User’s Guide on How to Strive For A Better Life In 2017

This post originally appeared on steemit.

 

Start here:

Epistemic status: Not serious, also not “in-crowd” enough to use “Epistemic status”.


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Read each Question and Choose One Answer and Follow Along:


Q1: What is the meaning of life?

A) Whoa!, Let’s not bring up philosophy, I don’t like to think about that stuff.

B) Begging the question fallacy – who says life exists and if so, that there is any meaning?


IF A, Then:

Q2: Nobody values what I do or care about (okay, not really a question…)

1) Get Smart.

2) Get Hard.


IF 1, Then:

Read everything. Learn everything. Get good at one thing. Let everyone know you are good at that one thing. Get good at getting good at that one thing. Get good at signaling that you are getting good at that one thing.

Or Get Got.


IF 2, Then:

Hustle. Sleep less. Work more. Grind. Sell. Sell. Sell!

Crypto never sleeps and neither do you.


IF B, Then:

3) I’ve been thinking too much about these sorta things and think we might be in a simulation.

4) I agree with Descartes enough to tentatively accept the premise “Cogito ergo sum”, aka “I think, therefore I am”.


IF 3, Then:

Read everything about programming. Learn everything about programming. Get good at one programming language. Let everyone know you are good at that one programming language. Get good at getting good at that one programming language. Get good at signaling that you are getting good at that one programming language.

Or forget about it, you’re merely a simulation anyways…


IF 4, Then:

Read everything about philosophy. Learn everything about philosophy. Get good at explaining one particular philosophy. Let everyone know you are good at explaining that one particular philosophy. Get good at getting good at explaining that one particular philosophy.

Say things others don’t understand and perhaps get a tenured position at a university.


If these suggestions and solutions don’t work for you, well you probably are a failure and always will be, or you realize that all striving is vanity and you are cool with just being.

Que será, será.

Remember: “The Revolution Will Be Decentralized!”


Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


MichaelCreated by Michael Paine


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Floating Cities: Future Or Fantasy?



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“Deliberandum est diu, quod statuendum est semel — A final decision should be preceded by mature deliberation.”

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The Folly Of Many

This post originally appeared on steemit.

 

“Buy High and Sell Low” – Said No One Ever


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In some ways I have changed, but in so many I am the same.

“Did you see that?”

“Huh?”

“That trade, did you catch it? It was mega-huge dude! I can’t believe it, how did they know?”

Keith scratched his head. What did he miss? He was having a day like any other. Except for that he had been more distracted than usual. What day was it again?

“Keith, you with me bro?”

“Uh, yeah,” Keith stammered. “What do you think they knew?”

“They had to have some information to make a trade that big. Well, I guess we should see it on the news tonight, probably some catastrophe headed our way.”

“Right, I hate when I miss things. Did you open a report?”

“Of course, I can’t be caught dead making another mistake,” David disclosed. He had been reprimanded just last week for failing to report a trade he made above the daily limit.

Keith pulled up a new tab to check the cryptocurrency charts.


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“Keith, here take one of these,” David suggested holding out in his hand one of the latest designer nootropics.

“I don’t,” Keith waved him off.

David didn’t mind and placed the small pill on Keith’s desk next to his keyboard.

Keith stared at it.

He was losing it.

Keith balled his fist and rubbed his eyes. He couldn’t figure out what he was about to do.

“Wanna go out for drinks after work,” David suggested.

Keith looked up at him and blinked.

“Seriously dude, you need to get some help,” David advised as his turned and walked off.


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As he got up from his desk, Keith was feeling woozy.

I’m sick of all this he thought.

What was happening to his life?

He stumbled across the office to the nearest men’s room and haphazardly pushed open the door. Once inside he made his way to the nearest stall and swung the door open, dropped to his knees and vomited.

“More fun than the law allows,” Brad chuckled looking at the sad state Keith was in as he washed his hands.

Keith just shook his head a bit as he used the back of his sleeve to wipe his mouth before turning around and leaving the restroom.


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When he got back to his desk, Keith noticed that his phone had an incoming call.

He hesitated to answer it but was afraid not to.

Reluctantly he swiped to accept the call.

“I told you never to call me on this number,” he tried to sound intimidating.

The man on the other end just scoffed, “Oh shut up! We saw that you completed the trade, your payment will be waiting for you at home.”

