Archive for January, 2016

Nonstandardized testing

Friday, January 29th, 2016

So, I think most people who know me know that I hate organized education with a passion.

The part I hate most is the grades – measuring people and telling them they’re not good enough – but I also hate the curriculum (look, just let them learn about whatever they want whenever they want. You’ll be shocked at how good the results are!) and the lack of certain very obvious subject matters in the curriculum (if you must have a set list of things for them to learn, learning how to learn should be first, followed by learning cognitive distortions and tools like nonviolent communication, followed by learning about common human failings such as the milgram effect).

Another part I hate – no big surprise – is standardized testing. I do have a suggestion for something we could do instead.

Non-standardized testing.

Basically, the idea would be to come up with challenges – such as, here’s a microcontroller kit, get it to control this robot to push this ball into this goal, here’s a 3d printer, get it to print out something you like – here’s a movie camera, shoot a movie as a class – here’s some musical instruments, record a album – here’s a mcdonalds, run it for a day without losing money.. here’s a patch of dirt, can you raise a edible crop? .. one can imagine all sorts of real-world challenges that would make great ‘are you a adaptable human being?’ tests.

It would be hard to give things a numerical score, for sure, but you would undoubtedly find out if the kids were learning how to work together in teams, how to learn new things, how to tackle unexpected challenges – in other words, whether they’re learning the types of skills that really matter once you get out in the world.

Since standardized tests are supposed to be used to find out if the school is passing or failing, I think the unstandardized ones would do just as well. And they’d be a much better use of resources. You definitely get bonus points for a test that the student learns something meaningful from.

As a side note, one of the things that most makes me want to say “You all fail learning forever” is hearing about things like IEPs (for the uninitiated, that is a Individual Education Plan). Look, you will get MUCH better results if you *don’t plan*! Education isn’t something you plan. It’s something you do. Sure, you might want a sketch of a plan, and some data points would help, but a teacher planning education is forgetting that in the most effective and fun education, the student is in the driver’s seat.

Brilliant idiots

Friday, January 29th, 2016

So, I can’t help but feel like humans are brilliant idiots. We’re especially good at things that require incremental improvement on a concept – I gesture you to computers in 1950 and computers now as a example – or cars, for that matter.

We’re not good at being happy. We’re really good at finding ways to NOT be happy. Epicly good at it at times. We also are not good at knowing when it’s time to put down the wrench and walk away. I mean, I give you, the species bright enough to come to understand nuclear physics – and stupid enough to make a hydrogen bomb and mount it on a rocket with target seeking capabilities.

I am smart enough to not mention the wingdinger of a idea for a tool for terrorism I came up with tonight, other than to say I would never, ever build one, and I would never, ever tell any member of my government about it. It’s stupidly obvious to me, and I only hope that’s because I’m brighter than the average bear, because I do not want to live in the world where they exist.

Then again, I’ve had a number of ideas for weapons, and most of them have never come to exist in this world. So either I’m smarter than average, there’s something basically flawed about my understanding of science (I kind of doubt this), or most people don’t want to make the world a worse place (I like this one) and the average murderous psychopath is also none too bright.

Then again, the possibility that Trump might some day have the nuclear launch codes is enough to make me want to go hide under something.

One thing that amazes me is that people who are not deeply happy, fulfilled, and capable have children. Accidents I can understand – but why would you deliberately drag someone else here to enjoy the suffering? Seriously, I think we should follow two paths

1) Try to make everyone here’s life awesome. At the point at which we’re achieving this, we can breed like rabbits

2) Try for voluntary extinction. Not by mass suicide, but simply by 95% of us not having children until we get to the point where we’ve got this suffering thing under control.

