Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 19 - Citizens Pledge

Unique Pledges To Date: 1
List available upon request.

Pledge Introduction:
     I'm writing this pledge for one simple reason: to reaffirm power to the citizens.  It is a very simple concept, we, as voting citizens, sign this pledge.  The pledge will state that we, as voting citizens, will not vote for any politician in a federal position (and perhaps eventually on the state level) that does not sign this pledge or that signs and breaks the bindings of the pledge. 
     As for the politicians, this pledge is very simple.  They are signing to pledge to do 3 things:
       1) Not sign any other pledges endorsed by the Citizens Pledge
       2) Always place country before party
       3) Release financial donor information upon request


I, _________________________________,  sign this pledge acknowledging that I will not vote or support any candidate or politician that does not sign this pledge with me.  By signing this pledge I believe that the commen good of the country and its citizens should be the only focus of an elected official.  I sign this pledge understanding that my name will be available for public view in relation to this pledge and the following sections:

Section 1 identifies this pledge, the Citizen's Pledge, to be the only pledge I will commit to as a citizen in public office or seeking a public office position.  I understand that this pledge, the Citzen's Pledge, is my commitment to those that have and will support me in a public office role.

Section 2 identifies that no party takes precedence over the needs of the country and its citizens.  This does not prevent Citizen from creating and supporting legislation that backs their political views.  This section is intended to prevent purposeful and willful misconduct against their country that is is legally and/or ethically wrong.

Section 3 identifies that as a citizen in or running for a public office any donated funds for that purpose will be disclosed, willingly, upon the request of any citizen of the country.  I understand that I am not legally obligated to this, but willingly do this for the benefit of transparency and honesty.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 18 - The Atheistic "Jesus Christ" Moment

Good day/night, whatever it may be, wherever you are reading this.  In recent posts I have "come out" as an atheist.  This didn't happen right away, it was a gradual understanding that began to lift the shroud from my eyes.  For those of you that haven't read my past posts, I would suggest quickly reading [The Thorn: http://temporalrelativity.blogspot.com/2011/10/day-16-thorn.html] and [I'm Coming Out: http://temporalrelativity.blogspot.com/2011/06/day-12-im-coming-out.html].  Those should give you a good synapses of my upbringing and realizations.

This post is a little different, however.  I feel as if I am having some type of crisis because of all this "transitioning and understanding".  The amazing thing about religion, as warped as it is, is that you get a nice little package.  You are born because of some "god" given reason, you live for some "god" given reason and you die for some "god" given reason.  Then, you live on into eternity in some alter-dimension of awesomeness (or complete misery depending on how things go).

The hard part of this, which, ironically is the comforting part, is that you don't have to question anything.  If you do happen to question something that is grand or deep in understanding you just have to "know" that "god works in mysterious ways"...  Again, I'm completely out of this brainwashed business, but I've run into a problem, the crisis I mentioned.  I am calling it "The Atheistic Jesus Christ Moment".  Any good Xian (Christian for those asking what this means) knows the story of Jesus Christ wandering the town and the hills and his "WTF" moment.  He suddenly realizes that God put him on Earth to just die for the sins of mankind and save all of our souls.  JC, being partly human, is understandably pissed off and starts freaking out, in that hippie/pacifist kind of way.  The details aren't as relevant as the overall concept, JC realizes what he is and doesn't understand why it is going down this way.  This is where I am, for different reasons of course.

I have, of course, have realized that the probability of some "ultra deity" is insanely minute.  I can't completely say there isn't something because I simply don't know, but it seems pretty certain.  Additionally, this means there is no "afterlife" or Holy War, or anything for that matter.  It means that, in the most probable case, we are simply an organization of energy existing in a vast network of organized energetic entities.  We have no direct purpose, there is no karma, and, most importantly, when this body gives out, I am gone.  Out of everything, it is the last part that is freaking me the hell out.

I am very cool with the unplanned organization of our existence.  To me, it's the randomness that makes it all so beautiful.  The fact that a beautiful sunset occurs simply because of the arrangement of molecules in the atmosphere and angle of light from the sun.  That is beautiful because it just happens and I love that. 

On the flip side, it's the ending that is driving me crazy.  The simple idea that when my "spark" extinguishes I will cease to exist in mind, body, and spirit.  I am simply a collection of organic molecules and organisms coexisting in a time-bound harmony.  Much like a star exists in harmony with it's supply of hydrogen, but a star isn't conscious.  It doesn't see its own beauty over a neighboring planet's horizon.  It doesn't create and raises organic copies of itself as we do.  It doesn't stop to make the decision to be an atheist or a theist, it just is.  But for me, that isn't enough.  I can't get the idea out of my mind, like a black hole it consumes my thoughts.  Descartes said "I think, therefore I am."  What about "I think, therefore I am not"?  Because we think, we die... without thought there would not be conscious existence and without conscious existence there would not be death...

I would love to hear from fellow atheists, both recent and seasoned on how (if you have) you dealt with this issue and these questions.  I feel like I was dreaming on a raft in the middle of an ocean and have awaken.  The initial pleasure of knowing that I am truly awake is/was fantastic, however the idea that I'm floating on a raft in the middle of an ocean is slowly sinking in...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 17 - Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

Good day all, it's Day 17 here... I want to talk about money, specifically. 

We seem to be having some serious world wide issues with money, whether it is the dollar, the ruple, gems, whatever.  Many countries are falling into a "debt crisis" and are pretty much left holding the short end of the stick.  The need to beg some other country, who is accused by many with leveraging the market to keep their currency stable, to "bail them out".  In any event, this all seems very childish...

I'm going to say something that has been said many times before, but I think it needs to be revisited with a little clarity: Why don't we just get rid of money altogether?  ::gasp::  Before we start the comments/remarks/eye-rolling/page-closing, let's just talk about it first...

What is money, exactly?  We'll go to Wikipedia for this:
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context.[1][2][3] The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past, a standard of deferred payment.[4][5] Any kind of object or secure verifiable record that fulfills these functions can serve as money.
Money originated as commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money.[4] Fiat money is without intrinsic use value as a physical commodity, and derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for "all debts, public and private".
The money supply of a country consists of currency (banknotes and coins) and bank money (the balance held in checking accounts and savings accounts). Bank money usually forms by far the largest part of the money supply. [6][7][8]
" (Wikipedia.org)

That is directly from Wikipedia.  The most important part, to me and my point, is the second paragraph regarding "fiat money".  Now we visit Wikipedia regarding "fiat money":

"Fiat money or fiat currency is money whose value is not derived from any intrinsic value or guarantee that it can be converted into a valuable commodity (such as gold). Instead, it has value only by government order (fiat). Usually, the government declares the fiat currency (typically notes and coins from a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve System in the U.S.) to be legal tender, making it unlawful to not accept the fiat currency as a means of repayment for all debts, public and private.[23][24]"

In this excerpt, we are looking directly at this line: "Instead, it has value only by government order (fiat). ".  Now, I don't know about anyone else in this virtual room, but that seems a little ridiculous to me.  If I read it correctly, this is saying that US dollars (for example) are only valuable because the government says so.  It appears that the value is backed by taxation, for the most part, which is odd, because essentially you are saying this money is guaranteed because I am getting X% back through taxation...  In any event, we can start to see how it has no value, at all.  It is only necessary, really, for international trading.  If a country were self-sufficient (requiring no outside trade/help) it could probably do very well without money at all.

This brings me to my main point, why not just get rid of it?  I know what you're thinking, mostly: What about workers? Services? Commodities like food? Housing? etc...  My answer: free.  Listen, you want a house?  Either have someone who owns a construction business build it for you, or build it yourself.  Or, go ahead and live in a condo.  No rent, all utilities are on, there is some form of TV and Internet.  Need food?  Go to the store and get what you need.  What about my car? Go get one...

