anubis2814

Religion, Politics, Science, Skepticism

Rich Mouse vs Poor Mouse

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Back in indiana, wealth was not really a thing.  I grew up what would have been a middle class income except we had 6 kids so we lived in cycling poverty.  I worked since I was 16 at one job or another to pay for every vehicle I’ve ever had, cycling in and out of debt to my parents, till I joined the military where I was cycling in and out of debt for the first two years to my roommate until I figured out a method of savings that worked for me and ceased having financial problems.  After the military, I went to college on a mix of GI bill and student loans while working full time and still have student loans after 10 years to pay off as the value we put on paying scientists is pathetic at best. Not to mention the financial stress of the economic crash.

I moved to indianapolis and cycled in and out of terrible jobs for 5 years as I graduated at the beginning of the financial crisis.   Everyone around me was in pretty much the in same boat as me some better, some worse off.  The only people doing really well were people several decades older than me.

Then we moved to northern virginia.  Northern virginia in an interesting area to say the least.  DC pretty much spurts money all around the area if you have the right jobs and connections and so many people around there are loaded which makes cost of living in the area through the roof.  Top it off that it’s a right to work state and minimum wage is the same as it is in Indiana, and one’s ability to thrive in the area if you haven’t figured out how to get yourself into one of those high paying government contract companies is very low.  My partner had to spend time wasting her degree as degree inflation around here is also through the roof, educating children in enrichment classes, or to the parents babysitting.  

The number of self-important entitled negligent parents who don’t really seem to want to actually take care of their kids and want to pawn them off on someone else was a massive shock.  Many of the educational activities required one-on-one with parent and child, but the parents would throw a hissy fit when they found out they couldn’t just dump their kids off and get away from them, and many would just sit on their phones and expect the educators to babysit the kids for them, ignoring them.  Educational “enrichment” classes are all the rage here, because everyone wants the “best” many trying to push their kids into the most competitive most rigid most structured schedule so they can have the “best” kid, claiming their child is advanced for their age so their 3 year old should be allowed to take this class that all science shows is pretty much psychologically impossible.  Also children need to play and have some flexibility or they will grow up as uncreative and inflexible as their parents, who would be floored that my partner was good at basic problem solving and puzzled by her DIY skills and attitudes. They just pay someone else to do everything unless they want a hobby to be socially active.

Status symbols are huge here, so if you have the right purse you are given special status, as are kept wives who live like pets whose job seems to be micromanaging their nannies and au pairs which are foreign exchange nannies that can be sent back home the second one of these mothers gets a hair up their asses if the au pair assumes the child should be smart enough not to accidentally kill themselves or god forbid an older child take responsibility for a younger sibling.

Because of this mindset sexism is surprisingly higher in this area which was a shock than even is red state indiana.   We have a shared bank account and when my partner took money out to buy a car, the teller just handed me the receipt to sign.  I, a little thrown off said no, she needs to do it.  The lady goes “oh that’s so nice of you, like I was doing my partner some great service and both of us were stunned, I was able to go “its her money” which confused the teller and made things rather awkward for the rest of the transaction.

Culture around here is pretty much non-existent except in little pockets.   Culture has been replaced with materialism.  Their malls are their culture spaces, or manufactured hipster districts pretending to be organic but designed by corporate interests, or they spend a lot to travel to go get culture somewhere else.  

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Sadly this heavy amount of wealth is also the part of millennials that are the target of most marketing, and are who most researchers stereotype as millennials. When many people think millennials, they think spoiled, self-centered, selfie taking, kids who have everything handed to them.  When I think millenials, I think somewhat confused kids with good intentions and a great amount of empathy working 3 jobs with a bachelor’s cause they can’t find a steady decent paying job and they were lied to about how much they would make after school and they are just barely paying off their student loans. That is how a larger chunk of the millennial population lives than the also large but smaller than the rest of the millennial poption upper middle class/upper class millennials. People here also are just ceo’s or vice presidents based on what social circle you live in.  In Harvard and yale business you are taught how to only socialize with the right people, meaning people who are wealthy or powerful and how to ingratiate yourself with them, and avoid the common riff-raff, or anyone below your level of income.  It’s just expected you will get to be in that and the rest of your lowlies are peons and you know what is best, and it is a constant fight to keep them productive while trying to cut their wages at any turn you can.

Sitting on boards is a thing out here, and if you know the right person, you can make $20,000 attending 4 meetings a year on a board.  Our DC metro leader came in to fix our crumbling subway system and had to boot 4 members of the safety board because they had zero credentials for safety they just knew the right people.

We need to begin looking at extreme wealth for what it is.  A mental health crisis.  Extreme wealth completely isolates these people as they literally can have no friends and they assume everyone else is after their money.  They can trust no one but their most loyal financial advisors which is the closest thing they have to friends. the more extreme that wealth gets the worse they get.  Their empathy is damaged because of this, and in their boredom they think that building even more wealth regardless of who gets hurt in the process means they win the game.  70% of wealthy people also just inherited it so they enter into the game as children isolated from the opposite extreme and barely understand they even exist.    Wealth for individual merit is a great thing.  however it leads to negative happiness, not only for them, but for all the people who could never be their friends as they are all desperate.  This is why I am for the estate tax and heavy taxes on wealth and investment transactions.  Wealth as a reward is a great thing. Wealth just because, corrodes the world and the minds of the very wealthy.   

The rich make up a tiny minority world, they are kings and lords and disconnected from the world like celebrities, but their measure of winning the game of life is the amount of money they’ve hoarded.   For their and our own mental health and wellbeing we need to increase their taxes or balance their comparative income to the lowest employee.  They are so isolated and trapped in their own wealth they are lonely and neurotic.  Unfortunately they have the power to take that neuroticism out on the rest of us, and the damage is incredibly real.  

