A little lighthearted fun

Fun to think about. if and probably nothing else. A posting by Koanic (yes, he’s entirely nuts, but it’s the right kind of nuts):

If no society exists of which you’d like to be a member, invent one. Your soul will thank you.

God: Jesus Christ
Emperor, Historian, Keeper of Names: Moldbug
Inquisitor: Jim
General, Economist, Theologian: Vox Day
Scientist: Tex Arcane
Medic: Koanic

Sociologists: La Griffe Du Lion, Charles Murray
Philosopher: Kant

Career Counselor: Ramit Sethi
Minister of Education: Tim Ferriss
Internet Marketer: Glenn Alsopp
Politician: Ron Paul
Capitalist: Mark Cuban
Spy Chiefs: The Mittani, Loki of Asgard

Novelist: Tolkein
Artist: Luis Royo
Photographer: One Man’s Style
Vagabonds: Cedonulli, Naughty Nomad
Jesters: Delicious Tacos, Tucker Max
Bureaucrat: Foseti

Aristocracy: Roissy, Tyler, G Manifesto, Roosh, WSP, Krauser
Soldiers: Bane, Fedor, Buakaw

Citizenry – must possess two or more of the following:
Widespace, deepsock, bigeye, occipital, melon back, ?longface/thallowerface?

Currency: Gold, Bitcoin
Forum: Internet

Road to power: Cao Cao, Sima Yi, Jewry.

Write yours. Then live it.

Koanic
Society

God: Jesus Christ
King: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho
Historian: Dunno
Keeper of Names: Moldbug
Inquisitor: Jim (lol)
General: Vox Day (wargame designer in peacetime)
Theologian: C.S. Lewis, Aquinas, Solomon
Pastor: Greg Boyd
Apostle: Paul, naturally 🙂
Economist: Mises
Scientist: Tex Arcane
Medic: Koanic

Sociologists: Charles Murray
Philosophers: Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Aquinas

Career Counselor: Dunno
Minister of Education: John Taylor Gatto and Amy Chua, married (nice sitcom idea…)
Internet Marketer: Dunno
Politician: Ron Paul
Capitalist/Entrepreneur: Dunno
Spy Chiefs: Loki of Asgard

Novelist: Tolkein, Homer, Shakespeare
Artist: Escher
Photographer: Dunno
Vagabonds: Cedonulli, Naughty Nomad
Jesters: Tucker Max, Allie Brosh
Bureaucrat: Steve Sailer

Aristocracy: Roissy, Sailer, Vox Day, Ferdinand Berdamu, Athol Kay, Dr. Helen
Soldiers: Kai the ax-weilding hobo!

Citizenry – Icelanders, modern and legendary.

Currency: Gold, barter
Forum: Internet

Road to power: That’s a tricky one. I’m tempted to pick a bunch of ruthless communists like Alinsky.

UPDATE: I just realized that I don’t even fit into my own society. But I know exactly which job I want: Linguist and grammarian! Perhaps I could be a sort of…fighting grammarian.

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Beginner programming projects

This thread is a good place to start:

“Whoever said ‘everyone has to start somewhere’ has clearly never tried contributing to an open source project — the Linux Kernel development team in particular is known for its savagery. But if you’re determined to donate your time and talents, there are some things you can do to get off on the right foot. Of course you should pick something you’re interested in and that you use. Check, and double check. You should also research the project, learn about the process for contributing, and do your utmost to avoid asking questions that you can find the answers to. But beyond that there are some hallmarks of beginner-friendly open source projects like Drupal, Python, and LibreOffice — namely, a friendly and active community, training and mentorship programs, and a low barrier to entry.”

Slashdot summary by itwbennett
http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/05/20/1131222/open-source-projects-for-beginners”>Open Source Projects For Beginners

Particularly, a lot of projects need documentation, and some neckbeard programmers aren’t assholes. Read the thread for more on that. But documentation is a great place to start, because a lot of older programmers recommend reading code as well as writing it, and low-level documentation can only be effected by people who can read code. Plus, it’s hard to write about code you’ve written, because you already understand it.

And I wouldn’t be a proper cynic if I didn’t mention that open source looks great on a resume because employers love people who show a tendency to work for free.

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Centralization uber alles

Bet you any money this was a planned power grab. The judgment, if any, will be a slap on the wrist. Some paltry number of millions that will come out to mere cents per medical record. The cost was probably discussed openly as part of the plan.

