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Monday, November 29, 2010

Predicting the Future of WikiLeaks

I make this prediction now to see if it will come true in the future. I predict that WikiLeaks would be banned by the US government or at least regulated (which is just a euphemism of various kinds of banning).

George Carlin said, "you have no rights, all you have are privileges, a temporary bill of privileges, that the government can take at any time when it becomes convenient". And I entirely agree with him on this. Throughout United States history the Bill of Rights was used as a way to make people think they have rights. But at any time it became convenient for the United States government to ignore its Bill of Rights for its own convenience it gladly did it.

WikiLeaks is making the United States government really angry. But they cannot ban it. Because that would violate the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

I wrote a post about what freedom of speech is and what it is not, back here. WikiLeaks is most certainly free speech. It does not even matter what it says. Even if it purely lies on every single statement it says about the United States government it is still free speech. Lying is free speech.

The United States and other countries are not very happy with WikiLeaks. Therefore, they would have a very big incentive to terminate it or control it.

And if the US does ban it, they will not say they are suppressing free speech. Oh no, fascists never call themselves fascists. They will never admit that they are destroying free speech. They will approach it in a different manner. They will claim it "damages the security of this country". They will claim it, "harms the economy of this country". They will claim it, "incites people to violence against the government". Do not worry, the United States will find excuses to suppress it. Because that is what fascists do. They always pretend that they are defending you.

The United States might also claim that by banning WikiLeaks they are "defending the freedom of the people". But of course that would be non-sense because the biggest threat to freedom, and the violator of the freedom of the people, is the United States. More so than any terrorist group that attacked the country.

David Friedman made a good point on his blog about unregulated encryption. He said that unregulated encryption is the modern day equivalent of the second amendment. The second amendment is not very useful today as it was back in 1776 (though I do very strongly support it, it is my favorite amendment, and even more) because the government has more powerful weapons. I do believe that citizens should own military weapons as well, to be able to rise a militia in case of a revolution, "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" - Thomas Jefferson. But that is a whole different discussion. We are now talking about unregulated encryption. In modern ages having unregulated encryption gives the citizens a weapon against the government. And that is why it is a modern day equivalent of the second amendment.

In the same manner I believe that unregulated free speech against the government is a form of the second amendment. The goal of such speech is to fight against the tyranny in government. In fact, it is probably even more important than a second amendment on hand guns. Thus, for me defending WikiLeaks is not only a matter of free speech, but it is also a matter of defending the modern cyber version of the second amendment.

Now the United States government is going to say that WikiLeaks lies. Maybe it does, maybe it does not, I do not know. I do not follow it so I cannot possibly have any reasonable opinion on it. But the problem with this criticism is that the United States lies to its citizens always. Not just the United States, but all governments lie to its citizens. Howard Zinn, said it nicely when he said that all government lie, and they need to lie, otherwise they would not last very long, here.

Judging how the United States government reacts to WikiLeaks is a sign that they get at least some stuff right. The US was not this angry against the 911 truth movement. Because it is not true. And most people do not buy it anyway. But with WikiLeaks there is a different reaction. Which makes me think that they get some stuff right. Which makes the US really angry. It attacks their "national security". Do not forget that "national security" refers to their security. Not your security. What is security for them does not need to be security for you. When they claim that they are defending national security by banning WikiLeaks they are not defending your "national security", but their own.

The sad thing is that most people are probably against WikiLeaks. Sadly people are not very strong when it comes to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is easy to defend when it comes to trivial things. Like reading People Magazine. Or watching porn online. That is as far as what most people go to support freedom of speech. People forget the true purpose of freedom of speech. And that is to fight tyranny. Porn is great. But what is fundamental is the fight against tyranny. This is the entire point of freedom of speech.

I also predict that conservatives and Republicans, Democrats too, will be opposed to WikiLeaks and want to get it banned or regulated. This will just reveal to you how conservative the so-called conservatives really are. Is Sarah Palin in favor of entire unregulated content of WikiLeaks? I doubt it. Is Bill O'Reilly or Ann Coulter in favor of entire unregulated content of WikiLeaks? I doubt it. If they are, then wow, I am surprised.

There will be a few people who will defend WikiLeaks. But those will be a few liberals who actually do care about freedom of speech, though most liberals are probably too cowardly to defend it (as I am predicting). And even fewer conservatives who commit themselves to what conservatism is supposed to mean.

My final prediction is that WikiLeaks will sooner or later get banned or regulated by the government. It has to. From everything in the past that has happened my best possible prediction is that there will be laws passed on WikiLeaks.

If it does not get banned or regulated then I would be really truly surprised. Maybe somehow the Constitution can magically prevent this from happening. If it does not happen, then I would really be in complete shock.

The last thing that I want to address is that some people would say that something like WikiLeaks can lead to riots and protests. My question is, so what? Why are riots and protest bad? People seeing the evil in their government, why is that a bad thing? That is the spirit of freedom. And if it leads to more crime or something like that, amidst the riots, then so be it. That is what freedom of speech is all about. Give me liberty or give me death. If it means that protests and crime breaks out if this information is released then so be it. We must fully defend this freedom.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ban Circumcision?

There are some ex-Jews that hold the position that circumcision should be banned because it is a practice that a person (who is now a baby) must accept upon himself when he gets older to an adult. Adults cannot make such a choice on their children. It is therefore unethical to preform circumcision on babies, and so it must be banned.

I understand this argument. I do agree that it is wrong for religious Jews to preform circumcision on their children before they are old enough to be able to agree to do it or not. I am not some defender of circumcision. I think it is a barbaric ritual that Jews inherited from primitive animal sacrificing men. I would certainly love to see circumcision eliminated in my life time. But do I think it should be banned?

Before I answer the question I want to say that it is not just circumcision that I find wrong, it is child indoctrination that I find wrong. In fact, on many of magnitudes more so than circumcision. All what circumcision is, is a minor surgical operation preformed around the penis. It is based on barbaric reasons of the past, but it is really not such a big deal. I am circumcised. My tiny little penis is circumcised. But it does not bother me. I do not wake up during the night and cry to myself, "why, why is my little penis circumcised!". Circumcision is really a trivial issue when compared to the real problem, and that is child indoctrination.

I certainly find it wrong for parents to brainwash their children into a religion. Children should be free to explore and make sense of the world themselves. Parents only proper responsibility is to provide the means and help for their children to do so. But the beliefs and the ideas that children form should entirely be their own. This applies to everything. Including atheism. I do consider it wrong for parents to bring up their children as atheists. Children should be given access to modern science and philosophy and what is known today in the world. Children should learn about religion and atheism. But the final decision that children make should be their own. In fact, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens agree with me. Richard Dawkins objected when atheist parents brought for their babies a baby t-shirt that said "atheist baby". Dawkins said that babies are not Hindus, Muslim, or Jews, nor are they atheists, they are just babies that will develop their own beliefs when they get older. Hitchens said that he does not teach her daughter about atheism. She goes to a Quaker school where she learns a little bit about other religions. But Hitchens himself never once made her be an atheist.

Child indoctrination is worse than circumcision because it has a major effect over the lives of children. Circumcision is just for the most part a trivial physical procedure. While child indoctrination is a major psychological impact. Religion can drive children to commit suicide. Either because they have conflicting religious ideas or because they discover that they are gay. It can lead people who come out as atheists to be completely ignored by their religious communities. Indoctrination can have terrible mental effects on children when they get older, something that circumcision entirely lacks.

Worse of all child indoctrination steals from children their own path in their life. Nobody should be handed a path and be told "this is what to believe". TheAmazingAtheist made an excellent video many years ago, it was directed towards the movie "Jesus Camp", you can fit it here. It discusses the evils of child indoctrination.

Opponents of circumcision who say that it is unethical for parents to do that to their children are not being consistent. They say that circumcision is unethical. This is certainly true. But what about child indoctrination? If you want to ban circumcision then you need to be consistent and say to ban child indoctrination. But not many of these anti-circumcision people actually believe in this ban, that is too much for them.

Now to answer the question of whether or not circumcision should be banned.

I have a bias against bans. Because I hear a new ban proposed every single day. It makes me want to vomit at this point. Just turn on a TV news station and watch some commentator. It will not be long until he proposes a new ban. Nearly ever person you would meet in your life has a few things they like to ban. The whole idea repulses me. How about we try to come up with something more creative than banning? Bans are for the intellectually lazy who are unwilling to fight the problem, but would rather see it banned. So whenever I hear "we need to ban ... ", I am always repulsed by the idea.

But that is just my bias against bans, I did not give a reason for my opposition to the circumcision ban. I oppose bans because I am able to understand the anatomy of bans. I wrote about it back here. All what a ban is, is the declaration of using violence against those who perform the action that is banned. If you say that "cigarettes should be banned" then you are saying that violence should be used against cigarette companies who sell them and against people who buy them. If you say that "circumcision should be banned" then you are saying that violence should be used against Jews who attempt to preform circumcision.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not a pacifist. I defend my property with lethal armed force. I am not always against the use of violence. But for the most part violent solutions are terrible ways to solve social problems. Violence leads to unforeseen consequences that often turn out being much worse than what was intended.

