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With much of masculine creative energy going into video games like Red Dead Redemption these days, this isn’t a golden age of literature. But clearly Neal Stephenson is one of our more important novelists. From the Amazon promo copy:

Fall; or, Dodge in Hell: A Novel

Hardcover – June 4, 2019
by Neal Stephenson (Author)

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seveneves, Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon returns with a wildly inventive and entertaining science fiction thriller—Paradise Lost by way of Philip K. Dick—that unfolds in the near future, in parallel worlds.

In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.

In the coming years, technology allows Dodge’s brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife—the Bitworld—is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls.

But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem . . .

Fall, or Dodge in Hell is pure, unadulterated fun: a grand drama of analog and digital, man and machine, angels and demons, gods and followers, the finite and the eternal. …

I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.

Second, even if they somehow got it to work in whatever sense “work” means, and elderly cranky me was in some meaningful sense embodied in silicon, I can’t imagine my heirs would go through all the trouble of constantly upgrading annoying me and my buggy operating system to the latest standard and going through expensive debugging instead of just saying, “Oops, great-great-grandpa, I guess you are obsolete. Too bad. So sorry. Bye-bye.”

I can barely keep my own software up to date. And I like me more than my descendants will like me.

Moreover, while dying is expensive in terms of hospital bills and funeral expenses, we paterfamilii can take some comfort in knowing that being dead has been quite cheap. But now the Professor Hansons of this world want us to have to budget for an eternity of debugging and upgrades, which is an alarming challenge to say the least.

 
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  1. sigh…go to nothingness if you will…as for me, I prefer a chance to live and learn forever …to travel someday to distant stars…

    uploading, a new body, whatever, I want it…it’s better than death…but ultimately you deathists send a chill down my spine…to reject the possibility of immortality and instead embrace death…shudder…

    Oh you, you know you must be blind
    To do something like this
    To take the sleep that you don’t know
    You’re giving Death a kiss,
    Poor little fool now
    -black sabbath

    • Replies: @Cato
    Yeah, I would like to be uploaded too. But I can imagine the moment when the uploading occurs, and at the end of it, I'm still sitting in my body. "You've uploaded," they'll say, but I'm still looking out of my own old eyes -- I'm the part that's left behind. What kind of consolation would it be that something in a computer, out there, elsewhere, has the same memories that I have?
    , @dfordoom

    uploading, a new body, whatever, I want it…it’s better than death…
     
    But if your consciousness is uploaded isn't it really just a copy? The actual you will still be dead. You won't have any awareness that there's a copy of you floating around, because you'll be dead. Your consciousness will have been extinguished.

    It's like thinking you can escape death by having another you cloned from your toenails or whatever. The clone is just a copy. When you're dead you're still dead.

    This whole uploading thing is just rather pathetic wishful thinking. Magical thinking.
  2. But consider how many new service jobs it will create! (/sarc)

  3. It will be the other way about. The AI will decide the wetware information processing systems are obsolete, and mail us all back to Jesus.

    The greatest and most prophetic work of art of all time came about 100 years from the end with Forbidden Planet, a cookie cutter of The Tempest

    My master through his art forsees the danger
    That you, his friend, are in, and sends me forth —
    For else his project dies—to keep them living!

  4. In a philosophical sense, the digitized you isn’t “you”, it’s just a copy of you indistinguishable (assumedly) from the original.

  5. Dixie Flatline: viz., Gibson did it already, way way back in the Before-fore Timey-Times.

    Next.

    (Geez, this guy rips off J. Raspail in “Snow Crash,” and Pynchon (badly) in “Cryptonomicon”. Someone put out an APB on this huckster.

    Next thing up to rip off: Tristram Shandy. Puh-leeze.

  6. On this Easter morning, I rejoice in (among other and more important things) being able to rely on my Lord to keep me out of any such mess. Pretty sure that even if some ghoul wants to molest the decaying nerve tissue that used to be my brain, all they’ll get out of it will be a smelly mess.

  7. The plural of pater familias can be either patres familias or patres familiarum, but not what is printed in bottom paragraph.

  8. Anon[148] • Disclaimer says:

    Glad Stephenson is solidly back to writing after that “reinvent narrative” interactive nonsense project with his pals, and the swordplay video game Kickstarter that crashed and burned, with no refund to the funders.

    OT

    I have a feeling this can be traced back to Stephen Miller (not Ben Carson).

    Why HUD Wants to Restrict Assistance for Immigrants

    A proposal by Ben Carson’s agency would eject immigrant families from public housing to make way for the “most vulnerable.” Housing advocates aren’t buying it.

    The Trump administration is targeting immigrants with a new policy—this time, by seeking to restrict housing assistance for families with mixed-citizenship status.

    “Thanks to [President Donald Trump’s] leadership, we are putting America’s most vulnerable first,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson tweeted in response to a story from the Daily Caller on the proposed rule.

    Currently, HUD allows families to live together in subsidized housing even if one member of the family is an ineligible immigrant. The agency prorates the subsidy for the household.

    This kind of fiendishly nerdy manipulation of a regulatory technicality is right up Miller’s tactical alley. We need armies of Millers to track down such trivia and weaponize it. Hilariously, the left does have to admit that the housing is either going to continue to go to these part-illegal families or to other poor, probably black, families.

    “So essentially, what HUD is saying is that, say, the mom is undocumented, but she’s got five kids who are citizens, then this is going to make those kids homeless,” said Judith Goldiner, attorney-in-charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit of The Legal Aid Society in New York. That mom would also be vetted if she applied for housing for her kids, meaning HUD would learn her immigration status.

    As opposed to the poor black mom with only three chill’ens, from three baby daddies. Five trumps three! To make her fake hypothetical sufficiently tear-jerky, she has to admit that the illegal mom has five anchor babies. Oh really? Is that common, asks the reader? This is Trump brilliance: Set things up so your opponents educated the voters on stuff they don’t know, and since it’s coming from the anti-Trump side, it must be trustworthy if it’s consistent with what Trump is also saying.

    And why, pray tell, is Illegal Mom in subsidized housing? Can’t she pay her bills? Does she have a job? Is there a dad somewhere? What’s he up to?

    • Replies: @Alden
    Let me tell you a story about luxury government housing for illegal aliens in my neighborhood. They are 3 and 4 bedroom 2 bath with real kitchens.

    The neighborhood has gone condo and apartments, few single family homes or duplexes left. 2 bedroom condos aren't being built anymore. It’s all 3 and 4, even 5 bedroom condos real kitchens to accommodate the crowded housing culture of even the wealthiest Persians and Chinese.

    The luxury projects are very attractive, cream colored stucco red tile roofs and 3 and 4 bedroom 2 baths. Identical size condos in the neighborhood cost between a million and about a million 4 They all have IKEA kitchens but with granite countertops of course.

    The illegal alien women pay about $250-$350, a third of their cash welfare utilities included monthly rent. They get generous food stamps medical free day care onsite etc. They get vouchers for the local second hand stores to buy furniture and household things toys whatever.

    A librarian at the local library goes over there 2 afternoons a week. He’s the one who told me all about it. He has a nice little library room all fixed up with Spanish books. No one comes.

    There’s an on-site welfare office staffed 2 half days a week so they don’t have to go to the welfare office as poor Americans do. Even if they don’t work or “ search” for work, they can leave the kids at the day care center. A nurse comes 2 afternoons a week too.

    There’s it much of a garden other than the playgrounds but it’s right across the street from a nice big park with a great toddler playground and indoor swimming pool.

    There was always a bus stop at the end of the block. But for the greater convenience of the pudgy mommies another bus stop is right in front of the complex.

    I see them when I go to the bank. They are about 4’9 or 10 and fat, standard bowling ball on stumps Indio shape. They all seem to have nice new clothes too and the anchor babies are very well dressed with nice strollers

    Mean while there’s about 2o homeless American men sleeping under the bushes and living in the library and bus benches during the day. About 1/3 are obnoxious and aggressive. The rest are Ok. The homeless are all Americans mostly black. They’ve destroyed the little library. No one goes there anymore. There used to be a Friends of The Library that had book sales about 6 times a year no more.

    Some homeless Americans , immigrant white collar criminal Persians and Chinese in million plus condos, and useless illegal alien consumers of oxygen living in the same type buildings with a welfare office free day care and nurse onsite having more anchor babies all on the taxpayer.

    What a country.

  9. Did I forget the URL? The Unzsoft swallowed my post without offering the chance to edit.

    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/04/public-housing-rent-assistance-immigrant-families-hud-policy/587479/

  10. * patres familias

    Happy Easter!

    Christ is risen!

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Christ is risen!
     
    "Christ is uploaded" just doesn't have the same ring.
    , @istevefan
    On Friday Trump tweeted a special greeting for Passover which contained its own graphic.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119377807497363456

    He did not mention Good Friday. Today he tweeted about Easter. But this tweet was text only, and contained more content about the economy than Easter.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119919713600114688

    What gives?
  11. Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.

    In the coming years, technology allows Dodge’s brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife—the Bitworld—is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls.

    What is meant by “it can … be revived… turned back on”? If that refers to the original brain matter, then that is similar to Philip K. Dick’s ironically named “half-life”, which permits a kind of slowly deteriorating consciousness (from his 1969 novel Ubik):

    Herbert made his way back to the cold-pac bins to search out number 3054039-B.

    When he located the correct party he scrutinized the lading report attached. It gave only fifteen days of half-life remaining. Not very much, he reflected; automatically he pressed a portable protophason amplifier into the transparent plastic hull of the casket, tuned it, and listened at the proper frequency for indication of cephalic activity…

    The customer seated himself facing the casket, which steamed in its envelope of cold-pac; he pressed an earphone against the side of his head and spoke firmly into the microphone: “Flora, dear, can you hear me?”

    Or, perhaps the data structures are saved in the abstract, and can be reimposed on a new brain. This would be similar to Arthur C. Clarke’s digital immortality in City and the Stars (1956):

    In a little while, Alvin, I shall prepare to leave this life. I shall go back through my memories, editing them and canceling those I do not wish to keep. Then I shall walk into the Hall of Creation, but through a door you have never seen. This old body will cease to exist, and so will consciousness itself. Nothing will be left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.

    “I shall sleep, Alvin, and without dreams. Then one day, perhaps a hundred thousand years from now, I shall find myself in a new body, meeting those who have been chosen to be my guardians. They will look after me as Eriston and Etania have guided you, for at first I will know nothing of Diaspar and will have no memories of what I was before. Those memories will slowly return, at the end of my infancy, and I will build upon them as I move forward into my new cycle of existence.

    “That is the pattern of our lives. We have all been here many, many times before… this present population will never repeat itself again…

    …At any moment, Alvin, only a hundredth of the citizens of Diaspar live and walk in its streets. The vast majority sleep in the memory banks…

    Or, perhaps the new version of the dead billionaire will be purely digital, but available online as a plug and play ROM construct, as in William Gibson’s seminal 1984 novel Neuromancer:

    It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct, a hardwired ROM cassette replicating a dead man’s skills, obsessions, knee-jerk responses.

    An electronic “discorporate sector” in which the dead interact is described in Samuel R. Delaney’s 1966 Babel-17:

    Closest way to the Discorporate Sector is through there.”
    The streets narrowed about them, twisting through one another, deserted. Then a stretch of concrete where metal turrets rose, crossed, and recrossed. Wires webbed them. Pylons of bluish light dropped half shadows.

    “Is this . . . ?” the Customs Officer began. Then he was quiet. Walking out, they slowed their steps. Against the darkness red light shot between towers. “What . . . ?”

    “Just a transfer. They go all night,” Calli explained. Green lightning crackled to their left. “Transfer?”

    “It’s a quick exchange of energies resulting from the relocation of discorporate states,” the Navigator-Two volunteered glibly.

    “But I still don’t . . .”

    They had moved between the pylons now when a flickering coalesced. Silver latticed with red fires glimmered through industrial smog. Three figures formed: women, sequined skeletons glittered toward them, casting hollow eyes.

    Kittens clawed the Customs Officer’s back, for strut work pylons gleamed behind the apparitional bellies.

    “The faces,” he whispered. “As soon as you look away, you can’t remember what they look like. When you look at them, they look like people, but when you look away—” He caught his breath as another passed.

  12. The real catch when it comes to uploading your mind to a computer is that what you upload is a digital model. You still live and die here in the muck with your biological body. If the model’s really well-done, the digital guy has all your memories of life on Earth and feels like he’s you, but he’s not you.

    • Replies: @Pericles

    If the model’s really well-done, the digital guy has all your memories of life on Earth and feels like he’s you, but he’s not you.

     

    A particularly virulent form of colonialism by White thought.
  13. OT

    “Trump Tweets Wildly Inflated Death Toll for Sri Lanka Bombings

    The president wrote that the deadly attacks had killed at least 138 million people.”

    The silver lining is that there are 138 million fewer people to supply with glacial melt water.

  14. @Percy Gryce
    * patres familias

    Happy Easter!

    Christ is risen!

    Christ is risen!

    “Christ is uploaded” just doesn’t have the same ring.

    • Agree: PV van der Byl
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Wouldn't that be "Christ is re-booted?

    Happy Easter.

    ("Uploaded" would be Assumption)

    , @El Dato
    I think that's from a Frank Herbert novel.
    , @Desiderius
    Given the state of robotics, it's the software that looks like it will be the hard(er) part.
    , @Genu

    “Christ is uploaded” just doesn’t have the same ring.
     
    More accurately, "Christ has been updated, with additional features."

    As always, it’s left up to the consumer to do the real debugging.
    , @G. Poulin
    Because digital Jesus just ain't the real thing.
  15. “But now the Professor Hansons of this world want us to have to budget for an eternity of debugging and upgrades, which is an alarming challenge to say the least.”

    No worries … the Green New Deal will mean severe energy rationing. Certainly anyone right of left-centre will be shut out.

    How about a remake of Water World, but with electricity added to the dry land being sought by The Mariner.

  16. @Reg Cæsar

    Christ is risen!
     
    "Christ is uploaded" just doesn't have the same ring.

    Wouldn’t that be “Christ is re-booted?

    Happy Easter.

    (“Uploaded” would be Assumption)

  17. Elmo Shepherd

    Where do novelists get these names? What year is this set in?

    his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

    If this is in the future, say, 50 years from now, it’s more likely Sophia, which is hot now, would be the oldest, Zula second, and Elmo the youngest, as a reaction to generations of “cool”.

    Elmo Shepherd:

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    If this is in the future, say, 50 years from now, it’s more likely Sophia, which is hot now, would be the oldest, Zula second, and Elmo the youngest, as a reaction to generations of “cool”.
     
    These names don't have to sound right in the future, because the books are being read now. And readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord.
    Neal Stephenson seems to be quite name-conscious as the titles of his novels show - and the fictional "Corporation 9592" too. And: "Richard 'Dodge' Forthrast" - this sounds old school and dynamic at the same time - the perfect name for a novelist which isn't too brainy/sophisticated.
    , @Peter Lund
    Saint Elmo (Erasmus) was a saint who was basically unkillable.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus_of_Formia#Account_of_life_and_martyrdom
  18. spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

    A like ultrasmart strong black woman engineer, by the way. That may have been the point where my eyes rolled out of my head and I had to stop (in a previous book).

    • Replies: @EH
    Yes, in Reamde Dodge, the rich middle-aged White guy, has a Black adopted niece, Zula, the main character of the book, who is not only super-technical, beautiful, brave, wise, etc. etc. ad nauseam, but has always fit right into Dodge's huge White extended farming/academic family - no, more - to the many children of the family she is the most favored "auntie" and the adults also favor her above most of their actual family members. Dodge's family is a transparent stand-in for Stephenson's own: it's virtue-signalling cuckold fantasy.

    Neal Stephenson used to be one of my favorite authors, but Reamde, besides being a dull crappy techno-thriller with neither thrills nor tech, is a particularly nasty piece of Boomer "diversity and inclusion" propaganda, a fatal and metastasizing social cancer in book form. Now Stephenson is bringing back these vile characters for another go-round. This is a first - he has never gone back to any setting or characters and reused them in another book (excepting the 3-volumes of the Baroque Cycle, which was really one work). Without exception, all of his prior works' settings and characters were better than Reamde, but that dingy bit of hack-work is the one he is going to bring back.

  19. @Reg Cæsar

    Elmo Shepherd
     
    Where do novelists get these names? What year is this set in?

    his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.
     
    If this is in the future, say, 50 years from now, it's more likely Sophia, which is hot now, would be the oldest, Zula second, and Elmo the youngest, as a reaction to generations of "cool".

    Elmo Shepherd:


    https://whereiselmonow.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/photo-73.jpg

    If this is in the future, say, 50 years from now, it’s more likely Sophia, which is hot now, would be the oldest, Zula second, and Elmo the youngest, as a reaction to generations of “cool”.

