Underlore

I have an Adri, your argument is invalid.

Logic

Hindsight

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We can know some things about life in advance. Truisms and cliches. But steeped in truth nonetheless. It might be wise to try and draw up a list of the most qualitatively important ones and then build a worldview around obviating them that wouldn’t cost a culture its fitness for extreme long term survival.

A quick example is the notion that hindsight is 20/20. The lesson there is not to shrug and endure, but to think about the future, but to try and see the world in such a way that it’s ok to go back and admit you made mistakes, if that’s all that’s keeping you from being happy or better off.

We have this misguided intolerance of mistakes where we share the impossible effort of never making them. Instead we should be honest with ourselves that mistakes will inevitably be made and try to profit from them.

They can be compensated for. Not erased, but at least leveraged towards the future. Don’t try to avoid them wholesale, as that’s a fool’s errand, but to embrace the utility they may provide. Embrace the liberation that brings.

This doesn’t make you devoid of culpability for lousy choices, but it prevents you from doubling down on bad bets trying to pretend you never bet in the first place. (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sunk_costs#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy)

If your intentions were good from the beginning, if you at no point were trying to hurt or exploit anyone, if you made the best and kindest decision available to you at the time, then why should you feel any regret or accept any blame?

Only if you knowingly made a decision that had to be utterly correct and could have been avoided, or was malevolent in some way, should you embrace any feeling of wrong doing.

This speaks to the lack of wisdom in vengeance. The best decisions more or less are in my opinion the ones that permit adaptation up to and including being rescinded.

So don’t hurt people, because you can’t unhurt them later if you’re wrong. Don’t disable anything you can’t repair if needed.

UBI as a Compromise on Reparations for Slavery

On the subject of reparations, I have something to say that I haven’t heard anyone else say.

Context.
1. Assume that people of color are oppressed to this day because of the damage done by slavery.
2. Assume the point of reparations is to address that early damage.
3. Assume that others profited and continue to profit unfairly from that oppression.

Ok. So, you want to address this in an economic way that’s fair and viable and ethical.

I think a progressive tax and a UBI (unconditional basic income) accomplishes that goal. And it has the added bonus of not being by definition racist in the way that affirmative actions are. This seems counter intuitive but here follow along for a second. After all if it’s not a special effort made in favor of a specific race how can it qualify as reparations? In the same way that a given policy can disproportionately impact a given race without having to expressly specify a race anywhere within it. The same way a flat tax disproportionately hurts the poor despite being by definition totally even mathematically.

A UBI provided baseline income would have diminishing improvement effect as you climb the economic ladder. Hedge fund guys are not even going to notice the tiny bump in income their UBI check would provide, thus the fairness price paid in letting rich white guys collect the same reparations check as descendants of slaves, is offset by the fact that by the very virtue of being rich, there is no effective improvement to their lives.

Also it will be offset by the fact that on balance they’ll be paying way more then they are getting expressly because they are overly wealthy.

This means a UBI by definition is a smart bomb for poverty. It self selects and self adjusts its impact by the very metric we all agree on is the metric of most relevance: degree of poverty.

A UBI check to a homeless man is literally life changing. So to of anyone else economically crushed for any reason, including damage done by systemic racism of the present or the past. The more damage done, the more a UBI will help. Automatically and instantly the people most aided are those most currently crushed. And as they rise, the help done diminishes until they reach a point of economic sufficiency where they begin paying into the system instead of extracting from it.

The more oppressed a group actually is, the more the UBI helps them over others who don’t need it. No bureaucracy required. No debate over who gets what is needed. No one decides.

The only debate is how much to give, and at what rate to tax. That’s all. Two figures.

The other end of the spectrum is the progressive tax to pay for it. In this context a progressive tax is as much a smart bomb as the UBI is. It has the opposite effect as you go up the economic ladder. The more advantage you are granted for any reason up to and including profits from systemic racism, past or present, the more the progressive tax will take from you, and the more you can afford to have taken from you without impacting your actual quality of life.

