Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Taking my money and bagging my groceries.

November 4, 2007

I just saw the smart little kid who skipped 2 grades to join me in biology in 8th grade at the local corner store. Taking my money and bagging my groceries. Yeah, he was ahead of the curve back then. Eleven years ago. I was the number one kid in math and science out of all the kids in any grade at those schools and recognized for it by reputation, but the money I gave him came from my unemployment check.

We’re both much too old for this shit. And too fucked up in some other way on top of that.

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It is my contention that, no matter how morally unjustifiable it may seem, it is best for us to cynically work within the broken system and exploit the uniformed towards your cause. We must nominate candidates on the sheer force of their electability. We must pander to the lowest common denominator among us, avoiding issues of true worth and focusing our rhetoric (and our vitriol, if need be) on sexy, pointless crap.

November 4, 2007

It is my contention that, no matter how morally unjustifiable it may seem, it is best for us to cynically work within the broken system and exploit the uniformed towards your cause. We must nominate candidates on the sheer force of their electability. We must pander to the lowest common denominator among us, avoiding issues of true worth and focusing our rhetoric (and our vitriol, if need be) on sexy, pointless crap.

Do you find this morally justifiable? Can you think of a better way of going about things? Honestly, I really want to hear what you have to say about this.

The spectacle is hypersensitive to its own needs.

November 4, 2007

The spectacle is hypersensitive to its own needs. This is something of an understatement — its means and its ends are one and the same. But its physical diction over men, lonely crowds ruled and united solely by their own economy, allows it to shift its locus and blur its tracks so that any analysis of its history becomes discredited by the present.

When labour is reorganised to accomodate for automation, the commodity produced is both immaterial and fundamental to the spectacle, a contradiction which reflects its nature as having its own non-realisation as the only permissable goal. In colonised territories, hyperdeveloped societies at the periphery of spectacular absolution distort the native population to the point that every continued aspect of their unintegrated existence becomes a commodity, along with each negation in turn. This produces unique markets, accompanied by their typical dialogues, which, as well as buttressing the reigning order — as do all other commodities — can become exports to serve any needs of the spectacle across the planet. Whether these needs — the drive for “homeland security,” for example — arose because of the repercussions of commodifying colonisation or not is impossible to distinguish, as our orders are perpetually articulated a step ahead of our awareness.

I have a shrine to Optimus Prime, in a glass display case, in the focal point of my living room.

November 4, 2007

I love Transformers. I have a shrine to Optimus Prime, in a glass display case, in the focal point of my living room.

Still, it was hard not to be embarrassed when standing in line at Walmart behind a woman buying tampons, toothpaste, various household cleaners, discount cheese, etc. She looked at the things I placed onto the belt: a Transformers play set (complete with action diorama!), a 2008 Transformers calendar, a copy of the new movie, two sticker sets and said “Oh, someone sure likes Transformers! Are these for your little fan at home?”. My reply of “actually, they’re all for me” earned an absolutely horrified look, and a very fast about-face to get away from the weirdo, or something.

I only wish that someone had sent me a text message at that exact moment – my ring tone is the Transformers theme song from the 1986 movie.

On second thought, I’m not embarrassed at all – SHE was the one buying tampons and discount cheese; I’m just plain awesome.

By the age of 10, I was already devouring Descartes.

November 4, 2007

Oddly enough, that is still a question being asked by the psychiatric community. COnsidering the level of cognitive development of a child in that age range, I’d say they would be more likely to be more masochistic, and probably would become pedophiles themselves. Human beaviourism in work if you will…

However, my personality type is different. I have a tendency to be slightly sadistic, not overboard, but it still is there. Also, on a cognitive level, I went through all stages of cognitive development much faster than some people do. By the age of 10, I was already devouring Descartes.

Hear me out.

November 4, 2007

While this may discrdedt my arguement, I draw my conclusions from the universe of Star Trek. Hear me out.

In the Star Trek universe, human beings no longer work for the pursuit of money or material gains. This shift in attachment to physical objects stemmed from the invention of the replicator and the elimination of the need to work to provide sustinence. Once the basic needs of the population was met, society shifted.

Now, take that point, that changes in attitudes towards money and accumulation of wealth can only change when the means of acquiring that wealth changes. No longer were people defined by what they did or what they had, but by who they were. When no one was starving and everyone had shelter and clothing readily available to them, not to mention that any luxury items were a click away, the world was a better place.

Now lets assume we extend that model to our own universe. If the government places itself in a position where it provides all the necessities of life to its population, regardless of social class or wealth, then materialism diminsihes. People are happier and more content with themselves when they know that they are not being forced into an unhappy situation so they can simply survive. No one should have to be put into a situation like that.

Once the government starts to provide universal health care, reduce or eliminate rent in many developing communities, and increase funding and access to food re-distribution programs then the general population will become happier and move more towards a society that would accept socialist rule.

Basically, we can’t change the way people act without first changing the conditions they are in.

