?

Log in

No account? Create an account
And I've never been one to let the carrier.. drop
 
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Sheer's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
12:21 pm
To the Tune of “The Phony King Of England”

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

Oh, the world will sing of a american King a thousand years from now
And not because he made america great or lofted some great wall
While bonny good sir Bernie leads the great crusade he’s on,
We’ll all have to slave away for good for nothing Don.
Incredible as he is inept, whenever the history books are kept
they’ll call him the con man of new england.
A pox on the con man of new england..

He sits alone on a giant throne pretendin’ he’s the king
A little tyke who’s rather like russia’s puppet on a string
And he throws an angry tweet storm if he cannot have his way…

And then he calls fake news while he’s suckin’ his thumb
You see, he doesn’t want to play

Too late to be known as Trump the First
He’s sure to be known as Trump the worst
A pox on that con man from New England!
Lay that country on me, babe!

While he taxes us to pieces to pay for his golf game
Bernie and Warren keep reminding us that the man’s insane
Ah! But while there is a merry man in Bernie’s wily pack
We’ll find a way to make him pay
And steal the election back
A minute before he knows we’re there…
We’ll find proof he cheated everwyhere

The breezy and uneasy con man of New England
The snivellin’, grovellin’
Measly, weasely
Blabberin’, jabberin’
Gibberin’, jabberin’
Blunderin’, plunderin’
Wheelin’, dealin’
Don The Con, that phony thief of New England
Yeah!

Thursday, October 10th, 2019
8:51 am
Guest music post: Bunnerabb – Lips Like Sugar

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, from time to time we like to post things that feature musicians who are friends of mine or work with me or both. This track is by Bunnerabb, who more often appears credited in the recording and mixdown portion of things. I quite like it, though.

Lips Like Sugar

Thursday, September 19th, 2019
11:45 am
God and Cancer

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, this is a quote from a email I sent a while ago, because it occurs to me that I probably want to be able to just post a link to this article whenever people talking about praying for God to end cancer.

Cancer is actually part of how we know there probably isn’t a God – or if there is, said deity chose to use evolution to create us rather than using a design process.

It would have been fairly easy, when designing us, to include a CRC-32 on the DNA copying routine to prevent mutations after birth. This would have virtually eliminated cancer, but wasn’t done. Now, evolution would not find this very quickly at all, because a checksum is actually *against* the mutation process during birth that drives evolution. But intelligent design just *naturally* adds validation on copy, and then some, and then some more – especially intelligent design that has been exposed to *this* universe.

From this I can conclude one of the following is true:

A: God doesn’t know about cyclic redundancy checks i.e. doesn’t know everything – or even as much about IT as we do.
B: God isn’t all-powerful.
C: God doesn’t care about massive amounts of suffering
D: God is trying to keep a *very* low profile i.e not do anything that might risk revealing that there is a God
E: God doesn’t exist
F: God exists, but isn’t aware of us
G: God exists, and is aware of us, but doesn’t care about our suffering, or does not understand suffering at all
H: God exists and is evil

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
2:02 pm
Anger and lies

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, it did occur to me recently as I was reading a friend’s book about Christianity that I still get angry when I consider the tenants of Christianity. Not nearly as much as I did, now that I Understand that Christianity is built on a series of lies, and exists both to make the population easier to control and to make money for the churches. But I do still get angry.

On one paw, it shouldn’t matter to me what anyone believes as long as they are not trying to control my behavior. On the other paw, a lot of Christians *are* trying to control my behavior, by making laws based on their twisted sense of morality, and also, it makes me made to know that even as we speak, children’s minds are being broken in the exact same way mine was broken, and Christians are patting themselves on the back about what good people they are as they break the minds of their children.

Okay, so let’s look at the big fundamental lie. They say that God’s love is unconditional. Then they say if you don’t believe in Jesus you will never be one with God and you will go to hell. These two things can not both be true. Unconditional means without conditions. God loves you. Period. If you’re muslim, God loves you just as much. If you made up your own religion, God loves you just as much.

Ah, they say, but God is a *just* God and therefore.. nope, stop right there, I call BS. Unconditional means unconditional. You just added a condition. “But the bible says..”

