Search found 76 matches

by reval
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 27
Views: 2804

Re: Everything is racism

I believe we are in fact talking about relatedness. Yes, people are using cultural signifiers to make these distinctions, and they are frequently confused about which traits are inherited and which are not inherited. But they know exactly who (they think) "looks like us" and who is "t...
by reval
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 27
Views: 2804

Re: Everything is racism

The interesting thing with humans societies is that we have several layers evolving simultaneously- while our genes are evolving vertically (the "line of descent" you talk about) we also have ideas that evolve horizontally. E.g. religion and culture. And ideas can evolve much faster than ...
by reval
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 27
Views: 2804

Re: Everything is racism

Focussing on the pattern of tribalism makes it that much harder get away with special pleading: "My tribal motivation is fine, but your tribal motivation is bad." You can use "tribalism" to simplistically describe a Nazi's distaste for non-Aryans and to describe a PoC's distaste ...
by reval
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:00 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Firearms Regulations
Replies: 213
Views: 13619

Re: Firearms Regulations

Yes, many states have training requirements for carrying and using firearms, and it is important to distinguish that from ownership requirements. For example, in Minnesota a permit to carry a firearm in public requires training and qualification. Similarly, getting a hunting license requires hunter ...
by reval
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 27
Views: 2804

Re: Everything is racism

Tribalism is the correct word if we have the courage to see that it applies to what we ourselves are doing. We're not calling someone else primitive. We ourselves are primitive, if we cling to these old tribal behavior patterns. And, yes, that needs to change. Tribalism also has a simple etymology t...
by reval
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:48 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Everything is racism
Replies: 27
Views: 2804

Re: Everything is racism

As it happens, ucim is right about this one. Tribalism is what you're talking about. US-style racism, with its US-specific history of slavery and violence and segregation, is a subtype of a larger social pattern that is observed in many different places and times. The type is tribalism. US racism ma...
by reval
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:14 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The Internet -- sky or sewer?
Replies: 34
Views: 3339

Re: The Internet -- sky or sewer?

Finding a place where you can talk to people is heaven. And the destruction of that conversation is the work of the demons of hell. And the place where this is playing out is neither above nor beneath the Earth, but on the Earth itself. Averages are beside the point. What "most people" are...
by reval
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Imagine you're an evil dictator...
Replies: 6
Views: 2392

Re: Imagine you're an evil dictator...

Trying to think like a dictator (a.k.a. king) is an interesting exercise because it tends to illuminate long strings of historical events. One insight is that monarchy's main opponent is its surrounding oligarchy (much more than the people themselves). A king's main opponents are the barons. The mai...
by reval
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:13 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Are patents/IP good for innovation?
Replies: 67
Views: 9111

Re: Are patents/IP good for innovation?

This discussion is so far missing the "information is free" position, according to which Intellectual Property claims are always wrong, and are harmful to innovation and to humanity. The US Constitution eliminated the other monopolies that enriched European monarchs, but perpetuated patent...
by reval
Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Equifax is hacked
Replies: 27
Views: 6908

Re: Equifax is hacked

The original purpose of the SSN was for Social Security, namely to make sure that "no SOB can take it away from them" (FDR). The point was to track your individual contributions in order to establish your irrefutable claim to benefits, because, politically, people seemed to care about your...
by reval
Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1880: "Eclipse Review"
Replies: 51
Views: 7430

Re: 1880: "Eclipse Review"

A haze of thin overcast isn't a problem at all: you can still see the bite taken out of the sun through the glasses. When a heavier cloud goes by, you can't see the bite. But even the heavier clouds can't interfere with the effect of totality: a brilliant spark and it's day, and then there isn't - a...
by reval
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:58 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: sick realization: you have negative dollars
Replies: 161
Views: 19979