Okay, I can keep going, but there is one obviously gigantic flaw here: Why would anyone work or do anything for that matter if everything was free?  Why would people pick up the trash or cut grass or build houses or own small businesses if they didn't need money? 

Here is my answer to that: because they would have to.  There would need to be one key point in all of this.  The problem with free is that is only works under the condition that there is a producer and a consumer.  We can't have all consumers, otherwise there would be no product to be free.  So, in my opinion, there would need to be a requirement for a free society.  You need to have a job.  That doesn't mean we can all go out and be doctors because there are requirements to be a doctor, educational requirements and experience requirements.  We can't all go open coconut shops because then nobody will be around to do anything else, and in addition, not everyone wants to open a coconut shop.  I like programming, I would continue to write programs for my job, no problem, I love it.  My wife, she likes retail, she might continue to do that while she gets an education in something specific.  Perhaps I will continue to program while I educate myself as well.  The key is, everyone needs to work and some people will need to do basic jobs because they don't have any skills, but maybe they'll seek education and do that while their working. 

There is a way to make it work, and honestly it is probably less complex than our current global financial systems.  Yes, this means that everyone would be equal.  No, it does not mean everyone will go out and want a mansion (who's going to clean and maintain it when their not getting paid for it...).  I would really love some feedback, I love comments and discussions and sadly I don't get as much as I would like.  So please, feel free to comment, I open it up to Anonymous comments for that reason, even if you want to just flame the hell out of me. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 16 - The Thorn

The thorn.  It is a painful little object that exists in one of the most unexpected places, the stem of the rose.  An item that symbolizes beauty and love.  It has manifested itself into history and our lives, and yet, the thorn is always overlooked.  It is always there, the possibility of danger and pain, but the beauty and mystique of the rose overshadows it.

So what is the point (pun severely intended)?  During my viewing of last night's #cnndebate , I noticed something very scary, and very real.  There was a question about religion, because of Romney's following of the Mormon faith, it has become somewhat of a controversy.  The question was: "Does it matter what a candidates faith is?".  I thought to myself, does it matter if a candidate has any faith at all?  As I thought about this, I listened to their responses about how faith governs morals and (from Newt) "How can you have morals without faith?" or "How can you be [trusted] with power when you don't pray?".  I listened, in awe, and realized that they were serious.  Then I heard the crowd cheer in approval and agreement, and I thought, they are serious too...

So where does this all tie together?  I've talked about this before, in other posts, but this is a little more specific, because it is becoming more clear and evident.  Religion is like the rose.  On the surface it is supposed to symbolize all that is beautiful in our world/lives and, of course, a strong symbol of love.  This is how it started of course. 

A great many years ago, before Catholics and Buddha, there were some basics.  There were "people" with very limited brain functions.  They had just came out of the jungles and out into the open lands.  They were bare, exposed, with very little real defenses.  They had one very special gift though, the ability to reason, to a degree, and that would prove to be the greatest advantage of all.  Many things were difficult to understand for early man, I would imagine.  My kids still are scared by lightning and thunder and need a simple explanation to help them cope with it.  Could you imagine the first humans trying to understand this?  We only understood basic concepts like power, hunger, thirst, and the desire to procreate.  The idea that molecules at different atmospheric pressures collide and create an immense burst of electrical energy wasn't even feasible at their point in time.  If I, as an early human, could make fire by rubbing sticks or smashing "rocks" together, then something (or someone) must be creating this lightning and thunder, or the wind and rain, etc.  It's simplicity is almost beautiful in a way.  There were so naive (not in a bad way) to the world and physics around them that they applied this logic to these phenomena.  I strongly believe that this simple application is probably what help early man survive, in any fashion.  The idea that something greater than them existed and moved the heavens and earth and was particularly concerned about whether or not the early humans would give it a proper sacrifice is simply beautiful.  I am grateful for their logic because it pushed them to build immense structures, elaborate systems of communal societies, moral structures, and so much more.

Something happened though.  At some point, religion shifted from the rose to the thorn.  Many might say it was the founding of science, but I disagree.  Science has always been there, the desire to reason and discover why something exists.  Our scientific methods have certainly improved over time, but in the beginning, religion stemmed from science.  This isn't the case then, it is something much more sinister.  Somewhere, somehow, somebody realized that religion is a very powerful tool.  They realized that not only did it explain things, but it kept order through fear.  Religion explained the unknown for people and they were addicted to it.  It may have been subtle or occurred over time, but nonetheless, the day came when somebody realized there wasn't actually any God (or gods).  This person, at the time, was one of the more powerful people at the time because they separated themselves from the crowd.  Imagine you're stuck in some 4th dimensional cube with millions of people.  Everyone is content living inside of this small, cramped cube, facing the same direction.  You happen to turn around and there is a door.  You decide to open that door and walk through.  Suddenly, you find yourself standing outside of the cube, which, in comparison, is about the size of a Lego block.  Imagine the amount of control you have in this situation.  But, you're a smart person, you decide not to disturb the block or tell anyone else.  So, you go back inside the cube and you tell everyone that we must do as we have done, we must stay inside this block and face forward or we'll never be able to attain eternal salvation.

Oh yes, there's more... Everyone is petrified, some people see the door but you tell them if they leave through that door they are banished forever from the cube and will never attain salvation.  Now, as time passes, other people call your bluff and go through the door.  So what the hell do you do now?  Let them in on the piece of the pie!  You tell them that you found this exit a long time ago and you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want because we are not restricted by this fictional cube.  However, you tell them that everyone inside the cube is petrified and will essentially stay calm and organized as long as they believe that the cube is real and it's message is clear and true.  So, these people go along with your plan and now you're living the high life, with some friends.

This, my fellow readers, is what religion has become.  It has become a simple thorn, every time we now try to admire beauty and express love, we are pained with this constant fear of being pricked, and hurt.  There are people, many people in fact, in this world that know that religion and God or gods, are not real.  It simply doesn't exist.  I had a "helluva" hard time coming to grips with this, even now, sometimes, it's hard for me to do it, but I do, just like quitting smoking.  The problem is that it is beat into our minds for so long, and it is everywhere we go and have been.  It has become much more subtle over time, but the fear and pain of it still exists.  I mean, me simply typing this article implies that I will never attain eternal salvation, but I am calling bullshit.  I am standing (well sitting) here and simply calling bullshit.  I ask that you do it too. 

We (well the former me) have been oppressed by people that have figured this out a long time ago.  Think about who religion caters to... the poor, the sick, the less fortunate, they will someday inherit a kingdom so much greater than this life or any riches or gold, blah blah blah.  It is crap.  It is a way to keep you humble and secure.  Look at all the successful people in this world.  Yes, some of them have done both, legitimately believed in religion AND had material success.  Overall though, many of these people simply walk over "the little guy" and claim to be religious and follow God.  It's a big screen and a lie.  They have realized, just as I have that religion doesn't actually exists and they are free to do whatever they want without any moral consequences outside of the law (which is why they spend so much money lobbying congress and having political careers, to influence the law).

I don't think it is time to abandon morals and start cut-throating each other, but I think it is time to abandon religion.  We can live wholesome, moral lives without the threat of God.  Hell, you are probably more moral if you do it because you want to, without the fear of some eternal damnation over your head.  The choice is up to you of course, but there simply is no compelling evidence that God, or gods, is real.  Every argument you are going to make defending religion is explainable and refutable by simple logic or lack of any real proof. It is time to take the thorn out of our sides and gaze upon existence's true beauty.  The fact that this is all happenstance and random is even more amazing to me than if some ultimate being crafted it.  I hope you'll join me outside of the cube, because the possibilities are limitless.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 15 - Mathematics for the Rich and Poor

   So, there is a whole mess of economic woes and travesty about the world.  Threats of the USPS shutting down, the Euro falling apart, and many nations unable to sustain their economies plague the news.  I have been thinking alot about the US however because our situation seems relativitly stupid (for lack of a better term).

