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One of the things I dislike about socialising is that it's essentially people saying "I like you," over and over again to each other. What's especially dishonest about the process is that as soon as you've left and gone home with people you really like, you'll take the opportunity to say "How I hate them!" as soon as the people you just finished an evening telling you liked are at home with their loved ones doing exactly the same thing. This doesn't make it okay, far from it in fact.
Every time you mistreat, scoff, or ignore when you could have helped, you show what you truly think of this world. I'm no exception, but for the fact that occasionally I write in here what's really going through my mind which is nothing other than "Kill... destroy... eviscerate... disintegrate... obliterate... perish!" and honestly, sometimes I mean it. If that bothers you, please leave your comments in the section below.


Oct. 10th, 2013 11:49 pm
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I've been a bit odd the last few days. I'm incredibly irritable, it's dangerous to participate in social networks when you feel like this; unless you've decided once and for all you're not actually depressed--just surrounded by jerks.
I'm feeling awkward about the purge of recent entries from here. I realise now it was a knee-jerk reaction to the responses I've gotten from real, actual, concerned people who probably read this output and have contacted me using other systems to invite my participation in activities which may hold hope of bringing me back to humanity or some other goals.
My feeling at the moment is that this will fail to achieve much, mostly because of my crummy state of mind, though I thank you for your concern and efforts. The truth is I wish to write my way through this to see if I can't channel the negative emotions I'm feeling into a creative work through which to transmute them into something positive. This is a difficult task, and I can't engage deeply enough with the activity if I'm under constant pressure to socialise.


Oct. 7th, 2013 07:54 pm
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There's been a slight memory-purge here lately.

I've been exploring a pretty dark place with my writing and I'm not going there anymore. Suffice to say my imagination scares me sometimes. Looking over this output over the past few days, I've decided to write another short novel outline soon--I will be using some of the material from the purged posts, but trust me it will be a good story, not an evil story. *phew*

I think by exploring the mirror opposite of ideals what we wish we to represent we explore new possibilities for 'epic' narratives. I guess my ambition is to: imagine the most horrendous evil I can, recognise the good in that story, then tell an apocryphal tale in which light becomes dark/dark becomes light. An eternal life cycle we are both fit to and form for ourselves.

Also for once I have no idea what the title will be, I just want to write an outline of my story. First there are some books to finish reading.
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I've just worked out why I think the people in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1854_Broad_Street_cholera_outbreak loved the water laced with cholera from the eel -- I think they were the people who in some way wanted to die. They could have been contemplating suicide a great deal, or only occasionally and could have been depressed.
The people who were already, perhaps, already contemplating suicide a great deal, but were unable to go through with such action.
The disease, which was largely non-communicable (except in water) killed them slowly, but more quickly than they otherwise would have died.
This fit with their view of the world, and probably slowed the dynamic rhythms of their hearts, causing a melancholy depression from feeling the onset of inevitable death. They would sleep a lot, extending the time between each beat, a state slowly and with the administration of pain relief / antidepressant medication would help the patient to slide into a state approaching death from a sleeping state. Gently.
Interestingly I've only figured this out after a bout with intense illness. Not very strange. :)
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I'm trying to improve at creating and sustaining an idea an idea in my mind so complex it must be put into writing to be adequately expressed. The trick is to understand that the longer you contemplate the idea in your mind before putting it into writing the more refined the idea becomes--but there are limits. Beyond a certain point, the idea will refine into a thing so perfect it becomes a dream, and then could be lost forever.
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About a year ago I was having a conversation which turned to the subject of competition, a theme I find sort of repeats itself often times. I short changed a teaching aphorism by exclaiming competition such a waste of time; why bother with it at all? This didn't seem to make much impact so I changed tact and said:
"When faced with the opportunity to compete, I refuse and simply win instead." which certainly set the wheels of reason turning.
"How do you do that?" she asked, interested.
"I can't tell you, which means I've already shown you." I said, having already ejected myself from the competition concerning who was better at explaining the nature of competition.
"What?" confusion had set in, I guess.
 The point of saying that was that the whole lesson of how to avoid competition and simply win was already contained within those few statements. It's not about being able to win any competition hands down, that would be insufficient for the victory conditions implied. If you notice you are being enticed into, subjected to, coerced into, or somehow embroiled in competition; the first step towards winning is realising you're competing. This is one of the fundamental principles of Game Theory.

