Tag: Trump

Social error correction and how to use it

Computer systems talk to each other over networks that are prone to failure and data loss, so computers have built-in error correction algorithms that sense when the data that the computer is receiving might be incomplete. Humans are wise to do the same. We have multiple peer verification systems like peer review. This operates also on the individual level. We reserve judgment until we can get a “second opinion” or a third.

It is important to remember that communication is inherently incomplete. As computers get more and more able to fool the viewer, we should increase our emphasis on skepticism and error correction. The whole “Russia-gate” thing was really an exercise in error detection and error correction. There are massive networks of bots out there spamming on social media. But there are also massive networks of real people, screaming for justice.

When we transitioned from the migratory band of hominids to the multi-million person city, we lost the ability to trust in many ways. When one is surrounded by only one’s known friends, one does not have to negotiate every transaction. You know that your friends will protect you when you are weak. You don’t have to file paperwork to defend it.

But now we enter into the age of mass-everything. You don’t know your DMV worker. They don’t know you. So you rely on codified and universal rules to communicate with them. I don’t think we have yet really found a new equilibrium for this new type of relationship.

This new relationship of the one and the abstract other is new. We are still trying to figure out how to move from the village to the cosmopolitan existence. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes was the first to use the term cosmopolitan. He meant it in the literal sense: a citizen of the cosmos. So this idea is not new.

Hopefully, as we transition further into the Aquarian idea of the individual in a sea of other individuals, we can reach a broad consensus on what universalities we need to be a stable society. I don’t know what those are, but I think they are coming.

House of Cards

Some strange miasma
creeps round through our institutions
looming, leering
leaching good
from inside out
The catabolic yin is in our bones
It’s trumped all fight
There goes the light
What’s weak is might
Send fair corona
to the king
Throw down the crown
so we can sing
America is dead
bring swiftness made of lead
to hit the posts
and free the ghosts
so we may build again

Thoughts on COVID-19 and Social Distancing

The reason why we need social distancing is not “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!” The reason we need it is because the hospitals will be overwhelmed with thousands of patients that they cannot care for, and so everyone else will be without medical services as well. People die all the time. We take risks in life for money, love, or other values. So yeah, we don’t really care that thousands of people die of the flu every year because our system can process those people. Thousands of people die in car accidents, but our system can process them.

Can we have some nuance with this instead of yelling at “the other team,” with simplistic arguments where one side is a mass-murdering psychopath killing grandma and the other side is the valiant, cloistered introvert “saving the world” by not leaving their apartment. No one is pure. We all participate in this system.

The other argument is how much death we ignore in the name of profits. That’s a separate problem, and I think we as a nation, have a very poor track record of not killing people.

Oh and lastly, we have no fucking clue who’s infected. Many people get very minor infections and don’t notice it. They can’t get tested. Only the most severe are getting tested, and it’s been in the US since January. Some experts think there are actually hundreds of thousands of people infected at present. We need to be calm because the situation is very fluid and confusing.

Love to you all. Stay strong.

Don’t fear the bullies like Trump. Laugh at them instead.

Don’t be destabilized by the news. That’s the aim. It is informational terrorism and bullying. Find your center and know what is right. Show no fear to the bullies, and they will run. We have a vision for a bright future, and Trump & Co. are trying to piss on that vision, but if we hold fast to that vision of inclusion, openness, and true American values, it will manifest. They might hit us, but we are beings of light inside these vulnerable bodies. The body might be damaged, but our spirits remain luminous and solar. There is no need for faith if you don’t have fear, and if you don’t fear death, you will have no existential fear. You might have small fears concerning your day to day survival, but you will be like a stone, immutable.

I was bullied from age 6. I know what it’s like to live in terror, but now I’ve learned that they are like the Wizard of OZ: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” The technological explosion of tools of illusion has given the bullies the ability to create big and scary Wizards of OZ, but they are just that little man behind the curtain.

We are the strength. Because you have love, you are the power. To quote Chogyam Trungpa “laugh at your fears!” Laugh at the bullies. America is in a cold civil war, so the material consequences of what is going on are real, but you are not just the material. Know that material goods come and go like the tides. Detach from them and be strong.