   We have a lot of people with wealth in this country and we have a pretty robust system of business and enterprise and such.  However, it just appears that the situation keeps getting worse.  It is quite clear that businesses are hurting strictly because their are not enough people buying their merchandise.  This is happening because not enough people have money to buy their merchandise.

   Now, we can argue about what is fair and what is right and not right and so on, but that is useless.  The main point is that we have to have a sustainable economy.  Let's be real, if the global market collapses, and businesses shut down, all the money in the world won't matter if there isn't any value to it.  Additionally, people with more money need people with less money in order to make the world go round, it isn't rocket science so I won't go into it too much.

I have decided however, to explain it a little bit.  The mathematics are simple and hopefully will help knock some sense around.  Right now, it appears to be the common number that 1% control 99% of the wealth in the country.  I am also using relatively simple numbers to get the point across since the exact numbers are not relavent and approximations will do.

{This section has been revised below in the updated area}
So, let us say we have a country US with 100 people in it.  US makes exactly $100 in total wealth a day.  By our numbers before.  This would mean that there is 1 person that has $99.01 a day and 99 people that each have .01 per day.  Now, let's say there are 10 businesses in US.  In order to survive each business needs $1 a day.

By our current logic, it is unsustainable.  There is no reason for the 1 person to shop at all 10 stores a day, they would go to 1 store a day give them their dollar, remain rich and the store survives.  Even if the other 99 people shop at the same exact store, it would eventually be unable to sustain itself since it would only take in .99 a day.  Therefore the other 9 stores die out, the other 99 people have nowhere to shop, etc etc, economic collapse...

Let us readjust some of these numbers.  If we take 5% of that 1 person's wealth and redistribute it to the other 99 people.  These are our new numbers.  1 person has ~ $80 a day.  99 people have ~ .20 each.  Now, we can simply take all 100 people and divide it by 10 (stores), that is 10 people per store. 
1 store will have the 1 rich person and 9 "other people" and the other stores will have 10 "other people".  At 10 people spending .20 at the store per day, that is 2.00 a day.  More than enough to sustain each store, perhaps each person spends .19 a day and keep .01 in the bank for the future... Economy stable, life moves on wonderfully, businesses have extra money, they hire more people, etc etc etc.
{end of revision}

It is very simple mathematics, it doesn't matter about what is yours and this and that.  It is irrelevant, there are very very few people in this world that earned every dollar they have by blood, sweat, and tears.  In order for this entire system to work correctly, more money needs to be redistributed to the majority of people, bottom line.

UPDATE:  9/7/2011 1215

I am updating my logic because it was flawed.  The numbers I got were wrong, as I misread my source.  In any event, I have redone the math here.

So, continue on the idea that we have 100 people in the country of US.  US makes exactly $100.00 a day.  According to source A, 1 person will have $34.60, 19 people will each have $2.66, and 80 people will have $.15, per day.

According to source B, minus the housing expense at 32.9%, and 9.9% for savings,  I am attributing all others to expenditures as various business, therefore, about 57% of each person's total will go towards a business of some sort.  For the 1 person, they will spend $19.72, 19 people will spend $1.52, and 80 people will spend $.11 per day (in our case since our people get paid daily in this scenario).

Now, as in our scenario, we have 10 businesses evenly distribute throughout US and it works out that each store recieves business from the same 10% of our population.  Therefore, 1 store will recieve $21.35 (the 1 rich guy, 1 upper guy, and 8 poor people), 9 stores will receive $3.92 (2 upper guys, and 8 poor people each).  This gives 9 stores a $2.92 profit margin and 1 store a $20.35 profit margin.  It also lets the 1 rich guy save $14.88, the 19 upper guys save $1.14, and the 80 poor people save $.08.

If we redistribute the wealth from the rich guy to the poor guys by 15%, and upper to poor by 2%  we get:
1 person has $20.00, 19 people have $2.52, and 80 people get $.40.

Using our same logic from above with the stores.  We take 57% of each person's total, rich = $11.4 each, upper = $1.44, poor = $.23.

Each store gets this now: 1 store gets $14.67 , 9 stores get $4.74.  Poor people now save $.17, double what they saved before.  Rich save $8.6 (drastically less) and uppers save $1.08 (about the same).  The other 9 stores get almost a dollar more than they were before too, which boosts jobs and so forth.

A: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
B: http://financialplan.about.com/od/budgetin1/f/ExpensePercent.htm

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 14 - Globalism

It has been a few days (to say the least) since my previous post.  Sometimes the realities of life can take longer than expected.  In any case, I am writing about something that has been deep in my mind for a long time: Globalism.

Anyone that has been following along may remember a previous post regarding the idea of H.O.P.E. (from my Day - 10) blog.  You should check it out now, if you haven't read it.  Anyway, the idea was that in order for Humans to explore space "Star Trek style", we would need to make leaps of faith and people would have to work together.  This concept actually originated in a previously less mature idea, that has since been "fully" developed in my mind: Globalism.

Before I begin, I did a little search to see if the idea of Globalism has been constructed and discussed in full.  There is a wiki page for it and several items of note discussing the idea of Globalism and globalization.  At the end of the blog, I will post some reference links so you can check them out.

My definition, for purposes of this blog, of Globalism is this:  The unification of world powers and nations to create a global entity capable of enforcing basic human rights, settling conflict, making scientific progressions for Humanity, and, in the long term, being established as the representative of Earth.

We have several groups and alliances and such that were formed due to pressing issues at the time, but most of it is not focused on Humanity as a whole, instead it is for the benefit of the participating countries.  We have severe financial issues looming around the world, military conflicts, natural disasters, basic human rights violations, poverty and famine.  These issues are generally handled by a few countries that attempt to solve them, the US being a major contender in leading these efforts.  The problem is that the US is now taking on too much responsibility and our interior structure is beginning to collapse because we are stretched to thin, financially (which trickles problems down).  This effect can also be seen in equally helpful, yet smaller, Euro nations.

One major issue is resources.  We can't supply resources for every third world country in addition to our own population.  When I refer to "We" now, it is all countries that embrace these burdens, not just the US.  However, we can't simply sit back and watch fellow human beings die of starvation because of where they were born.  In order for a species to survive it must do what it can to make sure those that want to survive have a chance.  With diversity among our species our chances for long term survival increase.  The varied ways of help can be debated about, but in the end, it comes down to helping and working together.

So how is this problem solved?  Globalism. 
The problems will only get worse, the resource deficit will get larger, the poverty base will increase, and more nations will fall victim to losing their 1st world country status.  Only small nations like Switzerland will have a fighting chance, but they certainly will not be in a position to pick up the responsibilities that the US will be unable to maintain.  The only way, I can see, to solve this is to have a country only worry about itself.  However, this will completely negate our requirements as Humans to help out eachother and the less fortunate of our species.  Many of our resources are spent protecting our intellectual properties in science and defense against other nations, while they are using resources to achieve the same things we have already discovered.  This is a giant waste of time and resources.