Look, I’m fairly sure – in the high 90s – that the bible is A: wrong and B: probably written by individuals with evil intent. And no, I don’t care what the bible says. In the absence of God making a sincere attempt to contact me and convince me my point of view is wrong, I’m going to assume that there either is no God, or God doesn’t work the way you all think God works. Stop lying to your children. Admit you don’t know, that no one knows, that there is no good way to know at the moment. The future of the human race may depend on your honestly. Remember that we have *fusion weapons* now – we can not afford to run the Crusades again.

Also, stop claiming Christianity is a superior religion to Islam because it doesn’t promote violence. We’re all aware of the violence being done in Africa in the name of Christianity – and we’re all aware of the crusades, and the burning of witches, and the never ending series of moral panics.

Friday, September 6th, 2019
6:05 am
Ghost Riders In The Sky

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, I’ve been messing around with this song a little bit lately and actually came up with a version that I thought y’all might or might not enjoy. In any case, it entertained me to no end to cover Johnny Cash. So, without further ado, here is

Ghost Riders In The Sky

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
10:38 pm
Hotel California

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, I was going to drop this in the circular file, but Bunne convinced me that the world might appreciate this particular type of screwed-up-ness. So here you go:

Hotel California

Bunne described this as “This evokes not so much the cynicism of the original as it watches a soon to be bygone era fade from the cultural radar screen, as it does a melancholy for an era that may have never been, It’s a parsing of a paint by numbers approach to nostalgia we have come to view as fact and it sort of dismantles it’s premise with a sense of grasping for something that may have not ever actually been. It’s an dour anthem for the people who tend to fall through the cracks of the “cool scene” and I like the arrangement a lot.“.

For me, the funniest part is how you keep expecting the solo to end, but it doesn’t, instead jumping to even more absurd levels of Sheerishness – by the end it might even be bordering on Mozart’s “Too Many Notes”.

Sunday, August 4th, 2019
11:01 am
The problem with computers and networks

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, one of the things I’ve been saying is that one of the necessary ingredients for a successful collectivist system is good computers and fast networks – and also a *lot* of software designed to protect against corruption and against dictatorship. I could write a book on that subject alone – and maybe I will – but for the moment, I want to focus in on one particularly broken thing which is why I’m thumping the drum so hard for collectivism.

I have friends both in high and in low places. I have hung out with billionaires and with hobos. One of the things I observe is we have made the hoops you have to jump through in America way too difficult to clear – and the billionaires don’t know this, I don’t think, and the hobos do. I seldom see it spoken of, but one of the problems with good computers and fast networks is that it gives the human race perfect memory. That’s a good thing when we’re talking about capturing the latest performance of a musician or ideas of a scientist but it’s not so good when we’re talking about the economic systems.

One thing I’d like to point to – if you rent, and you get evicted, you have a *extremely* short list of places that will rent to you – maybe none in some big cities. Make one mistake, and you’re homeless. And the people who maintain this system feel good and smug and happy about it – but it adds to the chains that make us all a slave. There’s not a lot of margin for certain types of error in America, even though some people are inclined to make certain types of error. We’ll hand you a credit card without explaining compound interest to you, we’ll let you get evicted before we tell you ‘welcome to the ranks of the homeless’, and we’ll charge you with a felony for very small and stupid stuff and then tell you ‘welcome to the ranks of the homeless and unemployed’. And then we’ll throw you in jail again for not having a job.

We need to be a little more forgiving here. With evictions, it should probably be three strikes and you’re out, and after the first we offer you some counseling and education about financial management.

We act as if the human race is barely holding on – as if every dollar counts, as if we’re all about to starve. The media has programmed most of the people here to be horrified that a bum might be getting a free beer somewhere. But the truth is, humanity is the dominant species of earth. We’re so rich it only takes 5% of us to feed all of us, and we can use robots to build houses for us at this point. We’ve just been programmed to believe being horrible to each other is the right thing to do.

I’ll go on more about collectivism later because I don’t want to get sidetracked here, but I do think it’s important to recognize that we have built a system that for no good reason throws people under the bus at every opportunity, and then remembers that it has done so and refuses them again and again. This *costs us all*. People who are frightened don’t take the kind of risks that enrich all of humanity.

Thursday, July 25th, 2019
12:23 pm
The end of the USA / Marks At A Carnival

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, someone on facebook the other day observed that the latest spate of push polls used by basically every candidate out there is essentially treating the electorate like we are a bunch of marks at a carnival, and the politicians are the carnies.

