As usual, if you don't like this discussion of zero point energy generators, don't use the Strawman Fallacy to discredit my other discussion topics.
If all the economics I've been taught is a lie, isn't it also possible that all the physics I've been taught is a lie?
If you mention the Compound Interest Paradox to a professional economist, they will go through all sorts of intellectual hoops insisting such a thing can't be possibly true. If you suggest a zero point energy generator to a physicist, they have the *EXACT* same reaction as an economist discussing the Compound Interest Paradox.
Of course, that is not evidence that it actually is possible to build a Zero Point Energy generator. However, that is enough evidence to make me think "This should be seriously investigated."
There are lots of rumors circulating on the Internet about people who have built zero point energy generators. The pattern of the story is always the same. It always is discovered by an amateur scientist working independently. The amateur inventor thinks his discovery is truly original, so he keeps the details to himself. The amateur scientist then tries to patent his work and tell newspapers. At this point, he is visited by "Men in Black" and told to shut up. The inventor is roundly decried as a fake or crank. If the amateur scientist is persistent, he will die a mysterious death.
If zero point energy actually does work and is a suppressed technology, then it certainly would be a "killer app" for an agorist economy. At some point, some agorist will fund zero point energy research. Instead of publishing the details of the research, the results would be kept within trusted members of the agorist community until zero point energy generators are being widely built and distributed. I advise to focus on reconstructing Tesla's experiments, and to ignore all that mainstream physics has taught you.
There are lots of stories and rumors circulating on the Internet. I haven't performed any experiments myself, so I can't say which sources are credible and which sources are cleverly planted fakes. If I were the Supreme Leader of Humanity, and I were suppressing Zero Point Energy technology, I would be sure to plant lots of fake stories. This way, when someone does accidentally rediscover Zero Point Energy technology, their invention would be lost among all the fakes.
There actually is a theoretical basis for Zero Point Energy. According to mainstream quantum physics, empty space actually contains quite a bit of energy.
There is an experiment that has already tapped this energy, but not in a usable format. It is called the "Casimir Effect". If you have uncharged parallel metal plates very close together in a vacuum, there will be an attracting force between the two plates, which is much stronger than the gravitational attraction. In a vacuum, particle/antiparticle pairs are always being simultaneously created and then destroyed. Due to the presence of the plates, there is very restricted space for particle/antiparticle pairs to be created. Sometimes, a pair of particles will be created, and one particle will stick to one plate and the other will stick to the other plate. This causes the two plates to be attracted to one another. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this in the same way a mainstream physicist would explain it.
Technically, this violates the laws of thermodynamics. My interpretation is that the energy generated does come from somewhere. It comes from empty space. A zero point energy generator uses up the energy stored in empty space. According to this interpretation, a zero point energy generator literally consumes empty space. Empty space contains so much energy that the effect is negligible. If a zero point energy generator is consuming empty space, then it isn't violating the laws of thermodynamics.
The theory is that around 1900, Tesla found a way to extract zero point energy in a usable fashion. There are two plausible theories that I have read.
The first theory of zero point energy generation involves magnets. Consider the following experiment. You have two cylindrical permanent magnets, and put them in a tightly fitting cardboard tube. Stand the tube up. Place the magnets so that the north poles are touching one another. One magnet will levitate over the other magnet. The cardboard tube is necessary to prevent the magnets from falling over. You can leave the magnets alone and come back a year later, and one still will be levitating. Somehow, the force of gravity was counteracted, without spending any energy.
Consider the same experiment, but now the magnet on the bottom is an electromagnet. This time, the battery powering the electromagnet will be rapidly drained. How are these two experiments fundamentally different? The single permanent magnet somehow contained more energy than the battery powering the electromagnet.
Allegedly, there is some configuration of wires, permanent magnets, and electromagnets that is a zero point energy generator. I believe rotating magnets is part of the formula. Some people claim that it is possible to generate an electric current and recharge a battery at the same time, for a net gain of energy.
There is a second theory of zero point energy generation. This involves an engine that decomposes water into oxygen and hydrogen, followed by combusting them, for a net gain of energy. There is a traditional elementary school experiment where you use a magnet to decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen; this experiment is the wrong approach. I've seen two theories for building a water powered engine in this manner. The first involves converting the water into a plasma. One site claimed to do this by arcing electricity through the water. The second involves getting water to vibrate at its intrinsic resonance frequency, which makes it easier to decompose the water into oxygen and hydrogen.
A moving engine can be used to recharge a battery. This is what happens in a normal car; your battery is used to start the car and the battery is recharged as the car runs, with the energy coming from the combusted gasoline. For a water-powered car, the combustion of the oxygen and hydrogen generates enough energy to recharge the battery AND move the car at the same time. Some people claim to have retrofitted their car with a water-powered engine.
I have no idea if it actually is possible to build a zero point energy generator or not. There is no trustworthy third party that has performed appropriate experiments. I don't trust government-funded scientific research, because government-funded research has the effect of censoring what topics are researched. Any physicist who started researching in the direction of zero point energy would find himself unable to get a government grant. Besides, all mainstream physicists are brainwashed to believe a zero point energy generator is absolutely impossible to build. If I were the Supreme Leader of Humanity concealing zero point energy technology, I'd make sure that all physicists were absolutely certain that technology is impossible.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
As usual, if you don't like this discussion of zero point energy generators, don't use the Strawman Fallacy to discredit my other discussion topics.
Posted by FSK at 12:19 PM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I visited my psychiatrist today. He refused the idea of taking just a small dose of drugs. He wants me to take a full lethal dose of lithium or Depakote.
I'm going to stick with my plan for a drug-free existence, as much as possible. I'm scared that I will relapse, but this is my only option with a nonzero success chance. I *KNOW* I can't stand the drugs.
Posted by FSK at 9:33 PM
It is nice to see people expressing concern when I mentioned my illness. If you know anyone else diagnosed with a mental illness and is suffering, you should suggest to them the possibility of discontinuing their medication, against their doctor's orders.
I decided to get lazy with my editing here. I'm just copying the notice that Blogger automatically E-Mails me when there's a comment, rather than editing it around.
Zhwazi has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":
Between feeling great 95% of the time but being hospitalized 5%, and being unable to concentrate enough to write a blog 100% of the time, I'd choose to enjoy 95% of my life. But it's your choice, you've got better information than I do.
My reasoning is similar to Zhwazi's. I can take the anti-psychotic drugs, *KNOWING* I will enjoy 0% of my life. Alternatively, I can refuse to take them, enjoying 95% or more of my life as best I can.
redpillguy has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":
A completely layman vote: try the 2 mg dose.
Policeman inside your head:
I'll suggest it to my psychiatrist. If he goes along with it, I'll try it. I'll suggest to him 2 mg dose every 3 days.
My problem isn't the policeman inside my head. It's my psychiatrist inside my head!
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":
If you decide against drugs, have a non-drug plan B ready. Consider for instance an exercise plan or paying more attention to the quality of your diet -- both are things that can help keep the mental chemistry more stable.
Also, I think my increased self-awareness can help. Ironically, my self-awareness has dramatically increased as a result of my illness.
I think people can use your illness against you in intellectual arguments, implying you are 'nuts'. So you should have kept it a secret. I have found on the internet that people who know things about you use it against you unscrupiously.
hope you get better soon, my advice would be stay away from the drugs, though that sounds scary.
This is The Strawman Fallacy. Just because I revealed I have an illness does not mean all my ideas are invalid. Most of my regular readers should understand the Strawman Fallacy by now. After all, I haven't revealed my "regular" name. I could always start another blog under a different name, if things got that bad. I don't think it's necessary to abandon my regular readership.
Overall, I've found writing about it to be helpful. The options I'm considering for treatment are:
- microdose of drugs
- no drugs at alll
I don't know if I can get my psychiatrist to go along with microdose, because that's contrary to his training.
Tristan has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":
You have my sympathy, sometimes side effects can be worse than the problem...
I wonder whether there's any alternative drug therapies which you could try, I know it often takes several tries to find a suitable regime for depression for many people.
I haven't heard of anything suitable. I think that getting more friends overall would help.
Yes, the side effects of the drugs are FAR WORSE than the original problem.
Tristan has left a new comment on your post "More Disease Thoughts":
I wouldn't go so far as to say its bullshit.
The problem is the brain is so immensely complicated that we can't tell exactly whats wrong. It could be there's several different things which cause the same symptoms in different people for instance.
