Thursday, August 7, 2008

Totally Transparent Government

My assumptions are that a true deep unbiased education is the method needed to bring about global and societal change.

The whole idea of having politicians make decisions about how to spend tax money is ridiculous!

What we need is a mechanism where ad-hoc groups of highly educated specialists get together when there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
These groups will always have the expressed purpose of creating 3-5 good ways to deal with the specific scenario in an intelligent manner and the exact cost of each will be laid out as a dollar amount per person and a total sum to the general public. The general public will then vote on these plans, or they can vote to choose to reject the plans and tell them to go back to the drawing board.
The ad-hoc groups will consist of volunteers in the academic field having a degree in a related field, and have no corporate ties, they will also be required to not profit past 1 standard deviation of what the average population profits. If for some reason a plan is presented that is just really good but it unfairly benefits any individual in the scenario creating ad-hoc group past 1 standard deviation of the benefit the general population recieves from the decision (measured in money, value of possessions) Individual will be forced to forgo the profit past the standard deviation and it will be distributed by the public. Similarly if an individual in the scenario creating group benefits less than 1 standard deviation of the average benefit, they will be compensated up to 1 standard deviation.

Issues that need to be addressed will all need to be generated by grassroots campaigns. This means we will only discuss issues that the public actually wants to discuss and not what the people who rule us think up!
The public will decided how much time the ad-hoc groups are allowed to come up with scenarios for particular situations. Some situations will require quick action, some will need lengthy long thought out actions.
This system of government will rule over no more than 10 million people. Groups of 10 million people can use these rules to determine how to correspond with other groups.
Voting would work over a specific closed loop internet where a near future quantum computer could provide physically unbreakable encryption and therefore security.
Every single person in these ad-hoc groups will be televised 24/7 throughout the duration of the meetings so that the public can make sure there is nothing going on behind the curtain.
This society would need 1 rule in order to be free of corruption, and that would be making schooling throughout all levels of education free for the public. This way, anyone could be a decision maker and have an informed opinion about dealing with issues regarding them.

Totally Transparent Government is what I call it. It is not a political ideal, it is about dealing with situations intelligently and the way the people actually want to deal with situations.

Why just 10 million people?

I don't think any body of decision makers no matter how intelligent or transparent can satisfy everybody perfectly in a world where there are so many issues for viewpoints to differ. However it is fairly clear that the smaller the community the more likely people within that community will have similar viewpoints on issues. 10 people plucked from 10 random geographic areas from the US will be unlikely to hold a lot of very similar view points. Narrow it down and pick 10 people from a single state and these people will have much more similar views. Narrow it down even further to a large city, 10 people in a large city are much more likely to share similar views than people separated vastly geographically. Theoretically 1 million people would represent the community even better, but too little diversity can be bad too. When people are in too much agreement strong views and hatefulness of "others" outside the community can run rampant without any checks.

If trying to rule over too large of a group, people will naturally aggregate into smaller groups that have similar views. This is why we have mostly red states and blue states but few purple states. Opinions and ideas tend to spread out geographically and dissipate at a certain distance from specific geographic locales where certain ideas and opinions are very strong.

A system of politics where one ruling body is supposed to accurately represent the views and opinions of 100's of millions of people is absolutely ludicrous!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Internet Will Revolutionize the World

The Internet, is going to completely revolutionize society, and it has already begun.

Think of how much the Internet has already changed our lives. When we have questions, they can now be answered with a modest amount of research that requires little more than a few key strokes. In the past, if you or someone you knew had a question that was out of the field of expertise of people around you, it would require a trip to the library, sifting through hundreds of pages of books looking for an answer. Now most questions can be answered in a matter of minutes, and deeper questions can be answered in a few hours.

Having the Internet in your home is the equivalent of owning your own personal multi billion dollar library. The bulk of all human knowledge has already been uploaded onto the Internet, and soon all human knowledge will be published directly onto the Internet.

Internet speeds are becoming exponentially faster, fiber optics have been developed that can transfer 40Gb's/sec on a single fiber. The ability to transfer such large amounts of data will certainly bring down the cost of individual household bandwidth. A cheaper and faster Internet is upon us, but what does this mean for the world?

The rise of the Internet means the end of ignorance. Sure the Internet has a lot of unreliable resources on it, but it also has the largest collection of reliable resources on it, much larger than any library in known existence. The only knowledge one needs in order to end their ignorance with the Internet, is the ability to do good research. This means checking the credentials of the people whose documents you are using as a source, incorporating multiple credible sources in order to back up an idea, and the ability to use search engines properly. With this basic knowledge, those with Internet access can free themselves of any ignorance they would like.

If a person has a question, it can be answered quickly, and reliably with the Internet.

We have more information at our fingertips than anybody in the past ever dreamed of. Just one generation ago, this sort of access to information was hardly even dreamed of, and now it is a reality.

