July 31, 2005
RFID Stocks: Investing in the United States Police State
So it has been stated that 1 in 138 US citizens are locked in jail. (which makes me wonder if so many people are criminals then shouldn't the laws be changed? but hey, that is another post...)
To help keep shareholders safe (read making lots of money), and keep the general populous scared (read giving them a reason to give government money to give to shareholders) we need to fight global terrorism (by dropping bombs on weddings and the like) and track everybody and their dog.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a somewhat new technology, and recently it was announced that the government wants to use it to help Homeland Security by tracking those who enter the country via the US VISIT program.
I am not sure who is sell the government these RFID components, but if you cross reference large political donations to the republican party and current RFID companies you will probably find a rather safe stock pick if you believe the US can keep it's citizens scared and the current set of clowns stay in control.
IBM, EDS, 3M, VeriSign, and Philips Electronics are a few of the larger companies with some RFID exposure. There are many smaller RFID companies as well, but odds are most of the smaller RFID companies will fail with the exception that a few of them might get bought out by bigger corporations.
Read about the US Government spinning RFID.
Fascism & the United States
Are we a fascist country? In some respects it certainly would be hard to argue no.
Reading a good bit of the Wikipedia about various political leaders...it is interesting to note that:
- many political leaders switch political parties back and forth
- many were somehow tied to the press (ie: used to write or have relatives who are reporters)
- many of them tie their beliefs to the most popular religion in their region at the time (ie: Bush talking about God telling him what to do and his christianity stuff)
- many times they have political roots
If you know what it takes to shape popular opinion and have ties with friends who write to a broad reach of people for a living it is easier to get the public to agree with your great ideas.
A family history makes it easy to learn on someone elses dime and can start you off in the in group.
It seems many of them are driven by some sort of idealism or the need for power.
July 29, 2005
US Still More Powerful than China, for Now
China's CNOOC Ltd. may abandon its $18.5 billion bid for Unocal Corp. as early as next week because management believes political pressure in the U.S. makes the takeover impossible, according to a media report Thursday.
July 25, 2005
Jury Duty Exemption & What a Society Feels is Important
So I got a jury duty letter in the mail today. Not sure what to think about that. I don't like many of our laws, and have absolutely zero faith in the legal system.
I have been traveling a bit, and have not looked, but hopefully I do not have much planned in October...just in case.
Intersting to see that some public services (such as military or emergency response) get a waiver from having to participate. Also if you are uber old, or are taking care of a really young or really old person between normal jury hours you are exempt too.
If a commercial enterprise would sink if you were not there to run it that is exempt. I sorta am wondering what defines that. In an attention market a month away from the web could seriously undermine the financial stability of many webmasters. I did not try to throw that card though as I feel it is a bit sleezy for me to do that since I knowingly take days off here and there.
I also found it interesting that students and teachers get a free pass as well. While officially I am neither, surely I have been learning more than most students do, and generally in a more focused manner. I have had many professors contact me about my ebook I sell. In that sense I surely help some teachers teach, but of course I have no official position since the field in which I work is so new and undefined that I have wrote one of the more credible pieces of literature on the topic after only a few years of exposure.
The history books are rewrote from people's interpritations of past works and events before their time, but by simply recording many public documents and how they change over time you can probably get a good feel of many of the larger changes in societal norms and beliefs.
Psychonauts...Kicks Ass Video Game
For a long time I gave up on video games, writing them off as too complex and seeing them as a trivial waste of time. RBI Baseball was all I needed. Three buttons, easy to win, and possible to win 30 - 0 in two innings. Psychonauts uses like 10 buttons and some of them you even custom set. A few spots I got frustrated and stuck, but for the most part I found most of the game easy to play. Some of the worlds fold and warp in on themselves, so playing a game like that on a 2 dimention screen is a bit different than anything else I have done before.
Another interesting thing is that with the game you end up going inside the minds of many others, into their own little worlds, and to see some of the problems the various other people have. Sure it may sound stupid, and the game play is definantly cartoony, but it reminds me of the petty small things that are big in my life.
If someone were to jump into my mind what thought figments would they find? What parts of my mind would be cloudy? By exploring the minds of various cooky people it becomes easier to see the problems in some not so cooky people in the real world. Of course much of it is surface level but the game did end up causing me to have crazy dreams last night.
Sometimes when you dream there are illogical bits which end the dream or flip you off to another (at least it seems that way with me). Last night those did not flip me out of my dreams. My dreams kept going and kept getting more and more wacked out.