As much as I philosophically oppose Noam Chomsky, he does make a good point. He says that the responsibility of justification for using violence or aggression is always on the one who is willing to be forceful. Thus, if you propose a ban on circumcision you need to justify why you think that violence is the proper method to deal with religious Jews. It is not the responsibility of religious Jews to explain why you should not use violence against them, it is your responsibility.

This is why I oppose a ban on circumcision. I agree that circumcision is wrong. I agree that parents have no right to circumcise their children (or brainwash them for that matter). I think that parents who make their children religious are in a way kidnapping their own lives, and take away from their freedom to develop themselves intellectually. But at the same time taking out a gun and pointing it at religious Jews who do these wrong things is not the correct way to deal with the problem. Both circumcision (and child indoctrination) and violence against Jews are evil actions but the lesser of these two evils is circumcision.

I have another reason to oppose a ban on circumcision. This is more of an economical objection to it. I just simply do not think that it will do anything. Jews have be mutilating the genitals of boys for thousands of years (and sucking on their penises too). They were willing to die for this practice in every generation. What makes you think that a ban on circumcision will end circumcision?

Advocates of bans, not just circumcision, but any ban, always fall into this standard fallacy. They imagine that a ban will put a stop to whatever they are against. But that is not how bans really work. A ban is put into place and there remains a great deal of people who still ignore it. A ban on drugs is one big failure. Is there any reasonable person in US today that thinks that another ban on drugs will eliminate them? No matter how hard you try you just cannot stop the flow of drugs. Bans do not work that way. The idea that a law is put into place and the citizens respect it immediately is a foolish way to look at bans. The way it really works is that a ban is put into place and there is an opposition to this ban. The people who oppose it keep on doing what they are doing. Sometimes they might go into the black market to do it but they keep on doing it. And in that way bans become entirely useless. Not just useless, but even harmful, because they end up putting people into jail for no good reason.

If a ban on circumcision is passed do you really think it will stop Jewish circumcision on children? Can you really believe it will do anything when most other bans that are puts into place turn out being economic failures? What is likely to happen with a ban on circumcision is that the Jews will preform circumcision is non-hospitals. Circumcisions will still be done. But just not anymore in a hospital environment. Maybe in a mohel's apartment, or something like that (through the black market). As much as you can hate circumcision you have to agree that circumcision would be a lot less safe being preformed in someone's apartment rather than in a hospital. In effect, a ban on circumcision has created a greater problem than what it was intended to solve. Banning circumcision will be just like a ban on prostitution. Prostitution does not end with a ban. Rather it gets redirected to the black market. If prostitution was not illegal it could have been a more safe practice, now that it is illegal it is not eliminated, just redirected to a more dangerous environment. Hence, a ban on prostitution did more harm than good. Do you not think that a ban on circumcision will backfire and do more harm than good?

I will always keep in mind what Thomas Sowell says about economics, "economics is not the study of intentions and hopes, but the study of causes and effects". People who propose a circumcision ban certainly have good intentions. But that is all irrelevant. I want to hear a reason to why such a ban would produce the desired conclusion that they seek. When I read other Jew blogs about people arguing in favor of a ban on circumcision they do not address whether or not such an intention is realizable. We must accept that such a ban would work as a given to us. They simply are arguing intentions. Which I find to be totally and completely irrelevant to whether or not it is a good or bad idea.

This does not really have much to do with what I said above, so I will mention it here. Jews who oppose a ban on circumcision argue that circumcision has health benefits. I hate this argument so much. It is such a ridiculous argument. I do not want to address it again. You can read about what I wrote here.

I oppose circumcision, but I also oppose a ban that opposes circumcision.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Gay, College and Yeshivish Voice

This post is probably going to offend a lot of people because it is nothing but stereotyping. But as I said many times before, stereotyping is often based on some truth despite how strongly some people try to ignore it as always a fallacy. Stereotypes should not be used as some sort of measure for determining truth, that is where the problem is, but they can be used to make a general statement.

The stereotype I want to concentrate on is the pitch of gay men. I am sure you know what I mean by that. Gays sometimes have high pitched voices. If you watched the Jewish version of "It Gets Better" on YouTube then you will see what I am talking about. Many (most) of the gay Jews in that video have this kind of voice.

I want to make it clear that I got no problem with high pitched voices. I actually like them. They sound very calming and relaxing. Gay men with high pitched voices have pleasant sounding voices. I have a gay friend, oh my Science, he is so hot, who has a slightly gay voice. He of course denies it. But it is apparent to anyone. And I think it sounds hot.

The stereotypical gay voice does sound feminine, but so what? Why should men have to choose a life of doing the stereotypical guy stuff like fixing cars and shooting? Men never chose to be men, it was an accident of birth, so they do not need to do what men are expected to know how to do and expected to behave.

My question is from whence does this voice come from? Is it something innate in gays? Do homos have a certain gene in them that modifies their vocals to make them sound more feminine? Or do they learn how to speak in the feminine manner? Nobody seems to have an answer to this question. I have asked this question to many people before but nobody seems to know about the origin of this feminine voice.

I was in university some time ago. I overheard a guy speaking with a friend of his on his cell phone. When I heard him speak I immediately thought to myself, "obviously gay", from his high-pitched voice. It turned out I was correct because his conversation sounded like he was arguing with his boyfriend. So these stereotypes, as much as some people try to make you stop using them, are based on elements of truth. I really want to know why this high-pitched male voice is often associated with homos.

The other kind of voice that sounds like the gay voice but is a little different and it does bother me. It is the college voice. I seem to have a talent for figuring out which people go to college and which do not from simply listening to how they speak. The college voice, that I am referring to, is not always high-pitched like the homo's. But it can be. The pitch of the voice is not a main feature of the college voice stereotype. The college voice is characterized by a very submissive tone.

The tone of lacking confidence in what you say. The tone of someone who is not sure of himself. That is what the college voice is. The college voice tries to sound as polite and as politically correct as possible. It also avoids making any bold and absolute statements.

The college voice never simply states its opinion, it needs to declare it for everyone so that everyone knows that what about to be stated is an opinion. For example, the stereotypical college speaker would not say, "what Israel did during the war was evil". No, that would be too bold of a statement. He does not have the courage to say that. Rather he will say, "In my opinion, Israel could have used less force in defending itself".

The word "actually" is a favorite used word for those who speak in the college submissive tone. If you ask the stereotypical college student, "what courses are you taking this semester". He will likely respond by saying "Actually, I am taking ... ". The word "actually" is attached to almost every sentence. You can sometimes hear a college student speak in paragraphs with many actually's thrown around.

The college voice does bother me. Because it is brain numbing. And it is a complete lack of confidence. If you cannot take what you say seriously then how can I? But the source of the college voice I can understand. In college people learn about how everybody has an opinion and how equal their opinions are to one another. This is the kind of attitude that turns people into intellectual weaklings. Hence the reason for the stereotypical college voice.

The last kind of voice to consider is the yeshivish voice. The yeshivish voice has confidence and makes absolute statements. It sounds very sure of itself. But it is just plain stupid. It is stupid in that it never acknowledges the differing position. The yeshivish kind of a voice would say, "the Darwinists are really stupid because they think a monkey can give birth to a person". They will keep on saying this no matter how often they are corrected. You can tell them that those who acccept the theory of evolution say that life evolves slowly over time and many generations. The next day or the next sentence they will ignore entirely what you said and insist that the theory of evolution says that monkeys give birth to people. Basically, the yeshivish voice is similar to the Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter voice. I want to show to video that demonstrates what I am saying. It was the first interview Bill O'Reilly had with Richard Dawkins. You can see it here. This is the yeshivish voice, just ignore all the points the other person says and keep on talking.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Only in America

Some of these are known, others I made up myself. Can you think of any funny ones?

Only in America can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

Only in America people order triple bacon cheeseburger, large fries, and a diet cola.

Only in America we have drive up ATM machines with braille.

Only in America do people think that Martin Luther was the greatest African American who ever lived.

Only in America are machine guns and assault rifles legal but toy guns are illegal.

Only in America can a Muslim tell a Jew, "Have a happy Christmas".

Only in America do dogs get better health care than their owners.

Only in America you can learn to speak Spanish and not a word of English.

Only in America do people ride in trucks with articial genitals attached.

Only in America are there food eating championships.

Only in America are there weight-loss solutions that involve eating food.

Only in America are libertarians actually considered reasonable and normal people.

Only in America are national flags made in China.

Only in America do fast food places serve something called "Pancakes and Sausage".

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Problem with Environmentalists and Vegetarians

Vegetarians and environmentalists are often hated for what they believe by people opposed to them. It seems that the main reason why many non-vegetarians hate vegetarians is because vegetarians are holier than everyone else. The non-vegetarian is insulted by the holiness the vegetarian presents on himself. This is the common source of the hatred. In a similar manner the environmentalist is hated by a non-environmentalist (*cough* *cough* conservative *cough*) because of the environmentalist shows himself to be holier than everyone different from him.

(I know there is going to be this one person who will comment on this if I do not say this, so I will go ahead and address the obvious point that does not need to be addressed. Yes, I do realize that not what everything I say applies to all environmentalists and vegetarians. But it does apply to many of them. I have had plenty of discussions online with vegetarians and environmentalists to know that many of them essentially think in the way that I describe).

