Watching the Chicago 7 trial

April 13th, 2021

I have to say, contempt of court should not be a crime, because most courts in the USA deserve contempt. (Of course, anyone who thinks they are worthy to judge others is starting out in a extremely questionable place, and when we look at the US where murder is encouraged if done by a cop or soldier, where ethics are for sale to the highest bidder).. In any case “Your Dishonor” seems like a honest way to refer to a judge.

Dear Netflix

April 13th, 2021

Please make a whole series of movies about the space dog from Over The Moon.. thank you 😉

Input filters and whether we’re setting ourselves up

April 10th, 2021

So, as I rant about conservatives, one thing that worries me is that I may be somewhat a victim of confirmation bias, or worse yet, input enhancement.

I’ve talked before about how every adhrent to every religion sees their religion validated in the world – and my theory that part of how this is achieved is by filtering out all the data that is obviously inconsistent with their beliefs. At times I worry – as one does – that the reason I see all this horrible behavior from conservatives is that I have come to expect it – and I’ve come to expect it because I’ve seen it, and I’ve got a self-reinforcing suboptimal setup for my input filters.

The challenge there, of course, is to expect something other than what I’ve seen.

Conservatives and paying

April 9th, 2021

So, I’ve been pondering Trump (for example)’s tendency to rob his supporters, stiff his vendors, and whatnot. I then started to realize that every time anyone has in any way messed with my paycheck, they have been politically conservative. Politically conservative people are more likely to delay paychecks, fail to pay, pay less than what was invoiced, etc.

I was realizing that this makes sense. Conservative politicians are generally the ones who say we should not have safety nets, not support our neighbors, etc – this makes sense, they are dishonorable in the sense that they want the advantages of being part of a group (see Resource Allocation As A Group) without being willing to pay their share. They’re like the people who want to use open source software but keep their bug fixes as proprietary instead of contributing them back to the open source project.

I wonder if they realized that if *everyone* behaved as they do we would all be much worse off as a species? I suspect some of them know this but are too hooked by the money and power being the biggest asshole is gaining them, while others of them are genuinely deluded into believing that being conservative (in the sense of going back to times when we were more selfish and/or awful) is a winning move.

The awfulness of conservatives (A recurring theme)

April 8th, 2021

At one time, I thought that conservatives provided a balancing effect on our viewpoints and we’d make worse decisions without them.

I’ve come to believe that no, in fact, we’d be a lot better off without their influence on the systems of power and in fact they are just awful, possibly even evil.

Look at recent events. They want to ban providing food and water in lines for voting while they deliberately reduce the number of polling places in liberal areas. This is called cheating – and it is something they do often otherwise we wouldn’t be burdened with them at all.

And, of course, they want to ban children – which they include 18-to-21-year-olds-in – from getting health care if they are transgendered. THis is a impressive level of awfulness. It does represent the truth that conservatives do not want us to be free – they want billionaires to be free and everyone else to be enslaved, and if at all possible they would like the Christian equivalent of sharia law. But not for them – after all, look at Matt Gaetz – only for everyone else. They have basically no moral compass – they are convinced a abortion is murder but bombing people who happen to believe in a different way of allocating resources is A-OK – in fact bombing people just because they happen to have oil is A-OK, or even just because we’d like more profits.

They generally care more about money than continued survival – they’ll defend fracking because it’s fine if our children have bizarre cancers and no water to drink as long as they can continue to have dirt cheap electricity and gasoline now – and they’ll also defend preserving stupid investments – we will tax the wind turbines because they’re competing unfairly with coal, we will block new solar installations because it might make fracking irrelevant.

They will of course find epic new ways to be racist. When Trump ran on a platform of racism, they loved it. Bring back the Klan!

And, they’ll argue for finding ways to make it look like humanity is barely holding on when in fact we’re fantastically wealthy. They’ll demonstrate the ultimate in fiscal irresponsibility, designing a awful resource allocation system and then insisting we stick to the paper accounting system when the reality is we have tons of food and tons of land and houses.. but the paper accounting system says we don’t have enough so we need to make people starve to death.

