Archives for the month of: January, 2018

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Excellent insight.

Regarding Jordan Peterson and young men, I think Dr. Peterson has no intention of targeting young men. Dr. P calls out truth. He calls out reality. There are differences between the fundamentals of males and females that make it, generally, intuitive for females to grasp reality and to realize the need to take responsibility. I suspect males need it spelled out.

No one has been doing that for a long time. It doesn’t surprise me that the majority of those who find Dr. Peterson’s explanations enlightening are male and younger.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

SPOTLIGHT: Young men are in crisis. Responding with compassion is apparently a bad thing.

BIG PICTURE: The Internet is awash with Jordan Peterson videos. He’s the mild-mannered Canadian psychology professor whose just-released book, 12 Rules for Life, is a best seller across the English-speaking world.

Enthusiasts snip YouTube videos into pieces and splice those pieces together again. Here’s an example titled All the times Jordon Peterson broke down talking about the state of young men. Posted 10 days ago, this 8.5-minute video provides a marvellous introduction to Peterson’s empathy and humanity.

Whenever he speaks in public, young men are a large part of his audience. They frequently remain behind afterward to shake his hand and thank him for helping them get back on track.

On the video, after a radio interviewer mentions that suicide is a leading cause of death for men, Peterson says of those who attend…

View original post 401 more words

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Here is a hard thing. “The only way to grow out of the state is to not treat it as an alien “other” but as a reflection of a violence-addicted culture.”

We, you and I, commit violence against others with our laws, with our regulations, with our prisons.

You and I have blood on our hands. Our lawmakers ensure it.

For every evil a state-enforced regulation alleviates, it perpetrates more, maybe many more, maybe many times worse. You and I are responsible.

When one causes suffering, that one is responsible. When our government, our state, our laws, our police cause suffering, we are all responsible. All of us have the blood on our hands.

“Don’t be evil,” the saying goes. What is evil? It is at least the causing of suffering unnecessarily. Do our prohibitions cause suffering? Yes. You know our drug laws, our prostitution laws, our petty prohibitions of this and that, our requirement of this or that, they all cause suffering. They all result in harming people and families in prisons and other obvious harms. Why continue?

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia Dec. 23. 1791.

If we live to “protect,” how? How can we protect anyone older than about six years? We can only protect people by imposing on them. Coercion is evil. Coercion is always evil. Why commit evil to protect? There is one reasonable justification: when the evil prevented is obviously worse than the evil imposed by the coercion, when that evil prevented was clear, present, and imminent.

Coercion, imposition of law, needs to be stripped of its layers and accoutrements, especially the pretty ones. We pretend our laws are for the good, but what good? Strip the law down to its ultimate: Every law has you, ultimately, holding a gun to someone’s head and saying, “Comply or else!”

You scoff. You recoil. You would never do that. Heck,  you may even protest you own no gun, you may even claim you’ve never held a gun, but did you vote? Did you pay taxes? Don’t you sanction the police, at least when you need them? Did you cheer when the law passed? “No more texting and driving,” you cried in triumph. Yet, what of the young person who does so anyway, who is seen, caught red-handed, by an officer of the law? Who, when the siren sounds and the lights flash, refuses to submit? What then? High speed chase? Property damage, injury, loss of life? All because you insisted on assigning enforcement, the guys with the guns, to enforce your coercive, self-serving, even narcissistic and egotistical, will.

You! You supported that. You are responsible. There is blood on your hands.

We must change our ways. We must change our laws. We must abandon punishment in our civic culture. We all know what harm is. When there is a responsible party, intentional, negligent, or something similar, we understand justice. We understand the harm, the wrong, must be set right in some way. Punishing the responsible party is seldom warranted. Locking the person in a cage, how have we remained so evil so long?

When someone is harmed, we must find ways to set it right, ways that may involve substantial hardship for the responsible party. We can be reasonable, merciful, and still see justice done.

The old rule of eye-for-eye and life-for-life may need to be applied on rare occasions, but we normally have much more rational, even more effective, options.

Imposing harm willingly is the height of evil. Yet, we do it every day.

We harm those who violate our laws daily, and we harm those who love them or depend on them. We cause the harm, and we know it! That is the evil of our society, not supposed slights and unconscious bias.

Our laws need to focus on harm done and reparation. We must abandon punishment in most civil and criminal matters. We must figure out how to stop locking up all but our most dangerous fellow humans.

Here is another idea we must internalize, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

I am the monster. You are the monster. Our society, our laws, our enforcement, our systems! We are the monster! “There is none righteous, no not one!

Think, are you not frightened whenever you think of doing something out of the ordinary? Don’t you wonder if it is illegal, if someone might call the police, if the police just might show up for you? Oh, what evil we have wrought! We live in a society where the sensitive among us live in fear of the police, the state. Why?

When we impose regulation on children, on parents, on education, we are restricting, coercing, demanding what is not rightfully ours.

