Saturday, November 22, 2008

China Presents Challenge to Liberal Ideologues


In the Barack Obama-John McCain race, human rights figured early when Tibetan unrest flared and Obama called on Bush to boycott the Beijing Olympics. But the issue soon faded from his talking points, and when relations with China briefly resurfaced, the context was purely economic.

During the campaign, Obama described China as "neither our enemy nor our friend; they're competitors." He called for broad cooperation with Beijing while repeating the accusation that the trade surplus was stoked by a Chinese currency kept artificially cheap.

{ snip }

In an interview with The Associated Press, Wei rejected the idea of China as the West's economic lifeline, saying China would have a hard time saving its own economy and anyway wouldn't mind seeing the West failing.

"This expectation of China to save the West is only a dream," he said. "But why is this dream fanned up so much? Because the big businesses in the West are pumping up this idea; they do not want to see Western governments take severe measures against the Chinese government."

AP


Let the waffling begin!

Don't Be A Dick

I was thinking about this on one forum I frequent. So many smart people, so much bickering. Why do they bicker? To show us all how clever they are, because they have low self-esteem because they live in a falling-apart society.

Our first impulse is to say:

Rule #1: Don't be a dick.

My problem with rules, however, is that they replace goals. Imagine this:

Goal: discuss the given subject matter in a way that makes it better.

This means: always aim toward being better than the last generation, which for discussion means knowing more, learning more, spreading good information.

By definition, bickering is excluded, because it's non-productive.

Sure beats having a rule where the bickerers will then say, "But I'm not bickering!" and attack using passive-aggressive means. "No, the other guy is the one bickering! I'm just telling the truth, for hope and change!"

List of Memes for a New Republican Party

While I have political opinions, I find it hard to support a party. I support ideals. Parties are incarnations that don't always live up to those ideals, and are pulled by real world needs, mainly finding lobbyists and oligarchs to pay for billion-dollar campaigns.

I am fascinated by the Republicans, however, and how they're going to have to invent themselves. We won't know if they were right, in the Bush years, for another few decades. We know the population seems to dislike them, but that's more a game of memology and public relations than any direct correspondence to effectiveness.

Democrats have a better grasp of presenting themselves. They create hugely expensive social programs, buy off the electorate, stimulate reckless business and hobble big business, and then leave those consequences for ten years later. That's smart. It also guarantees happy voters.

Republicans try to take problems head-on, bite off more than they can chew, and as a result, never stay in power long enough to make good on their programs, which are dismantled the next election.

They need new memes and a new way of presenting themselves. Here are some ideas:


  • Family-oriented: Protect the abilities of families to raise normal, non-politicized kids in a safe and happy atmosphere.

  • God helps those who help themselves: Everyone knows this cliche, but societies are healthier when less effort is spent on the hopeless and more on rewarding those who rise above and do well.

  • History is our guide: Historians don't pay attention to current politics. If they do, they get depressed. Look at how civilization designs in the past have affected outcome, and plan for reality.

  • The scientific party: Don't get caught up in the meaningless debates on stem cells and abortion. Instead, focus on developing science and de-politicizing it, so we can get accurate truths.

  • Skeptical: We should be cynical about human beings. Most of them, as we can see in abundance, are thoughtless and destructive. Let's reward the better ones and make more of them.

  • Make hard choices: "I wanna do what I wanna do" is the sign of a decline. We need to come together and make things work.

  • Leadership, not control: Our goal should be to set out a reasonable plan and reward those who follow it, and shift those who don't to anarchy zones. Let's not spend our time busting drug dealers/users, psycho neo-Nazis and anarchist kids. Send them to Florida, make it an anarchy zone and let the rest of us get on with life.

  • Conservation: Conservatives should conserve. This means more natural land set aside, more cultures preserved, more attention to history and philosophy.



These would be somewhat of a shock to current Republicans, but if they think about them a moment, they're the ballsy things conservatives have traditionally stood for -- something interrupted recently by trying to compete with the Left in populist appeal. Populism too easily becomes demagoguery. Fight back with hard reality, and emphasize the positive aspects for those who are heading somewhere in life.

Obama's New AG Wants More Marijuana Penalties


U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. said in an interview that he is considering not only prosecuting more marijuana cases but also asking the D.C. Council to enact stiffer penalties for the sale and use of marijuana.

"We have too long taken the view that what we would term to be minor crimes are not important," Holder said, referring to current attitudes toward marijuana use and other offenses such as panhandling.

Now, people arrested in the District and charged with distributing marijuana, even large quantities, face only misdemeanor charges, a standard that has sparked repeated complaints by police officers.

WP


My idea remains consistent:

Set up a frontier zone with no laws where people can take drugs, and let the rest of us escape the continuing disaster that drugs and anti-drug enforcement equally create.

Psychology of Normal People Versus Modern Liberals

We are all somewhat liberal. We believe in justice, fairness, etc. What sane people aren't is what the modern liberal is: someone who believes in equality at all costs and fundamentally is motivated by revenge at a society that, while failing, is not fixed by destroying its parts -- rather, that helps those who take advantage of it.

Modern liberalism is a mental error like any other kind of illusion, including drug abuse and obesity.


In an interview with Michael Azerrad in the unofficial biography Come as You Are, Cobain admitted there was one thing he did like about Guns N' Roses: "They totally mess things up and then they sit back and look at what they messed up and then try to figure out how they can fix it, whereas we mess things up and just dwell on it and make it even worse."

Wikipedia


Some people look at the problem, and try to fix it.

Others withdraw into themselves, and soon have nothing to offer but revenge and destruction.

Anarchism is a Mental Disease

Sane people think from cause to effect. "I want to achieve x, so I do y." For every effect, there is one cause, because the effect has happened and so we can trace it back; for every cause, there are infinite possible effects, but if we've seen the action before we can tell there's going to be one "generalized" effect.

Think of baseball: if you hit the ball, you know it's going to go into the field, but you might not know where because of the many details that change from pitch to pitch.

Insane people think from effect to cause. They see an effect on themselves, and assign to it a cause that makes them feel comfortable, and then act on that -- and repeat the process, again and again, even if it never succeeds, because now they need that logic to feel good about themselves.

Anarchists are such people. They are in denial of the obvious: that if we were given anarchy tomorrow, within six months we'd live in a corporate fascist super-state because the disorder would be too much. "Do whatever you want" is not the unifying principle of a civilization; it may be good advice at a party, but it won't get the crops grown, the cities built, etc. etc. And anarchy would immediately hand power to the most brutal and most destructive, since we can already observe that most people are reckless and irresponsible.

So we already know they're nuts. They're nuts on par with the people at Stormfront, who believe that if all white people just killed all black people, everything would be peachy. That's what neo-Nazism is: it's simpler than original Nazism, and the "neo" means new or misinterpreted into a more convenient package. Instead of worrying about international politics, its message is simpler: the Other is inferior, kill the Other, the Other took from you and controls you, kill the Other. This is just as unrealistic as the anarchists, because then you end up with a society on top of a pile of dead bodies that still has its same basic problems, and will probably import more Others to cheaply remove the corpses, and then repeat the cycle.

I replied to a rather paranoid and ill-informed message on an anarchist blog:


November 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Um… you are completely misinformed here.

CORRUPT uses the same free-speech anonymous hosting provider as other sites, but we are not linked to them.

You should have done more thorough research. Did it ever occur to you: why are all these random sites on the same host?

Answer: all of us like bulletproof colo-based anonymous hosting.

You do no service to yourself by fulfilling the stereotype of anarchists as people angry and looking for an excuse to wreck things, but unwilling to walk on down to a library and do some real research.


So far, their reply has been classic passive-aggression:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Don't delete the comment -- that would be censorship. Do nothing. If the other guy forgets about it, you win. If he attacks you, you were Busy. But you did nothing wrong and you still get to call him a jerk, for free. (This sort of logic appeals to people who are clever but not intelligent.)

These people are so used to thinking backward they can't think at all. Even more, since their ideology is paranoid, they are looking for an excuse to treat all others who do not agree with them as enemies. They are angry, impotent and want revenge. They want an excuse to kick ass because their lives are frustrating and their ideology is confused, paranoid, neurotic garbage.

Here's their "evidence":

1. Corrupt.org is hosted on a free speech, anonymous, bulletproof ISP.
2. This ISP also hosts other people who want anonymity and free speech hosting -- pornographers, Nazis, even anarchists.
3. Corrupt.org opposes anarchy and modern society.
4. Therefore, Corrupt.org are Nazis, fascists, totalitarians, al-Qaeda, enemy-of-the-month, etc.