Do video games have any affect on children? Well if they cause me to have or remember crazy dreams I am sure they do things to children too, but all in all they can be as much of a positive as a negative.
I am not one who is great at that thing they call moderation though, and have played that game about 25 hours last week.
July 24, 2005
Loaning a Friend My Car so they can run me over with it
Sure the title of this post sounds stupid, but something very similarly happened to me recently. I tried helping a friend do well on the web, they ignored most of the tips I offered, and then eventually they started making a bit of money and when that number went down they did the nuclear option, and created hate posts about me and tried to destroy my business model.
This is a person who I went so far as to pay their rent for them so they were not homeless (while still heavily in debt myself at the time).
Even though they were a friend wasting my time helping them so they could stab me in the back (and front, really) is a perfect example of why it is worth taking the time to only chose good clients and to only help people with good karma.
I can't change another person and it is unlikely that I will knowingly let many other people change me unless I want to change. If a client or friend is stuck in the past then it is probably not worth helping them out unless you have enough slack in your schedule and business model to absorb any pain that causes.
Never underestimate how bad they will try to make that pain feel. I was unproductive at work for the last week because of shit like that, but I also took some time to get into things I left behind...like video games :)
Work, Business, Corporate Efficiency, & Slack
I started reading a book by the name of Slack, which states that the best organizations leave enough time to reinvent themselves. Shitty employers look for maximal efficiency, and that drives away creative smart and good workers.
I went to the gas station to pick up a tea, and overheard one worker getting told that they need to clock out the other worker if they are drinking a soda. What a joke, a workplace that does not even allow basic bodily functions. The more free you feel at work the more you can focus on things at work that interest you. Short term there are reasons to have disinteresting jobs, but anyone who really cares about and is interested in life should eventually try to land a job that they dig with an employer that trusts them enough to let them do great things.
July 21, 2005
In my humble opinion I think our government cares more about stratifying wealth than building it.
Why? Limited worldwide resources. If they are limited and only the richest people and companies really deserve the oil it is better to slow overall growth down to slow down overall usage and consolidate wealth.
The government is controlled by the scumbag corporations. The richest want to ensure they get more than their fair share.
July 16, 2005
Market Efficiency & Making a More Functional World
Sometimes they screw up, as all people and companies do, but in general Google's existance makes markets more efficient.
I try to teach people about said markets while actively learning myself. Certainly I have done well, and those I have worked for have done well, but I sometimes wonder if the advice I give helps people get away with being more lazy and promoting more garbage OR if it helps them make markets more efficient.
I hope the later of the two is occuring, although I have no way to guarantee it.
July 11, 2005
God, Religious Ideology, & the Legitimate Fall of Al Qaeda
So Al Queda claimed the recent subway bombings in London.
With the IRA and WWII London saw more bombings than most people could ever imagine, so it took London no time at all to recover from the recent terrorist bombing. There are already we are not afraid websites promoting worldwide peace.
Interesting to note that the effects in London were not of much note the next day over there, yet it is a reason for everyone in the United States to BE VERY AFRAID:
Code orange indicates a high risk of attack, and in the U.S. system is the second-highest terror alert behind red. The lowest level is green, followed by blue and then yellow. Chertoff is considering changing the system amid complaints that it is to vague and confuses the public.
“I’d love to say we’re going to see green in our lifetime,” Chertoff told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s kind of an aspirational state, but I can’t tell you in the foreseeable future we’re going to be below yellow.”
And there in rests the truth. Our terrorism rainbow will never go away. Al Qaeda is just a marketing tool.
If you are afraid there is ALWAYS a military budget where the government selects which companies to pay from your pocketbook based on the best bid prices, the best value, past performance, who knows who, where the defense contractor is located, who donated to finance the political campaigns, and how many shares the politicians and their friends own in any given company.
In the real world murder is real. It happens. Terrorism happens, and even in the wonderful United States 1 in 138 US citizens are in prison for one reason or another.
We seem to have a short memory about when we blow up other countries airplanes, but it's no real secret that it happens too. Even admirals in the military admit to some of the lies:
Three years after the incident, Admiral William Crowe admitted on Nightline that the Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters at the time of the shoot down. This directly contradicted the official Navy claims of the previous years.
Sometimes we are even so kind to drop in on a wedding with bombs. Of course when we do it it is only an accident.
