Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 4 - Letter To The President

Below is a recent letter I sent to the president.  I removed sections from some areas for privacy reasons:

Dear President Barrack Obama,

I would like to start by saying good day, and I hope you, and your family, are doing well. My name is Jason Wilczak [...].We are considered to be somewhere in the Middle, to Lower-Middle, class, based on the Thompson & Hickey 2005 model. [...]. This of course, is just some background information, as I would like to move in to the purpose of my letter next.

In 2008, I proudly visited the polls and cast my vote for a man I believed to be able to change the nation and the world. I have supported your decisions and defended your ability to be president. Today, I write this letter with the exact same feeling. I write this letter, however, with a thought. Something, I think, can define your presidency and attract the understanding of America that you are about change.

Most Americans (Liberal, Conservative, independent, or somewhere in between) want a better America. Of course, each one of us has similar, to drastically different, opinions on how this should be done. You, of all people, as well as your team, know this truth I would imagine. The problem really boils down to the fact that bipartisanship, to the average American, means the other party giving into what me, and my party, want. For example, a great deal of Conservative minded folks want Liberal minded folks to stop “babying” the lower class with “handouts”. Of course, some Liberal minded folks would like the Conservative minded folks to stop “pushing Old World ideals” onto a new age society. These arguments, obviously, are truly centered on an individual’s upbringing, personal beliefs, and their environment.

I believe, though, there is one major point that all Americans would agree on. I have seen this on many forums, blogs, in general conversation of people in differing opinions. Currently, there is a great deal of money spent on campaigns and private funding for particular candidates. I think you, as the president, can make a very bold statement by proposing to put an end to this. I know it may sound a bit extreme, but it is possible and would greatly increase your favor among Americans. Consider the amount of money raised and spent on a campaign, during its full cycle. Imagine proposing legislature
that would put an end to any monies used for campaigning purposes. Imagine explaining this legislature, on a televised address, that you feel the individuals and companies spending/donating this money should redirect it towards the American people. Envision telling America that all politicians will be given a fair playing field when it comes to running for office. No more expensive dinners, millions of dollars on commercials (mostly slanderous ones, at that), and the like.

Of course, in order for this to work, there would need to be rules. Some examples of these could be that in order to run for office, you must come up with a lump of money, from your own personal finances, say $10,000. This is a number that is affordable by any American, given the right determination and motivation. The fee would be pooled with all other “contenders” and would be used to pay for any flights or overnights that were required. If a news station would like to interview a running politician, then they must pay for the expenses and offer the opportunity to his/her contenders. This of course, is just an example, but even still, this isn’t the entire point.

A proposal, as described, will almost definitely be voted down. Members from all parties, greatly benefit from campaign contributions and private funding. However, it will have accomplished two very important things. The first is that it will show the American people your commitment and desire to fix the American economy and get Americans back to work. Secondly, it will force politicians into a catch-22 situation, similar to your brilliant play of the Bush Era Tax Cuts. By voting against the legislature, they, to the people, are saying “I don’t care”, and of course, voting for this legislature would make them part of the solution.
I think it is great food for thought, if you take money out of politics, you will take a great deal of the corruption out as well.

In closing, I would like to say that I think you are doing a fantastic job. Many people do not understand the amount of good and progress this country has sustained because of your ideals. I will be voting for your second term in hopes of more progressive success. [...]. Thank you again for taking the time to read this letter, from a middle class, average American worker.

Thank You,
Jason Wilczak

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 3 - The Root of All Evil

A new day, a new topic: Money.

The other day, while driving to work, something dawned on me, why do we need money?  Initially, it's a "wtf you talking about?" kind of response, but I think it should be given a little more attention.

A long, long time ago (no more than 6000yrs ago for you Creationists out there :)  ), our ancestors used the barter system.  This of course, was efficient for the time.  There were maybe 20 people to a town?  So of course, each person had a knack, and so on and so forth.  As population increased, people intermingled, exotic goods became available in many parts of the world, something more substantial and "easy" was needed to replace bartering specific items.  Here comes gold to the rescue, more specifically, currency "worth" gold.  This is important to note because the actual money (except for coins) isn't worth any more than the paper it's printed on (figuratively of course, it's probably worth substantially more due to the inks/dyes and "special counterfeit measures").  So what happens when you have more money than gold? Not good stuff, the value of the currency drops and life gets a little bit harder.