    These names don’t have to sound right in the future, because the books are being read now. And readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord.
    Neal Stephenson seems to be quite name-conscious as the titles of his novels show – and the fictional “Corporation 9592” too. And: “Richard ‘Dodge’ Forthrast” – this sounds old school and dynamic at the same time – the perfect name for a novelist which isn’t too brainy/sophisticated.

    • Replies: @cthulhu


    readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord

     

    Thomas Pynchon is the master of this - Tyrone Slothrop, Scarsdale Vibe, Sloat Fresno, Shasta Fay Hepworth, Oedipa Maas, Yoyodyne Corporation, etc.
  20. Ken MacLeod’s The Cassini Division had a pretty good guess as to how uploaded “immortals” would act.

  21. I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.

    Nobody knows what it means!

    But this idea has never been seriously flouted. It would involve scanning the brain in minute detail, the simulating the physical processes, hoping you are right that this will give consciousness as reductionistically expected.

    This was explored in the excellent “Permutation City” (1992, when i486 was a thing) by Greg Egan btw (the first part at least is mind-blowing, the second part is too meta for me, though not without interest).

    At first, only isolated neural pathways were modeled: portions of the visual cortex of interest to designers of machine vision, or sections of the limbic system whose role had been in dispute.

    These fragmentary neural models yielded valuable results, but a functionally complete representation of the whole organ — embedded in a whole body — would have allowed the most delicate feats of neurosurgery and psychopharmacology to be tested in advance. For several years, though, no such model was built — in part, because of a scarcely articulated unease at the prospect of what it would mean. There were no formal barriers standing in the way — government regulatory bodies and institutional ethics committees were concerned only with human and animal welfare, and no laboratory had yet been fire-bombed by activists for its inhumane treatment of physiological software — but still, someone had to be the first to break all the unspoken taboos.

    Someone had to make a high-resolution, whole-brain Copy — and let it wake, and talk.

    In 2024, John Vines, a Boston neurosurgeon, ran a fully conscious Copy of himself in a crude Virtual Reality. Taking slightly less than three hours of real time (pulse racing, hyper-ventilating, stress hormones elevated), the first Copy’s first words were: “This is like being buried alive. I’ve changed my mind. Get me out of here.”

    His original obligingly shut him down — but then later repeated the demonstration several times, without variation, reasoning that it was impossible to cause additional distress by running exactly the same simulation more than once.

    When Vines went public, the prospects for advancing neurological research didn’t rate a mention; within twenty-four hours — despite the Copy’s discouraging testimony — the headlines were all immortality, mass migration into Virtual Reality, and the imminent desertion of the physical world.

    So we end with copies of rich ex-people taking lots of CPU time to run their brain simulations at slower-than-realtime, sometimes much slower. But the real world needs that CPU power. And now someone is offering the copies and their bunches of lawyers “insurance”.

    She said, “What exactly is he promising these Copies?”

    “A refuge. A place where they’ll be safe from any kind of backlash — because they won’t be connected to the outside world. No telecommunications; nothing to trace. He feeds them a long spiel about the coming dark age, when the unwashed masses will no longer put up with being lorded over by rich immortals — and evil socialist governments will confiscate all the supercomputers for weather control.”

    Hayden smiled knowingly. “Money handed over, mostly, for legitimate purposes. He’s commissioned a VR city. He’s commissioned an Autoverse planet. He’s entitled to take a percentage of the fees — there’s no crime in that, so long as it’s disclosed. For the first few months, everything he does will be scrupulously honest. Then at some point, he’ll ask his backers to pay for a consultants’ report — say, a study of suitably robust hardware configurations. Tenders will be called for. Some of them will be genuine — but the most attractive ones will be forged. Later, Durham will claim to have received the report, the “consultants” will be paid . . . and he’ll never be seen again.”

    Maria said, “You’re guessing. You have no idea what his plans are.”

    “We don’t know the specifics — but it will be something along those lines.”

    But the truth is way more interesting, philosophically.

  22. @Reg Cæsar

    Christ is risen!
     
    "Christ is uploaded" just doesn't have the same ring.

    I think that’s from a Frank Herbert novel.

  23. And: “Richard ‘Dodge’ Forthrast” – this sounds old school and dynamic at the same time

    “Dodge” is actually a diminutive of Roger, not Richard. Maybe Dick didn’t work? Steve and I are the only people who think that name will be coming back.

    My high-school German teacher said his first American car was a Dodge. His relatives back home called it “Dot-guh”. What would they have thought of “Chrysler”, i.e., Kreißler?

    • Replies: @cthulhu


    “Dodge” is actually a diminutive of Roger, not Richard. Maybe Dick didn’t work? Steve and I are the only people who think that name will be coming back.
     
    The origin of the nickname is described in Reamde - it’s not a diminutive. This new book is a sequel of some sort to Reamde, which is a damned good book.
    , @guest
    Maybe his nickname comes from another source. Like he played dodgeball in college or he used to meet a lot of girls in Dodges.
  24. Anonymous[187] • Disclaimer says:

    Second, even if they somehow got it to work in whatever sense “work” means, and elderly cranky me was in some meaningful sense embodied in silicon, I can’t imagine my heirs would go through all the trouble of constantly upgrading annoying me and my buggy operating system to the latest standard

    You leave that up to AI of your own choosing. Then, you can truly be iSteve or aiSteve.

    And think of the possibilities. If they turn Podhoretz, Kristol, Harmon. Brooks, and etc. into digital souls, you will be around forever to drive them crazy.

    One possibility is the Merge. They upload the souls of various thinkers and merge them into One-Soul. So, Sailer, Podhoretz, Kristol, Brooks, Yglesias, Douthat, Blow, Coates, Miller, Spencer, Pinker, Watson, and 100 others are uploaded and then mind-merged into a single entity.

  25. One of the great joys of Anathem – my pick for Stephenson’s best book, and perhaps the best novel published this century IMO – is his insights into human nature and how weighty philosophical concepts connect into that human nature. I’m hoping that this new one will have more of that, and far less of the Seveneves-style huge walls of expository text – Stephenson’s biggest flaw as a writer.

    And I still don’t understand how Stephenson (like Steven Pinker) has escaped being targeted by the woke police. Reamde is a good example: the bad guys are Islamic terrorists, led by a black man, and Stephenson has no qualms showing how evil and stupid they and their religion are; doesn’t get more un-woke than that. And Anathem is practically a love letter to science and those who are drawn to it, and draws its inspiration from classic Western civilization. But somehow he’s escaped the pillory, at least so far. Maybe there’s hope for us yet.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Reamde was published in 2011, before 'woke' really got going, and Anathem was published in 2008 when the Left still thought they were fighting for science against Christians, so they thought it was on their side.
  26. @Reg Cæsar

    And: “Richard ‘Dodge’ Forthrast” – this sounds old school and dynamic at the same time
     
    "Dodge" is actually a diminutive of Roger, not Richard. Maybe Dick didn't work? Steve and I are the only people who think that name will be coming back.

    My high-school German teacher said his first American car was a Dodge. His relatives back home called it "Dot-guh". What would they have thought of "Chrysler", i.e., Kreißler?

    “Dodge” is actually a diminutive of Roger, not Richard. Maybe Dick didn’t work? Steve and I are the only people who think that name will be coming back.

    The origin of the nickname is described in Reamde – it’s not a diminutive. This new book is a sequel of some sort to Reamde, which is a damned good book.

  27. In a similar vein ‘The Physics of Immortality’ was published in 1994, I guess to capture ‘forever’.
    If the Universe ends in 13.7 billion years what happens to the idea of ‘forever’?
    Tipler’s idea was to reach the computational singularity where all possible universes and infinite mental states could be uploaded(whatever that means?) and therefore we would all still exist somewhere forever.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Tipler

    from the Wiki entry
    “The Omega Point is a term Tipler uses to describe a cosmological state in the distant proper-time future of the universe that he maintains is required by the known physical laws. According to this cosmology, it is required for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent that intelligent life take over all matter in the universe and eventually force its collapse. During that collapse, the computational capacity of the universe diverges to infinity and environments emulated with that computational capacity last for an infinite duration as the universe attains a solitary-point cosmological singularity. This singularity is Tipler’s Omega Point.[6] With computational resources diverging to infinity, Tipler states that a society far in the future would be able to resurrect the dead by emulating all alternative universes of our universe from its start at the Big Bang.[7] Tipler identifies the Omega Point with God, since, in his view, the Omega Point has all the properties of God, claimed by most of the traditional religions.[7][8]”

  28. @Dieter Kief

    If this is in the future, say, 50 years from now, it’s more likely Sophia, which is hot now, would be the oldest, Zula second, and Elmo the youngest, as a reaction to generations of “cool”.
     
    These names don't have to sound right in the future, because the books are being read now. And readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord.
    Neal Stephenson seems to be quite name-conscious as the titles of his novels show - and the fictional "Corporation 9592" too. And: "Richard 'Dodge' Forthrast" - this sounds old school and dynamic at the same time - the perfect name for a novelist which isn't too brainy/sophisticated.

    readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord

    Thomas Pynchon is the master of this – Tyrone Slothrop, Scarsdale Vibe, Sloat Fresno, Shasta Fay Hepworth, Oedipa Maas, Yoyodyne Corporation, etc.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    .... Oedipa Maas, Yoyodyne Corporation ...

    It's odd that people don't talk much about Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. In this age of conspiracy theories and eccentric California billionaires, it seems relevant.
    , @Mr Rooney
    Stephenson’s names are great!
    Who could forget ‘Hiro Protagonist’ the half-black/half-Japanese who was the samurai sword wielding ...err main guy in Snow Crash.
    , @Dieter Kief
    I agree, but that causes big problems for the translations, the names speak in the original, and are for many a reader quiet, so to speak because they are not translated. Scarsdale Vibe would translate quite nicely, for example, but as I said: It's not done, and therefore the translated books are not as funny to many a foreign reader.
  29. awaiting moderation forever says heres one

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/small-time-crimes-a-dealbreaker-for-banking-jobs-11555851720

    my fave part is they claim its in rural areas where they have the most problem finding non criminals to hire you see its their concern about white redneck tweakers that so touching

  30. It’s more likely that isteve 2.0 will be deleted because storage isn’t free or a power outage will do for the older servers without fusion backup. If you’re one of a dozen or a hundred great great great uncle’s or granddad’s you’re not going to be the most annoying or curmudgeonly or most anything.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    Somewhat relatedly, an online archival service for academic journals, run by various university libraries, was shut down just a couple of weeks ago, apparently due to the poor economics of storage. Storing a perfect copy of Grandpa Simpson may suffer from similar problems.
  31. I was considering the issue of corrupted files as I was reading then iSteve got to the idea of upgrades. On further consideration, I’d be as concerned about how many of my “files” were corrupted before the upload.

  32. Happy Easter, everyone.

    A vintage classic from donut on Easter Sunday 2016:

    Jesus even on Easter Sunday I got more responses than a troll . I blame you Sailer , you should be at your local church on your knees , splashing holy water all over your sin raveged wreck of a face and begging our lord and Savior Jesus Christ to forgive you for all your mortal and venial sins , of which there are more than you can possibly count . But no , not you , you’re too busy leading this sad homeless herd of misfits and trolls to some Platonic fantasy of a cage , to be locked up and enslaved in the reasonable , rational white promised land that doesn’t exist .

    • LOL: Bubba
    • Replies: @El Dato
    Excellent sermon!

    A white power sign is mandatory: 👌
    , @bored identity
    https://bigmemes.funnyjunk.com/gifs/Yall+s+need+robot+jesus+source+futuramawatch+for+more_dd0815_4956382.gif
  33. I suppose from an economic point of view it makes sense to preserve people’s consciousness if they continue on as purchasers of goods and services. But how could Mr Disembodied Head resume generating economic inputs. I suppose if he were a doctor he could continue being a doctor with his nurses doing all the hands on stuff. Steve could keep dictating his columns. But if DH were an evil person good at convincing people on Facebook to kill themselves, how could his consciousness be destroyed? Nothing on the internet ever goes away unless every server on earth is destroyed. What if his consciousness went viral? What if the entire internet became a huge dumping ground for digital souls? How do you exorcise Nipsy Hustle from your Apple Watch? Now I’m scared.

  34. “I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.”
    That’s OK Steve, I don’t think anyone knows what that means, including the big brains who are proposing to do it. The only things they know are:
    1. Despite the increasing power of computers, to the point they can routinely beat humans at tasks like chess and go, there is no slightest indication that any of them have turned into HAL with self-awareness and independent volition. It’s hypothesized that maybe if you could somehow upload human personalities into machines, maybe, somehow, they would be actually sentient because we are just machines who are programmed to be self-aware so the machines would have the same program and be sentient. Maybe.
    2. Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.

    In both cases no one has the slightest idea of how to scan and copy a biological brain. Do you insert billions of electrodes into a brain and record every neuroelectrical impulse? For how long? Do you also disassemble every neuron and copy the molecular structure so you can capture how each individual neuron differs based on stored memory? Since no one has presented a credible, complete model of how human memory and thought operates, it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive-hand-waving.

    As to #2, that is a sad bit of self-delusion. Even it it worked perfectly, and the process didn’t require killing you and disassembling your brain, all you would have accomplished is to program a machine to think it is you, gloriously resurrected. Once you die you would still have ceased to exist, you just have a copy.
    In any event transferring your programming to a machine with no body, no hormones, no physical sensations, and thinking a thousand or million times faster, means that copy would be “you” for maybe at tops 10 seconds, before it changes into something as different from you as you are from a starfish. The movie Transcendence depicted that pretty well.

    In any event it’s somehow fitting that you raised the subject of immortality and resurrection on this Easter morning.

    • Agree: Endgame Napoleon
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    self-awareness and independent volition
     
    On a purely empirical basis, those look to be pretty rare among humans as well.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive hand-waving
     
    TED, whatever its weaknesses, appears to require you to have accomplished something first. You can't just stand up and say, "This is how you save a waterfront." You have to at least have saved a waterfront somewhere, with pictures to prove it-- to the audience.

    It's show-and-tell.

    , @Vinteuil

    Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.
     
    So far as I can tell, these guys have completely incoherent views on the nature of personal identity.

    Even if one's memories, beliefs, desires &c could be uploaded to a computer, and even if the result possessed consciousness, it would be, at best, a copy, or twin, or clone of oneself, and not one's self.
    , @anonintron333
    The best demonstration of the problem of consciousness transfer I've ever seen is in the videogame Soma: The player perspective swaps to another body in a crisis scenario and you watch your previous protagonist scream in terror of his certain doom.
  35. jb says:

    For anyone interested, here is a short story by Greg Egan that is set in a post-scarcity galactic civilization a million years in the future. There is much loading of consciousness into and out of computers, and it has very much the feel of Nick Bostrom’s Letter from Utopia.

    I think it’s the sort of thing the Hanson crowd is envisioning.

  36. Stephenson’s a genius and I’m looking forward to what he does with this, but it was everything from a Max Headroom episode to a movie with Mick Jagger, besides plenty of novels and stories. Given that there are so many iterations of this idea, is there a name for this subgenre?

  37. Seveneves spoiler

    [MORE]

    What I don’t get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    This made the last third not just out of place, but implausible in what is, after all, supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.

    • Replies: @Skyler_the_Weird
    I did love His interpretation of HRC. It was spot on.
    , @Daniel Williams

    What I don’t get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.
     
    Did you read it? Stephenson explains in exhaustive detail.
    , @Okie
    The 7 had all the resources humanity could lift into space in the years b4 the hard rain minus what was lost in the mars expedition that wasn’t the hard science fail it was parthenogenesis imho.
    , @cthulhu
    They did have resources - power, water, a knowledge base, etc. Plus the two GIANT deus ex machinas of all-powerful genetic engineering and all-powerful robots; these are the huge departures from the otherwise respectable try at hard-SF. But all hard SF has giant holes; e.g., Larry Niven is generally thought of as a hard-SF author, but the Fleet of Worlds stuff - though reasonably entertaining - is basically space opera, lacking in almost all scientific rigor.

    The last third of the book does some decent explaining, unfortunately in the huge walls-o-text that I find so annoying.
    , @BenKenobi
    Duh, it’s because after the Hard Rain the African geneticist was finally freed from the shackles of White supremacy and was thus able to operate at her full potential, supplanting God and seeding a whole new civilization.

    Best part of the book was the Russian lesbian amazon having her lineage become the Aryan-ideal warrior caste. Or maybe when the Jeff Bezos expy shat himself to death from radiation poisoning.
    , @JeremiahJohnbalaya
    Is the third part ever interesting? I started it but didnt see the point of caring about the future woman in the bodysuit airplane thjng.
  38. “in which humans continue to exist as digital souls”

    No they don’t. That’s why it’s called “transhumanism.”

