I watched the whole video, but with that 25 minutes of my time, also comes some of my thoughts about it:
I don't like how he talks about the gift culture, because if we all lived this way, there wouldn't be anyone to give gifts or hand such things out. It's not sustainable for an entire culture to live this way. He also says he takes from people's fields, which I think is rather minor, but think about that for a minute. He gives up money, but has no problem accepting gifts and taking from other people. That's not "natural", nor would I consider it really giving up money. He's just choosing not to spend it himself, and is still relying on society and other peoples money and work. Again, works for him just fine, but not sustainable for an entire culture to live this way.
He also directly compares the way raspberry bushes function to humans. He also says "worry is contrary to the laws of nature", which is another point I just don't buy. He'd be worrying quite a bit if he didn't have the kindness of strangers and dumpsters to feed him. He also talks about how people who are apart of society suffer from medical conditions more and that nature does a better job of keeping things healthy. No, it doesn't. Sure, people didn't used to have chronic diseases... because everyone was already dead by the time they hit 30. We're living longer, which is the main cause of what he talks against.
He focuses a lot on "eliminating worry and challenges", but also talks about being pretty dependent on others and brings up "gifting" constantly. And he acts like no one can value nature or show gratitude for it in life as long as they use money. I consider myself a Buddhist, and am grateful of many things on a daily basis. The sun, water, nature, animals, insects, everything. I don't need to live without money to appreciate those things, I'm not an awful person because I have a job and earn a paycheck, and I don't worry or really feel any challenges that I don't put in front of myself on purpose.
I dunno, I know you're crazy about this guy, so I don't want to poo-poo him too hard. But in my honest opinion this guy is an idealist. He's interesting to listen to, he seems happy doing what he's doing, and that all seems great. But what he talks about isn't sustainable for our whole culture or all humans. He's entirely dependent on gifting and handouts and gleaning, and mentions he tried living off the land but that it didn't really work for him.
Not everyone needs to give up money to appreciate life, and not everyone working a job is a slave or incapable of appreciating the same things he appreciates. And many of us, can give back to nature, and more importantly, can give back to people like him with our "evil money". :)
Practically motivated, I would say rather.
Can you choose to smoke? Cigarettes, well, yes -- and in areas where the answer is no it's because smoking isn't good for those around you. So that's an oversimplification. Pot -- not yet, but cultural progression is actually on the side of Linus there.
Choose a large soda? In most places still, yes. And there is of course the (practical) argument that making our population healthier will be much cheaper in the long run.
Choose to own a gun? Yeah, you can. You just have to do some paperwork and not be insane (theoretically) -- imagine that.
Choose energy-inefficient solutions? In the long run, I think they're cheaper, and I know they're better for the environment. So to an extent you still have the right to be dumb and selfish, but you'll be taxed for it. (I'm a bit behind on this one, though, so don't take me as seriously.) The debate there isn't too culturally motivated, in any case.
Choose to honor God? Yeah. First amendment. What country is the author of this comic in, exactly? Choosing to not honor God isn't as easy at the moment, but we're getting there.
You can also choose an abortion. Or adoption. Or contraception. Or none of the above.
So I'm done over-analyzing this political cartoon which is designed to provoke such a response -- but I do think the author should visit Saudi Arabia and see if he finds it more or less to his liking.
EDIT: hubski is charmingly liberal.
"Genetic algorithms" was the first thing I could think of, since they take time on classical computers and can often produce results that human designers aren't expecting. Furthermore, they don't require any significant storage space, since they don't need to remember anything about previous generations, so your 16 GB limit is not particularly restrictive.
As a summary, and skip the next three paragraphs if you already know how a GA works: they mimic biological evolution by randomly recombining the "genome" of anything you want to optimize, such as a telephone network, chip design, road-map for a proposed highway system, and so-on. You begin with two randomly generated "parents" and, on each loop, recombine randomly chosen "genes" from each parent to produce five offspring. What you then need is some kind of scoring algorithm, which could be a simple formula or an entire simulation (estimated traffic of an airline network for a year, for example), which can calculate a score for each offspring. You pick the two best scoring children and pass them on to the next generation. Lather, rinse, repeat.
