Monthly Archives: April 2004

Worth watching

If you look at the history of war, it's extremely rare for either “side” to be able to decalre any concise victory. Human and economic losses are usually high on both sides, more than swamping any gains. If you remove revolutionary war from the set, I suspect that all wars have been an objective loss for both sides. It's an exceedingly stupid and self-destructive way to behave.

Please consider watching this video (or more fun ones like this hell). If you're going to be voting in this upcoming US election, please also consider voice calling or faxing all of the potential representatives in your area and telling them you will be voting for the candidate with the most pro-peace stance. After all, if you vote for a government that kills and pay the taxes of a nation that murders, are you not complicit in those deaths?

Toying with becoming a defense contractor is fucking with my head. Am I kidding myself that I can inject technology into the process that will save lives? Is it a deal with the devil?

Someone I care about

I know a lot of people who are no longer alive and who died a long time before they should have by their own hand, including a lot of people who have journals here. This one really hurts though… I really cared a lot about the person I'm writing about right now (I've been asked to keep the name off, and I'd appreciate it if people reading this didn't turn this into a whodunnit game). I had a lot of respect for him as a person and as an artist and I was looking forward to meeting in person. I hope he knew that on some level.

Back from the Falls

We just got back from our mini-trip. We stayed at the Fallsview Mariott which had a pretty nice view. Here it is both at night and during the day:

We started out at the casino. I don't have a problem with gambling. If someone enjoys it I don't see how it's any different than forking over money for a vacation or an opera or whatever. Money for entertainment. However, because I used to work in that industry, I find it dead boring since there's no magic in it (although I'm perfectly happy to spend time with other people who are having fun gambling, it's just not my thing). Anyway, while I was there I thought of two “million dollar ideas”:

  • Detuned sound chips in slot machines. If you go to the middle of a casino (or anywhere really) and close your eyes and try and not listen to anything in particular, you'll note that there are constant harmonies at play because of the machines. I thought of two interesting things you could do knowing this:
    • Slight detuning. You know how if you're at a charismatic Christian church or a circus-tent travelling minister (yes, I've been to plenty being from a small town), they speak with a voice roll (as do lawyers, hypnotists, etc.), usually backed up by the organist. This is a trance inducing technique that puts people into a semi-hypnotic, highly “receptive” state…. (Note: if you want to learn more about this, here's a quick link)

      Churches of course use this to convert people to their religion, but anyone can take advantage of it. Now, what's interesting is just how much you can do with sound — on some levels it lets you “hotwire” parts of the brain (click here for a little more info). And don't get me started about sonoluminescence and “holy words”… ANYWAY, before I digress too far, if you very slightly detuned some of the machines, you'd induce a warble into that overall casino harmonic, kind of like the wahw-wahw-wahw you hear/feel if you're tuning a guitar by ear.

      "Some thoughts have a certain sound... that being the equivalent to a form. Through sound and motion you will be able to paralyze nerves, shatter bones, set fires, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs.... We will kill until no Harkonnen breathes Arrakeen air."

      The end result would be that you could, without them being aware of it, hypnotise people in the casino (hell, many seemed to be on the edge of it without help). I predict that if casinos did this, they'd see their profits go up 10% or ever more.

    • Music – This is more interesting from an art point of view than anything functional. When you have thousands of slot machines being played, they're always making noise. In addition, the machines are networked, so they all in theory could know what noise the others are making.

      Again, by slight detunings (a note or two) of the slot machines in real time, you could convert them into a massive musical instrument and literally play them like an orchestra. And the punch line is that no single player would have ANY IDEA how it was possible… It would seem like magic to the individual players since they'd see interaction (ie. no appearance of pre-programming), but their machine would still perfectly play the part it was assigned.

  • Time altering video – I'm not going to describe this one too deeply because it's one I'm interested in exploring commercially. I had an idea that would allow you to take live video feeds and view them in both live slow motion (wrap your head around that one), as well as live fast motion. Basically it separates time from the equation, and allows you to perceive time as passing at any rate with nearly (about 200 ms) no latency, while it still passes for the mainstream at normal speed.

We ate at the casino buffet as well. Can't say I was initially happy about having three items available to me: mixed greens, spinach, and chick peas (I'm exaggerating but you get the idea). However, it turned out to be really good quality and I have no complaints. Not very good margueritas at the casino. Better ones in Vegas.

We were then heading back to our hotel, but we jumped out of our cab on the strip and went to Frankensteins (a haunted house) instead and some other attactions. My favorite PG-rated part of the day (and unless you happened to be looking up at a certain eleventh floor window last night, that's all your'e getting) was BUMPER CARS. It was Rachel and I and then three or four little kids.

One of the kids figured out he was lighter than me (so could go faster), and he rammed me in the ass. But because of my mass, it basically turned us into a super-bumpercar (combining our force), and we spent a while doing 2-on-1 crashes while he cackled with glee. Anyway, it was a lot of fun (all of it).

Why you pay income tax in simple terms…

…and why we have another French Revolution around the corner.

(Since Kallen asked…) I've talked here fairly regularly about how wealthy bankers and arms dealers escalated and maneuvered nations into WWI. It's not a secret or a conspiracy, just history. Once in these wars, countries had to borrow enormous amounts of money from these bankers in order to buy weaponry (from them as well) and finance the war.

Income tax — then “war tax” — was instituted to pay for this sudden surge in government spending. The government found itself in debt to these bankers, and after the war, income tax fraudulently stayed on to pay for the interest on these loans. Now, almost a hundred years later, that debt has grown just a little every year, and the payments due keep rising. According to the Grace Commission, excluding that which is lost and wasted in beaurocracy, all of the money collected from income taxes goes to pay off the descendents of these private lenders.

Or, to put it another way, your great, great grandparents borrowed a lot of money from someone else's great, great grandparents to fight a war. Now, because of that, you have to pay a third of all the money you make to those people's great great grandchildren — who did nothing but be born with the right last name. Not only that, but your children will have to pay this debt, as will their children after them, to these lucky heirs… and not a cent of that income tax you pay will go to schools or roads or anything else (all that comes from other taxes and the gutting of various resources) — and if you refuse to pay it, you have your assets seized and you go to prison.

My feeling is that everyone who pays taxes should give serious consideration for suing the government for every cent you've paid them. Why should you have to be a lifelong debtor because an ancestor of yours a hundred years ago made a bad decision?

Are you a member of a slave race, doomed as your parents were doomed, and your children will be doomed as well? Think about it.

Anyway, I'm off to the casino. I'll be back in two days.

Now in stock…

The dark truth* has arrived…

* Because we couldn't come up with a better name. So one of your duties as a shirt owner is to name yours.