Thursday, April 30, 2015
  Crazy casino talk

One of the money-talk talkers is running his usual routine pushing listeners into the stock casino.

Different dates and intervals each time, but the moral of the story is always the same. Goes like this:

If you had invested $10000 in 1932, you would have lost 69.3% in the first year.

But if you had left the remaining $3090 in the market for the next 30 years, you would have ended up with $542,378.

= = = = =

Aside from the annoying use of unrounded digits, this is supposed to make you feel bad about avoiding losses.

Nope. Doesn't make me feel bad at all.


Back in 1972 I left my 1950 Willys pickup in a repair shop to get one of those stupid required Okla inspection stickers. When I picked it up, I found that the repair shop had stolen my toolbox, which was probably worth more than the Willys. Since I couldn't prove it, I didn't bother with legal action, but I sure as fuck DIDN'T TAKE MY TRUCK BACK TO THAT GARAGE EVER AGAIN.

The garage has already stolen. I can thus assume they have a pattern or habit of stealing. This is called SANITY. This is called UNDERSTANDING HUMAN NATURE.

If I had been thinking the money-talk way, I would have believed that the repair shop would never steal again. Instead, I would assume that sooner or later they would replace my old Willys with a brand new Jeep Cherokee filled with gold ingots.

I would have brought my truck in every day and paid for repairs that it didn't need, just so I wouldn't miss the chance for a brand new gold-filled Cherokee.

That belief would have been an insane delusion. Magic. Crazy.

I don't believe in magic.

= = = = =

Sidenote: Money-based rackets like stocks are the only major area of life where I didn't have to learn by painful experience. In everything else from politics to personal relations, I started out with a fantastically stupid optimistic delusion and got smashed into suspicious sanity. Some subjects required repeated smashing. With money rackets I started out maximally suspicious and I was right.

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  More semantic secession

Semantic secession applies to a wide range of topics, not just "marriage". Long before I started thinking in these terms, I proposed that Repooflicans should simply become Democrats. It wouldn't make any difference to agendas, since "both" "parties" have identical agendas and do the same things. But it would clog up a huge weapon used by Satan's media.

Nice example in today's news:

Headline: Rep. Susan Fagan accused of ethics violations, resigning.

Without reading the article we know: Fagan is a Repoof, and apparently a rather effective advocate for her constituents.

Effective + Repoof = Ethics violation.

It's the modern soft version of Stalinist purges. Kim 3 executes effective political opponents, we just Ethicute them.

If all politicians were Democrats, Satan's media would have to find more precise ways of Ethicuting opponents, and would have to spend a lot more time explaining why this Democrat does things UnEthically while that Democrat does exactly the same things Ethically. This wouldn't stop purges, but it would make the whole thing much more tiresome and time-consuming.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015
  Looks like a push mower to Satan

Thinking again about the desperate need to find words, sacraments, cultures and civilizations that Satan can't ruin.

It's too late to face Satan head-on. Too many big institutions have joined his side. God's side has no horsepower in this part of the world. I'm trying to think of ways to maintain a sane culture without simply surrendering. So far I've looked at: (1) Semantic Secession, slipping away from the ruined items and switching to concepts or procedures that Satan hasn't noticed yet. This strategy can't work for very long, because Satan WILL figure it out and quickly start poisoning the new stuff. (2) Find institutions or concepts that are intrinsically unchangeable. [Later: Not sure if these exist. See end of this entry.]

Now I see a possible (3): Find ways of maintaining culture that are simply boring to the devils.

In the plain physical world where ordinary thieves steal ordinary stuff, is there a way of permanently avoiding theft without high-cost security? Yes. Thieves have a reliable set of standards. They only steal things that can be resold among thieves. In practice this means things that use lots of power or make lots of noise.

Objects that don't use energy or make noise, like manual lawn mowers or ladders, sit outside through all seasons and never get taken. A thief loses status by stealing uncool things. He will endure constant harassment and teasing from competitors or cellmates.

Power tools and smartphones and audio systems and hot-rod-able cars get stolen instantly. Thieves gain status AND MONEY from these items.

So.... In the realm of cultural practices, rewards, punishments, sacraments, words and thoughts, what's the equivalent of a push mower or a ladder? Which items, or which ruinations, will cause a local media or government Satan to get mocked and humiliated by superior Satans?

= = = = =

A bit later: No, this isn't properly separate from the 'unalterable' category. In the previous item I used Morse as an example of unalterables. Satan's inquisitors have turned spoken language into an ever-changing minefield. If you say the wrong word, or say the right word in the wrong tone, or fail to use ALL of the right words, or say ALL of the right words in the right tone without possessing a genetic license to speak, it's Gulag time. Morse has escaped the inquisitors. But NOT because Morse is undesecratable. Only because Morse is uncool in exactly the same way that push mowers are uncool. Not worth the trouble of spoiling. There may be an intrinsically unalterable concept or action somewhere, but Morse ain't it.

Cartoon for previous item:

Corrected version:

Logically speaking this is strange since both Morse and push mowers are exclusively used by white males! Both should be Instant Gulag Material, ready for Carbon-Neutral Burning At The Recycled Stake. But there's no point in using logic. Satan destroys logic first. The only hope is to be maximally uninteresting.

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  Thanks, Ralph 6

Spokane Transit's latest idiot Omnibus tax proposal has apparently failed.


Reprinting what I said about it back in January:

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Thinking about frozen dinners vs home-cooked .... Omnibus Bills in Congress are an excellent example of frozen dinners. Take it or leave it. Tremendously wasteful either way. A Congressional Omnibus is pre-guaranteed to be taken because it includes a painstakingly calculated combo of sweet treats and poison pills for each and every Congressmonster. If you take it you get goodies; if you leave it your opponent gets a pre-designed talking point at the next "election".