“A healthcare provider has sued the Internal Revenue Service and 15 of its agents, charging they wrongfully seized 60 million medical records from 10 million Americans … [The unnamed company alleges] the agency violated the Fourth Amendment in 2011, when agents executed a search warrant for financial data on one employee – and that led to the seizure of information on 10 million, including state judges. The search warrant did not specify that the IRS could take medical information, UPI said. And information technology officials warned the IRS about the potential to violate medical privacy laws before agents executed the warrant, the complaint said.”

Slashdot summary by cold fjord
Medical Firm Sues IRS For 4th Amendment Violation In Records Seizure

Further evidence that every knee will bow:

This is all part of the Gramscian march, which should be dinner conversation by now among literate people. Notice that if private sector jobs and private debt were not being replaced wholesale with government jobs and government spending, we would be in a deeper recession than the Great Depression. There is also a shift in the private sector among the career-building middle class to highly regulated jobs in large companies, or “almost government jobs” as I like to call them. As I’ve explained before, large corporations are almost indistinguishable from political states within a larger nation. (In behavior patterns, they are entirely indistinguishable.)

As a conspiracy theorist, I’d say that the purpose of this is to create a small, strong government that is more easily displaced:

Now I say that those dominions which, when acquired, are added to an ancient state by him who acquires them, are either of the same country and language, or they are not. When they are, it is easier to hold them, especially when they have not been accustomed to self-government; and to hold them securely it is enough to have destroyed the family of the prince who was ruling them; because the two peoples, preserving in other things the old conditions, and not being unlike in customs, will live quietly together, as one has seen in Brittany, Burgundy, Gascony, and Normandy, which have been bound to France for so long a time: and, although there may be some difference in language, nevertheless the customs are alike, and the people will easily be able to get on amongst themselves. He who has annexed them, if he wishes to hold them, has only to bear in mind two considerations: the one, that the family of their former lord is extinguished; the other, that neither their laws nor their taxes are altered, so that in a very short time they will become entirely one body with the old principality.

Niccolo Machiavelli
Chapter II, The Prince

If you’re not a conspiracy theorist yet (and what kind of thinking person is not?), I can’t even begin to describe your reading assignments.

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Game theory of the internet

(H/T Bruce Schneier, as usual.)

Executive Summary: This report presents a systematic way of thinking about cyberpower and its use by a variety of global players. The urgency of addressing cyberpower in this way is a consequence of the very high value of the Internet and the hazards of its current militarization.

Cyberpower and cyber security are conceptualized as a ’Global Game’ with a novel ’Cyber Gameboard’ consisting of a nine-cell grid. The horizontal direction on the grid is divided into three columns representing aspects of information (i.e. cyber): connection, computation and cognition. The vertical direction on the grid is divided into three rows representing types of power: coercion, co-option, and cooperation. The nine cells of the grid represent all the possible combinations of power and information, that is, forms of cyberpower.

The Cyber Gameboard itself is also an abstract representation of the surface of cyberspace, or C-space as defined in this report. C-space is understood as a networked medium capable of conveying various combinations of power and information to produce effects in physical or ’flow space,’ referred to as F-space in this report. Game play is understood as the projection via C-space of a cyberpower capability existing in any one cell of the gameboard to produce an effect in F-space vis-a-vis another player in any other cell of the gameboard. By default, the Cyber Game is played either actively or passively by all those using network connected computers. The players include states, businesses, NGOs, individuals, non-state political groups, and organized crime, among others. Each player is seen as having a certain level of cyberpower when its capability in each cell is summed across the whole board. In general states have the most cyberpower.

The possible future path of the game is depicted by two scenarios, N-topia and N-crash. These are the stakes for which the Cyber Game is played. N-topia represents the upside potential of the game, in which the full value of a globally connected knowledge society is realized. N-crash represents the downside potential, in which militarization and fragmentation of the Internet cause its value to be substantially destroyed. Which scenario eventuates will be determined largely by the overall pattern of play of the Cyber Game. [Ed: emphasis added]

States have a high level of responsibility for determining the outcome. The current pattern of play is beginning to resemble traditional state-on-state geopolitical conflict. This puts the civil Internet at risk, and civilian cyber players are already getting caught in the crossfire. As long as the civil Internet remains undefended and easily permeable to cyber attack it will be hard to achieve the N-topia scenario.

Defending the civil Internet in depth, and hardening it by re-architecting will allow its full social and economic value to be realized but will restrict the potential for espionage and surveillance by states. This trade-off is net positive and in accordance with the espoused values of Western-style democracies. It does however call for leadership based on enlightened self-interest by state players.

