We do not know why it happened — I mean the school shooting the other day. There were some articles describing Lanza as being kind of strange — he was a very smart nerd who belonged to the technology club. He lived in his mother’s basement and played violent computer games. He wore different clothes than the other kids, and always carried a black briefcase.
And all this was said in a way that seemed to imply “Well no surprise he murdered 27 people — he looked and acted strange!”
I was shocked by the murders, of course, but I was also shocked by this reaction. Unpopular nerd playing violent computer games — well OF COURSE he went on a killing spree.
Can you see that there is absolutely no logic whatsoever in that line of thinking? And it’s outrageous, and insulting to every person who wasn’t the most popular kid in school.
And it’s dangerous, because people could lose their rights and freedoms, all because someone decided they were a little “odd” and therefore potentially a threat to society.
I saw posts on facebook saying that this type of kid should be diagnosed and showered with love and hugs, and that will prevent him from going beserk.
Well, for one thing, not every misfit wants to be showered with love and hugs. Being a little different is not a disease.
And there is no evidence whatsoever that I ever heard of that, if a person actually were a potential mass murderer, love and hugs would cure them.
We DO NOT KNOW why these things happen, and we don’t know how to prevent them.
I am concerned that now parents and teachers will be start rounding up all kids who are too different, or too smart, or too strange, and send them for psychiatric “treatment.” And psychiatric treatment now days means brain-numbing drugs.
So, I was chatting with our bloggeress who mentioned she had rented a Honda Odyssey, and I wondered aloud why Honda had not made the Honda Iliad while they were at it….and we took off from there….
but why limit it to cars?
Update 12/4/2012: Seriously, everyone is watching you. Do you really think the government isn’t?
And the sad thing is this falls under the category of REALITY.
NOTE: The following is a draft of a post I started writing back in September. I didn’t publish it then because (a) I wasn’t finished with it and (b) the mathematical portion is a mess. In that portion I haven’t really used the mathematics correctly or clearly – what is there was a place holder until I could get back to it to clean it up.
Since then I haven’t actually returned to the piece. I kept meaning to, but it seemed like work and required more effort that I was willing to commit to at any one time. That remains true today.
However I have in the meantime come to a couple of decisions. More about those, at least one of them, later. But those decisions mean I’m not really going to go back and correct this piece. Rather than throw the whole thing out I’ve decided to publish the danged thing anyway. With a few minor edits, the original is posted below.
One Wednesday night back in September my neighbor came over and started a conversation. This was unusual as mostly our interactions have been about whether or not his dogs are trespassing on my property or my cats are trespassing on his property.
Anyhow, it got interesting. He has recently been borne unto the spiritual safety of the Heavenly Father. That is, he’s Born Again. He’s also gotten into conspiracy theories. This is where it gets interesting.
Now some of his ideas are just wrong. I’m not going to go into it, but they’re just wrong. Other ideas appear, at first blush, to be crazy. And this is where it gets interesting.
On Thursday the Bilderberg group marks its 50th anniversary with the start of its yearly meeting.
For four days some of the West’s chief political movers, business leaders, bankers, industrialists and strategic thinkers will hunker down in a five-star hotel in northern Italy to talk about global issues.
What sets Bilderberg apart from other high-powered get-togethers, such as the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), is its mystique.
Not a word of what is said at Bilderberg meetings can be breathed outside. No reporters are invited in and while confidential minutes of meetings are taken, names are not noted.
Hmmm. About 150 of the most powerful people in the world get together for a few days each year to do what? In complete secrecy? What the Hell? Nothing is completely secret these days. When was the last time ANYTHING was kept completely secret by that many people? It’s hard to not feel a little … strange … when contemplating this group. I mean, how would you even get all those people to agree to meet in one time and place each year?
A lot of these same people also meet each year at the Jackson Hole (Wyoming) retreat for central bankers. There is some overlap between the two groups. This just sounds worse. And then consider things like the IMF, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the rest of the World Bank Group, the fact that this all got its start at Bretton Woods*, the fact that these folks have WON (in succession the group behind this has defeated the Fascists, the Nazis, the Japanese Imperialists, fractured international communism, rolled the Soviet Union and its empire, and even converted the Maoists) and the whole damned thing starts getting scary.