Smile my fellow lunatics! They’ve come to take our joy, but they can take my belly laughs out of my cold, dead body. Haha 🌞

North Korea and the power of Pluto

I had this vision of deep darkness last night right before I learned that North Korea tested a bomb. There’s a reason that Plutonium is named after the ancient God of the dead. Plutonic energy is important because it tears down old and dying structures so that something new can be built in their place, but this energy can also be woefully destructive if not used properly. We all need to bring our feminine and masculine energy into alignment. This might sound like a non-sequitur, but the destructive power of an atom bomb lies in each and every one of us. We must tame it in our hearts to find global peace. Like attracts like, and our wanton pursuits of short-sighted gain at the expense of a more balanced viewpoint will lead to our suicide as a people. Life will go on, but our story will be lost. All humanity’s dreams over the epochs will be lost. When we destroy the present, we destroy the past along with it.

Why we as Americans must sacrifice and chose proven and moderate means of solving our current political crisis

Donald Trump is the archetypal confidence man who uses verbal attack tricks to manipulate others by using techniques like globalizing (either/or, black and white thinking), distraction, cutting people off, and other obvious tactics. He also includes a small amount of truth that most people in power don’t talk about, and this endears him to people who feel muzzled and powerless. They are willing to accept the mountain of garbage because there is that little bit of something they really need. Because the media has become so controlled and centralized, it opens the door for demagogues like this. We must have a media that is less focused on middling, sponsor approved, “feel good,” and tepid stories. The reactionary right wing would not have the ammo that it does if the media wasn’t so out of touch.

Yes, there are generalizations here, but I think this is part of the problem. There are obvious problems in America that are not being addressed by the mainstream, and the Internet is a very fertile field for these types of people who can exploit this imbalance. We must support independent media who are not just working to appease their sponsors and the faceless, empty suits who represent the billionaire class. This is not a new phenomenon in America, and we have seen this kind of class conflict before, but the Internet is the jet fuel that spurs on the horse of radicalism.

Lastly, our democratic mechanisms must be updated to handle the changing environment of our republic. Gerrymandering has to be addressed. It is an undemocratic power grab by the incumbency. It is rendering our democracy constipated and intractable. We also need to experiment with alternative systems of voting like many other affluent countries use. Runoff style, two-stage voting systems might be better suited to our country as opposed to our current monopoly system: first-past-the-post voting. This is kind of technical, so I apologize if the language is a bit obscure.

We have a robust system of democracy still in America, but we need boldness to address the problems here. I believe that radical simplicity like Ayn Rand style anarcho-capitalistic libertarianism or alternatively Maoist communism are not the solution. We need a radical yet moderate approach to fixing our problems. Only by meeting in the middle will we move forward across the bridge that crosses the chasm of discord that we currently face. I do not know if this is possible until a certain percentage of hard-line older Americans pass on. This might sound harsh, but these 70 and 80 year old anti-change zealots probably will not change at this point.

Anyway, I hope we can preserve as a representative democracy. We definitely need lots of change, but let’s hope that it arrives in a constructive and logical form rather than a dictatorial morass of alternating power grabs. I have some confidence in the American people, but we have to sacrifice some of our comforts in order to invest our focus on this issue substantively.

The New Day is Now

Everything is new. Love is the triumph. The planet is throwing off its ugly old shell. The butterfly is emerging from the chrysalis. It’s wings are spread so wide open. A new day is dawning. Through birth pains there is new life. The butterfly soars into the air! It’s wings whip in fluttering ecstasy! It bounces through the air alive with the spirit of new imagination. And everything around echoes in concordance creating a symphony of exclamatory transcendence! This is the new day! Yes!

It is now.

Because we’ve had about enough of that crap, haven’t we?

Soar!

America is embarrassing to me right now. Where are the adults on either side?

I’m so tired of America right now. Almost everyone is just a giant, pulsating ego of fear. The smugness on both sides is nauseating. I really just have to check out of culture. It’s too much. Spamming political memes does not give you more political power, it’s just a giant sign that you are terrified. The left is whiny and insufferable. The right is full of petty trolls. Where are the adults who want to heal the divide or come up with creative solutions from the center? And, we don’t have the power we thought we did. We have owners. The corporations own us. Obviously what we are doing is not working.

Who cares whose rally had more people? God. So dumb. Yes, Trump is a moron. But guess what? The right chose Trump to piss off liberals. When people freak out about Trump, they love it. It’s the whole point!

Life is hard. Life is disappointing. There is no utopia. You deal with it like an adult. Everyone wants to get on their soapbox and stand up for all of these poor minorities, and it’s just condescending. Life sucks, that’s the point. It’s training. Memes don’t do shit except make the person posting it feel important for clicking a button. It’s not an argument. It’s a slogan.

Fear is not cool. Fear is sad. We need to grow up as a country. This is just pathetic. Let’s get our shit together. I’m sure I hit some sacred cows with this post, but I don’t care.