UK Defence Academy
“The Global Cyber Game”

That little voice is telling me that this is an extremely important little idea (127 pages), with important applications.

Now, anyone who’s lived a day on this planet can tell you which of the two scenarios will play out. Or maybe this will be the first time in human history that everybody picks the altruistic quadrant in the prisoner’s dilemma (lol). Lol particularly because of the players specified for the game: “states, businesses, NGOs, individuals, non-state political groups, and organized crime, among others”. Tellingly, the group for which I have the highest hope (or at least the non-negligible hope) is organized cybercrime syndicates.

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Apparently Asians do a lot of meth

Crack too. A great post by the Audacious Epigone (but with a lot of statistical caveats):

Crack is a black drug and meth is a white trash drug. Powdered cocaine and heroin are a little, uh, classier, acid is for the college-aged children of the middle class and the affluent who are on existential missions to find themselves, and weed is something people from all walks of life have used sometime in their adolescent and early adult years.

Audacious Epigone
Stabbing through the shroud at welfare and drug usage

I’ve never tried weed, but I’m entirely open to it. I’m just not very street smart. Anyway, in the comments:

Well I know my world not at all…

The most Asian state of course is, far and away, Hawaii. The next most Asian state is probably California.

Lo and behold:
http://www.safetynewsalert.com/top-9-states-for-methamphetamine-use/

Hawaii blows away all other states in meth use.

Dan

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Principle: Sometimes less security is more secure

I’m not a security expert by any means, but this is still an important generalization. Schneier has probably explained it in the past.

All of the anti-counterfeiting features of the new Canadian $100 bill are resulting in people not bothering to verify them.

Bruce Schneier
Security Risks of Too Much Security

The domain of this observation ought to be clear to anyone who gives it a moment’s thought. If security resources are scarce (like the attention spans of the employees implementing these procedures), then they must be spent wisely to achieve a positive ROI. If resources aren’t scarce (like overabundant storage or computation horsepower), this principle does not necessarily apply.

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They just can’t hack it

“We’ve had bad experiences with single women,” said the chairman of the Fiekendorf allotment club, named only as Hans-Dieter H. “They can’t do this, they can’t do that. It never works out. I’m sorry. It only causes us trouble.”

Speaking to Wednesday’s edition of the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper, he explained that the club’s communal work – like hedge-cutting – was especially beyond a woman’s power, adding that there was already one single woman in the club and she was annoying. [Ed: lol!]

I find it interesting that many women who have no problem with understanding the concept that young men should pay higher insurance premiums because they statistically tend to drive faster and crash their cars more often are so easily outraged by the same concept being applied to women.

“But I’m not the one who didn’t do X!” they protest. Which is true. And yet, there isn’t a single young man who has just received his driver’s license that has racked up six speeding tickets in a year or overturned his car while driving 75 in a 35 zone. His treatment is based on the expectation of his future actions on the basis of the knowledge of other young men’s actions.

Vox Day – Alpha Game
Gardening and the single woman

Another takeaway is that this accusation broadly applies to communal work, which suggests that single women simply aren’t civilized enough for basic give-and-take, tit-for-tat relationships. This observation offends equalists, who do not understand that men and women are different because they are complementary.

Count that as another point for the internet superintelligence, who has been claiming for years that the purpose of marriage is to civilize women and domesticate men.

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The now and future aristocrats

It’s interesting to consider from what that aristocracy might develop, as the areas of corporate and military power appear to be the two aspects of society that are increasingly immune to government regulation.

Vox Day
US military unilaterally overturns Posse Comitatus.

It’s interesting that Vox considers this undecided. From brief observation, it would seem that financial and corporate heavyweights are already de facto aristocrats acting without regard for the written law. It cannot be reasonably argued that this is similarly true for military generals, either in scope or in kind. Instead, high-level generals are routinely deposed quickly and easily.

Now, it can be shown that the military regularly acts outside of the law. But it seems more likely that it does so at the behest of the lawless elites. This would also account for the common observation that military officers are, by and large, Beta schmucks (though lightly salted with Alphas). On the other hand, the lawless elites are typically quite Alpha and/or ALPHA.

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Philosophers of Edenism: Tex

Because this theory is in its very early stages and draws upon a broad array of conspiracy theories and mainstream science, it’s hard to credit a single genius or madman for the creation of this alternative anthropology. But if any one man is to blame for reconciling these eclectic sources into a coherent framework, it’s Tex. Texas Arcanum is the pseudonym and eponymous blog of Cleveland Blakemore, an American expatriate living in Australia. He claims to have an IQ in the area of 180, which may be true or not be true but is verifiable according to US Army records. The verifiable credibility of Tex’s claims is a matter of considerable importance for edenists who lack similar capabilities, and so I’ll return to the topic presently.

