Category Archives: Society

Contra Points vs Jordan Peterson

ContraPoints does a fun job analyzing and critiquing Jordan Peterson. I went into it never having seen a video by ContraPoints before, and I wondered if, based on the name, it would just be about countering views, but might fail to adequately represent the original view in the first place. I expected that it would explore the primary issue surrounding Jordan Peterson: his stand against gov enforced use of gender neutral pronouns in Canada. In the show, the narrator did a surprisingly good job exploring Peterson’s larger philosophies but didn’t make the case for gov enforced pronouns other than saying, “the very idea of people requesting different pronouns to suit their individual needs is exactly the kind of thing a person who values individual liberty over collective dogma should be on board with.“

In a 28 minute video she only directly addressed his point once.  This is the whole ground upon which he went public in opposition to the Canadian Gov move to force pronoun usage, and is the main reason for the opposition to him from the left.  So to spend over 20 minutes exploring his ideas, some of which was actually quite positive, making love to his effigy, and a significant amount critiquing his larger philosophical framing and ideas, but to wind up making such a mild and problematic single statement on the forced pronoun issue is a bit telling and suggests that she actually doesn’t have a good contra point for it.  

The problem with her one liner is it is internally  contradictory if put into context, or else it’s completely missing the point if taken out of context.  

The internal contradiction is between the idea of individual liberty and the idea of getting on board with something.  To say that someone who values the former should inherently do the latter is implicitly contradictory. Then when you add the fact that the thing one would be getting on board with is removing individual liberty by force of law and threat of punishment, the contradiction is even greater.  

The other problem with her statement is that he is not objecting to someone requesting a different pronoun.  He’s said he’s happy to have that conversation with individuals.  Given that she’s not even accurately representing his point, she’s making her own point irrelevant.  

Instead he’s objecting to someone being backed by gov power to force someone else to use any pronoun they wish.  That is forced speech and is  prone to abuse of power.  It’s a power trip.  And nothing in her 28 minute video really directly addressed this.  She made some other interesting points about his larger philosophies and accused him of using straw man tactics and psychobabble to win debates and confuse his interviewers, but all of that is beside the above main point.  In fact my impression is that she herself used a lot of psychobabble and red herrings, er lobsters, to draw the viewer away from the main point.  

My take away is that she confirmed my question, based solely on the name, wondering whether the show would be mainly about finding contradictions and counter points but might fail to adequately represent the main point that it’s attacking in the first place.  This appears to be the case, at least with this episode. 

The REAL 99%

I laid awake in bed some time between 4 and 5 AM this morning receiving some profound thoughts about the nature of consciousness and existence. What follows is an attempt to remember and assemble fragments of the download into a written form.

The greatest choice we can make is to choose to imagine, accept, know, and experience that we are more than just the physical, more than just the visible, and that our invisible aspect is actually the far more significant part of who we are, like 19 to 1, or even 99 to 1, even approaching infinity to 1. Making the choice to accept that we are more than just the physical, it turns out, puts one into a group with approximately 99% of all people, fellow choosers so to speak. This combined with the idea that our invisible aspect is far more significant than our visible suggests that this is the REAL 99% group identity, rather than some far more mundane and less profound physical economic political identity. This is REAL power, the real power that those with secrets to keep are most afraid of.

As one’s individual identity approaches the infinite, one discovers that all information in all of reality is available to one’s inquiring mind, that one’s own mind is a subset and derivative of the One Mind. This experience enables one to become free from any and all group dogmas, self-limiting group identities, reality boxes, etc. One finds that it is in fact these artificial fabricated group identities and their attendant obligatory dogmatic idea platforms that are more imprisoning than protecting.

The main problem appears to be that the human logical mind seems to be optimized for choosing the easiest path toward basic physical survival. A consequence of this is that even though the vast majority of us choose to believe that we are more than just the physical, we generally choose to identify strongly with a physical group identity that is a far smaller subset than the 99% of the total population who also believe that we are more than the physical. In other words, the vast majority of people choose a more focused or specialized form of belief in the visible, rather than the larger more general group identity who believe in the invisible. The end result of this is that we are divided and conquered by our own laziness and willingness to become attached to physical group identities that wind up dividing us against each other, possibly to the benefit of those who would exploit us for their material or metaphysical gain.

Granted, this is all a vast oversimplification, as are most such broadly general theses. This however, does not make it false.

