Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Technology Insertion Rate

The speed with which technology is used by a majority of the population is just as important as break-thru advances - in some ways it is actually more important to the coming Singularity.

If you'd like to see how the rate of not just innovation, but the use of innovations by the public is increasing in speed, check out this cool chart!  It covers some major items of near-magical technology (at least they were considered that at their time of invention) that we now take completely for granted as normal and mundane.

Early inventions like the telephone took 50 years to reach 60% of the population (at around 1948).  Things like electricity took 20 years to reach a majority (at around 1920).  But the Internet has only taken about 12 years to reach this same level of market penetration - and at a much higher per-capita capacity.  In other words, many people have multiple ways of accessing the Internet - not just a single point as was the case with things like television and radio when they hit the 60% mark.

Rates of innovation usage vary, of course, but the trend is quite clear: not only are more things being invented, they are getting into more folks hands faster, too.  This is all in complete accordance with current Technological Singularity Event models.  Are you acceleration aware?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Too Direct?

I found a picture today that seems to perfectly illustrate my own preferred way of dealing with problems.  Take a look:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

London Bridge Is Burning Down

The madness of the discontented and lazy London youth living on the dole continues.  For three days they have looted, burned, and murdered.  It's frightful and wrong.  I really hope that the mayor or the PM will ratchet up the ROE so the hooligans are stopped and hopefully jailed and fined - and it sounds like that's the plan.  Some citizens want to go further and are demanding that those who participated who are on government assistance lose their benefits - a real let-the-punishment-fit-the-crime smack-down.  I like it!

What are these rioters thinking?  Are they using their brains at all?  A deeper question is: how can such a thing be possible in the heart of the United Kingdom?  Last night, I read an excellent and scathing article that attempts to find the causes for this despicable turn of events.  It was a sober, yet illuminating read - I recommend it.

I say, "Good Luck!" to the London authorities and all the poor folks whose property has been destroyed or stolen.  And I'll be praying for those who have lost loved ones to this pointless and wicked anarchy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cute Aliens

Women are a totally different species from men.  This may seem like a bold thing to say, but once this statement is accepted and internalized, it makes for better relationships. 

When you admit and truly believe that your significant other isn't merely incomprehensible at times, but is in fact, a totally different form of life - your perspective and expectations will change for the better. Outside of ridiculous sci-fi TV shows, should aliens land on Earth, no one expects creatures from another world to:
  • A) look like we do,
  • B) function the same way biologically,
  • or C) think the same way we do.
And yet, it is all too common to expect that our girlfriend or spouse will act and think the same way we do despite the wildly different biological, neuro-chemical, and psychological differences that exist between the sexes.  Obviously we all are aware of the first item.  (Vive la diffĂ©rence!)   But it's easy to ignore or overlook the next two items in this list.  Shifting our mindset to see the opposite sex as different in the extreme will help any relationship.  Unreasonable exceptions will go away and cause less tension.

She will never enjoy activities in the exact way you do, because she's an alien.  He will never see things the same way you do, because he's an alien.  She can't see problems and their obvious solutions, because they aren't obvious to her alien mindset.  His communication is bizarre, but that is how his species has always done it.  And that's all OK!  The external physical differences that make us so attractive to each other can be expanded to include all the differences we have.

Revel in the diversity!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Without Warning

I've been reading "Without Warning" by John Birmingham for fun.  It's an intense thriller with plenty of action.  A huge atmospheric event occurs that kills every living thing in a massive ellipsis that covers almost the entire continental USA, half of Canada, Mexico, and most of Cuba.  The event occurs on March 14, 2003 (a bit before the second Iraq War starts) and from this starting point the author just lets events unfold...