Information will allow humans to make intelligent decisions in any situation that is desired.

The Internet provides a means for racists, homophobes, and the religious to observe other peoples idea's on the world in a non-threatening manner. Ignorant people can simply read what others have to say without feeling immediately defensive. The mere fact that ignorant people can read other opinions without feeling threatened will help open up their minds. I am absolutely convinced that humans are rational by nature, and the only reason we act irrationally is because we are separated from knowledge.

Cheers for the end of ignorance

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who and What are We?

I was listening to an old clip of Richard Alpert talking about self, and what it is that we are as individuals. He makes the point that every individual shares the most central parts of themselves with everybody else. We all share awareness, this is the most important and profound part of our existence. All of the things that we associate ourselves with, the labels like; student, brother, son, boyfriend, and all other sort of labels. These labels are more like clothes that we wear on top of our awareness rather than what we are. Many of us associate our "self" with some sort of label, and this inherently makes us feel as though each individual is a completely separate person. We look for the differences in people in comparison to ourselves. What we should realize, is that we all share the most important part of our existence with every living human. We all share awareness, and not only that, but a similar sort of awareness, a human awareness. Although we try to identify each other by our differences, we need to come to the understanding that at the fundamental level, we are all the same. We all share the same type of awareness.

The part of you that feels, is the same in each individual on this planet. Although you may feel different things, it is the ability to "feel" that we share with each other. We must recognize this if we are to ever achieve world peace and prosperity.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Is This Article Self Aware?

By Paige Thompson



[1]Thompson, Paige. "Is this article self aware?." PDH Complex 7(2008):

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mental Disease Theory: High Entropy Neural Pathways

An idea I just had.

Assumption: Neural Patterns stimulated more regularly will become stronger and more easily stimulated

Certain mental diseases could be treated and avoided by non-drug therapy, or brain stimulation techniques. A mental disease could start off as a seed neural pathway in the brain that has an unusually high entropy value, or unusually low resistance. These pathways because of their high entropy/low resistance would be stimulated easily, and the more they are stimulated the more likely the neurons involved in the pathway will become linked to other neurons, auxiliary to the pathway, but linked to the experience, additionally the more the low entropy state becomes activated, the more strongly the neurons in the pathway become linked, a cancerous feedback loop of thought. For instance, if you are eating breakfast when a certain pathway is stimulated, the smell, taste, visual data, or even other things on your mind could become linked to the neural pathway being stimulated. This could in turn cause this high entropy neural pattern to become stimulated when eating breakfast, associations like these could in theory branch out, so that almost everything in your life, every experience activates this high entropy pathway.

So if a person has a latent high entropy pathway that simply has not yet been stimulated they will not experience the particular mental illness that results from this pathway.

Intellectual athletes, those who are constantly trying to expand the powers of their mind may be prone to mental illness by activating pathways in novel ways. An intellectual athlete is more than just an explorer of the mind, activating many many pathways, but creates links between pathways possibly creating an infectious low entropy pathway. This could also explain why psychedelic drugs have been linked to mental illness in those with a family history of illness. Certain people have latent high entropy neural pathways that have yet to be activated, psychedelic drugs activate pathways in the brain in very different manner than the brain is normally activated. Therefore a psychedelic drug could simply stimulate one of these high entropy pathways, and thus start the feedback loop of cancerous thought, precipitating the illness.

If this theory explains certain mental illness, this would provide for enhanced treatment options over the traditional prescription and therapy treatment.

One would simply need to have real-time brain imaging machine with a certain amount of resolution that allowed pathways to be distinguished from one another rapidly. A therapist and patient would need to experiment to find which pathway the disease state occupies, and the auxiliary pathways that activate the disease state. Through neurobio-feedback the patient could learn to avoid activating the disease state. This would be an ongoing process, that would be very intensive during the beginning weeks/months of neurobio feedback, with neurobio-feedback sessions tapering off as the disease state becomes activated less and less. It may even be possible for the patient to break apart the high entropy system through neurobio-feedback.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Atheists are not Close Minded

Let us clear up Atheist Vs. Agnostic. These are not mutually exclusive terms. There are no atheists that exist that are also not agnostic. Being agnostic simply means that one acknowledges that it is impossible to prove a negative 100%. Being an atheist simply means one does not believe in theology. This next bit I read somewhere, but cannot remember where.

It is impossible to prove that unicorns do not exist, yet nobody seriously believes that they exist. To acknowledge that it is impossible to know, one would say they are agnostic about the existence of unicorns, but they also know there is no reason to believe that unicorns exist, thus one is also atheistic in regards to the existence of unicorns.

Although it is possible to be agnostic without being an atheist, any intelligent atheist (most are) is also agnostic. Anybody who claims to know with absolute certainty that there is no god is a fool, this however does not make god any more real than a unicorn, or for that matter a unicorn-leprechaun hybrid.