My problem with environmentalists and vegetarians is different. I do not really have a problem with people who act that they are better than everyone else. I myself have been accused of being that kind of person, and those people who accuse me of that are probably right. I do think of myself as better than most people around me. But I do not let that get to me. Because if I really think what I say is correct and what others say is wrong then why should I not think of myself as better than them? Why would I be humble? Humility is for the weak and silenced. Hence, the apparent parading of holiness found in environmentalists and vegetarians does not bother me.

I do not have a problem with people who care about animals or the environment in and of itself. I have a problem with something very different. My problem with them is their hatred towards humanity.

Now I know somebody is going to ask me the obvious question, "I thought that you hate humanity yourself, why do you object to when vegetarians and environmentalists hate humanity?".

First to make things clear I do not hate humanity. I hate groups of people. That is what I hate. I like individuals, but I hate it when people have to start forming groups that give them an identity. I do agree that humanity, in general, sucks. If you look at the history of people, it is rather embarrassing without much ever getting done. If aliens came to visit this planet and asked me if I am human I would be embarrassed to tell them I am human, I would rather tell them I am some different species that looks like them. Most of the progress and advancement is usually due to individuals who blessed the world with this gift. But humanity overall is quite embarrassing. However, despite this failure and suckiness of humanity, I do not hate it.

Second, I do not have a problem with people who hate humanity in and of itself. It is an understandable position. There is nothing to be proud of in humanity. People who complain about humanity and how much we suck and how terrible we are, are often correct. I can certainly understand these people.

My problem is not with hating humanity. My problem is hating humanity but loving animals or loving nature. This is complete stupidity. If you want to hate humanity then go ahead. But do not from this come to love nature or animals. Because if people suck then everything sucks.

The simple truth is that people suck the least out of everything that exists in this pathetic universe. This world is a terrible place. And people, as surprising as it may seem to some, are the least terrible aspect of the universe.

Vegetarians hate humanity for being cruel with animals, they judge humanity as evil, and they hate it for it. But what vegetarians ignore is that animals are far more cruel than most people that you know of. Did you ever see a lion eat a lamb? The lion will rip the lamb into pieces, as the lamb is alive, and eat it. Certainly, this is more cruel than a slaughterer who takes an axe to its neck. Human hunters use rifles to hunt for wild beasts, this is painful, but it is far less painful for an animal than how other animals eat one another. Just consider ants killing a lion. The ants will crawl through the mouth of the lion and start to devour it from the inside. While other ants from the outside will devour it also. This is far more cruel than what animals do. Sure, there are some people who are more cruel than animals, but those are exceptions. Animals are cruel also. Very cruel. The entire process of natural selection is a cruel and violent process.

It is complete stupidity to hate humanity for cruelty and animal abuse, but to identity yourself with animals who are more cruel and abusive of other animals.

Now let us consider environmentalists. I have on a few occasions made fun of environmentalism as a religion. It is actually most closely resembling Christianity. Environmentalists believe there was once a perfect state of the world. A perfect green world. Everything was great and wonderful. But then one day man arrives. The vicious evil serpent that he is. He corrupts the beautiful green earth with his technology. Man destroys the environment. He cuts down the trees. He pollutes the planet. The planet is now ruined. What was perfect and wonderful is now destroyed by this evil man. (Environmentalism also preaches a salvation message of paying of your sins by living a life of green, but I do not want to go there because it is not relevant to this discussion). The environmentalist hates humanity for damaging the environment, they judge humanity as evil, and they hate it for that.

Environmentalism is even dumber than vegetarianism. Environmentalists are lost in this false world of perfection. They believe there was once a perfect state of the world. There never was a perfect state of the world. The planet was in existence for about 4.5 billion years. Since that time it was chaos. Asteroids kept on bombarding into this planet. There were severe climate changes that went through the planet's history. Just consider the ice ages of the past. I do not remember exactly how far the ice got but I think it got past Florida at some point. It was really cold. Then it got really warm. There were also changes in the atmosphere since this planet was first formed. And these continue to this date today. There were times when the planet was too hard to sustain life and too cold too. There was a time when there was no oxygen or no nitrogen. If you send an environmentalist back 4 billion years to this planet he will probably think he is living in some post-nuclear world. He will either be extremely too hot or extremely too cold, it is unlikely that the temperature of the planet would suit him, if not kill him. He would not be able to last for one minute because he would die without having any oxygen. And all around him he would see massive thunderstorms, dark clouds, and exploding volcanoes. What a terrible sight to see for anyone. Exactly where in all of this billions year history can the environmentalist point to and say "look at that, a planet of pure perfection". Nowhere. It is foolish to think otherwise.

Both vegetarians and environmentalists hate humanity for extinction of animals. But people are amateurs when it comes to extinction. What did people even extinct? The Dodo bird? That is the only thing I can think of, and besides the Dodo looks like a dumb bird anyway, I am glad it got extinct. What other animals got extinct by people? I am sure environmentalists and vegetarians can give me a list. But that is all irrelevant when compared to animals got extinct by other animals. Natural selection has annihilated millions if not billions of animals species. Where were people in all of this. Consider this. Human beings have a history going back to 200,000 years approximately. All the billions of years before that animals were being extinct on a major scale. Not just by other animals but by nature itself. Ever heard of mass extinctions as a result of asteroid collisions? The dinosaurs, that is how they got extinct. Not by smoking cigarettes, but by facing a massive asteroid collision. In fact, biologists say that 99.9% of all species that have ever existed have went extinct and most of it was from mass asteroid extinctions. What did humans contribute to that? Practically 0%.

The planet earth, to anyone with any intellect, is more vicious and violent than what people have done. But what is even more vicious is the entirety of nature. World War 1 killed out less people than the Spanish flu that followed it shortly after. That was caused by nature. It gets even more cruel and evil when you look past this planet. This planet is one of the "successful" planets. All the other ones have failed to develop life. What is in fact very likely is that planets, far far away, beyond our reach, in the final frontier, have developed life but that life was soon destroyed. Possibly by an asteroid crashing into the planet, or a supernova that soon followed. It is also likely that black holes consumed entire planets and solar systems that had life sustaining on it, possibly even intelligent life, somewhere in the universe, where we do not know, but far far away.

How do we even know that this universe is the first and only one? We do not know. But I would not be surprised if there was an infinite number of big bangs before this one. What happened to them? Well, the same what would be the ultimate fate of this universe. This universe will eventually, in the far future, rip itself apart so that no life would be sustainable.

How pathetic. This world is so very pathetic. Nature is so very pathetic. The universe gave rise to the 5th Symphony only to destroy the source of this very music in the future. After live becomes unsustainable on this universe one of two things would happen. Either it will expand forever, cold and dead, and with no music playing. Or it will contract back to a singularity. Only to expand once again. Once again into a pathetic failed world that will eventually destroy all life and love that it hath given birth to.

Nature sucks, without a doubt to any reasonable person. Everything in this entire world also sucks. Animals too. To look at nature (environmentalism) or to look at animals (vegetarianism) as something greater to people is stupidity. Because people are the only barometer that can set value to this failed world. People are the only thing that I know of that can act with kindness and can act justly. They can also act in opposite, but they are the only ones that have the ability to change this outcome. If you hate people then you need to hate everything, otherwise you are not being consistent with yourself. And this is why I do not hate humanity. Because as much as we suck we suck the least. And we are the only ones that can change and do something virtuous. Stop looking at nature as your role model, stop looking at animals as your role model, start looking at other people and try to change them for the better.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Judaism and Freedom

When I was in high-school I remember the Rabbis saying that Judaism has the true form of freedom. Everyone else who lives their life as they want to are not free at all. Because those people just follow their passions, while we, the Jews, follows the commandments of God, we are not the slave of our passions, therefore we are the free ones, and all other people are not free.

Freedom is a funny word. Everybody that I have every came across in my life tells me that he is strongly in favor of freedom. I challenge anyone to find people who openly condemn freedom. Hard to find those people. I think some Muslim terrorist groups may openly condemn freedom, but not really, because they will probably say that Islam is the true form of freedom. They will say that slavery to God is true freedom of people. So even these truly messed up people still claim to support freedom. Even the Soviet Union claimed it was free! Just read the lyrics to its national anthem, "Glory to the Motherland, united and free!". Not just the Soviet Union, but even Nazi Germany! Look at Horst-Wessel Leid, the national anthem, it says, "Der tag für freiheit und für brot bricht an!", meaning, "The day of freedom and bread is dawning!". I do not even have to mention the United States which screams that it is the land of the free all day long.

The point is that everyone claims to be for freedom. Every fascist and dictator in history claims so. Fascists never call themselves fascists. Judaism is not different. Judaism is servitude to God. But like all other forms of dictatorships it never admits it, it hides behind messed up reasoning to proclaim itself to be a religion of freedom.

Let us examine some of the apparent reasons why Judaism cannot be in favor of freedom.

First, there is the God character. I think it is pretty obvious the God is the biggest dictator is history. I do not really have to explain this point. But if you have an doubt about this you can read it here (I just do not want to discuss it again).

