Monthly Archives: August 2016

Communism – the end of the capitalist rainbow


Karl Marx should have been born a Millennial

Our automated future is coming. In fact, under most of our awareness, automation has already begun to negatively impact the middle and lower classes’ economic viability. This is to be expected. Karl Marx speculated this one hundred and fifty years ago. He was just a bit early that’s all.

If Karl Marx had been born a Millennial his theories would evolve with what humanity is seeing as the “elimination of work”; eliminated through the automation, the robotization of all human labor. He would have been witness to the fulfillment of what I propose is the much maligned dream of humanity — Communism.

From Wikipedia:

Communism … As the development of the productive forces end scarcity, goods and services are made available on the basis of free access. … The result is communism: a stateless, classless and moneyless society, structured upon common ownership of the means of production.

The “development of the productive forces.” Or in other words, full on robotic automation of all labor.

If you read more of that segment found on Wikipedia you’ll realize that Marx theorized that capitalism was a transition component in the development of humanity’s ultimate economic state; the state of equality. How prophetic his thoughts seem today. But during Marx’s era the possibility that labor could be automated, releasing all humans from the drudgery of work-a-day manual toil was only a dream. Any attempt to circumvent automation and jump straight to Communism was doomed. Work had to get done and back then humans were the only source of labor for such work. Yet, humans are greedy. Most people would work but some wouldn’t. Some would rather oversee than work. Greedy humans in positions of authority in a communist state are destined to corrupt the economic machine (just as humans in a capitalistic state are also destined to corrupt — to their benefit — their own economic machine.)

But if Marx were, oh, say 25 today, he could bear witness to the burgeoning disassembly of labor. A disassembly orchestrated and funded by capitalism. For what fundamental tenet governs capitalism but the drive to increase profits through the maximization of productivity and the minimization of costs. And the greatest cost to capitalists is — labor. And what means of the elimination of labor is favored by all? Automation. “All” you say? Why yes, we all ache for the elimination of labor. Labor that we each cringe from, labor we all dread (farm, yard, industrial, cleansing, preparation, etc.) labor no one enjoys, labor that we do because we must not because we want to.

So human labor is destined for elimination. This is a good thing, eventually. The transition from here to there however, is going to be fraught with unrest, and there is a possibility that humanity fails to make the full transition. But for the sake of argument, let’s say we do…

Let’s jump forward to a time when our Millennial Marx is now 75 years old, what might he see?

  • Raw foods are grown, harvested, processed, shipped and used in automated end product food factories producing breads, cereals, cheeses, juices, sauces, meat substitutes, and fresh and frozen entrees of every cultural origin — which are delivered to your doorstep, free of charge.
  • Every community is clean and manicured, every domicile is cleansed and vacuumed, every transportation hub is spotless as are all the roads, buildings and public spaces — all sanitized and purified for free.
  • Transportation to anywhere is free.
  • Materials to create anything you might fancy with regards to the arts or creativity — free.
  • Your health, monitored and maintained all at no cost.

All this and more provided for by the complete automation of human labor by the creation of a multi-billion strong robotic workforce. Created by the capitalists, true, but unbeknownst to them created for the benefit of all. And the only contention still held by humans is where and for how long they live. The old adage, location, location, location, can never fully be equalized. But a lottery with timed stays can solve this without too much strife.

What our Karl might observe is a society where there truly are no “have-nots.” Where resources are shared without the need for social stratification based on wealth. Where, aside from the location x 3 issue, the only other conflict is the political squabbling regarding issues driven by weather or environmental calamity such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

This world, that our now old Marx might smile over, certainly looks a lot like Communism.

However, the vast and ugly missing piece in this bucolic scene looms as an ominous storm cloud over the whole story; why would capitalists ever surrender their ever increasing profits as automation expands and eliminates the need for human labor? Is this Marxist premise not the exact opposite of what capitalism represents? That is, profit above all, profit for profit’s sake? I agree. Our Millennial Marx may never experience humanity’s vision of equality, its communistic future for the indomitable greed of humans. But I ask you, when half or more of the world’s people are jobless, wageless, homeless and starving all due to the robotization of labor what else can society do but to complete the capitalistic rainbow and evolve into Communism?


The evolution of human economic systems may indeed drift toward Communism by this very simple eventuality: the automation and robotization of labor.

