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I’ll start updating this more often

February 28, 2013

Yeah, I’ve let this go for a while. Haven’t felt like writing blocks of text in a while. But I think I do now.

Superstitions are hard to kill off

October 27, 2011

I was reading a post online lamenting the marginalization of the Occupy Wall Street hippie ragers by people who work for a living, and one of the replies was this:

A galvanized youth in an election year is definitely nothing to sneeze at. If we have somebody other than old people show up to vote maybe we can replace our bought Congress and/or spur some real progressive candidates to run and think they actually have a shot.

What naivety. If the bought Congress is replaced by the youth, then the replacement Congress will be a bought Congress beholden to the youth who have their own demands — demands like “free college” and such as opposed to demands like “let me opt out of social security, medicare, and medicaid and keep that tax money in my own pocket.”

The point to grasp here is that, by design, all democratic governments are bought and paid for — that is, in fact, their very purpose: to reward constituencies with goodies paid for by other people’s money, and in so doing, buy reelection. The system is set-up to benefit the wealthy and the favored classes at the expense of everyone else. People who talk about “reforming” democracy and such are clueless buffoons. Democracy has ALWAYS worked this way, from day 1 in Greece to modern day Western democracies and India. People who think it can work any other way are ignorant of human nature and how human beings respond to incentives/disincentives.

Come on, people, we’ve had the state with us in one form or another for something like what, 6000 years now? And we still haven’t gotten it “to work”, for every definition of work which doesn’t mean “benefit the rich and favored classes at the expense of everyone else.” What’s that tell you. If people kept jumping off a cliff trying to fly and only succeeded in splatting on the ground, for 6000 years, a scientist would likely come forward and explain the basics of flight to the imbeciles eyeing a leap. The problem here is that those of us who explain human nature and the inherent, systemic impossibility of good government get laughed at and called names, because government is a superstition no different than any other religion. We can’t seem to get rid of that one yet, either. Maybe it’s gonna take another 6000 years.

QED

Innocent American in Italy

October 18, 2011

No, not Amanda “O.J.” Knox. Me!

So today I went to get a haircut at my favorite barbershop and I caused a little trouble. First, my observations about getting a haircut in Italy. As I remember it, in America you could get a good haircut for $10 or less and it usually took 20 minutes or less. Here, a good haircut is 10 to 15 Euros depending where you go, but they take about 45 minutes. I could have said they “last” about 45 minutes, I suppose. The verb you use is probably dependent on how you view getting a haircut. Italians are really obsessed about their appearance, and a good haircut is very important to them. I imagine barbers here could do the same quality work they do now but in half the time, if they felt like exerting themselves, and thus see about twice as many customers per day. But they don’t. Exerting one’s self during the workday is not an Italian trait, in my opinion. Not here, anyway. But they do quality work, and I like my haircut, and I don’t mind sitting in the chair listening to the jibber-jabber and such for 45 minutes.

Today, one of the barbers turned the television on and the news show was covering the riots in Rome. I knew it was Rome, but I played the innocent American and asked, “Roma?” The barbers both replied in the affirmative, with one shaking his head. So I pressed, “Perche qua?” And thus erupted The Great Barbershop Debate of 2011. While I kept quiet, customers went at each other in loud voices about the merits of the rioters’ cause(s). I would say the pro-riot contingent was outnumbered 4-2. Two words, one big brouhaha. My work there was done.

This was the scene today both in Rome and in my barbershop. :)

This is not going to end well

October 16, 2011

Are you nervous? I am nervous. This is not going to end well. This is the mob, in its essence. These are angry economic illiterates protesting institutions and economic systems whose operations they haven’t the slightest understanding of. Their anger is real but vague. What, who are they mad at? “The banks”, “the corporations”, “the rich”. Why? For perceived injustices, many of which they can’t articulate. Mobs of this sort are loaded guns waiting to be aimed at specific targets.

To be sure, some of the rich, banks, corporations have screwed many in these mobs. The Federal Reserve and the banking cartel it represents have implemented insidious monetary policies. These policies discouraged savings by keeping interest rates artificially low, well below the real inflation rates. When interest rates don’t keep pace with inflation, real wealth kept as savings deteriorates. This incentivizes immediate consumption (spend the money, and spend it sooner while its purchasing power is higher than it will be later); it also incentivizes speculation, for instance in equities and financial markets, real estate, art, and other markets for which one might achieve a higher return on investment than the rate of inflation. Consider, too, that we’re talking about non-experts who are incentivized to speculate in these markets. Quite often these might be people who would be more than happy to leave their money in a bank if they could do so without their savings being eroded by inflation. They work, they have responsibilities and obligations and don’t have time to do the due diligence to be come an expert in the rigged games of stock and commodity markets. If they turn what spare time they do have to “reading up” or “educating” themselves, they get flooded with “buy now” and “bull market” bullshit, not to put too fine a point on it. The ratings agencies have proved that they are either incompetent or corrupt, so people who use them as a guide get fleeced at as great or greater a rate than those who throw darts at a stock board. Make no mistake, this system is by design.

