Religion, Politics, Science, Skepticism

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Science Muck pt 1 of 2

Science muck

Science is a methodology that is used to counter our own natural biases, to eliminate what is wrong in current or hypothetical thinking, and to get as close to the truth as we possibly can by way of designing and running tests, standardized and meticulous observations of what we find in nature, in the sky or the ground.   It is a collection of highly trained individuals trying to poke holes in each others ideas, and people trying to poke holes in their own ideas preemptively to prevent their ideas from looking bad.

However science is not perfect.  It is made up of individuals.  Some may be lazy, some may have power or esteem and the politics of the institutions makes it difficult to challenge them or move forward ideas or projects until after that person dies.  Until the internet, it required journal publishing that really only felt like publishing the more groundbreaking studies and not ones that replicated or countered other studies unless it was very ground breaking.  Boring but necessary was not in.  We are slowly working to fix that, and thanks to online journals it has made it easier to publish the boring stuff.

However often because of that slowing, some will take it to the other extreme and take their ideas to the public without proper merit.   This is called pop science.  Pop science is wonderful in the fact that it creates science enthusiasts which we need to help get the government on our side and move us forward as a species, but at the same time its a great area for people to go out of their depth and write books and articles that sound brilliant and exciting, creating a framework to better understand reality with and put it all into a neat little package.  Its freeing and liberating to think that we understand this and are part of this knowledge along with the scientists in their fields..

The problem with science is it is the most exciting and at the same time boring thing in the world.  It has to be boring in how you write about it or your own biases get in the way but at the same time you have to make it exciting and amazing or no one will be interested and money for science will drop.   Its always a fuzzy line of complexity that hounds science.  Take for example when you should and shouldn’t trust science and when you can decide for yourself.

The average person is told to always think for themselves and question, but then they are told we should trust the scientists to figure it out as that is not our field of knowledge.   We know that if we were to go through the training and had the money we could go and replicate the experiment and see if we get the same results, and that people do that often.   The problem is we can’t if we want to do other things so we have to trust the system.  And the system is the collection of scientist not individuals.  And here’s where it comes to a head.  There are many writers with PhD’s that people are trying to trust that are being bad scientists who go outside of their fields.

Well established people who create breakthroughs will often get very addicted to being right and start going down rabbit roles of unscientificness outside of their field and then feel threatened when their ideas are attacked.   Many great scientists went on to have really wrong ideas later in life including Einstein and Tesla as once they achieved god-like status people stopped questioning and disagreeing with them as much and it became easy to live in a bubble of yes-people who would never question them or do so on a much weaker basis in fear of angering their hero or superior.

Heimlich, who’s maneuver bears his name is a clear example of this.  After saving millions of lives with his amazingly simple maneuver he felt himself a god among men.  With all the letters coming in thanking and praising him for the lives he was saving, he started trying to figure out the next great life saving thing and seriously started to go down the rabbit hole into obscure ideas lacking evidence and dwelling in the realm of conspiracy and hidden agenda such as a cure for AIDs and cancer using another potentially deadly pathogen.  He was also very vocal about something that was not in his field and probably ended up hurting a lot of people with pseudo-science.

A year or two after graduating I was loaned a book that changed my outlook on much of reality.  It was called the third chimpanzee by Jarod Diamond, many of you have probably heard of and probably admire.   However Jarod Diamond I am finding out is not an anthropologist he is a physiologist and a geographer. And while this much education requires you to have a toe dipped into many fields with a lot of tenure his but are about 50% scientific and the rest is personal ideas, one-sided claims, and anecdotes he uses.  Its just sciency enough that everyone, including scientists outside of anthropology love his work, but inside the anthropology society they are frustrated at him.  For one thing he states as fact things that are up for debate in the anthropology community as if it is settled and agreed on by the majority. He stated flatly that the megafauna in North America and Australia were killed off by man, !One of the 2 big arguments I had with my gf for the first 2 years viewing him as an expert in the field.   Even at that time the science community was debating it and nothing was solid and now we are finding that may have been true about a minority of species but not about most of them, it was climate change and other factors we are finding more and more paleontological evidence in the past 20 years.

