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Ask me how the FairTax proposal works. All four Political Compass quadrants should love it.

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Ask me how the FairTax proposal works. All four Political Compass quadrants should love it.

0 followers   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 05 05:51:34 UTC


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User ID: 460

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I remember it as Mr. Mot the hardworking barber from Star Trek TNG, versus Beetle Bailey the lazy layabout private from the comic strip.

I’ve heard it said that Rust is the new C++ but Zig is the new C.

Definitely a poignant rule of thumb. I’d expand it to a general principle. For instance, “If your ecology says your opposition’s economic industrial activity is what threatens the survival of the Earth’s biosphere, you don’t have a science, you just have a political sci-fi novel.”

I started taking 2000-10,000k IU at the start of the pandemic, and my lifelong subclinical depression has lifted. It’s the only consistent thing I can credit.

have you tried taking vitamin D in the morning? I would really love a bigger sample size than just me suggesting that vitamin D has positive mood effects.

Finder by Carla Speed McNeil is a distant-future graphic novel series. It features gorgeous black and white line art, transhumanism, and cultural commentary on a possible future of race, gender, and wealth. It has a focus on personal relationships within a society, and comes at anything political from oblique angles. The character art would make Walt Disney swoon with McNeil’s action lines and liveliness.

The eponymous Finder is a young man named Jaeger, of a lower caste ethnicity whose tribe has become involved with a lower upper-class household in one of the domed cities. He has a talent for finding what’s needed, but whether that’s a gift or a curse is left grey.

Cerebus the Aardvark by Dave Sim was a monumental undertaking, one of the first independent comics to hit 300 issues, contemporary in the 80’s with the TMNT and The Tick. It features insanely amazing black and white crosshatched backgrounds by Gerhard, and the character work by Sim is top notch with a caricaturist’s eye. His comic lettering is a phenomenon.

Cerebus himself starts as a funny-animal parody of Conan the Barbarian in the lost civilizations of ancient Europe, but things shift into a high gear when Cerebus gets involved with a mayor who looks a lot like Groucho Marx. It evolves into a poignant and piercing examination of second-wave feminism, the effects of church on society and vice versa, the nature of civilization, the ephemerality of sober and drugged spiritual experiences, alcoholism, masculinity, rapey incels before we had a name for it, being bros, and failed dreams. By the end we’ve met caricatures of dozens of twentieth-century celebrities and parodies of superheroes and sword-and-sorcery fantasy heroes, each one shaping how Cerebus is (or plays) the hero. Skip the text sections from issues 200-300 if you find them weird or boring, the author has something to say in them but most people won’t grok it.

In many ways, these series are diametric opposites, and visions of the future and the past respectively which will haunt you. To see if you want to read the whole series, read volume 3 of each: Finder, King of the Cats, and Cerebus, Church and State.

My life’s savings were all earned and invested during the Trump years, and they were substantial and thriving. Then, despite my wage actually rising slightly during the Biden years, I haven’t seen my more recent retirement investments do any better than a local credit union savings account.

Arthur C. Clarke was too autistic to write good three-dimensional characters. You know what he did? Got a co-author.

Written primarily by [Gentry] Lee, Rama II has a distinctly different writing style than the original, with a more character-driven narrative and a closer-to-contemporary mindset, ambience and human relations than the first novel's more futuristic tones.

Fantastic ideas require fantastic execution, but most comic books have separate writers and artists. Many of them have separate pencillers, inkers, and colorists.

I myself can write a good scene with decent characterization, but I can count on one hand the number of completed stories I’ve written.

To make explicit the mechanism.

It’s like saying “every red car absorbs most wavelengths of light, but reflects light wavelengths around 620 to 750 nm. When the reflected waves hit our retinas, exciting the red-absorbing cones and transmitting a sensation into our brains we identify as vision of a red thing.”

This explication of a system furnishes us with utility: if a given person cannot differentiate a red thing from a black thing (as a colorblind friend once told me), we can now troubleshoot and find which piece of the mechanism is faulty and the devise a way to adjust it.

Terminology: Natural Selection is an emergent effect, like traffic patterns or centrifugal force. It is the name we give to an orderly effect which seems directed, though we can find no such concrete thing in the system from which it emerges.

The survival instinct is, similarly, borne of a system which contains both the drive to escape pain and the desire to feel pleasure/esteem/accomplishment. Lack of fulfillment of the latter leads to misery; of the former, suicide. Where both can be fulfilled, thriving happens.

I think for freedom to be meaningfully maximized you need a centralized government with enough state capacity to force the local bullies to respect freedom.

That’s the good intention which paved the road to Hell, the road we call the anti-trust laws. Alan Greenspan wrote a detailed yet eminently readable paper, later published by Rand, about the US government’s efforts to stop “monopolies” and the resulting unbridled growth of the bully state.