  The best way of recognising you are competing is to be very aware of what is happening and what you are doing about it. The best way to win any competition is to immediately terminate and/or change the interaction upon realising fierce competition is imminent. In games, this is a strategy known as "enhancing the branching factor", which enlarges the domain containing future actions. There is an equation (F = T Sτ) describing how intelligences best achieve this, formulated by Alex Wisser-Gross. An algorithmic explanation of this equation defines intelligent systems as wanting the best possible future, being one where they are unconfined. To resist confinement, intelligence predicts possible futures. Adjusting time horizons (τ) of predictions, so they are reliable enough to make decisions. From all possible states, a value for freedom of action (Sτ) is applied to each one. In this map of states, the state with the highest potential for future actions is chosen. This is the decision giving the most freedom and power. Achieving power enough to grant control of the future (which competition defines as a winning state) relies upon forming an understanding of a system's function and determining its current state. Now you move in that direction.

  If the desired state is not effortlessly reachable, a force (F) has been imposed on the world against that direction. The force is intelligence. The temperature (T) represents the power or "resources" you have to reach the desired state. The more power you have, the more force you can impose. As competitions move, heat, and cool, acting intelligences constantly validate their desired state and adjust their actions to reach while expending the least effort. All adjustments further confine actors, not only because models of the future are only predictions, but because the time horizon closes, and as it progresses the future changes to reflect the reality of decreasing resources.

Obviously the optimal outcome of any competition is a behavioural change to co-operation, but this not always being possible there are many avenues of conduct open towards ending competition quickly. Fierce competition is about as immature a pastime as revenge. Intentionally choosing competitive behaviour over co-operative behaviour is insane, because you wind up doing the same things repetitively (even without expecting different results) and are subject to diminishing returns of reward for this behaviour. If you're competing, you're subject to more entropy than if you're co-operating. If you can't understand that, you're immature. I don't think can state that more simply.

  Of course I don't believe this in a vacuum at all! Getting into the mathematics of co-operative communicating networks trumping over competitive networks in terms of qualities like: entropic density, robustness, growth and propagation speed, etc. is a subject for a bunch of well-researched scientific papers. All of which involve more analytical power than I'm willing to expend at this time of night. Suffice the idea of competition/co-operation has been extensively explored in computing science and I'll reference some of the interesting papers here in an edit [edit: Two interesting papers on deeply associated topics: Preferences, Choices, and Satisfaction in a Bargaining Game, Consistency and the Competitive Outcome Function, and the mathematically focused book: "Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict" by R. Myerson].

  For now, I'm going to explore something else I've been writing about on and off for over a year as well. People are going to call me more crazy for this one, but it's straight out of Star Trek: Voyager's plea for "holographic rights" for digital citizens of the Federation, in that it is an extension of the same concept (when does a computer program, disregarding the issue of when the nature of it's intelligence makes it "alive" or not, deserve the affordance of some of the rights afforded human beings by nature of their existence inside consensual reality?).

  I had an idea which hurt my head incredibly to give birth to. The idea is that ideas are living things, and must be treated with the same love with which we treat other living things.

  Of course I qualified this heavily in previous writing, because hey, I didn't want to seem too "out there" which in retrospect is silly. But couching this concept in terms of "collaborative, free, open, public digital structures of data have assumed more of the properties of living things lately and this must be further considered" (I used the analogy of plants, and worked back from comparisons of tree-like data structures and the way we interact with them versus the way we interact with orchard plants) doesn't change its core; ideas are living things.

  Not at all like the way we are alive, but they are still very much alive. Humans have a long history of rejecting and denying the existence of anything too alien after failing to understand it. That is okay, at every stage of existence there are some things which will be unable to be understood. However, align yourself in competition with a self-modifying idea, and you will lose before you've begun to do things the old way.