For many thousands of years, we have made do just fine with no imposition of regulations on parents. How can our hubris reach so high as to think this or that rule improves the human lot? Nemesis visits us already. Her reminders to return to humility, to minding our own business, are not usually extreme, but they will become so if we continue our imposing, coercive ways. It is simply the nature of existence. TANSTAAFL and “Mind own business.” That is the existence we have. It is what we should celebrate. We can only have the best when we all trust one another to the good, to be honest, to accomplish our own necessities. Our meddling only, almost always, increases suffering more than necessary.

I allow for the needs, for the necessities, because nothing is ever perfect, at least not in the existence we live.

I want less government, less law, less meddling, less imposition, less coercion. I’m not advocating for overthrow. No! What we have works pretty well. Let’s not blow it up. But, we can start restricting it. We can start repealing laws. We can start lowering budgets and eliminating programs. Such is the road to less harm and more general welfare.

There are no government programs that don’t cause harm. Get it? All government programs, all government action, causes harm. Government programs and actions harm some, some individuals. In many instances, the government action is causing more harm, more human suffering, than it alleviates, even when the best of intentions are legitimate and even when well supervised.

Government causes harm. It is inarguable. Freedom is better. Of course, there are those who will take advantage when opportunity arises, and that is why we need the sanctioned violence, the enforcement, the police, the guys with the guns. Yes, we need them. (We also need to be able to defend ourselves from them.)

However, we need less than we have.

Our needs our meager when it comes to government, yet we surfeit! Why?

Why is government excess the one excess we revel in. Is revelling in excess not sin, simply by definition! Of course, it is. Let us stop insisting on continuing this sin.

Less government, and let’s start with less laws.

 

 

 

An unrelated article brought this to mind.

Argue all you want, complicate all you want, but God is, or God is not. If you prefer, there is a divine ultimate, or there is nothing.

If we acknowledge the divine, then we are eternal, it seems a certain consequence.

I assert free will. “Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!” (Fyodor Dostoevsky [c8p2, c8p3])

There is no free will if one may not choose eternity to at least the extent of with-God or without-God.

I assert the good. I assert that choosing to add harm to life is the evil.

We have before us life or death, good or evil. Therefore, choose life.

I aver that Martin Luther King Jr. was a pretty good example of a husband and father, and it seems fitting on the day we honor him to note that for the most part, we’ve solved the problems for women of not having husbands.

That is, in most of our circumstances, we support single mothers. We don’t shun them. We typically work with them in personal and public ways.

For the most part, a single mother’s life is hard, but it is not life-threatening as it used to be.

Thus, we have many single mothers. That is, while there are still problems, the biggest problem, the problem that made women fear being a single mother, has been mitigated. While we have improved the lot of women, we have not improved the overall lot.

Fatherlessness, lack of a husband in the family, is a problem for society. It is a serious problem for children. Fatherlessness of families results in harm.

How do we fix that? I think it is obvious money and government programs cannot fix it.

How do we fix it?

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Excellent.

Science Matters

On January 8, 2018 Ross Pomeroy published  at RealClearScience an interesting article The Six Stages of a Failed Psychological Theory

The Pomeroy essay focuses on theories in the field of psychology and describes stages through which they rise, become accepted, challenged and discarded. It has long seemed to me that global warming/climate change theory properly belongs in the field of social studies and thus should demonstrate a similar cycle.

Formerly known as CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming), the notion of “climate change” is logically a subject of social science rather than physical science. “Climate Change” is a double abstraction: it refers to the derivative (change) in our expectations (patterns) of weather. Thus studies of “Climate Change” are properly a branch of Environmental Sociology.

As a social psychology theory, CAGW/climate change bundles together three interdependent assertions.

From the beginning the claimed science, impacts and policies were bundled, which makes CAGW theory…

View original post 3,528 more words

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Keep in mind that Pointman is viewing from across the pond. (He always seems to have a very clear view, too.)

Pointman's

Barring any unforeseen accidents and a fair breeze behind him, Trump will be sailing into the 2020 election to win it most probably by a greater margin than he won in 2016. Trump has delivered more in one year than Obama did in eight, and you have to remember under the latter’s administration, everything was either in decline or simply going nowhere.

In that year, new jobs were actually created, unemployment among both black and Hispanic Americans has hit historic lows, the flight abroad of manufacturing from America was stopped, swathes of choking regulatory nonsense has been culled ruthlessly, the stock market keeps hitting new record highs, the dumping of cheap foreign subsidised goods into America was stopped, the foreign policy disasters left behind to him by Messrs Obama, Clinton and Kerry have been unfucked one by one, the Arabic states were told to stop covertly financing terrorism in the…

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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-017-0034-6

“Meta” is an overused prefix that is often used as a standalone word. It is hard to know what it means in many contexts. In metalens, it is used to mean a lens (for focusing light) that isn’t really a lens in the generally understood sense.

