Monday, April 26, 2010

Money, Money, Money Makes the World go BOINK!

I was just watching C-SPAN out of boredom, and a republican senator was talking about economics. I was was shocked to find own some of the things he said actually makes sense, but then again in the realm of economics I usually have no problem with republicans. It's how they tend to treat people I hate.

Anyway, most of the talk was about the bank bail outs (which for the record, I thought was a bad idea) and spending, with a little about the IRS (which I similarly think should be abolished). He had some negative remarks about the "new deal", but since I basically live on the welfair system I tend to try and defend that. However, really, I don't see why welfare and such should be a forced system funded by the tax system, I think it might be able to exist as something more like a charity or governmental project funded by other means. I do think he sort of missed the real root of the problem though.

The problem with our economy, as I see it, is the way we treat money. Perhaps even the fact money even exists. Now I am no Communist or Socialist, hell, to me Objectivism makes a lot of sense, though I am more of an Anarchist then a Capitalist, and do believe in people working for a common good, but voluntarily rather then forcefully. The problem isn't capital, it's MONEY, as in paper money, or dollars and cents, and the problem isn't even in money directly, but how we use it.

The basic idea is sound, we trade goods or work for units we can use to obtain other goods or work. The problem comes when money becomes abstract and virtual enough that it isn't attached to any real value for anyone, it just becomes numbers in an account somewhere. The idea of "credit" makes sense if one person decides there is a value in letting people pay later, but when any money payed may also be on credit, simply virtual money that doesn't really exist anywhere, it just becomes pushing imaginary money from one place to another. What this causes is a system where most all of the money we use is simply imaginary numbers in a computer somewhere, and as soon as anyone gets wise to that fact, the whole system becomes valueless to anyone outside it. It doesn't help that most or all of the real money is kept by small groups of people, who have to basically either have to encourage everyone with real money to pump the rest of the economy with real money and hope it makes the rest real enough to make a profit, or cut off ties to the rest of the economy and hoard all of the real money they can.

So what can we do? We can do one of two things if you ask me. Either stop using loans and credit, or stop using money altogether. Either way, there are going to be problems. If we stop using lones and credit, likely or not, a lot of people will simply not be able to live without it. Even the social security and welfare systems can in large part be seen as a form of credit. Not to make money directly, but indirectly to help make more spenders or more people in the economy, with income taxes being a way for them to pay back the credit. This way of thinking makes a system where the economy and the worth of human beings can only be measured in meaningless empty numbers that provide no value to anyone, and puts a burden on everyone for everyone else. It would make more sense to have people directly show their worth to everyone else... even if a human life can have no value by most people, others for whom life IS precious would donate and raise awareness for the downtrodden... hopefully. At the very LEAST, economically savvy people would see the need for more spenders and fund their own welfare system, even if they would have to grumble they need to pay more now.

The other way, is getting rid of money. This would probably become more like a communist and socialist system, and while I have never seen one in the history of man that I liked (China would that one if it would get over it's self and stopped censoring everything and abusing people), I am still willing to grant the idea has SOME good points. I myself am more of an Anarchist, and it's ironic and slightly depressing that, in some ways, our strange method of moving little numbers around inside a computer and just using money as a valueless construct is almost like Anarchy in a way. If we would just give up on the silly idea these numbers actually meant anything, and just changed them as we saw fit, then this would BE Anarchy. Heck, just imagine if there was a system of economics based entirely on perceived value. People would give people things based on their connections and how much they worked for them or others they knew, or used a barter system for goods. In essence a 100% credit system with out any of that troublesome money to bring it down. The depressing part? People who don't provide any value to anyone are simply ignored, and it becomes more a glorified popularity contest. Also, everyone could only rely on their friends or family to provide things, unless a quasi-money system would be agreed on for a community (Fun fact: My town already has or had one for community service), and wouldn't that sort of defeat the point? I guess as long as large banks and lone offices stayed out of it, no. Although it might be possible to do this easier if you used marks independent of all value and had people simply dive you good and bad marks for things in some rule based way, but that would make it so impersonal and therefore people may not go along with it.

Anyway, I for one think most of this bad economy stuff is just that the market is over saturated with people who do the same thing and needs more innovators and people willing to sell to niche markets more then anything else. People are probably MORE likely to get rich following crazy schemes and selling special services.

And if all else fails, you can always try crime. :P

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Catcher in the Raibys*

Back when I was RPing with people on IRC, one person that would RP with me is this guy. Most of the characters he used were cute and lovable and got along well with Jiggles (not so much with killo, but killo is an ass) but every once and a while he would bring in a villain or backstory details for the mythos he was building. The problem for me was, the mythos he was building clashed badly with the one I was. Then again, a lot of the people I RPed with had mythoes that clashed badly with mine, but his probably the most potently, and it was largely because of one central fact. His actually took it's self seriously.

See, his mythos commonly uses science fiction elements. Most of the main characters are genetic experiments, most or all of the villains are cybernetic in some way. His characters are far from realistic, but they all have mostly in-universe explanations for their powers. Things in my mythos, by contrast, rely exclusively on a set of metaphysical concepts that rely primarily on the fact that none of my characters are real. The most potent example of this is my characterization for Killo. Killo's primary ability and personality relys on pretty much breaking the forth wall and godmoding, sometimes subtlety, sometimes not so subtlety, which of the reason other people dislike his character a lot. He simply follows no rules. Of course, in large part, thats the whole point. Killo exists largely to break the bounds of universal law, to show to other characters slowly a deeper truth. At least thats what he says.

