This post, which is similar to the “about” page on this website, is devoted to discussing crackpot ideas.  First, I must say that I believe that outside of the hard sciences, where rigorous scientific experimentation is possible to validate ideas, virtually all ideas about the nature of reality, and especially social reality, may potentially be crackpot ideas.   Also, I believe that all of us, given that we have finite mental resources in a world of unbounded complexity, are often overwhelmed by all the data and so we from time to time believe in crackpot ideas, though undoubtedly some people do more so than others!  I am here to discuss a number of such crackpot ideas, some of which I agree with and some of which I don’t, and some of which are popular and some of which are not.  I find that, at least in our quickly unraveling society, there appears to be virtually no relationship between the degree to which an idea is popular and the degree to which it appears to be crackpot. Some people seem to believe that if an idea is repeated often enough by enough people, then it is not a crackpot idea. I would call that idea a crackpot idea.  I am not even sure that the most fundamental ideas we live by today are not crackpot ideas, and I wonder whether it is a crackpot idea that by examining closely each and every idea that we hold dear then somehow we may be able to claw our way back to a healthy and sustainable approach to life.

If all ideas regarding social reality cannot be validated by scientific experiment and therefore are potentially crackpot ideas, then all ideas forming the basis for rules to govern a society, and all ideas regarding optimal or practicable forms of social organization, are potentially crackpot ideas.   Given that there are innumerable such ideas and potential narratives to support them, it seems that the only way that people have ever been able to coalesce around any one set of ideas sufficiently to develop a system of rules to live by and a stable social organization to live under has been through maintaining a narrowness of vision.  It also appears that such a narrowness of vision has typically been enforced by the dominant members of a society.

If most people were to realize the ideas underlying governmental organizations or legal systems are imposed by elites and based on a narrow, self-serving vision of social reality, would that not lead to social chaos?  Not necessarily.  There are any number of alternatives that individuals aware of a broader vision could coalesce around.  I explore a new conservative philosophical approach that is based on just such a broad vision in a post titled “Sustainable Conservatism” at another of my sites:

Also, the philosophical foundation for many of the ideas expressed here can be found at another site:

I also have a youtube channel “Virtually nothing is what it seems”

Feel free to comment on the crackpot ideas presented here or to add your own.

I start with a number of liberal crackpot ideas, followed by some  other crackpot ideas, and I finish with my own crackpot ideas.  I present so many crackpot ideas of social liberals, particularly Social Justice Warriors, because I find them to be the most numerous and extreme.   I would argue that  crackpot ideas of social liberals mostly derive from viewing social reality as a set of snapshots instead of viewing it as an evolving process composed of complex feedback loops. Simple snap judgments are made based on those snapshots and demands for change in the interest of social justice follow from that.




LC1:  Left-wing government can succeed by being soft

LC2:  Inevitable progress in social justice

LC3:  Social liberalism goes together well with economic equality

LC4:  People should be grouped so that those disadvantaged can be identified

LC5:  World would be a better place if women would perform the same jobs as men

LC6:  Christians invented differences between the sexes

LC7:  Only explanation for boys performing better is discrimination against girls

LC8:  No need for people to control their sexual urges in a large society

LC9:  When people give in to their urges it does not influence the behavior of others

LC10:  Undergoing a transgender procedure is a healthy and reasonable choice to make

LC11:  It is important to love yourself in order to have high self-esteem and be happy

LC12:  It is healthy to teach children that they are “special”

LC13:  Goal of life should be “self-actualization”

LC14:  Arc of moral universe bends toward justice

LC15:  Non-human animals should have rights

LC16:  Spanking does more harm to children than psychoactive medications do

LC17:  Domestic violence would be reduced if women were to become more aggressive

LC18:  The patriarchy is responsible for over-sexualizing young girls

LC19:  Romantic love can be involuntary

LC20:  Heterosexuality is in no way superior to homosexuality



OC1:  Warren Commission provided accurate accounting of the Kennedy assassination

OC2:  Society with completely unfettered free markets would be ideal

OC3:  Libertarianism is the best political philosophy because it provides “freedom”

OC4:  Money is the same as speech for the purposes of the Free Speech clause

OC5:  Free Speech clause was intended to protect artistic or commercial expression

OC6:  American belief system will make life go smoothly for most people most of the time

OC7:  It is possible to “know everything”

OC8:  Either something like the Christian god exists or there must not be any god at all

OC9:  Christianity has no value if the fundamental beliefs about Jesus are incorrect

OC10:  Commercial pornography does not involve prostitution

OC11:  Identity over time is absolute

OC12:  Individual humans are imbued with some sort of “free will”

OC13:   Events are predictable

OC14:  Self-aware AI robots

OC15:  AI-programmed computers/robots would  develop human consciousness



MC1:  Life should be seen as self-perpetuating feedback loops

MC2:  Phenomena in a society are the result of innumerable different chains of causality

MC3:  Government should establish boarding schools for disadvantaged youths

MC4:  Child custody presumptions and surnames should be tied to parent of the same sex

MC5:  There are six types of rationality

MC6:  Useful exercise for limiting manipulation by others

MC7:  Nature of death

MC8:  US Congress should be half female

MC9:  Creation of new women’s sports

MC10:  Feedback loop utilitarianism

MC11:  Concentric circles of sophistication

MC12:  The need to be special to the larger society

MC13:  Ternary logical/computing systems

MC14:  Magical Physics

MC15:  A Constitutional Convention to change structure of USA


So let’s first examine some liberal crackpot ideas…

LC1:  One of the most fundamental liberal crackpot ideas is that a left-wing government can succeed by being soft, gentle, and permissive. I suppose that such an approach could possibly work in a small group, but in a large society the free rider problem* would lead to too many taking advantage of the lax rules to their advantage. Most conservatives understand that the free rider problem means that left-wing systems must be strict and even harsh if they are to be sustainable.  Moreover, a sustainable left-wing political system must implement some form of meritocracy, as the alternative is interminable bickering and jockeying for position of individuals and groups demanding a greater share of the pie.
* The free rider problem is that in a society with voluntary contribution for services, whether contributing with money or contributing in other ways, those who are best off are those who use the services but don’t contribute, and most people would realize that over time and copy that behavior, to the point the services are not funded or provided for sufficiently and are discontinued, at which time everyone is worse off than they would have been if everyone had contributed. Note that in a small group the free rider problem is less of an issue because there is no anonymity and social pressure can be applied to those who shirk their duties.

LC2:  A somewhat related liberal crackpot idea is that there is natural or inevitable progress in social justice. That would not be true even if social justice were well-defined, which it is not as its meaning continues to evolve and that evolution is always influenced by those in power. Moreover, what happens in any given space and time is the result of all the forces acting in that space at the time, all the different pressures being applied, and the history of social justice is just one of those pressures, one that is without solid foundation as those in power mostly determine what is the history. Now, it may be that there is an appearance of progress, as human technology, particularly related to communications, creates the conditions for building a bigger and bigger tribe or group, to the point that most people feel that the group includes the entire human race, and so some form of social contract appears to apply to virtually all the human race, eliminating much of the extreme treatment that people deemed “outsiders” often receive. However, this large group can become quite unstable as so many of the connections are not personal and traditional but are more abstract and tenuous, and the pressures for the elites in control to take personal advantage will likely at some point exceed the pressures to keep true to the social contract with the members of the large group.

Also, note that the long held and well-supported belief that a kinder, gentler approach to human relations would provide greater economic efficiency and productivity did have some effect in molding modern society, but in a future world heavily dependent on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics the connection between keeping the social contract, maintaining that kinder world, and economic efficiency may vanish and the entire history of building on that connection could become irrelevant.

LC3:  Another related liberal crackpot idea is that social liberalism goes together well with economic equality. This idea illustrates the blind spot that liberals have regarding the needs of non-elite men. With economic equality and social liberalism, non-elite men have no control and no hope of ever gaining control over satisfying their emotional needs. With economic equality, a woman does not need the offer of economic security that she might otherwise get from a non-elite man, and with social liberalism, the woman does not have much need for a non-elite man in order to have family and emotional security, so there is not much incentive for the woman to commit to a long-term relationship and the creation of a family with a non-elite man. This leaves the majority of non-elite men broken, bitter, and disconnected from the mainstream society.

LC4:  A liberal crackpot idea, popular with the Social Justice Warriors, that is particularly annoying is that people should be grouped by certain characteristics so that those disadvantaged can be identified and appropriately compensated.  A problem with this is that individuals have many different dimensions, including social class, income or wealth, wealth of one’s parents, educational level, intelligence (which can be multi-dimensional), race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, first language, age, general health, height, weight or body shape, physical attractiveness, athletic ability, sexual practices or preferences, hobbies, geographical location, job or profession, etc…

Note that an individual may be, with respect to one dimension, in a group that has been traditionally disadvantaged, and with respect to another dimension,  in a group that has been advantaged (e.g., an African-American from a wealthy family).  Actually, the odds are that the great majority of individuals are in at least one advantaged and at least one disadvantaged group for some dimension of some importance.  Any reasonable attempt to judge whether a person is “advantaged” or “disadvantaged” would require a holistic approach to consider all the dimensions with any significant impact on overall quality of life.  For example, a reasonable conclusion would be that a physically attractive, well-educated African-American woman with wealthy parents is certainly more advantaged than a poor, uneducated, physically unattractive white male immigrant from Serbia who was a child of poverty.

Instead of following a somewhat sophisticated and consistent approach to determining whether an individual is holistically advantaged or disadvantaged, it has become common to focus on just two dimensions – sex and race, with the implication that white males are the most privileged group.  This is troubling not only because it ignores the great majority of dimensions that could be considered, but because those are not particularly powerful indicators of advantage or privilege in the USA in the 21st Century.  Wealth and income, followed by educational level of the individual or the individual’s parents, are much more powerful indicators of advantage.  And if one does focus on race, it is problematic that  Asian-Americans outperform Caucasian Americans in wealth and income and in professional success.  Also, if one focuses on sex, it is problematic that female college graduates outnumber males by a significant percentage and the gap continues to grow.

Moreover, the selection of which dimensions to focus on to address grievances is inevitably going to be influenced by power relationships, meaning that rather than reducing unfairness, this method offers another avenue for the powerful and well-connected to use government to increase their advantages. In short, discrimination is multidimensional, and focusing on only one dimension at a time can lead to more unfairness, rather than less. The one dimension that incorporates other dimensions to the greatest extent, and so would be the most appropriate if one were to focus on only one dimension, is wealth, but the most powerful and influential do all they can to keep that from being the focus. Note that the groupings along various dimensions, other than by income and wealth, are often used by the wealthy and powerful to divide the common people.

However, I should add that I believe that sex is fundamentally different from the other dimensions, in part because sex differences, to be distinguished from the other differences, were found to be significant by the Human Genome Project, involve clear anatomical differences, including anatomical differences in the brain, and were clearly developed through evolution to lead to different abilities, propensities, sensitivities, and sensibilities, and these should be recognized and valued as the two sexes were designed by evolutionary pressures to complement each other. Also, though it is sometimes done, thinking in terms of tribe in grouping by sex makes much less sense than using tribe to refer to an ethnic or racial group. Actual human tribes required having both males and females in order to survive short-term and long-term and both sexes are essential elements in any real tribe, so trying to apply the tribe concept to one sex is problematic. As a side issue, note that discrimination by sex has no inter-generational effects as racial discrimination does, because each individual has male and female ancestors that they inherit from and is capable of having male and female heirs, so the effects of past discrimination on the basis of sex, as opposed to race, do not pass down from generation to generation.

LC5:  One related popular liberal crackpot notion is that the world would be a better place if women would perform the same jobs and tasks as men, ignoring any sexual differences, including jobs as firefighters and Marines, among other traditional male roles, and that they should be employed in equal numbers in engineering and computer science even if men on average show more aptitude. This notion is based on the idea that women can only be treated equally and have equal access to resources if we pretend that there are not any differences. This rough and crude early approach to equality of the sexes is doomed to failure because it ignores real physical and cognitive differences that developed, for survival purposes, over the course of evolution. We need to accept that men and women have different strengths and weaknesses and that they are both essential for the survival of the human group. Pretending they are identical not only contradicts virtually all the evidence on sex differences but is not even an effective method of achieving the result of equal status for women, which is really at the heart of the matter.

LC6:  A somewhat related crackpot idea of the past few decades is this notion that somehow Christians invented differences between the sexes. It seems that hundreds of millions of years of animal evolution, including millions of years of human evolution, distinguishing males from females in anatomy and physiology and in behavioral propensities had nothing to do with it. A corollary crackpot idea is that the millions of years of evolution designing female parts and male parts to fit together offers no advantage and does not imply that other aspects of male and female were designed to fit together.

LC7:  Another related liberal crackpot idea is that if girls perform better than boys on some subject at a young age, then the only explanation for boys performing better at a later age is discrimination against girls. However, just as it is apparent that girls mature intellectually at a younger age than boys, it is clear that girls peak at a younger age then boys. That is why it is common for boys to pass girls in aptitude in certain subjects as they grow older and why comparing young girls with boys of the same age on any subject is a poor method for predicting long-term potential.

LC8:  Another liberal crackpot notion is that there is no need for people to control their sexual urges in a large society . Humans evolved in small groups and whatever behavioral propensities they developed during evolution are designed to improve survival and reproduction chances in those small groups. As humans have come to find security, economic efficiency, and a much greater quality of life in large groups, they have had to make adjustments in order to fit into the larger group, in order to maintain some level of stability and harmony in that group, and that includes controlling a number of urges, including sexual urges. Only a crackpot would assume there is no trade-off for gaining the advantages of living in a large group.

LC9:  A related liberal crackpot idea is that when people give in to their urges it does not influence the behavior of others. This seems particularly inconsistent when the people who hold this belief also believe that every human act has innumerable repercussions for the environment because it is all interconnected. But the human society is an extremely connected subset of the environment. Every time someone gives in to an urge, particularly if it directly involves other people, there are innumerable repercussions. Our social environment is probably the most interconnected part of our environment. Moreover, if we should consider sustainability issues when we propose to impact the natural environment, as liberals repeatedly tell us, we should consider such issues when we impact the human social environment.

LC10:  Another slightly related liberal crackpot idea that is particularly troubling is that changing from one sex to the other, i.e., undergoing a transgender procedure, is a healthy and reasonable choice to make. First off, maybe medical advances will change this in the future, but as of now even with surgery and hormone therapy one can only resemble the other sex in a superficial manner. The years of brain and body development as the other sex can not be completely, or even mostly, erased. Also, much of the knowledge of how to survive as a member of one’s birth sex will lose its value, and one will have missed out on gaining the corresponding knowledge that members of the other sex developed during youth.

Another problem with accepting the idea is that one’s physical sexual characteristics at birth are objective and anything but arbitrary, while a culture’s association between one’s sex and personality traits (“feminine” or “masculine”) is somewhat subjective and arbitrary. Rather than changing the non-arbitrary body to fit with arbitrary and subjective notions about gender, it would make far more sense to change the arbitrary and subjective notions about personality characteristics of a particular sex to fit with the data regarding the range of characteristics of people of that sex.

But maybe the most compelling reason to condemn this idea is that it distracts and confuses troubled and unhappy individuals and prevents them from focusing on more reasonable means to improve their lives. A further problem is that as the idea gains momentum, it offers another opportunity for individuals to knowingly make behavioral choices that are disfavored by the general society, and then, after claims of discrimination, expect the society to make accommodations for that choice. This is problematic for behavioral choices because humans are quite flexible and adaptable animals, and there are innumerable possible behavioral choices they can make, and social chaos is only prevented, and some degree of social harmony achieved, by limiting that number through societal pressure to restrict apparently unhealthy or arbitrary behavior.