How in the fuck does “Double Jeopardy” work?

November 4, 2007

I simply can’t figure it out. So you can’t be charged for a crime you’ve already been proven guilty or not guilty for. So you can kill someone, serve 7-10 years, and then after that you can kill anyone you want? Is it only for specific crimes (1st degree murder means you can only do 1st degree murder, no manslaughter or 2nd/3rd degree?) or even more specific, e.g. if you rob a store, you can only rob that store legally? I’m totally lost here. Legal experts, help!

Another aside:

November 4, 2007

If you don’t mind, I’d like to take the discussion back to this point. One of the critiques to command economies is that central planners (no matter how benevolent) lack the capability to efficiently allocate resources (input, labor and capital) towards the production of goods of value (private and public). This ‘lack of capability’ is because economic decision making is centralized under a single bureau or institution rather than between millions of private firms and households (like in a decentralized market system). It’s mainly a computational problem that has to do with an overload of information rather than the lack of perfect information. It has been said earlier that communism may have never had a fair chance because it didn’t have access to computers or information technology and I think there is some truth to this.

A stronger critique (I think) is that command economies suffer from agency problems . These problems arise when there’s a significant incentive for managers to simply lie to the owners of the means of production. Under capitalism, it’s when CEO’s lie on accounting statements and under communism it’s when factory managers lie to the government. Even if your democratically elected communist leader had the purest of intentions, even he needs accurate information as to how many inputs each factory is to get to meet his quota. Factories have significant incentive to under-report capacity to make quotas easier to attain and to avoid the steep punishment for not being able to meet them. Communes have an incentive to lie about their census to receive more resources from the government. In the end, what does this mean for the central planners? Any forecasting model can only work as well as the quality of the information put into it (garbage-in garbage-out as computer scientists would say) so the lack of quality information received by economic planners severely hampers efficiency which in the end translates into corruption.

Both types of problems are magnified once the economy becomes more sophisticated and intricate because the oversight mechanisms themselves could collude with factory managers. This is why I believe the USSR, China and Vietnam eventually switched to decentralized, open economies but Cuba and North Korea didn’t (or still havn’t) Note their relative sizes in terms of population.

As an aside (because this is a thread about the shortcomings of communism, not capitalism): large corporations and multinationals under capitalism have similar analogous accounting problems (world com et al), it’s just that most of the economy isn’t run by them (yet). Also, these problems are mitigated since there’s an incentive to under AND over-report financial statements. One is for tax purposes, and the other is to make your company stock look better. When stock options come into play however, that’s a different story.

I agree with McCaine when he says that ideologically based decisions aren’t unique to communism nor are bad policy decisions. But someone else on this thread already mentioned that bad policy decisions under communism/a command economy has a much worst effect than a decentralized/market one. This is because the functions of decision making and resource allocation are covered with a high degree of redundancy under a market system so if one firm fails or goes bankrupt due to bad decisions or misallocation of capital, not everyone suffers and only the people who made the poor decisions suffer for their mistakes.

Another aside: There are many policies in the States and elsewhere that is highly motivated by economic ideology rather than practicality. Many people would vote lower taxes despite the fact that taxes fund social programs that benefit the majority of the population at the cost of the minority of the rich simply because it is the complete opposite of socialism or the stigma of communism.

No, you don’t understand what’s going on.

November 4, 2007

No, you don’t understand what’s going on. The situation you just described is explained in Def. 5-8, among other places. As I’ve noted before, although this principle is assumed it is certainly not what is being demonstrated in the example I posted. This particular principle you’re thinking is being described is illustrated by means of a bucket of water spinning around, I believe, and is only a stepping stone to the example I posted.

The phrase “inertial reference frame” appears no where that I can find in my edition of the Principia nor is it listed in the index; I also highly doubt its just a translational issue. This leads me to believe you’re just spouting shit that’s been spoonfed to you instead of actually knowing anything about what Newton said for himself.

By the way, Galileo’s understanding of relativity is a far cry away from the kinds of motion Newton discusses at least in this opening scholium (at least regarding his Two New Sciences and the Principia); same goes for Huygens which is much closer to the what you’re trying to make Newton say. Unfortunately the name has stuck leading to all sorts of misconceptions concerning the subtle differences among these three authors.

read this about 8 times and then remember that for Newton, there are absolute spaces: “It is certainly very difficult to find out the true motions of individual bodies and actually to differentiate them from apparent motions, because the parts of that immovable space in which the bodies truly move make no impression on the senses. Nevertheless, the case is not utterly hopeless. For it is possible to draw evidence partly from apparent motions, which are the differences between the true motions, and partly from the forces that are the causes and effects of the true motions.”

“True motion” is earlier equated with “mathematical” or “absolute” motion; it is defined as “motion from one absolute place to another” in the third paragraph of the scholium. If you can somehow take this as meaning “there is only relative motion” have at it; that is all I am trying to ask.