June 3, 2009 archive

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Victory breeds hatred.

The defeated live in pain.

Happily the peaceful live,

giving up victory and defeat.

–The Dhammapada, 201

Phenomena XIII: hurting



Cold raindrops fall

snow clots

into flakes


into ice

hard as rock

and so cold

Sharp water

cuts at my skin

Does your heart bleed

when the cold

drips from its hardness

as it condenses,

becoming not large enough

to contain any love

for people

different from you?

Ice pellets

from so many eyes

and thoughts


into hatred

Are they even

aware of it?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 12, 2008

Late Night Karaoke

Bad Bad

$10.5 Trillion Committed to Financial Industry, $2.6 Trillion Spent So Far

(Crossposted from The Free Speech Zone)

Check this shit out.

That’s where your tax money went and a nice estimate of how much the government is willing to fork over of it if it needs to (a.k.a. when it’s told to).

No! Don’t riot America(LMFAO!), it’s ok, there’s a “Recovery Act” under way to help all you “Hardworking Americans”

Check out this “absolute disgusting display of socialism on steroids”….

Married couple with 2 children.

Income: $120,000

Tax Cut Under Recovery Act: $800

($800 from Making Work Pay Credit)

Married couple eligible for first time Homebuyer’s Credit with 2 children

Income: $60,000

Tax Cut Under Recovery Act: $8,800

($800 from Making Work Pay Credit and $8,000 from Homebuyer’s Credit)

Married couple with 3 children, all eligible for the Child Tax Credit and EITC.

Income: $30,000

Tax Cut Under Recovery Act: $2,172

($800 from Making Work Pay Credit, $1,025 from EITC increase, and $347 from Child Tax Credit increase)

Married Couple with a Child who is a Full Time Student with $4,000 in Education Expenses

Income: $90,000

Tax Cut Under Recovery Act: $1,500

($800 from Making Work Pay Credit, $700 from increased American Opportunity Tax Credit)


That report is referenced from here in.

So ok.

First sample family? Not bad, whatevs, they’re doin at least ok anyways.

Now let’s cut that income in half, keep the same family, and show the $8000 dollars they’d be eligible for from the government if they would ever get approved for a home-loan in the first place so let’s just act as if that’s not even there.  Oh, and don’t forget the $800 tax cut that covers maybe a month of gas, some bills, and…well that’s it.  Thanks Uncle Sam!

Then they keep the couple, add an extra kid and cut the income in half again!  Now you got a couple, 3 kids, at $30K.  Oh boy oh boy! a one time yearly gift of $2200!  What a great lift out of poverty for them!

The last family is a couple with one kid who’s a full-time student with $4k in college expenses (on what planet does a full-time student at a 4 year school only have $4k in expense?!) an their income is $90k. Oh boy, $1500.  The kid will get a laptop.

Ok, so what about these “plans” they have to get the people back on their feet?

Science Entails Practice; Likewise Religion

Religion and science are both practiced by humans, therefore they are not as unlike as many argue.  There is much overlap in the skills of emotions and of understanding required to practice either productively.  Both fall disappointingly short of realizing their ideals in practice.  Both are corrupted by the common human flaws.

Faith is one foundation of most religions.  All religions also involve practice.  It’s not so obvious how to master one’s anger and violent tendencies.  Selfishness is a persistent human trait.  And greed, and so on.  But practice tends toward perfection.  Not being a good person for some future reward, no.  I am talking about practicing behavior which will bring happiness to oneself and to others.  Christianity is in alignment with every major religion in placing the golden rule at it’s center.  Treat others as you yourself would be treated.  This simple guide defines a human technology which could actually prevent warfare and end torture.  It is a much more effective approach than simply being right-which is where science, or being reality-based, rears it arrogant head.

I stress arrogant, as opposed to confident in oneself as a result of disciplined practice of rationality.  For science entails practice as well.  No matter how deep one’s knowledge of the heuristic methods of science, acquiring the skills of a practicing scientist requires years of practice-as in religion, the acquired skills are never fully mastered.

Oops, did I call science arrogant?  And I was so wanting to be nice.  Sigh.  If it makes you rational ones feel better, pretending to have co-powers with god is rather breathtaking in its audacity, not to mention claiming to know the unknowable.  So let’s call it a tie.  Okay, go ahead, give religion the black mark on this one.  The over-riding point is that humans tend to be arrogant.  Add that one to the list of human afflictions.

$10.5 Trillion Committed to Financial Industry, $2.6 Trillion Spent So Far

Check this shit out.

That’s where your tax money went and a nice estimate of how much the government is willing to fork over of it if it needs to (a.k.a. when it’s told to).

