Friday, September 26, 2008

Stereogram lies.

Yesterday's Daily Show had a joke about McCain not reading the three page document for the bailout plan that he got on Monday and still hadn't read by Tuesday even though it was three pages and probably important. John Stewart said that "to be fair the front page was one of those pictures you need to unscramble your eyes to see" which he followed by "spoiler alert: dolphin!" -- It's a shark.

This kind of playing fast and loose with the truth is completely absurd. Mallrats did the same thing. They claimed that there was a sailboat when, in fact, there was just some geometric shapes. Why must you lie about stereograms?

# The MagicEye "sailboat" picture is actually a 4 x 3 matrix of geometric shapes consisting of a cross, a circle, a diamond, a star, 4 segmented circles and 4 cones.

Peter Schiff sounds like such a douche.

There's certain truths about understanding and sometimes things are just out of your intellectual reach and perhaps economics is one of them. However, there's something about hindsight which makes even the most novice person able to judge who was right and who was wrong. You don't need to understand economics to understand who the idiots are circa 2006 from 2008.

There's a few signs that global warming wins.

One of them just happened. Methane is trapped in different places, when it gets released it will trigger more heating and more release. It's started. How fun.

Tim Minchin: Not Perfect

I love this song.

Jesus Christ: Wrong For America

I'm certainly voting for the other guy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Guild

"I was quick to establish parameters. I started cry hysterically and then he put his pants back on."

Wow, why didn't I watch this earlier.
(via ERV)

It stars Felicia Day well known from her roll as Penny in Dr. Horrible (which you've also seen if you have any taste).

McCain Campaign strategy: a series of gimmicks.

Seriously, Palin worked kind of well because people finally started to pay attention to McCain in a what the hell is doing kind of way. However the whole hiding her away and refusing to talk with anybody kind of think is irksome. Now, his plan is to shutdown his campaign during the economic crisis. Because nobody has the power to have advertisements run in their name and have other people hammer out the specifics of a plan and then have a debate. McCain can only do one thing at a time.

Hiding does not make for a successful campaign and neither does shutting down your campaign.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Save People Not Corporate Debt.

The US government is wrong dealing with the credit crisis. They are making the same mistake that lead to this current financial problem in reverse.

Joe Blow buys a house for $200,000 suddenly people say Joe Blow's house is worth $500,000 and offers Joe Blow a 125% second mortgage to let him buy a boat. Now Joe Blow owes around $550,000 dollars but has a boat. Suddenly, the market realizes that Joe Blow's house is only worth about $250,000 and starts panicking and raises Joe Blow's interest rates and he's having a really hard time making his payments. They say they are going to foreclose on Joe Blow's house! Joe Blow figures out that $550,000 is less than $250,000 and it's about $300,000 in his interest to let them keep the house. Joe Blow lets the dumbasses keep his house. As do all the Joe Blows who find themselves in the same situation.

So now all these places which suddenly took millions upon millions upon millions of dollars worth of hits because they were giving really bad loans to people who couldn't pay them back and no longer had anything worth what the price of the loan was started to crumble and die. They simply weren't worth what they paid for them. -- Now isn't that a lot like what the government is trying to do. We're trying to prop up a bunch of companies with large sums of money when the companies themselves aren't worth anything. The reason they are heading towards bankruptcy is because they aren't worth anything much less the $1 trillion dollars we're going to end up paying.

Do we really want to buy up all the bad debt? Why? Isn't acquiring bad debt the reason these giant corporations are dying? Why don't we actually embrace the capitalistic thing to do and let them die? We want capitalism when it comes to raking in a profit without any hint of so much as making sure the numbers add up. But, when it comes to losses we're suppose to socialize them? No, we shouldn't. Let the Earthquake happen.

We shouldn't be risking the solvency of the United States government in order to prop up corporations which cost more than they are worth. We're ten trillion dollars in debt and we're suppose to dig ourselves another trillion with war and another trillion with bailouts. The Chinese should stop lending us money. We're a bad investment at this point. We should ignore the corporations and focus on saving the people. We need to make sure they have a roof over their head, food so they don't starve, opportunities in life and a modicum of privacy. We should save the least among us, not the richest. We should, like Joe Blow, walk away from trying to fight the untamable monster of bad debt and simply focus on the Joe Blows of society.

We're making the same mistakes the companies are by letting this debt move up the ladder from bad debtors, to bad lenders, to bad lender conglomerates, to bad business propped up by bad lender conglomerates and trying to fight this with bad government policy. There is an old saying, the solution to pollution is dilution. If we just put enough bad stuff in a large enough area we'll be okay. It'll get to low enough levels that we'll be perfectly fine. In practice, this works fine until it doesn't. There's a point where the toxic contamination just like the toxic debt is enough to overwhelm the entire system and cause it all to come tumbling down with far worse consequences than it would have been if we just cut our losses and dealt with the problems head on.