I'd say mental illness has a component which is due to 'wiring' being out, which involves the chemicals in the brain.
Personally I suspect that where drugs help they will act more as a splint and hold things in a better position allowing 'rewiring' to take place over time, often in many mental conditions assisted by non-drug therapies.
The problem with drugs is they act broadly, so whilst a drug may reduce the symptoms, they have wider, undesirable, effects (a famous example being Prozac causes spontaneous random orgasms in a small minority of cases).
My favourite analogy is to liken drugs to trying to fix a computer by poking it at random and altering voltages... You can get an idea for what often works but you don't really know why...
Anyway, I hope your course of action works for you. You know your situation far better than any of us.
Personally, I've found large doses of anti-psychotic drugs to be intolerable. I might try a regimen of small microdoses, but I don't know if my psychiatrist will go for that.
My primary problem is that I need more friends. If I succeed in making new friends, then I think my mental illness problem will be solved.
The REALLY ANNOYING part is that, just before I relapsed, I felt more self-confident and in tune with other people than at any time previously.
David_Z has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #29":
...but you can't ever be exactly 100% sure there isn't a hidden contradiction somewhere
Are you exactly 100% sure of this? Isn't the allegation inherently self-contradictory?
...just trying to pick your brain, the idea intrigues me but I'd love to hear more about it - do you have a post where you explain in greater detail? If so, let me know and I'll check it out.
This is a well know result from Mathematics, known as the "Godel Incompleteness Theorem". Superficially, it makes sense. Could you prove, using the axioms of Mathematics, that the axioms themselves are consistent? Obviously not. The "Incompleteness Theorem" says that if you show me a valid proof for "Mathematics is consistent", I can turn it around and point out two contradictory axioms.
This subject deserves its own full post.
CK has left a new comment on your post "A List of Harmful Drugs I've Been Given":
This is strictly anectdotal, not proof. We had lots of niggling sicknesses for years. Finally we gave up everything we could that used High Fructose Corn Syrup for sweetening. Within a few weeks, we noticed that the niggling sicknesses stopped. I have always hated having to read the fine print on food labels, but it is now a habit, if a food product uses HFCS, it doesn't receive our money.
Our niggling sicknesses were not panic attacks, so maybe this was a worthless anectdote, just something we found made us healthier.
At one time I tried to quit cigarettes using a combination of the patch and welburtrin. I had the same results from ( Zyban ) welburtin that you had from the various lethargy inducing drugs you mentioned. Horrid feeling indeed. Luckily I have since discovered that people who smoke have significantly lowered risks of Parkinsons and ALzheimers. So I traded guaranteed smoker's hack for potential uncontrollable shakes and memory loss.
Yes, my account of these drugs is anecdotal. However, what do you trust more? My single honest data point? Or multi-million dollar bogus drug studies? Based on my experience, human biology is more universal than generally believed. If I experienced those negative side-effects, you can be sure others experienced them as well.
For example, the interference with bowel movements should be universal, rather than isolated with me.
Posted by FSK at 3:00 PM
I liked this article on the Freeman, referred by Brad Spangler. Government itself is responsible for creating conditions of poverty.
There are many businesses that a poor person could run out of their home. For example, anyone with a kitchen could profitably cook food and sell it. Anyone with a car could run a part-time taxi service, such as only during rush hour. Government licensing requirements make it impractical for a poor person to spontaneously start a business. You can't legally sell food unless your kitchen meets certain standards and you pay a huge licensing fee. You can't operate as a taxi unless you pay a huge licensing fee.
If you want to start a business, the ideal way to spend only a few hours per week initially. Government licensing requirements place a huge overhead, making it very difficult for someone to start a part-time business.
I liked this quote on Life, Love, and Liberty:
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
I liked this post on Check your Premises.
Look at what happened in the US: a group of influential politicians hijack the Articles of Confederation, impose their new, powerful federal government on the people and immediately attack anyone who rebels against their rule. The so-called “Civil War” was merely a continuation of this absolutist doctrine.
Contrary to popular belief, the US Constitution is actually the most clever enslavement technique ever.
Like that post said, the US Constitution was a money grab and power grab by a handful of politicians. A strong centralized government was able to put down the various tax revolts that occurred.
This post on the Liberty Papers has an interesting bit:
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Actually, it's theoretically possible that all the Mathematics you've learned is inherently contradictory. You can never be 100% sure that there's some contradiction in the laws of Mathematics that hasn't been discovered yet. In other words, it is *POSSIBLE* that true=false. There are other explanations that are more likely, but true=false should never be completely ruled out.
Anyone who says they are absolutely certain, with probability exactly equal to 1, that true != false, is IMHO insane. You can assign a truth value of 1-espilon to that statement, but never exactly 1.
I was watching the new "American Gladiators". Like most remakes, it isn't as good as the original. I was offended to see one of the Gladiators named "Justice". Is that what most people think of "justice"? Justice is a big muscular guy that goes around beating up people?
On the other hand, there was a Gladiator named "Militia", which is an interesting name choice.
I liked this post on Techdirt about the problem with digital watermarks. With digital watermarking, it is possible to individually tell the difference between each watermarked copy. This way, if someone makes an "illegal" copy, you know who had the original. (I put "illegal" in quotes, because intellectual property isn't a legitimate form of property.)
The problem is that you could suffer a HUGE claim if you lose your iPod and the criminal puts your files up on a filesharing site. If you are in possession of something digitally watermarked, you are facing a potential huge liability if it is stolen from you.
I liked this post on the Libertarian Alliance Blog. The question is "Should corporations and their shareholders get limited liability protection?" My answer is "Of course not, duh!"
The founding fathers of the USA were extremely hostile to corporations. Most of the colonies were originally owned by British corporations.
I saw someone wearing a "Bring 'free trade' to Africa T-shirt." I said "How about bringing free trade to the USA?"
I liked this post on Scholars and Rogues. Why is it a bad idea to privatize services currently monopolistically provided by the government? Instead of having an unaccountable government monopoly, you have a private corporation with an unaccountable monopoly. In other words, nothing changes.
This only works if you *ALSO* remove the legal barriers to competition and the subsidies that corporations receive.
I bought a gold-plated USB cable. I now have some physical gold in my possession!
Why gold-plated? Isn't silver-plated just as good? According to Wikipedia, silver is a better conductor electricity, but gold is more corrosion-resistant. Is corrosion that much of a risk for a USB cable I'm operating indoors?
On the one hand, lawyers deserve all the bad things that ever happen to them. He who lives by abuse of government power, dies by abuse of government power.
On the other hand, taking away a guy's career and life savings over one mistake is excessive. Unless the guy had a pattern of misconduct, it does not make sense to take away someone's career for one incident. This is an example of the Strawman Fallacy.
Lawyers need a license from the government in order to perform their job. Any lawyer must be continually afraid of offending the authorities, lest he lose his career.
For this reason, if an agorist is ever accused of tax evasion, he should defend himself sui juris (without a lawyer). A lawyer is "sworn to uphold the law". A lawyer is useless if your defense is "The law is illegitimate."
BTW, if you're ever falsely accused of a crime, I have the following advice. Make sure you have extensive eye contact with the jurors when testifying. If you do this effectively, it will be very hard for the jury to convict you if the charges are frivolous.
I was looking at the CNN primary results webpage for the Republicans. The post a picture of the candidate next to the results. For all the candidates except Ron Paul, they show an airbrushed photo where the candidate is smiling. For Ron Paul, they show a non-airbrushed photo where he has a weird expression on his face.
This sort of subtle bias against Ron Paul is typical. For this and many other reasons, elections are not a valid means of establishing the legitimacy of a government.
I liked this article on Techdirt. J. K. Rowling is using a copyright infringement claim to prevent someone else from writing a Harry Potter summary book.
I liked this post on Overcoming Bias. It's about Internet trolls who think they're experts when they really know nothing. It identifies a troll behavior pattern:
- a lack of buy-in to the list philosophy or values
- generally low level of activity, with sudden spurts of interaction ...
- a mixture of friendly posts with a confrontational style of interaction
- the use of provocative language and sweeping generalizations ...
- a lack of in-depth understanding of the topic
I wonder: Do some people consider someone who says "Taxation is theft!" to be a "weak" opponent? After all, "Taxation is theft!" is obviously false, according to "conventional wisdom". Similarly, someone arguing "The Federal Reserve is Evil" appears to be, by default, a fool.
