Q thread

Economics, Politics, Philosophy, History and Culture
Forum rules
Always add something of value to the discussion and have fun. Mind your language, no porn, no libel, no trolling and no personal attacks.

Please note, views expressed on the forum do not necessarily represent the views of Mises UK. the Mises UK Council, Mises UK Faculty or Mises UK members. Membership of this forum is open to anyone world wide who is interested in civil discussion.
User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:32 am

How God Dies



The WBC might seem to be a bit passe, now that its most notable patriarch, Fred Phelps, has gone the way of all men, whether gay or straight. But the "Phelps formula" has spread and we can see a lot of the same "loud & proud for 'God'" tactics that were pioneered by the Westboro cult being deployed by groups like Patriot Prayer, Proud Boys, and others.





So, in some ways, it's becoming more relevant with time, not less. I don't think that Fred Phelps is the most evil man who has ever lived (even in his own time), but I do think that the most evil people in the world form a network in which the clergy forms a deeply embedded, hard core. The power of religious leadership comes from our own piety. It's one thing to cuss at somebody on the street. Shameful behavior. But it's something else entirely to cuss at a man of God. Surely, this must especially anger God. So maybe we oughtta walk on eggshells around somebody who has a priest's attire, or who we know to be a preacher. Now, the heathen will say, "Pffft, I don't give a f#@k about a man of God, he can suck Satan's c#@k in hell for all eternity, for all I care." But the vast majority of the public doesn't feel that way, even people who are only marginally religious or irreligious.

Religion is about power, and it's not just power, it's the hard core of power, the kind of power that generals and presidents can only dream about. The Romans, who had a preternatural facility with wielding power, understood this nearly 2,000 years ago and they made the conscious choice to make Rome a Christian empire as a calculated move based on their belief that this arrangement would further the interests of the only thing they cared about: the power of Rome. Their bet turned out to be spectacularly correct.

Needless to say, many secularists and other cultural progressives are vehemently opposed to the rabid form of fundamentalism espoused by these religious shock troops. Most of us just laugh at the absurdity of it all, and maybe shake our heads with some mix of pity and disdain. But make no mistake, these groups are not about to disappear. In fact, their influence is on the verge of sparking into a global conflagration. What is driving this bizarre phenomenon? Where are the material resources, human resources and emotional energy that drives these groups coming from?

The answer is, I think, something that is more subtle and more bizarre than anything we (collectively) may yet be ready to grapple with. However, I will point in the direction that I think we ought to be looking. The edifice of religious power, as we understand it -- and I am talking about the Abrahamic religions, in particular -- is founded on a simple fact: nobody knows what happens when you die. We are on the verge of a transhuman revolution wherein we are beginning to question the axiom of death. Is it really true that death is absolutely inevitable? Of course, nobody has any scientific proof that it is possible to escape death and, in fact, nobody can even really sketch an outline on how it would be possible. But that's beside the point. You don't have to be straight raving bonkers to ask the question, anymore. And that tiny little grain of doubt in the certitude of the inescapability of death is all that you need to begin to wonder what happens to religions if people start living much longer lives, or even indefinitely? If we somehow manage to slip the shackles of death, that would be the death-knell for God. To kill God, we must kill death.

So what does killing death have to do with Westboro-style religious fanatics? Well, the doctrine of hell is itself built on the axiom of death. If we never die, then there is no longer any question of, "where do we go after we die?" So hell is dead. And if hell is dead, then so are all the virulent strains of mental sepsis being spewed by these hate groups. This is where God goes to die.
Last edited by Clayton on Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:54 am

Bravo, Mr. President



I want to give credit where it's due. Since 2008, I have had almost nothing but criticism for the US government. Starting around 2015, I realized that even criticism is pointless -- the US government has gone so far beyond the pale that it's literally in God's hands. But it would be unfair to only give criticism when the US government makes wrong decisions, but fail to give credit when they make right decisions. So, bravo President Trump, this is the right decision not only for Syrians, but for Americans and also for the American soldiers being put in harm's way for the imperial, globalist agenda.

The neocon weenies at FOX are crapping their pants over this and that's a good sign. They're going to trot out the usual suspects and decry this as a "victory for ISIS" or a "victory for Putin" but these are all scare-tactics. Sure, Vladdy's going to gloat over our withdrawal and he's going to trumpet it to the Russians as a victory over America. But why should Russian domestic propaganda be re-packaged and sold back to Americans by a bunch of traitorous war-hawks? Shame on FOX. Just because Mr. Putin is going to declare this as a victory for Russia doesn't mean it actually is. Quite the opposite, to the extent that Russia harbors secret ambitions for world domination (and it's impossible to believe they would not take the opportunity if it ever presented itself), they are no better than the globalists, they're just playing for themselves. Whenever we stop marching to the drumbeat of the globalist agenda, we weaken the opportunists everywhere in the world. America's true power derives from our principles of (relatively) open government and (relatively) free markets, not from our weapons of war. When we allow ourselves to be buffaloed into military adventurism and war-mongering, we are allowing ourselves to be bled dry by foreign interests who could never compete with us on a level playing-field. If the globalists are ever going to succeed in establishing their global hegemonic tyranny, they have to keep America raging around the globe chasing its tail in pointless military adventures. They know they cannot take us on so long as we are not being weakened by a hemorrhaging national budget and national debt.