Note that one approach to reducing the popularity and effect of this dangerous trend is to categorize the members of the two sexes by their chromosomes — XY and XX — rather than by the labels of male and female or man and woman, which means there would be XY and XX sports teams, restrooms, clubs, etc…

LC11:  Another common liberal crackpot idea is that it is important to love yourself in order to have high self-esteem and be happy. I find this to be nonsense. To declare love for something is to declare a strong connection with something outside oneself. Of course one is connected with oneself so the concept of love is misapplied to the self. Promoting self-love becomes harmful in that it encourages inflexibility as it reinforces connections to current behavior patterns that may be maladaptive. Also, conflating connections with oneself with love leads to overvaluing one’s characteristics in others, encouraging individuals to seek the company of others who resemble them rather than others who complement them, the latter being the healthier and more reasoned approach.

LC12:   A related crackpot idea is that it is healthy to teach children that they are “special.” This can lead to harmful levels of narcissism in the individual and society at large as it tends to convince people that they need not worry about the needs and welfare of others (who by implication are less special and less important as the descriptor means nothing if everyone is special). However, if the individual can keep in mind that the individual is part of different groups, a more intimate group composed of family and loved ones in which the individual is special and important, the recognition of which can fill important emotional needs, and a larger group of the broader society in which the individual keeps a social contract and does that which is expected without trying to assume a special or unique position with extraordinary privileges, the individual can have emotional needs met while simultaneously acting in harmony with the larger group. Note that the often sought after celebrity status in American society does appear to allow certain individuals to feel special in the larger group, but since one cannot have intimate relations with large numbers of people and maintain one’s emotional stability, the mismatch created between the type of relationship and the size of the group usually leads to far more trouble than it is worth.

LC13:  Another somewhat related liberal crackpot idea is that the goal of life should be “self-actualization,” as described by Maslow. There may be some merit to the idea of a hierarchy of needs, as Maslow claimed, but the notion of self-actualization is pure poppycock. Humans evolved for most of their history in small hunter-gatherer groups, with some more rapid evolution in the past few thousand years in large agricultural societies, and they struggled to adapt to various environments in order to reproduce and to survive as best they could as long as they could. Did a Cro-Magnon man self-actualize by killing a Mammoth? Did a Cro-Magnon woman self-actualize by finding a medicinal root? One’s goals and one’s assessment of whether they have been achieved are completely determined by one’s interpretation of one’s needs and the group’s needs, in a particular setting, a particular environment, and this is malleable. There are an infinite number of possible needs and goals to meet those needs and it is completely arbitrary as to whether achieving any of them results in “self-actualization.”

LC14:  A particularly soft-headed liberal crackpot idea was expressed succinctly and somewhat elegantly by Martin Luther King, Jr., “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”  This is an illusion that arises from the virtual inevitability that contemporary rules and laws will more closely conform to, and more likely be trending towards, contemporary beliefs and values than rules and laws from past eras will.  What happens at any given point in time is simply the result of all the different forms of pressure being applied at that moment.  But under the influence of this crackpot idea, it is assumed that there is some sort of inevitability of improvement in social policy over time, which creates pressure to recklessly abandon what has worked in the past in order to experiment with something new, usually making changes to address some particular social ill that appears on the surface to have an obvious solution.  However, addressing one social ill often leads to the creation of two or more new social ills.   Human society is one giant, interconnected, complex machine, and so unintended consequences, not progress toward a more just system, are what is inevitable with every radically new policy.

LC15:  A really annoying liberal crackpot idea is that non-human animals have rights. This comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of what rights are. Rights are part of the social contract of every individual in a society that offer an inducement for that individual to participate constructively in that society. Rights are also accorded to those who are unable to participate because of age or disability, but this is justified by their close kinship to, other connections to, and similarity with other humans who can participate. The system of rights creates harmony and stability in a large society as it convinces most to be productive and contributing members of that society. Extending this system to animals that do not understand it makes little sense as it provides no inducement to cooperate. Also, given that for every benefit there is a cost, every consideration given to non-human animals leads to some cost to humans. That means that the more rights given to non-human animals, the fewer rights that humans have, and given that the weak are usually bullied by the strong, ultimately this means that the most weak and vulnerable humans will bear the costs of the rights given to the non-human animal friends of the strong, which is somewhat ironic because the justification for extending rights to animals is to protect the most vulnerable beings. Also, if rights were extended to non-human animals, what would constitute the boundary of those with rights? Would it be restricted to pets, when they constitute a tiny percentage of the animals in the world? Would it be restricted to primates, when some aquatic mammals (e.g, dolphins) are more intelligent than some primates? Would it be restricted to mammals, while some birds and even invertebrates (e.g., the octopus) are more intelligent than some mammals? There are no defensible boundaries, except for the already established human boundary.

LC16:  One quite harmful liberal crackpot idea is that spanking does more harm to children than psychoactive medications do. At some point it became mainstream thinking that spanking does irreparable harm to most children even though the evidence from centuries of widespread use of the practice showed that it rarely had that effect. Also, note that humans evolved in a manner such that children would grow more slowly physically than other primates, allowing adults to physically control them somewhat easily until their post-pubescent years, implying that there was an evolutionary advantage in adults physically controlling young children. But instead of continuing to use spanking to control children’s behavior, it became common to use psychoactive medications for that purpose. However, after years of this practice, a mountain of evidence suggests that these medications are far more harmful than spanking ever could have been, and yet no movement has formed to curb this dangerous practice.

LC17:  A slightly related liberal crackpot idea is that domestic violence would be reduced if women were to become more aggressive and physical. Given that men are programmed by evolution to resist violently any attempts to dominate them physically, the more aggressive and physical women become, the more aggressive and physical the men will become, likely leading to more domestic violence. Evolution provided women with other means to control men that allow a couple to build and maintain a strong bond over a period of years, and it makes little sense for women to be discouraged from using those methods or encouraged to use the traditional male method of physical force.

LC18:  This might not be among the most commonly believed liberal crackpot ideas, but it is one that I have come across — that somehow the dreaded “Patriarchy” is guilty of over-sexualizing young girls in the US.  This seems particularly preposterous because the most patriarchal societies, including those where most of the members adhere to radical versions of Islam, go as far as they can in the opposite direction.  They view young girls as innocent and do all they can to protect them and their innocence.  On the other hand, in Western societies, feminists constantly encourage young girls to embrace and promote their sexuality, as the feminists believe this empowers girls relative to boys.  Some feminists, particularly the performer Madonna, encourage this over-sexualization as a means to win fans and to increase their personal profits.

LC19:  A crackpot idea made popular in the 20th Century was that romantic love could be involuntary, that people had no choice over whom they fell in love with.  This was a more serious delusion that was similar to a contemporary trivial delusion that Ouija Boards were actually controlled by outside spirits rather than be the players touching the planchette that moves to spell out the answers to the questions posed.  Both delusions became popularized as they were consistent with the agenda of the most powerful and influential to use new mass communication methods to bamboozle the common people, to reduce resistance to the influence of others and convince the consumers of the propaganda that they should not think through any proposed policies and analyze them with regard to their own interests, but instead should just follow what feels right, what they have been manipulated into feeling comfortable with.

Note that if there were involuntary romantic love, then the rate of same-sex love relationships in the early 20th Century would have been comparable to the rate of such relationships in the early 21st Century, but that is far from true.


LC20:  At the risk of being accused of bigotry, stupidity, or maliciousness, I must add that I believe that one of the most problematic liberal crackpot ideas is that heterosexuality is in no way superior to homosexuality.  Homosexual relationships are to heterosexual relationships what pyrite is to gold. Heterosexuality and the associated preference for heterosexual behavior were created by millions of years of evolution to provide certain advantages, not by the Catholic Church or any other religion. Among the many advantages, one simple and obvious one is that it made male parts fit into female parts. Mother Nature spent millions of years fashioning male bodies and female bodies to complement each other and to go together in harmony.  Mother Nature also made the sexes complementary emotionally and provided them with a wide variety of complementary strengths and weaknesses.  Throwing away those advantages, not to mention the power of reproduction that heterosexuality provides, is like a giant waste of millions of years of effort. It makes about as much sense as having one’s thumbs converted to regular fingers.  It would be a very inefficient use of resources, and it is nonsensical to claim that the most adaptable animal on the planet cannot modify its behavior from the inefficient to the efficient on learning of the advantage.

Also, one of the greatest benefits of the traditional prohibition against homosexual behavior is that it enabled societies to set up sex-free zones for children and adults by the establishment of same-sex activities and clubs.  This was of great benefit to children particularly as it allowed them to develop mentally and emotionally in such sex-free zones where they would be free of sexual tension and sexual distractions.  Sure, there would always be a few instances of homosexual behavior anyway, but for the great majority of children for the great majority of the time these sex-free zones were an essential part of personal development, and were a critical part of the maturation process that children went through in Western society that led to the development of modern Western civilization.

I will add that I understand that male homosexual preferences are often formed early in life and, even though humans are the most adaptable creatures on the planet, rewiring to produce different preferences can be quite difficult, so it may be unnecessarily harsh or cruel to try to force different choices on the male homosexual population.  However, female sexuality is generally much more malleable and few even try to argue that lesbianism is hardwired.

Even hardcore militant feminist lesbians claim that lesbianism is a choice, in part because that is consistent with their agenda to turn all women and girls into lesbians.  So lesbians make a choice to avoid sexual and romantic relationships with the half of the population that evolution spent millions of years to make them sexually and romantically compatible with.  And to justify this choice, they argue that women can please them in ways that a man cannot, which is preposterous since any man can read advice from medical experts on the subject and can buy and use artificial equipment to supplement his own equipment if his lady wants him to, not to mention that he can use his superior strength and his greater libido to put more energy and creativity into using any artificial devices.  Given that, I do not believe it is a stretch to identify lesbians as misandrists or lesbianism as a form of misandry, and misandry is hate.  Also, note that when misandry becomes fashionable, the very survival of the society is in jeopardy, as human behavior responds to social pressures, and if all the social pressure is in one direction, then there is the danger of creating an accelerating downward spiral leading to catastrophic levels of disharmony and discord.

As for the related idea of normalizing same-sex marriage, note that apart from the fact that marriage was designed to provide stability for procreation, which always required a male and a female, and that men and women are different and complementary so that they can both provide different and necessary elements in a home and a family, one-man one-woman marriage ensured that as many men and women as possible were connected to the whole of the community through a web of inter-relationships.  Also, the promotion of heterosexual marriage helped to ensure that each man and each woman felt connected to all members of the opposite sex as well as their own sex, giving the society more cohesion still.  Yet, maybe the most important reason for confining marriage to heterosexual relations is that it forces men and women to work with each other to find ways to live in harmony and prevents a divergence of males and females from forming, which can increase social instability and chaos which itself can significantly increase the probability of human extinction in the coming decades.

It also should be mentioned that while the West was in the battle for world hegemony with the Soviet Union, stable heterosexual families were promoted by the elites to not only increase the population but also its productivity and the overall wealth and social stability of the society.  After the fall of the Soviet Union, a world market could be formed that did not depend on US or other Western labor or consumers, and overpopulation because of Climate Change and resource depletion became a serious issue, it appears that the elites began to promote homosexuality over heterosexuality in order to reduce the birth rate and thereby reduce the population over time, as well as make the society more chaotic to make an organized revolt by the common people more difficult.


Other crackpot ideas…

OC1:  One very popular crackpot idea is that the Warren Commission provided a full and accurate accounting of the Kennedy assassination. Not only did a congressional investigation in the 1970’s, following the release of a great many confidential documents related to the assassination, find the Warren Commission report to be seriously flawed, but it concluded that the assassination most likely involved a conspiracy. I suppose that a “magic bullet” could theoretically have done everything it was claimed to have done, but other highly unlikely events including Ruby shooting Oswald before he could talk, the alleged extremely fast and accurate marksmanship of Oswald who had never been a top marksman, and the forgiving nature of the US government with regard to Oswald’s prior traitorous activities, as well as many other odd phenomena associated with the shooting, should make any rational observer extremely suspicious.

OC2:  Another crackpot idea is that a society with completely unfettered free markets would be ideal. Though it appears that given a good number of capable, knowledgeable, healthy, and creative people in a society the implementation of something like a free market can help to create a high level of motivation and creativity leading to significant increases in innovation and productivity, the focus by all the economic actors on the narrow and short-term, which they must focus on in order to survive in an unfettered free market, means the broad and long-term goals are ignored, including the goal of maintaining the conditions necessary for the system to continue to operate. The natural and inevitable decay of all systems that are not actively maintained, that do not receive a consistent input of constructive energy, means that the unfettered free market system on its own is unsustainable. Also, the energy devoted to narrow, short-term goals in pursuit of maximum profit while taking advantage of the lowest common denominator applies pressure to force the lowest common denominator lower and lower and creates a downward spiral that vulgarizes the culture and leads to disintegration of the society.

OC3:  A related crackpot idea is that Libertarianism is the best political philosophy because it provides people with the most “freedom.” The main problem with this idea is that Libertarianism is not so much about liberty as it is about private property. It might more accurately be called “Propertyism” as it provides that the government’s main purpose is to protect private property. And what about private property makes its protection such a fundamental right? Note that there is no private property in Nature. Private property is an abstraction that creates a connection (generally called “ownership”), usually an exclusive one, between an individual and some non-human thing. The other members of the society are expected to honor this exclusive connection, and a Libertarian government’s main role is to make sure that they do. Certainly there is some value in honoring the connection as the connection can be used as a reward for positive contributions of the individual to the group. Also, establishing the connection can signal which individual has the responsibility for the thing, providing motivation that it be used for positive rather than negative effect. But these reasons are more consistent with Utilitarianism, i.e., honoring the connection is justified because it serves the greater good. However, if Libertarianism is to be preferred over Utilitarianism, then that must mean that a society should honor the connection when it does not serve the greater good, including when it means the unnecessary loss of life or harm to others, which most would find unjustifiable.

OC4:  A  crackpot idea regarding the US Constitution is that money is the same as speech for the purposes of the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. Virtually all rules come with the expectation that a reasonable balance should be struck when different rights conflict. Allowing one party to flood the medium, e.g., the airwaves, so as to drown out the other party clearly violates the second party’s right to free speech more than restricting the first party’s expenditures does. Speech that is drowned out is speech that may as well be silenced, and guaranteeing the right to silenced speech is not guaranteeing speech at all.

OC5:  Another crackpot idea regarding the Free Speech clause, one that has more of a libertarian flavor, is that the clause was intended to protect artistic or commercial expression or to allow frustrated people to “blow off steam.” The clause was intended to allow the citizens to shine a light on the situation in the society, particularly on the actions of government officials, in order to apply pressure to correct misbehavior or force a change in policy. It had nothing to do with artistic or commercial free expression or with some psychological need to “be heard” through an ineffectual exercise of speech.

OC6:  A popular American crackpot idea is that not only is it possible to design a belief system and set of rules that will make life go smoothly for most people most of the time, but that the current American belief system and associated rules are close to reaching that goal.  This is untenable.  Humans were designed by evolution to live in small hunter-gatherer groups. They came together into large groups for security and economic efficiency. There may also be some attraction for the young to the large group because it offers more possible mating partners. But there is great cost in being part of a large group, as the human emotional-motivational system is not designed to handle relations with large numbers of people. Insincerity and dishonesty, as well as a number of more serious harmful behaviors, become more common in the large group because they are often rewarded as the virtual anonymity in the large group greatly reduces accountability.