You can vary this by tracking multiple "strains" and allowing them to cross-breed, and you can add the element of mutation by randomly changing one of the genes every X-many generations.
Genetic Algorithms have been used to optimize modern telephone networks (cost, capacity, damage resilience), power efficient chips (I understand GAs are being used to optimize the ARM architecture these days), and one interesting case was the first known application: circuits that can distinguish between two musical notes. The result from a few thousand generations was a circuit--programmed on a FPGA--that had a totally unconnected sub-circuit. According to electrical theory, this sub-circuit could not serve any function, but on the physical FPGA chip was acting like a kind of resonance chamber, like the hole in a guitar, inducting a small current that in turn influenced the rest of the circuit. Such an invention was completely unexpected by the programmer, who had no idea such a circuit was even possible.
You run a GA as long as you have the budget or patience for. Sometimes you get excellent results after a weekend, but the longer you run it the closer it asymptotically reaches the ideal implied by your scoring algorithm. You might stop it once it looks like you've found the "ceiling" in the scoring criteria itself.
So I'd bring any reasonable OS and a program that runs a Genetic Algorithm that would essentially do the equivalent of asking a Genie for "infinite wishes": a design for a computer that would also have infinite processing speed, or at least the best possible. Might also run a GA to get the best performance-per-watt design for mobile computers.
Some other ideas, perhaps loaded up to run in series, although they would theoretically all complete the instant I hit "Enter":
A molecule with the lowest mass, highest strength (sheer and tensile), highest melting point and lowest cost that the best simulation of physical materials (my scoring algorithm) can judge. I'll come out and start a Space Elevator company.
A language translation matrix that can satisfy the largest and most varied collection of human-authored and curated "Rosetta Stones" that I can fit on any media I can bring into the room, both text and spoken, including dialects, slang, and inflection. Might solve world peace if we knew what each other was really saying.
Solve every conceivable "Traveling Salesman" route for every mail carrier and delivery company that I can sign-up in my 14-day prelude. Ka-ching. This might actually be the one that takes the longest to run, because I'll be filling up a lot of conventional Flash/portable hard drives with the results.
Find the safest, cheapest and densest way to store hydrogen that my physics simulator can judge, then sell the answer to automobile and fuel-cell makers.
Same for "supercapacitors" and sell it to electric car makers.
The potential of GAs starts to become a bit "magic wand-y" after you think about them for a while. Their limitation, assuming an infinitely fast computer, is really the scoring algorithm, and their limitation is human imagination itself.
- In fact I didn't know that this was a defining characteristic of a mature planet.
That's one of the reasons Pluto was removed from planet status, and it's size makes it more of a dwarf planet as well. It was determined to be one of several objects of similar size in the Kuiper belt. Step 3 of the IAU resolution for determining a planet was what I was referencing.
- The debate came to a head in 2006 with an IAU resolution that created an official definition for the term "planet". According to this resolution, there are three main conditions for an object to be considered a 'planet':
- 1.The object must be in orbit around the Sun.
2.The object must be massive enough to be a sphere by its own gravitational force. More specifically, its own gravity should pull it into a shape of hydrostatic equilibrium.
3.It must have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
One of the many ways we can search for new planets around other stars is looking for cleared paths of dust/debris. So if we see a disk of dust/debris from UV/IR telescopes, and there's a "path" carved out of it, we can assume there was a larger object, probably a planet, that had cleared it's local orbit even if we can't see the planet itself.
Here's a picture of one such example...
The disk is at an angle almost going up an down, but you can see the elipse that has been cleared by a possible planet/s.