The biggest problem associated with terrorism is fear. Fear prevents people from focusing on things they believe in and also promotes a misallocation of assets. The media is trying to help remind us that we really do need to be afraid, but it would be hard to picture a functional government which had any more debt and spent more money on national defense against invisible enemies. US military spending is around $400,000,000,000.00 annually.
I sorta agree with Benjamin Franklin's & Abraham Lincoln's philosophy on freedom and military spending:
- "Those who are willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither freedom nor security." - Ben
- "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." - Abe
If smaller countries were stable in the longrun it would cost less because we would not have so many expensive conflicts. Additionally if smaller less stable countries became more stable they could help advance technology, which would give us competition and help us advance more quickly as well.
Sure that will mean we would have to balance limited resources sooner rather than later, but wouldn't improving technology help that along?
Gas prices are still going up. The additional oil burned due to military consumption does nothing to make us less dependant on foreign oil. China and India are still growing fast. China is trying to buy US oil companies.
The oil demand will outstrip supply. While we want to control the middle east and are trying to use religious idealologies to get their oil, it is not a practical solution because it only solves the symptoms. If there is not enough oil in the world then bad shit will happen, no matter who controls the oil. Instead of looking forward and leveraging our current position the twits in the US government are (and I will use their own words back at them) "risking national security" by ignoring reality and letting rich oil companies leverage their postion to make money for international oil companies.
Rather than try to look at our problems and how to make our society future proof our government is pampering us with short term fixes and projecting blame for all that is wrong on some arbitrary group in a far away place based on some religious ideals other than the most common religions here.
Brute force is the act of a reptilian thinking tool. We can't keep forcing our way, because that just escalates more reptilian thinking. For example:
"If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," Maj Gen Zhu told an official briefing for foreign reporters. source
I appreciate many things in life, but I am ashamed of any God that could have created someone like Bush, and put him in his current position. The love, respect, and understand is supposed to be a two way street there, at least with MY God. I am not sure who they are, but you probably will not read about them in any of the most popular religious books, especially any of the books Bush would read.
July 9, 2005
Post about Drugs, Drug Abuse, Balance, & Purpose
Drugs Drugs Drugs
All you need is Drugs
all together now
All you need is Drugs...
that was a hack of a Beatles song (All You Need is Love), replacing the word love with drugs
teen drug usage increases:
"Our nation is in the throes of an epidemic of controlled prescription-drug abuse and addiction," Joseph A. Califano Jr., CASA chairman and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, said in a statement. "While America has been congratulating itself in recent years on curbing increases in alcohol and illicit drug abuse, and in the decline in teen smoking, the abuse of prescription drugs has been stealthily, but sharply, rising."
"The explosion in the prescription of addictive opioids, depressants and stimulants has, for many children, made their parents' medicine cabinet a greater temptation and threat than the illegal street drug dealer," Califano said. "Parents who do not want to become inadvertent drug pushers should consider locking their medicine cabinets."
Girls were found to be more likely to abuse prescription drugs than boys (10.1 percent of girls versus 8.6 percent of boys), and teens who abused controlled prescription drugs were twice as likely to use alcohol, five times likelier to use marijuana, 12 times likelier to use heroin, and 21 times likelier to use cocaine, compared to teens who did not abuse legal drugs.
Get Busy Child... Crystal Meth use on the rise
Methamphetamine is a chemical variant of amphetamine with much more powerful effects.
Abuse is particularly bad in rural areas.
It is easy to produce using chemicals found on farms, and the homemade labs which produce it are less easy to detect in the countryside.
The findings are based on figures collated from rural and suburban areas and do not include most of the country's largest cities.
Half of the counties surveyed said 20% of people in their jails were there because of meth-related crimes. source
I suspect the rural area explosion is two fold. I think it is easy to create there and there are less widely promoted forms of entertainment in rural areas than in areas of high population density.
I live by a crazy theory, to which most will not prescribe, but I believe that almost anything in the world that you do, eat, or see is a drug. Our past memories rewrite each time we think of them, including our most recent memories, and that changes how we perceive the world.
Eat lots of junk food and you are getting sugar highs.
Don't see the sunlight, be inactive, have few social bonds? You are taking depressants.
Exercise for hours at a time? Thats just like taking amphetamines.
There are good and bad ways of doing everything. The key is to weigh benefits against the negatives.
I have done a ton of stuff to get high (or low)...