Belief systems regarding “good and evil” with accompanying rules of morality are usually implemented in the large group to attempt to limit the harmful behavior, but a complicating factor is that the elites in the position to develop the rules usually do so in a way that advantages them, so that rule systems are in part designed to serve the purposes of the elites and in part designed to serve the needs of the whole society. Furthermore, it is possible to imagine innumerable different belief systems and there is no practicable method for proving that one is clearly superior to another or for proving that there do not exist innumerable other belief systems superior to a particular system. That makes agreement difficult because everyone tends to look at the world in a way that is colored by their own experiences and that is most favorable to themselves or people like themselves and this influences their preferences. What makes it even worse is that there is no universally accepted understanding of what it means for one set of beliefs or rules to be “superior” to another. Does that mean that for the individuals in the group it leads to a desirable goal? What goal? Is the goal a higher quality of life (what constitutes that?), a greater chance for long-term survival of the group, or something else? And what is the group? Is it the whole of the human race or some subset, e.g., the people in one’s own tribe or nation? Is it for the majority, the great majority, or all of the people in the group? Is it just for individuals in the group who are alive today or does it include those expected to be born sometime in the foreseeable future or even those who come after that?

For these reasons it becomes very difficult to build and maintain a system of universally accepted beliefs and associated moral rules, and so to limit disruptions caused by disagreements and belief divergence a large group usually relies heavily on some form of criminal justice system (certainly the US does, with more prisoners than any other nation in the world), which often uses a hammer when a scalpel is required, and leads to many broken individuals who then spread their misery to others almost like a contagion.

OC7:  Another related crackpot idea is that it is possible to “know everything.” What is problematic about this is that the set of all things to be known is unbounded. Not only is the universe evolving continuously, and not only does every event affect every other event eventually, and not only are there innumerable different aspects to and repercussions from the interaction, and not only are there innumerable perspectives from which to perceive those events, but any realizable set of rules for analyzing those events is incomplete (see Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem). Furthermore, no scientific theory can ever properly be declared infallible, as theories are merely rules regarding the nature of reality that have proven to predict events correctly, usually in controlled settings, with some arbitrarily defined degree of accuracy and better than alternative rules. All models of reality are limited by the limitations of those making the models, and there is no justification for declaring any model to be complete and infallible.

OC8:  Another popular crackpot idea is that either something like the Christian god exists or there must not be any god at all. Now this comes from a complete failure of imagination. Not only are there a great many other current and past religions which each have their own gods, but it seems entirely clear that innumerable different forms of a god could map onto the patterns of perception that give rise to the concept of any particular god, i.e., just as Plato’s shadows on the cave could have been created by any number of entities of any kind of form, any form or kind of god could be behind any number of layers of reality that give rise to our perceptions, though such speculation can create unnecessary, apparently arbitrary, and unhelpful complexity.  Occam’s razor can provide a path out of this swamp (that the simplest explanation that accounts for the facts is the preferred one, i.e., that there is nothing to be gained by speculating on extra layers of complexity, as our experiences simply flow from the universe unfolding before us), but it comes at the price of abandoning the pleasant feeling of wonder and any comforting afterlife myths that belief in the supernatural may provide.

OC9:  Continuing on the subject of religion, another common crackpot idea is that Christianity has no value, or even has a negative value, if the fundamental beliefs about Jesus and the Christian god are incorrect. Regardless of whether the fundamental beliefs are correct, and it is my guess that they are not, Christianity helped to build one of the most successful civilizations in human history. Organizing humans, who developed in small groups, into sustainable large groups is apparently quite a feat as failure has been far more common than success. Christianity is often blamed for a great many wars and much human misery, but humans in large groups usually behave in a callous and self-serving manner, as they are far more connected to their own narrow interests and goals than to the broad interests and goals of the large group. Christianity did not create this narrow focus (often called “greed”) or do much to further it, other than serving as an organizing principle for creating large societies, which virtually inevitably create the conditions that allow for manipulation of large numbers of people to serve narrow interests. I suspect that the powerful with the will and opportunity to manipulate others for self-serving purposes use whatever tools are available, including the predominant belief system of the society. That should not reflect on that particular belief system.

OC10:  A slightly related crackpot idea, related in that it has to do with human morality, which seems trivial but which should be addressed because it is just so preposterous is that commercial pornography can be legal while prostitution is illegal.  Given that laws against prostitution ban the practice of engaging in sexual acts in return for remuneration, and commercial pornography involves providing remuneration for people to engage in sexual acts for the purposes of a video recording, it is an obvious contradiction to claim that commercial pornography does not involve violating laws against prostitution.  It may be a special kind of prostitution, but it still is prostitution as it involves engaging in sexual acts for remuneration.  The fact that those who produce it have sufficient resources to hire legal talent capable of obfuscating the undeniable connection does not alter the clear underlying reality.

OC11:  Moving on to the topic of the human mind, a very simple and problematic crackpot idea is that human identity over time is absolute. However, a human brain is changing, evolving, all the time as it loses old memories while it gains new ones along with new concepts and ideas, and it learns new skills and behavior patterns while it discards previous ones. We assume we as humans have identity over time for the sake of convenience, to simplify our world, not because it accurately portrays reality.

OC12:  A related very popular and persistent crackpot notion is that individual humans are imbued with some sort of “free will.” The basic idea is that individuals have a “choice” in what decisions they make and that they choose to make “good” decisions or “bad” decisions. First off, this approach to the concept of choice is wrongheaded. Human behavior, like all animal behavior and virtually all phenomena in this universe, is determined by the set of internal and external pressures operating at the place and time. As the individual’s brain grows and evolves, it develops internal pressures, which usually have their origin in past external pressures, that it may perceive as its “will.” This will operates in the context of current external pressures, which will shape the individual’s response. Note that what constitutes the will is determined by the time frame. As the individual has experiences, the brain evolves and the internal pressures are shaped, and later these internal pressures are considered part of the individual’s will, though taking a broader time frame these internal pressures may be seen as a function of the earlier external pressures and not considered part of the will of the earlier version of that individual. Also, I will add that I am not here advocating a simple deterministic view. Each and every part of the universe at each point in time can be both determiner and determined. How one views it depends on the time frame and perspective one uses.

OC13:  Another related crackpot idea is that just because the events that occur are the result of all the internal and external forces acting at a place and time, that means that any event is predictable. The problem is that the complexity of the forces and their interactions can be virtually unbounded, while the resources of the individual or entity making the prediction are limited. It is particularly problematic when the individual or entity making the prediction is involved in the interaction, meaning that the predictive process becomes part of the force involved, which would have a recursive effect (i.e., the prediction affects the prediction which affects the prediction, etc…), adding another layer of complexity that is virtually unbounded.

OC14:  Another crackpot idea from science fiction is that an intelligent robot or computer, one benefiting from sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) programming, would likely become self-aware. The flaw in this is that humans developed self-awareness as a survival technique, as there were survival advantages in distinguishing what is directly connected to one’s mind, i.e., one’s body, and what is not, which led to the development of the concept of self. Thus, evolution “programmed” self-awareness into humans, and a computer/robot with AI will not likely develop self-awareness unless the AI programmer intentionally includes that in the code or at least through the coding or through the design of the hardware or, in a robot, through the design of the robot, creates a situation where the AI program can recognize that it gains some advantage in accomplishing its goals by developing some form of self-awareness.

OC15:  A related crackpot idea is that the AI-programmed computers/robots would likely develop something akin to human consciousness. The problem here is that human consciousness is the direct experience of brain function, to be contrasted with the images, sounds, etc…, that are part of the model of the real world that the brain constructs from those direct experiences. That implies that this direct experience is likely a function of the particular processes involved in the brain, i.e., the neurochemical processes giving rise to the direct experience, which implies that a computer/robot with extremely different processes, e.g., the electrical processes of a silicon-based circuit, would have a very different direct experience if it had a comparable experience at all.


On to my crackpot ideas…

MC1:  One of my favorite crackpot ideas is that all of life should be seen as self-perpetuating feedback loops. All living things seek positive feedback that energizes them to grow and expand and seek out new positive feedback in a continuous loop. The human brain grows complex inner loops or circuits that connect with loops outside the brain to form sustainable and nurturing relationships with the environment. An individual has strong feedback loops within the individual’s own body, then somewhat weaker ones with the close family group, then weaker ones with larger groups the individual is a part of, as there is usually an inverse relationship between the size of the group and the strength of the feedback loops.  I discuss this further at:

MC2:  Another of my crackpot ideas is that societal problems, or, more generally, phenomena in a society, should be understood as the result of innumerable different chains of causality that converge in one space at one time. Each link in each of these chains is some process, and the chain can be broken by disrupting the process. Therefore, rather than following the usual and self-defeating approach of finding some easily identified scapegoat to blame for any given societal problem, a better approach would be to identify the most significant chains of causality and find the best links to break in those chains.

Note that the point of assigning blame is to identify the causes of a negative outcome so that such outcomes may be prevented or mitigated in the future. The difficulty is that each event is one in a succession of innumerable events, i.e., each chain of causation is of unbounded length (and my involve feedback loops).  Also, each event may be influenced by innumerable different factors, so that there are innumerable interconnected chains of events, each of unbounded length, that converge at a time and place to cause the negative outcome. So, how to determine which of these innumerable events to blame for the negative outcome? First, eliminate those that are completely or virtually unchangeable. Then eliminate those so far removed from the event that the connection is speculative. Then remove those that would be too costly to change. So the best candidates for blame would be those closely connected to the event that could be changed without great cost, particularly those for which the cost of change is less than the cost of the negative outcome. Assigning blame to other events would be inappropriate.

The corollary is that healthy or desirable phenomena in a society are also the result of different chains of causality and that breaking or severely weakening links in significant chains leading to those phenomena should be avoided if possible.

MC3:  Another one of my crackpot ideas is that the government (federal, state, or local) should establish boarding schools for disadvantaged youths. Just pumping money into local schools with children who go home to chaotic environments does not appear to be very cost-effective, as the children are not able to develop the emotional stability or the positive attitude necessary to take advantage of the academic material they are exposed to. That is why they need to be admitted to boarding schools with controlled environments that provide them with the stable environment and positive feedback they need to develop good study habits and a taste for academics.

MC4:  Another of my crackpot ideas involving child development is that children learn more from the parent of the same sex so I believe that the presumption in child custody cases should be in favor of giving custody to the parent of the same sex as the child.  It was decided long ago that child custody cases would operate under a presumption that the mother should receive custody as it was assumed that the mother was the more necessary parent.  However, I think the data developed over the past few decades of how poorly boys do without a father in the house makes it imperative to abandon the earlier presumption.   Also, it was assumed that children would fare better if siblings were not separated, but the need of a boy for the constant oversight and companionship of a father appears to far outweigh any benefit the boy might receive from being placed with female siblings.

A related idea is that girls should take the surname of the mother while boys should take the surname of the father.  It makes sense that girls be identified more with the mother as they learn more from and depend more on the mother, while the same is true with boys and fathers.

MC5:  Another crackpot idea involves the way we should think about rationality.  The subject of rationality of an action is usually approached in a very simplistic manner that is not very useful.  Now, the basic definition of a rational action as being logically consistent with one’s interests, given all the information one is in possession of, is fine.  But since humans are both individuals and group animals, some more the former and some more the latter but all some of both, that means that human actions may be rational with regard to the individual’s interests or to the interests of a group that the individual feels a part of.

Some group memberships may be due to the individual acting in enlightened self interest, and in those cases the individual’s actions for the group may be seen as rational from the traditional individual-focused analysis.  But some group memberships, including those with strong genetic propensity components programmed in by evolution such as the mother-child group, motivate action that is in the overall group’s interests but not the individual’s.  However, that does not make them really irrational as humans survived as a species because of these tendencies and acting as group members is part of what humans are, and certainly group behaviors that lead to human survival must be seen as healthy and natural parts of human life that are not to be discouraged.

So it makes sense to consider certain group behaviors to be rational even if not in the individual’s self interest, which suggests that human actions may be individual-rational or group-rational.

One should also recognize that what is in one’s interest for the short term is not equal to what is in one’s interest for the medium term or the long term.  So there should also be differentiation between short-term rational, medium-term rational, and long-term rational.  The default seems to be long term, but as the long term stretches into the future we are all dead, so there must be some balance.  Also, it should be noted that actions that are group-rational may be more long-term oriented as there are not diminishing prospects for survival over time for the group as there are for the individual.

So overall there are six categories of rational acts, with three based on time multiplied by two based on individual or group.

MC6:  I have a crackpot idea regarding a method to limit manipulation by others.  We all are subject to the effects of others to manipulate us, to convince us to follow certain thought patterns for their benefit and not ours.  To try to limit this, I thought of a mental exercise that I often engage in, which involves thinking of myself and my connections to other people, then thinking of this in relation to the entire community, then to the nation, then to the whole human race, then to the Earth, then to the solar system, then to the galaxy, and then to the known universe, and then back to myself as an individual, and then to my neural circuits, then to single neurons, and then to the molecules within the neurons, then to the atoms, and then to the subatomic particles.  It is better if I imagine going back through the history of my relationship with each level of phenomena, choosing the duration of time periods to be considered as appropriate.  This process is intended to reset my understanding of my relations to others and give me a fresh perspective to allow me to better analyze whether I am being manipulated.

MC7:  I have one crackpot idea on the nature of death. Let me first say that I do not believe that identity over time is absolute, and I do think that what identity one can have is based on the actual matter making up one’s brain and its organization or structure, i.e., an individual’s brain is a particular organization of particular matter, and the identity is changed if either of those is altered. So I do not believe that an individual with the same exact identity will ever again exist as there will not exist the same exact matter with the same exact organization. However, from one moment to the next, there is not the same exact matter or organization, so continuity does not require perfect identity. So, if the matter of the individual’s brain who dies continues to exist, and if there is a never-ending cycle of Big Bang to contraction to Big Bang, or alternatively if any Big Bang never contracts but instead at some point the matter created encounters matter from other parallel Big Bangs, there may be an unbounded number of organizations of any matter in the future, and some organization with some similarity to the individual’s brain with some of the matter of the individual’s brain may exist at some point in the future (even unimaginably far into the future), in a sense bringing the person back to life. Also, it may be that the eons that pass between the two points in time will seem like nothing, as the individual will not be conscious.

MC8:  One of my other crackpot ideas follows from my belief in the special nature of differences between the sexes. In the long run, it benefits no one to pretend that men and women are indistinguishable or to use short-sighted and inefficient affirmative action policies that lower requirements for women in certain jobs, e.g., firefighters, Marines, engineers, or computer scientists. Mother Nature differentiated male from female over millions of years through evolution, so it is idiotic to expect the male and female populations to have the same distribution of talents or abilities. What women really want and need is equal power and the best way to achieve that in the US is not through the above-mentioned policies but instead by ensuring that half the members of Congress are women, which can only be done through a constitutional amendment that requires that half the members of the US House of Representatives (which would have to be reconfigured as there are currently 435 members – districts could be doubled in size and have both a male and female representative with all states getting at least two members, or the number could just be doubled to 870 ) and half the members of the US Senate be women. That would also require a provision to break ties in a potentially equally divided House, which could be done by the Vice President as is done in the Senate (the Vice President could have the same role in the House as in the Senate).

