Friday, June 12, 2020

Forgiving the Woke Inquisition

Unless following the news is important to your income, it makes little sense to do so. And it makes even less sense to use social media to comment on the news. The appeal of following the news and also commenting on the news is that for a lot of people guilt projection is their main hobby in life. People tend to select their news sources based on who they want to perceive as innocent and who they want to perceive as guilty. Since on the level of form everyone is both guilty and innocent, it usually isn’t that hard for multiple conflicting news stories to exist about anything. Who is innocent and who is guilty is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t hold guilt in your eye and you won’t see guilt. Sure, if the world is real so is guilt. But to those who choose to see the world as essentially an unreal simulation, the reality is universal innocence.

On the level of form, I’m capable of making an argument as to who is more guilty and who is more innocent in any given situation. I just use the Golden Rule as my objective measuring stick for determining who is more or less guilty on the level of form. But on the deeper level of truth, I choose to see universal innocence. However, my Golden Rule approach combined with universal innocence makes me unable to consistently take sides and agree with groups when it comes to the perception of guilt and innocence. In a society with freedom of speech, that isn’t a problem. Unfortunately though, the internet is being used more and more these days as a tool to thwart freedom of speech by organizing mobs in order to ostracize people. These mobs go after people to create a chilling effect so that others will think twice before they dare try to go against the mob. These mobs have even gotten corporations, universities, and governments to go along with and facilitate the ostracization. Consequently, the mob can quickly leave a person jobless and poor. And in some cases, people have been forced to move and go into hiding.

My preferred term for this current trend of internet-fueled mob ostracization is the Woke Inquisition. Cancel culture is another term used to describe the phenomenon. But I like the term Woke Inquisition. In the era of the Woke Inquisition, if you don’t tread carefully you can easily be deemed a heretic by the mob. Critical and nuanced thinking is not allowed. Given that the mob has literally broken down the gates and started ransacking cities and destroying heretical art, I’ve decided to mostly stop using social media; I never used it much to begin with, but until things change I’m going to just use it to do simple things like announce new books. In other words, I’m going to be forgiving the mob by taking the practical step of avoiding the mob, instead of putting myself in the position of fighting or joining the mob. The thing about mobs is that if people ignore them instead of fuel and encourage them they lose their power and go away.

The individual is the ultimate minority. Groups are attempts at a fictional majority. In general, I’m uncomfortable with being part of groups, especially if I’m bullied to join a group or assumed to be part of a group. Groups never represent my nuanced view of things and I don’t want to end up being part of a group that becomes the target of a mob or becomes the mob itself. I’m even uncomfortable about A Course in Miracles as a group. The A Course in Miracles as a group is diverse in many ways including the ways the Course is interpreted and practiced. There are even factions of the A Course in Miracles community that are part of the Woke Inquisition ... are you? I’m optimistic long term since things like the Woke Inquisition are forcing people to invent new mob-proof, censorship-proof systems. But right now, things are too much like an old Twilight Zone episode, or a variation of Orwell's 1984, for my comfort. On a lighter note, things are also like the Seinfeld episode where Kramer refuses to wear an AIDS ribbon. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

It’s All Fake! Both Literally and Figuratively

The first half of 2020 has been amazing, because I’ve never seen the fakeness of the world so blatantly and relentlessly. Whatever underlying objectivity there is to the world, it has been completely drowned out by human subjectivity so far this year. I started to see the tidal wave of relentless subjectivity building back in February. On Facebook, the last thing I posted was a means of testing the water. After testing the water, in mid February I decided to withdraw from engaging in all social media until further notice. My own website is the only public place I’ve posted any thoughts since then.

Although the current subjectivity tidal wave has included many subjects, COVID-19 has been the biggest subject. The tidal wave of conflicting, changing COVID-19 information has been relentless. Here is a summary: COVID-19 is nothing; it is something; it is just a China problem; it is a huge global deal; no, actually, it is only a big deal when convenient. Lockdowns are essential; lockdowns are unnecessary; lockdowns are part of a conspiracy. Close down your business while I keep mine open since it is essential; no, that’s not fair, some people find my business more essential than yours; I still have a job so keep the lockdowns going; I lost my job so open back up; I lost my job but am getting better pay through unemployment, keep the lockdowns going forever. Masks are ineffective; masks are effective; masks aren’t fool proof but they still slow down the spread; masks are mandatory; masks are optional. Stop all travel from China; that is so xenophobic; stop all international travel; that is xenophobic; even though I called it xenophobic, you shouldn’t have listened to me and should have done it even sooner. COVID-19 is only deadly to people close to dying anyway; no, seemingly healthy people have died too. Herd immunity is the answer; no, the antibodies might only be temporary meaning no herd immunity is possible; actually, COVID-19 is essentially airborne HIV and so it is a lifelong disease that never really leaves; stop fear mongering, it’s just a cold. Hydroxychloroquine works as a COVID-19 treatment; no it doesn’t and it is super dangerous even though it has been used widely without problems for a very long time; yes, it is safe and works when combined with zinc and when taken early; no, when given to already sick people it increases death; no, you’re purposely doing the trials wrong because the drug is cheap and simple and you want to instead sell an expensive cure or just don't want your political opponents to be right. Schools are a major source of transmission so they need to shut down; no they aren’t because in places where school has been in session no big increases have been seen; no that’s due to other precautionary reasons like masks and hygiene. The sun and vitamin D won’t help; it’s now near summer in the northern hemisphere and the trend is down so yes it clearly helps; no it doesn’t, just wait. COVID-19 is natural; no it was made in a lab, look at the weird insertions; no it wasn’t; yes it was. Not only was COVID-19 lab made it was released on purpose by Gates and his ilk; no it was an accident; no it really was natural; it is mutating and getting worse; no, it is mutating and getting less deadly because lab made viruses aren’t stable. The virus is neither lab made or natural because it is just a hoax; no, it is real people are really dying; no, the deaths are fake; no, you're a COVID-19 denier. The democratic politicians of New York aren't to blame for the New York outbreak Trump is; no, they were clearly responsible. Protesting the lockdowns is bad because it will help spread the virus; protesting things I support politically is good regardless of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a developing threat but the stock market is running up to record highs; wait COVID-19 really is a spreading threat, sell sell sell. The lockdowns and fear have made the economy horrible; there are massive job losses, businesses are closing for good; but hey, the Federal Reserve created $8000 per American citizen so far to prop up the stock market and buy bad debt; buy stocks, forget fundamentals, it is all about that currency creation. The Federal Reserve can’t prop up the markets with currency creation forever; yes it can as long as the economy recovers; the economy won’t recover fast enough; yes, it will, the stock market even goes up on mass rioting; you and the market are delusional. There is a glut of oil due to COVID-19, sell; the oil price is actually negative in the futures market for May delivery; there is still a glut but oil and gas prices are soaring back up anyway.

I could obviously go on and on; I didn't even mention toilet paper after all. But get the point? It’s a cacophony of conflicting information. And finding any sort of objective truth is very hard since subjectivity rules. People tend to accept whatever delusion supports what they want to believe (especially politically since politics is itself a delusion). The best way to forgive it is to not join in. Stay neutral and don’t get your ego involved. Once ego gets involved the goal is not truth but being right. Take a stance only when the evidence is obvious and overwhelming. That’s how true forgivers operate.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Forgive Statists versus Statists by Living Voluntaryism

I’m not quite sure what the enemy of the people, the corporate media, has been saying about the things that have been going on in the USA for the last several days … since I don’t pay any attention to that “programming.” However, I do know all the raw video I’ve seen online of the many events. And so I’ll just put things into perspective as succinctly as I can.

