Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I despise you

So, a week ago I had an experience that reminded me up close and personal, in stark vivid detail, just how thoroughly vile this world is. It's not the first time it's happened. And it's not even the first time I ended up miserable because of it. It is the first time I undertook a systematic investigation into just what the fuck misery is exactly.

Wow, has it only been a week? My depressions and misery used to last for uncounted lengths of time, not mere days! Well, that's what happens when you've got thorough knowledge of human psychology behind you. Because knowledge is power and in this case, it's the power to exquisitely manipulate one's own emotions. This is real power, bitches!

The first thing I learned about misery during this spell is that anger, hatred and loathing are really good at tamping down misery. And as great as they are for your posture, they're not any good for your teeth. I'd never felt them for very long before so after sustaining them for days without any end in sight, I was getting kinda tired of them. So I undertook to investigate them too.

Eventually, what I discovered is that misery is:

your self associated with actions or events with bad outcomes over which you have no power

there are a few qualifiers to that plus additional context I'm skipping but they're not important here.

What has made me miserable my whole entire life is being associated with you. With humanity, with the human species, with the world. Because I'm part of that humanity, part of that human species, and part of that world. And it is obviously wholly evil from my perspective. I mean, you don't notice evil happening around you, and you don't care that it happens. That makes you evil.

Well, I got over that. The first step was to grab power and personalize the problem. Which involved completely mentally dissociating myself from humanity. I'm not going to go into the details, they're not pertinent. Or comprehensible to such limited and evil beings. The second step was to use power to create positive outcomes. And that left me where I was ten days ago.

Except it's not status quo anymore because the ante's up. You are all more evil than I had come to expect and hate you for. And I am even further removed from you than I used to be.

How many people do you know suffer emotional breakdowns because they watched some random child get emotionally abused in public? Not any I'm willing to bet. If people like me were a significant portion of the general population, that kind of thing wouldn't happen in the first place. This entire world would be very different from what it is.

So most things are back to normal for me, but there is one huge difference. I hate you. I really, really hate you. And since I have an excellent appreciation for the precise and exact manner in which hatred and misery are related, the way I'm framing it in my own mind is "associating myself with my blog's audience makes me miserable".

Which is why I don't intend to finish the updates and maintenance to some articles that badly needed it. Even the one blogger pushed me into unpublishing while I updated it. Nor do I intend to write the article I've left copious dangling references to in the last few posts. Nor do I even intend to publish a draft that was essentially finished a couple days ago.

Because I am dissociating myself from you.

You're so easy to read
But the book is boring me
You're so easy to read
But the book is boring me
You're so easy to read
But the book is boring
Boring boring boring boring
Boring boring me
Pray for me
If you want to
Pray for me
If you care
Pray for me
If you want to
Pray for me
If you dare
Pray for me
If you want to
Pray for me
If you care
Pray for me
If you want to
Pray for me you fucker
If you fucking dare

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Saddest Child

There's this little beach about 200 m from my home that I go to whenever I want to rid myself of distractions so I can think and be creative.

So I sat down at a table on the grass to get some sun and think about what scale visionary entrepreneurs dream on. And suddenly there's this fat woman 5-10 meters to my left saying, not shouting or screaming, in this incredibly loud and carrying voice how stubborn this girl is and loudly calling her back from the beach, which was like 10 meters away.

I got to watch as this fat woman towered over this little three year old blonde girl while loudly and publicly berating her. I heard all about how she'd been 'told' (ordered, not asked) not to go out on the beach without her and to follow her exactly and didn't she understand? And I couldn't help thinking a Japanese mother would have been far more gentle and loving in undermining their child's independence. I also thought that no the child probably didn't understand.

The worst part was the three year old's facial expression and body language. I recognized it you see from someone who'd been so incredibly traumatized by violence and neglect during her childhood that she just freezes whenever someone yells at her. It was an expression that said she was used to being yelled at but hadn't the slightest clue how to handle it. It said she was suffering and desperately trying to figure out how to end it but also quite certain that giving away her suffering was Not Allowed.

And I couldn't bear to watch this. I recall thinking at the time how this is what those sad people I have known who have no self-esteem or self-identity must have suffered as children. This three year old blonde girl is going to grow up to be one of them. And the thought of intervening didn't even enter my mind but what did enter my mind was how there is no socially-acceptable way for me to explain to this stupid fat woman exactly what she's doing.

And as if this wasn't enough, maybe 3 minutes later I got to watch another family come in right beside them. There was a distant-looking mother and her two daughters. The youngest was a 3 year old little blonde girl just like the first one and she couldn't stop smiling. Because she was at the beach and it was wonderful. The contrast couldn't have been any starker because the first girl looked like she never did. And minutes later when she finally did smile, it was so much smaller.

I got out of there because I'd had more than I could bear constantly wondering if this 3 year old was ever happy. So I want to know. How the fuck do you deal with it? Because I don't seem to be able to. Or do you even notice these things? Do you even care? Are you all just monsters?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Semco vs Toyota

I've just been rereading all about the Toyota Production System to contrast it with Semco SA when I was struck by the fascinating realization that in many important ways, they are total ideological opposites.


Yes, both focus on the long term, on teams, on developing people, on mutual responsibility between workers and managers, and empowering workers so they have some means of directing their work. But concerning what it is these systems control and what they let workers decide, they are total opposites.


In Semco, the ONLY thing that matters is your output. Everything else is up to yourself and your team. In TPS, the only thing that matters is your INPUT, your effort and the ingenuity you put into the system in order to freely but continuously improve output.

In TPS, your workflow is very bureaucratically watched, though you are free to change it however you wish so long as it objectively 'reduces waste' (and you leave it in a state that those following you can learn from). But while output is meant to always improve (in quality or cost) this is NEVER predictable nor are there ever any specific expectations about it.

Both Semco and TPS micromanage ONE thing and systematically leave the other as a free variable. But what they choose to micromanage (micro-negotiate really) and what they choose to leave free are opposites.

Finally, TPS works in a constant state of crisis whereas Semco works in a constant state of relaxation. And Semco feels like totalitarian anarcho-communism whereas TPS feels like benevolent cooperative fascism.


What I really want to know is what I can learn about political systems design from this. It seems like there's a very important lesson here. My hypothesis so far is that you need to micro-manage either the input or the output and stay the fuck away from the other so the people involved don't feel like you're turning them into robots.

But does that mean you must micro-manage one side or the other in order to eliminate corruption? And is there another way of splitting freedom vs authoritarianism other than input vs output? I suspect no. More likely, have I gone off the rails somewhere?

Ah yes I have. Already I see that micro-manage isn't the right word. The right-word is micro-negotiate.

Are the political lessons learned from politico-industrial systems even applicable to other kinds of political systems? I would like to think so since politico-industrial systems are particularly harsh and unforgiving. But the industrial aspect introduces an external reality which most political systems lack. At least, political systems other than China since China's obsession with industrializing means that it is, essentially, just an industrial company.

I still don't fully understand why one variable has to be left totally free. But it probably has to do with keeping a psychological comfort zone for workers to retreat to. No, not quite. In Semco it provides such a comfort zone from the external requirements of output. In Toyota there is simply no external requirement and no comfort zone from it - everything is input, intrinsic, internalized. And that's all negotiated in what I see now as a creepy way since you're negotiating your ego.

Functional Requirements

I was doing some idle reading when I came across this sentence which startled me:

A common source of requirements gaps is non-functional requirements such as testability, scalability, maintainability, usability, performance, and security.

Since when did any of these things become non-functional requirements? Up to now I'd always understood non-functional requirements as arbitrary choices of aesthetics and judgement calls. The fuzzier and least trackable aspects of a software designer's job.

Which made me realize that the whole concept of a "non-functional" requirement as others know it, complete with the connotation that they are less important and less comprehensible, is something I find appalling and incomprehensibly alien.

