Ignorance Is No Substitute For Knowledge

I don’t see religion as the opposite of science, but as a mechanism for very complex ideas to be considered. Over the millennia religion has helped countless people deal with the pain of loss and created comradery to help people who need assistance.

Obviously I can also think of many terrible things that have been delivered under the guise of religion. We can see today how angry, disenfranchised or ignorant people can be deformed by hate, xenophobia or fear supported by the words and deeds from some who chose to use religion to further their own personal power desires.

I am always shocked when groups who consider themselves “religious”, actively deny knowledge because it contradicts what their religion states. Given that there are many thousands of versions of religion in play today, and probably many millions that have been in play throughout human history, it strikes me as ridiculous to believe that any one version is perfect. This does not mean that I wish to ridicule the idea of religion, I do not. I see theology as an extension of philosophy, and where it is applied with care it clearly can really offer comfort and meaning to many groups. But that does not give religion a special pass, like everyone else, religious followers must work to improve humanity and the universe, and not detract from happiness and health in any way.

From a purely observational point of view, I see the idea of evolution to be entirely consistent with what we observe every day. While the time it takes for random mutations to impact a species in material ways is far too long to observe easily, it is though clear that any number of mutations that take place within each organism are clearly observable. One of the basic skills in understanding disease is to understand mutations. Viruses mutate constantly, making treatment a continual fight to deal with resilience. Cancer is now known to be (generally) a kind of cellular mutation where the bodies own defenses don’t see the mutated cells as an invader. Nearly every mutated cell in the body is of course quickly dealt with by the immune system, and it’s only the ones that by chance continue to look enough like the body’s own healthy cells that are not attacked and hence cause issues.

Birth defects caused by environmental changes (drugs, chemicals, radiation etc.) are common enough that we can see them.

Today the human race is diverse to the point that a change in the environment or the emergence of a deadly pathogen is unlikely to eradicate all humanity. It could of course, but the more diverse we are the less likely this is.

Science though has the potential to standardize the human race, in effect removing the very deep level of diversity that actually may protect us from extinction.

We are today standardizing our food, with everyone eating similar plants and animals. Since we all use the same drugs, we are eradicating specific diseases and potentially the bacteria and viruses that could impact future diseases.

Science is not perfect, and the things we change at the macro level may come back and hurt us in generations to come. Or science may actually be the only way that the human race can survive. No one knows. Today’s quality and length of human life have never been better. There are more people alive today than ever before and they are living longer, putting a new level of strain on available resources, requiring new levels of food production, causing new levels of environmental change, requiring more food to be produced in a smaller area, in a cycle that shows no end.

It’s a deeply philosophical conundrum, and maybe using the concept of an outside influence to help understand the universe we find ourselves a part of is a good thought exercise to help frame the issue.

(14)

The Internet Of Objects – Ideal Or A Path To The End Of Everything

In the 1980’s and into the 1990’s there was a movement in technology towards objects. The idea was than any and all data, applications, devices etc. could be broken down into a series of discrete pieces of information, and the use of this information could be described in a consistent way. This would allow everything to work together harmoniously without complex pre-work to describe what everything was.

The issue (at that time) was that for most types of data the meta-data to describe it was actually much larger than the data itself, and this was a huge problem when networks were slower than the spoken word and data storage was more expensive than postage. So the idea slowly died and morphed, and we have been left with a really messy series of standards which make sharing data and devices complex and expensive.

Now I know that I am paraphrasing the whole issue here, but there is no doubt that where we are, is not where we want to be in terms of integrated systems.

Imagine if every piece of data was wrapped in a consistent set of metadata (data about the data).

Imagine if you were sent an email with a specific type of data attached to it, that the data would self-describe its value, keep a record of who created it, what application was needed to use it, and even where the code to use it resided.

Imagine if every internet connected device could provide details on its use, location and current state when asked. So when you enter a house and you could automatically be part of that houses network. Your environmental preferences would automatically be shared with the house, and your entertainment preferences would be available on each device in the house. Obviously assuming that you had the approval of the houses prioritized users.

