Showing posts from 2020

This is the choice

Folks seem to be oblivious to the seriousness of this situation. This is the last stand for democracy anywhere in the world. You can have fair elections in Elbonia, but that doesn't matter one fig's leaf if the world's only liberal superpower is unrecoverably corrupt, with no path back to liberalism. The one alternative is China, which is the same. This is the hill to die on. This is the turning point. From this point onward, there is totalitarianism vs. freedom. You have to choose. Unfortunately, many are choosing unwisely, and do not even realize the choice. Climax of decades What's happening now is not a culmination of 4 years, it's a culmination of 20+ years, with a climax to match. The overt brainwashing we're seeing in media nowadays, Fox coming out as an alter ego of CNN, a complete blackout on true things that are happening – the people behind this propaganda machine are now fighting for their lives, so this is the most overt lying I've s

Listening to experts

We're always being told to listen to experts. So listen to this one : Noting that he was also an expert in virology, Hodkinson pointed out that his role as CEO of a biotech company that manufactures COVID tests means, “I might know a little bit about all this.” “There is utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians, it’s outrageous, this is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public,” said Hodkinson. The doctor said that nothing could be done to stop the spread of the virus besides protecting older more vulnerable people and that the whole situation represented “politics playing medicine, and that’s a very dangerous game.” Hodkinson remarked that “social distancing is useless because COVID is spread by aerosols which travel 30 meters or so before landing,” as he called for society to be re-opened immediately to prevent the debilitating damage being caused by lockdowns. Hodkinson also slammed mandatory mask mandates as comp

Racism in a nutshell

Suppose the mood strikes you and you're looking for casual sex. You go to a club, and the club has two rooms. Each room has 100 people, who are on average similarly attractive. At the entrance, you are given this bit of information: In room #1, there are 99 healthy people, but also one with a sexually transmitted disease. In room #2, there are 90 healthy people, but also 10 with a sexually transmitted disease. You can visit room #1, or room #2, or both. As you prefer. Given the above information, tell me you're not going to restrict yourself to the people in room #1 only. This is racism. You could also visit room #2. There are 90 healthy people in there. Maybe your soulmate is there. But you won't. Now for a small tweak. Imagine, instead of each room with 100 people, the rooms are like this: In room #1, there are 900 people, and 9 of them have an STD. In room #2, there are still 100 people, and 10 of them have an STD. Now the decision is even cleare

Facebook and Twitter interfering with the election

Wow, this is big. Facebook and Twitter are actively obstructing reporting that could influence the US presidential election. They are going so far as to suspend the accounts of the New York Post and the White House press secretary. Notice Twitter's policy "prohibiting publishing hacked materials" . That sure sounds like a convenient policy that doesn't benefit anyone in particular! From the Washington Post : Facebook and Twitter took unusual steps Wednesday to limit readership of an article by the New York Post about alleged emails from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, one of the rare occasions they have sanctioned a traditional media outlet. The social media giants took that action before verifying the contents of the article, in which President Trump‘s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and his former top adviser Stephen K. Bannon claimed to have obtained and leaked a trove of private materials from Hunter Biden. The leaked documents suggeste

Sun angle, vitamin D and UVB

In my previous post on this topic, I summarized the difficulty of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels, and how nearly everyone in Western civilization lacks enough. All of the risk groups for Covid-19 are people who are lower than most in vitamin D, and the average is already catastrophic. Some of the lowest vitamin D levels can be found in seniors, people with darker skin, and the obese. All of these correlate with a much higher rate of Covid-19 infections and complications. A commonly accepted idea is that the sun needs to be at least 50° above the horizon if you want to generate "any" vitamin D. If you do a quick search, Google will reinforce this. If the sun angle is lower, the UVB portion of ultraviolet light will "reflect" from the atmosphere, and no vitamin D for you! I've found this study by M. El-Nouby Adam, Effect of The Atmosphere on UVB Radiation Reaching the Earth's Surface: Dependence on Solar Zenith Angle , which suggests such popular

The reality simulator

( Image : George Redhawk) Summary of a dream I just had. The text below, that is. :) A friend takes you to a reality simulator so real, after you enter it you can't tell whether you're experiencing "real" reality or not, except for a few key details and tests which can tell you it's a simulation. Except, you're in college and the "friend" who is introducing you to the simulator enjoys practical jokes. He tweaks or makes up information about the safety details so they don't work in the simulation (making you think it's real until something impossible occurs), and so he can simulate it working in the "real" reality (making you think it's simulated). Then he proceeds to torture you / mind fuck you. He confuses you completely about what's real and not real, repeatedly getting you to "exit" from the simulation and think you're in the real world for a bit, only to reveal you're still inside. Maybe one of

Vitamin D and Covid

By now, we have several studies showing a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and the (a) Covid-19 infection rate, and (b) Covid-19 complications. Here's a study from Boston University and Quest Diagnostics. Here's one from the University of Chicago. Here's one from the University of Birmingham (UK). Sample finding: At the same time, we have skeptics like Leonid Schneider , who can't believe a major factor in Covid-19 could be something that simple. He ridicules vitamin D because it's associated with "natural cures", since Schneider despises placebos. He doesn't understand that placebo and nocebo are much more important than he imagines; that a major way chemotherapy works is as a more convincing placebo. (For people who don't believe simple cures work, medicine has to cost them.) If he's proven wrong, he'll find excuses. And if he did not, he will not be able to pay for the damage of these beliefs. Now, the reason so

