Archive for October, 2020

Features a utopia should have

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

(Note: I’m talking a *real* utopia. Something we’d need significant technological improvements to implement on earth)

  1. Ability to wear any body (animal, human, etc)
  2. Ability to ‘share’ a body with one or more other occupants
  3. Ability to ‘melt’ – temporarily crosswire memories and/or decision trees in various combinations with other people
  4. “Flexible time” – ability to stop time for a participant until another participant wanted to do something with them
  5. “Conditional virginity” – the ability to temporarily forget having experienced something so you could experience it for the first time again
  6. Of course, pretty much every activity on earth, available in unlimited amounts
  7. The ability to control individual neurons and clusters of neurons, complete with a scripting language
  8. Ability to ‘matrix learn’ i.e. temporarily assign master knowledge for things you don’t want to have the long slow agonizing experience of learning. (Of course, it might not be possible to make the skill *yours* without learning it the slow way)
  9. Ability to learn the slow way, and to save having learned the slow way in different banks so you can develop multiple personalities, multiple musician styles, etc
  10. Lots of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. (Well, art in general. Music, video, kinesthetic, worlds you can visit)
  11. Unlimited budget, but protections against doing stupid things. (One friend of mine suggests the ultimate resource to conserve is quota of memory storage, a la Lambda)
  12. Ability to experience any work of fiction (film, movie, video game) as a immersive environment. (The holodeck, basically)
  13. Help with the interface, which I think perforce is going to have to be somewhat complex
  14. Ability to create immersive worlds
  15. Computer systems that can synthesize new works of art based on existing ones
  16. No need to worry about money, food, or shelter
  17. Lots of dogs. Ideally with no leashes or need of them, and ideally with us having the ability to communicate cross-species or at least natively understand communications
  18. Not a lot of restrictions based on what other people think are good art. Restrictions or at least help when interfacing with other people so no one gets hurt. Restrictions on work with simulations pretty much only limited to preventing people from hurting themselves too badly
  19. Unlimited amount of time
  20. Free will to use all of the above to drive the adventures one wants to see

 

I may update this post as I think of more.

 

200 hours

Friday, October 16th, 2020

So, today makes 200 hours since Jul 27, when I installed a hour meter on the power bus for the mixer. I’m trying to get my 10,000 hours – my estimate is this makes 8700. 😉 I’ve also been doing a lot of exercises intended to increase my proficiency.

 

 

At the moment I’m doing on guitar:

*) major and minor scales, up and down in triads (1-2-3,2-3-4,3-4-5, and so on, then back down)

*) major and minor triads (1-3-5) up and down

*) various melodies – lately I’ve been doing carol of the bells, but I try to do a different one every week

*) all five root position chords, and C and E position bar chords

 

On piano:

*) major scales in every key, at least 8x

*) improvising on the major 12 bar blues in every key

 

Then, of course, I try to do a hour of various covers every day.

If anyone is curious, here is my guess for the 2020 presidential election

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

The fraud of voter fraud

Sunday, October 11th, 2020

So, for about a year, I was paid by a organization I am not going to name, at least yet, to examine California’s rolls for signs of voter fraud. What I found was a little bit of ‘noise’ – a few hundred cases.. a few thousand if you take the view of the Republicans that homeless and drug addicts should not be permitted to vote. I did not find any signs of massive voter fraud, nor did I really expect to. Nothing I saw came anywhere near possibly changing a election – but the voter fraud that the republicans are perpetrating right now in restricting access to mail in and drop off voting during election very well might enable their destructive and, frankly, evil brand to continue to hold onto power and use it to destroy our way of life in favor of more yachts for Betsy Devos and more power for the toddler Trump.

What this mostly tells me is that right now, we are seeing voter fraud. The republicans are committing it. By claiming (even though we all know it isn’t true) that there’s massive voter fraud in mail in voting, they are lying in order to suppress part of the vote and cheat on the upcoming election. This isn’t surprising – Republicans are the party of cheating, after all – but it is saddening. It says truly bad things about the state of our democratic republic that federal judges are encouraging voter suppression. It isn’t that shocking – I am sure they are enmeshed in the false reality pushed by the republican-held and controlled media (the true purveyors of fake news, as anyone who actually tries comparing reality with the statements of the media can fairly quickly figure out)

It is sad that the republican-affiliated citizenry, rather than trying to stop their runaway representatives that are willing to cheat to win, is cheering on the cheating. They know, for example, that Mitch did not permit a supreme court justice pick by Obama to go through because it was too close to a election, and yet they are cheering on the frantic (and COVID-spreading) attempts to wedge the current justice pick just *days* before the election.

This is not a matter of preference in the same way windows vs unix or Yankees vs Red Sox is – this is actively a case of the people in power are doing massively destructive things and people are defending it. It’s not clear whether tehy’re defending it because they’re brainwashed by the lies being sent out, or they’re defending it because they don’t know how to *not* defend the people who are affiliated with their brand, or they’re defending it because they embrace evil and find it beautiful, or because they think that the 1% should be richer than they are and the rest of us poorer – but defend it they do.