The universal law for a peaceful and prosperous society is the Golden Rule. All other laws are just ways to violate the Golden Rule. Since humans are subjective, the Golden Rule means voluntaryism. We must strive for all human interaction to be voluntary (consensual) and so without the initiation of force: nonaggression against non-aggressors. Have that as the core principle of society, instill it in everyone from birth to death, and relative peace is possible. Short of that is just different variations of constant war. Aggression leads to defense, which leads to conflict. The conflict only ends if the aggressor is tamed/defeated. If the aggressor wins, the Golden Rule loses. At the start of conflict the aggressor is clear, but in a society made of circular layers of aggression, all are aggressors. Society organized around the state (government) is circular aggression. For instance, taxation, public spending, public debt, central banking and general wealth redistribution is all just a fancy form of mob looting. Stealing is a clear violation of the Golden Rule. If you accept stealing, you are inherently suicidal. That is because acceptance of stealing means it is okay for someone to steal your life, even if by simply stealing your food or oxygen.

Statism is the belief that the political authority of the state (government) is legitimate and necessary. Political authority is an attempt at a monopoly on the initiation of force in society, not an attempt at the absence of initiated force in society. In that sense, statism is a prison made by making exceptions to the Golden Rule. Statism is a societally conditioned ruse where people accept the prison of force as a given and just fight over who controls the force and who is subject to the force. Truly smart people leave the prison the best they can; at the very least they leave mentally since physically it is usually technically impossible (statist gangs control all inhabitable land on earth).

I sympathize only with voluntayists. The statists are welcome to fight each other to the death, whether with bullets, bricks, or ballots. There is no peace in statism anyway. Statism is just a Frankenstein monster of force that when in a tame state is a coercive prison guard. But from time to time the monster always turns deadly and becomes the prison executioner. The monster isn’t just the people wearing special uniforms; it is also the mobs of prisoners that accept the prison (accept violations of the Golden Rule in society). In the big picture, everyone who isn’t a voluntaryist is fighting a fight that, due to its self contradiction (inherent violation of the Golden Rule), can never end. So, to all the incessantly fighting statists from communist to republican to progressive to plutocrat to democrat, I say, choose again and choose voluntaryism. Because you'll never forgive statism versus statism if you remain in the mental prison of statism. 

And to leave you with a joke. Realistically, since the Golden Rule is the only system that can work due to not being self contradicting, all I have to say to those who refuse voluntaryism is:

Friday, April 10, 2020

The COVID19 Rorschach Test

People are subjective. That subjectivity makes sound thinking difficult because sound thinking needs objectivity. What passes for thinking in this world is usually just people trying to justify what they want to believe. Sometimes so-called reality destroys people's stories, revealing them as fiction, but that is somewhat rare. Usually, there is enough room between the story and the reality to preserve the story.

COVID19 is still a story in progress. COVID19's story started out vague and it is still rather vague. For that reason, COVID19 has been quite a Rorschach test; people see in it whatever they want to see. And when it is all said and done (whenever that will be) most people will still see in it whatever they want to see.

When something is vague and unknown, the conscientious turn to the precautionary principle. The precautionary principle means assuming the worst until sufficient evidence presents a contrary picture. But not everyone likes being cautious and pessimistic, so many people instead turn to optimism bias. Optimism bias has advantages. But the disadvantage of optimism is that all it takes is being wrong one time and the optimist is history. Conversely, the cautious pessimist can be wrong many times and still be fine.

Reacting to risk requires sound thinking. Even precautions aren't necessarily without their own costs. With COVID19, it has been difficult trying to balance not spreading the virus, not ruining the economy, and buying time to develop treatments or preventative measures. Most places around the world failed on the most simple and cheap line of defense: everyone wear a mask. In fact, many authorities, like the WHO and many journalists, dismissed masks with mentally deficient arguments like, "masks can give a false sense of security, and aren't 100% effective." All you have to do is apply those same arguments to seat belts, airbags, helmets, door locks, condoms, circuit breakers, parachutes, bulletproof vests, fire alarms, and so on to see just how faulty such thinking is. The U.S. government has already spent trillions of dollars related to COVID19, including on lots of anti-free-market corporatist bailouts. Yet, every person in the U.S. could have been provided with several good masks for no more than 500 million. That's the beauty of being prepared. Totally suspending international travel to stop superspreaders would have also helped, but that would have been more top down than bottom up.

Sometimes, all solutions to a problem lead to the same undesirable place. And that has been the case with COVID19. Many people don't like how the restrictions to slow the spread of COVID19 have devastated the economy. Unfortunately, very few if any of those people were advocating everyone start wearing masks back in January of 2020. It's not like the idea of a deadly pandemic is something no one has ever thought of as being a possibility. Without everyone wearing masks, the result was lock downs. Yet, even if governments did nothing, the economy still would have been devastated since many people would have quarantined themselves by greatly limiting if not eliminating many economic activities. As the spread grew and so did the death, voluntary quarantining would have inevitably happened anyway.

Interestingly, COVID19 is a kind of fast-forward version of the global warming subject. Both are lose lose exponential problems that threaten the economy no matter what action is taken pro or con. Just about everyone knows global warming is a threat, at least in theory, just as everyone knows deadly communicable diseases are a threat, at least in theory. But different people assess threats differently. Some assess threats as a hoax to grab power. Some assess threats as extinction level problems. Since some humans take action when faced with a threat even while others do nothing, most threats are tamed in due time. The taming of threats usually leaves enough room for everyone to claim they were right about the threat. The people who thought the threat was overblown, incorrect, or even a fake conspiracy can pretend they were right. And the people who took action and took the threat seriously can pretend they were right ... even though their actions made what would have happened without action an unknown. Realistically, some things take care of themselves in due time, making action ultimately pointless; there are always unknown variables.

So that is the story of the COVID19 Rorschach test so far. Take the threat of COVID19 as seriously or non-seriously as you want. I personally follow the precautionary principle. But that is just because I'm high in trait conscientiousness, which means I'm usually prepared for risk, and I'm an introvert, which means I social distance all the time anyway. It's not realistic to expect people low in trait conscientiousness and who are extroverted to do the same. We are robots that follow our programming. And that programming determines what we see in the Rorschach test we call the external world. There are already many people dead because the external world disagreed with their assessment of COVID19. There will be more. Yet, there will also be plenty of people who will never get close enough to COVID19 for it to seem much worse than the common cold or for it to even seem like more than just a hoax. That's the nature of the dream; it leaves plenty of room for subjectivity because only oneness is truly objective.

I'll leave you with this recent short interview with mathematician Nassim Taleb: the master of dealing with risk. Out of all the people I follow in many realms, Taleb has by far done the best job of looking at the COVID19 threat realistically from the very beginning. There are many people I follow who have gone so far off into cognitive dissonance over COVID19 in both directions that I'm not sure I'll be able to pay attention to them anymore lol. Out of all the people I follow, many of which are economics related, Nassim Taleb and Chris Martenson did the best job on this one so far.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Subjective Math

As I like to say, most people can agree that 3-2=1. But I see that when the numbers get higher even math becomes subjective. That starts to explain a lot. When the basic math is wrong so is a lot more.

