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Comment Female Worker Insects (Score 1) 449

In eusocial insect colonies, the workers are all parasitically castrated females.

They are parasitically castrated by their own queen mother who uses them as cells in her extended body called the hive or colony.

The real problem we face is that human civilization isn't as highly evolved as the eusocial insects: Civilization's components (erstwhile "humans") don't have the phenotypic plasticity that allows ontogenic paths so radically different as to permit the same genome to become either a queen or a parasitically castrated female worker depending on its upbringing.

We must fervently work to correct this deficiency.

Comment Re:Libertarians and Unconditional Basic Income (Score 1) 1291

Excerpted from MLK's "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" (New York: Harper & Row, 1967).

“In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike.

Up to recently we have proceeded from a premise that poverty is a consequence of multiple evils: lack of education restricting job opportunities; poor housing which stultified home life and suppressed initiative; fragile family relationships which distorted personality development. The logic of this approach suggested that each of these causes be attacked one by one. Hence a housing program to transform living conditions, improved educational facilities to furnish tools for better job opportunities, and family counseling to create better personal adjustments were designed. In combination these measures were intended to remove the causes of poverty.

While none of these remedies in itself is unsound, all have a fatal disadvantage. The programs have never proceeded on a coordinated basis or at a similar rate of development. Housing measures have fluctuated at the whims of legislative bodies. They have been piecemeal and pygmy. Educational reforms have been even more sluggish and entangled in bureaucratic stalling and economy-dominated decisions. Family assistance stagnated in neglect and then suddenly was discovered to be the central issue on the basis of hasty and superficial studies. At no time has a total, coordinated and fully adequate program been conceived. As a consequence, fragmentary and spasmodic reforms have failed to reach down to the profoundest needs of the poor.

In addition to the absence of coordination and sufficiency, the programs of the past all have another common failing—they are indirect. Each seeks to solve poverty by first solving something else.

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective—the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.

Earlier in this century this proposal would have been greeted with ridicule and denunciation as destructive of initiative and responsibility. At that time economic status was considered the measure of the individual’s abilities and talents. In the simplistic thinking of that day the absence of worldly goods indicated a want of industrious habits and moral fiber.

We have come a long way in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate all poverty.

We have come to the point where we must make the nonproducer a consumer or we will find ourselves drowning in a sea of consumer goods. We have so energetically mastered production that we now must give attention to distribution. Though there have been increases in purchasing power, they have lagged behind increases in production. Those at the lowest economic level, the poor white and Negro, the aged and chronically ill, are traditionally unorganized and therefore have little ability to force the necessary growth in their income. They stagnate or become even poorer in relation to the larger society.

The problem indicates that our emphasis must be two-fold. We must create full employment or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other. Once they are placed in this position, we need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted. New forms of work that enhance the social good will have to be devised for those for whom traditional jobs are not available.

In 1879 Henry George anticipated this state of affairs when he wrote, in Progress and Poverty:

“The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature, and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves, driven to their task either by the lash of a master or by animal necessities. It is the work of men who perform it for their own sake, and not that they may get more to eat or drink, or wear, or display. In a state of society where want is abolished, work of this sort could be enormously increased.”

—Henry George, Progress and Poverty

We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished. The poor transformed into purchasers will do a great deal on their own to alter housing decay. Negroes, who have a double disability, will have a greater effect on discrimination when they have the additional weapon of cash to use in their struggle.

Beyond these advantages, a host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life and in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he know that he has the means to seek self-improvement. Personal conflicts between husband, wife and children will diminish when the unjust measurement of human worth on a scale of dollars is eliminated.

