For Vicky..

March 24th, 2020

(Toto : I’ll be over you)
(todo: record cover and place link here)

Some people live their dreams
Some people close their eyes
Some people’s destiny
Passes by

There are no guarantees
There are no alibis
That’s how our love must be
Don’t ask why

[Pre-Chorus 1]
It takes some time
God knows how long
I know that I can forget you

[Chorus 1]
As soon as my heart stops breakin’
Anticipating
As soon as forever is through
I’ll be over you

[Verse 2]
Remembering times gone by
Promises we once made
What are the reasons why
Nothing stays the same

[Pre-Chorus 2]
There were the nights
Holding you close
Someday I’ll try to forget them

[Chorus 2]
As soon as my heart stops breakin’
Anticipating
As soon as forever is through
I’ll be over you

[Guitar Solo]

[Chorus 3 with repeats]
As soon as my heart stops breakin’
Anticipating
(Anticipating)
Someday I’ll be over you

As soon as my heart stops breakin’
Anticipating
(Anticipating)
Someday I’ll be over you
As soon as my heart
(As soon as my heart stops breakin’)
(Anticipating)

One more COVID post, aimed particularly at MLM folks

March 24th, 2020

MLM folks, *do not* have in person parties.

“But no one is sick!”

The problem is, COVID can

A: Be totally asymptomatic.. you feel just fine, but you are shedding – releasing hundreds of billions of copies of the virus

B: Be shedding before it’s symptomatic.

And

C: The test probably false-negatives fairly often, based on the number of people I know who got the test negative but are obviously sick with it. One thing I suspect also is that whether a person believes they have it or not may affect what answer they *hear* regardless of what the actual answer *is*. The human brain is a very tricky animal especialyl when death is involved.

“But I need to pay the rent”

Look, if the landlords evict us, we will *end* them. All we have to do is a special type of general strike where we give them all the money. Once all the tokens are in one group’s possession, they are totally worthless and then we will create a new type of money. Remember, we make the value, they don’t. Go back and read resource allocation as a group, especially the last part.

More COVID thoughts

March 24th, 2020

So, let me just address a few of the most obvious points here, in order.

#1: Yes, I have COVID. No, I don’t meet the diagnostic criteria, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have it, it means the diagnostic criteria are wrong. In a few minutes I’ll explain a bit more about that, but first let’s address the next point..

#2: NO I AM NOT GOING TO GET TESTED. THIS IS A STUPID THING TO DO. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE IT – shelter in place. IF YOU THINK YOU DON’T HAVE IT – shelter in place. Me getting tested would just potentially expose health care workers to it and get me a whopping big bill from our – let’s face it, evil – health care system. It wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t live my life any differently if I had it or if I didn’t.

So, I’ve never had a fever for longer than a week in my life. I’ve had low grade fevers every night for the past 2.5 weeks. The odds of me having something that is *not* COVID while the world is having a pandemic are vanishingly small.

#3: No, doctors are not that great at what they do. Actually, they’re pretty terrible. This is a inevitable consequence of having health care be for profit – the system ends up optimizing for profit instead of for good hea#4: Having a criterion for a fever is a *Stupid* thing. Look, if you’re over 30, you *know* your body by now. You know what it’s regular core temp is. You know when it’s elevated. The *reason* it’s elevated is that information theory tells us comparing a lot of strings of information on billions of cells is a energy-expensive operation. Please don’t let the doctors confuse you. Most of the other symptoms are because systems are being damaged because cells that should be doing something useful are being hijacked to instead be replicators of the virus.

If you’re sick right now, odds are you have COVID. On the other paw, if you’re the type of person who has an easier time staying inside because you believe you’re not sick with it and you might catch it, by all means, believe you’re not sick. but in reality.. I watched many many many of my friends all get sick at the same time. Don’t kid tourself.

#4: We’re gonna get through this by working together, trusting each other, and sharing. If we keep holding onto our old ideas – about all sorts of things – we’re going to have a much rougher time of it than if we start accepting some new ideas. The world is going to change. It pretty much has to. I hope that COVID makes us all realize that we have *always* been throwing 3% of our population under the bus for no good reason – the bottom 3%. I also hope that we learn how to unbrainwash the conservatives.. at this point surely no one can really claim that we don’t have enough for everyone to eat and live indoors, or that it’s a good idea to use a resource allocation system that results in people starving to death while we have plenty of food and freezing to death while we have plenty of houses.

#5: We need to invite the chinese team that beat htis to temporarily control the USA. This is no time for stupid patriotism, stupid me-first-ism, or stupid “i’m a stable genuis”. They have a proven track record, they are only having a few cases a day. they beat it. We need their help. Yes, we’re going to temporarily lose all privacy as to our location, and that’s a *good thing*. The government needs to admit that after this we are having a constitutional convention, and that we are actively destroying all for-profit organizations related to health.

