Sunday, October 16, 2016

An Inventory of Brain Functions

In an earlier post, I mentioned that my body makes too many platelets.  These are the tiny particles in our blood that create clots when there is a hole in our circulatory system.  Having too many of these has some odd but not dangerous effects, like your spleen can grow larger.  Our spleens store up a bunch of platelets, presumably so that they can be released to help seal off the holes so we don't bleed out if we suffer a really bloody injury.  Another symptom is numbness or a tingling sensation in our extremities - fingertips, toes, hands, and feet.  My spleen has never been enlarged, but I think have felt the paresthesia in my fingertips, but I have proven to myself that the feeling can be psychosomatic.

There is a dangerous effect of having too many platelets, and that is the risk of ischemic stroke.  A stroke is the medical term for depriving brain cells of energy, either by creating static pools of blood ("hemorrhagic") or by preventing blood from getting there ("ischemic") by blocking an artery.  Of course, if your blood vessels are too weak, blocking them can lead to a hemorrhage "upstream" from the clot, and then you have both kinds of stroke.  Since I have too many platelets, I'm concerned about getting a clot that prevents blood from getting to where it's needed.

I decided it would be a good idea to create for myself an inventory of brain functions.  According to Wikipedia, brain tissue ceases to function after being deprived of oxygen for sixty to ninety seconds.  Of course, that doesn't mean the tissue is dying, but without oxygen, it will eventually die.  Meanwhile, if that tissue would normally help me restore oxygen to itself, I have only 60 - 90 seconds to use that help.  So I want to be able to run through some mental tests quickly.

There is already a well known acronym that everyone can use to recognize when a person is having a stroke, and that is FAST.  The letters stand for "Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time."  So, look in the mirror to see if you look funny.  Well, I always look funny because the left side of my mouth is about half a millimeter lower than the right.  Pretty slight, but the guy who made a portrait of me in art class 25 years ago noticed.  Then close your eyes and raise your arms so they're straight out, and then look to see if they're really straight out.  Then say to someone "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" or something else (maybe "I think I might be having a stroke, how do I sound to you?" might be better). You can say it to yourself first, but we have powerful ways to mask our outward failures, so getting an external opinion would be useful here, especially if you really are having a stroke.  Finally, find the second hand on a clock, or memorize the seconds from your watch, close your eyes, and count off ten seconds and check if you are about right.

That is easy enough for me, but I have more concerns.  I've noticed late at night sometimes that my ability to think is off kilter.  Maybe it would be noticing motion in my field of vision, or naming a color, or doing math, getting a joke, remembering something I just said or something I've always known, or having a reasonable emotional response to something.  I attribute these peculiarities of cognition in myself to parts of my brain going to sleep.  I think "late night humor" is a good example to which most people can relate.  I imagine the same kind of thing could happen if some of my brain tissue ceased to function because it wasn't getting enough oxygen.  So I want to do more than look in the mirror, raise my arms, talk to someone, and look at my watch.  Here's what else I'll do:
  • Find the square of some number over 12.  I have most of them up to 20 memorized, so I can also compare the explicit mental multiplication to the memory, if the memory is there.
  • Remember my mom's name.
  • Read something.
  • Stand on one foot.
  • Be curious about something.
  • Sense something with each of my five senses.
  • Fold my fingers together, right thumb on top (normal, for me) and then left thumb on top to make sure it feels weird.
  • Sense other things with each of my five senses and compare the previous thing to the new one.

That's it.  Now the question is, if I'm having a stroke, how the hell am I going to find this blog post?

Monday, October 10, 2016

School is Like a Drug

I made this claim to my youngest daughter a few years ago because I had grown concerned about the effects of government indoctrination.  According to a few different schoolteachers (Brett Veinotte, John Taylor Gatto, and Alexander Inglis), school has six main functions, which, to be blunt, are 1) Remove judgement and opinion, 2) Fashion students to be obedient, 3) Sort students into normalized groups, 4) Create a ruling class, 5) Cut off students who don't fit the desired mold, and 6) Control the students.  I can see these things happening to all students who speak openly enough about their school experience, though they may not be able to see it themselves.

It's possible that I've taken the words of these three teachers too seriously and allowed their views to pollute my thinking, but all my efforts to verify that as the case have failed abysmally.  I conclude that they are correct, and that school tends to create unthinking "yes men."  It also, at least in the case of my own children, attracts many of its victims to itself.

