Sri Yantra

Our current situation has led me to think...

...Quite a lot about the problem of evil, and the various theodicies which attempt to explain the existence of a benevolent and omnipresent deity and the existence of evil in the world.

Of course as an Omega Point Mathematical Fundamentalist expressed through syncretic classical pantheism I do not have the problem of evil. In a multiverse where every possible quantum event has/is/will occur(ed) all of this is necessary, alas. But most classical theodicies regard free-will as the important factor in the problem of evil. But there are other, non-moral avenues of expressing free-will without evil, pain or suffering. Aesthetics, for example; what colour should it be? We can exercise free will without there needing to be a requirement for a moral choice.

I've said it before; when all the physical questions of the universe are solved there will still exist the moral questions. And when we have sorted them there will still be the wallpaper to argue over. So if this place is a test of free will it's rather poorly constructed from a moral position. You can test free will without pain. There are duties which creators have to their creations. As an artist who has usurped the creative principle from the prime mover, I know this without being able to explain it.

I will hold my gods to account. Just as I will hold my governments to account too; and myself. I guess that puts me in the Devil's camp; excepting I detest and despise all the works of evil.

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Sri Yantra

Now if you want to make a grown-up politician really nervous...

Now if you want to make a grown-up conservative politician really nervous use the words "deontologically" and "consequentiality" in proper context in friendly conversation when talking about policy.

It's a lot scarier if accompanied by structured analysis of aforementioned policy from a consequentialist and deontological position.

And then drop in the 60K excess deaths as the punchline.

Works every fucking time.

Sri Yantra

Now all our sins return to haunt us...

www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-dominic-cummings-hacked-eu-referendum-lloyd-hardy

Which, with footnotes and references, analyses Classic Dom's referendum and election victories.

But not it appears that Classic Dom has a few more problems; his flight to Durham during lockdown may not have attracted the scrutiny of the DPP but it appears the council of the borough in which his father's estate lies have investigated whether the cottage he occupied with his family had planning permission - and it rather appears it doesn't:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-53001428

Cummings has made many, many enemies. No doubt they will be queuing up to issue their challenges, suits, and studied insults.

Sometimes a man is defined by his enemies as much as by his friends. I do rather think though that a lot of folk who were acquainted with Classic Dom may just turn. If Boris is one of them, then... we may actually get a reasonable deal with the EU. But by any measure Boris will be toast himself soon. We have four more years of him; but no-one will really pay much attention to the worst PM of modern times.

He has no stature, no dignity, no credibility; and his legendary charisma is tarnishing despite his every attempt to buff it to brightness.

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Sri Yantra

This is how and why...

...Gatekeepers are useful to have in place:

www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jun/09/nhs-blood-unit-systematically-racist-internal-report-finds

The Colindale NHS Blood Unit certainly seems to have a few "True Believers" doing the hiring and firing. The BBC and the Emergency Services might also prove to be interesting ground for the statisticians.

In the end we will work it out. Numbers don't lie, so the only thing you can hope to do is hide them; and that is no longer possible with things like employment. And lots of us can do the statistical analysis if we push ourselves so to do. Maybe it's still possible to funnel your money through whatever is the new equivalent of one of Mossack Fonseca's schemes, but you can't disguise your payroll to the Inland Revenue or your corporate insurers or a bunch of other folk. And one thing we know about information is that it is like water in this respect; given a chance or change in pressure it will find a place to leak.

This will be Ninefingers' first law of information; based on a short story by Ambrose Bierce, obvs. The subordinate clauses in the first chapter...

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Sri Yantra

I don't suppose there's much point...

However, after I got things wrong about Covid in January I've been striving to put it right by blogging and tweeting all the expert advice I could, alongside all the numbers I could lay my hands on. I had assumed, like most folk in the UK, that we had all of our much-lauded pandemic response plans together; and I knew that Gordon Brown had left us over-prepared in terms of pandemic supplies and necessary PPE. Of course, when I consider that the brunt of austerity cuts will have been on long-term stuff - because that's the way the political system works - it is obvious that those stocks would have been the first to remain unreplenished. Also I thought we had a medical establishment which wouldn't bow to government and would tell it like it is. Now the housemen (of all genders) and consultants on the ground may be independent and tell it as it is, along with the professors of medicine etc, but the medical establishment is no longer independent of government and has been obviously suborned.