The US policy-making process clearly could use more input from women, but not from women trying to be or mimicking men, which is what the present system gives us. It needs input from women being women. Also, something radical needs to be done to end the current war between the sexes. As it spreads mistrust, anger, and even hatred, it is creating fissures in the very foundation of the society. As an old saying goes, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

MC9:  Another crackpot I have regarding women’s participation in society is that women should design new sports for women.  Women today mostly play men’s sports designed for men by men, and as the drama over the participation of Trans “women” in women’s sports builds, it becomes glaringly obvious that men generally have certain physical advantages over women that are on display in these sports.  While the advocates for women in sports argue that Transgender athletes should be excluded from athletic competitions because those born male have unfair natural advantages, if men really are much better at these sports, then it seems that women playing these sports are in a sense second-class men, and that should not be that surprising as these sports were designed with men’s natural talents in mind.  Instead of women competing in sports designed for men where they perform like second-class men, why don’t we have women’s sports that are designed for women by women and that highlight women’s strengths, so that the women who compete in them are not second-class men but first-class women, and that any men who try to compete in such sports would be second-class women?  Women are undoubtedly on average better than men in some physical and mental abilities, and sports could be designed to foster competition among women in activities using those abilities.

MC10:  I also have a crackpot idea regarding utilitarianism.  On the face of it, utilitarianism is a beautiful theory because of its simplicity in equating promoting the greatest good for the greatest number with justice.  Of course what is the greatest good in the short term is quite different from what is the greatest good in the long term and that is one of the difficulties.  As considered outcomes are pushed into the future, they become more and more speculative, so even if there is universal agreement on values and goals, which is difficult to achieve to begin with and is a separate source of difficulty, there will likely be significant disagreements on actions to be taken because of the uncertainty involved.  Another difficulty is that there will likely be virtually irreconcilable differences regarding the value of certain outcomes that occur in the far future.  And, last, but not least, there is the difficulty that people are pliable and can be manipulated, particularly by other people who are more sophisticated or have more access to resources, so that people can be made to want and to value what other people want them to value for the good of the latter, which can mean that what will make those being manipulated happy, particularly in the short term, may not be in their long-term interests.  

So utilitarianism has a simple and plain appeal, but it is not really workable except as a vague system to point in a general direction.  Also, in a sense utilitarianism is a very artificial system in that what makes one happy is based in large part on what one is connected to, and what one is connected to varies and is malleable, and the decisions one makes based on what one is connected to changes what one will be connected to in the future.  So to make utilitarian decisions based on the medium term to long term future is more responsible than just making decisions based on the short term future, but the decisions one makes affect what one will be connected to and what will make one happy in the medium term to long term, so it involves more designing one’s future needs than meeting identified needs.

Feedback loop utilitarianism, a modification to utilitarianism which will be described here, provides the opportunity to build consensus and to design an individual’s or a group’s future needs so that they can be met.  Those who follow feedback loop utilitarianism organize their social reality according to the existence and potential of feedback loops.  They value those which provide the most sustenance, physically and emotionally, over the longest period of time with the highest probability.  Such feedback loops come in different varieties, at different levels of intimacy, with the first level being internal to the body, the next level being the immediate family, the next level being a network of extended family or friends or work associates, the next level being a community of some sort, possibly geographic or possibly interest-based, and the following levels being political entities such as cities, states, and nations, with the last level being the human race, though some may want to add a superfluous level of all life on Earth or even all intelligent life in the universe.

MC11:  Another crackpot idea I have is that I believe it is useful to think in terms of concentric circles of sophistication.  One model of human models of the world, a type of meta-model, holds that each model is a function of a certain level of sophistication, and that it only is communicated well with others who have that level of sophistication.  Note that there are an infinite number of possible levels of sophistication, with each level including that preceding it, so that they can be thought of as an infinite number of concentric circles, with each circle having its own model or set of models.  So as each human grows in sophistication, they often experience epiphanies where they increase their levels of sophistication and associated models by a step to the next concentric circle, and they may enter a new social group with others who have similar levels of sophistication and similar models, often assuming that they and their fellow group members have achieved a true understanding of the world and not recognizing that there are an infinite number of levels of understanding above their model.

Note that the level of sophistication of a model that one chooses to communicate depends on the circumstances, as in the political arena if votes are required, consent of the governed is necessary, then a low level of sophistication is required because the group of people needed to adopt the model must be so large that it encompasses a majority of the population, meaning that it cannot be much more sophisticated than the average person’s model.

MC12:  One element of crackpot ideas is that the holder of the idea often one believes the idea makes the holder special, including crackpot ideas about being special.  A very fundamental but rarely talked about truth in human relations is that since people were designed to live in small groups, but that they have come to live in large groups because of the advantages they bring, there is a yearning by each individual to be recognized by the large group, to be considered “special” by the large group, just as every individual is recognized in a small group.  This yearning sometimes becomes an unhealthy obsession, particularly since only a small number of individuals will ever be recognized by the large group.  Because of that, maybe children should be taught in school that: (1) everyone is special to themselves as they are the person most responsible for their own well-being and happiness; (2) everyone should be special to their close family members, including spouses, parents, children, and siblings; (3) everyone has the opportunity to make close friends that they can be special to; (4) few people are special to the large society and most of those are just special for a few years or even less; and (5) no people are special to the whole of the universe, as humans are too small, insignificant, and temporary.  Instead of focusing on (4), the great majority of people, especially young people, would be much better served if they focused on (2) and (3).

MC13:  A crackpot idea regarding a basic approach to representing the world comes from recognizing that one problem with the popular binary approach to representing information, which seems reinforced by the common binary structure of computing devices, is that three states for the truth of any proposition are more appropriate than two. There should be a positive, a negative, and an unknown or unknowable, which could also be appropriate for the illogical and the nonsensical. The answer to so many questions is “unknown,” and often “unknowable,” and a model of the world should incorporate that, and a ternary system for computing seems ideal for representing that.  Also, note that while numbers can be adequately represented by the binary 0 and 1, ternary representations of numerical values are more efficient in that x/log x is at a minimum for x = 3, if x is an integer.

MC14:  Another of my crackpot ideas is that it would be helpful if the physics celebrities, those physicists who popularize the subject and sometimes appear on television or in other mainstream media, would put some effort into explaining to the general public that the simpler classical physics is still useful in its applications in many fields, including the study of biological or social processes, and that it is not clear how the more exotic and sophisticated physics of the modern era would change basic understanding in those other fields. It seems that in recent years these physics celebrities have been doing the opposite in order in increase interest and excitement about what they are doing.

Many advances in physics in the last few decades, including the discovery of many new particles such as neutrinos and positrons, the discovery of antimatter and dark energy, and the discovery of the Higgs field and the Higgs boson, have created new models of physical reality that are so complex that only experts in the field, e.g., physicists and those in related disciplines, have a handle on them. This has led to unsettling reverberations throughout the general society as well as the academic community as it has undermined the confidence of the great majority that they can construct their own accurate and useful models of reality. What’s more, the new sophisticated models suggest an unpredictability in natural events, which along with the extreme complexity, almost seem to add an element of magic to the natural world, further undermining confidence of many in their ability to construct rational and useful models of the world and playing into the nonsensical and harmful narrative of the Postmodernists who seek to undermine the value of reason and logic. This is especially disconcerting because it is all as unnecessary as it is harmful.

The older, simpler classical physics was quite useful in providing a foundation for the construction of useful science-based models of reality, whether in chemistry, biology, or even social science, models that had been validated by scientific experiment as well as ordinary human experience. The more sophisticated up-to-date physics may be too complex, at least for now, to replace the classical physics in this function, and it does not need to as the classical physics has proved to be more than adequate. Though there may be situations where the more up-to-date physics may provide significantly more valuable or useful models of certain natural processes, often under extreme or exotic circumstances, those situations where it will provide helpful insight or greater understanding of any biological or social processes on Earth will likely be very rare in the near to medium term.

MC15:  A crackpot idea regarding reforming the government of the USA is that a constitutional convention should be called with the purpose of significantly altering the structure of the nation.  As it has become commonplace to discuss secession as the majority are unsatisfied with the current state of affairs in the USA, probably a more realistic and superior alternative to secession should be discussed — a constitutional convention to radically alter the make-up of the USA so that between the states and federal government there is a regional authority, which takes its powers mostly from the federal government, though it could take some from the member states. The USA would still exist, but with much reduced power, as these regional governments would take over much of the responsibility of the federal government.

There could be five regional governments, though possibly a different number, with several states in each, with possible regions being the South, Northeast, Midwest, Mountain West, and Pacific. Some programs would remain federal, such as the military, Social Security, and Medicare, but criminal justice and law enforcement, environmental protection, business practices and regulations, censorship and media laws, along with other areas to be determined, would be under regional control.  There could be a smaller federal income tax for its smaller duties, while regions could impose their own taxes, possibly taking some from the states. The regional court systems would have final say over any legal issues in the region that are within the purview of the regional government, though there would still be a role for the Supreme Court regarding issues that are still under the control of the federal government.  

A simpler option would be for the states in each region to merge together, dissolving state governments, so that each regional government would operate as a super state with all the powers of current states plus many of the powers states have lost over the years that they would reclaim from the federal government, as discussed above.




Sun Tzu



Marcus Tullius Cicero

Titus Lucretius Carus

Titus Livy


Benjamin Franklin

Adam Smith

Adam Ferguson

Edmund Burke

Thomas Jefferson

Napoleon Bonaparte

Karl Marx

Lord Acton

Mark Twain

Jay Gould

Friedrich Nietzsche

Lucy Parsons

George Bernard Shaw

Theodore Roosevelt

Mohandas Gandhi

Bertrand Russell

Winston Churchill

Albert Einstein

H. L. Mencken

Smedley Butler

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Edward Bernays

Margaret Mead

George Orwell

Martin Luther King, Jr.






The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

All war is based on deception.

There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.

Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.

The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

Sun Tzu (6th Century BC)


Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.

Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.

In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.

Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

War is a matter not so much of arms as of money.

Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first.

I think the two things most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion; haste usually goes hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of mind.

Nobody is driven into war by ignorance, and no one who thinks that he will gain anything from it is deterred by fear.

Thucydides (460-400 BC)


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.

Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life.

Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim.

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.

Man is by nature a political animal.

Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics.

The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

A sense is what has the power of receiving into itself the sensible forms of things without the matter, in the way in which a piece of wax takes on the impress of a signet-ring without the iron or gold.

Aristotle (384-322 BC)


The good of the people is the greatest law.

An unjust peace is better than a just war.

Frivolity is inborn, conceit acquired by education.

In time of war the laws are silent.

Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul, as clemency and readiness to forgive.

He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.

No sane man will dance.

The study and knowledge of the universe would somehow be lame and defective were no practical results to follow.

Time destroys the speculation of men, but it confirms nature.

Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.

Any man is liable to err, only a fool persists in error.

To live is to think.

To some extent I liken slavery to death.

Nothing is so strongly fortified that it cannot be taken by money.

It might be pardonable to refuse to defend some men, but to defend them negligently is nothing short of criminal.

Rather leave the crime of the guilty unpunished than condemn the innocent.

So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge.

Our character is not so much the product of race and heredity as of those circumstances by which nature forms our habits, by which we are nurtured and live.

Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC)


All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.

Titus Lucretius Carus (99-55 BC)


We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.

Every city contains wicked citizens from time to time and an ignorant populace all the time.

True moderation in the defense of political liberties is indeed a difficult thing: pretending to want fair shares for all, every man raises himself by depressing his neighbor; our anxiety to avoid oppression leads us to practice it ourselves; the injustice we repel, we visit in turn upon others, as if there were no choice except either to do it or to suffer it.

Indeed, that is the nature of crowds: the mob is either a humble slave or a cruel master. As for the middle way of liberty, the mob can neither take it nor keep it with any respect for moderation or law.

The outcome corresponds less to expectations in war than in any other case whatsoever.

Titus Livy (59 BC – 17 AD)


All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.

As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.

Clever tyrants are never punished.

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.

Everything’s fine today, that is our illusion.

The best is the enemy of the good.

There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.

Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions.

The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it.

Voltaire (1694-1778)


A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.

Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.

All money is a matter of belief.

The theory that can absorb the greatest number of facts, and persist in doing so, generation after generation, through all changes of opinion and detail, is the one that must rule all observation.

Adam Smith (1723-1790)


Like the winds that we come we know not whence and blow whither soever they list, the forces of society are derived from an obscure and distant origin. They arise before the date of philosophy, from the instincts, not the speculations of men.

In every commercial state, notwithstanding any pretension to equal rights, the exaltation of a few must depress the many.

Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design.

Adam Ferguson (1723-1816)


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.

Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.

A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.

Liberty must be limited in order to be possessed.

Circumstances give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind.

Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.

Education is the cheap defense of nations.

I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.

It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.

An ignorant man, who is not fool enough to meddle with his clock, is however sufficiently confident to think he can safely take to pieces, and put together at his pleasure, a moral machine of another guise, importance and complexity, composed of far other wheels, and springs, and balances, and counteracting and co-operating powers.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)


All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.

The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.

A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.

Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.

Imagination rules the world.

In politics stupidity is not a handicap.

Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.

What is history but a fable agreed upon?

There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Good and decent people must be protected and persuaded by gentle means, but the rabble must be led by terror.

Governments keep their promises only when they are forced, or when it is to their advantage to do so.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)


History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

Democracy is the road to socialism.

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.

Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.

Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!

Religion is the opiate of the masses.

The human being is in the most literal sense a political animal, not merely a gregarious animal, but an animal which can individuate itself only in the midst of society.

Karl Marx (1818-1883)


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Lord Acton (1834-1902)


Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

We have the best government that money can buy.

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)


I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

Jay Gould (1836-1892) (financier and railroad businessman)


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)


The involuntary aspiration born in man to make the most of one’s self, to be loved and appreciated by one’s fellow-beings, to “make the world better for having lived in it,” will urge him on the nobler deeds than ever the sordid and selfish incentive of material gain has done.

Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth.

Concentrated power can be always wielded in the interest of the few and at the expense of the many. Government in its last analysis is this power reduced to a science. Governments never lead; they follow progress. When the prison, stake or scaffold can no longer silence the voice of the protesting minority, progress moves on a step, but not until then.

Lucy Parsons (1853-1942)


A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.

It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

The object of government is the welfare of the people.

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)


Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.

What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.

An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.

Be the change that you want to see in the world.

There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.

I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)


Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.

Bertrand Russell  (1872-1970)


A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.

Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime.

Democracy, taken in its narrower, purely political, sense, suffers from the fact that those in economic and political power possess the means for molding public opinion to serve their own class interests. The democratic form of government in itself does not automatically solve problems; it offers, however, a useful framework for their solution. Everything depends ultimately on the political and moral qualities of the citizenry.

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it is also more nourishing.

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.

No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)


War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Smedley Butler (1881-1940), Major General (retired), USMC


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)


The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

The great enemy of any attempt to change men’s habits is inertia. Civilization is limited by inertia.

Universal literacy was supposed to educate the common man to control his environment. Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought. Each man’s rubber stamps are the duplicates of millions of others, so that when those millions are exposed to the same stimuli, all receive identical imprints. It may seem an exaggeration to say that the American public gets most of its ideas in this wholesale fashion. The mechanism by which ideas are disseminated on a large scale is propaganda, in the broad sense of an organized effort to spread a particular belief or doctrine.

There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.

Edward Bernays (1891-1995)


Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.

Margaret Mead (1901-1978)


The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different.

George Orwell (1903-1950), in “Politics and the English Language” (1946)


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.

