Capitalism

Plenty of people are now following the trend of attacking capitalism.

There are some real abuses of capitalism happening now – due to the fact that we tax income instead of wealth and grant monopolies via our patent system (which should be abolished).

Even with these abuses though, would you want to live under any other nations system? Please don’t mention the oil rich Scandinavian countries that are only rich because they are a supplier to the US and German economies and do not pay for their own defense. Or China which is turning totalitarian like North Korea or Venezuela.

Capitalism has resulted in the USA having the most individual freedom and the best quality of life for even people in poverty. Other systems are just too easy to exploit as you can see in most other countries.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – switch to taxing wealth instead of income to prevent intergenerational transfers to incompetent people, and shut down the patent system as it is not necessary to foster innovation but just gives monopolies that extract exorbinant rents.

Capitalism in it’s pure form is just free markets… Whoever has the best service and products at the best prices wins. Amazon for example has made life better for every single person I’ve met.

Security

I received an anonymous email from a hacker who spotted a security flaw with one of my sites. Here was my reply:

Thank you for your help! We fixed the issue — REDACTED —-

I am also required to say this for legal reasons: please make sure you delete all files and information from any computer you have related to our site. Please read this document on the definition of computer crimes (including accessing a computer system without authorization) and the associated penalties. Keep in mind the US has extradition treaties with most countries.
I will give you permission to write an completely anonymized (no mention of myself or the company or any details that could give away this) blog post on this security issue if you wish.
Please let me know if you spot any other security issues, but do not attempt unauthorized access if you do see an issue. Just let me know.

The World is Terrifying

If you have been following human progress, you will see that we have now built machines that are more intelligent than humans and we are using biotechnology to build supercreatures.

In biotechnology, humans are now building bacteria and animals that can survive in extreme environments full of heat or cold and radiation. Many of these produce products useful to humans. However, anyone can use these genetic tools to build new species. Just wait for a home-grown terrorist to build a superflu that is resistant to all drugs we have now and slaughters billions.

AI is now better at humans in playing games, seeing and identifying things, operating motor vehicles, investing, and dozens of other fields. It’s only a matter of time till self-improving AI comes and quickly grows far beyond our control.

Zero Drugs

Most people don’t think of alcohol or caffeine as drugs, but that is exactly what both are. They are widely accepted and consumed socially in artisanal settings, but they are drugs nonetheless.

I stopped drinking altogether 392 days ago.  I am sometimes tempted to have a glass or two of wine with a good meal. When that desire comes, I just think about the trade-off to the short term loan of happiness alcohol gives you; the next couple of days generally you are slightly more tired and grouchy. If you go overboard, then you have a hangover which is far more painful than any pleasure you received while drunk.

I also have generally avoided caffeine. I have had only 8 cups of tea over the last 72 days. A cup of coffee has the caffeine equivalent of 3 cups of tea, so this is only about 2-3 cups of coffee. I have had no caffeine in 22 days. I think caffeine is a short term loan of happiness / energy just like alcohol. You pay this loan back with more interest plus your principal too. I have found that caffeine makes it harder to get good sleep and screws up my schedule, and that I have a mild “caffeine hangover” the next couple of days where I am slightly grouchier and more likely to be depressed.

Probably the most challenging thing for me in not drinking alcohol and consuming a lot less caffeine is that when you are in a social situation where others are drinking you want to join in. The next day after I haven’t joined in I am always very grateful to myself for not doing so. Also, observing people after they have started to get drunk or really caffeinated is a turnoff for doing so yourself… seeing red rimmed eyes and listen to people slur words and say stupid things makes me feel better about not drinking. I have also noticed that people tend to respect you more.

Knee Update

My knee is pretty much fully recovered now. I ran 4.5 miles today. I went pretty slow though – averaging an 11 minute pace for the first 3 miles then 13-14 minute pace for the next 1.5. I did run some sprints though which I am happy about. My goal is to get back down to a 9 minute average pace then push hard to get it under 8 minutes for the full distance.

I put on some weight while I was injured and now weigh 210. Prior to my injury, I ranged from 200-205. I think I need to maybe start using MyFitnessPal again to track my calories as I tend to eat a lot. Probably also make sure I am not eating after 6 or 7 pm.