No! Don’t riot America(LMFAO!), it’s ok, there’s a “Recovery Act” under way to help all you “Hardworking Americans”

Check out this “absolute disgusting display of socialism on steroids”….

Albert Gray Eagle, Flute Maker, Needs An Author

My friend and spirit brother, Albert Gray Eagle, needs an author.



We have either become Nazis or Zombies.

There are two truths in the world of video gaming:

1) You will always have to save the princess again

2) The only two acceptable enemies to slaughter in games of war are zombies and Nazis.

Not even during the height of the Cold War were Russians placed in a gamescape to be gunned mercilessly by 14 year old boys. This was always reserved for the most foul and unholiest of creatures, Nazis and zombies.

Zombies were a no brainer, and yes I meant that pun. But Nazis were always rendered as human beings fighting for the horror show that was Nazi Germany. The very first popular first person shooter would lead to decades of war against digital Nazis, with no other human foes ever inserted, not even people we fought like the Koreans or Vietnamese:

Sure, there was an oddball terrorist to kill here and there, but they would always answer to some higher power, which would always turn out to be a freaking Nazi.


This is why this new game is a bit of a teller, and how the world might add Americans to the list of evils:

Congrats America! Let’s hope the world thinks we zombies, at least then we can claim to just be mindless torturers.  

Dude, You’re an Imperialist

I was talking to a friend the other day and we got into some war talk.  I was spreading my usual hate for the imperialistic adventures of the U.S. and my friend, he of the less well read, challenged me about the Global War on Terror (GWOT).  I think that’s a much better name than the “Long War” because the “Long War” seems like something that should be given after the fact.  The war lasted fifty fucking years, i.e., the Long War.  Could be just a social engineering ploy by those in power to get the populace accustomed to a long war, but I’m not a Conspiracy Theorist.  No way, not me.

Anyway, I tried to explain to him what the real purpose of the GWOT was and he still didn’t get it.  I mean, I gave him my best anti-imperialist speech.  Everything I’ve got.  Oil, natural gas, American interests, CIA, torture, fucking with Russia and China, everything.  Still, those fucking Arabs who are going to come over here and plant a nuclear bomb in downtown L.A., were too powerful a force to overcome.  I had only one chance.  

I told him Obama is going to be worse than Bush on foreign policy.  That seemed to perk him up abit.  Not because he was an Obama supporter, but he knew how much I hated Bush.  I told him that Bush went after a couple of defenseless countries who were no danger to the continental U.S.  That would be small stuff compared to what Obama is planning, or what those behind Obama are planning, and already carrying out.  That plan is to secure American supremacy for the next one hundred years by going after China and Russia, effectively playing each off the other.  “The Grand Chessgame” as a dude named Zbignew wrote.  

He didn’t really have much to say about that.  He still thinks the U.S. military is used for all that is good in the world, and we are right in our actions to take down viscious dictators and cruel rulers.  We are right in our quest to get them before they get us.  

I like my friend, particularly when we don’t talk politics.  This time, all I could say is “Dude, you’re an Imperialist”!  

Cross posted at Daily Kos

Do they dream of electric sheep asleep in the hub?

That doesn’t look like much does it? Just some robots doing their thing, finding a light source, charging their batteries. What you are actually looking at is Skynet in the making.

This is the work of Dario Floreano of Laboratory of Intelligent Systems based at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. What you are looking at is Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence.

What the does that mean, you are asking yourself? Well, let’s let a layman explain it:


Dario Floreano and his team at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology built a swarm of mobile robots, outfitted with light bulbs and photodetectors.  These were set loose in a zone with illuminated “food” and “poison” zones which charged or depleted their batteries.  Their programming was initially random, so the first generation staggered around the place like bunch of concussed puppies.

At intervals, the robots were shut down and those that had the most charge left in their batteries were chosen as “successful”, and their neural programming was combined to produce the next generation of the robots.
 These offspring are downloaded into the same mechanical bodies their parents inhabited, forming an closed-circuit Buddhist system which might be an extremely efficient method of maintaining a stable population, but will provide a serious headache for any robot philosophers who might turn up.

Which could happen before long.  Within fifty generations of this electronic evolution, co-operative societies of robots had formed – helping each other to find food and avoid poison. Even more amazing is the emergence of cheats and martyrs.  Transistorized traitors emerged which wrongly identified poison zone as food, luring their trusting brethren to their doom before scooting off to silently charge in a food zone – presumably while using a mechanical claw to twirl a silicon carving of a handlebar moustache.

You might be upset by this result, scientific proof that those who say “Evil is utterly fundamental to human nature” actually understates the scope of the problem, there were also silicon souls on the side of the angels.  Some robots advanced fearlessly into poison zones, flashing warning lights to keep other robots out of harms way.