And his books are just filled with these one sided claims that drawing off of that he makes other inferences off of to make other certain or semi-certain claims.  This is the biggest reason why the evolutionary psychology community is not taken very seriously or held at arms length.   Science is slow and conservative for a reason.  Mostly because if they have to change they want people to know that yes we knew we weren’t very certain beforehand and this new development while surprising and exciting wasn’t completely unexpected.    If they had been blindsided by the complete change in complete course on an idea, the general public would begin to question things that are the bedrock of science.  Why the certainty used in American science news is so damaging to the credibility of science as the average person thinks, “scientists dont know anything they keep changing their mind”, while science itself has degrees of certainty and new research and discoveries are hardly certain but very interesting and exciting.

This hybrid of science and pseudoscience or maybe we should call it certainty science, has leaked over into youtube and the general public.  Without the basic understanding of the scientific process.  As some may remember, I made it out of college with a BS in microbiology without a clue as to how the scientific process works.  In hard sciences in the US they are so busy cramming you with facts and techniques, many students don’t actually run into the scientific process and peer review until they get into their masters program.   The softer sciences and some rare good high schools are the only areas where it is mandatory to know this.   I believed as a scientist that I could learn a fact about science from a study that unknown to me was not an established fact it was a paper that needs more research, and then from that fact infer other things.   Each preceding layer has to be established and tested first before you can state anything higher level as fact.

This form of certainty and pseudo-science has disseminated its way all over youtube and the internet.   If the average American had a firm foundation in skepticism, the basics of how science works and critical thinking, we would all be in a better place, but sadly most of that is self taught for a lot of us, and as Mitch Headberg said, I taught myself how to play guitar, but I was a shitty teacher because I did not know how to play.


Great mistakes

The Shortcomings of Community in the modern era. Pt 2 of 2

A common confusion about the Amish is that they shun all technology.  This is fundamentally untrue.  They will actually just hold back on technology, until they can decide what kinds of impact it will have on the community and community cohesion.  They embrace some technology such as air powered tools and shun others such as electric lighting and cars that encourage not sleeping according to the sun cycle, and driving long distance encouraging them from splitting up the community.  However we now start getting into the dark side of community.   In around quite a few amish communities there are sex abuse rescue groups.  These people spend almost their entire lives with each other, and is sex abuse happens, escape can feel almost worse than the abuse.  They will have to tear themselves away from the only life they know  into a strange world with people they have never met, and not having honed the social skill needed to find individual like minded people.

This is one of the reasons why criminals who have done their time often return to prison.  Aside from the social stigma and difficulty in being hired, They often have low or seriously degraded social skills, especially if they spent time in solitary, and their social demeanour is aggressive to avoid getting attacked or taken advantage of.   Freedom can feel worse than prison to them, a similar reason why so many ex military end up committing suicide.    The unquestioned community contact is just gone.  I experienced a very similar loss when I went from isolationist religious home schooling to divorced family in public school.   I had zero for social skills and my family became fragmented.  Had we prior to mass transit a time which my parents idolized, I could have spent the rest of my life like this, marrying someone nearby.   In this modern world through I was completely crippled, especially with aspergers and it took me well over a decade of failure to fix myself.

Hannibalthevictor13 did a great video after the steubenville rape case discussing the dark  side of small towns.  They often have a hierarchy especially with older families.   The cops often look the other way on crimes if the more important families children are caught doing something.  It requires something massive usually before the state steps in.   Billy Graham’s grandson recently humbly showed research that while the catholic church is getting massive flack for child molestation mostly because they covered it up so much, Child molestation is even worse in evangelical protestantism.   There is little to no oversight.  People trust people to watch their kids. And for the kids this is all the community they know and much of the religion sets you up for being innocent and submissive.  Trying to report it and destroying bond could be irrepairable.