User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:19 am



Make no mistake -- China is the pilot-program for the world order which the globalists have been furiously working to build, except the globalists want to make the system 100% automated, end-to-end, connecting every single one of your moment-by-moment decisions to your bank account. A little bit like those obscenity fines in Demolition Man, but even more pervasive and petty. "Who cares? This is America. That sh!t won't fly over here." Well, let's see. The globalists cease printing money at the Fed to prop up the US economy. The US economy tanks. The US government begins to default on its interest payments to China which holds an ocean of US debt. China and the globalists force the US to come to the negotiating table (a feat that can be made possible by rendering the US military moot... trust me, they've war-gamed 1000 different ways to do that), and make a fairly benign offer: "Institute a Chinese-style social credit system in the US and we will waive X% off US debt interest payments for Y years."

Impossible? Think again.

User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:51 pm



I see this case as a canary in the coalmine -- this is a true indicator of where we're headed, long-run. Swear allegiance to the (globalist, Zionist) state of Israel, or be shunned, where "shunned" means any number of legal repercussions like being fired, having passport/license revoked, being subjected to punitive "tax disincentives", and so on. While there are many Jews in Israel today (many of whose ancestors were driven out of Europe by the threats of pogroms in the decades leading up to World War II), the state of Israel is as Jewish as an SS tattoo. The state of Israel was created by a cabal of "elites" who care about Jews exactly as much as Hitler did. They have co-opted the Jewish cultural identity because it is useful for their ends. What are their ends? See the above video. Swearing allegiance to the state of Israel is a proxy for swearing allegiance to the coming world government. Israel is just a mask. What is behind that mask is the thing that is driving the current madness that has enveloped the globe.

User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:09 am

Anons asked Q: "Is the Earth flat?"

Q: No.

It may seem surprising that this question should even need to be answered, but the problem that is created when a society begins to spin political truths, is that the spin gradually begins to spread through the entire fabric of society. Eventually, people are left questioning whether anything that cannot be verified by individual test can actually be reliably known. Sure, the scientists tell us that the Earth is not flat... but it's not like you can jump really high to verify it.

In case you (generic) are skeptical, or know someone that is, it's easy and inexpensive to verify for yourself that the Earth is, indeed, a rotating sphere:



The only equipment you need is a quality, high-powered rifle, some good optics, targets and you need to find an open range where you can shoot 1000 yards due East/West. If you are at a very high latitude, this effect will be diminished, but all the most inhabited latitudes of the Earth will noticeably observe the Coriolis effect. There's really nothing left to argue about -- if you feel that scientists are trying to pull a fast one on us in respect to the sphericity of the Earth, go out to the range and verify it for yourself. If you're right, there should be no discernible/repeatable difference between firing towards the West versus firing towards the East. But if there is a discernible/repeatable difference, the flat-earth theory is obviously untenable because there is no reason why firing in one cardinal direction or the other should make any difference.

User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:01 am



Dark matter out? Anti-gravity in?

User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:33 am

AI and the Coming Utopia

I have written at length in the past about the importance of changes occurring in Artificial Intelligence. I have asserted -- and maintain -- that AI is categorically different from any other kind of technology we have invented in the past -- it is in a class apart from all other technologies. The famous quip, "The first truly intelligent machine will be humanity's last invention" (attribution uncertain) captures the essence of what makes AI so different from any other technology.

Of course, we can point to hypothesized technologies like "nanobots", at-scale quantum computers (QC), space technologies, and so on, to further bolster the point. The key, I think, is to realize that AI suffices. In the words of Demis Hassabis, the idea is to "solve intelligence, then use that to solve everything else."

It is commonly assumed that the generality of human cognition is a goal that is out of the reach of AI. While there is some truth to this belief, it is not true in the way that people tend to think. Intelligence is not like raising water to boiling temperature... it's not a matter of applying more and more heat (or "smarts") until we get some kind of breakthrough event, whereupon we will have "true, general-purpose intelligence". Animals, fish, birds -- even insects -- exhibit generality in their cognitive processes. Some of these organisms are so small we are within a stone's throw of simulating their entire central nervous system. If QCs come online in the next decade, we would be able to perform massively larger and more detailed simulations of living organisms by basically simulating them "from atoms up". But even without such fortuitous developments, we are on track to build machines in the next several years that will attain general-purpose intelligence ... if not conversationally, then at least functionally.

