The folly of Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, and similar lying liars

August 5th, 2022

So, I can’t think of one on the left off the top of my head, but I’m absolutely sure that there are. Anyway, you’ve all seen these fake news sites that deliberately spew lies – they’re very popular on Fox, for example – in order to try and delude people into voting for specific agendas.

The problem with this type of well poisoning is we live in a democratic republic. People are making decisions based on the information they learn and hear. If they learn information that isn’t true – they will make the wrong decisions. Probably the best demonstration of this is the events of Jan 6, in which a group of deluded and misled individuals tried to overthrow a fair and free election – but also Tucker Carlson attempting to lie about the Jan 6 committee results in order to keep the Big Lie going is another example of this rather egregious well poisoning.

Let me make this clear. The ship of state is steered by the people. By lying to the people, you are causing them to believe things that aren’t true. A large number of them are apparently gullible enough to believe you when you insist there’s no iceberg. They *will* run the ship into it, and *you*, Alex Jones/Tucker Carlson/Other similar entities, *will* be on the ship when it sinks and you will drown with the rest of us. So, tempting as it is to become a billionare by lying repeatedly to the people, a better choice, in terms of having a good life and the rest of us having a good life too, is to *not do that*.

It’s stupid and shortsighted behavior. *among other things*, you have no proof about what happens after death, and given that the gravity well of earth is such that all your mass, energy, and information are likely to remain right here, reincarnation is the most likely hypothesis which means it is entirely possible to be stuck with the bad decisions you made for longer than a human lifespan.

Side note, I think Alex Jones nicely demonstrates how the Bible got written. Someone very much like Alex Jones wanted to control folks and so, like Alex Jones lied a lot and claimed to know the mind of God.

Sheer Covers VNV Nation – Kingdom

July 21st, 2022

What with one thing and another I haven’t gotten any recording that wasn’t either my album or someone else’s done this year – until now. Here is me covering VNV Nation’s “Kingdom” – another song done especially for Chris Mish 😉 But I hope you’ll all enjoy it anyway.

Sheer Covers VNV Nation-Kingdom

This is a cover, so presumably the original is copyright VNV Nation. Here’s the lyrics (and chord chart) anyway:

Verse 1:
========
G#m
Our domain, this kingdom come,
now godless lands whose ways are lost
Without the strength to carry on.
All values lost, all virtue none.

Part II:
========
G#m D#m
Did you think that you’d be saved
C#
by burning flags to cleanse yourselves of shame?
G#m C# D#m
Or are you afraid, as you stare back at your face?
G#m F# C# D#m
Or are you ashamed, are you afraid, by destroying what the gods once gave?

G# F# E C#

G#m
————- Do you think that you’ll be saved?

B F#
And I believe that we’ll conceive
C#m G#m
to make in hell for us a heaven.
B F#
A brave new world, a promised land.
C#m G#m
A fortitude of hearts and minds.
E B
Until I see this kingdom’s mine
F# C#m
I’ll turn the darkness into light.
E B
I’ll guide the blind. My will be done
F# C#m G#m
until the day I say our kingdom has been won.
G#m
No more the servants of the weak
devoid of thought or light to seek.
I’ll leave no walls, no stone unturned.
Every tower must be razed …

Part III:
========
D#m
… to the dust from which it came.
C#
None will be spared, no remnant saved.
G#m F# C# D#min
And are you ashamed, are you afraid of the gods and idols that you have made?
G#m F# C# D#min
Do you think you’ll be saved by the gods and idols that you have made?

G#m F#m E C#
———————- None will be saved.
G#m
None will be saved.

(Chorus)
(Solo)
(Chorus)

Let’s say the quiet part out loud here

July 20th, 2022

The current pope is almost certainly aware that Earth is above carrying capacity and that post peak oil it’s very likely a lot of people – many of them Catholics – are going to starve. He’s still egging on the fork bomb that is religious humanity by not encouraging birth control. Why? Market share.