Second, the Torah is a tribal book. A very tribal book. The Jews must give their allegiance to the tribe. The Jews must follows the commandments from this one book and if they disobey they will be physically punished or killed for doing so. There is no individuality within the tribe. Each Jew is assigned a particular task that his life will follow. And each Jew must follow the same faith and lifestyle. It is pure collectivism from beginning to end. Where exactly is the freedom that the Jews talk about?

The last point why Judaism is incompatible with freedom is the most important point because it is the only one relevant to today. Since God does not exist the first objection is not so much relevant. Since the Torah is not a binding document to any nation today it is not a very relevant point. But the last point is relevant.

Freedom is based on the idea of self-ownership. The principle of self-ownership says that every person is his own self-owner and no one owns you except yourself. This rather simple, but far reaching idea, goes all the way back to John Locke. This is the essence of freedom.

One can ask, "how do you prove the principle of self-ownership". There are some people who try to prove it. But I do not take that kind of approach (for nihilistic reasons). I just take the principle of self-ownership as a given. I think it is a principle that makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, negating this principle leads to some really strange conclusions, questions and sometimes contradictions. For example, if you deny the principle of self-ownership then you say that there are people who can rightfully claim ownership over other people. But that is slavery. Negating this principle implies slavery. There is also a very important question that is never answered. How can some people claim ownership over others? By what criterion do they obtain this ownership? Basically, what I am trying to say is this. If you deny the principle of self-ownership, and you can if you really want to, then you arrive at slavery and you arrive at some really strange questions. It just makes a whole lot of more sense to accept the principle of self-ownership, it prevents all of these complications from arising.

However, everything I said above regarding self-ownership is taking place in an atheistic universe. Things get more messed up when God enters into the picture. I said that strange complications arise from denying this principle, but there is way to deny this principle by avoiding these complications. That is by introducing God. If you introduce God into this discussion then everything I said is irrelevant. Because the theist will simply say that God is your owner. There is no self-owner, God is the owner of everything in the universe since he created all of it.

I had this revelation when I spoke to a friend of mine who calls himself a neo-conservative. He is a religious Jewish person who is quite reasonable on economics but tyrannical on civil liberties. He goes so far as to suggest physical punishment to various crimes. He supports capital punishment, torture. And all that great wonderful stuff. When I was discussing these issues with him he asked me why do I favor liberty? I told him that it follows directly from the principle of self-ownership, freedom is its logical conclusion. He responded to me that he denies this principle because he believes that God is the owner of all, and so people have no claim on themselves.

That is when I finally realized what the divine right of kings was all about. Kings and despots always needed an excuse to justify themselves by being tyrannical to the people. The way they did it was with the aid of religion. They taught the people that God is the owner and master of all, and that God put them in place, therefore the king is justified because he gets his rule directly from God. The divine right of kings was just a big giant excuse to exercise authority over the victims, and to make the victims accept this authority.

This is the last point in which Judaism is anti-freedom, namely belief in God negates the principle of self-ownership. Without this fundamental and basic principle it is really hard to argue for freedom. This is what is most relevant to today. Because the religious Jewish people (and religious people in general, all I said applies to all religions also) always carry with them this thought that God is the owner of all. With such a thought the case for freedom is hard to come by. It is in this way why Judaism (religion) is poisonous to freedom.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Equality is Not a Virtue

I been reading YouTube comments and many of them were saying how the United States is less equal than other countries in the world. This is true. But I do not see what this has to do with anything. The people who generally make this kind of argument identify themselves as socialists and say that under socialism people are more equal. But what these people never do is explain why equality is virtuous.

Let us suppose that there is nothing in equality which makes it virtuous. And there is nothing in inequality that makes it evil. Then determining which countries are better or worse by looking at equality and inequality rates is a meaningless task, it does not tell us anything valuable.

I agree with these people that the United States has high inequality rates. I would also argue that a hundred years ago when some people (who are demonized as the "robber-barons" today) were extraordinary wealthy there was way more inequality back then then there is today. I do think that the United States has been among the top countries in its inequality. But my question is so what?

Equality is a funny word. When you say "I stand for equality", it sounds great and wonderful. And when you say, "the United States has less equality than European countries", it sounds like a negative trait of the United States. I do not know what it is. There is just something about the word which make it sounds automatically virtuous.

But I never hear arguments why equality is a virtue. It is just a given to us. Something I must accept as good and anything which goes against equality must automatically be evil. My question is very simple. Why is equality a virtue?

What really seems to be important is not equality or inequality within a country but the standard of living within this country. The question should not be "is there a high degree of equality?", rather it should be, "what are the living standards of the citizens?".

Think back 150,000 years ago when life was brutish and short, miserable and poor. The hunter-gatherer had a terrible life. His standard of living was far worse than any other place in the world today. But all the hunter-gathers were equal! From all over the world. There was no one great industrial hunter-gatherer. They were all poor. All equally poor.

Can one possibly say that it is better to live as a hunter-gatherer, with close to perfect equality, than it is to live as an average US citizen with astronomical inequality? The case is clear. Equality is not relevant in this discussion at all. What matters is the standard of living. The living standard in the US is better than in the savanna, and that is all what matters in determining which country is better to live in.

Consider a more relevant example today. Suppose that the United States the average rich income is 500,000 a year and the average poor income is 30,000 a year (I just made these numbers up for the sake of illustration, I may be totally off here). Let us also suppose that in France the average rich income is 35,000 a year and the average poor income is 10,000 a year. Certainly, France is more equal than the United States. But why does this matter. Just look at the standard of living. Is it not clear that in the United States the poor have it almost as well off as the rich in France? Then does it not follow that that United States is preferable to France in this example?

It does not matter if the rich keep on getting richer if the poor are getting richer also. Even if the rich are getting richer at a faster rate than the poor (which must happen for basic mathematical reasons) it does not matter if the standard of living of the poor continues to increase as well.

Let us return back to the US France example above. In France the citizens are much more equal, but they are equally poor when compared to the United States. Which is better? A higher standard of living with high inequality, or people being equal but equally poor?

Furthermore, it is impossible to have an equal society if its members are not prevented from success and failure. People are not actually equal. People look different, have different ideas, have different beliefs, have different desires, and have different talents. There is no way to have a free society where people can interact with one another how they please, where they can buy and sell as they please, and express their talents as they please, and at the same time have equality. Some people are much smarter. Some people are much more talented. Some people are much more artistic. Some people are much more beautiful. Inequality all around us. And there are other people, the entrepreneurs, who have their own skills. Being able to run a business and make lots of money is a skill like anything else. Some people are very skillful at doing this. In a free society these people would be much more successful than other people who do not have their skills. And henceforth these entrepreneurs would be much more wealthier than other people around them. This is why inequality must always exist in a capitalist economy, to a large degree in fact.

The only way to negate this inequality is by negating equal of rights (and equality before the law). The kind of equality that I truly care about is equality of rights, not equality of results. What the advocates of equality want is equality of results. But under a system that fixes an amount the skillful entrepreneur can make is treating the entrepreneur differently from how it treats a common worker. The entrepreneur is legally punished for being too good for everybody. While everyone else goes unpunished. This is inequality of rights. The rights of the entrepreneur are treated differently from the rights of everyone else. The only way to attain equality of results is by sacrificing equality of rights. So not only do I see the measure of equality as meaningless I see it as vile. Because such a measure implies the negation of equality of rights, which is actually important.

So the whole equality argument does not get to me. I see it as a meaningless measure. It is a good tactic for politicians though. Just talk about equality and appeal to the passions of the people. That certainly has a lot of support and votes behind it. But from what I see the equality issue is unimportant, in fact even undesirable for it negates the equality of rights.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Brief History of Liberty

I wanted to make a quick historical summary of all important events in the history of liberty. Liberty is a very small part of human history. Humans have existed for many thousands of years since they lived in civilizations. And for only a tiny bit for that history was liberty at least considered as an option. Here are all major events that I can think of that happened in this short history. I will mostly likely skip a lot of important events because of my ignorance. So this is really not the best list to make, but it gives at least some perspective on its history and mentions important people in the movement.

I divide advocates of liberty into three categories. I think this is a useful classification because there are many different people who argued for liberty, often from very different positions. In fact, many liberty advocates have often opposed one another and were enemies. These are three common categories.

Philosophical approach to liberty: The philosophical approach to liberty argues that liberty is a state of the world that needs to be achieved. The philosophical approach asks the questions of where rights come from? It asks the question of what is the state? Can the state legitimately exist? Does the state have any rights? This approach also reveals the huge double standards that people create between the state and the people. I mostly identify with this approach because I am far too stupid to argue for liberty from an economics point of view.

Economic approach to liberty: This is by far the most interesting of all approaches. And this is also by far the most difficult one. The economic approach is to argue why liberty is the most efficient system (or better "lack of system"). And why the state is inefficient. Why laws are inefficient, and why the market should not be opposed. Some economists may even argue that the state should be entirely abolished. The economic approach differs from the philosophical approach because it entirely rejects the philosophical approach. The economic method does not care whether something is consistent with philosophy or not, it just cares about how efficient and manageable a system (or lack of a system) is.