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Introduction to Edenism

This is a very large topic and I can’t hope to do it justice. So I won’t hope, I’ll just jump right in.

Edenism is a conspiracy theory which claims that the majority consensus in modern anthropology is wrong. It belies the “Out of Africa” theory that all homo sapiens are descended from a single common ancestor, claiming instead that men are descended from two, three, or more ancestors. Most edenists believe that academics’ stubborn adherence to dogma is due to large-scale deception by political and financial elites rather than mere incompetence.

Edenists unanimously agree that homo neanderthalensis, now extinct, contributed to the modern human genome. Mainstream anthropologists believe this as well, but they believe that neanderthals were originally a subspecies of homo sapiens. Many also believe that a mysterious race of “melonheads” interbred with early humans. These red-headed giants feature prominently in esoteric histories, but little is known about them. I believe Tex coined the term to reflect the cone-shaped skulls found in the ruins and legends of many cultures worldwide.

A notable application of edenist theory is phrenology (and physiognomy). It should not be confused with the phrenology of the early 20th century. Because skull and facial bone structure develops according to genetic instructions that correlate strongly with the genes that influence personality and intelligence, a person’s skull shape and facial features can be used to predict these qualities with reasonable (and useful) expectation of success. The predictive power of this method is strongest when it’s applied to statistical outliers who exhibit the visible phenotypes most strongly. Of particular interest is the shape and size of the brain case because, all else being equal, more brain mass means higher IQ.

More summary articles to come…

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Log

Today was a church and family day, and a gorging day on top of that (the day on which you eat indiscriminately so your body doesn’t start storing extra calories as fat).

Body

Exercise – None.

Water – 10 oz.

Drugs – 4 cups of coffee, a beer, and a cigar.

Food – Brekkers: 2 pop-tarts. Lunch: 3 waffles, 4 strips of bacon. Dinner: Awesome shish-ka-bobs, wild rice, and garlic bread. Other: 5 more pop-tarts (hmm), some pop corn, half of another shish-ka-bob before bed.I’ll double-count the beer here because it had a significant number of calories.

Soul

Prayer – None.

Bible study – None.

Fasting – None.

Meditation – None.

Memorization – None.

Worship – None.

Serving – Operated the lightboard at church (a job I don’t enjoy). I did well, and that worked up my ego a bit. Ironically, I was nervous beforehand because I felt inadequate. Nice reversal, brain X-P. Afterward, I finished cleaning up early and helped my dad and the musicians with their cleanup jobs.

Stewardship – None.

Silence and Solitude – Couple of hours.

Journaling – This and similar.

Learning -None.

Mind

CompTIA – None.

Math – None.

Other – Read my blogs and feeds. Finally finished a song I started writing for my mom back in January. (Probably post it tomorrow.) Fixed a couple of things in Generic Metalcore Opus 5, but didn’t make serious progress. Wrote some blog stuff. Finished learning “Carrion” by Parkway Drive. (Sweet song.)

Social/financial

Social – Got some points at church, and managed to socialize in a large family setting a little bit. But I always lose points with them, so I have to limit exposure. They have mixed feelings about me, mostly shame (which will go away if I move out in the next couple of months). Better if I mostly stay out of sight, out of mind, and limit most social time to one-on-one interactions.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. I held mostly ordinary conversation, I think. Stayed mostly quiet. Thinking back, I should have worked harder to reign in the weirdo body language. Body language counts for more when you talk less.

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Updates

These are all (nearly) verbatim copies of e-mails I sent to various people to whom I owe accountability in various aspects of my life.

This is a new thing I’m trying. Maybe you should try it too.

Body

Exercise – My only exercise for the day was the bike ride to and from work (20 minutes, combined). Decent toning exercise for the lower quad and butt, bare bones cardio. Could be worse.

Water – Not enough. Maybe 20 oz.

Drugs – 4 cups of coffee, and about 8 oz. tequila (so far).

Food

Brekkers: 20 baby carrots, Orange

Lunch: Southern-style chicken sandwich, Parfait, McDouble

Dinner: Two wonderfully meaty pulled ham sandwiches.

Other: 4 strawberry pop-tarts (yikes, didn’t realize this until now)

Soul

Prayer – Prayed a couple of times this week.

Bible study – Similarly read a couple of times, very concentrated, covered 25 chapters of Genesis. Took a couple of notes. Genesis 14 is super weird.