I saw kind of a extreme case of this – Congressman John Lewis sent me a poll asking who was going to win the Democratic nomination. Of course Biden was at the top – I’m fairly sure that the DNC is manipulating the data in any way necessary to make sure no one hears that Bernie is in fact the front runner – but more interestingly, it was a push poll, so I thought I’d go email the Congressman to tell him to cut it out. Strangely enough, when I got to his site, it asked for my zip plus four, and then bounced me to a page that informed me I wasn’t allowed to email the congressman since I wasn’t in his district.

Well, then, why is he allowed to email me – not just push polls, which are insulting enough as it is – like I can’t tell that you’re trying to manipulate my opinion by asking me for it – but push polls that end in a list of “Yes, I”ll chip in $WHATEVER” with increasing amounts of $WHATEVER, but no checkbox for “I can’t donate right now”.

At this point, I think we’ve reached the endgame for the USA. Both parties are so corrupt as to be unrecognizable from the standpoint of honor, dignity, or desire to do the right thing. If I could push a button and disband them both I would, and I think this probably applies for most of the citizens here. There’s a ongoing fight about socialism vs capitalism as if they haven’t both been demonstrated to both be successful and be failures. We need some new ideas, badly. But our pundits seem to be stuck on the old ones.

The thing that astonishes me is all the people demonstrating brand loyalty to Trump as if he wasn’t clearly the most corrupt guy in the room. Even his own supporters have to admit he lies – at this point I think he’s at 10,000 lies, a average of 100 a day? I lack the energy to fight with them any more. If they can’t tell that they’re egging on the captain as he opens the throttles aimed straight for the iceberg, I don’t think there’s anything I can say that is going to open their eyes. The whole thing is a interesting experience in how much neuroplasticity humans *don’t* have.

Is there any way off this sinking ship?

I did realize one interesting thing about Trump that pretty much signals the end of the USA – he doesn’t even pretend that he represents the half of people that didn’t vote for him, or even that he likes us. He cheers on the hate at his rallies that is becoming a cancer eating into any hope of a compromise between the two sides. I can’t ever remember a previous president who didn’t at least make a token effort to show they represented everyone.

Of course, we’ve never had a president who was quite so much of a raging narcissist before, either. I guess it shows kindo f a loss of the american innocence and idealism.

One valid point in Trump’s favor – the media also don’t make any attempt to pretend they’re accurately quoting him, either. For example, the famous ‘good people on both sides of the debate’ – *in the very same sentence* Trump said he wasn’t talking about white supremacists, but the sound-bite-oholic media carefully spun and edited to make it sound like he was. I was astonished when I found the whole audio clip.

So it’s possible that there’s something to this whole ‘fake news’ idea as well. On the other paw, if we can’t trust the media, and it’s *really* clear we can’t trust Trump, we don’t really know what’s going on anyway.

We elected someone who said ‘Go ahead, punch him, I’ll pay your legal bills’. (And of course, Trump wouldn’t have – there’s a long history of him not even paying the vendors who do work for him). People talk about the ‘Grab ’em by the pussy’, and yah, that’s bad, but not as bad as ‘Go ahead, punch him.’ Our president, who is supposed to represent all of us, encouraging violence towards one of the people he was claiming he was running to represent at his own rally… at this point, busy locking children in cages. Supporters busy defending him with bullshit about the rule of law – pretending they don’t know that we deliberately built a broken immigration system so we could make the “illegals” work for peanuts. Supporters defending a president who has caused *children to die of dehydration*. And they mean it. The hate is strong with the Republicans. They feel good and warm about calling us left-wingers snowflakes, and cheering on the idea that they can drink our tears. They feel good about killing children. They’ve picked their scapegoats and they’re going to hurt them as much as they can and feel good about how good it feels to hate. They’re going to ignore any science they like, and suppress and censor it as well. Dollars are more important than people, dollars are more important than continuing to have a survivable ecosystem. So what if all our grandchildren are going to be eating yeast and barely surviving. Hate some more! More dollars!

I don’t see a way back from here.

——

Followup – John Lewis’s campaign sent me *another* push poll.. this time instead of chipping in, I’m to RUSH my money – still no option for ‘no’. There was a contact us link, so I sent them a link to this blog entry, and a request for a apology. They at least let me email them there.

——

And another side note – if you want to see the most excessive example of a push poll I have ever seen, check out Trump’s push poll. Aren’t you happy to know the president represents everyone?