This is a really interesting thread. Alas, the whole discussion relies on some really shifting and non-determinable factors, each of which is chocked full of myriad possible causes. Why is hubski predominantly male? (Assuming that the test group was representative, and that it _is_ in fact predominantly male -- this is probably the least of all necessary leaps to be found in this discussion). Well, if it is predominantly male, then it might just be so because it's predominantly male.
I don't mean this just as tautology, or as blatant circular reasoning for its own caddyshack-esque sense of pseudo-zen. I mean rather that many situations are self-perpetuating. To whatever extent that styles of communication/objects of inquiry or interest are at all gender-specific or determined (and of course behind each of these quotients stands a rat's nest of conflicting evidence and well-informed, well-reasoned opinion), these patterns are likely to perpetuate themselves and to reinforce existing lines of demographic composition.
Fortunately, this is a community created (largely) by a consensus of contributors. The only guidelines (and these are really only enforced by practice and example, rather than by edict) are that subjects be raised for thoughtful consideration and discovery, and that discussions be conducted with at least civility, if not collegiality. If anyone would like to suggest that these orientations are at all gender-exclusive, I'm willing to hear your argument (as I'm willing to hear just about any argument), but I think you'll be facing an uphill struggle. In short, the field of play is open, and hubski will continue to define its identity as it continues to grow and change. I am personally refreshed by how much lucid discourse can be found on this site, and how little space or attention is given to trolls, to vandals, or to any other variety of cyber-bully. Regarding diversity of viewpoint, not just of gender, but of all varieties: bring it on!
(prose) poem for January 5
The afternoon of my mother's wake I bought a Stetson at a pawn shop. It hung next to a stringless guitar. It hung, covered in the invisible dust of money hungry pain. It hung on a tarnished brass hook. I paid five dollars to a man with an orange-striped shirt. I don't remember his face.
I placed the hat on the passenger seat of my car. A Stetson. Black. The oiled pitch of movie malevolence. The hat wore a woven leather band decorated with an engraved silver charm. Two sizes larger than my head. Grade thirty X, the Rolls Royce of fox fur sculpture.
Hey you, I said to the hat. My mom died.
The hat made sympathetic noises. The hat expressed displeasure at the change of schedule.
After the funeral I placed the hat on my bed's extra pillow, the space I saved for a lover. The hat took root. I felt it push tendrils through the green satin, through duck down, through layers of coiled springs and metal frame. I felt it push into the oak floorboards, into the crawl space, into the ground rich with uranium and feldspar. I fueled the germination with my fingers. I traced the spiral galaxy etched into silver. I brushed the hat with care, sprayed it with rain repellent. I loved the hat, loved the way it smelled like roadtrip ozone.
I told the hat stories at night, stories about my day, about my children. I told the hat it was much more than a five dollar whim. Sometimes the hat listened. Sometimes it didn't. The hat's roots pulled memory from the underworld, a place not-yet-separated from its prior owner. The hat kept one upturned side-brim touching my sheets, but the other side sunk into the pillowcase.
My wrists weren't strong enough to pull the hat from the bed. One day I went in search of a shovel to transplant it to a more suitable environment, but I got sidetracked by my father/kids/dog/work.
We're dying, they said. Leave that damn hat alone and attend to us.
I did. The hat understood. The hat was not happy. I asked the hat for help but it sat still. I asked the hat to rub my back, to cook me dinner, to tell me funny jokes. The hat would not budge.
After a while I slept with my back to the hat. I wanted the hat to notice that I was lonely. The hat did not. It remembered the pawn shop. It remembered its old life. It remembered the five dollars. It pointed a brim finger at me. It told me I made the roots stronger.
I grabbed a shotgun and shot in the air above the hat.
Get out of my bed you mean old lazy crummy hat! I yelled. I didn't mean it. I wanted the hat to protest. The hat fell to the floor. It sat there for two days.
I packed the hat in a box yesterday. I wrapped it in plastic. I stuck stamps on the side of the box. I stuffed an old beadspread in the hole left by the roots. I slept alone.