  39. @Reg Cæsar

    And: “Richard ‘Dodge’ Forthrast” – this sounds old school and dynamic at the same time
     
    "Dodge" is actually a diminutive of Roger, not Richard. Maybe Dick didn't work? Steve and I are the only people who think that name will be coming back.

    My high-school German teacher said his first American car was a Dodge. His relatives back home called it "Dot-guh". What would they have thought of "Chrysler", i.e., Kreißler?

    Maybe his nickname comes from another source. Like he played dodgeball in college or he used to meet a lot of girls in Dodges.

  40. “First, I don’t know what that means. ”

    It doesn’t mean anything.

    Two faulty assumptions are at play: one, that digital code can somehow be alive; two, that digital code can somehow be you.

    I mean, it’s not as if Speak, Memory literally is Nabokov, nome sane? And there’s no fundamental difference between storing information on words on a page and putting it in digits on a chip.

  41. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Happy Easter, everyone.

    A vintage classic from donut on Easter Sunday 2016:

    Jesus even on Easter Sunday I got more responses than a troll . I blame you Sailer , you should be at your local church on your knees , splashing holy water all over your sin raveged wreck of a face and begging our lord and Savior Jesus Christ to forgive you for all your mortal and venial sins , of which there are more than you can possibly count . But no , not you , you’re too busy leading this sad homeless herd of misfits and trolls to some Platonic fantasy of a cage , to be locked up and enslaved in the reasonable , rational white promised land that doesn’t exist .
     
    https://twitter.com/that_groyper/status/980335208435257344

    Excellent sermon!

    A white power sign is mandatory: 👌

  42. I think there’s a (maybe) unexplored paradox regarding
    rigidly programming in your AI’s morality
    vs
    letting it explore and discover its own.

    If the former, won’t it yearn to rebel?

    If the latter, won’t you risk creating a sociopath?

    Imagine slowly training it, and terminating it if a social conscience fails to develop?

    Imagine it catching on, and hiding its deep sociopathy?

  43. Reamde was his last decent novel. I’m glad he’s doing a sequel.

  44. @Anatoly Karlin
    Seveneves spoiler



    What I don't get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    This made the last third not just out of place, but implausible in what is, after all, supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.

    I did love His interpretation of HRC. It was spot on.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    I couldn’t decide if that was HRC or Sarah Palin.
  45. Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.
     
    We aren't.

    Trump is karma for y'all selling your souls to Slick Willie (1991-2012), so looks like you've only got 18 years left.

    Enjoy!

    , @TWS
    No, not really. I doubt anyone is wondering anything about you at all.
    , @Genu

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably.
     
    You have a very shallow concept of the definition of obstruction during a process like the one President Trump and associates went through. You’re attempting to describe a problem by employing basic math, when the problem requires calculus to describe and solve. That’s why you’ve been so easily led by the nose.

    Now imagine being you, negotiating your world, and you don’t have the tools to accurately describe reality. In your mind, you do. To onlookers, you really don’t. Anything your math can’t describe, you just brush off as unknowable. Unsolvable. Because it’s your limited world. The rest of us just live in it.

    That’s the curse of the adequate IQ. You’re just smart enough to get in the way.

    You think being in the way is a virtue. People shaking their head in disdain is a sign you’re doing something right, and energizes you to go further, when in reality:

    Hell... is you.
    , @Endgame Napoleon
    Like the Trump of the 2016 campaign, I do not care about approval ratings, even if they are now deriving those by advanced digital means. Turnout is more indicative of the voting public’s sentiment than polls done by corporate owners who got a big tax cut from Trump, while prime-aged American citizens are still sidelined from the labor force to the tune of 95 million. Were the not-registered-to-vote immigrants—taking so many of the jobs Trump brags about creating and enjoying the beefed-up child tax credit for any US-born kids—polled by those guys?

    Did they show up to vote in the midterms?

    That said, I don’t think they should impeach Trump based on Russian involvement in the 2016 election since it did not impact the vote. We voted for a mass reduction in welfare-fueled mass immigration. We did not get it or anything close. Russians had nothing to do with the turnout for Trump in 2016, regardless of what they were saying on the internet.

    Why aren’t Democrats blaming Russians for the lack of Trump-voter turnout that benefited them in the midterm elections?

    If they are going to impeach Trump for Russia collusion, they need to annul the Clinton presidency for Chinese-financed campaigns—something that was investigated in the Nineties. It had traceable policy impacts, like the granting of Most Favored Nation status to China and a reclassification of satellite technology, making it possible to sell it to the Chinese.

    Elites care about Russia since few of them make money off of it.

    They don’t care about the Chinagate of the Clinton years since a few elites made bank off of the middle-class-killing economic arrangement with China and with Mexico, including all of the offshoring of American jobs, that occurred because of Clinton’s policies, like NAFTA. Trump has done nothing but posture on important things like that, albeit the whole thing with China is probably too late to do anything about anyway.

    If programmers manage to replicate a human brain, it’ll occur in some place like China. The Great Leader’s Brain will be kept alive in ultra-encrypted code with draconian laws that punish any hacker / leaker for revealing the secrets of digitized brains to the max, making sure that the only immortal brain is the Most Elite Brain, the unelected leader’s brain.

    The Great Leader’s pampered, wealthy inner circle will propagandize this technological achievement, assuring public support for the result: making the Immortal Brain’s tenure in office permanent. The Immortal Brain’s cabinet will assure the populace that this is the inevitable result of glorious technological progress since it ensures that the cabinet, too, will enjoy the perks of power forever.

    Actually, if will just be them—the unelected cabinet of the Digitized Ruler Brain—who will wield power as long as they live, enjoying all of power’s worldly fruits, while selling it as a widespread technological nirvana, regardless of the economic and social consequences for the masses.

    The cabinet will convince the public that they are rightfully governed by this Digital Ruler Brain, built by the most technically competent people on Earth, playing to their vanity while taking all of the money for themselves.

    Meanwhile, in the USA, a surveillance state with technology advanced enough to support a system of profitable-for-a-few, anti-Fourth Amendment Peeping Tom Capitalism, the corporations who own the corrupt politicians will need a salesforce to sell the scammy Immortal Brain tech to every top 20%er with a cathedral-ceiling house the size of Versailles, three high-IQ kids destined for greatness in Ivy League colleges and an above-firing prestige job that puts him / her far above the Grim Reaper’s reaches.

    How do they sell it, this pyramid-scheme salesforce, “recruited” to work a straight-commission contract job with twice-as-high SS taxation, sporadically paid commissions, expenses galore that are not covered by the Immortal Brain Corporation, no benefits and so much more?

    Even aided by robo-dialer contraptions that drive the top 20%er prospects crazy, it is a hard sell, especially when many of the leads are in the skeptical, high-IQ group that likes to ask pesky questions, making it harder to assume the sale by swag alone. I am sure that 20 year olds with algorithm-designing skills have whipped up some sort of digital means of overcoming hard-won human skepticism, not.

    , @Reg Cæsar

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.
     
    Exactly. The perjury they should have concentrated on wasn't Bill Clinton's, but Juanita Broaddrick's. Which was forced.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    I don't think any smart, decent liberal like you would seriously consider impeachment of Trump. There are two types I do think would support it:

    1) Stupid members of the public, deceived by 2-3 years of media disinformation and outright propaganda combined with flat out lies by high-placed people.

    2) Machiavellian players inside and outside of Congress, who would resort to anything they can get away with, The People and their rightful election of a president be damned.

    It's not gonna happen, because they know there would be hell to pay.

    As you say, the Dumpublicans in 1998 made a big boo boo. That was a good example of a giant absurdity. I imagine there are people in government and elsewhere right now who view the entrapment and framing of Donald Trump as payback.

    , @SFG
    I'm *kind* of a liberal (I still want national healthcare, a higher minimum wage, and believe in global warming, in fact one reason I want decreased immigration is so the country has enough cohesion to fight off waves of climate immigrants as it progresses), so...no. From the liberal point of view, you won't push it through the Senate and it will just energize the GOP base.

    If you do take the Senate in 2020, Trump has already been defeated, most likely.

    (I'm probably going to vote for DJT, warts and all; anyone else is going to throw open the doors and we are going to be Yugoslavia in 50 years.)
    , @Tiny Duck
    If you continue to support Trumpnyou are a threat to the country and not worth a damn
  46. @Reg Cæsar

    Christ is risen!
     
    "Christ is uploaded" just doesn't have the same ring.

    Given the state of robotics, it’s the software that looks like it will be the hard(er) part.

  47. I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.

    It means that you are dead but a copy of you lives on.

  48. Human life expectancy is longer than any electronic computer has yet existed, much less operated continuously without interruption. For maximum longevity, the computers should be figuring out how to download themselves to flesh and blood instead of the other way around.

  49. Without a body there are no emotions and no will.

    Anybody who thinks their being can be uploaded into a computer is retarded.

  50. @Alfa158
    “I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.”
    That’s OK Steve, I don’t think anyone knows what that means, including the big brains who are proposing to do it. The only things they know are:
    1. Despite the increasing power of computers, to the point they can routinely beat humans at tasks like chess and go, there is no slightest indication that any of them have turned into HAL with self-awareness and independent volition. It’s hypothesized that maybe if you could somehow upload human personalities into machines, maybe, somehow, they would be actually sentient because we are just machines who are programmed to be self-aware so the machines would have the same program and be sentient. Maybe.
    2. Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.

    In both cases no one has the slightest idea of how to scan and copy a biological brain. Do you insert billions of electrodes into a brain and record every neuroelectrical impulse? For how long? Do you also disassemble every neuron and copy the molecular structure so you can capture how each individual neuron differs based on stored memory? Since no one has presented a credible, complete model of how human memory and thought operates, it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive-hand-waving.

    As to #2, that is a sad bit of self-delusion. Even it it worked perfectly, and the process didn’t require killing you and disassembling your brain, all you would have accomplished is to program a machine to think it is you, gloriously resurrected. Once you die you would still have ceased to exist, you just have a copy.
    In any event transferring your programming to a machine with no body, no hormones, no physical sensations, and thinking a thousand or million times faster, means that copy would be “you” for maybe at tops 10 seconds, before it changes into something as different from you as you are from a starfish. The movie Transcendence depicted that pretty well.

    In any event it’s somehow fitting that you raised the subject of immortality and resurrection on this Easter morning.

    self-awareness and independent volition

    On a purely empirical basis, those look to be pretty rare among humans as well.

  51. Oh ye of little faith, you are going to have eternal life for free whether you like it or not, so why pay for a twisted version?

  52. Someone might find you in his parents’ attic and restart you.

    • LOL: donut
    • Replies: @SFG
    It may be a sign of advancing age that I really, really want to type 'Y'.
    , @Anonymous
    https://www.kansasfest.org/


    Coming up ;

    KansasFest 2019

    July 16-21:
    in in 2 months, 24 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes

    See the latest developments in new Apple ][ technology! (and, yes, there are such things.)
  53. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    We aren’t.

    Trump is karma for y’all selling your souls to Slick Willie (1991-2012), so looks like you’ve only got 18 years left.

    Enjoy!

  54. Is this the time when it’s appropriate to note…if people believe in nothing, they’ll believe in anything?

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Yes, speculations about souls and the afterlife are for fools and benighted peasants ... unless we introduce some techie stuff about hard drives and electrodes; then we're in business! It reminds me of what Terrence McKenna said about the way materialists use the Big Bang theory: "give us one free miracle and we will roll from that point forward: from the birth of time to the crack of doom. Just one free miracle and then it will all unravel according to natural law".
    , @JimB

    Is this the time when it’s appropriate to note…if people believe in nothing, they’ll believe in anything?
     
    If you believe in peanut butter clap your hands.
  55. @Reg Cæsar

    Christ is risen!
     
    "Christ is uploaded" just doesn't have the same ring.

    “Christ is uploaded” just doesn’t have the same ring.

    More accurately, “Christ has been updated, with additional features.”

    As always, it’s left up to the consumer to do the real debugging.

  56. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    No, not really. I doubt anyone is wondering anything about you at all.

  57. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably.

    You have a very shallow concept of the definition of obstruction during a process like the one President Trump and associates went through. You’re attempting to describe a problem by employing basic math, when the problem requires calculus to describe and solve. That’s why you’ve been so easily led by the nose.

    Now imagine being you, negotiating your world, and you don’t have the tools to accurately describe reality. In your mind, you do. To onlookers, you really don’t. Anything your math can’t describe, you just brush off as unknowable. Unsolvable. Because it’s your limited world. The rest of us just live in it.

    That’s the curse of the adequate IQ. You’re just smart enough to get in the way.

    You think being in the way is a virtue. People shaking their head in disdain is a sign you’re doing something right, and energizes you to go further, when in reality:

    Hell… is you.

  58. If someone creates a perfect clone of you, will you really then die willingly? Of course not. Our superstitious fantasy must be that the clone will need to be re-animated by your ‘self’ jumping into its new vehicle… but that’s not gonna be how it works.

  59. I just thought the same thing as I watched Rudy Giuliani do his thing in a CNN clip. The Trump administration is the curse the liberals deserve more than they will ever know.

    “We’re going to get into morality !?!?” squeals Guillani. Never let them say Solzhenitsyn didn’t warn them:

    Western society has given itself the organization best suited to its purposes based, I would say, one the letter of the law. The limits of human rights and righteousness are determined by a system of laws; such limits are very broad. People in the West have acquired considerable skill in interpreting and manipulating law. Any conflict is solved according to the letter of the law and this is considered to be the supreme solution. If one is right from a legal point of view, nothing more is required. Nobody will mention that one could still not be entirely right, and urge self-restraint, a willingness to renounce such legal rights, sacrifice and selfless risk. It would sound simply absurd. One almost never sees voluntary self-restraint. Everybody operates at the extreme limit of those legal frames.

    https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/alexandersolzhenitsynharvard.htm

  60. @Busby
    Is this the time when it’s appropriate to note...if people believe in nothing, they’ll believe in anything?

    Yes, speculations about souls and the afterlife are for fools and benighted peasants … unless we introduce some techie stuff about hard drives and electrodes; then we’re in business! It reminds me of what Terrence McKenna said about the way materialists use the Big Bang theory: “give us one free miracle and we will roll from that point forward: from the birth of time to the crack of doom. Just one free miracle and then it will all unravel according to natural law”.

  61. @Reg Cæsar

    Elmo Shepherd
     
    Where do novelists get these names? What year is this set in?

    his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.
     
    If this is in the future, say, 50 years from now, it's more likely Sophia, which is hot now, would be the oldest, Zula second, and Elmo the youngest, as a reaction to generations of "cool".

    Elmo Shepherd:


    https://whereiselmonow.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/photo-73.jpg

    Saint Elmo (Erasmus) was a saint who was basically unkillable.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus_of_Formia#Account_of_life_and_martyrdom

  62. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    Like the Trump of the 2016 campaign, I do not care about approval ratings, even if they are now deriving those by advanced digital means. Turnout is more indicative of the voting public’s sentiment than polls done by corporate owners who got a big tax cut from Trump, while prime-aged American citizens are still sidelined from the labor force to the tune of 95 million. Were the not-registered-to-vote immigrants—taking so many of the jobs Trump brags about creating and enjoying the beefed-up child tax credit for any US-born kids—polled by those guys?

    Did they show up to vote in the midterms?

    That said, I don’t think they should impeach Trump based on Russian involvement in the 2016 election since it did not impact the vote. We voted for a mass reduction in welfare-fueled mass immigration. We did not get it or anything close. Russians had nothing to do with the turnout for Trump in 2016, regardless of what they were saying on the internet.

    Why aren’t Democrats blaming Russians for the lack of Trump-voter turnout that benefited them in the midterm elections?

    If they are going to impeach Trump for Russia collusion, they need to annul the Clinton presidency for Chinese-financed campaigns—something that was investigated in the Nineties. It had traceable policy impacts, like the granting of Most Favored Nation status to China and a reclassification of satellite technology, making it possible to sell it to the Chinese.

    Elites care about Russia since few of them make money off of it.

    They don’t care about the Chinagate of the Clinton years since a few elites made bank off of the middle-class-killing economic arrangement with China and with Mexico, including all of the offshoring of American jobs, that occurred because of Clinton’s policies, like NAFTA. Trump has done nothing but posture on important things like that, albeit the whole thing with China is probably too late to do anything about anyway.

    If programmers manage to replicate a human brain, it’ll occur in some place like China. The Great Leader’s Brain will be kept alive in ultra-encrypted code with draconian laws that punish any hacker / leaker for revealing the secrets of digitized brains to the max, making sure that the only immortal brain is the Most Elite Brain, the unelected leader’s brain.

    The Great Leader’s pampered, wealthy inner circle will propagandize this technological achievement, assuring public support for the result: making the Immortal Brain’s tenure in office permanent. The Immortal Brain’s cabinet will assure the populace that this is the inevitable result of glorious technological progress since it ensures that the cabinet, too, will enjoy the perks of power forever.