Seeing the damage being done and the victims maintaining a desire for its source, I gave a few minutes of thought to finding a good analogy, and heroin is what I came up with.  Something makes school feel good enough, and the damage it does is subtle enough to prevent some of its victims from rejecting it.  It is my hope and, indeed, my expectation that, just as I did, my children will also eventually think their own way out of the habits that make most people into unthinking yes men.  I can't help but feel that my own relationships with them provide them ample opportunities to judge, have opinions, obey their consciences rather than anyone else, remain the beautiful distinct creatures my wife and I created, disavow power over others as I have, embrace the marginalized, and defy those who attempt to control them.

There are some other elements of drug use which have analogs to school too.  My friend Roslyn Ross shared the insight that what makes something a drug in the psychological sense is that it allows us to "numb out."  She writes that we also use substances as spices (to enhance whatever we're enjoying) and as medicine (to help change what needs to change). 

School demands that we do homework, listen, sit still, raise our hands to pee, and other things which cause a lot of psychological pain, but it numbs us to that pain also.  Gold stars, letters near the beginning of the alphabet, aka "high marks", and certificates of achievement help to salve the damage to our intrinsic motivation.

School forces us to associate with a lot of people our own age with whom we wouldn't normally interact.  It also provides group projects, activities, and sometimes actual discussions in which we get to interact with those whom we do enjoy.  We are wired to remember and appreciate the good things in life, and the togetherness of similarly aged children provides episodes both good and bad.  School magnifies the experience of being a child, and in that sense, it provides an enhancement.

Importantly, school teaches that government is good, which is an altered perception. As we age, our trust in government falls.  Teenage rebellion is a kind of rejection of authority that is natural in cultures that value and teach authority - the coercive kind, not the expertise kind.  It is also only through school that the Rite of Passage goes backwards, pushing students away from their own consciences and back toward authorities as the guides for their lives.  This is the necessary change from the point of view of (coercive) authority, obviously.

I thank Anne Stirling Hastings for motivating me to write this post. I recommend her and her work to anyone with an appreciation and love for humankind.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Think Tank Game

Would you pay for good little pieces of data?  Would you like to get paid for creating good little pieces of data?  My answer to both is YES, and I bet yours is too.  I will be reaching out to everyone I know because Brett Veinotte has inspired me.  We all share information all the time, and sometimes we thank each other for it.  If we set it up well, as I think Brett has done, we even, sometimes, pay each other for it.  I have, in fact, paid Brett a few times because of all the great information he has provided to me and everyone else who might benefit from it.

The goal of this blog post, I hope, will be met in one of the next few paragraphs.  It will be a few sentences that will catch your eye and uncork your mind.  You will look forward to sitting at your computer, or on your phone, just as you are now, reading and writing.  A seed will be planted in your subconscious driving you to research and brainstorm how you might benefit from or encourage the input of others.

One of my favorite things to do is respond to comments on the Internet. You can browse my comments on Disqus or what I've written on Quora to see what I have to say.  In my experience, most other people don't comment very much, if at all.  It makes me sad.  Most people are good, and that goodness would show up in comments if they were to make them.  Do you comment on the Internet much?

Of course, our foolishness also shows up if we are lazy when we write comments.  Because school teaches us to, we might parrot a claim we read somewhere but which we never bothered to examine, and a response might come back providing us with strong evidence that the claim is wrong.  That hurts because we have presented the claim as our own.

If you do examine my comments on Disqus, you'll see my strategies to avoid that pain.  Most folks who comment a lot follow such strategies, and they tend to improve critical thinking and communications skills.  Either you already know this, or else, since I've (hopefully) planted a seed, you will come to know it soon, and that will make you a great contributor to my "think tank game."

I will soon announce a date for the commencement of the "think tank game."  If all goes well, it will go on for a few days or, if it goes really well, indefinitely.  During that time, you'll visit every now and then to answer or ask questions and maybe invest a few dollars worth of bitcoin.  If you write something good, you'll get an email asking you to visit the site and check out what six other people had to say in the same context.  You'll put these six blurbs, along with your own, in order by quality.  Perhaps you will put yours first, even if you think someone else's was better, or perhaps you'll be more honest.  Either way, you and those six other people will combine your judgements to find the best of the seven things, and bitcoin will be redistributed as encouragement.