As Michael Crichton once explained:

"Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I call it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story—and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia."

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Scientific Survey Shows Voters Widely Accept Misinformation Spread By the Media

This is a good article. It's non-partisan. The article explores the results of a scientific survey and even shows the questions and answers. Here are the scores. All groups failed the test with a grade of less than 50%.

  • 46% for Trump voters
  • 43% for males
  • 41% for 35 to 64 year olds
  • 38% for 65+ year olds
  • 37% for 18 to 34 year olds
  • 36% for females
  • 32% for Democrat voters     

Scientific Survey Shows Voters Widely Accept Misinformation Spread By the Media

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America

A good general audience book to check out for anyone who wants to forgive the news is the new book Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America. The book sort of makes this blog obsolete since it makes the same basic points I try to make. I like books where to dislike the book is to prove the authors' point and Loserthink fits that bill.

Here is an excerpt from a review that gives some examples of loserthink:

  • Mind reading (Assuming you know what other people’s thoughts/intentions are...the current very boring impeachment show is grounded in mind reading.
  • Slippery slopes (It's a logical fallacy since eventually a counter-force stops the slipping.) 
  • History “repeating itself” (Which history? When does it repeat? If you can’t use this information to predict reliably it doesn’t mean anything.) 
  • One variable projections (If everything remains equal, climate change will kill us all! Everything won’t remain equal, technology and circumstances will change that few people can predict.)
  • Etc.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Forgiving the Fake News Formula

This was a very interesting little segment because it exposed the formula for what the establishment media so often tries to pass off as news. The formula isn't usually this obvious. But the way Rev. Owens kept responding to Don Lemon of CNN made it obvious.

Here is the formula and it exists in both left wing and right wing fake news.

1) State the hallucination you want to believe and want your viewers to believe.
2) Ask the guest to agree with your hallucination.
3) If the guest disagrees, attack the guest's character.
4) Ask the guest to agree with your hallucination again.
5) If the guest disagrees, attack the guest's character again.
6) Repeat until the guest agrees with your hallucination or time runs out.

And that's what passes for news. The beauty of it all is that once you accept that it is fake, not only in the big picture but also in the little picture, it is easy to forgive. Don't make it real, accept that it is fake. News is editorial hallucination.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Forgiving Capitalism versus Socialism

I wrote this post to have something to go back to and look at and refine for years to come, since forgiving capitalism versus socialism is likely to remain a point of contention in society for a long time. First off, we will look at forgiving capitalism and socialism in their pure forms. Then we'll get into forgiving the two in their more "real" world manifestations.

Capitalism versus Socialism Basics

The main difference between capitalism and socialism is who owns what. Capitalism is about private ownership. Socialism is about collective ownership. Private ownership stems from the necessities of physical bodily survival. If one is not presumed to own his or her own body, then there is no inherent drive to keep the body from being exploited by other bodies. Exploitation by other bodies is a recipe for death. The collective ownership of socialism is at odds with self-ownership since obviously collective ownership means the self is beholden to the collective. But socialism in practice tends to make concessions for allowing certain kinds of private property.

More specifically, capitalism means private ownership of the means of production and land. Socialism means collective ownership of the means of production and land. If you don't believe in collective ownership of the means of production and land, you really don't believe in socialism. And if you don't believe in private ownership of the means of production and land, you really don't believe in capitalism.

In the contemporary world, the terms socialism and capitalism mean many different things to many different people. In general, people who project innocence on socialism tend to call everything they don't like capitalism. And people who project innocence on capitalism tend to call everything they don't like socialism. If you asked most people what they really believe about capitalism and socialism you'd find a contradictory hodgepodge that advocates some of what socialism has to offer and some of what capitalism has to offer. The term "democratic socialism" embodies that contradictory hodgepodge. The term "democratic capitalism" would do the same.

The fact is that once government comes into existence, you get some level of socialism, because government entails at minimum collective ownership of land. Even though you can own your own land in government systems, you are still beholden to a government that claims some level of collective ownership of that land. In that sense, land is merely rented from the government to varying degrees. Even if certain land is not directly taxed through things like property tax, that land is still subject to the laws of the government.

Beyond just collective land control, governments also tend to get into the business of police, firefighting, schools, military, roads and many other things. Government involvement in all of those things is socialistic. None of those things have to be socialistic since all those things could be done privately instead of collectively. However, when government does those things they become socialistic. The more the government does the more socialistic things get. The more socialistic things get, the more decisions are made centrally rather than individually. In capitalism, decisions are made by individuals operating in a market. In socialism, decisions are made collectively. That collective decision making makes it centralized. And centralized decisions are the fatal flaw of socialism in all its forms. Even if a population of people could suppress their egoic self-interests in favor of collective interests (which is itself a pipe-dream), socialism still fails due to its centralized decisions leading to the economic calculation problem.

The Economic (Socialist) Calculation Problem

In his 1920 article "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth," economist Ludwig von Mises introduced the world to the fatal flaw of socialism. Many attempts at socialism in many forms have come and gone since 1920. All of those attempts have confirmed to varying degrees the flaw Ludwig von Mises identified.

The gist of the economic calculation problem (a.k.a. socialist calculation problem) is that since collective ownership leads to economic planning as a substitute for market-based allocation of the factors of production, socialism must always lack a reliable pricing system for allocating scarce resources. Without reliable prices, inefficiencies thrive leading to eventual scarcity. Unfortunately, many people have never gotten the memo about the fatal flaw of socialism, so people continue to pursue socialism. However, contemporary pursuits of socialism tend not to be pure socialism. Contemporary pursuits of socialism are simply socialism riding on the back of capitalism. Socialism mixed with capitalism still suffers from the economic calculation problem but only half way, as I will describe shortly.

(To fully understand the economic calculation problem, watch the video below, which describes the problem in relation to full socialism and contemporary socialism mixed with capitalism.)

People who don't understand the economic calculation problem often propose that historical attempts at socialism (such as Venezuela in recent history) failed because the socialism didn't go far enough or because corruption (separate from the initiation of force required to implement socialism) caused the failure. The reality is that socialism can only survive while sponging off capitalism. The more socialism the less capitalism and the quicker socialism fails. If the whole world went totally socialist, the whole world would fail instantly. The more capitalism, the more socialism can survive. As long as there is enough capitalism to do accurate economic calculation, there is usually enough excess wealth that the system can afford some of the inefficiencies brought by socialism.

It has become a habit of those who think they advocate socialism that they use places where there is above average socialism riding on the back of capitalism, like Sweden, as examples of successful socialism. Sweden is not socialist. Sweden is like most countries a mix of socialism riding on the back of capitalism. When socialism is mixed with capitalism, there is a pricing system that can be used by government to figure costs for socialistic things like police, firefighting, schools, military, and roads. But there is still no market-based revenue and profit feedback to measure the quality, efficiency, and demand of government provided goods and services. (That fact is explored in The Simpsons' episode Trash of the Titans, where Homer runs for office promising extraordinary garbage collection service without factoring in the cost.)