Getting over White Male Guilt is Essential for Progress

You’ve been taught a certain narrative throughout your life, you believe there is justice in the world and the rules apply to everyone.  As you get older, you begin learning your nation’s actual history without the nationalistic cherry picking and find out data showing how the justice system and social biases impact everything giving you free passes over minorities and women.   You realize that as your family wasn’t impacted by generational poverty, you were allowed to play by the rules of a game that others weren’t even allowed to participate in.  

You are then told that some of your habits and mindsets help to perpetuate them and media and stories you hold dear are also full or ideas that help to perpetuate them.  Your first reaction is that of a potential paradigm shift, and the world in your head and this new information are clashing causing mental distress.  You also have cognitive dissonance because the ideal you and the real you are now at odds.  This generates guilt because that is what the brain likes to do to you.  It is especially so if a person is telling you that you should feel bad or guilty or you perceive it as such or you are getting jumped on as being a horrible person if you didn’t say the right thing out of pure ignorance.  

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These people are frustrated and angry that this mindset exists in this time period and although they may be right, they are often very oblivious as to how long it took them to come to that position and how they were initially impacted by the paradigm shift, or they were raised in a social class or bubble where they always believed it and don’t have the first clue how to communicate and how rough paradigm shifts are.

When it comes to racial and sex based justice, learning the past and statistics can hit you hard, it’s painful mentally, it’s like hallucinating when your sensory inputs and sensations don’t match. causing disorientation.   And the worst part happens when you feel guilt or are made to feel guilt.   First things first, do not feel guilty for having privilege, it might take you some time to adjust but there is nothing you can do to change your past, and up until that point, if you were trying to be a good person as best you could with the knowledge you had, you are already doing better than most people.   Now you have to non-judgmentally take this new information and carefully adjust your manners and habits and be aware of the world around you.  It will take time, habits don’t change overnight.  Ignore people who try and guilt you for not changing fast enough.  the brain is slower to change than they even begin to understand.  The only purpose of guilt is to induce change, once you have changed you have no reason to feel guilty anymore or it will just cripple you or you will act like a white knight or a white savior trying to save women and minorities instead of just giving them the respect they deserve, or treat yourself as a lesser being.  

Life is a crap shoot, some of us are given particular advantages over others.  I can’t change that I wasn’t born a millionaire any more than I could change myself to be born an impoverished african child with sleeping sickness.  There is no reason to feel guilty about the privilege you have even though that may be your first response.  What you do moving forward is what matters, you can either resist the paradigm shift and find websites with cherry picked data that tell you what you believed before is true and this new information is a lie, or you can do the mentally painful task of processing the paradigm shift and getting over that hump and become a better person and have a happier world.   

Paradigm shifts can be confused for white, male guilt, it’s disorienting, a large section of your knowledge is wrong and too shallow and ideas and mindsets dying can feel like an actual person dying because that is a part of you that has to be changed and purged and you will never be the same person entirely again.  Guilt just adds salt to the wounds and the brain hates cognitive dissonance more than a paradigm shift and will tie itself in mental knots to resist that, please get over your white male guilt when people tell you about things your ancestors did, or what your government did.  Your past was the best you could do with the knowledge at hand, the future and what you decide to do from that point on decides whether you should feel guilty or not.

They Can Divide us by Tactics Alone

I got unfriended by someone on facebook by someone I respect for the first time.  Belief and politics wise we are pretty much identical.  We’ve been facebook friends for years now.

The problems I’m having the most issues on is discussing tactics and communication. The issue at hand was about using violence in a democracy and if it actually can make things better.    Now mind you it doesn’t help that I was in one conversation, on the subject, thought it was posted by the same group, then went into the discussion was the mindset of dealing with the other group.  I have not seen any evidence that violence changes things in a democratic society.  Any time I tried to use arguments against it, they pretty much all shot me down with the fact that I was privileged and weren’t actually affected by the issues at hand.   I used every argument I could and every social tell I could to let them know the I was one of them but as they could not see my face and how much I cared and how much empathy I had, they read troll on me and called me an elitist snob.  He ended up blocking me because he didn’t like my arguments against violence.  Since I wasn’t for violence, I obviously didn’t care as much as they did, and my privilege was shut down.   

This is one point where we share disagreement, tactics not substance, and the bubble was tightened, one trip up, one disagreement on even the smallest level and you get removed from someone’s bubble.  And since they can’t tell if you are genuine or not and can’t see your emotions, you must be a troll and I can’t really blame them.  

Another discussion I had was with an issue on communication, it was on the topic on mansplaining vs other kinds of communication of feminism to men.  I left the tactics against mansplaining and manterrupting other sources but was trying to focus on what scientists said about how communication works and the best tactics.  All of a sudden I got dogpiled by people accusing me of mansplaining, and nothing I could say could save me from their taunts.   My being a man was enough to shut me down.  Questioning tactics is off limits even genuine allies.  

Unfortunately once again because they weren’t there with me in person and see I was genuine they heard every well actually smug male asshole you could think of.  Every time the bubble closes off, people have divergent evolution on thinking and when they come back together they are unrecognizable in language and beliefs.  This division is what caused the Bernie/Hillary divide in the party, Bernie supporters were talking about stuff we had no idea what they were talking about because they only talked to other bernie supporters.  We all want the same thing but we are divided by tactics and if your side doesn’t want or approve of the tactics your group uses they are secretly colluding with the enemy and are just as bad.   