I assure you, it was intentional ;) I think this place has great potential, and I have become very frustrated with the state of reddit as of late, in particular the group think / hivemind that seems to permeate every subreddit. I love the sense of community here, and while I don't think hubski can completely replace my reddit experience any time soon (the wealth of knowledge and diversity of the smaller subreddits is just too hard to resist), they will definitely be coexisting peacefully on my bookmarks bar for the foreseeable future.
I look forward to seeing where hubski takes all of us into 2013 and beyond.
The puppy with the puppy! I love that. I very much enjoyed reading your blog and have added it to my reader. Lovely words, thank you.
I have a huge, enormous miracle to share:
One dog August afternoon, I walked barefoot along the outskirts of campus. I carried my Dr. Scholls, and sang Hurts So Good and Centerfold like I was a rock star.
He stepped out of the dark canopy of trees and grabbed me. He had a knife. He raped me. I don't remember his face or his height. I can still hear him, the way he hissed "don't look at me.” I remember one part with multicolor slow motion clarity. He grabbed my right hand and deliberately broke three fingers, pinky, ring finger, middle finger, snapped them like chicken bones.
Two months later my fingers were healing, but my stomach felt worse, like fire and gunpowder. I didn't know I was pregnant until my breasts swelled. I called a clinic. They told me to bring six hundred dollars cash, a friend to drive, and an empty stomach. I didn't have a friend or six hundred dollars so I stayed home. I had a baby daughter. I gave her up for adoption.
I keep talking around the rape and birth. I'm a sheepdog circling the events, corralling them, pushing them into storage pens for slaughter. I'm a blue merle sheepdog with watery eyes and a limp and all I know is to keep circling, keep those sheep from running free, I don't want them to break formation.
My birth daughter turned 21, called Catholic Charities, and they called me. I said yes. Yes.
I drove to her parents’ home. I thought about the years between the rape and now, the adventure of campouts and school field trips and pizza Fridays, all the x's in my cross stitch life, how I added color and texture, how I always left a corner undone. I'm so different now. I'm not that girl in the woods, that girl with broken fingers and no friends. I'm not that girl. I thought of the photos my birth daughter sent, how she looks like that girl, looks like a young me. I know so little about her. She looks like me but she's a stranger.
I turned at a blinking red light and shifted down. My daughter stood at the edge of the gravel drive, and I stepped out of the car and backwards in time, to the night of her birth, into her arms.
All I know is you get what you get. I got an old new daughter, not a stranger, a real child just like her brothers, and my heart and arms and mind couldn't find a difference.
I don't remember anything I said to her or anything she said to me. But somehow a million million busy cells swapped stories and memory and we found ourselves on the black lake behind her house, in a blue paddleboat with a candy striped canopy, alone on the lake, drifting, drifting, not paddling, resting, letting the water transform two decades into glass shattered reflection, into nothingness.
Now, a few years later, we've developed a beautiful relationship. I don't know who I am to her, really, but to me she is my daughter, my full, living, breathing daughter who I have loved every minute of her life.
It is secular law that mediates our interactions. Consider this, which of these (if any) are ok due to religious considerations?
A public bus driver denies a gay rider. A public teacher will not teach a gay student. A police officer does not respond to a gay victim. A heart surgeon does not perform surgery on a gay patient. A public defense attorney does not defend a gay client.
Or, if religious considerations are justification over secular law, which ones?
Should a Mormon be able to have multiple wives? Should a man be able to take a child bride? Should a religion that embraces gays be able to marry them? Should a raped woman be stoned as in sharia law? Should an adulterous wife be killed as the Old Testament suggests? Should a muslim woman be able to remain veiled in a photo ID?
Where do our 'secular sensibilities' override our religious ones, and why?