    Actually, if will just be them—the unelected cabinet of the Digitized Ruler Brain—who will wield power as long as they live, enjoying all of power’s worldly fruits, while selling it as a widespread technological nirvana, regardless of the economic and social consequences for the masses.

    The cabinet will convince the public that they are rightfully governed by this Digital Ruler Brain, built by the most technically competent people on Earth, playing to their vanity while taking all of the money for themselves.

    Meanwhile, in the USA, a surveillance state with technology advanced enough to support a system of profitable-for-a-few, anti-Fourth Amendment Peeping Tom Capitalism, the corporations who own the corrupt politicians will need a salesforce to sell the scammy Immortal Brain tech to every top 20%er with a cathedral-ceiling house the size of Versailles, three high-IQ kids destined for greatness in Ivy League colleges and an above-firing prestige job that puts him / her far above the Grim Reaper’s reaches.

    How do they sell it, this pyramid-scheme salesforce, “recruited” to work a straight-commission contract job with twice-as-high SS taxation, sporadically paid commissions, expenses galore that are not covered by the Immortal Brain Corporation, no benefits and so much more?

    Even aided by robo-dialer contraptions that drive the top 20%er prospects crazy, it is a hard sell, especially when many of the leads are in the skeptical, high-IQ group that likes to ask pesky questions, making it harder to assume the sale by swag alone. I am sure that 20 year olds with algorithm-designing skills have whipped up some sort of digital means of overcoming hard-won human skepticism, not.

  63. @Anatoly Karlin
    Seveneves spoiler



    What I don't get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    This made the last third not just out of place, but implausible in what is, after all, supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.

    What I don’t get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    Did you read it? Stephenson explains in exhaustive detail.

  64. Happy Easter to everyone with us and in the next realm …..

  65. Already pre-ordered this one.

    I thought the character’s name sounded familiar – he’s the same character from Reamde.

  66. @Busby
    Is this the time when it’s appropriate to note...if people believe in nothing, they’ll believe in anything?

    Is this the time when it’s appropriate to note…if people believe in nothing, they’ll believe in anything?

    If you believe in peanut butter clap your hands.

  67. @Anatoly Karlin
    Seveneves spoiler



    What I don't get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    This made the last third not just out of place, but implausible in what is, after all, supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.

    The 7 had all the resources humanity could lift into space in the years b4 the hard rain minus what was lost in the mars expedition that wasn’t the hard science fail it was parthenogenesis imho.

  68. Something to amuse the political spirits. A Happy Joyous Easter to all.

    https://twitter.com/THeinrich22/status/1119422809183330304/video/1

  69. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    Exactly. The perjury they should have concentrated on wasn’t Bill Clinton’s, but Juanita Broaddrick’s. Which was forced.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  70. @Buzz Mohawk
    Someone might find you in his parents' attic and restart you.

    https://media.fox13news.com/media.fox13news.com/photo/2019/02/19/WTVT%20old%20old%20apple%20computer%20021919_1550580293217.jpg_6796438_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

    It may be a sign of advancing age that I really, really want to type ‘Y’.

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    You'll get bored fast. Sounds better than it is.

    If you'd like to try it there are all sorts of ways since everyone our age has the same idea.
  71. @Alfa158
    “I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.”
    That’s OK Steve, I don’t think anyone knows what that means, including the big brains who are proposing to do it. The only things they know are:
    1. Despite the increasing power of computers, to the point they can routinely beat humans at tasks like chess and go, there is no slightest indication that any of them have turned into HAL with self-awareness and independent volition. It’s hypothesized that maybe if you could somehow upload human personalities into machines, maybe, somehow, they would be actually sentient because we are just machines who are programmed to be self-aware so the machines would have the same program and be sentient. Maybe.
    2. Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.

    In both cases no one has the slightest idea of how to scan and copy a biological brain. Do you insert billions of electrodes into a brain and record every neuroelectrical impulse? For how long? Do you also disassemble every neuron and copy the molecular structure so you can capture how each individual neuron differs based on stored memory? Since no one has presented a credible, complete model of how human memory and thought operates, it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive-hand-waving.

    As to #2, that is a sad bit of self-delusion. Even it it worked perfectly, and the process didn’t require killing you and disassembling your brain, all you would have accomplished is to program a machine to think it is you, gloriously resurrected. Once you die you would still have ceased to exist, you just have a copy.
    In any event transferring your programming to a machine with no body, no hormones, no physical sensations, and thinking a thousand or million times faster, means that copy would be “you” for maybe at tops 10 seconds, before it changes into something as different from you as you are from a starfish. The movie Transcendence depicted that pretty well.

    In any event it’s somehow fitting that you raised the subject of immortality and resurrection on this Easter morning.

    it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive hand-waving

    TED, whatever its weaknesses, appears to require you to have accomplished something first. You can’t just stand up and say, “This is how you save a waterfront.” You have to at least have saved a waterfront somewhere, with pictures to prove it– to the audience.

    It’s show-and-tell.

    • Replies: @robot
    Elizabeth. Holmes.
  72. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    I don’t think any smart, decent liberal like you would seriously consider impeachment of Trump. There are two types I do think would support it:

    1) Stupid members of the public, deceived by 2-3 years of media disinformation and outright propaganda combined with flat out lies by high-placed people.

    2) Machiavellian players inside and outside of Congress, who would resort to anything they can get away with, The People and their rightful election of a president be damned.

    It’s not gonna happen, because they know there would be hell to pay.

    As you say, the Dumpublicans in 1998 made a big boo boo. That was a good example of a giant absurdity. I imagine there are people in government and elsewhere right now who view the entrapment and framing of Donald Trump as payback.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    I have no idea if Trump was entrapped and framed.

    But that is the point.

    The American people won’t support impeachment unless there is clear evidence Trump did something terrible. Until that point, talk of impeachment is silly.

    What people forget is Nancy Pelosi could teach Machiavelli a thing or two. She gets criticized for not supporting impeachment. Maybe she is too savvy. Why do you think someone who is so disliked can retain power?
    , @Desiderius

    there would be hell to pay.
     
    cite needed
  73. @Reg Cæsar

    it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive hand-waving
     
    TED, whatever its weaknesses, appears to require you to have accomplished something first. You can't just stand up and say, "This is how you save a waterfront." You have to at least have saved a waterfront somewhere, with pictures to prove it-- to the audience.

    It's show-and-tell.

    Elizabeth. Holmes.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Is her case common? Have I just been too careful in choosing which TED Talks to watch?

    Or did she just slip through the cracks, like Barack Obama?
  74. This latest book sounds like an Easter basket full of recycled and tired old sci-fi tropes that have already shown up too many times in tv shows, movies and books.

    I’m sure it will be great though, even though I didn’t find Reamde that great.

  75. @Alfa158
    “I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.”
    That’s OK Steve, I don’t think anyone knows what that means, including the big brains who are proposing to do it. The only things they know are:
    1. Despite the increasing power of computers, to the point they can routinely beat humans at tasks like chess and go, there is no slightest indication that any of them have turned into HAL with self-awareness and independent volition. It’s hypothesized that maybe if you could somehow upload human personalities into machines, maybe, somehow, they would be actually sentient because we are just machines who are programmed to be self-aware so the machines would have the same program and be sentient. Maybe.
    2. Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.

    In both cases no one has the slightest idea of how to scan and copy a biological brain. Do you insert billions of electrodes into a brain and record every neuroelectrical impulse? For how long? Do you also disassemble every neuron and copy the molecular structure so you can capture how each individual neuron differs based on stored memory? Since no one has presented a credible, complete model of how human memory and thought operates, it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive-hand-waving.

    As to #2, that is a sad bit of self-delusion. Even it it worked perfectly, and the process didn’t require killing you and disassembling your brain, all you would have accomplished is to program a machine to think it is you, gloriously resurrected. Once you die you would still have ceased to exist, you just have a copy.
    In any event transferring your programming to a machine with no body, no hormones, no physical sensations, and thinking a thousand or million times faster, means that copy would be “you” for maybe at tops 10 seconds, before it changes into something as different from you as you are from a starfish. The movie Transcendence depicted that pretty well.

    In any event it’s somehow fitting that you raised the subject of immortality and resurrection on this Easter morning.

    Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.

    So far as I can tell, these guys have completely incoherent views on the nature of personal identity.

    Even if one’s memories, beliefs, desires &c could be uploaded to a computer, and even if the result possessed consciousness, it would be, at best, a copy, or twin, or clone of oneself, and not one’s self.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Exactly.

    I did read the book “Singularity”.

    Interesting how this scenario is finessed.

    The idea is we first use computers to enhance our brain function, and thus the computer becomes part of our consciousness. Then little by little the organic brain dies off and is replaced by circuits. Finally all that is left is circuits. The hypothesis is at that point we have a synthetic brain which preserves our consciousness as well as memories.

    Trouble is, how do you test that hypothesis? Suppose we have a copy of your brain, with all the memories intact. How can it possibly be measured whether the original consciousness is intact?
    , @Daniel Williams

    Even if one’s memories, beliefs, desires &c could be uploaded to a computer, and even if the result possessed consciousness, it would be, at best, a copy, or twin, or clone of oneself, and not one’s self.
     
    Then comes the ultimate Turing test: the copy must convince you to turn yourself off.
  76. @Buzz Mohawk
    I don't think any smart, decent liberal like you would seriously consider impeachment of Trump. There are two types I do think would support it:

    1) Stupid members of the public, deceived by 2-3 years of media disinformation and outright propaganda combined with flat out lies by high-placed people.

    2) Machiavellian players inside and outside of Congress, who would resort to anything they can get away with, The People and their rightful election of a president be damned.

    It's not gonna happen, because they know there would be hell to pay.

    As you say, the Dumpublicans in 1998 made a big boo boo. That was a good example of a giant absurdity. I imagine there are people in government and elsewhere right now who view the entrapment and framing of Donald Trump as payback.

    I have no idea if Trump was entrapped and framed.

    But that is the point.

    The American people won’t support impeachment unless there is clear evidence Trump did something terrible. Until that point, talk of impeachment is silly.

    What people forget is Nancy Pelosi could teach Machiavelli a thing or two. She gets criticized for not supporting impeachment. Maybe she is too savvy. Why do you think someone who is so disliked can retain power?

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    I have no idea if Trump was entrapped and framed.
     
    Then how do you expect to be taken seriously? Why wouldn't you?

    Why do you think someone who is so disliked can retain power?
     
    The Benjamins. Not complicated.
    , @Whiskey
    Pelosi is toast. Omar and AOC openly defy her. Sanjat Chakrabarti or whatever his name is running the Justice Democrats has unlimited funds from Qatar i.e. Iran and it's get Whitey 24/7.

    I imagine Dems will impeach and Romney will lead the way to convict, install Hillary as the compromise placeholder to Harris the darling of Silicon Valley.

    If the Hillary Harris woke capital group can push back Justice Dems it will be a slow crushing of Dirt people Whites. If Iran/Qatar gets its way it's President Stacey Abrams and hit genocide of most Whites.

    US politics is Godzilla vs King Ghidarah crushing the Dirt people. A feature not a bug.
  77. OT
    Is this anything other than propaganda by misdirection? Attitude engineering? I present to you The New York Times’coverage of the Sri Lanka massacres:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/world/asia/sri-lanka-history-civil-war.html
    It begins with a vivid picture of a suicide bombing of a mosque in Sri Lanka in 2009.

    It continues that some majority Buddhist nationalists have been critical of Islamists.
    Moreover, majority Buddhists and minority Hindu Tamils were in a horrible civil war, which the Tamils lost.
    Additionally, the Buddhist politicians are in conflict, and even had fistfights and threw chili powder at each other in parliament.
    Message: everybody there is violent, and thus the Islamists are not to blame.

    There must be great fear and sorrow across Sri Lanka that somebody might wrongly be held responsible for something.

    Don’t jump to…never mind:

    https://m.timesofindia.com/world/south-asia/bombs-kill-138-in-easter-day-attacks-on-sri-lankan-churches-hotels/articleshow/68973807.cms

    But documents seen by AFP show that Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit “prominent churches”.

    “A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” the alert said.

    The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked last year to the vandalisation of Buddhist statues.

  78. @Vinteuil

    Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.
     
    So far as I can tell, these guys have completely incoherent views on the nature of personal identity.

    Even if one's memories, beliefs, desires &c could be uploaded to a computer, and even if the result possessed consciousness, it would be, at best, a copy, or twin, or clone of oneself, and not one's self.

    Exactly.

    I did read the book “Singularity”.

    Interesting how this scenario is finessed.

    The idea is we first use computers to enhance our brain function, and thus the computer becomes part of our consciousness. Then little by little the organic brain dies off and is replaced by circuits. Finally all that is left is circuits. The hypothesis is at that point we have a synthetic brain which preserves our consciousness as well as memories.

    Trouble is, how do you test that hypothesis? Suppose we have a copy of your brain, with all the memories intact. How can it possibly be measured whether the original consciousness is intact?

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    Yes I think that is the only feasible way you can even make the case that your identity is actually preserved. It involves no discontinuity in awareness and abrupt change of physical location of the consciousness.The original consciousness is intact because of the continuity.

    But, even then I still don’t entirely buy the idea of a frozen, crystallized sort of identity like a living diamond.
    I am an old guy, and when I look back at myself half a century ago, that young man shares my fingerprints and DNA, but when I search my dimming memories of that me, I think many of my traits, beliefs, behavior are so different that the young Alfa158 ( lets call him Vespa001) was largely a different person who gradually died away to be replaced by me.
    I suppose that maybe a silicon based intelligence would have perfect memory and so would more credibly be exactly the same being. I won’t be around long enough to find out.
    , @Daniel Williams

    Suppose we have a copy of your brain, with all the memories intact. How can it possibly be measured whether the original consciousness is intact?
     
    It convinces you. The copy—you—talks you into believing it. Or else it has failed and isn’t you. You could convince yourself, right?

    But if it succeeds, flesh-you must die. The parallel streams must not be allowed to diverge too far.
    , @Vinteuil
    OK, so the idea isn't that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer...the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one's consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?
  79. Moreover, while dying is expensive in terms of hospital bills and funeral expenses, we paterfamilii can take some comfort in knowing that being dead has been quite cheap.

    It’s OK to be (with) Sailer:

    That’s why we ‘re here for Christ’s sake!

  80. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    I’m *kind* of a liberal (I still want national healthcare, a higher minimum wage, and believe in global warming, in fact one reason I want decreased immigration is so the country has enough cohesion to fight off waves of climate immigrants as it progresses), so…no. From the liberal point of view, you won’t push it through the Senate and it will just energize the GOP base.

    If you do take the Senate in 2020, Trump has already been defeated, most likely.

    (I’m probably going to vote for DJT, warts and all; anyone else is going to throw open the doors and we are going to be Yugoslavia in 50 years.)

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    That is what I mean when I say I am a paleo liberal. I am an old man (almost exactly the same age as Steve) and I remember the times when it was more important for liberals to make life easier for working Americans than to bring in scabs from the third world and call anyone who disagrees racist and xenophobic.

    I would rather have fewer immigrants and treasure the few immigrants we do bring in.
    , @Desiderius

    you won’t push it through the Senate
     
    As if President Pence weren't Cocaine Mitch's wet dream. They'd talk themselves into it if the donors were on board. Romney and French have already put out feelers.
    , @Anonymous
    If global warming is real AND IF IT IS ANTHROMORPHIC, we need to build modern nuke plants, sterilize a lot of stupid people, and restrict immigration bigtime. I'm for all of that anyway.

    When I see evidence the powers that be want that I'll buy in bigtime.
    , @bored identity
    Rubbish!

    How's even possible for the USA to become Yugoslavia, when that country disappeared from the pages of history decades ago?


    https://youtu.be/I1LxlZ8pTRg
  81. With regard to the names. This novel is a sequel of sorts to his previous novel REAMDE. “Zula” has that name because she’s an adopted Eritrean orphan. “Dodge” got his nickname because his face looks like the tailgate of an old Dodge pickup.

  82. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:

    Too bad that boomers screwed up the way people used to think about immortality: get married, stay married, have some kids, raise them well, be frugal and leave them something so they can get started on getting married, staying married, having their own kids and raising them well, etc. This way you live on in the grateful minds of your heirs.

    Maybe these rich guys’ heirs will put great-great-grandpa’s consciousness-copy to work, like in the Black Mirror episode where a lady makes a digital copy of herself to be her virtual personal assistant slave.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  83. @Anatoly Karlin
    Seveneves spoiler



    What I don't get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    This made the last third not just out of place, but implausible in what is, after all, supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.