It is of particular relevance that I had the book Remote Viewing by David Morehouse under my pillow when I received the above notions.

Beware Compound Interest

Beware the power of compound interest. Anything more than 3% is suspect and prone to abuse. Because the whole world has been forced into accepting a debt-based monetary system, it is vulnerable to the bankers’ agendas and will to shape events and outcomes. By controlling interest and lending terms, they have more influence and control than any king has ever had, and yet they are able to remain relatively unknown and hidden.

Therefore the people must become knowledgable about how interest works, and make it a central issue of public debate and public influence. Consent must be sought and practiced at all levels, lest the bankers take ownership of everything and enslave Mankind to their calculations and algorithms. Lending must be for the good of the people, not the betterment of a few.

Publicly owned banks are one way the people can respond. Even better is to set coherent and comprehensive fiscal policy over how lending may be done. This is assertive of our inherent sovereignty, and avoids one small sub group having undue influence over the rest of us.

Tutorials and learning aids that describe how compound interest works in the global money system are desperately needed at this time. The more visually stunning and dynamic the better. “The 30 Year Mortgage is a Scam” is an example of a title for a short informative online exposé. Control the soundbites and provide many. Along with the exposé, release multiple image-based memes that highlight several core soundbites and that can be shared easily. Another important focus is student loans.

Focus on the differences between compound interest & a better way. Do it like an advertisement for “A Better Way Company,” even if there isn’t anyone offering it in reality. Do the numbers and do the research for what it would take for a Better Way Bank to exist within the current banking system. If it’s impossible due to rigged rules, then show that. Show how a Better Way Bank could be sustainable and provide a more stable currency of it were the norm. Show how significantly different the world could be if finance were run in this way, paying attention to business policy, environmental policy, etc.

Our smart phones are crippled by service provider prisons

I just watched a good talk by Alec Muffet about how our smart phones are amazing computers, but that we are being kept prisoners inside walled gardens by our mobile providers and prevented from having full internet connectivity.

You and Your Phone are Huge Threats to the Net #security #privacy #tor #dns 
“This is the talk I presented at Reading Geek Night 27 on Jan 10th; the theme was the power of mobile computing and of real networking, and of how NAT, IPv4, DNS, and the typical provision of network a…”

I keep thinking since I heard Eben Moglen talk about the #FreedomBox at an Internet Society conference in NY, that we need a #FreedomPhone movement.  A first step might be to support a mobile phone manufacturer that attempts to build a more open-friendly phone like the GeeksPhone

Another step would be to increase demand for the WiMAX (4G wireless broadband) open protocols in the phone (LTE is also 4G but is created by existing wireless providers) and start putting up these towers in communities, possibly with the option of acting as a roaming tower for existing phone providers that use WiMAX (Sprint here in the States). This could be done as a for-profit venture, getting smaller communities on 4G while at the same time enabling local community information freedom.  One selling point would be that a local community could communicate wirelessly with its self for free, or outside for a small nominal VOIP level rate like $0.01/minute.

The technology is converging on VOIP everywhere, which is just voice sent over internet data packets. I think existing voice providers is transforming to walled garden internet service providers (AOL style), which is also why they’re selling these amazing handheld computers that can’t act as standalone internet peers.  “Freedom” 4G (WiMAX / LTE) towers that would allow being a peer on the internet, and pressure put on the existing providers by the users would be steps in the right direction.

I think for pressure to be brought by users, there would need to be a compelling use case, “meme,” or app that would make users want it enough to bug their providers for it, or more likely, to ditch their “providers” for the Freedom alternative.  I’m not sure what this game changing meme might be for others, but for me it would be a personal social networking node (Diaspora) running on the phone, with private and secure P2P text, voice, and video,  including a legacy “phone number” for connecting to land lines, mobile phone prisoners, etc.  This phone would then sync to my FreedomBox at my home for keeping my data secure in case my phone is stolen or lost.  I could also use the home box for converting the VOIP to a legacy land line “phone call,” or a VOIP provider (like could be used for $0.01/minute.   In all these situations, the wireless and land services are just barebones internet providers, utilities essentially, whether by a corporation or a local community.