    Small groups also have the neurochemical problem.  Oxytocin is a chemical I’ve discussed before, known as the cuddle drug that creates bonding.  I’m going to do a video in the future discussing further research on the dark side of oxytocin. The stronger you are bonded to someone of a group, oxytocin actually strengthens your us vs them mindset and you are much less trustful people not like you.  I talked to an oldtimer who was a trucker at one point talking about the war.  He said in his town if anyone came around with a possibly german sounding accent, we ran his ass out of town, and he still views it as a good thing.  Small groups have stronger mob mentality especially if they isolate.  The more open they are however to others the less bonding they have to each other making the community much easier to become divided by small issues.

    We see the way the world and government are as static but what we fail to realize is that we are in a crazy transition time.  Technology is dictating how we socialize, and will continue to do so.  Social luddites often resist it and decry the social changes and see the world as going to hell in a handbasket and how the old days and tradition were better but our morals and values adapt making things even better in the long run.  We evolved as hunter/gatherer semi-nomads in defined territories where we had low trust of people not in our tribes.

    Then agriculture came along and the impact was crazy.  We could fit more people on less land, we could divide labor instead of doing everything for ourselves, allowing us as a group do things never imagined.  We could also amass large armies and attack and subjugate people we didn’t like and could steal from them and subjugate them.  Transportation and then the internet came opening us up to the people we didn’t know and didn’t like and science allowed us to realize just how similar we all are.  Our social contract with the community changed as we less tightly bonded less and accepted others more.  We became even more and more interdependant on strangers and we did great evil and great good due to shared watered down responsibilty from long chains of supply and demand.

    With a changed social contract the role of the government had to change to do what the community used to do and people are still resisting that, even though the need left caused by the invention of mass transit is very great, and because of scale the cost and efficiency is actually less and more expanded with government than a community could do in the long run, even with short run corruption and waste.  If a government was pushed by voters it could also fund science and large research projects that could completely end up completely upending the current system of government and community entirely the way mass transit and agriculture has.   We are also beginning to question as a planet if nations should fight and kill each other for resources, and if the role of government is to shift from role of warrior and enforcer to role of protector of people from harm and want and protector of the environment.

In ancient times, protection by the strong kingdom was often more important and practical than freedom and death which was almost certain for individual communities.   Through the decline of war in the 1900’s it is estimated that by 2050 ignoring impacts by climate change, thanks to worldwide education and infrastructure there is estimated to be 1 to zero armed conflicts in the entire world, as people are trained to police and think for themselves more and poverty doesn’t drive them to desperation.

We all emotionally desire to go back hunter/gatherer community. Many feel isolated and want to go backwards.  Much of this was caused because many were raised with the old model and weren’t prepared for the new model and struggle to adapt late.  Some try to restore or create new local community, which can work to impact local and national political change, but the closeness and bonding is never there.  Some try to engineer isolated communities.   I tried to do so with my liberty constitution I wrote years ago and have long since abandoned.  Nearly all planned communities have failed especially intellectual ones as the members have too much individuality.   Education and individuality are the bane of communities  50% of all marriages don’t last between two people how can a group of people with  dissimilar interests, views and beliefs last?

Divorces happen at a high rate often because there is so much choice out there.  Back in the day you had a limited number of mates to choose from and heaven help you if you were gay.  You stuck together for survival til you died.  Marriage is no longer about survival and the same mechanisms don’t apply.  Long distance relationship definitions shrink with new technological jump.  If the hyperloop becomes a reality someday a trip from chicago to Columbus Ohio will take the less amount of time it used to take to go across a large city.   Long distance relationship definition will change and options will explode even further. Studies show that too much choice can give you a better decision but you are less happy about it because you don’t know if you may have made the wrong choice.  Also people are living longer, and while 50% of all marriages fail, that number drops to 20% if you marry over 30 years old, when you figured some things in your life out and aren’t constantly changing.