What is the first step in the solution of Globalism?
  We need to create a body, a governmental type body that is neutral to Earth and it's citizens.  In my opinion, this should be setup in Africa.  My thought would either be central Africa at the edge of the desert line, or in the Horn of Africa.  This will be a massive city, so it will need space.  However, there are some serious benefits to this.  Many people in the area are poor and famished, and many areas are just wide open land.  The need to build this city will require hundreds of thousands of jobs which can immediately boost local economies and help immediately offset some of the local poverty issues in the areas surrounding.  The city should be as green as technologically possible and leave little, to no, carbon footprint.  This will be a feat, but it is manageable if tackled from the beginning.  The city should have science labs, administration buildings, conference centers, airport, military base, and a small local economy for the residents of the city.  It is possible that this will help push growth to outside of the city itself for citizens looking to get away for awhile and help spur the local economies even more.  In any event, this is how it should be done.  My suggestion for Africa is simply because it is the most central and underdeveloped area on the planet to most of the world's major powers and nations.   Of course, this will all need to be funded...

How is this whole thing going to get funded and managed?
  Well, it needs to be created and setup under the same idea of our current Alliances.  Countries wishing to partake will band together and use their funding and resources to create this central location.  Citizens from their nations will have the option of being citizens of this new city and, for all purposes, a sovereign nation, although unable to declare freedom from its governing nations.  For now, I will continue to refer to this new area as EA (Earth Alliance).  Of course, the original expenditures will be grand and any future nation wishing to join will need to contribute resources, in relation to it's population size, in ratio to the original founding nations resource contributions.  There will be a military and scientists and governing personnel from all allied nations.  Any nation wishing to partake must strictly follow the guidelines required by EA.  Most of these will be the removal of nuclear warheads from joining countries, the open border policy of allowing any nation part of EA access to their country, as long as that country follows strict citizen identification requirements, and such.  Each participating country would need to pay a "membership fee", more like resources and such that need to continue the operations of the EA.  The ratio percentage will be flat, for example all participating countries will contribute 10% of their resources annually, just as an example. 

So why go through all of this effort?
It needs to be done because it is a necessity.  Either now or in the future this will have to happen.  Wasting resources might be a luxury we have now (although not really), but it soon will become a forceful situation where we need to preserve everything we have.  Bickering over which country is more superior for some imaginary title of supreme ruler of Earth will need to come to an end.  With the EA, nations will be able to focus less resources into the things that are equal to Humanity: civil rights, defense, aid, scientific breakthroughs, etc.  All nations will benefit from the EA that adhere to the guidelines set by the EA, which is determined by authoritive figures designated by each nation.  In the end, each nation is trying to be first, so that they have the coveted technology and they will be the leading nation, for, in the end, more money, bigger armies and a greater sphere of influence.

The problem is that more competition is requiring more money, so the return on these investments is becoming more of a deficit than a surplus, to the point where all of our nations will put themselves in debt, by trying to outdo eachother to make more money....  Bigger armies.. another debt.  It just isn't necessary anymore.  We are not in the Imperliastic Roman times or Victorian-era.  Times are different, at the very worst, we would only need one large army of Earth to defend against some invading alien species.  Again, that is just at speculation on the only reason we'd need a large standing army.  In that case, our countries would work together anyway to defend Earth and it's citizens.  Our armies work in small units now, to take our localized extremist groups.  Nobody is worried about a red scare or the rise of the Kremlin anymore, those days are over.  Even the sphere of influence is useless.  Technology is reigning supreme.  Microsoft and Apple have a larger effect on the global population than the US or China.  This is true with hardware manufacturers for cell phones and networking equipment, car manufacturers, etc.  The business world is already embracing globalism because it makes fiscal sense.  It will do the same for our governments.

In the end, we can take the things that are important to all of Humanity and put them on the responsibility of all nations, not just a few.  This will leave the nations with time and finances to spend on local and culturally significant things individual to each nation.  Citizens in the US, China, Iraq, South Africe, the EU, etc can live in peace knowing that a global power is at work protecting the freedoms that all creatures deserve to have without having messy political battles and a country completely defunded.  Even jobs, in my opinion would sore, the EA could dish out manufacturing responsiblities to many nations for military production, food production, scientific equipment, contractors, etc.  Space exploration, at least deep space exploration, is hindered by nations competing against eachother to do the same thing.  Imagine if Russia, China, and the US worked together on a space project?  I guarantee we would be landing on Mars in less than 10 years.  It would take a great deal of work and effort, but the end result, I think, would solve a lot of our on going issues in the world today. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 13 - The I.S.

To start, I.S. stands for "Ignorance Syndrome", and many people suffer from it, even myself sometimes.  However, today, I am talking about not the little mishaps of ignorance that occur on a daily basis: i.e., forgetting to put your signal on when you yelled at the guy 2 minutes earlier for doing the same thing, complaining that everyone leaves carriages in the parking lot and the next day you do the same thing.  Not those, it happens and it becomes annoying because there are so many people in there world, that X people over N days are bound to make it look like "everyone" else does it, except for you, when it simply is not the case.

Today, it is about a much larger issue.  Ignorance that is built into your brain from birth.  Mostly from your environment that you're raised in, but it can occur after the fact as well, when you get older.  In any event, most of these can be seen on a political scale, but there are other versions of this as well.  I'm going to use a really common example: taxes. 

For me, I look at taxes like this: I like having things, such as: good roads, good public education, public parks, healthcare (even just the basic Medicaid, not universal), clean air, clean water, sewer systems, public pools/beaches, etc.  I certainly do not have the time and/or the resources to make sure my family has all this stuff on my own.  So, I either a) Pay taxes and get all of this stuff, to some reasonable degree, or b) Don't pay taxes and have to provide all this crap on my own.  This isn't 1705, I can't just bust out a log cabin, raise a barn, build a little aqueduct, plow up some farmland, AND be a software developer, not gonna happen.  I admit, the IDEA of doing all that is awesome, but it's not practical with the world as it is and the things I enjoy doing.

In any event, for some reason, people bitch about taxes, yet, they still want good roads, clean water, sewer systems, public education, federal programs, neighborhood safety, blah blah blah.  You can't have both, it doesn't work that way, it's either pay taxes and accept that, over time, taxes will rise due to a number of different cost issues.  This isn't the Dark Ages.  We don't have Kings and Queens, with cut throat tax collectors taking your last gold shilling while you starve to death.  Hell, if you go homeless, we have freakin' food shelters and places to sleep, until you can get it together.

This goes even bigger than taxes, and I'm going to go for the big one here: trials.  There's been a whole slew of "chatter" about the Casey Anthony trial.  Now, I have my personal beliefs based on the facts, AS I KNOW THEM, which admittedly, is not full.  I think she's guilty and she got away with murder.  However, that doesn't make her guilty, hell she was found innocent of everything except for lieing.  Let us entertain, for one moment that she is actually innocent.  I see all of this people rallying on Twitter and Facebook, ready to have a ye olde stoning in the middle of Time Square, saying "they know she's guilty", "baby killer", etc etc etc... Yet, none of them actually know, they THINK they know, they have strong FEELINGS, but they don't know anything.  Now, if we go with our "fake scenario" that is innocent, can you imagine what it would be like?   Being a parent, who's child died somehow, and all of this extra pressure and attacks from people who don't know jack?  Again, I need to reiterate, this is not my personal belief that she is innocent. 

I use the trial to demonstrate that people are idiots.  They think they know things, or pretend to understand what they want, and they don't.  Even worse, they take to the streets (or internet) and profess their stupidity to the world.  I'm not saying to "bend over" and accept everything your told, that would be just as stupid.  I'm saying take 5min of your time and use your brain.  Do a little research, you think she's guilty?  Get all the facts, not just your Twitter feeds from the "BreakingNews" account.  You don't like taxes, why don't you explore what benefits you're getting and then, if you still don't like it, then stop using those services and move to a 3rd world country with no organized government.