What happens when 50% or more of all work is being done by billions of laborbots? When the picking and cleaning and processing and packing and shipping and handling of most stuffs is all done by a workforce built by capitalists in the name of productivity and cost reduction — what happens to the billions of people who no longer work? Indeed when all food stuffs are grown and harvested and shipped by robots who is to benefit? Should food then be free? And what of all the other necessities and sundries? When the clothing bots, the shoe bots, the tool, toys and gadget bots; what happens when all of these bots produce all of this stuff for the industrial production owners? What shall the people do to earn a wage to buy such stuff? Should these items too be free?

When the means of production are robots — who shall benefit? The capitalists who own the production? But to whom can they sell their stuffs without a populace with working wages to buy it? Or should the people benefit having the means of production passed to communal ownership for the benefit of all? There may not be a choice in the end.


Information – visual vs aural

The two pathways of information traversal, eyes -> brain, ears -> brain, seem to be two vastly different circuits of information processing. Is this important? That is, is there a significant difference between information you receive, understand and retain through your eyes than through your ears?

With so much of a human’s brain dedicated to visual processing I would wonder than information that we receive through our eyes might be more detailed, more nuanced. And, primarily, would printed information, the word you are reading right now, take a critically different pathway through your brain to land in the place where these words take on meaning?

On the other hand, listening to things, listening to people speak for instance, would these words take a separate and perhaps more or less influential pathway to the place where the words take on meaning?

You read the word “STOP” on a  red sign while driving.
You hear the word “STOP” through a speaker while driving.

You [read or hear] the words “your biopsy shows signs of Leukemia.”

You [hear or read] the words of an environmental speech regarding climate change.

You [read or hear] your parent or child say, “I’m going out for an hour, I’ll be back by four.”

Do any of these scenarios imply that hearing vs reading, listening vs seeing makes a difference in the result of the information entering our brain? Do we remember the written word better than the spoken word? Or vice versa?

And with this question comes the kicker, if there is a difference, should we be focusing more on the one than the other as a means of learning?


Youtubers – don’t need TV

I was talking with a neighbor who pointed out how perfect youtube is for producing and promoting content that you control. No bending to the demands of networks or advertisers. No getting cancelled. I used to think that youtube was the preview venue for /getting on the television/. I don’t think that anymore.

Youtube maybe the most perfect video distribution platform out there. Now, if those guys could just get paid…

Here are my top four most favorite YouTube video producers.

  1. The Scott Rea Project
  2. MCQBushcraft
  3. PrimitiveTechnology
  4. How To Make Everything

Watch any of them you like. I’d suggest to binge watch them from the beginning of their careers though. Easily some of the best stuff on the Web today.

Hey Intel – telecommute!

I know this guy, see…

He just had an interview with Intel. Well, he almost had an interview with Intel.

He drove out to the Hillsboro, OR campus, a huge place covered with blacktop which, in turn, is covered by cars. It took him nearly an hour to drive there from his home, in not quite rush-hour traffic. This guy see, he’s used to telecommuting. Been doing it for a decade; like it’s the 21st century way to program right?

So he gets there and he’s like, burnt out by the travel, already he’s burnt out. He’s dressed like no one there, you know, like an interviewee, and he politely meets and follows the interviewer up to where he’s supposed to be interrogated. Only, when he gets there, he balks.

Oh sure, he’s congenial about the interview, but when they ask him about his in depth business intelligence experience? Yeah, he just goes, “what about telecommuting?”

They go, “sure if you, like, break your leg…”

(Intel. Fricking INTEL doesn’t, like, LEAD the nation in telecommuting as an option for their employees? WTF!)

Well, my guy, he goes, “I’m sorry, but there’s no way I’m spending nearly two hours in the car commuting to and from this job.”

The Intel people are stunned. “What?” they’re thinking? “This guy doesn’t want to kowtow to Intel?” (my words — not theirs.)

So they pretty much go, “Welp, I guess this interview is over.”

And my guy, he goes, “Yup, sorry to waste your time (but, like, I wasted WAY more of my time getting to and leaving from here — anyway.)”


What is wrong with this country’s technological corporations that they cannot seem to trust their employees enough to allow them to forego the arduous, unproductive, stressful commutes in cars — and just let them work from home? Home, where every damn one of them has a high speed internet connection that could serve just-fine-thank-you for getting their work (namely bits) to and from said corporations servers.

It’s time we revolt!

Bit Bucketeers Revolt, BBR, BBR, BBR!