I understand a meta-requirement well. Testability and Maintainability are meta-requirements. And yes I invented that on the spot in 5 seconds. But "non-functional" puzzled me.

So I had to look up the concept of "non-functional requirements" because I couldn't wrap my brain around it or guess the kind of brain damage of anyone who originated it.

In systems engineering and requirements engineering, a non-functional requirement is a requirement that specifies criteria that can be used to judge the operation of a system, rather than specific behaviors.

Ah of course ... engineers. The people who obsess about behaviour rather than understanding. I understand the brain damage involved in the concept now.

Engineering is the mental disorder where a total lack of synthesis leads the sufferer to be incapable of intuiting internals and so 1) they delude themselves that internals can't matter, then 2) raise their crippling disability to the status of a virtue by claiming that fuzzy qualitative behaviours are much less important than quantitative ones.

In short, the narcissistic delusion that what you can't do, wasn't important in the first place. No matter how often empirical reality says the exact opposite.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Human Perfectibility: Nazi vs Communist

Let's start off by noting that biological determinism is a core Nazi belief just as its opposite, human perfectibility, is a core communist belief. It's just one of the reasons why Nazis and communists hated each other.

Now I myself am a communist so I believe in human perfectibility. I also believe you all are cognitively crippled (mentally handicapped) and nothing can be done about that. But ... you still can be perfected.

It's not like there isn't plenty of room for improvement since you're all idiots who believe in the most idiotic things and act in the most idiotic imaginable ways. EVEN IF nobody could change your nature (you being idiots) they could still manipulate the ways you interact (acting like idiots) and the contents of your environments (believing idiotic things).

What History Says

And there is plenty of empirical evidence for the asking that human beings HAVE perfected themselves already. One merely has to look at the history of human psychology. I'm not talking about the academic field of psychology but the changes of the human mind in history.

Julian Jaynes' book on the origin of consciousness points out how all of conscious history can be generalized as reducing psychosis, neurosis and anything else that undermines consciousness. Like religion, pedophilia and child abuse.

Lloyd deMause's books on childrearing modes go into extreme detail into exactly what the psycho-social changes were during the history of consciousness. deMause generalizes them all as reducing reversal and projection while maximizing empathy.

Funny thing, the same mechanism that drives empathy is also the mechanism that drives conscciousness (See Formal Definition of Consciousness). Formation of other-identities is the same as formation of self-identity. Imagine that!

Think about that for a minute. Two psychologists studying radically different periods of history, working independently, and who would have probably spat on each other if they'd ever met, drew conclusions which a third person manages to prove are logically equivalent.

How Perfectibility Happens

So there is plenty of evidence that humans ARE perfectible. Which immediately raises the issue of just how the fuck have humans managed to perfect themselves given that you all are idiots. The obvious answer to which is that YOU all are idiots ... and I'm not.

Kazimierz Dabrowski described how some few individuals (he said 10% of the general population, I say 5%) can perfect themselves. It's really an amazing process. A shitty description but an amazing process. I've provided a better one. See What Are Core Values?

More important is that deMause's childrearing modes sound a lot like Kuhn's scientific revolutions. There are long periods of stability where progress is driven by logical expansion. And then there are very short periods of great instability where progress is driven by something entirely different from logic.

This tells me that psychological progress within childrearing modes (both in expansion within the population and also moving from early- to late-stage) is driven by analytics. And that jumps to the next childrearing mode are driven by synthetics looking for something radically new. And analytic-synthetics are far more successful at accurate jumps than pure synthetics.

Communist vs Nazi

Whether it's in the scientific arena, the psychological arena, or even the technological arena, it's people like me who are responsible for revolutions. Analytic-synthetics who can and have perfected themselves. And yes I do have very good ideas about how to manipulate your environments and your interactions so you all behave less like idiots. Also, I am a communist.

So it angers me when hardcore right-wing conservative (and probably religious) psychologists like Steven Reiss push Nazi ideas like biological determinism in contradiction to all of my first-hand experience and all of the evidence of history! And it angers me far more when he manages to sound like a reasonable person and authority rather than the crazy lying nut he actually is.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not Even The 16 Basic Needs Of An Animal

I extracted this section out of my previous post because I was expanding it far too much. Reiss' supposed theory of 16 supposedly basic needs is striking in its arrogant stupidity and I feel compelled to point out each and every one of its many flaws.

Theory vs Taxonomy

The first problem with it is that it isn't a theory, it's a taxonomy. In order to be a theory, a model with actual predictive power, it would have to specify the type and range of values of each of the needs, how those needs interact with each other, and how they create behaviour in the real world.

Taxonomies are just lists of things. They don't say how the things are wired up to each other or how they behave or how they interact. Taxonomies in other words are just scrap piles. Piles of random junk. Now, taxonomies can still be useful for certain things IFF they are accurate.

A taxonomy of basic needs would be really useful if for instance you wanted to predict the death of capitalism by arguing that all basic needs are being steadily met using technology and that their cost is being driven to zero. Of course, the taxonomy would have to be accurate AND complete.

If incomplete it might still be useful in rewording and formalizing parts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it would have to be absolutely accurate. And Reiss' taxonomy isn't even remotely so.


Before moving on to the blatant inaccuracies, I want to point out that it is not at all obvious how to turn this taxonomy into a model. Let's focus on the supposed basic need for order all humans have. The funny thing is that I have myself long ago identified this as a basic variable at the neurological level. So I know it's important.

But saying "order" messes up all the important questions with unwarranted assumptions. For instance, what is the range of this variable? I personally favour chaos and dislike order. So suddenly it's no longer "order" it's "chaos vs order". More problematically, I don't like chaos all of the time.

It's common in people who enjoy chaos to not want it when they're trying to focus on something else. Really enjoyable music is just too enjoyable when you're working. Then there are things that are simply never enjoyable no matter how much chaos you inject in them. That may trigger a desire for simple order.

In Future Shock, Alvin Toffler wrote that people need a fairly constant amount of change that's within their own personal comfort zone. And he was very specific that 'change' is linear, that too little change leads to boredom and too much change leads to stress. And that different people have personal 'zones of no change' which can be either work, housing, or relationships.

Toffler filled out an entire model on just people's need for change. Reiss not only doesn't recognize change as a basic need (which it is, and arguably more so than curiosity) but he handwaves away ALL of the information that's necessary to turn a taxonomy into a model.

Right-Wing Inaccuracies

Okay, we already dealt with the fact Reiss based his taxonomy on OCD patients obsessed with absolute order instead of normal human beings. That's the first inaccuracy. We also touched on curiosity NOT being the same as a need for change. This should be obvious if you think about it. When you repaint your bedroom, it's not because you were curious what the colour would be like.

Going on, Reiss has listed "raising children" as a fundamental need and as "family". Yeah, that makes sense of people who go childless nowadays or replace children with pets! No, raising children is not fundamental, it's affection + creation. He's also stupid enough to confuse being safe with feeling safe, and romance with sex.

I can't accept that my need for creativity isn't listed. Wait, that's incorrect. I do accept that Reiss is an uncreative moron incapable of even imagining creativity. He also showcases his complete lack of creativity by failing to imagine all the obvious objections I've made so far. Objections which I consider incredibly basic.

As for "family", I fucking hate my family. I think most people who've overcome their abusive childhoods have ended up doing the same. Hatred is a really positive emotion sometimes.

We see from Reiss' choice of "family" as a basic need (along with "order") that he is a hardcore right-wing conservative. The bible-thumping kind I suspect since he's announced he intends to justify religion using his "model".

Exponential Explosion

Going on, while it's not even remotely true that "raising children" or "family" are fundamental needs, women's biological clocks shows that having children can be a fundamental need. So we're up to 19 basic needs now since we've added 'change' 'affection' 'creation' 'reproduction' while erasing that homey-sounding crap 'family'.