Two conditions are indispensable if we are to ensure that the guaranteed income operates as a consistently progressive measure. First, it must be pegged to the median income of society, not the lowest levels of income. To guarantee an income at the floor would simply perpetuate welfare standards and freeze into the society poverty conditions. Second, the guaranteed income must be dynamic; it must automatically increase as the total social income grows. Were it permitted to remain static under growth conditions, the recipients would suffer a relative decline. If periodic reviews disclose that the whole national income has risen, then the guaranteed income would hgave to be adjusted upward by the same percentage. Without these safeguards a creeping retrogression would occur, nullifying the gains of security and stability.

This proposal is not a “civil rights” program, in the sense that that term is currently used. The program would benefit all the poor, including the two-thirds of them who are white. I hope that both Negro and white will act in coalition to effect this change, because their combined strength will be necessary to overcome the fierce opposition we must realistically anticipate.

Our nation’s adjustment to a new mode of thinking will be facilitated if we realize that for nearly forty years two groups in our society have already been enjoying a guaranteed income. Indeed, it is a symptom of our confused social values that these two groups turn out to be the richest and the poorest. The wealthy who own securities have always had an assured income; and their polar opposite, the relief client, has been guaranteed an income, however miniscule, through welfare benefits.

John Kenneth Galbraith has estimated that $20 billion a year would effect a guaranteed income, which he describes as “not much more than we will spend the next fiscal year to rescue freedom and democracy and religious liberty as these are defined by ‘experts’ in Vietnam.”

The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent. We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking.

The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.”

Comment Expand the Hutter Prize (Score 1) 20

Expand the Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge to include the entire edit history of Wikipedia as well as the entirety of Wikipedia's current contents.


Because it solves the artificial intelligence problem and does so in a way that optimally enables natural language communication of the accumulated knowledge of humanity.

What I mean by "optimally enables natural language communication" is what every professional writer uses as the first rule of composition:

Write to your audience.

In other words, let's say you are attempting to write an article about quantum mechanics and your audience is a 12 year old from New Jersey, raised without a father in an impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood. This is a very different composition task than communicating quantum mechanics to a college educated liberal arts graduate from Iowa who is considering a career in accounting. Indeed, it is the essence of pedagogy -- universalized.

By including the entire edit history of Wikipedia, the worldviews, perspectives, biases and agendas of a large number of editors will provide insight into the cognitive as well as social structure of a wide array of humans.

Moreover, while Google and companies like it are increasingly casting their role as "publishers" with the "right" to "editorialize" their search results, the Hutter Prize has a mathematical objective function that is simply not subject to editorialization: Kolmogorov Complexity. KC is a rigorous definition of Ockham's Razor that is mathematically sound and provably an optimal measure of mastery of knowledge.

Comment Libertarians and Unconditional Basic Income (Score 2) 1291

Libertarians need to think more deeply here.

The state of nature is one in which a natural person has de facto rights to fight for his survival — which includes not just his own personal survival but the right to sire and raise children to equally viable adulthood. When I use the word “fight” I mean it: Animals will fight for territorial access for the lives of themselves and their progeny. The Austrian and Lockean schools fail to recognize the situation which arises in nature when an animal is without the means of intergenerational sustenance, and the necessity of aggression in some of those situations. Civilization attempts to ignore this by proclaiming “property rights” as “natural” against “aggression”. This foolishness at the heart of these schools of thought renders them forever vulnerable to collectivists. The way out is trivially obvious: Follow Lysander Spooner’s definition of legitimate government as a mutual insurance company into which men voluntarily invest their natural rights in exchange for shares in and dividends from the company. The premiums paid for property rights take the place of taxes. The dividends take the place of social welfare. The violation of this simple and obvious paleolibertarian construct sacrifices the bedrock principle of liberty upon which civilization is founded for the high purpose of becoming politically impotent against collectivists.

As for socialists, all they need to do is find out who is responsible for ignoring Martin Luther King Jr’s final advice which was quite congruent with this paleolibertarian notion of natural rights investment being compensated by a dividend.

They need to find out who is responsible for ignoring MLK’s advice and do whatever it takes to neutralize their power — and I mean whatever it takes.