I do personally believe that secular law should override religious law (and belief), when it regards the rights and welfare of others, our civil interactions. In that sense, yes, I think the secular mindset takes precedence. Not necessarily because it is right, but because it is the one that remains when specific religious beliefs, and secular ethics, are generalized into a Golden Rule type of civil society. It's the best place to agree to disagree.
Of course, I do not think it is always easy to separate the two, but I am not afraid of a slippery slope here.
So I actually learned about this whole thing in this thread here on Hubski when it was first posted, along with the links to more context.
I've been on Reddit for well over three years, and over time as the character of the site changed with the incredibly massive influx of new users, I did some severe editing of the Reddits I subscribe to in an attempt to cut the chaf to a minimum. I feel like it's been relatively successful as I've managed to use Reddit almost daily for years without an awareness of most of the notorious personalities on the site and the dramas that have surrounded them over time.
So after clicking around and getting myself acquainted with the situation (No way I could refrain from being curious about a major tech writer publicly doxing somebody), I'm kind of left with the impression that I'm glad I'm not generally aware of this stuff. This whole Gawker thing just feels like I'm watching TMZ for nerds. The Gawker piece was a personality driven take-down complete with justifications of why what he was doing was actually 'ok' every other paragraph. Adrien Chen isn't a journalist so much as a crusader. Another thing that made me stop mid article was the information about Vilentacres' stepdaughter. That is incredibly disturbing stuff, and I sort of find it shocking and disgusting that Chen outed that girl. There is the potential for massive ramifications for her, and she is innocent in all this drama. Yes, she was supposedly 19, but we have no idea how much of that relationship involved coercion or grooming from the step-father authority figure. I suspect quite a bit. I think it's kind of sick that Adrien Chen outed that girl.
On the other hand, Violentacres is a fucked up dude, and Reddit is supporting his content. Here is where the usual cries of free speech ring out, but they miss the point. Reddit isn't the government, -it's a private network, and the First Amendment does not apply. The question becomes "Does Reddit want to nurture a community that caters to content like beating women and taking pictures of girls without their knowledge and repackaging them in a sexualized manner, and posting them online for others to see?". Personally I say no, and fuck everybody who thinks that's an assault on free speech. Reddit != the internet, there are plenty of places to find that content online if you want, and Reddit not having it would in no way degrade people's ability to a) post it, and b) consume it. Furthermore, Reddit already censors its content, as we have learned with r/jailbait fiasco (which I'm glad they do). So if Reddit is going to make the choice to ride the 'free speech train' on their private network, they need to play that card to the hilt or not play it at all imo. Ban /r/jailbait? Good. Defend and leave up reddits that collect and celebrate savage beating of females? What the fuck is the matter with you Reddit? Seriously. There is a reason that networks like Facebook and G+ don't allow content like this. It would destroy their communities. If they did, struggling G+ would just be a bunch of nodes streaming porn that would keep legitimate users away.
There will be another Vilentacres unless Reddit does something about it. This is sort of the reason why a public takedown of an individual who broke no laws by an alleged journalist seems so odd to me. It seems his problem should be with Reddit. And to out that poor girl in the process was just awful. Violentacres should have been banned from posting what he has been on Reddit a long time ago imho. When you factor in the massive number of subreddits banning Gawker links, you begin to see this whole thing for what it is. A big, personality driven egotistical internet bitch fest, amazing in scope, that does a remarkable job of missing what should be the point, on both sides. Violentacres is a POS and shouldn't be allowed to post what he does, Reddit's administration is inconsistent and asleep at the wheel, and Adrien Chen isn't a journalist, but rather someone who is willing to harm innocent people in order to carry out online feuds using Gawker as a complicit vehicle to do so.
A discussion with newgreen made me wonder whether the Hubski “lurk” list could provide a partial view into the Hubski zeitgeist. Here are my conclusions based on the top-ten postings listed on "lurk," September 25, 2012:
The postings suggest a hopeful, fun-loving, community, not dark, but not naively optimistic either.
