Anti-Intellectualism Will Make Our Body Good?

February 18, 2018

Another day, another revelation. After stumbling on this article in Medium explaining why science is wrong. I was struck how much more popular that article was than real, fascinating science articles in the same issue. Then the same prolific author, Zat Rana, comes out with an article slickly claiming that depth gets in the way of clarity, a revelation to “help you”. The title is revealing: “The Philosopher’s Problem: When and Why Thinking Can Be Harmful.

Why science is wrong, why depth is bad, thinking harmful… The (self-described) “engaging” style of that journalist is slick (he is just a journalist, whereas the little read real science articles next to his were written by scientists). Mr. Zana has at least 50,000 “followers”. “Followers” is where it’s at; we are back to tribalism, as I discovered during the last presidential elections when many urged me to declare for Hillary, anything else was “bad form”. “Bad form” included Bernie Sanders… who, I was told “lacked experience” (after 50 years in elected politics including mayor, congressman, senator, and stays in Cuba and the USSR…) Up high in the media, many were on the Obama-Clinton gravy train…

Indictments have been made in the Russian influence machine in the USA. Well, it’s not just the Russians. What one could call the “Davos” machine is much more powerful.

Back to Zana’s “engaging” propaganda against science, and now thinking and “depth”. Clearly there was a machine behind that slippery slope, like there is one behind self-declared Jewish supremacist Steven Pinker or the Guardian newspaper, posing as left, but then financed by plutocrat Bill Gates, then publishing Pinker… and censoring my comment on Pinker, naturally. Sure enough, essayist Zat Rana, is part of the “World Economic Forum”…Davos, the much flaunted worldwide plutocratic conspiracy. He also writes at “Quartz”, another plutocratically financed device. But, well, it seems we have to learn to live with plutocrats in command. Even going to space now depends upon plutocrats (as governments dropped the space ball, in another deep conspiracy organized by their sponsors, namely said worldwide plutocratic conspiracy).

We are increasingly heading towards the same situation of the late Roman Republic when only men connected to extreme wealth could act. This ended when the leader of the “Populares” the extremely wealthy top general Caesar was assassinated by his own class; thereafter it has been dictatorship for 2061 years and counting. Caesar may have been a scumbag in Gaul, but he understood Roma was not militarily secure, and had to be made so (China had the same problem a millennium later, with a near-terminal outcome, when the Mongols considered annihilating it).  

Zat Rana’s essay extolled the “Cogito Ergo Sum” of Descartes, a famous point of view, so dumb, even plutocratic philosopher Wittgenstein used to make fun of it in Cambridge. Wittgenstein would go around the halls, saying:”I think, therefore it rains”. The Cogito is not just dumb, it’s obviously false. When one is in full action, one doesn’t think about thinking to reveal to oneself that one is. Any speed sport will easily remove that notion. Barreling down a mountain on skis, facing a towering wave in the surf, solo climbing 3,000 feet about the maw of a giant bergshrund (they wont even find your body!) are the sort of activities which are all about existence perceived, and not thinking about thinking.

(Descartes probably rolled out the “Cogito” to demolish Christianism, a crucial objective at the time.)

Sure enough, following singing the praises of the dumb Cogito, the Davos essayist pushed the lie that man is the only animal capable of thinking about thinking, something that, we now have known for quite a while experimentally, is not true.

Other animals think about thinking, and even about others thinking. Many birds, if they ascertain that another bird is a known thief, will hide food again, somewhere else, when the observing bird has been removed. That means birds can have a “theory of mind”. As Ludwig Van Beethoven put it in the 9th:”…Even the worm was given desire…”

Ants work hard and cleverly. Army ants build bridges for their army, adapting and modifying circumstances given to them by nature (as pictured above). We also have to work, of course, but thought can replace work, and we ever more think rather than work.! That’s not jut the way, it’s the only way!

Thinkers don’t run around in circle like processional caterpillars (which have been observed circling around, following each other for a week). Far from it. Descartes invented analytic geometry, enabling, among other things, the invention and writing down of calculus by Fermat (and then Leibniz; Newton used an idiosyncratic approach). So asserting Descartes brought nothing imminently practical to our lives is to say the last four centuries of scientific and technological expansion, which rest on analytic geometry, Descartes’ invention, were nothing. That’s not just grossly anti-intellectual, it’s counterfactual.

It’s so much more important to be wise than being a worker, that this is the name of our species: Homo Sapiens (Homo Faber, the fabricating Homo, was proposed by French philosopher Bergson, and rightly rejected; as seen above, even insects make tools). Homo in general and Sapiens in particular, is all about smarts, depth… not work. Smarts, precisely to avoid work. We got to smarts through ever deeper thinking. For dedicated workers genetically, or epigenetically incapable of deeper thinking, consider ants, or… slaves.

To believe we have to be careful about thinking deeply is reasoning like a slave, who does deep only when asked by Master. It is actually the master definition of a slave. But, of course, among slaves, it’s more than useful, it’s the key to self-fulfillment.

In truth, the world is not about “work”, nor do we need to “make it work”. The world works very well without us. First we need to find out what we want to achieve, with this world. Right now we are supposed to heed the advice of our masters, and those who work for them feverishly, like Zat Rana. And this is exactly what happened. Not all are Elon Musk, hell bend to explore the universe. Most plutocrats’ true calling his laziness, endowed by cruelty. Not an indication of nice global outcome.

Patrice Aymé

Note: Here is the conclusion, in extenso of the Davos essayist. Zat Rana:

“The Takeaway

The power of depth has its time and place. And philosophers, like Descartes, who have engaged this depth have given us some striking insights.

That said, if this ability to think deeply isn’t controlled and managed, it spills out beyond the domain in which it finds its strength. We have to be very careful about the degree to which we engage it.

The thing that actually makes the world work is clarity, and this clarity can only be found if we adequately train it to come through.

In the words of the legendary inventor Nikola Tesla, “One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”

Not every tangent we think about is worth exploring. Not every idea that pops up is worth considering. Not every nuance needs to be given its time.

Sometimes, all life demands of us is the ability to see the parts of reality we need to engage with, clearly and simply. It means that rather than adding more to our vision and observation via thought, we have to be disciplined about removing what isn’t useful and relevant.

This takes practice and intention. It requires you to think about thinking and slowly develop the awareness to watch your mental processing occur.

It’s not easy, but if honed, this kind of clarity changes everything.”

And Patrice will abstract this thus: The power of the depth of thinking has its time and place. One instant, one spot. Davos and its plutocracy, will control the rest, people. No probing question, no examined life. Even Socrates would have found this disgusting, and “not worth living“.

 

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Science Is Always Right

February 17, 2018

Science is Right, By Definition, and ever more knowledgeable, from evolution.

What is science? What we know, for sure. Yes, because there is such an emotion as certainty, or quasi-certainty. It’s because we were pretty sure that we came down the trees into the savanna. To discover plenty of new, life saving truth, plenty of science. Like how to drink from, and cook tubers. So yes, there is a notion of truth, and it made us, our species, our genus, Homo, whose genius is to have mastered truth.

Prehistoric men were found with fire starting kits comprising dozens of parts. Humans have used science, what is sure, for millions of years. Fire for 1.3 million years, clothing for two million years (up north), stone tools and weapons for millions of years before that (monkeys and apes, even some birds do). All this was made possible by, and demonstrates sure knowledge: science.

Volcanic lightning is caused by friction (creating electric charges), and then dynamics. Separating small particles from big ones, an application of Newton’s F = ma; F is a given, from supersonic gas, but a, the acceleration, varies, as m, the mass of particles, vary. Hence charges get separated, something lightning solves.

We understand why a violent volcanic explosion generates lightning (one of thousands of triumphs of recent science). That does not mean that the prehistoric science of making fire with sparks from flints or friction from wood are wrong. Just the opposite: both mechanisms come into play to generate lightning from volcanoes. Science goes deeper, darker, ever more. 

Similarly, the twentieth century theories of gravitation did not make Newton wrong (as the naive is won to believe). Actually, the recent theories made Newton twice more right. Indeed. First, Newton pointed out exactly a problem with his theory, which he excoriated as “absurd” (and he used even more vigorous words): Newtonian style gravitation was supposed to be instantaneous, through empty space, Newton hated that. Laplace, a century later, invented the simple mathematical picture of a field propagating at finite speed; that caused waves (1807). A century later, Henri Poincaré, main author of what he called the “theory of relativity”, rolled out relativistic gravitational waves (1905).

After Poincaré’s death (1912), Einstein, working with Hilbert, produced a specialization of Poincaré’s general gravitational theories. That theory was just a MODIFICATION of Newtonian theory (which is its first order, that’s how the Einstein equation is found). Basically, as Poincaré found in 1899, light in Maxwell theory has inertial, thus gravitational, mass. As light was used as the metric in Poincaré’s Relativity, the metric of spacetime was mass dependent. (Those who have the Einstein cult can’t possibly understand the logic underlying the science just alluded to, and that includes many physicists!)

Claiming that science is always wrong is equivalent to saying that we know nothing. It was tried before, and not just by Karl Popper. The confused Socrates perniciously tried to impose that notion, that men were ignorant, and knew nothing (however Socrates knew more than the rest…). Of course, the elites knew everything (or acted as if they did): thus Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander, Antipater and Craterus were all friends, united in their belief that the people knew nothing. And thus 23 centuries of dictatorship was necessary.

Instead, the truth is the opposite: there is such a thing as truth and knowledge. Science is always right, and this is why planes fall off the sky so rarely, and we are going back to the Moon. That doesn’t mean that science can’t be made to become always more refined, powerful, all-knowing. Newtonian mechanics is good enough for rocket science, but, for GPS, one has to be a bit more subtle, and use Relativity (as clocks run slower in a gravitational field, and the greater, the slower…)

Science being right, doesn’t mean that scientists are always right each time they open their mouths. Science is right, scientists are wrong. Example? When physicists come around, and speak as if they were god, this being demonstrated because they apparently witnessed the birth of the universe, they are clearly crazy, and calling them “scientists” is a bit too quick: generously one could say that they are specialists driven to madness by all too many years of hard studies. 

We have gone a long way since Anaximander proposed we all evolved from fishes, and research professor Lamarck, after decades studying mollusk fossils in microscopes, confirmed that, indeed, life had evolved over millions of years (1800; parroted by others later). The Ancient Greeks were perplexed by static electricity. Now we understand it very well, and soon we will understand it better (as Quantum Computer fabrication will force us to understand better atomic and single electron dynamics).