There's another thread in which they accuse me of calling names and not arguing, while they call me names and don't argue the point. Hey, if you corrupt the definitions of what is true, you can say anyone who says it's not true is calling names, right?

One of them had a tantrum on Slashdot:


Slashdot readers may have noticed a large volume of submissions coming from Anti Globalism [slashdot.org] and burnitdown [slashdot.org], many of which are being accepted onto the front page. Taken on their own, many of the articles are indeed interesting.

However, these accounts always link to corrupt.org [corrupt.org] in their submissions, a site that advertises the goal of "remaking modern society". The content is mostly boilerplate 'society is failing' rhetoric, with an emphasis on how we are out of touch with reality and hung up on "emotional abstractions" that are holding us back.

So what is this reality our society has denied? Corrupt.org is somewhat evasive on the specifics. Talking points include the impending danger of overpopulation, derision and scapegoating of people seen as inferior (who are called "parasites", "schemers" and "leeches", among other things), and why democracy doesn't work and needs to be replaced with "strong leaders".

As for the "emotional abstractions" they would like for us to dispense with, those seem pesky things like valuing human life. Corrupt betrays their intentions in their mission statement [corrupt.org]:

"Where in the past we spent huge amounts of money to try to "rehabilitate" many, with a high rate of failure, in the future we should not shy away from removing them."

And no, they're not referring to prisoners guilty of capital offenses there - they're talking about dealing with the 'undesirables'. This kind of rhetoric is intended to prepare their audience to accept the idea of killing on a large scale as a solution to society's problems. They also preach thinly veiled racial separatism on the same page [corrupt.org]:

"Ethnic self-determination
Each local culture is tied to a group by heritage, and no two groups can exist in the same place. For this reason, local cultures can decide who or who not to accept on any basis they desire, including heritage and culture."


So that's their proof? Translation: we don't accept anarchist dogma, and we prefer to read history and make logical decisions. That makes us an enemy of the state... I mean, of the anti-state.

Here's the original complaint:


In the past few months, a considerable effort has been put into building up a fake "anarchist" website, anarchy DOT net, and making it appear legitimate. A mere shell just a few months ago, this site suddenly includes a blog, a forum with nearly 500 (fake and apparently real) users, a Wikipedia page, a "library", and even an online store selling shirts advertising the site.

Though the site sports a "copyright" (one of many give-aways!) dating back to 1997, the domain was just a gateway to porn sites as recently as 2005. It is currently registered to "Throne Networks", someone with a Virginia PO box who also hosts these other lovely sites:

fuckcapitalism DOT com ("Anti-Capitalism")
ihatejobs DOT com ("I Hate Jobs")
infoterror DOT com ("Infoterror Internet Activist Promotions, Inc.")
antihumanism DOT com ("Anti-Humanism")
nihil DOT org ("Center for Nihilist and Nihilism Studies")
amerika DOT org ("Al-Qaeda Appreciation Society of North America")
corrupt DOT org ("Remaking Modern Society")
nazi DOT org ("Libertarian National Socialist Green Party")
churcharson DOT com ("CHURCH ARSON")
realitynews DOT com ("A look into the real world")
juliusevola DOT com ("Julius Evola: Traditionalist Visionary")
necrocapitalist DOT org ("Necrocapitalist")
pan-nationalism DOT org ("Pan-Nationalist Movement")
penttilinkola DOT com ("Pentti Linkola Fansite")
hessian DOT org ("The Hessian Studies Society")
anus DOT com ("American Nihilist Underground Society")
lostwisdom DOT com ("Lost Wisdom")
zionists DOT com ("Kahanist National Zionist Party")
continuity DOT us ("Continuity MOvement")
genocide DOT org ("genocide, holocaust, and democide studies")
fuckchrist DOT com ("Support the Judeo-Christian Holocaust")
burzum DOT com ("The Music of Burzum and the Writings of Varg Vikernes")
sataniccoalition DOT com ("The Satanic Coalition")
pragmatism DOT us ("Pragmatism Party - Traditional National Democratic Party")

Most of these sites link to several of the others, and up until very recently, even the new "anarchist" version of anarchy.net linked to at least the first six of them. The links were taken down when commenters on the site's blog, and posters on its forums, began objecting to their content. But it is clear that the same organization is behind all of them.

Taken together, these sites appear to be a broad net cast at young people in the process of rejecting inherited, official values. Whether they are a front for "third positionist" fascists, a government operation, part of a spam enterprise, or the product of a bored obsessive, what is abundantly clear is that "anarchy DOT net" is not operating in the interests of the anarchist movement, nor indeed of the majority of the world's people.

If the links with "nazi DOT org" weren't enough, digging a little on the site itself uncovers an explicitly racist position:

http://www.anarchy DOT net/anarchy/anarchy_library/racism/
Quote:

No one seems to care how contradictory it is for the powers that be that push the ideas simultaneously that
a) all races are inherently equal
b) there is no such thing as "race"
c) some races need special assistance.

It is obvious that there are noteworthy biological differences with different human populations. However, this shouldn't be either a free ticket to discriminate with great prejudice nor to think that racial gaps should be diminished by interbreeding, because both forms of thinking are very far from what is stable and close to reality.

The same text was pasted as a comment on a third-positionist fascist blog
(http://anarchonation DOT blogspot.com/2007/10/jena-racists.html)
in October, by someone calling himself "Postglobalism" and linking to anarchy.net, with the added line "Every nation needs its own culture, rules and space to live."

The Internet is notoriously full of exactly this kind of bullshit. What makes "anarchy.net" a problem is that it is now pretending to be the "International Anarchists Alliance", an emerging coalition of actual anarchist groups:


What a tantrum! Someone dares condemn prejudice, but not endorse the same multiethnic "multicultural" state that the leaders of the most powerful states and corporations endorse. If we used anarchist logic, we'd call them a false flag operation designed to make us buy into the corporate dogma: "Import cheap workers. Destroy culture. That is freedom. Only corporate anarchy leads to freedom. Crush all dissenters."

On yet another forum, anarchists reply to a CORRUPT post with their most succinct argument of all: This is stupid. You're stupid.



I used to think anarchists had a point, because I think there's too much reckless CONTROL in this society. Then I learned why CONTROL exists... because most people are irresponsible, foolish, wasteful and destructive if not kept in check. I prefer leadership and cooperation to CONTROL, but with the type of people we have floating around out there -- including these loudmouth anarchists and Nazis -- I don't think there's any alternative.

From reading history, I know that tyranny -- by which I mean not only totalitarianism, a method, but corrupt rule for self-enrichment, a goal -- arrives unannounced. It doesn't show up at the gate, knock and scream SIEG HEIL, then throw manacles on you. Like cancers, it's deadly because it does not announce itself, but shows up in the guise of something innocent, and suddenly, has control.

This is as Plato wrote:


And then democracy comes into being after the poor have
conquered their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing some,
while to the remainder they give an equal share of freedom and
power; and this is the form of government in which the magistrates
are commonly elected by lot.

Yes, he said, that is the nature of democracy, whether the
revolution has been effected by arms, or whether fear has caused
the opposite party to withdraw.

{ snip }

And when they have emptied and swept clean the soul of him who
is now in their power and who is being initiated by them in great
mysteries, the next thing is to bring back to their house insolence
and anarchy and waste and impudence in bright array, having
garlands on their heads, and a great company with them, hymning
their praises and calling them by sweet names; insolence they term
“breeding,” and anarchy “liberty,” and waste “magnificence,” and
impudence ” courage.” And so the young man passes out of his
original nature, which was trained in the school of necessity, into
the freedom and libertinism of useless and unnecessary
pleasures.

{ snip }

Freedom, I replied; which, as they tell you in a democracy, is
the glory of the State—and that therefore in a democracy
alone will the freeman of nature deign to dwell.

Yes; the saying is in everybody’s mouth.

I was going to observe, that the insatiable desire of this and
the neglect of other things introduce the change in democracy,
which occasions a demand for tyranny.

{ snip }

And above all, I said, and as the result of all, see how
sensitive the citizens become; they chafe impatiently at the least
touch of authority, and at length, as you know, they cease to care
even for the laws, written or unwritten; they will have no one over
them.

Yes, he said, I know it too well.

Such, my friend, I said, is the fair and glorious beginning out
of which springs tyranny.

Glorious indeed, he said. But what is the next step?

The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same disease
magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters
democracy—the truth being that the excessive increase of
anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and
this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and
animal life, but above all in forms of government.

{ snip }

The people have always some champion whom they set over them and
nurse into greatness.

Yes, that is their way. This, and no other, is the root from which
a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a
protector.

