Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Physics Models

Light is a waveform distortion in gravity caused by variation in the position of the gravitic source; gravity itself has wavelike properties at the very least (it could be a particle, it could be a wave, both work; in the particle interpretation, light is a wavelike variation in the position of the particles, caused by the wavelike variation in the originating particle's position). Strong atomic forces, weak atomic forces, gravity, and the cosmological constant/Hubble's constant are observable parts of the gravitic wave, which is why the cosmological constant looks a lot more variable than it should (like traditional gravity, it varies with distance). A lot of the redshifting we see is not in fact galaxies moving away from us, but a product of that the medium (gravity) that light is traveling in is slowing down as it attenuates. (I'm currently working on a mechanism for this; it's a necessary part of my ideas, as the wavelength of this all-encompassing gravity must increase in rough proportion to the decrease in its amplitude. Strictly speaking this could be explained by a more fundamental version of Hubble's constant, but then the idea loses explanatory power.) This is why black holes aren't infinitely dense.

Gravity moves at the speed of light - light is, in effect, a shift in gravity.  This is why matter cannot exceed the speed of light - it cannot overcome the infinitely high initial peak of its own gravitic wave.  I believe this is also the key to why the wavelength of gravity increases with distance, but haven't integrated this into my ideas in a clear manner yet - the simplest explanation is that gravity traverses space which has already been warped by gravity, which, if light is a distortion in gravity, is implied by the fact that light is also distorted by gravity.

Quantum mechanics is fundamentally wrong, but accurate nonetheless. Energy does not come in discrete quanta, but appears to because the number of stable configurations of matter is finite; we can only observe energy when it makes changes to the configurations of matter, which produces a observable stepladder with discrete steps of energy corresponding to each stable state.

I go with a modified version of Everett's model for uncertainty theory. The observer problem is a product of the fact that the -observer's- position is uncertain, not the observed entity. (This posits at least five dimensions.) Our brains are quantum computers; we're viewing a slice of the fifth dimension with a nonzero scalar scope, producing uncertainty.

Scale is both isotropic and homogeneous. As below, so above.

And dark matter has no special properties; it's just matter such that the substructure prohibits formative bonds with baryonic matter. Also, particularly contentiously, there are no electrical forces, these are effects produced by the configurations of matter. Antimatter may or may not annihilate matter; I lean towards the explanation that antimatter is simply matter configured such that an interaction with matter renders dark matter. (The resulting massive reorganization is what produces the light which is emitted when the two combine; if they annihilate, that would stop the gravitic wave, which would also be a massive gravitic distortion as far as other matter is concerned.)

If I'm correct - there's no particular reason for me to believe so, apart from the apparent elegance of these explanations - you've just read the layman's version of the grand unified field theory, which may or may not incorporate ideas other people had first which I simply haven't read yet.  If I'm incorrect, I'm hardly the first.

[Edit] For those curious about the electrical forces comment, I'm reasonably certain electrical forces can be explained as the result of modeling the n-body problem in a gravity-as-a-wave framework, specifically the implications of Xia's work with the five-body configuration.  Xia's five-body configuration is a theoretical configuration of matter which results in arbitrarily high velocities of particles; given a necessarily orbital framework for particles, which is implied by a gravitic wave, I suspect an approximation of his configuration with a larger number of his particles becomes not merely likely, but guaranteed, given numbers of particles of varying mass - which results in apparent attractive and repulsive forces as the underlying matter is pushed in directions orthogonal to the orbiting mass, an effect which is amplified when the orbits are themselves changing in orthogonal directions.

Why Not a Carbon Tax?

Several reasons, starting with the principled reasons for opposing AGW which center on property rights.

First, what's a "fair" level of taxation?  We can't pin down the damage carbon causes, therefore we can't pin down a reasonable level of taxation from the property rights justification.  Common law for property rights holds that you're responsible for the damage you cause - how much damage does a ton of carbon dioxide do?

Second, what is it to be spent on?  Many of the proponents of carbon tax advocate that the tax be revenue neutral, and the proceeds distributed per capita - while this falls in line with the compromise I'm willing to make with the welfare state, it doesn't bear the same justification (aligning the spending incentives of the public).  From a property rights perspective, this fails - each person isn't affected equally, and some will benefit from any warming which does occur.  (Should those who benefit from AGW be taxed, as well?)