Ethical approach to liberty: This is an approach to liberty that I have little in common with. Since I am a nihilist I do not believe in objective morality. The advocates of liberty associated in this movement often include people who argue that liberty is moral. They may or may not use religion to justify this. There are atheists who use this approach because they claim they derive morality from secular principles. There are religious people in this movement who claim that God gave the gifts of liberty to people and therefore it is moral to preserve liberty. Whatever the person is there are a myriad of different kind of people in this movement alone. I do think that some of what they say is interesting. Because even though I do not accept any objective moral system I still have my own subjective moral values (which I can argue for, but I do not claim it to be objective or some non-sense like that). But overall I do not associate myself with these kind of people.


Now I will give a very short list of important events in the history of liberty thought, this is by no means complete. I am sure I missed a lot of important stuff because of my ignorance. I also applogize for mostly concentrating on America because that is mainly the side that I know of, there are other countries that need to be mentioned.

1689: I picked this date because I consider this date to be the birthday of liberty thought. This is the publication date of "Two-Treatises of Government" by John Locke. Locke was from what I know to be the first person to provide a definition and defense of liberty. He set into motion the very same ideas that are still used and defended today. He defined the notion of private-property rights. And was an influence to just about every other liberty advocate since then. Locke approached liberty from the philosophical approach.

1759: I picked this date because it was the publication date of the "Theory of Moral Sentiments" of Adam Smith. I never read Moral Sentiments and do not really know what the book is much about. But it was in a way a prelude to his major book "Wealth of Nations", published in 1776. Smith sought a moral defense of the laissez-faire system that he mostly advocated in the "Wealth of Nations". The major contribution of Smith was that he gave an economic defense of liberty. John Locke set into place a philosophical defense of liberty. But the economics of such a country was never defended by anyone before. Smith was an influence into arguing why liberty is prosperity for a nation. He was one of the founders of classical economics. Thus, Smith is mostly and economic defender of liberty. Though he gave some ethical arguments also he is not really known for that.

1776: This is the year of the American Revolution. It was the first time in history when a country was at least based off liberty principles. While it is true that there were inconsistencies and problems with formation of America, it was at least heavily inspired by liberty. With deep distrust of authority and decentralization of power. The biggest of all inconsistencies was of course slavery. If all men are naturally free then how does it give one group of men to enslave another group of men? If men cannot be enslaved to the government then how can other men enslave other men, does this not defeat the whole purpose?

1865: I picked this date because this marks the end of the Civil War. But the years leading up to this date are important too. The middle of the 19th century saw great influences in the liberty movement. These include Thoreau who influenced the early anarchist movements, and who practiced the civil disobedient act of tax resistance for his disapproval of slavery. This time period also included Lysander Spooner who was a very important figure in the abolitionist movement. In fact, he even went so far as to question the legitimacy of the Constitution. The years following the Civil War to the early 1900's was an example in history of a country based on the principles of liberty even more so than its days of the American Revolution.

1871: I pick this date as the publication of "Principles of Economics" by Carl Menger. Classical economics had many problems with it. There were different competing schools of economics that were being developed since then. One of the important ones in the free market movement was the Austrian one. It was largely developed by Menger, Mises, and Hayek. It is a little outdated and not mainstream, but it plays a very big role in the economics of liberty today.

1876: Not all people associated in the liberty movement were capitalists. There were quite a big number of socialists too. I picked this date as the death of Mikhail Bakunin. Who was an anarchist philosopher and activist who was also an opponent of capitalism. Bakunin accepted Marx's critique of capitalism but he was not a Marxist. He said that Marx was an authoritarian who argued for the dictatorship of the proletariat. Bakunin wanted to abolish the state and then private means of production so that the workers can be the direct owners of capital. Bakunin is a major influence to present day left-wing anarchists, such as Noam Chomsky (though I do not and never will consider Chomsky as an anarchist, I see him as an apologist for large governments).

1910 Emma Goldman: Emma still remains a very major influence in the anarchist movement. Emma moved to the United States during industrial years. She was an activist for communism. Like Bakunin she also was strongly anti-capitalism, but she was also anti-statism. Emma wrote several books on the topic of anarchism. She was also an activist for women's rights (one of the original legitimate feminists, not like the modern fascist feminists today) and she preached atheism. She was also strongly involved in the atheist movement. She seen Gov and God as being two masters over the lives of people that need to be overthrown and therefore often equated the two. Emma stirred riots and made the masses very angry.

1921: I picked this date because it was the publishing of "Risk Uncertainty and Profit" by Frank Knight. Knight was the founder of what is known as the Chigaco school of economics. The Chigaco school was a pro-free market economic school. It was a competitor with the Austrian economic school. I am no economist, so I am be totally off here, but from my impression the Chigaco school and Austrian school mostly agree with one another except on monetary policy.

1957: No discussion on liberty can be truly complete without mentioning Ayn Rand. Like Emma Goldman, Ayn Rand was a very powerful woman in the liberty movement. This date marks the publishing of "Atlas Shrugged", a novel that is the magnus opus of Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand, in a way, invented a completely new case for liberty. Rand's approach to liberty was morality and ethics. I characterize Rand as an ethical libertarian, as opposed to an economic one (like Smith or Hayek) or a philosophical one (like Locke or Jefferson). Rand believed she could provide a purely secular account of morality, and such a system of morality immediately implied egoism, which in turn lead to the conclusion that liberty is the only moral political system. Just as Emma, Rand also very much hated religion. Besides for seeing it as irrational and stupid she seen it as a master over the lives of men and form of collectivism.

1962: This date is the publication of "Capitalism and Freedom" by Milton Friedman. But really this date is in memory of Milton, I just decided to pick this date. Milton was excellent at justifying freedom from a purely economic point-of-view. It did not matter what your system of values were. It did not matter what your philosophy was. He was able to ignore all of those issues and very nicely show why liberty is a favorable economic position. Milton, from the Chigaco school of economics, played a very big role in developing free market ideas further. His book on "Capitalism and Freedom" sold a lot of copies and even impacted populations in non-capitalism countries.

1962: Since John Locke the liberty movement was essentially unified together. There were some disagreements about economics and government size. But they mostly and supported one another. This movement was eventually shattered and the movement ripped apart into two groups that from this day on strongly oppose one another. This date marks the publishing of "Man, Economy, and State" by Murray Rothbard. Rothbard was the most radical person in history as of yet. Rothbard argued that the state is entirely unnecessary. Rothbard was an anarchist and even opposed the traditional liberty form of a government that was often supported. He argued that even such a government is intrusive, and if it is not intrusive it will be intrusive, it will grow. Furthermore, it is highly inefficient when replaced by private companies that manage law and security. He argued that all functions of the government can entirely be replaced by companies that compete with one another in the market, and this will be more efficient and peaceful because the state is nothing but a monopoly of certain services. Rothbard coined the term "anarcho-capitalism" that is used today. He was an economic and philosophical libertarian from the Austrian economic school.

1973: How radical and extreme can one possibly go? It turns out that Murray Rothbard is even less extreme when compared to David Friedman. I pick this date as the publishing of the "Machinery of Freedom" which became an influential book in the liberty movement. David entirely rejects all philosophical and moral arguments in favor of liberty and just argues that economically an anarcho-capitalist society would be the closest to an ideal society as one can get. David is more radical than Murray in the sense that Murray still maintains the John Locke notion of self-ownership and wants people to consent into legal systems that respect property. David does not care, he wants laws to be self-emerged market forces. David belongs to the Chigaco economic school. Murray and David were enemies of one another.

2005: This is the year Freedomain Radio was opened by Stefan Molyneux. I am not such a fan of Molyneux. He is a moralist, he is a non-determinist, Objectivist, for one thing, but he does have some new ideas and expresses himself well (not like a slobbering retard like me), and seems to be a nice person. Currently today he is influential in the liberty movement.

2008: Ron Paul did run for president once before, back in 1988. But he embarrassed himself under the libertarian party. In 2008 he got smarter and changed himself to a Republican. That way he got some influence in the elections. Though he did not win he inspired a lot of people to consider freedom, free markets, and peace - something he was never successful at doing in his earlier years. He remains today as the major public figure in the liberty movement. Actually this is ironic. If you told me that the most vocal person today in the liberty movement was a professional politician I would have laughed.

Present: The liberty movement is now alive more strongly than any other time in history. This is thanks to the internet. It is extremely small when compared to other movements but this is the strongest it ever been. Not just in America, but in all countries around the world. With such an interesting history it is a curiosity to see what the future of it will unfold.

I do realize that this is not the best list. And it is not explained in the best possible way, but that is okay, this is just a brief summary.

It is helpful to include three different kind of libertarians.

Liberals (Classical): These include some of the founding fathers. The philosophy of liberalism is that the government is to protect freedom and to serve the people. Liberals are in favor of very limited government with its main concern to protect the people. And in a few rare cases the government is to help the people if the need for it would arise. For example, classical liberals would not support welfare but they would support forgein aid to Haiti (during the earthquake) or government aid to Katrina victims. Milton Friedman, as surprising as it may seem to many, was one of the most moderate libertarians that I know of. He is best described as a (classical) liberal.