This has to stop, or they will continue to divide us until we are nothing.  This is how the spanish civil war happened with partisanship reaching violent levels and any form of disagreement met with violence leading the the rise of fascism as a backlash to the leftist violence.  The left and right were fairly evenly matched and the left looked like it was going to win, but the left ended up eating itself because they disagreed on tactics and they couldn’t compromise at all and new fights broke out between factions.   Thanks to the internet and you can surround yourself with people who agree with you or at least don’t openly disagree with you for fear of unfriending you can happily live in a bubble thinking you are the most righteous.  Pick your battles, there are certain things worth blocking over, there are certain people worth blocking or attacking, but the assumption that everyone is an asshole or a troll for disagreeing with you is exactly what their strategy is and we can’t organize or compromise on anything or we aren’t purist enough.   MLK was able to get the pro violence black groups and the anti-violence conservative black groups to work together and they accomplished something amazing, and since we live in a democracy that is the only way to change anything.  If we can’t even question tactics without getting blackballed from the bubble, no change will come and violence will truly end up having to be the only answer.

 

 

We no longer have the same reference points.

One of the things I used to pride myself was that I could dumb down and break down anything to nearly anyone.  I learned this with my mother because I wanted her to understand things I enjoyed.  I got the bug for it on the rare occasion that I did substitute teaching after the navy. During the middle of the recession I worked as an adjunct teacher at a for profit college on and off and would take 50 year old people who never had math above 6th grade always thought they were bad at math and taught them algebra with A’s and B’s.  This teaching bug is why I started making videos.  I’ve been here 9 years this march, but around 2012, I began having problems more and more explaining things to people.

My last two videos on free speech and safe space are great examples.   One of the advantages I relied on back in the day is that we were all starting from the same reference point of knowledge and understanding and from there I could build on it to explain things. The people who disagree with me in the comments section of those videos and others don’t have the same reference point as I do on really, really basic things.  Take for example when you use an analogy.  So many either don’t understand how analogies work and their limits, or they are deliberately playing ignorant as a trolling mechanism.  An analogy is a quick simple comparison to easily transmit an idea to another person.  For an analogy to work is for you to focus on how things are alike get the concept and ignore everything else.  What many will do is then try to infer or expand the similarities which completely breaks the analogy making it a useless mechanism.

This is causing a lot of framing to break down in the younger generations, as not everyone holds the same ideas and underpinnings about a certain idea which has some advantages as it’s harder for political think tanks to target, but also bad because you can’t have a mutual discussion where everyone is on the same page.       Only the very rarest of person back in the first 4 years of youtube would do this.  It was such a useful tool.  Now it’s actually a large number detractors who do this and take your analogies literally and break them.  Another problem is the fact that the internet has created completely different frames of reference and thinking understandings that really don’t work with how most of my generation was taught to communicate.  Internet bubbles are also creating new common knowledge, reference points and jargon and ideas so we end up completely talking past each other.

Take for example free speech.  I was taught how free speech works, its advantages, its legal limitations, its complex legal terms and history, and a nuances rubric of how free speech works, is perpetuated and is enforced legally.  The people who disagreed with me in the comments seemed to just start with the strong belief that what they think free speech is and it should be defended at all costs, and fuck anything that gets in its way be it laws or real serious damage it can do to people.  We are coming from two completely different ends in this discussion.  There is too much information they don’t have, I would literally have to travel back in time, make series of videos on the basic building blocks that they are missing in their knowledge, then work my way up to the videos at which point we would be at the same nuanced understanding and if they still disagreed with me, we could have a real nuanced discussion and they may be right and change my opinion on the issue.

As it stands, I know too much nuance on the issue and they are completely oblivious what they don’t know about the issue and are completely lacking nuance, just a dogma of free speech good, safe spaces bad, but at this point I’m a fucking cuck mangina and they have to fucking own my ass and win.  Nothing I will say at this point in the learning cycle is going to nudge their mind one iota.  I have a complex set of building block that scaffold off of each other, they are just willing things to work a certain way.  It’s like trying the discuss nuances of the rules of the complicated game I assume people know and they don’t actually understand the rules or they know like a few vague rules and want to hang their entire argument on why they won on those rules they know.

Do not teach unless they are willing to learn- Confucius

Part of this problem I fear comes from the teach to the test mindset and if it wasn’t on a test, they never learned it like we who went to high school back in the 90s.  On top of that it kills their love of learning worse than school did for us and makes it even harder for them to learn.  When i tutor these days i feel like there are two types of kids I deal with, the type who might as well be college level and just need help with nuances I’ve long forgotten, and kids whose teachers do things like use only notes and no books for complex subjects and never required them to learn things that for decades were just basic parts of learning,  mind you the differences are often based on income and who could afford the better schools, better teachers and whose school could take the hit if their standardized tests were too low.

This leads to my being really bad at not making people feel stupid when I’m shocked that they don’t know something

The amount we don’t know drifting.  In every generation there is lost information that must be relearned based on what they focused on.

The only time I’ve really been able to break down and discover misunderstandings was when I asked people about the regressive left and asked for examples, and it was not fun but I think I made some breakthroughs with people.  The research was like reading a lot of angry confused horrible scientific papers, most of them with horrible sources that insulted you.

While arguing with people on my sj videos in my comments section it always throws me at the level of ignorance people have about basic subjects i just assume they have.  They are missing key steps of knowledge in the logical process i always assumed everyone understood.    Often they will react to an argument I am making trying to argue something I actually believe but left out because it should be obvious that I believe it. When you tell them,  “well of course i believe that” it looks to them as if you are back peddling or making ad hoc addendums, or they made you admit something and therefore have you on the ropes.  I wonder if the only way to fix this as they already think you are a cuck mangina and all your topics trigger mental shutdown is to create another completely different non partisan channel to teach basic underpinnings of ideas of ignorance that you find people in your comments just don’t understand about the topics at hand.  Then maybe get someone else to read your script for you so you can link it and they wont realize its you.  Maybe even do a collaborative channel like Dnews or Crashcourse.