They will game the system whenever possible, and they’ll encourage the tyranny of the ultraminority – after all, the majority of people were not conservative even when the conservatives manage to capture both houses and the presidency. The conservatives are just willing to do more awful things – as they demonstrate day after day

They also repeatedly lie using their media and then claim that it is the liberal media that is lying. It’s demonstrable that they lie, but their followers just carefully forget all the lies. I am sure there’s a fair amount of brainwashing / emotional illogic agreeing that goes on every time their followers listen to Fox And Friends or Rush – and of course a lot of their followers carefully ignore any data point that indicates they are wrong.

The question is just, is there any way to totally disempower them or at the least ensure they only have as much power as a fair vote would grant them? The problem here is they are willing to do awful things – probably eventually including calling for the murder of liberals – in order to get their way. They need spanked, badly, but I am not sure how to spank them. They *want* a civil war – they would love to shoot millions of us. There’s no reason to think either side would win in a civil war, either – it’s something everyone would lose.

The irony is they are the people that talk the loudest about words like ‘Freedom’ – but of course that only means you are free if you think like them. And they wrap their authoritarianism and willingness to cheat in the flag – just look at Mitch claiming all his awfulness is patriotic.

Missing

April 2nd, 2021

Lately I’ve been missing Phoebe more again – it seems like my missing of the various people who are gone from my life ebbs and flows, but it never really goes away. I am in one of those spaces of wishing I had done everything better – I think probably this is one of my depressive phases. Not that there’s really anything to do about it.

I shouldn’t complain.. after all there’s many people with far worse problems than I have.. but the combination of the recurring problems with wrist tendinitis with my paw, the missing people, and just the general weight of the world seems to be getting me down a bit.

The ethics of God

April 1st, 2021

So, one of the things I find rather creepy about Christians is their willingness to defend the ethics of God. It’s pretty clear to me from looking around Earth that if there is a God they’ve been operating with some very questionable ethics (the proliferation of religions, each claiming to be the only true one, makes one suspect that if there is a God, they either don’t care about us at all or they enjoy watching us fight – then we could discuss the ethics of using evolutionary algorithms to design a body that *someone is living in while it’s being designed* – especially the lack of any way to turn off the pain / damage report subsystem.

In essence, most Christian defenses of God’s ethics come down to “A 600 pound gorilla can sit anywhere he wants to” – which I suppose might mean that Christian worship of God is worthless to God because they’re only worshiping h* because they’re afraid of h*. Of course, I’ve always found the thought that a supreme being would want worship rather questionable anyway, see various posts in various places.

As usual as I pen these words I contemplate that a few hundred years ago I would have been put to death for them.

Anyway, one net result of all this is I find the idea that there *isn’t* a God actively aware of us or engaged in our lives (which might not mean there isn’t a God at all – as I’ve said elsewhere I think there probably is but they’re probably about as aware of us as we are of individual cells in our body) vastly preferable to the idea that there *is* one and everything I see before me is their idea of how things should be run.

Although, on the other paw – I’ve mentioned elsewhere how no one could ever know if they were at the top of the stack – even God may believe there is something above h*, whether h* is willing to admit this to humanity or not. (And there may well be.. it may be turtles all the way up, or all of us may be in some sense above any one of us). So maybe God isn’t disavowing all religions because *e isn’t sure whether *e is at the top of the pile or not. It’s a interesting idea to play with anyway.

Advice I would give my child

March 27th, 2021

So, I’ve been mulling over things that I wish my parents had told me – and of course, given that my memory is a swiss cheese, they probably *did* tell me some of these and I just don’t remember it.

Anyway, I figured I’d make a few blog posts on the topic over the next few years and see if anything good popped out.

#1: The important thing is not who you love or what you love, but that you love. Get involved, get engaged, be interested in your life. If your life isn’t interesting to you, adjust things until it is.

#2: You are the author of your own story, and you get to decide what kind of character you’re going to be. You don’t get to decide what happens to you – that’s something the universe will decide – and your ability to bend the universe is much much smaller than it’s ability to bend you because of the relative size of you and the universe. However, you do get to be whoever you want to be, and that’s important. Make sure you are the hero of your own story.