I liked this post on American Awakening. "Planned Parenthood" is essentially a population control technique. It helps make sure that the poorest people don't have many children.
You may find this interesting.
That was somewhat interesting. I'd seen it before. They're still short of the true correct conclusion: "Who needs a government at all?"
Blogger really should let you enter arbitrary text strings in the "time and date" field.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Debate Ceiling Scam":
I still do not understand how private security firms (hired guns), landlords, warlords could not emerge and seize power without resistance in a anarchist society. The guy who can hire the most men and weapons would be the most powerful authority?
That has already happened. A group of people have seized an absolute monopoly of violence and political authority. Free market competition will prevent such a situation from occurring. Enslaving people via violence is actually incredibly unprofitable.
Could a free market degenerate into a monopoly again? Yes. Would it be likely? I think not. There *NEVER* has been a true free market in an agricultrual society. There always was a king/warlord/invader.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Debate Ceiling Scam":
I got that gem from majorityrights.
Are you referring to the above comment?
I don't consider a university-funded discussion of politics to be impartial or useful. Of course a red market employee will say "government is necessary". What else would you expect them to say?
Ineffabelle has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #28":
You wrote "You don't see all the productive jobs these people would be doing instead, if they didn't have to keep fixing infrastructure. Remember, when you "create a job" via taxation, theft, or waste, you're taking away other productive work that person would have done." I would add the sentence "In a free market".
In an oligopolistic fasco-capitalist market, there is a relatively fixed number of opportunities to create wealth through the oligopoly. So this kind of "churning" is a sort of welfare program for people who would otherwise be unemployed in an oligopolistic market. This is explicitly a part of the Keynesian program.
Assuming a non-free market, "creating work/waste" can be productive. In the current economic system, a certain amount of poinless jobs are needed to ensure that there is enough work for the average person to do. These pointless jobs help circulate money to the poor people.
A truly free market would be a better arrangement for almost everyone.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Real Nazi Threat":
There is another interpretation of Hitler...that he was allowed by the bankers to rise and create a war...because wars can benefit bankers, they can alter social conditions and remove impediments to their interests.
Yes, I've read about that explanation also. I liked "Hitler was using a sound monetary system, therefore he was evil".
redpillguy has left a new comment on your post "The Real Nazi Threat":
Controlling both sides of the debate is a standard CFR trick. Here's an interesting documentary on the mass media and the CFR which controls them:
Seemingly "anti establishment" people are members of the CFR, the Bilderberg group, or both, or are known to be "insiders". For example, Bill Moyers who made the scathing docu "Buying the War" and Jim Lehrer, are CFR members. Noam Chomsky, a leftie anti-corporatist, worked with Henry Kissinger in their younger days to establish a "grassroots" commie movement. And of course, the CFR is populated with both Republicans and Democrats.
I've heard about that as well. There really are only two sides to the debate, from my point of view. If the question is "Should there be a government?", there are only 3 possible answers: 'Yes', 'No', or 'Maybe'. All mainstream information sources have an implied "Yes, there should be a government" hidden assumption.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Real Nazi Threat":
Exactly the same theat as that posed by the Iranians. Note the comparisons to Hitler.
Iran is one of the few countries that uses a sound monetary system, from what I've read. Perhaps that's the reason they're such a high priority for elimination?
TZ has left a new comment on your post "The Real Nazi Threat":
Well done FSK.
I think your analysis of the German situation is very acurate.
As a double benefit to the Owners of the World, Social Credit and Monetary Reform were hot topics in most of the Commonwealth countries at the time, and the war certainly put an end to that direction of public interest too.
International Finance 1
Reality Economics 0
Even if corrupt forces cause the world to use "corrupt economics" that does not discredit the existence of "True Economics".
BTW, what do you mean by 2+2=7?
I was sick when I was thinking 2+2=7. At the time, it seemed to be the simplest explanation consistent with my observations.
Try and convince me that 2+2!=7. I'm aware of the usual "proof" that 2+2=4, but you can't ever be exactly 100% sure there isn't a hidden contradiction somewhere.
CK has left a new comment on your post "The Real Nazi Threat":
Dr. Prof Hjalmar Schacht seems to be the person who took Germany from being a basket case in 32 to a juggernaut by 38. It appears that he was in control of Nazi economic policy during that period.
Here is a wikpedia on him
That's believable. The true work was done by one of Hitler's advisors, instead of Hitler himself.
Anthony has left a new comment on your post "Hyperinflation - Could it Happen in the USA?":
Hyperinflation is a scary scenario, but that's why I'm buying gold as fast as my college kid's budget will allow.
That's a reasonable hedge. Silver also works. Remember: With a gold or silver investment, your inflation-adjusted return should be 0% minus transaction costs and storage costs.
Peter T. has left a new comment on your post "Real GDP Growth Has Been Negligible Since 1990":
What sense does it make to use money supply as an index for inflation? None I think. It seems natural and sensible for money supply to increase roughly proportionally to GDP. Therefore by deflating GDP growth by money supply growth it would be expected to get a result of approximately zero.
Even though I'm sick, I can still identify pro-State trolls. If the uninflation-adjusted GDP grows in lockstep with the money supply, that means real GDP is constant. The CPI is biased and understates the true inflation rate. That's the reason it's correct to use money supply instead of the CPI. I don't even use M3, which is no longer published. I use M2, which doesn't include all of the foreign dollars and large-denomination CDs.
Posted by FSK at 1:40 PM
It seems that the discussion of my illness is interesting. I feel that writing about it has helped me think about what to do.
I've decided that I'm going to try to live drug-free as much as possible. The primary obstacle is that my parents, relatives, and doctors are concerned I will relapse without the drugs. However, in the few weeks before I relapsed, I felt the most energetic and self-confident of my entire life. I'd like to be able to capture that feeling without lapsing into illness again.
I've had 5 different panic attacks in my life.
The first time, I was forced to take lithium, Risperdal, and Cogentin. Cogentin was to counter side-effects of Risperdal, which are muscle stiffness. The Cogentin made me feel extremely weak.
Risperdal made me unable to think, concentrate, or read. I was unable to do anything for two full months.
My psychiatrist, after much persuading, agreed to let me switch from Risperdal to Geodon. Risperdal made me want to do nothing but sleep all day. Geodon made me want to do nothing but walk around in circles all day.
I never took lithium alone, so I don't know what its effects were. I read that lithium damages your kidneys. I believe that lithium also suppresses your memories.
Also, the anti-psychotic drugs all messed up my bowel movements. Fortunately, that returns to normal a day or two after you stop taking them. Also, they interfered with my ability to masturbate, which is something I'm not willing to give up.
For my 2nd panic attack, I refused all drugs while hospitalized. Ironically, this is the incident I recovered from the best. My longest period between attacks was after the time I refused drugs completely.
For my 3rd panic attack, I was given 30 mg/day Abilify. Again, this gave me a compulsion to sleep all day.
For my 4th panic attack, I was given 20 mg/day Abilify. This was better than 30 mg, but still harmful.
Most recently, I was given 10 mg/day Abilify. This is far better than 20 mg. Maybe I will ask my psychiatrist to prescribe me 2 mg pills of Abilify, taking 2 per week. On the other hand, that is essentially the same as being completely drug-free. I doubt he will go along with such a low dosage.
Whenever I complain about the side effects of the drugs, which I *KNOW* to be side-effects, everyone around me says "Those are symptoms of your illness!"
Since my best recovery was after the time I refused drugs, I conclude that continuing to refuse drugs is a good idea. I hope I can avoid relapsing into a manic phase. That is the key.
The withdrawal period for these drugs is very long, something like 2-3 months. Therefore, I'm most at risk when I start feeling better and the withdrawal period is over.
Summarizing, I'm not interested in giving up my ability to have normal bowel movements, my ability to think, or my ability to experience normal emotions. I think that a drug-free life is risky, given my history. On the other hand, if my options are 0% chance of a normal life on drugs, or epsilon% chance without drugs, I have to choose the path that offers a nonzero success possibility.
Posted by FSK at 1:00 PM
I decided to skip my medication today. This is the first time I had the opportunity to do so since my release from the hospital.
Even though it's been only 30 minutes since my normal poisoning time, I already feel great!
I think that going 100% medication-free is still my best option, even though it hasn't worked for me in the past. I've learned a lot about myself through my illness, and I think I can avoid a relapse, although that's what I said last time.
A surprising amount of advice was "stay away from the drugs". I was expecting a more mixed response.