“Wait…,” Keith pleaded, but it was too late, the call had ended. He stared at his phone in his hand for a moment before his completely lost it. He screamed and threw his cell phone across the room. It broke into several pieces as it hit the wall.

Everyone in the office was looking at him now.

Keith didn’t care. He knew it was over.

There was nothing more he could do.


Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


Michael


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Sandcastles In The Sky

“Credo quia absurdum; certum est, quia impossibile – I believe because it is absurd; It is certain that it is impossible” – h/t – Don’t Worry About the Vase

Floating Cities: Future Or Fantasy?

This post originally appeared on steemit.

 

“Deliberandum est diu, quod statuendum est semel — A final decision should be preceded by mature deliberation.”


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“Buy land — they’re not making any more!” so the old saying goes, but is it even true?

It seems more and more possible that with the concept of Seasteading that we should forget “buying” land and start “building” it.

In the form of floating Utopian islands, that is.

According to The Seasteading Institute, EST. 2008, they “empower people to build floating startup societies with innovative governance models.”

For many who are deeply intertwined in Libertarian and Cryptocurrency circles, this topic is old news, but for the world of new users to Steemit and hopefully BitShares, they may not have heard or seen of the possibilities that Floating Cities could provide.

But what exactly do Floating Cities bring, besides the possibility of being seasick?

Last year when I wrote Say Goodbye to Nation States, I gave my semi-amateur outtake on my observations of the changes in the world around us given the shifting political landscape.

I mentioned the possible shift from “Nation States” as overarching governing bodies to something more localized, perhaps even based on Online Communities or what I called “Virtual Regionalism”.

The problem of “Virtual Regionalism” is that we still have to actually live somewhere and that somewhere might not be the most conducive to our freedom.

So where do we go to get more freedoms?

These less free, of “Centralized” governments of “Nation States” came about “during a time of industrialisation, centralised ‘command and control’ bureaucracies and national loyalty.”

Now “modern technology tends in the opposite direction: it’s distributed, decentralised and uncontrollable.”

This is where we can remake the places we live into the places we need.


Diving Deeper

Patri Friedman, American libertarian activist and founder of The Seasteading Institute, had this vision for our future:

“Patri is taking the Silicon Valley mindset and applying it to the nation-state. There are all these things you could now do that didn’t exist when our current system of government was invented, he told me. Constant online direct-democracy voting, building smart-cities, using crypto-currencies. And yet we still use a 19th-century model.”

With concerns of government crack downs on cryptocurrency, it might be a good time to start thinking which institute is the future and which is best left to the past.

The idea of at least testing new ways to live, govern, and grow goes beyond our current time period, but is essentially the entire story of human history.

Remember: “The Revolution Will Be Decentralized!”


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Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


MichaelCreated by Michael Paine


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Routine Life

Congratulations on a routine life well lived.

Sandcastles In The Sky

This post originally appeared on steemit.

 

“Credo quia absurdum; certum est, quia impossibile – I believe because it is absurd; It is certain that it is impossible” – h/t – Don’t Worry About the Vase


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“Naru! When are we going to leave?” Kirika playfully teased.

“In a minute, hold on!” Naru shot back.

“Naru, I wanna go now!” Kirika whined fidgeting impatiently.

Naru stuffed a piece of toast in his mouth to free up his hands so he could haphazardly slip on his shoes without having to untie them first. Once he finished, he grabbed his worn jean jacket and tossed it around in an almost magical manner resulting in the jacket being on him in one fluid motion.

Kirika giggled.

“Hush,” Naru snarled.

Kirika bust out laughing, “You’re a hot mess today Naru. Come on, let’s go!”

The two left their flat, locking the door on the way out and headed down to the parking garage.


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“Naru,” Kirika whimpered, “Do you think we are going to get the house?”

The real estate market had been hot and homes were selling quickly, now in a record time of under one hour. Ever since cryptocurrency had been accepted for payment, deals could close in minutes.

“It will be fine,” Naru laughed nervously. He wasn’t sure they were going to have enough with the exchange rate fluctuations. The market had leveled out on the whole, but his holdings were in BTC which had taken a huge dive last week.

Kirika smiled.

Naru started the car then leaned back to take a nap as the car pulled out of the parking spot and drove them to their destination.

The housing transactions were usually 99% done through smart contracts, but there was the security need of obtaining a biometric fingerprint from the purchasers before it could be finalized. And due to regulations it had to be obtained in front of an authorized agent at the Department of Housing and Domestic Development.