That's what I have to offer.  Well, one of the things I have to offer.  I look forward to your suggestions and ideas.

I have some more background information for those who decided to keep reading this far.  Many people, once they understand what is trying to do, say that it's a great idea.  The problem is that a "great idea" is only great until it's old, which takes a few days or weeks.  After that, it's either useful or forgotten. has been forgotten by many people who recognized its value.  One might say they are just waiting for it to become useful.  I'm pretty sure that the usefulness will come from the density of traffic, so I wanted to get a lot of people on board for a kind of event on memeracing.

Do you think I should identify some particular topic for this "think tank game" event?  I do.  The link above ("suggestions and ideas") goes to a page where you can enter whatever topic you think would work well.  One of the answers already has about $30 backing it, but it isn't the one I think is best.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to comments as well as input on

Friday, September 2, 2016

Let's Educate the new IRS Agents

It seems to me that turnover at our favorite government entity is quite high.  In the interest of helping the newbies there learn how to navigate between the mistakes of their coworkers as well as the folks who need to pay taxes or receive refunds and the requirements of the law, I propose that we "in the know" leverage our experiences.

If you have ever gotten the IRS to correct its records regarding:
  1. Whether or not you qualify as an "employee" according to USC 26,
  2. Whether or not you earn "wages" according to USC 26,
  3. Whether or not you have received "income" as it is used in USC 26,
  4. Whether or not something you sent to the IRS was frivolous,
  5. Whether or not you sent something early enough according to whatever "statute of limitations" applies,
  6. Whether or not your submission has been received or processed, or ...

...then you might enjoy calling them back to chat about how it went.  You would do this in the interest of helping the IRS more efficiently administer the tax laws.  During your chat, you could bring up one, some, or even all of the following items for the benefit of myself and everyone else who understands what Peter Hendrickson's Cracking the Code teaches about the income tax laws of the United States:

  1. As someone who has found it necessary to contact the IRS, I am aware that some IRS employees are given verbal instructions, and that by following these instructions, they put themselves in danger of violating laws or people's rights, or even simple internal rules, so it's best for the employee to request that all instructions be provided in written form so that they can be passed on to any victim of such accidental violations.
  2. When folks call in, it is helpful to let them know that things do not always happen in the order one would expect.  For example, mailing something to the IRS may have no effect until the sender calls the IRS to find out whether or not the mailed item has been processed.
  3. Others who have called the IRS have learned that something they sent in was handled a certain way, but often the notes do not identify the something well enough for the caller to know what it was that was handled.  We urge IRS employees taking notes on items received in the mail to identify them in the notes with the date and title (if it has one) of the document for the convenience of anyone who reads those notes.  If the document was mailed with a tracking number, type that in too.
  4. It is often very helpful to ask up front if a person is a federal employee, or since the tax administered by the IRS falls only upon activities that involve the exercise of federal privilege, whether or not the caller uses any federal privilege to earn his or her living.
  5. Many in the "Tax Honesty" movement have found that employees of the IRS often don't understand nearly as much as those in the movement understand.  Thus, any efforts to narrow that gap would be very helpful.  Let's encourage IRS agents to examine Peter Hendrickson's website and discuss it among themselves.  Suggest that refutations of the material there be made in writing so that information can be vetted and anyone spreading misinformation can be stopped.

From the perspective of IRS employees, it may be the case that the IRS is collecting too much money, or too little.  There are, of course, cases on both sides.  Regardless of who believes it's too much and who believes it's too little, getting it closer to what congress designed it to be is in the best interested of everyone.  It is to that end that I make the suggestions above.  If our nation collected the correct amount of taxes, then we would see positive effects in many areas:

Public education would be significantly improved, not only because the "right" amount of money would be available to schools from the federal government, but also because people would be interested in following through on their promises and obligations, making sure those promises and obligations are clearly delineated, and recognizing and exposing all manner of deception that not only infects the pocketbooks of everyone involved, but also damages the minds of the young people who are exposed to the system.

The national defense apparatus would be resized to an ideal size, not too big, and not too small.  While some may argue that it is already too big and others may argue that it's still too small, the best path forward is for everyone to follow through on their promises and obligations, and make sure those promises and obligations are clearly delineated.