Imagine that when you program your phones map app to take you to a specific place, your diary and the diaries of everyone you are meeting that day are automatically updated with travel times and arrival times. And the systems in the place you are going to are updated with your drink and food preferences and a desk is reserved for you automatically for when you arrive or the meeting room you are planning to use is automatically chosen based on the number of people who are meeting.

Imagine if in an emergency all the connected devices in a building on fire could be viewed by those trying to help. Every temperature sensor and video feed was automatically available to them, and any phone picked up would automatically connect to the on-site emergency teams without any buttons needing to be pressed. All water, gas and power would be selectively turned off or on by the emergency teams as needed.

Imagine if the sensors in every car, street light and road sign were shared amongst themselves, providing a mesh of knowledge available to every road user, and that journeys were planned with the knowledge about the current conditions, dynamically updated with the planned journeys of every other road user.

Imagine if a doctor was able to review the health data of a patient collected by the patients watch, phone, home and pharmacist building a profile of the patient’s history to help diagnose from subtle changes in their physical condition important early diagnosis of problems allowing for much better treatments.

If every piece of data and every internet connected device could describe itself in a consistent and meaningful way, the possibilities are endless.

There are of course risks associated with easier communication, risks that actually may be greater than the benefits.

It’s almost an evolutionary level risk.

Within a species a continual flow of random mutations creates the likelihood that some variants will survive in any type of changing environment or to put it another way diversity is good.

If all information systems were to follow a single standard, then the possibility would exist of total destruction of the entire system. We have already seen that computer viruses designed to attack windows systems can impact millions of systems at the same time. Smug mac users have always felt safer, but that safety only comes from the simple fact that they are a separate sub-species. It is very hard for an infection to spread across species (biological or technical), but in a world where all data and devices were unified behind one standard, that standard itself could become a risk.

The value of total interconnectivity is immense, but the implications of everything being compromised would be too terrible to consider.

Is it possible to create an interconnected would that is secure enough to be viable?

That is the cold war not just of this century but probably for the whole future of humanity.

(9)

The Future According To Madavey

Every generation finally sees the line between itself and previous and future generations in ways that seem small to the future generation but feel huge to the previous generation.

Changes in music or body adornments are obvious examples. Rock and Roll shocked the generations that grew up before it while today, classic rock is seen as “old peoples music”. Massive tattoos shock the generation that found pierced ears for men scandalous. Each generation builds on that which was hard to accept for previous generations.

Today’s teenagers are not shocked by people with toe-to-ear body tattoos, but some of them would still be stunned by implanted technology for non-essential reasons. Children being born today will likely get to consider technology enhancements to their bodies that allow them to receive information, control their world and communicate.

The internet of things (IoT) will very directly include humanity. Actually it’s already started, with simple biometric sensors, such as smart watches, fitbits and always-in-hand smart phones. But it will quite obviously go a lot further. Pills that when swallowed take biometric readings from within specific parts of the body will allow for better health options for patients. And the glassholes from the beta testing of google glasses provided a lot of information on the potential uses for integrating computers into sight and hearing.

Nano technology, is in its infancy today, but it seems inevitable that amazing things will be possible with very tiny technology that is powered indefinitely from the human body. Tiny robots performing tiny surgical and pharmaceutical duties inside the body are already being tested in animal and clinical trials. It won’t be that many years in the future when human life will be extended and its quality will be improved by armies of specialized cell sized machines fixing imperfections and maybe even providing enhancements that evolution alone has not been able to select (so far).

How will the next generation think about the human body, will it be seen as this unique and special temple as we see it today, or will they see it as a complex structure that can be made better by the use of technology.

Today we use lenses to correct vision, audio devices to repair hearing, electric wheel chairs to allow for enhanced movement for damaged legs, robot limbs to replaced lost ones. We use replacement organs from donors and complex filters to do the job of defective kidneys. We use a plethora of complex chemicals to alleviate pain, or repair or remediate any number of conditions.  So why not directly connect sensors to the nervous system, or provide micro-bots that can perform surgery at the cellular level?