Anyway, so to be brief, I go to the store and buy a loaf of bread, instead of, let's say, giving computer advice(one of my personal talents) to the shopkeeper in exchange for a loaf of bread, I give him 1 dollar for a loaf of bread.  Now, several weeks later, the shopkeeper needs computer advice, he calls up the local tech line and for .99 /min he gets the advice he needs (there goes my dollar).  This cycle of course propagates until the dollar is lost/damaged/destroyed, whatever.

I have a proposal, since all we are really doing is taking some item, applying meaning/value to it and "passing the buck" (pardon the pun, I can't help myself sometimes), why not remove the messiness.  Now, for all your trekkies and Star Wars fans, don't mess yourself just yet.  As of now, it is not fully possible to have a "denominationless" society, no self control.  But I would like to steer more towards the Star Wars idea and introduce the concept of credits.

Okay, so hear me out.  Everyone who goes to work gets a paycheck.  Everyone who is part of the system, meaning they have an SSN, pays taxes and receives some kind of benefits (hopefully) when that time comes.
So, let us hit upon each point involved with money and explain how it will work:
  • Citizenship
    • Being a citizen gets you a social security number.  This number links you into the system.  All credits earned, spent, etc. are tied to your social security number.  Not too much different than things are today.
  • Employment
    • Alright, so right now people make all diffierent kinds of wages, different educations, so on and so forth.  Let's streamline this.  If you have a job, you get credits.  Jobs should be ranked on tiers, based on the level of education required for the job.
      • No job = Tier 0
        • 50 credits a week
      • No education = Tier 1
        • Full Time = 200 credits a week
        • Par Time = 100 credits a week
      • Standard Education (high school) = Tier 2
        • Full Time = 500 credits/wk
        • Part Time = 250 credits/wk
      • Advanced Education (associates/bach/tech school)
        • Full = 700/wk
        • Part = 350/wk
      • Master Education (masters/phd/etc.)
        • Full = 1000/wk
        • Part = 600/wk
    • Now this is all well and good, but what does it mean? Well, we will get down to the indication of credits momentarily.
  • Benefits
    • Being a citizen earns you several things:
      • Healthcare
        • Go anywhere, in country, at any time, and receive the healthcare you need, free
      • Food
        • Each citizen is guaranteed a certain "weekly credit" allowance for food.
        • On top of what you earn, or don't earn, you are granted X credits for food
          • Children under the age of 16 have their credits forwarded to their legal guardian(s)
        • Of course if you would like extra you can spend your credits how you see fit
      • Exchange
        • For countries that don't participate in the credit system.  Your home country can take credits for exchange to the specific countnries denomination
      • Home
        • Every citizen is guaranteed a place to leave based on your weekly credit in take.
  • Using Credits
    • Besides your standard basic rights that you are granted, you can use your credits for various things.
      • Home upgrades
        • Items for you home, such as electronics, decorations, etc.
        • Actual home upgrade, meaning you can bargain more of your weekly credits to live in a higher tiered home
      • Extra commodities
        • Extra food items, beyond the given credit allowance
      • In essence, anything you can do now with money
    • How does this work for businesses and resources?
      • Based on the business type and the amount of credits the business earns each "period" they are allotted X amount of resources
      • Business are run by a "popularity" contest.  The most popular business earn the most credits, thus having access to more resources
      • In order to start a business, entrepenuers must "estimate" a "periodic" credit earning which will "buy" them a year at that earning worth of resources.
        • After the year, if they fall below 25% of their expected they will have a "resource debt" that must be satisfied before they are allowed to receive resources at their current credit earning
        • The same applies, except opposite if they are above 25% of their estimate
How is this different from money?  It takes away the value of gold from the equation.  Instead, the value is placed within the individual.  There is really no reason to be greedy, you only make credits based on  your education level, not your greed or corporate bonus.  The key for business is becoming popular, meaning people buy from you because they like what you do.  This pushes good business ethics. 