And now for gratuitous political views about the election

I saw someone today – ostensibly a non-US person – comment like this: For the sake of the rest of the planet you should be voting Biden. [...] I do hope you're not voting based on a single issue, it needs to be the whole picture. Obviously, I now must dispense my wisdom. 😄 Unfortunately, "the whole picture" is something like this. Regardless of who wins: Covid will unfold the way it's unfolding. The US has had 7.6 million confirmed cases. That means tens of millions of actual infections. Community spread will continue until it arrives at a natural end. Any attempt to slow it more than is necessary for hospitals to function will delay arrival at the natural end. A "natural end" means the super-spreaders will get it and get over it. That's mostly young people who won't suffer much from it. The virus will continue to circulate, people will wear masks but hospitalizations and deaths will return to a previous average without forceful top-down me

Summarizing Seth: The structure of the self

This is part of a series of posts where I try to summarize the Seth Material . First post: Table of contents Previous post: Introduction Behold, my MS Paint skills. (I like simple tools 🙂) This diagram represents my current best understanding of the relationships between the elements of "ourselves". The spacious present The fundamental reality can be described as a spacious present. This does not have time or space as we imagine them. There is a concept of time, but it is psychological and much more flexible than we imagine. The spacious present can be thought of as ever expanding, but not how we think space expands. It expands like an idea: like inspiration becomes a sentence, a sentence becomes a paragraph, and a paragraph becomes a novel. There are no limits to this expansion, and the expansion is blazingly fast. Entity An entity exists in the spacious present. It cannot exist in a physical universe. It explores different realities by spawning

Summarizing Seth: Introduction

This is part of a series of posts where I try to summarize the Seth Material . First post: Table of contents Next post: The structure of the self Seth is the chosen name of a personality channeled by American writer and poet Jane Roberts over a period of 21 years, starting in late 1963 and until her death in 1984. Most sessions were dictated to her husband, Robert Butts, but many were held in front of a small audience of interested students. A small proportion of the sessions were recorded on tape, and an even smaller proportion were recorded and remain available on video . The bulk of the material was written down by Robert on pen and paper, then later typed. The material spans over 20 published books and can be argued to represent the life work of Jane and Robert, in addition to their other published work. Both the published and unpublished material is now stored in the Yale University Library Archival Collection. The books are available in physical as well as electroni

Summarizing Seth: Table of contents

This post will serve as a table of contents for an in-progress series of posts summarizing the Seth Material . Currently posted and/or planned: Introduction The structure of the self Each person's universe All of the timelines The import of dreams Posts without links aren't written yet. Check back again later. :)

The Swedish success with Covid continues...

... while at the same time, it's being called a failure – by media in other countries cheering for top-down control. Yes, so far they've had more deaths per capita. Partly, they could have done more to protect the elderly. But importantly, they crossed the hump before other countries, and had their deaths and hospitalizations in one go. There were predictions, for Sweden, that the new school year would surely cause a large new wave of hospitalizations. Maybe this is still coming, but 6 weeks into the school year, not so : Meanwhile, other countries – Britain , France , as well as Slovenia, out of those of which I know – show inability to learn from Sweden, and are preparing for new harsh measures that will surely be economically "helpful". Of course, the UK Members of Parliament at first instituted a separate set of rules for themselves. They exempted UK Parliament bars from the 10 pm curfew, or from drinkers having to register their name and address fo

The US left and its belief in institutions

In the US, "liberalism" is synonymous with the Democratic left. However, the US liberal paradigm is not primarily freedom. It's primarily belief in institutions and their ability to solve problems. Obviously, there's nothing liberal about this, so it's better called "progressive" or somesuch, but the idea is to have strong, powerful institutions and to solve all sorts of problems with them. It doesn't strike Democrats as ironic at all that the most powerful institution on Earth, the US federal government including the armed forces that are by far the largest in the world, is currently led by Donald Trump. The left fails to realize how this is a bit of a chink in our plan to save the world with powerful institutions, seeing how we haven't solved the problem of who leads them. The desire to save the world with powerful institutions comes hand in hand with a mentality that if you're not prospering, then an institution has failed you. If you

The level of disease risk at which breathing becomes criminal

We know Covid has a higher infection fatality rate than seasonal influenza. Therefore we've engaged in many behaviors in an attempt to eliminate Covid or reduce its spread, including: Fines of GBP 200 and more for not wearing a face mask. Indefinite bans affecting concerts and gatherings, as well as one-time life events such as funerals and weddings. Children this year do not have birthdays. Economic shutdowns, accumulating bankruptices and millions of people in severe economic distress ( screenshot ). Reduced access to health care, including in countries with socialized health care where doctors protect themselves first and serve patients later. Refusals to see patients lead to long delays in diagnosis, which results in increased deaths from non-Covid causes, including cancer and heart disease . Reduced effectiveness of schooling for most pupils and students. Socialization mostly eliminated. Reduction in travel by 70% or more ( screenshot ). Let us suspe

On wokeness

Wokeness in the US is a movement to remove competence as a criterion for economic participation, and replace it completely with inclusivity. For example, it means prohibiting the University of California from using SAT and ACT test results in admissions in any way shape or form, because standardized tests are classist, racist and ableist: University of California System can't use SAT and ACT tests for admissions, judge rules This leads to gradual but ongoing destruction of US economic competence through removal of competent people and the "biased" processes that select them, and their replacement with ever so slightly less functional, "inclusivity" choices. Wokeness is the promotion of the dysfunctional over the functional, in the name of fairness. It is equality of outcome as opposed to equality of opportunity. It is the recognition that not everyone is born an Einstein, and that this is fundamentally unfair because it means not everyone gets a Nobel Priz

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, sc

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

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 out If 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

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. T

Things you ought to know that people don't

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