{ snip }

And the protector of the people is like him; having a mob
entirely at his disposal, he is not restrained from shedding the
blood of kinsmen; by the favorite method of false accusation he
brings them into court and murders them, making the life of man to
disappear, and with unholy tongue and lips tasting the blood of his
fellow-citizens; some he kills and others he banishes, at the same
time hinting at the abolition of debts and partition of lands: and
after this, what will be his destiny? Must he not either perish at
the hands of his enemies, or from being a man become a
wolf—that is, a tyrant?

The Republic by Plato


Plato is a real hero and a real activist. He predicted how Greece would fall centuries before it happened; in his works, his protagonist Socrates told them about it, and they killed him, for the crime of "leading the youth astray." He opted not to escape his death, but instead wanted it to be plain to everyone: good intentions and "freedom" can kill, and when they do, they kill the best at the hands of a mob.

We see this time and time again. The joke on anarchists is that they are helping, rather than hindering, our transition into a corporate superstate. We've had over a century of extremist anarchist activity in the West, and it has accomplished... * crickets chirp *... so clearly it's not going to take over before the tyranny begins. Rather, it will help destabilize society and bring about that tyranny.

CORRUPT.org on the other hand offers time-tested ideas and common sense solutions, which mean we first back off from the corporate state idea of equality, second divide our big nations into localized cultures, and third use those cultures to hold back against commercial monoculture and to justify environmental preservation, conservation and basically reversing the previous 400 years of exploitation of humanity and nature for abstract political goals that hide personal profit by those who are telling us pleasant truths and delivering to us an ugly reality.

That's a philosophy for people who are thinking like sane people, and moving forward to fix the problem. Anarchism is a fashion, an adornment, not intended to fix any problems but in the meantime, hey, we have something to do, we can sell tshirts, we look cool to our friends, we can use this to explain our disillusioned underachiever behavior and shattered lives, we can tell our parents to screw off, etc. It's not a political belief for people who actually want to fix the problem, and that's why they hate us.

Commerce Controls Your Nanny State


"Mailman Steve" -- a pudgy, kindly 58-year-old who toiled along a route in a rapidly growing neighborhood here -- was given probation in federal court this week for squirreling away at least seven years' worth of undelivered junk mail, which he had stacked in his garage and buried in his yard.

{ snip }

It should come as no surprise that the U.S. Postal Service did not receive a single complaint from Padgett's customers about missing mail during the years he withheld pizza circulars, oil change discount notices and Chinese menus.

{ snip }

Readers who followed Padgett's travails in the pages of the Raleigh News & Observer responded on behalf of a grateful citizenry. They thanked him for delivering his customers from unwanted mail.

{ snip }

Padgett's efforts to spare the neighbors their junk mail were not much appreciated by the Direct Marketing Assn. The 3,400-member group considers such mail a boon for consumers seeking discounts and services and for small businesses seeking to target customers.

{ snip }

The Postal Service also did not look kindly on Padgett's failure to deliver the "standard mail," which accounts for half the volume of U.S. mail and a third of the service's revenue. "We don't consider it junk mail," spokesman David Partenheimer said -- just as newspapers don't consider the ads that flutter out of the daily paper to be junk, he added.

LA Times


When everything is for sale, everything becomes corrupt.

The Modern World Cut Your Balls Off

So we have these really expensive ships and we don't defend them because, OMFG, someone might get hurt -or- we might get called fascist, imperialist, racist, etc. for killing third-worlders who just want a solid meal, man:


The supertanker, which is roughly 330 metres long and three times the mass of a U.S. aircraft carrier, is carrying $100 million US worth of oil. The ship — itself worth about $100 million — has a crew of 25 people from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Poland and Britain.

The pirates have asked for $25 million in ransom, according to unconfirmed reports.


We know exactly where they are:


Cmdr. Jane Campbell, with the U.S. Navy's 5th fleet in Bahrain, said hijacked ships are docked in four or five ports along Somalia's coastline. Roughly 330 merchant mariners from 25 different countries are being held hostage, she said.


Our official international cooperation political backscratching agency, the UN, is useless:


The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday to impose sanctions on anyone engaging in or contributing to violence in the country.

Sanctions against an accused party would include the freezing of assets and a travel ban.


That'll stop them. They just took in $25million in cash. I'm sure they care.

We're continuing to look at the situation like corporate lawyers:


That, along with an increased military presence in the Gulf of Aden, resulted in October's success rate dropping to 31 per cent, she said.


So they still carry off one of every three ships they approach. And live like kings in an anarchic state of anarchy.

Conclusions:

1. When you get air conditioning, supermarkets, life insurance and cable TV, they have cut your balls off. Old school leaders would have invaded these ports, dragged pirates out to the town squares and hung them with their testicles in their mouths.

2. Anarchy is for retards. It doesn't work. It sounds good when you're a disillusioned underachiever, and when life just doesn't seem to work for you, because it's a big SCREW YOU to authority and everyone who has a clue, because you don't. Anarchists are just emo kids who get angry between crying spells.

3. People in the industrialized West are more concerned about what other people might say about them than getting anything done. This will not end well.

To Save Earth, Stop Growth


First of all, received wisdom -- prejudices really -- so loaded that they orient collective action without anyone really thinking about them. The most powerful of these preconceived ideas is the belief in growth as the sole means of resolving social problems. That position is powerfully defended even as it is contradicted by the facts. And it is always defended by putting ecology aside because the zealots know that growth is incapable of responding to the environmental issue.

The second of these ideas, less cocky although very broadly disseminated, proclaims that technological progress will resolve environmental problems. This idea is propagated because it allows people to hope we will be able to avoid any serious changes in our collective behaviors thanks to technological progress. The development of technology, or rather of certain technical channels to the detriment of others, reinforces the system and fosters solid profits.

Alternet


Alternet has two audiences: (1) disillusioned underachievers in their slacker apartments with their bitterness at life, unlike their baby boomer second grade teachers, not giving a crap how unique and special they are. (2) Wealthy people who enjoy self-flagellation so that they then have a cause in life, which is to be unique and special by "not just not noticing, doing something," which inevitably coincides with buying products, socializing with other wealthy pompous people and drinking free trade lattes.

The rest of the article is babble, but the two points above are good.

Friday, November 21, 2008

US Power Fading by 2025?


Analysts gazing into what amounts to an intelligence-based crystal ball see a future world marked by dwindling resources, more people and diminished power for the United States, as CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports.

The grim assessment, entitled "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World", comes from the National Intelligence Council, an independent government body. The report concludes that by 2025, "The U.S. will remain the single most important actor but will be less dominant."

There'll be challenges on all fronts. Climate changes from global warming will lead to shortages of food and water in dozens of countries. That, coupled with a projected population spike of 1.2 billion people worldwide could lead to wars over increasingly scarce resources.

CBS


There are other factors: aging baby boomers, changing demographics, weakened economy, massive debt and greater internal chaos.

You Can't Have Anything to Defend Yourselves Against Us


President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is asking potential appointees detailed questions about gun ownership, and firearms advocates aren’t happy about it.

{ snip }

Tucked in at the end of the questionnaire and listed under “Miscellaneous,” it reads: “Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”

Paul Light, professor of public service at New York University, said there was no such question for potential appointees when President George W. Bush took office in 2000.

Politico


Why people want guns in a democracy:

We don't trust democracy.

That's why Obama hates them, and we want them.

Hate Creates Logic, Love Suspends It

Think about it: love is a state when you overlook problems, but hate is a state where you exploit them.

Can the two exist without one another? If you love something, and something threatens what you love, you'd better hate it.


The study thus shows that there is a unique pattern of activity in the brain in the context of hate. {snip}

Hatred does not activate the amygdala which is activated by fear.

It is important to note that the pattern revealed is distinct from that of other, closely related, emotions such as fear, anger, aggression and danger, even though it shares common areas with these other sentiments. {snip} It would thus seem that, though these sentiments may constitute part of the behaviour that results from hatred, the neural pathways for hate are distinct.

Parts of the brain involved in motor function get activated—perhaps so one can move in and attack the object of one’s hate?

While love shuts down areas of the brain associated with judgment and reasoning by contrast those consumed with hate have very active reasoning facilities. It takes logic to figure out how to attack your enemy. So that makes sense. Only those in love thing they can afford to let their guard down, become zombies, and feel bliss around the object of their affection.

“A marked difference in the cortical pattern produced by these two sentiments of love {snip} But whereas in romantic love, the lover is often less critical and judgmental regarding the loved person, it is more likely that in the context of hate the hater may want to exercise judgment in calculating moves to harm, injure or otherwise extract revenge.