America Needs a Middle Way Out of the Political Civil War it is Wading Into

Americans took to the streets today in record numbers to voice their opinions about the Trump presidency, but I was somewhat ambivalent about it. What’s more important than marching is critical thinking. We need a society of people who know how to discern between truth and falsity and have the courage to stand behind their discriminations. Protesting is fine, but instagrams of pithy protest slogans will not stop the incessant creep of fascism. We have created a toxic milieu in America wherein people are not capable of creating logically coherent and systematic structures of thought that conform to the rules of evidence. I am quite cynical of the the prospects of a society that has real liberty as a core tenet. My dream is a balanced society of tough as nails people who also have deep levels of compassion.
 
I know that I don’t fit in on the left or the right anymore, and honestly, I think both modes are effectively dead. We need a center position that is capable of wielding both the left hand and the right hand at the same time, in balance. Both are necessary. In my dualistic belief system, the right is known as the side of severity, and the left is known as the side of mercy. Each by itself is weak and ineffectual. I believe that we are running back and forth between severity and mercy in a dialectic schizophrenia. Yes, the right is probably more deranged than the left at this point, but worn out Marxist class warfare is not the answer. You don’t have to study much of the Maoist cultural revolution of 1960’s China to know that youth + Marxism can get very ugly very fast. This kind of left/right extremism is what fueled European problems for the first half of the 20th century. The fascists and the communists could not reach a middle way, and the continent was reduced to ruin.
 
America has always been fairly good at balancing the two halves of its intellectual brain, but it is spinning out of control at this point. I think that the problem is rooted in the acceptance of the philosophy of Relativism or the notion that there is no truth and all ideas are of equal merit. All ideas are not equal. We, as humans, are blessed with an understanding of mathematical logic to guide our actions. I am not an Ayn Rand, cold logic over all, kind of thinker, but I do think that without an understanding of how to reason, how to avoid fallacies, and how to support your positions with evidence, the modern thinker is reduced to being completely at the whim of campaigns of manufactured consent (propaganda) by the .1%. Since humans first looked up to the stars and noticed that the stars moved in mathematically predictable patterns, we have known that there is a thing such as truth. We have moved away from the exaltation of truth at our peril.
 
However, I am aware of why this does not exist. There was a great schism between the understanding of the spiritual world and the material world in the schools of western society centuries ago, and it has not been rectified. Until there is a coherent system of thought that combines logic and science with the world of religion, there will be no progress because humans need sustenance from science and religion to survive. So at this point, individuals scramble back and forth between the two to try and stay sane, but this generates chaos socially. I don’t know if there will be a solution to this until there is some sort of technological advance where physics acknowledges consciousness in spiritual terms. I have reached a synthesis of the two in my head, but I don’t know how to communicate it in a convincing manner. It is a conversation that I had in my head over decades where I came to understand certain truths.
Donald Trump is popular because somewhere in the American collective consciousness, people feel that America is a weak country. America is somewhat weak in my opinion. It’s sad but true. I’m not saying that Trump is right as to the reasons, but I sense it to be true like many other people. I believe that political strength comes from two things: collective unity and logical coherence of thought. We might have some sort of unity on the left or the right, but I am underwhelmed about what either side are really fighting for. And this issue is very, very deep. It’s a very tough problem that requires a very strong commitment to overcome. Our world has changed completely, from head to toe, over the last 140 years. You don’t go through that kind of change without having to completely reformulate your systems of philosophy. But I don’t think that has happened. And because of this we have charlatans openly lying to the populace and promising them things that will not be delivered.
 
So, I don’t like to have a very cynical outlook, but I do. I’d rather not think that the ship is totally out of control, but that’s the way I see it. And, there are some big icebergs out there in our path. If we get hit with a nasty recession, we are absolutely not prepared economically to deal with it, and this will create the surplus of fear needed to usher in some new system of authoritarianism. If people can’t speak up with utter honesty and fight for truth with courage, things will keep degrading. And, lastly, let me say that celebrities should not be making the political arguments let alone leading the ship. We need political scientists and not actors crafting the zeitgeist.We need a new intellectualism in the United States. We need a return to logic and evidence. We need this in a new, moderate synthesis and not some rehash of the John Birch Society or Marxism.
 
But personally, I’m actually fairly zen about the whole thing. The Earth has always been messy. I’ve had a hard life, and it has prepared me well. Getting over addiction has calmed me. Fighting your mind is the biggest challenge of all, and I do think we can get through this as Americans, but we need to wake up.