After careful analysis, I've come to the conclusion that the "chemical imbalance" theory of mental illness is complete bullshit. Many of the symptoms of mental illness are themselves caused by the drugs that "treat" such illness.
I've decided that 100% medication free is going to be my treatment plan. The hard part is overcoming the objections of my parents and doctors, who are uniformly saying I should be doped into complete submission.
Posted by FSK at 8:30 AM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I'll give more details about my illness. This is the 2nd time this has happened since I started my blog, and the 5th time this has happened in my life. I had a panic attack. It is classified as a "bipolar manic episode".
My problem is that, as a result of my hospitalization, I am now forced to take 10 mg/day of Abilify. Previously, I quit cold turkey, not liking the side effects, and spiraled back into a manic episode in 3-6 months. Previously, I was on 20mg/day or 30mg/day. This time I am "lucky" that I am only on 10mg/day.
I can barely concentrate enough to type my blog.
I want to stop the cycling, BUT I can't stand the side effects of the drugs. I wonder if the cycling itself is caused by the drugs? My longest time between hospitalizations was the time I completely refused drugs.
The bad part is that my self-strength increases and increases and then I have a panic attack. Just a week before my most recent hospitalization, I felt the best and most self-confident of my entire life.
- Stay on a very small dose of the drugs. I've been considering asking my psychiatrist (I see him tomorrow) for a 2mg/day dose of Abilify, which I should be able to tolerate. Hopefully, that could smooth me out while allowing me to function normally.
- Refuse drugs altogether. The problem is exacerbated because I am living with my parents. They are frightened by my illness. They don't want to see me hospitalized again. Whenever I suggest to them that the side effects I *KNOW* are drug-induced, they say "Those are symptoms of your illness".
What do you think? I was thinking I should keep the details of the illness a secret.
On my CURRENT DOSE of drugs, there's no way I could produce a consistently high-quality blog.
Posted by FSK at 6:32 PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles left Germany economically crippled. Germany was stripped of all its gold. Germany was subject to crushing war reparations.
Some people say that the hyperinflation of the Wiemar republic was due to Germany's central bank, rather than reckless spending by Germany's government.
Hitler, or one of his economic advisers, had a great idea. Instead of borrowing money from the central bank, Germany's government would directly spend money into circulation!
This idea was not original to Germany. President Lincoln tried the same thing when he issued greenbacks. However, the banking cartel has successfully prevented governments from directly issuing and spending their own money. Propaganda states that it is better for governments to borrow from a central bank instead of directly spending money into circulation.
With fiat debt-based money, most of the benefits of money supply expansion accrue to the financial industry. With credit-based fiat money, directly spent into circulation, 100% of the benefits of money supply expansion accrue to the government.
Hitler's government was actually very responsible in its issuance of money. It made sure that it spent money proportional to the amount of work being done.
Under a fair monetary system, Germany's economy boomed. There still was an international gold standard. Other countries expected gold in payment for trade. Germany still had no gold, but it was able to negotiate barter transactions. Instead of paying in gold, Germany paid with an equivalent value of goods.
As Germany's economy boomed, Hitler's government was able to expand the money supply by spending more money. This is how a lot of the money needed to fund WWII was raised. That's how Germany was able to go from being militarily crippled to a military powerhouse in a few years.
Under the Federal Reserve system, 90% or more of the benefit of money supply inflation accrues to the financial industry. Could you imagine what would happen if all that money went directly to the Federal government!
The rest of the world had to unite to stop Hitler and his fair monetary system. Some people say that if Germany won WWII, we would all be speaking German. Less frequently stated, if Germany won WWII, we would all be using fiat credit-based money instead of fiat debt-based money. Some people say that WWII was really a war of competing monetary systems. Some people say that issues such as the Holocaust were designed to distract debate from the monetary system issue.
I find that to be really interesting. There's all sorts of negative information circulated about Nazi Germany. Germany's monetary system is never discussed. The fact that Germany was using a superior monetary system is never discussed or debated.
Of course, the fact that 2+2=7 sometimes is almost never discussed.
Posted by FSK at 9:24 AM
Monday, January 21, 2008
I read a very interesting post on the Ron Paul forum. Essentially, there is an implied debate ceiling.
The people formally acknowledged by the mainstream media as "radicals" effectively set the boundaries of the debate. Disinformation agents like Noam Chomsky and Naomi Wolf effectively set the limit of what is permissible discourse. They ridicule any positions that are more radical than their own, effectively excluding them from their debate.
For example, people acknowledged by the mainstream media as radicals won't acknowledge agorism as a viable political theory. Even the "radicals" say that agorists are nuts. This effectively removes ideas such as "Who needs a monopolistic government?" from debate.
You never hear a "radical" saying "Who needs a government at all?" If you take a belief in a free market to its logical conclusion, the idea emerges that "There should not be an unaccountable monopolistic government.".
Agorism is simultaneously the most radical and the most sensible philosophy. If you take Libertarian philosophy to its natural conclusion, you arrive at agorism. All services currently provided by the government via forced taxation could be more efficiently provided through the free market.
Ron Paul has opened the door to discussing extreme Libertarianism, such as the immorality or unconstitutionality of the Federal Reserve of the income tax. Ron Paul hasn't opened up the door to the next level of debate: "Who needs a government at all?" In fact, Ron Paul helps facilitate keeping this topic suppressed; many people who are nearly thoroughly disgusted with the current economic and political system wind up attracted to Ron Paul.
The people officially acknowledged as "radicals" set a debate ceiling; ideas more radical than theirs are insane and impermissible. This is one of many tricks the red market uses to silence debate.
Of course, the most radical idea of all is that 2+2=3. Everyone besides me is reciting random gibberish that 2+2=4. Are you sure that 2+2=4? Are you capable of checking the answer yourself?
Posted by FSK at 12:00 PM
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I liked this post on the Liberty Papers:
Today’s word is bipartisan:
The word is used to describe a situation where two parties have ideas that are so atrocious individually that they could never be supported, but so important to the parties that they cannot be abandoned. Thus the parties compromise and both get what they want. The Republicans get what they want, and the Democrats get what they want, and the taxpayer gets the bill.
I liked this post on MacRaven. The government is complaining the the current crop of computer science graduates is woefully inadequate for the future.
Why would someone want to study computer science? All the computer jobs are moving outside the USA.
My experience with the programming sector is that it's way too heavily focused on specific narrow skills. Most of my experience is with C++. Most companies are asking for C# now. If you're an expert programmer, you can learn C# quickly, and rapidly be more efficient than someone who has used it for years. Unfortunately, that is not the attitude a typical hiring manager takes. Lacking technical skills themselves, they just are playing a game of buzzword bingo.
Why would someone want to enter a field where all of your experience is considered obsolete every few years? If you specialize in the "wrong" language, you will be SOL and unable to find a new job.
Would you advise your child to become a software engineer, unless they truly had a love of computers?
The ultimate problem is that the USA is not a free market. Once you're stereotyped as having a certain type of career, it's practically impossible to move to something else. The overhead for learning a new type of job isn't as high as employers pretend it is.
I liked this post on the Technology Liberation Front. It's a link to the web-based comic xkcd, definitely worth reading.
I liked this post on the Technology Liberation Front. It is about how common law developed. Common-sense judgments became formally codified as law. That is almost the opposite of how "laws" are passed now.
It's ironic that the current legal system is so messed up, that it's necessary to "re-derive" common law.
I liked this post on the Technology Liberation Front. It's about how members of Congress frequently see lobbyists as their "customers" rather than voters.
I also liked this bit:
There's no place lower on the totem pole than being a constituent. They are to be avoided - buttered up if necessary, but dismissed one way or another as quickly as possible.
A new friend I made there is involved in the State Department's new blogging effort, Dipnote (ambassadorial lingo for "diplomatic note," I take it). She described some of the reaction State Department folks have had so far to being part of an open blog. (Comments! Two-way communication - eek!)
Most red market workers hate blogs. They are accustomed to writing in a format where you can't be questioned and they have an information monopoly.
There's a commonly discussed story here and many other places about Robert Scoble getting kicked off Facebook. He wrote a script to scrape his friends' information off Facebook. He was planning to move to another social networking website. This automated scraping was considered a violation of the TOS, and he was banned.
Was it wrong for Facebook to ban him? It's their website, and they can make whatever arbitrary rules they choose.