Minarchists: Others founders would better fit this description. Minarchists come from the word "minimal" and Greek word "archon" would means "rule". It is essentially the bare minimum government that one can have. A government whose only sole feature is to protect the rights of the people. Minarchists would be opposed to forgein aid to Haiti and Katrina victims. Ron Paul happens to be more extreme to Milton Friedman, Paul is a minarchist, and yes he was the only member of the House to vote against forgein aid to Haiti during its earthquake, because unlike a classical liberal he does not believe this to be the function of a government. Other famous minarchists include Hayek and Mises.

Anarchists: Not really considered as a political philosophy until the 1960's, even Ayn Rand opposed it. It comes from the Greek words "an" and "archon" which means "without rulers". Anarchists disagree with minarchists. They say that a minimal government always grows. It will start small but always end large. Therefore, all government must be abolished. They also believe that it is entirely unnecessary in providing the services that the state is supposed to provide.

There is one last thing that I wish to address. Advocates of liberty are often called a "cult". Ayn Rand is often described as running a cult. Stefan Molyneux has been also called a cult leader. Ron Paul has been called as being part of a cult. Milton has been said that he is part of the cult of the free market. And so on and so on.

I find this condemnation of liberty to be silly. The word "cult" for me is nothing just like how the worst "racist" is often used around. It is just to silent opposition. Anyone you disagree with is automatically called a "cult". What is a cult? I have no idea. Religion seems to be a cult but hardly it gets called that, because it is large. Liberty movement is small and it gets called a cult. See the difference?

Besides there is a something about cults. Cults have leaders you cannot disagree with. Cults have ideas you cannot challenge that are considered to be heresy. Let us see if this applies to the liberty movement?

It should be pretty obvious from the above summary of its history that there is no universal statement and no sacred leader of the movement. The liberty movement is very strongly divided on a lot of things. There are religious people and there are atheists. There are anarchists and there are minarchists. There are different economic ideas. There are different approaches to be taken. There are even some who are anti-capitalists. And within the movement some people who hate others. Take Ayn Rand, for example. Without a doubt she would have hated Ron Paul. Because Ron Paul is a Christian, and she hated all religion. While Ron Paul named his son, Rand Paul, after her, how ironic. Or consider Adam Smith. There are those who highly regard Smith as an important economic figure and intellectual, like the Chigaco school. While the Austrians often entirely ignore all of his work and never acknowledge it. There are moralists and there are nihilists. So I ask where exactly are the sacred principles? Where is the single leader who everyone follows? There is none. Nowhere to be found.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Airport Security

It seems that a lot of people have the impression that security is an invasion of privacy. It can be. But it is not always an invasion of privacy. If you go into an airport and you know that there is a lot of security there then it is not necessarily an invasion of privacy. Invasion of privacy is when police search your house without having a justified reason with a warrant to search your house. Now consider airports. No one is making you go into an airport. If you go into an airport you agree with their security standards and so it is not an invasion of privacy.

I do not believe in TSA. Safety is good, but TSA puts safety on steroids. Safety should not be the only thing you focus on. Here is an simple example. Suppose there was a law requiring all drivers to also wear helmets in addition to seat belts, and laws that banned motorcycles. Would such a law save lives? Absolutely. But I doubt many people support such crazy safety standards.

I also believe that safety should be managed by the airports themselves. This creates many different competing models for safety. Some which may be more hardcore on safety, and others which are easy on safety. I do also believe that this opens up room for more danger, but so what, there is a point to how crazy safety can get.

As Penn Jillette said in a Bullshit episode on gun control, "you cannot stop insane people from doing insane things by passing insane laws, that is insane". I see TSA as taking safety too far and so I do not support it.

Furthermore, the TSA is an invasion of privacy. Because it mandates all airports to use the same security system. If airports were able to choose their own security system and people would be able to choose what security system that they wanted to adopt, then this would end the violation of privacy. But if you have a single uniform mandate on every single airport and people have no other option when they want to leave or enter the country to go through a different checkpoint then that is an invasion of privacy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Individuality vs Collectivism

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what individuality and collectivism mean. The most common understanding of the two is that individuality is people being all for themselves, and collectivism is people being together and working together. This is not what it means to me. When I speak of individuality and collectivism I mean something very different. The common description of individuality and collectivism are not good ones. They make individualism seem evil and collectivism be good. I have a different way of looking at these two, which makes individualism as a goal to pursue and collectivism something to leave.

There are those who advocate people to live entirely for themselves and for no one else. This is known as egoism. Ayn Rand is highly associated with this movement. She argued that this is the only moral system that there is. This is summarized in her famous quotation, "I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." As I have said many times before, I am not an egoist. I do believe it is the responsibility of all people to help others if they are able to. But I am not really an altruist. I call what I believe in as "charitable capitalism", and I wrote more about it here. So when I speak of individuality I do not mean egoism.

What then is the meaning of individualism? Individualism is living your life by your own standards, and only your standards, without concern for anyone else. This does not mean you ignore the concerns of other people. This does not mean you are hateful to others. This does not mean you do not associate with others. This does not mean a society where everyone only pursues what he wishes.

Individualism is living your life in absence of all social norms and standards that damaged the great potential of mankind. It is a fashion norm not to wear socks and flip-flops. If you are a true individualist then you do not care about this norm. You ignore it. You wear what you want. If your own fashion style is not to wear socks and flip-flops then this is acceptable in individualism. If you own fashion style is to wear socks and flip-flops then go ahead and do it. But if your own fashion style is to wear socks and flip-flops but you do not do so because it is social norm not to then you are no individualist. You are not living your life by your own standards. You are living your life under the standards of the masses.

If you adore American 1776 fashion that people such as George Washington wore and you manage to actually find a clothing store that sells this fashion style, then go ahead, wear it! If you want to ride on a horse, instead of a car, because it is compatible with your fashion sense then be individualistic. Ride it. But do not break yourself to the wills of the masses, do not say to thyself, that you shall be an outcast. Ignore all of it. Live your life as you want it. Not what others think of you.

Individuality does not only end with fashion and style. That is just the simple beginning. It gets more difficult. Individuality must also be present in your thought. Have ideas and have beliefs that defy the masses. Do not do so for the sake of the rebellion. If you actually agree with the masses, then so be it. But if you were to find a disagreement, and find it you shall, then rebel about it. Do not let your thoughts die out. Do not be afraid of being wrong. Do not be afraid to state what you believe and be criticized for it. Just be honest in what you believe. Thus, if you believe there is nothing wrong with pedophilia, then say so. Say it loud, say it proudly. Because such a statement is a shock to all moral standards that the masses hold dear. Scare them with your ideas. If you believe in a violent revolution against any state that suppresses freedom of religion to the point of picking up your guns and calling for the death of the tyrants, then proudly stand by that, soak that tree of liberty with your own blood and with the blood of the despots.

This is the meaning of individuality. This is what will advance the human species. Every major change in human history has been the result of individuality. Every major idea, whether it was virtuous or vile, whether it was correct or false, whether it was atheistic or religious, has been a rebellion against the standard value. There hath never been a change in history that was in accordance with the norm. How can it? The norm, by its definition, is what people have always been doing. To change the norm requires defiance and bravery, whether for the better or for the worse. Individuality is what has changed this species. This is why individuality is what will break from the individual his true potential.

Then what is collectivism? Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. Collectivism are people who unify and live under a uniform standard. Collectivists live without dissent. Collectivists are boring people, uninteresting, who never achieved anything in their life, and shall never achieve anything in their lives.

It is sad, but true, that evolution hath cursed our species with collectivism. The collective is the natural state of all things. Because for people to increase their reproductive success they need to fit into the collective. They cannot be rebels and outcasts. If they have strange fashion style they will be ignored by their tribe. If they have heretical thoughts they will be expelled or killed by their tribe. It is indeed sad that collectivism is the curse of mankind. Most people are collectivists. And perhaps it shall sadly remain so always. But this can be cured by individualistic pursuits.

Religion is collectivism. Religion has no dissent within it. It has standards and rules that need to apply to all others. Dress codes that apply to all others. And their members cannot have heretical thoughts. It is not only because religion is irrational and vile that it is so damaging to the world. But it is also because it is the biggest form of all collectivism.

Nationalism is collectivism. This is why I cannot understand people who are proud to be Americans. Or (secular) Jews who have a nationalistic feeling to Israel. Statism is, though not always, collectivism. Statists propose a society which is fashioned in their view and controlled to stay in such a manner. They do not favor dissent. They fear it, and silence it, if it becomes out of hand.

But individualism comes at a price. The individual must prepare his life for loneliness and fear. Many great individual thinkers through out history have been extremely lonely, and rejected from other people, sometimes even threatened. Friedrich Nietzsche said, "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

I remember a friend of mine telling me two years ago that if I do not wish to be lonely, and if I wish to be with someone, then I have to work on being normal. I told him that I had no interest in changing my ways, not to mention that I seem to have a rebellious gene in me that draws me to opposition and individuality. I told him that I do not think I am capable of doing that.

