Saturday, February 14, 2009

Putting A Face on Machine Mutation

We brought up the evolution of intelligence and artificial intelligence a while back.

Last night's Battlestar Galactica exposed some of the history of the machine mutations, evolution if you will, which converts Cylons from the realm of machine toward the realm of humanity.

And they call it science fiction. Which is very strange, because the foundation of biological evolution, by necessity, is cosmology. First comes the universe of planets, stars, galaxies, then after that biological life forms.

Cosmology is an attempt to explain the foundational prerequisites for the transformation from machine entities to biological entities. The Big Bang theory is, in essence, about an event originally starting the evolution of machine entities.

In the cosmology movie the expanding and cooling gas cloud led to atoms. A gas cloud of hydrogen is a cloud of machines. An atom is a machine. An element is a machine composed of multiple atomic particles. Atomic components like protons, neutrons, and electrons led to atoms, which led to elements, which led to stars and planets. Bigger machines.

Looking at it that way, the machines are at the foundation of biological organisms aren't they? We are in a sense cyborg, then, because we are both machine and organism.

We are composed of atoms and elements which are organized in such a way that they morph into organisms. Organization.

So goes the cosmological theory of machines mutating into "higher forms". Atomic quanta which are composed of non-organic mass and non-organic energy, and therefore are machines, morph or evolve into other machines we call atoms and elements. Then those elements morph into molecules which morph or evolve into organic, biological life forms.

What is puzzling in many ways is that this is called both science fiction and evolutionary science. What makes it fiction on the one hand, but science on the other hand, on the same set of facts? By facts I mean machines morphing or evolving into biological organisms.

Is it the Hollywood movie aspect of Cylons that makes it science fiction, or is it fiction when the forum is outer space? But only on Earth it is science?

That is what Battlestar Galactica is all about. Cylons becoming more and more human-like to the point they become gender-based entities, they mate, and they thereby reproduce.

What is up with calling it fiction? Or science? Just because it is a movie? Hey, it is the science of Cylon evolution dudes and dudettes.

Absorb As Your Own - Mutate

Today is a big deal.

Thought I would share a bit of the history of Valentine's Day:
The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas.
(Wiki). Ok, so it is a big deal in the sense that it has big volume.

The interesting part is that:
The day was originally a pagan festival that was renamed after two Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
(ibid, italics added). Sounds like a neat political manoeuvre doesn't it? Washing pagan into another religion. "Washing town" to Washington ("The suffix ton is the old Saxon tun, town, so that in its primary use it meant the people, or town ..." Word morph).

Valentine's day is observed by many religions now and in many cases is no longer religious. The pagans and atheists even go with that flow.

Similarly, I have noticed that the republicans lately have continued reading a script claiming the ability to heal the economy. I could not help but wonder if this is a hybrid form of swallowing an opposite and then "owning" it? Morph.

All of a sudden the republicans are not the ones who had the White House, Senate, and House control for eight years?

And who started wars and the recession while denying there was a recession ("the economy is fundamentally sound")?

I think I have found a place where the republicans and democrats always have the same behaviour ... well yes Valentine's Day. Both do it.

But what I am talking about is that the republicans do not know they lost the election and that the democrats won the election. And the democrats do not know they won the election and the republicans lost. They both behave as if the republicans won it seems.

And when they do come to their senses on this matter for a bit, the democrats seem to think they must apologize for winning and the republicans seem to feel like they must punish the democrats for winning.

Even Obama had to remind them both of the actual circumstances when he observed the nature of their tactics.

"I won" he reminded them, without apologizing. I wonder if he sent them all a Valentine's Day card?

Friday, February 13, 2009

DC Comics - Like DC Economics?

Stay low and hunker down.

It is Friday the 13th ...

Open Thread.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Guest Post: Randy Whited

Hi, I am Dredd Blog blogger Randy.

In the photo to the left I am the one standing up with hands on hips, with sunglasses on, but no shirt.

The photo was taken in my youth during an economic revolution of sorts. At that time the world economic headquarters of surfing was of course California and Hawaii. The west.