  The only way forward is further co-operation. This IS the future, after all. Rejecting and denying its existence matters very, very little to the universe. :)

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When you're unsure of anything you can always ask a seven-year-old:
"Is this real life?"
"How do you know?"
"There are spiderwebs."
"Yeah! In the rubbish bin."
"I see..."
My sides. :)

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So I've realised all by myself that I generally blog when I have deep thoughts or when I'm really angry, scared, lonely, frustrated, bored, or depressed about something. I want to change that by attempting to blog about nothing other than the good day I've had.
I went to the medical centre again today and booked myself into a Medicare-sponsored health care plan to see a counsellor (of some persuasion, I can't remember). Apparently that will kick off on Sunday, so I'll try to keep everything sorted until then.
My mother babysat Xavier at her patchwork shop while I was in the consultation so I collected him afterwards and we went shopping for a gazebo. I am now the bemused owner of a dread gazebo. I can barely lift it by myself, but at least my tent will fit underneath it. I've said the CWA can hire it from me for $20, for which I'll help them set it up and take it down (after the experience of setting it up and taking it down, which is worth about that much to someone who doesn't want to deal with the hideous attack bonuses of the dread gazebo).
Following the gazebo-purchase, which afforded me many chances to say the word 'gazebo' which is just fun to say, I went to the hardware store for clear sheet polycarbonate with which to build an ant farm for Xavier who has recently become interested in ants. I wanted to buy MAPP gas as well but there's nothing I need it for and I couldn't justify the $134 for an impulse purchase of something just because it's dangerous and awesome, so I settled for impulse-buying some welding rods and fertiliser.
When I bounce back from severe illness I seem to do so in a big, big way, so when we got home I installed SimAnt on Xavier's PC and while he was playing ate a bunch of stuff. My first real meal in a few days. I opened a steak sealed in one of those cryovac packs and there was quite a lot of blood held in the plastic. For whatever reason it just smelled so amazingly good I decided "Well, if Masai tribespeople can whisk bovine blood and milk together for a kind of warm, curdled milkshake..." so after 10 seconds of thinking I brought some cream to a simmer with some duck fat and poured it all in and whisked briskly. It turned into what would probably be a base for something like blood sausage or black pudding, but I used it for a sauce. Not for everyone, but interesting nonetheless.
After that sort of meal I needed to lie down for awhile. So I had Xavier heat up some heat packs in the microwave and fell asleep for 30 minutes. Then we went to the park to play frisbee and swing on the swings. Xavier refuses to use the "baby's swing", and because I refuse to be an adult, we have to take turns on the only swing big enough for me to use. Then we chased each other around until we got tired, watched the ants in their colony for awhile, then walked back home. That night, we all watched Star Wars episode 2. Xavier loves Star Wars. I'm quite impatient to get to the original movies, because, hey, I'm an original Star Wars fan over episodes 1-3. Those films are amazing, and by comparison when watching the newer ones I just keep thinking of George Lucas's comment on all the CGI after the release of ep1: "We can do anything now!"
Referring of course to the Industrial Light & Magic input for these works, the animation is ageing quite well. Indeed, using digital effects which completely paint the entire frame sets produced by cinema projectors you literally CAN display anything--not that doing so is necessarily a good idea, though. The choppiness of the film is awful, for a 2hr18min film, there are so, so, so many needless cuts. In the effort to prove that they can show literally any part of the story, nothing is left to the imagination, the viewer soon feels underwhelmed, spoon-fed every tasteless morsel of unintelligible alien/droid dialog. Also, I'm sorry, Samuel L. Jackson was NOT a good choice for a Jedi master (especially opposite Digital-Yoda. Hayden Christiansen was not a good choice for lead character. Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor languish for meaningful dialog and are just under-utilised as the real talent in front of the camera. There's so much which is bad about the first three chapters as films it's hard to go on, mostly because so many people have trodden that ground ahead of me it's been squashed into an actual road leading to a town called "HowNotToMakeAMovie".
Also the musical hook from the Game of Thrones theme is very clearly audible in a certain refrain concerning the Empire at the end of SWep2; I'm wondering if John Williams is responsible for that. :)

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  For an plethora of pertinent reasons made apparent to everyone on a daily basis, I've decided that this planet largely deserves to be the forsaken place it is. Unfortunately, the pressure of these realisations has worn in over time, causing me to erroneously conclude that everything in my life is very, very sad. Since I can't reproduce my selfish genes, the desire to make some form of lasting impact on this place is magnified, and even if I could, I would like everyone else, remain enormously subject to the same desire. Wishing to be remembered forever, but understanding you'll eventually be forgotten, is a bitter pill for all to swallow. Shelley said it best in Ozymandias, king of kings! "Look upon my works ye mighty, and despair!" The meaning that even the most powerful ancients have their astoundingly deep and broad achievements lost amidst the sands of time. Against the backdrop of our vastly scaled and aged universe, the sum total of all human endeavour amounts currently closer to nothing at all than anything substantial. An existential pointlessness Shelley or Satre could well have appreciated.