1 trillion dollars is $3000 dollars from every man woman and child in the United States. In reality, you can live on about $1200 a year if you're mindbogglingly poor and covering all your very basic needs. We can far more easily catch the people with endless welfare checks if need be than we could catch the corporate giants who brought this on themselves. The government will not go broke or collapse saving our own people from starvation, but buying up massive amounts of toxic debt from corporations who spend millions to save themselves billions by using lobbyists to avoid paying taxes.

And while you're at it, legalize pot, living in crappy government housing with crappy government food and crappy government attempts to find you a crappy jobs would be far more tolerable if you were totally high. Ever faced a great depression? Ever faced a great depression on weed?

It's the 19th, Talk Like a Pirate

It is international talk like a pirate day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

But I Channel Ramtha Too!

In case you don't have your ear to the ground when it comes to new age bullshit circles you probably wouldn't have heard of Ramtha and the associated business. Well Ramtha is the creation of JZ Knight who has made a multi-million dollar industry out of her "channeling" of "Ramtha", the 25,000 year old Atlantian warrior! Well, a former student of Ms. Knight Whitewind Weaver stole those teachings and tried to make some money with them on her own. Knight sued of course. And recently won her case.

The lawyer for the defense argued in vain that Knight was a giant corporation bent on crushing the little guy. That argument is certainly a stinker. And he constantly shot off ad hominems of no concern whatsoever.

"So there are people willing to believe that there's a 35,000-year-old man here to teach you?" he told the jury, itemizing hypothetical multimillion-dollar revenue streams at the Ramtha school. "It's a sales gimmick."

Co-counsel David Spellman of Seattle, in closing arguments, tried to discredit Knight's case by alleging that the lawsuit was filed by "Ramtha, the arrogant one," evoking an old science fiction TV show.

"You have now entered the Fourth Dimension," Spellman told the jury. "You're in the Twilight Zone in Thurston County."

Spellman said Weaver didn't channel Ramtha at her seminar, but focused on her own work called "Spherical Reality."

But Creatura said the jury was swayed by a series of side-by-side videotape clips comparing Knight teaching Ramtha school seminars with Weaver leading similar processes at her August 2006 event.

Spellman used the wrong defense. You don't argue that you didn't steal it and they are a big evil corporation. You claim that your client was told very similar information by Ramtha and given permission to use those teachings. If they actual come from Ramtha they are the intellectual property of Ramtha. If they are made-up bullshit from Knight herself, then they are the intellectual property of Knight. The contract signed forbids her from teaching the school's teaching. Ms. Weaver however received her information from Ramtha himself then the argument can be made that they are independent teachings and only similar because Ramtha is the same.

All Knight has to do is admit that she's lying through her lying teeth to win. And since that is far fetched it just might work. Then the whole crazy beliefs are working for you rather than for her. Any dislike the jury has for the crazy works in your favor because if both sides say it's real then they get to let Weaver off the hook. On the sheer merits of the case you clearly lose. You need to let the jury channel their dislike of hokum into letting your client go. The jury can't say it's fake because that's not their job, they can only decide the facts in contention as to whether or not independent teaching counts as a violation of a contract.

There's as many Thursdays as there are days.

Both the set of Thursdays and the set of days are infinite integer sets. As the infinite sets share the same cardinality. That's assume they are infinite sets ofcourse, so I'm wrong if the universe ends. Although, if the universe ends my failures will be the least of our worries.

You can show the equality by counting them one to one.
You say the next day, I say the next week...
The one value will never outpace the other.

Monday, September 15, 2008

John McCain polling well, economy plummets... McCain says economy is doing well.

It could be a good and nuanced argument to suggest that the government could have perhaps stopped the damage at the housing market by making some steps in the right direction when the first bits started to trickle like the Danish boy who put his finger in a dike (that's not how dikes work and its a myth and only an American myth at that). However, I'd like to make another argument...

The economy hates John McCain. It wants regulation and somebody to stop the losses and when it became possible that there would be more hands-off and deregulation (to solve the problems caused by deregulation), which reminds me of Enron claiming that the California brownouts were caused by too much regulation rather than Enron manipulating the market to steal lots of money, being able to because there was deregulation, just as Bush took office to remove the protections against price gouging Clinton put in before he left.

Deregulation causes a problem, the solution is clearly more deregulation. I think the market is suffering heart attacks and wants more red meat but really wants a nurse to regulate its diet and make sure it doesn't die. When red meat gets potentially back on the menu, it becomes obvious that you're going to die and it causes depression. There might be hope under a Democratic administration. Under a Republican administration lead by lobbyists and self-admitted economic novices it's pretty much game over.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

SNL politics.

I thought the parodies of the 2000 election debates were classic by SNL. The latest intro is also quite good.

Tina Fay absolutely nails the Palin impersonation.

Quote of the Day: Benjamin Franklin

"We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately."
- Ben Franklin

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I give up. John McCain is a scientologists.

I have this on good authority. How do we start sending this around as an email? He's an OCII which is before you learn about Xenu. He'd probably deny it knowing that's it's probably politically costly.

Lipstick on a pig...