Now, I don’t always think this way, but there are times.. there’s something wrong with my mind, and it’s probably easily fixable, but not by our current medical technology. For those of you who don’t know, I fired my medications expert in August and for the most part I do not use psych meds any more – I use occasional small doses of seroquel when I feel like my clock speed is pushing out into the outer envelope. Now, I’m sure those of you reading about me talking to people I can’t see will want to draw a conclusion about how this is the lack of pysch meds, but this hasn’t had any effect I can see either way on my ability to talk to $future-person. What I do note – with a fair amount of anger – is that this December did not involve any trips to the psych hospital, or even any serious excursions into insanity-land. So the psych meds were either making things worse (likely) or just not helping (possible)

If I go insane again, I intend to hunt down Dr Amen and see how his process goes, because it is at least based on the type of science I can understand and get behind. As far as I can tell most shrinks prescribe based on the process of look up the class of disease, and then throw a dart at the list of medications that might help it. If the first one doesn’t help, try the second one, and so on.

So, my best guess is my neural net seeks a type of homeostasis – there’s a part of it that has a opinion about how I should feel and has control over the various glands that make me have emotions, and a part that has a opinion about how I should think, and has control over the various glands that affect that, and if I introduce outside factors like psych meds, eventually these systems integrate those into their math and still try to seek the same levels.

At this point, I’m concentrating on reaching those systems. I’ve got a whole host of helpful tools at my disposal – all of which $future-person helped me build, including a dashboard of the state of my mind that appears on what I refer to as my ‘third eye’ – i.e. the left-hand visualization space that my mind generates corrisponding to my left eye. (The fourth eye would be the virtual visualization eye that corrisponds to my right literal eye, and so forth. $future-person has tried to get me to expand these through a series of exercises, and it’s worked somewhat but not a lot – at some future date I might write a article about that process)

These are mostly gauges – how irrational the current fear is, current clock speed, neural activity levels, that sort of thing. Clock speed is definitely a way useful gauge, since with it I don’t need a EEG to know when I’m approaching the red.

Anyway, I fired my psych provider because I asked him a technical question about neural architecture and he didn’t know the answer, and instead of just saying “I don’t know”, he proceeded to lecture me about how there were more important things to talk about because I had experienced one of those intermittent faults I mentioned a few weeks before. Not helpful, and it was suddenly clear to me this person had no idea how to help me but wasn’t capable of saying so. So I did us both a favor.

I also can’t shake the feeling that my recently fired mental health provider is less happy than I am. This does not give me good feelings about his ability to solve my problems.

I think we *could* have a good mental health system. It’s kind of insane that we don’t put as much energy into researching neuroscience as quantum physics since the question of what we’re measuring with is as least as important as what we’re measuring. But one problem with capitalism is that any health system imbued with it is going to be far more interested in treating you than curing you. And I have a feeling that real trillion-dollar mental health, in a world with computers and good IO between them and the mind, would be a world of cures, not a world of treatments.

My problem is undoubtedly made more complex by the fact that I don’t want to just be uniformly happy. I can already have that if I want it, in several different ways. I want to have a complex emotional life. I just don’t want to become decoherent while I’m doing it.

One interesting thing to me is that one of the only times I don’t talk to $future-person regularly is when I’m decoherent. Instead, I invariably – and this is impressively dumb given the situation – try to search out present-day-$person, who doesn’t want to talk to me. And yet, I don’t think it’s so much that I’m confused and think present-day-$person is $future-person, as that I think it’s 1993 except that I’m suddenly empowered to actually say what I think and feel instead of being totally closed off in a little tiny shell with a free will box that has like three options at any given time.