  Fortunately even if you're not into etching your words deep in stone or sculpting your likeness into rocks, limits come in to help. We all need help describing the form our legacies will assume, because it is only by the goodwill of others they will take any lasting shape we might recognise. For a legacy to exist as long as possible while issuing the sort of impact you intended is difficult and requires an integrity of vision so fundamental to serving its purpose it is easily understood by everyone. So if you're going to attempt this, extreme care must be taken to ensure your legacy stands as being completely intentional, rather than the inverse (let's take most religious cult splinter groups, cults of personality, and fascist governments as examples of movements which were derailed from their intent to better our world). All petty despots, autocrats, and dictators really desired remembrance as great leaders--yet because their visions of their legacies lacked integrity or focus; by and large these people are remembered as evil monsters.

  When you're setting about the game of empire-building things get out of control and devolve quickly, unless you keep beneficence clear in mind during the execution of ambitious plans. Empire-builders throughout history have ambitiously stacked rocks on top of one another in their efforts to reach ever greater heights of achievement. Inevitably bureaucrats throughout history have followed, taking those same rocks down again in almost equal measure. Without getting too far into the motivations for destroying the achievements of others (because these are both good and bad), it's far past time for the emergence of progressive new ideas concerning how and what we bequeath unto the future.

  In trying to uncover a way to surpass these limitations, a deep desire has originated in me, something which because of my sadness, will never go away. I want this planet ripped apart. torn asunder, continental shelves flung from her heaving mantle. Not in an apocalyptic cataclysm, but a great and glorious upheaval of intelligence beginning the obvious next phase of human evolution. I finally have an answer to Larry Niven's question of "If aliens arrive offering us entry into the galactic amalgam of star-faring cultures, what are we going to say when a teenage mother throws her baby in a dumpster?" When grown men swing axes to slice off the arms of boys who refuse to bear arms for evil or no cause? We're going to unapologetically laugh then say; "By comparison to our ancestors, we're tame. They were capable of and did things so evil they defy description." Barbarism is barely a sufficient word to encompass the ancient cultural practices which produced our modern world.

  Yet still, we identify greatly with our ancestors because they were perhaps even more human than we are capable of being. Now we are largely detached from both our past and present evils. Anyone living in modern society only has to watch films like "Baraka" to see how far we've drifted. From our original war-torn communities which suffered so much strife, disease and grief, the backlash sometimes causes their descendant societies to fall into a kind of eternally pacifist, subsistence existence of penance. This monkish trance produces so much happiness for individuals they can bliss out in ignorance--of the fact they are descendants of those vicious enough to destroy any competition so thoroughly, their ancestors were finally able to cease the perennial madness of killing thy neighbour to meditate on what they'd been doing. Afterwards, they disliked what they'd been up to as much as we dislike hearing about it historically, so those able to carry on raised their children to behave better than them. We are those children, and we all owe our present and departed ancestors the honour of raising children who behave far better than we do now.

  In view of our past, for my vision for the future, I choose to meditate upon ways the world can change for the betterment of a future so far-flung few people can imagine how the human condition will be realised rather than suffered. I want this planet to become a world where nobody has to lose their sense of humour or childlike nature. Where our technologies constantly reshape our world into such a wonderful, amazing place, which everyone can enjoy in such variety, reality will truly be what we make of it.

Good grief

Sep. 30th, 2013 12:59 pm
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Yet another reason why the iOS LJ app is a piece of dung: it doesn't understand CR/LF characters, and destroys other formatting as well! FFS LiveJournal, it's shit like this which forces people over to Google+/Facebook blogging services DESPITE the overexposure and advertising of the social networks.