Sci-fi authors have extensively imagineered a world replete with AI and robotics. I want to pierce through to a deeper analysis than the mere hedonics of an AI-powered world. The secret to what will make an AI-powered world so transformed from the world we know is in the word "robot", which literally means slave. A robot class will form the first slave class in human history that hits all three points of an impossible triangle: cost-effective, useful, and (more or less) free of the risk of revolt. In the past, humans used animal power and other humans to try to achieve these goals but they could never achieve more than one or two at a time. Domesticated animals can be cost-effective and free of the risk of revolt... but they are of limited use. Enslaving other humans could be useful and sometimes cost-effective, but it was rarely free of the risk of revolt.

One of the conditions for the flourishing cultures of ancient Greece and Rome (and, to some extent, all the great ancient civilizations) was the existence of a substantial slave class. If I remember correctly, fully two-thirds of Sparta were slaves, many of them captured as spoils of war. Now, it would be a mistake to suppose that all that human society needs in order to escape its historical predicament (aging, disease, death, scarcity) is a problem-free slave class in the form of AI robots, like one of those dehydrated sponge toys: "Just add robots!" The point is more subtle than that -- Rome, Greece and the other great ancient civilizations were so different from their surroundings that they were virtually alien. A mountain man or barbarian dragged from the hinterlands into one of the great ancient capitals could have supposed himself or herself transported into some parallel dimension -- such a person would have no context to imagine how structures like the Great Pyramid, the Parthenon, the Pantheon or the Coliseum could have been constructed by mortal men. "The gods built this" would have seemed to them a perfectly plausible explanation.

The spectacular achievements of these great civilizations was the product of many specific factors but there is one over-arching factor that is present across all civilizations and all of human history -- the freeing of the human mind from the shackles of worrying about survival in order to think about inessentials that would otherwise seem like children's games or the scribblings of madmen... numbers, geometry, politics, commercial speculation, and so on. At a very rudimentary level, these can be argued to be useful for immediate survival. But refinement of these pursuits above any elementary level cannot be justified in the face of pressing basic needs: food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. So, in a twist of fate that is quite consistent with the cruelty of our natural history, the mass enslavement of our ancestors is the very thing that gave birth to the spectacular art, science and architecture of the great, ancient civilizations.

But it is the ratio of these civilizations to their surroundings that is the main thing. Here in 2019, you and I are living in the hinterlands. We are some kind of primitive barbarians who can put up a lean-to and skin an animal to make a coat or a water-bottle. But in our near future, the "post-Singularity" world, dwell people who are building a Parthenon or Great Pyramid by means we cannot even surmise today. You see, they have been freed by the robot class of even the relatively loose shackles of reptilian survival concern that still drives our modern consumption-based culture.

Money will become more and more a unit of calculation like that used in computer games, and will have less and less to do with meeting basic needs. A large robot class ensures that we will become more and more non-competitive with one another as the primary basis of human competition (conversion of free time into cash by virtue of selling one's labor) will become more or less pointless. The political dangers of a large, idle human underclass are so great that nation states will not be able to continue our primitive, work-to-eat economic and political order much longer. This has nothing whatsoever to do with silly notions of abolishing the free market. Markets will continue to exist and, in fact, will become more pervasive and powerful than ever before because distributed AI systems will be built from the ground up on the global market for machine intelligence. (Cf OpenCog, SingularityNet, Ethereum, golem, etc.) It's not called a singularity for nothing.

In closing, here's an oldie, but goodie...


User avatar
Clayton
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Q thread

Post by Clayton » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:14 am



There was a good article on mises.org that went over the connections between copyright and authoritarian State censorship. I couldn't find it with a brief web search, but here's an article that gets into the meat of the topic (scroll down about seven pages). Copyright and intellectual property in general are an act of collective self-harm. Attempting to blockade the free flow of information in society really is the logical equivalent of brain damage. It is an act of self-lobotomy. I do not believe that copyright or intellectual property will ever be reformed, any more than the State will ever be reformed. But as we enter this new era where the explosion of new information is outpacing the capability of any actor (nation-state or otherwise) to keep pace, we can simply route around the blockaders. As Paley explains in her talk, start by setting your own mind free. Then, extend that freedom to others (by refusing to participate in the copyright game). Finally, watch as true innovators begin to build a new world unlike anything which has ever existed in human history, a world that will outshine the modern world more brilliantly than Rome outshone most of the inhabited world at the height of Roman civilization.

Post Reply