Does it sound like the number of fundamental needs is going to explode out of control? That's because you've got a smidgeon of intelligence more than Reiss does. Considering the intelligence the expert "Professor" has consistently failed to display, that puts you at about a billion times smarter than he is.

While I'm at it, since I already have affection down, I might as well complete the quintet. Love is: affection, attention, acceptance, allowance, and appreciation. Allowance means tolerance. For sexual love, just add attraction. It's funny how Reiss has got acceptance and attention. Allowance is too close to acceptance for Reiss' teeny tiny mind to grasp so that's understandable. But appreciation is beyond him because that's a conscious emotion. In fact, appreciation is just conscious knowledge of someone.

(Admit it, you thought "romance" would subdivide into sex + love, or possibly sex+love+romance. Hah, it subdivides into 6 different things!)

Reiss is of course the kind of lying fucker who would claim that appreciation is a kind of social status. Except that is not even remotely true. It is merely that the only thing most people appreciate about others is their social status. And that to genuinely appreciate someone means to personally grant them a kind of unilateral social status. But there are kinds of appreciation (like strong food preferences) that have nothing to do with social status. And there are social statuses in primitive societies that have no room for consciousness or conscious emotions like appreciation.

But the deal-killer for me has got to be the conspicuous absence of physical comfort from the list. And no, affection isn't the same as comfort since affection is emotional while comfort is physical (*). You see, physical comfort is the first and most important need any mammal has and trumps hmm all of the supposedly basic needs on Reiss' stupid list ... yeah that one isn't listed.

Why? My theory is that Reiss is a fucking Nazi. The Nazis' parents were big believers in denying all physical comfort to their children in favour of beating them unconscious. Notice how their children grew up ... to be Nazis.

*: that makes it 19+1(comfort)+6 (the 6 A's) -3 (acceptance, affection, social contact) -1 (romance) +1(sex) = 23 on the list now.

Contradicting An Established Actual Theory

Now, Reiss the Nazi handwaves away the yawning canyon of difference between his taxonomy and an explanatory model. He also pretends that his taxonomy is complete and not narrow-minded right-wing crap. Nazi crap at that.

What's unforgivable is the ridiculous notion that these animalistic needs remain axiomatic in everyone for all time. According to the Nazi, the mind is hardwired to serve some evolutionary physical needs and that is all there is to it. This is an incorrect and Nazi notion and total crap for analytic-synthetics. See What Are Core Values? In essence, his claims contradict Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration.

So first the Nazi claims that his taxonomy actually explains stuff. When in reality it explains nothing. And then he goes on to claim that his taxonomy explains everything. Despite the fact what it says is the total exact 180 degree opposite and logical contradiction of this other theory that actually is predictive!

His ridiculous claims of immutable needs also blatantly contradict my theory of value dynamics. They contradict the everyday experience that people's values change. And the notion that there are some genetically hardwired values, or types of values, called 'basic needs' runs smack against everything we know about neurology and cognitive science which is essentially that very little, if anything, is fixed. And nothing is both fixed AND universal.


Reiss' taxonomy while unusable is a decent attempt at a first version of a taxonomy of fundamental desires. In software development, I would call it version 0.1. It is far too wildly inaccurate to be usable as a taxonomy. Nobody but a moron would rely on this crud. As a prototype of a taxonomy, it's pretty decent. It showcases what a taxonomy of this kind of thing should look like. It needs a lot of work.

As a model, it is complete and utter total crap. It is blatantly misleading, lying and evil. It doesn't qualify as a prototype or even a rigged demo. Nobody but the most clueless and witless moron would take this for version 0.1 of anything. This is the half-baked sketch of an idea you put on a whiteboard during a brainstorming session. This should never have been published.

SO if you find yourself successfully using this "model" on a broken fucked up human, one of two things has happened. Either you're deluding yourself about how successful you are OR you're really using a freakishly large amount of other-psychology that you're deluding yourself about not using.

Psychology: A Litany of Failures

Some few people are genuinely interested in developing an understanding of the human mind. As opposed to knowledge of the gross and pathetic circle-jerk that is the academic field of psychology. For those very few who seek genuine understanding rather than a PhD, it is vital to appreciate that only a tiny number of psychologists are worth reading.

Academics: Narcissistic Twats

It continues to baffle me how academics keep confusing a subject like the human mind with the history of their own understanding of it. Physicists do the same damned thing. The collective narcissism of these moronic twats is absolutely revolting to me. It is also hypocritical in the extreme since they claim to care about objectivity instead of their own self-aggrandizement.

You would figure psychologists have a better grasp on their own egos than to act in such a narcissistic manner. And that physicists have enough analysis to grasp the difference between the level of physics, the meta-level of their understanding of physics, and the meta-meta-level of the history of their understanding of physics. The real puzzle is that these two radically different mental handicaps result in the same damned collective behaviour.

Physicists don't have the slightest grasp on how their own minds work and some of the most celebrated among them were sick twisted fucks. Meanwhile, psychologists haven't the slightest grasp on logic and some of the most celebrated among them implied human minds don't exist. Yet for some incomprehensible reason, physicists and psychologists act, as a group, the same damned way!

The Ones Worth Reading

So anyways, Carl Jung, Kazimierz Dabrowski, Lloyd deMause and Julian Jaynes are pretty much the only psychologists in human history to have contributed any important insights to our modern understanding of the human mind. In What Are Core Values? I will show just how very little insight Dabrowski provided so you can see I really am scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

In the case of Carl Jung, his better ideas have so thoroughly permeated modern pop psychology that reading him will only leave you with the dreck. I recommend instead reading my articles on fundamental cognitive traits. They're so much better than that crap about supposedly equal archetypes. Worst case, read an overview of Jung's ideas then give him a pass.

The Ones Not Worth Reading

The Big Five Factors of Personality were uncovered through statistical analysis of essentially random questions. This is the kind of scut work which any second year statistics student could have done. You don't even need to know any psychology to do this. And "interpreting" the results of the factor analysis was no doubt just an exercise in free association. Yes you need to know what the Big Five Factors are but then you get that from pop psych so just read a summary.

Myers and Briggs were hacks who churned out an assortment of questions to fit Carl Jung's personality theory. The questionnaire named after them to this day shows not a trace of understanding of the underlying theory. It even contains errors which they no doubt considered "improvements" in their last trait which is just nonsensical and wrong. The entire test is verbose, redundant and unreliable as hell. And their interpretation of results, especially that some personality types aren't superior to others, is just blatant lies.

Fun fact: the MBTI data says men with analysis and synthesis are three times more common as women. Good chance on ever getting a date that's your peer. No, I don't believe that data. I already said it's crap.

Bloom's commission was a commission comprised of many groups not just psychologists. And they still managed to get it wrong as they never realized Judgement is the synergy of Analysis and Synthesis. This is forgivable since these people are all stupid. But they also claimed (or maybe just now claim) that synthesis is a faculty on top of, and not independent of, analysis. And that is just unforgivable. A single psychologist (or teacher) working a single hour should have realized how blatantly wrong that is.

Hare is disappointingly obvious. I'm sorry that psychologists are so fucking stupid they consider detecting psychopaths to be some kind of an achievement. It really isn't. And Hare himself proves that every culture has a concept of "someone who should be left to die on an ice floe because they lie, cheat and steal without ever expressing any genuine remorse". The concept of psychopathy is not even remotely novel.

Now, while the PCL-R is definitely a useful diagnostic tool, it in no way, shape or form enhances our understanding of psychopathy. In fact, there is no conception among psychologists of just what the hell empathy is (see Formal Definition of Empathy). All that crap about mirror neurons cognitive scientists have come up with is just crap. It is entirely on the wrong level, like talking about the features of Intel x86 CPUs when you want to know why MS Windows crashes.

