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Journal Journal: A Dozen Short Points On The Big Picture 231

I'd just like to respond to a variety of my good interlocutors, briefly, on a swath of topics.
Social:

  • Life: begins when the information that defines you is available: conception. You own your own greatness, or not. You don't own the non-greatness of others.
  • Gender: is defined by chromosomes. Become the best male or female you can: body, mind, and soul.
  • Marriage: has its premise in the production of life. Understood, other variations. But what difference, at some point centuries hence, do they make?
  • Freewill: if you're arguing it doesn't exist, then why're you even reading this?
  • Unscalability: people don't scale. The larger the group you consider, the less powerful assertions you can make about them, without stooping to the crudest stereotypes. There is an inverse square law afoot: the family is strongest, followed by the clan, followed by professions, citizenship, etc. This is why if you want to move a large number of people in an organized way, you have to thrash their individuality and put them in a uniform. This is why the one-size-fits-all theories of Progress are dying. To the extent it can be said to work empirically, the one-size-fits-all of Jesus Christ is the best you've got, and even Christians don't agree on what that means.

Political:

  • Conservativism: is based upon the Lockean notion of the individual.
  • Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.
  • Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.
  • Federal Reserve: the power to inflate the currency urinates all over the spirit of the Constitution, granting too much power to un-elected knobs. The lack of will from either branch of the Ruling Class even to audit, much less reform this beast is telling.
  • ObamaCare: is the legislative/economic equivalent of the Doomsday Machine from Star Trek. In true Progressive fashion, it accomplishes the opposite of its title. This is a time, to quote Iron Maiden, to "Die With Your Boots On." Can this bureaucratic D&D Black Pudding be stopped? Hopefully; my metaphorical blender just 'sploded.

Historical:

  • Slavery: sucked. It had a variety of social and economic causes, including false notions of inferiority based upon extrinsic characteristics. However, the guilt for slavery is owned by those who actually held slaves, just as the guilt for Jim Crow is owned by its perpetuators in the modern Racism Idustrial Complex. I forgive those who try to pin such guilt on me, in the hope that, if forgiveness spreads, growth can occur.
  • Foreign Policy: if you think about it, our Constitution is defensive in nature: some powers were delegated by the States to a Federal government for mutual protection. Progress has begotten the Team America World Police concept since Bretton Woods. That it ran for 50 years needs to be seen as about as good as it gets. What follows is totally unclear.

So, there you have it. These are my positions, arrived at slowly, and not given to much adjustment. I'm not accepting blame, nor do I think I've blamed anyone in particular. I don't even blame Obama for ObamaCare. Our situation sucks, and it sucked Cthulhu right out of R'lyeh. If Barack had stayed a stoned Hawaiian, tearing tickets at Jack Johnson concerts or whatever, they'd've polished another tool for his role. So don't over-credit the putz. Our decadent point in American history has plenty of sad little Commies who could've done the job. Our task is to realize the dream of the Founders, with an informed, educated electorate.

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Journal Journal: Klavan has a gentle rant I wish I'd written 10

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Journal Journal: Ace of Spades on our media geniuses on the Zimmerman case 14

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Journal Journal: Obligatory Zimmerman JE 2

I rather expected a more political "manslaughter" verdict that would be overturned on appeal, or perhaps even pardoned by the Community Organizer-in-Chief himself, magnanimously forgiving the liquidating of that son he didn't build.
Not to make light of a tragedy. I've served with the likes of Trayvon Martin in the military. I'm willing to venture he was probably a typical American kid, and what went down really sucked.
On the other hand, the sheer ghoulishness of the trial, and all of the race-baiting from the Left, was utterly disgusting.
Now, let some peace be sown, please.
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Journal Journal: It's as though there was a discussion about math 49

Me: "2 + 2 = 4"
Him: "You're incapable of seeing beyond your affirmations."
Me: "What, then? Can you sketch an alternative to traditional math?"
Him: "Look, you're just regurgitating the same old stuff. If you won't give that up, there's nothing I can do."
Me: "Sorry! I thought this was an exchange of ideas, not a con job."

--
Wow. I thought I was supposed to be the one who's nuts for thinking that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ.
But you won't begin to catch me evangelizing the meaning of life in the kind of anti-intellectual mode I have conveyed above.
And, no, the above dialog is not a literal one. I've taken what I consider the gist of another discussion with someone else here on /. and recast it from scratch.
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Journal Journal: "The market is the state. In fact that is true today."--Fustakrakich 28

I have said many times that the difference between capitalism and socialism is one of cardinality. Socialism is the singular corporation. Capitalism, if it be more than oligarchy, is a full-on multitude.

It has to happen if we are to shed our animal desires and become human.

Dude, don't bogart that joint. I want to know what magic definition of "human" you're operating under, who manages that definition, and the size of your kickback for being such a useful patsy.
Full disclosure: my definition is the liberty-conveying one found in the New Testament, and I'm not buying any of these variations on Marx. Karl, indeed, preached "The Kingdom of God, hold the God," with the corpse piles of the last 170 years to show for it.

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Journal Journal: Great Samizdata quote 8

If you want to introduce someone to libertarian thinking, encourage them to try this experiment. Spend a few days reading nothing but technology news. Then spend a few days reading nothing but political news. For the first few days theyâ(TM)ll see an exciting world of innovation and creativity where everything is getting better all the time. In the second period theyâ(TM)ll see a miserable world of cynicism and treachery where everything is falling apart. Then ask them to explain the difference.

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Journal Journal: Project idea

I have two dual-core 64bit laptops.
Thought is to take, say, Arch Linux, and craft a minimal configuration that:
  • Installs to a thumb drive
  • Supports virtualization
  • Boots itself to one core, then the other
  • Can bind both the host and guest instances to external mass storage
  • Can at least fake some Big Data work

My MacBook Pro's meager 4GB of RAM is probably suicidal for this sort of thing.
However, the intent here is to do preliminary research, and document that I have enough technical chops not to kill myself in a real situation.
I priced the gear I'd need at MicroCenter today. $500-$600. Once I've got the distro configured, and can do a double-USB boot trick, plunking down further cash won't be totally idiotic.

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