Friday, July 12th, 2019
6:35 pm
Movie Blues

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

Another of my movie-soundtrack compositions – this one is really more a sketch than anything, but I liked it so I thought I’d share it with the class.

Movie Blues

Friday, June 14th, 2019
9:09 pm
Cover – Hallelujah

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

Just because I haven’t posted anything in a very long time, I thought I’d record something to let you all know I’m still recording over here.

Still working on the album. In the meantime, here’s something that will *not* be on the album and which might or might not suck 🙂

Sheer Covers Hallelujah

Sunday, April 21st, 2019
10:51 pm
On recent events

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, I’m a vocal critic of Christianity. Pretty much anyone who reads the blog knows that. However, I recently donated to help rebuild some churches in the south that had been burned by miscreants. What gives?

I guess I probably should have mentioned before. I don’t want Christians dead. I don’t want them hurt. I want them to stop hurting other people, but I don’t think the way to get that is to hurt them. I know this is a popular point of view – our army is based on the thesis that the way to get people to behave differently is to shoot at them – but I think in time we will come to see that it’s a small-minded idea – that in fact you start cycles of war and retribution that can take hundreds of years to end.

And, apparently – I wouldn’t have guessed this, but what actions we take tell us these things – if you’re a Christian and they burn down your church, and I have some extra dollars, I will help pay to rebuild it. I don’t think anyone should have their homes or community buildings destroyed because of who they are or what they believe. Especially since a lot of this is based on the unfortunate repeat-rise of the KKK , the proud boys, and groups like them. My hope is we will get beyond all this, because it’s pretty dystopian and I don’t want to live in a dystopia.

But, in the meantime, my thoughts are with all the people who have churches and homes on fire, or exploding, and I hope you all survive the adventure and heal as best you can. And I hope some day we learn not to use violence to settle everything.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
6:50 pm
Collectivism and money

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

One of the interesting realizations I had recently is that one of the mistakes that has been made in attempts to implement collectivist economies in the past is the insistence of sticking to “money” – i.e. the idea that you can successfully represent the value of everything as a single number. I’ve talked in the various bits about bucketized currency about why you can’t accurately model value in the real world just by using one price, and I’ll probably go on about it at some length again later, but for the moment, let me just mention that if you’re not using flow-based resource management or production for use, you’re still falling into a lot of the fallacies that keep breaking the capitalist system. I know that the USSR, for example, had a currency, which makes me suspect that it was not really all that collectivist.

One of the things that I keep noticing is how various failures to track and respect value tend to make the on-paper accounting system get out of whack with the real world, and how this leaves us with the impression that we are broke when in fact we are not. I’ve come to the conclusion that the powers that be like it that way – seeing Trump has finally convinced me that there really are people like the villains in Disney films, who cackle gleefully at the idea of enslaving others and are overjoyed to know that somewhere, someone is suffering because of decisions they made.

Of course, those disney villain types are a lot of what makes designing a resource allocation system so difficult. If everyone was going to play fair and within the rules, we wouldn’t actually need a RAS at all – a few large warehouses full of stuff per community and a agreement to clean stuff up and bring it back, and to fix anything that gets broken, would be all we would need. But, of course, any time there’s a system someone is going to have to try and game it. And clearly there’s some people who take great joy in making sure they get the biggest slice of the pie – even, ironically, if they’re *getting a smaller piece than they would have if everyone had gotten the same slice*. (That is, as far as I can tell, where we currently are – if we worked together and implemented some of the technologies I have spoken of elsewhere in this blog, we’d all be – at least in terms of the experiences we were having – rich beyond the dreams of avarice. But the people with the most resources – the ones who could most help make that happen – would rather be known as the head cheese, than have more because we all have more)

Anyway, back to my original point. One example of this is overdraft fees. Now, first of all, these obviously don’t represent anything rational in the real-value world. It didn’t cost the bank *anything* that the overdraft occured, other than the very tiny loss of imaginary fractional banking reserve headroom. In the real world, no resources were lost. However, the bank robs (no other word for it) the customer based on the overdraft, thusly making the accounting system get out of whack with real world resources.