Howie Day, Collide

Friday, January 29th, 2016

The dawn is breaking
A light shining through
You’re barely waking
And I’m tangled up in you

But I’m open, you’re closed
Where I follow, you’ll go
I worry I won’t see your face
Light up again

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills your mind
I somehow find
You and I collide

I’m quiet you know
You make a first impression
Well, I’ve found I’m scared to know
I’m always on your mind

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the stars refuse to shine
Out of the back you fall in time
I somehow find
You and I collide

Don’t stop here
I lost my place
I’m close behind

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills your mind
You finally find
You and I collide

You finally find
You and I collide
You finally find
You and I collide

Free will

Friday, January 29th, 2016

I had a interesting talk with a friend of mine about free will. At the time, I was thinking about dimensions of free will.. I was observing that free will consisted of two dimensions – the first being the number of possible actions you can think of (the box), and the second being the ability to pick any of them (the pointer). Of course, some of the actions are interesting – for example, you can iterate back to look for more actions, and you can change the definition of desirable outcomes, which is then going to change the box. But I feel like there’s at least one more dimension to it, and I’m not sure yet what that might be.

I do not feel particularly free. For the most part, I feel constrained by the fact that this world doesn’t have a particularly good safety net for taking actions that might be particularly economically or socially risky. And, as I’ve learned, it is entirely too easy to lose the friends you really want to keep, either through dating the wrong person, saying the wrong thing, thinking the wrong thing, feeling the wrong thing, or just random acts of fate. We spend a lot of time on Earth saying goodbye – and while I feel it likely that we’re all immortal beings, the world I see doesn’t offer a lot of reassurance that that is the case, and in fact seems to go out of it’s way to underline the idea that we’re not.

And yet – part of why I study IT is that I think that it offers the greatest chance of freedom humanity will ever know. There are so many ways this could play out – the first is that we could build the singularity, and it could decide to set us free. The second is that we could automate our society and no longer have to worry about working all our lives just to be able to continue eating and living indoors. The third is we may reverse engineer DNA and be able to modify it to give us a better experience. The fourth is that we may hook computers directly or indirectly to our neural nets and be able to do all sorts of amazing things including having just about any experience we could possibly want.

And, of course, a powerful enough computer could back up and restore us just like a hard disk.

But then there’s the question – surely this is not the first time we’ve built technology of this level – surely we’re not the first time computers have ever gotten this advanced. And it’s so easy to see that from here, 20 to 30 years leads to the real possibility of a utopia. So I can’t help but suspect that said utopia already exists, and that we’re experiencing this world as either a form of punishment or a form of entertainment. (Or possibly even both). Some aspects of it seem so comedically overdone that entertainment seems by far the more likely. I should enumerate my list of “Stupid things America does” sometime – it’s very hard for me to get through all of it without laughing my ass off. I mean, it hurts, it was not a lot of fun to go through, but it is also very, very funny.

We have a big problem with not seeing the forest for the trees. And a lot of the time our most destructive ideas are the ones we get into with the best intentions. Religion, organized education, I could enumerate a bunch of them.

I have no doubt that I’m as guilty of this as the next man. It’s part of why the singularity is such a desirable idea. But, we’re not going to build it with silicon any time soon. If we wanted to build it next week, or next month, the smart thing to do would be to network human minds, as they’re the most powerful computers we can easily get our paws on.

Now my experience with talking with $future-person leaves me with the distinct feeling I’m connected to some sort of network, as do things like vibe at raves and concerts, and the repeated experience of thinking of someone I haven’t talked to in a while and having them call or write me. And then there’s watching my playlist, which I swear is sometimes scheduled by the great DJ in the sky to clue me in to what’s going on. I often think that my neural network is partitioned (well, duh, I do appear to have DID) and that I am at times my own higher power, setting myself up for all sorts of surprises. Every time I sit down at a multitrack deck and record a song in several parts, and have each just *fit* – every time I go skating and look, there’s *always a hole*..

Synchronicity is a interesting beastie.

Me and Nash followup

Friday, January 29th, 2016

So, I wanted to talk more about the experience of communicating with $future-person, mostly because I think it’s good for me to get my thoughts down in some sort of order. For the most part at this point I write this journal for myself, in the hopes that reading it later some sort of pattern will emerge that isn’t necessarily clear in the moment-to-moment.