Anyway, this is my idea on the whole thing.  I think it could work, if people really wanted a change.  Hopefully others will respond to this and get a dialogue going.  Thanks!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 2 - Ignorance is NOT bliss

So let us begin with a wonderfully hot topic: "Global Warming".  This, of course, is a concept you either accept or don't.  However, I would like to add a spin on this.  What really is the harm of following suggestions to prevent Global Warming?  Even if you do not believe, there are some specific truths behind it.

1) Oil is not an eternally sustainable item.  It will eventually run out, this is a truth.  How long that takes, of course depends on the amount in reserve that we are able to access.  But, nonetheless, it is something that will run out.  Therefore, it is very much a good idea to start persuing other options.  Plus, I certainly wouldn't mind not paying $4 a gallon, no?  So I think everyone can agree, it is a good idea to focus some time and effort into persuing alternative fuel sources.

2) Carbon monoxide is...BAD.  The stuff kills.  It kills you and me, it kills plants, and it kills animals.  Now, it may not be as bad as it's made out to be.  But certainly, the stuff is not made of cotton candy.  It is toxic, it can kill, and of course, it's just probably not the best thing to be floating around in the air.  This of course falls in line with point 1.  If we can find a way to stop producing carbon monoxide, but utilizing alternative fuels, that would be good, no?  I don't even really think this one is much of an argument.

3) Supply and demand.  So, we have a planet with about 6-7 billion people on it.  Of course, it is understood, that in order for an individual to survive, they need food and water.  Ok, so no arguments there.  But, this poses a problem, as the population grows, real estate quantities diminish.  Meaning, we have less room for farms and areas to create food.  As population grows, our requirements for clean water increase, which of course means we need more purification plants and better technology.  So in this effect, we have two options, that I can see:
          a) We either invest more money in R&D to create high nutrient food items in small areas.  This, unfortunately, would probably cut into local farm revenues.  Additionally, we would need to create better water purification, either be ocean desalinization or better methods of collecting rain water and such, in poorer countries.
          b) The other option is to move out.  Yes, out to space.  Even option (a) is only a temporary fix.  There is not enough room and resources to provide for the explosive population growth of the human race.  If we moved out onto Mars or even the Moon (as a stepping stone).  We could easily shift people among the different planets to accomade for space.  Perhaps Mars would be excellent for setting up factories to produce the high nutrient foods where Earth's local farms could remain in good revenue with the now available space.

Either way, left and right, are both satisfied by these all the options presented for all the points here.  The left gets research money into space exploration and green technologies.  The right gets to maintain small business success and support for entrepeneurship into new lands and territories. 

Just my thoughts on this whole Global Warming business, I mean it's kind of like the snow storms in the Northeast here.  Everyone goes crazy, runs off to Walmart, buys $9,000 worth of groceries for 10in of snow.  But, in the end, do you really want to be the a$$hole with no food if we do get snowed in for a couple of days?  Of course not, it's always better to be a little overprepared.  Worse case scenario, you have some extra groceries for the week, big deal, certainly beats starving to death due to ignorance.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 1 - Battle of the Budgets

Ok, so today I am frustrated by something.  Before I jump into it, let me first explain my political perspective.  I am, by nature, a liberal.  I believe in spending money in R&D for safer, newer technologies.  I believe that the "more fortunate" should help the "less fortunate", because in the end, we are all human beings.  However, I do have a conservative side to me.  I was born and raised catholic, went to all my classes, church every Sunday, heck I'm even confirmed.  I believe in the GENERAL laws/guidelines that religion has "bestowed" us as a society.  I believe that there needs to be responsiblity and sound decision made when expending money, just as I have to do with my wife and our family.  I am totally against the use of unions, in their current form.  I, as most, believe they were needed to establish some fundamental worker's rights, however, they have become bloated and obsolete, and in my opinion, cause a lot of today's current corporate outsourcing.