In countries where suspected criminals have no right to privacy or right to keep silent brain scans could be used to determine whether a suspected killer hated his victim and by how much.

“Interestingly, the activity in some of these structures in response to viewing a hated face is proportional in strength to the declared intensity of hate, thus allowing the subjective state of hate to be objectively quantified. This finding may have legal implications in criminal cases, for example.”

One could imagine a police state in which opponents of the regime get tested with brain scans and pictures of dictators to identify enemies of the state. With more time it will become possible for governments to turn hatred into love. Then all enemies of the state will get turned into supporters of it. Of course, individuals will try to do this on a smaller scale as well.

AR


Within 20 years, governments will use neural conditioning of forms even less fantastic than this. It's cheaper than jail or therapy.

The Consequences of Illusion


Responding to a call in North Miami, Marks found two dogs at a home abandoned by foreclosure. With their leashes and water bowls still in the backyard, the dogs lingered. They didn't know and couldn't understand why it wasn't their home anymore.

A spokesman for the Humane Society of Douglas County in Georgia said the abandonment rate is tenfold what it was two years ago, before waves of foreclosures started hitting neighborhoods around the county. With more animals coming in and fewer people with the resources to pay for a pet, nearly all shelters there are overrun.

CNN


Way to dodge the truth, mainstream media.

The truth is that these people over-extended themselves using debt spending, and then when things got tough, whoah, there's no money, quick ditch the dogs and the house!

No wonder our ancestors considered usury a sin -- it leaves a trail of misery behind.

How Listening to the Crowd Leads to a Nanny State And Anarchy

The rising tide of liberalism is what destroys every civilization.

This is because liberals see only the individual, not the world at large, and so demand unreasonable things.

In addition, their addiction to the individual makes them have low self-esteem and often make disastrous decisions, further increasing depression.

Just like illusion kills us as individuals, illusion kills nations. Liberalism is that illusion.


To hear the media tell it, arrogant corporate chiefs failed to foresee the demand for small, fuel-efficient cars and made gas-guzzling road-hog SUVs no one wanted, while the clever, far-sighted Japanese, Germans and Koreans prepared and built for the future.

I dissent. What killed Detroit was Washington, the government of the United States, politicians, journalists and muckrakers who have long harbored a deep animus against the manufacturing class that ran the smokestack industries that won World War II.

{ snip }

Japan, China and South Korea do not believe in free trade as we understand it. To us, they are our "trading partners." To them, the relationship is not like that of Evans & Novak or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It is not even like the Redskins and Cowboys. For the Cowboys only want to defeat the Redskins. They do not want to put their franchise out of business and end the competition -- as the Japanese did to our TV industry by dumping Sonys here until they killed it.

{ snip }

In the 1950s, we made all our own toys, clothes, shoes, bikes, furniture, motorcycles, cars, cameras, telephones, TVs, etc. You name it. We made it.

Are we better off now that these things are made by foreigners? Are we better off now that we have ceased to be self-sufficient? Are we better off now that the real wages of our workers and median income of our families no longer grow as they once did? Are we better off now that manufacturing, for the first time in U.S. history, employs fewer workers than government?

{ snip }

Our politicians and pundits may not understand what is going on. Historians will have no problem explaining the decline and fall of the Americans.

TownHall


I never thought I'd agree with Pat Buchanan -- I grew up a good liberal in a good liberal household, where he was considered a cross between Satan and Hitler -- but he's dead on here.

America is in decline. We sit around buying and selling things at our desk jobs, and make nothing of value, then become politically obsessed with dividing up the spoils equally -- instead of making more wealth, which benefits everyone.

People feel self-important for helping pitied groups and individuals, but they're doing it to make themselves seem better to others. They are oblivious to the consequences, which are a long slow decline into third-world status.

We can reverse this but it requires calling liberals out on their game: uniting the disillusioned underachievers against those who can produce, in an effort to share in the value of that production without having achieved it. As Nietzsche says, a reversal of natural selection that leaves a society awash in idiots and parasites.

We can see what liberal civility is -- nonexistent:


The 25-year artistic director of the California Musical Theatre, who also happens to be a Mormon, was muscled to resign because of his $1,000 donation to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California.

A pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back marched into the middle of a church service and flung fliers and condoms to the congregants. They also hung a banner from the balcony that featured two lesbians in provocative positions at the pulpit.

And lastly, the tolerance-preaching activists also have taken their anger to the blogosphere, where posts have planted ideas ranging from burning churches to storming the citadels of government until our society is forced to overturn Prop. 8. You even can find donor blacklists online. The lists include everyone who financially backed Prop. 8 -- even those who gave as little as $46 -- with the obvious objective that these individuals will be bantered and boycotted for doing so.

{ snip }

What's surprising (or maybe not so) is that even though 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor of Proposition 8, protests against black churches are virtually nonexistent. And everyone knows exactly why: Such actions would be viewed as racist. Yet these opponents of Prop. 8 can protest vehemently and shout obscenities in front of Mormon temples without ever being accused of religious bigotry. There's a clear double standard in our society. Where are the hate-crime cops when religious conservatives need them?

There were many of us who passionately opposed Obama, but you don't see us protesting in the streets or crying "unfair." Rather, we are submitting to a democratic process and now asking how we can support "our" president. Just because we don't like the election outcome doesn't give us the right to bully those who oppose us. In other words, if democracy doesn't tip our direction, we don't swing to anarchy.

{ snip }

Regardless of one's opinion of Proposition 8, it is flat-out wrong and un-American to intimidate and harass individuals, churches and businesses that are guilty of nothing more than participating in the democratic process. Political protests are one thing, but when old-fashioned bullying techniques are used that restrict voting liberties and even prompt fear of safety, activists have crossed a line. There is a difference between respectfully advocating one's civil rights and demanding public endorsement of what many still consider to be unnatural sexual behavior through cruel coercion and repression tactics.

TownHall


I never thought I'd agree with Chuck Norris, either, but those are his words.

His point is clear: those who use moral self-righteousness to deny reality soon join an increasing cycle of denial of reality, to the point where they become fanatics.

Norris should read some Plato, especially the point where he shows how democracy leads to pluralism which leads to an inability to agree on anything, which creates the kind of infighting that tyrants need to take over.

The Future of Agriculture is the Past

Science, because it's based on telling people what they want to hear instead of giving them an accurate picture of reality, finds itself in the backside of a loop again:


The main conservation method for agricultural irrigation actually wastes water in many cases, a new analysis finds. As a result, government subsidies for this method, called drip irrigation, are not achieving their stated goal, the study concludes. The work is an "important addition to previous conceptual work" and something that may help influence policymakers, says natural resources economist Ray Huffaker of the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Agriculture is the world's largest consumer of water. In an effort to conserve, many farmers now use drip irrigation, which trickles water to crops, rather than flooding their fields. The method has boosted crop yields and farm income--"more crop per drop," as advocates say--and it has won the support of conservationists. But it does have a known drawback: It's considerably more expensive than flooding--because it requires more extensive irrigation equipment--so federal and state governments have promoted the technique by paying subsidies to farmers.

There are other disadvantages. "Most of us interested in water conservation assumed that drip irrigation was a big-time water conserver," says water resources economist Frank Ward of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. But over the past few years, "several water managers and engineers have tipped us off" to problems with the method, he says. For one thing, it turns out that drip irrigation requires more water per plant, because plants irrigated in this way grow faster and produce bigger yields; therefore, they consume more. At the same time, drip irrigation means less water available downstream and in local aquifers, because there's more evaporation and much less runoff.

SciMag


You mean that, after years of doing it the right way, we switched to a method that "looked like" it would be better, and only now are discovering it?

Even more, that the real elephant in the room is our reckless growth, because no matter how much better our watering gets, we'll still be growing?

Oy.


Because hydroponic farming requires less water and less land than traditional field farming, Fujimoto and researchers-turned-growers in other U.S. cities see it as ideal to bring agriculture to apartment buildings, rooftops and vacant lots.

"The goal here is to look at growing food crops in small spaces," he said.

{ snip }

Supporters point to the environmental cost of trucking produce from farms to cities, the loss of wilderness for farmland to feed a growing world population, and the risk of bacteria along extensive, insecure food chains as reasons for establishing urban hydroponic farms.

CNN


Nilla, please. The elephant in the room here is that cities are not an efficient way to live -- a network of small towns is, not in the least because it dissipates rather than concentrates waste.

Further, hydroponics requires less water, etc? I haven't seen this in operation, and I'm not unfamiliar with hydroponics. It requires more land because it happens indoors, and you either electrically light your crop, or can use at most one floor at a time to do it. It requires a ton of water, special chemicals and fertilizers that don't just magically appear at the store -- they require land to produce, etc. etc.