Once a generation acknowledges technology integrated into the human body as acceptable, it’s likely to also see it as preferential. Technology that can fix broken bodies can also enhance perfectly working bodies. Why not have a direct connection to the internet of the future wired directly into your brain? What if you could learn to ask google v2 a question just by thinking of it, and have the answer loaded directly into your short term memory for consumption. What if you would have a new cornea that provided a zoom function and maybe the ability to have your vision supplemented with information on what you are looking it. Or the ability to record what you sense (see, hear, taste, touch, smell) and share with others, sort of the ultimate go-pro recording, just by thinking and your senses are recorded and can be downloaded.

What if your fat could be converted into muscle, not by working out, but by nanabots, re-programming each cell. What if your reaction times could be improved by technology cleaning up your nerves, and optimizing the path between your senses, and your muscles?

What if cartilage worn down by age or arthritis could be rebuilt by cell sized robots working inside your joints.

Will the next generation be open to using technology to go beyond what the human body has evolved to do?

Will “generation-tech” be okay with more limbs, new additional muscles, better ears and eyes, more ears and eyes, direct brain connections for uploads and downloads, areas of the brain directly connected to the internet? Will gen-t want tails, wings, larger lungs, gills, suctions cups, tentacles, brain controlled remote androids?

The point is that once a generation accepts a new idea, then they are open to taking that new idea to new levels.

The human body is complex and at risk from a million directions, and the range of “what if” choices that technology can help answer will only grow. The questions of “can we” vs “should we” are always present, and as always will be hard to answer. Theologians, philosophers and ethicists will have a harder job in the future than they even have today.

With each generation the possibilities grow. We live today in an age of amazing technology, and with each passing day what the future may bring comes a little closer. What will stay the same and what will change will excite some and disgust others, and we all have a part to play in making the future, who knows what butterfly wings will create a hurricane later.

Who knows what butterfly wings will create a hurricane later

(12)

Hate Breeds Hate

There will always be people who hate, it’s an unavoidable symptom of the human condition. Some people, who cannot get what they want, will always blame someone else. And some of that blame will become violent. Sometimes that violence will hurt people, sometimes, innocent people. And the friends and relatives of those innocent people will, in turn, hate the people who hurt those that they loved. And with this righteous justified hate focused on the ones who hurt their loved ones, they will create reciprocal hate, and quickly the idiocy of the original hate is lost in the mealy of revenge and a whirlwind of battles where everyone loses.

It’s almost impossible to forgive the killing of a wife, husband, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, cousin or friend. So the hurting of one person can create an exponential number of new enemies’.

It takes incredible heroism, intellect and strength to break this cycle. Very few people have ever been able to do it.

Those that have ended conflict are the true heroes, and yet it’s much easier to remember those who won battles and wars, than those who stopped the next battle.

Honoring those who fought assuages some of the pain of loss, but it also galvanizes opinion in support of further conflict. Honoring those who fought, provides support for their fight, and continues the battle. This is why every government, army, politician, religious group and cause uses it.

Soldiers returning from war, more often than not, promote the value of peace and complain of the futility of the war they just fought. Those who never fought, scream for more battles.

Those who enter the armed services, and accept the orders of those who run those services, are heroes, end of story. They choose to put their lives on the line for their country and way of life. In return they expect their leaders and country to have their backs. To only send them into harms way when it is the only choice, and to provide them with the training, tools and support to do their job, and if they get hurt to do whatever it takes to care for them. Leaders have failed in the past, putting their personal wealth and that of their friends ahead of the people, and it is unacceptable! The lesson for the future is to carefully choose leadership that truly understands the critical nature of their role, and has the experience and temperament to do it well.