Third, and perhaps most importantly, who the fuck are we "saving the world" -for-?  The people who are going to be most negatively impacted by any global warming are those who have the greatest incentive to take advantage of the cheapest energy available - the poor, and carbon fuels.

If you want to fight the use of carbon fuels, there is precisely one way of doing it - coming up with viable alternatives.  Not for the upper-middle class yuppies to use to microwave their lattes, but the gross amounts of cheap energy necessary to fuel a burgeoning third-world economy.

I think this has some potential, although the people behind it are on the opposing side of the political wall from me, and are too focused on the "yuppie."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quam Custodes

Is the answer.  Qui custodit eam?  Quam custodes!

Statists can only have one solution to corruption of government: More government.

Libertarians suffer a similar problem, lest we feel too smug.  And ours is a harder pill to swallow; for many problems, there is no solution permissible.

From where does this schism arise?

Personally, it's a combination of many things, but ultimately boils down to this: I don't See collectives, I don't See collective problems.

A homeless man's problem isn't some fundamental problem with society, his problem is that he doesn't own a home.  (You come here for homeless jokes, right?  We're all evil Conservatards here, regardless of whether or not we're actually conservative...)

To someone who sees humanity as a collective, however, it's clear there's a -collective- problem; the collective has failed this man, after all.

To somebody who resolutely refuses to be part of the collective, the mere -description- bears terrifying implications: it is an implicit abridgment of freedom of association.  The entire philosophy of the left stands in opposition to the freedom of association; you're part of the collective, whether you wish to be or not.  And in their eyes, you're a bad apple.

And when the collective includes everybody, there's only one way to excise a bad member.

 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Quam custodes.  Qui custodit eam?  Quam custodes!

The real question, of course, is quid vigilum vigilate.

That is why the left terrifies me.  Because the rightful answer to that question, in their eyes, is "Everything."

Qui sunt custodes?  Everyone.
Qui custodiunt?  Everyone.
Qui custodiunt contra?  Everyone.

We are all government, in their eyes.  That is the great penalty of democracy to liberty.


...I think most the people who would die, if the threat of punishment for murder vanished, would be police, prosecutors, and judges.

Abuse of powers is high treason, as is neglect of same by those who have a responsibility to act.  It should be punished as such, by hangman's noose.

Instead we have a system which ignores the excesses of its own agents until forced to act by public opinion, and the public is sleeping on the job.

Monday, May 28, 2012

With Apologies to The Beatles

Hey, don't take it wrong,
What was your name - hey, was it Betty?
Remember that time you forgot my cat,
His name was not Fred, it was Edward.

Hey, don't be angry,
Your name, it is hard to remember,
The second you leave I forget your name,
I've only known you since ...December?

Anytime I can't recall your name, hey, restrain,
Don't forget that time you thought me older,
Oh well sure it was just a year but you were wrong,
But recall I was not a big scolder.
No no no, no no, no no no no

Hey, please drop your frown,
I know your birthday's in ...November?,
September is close enough on my part,
It shows I'm trying to remember.

So just be calm and say your name, hey... you, Megan?
You're waiting for someone to remember,
And don't you know that it's just you?  Hey, it'll do
The forename we need you could just tell me.
No no no, no no, no no no no, nah

Hey you, don't take it wrong,
What was your name - hey, was it Betty?
Remember that time you forgot my cat,
HIs name was not Fred, it was Edward.
Edward, Edward, Edwward, Edward, Edward, no!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Civil War

The civil war is a tricky matter for libertarians.  Who was right, and who was wrong?

I can say without reservations that slavery was in direct opposition to the principles of libertarianism, but ultimately, the civil war wasn't about slavery.  Lincoln would have been happy to let slavery continue, particularly considering the alternative.  He said as much.

However, the civil war itself is a tricky matter.  Was it, in fact, just?  The South's justification for leaving the United States was one of state rights; the right of state sovereignty, and the principles of limited government, which even Lincoln acknowledged were important.  (I saw "even" because the war powers Lincoln utilized flew in the face of limited powers.)  The federal government of the era was definitely interfering in strictly state matters; the persecution of the Mormons comes to mind - without which persecution, the federal gay marriage debate would be irrelevant - the federal government didn't involve itself in marriage until the Mormons, and did so then to target polygamist practices.  Which casts the modern Church of LDS's stance on gay marriage in an ironic light, to my eye.  Critically, I believe the civil war in fact helped the Mormon Church, because Lincoln, not eager to start another civil war, adjusted federal policy to give Utah greater independence and treated the territory with greater respect.  Considering the treatment of Utah before and during the civil war, this was a necessary step.