What the Crowd wants to hear is "just keep doing what you're doing, we've got a new magic pill" but that's unrealistic. Then again, the Crowd is biased against the realistic -- It's Not Fair, Waaaah -- so it's no surprise they oppose it.

More Proof for "Broken Window" Theory


Graffiti on the walls, trash in the street, bicycles chained to a fence, all resulted in a decline in how people behaved in a series of experiments.

A bit of litter or graffiti didn't lead to predatory crime, but actions ranging from littering to trespassing and minor stealing all increased when people saw evidence of others ignoring the rules of good behavior, Dutch researchers report in Thursday's online edition of the journal Science.

In normal behavior most people try to act appropriately to the circumstances, explained lead author Kees Keizer of the faculty of behavioral and social sciences at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. But some tend to avoid effort or seek ways to gain for themselves.

Things like littering an area or applying graffiti change the circumstances by indicating that others are not behaving correctly, which weakens the incentive for people to do the right thing.

AP


I first encountered this idea in a book called The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, in which this theory -- called "The Broken Window theory" -- is discussed in depth.

It makes sense. People adapt to their surroundings. When they start seeing disorder, neglect, anarchy, chaos, lack of consensus, failure, decay and dysfunction, they fit right in -- and take advantage of the lack of order to advance their own agendas at the expense of others.

NATO not renewing contact with Russia


NATO is unlikely to follow the European Union in quickly re-establishing contacts with Russia that were suspended after the war in Georgia, senior U.S. officials said Friday.

{ snip }

But U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried told reporters in Brussels that "it is difficult for us to go back to business as usual."

{ snip }

NATO members must make decisions unanimously, so without U.S. support the proposal would be rejected.

AP


No surprise. NATO -- or rather, the USA's analysts -- now recognize that Russia will not be happy until it dominates Europe.

1917, revisited -- the situation has not changed at all.

Nanny State Recognizes 13375934K


CAR registration numbers that may be snapped up by terrorist sympathisers have been BANNED.

O54MA (Osama), HO57AGE (hostage), BU58OMB (bus bomb), MA56ACA (massacre), and HE58OLA (Hezbollah) will not be issued by the DVLA. Anything including JEHAD or HAMAS is also out.

Other plates on a black list drawn up by a secret panel are thought provocative on religious grounds or likely to spark racial hatred.

They include MO56LEM (Moslem), anything with the letters KORAN or JESUS, GA55OVN (gas oven) and GOO5TEP (goosestep).

The Sun


Good thing the media recognizes how much fun it is to speak leet.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Europe Goes Pan-Nationalist: United But Distinct Ethnicities

As usual, Europe leads the way for a mostly numb and stupid humanity:


Modern political borders are rarely clean when it comes to dividing ethnic groups. Brittany, the west of France, is not ethnically French. People there are Celtic, related to the Welsh and the Irish. Just a couple of generations ago, Paris was so threatened by Bretons that if you were a parent in Brittany and you gave your child a Breton first name, civil servants refused to put it on the birth certificate. That would be laughable today.

When I first visited Barcelona, locals were not allowed to speak Catalan, wave the Catalan flag or dance their beloved sardana. Now, in public schools, children speak Catalan first. And every Sunday in front of the cathedral, locals gather in a circle to dance the sardana, celebrating their Catalunyan heritage.

The little languages across Europe are actually thriving. More people are speaking Irish now than a generation ago. In 1999, Scotland convened a parliament in Edinburgh for the first time since 1707. Six years later that parliament passed a law to encourage the use of Scottish Gaelic, and now even the BBC does radio broadcasts in the ancient Scottish tongue, as well as in English.

{ snip }

I've got a friend who is the Indiana Jones of archaeology in Austria's Tirol region. When he wants money to renovate a castle, he doesn't go to Vienna -- he goes to Brussels. If he tells the EU, "I'm doing something for Austria," he'd go home empty-handed. So he says he's doing something for the Tirol (an ethnic region that incorporates parts of Italy and Austria). He gets money from Brussels because the EU is promoting ethnic regions over modern political entities.

The smaller ethnic groups support each other as well. In Barcelona, a local told me, "Catalunya is Spain's Quebec. We don't like people calling our corner of Iberia a 'region' of Spain ... because that's what Franco called it. We are not a region; we are a nation without a state."

CNN


The nation-state is a political creation emerging from the liberal idea of freeing people from aristocratic rule, and lumping them together by political convenience.

If Europe can maintain a European identity while doing this, it will mean that populations will have greater incentive to preserve culture, which will be good for the environment and stability of those nations.

If you have culture -- shared values, language, heritage and outlook -- you can always assess an action you're considering by comparing it to your cultural values. If it doesn't measure up, you reject it.

This enables you to keep your region of the world pure from the corrupting influence of commerce. Someone wants to build a giant stupid looking entertainment complex? "Um, no, in Catalan, we value contemplative quiet. So sorry!"

And the environment? Your population keeps itself in check because it's keeping commerce in check. Unchecked commerce demands more consumers and more workers; commerce, regulated, has to make do with what's there and forego the huge profits, the cheap imported labor, and other environmentally-destructive factors.

Pan-Nationalism is not just a good idea, it's the future. The past belongs to dividing people by politics; the future belongs to the organic state.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Write a letter to the disease of our time


Dear Random Modern Person,

Please cease being narcissistic and denying ultimate reality. You think you're unique, and ironic, and intelligent, but really you're another sad wanker who feels a sense of power from denying the obvious. You bring ruin to everything around you.

I encounter you on the job, in the mall, on the street, at metal shows and on metal message boards. I am not sure why you persist in your actions, because you seem depressed and you attempt to supplant your low self-esteem with traits borrowed from your favorite sports teams, bands, movies, politicians, etc. in an attempt to make yourself seem unique.

People like you outnumber people who do not have your disease. However, people like contribute nothing except doing what you are told to do. Left on your own, you become the ultimate consumer, a snob for your Progressive or apathetic views, and a self-centered bore.

Thank you,
A naturalist

BWBK


The problem is usTM.

Nuclear Explosions, Reversed


A team of 20 physicists from four institutions has literally made something from nothing, creating particles of matter from ordinary light for the first time. The experiment was carried out at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) by scientists and students from the University of Rochester, Princeton University, the University of Tennessee, and Stanford.

Scientists have long been able to convert matter to energy; the most spectacular example is a nuclear explosion, where a small amount of matter creates tremendous energy. Now physicists have succeeded in doing the opposite: converting energy in the form of light into matter -- in this experiment, electrons and their anti-matter equivalent, positrons.

{ snip }

The team synchronized the two beams and sent the electrons head-on into the photons. Occasionally an electron barreled into a photon with immense energy, "like a speeding Mack truck colliding with a ping pong ball," says physicist Adrian Melissinos of the University of Rochester. That knocked the photon backward with such tremendous energy that it collided with several of the densely packed photons behind it and combined with them, creating an electron and a positron. In a series of experiments lasting several months the team studied thousands of collisions, leading to the production of more than 100 positrons.

The energy-to-matter conversion was made possible by the incredibly strong electromagnetic fields that the photon-photon collisions produced. Similar conditions are found only rarely in the universe; neutron stars, for instance, have incredibly strong magnetic fields, and some scientists believe that their surfaces are home to the same kind of light-to-matter interactions the team observed

SD


A great day for science. We are closer than ever before to understanding the aetheric state underlying matter, energy and thoughts.

The New Gangsters: Somali Pirates Live Like Kings


Somalia's increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women — even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages.

And in an impoverished country where every public institution has crumbled, they have become heroes in the steamy coastal dens they operate from because they are the only real business in town.

"The pirates depend on us, and we benefit from them," said Sahra Sheik Dahir, a shop owner in Haradhere, the nearest village to where a hijacked Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying $100 million in crude was anchored Wednesday.

{ snip }

There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.

Life expectancy is just 46 years; a quarter of children die before they reach 5.

AP


Everywhere society crumbles, warlords are revered.

Why? Because they're living the good life. Because they get to tell someone to get stuffed.

Frustration finds an outlet in insanity.

Al-Qaeda Insults Obama, American Racial Pretense

I don't agree with what they're doing, but I've always thought Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri were intelligent people. (I do agree that the Middle East should rule itself, although I am a supporter of Israel.)


Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites.

Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.

In al-Qaida's first response to Obama's victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect — along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — "house Negroes."

{ snip }

The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters' house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.