However due to these mixed reference points now every internet disagreement, even with people you agree with on almost everything suddenly becomes hostile and combative.  They assume you mean one thing through the lens of their reference point while you meant something entirely different and took a certain additional piece of information as obviously included because we have the same frame of reference.  Also I think a lot of us are also extra combative because we are used to being attacked and it’s nearly impossible to relax and chew over an idea from someone on the internet as trolls view that as a sign of weakness and try to treat your openness as an invitation for them to go for the jugular.

Mind you, since I’ve started blocking people who deny climate science and the Russian hacking and trolling, The number of people who have had these misunderstandings has dropped significantly.  So maybe it’s a pretend ignorance just used by trolls to fuck with us.

The Renaissance Man vs The Organizer/Coordinator

Growing up i was taught to admire, look up to and aspire to be like the great thinkers and renaissance men,  multi faceted multi talented wealth of knowledge.  Einstein,  da vinci, Tesla, Jefferson, Franklin, Edison, Ford.  Intellectual giants of their time.   They changed society as we know it and i was told i could too.  

  The corporate cubicle work drone was looked down on.  Materialism was as well.   Sales and marketing were looked on as dishonest.   People knew how to do one thing and didn’t question things beyond an industrial cog in a wheel

 I am a former naval nuclear electrician. Current microbiologist with a minor in chemistry with 9 years work experience,  i know a semester’s worth of programming in 6 different programming languages two of which area obsolete, i have an intermediate fluency rate in German and French,  i have 3 years experience in self taught 3d printing,  i was a adjunct instructor for 2 years at for profit colleges in 7 different subjects,  i am teaching myself android slowly,  i study psychology and history for fun and keep up on all the latest science findings.  I can cook, clean and sew.  I was a semester’s worth of classes away from associates in electronics tech before i moved.  I took extra classes to try and prove hypothesis i had from anatomy and physiology for massage, to air conditioning for long  discarded ideas.   I know how to and enjoy editing sound and videos.  I have 3 bachelors degrees worth of college credits all paid for either the military or out of pocket i can tutor you in almost anything.

My gf has an equally impressive collection of skills but as this is my blog i won’t go into more details   When people talk to us they just assume we must be absolutely loaded professionals, or at least comfortable enough to travel to exotic places.   I have been to 4 countries because of the military and she had never left the country not for want of trying.

However learning a lot does not make you rich in this day an age.  It barely puts food on the table.  The lauded renaissance man is not recognized by the modern world as being worthwhile.  Individuals who are really good at a certain skill set are people who make a living wage, but the people who make the most money and breakthroughs are the organizers.

The organizers know enough to get many people who are really good at their field, get them to communicate, collaborate and work together, blending their talents, spitball ideas in a safe space, try and fail, and eliminate bad ideas.  Warren Buffet made it rich not because he knew everything but because he knew just enough to spot a good idea and the way it was organized to project a good investment win.

Every person at the center of a movement who changed anything politically was a great organizer, they motivated and inspired people to work, deliberate discuss and brainstorm ideas.  They brought people together who should have been enemies and made them co-workers in a bigger cause.  Sadly all of these people are painted as the great man myth or a renaissance man who were just so genius they did it all on there own, and you can’t do anything like that because you will never be a genius renaissance man.   

The problem with the renaissance man is that they are trying to do everything themselves that a collection of individuals would do so much better.   The organizer has employees that have knowledge on the tip of their tongue, can much better spot errors, they don’t have to struggle and do research themselves, it’s right there for them.

The renaissance man myth has lead to the libertarian ideals of “we don’t need to help out other people we can do it all for ourselves, otherwise you are just weak.”  Dexters lab while funny is ridiculous, same with Batman with his many skills that would actually just make him really crappy at a ton of different things, including construction in a cave, auto maintenance, and suit and gadget assembly.    People spend their entire lives getting good at each of these or even subsegments of these, yet he can do it all BECAUSE HE’S BATMAN!

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Other than being interesting to listen to, assuming the person doesn’t think I sound like a know-it-all, my overload of things I know and the ability to explain them to the average person has given me zero material benefits, and hasn’t helped me invent anything, or become an entrepreneur as it’s often assumed. All the major discoveries and technological advancements that one person by themselves can do have already been discovered, now it requires collaboration of many people to create ground breaking change.   It may someday in the future, but I will have to develop marketing skills as well as convincing investments into my ideas as people tell me that anytime I try ebegging on here I just sound desperate.   I will have to focus on organizing people.  Or maybe I will have to focus on learning to write and publish which is a collection of things to know on a level on its own.  I also may want to go get my masters in biomedical engineering someday.  Sadly my choices on which areas to focus on are made incredibly difficult by how much I know and how many options I have which causes me to lock up.  If we had a living wage or knew I had a thousand years to try everything, being a renaissance man would eventually pay off but you can see why it is so rare these days.

We are a social species and only made it big for social reasons because of division of labor and knowledge.  Sadly the people who are best at their jobs are absolutely ignorant of politics, science and societal issues, as they focus all of their brain power on doing the best job they can to make the most money and never really thinking beyond that.   So I recommend a balance somewhere between myself, and these people.  If you are around someone who appears smarter than you but you are really good at what you do and love it, enjoy learning from them.  Focusing on what you need to know politically and societally and knowing enough science that you know who to trust and who to be skeptical of is essential as is cultivating empathy.  But don’t try to be batman or the da vinci or the other great polymaths back when what there was to know was exponentially less.  And if you want do real change, learn how to organize people and bring out their creativity and utilize their knowhow.  You will make a much bigger difference than some over educated no-body like me on youtube.

