Jun 26

Boom Ra

As we build robots that are more complex and capable than Roombas — but not significantly more so — we’ll begin to realize that for the most part, most of the time we’re not that much more complex than Roombas.

Not in biology, but in the reiterative, recursive, and reflexive consequences of our embodiment in the world.

Jun 26

Grow Up Like Me

I didn’t grow up in a boarding school, but my childhood and adolescence was much like this.

One of the problems with socialization is that it teaches the wrong lessons. When you’re young, you deal with the same people over and over again. This was especially true of me, because I spent my teen years in boarding school.

With people you will see every day, you can’t let insults or threats pass. You must not let anyone push you around. It took me a long time to learn that.

Yep. You have to fight and fight hard if you are a male misfit like I was in a backwards Southern town still living in the 1920s. To survive. To not become a permanent victim.

The best response as an adult however is to walk away, definitely. And I don’t get triggered by much these days. The last time was on a bus in Vancouver. It was everything I could do to hold myself back from stabbing that guy in the throat. If I hadn’t been there with a friend, it’d’ve been a different thing. Much blood would’ve spilled. Because like Ian, I fight to destroy. As a smaller-than-average guy, it’s all you can really do. Like your eyes? Like breathing? Then don’t fight me. I don’t fight honorably and I don’t fight fair. I fight to kill and to mutilate when I have to. Simple as that.

Which is why I try to avoid fights when I can.

Thankfully those days are behind me now. I don’t want them to return and I’m getting too old for that type of thing. But still, those triggers never really go away. They are chthonian, buried deep. When someone punches in those nuclear launch codes and turns they key, the Minuteman in my brain fires its rockets and it’s very hard to spool them down again.

Life changes you. A lot of my life changed me for the worse, really. But it’s what’s there.

Jun 25


I had no idea this shit was legal.

Bump fire with 100-round drum. Legal, because it’s technically not an automatic weapon and there is no modification of the trigger mechanism.

Have we gone completely crazy as a culture? Glad Omar Mateen had neither of those things.

BTW, I have fired the M16, the M16A2, the M4 (all military variants of the AR-15), the M-60 and the SAW. All are designed for one thing: to kill people. Anyone who tells you anything else is just wrong.

I want a gun that fires a bullet-sized nuclear weapon. With only a small, insignificant half-kiloton yield. That’s be legal, right? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, right?

Jun 25

What also doesn’t help

By the way the reflexive cries of “racism” to stifle every objection don’t help, only harm. This is used now to shout down every legitimate protest, all while those most affected by immigration and the depredations of neoliberalism are called “stupid” and “ignorant.”

When you observe — as I do in the IT industry — someone with an H1B visa imported by some rich person who takes a job that paid $100,000 a year and does it (almost-invariably poorly) for $20,000 a year, can you not see how that might lead to a bit of anti-immigrant sentiment? It had nothing directly to do with race, as I’ll discuss below. That’s a distraction.

Yes, it is misplaced in some way but these people in the US and the UK directly see good jobs being replaced by immigrants who work for very low wages. I see it right here in NC with my own eyes every day I go to the office. The only reason my own job hasn’t been replaced the very same way is that almost no one in the countries with such low wages can actually (yet) plausibly do what I do without destroying everything. And because I talk to customers almost every day and most American customers won’t talk to someone who barely knows English.

What’s funny is that in the UK is that cries of “racism” are bandied about while most of the immigrants (the narrow majority, though the stats are not very clear) are just as white as the UK person charged and convicted of racism.*

Can a white person be racist against a white person? I guess.

But it’s obviously more than just about a bunch of people wanting to get their racist on. That’s a facile argument that’s going to cause a worse world, not a better one, and it plays perfectly into what the neolib forces want.

*When I visited the UK frequently in the early part of this decade, almost all of the immigrants I encountered where just as white as I am, and I didn’t know they were not native Brits until they opened their mouths and a heavy Romanian, Moldovan, Russian or Polish accent made it clear.