Part of the problem with brand loyalty in politics and a two party system

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

So, it has occured to me that the decision to politicize wearing PPE during a pandemic is impressively moronic. It also has occured to me that given that Trump is very likely a russian asset, it’s possible that Russia has been pushing the message of not masking to the US as a way to hurt the US.

On the other paw, long term, it might actually kind of help the US. I know plenty of conservatives who are smart enough to still wear PPE, so what it might be doing is weeding out the dumbest – one unfortunate thing about birth control is that it *encourages* the dumbest among us to be the most prevalent in the next generation – it’s kind of the opposite of evolution. Things like seeing who is dumb enough to buy the message that the media is lying to you and you should not wear a mask during a pandemic might actually act in a pro-evolutionary manner.

Anyway, this does kind of illustrate the problem with a two party system. People start building polarizing decisions around really stupid things. I realize this is very convenient in the case of the global warming debate – a few old guys get to get richer, then die before the rest of us have to face the consequences for their awful decision-making. Of course, in general that’s a problem that we have with the command and control axis on earth – the old folks who don’t have to suffer the consequences end up with the most power and making the most decisions. Then you add in a religion that teaches that as long as you have this one wacky belief it doesn’t matter what you do and you have a pretty good recipe for some pretty dystopian moments.

We need a new meta-law here..

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

So, we have a representative government. One in which the Democrats in fact have a slight majority.

That said, Trump’s latest fake-survey-to-collect-money to his mailing list had a two-option question “Which do you identify as?” -> “American” or “Democrat”.

We need a new meta-law. This level of fragrantly failing to represent more than half the country in a representative republic should lead to the cuffs going on, and Trump hearing the cell door slam. Of course, he seems to be completely immune to prosecution for *any* crime and his followers seem to be completely immune to having any grip on actual reality – I suppose it will be interestingly ironic if inability to correct for brand loyalty is what leads to our species going extinct. Starting to look like a distinct possibility.

I do find it interesting that the republicans are fine with this, are actively cheering on the sledgehammers hitting our country. As long as they get rich, who cares how many die? who cares about the total destruction of America?

Whatever the opposite of patriots are, when measured for any *real* value of patriotism, these people are it.

(Interestingly, they’d say that patriots do of course destroy the environment, start wars, commit murder, lock children in cages, lie, cheat, steal.. and democrats are evil because oh no they’re going to take your money and use it to keep people from starving! they’re going to limit the amount of profiteering health care companies can do! in essence, they’re going to make people share..)

The biggest problem – mostly of the behavior of Mitch McEvil – is that once the political arena has sunk to a level, it doesn’t *come back* from that level. Future generations will be following Trump’s playbook, and Mitch’s – probably both on the left and right – to cheat and get billions of tax dollars stolen from us, the people, and given to the billionaires – and to get the insane special interests of religion and the religious pandered to.

Trump and COVID 2 : health care

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

One interesting question is, if Trump spends a week on a ventilator will he change his tune about destroying healthcare for most of America to enrich his billionaire pals? Will the republicans realize that their “my money is more important than your life” point of view is awful? Or will he continue the hypocracy that has been going for quite some time – through both left and right wing presidents – which is to say “The president deserves the best. You deserve the shaft.”. I mean, Obama and Dubya both smoked weed but they didn’t do prison time and they didn’t move to strike the laws that result in people doing prison time (and neither will Biden – the political elite on both the left and right are awful, the right is just *more* awful).

Trump and COVID

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

I’m trying to figure out how I feel about thew news that Trump has COVID.

While I’ll be the first to admit that him dying of the disease that he helped spread would be a very poetic end, I also suspect I’d find it deeply unsatisfying. This is partially because I have two entirely contradictory thoughts about it – one of which I wish I didn’t have, because it speaks to me having a flaw that seems to be common to humans, and the other which I think most people would agree is reasonable.

The first thought is a desire to see him punished for the massive harm he’s done to our world and the people in it. While it’s true Trump hasn’t hurt as many people as Dubya, he has hurt millions and millions of people and made the world a less safe and less desirable to live in place. I generally don’t think we should punish people, although we should set them up for situations that invite rehabilitation, but there is a part of me that wants Trump to get repeatedly beaten by the very cops he told to be more violent when arresting people, and wants him to hear the slam of the jail cell and feel the steel bracelets and know that ultimately he did not get away with it. I don’t really like what this thought says about me – I know that anger is a reasonable response to being hurt and Trump has hurt us all, but I also don’t think it does any good for anyone to hurt back simply because we’ve been hurt.

The second thought is a desire for redemption for Trump. I want some sort of Hollywood-style character arc where he learns and grows, and if he dies now that becomes impossible – whereas if he lives through COVID but faces some of the fears that I would imagine are associated with having it and realizes some of what he’s done to the world maybe he can be a tiny smidge less self centered and less horrible in the future. I think this is something we should all want for each other.