That’s also what this abortion thing is really about. A bunch of scared old white dudes afraid that whiteness might lose market share. (God I Hope so. We are quite often a plague on the world)

It’s true that if you don’t care about misery – and obviously abrahamic religions like to *cause* misery whenever they can get away with it – probably gives the priests a feeling of power but certainly boosts their pocketbooks – pushing people to have Babies Ever After is a good way to boost your market share.

And, lately, we’ve observed another interesting problem – if the minority is willing enough to cheat – and majority is not willing to call them on it and do whatever it takes to undo their cheating – then the minority gets to have tyrannical power over the majority. I get the feeling this was predicted in the federalist papers.

I guess it’s not a surprise that religious folks are authoritarian. It is kind of a surprise how many people believe the blatant and easily proven false lies of the right. One of my favorites is about how we can’t switch to electric vehicles because the power grid can’t take it. Get this – a gas car uses more electricity (by the time the oil is pumped and refined) than a electric one. And if we count *total* watts – well, let’s just say moving oil around has a lot more line loss, so to speak, than moving electricity around.

But, the conservatives never stop the lying. They’ll claim that solar panels and wind turbines use more power to make than they generate – when the amount of power either generates in a week would turn it into incandescent gas several times over.

700 (ish) hours

July 3rd, 2022

I was all absorbed in working on a cover I’m doing of Kingdom and so I didn’t actually catch 700 even, but here’s 700.4
hour meter showing 700.4 hours

..

June 28th, 2022

One thing that the supreme court events underline – and of course the Jan 6 hearings – is that the GOP lacks any honor. The justices had no problem with lying during their confirmation and no problem with figuring out any way they could possibly bend the law to ban abortion. They will cause very large amounts of suffering – which of course is the typical outcome whenever you let the GOP start making decisions. (Remember, this is the party that brought you the War On Drugs while they were busy piping those drugs into the cities with Iran Contra, the party that brought you the War On False Pretenses in which many folks lied in order to bomb Iraq back to the stone ages over weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist, and, of course, the party that brought you Trump.

People ask why he rents space in my head. The answer is because I haven’t figured out how to leave America yet – but Trump’s existence, and the fact that the people who supported him aren’t busy apologizing right now, underlines both that the GOP has no honor (we’re talking about a person who tried to use violence to overthrow the results of a free and fair election) and that America is a collapsing system with very little hope.

He rents space in my head because we elected someone who said “Go ahead, punch him, I’ll pay your legal bills”. Because we elected someone who suggested injecting bleach, who wanted to hide life-saving data about a pandemic because it might hurt his re-election chances.

Trump of course only cares about Trump. That’s become increasingly obvious. Destroying the USA bothers him not at all. And, of course, another thing Trump – and Fox – showed us is the problem with leading people down a long and varigated trail of falsehoods. The problem is the human mind encodes data by making physical connections, and because of it’s holographic nature the same confluence of subnets might represent a number of different concepts. A side effect of this is there is a significant cost to unlearning things, and in fact you can reach a point where you simply do not have the neurological resources to do all the necessary rebalancing of wiring to unlearn falsehoods. Your mind has to – at least subconsciously – evaluate the actual physical (neurochemical) cost of changing wiring to encode new information, and if the cost is too high, it must cling to previously learned data even if wrong because the alternative – not having enough resources to finish rebalancing after changing the physical wiring to encode data – sucks more. But this means once you go down the Fox News or Q rabbithole, it’s *very* difficult to come back up – partially, of course,because it’s hard to admit how much of a chump you’ve been. I suspect this also explains how people get stuck in religions that are obviously false-to-fact.

Anyway, so, here we are. People are utterly convinced it’s Biden’s fault that gas prices are high – the war and the profiteering of the oil companies have nothing to do with it – and of course Fox is happy to encourage that lie. Inflation is obviously a side effect of us deciding not to throw everyone under the bus during the pandemic but Fox keeps the lie going, it’s all the fault of the Dems, and people believe it.