My favorite quote so far is when a US covert operative named Caitlin explains what the event really means to her enviro-hippie friend who is somewhat glad that America has gone away:
"Why will the gas run out?  Think of where it comes from, Monique.  Think about what's going to happen there now that the evil global overlord is no longer around to oppress everyone into behaving themselves.  Think about what's going to happen the to evil world financial system now that the planet's greatest debtor nation has winked out of existence and won't be meeting it's loan repayments to anyone.  Think about what happens when you take the lid off Pandora's box and everything that we forgot about history comes spilling out to bite you in the behind.  Do you know how unusual it is, in human history, for children to be able to grow up in a place like this?"  She waved her hands around to take in the city of Paris.  "Never knowing the fear of someone riding over the horizon to steal their family's crops and burn their hut to the ground?  All as a prelude to snatching them up as slaves for the rest of their miserable lives?  That's normality, baby.  That's life as it has been lived by most of human beings throughout most of our history.  That's what I've been fighting my entire adult life, variations on that theme.  That's what America protected you from.  And now she's gone.  And you are all alone in the world.  Except for me." (pp.141-142)
The awesome - this book has it!  If you like a seriously well-researched, geopolitical roller-coaster with a bit of alternate history thrown in, you'll like this book.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Unasked Question

By now, most everyone has heard the news about The USA's credit rating being dropped from AAA to AA+.  It's bad news.  And as is so often the case, the headlines and airwaves are awash with people pontificating as to Whose Fault It IsTM.

Do you know the question that I haven't heard or seen yet?  The question that I think makes the most sense to get the answer to?

How do we get our country's credit rating to go back up to AAA?

Why is no one talking about that?  It seems like the most common-sense thing you could do.  I'd like to know the answer to that question myself, so I know what kinds of things to vote for and write my representatives about.  It's a standard rating system - so there should be some kind of qualitative formula that we could look at in order to modify our nation's fiscal behavior to raise our grades.  This isn't some kind of subjective popularity rating from high school.

But, no.  Our nation's leadership is running around the schoolyard screaming about how unfair it is that they got an F in Math and it's all somebody else's fault.  Not a single word about WHY it happened (ask S&P, perhaps?) or HOW they plan on reversing it (comply with the rules relating to debt-to-asset ratios, perhaps?).

It's amazing...  and sad.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

ROE Make all the Difference

Whenever you enter any kind of conflict of any kind, one of the most important things you can have is a clear understanding of the Rules Of Engagement (ROE).  Those who are unfamiliar with this military term would do well to learn a bit about it, since the concept easily translates into any argument, disagreement, or situation in the civilian world and can be quite useful.

Simply put, ROE are a set of guidelines that control behavior and options when interacting with others who are combative or competitive.  They act as a collection of high-level instructions that control and organize actions and reactions.  They draw lines in the sand that prevent certain responses unless the other guy steps across the boundary.

Most people, whether they realize it or not, have internal ROE.  If we had absolutely no ROE, then our actions would be 100% unpredictable, and we wouldn't have any sense of restraint at all.  Many violent criminals suffer from a lack of ROE - without ROE guiding their actions, they respond in ways that many others see as "unwarranted", "excessive", or "over the top" - and then they go to jail.  (Or they are featured as pointy-nosed cartoon characters.)

I was thinking today about the irony that liberals accuse conservatives of being violent thugs who long for combat and civil disorder, while the vast majority of such unfortunate behavior has come and currently comes from their side of the political aisle both here and around the world.  And it's not just those at the heads of governments and organizations that roll that way, but individuals!  It's really annoying and it is going to lead to several unfortunate consequences...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Victory of Free Speech

The only sane verdict has been reached in the Geert Wilders trial in Holland!  He was acquitted of all five charges of hate-speech.  What did he say?  He spoke publicly about the rise and impact of militant Islam in Holland and across Europe.  As someone who lived in the Netherlands for three years and who also is concerned with the spread of totalitarian Islam and stealth jihad, I have followed this case for some time now.

I am glad that there is still such a thing as freedom of speech in Europe - to have lost this battle would have been a crushing blow for the free democracies of the West (as we are called and loosely grouped).  I'm sure that those who brought charges up against Mr. Wilders will not go quietly, and this fact is evidenced by the 24-hour security guards that the man must now live with.

Still it is wonderful news and I applaud it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who's Laughing Now?

Vegetables are out to get rid of the human race!  Oh , noes!  I knew it...