There are many disadvantages to this modern way of living but also many many more wonderful advantages hence why we haven’t burned all of our cars and gone back to live like the amish.  The individuality we have is now amazing, the ability to meet people who are so different yet very alike us is wonderful.  We now are questioning long held beliefs never questioned by the majority of people because we aren’t asking how will it affect my small community we are asking is is fair and does it harm anyone?  These are the foundations of of Liberal and social libertarian morality according to a TED talk by Jonathan Haidt, linked below.  Conservatives have a much less freeing basis for their morality and base it on the old small community mindset, harkening to tradition, while we harken to facts and evidence and hunt them down.  We keep slowly in fits and starts move toward a more fair and just world because of our individual ability to think outside the group, and questioning things that would have destroyed the group ensuring many in our group may have died.  We are without the super tight bonds we crave so much, we can now see our enemies less as monsters and more as people just like us.

The old paradigm of geographic community in this new world of connectivity and rapid transit are gone.  Perhaps in the future with robots doing manual work, new labor laws and shifting values part of people’s job will be to bond with their local community.  With open sourced femto or atto level replicators scarcity might be obliterated upending the entirety the economic and social contract with our governments creating a new era of community reliance back to the hunter/gatherer days.  If you want community, now is not the time for it.  As I can see now unless another mechanism can keep geographic communities together to do all government does advancements in science will be the only thing to change that paradigm.  So keep pressure on your government to end war, educate, and move us scientifically forward.

Social/idea changes

Hannibal discussing the dark side of small towns

5 foundations of conservative morality

The Shortcomings of Community in the modern era. Pt 1

Once upon a time there was a horrible nation with an oppressive government.  Neighborhoods decided they had had enough and decided to forget about the government and just work together to provide essential services.  Road repairs, charities, elderly care, medical bills, defence, electricity, incoming neighbors, imports, delivery and justice.  Everyone was equal and everyone prospered and they all lived happily ever after.  The end.

    From everything I’ve heard this seems to be the call from many anarchs, anarcho-communists and anarcho-capitalists.  Instead of government we should have community.  If we had that we could get rid of government entirely.  Where did this idea come from?   Well it is at the very core of our history as well as our mythology.   Happy village people, simple, caring, helping each other out and supporting each other.     But anthropologists might paint a more complex and troubled picture.

    From hunter-gather times to the invention of the modern personal transportation, we as a species have relied on community pretty much exclusively for most of our needs and to fall back on as a social safety net.  When someone was sick we would all help out, when someone was crippled the community pitched in, when we needed defence we would fight together.  Ideally that is, it wasn’t always the case.

    But once travel became faster and cheaper a new reality was invented and the social structure began warping and twisting.  Prior to rapid transit, we were nomadic, semi-nomadic or sedentary.  However the big catch is that for the most part if we were nomadic, we moved around together, in groups.  Rapid transit allowed for new variety of humans, individual nomads or semi-nomads.  What is now the tradition in much of America now days is one is sedentary to semi-nomadic until they graduate with they family, then they often leave to go to college, then the may move several times again to parts of the country or world before they move into a retirement home or die.  And this individualistic semi-nomadic system throws a wrench into traditional community as we know it.

    In sedentary communities, one knew everyone around them for the most part until they died.  New people came in on occasion, but the majority rarely left once settled..   Getting to know new people was pretty rare.  You knew who you could trust and who you couldn’t.  You knew that if you put effort into that community, you would likely benefit from it in the long run, so you didn’t feel like you were unfairly wasting energy.    The new individual semi-nomad however has to put much more effort in being social especially in a neighborhood which can be overwhelming especially if one is an introvert.  You meet hundreds of new people on a yearly basis and you have to learn whether you can trust them or not.  And if you put effort into a community chances are you will have moved before the help you put in will come back to help you when you need it.