Finally, Hare's latest work with (not on) psychopaths, trying to "redeem" them through intellectual discourse and logic is downright disturbing. Psychopaths should all be put to death, no ifs ands or buts about it. They harm society by being free. They harm society by talking. They harm society by existing. They harm society by us having to put them to death. The only real issue is which of our options minimizes the harm they do.

Maslow is just a quack spouting ridiculous and obvious nonsense. Nonsense which blatantly contradicts reality if you take it seriously. So you're asked not to but then what the fuck is the point of that? Maslow's concept of self-actualization is essentially a crappier, dodgier, fuzzier, less comprehensible version of Dabrowski's Multi-Leveling which at least has the Theory of Positive Disintegration as a huge juicy bonus.

Reiss is a right-wing possibly Nazi fucker whose "16 basic needs" is not even the 20+ basic needs of an animal. By the time you fleshed it out, it'd be 30+ basic needs, it wouldn't actually explain even animals, and a good few percent of homo sapiens sapiens would remain forever beyond such crass reduction. Reiss is almost a new Skinner.

Skinner is a blatant charlatan who claimed that human consciousness does not exist and that humans are just animals. The fact anyone takes his crap seriously is ludicrous. The fact revisionists have tried to rewrite history to make Skinner seem less like the total fucking nutcase zealot he actually is is infuriating.

Freud has left us with pretty much nothing. His id, ego, superego divisions were, at best, specific to Victorians. The superego (persecuting alter) disappears entirely with childrearing mode 6. Conversely, there are people whose minds are segmented many more times (multiple personalities). So we're looking at the notion that the mind can be segmented and that's as obvious as ancient demonology.

Freud can't be credited with discovering the Victorians universally abused their children sexually since he reversed himself on it, trying to make excuses. His dream analysis is useless because symbology is too individual (can't be looked up in a dictionary) and people lie, especially patients.

What Freud is "best known for" is trite and obvious shite such as the subconscious existing or people repressing memories. Far from being some kind of giant in the field, Freud is a complete non-entity to modern psychology.

The Latest Failures

The latest coup among theoretical psychologists is to claim that multiple personalities does not exist. So-called "dissociated identity" means that a personality system's multiple concepts of self (multiple identities) are dissociated from the underlying truth of a unitary personality. IOW, that their senses of self are a lie. There is a lie here and it is in the DSM-IV and in the empty fucking heads of psychologists.

The truth is that it is a fucking miracle that something as ad hoc and arbitrarily complex as a mind ever manages to coalesce into a single unitary personality. There is absolutely nothing obvious about why it should happen. At all. And yet it does in nearly every modern person. That it does not in some people is unfortunate but entirely predictable. You have to be some kind of fucking retard to imagine that the present state of affairs of unitary personalities is a universal law to which deviations are simply impossible.

Julian Jaynes says humans didn't experience this coalescing as recently as 3000 years ago. And while he points to a great deal of psychosocial changes at the time that somehow resulted in this happening, the "somehow" remains a big question mark. Of course, Jaynes just had to die before he could answer these questions and I don't believe ordinary psychologists understand the questions to begin with. Also, multiple personalities do not spontaneously merge so that situation is only vaguely similar.

What's Wrong With Psychologists?

The reason why psychologists are such failures is because they're incapable of logic or synthesis. It's the same reason why they're incapable of detecting psychopaths. First because they're incapable of detecting contradictions in what the psychopaths say. Second because they're incapable of generating original psychological models of their patients so they can't check that those models (based on the psychopaths' lies) don't match up with their actual behaviour.

To work as a psychotherapist is to work overwhelmingly with people who lack analysis and synthesis. As someone who possesses those cognitive traits, I say "no fucking thank you!" Since psychologists are incapable of the basic processes of cognition (ie, they can't think), it should be no surprise that one person capable of those processes can, working alone, achieve a better understanding of the human mind than the entire community of psychologists put together.


It should also be no surprise that the solution to reliably detecting psychopaths so they can be put to death lies in letting people like me diagnose them. People who refuse to work as psychologists but have an excellent understanding of the human mind. Now, while I'm certain it gives everyone a warm glow inside to think of me having the power of life and death over everyone I come across, let's all pause for a minute in order to appreciate the full magnificence of that wondrous vision, my actual recommendation is to summon random juries of my peers to decide on a case by case basis.

(The political side-effects of correctly putting all psychopaths to death is that it reduces magical thinkers to third class citizens since if they whine too much, they'll get conveniently diagnosed as psychopaths and be put to death. Mere analytic or synthetic people would become second class citizens since they are naturally less annoying than magical thinkers so would be given much greater leeway. This political situation is best described as "everything as it should be". This is obviously a great solution since it solves problems I never intended it to solve.)

And yes, I seriously believe that putting all psychopaths to death as they're detected (and instituting universal testing) in order to try to wipe them out of the gene pool is the biggest priority for psychology. Gaining a full understanding of the human mind is nice but the only thing it's useful for is building machine intelligences which themselves won't be useful until they can be built in the hundreds of millions. It's also useful to understand why I'm superior to you all and hate you but that's only of personal interest to me. So yeah, psychopaths. Psychotics used to be a big problem until thorazine was invented (not by psychologists). In our era, the biggest problem is psychopaths.

It might be an idea to start solving the psychopaths problem by criminalizing their creation. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome looks an awful lot like psychopathy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with jailing a woman for delivering a baby she's soaked in alcohol during her pregnancy. It's a good thing some countries recognize that. Yes, I know, it's a pipe dream. Psychologists are too stupid. Politicians are too stupid. The courts are way too stupid. And society is made up of stupid people who stupidly believe they're first class citizens. But I can still dream.

Imagine there's no religion.
No psychotics hallucinating Jesus.
No nutters or zealots.
And no psychopaths too!
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one.

What Are Your Core Values?

This is an exercise for analytic synthetic intellectuals. If you're not analytic, you won't get any coherent answers. If you're not synthetic, you won't generate any answers. And if you're neither, there aren't any answers for you to get, period.

See also What Are Core Values?

Theory for Non-Intellectuals

If you're not an intellectual, you don't concern yourself with questions of self-knowledge so you simply won't care about this exercise. Despite the fact that you should care as self-knowledge has many important applications in your life.

Then again, if you're a non-intellectual (to say nothing about anti-) then your whole approach to life is empirically wrong because you're assuming you can reliably predict, using a simple heuristic no less, the practical value of theoretical understanding before having acquired said understanding. You cannot and your understanding of how the world works is warped.

If you're a non-intellectual, there's nothing you can do to become an intellectual since it's fundamental. However, it remains useful to recognize your limitations instead of denying they exist. Hanging around intellectuals and following their advice when they say a purely theoretical exercise has immense practical value is a good idea.

Orient Your Life!

So what are the practical applications of knowing your core values?

For one thing, you will know what you want to do with your life. As opposed to what you've ended up doing by chance. As opposed to what people tell you they want you to do. As opposed to what people tell you you should want to do. As opposed to what will bring you the most money, the most glory, or the most acceptance.

Assuming of course that your mind and self-identity aren't so broken that you are some kind of psychopath who cares only about power. Or a narcissist who cares only about glory. Or that you haven't had your self-esteem ground down to nothing until you are so fucked up as to have no concept of self-identity period. Yes, people that fucked up exist in modern society.

It's not a coincidence that I warn against narcissism and psychopathy. The same mechanisms that drive empathy (the formation of other-identities) also drive the formation of self-identity. See Formal Definition of Empathy and Empathy, Synthesis, Autism and Psychopathy. Whenever I get around to writing them, there's still too much uncertainty in my theories.

Learn To Communicate!

For another thing, knowledge of your own and your peers' core values will allow you to understand how to interact with them. Or why you cannot. It will allow you to see why a certain line of argument will never work with someone despite it making perfect sense to you. And vice versa. It will allow you to see what's normal to you that others consider hurtful and vice versa.