Outlaw unequivocally evil externalities, to be sure! But don’t let the law become non-objective, subject to whim or pull. If you give a man a gun and tell him he’s the defender of justice, pretty quickly he’ll think his job is to find the right time to pull the trigger. Find the proper size and role of government, and provide better incentives for it to protect the individual even at the cost of outcomes for pressure groups with sob stories or crocodile tears.

This post, of course, was inspired by my housemates always cleaning afterward, except when they don’t, which has led at times to me cleaning (beforehand) a double or triple layer of lint.

Wake up, babe, new scissor statement just dropped on March 32.

“Cleaning the dryer lint after you dry your clothes is the socially responsible thing to do.”

Stranger had polyamory too, was five years earlier, and (according to some accounts) kicked off the free-love Sixties as pop culture knows it.


They’d instantly complain it was like Jews being forced to wear yellow stars, despite the historical incongruity. And I wouldn’t blame them. As I dive deeper into Ayn Rand’s minarchism, I see how little the government has the moral right to be doing in our lives. Emergency responders need to know which set of internal organs to expect, of course, and police should be able to describe suspects by apparent gender. But gay civil unions and divorces (as well as contractual poly families as described in Heinlein’s Stranger In A Strange Land) should be legal, as long as the state doesn’t force churches, wedding photographers, etc. to accommodate and celebrate things that are heretical to their faith or which fill them with loathing of repugnance.

I remember back before gay marriage was legalized in the United States. Toys were on color-coded aisles, blue for boys and pink for girls of course. In 2012, a group was founded in the UK called Let Toys Be Toys which pushes the agenda of the movement which urges toymakers, toy stores, publishers, and so on to reduce the gender coding of toys and the gender stereotypes in children's books, and toy playsets and commercials. Target later made national news by declaring it was no longer going to explicitly gender-code toy aisles.

This appeared to be an appeal to classical liberalism, in which the freedom of the individual is paramount. I agree with that part, though not the activism.

But almost as soon as the ink was dry on Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, Cthulhu swam left and suddenly everything was about trans. It wasn’t long before we heard about parents using gendered toys to test which gender their toddlers or even babies identified as.

This was a whiplash pivot from freeing children from the “tyranny” of gendered toys to using the toys as a bed of Procrustes, carving their flesh to match which toy they picked, and declaring it genocide if they weren’t allowed to.

So no, I’d rather we not follow the literal Weimar Republic in using the power of the state to say who’s legally a woman. Who knows what the next lap of Cthulhu would be, and which moneyed powers would use it for lifelong medication paid by the state.

It is good that you are disturbed.

It’s a trope in fiction of malign regimes requiring that a logical paradox be treated as official truth, such as 1984’s “two plus two equals five”, but it has a long history before that of being used to illustrate fashionable or politically advantageous absurdities. And of course, the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes is a tool to immunize children against swallowing such propaganda.

I have proposed facetiously that there be four categories for clarity: male men, female men, male women, and female women. Of course, nobody who accepts the trans paradox wants this; they want “trans woman” to be treated as the same type of category as “red-headed woman” and “short woman”, and anyone who disagrees to be shouted down for their offensiveness.

I interpreted it as being sarcastic, as in “agency is right-coded by the left, who worship victimhood.” Is that how you interpreted it?

Oh, is it time for Time Travel Jesus discussion now? Awesome!

TLDR on the Lewis quote: God is omnipresent, and He is also omnichronal. Time is the specific arena within which we make our real choices with real consequences, even though from outside of time it looks like fate.

The Word, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity became a mortal chronal being. Does that mean that, in the thirty-two years He was Jesus of Nazareth who had not yet died, there was no Logos in Heaven? That seems absurd to me; one can no more separate the Persons of the Trinity than you can remove your shape from your body.

In my theological thought experiments, I model the Word as the perfectly accurate truth about God the Father, an infinitely complete and divine description, the only possible counterexample against Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. So the Son experiences time as one of Adam’s children for a time to bring the message that God is not an ineffable immaterial entity external to spacetime and abstracted from our merely human concerns; He walks with us and guides us in love, in concern for the poor and abused, because their suffering matters.

And then there’s the timeless sacrifice of the Jews’ Messiah for the sins of all mankind, the zero-point of history. It ripples back into the past as the sacrifice of countless animals by Iron Age and Bronze Age Hebrews, Shemites, and Noahics. It ripples into the future with the assurance that the debt is paid even though we haven’t yet committed the sin and earned its wages, entropy and death.

This is the Good News, as CS Lewis fictionalized it: “When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Stone Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.” And if instead we consider time not a true dimension but rather a description of the order now present permanently winding down as potential energy becomes waste heat, He is the opposite of entropy, making all things new starting with His own corpse revived, rebuilt, and perfected.

Time Travel Jesus loved you from the foundation of the Earth.

I had a dream once which was inspired by the writings of Corey Doctorow.