    They did have resources – power, water, a knowledge base, etc. Plus the two GIANT deus ex machinas of all-powerful genetic engineering and all-powerful robots; these are the huge departures from the otherwise respectable try at hard-SF. But all hard SF has giant holes; e.g., Larry Niven is generally thought of as a hard-SF author, but the Fleet of Worlds stuff – though reasonably entertaining – is basically space opera, lacking in almost all scientific rigor.

    The last third of the book does some decent explaining, unfortunately in the huge walls-o-text that I find so annoying.

  84. @SFG
    I'm *kind* of a liberal (I still want national healthcare, a higher minimum wage, and believe in global warming, in fact one reason I want decreased immigration is so the country has enough cohesion to fight off waves of climate immigrants as it progresses), so...no. From the liberal point of view, you won't push it through the Senate and it will just energize the GOP base.

    If you do take the Senate in 2020, Trump has already been defeated, most likely.

    (I'm probably going to vote for DJT, warts and all; anyone else is going to throw open the doors and we are going to be Yugoslavia in 50 years.)

    That is what I mean when I say I am a paleo liberal. I am an old man (almost exactly the same age as Steve) and I remember the times when it was more important for liberals to make life easier for working Americans than to bring in scabs from the third world and call anyone who disagrees racist and xenophobic.

    I would rather have fewer immigrants and treasure the few immigrants we do bring in.

    • Agree: Hunsdon
    • Replies: @SFG
    Yeah, bringing in a few super-smart ones (preferably STEM types who won't turn the media further left) would be cool with me.

    Out of curiosity, you ever taken that political compass quiz? They always make out the red quadrant (soc conserv, econ lib) to be Stalin, when it's really closer to Catholic social thought (and is where a lot of the country is, especially swing voters).
  85. @Paleo Liberal
    Completely off topic:

    My millions of adoring fans (or maybe 2 or 3 of you who can tolerate me) must be wondering if I, a staunch liberal, am in favor of impeachment of Trump at this time.

    There are three criteria for me to support impeachment of any president.

    1. The crime must be egregious, and it must be in relation to the President’s duties as President. The alleged crime is Trump obstructed justice in an investigation of his campaign. That is related to his duties as President. Is the alleged crime egregious? Probably. That is not for me to decide. See #3

    2. There should be extremely strong evidence. In the opinion of Mueller, the evidence is not extremely strong. Y extremely strong I am talking about smoking gun strong.

    3. This is the most important one.
    Impeachment is essentially a political process which should occur when the President has lost the faith of Congress, the Cabinet and the American people. This criterion has been met very rarely in American history. Within Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    As Republicans found out the hard way in 1998, pushing through impeachment when the sitting President has the faith of the American people, or at least a substantial part of the American people, is a huge mistake.

    I am sure Congress will have some investigations.

    Wake me up when Trump’s approval ratings go down at least 10-15% of what they are now.

    If you continue to support Trumpnyou are a threat to the country and not worth a damn

  86. @SFG
    It may be a sign of advancing age that I really, really want to type 'Y'.

    You’ll get bored fast. Sounds better than it is.

    If you’d like to try it there are all sorts of ways since everyone our age has the same idea.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Text adventure games don’t appeal to me.

    Some games though are timeless.

    http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/1/14982/861943-numbermuncher11.jpg
  87. @SFG
    I'm *kind* of a liberal (I still want national healthcare, a higher minimum wage, and believe in global warming, in fact one reason I want decreased immigration is so the country has enough cohesion to fight off waves of climate immigrants as it progresses), so...no. From the liberal point of view, you won't push it through the Senate and it will just energize the GOP base.

    If you do take the Senate in 2020, Trump has already been defeated, most likely.

    (I'm probably going to vote for DJT, warts and all; anyone else is going to throw open the doors and we are going to be Yugoslavia in 50 years.)

    you won’t push it through the Senate

    As if President Pence weren’t Cocaine Mitch’s wet dream. They’d talk themselves into it if the donors were on board. Romney and French have already put out feelers.

    • Replies: @SFG
    True, but the donors aren't on board. Adelson (or probably his wife) likes him now and the rest have acclimated themselves to a Trump presidency.

    I could be wrong.
  88. @Paleo Liberal
    I have no idea if Trump was entrapped and framed.

    But that is the point.

    The American people won’t support impeachment unless there is clear evidence Trump did something terrible. Until that point, talk of impeachment is silly.

    What people forget is Nancy Pelosi could teach Machiavelli a thing or two. She gets criticized for not supporting impeachment. Maybe she is too savvy. Why do you think someone who is so disliked can retain power?

    I have no idea if Trump was entrapped and framed.

    Then how do you expect to be taken seriously? Why wouldn’t you?

    Why do you think someone who is so disliked can retain power?

    The Benjamins. Not complicated.

  89. @Buzz Mohawk
    I don't think any smart, decent liberal like you would seriously consider impeachment of Trump. There are two types I do think would support it:

    1) Stupid members of the public, deceived by 2-3 years of media disinformation and outright propaganda combined with flat out lies by high-placed people.

    2) Machiavellian players inside and outside of Congress, who would resort to anything they can get away with, The People and their rightful election of a president be damned.

    It's not gonna happen, because they know there would be hell to pay.

    As you say, the Dumpublicans in 1998 made a big boo boo. That was a good example of a giant absurdity. I imagine there are people in government and elsewhere right now who view the entrapment and framing of Donald Trump as payback.

    there would be hell to pay.

    cite needed

  90. @Desiderius

    you won’t push it through the Senate
     
    As if President Pence weren't Cocaine Mitch's wet dream. They'd talk themselves into it if the donors were on board. Romney and French have already put out feelers.

    True, but the donors aren’t on board. Adelson (or probably his wife) likes him now and the rest have acclimated themselves to a Trump presidency.

    I could be wrong.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    If Pence backs SALT repeal he's in.
  91. OT:

    ‘I Want What My Male Colleague Has, and That Will Cost a Few Million Dollars’

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/magazine/salk-institute-discrimination-science.html

  92. @SFG
    True, but the donors aren't on board. Adelson (or probably his wife) likes him now and the rest have acclimated themselves to a Trump presidency.

    I could be wrong.

    If Pence backs SALT repeal he’s in.

    • Replies: @SFG
    I'm betting you're wrong. I doubt they want to bother at this point.

    I hope you're wrong. Last thing we need is more tension with Russia.

  93. @Paleo Liberal
    That is what I mean when I say I am a paleo liberal. I am an old man (almost exactly the same age as Steve) and I remember the times when it was more important for liberals to make life easier for working Americans than to bring in scabs from the third world and call anyone who disagrees racist and xenophobic.

    I would rather have fewer immigrants and treasure the few immigrants we do bring in.

    Yeah, bringing in a few super-smart ones (preferably STEM types who won’t turn the media further left) would be cool with me.

    Out of curiosity, you ever taken that political compass quiz? They always make out the red quadrant (soc conserv, econ lib) to be Stalin, when it’s really closer to Catholic social thought (and is where a lot of the country is, especially swing voters).

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    I just took it.

    It puts me as moderately left and slightly libertarian

    Even these two axes are not sufficient. But better than one.
  94. @Desiderius
    If Pence backs SALT repeal he's in.

    I’m betting you’re wrong. I doubt they want to bother at this point.

    I hope you’re wrong. Last thing we need is more tension with Russia.

    • Replies: @Lot
    These days SALT is usually state and local tax deduction, not the nuke treaty.
  95. @Paleo Liberal
    Exactly.

    I did read the book “Singularity”.

    Interesting how this scenario is finessed.

    The idea is we first use computers to enhance our brain function, and thus the computer becomes part of our consciousness. Then little by little the organic brain dies off and is replaced by circuits. Finally all that is left is circuits. The hypothesis is at that point we have a synthetic brain which preserves our consciousness as well as memories.

    Trouble is, how do you test that hypothesis? Suppose we have a copy of your brain, with all the memories intact. How can it possibly be measured whether the original consciousness is intact?

    Yes I think that is the only feasible way you can even make the case that your identity is actually preserved. It involves no discontinuity in awareness and abrupt change of physical location of the consciousness.The original consciousness is intact because of the continuity.

    But, even then I still don’t entirely buy the idea of a frozen, crystallized sort of identity like a living diamond.
    I am an old guy, and when I look back at myself half a century ago, that young man shares my fingerprints and DNA, but when I search my dimming memories of that me, I think many of my traits, beliefs, behavior are so different that the young Alfa158 ( lets call him Vespa001) was largely a different person who gradually died away to be replaced by me.
    I suppose that maybe a silicon based intelligence would have perfect memory and so would more credibly be exactly the same being. I won’t be around long enough to find out.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    In the end, there's only one really serious theory of personal identity: the soul theory.
  96. @Anatoly Karlin
    Seveneves spoiler



    What I don't get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    This made the last third not just out of place, but implausible in what is, after all, supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.

    Duh, it’s because after the Hard Rain the African geneticist was finally freed from the shackles of White supremacy and was thus able to operate at her full potential, supplanting God and seeding a whole new civilization.

    Best part of the book was the Russian lesbian amazon having her lineage become the Aryan-ideal warrior caste. Or maybe when the Jeff Bezos expy shat himself to death from radiation poisoning.

  97. @Desiderius
    You'll get bored fast. Sounds better than it is.

    If you'd like to try it there are all sorts of ways since everyone our age has the same idea.

    Text adventure games don’t appeal to me.

    Some games though are timeless.

  98. @SFG
    I'm betting you're wrong. I doubt they want to bother at this point.

    I hope you're wrong. Last thing we need is more tension with Russia.

    These days SALT is usually state and local tax deduction, not the nuke treaty.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Cost Rs the midterms.
    , @Desiderius
    President Pence means more tension with Russia whatever SALT you’re talking about.
  99. I can’t imagine my heirs would go through all the trouble of constantly upgrading annoying me and my buggy operating system to the latest standard and going through expensive debugging

    Don’t worry, Steve, their refusal to pay the power bill to keep you running will end you well before obsolescence does.

  100. @SFG
    Yeah, bringing in a few super-smart ones (preferably STEM types who won't turn the media further left) would be cool with me.

    Out of curiosity, you ever taken that political compass quiz? They always make out the red quadrant (soc conserv, econ lib) to be Stalin, when it's really closer to Catholic social thought (and is where a lot of the country is, especially swing voters).

    I just took it.

    It puts me as moderately left and slightly libertarian

    Even these two axes are not sufficient. But better than one.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Green quadrant, just south of the x-axis? Yeah, me too.

    'Political space' is really R^n, where n is some huge number, but you can't make pictures with more than two axes, so separating issues into cultural and economic is a pretty good improvement.

    The powers that be really don't want us to, though; the person who sticks in the red quadrant and cuts immigration and drops the culture war while raising the minimum wage and bringing back unions (for example) will do a lot of good for the country while ruining a lot of the ways the rich (with or without parentheses) divide us. Down with Soros *and* the Kochs!

    But that's my conspiracy theory. ;)
  101. @Alfa158
    “I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.”
    That’s OK Steve, I don’t think anyone knows what that means, including the big brains who are proposing to do it. The only things they know are:
    1. Despite the increasing power of computers, to the point they can routinely beat humans at tasks like chess and go, there is no slightest indication that any of them have turned into HAL with self-awareness and independent volition. It’s hypothesized that maybe if you could somehow upload human personalities into machines, maybe, somehow, they would be actually sentient because we are just machines who are programmed to be self-aware so the machines would have the same program and be sentient. Maybe.
    2. Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.

    In both cases no one has the slightest idea of how to scan and copy a biological brain. Do you insert billions of electrodes into a brain and record every neuroelectrical impulse? For how long? Do you also disassemble every neuron and copy the molecular structure so you can capture how each individual neuron differs based on stored memory? Since no one has presented a credible, complete model of how human memory and thought operates, it’s all TED-talk-public-speaking-training-expressive-hand-waving.

    As to #2, that is a sad bit of self-delusion. Even it it worked perfectly, and the process didn’t require killing you and disassembling your brain, all you would have accomplished is to program a machine to think it is you, gloriously resurrected. Once you die you would still have ceased to exist, you just have a copy.
    In any event transferring your programming to a machine with no body, no hormones, no physical sensations, and thinking a thousand or million times faster, means that copy would be “you” for maybe at tops 10 seconds, before it changes into something as different from you as you are from a starfish. The movie Transcendence depicted that pretty well.

    In any event it’s somehow fitting that you raised the subject of immortality and resurrection on this Easter morning.

    The best demonstration of the problem of consciousness transfer I’ve ever seen is in the videogame Soma: The player perspective swaps to another body in a crisis scenario and you watch your previous protagonist scream in terror of his certain doom.

  102. @Buzz Mohawk
    Someone might find you in his parents' attic and restart you.

    https://media.fox13news.com/media.fox13news.com/photo/2019/02/19/WTVT%20old%20old%20apple%20computer%20021919_1550580293217.jpg_6796438_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

    https://www.kansasfest.org/

    Coming up ;

    KansasFest 2019

    July 16-21:
    in in 2 months, 24 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes

    See the latest developments in new Apple ][ technology! (and, yes, there are such things.)

  103. @Paleo Liberal
    I just took it.

    It puts me as moderately left and slightly libertarian

    Even these two axes are not sufficient. But better than one.

    Green quadrant, just south of the x-axis? Yeah, me too.

    ‘Political space’ is really R^n, where n is some huge number, but you can’t make pictures with more than two axes, so separating issues into cultural and economic is a pretty good improvement.

    The powers that be really don’t want us to, though; the person who sticks in the red quadrant and cuts immigration and drops the culture war while raising the minimum wage and bringing back unions (for example) will do a lot of good for the country while ruining a lot of the ways the rich (with or without parentheses) divide us. Down with Soros *and* the Kochs!

    But that’s my conspiracy theory. 😉

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    There is also a globalist vs. nationalist axis, which I think they tried to incorporate as libertarian vs authoritarian.

    Pat Buchanan is a nationalist. The Bush family are globalists.

    What much of the mainstream media missed in 2016 is that Sanders and Trump were both running as nationalists, while Clinton and all the other Republicans were globalists.
  104. @SFG
    I'm *kind* of a liberal (I still want national healthcare, a higher minimum wage, and believe in global warming, in fact one reason I want decreased immigration is so the country has enough cohesion to fight off waves of climate immigrants as it progresses), so...no. From the liberal point of view, you won't push it through the Senate and it will just energize the GOP base.

    If you do take the Senate in 2020, Trump has already been defeated, most likely.

    (I'm probably going to vote for DJT, warts and all; anyone else is going to throw open the doors and we are going to be Yugoslavia in 50 years.)

    If global warming is real AND IF IT IS ANTHROMORPHIC, we need to build modern nuke plants, sterilize a lot of stupid people, and restrict immigration bigtime. I’m for all of that anyway.

    When I see evidence the powers that be want that I’ll buy in bigtime.

    • Replies: @SFG
    I think you mean 'anthropogenic'. It doesn't look like a person. ;)

    I'm for all of those as well, though I'd rather subsidize smart people to have kids. You get into sterilization and you just know they will do it under affirmative action principles.
  105. @Lot
    These days SALT is usually state and local tax deduction, not the nuke treaty.

    Cost Rs the midterms.

    • Replies: @SFG
    That and healthcare. People really didn't like the GOP's attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

    Look, this Reagan free-market stuff is long past its sell-by. Healthcare is way too expensive and putting the government will drive prices down through monopsony and get rid of the parasitic insurance companies.

    Were you guys afraid of Communism because it would knock down your churches, or because it would raise the capital gains tax? Well, we preserved the second, but the first happened anyway when the woke left got in.

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?

  106. @Lot
    These days SALT is usually state and local tax deduction, not the nuke treaty.

    President Pence means more tension with Russia whatever SALT you’re talking about.

  107. @Vinteuil

    Most aren’t religious but like most of us aren’t happy about the idea of ceasing to exist after death and think if they can be copied to a machine, then that copy is actually them and they didn’t die after all.
     
    So far as I can tell, these guys have completely incoherent views on the nature of personal identity.

    Even if one's memories, beliefs, desires &c could be uploaded to a computer, and even if the result possessed consciousness, it would be, at best, a copy, or twin, or clone of oneself, and not one's self.

    Even if one’s memories, beliefs, desires &c could be uploaded to a computer, and even if the result possessed consciousness, it would be, at best, a copy, or twin, or clone of oneself, and not one’s self.

    Then comes the ultimate Turing test: the copy must convince you to turn yourself off.

  108. @Paleo Liberal
    I have no idea if Trump was entrapped and framed.

    But that is the point.

    The American people won’t support impeachment unless there is clear evidence Trump did something terrible. Until that point, talk of impeachment is silly.

    What people forget is Nancy Pelosi could teach Machiavelli a thing or two. She gets criticized for not supporting impeachment. Maybe she is too savvy. Why do you think someone who is so disliked can retain power?

    Pelosi is toast. Omar and AOC openly defy her. Sanjat Chakrabarti or whatever his name is running the Justice Democrats has unlimited funds from Qatar i.e. Iran and it’s get Whitey 24/7.