Science is an exploration always renewed, but real knowledge has been accumulated, and when 2,000 Athenians lifted the general amnesty, to target Socrates specifically, and him alone, they showed us that epistemology should be taken seriously. Socrates claimed ignorance, the 2,000 jurors claimed he should have known. No, indeed, science is not fake news! Besmirching science with error painted all over is error unbecoming a deep thinker.

Patrice Aymé

P/S: The approach above is antipodal to that of Karl Popper. Popper basically believed that to be science, science ought to be demonstrably false (OK, I can never resist ridiculizing him, although I like Popper!) This silliness causes real damage: consider the essay linked above:”Why Science Is Wrong” it clamors in its click-bait title (the article is not as bad as its title, but the damage is done). 10,000 people applauded, thus identifying science and fake news, damaging knowledge, thus everything, and validating fake news. So you see, Popper may sound like an ethereal subject, considering the notion of science in the 1930s. But now, nearly a century later, we have popular authors regurgitating the same notion, that, if it’s science, it’s wrong. Popper would say, and did say, that it is not at all what he wanted to say. Yet, he said it, no mistake about that.

Climate Catastrophe, February 2018

February 14, 2018

A climate catastrophe is enfolding out there. Potentially the biggest in 65 million years, or more. This being civilization, chances are that, as the catastrophe unfolds, our rotten leaders, or one of them at least, and it could be just the plump Kim or his Swiss educated, stern, haughty, smirking, black dressed, even younger sister, decides to distract us all, with a nice thermonuclear showdown.

(For rotten contemplate, Israeli PM Netanyahu, which Israeli police wants arrested, or South Africa’s Jacob Zuma: both are the rule, among the world’s great leaders. What makes them exceptional is that institutions, in Israel or South Africa, are after them. In most places, institutions are already too rotten themselves, to do this… Every two weeks, Obama went to visit his multibillionaire masters in the Silicon Valley tech monopolies; I know Californians who were in love with the sounds of his helicopter armada, every two weeks, as he came to receive the latest payments. And they still are in love. Never mind that this killed democracy and innovation…)

To document these titanic climate happenings while they occur, I will regularly post a “Climate Catastrophe” series, from brand new “moulins” in the supposedly indestructible East Antarctic ice shield (now melting, to the specialists’ unfathomable surprise) to Black Beetle devouring high altitude and high latitude trees…

Capetown is supposed to run out of water in April: an exceptional drought festers. It will the first large (4 million) urban area to run out of water. And NOT the last: one expects the dry belts to move up towards the poles. North of southern South Africa, there is Namibia, and it’s very dry…

The climate is getting disorganized, worldwide, as expected. In California, the drought is not just back, it never left (last year it flooded in California, right. However, flooding in some desert areas is chronic). Snow levels are now the lowest. Ever. The Sierra forest, 10,000 years old, is dying. The situation in California is hyper catastrophic, but nobody is talking. Officially the drought is over… but has never been worse!

Mount Cook, New Zealand. It is hard to believe, but we are on track to have all this ice disappear. That aesthetic blow will accompany an unconceived biological disaster, planet wide, which will disrupt all of civilization, in all ways. Mt Cook lost 50 meters in altitude, in a recent quake…

And our politicians, our self-declared leaders, are doing… nothing. Nothing much, besides moving their mouth parts. It’s not just Trump. Trump is a red herring, a scarecrow people brandish to excuse themselves from thinking, and absolve themselves, by calling him the cause of everything. In reality, the US Federal tax on gasoline is unchanged since 1993, and that has nothing to do with Trump. Obama could have brought the tax up, when he had a supermajority. But he was too busy getting guidance from big money. (Most plutocrats are gas-guzzlers, watch their private jets, or then think, like Trump, that, the more energy, the better…)

The indifference to massive taxes on fossil fuels in the USA has everything to do with the US population feeling little need to do something serious about the climate catastrophe, because it sees no catastrophe looming. Among young people (the ones with the rage to protest) the mental cancer of the so-called “social networks”, with their “likes”, “bots”, millions of “friends”, “trendings”, and veracity from (engineered) popularity or “links” have become the reference for thinking. That thought is organized by plutocrats, for plutocrats.

In England a so-called “judge” (an excellent phrase and concept of Trump, by the way) decided to keep Wikileaks’ Julian Assange under embassy arrest. He has been there for more than 5 years. The corrupt so-called “judge”, in a grandiloquent opinion, declared that Assange seemed to view himself above the law (Assange had good reason to fear deportation to the USA). Originally, Assange had been charged for raping a CIA agent (!) Sounds unbelievable, but I didn’t make it up. To celebrate that, she organized a party for him, two days later, complete with glowing tweets. But then the masters in Washington called, and everybody knew that Obama and his goons would do anything to arrest Assange (Clinton just called him a traitor and a Russian agent; Assange is not US, and Main Stream Media have authenticated many of his stories; Washington was furious, because Wikileaks revealed war crimes by the USA which were left unprosecuted… although those denounced the cover-up, were prosecuted with great ferocity).

Even worse, not content with uncovering US war crimes, Assange endangered cash cows of the so-called “democratic” party, and its pretend-opponents, such as Google.

The “rape” charges against Ms CIA agent were dropped by Sweden in May 2017. But the charge that Assange brutalized Washington and its agents (Google, etc.) is alive and well. Average US citizen don’t give a hoot: all too many are aware that one is best unaware that the USA has been doing so well from plundering, not just the nature of the biosphere, and nature itself, but also human nature.

All signals are red: global sea ice (both poles combined) is at the lowest ever, by a significant margin, sea level rise is accelerating, forests are dying, so are parts of the ocean. Plutocrats have been buying property in New Zealand, just in case. However, to give a slightly different perspective, from Ian Miller blog (Ian is a senior physical chemist):

Summer Storms, February 7, 2018:

New Zealand has just had some more bad weather. Not an outstanding statement, but it does add a little more to the sort of effects that climate change is bringing to us. We have had quite a warm summer. Certainly not as hot as Australia, but where I live we have had many days hotter than what before were outstandingly hot days. On many days, we had temperatures about ten degrees Centigrade above the January average. Apart from one day of rain shortly after Christmas, we had almost no rain from October and the country was in a severe drought. You may say, well, a lot of countries have months without rain – so what? The so what is that October and November are usually the rather wet months here.

Then a week ago we got a storm. It was supposed to be “a depression that was the remains of a tropical cyclone” but with wind speeds of 86 knots reported, by my count that is still a tropical cyclone, except it is no longer in the tropics. (It just limps in to a category 2 hurricane.) Why did it not die down? Probably because the surface waters of the Tasman are at record high temperatures, and seven degrees Centigrade above average in places, and warm sea waters feed these systems with extra energy and water.

Where I am, we were lucky because the system more or less passed us by. The highest wind speed here was 76 knots, but that is still more than a breeze. We also missed most of the rain. Yes, we did get rain, but nowhere near as much as South Westland, where 0.4 meters of rain falling in a day was not uncommon.

The rain did some good. A couple of scrub fires broke out in Otago, and it looked like they would be extremely difficult to contain, thanks to the drought. The best the fire service could do would be like spitting at it compared with what the cyclone brought to bear.

However, the main effect was to be a great inconvenience, especially to Westland. Westland is largely a very thin strip of flat land, or no flat land, running through very tortuous mountain country. If you have nothing better to do, go to Google Earth and zoom in on the town of Granity (41o37’47″S; 171o51’13″E). What you will see is the hill, which goes up very steeply to over 300 meters before rising more “gently to the town of Millerton at about 700 meters. Between the road and the sea is one layer of houses, and the storm was washing up into their back doors.

The hills and mountains are very young, which means they have very little erosion, whole a lot of the rock is relatively soft sedimentary rock. There are some granitic extrusions, and these merely provide another reason for the rest to be even more tortuous. The whole area is also torn apart, and constructed, from continuing earthquakes. Finally, there is fairly heavy subtropical rain forest, parts getting over ten meters of rain a year. The area is quite spectacular, and popular with tourists, and it is very well worthwhile driving through it. Once you could see glaciers flowing through rain forest; now, unfortunately, the glaciers have retreated thanks to global warming and they only flow down mountainsides but they are still worth seeing.

The net result of all this is that when this cyclone struck, the only road going north-south and was west of the mountains got closed thanks to slips (one was a hundred meters wide of fallen rock from a hill) and trees knocked over by the wind. Being stuck there would be an experience, especially since the place is basically unpopulated. If you want to see the wild, you tend to be short of facilities. Some were quite upset about this, but my question to them was, this cyclone was predicted for about three days in advance. If you really could not put up with it, why go there? One grump was recorded as saying, “This sort of thing would not happen in . . . ” (I left out the country – this person did not define them.) Well, no, it would not. They don’t get tropical cyclones, hurricanes typhoons, or whatever you want to call them, and they don’t have this difficult terrain. One way or another, we have to put up with weather.

However, the real point of this is to note there is still glacial progress being made to do anything sensible to hold global warming. There is a lot of talk, but most of it is of the sort, “We have to do . . . by the next fifty years.” No, we have to start a more determined effort now.

***

Another force 4 hurricane just struck Tonga and is now heading towards New Zealand. Yes, extra-tropical tropical cyclones were predicted, as a consequence of global warming, and have become facts (one hit Portugal last Fall; its enormous winds fed hundreds of fire storms before the rains hit). See the following essay, from 2008, to understand why the rise of temperature is just part of the problem:

Applying Equipartition Of Energy To Climate Change PREDICTS WILD WEATHER

“We” have to start a more determined effort? I agree. We are running out of time. As I said, raising fossil fuel taxes should be done immediately. And it’s not enough. And who is “we”? There is no “we” here! Our masters like it as it is, complete with a feeling of doom and gloom, alleviated by industrial escapism… The French president just declared that “counter-power” should not rise to the power of putting our great leadership, that great power, in difficulty, worldwide (or words to that effect). All our present leadership, worldwide, have not realized they are a new feudalism.

To get out of the hellish spiral we are in, a massive, total war effort in research and development should be engaged. Especially with thermonuclear fusion. However, the exact opposite has happened: the effort on ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, has been slowed down by ten (10) years… to save money (or, more exactly, how much it cost per year). Yet, at this point, it’s highly likely to work (especially in reactors larger than ITER)… modulo specific progress on an arsenal of attainable technologies. Thermonuclear fusion would replace ALL fossil fuels…

And the alternative is world war and one more return to the traditional fare of cannibalism (forget vegetarianism, when land is at a premium!)

