Friday, February 20, 2015

If The Intelligence Is Opaque, It May Be A Scam

Alex Tabarrok posted The Rise of Opaque Intelligence at Marginal Revolution:

It isn’t easy suppressing my judgment in favor of someone else’s judgment even if the other person has better judgment (ask my wife) but once it was explained to me I at least understood why my boss’s judgment made sense. More and more, however, we are being asked to suppress our judgment in favor of that of an artificial intelligence, a theme in Tyler’s Average is Over.

If the AI is giving you good information, you, or someone with some math skills, can check the work. Tabarrok finishes the article with the struggle between UPS drivers and their AI, which now tells them how to deliver packages:

Human drivers think Orion is illogical because they can’t grok Orion’s super-logic. Perhaps any sufficiently advanced logic is indistinguishable from stupidity.

No. The probability is that Orion, like most of these big data boondoggles, isn't all that it is cracked up to be.

Now, perhaps making drivers do things in a manner that seems totally insane to them improves the company's overall situation- if true, the facts will be there and available, at least to some manager somewhere, who could then explain it to at least some of the drivers. If however, Orion is a joke, then we will have the phenomenon of opaque management- i.e. somebody made a very costly mistake taking on this Orion nonsense, so they will make the facts opaque.

Good software should reduce the need for management, but I have seen software basically requiring managers to exist to fix errors that are inevitably made with bad approaches to human schedules.

The Old Wars Were Less Costly

It seems to me it would be far easier, and much less killing, to just have a religious war. ISIS thinks it is having a holy war, but we Christians are no longer allowed to, thanks to secular bastards who insist we must kill people for other, less specific reasons, like degrading and/or destroying an entity that exists because we've spent several decades degrading and or destroying any sort of civilization in the Middle East.

Why did we even invade Libya anyway? Now ISIS is apparently occupying the space we are supposedly occupying. Are we sending them paychecks too?

It seems to me it would also be far easier, and much less killing, if we had a resource war- you know, if the war for oil meme was 100% totally true, and that there wasn't this other meme- war for war. We could be sucking oil out of the ground to sort of wholesale fund a giant economic boom in relative peace, but there's this damn war industry, apparently. Got to sell people more bombs, or something.

It also seems far easier and with much less killing, to have a sort of limited ethnic war. Arabs, Kurds, French people, Persians- once there's like this actual place recognized as France, then you can just sort of defend it against non-French, so the relative amount of killings go down because folks aren't using frenchness as an excuse to go running around the globe killing people.

But now we have the modern states, and the modern excuses for continually meddling, continually warring, and that universalist mentality of being able to prosecute anything anywhere. This causes more death, more war, and more angry people willing to fight the West. In fact, this behavior belies what made the West the West, since, for most of Europe's history it was actually a bunch of small realms, city-states, etc... where governance was largely decentralized and people could- even though it was often discouraged- walk out if their rulers were assholes.

So now, we aren't fighting for religion, nor are we fighting for resources, nor are we fighting for an ethnic homeland (nationalism). No, we are fighting for our leader's "right" to screw up the rest of the world just like they are doing here at home. Can a good government even exist out there, without the U.S. threatening it with either the military or bank laws?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

And The Comments Prove Democracy Sucks

George Goerlich dropped a link about how the FDA appears to be hiding fraud, fabrication, and scientific misconduct from the public- you know the folks they are supposed to be serving.
If you feel like digging into the comments, you'll find people who think there still should be an FDA. This means they not only don't get the principles of freedom and decentralization, but that when faced with evidence of systematic wrongdoing, they double down and insist that the failure of the FDA to protect us means we need an FDA to protect us.

No, what we need is a way to ban these sorts of people from any sort of vote, office, bureaucracy, etc- that would lead to them having even nominal power over humans. They probably need to be declared unfit for pet ownership as well.

Occasionally I like to comment as well. I commented on this: Did Falling Testosterone Affect Falling Crime. I don't think this is true, and I brought some info to the table. First, I pointed out crime rates have fallen largely because the payoff is not as good as it used to be. As an example, the resale value of a TV stolen in the 1970s was pretty good, whereas now the TV stolen is likely obsolete, and the smart TVs are likely trackable now. It is just less fuss and muss for your potential purchaser of stolen goods to go get a TV from the store. Additionally, muggers are likely to get a few credit cards rather than cash. The incentives for crime generally and then violent crime are just down across the board.

But that's not all. Pinker and others who trumpet this drop in violence with evangelic zeal are committing some very basic errors of probability, and think it is somehow evidence of progress. But I get nonsequitors back:

It seems an odd definition of social progress that excludes “changing incentives so people act better to each other.”
This was from someone calling himself Social Justice Warlock. I didn't define progress. My entire comment was about how modern society had inadvertently changed incentives via things like credit cards.