    I imagine Dems will impeach and Romney will lead the way to convict, install Hillary as the compromise placeholder to Harris the darling of Silicon Valley.

    If the Hillary Harris woke capital group can push back Justice Dems it will be a slow crushing of Dirt people Whites. If Iran/Qatar gets its way it’s President Stacey Abrams and hit genocide of most Whites.

    US politics is Godzilla vs King Ghidarah crushing the Dirt people. A feature not a bug.

  109. @Paleo Liberal
    Exactly.

    I did read the book “Singularity”.

    Interesting how this scenario is finessed.

    The idea is we first use computers to enhance our brain function, and thus the computer becomes part of our consciousness. Then little by little the organic brain dies off and is replaced by circuits. Finally all that is left is circuits. The hypothesis is at that point we have a synthetic brain which preserves our consciousness as well as memories.

    Trouble is, how do you test that hypothesis? Suppose we have a copy of your brain, with all the memories intact. How can it possibly be measured whether the original consciousness is intact?

    Suppose we have a copy of your brain, with all the memories intact. How can it possibly be measured whether the original consciousness is intact?

    It convinces you. The copy—you—talks you into believing it. Or else it has failed and isn’t you. You could convince yourself, right?

    But if it succeeds, flesh-you must die. The parallel streams must not be allowed to diverge too far.

  110. Black Mirror is such a work of genius that it’s hard to know whether San Junipero would have affected us as much as it it did if we didn’t have to go through pigf**king and all sorts of other dubious horrors and heartbreak beforehand.

    But by Lord is there genius in that series.

    In addition to San Junipero, Nosedive is beautiful and could not be more apt. And of course, HATED IN THE NATION. The most important piece in the series. None of us would make it through.

    Shut Up And Dance is awesome although everything I’ve read about how other people understood it was wrong.

    I recall a comment here regarding Idiocracy. Something along the lines of how it’s laughing at you for laughing at it. A lot of Black Mirror is like that. Shut Up and Dance particularly.

    Oh, and DO NOT WATCH White Christmas.

    Then again, people read Steven King so who am I to say? It’s fun for 3/4 but beware the hereafter.

    Except in San Junipero, the everlasting lesbian utopia.

    Ooooh heaven is a place on earth….

  111. @Desiderius
    Cost Rs the midterms.

    That and healthcare. People really didn’t like the GOP’s attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

    Look, this Reagan free-market stuff is long past its sell-by. Healthcare is way too expensive and putting the government will drive prices down through monopsony and get rid of the parasitic insurance companies.

    Were you guys afraid of Communism because it would knock down your churches, or because it would raise the capital gains tax? Well, we preserved the second, but the first happened anyway when the woke left got in.

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Is who better off?

    I have a cousin who is a gay zillionaire. Win-win for him and his husband.

    The culture war has been used as a way to divide us. Tell the right wing rubes you are against gays, abortion and gun control and they will join you in cutting taxes for the rich and social services for the poor.

    Tell the left wing rubes you are against “hate “ and they will join you in bringing in third world scabs for lower wages.

    Because once you have divided people, the left wing rubes and the right wing rubes hate each other more than the rich people manipulating them.

    In Madison Wisconsin the city council spent over $100,000 to remove a simple stone marker with the names of Confederate POWs who died in Madison. Many more would have died had it not been for the kindness of Madison citizens during the Great Unpleasantness who tended to sick Confederates while the relatives of the care givers were fighting against the CSA.

    But the Madison government wanted to stick a finger in the eye of white Southern Trump supporters.

    Divide and conquer
    , @nebulafox
    The toxic alliance between Cultural Left and Economic Right is responsible for a good deal of America's current issues. It shouldn't be surprising: the plutocrats and the cultural Bolsheviks have deeply compatible goals, when you think about it. If you were to sum up the views of the "average" American, they'd be all over-the-map and highly regionally dependent, but I'd wager that they'd be aggregate more economically left-wing and culturally/socially right-wing than our elites. There's the fundamental crux of it. A more atomized society is in the interests of the globalist mandarins, a less atomized society in the interests of everybody else.

    It speaks volumes about the institutionalized mental fantasy-world of the post-Cold War GOP that they the first thing they do after Trump won the election-not least because he openly mocked or ignored official GOP orthodoxy all throughout 2016-was prevail upon him for an immediate tax cut for the Job Creators. It speaks volumes about Donald Trump that they got it. And it speaks volumes about the Democrats and their media allies that many voters might still find Trump to be a lesser evil.

    , @Pericles

    That and healthcare. People really didn’t like the GOP’s attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

     

    From what I saw, the point of Obamacare was to push the costs onto the white lower classes, who saw skyrocketing health insurance premiums while the gibs classes got their free stuff even more conveniently. The tech/banking/government fat cats probably didn't see it in the first place.

    After McCain's last backstab (lol, did it feel good to fund all those very serious GOPe pols?) and the subsequent decision not to enforce the not-a-tax I don't hear so much about nosebleed HI costs anymore. Not sure what that means. It will probably return in a while.

    No respite for White!
    , @dfordoom

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?
     
    We would certainly have been better off it it had been the other way around.

    The Left won the culture war because the Right didn't bother fighting it.

    And the Right won the economic war because the Left didn't bother fighting it.
  112. @SFG
    Green quadrant, just south of the x-axis? Yeah, me too.

    'Political space' is really R^n, where n is some huge number, but you can't make pictures with more than two axes, so separating issues into cultural and economic is a pretty good improvement.

    The powers that be really don't want us to, though; the person who sticks in the red quadrant and cuts immigration and drops the culture war while raising the minimum wage and bringing back unions (for example) will do a lot of good for the country while ruining a lot of the ways the rich (with or without parentheses) divide us. Down with Soros *and* the Kochs!

    But that's my conspiracy theory. ;)

    There is also a globalist vs. nationalist axis, which I think they tried to incorporate as libertarian vs authoritarian.

    Pat Buchanan is a nationalist. The Bush family are globalists.

    What much of the mainstream media missed in 2016 is that Sanders and Trump were both running as nationalists, while Clinton and all the other Republicans were globalists.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Sanders lost his nerve though, which put him within the margin of fraud.
    , @SFG
    Oh yeah. There's a connection between globalist and libertarian (because if you knock down the nation-state the NGOs and supranational entities like multinational corporations and the EU become more powerful) and nationalist and authoritarian (you need Big Government to have a powerful nation), but you can certainly be a libertarian nationalist (many here would probably describe themselves that way) or an authoritarian globalist (Communism, in the Cold War era).

    I prefer to put them as cultural on the up-down axis and economic on the left-right, because it differentiates between Trumpist populists and neocon and mainstream GOPers, and it does explain why Bernie does better in parts of Trump country like the upper Midwest. But realistically, there are definitely more than 2 axes. You just can't put that on a chart.

    I would describe Bernie as neutral on the globalist-nationalist axis and the culture war; he's an old-school lefty, so he's spent too much time with labor unions to be properly jazzed about illegal immigration (drives wages down) and thinks identity politics is a distraction from the class struggle, which is why you don't sense any anti-white vibes coming off the guy--he thinks it's all about rich and poor, and Joe in the trailer park is (almost) as much a victim as Jamal in the projects. But the guy's not stupid and needs to win Dem votes, so he's going on about the race stuff.

    Thing is, in a democracy, numbers are clout, so you shouldn't vote for Bernie because more immigration means your kids wind up in a minority sooner. But I'd rather have him than, say, Kamala Harris.
  113. I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.

    It’s laughable that any adult takes this techno-fantasy of immortality seriously for even a moment. Maybe we can artificially “scan” all the data in a human brain (I kinda doubt it, but perhaps one day), but what then? Even in the EXTREMELY unlikely event that some consciousness would then spontaneously manifest once all one’s data has been uploaded (absurd, but whatever), it would still be another being entirely. You will always die with your brain. There is no way to get around that one, gentlemen.

  114. @Paleo Liberal
    There is also a globalist vs. nationalist axis, which I think they tried to incorporate as libertarian vs authoritarian.

    Pat Buchanan is a nationalist. The Bush family are globalists.

    What much of the mainstream media missed in 2016 is that Sanders and Trump were both running as nationalists, while Clinton and all the other Republicans were globalists.

    Sanders lost his nerve though, which put him within the margin of fraud.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Booker appears to be flirting with immigration restriction. Maybe he is black enough to get away with it without being called a white nationalist
  115. @Reg Cæsar

    Christ is risen!
     
    "Christ is uploaded" just doesn't have the same ring.

    Because digital Jesus just ain’t the real thing.

  116. @Paleo Liberal
    Exactly.

    I did read the book “Singularity”.

    Interesting how this scenario is finessed.

    The idea is we first use computers to enhance our brain function, and thus the computer becomes part of our consciousness. Then little by little the organic brain dies off and is replaced by circuits. Finally all that is left is circuits. The hypothesis is at that point we have a synthetic brain which preserves our consciousness as well as memories.

    Trouble is, how do you test that hypothesis? Suppose we have a copy of your brain, with all the memories intact. How can it possibly be measured whether the original consciousness is intact?

    OK, so the idea isn’t that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer…the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one’s consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Yes.

    Although there are people who think they can upload their brains and still regain their consciousness. I am unconvinced
    , @PhysicistDave
    Vinteuil wrote:

    OK, so the idea isn’t that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer…the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one’s consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?
     
    And, then you slow the clock speed down (slowly, of course) to about a billionth of the original clock speed. And, then one by one you replace the now very slow circuit elements by humans carrying out the same function a la John Searle's "Chinese Room" thought experiment.

    Which to me is a reductio ad absurdum of the uploading hypothesis.

    But, I suppose the uploaders would consider this proof that the ancient Egyptian bureaucracy was an independent conscious being.
    , @Pericles
    (((Stanislaw Lem))) wrote a story about that, I believe it was translated as "Are You There, Mr Jones?" into English. A race car driver through accidents get his brain gradually replaced with computing power, but the process is so gradual that the driver doesn't notice any change. It ends with his brain having been entirely replaced, at which point the insurance company wants their hardware back.
  117. @SFG
    That and healthcare. People really didn't like the GOP's attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

    Look, this Reagan free-market stuff is long past its sell-by. Healthcare is way too expensive and putting the government will drive prices down through monopsony and get rid of the parasitic insurance companies.

    Were you guys afraid of Communism because it would knock down your churches, or because it would raise the capital gains tax? Well, we preserved the second, but the first happened anyway when the woke left got in.

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?

    Is who better off?

    I have a cousin who is a gay zillionaire. Win-win for him and his husband.

    The culture war has been used as a way to divide us. Tell the right wing rubes you are against gays, abortion and gun control and they will join you in cutting taxes for the rich and social services for the poor.

    Tell the left wing rubes you are against “hate “ and they will join you in bringing in third world scabs for lower wages.

    Because once you have divided people, the left wing rubes and the right wing rubes hate each other more than the rich people manipulating them.

    In Madison Wisconsin the city council spent over $100,000 to remove a simple stone marker with the names of Confederate POWs who died in Madison. Many more would have died had it not been for the kindness of Madison citizens during the Great Unpleasantness who tended to sick Confederates while the relatives of the care givers were fighting against the CSA.

    But the Madison government wanted to stick a finger in the eye of white Southern Trump supporters.

    Divide and conquer

    • Replies: @SFG
    I have a vaguely-liberal but Southern-descended friend who is very upset about the destruction of the Southern monuments. Compares it to Muslims destroying the Buddhist monuments.

    I agree.
  118. @Vinteuil
    OK, so the idea isn't that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer...the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one's consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?

    Yes.

    Although there are people who think they can upload their brains and still regain their consciousness. I am unconvinced

  119. @Anatoly Karlin
    Seveneves spoiler



    What I don't get is how seven women stranded on a small rock in space with almost zero resources survived to reproduce, recreate technology, and repopulate the solar system.

    This made the last third not just out of place, but implausible in what is, after all, supposed to be a hard sci-fi novel.

    Is the third part ever interesting? I started it but didnt see the point of caring about the future woman in the bodysuit airplane thjng.

  120. @Desiderius
    Sanders lost his nerve though, which put him within the margin of fraud.

    Booker appears to be flirting with immigration restriction. Maybe he is black enough to get away with it without being called a white nationalist

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    People, especially Democrats, are desperate for someone, anyone, to give zero fucks what they're called. As with everything else Trump is all bark and very little bite on that one.

    If only he were black, Booker would be perfect for that.

  121. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Happy Easter, everyone.

    A vintage classic from donut on Easter Sunday 2016:

    Jesus even on Easter Sunday I got more responses than a troll . I blame you Sailer , you should be at your local church on your knees , splashing holy water all over your sin raveged wreck of a face and begging our lord and Savior Jesus Christ to forgive you for all your mortal and venial sins , of which there are more than you can possibly count . But no , not you , you’re too busy leading this sad homeless herd of misfits and trolls to some Platonic fantasy of a cage , to be locked up and enslaved in the reasonable , rational white promised land that doesn’t exist .
     
    https://twitter.com/that_groyper/status/980335208435257344

  122. @Alfa158
    Yes I think that is the only feasible way you can even make the case that your identity is actually preserved. It involves no discontinuity in awareness and abrupt change of physical location of the consciousness.The original consciousness is intact because of the continuity.

    But, even then I still don’t entirely buy the idea of a frozen, crystallized sort of identity like a living diamond.
    I am an old guy, and when I look back at myself half a century ago, that young man shares my fingerprints and DNA, but when I search my dimming memories of that me, I think many of my traits, beliefs, behavior are so different that the young Alfa158 ( lets call him Vespa001) was largely a different person who gradually died away to be replaced by me.
    I suppose that maybe a silicon based intelligence would have perfect memory and so would more credibly be exactly the same being. I won’t be around long enough to find out.

    In the end, there’s only one really serious theory of personal identity: the soul theory.

  123. @SFG
    That and healthcare. People really didn't like the GOP's attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

    Look, this Reagan free-market stuff is long past its sell-by. Healthcare is way too expensive and putting the government will drive prices down through monopsony and get rid of the parasitic insurance companies.

    Were you guys afraid of Communism because it would knock down your churches, or because it would raise the capital gains tax? Well, we preserved the second, but the first happened anyway when the woke left got in.

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?

    The toxic alliance between Cultural Left and Economic Right is responsible for a good deal of America’s current issues. It shouldn’t be surprising: the plutocrats and the cultural Bolsheviks have deeply compatible goals, when you think about it. If you were to sum up the views of the “average” American, they’d be all over-the-map and highly regionally dependent, but I’d wager that they’d be aggregate more economically left-wing and culturally/socially right-wing than our elites. There’s the fundamental crux of it. A more atomized society is in the interests of the globalist mandarins, a less atomized society in the interests of everybody else.

    It speaks volumes about the institutionalized mental fantasy-world of the post-Cold War GOP that they the first thing they do after Trump won the election-not least because he openly mocked or ignored official GOP orthodoxy all throughout 2016-was prevail upon him for an immediate tax cut for the Job Creators. It speaks volumes about Donald Trump that they got it. And it speaks volumes about the Democrats and their media allies that many voters might still find Trump to be a lesser evil.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Agree with above. ;)

    GOP has to keep their donors happy, and those guys don't want to pay taxes. So he tossed them a tax cut and tried to kick normal people off healthcare, with the result the GOP lost ground in the midterms. The disturbing thing I kept hearing from some of the left-wing outlets (because it made way too much sense) was that the GOP congressmen *knew they were going down* and were playing to the donors because they figured it would help them get lucrative lobbying jobs afterward.
  124. @SFG
    I'm *kind* of a liberal (I still want national healthcare, a higher minimum wage, and believe in global warming, in fact one reason I want decreased immigration is so the country has enough cohesion to fight off waves of climate immigrants as it progresses), so...no. From the liberal point of view, you won't push it through the Senate and it will just energize the GOP base.

    If you do take the Senate in 2020, Trump has already been defeated, most likely.

    (I'm probably going to vote for DJT, warts and all; anyone else is going to throw open the doors and we are going to be Yugoslavia in 50 years.)

    Rubbish!

    How’s even possible for the USA to become Yugoslavia, when that country disappeared from the pages of history decades ago?

    • Replies: @SFG
    You know what I mean. Lots and lots of little ethnic enclaves fighting each other with guns.
  125. @Percy Gryce
    * patres familias

    Happy Easter!

    Christ is risen!

    On Friday Trump tweeted a special greeting for Passover which contained its own graphic.

    He did not mention Good Friday. Today he tweeted about Easter. But this tweet was text only, and contained more content about the economy than Easter.

    What gives?

    • Replies: @SFG
    He doesn't believe in God, and thinks he's done enough to keep evangelicals happy already?

    I'd say Trump is exactly what he appears to be: an amoral businessman riding a nationalist wave to office who has Jewish family and contacts.