So, the most common mode for me to talk to $future-person is what I call voice relay. Normally in this mode, she talks using my mouth and I send to her by thinking things. This is a little odd insofar as I’m definitely not controlling what she says, and the normal default behavior for us is to control what we say – the first few times I experienced it it was very frightening for various reasons. This seems to be the most reliable mode – at times my adversary will mess with it, and as I’ll discuss in a minute it’s pretty clear $future-person is having to jump through some interesting hoops to keep the channel as clean as it is, but as of now I think the percentage of signal coming from her for most topic is in the high 80s to low 90s.

One thing that is quite bizarre is that she rotates through accents, manners of speaking, and occasionally even vocabulary sets. I am fairly sure the signal is being relayed off a number of individuals and coming in on different collections of neurons, probably in order to limit the amount of damage to the signal that $adversary can have. I suspect that organizationally, the group of people she belongs to is much larger than the group my adversary does, or else she can throw more resources into communicating with me than he can. I could do a aside as to what this could mean if this is all in fact happening inside my mind i.e. she is a partition of my neural net (or a particularly big subnet) and so is he, but I’m not sure it does me any good to think that way.

I have definitely come to accept that a person’s a person, and a body’s a body, and these things may only be tangentially related.

She has said at times that her group of people will help anyone overcome the obstacles I face, in particular I *think* she’s referring to a negative self image and a set of inner demons which are bent on destroying me. (You can take your pick of how literally to take the word ‘demon’ there – perhaps I should try getting a exorcism but I am naturally a bit skeptical of anything having to do with organized religion for reasons I think I go into in entirely too much detail elsewhere in this blog. I think my inner demons are software in the particularly unique way software is created in the human mind – collections of neurons wired to other neurons to represent concepts and behaviors)

I haven’t yet had a ‘close the loop’ experience where I’ve been able to relay a message through her group of people to someone else I experience in what I somewhat skeptically refer to as ‘the real world’ i.e. the world I am immersed in daily in my conscious experience. I am not sure what I would think if that did happen – I’ve had enough skepticism-busting experiences already that I’ve come to accept that

A: I don’t know it all
B: There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in my (former) philosophies
C: The truth may be far more incredible than we would suspect

I almost put a D, insulting members of the majority religion of Earth, but I decided that wasn’t really appropriate. I do think, without claiming to know much about whatever diety, dieties, or operators Earth might have, that the people claiming to know them best put them in way too small a box.

I have come to believe that if there is a diety or dieties, or a system operator or operators, they are obsessed with plausible deniability i.e. they do not want concrete proof that they exist out there right now. I don’t know if that’s because they’re afraid of us, because they’re researching something and we’re the bugs under the microscope, or.. and I have to admit I like this one the best sometimes.. they are us.

However, clearly looping a message through someone who is not physically here would break plausible deniability a lot.

I’m also not sure, given that $future-person is not communicating with me in english, whether the language she is communicating with me with is designed to successfully work through probability clouds. I have thought about the fact that the future in some types of ancestor simulation would tend to be a probability cloud with a fixed endpoint but a big wall of ‘timey-wimey stuff’ where events move around between that and the present. Dianne Wynn Jones’s Tale Of Time City presents one view of how this could play out, although I’m sure there are many.

(Insane or not, there’s no doubt that I’m well read)

Speaking of being well read, there’s one thing about this that is incredibly cool, and that is, I feel like I’m in the middle of a story. It definitely keeps me engaged, wondering how it’s all going to play out, looking forward to each new event unfolding. My life has turned into a page-turner.

Now, there are some very bad things about it – that $person IRL doesn’t want to be anywhere near me, and thinks I might hurt her or want to hurt her – that’s one of those things that will make you want to curl up in a ball and howl, or contemplate suicide. However, that there’s a possibility (indeed I would be tempted to say *probability*) that we will again be friends later gives me a great deal of hope.