But wait! Hang on a second! This is all crazy talk! Right? Right?! Well, yes, it is all crazy talk. After all, think about it. The nations of the free world had to set up some kind of organizational structure to figure out how they would run things after the end of WWII. Quite obviously the old order was dead, and Hitler’s order seemed likely to fail. Then what? Well, let’s get our BESTEST and BRIGHTESTEST together to figure this out! They needed to have an eye towards rebuilding the devastated nations of Europe, they were looking how to handle exchange rates, how to work out repayment schemes for the vast sums that had been borrowed, what to do with the European colonies, how to confront their good friend and ally Joe Stalin, et cetera. It only made sense that they would get together and plan.
And it makes sense that the central bankers get together to work out various issues on a regular basis. This really isn’t all that crazy.
Except for that Bilderberg Group. What exactly are THEY doing? And why do they keep what they do so hush-hush? Most of the attendees come from nations that are what we call democracies. A fair number of political leaders from those nations attend. Why won’t they tell us what they’re up to? I’ll come back to this a little later.
Consider something else my neighbor brought up the other night. He mentioned that the government can track everyone by their cell-phones, that they can even turn them on and off so that they can listen in on you whenever they like.
Crazy! Balderdash! Except that they CAN track you by your phone. We all know this from watching any number of missing person cases. We know this because it was written into the law after 9/11 that all cell-phones had to have this feature. Steve Sailer used to highlight cases of dumb criminals that would steal cell-phones and carry them around right up until the point when the police nabbed them. So this part is well known.
Turning them on and off to listen in on you whenever they want? Would they do that? Could they do that? Well sure they could. That can’t really be all that difficult a hack given that the government has the geniuses at the NSA working for them. (I went to grad school with a guy that ended up working for the NSA. Believe it or not, I qualify for crap like the Triple Nine Society. That means I’ve got a BIG BRAIN, top tenth of the top percentile, IQ in the 150s. When I bother to use it, I’ve got a nice brain. This guy was noticeably more intelligent than I was. I wasn’t in his league. That’s the kind of brain the NSA likes to get hold of – and use.) Not to mention that some 15 year-old is working on doing that tonight in the hopes of turning on a schoolmate’s phone in the hope of catching a shot of her boobs. There’s no reason to believe that your phone couldn’t be turned on remotely.
But would they? We already know what they will do. They’ll admit to an ever-increasing number of warrant-less wiretaps. That doesn’t mean they’re turning your phone on when you’re not using it, of course. But can you really truly say they wouldn’t do that? Think about that the next time your phone has mysteriously lost its charge….
Now for a brief (I hope) digression about mathematics. And by brief I mean largely non-mathematical.
Fractals are marvelous mathematical objects. They’ve got all kinds of neat properties that make mathematicians feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like non-differentiability. And beyond that they can be used to create really incredible images. The objects exhibit self-similarity, can be computed iteratively and frequently are nowhere differentiable.
So now let’s imagine a line. On one side of the line is reality. On the other side is, for lack of a better term, crazy. And by crazy I mean that which isn’t real, the delusional, the made-up, the phantasms of deranged minds, and even just the nutty ideas of otherwise sane individuals. If the line is nice and straight, it’s easy to determine if an idea is on the real or crazy side of the line. Even if the line is curved, but otherwise smooth, one can probably discern where an idea resides.
But what we have is a fractal line. And it is bobbing and weaving all over the plane. Oh, some stuff is clearly far enough away from this line to know whether the idea is real or crazy. Examples: Reality is that Season 9 of the original Dallas sucked donkey balls; Crazy was the idea held by millions of teenage girls back in the day that George Michael might be interested in them.
But what about the stuff closer to the line? Is some cabal of international financiers and their government cronies secretly running the world? We have to dig down through many iterations, perhaps an infinite number of iterations, to figure out if the existence of the Bilderberg Group makes that Real or Crazy. At some iterations the idea is clearly Crazy. At some it is clearly Real. At others we can’t really tell where the line is.
Discerning what is Real and what is Crazy becomes more challenging every day. “Is the government spying on us with our cell phones?” “Well they CAN.” “But ARE they?” “I don’t know. Do you mean all of us?” “Sure, all of us.” “Uh, I don’t think they have the tech to spy on all of us at once yet.” “Are you sure? Isn’t that what the cloud is for?” “Uhhhhhhh….”
Somewhere, in the Byzantine complexity of the federal government, there may – MAY – be someone that can say “Yes, we are.” And that person could give a definite answer. But that person isn’t going to tell us. The government is so complex that no one, not one single person, can definitively say “No, we are not spying on everyone by using their cell-phones.” There is no such person because no one person knows everything that the government is doing. They may make such a statement, they may even believe it. But they don’t KNOW it.
* Which came to an end, of sorts, thanks to Richard Nixon.