• We value language, not just as a tool to communicate, but as a source of joy. Gaming is also a source of joy, as is beer. • We value the community of social networks, but also wonder about their adverse effects. We want more ways of expressing our emotions and becoming known and understood by others. • We care very much about the environment, and hope that technology can solve the problems that technology created. We also hope technology can help us understand better what we are and make us more perfect. If someone feels they need to use technology to launch Thomas the Tank Engine into space, we enjoy that too. • We want our politicians and their aides to be effective and responsible (but we giggle a little at their battles with the press and the pressure).
Conclusions are based on these posts:
1. Ask Hubski, what is your favourite word 2. Tesla launches supercharger stations for rapid charging on long-distance trips 3. Heroic: First Successful Play test (a.k.a. I swear I’m developing as fast as I can!) 4. Decentralizing social networks 5. Ah, more smart diplomacy from Hilary and Barack 6. Scientists see upside and downside of sequencing their own genes 7. How I make beer 8. Outside of Powell’s books 9. Mind-reading tail lets you wag when you’re happy, just like a dog 10. Toy train in space
Awful article with some good points. As @mk points out dispensers of for profit self-help can only profit on someone who has a deficiency they can provide a remedy for. What better way then to create that deficiency in the ready?
I'd like to run through the points one at a time. I'm going to ignore the hyperbole and abrasive tone of the language, to the best of my tolerance, in favor of the core idea of each point.
1 - Truth about time vs value assuming your skill scales. As What's a $4,000 Suite Worth? illustrates you can be a master in a field that just doesn't scale. The author dismisses any non-scalable skill set as 'dummie'.
2 - Gaining experience from a job generally means two things when people use this phrase: apprenticeship and/or resume building. Apprenticeship is valuable. If you are in a skilled profession the upper level of knowledge advancement may seem to not exist. The "learn a lot then stagnate" doesn't apply. If you are writing self help the ceiling may be lower. On the other hand resume building is valuable primarily within the context of at-will employment.
3 - Complete nonsense. Just an attack on the reader's emotions.
4 - A good point few consider. In essence you are paid for your time/value by an employer and you pay the employer to provide all it's services to you. However, these are services that have value. Aside the obvious value in benefits, accounting, equipment, and such there is less obvious "tribe" value. Not everyone does sales, yet a company sells to clients. Not everyone produces widgets, yet there are widgets to sell. And so forth. Even seemingly non-contributing cost sinks like investors provide value: would the employer even exist otherwise?
5 - No arguing that multiple passive income streams is more secure than a single income stream from at-will employment. Establishing those streams now... that's where the "too risky" meme comes from. It comes from the reality most people face: continue at-will employment or 'take the leap'. Trade one casino game for another.
6 - No time to delve into the complex topic of the military hierarchy that most companies operate with. I'll just say that it's not inherently evil and even provides a service (see analysis paralysis.
7 - Complete nonsense. Just an attack on the reader's emotions.
8 - Complete nonsense. Just an attack on the reader's emotions.
9 - Amazing, a valid non-economic point! Some jobs have more freedom than others. Some jobs have more freedom than self employment (via access), but most don't.
10 - Complete nonsense. Just an attack on the reader's emotions.
Now that 6 one sided, but valid, considerations and 4 nonsensical emotional pot stirrers have been provided the reader is in the perfect emotional state for the sale.
edit: One of my Father's best advice to me is to work for myself. I'm fairly anti-employment. This article still is garbage. :)
Hi folks -- this is Leon, the author of the Globe story. Steven emailed me to say you guys were discussing the issue and asked me to jump in.
Here's an interesting wrinkle I didn't get to address in the piece: if you inherit the persona of someone very famous, you're responsible for paying taxes on the value of that asset, regardless of whether you make any money off of it. This means that in some cases, a family will be forced to commercialize the persona of the deceased even if they don't want to -- simply because they'd need the money in order to pay the taxes.