That's the problem with using social networking sites. You're building content on someone else's website. With a blog, you're building your own personal brand. In theory, Google could kick me off Blogger. I would just move to another blog site or self-host. In practice, I don't think there's much risk of Google censoring me or kicking me off. I use Blogger for the convenient UI and free hosting.
Some people have said that social networking websites are a waste of time compared to blogging. With an RSS feed, anyone can read your blog conveniently. With multiple non-compatible social networking sites, it becomes a hassle unless you and all your friends use the same service.
I liked this post on Bill Rempel. If you know that the "Plunge Protection Team" is supporting the market, you should go long and buy!
However, there is a fallacy. You don't know exactly when and for how much the "Plunge Protection Team" is going to prop up the market. If you knew this in advance, you could profit immensely. As usual, insiders get to profit extra.
Inflation and negative real interest rates are a fundamental consequence of debt-based money. A lot of the stock market's gains are merely compensation for inflation. The Federal Reserve can always prop up the nominal value of the market by printing more money. As usual, the people with first access to the newly printed money receive the benefit.
I liked this post on BradSpangler.com, about the "New Libertarian Manifesto". It's a good read. I'm already looking for more advanced material. I also am on the lookout for ways to move from being a "theoretical anarchist" to a "practical anarchist".
I'm only going to seriously attempt counter-economic activity if the after-taxes salary is comparable to my corporate slave job! I'm not interested in sacrificing my personal lifestyle to fight the bad guys.
I liked this post on Overcoming Bias. Can you be *ABSOLUTELY* sure that all the Mathematics you've learned isn't a complete lie? Can you be *PERFECTLY* sure that the axioms of arithmetic lead to a contradiction that hasn't been discovered yet? According to the incompleteness theorem, you can NEVER be certain that arithmetic as we know it isn't somehow contradictory.
Ironically, I discovered that there are some statements I used to believe MORE STRONGLY than all the Mathematics I ever learned. For example, I used to believe that "not evil equals good". After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that "good equals evil". I was willing to consider "true equals false" before I was willing to consider "good equals evil".
It's pretty scary to be absolutely and completely convinced that true equals false, especially when you know as much Mathematics as I do!
Even if you aren't sure that Mathematics has a contradiction that hasn't been discovered yet, that doesn't mean you can't use it for practical benefit. Unlike other religions, you can have doubt in science and still beneficially use it!
I liked this post on Kung-Fu Monkey, referring to this post on United Hollywood. It's about the writers' strike.
Basically, labor negotiations are negotiations between two groups of lawyers. Lawyers want their client to think the other guy is trying to screw them over as much as possible. Lawyers measure their worth to the client by how much they screwed over their opponent.
When you consider that the studios have a monopoly, the strike is really stupid! The studios could grant *ANY* demand to the writers, and just pass off the expense as higher prices. The writers want a 2.5% residual on DVDs? Go ahead and raise the DVD price by 2.5%; you have a monopoly, so people will pay it.
Basically, the studios want to screw over their workers as much as possible. The workers are trying to prevent themselves from being screwed over.
The importance of residuals is that, if a TV show or movie is successful, the writers should get a greater share of the sales as reward for their labor.
The biggest fallacy of the entire negotiation is that each writer should negotiate his own employment agreement. Why can't each writer individually negotiate what % of residual income he gets? Novice writers would get 0%. An experienced writer would be able to command a premium.
I liked this post on Techdirt. It compares Google's PageRank algorithm to how a human brain works.
According to that article, a lot of "intelligence" is knowing what information is important and what to forget. A smarter person probably doesn't have a greater raw thinking capability. He has a greater ability to decide what is important.
That explains what Math training improves a person's thinking ability. That makes it easier to understand what is worth remembering and what is worth forgetting. I don't remember the proof of the Central Limit Theorem, but I could look it up if I needed it!
I liked this post on P2P foundation. "Open-Source" has proven to be a viable model for producing software. Can this model be extended to producing tangible goods, like washing machines and air conditioners?
The answer is "Yes". This is part of the plan for an agorist revolution. With the Internet, the cost of sharing information is practically zero. Agorists will readily share information on what techniques work and what techniques don't work. It's not clear that large factories are more efficient than a handful of skilled workers manufacturing in their basement. Large factories dominate now because of the massive government subsidies they receive; it's unclear if they're profitable without these subsidies.
The analogy given is the fall of the guild system, as it was replaced by the industrial revolution. Under the guild system, workers in a guild had a monopoly backed up with government violence. In a factory, the manufacturers did not need to respect guild rules. Unfortunately, the current system has degenerated to the point where most corporations have a monopoly/oligopoly, backed up with government violence.
The guild system had tremendous inefficiencies as it collapsed. Similarly, the current corporate system has tremendous inefficiencies. Guilds and factories existed side-by-side for awhile, until the guilds collapsed. The collapse of the current economic and political system will be similar.
I liked this quote from Life, Love, and Liberty:
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
I liked this post on Overcoming Bias. They like to talk about "Bayesian Reasoning". This means that you should assign a tentative truth value to every statement you can think of. If you're a strict Bayesian thinker, you should NEVER assign a probably of exactly 0 or 1 to anything. You should assign a truth value of less than 1 to whether Bayesian Reasoning itself is valid, but that doesn't prevent you from using it!
This actually like a decent collaborative Internet project. People assign a truth value, STRICTLY between 1 and 0, for any statement they can think of. You aren't allowed to assign a truth value of 0 or 1 to any statement.
Remember: If someone assigns a truth value of exactly 1 or 0 to any statement, that's a clear indication that they're insane!
When I say "I'm certain that taxation is theft!", I really mean "I assign a truth value of 1 - 10^(-100) to the statement 'Taxation is theft!'" You could, theoretically, get me to change my mind. I haven't seen any convincing counter-arguments since I realized "Taxation is theft!"
I've heard very few stories of people deciding "Taxation is theft!" and changing their minds again later.
I also liked this post on Space and Games on the same theme.
The "spam to content" ratio on the Ron Paul forum has gotten out of hand. I'm officially abandoning that site, (but I can't resist checking occasionally!).
On a discussion forum, an effective diversion tactic by professional trolls is "Flood the forum with junk". The posting rate on the "Sound Money Subforum" went from a few per day to a huge number. With a large number of lousy posts, it isn't worth a visit. Is it professional sabotage? Is it a bunch of fools? It's impossible to tell.
I liked this article on Techdirt. Is it illegal to buy targeted ads on search keywords that are trademarked by a competitor? Courts have ruled "it's OK" multiple times, but that doesn't stop people from continuing to sue.
The irony is that one company is suing a competitor for buying ads on searches with its trademark as a keyword, WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY DOING THE SAME THING!
I thought this article on Techdirt was really funny. When the FBI orders a wiretap, it reimburses the telecom corporation for its expenses. The FBI has gotten very sloppy when paying its bills. Some telecom corporations have cut off the FBI from wiretapping services for nonpayment of bills!
I was offended by this article on Techdirt. You buy the rights to a domain from registrar services. You can search for available domain. Some registrars sell these search results to spammers! In other words, searching for an available domain can cause someone else to buy it ahead of you!
I liked this post on P2P foundation. It is a collection of links, primarily criticisms of Wikipedia. My favorite bit is: If you have a website that is critical of Wikipedia, then people on Wikipedia are banned from linking to your site!
There's an interesting reason why Wikipedia gets uppity about who they link to. Wikipedia has a very high PageRank. If Wikipedia links to your site, that will boost your site's PageRank tremendously. Therefore, "non-approved" sites need to have their PageRank suppressed.
I liked this post on P2P foundation. It's about the problems with Wikipedia.
If someone is serious about fixing Wikipedia's problems, they need to switch to a better engine. With a page branching and page moderation feature, all the problems with Wikipedia would disappear. I was thinking of writing such an engine myself, but I think this blog is a more effective use of my time.
If you have page branching, that eliminates all "edit wars".
If you have page moderation, that eliminates all disputes over "Which version of the page is best?"
In many ways, Wikipedia's system is *DESIGNED* to be exploitable. For example, Wikipedia bans users who lose disagreements about what should be on their site. Why should an online community *EVER* ban users? (That doesn't apply to me giving a pro-State troll a hard time here. You aren't "banned" from starting your own blog if you don't like my blog.)
I think that someone should write a better Wiki engine and fork Wikipedia. I would do it myself, but I think my time is better invested blogging. IMHO, blogs and Google Reader are MUCH BETTER for getting useful information than Wikipedia. With Google Reader, it's very easy for me to filter for blogs with good content, and unsubscribe from blogs with lousy content.