And the reason why it works is that your core values are like axioms in a mathematical system. Some things can be proven in one axiomatic system but not another. Some theorems translate to other axiomatic systems. Some need to be adapted. And some will simply never translate.

So if integrity is one of your core values then logical contradictions will be intolerable. And any logical contradiction between your core values and another person's core values will mean you can't interact with them, period. Hypocrites will also be intolerable regardless of their values.

Incidentally, this kind of meta-level behaviour, where your core values determine how your core values interact, is quite common. As it should be since there's nothing more fundamental to appeal to.

Understand Your Friends!

Finally, understanding someone's core values is the essence of understanding them. You can't say you understand them without knowing their, accurate, concept of self-identity. Knowing their food preferences or their childhood damage doesn't hold a candle to knowing their life-long enduring personality traits.

The same personality traits that will explain and often even predict over 90% of their major decisions for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, food preferences are liable to change at any time with no warning. And childhood damage tends to be overcome by analytic-synthetics just because they can. Even seemingly enduring traits like severe depression may be solved without warning.

Core values are those things a person holds which they will never want to overcome.

Determine Your Core Values

Now here's a fun little paradox. Are the people who skipped straight to this section intellectuals for not needing the sales pitch or non-intellectuals for going straight to the practical section? This will keep me up tonight, I just know it.

Okay, determining your core values is incredibly simple if you just fucking know how. Which means if someone tells you. So you can maybe appreciate that it took me more than a decade to discover mine since I only had quacks and charlatans to "guide" me. You know, the people holding PhDs in psychology and philosophy.

The questions "who are you?" and "what do you want?" are hopelessly vague as-is. In order to fully answer those questions, you need to answer: "what is the intersection of your answer-sets to the following questions #1, #2 and #3?"

  1. what abstract properties would you be perfectly happy were they to become universal, fundamental and inviolable laws of the universe (because they are never evil)?
  2. what gives you literal joy to see more of (because they are always good)?
  3. what kinds of people would you cheerfully murder if you could get away with it (because they have no hope of redemption)?

In other words, what abstract qualities do you feel strongly about to the point where they bring a literal smile to your face when you see them, literal tears of pain when you see them destroyed, and one of a red haze of rage, a cold burning hatred, or a spiteful contempt when you see someone who will go on to destroy them for the rest of their life everywhere they go?

Tips & Tricks

Start off with any answer to those questions. Ask yourself whether you always want exactly this with no exceptions. If you only want it 99% of the time then there may be a closely related term which is  a better fit. As a last resort, look it up in a thesaurus.

Construct counter-examples. Not just to the individual core values you've identified but to all of them. Imagine the worst possible world that fits ALL of the core values you've identified. If you think it's okay then perhaps you haven't made your imagined world a bad enough hell.

If you can imagine a scenario that is obviously bad because the people in it are obviously evil, stupid and/or just plain moronic yet it obviously satisfies ALL of the core values you've identified so far then that's because there's a core value you HAVEN'T identified which it violates. This is a clue.

Ask yourself, or better yet ask one of your friends, whether the core values you've identified are sufficient to reliably predict your major decisions, your major likes and dislikes, to greater than 90% certainty. If not then that's because your real mind is much bigger than the model-of-your-mind you're constructing. It's time to start digging into some of those dark spaces of your mind.

I have identified 9 core values in myself and I think they explain pretty much all important decisions in my life. Identifying 4 core values in someone seems like the beginning of understanding them. Knowing 6 of a person's core values seems like the beginning of a solid understanding. But yeah, EACH core value must be something you have absolute 100% confidence in before it really counts.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Taxonomy of Beings In Earth and Heaven

There is a notion bought by the majority of people that there is such a thing as a homogeneous humanity and then there are Others. Aliens, machine intelligences, angels and demons. This is utterly fucking ridiculous as I know, or know of, human beings that fit every possible archetype of an intelligent being you can imagine. And I don't believe in Cthulhu or Solaris. Hence this exercise which has nothing to do with mythology but rather describes actual people I know. If you don't find it helpful, spare me and fuck off. If you're offended because you're religious, fuck off even harder.


First there are the ordinary humans. They lead ordinary lives. They don't have individual power over the world, they don't transform it, they don't even dream of it. They live their lives as part of society. They are an integral part of the world.

These are the people who think they're dreaming big if they wish to be mutants with magic powers so they can "fight crime" and gain glory. Or win the lottery so they can acquire lots of pieces of paper and gain glory. Or be an insignificant cog in a dubiously effective mass protest that makes it into the papers so they can gain glory.

Or become politicians like Obama who are impotent figureheads incapable of changing the behaviour of the political system they belong to so they can gain glory. Or become head of a big corporation so they can be swept adrift by the storms of finance so they can gain glory.

Are you perceiving the pattern here? These people are PART OF THE SYSTEM. And the thing they ultimately care about is their place, their status, IN the system.

Types of Humans

Now, there are many different types of humans and the differences between them are rather interesting. The three major types of humans are cows, people and zealots.

Cattle are those placid humans who follow along with the group, always. They don't have any independent desires, not even to better their status within the group, unless of course the group says so. Don't think for a moment that cattle are pacifistic or harmless. Bloodthirsty mobs are made up of cattle. The genocidal savages in black Africa are made of cattle. Anyone who's ever seen a cattle stampede knows they are dangerous.

People are those with some independent desires but no great passions. They are moderate, not extreme. They have no overriding ideologies. They have Hobbies, not Causes.

Zealots are those with crazy ideas which they follow to extremes. Crazy ideas like participating in politics really matters. Or mass protests do a lick of good. Or industrialization is a bad thing because poverty is better. Or the economic status quo is something to be preserved. Or poor people ought to die, starve, freeze to death. Or we can avoid freezing to death using weak ambient sources of power like wind, sun and biomass which belong to the Medieval Ages. Or war is good. Or nationalism is good. Or religion is good.

Then there are two minor sub-types of humans. The super-man and the hero.

Super-men are humans whose will far exceeds that of ordinary humans, even zealots. They make things happen. They are leaders of humans. They're still human so their aspirations still lie entirely within the system. Their dreams are the system's dreams, and not necessarily the dreams (or orders) of those around them. Super-men want glory, they just want it infinitely more than ordinary humans. William Gates III is a super-man.

Heroes are people who sacrifice for the system, for society, for others. They achieve what nobody else accomplishes because it took exceptional and individual sacrifice to do it. If "sacrifice" is expected then it isn't sacrifice at all, it is mere duty. Sacrifice is voluntary. Soldiers and firemen are often called heroes by fascistic societies like the USA but they rarely are because they're just doing their jobs.

Zealots all like to think they're heroes. They aren't. Almost none of them are. They just fantasize they are like adolescents reading American comic books. Not even the zealot leaders are heroes since they rarely if ever sacrifice anything at all. Their usual method of operation is to demand sacrifices of their followers and the world at large. In exchange for special dispensations against guilt or just plain old ego stroking. They're indulgence sellers.

A human who's a combination of super-man and hero is obviously a super-hero. Oskar Schindler probably counts as a super-hero.


Powers are beings beyond even super-men. They're not at the extremes of humanity because they have moved entirely beyond it. They hold individual power which they have created rather than societal power which they were given. They have the willingness to impose their will on the system, on society, and on the world.

They are capable of independent judgement of good and evil (goals), not just right and wrong (what achieves a goal). They wanted to develop and possess their own independent standards. They can't be judged by human standards because they are the judges. It is the system, society and the entire world that are judged by the Power's standards.

Powers' lives can no longer be contained by this Earth nor any society within it because they seek to transform it. Their dreams are not of Earth but of Heaven. Powers come in two mutually exclusive categories, the merciful Angels and the merciless Demons.