Re: sick realization: you have negative dollars

How is this any different from needing to eat? Yes. That. The root of all this debt business is the need to eat every day. Derivative things like ownership claims are just accreted around this basic need. All of this "extended debt" is just tricks and games to get OTHER people to give you...
by reval
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:00 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thank you for all the comments. Even though I wasn't able to convince anyone, I am glad we were able to talk about my specific proposals, which is already an improvement on my previous thread. In particular, I maintain that none of you was able to demonstrate a significant flaw or weakness in the ar...
by reval
Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Dear ucim, it is you, not I, who is trapped by "Master Race" thinking. Until you allow yourself to change your own desires, you won't become the kind of "thang" who can see the category error you make in comparing memes and genes. Both memes and genes are information. In principl...
by reval
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:09 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Chen - Thank you for your comments. Yes, I'm using "process" to refer to all types of interactions of matter and energy. These are mechanical processes taking place in a materialist universe. Obviously I am mainly interested in certain types of processes, specifically those that maintain t...
by reval
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Wealth taxation
Replies: 120
Views: 24943

Re: Wealth taxation

Also beware of externalized costs. The loss of natural habitat to surburbs and agriculture isn't easy to quantify in a dollar-based discussion of housing density, but the loss of pollinators could easily affect our food supply in very dollar-relevant ways.
by reval
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:13 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

I realize there are a number of places along the way where it may be hard to go along with the chain of reasoning and observation. Here is an attempt to break it down into a series of steps: 1. All processes happen in a universe of matter that is moving according to the laws of physics. No explanati...
by reval
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thanks for all the comments. And thanks to ucim for landing a punch (ouch!) The defunct thread sometimes felt like people were objecting to things I wasn't proposing. My fault, of course, for failing to convey my propositions. But this one lands squarely: ... the very idea of genetic engineering wil...
by reval
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:52 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Chen: Okay, I'll go ahead and try to put it in one sentence. "When people see that technology can supplant biological evolution, this changes what they want: they want to advance technology instead of advancing themselves over their rivals." So this is all about people's motives. I'm claim...
by reval
Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

morriswalters: If you mean "don't mess with things you don't understand because you'll screw it up and cause a disaster" then of course I agree with you. Our understanding isn't there yet, and that's why we need better tools, and we need to go carefully as we learn. My confidence that we'l...
by reval
Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Re: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

Thanks for taking another look at this! I'm not sure I understand why "important" is misleading or unclear in this context? The Two Reasons" versions uses "the most important thing to notice" in this place. What I mean is "important for my argument" (also, "im...
by reval
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something
Replies: 31
Views: 6832

Purpose, or Only Two Reasons To Do Something

A while back I wrote an 8,000 word essay which I described as being about competition. It was discussed here . It was a total flop, and that thread is now dead. (Please don't necro it.) I am grateful to the commenters who made clear that my political arguments were acting as a distraction from the c...
by reval
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:36 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Telescope amplification with laser medium?
Replies: 18
Views: 3981

Re: Telescope amplification with laser medium?

So it would only amplify on a single frequency at a time. Any way to tune the frequency? Sweep it through a range and get a spectrum? Amp up your signal for oxygen or whatever.

I like it. I have no idea whether it would work or what's wrong with it either.
by reval
Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1848: "Glacial Erratic"
Replies: 23
Views: 5123

Re: 1848: "Glacial Erratic"

You know what glaciers lead to? Deranged drainage, that's what.
by reval
Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:44 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6626
Views: 508627

Re: Trump presidency

The main good thing about Paris was that the Germans nearly got a statement that "ultimate goal is zero fossil carbon use" in there. They didn't, and the Paris commitments look meaningless in themselves, but the idea seemed to actually shift the Overton window. That means that "zero f...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 3:24 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How would you change the U.S. tax system?
Replies: 197
Views: 35994

Re: How would you change the U.S. tax system?

I'm sorry You're not, and please don't say you are. Specifics on taxation are pointless in the absence of the power to implement any meaningful change. Go ahead, take away the mortgage deduction. The only reason it could actually happen is that it will probably hurt the 99% slightly more than the 1...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 3:05 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Breaking Up the United States
Replies: 174
Views: 38650

Re: Breaking Up the United States

The US states can fix the electoral college disaster without a constitutional amendment: National Popular Vote Interstate Compact . This is an actual thing, with states accounting for 165 electoral votes having signed up; when it gets to 270 electoral votes it takes effect. Then these states throw a...
by reval
Fri May 05, 2017 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: How would you change the U.S. tax system?
Replies: 197
Views: 35994

Re: How would you change the U.S. tax system?