Even in the presence of capitalism, when things like police, firefighting, schools, military, and roads are done socialistically by government, those things suffer from lack of market-based feedback and so suffer from the economic calculation problem. The closest thing to feedback in government services usually comes through voting, which is an extremely low resolution form of feedback. When paying directly for things, if the quality to cost ratio is insufficient, people stop paying. But people mostly don't have the option to stop paying taxes. Since paying for government services usually isn't optional, those services tend to be monopolistic. Even when private businesses try to compete with government, people usually don't have the luxury to skip paying taxes and so end up paying for the superior private service on top of the inferior government service.

What would police, schools, firefighting, roads and so on look like without government? For instance, do you think private roads would have you sitting at traffic light after traffic light? Do you think kids would hate education if it was unhindered by government regulation and involvement? Regardless of the details, all that stuff would be more geared to what consumers wanted to pay for. When things are owned collectively, people are left with the lowest common denominator. So even when socialism rides on the back of capitalism, socialism still trends toward failure. If the fluctuating economy cannot keep up with the bloated price of socialism, the system fails. As a generic example, say a town does well feeding off the tax revenue of some big business, the business fails, the taxes die with it, and people move. But the town made future promises to pay for things like police, firefighter, and teacher pensions, so it can't just scale down. Perhaps then the state or federal government comes in and bails out the town. But if the federal level of government is in the same situation then the whole country fails. Capitalism can't always save the day because the weight of socialism is a drain on capitalism.

When capitalism isn't enough, socialism can survive for awhile on Ponzi schemes. For instance, socialized healthcare has a Ponzi advantage due to the fact that healthcare costs tend to increase with age. Therefore, as long as the youth population grows faster than the population of the elderly (through reproduction or immigration), there are enough healthy people to pay for the costs of the ill. And if a growing population isn't enough to pick up the cost, the cost can often be shifted to future generations through public debt.

No Initiation of Force

The Golden Rule is the essential formula for making anything work sustainably in human society. Don't do to others as you would not have them do unto you. Don't rob people if you don't want to be robbed. Don't kill people if you don't want to be killed. In other words, "no initiation of force." By initiating force you become subject to it due to the inevitability of defensive actions by others. Since people tend to not always have the discipline to do business by the Golden Rule, people tend to revert to giving power to an attempted monopoly on the initiation of force: government. But government doesn't really stop the force, it instead assures that certain kinds of force are made lawful and unavoidable. Voluntary capitalism and voluntary socialism are no problem because they actually work due to the feedback of economic calculation. Add force in any form and capitalism and socialism suffer from inaccurate economic calculation.

Force adds faulty data into economic calculation. When socialism is voluntary, those with wealth voluntarily choose to give it away. That choice is a form of economic calculation in the sense that people who give away wealth foolishly end up losing the wealth. So voluntary socialism is self-correcting. Forced socialism isn't self-correcting though. Force ruins economic calculation, because when people capitalize off of force (or lose because of force) that inputs bad data into the economic calculation; it's a form of cheating and sabotage.

There are many ways to capitalize off of government force. Here are some examples:
  • Work directly for government. Just being employed by government is a way of capitalizing off of forced socialism. 
  • Just buddy up with a bureaucrat and cash in.  You can sell things to the government and get payed by tax money, which is collected by force (threat of force). When things are payed by tax money, bureaucrats make economic decisions on behalf of groups of people, leaving a lot of room for inaccurate economic calculation. That inevitable misallocation of resources can be very profitable but is a drain on the taxpayers and capitalism as a whole. 
  • Get favorable laws passed. Instead of figuring out how to please customers, it can be more profitable and less risky to get laws passed that give you a competitive advantage and to sell things to bureaucrats spending tax money. 
  • Make pollution legal. Legal pollution is related to getting favorable laws passed. If you can do business without having to contain pollution to your own property you don't have to pay to stay clean. Socializing pollution improves the profit margin.
  • Force what is considered money. Government controlled monetary systems are socialistic rather than capitalistic. There is no real free market if the money is not free market. To learn more about the monetary system, read my piece on the free-range debt-slave plantation. Monetary inflation and public debt is the government's alternative to taxation.
Business in cahoots with government force gives capitalism a bad name. The US healthcare system is an example of a monstrosity made from capitalism in cahoots with forced socialism. Many people in the healthcare industry would be in jail if  15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 was applied to the healthcare industry. But it isn't since the healthcare industry is in cahoots with government.
Realistically, you can't blame businesses wanting to take advantage of the force of government. If society is dumb enough to let government collect tax money, pass laws, issue debt, print money and so on, people are going to take advantage of that. Government force makes various kinds of theft very easy. Profit in capitalism can come through work or risk or both. People tend to value work, but have less appreciation for risk. But both are required. Government force can reduce risk and so people naturally game government to reduce risk.

Capitalism in cahoots with government is not really capitalism but instead corporatism. Even corporatism requires real capitalism to sustain itself. Real capitalism is the backbone of any system. The more capitalism is restrained the more the system suffers. No bureaucrat with a bullhorn can consistently allocate resources anywhere near as well as a free market. Sure, free markets make plenty of mistakes, but without socialistic centralized intervention (like central banking) the mistakes are isolated and thus small scale and just part of the calculation system; capitalism learns by calculating mistakes and successes.

Since capitalism is centered around private ownership, it operates best when the people participating in the system respect private property. Respecting private property means no theft, fraud, murder, pollution, and so on. Private property means interaction must be voluntary. As force is allowed into the system through everything from taxation, to public property, to fraud, to pollution (laws violating private property rights), to war, the economic calculation suffers and so does capitalism.

Conversely, socialism suffers to the extent that people wish to maintain private property. If people wish to preserve the life of their own body over the benefit of the collective, socialism suffers.

Level Confusion

Socialism is a form of level confusion (confusing the ego universe with heaven). We all deep down know that heaven means oneness and equality. But in this universe, oneness and equality means death (maximal entropy). So when we pursue socialism, we actually pursue collective death... even though capitalism usually stops us well short of collective death. Socialism imposes all kinds of feedback mechanisms that don't treat the ego realistically. For instance, if you reward people to not work, you find out many will do just that. And when you penalize people who work, you find out many would rather not work (who is John Galt?).

Conversely, capitalism is an ego exploitation system. Capitalism exploits self-interest and competition so that people are motivated to please others. When we pursue capitalism, we pursue life as it exists in this universe. Capitalism leads to inequality which sorts out survival of the fittest. However, capitalism is a rising tide that lifts all boats... even if there is a large variety in the quality of boats. Many poor people living today have it better than the richest people in the world just hundreds of years ago. And that's because people pursuing profit figured out how to do things people wanted in an affordable way. You don't have to have much wealth to have things like a smart phone, air conditioning, and antibiotics. In 1820, 94% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990, 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6% (source). The goal of economic calculation and thus the goal of capitalism is to provide abundance for as close to free as possible. Absent of force, no capitalist is safe from someone else doing something better and cheaper. Even though a capitalist loses on one level by being out-competed, that same capitalist benefits as a customer. Cheap abundance is the goal.

But cheap abundance isn't enough because what is cheap and abundant also needs to be what people want. The beauty of capitalism is that it requires no accurate model to work since it is itself a system of calculation. It's easy to calculate that people want food but impossible to calculate what all kinds of food people want and that people want things like comic books about ACIM and so on. That's the super power of capitalism; it gives people things they didn't even know they wanted ever better and or cheaper (minus inflation).