Anyway, for the second reason I am going to wish him a full recovery but hopefully enough of a symptomatic experience to learn some things.

Evidence against Christianity

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

So, of the things that I ponder, ‘what if I’m wrong?’ about, probably the biggest one is religion. However, I was pondering various things that are strong arguments against Christianity – well, in particular, the idea of God.

One very strong argument against a moral intelligent designer is cancer. Cancer would easily be preventable by having our DNA switch between a mode where mutations were possible, for evolutionary purposes, during initial mitosis, and a mode where a CRC is applied to it rather than the simple checksum that currently exists, for runtime purposes. Cancer would be basically impossible.

Now, one can imagine arguments for the experience of earth – a few that have occured to me include that we need something to compare utopia with in order to enjoy it and we sometimes want a challenge, and also the classic ‘this is a configuration screwup’ possibility. It also has occured to me – and I think it’s actually probably pretty likely – that we exist as a side effect of some other process and we’re not actually supposed to exist at all, therefore any system administrators that might exist in the universe have no idea we’re here.

Anyway, it’s also possible we have a incompetent God. But what we clearly *do not* have is a ethical, omnipotent, omnicient God who loves us.

Another good indicator of this is the plethora of religions, many of which encourage awful behavior. Even Christianity apparently failed to stop a number of atrocities of being done in its name, including:

1) The crusades
2) Criminalization of not believing in Christianity – in the middle ages, I would have been put to death for failure to believe. Of course, in the USA, we did something very similar in the 50s with McCarthy
3) Repeated repression of anyone who behaves in “un-christian” ways, including criminalization of things which should not be illegal just because Christians don’t like them

But, beyond this, all these “There can be only one” religions increase the risk of wars – and they’re not likely to all be true. And it would be pretty horrific if they were. Since all the “there can only be one” religions have different tenants, they can’t all be true (well, barring certain multiple reality possibilities).

It is a interesting question, though – God might just believe in freedom of the press. And not care how many people get hurt. but that makes the claim of being omniscient, omnipotent, and loving us again seem unlikely.

Part of the political picture

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

So, from where I sit, the left is currently concerned about the right because the right is making decisions that may well lead to the extinction of the human race – no, global warming isn’t going to kill us, but the attitude the right has towards our ecosystem very likely will sooner or later – you can only knock so many steps out of the food chain before something crashes, and beyond that our increasing population and attempt at a increasing economic level of production is going to sooner or later break our ecosystem and leave us dead.

From the right’s perspective, the left is taking away too much money from them. Looking at the actual numbers and more importantly resources consumed, it’s largely the military that’s bankrupting us all, but from the right’s perspective as I understand it it’s largely social security – we should be paying in but not taking money out. (Yes, the right’s media spins it as if we’re spending more money on social services than anything else by pointing to medicare, medicaid, and social security.. something we all pay for, so they’re basically counting money we banked in order to use later as money we paid as taxes. Dishonesty, as I think I’ve mentioned before, is a hallmark of the right. The thing is, it wasn’t always. At one point they were just of the point of view that small government led to the most freedom and the best user experience. And then, things happened.

Anyway, my point is, the left has our continued survival as a primary concern where the right has money. (Well, to be fair, they also sell the idea that we should be deeply afraid of immigrants – something that statistics do not bear out, as immigrants statistically are far more law abiding than citizens. In general, statistics are not the strong suit of the right)

Anyway, is it any wonder that the right must increasingly lie and cheat to even keep people attached to their point of view? Or that those of us on the left increasingly think that adherence to the right with the right in it’s current state – defending white supremacy, destroying key functions of our government like the post office, blatantly flip-flopping on rules like “we shouldn’t appoint judges right before a election” .. “unless the election might cost us seats” in other words displaying no honor at all – causes those of us on the left to at this point think people on the right are, well, basically, not very good people?

I realize that on the right, they *must be* brainwashed. They don’t see that their party is no longer the party of small government, but rather now is the party of blatant evil. And I know they are sold the idea that we are the evil ones – often by actually taking things the right is doing and attributing them to the left. However, given the cost of failure and the inability to reach them, it is more and more difficult to maintain friendship with the people on the right knowing that they support the abuse of immigrants, they support the robbing of the US coffers to help billionaires, they support prioritizing corporations over people, they support prioritizing economic growth over the continued survival of the human race.. I think my point here is clear. Their economic policy doesn’t even make any sense – they demonize socialism while ignoring the fact that automation is making it increasingly difficult to even think about giving everyone a job – and we at the moment have many, many makework jobs in a pathetic attempt to try and duct-tape our old views about economic theory into continuing to function beyond their usefulness. Some form of collectivism is the only sane way forward.

Part of what’s impressive here is how far people will go to defend the brand they’re loyal to. The alternate possibility is that my connection with reality has severed and I’m experiencing local generation of reality with an extremist point of view and a epicly broken political situation. (In which case I’m not sure if we’re looking at me having died and now being in hell or if we’re looking at a extreme configuration screw-up)