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Not voting can literally hurt you and your community.

Voting is a much discussed and much idealized activity in the United States.  However common knowledge in the US of the reasons for voting is only half of what is going on.  Pro-voting campaigns are always so vague and nebulous they completely leave out explaining political will.  They usually use phrases like “let your voice be heard”.  The explanation is all front focused based on currently running candidates.  Many see elections in no way representing them so they view it as a rigged game and a fairytale that politicians listen, and are ignorant of how it affects the candidate’s behavior after the election.   In the last post we discussed political will and how it works.  Even this discussion however has a more abstract impact on you than what impacts you as a person directly.   After this post I hope to convince you that not voting has a direct first-hand impact on you and your community and not doing so will hurt you in very real ways.

In the last post we discussed political will and how it works.  Politicians have a tiered system of people they care about listening to.  Voters, registered voters and non-voters.  They also have voters who give campaign donations, but that is for another discussion.   Numbers are all a candidate cares about or they will not have a job no matter how much advertising they pump in.  Every candidate has a certain amount of money and influence they can spend on helping their constituents, to help generate more votes.    

If our elected officials were able to care about everyone on ideals alone, they would spread the money our evenly.  However in the real world they would lose, due to limited time clout and resources.  So what you do is to direct those resources toward voters and causes they care about.  Politicians have data down to the streets of voters which is free to everyone.   They can also tap gallop polls to find out the average ages and demographics or voters.   If you’ve seen a US representative secure money in a budget for his or her district you can be definitely assured that that money is earmarked for a high voter area.   If your street isn’t plowed or potholes aren’t fixed, (other example) you can definitely be sure that your block is a low voter turnout area.  While there are sometimes other internal political reasons why these could happen, most often it is because people aren’t voting.

The goal of the politician is to make their voters the happiest they can doing the least they have to, just because of a limited about of time and resources.  They roll out the red carpet for high voter areas, and ignore the low-voting areas often leading to those areas also being less affluent areas just because of the long-term economic impact.  If you don’t think that is ethical or fair, guess what? There is zero repercussions for them if they ignore the non-voters as they only way they lose power is to be voted out, your opinion doesn’t matter if you don’t vote.   

Voting is not just about picking the current candidates, voting also works very similar to school attendance day when they count the attendance to see how much funding that school gets.   To not show up that day ensures your local community and in the long term you personally are personally hurt and ignored by your elected leaders.  Not voting is the very least you can do to impact your and other’s life and future campaigns, and hopefully I have convinced you that not voting is also a very stupid and self-harming thing to do.  Vote early and vote often. Vote in primaries if you want to change a party, vote third party or write in if you think no candidate is good, but for your own and your communities sake, please vote.

No voting means No representation: What is Political Will?

I recently had several claim that voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil, and that they can’t vote for anyone who would send drone strikes over to another country.   This argument on its face sounds logical and moral, but in case you aren’t aware everything you do is a lesser of two evils, nothing you ever do is perfect.    Giving canned vegetables to a poor person may involve buying that can from a company that uses poor labor practices that help keep people poor, that uses machines and your cell phone running on rare earth metals that fund child-soldier militia groups, and who burn tons of carbon and fight against carbon and green energy practices.  Nothing you do is perfect it is all a lesser evil.

Also if you can’t vote for people who make international policy then you are at least voting for state political leaders right?  People who can’t send soldiers to their deaths, but will be in the federal political system later on?  No?  Oh cause they are all dirty and in the pockets of big business.

Lately I have been working with a local non-partisan activism group attempting to change our election system to open up the elections to third parties, and I have been learning a lot from some veteran political organizers as to strategies for policy changes and spreading campaigns.   The fact that you voted is actually open to the public and the state keeps address, and phone numbers and some other open access data as if you registered to vote and if you actually voted.

When a candidate wants to run, if they want any chance of winning the very first thing they have to do in this data driven age is to take all of that information and crunch the numbers and find out what is important in that area via other polling data such as gallup.  Then they craft their promises and campaign issues based on what is important to the people in that area based on demographic data.  However what decides that is based on a weighted system of which demographics of people voted.  A political candidate cares first about a voter, second about a person who registered to vote but didn’t and lastly non-voters.  Its not that they don’t care about those people that sounds just wrong, but if a politician commits too many resources to the non-voting group, or to an issue that majority of voters don’t care that much about, they will lose, that is the hard truth.  Everything in politics comes down to math and votes.

Now just imagine if you have one group that is for say going to war with say New Zealand, and one that is completely opposed to war.   You could have an amazing candidate who thinks that it’s truly a stupid idea to go to war with New Zealand, and a terrible candidate that has all sorts of corrupt ties and skeletons in their closet.  If the anti-war people don’t go to the polls because they dislike some of that anti-war candidates ideas, we will go to war with New Zealand.   Now if a moderate can find ideas that appeal to both sides of the divide but has things they really care about like being anti-war, they can win even without the anti-war.   This drives the fickle anti-war candidates to view this person as a sellout and will be even less likely to vote.   If the all the voters at some point are for the war, the candidate will have no choice but to change their position and go or lose their job.

Political will is all a numbers game, if a person votes their opinion adds a tiny bit to the political scale because there is such a large number of people with competing ideas.  If you don’t vote you could have the noblest of ideas but on the political stage your opinion means jack squat.  To drive this home, Bill Maher recently did a closing Monologue discussing the difference between the benefits elderly people get, and the benefits young people get.  Elderly people get an average of $26K from the government yearly while young people and children get an average of $3K per year.  Why? Because elderly people vote.