Dumb Einstein

Socialism appeals to people looking for heaven on earth and to people who are just not informed or smart enough to consider the economic calculation problem. If you've been suckered in by socialism, don't feel bad. Even Einstein was. Einstein was an example of a guy who was not smart enough to consider the economic calculation problem. Einstein let the elitist ego appeal of centralized planning lead him to advocating for socialism... despite his lack of knowledge about economics. Many scientists are funded by socialism and so tend to support the hand that feeds. Socialism is the opiate of the intellectual. (Listen to this video to learn more about Einstein's poor economic knowledge.)

Forgiving Force

My current conclusions about socialism versus capitalism are the result of many years of forgiveness. By forgiving socialism and capitalism, I was able to study them objectively enough to recognize what both accomplish as opposed to what they attempt to accomplish. I've forgiven socialism in the sense that I've accepted that it is level confusion. And I've accepted capitalism in the sense that even though it is very ego friendly in terms of its appeal to self-interest and that it devolves when force is allowed into the equation, it nonetheless exploits the ego for the good of the collective and so meets people where they actually are. Yes, I know socialism can work when sponging off capitalism and I know socialism can often beat corporatism (such as in healthcare). But the best most sustainable things come from freedom and the ego exploitation system of capitalism. Like, what would be a more popular business model for free market healthcare from the perspective of customers? People being paid to be healthy or paying to be sick? Figure out how to make that work and you would be well rewarded with customers.

A better name for true capitalism would be customerism since there is no capitalism without pleasing customers. But even though customers are the main people that need pleased, suppliers, employees, and neighbors need to be pleased too for it to all be voluntary (no force).

The more you have to offer people the more you are going to be valued under capitalism. Is that fair? If the universe is a dream it probably actually is fair since it is then all just a set-up anyway. And regardless, if you want things to actually progress you don't want progressivism (using force for imagined progress) you want capitalism as pure as you can get it. Since capitalism is a system of freedom, those who go against it break the Golden Rule. To break the Golden Rule is suicidal. In capitalism, those who have less to offer (less degrees of freedom) than others may not prosper. But that's why we have friends and family that value us far more than can be measured by money or barter. That's voluntary socialism, the kind that works. Pure capitalism means freedom and so no one to stop anyone pursuing other systems as long as the systems don't require force. People are free to shun capitalism if they want.

To anyone reading this who really isn't that well informed about socialism or capitalism, you'll have to do your own homework and forgiveness to come to my same conclusions. I studied capitalism (free market economics) before socialism, so I knew about the economic calculation problem before exploring socialism. Consequently, I never found socialism persuasive intellectually. I found socialism a little persuasive as a kid, but I was a know-nothing-idiot as a kid lol. I like voluntary socialism and practice it, but not forced socialism. I only advocate freedom, which is why I advocate capitalism without force and so without compulsory socialism. Forced socialism can work as a parasite on capitalism but force hurts capitalism and force hurts freedom. On a long enough timeline the survival rate of all forced socialism is zero.

Someone Else Pay

In general, people do not really want to pay for the costs and inefficiencies of socialism themselves, they want others to pay (like wealthy people, profitable businesses, and future generations through debt). When people have to pay up themselves, support for socialism diminishes quite fast. The appeal of socialism for most people is that they are going to get more out of socialism than they give. (Watch this video as an example of the common true psychology behind support of socialism, which is filled with self-delusion and cognitive dissonance.)

Since those who want socialism tend to not want to pay for it, people tend to not pursue large scale voluntary socialism even though they could. For instance, people in the United States who want socialized healthcare could build their own voluntary system without the government. Voluntary socialism is rarely pursued like that though since people don't want to pay for the cost of the socialism themselves, they want others to pay for it through force. Realistically, people like force; society too often makes it easier to steal than produce. The fatal cognitive dissonance in contemporary society is the near universal belief that, "force is bad but force is good when I control it or it is doing what I want." Being generous with other people's money is not a virtue.

 Beyond Force

You may be wondering, how would the world work without force (government)? That's the beauty of capitalistic freedom. No central planner has to figure that out. Capitalistic freedom calculates out a competence hierarchy in human society, which is the kind of hierarchy you want if you want things to actually work. For instance, I'd rather Bill Gates be free to spend his billions of dollars than him being forced to give it to politicians to spend. Because it is Bill Gates' money and he is likely to spend it competently. Where a guy like gates becomes dangerous is only if he uses his money to team up with government force. Otherwise, he has to spend his money in ways that are voluntary and without coercion. A fool and his money are soon parted; so when fools gain wealth through luck or socialism they don't hold onto it long. That's the beauty of capitalistic calculation. Absent of force (which is too often not the case in the current world) wealth flows to those who use it to allocate resources in ways that bring in more wealth. Everyone benefits from good economic calculation and those who do it best produce wealth. Wealth does not simply come from having things like ownership of land, wealth comes from productive capacity.

With capitalism, society just has to agree on "no offensive force" and the system calculates solutions automatically as people pursue voluntary profit. I don't see government or society giving up force to usher in unhindered capitalism anytime soon though. After all, we currently live in a world where many people view socialistic force as a form of compassion and as spiritually evolved due to rampant level confusion and economic incompetence. Nonetheless, I could imagine technology advancing so much that people become ungovernable and so pure free-market capitalism takes over by default. I could also imagine technology advancing so much that energy becomes essentially free, in which case there would be widespread voluntary socialism (the kind that can work). The goal of capitalism is ever-greater efficiency to meet all people's wants. So, it is not unrealistic to imagine that people could eventually have the basics so well taken care of by energy abundance that no extra capitalistic labor would be necessary. Just this blog post you are reading right now is a form of voluntary socialism. The cost for me to publish this online is so low that it is essentially free. In the old days, I would have at least had to pay for paper, printing, and distribution to get this post out to others.

My objective is awakening from the dream, so I don't really care about social systems. But that doesn't mean I won't object and say 3-2=1 when people tell me 3-2=4. Because it's not kind not to warn people about walking into traffic when you can see around the corner. Nor is it kind to just tell people what they want to hear. For example, "economist" Paul Krugman has made a career out of saying exactly what certain interests want to spread and what certain people want to believe. That's problematic since Krugman is consistently wrong. He's so wrong that there is a weekly show Contra Krugman dedicated to debunking Krugman.

