Friday, July 22, 2016

Since this is the weirdest election of my life, I think it is time for a party realignment.
The two parties really seem out of touch with their bases.
It seems the Republican party is a coalition of three different constituencies.

  1. Social Conservatives
  2. Libertarians
  3. Big Business (Chamber of Commerce types)
The Democrats are:
  1. Labor
  2. Blacks
  3. Licentious party
Those coalitions are often very uncomfortable. Blacks don't support gay marriage, and libertarians and social conservative often clash.
The gap in my knowledge is just what percentage each group is. I could see a realignment where the social conservatives, blacks and labor could easily coexist and big business, licentious and libertarians could coexist. Who would dominate would be on open question. 

Sunday, May 08, 2016

In the nineteenth century, Marxism was created as a Utopian scheme so that workers could live in a paradise. The thought was that once the bourgeoisie was overthrown the workers would be happy. Now, we are all looking forward to the robots being the workers and humans are the new bourgeoisie. Is the nervousness about the singularity a fear that a robot Marxism will arise and spoil the whole show?  

Thursday, July 05, 2012

US Debt measured in gold

I have been playing with gold prices. If you price the federal debt in gold it has been declining for 10 years. This is, I think a result of the floodgates at the fed being open so long. We are monetarizing the debt for quite a while. Our money is quickly becoming worthless.

Monday, August 02, 2010

On being a Christian in Extremistan

I believe in Jesus because He is the Truth, not because of any utility derived from the lifestyle of following Him. Having said that, if Christianity is true, then it should match the universe batter than any alternative world view. With that in mind I want to explore the implications of the Black Swan and the Christian.

Taleb was raised a Christian but as far as I can tell he isn't one now. He seems to aspire to being a Stoic. I think he would probably disagree with my analysis presented here.

As I see them, his main are something like this:

  • You cannot predict anything.

  • The bell curve is a lie and reality follows power laws.

  • Maximize your exposure to positive black swans and minimize your exposure to negative ones.

  • Humans apply a narrative incorrectly to explain random events. But obvious fragility can show future disasters are on the horizon, just not the exact time and severity.

  • Luck explains a lot of success and failure.

  • Go to a lot of parties. This increases the possible random connections and exposure to positive black swans.

  • Invest in preparedness not prediction.

  • Debt increases fragility.

  • Age and wisdom have seen more black swans so are better prepared.

  • Thanksgiving is a black swan to the turkey, not the butcher.

  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

In light of these ideas how should a Christan live? My observations are:

  • God is the ultimate black swan. We cannot predict His behavior – assuming we can has robbed many people of their faith.

  • Christians believe in miracles. We are open to them the way a skeptic isn't. Nothing is impossible with God, and everything has a meaning for us, we just put the discovery off until after death. This helps us to be open to positive black swans and to not despair in the wake of negative ones.

A common saying is “There but for the grace of God go I.” While not believing in luck we realize that it is not our skill and charm which determines outcomes, but God. And we cannot predict what He will do. It brings humility to us and compassion for the losers because we are all in the same boat.

We are commanded to love our enemies, which makes it easier when yesterday's enemy is today's friend. Giving to the downtrodden creates a culture more likely to help us when we fall (randomly.) Contentment no matter what allows us to profit from a positive black swan and not be devastated by a negative one.

It may be said that Christianity is an evolved response which best fits life in Extremistan so the observer bias is alive and well, or it could be said that Taleb is merely observing without faith the world as God created it.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Current Reading

I have just finished "The Black Swan." I am formulating some thoughts on what implications it may have for Christians.

Monday, July 27, 2009

American Thinker: Impersonating a Victim

American Thinker: Impersonating a Victim: "We have now all heard the verbal abuse Gates hurled at the officer -- who was called to protect his property. Gates theatrical reaction to the situation: 'This is what happens to a black man in America!' What? Returning to your posh residence from your trip to China and having a neighbor look out for you by reporting suspicious behavior in your upper-crusty neighborhood and having a white public servant come check on your place for you -- is that what 'happens' to you in America, Dr. Gates? Swing low sweet chariot."

I love this!