Demons are Powers of limited empathy. They are incapable of genuine concern or mercy for anyone else's suffering. Their overriding concern is exploiting all others, whether they be minions or free-willed, in order to bring about their vision of Hell on Earth.

The demon Steve Jobs for instance is constantly seeking to bring about Appletopia. And if many zealots worship Appletopia this only means they're demonic cultists, not that there is anything redeeming about Steve Jobs' vision.

Arch-demons are lords of demons.

Steve Jobs' superior William Gates III is an arch-demon.

Elves are not the bowdlerizations of Tolkien but the enticing creatures of chaos and destruction depicted by Terry Pratchett. Elves are evil. Elves lie pathologically, they are malicious, and have no concept of morality. Empathy is beyond them.

The typical psychopath is an elf, whether violent or non-violent. Bonus points if they're charming.

Auditors are worse than even the elves. They seek the destruction of humanity for their own petty convenience.

Any demons pushing Deep Ecology are obviously Auditors. They push the ridiculous notion that morality entails homo sapiens sapiens submit to extinction so viruses can live. Obviously they have no grasp of moral theory and they seek to annihilate humanity to cover up that lack.

I'd like to classify Ayn Rand and other key lying zealot leaders of the right-"libertarian" Cause as Auditors. After all, if they ever succeeded in bringing about their hellish nightmare of a world where everybody is a psychopath and a slave, civilization would collapse instantly and human extinction would begin within a month.

But unlike the scary eco-zealots, the right-libertarians don't actually desire humanity to go extinct or to undergo a massive die-off. The eco-zealots do. That's what makes them Auditors. And it is why I personally vote they should all be put to death like the elves. Every single one of them, even the merely human zealots.


Angels are Powers of full empathy. This means they have an acute understanding of your suffering and are capable of genuine mercy. This does NOT mean they'll have any mercy on you. Meeting an Angel is not always an unambiguously good experience.

There's a reason the Fallen Angel and the Avenging Angel exist as stereotypes. The former has expended all its mercy and has none left to give you. The latter wants to see you suffer in retribution.

Angels live their lives dreaming of Heaven. Their overriding concern is transforming the system to make of the Earth into a Heaven. They may consider this Earth to already be Hell. If so then they want to make of Hell a Heaven.

I'm not going to name the Angels I know. I will say it doesn't take much effort to see their halos.

Archangels are lords of Angels. No longer just leaders or teachers of Angels, Archangels are grim and forbidding figures. They no longer implicitly trust Angels or consider them their peers. They may not trust Angels at all. They're now willing to veto, impose their will on, and even judge Angels. If they seem happy and amiable, it's just because everything is going their way.

Demiurges have mastered their power and are transforming the world using what's already there.

Gods create ex nihilo.

Monday, July 11, 2011

People Who Waste My Time Calling Me A Troll

The ultimate hypocrisy is a lying asshole like programmer Tom Novelli of TUNES fame calling me a troll after he has gone out of his way to deliberately waste my time.

Let me be very clear. If you think I'm a "troll", a person who "goes out of his way to upset everyone's precious Harmony" ... fuck you. Seriously, go fuck yourself. I do not care to talk to you. Ever. I consider you to be retarded and a moron to boot. Talking to you will be either painful or excruciatingly boring to me. It is not an experience I will enjoy.

I do not need you to be my "friend". I do not even need you to be friendly. What I need from you is to stay the fuck out of my way. Preferably by warning me that you are worthless if I think otherwise. Because as you pat yourself on the back about how tolerant and open-minded you are like some POMO cultural relativistic fucker, the truth is that you are stealing my time!

What I need from people who aren't my intellectual equals is their acceptance of that simple fact. Either so they will believe what I tell them implicitly or so I can avoid the many subjects they cannot understand. Anyone who is hostile to me and hostile to the truth will obviously not provide me that acceptance. So they can just go fuck themselves and stay out of my way.

And if you don't. If after this warning you still waste my time in order to make yourself feel better, I will do everything I can, and it is considerable, to destroy you psychologically.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

People's Self-Evaluations

I'm always on the lookout for potential peers and equals. The fact I so rarely find them is one reason why I hate you all. But when I do, talking to them is wonderful and invigorating. Even the occasion where I talked all night with an equal only to decide I despise him for being a nihilist. I never once regretted a single minute of that conversation after the fact. It was a great experience even without counting what I learned that night.

What I regret each and every time is the people who snow me. People who I initially think are my peers and equals but who after being pushed just a little forcefully, end up spouting the most bizarre crap. Stuff like going through a Star Trek transporter means you die and a copy lives on. Or that AI in our future is something you can choose to "believe in". Or that your opinion in a subject is precious and valuable even though I know literally 10 times as much of it as you. Or that "withholding judgement" makes you a nice guy when I would myself have rendered judgement on 1/10th of the data you have available.

I shudder in horror and revulsion every time I find out they lied to me. And they DID lie to me. Every single one of them swear up and down they are logical and creative and intellectual. Then I find out they are incapable of applying their so-called logic to a simple scenario like their mind/body being copied. Or they are incapable (*) of applying their so-called creativity to the ebb and flow (the meta-level) of the conversation they are involved in. Or they are incapable of applying their so-called intellectual curiosity to anything that doesn't have practical ramifications for themselves. When I find out they've lied to me, those are the conversations I regret ever having, those are the people I wish I'd never known.

How can you count yourself an intellectual without being curious? How can you count yourself logical when you can't apply logic to personal situations like your own life and death? How can you call yourself creative when you scorn the very form that original ideas come in as "mere talking"? And yet these people do. Perhaps they think there's something wrong with me for being a linguistic thinker instead of a pictorial one? Oh wait, that would just mean they have no conception what an 'idea' is. No, these are just self-inflating blowhards who like to think they're analytic synthetic intellectuals because it sounds nice. When in reality they're just putting their egos before the truth. And I hate that.

Over 95% of people are cognitively broken. And even though I dismiss greater than 9/10ths of the people I see around as worthless, I still end up with a dud rate of about half. It's pretty sad. And exasperating. Which is probably why I'm not in the mood to handwave these liars away by saying illogical people have no conception of logic or uncreative people have no conception of creativity. That's crap. They should fucking know. It doesn't take much effort to compare yourself to fellow high school students and see that you are more or less capable at math, programming and logic than others. Or that you are more or less capable at artistic and creative endeavours. Or that you are more or less intellectually curious. Who here has never met a good math student, a good student artist, or a good philosophy student?

They should fucking know and they are willfully and blatantly lying.

*: I can tell when someone is resisting willfully versus when they're simply unable. To resist something willfully you have to know it exists and recognize it when you see it. I consider it perverse and exasperating to resist meta-leveling but I can work with it. Just like an artist might work with another who insists on doing everything in black and white, but not with a blind person. There are limits to what one can work with.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

What Are Lambdas?

I'll start with some observations.

First, you can't say you fully understand something until you can explain it to others. Second, whenever you explain something fundamental, you can do so as a totally arbitrary property or in terms of some cognitively fundamental concept. 

Defining numbers as idempotent to sets is pretty fundamental. Defining addition as merging of sets is also fundamental. This is good. Defining these things in terms of Peano axioms is uselessly verbose and obfuscatory besides. This is bad.


Lambdas are just blocks of code. Lambdas DO things. This is a good, simple, cognitively fundamental explanation. The problem with this explanation is it violates every tenet of functional programming. It says lambdas DO something instead of MEANING something.

Since programmers are all idiots and computer "scientists" are even worse evil idiots, they resort to hocus pocus about ISK and lambda calculus. Read above about uselessly verbose and obfuscatory "explanations" of totally arbitrary properties. Summary: these explanations are bad!

