Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Too Common Definition of Wisdom

The first thing to understand about Wisdom is that I am Wiser than you.

This is because I hold [random opinion X]. Any kind of logical argument you have for your opinion is proof that you are Foolish, and the fact that you do not understand and agree with whatever random whims I use to justify my Wisdom is also proof that you have no Wisdom.

If, in my infinite generosity I decide to explain the Wisdom of my position, I will simply repeat the same logic-free statements I have already said before, after all, those statements are the description of Wisdom. If in my truly sublime and infinite generosity I allow you to argue your side, your argument must be constructed of perfectly flawless logic, without any unproven premises. For purposes of the discussion any premise that I agree with is considered proven, and any premise I disagree with is unproven. If using premises that I agree with you come to a conclusion that I do not agree with then it is false regardless of logic, and it is yet more proof that you are not Wise.

I will grant that you might be more intelligent than I am, but it doesn't matter because you are a Fool, and I am Wise, as I have already proven by your differing opinion.

See also, Kafkatrap

(This post was originally going to be on /r/raisedbynarcissists but I realized it's wide applicability)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A warning about spoilers.









[Force Persuade] This is definitely not a lame ripoff of some of The Eldraeverse nanofics

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thought of the Day: the Communist Creed, and Dirty Words in Economics

(blog post so I have a reference point)

The Communist Creed

Communism famously is about "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.". It occurs to me that there is a better formulation:

"From each according to his inability to hide, to each according to his ability to bullshit."

For the uninitiated; "inability to hide" refers both to property, as well as pretending to be sick or disabled and unable to work. "ability to bullshit" covers the 10,000 "needs" that appear when a person can only get what they can wheedle out of the head honcho.

Dirty Economic Words

"Need" has been referred to as a dirty word in economics, however there is something worse. "Should" is not merely a bad word: it is blasphemy. As soon as someone says "should" they are no longer making an economic argument, but a moral one. Worse, when a person starts mixing up moral arguments about how things should be, with arguments about what is, it becomes easy to forget what is. Confusion of thinking and insanity will soon follow, just don't. Not even once.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Thought of the Day: Quantum Economics

Money in bureaucracies (especially governments) is in a superposition of [allocated for it's intended use], [in storage], and [diverted to someone's pocket].

"Monetary policy" is a box for preventing anyone from collapsing the monetary waveform.

That is all.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Other Side of "Long Black Veil"

Ten years ago, on a cold dark night
I killed that sonuvabitch, 'neath the town hall light
There were few at the scene, but they all agreed
To take a bribe, and describe someone else

She walks those hills in a long black veil
She visits his grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me

The judge said "son, what is your alibi
If you were somewhere else, then you won't have to die"
He spoke not a word, thou it meant his life
He'd been in the arms of my wife

Did I applaud?

Now the scaffold is high and eternity's near
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
But sometimes at night, when the north wind moans
In a long black veil, she cries ov're his bones

She walks those hills in a long black veil
She visits his grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me

With apologies to Johnny Cash, and Rhymes everywhere.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

You just don't want to face reality: A Rant

Trigger Warning: ranting, sentences, pixels/ink, trigger warnings

On numerous occasions I’ve seen libertarians accused (and been accused myself) of not wanting to face reality, either because the accused is “naive” and “utopian”, or because they are “sheep” who have not bought into the accuser’s pet conspiracy theory. These accusations come from both allies and enemies, and are sometimes justified, however, more often than not when the assertion is addressed it turns out that the accuser is simply miffed that the other person doesn’t have as dreary of a worldview as they do. This is partially a rant, partially a stake in the ground for the next person who makes this jab.

To give a couple examples:

While the Ferguson hoopla was going on I was informed (by a libertarian no less!) that all police are racist and are trained to be so, with the implication that all police are “bad cops”. I do not remember if it was specifically stated in this instance, but the common assertion in this type of argument is that the person who doesn’t believe the doom-tale is naive and too scared to face reality. When I objected that the blanket statement is false and that there are “good cops”, I was told that I was a statist sympathizer.