- been isolated with low oxygen levels and poor food quality while not able to exercise (nuclear submarines are big pieces of shit)
- had family members get diseases or wrongfully jailed for long periods of time
- had many many many sugar highs, although I did not realize the downside to what I was doing most of the time I did it
- seen footage of mass murder
- been told I was likely going to die fighting for a cause I did not understand or believe in. (I can't emphasize enough how horrible the Navy was for me).
- exercised a ton, to the point of causing internal bleeding & not being able to walk
- taken a wide variety of illegal drugs (probably most that you can name I have some how at some point in time done it)
What is the solution to the problem of drug abuse? Purpose. I think many people live without much inspiration or purpose. When you don't have those many illogical highly destructive things suddenly seem much more logical.
Sadly it is not something I am good at, but the key is to learn to strike a balance and find purpose in life. I have not really done either of those, but see them as things I must do if I am to truely appreciate and enjoy life.
Another problem is that I think most things which are purposes are also scams. Although my mother would hate to read this I don't much believe in organized religion.
We rewrite our memories each time we think of them, but it is far easier for me to do stupid shit to justify my past decissions than it is to just clean the slate and go after something truely inspiring.
The greatest improvements I can make for humanity are to change my own mind and the way I perceive the world. I am still sorta waiting for that reason or inspiration, and if it doesn't come soon I could end up screwing up my life to where it doesn't matter if and when it finally does come.
July 7, 2005
Truely Other Than Honorable...
So there were multiple terror bombings in London today. and Danny Sullivan links to a variety of sources. The subway is still shut down and over 40 people are dead.
the BBC reports the reasoning or statement behind the attacks:
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and undaunted fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.
Nation of Islam and Arab nation: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge against the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rephrased better as:
We are ignornat scumbags who are so far off base from reality that we kill tons of innocent people because of the bogus religious ideals our leaders operate under. We also probably shorted stock recently to try to profit from the systems that we want to destroy, because deep down we are not only stupid but also greedy.
How long have people been on this planet? And this is as far as we are? Disgusting.
This caused a fairly large shock in the European stock markets but has had small effect on the US.
Also interesting to note that as they do these attacks on civilians they make the governments stronger by allowing them to rob civil liberties and pour more into fighting back. It is sorta like trying to fight symptoms instead of problems, and as civilians get screwed they will get more pissed off and want to fight back harder.
Seems like the ideas / techniques are not well thought through.
July 6, 2005
OTH Keyword Research Data - Looking Into My Shady Past...
So today I bought a subscription to Keyword Intelligence. Keyword Intelligence tracks actual searches which occured in the last 3 months.
I, being narcissistic, searched for my own name. People are searching for the following:
oth navy re-4 aaron wall
aaron wall oth
which I find exceptionally funny. :)
I can't believe people care enough to search for that. Sorta feels reality TV ish...to know that people are actively researching my past.
So Thursday at the afternoon low I bought a stock. Friday the stock was up 14%. I sold. Yesterday that stock was headed south again.
was it luck? yes.
how to make that luck be skill...
July 4, 2005
When the Fireworks End
So the roomie wanted me to go grab some beer, and on my way there I noticed fireworks going off. So I pulled into a parking lot and watched for a bit.
Some of the fireworks were interesting. Others were rather routine.
A B C
A B C
etc etc etc
And thats how I view many things. Repetitive and predictable. It has been a while since I have challenged myself to find things that were not predictable.
I live in my boxed off comfortable little world where everything works well and I say it does, but it's sorta sad that I still feel I have fallen short of my potential.
I have came a long way quick, and within a few years from zero I am at the point that companies worth hundreds of billions of dollars have asked for my advice. I also think I get to help many people, but I don't usually appreciate most of the things I do or most of the things others do for me.
I left the fireworks while they were still in progress because after they end they are over. And then what's next? By leaving in the middle I don't have to worry about them ending and then not knowing what to do, or the associated drop off in happiness that occurs when a cool event ends and you must look for something else to look forward to.
In all reality the fireworks are not that big of a deal to me and I do not appreciate them that much, but the whole not liking an event to end thing...wishing to be stuck in a moment or whatever...that parallels the way I think.
On another front, I also do not really understand the point of the fireworks, as many of the ideas this country have once stood for now have fallen by the wayside. Sure people can make comparisons about other places being worse, but 1 in 138 US citizens are in jail, you don't progress by comparing yourself to things that are worse off, and many of the things that are worse off elsewhere are that way because of our country.