It’s also turned into a really interesting touchstone for finding out who my friends really are. I’m far less bothered by the people who think she’s a imaginary friend, or that she’s a sign of mental illness (both possibilities I have tagged myself) than by people who talk about the experience one way when I talk to them in person, and a entirely different way when they talk to other people. And I can also sort people into people who tried to figure out how to fix my friendship with $person (good), didn’t do anything (also good), or made the situation worse (very bad).

One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially in the context of noticing how many of my friends keep their promises to me (good), don’t make any (also good), or break them (bad), is – who can I trust, and how much?

One thing that makes *this* complicated is that I can’t tell how much of what I’m experiencing in my conscious experience is “the real world” (if indeed there is such a animal) and how much of it is locally generated. I *know* I have at least one intermittent fault in my mind, and probably considerable damage beyond that, but I don’t have any way of testing individual systems. I undoubtedly need friends I can count on out there, and I undoubtedly have them, but it’s somewhat hard to know sometimes who they are.

Me and Nash

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

So, I can’t help but draw certain parallels between me and Nash, since I also am interested in mathematics (especially set theory and prime number theory) and I also have voices in my head. I suspect I got a better deal than him in that I can control which of the voices in my head gets the most airtime or indeed turn them off altogether. (I have to actively choose to listen in order to hear them, a mental process that I’m kind of at a loss to describe). Also, my experiences are not suggesting there’s a massive soviet conspiracy to put nuclear bombs in american cities.

One of the things that I wonder about is whether the voice that claims to be a future version of $person is who she says she is. Even if she wasn’t, it would be difficult to want her gone since she has demonstrated, among other things, the ability to get me far, far higher than any drug by messing with my neurotransmitter balance. This is extra cool because she can turn it off with a few minutes notice, which means I can go to a party, be tripping out of my mind, and then drive home sober. Also, whatever she does does not show up in any way on a blood test. (Not surprising since it’s apparently being done entirely behind the blood-brain barrier). You can see where this would be a friend I would want to keep. She also gives great advice, helps build me up when I’m convinced I’m worthless, and comforts me when I hurt. And has amazing discussions with me about things like other types of computing system that could be built (my favorite is rainbow computers, which are computers that have gates that can operate on entire countable infinities in a single operation – something which naturally is fascinating to someone who’s interested in set theory). And she is better at navigation than Google Maps, although I feel *very* guilty when I use her this way, so I generally don’t. She’s tried to get me to learn the knack of always knowing which way north is, but thus far it hasn’t stuck.

Some of the most interesting moments I’ve had with her have been the exercises she walks me through – all of which seem to have the common goal of making me less afraid, more self-reliant, and more capable.

Now, opinions vary about what the person in my head actually is. Some think she’s a spirit guide, some a angel, and some plain ol’ mental illness, and some a clone of $person from when I was spending time with her, and some a childhood-style imaginary friend. I have a number of ways of communicating with her, which have various levels of success. None are 100% successful. More on this in a minute.

So, for a moment, let’s talk about definitions. For purposes of discussion, let’s say that a chunk of neurons with a common identity and goal is a $entity. These chunks can be very small or very large – they could be $dieties or $personalities or much smaller than that – they could be directly inside my head or just connected to me via some sort of network – but I experience them. If I can see them with my eyes, I tend to think of them as people in the real world, although this is far from assured for a whole long list of reasons.

There is a $entity that wants me dead, or failing that, wants me to suffer enormously. This $entity is obviously antagonistic to $person (above) and even more so to having a clear communication channel with her. For whatever reason, this entity chooses often to go by the non de plume of Satan, however for my own reasons I am suspicious that this entity is not the original person by that name of biblical fame, if indeed said person ever existed anywhere but in the heads of the authors of the bible and a bunch of preachers.