Face it – if you’re not bitching about the fact that your job could just as well be done from the privacy, security, and comfort of your own damn home, you sir, you madam, are part of the problem.


Humans – unique in Universe

This is a collection point for such information.


I keep a running list of reasons why Earth-Humanity are unique in the Universe. Here is my partial list. It’s incomplete and merely presents food for thought.

Earth is unique. We read about these immense numbers of galaxies, stars and planets and just *know* that there are other “earths” out there. But it will become more and more evident and publicly accepted that Earth is exceedingly unique. The list continues to grow regarding factors that make it so, but here are a few.

• Sol is singular, not a binary star system. It’s estimated up to 1/2 of solar systems are binary.  This cuts the number of possible stars for Sol like systems by 2/3s.
• Sol’s position in the galaxy is out in an arm away from the chaos of inner galaxy turmoil.
• Sol’s wave path as the Milkyway revolves allows it to miss much of the disruptions in the galaxy. (Local bubble)
• Earth’s distance from Sol, Goldilocks zone, LOTS of liquid water.
• Earth’s neighbors, Jupiter’s asteroid cleaning.
• Earth’s impact from Theia resulting in a much denser iron/nickel core.
• Earth’s extensive magnetosphere (due to this larger than normal magnetic core).
• Luna’s very large size and its influence on Earth’s rotational / axial stability, not to mention tides (tide pools enhance life generation possibilities).
• The asteroid belt delivering asteroids, comets and meteors and their H2O and elements.

Here are some chemical aspects of Earth that make it unique

• Earth’s H20 to land ratio.
• Earth’s land distribution (large continents, not islands).
• Earth’s high quantity of radioactive elements within the planet interior.
• Volcanism continuously recycling minerals and elements.
• Early life starting 3.5bya, clearing the oceans of toxins.
• The tilt of Earth providing seasons.
• Ozone without which DNA would be rendered inert.
• The transition of prokaryotic to eukaryotic life.

And here are some reasons why Man is unique on this Unique earth.

• 2.5 billion years of hydrocarbon deposition.
• Humanity’s survival through and benefit from disease, we are robust.
• The decimation of prior dominant classes of animals and the rise of mammals.
• Fire both its discovery and the existence of burnable material for boosting our nutritional uptake and our ability to manipulate elements.
• Broad variety of available metals useful for life and industry and eventually the construction of communication capabilities.
• The configuration of the continents that gave rise to grasses that gave rise to agriculture.
• The existence and development of draft animals without which agriculture would not have arisen.
• Humanity had to survive, and in general, avoid having its electricity systems (generation, grid, transformers) being devastated by CMEs (coronal mass ejections).

And no doubt many more.

We are unique.

• I agree that the numbers favor life, lots of life, in the Universe. What I’ve tried to explore, over the years of gathering this list, is that the trek of humanity to the stage we enjoy today is one of tenuous happenstance. I find that many folks I’ve spoken with haven’t examined the special situational sequence of events and configuration of planetary, ecological, and geological factors that humans leveraged to get to this point in our evolution.

Take trees for instance. Where would humanity be if it were not for the existence and diversity of trees? The implications are manifold. If there are alien intelligences out there living on planets where trees or their substitute, do not exist… could they discover fire? Build shelter? Build ships? Construct tools and machinery of thousands of kinds? Produce charcoal for smelting? Produce methanol as a fuel? I realize that such a statement is highly anthropocentric. But still, imagine humanity without the ability to leverage wood as a resource. Wither wood, would we have ever reached the state we thrive in today?

It’s factors like that, in that list as well as others I’ve identified, that simply invite one to step back and think about how incredible humanity’s path to technological advancement really is.

• As I alluded to, the argument for life vs intelligent, electromagnetic capable life are two different things. Lots of life — sure. Intelligent life? Who knows. I simply list factors which many people do not take into account when examining humanity as an EMC (electromagnetic capable) species. A similar species to us would have to have enjoyed similar serendipity. That’s all my point is trying to provide. For instance, fuel for fire is necessary to smelt the metals that an EMC life-form might leverage to build their technology. Not to mention the fact that such metals must be readily available. Things like that.

• What’s unfortunate about SETI is that it’s focused on radio. It appears that even for humans, radio is a transition technology. The recent fervor regarding directed energy propulsion — lasers — to push tiny space craft out to the stars speaks of using lasers to communicate to and from said space capsules. If we’re already looking to use lasers to talk between us and our crafts or our colonies then it would seem we need to start to switch SETI over to capturing pulsed light transmissions; if we want to starting “listening” to aliens who might be using light to talk.