Atheists as far as I know are skeptics. Being an atheist in the USA is not something one does flippantly, very few are born into atheism. Unlike most religious people, an atheist at some point makes a conscious choice that they do not believe in religion.

Imagine, if you will, a prototypical balance, a plank of wood balanced on a wedge. Yet this is not an ordinary balance, this is a conceptual balance of evidence. This conceptual evidence balance is what rational people use in order to judge the accuracy of idea's and theories. Much of the time it is difficult to determine immediately which side of the balance is heavier, that is, which idea or theory has more evidence to it, however after research and a good amount of skepticism it becomes clear which side is heavier.

It must be noted that this sort of decision making is based on the assumption that it is rational to believe idea's with the most evidence for them, essentially the assumption is, it is rational to believe idea's that describe reality most accurately rather than ideas that describe reality less accurately.

People who use this sort of system to judge rationality are given the labels, rational, rationalist, or skeptics. Being a skeptic is synonymous with rationalist.

Now, getting back on subject, I have heard it said that atheists are just as close minded as theists. This is a gigantic lie.

Atheists, as mentioned above are mainly composed of skeptics, or rationalists who weigh evidence in order to make a decision about belief. These peoples beliefs are not set in stone, and change according to evidence. The fact of the matter is, there is overwhelming amounts of evidence that contradict the idea of a god in any sort of religious sense what-so-ever, and absolutely 0 evidence in favor of there being a god.

However every atheist I know would convert to any particular religion if there were more evidence of it being correct than of it not being correct.

There are exactly 0 theists that would do the same, simply because, any theist, if they used a rational system to evaluate evidence would come to the same conclusion as anybody who has ever looked objectively upon religion, and would realize it was all a scam.

The only reason a person would say an atheist is close minded is simply out of frustration that a skeptic cannot be swayed by stories like "I was personally touched by god" or any of that anecdotal evidence. These sorts of things are called spiritual experiences, and everybody, regardless of religion (or lack there of) have them. Atheists who do not believe in soul or "free will" have these sorts of profound experiences too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How to live in 4 simple steps

Many of us walk around, nervous, without confidence about the decisions we need to make in life. Below I am providing 4 tips for improving your life immediately.

1. Do your best on everything you do

My grandfather once told me, "If a job is not worth doing right, it is not worth doing at all." I believe that this statement is true. Many of us do not put 100% into many projects in fear of failing and coming to the realization that we are genuinely not good at something, but this is absolutely rubbish. If you are genuinely not good at something, it is beneficial to know this so that you do not take tasks you are not good at. In addition to this, giving 100% often produces results far better than your own expectations of yourself, boosting your confidence. Also, if you put 100% into everything you do, you cannot blame yourself if you do poorly because it simply is not possible to do better than your best effort.

2. Do not bite off more than you can chew

This goes along with number 1, if you have too much on your plate that you cannot put your best effort into everything, you need to realize your limitations (you are human) and cut out tasks that are lower on the priority scale so that you can invest your best effort into those things that are most important to you.

3. Philosophize

Every individual needs to come to an understanding of what life is all about, what is the purpose, what is morality, what things do you believe or not believe. Religion is a horrible thing to center your life around. It is much easier to dismiss morality given to you by somebody else, than to dismiss your own conclusions about morality. One must really think about morality, what it is, what it means to you, and then stick to your own idea's about morality. Regardless of what religion teaches, humans are very capable of coming up with their own morality which is generally more reliable, and dare I say, more moral than morality handed down from thousands of years ago. This can be seen by prison statistics, Christians make up approximately 83% of the prison population, they also make up about 83% of the general population, while atheists make up around 8% of the general population and only about 0.2% the prison population.
In addition to morality, questions about life, happiness, and meaning can only be found through personal insight, although there are many good books on the subject, in order for any answers to these questions to be true for an individual, one must discover these insights for themselves.

4. Forget the past, live for the moment, but plan for the future.

Many of us worry about the decisions we have made in the past, some of us even live in regret. Although it is important to reflect on the past, to shape our decisions for the future, regret is a horrible situation to be in and does not help anybody. If you have made a bad decision in the past, confront the issue by realizing it was a poor decision, and try your best to avoid decisions like that in the future. Forgive yourself because there is nothing you can do to change the past, learn from your mistake and move on.
In addition to this, do not worry excessively about the future. The future is going to happen whether you want it to or not, there are endless possibilities of things that could possibly go wrong, so there is no need to worry about things that are out of your control. The sun could explode in 10 minutes and wipe out all of humanity, but this should not make you live in fear because you have no way of controlling this. Try to structure your life today so that you minimize failure in the future, but do not obsess about the future, because you do not live in the future. You live in the here and now. You do not live in the past, or in the future. If you are constantly thinking about things other than the here and now, you will miss out on what is happening, you miss out on real reality. All you have is this moment, take advantage of it.