Fasting – None.

Meditation – None.

Memorization – None.

Worship – Actually engaged in worship at church for the first time in ages. A little distracted by a cute teenager who was giving me eyes.

Serving – None.

Stewardship – None.

Silence and Solitude – I get more of this than anyone I know. It’s fabulous. Probably ten hours this week, minimum.

Journaling – None.

Learning – Always. But not much Christian stuff lately. I’ll have to put some Boyd in the hopper.

Mind

CompTIA A+ Certification

I really had to cut back on my study schedule because I’ve been putting up drywall with Dad on my days off. But I’m still ahead of my original plan.

So far, I’ve finished 20 chapters of 32 and averaged about 8.5/10 on the end-of-chapter quizzes. The study time per chapter has varied from 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours, with 1 1/2 hours being typical. The book is 1,500 pages, so that means I’ve covered ~900 pages in a little less than five weeks, and ~30 hours of study time.

3 minutes per page is a little pessimistic. I average about 2 minutes per page, but occasionally nature calls and so forth.

Math

Slow going. I read sections 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4, but I only did three problems today. Still, I’ve managed about 300 exercises since I posted my original plan.

Other

Started Summa Theologica, but I’ve barely read enough to mention it. Read chapter 18 of The Bell Curve today. I should really update my reading list for the year before I forget them all.

Social and Financial

Change of jobs, gotta make a first impression. The new place is very corporate, very feminine, very emasculating. This works in my favor, because I can a high return in status for a small amount of Game and effort. And despite the fact that it requires a lot of effort for me, I’ve put on a decent show. At least one, maybe two girls are crushing on me, most of the guys think I’m cool, and I’m fitting in to the culture. If I stick with this job, I’m going to exchange this effort for a manager’s shirt this time, in spite of the fact that it’s a bad deal, financially.

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Comment guidelines (Reasonable Anonymity)

If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.

Cardinal Richelieu

Free speech is dead. If ever this you doubted this, watch the witchunts against Watson, Derbyshire, Richwine, and countless other academics and pundits and listen to the last nails get hammered into the coffin of the first amendment. This is the new West, and we need to deal with reality as it is, not as it should be.

The purpose of writing under a pseudonym and speaking in generalizations is to allow me to write freely without fear of reprisal. In the modern world, that can mean an employer Googles my name, sees my blog, and decides that I’m a racist, sexist, reactionary bigot. (Racist, sexist, reactionary bigots need jorbs too, ya know.) But I want to speak openly about some really nasty stuff, like psychopathy, conspiracy, and the very real possibility of a racial civil war within two decades in which tens of millions will die gruesome deaths,

I don’t want to make it easy for the DHS database algorithms to automatically flag my name and put me on the various watch lists. We know they’re watching. They don’t even bother to pretend otherwise anymore, and every digital communication is stored and relentlessly scanned by cunning software. But I’m small potatoes, and I just want to make it too expensive for the thought police to bother with me, personally. If every dissident writer required just 30 minutes of attention from a human analyst, they couldn’t furnish the manpower.

The way of freedom of speech in the future is what I call Reasonable Anonymity. In a corporate environment where an easily offended busybody can get you canned because you committed thoughtcrime on the freaking internet (like observing that homosexuals tend to be depraved people and shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children), anonymity is absolutely essential. But nobody can be truly anonymous. If the NSA decided to spend all its brainpower and $3.6 billion budget to find YOU and ONLY YOU, they would. Spoofing a MAC address will not save you.

That’s why it’s just “Reasonable” Anonymity. Reasonably speaking, you’re mostly anonymous if the Google ad guys can’t figure out who you are in five seconds. Remember, the FBI/DHS/CIA/NSA/et al. have been downloading this information en masse, without warrants, for more than a decade. So it’s a trade-off: you want a lot of anonymity without putting in a lot of effort. That’s where disinformation comes in.

dis·in·for·ma·tion: false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth

Merriam-Webster

False trails. Noise that obscures the signal. It’s hard to find the needle in the haystack if someone is constantly throwing more hay over it and shuffling it around.

Say it with me: “Disinformation is the way of reasonable anonymity is the free speech of the future.”

This can be accomplished rather easily by creating a couple of false trails that seem legitimate (a Google spider might think Viktor Isaksen is a plausible name for a real person who blogs as Aeoli Pera), and avoiding first-order links between your real identity and your pseudonym. A first-order link is a piece of information that, by itself, almost certainly identifies a person. A personal e-mail address, for instance. A birthday and zip code, together, constituted a first-order link.