See here for my primary post about the UBI:

http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

Inspired by this video:

Social Darwinists Headed for Extinction

Quick note to cutthroat types. Your days are numbered.

You monied types have two choices psychologically, buy the job creator style myth of the owner class, or watch your own ethics callous over from repeated abuse.

History is on my side. The march of history and the ascension of humanity has always been away from brutality and so called social Darwinism. What is the thing that Europe, and the United States, and China have in common? Confederation. They were all essentially separate nations or states that learned that it’s better for everyone to work as a team.

We have been on a steady march, along with the rest of life, towards unity, because it works.

From amino acids to Pando, from Lucy to the United Nations the clear and obvious fact of life is that working together pays better than screwing eachother over and making excuses about it.

The Ayn Rand crowd only exists because the rest of us permit it. You may well live out your life as an exploitative agent in the meantime, as many corporate apologists and Horatio Alger types will, because clearly it’s a slow march and we have a long way to go, but don’t pretend for a second that’s the future because it is quite obviously the past.

The only thing that would give your kind a substantive future would be a catastrophic setback.

_”We must not allow a mineshaft gap!”_

See also:

http://underlore.com/libertarianism-is-camouflage-for-republicans/

Why not make it free?

I would be nice to make everything free, but some things are defined by their resistance to distribution.

http://underlore.com/why-i-oppose-the-venus-project/

Still, that being said we can acquire a high degree of ubiquitous material wealth if we do three things:

1. Reform IPL to make all code free as in speech and beer. Privacy could still easily be respected. In fact copyright enforcement and privacy of correspondence are mutually exclusive. (To program the robots.)

2. Deploy nuclear reactors quickly to provide the bottom of an anthropocentric materials economy food chain. (To power the robots.)

3. Develop an open source humanoid robot, recharged by the reactors, and instructed by ever evolving shared open code above, to automate any labor task we need done yet are unwilling to do personally. (To have the robots.)

With those things accomplished, essentially everything would be free. Certainly anything that could qualify as a basic human need.

In the mean time we absolutely could deploy a UBI and give everyone a piece of their human inheritance.

http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

Islam, Xenophobia, and France

It has been suggested a lot recently that there’s a big difference between Islam as a faith and the violence of some of it’s practitioners. I used to lean in that direction as well, but now I don’t know. I’m starting to lean with Sam Harris on this one. It really seems that to whatever degree Islam is a religion of peace is directly proportional to it’s adherents deviation from the original text.

That’s partly why so much Islamic violence is aimed at other Muslims. It’s because the “fundamentalists” also believe that a peaceful version of Islam isn’t an accurate interpretation of Islam if you measure accuracy by behavioral parity with the source text. With us against us mentality.

It’s almost like asserting the possibility of an inclusive tolerant version of the KKK. You can’t really do that without making it into something other than the KKK. Sure, some skinheads aren’t violent, but that’s just because they ignore the logical conclusions of the core idea. If you really believe X you must at least be in favor of Y.

Religions are like nations in that they place their own existence at the apex of importance. Again like the KKK they are intrinsically supremacist. Well above ethical considerations when you get right down to it. (I’m quick to add that nationalism itself is essentially/behaviorally/psychologically/etc a religion.)

Islam in particular seems intrinsically violent on balance expressly because it seems remarkably self aware of its nature and true objective. I think it is this very honestly and consistency that grants it lasting appeal actually.

Contrast Saudi Arabia with the Vatican. Not exactly apples to apples I realize but still, you see my point. It seems like the mental flexibility required to twist Islam into a murder/torture justification isn’t very demanding in relation to the other major religions.

Because really, we need to admit that some religions are more violent than others. (Maybe develop an objective way to measure it. Perhaps by counting the separate instances of justification for murder?)