Prophetic Nietzsche

Read these prophetic quotes by Nietzsche written before any large scale full-fledged socialist experiments were ever done:
"In the doctrine of socialism there is hidden, rather badly, a will to negate life; the human beings or races that think up such a doctrine must be bungled. Indeed, I should wish that a few great experiments might prove that in a socialist society life negates itself, cuts off its own roots. The earth is large enough and man still sufficiently unexhausted; hence such a practical instruction and demonstration ad absurdum would not strike me as undesirable, even if it were gained and paid for with a tremendous expenditure of human lives."
"You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamors thus out of you for equality: your most secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shroud themselves in words of virtue. Aggrieved conceit, repressed envy--perhaps the conceit and envy of your fathers--erupt from you as a flame and as the frenzy of revenge."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra 1883
 Voluntary Socialism

Nietzsche was right, especially in regards to forced socialism. Nonetheless, there are some large scale forms of voluntary socialism that I would be interested in seeing tested because they might work. That's because voluntary socialism tends to be about equal opportunities rather than equal outcomes.  For instance, say that somehow private free-market cryptocurrencies replaced government currencies. And say one particular currency became the preferred currency by most people. Say that particular cryptocurrency increased the money supply monthly in proportion to economic growth in order to maintain the stability of the currency's purchasing power. Say that cryptocurrency was able to precisely calculate economic growth due to having a ledger of all transactions done with the cryptocurrency. Then say that somehow every person was given an amount of that currency supply growth... maybe all equally or maybe based on some formula that people found fair. I don't know how that would work to prevent cheating but say that there was a system to stop cheating. That would be a kind of voluntary universal basic income. And that voluntary UBI could act as a kind of useful economic feedback since some people who received that money would do things with it that grew wealth while some would just squander it. Such a system would set a fair starting point for everyone and the cost would be essentially free since it would be in proportion to keeping up with economic growth. I doubt the economy would ever shrink in a system with that kind of freedom, but if it did then that would just mean no UBI that month. And if some kind of better voluntary socialism came along, people would be free to pursue that instead.

Forgiveness Summary

In summary, here is the gist of what most people are in need of forgiving in terms of Capitalism versus Socialism.

Forgive that socialism can work some by riding on the back of capitalism or through Ponzi schemes. And also forgive that socialism usually requires force, that it trends toward failure due to the economic calculation problem, and that people like socialism less the more they actually have to pay for it rather than just reap the rewards.

Forgive that capitalism works even though it can be corrupted by force and works within the ego framework of competition and self-interest.

Forgive that heaven is nothing you'll ever find in a social system.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Forgiving Climate Change (Global Warming)

I wrote a forgiving climate change piece a few years ago. This replacement will cover some of the same content but focus less on details and more on the general idea of climate change in terms of psychology.

For anyone who has been living under a rock, climate change is the scientific hypothesis that humans adding certain gases to the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide (the gas you are exhaling right now from your lungs), but also much more powerful greenhouse gases like SF6, is changing the climate by making the planet generally warmer. Most of the emphasis for some reason is on CO2 released mostly from burning fossil fuels and so that will be the emphasis in this piece. (Note that "fossil" may not be an accurate term if abiotic oil theories are true.) The climate change hypothesis sometimes further claims that humans adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere will have disastrous effects if not stopped and reversed.

Now, of course, just like everything in this world, not everyone agrees upon how accurate that hypothesis is. Some claim the hypothesis is dead on. Others claim the hypothesis is dead wrong. And there are a lot of claims in between those two extremes. However, most people with the job title "climate scientist" do generally agree with the hypothesis.

When it comes to forgiving climate change, there are different groups of people who harbor different variations of unforgiveness on the topic.

Main types of Climate Change Unforgiveness
1) People are guilty in general for adding CO2 to the atmosphere.
2) The people who are not taking action to stop CO2 emissions are guilty.
3) The people who believe CO2 emissions are a problem are guilty.
4) The people who know CO2 is a problem but ignore it in the name of profits or convenience are guilty.
5) The people who know CO2 is not a big problem but present it as a big problem anyway are guilty.
6) The people who don't agree with my proposals of how to reduce CO2 emissions are guilty.
7) The people who think a warmer, higher CO2 world is bad are guilty.
8) The people who think CO2 is the main problem are guilty because they ignore other "greenhouse" gases, like Sulfur Hexafluoride which is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2) and has become more prevalent due to "green energy" requiring its use in more electrical switchgear. .

The earth is an extremely complex multi-variable system that cannot be fully modeled. Nor are there duplicated earths to use as controls to test the climate change CO2 hypothesis. So testing the CO2 hypothesis is a one trial real-time experiment that will leave plenty of room for doubt and premature confirmation for a long time to come. And a conclusion may never come if humans actually stop and reverse CO2 emissions, since that will stop the experiment.

Realistically, if it wasn't for the impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming, science would not feign such certainty about the topic. But there is an impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming. And the fear that comes with impending global doom has made CO2 fueled global warming into a kind of political religion rather than a calm, honest scientific inquiry into the effects of CO2 on climate.

Deep down, the psychological appeal of the theory of catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is no different than that of conventional religions. As the global warming mythos goes:

Long ago the climate was perfect and humans were in harmony with nature. But then humans gave into temptation and sinned. Humans ate from the tree of knowledge to usher in the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution brought great advances as humans continued to eat from the tree of knowledge. But it all came at a cost: humans unleashed the devil in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). Now, the devil of CO2 has taken over the world and is thus contributing to every bad and anomalous thing on earth. The earth is doomed to flood and become literal hell unless humans repent. Fortunately, there is a plan for salvation. In order to be saved from the hell of a heating earth, humans must first accept the blood of the warming earth and repent for the sin of CO2 emissions. Humans must then submit to and support the higher authority of a Global Governing Body who will tax and regulate CO2. By sacrificing money through taxation and sacrificing freedom through regulation, the sins of CO2 will be forgiven. 

As ridiculous as it is in its similarity to common religious beliefs, that is the current global warming mythos believed and promoted by devotees. And skeptics are the heretics that dare question any parts of that mythos.

Like a religion, the heretic scientists that vocally question CO2 fueled global warming alarmism become ostracized. For that reason, the scientists who most vocally question CO2 fueled global warming tend to be older tenured or retired scientists.

Anyone who has looked into the topic of climate change with an attempt at neutral eyes has found that in isolation each side has some credible sounding arguments. But then once one starts comparing those credible sounding arguments, all the arguments start to seem less credible. Overall, whether by logic or logic fallacy, for just about every piece of evidence that the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have, the skeptics have a rebuttal to cast doubt. In turn, for just about every rebuttal the skeptics have to cast doubt, the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have a rebuttal to cast doubt on the rebuttal.

As author/artist Scott Adams has noted, people who are older or experienced in business are naturally skeptical of certain types of claims. That's because certain types of claims are red flags for scams. Younger and less business savvy people (like most journalists) are more easily swayed by scam-type claims.

The promoters of climate change too often present their argument using a number of common scam tactics. Those tactics sway some people but turn off many others.

Five Scam Tactics in Climate Change Science

1) Exponential Growth Curves

A big advertising gimmick in the world of climate change promotion is the "Hockey Stick" chart. The chart is persuasive until one starts questioning the scaling used and the accuracy of the temperature data used to construct the chart. Because the margin of error in the temperature data used could easily be greater than the warming spike the chart shows. The accuracy of global temperature data collected today is very much open to debate, let alone data from the past. On top of that, it could just be an anomaly since correlation doesn't mean causation. For instance, there is a chart that shows that global warming only happens when the United States has a democrat president.

In most walks of life, if you are shown an exponential growth curve, you are being conned. You better check the scaling of the chart and better not expect it to indicate the trend of the future. Exponential growth curves do sometimes correspond with the physical world, but they always eventually start to level out or reverse. For example, a chart showing the user growth of Facebook was an exponential curve that then turned more linear. Facebook user growth will eventually level off and even decline.