A couple of years before the photo was taken I had moved to Florida to finish my last year of high school. I was on a surf team out of Mission Beach, California (Challenger Surfboards), so I received respect from the Florida surfers.

I even convinced a pal Fletcher Sharpe to join our team for awhile. Before he went bigger time. Another of our team members won the US Championships in Santa Cruz as well.

We really knew and understood the art form or sport of surfing.

Anyway, after living in Florida awhile and observing the east coast scene I expected the economics of surfing to switch from the west to the east coast.

For whatever reason the east coast young Americans had not been all ablaze over surfing as the west was. But I could not help but notice how that was changing.

When that change was at full power years later, ten to twenty boards were sold on the east coast for each one board sold on the west coast and Hawaii.

I returned to Mission Beach and convinced Tinker that we should move the production to the east coast. He had been a rocket scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena before I met him, and it did not take him long to figure things out.

We were the first California surfboard company to move production from the west coast to the east coast. We chose New Jersey because of its proximity to population centers and its good waves.

Dale Dobson, Jimmy Dalton, Carl "Tinker" West, and I built a surf truck that winter (later called the 'White Whale') which carried about 20 surfboards on its specialized racks. We travelled in it to the east coast, going from New York to Florida showing off our surfing skills and surfboards.

It paid off because we picked up dealers for our boards on the east coast. We decided to move our surfboard factory to New Jersey the next spring.

The photo is a picture of the motley crew that was a bit ahead of the curve. We were incredibly quality conscious, had that reputation in the industry, and worked hard at our craft.

We learned that radical waves of change can and do take place in our nation. Like the ocean waves in New Jersey or like global climate change.

During that time we also experienced a change in rock and roll music. We made friends with Bruce Springsteen, a local rocker there in New Jersey, who was about to make some changes too.

These days I paint, do software, hang with my grandchildren and children, hang with Christie and our cats, and blog with you folks.

PS, I still have a surfboard in our garage.

DC Economics - Like Driving In Rome?

Or in space?

Did you hear about the satellite that ran into another satellite in space?

An article on driving sort of helped to bring it all home to me:
For all the others, who are lucky enough to be so young to have no clue of what I am talking about, well, let's say that once you board your vehicle and you hit the road in Rome, your windshield turns into a digital screen, where the road is an intricate labyrinth, populated by aggressive and menacing aliens that you must "avoid".
(Driving in Rome). I think that President Obama experienced that during the process that led to a new stimulus bill.

He had to navigate through the unknown, congress, and public opinion, in an economic crisis that would lead one to surmise that everyone would be on board, driving by the rules, and playing it safe and sure. But they all ran into each other like it was bumper cars.

So, the whole exercise ended up reminding me of driving in space and hitting another satellite, or driving in Rome, as explained in the articles linked to above.

The Stimulus Package Passed but that whole exercise did not miss any opportunity to crash into things, places, and people did it?

Afghanistan Is A Bipartisan War

Not like you think.

Obviously Taliban, Republican, Green, Progressive, Independent, and Democrat alike fight alongside their fellow soldiers for their own country.

But through that "doing a heckuva job" thingy it seems that one side may be furnishing the other side with weapons. By loosing them.

The Washington Post has an article with the details.

Related threads here expand upon the loosing game showing we are loosing our economy, loosing WMD, loosing our sense of self in war, loosing our sense of constitution, and who knows what else.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Homeland Security Happy Daze

It used to be when we thought of homeland we were looking at a building lot or some acreage to construct a house upon.

But in all the terror and propaganda generated these past 8 years, "homeland" has taken on a new meaning now that we have a Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Last year the DHS budget was $61,300,000,000 (sixty one billion, 300 million dollars).

That is the cost for only one year (it equals the cost of 408,667 homes valued at $150,000 each).

One wonders if that cost to taxpayers, who need to spend it on food and shelter, would go down if we stopped those expensive activities (wars, etc.) that make it easy to recruit terrorists who want to harm us.

DHS has 218,501 employees, 81% of which are civilian and 19% are military.

Thus, it is another fusion or confusion of the military with the civilian, which would have Eisenhower turning over in his grave.