When the proper amount of tax is collected from the people of this country, the welfare of its inhabitants will be optimized.  This means that welfare programs that rest on the backs of the taxpayers would be lighter or heavier, whichever is the case according to what we get when everyone follows through on their promises and obligations, and makes sure those promises and obligations are clearly delineated.

U.S. Government Quotations

During "discovery" in the case where the United States Postal Inspection Service is attempting to steal my money from me (16-01166-DSF), the government had these things to say.  I figured it was important to publish them:
  1. "[The question] implies that the decisions of any United States District Judge or United States Magistrate Judge are influenced by the source of their salaries."  The question was "Do you pay the salaries of judges Dale S. Fischer and Kenly Kiya Kato?"
  2. "[T]he defendant in this action is currency and is not entitled to legal representation."
  3. "To the extent claimant asserts that he is an innocent owner of the defendant currency, the assertion is without merit because there is no evidence currently available to the government suggesting that claimant exercised due diligence in obtaining any information about the person to whom he sold the bitcoins, or in determining whether the defendant currency was derived from a legal or legitimate source."
  4. "[T]he burden of proof is on claimant in this action to establish that he is the innocent owner of the defendant currency."
I submit that there is a conflict of interest exposed in the first quotation.  Do you see that?  Would you be willing to provide me with a video of yourself stating that if #1 above is real, then you see a conflict of interest?

The government of the United States has admitted that it is using the term "defendant" to describe something that is not a person.  How do we solve that problem?

The government suggests that a person's assertion of innocence is without merit unless that person "obtains information about the person to whom they" are selling or "determines whether the payment was derived" legally or legitimately.  I submit that agents working for the U.S. government are guiltier than I am in this respect because of the corruption of that organization and those agents' sale of their own efforts to it.  I do not think it is fair to blame them, but the government is attempting to blame me.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Zero Days Spoiler Alert

The movie Zero Days answers a lot of questions, but it poses so many more, that I think any good review should be a spoiler.  We are left to wonder and search for what's next, how foolish people with power and financial resources will be, and how clever the better and worse technologists around the world will prove to be while struggling against each other to make things the way they want them to be.

Personally, I'd like to see Siemens spend a few million on a court case against the U.S. government to win a settlement that would pay for A) replacing all existing PLCs that are affected by Stuxnet so that they are not vulnerable to the malware as they currently are, and B) explicate the exploits that were used well enough for the creators of the software containing them to remove them.

My observations on the state of the audience and my personal desire for Siemens are not the reason I'm writing this post.  I wrote those paragraphs in order to provide a setting from which I can propose my theory and hopefully get some of the most important minds working on solving the problem of corruption (if they aren't already).

The ostensible goal of Stuxnet was to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program.  The effect was to release a kind of masterkey to infect and control a variable but very well defined set of Siemens PLCs in any way a programmer wants.  Anyone can get it because it's everywhere.  The idea of Siemens PLCs providing useful logical functions in a secure manner is no longer reasonable.  We are vulnerable to the madmen of the world who have the programming skills.

The madmen of the world generally do not have the programming skills because they are too busy getting elected, whispering in the ears of those who've already been elected, or both, and that is NOT their fault.  It's ours.  Well, not my fault because A) I don't vote, and B) I have no respect for fake (coercive) authority.  So it probably isn't your fault either, but there are loads of people who still believe that obedience to authority is a good thing, and it's entirely their fault. They suffer for it too, which is ok by me, but we suffer too, and that's what I'd like to stop.  I think it's up to us to stop it.

The people who do have the programming skills will be hired by those madmen because too many software engineers (yes, Jerry, I'm talking about you) do not peer deeply enough into their work to see whether or not it will be used for good or evil.  Einstein and Oppenheimer come to mind.  My theory is that the money to be paid to the engineers who can modify the Stuxnet to create grand problems will come from taxpayers and be funneled through black ops for that exact purpose: create grand problems.  Why?  Because that is how fake authority justifies itself.  Check out the Peace Revolution Podcast if you don't believe me.

How do we stop it?  The answer is to make people like Jerry aware of what they are doing so that they can request that more light be shone upon it.  The Jerry about whom I write offered me some work related to "smart meters" and, because it was a government contract, I declined.  Perhaps it was a mistake for me to decline.  Perhaps I would have been able to brighten the lights and scare away some of the development of "grand problems" that I believe is going on.