For years I have been deeply suspicious of veggies.  They are green.  Usually when someone says, "Hey!  This food is all green!" don't most people narrow their eyes and ask what's wrong with it?  In my experience with people, the answer is "Yes."

Some vegetables are closely related to poisonous flora.  Like Hemlock, that vile plant that ended Socrates' life - a first cousin to Tomatoes.  It makes one wonder...  Would you go out with the sibling of a known serial killer?  Yikes!  It's better not to take the risk!

Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy some veg.  Some of my best friends are veggies, in fact.  (If you've heard this one before, feel free to stop me...)  OK, I'll stop.

Monday, May 2, 2011

An Instructive Moment

Osama bin Laden was finally put down like the rabid animal that he was.  I applaud and salute the efforts that this fine bit of intelligence-analysis and operational-expertise represents - especially to all those men and women whose jobs are so classified that we will never know their names.  Thank you.

I believe that those who attack America should take this as an instructional moment.  This bloody event is not a surprise to those of us who were born here.  Deep down, Americans knew that once we identified the murdering jerk who sent his mindless and brainwashed minions to attack our people on 9-11 that we would kill him.  No matter how long it took.  No matter how much it cost.  Because that's the kind of people we are.

Americans are the nicest bunch of people you could hope to met, generally speaking.  But if you attack us in some kind of murderous sucker punch, then we will come after you like a robotic Terminator-dog with a drooling problem.  You can run and you can hide.  But all this will do for you in the long run is guarantee that you die tired and afraid.  Just like OBL, may he enjoy his very own personal weenie-roast in Hades...

So future terrorists, take note.  Once you poke the American bear - you're dead meat.  You'd better have your house in order.  Because those pleasant folks in the USA won't stop until you have paid for what you have done.  It's a given over here - a part of who we are.

You may tell me, "You're crazy!"  To which, I reply, "That's right.  And don't you forget it..."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Thought Police Have Been Greenlit

Perhaps you have read 1984 or Brave New World?  I enjoyed the latter more than the former because it seemed a bit more believable.  1984 was just too far-fetched for me to suspend my disbelief and came across more as a future fantasy than a future possibility.

I guess I was wrong about the fantasy.  The thought police has just been declared 100% constitutional for this country.  Say what?

In deeming that the ObamaCare individual mandate (the requirement that each person in America have their own health insurance) was constitutional and hunky-dory, a federal judge had these words of wisdom to say:
"As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power. ... However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance.  ...  It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not 'acting,' especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice.  Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something."
     -- Judge Kessler remarks in his ruling on Civil Action No. 10-950 (p.45)

So this fellow is saying that the federal government CAN regulate mental activities and choices!?

Wow.  It boggles the mind...  When the whole HealthCare thing was being debated, the opponents who said it would lead, slippery-slope-like, to the government forcing us to buy whatever they wanted to seemed, I dunno', a bit on the fantasy-side to me.  But apparently the slope didn't slide far enough for this guy - the upshot of this ruling is that he thinks the federal government has the authority to control EVERY decision we make or don't make.

Right...  About that...

Two little questions:
1) Where do you think this level of absolute tyranny will lead?
2) How the heck do you plan on enforcing it, bub?

Hey, Judge Kessler?  I'm mentally sending some 'illegal' thoughts your way!

Friday, February 11, 2011


What is up with all the talk about train networks being the solution?  Do our leaders think that we can't travel in this country without a new, high-speed train network?

No, that can't be right.  They must be aware that:
A) We already can travel where and when we need to.
B) If running a high-speed train network was profitable, someone would already being making money doing it.
C) Passenger trains have sucked money for years - they run at staggering losses that are made up for by the taxpayer.
D) Most Americans own one or more of their own vehicles and we have the world's best roadway network.

Surely they realize that our cars are more than a symbol of our freedom, they actually enable personal freedom.  Why would they want to get rid of...  Oh, wait.  I get it...

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to Fight Stealth Jihad

Each of us needs to stand up for our country and our way of life.  There are forces at work that want nothing less than the total destruction of the liberties and freedoms we love so well.  The enemy is not standing clearly in the light for all to see, but is instead slinking through the shadows, avoiding attention as much as possible, and throwing out red herrings at every opportunity.  I'm talking about the sticky spread of Creeping Shari'a and the continuing assaults of Stealth Jihad.  I think first we should define both of these terms.