Another example of an exponential growth curve is the US Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow over certain time periods has shown exponential growth in share prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (which is a managed and thus changing index of 30 top US publicly owned and traded companies) was at about $50 in 1932. That means the average share price of each stock in the index was $50. In 2019, the Dow is around $25,000. In less than 90 years it has gone up a lot... 500 times to be exact.  That is exponential growth. However, in all that time a lot of people still managed to lose a lot of money on Dow stocks since it fluctuated a lot in that time.

Furthermore, there was a lot of inflation (decreased purchasing power in the US dollar) during that time period. Inflation adjusted, the Dow has gone up from more like $1000 in 1932 to $25,000 today (x25)... still good but not nearly as impressive as the more exponential $50 to $25,000.

Then you also have to factor in the fact that if you owned the thirty stocks that made up the Dow in 1932 without selling them when the index added and subtracted stocks as old companies faltered and new companies arose, you would only own two of the stocks that make up the Dow in 2019, ExxonMobil (Standard Oil) and Procter and Gamble.

So the moral of the story is, don't trust exponential growth charts. They can be right but even then there is probably more to it. Expecting what could just be randomness to predict the future is related to what is known as the hot hand fallacy and leads into the next scam tactic in climate change.

(Update 8/24/2019 Mann's Hockey Stick fails in court.)

2) Prediction Models of Dynamic Nonlinear Systems 

The climate is very complex and composed of many variables; it is a dynamic nonlinear system. Dynamic nonlinear systems cannot be accurately modeled consistently because there are too many variables. Linear systems, such as when the next solar eclipse will occur, can be accurately modeled consistently. Despite the climate system being very nonlinear, scientists still use computer models to try to estimate the effects CO2 emissions will have on the climate. Scientists make many models and present the best performing models as supporting evidence.

Forecasting dynamic nonlinear systems is usually a calling card of a scam. There is hidden order in chaos that can make models of nonlinear systems perform better than random chance. But most attempts at modeling are unable to consistently find that hidden predictable order. Instead, models are cherry-picked and presented that support the agenda of whoever is trying to persuade about the future. One reason the future may be so hard to predict is because it is only partially deterministic. Partially deterministic means there is some real multiple choice, and those choices would be made by a decision maker: the minds perceiving/rendering the universe.

Regardless, prediction models of nonlinear systems can still be made to appear accurate by cherry-picking results. This is embodied in a classic scam often used in stock picking and sports betting services. An example of this scam would be if someone sent out a sports betting pick service advertisement giving away a few free sports betting picks. By varying the picks so that all possibilities were covered, a certain percentage of those who received the ad would notice that all the picks were winners. Of those people, a few would pay to join the service. And if an ad was sent again to those same people minus the ones who subscribed, a certain percentage of people would get two ads both times all winners leading to more subscribers.

3) Appeals to Majority Authority

Another big advertising gimmick in the world of climate change promotion is the 97% of climate scientists agree statistic. We're never shown the sausage production of how that stat was made but it makes it seem like everyone is in agreement. I don't know how many people go into the field of climate science who don't already agree with the CO2 climate change hypothesis. To try to carve a career out in that field while disagreeing with that hypothesis and trying to disprove it is a good way to be without a job.

How much meaning would a statistic have that says that 97% of ACIM teachers agree that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists? Not much since agreeing with that is part of accepting the authority of ACIM. The 3% that don't agree with that wouldn't really be ACIM teachers and so would be shunned by most in the ACIM community as people botching the course. The same dynamic is at play in any thought system, including climate science. Most people who go into a field accept the consensus of that field. To go against the consensus in any field where there is no way to do a full scale experiment to fully test contrary hypotheses and debunk established hypotheses usually means starting your own new field.

The main agreement about climate change is simply the fact that most "climate" scientists do think that accurate enough information about the earth's temperature has been gathered to conclude that earth has been experiencing some warming and that humans have had an impact. But there is a big variety in opinion as to all the details. For instance, some think that even if CO2 is causing warming, natural systems are in place that will kick in and eventually render it a non-problem in terms of climate. One such proposed natural system is Richard Lindzen’s “Iris effect,” which proposes that cloud shapes change with CO2 increases to neutralize the warming effect. Another proposed natural system is abundant nitrogen available for plants in bedrock. Previous estimates of nitrogen only took atmospheric nitrogen into account but vast quantities are in bedrock. More nitrogen means plants have a bigger capacity for filtering CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Quite frankly, if scientists were going around telling everyone that clearing land of trees or urban heat islands were the main thing causing global warming, I'd find that just as potentially believable as attributing it to CO2 from fossil fuels. I'd also find the idea that the earth contains natural feedback mechanisms for controlling CO2 in the atmosphere believable too. After all, the earth has survived a lot of variation though history and so must have some decent natural feedback mechanisms in place.

That's the problem with just trusting others to decide what you should believe as true. There is no guarantee an authority majority is right, especially in a field where full scientific testing isn't possible. People are people and simply choosing a career in science doesn't make people immune to the long list of human cognitive biases or immune to the limits of the scientific method for fully testable hypotheses.

4) Act Now! Urgency

Climate change promoters inject urgency into their sales pitch by predicting global doom if action is not taken immediately. Also, ardent promoters often try to tie every negative weather related event to climate change as a warning to scare people into political action. If you've ever watched an infomercial you know the gimmick. "Order now and get this unprecedentedly low price plus a bunch of bonuses or miss out!" The gimmick works because sometimes urgency really is warranted in life.

I remember when I was a kid and I watched infomercials, I was almost always sold on the product. (The infomercial aspect of climate hysteria works well on kids.) As I got older though, through experience, I learned to be more skeptical. Sometimes a sales pitch isn't an exaggerated lie. But most of the time it is a lie at least to some extent.

Being skeptical has saved me from plenty of scams, but it has also made me miss out on some legitimate things that looked scammy at first.

5) Force Is the Solution 

There is no bigger scam than having a gun stuck in your face and being forced to do something, or else. So anything resembling a gun in the face naturally triggers a sense of being scammed when on the wrong side of the gun. The biggest gun in the world is the coercive monopoly called government. And when science appeals to government guns, things get very scammy because then science devolves into power politics.

The main scientists promoting global warming are often indistinguishable from politicians or political pundits. That's because the main scientists promoting global warming naturally want political power to secure scientific funding and to force solutions to the perceived problem of CO2 emissions. It is delusion to believe that receiving funding for climate science through tax money from people who want to implement a CO2 tax (often called a "carbon tax "even though CO2 is not carbon) is any less filled with conflict of interest than receiving funding from the fossil fuel industry.

An example of the political scammyness surrounding global warming science and government force is the 2015 Grijalva investigation (witch-hunt) and the treatment of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. Read about the ordeal in Dr. Roger Pielke's own words. The gist of the story is that Pielke's work in science and technology policy research led to him doing a study that concluded that it is “incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.” Instead, he found that the perceived increase in costs was a result of more people and more development leading to more and bigger targets for disasters than the past. Pielke was one of seven US academics investigated by US Representative Grijalva (D-AZ) who was the ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Grijalva was looking to find funding from the fossil fuel industry in scientists who came to conclusions different from what he wanted to believe. Instead, all Grijalva found was that honest science comes to different conclusion than what he wants to believe. Criticism from the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union eventually caused Grijalva to abandon the witch hunt. Pielke is an example of someone who, despite believing that the climate risks justify taking action against CO2 emissions, did science that came to politically undesirable conclusions and was made to pay for it. Pielke has since left the corrupt climate change policy sphere to instead concentrate on sports policy. (Update: Pielke has started writing a great climate column in Forbes magazine.)