I don’t know that the USSR specifically had overdraft fees, but I do know that not all dollars – or rubles – are created equal, so any time you have the idea that you can put a price on something you’re probably falling for the fallacy of price. A dollar that buys a robot-farmed apple is a much “cheaper” dollar than a dollar that buys a handmade item made by a craftsman. A dollar that buys power generated by coal is a much more expensive dollar – measure in suffering or in dead people, your choice – than a dollar that buys power generated by a nuclear plant. We try to use scarcity to set price, but this isn’t that reasonable a thing to do and encourages gaming of the system (I gesture you to Enron shutting down all of California’s peaker plants so it could make millions off of how power had suddenly become scarce). The truth is, the idea that it’s rational to give things a price tag is a fallacy. And yet, we do need to encourage people to conserve scarce resources, and to budget and make decisions based on what’s most important to them. How to do?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019
5:59 pm
The other side of me

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

I’ve wanted for a while to do a song in the style of Def Leppard, Pink Floyd, and many others, where the words don’t really mean anything but seem like they should, and so the listener fills in part of the meaning and the song becomes as much about the listener as the original artist.

So, here’s a first attempt – I have a feeling I will be doing this type of thing again later in my career. I present, without further ado:

The Other Side Of Me

Bunne provided some assistance with mixdown – and may be presenting his own mix of the song – but otherwise, this is all me.

Saturday, February 16th, 2019
10:46 am
Christianity – the fundamental flaw in the premise

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, again before I wander down this rabbit hole, let me remind you all that if you’re the type of Christian who thinks that we should be excellent to each other, and no one should be threatening anyone with hell, this isn’t about you. You just go on loving people and we’ll be all good.

This one is targeted towards those who believe in the concept of original sin. Specifically, it’s about how absurd you all sound once one spends some time looking closely at the foundations of the premise.

We arrive from the factory mostly unformatted. Our DNA is not packed with large amounts of knowledge and the means to express it. It is the nature of unformatted neural networks to learn by doing – and inevitably by making a *lot* of mistakes. This is better than complete inaction, which would be the other option.

The Christians are asking us to believe that a all-knowing God didn’t know this about neural networks. They’re also asking us to believe that a all-knowing God is somehow offended by the fact that we make mistakes even though it is a *lot* harder to make a self aware neural network than a turing machine. On the surface, what the Evangelicals think God wanted was a turing machine, or in any case some sort of state machine that accepts instructions. Yes, we know how to make those. They’re fairly easy to make, although there are some subtleties. But you can make a CPU out of anything from relays to vacuum tubes to gears, and it will follow the instructions it is given with the patience of a jacquard loom weaving according to the punched cards, yae onto eternity, forever.

It seems rather improbable that a all knowing deity would have created *us* if *e wanted obedience. Company that had something interesting to say, yes, that I can believe.

On the other paw, it’s *easy* to believe in humans authoring the bible as a technique of controlling other humans. One of the things I keep pondering when regularly engaging with a religious leader on facebook is that if I ever convince him that he’s utterly nuts and a negative influence on the world (and I’m fairly sure he is) he’s going to have to get another job. I have to imagine that makes him less receptive to the things I have to say – even if he knows they are true, there’s still the concept of being on the dole tomorrow. We *know* humans write viral content, and we *know* humans write religions. I gesture you towards both mormonism and scientology as religions that were pretty clearly just written by some guy.

But back to the flawed premise. Christians get really nervous when you start talking about the mechanics of thought. This isn’t surprising, since the basic nature of neural networks is at odds with their premise. I suppose it is possible that you could have created a NN with a complete predefined structure such that it wouldn’t make any mistakes, but that’s not what we are and that’s not what was done. There’s not a great way to precompute the right pathways on the fly – as a NN, you learn by doing, and as a side effect you make a fair number of mistakes.

This is exactly what the evangelicals are arguing “offends” their “just” God. (I think I’ve said before, let’s all be grateful the evangelical God is almost certainly not real, because *e is one evil bastard). This would be a case of God creating us to be what we are and then blaming us for being as *e created us. Not something I’d expect from a higher power. *and there’s no way, as NN-based systems without any real data preload, that we could ever be anything else*! So the religious *really are* arguing that God created us flawed and then hated us because we were flawed and then forgave some of us but only some of us who happened to believe a particular thing in a particular way.

Seems far more likely that religion was created to give certain people (especially the priests) money and power. I am *not* particularly too impressed with how they used it. The one bit of good news is, statistically, religion is shrinking. More and more people are choosing ‘none’ for religion. I have hopes that one good side effect of the Trump regime will be the next generation will have almost no religious members. Having seen the evil and the hypocrisy of the evangelicals, hopefully the next generation will decide that religion deserves to die.