Greed and charity – a human cycle

I wonder if humanity, humans, progress through stages of greed and charity depending on certain external and internal conditions that arise. Here, let me elaborate…

Imagine you’re starving and about to die. You happen upon a morsel of food that you realize will save you. But there’s another human who has come across this gift at the same time. What will you do? What would most humans do? I’m guessing that, due to the savage influence hunger has on a human’s (or any mammal’s mind), you’ll dart forward, snatch up the life giving morsel and gobble it down. Greed in its most innate manifestation.

Imagine you’re traveling with enough food to last you for some time. You happen upon another human who is starving. What will you do? What would most humans do? I propose that, even though sharing your food will likely reduce your possible future viability, you bestow some of your store of food upon this individual thereby saving  their life. Charity at its kindest.

Imagine you’re the CEO of a mega-food company. A competitor has fallen on hard times and you realize that you can perform a hostile takeover and swallow them up. Your resulting company will have near total control over this one critical foodstuff that the world needs to survive — you’ll be in charge of a near monopoly. Your company will be able to raise prices which will boost your dividends, your stock price and your personal fortune. What will you do? What would most humans do? I’m thinking you will buy your competitor and raise prices. Greed — again.

Last one…

Imagine you are this CEO of this corporate monopoly and you’ve grown enormously rich over the decades. But as you approach your death you realize your incredible wealth was achieved at the expense of your soul. That you’ve probably been indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands of humans who have starved due to your oppressive price controls and general avaricious behavior. What will you do? What would most humans do? I posit that you will repent; you will seek to remedy the pain and suffering you’ve caused over the years and vow to donate the balance of your fortune to the Red Cross and the World Food Bank. Your philanthropy is cheered. Charity has returned.

Is it possible that humans, depending on the circumstances, cycle through periods of charity and greed? Humans are unique in that we do have some sort of sharing gene. That we have altruistic tendencies and that these tendencies have given rise to our domination over the natural world. We cooperate, coordinate, contribute and are stronger as a group.

Yet we retain the greed gene. At times, throughout our evolution, both personal and as a species, our selfishness surpasses our predilections of sharing and we covet and hoard. But what determines these behaviors? Which will you choose under what circumstances? And is there a way to influence humanity such that they, we, choose charity over greed?





The brain – softened

I hold that the human mind and its vast network of physical dendritic connections tend to calcify over time. Not with calcium mind you (although perhaps), but metaphorically. That thought patterns, held over time and reinforced over and over, build paths of thinking that harden into permanent, indelible opinions; old dog, new tricks kind of paths.

Such paths are physical. They exist as true physiological networks of neurons connected and maintained through repetitive exposure and perpetually held convictions. The destruction of these connections, that is, the changing of one’s mind, is a physical process. This physical breakdown and reconstruction of new pathways, the forming of a new opinions — hurts. I propose that certain drugs can assist in the softening of these connections allowing them to become pliable, alterable. That some drugs can actually assist in the easing or elimination of the pain incurred when, approached with a rational argument that refutes one’s own strongly held belief, said argument begins to change one’s world view.

Question: when have youth most often embraced the mind expanding affects of drugs? Most likely during their early 20’s, when, although their neural networks have not ossified into concretions of stubborn opinions, they, instead, embrace the possibilities of what philosophies the world has to offer. This is like drowning the drunk in buckets of spirits and elixirs. On the contrary what society might want to be doing is baptizing the indurate, the starched curmudgeons, in chemicals that may actually relax these rigid stress lines of their brain’s inflexible networks.

“Here old man, take a toke on this.”

“What? Not me. I’m much too set in my ways to suddenly abandon every Calvinistic (Islamic, Catholic, Hindu, etc.) belief I’ve ever had!”

“Yeah, but, I promise it won’t hurt you. And it might just easy that constant tension you feel between your shoulder blades.”

“Ah, now I’m starting to see the world though your eyes…”

Is it possible that were the world to be instantly and globally exposed to such a drug that stubborn opinions, dogmatic judgements would melt away? That perhaps a global consciousness might arise from such an experience?

Naw. Who am I kidding. Go on world — keep killing each other like you have for millennia over the most trivial differences in belief.