#6: Going forward, if we are going to keep increasing the population of earth, we *need* to have a trustworthy government. Our form has obviously failed. We need something new. That we could *get* to the point of electing Trump makes it obvious that what we were doing simply does not work.

#7: As far as I know I’m going to live through this. It doesn’t seem to be getting any worse and actually the fever has been going down.

For Jennifer And Vicky

March 22nd, 2020

The Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I’m a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I’m a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got

You say you just don’t see it
He says it’s perfect sense
You just can’t get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It’s the bitterness that lasts

So Don’t yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in
You may just be OK.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

I wasn’t there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn’t get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I’m sure I heard his echo
In my baby’s new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

Some proof that we’re being stupid

March 22nd, 2020

#1: Some hackers start 3D-printing and sharing shapefiles for medical equipment. They promptly get sued.
#2: Tesla is told it can’t keep making cars. EVERY CAR IS 30kwh ON THE HOOF. If the grid goes down.. and it might, disasters don’t always come at you one at a time.. they could run oxygen concentrators and ventilators just by attaching a inverter to the 12V battery and leaving the car turned on but in park. Think of a electric car as a ‘bucket’ for carrying power from the grid to places that might have lost it. Tesla is one of the few mfgrs who should be scaling up.. along with makers of solar panels, batteries, and wire. We don’t know how bad this is gonna be, but.. if naught else, we’ll be better prepared next time.

Jeff Lane

March 22nd, 2020

So, a long time ago, when I first wandered into Epoch and said, as I recall, “Um, I think I work here now?”, I met this guy – Jeff Lane. He was the first friend that I made at Epoch (back when it was HLC internet), and we used to come in on weekends even though it wasn’t our shift and have bagels and barqs rootbeer and talk about stuff. I taught him some things about how the internet works, and he taught me some things about how life works. He was a really bighearted, great guy. I can’t really say enough about how friendly, likable, and enjoyable to be around he was.

We played a lot of warcraft2 and answered a lot of customer phone calls, and we remained friends throughout the years. The last time I saw him was way too long ago, seven or eight years I think, but we still chatted on facebook regularly.

Recently, he left earth – logged out, as I like to say – his body failed him. I will write more about that and how I think the health care system contributed to it later. But.. I wrote some music for him, and I thought I’d share it with you all.

Jeff Lane.

Godspeed and au revoir, Jeff. Until we meet again… you will be missed.

You Idiots, You’re Not Hoarding Wealth, You’re Hoarding Pointers!

March 21st, 2020

So, as I’ve talked about before, money is a pointer in the C sense of the word. It isn’t the actual value, it’s a token that represents the value. If you missed that part, go back to the top of http://moneynotvalue.sheer.us and come back and join us when you’re done.

Okay, so, here’s how our current resource allocation system can actually make real value disappear.

At some point, some jackass who didn’t understand that money is a pointer invented the idea of “interest”. Call it what you like, vig, whatever. Once you have interest in the system, several things happen:

1) The “wealthy” i.e. those who already have too many of the fucking pointers.. get more pointers. Which they can then use to capture even more pointers. However, if the pointer dissapears, the value is not gone. If you destroy the value, the pointer points to nothing. Go ahead, grab a C compiler and try it. I’ll wait.

2) The “poor” i.e. those who don’t have all the tangible resources they need but don’t have the tokens.. get less real stuff, and more of it sits on the shelf. Some types of stuff LOSE VALUE – REAL VALUE – as they sit on the shelf. I gesture you to milk as a prime example. So we end up wasting resources – real resources – because of these stupid clowns who don’t understand the difference between the map and the territory.

2.5) A reminder.. when the creators can’t get enough tokens they can’t create wealth. So by hoarding pointers, the “wealthy” are making us all – *INCLUDING YOURSELVES* – less wealthy. Real wealth isn’t a million dollars, it’s a bunch of friends and a holodeck. And, as I’ve talked about before, if we work together we can write neurological software that will give us all a holodeck! without draining the planet’s resources at all and while our bodies continue to keep the lights on.

3) The “wealthy” become increasingly afraid someone will steal their hoarde. Because we were designed by evolution in a world where resources were scarce and we were competing with tigers and other things that outclassed us until we became tool users, we have built in fear about losing resources because in most of the race’s lifespan, losing resources meant starving to death. That’s hardwired in.

4) The “poor” become increasingly afraid to take risks, which results in less of the ACTUAL VALUE. For example, musicians who end up flipping burgers instead of recording all that great stuff because they’re afraid they won’t be able to eat and live indoors, and thusly afraid they will die.