By the way, have you taken the duct tape and plastic covering off of your windows yet?

This infamous department has made two great failings in the four or so years it has existed.

The first was "doin' a heckuva job" during Katrina, and the second was not protecting us from Bush and Cheney.

The republican controlled congress and the republican president created this monstrosity, but they now want to call certain expenditures "pork" when we talk about helping millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and homes.

Brazen blindness is the mother of DHS, necessity is not its mother. Time for a paternity test too?

Links to Critiques: Homeland PorkSecurity Against Homeland Pork.

Pork Chops Off That Losing Feeling

Is it still swine if the president does it instead of the congress doing it?

If it oinks like a pig, grunts like a pig, wallows in the mire like a pig, but they don't call it pork, is it still a porky pig?

I say that presidential pork is class A oinkin' "good" robber baron pork. It doesn't matter whether congress or any other branch of government rips off the people, it is still robber baron pork.

Have we discovered where an indecent chunk of the bank bailout money has gone? Follow the smirks and the smiles on the faces of Bush II staff, and stick a pin in them, and they may just oink:
Less than two weeks before leaving office, Bush made sure the senior aides shared a new assignment, naming them to an obscure World Bank agency called the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

The appointments are for six years and are potentially lucrative, paying up to $3,000 a day plus travel and other expenses if an appointee is chosen to hear a case. Bush also named two other prominent Republican lawyers to the agency, which attempts to broker international finance disagreements.
(Bush Faithful Rewarded With Jobs, italics added). And it is especially shameful when the people who "gave" these robber barons their money are hurting so very badly.

It isn't the weather that is making the air so heavy these daze. No, it is the palpable outrage of the people, against the robber barons who do these things, that is so discernible.

It is as if these robber barons want to follow the example of despot Robert Mugabe instead of the example of the greatest statesman of our time, Nelson Mandela.

Yes, things are getting curiouser and curiouser when the military sets a better example than the civilians who are said to be their superiors.

But curious pork chops off that losing feeling.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chump Change on Rendition?

The ACLU is reporting that the Obama Administration's Department of Justice is going to support secret rendition.

The ACLU is quoted as saying:
"Eric Holder's Justice Department stood up in court today and said that it would continue the Bush policy of invoking state secrets to hide the reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations committed by the American government. This is not change. This is definitely more of the same. Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obama's Justice Department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue. If this is a harbinger of things to come, it will be a long and arduous road to give us back an America we can be proud of again."
(Anthony D. Romero, Director, italics added). If this is so, the change in that department is CHUMP CHANGE. Rendition for torture is not torture if it is kept secret?

Obama may be heading for a single term if he follows that Bush II path. If the US continues secret rendition for torture, I am resolved to living out the rest of my life in a nation governed by a third world banana republic mentality ... in the United States.

I will wait to hear it from an official source at the White House for the time being, because the position the DOJ took in a court room in the 9th Circuit does seem to contradict an executive order, and other statements Obama made today about Senator Leahy's comments concerning an investigation of Bush II crimes.

Tight Rope

A song about cosmic life on Earth:
(There is a music video of this song following these lyrics)

I'm up on the tight wire
One side's ice and one is fire
It's a circus game
With you and me

I'm up on the tight rope
One side's hate
And one is hope
But the top hat on my head
Is all you see

And the wire seems to
Be the only place for me
A comedy of errors
And I'm falling

Like a rubber neck giraffe
You look into my past
Well, baby you're just
Too blind to see

I'm up in the spotlight
Oh, does it feel right
Woah, the altitude
Seems to get to me

I'm up on the tightwire
Linked by life and the funeral pyre
Putting on a show for you to see

Like a rubber neck giraffe
You look into my past
Well, baby you're just
To blind to see

I'm up in the spotlight
Oh, does it feel right
Woah, the altitude
Really gets to me

I'm up on the tightwire
Linked by life and the funeral pyre
Putting on a show for you to see

Mysto Army Anthrax Lab Shut Down

The bushie prosecutors (that now seem to have charged helter skelter, and who said only one man could have gotten his hands on the anthrax that killed people and endangered certain democrats in congress) must be turning over in their grave circumstances.