I dreamed that every city block in Albuquerque had a uniformly built apartment complex ten stories tall, each with an open but narrow courtyard. Their names were just the dictionary because 1) there were so many and 2) they were built by China: The An Apartments, The And Apartments, The Any Apartments, and so on. The ground floor of each had businesses and schoolrooms, and a power plant, like a bargain basement Archology.

My family was being forced by economics to move into one instead of our house. We each got a 3-ring binder with a cheap plastic cell phone. My dad warned me not to use it because they’d be listening. We ate our first meal there in pensive silence, aware of the growing dystopia.

Reading the OP reminded me of that dream.

You’ve just given me another thing to keep in mind next time I reread Cerebus The Aardvark.

In my Triessentialism, I identify four sources of value, attributes about things which give them worth to humans and other mammals:

  1. Utility - can it bring me closer to a goal?
  2. Experiences - can it make me feel something I want to feel?
  3. Status - can it improve my esteem among those I want to impress?
  4. Agency - can it make me feel like I can make a choice that matters?

C++ had all four for me when I was in high school, and I don’t see that changing.

I’ve given a basic outline in a reply to my OP. It’s the philosophy she believed western enlightenment thought was based on, before she discovered Kantianism had infected America like the USSR.

Codependency is a word with a misleading etymology (like schizophrenia meaning “split mind” and being confused with dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly multiple personality disorder). It comes from the discovery that most people in relationships with substance dependents (the less judgmental term for drug addicts and alcoholics) tend to have some personal issues and patterns of behavior of their own keeping them in the relationship. It was later discovered to be the same thought patterns and patterns of behavior of serial divorcees, serial victims of abuse, people with chronic loneliness, and other people with constant relationship troubles. It tends to run generationally in families with issues of abuse, divorce, and substance use. For every visible relationship addict or drama addict, there’s a dozen functional codependents struggling through their day-to-day life. It is a known failure mode of human socialization.

At its core, much of codependency is boundary issues: the inability to separate one’s thoughts and feelings from one’s perception of what others think, feel, or opine. Actively codependent relationships tend to be characterized by enmeshment, where one partner/friend is trying to run or fix some part of the other’s life, and the other is letting them, each for their own reasons. Not all toxic relationships are codependent, but most codependent relationships are at least somewhat toxic. Most codependents feel hollow or empty, and use other people, or attempts to help someone live their life, to try to fill the void.

Ayn Rand was a Russian Jew born in 1905. Her family lost their small business under Lenin’s rule, and her family lost their lives under Stalin. She hated Communism more than most people will ever hate anything in their lives, and made it her life’s ambition to eradicate socialism through art and philosophy.

She traced the philosophical roots of socialism to two concepts: collectivism and altruism. Collectivism is the belief/worldview/way of setting up societies in which groups are treated more important than individuals and their rights. Altruism proper is the belief that a person’s life is only worthwhile if it is lived for others (not the mere belief or value judgment that helping other people is a good and worthwhile thing to do). She made it clear that these stand in contrast to individualism, the belief that individuals have rights that no group can take away justly, and egoism, the belief that a person’s life is rightly to be lived for their own values, happiness, and worth.

Objectivism, her philosophy, is based on the belief that humans are the most amazing and glorious creatures to walk the Earth, when driven by objective values and living through reason, rational self-interest in the short and long term, and the most suffering or cruel creatures on Earth when they are not. (This is a very brief and extremely reductive description of Objectivism. The real thing is best absorbed through her essay anthology The Virtue of Selfishness.)

Her former disciple Nathaniel Branden (from whom she was estranged over specific relationship issues, ironically) wrote extensively on the psychological roots of what would come to be known as codependency. Some have called him the father of the self-esteem movement. Here’s a list of some of his best insight porn.. His well-known Six Pillars of Self-Esteem are useful reading for anyone with codependency:

  • The Practice of Living Consciously
  • The Practice of Self-Acceptance
  • The Practice of Self-Responsibility
  • The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
  • The Practice of Living Purposefully
  • The Practice of Personal Integrity

From Branden’s introduction:

I was acutely conscious of the pressures to “adapt” and to absorb the values of the “tribe” — family, community, and culture. It seemed to me that what was asked was the surrender of my judgment and also my conviction that my life and what I made of it was of the highest possible value. I saw my contemporaries surrendering and losing their fire — and, sometimes in painful, lonely bewilderment, I wanted to understand why.

(Tagging @comicsansstein @non_radical_centrist @George_E_Hale and @cjet79 instead of individual replies.)

What have you heard about codependency in popular culture or your circles, what have you heard about Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, and do you know why I’m asking about both together?

I’ll post more on this after church this morning, whether this gets any replies or not.

As Ayn Rand points out, collectivism will always seek to override the individual choices of a person to fulfill their own happiness. Whether that be building a skyscraper or turning a child into a civilized adult, a woman’s agency is just as valuable when deliberately chosen, not coerced or bullied. In any collectivist system, right or left, the able bodies and capable minds of those able to work are coerced into working for the collective instead of working for their own happiness.