I also think as we learn more about how religious thoughts are stored in neural networks, and how they pattern the interconnects between subnets, we’ll both learn how to help people deconvert more quickly and efficiently, and also how bad a idea religion was, or at least the religions we’ve seen so far. I can think of some very useful operating-system-esque belief systems, but none of them would start by saying you are the chosen one and anyone not your religion is going to hell. Or start by saying you are fundamentally flawed, a horrible person, and only by God’s Grace will you avoid being tortured for all eternity.

I notice that *no one* has taken a stab at counterarguing my previous post (here).

Friday, January 25th, 2019
1:00 pm
Christians got it backwards?

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

While debating with my southern baptist pastor friend about all things religious (started out, as usual, as a debate about religion), I was struck with a interesting thought.

What if the Christians have it exactly backwards?

It’s hard for me to imagine a loving omnipotent omniscient deity that would send anyone to eternal torture because they couldn’t believe something that is, frankly, on the face of it, unbelievable. The basic premise of at least some christians is that you will be sent to hell if you don’t believe in Jesus’s divinity, but A) We know humans are storytellers B) we know many of the bits of christian mythology are older than christianity, thanks to the work of Joseph Campbell C) we know that humans are susceptible to informational viruses – just look at facebook statusi that say ‘make a copy of me’ and D) we know that humans have a tendency to abuse that susceptibility.

I do believe, if there is a loving God and there is a Hell, Hell is a temporary thing. Only a evil creature would have someone experience torment for all time. Now, let’s posit for a moment that God is *not* evil. Perhaps to get into his utopia, you have to show a deep understanding of what love is, and Earth is a training ground for understanding that.

By insisting that God is planning on tormenting souls for all eternity unless they believe in this particular religion, while knowing that there are many competing religions, Christians may be demonstrating a failure to understand love that will result in them being sent back to Earth after they die to try again in the hopes that maybe next time they will learn a little more about love.

In other words, they’ve got the test entirely backwards. The test isn’t ‘have faith in this unbelievable claim so you won’t get tormented for all eternity’, the test is ‘recognize that this claim does not represent love to show that you understand love so that you won’t have a miserable time amongst people who are driven by it’.

I’m very fond of the bit of the bible where Paul (yes, that rat bastard Paul did have his good days) talks about Love – 1 Corinthians 13 I believe – you know, the Love is patient , love is kind, it does not keep a record of past wrongs..

Well, let’s try out a few Love.. statements and see if they seem reasonable

Love accepts you as you are .. seems to be the most reasonable one. At least, trying out the inverse, Love does not accept you as you are, seems to generate a strong resonance of falsehood within me.

I can understand “Love encourages you to grow”. But “Love threatens to torture you if you don’t grow” again generates a certain sense of falseness.

Friday, January 11th, 2019
1:31 pm
As promised.. more music in 2019

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

Here’s for anyone who’s been pining for my movie-soundtrack stylings

Dreaming’s Done

Monday, January 7th, 2019
1:40 am
Wow..

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

Only one musical post in all of 2018. Going to have to do better in 2019. I tracked ten different songs that I didn’t think were good enough to release in 2018, and I’ve tracked three so far in 2019. I’m not sure if I need to turn down the lint level, or if I’m just working towards another plateu. On the other paw, it’s not like I get emails clamoring for more of my music or anything 😉

One thing I’ve really been feeling is the sense of missing people. I miss Phoebe, I miss $PERSON, I don’t really ever seem to get over the people I’ve lost. I miss my uncle joe.. I’ve even reached the point of missing my dad, who is still in my life. (I have set up a camping trip with him – I’m not so stupid as to not fix the ones that can be fixed).

One of the things with Phoebe is remembering and regretting all the stupid things I said, especially during our break-up. I know that I participated in breaking that friendship too badly to be repaired and I wish that I had a time machine so I could do things somewhat differently.

Ah well, we go on. What other choice do we have?

I think part of what bothers me about missing $_PERSON at this point is that it’s been so long since I had any kind of contact that I have *no* idea who she is. At some point your copies of copies of memories have no real reliability to them at all, and generation loss has pretty much etched that one away to where it’s nothing but a guess. That combined with the sense that the things that pushed her away were not really me – I mean, they certainly weren’t who I would choose to be and they all occurred in extreme mental states.