There were very real and very good justifications for secession, regardless of the immorality of slavery.

More, the United States government had little justification in attacking the Confederacy - even presuming freedom of others is an objective worth waging war over, the costs of waging war in the name of freedom are paid in freedom and lives:  Somebody person died for every five slaves freed; another was injured, no mean matter in a time when battlefield injuries frequently led to amputation.  Not to mention the civil liberties abrogated in the process; Lincoln imprisoned journalists and even congressmen who disagreed with his policies.  Depending on how you weigh these issues, the civil war might manage to come out ahead, or behind, but it certainly did not have overwhelming moral advantage.

The previous paragraph, however, contains a falsehood:  The United States government -didn't- attack the Confederacy.  The Confederacy can't in full honesty be said to have initiated force, either; it prevented a US military vessel from entering into its territory, which initiated the war.  To reference Dave Barry, the behavior of the two sides in the conflict were as two teenagers driving cars through an intersection, each refusing to yield right of way, colliding at two miles per hour.  The war is what happened next.

So in the matter of the civil war, I can conclusively say, that from a moral perspective... everybody was wrong.

And that in the end I think it worked out, more or less, about as well as it could have, given the actors in charge and the political environment of the era.  The United States is more free today as a result of the outcome of that war, which both ended slavery and gave the federal government a -very- staunch reminder of exactly how important state rights are, and prevented another war which was brewing (when it wasn't actually being waged) between the Utah territories and the US federal government, instigated almost in its entirety by federal policy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


...are like ships.

If you know them, really know them, you'll know what's coming long before it hits you.  I've never lost data to a hardware failure.  I've had hardware failures, just never lost data to one.  (Well, important data, anyways.  I lose -that- by reformatting and forgetting a folder.  And even then I usually have backups.  Somewhere around here I have a floppy disc with all the MIDI compositions I created as a teenager.  I don't have a floppy drive anymore, though.)

Blue screens of death usually mean a component is going out, provided you haven't recently updated drivers or something like that.  Black screens of death (sometimes they're blue...) complaining about corrupted virtual disks guarantee your hard drive is dying or dead.

You get to know the creaking of the timbers, so to speak.  When the computer should run slow - when it shouldn't.  What actions are likely to cause the whole thing to lock up.

What weird noises are normal.  What weird noises are not.

RIP, my old work laptop.  You served me fairly well.  I can hear your fans breathing their last death rattles, I can feel the heat off your motherboard on my knees.  Your keyboard no longer faithfully writes e's, a's, i's, d's, r's, and a dozen other letters until it has warmed up, warning me that some of your circuitry is cracked and brittle.  You don't lock when closed anymore, and your monitor tries to open from all four sides.  And your "new" hard drive isn't spinning up to full speed anymore, and I can hear the clicks of head crash near-misses.

So into a quiet retirement you go.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Irritating Injustice... make it illegal for a private company to sell me water, you make it illegal for a private company to sell me electricity without your silly damn regulations, you seize people's property in order to build roads, you force me to pay into an involuntary retirement scheme, you make it illegal for anybody to provide medical care without your approval, you refuse to let me buy food and drugs on my own terms free from your meddling...

...and then you accuse me of being a hypocrite who is dependent on the government because nothing I do in the world can be done free of your goddamned meddling.

Fuck you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Law and Order Versus Law

One of the major philosophical divisions between the left and the right in this country is the distinction between laws as written and laws as applied.  I'm going to do a lot of generalizing here.  Bear with it, because I think there's something important in the generalizations in terms of understanding where the two parties come from.

The right believes in Law and Order.  Laws should be applied as written in all cases; there's very little room for personal discretion, both when deciding whether or not to follow a law, and in the courtroom.  Jury nullification flies in the face of justice, to the right.  As a result, the right is very concerned with the applications of laws; laws which could have unintended side-effects are very poor laws, and so they tend to prefer narrow laws which address specific situations.  They also regard loopholes as a minor problem, seeing them as an inevitable product of the legal system, and have no particular issue with people utilizing them.  (Although they will close them, once identified.)