Many battles seem righteous in the moment, but in the cold hard light of history, the reasons for their inception seem crazy. The history of the British, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch empires is littered with battles fought to support commercial growth, to make the rich, richer. The Greek World, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were forged in battles, generally at the cost of many lives in exchange for wealth for their leaders.

Today’s Middle Eastern wars have removed carefully placed despots who through genocide and torture kept millennia old hatred’s in chains. These puppet rulers were monsters, but they were monsters created by the Western European powers in the last few hundred years to reshape countries who they had tried for millennia to subdue. It worked, but then we forgot why we put these horrible people in power, and we removed them. And the Middle East now has to find a new balance. It is taking time, but the most horrible elements of hate, will again be controlled, hopefully this time, by the people within their own borders. It will not be pretty, but it will happen.

While if happens we cannot allow the raw hate that these murderous fools transmit to infect us. We must resist the urge to lower our morals and our ethics. We cannot allow their hate to become our hate. While they behead, and commit suicide/murder we must continue to live by our code of ethics, and with strength and good judgment we will win.

(12)

The Trump Policy Process Explained

The Trump Formula

Here is the formula that is used to create every single Donald Trump Policy.

There is only one variable that needs to be defined, and that is the name of the policy.

{start}

In the following just replace the word <policy> with any policy name you care for.

  1. I will be great at <policy>
  2. My <policy> policy will be uuuugggggeeeeee.
  3. Unlike that low energy guy, my <policy> will be lower cost, better in every way and stronger, believe me, I make <policy> deals like you’ve never seen, believe me.
  4. Women will love my <policy> plan.
  5. The blacks will love my <policy> plan.
  6. Evangelicals love my <policy> plans.
  7. I’ll make GREAT <policy> deals, believe me. like you’ve never seen before. They will be FANTASTIC deals for <policy>.
  8. No one will be as great at <policy> as me, believe me. I will be so great, you just won’t believe how great I’ll be at <policy>
  9. Those other loosers all will fail at <policy> I’m the only one who can do <policy> like it needs to be done, believe me!
  10. Just look at my hands, you can infer I have a uuuuggggeee dick, and that’s important for <policy>

 

If you ask me for more detail on <policy> I’ll say that you are paid by the elites and personally insult you in ways that would seem juvenile to a 3rd grader.

 

Now ask me about another policy.

[chants of trump, trump, trump continue in the background interspersed with chants of USA, USA, USA]

Go back to {start}

(9)

How Forever Is The Internet And Your Data?

At one level we should all be very worried about anything we post online, because (as has been proven numerous times) when you post anything it can stay around forever. What you may flippantly say today can come back and bite you in the ass at any point, for decade’s to come. Just look at the current US presidential election. There are currently thousands of journalists trawling though every single word said, written or recorded by every prospective candidate, and anyone they ever knew, looking for anything to keep people looking across the next ad break.

Conversely it’s almost impossible to imagine that all the data that is being generated today will be kept forever. Through a mix of data corruption, replacement of legacy technology and efforts people make to delete older or boring material, it’s hard to know what data will be kept.

Today’s storage mediums such as disk drives, tape backups, solid state / flash memory, CD’s and DVD’s all have very finite lives.

• Tapes rely on the magnetic properties of metalized particles sprayed onto the surface of a long tape. Over time the magnetic alignment of the materials do decay, and because tape is wound as a spool, there is also the impact of different layers of the tape interacting. Actually since the most modern tapes use techniques to squash ever greater volumes of data per square inch, even with the latest data correction and recovery algorithms and the advanced physical material newer tape technologies may actually be getting less reliable in terms of longevity.

• Hard disks have the data stored on a magnetic layer sprayed onto disks, which spin at high speed with the read/write head sitting microns above the surface. There is a lot of continual physical movement and so they do wear out. They may last for decades, but ask anyone who runs a datacenter, how often they have to replace blown drives, it is a daily activity. Modern disk drives are exponentially more reliable than ones of decades ago, but there are just so many in use that the math means even a small percentage of a large number is a large number.

