Sunday, November 28, 2021
Kncok em Sock em Rock em Robots
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Tumor In My Eye
in the picture above, the top row shows the choroidal melanoma about 11mm in diameter, a pea sized horrid little thing looking out for only itself. Plan A, always the first course of action, is for the whole eye is gotta come out.
Told this news, idiot that I am, I immediately started thinking about cool glass eyes. Eight Ball. Infinity. Cat's Eye. Maybe LED lights. Animated eyeball. Better still, an LED flashlight in my right eye. And also a laser if they can. Bluetooth with a wristwatch controller for Bionic Johnny. Laser Jack. (No, I'm not a Jack. I tried it. Didn't work. I'm on the Johnny end of the spectrum).
Anyway, since then I received a body scan, and I am cancer free everywhere else. Which is good, yay. Normally this thing in my eyeball would have spread from the lungs or the colon.
Honestly I expected that I am otherwise cancer free since I not only feel well, but feel silverback well, strong and powerful for someone my age. Of course, 35 years of heavy smoking and 45 years of boozing still give me a hefty chance for future cancers, but so far so good.
It's a melanoma. If it were on my arm they'd excise it and a chunk of surrounding skin, and off I'd go. Ah, but I got a squamous hairy mole wart in the eye, so it's now proton beam therapy. Or we can always go back to Plan A.
Regardless, the vision loss is for good, proton therapy can't make it better. Whether the eye goes or stays, my right field of vision is now a suck of blur. Odds are, though, this health crisis is a speed bump, and viva la 2022 and beyond.
The thing that bothers me is folks are right. Death focuses the mind. There is a lucidity like smoking opium. Ah, but the mind is a weak thing and that brief glorious moment of possibility worn down by daily living. I can still recapture it, but Nothing Lasts. Unless I come up with controlled nuclear fusion, I am already forgotten. And who cares? I'm not worried about death. I cease to exist. Why am I worried about accomplishing something that will soon be eaten by the vast wastes of the future?
There is the possiblity of me melding into an archetype at least. Think about it. I have a model of you in my mind, more detailed with exposure. Likewise you have me in your head. We metaphorically put pieces of brains in each other, which makes all of us individuals a mosaic anyway. An isolated human, cut off from the monkey hive, quickly ceases to exist. Except for what remains of her or him in the monkey hive. Or a free neutron outside the nucleus.
I've done enough acid to not worry if I cease to exist. Just a spark. Not even a spark compared to the Universe. I am a Planck length. I am on Planck time.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Capital As Power
Monday, November 15, 2021
Who's Ready For Some Metaverse?
Worries about a scifi dystopia are a little late, but thank goodness it's still a rich white boy problem.
Or is it? Time was when no one walked around with a phone cellular or otherwise. Now, practically everyone is bionic. Ear buds were invented in 1893, so more than a hundred years of electric telepathy.
If you had They Live sunglasses you'd maybe see the silicon clone of Steve Jobs latched on to your skulll and sucking like mad, depositing stigmergic tracings and QR codes on people and surfaces.
So, here's the scary article about the metaverse. AR inventor warns Metaverse could be Hell.
Here's my favorite quote of wortk he did in the 1990s:
This early system employed a million dollars’ worth of equipment, requiring users to climb into a large motor-driven exoskeleton and peer into a makeshift vision system that hung from the ceiling, all while they performed manual tasks in the real world, such as inserting pegs into holes of different sizes. At the same time, virtual objects were merged into their perception of the real workspace, the goal being to assist users as they perform the complex task. The research was a success, showing that we could boost human performance by over 100 percent when combining the real and the virtual into a single reality.
Bionic and that's your first taste of Borg. Nice huh? Then it gets easy to wear the They Live sunglasses all the time.
Just thinking of the amount of malware that can be thrown into this new internet of shit is, wow, Siberia sized coal fields baked by molten magma toxics. So much so we may need to go Steampunk and have everything mechanical. Can you malware mechanical? Probably.
Still, this remains a rich white boy problem. The global infrastructure doesn't exist for the Metaverse. Unless you are willing to sacrifice latency and granularity (photo realism), which we do, nobody will be interested unless it gives them a leg up.
(John Kurman. Alcoholic Drug Addict) hanging above my head, And what's above your head?
Friday, November 12, 2021
MAGA goo goo gaga
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Are You Of The Body?
Blair Fix gets me. The topics he writes about I have been thinking about for a decade. Thank goodness he is a lot more patient writer than I am.
Take this essay. I'm pulling up a chart in it, labelled figure 4.
Let's unpack this chart. The curves shown are total income for the years 1970(red) and 2007(blue), when income inequality was respectively at a minimum and a maximum. You will notice the horizontal axis is measured logrithmically in powers of ten, simply so that the very rich can be included. A linear measured axis would have the richest way, way, way off the chart to the extreme right. The chart also uses a median income rather than average income as an average income would be heavily skewed to the right, again due to a relatively few but extremely wealthy individuals. The vertcal axis measures relative density of the US population, such that the entire curve adds up to 1. In other words, if I select an individual and their income at random, the vertical number represents their share of same income individuals within the general population. (How common that individual is).