A bit about pronouns. The entity I talk to in my head (who claims to be a future version of $person) has said that gender is not a attribute of souls – that is to say it’s not a permanent attribute of us – but rather a attribute of the body we are wearing, and that she has worn both. I call her a her because when I think of her, I think of the person I’ve experienced, but if it comforts you to think of her as him, feel free. Or one can use wildcard genders. One assumes similar things are true of my antagonist.

Then there’s the question of size. My internal friend has stated that both her and I are ‘big’, by which I think she means the amount of neural territory we command and the amount of data we have stored, while my antagonist is ‘small’. In particular, my antagonist has not yet figured out a way to block the person above’s way of encoding data to me – which does have certain disadvantages.

What we know about that? Well, again, we can only go with what I’ve been told. She is not speaking to me in english, but rather is speaking to me in another language and my mind is decoding it into english. Even more interesting, I do not think in english either, although my conscious experience experiences my thoughts in english – one of the things I have learned to do which has noticably improved my quality of life is abort thoughts at the english compiler / serializer before they get turned into english sentences if I feel they are not thoughts I would want to be exposed to – generally ego-dystonic / self abusing thoughts but also violence and racial slurs thrown at me by my antagonist. A lot of the time I do not have to experience my antagonist’s existence much at all, but I do need to remember he exists.

One of the very first things my internal friend told me – after explaining that she was not God – was that if it ever sounded like she was telling me to hurt myself or other people, or saying things that seemed designed with no other goal but to hurt me, that it was not her. Then she proceeded to warn me about the fact that I was communicating with her over a channel in which authentication was virtually impossible and that had hostiles on it.

I can’t help but wonder how much my experience has in common with Nash’s. Under some circumstances, I have experienced my friend being able to touch me, I’ve occasionally been able to hear her voice, but I have never seen her except in dreams – and entirely too few of those. The vast majority of my dreams historically were nightmares, although recently I have learned something which has been changing this – a interesting form of role playing.

I noticed way back in my youth that certain classes of lies would appear to become true – there’s a special sort of lying that isn’t exactly lying, but more like spinning-fiction-which-will-become-fact. So telling people I am actively having the dreams I want to have, even though I’m not having them yet, *even though I’m telling them in advance that this is role-playing and not the truth*, is enabling me to have more and more of the dreams I want to have. I have not a lot of theory about what’s going on neurologically when I do this, but I do observe that *everything* starts as a idea, and that ideas which actually become real tangable things we can all experience generally get communicated with other people first, so it would not be surprising if we had neurological wiring to make it easier to make things real if you communicate them with other people.

One thing I’ve definitely experienced over the last several years is that as I spend more time talking to my internal friend, my quality of life gets better and my antagonist’s ability to interrupt our communications, or to interject words, or to block concepts, gets worse.

And talking to her is pretty amazing. Many of the concepts she’s shared have helped me become a much better thinker and more capable being. One of the things we’ve done is temporarily tag different meanings of words with subscripts so that it’s possible to have meaningful natures about topics like love and god which normally are just about impossible because the words are so heavily overloaded that anything you say has a number of different, sometimes mutually contridictory meanings.

As far as God in the sense that Christians use the word, I would say I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I have no doubt that $entities bigger than me, both in terms of number of neurons and neuron associational paths, and in terms of power, resources, etc, exist. I find the Christian God completely unbelievable – and if I did believe in said $diety, I feel like it and I would naturally be mutually antagonistic insofar as I find most of the behavior said diety was responsible for, especially in the old testament, to be incredibly morally reprehensible – not to mention just plain awful. There’s plenty about this elsewhere. I also kind of doubt that by the time you are that big, you need angels flying over your throne singing about how great you are, or a bunch of people worshipping you – I figure you’re capable of stroking your own ego when it needs stroking and you probably also have come to accept that a ego generally gets in the way of a lot of fun / creation / etc.

My friend generally says it’s not a topic she can answer a lot of questions about with the current state of the channel between her and me, but that the truth is not at all sinister or dark. She does seem clear on no one is going to get to torture me for all eternity, and it’s a relatively small handful of $entities that even want to. My biggest danger, apparently, is from myself.