All that being said, I have a major issue with what is happening in DC right now.  I know there are always arguments and disagreements.  I know the health care bill has it's flaws and I know that the current (before the Republican takeover in the House) administration has done some unnecessary spending.  However, I am completely taken back by the proposed budget from the House!  I mean, the thought is, spend less money, keep government out of our lives, and let small businesses grow and hire.  But that doesn't seem to be what they are fighting for... and here are my points of contention:

1) We continue tax cuts for the wealthy:
        -OK so this, even though I am not sure of the actual outcome, may have SOME merit.  If you give tax cuts to the wealthy, they will have more money, which in turn SHOULD trickle down to the "less monetarily endowed".  There are a whole lot of "IFs" and "SHOULDs", which makes me skeptical, however, we'll let this slide.

2) Defund Planned Parenthood and begin pushing Pro-Life bills throughout various areas in the country
       -This is where I start getting lost.  If the idea is to keep government out of our lives, then why push pro-life?  Wouldn't pro-choice be the belief of people who actually believed that government should stay out of your life?  Also, defunding PP??  I mean, this valuable resource helps thousands of people (I'd say millions, but I really have no hard numbers).  Heck, there were times I'd run in and grab a handful of condoms, isn't that necessary?  Doesn't that help people from having to make the difficult decision of pro-choice/pro-life?

3) Moving on... all of this is absolutely useless!
      -None of this is going anywhere... House says a bunch of stuff, Senate gives them the finger... It is all SYMBOLIC!!  Seriously??  So for the next two years, I'm going to go to work and just talk about everything I am going to do, the extremem measures I'll take to do it...but I won't actually DO anything.  Let's see how well that fairs...

Anyway, I'm done with this, it's frustrating and annoying.  Look, believe in God, believe in old world ideals, but this isn't the 1800s anymore.  The world is moving forward, we need green technologies, we need new technologies, and we need to accept that Catholiscism has no place in our government, it has place in your home.  As far as keeping government out of our lives?  Sorry, it's not going to happen, large masses of people need some organization and somebody driving the bus and only a transparent, coherent government will make that happen, otherwise we might as well institute the Mafia in our local towns.  It may sound like Socialism, but it is what it is.  This country was found on moving forward with new ideas, not falling back on old ones.

Day 0 - The universe is round!

This is my first post.  I used 0 because I am a programmer and that's just how we roll because 0 IS a number and never gets any love.  Anyway, I would like to open up that I encourage discussion and I am massively addicted to the internet, so I will probably check my comments/posts on a ridiculously frequent basis.

My first topic, and thought process, is something that I twitted (past tense of tweeting?) to @NASA and @NSF, but to not have received any response.  I was reading an article, somewhere, mostly like from Alan Boyle on related to how the universe is expanding at an increasing rate, versus a decreasing rate.  Of course, everyone is confused because the thought is, at a certain point, you should (and by you I mean celestial bodies millions (trillions?) of light years long) should lose momentum and begin to slow down in expansion.  

I thought to myself, at this point, that perhaps the universe, our universe in fact (since the multiverse is all the latest rage nowadays) should be round, well spherical to be precise.  I mean consider it, everything natural has some spherical quality to it, at it's core.  Why shouldn't the universe be spherical too?  If you consider a balloon, inflated of course.  Assume that at the top of the balloon you drip some water onto it.  As the water travels to the edge of the balloon they would move faster, no?  I mean, think of the Earth, while you're on top of it, you never actually know it's round, it always seems flat and perhaps, if applied in a similar manner, I would even make the bold assumption that if you rolled a ball down the road, as it approached the horizon it would appear to be moving faster that it actually is, but that of course is theory.

I'm going to take this a little farther... suppose that the universe maintains it's own gravity, so as these celestial bodies travel "down" the sides of the universe, they reach a special area.  A more massive than super massive black hole.  All the celestial bodies eventual travel to this black hole and when the density becomes so grand (after all the matter in the universe falls inside) it "bursts" back out of the top and restarts the process all over again.

Alright, well there you go, somebody had to solve the mysteries of the universe(s).  That's my thought on this topic for today and now it's time for some sleep.  I would seriously love some feedback from someone that maybe has a little bit more knowledge on the subject.

Good night everyone.