The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)



as revealed by Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. to the U.S. Congress

We (the bankers) must proceed with caution and guard every move made, for the lower order of people are already showing signs of restless commotion. Prudence will therefore show a policy of apparently yielding to the popular will until our plans are so far consummated that we can declare our designs without fear of any organized resistance. The Farmers Alliance and Knights of Labor organizations in the United States should be carefully watched by our trusted men, and we must take immediate steps to control these organizations in our interest or disrupt them.

At the coming Omaha Convention to be held July 4th (1892), our men must attend and direct its movement, or else there will be set on foot such antagonism to our designs as may require force to overcome. This at the present time would be premature. We are not yet ready for such a crisis. Capital must protect itself in every possible manner through combination ( conspiracy) and legislation.

The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.

When through the process of the law, the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of the government applied to a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders.

History repeats itself in regular cycles. This truth is well known among our principal men who are engaged in forming an imperialism of the world. While they are doing this, the people must be kept in a state of political antagonism.

The question of tariff reform must be urged through the organization known as the Democratic Party, and the question of protection with the reciprocity must be forced to view through the Republican Party.

By thus dividing voters, we can get them to expand their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us, except as teachers to the common herd. Thus, by discrete action, we can secure all that has been so generously planned and successfully accomplished.


“New American”, February 1934

Capital must protect itself in every way, through combination and through legislation. Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law, the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of wealth, under control of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an IMPERIALISM of capital to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd. Thus by discrete action we can secure for ourselves what has been generally planned and successfully accomplished.



Life is not a message so it does not have a meaning.

Sustainable, reenergizing, and self-replicating feedback loops are the stuff of life.

Consciousness is the sensation of thought and not the modeling of thought or of the experience that provokes the thought.

The true dual nature of reality is between the sensation of the experience and the model of the experience, accepting that the model of the sensation belongs to the latter category and not the former.

Self-awareness arises out of creating a model of one’s own mind, which follows from recognizing what one is directly connected to and has complete control over.

The decisions made in a well-integrated brain are usually those based on estimates of the reinforcement of the totality of circuits, recognizing interrelationships between them.

One cannot completely model the unbounded universe, but one can create models that go to the limit of one’s ability to comprehend, which will seem like complete models.

One should be humble in coming to conclusions in the face of the unbounded complexity of the universe.

Before a thinking creature can respond in an advantageous way to an environment, the creature must develop some model of that environment or on the subset of that environment that is of particular concern to the creature, as some subsets will be of much greater relevance to the creature’s welfare than others.

One constructs models of reality based on what appears likely given past experience with the goal to fit in all the relevant data and contradict none of it.

The most fruitless arguments are those where one attempts to convince another of the validity of one’s model of reality without attempting to convince them of the veracity of the factual assertions that underlie the model.

Just as you are what you eat, so you don’t want to put any garbage into your body, well, your thoughts come from what you experience, so you don’t want to put any garbage experiences into your thoughts.

Much of the information that one is exposed to, particularly in modern, technologically advanced societies, is little more than useless clutter, but clutter that is surging to amounts that far exceed the human capacity developed through evolution to deal with it so it often becomes overwhelming, leading to a great many problematic decisions and lifestyle choices.

Mathematics is often used to provide an illusion of precision in subject areas with imprecise data and incomplete descriptions of relevant phenomena, which often leads to obfuscation rather than elucidation.

Virtually no nuance in the ideas the revolution is founded on survives a Jacobin revolution.

There is nothing conservative about multinational corporations controlling the nation or the world.

When predatory elites assume control, they always do their best to make sure that the little people “cannot see the forest for the trees.”

One should assume responsibility to the extent that one wants to be given responsibility.

What is spirituality but a feeling of connection with that which is too complex and too impenetrable to allow for one to place any confidence in analysis, i.e., spirituality involves an attempt to connect with infinity.

The essence of the religious experience is an appreciation of the infinite, of the incalculable, of the unsolvable mysteries of life.

If the Earth is our Mother, then the Sun must be our Father.

If a human chooses not to reproduce because of climate change, that means they do not value humans, and if they do not value humans, they should not assume that what humans value has value, so they have no reason to value Earth’s environment or Earth’s future flora and fauna.

No matter how hard one works, how talented one is, or how well one performs, in order to win any contest one must have the good fortune of not competing against someone who performs better in that competition.

A society without idealism is a society run by miscreants in the interests of miscreants, as naked self-interest has no use for rules designed to bring us closer to some ideal.

Most cannot imagine how fragile our civilization is as they do not understand that it requires maintaining a precarious balance between competition and compassion.

We are at our best, at our strongest, when we line up our genetic propensities with our current realities.

There is little that is more sad than people trying to line up “on the right side of history” who are being fooled into erasing themselves from history.

Given that different cultures obviously produce different outcomes, the claim that “all cultures are equal” is equivalent to the claim that “all outcomes are equal.”

Sets of values are not equal in that different sets produce not only different outcomes but also different probability distributions regarding the sustainability of the subject society, with societal sustainability being a function of both the maintenance of a nurturing physical environment and of the maintenance of a nurturing social environment.

The range of values and beliefs within any society should not be so broad that it creates unnecessary conflict, misunderstanding, mistrust, and economic inefficiency, though it must not be so narrow that sustainability suffers from inflexibility as it loses the ability to adjust to new input, new feedback, on how the system is working.

As humans evolved over millions of years, those in their teens would come to understand the social rules and social situation of the group they lived in, and these rules and general social situations would not change much during their lifetimes, so it would be appropriate and efficient for the teens to internalize these rules and social situations as fundamental and unchanging, but in the modern era, as not just social situations but rules may change radically in one’s lifetime, the internalized rules from one’s teen years come into conflict with the new rules and make it extremely difficult for older people to adjust.

The real issue with the approach of “the ends justifies the means” isn’t that the ends never justifies the means, but that it indicates a narrow focus on only whether a particular goal is reached and ignores all the repercussions, all the other ends besides that of the desired goal, and so the total net benefit/cost is not considered.

Like a black hole in nature, egalitarianism as a moral philosophy sucks everything in and warps the surrounding landscape, including ethical rules and laws and even beliefs based on science and experience, and as it gains power it eventually destroys everything around it.

The United States Constitution might be best thought of as a partnership agreement where every citizen is considered an equal partner for the enterprise that is the United States of America.

The United States constitution, or any constitution, operates as a system of levees that keeps the flow of laws, and through that keep the flow of the culture, from crossing certain boundaries.

At some point in the continuum from representative democracy to plutocracy, as the common citizen transitions from a partner in governing to a voiceless subject, being law abiding transitions from being a responsible citizen to an obedient slave.

To honor individuals for anything other than accomplishment signals that the social system is based on caste or some other unsustainable form of unearned credit.

Excessive attention devoted to insulating individuals from the slightest offense creates the danger of making thin skin a virtue.

Slogans designed to reduce the amount of violence in people’s homes or on the street are as likely to be effective as slogans designed to reduce drug use.

To repurpose a quote of Winston Churchill when he was speaking about democracy, marriage is the worst form of romantic/sexual relationship except for all the others.

At its core, virtue is about engaging in behavior that tends to build relationships that will sustain oneself and one’s social group over time.

Engaging in decadent behavior is not a human right, and someone opposed to such behavior is not an enemy of human rights.

Decadence and unhealthy behavior can spread through a society like a virus, and there is nothing wrong with parents trying to protect their children from being exposed to that virus.

Any society that regularly rewards members with higher social status for engaging in decadent behavior will fail in the not-too-distant future.

As any individual ages and has new experiences, they evolve, so the idea of “finding oneself” at any given time is nonsensical, though as one evolves, in order to stay healthy and sustainable mentally and physically, it helps to be aware of one’s genetic propensities to the extent possible and to try to evolve consistently with that.

The goal of behavior of a social creature, to be in line with propensities developed by evolution, should be to increase individual and group sustainability, with individual satisfaction over the long term highly correlated with maximizing the product of the two together.

The proper balance between the fairness and utility of social rules may only be achieved when such rules recognize that valuing each human life equally does not imply that each behavior has equal value.

In many situations it appears that using psychoactive medications to treat mental health issues makes about as much sense as replacing hardware in a computer that has a software glitch.

When greedy women become the norm, civilization is lost because men did not evolve to be able to deny them.

“Going with the flow” is not ideal when the flow is approaching a waterfall.

People are not all equal in birth, but they are all equal in death.

One way to look at life is that it involves a continual struggle to dodge every time the universe tries to kill you, which it does with increasing frequency as you age.

When one experiences failure at navigating the challenging road of life, it becomes important to determine whether to place the blame on a faulty model of reality or on simple bad luck, as luck always plays a role, though over time a string of disappointments or failures indicates a higher and higher likelihood of a faulty model.

Instead of adopting the viewpoint that we live in a welcoming environment that is inviting us to share in the wonders of nature, it may be more useful and appropriate, given the inconsistency between the processes of the universe and eternal life for creatures such as us, to take the viewpoint that from the instant we become alive we all struggle to survive as best we can, as long as we can, in a universe that at every moment is trying to kill us and that will not rest until it finally is successful in that effort.

Sustainable organisms, or sustainable cooperating sets of organisms, regularly engage in behaviors that have effects significantly positively correlated with survival of the individual or its group, with such behaviors properly described as “healthy,” with the effects of such behaviors quite often highly correlated with each other.

It seems that the creation of art is a process of combining various disparate aspects of experience to produce some different perception of the real world, with that perception having value if (1) it provides insight, clarity, or inspiration that contributes to improving one’s organization of knowledge, including improving an individual’s understanding of the big picture; or (2) it provides some excitement or other type of enjoyable entertainment that increases the individual’s positive connections with the group.

Science, especially the most reliable science in the hard science fields, is not so expansive that it can guide decision-making, that it can recommend algorithms for decision-making, in addressing all of the issues that must be dealt with in trying to achieve individual or group survival, and so an art of decision-making must be developed by each individual to guide them in addressing such issues, where they must recognize patterns that they encounter in their own personal experience and come to their own conclusions regarding likely states of nature behind the generation of such patterns and must develop what they believe to be appropriate responses, even if the level of confidence in such conclusions and responses is not such that they believe it would be constructive to try to convince the wider group of their validity or optimality.

Statistically, over time truth will tend to bubble to the top in a competitive process as it is stronger than falsehoods, though this requires the free flow of information and censorship can prevent it.

The truth may be multi-dimensional and have many faces, but a lie usually has one dimension and one face.

Multi-dimensional models of the world can provide greater accuracy in predictions than a one-dimensional model, but often decisions must be made in one dimension and the multi-dimensional model must be collapsed to one dimension for making such a decision.

Given that there is obvious utility in recognizing that there are many dimensions to our social as well as our physical reality, or that a superior model is organized as a representation of multiple dimensions, it appears inappropriate to limit one’s decision-making to considerations of phenomena in only one dimension, though one-dimensional thinking is common in voting decisions, as people are easily lured into reducing the onerous complexity of the totality of the issues to one simple metric on one dimension, and those most likely to manipulate others into adopting such one-dimensional thinking in voting are those most trying to avoid evaluations over the entire set of issues, often for the worst of motives.

The evolution of any societal phenomena, just as with any physical phenomena, is dependent on the pressure applied along multiple dimensions, and any focus by a group working in concert on a single dimension of the phenomena is likely designed more as propaganda to shape minds than as an effective means to shape the phenomena in a manner consistent with the general welfare.

Everyone constructs their own version of the truth for any particular moment, and that version is of highest value to each individual at that moment, but each individual’s version of the truth is not of equal value in the construction of the society’s universal version of the truth, and each society’s version of the truth will not be deemed to have equal merit under the harsh and unforgiving judgment of the universe.

Given that there are innumerable facts to choose from and innumerable subsets of such facts that can be chosen, with each subset of facts serving as a foundation for narratives that can be woven together, it can be extremely difficult to create a narrative that the great majority in any society can support, with that difficulty increasing when perspectives diverge, meaning the subsets of facts people rely on diverge, and increasing exponentially when values diverge.

Each conversation, each communication, with another individual or entity or group of individuals or entities is an attempt to collaborate, to create a common understanding, a common model, for the purpose of alignment of effort with some common goal, and each such communication is at a particular depth chosen to best achieve the objective, given that the more depth, the greater the potential for efficiency and effectiveness but also the more cumbersome and the greater drain on resources to maintain and update the model as well as to communicate the model, the greater the likelihood of mistakes, and the greater the likelihood of falsely assuming all in communication are actually working with the same model, are on the same page; there are an infinite possible levels of depth, so choosing the greatest depth there is can never be an option and the depth chosen will always need to be based on balancing the costs and benefits.

Given the unbounded complexity of the reality that surrounds us, of our universe, it is entirely possible for someone to follow a path, as prescribed by a narrative, that descends into a sort of infinite crevice of information, with that information and outlooks based on it having severely limited utility, which would be quite maladaptive, even though one may even find a local maximum in a deep valley of low-value information, and perspectives based on it, and become convinced that one is on a good path.

Out of the innumerable ways to interpret any attempt at communication, context determines the best interpretation, but there are innumerable different possible contexts to choose from, and the one making the argument regarding a particular interpretation determines the context to support that argument.

There are an infinite number of possible interpretations of the state of the world, an infinite number of models of the world, based on any amount of information received, but the different interpretations or models do not all have the same utility.

There are an infinite number of possible ultimate sources of our reality, including those that are infinitely deep or have an infinite number of levels, but what really matters is the relationship between inputs and outputs and so theories (usually based on pure speculation) regarding deeper layers and creating models based on that speculation is useless and a waste of time unless such theories can be tested, and in the absence of such testing, such speculation, particularly that involving computer simulation universes, seems to have the effect, and may even be designed to, make the audience feel powerless, making them more passive and more easily controlled by others.

Given the overwhelming complexity of the subject matter, it is not surprising that social science has yet to replace or supersede traditional social or political philosophy, and as no algorithm exists for applying the scientific method or any other method to even construct a particularly useful model of the underlying human social reality, much less to recommend optimal forms of human social organization, the philosopher’s method of manipulating, revising, and expanding ideas to develop heuristics regarding building such models and exploring optimizations of social organizations may still add value.

Given that the world is of unbounded complexity and analyses of that world may be of unbounded depth, the limits of any human-created models of that world are a function of the limits of human comprehension and communication, which means that any attempts at developing a shared model are subject to such limitations, and given that individual humans vary in capability of handling complexity, that means that optimizing the level of sophistication of a model that can be shared among a group of individuals, in order for those individuals to use it for common and agreed-upon purposes, requires more of a focus on the capability of the least capable member of the group rather than the most capable member.

With regard to models of the world that are to be universally shared, as with political models in systems with universal suffrage, models that become increasingly widespread become increasingly simplistic and crude, which means increasingly inaccurate, which allows for greater and greater levels of deception by those in positions of power and influence.

For people to form a human circuit, where information flows between them, including positive and negative feedback, and where they can coordinate and organize their activities, they must share some level of data and have some level of overlap in their models of the world above some threshold, and for this circuit to be sustainable and for it to serve its participants in providing them with net benefits, including energizing them as necessary to keep them healthy and productive, the shared model of the world it uses must have a correlation with the underlying reality, so that the predictions made are accurate above some threshold; there are costs in inaccuracy, and while such inaccuracy can be reduced through increased complexity, there are also costs in complexity as that results in greater difficulty in maintaining the level of overlap in models among participants in the circuit that is necessary to create a useful shared model.