When I wrote my Nuclear Anarchism series of articles one of the responses that I expected was the accusation that I was a utopian who wasn’t considering the true costs (defined by the accuser to be effectively infinite) of privately owned nuclear weapons or devices. And yet in the articles I had clearly stated some rather horrible things that were likely to happen, and argued that those costs were going to happen either way, merely that they would be handled better by a private system. Right on cue both enemies and allies tore in as though I had suggested raping their daughter. For sheer predictability it rivaled the classic “Who will build the roads?”.

I could give more examples, but that is enough.

So let us be clear: People who think that government can solve any problem, even when it has been proven to be incapable of solving that problem, are realistic and practical. But when I say that government can’t solve a problem and that the problem can’t be solved once and for all, but can only be mitigated, and even then only by private institutions, I am a utopian.

Then on the flip-side; those whose map of the world is based on blatantly obvious and simplistic villains (seriously, the only thing missing is the cackling laughter) who are easy to distinguish from the saints who are valiantly defending against these dastardly plots, these people are bravely realistic and willing to see the uncomfortable parts of life. But having a map where the villains are replaced with useful idiots and systemic incentives, and has few or no villains who can be specifically targeted to end the threat, and that you can never know if you are dealing with a villain or normal person till the interaction starts? That is being too scared to face reality.

In my world there are “good cops” who try their best to live up to the sheepdog ideal, “neutral” cops who aren’t outright villains or sheepdogs, and also the scumbags who really do deserve to be shot. And unless you are very familiar with reading body language you often can’t tell the difference until after you start interacting with them and are vulnerable to their abuse.

In my world terrorism is all it is hyped up to be, and government is as dangerous as it is hyped up to be. In my world terrorists cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, but in the long run there is nothing that can be done to stop private nukes from existing.

Yet I am the person who is “utopian” and thinks everything will turn out perfectly. Or alternatively I am “naive” because I haven’t bought into a conspiracy theory that has a level of overall sophistication akin to the lowest grade of trashy romance novel.

My map is terrifying if you bother to dig beneath the optimism. Don’t you dare tell me I am a utopian, or too scared to face your pathetic doom-tale.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Definitions: Spewage

Spewage, noun

Spewage is the generalized material that is emitted when an entity spews nonsense or vitrol. An example of the associated imagery would be when the worst stereotype of one's political enemies enters a discussion and projectile vomits on everyone involved. Highly disparaging of the target.

The word also readily forms compounds:

Spewage ratio; Conceptually similar to signal-to-noise ratio, but with the connotation that the spewage would not be interesting anywhere.

Spewaging; Distinguished from "Spewing" by the fact that "Spewing" does not require negative connotations. Spewaging by contrast demands the harshest of negative connotations.

[UPDATE: +Ken Barber  suggests "Spewtard"

Spewtard; One who spends most of their time spewaging.]

I did not originally come up with this as a modification of "Sewage", but the serendipity is most welcome.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Anecdotally Interesting #1: Friends of the Earth

Over and over we hear from the environmental movement how Big Oil is funding "climate deniers" and every other evil under the sun, because no one could disagree with CAGW unless they were corrupted by the evil of money. At the same time we are informed by the same people that Nuclear Power is the most horrible technology that exists. The idea that Big Oil should logically be funding much of the nuclerphobe movement is never addressed, which makes this story quite humorous.

Once upon a time there was a man named Robert Orville Anderson, he was apparently a very productive man; he founded the ARCO oil company and made a killing selling oil to all and sundry. Would that he had stayed focused on business! For there were dark clouds on the horizon of the oil industry: The atom was split, and it's energy was harnessed for productive purposes. But what to do about this? Obviously nuclear power would outcompete oil for energy generation, and that would reduce the demand for oil, reducing profits and squeezing the entire industry.

So what did Robert do? Well there were some people who split from the Sierra Club because they thought that it was insufficiently hardline on nuclear power, Mr. Anderson found them and gave them money to the tune of $200,000 to help them found the Friends of the Earth, an anti-nuclear environmental organization.

But I'm sure that FOTE is anti-nuclear based on facts and honest intentions, they could never be seduced by money.