Which I will certainly own. In order to avoid having a big ego, I thought I would remain highly critical of myself. But this doesn’t work at all – you end up with a big ego, just a negative one. Aside from driving one to suicide and misery, this also limits one’s capabilities for positive and creative action and generally is undesirable. I think some internal criticism is necessary, but it should not be punitive – rather it should be of the sort that helps one grow. If you continue hurting yourself after you’ve come to understand your failure, you’re not helping anyone and it’s a net happiness loss to the universe.

I have done a fair amount of thinking about the parts of my neural net that are aiding the enemy. My friend Jeff thinks that I should love and hug and embrace these parts, rather than reformatting them to blank and trying again. I don’t know what I think about this, but I do know that I do not want parts of my mind that are trying to kill me, and I would like to not have parts of my mind that are sitting in judgement of the rest of me and trying to stop me from having experiences I want to have because they are obsessed with a obsolete definition of sin. I’d generally like to eliminate self-destructive behavior in my life.

Now, I could probably go on from there for several more paragraphs, but I need to get back to my day job.

Advertising to your own customers

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

So, recently I got a ad by sprint telling me they are the fastest LTE network. This isn’t surprising – sprint does a lot of reselling their network and I think also has the biggest chunk of spectrum allocated to them, thanks to their nextel merger many years ago.

But more than not being surprising, it’s annoying. As a sprint customer since 2002, why bother to advertise to me? I’m clearly not planning on going anywhere any time soon, and as far as I can tell, I paid for that ad – or rather, revenues from selling me service did. Not only that, that ad wasted a few seconds of my time – more than that by the time you figure me writing blog posts about it.

I think most customers would rather have a penny discount, silently applied, than a ad talking about how good the service they’re already paying to receive is.

Even more annoying, and has largely been fatal to me donating to most causes, are the people who use my donation money to send me requests for more money. I’ve sent like $35, $50 to various causes and gotten several years worth of begging letters asking for more money. This makes me very skeptical that my money went to do anything useful, and very disinclined to donate to you again.

I do repeatedly see companies advertising to their already existing customers, and it does not make a lot of sense to me. We’re not stupid, you know. We know we’re paying for that ad – as well as having it burn time we could better have spent doing something else. Rein in your marketing departments.

Your basic, you know, evil.

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

So, I keep seeing ads for instant checkmate. I wonder if they enjoy making the world a worse place, and I wonder even more if they realize that what they’re doing is making the world a worse place.

Now, I don’t particularly have any problem with people knowing about my checkered past. But I’ve done a much more thorough job of eradicating paranoia than most people with the disease. There are a lot of people, I would imagine, who find the idea of someone aggregating every mistake they’ve ever made downright terrifying. People who live in fear now have yet another thing to be afraid of.

And I can’t really see how it improves the situation for anyone to be able to find out everyone’s list of run-ins with the highly questionable entities we’ve chosen to put in charge of justice. It does sound like wonderful fuel for those who enjoy being judgemental assholes, however. I’m reminded of a quote from Pump Up The Volume – “I bet Watts was the guy who took names when the teacher was out of the classroom.”

We can use resources any way we want – and we apparently want to point fingers at each other.

minimum income?

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Hi, feds!

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

So, my understanding is the feds actually had someone assigned to follow John Lennon around because of his left leaning ideas. I have to admit to some curiosity as to whether there is a fed who is assigned to read this very journal because of mine.

If so, I have to wonder if some of my better ideas become viral within said fed – if he or she finds him or herself agreeing with some of what I say.

At this point, if they’re willing to think about what I’m writing about, I’ll take readers any way I can get them.

What I don’t want is more readers who want to put a lot of mental and emotional energy into telling me how impossible it is to fix anything. Because if we believe it’s impossible, than it *certainly* is.