Nigger".

With a backlog of four topics and an impending war over weapons of mass destruction that do not exist, I am glad I took the time to look at the lighter side of life. Thank you, mystery person who sent me this email. This Bud's for you.

30 August 2013

The Saudi Connection in Syrian Chemical Attack

Interviews with people from Ghouta, the suburb of Damascus that was attacked last Wednesday, reveal that many people believe it was the rebels, not Assad or his minions, who is responsible for the deaths.

Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.

“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.

Like with the missing pages in the 9/11 Commission Report, the Saudi connection in Syria has not received widespread attention.

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.

A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.

Prince Bandar has close ties with both the rebels and many within the Washington establishment. Elements within the US government may be deliberately hiding his involvement so they can use the incident last week as pretext for getting rid of Assad. He is trying to spread Saudi Arabia's influence within the region. Getting rid of Assad and Hizbulla would mean pro-Saudi thugs will run Syria, not pro-Iranian thugs. In the great war between Sunni and Shia some things never change. This Saudi prince is trying to entangle the US into a millennial struggle for control of the Islamic world.

Bandar has tried making secret deals with the Russians before. He promised safety for the Olympic games to be held in Russia, and would turn a blind eye to Russian bases located in Syria if the Russian military helps to topple Assad. However, if they do not, Bandar threatens Chechen terrorists will attack the games.

This is a war that cannot end well for America. It cannot end well for Israel, it cannot end well for Jordan, or Syria, or the security of the entire world. We must seek a peaceful resolution to the Syrian civil war. Killing more people with cruise missiles is the last thing we should be doing to make things better, especially launching cruise missiles without the approval of Congress and without a single ally fighting by our side. This is a debacle that will make Iraq look like going on a road trip and forgetting to buy gas.

29 August 2013

The Humanity of Chemical Warfare

John Kerry said in regard to last week's chemical attack in Syria "this is about the large scale, indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilised world long ago decided must never be used at all."

Is he right? Absolutely not. Well, not the way he means it. Here's the modern history of chemical weapons.

The Nineteenth Century saw the rise of chemical weapons in warfare, but nothing substantial. Members of the Napoleonic school of warfare, where men march lock step into artillery and machine guns, hated the idea of using deadly gas to turn the tide in battle. Why, poison gas takes the nobility out of the gentlemanly sport that is warfare! When white men fight against savages in foreign lands they can use whatever dirty tricks necessary to bring those subhuman animals under the proper yoke, but when good, civilised white European men fight they must wear their best dress blouses and shake hands first before taking their proper sides of the field and marching lock step to certain death like a bloody good match of polo or association football. The good white European nation states got together and signed a treaty vowing to never use poison gas as a means of ending the unnecessary suffering men would face on the battlefield by getting shot to death.

The United States disagreed. The upstart, boorish, backwater that had bested the British twice said it would not hold back its own technological progress because a bunch of stuffed shirts thought it ungentlemanly. But what did a bunch of damn Yanks know?

Scottish chemist Lyon Playfair sided with the Americans. He wanted to launch cyanide shells on the Russians to end the Crimean War. He couldn't understand the reaction of the good civilised white Europeans:

There was no sense in this objection. It is considered a legitimate mode of warfare to fill shells with molten metal which scatters among the enemy, and produced the most frightful modes of death. Why a poisonous vapor which would kill men without suffering is to be considered illegitimate warfare is incomprehensible. War is destruction, and the more destructive it can be made with the least suffering the sooner will be ended that barbarous method of protecting national rights. No doubt in time chemistry will be used to lessen the suffering of combatants, and even of criminals condemned to death.

But he's a Scot! They're almost as bad as Americans, so you can't trust him.

Well, the good civilised white Europeans broke their own "rules of war" in 1915 when the stalemate of the trenches had already condemned a million men to death. The French used it first, but the Germans were the ones who figured out how poison gas was supposed to be used.

On the afternoon of 22 April the Germans released 150 tons of chlorine gas into a stiff wind that took it over a four mile stretch of the front occupied by French colonial troops. Heavier than air, the chlorine sank into the trenches and filled the eyes and lungs of the men, turning into acid and eating away at the insides of their bodies. Thousands of men died within minutes and thousands more turned and fled in blind panic. No one had ever imagined a weapon this effective could exist, not even the Germans themselves! Stunned by their own success at breaking the French line the Germans failed to take advantage of the attack and made only insignificant gains.

Courage only goes so far. When a man sees his end at the hands of an unfeeling cloud inexorably rolling across the landscape there is not a thing in this world that can make him stand his ground. Self-preservation takes over. Deep down inside every man is the brain of a lizard, responsible for the basic functions of survival. Whenever the organism is threatened the lizard brain overpowers the rational mind of man and the inner animal is unleashed to fight or flee. And there is no way to fight a cloud of death, so the man takes to his feet and hauls ass in the opposite direction.

A man whose lungs are destroyed by chlorine cannot be saved. Doctors cannot alleviate his suffering. He fights for hours to pull life giving breath from the air to no avail until he finally succumbs to the inevitable. It's not a good death, but then again neither is bleeding to death from shrapnel. And chlorine does one thing shrapnel cannot: it breaks trenches. Chlorine could have won the war in 1915 if the Germans capitalised on their initial success. They could have saved the lives of tens of millions of men and reshaped the destiny of the continent. It's possible the Holocaust could have been avoided had poison gas been used to its fullest for a swift German victory, but there is no way to know for sure.

The point of war is not to kill your enemy, it is to get your enemy to surrender with the least amount of force expended and the fewest friendly casualties. A war that can be won without killing a single man is the most successful war of all. The Mongol horde utilised terror to force cities to surrender before their horses even got within earshot of the city walls. Poison gas can do the same. Men will run away from gas by the thousands, territory can be occupied without having to kill anyone, and wars can be won by terror alone. As horrible a death asphyxiation is, it is a lot better for a few thousand men to die by poison gas than millions to die from attrition in the trenches.

And that is what happened. The Germans held back, the Entente developed countermeasures, and the gases got more deadly. A chemical arms race began that would eventually lead to the production of enough lethal nerve gas to kill everyone on the planet several times over at the height of the Cold War.

Once the First World War had ended a new treaty was signed, and once again the good civilised white Europeans agreed never to use poison gas. If a war can be won without attrition, without millions dying from bullets and shells, without protracted land battles, why that isn't fair! That's not the gentleman's war, is it? Why should the smartest country, the country that invests the most in science, the country most invested in the preservation of land and human lives win the war instead of the country willing to make the most human sacrifices? Surely chemical warfare is evil because it spares millions from being interred beneath soil contaminated with millions more tons of lead fragments. Chemical warfare does not produce lost villages, so badly contaminated that they can never be inhabited again. A cloud of gas rolls over an enemy line and vanquishes it, it does not persist until the last private has bled out in a shell hole somewhere in the mud.

No, chemical weapons, when used correctly, are the most humane weapons of all. It is only backward thinking, the inertia within the minds of politicians and military planners, that draw a line in the sand and seek to prevent quick wars that do not throw men and treasure into the fires of destruction. It is their thinking that is a moral outrage, not the weapons they revile so fervently.