I don't know if Jerry will ever read this, but if he does, I hope he considers how much his work is related to the Siemens PLCs targeted by Stuxnet and whether or not he's helping create instability in a world that is very altered now that the CIA / NSA / FBI has released this masterkey into the wild.

We are not powerless.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Bitfinex Hack: Bitcoin versus Hubris

Bitcoin is threatening those who have lived parasitically off the rest of us through clever use of the financial system.  The best way I can think of to postpone the demise of these fiat parasites (by which I mean those who don't need to put much effort into earning money because they have de facto permission to print it from the governments they serve/control/sleep with) is to make the price very volatile.  There is a moral way to do this, but as recent research has shown, bankers don't generally limit themselves to moral means.

The moral way to do this is to allocate a large sum of money and buy up all the bitcoin that is available for sale.  This would take a few generations and make several families not affiliated with the bankers quite wealthy.  This is one of the reasons the bankers won't stick with the moral means: it spreads financial power to those who earn it.

The alphabet agencies of the United States (CIA, FBI, NSA, etc.) have been engaged in immoral projects since they were founded, usually relying on the shortsighted and nearsighted and (actually quite normal) functionaries who, if they could see the whole picture, would not help for the average salaries they earn.  This includes analysts, engineers, coders, couriers, spies, law enforcement, etc.  If you don't believe me, listen to the 91 episodes of The Peace Revolution Podcast.  It provides ample evidence, rather than just claims such as I am making. Do your own research.  It's good practice.

I believe I have identified the immoral method through which the price of bitcoin will be made so volatile that most people will shy away from it.  However, some, such as myself, will simply profit from the efforts, and use the profits to help rebuild things.  The method, or something quite similar, has been called "The Doublecross" and involves the cooperation of law enforcement to avoid enforcing the law in the cases where the criminal act benefits those at the top, such as the murder of that stooge, Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby.  There is a warning in here for all of you who are close enough to the powerful to derive some benefit from them.  Aside from any bad karma, you'll eventually be a liability, and your life will end for that reason.  Just walk away, my friends.  Walk away.

Essentially, powerful spy agencies, including the UK's GCHQ and the US's CIA, FBI, and NSA (and even the Kremlin and whatever components of Kim Jong Il's government and China's government and all the rest are responsible for collecting information on people) gather dirt on people.  If you want to hold some power, you have to be dirty so that the power you hold is really under the control of those who have the dirt on you.  If you think about it, this explains why both Victoria Roberts and Nancy G. Edmunds worked (and continue to work) officially and on the record to suborn perjury from Doreen Hendrickson.

This dirt-collection scheme can be used to leverage a large number of insiders in just about every company on the planet.  That's a lot of work, and not feasible, but if you restrict that group of companies to "Bitcoin exchanges" then it's feasible.  The spy agencies, we can assume, have dirt on people like Nejc Kodric and/or several of his employees, along with the same sort of people at other exchanges.  In short, they have enough blackmail material to co-opt bitcoin exchanges, and force someone to provide them with the means to commit a heist such what happened to MtGox a while back, and what happened to Bitfinex a couple hours ago.

Consider all the evidence and history surrounding the biggest bitcoin heists (take that link with a grain of salt - the author says "Billions of Bitcoin are still "missing" in todays economy" which anyone who understands bitcoin knows is impossible), and see if it seems like there might be some kind of powerful (politically powerful, like spy-agency powerful) forces preventing rectification of what is clearly theft.  Where is Karpeles today?  I don't know.

In a nutshell, the strategy I see playing out is that governmental agencies, on behalf of the people who want to control everyone, are deploying their massive resources in black operations to amass bitcoins in ways that will not make honorable people rich so that they can manipulate the price more easily.  Will it work for them?  I don't think it will.  I will profit from their attempts, but since I think their attempts are a net negative for my species, I will spread my theory in the hope that more people will profit from their efforts (thus, defeating them) as I do.

In fact, profiting from their efforts simply means buying when the price goes down and selling when it goes up.  Since dollars are the easiest thing to use to value stuff, choose a dollar amount, and choose a number of valuable assets in which to store your savings, and split your savings up between them.  When the value of one goes up (or down), sell it (or buy it) and buy (or sell) whatever has gone down with the proceeds (or gone up to cover the cost).

If you or someone you know works for one of these spy agencies, consider carefully whether or not your efforts are making things worse or better.  Short term profit is fun and enjoyable, but life gets miserable when karma catches up, and no one knows how fast she is.