November 27th, 2021

So, recently in a conversation with someone I was told that I was a demon, because I had been rejected by God. I mean, I can see with all the posts on my web site criticizing Christianity how one could conclude that I had rejected God, although I prefer to think that I’ve rejected the imaginary God of the Christians – for good reason – but remain open to meeting the real God if there indeed is such a creature – if indeed there *can* be such a creature. (Something I remain in considerable doubt about). I definitely want to be on what I think of as the side of love and light but it seems like that is a radically different side than what at least certain Christians think of as love and light. (HInt: The KKK are about as evil as they come and the Black Panther Party were the good guys in my opinion – as one of many examples. Sex and music and dancing are all good things – as are recreational drugs that make people feel good in moderation – and beating people, shooting at people, starvation, and war are bad things. Not sure if that helps anyone determine my alignment)

Anyway, it bothers me, being told that I’m a demon / rejected by God. I mean, I still don’t see any signs that God *exists* – although I still wonder, if I had believed in God as described by the Christians, would I be experiencing said God as existing and therefore having a radically different ride than I am having at the moment.

I’ve woken up several times this week dreaming about Phoebe, and wishing that I had handled things differently in that regard. I’m also a bit sad about many of my other interactions with people. It seems like I don’t do all that great a job at interacting with people long term, and I find I’m even running out of patience on the business side of things – I try to restrain my more antisocial tendencies because I want to continue eating and living indoors, but I really wish that I didn’t have to continue doing IT for the forseeable future. I understand that my music is not good enough for anyone to be willing to pay to come see me, and that’s likely to continue to be true for a while although I do continuet o make progress as I hammer away hour after hour at those skills. But..

I don’t know. On one paw, I’m happy that I have as many friends as I do, and I certianly do have a lot of friends. On the other paw, I’m sad about the friends that I’ve lost, and I’m sad about the feeling that I’ve hurt people in pair-bond relationships repeatedly, and I feel a bit like people have hurt my sanity extremely in pair bond relationships. I also of course feel like I’ve hooked up with a few extremely insane folks and that might have something to do with my experiences therein. (Of course, I can’t claim perfect sanity myself)

I have just been feeling kind of sad lately in general. I can’t complain too much about how my life turned out since I am still at least so far able to progress towards being a master musician, and I certainly have it better than most as far as money in the bank and a place to live. (Well, maybe. From observed reality it appears I have it better than most. Possibly reality is a custom mix per individual or possible taht there are a lot of non-player characters out there. But for now let’s go with wat we see is what’s going on..)

music 2

November 26th, 2021

So, a question that the previous post posits is, why do I care what other people think? Well, I guess some of it is sort of a reality-checking – I think I’ve gotten much better, but if other people don’t then maybe I’m just getting better at meetig my own particular needs and desires. There is also of course the hope, as I’ve mentioned, that I could “quit my day job” – I have another probably valid method to pull that off, which is the kittens. (I’ll probably start blogging more about them in the near future as I start doing experiments with 3.0 – the kittens are a genetic algorithm driven robotrader being set up to work stocks and cryptocurrencies)

Anyway, I don’t actually know if I’m getting better or if it is just my perceptions of my work are getting better.

music

November 25th, 2021

So, in the midst of a conversation with a friend, I was re-pondering something I have given considerable thought to. If someone showed up and offered me a magic-wand-gain-enormous-musical-skill-without-working-for-it, I would refuse it. My fear would be that the only way I see to end up with musical skills that match and are resonant with my nervous system is to earn them one step at a time, one hour at a time. I already very occasionally have moments when it feels like the music I’m playing isn’t “me”, and then I have to take a step back, slow down, and figure out what isn’t quite right about it. I want to be a technical virtuoso, but since I’m not interested in doing it by reading music – I want to be playing, improvisationally, even when I’m playing the music of others – I want to be interpreting it through my own particular groove. I only see one reasonable path through to this – one hour at a time.

While I’d really like to get paid to write and perform music, my intention is to continue all the way through to my 10,000 hours even if I do not, and to continue exploring the music space even if I do not.

One thing that does sometimes bother me is that I don’t get a lot of recognition from people in my life that I’m getting better, even though I have put at least a thousand hours on since COVID began. There’s a few people who have acknowledged my increasing skill.. Andy, Loren, Bunne.. but none of the people I play with regularly have. I do know that I still have a long way to go.. it’s getting harder and harder to tell whether I’ve come further than I still have to go or not.

None Of Us Are Free

November 22nd, 2021

Without getting into a rant about recent events, which I am sure I will do elsewhere, here’s a song that keeps getting more topical every day..