You have been warned. It may be time to reconsider how people in general, and in particular the intellectuals, or experts, advising the great leaders, think! Hint: they are more biased than they think, and the more official the thinker, the more biased!

Patrice Aymé

Colonize Deimos! First Step To Space Invasion.

February 11, 2018

Space colonization has to start somewhere, and it won’t be easy.

A well known problem is radiation. It is considerable in space. On the ground we are protected not just by the magnetosphere, but by the equivalent of ten meters of water (the atmosphere, exerting a pressure of one kilogram per square centimeter). Vicious, hyper reactive dust is one problem. Astronauts’ testimony on the Moon showed their suits couldn’t have worked for another outing (from the dust, getting in all the articulations of the suits). Mars’ dust is not any better.

Gravity, or lack thereof, is also a drastic problem. In space it can be fixed: just use rotation. Although it was not tried experimentally yet, it is technologically feasible (and a familiar feature of sci-fi movies). On planets, it’s another matter: it is not clear that Mars has enough gravity for human health: we, Earth critters, evolved in the last four billion years, with Earth gravity. Trying to compensate with exercise is NOT working in the International Space Station: exercise mitigates the problem, but some of the damage to deepest parts of the femur bone seems irreversible. The flight surgeon of NASA, James Logan, MD, has thought a lot about these problems.

GlouconX, a contributor to this site, gave this link, which I found very interesting:

Mr. Logan’s solution? Colonize Deimos! Deimos is one of the two captured asteroids which Mars uses as satellites, The idea would be to send boring robots, and establish a base there, ready for occupation. Ultimately, enough space for one million people and full ecology could be dug there. One would need water: it’s not clear whether there is enough there, or not, as Deimos’ composition is unknown.other asteroid, like the dwarf planet Ceres, have water, and even massive quantities of it, 27% of the total mass, and close to the surface, as ice!

Going there, to Deimos or Ceres, in force, depends upon nuclear energy, both to go, to dig, and to stay. And since actually the nuclear fission engine is straightforward, and was tested 50 years ago very successfully, the decision is more political than technological:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/stuck-on-earth-earth-stuck-with-us/

From Deimos, the telerobotic exploration, exploitation and colonization of Mars could conducted… This is Dr. Logan’s message, and I agree 100%. It was long clear to me that only nuclear energy provided the energy density (by a factor of thousands!)

Deimos’ location is superior to Phobos for telerobotics operations, and it’s plenty big enough. Perhaps we could put in orbit around it a gravity generating station?

Once again, for the doubters, as president Kennedy said, we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Actually we do them because they are harder than anything we would do otherwise. And why is hard lovely? Because we, as a species, have always tried to do harder things. We have evolved into challenge defying creatures whose minds can only properly work that way. And why thus? because that’s how we survive, as a species!

And for those who, disparaging us, claim to prefer ants, to our wonderful minds, I have an ant-eater coming their way…

Patrice Aymé

 

Colonization Makes Us True: SpaceX Triumphs!

February 9, 2018

[OK, the word “colonization’ is… deliberately provocative (see below). Yet, there is none better, and it’s a major philosophical point! Deliberately provocative means, etymologically: entirely liberating inducement to vocalize…]

SPACEX TRIUMPH OPENS SPACE COLONIZATION: A FACTOR OF TEN LEAP

[NASA, United Launch Alliance, Arianespace, Soyuz, are finished as viable launch businesses… NASA’s SLS should be scraped right away..]

I Colonize, Therefore, I Have To Think:

Philosophy is a mood conducive to wisdom, that is truth. And truth consists in colonizing… space. Geographical, historical, psychological, physical, mathematical, spiritual, moral, cognitive space. “While the core mission of SpaceX is to establish a multi-planetary society”, says SpaceX. So in more sense than one, SpaceX mission longs for truth. (Be it only the truth of what led to an explosion!)

I know that the word and, even worse, the concept of colonization” is hated by the PC crowd, which replaces thinking with bellowing together in great hatred and agreement. Hatred for “colonization” makes the colonization of space sounds immoral, and bound to failure. However, colonization works: at least 99%, of the PC crowd consists in descendants of (the hated) colonizers. Including the descendants of Australian natives, who colonized Australia, 65,000 years ago. Yes, “colonization” means the entire Earth.

We are a colonizing species. That’s how and why, we had to grow ever more wisdom, to outsmart the obstructions to successful colonization. Colonization is not just what we do, but how we evolved, thus what created us: our ancestors left the safety of the trees, and conquered the savanna. That will to space colonization in turn changed their minds into what we call human. Colonizing new space  changed our ancestors into ever bolder, smarter, meaner forms, all made possible by an ever more encompassing love (to educate, compensate, and enable socialization).

Key to SpaceX strategy is re-usability of the hardware, which, itself, rests on reliability, making rocket operations similar to normal planes. Here one sees the two side boosters of Falcon Heavy landing simultaneously at the place they were launched from. Both had ALREADY been used in previous launches. Wow. The center core had to brake from much higher hypersonic speed, and ran out of starter fluid (!), so had only one engine lighted in the final braking and exploded next to its drone ship barge…

Discoveries as recent as 2018 showed that Homo Sapiens was all over the Africo-Eurasiatic supercontinent much earlier than had been pontificated, interbreeding with its northern variant, Neanderthals, for hundreds of thousands of years (in a triumph for my mathematical theory of Neanderthal evanescence, and pseudo-disappearance).

Creative thinking itself is a form of colonization: go somewhere with new insight(s), interbreed with the native ideas, or situation, generate new emotion, new mentalities. Philosophy itself, by definition, is an emotion. But not just that: the etymologically root of wise is knowing from seeing. Now once one has seen with one’s eyes, one sees with one’s mind. To keep on knowing, one will have to see again. Thus philosophy itself, by definition, the love of knowing from seeing, thus anew always, goes always beyond, more. Or as emperor Charles Quint put it (in French, his native language): “Plus Oultre!”. (Thus, yes, Elon Musk is doing what Charles Quint would have financed. Charles V ordered a stop to American colonization, only when it became clear it had brought a holocaust to amazing civilizations; there is no amazing civilization on Mars, yet, astoundingly cool ice cliffs…)

Falcon Heavy is made of three Falcon first stage strapped together. That’s a total of twenty-seven kerosene-oxygen engines, with a total power of 18 jumbo jets at take-off, together.. Sounds simple, but it’s not: the forces involved are enormous, and resonances can occur, especially when the vehicle becomes supersonic, so the strapping together is tricky.

***

SpaceX has succeeded to land first stage cores safely, and re-used six of them already;Re-usability is the way:

Conventional rocketry uses the rocket just once: launch and destroy. That’s expensive. Going to orbit, though, shouldn’t be that expensive. Launching 64 metric tons at eight kilometers per second, as Falcon Heavy does, requires a lot of energy, but not anymore than a jumbo jet going from Los Angeles to Sidney. So it shouldn’t cost more. As an Airbus A380 cost around 400 million dollars. If one destroyed the A380 at each landing, that would make the trip cost 400 millions. This is exactly what is happening now to space travel. (To see this intuitively, assume it takes 30 minutes for an A380 to reach 10 kilometer high, and Mach 1; then, after ten hours, it will have reached 200 kilometers high and Mach 20; orbital speed is actually Mach 25… Using sea level Machs, another approximation; but the rough picture is clear… and correct!)

NASA ill-fated “Space Launch System” is scheduled to cost around a billion dollar per flight. The sort of price the late and ridiculous Space Shuttle cost. The Space Shuttle had to be expensively refurbished, it was way too delicate. Plus it had gigantic, useless wings.  

I have been highly critical of the massive financing of SpaceX by NASA, under Obama. It seemed obvious to me that the US government shouldn’t finance a private space operator. However, it turns out that many great new technologies were financed by government. The French government financed the first (steam powered) cars in the Eighteenth Century. It was actually a military project, and those cars were to be employed like tanks. The first balloons with humans on board were also more or less a government project (LouisVXI had decreed that condemned criminals should be the first fliers, but the inventors forced him to change his mind; the first military usage was in 1794, by the French army, for observation). The first planes were also a French military project (Ader flew 50 meters in 1890, and at least 300 meters in 1897, in front of an entire military committee  at Satory; the flights are not homologated, the Americans say, because of French military secrecy… but the fact they were French is enough to explain why the flights of the Wright Brothers more than six years later, in 1903, are still viewed as the first… which they were not).

The nuclear bomb was also government project: started in France, January 1938, it got exiled to Britain in June 1940, and then moved to the USA and Canada in case the UK would fall to the Nazis (there was also more uranium in the US)

The jet engine, radar, rocketry, electronic computer, were all government projects. So was going to the moon. In a way, all university and education has always been governmental (except for the very rich). That was blatant in China, with the examination system. Emperor Trajan had set-up scholarships (paid by a wealth tax), and the Franks made free universal education mandatory in the Eighth Century (founding the European university system by the same token, although the name itself appeared only in the Twelfth Century). All the big imperial technological projects, in Rome,as under the Achaemenids, or various Chinese dynasties were governmental, but then private industry got free usage (the Grand Canal in China, a government project had more than at least 10,000 large private boats using it every day… for centuries).

So what did I miss? Government support is justified when there is no profit in the endeavor. However, cost of edge tech in space collapsed faster than I realize, greatly thanks to advancing electronics. NASA, United Launch Alliance, Arianespace, Soyuz, made the same mistake, as they all believed rockets couldn’t be re-used. Musk and Bezos, both engineers, saw the truth.

So what is the difference between SpaceX and NASA? SpaceX introduces elements of greed, glory, personal input that a government agency can’t: it’s Nixon, a lawyer by training, who picked the Space Shuttle as the US next space transportation system. Mr. Musk and Blue Origins’ Bezos are college trained engineers.  

In any case, SpaceX reusability bet worked. The French dominated Arianespace, which had a splendid run with Ariane V, a disposable rocket, and many others, including Russians and Chinese, let alone NASA, didn’t believe reusable rockets were feasible. I don’t see them recovering from that erroneous belief. Reusability will make SpaceX dirt cheap, and reliable.

Thus the Trump administration should force NASA should to give up on its ultra expensive and now completely obsolete Space Transportation System (STS): it can’t work, even if it works. And it has no contracts, just three NASA projects to nowhere. By contrast, Falcon Heavy has already contracts.