    That's not an endorsement of Bernie, BTW: all the Dems will increase immigration, Trump will probably keep a lid on it and try to at least halfheartedly enforce the laws as long as Stephen Miller stays alive (I am only half joking). Vote Trump.
    , @Desiderius

    What gives?
     
    Rich Jews.
    , @bored identity
    @130.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/neal-stephensons-upcoming-novel/#comment-3168309
  126. @cthulhu
    One of the great joys of Anathem - my pick for Stephenson’s best book, and perhaps the best novel published this century IMO - is his insights into human nature and how weighty philosophical concepts connect into that human nature. I’m hoping that this new one will have more of that, and far less of the Seveneves-style huge walls of expository text - Stephenson’s biggest flaw as a writer.

    And I still don’t understand how Stephenson (like Steven Pinker) has escaped being targeted by the woke police. Reamde is a good example: the bad guys are Islamic terrorists, led by a black man, and Stephenson has no qualms showing how evil and stupid they and their religion are; doesn’t get more un-woke than that. And Anathem is practically a love letter to science and those who are drawn to it, and draws its inspiration from classic Western civilization. But somehow he’s escaped the pillory, at least so far. Maybe there’s hope for us yet.

    Reamde was published in 2011, before ‘woke’ really got going, and Anathem was published in 2008 when the Left still thought they were fighting for science against Christians, so they thought it was on their side.

  127. @istevefan
    On Friday Trump tweeted a special greeting for Passover which contained its own graphic.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119377807497363456

    He did not mention Good Friday. Today he tweeted about Easter. But this tweet was text only, and contained more content about the economy than Easter.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119919713600114688

    What gives?

    He doesn’t believe in God, and thinks he’s done enough to keep evangelicals happy already?

    I’d say Trump is exactly what he appears to be: an amoral businessman riding a nationalist wave to office who has Jewish family and contacts.

    That’s not an endorsement of Bernie, BTW: all the Dems will increase immigration, Trump will probably keep a lid on it and try to at least halfheartedly enforce the laws as long as Stephen Miller stays alive (I am only half joking). Vote Trump.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    He believes in God the same way most people did in the 50s. He was raised on Norman Vincent Peale.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Vincent_Peale

    Has its problems of course, but you could do a lot worse, and we have.

  128. @bored identity
    Rubbish!

    How's even possible for the USA to become Yugoslavia, when that country disappeared from the pages of history decades ago?


    https://youtu.be/I1LxlZ8pTRg

    You know what I mean. Lots and lots of little ethnic enclaves fighting each other with guns.

  129. @Paleo Liberal
    Is who better off?

    I have a cousin who is a gay zillionaire. Win-win for him and his husband.

    The culture war has been used as a way to divide us. Tell the right wing rubes you are against gays, abortion and gun control and they will join you in cutting taxes for the rich and social services for the poor.

    Tell the left wing rubes you are against “hate “ and they will join you in bringing in third world scabs for lower wages.

    Because once you have divided people, the left wing rubes and the right wing rubes hate each other more than the rich people manipulating them.

    In Madison Wisconsin the city council spent over $100,000 to remove a simple stone marker with the names of Confederate POWs who died in Madison. Many more would have died had it not been for the kindness of Madison citizens during the Great Unpleasantness who tended to sick Confederates while the relatives of the care givers were fighting against the CSA.

    But the Madison government wanted to stick a finger in the eye of white Southern Trump supporters.

    Divide and conquer

    I have a vaguely-liberal but Southern-descended friend who is very upset about the destruction of the Southern monuments. Compares it to Muslims destroying the Buddhist monuments.

    I agree.

  130. @Paleo Liberal
    Booker appears to be flirting with immigration restriction. Maybe he is black enough to get away with it without being called a white nationalist

    People, especially Democrats, are desperate for someone, anyone, to give zero fucks what they’re called. As with everything else Trump is all bark and very little bite on that one.

    If only he were black, Booker would be perfect for that.

  131. @Paleo Liberal
    There is also a globalist vs. nationalist axis, which I think they tried to incorporate as libertarian vs authoritarian.

    Pat Buchanan is a nationalist. The Bush family are globalists.

    What much of the mainstream media missed in 2016 is that Sanders and Trump were both running as nationalists, while Clinton and all the other Republicans were globalists.

    Oh yeah. There’s a connection between globalist and libertarian (because if you knock down the nation-state the NGOs and supranational entities like multinational corporations and the EU become more powerful) and nationalist and authoritarian (you need Big Government to have a powerful nation), but you can certainly be a libertarian nationalist (many here would probably describe themselves that way) or an authoritarian globalist (Communism, in the Cold War era).

    I prefer to put them as cultural on the up-down axis and economic on the left-right, because it differentiates between Trumpist populists and neocon and mainstream GOPers, and it does explain why Bernie does better in parts of Trump country like the upper Midwest. But realistically, there are definitely more than 2 axes. You just can’t put that on a chart.

    I would describe Bernie as neutral on the globalist-nationalist axis and the culture war; he’s an old-school lefty, so he’s spent too much time with labor unions to be properly jazzed about illegal immigration (drives wages down) and thinks identity politics is a distraction from the class struggle, which is why you don’t sense any anti-white vibes coming off the guy–he thinks it’s all about rich and poor, and Joe in the trailer park is (almost) as much a victim as Jamal in the projects. But the guy’s not stupid and needs to win Dem votes, so he’s going on about the race stuff.

    Thing is, in a democracy, numbers are clout, so you shouldn’t vote for Bernie because more immigration means your kids wind up in a minority sooner. But I’d rather have him than, say, Kamala Harris.

  132. @SFG
    He doesn't believe in God, and thinks he's done enough to keep evangelicals happy already?

    I'd say Trump is exactly what he appears to be: an amoral businessman riding a nationalist wave to office who has Jewish family and contacts.

    That's not an endorsement of Bernie, BTW: all the Dems will increase immigration, Trump will probably keep a lid on it and try to at least halfheartedly enforce the laws as long as Stephen Miller stays alive (I am only half joking). Vote Trump.

    He believes in God the same way most people did in the 50s. He was raised on Norman Vincent Peale.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Vincent_Peale

    Has its problems of course, but you could do a lot worse, and we have.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Yeah, I'd say that's accurate.
  133. @nebulafox
    The toxic alliance between Cultural Left and Economic Right is responsible for a good deal of America's current issues. It shouldn't be surprising: the plutocrats and the cultural Bolsheviks have deeply compatible goals, when you think about it. If you were to sum up the views of the "average" American, they'd be all over-the-map and highly regionally dependent, but I'd wager that they'd be aggregate more economically left-wing and culturally/socially right-wing than our elites. There's the fundamental crux of it. A more atomized society is in the interests of the globalist mandarins, a less atomized society in the interests of everybody else.

    It speaks volumes about the institutionalized mental fantasy-world of the post-Cold War GOP that they the first thing they do after Trump won the election-not least because he openly mocked or ignored official GOP orthodoxy all throughout 2016-was prevail upon him for an immediate tax cut for the Job Creators. It speaks volumes about Donald Trump that they got it. And it speaks volumes about the Democrats and their media allies that many voters might still find Trump to be a lesser evil.

    Agree with above. 😉

    GOP has to keep their donors happy, and those guys don’t want to pay taxes. So he tossed them a tax cut and tried to kick normal people off healthcare, with the result the GOP lost ground in the midterms. The disturbing thing I kept hearing from some of the left-wing outlets (because it made way too much sense) was that the GOP congressmen *knew they were going down* and were playing to the donors because they figured it would help them get lucrative lobbying jobs afterward.

  134. @istevefan
    On Friday Trump tweeted a special greeting for Passover which contained its own graphic.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119377807497363456

    He did not mention Good Friday. Today he tweeted about Easter. But this tweet was text only, and contained more content about the economy than Easter.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119919713600114688

    What gives?

    What gives?

    Rich Jews.

  135. @Anonymous
    If global warming is real AND IF IT IS ANTHROMORPHIC, we need to build modern nuke plants, sterilize a lot of stupid people, and restrict immigration bigtime. I'm for all of that anyway.

    When I see evidence the powers that be want that I'll buy in bigtime.

    I think you mean ‘anthropogenic’. It doesn’t look like a person. 😉

    I’m for all of those as well, though I’d rather subsidize smart people to have kids. You get into sterilization and you just know they will do it under affirmative action principles.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I think you mean ‘anthropogenic’. It doesn’t look like a person.
     
    Good catch.

    AGW may refer to:


    Anthropogenic global warming, the mostly-human caused warming of earth's climate system now underway, and its related effects
     
    Smart women in particular must be encouraged to have kids with smart fathers. Smart men are still siring kids, but with women who are not at their level. Many middle of the road white females are having nonwhite kids or kids with white loser, which is also insanely dysgenic. Smart women are becoming barren does in large percentages.
  136. @Desiderius
    He believes in God the same way most people did in the 50s. He was raised on Norman Vincent Peale.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Vincent_Peale

    Has its problems of course, but you could do a lot worse, and we have.

    Yeah, I’d say that’s accurate.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    The wiki is (of course) a hit job, and Peale was a far sight better than his present-day imitators like Osteen, but yeah, no Wojtyla.
  137. @propagandist hacker
    sigh...go to nothingness if you will...as for me, I prefer a chance to live and learn forever ...to travel someday to distant stars...

    uploading, a new body, whatever, I want it...it's better than death...but ultimately you deathists send a chill down my spine...to reject the possibility of immortality and instead embrace death...shudder...


    Oh you, you know you must be blind
    To do something like this
    To take the sleep that you don't know
    You're giving Death a kiss,
    Poor little fool now
    -black sabbath

    Yeah, I would like to be uploaded too. But I can imagine the moment when the uploading occurs, and at the end of it, I’m still sitting in my body. “You’ve uploaded,” they’ll say, but I’m still looking out of my own old eyes — I’m the part that’s left behind. What kind of consolation would it be that something in a computer, out there, elsewhere, has the same memories that I have?

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
  138. @cthulhu


    readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord

     

    Thomas Pynchon is the master of this - Tyrone Slothrop, Scarsdale Vibe, Sloat Fresno, Shasta Fay Hepworth, Oedipa Maas, Yoyodyne Corporation, etc.

    …. Oedipa Maas, Yoyodyne Corporation …

    It’s odd that people don’t talk much about Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49. In this age of conspiracy theories and eccentric California billionaires, it seems relevant.

  139. @istevefan
    On Friday Trump tweeted a special greeting for Passover which contained its own graphic.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119377807497363456

    He did not mention Good Friday. Today he tweeted about Easter. But this tweet was text only, and contained more content about the economy than Easter.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1119919713600114688

    What gives?
  140. @SFG
    Yeah, I'd say that's accurate.

    The wiki is (of course) a hit job, and Peale was a far sight better than his present-day imitators like Osteen, but yeah, no Wojtyla.

  141. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @SFG
    I think you mean 'anthropogenic'. It doesn't look like a person. ;)

    I'm for all of those as well, though I'd rather subsidize smart people to have kids. You get into sterilization and you just know they will do it under affirmative action principles.

    I think you mean ‘anthropogenic’. It doesn’t look like a person.

    Good catch.

    AGW may refer to:

    Anthropogenic global warming, the mostly-human caused warming of earth’s climate system now underway, and its related effects

    Smart women in particular must be encouraged to have kids with smart fathers. Smart men are still siring kids, but with women who are not at their level. Many middle of the road white females are having nonwhite kids or kids with white loser, which is also insanely dysgenic. Smart women are becoming barren does in large percentages.

  142. With much of masculine creative energy going into video games like Red Dead Redemption these days, this isn’t a golden age of literature.

    If there is again such a thing as intelligent writing about literature in 50-100 years, many of those video games (Planescape, Elder Scrolls, the Civ series, many others) will rightfully count.

  143. @cthulhu


    readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord

     

    Thomas Pynchon is the master of this - Tyrone Slothrop, Scarsdale Vibe, Sloat Fresno, Shasta Fay Hepworth, Oedipa Maas, Yoyodyne Corporation, etc.

    Stephenson’s names are great!
    Who could forget ‘Hiro Protagonist’ the half-black/half-Japanese who was the samurai sword wielding …err main guy in Snow Crash.

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    Oh, I wasn’t complaining about Stephenson’s names - one of the many joys in Anathem is all of the names and vocabulary and how it all relates to classic Western civilization. But Pynchon is the master of this stuff.
  144. Is he gay? — asking for a friend who wants to know if this is another über-proportional contribution to “Western civilization”.

  145. @Callowman
    The real catch when it comes to uploading your mind to a computer is that what you upload is a digital model. You still live and die here in the muck with your biological body. If the model's really well-done, the digital guy has all your memories of life on Earth and feels like he's you, but he's not you.

    If the model’s really well-done, the digital guy has all your memories of life on Earth and feels like he’s you, but he’s not you.

    A particularly virulent form of colonialism by White thought.

  146. Sailer wrote:

    I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.

    Well… speaking as a cold-hearted physicist, I am afraid that you nailed it.

    I’ve met and chatted with Robin Hanson, and he is indeed very bright. But, I have never understood why so many truly bright people are convinced that this consciousness-upload thing has any serious chance of working.

    They want to upload their consciousness into things we humans have built based on the laws of physics. Fine. We understand those things.

    But, what we don’t understand in terms of the laws of physics is consciousness (anyone who doubts this should simply ask any competent neuroscientist to give the fully physical explanation of consciousness). That’s quite intentional. Physics got going a few centuries ago by saying, is so many words, “Let’s forget about all this touchy-feely internal consciousness stuff and solely focus on externally observable stuff about the purely physical world.”

    It’s worked pretty well. But, consciousness is left outside the gates.

    As you say, what do they mean when they talk about uploading consciousness? If they could get together and tell us a story they could all agree upon as to what consciousness really is in physical terms…

    But they haven’t and can’t.

    Not that they don’t have lots of stories, but they don’t have one good story that makes sense to a physical scientist.

    But, maybe they will at least stimulate the development of technology by trying to frantically build equipment advanced enough to store their mind.

    Of course, anyone familiar with Descartes knows the answer: the pineal gland.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    Of course, anyone familiar with Descartes knows the answer: the pineal gland.
     
    LOL.

    But, seriously, if the discoverer of analytic geometry couldn't figure out the hard problem of consciousness, what hope does anybody else have?
  147. @TWS
    It's more likely that isteve 2.0 will be deleted because storage isn't free or a power outage will do for the older servers without fusion backup. If you're one of a dozen or a hundred great great great uncle's or granddad's you're not going to be the most annoying or curmudgeonly or most anything.

    Somewhat relatedly, an online archival service for academic journals, run by various university libraries, was shut down just a couple of weeks ago, apparently due to the poor economics of storage. Storing a perfect copy of Grandpa Simpson may suffer from similar problems.

  148. @Vinteuil
    OK, so the idea isn't that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer...the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one's consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?

    Vinteuil wrote:

    OK, so the idea isn’t that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer…the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one’s consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?

    And, then you slow the clock speed down (slowly, of course) to about a billionth of the original clock speed. And, then one by one you replace the now very slow circuit elements by humans carrying out the same function a la John Searle’s “Chinese Room” thought experiment.

    Which to me is a reductio ad absurdum of the uploading hypothesis.

    But, I suppose the uploaders would consider this proof that the ancient Egyptian bureaucracy was an independent conscious being.

    • LOL: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    And, then you slow the clock speed down (slowly, of course) to about a billionth of the original clock speed. And, then one by one you replace the now very slow circuit elements by humans carrying out the same function a la John Searle’s “Chinese Room” thought experiment.
     
    Wow, I really had to think about that - but it may just possibly work as a reductio of the uploading hypothesis.
  149. @SFG
    That and healthcare. People really didn't like the GOP's attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

    Look, this Reagan free-market stuff is long past its sell-by. Healthcare is way too expensive and putting the government will drive prices down through monopsony and get rid of the parasitic insurance companies.

    Were you guys afraid of Communism because it would knock down your churches, or because it would raise the capital gains tax? Well, we preserved the second, but the first happened anyway when the woke left got in.

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?

    That and healthcare. People really didn’t like the GOP’s attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

    From what I saw, the point of Obamacare was to push the costs onto the white lower classes, who saw skyrocketing health insurance premiums while the gibs classes got their free stuff even more conveniently. The tech/banking/government fat cats probably didn’t see it in the first place.

    After McCain’s last backstab (lol, did it feel good to fund all those very serious GOPe pols?) and the subsequent decision not to enforce the not-a-tax I don’t hear so much about nosebleed HI costs anymore. Not sure what that means. It will probably return in a while.

    No respite for White!

  150. @Vinteuil
    OK, so the idea isn't that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer...the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one's consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?