Social security and medicare for the elderly are third rail issues that will lose votes at a ridiculously fast rate.   Food stamps, health care, social security, education and jobs for young people are however easy pickings for a candidate because young people on average vote much less than the elderly.   While the elderly are living in the so called socialist lap of luxury from the government, polls show the majority fear socialism so they ensure young people can’t have the same safety net they so enjoy.

On average polls show that the majority of elderly population who votes is more likely to be against a minority or female candidate, be opposed to same-sex marriage, be ok with a war, be against legalizing marijuana, and care very little all about net neutrality and only a little more about climate change.   These are all issues that the majority of the younger generation has completely opposite priorities on.  However when asked about legalizing marijuana Obama was really smirkingly dismissive about it, not because he was against it, but because the numbers weren’t there for him to spend the time and energy to do anything about it.    Political will only exists when voters, not citizens care about an issue.   Even if you feel like the person you are voting for is a lesser of two evils, the next election they will be much more likely to listen to and eager to please your demographic, and they couldn’t care less about your issue if you didn’t vote. Why? Because the people running who do care got eliminated from politics through natural selection.

So in reality, voting for the lesser of two evils may feel dirty at first, but after the election it will change the setup for the next election.  If you want to change a party, vote in that primary.  If you think both parties are hopeless, vote third party, but the fact that you voted will be noted when the next election roles around.  That is exercising your political will

Beyond earth: pt 2 Terraforming Mars and Venus

At this point they can begin the terraforming process.  Earth can digitally send plans to build sulfur hexafloride plants the most powerful greenhouse gas known to science, breathing it actually has the opposite effect of helium, there are youtube videos on this.  With the planet warming the atmosphere will get a bit thicker since the CO2 won’t freeze into dry ice at night.   Ice caps will start melting, releasing water.  Wel will start growing lichen and then other drought tolerant plants and microbiota, using algae produced fertilizer to convert the soil to arable use.

We will have a factory dedicated to building balloons, that reflect heat back to the plan

et’s surface, as clouds will be rare in the beginning.  They will also act to replace the missing magnetic field and block absorb or reflect some of the harmful cosmic rays, using gamma or high energy light to power them, they will have material that traps protons, alpha and beta ray, stripped helium and electrons from solar winds and puts them back into the atmosphere to replace Hydrogen and Helium removed by solar winds removed 3-4 billion of years ago without a magnetic field.  I will guess that in the next 50 years, synthetic materials will easily be embedded with solar powered proton pumps and ion channels that bacteria have, to pull hydrogen and helium from the air when balloon pressure gets too low and eject it when the pressure gets too high.

  The martian ecosystem will be the biggest experiment in evolution ever seem.  Every animal we bring will be small.  Tiny dogs, cats, rabbits, pygmy goats, rodents, tea cup pigs, insects.  Once they become feral in their new tree filled forests and fields, we will see evolution pick up the pace and fill niches faster than we could have imagined.  Giantism in some species could evolve in a few 100 years if there was enough resources.   We may just put temporary suppressor genes or methylations though and create runt members of a species for transport and then suppress those suppressors working their way up slowly by generation so they can bear full sized offspring of their species.  At that small size we may also temporarily speed up their fertility and gestation rates to allow for a larger new stock population.

73463-004-20ED402D

Humans may also have the first speciation event since Homo erectus or earlier.  1/3rd gravity may very well affect human fertility, and select for humans that can carry children to term in low gravity.   We may grow longer and with less muscle mass but larger cardiovascular systems for the thinner atmosphere that at full strength may still feel like a very high altitude .  A martian visiting earth will require a grueling workout routine before and on the way to earth just to be able to function in earth’s gravity and air pressure.

People will live on the equator, currently the equator has a high temperature of 80F, though that number will increase to 90 or 100. Small changes to equatorial temperatures causes extremely large temperature rises on the rest of the planet.  If we were able to collect enough hydrogen or just mine asteroids for water and hit the planet with ice, a giant ocean could exist on the north half of the planet and the entire equator would be tropical beachside property.

Of course the moon will be our first attempt to build these modules.  Although everything but the 2 bioreactors can work on the moon.  The bioreactors may have to be built on a carbon and water rich asteroid carried to circle the moon.  NASA is hoping to do so in the next ten to 20 years.  Space elevators will be even cheaper on the moon with such low gravity, so the oxygen and hydrogen from split water will easily get us from the asteroid to the space elevators cheaply with supplies and produced chemicals.  There will be little to no point in terreforming the moon, and the moon with stocks of helium 3 will be the best place to build antimatter plants.  We may terreform it in its tiny atmosphere to have a small amount more oxygen so getting stuck out on the surface won’t be as deadly, but thats the best we will be able to do without tech we are unaware of at the moment.

The we will move on to Venus, or once we have the modules built on the moon we may do them in tandem with mars.  the temperature and pressure on Venus is too dangerous to live on the surface, but a balloon filled with one atmosphere of air can float just fine among the clouds so we will set up balloon based outposts and colonies later on on Venus.  We will have to cart a few mineral rich asteroids into Venus’s orbit to provide metal that is too dangerous to reach the surface.    Rocket launches and landings will be similar to space ship one and 2 just without the white knight and replaced by ballloon/jet hybrids so the amount of fuel needed to get from Venus to and from the asteroid will be much less than it would be from the surface.