Spokane Transit apparently thinks it has designed an Omnibus Bond Proposal for Omnibus Service. This Omnibus Omnibus includes some necessary maintenance and expansion, along with the classic STA Board Member Wet Dream. The board idiots have been dreaming this dream for a LONG time, and it's always been a stupid and pointless dream. Oh! If only we could get COOL people to ride the bus! If only we could get OUR KIND OF PEOPLE to ride the bus! Kick out those smelly poor people from Terra Incognita North Spokane! We must get the rich Episcopalians from Rockwood Boulevard and the supercooooooool supergreeeeeen hipsters from Browne's Addition to ride the bus! And if we're REALLY REALLY LUCKY we can bring in the Real Movie Stars from Coeur d'Alene! Oh! Oh! I can't take it! Patricia Neal! Too much stimulation! Yessssss! Yessssssss! Oh Gaiiiiaaaaaaa!

Toward that stupid end, this latest Omnibus Omnibus includes a monstrously expensive Light Rail or Trolley Without Wires or something. I can't be bothered to look.

What does the proposal do for Terra Incognita? Does it increase the frequency of Route 22, which is desperately needed now that 22 is way beyond standing-room-only at rush hour? Nope. Does it restore service to my neighborhood which was lost in 2006? Nope. The ONLY thing it does for the Northwest quarter of town is an increase in Saturday service on 33, which is unnecessary and silly. 33 is nearly empty on weekends except for a couple weeks before Christmas when the Jap girls from Mukogawa use 33 to shop at Northtown.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

If STA wanted to learn a different way of structuring proposals and persuading the public, I've already given them a hint. Needless to say, they don't want to learn. They only want to keep whoring after rich COOOOOOOOOL fuckheads WHO WILL NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER RIDE THE FUCKING BUS NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU ADVERTISE AND PERSUADE. Will STA ever settle down and PLOW THEIR OWN SOIL, no matter how uncool and smelly the soil is? No. Even so, good old Compensation has acted.


  Rich world problem

Dammit, this is annoying. I don't mind ads, but the circled stuff is just totally pointless. It contains nothing commercially or softwarically necessary, and there's no way to get rid of it. The screen is more crap than map.

Paid subscriptions should include the privilege of wiping out ads and pointless crap.

Why doesn't this happen?

I've never run into any online business or service that makes a meaningful distinction between subscription versions and free versions. (Some specialized services like ScormCloud don't have a free version at all, which is fine. The cost is eminently worthwhile.)

Ordinary businesses always make a clear distinction. You might be able to gobble a couple of bite-size free samples in a grocery store, but you have to pay for a usable amount of food. This is how business has always worked offline.

Why not online?

A month later: Aha! It's possible to get a usable-size map after all. Easy but a little counterintuitive. Just use Ctrl-Minus to widen out the overall screen. You won't be able to read the text, but the whole square map is perfectly visible again. Excellent!
  OPT 3

Back in 2011 I used the HTML files in the archive of this blog to generate an Excel graph of waking and sleeping. At that point I had already switched from Young Peoples Time to Old Peoples Time, but hadn't switched my 'official' daily routine to correspond.

Because the Blogspot archive is grouped by month, it was convenient to use months as the X-axis. I took only the earliest and latest post-time in each month, considering these to represent the outer bounds of waking and sleeping respectively. This isn't symmetrical because the earliest post of a day usually happens immediately after I get vertical, while the latest post usually happens before my constant bedtime wind-down routine. (I try to avoid getting pissed off during the wind-down.) So the startpoints are more representative of real natural tendencies.

The 2011 graph: (Blue is nominal waking, purple is nominal bedtime, yellow is a meaningless mean.)

The graph was messy because times between midnight and 2AM really belonged at the END of a day but numerically come at the START. I couldn't figure out how to move them.

Now that I've got a full ten years of data, and mainly now that the OPT to YPT switch is fully complete, I decided to try the graph again. This time the midnight to 2AM problem was even worse, because after the switch those hours were often at the actual START of my days. I managed it by treating those times as 24 to 26 in the left part of the graph, then leaving them as 0 to 2 in the right part. So this graph 'wraps' into a 26-hour cycle and has a lot less outliers.

New 2015 graph: (The upper line, bedtime, is now yellow. Waking is still blue.)

You can certainly see the point in 2013 when I moved my bedtime! Also note that the wakeup shift is a tanh, though it's a bit hard to see because of noise. No surprise there!

Mostly as a brain-sharpening exercise, I then tried to use all the post times instead of just the first and last, to generate a sort of spectrogram in HTML. In this table the white squares are hours (within each month) with no posts at all, and darker colors represent more posts in this hour. I didn't try to rotate the midnight to 2AM hours in this setup.


= = = = =

If nothing else, this spectrogram gives a sense of the 'typical' writing times, and also shows months when disasters and work kept me from writing much. Late 2008: hit by car, then hit by supersnow. August 2014: hit by windstorm and long power outage. The blankest month of all is Jan 2006, but there wasn't any external reason for that sparsity; I simply wasn't sure if I wanted to continue writing.

= = = = =

FWIW1, Here is a more generalized Python that creates HTML 'spectrograms' like the one here. This takes a comma-delimited CSV and turns it into a HTML spectrogram, using a choice of 4 color schemes. The CSV must have row title as the first element in each line. The ZIP includes a sample CSV in the proper form and a readme txt.

= = = = =

FWIW2, the table is a strong afterimage generator. Hold your eyes steady while you scroll down through it. Your visual field will be full of vertical stripes for many seconds thereafter.



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Location: Spokane

Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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