The Cummings affair has shown that we are in the hands of criminals; folk for whom the rule of law is for other people. We have a criminal cabal at the heart of government; and the leader of it is unelected, not subject to Parliament, and beyond reproach in the manner of anointed god-kings.

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Sri Yantra

So...

Classic Dom (as John Crace has named him) has been cautioned by the police for... let's get this right... breaking quarantine. Not breaking lockdown like the Bonking Mathmo Prof (who resigned) or the Scots Tory Minister (who resigned) but breaking quarantine.

He was fucking infectious at the time he broke lockdown - he broke quarantine. May I just say it again for emphasis? Such breaches now have £1,000 fine attached to them, but not when he did it. So in all probability, with folk in the Beeb supporting him, Dom will just brush it aside.

I fucking hope not. Here is where we really need someone with the invective of Malcolm Tucker to take the blighter down; despite all the shills from the Beeb propagandising for him like mad.

Sri Yantra

There are periods when...

...I feel there is little point in communicating with folk.

All the things I have to say I find stale and profitless; even if true or right. Everything appears to be a grey despair excepting I'm actually pretty happy in my personal working life - despite lockdown. For the fist time in a decade I feel positive about my playing, my kit, and my composition skills. This has coincided with the arrival of the Singular Sound Beat Buddy as a drum machine/controller for my Singular Sound Aeros Loop Studio.

ATM I'm using it as a six-track songwriting tool but it's a lot more than that. When I have it sorted properly I will be able to do an awful lot with it. Live shows completely by myself, for a start. Not having to instruct other players or deal with their abilities or otherwise may turn out to be a blessing; even if it allows me to be more misanthropic.

Sri Yantra

Brazil

Happens to be the name of perhaps the greatest of all the Terry Gilliam's films.

I doubt though if even Terry Gilliam collaborating with all the other Pythons could make as an absurdist piece of theatre as is currently going on in the nation of Brazil.

Bolsonaro seems more unhinged than Trump. They have had two Health ministers resign in a month. All the wrongdoings are floating to the surface like turds bobbing near a sewage outfall.

Back in Blighty I'm beginning to think that Boris is toast. The extreme right and business interests all want lockdown ended. Folk on the right are briefing against him and his present stance of safety first. At a guess he will genuflect to his constituency and open up - I doubt he has much choice.

As ye sew, so shall ye reap.

Sri Yantra

Catchup

After the hacking of passwords a lot of my crossposts from DreamWidth haven't reposted on here. I'll catch up manually...

14th May 2020

Some figures in...

... about Obamacare being good for people:

www.snopes.com/ap/2020/05/13/study-ties-obamacare-to-fewer-cancer-deaths-in-some-states/

Who would have thought it? How strange. Anyway, we will have the figures for Trump's first term soon. I'm sure they will be better, bigger, huger or whatever description Trump uses to show us all what a brilliant POTUS he is. The best ever. Dealing with the biggest problems better than anyone else.

Mitch McConnell told a couple of fibs about Obama not having prepared for a pandemic, or having a plan. Every single vanity-driven example of destruction of US capacity because Obama put it in place is now being shown up in this crisis. It's all coming back to bite him on the ass, as our American cousins say.

Who thinks that if Obama had been in charge the US would still have had quite as bad an outcome? (Mind you the Red states would just have ignored him anyway.)

In fact, given the polarisation of US opinion and politics, is there any leader who could have steered America through this crisis? Without a leader who can unite the US no-one is going to be able to get the US to co-operate with itself, never mind other nations.

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Sri Yantra

This article in my reading caught my eye

www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2019/11/28/a-new-theory-argues-same-sex-sexual-behaviour-is-an-evolutionary-norm

Wherein I find that our chaps have been making category mistakes even in framing the question. I quote liberally. I hope that's ok.

"The mainstream explanations in evolutionary biology for these behaviours are many and varied. Yet they all contain a common assumption: that sexual behaviours involving members of the same sex are a paradox that does indeed need explaining. Reproduction requires mating with a creature of the opposite sex, so why does same-sex mating happen at all?"

And we traditionally framed the answer in two ways:

"The first is that the cost of same-sex behaviour is high because energy and time spent engaged in it do not contribute to reproductive success. If that were true it would indeed mean that maintenance of same-sex behaviour over the generations requires some exotic explanation whereby such activity confers benefits that outweigh the disadvantage. The second assumption is that same-sex activity evolved separately in every species that exhibits it, from an ancestral population that engaged exclusively in different-sex behaviour."

However, when we put it this way

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