I’d start with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Comment Hater Movement (Score 2) 130

The Maker Movement is really just another Hater Movement practicing The Politics of Exclusion. Maker Privilege must be Checked and Confronted wherever it may try to hide -- even in the deep subconscious of Haters -- as yet another Badge of Slavery.

How can we remedy this attempt to revive the antebellum South in a new and insidious guise?

Are we to wait decades upon decades for True Equality to triumph as it hasn't yet in the area of Racial Equality?


Slavery must be met with slavery!

Haters should be forced to Make whatever people who aren't want.

Only then can we achieve Social Justice In Our Time.

Comment Life (Score 1) 474

There is this little thing called "life". I know, its going out of style what with cyborgs taking over the world any day now or something, but in the meantime we have these inconvenient biological chauvinists who feel they are entitled to "life" including things like, oh, I don't know, a viable family where "viable" includes replacement reproduction that they can afford. Replacement reproduction now costs so much (including an education to keep the next generation in the disappearing "middle" class) that there is emerging an elite in the upper east side of Manhattan who flaunt their wealth by having almost as many children as did the parents of the Boomers.

Disgusting, I know, that people who build the foundations of technological civilization might feel entitled to replace themselves in the next generation -- but there you have it.

Comment Create a State of Nature (Score 1) 842

I'd create a State of Nature to preserve the pre-civil culture of northern Europeans -- not just to "save the world" but because that's the enrivonment I want:

1) Buy up large tracts of undeveloped land in nations, in exchange for low land value taxation, that agreed to let people, on those lands, live by the 7 points of agreements between individuals outlined in the aforelinked blog post on "The State of Nature".
2) Permit any indigenous peoples to remain so long as they agreed to those points, excluding everyone else but invitees of the people in those nature preserves. This includes financing a nature preserve patrols (drones, etc.) to prevent encroachment.
3) Set up a cloning foundation to clone people who have been taken out of the gene pool by the current dysgenic culture -- particularly highly intelligent and attractive females that got conned into giving up childbearing for a "career".
4) Set up a foundation for emergency relocation of population when a host nation violates their agreement to permit autonomy.
5) Invite people I like personally to the nature preserve in which I want to live.
6) Invite other lonely billionaires to live in other nature preserves so they could enjoy the natural healthy relationships with beautiful intelligent women.
7) Do what I can to help Bezos, Musk, et al to reduce civilization's ecological footprint on the biosphere -- preferably by space migration. This involves all manner of technology.

Comment Re:Time Value of Capital (Score 1) 61

DanielRavenNest writes: "It takes 2-3 years for the tug to do the return to cislunar space (near the Moon's orbit)."

That sounds like a round trip is going to be 4-6 years plus the dwell times at the ends (which may not be significant in low-hanging-fruit scenarios).

What is the rate of interest you're using for the amortization? What does the tug cost up front? What is the price charged for the hydrocarbons and oxygen produced? What price elasticity of demand are you using?

PS: Thanks for not being "not even wrong".

Comment Time Value of Capital (Score 1) 61

Lewis's interview doesn't touch on the primary economic killer of asteroidal resource retrieval:

The time value of capital.

The equipment you need to do all this is a capital investment. You start paying interest (at a high rate due to risk) on that capital the moment you start constructing it. But more importantly, the amount of time it takes to get to the asteroids and back builds up interest payments that raise the quality of ore required to break even. There is some speculation that the quality of ore in some asteroids is high enough to overcome this objection but I've never seen anyone sit down and lay out the business case in a straight forward manner that didn't come to the conclusion that it is capital service that kills asteroid mining of high value metals.

Comment A Path to Citizenship for H-1B Fraudsters! (Score 1) 417

This just in from the DNC's inner sanctum email traffic on what they really mean by "a path to citizenship":

"We've just approved a new plank in Hillary's platform: Pile illegals up in a stadium, drop a nuke on them and pray for them to reincarnate as children of US citizens!"

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.