• CD’s and DVD’s in theory could last for hundreds of years, but writable ones are much more delicate than you would imagine. They rely on organic compounds as the writing layer. A small scratch on the label side can allow moisture to invade causing the written data to erode. Yes DVD’s “could” last a long time, but it’s not guaranteed. And in the same way that it always rains after you wash the car, that most critical disk is always the one that has a problem being read back.

• Solid state drives and flash cards don’t rely on magnetic particles or moving parts, but the longevity of them is not that clear, because they really haven’t been around for that long. Depending on the technology used some people say the storage time for offline drives could be as low as a few months. USB sticks seem to have longer planned lives, maybe in excess of 20 years or more. But we are in the “wait and see” phase.

There really is no medium in use today that can guarantee stored data will last hundreds or thousands of years. The most reliable medium we know of is still stone tablets and parchment, but it’s fair to say these have a very slow write and read speeds and the data capacity per square inch really doesn’t work for today’s data volumes ☺

Technology in use just thirty years ago to provide long terms storage probably worked quite well, but there are now so few drives available to read the stored data from that time, it’s not clear how good it really was.

Cloud storage sounds great, as you are making the problem someone else’s. The idea is you pay them, and they take on the burden of making sure your data is retrievable in the future. This is probably a good idea, as a company that spends all its time thinking about just storage should be able to keep moving data to modern new types of devices as they become available, therefore keeping it readable . The caveats are :

1. You need to keep paying them. Forget and your data could be deleted.
2. They had better stay in business.

As the years go on, the amount of new data being created explodes in terms of volume, and the information about the data (the meta-data) created with new data continues to improve. This means that older data seems to be harder to keep track of than modern data, and data can get old pretty quickly. How much effort do you put into keeping data you created five years ago? You probably still have it, but could you find it if you need it?

Data also becomes corrupted quite easily. Things happen. I have a lot of old emails that were created in formats that I no longer have ways of reading. I have old databases created in programs that no one has used for decades. This data is in effect now dead. I can try and convert it into modern formats, but in the process I’m hoping that every aspect of how the old data was created is maintained. But in my experience converting old formats into new formats never works quite as well as expected.

We all have more and more data to manage, and the older bits get less and less attention, until they are effectively unusable.

It doesn’t matter how you store it, the world moves on and old data looses its value quicker every year. Old data becomes harder to manage, and while it may still exist somewhere, it’s almost impossible to find and use.

There are two situations you can rely on:

1. If you said something once that is now embarrassing, that piece of information is most likely to survive and be readable.

2. If you want to access data that you created more than 5 years ago, it’s never easy.

(6)

Will there ever be another Republican Party POTUS?

Democracy is an unpleasant way of running a country, but it is the least unpleasant way ever invented.

Democracy requires that a process choose the leaders where the group with most votes get’s to win. With more than two parties it is possible for the winner to actually have less than half of the votes and still win. In the US for all practical purposes there are two main parties, and so the winner is nearly always the one who wins more votes than anyone else and actually more than half of the votes.

Of course there are nuances to the process, because the US is not a pure democracy but a system whereby each state effectively has a separate election, and the sum of those elections chooses the president. This means that a smaller state actually can have a greater influence on the result. So some weighting is placed on states to try and even out the relationship. It’s a good attempt, but it does mean that a vote in one state is not quite as valuable as a vote in another state. But it’s close enough.

The US is also a country populated with almost entirely an immigrant population. Obviously there was a native population in place hundreds of years ago, and even after centuries of genocide that population is still alive and a part of US. I think the total is just north of five million. The population of the US is now around 320 million. So the US population is around 98.5% based on immigrants. And the influx of immigrants continues today.

Today the US population is approximately 65% of western European (white) descent, 15% of Africa Descent (dark brown) and around 20% of Latin American (light brown) descent. Those are rounded up numbers from the 2010 cencus. And of all those people around 50% are men and 50% are Women. Personally I find the idea of skin color or sex being important factors in anything to be ridiculous, but they are important as they define groups who act and are treated differently.