None Of Us Are Free

(I didn’t write this.. it’s a traditional spiritual. The arrangement is mine and I played all parts in this recording. Mix assistance / exec audio engineer provided by Arthur St James as usual)

Ancestor simulations

November 17th, 2021

So, I had one of those extremely out there thoughts that I just had to share with my future self and/or my 5 fans.

It’s generally accepted that the universe we’re in is *not* deterministic – in fact that it’s not deterministic down to it’s extremely random quantum underpinnings. But – if it *were* – and it could be, and still show all the same complexity – emergent effects are interesting things – it’s possible that someone found just the media / recordings / whatever from a civilization and was/is able to regenerate what we’re currently experiencing from them – or even that the media we publish could act as a checksum for whether the simulaion is going right i.e. even the slightest drift from the expected simulation could produce different output.

On my “list of reasons christianity is bad for us”..

November 1st, 2021

The KKK is apparently still with us because it was revived by a methodist preacher. I was $TODAYS_AGE years old when I learned this.

..

October 31st, 2021

So, I’m trying to figure out what bothers me so much about my recent disagreement on facebook over piracy and intellectual property. I think it’s the fact that these content creators would rather people go without than that they get a free copy of their content – they acknowledge these people can’t pay for it but they think that means they shouldn’t have it.

In general digital assets and capitalism are not a great fit, as I’ve mentioned, because you end up with a finite resource chasing a infinite one. For a long time the cost of buying content was mostly the cost of the carrier the content came on – and now, of course, the majority of the profit generally goes to the publisher and not the individual.

I think part of what bothers me about this is these people can see the police abusing the homeless and stealing their tents and be like “this is fine”. They can know we have 40 years of oil left after which we are all going to starve to death and capitalism is blocking us from solving this and be like, “this is good”. It’s like how I can’t fathom how anyone could continue to support religion after how many times religion has been epicly wrong – I mean, we’ve got things like Galileo, sure, we’ve got encouraging abuse of gay people despite a long list of reasons why they shouldn’t which I think I’ve documented elsewhere. I can *totally* understand why places like China want to outlaw Christianiy – it’s destructive! At the same time, I can’t really embrace the idea of outlawing ideas because once you start that, where do you stop? It’s one of the slipperiest slopes there is and I don’t think anyone is ever going to be unbiased enough to make good decisions on the topic.

But, yes, there are many people who *love* the current system and want to perpetuate it – and I’m talking about people who are barely making ends meet. Just as there are many who are convinced Christianiy is the Only True Way and even that it’s totally reasonable to abuse other folks based on them not being Christian.

It’s depressing. I probably need to focus away from the large picture government etc for a while because it’s gotten too depressing.

Capitalism and unconscious bias

October 31st, 2021

So, I inadvertently got into a discussion about piracy and intellectual property in a place where a number of content creators hang out, and the results drew my attention to something that I’ve thought about before, and want to speak on some.

Said content creators were insisting that piracy hurt their bottom line. One spoke about how a new book she had writen “made only $20”. Now, I’m very clear on piracy had nothing to do with this – the problems those creators are up against is that we have many, many, many more good content creators than we did – the internet has made every person with a video camera, tape recorder, or keyboard a potential filmmaker, musician, or author, and the net result is that it’s very, very difficult to stand out of the crowd and get noticed. I spent ten hours on my last song and it has, thus far, 41 downloads – I consider myself very lucky when content I am working on breaks 100 downloads, and I will be astonished if my upcoming album makes more than 100 sales.

However, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about is how capitalism affects unconscious bias in ways that hurt us all. This is most dramatic to me in the case of the preacher who cannot fathom in any way that the religion they are spreading might be wrong or damaging (because if that was the case they’d have to find a new job) but I think also the content creators blaming piracy – and more to the point, *caring* about what people who can’t possibly buy their content do – also illustrates the same sort of problem. The grocer who makes sure to destroy potential food before throwing it away so homeless folks don’t eat it. I could go on for a while, but the point I want to make is that we are not always aware of the neural structures that are being built inside our minds but it is a *really* safe bet that those structures are going to tend to be pro-survival since that’s why evolution has seen fit to gift us with these big brains anyway. Now, capitalism often makes decisions which hurt all of us pro-survival for individual members of the species. I think a lot of people have implicit biases towards acts that one might call evil, or at least incredibly selfish, but are not aware of those biases because they’re wired into their neural net on a subconscious level, or at least in a way their neocortex can not enumerate and/or see.

Nowhere is this more frightening than in for-profit medicine. I’ve noticed that when it comes to things that will kill you otherwise (i.e. heart attacks) the US healhcare system is moderately competent if overpriced. But when it comes to things that won’t, they’re really, really bad. I think part of why this is is that evey doctor in the system is going to have uunconscious bias towards doing things which don’t solve the problem so you’ll keep coming back because every time you come back they make more money. Basically it’s just like the thing with SSDI and the printer cables all over again.