Comment guidelines

0. It’s my way or the highway. These are merely guidelines.
1. No real names, personal e-mail addresses, or personally identifying information. Pick a pseudonym.
(If you don’t have a secondary e-mail address, just use mine: aeoli.pera@gmail.com)
1a. Avoid links to websites or blogs that are attached to facebook or personal e-mail addresses. Use your judgment, if any.
2. No anonymous comments. This is a spam issue.
3. That said, no spam. If your first-ever comment has a link to another site, I will delete it.

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Simplest personality questionnaire I’ve seen

Good grief, you wouldn’t even need my guide for lying on personality questionnaires. Might as well be a IQ test to discriminate against the retards who actually need this kind of work.

I believe in getting even with people.

True
False

*Company rules regarding sexual harassment are necessary.

True
False

*An honest person can get talked into stealing by someone who is dishonest, if the price is right.

True
False

*Employees would not steal if employers would pay a fair wage.

True
False

In corporate America, it’s all about downward pressure.

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Testimony and biography, part 1

I have to write this out for a job application. So…why not? (This is the unabridged version. I’ll be cutting a lot of this to keep it within the 1-page limit on the application.)


The testimonies of modern young adults often begin with cookie-cutter evangelical childhoods, followed by “college”. In this format, “college” can take several forms, but most often it alludes to depravity, sin, and eventually godlessness. Some of these adults rediscover their faith in adulthood, many do not. My testimony is somewhat strange because I am a strange person, but it is approximately one of this sort.

(“College” can also mean a time of trial and tribulation for those few who perservered in their faiths. We do not celebrate these exemplary successes as earnestly as I think we ought to. Though I am a reasonably bright fellow, I couldn’t hope to design a better evangelical institution for Satan than a modern university.)

I was raised by nondenominational parents who were, in turn, raised in the Catholic church and “saved” in their early twenties, converting to protestantism just after college. They had six kids whom they homeschooled each through middle school, and of whom I was the second. As parents, they were as near to perfect as anyone could be in this lifetime. They taught us about the Bible (perhaps more importantly, I credit my dad for my love of scripture), taught us about grace, took us to church, and tried very hard to live as examples of Christian humility and righteousness.

I asked for Christ’s saving grace when I was eleven at a boys’ summer camp. That would have been…1999.

From that point on, I took my faith seriously and tried to act responsibly. The early Christian life is fraught with overcorrections and often downright comical (particularly so when combined with puberty), but my heart was in the right place. A short while later, I entered public school.

From my two high schools, I can vouch for the usual experience of homeschooled Christians. Ordinary teenagers were dull, boorish, and conformed relentlessly to their pagan popular culture. Conversely, they described me as smart, nice, quiet, and odd. I had some acquaintances, but formed no real friendships outside of my church and never cared to. As a competent athlete, neither was I scorned or bullied. Midway, I transferred to an experimental hybrid of high school and community college and graduated with my diploma and an associate’s degree in technical writing.

During this time I discovered C.S. Lewis, thereafter the joy of thinking clearly, and the book of Proverbs. I began praying persistently for wisdom, like Solomon had. I also had my first eight-month bout with depression, when I was seventeen. Though a depressed, unambitious, unserious student, I only failed a few classes and managed to graduate with a cumulative B+ GPA and no plans for the future. In modern America, this means you go to college. And to go to college in modern America, you need someone else’s money. My mom was understandably in favor of this, although my dad was unconvinced. He always had good instincts.

Certainly, I should have begun praying for wisdom much sooner because this is when I started making some disastrous decisions.

A physics teacher offhandedly suggested that I should consider ROTC, particularly for the Air Force. They offered scholarships for college and would guarantee me a good job afterward. That sounds pretty good to a conservative young man with no career plans. So that you understand how disinterestedly and haphazardly I made these decisions, I only barely applied, at the last minute, to the only eligible university that was still taking applications. Similarly, having decided that only philosophy or physics would hold my fleeting interest, I only decided to major in engineering physics because my parents understandably forbade the former.

But at the time, I couldn’t have told you what the word “engineering” meant. And it was nothing but a placeholder degree; the Air Force doesn’t care what its officers study and I had no interest in pursuing engineering as a career. Understand, regardless of its usefulness, that the engineering undergraduate experience is a joyless, miserable grind from start to finish. This is true even for the most balanced, intelligent, hardworking students. Despite employer complaints to the contrary, the accelerating rates of dropout and suicide among engineering students shows that it is now far more miserable than ever before.