Jun 25

Basic incompatibilities

High levels of immigration and strong social welfare policies are incompatible.

There is almost certainly no possible modern configuration of human nature that will allow both to co-exist for long.

This is one of the reasons elites support high levels of immigration — to eviscerate state social welfare support in service of furthering neoliberal goals.

Think Germany in the past few years. And of course the UK. Now we’re seeing the consequences phase.

Jun 24


Best sentence I’ve read so far about Brexit:

It is simplistic, although it will nevertheless be a popular stance among the elites, to depict the Leave vote as yet another proof that technocrats should be in charge. In fact, the very reason that so many UK citizens rejected the dire warnings of what was in store for them if they dared press the red Leave button was that those experts devised and implemented the neoliberal policies that have increased inequality, reduced their economic stability and accelerated political and social change.

That’s why it succeeded. People only demonize immigrants under two conditions, one more important than the other:

1) When their lives are getting worse while they observe a small sub-section of the population lead lives that get extraordinarily more lavish at their expense. (This is the most important reason.)

2) When immigrants actually move in, re-arrange communities, and occupy jobs that previously would’ve gone to those native to the area.

If people’s lives are improving, no one much cares about immigration. Number two then doesn’t matter.

But right now in the US, in the UK and in many other countries there is an absolute decline in standard of living and even lifespan for many combined with overwhelming immigration, all the while the working class is being told that they are unnecessary, and also being lectured that in the US that NAFTA helped them (somehow) — all while they watch their children succumb to meth, opioids and despair.

The EU and the rich are going to now heavily punish the UK, though. Which will only increase these anti-globalization sentiments by the way.

Jun 24


I’m not a UK citizen, so I have no say.

But I probably would’ve voted to leave the EU.

That said, on balance being in the EU is probably better for the rich and some of the upper-ish middle class than not. But being yoked to the EU is likely harmful to anyone making less than £40,000 or so.

I think it will actually hurt most of the UK to leave the EU. But it’ll hurt the oligarchs more, and that’s what I care about.

War — caused by climate change, immigration and the aftershocks of colonialism — is inevitable again in Europe. No one sees it, but it’s coming. In the larger and longer game, Brexit might help the UK survive that a bit better.

For now, though, expect to hear a lot of rich people crying. And that’ll be like music to my ears.

Jun 23


Gah, such a bizarre dream earlier.

1) Was plotting to assassinate the CEO of MERS.

2) A crazy woman with scarlet hair had some sort of gun from the future which didn’t fire bullets but rather beliefs. And the particular certainty that she was firing into a throng of people is the unshakeable and absolute conviction that the person hit is the vice president of the United States.

3) She also had a robot that was driving around erratically and screaming about “You weren’t supposed to fire that gun!” It seemed very appalled by her actions.

4) What the hell.

Jun 23


I was going to write something longer about immigration, but I just don’t have time.

But wanted to point out that it isn’t xenophobia to not want neoliberal policies to be inflicted on your community by way of millions of immigrants being imported either to purposely destabilize society (crisis capitalism by way of immigration as in Germany) or to lower the prevalent wages of the working class.

Economists say this doesn’t happen. However, economists can’t be trusted at all and from the data I’ve examined closely there’s some very fancy shuffling of numbers around to conceal what’s really happening. (For instance, as the rich get richer the average wage rises despite millions more not having jobs at all.)

Neolib forces have very cleverly appropriated the language of the left (xenophobia, racism) to battle against the very natural urge people have no to be made redundant, homeless and worthless to society when desperate immigrants arrive by the millions only to engage in a Tennysonian “red in tooth and claw” competition for low-wage helotry.

And the left has fallen for it completely by equating any opposition at all to anything except wide open borders as racism. In their eyes, if you actually desire your children to not be destitute and unemployed, you are irredeemably racist and bad.