Eddie Izzard – Why do you think there is any difference between political parties?

I saw Eddie Izzard perform last night in Denver. He has been my favorite comedian since about 1997 when I randomly saw him on HBO one night after a college party.  I remember thinking, man this guy is so smart and funny, he totally gets how ridiculous the world really is. For example, ‘No Flag No Country’.

Kind of like how George Carlin was at the end.  George had nothing to lose or hide in his last years. He called it like it is about government corruption and how the system was all a sham to keep the elite wealthy and powerful.

Now as smart as Eddie is, I can’t seem to understand why he thinks that there is a difference between political parties.  The unwashed masses are led to believe there is a difference as this helps to distract them and give them hope that there will be change…but in reality it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter which political party gets into any office because ‘it is extremely rare’ for them do what they say. Campaign promises are almost never fully kept.  Even the most idealistic and ethical person will be corrupted by the power…else if they don’t want to play ball they will be put in the corner and made inconsequential. A classic read reminds us all how manipulative the whole system is in creating a ‘common enemy’ to rally behind: The Wrong Side Absolutely Must Not Win

All politicians are just puppets for whoever gives them the most money. Since big corporations/foundations give the most, they get the most benefits. These benefits are in the forms of laws written to benefit them.  Laws like tax breaks and regulations that protect the business from competition. For example the banks have been able to get the politicians to write laws that require you to jump through all sorts of hoops to do anything with Bitcoin. The banks are just protecting their own profits by making the barriers to entry very expensive and time consuming to compete against them.  This sort of protectionism is at the heart of all political parties, regardless of what either party SAY they are about.  What a political says and does are too totally different things. For example, remember Barrack Obama’s campaign promise to shut down Gitmo? It has been 7 years and nothing.

Don’t believe me? No problem, do your own research and the truth will set you free. Here is a beginner video to get you started:

At the end of the day, I understand why reality isn’t funny. To tell the truth to the masses would be comedic suicide…it’s just too painful to let the people see the truth that they have been fleeced into these beliefs that aren’t true.  The masses wouldn’t believe it in the first place because they don’t have the skills or motivation to question reality and follow the money trails to the truth.

That said, Eddie, wtf? Why are you playing the masses? Why are you perpetuating these bipartisan distractions that the average person will believe? Dude, you are in such a position of power that people will believe almost anything you say. Why get the cheap laugh off of ‘republican greed’? When the truth is that regardless of political party the situation is always about money and power and there is no difference between parties.

Overall, thank you Eddie for coming to Denver, I will never forget being able to finally see you perform in the flesh…you sir are a master of your craft…please come back to Denver soon!

Peak Paper – Why it’s an important milestone for human knowledge

Interesting article from a while back about worldwide paper consumption: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49643

Basically the idea is that the maximum amount of worldwide paper production/usage was in 2013 (or 2012 by some accounts). From here on out, paper will be used less and less, even as the population grows.  Keep in mind that wood usage is still going up, it’s turning that wood into paper that is decreasing. Potentially the world will never see more paper production as electronic trends are decreasing the demand.

Will this trend ever reverse?

I personally can’t see anything that would reverse this trend. It’s just so much more efficient and easy to use silicon chips to store information then physical paper.  As you can imagine, the limitations of paper are massive compared to electronic systems. That said a simple EMP blast from a man-made bomb or a solar flare may wipe out much of the records stored on electronics. How does one trust that storing data electronically lasts the test of time?

Enter Factom.

If you haven’t heard about Factom it is one of the most exciting companies to out lately.  Factom uses the same technology as Bitcoin to create an immutable ledger for electronic data.  This ledger can’t be counterfeited as it is cryptographically secured and it’s contents are replicated across many servers to provide redundancy. Factom is a big step in creating systems that can survive the test of time, like the LongNow Foundation.

I first met Danny Hillis back in 2001 when he presented the LongNow Foundation to my company.  It was a sort of a “lunch n’ learn” session where he dug into the strategic concept of why keeping human knowledge in a format that could be read for generations to come. Using ‘analog’ technology like extremely small writing on a diamond (or other hard to erase surfaces) makes it very possible for a civilization to decode our technology without having to create complex chips and software to interface with any electronic systems.

It’s an extremely fascinating idea to think about how we are going to store human knowledge for the next 10,000 years.  One wonders if the librarians of Alexandria thought about creating a system like this to prevent the destruction of the western world’s knowledge; as the library was destroyed multiple times over history from invading forces.  Maybe they did and some secret society is hiding the information to retain power?

At the end of the day the fact that we hit Peak Paper shows that we can’t go back. We can’t return to a primitive time without electronics.  Returning would break the entire current system and maybe return the world to a pre 1900 dystopia.  I think the smart people are trying to figure out how to create systems that can function in the now and be immutable truth ledgers for the next 10,000 years.

Thinking ‘extremely longterm’ is the ultimate in leaving a legacy and giving back to mankind. Whoever solves this problem will have fame for millennium as the real Oracle and selfless leader… surpassing even a Gandi in status. People will forget entertainment stars and most historical figures…but how could you forget the person that planned out 10,000 years in advance to save the world’s collective information.   Will the bards in 10,000 years be singing: “Longnow Foundation, savior of our knowledge, selfless long term thinking, bringing justice to the world through Factom technology”?

Ask yourself, what can we do today to have the bards sing about us in 10,000 years?

Consumer Reports of News Organizations. Is totally unbiased possible?

This is more of a thought experiment then anything. The question is, can you create a news organization that is completely unbiased? The obvious attributes of this are being advertiser free and thus having no masters to manipulate it. Beyond just advertiser free, how do you make an organization out of it? Also, how do you make a real business out of it and not something that depends on raising millions of dollars to play the 0% interest rate game while buying time with free money. So basically a low investment to make a sustainable living for the minds behind this venture.

So how would one do this? How would it be possible? What if you had a website that accepted submissions for news, then the editor or some centralized point would be have to sift through them to find the ones that they like. So this method fails as having trust in 1 person can never produce an unbiased system.

The decentralized argument would be to have everyone vote on which articles work the best. But then you have tons of groups forming under special interests that feed themselves. For example, the voting of a Digg or a Reddit is so biased as to that specific audience that is voting on it. The people who submit the articles corrupt the system by employing people to use accounts to manipulate the votes to their favor. So in this case money wins out as ‘advertiser dollars’ move to the people with the most accounts, or the teams that can otherwise outwit the voting systems.

Can you do a site like this at scale? Will there always be a need to subdivide topics of interest for people? Most importantly, how do you keep money out of the equation, as once it enters it will make the most dollars spent be heard the loudest. The sad thing is that you can give someone enough money and they can find a way to influence any news engine.

Here are some more examples.

1. For Profit Mainstream Media (CNN,NBC,CBS,New York Times,WSJ,etc…)
– sells ads across channels like tv, radio, web, print
= beholden to the buyers of ads.
= totally biased communications channel

2. Non-Profit Mainstream Media (NPR,PBS,etc…)
– gets money from rich foundations and donors
= beholden to the ‘donors’
= totally biased communications channel

How do you make a system that is totally free of the biases from the people that buy ads or make donations?

If you eliminate the money is there a way to make it unbiased? If there is no money, then how would you incent the system to work? If there is no economic gain for the system’s information providers then why participate?