Philosophy of civilization, at www.strengthofnations.org.
Exemplifying one of the themes discussed therein, from Reagan's Brandenburg Gate speech, that freedom makes societies prosper and oppression makes them fail, also see my documentary photo album on Facebook Freedom Wins on the prosperity following marijuana legalization in Colorado, Washington State, and now several others.
Petitions for policy reform
Political System Design
Economics & Ecology
- Tax ecological harm and "entropy" not income and created value.
- Taxation of ecological harms discourages them - while at the same time abandoning the abominable income tax incentivizes creation of value. The net effect is to stimulate ecologically sustainable value-added production.
- Estate/inheritance taxes can offset the concentration of wealth inherent in economics that progressive income tax is meant to offset (returns on capital, "it takes money to make money"). Death tax is the only tax you never have to pay!
- Fair trade, not "free" trade.
- People and nations need to appreciate the distinction, between the economic idealizations about competitive advantages and equilibriums, and the political reality of funneling economic power into countries that don't share values of democracy and human rights.
- Tariffs and other trade policies should be aimed country-by-country and market-by-market to "level the playing field" and promote ecological and human rights standards, but should not be so high as to abuse trade as a "cash cow".
- For most goods and services, a country's own output ought to be well represented in its markets. In any country, when the only things you can buy are foreign, that economy is in trouble.
- There are 150 years of U.S. history proving that a country can successfully balance protecting and growing its manufacturing economy, with at the same time having abundant and revenue-producing international trade. See here.
- See the historical examples of propserity in the U.S. under Hamiltonian trade policy from ~1792-~1945 and the ensuring rust and debt after abandoning that policy (~1975-present).
- Rights to euthanasia and suicide. The law should allow people to die when and how they want, to minimize risk for everyone who wants to be alive, and minimize suffering for everyone who doesn't.
- Humanity should be "an all-volunteer force."
- None of us asked to be here, we all die eventually, and to the extent we are all "created equal" it is not the place of one of us to judge for another whether anyone should have to stay, or to say better than another what God thinks, when nature has made us all naturally resistant to death. ("I cannot self-terminate, you must lower me into the steel." -The Terminator, Terminator 2)
- Keeping people alive against their will is the function of torturers and slave owners not societies.
- All the dead who have been so desperate as to commit suicide by horrible and violent means when society deprived them of compassionate and painless means, testify to the cruelty and depravity of current policy.
- With regard to people who wish to die and do not even have the health to kill themselves, or are confined to a nursing home or prison and have no means: When a dog has reached the end of its life and has no future left but suffering, people have the compassion and the common sense to put it down. Does a human deserve not even as much compassion as a dog?
- Availability of euthanasia and assisted suicide lowers the risk involved in staying alive.
- If society is just going to let people suffer as their situation gets worse, it makes a lot of sense for people who aren't getting a lot out of life kill themselves so as to bring risk and reward back into balance - whereas if society will help them die painlessly whenver they want, there is no risk or cost to staying around to see another day.
- There is an analogy to getting a "free card" in a round of betting in poker - if society will ensure you don't suffer when you go to die, that lowers the cost for you of "seeing another card" - makes it almost "free" - whereas by contrast if sticking around also means the risk of dying slow, that is like someone putting in a huge bet, because in order to "see the next card" you have to accept the possbility of an exceedingly negative outcome.
- Situation in a society with no euthanasia sort of analogous to a soldier stranded in a last stand saving his last bullet for himself so the enemy cannot capture and torture him.
- "If you aren't free to die, you aren't free to live."
- Legalization of prostitution.
- When legal prostitution is safer from both violence and disease for both prostitute and client. The working environment of prostitutes in Netherlands and Germany is much more consistent with human rights than in Chicago or New York. Prostitution is the "world's oldest profession", and it isn't going away, so better to deal with it rationally and get these ladies under the protection of the law.
- Prostitutes deserve to be respected and protected, not looked down upon culturally and abandoned legally. They ease the suffering of "ugly duckling" men who otherwise would not likely experience a beautiful woman's kind touch. Their work is merciful and compassionate and accordingly ought to be respected in law and culture.
See also: Strong inverse association between height and suicide in a large cohort of Swedish men: evidence of early life origins of suicidal behavior? After observing of couples in crowds, that women rarely pair with shorter men, and moreover in general more beautiful women pair with taller men, I guessed the greater difficulty in fufilling the evolutionarily "mission-critical" function of mating well, ought to make shorter guys more likely to kill themselves, and forthwith and found this study. (2014 September 26)
- Legalization of drugs.