US Notes and Reforming the Money System

This post is a response to a friend who suggested that JFK fought the Fed by printing US Notes:

My understanding is that US Notes were in circulation from 1862 until they were retired in 1971. There was a printing in 1963, but also in 1953 and 1928, in order to maintain the quantity already in circulation. There’s no evidence I’ve found that JFK directly attempted to increase the amount in circulation. (

As I understand it, and I have looked at the balance sheet of the Fed to verify it (, any interest that the Fed gets from the bonds backing the FRNs above its operating costs is returned to the Treasury. The main source of the compounding US Government debt is not from the Fed printing the notes, or even holding the bonds backing them. Rather it’s that the US Government is printing interest-bearing bonds to cover its operating costs and selling them on the open market to foreign and global banks, foreign central banks, used for reserves, etc. The responsibility lies with the US Government; it’s not a Fed problem. There is however the complicating factor that the Fed sets the interest rates.

In my opinion, just getting rid of the Fed doesn’t address the core problem, which is that the US Gov is using bonds to pay for its budget, and requiring interest bearing notes as banking reserves. The most intelligent reform I’ve seen is which suggests and offers a bill that uses a basket of interest-free US Notes and some gold/silver as the backbone of the economy. It would also change lending laws to remove compound interest from loans, only allowing fees to cover the actual costs of lending. This would basically change the banking and finance system into a highly regulated public utility, which I think it should be.  This is “our” money system after all.


In a conversation with a friend this morning, the topic of watching TV shows came up.  My friend felt a but bad about watching shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Lost, feeling like it was wasting time that could be used for walking in the woods, or reading a book.  My response was that I think these TV shows serve the purpose of including us in the daily dramas of a community.  We desire to watch these shows when we’re desiring more of a sense of beng a part of a community, which includes all these little sub stories and character dramas that we get from TV shows.

This is similar to my view of films, which are our modern equivalent of the tribal oral story teller.  We evolved over countless ages with myths, legends, and stories, all told orally.  Today, we are missing that, and in its place, we have film.  Film offers us our creation myths, our social teachings, a sense of who we are within our society, role models, a guiding principles.

Cash is for SAPS

Status, Access, Power, Stuff

It’s what customers really want, in that order. And this list is also prioritized by “most sticky” and “cheapest to fulfill”.

via Cash is for SAPS | Gamification Blog.

When I read the above, I had a nebulus queezy feeling arise in my stomach.  “Does it really boil down to that?”  Can our collective Id be defined by SAPS?  The article is explaining that in marketing a product to a customer, one needs to realize that those should be the priorities, rather than focusing too much on some kind of cash or “stuff”-based incentive.  I thought to my self that the SAPS model is to “stuff” what my intuition is telling me that my deeper, more universal priorities are to “status”.  Well, if that’s true, I asked my self, then what would I label my top driving motivations in life?  Off the top of my head I came up with: Beauty, Esteem, Excellence, Empathy, Enlightenment, or BEEEE…  That list could probably be shortened to Beauty and Empathy (BE.)

Ha, sounds kinda like hoky new agey spiritual BS, doesn’t it? It does even a bit to me, and yet those are the first labels that came to my mind for my top drivers.  Now, to clarify, the article is talking about priorities in the context of customers in relationship with a commercial marketer, whereas I’m talking about self in relation to Self.  There’s a big difference between these paradigms…. or is there?

In one sense the commercial context is rooted in an existing economic paradigm based on competition within a field of scarcity.  As we humans are creatures of Nature, we will vie with each other for scarce resources in order to survive and be as successful as possible, Naturally (*).  When there is excessive competition, the priorities of SAPS most definitely become uppermost.

As a contrast, people who live within indigenous cultures that have existed on this earth sustainably for countless ages have a very different set of drivers.  It’s difficult for me to define, being that I’m a member of modern society.  But based on a combination of my own intuition and reading about their world view, it seems to me that their drivers are more about caring for each other, having a sense of belonging to the tribe and the landl, having freedom to be as one needs to, and being surrounded with an abundant and nourishing environment that offers everything one needs to live.

On the face of it, the indigenous culture agenda seems like a very different set of priorities than the SAPS model, but ironically each of the 4 descriptions of that view can be interpreted fairly directly by one of status, access, power, and stuff.  However, there’s still a huge difference.  What is it?

To be continued …

* For some, this might not be a given, at least when worded like that, such as to people who view serving others and one’s community as being as much if not more important than serving one’s self.  Well, it can be easily argued that serving others is in fact better for one’s self, when it is collectively reciprocated in the form of the universal Golden Rule.