The left believes in Law, less so in order.  Laws should be applied to solve the problem they were intended to solve.  They believe in personal discretion, both when deciding when to follow laws, and by the government when deciding how to apply them.  Laws shouldn't apply outside the problem they were intended to solve; when a law has collateral damage, they're likely to blame the police and the justice system, rather than the legislators who passed overbroad legislation.  They're more accepting of jury nullification, as long as it's directed at purposes outside the intended targets of the legislation.  The left is more concerned with the -implications- of laws, and so tend to prefer broader laws which cover things they didn't necessarily intend to cover, using personal discretion to solve the problems produced by this.  They regard loopholes with a conspiratorial eye, seeing narrow legislation which didn't cover a particular situation as having been crafted with that situation in mind, and regard individuals who utilize loopholes as flouting the law.  (The law, in this case, which doesn't exist.)

The government of the right depends on having good laws; they depend upon the system and the process being well-constructed.  The government of the left depends on having good people enforcing those laws; the system and the process are of relatively little importance to them.  The ideal government for the left is in fact lawless, formed of agencies which make decisions on an ad-hoc and situational basis; individuals in such a society are expected to behave at a socially acceptable minimum, and deviations below this minimum are legally punished, even when it's not clear when one has passed it.  The ideal government for the right has no laws which have not explicitly been passed; individuals are expected to behave according to the law, and there are no legal punishments for behavior outside the law.  This means the right is more likely to pass laws directed against behavior they regard as immoral.

The left prefers a law which is ambiguous and mutable, resulting in a situation in which nobody is punished unjustly (by their standards), but in which there are no clear rules about what is and what is not acceptable.  The right prefers a law which is rigid and predictable, resulting in a situation in which one can always know when one is within the bounds of the laws, but in which individuals may be punished for situations over which they have no control.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Link Post...

Captain Capitalism - Updating the Factors of Production


I've pondered on link for a while, and have come to a curious conclusion:

If the Zipf distribution holds true, in no sense can a social justice predicated on inequity function.

Attempts to decrease inequity necessarily decrease total wealth, and decrease the well-being of the worst-off.

However, this may be predicated on the Zipf distribution of wealth being a derivative of a Zipf distribution of wealth-producing capacity.  (Which is itself derivative of several related variables, each following Zipf distributions; loosely speaking, intelligence, strength, charisma, etc., although those characteristics are also overbroad; it also requires negative characteristics as much as positive ones, such as inability to show up on time)  It also presumes a feedback cycle; that wealth-earning capacity is a multiplier on existing wealth.  (This might seem to suggest that spreading the wealth around will increase the rate at  which high-capacity individuals ramp up.  It does, in fact, but the benefits of this are exceeded by the costs of removing wealth from known high capacity producers.)

The Zipf distribution -doesn't-, strictly, hold true, in particular at the lower tail, which is why I choose wealth production, rather than wealth, for my Zipf distribution; given a societal multiplier for wealth production, this produces the lower tails seen.  There are a few possibilities to explain this outside the wealth production distribution - first world nations exporting the lower tails, minimum wage guaranteeing those below a certain threshold don't show up in the lower tails, socially acceptable standards of living skewing the averages up, etc.  These alternative explanations have particular explanatory power if the Zipf distribution does, above minimum wage, hold true in compensation -per hour-, with the number of hours worked producing the skew in wealth.  But I don't have evidence for that.

Don't I Deserve Love?

No.  No you don't.

Love is something somebody else gives you of their own free will.  You may have no entitlement to that which belongs exclusively to others.  Any sense to the contrary is, at root, evil.

This is the boundary over which no welfare line may cross, lest it give up all pretense of freedom or individual choice.

This is also a line I see a few special interest groups, such as transexual activists, toeing.  Knock it off, people.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In Which I...

...ask for some non-Objectivist moral arguments.

I have a relatively easy time with things like abortion.  It requires, however, the attitude that nobody is entitled to you, your efforts, your nutrition; you are yours.

Are there any convincing and morally consistent arguments for abortion that can be raised by somebody who believes others -can- be entitled to you?  Specifically, an argument which is not dependent on ascientific beliefs like "A fetus isn't a human being entitled to any kind of legal protections."  (I'm not saying it's scientifically provable as false - it's simply outside the domain of science.  It's a philosophic or religious belief, however you choose to ascribe it.  And I'm entirely convinced it's a belief adopted for the specific purpose of validating abortion without considering the morality thereof.)