    Trust issues became so difficult when the trains came, that companies had to keep registries of people if they wanted to get a loan from a bank and send agents around the country to ask about these people and observe them in almost a creepy invasive fashion, as well as an interesting form of biometrics that was used the way fingerprints are now with a surprisingly high level of accuracy.   This has since been replaced by credit records which are national.  Snake oil salesmen and confidence men moved from one town to the next making a pretty penny on the natural trust that a community relied on hold it together, as they had never had that trust challenged they were easy pickings for these swindlers.    Thanks to the internet constantly hitting us with spam and scams most of us are now inoculated with a healthy level of defensive skepticism.  This skepticism however can put up a barrier with joining a new community from both sides.

    Effort put in verses outcome in the future is why Unions at one point did very well, the local community was the union and the majority worked there all their lives.   Then people started moving around, and then not staying in a job long term came into play, and then laws where you weren’t required to pay into a union in some states came out weakening the power the union has, making people less interested in paying into and being involved with unions pretty much pulling out many of the unions teeth.  Germany doesn’t have that problem because Unions are nationwide, for the majority of all jobs, and spending some time on the board and getting experience is considered part of ones job.   If you pay into a union you know you will eventually get something out of it.  Finland’s teaching unions takes care of the hirings and firings which eliminates the stereotypes of lazy union workers.

    Social security and health care are things individuals just can’t expect to pay into on a community level with people coming in and leaving all the time.  Fear that medicare and Social Security won’t be there long term is why so many people are against paying into it, but people receiving their benefits they paid into don’t want it touched even though there are very simple real things to ensure they will be there in the future.   The only way a community could even begin to tackle this would be a national web of communities, that everyone pays into, just with a lot of overhead and red tape to ensure that the fund is covered, and if that web ever gets questioned there could be a run on the web similar to a run on the banks that would collapse leaving a lot people stranded.   They would also have to slowly regulate the number of poor people in the community web coming into and leaving a lot of in the cold, as too many poor people would collapse the system   The only way that would work is if people were guaranteed good wages for jobs to pay for those in need otherwise the community gives all they can and they can all be poor together.

    Geographical community with the option of digital community also has the downside of dissimilar interests.   I’m pretty sure there will only be maybe 3 people in a 4 block radius of where I live that I would have any interest in actually hanging out with and talking to.  People have enough awkward discussions with the family over the holidays, depending on where you live, multiply that awkwardness exponentially with people around you.   Because reliance on early communities was so essential to your survival, instead of finding people who fit your views, belief and interests you instead shaped your views, beliefs and interests based on the people around you or at least fake it. New ideas are not viewed as a good thing.  Change is bad because it doesn’t just affect you anymore it impacts the cohesion of the entire community.   Its why tribes have some extremely weird practices that seem completely illogical but the changes evolved based on elders reacting to things keeping in mind to increase bonding in the tribe.  By the time the younger members become leaders they are often set in their ways and keep the practices.

This is why churches have done so well.  Especially conservative ones.  You can root yourself up from one part of the country and move to a different part and you have a group of people who for the most part with some variation believe exactly what you do.   Now instead you can have the internet and get semi-social interaction online, or you can find people with common interests such as meetup, but as you keep large parts of your beliefs hidden for the sake of community you never bond like old style communities.   If you get tired of the activity or get burnt out on it you leave the group because you had most often little else holding you together.

Quite often if one’s religion changes all of those ties are severed leaving you without community and everyone you knew on a negative footing.  The same is true with people you work with.  Politics and religion on never discussed to ensure social cohesion to focus on the task at hand.  You aren’t there to bond, you are there to get a job done or in terms of a meetup group, you are there to socialize about a specific thing.   This is the advantage and disadvantage of the individual over the community.

The American Voting Mythology

As any American child can tell you, America is the greatest nation on earth because the founding fathers created a form of government that ensured every citizen could equally express their opinion through the form of a free and fair vote that ensures that the average will of the people is what is what the government does and that anyone, rich or poor can someday become president.   All you need to do is go vote.