Then there are the bailouts banks and other corporations received at taxpayer expense (for the most part). The banks which would have otherwise gone under paid huge bonuses nonetheless thanks to these various government interventions. Meanwhile the many people who were tricked by the misleading (intentionally) mortgage rates into purchasing a home and who have since lost their jobs when the economy began manifesting some of its rot externally are finding themselves foreclosed on. What’s good for the goose, it turns out, isn’t also good for the gander. Anyone not angry about that is dead inside. That is injustice, especially considering these people are the very same taxpayers whose money has gone into keeping the banks afloat. For the banks and “too big to fail” or otherwise politically-connected corporations, the profits are privatized and the losses are socialized (by force). For the little guy, the losses are privatized. Of course this is unfair.

But “capitalism” didn’t create the problems or bailout the players. The problem is that very few of the people in these mobs understand any of this very basic, simple, but crucial analysis of the problems. And knowing what the problems are is crucial to making sure the real villains are targeted. Unfortunately, very few of the people being targeted by this global mob uprising are the real villains. A lot of innocent people are going to be hurt, mark my words. This focused hatred for the rich by people who can’t articulate the problems bodes so very bad for the future. When the rich are the target, the goal is always, ALWAYS egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is Socialism’s public relations firm.

Most of the world have been moving toward completely centrally planned economies since the early 20th Century. This global economic collapse we’ve entered, brought on by massive global government interventionism and government collusion with banks and corporations including the aforementioned insidious monetary policies but blamed on capitalism and what many (morons) perceive as laissez-faire policies including what they perceive as “deregulation” (only in this Orwellian nightmare we’re living in could such views be given any credence), is ushering in the new dark age. Mankind is, in my opinion, on the verge of a tyranny in size and scope unlike any he’s tried before. This time it will be global. Things are looking very bleak.

This movement has the feel of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar to me. The mob is gathered. They are angry. The Brutusian appeal to the intellect and reason will certainly fail to resonate with these mobs as certainly as it did in that play. They’re just waiting for their Antony, who understands their intellectual and moral limitations, to show up and bribe them with [free college, debt forgiveness, free health care, guaranteed government job with a good wage, etc.], and then they’re going to start stringing the rich (Brutus/Cassius), guilty and innocent alike, from the lampposts. It’s coming, I fear.

QED

I’m Weary of Racial Constructs

October 4, 2011

Over on Wikipedia, there’s a tireless debate about President Obama’s race. Is he black? Is he white? Why do we have to call him “African-American”? It never ends. Because I’m an idea man, I’ve solved this problem for humanity. It’s time to move past the inauthentic human construct, the fiction we call “race”. Here’s how to do it.

Computer graphic arts programs are capable of using what’s called an “eye-dropper” to sample the color of any part of a digital image. It doesn’t return values like “African-American”, “Black”, “Caucasian”, or the like. Instead it returns a code, a precise code, which takes the form of the number sign (#) followed by a 6-digit combination of letters and numbers, as you can see here. This is an objective result, a dispassionate measurement, without bias or prejudice and with no preconceived notions or life experience to discolor the samplings.

Now, obviously, every skin traverses some array of color and some people’s skin can change hue over time. My method can accomodate that. Simply determine fixed sampling skin points, perhaps the nose, the shoulder, and the knee, or whatever scientists decide, and take readings at regular time intervals, perhaps at the midpoint of each Earth season. Results would be returned as ranges, for instance “#000000 to #010101″ for the President (I have no idea if this is correct, because I haven’t sampled his pictures yet), or in the case of Michael Jackson, we could say he was #000000 as a child but by the time of death was #FDEEF4.

Why not use the tools science has provided for us and put end an end to unproductive bickering? You’re welcome, humanity, for yet another gift from me.

#955F53 and proud!

Contraception Education as Real World “Concern Trolling”

September 26, 2011

Listen, I am not a Sex NAZI. I just want to preface this rant with that, because it’s important that you understand where I’m coming from on this. I am not against promiscuity, casual sex, threesomes, moresomes, bisexual sex, gay and lesbian sex, whatever. I do approve only of consensual sex, as defined by me, but that’s not really the issue I want to discuss. I want to discuss responsible behavior and consequences. One can have a very permissive attitude toward sex, like I do, while at the same time demanding that people act responsibly. What am I talking about?

If I am a billionaire and I want to go to the casino and drop half a million dollars per night, that’s not necessarily irresponsible — I can afford it. If you’re surviving week-to-week, paycheck-to-paycheck, and have a family to support, it is irresponsible for you to gamble any amount of money. Some people think that this is unfair. It’s not. It’s a function of your real world conditions. From a purely behavioral point of view, lying down to take a nap in your bed isn’t much different than lying down to take a nap in the middle of an I-10 onramp. Practically, they’re world’s apart in consequences.