Moreover Space X is developing at breakneck speed its BFR (Big Fu*king Rocket), which will supersede its prior rockets (it says, although that’s dubious as smaller rockets are useful). The BFR uses methane: methane can be made on Mars, but not only, it is full of hydrogen atoms, without the inconveniences of hydrogen.

***

Rome We Remember, & Won’t Duplicate. Space Colonization, Here We Come, Brains Will Follow:

So what next? Mars is still very far, radiation-wise. The Moon is closer, and has giant lava tubes. Those tubes make natural bases, especially if they can be pressurized.

There are huge ice cliffs on Mars, by 55 degree north. If we scaled up considerably some technologies we already have in baby form, such as electric propulsion, nuclear reactors, robotics and cryogenics, we could probably seed humanity in the Trappist system within 500 years…

Some will whine:’what happened to humanism, what happened to philosophy, wisdom? The argument has been made that we have to spread the risk to humanity by spreading among the planets, or mining resources, or exporting pollution. The argument has also been made that the challenge of space forces us to develop new technology. The later is actually the strongest argument.

Civilization as we know it on Earth, going quickly towards ten billions, but with the capability of sustaining only a fraction of that, is doomed, one way or another. We can exit that situation in two ways: either do like the Maya, who had a dense highly successful civilization, which collided with a long drought combined with an ecological crisis, and soon generalized war, imploding the civilization, bringing back human flesh on the menu. Or we can exit the other way: smarter, higher, more refined, with much more needed technology.

The Romans failed to take that technological turn, although they had the cognitive means to do so. After Greco-Roman civilization collapsed, the Franks rebuilt their way, rejecting slavery, and thus embracing the more advanced technology Rome had refused to develop, precisely because Roman plutocracy wanted to keep the slaves, and the citizens it treated as slaves, occupied. (To some extent, the same happened with China, in a milder form; however, although invaded by the Mongols, and later the rather similar Manchu, Chinese population didn’t collapse, in no small reason because those enemies were half sinicized, and relatively much less numerous.)  

The main reason to develop space technology is that we are all living on a spaceship, Earth. Moreover, industrial technology, and exploding demographics, as they are, have been destroying that spaceship sustainability. So we need to develop new technology, new space technology, being already on a compromised spaceship. Going to other planets may look like a hyper expensive, gratuitous exercise. But it’s not. It’s an exercise in trying to save ourselves.   

Patrice Aymé

Of God, Mice, And Men Who Believe They Created The Universe

February 8, 2018

When theists say that the universe exists because of God, they are saying that the universe exists, because of some agent they know: that make those theists vastly superior to us, simple miscreants, who do not happen to be acquainted with what, or who, created all and everything. Surely, those superior beings should lead us? So what sounds metaphysical, by asserting a “God” boils down to claiming a higher place in an all too human hierarchy.

Universe” means literally, “turned into one”, whereas “multiverse” would be: “turned into many”. So the set of all multiverses is the universe. (So the alleged existence of “multiverse” is akin to Bertrand Russell’s famous paradox of the set whose elements are not elements of itself; Russell’s paradox brought down mathematical logic as it had been known prior; present day physicists have been repeating that mistake, from lack of basic culture in the matter of mathematical logic!)

If we were to claim, and, or, even worse, have the feeling, that we know why the universe exists, we would be claiming, or have the impression, that we were God. This is not the business of physics, only the business of those who want us to be guided by absolutism.

Alexander the Great, seeing his blood flow, asked himself that question: am I a God? His Greek and Macedonian companions laughed him off. Later, on the advice of his mom, Olympia, Alexander ordered the old, most senior generalissimo Antipater, a companion of Alexander’s father, from Greece to Babylon. Antipater refused to obey. Antipater’s youngest son was Alexander’s page. Alexander found himself ceasing to be, before he could even organize his affairs.

We are both everything and nothing relative to the universe. The key to wisdom, is to keep a balance.

Man, playing God, touches man, playing Adam. All very touching, self-obsessing, self-gratifying, self-glorifying mental, self-stimulation, and self-mutilation.

The universe is, what it is. Science can describe it, not explain how it came to be. That is the proper mood that wisdom should embrace. Embracing the humility of reality, so we can unleash the power of truth.

Let theologians, dinosaurian conservatives, the Politically Correct and the Perfect Cretins, among others, try to learn this: We have to embrace the way things are, before we can hope to change what needs to be changed. And there is plenty of the latter. So stop claiming some human beings know why there is all there is. They don’t. They, and, or, their supporters just want everything you could possibly imagine, and then more.

Patrice Aymé

Note 1: the comment above was an answer to: “Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?
Posted on February 8, 2018 by Sean Carroll
A good question!

Or is it?”

In it, Sean points out notions which I have exposed in the past, but are worth repeating, as many physicists, let alone philosophers and theologians, don’t get them. First of all Sean basically points out that the universe just is (as I said above, by definition of this neuronal activity!). And secondly Sean Carroll, a famous Cal Tech cosmologist, points out that all too many professional physicists don’t even understand that physics, as presently understood, doesn’t explain the universe! In other words, as I have said for decades, all too many physicists take themselves for God! (That is in the same meta category as Niels Bohr’s famous retort to Albert Einstein:”Stop telling God what to do!“)

“The right question to ask isn’t “Why did this happen?”, but “Could this have happened in accordance with the laws of physics?” As far as the universe and our current knowledge of the laws of physics is concerned, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” The demand for something more — a reason why the universe exists at all — is a relic piece of metaphysical baggage we would be better off to discard.

This perspective gets pushback from two different sides. On the one hand we have theists, who believe that they can answer why the universe exists, and the answer is God. As we all know, this raises the question of why God exists; but aha, say the theists, that’s different, because God necessarily exists, unlike the universe which could plausibly have not. The problem with that is that nothing exists necessarily, so the move is pretty obviously a cheat. I didn’t have a lot of room in the paper to discuss this in detail (in what after all was meant as a contribution to a volume on the philosophy of physics, not the philosophy of religion), but the basic idea is there. Whether or not you want to invoke God, you will be left with certain features of reality that have to be explained by “and that’s just the way it is.” (Theism could possibly offer a better account of the nature of reality than naturalism — that’s a different question — but it doesn’t let you wiggle out of positing some brute facts about what exists.)

The other side are those scientists who think that modern physics explains why the universe exists. It doesn’t! One purported answer — “because Nothing is unstable” — was never even supposed to explain why the universe exists; it was suggested by Frank Wilczek as a way of explaining why there is more matter than antimatter. But any such line of reasoning has to start by assuming a certain set of laws of physics in the first place. Why is there even a universe that obeys those laws? This, I argue, is not a question to which science is ever going to provide a snappy and convincing answer. The right response is “that’s just the way things are.” It’s up to us as a species to cultivate the intellectual maturity to accept that some questions don’t have the kinds of answers that are designed to make us feel satisfied.”

Note 2: Swiss citizen Tariq Ramadan, the world’s most famous  Islamist propagandist, holder of two chairs (no less!) at Oxford University, and now in a French prison, was going around the world grievously beating and raping women. Why? Because, precisely, he wanted everything, and that included beating up handicapped women. Even now, as he sits in prison, he enjoys his power: immensely powerful organizations behind him, the sort who made him an Oxford Don, are threatening many more women, who also want to file complaints against Ramadan, but are afraid to do so. The human species is naturally metaphysical. Ramadan wanted to create a universe where he and his ilk could hurt and terrorize women at will. This is not any different from telling us that Muhammad flew to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, on a winged horse: it is outrageous, but it creates a universe, and its cause (and in this case Islamists are the cause of said universe!)

Evil & its Good God, Versus Wisdom, Crown of Creation

February 6, 2018

More theology? Enough with that!!!… Except that Judeo-Christian values are all around, ever since our cultural ancestors, the Greeks, not to say the Egyptians, and Phoenicians, came in contact with the Jews around 33 centuries ago (that probably started with the enormous turmoil known by Pharaoh Ramses III as the “Peoples of the Sea” invasion; all old states succumbed to it… but for Egypt, which survived in extremis).

Thereafter, a hierarchy of values was proposed, which became part of the philosophical problems which brought down the Roman Republic, and, centuries later, the Roman empire itself (it’s pudically refered as the seduction of Rome by “Oriental values”…). In Judeo-Christianism, the top notions, the top values, are omnipotence and goodness. Even after the Judeo-Christian was lethally wounded by the Enlightenment and toasted to a crisp at Auschwitz, the hierarchy of values it carries is still around, orienting the psyche of most people. And those values imparted by Judeo-Christianism, omnipotence and 100% goodness, are, contrary to repute, deeply inhuman.

There is a well-known trilemma, between “God”, omnipotence, and evil. The Cathars founded their religion on it. The fundamental idea of God, one and indivisible, is that He is omnipotent, like the savage of old, over his wife and children! Omnipotence is the definition of “God”: no omnipotence, no “God”.

However, if God is willing to prevent evil, but can’t do it, He is not omnipotent. Thus not God. Yet, if God is unwilling to prevent evil, “God” is evil, or, at least, no good. If God is both incapable of preventing evil, and unwilling to prevent evil, He is both incapable and evil, so why to call Him “God”, and debase oneself, kneeling to Him and his incapable, evil nature?

Of the Cathars, only castles are left. The obsession of Christians with “omnipotence” and “goodness” (of said omnipotence) brought this result. The Christians exterminated to the last, with an enthusiasm Hitler would try to direct toward the Jews, eight centuries later. Vatican, greed, and Paris (“French”) king Philip Augustus dispatched Catholic armies who killed most Cathars, at least 700,000, in France alone, and destroyed all their works (further eradication was pursued in Italy and the Balkans, killing hundreds of thousands more, if not millions). The Pope had decreed that Cathar properties and lands were there for the taking.

Confronted to the previous trilemma, the ancient Greco-Romans, Phoenicians, Hindus, Celts and Germans, who had plenty of half potent, half evil gods, would have scoffed: why should gods have to be good and omnipotent? Isn’t it enough to be gods? Can’t gods be free to do as they please, and be incapable and evil, as they pleased? As a Chinese emperor famously noticed, not taking action is itself an action.

The Judeo-Christians have a problem, though, because their “God” is omnipotent, omniscient, and supposedly “good”. The Islamists have less of a problem than their Judeo-Christian predecessors: God, in their Islamist version, although “merciful”, is horrendously cruel and torturous, to the point of sounding completely unhinged. However, Allah has lots of problems (as related by the Qur’an) with human contradictors, thus suggesting he is not omnipotent. To avoid this, the Qur’an claims that Allah laid traps to all these people He wants to “throw into the fire”. So people are not bad because Allah is weak, but bad because Allah is crafty, and misled them.

