Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dr. Phil aka Big Brother

Imagine my surprise today when I turned on the television and stumbled onto this bizarre series of events chronicled by that minion of Oprah, the above mentioned Dr. Phil. This concerned a teenager aged sixteen who had run away with her boyfriend, this sometimes happens. The surprising thing was that her family appealed to Dr. Phil for help, this also happens frequently. He enlisted the help of an ex FBI agent (now a P.I.) to find her. Up to this point I suffer no righteous moral indignation. What happened next was surprising however.

Within three days the runaway had been tracked down, with help from the police and even arrested on Dr. Phil’s say so. This is a very shocking state of affairs when of a second rate TV host wields a de facto lettre de cachet. From this I infer that the big media stars in the west wield equivalent power to the eastern mullahs. Need I even mention the recent Brangelina episode (a sovereign nation serves as celebrity breeding ground).

The only advice I can give is: make sure you have a high priced lawyer when the fatwa from Oprah arrives in your inbox!

Monday, August 21, 2006


This sounds great, free energy and cheap!! Unfortunately you have to have extraordinary evidence to prove extraordinary claims. This is the classic perpetual motion machine although Sean McCarthy puts a new spin to it.

I welcome that he has challenged science to test his machine (full page ad in the economist) and really hope he does succeed. It would be just what we need. All the energy crises of the world resolved at once. Unfortunately the only conceivable way his technology could work is by exploiting vacuum point energy. How do a few magnets manage to do this?

There have been previous claims to build perpetual motion machines most notably a clock built in the 19th century that ran for more than 100 years (it turns out the guy didn’t invent the perpetual motion machine, merely the long life battery!).

Still I wait with baited breath, but when this turns out to be another false start, I told you so! But at least scientists are looking at his invention. The only way for science to progress is by direct experiment. So go experiment!

Lebanon is overpopulated

What no one is discussing at the moment are the root causes of the conflict in the Middle East. Why is it suddenly so violent after a period of relative peace from the late seventies to the early nineties? The answer quite frankly is that there are more than twice the number of people living there today with resources ever more scarce. That place is a pressure cooker.

For the Palestinians this is a survival struggle, it has no links to international terrorism, they merely want to survive. If you take an Islamic country where the people don’t starve (Malaysia) then you see no extremist activity. Humans are driven to desperate measures by hunger. Can you imagine what life is like if you believe paradise to be blowing yourself up? This situation will only increase in frequency as the worlds population inevitably soars to 10 billion. Get ready for more flash points.

Here is a rundown of current resource wars: Darfur, Lebanon, Iraq, Kashmir, East Timor and Congo. Everyone is a third world country with a massive population living in squalor, easy pray for destructive memes. From their point of view anything they do is better than starving to death. That is why the war on terror is a sad mistake as well as a misnomer. The effects of a large unsustainable global population are merely making themselves felt. And yet the U.S. exports millions of tons of food every year, making terror worse. They should export millions of tons of condoms and birth control pills.

The present American effort to decrease the population of Iraq could be conducted much cheaper pharmacologically (coincidentally it is also more humane).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Where are the supermen?

I recently was surfing the web and came across these so called high IQ societies. All those people with IQ’s so high they are in the top 2% of the population. Yes Mensa members this is addressed to you. I made a few quick calculations and found that there must be 120 million people eligible for Mensa, and if you take even more elite societies like Prometheus there should be at least 10 000 super geniuses.

Hold on, with that number of geniuses won’t they solve all the world’s problems? That is precisely what my argument boils down to, if all those geniuses can’t do much then genius is sorely overrated. Stephen Hawking is supposed to have an IQ of 168 but what has he done for physics? It has been stagnant since Einstein. Can not one of these geniuses come up with a unifying theory? And does Marilyn vos Savant (highest IQ ever 238) solve the third world’s problems, invent a sustainable form of energy or negotiate world peace? No, it takes an IQ of 238 to write a newspaper advice column.

