Posts

"Men Behaving Badly"

So all of this stuff about men behaving badly made me ponder my own behaviours to try and review have I ever done anything of the sort. If you are a guy and you say you did not think about it in the last few weeks you are lying.
And the conclusion I have come to, again, is that I simply am not able to relate to some of the states of mind that must be present when men do some of these things. If it did not happen so often, I would find the notion that it exists at all incredible.
For example, what is it with the getting undressed in front of a woman BF ("before foreplay")? How is that supposed to work in their own mind - your stuff is just so impressive that once your drop the towel, she will be unable to control her desire for IT and jump you? Where does this notion come from - have men been told this by their mothers, sisters or female friends? That this is a sure fire, never fails, way of getting a woman to have sex with you? If nobody told them that, why do they believe …

We are being had by Facebook and Google

The business model of Facebook is to get paid by serving advertising to you and me - the ads that show up in your NewsFeed in between posts and ads on the side panel. The more time we spend on Facebook, the more ads we "pass by", the more money FB makes.
So if I were Facebook, I would work on setting up my algorithms in such a way that people spend the maximum amount of time on FB. I would find things that make people stay online longer and post more. Posting a pic of a flower or your meal will get a few likes that take less than a second to click on and then we move on. But arguing and "debate" - well that is endless.
If I were FB, I would set the algorithm to show me posts which I am more likely to "engage" with and these days that means argue and disagree with. I would make it so that if on a thread of comments somebody has called me an idiot or a "moron" in the past, those should be the posts that I see first. Because it is more likely ther…

Understanding Bitcoin, Ether, cryptocurrencies, blockchain and "distributed ledger"

Here is a PSA for anyone confused by Bitcoin this, Bitcoin that, "cryptocurrencies", "blockchain" and all that.

First of all, you do not need to understand what "blockchain" is any more than you need to understand how your iPhone identifies you by your fingerprint. It is underlying technology serving a purpose.

Second, you do not need to understand anything about currencies. Later, you may but to understand the fundamental concepts involved which you can explain to a 12 year old, you don't.

So in order to avoid that let's start with something that is not money at all. Imagine that there was a ledger (a book with records) in which ownership of every piece of land was recorded. Each parcel of land is uniquely identified and it says next to it who owns it. There is such a ledger - it is called "land registry" or "cadastral system" and just about every country has them. Many of you have bought and sold property and are familiar wit…

About North Korea

On merit based Immigration

There is this building myth in the media by the likes of Chris Cuomo that immigrants to North America were somehow all the "huddled masses" of the fundraising poem written on the Statue of Liberty.
That is patently untrue - it was not the least capable and down on their luck people in Europe who emigrated to America (and Canada) in the early parts of the 20th century. If you were homeless, stupid or had no self-motivation you could not get onto the boat to book passage to the New World. In many ways it was the best and the brightest, the people who had the gumption and the ability and the courage that decided to embark on such a challenge. Not the meek and the docile. You think the village idiots booked passage to the New World? Think again.
And no wonder they did as well as they did when they arrived there. A great many of them. They were entrepreneurial and smart and go-getters. If your grandparents were immigrants think of the family memories of them. Were they the peopl…

A brief review of recent political history of Russia (according to me)

So in the early 90s something happened in Russia - the USSR fell and the country rejected the ideal of communism. Pretty much "organically" - there was never any allegation that this was somehow prompted by or orchestrated by anyone outside of Russia. The people of Russia have had enough and Gorbachev cracked the door open through which Yeltsin stepped to be the first democratically elected President of Russia. He was a popular President elected with outright majority of 58% of votes, 4 times that of the next candidate. During Yeltsin years there were 3 loci of power - the government, business broadly speaking which went on to become the "oligarchs" and organized crime, broadly speaking. It was the Wild East in which state assets were grabbed at throwaway prices by businessmen and criminals fought openly in the streets for control of parts of territory or segment of criminal activity. It was at times hard to tell where one of those stopped and others began, the 3 g…

In 1977 President Carter made a call to America to use more coal for energy

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It is always good to have a sense of perspective and without it we may repeat mistakes of the past.
Below is the link to an address to the nation by President Carter in 1977. A Democrat and some would say progressive at that. And a genuinely good person as evidenced by his life path after presidency. So he is by no means evil or a shill for corporate interests.
And in his 1977 address to the nation he calls for significant increase in use of coal for America's energy needs. He also says that by the end of 1980s, the world is going to run out of oil and gas in the sense that from that point on annual production is going to be on decline. He predicts solar and wind will become significant sources of energy for the US in the medium term.
So I repeat - he was not an evil person - this was the best information available to the President of United States at the time and certainly consensus of 97% of scientists too.
And yet, it was massively wrong. Nobody "predicted" the US sh…