The Cathars read the Bible: clearly the Old Testament is a piece of evil trash (with God ordering holocausts, right and left, torturing David’s son, to death, over a week, just because David had refused to enact a gratuitous holocaust, etc. Thus the Cathars deduced that the Old Testament showed the Devil created the world (the Vatican was not amused, and fought the Cathars with Inquisition as early as 1022 CE; finally launching a crusade against them, in 1209 CE, two centuries later).

Christo-Islamism is the ideology of tyranny, made by dictators, for dictators. Thus it represents as ultimate goods the values which should be perceived as the characteristics of absolute dictatorship: omnipotence, and goodness as defined by said omnipotence

Why this obsession with power and goodness? Christo-Islamism was engineered mostly by Roman emperor Constantine and caravan raider Muhammad, both of whom were, if not the fiercest, bloodiest dictators ever, certainly the intellectual progenitors of many of the worst dictators. (Constantine assassinated wife, son and nephew.) So Christo-Islamism is the ideology of tyranny, made by dictators, for dictators. Thus it represents as ultimate goods the two values which should be perceived as the characteristics of absolute dictatorship: omnipotence, and goodness as defined by said omnipotence.   

Yet, pretend goodness and omnipotence are not the top values of the crown of creation, Homo Sapiens. Wisdom is more like it. Wisdom is the top value.

Wisdom is not indifferent to good and evil. Wisdom gives primacy to goodness over evil (as babies can’t do without goodness and altruism directed at them, thus wisdom couldn’t even exist without goodness!)

However wisdom. Once it exists, is first about growing ever more intelligence. Intelligence etymologically, that is, in the logic of its true sense, means: reading between the lines.

It doesn’t mean being good, 24/7. Fundamentally, goodness is needed, for babies, children and for fostering enough altruism for whatever society needs to function. Beyond that, in the realm of good and evil, anything goes.

In particular, hatred and fascism, both related to war making and keeping human numbers low enough to prevent mass extinction(s), have their uses.

We are not omnipotent, but ever more potent, because we can read ever more between the lines. That’s all the divine We The People need.

Omnipotent dictators playing pretend goodness are incompatible with advancing wisdom. How will we get rid of them? With good old, evolutionary honed anger, and combat. All these qualities Judeo-Christianism insist we shouldn’t have (they are reserved to the divinity). All these qualities the founders of Israel rejected… rightly so (the philosopher Isaiah Berlin complained that “they listened to Hitler, not us”).

A bit of hatred for evil makes a most worthy ethics good. This is the human way to go. Anything else invites collaboration with the enemy, the most despicable, and vicious ways (for a contemporary example, consider the situation in Burma, where an entire Muslim population is kicked out by otherwise resplendent, self-absorbed Buddhists…)

Patrice Aymé

Pinker Than Pink: Pinker Paid For Seeing World Through Rose Colored Glasses

February 5, 2018

Steven Pinker is a famous Harvard psychology professor (and before that he was head of neurosciences at MIT), one more of these celebrity professors buttressing the very wealthy elite, with lenifying discourses to put us all asleep. Unsurprisingly, Pinker is great friend with plutocrat Bill Gates, who is not just wealthy and control not only Microsoft and his huge Gates Foundation, but was also, among other things, a close adviser for Midas-touch Obama and his ilk (at some point the Gates were put in charge of much of education by Obama, just in case the Gates’ glorious influence was not great enough).

Influence is power, and major plutocrats’ influence extends far beyond their apparent financial power, as they are constantly “advising” elected politicians. (I wrote “advising”, to sound middle-of-the-road. But I meant “bribing”, and the middle ground is the road to hell!)

Harvard and other plutocratic universities are full of these celebrities with agendas serving the truth of the elite, and even the mood which makes us feel good about the rule of the elite… whereas Bill Gates added in the New York Times, Trump has created a bad mood: “There haven’t been that many anti-elitists, anti-internationalists elected president. But we have one now”. Famous examples of intellectual serving the plutocracy are Huntington, Ferguson, and the galaxy of economists who mis-advised president Yeltsin deliberately in the 1990s (with the aim of turning Russia into a plutocracy, and profiting from it, as they did; the enraged, enraging and most cynical uber-plutocrat Putin came out of that process).

Before lengthy quotes of Gates, to cut to the chase, let me paste my comment, which Bill Gates had the courtesy to put on his site (“Gates Notes”)… Yes, in exchange I will bend over, backwards, being nice in turn, in a cute example of micro-corruption…

“We can grab that whole world, and shove it!” “Really, Master, I love you!” Gates and Pinker love-in…

***

Viewing The World Through Rose Colored Glasses Is Pinker’s Business Model:

That human lives have gotten better, is Steven Pinker’s big sing-song, his core marketing tool. Yet, that the lives of human beings got better, according to some parameters, is obvious. In the biggest scheme of things, progress is actually why, and how, humanity evolved!

Bill Gates proclaims Pinker’s books “the best of all times”. However, “progress”, progress towards heavens, progress towards hell, and often both at the same time, are a given. Humanity is the progress species, mixing will, technology, and evolutionary biology in a relentless drive towards ever more progress, however of a mixed bag progress may be.

For example, Nazism was a spectacular, horrendous regression in many ways, but then Nazism passed excellent laws in ecology and animal welfare, which Germany kept and the world adopted; even more disturbing, those laws served as cover for their malevolence, so goodness can cover-up the worst! So one can’t just make a list of the good stuff, as Pinker does. One has to evaluate the values and compare them. The present world is violating the MOST major values. And increasingly so. And increasingly so. This is what people are, rightly, getting ever angrier about (see below: Pinker and Gates are clueless about it, of course…)

Gates flaunts Pinker’s “meticulosity“. Yet, it is only mildly interesting to have some of these parameters of optimism in “meticulous” detail. Meticulosity is actually often a covering-up mechanism. All the time spent splitting hair is as much time not envisioning, let alone worrying about, the really big problems. Being obsessively meticulous in the details enables to focus on the insignificant. Steven Pinker misses the big picture, because he is too busy scrutinizing the bark of a tree with pink colored glasses to contemplate the dying forest beyond, let alone smell the raging inferno coming his way! This is why plutocrats love him so much!

For example Pinker makes a big deal that the probability of dying from lightning is 1/37 of what it was a century ago. Yeah, well, what about the probability of dying from pollution now? It’s obviously many times, dozens of times, greater now, and it affects every body: death by lightning was always rare (although, as an alpinist I was in great lightning danger many times, and saw strikes from a few meters away).

While brandishing silly facts, Pinker loves broad generalizations. He claims that “intellectuals hate progress”. That’s a typical over-generalization: some intellectuals do hate progress, all too many do. But all intellectuals? No. Not at all. After all, thinking is greatly motivated by progress, with many individuals. Much of the time, people think because they want to improve matters.

What is the point of singing the obvious progress on some parameters from every rooftop? All the more as everything indicates that a geological sized catastrophe is looming. On the face of it, we are engaged in a combination of the greatest human population explosion ever, and the greatest mass extinction in at least 65 million years, accompanied by the greatest climate shock ever. What could go wrong? Pinker can’t figure it out. He is clueless.

Bill Gates is not any better, as he says in the New York Times (“The Mind Meld Of Bill Gates And Steven Pinker“): “I was stunned by Pinker’s “Better Angels” because I was coming around to the same view: That “things getting better” is the greatest story that no one knows.

I guess, indeed, that the few thousands plutocrats who rule the world, that’s, indeed, no one… (A human being, in full is much more than greed and the unquenchable thirst of power…)

Considering the extremely dismal perspective (and we didn’t consider the headache Artificial Intelligence is starting to bring) Pinker’s singing from rooftops looks like a distraction. It is distraction, like a bird singing about life, when a force 5 hurricane looms on the horizon.

No doubt Pinker’s song of optimism and “meticulosity” pleases the powers that be. Indeed Pinker tells the elite it, the plutocracy, has made an excellent gift to all of us, the rest of humanity, with all this progress it provided us with… a progress which is burying the biosphere under a tsunami of pollution… 

***

What Gates and Pinker don’t want to hear, but Hannah Arendt wanted us to hear: Optimism kills, all too often, while pessimism, properly managed, saves lives:

Yet Pinker is dismissive of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s pessimism. This is beyond bizarre: Nietzsche was frighteningly correct about the abominable mentality, militaristic, hyper-nationalistic and racist, which was seizing Germany, and warned about it in the most strident way. Nietzsche saw the anti-Judaism, he saw the furious militarism, the insane nationalism, and the inferiority of the gross German mind at the time, ever more base (Einstein and others had similar critiques later).

If Germany had listened to Nietzsche instead of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Hitler, the massive regression of the 1914-1945 war would not have happened. In other words, no enough pessimism can lead to Nazism and its ilk.

***

Steal a pizza, life in prison! Progress? Progress according to Pinker!

Anybody who thinks a bit can only be alarmed by the peril the biosphere finds itself in… all the more as remedies are not obvious. Pinker lauds the decrease of violent crime in the US “from 1992 to 2015”. It doesn’t dawn on him that the mass incarceration campaign under Clinton, arguably the world greatest, this side of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, has something to do with it. It’s clear that, if one imprison for life someone who steal a pizza slice, violent crime will go down.

Another price for this sort of “progress” will be paid, though. All what Pinker sees is that Harvard is getting safer. And he, and the plutocratic class doesn’t understand that the dozens of millions of American whose employment has degraded would logically deduce that the US, and the world, is heading in the wrong direction: isn’t Harvard getting better? Isn’t the finances of the elite Pinker swims in, getting ever wealthier?

(Not surprisingly, the Chinese population, which has seen real, tremendous progress, is very optimistic, polls show… Yet, China could explode, because dictating to the masses in the age of intelligence is not smart…)

The elite tells us we live in the best of all possible worlds, and Pinker adds that it’s getting ever better. When Voltaire sneered, correctly, about this, making fun with professor “Pangloss”, an early version of Pinker, Voltaire’s friend, king Louis XV, replied:”After me, the deluge!”.

Well, clearly, a flood is coming for real. Prior to the hurricane which ravaged Houston, sea level had gone up six inches. Over a year, a single year: six inches!

Yes, birds should sing, that’s nice, so let Pinker sing, that’s nice. But it’s not really intelligent to feel that’s the best that can be done, as Bill Gates pretends it is. 