The world is on a dangerous line of intelligence and stupidity.  The stupid people, feeling insecure, are rallying together and forming groups.  Even mindless zombies that can't think are detrimental in large groups.  It is perfectly valid to have a good debate about a topic, even if you didn't research it, but be open to the idea that you don't know everything and in the end you might even learn something and walk away a little smarter if you keep your mind open.  Be open minded, you don't know everything, and if you do and you're not sharing, you're still part of the problem.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 12 - I'm Coming Out

You've reached this blog post from me, most likely with a certain thought in mind.  Based on the title and the obscurity of the details, you're reading to confirm your thoughts.  To keep it clear, this is not a "I'm coming out because I'm homosexual" post.  Although, I am rather curious to know how many people said "I knew it!" in their head when they read the title...  However, I am coming out in a different way, and that, is in relation to religion.  I've looked at all the instances and situations at face value and I can no longer live in the "fear bubble" of religion, it is time to set the mind and body free.

Many of you reading this probably could care less because you don't understand the background.  Let me quickly sum it up.  Every Sunday, since I can remember, we woke up at 6-630am.  Dad was always up before everyone, presumably with Mom, while my brother and I lay in bed praying (ironic isn't it?) that our parents accidentally slept in.  This was important because we would never go to church after the 7am mass because that was filled with singing and music which added an additional 45 or so minutes to the mass.

Every Christmas, we'd wake up, see our gifts, open some of them, only to have to shuffle off to church first.  Of course, the whole time, we were expected to sit quiety and listen to somebody read from a book...  Amazingly, every Saturday we went to CCD (learn how to be catholic classes), even though to this day I don't know what CCD actually stands for.  I made my sacrements: Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, and I am married, first and only time, although it was not performed in a church.  This whole time, the world, I thought, made sense: You do good and good stuff will happen.  Well, that last part is right, but for a whole mess of other reasons.

Anyway, this is all fine, except it was a lie.  To be clear, these events occurred, but the entire thing isn't real.  I did things for reasons that don't exist.  I believe things were happening for the wrong reasons.  Yes, I turned out okay, morally sound and such, but not under the right pretenses, and that has been weighing on me...

Let me provide a simple example of how this is a bad thing.  Let us take Santa Clause.  A harmless fellow that only wants to provide children with happiness.  Of course, SC isn't real.  Parents, however, are able to capitalize on this "magic man" for their advantage, or so it would seem.  Throughout the year, kids are threatened with the "ultimate" threat of a lump of coal (even though it never happens).  During this time, parents are sneaking around, buying jingle bells, taking bites of cookies and the like, all for that one magical moment on Christmas Day (err, after church of course!)... This all sounds good, until the day we have to break the big news to the kids, to explain to them that SC is a lie and all those threats were empty... oh and by the way, Mom and Dad paid for all those items you got, so now that you know, the budget for Xmas is going to be a little smaller... SMASH...world = officially  broken. 

Here is a better idea, we teach the children that we as parents, love our kids so much that each year they get to go a little crazy and wish for all sorts of things.  Mom and Dad (or Mom and Mom or Dad and Dad, whatever works) work extra hard, long hours, double shifts, 2, maybe 3 jobs to see your faces glow for even that short period of time.  During that whole time, the kids aren't thanking SC, they aren't praising God, they are looking at their parents and saying "I gots me some kick ass parents".  Additionally, there is no lieing.  There is also a very long list of things that are no longer an issue.

Some people will argue that if you take things away, then "magic" will disappear, and I beg to differ.  Magic isn't real, so it can't disappear.  Imaginations will never go away, we can still read books to our kids and make up fantastical stories and play games and watch movies, we just don't need to lie about what is real and what isn't.  We are no longer feeble minded creatures, living in caves, scared of what the "gods might do" if we don't sacrifice lambs and virgins.  We know that gods or God, or whatever, doesn't control the weather, doesn't dictate life and death, doesn't make the rules of the universe as it sees fit, yet, for some reason we are stuck clinging to this lie.

Alright, enough of the example, so what does this have to do with religion?  Well, it's the same thing, the exact...same...thing.  Religion was coined out of fear.  We didn't know what happened when lightning lit up the skies, when it wouldn't rain for weeks and crops would die, why innocent children got sick and died, so we did what we could, we made up a reason.  This worked well, of course, we have come a long way, and we couldn't have done it without the guidance of religion in our earliest years as a species.  However, times are different, things have changed.  The concept of religion has been perversed into a capitalistic model of wealth and power.  They have been specifically designed to target our inner most fears of death and the unknown to force us to keep coming back.

I am going to say this clearly, there MAY be a God.  I don't know if there is or isn't.  I can tell you one thing though, if it does exist, it doesn't give a damn if we give it 10% of our paycheck, sacrifice virgins, if our children are circumcised or not, pray for an hour a day, etc...  Why would a God care about any of this?  If God would be considered almighty and powerful, do our feeble materialistic donations mean a damn?  Of course not.  Additionally, in order for a God to be almighty and infinite, I have serious doubt that it contains any related Human emotions, like Love and Spite, or Jealousy.  Heck, if these so called Gods exist why do they need us to fight their battles of "good and evil", if it's so powerful why can't it just win?  This can go on and on and on forever, but the final story is anything we have now relating to some ultimate God is nonsense.  One may exists for the purpose of the Improbability factor, but we certainly no nothing about it.

So, on this day, I am completely coming out.  I was blind, but now I see, and the future has never been brighter.  I am finally free of the bonds and the fears of a non-existent deity that has plagued my mind for so many years.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 11 - The Great Anonymous Setup

I have had a revelation.  It involves this on going business with Anonymous, PSN and the US.  This is a theory, but I think it is a solid theory.  Let's begin with how it came to me...

I was reading through my Facebook wall, as I generally tend to after work, and noticed something.  I noticed that Sony had located a file called "Anonymous" on their server.  The immediate conclusion as this was a file left by the famed group Anonymous while hacking the PSN.  I thought this was kind of odd because why on Earth would they leave a file called "Anonymous" on the server?  It seems to me that a hacker, capable of hacking into PSN, effectively shutting down a corporations cash flow and gaming line of business for several weeks, and "stealing" a boat load of user information would not leave a file, named after the famous group that they are representing, on a server.  It's the equivalent of robbing a bank, a big bank, and leaving my driver's license on the counter.  If you're going to rob a big bank, you don't bring your driver's license.

"The fact that Sony has said that the people who hacked its servers erased log files to cover their steps makes it look extremely unlikely that they would also have left a text file linking them back to Anonymous if that were their origin." - Guardian (My links aren't working, just go to Guardian and look up this blog from 5/5/11 "anonymous-accuses-sony-hack-playstation-network") [Just as a note, this link popped up as I was writing this article, so I figured it would be a good quote to insert!]

Okay, so I moved on, fishy, but whatever.  Then, it happened, the crucial "Aha" moment.  I saw another article, claiming that gamers might "backlash" against Anonymous.

"Anonymous Fears Nerd Backlash From PlayStation Hack" -Gawker (Again my links aren't working, but go to Gawker and look up "anonymous-fears-nerd-backlash-from-playstation-hack")

That clicked it all together.  What is the best way to destroy Anonymous?  A group that has a swarm mind, one that functions in sync but without an obvious leader.  A direct attack will only increase its numbers.  If you take out 1 hacker, 5 more will spring up in their place.  If you raid every home and destroy every piece of equipment, the movement will get stronger.  The resistance will rise.  However, there is one eloquent way to dismantle the group.  Simply turn those that would join its ranks, against them.  Look, it's no secret gamers are mostly nerds, and it's a good chance that gamers know a bit about computers, or at the very least support the Anonymous movement.  That is, until their gaming is affected.  We know this based on the original attack from Anonymous, it angered the gamers, and Anonymous stopped.