This is obvious when you think about it. I mean just look at the Aztecs. You have to admit that wherever Islam is politically ascendant, relatively more overt religious barbarity follows, and this isn’t the case with all other faiths.

The solution is to undermine what makes a violent faith practical. People aren’t stupid actually, nor are they robots. As hard as that is to believe at times. It is not upbringing and training that sustains this madness. It’s more basic than that. It’s about food and water and shelter and communications. Secularity triumphs mostly in areas of prosperity.

I’m quick to add that prosperity doesn’t just mean money. It means physical and cultural wealth.

Terrorism is contextually emergent. It springs up like puddles in rain. To fix it you need to change the underlying context. You need gutters and storm drains if you don’t want to see puddles. Bombing a puddle just means a deeper puddle next time it rains.

The refugees in this context are going to teach us an important lesson. How to include people. If we master that. If we get our shit together to the point that we can ethically and practically recruit better than our enemies, we will win. This entire political sphere depends on the existence of poverty and the dismissal of suffering.

That’s why the problem seems so intractable. Because the only solution is a root solution, one which we don’t even apply to ourselves yet. Essentially we have to kill poverty at home and then invite others into that home. The 1% and their minions aren’t having that.

Their solution is variations on a gated community which is just a passive spineless version of concentration camps. We need to be honest about that as well.

Paris is going to get it’s own patriot act before long. :/ But it’s understandable. ISIS is not like the other terrorist threats. It’s real and different. It’s more like actual legitimate war. :(

Also looking at the French attacks you can see the uniqueness of ISIS in living memory.

ISIS is something atrociously special. I can’t think of anything like it in modern history. It’s going to make for a decade of great action movies. Like the chinese curse, may you live in interesting times. And a little bit of be careful what you wish for.

I feel that much of our terrorism thing has been manufactured and exaggerated. Allowed to happen. Intentionally cultivated. Baited even. So let’s just hope this doesn’t turn into the boy who cried wolf.

We haven’t had such a legitimate enemy since the Nazis. These people aren’t like typical terrorists with legitimate grievances. They are a nation state death cult that has openly declared war that they intend to fight forever.

They actually expect to lose it by our standards. (See link below.) They’ve made it clear how to crush them militarily, and are begging for it. Literally begging their god for it.

So I’m curious how France will look in 10 years. I think this is their 911. I think they’ll never be the same. But it’s not like ours. They didn’t need it like the 1% needed 911. None of the cultivation I mentioned on our part applies to them. I think the official story is essentially accurate.

France is an extremely reasonable country in my view. I don’t expect them to go hysterical like we did and surrender to fear and baseless irrational war mongering. And unlike some of the shittier elements of popular culture, I have zero illusions about their lethality.

ISIS is completely foolish (from my perspective) for attacking France. But like I said: Death cult. Thinking about their desire to be crushed, it was actually really wise. Indeed more wise than attacking us.

We can’t really bring them the epic stomping they want. That’s what we get for crying wolf twice and putting said wars on the credit card. No one would rally behind us, or Russia for that matter. But France? Yeah.

That was the wrong (or right as I said) move. They are going to discover that picking a fight with France, a real fight, is a bit like trying to invade Switzerland. Just about the dumbest plan ever. I think we’re going to see some true social Darwinism in action in the coming years.

See Also:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”

The Just Ice Department

The psychopathy of police, prison, judges, lawyers and vengeance are right there, in the very word.

There’s nothing warm or helpful or human about any of it.

Criminals are either desperate or mentally ill. The entire concept of there even possibly being a criminal worthy of sadistic torment is absurd. It’s literally equivalent to outlawing poverty and mental illness. The obviously insane idea that we can cure those things by simply hurting “offenders.”

By closing the asylums and leaving the prisons open we doubled down on torture as a cure. Every bit as backwards as calling in an exorcism priest to deal with epilepsy.

Norway is doing it right. Prison and asylums should be pleasant social quarantine at worst.

We as a species need to grow the fuck up.

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