So Pinker cozied up with Gates in Seattle. Gates’ personal wealth is more than 90 billion dollars, and he controls at least 30 billion dollars through his Foundation. Gates is all in love with Pinker, let’s read him a bit, for fun:

Optimist prime

My new favorite book of all time. By Bill Gates,  January 26, 2018

For years, I’ve been saying Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature was the best book I’d read in a decade. If I could recommend just one book for anyone to pick up, that was it. Pinker uses meticulous research to argue that we are living in the most peaceful time in human history. I’d never seen such a clear explanation of progress.

I’m going to stop talking up Better Angels so much, because Pinker has managed to top himself. His new book, Enlightenment Now, is even better.”

Why to change something that worked so well? Gates wants to prove we have the best of all possible progresses (no doubt because his mother was a director of IBM, which launched Gates…):

“Enlightenment Now takes the approach he uses in Better Angels to track violence throughout history and applies it to 15 different measures of progress (like quality of life, knowledge, and safety). The result is a holistic picture of how and why the world is getting better. It’s like Better Angels on steroids…

It opens with an argument in favor of returning to the ideals of the Enlightenment—an era when reason, science, and humanism were touted as the highest virtues.”

Here are five of my favorite facts from the book that show how the world is improving:

  • You’re 37 times less likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning than you were at the turn of the century—and that’s not because there are fewer thunderstorms today. It’s because we have better weather prediction capabilities, improved safety education, and more people living in cities.
  • Time spent doing laundry fell from 11.5 hours a week in 1920 to an hour and a half in 2014.This might sound trivial in the grand scheme of progress. But the rise of the washing machine has improved quality of life by freeing up time for people—mostly women—to enjoy other pursuits. That time represents nearly half a day every week that could be used for everything from binge-watching Ozark or reading a book to starting a new business.
  • You’re way less likely to die on the job. Every year, 5,000 people die from occupational accidents in the U.S. But in 1929—when our population was less than two-fifths the size it is today—20,000 people died on the job. People back then viewed deadly workplace accidents as part of the cost of doing business. Today, we know better, and we’ve engineered ways to build things without putting nearly as many lives at risk.
  • The global average IQ score is rising by about 3 IQ points every decade. Kids’ brains are developing more fully thanks to improved nutrition and a cleaner environment. Pinker also credits more analytical thinking in and out of the classroom. Think about how many symbols you interpret every time you check your phone’s home screen or look at a subway map. Our world today encourages abstract thought from a young age, and it’s making us smarter.
  • War is illegal. This idea seems obvious. But before the creation of the United Nations in 1945, no institution had the power to stop countries from going to war with each other. Although there have been some exceptions, the threat of international sanctions and intervention has proven to be an effective deterrent to wars between nations.

Gates really believes war is illegal… While the USA has systematically refused, for decades, to be part of the International Court Of Justice, precisely set-up to make war illegal…

That “war is illegal” is an amusing notion, oft seen in history. We will see how long that will last, now that the North Korean cannibalistic dictator owns at least SIXTY NUCLEAR BOMBS…(If Russian and China kept on supporting North Korea if and when the West has to defang it, nuclear war will spread, and the world population will collapse even faster than the Jewish population in Europe from 1941 to 1945… The latter case was a decrease of ⅔, proportionally meaning nearly six billion dead now.)

That the creation of the United Nations was progress is not doubtful (the idea was initially proposed in France in 1916, and then ephemerally adopted by the US, before the US rejected it, and France and Britain tried to implement it as the SDN, in a vain attempt to block the return of German racist fascism; didn’t work… World War Two happened, 100 million people died, about 5% of the world population, and the USA, with few losses, while coming into command and control of 90% of the planet, in 1945, became immensely rich, and ever since led the world, even giving half of Europe to Stalin on the way, just because Europe was best, divided,..).

***

To Explain Doom & Gloom, Consider That Inequality Is Insufferable to Primates: (Something Steven Pinker & Bill Gates don’t seem to be aware of!)

Bill Gates asks: Pinker also tackles the disconnect between actual progress and the perception of progress—something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. People all over the world are living longer, healthier, and happier lives, so why do so many think things are getting worse? Why do we gloss over positive news stories and fixate on the negative ones? He does a good job explaining why we’re drawn to pessimism and how that instinct influences our approach to the world, although I wish he went more in-depth about the psychology (especially since he’s a psychologist by training).”

The glib, yet fundamental answer is that really bad stuff kills you, while really good stuff doesn’t. The more subtle answer to this is simple: inequality, inequity, have been skyrocketing. Primates can’t stand inequality and unfairness. This was demonstrated in the laboratory, even with new world primates as simple as Marmosets.

If they have to choose between eating and screaming their anger about injustice, Marmosets will often go for the latter, and attack the scientists setting up unfair experiments!

Elephants have five billion neurons in their frontal cortex. They too, hate injustice, and they don’t forget it. They can exact vengeance years later.

Why do intelligent animals combat inequity? Because intelligent social animals survive from their intelligence, most of which is culturally induced. For cultural intelligence to be as high as possible, all brains work in parallel, and not with just one on top, dictating its truth!  

Thus evolution has made sure that we are not inclined to intellectual fascism (following mechanically the author of unique thought). We get sad, angry, infuriated and gloomy when we are forced to comply to think as the leader. All the more that the fascist instinct induces us to do that, only in times of combat (then following the leader, acting as one, is crucial). So our deep psychobiology assumes we are at war, or in combat, when we are forced to think as one.

Rebellion and revolution is how evolution into Homo Sapiens and civilization were created. Over millions of years, plenty of times to turn advantage into most human instincts, and all the more human, that no other species has it. We are professional revolutionaries, and those who want to put us to sleep, are the enemies of what made our species what it is.

***

Pinker Flaunts Jewish Smarts, While Exhibiting Holocaust Conducive Stupidity:

Steven Pinker, is a shining blue eyed self-declared Jew, flaunts the GENETIC “intelligence” of Jews: “Jews make up 50% of the 200 top intellectuals, 40% of the Nobel Laureates…

By dismissing the pessimism which led Nietzsche to give his strident warnings, Steven Pinker dismisses what could have saved the six million Jews who were assassinated by the Nazis. Interestingly, Pinker really seems to believe in the genetic superiority of Jews… So Pinker concedes to the Nazis, and other racists, the fundamental idea of the Nazis, and other racists: namely that there are genetic differences between population with STRIKING consequences in matter of intelligence. Using fancy phrases like “highly endogamous” (namely inbreeding) doesn’t make Pinker’s racism any less outrageous

(Pinker defines himself as Semitic, although he has blue eyes, just as piercing and blue as those of Adolf Hitler (couldn’t resist…) meaning his ancestors mixed it up with European stock… Violating the “highly endogamous” concept which is how he explains Jewish intelligence. Actually many European Jews, we know from historiography, were originally Catholics who converted to Judaism, as this was legal in the Frankish empire (and got the pesky Catholic church, with its anti-intellectual bias, off their backs). That works particularly well for Ashkenazi Jews who, it is known, moved into Eastern Europe from Germany, as testified by the fact Yiddish evolved from German…)

The evidence is then that Steven Pinker is not that smart, just playing one on TV. As a psychologist he doesn’t realize that tribal effects make it easier to raise, or lower, intelligence. Hence the colossal difference of IQ between Ashkenazi Jews and Australian aborigines. And then tribal effect explain why discoveries such as mass = energy are attributed to a Jew (Einstein) instead of the one who really established it (Jules Henri Poincaré; who divulged E = mcc publicly in 1899, at the Sorbonne, in physics journal in 1900, and in all generality, 1905… and also Poincaré discovered gravitational waves, relativistic version).

Calling Jews smarter and being very optimistic, the way Pinker is, while flaunting his Jewish status, is bizarre. a provocation bordering on the macabre: the population of Jews was around 17 millions in 1930. Now it’s 11 millions. How is that, for smarts? They were so smart, they didn’t see Nazism coming, They were so smart, much of the herd got eaten, and now they taunt the lions (Hadiths have orders, supposedly from God, to kill all Jews; antelopes taunting predators are a common view on the savannah…).

And the collapse, this holocaust, is not all the work of the Nazis, they got some help, and not just from the Vichy putschists, and other Jew haters around Europe: as Hannah Arendt pounded, Jewish leadership collaborated crucially too much with the Nazis. In particular, Pinker flaunts the “59% of 50 top grossing movie producers who are Jewish” could have heated up US public opinion (and German public opinion!) in the 1930s. That was a major intellectual failure, and a failure to see the problems, the huge problems, incoming.

We don’t need a power obsequious, racist optimistic mentality a la Pinker around. Only the plutocracy needs it. So Mr. Pinker will keep on doing well for himself, and the Gates of the world, especially the Gates of Hell, will keep on applauding…

Patrice Aymé     

 

Perverse Logic: Saving the Multiverse with Unhinged Cosmic Inflation!

February 1, 2018

When The Unobservable Universe Is Used To Justify Various Follies, Such As The Multiverse, Civilization Is In A Bad Way:

Physics is the laboratory of reason. This where the most advanced, most subtle logics are forged (even more so than in pure mathematics, where the navel’s importance is too great). So what physicists ponder, matters to the entire civilization which nurtures them. When physics goes to the dogs, so does civilization. The follies of state of the art theoretical physics, reflect an ambient madness which pervades civilization. (If you don’t believe this, may I sell you some imaginary bitcoins for millions of dollars?)

Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, a continual source of excellent articles in physics, wrote an interesting essay which I disagree with. His reasons are interesting, and have the merit of honesty. My answers are even more striking, and I bring the full weight of 24 centuries of history as meta-evidence for crushing the feeble, pathetic, short-sighted considerations of my fellow physicists. Ethan’s essay is entitled: “Yes, The Multiverse Is Real, But It Won’t Fix Physics
Surprisingly, the evidence points towards the existence of the unobservable multiverse. But it isn’t the answer you’re looking for.

Ethan proposes to use cosmic inflation to provide for the proliferation of Schrödinger cats and Wigner’s friends. One folly would thus provide for the other, and they would thus stay up, like two drunks falling into each other’s arms. I will instead humbly suggest to do away with madness altogether. But first a little recap.

The universe is expanding. This experimental evidence was established around 1920, by a number of astronomers in Europe and the USA, the most famous of whom was lawyer turned astronomer, Edwin Hubble. Hubble had the biggest telescope. The expansion is presumed to be looking everywhere the same, and this is what seems to be observed. That also means that, if one looks far away, galaxies will seem to be receding from us at speed ever closer to the speed of light. As the apparent speed of these galaxies approach c, their light gets shifted to lower and lower frequencies, until they become invisible (same reason as why Black Holes are blacker than black).