{ snip }

The 11-minute 23-second video features the audio message by al-Zawahri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images, including one of Obama wearing a Jewish skullcap as he meets with Jewish leaders.

AP


Harsh words, Ayman. However, a good way to goad Americans, who take pride in their egalitarian nature, and use that -- like democracy -- to justify invading other places.

Real empires, like the Romans and Greeks, invaded because they wanted to. They did not waste time convincing the masses of disillusioned under-achievers of the necessity of doing so, at least until democracy destroyed them.

Passive Aggression: Calling It a Stray Doesn't Make It So


Kent Robertson, the shelter's manager, said the man came to the shelter in early October and found his cat among the other animals. The cat had been brought to the shelter by someone who thought it was a stray.

After employees told him he had to pay a $132 fee to take his cat, the unidentified man became upset.

The man returned Monday morning, signed into the guest book and took matters into his own hands. He loaded his cat into a carrier, without paying the fee, and threatened staff with the baseball bat, according to police.

He left in his 1986 brown Ford F-150, nearly running over two shelter employees, said Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse, a Dallas police spokesman. No one was struck or injured.

The Chronicle


Yeah, you idiots, his neighbor hated his cat and turned it in, and then you decided to make two wrongs a right by demanding money from him. You never verified if the cat was actually a stray. Heck, someone took you for a big ride, you imbeciles, because you'll accept that any cat deposited as a stray is a stray and then you'll try to take it out on the owner who just wants his cat back.

India Not Yet Neutered Like Western Nations


An Indian navy warship has destroyed a suspected Somali pirate vessel after it came under attack in the Gulf of Aden.

INS Tabar sank the pirate "mother ship" after it failed to stop for investigation and opened fire instead, an Indian navy statement said.

{ snip }

India is among several countries already patrolling the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes which connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

{ snip }

INS Tabar has been patrolling the Gulf of Aden since 23 October, and has escorted 35 ships safely through the "pirate-infested waters", the statement said.

BBC


People in the modern world don't understand decisive action. "But what if I were a pirate... would I want to be fired upon?"

No, of course you wouldn't. What they put into process with their attitudes and votes thus neutralizes their society, which soon is afraid to bust anyone for anything without a lengthy paper trial and a "Curing Piracy: How Positive Thinking Can Make You Stop Hijacking International Vessels" pamphlet.

The few people who still have independent thought are ready to kick ass however by getting out there and asking all boats what their purpose is. Legitimate people answer; pirates run, and then you can blast them full of holes.

Yes, their civil rights have been violated.

No, it's not ideal.

But here's the kicker --

Yes, it solves the problem, and good people aren't penalized for the "rights" of bad people.

Grow up and face reality, The West ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guilt Subverts National Pride


An Israeli student finishes high school without ever hearing the name "Genrikh Yagoda," the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century, the GPU's deputy commander and the founder and commander of the NKVD. Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin's collectivization orders and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system. After Stalin no longer viewed him favorably, Yagoda was demoted and executed, and was replaced as chief hangman in 1936 by Yezhov, the "bloodthirsty dwarf."

Yezhov was not Jewish but was blessed with an active Jewish wife. In his Book "Stalin: Court of the Red Star", Jewish historian Sebag Montefiore writes that during the darkest period of terror, when the Communist killing machine worked in full force, Stalin was surrounded by beautiful, young Jewish women.

Stalin's close associates and loyalists included member of the Central Committee and Politburo Lazar Kaganovich. Montefiore characterizes him as the "first Stalinist" and adds that those starving to death in Ukraine, an unparalleled tragedy in the history of human kind aside from the Nazi horrors and Mao's terror in China, did not move Kaganovich.

Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity. We'll mention just one more: Leonid Reichman, head of the NKVD's special department and the organization's chief interrogator, who was a particularly cruel sadist.

In 1934, according to published statistics, 38.5 percent of those holding the most senior posts in the Soviet security apparatuses were of Jewish origin. They too, of course, were gradually eliminated in the next purges. In a fascinating lecture at a Tel Aviv University convention this week, Dr. Halfin described the waves of soviet terror as a "carnival of mass murder," "fantasy of purges", and "essianism of evil." Turns out that Jews too, when they become captivated by messianic ideology, can become great murderers, among the greatest known by modern history.

The Jews active in official communist terror apparatuses (In the Soviet Union and abroad) and who at times led them, did not do this, obviously, as Jews, but rather, as Stalinists, communists, and "Soviet people." Therefore, we find it easy to ignore their origin and "play dumb": What do we have to do with them? But let's not forget them. My own view is different. I find it unacceptable that a person will be considered a member of the Jewish people when he does great things, but not considered part of our people when he does amazingly despicable things.

YNET


I don't doubt the author of this piece has good intentions, but in my experience, when the guilt comes out, national unity lessens. The author is lessening Israel's national resolve by bringing up guilt from the past.

In a time when Israel is trying to decide whether to resist multiculturalism, and stay true to the roots of the Jewish people, or be assimilated, guilt is not justice. It is destruction of the Jewish people, a new diaspora/genocide in the making.

Socialism: Reversal of Natural Selection That Will Destroy Your Nation

First, the ever-enjoyable How Obama Got Elected -- an expose of how friendly the media really was toward him.

Next, a much-needed description of a common phenomenon: How to Tell if You Are a Netard. "Netards are people whose lives are shaped by the internet. They realize they can be big shots on the internet, so they shape themselves and their lives to gain points with other netards, who all agree they're a Very Big Deal even if they all live in tiny apartments, work in thankless cubicles, have fat directionless friends and generally hate their lives. Hey, it's OK, I have 4096 friends on MySpace!"

Finally, some hilarity from Latin American Socialism:


As Chávez completes a tumultuous decade in power, polls show that Venezuelans are most concerned about rampant crime in this oil-rich country. Homicides have soared from fewer than 6,000 in Chávez's first year in office to 13,156 last year, according to official government statistics collected and released by private research organizations. That amounts to a homicide rate of 48 killings per 100,000 people, among the highest in the world and more than in neighboring Colombia, which suffers from a slow-burning internal conflict.

Here in the capital, the rate is even higher -- 130 homicides per 100,000 people, translating last year to a total of 2,710 killings.

In fact, for three years now, the government has kept homicide statistics secret, although the data are made public by crime research organizations and criminologists who receive the information surreptitiously from law enforcement sources.

Critics of Chávez , among them prominent opposition politicians, say his government has contributed to the problem with rhetoric that accentuates class warfare. It has also armed citizen militias and radical political groups.

WP


What is socialism? Letting social factors prevail over reality. Treat everyone equally, make sure everyone has a share, give everyone a chance to be narcissistic. Why does this fail? They get the reward before the effort. Nature works the opposite way: reward those who face challenges and triumph.

So in a socialist state, you get:


  • Douchebaggery. Everyone's a Big Deal without having any reason to be, so they're both egocentric and unstable.

  • Parasitism. Hey, we all get a free lunch... I'm inviting my 800,000 friends.

  • Denial of reality. If reality is whatever you want it to be, you never get tested, and so people start picking arbitrary "convenient" realities.



What is the result of these?


  • Unnatural selection. The system starts favoring average people, and smarter people succeed and breed less, if they can't escape.

  • Ineffective government. You can't act if you can't decide someone no longer should have rights.

  • Political dogma. The nation's unstable -- arrest the dissenters! Even if they are our must productive people.



It'll be fun to watch Venezuela continue circling the drain.

I think it makes more sense to call Socialism by its parent dogma, Crowdism, because even far-right states can succumb to this same insane mentality.

Why People Hate Modern Society

In the absence of a positive goal, we create a disorganized civilization based on parasitism.

This in turn means it will collapse, losing much of the culture and technology we've worked hard to create.

In addition, most of the people I meet are depressed and have low self-esteem, and they're a normal cross-section (business-related contacts, not some weird underground politics group).