This is the state of the world, all those geniuses and they cannot help us, which only shows again that an IQ of 200 isn’t so superior to 100. On the negative side it implies all humans, even the genii, are pretty stupid. Heaven preserve us!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Free speech is hate speech

There are many enemies to free speech in our day and age. They are not confined to the regular censors, theocratic or communist regimes etc. Even in places like supposedly democratic Europe so called hate speech is banned.

But wait a minute, I thought that the whole point of free speech was just that, free speech? Not in this life it isn’t. What people do not realize is that free speech is not to be qualified. Who decides what is acceptable? What is canon today was considered “hate speech” a few centuries ago. If you allow someone to preach a view different from the catholic religion he ends up in hell. To accept that kind of thing you must really hate the guy. Free speech only means anything if the views propounded are enraging to the listeners, totally anathema to them and still be allowed to continue.

All else is censorship, just because democracy is established today and everybody preaches it (the established doctrine) doesn’t make it free speech. Preaching democracy in a monarchy is free speech, preaching fascism in a democracy is free speech all else is equal in being censorship. A state of no freedom of speech exists if it is infringed in the slightest, it is especially in the categories of so called hate speech that freedom is tested.

But doesn’t this promote hatred? No, the value of free speech is that it allows the public access to what is being said. An evil exposed to the light cannot stand up to it. Freedom of speech allows us access to information that would have otherwise been used to harm us. Just banning hate speech doesn’t make the hate go away, examining the problem in open public debate with no holds barred is the only way to go.

Personal Veto

Tired of the ever increasing erosion of personal liberty in our modern society? Well so am I. Liberty is a precious state that was won through war and sacrifice, and like the tide reached it’s greatest extent after the American revolution. Since then the liberty of every free person (as defined in those two great documents the constitution and bill of rights) has been constantly encroached. Is it not strange that the sole occupation of congress is making new laws that prohibit some action? What they should be doing is enshrining more rights, and increasing freedom. For the past two hundred years new rights have only been added through struggle (end of slavery, women’s suffrage) and only infrequently. This is hardly surprising when there is a body of so called lawmakers who have to make new laws constantly. Do we need new laws? They are just inventing new things to prohibit, what they should do is enshrine more rights and freedoms in the constitution (because our freedom level is lower today than at any time after the late 17 hundreds).

This is how they operate (some introductory statistics might help The politicians look for an action that is more than two sigmas removed on the normal curve, e.g. the medicinal use of marijuana (a drug less dangerous than tobacco but not so widely used). They then prohibit this action, knowing they won’t be opposed by the majority of the population (they won’t even care) and the bill will pass easily. The proponent of the bill has his political future assured and everyone can see their tax dollars in action creating a new law. Now harmless eccentrics end up in jail, but there is no furor since they are too few to complain. Another segment of society “normalized” next: fox hunters, then anyone partaking in a minority activity (Islamic worship?). It could be you.

Here is a great idea to safeguard the rights of the individual from arbitrary infringement. There should be active efforts to create new rights (enshrine the right to privacy in the constitution etc.), and advocate for the abolishment of all arbitrary prohibitions.

This is the right I propose: Personal veto.

The greatest right of any person is to say: ”I am right, you are wrong” and not have to follow any law but personal conviction. So every person should have the right once in their life to overturn the judgment of any court or authority. This will eliminate all wrongful imprisonments, ruinous lawsuits, give truly repentant offenders a second chance, and enable people to act on their convictions without fear of reprisal by the government.

But what of punishing criminals? That is an outdated concept. The function of the justice system is to safeguard the public. If an offender is released and doesn’t commit a crime again how is he objectively different from a non offender? So wrongfully accused people go free, reformed criminals go free, people who commit a crime again will not have the personal veto a second time, so this system will insure that only the unrehabitable go to prison where they can’t harm society. This is very much like the presidential pardon, only much more democratic.