Where the transition to invisibility occurs is called the “event horizon”. Beyond the event horizon is the unobservable universe (we can’t detect it gravitationally, as gravity goes at the speed of light, a theoretical prediction now experimentally verified).

The observed universe is “flat” (namely there is no detected distortion in the distribution of clouds, filaments and superclusters of galaxies). That sounds unlikely, and indicates that the observed universe is a tiny portion of a much larger whole.

This unobservable universe has nothing to do with the “Multiverse” brandished recently by many theoretical physicists who have apparently run out of imagination for something more plausible. Eighty years ago, Schrödinger pointed out that Quantum Mechanics, as formalized then (and now!) was observer dependent, and filled up the universe with waves of dead and live cats (when applied to macroscopic objects). That’s called the Schrödinger Cat Paradox. Instead of calling for a re-thinking of Quantum Mechanics (as I do!), Ethan Siegel (and many other physicists and astrophysicists) embrace the dead and alive cats, settling them in “parallel universes”. So basically they reenact Solomon Judgment: instead of cutting the baby in two, they cut the universe in two. Zillions of time per second, in zillions of smaller places than you can possibly imagine… Here is a picture of Schrödinger cat: as the branches separate in that movie, two universes are created. This is what Ethan Siegel wants to justify, thanks to cosmic inflation…

Ethan’s revealing comment: “The idea of parallel Universes, as applied to Schrödinger’s cat. As fun and compelling as this idea is, without an infinitely large region of space to hold these possibilities in, even inflation won’t create enough Universes to contain all the possibilities that 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution have brought us. Image credit: Christian Schirm.”
To explain crazy, we will go more crazy, thus making the previous crazy sound more rational, relatively speaking…

The Multiverse”, with baby universes all over the universe, has more to do with the “Many Worlds Interpretation” of Quantum Mechanics, a theory so absurd that the great popes of physics ruling around 1960 rejected it outright. Wheeler was ashamed of himself for having had a PhD student, Everett, who suggested this folly(Everett couldn’t get an academic job, at a time when academic employment in physics was booming!)

Ethan wrote: “In the region that became our Universe, which may encompass a large region that goes far beyond what we can observe, inflation ended all-at-once. But beyond that region, there are even more regions where it didn’t end.”

This sort of statement, and I say this with all due respect to the divine, is equivalent to saying:”Me, Ethan, having checked all that exists, observable by simple humans, or not, thereby informs you that I am either God, or that She is an interlocutor of mine. We checked that cosmic inflation thing, and saw it all over all the possible universes. Don’t talk, just learn.”

There is no way for us humans to know, for sure, or not, what is going on beyond the observable universe (aside from having no gravitational field distortions when approaching the event horizon, as I said above when considering “flatness”).

Ethan notices that Many Worlds fanatics have tried to use cosmic inflation to save their (ridiculous) theory. (“Many Worlds” is ridiculous, as Schrödinger tried to show, long ago, because there would be as many ways to cut the universes into “Many Worlds” as there are observers. So, so to speak, the “Many World Interpretation”, call it MWI, is actually MWI ^ {Observers} (MWI to the power of the set of all possible Observers, the latter set being itself something of an uncountably infinite function of MWI.)

Ethan says: “But just because variants of the Multiverse are falsifiable, and just because the consequences of its existence are unobservable, doesn’t mean that the Multiverse isn’t real. If cosmic inflation, General Relativity, and quantum field theory are all correct, the Multiverse likely is real, and we’re living in it.

What Ethan is saying is that if a number of crazy (cosmic inflation), or incomplete (Quantum Field Theory), ideas are “all correct”, then something as useful as angels on pin heads is real.Yes, indeed, if one believes that Muhammad flew to Jerusalem on a winged horse (!), one may as well believe all the rest of the Qur’an. That is a proof by crystal balls. After Ptolemy and company had established their (half correctly) predicting “epicycles” theory, one could have used it in turn to “prove” Aristotle ridiculous theory of motion.

23 centuries ago a much saner theory existed, that of Aristarchus. It was rejected at the time, precisely because it was not insane, and even though it was used to make a nearly correct prediction of the distance of the Moon. Aristarchus underestimated the distance of the Sun, but a telescope could have changed this (by showing more precisely the angle of the terminus on the Moon). If astronomers had the time had accepted heliocentrism as a possibility, it would have led them to invent the telescope. Similarly, right now, rejecting Many Worlds and Multiverse will lead to develop instruments which don’t exist yet (I have proposed at least one).

Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel suggests that: “The Multiverse is real, but provides the answer to absolutely nothing.” My opinion is that the Multiverse is worse than useless: the unhinged mood it provides prevents to develop more fruitful avenues of research, both theoretically and experimentally.

Insanity is the rule in crowds (Nietzsche). Thus follies are the truths crowds love, at first sight, before being corrected by higher minds. Why? Follies bind, because they are so special.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/commonly-accepted-delusions-follies-that-bind/

In Aristarchus’ times, heliocentrism, the fact Earth and its Moon rotate around the Sun, should have been obvious. Indeed, people, let’s think for a moment: where was the Sun supposed to be, considering the phases of the Moon? If the Sun turned around Earth, the Moon’s illumination should have changed all day long! It didn’t require much geometrical analysis to discover that this source of light could only be where Aristarchus computed it to be, far away from the Earth-Moon system.

It took 19 centuries to correct that (obvious!) mistake. Interestingly, Jean Buridan, circa 1350 CE, did it in the most theoretical fashion.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/momentum-force-inertia-middle-ages-buridan/

Buridan first showed that Aristotle’s ridiculous theory of motion made no sense, and had to be replaced by inertia and momentum (what Buridan called “impetus”). Having done this, the motion of the planets in a heliocentric system could be explained by “circular impetus”, Buridan pointed out (then he observed sardonically that we couldn’t observe the difference between epicycles and heliocentrism, so may as well go for “Scripture”).

Similarly, nowadays, instead of arguing with the “angels on a multiverse pinhead” authorities, we better point out to the glaring inconsistencies of Quantum Mechanics.

Civilization without reason is like a chicken without a head: it can run, but not forever.

Patrice Aymé

Fake Reputation, Fake Society, Fake Economy, Fake Truth, Real Power, Real Stupidity

January 30, 2018

Today’s society is pervaded by luminaries with millions of “followers”. Selena Gomez (never heard of her) has nearly 150 million followers, followed by a famous tax evader who kicks a ball for a living, making him popular with young losers, etc. The buns of Kim Kardashian make the top five. Some will sneer that it’s not surprising that dummies are so popular with dummies. However, it turns out many “followers”, and perhaps most, in all too many cases, have been purchased.

The New York Times (we are friends again since it apparently lifted its censorship of your truly, having changed “leader”) made an extensive inquiry, in just one small corner of the web. The NYT purchased 25,000 followers (for $225!) from a company called Devumi, and then using those, proceeded to uncover much more. 

“The Follower Factory: Everyone wants to be popular online.

Some even pay for it.

Inside social media’s black market. By Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel J.x. Dance, Richard Harris And Mark Hansen. Jan. 27, 2018

Celebrities, athletes, pundits and politicians have millions of fake followers.

The Times reviewed business and court records showing that Devumi has more than 200,000 customers, including reality television stars, professional athletes, comedians, TED speakers, pastors and models. In most cases, the records show, they purchased their own followers. In others, their employees, agents, public relations companies, family members or friends did the buying. For just pennies each — sometimes even less — Devumi offers Twitter followers, views on YouTube, plays on SoundCloud, the music-hosting site, and endorsements on LinkedIn, the professional-networking site.”

One has to be reminded, at this point that the five richest so-called “public” (so-called public, in Americanese) companies in the universe are all into “social media” (where they do pretty much what they want, including no paying taxes at all, quite often!) Actually the fakery, the lies, the inequity is so pervasive, it looks hard to see where to start. Contemplate the one below: 

I am the cat, you are the birdie tweeting around. Twitter queen Martha Lane-Fox, British Lord and Plutocrat, in her office. Fake people, Real potentates. I Made It. Why Didn’t You, Loser? Ms. Lane Fox, a British e-commerce pioneer, member of Parliament and Twitter board member, blamed a “rogue employee” for a series of follower purchases spanning more than a year. She declined to name the person, adds the New York Times. The lady may be a Lord, but she is also a tramp.

The More Powerful The Tech Monopolies, The Greater Obama’s Plausible future Income Stream used to look:

One has to be reminded that Trump’s predecessor did all he could to make those companies ever more powerful, at the cost, not just of decency and democracy, but innovation itself. Killing innovation is the royal road to plutocracy, fascism, war. But let’s read more of the Times:

“At a time when Facebook, Twitter and Google are grappling with an epidemic of political manipulation and fake news, Devumi’s fake followers also serve as phantom foot soldiers in political battles online. Devumi’s customers include both avid supporters and fervent critics of President Trump, and both liberal cable pundits and a reporter at the alt-right bastion Breitbart. Randy Bryce, an ironworker seeking to unseat Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, [Paul Ryan is the head of Congress, no less!] purchased Devumi followers in 2015, when he was a blogger and labor activist…

Devumi’s products serve politicians and governments overseas, too. An editor at China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, paid Devumi for hundreds of thousands of followers and retweets on Twitter, which the country’s government has banned but sees as a forum for issuing propaganda abroad. An adviser to Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, bought tens of thousands of followers and retweets for Mr. Moreno’s campaign accounts during last year’s elections.

“Social media is a virtual world that is filled with half bots, half real people,” said Rami Essaid, the founder of Distil Networks, a cybersecurity company that specializes in eradicating bot networks. “You can’t take any tweet at face value. And not everything is what it seems.”

High follower counts are also critical for so-called influencers, a budding market of amateur tastemakers and YouTube stars where advertisers now lavish billions of dollars a year on sponsorship deals. The more people influencers reach, the more money they make. According to data collected by Captiv8, a company that connects influencers to brands, an influencer with 100,000 followers might earn an average of $2,000 for a promotional tweet, while an influencer with a million followers might earn $20,000.”

Quick mathematics, which the New York Times didn’t make shows this: a million followers will cost: $225 x 40 = $9,000. Yet, it earns $20,000. Thus purchasing followers enables one to make more than 100% profits. None of this is surprising: the mood was set by Obama’s 2007-2008 campaign (on which I worked and helped considerably behind the scenes; I would certainly not redo exactly what I did then, BTW). Obama, when talking about his campaign never talks about ideas he promoted then (turns out there were none to be put in practice), but how he beat up the opposition by using Internet followers games. He is not even aware that he reduced politics to a celebrity game (with him Obama as celebrity central), instead of an elaboration of ideas. That has helped setting up a disastrous mood that popularity is more important than essence.