Unfortunately for the young couple the nearest office was 3 hours away, but the self-driving car made the trip less burdensome.

“Naru,” Kirika beamed holding up her smartphone, “Look! It’s gone up!”

Naru feigned a smile and nodded noticing the latest uptick in the crypto market. They should be fine.

“Do you wanna get a dog, Naru? Look, here is a cutie!” Kirika chortled once again turning her phone to face him.

This time Naru grinned.

“I’ll take that as a “yes”, then,” Kirika surmised and gleefully swiped the screen to view more pictures of the young pup. “Naru,” Kirika pleaded, “are we ever going to be able to retire?”

This change of tone in the conversation brought a scowl across Naru’s countenance. “Ugh, I don’t know, what’s retirement anyways?” Naru replied almost rhetorically. “Let’s just don’t think about that right now, okay? We’ve got this house thing almost wrapped up and then we will see about the puppy, but for now, let’s just have one good day today, okay?”

“Okay Naru.”

“Good.” he replied and tuned to get back to his nap.

“Naru?”

“Yes?” he said opening one eye in a half-squint.

“I love you Naru.”


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Today’s quote was obtained secondhand from Scott Alexander via TheZvi.

Although not inspiration per se, it fit nicely with the inception that was budding last night.

Once again with enough reading I was bound to stumble upon something to help precipitate my writing.

I had slowed down writing as of late due to many things, the greatest of such being my lack of reading.

Where it is to go from here depends on just as many factors as before if not more so, we shall see.


Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


Michael


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Backroom Breach

“Vendere jura potest, emerat ille prius—He that bought law can sell it.”

Backroom Breach

This post originally appeared on steemit.

 

“Vendere jura potest, emerat ille prius—He that bought law can sell it.”


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“You have been weighed and found wanting,” the judge concluded and struck her gavel signaling the end of the trial.

“But your honor,” Yuri Petrov protested as he stood up from his chair, “your honor please, you didn’t let me…”

“Take him away!”

The bailiff took a hold of the back of Petrov’s right arm and escorted the handcuffed prisoner to the side door of the courtroom.

Judge Katherine D. Ginsburg arose from her place at the bench and exited the courtroom heading to her private chambers.

Upon entering, Judge Ginsburg noticed a man sitting in one of the antique wingback chairs that faced her desk. Without hesitation, the judge walked around to her side of the desk and took a seat.

“Katy, how are you?” the man warmly greeted her. Ivan Vasilchikov was on the plus side of being middle aged, yet was in great physical shape. He wore a custom tailored charcoal gray suit that fit him like a second skin and the touch of gray in his otherwise black hair looked like an advertisement for men’s hair coloring product.

Judge Ginsburg wasn’t into small talk and wasted no time with her curt reply, “Ivan, your payment please.”

Ivan, who usually wouldn’t be uncomfortable after a life of dealing with hardened thugs, squirmed in his seat and adjusted his tie slightly. “Katy, Katy, it is always business with you, relax once in awhile. Look, if we have to talk shop, I’ve got another case I want to present to you.”

“Your payment first,” Katherine pressed.

“Fine. Fine. Always with the money, but what about power? Don’t you have any other ambitions Katy?”

In an act out of character, Judge Ginsburg paused a brief moment and lowered her eyes and head as her cheeks flushed slightly pink. However she quickly recomposed herself and answered firmly, “Mr. Vasilchikov my ambitions are my own affair and I will see to them in good time.”

“Well, when you are ready, the invitation is open,” Ivan smiled wryly. “As for your payment, we agreed to 500 XMR, no?”

“Right, you still have my deposit address on file, correct?”

“Yes ma’am,” Ivan replied as he withdrew his stylus and used it on his phone to open up his wallet app. He clicked a few more times before he looked up saying, “You should be receiving your confirmation shortly.”

A notification sounded on Ginsburg’s phone as the message of funds received showed in a pop up.

“Very well,” Ivan stood up from his seat, “Will that be all then Katy?”

Katherine nodded in the affirmative, “Yes, Mr. Vasilchikov that will be all. You may see yourself out.”

Without another word Ivan swiftly left the private office as quietly as he came in.


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This vignette was inspired by my morning study from which the introductory quote was obtained.