So we come to the conclusion that Haskell programmers and computer "scientists" don't know what lambdas are. This is ... totally unsurprising. We have a world chock full of idiots here. A crapsack world from my perspective. A world where just one more drop of evil would lessen the horror I experience at it.

What Lambdas Are

When you finally realize what they are, it's just beautiful. Lambdas are "the meta-relation 'relation'". Everything is a relation in functional programming, and lambdas are the meta-relation. When you apply lambda R, you state the input and output are related through R.

All to say that today I finally learned what lambdas are from an FP perspective. And it's all so laughably trivial. There is something distinctly wrong with your brains that you couldn't have taught me (or anyone) this trivial thing. This trivial thing that properly belongs on the first page of the very first book read by anyone learning functional programming.

What the fuck is wrong with you all? I mean, there are plenty of idiotically written books on OOP that explain objects are "data structures with member functions" whatever the fuck that means. But at least, people understand 'hey, an OBJECT' from their real world experience.

If you losers wanted to avoid explaining what lambdas are, couldn't you have named them oh I don't know 'meta-function'? None of you losers seem able to grasp things for WHAT THEY ARE. How long did it take to rename CAR and CDR as head and tail or CONS cell to Association?

It's like you stare at a plane and think "shiny metal thing with two giant outflying struts each with underslung fast-spinning rotors attached". Fucking autistics, ought all be shot. Or at least get declared as second-class citizens.

Lambdas Are Meta

Lambdas are unavoidably meta. Their meta-ness stares you in the face when you know what lambdas are, because meta-ness is ALL they are. Which functional programmers don't seem to understand since they are all idiots. Or evil idiots. Bureaucrats writing tomes about type theory to pad out their resumes.

I emphasize this point because LISP has no special syntax for lambdas so it makes it appear that the relation 'meta-relation' is a similar kind of thing to other relations. And this blatantly violates a fundamental rule of UI design which states that you must never confuse the level with the meta-level.

I like Smalltalk's Block O' Code syntax - [:variable1 :variable2 | variable1 + variable2]. It's very ... hefty. It's very special. It's very good. It's exactly what it should be. When you stare at it, there is no doubt in your mind "this thing is not like these other things". And it really isn't.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Thinking Non-Linguistically

I was chatting with a fellow systems designer today who told me that when we first met my OS design project seemed more advanced than his. The more I tried to place the year we met, the odder this impression seemed. Eventually he told me that my precise use of words and names for my ideas made them seem more refined than his.

It turns out that he thinks in pictures and gestures. This is hardly the first time I've heard that idea but it always just baffled me previously. You know all those people who advise you to think of something visually or other-than-linguistically when you want to memorize something? That "advice" never meant anything to me either. The whole concept of non-linguistic thinking seemed incomprehensibly alien. What else are you supposed to think with?

Well, I understand it now. It has nothing to do with thinking. My friend uses pictures and gestures as referents to memorize ideas and concepts. The same way that I would use names. Now, the idea that naming isn't thought is hardly novel. Richard Feynman, that world-class evil fucking asshole wrote about how his father taught him that knowing the names of a bird in 10 different languages says absolutely nothing about the bird.

(And let me say that it is a majestic tour de force for him to have left an impression of himself as easy-going and folksy in his books when I heard he was a sadistic torturer who enjoyed destroying his students' self-confidence just to make himself seem all-knowing and better-than-them. He was also the biggest hypocritical fucking idiot in physics since he correctly diagnosed the cause of Einstein's lack of productive work later in life and then ... proceeded to emulate him!)

So anyways, names are not ideas. Big deal. That doesn't mean anything until you can actually explain what ideas are in the first place. That turns out to be absurdly simple if you know exactly what synthesis and analysis are. Or maybe I've got that turned around since I think I figured out what ideas are before nailing analysis and synthesis. Or maybe I did them simultaneously, since these questions are so closely related.

What's an idea? An idea is a chain or graph of concepts. The relations between the concepts are themselves some of the most fundamental concepts. Some of these are structural identity, essential identity, association, negation, opposition, and implication. An idea is a TOPOLOGY OF REFERENTS. Think of a web with words at every intersection. Unless you're a non-linguistic thinker in which case the words are replaced by gestures, pictures or pictures of paths.

What's a concept? A concept is a contiguous shape in an N-dimensional scatterplot. I highly recommend reading this essay on machine learning if you want more details. It's what made me understand synthesis and exactly what space concepts are shapes IN. Beforehand I only knew that concepts had a sort of shape, and that they were fuzzy, and in some people could be ridiculously malleable. In a few, concepts get systematically broken down into subcomponents.

So what does thinking non-linguistically mean? It still doesn't mean anything and it is still absurd. But no less so than thinking linguistically. Because you don't think with words. Words are merely placeholders. Symbols with no intrinsic meaning whose meanings is arbitrarily imposed on them from without.

And what does this mean for non-linguistic thinkers? Well, it means they're at a severe disadvantage in communicating anything. Because keystrokes are extremely fast and drawings are extremely slow to generate, even on paper. Their brain's use of non-linguistic referents presents an enormous obstacle to communicating their thoughts. Or even writing them out in a diary and forgetting them.

Most importantly, it means people with a refined use of names (or language in general) are not necessarily better thinkers. Neither more analytic, nor synthetic, nor even more intelligent.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

90% of Software Projects Fail

In reply to the delusional asshole programmer who commented on my other post claiming the software industry's modus of failures was perfectly acceptable and didn't see any meaningful difference between it and any other industries ... I just want to share this little gem of a paper which I ran across in my delicious account. (I was trying to find stats I'd bookmarked about how Americans are stingy assholes compared to Scandinavians.)

From the paper (emphasis added),

On the success side, the average is only 16.2% for software projects that are completed on-time and on-budget. In the larger companies, the news is even worse: only 9% of their projects come in on-time and on-budget. And, even when these projects are completed, many are no more than a mere shadow of their original specification requirements. Projects completed by the largest American companies have only approximately 42% of the originally-proposed features and functions. Smaller companies do much better. A total of 78.4% of their software projects will get deployed with at least 74.2% of their original features and functions.

Yes, the software industry really does have a 90% failure rate! That's not hyperbole!

My personal OS project is long-delayed but the design has grown to include greater than 500% of the original features and functions. So I can only sneer contemptuously at those who ship broken down software without a trace of shame or embarrassment. I do not consider shipping a castrated version of what you promised to be any kind of success. I consider it a clear and total failure.

As opposed to my own project which even when it ships will only be not-exactly-a-failure-and-not-exactly-a-success.

Except you know what? I distinctly recall saying 10 years ago something like "even if it takes me 10 years to ship, it won't matter because the software industry is so stagnant, my OS will still be revolutionary then". And back then I knew it would take me two years to ship if I got support. Which I never got.

So yeah, I could have shipped a long time ago. I didn't because the worst conditions I imagined actually came to pass. Which puts me now on the exact time-frame I predicted back then.

I blame the failure part of my project on you all. I claim the success entirely for myself. I hate you all and fuck you very much for nothing you narrow-minded selfish fucking assholes.

And in case you read this far, the reason I'm now willing to talk about this is because as of before yesterday I've substantially finished design so the massively unpredictable part is over and the easy job is starting. Meanwhile, you guys couldn't even hack the easy part. Nor could you predict the predictable part. So I ask, what the fuck are you good for?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Horizontal vs Vertical Thinkers

I read this essay by Sebastian on zooming in and out of levels of detail in thought and I found something extremely interesting. But to explain what's so interesting about it, I'll have to provide a little context.

Creative (spontaneously creative, really creative) people are called horizontal thinkers for a reason. Despite the fact that synthesis (the cognitive faculty behind creativity) is something that functions strictly vertically. And if creatives are horizontal thinkers then analytics are vertical.