Consequently, the right of publicity laws could lead to people's images being used to promote products even though their families would rather just leave them alone.
Not sure how much I can add to this great discussion but I'm here, if you want to ask me something about my reporting!
I don't really care for most of their solutions but a few seem worth looking at.
Their proposals. 1. Cap food stamp spending. Ehhhh, seems like the goal is to make sure people in the wealthiest country in the world don't go hungry, I guess if you don't care if people go hungry because they can't afford food then this makes decent sense.
2. Transfer food stamps from the USDA to HSS. I don't see how the money that trickles down to farmers would be changed by if HSS took control. As long as you can buy food with food stamps then the program is still a food welfare and farm welfare program. Votes on the food stamp program often pulls bi-partisan support from farm and urban legislators for exactly this reason (less so now a days with the Tea Party, they actually put their money where their mouth is and vote contrary to their constituents best interest for ethical reasons). Maybe I don't understand the how this would change the program, it isn't obvious to me. Seems like changing who is control would add costs to the program during the bureaucratic shuffle so I hope there is some kind of compelling theory for what this will achieve. I found the paper this was quoted from and the authors in no way explain what the bureaucratic shuffle do to change the incentives.
3 and 4. Close loopholes in food stamp enrollment, reduce fraud. Probably the best argument for reform in the program. I have known people who have gamed the food stamp program by lying about their income or who have plenty of money socked away in the bank but are out of a job for the moment who are taking advantage of a free lunch. It would be best to do a CBA to see if the money it would cost to means test applicants would be worth the savings of weeding people out, otherwise it's just another layer of bureaucracy.
5. Not everyone on food stamps is a position to seek work. People who are caught up in a medical emergency or who have chronic heath problems or are caring for family members with the same are reliant on the program as much as you might want to make this a work incentive program I think there might be better ways to accomplish this goal.
6. Drugs, drugs drugs!!! I don't know, seems like a personal preoccupation of the foundation or authors. Maybe they didn't buy them, a friend passed the joint, whatever. Should pedophiles also be banned from the program? What about people who have cable? Cable always seems like an unreasonable luxury for someone who needs my money. Maybe we can have the food stamp gestapo go around and make sure they aren't drinking liquor, smoking cigs, going to the movies, doing drugs ect. Plenty of hardworking Americans go to their job each day so they can buy drugs. I did some searches on the topic of drug use, income and welfare, all the sites that used data showed that drug use is about the same for welfare recipients and non-welfare recipients. Let me caution, the only sites that supported this view were the ones that used data to support their assertions, so take it with a grain of salt. I'm guess that
- With welfare users twice as likely as the general public to use illegal drugs
Personally I favor the idea of a means based welfare system that gives people a flat cash amount that will provide a meager substance life. It's an idea put forth my Milton Friedman that has been discussed on Hubski a few times. Make every two dollars earned on the job reduce benefits by one dollar and it's a work incentive program. It would strip all kinds of needless government spending and bureaucracy out of the system. There is probably way to much paternalism/big brotherness on both sides of the isle for this kind of proposal to ever be taken seriously.
I have to admit. Mom and Dad told me what you wrote on Sunday. I have put off reading this knowing full well it would break me. Excellent writing brother.
Here are a few things I remember about my "brother" Luke
-He was always eager to please and even though he was in pain and coughing up blood, he knew it made us sad when he did this. It is as if he would pretend to be healthy all day and fall apart every evening.
-Every Christmas we put presents under the tree for him. He knew there were gifts for him but wouldn't touch them until Christmas morning. We would say, "Luke, go get your present." He would sniff out a gift, bring it to the center of the room and delicately hold it down with his paw and carefully open it with his teeth.
-Luke did not like it when people hugged or kissed. When I was a teenager and had a boy over, mom and dad would leave us alone but demand that my "brother" stay in the room. If ever a boy tried to get fresh, Luke would immediately sound the alarm. If I ever have a teenage daughter, I hope to teach my dog this same trick.