I've seen pseudo-pragmatist arguments, but these are always from people who make shit up in order to justify their positions.  And adoption is an alternative, and babies are in pretty much constant demand (although the prohibitively high costs of adoption should probably be examined), so the costs of raising a child aren't a convincing argument to me.

Basically, I'm looking for a broadly appealing argument which doesn't beg its own case, and which doesn't require specific and contentious philosophic or religious beliefs.  (Specific in this case meaning "Having absolutely no implications outside the matter of abortion.")

One example argument, which flies poorly with almost everybody, is that humanity is a net moral negative.  Essentially, if you believe the human race is morally obligated to go extinct.  Abortion is very easy to justify in that situation.  It satisfies everything except "Broadly appealing."

On Blind Men and Elephants

There is a parable, generally used to explain how limited our subjective experience is, about several blind men feeling an elephant, and coming to different conclusions about its nature; the man who feels its leg concludes it is like a tree, the man who feels its trunk concludes it is like a snake, etc.

What I love about this parable is that it actually has extraordinarily different implications than those who use it intend.

Each man is correct, given his narrow scope of perception - they are each subjectively perceiving very real parts of an objective entity.  This is usually acknowledged, and treated as an explanation as to why we shouldn't ignore the perceptions of others; just because they perceive something different than us doesn't mean we're wrong.  And this is a valid point.

What IS ignored by those who use this parable, however, is that each blind man is perfectly capable of fact-checking his rivals.  Unlike the parable, the real world doesn't have an agent preventing each blind man from walking to the other and checking out his perceptions.

Objective reality, whatever it is, is something we are perceiving with a limited set of faculties.  We can't see infrared light, we can't see UV light (unless we've had eye surgery to remove the lens of our eyes, anyways).  We can check other people's observations and tests of these things; we can accumulate and assimilate knowledge about objective reality, and come to some very valid conclusions about it.

Give one blind man an hour with the elephant, and he will know it for what it is.  Maybe he won't know its color, but color is hardly a meaningful attribute to him.  Everything that has meaning and value to him about the elephant can, with time, be learned.

And that's an objective truth.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Death Penalty

The death penalty serves two important purposes, regardless of one's personal attitudes about it.

First, it normalizes killing in self defense. Countries that abolish the death penalty sooner or later abolish meaningful self defense.  See Britain, for example.

Second, and this to some extent ties into the first purpose, it discourages vigilante "justice". See for example the high mortality rate of certain criminals in the prison system, such as pedophiles.

Those who believe in death penalties aren't going to decide somebody deserves to live just because the law says they can't be killed. The death penalty, and all the expensive appeals that come with it, is a necessity (insomuch as a justice system is a necessity at all; see my post Do Police Civilize Society) when the population wants it, regardless of one's personal attitudes towards it.

That said, I'd prefer the system be reformed to require a substantially higher measure of evidence than is currently the case. But I feel the same way about just about all the possible punishments.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Aligning Public Incentives

Okay, so the major problem with laissez-faire capitalism is that it rapidly ceases to be laissez-faire capitalism.  One interest group gets its, the next one wants its, and so on and so forth.

So how do you align the incentives of voters to promote a free state?  Constitutionally, what's the solution?

I think I have it.

First, constitutionally, all federal income in excess of expenses gets distributed evenly among all citizens.  Every person gets the same amount.  This is your welfare system.  If public funds get looted or spent, there is no welfare.

Second, constitutionally, taxes are required to be flat; nobody is taxed more, nobody is taxed less.

I think a good tax system for this is a federal sales/services tax with a deduction (up to, but not exceeding, the cost of purchase) for resold goods and services, and nothing else - tax consumption, and consumption alone.  Yes, that means you're taxing unprofitable businesses.  Good.  When it comes to market distortions, distortions which promote saving money and closing unprofitable businesses is best.  Another good option is a strict land tax (NOT a property tax), as I discussed in a previous post; this has the advantage of not requiring businesses to do the government's tax accounting work.  An income tax has debatable merit, but with flat taxes, the damage it could do is muted.

I think such a system creates incentives for precisely the correct behavior, and would be self-sustaining.  (As opposed to strict libertarian systems, which tend to devolve into socialized systems.)

Anybody see the obvious failure I'm missing?