These are the keys to the puzzle, Anonymous refutes the idea that it was them, a "hacker" left the Anonymous calling card on the server, "accidentally", the people who support Anonymous will turn their backs on the group because of the PSN outage and Anonymous slowly turns from Freedom Fighter to an infamous "group of assholes that took down PSN". 

So, who did the hack on PSN? Sony, with the assistance of the US gov.  It's a win-win, I bet 100-1, Sony settles out of court on the class actions, the US gov "helps them investigate", no data or info is compromised because it was Sony who did it.  It's a perfect situation for Sony and the US, they both win and Anonymous loses.  Sony will never actually take any action against Anonymous, they will only "claim" it was them.  Then, that is it, Anonymous is dissolved and discredited, Sony "makes it up to gamers", the US looks innocent and "everyone" is happy...

UPDATE 5-6-11 1419:
I no longer am leaning towards the idea that Sony is behind this, it does seem rather extreme for Sony to take this big of a slam.  I'm keeping it as a possibility, but more of a distant one.  I still believe that there is a large organization behind it, but more live a government or government endorsed group that set it up.  I will follow up with a more detailed event time line this weekend to try and connect the dots.  Also, this is the link from Guardian that seems to follow into this theory:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/may/06/anonymous-sony

UPDATE 5-7-11 2246:
Alright, so apparently somebody has beat me to the punch on the Sony timeline.  There is one circulating around the internet that does a fairly good break down, you can find it here: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/116/1165972p1.html

As of current, there have been no claims for fraudulent credit card activity.  This is due to the fact that the database that was stolen and being "sold" on the internet was a database holding user information related to contest entries, which had no increminating evidence.  Sony has since "taken" the site down, or had it taken down.  However, the original statement about it containing credit card info caused quite a bit of stir.

Another very key point to take into consideration is the servers that Sony was using to host PSN.  There were outdated, Apache I believe, with no firewall protection.  Now, Sony is no Microsoft.  They are not in the PC business the way MS is, so it is believable that this was the case with Sony's servers.  However, this only adds onto my point.  Sony, who is trailing in the console wars BTW, knows that the future of gaming relies on online.  Additionally, they were attempting to roll out new services (the utilization of Steam on PSN), and I believe their servers were reaching max capacity.  This could have easily played into the entire setup, it gives Sony a valid reason to tear their servers down and rebuild them to prepare for the next Gen console wars. 

The reason why the theory works is that it is low risk-high gain for the US gov and med risk-high gain for Sony.  In the aftermath of all this, Sony will have a stronger and better PSN, Anonymous will have been turned on by its own following and the US gov will have successfully, and quietly, squashed a cyber rebellion.

Oh and one more note, this blog got mentioned in The Atlantic Wire: The Atlantic Wire Article

UPDATE 5-9-2011
Just came across an article explaining that Sony's servers were actually up to date and that the original rumor that they weren't was false: http://forum.beyond3d.com/showpost.php?p=1549251&postcount=491

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 10 - H.O.P.E.

Humanities Objectives for Prosperity and Exploration

A new thought I had this morning about an idea that, I think, could change the world. 

Awhile back, maybe a month or so, I read some various articles pertaining to space exploration.  These articles provided an interesting concept: Turn space exploration into an adventure for those willing to sacrifice everything for the ultimate journies.  The concept has been mulling around in my brain since then because it really struck home.

First, the idea.  Humanity's past is loaded with literally thousands of stories of adventure.  How a group of people organizaed a boat, loaded up and set sail.  They had no certainties, barely any equipment or food supplies, and some (probably most) of them were thought to be facing certain death.  This didn't stop them though... they had the desire and the motivation to put everything on the line in the name of Humanity.  These pioneers paved the way for culture and life to permeate around the globe.  However, we have reached a point where the Earth is no longer a mystery, at least on land.  Our planet is crowded, our resources are dwindling, and, in general, our planet has a finite amount of time to exist.  Anywhere from 1 millisecond to billions of years.  That is a chance, an intelligent society, should not be willing to take.  This, of course, is what H.O.P.E. is all about.

There are many, many human beings on this planet.  In the coming years, of course, there will be many, many more.  We are going to reach a critical mass for population and resources, if we haven't already.  Beyond the "walls" of our planet exist an unlimited number of possibilities.  Moons, planets, planetoids, and who know's what else for other universal bodies exist in the vast reaches of space.  There is no better time than now to embark on the most important adventure to our species.  We are on the very beginning of space exploration and need to sieze that opportunity to begin moving outward.

What is HOPE?  In my concept, HOPE is an organization dedicated to making two things happen.
1) Finding individuals willing to put everything they have aside.  The willingness to risk their own life in the name of science and Humanity.  These individuals simply need to have the desire and the motivation.  Of course, one individual most likely will not be enough, instead there will be teams and each team will have a leader.  The leader will post what s/he thinks is needed for their team to be successful.  This includes manpower, equipment, funding, supplies, etc.  An example of this might be:
-Team Freedom : Leader-Me
  -Crew Requirements
    (1) Biologist
    (2) Pilots
    (1) Physicist
    (1) Chemist
    (5) Shiphands
 -Equipment Reqs
    (1) Planetary travel capable ship
    (1) Terrain vehicle
    (1) Biodome
 -Supplies Reqs
    (5) Years worth of food and water for 10 people
    To travel to Mars and colonize a lava tube inside of Crater XYZ

Anyway, that is just an example, of course there are more details to it, but that gives the general idea.  At this point, people could apply to join the team, perhaps there are certain requisites and some type of "hiring" process.

2) Companies and organizations could sign up for the different material requirements or provide funding for those requirements.  The benefits, of course, to the companies is to be involved in this adventure and paving the path for humanity by risking monetary assets versus their lives, unless of course they wanted to do both!

There is so much to talk about here, it's mind boggling.  The payoff would be enormous, it wouldn't require extra taxes and "wasteful NASA spending" (which I put in quotes because I don't think it exists).  Instead, NASA could be used as a sort of "inspector".  Once their plans are in motion and such, the Team could pay NASA (revenue) to inspect and make sure that it meets the requirements, as far as they are aware.  Of course, if the ship doesn't make it, explodes, everyone dies, etc. it will be sad.  But this is the risk they knew they were going to take.  However, when it succeeds (because it will succeed at some point), the return will be priceless.  A whole new industry will explode open and, instead of the sky, space will be the limit.  It is necessary to make these steps, put the desire and motivation in the hands of the people and businesses willing to fund them.

I'm very much considering trying to put this together.  If anyone reads this and is interesting please contact me: jason.wilczak@gmail.com

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 9 - The Agenda

Generally, I try to keep my opinions to myself, especially with religion and poitics.  I think, however, I have reached my limit.  I keep reading about this government shutdown, I keep reading people's "thoughts" on the subject, from all sides of the political spectrum.  I try to respect other's perspectives, no matter how "bat shit crazy" they may seem to me.  Then, it happened.  A small twitter feed post that has sent me over the edge and "causing" me to write this blog.  (I put "causing" in quotes because I don't think anything forces you to do anything, I'm simply just evoking this idea for emphasis.)  Let's start with what set it off and then we'll work backwards from there.

Let us start with the link:

Okay, now that you've fully embraced that article, I hope you understand.  The "premise" of the bill is to allow an intelligent discussion amongst a classroom about the short comings of evolution.  As put by one of the commenters, this is actually a decent concept, in theory.  It is a wonderful idea to present a scientifically sound and accepted theory and allow students to explore loopholes, shortcomings, etc. .  Then take it one step further and allow intelligent debate within the class.  Unfortunately, this is not going to be the case.  This is a transparent way to put down evolution and build up Inteligent Design (ID).  This angers me for many reasons, but more because it is becoming the national agenda, not ID, but religious (namely Catholicism) doctrine attempting to overturn years of forward progress because things aren't "panning out" for religion.  Why, in the name of anything, should we be teaching Intelligent Design!?  There is literally 0 evidence.  Even though evolution from monkies to humans is theoretical, there is evidence supporting that theory.  Also, evolution is a real thing.  It does happen, we can witness it now and we can even affect and predict it's outcomes with our current technology.  That means, at the very least, evolution IS REAL. 