Recently I spent some time talking to a facebook friend who seemed to have been experiencing a extreme mental state of her own. A number of my friends criticized me for this, or at least expressed doubt that this was a wise use of my time, but I am fairly sure that what I was doing fit nicely inside my philosophy of ‘be excellent to each other’, and that if more people behaved the way I do, the world would be a better place.

and I have to admit as I research neural networks, my half – and often scarred memories – combined with blackouts – of the periods where I wasn’t myself are telling. I’m fairly certain what I was experiencing was islanding – very large collections of subnets, large enough to be able to respond to stimuli but not large enough to sustain consciousness. This brings up the interesting question of, in DID, are the alters conscious? I’ve always assumed that they are, but then I’ve been doing kitteny neocortex research that is making me question that assumption.

One of the things I’ve realized is that there’s no way we currently know to know whether a neural network is having a conscious experience or not. A NN will learn, and respond to stimuli based on what it’s learned, whether or not the ‘magic’ of consciousness is there or not. At this point I tend to agree with the person who theorized that consciousness is what information feels like when it’s been processed, but I think that’s only true in a very specific context which likely has to do with the way temporal memory works. However, in building my unsupervised learning system for the kittens, I found myself implementing something very similar to short term memory because in order to do unsupervised learning in the model I’m currently using, you have to let LTP create the bindings first, *then* learn the lesson. You also have to keep track of previous lessons so you can unlearn them if they turned out to be wrong. (At least, to solve my particular problem that I’m working on at the moment you do).

I haven’t really come up with any new years resolutions – I have a vague sense that I’d like to exercise more, vape less, eat less, write more music, and generally try not to break anything critical about my life.

Saturday, October 13th, 2018
9:20 pm
Lady Amythist

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, our first musical post of 2018, a track I wrote when I was 17, orchestrated.

Lady Amythist.

Saturday, October 6th, 2018
5:28 am
We need a new -ism.

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, For a long time, I thought I liked communism. Then I learned that communism means the state owns all the resources, and doles them out only to the people it likes. I’ve not yet met a state that I trust with the lives of all my fellow citizens – not while the state is made of fallible people.

Then I thought I liked socialism. After all, socialism is a collectivist system where the resources belong to the workers. That seems fair. But wait, now we have to trust the workers. The phrase that jumps to mind is ‘tyranny of the majority’, courtesy of the founding fathers warning why a direct democracy is a dangerous beast.

What I’m looking for is a -ism that starts where a system is currently at and attempts to crossfade to a more utopic world by replacing wage slavery with automation, and replacing whatever system of governance is in place with a meritocracy that takes advantage of modern technologies to allow direct topic-subscription democracy with weighted voting with the voting controlled by knowledge of the topic being voted on and the opinions of the collective on the individual’s skill level at voting on that topic.

I’ve realized I want a new -ism, a form of collectivism that hasn’t been made yet. I would describe this -ism by the following traits:

a) We ensure that at all times, Earth will remain inhabitable for the foreseeable future. This includes building a skywatch and technology sufficient to swat any pesky asteroids away. It *definitely* includes reducing the amount we live on the capital rather than the interest. One thing we can stop doing is giving people makework jobs that they burn fuel getting to.

b) We attempt to allow people to work in any job they want. To the extent that they can’t do it, we assist them with automation, but we never allow automation to take away a experience someone loves.

c) We attempt to give people any experience they want. To the extent that this is possible, we generate these locally inside their minds with neural software. When this isn’t practical, we use virtual reality techniques for things we can’t actually afford to deliver, and what we can actually afford to deliver, we do deliver. I think we could reach a place where most physical possessions were replaced with neurological software that could easily be copied, reducing our load on the planet while making us far more wealthy than we currently are. I’ve talked about this elsewhere in this blog.

d) For wealth that will always be needed – food infrastructure, housing – we attempt to build wealth that will last at least a thousand years. This will involve it taking longer to build the houses, and using more expensive technology, but it will still be far cheaper than building houses once every hundred years.

e) For any job humans *don’t* want to do, we automate it. We build *good*, reliable, man-rated automation – we take our time, because we can afford to. As #e kicks in more and more, we will have more and more excess wealth.

f) We attempt to *not* make disposable, useless in a few years stuff. We’re trying to build a system that will still be standing tall in a thousand years.