Here, they are figuring out how to make surfaces that are flat (not curved) macroscopically, but with nanofins that are tuned to affect light rays the same through all the visible wavelengths. The point is to make a thinner, lighter, less complicated lens for optics. They are aiming at cheaper, too, but I bet it is overly expensive in the current state of research. Cheaper in the long run seems likely to me.

The article, which is $5 to have for a few hours for reading, or $20 to keep (I did neither), indicates the lens works from full red through blue. (Purples, apparently, will not be properly focused.) It also indicates its efficiency is 20% so far. Not adequate. I bet they figure it out though. It almost sounds too good to be true, but the engineering looks like the hard part, and that is just a matter of time, just a matter of trial and error. It might make cell-phone cameras as good as the best SLRs.

The supplemental information file is available free here: https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41565-017-0034-6/MediaObjects/41565_2017_34_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

The supplemental file is useful, and I figure everyone with some understanding of optical wave mechanics should get an intuitive feel for what is going on just from the first figure, a simple schematic showing how the surface is saw-toothed (nanoscale) to accommodate the fact that prisms spread white light into the rainbow colors as the light passes through. (The prism tips interact with the waves, too, keeping the light together, not spreading into a rainbow.)

The supplemental videos aren’t useful, and only the last two (essentially the same) are cool to watch. (The videos show the thing works. Good to know, but worthless for intuition and understanding.)

BTW, “An optical system with the ability to produce images with angular resolution as good as the instrument’s theoretical limit is said to be diffraction limited.” That is, the discussed metalens is theoretically as good as possible in focusing potential.

After thought: Journals, especially Nature, are much too proud of their status. This research was paid for by public money (USAF & NSF tax-funded research). The journals argue that the fees for articles (or subscriptions) pay for their services, primarily peer review and editing. Well, maybe a bit, but it is overpriced and overrated. Journals provide piss poor quality of service in the majority of instances.

A few additional references, information found by searching for the contract number (indicating it is giving out several millions of dollars, which I deduce considering all the references):

https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/muri_metasurfaces/overview

https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/muri_metasurfaces/publications

https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/muri_metasurfaces/people/federico-capasso

This chunk has given out $3M so far:

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1541959

I’m not going to explain any of my own history, but I identify fully, exactly, with Jordan Peterson. #jordanbpeterson @jordanbpeterson
Also with Lindsey Shepard.
My views don’t align well with any group I know of. I suspect Peterson would say the same of himself, except maybe for some of his fellow clinical psychiatrists.
 
If he happens to see this, I encourage him to stay strong and to focus on doing what is right. Stay faithful to your heart, your convictions, and the truth as best you can see it.
 
I stand pragmatically. I stand for all I know of history and science, and for realizing what can work, and what cannot.
 
Freedom is the only thing that can work.
 
Coercion is evil, always.
 
Stand for everyone, every group, every segment, no matter their differences, no matter their color, no matter their age, no matter their politics, no matter their religion, no matter their nationality, no matter their conformity. Stand for the individual! Stand for free exercise of conscience.
I support Peterson in his stand against using public education as indoctrination. https://youtu.be/s0EuQe6BOWo
I stand for the abolition of coercive, compulsory education laws.
There are many things that need fixed in education, including basic civility, respect, and freedom in all regards, but none of it matters while we officially coerce parents to force their children to conformity. Public education fails because its only true goal is to make conforming drones, compliant to the political will of the dominant faction.
We are free people, free individuals. It is fundamental. Everywhere freedom is suppressed, every time people resist, and resistance is not futile.
Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

Sin

We usually define it as messing up, missing the mark. We know, for the most part, what we need to aim at, yet we often miss, either from simple failings or bad choices.

We don’t get around to doing the things we should. We don’t show a kindness when it was deserved. Or we know good and well we shouldn’t do a thing, yet we did it.

Most such, we deal with by repenting, formally for the religious, but in other ways for all the rest. Charitable giving, resolutions (especially at the New Year), we all do it, trying to make right, trying to do better. Good. That is the way of it, and nearly all of us get it, and most of us are pretty tolerant of it because we’ve been there, done that.

There is another sin, though, of knowingly causing harm, inflicting suffering. In general, such are what we, as a society, judge as worthy of punishment and prison. For the most heinous intentional harms, we tend to want our officials to take the sinner’s life. For better or worse, that is the way it is. (It could change. Perhaps we should engage.)

There is a sin, however, one that causes grave harm, that nearly everyone commits, and no one is ever punished for: Supporting compulsory education.

Making laws and forcing people to send their children to government schools, school designed to indoctrinate and to regiment, schools necessarily forcing compliance, conformance, and all things sedentary. These schools would be better for simply removing the compulsory requirements. Why do you support something that so obviously, demonstrably, repeatably, results in harm for so many?

You force it. You cause it. You are responsible. Why do you persist?

Outlaw truancy laws. End this intentional harm.

 

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