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So I've got to thinking I need to put some thoughts down about why Star Trek: Online is bad, when it's sooo good.
It's like crack. Before I got into ST:O, I often described MMOs as a "digital crack pipe", and only marginally healthier than an actual one. Now I've been through the addition grinder of the game, I stand by that description.
Why is it so bad when it's Free To Play, you may ask? Especially since ST:O going F2P was what got me playing in earnest.
Well, it's because Cryptic/Perfect World KNOW they are essentially digital crack-dealers.
If you've never bought crack from a dealer before, and you try, they're going to want you to give them twenty bucks before they give you a rock of crack in tinfoil and the rest is up to you.
Just like Perfect World wants your email address, name, age, and other details (these things are worth real, actual cash to them and their advertising affiliates) before they will give you access to their digital crack pipe.
After you've bought crack that first time, knowing the powerful addictive properties of the drug, they can let you have more crack in twenty-dollar dosages on credit. "Come on man, I really NEED it, I'll pay you tomorrow."
They know you'll want more by then, so the hook of the addiction is what ensures your custom. Today, they will spot you some crack, tomorrow, knowing you'll be back, you'll owe them twenty bucks. Then the day after that, and so on.
In Cryptic/Perfect World's Star Trek: Online conception of the digital crack pipe, you have to ask them "Come on, I really NEED to refine dilithium!" and they will let you refine twenty starbucks worth of pink crack-rock every day, KNOWING that the likelihood of your eventually spending real, actual cash to speed that process grows with every click of the "Refine Crack" button.
Back to the world of crack addiction, let's say you have $200.00 of real, actual cash. "Can I buy this much crack?"
Of course you can!
Just like in F2P MMEHs (Massively Multiplayer Eternal Hell)! If you want to spend your money on digital crack, you can buy as much as you want!
You'd be an idiot to do so, and indeed I once heard a gem of wisdom from someone on The Daily Show being interviewed by Jon Stewart who'd written a book which broached the subject; "Crack is an idiotic activity."
In both the physical and digital worlds, idiocy is characterised by possession of the soul by the unlimited desires of the id. An idiot unfailingly repeats pleasurable activities to their own detriment as an organism, especially if the activity itself degrades the ability to recognise such diminishing returns of pleasure evidenced by repetition. Things which do this have "addictive properties" and it shows wisdom over idiocy to get off, and stay off both the physical and digital crack pipe.
Unless your ego can avoid the dissolution of addiction, subjugate the desires of the id, because you really, really enjoy crack? Powerful argument, from the heart, but it doesn't matter. Eventually, everyone reaches a point where realisation sets in--that no matter who you are, this sort of solipsism doesn't work forever. Either you put the crack pipe down and stop, or you die taking crack or from poor health caused by taking too much crack while life has passed you by too quickly for you to realise you're missing out on what else is happening.

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 "Will you come here and talk with me?" asked the adult of the child.
  "Talking with adults is boring, because they never want to talk about what I like." said the seven-year-old, who firmly believes he will be seven forever (and since in the minds of children that age anything longer than an hour is forever, he's at least partially correct).
  "So what do you like?"
  "Mostly video games."
  "What about talking to other children? Is that boring?"
  "No, they're interesting."
  "I see."

  The reason why talking to adults is boring, my child, is because the inverse can be doubly true! For children to be interesting to adults, their little heads must be filled with at least enough information that they can ask interesting questions, uncover interesting facts, or make interesting observations. For instance earlier today when you told me that scorpions belong to the arachnid family--a fact I certainly didn't know and still am not sure of. Thank goodness for the Internet!

Earlier today I was talking with my mother, who is twice my age and must have done something correctly because I don't find her boring (just sometimes frustrating). We were discussing cities, and she was trying to understand why some people who live in larger cities, when they take their frequent holidays to escape the clutches of the conglomerate's magnetic pull, only seem able to talk about moving away from where they have chosen to live (often at great cost).

  This was like an echo in my head, and I remembered my own brush with city life which I found distasteful. Thankfully the ambrosial sweetness of living in a small, elevated concrete box turned bitter for me sooner than most, and I escaped after only having lost a few years of existence to such ridiculousness.

  Why then, my mother asked, are city-dwellers so entranced by country life? My assumption is that it seems "more real" by rose-coloured comparison. The quiet dignity of country life says to them "You may not choose to live as we do but you can learn from our strengths, since our communities allow yours to exist and function."