So, all the brokenness will go away if we make a few basic changes to money, which I’ll talk about in a future article. For now, you assholes who are hoarding too many tokens.. you know who you are.. those tokens are not value, and the only type of power they give you is the power to cause something like the current COVID-19 crisis to blow up enourmously. We can safely bet the USA will be on the *top* of the cases and deaths list, because people are afraid to leave their jobs, because you assholes couldn’t get your shit together to have a plan, and talk it over *before* the next pandemic, where we would temporarily switch to a simple go/no go system for resource allocation instead of dollars in the bank. See “This Perfect Day” for a example of how this can work. (Yes, I know it’s a dystopia, but that part is pretty utopic)

I will also mention, as a side note, that resource allocation systems are like operating systems or any other type of tool, YOU USE THE RIGHT ONE FOR THE JOB! We *need* full on collectivism right now. However, we can’t get there from here, because:

A) No one realizes what time it is. To me, it is obvious that whenever we punch the brakes on the disease, it’s going to be two weeks before we see the output side of that. Procject a moving average filter of the number of cases per day into the future two weeks and tell me that our “built for profit” health care system is even going to be able to pretend to cope. And yet, people are still billing and suing each other. Guys, I am declaring a emergency. Pilots out there will know that at this point we have three priorities – Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. All three are directly related to keeping us alive to fly another day. No one wants to bend a airplane but if you kill yourself trying to save the airframe you are a moron who does not understand we mass produce these things in factories all day long and they are replacible, we are not.

Similarly, companies are replaceable, individuals are not. The company I work for (a multilevel marketing firm i.e. a system where you sell to your friends, usually at in-person “parties”) who will remain nameless has not yet announced they are turning off minimums (the value under which you get no commission for your team and may also be kicked off the island) and they encourage people to prioritize survival above selling. Not only that, they want to raise commissions, incentivizing people to continue to sell. The big risk here is a lot of these people have believed the lies of the president and other conservatives and therefore will have in-person MLM parties, encouraging the spread of the virus and costing us lives. I ask you, if even one employee has to die, is it not better that the company die instead? We can always build another of those. We can’t replace ANY of the people. (To their credit, they do have a option to do the parties virtually. But even though I’ve put them in a position to release it to everyone, to the best of my knowledge they have not done so)

Look at the exponential growth curve on this thing and grow up. It’s time we prioritize survival, we will figure out the bills when we’re done. And if any hospital is still running their billing department, hopefully their charter will be lifted and they will be handed to the government when we’re done. They have failed to understand that as a species, we are all connected, and the thing they are collecting isn’t the value, it’s a bunch of stupid, potentially worthless pointers – but most people are not exposed enough to all the ideas I have been exposed to to be able to see money that way.

B) The milgram effect keeps a lot of the people who *do* see the situation for what it is from doing the right thing. I talk about elsewhere in this journal how we are a loosely confederated collection of subnets and most of those subnets have no great way to authenticate information sources or the validity of information. Therefore, when people project authority and claim authority we tend to follow their directions even when we know they are wrong.

C) Beyond this, a deeply wired fear about starving to death and freezing to death kicks in whenever our ‘Jobs’ are threatened, because the wealthy (who would be far more wealthy if they hadn’t done this) hoarded a bunch of pointers that in fact are just pointers and have no real value. Hint for you rich folks: you *need* the rest of us. Go read my essay on resource allocation as a group, and let me know how you’re going to be more wealthy after the crash you’re causing right now by not just announcing “here, take it all, spread it as needed, avert those people’s fears so they can stay home instead of spreading this fire further and faster.

This is a fast moving wildfire, folks. We gotta smarten up if we’re going to come out of it ahead.

That one disturbing possibility

March 14th, 2020

So, as I note that things like global pandemics underline the fact that our bodies have poor informational security, and are susceptible to virii both informational (religion) and RNA/DNA-based (COVID-19), I find the lack of security to be another compelling case against the idea that we have a perfect creator – or indeed a intelligent designer at all.

On the other paw, there is still this one disturbing possibility that I can not dismiss. Our beliefs act as a filter upon our experience of reality – obviously this must be the case or believers in God wouldn’t continue to believe in God. I mean, the other possibility is that they’ve lost the ability for rational thought – and looking at the fact that they elected Donald Trump, someone who’s about as close to the devil as we’re going to find in this world, and are busy worshipping him, I concede the possibility that they have. But let’s assume for the moment that people have the ability to remember and think..