- If an experience is illegal and therefore no one has the information they would obtain from it, then society makes its policy decisions ignorant of that information, which is more likely to result in an incorrect decision, for lack of the additional information.
- Seems like the people who hate pot the most and are the most sure it ought to be illegal, are the ones who have never once smoked it. The voice of ignorance always speaks loudest.
- "Modern" society could have learned way earlier of the benefits, now clinically discovered and acknowledged, of psilocybin mushrooms, if they hadn't been illegal. People had only been doing them for thousands of years before the government decided it knew what was best for everyone. Imagine, that given freedom people will do the right thing. See for example Psychedelic Mushrooms Relieve Cancer Patients' Anguish
- Quit funneling money and power to violent people and organizations with a motivation to undermine the rule of law, when we could be reinvesting it in society. How many people are killed in connection with the manufacture and distribution of alcohol now vs. in the Al Capone days?
- Access to certain drugs is part of a legal right to die in peace with minimal suffering. See for example Doctors who kill themselves: a study of the methods used for suicide
"Nuts and Bolts"
"The Running Equation"
Quantitative description of the tradeoff between running or swimming faster vs. farther: Performance = ln(1 + distance) * (distance / time) (2012 0813)
Great Books in Math
John P. D'Angelo and Douglas West, Mathematical Thinking: Problem Solving and Proofs
This book is an accessible but thorough introduction to "higher" math.
Starting with the basics of logical reasoning like implications and contrapositives, and introducing various branches of mathematics all the way up to continuous mathematics and complex numbers, this book is a "one-stop shop" for anyone who wants to learn math. Attorneys and present and future law students can also benefit from the exposition of logical reasoning.
Buy on Amazon
Edwin Thompson Jaynes, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science.
This is one of those works that once you read it your mind is never the same and is forever improved. Jaynes, brilliant physicist, mathematician, and information theorist, develops quantitative probability theory from Boolean Algebra and a few "common-sense" qualitative first principles, for example the idea that if you get new information about a situation or proposition, your estimation of the probabilities ought to change (otherwise you are ignoring the information, which is irrational, or else it did not really tell you anything, which would mean it wasn't information).
Even if (like for me) the mathematical details are a little pithy for your current level of skill, the related qualitative reasoning is lucid and easy to follow.
Jaynes finishes what Aristotle started, by elucidating the themes and linkages unifying common sense thinking, logical argument in natural language, formal logic, and (quantitative) scientific understanding of nature. For this reason it is one of the most underappreciated works, and Jaynes one of the most underappreciated intellects, of our time.
You can buy a hardcover on Amazon or preview a pre-publication version that is missing some material
My Github page: michael-redman
Music shuffler that weights the probabilities of songs based on yur requests and skips. Free for personal use or as a paid service for coffee shops, bars, etc. www.popularity.life
A modern primer in music theory, work in progress, free download here
Michael Redman was born in the United States and works as a freelance information technologist in Linux and web application programming, Linux administration, and IP network engineering.
"If you're gonna pray, don't worry, and if you're gonna worry, don't pray" -Alfred Ivy
"Some things are hard, and some things are right, and some things are both." -Tim Cook
"I finish things, that's what I do." -Clint Eastwood as Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino
""When I begin, I will also make an end." -GOD, 1 Samuel 3:12
"What it took Nature millions of years to make, man does not hesitate to destroy in a short time."
"It's usually three times as expensive to do it the 'cheap' way."
"God sees what you do." Qu'ran 2:110, 2:233, 2:265, 3:156, 8:72, 48:24, 49:18, 57:4, 60:3, 64:2.
"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." -Henry Ford
"You are worthy." -Bishop Briggs, to the crowd, recounting after being promoted to the main stage at a major ampitheatre, her determination to pursue music despite discouragement and adversity, 2018 Q101 PIQNIQ
"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus
"We all come into this world not knowing shit."
(typeset as I first saw it engraved):
WE SAW NOT CLEARLY NOR VNDERSTOOD
BVT YIELDING OVRSELVES TO THE MASTERHAND
EACH IN HIS PART AS BEST HE COVLD
WE PLAYED IT THROVGH AS THE AVTHOR PLANNED.
from "The Hosts".