Even more, no one seems to be addressing the problem:

* Civilization decay through pluralism, as Plato describes in The Republic.
* Withdrawl from reality for social power, as Nietzsche mentions in On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense.
* Subject/object duality through relative fallacy of perception, as Schopenhauer details in The Fourfold Root.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Creativity Versus Intelligence: One Creates the Other


While I was writing for attractiveness something came to my mind. When you save a song to the disk it requires a small space. But if it is a clip it requires a big space. The same mechanism works in the brain. The visual memory has nothing to do with IQ but it requires a big space and energy in the brain. This is why the Inuit people have the most complex brain in the world though they have low IQ. In the same way at the extreme levels of Verbal and Performance IQ (spatial) these scores are inversely related with each other because the ones who score highest in one test score usually moderately in the other one (meaning that not much space left for the other). So I think you will understand what I mean if I use the term 'expensive ability in the brain'. The verbal and the performance are the most expensive abilities in the brain meaning that if you use all your credit in one of them you will not have much credit left for the other one. Math ability is much more flexible (much cheaper for the brain) than verbal. The ones who score top in verbal score usually moderately in math but the reverse is not true. The ones who score top in math don't need to score moderately in verbal (it means they can score higher and this has been psychometrically proved). It means even if you use all your credit for math you still have some credit left for the verbal ability. Math ability doesn't cost much energy and space in the brain (but makes you earn even much better than spatial ability which requires a complex brain). Does creativity require a complex brain? Well, I would imagine that the answer would be 'No'. I don't think it costs much space and/or energy in the brain because creativity is linked mostly to psychoticism and these genetic diseases belong mostly to the writers, poets and visual artists (much higher than scientists).

Personality Research

But we also know that there are savant musicians, drawers, and painters even in the 40-70 IQ range. Even if these low IQ people have some creativity (related with art) it means two things. First it is something different than IQ and it doesn't require much space and energy in the brain. As a person with 120 IQ has a much more complex brain than a person with 40 IQ the creativity would decline if it costs much space/energy/complexity in the brain. But even if a person with 40 IQ, 120 IQ or 150 IQ is creative it means it costs nothing for the brain which means a person can be very highly intelligent and creative at the same time. But we don't see the same relationship between verbal and spatial as they both cost a lot for the brain. To reach the extreme levels in one of them you have to sacrifice the other one (though they are positively correlated). It is rather like the relationship between being fat (weight) and tall. If you select randomly 100 men (1.80 cm height) and 100 men (1.70 cm height) the first group will weigh more than the second group (positively correlated). But if you select the tallest 100 men on earth and the fattest 100 men you will see that no one in the first group will have the weight of anyone in the second group as both being tall and requires high energy for the DNA. So they can't go
together anymore, they have to diverge in the end. In the same ay if you select the top 100 scorers in verbal and the top 100 scorers in spatial on earth you will see that the verbal and the spatial scores are very different for every man. Both require high energy, so they diverge at the extreme levels.

I think individually creativity is less important than IQ because if writing ability represents best for creativity the essay score in SAT is unrelated with income and academic success (we should also see the citations, not only GPA's). But only a few creative persons (who can think very differently) can be very important for a society.

E-L


Intelligence can tokenize aspects of reality; raw creativity can merely play with them. As a result, intelligence can "invent" creativity.

I see a lot of "creative" people who are able to write rock music, novels, etc. but wouldn't do so well creating a symphony or a book of philosophy. Creativity is overrated in part because it is so socially prized.

Too Much DNA Can Cause Mutations


There's more variety to DNA than you might think: Deletions or additions of genetic material between individuals, called copy number variations (CNVs), are a common source of genetic diversity. Now, preliminary work reported here today at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting suggests that men who have more CNVs than average may be more likely to sire children with the eye cancer retinoblastoma.

All youngsters who develop retinoblastoma in both eyes inherited a defective gene that caused the disease. But in 80% of these cases, neither parent carries the mutation. Somehow it arose in the father's sperm. No one knows how this happens, but researchers have speculated that some fathers may be more susceptible to DNA damage than others.

They identified 37 CNVs they considered large--greater than 500,000 DNA bases--and in general found that the fathers had more CNVs than controls, about eight on average versus three. Twenty-one dads had no detectable CNVs at all, but Chao suspects this may be due to the technology used, which has difficulty picking up very small stretches of DNA that are duplicated or deleted.

ScienceNOW


When we first approached DNA and tried to understand it, we viewed it as lists of attributes.

Now we're seeing it's more like computer code, which means something in the wrong place is more destructive than the "wrong thing" existing.

When we understand it as well as we understand, say, x86 assembly, we will start to perceive how locations correspond to developmental cycles and as a result, when organs develop in the fetus and as a result of what, WHICH piece of the human each DNA area addresses.

Right now, we're mostly trying to correlate areas with effects, which provides statistical "accuracy" for some things but will not explain all; that awaits our understanding DNA more fully.

Professor unjustly called racist, sues and forces university to brand him "non-racist."


After you’ve been called racist by some students, can you sue to get your reputation back?

Richard J. Peltz, who teaches law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, tried. The idea of suing students intrigued and worried many observers of the professoriate, and Peltz’s case prompted much discussion about free speech and the respect that should be accorded both professors and students. Peltz has now dropped his suit — but he did so only after the law school agreed to fully investigate the charges against him and after he received a letter affirming that, based on that investigation, he had done nothing racist or inappropriate.

{ snip }

Amid the demands of some black students that he be punished, and his lawsuit against them, Peltz revealed few details about the incidents that led to the controversy. But with the suit dropped and with a university investigation backing him, Peltz shared various documents about the case, and agreed to talk about it.

“This suit was never about money,” he said. “It was about my reputation. I work very hard to be a very good teacher, and I felt that was impugned by the university’s lack of support. I feel that now with the university’s support, I am on the road to repairing my reputation.” He also said that the experience has altered his once idealistic views about American higher education.

“When I started teaching 10 years ago, I thought universities were the quintessential market place of ideas. I was so naïve, and so, so wrong,” he said. “It’s not an open market place of ideas — I hope we can get back to that notion because our society desperately needs places where we can have truly free discussion. I just can’t say I see that in the American university today.”

{ snip }

Another accusation against him was that — in the same time frame when he had criticized affirmative action — he was insensitive in passing out “a basic grammar worksheet” to the class and telling students to focus more on their writing. There was no accusation that he focused on the black students, only that he raised this issue shortly after he has been critical of affirmative action. On this charge, Peltz noted that faculty members had been urged by the state Bar to focus more on writing issues because some law students were in danger of failing the Bar exam due to poor writing skills. While defending his intent, Peltz pledged in his new memo to never again offer the writing tips “lest I again be maligned for trying to improve student writing.”

IHE


Good for this man who stood up for what was right.

As another writer points out, accusing someone of "racism" is "The Nuclear Option":


Invoking racism is like invoking nuclear war. Everyone agrees that both racism and nuclear war are undesirable outcomes, making them easy to exploit. Imagine a debate won not by the one with the best arguments which address the specific topic at hand, but the one whose positions are least likely to cause nuclear war.

{ snip }

They claim that their position on “diversity” is non-ideological. Yet when others fail to take up their position on program houses — a hot-button political issue on campus — they label it as yet another manifestation of racism rather than a legitimate position.

{ snip }

Perhaps it makes sense that invoking “racism” and “diversity” makes me skeptical. Accusing detractors of hating diversity if they do not support the protestors is like saying someone is un-Christian if they do not support Pat Robertson.

Cornell Sun


Much like a totalitarian state, we have created a push-button way of disposing of enemies of the state: racism.

This allows the Crowd to stay in power and fight against anyone who argues in any way for a demographic majority, or even acknowledges basic scientific facts.

Any time dogma becomes "more important" than reality, you know your civilization is circling the drain.

We Should Not Tolerate Destructive Behaviors


Civil libertarians are going to court to help defend of the rights of all-terrain vehicle riders, which they say have been violated by a Maine game warden's action.

The Maine Civil Liberties Union says the Fourth Amendment rights of the ATV driver were violated when he was stopped without justification by a game warden.

WLBZ


I'm with the game warden -- jackbooted, unsmiling, judgmental fascist that he is -- on this one.

ATVs completely wreck terrain, destroy the homes of small animals, and make a huge mess for an activity that is of questionable fun and mental health.

Some prick wants the "right to ride" but isn't willing to accept that his fun is destruction. Why should that be tolerated?

Intelligent Design, Random Design, or Self-Reflexive Perceptual Error?

From this morning's Slashdot reading:


But everything here, right down to the photons lighting the scene after an eight-minute jaunt from the sun, bears witness to an extraordinary fact about the universe: Its basic properties are uncannily suited for life. Tweak the laws of physics in just about any way and—in this universe, anyway—life as we know it would not exist.

Consider just two possible changes. Atoms consist of protons, neutrons, and electrons. If those protons were just 0.2 percent more massive than they actually are, they would be unstable and would decay into simpler particles. Atoms wouldn’t exist; neither would we. If gravity were slightly more powerful, the consequences would be nearly as grave. A beefed-up gravitational force would compress stars more tightly, making them smaller, hotter, and denser. Rather than surviving for billions of years, stars would burn through their fuel in a few million years, sputtering out long before life had a chance to evolve. There are many such examples of the universe’s life-friendly properties—so many, in fact, that physicists can’t dismiss them all as mere accidents.