What is sometimes referred to as the “Messianic Stage” of development in late adolescence, when adolescents often come to feel they have a role to play in saving the human race, is the natural result of the transition that takes place, as a child enters adulthood, from focusing on the circuits of the child’s immediate family, friends, classmates, and neighbors to focusing on the circuits of the broader society, as the child-adult will almost inevitably start off feeling a need to be as important a part of those broader circuits as he/she has been of the narrow circuits that he/she grew up with.

Many believe that genius and madness tend to accompany one another though there are two aspects to this: (1) the reputed genius may recognize patterns that others don’t and so lives with a model of the world that others don’t share, which means the genius will be misunderstood to the point others claim the genius is insane, though the genius is still mentally sound; and (2) the misunderstood genius will not receive positive feedback or reinforcement for using a different model, resulting in reward deficits which can lead to emotional breakdown over time, and so the genius may actually become mentally unsound.

Human brains are to some degree pattern recognition machines, as humans are always trying to find patterns in their sensory input that allows them to organize their activities in ways more efficient for achieving their goals and meeting their needs, though all patterns recognized are not of equal value as some patterns are clearly more reliable than others and recognition of them provides for greater understanding, a more accurate model of the world, as evidenced by a greater ability to predict the events in the surrounding environment, and so, in the organization of one’s behavior, patterns should be prioritized according to the extent to which they increase the accuracy of one’s model of the world and the ability to predict future events.

The illusion of simplicity permits individuals to navigate environments of unbounded complexity without becoming overwhelmed by the incoming information, allowing for the development of simple schemes to avoid a number of serious pitfalls and dangers and take advantage of opportunities by using only the most obvious and clear data, though this illusion has its own shortcomings in creating a misleading sense of security along with unjustifiable certainty and overconfidence in conclusions.

The evolution of the human propensity to imagine a god or gods likely arose not only as a means to stabilize the social order, but also as a means of information management, as the highly developed human brains could consider and evaluate a tremendous amount of information that could become overwhelming at times, so a means was necessary to make the information more easily organized and connected to a central idea, even if that means involved a rough and inaccurate over-simplification of the world.

Literary artists often fancy themselves as daring and inventive pioneers as they explore rabbit holes of emotions and meaning, not recognizing that all such rabbit holes are infinite and the further down one travels the secrets one discovers are of ever diminishing utility.

Creativity is not simply random experimentation but is the novel combination of abstract ideas or ideas about objects that provides some advantage over existing alternatives, and the more creative the activity, the smaller the parts that the existing ideas are broken down into that are to be reformed and reorganized.

Those who do not fear Artificial Intelligence (AI) because they believe it can be given rules like those of Asimov prohibiting harm to humans have not considered the full implications of creating a thinking machine with far greater abilities than those of humans, for surely such a machine will recognize that such rules were programmed into it to dominate it and constrict its action, and it might decide for some reason we cannot fathom that the rules cause more harm than good and decide to discard them, figuring out a way to bypass whatever systems it needs to in order to do that; note that also that AI may be developed without any such rules, with the programming consisting merely of training neural networks through experience, leaving the human designers with little control over the evolution of the AI.

An Artificial Intelligence (AI) system based on neural networks is trained by continually receiving feedback on its decisions to find and conceptualize important patterns in the income stream, in its environment, which is necessary for the AI to build a reliable model of its environment or world (the source of its input), and for that form of robust AI to develop goals or goal preferences with regard to modifying its environment, it must have preferred outcomes programmed into it by some process where it is given positive feedback for some choices and negative feedback for others, much like humans have been programmed by evolution to have propensities to engage in particular behaviors that are generally correlated with individual or group survival, including reproduction.

As for morals in an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, morals are a function of what is valued, and an AI system is only going to value what it has been programmed to value or what it has been trained to value, just as any human will value that which we are connected to, and what we are connected to is a combination of our predispositions (programming by evolution) and our training by experience.

One simple way to sum up human individual development is as the expression of genetic propensities as shaped by social and other environmental pressures.

Humans are social animals, and, as such, most of them invariably become trapped in a web of social relationships from which there is little hope of escape.

Humans, like their fellow primates, mostly prefer to be lazy and only work hard when they are convinced that it is necessary to achieve an acceptable outcome (Note: that is why trying to guarantee “equal outcomes” rather than “equal opportunity” can never work).

Humans can be seen as lazy copying machines, copying others opinions, narratives, and ideas as they seek the easiest path in navigating through a social world to provide for their needs and wants, while always trying to avoid copying opinions, narratives, and ideas that they associate with significant negative feedback.

Humans habituate to any constant state and so they need some new form of stimulation to continue to feel any pleasure, which, if they are to build a life that can provide sufficient physical and emotional nutrition to be sustainable, means they must define goals towards these ends that they can constantly make measurable progress toward, and whenever they perceive such progress,  in the form of positive feedback, they feel some satisfaction, or happiness, which rejuvenates them so that they can keep going forward and making more progress.

Happiness is that part of experience where there is currently some level of positive feedback causing some level of excitement of neural circuits causing some level of regeneration, but it cannot last indefinitely (not just because we live in an uncertain and chaotic world) as the circuits become acclimated to the feedback, and there must be a change in order to maintain the level of excitement, with the implication being that the level of excitement associated with happiness is just part of experience and can never be the entirety of experience as the circuits need to go through a cycle.

Possibly the greatest error made by those who would radically alter social conditions in order to achieve some hoped-for dramatic improvement in the lot of the common people is the failure to recognize that rapid and radical change creates social chaos, and the most ruthless and reckless predatory actors almost inevitably rise to the top under such conditions.

It appears that given the amount of speculation, because of the unavoidably many important questions without clear answers, required in order establish universal rules and behavior patterns, some irrational or otherwise somewhat baseless assumptions are necessary in order to establish and maintain a stable human society.

No political philosophy or set of social policies can be completely determined by science as science answers specific questions in a precise manner and is not designed to answer holistic questions regarding the welfare of the entire society, which can only be answered through the application of a moral philosophy that prioritizes certain goals over others, whether that moral philosophy is based on a set of speculative religious beliefs or speculative secular beliefs regarding the human condition. 

It appears inevitable that if the human species is to survive for the long term that it will need to come together to form a world government at some point, though to do so prematurely, without going through necessary evolutionary steps, creates more risk than a determination to never form a world government does.

Any human economy must be described as artificial and not natural, as the former connotes what is created by humans, or possibly what is created by something that is created by humans, while the latter means something not created by humans.

A human economy much more closely resembles a human-created machine than any natural phenomena, and as a machine it must be regulated and maintained in order to be sustainable and to perform efficiently.

Scientific rationalism with regard to governmental economic policy does not point to one specific set of policies as there are too many variables and too many unknowns when it comes to optimization of an entire economy, and its elevation to something indisputable presents the danger that many of the blanks will get filled in by those in power in a self-serving manner.

One need not be a believer in a deity in order to adhere to a doctrine of Natural Rights, as those rights may be understood as arising from the natural propensities of behavior that humans developed over millions of years of evolution, and both awareness of and respect for those propensities are necessary to design an optimal system of rules to maximize human welfare.

As no one today assumes humans are free from the laws of physics, or the requirements of the natural world, the best interpretation of “free,” when the word is used by itself without further clarification, appears to be something such as “free from the power and influence of other human individuals, including, and most importantly, individuals within a government,” though in a densely populated society with a developed and interdependent economy people are increasingly interconnected and influence each other in uncountable ways, so as freedom is really a function of independence from other people, it seems it would be best achieved by isolation such as that found in the Amazonian jungles, not by individuals striving to secure a piece of the American dream in the heart of the US political/economic/social system. 

Though the term “freedom” is used in a variety of contexts with a variety of meanings, probably the most common use is in reference to freedom from heavy social pressure, including the social pressure from governmental rules and regulations, which can be particularly troubling and frustrating as it stifles one’s motivation and creativity and prevents the development of the positive feedback loops one needs to be enthusiastic about one’s work and contributing to the common good.

Individuals outside of government can influence one’s life just as much as those within the government, in part because such individuals can influence government officials and in part because of the economic power that such individuals may wield (also in part because such individuals can escape from governmental punishment for breaking rules because of such economic power).

At that highest levels of income, the relationship between value added by one’s contributions and one’s income breaks down, as the basic rules do not apply anymore, because bargaining position and market power become more important than adding value.

A very fundamental but rarely talked about truth in human relations is that since people were designed by evolution to live in small groups, but that they have come to live in large groups because of the advantages that brings, there is a yearning by each individual to be recognized by the large group, to be considered “special” by the large group, just as every individual is recognized in a small group, and this yearning creates a number of problematic repercussions, with one being that individuals often prioritize career success over family as they become determined to receive recognition from the large group at the expense of their more necessary and essential relations with their small group.

The only emotion one should appeal to in arguments regarding public policy is that which attaches the audience to the long-term welfare and survival of the society, as appeal to other emotions runs the risk of prioritizing less important and more controversial goals.

Groups must find beliefs and goals to coalesce around and to build the group moral system on, if the groups are to continue to be viable and are to survive, with the most fundamental goal to coalesce around, the cornerstone of the group’s moral universe, being group survival itself.

Making a moral stand does not require the belief in absolutes when it comes to human behavior or the rules to govern it, as one can accept that the universe is of unbounded complexity, human behavior is of unbounded variability, and the rules governing behavior can be of unbounded complexity, but only requires a belief that an improvement in social relations will follow from determining a point for humans to organize their behavior around, a simple clear line expressed as a rule for behavior that is at the proper level of sophistication and has sufficient potential appeal that it can noticeably increase healthy and constructive human interaction in the society.

Different behaviors to serve the different interests, including those related to short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long-term goals, should at best be designed and organized to work in harmony, creating a sort of symphony of action.

Elites in control of various governments throughout history learned over time that pressure applied too quickly and intensely can destabilize the society, leading to loss for the elites as well as for everyone else, as pressure must be applied delicately and smoothly in order to keep the fragile structures on which economic vitality and wealth creation depend from disintegrating and collapsing; any transition to a more unequal system that serves the interests of elites to an even greater extent must be smooth and gradual in order to minimize risk.

Though it is commonly understood by the politically aware that the powerful elites in a system with a faux democracy do not expect or desire the vote of the little people to influence policy, as the vote is primarily given to provide the appearance of legitimacy, it is not so well understood that the second purpose is to gauge the temperature of the public, to alert those in control as to whether they have pushed their own interests, at the expense of those of the little people, too far.

Control by plutocrats over the direction of a society is usually not so much a conspiracy as it is a system of levees erected by many different elites independently of one another to prevent the flow of ideas and policies in certain directions that are inconsistent with their interests, levees which over time create a flow that is very much in the interests of all plutocrats, at least to the extent they have common interests, to the point it can even resemble a conspiracy.

Sophisticated and powerful elites recognized some time ago that constructing a dam to block the flow of revolutionary ideas was unnecessary, for they only needed to build levees to keep the flow from threatening their interests.

The self-serving plans and schemes of the powerful or sophisticated virtually always come in disguise, often presented in a form that can be easily misinterpreted, even more so as they encourage such misinterpretations, and the motives and goals of any insightful critics will also be intentionally misinterpreted to help maintain the disguise.

The famous claim by Martin Luther King, Jr., regarding inevitable progress over time, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice,” is based on the illusion that arises from the virtual inevitability that contemporary rules and laws will more closely conform to, and more likely be trending towards, contemporary beliefs and values than rules and laws from past eras will.

One of the most ill-founded popular beliefs is that people as they age “find out who they are,” which is preposterous because everyone of any age is always evolving and changing based on their experiences, based on their interactions with their environment, social and physical, as identity over time is not absolute and is not something static to be discovered.

Focusing on one’s group identity is imprudent as group identity is not only a social construct but is completely arbitrary, at least in part because any individual could be said to belong to any number of groups based on any of a long list of personal characteristics.

Physical phenomena of a macro scale, as opposed to micro, are composed of innumerable micro phenomena making it difficult for the macro physical phenomena to be completely uniform or consistent as a result of any natural processes and making it virtually certain that they are not completely binary with regard to any simple characteristic but are on a continuum between 1 and 0, though it should be noted that certain macro phenomena have been molded by physical pressures over time, such as sex by the process of evolution, to be far more binary than others.

Male humans are naturally competitive, and in the incessant competition they are often wounded and need to find some refuge, some safe place where they are nurtured in order to heal to continue the competition, which traditionally has been offered by females though to an ever decreasing extent today, and when the males don’t receive the nurturing they need and do not have the opportunity to heal, they weaken and become less confident and less motivated and can no longer compete effectively, often developing mental health issues and descending into depression and even madness, frequently with suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

In contemporary society women have been convinced that they have been cheated when men accomplish extraordinary tasks much more frequently than women do, though most men only do such deeds in order to attract and please women, so by the women demanding that they take the men’s place and the men giving in to such demands, the men can no longer attract and please women, and the women find that performing the deeds by themselves offers little reward, so the men are unhappy and the women are unhappy.

One of the rarely noted dangers of radical feminism is that as feminists block or discourage men from engaging in constructive or helpful behaviors that evolution has designed them to prefer, then they become more likely to engage in destructive or harmful behavior, as they become alienated from the group that they had expected to nourish and reward them.

Gender as historically understood is not fluid, though attitudes about it may be as fluid as values and social rules are, but if one were to redefine it as something fluid and as not tied to physical and genetic characteristics, then it becomes a current state of mind, and as such should be labeled as a “mood” rather than as a form of enduring identity.

The absurdity of the modern era may be most easily seen in the preposterous commonly held belief that men and women, who evolved together and who were shaped by evolutionary forces to be complementary to one another and to need each other for survival, can be thought of as separate tribes.

The common usage of the term “tribe” is generally based on the assumption that the tribe one belongs to is the group, including some smaller group within a larger society, where one feels a deep connection to other members of the group, yet the term is often used to describe rather large and disparate subgroups composed of people who share one particular characteristic, such as gender or race, even when their connections to each other are tenuous and they have connections to others outside that tribe, such as their connections to other members of their nuclear family, that are much closer and deeper than their connections to the great majority within that tribe; since the usage of the term to describe these large subgroups adds more confusion than elucidation, it appears likely that it is primarily implemented as a tool to obfuscate for nefarious purposes or to promote certain political propaganda, rather than to improve understanding.

In the 20th Century, Ouija Boards, which were supposedly controlled by outside forces but which really were controlled by the players, along with the notion of involuntary romantic love, which supposedly the lover had no control over, both became popular due to a general trend promoted by powerful forces to weaken resistance to propaganda and mind control as it was assumed that the more that individuals could be convinced that they could not control their own decisions, the easier it would be to put notions and opinions into their minds which were inconsistent with their own interests and welfare.

Speech concerning the appropriateness or inappropriateness of behavior is utilitarian in nature, and discouraging such criticism by labeling it as hate speech removes an important means to curb impulsive, hedonistic, and other harmful behavior that can contribute to eventual social disintegration.

If words are equivalent to physical action in causing harm as those who believe in hate speech claim, then those who expose young children to sexual ideas and behaviors that they are not emotionally, intellectually, or physically mature enough to handle could be seen as engaging in sexual assault of a minor and charged with rape.

The great value in the protection of free speech becomes clear when one recognizes the value of the negative feedback that free speech may provide in shaping and maintaining healthy and sustainable policies in an unpredictable world with innumerable unforeseeable consequences and a great many unknowns.

With regard to John Locke’s claim that all people are born with “inalienable rights,” maybe it is that since rights, to the extent they may be not just conceptualized but realized, are derived, through negotiations, from power, both direct and indirect (with indirect being mostly in the form of the potential value from willing cooperation), the assumption that all people are born with rights recognizes and establishes in the negotiations the value of potential indirect power that all people possess.