Creeping Shari'a is the method of slowly substituting the laws of a country for those of Shari'a.  The results are easy to see in many European nations as their populations are beginning to find themselves living in a country that applies Islamic religious law to non-Muslims.  The same sorts of things are being attempted here, but with less success so far.  Here are a couple of links to some recent results of Creeping Shari'a in Norway and Denmark.

Stealth Jihad is the preferred method of attack being used against America and many of the European democracies today.  Instead of physical violence and attacks, the culture itself is undermined and weakened using the freedoms that are present within it.  Once a nation so targeted is weak enough, the destruction of the infidel (that's us, by the way) can take place through more conventional methods.  But don't take my word for it - this is how Mohamed Akram of the Muslim Brotherhood defines this plan in chapter 4 of his book, Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group,
"The process of settlement is a 'Civilization-Jihadist Process' with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated..."
   (Translated from Arabic.)
Clearly we face opponents that are serious about wrecking our culture and us as a people.  Luckily, Americans do not sit around and take this kind of threat meekly - we fight!  And therein lies our opportunity.  Right now the conflict that is on-going in this country is a cold war (lots of talk and political maneuvering, but no bullets are flying), but if we wait until they feel their strategy has weakened us it will turn into a hot war.  There is no question in my mind as to which type of war I'd prefer to fight on American soil!  To win the war while it is still cold, we need to fight smart.

In order to fight smart, we must have more than raw courage and anger over this unwarranted aggression - we must know who we need to resist, what we need to resist, why we need to resist, how we can resist effectively, and when will we know that the fight is over.  Let's talk about each of these requirements and get our game face on!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Impact of Instant Communications

We live in an increasingly complex world.  One area of our lives where this accelerating change is very visible and close to home is how we communicate with each other.  Since the ability to communicate is central to the formation and the function of any civilization or relationship, how this is happening and what it portends should be of interest to us all.  I see five trends occurring that are driving change right now: Just-In-Time Information, Artificial Memory Assistants, Distance Fuzziness, Faceless Communication, and Digital Thinking.

A quick look at history may help to see where I'm going with this.  As communication media developed, they allowed for totally new possibilities throughout history.  The ability to speak led to trade.  The ability to write led to kingdoms.  The ability to 'sign' documents with an identifiable signet led to empires.

Think for a moment about how radically the world changed with each of the following communication innovations:
  • The printing press
  • Newspapers
  • Postal services
  • Personal computers
  • Email services
  • The Internet
  • The telegraph
  • The telephone
  • The cellular phone

Each one of these brought about a huge shift in the way nations and people did their business, handled their relationships, and discovered information in general.  Something that may not be quite as apparent is how it changed the people themselves.  In the use of each medium listed above, the new communication method brought the persons using it closer to the raw information itself and that changed their attitudes and their behaviors.  Additionally, the innovations that had the deepest penetration into people's lives (meaning many more people used it or had access to it), are the ones that changed cultures the most.

It's happening again.  A wave of change in human and cultural behavior caused by the widespread availability and use of cell phones, smart phones, email, the Internet, and other similar devices and mediums is happening right now.  Our increasing ability to communicate instantaneously is having a tangible sociological effect.  My perspective on these trends can be summed up in five ideas:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Respect for Dr. King!

Martin Luther King Jr. embodied the majority of the good and Godly qualities that so many of us strive for and so few of us attain.  Dr. King's personal hero was Mahatma Gandhi, but he didn't simply copy his footsteps in the quest for justice.  He put an American spin on things that resonates with me deeply.

Today we celebrate the Reverend's life, his work, but most of all his mission.  As a family tradition, we always either listen to or watch a video of the "I have a dream" speech he made on the capital steps, which I believe captures the core of his attitude for all mankind so well.  The words and the emotion behind them moves me powerfully and I get teary-eyed every time, especially that last line: 
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

So long as his dream stays alive in our hearts, the world will be a better place.