Well done Steve.
I got turned away from classical for the longest time because of these composers (With the exception of Beethoven and Bach, whom I've always liked). I was about to give up classical as something I'd never understand until I found out about Erik Satie:
This started it all. This piece, all of his pieces were so different from all other classical pieces I've ever listened to; This was no surprise as Satie never quite liked romanticism and the previous classical composers and their ways. He had an entirely different style, one that was a kind of predessecor to other musical genres (Muzak, "furniture music" and ambient of the likes of Brian Eno and friends). I suppose this is my Number 1. Here's a good documentary on Erik Satie:
After Erik Satie, I wanted to look for similar artists, and many people have told me that he hung out with Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and they composed in a musical style inspired by the paintings of the impressionist painters, which is what they called themselves:
These are my numbers 2 and 3.
After a while, I wanted to go back to the ones I disliked and see if I liked them now, at this point, I found a composer named Gustav Mahler:
Now, this was some really heavy stuff. I went to listen to all of hy symphonies and all of them were great, and even moreso, all of them had that "link" I couldn't find in Mozart or the other usual folks. I guess at this point, I was well on my way to becoming addicted to classical. This is my number 4.
After Mahler, I better appreciated Mozart and friends but I still didn't like them, I just put away my issues with them. I wanted to go more modern, as it seemed that has never let me down. Enter Stravinsky and Shostakovich and my numbers 5 and 6:
From here, I wanted to go even more modern, to see what's going on so far, an I discovered Alfred Schnittke, my number 7, and oh man, was this a real mindscrew:
If you want to take a gander at the abyss, this guy will help you there. All of his works are so deliciously dark and demonic. Very excellent. From here I went to the Minimalists:
Steve Reich: http://youtu.be/fx27voOtpNs
Terry Riley: http://youtu.be/BHBvoBti_eg
I find it harder and harder to write. I don't know who said it, but someone said writing about music is like dancing about architecture. I'll just leave it to you to hear them and let them speak for themselves. Those are my numbers 8 and 9.
Long ago, I found out about John Cage and his radical 4'33'' and the more avante-garde classical at the time. I liked a lot of it, but there was one composer in particular that stood far out from the rest, and that guy was Morton Feldman:
This guy... He was a lot like Satie. He spend most of his time in music school arguing with his teachers about what music should be like. I found a kindred spirit in him. I never got classical music before when it was all Mozart and Schubert and Haydn so on. His music is so quiet, so meaningful, so sad. It's quite avante-garde, so it takes some buffering time for someone used to only Mozart or Beethoven, or even Mahler, Satie, Reich and everyone else on my list, to get into him but his work, imo, is really something special from all the other composers I've ever listened to. He's my number 10 favorite composer.
And now, some honorable mentions:
Perotin, a very OLD composer: http://youtu.be/bpgaEFmdFcM
This is a funny quirk. I actually like Medieval composers/Gregorian chant because they were actually similar to modern composers in a certain sense (Hard to explain, since I'm not musically educated). Somehwere along the line, composers like Mozart and Beethoven, the classical and romantic periods, changed their musical style.
Arvo Part: http://youtu.be/PzSlmWQuHFw
Modern composer, and very excellent.
John Luther Adams: http://youtu.be/g6wX1c-Zk9Q
Inspired by Morton Feldman and the natural areas of Alaska, so naturally, I'd like his work. Very beautiful stuff.
Simeon Ten Holt: http://youtu.be/f7yeIWne0iw
This piece is magnificent. This is my number 11, if I could add in a number 11. IT's a strange piece that just makes you want to reflect the longer you listen to it. It's a really amazing song.
And for now, that is it, because this is already a long list, but at least I gave you some recommendations that are more on the modern side, which I think more people should look into, as there's a lot of neat stuff there waiting to be found and enjoyed. As always, this is all my opinion, I have no musical background and the likes