Most people, regardless of politics, are anti-pollution. Pollution is a simple property rights issue whereby people must contain their own pollution to their own property without harming the property of others, including the air over their property and the water under it. But if property rights are so disrespected that things like taxation are acceptable in society, it only makes sense that pollution should be difficult to control. That's cognitive dissonance at work. Seeing as CO2 is what we exhale when we breathe and is essential to life, it's a stretch for many people to see it as a legitimate pollutant. But even if CO2 were a legitimate pollutant, almost all people would be happy to do away with it if there was a convenient alternative. But there currently isn't a convenient alternative (?) other than perhaps to some extent Generation III and IV Nuclear. Gen-IV nuclear is safe from meltdown and uses nuclear waste as fuel. But old nuclear gave nuclear a bad name, partially because old nuclear was set-up to make nuclear material for military use rather than just make energy. So old biases against nuclear have kept nuclear as a legit solution mostly off the table... but that could be changing. Gen-IV is what Bill Gates sees as the only current realistic solution.

The lack of a clear convenient alternative is the main source of contention in the global warming issue. Because the lack of a clear solution leads to people turning to government force. Thus, what drives resistance to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming more than anything is the most often proposed solution, which is political. The currently proposed solution is mostly just a global government gun in everyone's face that says stop producing CO2 or pay. That's not a solution, that's a recipe for a scam. And it's doubly a recipe for a scam since not every country or group would concede to that gun in the face without putting up a fight and thus a war. And if you've read my previous piece on the free-range debt-slave plantation you should be able to see how convenient such a solution would be to making the debt-slave scam more globally centralized.

A real solution would be something like a new clean energy source that is as good or better at producing energy relative to cost as fossil fuels. Such a solution would be naturally and voluntarily accepted. Another solution would be some sort of cheap, efficient air scrubber that removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

All energy has to come from somewhere and when that energy is used the result is overall higher entropy. Even the sun's energy production produces entropy that pushes the sun ever closer to its inevitable death. It's easy to miscalculate just how clean any energy source is relative to any other energy. Because all energy use results in entropy. Entropy is often the same as pollution in the realm of energy production. Get rid of CO2 entropy and you better make sure the replacement entropy is less problematic and doesn't still result in CO2 or other worse greenhouse gases like SF6. Prices of things tend to represent the cost of energy input. If you move to an energy source that is 50% less polluting but it costs twice as much, then the amount of energy required to purchase that energy doubles. A doubled price leads to more energy consumption to pay for that extra cost and the net pollution ends up the same. The only difference would perhaps be in the type of pollution/entropy. Energy is tricky stuff and few people seem to appreciate the zero-sum game aspects of energy. Germany's failing attempt to go green on energy has been an example of this. Those who wait for technology and cost to catch up before going green will likely be big relative winners. A whole lot of polluting energy can be spent trying to go green in the wrong way.

Forgiving Believers, Non-Believers, and Skeptics

There are more scam aspects to the way climate change is presented, such as group-think bullying like name calling skeptics science-deniers, but those five aspects will suffice.

I can totally empathize with people who believe that human produced CO2 is a problem for the climate and that CO2 emissions should be stopped. Because if true, warming could be quite problematic if no action is taken. I'd be impressed if all those worried people were actively inventing new energy sources instead of pursuing political agendas. But very few are, which tells me a lot.

I can also totally empathize with climate change non-believers and skeptics. Because first off, the lack of the ability to do true reproducible full scale experiments with controls to test the human caused climate change hypothesis means the best evidence is merely what we can observe in real-time or model on computers. And without true duplicate earths to use as controls, we can easily come to inaccurate conclusion about what we think we are observing. Plus, anyone who has ever tried to measure the temperature of the air knows that temperature inaccuracies of accurate thermometers always skew higher rather than lower. There are many ways to get inaccurately high readings, such as direct sun exposure, surrounding colors and substances that absorb and reflect heat, and surrounding things that produce heat like AC compressors and vehicles. Then, on top of that, the general presentation for action against CO2 comes off as very scammy to scam savvy people. That doesn't mean the overall idea isn't perhaps correct. But since it is so often presented so much like a scam, many people, myself included, can't help but be skeptical.

Regardless of the science, it's really just psychology that separates the climate change believers from the non-believers. And the psychology for most people is shaped by politics (tribalism). Fittingly, since I'm a political atheist, I don't believe or disbelieve the CO2 climate change theory one way or the other. I see no benefit in tying my ego to one side or the other. I'm not a climate scientist, not a politician, and am not working on new energy technology. So there is no point in me pretending to know anything one way or the other about climate change. To me, climate change science reveals more about the foibles of human thinking than it does the working of earth's climate

Once someone takes a stance one way or the other on the issue of global warming, confirmation bias sets in. Confirmation bias helps a person feel vindicated. A sense of vindication is important because being right allows a person to project guilt on those who are seemingly wrong. Once confirmation bias sets in, people see what they want to believe. So a drought, a hurricane, tidal flooding, or a chunk of melting ice becomes construed in the mind of a warmist as evidence for global warming. Conversely, a cold snap, newly frozen ice, or a quiet hurricane season becomes construed in the mind of a non-believer as evidence for lack of global warming. And someone looking for climate change instead of just global warming can see evidence for changing climate whenever anything is above or below average, which is most of the time since averages are generally the average of extremes one way or the other.

My personal prediction and hope is that real solutions, such as in the form of new, better, cheaper energy sources will come to market steadily enough to stop and even reverse human produced CO2 regardless of how potentially dangerous it is to climate. Conversely, my fear is that people will become so hysterical about CO2 that solutions will be implemented that will impoverish people, enslave people, facilitate centralized global tyranny, miscalculate and make the situation worse, or will over-adjust climate in the opposite direction and usher in destructive cooling.

If you really believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by looking for a real solution, not by projecting guilt on those who don't share in your fears or forceful solutions. You're kind of being a cold tyrant if you can't empathize with people who don't trust solutions that just involve a gun in people's faces. A real solution won't require force and therefore won't require political action. Therefore, you won't have to worry about those who don't share your fears if you have a legit solution. A problem without a legit solution is just a recipe for guilt projection. And if you don't want to look for a real solution, just forgive yourself by admitting that you really don't care about global warming, you just like guilt projection lol.

Conversely, if you don't believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by not projecting guilt on those who believe it, who are fearful, who think force is a solution, who hate fossil fuels despite using them, or who think they are saving humanity by simply holding onto a belief. And just in case your disbelief is incorrect, embrace any legitimate solutions proposed; you can still resist false solutions just not legitimate solutions. And if your disbelief in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is because you own an oil well or something, forgive by not resisting a legitimate replacement for the CO2 producing energy from which you profit.

It's all about being honest and getting out of the guilt projection trap. You can sit there and pretend to forgive all you want, but often you won't forgive until you're willing to sit down and rewrite the story in your mind that you wrote to justify your guilt projection.

Here's what the satellite temperature data show in terms of warming since measurements started in 1979 as well as global cyclone impact statistics since the satellite era started.