So let's move a little further on to how this all ties in.  This all is based around this budget battle business.  Below is a list of 'riders' attached to the original House approved budget plan:
  • Prohibits funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program
  • Prohibits funding for the Conservation Stewardship Program.
  • Prohibits funding for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act.
  • Prohibits funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program or the State Energy Program.
  • Prohibits funding for various environmental projects in California.
  • Prohibits funding for a climate change czar in the White House.
  • Prohibits funding for EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gases.
  • Prohibits funding for the EPA to change a rule regulating water.
  • Prohibits funds for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Prohibits funds for the EPA to implement regulations to designate coal ash residue as hazardous waste.
  • Prohibits funding for the IRS to implement health care reform.
  • Prohibits funds for a White House Director of Health Care reform.
  • Prohibits the District of Columbia from using its own, non-federal funds to pay for abortions beyond the very limited circumstances in which federal funds are currently available (in circumstances of rape or incest and to save the life of a pregnant woman).
  • Prohibits funding for needle-exchange programs.
  • Prohibits funding for sections of the Public Health Service Act.
  • Prohibits funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates.
  • Prohibits funds to pay any employee, officer or contractor to implement the provisions of the health care reform law.
  • Strips funding for any provision of the health care reform law.
  • Prohibits funding for the US Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation, UN Population Fund, or for foreign NGOs that use their own non-U.S. funds to provide abortion services.
Okay, so besides the Health Care Reform, it's planned parenthood and the EPA, more specifically: the environment and abortions.  This is the battle, this is the problem.  They've agreed on the dollar amount, well came to an agreement around 30 billion.  It's these riders that are holding it back.  Yes, I am liberal, yes I do follow that political stance.  However, I completely understand the need to regulate spending.  I even researched GOP Ryan's extreme budget proposal.  I think there are, of course, more conservative views on what to budget and not budget, however, he makes some very good points...
That being said, in the end, America, we did this to ourselves.  We, the liberals, got lazy and didn't fully support the liberal agenda.  The people that voted conservative followed along the bullshit that the Tea Party promised.  In reality, this party cares nothing for "smaller government", they simply wish to shove religious doctrined rules and society down our throats.  It would be very simple to remove these riders, agree on the budget, and then discuss this stuff later.  However, the budget needs to passed so there's bargaining power.  I for one, though, on this situation, would rather see the shutdown than give on these measures...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 8 - Evolution of the Intellectual Species

Evolution Of An Intelligent Species
Phase 1:
 Understand the concept of tools.  Must be able to create tools, use them effectively and modify them for specific needs.  This includes the process of controlling/creating fire.  The concept of tooling must be more than a rock smashing something.  It must use at least 2 separate items to fashion a single item utilized to either ease, or make possible, an activity.
Phase 2:
 Most creatures are social in nature. This  means more along the lines of creating established residence among a group of same species individuals.  The residence should be at least semi-permanent, however, the community can be nomadic.  Living in trees does not count as an established residence, however, caves in a mountainside could.  Community provides the basic framework for organization among a species and is necessary to provide maximum defense and resource management.
Phase 3:
Many things in the world are unexplained at this point in the development of a species.  Religion can be specific to an individual community, that is what separates it from science and government, among other things.  This is necessary to help control the community.  Things like fire and lightening, storms, death, life, etc. confusing and not understood at this point.  Without religion a species cannot establish a form of organization and rules and spread those thoughts among the community.
Phase 4:
In the wild, the strongest survive.  Trade is a way to utilize the talents of a community to achieve maximum special survival.  This must be created amongst several communal groups in order for it to be considered achieved.  This shows the desire to preserve the individual, as well as, the species.  This can be considered the first, albeit primitive, form of networking.  Items can exchange “hands” through various communities making themselves available to areas that would previously not had access to them.

Phase 5:
This, for obvious reasons, is an important aspect of a species.  It provides real answers to questions that were previously “answered” by the religion of the community.  It will appear after trade because individuals from separate communities will begin to be curious about the world around them.  Mostly, the contradiction of separate communal religions will spark curiosity among other individuals, which will eventually lead them to look more closely at the details of their environment.  This will also lead to the formation of government.
Phase 6:
Theological Government:
It is a necessary evil.  An established form of organized government masses an intense amount of group logic.  The government must exist across several communities, not just isolated to one community.  This shows the ability to work together among communities to achieve a maximum benefit for the species.  It also instills regulation on common communal beliefs in law and trade.  This is the step to transform the species egocentric view of their world to an exocentric view, realizing that certain things must be localized and enforced among all members of the species to achieve maximum benefit.  This first step of government will be incited by the traditional religion in order to continue the belief and keep scientific explanations within the realm of the religion.
Phase 7:
This is often, a misunderstood topic.  It does not have to be violent imperialism, simply the desire to expand the communal government’s sphere of influence to areas beyond their borders, within their planet.  This is important because it requires a great deal of risk, resources, dedication, planning, and trust.  There is a great maximum benefit to the society here, in that the reward will far outweigh the expenditure.  This can be in knowledge, resources, land, etc.
Phase 8:
Liberalism: After imperialism comes liberalism.  Simply put, this is the society enjoying the rewards of the imperialistic endeavor.  Due to the abundance of resources, influx of knowledge, and new environments, citizens of the society are able to expand their thoughts on science and general existence.  This important “peace time” fuels innovation and the desire to correct previous wrongs of the society.

Phase 9:
Democratic Government:
The expanded mindsets, new lands and resources, causes the religious sphere of influence to spread thin and factual scientific methods begin to assist individuals in making more informed decisions with better results.  Many citizens will see the flaws of a theological government and push for a democratic government.  This, over time, will eventually become the norm.  As science advances and generations continue, things once explained by religion will become more reasonably explained through science.
Phase 10:
Digital Revolution:
With the expanse of science and the democratic government in place, technology will begin to increase, rapidly.  A breakthrough must be made on how to utilize energy to perform tasks in the most efficient and predictable way, namely computing.  This is a must for a species to continue it’s intellectual evolution.

Phase 11:
Space Travel:
With the majority of the species utilizing computing technology and theology taking a backseat to science, the species will develop the ability to leave their planet, if only for a brief stay of time, and then return, successfully.  This is a major milestone that will fuel the rest of the species evolution.
Phase 12:
Interplanetary Imperialism:
The desire to travel the stars will become a major focus for the species.  The realization that their planet’s existence is finite and the existence of their species is limited to that finite age is what drives this.  It may start small, as a local moon or station, however, this will expand to other planets within their system.