And this isn’t something we’re looking for or measuring, partially because one of the unconscious biases we end up with is that capitalism is good and helping us – if we have a lot of money. And of course because of some of the decisions we have made lately if we have a lot of money we also have a lot of power so we are the one who’s decisions and thoughts are leading to the end result. It’s amazing how pervasive these unconscious biases can be – I gesture you to the cash for kids scandal – these judges really thought, at least claimed to have thought, that they were still behaving reasonably.

A timely reminder about business and money

October 28th, 2021

So, I feel like some people might be forgetting that, from a big picture perspective, making money is not a goal for humanity at all. Businesses should not be in business to make money – if they are, they’re likely doing damaging and/or stupid things. They should be in business to provide a product or service. The money is a token used to indicate contributions to the group, that can then be traded for other resources the group provides – I talk about this some in resource allocation as a group, but I think people miss the point, so I will belabor it some more.

When the government takes some of “your” income (which it uses to provide services we all need), they’re actually taking the token that was given to you by the group in exchange for your contributions to the group. Money is never “yours” in the same sense that other things are, it’s always a pointer to group resources.

Beyond that, one also needs to bear in mind that corporations exist to make the world a better place by providing a need or want for the group, in return for which dollars are handed over. The whole system is *supposed* to ensure that everyone is contributing to the welfare of the group but in fact it often does the opposite, because owners and upper management feel that, even though they often contribute the *least* ongoing value, they deserve the lion’s share of the tokens (which they will then hoarde like idiots, see this).

I think part of the problem is that a lot of people have lost sight of the big picture. They don’t think about optimizing user experience or happiness for the system as a whole. However, we would all have the best user experience if we *all* were trying to optimize the happiness for everyone in the system as a whole. *Definitely* one of the things that is killing America – and that may well lead to extinction of humanity if we don’t get our heads on straight – is the making of decisions which ultimately reduce happiness as a whole, or even survivability, in order to make money. We see this in companies destroying ecosystems with toxic chemicals, we see this in America’s perpetual war machine destroying overall value in order to give military contractors yet another pile of pointers, we see this in a lot of places.

But, I still maintain, your well-optimized corporation does not make massive profits. We are *all* the richest when it plows the majority of it’s money into either R&D or employee salaries, and beyond that when the salaries are not vastly disparate, because those who get paid the million dollar salaries are likely to just hoard them.

Now, a aside here – America offers you the only safe option for changing jobs or ceasing working is to have a fairly large nest egg stashed away, and thusly I am doing a bit of money hoarding of my own. I’m not happy that this world forces me to do so or risk starving and freezing to death, I’m not at *all* happy that the homeless in my city have their tents stolen and burned and if I had my way *everyone* who participated in that would forfeit all their assets and be forced to be homeless for a year. We clearly live in a world that is far more dystopian than it needs to be, and part of the blame for that is quite rightly laid at the feet of the conservative and the religious, both of whom are provably believing wrong things and taking actions based on them that are holding us all back.

(It’s always struck me as funny that people call America a “democracy” but we’re not, at all. We’re a democratic republic where your options are generally between two folks neither of which would be as good a choice for leadership as a random individual picked by drawing straws – and while we speak of “keeping the world safe for democracy” and “spreading democracy” what we truly believe in is not democracy but capitalism. We have been known even to overhrow democratically elected governments in order to install friendly dictators but we will bomb you back to the stone age if you dare try some form of collectivism. America stands for “don’t share, don’t work together, be enslaved by the bosses until you die, own lots of guns though!”)

Anyway, to return to my original point, in a ideal world corporations are not concerned about making dollars, they are concerned about making goods and providing services. To have it elsewise means the products get steadily more poorly made and steadily less valuable – a example of how capitalism unfettered leads to a worse outcome for everyone. We must teach our children, and always remember ourselves, that dollars *are not value*, they are just a pointer to it. Decisions that make paper dollars but destroy real value (like holding a war over false pretenses) hurt us all and are to be avoided at all costs.

Pilot wave theory and the simulation hypothesis

October 28th, 2021

One of the thoughts I’ve had a few times is how pilot wave theory has a reasonable explanation if we’re inside a simulation. The purpose of the pilot wave would be for the computer doing the simulation to determine entanglements in order to optimize computing interactions (or possibly to deal with chaining the interaction to all the entangled systems).

This led me to the interesting thought of what speculative execution would look like in a system that had some randomization, from the perspective of someone who was actually at eyeball level with the outcome of said speculative execution. I may have to do a few experiments.

While I’m muttering on quantum-y things, I’d really like it if a fan of MWI would tell me what they think is happening in the quantum eraser experiment.