The Latin phrase “Vendere jura potest, emerat ille prius” is used as an explanation for verse 16 from Proverbs chapter 18 which reads:

“A gift opens doors for a man
and brings him before the great.”

Matthew Henry’s commentary on the verse discusses “of what great force gifts (that is, bribes) are” and that “a man’s gift, if he be in prison, may procure his enlargement; there are courtiers, who, if they use their interest even for oppressed innocency, expect to receive a gratuity for it”.

The commentary continues as it discusses to what ends bribes maybe be used to obtain positions of power. “Towards his preferment. It will bring him to sit among great men, in honour and power. See how corrupt the world is when men’s gifts will not do, though ever so great; nay, will gain that for them which they are unworthy of and unfit for; and no wonder that those take bribes in their offices who gave bribes for them”.

The lesson being that anyone who would be willing to bribe their way into a position of power is sure to be willing to take a bribe once they are there. This is not a far stretch from quid pro quo behavior and other slights of justice.

As I part, I leave you with this admonition:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.”

May you continue your search.


Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


Michael


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Atypical Absurdity

“Life may be materially more comfortable, but it’s all just one giant, atemporal, cyclic process” -Venkatesh Rao

Atypical Absurdity

This post originally appeared on steemit.

 

“Life may be materially more comfortable, but it’s all just one giant, atemporal, cyclic process” -Venkatesh Rao


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If I may take an oblique approach and I do dare say surreptitious, we could circumscribe the categorization of the epitomization beyond falsification.

The obtusion consequentialism is ascertained in the superfluous iteration of verbosity and highfalutin displays of vocabularization.

Rigorous acts of mental flagellation coupled with scintillating recollections derive proffered attempts at intellectualization.

Would the cauterization provide the salve so desperately desired?

May merely mirroring many make more meaning?


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Demonstrably the insipid jealousy emanates from the a priori inability to rationally communicate.

Daydreams and delusions develop ad hoc conclusions.

Abulia abounds as all around arise agape aching to ape.

Pablum ceases to satiate.

Abandon all hope and accept faith.


Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


Michael


Created by Michael Paine


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What Keeps You Up At Night?

As someone who has long struggled with sleeping, the few moments I do get are precious.

What Keeps You Up At Night?

This post originally appeared on steemit.

 

As someone who has long struggled with sleeping, the few moments of sleep I do get are precious.


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There is no shortage of herbal, prescription, or OTC medicines to help with sleep.

Also the internet is rife with “life hacks” and other lame advice on how to get a good night’s rest.

It’s not that these things don’t work.

It just feels like it shouldn’t have to be this hard.

You know, wake up, do stuff, go to sleep.

End of story.

But for several people this isn’t the case.


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There are as many reasons why people don’t sleep well as there are solutions to get better sleep.

For me, I don’t sleep well when I don’t get a sufficient level of physical exertion.

Usually some exercise could fix this, but who wants to do that?

The upkeep of habits and routine to get a good night’s sleep are probably worth it in the long run, but that’s another story.

This one here is about what keeps you up at night?


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When I was younger I would stay up most the night thinking.

Usually I would worry about the next day’s events in my head and worry what to do about it.

Or I would ruminate about the bad things that went on that day and what I could have done different.

Now, however, things are different.

On most nights I sleep ok.

That is with the exception of the trains that pass by blowing their horn at night.

From a Quora question I found about why trains do this:

Do train engineers blow their horns at night just to wake people up?

“Train horns are not to wake people up from their sleep. It is a safety issue. It is also a federal law that trains must sound their horns as they approach a grade crossing. This is so drunks in cars, idiots with their stereos blasting, people preoccupied with texting on their iPhones, etc. do not get themselves or the train crew killed.

Train horns are also used for signalling. This is becoming less prevalent since radios have become used more.”


Here’s an example of why engineer’s blow their horns at crossings.


But the question is, does it have to be that way?

Can we as a society come up with another solution that is equally as safe, but less noisy at night?

What if the crossing signal sent a message to car radios within a certain mile radius and only radios that were on would receive the warning message and everyone else could just get some sleep?

What other ways could we devise to keep people safe but to keep the sound to a minimum at night?

What ideas do you have for this problem?

What Keeps You Up At Night?


Stay tuned.
Stay interesting.
Stay Strange.


Michael


Created by Michael Paine


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Signaling Error

What happens when this system breaks down?