#3: If you stand upon the shoulders of giants, you can achieve wonders. This doesn’t mean that you need to get a education as sold at a ridiculously high price from the commercial education system, but it does mean you should learn from those who went before you. Libraries and the wikipedia are both free. Read and learn and try things and fail and get up and try again.

#4: The master has failed more times than the apprentice has tried.

#5: It is worth doing hard things. Dare to be a badass at something even though it costs you thousands of hours of hard work. You’ll like yourself better for it.

#6: My friend Cygnostik has a great quote – “Everybody is born unique, but so many die as copies.” I could also quote Enigma here – “Don’t accept average habits. Open your heart and push the limits.”. You are only here for a limited time, you are going to die as we all do. Try to make the time you’re here worth having come.

#7: Thus far, when I look back on my life, most of the things I regret are the things I *didn’t* do.

#8: One of the secrets of life is balance – in particular, balance between risk and reward. There are a lot of things that risk-averse people will tell you not to do that have significant rewards. On the other paw, there are also a lot of things where the risk outweighs the reward.

#9: Don’t do anything you don’t want to remember having done.

#10: Another song quote “You’ve got to do what you can to keep your love alive – try not to confuse it with what you do to survive.” Almost none of us are lucky enough to get paid to create the art we want to be creating, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t engage your creative side early and often.

The awfulness of comments on the internet / polyamoury

March 27th, 2021

So, back when I was young and idealistic, I thought the internet would end war and result in people finally having hoenst conversations and result in us looking beyond superficial things and in general make everything roses. I now look at the comments on news posts, youtube posts, etc, and realize that Anonymous is right – none of us are as cruel as all of us.

This is particularly depressing when I look at comments on the polyamory articles on Medium. We’ve been trying to make happy monogamous pair-bonding work for years and largely failing, and yet every commenter feels the need to speak superiorly about how of *course* polyamorous relationships are going to fail. The unstated subtext is “because humans are made for monogomy” which we most certainly are not – it’s *really* clear that we’re wired to fall in love over and over, and we’re not really wired to want to let go of people in our lives.

Howsomeever the people who write the memetics for the human race – have I ever mentioned how much I loathe the people who write and maintain things like organized religions? – like the idea of monogamy – possibly because it makes it clear who we should be charging child support to. (They also don’t believe that the entire tribe should support the children – this is especially true of modern republicans who have done a steady and disastrous series of various types of damage to public education – a side effect of their love of organized religion combined with their love of money)

Anyway, of *course* it’s going to be difficult to be poly right now. We *don’t really know how*. We don’t, in general, know how to love very well – and we have non-stop memetics in the USA encouraging us to prioritize other things (like a new car or keeping the carefully balanced 2-party system war going – or, just keeping the war machine murdering folks in general) over learning how to love.

Part of why I’m hesitant to risk too active of a polyamorous lifestyle despite it being my ideal is I would be in essence a memetic beta tester – of some memes that are not exactly stable software. There’s also that I have managed to get in one relationship that I’d describe as a visit to hell, and also behave horribly and in damaging ways in another relationship, and also that I carry the scars of being exposed to random and scary violence as a child – while being actively poly sounds appealing, it also sounds like something I might have to wait a few more lifetimes for in the hopes that I land on some planet that *does* know about love and does care more about average happiness in the system as a whole than GDP – not to mention values feeding everyone over blowing things up more and more spectacularly.

Anyway, to bring us back to the original topic at hand – all these haters, and there are many, generally probably can’t make *one* loving relationship work, much less several, but they feel the need to dump their cynicism and lofty predictions of failure on us anyway. As with Christians, it’s their tone of lofty superiority that really bugs me. Of course, the smartest thing is for me to just stay away from such places and things – I have far better things to do with my time, when I think about it.

Kit..

March 21st, 2021

So, I do think we’ve gotten to the point where the kit I’ve got available is better than I am – I’m of course working my paws off trying to catch up. Anyway, if anyone was curious, here’s some of the setup:

More later.