One possibility that we can’t actually throw entirely out is that God is only real if you beleive in h*, or alternately, that God is real always but your *experience* of God is only real if you believe in h*. This is compatible with the mythos that Hell is the absence of God – certianly the lack of any central planning and the refusal of all collectivism has turned America steadily more hellish.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not clear to me that you’d *want* to have a God as described by the Old Testament. But, and I realize this is stretching credulity to the max, what if there *was* a loving, helpful central authority, the kind of God you’d build if you were building God out of spare neurons. Certainly they’d do things like removing virii before they got out of hand, and making sure that places didn’t end up getting led by people like Donald Trump.

However, I’ve believed in such a being for a few days at a time, occasionally, when manic, and things definitely didn’t get any better for me. Most of the time, it was believing in such things and then testing them that got me arrested. However.. it may take believing for longer to shape the necessary neural network to have the experience.

Note that I still don’t believe Christianity contains the right answers, for a whole host of reasons. But I’m starting to ponder trying to write something that would. The thing is, the whole thing feels a bit insane. Try to believe in something you can’t experience until you believe in it? Then understand that you can’t experience it even when you *do* believe in it until you cross some threshold?

More political musings (collectivism vs. conservatism)

February 16th, 2020

So, as we talk about various types of collectivism, and various pundits try their hardest to convince us that socialism will make us all poor, I thought I’d bring out a few facts.

The first thing I’d point out is that generally conservatives are anti-collectivist, and generally whenever conservatives get in power in the USA, a recession almost immediately follows. Now the powers that be would *really* like you to forget this fact, or stop noticing it – just like they’d like to convince you that the cause of the failures of the Soviet Union and China were the result of collectivism.

What they carefully ignore is that A: sometimes collectivism works. Sometimes it works quite a bit better than individualism. B: In the places where it doesn’t work, *often* there is a attempt to pair it with dictatorship or oligarchy. This is certainly the case in both China and the Soviet Union. C: In small scale places where it doesn’t work, often the USA, which has capitalism as a state religion, was responsible for repeatedly blowing things up and/or enacting sanctions in order to make sure it would fail. Cuba is a obvious example of a system that probably would have succeeded wildly without repeated abuse by it’s collective-phobic neighbor.

However, there are a few things to remember. We see a lot of what I call ‘stupid greed’ – that is to say, greed that makes everyone, including the greedy person, poorer. Part of why I think we see it is that having large amounts of power leads to a special type of brain damage. People with large amounts of power lose the ability to empathise with those beneath them, which leads increasingly to them forgetting that a dictatorship is generally not a winning combination. People in power also often come over time to vastly overestimate their intelligence. I’ve been reading about the downfall of Commodore Business Machines, which is kind of a tragic play in 3 acts, but definitely one of the acts is the result of Jack Tramiel having this sort of brain damage.

So, the powers that be, who have a lot of money to spend on propaganda and attempts to change our minds, want very badly for us not to choose collectivism because they – in their generally brain damaged way – think that life is a zero sum game and they’re going to be less rich if they have less money.

However, as I’ve talked about before, this type of greed is generally stupid – it costs the person who is exercising the greed potential experiences, because it leads to hoarding pointers to resources instead of spending them intelligently to garner more resources. It’s important to understand that there are resources which are multiplicative in value – obvious examples are intellectual property like the transistor, but you also have technologies which have a network effect, such as the fax machine and the personal computer – every one that you add to the world increases the value of all of them.

However, there seems to be no hope of getting through to people who have fallen into this mindset. They are convinced that conservative politicians and conservative policies are exactly what they want. You can run into people who generally acknowledge the value of research and intelligence, who would never attempt to compete on things like configuring computers, designing circuits, or writing software – but suddenly whenever the topic turns to politics they know best because you are promoting liberalism and collectivism and they are deeply convinced they know what history says. They in fact are cherry-picking from the history that ended the way they wanted, and then furthermore carefully ignoring that a lot of the failures of collectivism have been the result of single-party thinking, oligarchy, or dictatorship. But you can’t generally get them to understand that.

The good news, I suppose, is ultimately conservatism is likely to fail in a evolutionary point of view. Conservative policies, consistently carried out, will kill off our species – because conservatism wants to keep things the same, and ‘keep things the same’ includes things like a fork bomb (be fruitful and multiply) and epic stupidity (there’s plenty of oil, we should continue to fight wars to get resources we want, etc), and hopefully the next species will be a little smarter.

This didn’t end up being as much of a roundup as I hoped.

Credit where it’s due

February 4th, 2020

I did want to mention, because I don’t always get around to putting a comment on each individual post to the effect, that the vast majority of tracks I publish here are co-engineered by Arthur St James, the other set of ears at Sheer Sound Studios. Pretty much all of them are all me, but occasionally they will include drum loops from public libraries or from Superior Drummer. When other musicians play on them I try to make sure I mention it in the “liner notes” that go on the blog with the published track.