So a representative government would be looking to understand and support the needs of all that population. And that is what one of the two parties is trying to do. But the other party seems to think it’s going to win by just supporting the needs of white men.

People its simple mathematics! If you need to win an election in a two party system you really need to aim to get over 50% of the people to support you. Well there are not enough white men in the US to make up a majority. You need to win the women vote and you really should be looking to win the brownish vote as well. Otherwise you will never win another election.

And yet instead of doing this, the grand ole party, is trying to find ways of stopping women and non-white men from voting. And the techniques are just incredible. Everything from religion, to education, to limiting womens health, to making areas where non white people live really hard to sign up for voting.

And lets just think about that, you have to register to vote! What for, you were born (or gained citizenship through a very long process,) you are registered to work (social security) why doesn’t that automatically provide the information needed to vote, it does it most sane countries. The only reason it doesn’t in the US, is a long term and persistent effort to stop young people (who tend to start off more left leaning), women(who rightly demand equality) and browner people from voting.

Slavery, Segregation and Suffragettes and not dim distant ideas. The issue for the GOP is that even though they have tried to stop it, education in the US is now good enough (despite efforts to damp it down), and communication is now good enough that most people actually can spot the self-serving bullshit.

The Republican Party is an important part of the US makeup. Society is very expensive, and sometimes you need to be tougher than any one party can be. We need the counter balance of a left and a right.

But there is absolutely no way that any of the current group of bigoted, racist, religion spouting, conspiracy theory believing children running for the GOP nomination can be seen as a viable president. Not one of them is even willing to agree that the world is more than six thousand years old, or that climate change is man influenced and potentially deadly. They believe in magic and would press the big read button to end the world if the voices in their heads said to do so. That is just not acceptable.

So the democratic candidate will win the general election. Are the choices for democrat perfect? Well of course not. But they are reasonable, and can explain a plan to help everyone do better, protect us all from disaster, and are willing to let the wheels of global democracy turn.

The GOP and their wealthy and armed supporters will continue to espouse that Hillary Clinton is the devil incarnate (as was her husband, as is the current president and as was the peanut farmer). And on the off-chance that Bernie Sanders were to win the democratic nomination, you would hear the Jew quotes, the too-old, and the communist-socialist Armageddon stories surface.

But none of it will matter.

If the choice is a bible-thumping, misogynistic xenophobe with a racial superiority complex against an extension of the non-birth-certificate/Kenyan-Muslim, balanced books, no-new wars, full employment, woman supporting, health system enabling policies of President Obama I believe that the vast majority will go with the saner choice.

And so yet again the GOP heads will explode, every effort will be taken to double down on killing everything, and a fraction of what could be achieved will be. But we will move foreword, onwards and upwards.

(7)

Is It Time To Go Back To Print?

Several years ago I stopped buying print magazines, instead relying on websites for my news, opinion and science. And for a while this worked well for me, I even got a kindle to read books.

Some people say that reading on a screen is just not the same as reading off of a page, and obviously they are right, it’s not the same. But in some ways it was easier, as your ability to find content is vastly increased, and it’s possible to travel with a complete library on any screen you choose.

But there are a couple of downsides to digital reading. The most obvious technical difference is in the quality of the represented text, it’s clearly different, and some don’t find it as easy to read (even through others love the fact you can resize text to suit your eyesight and mood).

But to me there really is only one reason why e-reading is not as good as paper reading, and that single reason is the increasingly annoying and intrusive ad’s.

A few years ago ad’s just sat at the top and bottom of a page, statically looking just the same as the ad’s in a printed newspaper. Then they started to pop-up and required extra work to navigate around.

But then they started to interact with the reader, to try and be “more relevant”, but actually are just like that really annoying kid you went to school with, who would never shut the fuck up.

That kid that would incessantly talk; and talk about absolutely anything, however irrelevent. That kid that as he became a teenager was clearly deranged, and would walk around the streets talking to anyone and anything that just happened to be in his or her line of sight. The one that used to have a regularly blackend eye from speaking crap to the wrong person he just happened to pass.