There was one point I forgot to mention about the murder of Benazir Bhutto. Allegedly, she publicly said "Osama bin Laden is dead" several times before she was killed. It was never repeated that she said this.
You can't kill Emmanuel Goldstein! That's the entire point! Public enemy #1 has to be someone who can't ever be proven dead.
What do you expect the media to say? "Osama bin Laden is dead. We can stop the war on terror now."?
I liked this post on How to Save the World. Buildings built 400 years ago frequently are better constructed and need less maintainance than newer buildings. (For now, ignore the selection bias. A building that has survived for 400 years PROBABLY was build with substantially above-average quality for its time.)
Under the current economic system, anyone who spends money is "stimulating the economy". Therefore, the incentive is to build infrastructure that rapidly breaks. Therefore, you get to spend money when you repair/rebuild it again in a few years! There is no system for long-term planning. After all, if the current economic system is going to collapse soon, it's pointless to do long-term planning!
You see all these "jobs created" by people repairing/rebuilding shoddy infrastructure. Therefore, making shoddy infrastructure must be good. This is Bastiat's "seen vs. unseen" fallacy. You don't see all the productive jobs these people would be doing instead, if they didn't have to keep fixing infrastructure. Remember, when you "create a job" via taxation, theft, or waste, you're taking away other productive work that person would have done.
I came up with another useful blogging idea. Have a "test blog". This way, you can try out post styles, new templates, and widgets without screwing up your primary blog. I'm going to try this soon.
Someone showed me this NY times article. Under pressure from the media cartel, ISPs are contemplating filtering traffic for copyrighted material.
Such filtering is impossible without completely gutting the Internet. If ISPs start filtering for copyrighted material, then BitTorrent users will start encrypting their uploads.
I don't think the Supreme Leader of Humanity wants the Internet to be killed. From the point of view of the bad guys, they see the Internet as a huge economic engine. They aren't so eager to kill the golden goose, especially when they think the US economy requires constant growth to be sustainable.
From the point of view of the legal system, there are large corporations on BOTH SIDES of the "network neutrality" issue. This means the debate will most likely be decided fairly, because both sides will spend a ton of money lobbying. In a political debate where there are large corporations arguing both sides, the debate is usually settled based on its merits.
I like this post on BradSpangler.com. Is voting inherently evil? Does voting merely give legitimacy to the bad guys?
If there's a candidate you really feel strongly about, like Ron Paul, it's OK to vote for him. However, don't expect to accomplish anything. The correct advice is "Vote if you think it's an effective use of your time." If I had a choice between spending an hour voting or on some other productive activity, the other activity is probably a more effective use of my time than voting.
I liked this webpage "War is a Racket". The primary purpose of war is huge profits for the corporations who provide supplies. The soldier who is killed or injured receives nothing.
War is only "profitable" in the context of a government. Government forces people to pay for the cost of the war, via taxes. In a free market, there's no war!
If you ever see a politician who says he wants to "end war", you should ask him "You're going to eliminate the government?"
If you say "war is needed to protect us from invasion", that statement is obviously silly. Can you imagine an invasion force of 10,000 or more landing in a big US city? How far do you really think they would get? When you consider armed local police and other people with guns, an invading army wouldn't get far at all. It's much easier to overthrow a government by infiltrating the leadership, than by an outright invasion.
That article does fall short of the true solution for ending war, which is agorism.
I liked this post on micro-credit on Marginal Revolution. Real interest rates are negative. Therefore, borrowing and investing in tangible assets REALLY DOES raise the living standard of really poor people.
A lot of candidates for President are running on a theme of "Change!". Unless they're advocating for "Get rid of government", they are not going to accomplish anything useful.
Of course, the Supreme Leader of Humanity is making sure the least qualified people get elected. This will ensure the collapse of the current economic and political system.
I liked this article on P2P Foundation. Suppose Verizon started charing Google for the privilege of carrying its traffic to users. Verizon is only 9% of the market. If Google failed to meet its demand, then there would be public outrage as Verizon customers were suddenly unable to use Google. Right now, the largest ISPs only control 20% of the users. This makes it hard for them to eliminate network neutrality.
I liked this article on P2P Foundation about the corruption of Wikipedia. In general, the more a group insists "Our internal discussions must be private!", the more likely it is that group is doing something unethical.
I no longer consider Wikipedia a reliable source for controversial topics. I think a fork is inevitable, but it will start by someone who writes a better wiki engine.
I liked this post on How to Save the World. What is the optimal size of a community? It depends on the purpose. For intimacy, 5-7 people is the limit. For enterprise/economic activity, 30-60 people is the limit. For political association, 120-150 people is the limit. For mutual protection and security, 1000-2000 people is the limit. Groups larger than that tend to be dysfunctional.
However, this is the limit to the number of your PERSONAL contacts. If you have a computer-assisted tool, combined with a "6 degrees of separation" phenomenon, it is possible to have a group larger than this limit. However, organizations larger than this limit must be non-dictatorship in organization. In other words, their interactions should be dictated by market forces. When I go into the store and buy a computer, I don't have to personally oversee the details of its manufacture. I only need to trust my relationship with the store, and market forces will ensure that the product is what I desire. When I buy a computer, I'm effectively buying part of the effort of all the people who worked on its components.
I liked this article on American Awakening. Germany is declaring homeschooling to be illegal, and may be cracking down on parents who homeschool. Some people are leaving Germany for this reason.
I was disturbed this quote:
the government "has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies"
I liked this article on Boing Boing. According to EU rules, Dublin is forbidden to provide free wi-fi.
I liked this article on Boing Boing about a community Wi-Fi network in San Francisco. In theory, if each home Wi-Fi user acted as a node in a TCP/IP network, they could replicate an Internet-like network locally.
I liked this article on St. George Blog.
An organization's own legal counsel will, given the opportunity, take it to the cleaners and bill it dry.
I didn't know xkcd had an RSS feed! That webcomic is on my "read occasionally" list, but I keep forgetting to go back for updates.
I liked this article on The Corporate Cynic. The author is low/middle management at a small corporation that was bought out by a large corporation. They are transitioning everything to the new company's system, and then firing everyone.
When asked about a retention/severance plan, the buyer company said "We're too busy right now. We're working on it." This is a *COMMON* stalling tactic. Suppose you're expected a severance bonus a year from now, and suppose $50k is enough to entice you to stick around. Suppose they stall for 6 months and then offer you $25k to stay 6 more months. At this point, the 6 months are a sunk costs; it pays to stay for 6 months for the $25k.
If you're working for a company and don't get a WRITTEN retention/severance bonus THE DAY THE DEAL IS ANNOUNCED, assume your bonus will be $0. Until you have a SPECIFIC dollar amount and payout date, any severance package is COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.
I liked this article on News Target. Drug companies have been pushing anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs to be used on children. Evidence that these drugs are harmful has been suppressed and covered up. Millions of children are now addicted to these drugs.
Anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs are *EXTREMELY* addictive. Someone undergoing withdrawal shows symptoms similar to a severe mental illness, causing the false impression that those drugs are actually needed.
If you have been damaged by these drugs, your legal recourse is zero. The government protects drug companies from liability when the promote harmful drugs. Even in the rare case where they are caught, the liability is *FAR LESS* than a year's profits. Basically, promoting and selling harmful drugs is a no-risk proposition for drug companies.
Doctors trick parents into allowing these children to take these drugs. The doctors themselves are usually unaware of the danger. In some cases, a doctor can order treatment against the parent's wishes.
I liked this post by redpillguy. About 1% of the population are incorrigible psychopaths. These are the people who are attracted to positions of power in corporations and government. These are the people who use violence to impose their will on others. The management of a corporation is not directly violent themselves, but they are the beneficiaries of government violence.
The problem is that the leaders of government and corporations are *ALREADY* almost entirely composed of psychopaths. There's no mechanism for a non-psychopath to attain a position of leadership. There is no force that unites psychopaths in cooperation like an honest and intelligent person!
Redpillguy didn't mention something important in his article. About 1% of the population are incorrigible psychopaths. Similarly, about 1% of the population are honest people, who will try to do the right thing whenever they can. The vast majority of people will follow the model set by others. If they see psychopaths are role models, they will be psychopaths. If they see honest people as role models, they will be honest. Unfortunately, the US culture holds psychopaths as role models.
