Monthly Archives: March 2009

Free Will

Some silly mind-game articles were linked on Slashdot today that make the claim that if humans have free will, then subatomic particles have free will as well. Even if I buy the idea that subatomic particles have an element of randomness, so we’re not a purely predicable physical machine — which I don’t actually buy and certainly is not the same thing as “free will” — I still don’t think that this raises any possibility that we have free will — just that we’re unpredictable… Free will is at best an illusion that arises from a massively complex, but still ultimately deterministic, system.

I think on a metaphorical level I agree with the Hindu dualistic notion that matter has no freedom, and that the soul lacks any control over matter, and that enlightenment is comes from understanding that the two worlds never interact… except of course I feel that the “soul” is an illusory construct.


See, this is why my drive has Truecrypt.


Kids Stories Sources

From a conversation Nefarious had with a new friend at the park…

Nefarious: I’m almost six. How old are you?
Georgia: I’m a big girl — I’m four.
Nefarious: When did you turn four?
Georgia: On my birthday!


Anyway, as I said a little while ago, I think people these days are missing out on a lot of literary references because of the lack of religious education, but I figured that also extends to classic Americana like Brer Rabbit stories, so I’ve been searching those out online and printing them and Nefarious and I have been reading more than ever. I wasn’t sure if she was going to be into these old stories, but so far they’ve been a big hit. Another good source for free kids stories online is the Project Gutenberg Children’s Bookshelf, which has lots of classic fairytales, mythology, and more. I’m actually half considering getting an ebook reader because I’ve been doing so much online reading lately.


Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary!

I was reading an article about how the derivatives market bubble is 1.144 quadrillion dollars, or $190,000 per person on the planet. One of the things this seems to say to me is that no bailout can ever work because the number is simply too high — the artificial systems that created these numbers have to be allowed to collapse. I understand that there will be some trickle down damage from cutting the parasitic upper class, the corporatocracy, the bankers, and the financial aristocracy down to size, but it’s far better than allowing them to continue their blood-sucking status quo.

We have an extreme abundance of resources and productivity on the planet — enough for everyone on Earth to live in reasonable luxury. The problem is that the system we have — the system that allows things like a derivatives bubble — exists to pool extreme wealth in small populations. Another way of putting that is that it’s a system designed to create poverty in large populations (since wealth can’t really be created, but only moved around, when you make one group rich, another becomes poor, duh). Which is pretty messed up since, like I just said, we have more than enough to go around.

I don’t really have a lot of sympathy for the people who’ve lost their “life savings” in these false wealth-creation schemes, be they based on the idea that housing values will go up indefinitely, or be they based on the idea that a stock market investment will pay out twenty or thirty percent or more yearly. The idea that wealth is created out of simply having money — the idea that money creates money, rather than work or product creating money — is an idea that serves only the artificial aristocracy that profits from it, and does nothing for society or the average person.

I repeat myself, but it’s just so messed up that in a historical period where we have so much productivity — energy, food, resources, toys, everything — per person, that we can even consider the idea that we have to worry about “recession” or “global depression”. Argh!


Other than that, Nefarious and I went on a giant bike ride (the first of the year), circling High Park — about three and a half kilometers of hilly paths — and then after we got home, went for a long walk into High Park Village to go to the bookstore. I picked up The Book of Three for us to read, but instead of starting that we ended up reading classic ghost and scary stories.

Nonetheless, she does not seem particularly worried about saying “Bloody Mary” into the mirror three times — “It’s just a story, daddy!” I think I’m probably more irrationally scared to do it than she is. In any case, she got so much exercise today that I’m sure she’ll sleep through any nightmares.


Further Police Harassment

One thing I don’t like about driving my big truck is that it’s a heat score — the combination of matte black, big mudding tires, and a winged skull on the door — and has on too many occasions opened me up for police harassment, the sort that makes you start using the word “pig” rather than words more polite.

So I’m driving to pick up Nefarious from a friend’s birthday party and there’s a police car following me. I’m driving politely and they have no reason to pull me over, but because I’ve been unfairly bothered before in this truck, I was nervous. I got to my parking spot, pulled in, and as expected, the police stopped next to me and walked up to my door.


“Can I ask why you’ve pulled me over,” I asked him, and he replied that he wasn’t prepared to tell me yet and he’d explain later, and before anything else he wanted all my paperwork.

I handed him my driver’s license and started to look for my insurance and ownership in my very very messy truck. I again asked him why I’d been pulled over and again he told me he wasn’t going to tell me yet. I found my paperwork just as he was starting to write me a ticket for not having it, and finally he was willing to tell me why I’d been pulled over.

“Your license plate was unreadable.”

“Well, it might be a little dirty from the street, but it’s completely readable,” I said.

He claimed to disagree, and said, “we couldn’t read it.”

I was pretty obviously annoyed with him and said, “I really feel like I’m being harassed — are you really willing to stand up in court and say this license plate can’t be read?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Alright, well I’m taking a picture of it then, because this is completely nuts.” — Here is the picture that I took during this conversation (this is the literal photo off my camera with no adjustment — in reality it’s even more legible than this):


I asked a couple pedestrians if they could read my license plate from a distance and they all could, which seemed to really piss the cop off (he shouted a threat out his window asking me if I wanted him to find more things to ticket me with) — I was a little unsure if he was going to try and figure out some excuse to actually arrest me, but in the end I was left with just a ticket off a complete BS pull-over…

Fuck the police.