That person that probably even now is part of some anti-everything conspiracy group trying to tell the world that the moon landings were fake, and his mother was kidnapped by aliens.

Actually I think that kid is now employed by Google. They have co-opted his lifelong skill of being irritating as the new ad presentation technique.

Who ever thought that ad’s that move around across your screen was a good thing?

Why do I need to see a thirty second ad before watching a video segment on a news article, when the ad has absolutely nothing to do with the article I’m trying to read.

And what total utter bastard thought we needed to hear a video auto play as we mistakenly mouse’d over some bold text in a scientific paper? (Yes I means YOU New Scientist magazine online).

I know that online advertising is a multi multi billion dollar business, but honestly does anyone actually read online ad’s or does everyone do what I do, and hunt longingly for the sneakily hidden X on the ad’s while reciting a series of swearwords that used to be just the domain of really humorous Tourette Syndrome sufferers.

My wife gets the paper delivered daily (mainly for the crossword) but I’m finding myself looking at it longingly, and remembering the halcyon days of the internet when advertising was an interactive as the woman who works at the DMV (ie. Not at all).

There is a tipping point online advertizers, one that you are fast approaching when I (and the silent majority) may have to resort to buying magazines again!

(6)

Somewhere

Somewhere in the world (and by the world, I mean the United States of America) there is a budding politician who believes in regulated capitalism. This person believes that there needs to be constraints on the capitalist system so that it’s preferential to hire people in America to do jobs, and that people should get a good level of education from good public schools. And low cost, high quality universities paid for by a mix of public funding, private partnership and very aggressively low cost loans.

This person believes that while we need the largest military in the world we should also be able to negotiate the best prices, and with this we can actually do a lot more with a lot less, if war profiteering was again seen as immoral and maybe even illegal.

This person believes that everyone has the same rights, and that skin color, sexual orientation or sex have absolutely no bearing on anything ever.

This person believes in free speech and doesn’t care if people disagree, their views can still be heard without restriction, and that all religious, irreligious or stupid views can be held and shared, but they cannot be used to stop anyone else living their lives as their see fit under any circumstances. Words are free, while actions cannot infringe anyone else rights.

This person believes in a baseline single payer healthcare system with private uplift insurance for those that can afford it.

This person believes that everyone has the right, and the responsibility to vote, and that every citizen would be automatically registered to vote and actively encouraged to vote. And it doesn’t matter if they have served a prison sentence, once their out they could vote.

This person believes that prisons are for violent offenders only, and the rehabilitation is more important that punishment.

This person believes that there are real long term reasons why sections of the population are trapped in low economic, social and educational ways, and that these should be addressed directly.

This person believes that the vast majority of people are decent but that there are some people who are racist and homicidal. If these happen to wear a uniform is shouldn’t change how they are dealt with. But this person also expects those who police to support each other unconditionally and respects this.

This person believes that those who join the armed forces and follow every order given are heroes. But you treat heroes with the respect they deserve, and only send them into harms was as an absolute last resort. But when they are deployed to do terrible things they must get total support from those who sent them, this includes treating them as heroes when they return with the best of support both medial and economic.

This person also believes that all drugs should be legal and controlled, alcohol, Tabaco, marijuana and even heroine. It’s the control bit that counts. Making all drug cartels, mules and dealers into a legal framework would change the world.

This person believes that all guns should be registered, insured, owned & used by licensed users (like a car).

This person believes that taxes should be lower, but to do this means taking subsidies away from the largest businesses and the richest people, and spending less but not taking from the poorest in society.

This person believes that regulated capitalism is the best known system and that businesses are the best way of generating an economy (not government spending).

This person believes in the short-term economic benefits and the long term myriad of benefits of infrastructure spending.

This person believes in spending less than you make.

This person believes that unions are a good thing, but like anything must be moderated (as must capitalism).

This person believes that while unwanted pregnancies are sad, the best way to stop them is through sex education and not laws banning abortion or contraceptives.