I am unhappy with my response to him. I should have not said that. I should have been more hardcore. From this point on, if anyone every tells me to try to fit in, I shall tell them, that if the price of individuality is loneliness, misery, fear, and living alone, then so be it, I will rather die alone, and cold, than live happily with others but without my own will. I refuse to be slave to the rule of the norm, I can be my own master, we can all be our own masters.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Simple Groups of Order 60

We will prove that there is only one simple group of order 60 (up to isomorphism) which is the alternating group $A_5$. We will not prove that $A_5$ is simple here, it will be assumed that this result is known. So all it remains is to show any simple group of order 60 is isomorphic to the alternating group.

The proof is not so trivial. It takes some work. With the right tools it is not too hard. But I think it is a fun proof. The ideas in this proof are actually important, they appear in other kinds of problems too. We will assume knowledge of Sylow theorems in our discussion.

We will also need to know the notion of "group action on a set". This concept was introduced here if you want to learn about it.

There is a one-to-one correspondence between group actions and homomorphisms between groups into symmetry groups. We will explain what this means. This is an important idea in mathematics, it appears in many other kinds of problem too other than determining simple groups of order 60, it is a good time to introduce it.

Let G is a group acting on a set X and let g be a fixed element from G. Then consider the function $$f_g: X \to X$$ defined by $$f_g(x) = gx$$. It is easy to see that this function is a permutation of X i.e. it is a bijection from X to itself - it is a trivial exercise by using the definition of group action. Therefore, we can define the function $$f:G\to S_X$$ by $$f(g) = f_g$$, where $$S_X$$ is the group of symmetries of X. It is easy to see that f is a homomorphism.

Furthermore, if $$f:G\to S_X$$ is a homomorphism then we can define $$gx = f(g)(x)$$, and it is another trivial exercise to see that this gives a group action on X. Thus, we see that any group action induces a "permutation representation", and every permutation representation gives rise to a group action. We can jump between these two equivalent notions whenever it is convenient for us.

Here is an application of what we have been saying.

Cayley's Theorem: If G is a finite group then G is a permutation group i.e. G is a subgroup of the symmetric group.

Proof: Let G act on itself by left-multiplication. That is, let X=G and define gx to be the product gx as in the group. Then clearly, G acts on G by left-multiplication. This action, by what we said above, induces a group homomorphism $$f:G\to S_G$$. Note that $$S_G\simeq S_n$$. The action of G on G is "faithful" i.e. if gx = x for all x then g = 1. Therefore, the homomorphism f is injective. And so we see that G imbeds into $$S_n$$. This completes the proof.

This theorem is not useful for us, we just mentioned it to clarify what we have been discussing. Let us finally get to determing simple groups of order 60.

First, factor $$60 = 2^2 \times 3 \times 5$$. Let $$n_2, n_3,n_5$$ be the number of Sylow 2-subgroups, number of Sylow 3-subgroups, and number of Sylow 5-subgroups, respectively. By Sylow's third theorem we know that $$n_p\equiv 1(\bmod p)$$ and that $$n_p$$ divides 60. Let us list the possibilites for $$n_p$$ where p=2,3,5:

$$n_2 = 1,3,5,15$$
$$n_3 = 1,4,10$$
$$n_5 = 1,6$$

If there is just one Sylow p-subgroup P then $$gPg^{-1}$$ is a Sylow p-subgroup, since it is unique it follows that $$P = gPg^{-1} $$ for all $$g\in G$$. Thus, then P is a normal subgroup. Since it is assumed that G is simple it means that it cannot have a unique Sylow p-subgroup for any p. Which means the possibilities for $$n_p$$ must look as follows:

$$n_2 = 3,5,15$$
$$n_3 = 4,10$$
$$n_5 = 6$$

Let $$X=\{P_1,...,P_n\}$$ be all the Sylow p-subgroups of G. Now we can let G act on X by conjugation, that is, define the group action $$gP_k = gP_kg^{-1}$$. It is an easy exercise to check that this defines a group action. Once we have a group action we immediately get an induced permutation representation $$f:G \to S_n$$. Note that we write $$S_n$$ instead of $$S_X$$ because $$S_n$$ is isomorphic to $$S_X$$ since $$X=n$$. What is the kernel of f? The kernel, whatever it is, must be a normal subgroup of G. Since it is assumed that G is simple it follows that $$\text{ker}(f) = \{ 1\},G$$. It cannot be the case that the kernel is all of G. Because that would imply that every element of g fixes each $$P_k$$, and then that would mean each $$P_k$$ is normal in G, which is impossible. Therefore, the kernel must be trivial. But then this means $$f:G\to S_n$$ is an imbedding of G into $$S_n$$. Which means $$G\leq S_n = n!$$. This shows that the numbers $$n_p$$ must satisfy the inequality $$G \leq (n_p)!$$. But we know that G = 60. Therefore, we can immediately rule out $$n_2=3$$ and $$n_3=4$$. Thus, the possibilities for $$n_p$$ must look as follows:

$$n_2 = 5,15$$
$$n_3 = 10$$
$$n_5 = 6$$

We want to show that $$n_2\not = 15$$ and so it will mean that there are precisely 5 Sylow 2-subgroups. With that knowledge we can apply our work above to conclude that there is an imbedding $$f:G\to S_5$$. Hence it will mean that we can think of G as a subgroup of index 2 in $$S_5$$. From that point on it will be easy to show that $$G=A_5$$. But before we can say that we need to show why $$n_2\not = 15$$.

For that we will use a simple combinatorical argument. If H and K are two Sylow 5-subgroups they have order 5, so they are prime cyclic. Which means if H and K are distinct then $$H\cap K = 1$$. Therefore, in total the number of elements among all Sylow 5-subgroups (excluding the identity) is equal to $$4\cdot 6 = 24$$. This tells us that G has at least 24 elements of order 5. If H and K are two Sylow 3-subgroups they have order 3, so they are prime cyclic. Which means if H and K are distinct then $$H\cap K = 1$$. Therefore, in total the number of elements among all Sylow 3-subgroups (excluding the identity) is equal to $$2\cdot 10 = 20$$. This tells us that G has at least 20 elements of order 3. Now suppose that G had 15 Sylow 2-subgroups. If H and K where two such distinct subgroups the intersection $$H\cap K$$ no longer has to be distinct. Because H and K are not prime cyclics, and they do not even need to be cyclic. But they can be Klein 4-subgroups. So their intersection $$H\cap K \leq 2$$, they intersect in one or two elements. Which means there are at least (excluding the identity) $$2\cdot 15=30$$ elements of order dividing 4. Thus, G has at least $$1+24+20+30 = 75$$ elements - which is a contradiction. Which means G must have precisely 5 Sylow 2-subgroups.

Thus, we see that G imbeds into $$S_5$$ since G = 60 it follows that G is a index two subgroup of $$S_5$$. Which means that G is a normal subgroup of $$S_5$$. We managed to reduce our classification problem into determining all normal index two subgroups of $$S_5$$. It is not so surprising that $$A_5$$ is the only such subgroup. This is true in general. So how about we prove this theorem in general. I found a very easy way to prove this that is not complicated at all.

Theorem: The only index two subgroup of $$S_n$$ is $$A_n$$.

Proof: We know that this subgroup, call it G, is normal. If G was to contain a 2-cycle then it would have to contain all conjugates of the 2-cycle. And hence G would contain all 2-cycles. But the 2-cycles generate $$S_n$$ so that this would force $$G=S_n$$ which is impossible. Therefore, G does not contain any 2-cycle. Form the factor group $$S_n/G$$ this group is just like $$\mathbb{Z}_2$$. If $$\sigma_1,...,\sigma_k$$ are 2-cycles it follows, by the isomorphism to $$\mathbb{Z}_2$$, that $$\sigma_1\sigma_2...\sigma_k\in G$$ if and only if k is even (since modulo $$G$$, the $$\sigma_j$$'s behave like 1 modulo 2). And so we see that G contains all the even permutations and no odd permutations. Thus, G is indeed the alternating group $$A_n$$.

This completes the proof and thereby completes the classification of all simple groups of order 60.

Some More Random Stuff and News

I do not really want to write about one topic. I have a few things I want to discuss. But it is just too exhaustive to write posts like that. You need to carefully plan your thoughts. So I rather talk several small thoughts I had and put them into one post.

Let me start with ChatRoullette. I do not go to ChatRoullette. Because I get banned from it in like two or three minutes. I get the message that people found me offensive and banned me. Obviously I am too repulsive and I scare people off, I do not do anything, I just want to find people to talk with. But for the few minutes I was there I seen lots of penises. I see this as a lesson about human nature. Sexuality is one of the primary drives for humans. But people cannot just be sexual all the time. People are confined from acting that way for many reasons. Either because they do not want to be seen as sexual predators. Or it can be because these people find it wrong to be so sexual around other people. Whatever the reasons when people are around others they need to confine themselves from acting sexually how they want to act. But on ChatRoullette there is complete anonymity. And so lots of guys show their penises off. Once all of social values are taken off in anonymity they can reveal their true human nature. And that is what true human nature is. Sex. That is it. Humans are basically just sex machines.

Here is another topic which is a little sexual too. And this got to be one of the most underrated things in the world. Shaking hands with a girl. Shaking hands with a girl is awesome! It feels wonderful. I love it. It is not a guys hand. I would not like shaking my own hands. They are rather rough. But a girls hand is perfect. And they are small. So they fit wonderfully in my hands. When I hold a girls hand to shake it feels like I am holding a Luger P08 in my hands. It feels so right. And so gentle. Oh so gentle. Such soft skin. It really is a wonderful feeling. I do not get to shake girls hands often, but when I do, I really enjoy it.