“Genuine fame often translates into genuine social media influence, as fans follow and like their favorite movie stars, celebrity chefs and models. But shortcuts are also available: On sites like Social Envy and DIYLikes.com, it takes little more than a credit-card number to buy a huge following on almost any social media platform. Most of these sites offer what they describe as “active” or “organic” followers, never quite stating whether real people are behind them. Once purchased, the followers can be a powerful tool.”

But it gets worse.

***

The Truth Is What Shall Make Plutocrats Wealthier:

Follower counts have started to become part of the system the social media monopolies are using to determine who they “recommend”. One expects no less from people without a college education, except from a deluge of dollars coming their way.

“You see a higher follower count, or a higher retweet count, and you assume this person is important, or this tweet was well received,” said Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz, a company that makes search engine optimization software. “As a result, you might be more likely to amplify it, to share it or to follow that person.”

Twitter and Facebook can be similarly influenced. “Social platforms are trying to recommend stuff — and they say, ‘Is the stuff we are recommending popular?’” said Julian Tempelsman, the co-founder of Smyte, a security firm that helps companies combat online abuse, bots and fraud. “Follower counts are one of the factors social media platforms use.”

A mood of fakery and theft has settled over civilization. Indeed, critters monetarize their follower counts, and certainly, even more so, their power.

“While some said they believed Devumi was supplying real potential fans or customers, others acknowledged that they knew or suspected they were getting fake accounts. Several said they regretted their purchases. “It’s fraud,” said James Cracknell, a British rower and Olympic gold medalist who bought 50,000 followers from Devumi. “People who judge by how many likes or how many followers, it’s not a healthy thing…”

A Twitter account belonging to Paul Hollywood, the celebrity baker, was deleted after The Times emailed him with questions. Mr. Hollywood then sent a reply: “Account does not exist…”

Ms. Ireland has over a million followers on Twitter, which she often uses to promote companies with whom she has endorsement deals. The Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance, for example, said that the former model was one of its most influential Twitter “brand ambassadors,” celebrities who are paid to help promote products.

But in January last year, Ms. Ireland had only about 160,000 followers. The next month, an employee at the branding agency she owns, Sterling/Winters, spent about $2,000 for 300,000 more followers, according to Devumi records. The employee later made more purchases…”

Lane Fox is a spectacular example of how plutocracy works nowadays. Born and raised into and attending Oxford U. (in drama and politics, of course), she got on the “.com bubble“, became very rich that way (her company was bought for nearly a billion; we don’t know who slept with whom… I knew once a pretty pushy young lady, without much education (I use to climb with her), she met the right guys and made millions at the time). Lane Fox was made a member of the “most excellent” Order of the British Empire, and a member of the House of Lord, where she sits as a baroness with a fancy title. This is most excellent, and most rotten by the same token. We The People will erroneously scoff: such people “lead” the world, into the abyss.

Says the New York Times: “Martha Lane Fox, a businesswoman and member of Britain’s House of Lords, blamed a rogue employee for at least seven Devumi purchases made using Ms. Lane Fox’s email address. The biggest — 25,000 followers — was made days after she became a Twitter board member in April 2016.”

They would kill you with their own kitchen knife, with their DNA, and only their DNA, all over, and blame “rogue employees”. But how uncouth of me: I forgot, those celebrities own the world, we are all their employees… when we are lucky (otherwise we would be homeless…)

***

Influenced By 14 Years Old:

The New York Times observes: “More than a hundred self-described influencers — whose market value is even more directly linked to their follower counts on social media — have purchased Twitter followers from Devumi. Justin Blau, a popular Las Vegas-based D.J. who performs as 3LAU, acquired 50,000 followers and thousands of retweets. In an email, Mr. Blau said a former member of his management team bought them without his approval.

At least five Devumi influencer customers are also contractors for HelloSociety, an influencer agency owned by The New York Times Company.

Influencers need not be well known to rake in endorsement money. According to a recent profile in the British tabloid The Sun, two young siblings, Arabella and Jaadin Daho, earn a combined $100,000 a year as influencers, working with brands such as Amazon, Disney, Louis Vuitton and Nintendo. Arabella, who is 14, tweets under the name Amazing Arabella.

But her Twitter account — and her brother’s — are boosted by thousands of retweets purchased by their mother and manager, Shadia Daho, according to Devumi records. Ms. Daho did not respond to repeated attempts to reach her.”

***

None Of This Is Legal, So Why Do They Rule Over US?

New York Attorney General woke up, after the publication of the preceding, online, by the NYT. “Impersonation and deception are illegal under New York law,” Mr. Schneiderman wrote on Twitter. “We’re opening an investigation into Devumi and its apparent sale of bots using stolen identities.”

The problem of truth is fundamental. Without truth on the basic facts, one can’t think correctly. The problem of robotic accounts is simple to solve: there is existing law, as Mr. Schneiderman noticed. More generally a star system should be used. It should be multidimensional. One dimension for plausible veracity, another for significance. And probably more.

Plausible veracity” is different from “truth”. “Truth” is whn one has elimianted the alternatives. “Plausible veracity” is when no blatantly false fake facts are used.

For example my highly significant (were they true wisdom) have high plausible veracity: I genuinely search and destroy inaccurate facts. Indeed, although I generally compose my history essays from memory, I check particular facts when I use them crucially. For example, although I know pretty well the story of the siege of Vercingetorix by Caesar at Alesia, should i write an essay on this, I would check the troop number (I think Caesar had around 50,000 soldiers, and the Gauls at least 4 times that; if I wrote an essay, i would check the latest numbers, and exert judgment whether they are reliable or not).

***

Should “Truth” Be Privately Determined By Plutocrats And Their Servants?

A crucial point missed about big social networks is that they have become “public utilities“. They are not owned just by themselves, but, de facto, by the public. Actually, if not for the public, they would be content empty. Ideally, We The People would be owners of these “social networks”, as we already own all their content.

To police “social media”, it has been suggested that “social media”, which, at this point, are private companies, not “public utilities” in the legal sense, would do it themselves. In particular, that they would evaluate truth. As we saw above, that’s not what they do. Mark Z, founder of Facebook, is a guy whose ultimate philosophy, one year was “eat what he killed”. So Mark spent a year educating himself by killing rabbits, chicken, pigs, and carrying the corpses in a car’s trunk with an elated restaurant owner driving around Silicon Valley (my spouse interviewed said elated and grateful restaurant owner).

Those individuals, those multi billionaires, those plutocrats can’t do it: all the education they have is dollars and how to make dirty deals, all the way to presidential level, to gather more dollars, influence, powers, and no taxes to pay, while posing as lovers of man (“philanthropists”). Some have little education aside from computer program tinkering (Gates and Zuckenberg left in second year college at Harvard; Bezos completed college, but not the late Steve Jobs). That makes these one-track minds particularly apt to misunderstand the notion of plausibility and a general appreciation for human culture. 

Truth, or, more exactly, plausible veracity, like justice, should be a matter judged by We The People, or its representative institutions… Once those who have it have been given plentiful opportunity to expose it. An example: California & France decided to vaccinate forcefully! (Ah, but the argument can be made, that the government of We The People has been captured by plutocrats. As observed. So we can’t let, as is already happening, Plutos decide of the truth. That’s not a valid retort, as plutocracy, already happening, is not democracy, indeed, that’s precisely the point! “We The Satanists, We The Plutocrats” is not “We The People“!)

We need a department of truth, or ministry of truth… but not as G. Orwell envisioned it. As I just said, this is already happening, and it will happen more if “social networks“, right now led by plutocrats, without “public utility mandate“, are encouraged, as they presently are, to exert censorship (nude female chest will get you in trouble in Saudi Arabia, and Facebook; thus face book is, at least partly so, Saudi Arabia, even though Zuckenberg had a “Bar Mitzvah”, a sort of Jewish enthronement, when he was 13…!) 

Technology has always evolved, ever more complex. Thus laws have evolved, ever more complex. Having a “department of Justice” was fiction, 5,000 years ago. Now no country goes without. But justice without truth is impossible. Just as having the proper moods, while being immersed in lies, is also impossible. Justice is mandatory, truth should be recommended. Justice is mandatory, truth should be recommended. Either are too important, too vital, without We The People oversight…

To try to fight off Russian propaganda (which is very sophisticated, have a look at “RT”), Ukraine created a “ministry of information policy”.

*** 

And what of foxy lady Lane Fox?

Here is a few more details,  thanks to Wikipedia, of how .com celebrity can be leveraged:

Lane Fox was appointed Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for “services to the digital economy and charity”.[23] In February 2013 she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.[24] In the same month it was announced that she was to be created a life peer in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.[25]

On 25 March 2013, she was raised to the peerage as Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, of Soho in the City of Westminster[26] and was introduced in the House of Lords the next day…

Now foxy Fox rules over Tweeter. As a director, she makes more than $200,000 a year. Not bad for meeting only a necessary three times a year (I guess first class travel from the House of Lords is paid too!) This sort of foxes owe their elevation to the ruling elite, they will serve it, tooth, claw and nail. And their souls are all devoted to the powers that be. That’s why they get rewarded so well.

Remember Obama’s Nobel peace prize? Obama went on to start a full new nukes program, and inventing “signature strikes”, in which, if people gathered somewhere, and Obama took the fancy of doing so, he would kill them all, by pressing a button. Once Obama’s soul had been bought with the Nobel Peace Prize, he would do whatever it took, to pay back his debt. Say what you want, he is no ingrate… Say what you want too, but we all now pay the moral price: the truth is Obama has made these into times of deliberate murder, and all avert their eyes, from sheer Political Correctness (Obama, having brown skin was viewed as PC, on this ground alone, by hundreds of millions, even with yours truly included, and this is the truth… Just as it is the truth that dozens of millions are starting to realize they were had, just as we were had by Hillary Clinton whose latest revealed extravaganza was to protect a harasser of women…)

This world society where fake people, fake appreciation, fake ideas, fake news, fake truths, really rule is clearly heading towards real imbecility, not just real inequality. Just when intelligence is in need of a quantum jump, to avoid an all too deplorable outcome…

The truth of the elite is the truth which serves the elite. Contemplating any alternative, is to lie to oneself.

Patrice Aymé