{ snip }

Physicists don’t like coincidences. They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea. Life, it seems, is not an incidental component of the universe, burped up out of a random chemical brew on a lonely planet to endure for a few fleeting ticks of the cosmic clock. In some strange sense, it appears that we are not adapted to the universe; the universe is adapted to us.

Call it a fluke, a mystery, a miracle. Or call it the biggest problem in physics. Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation: Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multi­verse. Most of those universes are barren, but some, like ours, have conditions suitable for life.

Discover


One of many reasons why every education should include a grounding in philosophy and the history of thought: without a basic capacity for analysis of the abstract, scientists too easily get lost in their own data -- and their own self-reflexive perceptual viewpoint.

As Carl Jung argued (in Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle) it is entirely possible that when we see one cause acting on another, we forget that the actor (object through which action is expressed) is not the cause, but the pattern of the situation is -- when a ball falls or a stone is thrown, they are not the action-initiator but the actor. As a result, we are blind to the fact that in that mysterious space called "context" or "aether," multiple forces are coming together to make something happen.


What is string theory? In highly over-simplified form it is the idea of replacing fundamental point-like particles with new fundamental objects: vibrating loops called 'strings'. This idea was first floated around 1970 in an attempt to explain some aspects of the strong nuclear force, but this was quickly abandoned after the advent of the Standard Model a few years later. Recently, this possible application of string theory has again drawn a lot of attention, but in 1984 it was a much more dramatic proposal that swept the field of particle theory.

The revolutionary new proposal was to replace the entire Standard Model with a string theory, one that would not necessarily solve the Higgs problem, but would provide an answer to the other two open problems: why we have the particles and forces we do, and the origins and nature of gravity. According to the string theory proposal, the Standard Model and gravitational fields were just the lowest energy excitations of a fundamental string, appearing as particles since the actual strings were so small. The Standard Model, with its mathematically beautiful and highly accurate predictions, would just be a low-energy approximation of a very different fundamental theory, one that unified everything into the degrees of freedom of a vibrating string. Way-out, but elegant.

Cosmos


Imagine a nothingness that becomes aware of itself.

Now imagine it starts with a very simple design, say six lines of C++ code, which causes it to do the following:


  • Compare differences.

  • Branch on difference.

  • Induce variation.

  • Enact conflict that removes incompatibilities.



Would this universe, by its nature, produce life or something like it? At some point, consciousness needs to be invented -- it's parallel processing.

If it worked acausally, wouldn't the need for consciousness then shape the creation of the geometry of matter, including atoms?

There may "be" a multiverse, in which ours is one of many possibilities, but these possibilities all converge on a single need, so I think it's more likely that there is one universe and the extraneous has been filtered out in infinite time before us.

America is a Shopping Mall, And Everything is For Sale


Chinese students are enrolling in U.S. universities in record numbers, encouraged by aggressive recruiting combined with China's booming economy and growing middle class.

Their enrollment grew by 8 percent in the fall of 2006 and by 20 percent last year, according to Institute of International Education figures being released Monday.

Chinese enrollment increased 300 percent this year at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., accepted 65 students from China, more than double its 2007 figure.

Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, already boasting a strong international student program, is enrolling 290 Chinese students, up from 127. The spike was more than 400 percent at Ohio State University, the nation's largest campus, with 115 undergraduates from China compared with 20 last year.

{ snip }

"In China you can seldom find people from the U.S., but in the U.S. you find people from all over the world," Xiaoli said.

CNN


It's a sensible policy -- take advantage of the good educational system of a dying nation, and then return that knowledge home, while keep multiculturalism at bay so pluralism doesn't erupt and tear your nation apart.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cucumbers are Racist


The Gherkin (French cornichon) is a pickled small cucumber, usually of the same species as the cucumber (Cucumis sativus), but of a different race.

Wikipedia


That's horrible. Are all cucumbers equal? If not, we must shred the cucumber patch.

Modern Society What a Wonderful Place Back Off Now You Ingrate


A British survey of more than 8,500 adults found that 21 percent of people thought there had been times when others were acting against them. Another survey of about 1,000 adults in New York found that nearly 11 percent thought other people were following or spying on them.

Dennis Combs, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Tyler, has been studying paranoia for about a decade. When he first started conducting paranoia studies, mostly in college students, he found that about 5 percent of them had paranoid thoughts. In recent years, that has tripled to about 15 percent, he said.

In a small experiment in London, Freeman concluded that a quarter of people riding the subway in the capital probably have regular thoughts that qualify as paranoia.

{ snip }

Freeman said that in big cities, many ambiguous events can lead to paranoid thoughts. Because we constantly make snap judgments based on limited information, like which street to take or whether or not strangers are dangerous, the decision-making process is prone to error.

AP


Pluralism = less consensus = more fear of others and their hidden motivations.

More Reasons to Like the Chinese


In China however, blogging might be really dead.

In the west, blogs ousted bulletin boards and forums from the market. This never happened in China, where the BBS still flourish. Better yet, the discussions platforms keep growing. According to author Andrew Lih, there are two main reasons for this phenomenon.


  • BBS are anonymous. Well, actually, semi-anonymous since people do have nicknames and build up reputations. For reasons well known, anonymity comes in handy in China.

  • Users get more comments on their BBS writings, sometimes thousands. As for blogging, it can be lonely out there.




TNW


I've always thought the BBS format suffered because the software is barely competent. Only two types, SMF and vBulletin, are usable, and most people prefer the brain-dead phpBB, which is barely so.

Benefits of Immigration "Close to Zero"


The economic benefits from record levels of immigration to Britain are ‘small and close to zero’, the Lords was told today.

{ snip }

He told peers the Government had said immigrants brought large economic benefits to the UK in boosting economic growth, filling job vacancies that Britons could not or would not do and paying more tax than British-born workers.

But there was no evidence of such benefits, which had been ‘wildly overstated’ by ministers.

{ snip }

The report found certain groups in Britain—the low-paid, some ethnic minorities and some young people looking for a foot on the job ladder—may have suffered because of competition from immigrants.

Daily Mail


Consumers like cheap products. Business likes more customers and workers. Proles like feeling more political power by shattering the demographic that rules the country.

Unfortunately, it's also a path to ruin -- a question none of the above ever consider.

Illegal alien criminals dumped back on street


Federal immigration officials allowed scores of violent criminals — some ordered deported decades ago — to walk away from Harris County Jail despite the inmates' admission to local authorities that they were in the country illegally, a Houston Chronicle investigation found.

Although most of the inmates released from custody were accused of minor crimes, hundreds of convicted felons — including child molesters, rapists and drug dealers — also managed to avoid deportation after serving time in Harris County's jails, according to the Chronicle review, which was based on documents filed over a period of eight months starting in June 2007, the earliest immigration records available.

Houston Chronicle


So much for the idea that government is institutionally racist.

It would seem common sense to me that if you have a repeat criminal, you do everything you can to keep him or her away from society at large -- and if deportation becomes a weapon in your arsenal, use it!

Science is Racist


Last September, Bruce Lahn, a professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, stood before a packed lecture hall and reported the results of a new DNA analysis: He had found signs of recent evolution in the brains of some people, but not of others.

It was a triumphant moment for the young scientist. He was up for tenure and his research was being featured in back-to-back articles in the country’s most prestigious science journal. Yet today, Dr. Lahn says he is moving away from the research. “It’s getting too controversial,” he says.

Dr. Lahn had touched a raw nerve in science: race and intelligence.

What Dr. Lahn told his audience was that genetic changes over the past several thousand years might be linked to brain size and intelligence. He flashed maps that showed the changes had taken hold and spread widely in Europe, Asia and the Americas, but weren’t common in sub-Saharan Africa.

WSJ via The Civic Platform


This research was immediately shut down, but it's interesting to see how it shakes out.

Equality is the founding mythos of our civilization because it unites three groups.


  • The proles. These are people who do not have a trade, work in cubicles, and really haven't specialized in much of anything. They like equality because when you have nothing, equality is like a free boost to the next level.

  • Business. Nothing has more powerful marketing than equality. Everyone's equal, if they've got $8.99 for our product. Come one, come all.

  • The oblivious consumer. Our society is consumerist, or driven by the purchases of consumers, mostly the eroding middle class. They want us to just keep the peace, that oldest of bourgeois values.



This happy coincidence means that it is very, very hard to find anyone in the West willing to go on the record about racial differences of any kind, but all of the above three groups will loudly and violently assert that there are no physical differences between races, castes/classes, genders, etc.

It's religion, not science. Science is muffled because who wants to lose funding? Bruce Lahn was new to the game.