Phase 13:
Artificial Intelligence:
Many “AI” systems will have been developed before this but they will not be true AI.  The previous attempts will have been “work-arounds” and tricks to present the illusion of AI.  The need to create logical, trustworthy, and self-sufficient robots to extend past the solar system will be the drive for this creation.  It will be done, at first, utilizing digital and artificial materials and eventually use a cybernetic combination of organic and inorganic materials.  The organics will make the ability to utilize AI a much cheaper resource.
Phase 14:
Galactic Imperialism:
With the creation of true AI the species will have developed the key to making long, interstellar voyages.  Any organic species will have a finite life cycle and will be affected by social issues of long term flight.  With the advances of science and AI, the species will be able to make long trips through prolonged hibernation and multi-generational space crafts.  The species will inhabit foreign worlds and find various species at different levels of intellectual evolution.
Phase 15:
Galactic Liberalism:
At this point, all thoughts of religion for the majority will have either become abandoned or adopted a universal acceptance of everything and that all energy is connected to the universe itself.  The species, now present through the galaxy, will look to adopt new knowledge from the newly discovered areas to help increase their awareness and understanding of their universal environment.  A movement to establish equal and peaceful communications and exchanges amongst like -minded species will develop.  The desire to spread scientific knowledge and develop interspecies relations will push this movement, additionally, the common desire of any intellectual species to continue the existence of it’s species to infinity will provide the basis for this collaboration.
Phase 16:
Quantum Revolution:
It may seem like this would come earlier, however, the complexities of the quantum level or difficult to reproduce at will and contain.  It will take many years to fully understand the universal physics at a quantum level, and with the advance of AI, various species collaboration on science  and technology and the ability to observe universal effects such as black holes and the like, will help this revolution come to pass.  This will also open the door to truly sustainable/renewable energy sources, interdimensional travel, and immortality.

Phase 17:
Intergalactic Liberalism:
The quantum revolution opens the door to instant communication/travel across great distances.  This leads to an effort to unite the universe and unlock it’s mysteries.  This period of time will be much akin to the original exploration of a species home planet.  Many worlds will be found of intellectual beings that never fully evolved and phased out, physical world understandings will be unlocked, and life will permeate with a universal network, throughout the universe. 
Phase 18:
Complete Existence:
It will come to be that many desires will be impossible and also that some are possible.  Time travel will prove to only exist forward and not backward and will be regarded as generally useless.  It will be found, through the use of quantum science, that a consciousness can exist outside of it’s body, but not easily.  The process will require a “training time” of separating the consciousness from the body and into an alternate medium.  This will become common place and eventually lead to beings with perfect bodies and separate consciousness.  Eventually, the natural desire to continue the existence of a species will fade, as it will become understood that the energy of the universe finite and needs to be returned.  The majority of the original organic species will allow itself to fade from physical existence while AI takes over the perfect bodies, continuing the search for new species to cultivate and assist in intellectual evolution.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 7.5 - Healthcare

I'm not even going to say anything more, this is some of the real information regarding the new healthcare overhaul, directly quoted from: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/23/6327399-health-care-one-year-later    Stay informed about the facts, make your own decisions based on truth, NOT speculation.

[The below information is a direct quote from the original author's page, I take no credit for this, the link to the author's page is here: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/23/6327399-health-care-one-year-later ]

*** How is the law affecting you RIGHT NOW? There were cries of, “Have you read the bill?” and “What’s in the bill?” which led to a lot of the confusion. Well, here’s some of what’s ACTUALLY in the bill that’s taken effect already or will this year, per NBC’s Betsy Cline and others:
- Children allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until their 26th birthday.
- A 10% tax on indoor tanning services. (Sorry, Snooki.)
- Seniors receive a $250 rebate to help cover the so-called “donut hole” in Medicare drug coverage
- Free preventative care covered by Medicare and private plans. (So, when your company says, “Good news, you now get free health-care screenings, child well visits, physicals and other preventative care,” that comes from the health-care bill.)
- Nursing mothers to be allowed lactation breaks
- Insurance companies no longer allowed to discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions
- Government-run insurance plan set up for adults with preexisting conditions who are denied coverage
- Government-run long-term care program set up. For those who participate, people pay premiums for five years and then will receive benefits if they need them -- “whether they are 20-somethings in snowboard accidents or 80-somethings with Parkinson’s disease,” the New York Times wrote.
- Insurance companies barred from placing lifetime caps on benefits
- Insurance companies barred from dropping patients’ coverage when they get sick
- Insurance companies must prove they spend 80% to 85% of premium revenue on medical services.
- Insurance companies required to disclose rate increases (and the reason) of 10% or more
- Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) begin receiving tax credits covering 35% of premiums to help them buy coverage. (This credit jumps to 50% in 2014.)
- States receive billions in funding for community health centers
- Drug companies face $2.5 billion in fees (rises in later years)
- Creation of a government research institute created in to examine the effectiveness of medical treatments
- Establishment of a Medicare Independent Advisory Board, which will be tasked with trying to keep Medicare spending down and submitting legislative proposals to do so. It will first submit recommendations in 2016.
*** How will it affect you IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS? If most of that sounds good (that is, unless you’re Snooki), Republicans will rightly argue the law was front-loaded with many of the positive parts. In 2013, new taxes and fees go into effect for individuals making more than $200,000 a year (and families making more than $250,000 a year), on dividends and interest, and on sales of medical devices. By 2014, the individual mandate goes into effect -- if you don’t have insurance, you have to buy it or face a fee. By 2016, that fee will be 2.5% of your income or $695 a year, whichever is more. (Kaiser has a helpful interactive timeline here.)
*** Bet you didn’t know…: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office yesterday passed around a quote from Starbucks’ CEO, who said, “I think as the bill is currently written and if it was going to land in 2014 under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.” It’s true that by 2014, businesses with more than 100 employees will have to contribute to buying health insurance for their employees or face hefty fines (if at least one of their employees qualifies for tax credits, but not Medicaid). But, we bet you didn’t know that businesses with fewer than 50 employees NEVER have to buy health insurance for their employees, per the White House.
*** By the numbers: For all your quick facts needs, here’s a health care, by numbers (gathered from published reports, the Kaiser Family Foundation, government health-care Web sites, the Department of Health and Human Services, and White House “fact sheets”):
- $2.8 billion: Dollars distributed so far to states to implement the law.
- $241 million: Dollars given so far to six states and a “coalition of states” in “Early Innovator” grants
- $50 million: Dollars to go out this year for five-year medical malpractice grants to go out this year to states to “develop, implement, and evaluate alternatives to current tort litigations”
- $50 million: Dollars in grants sent to states to establish exchanges
- $46 million:
Dollars in grants so far to states to address insurance rate increases
- 4 million:
People received $250 because they hit the Medicare “donut hole” since the law passed
- 12,000:
People who were denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions since the law was passed and were added to the government-run Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan
- 1,040:
Waivers granted that allow companies to cap annual payouts at lower levels than the original law orders
- 219:
House Democrats voted for the health-care bill
- 171: House Democrats remain in Congress
- 63: House seats Democrats lost in the 2010 midterms
- 56: Senate Democrats voted for the bill
- 53:
Percent who say they’re still confused by the law
- 48: Percent who say they think the law has either been repealed (22%) or aren’t sure (26%)
- 46: Democrats who voted for the bill remain in the Senate
- 38:
States whose legislatures have proposed measures opposing elements of health reform
- 27: States have challenged the constitutionality of the law
- 26: Percent who say they’re not sure if the health-care law has been repealed
- 22: Percent who say incorrectly that the health-care law has been repealed
- 6: States -- Nevada, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, and Iowa -- all have applied for waivers and are being reviewed
- 6: Cases pending in lower courts challenging the health-care law
- 5: Health-care lawsuits taken up by the courts out of the dozens of cases that were filed -- most centered on the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to buy health insurance
- 3: Steps the Small Business Administration created for small businesses to apply for or see if they qualify for government subsidies. The SBA claims, “Four million of the nation’s six million small businesses that employ workers could be eligible for these credits.”
- 3: Court decisions in court in favor of the administration
- 2: Court decisions against the administration.
- 1: State -- Maine has undergone the full process to get approval for a waiver on the 80%-85% provision of the health-care law. It got the provision adjusted to 65% through 2012. The reason for approval, per HHS: “The main insurance company that provides coverage for about” one-third of the 37,000 people on the individual market “said they may leave the market if they are required to meet the higher standard.”
- 1: Other state -- New Hampshire -- is farthest along in its waiver process and has a hearing set for Thursday.