g) We attempt to provide sustenance living for all. Eventually, we attempt to provide luxury for all. Along the way, we offer better experiences to those who work hard, study hard, lean in, and help lift us all. While we might not want to use capitalism in it’s current incarnation, we need to still have competition, and rewards for success, because we’ve got a lot of speed to build up before we have lift, and not a lot of runway left.

h) We acknowledge that we can not afford to do everything for everyone right away. We develop a rigorous scoring system for identifying which goals are the most important and we prioritize those.

i) We recognize that the current system rewards a lot of people that are actually harming us all, and redesign it so it can’t. We need to design a system that actively *expects* to be gamed, and either gains by being gamed or is non-gameable.

j) We need to replace laws with algorithms that we can all agree are fair. We need to replace voodoo morality like religion with morality that we can demonstrate mathematically (i.e. number of people hurt * time of pain * severity of pain = unit indicating how much damage a particular action is doing). More on this later, since I have a pretty functional mathematical system of morality I use. In general, if you can write a meta-statement like a algorithm that solves the problem, it’s a much better solution than a law.

k) If possible, we should be trying to build some people smarter than we are using AI. We *need* help, the current system is running on the edge of disaster and we’ve pretty thoroughly proven that humans find it very challenging to run a planet with 7B souls aboard.

l) We need to focus on the needs of the many first, but eventually, we should try to meet the needs of the one, even when the needs of the one are decidedly out of phase with what the many think is good. However, we should never allow the lone wolves who would hurt us all to have the power to do so. I suggest wide use of simulation to protect us from those who would take more than they give. See #c

m) for the governing of same, I feel we need to have a meritocracy. I’ve spoken elsewhere about the idea of a democracy where your vote counts more if you indicate competence in the area that you’re voting on, and I still stand behind this. A direct democracy, but not one-man-one-vote – instead your vote would ‘weigh more’ if you could indicate knowledge about the subject being voted on, the contrary point of view to the one you hold, and show activity on mailing lists that indicate you’ve discussed the subject with other people. I’d also advocate for the ability to set up and strike or override proxies – so you could temporarily assign someone else you trusted to vote for you, then override them easily on one vote or take back control of your voting. I’ll write more about my thoughts about this later as well.

Anyone got a name for this new -ism?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
6:58 am
Learning to damp out panic attacks

Originally published at Never been one to let the carrier drop. You can comment here or there.

So, recently I’ve been thinking about a skill that I acquired some time ago, and I think I can explain how to do it if anyone else would like to learn.

Note that to *really* do this requires some hardware you’ll need to pick up somewhere – namely, a pulse meter and a EEG.

Training level 1: Learning to lower your pulse.

You’ll need to get a pulse meter, and stare at it and try to lower the number on it. Like any biofeedback training, this takes time, and you’ll be most successful at learning to do it if you start practicing when you’re *not* experiencing a panic attack *first*. As with all biofeedback training, your mind is going to figure out how to achieve your goal mostly without you – knowing your goal is to lower the number on the meter it will try various things until it figures it out. Just keep trying, and you’ll find your way.

Training level 2: Learning to increase the amplitude of your alpha waves.

You’ll need a EEG that displays your alphas as a easily readable graph or meter. See above notes – it’s a very similar training process. You may find it helpful to research meditation techniques – there’s a lot of literature about this elsewhere so I’ll assume you can find it. 😉

Optional training level 3: Learning to lower your blood pressure

This one is harder. Because reading blood pressure is such a slow process, you’ll need a lot of time to master lowering your blood pressure. This is where things like imagining your ‘happy place’ come into play. However, I find it’s generally not necessary to stop a panic attack, although it can help with the aftereffects of all that adrenaline dumping into your bloodstream.

Now that you’ve acquired the skills of lowering your heart rate and increasing your alphas, during a panic attack, do these three things

#1: Step one, take several long, slow, deep breaths.
#2: Step two, lower your heart rate consciously
#3: Step three, raise your alphas consciously
#4: Step four (optional), lower your blood pressure.

That’s it. If your mind is similar to mine, this will put you back in a mental state where your anxiety is not the largest thing in the picture and you can then figure out what to do about whatever event made you panic to begin with. The first few times you do it, it will help to have a heart rate monitor in front of you.

[ << Previous 20 ]
My Website   About LiveJournal.com