Well not quite.  The Constitution actually allowed the states to decide how to elect people, and when the nation started states decided only landing owning white men could vote, and the ballots were hardly secret and often votes went to whoever bought the voters the most alcohol.  Under John Quincy Adams States opened up voting to all white males, leading an alcoholic fueled victory party for Andrew Jackson at the white house.

Parties also figured out how to bend the rules to their political advantage by drawing their district lines so that people most likely to vote for them were concentrated in districts their most senior members were in, and super concentrate the opposition party into tight districts, and making sure that the swing districts were only slightly made up of more of their voters than the opponents so they would win the most seats.  Elbridge Gerry Gov of new york took this ability to the supreme court and won creating the term gerrymanding.

Both sides continued used very shady tactics of vote buying, using especially alcohol to bribe voters.  The democrats in Tammany Hall in New York used a particular tactic where they would find immigrants jobs in exchange for votes and find bearded men who would go vote, then get shaved and go vote again with just a mustache and then shave again and vote again clean shaven.

Women and minorities weren’t allowed to vote either, until slavery ended and the 14th amendment declared slaves voting citizens.  Blacks suddenly could vote because Union troops forced the south to let them.  That is until the election of Rutherford B Hayes which was so tight, so contentious and so rigged by both parties it threatened to split the nation again and start a second civil war.     Hayes compromised so that if he could be president,  he would pull the troops out of the south, igniting a new reign of fear and terror under the KKK and social persecution, a living nightmare for blacks, ensuring their votes didn’t count anymore.

Women on the side of abolition talking with slaves realized they lived very similar lives and decided they needed to be able to vote too, and after much non-violent civil disobedience, suffering, imprisonment and protest finally were given the right to vote.   In the 1965 after using similar tactics, the voting rights act allowed blacks to vote and integrate.   This did nothing to change the underlying structure of how politics worked.   President Johnson was shocked that there was such a strong campaign against him because of the Vietnam war after doing so much for his supporters, the elections truly didn’t represent the people.

In 1970’s in attempts to fix the public perception they allowed elections to pick senators instead of the states, caps on campaign spending as rich donors not citizens would end up being represented and they allowed primaries to be open to the public instead of party bosses picking the candidates.   The federal election campaign act was deemed unconstitutional twice, so in 2002 John McCain and Russ Feingold worked together to figure out some workarounds with the McCain-Feingold act, which was overturned in citizen’s united case under the legal precedent and claim that corporations are people and money is free speech.  This opened up even more money in elections than ever before, and with primaries now open to the public rich donors skipped the parties and went straight to the candidates.

Voting has never been truly free or fair or representative.  If that was true, civil disobedience and protest would not be needed on such a massive scale to change anything.  The way we were taught about citizenship and voting was not the reality of justice and representation, but the ideal, it is what America must strive for, not for what it is, and some believed it, and many in the minority did not and became disenfranchised, and stopped voting.  When 90% of people agree on a law and it is impossible to pass that law, there is a massive problem.

 The reason for all of the problems in the House was started by extreme gerrymandering by both parties (something Democrats actually do more of). This ensures there are 2 classes of people in congress. One favored class that never has to face opposition, and a class of disposable representatives that always takes the brunt of dissatisfaction of what the favored class does. The favored class never gets challenged so they never have to change and anything they do just hurts the disposable class of representatives who absolutely need more a more the financial help of lobbyists and rich donors. With a system so broken, the very rich used the tea party as a weapon to go for the nation’s underbelly in the form of primarying using all of that pent up frustration and anger to blindly replace the favored class with their chosen people. With a system so broken, primarying became the only method of eliminating the favored class, and as mostly the most extreme vote in primaries they win hands down pushing America even more divided and extreme. It may take a movement and activism quite similar to the Women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement but until we change how we vote, America will never be great again.

For more on changing our voting go to: