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As you know, I have friends all across the political spectrum, some of whom are liberal, some of whom are conservative. Sometimes, they call me names because I express viewpoints that they find objectionable. Note that I am including both sides in that statement, and not addressing it at either side specifically. To be blunt, I find it mildly amusing that simply stating a conclusion I have personally drawn based on observation and evidence can generally provoke extreme responses from all sides depending on whether that conclusion comes down in favor of one political "ideological certainty" or another. People who will laud my observations because they support their ideological views one day can be calling me every vile name in the book the next when another observation points out that a different ideological view is based on half-truths, extremely shaky evidence, or just completely at odds with observed reality. So, in general, I ignore the usual attempts to browbeat me into c…
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How Freedom of Information will Change the World

Another rescue from Transhumanity.net's wholesale deletion of my articles.


So, 2012 has ended and everywhere you look, despite our having survived the “end of the world” you see pessimism, gloom, doom and negativity. No matter where you live, it seems everyone is convinced that there’s just no hope. So many people have stopped trying to do anything, while they “wait for god” or “wait for the Singularity.” Or simply wait, period. The negativity is everywhere. So, here’s one of my longwinded rambling rants, against that negativity.

So, you feel doomed, feel like the corporations have won, that nothing will ever change, or that if it does, the same old same old will make sure that you never get to share in the glorious new future? That only the rich will have immortality, that corporations will ensure that nanofactories are DRM’d, that nothing is ever free, and that the future is one in which Big Brother will control everything in one immortal Dictatorship? Trust me, I can understand y…

First You Must Question

Another preservation, since Transhumanity.net seems to have removed almost all of my articles I had there.



I’m going to insult your intelligence today.
No, seriously, I am. Because today I’m going to be talking to all of you who truly, firmly and completely think you base your world views on science, rational thinking, and a solid grasp of reality. I’m talking to those of you who claim to reject anything but that which can be empirically proven, mathematically defined, and subject to verified repeatable experiments. To those of you who believe that SCIENCE (note the emphasis) holds all the answers.
I deal with a lot of people like you. In fact, I recently wrote an article called “Against Consensus” which was deliberately targeted to draw fire from precisely those people who believe that “consensus” has any value at all in science. Today, I’m going to address those of you who rather rigidly think that “Science has all the answers.”
Don’t get me wrong. Science, as it is SUPPOSED to be pract…

Waiting for "God"

Preserving this because the comments section on H+ seems to have vanished.

Waiting for "God"

A lady lives along a flooded river. She takes her chair up to the roof as the rains continue to fall and the river keeps rising. A man in a jeep comes by and offers her a ride to safety. “God will save me” she replies. “I’m waiting for him.” Two hours later, the water is up to her windows. A couple in a boat see her and offer her a ride to safety. “I’m waiting for god” she answers. Four hours later, the water is up to her roof, the house is creaking, and a coast guard helicopter drops a basket to her. She waves them away. “I’m waiting for god!” she yells up to them until they finally shrug and fly away. After her house collapses, she drowns, and gets to heaven, she looks at God and asks “I was waiting for you, why did you never come?” God looks at her and says “I sent a jeep, a boat, and a helicopter, why didn’t you get on?” Replace god with “Singularity” “Friendly AI” “Benevolent superhum…

The Individual and the Collective Pt2

Last post we observed the dynamics of the collective in the terms of a small tribe, and indicated that at this size, things worked pretty well. That is not to say that error modes were not possible, but that when error modes arose, there were mechanisms in place to deal with those errors. Essentially, at this scale, the ability of individuals to veil their actions in a wall of secrecy did not exist. While it is certainly possible for the individual to lie, cheat, steal and deceive, such actions could only be carried out to a limited extent, and carried repercussions that were deleterious to that individuals long term well being. 
For example, let's say a farmer lied about the size of his crops. In a small tribe, it would be pretty obvious that he had lied, because many witnesses would exist who could refute his claims. His attempts to deceive would be transparent, and the repercussions of his deception harmful mostly to himself.
And I can hear some of you out there saying so what? …