Amsterdam nearly half muslim. Can’t stop violent youth.

January 29, 2008

Just read this piece  from Pajama’s  media  complaining of gay bashing in Europe.  It notes in passing that nearly half of Amsterdam is Muslim. I  assume the proportion of Muslims in all of Holland is much  smaller but this population is younger and nearly controls the capital.

I wonder what the numbers are for Paris and am curious what the numbers need to be to result in a  defacto change of control. The totals matter less than the  details.    If  Ashkenazi  Europeans  (new usage for this word) are old and live outside the major cities  while  the  newer Sephardi  Europeans are younger and live in the cities then defacto we will see a change in control.

The  other variable is what portion of the  sephardi  population  is  willing  to  resist  their  more  activist  peers.   The  examples  from  other  countries  don’t  leave much hope for Ashkenazi power.


Against Data Portability

January 25, 2008

Saw this advocacy of DataPortability over at Valleywag. It is an idea only a programmer could love. Real humans don’t want data portability. As I told Joseph Smarr of Plaxo, when I go to BurningMan, I don’t necessarily want to interact with the same people I meet at tech conferences. Every context has its appropriate ambient data and connections. A flat world limits freedom.

Facebook initially got it right. They created a place where people could feel free to express themselves in a particular context. The feeling of security and privacy led to a flourish of content uploaded to the site. By opening up, now, if you are on Facebook, you have the risk that your mom or your employer is going to see the photos your friends posted of your antics at the party last night.

A transparent society is a totalitarian society and thats not fun for anyone.

Does currency follow politics?

January 25, 2008

Reading this piece on Sarkozy’s plans to freeze French government spending, I started to reflect on the fact that Germany also relatively recently voted against socialist government and England is likely to vote Tory in the next election.

In contrast, the US has a very high probability of increase the representation of Democrats in congress and electing either Hillary or Obama POTUS.

Where do you want to put your money?

Experimenting with moving my blog to wordpress (and blogging again)

September 20, 2007

Morgan asked why I am starting to blog again. I said because I need a place to output thoughts and this is a good one.

Stuff below here is really old.  There are also intervening posts on SpareInk that have yet to be moved.

Is the Singularity a Religious Eschaton?

November 20, 2006

“Live long and prosper” or “Be fruitful and multiply” that is the choice of our times.

Randall Parker argues that improvements in health and longevity technologies are changing the environment to select (darwinistically) for those humans most interested in reproduction. Simple exponential math tells you that relatively small differences in fertility lead to large differences in population over time.

Right now, the biggest apparent determinant of fertility is religion. So as technology improves, unless the “live long and prosper” folks are really good at converting “be fruitful and multiply folks” to their view, it will be the later who will rapidly come to dominate all aspects of society.

Wikipedia describes Jewish beliefs about the eschaton as follows:

Tumultuous events will overturn the old world order, creating a new order in which God is universally recognized as the ruler over everyone and everything. One of the sages of the Talmud says, “Let the end of days come, but may I not live to see them”, because they will be filled with so much conflict and suffering.

Sounds a lot like a technological singularity dominated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. More wikipedia:

Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the immortality of the human soul; the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah (Heaven), while the unrighteous are punished in Jahannam (Hell)

Immortality of the human soul is definitely something promised by the tech folks (backup your brain onto silicon etc.). The difficulty is that it will be very difficult (and perhaps immoral?) to keep the life extension technology out of the hands of the be-fruitful-and-multiply crowd.

All of these religions (and hindu as well) have some model in which evil people will be damned to hell and only the good will persist. In a world where the power to destroy all increases with Moore’s law, the need to restrain evil will become a top priority. Only the good will survive and history will come to an end.

Update: Spengler observes in the Asia Times that the confrontation with modernity is causing Iranians to give up, stop breeding, and start whoring. I’d never thought of prostitution as an institution that exists in opposition to reproduction but his argument makes sense. In any case, perhaps this is an argument that reproduction and modernity are inherently in conflict. Perhaps there is some natural law that cuts down reproduction naturally to match changes in potential longevity.

Blogging here again.

November 20, 2006

SpareInk seems to have gone inactive, so I guess I will blog here in the interim. Copying my last post from there.

I am advocating wireless socialism at a new group blog:

June 29, 2005

Check it out