Not that I’m all that happy with the Democrats either. Their cheating Bernie out of the nomination and their deciding not to codify the right to choose while they had a supermajority because it’s way too valuable as a donation farming method to push the emotional buttons on both sides and get them to keep forking over those dollars are two of the obvious reasons, but in general we’ve got Cthulu and Incompetence, Inc to choose from on the ballot. I tend to choose Incompetence, Inc, but it’s still pretty depressing. About the best politician I know of is my friend Brian Leeper who ran on a platform of fixing the stoplights on rt 28.. and actually did it. Based on his track record I’d nominate him for senate even though he leans far more conservative than me. At least he’s honest, something I am sure federal office would beat out of him fairly quickly. Or they’d find him shiv’d in a back room somewhere.

(This post is mostly just venting. But I am not sure I have words for how dissapointed I am that the conservatives were able to pack the court and no one stopped them, that they’re able to make abortion illegal and no one is stopping them, and that they quite possibly might implement christian sharia law. The lack of honor and willingness to ignore the majority is also depressing – as is the knowledge that most conservatives won’t admit they are wrong about almost everything even as they look at the fact that their policies during covid had them dying of overdoses of horse dewormer.)

More antireligious thoughts

June 28th, 2022

So, I’ve been pondering the behavior of God in the book of Job, and how Christians always assure me that God should be allowed to behave like that because *e was here before we were and therefore is under no obligation to behave morally, decently, or reasonably.

Now, I remain convinced the Christian God is a work of fiction and that we should all be profoundly grateful for that fact. But I also remain convinced that Christians think evil is good and hate is love – and one example of this is that they want to worship a diety that they think plays games with them and deliberately torments them to test their loyalty – or through inaction and encouragement, allows said torment to happen and makes bets on it. What would we think of a human who behaved as God did during this little endevor? And how horrifying is it that Christians assure us God gave Job back everything at the end – except, um, his daughters were dead, so he gave him different daughters, but hey, humans are interchangable, right?

Heinlein pointed out most (fictionally created) Gods have the manners of a spoiled child. This isn’t surprising, humans can’t imagine things smarter and more capable than them – it’s the same problem as sci-fi authors writing smarter aliens – and of course most of the people writing religions are doing it because they think they should be allowed to tell other people what to do (and usually get paid for it) and therefore have the manners of a spoiled child themselves.

I do remember a recent argument with someone who is convinced I’m going to hell for not beleiving in Jesus (and one indication I have that Christians have flawed morals is *they’re okay with this* – as Spider Robinson once observed, you’d think if Christians really believed in God they’d be trying to figure out how to declare war on h*, not worshipping h*) – kept saying over and over “You’re not God”. It’s true, but I’ve built worlds, I’ve used evolution as a force – I think I’m probably in a better place to get inside the mind of a God than most people and I don’t find their God of hate and evil believable at all. That type of creature would never create something with the beauty and subtlety of this universe. I understand that selling their God of hate and evil lets them do the horrible things they want to do. But I also have hopes that someday we’ll refuse to buy it any more.

Abortion: The gift taht keeps on giving

June 25th, 2022

So, we’ve entered another phase of donation farming. I have come to suspect that the Republicans struck Roe with the tact agreement of the Democrats, because A: both sides knew that without forcing more babies social security was going to run out of money and B: both sides know it’s a battle neither side can permanently win if they’re going to keep using it to farm donations from voters.

Obviously during Obama’s attempt to get Garland confirmed A: the republicans cheated and B: the democrats sandbagged. A friend of mine pointed out the democrats could have gone ahead and installed Garland, since obviously if the republicans wouldn’t hold hearings, they didn’t have a problem with his confirmation.

However, it would not shock me at all to discover that all of the voting is just puppetry and the people actually running the country make decisions and they just pretend that our votes matter in order to keep us from taking up arms against them.

I mean, I’m going to keep voting whoever seems to be the lesser evil. But I’m also going to keep championing ranked choice voting because this system is beyond broken. And I think if they attempt to outlaw birth control or sex outside marriage we should hold a general strike – share, work together, figure out how to barter food etc, but literally turn off the county. Leave it off until we’ve done *trillions* of dollars of damage to them. Make the bosses *hurt*.

If the Democrats were honest, they’d arrest the supreme court for lying to congress. If nothing else, Kavanaugh and Thomas lied in their confirmation and everyone knows it. Pull out the No lie MRI technology – ANN combined with a fMRI, foolproof lie detector, and make them confess that they planned this whole thing. Then slam them in jail and appoint new justices.