Yes, MS-DOS was a copy of CP/M, not Unix, from experience with all three. And there's this surrealistic quality to this thread where people are talking about what *should* be taxed, and Thesh seems to be the only one aware of the raw power of property to make sure that it *isn't* taxed. There's your...
by reval
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System
Replies: 14
Views: 6759

Re: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System

I like the variable-sized parliament - but with only enough extra seats to get up to some minimal standard of proportionality. The extra seats would be evanescent, weakening party control, and the "best losers" would have to stay focused on their home districts. On the other hand, the &quo...
by reval
Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1814: "Color Pattern"
Replies: 62
Views: 15398

Re: 1814: "Color Pattern"

Otherwise why wouldn't my cousin see it? A lot of people don't believe what they're seeing. If what they see doesn't match up which what they think they ought to be seeing, the idea can get dismissed at a fairly preliminary level. I believe your cousin was being honest. Seeing something new and une...
by reval
Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System
Replies: 14
Views: 6759

Re: Stress Test for a Proposed Electoral System

Trying to square winner-take-all with proportional representation keeps not working. Winner-take-all gets you a local representative who may actually care what you think, but if you're in the local minority, you get nothing. Proportional gets you a national voice for minority positions, even they ca...
by reval
Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 16721

Re: An essay against competition

Okay, I agree that both E-Prime and the object oriented analogy are experiments that need to be abandoned. When my overloaded operators get compared with C++ I know I've failed. But seriously, I'm trying to avoid overloading the word "process", though I may have slipped up here and there. ...
by reval
Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Free Will
Replies: 161
Views: 20469

Re: Free Will

Ignorance gives you free will in a deterministic universe. You make decisions and act based on the incomplete information you are able to obtain. The universe may be deterministic, but information about its course is not available to you. If you always knew the best action according to your motives,...
by reval
Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Wikileaks Releases CIA Hacking Secrets
Replies: 21
Views: 8173

Re: Wikileaks Releases CIA Hacking Secrets

It is heartening to see that the courage displayed by Manning and Snowdon is alive and well in the wild. As more and more normal people come to understand that spying on people and controlling people is wrong, the wrongdoings of the bosses come to matter less and less. We will move towards more tran...
by reval
Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 16721

Re: An essay against competition

Yes, I could more precisely have written "a human contains a thought process". Use of the verb "to be" has been criticized as imprecise and ambiguous. I have tried, as an experiment, to write in E-Prime , and this has sometimes helped me to clarify my thoughts. In this case, I fe...
by reval
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:20 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What do you think of this quote about "evil"?
Replies: 75
Views: 29118

Re: What do you think of this quote about "evil"?

Why not derive "good" from survival? In my relations with others I do "good" depending on our shared strategy of survival. This explains how the tribal warlord does "good" by building a mountain of skulls of tribal enemies, because tribal supremacy and growth is "g...
by reval
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:37 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 16721

Re: An essay against competition

qetzal: But that is exactly where we disagree. A computational process is a model that includes a computer plus information (both of them concrete material things). The model fits all three of your examples, although you have left out some of the components. The thought process uses information in a...
by reval
Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:31 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 6626
Views: 508627

Re: Trump presidency

ban lead ammo Waterfowl take up stones that they keep in their gizzards to grind up food. They are very vulnerable to pieces of lead in their environment, and do in fact die of lead poisoning. For many years now, waterfowl hunting in the US has been legal only with steel or other non-toxic shot. Le...
by reval
Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 16721

Re: An essay against competition

Thanks for riding on the bus, even just for one stop! I'm perfectly comfortable with the idea that my brain may be holding many thought processes, and that they may be trying to direct my actions to different ends. In fact, the more rational ones seem to hold strong opinions against the older ones, ...
by reval
Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: An essay against competition
Replies: 50
Views: 16721

Re: An essay against competition

The "thought process" isn't a thing. It is a process that another thing undergoes. Ah. I think I see one of the points of disconnection. Okay, I have been unclear. To me, a process is a thing. Information is a thing, a few electrons here or there, a mark in the clay. Computation and infor...

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