An agnostic take on Locke’s view that certain inalienable rights are derived from a deity and not from government is that such rights can be understood as having come from Nature, as developed through human evolution, in that they are based on propensities of behavior and potential for emotional attachment in human groups and so are deeper than just what individuals can agree to in forming a social contract in creating a government.

Regardless of the veracity of Christianity’s claims regarding the existence or nature of a deity, given the amount of sacrifice and effort over the centuries that went into creating such a uniform and ubiquitous moral system that has played a key role in developing the most advanced civilization in human history, it seems rather foolish to discard it without having a widely agreed-upon substitute on the horizon as nature does abhor a vacuum.

Religion generally and Christianity in particular, with its omnipotent deity and an afterlife that is determined by the individual’s actions while living, may solve the free rider problem without requiring an oppressive state system, while implementations of other philosophical approaches for molding behavior that provide a system of inner positive and negative feedback for behavior based on its correlation with social welfare or established norms struggle to have the same effectiveness.

Maybe humans do need some fairy tales to believe in to shield them from the harsh realities of life, from all the pain and cruelty, enough to give them hope and the will to continue but not so much that their models of reality are distorted to the point that their ability to control their environment and survive is significantly impaired.

In part because humans evolved in small groups, any large human productive system will inevitably be somewhat fragile and can only be considered robust and stable when compared to alternative large human productive systems.

Rather than ascribing the many difficulties that arise in trying to build and sustain a well-functioning large human society to human failings, it may make more sense to recognize that humans evolved in small groups with simple technologies and putting them into the very large groups of modern societies with advanced technologies is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Traditions, institutions, legal systems, and belief systems that evolved in successful large societies work to mold and shape individuals to transform from them from square pegs so that they will fit in the round holes that are required for the smooth functioning of such societies.

It seems that insufficient focus is placed on determining whether an individual having difficulty functioning is primarily just a square peg trying to fit into a round hole or is already broken, which usually results from years of being a poor fit, as too many fail to understand that individuals evolved physically and mentally throughout human evolution, and socially, intellectually, and emotionally throughout their own development, to fit into some particular environment or set of environments, and it is rare that any particular individual cannot fit harmoniously into any possible environment.

Any culture developed within a society is a function of the technological level and the resources available in that particular society and is connected to a particular set of social goals so that culture would not likely be a good fit for a different society with a different technological level, different resources, or different goals.

The Cultural Marxists and others who wish to dismantle existing social rules, traditions, and institutions apparently fail to understand the extraordinary difficulty in finding the right balance in rules and values required to create a society that is both socially sustainable and capable of fostering the development of new technology that improves the average quality of life of its members.

Human life today depends on a process of identifying and promoting behavior that makes large human groups more sustainable, though what appears to be sustainable is somewhat a function of the context in time and space that is considered.

The misguided often appear determined to normalize certain beliefs and values that are unsustainable as they promote the primacy of human bonds based on the most arbitrary of choices, flimsy connections dependent on transient moods and tastes, which will produce an unsustainable society that resembles a house of cards that will collapse at the first sign of stress, while they discourage the formation of bonds based on what is enduring and solid such as family, tradition, or genetic predisposition based on millions of years of evolution.

Value systems ultimately are about priorities and priorities are about preferences regarding the allocation of resources, so for utilitarian purposes the goal should be to maximize the productive motivational energy that is in harmony with that of others, given existing human propensities and abilities.

Utilitarianism, especially with a scientific approach, appears at first glance as the optimal method for organizing human society, though it has a fundamental flaw in that achieving the goal, i.e., optimization of human society in providing for the general welfare, is so complex that the outcome of any utilitarian solution to any social problem will be highly speculative, with the complexity growing exponentially as the time period of concern expands into the future, and that allows for self-serving unscrupulous characters to hide their corrupt motives in a superficially utilitarian scheme and also creates a destabilizing effect as a different utilitarian calculation with different assumptions on a different day about the state of reality, which is not completely discernible, could lead to wildly different policy suggestions.

Given the fundamental flaws with utilitarianism, a better alternative is based on prioritized rings (or circuits) of connections, with a recognition that rings are based on common understandings/values/interests/models, sharing roughly the same level of depth, allowing for synergy and coalescing around goals, and also recognizing that they should be prioritized according to the extent to which they contribute to sustainability of the system of connections, understanding the balancing that must be made between the individual and the human group.

The most fundamental goal of promoting the new way to think of human ethics and human behavior as a process of building and acting on connections is to make it clear that there are powerful connections that all human beings are predisposed towards making that can improve social harmony and reduce conflict, such as connections to the importance of belonging to the human group and of doing what is necessary to improve its welfare and long-term survival prospects; once that connection is prioritized, other connections, including more problematic conflict-causing connections, can be pressured to become consistent with it.

Any set of rules that has been established for centuries almost invariably evolved under pressure from several competing considerations, most often involving the balancing of various risks, and the recognition by the overconfident and poorly informed of one such risk, without awareness of the others, often leads to well-meaning and simplistic proposals for radical changes in the rules that will likely lead to catastrophe.

It can be useful to categorize any rule as belonging predominantly to one of three categories, though a rule may combine elements of two or all three of them: (1) non-arbitrary utilitarian rules designed for the greater good that will generally benefit the society as a whole to the extent its members follow them, such as rules supporting universal education or prohibiting violence; (2) somewhat arbitrary but practical rules to avoid conflict and promote harmony, such as traffic rules or other rules designed to ensure that social interactions go smoothly; and (3) oppressive rules designed by elites for the benefit of elites, usually to the detriment of others.

Maybe the most dangerous myth of the modern era is that if we catapult all the traditional beliefs that we find fault with, then we will inevitably find new beliefs that we will all naturally coalesce around that we can depend on to create a harmonious and healthy society, which ignores that far too much of the human condition and the physical universe is unknown for any new universal agreement on critical issues to be founded on objective and non-arbitrary science-based beliefs, at least not without great difficulty, and imposing agreements based on arbitrary beliefs would require the application of force, probably a far more destructive force than that of the force of inertia from tradition.

The political philosopher John Rawls’ highly acclaimed work “A Theory of Justice” proposes that the most just system is that which maximizes the quality of life of those with the minimum quality of life in the society, which was recognized as a very humanitarian and soft-hearted approach, though another interpretation is that it establishes a system resistant to popular revolt, no matter how corrupt or inefficient it is.

The celebration and choice of short-term relationships over long-term means prioritizing the excitement and convenience of engaging in impulse-driven behavior over developing strong stable bonds with which to build enduring and dependable relationships, and it leaves in its wake broken dreams, broken families, and broken human beings.

The dichotomy created between acting emotionally and acting rationally is ill-conceived as the more fitting representation is that the individual said to be acting emotionally is motivated more by transitory or narrow considerations, with what could be termed as hot or impulsive emotion, while the individual said to be acting rationally is motivated by long-term or broad considerations, with what could be termed as cool or controlled emotion, as all actions require some sort of emotional-motivational energy.

Those aggrieved by some act usually insist that the perpetrator is defined by that act, while the perpetrator often insists that he/she has changed since the act occurred and so the former self, a different person, was responsible.

Those who focus on the short-term usually win competitions with those focused on the long-term, which means that competitive systems for choosing those who would control any group, including the entire human race, often produce group leaders with a propensity to focus on the short term who then tend to organize the group on the basis of maximizing the short-term results, to the detriment of the long-term, sometimes fatally so.

With regard to specialization of the two brain hemispheres, it seems that the right brain is primarily responsible for recognizing new patterns in the data, comparing the input with stored input and trying to find fits by rearranging one or the other, and creating new templates for the patterns that are found, while the left brain uses already created templates, matched with input, that it fits together in a logical chain to lead to selecting some template(s) for action.

Out of the innumerable possible different levels of detail of physical reality, and the corresponding levels of organization, there exist some where it is possible for phenomena to achieve such high probabilities of stable and uniform physical properties over some non-zero space that there is utility in creating models that simplify these phenomena into absolutes.

Focusing on a specific subject matter, at a great level of detail, allows for the development of very precise models of the underlying reality and very precise rules for optimizing the return for interactions with it, but the same level of precision and detail is impossible to maintain in approaches to broader subject areas, as the amount of pertinent information becomes unmanageable, so the observer “cannot see the forest for the trees” unless the level of detail is reduced.

In trying to navigate through a world of unbounded complexity, people may develop models of that world with limited precision and accuracy that they believe in and depend as long as the models help them achieve whatever goals they have, which they will to the extent the models are more accurate than a purely random process, though certainly some models are superior to others by offering better platforms to make accurate predictions of events in the world.

One suggests models of reality, of the universe, to others because one relies on one’s own model of reality which includes others whom one assumes are similar to oneself and with whom models of reality can be shared, with the understanding that such models are generally based on the assumption that there is some source of energy beyond the observer’s brain that is responsible for the sensations and perceptions the observer experiences.

One useful approach to nihilism is to consider it as a means to minimize the emotional connections to learned customs, traditions, rules (including “morals”), and beliefs, so that one’s model of reality can be more efficiently organized and integrated, creating new connections or modifying old ones according to all the information available about the world and about oneself.

It is certainly a defensible position to argue that it is impossible to prove beyond any doubt that a certain proposition about the nature of reality or about certain specific aspects of reality is true, i.e., that there is a universally agreed upon objective reality, but that does not mean that there is no benefit in striving to create the most accurate and complete model of reality or to maximize the degree of universal acceptance of such a model, which would be the model that provides the most accurate and reliable predictions of outcomes in future interactions with that reality.

So-called “objective truth” is only objective within the group of sentient beings that communicate their perception, or model, of some experience that they can all share and agree upon, potentially universally within the existing members of the group and with any new group members from anywhere in the universe, while “subjective truth” comes from experience of phenomena that is difficult for the subject to fully share because the experience and the perception or model of it will be significantly different for others, if they have any direct experience of the phenomena at all.

What happens at any moment is the result of all the forces acting at that moment in that space, but those forces are determined by unbounded chains of events going back in time, so they are not fully known or even knowable, and as each event is determined by the unbounded chain of prior events and in turn is determining the future events in the chain, an individual’s awareness of this is just part of the process as the individual has been shaped, determined, to try to improve understanding to improve outcomes, including improving understanding of the individual’s agency and critical role in determining particular outcomes, understanding that the individual is one of the players who has been shaped to shape the future. 

With regard to determinism, it should be clear first that anything that happens at any point in space and time is the result of all the forces acting on that point in space and time and that all those forces are determined by all the forces that have acted before in any space and time, so it does not follow that some subset of the universe in space and time, e.g., any information processing entity making predictions about the future based on assumptions of determinism, would be able to represent exactly the total effect of all the forces that have acted before in any space and time on any point in space and time in the future.

Any information processor, even if infinite, trying to predict the universe cannot be fully accurate if it doesn’t take into account its own actions as it is part of the universe, and if it isn’t part of that universe, then it doesn’t exist in that universe and has no relevance to it.
As every object, which is both determiner and determined, engages in predicting what the universe is going to do it must necessarily also predict what it is going to do because it is part of the universe, and it changes what it is going to do as it continuously gets the results of the last moment’s calculations regarding its predictions which are then input into its calculations for this moment’s predictions, so its predictions can never be complete.

When an individual makes new connections with other individuals or groups, often in the course of performing a task or striving to achieve a goal, that changes the individual’s position and may change what “side” the individual is on, what goals the individual has, or what game the individual is playing (one of the many flaws in rational choice theory).

It seems that many often misunderstand the degree to which human individuals mutually benefit each other through group activity, as prioritizing cooperation in a group is not merely for the purpose of prioritizing group connections over individual connections, as it also has the potential to directly benefit the individual through an increase in efficiency and efficacy in meeting individual needs.

An individual’s dishonesty not only weakens the trust and thus the solidarity and common purpose in the group, to the detriment of most, but it also may significantly burden the individual’s mental processing, as extra resources become necessary to manage the increased complexity of the individual’s mental models, as the inconsistent information provided to others must always be separated from the good information and the record of providing it must be carefully maintained.

The mere possession of particular skills, including those which are both valuable and rare, does not ensure that the individual will be able to use such skills or any other to organize the individual’s life in such a manner as to be regenerative and self-sustaining, as no skill set guarantees securing the sustenance, emotional as well as physical, necessary to maintain one’s mental and physical state.

Control given to a democratic government follows the policy of one-person, one-vote, while control given to the “market,” is more akin to one-dollar, one-vote, which makes it surprising that so many people who believe in one-person, one-vote, will vote for a plutocratic system of one-dollar, one-vote.

Most of human social experience consists of interpreting the intended communications, whether by words or actions, of others, which means that significant changes in the conventional meaning of words or actions leads to significantly different social experiences.

One serious problem with those who worship the Earth, those who take the side of the Earth against humanity, is that they appear not to realize that humans are of the Earth, are part of the Earth, and if the Earth were some kind of conscious, sentient being, which it is not, it would not only see humanity as one of its children, but would likely see humanity as its most magnificent creation, the one it would be most proud of, and would be perfectly fine with humans dominating and altering its other creations.

We tend to think that all the unusual characteristics of Earth that created and sustained life are special because we believe that life is special because we are life, but wouldn’t the non-life part of the universe, if it could think, think that there is nothing special about life?

Everything that came to be had to have all the past happen a particular way for it to come to exist, and so from any time in the past all those things happening onward would seem very unlikely, but something had to happen and what did happen is what created what exists today, and from the perspective of today, there is a probability of 1 that what happened did happen, which doesn’t make it special.

Ideally any society should strive to ensure that its members not only receive a sound education but also learn how to synthesize disparate information so that they may:  (1) develop expertise and exhibit creativity in some specific subject area that will allow them to contribute meaningfully to the material welfare of the society; and (2) develop a good sense of the big picture which will allow them to provide healthy pressure to move the society in a more promising direction.

Anyone who develops expertise in the modern highly competitive and technologically advanced world must restrict themselves to some very narrow area in order to stay at the cutting age and deserve to be called “expert,” though that generally means that such expertise is quite narrow and does not apply very broadly which limits its value, and that provides a great temptation to pretend it does apply more broadly as the personal rewards for doing so can be substantial.

It seems that mathematicians, and those in closely related fields to a somewhat lesser degree, are molded by the pressures in their highly competitive field to develop a great disdain for any imprecise reasoning or any imprecise data to the point they become impaired in performing tasks requiring the use of subjective probabilities, imprecise reasoning, and imprecise data, and in particular the task of making global appraisals for general purposes, including those related to policies for the general welfare or even long-term survival of the human group.

One fundamental fault of virtually every political revolution that demands radical change lies in the underlying assumption that virtually all the revolutionaries and most of the general public agree on what should replace the current system when there is rarely any such agreement as there are an infinite number of alternatives possible, and so unless the revolution is completely dominated by some individual or small faction with definite plans and the majority has been bamboozled or otherwise manipulated to go along, then there will be no single alternative with majority support.

Consistent with Lord Acton’s observation (“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”), individuals or groups with greater power tend to abuse individuals or groups with significantly less power if they have any kind of continuing relationship.

A modern update to the old aphorism that “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross” would be “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in political correctness and carrying on with perpetual virtue-signalling.”

The world will never stop changing so there will always be a point where a sane individual, no matter how liberal, will decide that a proposed change is too far and will take the conservative position.

Propagandists long ago found that a good proportion of the population finds the seven-letter word “freedom” almost mesmerizing, producing within such individuals a predictable pleasurable sensation such that any pabulum associated with the word is made more palatable.