The "iron clad" case turned on super tracking techniques and other rigorous practices which they claimed that Army lab always followed.

Problem! Reality strikes again. Those pesky facts are getting in the way again.

As it turns out the lab is loosey goosey to the point it must be shut down until they find out what kind of WMD they really have in the place (see Discover).

Isn't that special ... it could happen ... finally they find the WMD the bushies couldn't? Ivins had them hidden all along? That's the ticket.

Or will they find out what many have been saying since Ivins "committed suicide"? Will they find out that someone besides Ivins could have sent the anthrax?

Either way it now seems to be turning out that they have set up Homeland Security without homeland security. Congress attacked with Army spores that could only come from that lab and they don't know what they have there? But they are certain who did it?

In other cases they have lost their nerve gas, several hundred tons of $100 bills, and a few nukes. Just to mention a few.

"Misunderestimation" ... its not just for the right leaning press anymore.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Politicization Of Internal Revenue

One of the first things despots do is to seize control of as much of the governmental machinery as possible, and then turn that power against political "enemies".

Ongoing investigations have found that Bush II formed The Department of Just Us out of the former Department of Justice. That investigation is not over.

A former head of the Internal Revenue Service recently died. He had said:
President Richard M. Nixon tried several times to fire him because he would not use the tax agency for political purposes
(NY Times). I am wondering when it is going to be revealed that Bush II also used the IRS extensively and much worse than Nixon did?

One case in point is the Siegelman case which is still in progress. It has one facet where the tax returns of individuals were leaked illegally.

Another case in point is the NAACP case where the IRS eventually dropped the case after facing stiff resistance. Like the DOJ politicization case, republican senators had demanded actions against political "enemies":
On Nov. 12, 2004, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson responded to a letter from Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who asked for more information on the motivation for the audit and expressed concern about Nixon-era type intimidation tactics. Everson’s letter said the IRS had not received any request to audit any group from the executive branch, but that two members of Congress requested “we look at one or more organizations in this area.” Everson said those requests were treated the same as any other third party referral.
(IRS v NAACP, emphasis added). One of those falsely complaining about the NAACP was neoCon Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's Morning Joe who was later voted out of office.

Joe has "advanced" to using the media for propaganda purposes after having used the IRS for those purposes before being voted out of congress.

These types of wrongful IRS punitive measures are possible when politicians like Scarborough take advantage of untrained IRS employees who trust those politicians blindly.

Call the DOJ and report any suspicious IRS activity which you think is politically motivated. There has been an abundance of it over the past 8 years but the statute of limitations has not run.

Open Thread

Talk about anything.

One Offspring of Propaganda

Enron is the offspring of the type of propaganda which we may associate with The Glittering Generality.

Enron, as the epitome of propaganda that infects corporate America from head to toe, did not lie when it said:
Enron Corp. was named today the “Most Innovative Company in America” for the sixth consecutive year by Fortune magazine.
(Enron). It collapsed into the black hole of infamy not long after that because it was an economic glittering generality.

Enron had practised the fine art of soft psyops upon its employees, customers, and ultimately the American people.

It had close friends in the highest places in American government, including Bush II and his regime. It was propaganda nirvana.

Enron was even one of those corporations which put the 'oil' into the military oil complex.

We can only hope that Enron's horrible and unfortunate collapse and bankruptcy is only a partial microcosm of America's economic reality today. An economic reality that is now in the dire straights that evaporated Enron from existence.

Let us hope that "as goes Enron so goes America" is false.

Soberly remember all those flowery words which completely and totally fooled Fortune Magazine and every governmental and private watchdog in our midst.

Soberly remember the Enron styled words "our economy is fundamentally sound" which comprised the propaganda statements they flung at us, and remember those who made them.

Why? So that Enron styled propaganda (which destroyed the lives of many Americans who did not see it coming and who had blind faith in all things propaganda) ceases to exist in our land.

“America’s Most Innovative Company” was a sham just like Madoff enterprises, but they were easily able to catapult the propaganda over expert heads.

Enron had friends in high places, the Enthymemes, but has no friends in the 99.9% of America we call the people.