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The immediate purpose of schools is child care. This is essential, virus or no

We often hear teachers are invaluable since they raise our future generations. And they do. This is their long-term value.But this is not the immediate value of schools. The immediate value is that people cannot go to work unless someone watches their children. If there is no child care, the economy stops.Different countries value education differently. South Korea values it highly. Teachers are well-paid and treated like superstars. This makes the pressure on children very high, starting from early childhood. There is the stereotype of South Korean students committing suicide over less than ideal exam performance.In the US, we emphasize education less. This is not necessarily bad. A large portion of what schools teach is not useful. Folks like to believe that schools have magical powers to make people smart, like medicine has magical powers to cure. In truth, the useful parts of schooling are socialization, certification, and the basic skills everyone needs. Beyond that, schools don&…

How to not break a sweat and get buff in 15 years

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This was me recently, on my 40th birthday:


Yeah, yeah, I'm flexing. But I have not been to a gym in 5 years.

This was me in February 2006, age 25-something:


If you have a long enough time horizon, here is how you too can get good results with "minimal effort". The title is an exaggeration: if you keep up what I describe for 5 years, you'll see the results in 5 years, and probably sooner.

Calories in, calories outIf you want defined muscularity, you need to hit low body fat. To hit low body fat, you have to use up the fat you have now. To use up the fat, you have to eat fewer calories than you are using.

Long term, there are no tricks or workarounds. You need to track the calories you eat, without exception.

There's a lot we still don't know about how the body uses calories. We don't know the effects of different gut bacteria on digestion. We know the bioavailability of different foods varies. You might get way fewer calories from food that is stale or raw …

The Doghouse: PSU in the Dell Alienware Graphics Amplifier

Here's the deal with the Dell Alienware Graphics Amplifier:
It's an external unit that connects to recent Alienware gaming laptops.If you mostly need graphics at home, it lets you upgrade the laptop GPU with a stronger desktop GPU.This way, you can upgrade your GPU ($500 - $1,000) without replacing the whole laptop ($2,000 - $5,000).You can still travel with the laptop (who does that during Covid 😁) and use its GPU, which is fine on occasion.Excellent deal. Great idea. But, practical problems:
Dell suggested the GeForce RTX 2080 Super as a compatible card. After I put the two together, it worked but the power supply in the Amplifier produced an obnoxious buzzing sound. It sounded like a tractor. It was so loud, my wife across the house was worrying that our fridge broke down.The noise reacted immediately to power use – it didn't build up or taper down. Could be a choke or a capacitor.I contacted Dell Support on July 23. They didn't reply until July 28. The reply was to …

Things you ought to know that people don't

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I've spent most of my life collecting knowledge, so that by now I have collected some. I've also done a fair amount of living, so that my knowledge is not purely theoretical, but also stood up to practical scrutiny. Having hit the age of 40, I find myself knowing things that lots of people do not seem to know, and which no one seems to bother to tell them.

If you're a person growing up today, many of the things people tell you are true. Many of the ideas you're receiving are better than the ideas that prevailed in the past. At the same time, you are not being told many things that are true, because they are incongruous with the better realities people are trying to create as they tell you stories.

People do not lie to you with ill intentions. What they're omitting, they themselves might not realize. If they're aware, they omit it because they think not telling you will make you a kinder person who makes fairer decisions. And perhaps it will.

However, in your ig…

My favorite breakfast

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I've had the errant thought for some time that I'd be completely remiss if I never posted about one of my favorite things – which is the breakfast I eat almost every day.

I mean "breakfast" in the sense where technically correct is the best kind of correct: the first meal in the day, so therefore, the first meal I eat after midnight. I ate today's at about 3 am. I work from home, and our kids were home all week as well because of Covid, so that's a schedule I keep to have a few hours in quiet. It's more than Jana gets!

Behold, the first breakfast ingredient:


Kashi Chocolate Crunch. 42g is a good number, being the answer to important questions about life, the universe, and everything.

This is quite sweet and tasty, excellent on its own. Therefore in monastic self-sacrifice, I temper it with this:


Kashi Original, also 42g. This adds texture and a bit more protein, and not much in terms of sweetness. Cover it in this:


Vega pre-packaged, chocolate-flavored pr…

Covid-19 from a spiritual perspective

This is a controversial post which most people might not like. If I wrote this in China, they might send me for reeducation and who knows, harvest my organs. In the West, people might send me death threats, and platforms might ban this content as dangerous to public health. I assure you, it's the opposite, and public health is not served by a fear mentality.

This is a follow-up to my previous post, where I argue in favor of a cautious economic reopening on rational grounds.

In this post, I argue using more than mere rationality. I argue on the basis of life-affirming, fundamental principles grounded in a metaphysics which I have come to believe is true.

All reasons in favor of lockdowns are based on fundamental misconceptions. These misconceptions cause you misery in many ways, even outside of pandemics. The pandemic simply highlights the misery caused by the misconceptions.

The misconceptions include:
You doubt your own immortality. You may think you are a vulnerable, mortal piece…

Covid-19: Stream of recent data points supports the iceberg hypothesis

I didn't post before because the data were not in, but now the data are coming in.

I suspected before that the Chinese lockdown approach is totalitarian and wrong. Dictatorships react to everything by clenching fists, they can't possibly let anything be and just accept it. So of course they would use their complete totalitarian machinery to clamp down on Covid, whether it is warranted or not. Because of the constant clamping down on everything and anything, they also have an endemic problem where being compliant and not being disappeared ranks far ahead of truth. So China didn't generate any useful data for the rest of the world, and they continue to suppress research and news. This is done, of course, by disappearing people who would do the research, or report the news.

I suspected that the data from places with early infections outside of China, especially Italy, are misleadingly alarming. Tests were scarce and of course they used them to best help people in need, not to…