Under an honest economic system, psychopaths will still exist. However, they will suffer negative consequences whenever they do something dishonest that injures someone. Under a fair economic system, psychopaths would rapidly learn to correct their behavior.
One phrase that frequently gets me annoyed is the term "government conspiracy". Government is an abstract fictional entity. A more accurate term is "conspiracy by a handful of people to enslave everyone else".
I liked this post on the Liberty Papers. MSNBC didn't invite Kucinich to a debate. Kucinich sued and a judge ordered MSNBC to invite him.
Assuming the USA had a free market, this ruling is silly. NBC is free to invite whoever they want to their debate.
The problem is that the broadcast networks and cable networks have a monopoly/oligopoly. They can effectively censor a candidate by denying him coverage.
For example, Ron Paul would be *MUCH* higher in the polls if mainstream news sources touted him at every opportunity, like they do with the "frontrunners". If Ron Paul has no chance of winning, then Ron Paul gets no news coverage. Alternatively, if Ron Paul gets no news coverage, then Ron Paul has no chance of winning. This is the Fallacy of the Converse!
I liked this article on Techdirt. Amazon.com was barred from offering "free shipping" in France. It was ruled an anti-competitive, illegal discount. In France, the price of books is regulated!
According to this article on Ars Technica, Amazon.com is refusing to comply with the court order and just paying a fine of 1000 euros per day. Amazon.com is now conducting a PR campaign rallying support, saying they should be allowed to offer their "free shipping" discount.
I liked this article on Techdirt. Ford said it's illegal to sell photos of your car, due to copyright concerns.
I liked this quote on Life, Love, and Liberty:
“The Bible, which is a very interesting and here and there very profound book when considered as one of the oldest surviving manifestations of human wisdom and fancy, expresses this truth very naively in its myth of original sin. Jehovah, who of all the good gods adored by men was certainly the most jealous, the most vain, the most ferocious, the most unjust, the most bloodthirsty, the most despotic, and the most hostile to human dignity and liberty-Jehovah had just created Adam and Eve, to satisfy we know not what caprice; no doubt to while away his time, which must weigh heavy on his hands in his eternal egoistic solitude, or that he might have some new slaves. He generously placed at their disposal the whole earth, with all its fruits and animals, and set but a single limit to this complete enjoyment. He expressly forbade them from touching the fruit of the tree of knowledge. He wished, therefore, that man, destitute of all understanding of himself, should remain an eternal beast, ever on all-fours before the eternal God, his creator and his master. But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.”
If you analyze it carefully, the God of Christianity is actually an Evil God! The God of Christianity is really the God of Absolute Unopposable Evil! Whenever you worship the God of Christianity, you're praying to an Evil God!
The God of Christianity is really a proxy for the God of the State. One of the most frustrating things is "You should believe without evidence." If you condition people to believe things without evidence, you're training them to be slaves. Christianity is a slave religion.
Another example of slave training is: "If you suffer now, you will be rewarded after you die." Anyone who claims to know what happens after you die is a con artist. By definition, such knowledge is unattainable. This falsehood is believed because it approximates a truth "If you work hard and learn things, you will be rewarded with benefits later (if the USA were a free market.)"
Another example of slave training is: "You should accept abuse without questioning it."
Compare a prayer to the God of Christianity with a prayer to the God of Mathematics. If you know the proper rituals, if you pray to the God of Mathematics, you actually get a useful response!
An anonymous reader is still wasting his time on trolls on a car discussion forum.
Your position is well thought out and persuasive.
There is just one minor detail.
Excuse me, correction: There is just one gaping hole in the argument.
Nothing but standard trollspeak so far.
Banks do not create money. When they loan money out, it is not, as one of your sources says, "just a bookkeeping entry." Just like you or I do, banks also have to borrow money. Some of it comes from us in the form of deposits. Most of it however, comes from the only source large enough and wealthy enough to supply that kind of money: Bill Gates. Actually, it's the federal government.
The federal government has delegated its money printing power to the Federal Reserve and the financial industry. When new money is printed, the people who get first dibs on the new money get to confiscate wealth from everyone else. These people are financial industry insiders: bank management and hedge fund managers.
Banks *DO* create money. Suppose I have $10,000 on deposit at my bank. The bank issues a fractional reserve loan for $9,000. I still have my $10,000 demand deposit, and someone else has $9,000 of new money. Banks are constrained by the amount of existing bank reserves, up to the 10x reserve ratio. Only the Federal Reserve has the power to create new bank reserves.
According to a strict interpretation of the US Constitution, Congress does *NOT* have the power to delegate its money-printing authority to a private corporation.
New money is not introduced to the economy by banks pulling it out of a hat, but instead when banks borrow it from the Federal Reserve Bank Discount Window. And even then, the Federal Reserve doesn't create money out of thin air. The money supply is constrained by the economy and people's faith in the US government. The more money it puts out, the less each dollar is worth.
New money is created by the Federal Reserve. There is no limit on how much money the Federal Reserve can create. As long as the Federal Reserve doesn't create so much money that people entirely lose faith in the US dollar, they can print as many dollars as they want.
Banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve in two ways. They can borrow at the Discount Rate, which is currently 0.5% more than the Fed Funds Rate. They can also borrow at the Fed Funds Rate. You are missing the Federal Reserve's open market operations.
The job of the Federal Reserve is to balance the money supply by controlling how much money is added into the economy. Too much will raise the rate of inflation to damaging levels; too little reduces liquidity in the economy preventing the market from functioning. It is able to add money into the economy simply due to the fact that the American economy has steadily grown increasing its value. Ultimately, the true creators of money is us, people who work and thus add value to the economy.
How is "a handful of people manging the economy" different from "a handful of people enslaving everyone"?
As an individual, I do not have the magic money printing power that banks have. My work gives value to the Federal Reserve's fiat money, but I don't make money when I work. As the US economy grows, there is deflation. When the Federal Reserve prints more money, there is inflation. The Federal Reserve tries to keep a constant rate of inflation.
Every sane person knows that "Taxation is Theft!" Similarly, and more subtle, "Inflation is Theft!"
Indeed the schema you and your sources paint has a very simple test. During economic downturns, as foreclosures increase, banks would be in a great position. They would be gaining a real asset (foreclosed property) for nothing as the money they lent out was created by them for nothing. As luck would have it, we are in an economic downturn, some even call it a recession (some luck, I know).
So, how are banks doing right now?
Your reasoning is invalid. Just because banks sometimes lose money, that does not mean the economic system is acceptable. Banks do no real work that justifies the profits they receive. Bank profits are entirely a government subsidy. The current model for the banking industry exists solely to exploit a government subsidy.
Rather poorly it turns out. They're losing money hand over fist. How can this be? The money that they had lent out for mortgages came from someplace else. And just like those nasty letters you or I get when we fail to pay our bills on time, Bank of America gets them too. Sure they can foreclose, but in times of downturn, property values tend to drop. So that million dollar McMansion you bought only sells for $600,000 and the bank is out not only $400,000 (less the amount repaid) but also the interest due to the party that lent the bank the money. Luckily for the bank the interest rate is lower than the one you or I pay and the money is financed over a much shorter period of time (generally 28 days). Get enough situations like that, and you end up like these guys.
The list given on that link is misleading. A lot of *SMALL* mortgage lenders have gone bankrupt. The big banks, such as Citigroup, Bank of America, etc., have not gone bankrupt. They are currently losing money, but they will make it up during the next boom phase of the economic cycle.
As usual, an economic boom/bust cycle is leading to consolidation of an industry. This time, it's the mortgage lending industry.
On The Ultimate Seduction Technique!, an Anonymous reader writes:
Maybe you should become a 'love doctor' lots of money to be made in that racket. askmen.com have a couple of luv doctors.
That's not such a bad idea. However, you need a "reputation" before you can get anywhere with that.
The problem is that most "seduction" guides assume you're playing a master/slave game with your seduction target. Your goal is to be the dominant one in the relationship.
Ideally, the goal would be to cooperate with your seduction target. Most people confuse "cooperating with your partner" and "dominating your partner".
The reason most people don't notice is that there are two axes of intelligence/dominance. There is emotional dominance and logical dominance. People who are emotionally dominant tend to be logically submissive. People who are emotionally submissive tend to be logically dominant. Of course, "emotionally dominant" is abusive. "Intellectually dominant" means that you're thinking clearly and logically. You can't intellectually dominate someone by cheating!