Then I got this:
The demand for “meditation” on my part has not in fact resulted in any meditation or reconsideration of my position. It has caused me to think of you as offensive, obnoxious, and not worthy of further engagement.

From a guy named John Schilling. I did not demand. I did, however, realize that it sometimes takes time and imagination to move from one paradigm to another, so I suggested.

This is one of the things I noticed on 23&me- among those who identified Neanderthal there seemed to be an ability to hold and/or understand a variety of views at once. It is like a hobby, collecting theories, often very wacky ones, but also having an understanding of the mainstream one, which is important, because then, when some foreigner shows up at Disneyland and infects a bunch of vaccinated people with measles, who then go on to spread the disease elsewhere, you can notice what the current outbreaks look like- specifically, it looks like herd immunity is not conferred upon the populace via vaccine.

And you would leave those poor moms of autistic kids alone. Surely ya'll must know this is marketing by now? Some corporate hack see the measles outbreak and says, "Quick, ramp up the dog and pony show, so that no one will notice vaccines aren't a sustainable strategy!" No, clearly demonizing people is more appropriate.

Well, whatever. I'm online to learn stuff.

But I am also increasingly aware there are an awful lot of people who shouldn't be allowed near any sort of authority, which presents a sort of conundrum to those of us who are freedom minded. Perhaps we have been a bit too principled, and underestimated the need to seek out and take power, if for no other reason than to keep it away from the sort of idiots who play king of the hill.

Friday, February 13, 2015

St. Valentine Fought for Liberty

I have mentioned, occasionally, that St. Valentine did flout the edicts of Rome, and marry young couples. For his troubles St. Valentine got beheaded by the Old Rome, and by the New Rome, had his real story smothered under gobs and gobs of heart shaped crap.

The face of marriage is fast being destroyed, and not by overt affronts to it, like homosexual unions being recognized by marriage.

No, the destruction of the father as an actual parent, who could actually parent, regardless of the whims of his wife or the state.

The destruction of the meaning of marriage, given that a man can no longer expect nor presume consent from a woman who explicitly gave her consent before God, family, friends, community- etc... By current leftist logic even I have been raped, though most feminists like to pretend men always consent. I don't know why. I have seen some of them and know they have been rejected.

The destruction of marriage via courts. There isn't even a decent pretext of what is good for the family- it is mainly about extracting from the wealthier spouse the most money possible, since this is the best way for the lawyers to get paid. Thus the courts tend to favor women regardless of their actions, though I think there have been a few cases of wealthy women finding out the bias in favor of them is not as powerful as the bias in favor of lawyers making money.

To date, as the game plan of lawyers continue to play out- for they are the ones really behind gay 'marriage' (homosexuals tend to be upper middle class, and they have assets, so they are targets), we don't see very many clergy at all making a noise about how maybe we ought to marry people without reference to the state.

If I have to guess, the best of them are about ten years behind me in realizing the state of affairs. I occasionally hear one of them saying something I would have said ten years ago.

Maybe you can out group me and pretend I am extreme, but St. Valentine, not to mention the people who canonized him?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Unforgivable Sin

As a little digression from wondering how badly does a vaccine have to fail for pro-vaccine people to be able to notice it has failed, I have had a thought with relation to my heuristic of God as the perfection. Now, one of the values of this heuristic is that secular neoreactionaries, libertarians, evolutionary fitness types who have figured out hallucinogenics aren't necessarily going to lead them in the right direction...

And then, of course, it could be helpful to actual Christians. Case in point, this unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.

The basic idea is that God is perfection, and the Trinity is God becoming man so that man can become God, or more simply, so that we can achieve perfection.

So, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is against it's inherent purpose- to perfect.

In the biblical case, the Pharisees had just got done saying Jesus healed people via Beelzebub rather than God.

It is important to point out this is a case where the Pharisees actually thought something had happened, and the people thought something had happened, and it wasn't all this wishy washy stuff we see now, where a lot of people claim to be doing something in the 'spirit' and they like to shame you if you start thinking maybe they are full of something else.

No, there was clear evidence in the direction of perfecting, and the Pharisees misattributed it to the devil.

It starts to make more sense, because in some ways, it isn't a 'moral' sin. There are plenty of moral people, whether Christian or not. Additionally, consider the sad state of Christianity. So many people seem content to be under the authority of men who need correction. Rather than a bright line between those who allegedly have the Spirit and those who do not, we see something much murkier.

I think it comes down to those who seek perfection being more in accord with the Spirit than those who do not.

As similar idea, but along a different axis- eternity. Why try for eternity? Why try to extend your life in anyway? I've heard this line of thought before- smoke 'em if you've got them, because we'll just get to heaven a little faster. But even in the erstaz versions of the story, eternal life figures prominently.