Second Order Effects

Now, obviously there's a second-order effect at work for creative thinkers to be more comfortable thinking horizontally while analytic thinkers prefer to move vertically despite logical deduction having nothing to do with more or less abstraction.

That's not surprising at all since there are many such second-order effects in the world. One of them is planting trees on the sides of roads reduces the rate of fatalities by exploiting perceived risk homeostasis. By making the road seem more dangerous, drivers take more caution so there are much fewer accidents, which swamps the increased fatalities when there are accidents.

Another second-order effect makes positive competition more destructive generally than negative competition despite the fact that negative competition (dragging the winner down) is by definition destructive. This is because at least negative competition allows for stable global solutions, whereas positive competition is inherently unstable.

Second Order Effects of Thinking Over Learning

The reason for this second-order effect seems to be that synthesis allows someone to create linkages that were previously unknown between seemingly unrelated fields. As opposed to simply following up on existing linkages. So the more unrelated fields a creative person knows, the more opportunity they have for their synthesis to kick in. Meanwhile, analytic people gain nothing from learning unrelated fields and so don't do it.

Or put more crassly, a horizontal thinker learns horizontally in order to allow their dominant cognitive trait (synthesis) to kick in spontaneously as much as possible. And a vertical thinker learns vertically in order to avoid relying on a faculty they don't possess. Okay, that may be uncharitable.

The polite form would be that they learn vertically so as to maximize their brain's opportunities for lateral (logical) expansion. Unfortunately, the polite form isn't true since going multidisciplinary would allow just as much lateral expansion as going vertical. And vertical thinkers avoid multidisciplinary work like the plague. They fucking hate it. And they despise horizontal thinkers.

(In fact, there was a paper in First Monday by specialists that measured how much they hate generalists. Of course, they claimed to be measuring how much generalists are inferior. In correspondence with one of the paper's authors, he justified their position by claiming they were RIGHT to hate generalists. This despite their acknowledging the empirical fact that multi-disciplinary teams are much more productive than uni-disciplinary ones.)

So the existence of second-order effects in horizontal vs vertical thinking is all very interesting but unsurprising. No, that's not what was really interesting about the essay.

Synthesis' Vertical Effect

What's interesting is that I've always assumed, and recently proven to my satisfaction, that synthesis moves both up and down without prejudice. When you synthesize from raw data, you are moving up a meta-level. So you're moving strictly upwards. But you need analysis just to perceive there's a difference between the level and meta-level.

People lacking in analysis (eg, Dan Simmons) end up saying crap like "what if love were a fundamental law of physics?" which of course completely baffles anyone possessed of analysis since between fundamental physics and love there exist 6 levels (macro physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, neurology, neurocognition). I mean seriously, WTF?!

So anyways, when you're moving upwards, you're engaging synthesis in order to move upwards, but you're engaging analysis just to SEE that you're moving upwards.

And when you perform that action philosophers call "analysis" which is "breaking things down" and so moving downwards, yes you are engaging analysis in order to produce the raw examples and counter-examples of an abstract concept you want to break down. But you are ALSO engaging synthesis in producing the sub-concepts from the scattered remnants of raw data.

So when you're doing what philosophers call "synthesis" you also do analysis. And when you do what they call "analysis" you also do synthesis! Imagine that, philosophers are out to fucking lunch. A not uncommon state of affairs for those incompetent brain-damaged nimrods. You might even call it Situation Normal, All Fucked Up.

An Entirely Different Phenomenon

What does this have to do with zooming in and out? Everything! Because until I read this essay, I never imagined that there could be a preferred direction along the vertical dimension. I never imagined that synthesis or analysis or whatever you want to call it, would go down more easily than it goes up. And do you know why? Because it's self-evident that synthesis doesn't work that way!

And yet, and this is the amazing part  ... it still seems to be true!! :D It really does seem to be true that people engage in downwards thinking, drilling down into more and more pointless details, than going upwards to see the big picture. Which immediately raises the tantalizing question of how the fuck is this possible?! The obvious answer to which is some completely different phenomenon is at work.

There is one obvious candidate for such a phenomenon but I'll have to explain. There is an Amazonian tribe (I don't think it's the Piraha but I must have read it in the same article) that thinks of time inversely from how Westerners think of it. You see, we all face the future and leave the past behind us. These benighted primitives, and they are primitive, face the past, and brace themselves against the unknown and unseen future coming at them from behind.

Interesting aren't they? Their metaphor for time is more accurate yet more fucked up. More accurate because they're entirely correct that you can't see the future the way you do the past. More fucked up because they're entirely past-oriented. They're uncomfortable with the future and 'moving into the future' would imply 'moving backwards' to them.

Psychological Association of Progress with Motion

Why is this relevant? Well when you move downwards in scope, in your thinking, you imagine yourself facing the problem and moving down it. You imagine yourself moving in the direction you're facing. And when you move outwards in scope ... you're still facing the problem but you're now moving backwards from the direction you're facing.

Could this be why all these worthless losers obsess over progressively more insignificant little details? Because of a psychological hang-up that associates downwards motion with progress? A hang-up that associates stepping back from a problem with moving in the unsafe direction?

It makes me fucking glad I'm a creative let me tell you. For me, progress is ... actually, it's expansion through the volume of possibilities. So I don't seem to have that little hangup at all.

On "nobody's stopping you"

Every single time I make any kind of intelligent criticism about software, I inevitably get "why don't you do it yourself" and/or "nobody's stopping you". You don't get that with dumb criticisms since those just get dismissed quietly. But make an intelligent criticism, and you get that as a knee-jerk reaction.

That kind of lying garbage just infuriates me. First, it's double-speak. Like Americans ritualistically saying "I don't agree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it" when they mean "I respect your opinion like I do used toilet paper and declare this discussion closed". Second, it's not even remotely true.

As I point out in my last blog post on design principles vs engineering "principles", design is not engineering! Just because designers are capable of detecting engineering failures doesn't make them engineers. And like any good designer, I would rather slit my own throat than do engineering!

And just because I care to critique the shoddy engineering and mis-design of something doesn't mean that I want to design one myself. In the case of the Smalltalk programming language, I don't care to redesign it because I know it would end up like Klein. And I am a great designer, not some fucking hack who copies others' work!

Ultimately, what infuriates me most about suggestions that "nobody's stopping you" and "why don't you do it yourself" besides the blatant lying nature of the claim, is the fucking injustice of it all. When was the last time someone complained about a consumer product (say a brand of television or automobile) and was told "why don't you make one yourself?"

We live in a complex civilized society. And 'civilization' means 'city-builder' and the difference between 'city' and 'large village' is 'division of labour'. Look it up people, this is what these things mean to anthropologists and historians. You know, the people whose life's work is to analyze the difference between civilization and savagery.

So basically, these assholes are saying "why don't you act like a savage?' The only polite response to which is: what the fuck is your problem you crack-smoking punk?! Except I kinda know what their problem is already. They are too mentally handicapped to judge good and evil, so even though they've read everything I had to say, they still can't decide whether it's a good idea.

People who know some psychology tend to think it's because these morons have started identifying with whatever project and are feeling defensive. But that's bogus because it's impossible to react from your feelings alone unless your conscious mind is empty of thought. And in matters of good and evil, that happens when people are incapable of judgement.

And I'm not exaggerating. Asking "is design desirable?" and "what is design?" is a lot like "is goodness desirable?" and "what is good?". In other words, questions to which 90% of people are incapable of providing answers beyond what they've been indoctrinated by others to parrot. Questions to which 10% of the population thinks the answers are fucking obvious.

TOO obvious really. Only a special kind of person is capable of both independently providing the right answer to such questions and generating complete logically correct justifications for them. I've kinda got a track record of doing this now, what with 'what is life' 'why is pedophilia wrong' 'what is morality' 'what is moral theory' 'what is multi-leveling' 'what is intelligence' 'what is empathy' and 'what is design' now.