I briefly held on to my sanity in the face of overwhelming odds. I was commuting two hours per day, participating heavily in ROTC, working multiple jobs, sleeping very little, eating mostly starch on a shoestring budget…look, a lot of successful adults will happily tell you horror stories like this about their undergraduate years. It’s probably bullshit. (Like the fish they caught that one time.) The human body and mind simply cannot sustain this kind of lifestyle. To function at a high level, we need sleep. We need vitamins and minerals. Most importantly, we need God. But I’ll come back to that.

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How intolerant!

Quite intolerant. Oh wait, that’s an interjection.

H/T John C. Wright.

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Considerations for health updates

A madness that readers of this blog likely share is the compulsion to record everything. Numbers from the gym, a spreadsheet of assets, a diet tracker, a to-do list…I want them all. But I’m also very bad at organizing my life. I’m a little strange this way…

See, back during the Bad Times, one of my ROTC instructors tasked us with one of those “illuminatory” tasks to show us how much time we waste in a day. We were to make a twice-hourly report of how we spent our time. No doubt we would see our wasteful, capitalist decadence and cry “See how much more I can do for my country?” The success of this exercise was assured, as we were all well-adjusted adults. (Oh, wait…)

So when the instructor asked her room full of overqualified-idiot-children-in-training whether anyone had found extra time to devote to the Motherland, the immediate, nigh-unanimous show of hands indicated that everyone was on board. Perhaps a hand or two remained discreetly in the bearer’s lap, which is the strongest form of dissent that is proper in our modern military.

Unless you are naive, clueless, and ingenopathic.

When she dismissively asked my class if anyone could report results to the contrary, my hand stood alone. Thinking back, this happened quite a lot, particularly after someone had said “Any questions?” and even more particularly followed by me saying “Wouldn’t it be better/easier/more efficient if…?”. A bit less particularly, I remember groans and heads shaking. (In retrospect this feels good- I think many of them genuinely cared about me.) A pattern-forming sort of person like me really should have caught on in the space of four years, but I’ve never been…ah…strictly “present” all of the time.

If I may strike off on a tangent from this tangent, this proclivity of mine must have become rather predictable. The CEO of Xe (formerly Blackwater) once gave a speech and did Q&A at our detachment. As is my wont, a Q&A seemed like a perfect sort of time for asking questions. When my hand went up, my fellow cadets made sure to vet my question patiently before the microphone reached my hand. (Understand, this event included fancy clothes, fanfare, an awfully large audience, and a non-negligible chance of high embarrassment.) I asked something to this effect:

“You mentioned that a small, well-trained, experienced force like Blackwater is best-suited for the sort of fourth-generation warfare we’re seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq. So what is a force like the traditional military best suited for?”

Innocent enough, but I don’t remember him being entirely forthright with his opinion.

Anyway, back to the ROTC classroom, where my raised hand is contradicting a demonstration by a very senior officer. I dutifully reported that I had not found extra time in my day, but had in fact lost precious time by keeping the records. This was true, naturally, because this was during the Bad Times. Though I can’t remember perfectly, I probably would have explained that if I had any extra time in a day, I would have spent it sleeping. Time was at a premium then, and always occupied my overextended executive functions.

Normal people will not believe this because balanced, well-adjusted adults have a natural tendency to relax, even if only occasionally. I did not have this tendency, and it may be that I never will. This can stress my relationships with ordinary people, as so many of my tendencies seem to do. My parents, for instance, are under the (perhaps) heuristically defensible impression that video games are my primary pasttime. Indeed, I receive many lectures to the effect that I need to spend less time playing video games and more time improving my standing in life. Now, I usually remind them that I do not, in fact, play video games much at all, and never more than two hours in a given month (and this, clearly, because I enjoy the feeling of being ignored).

Time to close this tangent off. So…engage CSS class segue. Whoosh!

Here at Aeoli Pera, we don’t skimp on the special effects.

Anyway, the basic problem is that I can’t record everything I want to, and that makes me a sad, captive, infertile panda bear. So I have to decide what’s important, and keep tabs on those, and just live with the reality that comprehensive documentation and multiple regression are just not the most efficient way to organize my life, determine which habits are most beneficial, and tell me where I could have possibly put my keys (oh yes, I recorded in my spreadsheet that I left them in location “B1″…and I’d know what that meant if I could find my codebook which is also in location B1…).