I noticed something else. White women tend to be emotionally dominant and white men tend to be logically dominant. In African Americans, it tends to be the opposite. Black women tend to be logically dominant and white men tend to be emotionally dominant. That's the reason more black people are in jail than white people. This is not a genetic disposition; it is a cultural thing. It also is not universal; there are exceptions.
The problem is that two "logically dominant" people can't hook up with each other. Their mate selection strategies are incompatible, because they're both emotionally submissive.
Universally, when you see a pair of people interacting, normally one person is dominating and the other person is being submissive. Two emotionally submissive people can interact "normally" (logically), provided both are fairly strong intellectual dominants, because dominating someone logically is not abusing them.
By E-Mail, redpillguy asks:
Given the Compound Interest Paradox and bank profits, why can't one profit by buying stock in the banks and the Federal Reserve banks?
There are a couple of problems with investing in bank stocks.
First, the management gives themselves huge salaries and stock options. A lot of the Federal Reserve subsidy does not wind up in the pockets of bank shareholders, but in the pockets of bank management. After correcting for this, banks are no more or less profitable than other stock investments.
Second, suppose you were an insider who knew in advance what the Federal Reserve is going to do. Would you work at a large bank, where you have to share your gains with the shareholders? Or, would you work at a hedge fund, where you and your buddies are the shareholders? A lot of the Federal Reserve subsidy winds up in the pockets of investment funds that are not open to the general public.
The *BIGGEST* perks go to the people who know in advance what the Federal Reserve is going to do. Those people aren't going to work in a publicly traded company where they have to share their spoils with others.
On The Giant Evil Computer that Rules the World, an anonymous reader writes:
"it's impossible to be both intelligent and evil" - You're joking right?
Yes. If you're evil, there's a limit to how intelligent you can get. Evil is stupid. If evil were really intelligent, it would figure out that being evil is a bad idea. If you're intelligent and evil, you'll decide that treating people fairly is better than abusing them.
On FSK Asks - Should I Try Podcasting or Vlogging?, the responses were interesting:
Redpillguy, David_Z and an anonymous reader said that text was sufficient.
Zhwazi and another anonymous reader said that a vlog or podcast could potentially read a wider audience:
Some things are better said in voice, some are better said in text. If you have something that you can say better in voice, vlog or podcast, go right ahead. But if you vlog, don't do what lots of people do and stare at the screen reading off it, failing to even address the camera except to have it pointing at you while you do this. It's a pet peeve of mine.
Just reading a transcript is pointless. In that case, I'm better off posting text.
I'm considering creating a standup comedy act based on my blog. I would tape them and put them up on the Internet/YouTube. Annoyingly, YouTube put a 10 minute upload cap. I would break them up into pieces or use another service.
For now, a text blog is the most efficient use of my time.
Posted by FSK at 12:00 PM
Saturday, January 19, 2008
If you desire a counter-economic investment, gold or silver coins or bars do nicely. Remember: If you want to invest in gold or silver, make sure you have physical metal in your possession. I haven't bought any physical metal yet, but I've heard that Apmex is the most reputable online dealer. A price comparison of a few dealers also shows Apmex to have the best prices.
Even though the US dollar is crashing, I don't feel urgency to buy gold or silver. The rate of increase in the stock market will approximately match the decline in the value of the dollar. Stock investments will be safe until the agorist economy is mature, at which point the current economic system will completely collapse.
I never realized how clueless most people were about investing. Even though I am convinced that the current economic system is invalid and destined for collapse, it isn't going to go away anytime soon. In the short-term, stocks are the best inflation hedge. If you pick wisely, you can even outperform inflation by a few percent. Overall, I've made an annualized return over 25% since I started picking individual stocks in 2000.
Buy companies whose products you know and like. For example, I chose to invest in an airline based on which airline provided the best customer service.
Only invest in companies you understand. I understand software and technology, so I'm good at picking tech companies. I'm not a doctor or biologist, so I stay away from drug companies. At work, other people said that HP computers were better than Dell computers, so I bought some HPQ. At one job, it was the first time I'd ever worked on an HP computer instead of a Dell computer.
Suppose you interview at a corporation, feel you were treated well, but were not offered a job. That becomes an investment opportunity; that's how I choose which financial companies to invest in. If you interview at a corporation, and you leave the interview thinking "I can't believe their heads are that far up their ***es", then you know to not buy that stock.
Valuation counts. You should compare P/E ratios of several companies. Sometimes companies have special events that inflate or deflate their reported earnings, so you should look at the current year, previous year, and predictions for the future year. Corporate earnings will naturally grow with inflation. As inflation occurs, corporations will have higher prices for supplies, higher prices for sales, and the same target profit rate. Inflation affects every large corporation.
Buy the stock as if you were buying the entire company. Look at market capitalization. Compare corporations' market capitalization. Compare several different corporations as if you were buying the entire corporation.
For example, when I wrote this, MSFT had a market capitalization of $300B and GOOG had a market capitalization of $200B. Is Google really worth 2/3 as much as Microsoft? MSFT has two monopolies (OS and Office) that have withstood the test of time. (In computer-time, 20 years is like forever.) Every large corporation has a ton of custom software written for MSFT's OS, which cannot be easily ported to other platforms. MSFT has a history of ruthlessly knocking out competitors, and you know that GOOG is firmly in the cross-hairs of MSFT. Google has no lock-in for its customers, whereas MSFT is an expert at getting lock-in. I can effortless switch search engines, if necessary. If I needed to abandon Blogger, I would.
Google is a great company. Is it worth 2/3 as much as Microsoft? You've got to be kidding me.
Consider another example. When I wrote this, KO had a market capitalization of $140B. KO had a P/E ratio half that of GOOG. KO has withstood the test of time. I would even go as far to say that Coca-Cola has a good chance of surviving past the collapse of the red market. Is Google worth twice as much as Coca-Cola on an earnings basis, and 40% more on a market capitalization basis?
By this analysis, I would be forced to conclude that Google's stock is overpriced. Google is a great company with great products. It's overpriced as an investment.
If I had enough cash around to buy an entire corporation, I'd buy Coca-Cola first, Microsoft second, and Google last, among those three corporations I analyzed.
Dollar cost average. Suppose you've analyzed a stock and conclude it's a good investment. You buy some. It goes down 20%. If there was no news released that affects your analysis, buy more! Spread out your purchases at least a few months apart, so you don't keep buying a stock that's rapidly tanking. Also, if you're willing to invest $n in a stock, invest in $n/2 or $n/3 increments. This way, you can buy more if the stock goes down after you buy. If the stock goes up after you buy, great! Take the remaining $n/2 and pick a new stock.
For every time there's a stock like ENE that crashes all the way to zero, there are stocks that go down and recover. If your original analysis of the stock is unchanged, it makes sense to buy again after a decrease.
Similarly, if a stock runs up a lot, you should consider selling. However, selling means you have to pay capital gains taxes. This means that your new investment has to be 25% better than your old investment, for it to make sense to sell. Some stocks I bought went up so much that I had to sell some for diversification purposes. (Everyone should have that problem!)
It helps to read sites like The Motley Fool, which encourage individual independent thinking about investing. It was independent thinking about investing that led me to discover things like the Discounted Cashflow Paradox and realize the fundamental structural flaw in the current economic system.
As a more advanced strategy, you can buy call options. When you buy a call option, you are actually making a bet that there WILL be inflation. A call option includes a loan element, because you don't have to pay the strike until expiration. That loan is priced at the Fed Funds Rate, which is a bargain. Individuals can't normally borrow at the Fed Funds Rate. If I want to buy stock on margin, I have to pay 8%. Options are an opportunity to profit from inflation. The details are a subject of a future post, because the full argument in favor of buying call options is really complicated; it's related to the fundamental structural flaw in the monetary system. Call options are a loophole that allow the average investor to borrow at the same rate as hedge funds and banks, provided they use the proceeds to buy a stock.
Don't use stop loss orders! Using stop-loss orders is really counter-productive. Market makers get to know if there's a large stop-loss order on the book. If they see a large stop-loss order, they will try to move the stock down, electing the stop order, and the market maker will buy from the stop-loss order. The result is that the person who placed the stop-loss order winds up selling at the ABSOLUTE bottom.
Stocks are the best investment strategy for now. You should take advantage of this massive government subsidy as best you can. As the end of the current economic system approaches, it would pay to start making counter-economic investments.
Posted by FSK at 1:35 PM