More youngsters having unsafe sex: global study

LONDON (Reuters) – Young people across the globe are having more unprotected sex and know less about effective contraception options, a multinational survey revealed on Monday. The “Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be informed about contraception” study prepared for World Contraception Day (WCD) reports that the number of young people having unsafe sex with a new partner increased by 111 percent in France, 39 percent in the USA and 19 percent in Britain in the last three years.

“No matter where you are in the world, barriers exist which prevent teenagers from receiving trustworthy information about sex and contraception, which is probably why myths and misconceptions remain so widespread even today,” a member of the WCD task force, Denise Keller, said in a statement with the results of the study. “When young people have access to contraceptive information and services, they can make choices that affect every aspect of their lives which is why it’s so important that accurate and unbiased information is easily available for young people to obtain,” Keller said.

The survey, commissioned by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and endorsed by 11 international non-governmental organizations, questioned more than 6,000 young people from 26 countries including Chile, Poland and China, on their attitudes toward sex and contraception. The level of unplanned pregnancies among young people is a major global issue, campaigners say, and the rise in unprotected sex in several counties has sparked concern about the quality of sex education available to youngsters. In Europe, only half of respondents receive sex education from school, compared to three quarters across Latin America, Asia Pacific and the USA.

Many respondents also said that they felt too embarrassed to ask a healthcare professional for contraception. “What young people are telling us is that they are not receiving enough sex education or the wrong type of information about sex and sexuality,” spokeswoman for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Jennifer Woodside said in a statement. “The results show that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections),” she said.

More than a third of respondents in Egypt believe bathing or showering after sex will prevent pregnancy, and more than a quarter of those in Thailand and India believe that having intercourse during menstruation is an effective form of contraception. But the fact that many young people engage in unprotected sex and the prevalence of harmful myths should not come as a surprise, Woodside said.

“How can young people make decisions that are right for them and protect them from unwanted pregnancy and STIs, if we do not empower them and enable them to acquire the skills they need to make those choices?” she said.

May I ask a question? Why are people who are both ignorant and financially insecure having sex? How come these studies never address that? Let me bring it back to gambling. Dana White gambles with more money in one sitting than 95% of all human beings will make in their lifetimes. But Dana White does not have a gambling problem. See? HE CAN AFFORD IT. If he loses $500,000 tonight playing blackjack, it won’t affect his standard of living one iota. But you have no business dropping $3000 betting against LSU or Jon Jones. Why? You’re a broke loser already borrowing from your parents just to make your rent payments every month.

Why is sex treated differently? Just because you can insert tab A into slot B doesn’t mean you have any business doing so. That is NEVER addressed in these studies. These kids are never told, “You know, you could set your life back by getting pregnant or impregnating someone else. You could set your life back by contracting an STD.” No, the object of these studies is to mislead kids into thinking that contraception will remove any possible negative consequences to having sex. It distorts incentive structures by pretending the costs are lower than they are. If you’re 25 and financially independent with a good job and are capable of supporting a bucket of paternity claims if your contraceptive practices turn out to have failed, that’s fine. If you’re a 15-year-old “C” student in high school with lower-middle-class parents, you ought not be taking that risk.

But these studies never address that. Quite the contrary, they WANT you taking that risk. They want you lulled into thinking you can slap a condom on yourself or take a pill, and then you can have sex without the possibility of negative consequences. Here are the contraception failure rates:

Even if you do everything right with standard contraception, there's still a significant chance of pregnancy.



So if you’re a guy in high school, and 100 girls at that high school are sexually active and every single time they’re sexually active, the guy they’re having sex with is engaging in “perfect use” with a condom as defined in that graph, 2 of those girls will still get pregnant. Do these studies explain that to kids? No, of course not. Given what I just said, should a teenager in high school be having sex at all? No. Obviously not. Hell no.

What about people who believe showering after sex prevents pregnancy? What might we guess about such people? Probably poor, uneducated — maybe to the point of illiteracy, probably not in a position where having kids would be responsible. But the people conducting these studies never tell the people I just mentioned, “Hey, here is how contraception works; by the way, you have no business having sex and risking pregnancy in the first place.” No, they use the guise of wanting to prevent unwanted pregnancy as the cover for making sure these people get pregnant. On the internet, this is what we’d call “concern trolling“.

So what’s going on here? Like so many other issues, there is an agenda at play. Believe it or not, there are those who have a vested interest in having people who cannot afford to get pregnant/impregnate others do so anyway. Can you think of a better way to expand dependency and entitlement classes? No, you can’t.

Peter Schiff vs the Morons

September 14, 2011

This is basic stuff. Basic. But this is why America is doomed. Look at the resistance Peter is met with when he explains basic economics to these clowns.

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