  An entrancement with city life is far more than just a youthful attraction to bright lights. Everyone can see the flow of society's energies from the country to the city, the confluence of transport and communications linkages forming a bright, bustling hub of activity. In a very real sense, the city is a reactor for society; the fuel is accumulated and distributed to the outlying suburban fat cells, so the central business district heart can pulse with life. People wishing to contribute to something far larger than themselves accumulate like blood cells, the energies they expend in their daily lives driving the force of civilisation ever onwards.

  There is a more shallow attraction which we covered and that was the retailing aspect. I expect consumer fascination is driven essentially by the satisfaction of ownership, and a desire for repetition. "I want that robe, that bauble, that person." Take what you want, and pay for it. Use it until you tire of it or its lustre wears, then repeat the experience of acquisition. An object-driven perspective, where an individual is the sum of their acquisitions.

  While I tread my different path, admiring and deploring what I see.

  Which I suppose is just as much of a personality flaw. The self-possessed don't give of themselves easily. Fearing love and affection, because of the underlying transactional nature of such emotional exchange. "See how I possess myself? Unless you follow my ways you will never have that."

  The victory of the acquisitive mindset is by no means assured, but the self-possessed are in danger of keeping so much bottled up by their strange, old ways, that when it does release there is this overwhelming wash, everything given in an irresistible tide.

  There is no easy compromise, because such compromise would weaken. Some problems cannot find their solutions that way. There are decisions which must be made no matter how bitter the outcome of the choices. Which is why we're in the countryside, talking about why people living in the city must be talking about being elsewhere too.

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Science is a method of thinking used for invention and problem-solving.
Scientific progress is most apparent when its concepts create new technologies.
Technology is art/knowledge, from the Ancient Greek word root 'techni' (art), and 'logos' (knowledge).
Knowledge logically derived or induced creates scientific principles.
There is a deeper realm of principle; mathematics. Not all science is fundamentally 'good', as evidenced by the plethora of 'bad' science. The performance and advancement of science is a human activity.
Mathematics is different, and more fundamental than science.
Though the performance of mathematical operations can be called a human activity, the principles of math simply exist.
Mathematical principles are true. Even if the performance of a principle is sub-par in application, new principles of mathematical truth are the crowning jewel of all intelligent achievement (regardless of species or position in the universe).
Such principles exist in reality, because the fabric of reality is built upon them.
Determined people discover methods of describing them using numbering systems, and for such accomplishments are deservingly called mathematicians.
Philosophy is the activity of asking why the principles of mathematics exist in the first place.
I suppose I could go further (ad infinitum) but I'd simply be repeating the end of a joke I heard over a year ago and began modifying and extending into place:
Law is really medicine.
Medicine is really biology.
Biology is actually chemistry.
Chemistry is just physics.
Physics is embodied computation.
Computation is a part of mathematics.
Mathematics is pure logic.
Logic is part of philosophy.
Philosophy is an outcropping of epistemological ontology.
Ontology covers everything.
Everything is incredibly complex.
Complexity well describes good art.
Artworks inform our epistemology.
Epistemology informs philosophic truth.
Philosophic truths inform an understanding of computation.
New computations result in new mathematical principles.
New principles mean new physics experiments.
Successful experiments mean new engineering projects.
New engineering requires new materials.
New materials require new materials science.
New materials science requires better understanding of spectroscopy, spectral profile simulations.
Better spectral profile simulations require better data processing.
Better data processing requires more processing power and better algorithms.
Better processing power requires better microprocessor engineering.
Better algorithms requires newer mathematics.
Etc, etc. etc.

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Awhile ago when I met some lovely people who are now my friends, I asked someone close to me why these "new people" were interested in getting to know me. I asked out of fear that they were interested in me as a novelty and that after the initial fascination had worn I would be cast aside.
However this wasn't the case, and some words were said which have stuck with me: "They're interested in you because of your courage, calmness, and ability to cope with life." and happily this was an accurate assessment of their motivations.

I am motivated also, and at various times throughout the years I've had people who've gotten to know me express "The courage it must take to lead your life!" and other interesting lines. One of the particularly biting insights levelled at me over a decade ago was "I fear you're a hate crime waiting to happen." and this has stuck with me in the same sense as anyone who's worn a uniform (and thus been seen to live with danger) will know they stick out. However, after watching YouTube and seeing commentary on videos like "Sharia Comes To Britain" which, although well-considered, failed to take into account that if there is a policy of legislative-level decision to be taken on whether more or less violence ought to be sought within any community--the only acceptable decisive route is the active discouragement of violence. It's not particularly courageous to avoid conflict while saying "eventually, the most exemplary philosophy will be most robust" but if you consider worse examples as being more subject to entropy this is certainly the case.