800 unrelated words later, I’ve come to my conclusion, which is that most of all I want to keep track of my health, my mental health, my intellectual and creative adventures, and my spiritual disciplines (and least until I have a relationship with Christ that goes beyond the basic blog post: “Been awhile, ain’t it?”). My plan, in spite of my philosophy to keep things as holistic as possible, is to split the boring stuff and the flashy stuff. The boring stuff will go on Viktor Isaksen, and the flashy stuff will go on Aeoli Pera.

This method will reinforce my basic digital disinformation campaign (about which I will possibly blog another time), which is to convince lazy fact checkers that the online persona Aeoli Pera belongs to a fictitious person named Viktor.

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The most stressful event of my natural-born life

I was driving around to a couple of errands, when I felt a little tickle in my hair. Quick or highly paranoid readers can probably already guess what comes next.

This sensation has always caused me alarm, being the arachnoparanoid type, but it has always been harmless before. A slight readjustment of my sanguine coif. Not this time. No, this time a small figure was rapelling from my ear to my shoulder on a ghastly strand.

Yes, a spider. An avenger, perhaps, for all his kin whom I’d sent to the spider underworld, AKA the public wastewater treatment plant. He was a fearsome foe, measuring several millimetersinches across. Here’s an artist’s depiction of the escaped villain:

I’m pleased to report that I acquitted myself manfully in an impossible situation, and did not once squeal like a little girl as some eyewitnesses have shamefully prevaricated. Having reminded myself that I am an adult, particularly one who was, presently, operating a 2,500 lb motor vehicle at 55 mph, I ceased and desisted the assault and battery of my assailant and returned my attention to the road (which was now some distance to my left).

It was at this time that I considered pulling on to the shoulder careening into the nearby coal mine and destroying us both in a terrific fireball. I was sure that my half tank of gas cargo of black market, white phosphorus explosives would prove sufficient to spark a line of natural gas, perhaps killing a few bystanders and setting back the local economy, but indubitably saving thousands of future victims from grisly murder.

I knew I could end this predator’s spree of crime. I could be his last victim. All men die eventually, but too few die with honor…

Anyway, the rest is kinda boring and I guess it all worked out and I finished my errands and everything.

The spider drawing belongs to Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half infamy. Incidentally, while grabbing the pic I learned that she’s updated that wonderful blog this morning for the first time in years, with one of the longest, funniest posts I’ve ever seen. Check it out.

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Random encoding idea

This is one of those ideas that someone else has probably thought up, designed, and implemented. Oh well.

It occurred to me today that because the real number line is infinitely divisible, every possible string of digits can be represented by pointing at a single spot on some segment of this number line. The only limitation on the number of digits we can represent is the precision of our “pointing” device. If I have a sharp pencil, I can make a more precise mark at 0.325, but with a dull pencil it might be hard to determine whether my mark was supposed to mean 0.330 or 0.325.

And if we can represent digits, then with predetermined codes and protocols we can represent any type of digital information. In binary, 0.325 is 0.011. That could be interpreted as an opcode, an ASCII character, anything you want. With a really sharp pencil, you could point at 0.2957198301284949204, translate it to binary…

0.0100101110110100010010110111011100101110001110010100000110
011000101001100111010100110011011111101000100000010001101101
110110110001111111101010010100111111001110111001000001111100
111011101001001010011010010001110110101111111001000000100001
101100010011000010111100100001100100000001110100101111111001
011100000010101010011000110101000000000100001001111101110111
101011111000000101101001111110111001000110110100101001001001
100011011100100010111101000110010101011011000110111000001000
001110110100101101011010111110000111010011111001101110011000
111110001011110101011001000010110110000011111010010001111110
011100011110011001111000101111110100010111011100111011011110
010000101000101100011110101110101010111101000000111100010110
000001110100111011101000000000100110001011101000011101101101
100010010101101000111001000000110110111000011100010110111111
010110100011010000010010000111110001110101100000011111010110
100101011000001011111110100011001110000011000011100110111111
011110000100001100010101001101110000010001110110010101100001
0001

…and voila, you have a BIN file or maybe a small computer program. More likely, you could encode a file that you already wrote onto a single, precise mark.

By hand, I wonder how much information you could write on a single piece of paper using a well-designed code.

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Generic Metalcore Opus 1

Kinda finished, like the rest.

You might have noticed that the recording method is somewhat improved. I’ll be redoing the other songs. Also, I’ve learned all of the first guitar part for opus 2, and some of the second guitar part.

It’s really too bad that I’m percussion-challenged. The Last of the Neanderthals is a drummer, but he’s highly attention-challenged. I mean, I gots the ADHD and all that, but my problem is hyperfocus and internal overstimulation, whereas his problem is closer to hyperactive understimulation.

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