This person believes that the best way to deal with an enemy is through talking and economics. While the worst way is with bombs. And that the bits in-between these extremes, have to be very clever.

This person believes that immigration is a really good thing economically & socially and supports and protects aspiring immigrants.

This person believes that politicians should be paid a living wage for their work, but not for life, and not more than 3x the minimum wage.

This person believes that money should be capped in all political races.

This person believes in actions to curb future global warming.

This person believes that the minimum wage should be set as the wage needed to not receive any government subsidies (easy to calculate as an hourly rate per electoral zone).

This person has a mix of conservative and liberal views, and couldn’t get the nod from either major political party, so has no chance of every being elected in the current system. So this budding politician will be a failure.

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Putting it all in context

The human brain while amazing has some very significant limitations. The basic process of learning is to compare any piece of information to experience. Without a frame of reference we get very confused.

When we are born we get to compare the previous wet warmth to the newly discovered cold and dry. Then we open our eyes and get to experience images and it takes years to fully build up to a level of sentience.

And even then we have a real issue with existence, the toughest is often the end of someone else’s existence. When someone dies, it can be really hard to resolve the fact that they are gone, and so we often use our imagination to make up a place where dead people go. We have absolutely no evidence of these places, but it’s easier to imagine they (the dead) are still with us than to accept they their existence only now exists in our memory.

And if other people reinforce these ideas with stories of god’s and ethereal dream creatures then these other people’s imagination can become our evidence. We call it belief, but it’s actually denial. And the longer a story is retold then the stronger the evidence for its truth.

Since these stories and beliefs become so important, then it is critical for the believers to not question anything that the stories tell, as not believing any one part creates cracks that can cause the whole belief system to crumble. So it doesn’t matter how crazy an idea is, if it’s linked to the belief system it must be upheld as totally true, otherwise the whole of your life’s belief system will be exposed as a total fiction.

So people believe in wild and crazy ideas such as the moon being a source of light, as opposed to a reflector of the suns light. People believe that the earth was created in six days around six thousand years ago and that a talking snake in a park told a woman made of a mans rib to have her man (who was made of dust) eat an apple that was forbidden by a god. That the patterns of stars (as seen only from here) are the bodies of gods; and their positions foretell your personal destiny. That the son of a god (who was also the same god) was born of a virgin woman and died horribly to pay for the apple, but wasn’t really dead (for long) and allowed a bunch of the Romans who killed him horribly to kill people for thousands of years to repent for their killing of him. That each version of god hates each other version of the same god so much that it’s okay to kill and persecute every follower of every other version of that same god. But it’s all okay because if you tell a representative of a god that you are sorry, all will be forgiven and you’ll go where all those people you loved went when they died. And if you strap on a bomb and kill yourself with a bunch of other people (whom you don’t know) then you will end up with a thousand randy virgins in your version of the afterlife who were just waiting to service your every need. And if your version of god happens to have been an alien then you are going to his alien world when you drink that poison, his invisible spaceship is just waiting orbiting the moon for you to leave your Earthly body so he can “save” you. And it’s really lucky that Moses got those ten commandments while walking around that mountain, because otherwise we wouldn’t have realized that murder, theft, swearing at your parents and screwing your wife’s best friend were wrong. And you are still amazed at how awesome your god is that he told all this to people thousands of years ago, and through his inspiration hundreds of people have then selectively edited those aural stories in to written books which have then been selectively edited and translated to ensure that the views just happen to match the ideas of the most powerful and wealthy (and often brutal) leaders over the last couple of thousand years.

But all of this must be true otherwise the people who you have loved and have died no longer exist. And it’s much more important that grand mommy is in heaven than that the world can live in peace and prosperity.

There is a lot of comfort that can be felt from the sharing of good thoughts, but everyone is responsible for everything that happens in the name of every religion and every idea.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Solemn Ramadan, Enjoy Kwanza and have a great naked Yule dance everyone.

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