One of the bigger things I found off about his universe is that though science is used to explain the origin of many of the characters, there is also a sort of "divine power" that many characters use though scientific methods. The "Cybers", who are basically the villains, are a good example. Each one seams to have semi-divine concepts they embody and use, and are basically close to gods, despite basically being part, or in some cases I think all, technological. To my knowledge it's not technology being mistaken as magic either, it's actual magical divine power.

What makes this seem off to me is that, for me, in a metaphysical sense, technology uses physics while any magic or divine power (which is really the same thing) is purely metaphysical. What this means is, any being who has a metaphysical presence, can only be degraded by cybernetics. Or to put it another way, Cybernetics Eat Your Soul. I don't discount the possibility of purely technological beings gaining a metaphysical presence, and I don't discount the possibility for non-organic matter to be used as the body of a metaphysical entity, but in both cases, the result is more like a golem, and the actual technology become irrelevant, only the material matters, and only as a conduit for magical forces. Such an entity would in time become more like it's idealized form, rather then more like a robot. Of course, having a robot/cyborg-like idealized form is possible, but extremely silly, because all robot/cyborg are less idealized forms of other things.

Of course, with an extremely clever metaphysical explanation, this actually does make some degree of sense. "Cybers" may in fact not be technological at all, but are instead beings made to reflect their leader Vector's personal concept of perfection. Vector itself may be a remnant of a technological being that gained sapience and/or was worshiped as a god, gradually transforming it into a metaphysical cosmic being... actually using that explanation it makes perfect sense.

Disregard everything I siad, I suck cocks.

(*) His DA account notes "HIS NAME IS PRONOUNCED 'RYE-BISS', NOT 'RABIES!'" which is (un)fortunate because otherwise the pun would otherwise be "I got Raibys" and there are enough Pokemon references that can be made already.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lord Shinji Upon His Terrible Throne

So I have spent the last few days basically just reading though this fanfic. It's basically what happens when you take the most whiny and pathetic character in anime, and suddenly make him a complete badass who is well on his way to becoming a living god. Much to his own dismay. How? By having him find a suitcase containing miniatures and books for a particular role-playing game. Which gives him drive, gives him a way to connect with his care givers, and indirectly teaches him skills he needs to make his life better. Oh and he gets four imaginary friends that seem to slowly become something more like split personalities, but hey, it's worth a few psychological side effects right?

Personally, I like it mostly because it provides interesting commentary on a few things. At first, it mostly notes how fiction can change people for the better, by causing a new flow of ideas and symbols that people can build on. This theme never really goes away, but after a while mostly concerns leaders who use symbols to inspire, and religious conviction and faith. All of which is both a good AND a bad thing. In the context of the story, the main character uses these symbols to lead a war on alien monsters that want nothing more then to destroy all humanity, but as battles get bloodier and bloodier and the weapons used get more and more horrible, he has to constantly wonder if there is a better way.

I never really watched all of the show or played the game or read it's spin off books, but I know somewhat about them, and I think this fanfic does a better job of explaining the technology and physics involved then at least the anime. In the anime, there is a field called an AT-field that is uses as one of the main science-fiction element. While the what I read about the anime explains this somewhat vaguely as "the barrier between souls", the fanfic explains it more using quantum mechanics and sounds similar to my ghost and soul theory. The original anime also has a lot of symbolism and such, but the fanfic seems to use it differently. Also the fanfic was said to have a more detailed and interesting explanation of the economics and social changes in the world then the fanfic. Apparently some think it's better then the anime it's based on.

Of course, it's not perfect. I often see odd spellings or typos (although I am not one to talk) and some things seem writen as such that your expected to already know all about the show (which to be fair, most people might). It also seems to have a habit of having a event be described semi-indirectly for a few paragraphs before revealing the context on the last line of the section for dramatic effect, which I have grown to dislike. It also seemed to pad on in parts with characters and events that were not really as important to the story, but eh. Despite all this, I quite liked it, although it isn't really finished.

Sunday, April 11, 2010



Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spooky action at a distance

I was talking about ghosts on a forum and on IRC and thought I would make a blog post out of it.

I don't believe in ghosts really, but sometimes I wonder... particularly about some photo stuff. It's easy to dismiss most of it as a hallucination or even a shared semi-psychic vision, and say the photos are fake, but I have seen some somewhat odd things captured by video/camera that might be real, showing it is something physical, which just boggles me.

The big thing for me is not that there is no evidence, but there isn't even a theory on how this stuff happens. If there is a well-grounded idea of where this stuff comes from and why it happens I would except it a lot more, but now it all involves semi-mystical bullshit, and the only even passable theory involves other dimensions that exist somehow and have attributes that aren't explained.

Actually, I can think of ONE idea of how it may work: Time-delayed quantum entanglement of light, but that doesn't really explain how it works or what causes it. My only guess is consciousness is a result of strong quantum fields which can become entangled in moments where the quantum field is focused enough (aka strong emotions) at the body's death (which would normal cause consciousness' field to collapse). But this is dubious pseudoscience at best and complete bullshit at worse. At least it's a theory though.

More specifically, I think consciousness is a result of or equivalent to quantum collapse of a complex system that modifies it's self and/or feeds into it's self. Like the human brain, it behaves in set ways, but can learn and expand and modify it's state. I think any system with these parameters can become conscious if it becomes complex enough, such as AI.

If you look at the quantum interactions behind such a system, it as a whole would exist in such a state that it undergoes periods of quantum uncertainty and quantum collapse occurring in sequence along the systems. Thus I feel it collapses into a whole pure state that excludes for the most part the rest of the universe, which is why we experience consciousness subjectively and why we experience time as we do (that and I think time is more a process then a dimension).

Anyway, yeah. Cut and paste blogging is fun. :P