The robot mining group the refinery and maybe the machining plant will be located on the asteroid to ensure the least amount of wasted material will have to be sent to Venus.   The balloons used to heat up mars will be built on overdrive to cool down Venus.   These balloon will be very long and thin and will turn sideways at night to allow heat to escape the planet, but block heat, radiation and solar winds from hitting the planet.  I calculated depending on how much Earth feels like spending, it could take 50 to 300 years to build enough balloons to cool venus to a livable temperature at the poles.  It may take 100 years or more to vent all of the trapped heat off, however I do not know the thermodynamics of planetary heat loss in this formula.  Terraforming Venus has a lot more advantages to terreforming mars.  Gravity is extremely close to that of earth requiring less body adjustment, and there a much larger area of land to live on.  The equator will be so hot and dry that living in the interior of the continent Aphrodite would be suicide, but once we’ve collected enough hydrogen from solar winds and re ocean it, along the beaches might be fine.    The Ishtar and Lada continents along the polls will be nice as well though they unfortunately will have the arctic-style nights long nights which will lead to some interesting evolution.

However there is the negative impact of a day lasting 2/3rds of an earth year and a year being even shorter than that, however by that time we will have had another 150 years of scientific exponential research under our belt and we may be able to use the geophysics to increase the spin of the planet, and get the core spinning again like in the really awful movie the core where they used 5 nuclear bombs but physicists calculated it would require around 120 of those bombs in different areas of the planet to work like that.   Complicate it more by the fact that Venus spins backwards and may have been slowed down and lost its spinning core by exchanging energy with the sun so we would have to reverse the spin then get it up to somewhere near earth day speed.  Until this happens  I can see species following the long night, eating the freshly thawed carrion of animals that either got old or tired and the night winter caught them.

VENUSMAP

I’ve been wanting to do a post on this subject for a while but it wasn’t until the ideas of self-replication modules for colonies that I felt I would have enough material.  I could go on and on about exciting futurism hundreds of year away but it can get into some serious tedium which is where I am at the moment.  So I hoped you enjoyed and got you to look forward to the future, even if life extension doesn’t materialize in our lifetime and we don’t get to see or experience it.  Take care!

Beyond Earth: Outpost vs Colonies.

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Recently a speaker, on a ForaTV discussion, pointed out that the current one-way mission to mars that private companies are planning for 2018 will be hardly a martian Colony, it will be an outpost.  In an outpost, such as the Antarctic research base, people live there but nothing is made there.  Everything that keeps them alive comes from warmer areas.  On mars other than some 3-D printed repair parts from martian rock, and the plants and insects for food, the outpost will be completely dependant on long term unmanned deliveries from Earth.

    The discussion got me thinking, so what technology will be required for a true colony?  What will be required is a replicatable infrastructure on the planet to can be used to duplicate itself over and over again to achieve all of the inhabitant’s needs.  Until that happens, shipping anything will be too expensive to allow the people to live with comforts anywhere close to that of earth.  I calculated that 8 essential modules will be required to make a colony in the future.   The overhead for sending these will be massive, and they may require quite a few trips for each module  but once they are operational and working in tandem, they will be capable of replicating and never require that level of tech to be sent through space again.

So here are the list of modules we will need

1)    First and foremost will be a gas plant.  The gas plant, which is used on earth will collect atmospheric gases freeze then, separating them based on temperature levels where varying gases convert to liquids.  On mars where it gets cold enough to turn CO2 into dry ice at night, it may be a perfect time to collect gases.  While growing plants will convert most CO2 in martian air into breathable oxygen, we will need purified gases for the other modules.

2)

The second module will be an algae bioreactor plant that will take sunlight and produce many different things from sunlight and CO2 in the martian air.  Algae will produce many chemicals and many nutrients as well as oxygen.  That algae will fix the carbon in the air into biomass that can be converted into plastics.  Any chemical that the algae can’t produce will be created by way of number.

3)

The biochemical microbial plant

This plant will use nutrients produced by the algae and convert them into any chemical they need via genetically modified yeasts and bacteria.    With these, they will be able to produce medicines, chemical solvents, and basically any chemical they desire.

4)

The synthetic material plant.  This plant will convert biomass from algae using chemicals made in the biochemical plant into any plastic or synthetic material one could want.  Each one of these modules will be as compact and minimalistic as possible for transport with as limited of specialized output as possible, but once they start replicating they can make much larger modules and receive blueprints and recipes digitally from earth. No space travel required.

5)

Mining robot group

This module will mine, prospect and collect metals and rocks from mars that can be processed later.  At first their progress will be small as they will be tiny but as they collect enough, the robots can be built bigger and bigger.  Thanks to geological satellites circling Mars, GIS imaging will help these robots to easily prospect for materials needed.

Much like early earth before we started to use metals and minerals, mars has a lot of important minerals and metals just sitting out on the surface, making deep mining unnecessary hopefully for a decade or so.

6)

Metal Refinery

Once the robots get back with their finds, the minerals will have to be processed.  Gas from the gas plant will be used for deep heating to process the materials.  They may have a nanoprocessing system in them as well, though that may end up needing its own module.  I did not place it as essential because the refinery should be able to do it, but engineers may decide its needs its own.

7)

Factory/machine shop

This module will take the refined materials and shape them using 3D printers, 3D cutters and other forms or processing.  The machine shop will them finish and smooth the product and make modifications.  This may also have to be split into 2 modules depending.  A robotic assembly plant that can be built by the inhabitants will make their lives much easier once completed

But wait you ask, how is all of this powered?

That is what the final module will do.

8)

An integrated circuit plant.  This plant will print circuit boards as needed for computers and robots as new printers are beginning to show real promise in this field.  It will also print microfluidic boards used to make Gene sequencers and bioanalyzers.  And finally it will be able to print solar panels that will power all of their needs.  The factory will also be able to build wind turbines.  Initially Earth will have to send the bare basic number of solar panels to let the plant work at minimum operation.  Building more solar panels and turbines will be their initial top task to allow more and more output that will rise exponentially over time.   Printed batteries are becoming more and more viable as well these days for down time storage.