Pro-Vaccine People Can't Read Their Own Damn Article

Here's Tom McKay's conclusion on a piece he wrote about measles in Germany:

While the U.S. can and should follow Germany's example in calmly dealing with infectious diseases, the lesson for both countries is the same: Missing vaccinations puts people and their children at unnecessary risk. There's still zero evidence that vaccinations cause autism or any other serious health complications, and Germany's example shows that industrialized countries everywhere remain at risk, even without the presence of those who would seek to exploit fear and paranoia for political ends.

Most anti-vax people are left wingers. Most of the politicians who WERE ASKED- i.e. didn't just bring it up for their own ends- are Republicans.

McKay mentions Senator Rand Paul and Governor Chris Christie in his article. Paul is based out of Kentucky and Christie is governor of New Jersey. Most of the anti-vaxxers are left coast liberals. The nature of American politics make it extremely unlikely that either of these politicians are going to gain anything from making these statements, unless there is some grand behind the scenes play-acting going on where they are getting paid somehow to say lines.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised, because practically every single pro-vaccination thing mentions autism, and politics, and never deals with the issue of whether or not herd immunity via vaccination is a reasonable thing to assume.

In other words, McKay, with a great prima facia case for the measles vaccine not working- not only in America, but in Germany as well- where there isn't much of an anti-vaccine movement- can't walk down the logic tree.

The Robert Koch Institute told German newspaper Deutsche Welle that 375 cases of measles have been confirmed in the past four months. With 254 new cases in January alone, the Washington Post calculates the outbreak in Germany to be 10 times worse than America's, based on relative population size.

Germany has learned from experience. In 2001, a measles epidemic infected about 6,037 people, by the World Health Organization's estimate.

In what sort of milieu did these measles outbreaks appear? A 97% vaccination rate. But that isn't good enough apparently:

This doesn't mean that the Germans are disease-proof. While Germany currently boasts a childhood vaccination of 97%, the Washington Post reports that "one-third of all vaccinated German children either lack a sufficient immunization (which usually requires a second dose), or are vaccinated too late."

How about this? After about two years (it actually varies depending on your personal immune system) you have no more antibodies because getting a shot is not the same as getting the disease. Herd immunity is thus not conferred upon populations that vaccinate.

This is the logical avenue to pursue. Notice what the excuse is in Germany. Germans, who are renown for hard work and punctuality, supposedly aren't keeping up with the schedule. And why does it require a second shot? Well, in reality it requires a second shot to keep some level of antibodies in the child through school. It likely requires a new shot every two years- or more often, depending on your immune system. Now, that might be a way to keep you vaccinated against certain diseases, but a lot of vaccinations are also a way to depress your immune system and cause you to catch a lot of illness you aren't vaccinating against.

Just as you should eat nutrient dense foods that your body can actually use, rather than junk food, you should work to improve your immune system. People can survive off of cheap starches for a while, but keep it up long enough and problems start to appear. Problems are beginning to appear with the much vaunted vaccine regime for the similar reasons.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What The Hell Is Wrong With Europe?

The Euro guys are sending ultimatums to Greece, trying to force new government's hand. Meanwhile they appear set to make a trillion more Euro or something.

Europe also seems to be shooting itself in the foot with regard to Russia. I generally tend to assume it is American meddling that led to that problem, but conflict in Ukraine could easily spill out, into other parts of Europe.

Meanwhile Russia has made a few overtures to Greece. It would be interesting to note whether or not these largely atheist/socialist politicians in Orthodox countries can develop the sort of tacit co-operation with their national churches, at least to the extent Putin has done it. One can't assume much devotion on these people's part, but conceivably, what seems like a willingness to reject feminism and side with the church on certain issues could provide a haven for civilization.

Russia also has stuff, like oil.

Now America has some stuff too. In many ways American foreign policy is dumber than Europe's but, America gets to rest on it's laurels. The dollar is still reserve currency, though it will lose it's pre-emminence fast, since various nations are already attempting to do international deals without it.

So there's all kinds of rumbling, but there is one team really vulnerable on the field, a team that never was a nation- indeed, one of the reasons Europe was such a center for innovation and growth was the long period of decentralization and competition. The Euro was never really a currency either, by which I mean certainly all the world nations' currencies are fiat currencies by now, but most of them at least have a historical link back to something more real.

It appear to me they are setting themselves up at the first victim. Maybe they think Russia is the first victim because of the ruble devaluation, but chances are they will be able to hold out. They've got real assets. They don't necessarily have to rely on international markets, and despite our media's pretense that they are isolated, there are countries making deals with them.

Whatever the play, when you start sounding dumber than the crap coming out of D.C., you start to get my attention.