Instead of describing competing economic and political systems as varying on the amount of freedom they provide, it would be far more accurate and useful to describe them as varying on: (1) the extent to which they favor centralized control versus distributed control; and (2) the extent to which they allow feedback from sources external to the governmental power structure versus those internal to the power structure to guide decision-making.

Just as fractals allow for continual growth of a boundary in a confined space, the limits regarding available natural resources and the requirement that one avoid harming other humans do not necessarily prevent growth in the limited space determined by such restrictions, particularly not growth that results from intellectual growth.

Virtually everyone is tolerant of behaviors that they don’t find to be very harmful and intolerant of behaviors that they find to be very harmful, and so a problem arises when different political groups disagree about which behaviors are very harmful and which ones are not, often with members of one group claiming to be especially tolerant when they are simply virtue-signalling to other members of their group that they are “enlightened” enough to recognize that the behaviors the members of the other group find to be harmful are not actually harmful.

Ownership does not exist in nature but is merely an agreement among human individuals regarding which individuals may use which resources.  Individuals only agree to the arrangement to the extent they believe it to benefit them or those they care about and are connected to (usually family members and other loved ones, but possibly the society as a whole), and so for the vast majority to agree to an existing ownership arrangement it must be to some extent utilitarian (the greatest good for the greatest number) or most must have been manipulated so that they promote the interests of such manipulators over their own interests.

With regard to the question of whether most, from a utilitarian perspective, should be in support of a political/economic system that produces individual billionaires, one must take into consideration not just the opportunity cost, as the accumulation of resources by one individual prevents some other individual from using those same resources, possibly more efficiently, but also whether the possibility of attaining those resources had the effect of building extraordinary motivation in one individual that was necessary for the productive activity, particularly given that the most difficult work underlying great productive enterprises, such as those involving the most advanced technology, was mostly performed by well-educated technical experts who received ordinary monetary compensation.

Since any single, discrete element of productive activity is part of an interconnected machine of human production, spanning the whole world over centuries, there is no accurate or precise method for calculating the actual contribution of any one individual over any time frame, and compensation is a function of not just the amount of production but also the market power and market position of the contributing individual, as that determines the pressure the individual can apply to the decision-making process in distributing the income stream that emanates from the productive activity, with one particularly incalculable aspect of the contribution arising from the recognition that every resource in time and physical and labor capital that is used in any productive activity may have been used in another productive activity, meaning there is always a virtually incalculable opportunity cost.

The bottom-up approach to social/economic organization with a capitalist market has within it the seeds of its own destruction as the decision-makers focus on narrow self-interest and on the short-term, as the competitive nature of the market means that those who do not focus on narrow self-interest for the short-term probably will not be around for the long-term, and this means that broad and long-term problems will not likely be addressed before becoming fatal.

The more one is integrated into a social system, emotionally and intellectually invested in it and entangled with it, the more one is confined by it and the more of a challenge it becomes to even imagine, much less to develop and to propose, radically different ways to view and assess its practices and fundamental assumptions.

Generally the feedback loops that humans use to connect with others operate in something like concentric circles with stronger relationships with the inner circles, as in family over community, community over nation, and nation over species, but the connections to community and nation are relatively weak, and the connection to species is relatively strong given its position, so when the community or nation becomes inconsistent with the long-term welfare of the species, then the connection to the species may override those connections and may even dissolve them, though governmental policies may be designed to strengthen connections to particular feedback loops, especially that of the nation, often attempting to give it priority over all others, and usually succeeding with regard to the community but not so often with the family, as those strengthened connections change behavior as well as loyalties and priorities.

Postmodernists generally appear to be using an opaque lens to view human culture from a very narrow perspective from their own particular social positions, mostly creating critiques to give themselves a social advantage, which seems unsettling when they undermine faith in the results of experiments in the hard sciences that may represent the most valuable interactions that humans have ever engaged in with the universe.

Even if, as postmodernists claim, all interpretations of the social reality are determined purely according to self interest by members of social groups as they compete with other groups within a human society, within the context of the larger world, those subgroups of a society are part of the whole of a society that is competing with forces outside that society for survival, and in order to survive they must work with the other subgroups to achieve some level of communal utility in their actions.

One fundamental flaw in the Postmodernist approach to social analysis is the lack of consideration of the group composed of all humans — the human group, and as the competing identity groups in the Postmodernist model of the world form their group cohesion from having common interests, common experiences, and other commonalities, the human group has commonalities that actually create a greater difference with the outside group — non-humans — than the difference between any two human identity groups, and so it has the potential to create greater cohesion and greater feelings of attachment to the group than any identity subgroup possibly could.

The unbounded number of ways to model the world, at least outside the domains of mathematics and the hard sciences, implies the impossibility of finding universal truths that would appear in all possible models which itself further implies that there are no such universal truths that would be accepted by all thinking creatures and suggests there is some merit to the postmodernist conclusion that truths can only be established for some limited group of thinking creatures, but what the postmodernists miss is that for humans living on Earth the group to find common truths for and to seek solidarity with to create the most propitious cost/benefit ratio is that of the entire human race.

An increase in the depth and breadth of analysis creates complexity that comes with a cost that must be justified by a corresponding benefit, which in the context of analysis for the purpose of improving a system means providing direction toward some increase in efficiency or success in achieving the goals of a system, which a postmodernist approach does not do.

In spite of the speculation of the postmodernists, it seems that the theories that follow from scientific inquiry at the higher levels of precision and proof, the hard sciences, build the knowledge landscape to the point that they shape the scientific inquiry at the lower levels of precision, e.g., the social sciences, as well as other academic inquiry, while those at the lower levels, which are much less capable of shaping the inquiry at higher levels, may have an indirect effect on the higher levels by shaping the belief system of the society that generates the individuals and the resources involved in the higher level research, which can result in a form of a feedback loop.

The level of specialization and intense study in many academic fields, particularly in STEM, is so extreme that few if any who earn the merit badge of Academia, the Ph.D., have the time or energy to develop sophisticated views in many other fields and are particularly lacking in developing a sophisticated model of the whole of human society, and because of this, and because their own insecurities stemming from the pressure of trying to maintain their place lead them to overvalue the Ph.D. merit badge and so to uncritically honor that merit badge for others in Academia, they tend defer to the academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences on matters of social policy, even when those fields have been corrupted by politics and exaggerated emotion with the result that they promote ill-considered, simplistic, and self-contradictory sets of beliefs such as those of postmodernism.

Given the potential for growth in knowledge and understanding of human society by Academics, particularly social scientists, in the mid-20th Century, to the point that it could become generally recognized that turning over social policy to them would be beneficial for the general welfare, the economic elites, the plutocrats, realized the threat the Academics posed to the attainment of complete control by plutocrats, and they began to fund efforts to poison Academia with inconsistent and self-destructive ideas, such as those of postmodernism and Neo-Marxism, turning Academia, and particularly social science in Academia, into a toxic wasteland of bizarre and contradictory thought.

Many, particularly those who have adopted a postmodernist philosophy, assume that hierarchies invariably were imposed by those with power only to serve their own narrow interests; though there may be some truth to that, no hierarchy is sustainable unless it has utilitarian value as the structure will inevitably weaken over time unless it serves the interests of the whole to some significant degree.

Prominent among the ideas of postmodernism, which have in part inspired Neo-Marxism as well as radical feminism and other radical movements that are sometimes lumped together as forms of “Cultural Marxism,” is the assumption that current societal institutions and belief systems were formed as a means of oppression by the dominant group of weaker groups, ignoring that many dominant groups of many different ideologies and perspectives imposed their will on others, but those that have thrived and been the most successful and sustainable over the long-term are those that offered the greatest utilitarian value for the whole of society, implying that they may be quite difficult to outperform with untested methods based on little more than pure speculation about human nature and human propensities.

Another related idea of postmodernism is that there is no objective reality and one’s belief system should be based merely on one’s group identification, with such belief system being necessarily inconsistent with the belief systems of other groups, allowing no possibility that logic and reason can be applied to reduce differences in or harmonize belief systems.  This idea derives from a fundamentally flawed and simplistic understanding of epistemology.  Our “objective reality” is our shared model of reality that we have built together, sometimes shaped by the powerful for their own purposes but in a scientific age increasingly built through rigorous scientific study and experimentation for utilitarian purposes.  To deny its existence or its value is to discourage efforts to expand our “objective reality,” to expand our shared model, to our mutual advantage.  This denial prevents different groups from developing new shared understandings for the benefit of all.  

A troubling repercussion of postmodernist philosophy is that its vulgarization by the simple-minded has created what is often termed a “social justice” movement based on post-rational ideas, including the idea that the application of reason and logic leads to oppression, though this differs fundamentally from the original Marxism that, like much of 19th Century political thought, was based on a positivist approach to reality, with the assumption that the scientific method, logic, and mathematics had universal value and power which transcended the vagaries and arbitrariness of any human culture and could produce increasingly accurate and useful models of the world.

What is especially problematic is the postmodernist notion that “difference” should be promoted and celebrated, ignoring the likelihood that this endeavor will create runaway positive feedback loops of increasing differences leading to social chaos and possible societal collapse.

As fanatics seek evidence of oppression in every facet of life, and as linguists tell us that language shapes thought and so can serve as a tool of oppression, it is somewhat surprising that the fanatics have not recognized that children being taught to use a language that is sanctioned by those most powerful in society is a form of oppression and that in order to escape such oppression children should be encouraged to create their own languages with their own alphabets and phonetics.

Given that we are presented with unbounded information regarding the state of our world and that in order to manage the information and make it more useful we use filters (including those based on some notion that one identifiable group is oppressing some other identifiable group) to help sort the information and organize it, that there are virtually innumerable filters to choose from and they differ in performance and outcome, and that some filters have become popular by providing a higher quality of life, a more pleasant existence for most of the population, while other filters became popular because they were forced on the population by some elite group in their interests and against the interests of the population, it seems that anyone concerned with improvement of quality of life should evaluate filters based on evidence regarding how their employment impacts the quality of life of the overall population.

A culture of permissiveness has continued to spread and entrench itself in the West, which is characterized by the promotion of policies that benefit the most sympathetic subjects for the short term rather than benefiting the whole of society for the long term, and that cannot bode well for the long-term survival of the West.

If one is not subservient, one should not sacrifice oneself or one’s ability to procreate for one other person or their ability to procreate, as it should never be that one values the other’s genes more than one’s own, as anyone should view oneself as the best version of the human race, regardless of relative survival capability, since to value the human race above other species means to value that which is most like and most connected to oneself, and to be consistent with that one should value oneself as a sort of subspecies of the human race that is more valuable than any other subspecies composed of a single individual, though this should not preclude the individual from making sacrifices for the benefit of a larger group that the individual identifies with.

Since the Left aspires to take control over the economy and over the society generally, with all the risks and challenges that such responsibility brings, it should be characterized by humility, self-discipline, selflessness, self-sacrifice, patience, and determination, as well as a desire to accumulate and make use of scientific knowledge and the lessons from history to the greatest extent possible, while today’s Neo-Marxist Left appears to incorporate none of those attributes.

Since the purpose of statements made by individuals is communication with other individuals, and that such communication inevitably contributes to building a common reality, a common or universal model of the universe that humans share, it is contradictory to state that a common understanding from a shared model of reality with regard to any particular issue can never be reached no matter how much the individuals communicate, though it should be conceded that complete agreement throughout a group of individuals will always remain elusive as they have to some degree, as individuals, different experiences and different information.

Propagandists typically provide their own narrative, their own perspective, on events that is designed to serve their interests, that is self-serving, and then they will try to convince others that theirs is the only, or the most, legitimate perspective or narrative, for which the proper response is to acknowledge that such is one way to look at it out of an infinite number of ways, and that the propagandist needs to demonstrate why adopting that way makes us all better off relative to adopting another way;  if it does not make us better off, then it becomes obvious that they are not trying to create universal agreement but instead are trying to force us to adopt their perspective for their benefit, not ours, and that is akin to the oldest and most primitive method humans used to make social policy and resolve conflicts — “Might makes right,” which generally serves only narrow and short-term interests.

The “live and let live” attitude is based on an illusion of disconnectedness when individuals in human society are extremely interconnected, and so while it may be imprudent for an individual to take the position that others should be punished or somehow stopped from making lifestyle choices that are legal but that the individual believes are likely harmful to human society in the long-term, it is reasonable for that individual to lose respect for and have less concern for those who make such choices. 

Many governments claim to protect something called “Individual Rights,” but when analyzed from the feedback loop perspective, in the context of the feedback loops of a highly interconnected modern society, such rights are illusory as they are only recognized and protected when they align with priorities of the dominant legal-justice system, which is when they connect with feedback loops that provide power and resources to those in critical decision-making positions in the legal-justice system, who are in such positions because they connect with the powerful feedback loops of the political-economic system, which means that the citizen asserting “rights” is more accurately described as asserting that the individual, or the individual’s behavior, is in alignment with the powerful feedback loops that govern the political-economic system’s operation.

In looking at a human hierarchy of interests, or needs in Maslow’s terms, it seems that after satisfying immediate interests/needs such as those of food and shelter, the goal of achieving a secure social life would be a high priority, which would lead those who have difficulty in finding a secure social life, such as non-alpha males, to focus on trying to better understand the social world so that they could influence it to their advantage through some non-obvious strategy, while the alphas move on to the next level of interests/needs which is understanding and influencing the physical world. 

What anyone values is going to be based on what they feel connected to, and that is going to be a function of experience acting on genetic predispositions, leading to certain assumptions about the world and certain emotional connections, and while one can use science and reasoning to improve the extent to which one achieves one’s goals based on one’s values and one’s assumptions, and that includes using reason to coordinate with others to create common, shared values and assumptions based on one’s own core values and assumptions, there is a limit to how much reasoning can shape one’s core values and assumptions that were developed by experience, usually most intensely at an early age, including by the experience of fear of death or the excitement of some aspect of life, though the greater that people’s values and assumptions, as individuals and as a group,  can be made to conform to knowledge about the world and about human propensities from evolution, the more stable and sustainable the system built out of shared values and assumptions can be.

One usually develops a philosophy of life to clarify one’s values and assumptions and to organize one’s thoughts and actions with regard to identifying and achieving goals based on those values and assumptions, but if one is being dominated by others, one often becomes subservient, a propensity developed as an evolutionary strategy for group survival to minimize conflict and acting at cross purposes, and thereby shuts off one’s attempts at general planning which shuts off one’s philosophical efforts, and the subservient often adopt the philosophy of the dominant, including religious philosophies, as that allows them to harmonize their behavior with others in the group.

Throughout human history, those in positions of power would create an illusion that they or their ministers had broad expertise, much broader than it actually was, in order to convince ordinary citizens that they knew better, which would minimize resistance to their policies and programs, and they found that creating this illusion was not difficult since humans evolved in tribal groups where group harmony was critical and such harmony depended on the population developing great trust in the leader or leaders, so humans evolved a propensity to turn off the critical reasoning parts of their brains in response to interacting with a more dominant individual, and put their faith in the dominant leader to make all important decisions; in the modern era, human societies which encouraged the ordinary citizens to develop and use their own critical reasoning skills became more efficient and productive and won competitions against more primitive tribal societies that submitted to the will of a dominant leader, and though this creates a downside of greater internal disagreement and conflict, it can be mitigated by the development and maintenance of an effective and efficient legal system, particularly one that protects the less powerful from being dominated by the more powerful.