Once the plant is at full capacity and they have built vehicles to transport farther, the next phase of their mission will be to build an exact duplicate plant, because until they have more than one they are still dependant on the earth in case a critical part breaks.  Once they have replicated each of these modules once or twice they will be able to then call themselves an independent colony.   They will still exchange science research with each other and the Martian colony will provide extremely valuable science and experiments that would be impossible on earth.  They can set up a space elevator for cheap space travel as the gravity is 1/3rd that of earth.  All transport from the Earth will be for people, luxury items and small animals.  It will be the first human colony that starts out with solid high tech science, as opposed to one that starts living off nature and maturing into science.

ForaTV’s Colony talk

Science Muck pt 2 of 2

The non-entertainment area of Youtube and the internet in general is a group experiment in the raising of human consciousness and knowledge and we correct each other if we are open-minded to the gaps in our own knowledge.  I have grown a lot and learned not to trust myself as much.  My level of certainty has dropped.  I’ve become skeptical of my own book and want it fact checked by people in that field in that area before I ever publish it..

However there has been a group of youtubers who are skeptical but can be serious jerks about it.  Youtube is an area where ideas get exchanged and people learn from their mistakes.  I constantly rely on crowd sourcing to check and correct my facts.  A few who were right on issues were also very ungracious about it from the get-go until they realized that I was able to accept criticism and as much as it sucked I could change my mind.  Though the average person probably wouldn’t have.  These were on issues of IQ and sociopaths, concepts I believed were common knowledge in the psychological community, but were in fact actually up for debate in that field.   Every psychologists I had listened to or talked to accepted them as fact, so I was quite blindsided when I discovered these are actually hotly debated topics in psychology.

Had I not had respect for these people and a mid-level understanding of skepticism and my own bias to begin with I would have most likely either ignored them and continued in my ignorance or believed myself to be right and under attack.   Another person was recently insultingly attacked out of the gate by one of these people similarly like this out of the gate, and clung to the idea much longer than he probably who have if he had been approached with better communication skill, but instead he he felt personally attacked and stuck with it further making himself look like an idiot.

One of these skeptics recently attacked an internet meme claiming that this was a blatant and willful political agenda by the atheist community to relable deists in history as atheists.   Its a fucking facebook meme, tons of them are wrong most often through innocent confusion and ignorance.  Guess what things are wrong on the internet.  I rely strongly on crowdsourcing on facebook for debate and discussion.  If I had to deeply fact check everything I posted on facebook I would never post anything.  However crowdsourcing is extremely good at self-correcting, 90-99% of my posts are well sourced and people who follow my stream most of the time catch anything I may post that is false or badly sourced.

Carl Sagan had a definition for these skeptics who while probably being right are also unable to see the opportunity of inaccuracies as a teaching moment, and instead feel disgusted with the that they would dare to call themselves a skepic.  Her referred to them as skeptical curmudgeons.

“The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them — the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you’re sensible, you’ll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status.”

These skeptical curmoudgens are more happy to snub, jump on and insult you, than get the gratification that someone now is more informed.   They are like elitists and less like teachers.  Often its not until they have made an enemy do they switch to a teaching role.  They also look down on people for not knowing about things they see as common knowledge and call people lazy or uninformed for not knowing something.  They fail to remember that our entire structure of science in general relies on division of labor because there is just too much stuff out there to know and people who are brilliant at one thing may be completely incapable of knowing that there is well documented science out there on the subject already, or there are multiple points of view on the subject and not just accepted fact.  These people also often have free and easy access to scientific papers and have privilege that they had a good foundation in skepticism and logic while many of us lived in intellectual poverty and had to drag ourselves up to the level we are now.  They are rarely wrong because they don’t say anything or share ideas themselves, they just pwn people who are wrong.

Youtube skepticism needs to be a neutral zone of ideas people can toss around and not feel threatened by if they are wrong.   When I started here on youtube I got a lot of my ideas out, some were widely accepted some were shaped and molded by others who disagreed and the people who disagreed were fairly cordial about it to begin with.   These days I feel like making videos isn’t worth it as much not just the attacks from the dissenters which I’m fine with but from people whose opinions you respect and expect to be on your side treating you like scum if you say one thing wrong about something you may have never been able to know you were ignorant on because there is just too much to know about everything.    Their motto is if you don’t know enough then never post anything to youtube or you are a lazy ignorant moron.  If you don’t write a scientific peer reviewed paper than you should just shut the hell up.   Even though these self-viewed guardians of skepticism attacking someone using charged language straight out of the gate is hardly scientific and would be immediately rejected from publication if they tried to print it in a scientific journal.   For fucks sake this is youtube we are talking about, stop taking it so seriously!  So much content is uploaded every day the impact of someone uploading something in ignorance to the web is minimal especially if they are corrected and correct the people you accidentally misinformed.

If you posted something, you tried something, you broke out an area of your understanding and made yourself vulnerable to change.  That takes a lot of courage in and of itself.   I tell people that everything I know I learned from mistakes.  If you don’t make mistakes you can’t learn from them and the more safe a place you can make mistakes in without ridicule the more you will be able to learn if you are will.   I feel my mind has stagnated without that sandbox area of mistakes on youtube to play in.    Youtube skepticism was also a tiny subset of the youtube atheist community, some nurturing like Sagan and some bitter and insulting like Hitchens thinking thats how you be a skeptic.   Insults and ridicule should only occur when all other options are exhausted.  However the level of extreme certainty from the non-skeptical atheists or certainty scientists is enough to drive any skeptic to anger and poo flinging, but you must restrain yourself or instead of increased education and skepticism, it will just be a shouting match making you both just look like children slap fighting.