So, it's neither fear nor courage which compels me. What I do, in the most basic sense, is entirely natural. I exist the way I do because there is no other possible way. Do we question that plants grow towards sunlight, or accept that they do because that is part of the way they exist, and instead ask why they do it so well?

Sometimes, when faced with people who find some kind of awe at that realisation, I feel quite ignorant in the face of their experience of reality. There are many kinds of ignorance. The most offensive being the wilful sort. There is the basest ignorant state of following your desires without examining them, and many writers before me have ranted at length about the futility of living "an unexamined life", but feeling ignorant is just the beginnings of burgeoning wisdom. We strive for wisdom unconsciously, when we ask ourselves "What was I trying to gain?" especially following actions we're ashamed of (such as my conduct in my previous entry).

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George Carlin did a skit as part of his impressive live comedy act "Life Is Worth Losing" where he distilled the essential nature of the Ten Commandments down to, I believe, only three.
I think that as society matures, our concept of deity ought to mature in parallel, so it's probably long past time to update a list of ten things to do or not do which make everyone feel better about living in society. These sorts of oaths aren't just in the commandments, they're mirrored in the teachings of Asclepius and Hippocrates, who also have their own oaths pertaining to the medical profession which are somewhat older than the Ten Commandments given to Moses when he visited the mountaintop, and it'd be good to get a decent dose of their philosophy into a new set of ten easy to understand rules everyone can follow relatively easily in today's crushingly modern world (and I mean to avoid the verbosity and oversupply of misinformation and irrelevancies generated by long lists of rules such as "The Rules Of The Internet").
So here goes:

Rules for Living Well In Times of Post-Scarcity:
1. First, do no harm.
2. Be good; don't be bad!
3. Know your flaws and learn to love yourself anyway--or nobody else will either.
4. Enjoy life; eventually, the only person you will have to justify your existence to is yourself.
5. When faced with doing something against your better judgement, it's better to do nothing.
6. Use technology appropriately.
7. Try to stop any bleeding before it stops by itself.
8. Human emergencies constitute no urgency on the universe's behalf.
9. Reason is the only faculty capable of solving problems reason creates.
10. While some harms are forgivable, there is no justification for evil.

Addendum: Failure to comprehend, understand, and uphold such simple rules makes you suspect of being an inhuman monster. Humans have no compunctions against killing evil monsters and dumping their unconsecrated bodies unceremoniously into the ocean, so beware of being evil.

Now this segues well into something I've been saying for well over 10 year now which is that we're living in a post-scarcity economy. How do I know this? Well, society has so much control over everyone's life that in these times everyone's personalities are undeniably shaped by the pressures of society and our reactions to them. What's more, society has such an iron grip of control over it's citizens that we cannot get out of the system! Eventually we will have frontiers again, but for now only the most dedicated, most extreme survivalists can exercise any reasonable degree of control over their own destinies if they choose to exist apart from society. In a seethingly civilised world of more than seven billion humans, the number of "wild people" probably numbers in the thousands, and it's likely that if you're safely ensconsed on the couch you'll never ever see them.

Wow. I just lost almost a thousand important words to myself because of this shitty LJ iOS app. Because of task-switching. Darn. I don't want to re-write all that. I am so annoyed. Prepare for a one-star review on the App Store, LiveJournal!