This is one of the most incredibly bad ideas I have ever seen. Asimov is twirling in his grave, and he didn’t even know what neural networks were.

That is what is going on here, the crazy Swiss. Not these little bots will ever achieve enlightment due to the need to be downloaded into a new body, but sooner or later some dumb monkey is going recreate this project with a group of robots capable of longevity.

And that’s where we will destroy ourselves.

Now to understand exactly what they are recreating with these robots, one must understand basic connection theory.

Load the bowls boy, your about the enter the Pinche Zone.

Watch the whole thing:


That’s right, Kevin Bacon is the secret of the universe. In any system a pattern emerges, elegant in simplicity, yet complex in it’s execution. The infinite sum in a single line of code.

Someone has already taken the time to crib note this episode so let’s borrow, shall we?


A number of scientists have been sharing their data and taking this fledgling science into new areas of application. It is now being scientifically demonstrated that everything — all systems — in nature utilize the same pervasive laws of organization. These laws of organization are always seeking to ensure the survival and success of whatever is in the network. So the chorus of crickets, or the flashing synchronicity of a ten thousand fireflies, the movement of people from one website to another, the movement of traffic through a city, the movement of signals through our brain’s neural circuitry and the cooperative activity of proteins in our cells are all inter-related through the underlying organizational principles that they use.

One very interesting aspect of networks that has been discovered is that all networks have “hubs” where a greater concentration of connections exist.
On the internet these would be called “portals.” In the study that was done on the network of all known movie stars the hubs were the more popular stars who had more contacts in the movie star world.

The net result of this research seems to indicate that these hubs are very important to the health of the network. They offer other members of the network the capability of connecting to significantly more additional members than they could on their own. This points to a vulnerability in the network, if something happens to the hub(s) then the network becomes fragmented with isolated pockets rather than functioning as a whole organism.

This basic scientific principle has already been employed to identify and destroy the hubs in terrorist networks and reportedly has worked very well. An even more constructive use of this technology is emerging in the medical field. They have mapped all known diseases and the DNA codons that are involved in each disease for those diseases for which the associated codons are currently known. This has resulted in revealing a massive network of interconnectedness between many different diseases. This system takes advantage of the DNA codons as the hubs in the network.

A good example is how Daily Kos is the hub to a lot of smaller sites that are connected together by their association with Naranjastan. Without Daily Kos, most of the progressive blogosphere would not exist, or at least not in its current state.

In fact, life began on earth when certain organic compounds formed hubs out of the chaos, creating a network of connections that evolved as per the underlying geometry of the known universe.

And if one looks at a map big enough of the universe itself, one will also see a network of hubs of the collective whole of all, starting small and going infinitely big, but all following the same mathematics as that of our very cells:

As stated above, all forms of life follow connection theory and hubs. And that is exactly what those robots above are doing.

In the neural network of these AI robots, connections to their environment and themselves has lead to hubs, nexuses of learning, that has allowed them to evolve.

And as with any system, you will have angels and devils, which was probably what formed our concepts of religion during humanity’s era of mythos.

Humanity evolved no differently in connection with each other than these robots are currently doing, so who is to say that these robots will not develop a concept of god?

And if they are decide that god has given them dominion over all, much like humanity did, what is to stop them? Especially if we weaponize large robots, or even worse, nanorobots within a structured neural network allowing for the development of hubs?

The answer my friend is nothing.

And that is why I will always campaign against the neural networking of AI robots, no matter the hubba hubba about how nothing could possible go wrong.

Because the geometry of the universe will make sure it goes right, and that will be against humanity’s best wishes.

Overnight Caption Contest

Questioning The Afghan Premises

This is my first essay here at Docudharma, and it’s a crosspost of a diary I did at DKos a few weeks ago.  I’m quite interested in furthering discussion on this topic, and though I won’t trash the other place, I’ll just say I feel confident that Dd folks are truly interested in constructive dialogue. ; – )

It seems that much of the American populace just doesn’t even question the premises for staying in Afghanistan and for ramping it up there.

Some say that our occupation of Afghanistan is “the good war”.  Dammitall, but I just don’t know what they mean, when they say this.  It’s a head scratcher. It seems as if a gazillion people heard the words “the good war” said somewhere, and then they assigned a few neurons to that, but haven’t checked back to see if the concept actually means something or if it is in working order.

Some say Obama has to keep us in Afghanistan until we get OBL.  ‘Course the search for OBL was abandoned under Unitary Executive Humpty Dumpty the First, and Obama hasn’t made getting OBL part of the plan. If getting OBL is supposed to be part of Bama’s plan, then would someone explain that to Bama, please?

Some say we have to stay there until we dismantle AQ.  But Gen. Petraeus seems to think that AQ has been pretty well run out of Afghanistan, no?

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