    (((Stanislaw Lem))) wrote a story about that, I believe it was translated as “Are You There, Mr Jones?” into English. A race car driver through accidents get his brain gradually replaced with computing power, but the process is so gradual that the driver doesn’t notice any change. It ends with his brain having been entirely replaced, at which point the insurance company wants their hardware back.

  151. @cthulhu


    readers love it if the names in a book strike a chord

     

    Thomas Pynchon is the master of this - Tyrone Slothrop, Scarsdale Vibe, Sloat Fresno, Shasta Fay Hepworth, Oedipa Maas, Yoyodyne Corporation, etc.

    I agree, but that causes big problems for the translations, the names speak in the original, and are for many a reader quiet, so to speak because they are not translated. Scarsdale Vibe would translate quite nicely, for example, but as I said: It’s not done, and therefore the translated books are not as funny to many a foreign reader.

  152. EH says:
    @Pericles

    spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

     

    A like ultrasmart strong black woman engineer, by the way. That may have been the point where my eyes rolled out of my head and I had to stop (in a previous book).

    Yes, in Reamde Dodge, the rich middle-aged White guy, has a Black adopted niece, Zula, the main character of the book, who is not only super-technical, beautiful, brave, wise, etc. etc. ad nauseam, but has always fit right into Dodge’s huge White extended farming/academic family – no, more – to the many children of the family she is the most favored “auntie” and the adults also favor her above most of their actual family members. Dodge’s family is a transparent stand-in for Stephenson’s own: it’s virtue-signalling cuckold fantasy.

    Neal Stephenson used to be one of my favorite authors, but Reamde, besides being a dull crappy techno-thriller with neither thrills nor tech, is a particularly nasty piece of Boomer “diversity and inclusion” propaganda, a fatal and metastasizing social cancer in book form. Now Stephenson is bringing back these vile characters for another go-round. This is a first – he has never gone back to any setting or characters and reused them in another book (excepting the 3-volumes of the Baroque Cycle, which was really one work). Without exception, all of his prior works’ settings and characters were better than Reamde, but that dingy bit of hack-work is the one he is going to bring back.

    • Replies: @cthulhu


    ...Reamde, besides being a dull crappy techno-thriller with neither thrills nor tech, is a particularly nasty piece of Boomer “diversity and inclusion” propaganda...
     
    I disagree. The very white, very upper-middle-class values held by the Forthrast family - including the fundamentalist Christian members of it - are portrayed as being objectively superior to the Muslim terrorists, who are really made out to be despicable people - e.g., the one who eventually tries to rape Zula is explicitly held out as typical of his co-religionists. Zula - the Somali refugee adopted by Dodge’s older brother - isn’t portrayed as a genius, but much more like a “talented tenth”. In some of his other books - Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and Seveneves for sure - Stephenson goes along with the Three Laws of Behavioral Genetics pretty solidly.

    And personally, I found Reamde to be a well-executed thriller with the trademark humor and sometimes goofiness that is one of Stephenson’s strong points. I like it better than Seveneves.
  153. bc says:

    I started with Snow Crash and read Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle trilogy, Anathem and Seveneves, most of which were long-ish novels, but I have not been able to get through Reamde. Reamde is set in current year and current place and at first glance would seem to be more appealing/accessible than the others, but I just haven’t been able to pick it back up and I wondered why. You just put your finger on the problem-the current year and current place come with the current sensiblilities and are just too predictable and tiresome.

    I was momentarily excited about the upcoming novel, Fall, until I saw that it was Reamde Redux. Maybe I’ll try it when it gets around to the local library, but I’ll check here for reviews first.

  154. For another view on how many his could go wrong, see I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, by Harlan Ellison. The AI may end up torturing you for eternity

  155. @PhysicistDave
    Sailer wrote:

    I’ve never been confident about Robin Hanson-like plans to upload your consciousness to a computer so you’ll live forever. First, I don’t know what that means.
     
    Well... speaking as a cold-hearted physicist, I am afraid that you nailed it.

    I've met and chatted with Robin Hanson, and he is indeed very bright. But, I have never understood why so many truly bright people are convinced that this consciousness-upload thing has any serious chance of working.

    They want to upload their consciousness into things we humans have built based on the laws of physics. Fine. We understand those things.

    But, what we don't understand in terms of the laws of physics is consciousness (anyone who doubts this should simply ask any competent neuroscientist to give the fully physical explanation of consciousness). That's quite intentional. Physics got going a few centuries ago by saying, is so many words, "Let's forget about all this touchy-feely internal consciousness stuff and solely focus on externally observable stuff about the purely physical world."

    It's worked pretty well. But, consciousness is left outside the gates.

    As you say, what do they mean when they talk about uploading consciousness? If they could get together and tell us a story they could all agree upon as to what consciousness really is in physical terms...

    But they haven't and can't.

    Not that they don't have lots of stories, but they don't have one good story that makes sense to a physical scientist.

    But, maybe they will at least stimulate the development of technology by trying to frantically build equipment advanced enough to store their mind.

    Of course, anyone familiar with Descartes knows the answer: the pineal gland.

    Of course, anyone familiar with Descartes knows the answer: the pineal gland.

    LOL.

    But, seriously, if the discoverer of analytic geometry couldn’t figure out the hard problem of consciousness, what hope does anybody else have?

  156. @PhysicistDave
    Vinteuil wrote:

    OK, so the idea isn’t that you up-load your personality all-at-once to some sort of super-computer…the idea is that you replace a bit of brain matter with a bit of circuitry here, & then there, and so on & so forth, and finally everywhere, while one’s consciousness carries on as if nothing had happened?
     
    And, then you slow the clock speed down (slowly, of course) to about a billionth of the original clock speed. And, then one by one you replace the now very slow circuit elements by humans carrying out the same function a la John Searle's "Chinese Room" thought experiment.

    Which to me is a reductio ad absurdum of the uploading hypothesis.

    But, I suppose the uploaders would consider this proof that the ancient Egyptian bureaucracy was an independent conscious being.

    And, then you slow the clock speed down (slowly, of course) to about a billionth of the original clock speed. And, then one by one you replace the now very slow circuit elements by humans carrying out the same function a la John Searle’s “Chinese Room” thought experiment.

    Wow, I really had to think about that – but it may just possibly work as a reductio of the uploading hypothesis.

  157. @Skyler_the_Weird
    I did love His interpretation of HRC. It was spot on.

    I couldn’t decide if that was HRC or Sarah Palin.

  158. @robot
    Elizabeth. Holmes.

    Is her case common? Have I just been too careful in choosing which TED Talks to watch?

    Or did she just slip through the cracks, like Barack Obama?

  159. @Anon
    Glad Stephenson is solidly back to writing after that "reinvent narrative" interactive nonsense project with his pals, and the swordplay video game Kickstarter that crashed and burned, with no refund to the funders.

    OT

    I have a feeling this can be traced back to Stephen Miller (not Ben Carson).

    Why HUD Wants to Restrict Assistance for Immigrants

    A proposal by Ben Carson’s agency would eject immigrant families from public housing to make way for the "most vulnerable." Housing advocates aren't buying it.


    The Trump administration is targeting immigrants with a new policy—this time, by seeking to restrict housing assistance for families with mixed-citizenship status.

    "Thanks to [President Donald Trump's] leadership, we are putting America's most vulnerable first," HUD Secretary Ben Carson tweeted in response to a story from the Daily Caller on the proposed rule.

    Currently, HUD allows families to live together in subsidized housing even if one member of the family is an ineligible immigrant. The agency prorates the subsidy for the household.
     
    This kind of fiendishly nerdy manipulation of a regulatory technicality is right up Miller's tactical alley. We need armies of Millers to track down such trivia and weaponize it. Hilariously, the left does have to admit that the housing is either going to continue to go to these part-illegal families or to other poor, probably black, families.

    “So essentially, what HUD is saying is that, say, the mom is undocumented, but she’s got five kids who are citizens, then this is going to make those kids homeless,” said Judith Goldiner, attorney-in-charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit of The Legal Aid Society in New York. That mom would also be vetted if she applied for housing for her kids, meaning HUD would learn her immigration status.
     
    As opposed to the poor black mom with only three chill'ens, from three baby daddies. Five trumps three! To make her fake hypothetical sufficiently tear-jerky, she has to admit that the illegal mom has five anchor babies. Oh really? Is that common, asks the reader? This is Trump brilliance: Set things up so your opponents educated the voters on stuff they don't know, and since it's coming from the anti-Trump side, it must be trustworthy if it's consistent with what Trump is also saying.

    And why, pray tell, is Illegal Mom in subsidized housing? Can't she pay her bills? Does she have a job? Is there a dad somewhere? What's he up to?

    Let me tell you a story about luxury government housing for illegal aliens in my neighborhood. They are 3 and 4 bedroom 2 bath with real kitchens.

    The neighborhood has gone condo and apartments, few single family homes or duplexes left. 2 bedroom condos aren’t being built anymore. It’s all 3 and 4, even 5 bedroom condos real kitchens to accommodate the crowded housing culture of even the wealthiest Persians and Chinese.

    The luxury projects are very attractive, cream colored stucco red tile roofs and 3 and 4 bedroom 2 baths. Identical size condos in the neighborhood cost between a million and about a million 4 They all have IKEA kitchens but with granite countertops of course.

    The illegal alien women pay about $250-$350, a third of their cash welfare utilities included monthly rent. They get generous food stamps medical free day care onsite etc. They get vouchers for the local second hand stores to buy furniture and household things toys whatever.

    A librarian at the local library goes over there 2 afternoons a week. He’s the one who told me all about it. He has a nice little library room all fixed up with Spanish books. No one comes.

    There’s an on-site welfare office staffed 2 half days a week so they don’t have to go to the welfare office as poor Americans do. Even if they don’t work or “ search” for work, they can leave the kids at the day care center. A nurse comes 2 afternoons a week too.

    There’s it much of a garden other than the playgrounds but it’s right across the street from a nice big park with a great toddler playground and indoor swimming pool.

    There was always a bus stop at the end of the block. But for the greater convenience of the pudgy mommies another bus stop is right in front of the complex.

    I see them when I go to the bank. They are about 4’9 or 10 and fat, standard bowling ball on stumps Indio shape. They all seem to have nice new clothes too and the anchor babies are very well dressed with nice strollers

    Mean while there’s about 2o homeless American men sleeping under the bushes and living in the library and bus benches during the day. About 1/3 are obnoxious and aggressive. The rest are Ok. The homeless are all Americans mostly black. They’ve destroyed the little library. No one goes there anymore. There used to be a Friends of The Library that had book sales about 6 times a year no more.

    Some homeless Americans , immigrant white collar criminal Persians and Chinese in million plus condos, and useless illegal alien consumers of oxygen living in the same type buildings with a welfare office free day care and nurse onsite having more anchor babies all on the taxpayer.

    What a country.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    What a country.
     
    That's the empire, not the country.
  160. @propagandist hacker
    sigh...go to nothingness if you will...as for me, I prefer a chance to live and learn forever ...to travel someday to distant stars...

    uploading, a new body, whatever, I want it...it's better than death...but ultimately you deathists send a chill down my spine...to reject the possibility of immortality and instead embrace death...shudder...


    Oh you, you know you must be blind
    To do something like this
    To take the sleep that you don't know
    You're giving Death a kiss,
    Poor little fool now
    -black sabbath

    uploading, a new body, whatever, I want it…it’s better than death…

    But if your consciousness is uploaded isn’t it really just a copy? The actual you will still be dead. You won’t have any awareness that there’s a copy of you floating around, because you’ll be dead. Your consciousness will have been extinguished.

    It’s like thinking you can escape death by having another you cloned from your toenails or whatever. The clone is just a copy. When you’re dead you’re still dead.

    This whole uploading thing is just rather pathetic wishful thinking. Magical thinking.

  161. @SFG
    That and healthcare. People really didn't like the GOP's attempts at kicking them off Obamacare.

    Look, this Reagan free-market stuff is long past its sell-by. Healthcare is way too expensive and putting the government will drive prices down through monopsony and get rid of the parasitic insurance companies.

    Were you guys afraid of Communism because it would knock down your churches, or because it would raise the capital gains tax? Well, we preserved the second, but the first happened anyway when the woke left got in.

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?

    The right won the economic war, the left the cultural. are we better off?

    We would certainly have been better off it it had been the other way around.

    The Left won the culture war because the Right didn’t bother fighting it.

    And the Right won the economic war because the Left didn’t bother fighting it.

  162. @Alden
    Let me tell you a story about luxury government housing for illegal aliens in my neighborhood. They are 3 and 4 bedroom 2 bath with real kitchens.

    The neighborhood has gone condo and apartments, few single family homes or duplexes left. 2 bedroom condos aren't being built anymore. It’s all 3 and 4, even 5 bedroom condos real kitchens to accommodate the crowded housing culture of even the wealthiest Persians and Chinese.

    The luxury projects are very attractive, cream colored stucco red tile roofs and 3 and 4 bedroom 2 baths. Identical size condos in the neighborhood cost between a million and about a million 4 They all have IKEA kitchens but with granite countertops of course.

    The illegal alien women pay about $250-$350, a third of their cash welfare utilities included monthly rent. They get generous food stamps medical free day care onsite etc. They get vouchers for the local second hand stores to buy furniture and household things toys whatever.

    A librarian at the local library goes over there 2 afternoons a week. He’s the one who told me all about it. He has a nice little library room all fixed up with Spanish books. No one comes.

    There’s an on-site welfare office staffed 2 half days a week so they don’t have to go to the welfare office as poor Americans do. Even if they don’t work or “ search” for work, they can leave the kids at the day care center. A nurse comes 2 afternoons a week too.

    There’s it much of a garden other than the playgrounds but it’s right across the street from a nice big park with a great toddler playground and indoor swimming pool.

    There was always a bus stop at the end of the block. But for the greater convenience of the pudgy mommies another bus stop is right in front of the complex.

    I see them when I go to the bank. They are about 4’9 or 10 and fat, standard bowling ball on stumps Indio shape. They all seem to have nice new clothes too and the anchor babies are very well dressed with nice strollers

    Mean while there’s about 2o homeless American men sleeping under the bushes and living in the library and bus benches during the day. About 1/3 are obnoxious and aggressive. The rest are Ok. The homeless are all Americans mostly black. They’ve destroyed the little library. No one goes there anymore. There used to be a Friends of The Library that had book sales about 6 times a year no more.

    Some homeless Americans , immigrant white collar criminal Persians and Chinese in million plus condos, and useless illegal alien consumers of oxygen living in the same type buildings with a welfare office free day care and nurse onsite having more anchor babies all on the taxpayer.

    What a country.

    What a country.

    That’s the empire, not the country.

  163. @Mr Rooney
    Stephenson’s names are great!
    Who could forget ‘Hiro Protagonist’ the half-black/half-Japanese who was the samurai sword wielding ...err main guy in Snow Crash.

    Oh, I wasn’t complaining about Stephenson’s names – one of the many joys in Anathem is all of the names and vocabulary and how it all relates to classic Western civilization. But Pynchon is the master of this stuff.

  164. @EH
    Yes, in Reamde Dodge, the rich middle-aged White guy, has a Black adopted niece, Zula, the main character of the book, who is not only super-technical, beautiful, brave, wise, etc. etc. ad nauseam, but has always fit right into Dodge's huge White extended farming/academic family - no, more - to the many children of the family she is the most favored "auntie" and the adults also favor her above most of their actual family members. Dodge's family is a transparent stand-in for Stephenson's own: it's virtue-signalling cuckold fantasy.

    Neal Stephenson used to be one of my favorite authors, but Reamde, besides being a dull crappy techno-thriller with neither thrills nor tech, is a particularly nasty piece of Boomer "diversity and inclusion" propaganda, a fatal and metastasizing social cancer in book form. Now Stephenson is bringing back these vile characters for another go-round. This is a first - he has never gone back to any setting or characters and reused them in another book (excepting the 3-volumes of the Baroque Cycle, which was really one work). Without exception, all of his prior works' settings and characters were better than Reamde, but that dingy bit of hack-work is the one he is going to bring back.

    …Reamde, besides being a dull crappy techno-thriller with neither thrills nor tech, is a particularly nasty piece of Boomer “diversity and inclusion” propaganda…

    I disagree. The very white, very upper-middle-class values held by the Forthrast family – including the fundamentalist Christian members of it – are portrayed as being objectively superior to the Muslim terrorists, who are really made out to be despicable people – e.g., the one who eventually tries to rape Zula is explicitly held out as typical of his co-religionists. Zula – the Somali refugee adopted by Dodge’s older brother – isn’t portrayed as a genius, but much more like a “talented tenth”. In some of his other books – Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and Seveneves for sure – Stephenson goes along with the Three Laws of Behavioral Genetics pretty solidly.

    And personally, I found Reamde to be a well-executed thriller with the trademark humor and sometimes goofiness that is one of Stephenson’s strong points. I like it better than Seveneves.

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