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Today I set up a writing nook, where I can create lovely documents such as this journal entry.
Really all I mean is that I've cleared a space where I can put my iPad, because turning on my computer would be far too much effort while I feel this unwell.
I haven't been this sick literally in years. On the way to the medical centre this morning I was wondering aloud when the last time I needed transport to a doctor's appointment was -- my mother and I agreed it was five years ago. So I suppose that's a good run without any infections.
Mind you this is a doozy. I'm taking 500mg Amoxycillin 3 times a day for the next ten days in the hope that will help evict the micro-organisms squatting inside my head.
Also another disbelief from Apple. The Apple Wireless Keyboard CAPSLOCK key. Good grief, cruise control for cool is OFF when the LED is ON?
I suppose this is just par for Apple's course. I've described the experience of buying Apple products as akin being suckered:
"Buy this hardware; it's ever so sexy!"
"Wow, so sleek... so expensive... I must own you!"
"Did I mention, the very instant you unbox me, you'll be punished?"
"Perhaps I can live with that, because of your incredible look and feel..."
"As soon as you turn me on, you'll discover impaired functionality, with no way of fixing it, improving it, or complaining about it."
"Don't worry baby, we'll stage a jailbreak. It'll be just you and me, sipping Mohitos on a secluded beach somewhere."
Richard Stallman mentioned that Apple was the pioneer company of putting their users into what he describes as "software jail" and even with Google coring the functional elements of iOS by releasing their own free products on Apple's App Store, Apple just can't seem to get out of their own road.

Apple's iOS design mentality is the equivalent of the guy who was drinking whiskey while cleaning his gun, and predictably shot himself in the leg. Then kept cleaning his gun, and shot himself again. THEN called an ambulance, kept cleaning his gun, and shot himself a third time before it arrived.
Every time Apple releases an iOS update I'm reminded of the Canadian newspaper headline "Woman hits moose driving to visit sister who hit moose", the avoidable mistakes they continue to make at the HCI design level are repeated so much.
So why am I still using their hardware?
Well, because it's ever so sexy, and the outlaw life beckons its crooked finger in my direction.

qwiddity: (Default)

If today is the first day of the rest of your life; is tomorrow the first day of the end of your life?
That'd be interesting, because of tomorrow never coming and all.
Since I'm slightly delirious, I'm currently wondering what is professional incompetence worth? Would charging for ineptitude be some sort of false economy?

Additionally, if you're using the iOS LJ app and have a keyboard connected, you CANNOT POST (an entry with any content) until you disconnect the keyboard... wow. I blame Apple and their ludicrous UI decisions regarding iOS HCI's. >_<


Sep. 26th, 2013 12:31 pm
qwiddity: (Default)

This entry unintentionally left blank because of the shitty nature of the iOS LiveJournal app. There was actually text in here, except it was completely truncated when I clicked "Post" because according to the people who wrote this piece of dung when you write an entry and click post you actually meant to press command-a->delete. Top job, you jerks.

qwiddity: (Default)
The night before last I finished reading "The Great Gatsby" which Emma kindly bought for me in hard copy. :)
Last night I attended the Gangster's Ball. My costume was very plain, which was in-keeping with my mood, but left me feeling slightly out of place in amongst all the finery and pomp. I was very happily surprised to meet Marilyn Monroe this year. :)
However, the stage acts were wonderful, I enjoyed the juggling, singing, acrobatics, magic, feats of... well, interesting feats. I forget the word describing what sort of performance hammering nails into your own face is. Probably endurance?
So I had a lot of awkward moments, and some lovely moments, like this one: when I was feeling particularly weird about even being there, a small beautiful lady walked up to me while I was near the bar, and grabbed both of my hands in the way lovely tiny women who feel very concerned about you sometimes will, made consistent eye-contact with me and said several things, to me until she broke through my emotional defences enough that she was certain I would pay attention and remember her. I don't remember everything she said, and her kind words basically conveyed the message of "please try to cheer up", "you're no wallflower", and "enjoy yourself".
I told her I would try, and I will. I couldn't even keep eye-contact with her because I was at that moment so sad if I had I would have broken into tears.
I guess I must have wanted to save doing that for a more private setting, because earlier on I did just that.
I also guess it'll be difficult to tell her I did pay attention and I will try to do as she asked (because it's good advice), except if she either reads this somehow, or I actually do what she says.
Fortunately, after having a good cry and feeling upset for ages I've made a breakthrough on how to make some headway with feeling happier. ^_^
qwiddity: (Default)

Everyone must work.
Except people who can't.
Do you really want to work with people who don't want to?
People who work because they desire freedom have missed the point of work--which truly is the lofty goal of noble purpose.
The downtrodden workers of these mean streets pursue a fleeting dream. Unfortunately, the dream sought is not the fulfilment work itself provides, but a myth we are conditioned to pursue incessantly. The same way greyhounds are trained to chase the whirling bait around and around an endless oval of racetrack.


qwiddity: (Default)
Nova Aurata Quiddity

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