So it is going to be Thanksgiving soon. And I never been able to understand this holiday. What are Americans supposed to be thankful for? That the Europeans came here, made friends with the Indians, and then brutally massacred them, stole their property, pillaged them, and took over their land? That is an embarrassment. If I set up a country by genocide (which by the way is how nearly all countries formed in history, so much for the "social contract" that people talk about) I would be embarrassed to remember that part of history. But maybe I am ignorant. I never really understand what Thanksgiving was about. And seriously, can we stop eating Turkey? It is disgusting. I cannot understand how people eat that. Every year people make Turkey and every time it is disgusting. And it is not even made well. Because the whole thing is so huge to cook properly that it always feels undone. Even if it is done, it is still disgusting. Who even likes Turkey? It is just a purely symbolic thing. I think it is about time to stop eating Turkey for something that actually tastes good, like fried chicken. Fried chicken and watermelons. That is what I propose. Blacks are a major part of American history. It is about time to make a special holiday treat just for them. The Indians are basically all dead now, so it does not matter if we make it in their honor. There is no one to honor anymore.

I am not a big food guy. But I usually enjoy chicken. That is the only kind of meat I enjoy. Pork. Never eat it. I did not eat it obviously when I was religious. And I still do not eat it. Looks disgusting. Lamb and cow are impossible to chew. First they do not taste well. Second it takes forever to chew that meat. And definitely not fish. Fish is the worst. So repulsive. I hate so much that any food made contact with fish I will not eat. So I just stick to chicken. Most of chicken I eat is homemade. In a few occasions I eat in semi-fast food places. It could be fast food chicken. And sometimes it is like a semi-restaurant. Like they have in Atlantic City or Las Vegas. They have food places that are not so expensive, food is reasonable price, and they give you large portions.

I despise restaurants. I refuse to go to restaurants. You get nothing to eat. You pay over a hundred dollars and get nothing to eat. Big giant plate with a little food in the middle, that does not taste any better than the food you find in fast food place. Waste hundreds of dollars and you leave hungry. With a few dollars they can stuff yourself by eating fast food. What is the point? I cannot understand this. Especially French restaurants. What is the point of wasting so much money on no food? I guess people say to look fancy. But I do not feel fancy. I feel embarrassed being seen in a fancy (French) restaurant. Embarrassed because I am showing myself to be wasting lots of money to get no food at all. Not very bright.

France is now having a lot of protests as all you heard at this point. This was going on for quite a while now. I think to myself, "what a bunch of lazy people". The retirement age in France was 60. The retirement age in US is 65. Other countries have it at like 65 too. Furthermore, French people work a lot less than people in the US. They have longer vacation breaks. Such lazy people. So it is not a surprise why they get all crazy when they find out that their retirement age is going to be 62. Oh my science, work for another two years, three years shorter than most other countries, how dare we work so much!

Enough of France. Let us pick a different topic. Cigarettes. I heard about this by accident because I do not follow the news. The FDA announced that they plan to put scary images on cigarettes. Anyone who thinks they will actually do something in making smokers stop is an idiot. For the past, Science knows how long, years there was a big war on cigarettes. Constant messages about how dangerous cigarettes are. More and more messages on cigarettes about how dangerous they are. And has any of this done anything to stop people from smoking, I doubt it. People know the danger. Everybody knows the danger. If you wave that danger in front of their face nothing will happen. And seriously now, is smoking any more dangerous than fast food? How many people die from being way too fat? I am willing to bet more people die from food than cigarettes. The reason why America is the unhealthiest civilized country in the world is because of all the food. Not the cigarettes. I find it really strange to go after cigarettes in such an insane manner, to the point of trying to put scary images on them, and forgetting about all the food that kills Americans.

Now time for a completely unrelated topic, but it really disturbs me. That is gender-positive language, or whatever it is called. Instead of saying "for the good of all men" you need to say "for the good of all men and women" or "for the good of all people". Which sounds awful. Adding "and women" at the end of every time you say "men" sounds terrible. It ruins the flow of whatever you are trying to say. Saying "people" is better but it does not sound as poetic as saying "men".

So I do not use gender positive language. You probably noticed at this point. I say "he" not "he or she". That sounds way too awful. In fact, it is not fair to trannies. It should be "he or she or it". Which sounds even more terrible. What is up with all of this correctness. It is getting crazy at this point.

Gender positive language ruins good song. Take for example, my favorite song, Battle Hymn of the Republic. Such a beautiful song. My favorite part of the song is the ending:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea.
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
Now let us see how this changes with gender positive language:
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea.
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.
As he died to make us holy, let us die to make all free!
I do want to give credit to using "us" and "all". Because saying "men and women" would just sound so terrible. But even the "us/all" addition ruins it. It is just not the same. Because "men" is repeated twice. Using "us/all" switches the words. And it looses its powerful statement.
And I do not even see the point of trying to be politically correct with Battle Hymn of the Republic. Because not everyone is a Christian. You are concerned about being politically correct about a song with sings praises to Christ? It is like trying to redo the Mein Kampf to be Jew friendly. It cannot be done.
I will continue to keep on saying "men" because it sounds better and more poetic. Until someone can invent a good word that will automatically apply to men and women. But that never happened. And until it happens I will continue to be politically incorrect.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random Thoughts About Stuff and News

This post will be just like the Gemara, with absolutely not point to it at all. I just had some random thoughts about things. I wanted to put them into a post because they are just too short to put into each individual post.

I guess I start with some news. Honestly Frum put his blog on private. I wanted to go there and read something but it was closed. Well, that is not a big loss. He had nothing that interesting or deep to say. He was a common thinker for the Modern Orthodox Jew who wanted to seem moderate. He will not be missed.

In other news Keith Olberman got suspended from MSNBC. A lot of people are talking about it, so I guess I should add my thoughts to this issue. I do not watch the news, ever. So I could not care less. But other than that, I see nothing amazing about Keith. He is another common thinker. He is a common thinker for liberals. He never had any individual thoughts. He just repeated the stuff liberals always wanted to her. Wow, what a loss.

I do not hate people who oppose me. There are people who I do not agree with but I respect. Because they were individual thinkers. Take like Karl Marx, for example. There is not much I agree with him on. But I respect him. He was an individual thinker and a smart person (though a terrible economist). I may think he is wrong, but he earned my respect.

But Keith is nothing special at all. He repeated the same talking points liberals have been saying. He was the preacher to the choir. Liberals tuned in to hear the things they liked to hear. If Keith had an individuality to him, then maybe I could care. But from everything I see, there is nothing special to Keith whatsoever. So it is no loss that he got fired.

Now to switch to a different topic. Blow jobs. Lots of guys discuss among themselves which girl gives the best blow jobs. Guys brag to one another that his girlfriend gives the best blow job ever. But here is the thing about blow jobs that guys do not really know. Girls suck at doing blow jobs! Not "suck" in the literal meaning, because it is true that girls literally suck, but "suck" in a metaphorical sense. Why? Because these guys never got a blow job from another guy. Guys give better blow jobs than girls. Girls have no idea what they are doing. Why not? Very simple. Because they got no dicks. How can they know how to suck a dick if they got no dick themselves? They just guess at what to do. Guys, however, do have dicks. And they know how blow jobs feel. So they give better blow jobs, far better blow jobs, than girls do.

Straight guys just think there are good girls with blow jobs because they never had one from a guy. Gay guys just think all blow jobs are heaven on earth because they always get them from other gay guys. This is why this truth is never discussed. The straights do not know the good side. And the gays do not know the bad side. So hardly anybody knows the truth about blow jobs.

I wanted to say something about cars. People dream about having the newest and coolest car of all. But I never been able to understand that. If you get yourself a fancy car then you have to worry about it all the time. Did anyone scratch it? Is it safe to park in this neighborhood? The more expensive the car the more into a nervous wreck you turn into.

Do you really need these headaches? Instead get yourself a cheap car. I have a friend who has cars worth between $250 and $500. In fact $500 is too much for him. But he buys cheap cars and fixes them. They are the ugliest pieces of garbage you will ever see in your life. But they are awesome. They drive, rather well actually, not as good as expensive cars, but they take you from one point to another with a few minor problems. They look ugly. Got no paint. Or some paint, and other parts of it rusted. But at least you got not headaches.

The cheapest car is the safest. Nobody ever going to steal it. Why? If it gets scratched, who cares? All the concerns that you have with a normal or expensive car is magically gone with a cheap car.

If I ever need to get a car I will get a cheap ugly one. Never have to worry about anything that way. But other than a car what I really want to get badly is a horse. I love 19th century fashion. I would wear a monocle, it is just that it feels really strange to have one good eye and one bad eye. A horse is beautiful animal. Too bad that horses are probably not allowed on regular traffic. But if I had the money and I was able to ride on regular traffic, I definitely would. I just today, on my way to university, saw a guy riding on a horse in New York City. It was beautiful. And I started having fantasies, what if I had a horse that I rode around?