Note that on the left hand side, there is a cohort which barely existed in 1970 termed creeping poverty. Working poor who are earning less than 1% of the median income. This cohort fortunatetly is small compared to the rest of the population, and can only be explained by the elimination of the safety net and the erosion of social welfare programs from Q2 1972 onwards.
On the right, extreme wealth, we have another cohort that did not exist in 1970 enjoying incomes in the millions or billions compared to your average thousandaire. The individuals themselves could not possibly earn such amounts on their own and so we have a case where their monies make more monies than they do.
It feels like, if you are not thinking of humanity as a superporganism, a superhive, or a network of monkey hives, then you are wasting your time for explanation as to how and why things are. This is all really simple animal spirit. Emergent behavior and score a big one for the connectionists.
If I may, Kurrman's Scale Invariant Behavior. Example: when you get into a car or truck, you cease being a pedestrian monkey and turn into a large lumbering kind of dumb big animal. Membership in organization also augments as surely as bionic limbs would, but at a cost of similar numbers displaying similar behaviors.
Humans are composed of trillions of cells, the brain itself some 86 billion neurons. Ants and bees comprise quadrillions of individuals on Earth. I doubt that neurons or insects are all that aware of the collective being they comprise. Not all humans do but they are much more aware of the augmentation of being a larger thing. Funny thing is how that collective behavior by supposedly intelligent and perceptive individuals is not all that different from smaller collectives. Curious, mysterious things, large or small, but things nonetheless. As organizations get bigger, they look similar to smaller analogs, as if there were isotopes of hives. Self-similar. Fractal.
Consider, in this essay we talked about humanity collectively as things, mechas, monsters, kaiju. And I would argue that mechagodzillas always end up with some despotic pea brain at the helm. Oh, brilliant, sure, but now bound to being a kaiju as best she or he can. Still just a little bug in the pilot seat.
The formula used by Blair Fix is dimensions (in this case height) scale to the cube root of the mass. Take the cube root of (number of employees) times average height of a human in metric gets you your Godzilla sized thing.
The US Federal government is about 5 million strong, which, do the formula, cube root of 5 million is about 170. Average human is 1.65 meters, so 280 meters tall, or about 3/4 the size of the Empire State building. The analogy though doesn.t really apply all that well. Facebook, now Meta, with about 60,000 employees would be a mere 44 meters tall. a 145 foot tall mecha. Impressive but still, Facebook is worth one trillion dollars.
A better metric might be net worth of an organization, measured against median household net worth (to normalize and fit the extremely rich and powerful within the presentation of this silly exercise). Median household net work is currently around $128,000. One trillion divided by 128 thousand is 7,812,500. Using the cube root formula with one individual defined as a household gives us a creature 192 meters tall. That sounds more like it. Picture Mark Zuckerberg piloting a 624 foot tall mechagodzilla. Sounds about right.
The US federal government, with a net worth of around 128 trillion ends up being a 827 meter tall mechagodzilla. 2,687 feet tall and that sounds about right. Question, could all the corporate kaiju dogpile on the US of A federal kaiju? Why yes. Yes, they could, like rats on a monkey. But you forget the states and municipalities, which, as a union, has a shit ton more money than the US government. Regardless, this is all who would win Herman Munster or the Wolfman?
Let's go the other way. Take the USA, where each individual is a cell in a body. How big and sophisicated is this multicellular whole? The body? 330 million cells is like a silverfish or a cockroach. I'm guessing maybe 700-800,000 people are the brain of this cockroach, so the 5,000,000 cell brain is larger than it needs to be.
If you look at the behavior of the USA from 1789 on, it looks like a cockroach. A scuttling bug among other scuttling bugs. Or fish. Or big ass metazoans. Point being, As Above So Below, with exceptions.
Anyway, Blair Fix is an enemy of neo-liberalism. The enemy of my enemy is not my friend. But he's not my enemy.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Ten Year Challenge Update
This photo is a fraud. Left side says 2011 but I'm pretty sure that was 2014. Right side reads 2021 but that's 2019. So I've aged ten years in five years and it feels like it.
And what a difference. The nose grows. The ears grow. The neck gets all turkey wattled. The belly bigger. Legs thinner. And... cancer.
That jelly in my right eye turned out to be a tumor. I joked, when I first had vision problems, that my right eye didn't like me and was trying to kill me. My right eye is trying to kill me.
A choroidal melanoma about 11mm in diameter, a pea sized horrid little thing right next to the optic nerve. To avoid microscopic invasion of the brain, the whole eye is gotta come out.
Idiot that I am, immediately started thinking about cool glass eyes. Eight Ball. Infinity. Target. Cat's Eye. Maybe LED lights. Bluetooth.
"Do you smoke, John?"
"I quit in 2009"
"How long before then?"
"Thirty five years"
Typically this would be a secondary tumor. I have a date with the oncologist later this week, and no doubt a body scan soon after.
Am I worried? Am I scared? Fuck yeah. But only because I lack information. If it turns out I'm a tumor riddled walking corpse. Well, the sex drugs rock'n'roll Vegas trip. Pack the blue pills. No redpilling allowed on my Vegas trip. And then the suffering until recovery or death.
But I've taken a lot of acid, and I know that no longer being is not that all bad.
Anyway, gentle reader, I'll let you know how it all goes.
Any suggestions for cool eye balls is welcome in the comments.