By leaving that I wonder submerged in some corner in my brain the event remains far more interesting. I don't have to look back and evalutate where I was in error. I don't have to think about the huge hole in the Ozone my flight just caused.
I don't usually dream that much, or at least I don't usually remember dreaming about things I really want to dream about, but with many of the things I do I leave some layer of protection, which prevents me from knowing or ever having to worry about what happens when the fireworks end.
I say that I am living my dreams, but in saying that what I really mean is my sole purpose is to find something to desire or do or believe in, and I have plenty of freedoms that help give me the opportunity to do that, I just need to work a bit harder at looking at what that goal is. Having a dream to be able to dream or find a purpose is a bit abstract and bullshit like. I need to find something to believe in.
Why I am a Bad Flyer
So I have flown so many times that normally it is not a big deal. But sometimes when the planes hit choppy air internal chemical responses in by body go off bad.
I have been thinking of it alot, and why that effect hits me so hard sometimes. I sorta came to the conclusion that a large part of that comes from how wreckless I have lived. For like a year I drove without corrective vision when my vision was horifically bad.
Other times I would wear contact lenses on the submarine (exceptionally low atmophere quality) until the contacts would cause green stuff to ooze out of my eyes. I then would say fuck it, I am not going blind. Sometimes I would stand reactor operator with less than stellar vission.
Combine that vison with the fact that I was thought of as a person who knew well what he was doing when I was exceptionally clueless much of the time and it gets to be where it is a bit hard to trust other people doing some things. When I start to panic I view the pilots like I was when I was standing reactor operator. Potentially clueless and possibly in over their heads, with many other people hoping they are not.
Ignorant Bullies and Name Calling - I Know You Are But What am I
Today I got this great feedback:
You are just too close minded and conservative to have an honest conversation about this. Perhaps if you open your mind to new ideas and become more liberal with your thought process, we can discuss it further in another area.Wow... first time I have EVER been called THAT dirty word
a crazy world in which we live...
July 3, 2005
Chief Groover - The Navy and the "Real World"
Got this gem of a feedback today, oddly enough the email was titled The Navy and the "Real World"
We are all where we are by choice YOU chose to raise your right hand, there was no gun held to your head. If you are having a "bad experience" with the Navy and really want out just have a 1.0 on your next eval and make damn certain that you are not recommended for retention. Bottom line is it not for everyone, but those who CHOSE to make the best of it are the ones not bitching and complaining that just happen to excel because it is their CHOICE. See the pattern here!! The "real world" does not provide you with a housing allowance in your paycheck or a clothing allowance or provide you with a roof over your crybaby ass. So the next time you go to the ATM or bank or any other financial institution think about that.
In closing ALWAYS remember this for everyone of you that have this negative disposition your shipmates and fellow SeaBees are counting on you to do your job when the time comes and if you don't then the very life and liberty, you enjoy as an American, is at risk. Somewhere some crazyass radical extremist is thinking if we can break the infrastructure of the US military then we can take these freedoms and priviledges away from them and take over the US.
I love it when navy people talk about the real world like they know what the fuck it even is.
Stealing the line from a friend, I replied to Chief Groover with the following:
look, the navy isn't all roses, some people are satisfied driving a geo metro to work after 20 years. I, however, am not.
What I really wanted to tell him was:
I am not trying to break infistructure. did you read my whole site. Please do and then feel free to appoligize for that ignorant email you sent me.
Happy independance day BTW, I am doing far better since I became independant of the military. I make far more money than the military paid (6 figures now), have no boss, and work whenever I like.
The navy taught me a few important life lessons, the first and most important of which is that the navy is shit.
July 1, 2005
Carl Sagan is a Bad Ass
Love this quote, from Cosmos...
If we capitulate to superstition, or greed, or stupidity we can plunge our world into a darkness deeper than the time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian renaissance, but we are also capable of using our passion and our intelligence, our technology, and our wealth to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet, to enhance enormously our understanding of the universe and to cary us to the stars.
President George W. Bush's Social Security Reform Policy
President Bush's worst numbers came on the issue of Social Security. He clocked in at 31% approval and 64% disapproval.
(I'd actually be curious to hear from pollsters out there what the lowest ratings for a president has ever been on any significant issue. I mean, how much lower than thirty percent does it go? With the possible exception of Nixon at the very end of Watergate, how often has a president been under, say, 25% on any issue of significance?)