I am also asking various countries about the immigration process, because I am strongly considering just leaving America.

John Ayers

May 27th, 2022

So, I’m on my way to John Ayers’s remembrance party at Headwaters. I struggled with whether to go – partially because even though Phoebe had posted that ‘all are welcome’ I had vague worries that even though we were back on speaking terms “all” might not have included me – on the other paw I didn’t want to bother her during this obviously difficult and traumatic time by asking.. and I also knew if I didn’t go I would likely regret it.

Anyway, I thought maybe I’d throw some eulogizing of John Ayers in here. In a lot of fundamental ways, me and John are very similar – he was a jack of all trades, a master of some, and one of the few voices in my head – and in my life – that encourages taking the risk and spending the time to be a artist. While I still haven’t made it to professional musician, I have been putting increasingly more and more hours into it as the years go by and I feel like I’m a whole lot closer than I’ve ever been, and he is one of the people who has always encouraged me both that art is worth doing for art’s sake and that you can make a living being a artist.

John is also one of the few people I know besides myself who has built houses – who can run wiring, thread a pipe, put up a wall, fix a well pump. He doesn’t have my facility with repairing cars or computers, but what he has instead is a rock-solid sense of beauty and the ability to create beautiful things out of metal – or stucco – far beyond anything I will ever have. I was sorely tempted to buy his house even though I have no possible use for a house in Arkansas just because of the beautiful construction and the amazing home-y feeling it has. Even though I don’t generally retain visual memories, I still have strong visual memories both of John and of his house, which defines hygge.

He’s also one of the gentlest and kindest souls I have ever met, and defines everything that was good about the pot-smoking hippies of the 60s. I think he literally was in the peace corps – he definitely was doing some kind of good work in places other than America. I feel like I was a lot more like him in that regard in my youth and wish I could find that part of myself again – lately it seems like while I haven’t actually performed any acts of violence, the political and dystopian scene on Earth is making it harder and harder for me to really embrace peace.

He also had great taste in music and we had many good conversations over the music that he’d heard and collected over the years. He also was a photographer (as I said, jack of all trades) and I remember fondly exposing him to the first digital camera I’d ever purchased. I wonder a lot what he would think of the Rebel T6 I now carry, which in many ways is superior to the best 35mm cameras I’ve ever owned.

He is one of the few people who has spent significant time with me during a manic episode – long before I understood their cyclic nature, long before I knew what drugs would suppress them. His kindness to me during that period is difficult to even put into words.

In addition, of all the parents of lovers I’ve ever had, he was the most rational about my relationship with his daughter – and also the parent I most wished would have adopted me. I am still kicking myself for not stopping by his place more often, not talking to him more often. I always thought we had plenty of time. (Of course, having mostly broken my friendship with Phoebe, I could say similar things – I wish I’d made different decisions all over the place. But, tomorrow’s another day and I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hopefully do better in the future).

There’s really not enough good I can say about the guy. I will miss him terribly. I hope we will meet again, somewhere.

Couple of interesting thoguhts

May 26th, 2022

#1) I think I’m worried that humanity is living down to my expectations

#2) Part of why I loathe the cloud is that I am anti-authoritarian. The cloud is the ultimate authoritarian setup – they can change the price, the API, or just shut the whole thing down at any time and there’s nothing you can do. I prefer to control my own destiny in a computing sense. And in other senses too.

It terrifies me that I have friends who don’t understand that someone who thinks they should be president even though they clearly lost the election is the ultimate example of authoritarian government.

Believing Is Seeing, redux

May 24th, 2022

So, this album has easily the most man-hours I’ve ever put into a album, probably by a factor of ten. I’m hoping it’s not my last – I’ve been working my paws off trying to improve my musical skills, as many of you know, and I’ve already started songwriting for the next one. There’s a lot I could say about this one – pretty much every song on it had strong influences and thoughts and reasons for being included. However, I don’t know if there’s a lot of interest in that type of thing or not. I guess I will wait and see if people ask me for such things and then if they do I will publish them.