All the nuanced explanations of context for the statement seems remarkably like throwing your pearls before swine...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rofl: propaganda

Ah, the good old days. I'm astounded that lying works. All you need to do is get a large group of well funded people to lie a lot and have those lies broadcast and you're instantly a winner. Seriously the truth never stands a chance.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Don't homeschool your kids...

A friend's kid.
He's pretty smart. Listening to him I was going to chide him for calling Pluto and Eris planets. However, he corrects himself later. Jupiter has more moons than Saturn.

My nephew knows pi to 50 digits. That's about as useful.

* I don't actually think he's homeschooled, just added knowledge from other sources.

I support the legalization of marijuana, but come on...

Cures bacterial resistant staph infections? Really. It's bad enough that it makes people drive better (they drive slower and that overwhelms any other factors) but really? I think they are just making this crap up now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Evolve: Flight

A one technology solution to energy.

If we developed robust cheap room temperature (or higher) superconductors it would change the world overnight.

Seriously SMES technology, an entire grid of superconductive power lines, we'd pretty much be able to switch from oil to electricity overnight and increase the range cars can drive during the switch (more if we created maglev cars). The need for baseline power would be a thing of the past because we could loop the power grid and turn the entire thing into a massive battery (a virtually lossless battery). It would also allow us to account for the ebb and flow of fairly random renewable sources of power but working as a virtual UPS and power stabilization unit.

We could build massive arrays of nuclear power plants off in the boonies where nobody would go NIMBY on their ass and conduct the power to everywhere else in the US. It wouldn't instantly destroy our need for fossil fuels but it would completely and utterly remove our need for oil.

"You drive that old oil sucker? But can only drive like 500 miles on a refill. My car has a 10 MWh SMES coil. I've never recharged it. Got it from the dealer precharged with a special deal they were running, "The first 30k miles are on us!"* Hell I could run my house on this thing."

We'd still need to green up the power grid, but this one invention would completely demolish oil as we know it.

* .27 kW/h for average electric car, 10 MW/h coil = 37,037 miles per coil charge. Current electric cars like the Tesla Roadster have about 50kW/h max charge.

** Might be better to run a much lower current properly insulted. It occurs to me that this kind of force would turn the car into a massive superconductive magnet to the extent of being able to fly (with a proper track).

I'm not sure what to root for...

Sarah Palin is a train wreck.

Palin says the Iraq war is a task from God.
As a mayor she canned the police chief for caring about public safety.
She's a long time supporter of a Alaska secessionist party.
Dr. Laura thinks she's a bad mother for working.
She threatened to fire a librarian for failure to ban books.
She claimed to have fought pork when she was first to the trough.
She fired a guy for not firing her ex-brother-in-law in a personal dispute. She's now refusing to testify unless the investigation is turned over to her cronies.
She goes to a church run by a leader of Jews for Jesus*.

Now, should I root for change or more of the same? This train wreck seems to be giving Obama a boost and the media seems scurrying to find out more and more dirt because there's so much dirt to find. However, I kind of want more Obama laying some smack down. I suppose it's a wealth of riches. I mean, suppose they yank her nomination within the next couple days and put up somebody else? Is that good or bad? I mean this is one gnarly looking slow-motion train wreck... but would I prefer to watch this or have a good narrative about how bad McCain's judgment is? Ofcourse, maybe she stays on the ticket and McCain wins... drops dead... and we have Super-Bush in office?

I'm at a loss as to what I should want.

*Jews for Jesus is not confused, it's a Christian evangelical group which proselytizes primarily to Jews under the auspices of being Jewish themselves.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Aliens found on Earth!

They are from the 4th dimension!


*Not real plants, just good animation. Sixes Last.

Understanding Palin.

* -- Please note nothing about this post is meant to be pejorative. I actually really like that song. Redneck pride has actually been coming up a lot in recent years. I don't like Palin, and figure this might put her in better light than she deserves. I'm pissed that all my politics talk about policy debates and national conventions got turned into the Jerry Springer show upon the unvetted whim of somebody who crassly thinks that women really wanted to vote for just some woman on a presidential ticket (if it was that simple Kathleen Sebelius might have got the Dem's nod, but they actually wanted Clinton herself).

You know they are digging when they pad the resume.

Sarah Palin lived really close to Russia.
Sarah Palin stopped in Ireland for half an hour last year.
Sarah Palin has executive experience in the PTA.

Even with that gone I think Obama should just stick to the message he outlined in the convention because this plays into his hand so well. John McCain doesn't have the judgment or temerity to be president. He agrees with George W. Bush 90% of the time. On Iraq he was wrong. On timetables he was wrong. On energy he was wrong. On healthcare he was wrong. On veterans issues he was wrong. Contrast with correct choices made by Obama on those issues. Then bring up the first presidential decisions each of them made. Obama picked Joe Biden as VP who has more foreign policy experience than anybody in Washington and who nobody would doubt for a second could be president at a moments notice (even though Obama is perfectly healthy) whereas McCain picks the most inexperienced person possible while his health and age isn't that great. Really?

The republicans still aren't done with the convention stuff. They could still say "Psyche! It's Romney!"