Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sam Hyde at Tedx

Tedx must be one of the more annoying series of videos I've heard about on youtube. While I've only watched two or three talks, each episode seems to follow the same format. Some pompous personality will trot on stage and spend 15 minutes of time talking about fluff and pure emotion. There is barely anything of substance being said.

With Tedx, I remember seeing one video about some 14 year old kid just talking about how he just wanted to be happy. Another woman was talking about the benefits of stress. And I just think of how silly Tedx seems. Notably, Tedx is different from Ted Talks. Just about anyone can get on Tedx. This is why I even saw professional skateboarder Rodney Mullen talk about innovating skateboard tricks through his career.

But even though I admire Rodney Mullen, his presentation just seemed so silly. He gets way to emotional about tricks but that might just be his regular personality.

But recently, I came to the conclusion that Tedx doesn't even vet the people that give presentations. Last week, I was listening to the Bechtloff podcast and one of his guests mentioned the Tedx talk given by Sam Hyde. In the into to the 2070 Paradigm Shift, Sam lied about being a journalist for Vice, Nat Geo, and visiting the most dangerous city on Earth which was a made up city name.

During his presentation, he talks about ocean floor sea farming, milking lactating Americans, human pleasure domes, and the final solution to the elderly and disabled.

The talk was the ultimate troll job and I think he was expecting to get pulled off of the stage at any moment. For the love of St. Mary, the guy is dressed up in plastic gladiator armor and a running suit for his presentation. He makes outrageous claims of working for the Tesla start up and teaching JavaScript to African refugees. 

But if Tedx will just let anyone give a presentation, I'd like everyone to check out my Tedx talk about how the new world order is putting barium dioxide into my Coco Puffs next month.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Not ready to panic about the market yet.

Ever since the year began, the stock market has been taking some hits. Just last Friday at work, I was looking up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Every half hour, I was clicking the refresh button of my browser and I was watching the average drop 100 points.

All this just because the fed increased interest rates by .25%.

But I'm not ready to panic about the markets yet and I've got two reasons for it. First off is that I really don't have much money invested in the stock market. The second reason is that these drops aren't unprecedented. The last time our market had a correction was from August to September of last year. That was the last time the market was at 16,000.

We could be about to fall off a cliff. It might happen over the next few weeks or months but it hasn't happened yet. With our market at 16,000, our market is at about 87% of the all time high of 18,300 back in May of 2015.

To put things in perspective, the last two bubbles were the housing bubble and the tech bubble.

During the tech bubble, the high of 11700 of January 2000 fell to a low of about 7500 during October 2002. The low was 64% of the high.

During the housing bubble, the high of 14100 of October 2007 fell to a low of about 6600 during March of 2009. The low was 47% of the high.

The markets open tomorrow and I'll be watching it to see if we are headed off a cliff over the next few weeks. But I'm not going to worry about it now. I'll wait until the market falls another few thousand points before I'm ready to worry.

And should the market go below 8600, I can safely say the market took a worse hit than during the housing bubble collapse.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting past the fear of dropping in on vert

The first time I ever went to a real skatepark was when I was 14. There, the largest ramp was a 12 foot vert ramp towards the back of the park. 12 feet isn't an exaggeration, it was a big ramp. You had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the top.

The first time every standing at the top on the edge of the ramp was a scary time. The ramp looked like it caved in on itself from where I was standing.

Over the next few years, I'd get more experienced at skating other ramps but the biggest thing I ever dropped in on was only 7 or 8 feet and it didn't really have vert.

Over the years, I'd go back to the top of the ramp, think about dropping in, looking down at the drop in, and cowering away. Some of the worst feelings is the anxiety. It is when you can't decide to proceed or retreat. I've seen people get petrified for up to 30 minutes at the top of ramps when they are debating dropping in or going home.

It wouldn't be until I was 18 when I finally committed to dropping in on this behemoth of a ramp. Up at the top, I got the anxiety again. I could pull out and retreat but then this would still be haunting me. So, I had to do a little bit of self talk and this is the only thing that came to mind.

Just put your front foot down. Once that happens, it will be too late to turn back.

I put the tail of my skateboard on the coping of the ramp, the front foot went over the bolts, and I went down.

But something didn't feel right.

I couldn't feel my board. Some how it floated away. During that short moment, I could feel things weren't going to end well. And I slammed my whole right side into the flat bottom of the ramp. I might have caught the last 3 feet of transition but I slammed like a load of bricks into the ground.

And it hurt, but I got up off the wood after a moment. I just fell from 12 feet in the air right down onto almost flat bottom. And I was fine. I got the wind knocked out of me a little but I was good to keep skating. It really is amazing how much abuse the body can withstand. But the important thing was the fear was gone.

I ran back up the vert ramp and tried to drop in again. I almost had it but I slipped out at the bottom and my board flew out 20 feet away. I didn't get hurt that time.

I made it the third time.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Undeveloped minds

It is said that the male brain doesn't fully mature until the age of 22 to 25. That age seems like an extraordinary long time however it is reasonable to believe it takes that many years for a man to experience enough of the world to develop some sort of wisdom. In some cases, it is really apparent to see basic levels of understanding in young kids.

A year or two ago, I was visiting my friend up by the lake and he had some guests visiting him as well. There was a young boy about the age of six that spent the whole time playing PlayStation. That night while at a Wal-Mart, his dad bought a copy of Soul Caliber V for the PS3.

Soul Caliber has a lot of unique characters but there was this one female fighter that used some sort of razor bladed hula hoop as a weapon. While I was fighting this child, he repeatedly spammed the O button and destroyed me before I could make any moves. On round 2, I made a quick back dash and lunged forward with a strong attack and won the match within a minute.

The next bout, he chose my character, Ezio from Assassin's Creed but he still lost the fight while trying the same tactic. Just mash the O button. After he lost, he was bewildered and he thought he had chosen the best character. After playing the game for a few matches, he found it harder and harder to win.

I won't brag about beating a 6 year old kid at some fighting video game on a PlayStation but I will state that I had vastly more experience playing a variety of fighting games over the last 20 years. And in that time, I noticed a lot of similarities and recurring patters. There is usually a way to block, special moves are usually mapped to quarter circle forward attack, heavier fighters usually have greater health but slower speed, and you can sometimes let the clock run out to win a match. All of these observations were picked up through trials, errors, and experiments.

But, I remember when I was young, and I was absolutely horrible at video games due to undeveloped thinking. I was 9 and the first game I ever owned was Need for Speed II for the Sony PlayStation. It was a racing game and I would usually play the tracks Proving Grounds and Outback. I'd pick the McLaren F1 and usually win the races because these track had very few turns which would let you go really fast.

Go really fast and never brake, this is how you win races. Unfortunately, this will not work if the track has a lot of hairpin turns. Its almost embarrassing to admit this but even with the tracks that had sharp turns, I would be driving my Ferrari 200 miles per hour and try to make a 90 degree right turn.

Needless to say, it never worked. I always crashed right into a brick wall and flipped my car dozens of times. And this is how I played the game for months and I would always come in last place on most of the tracks because of my flawed logic.

In order to win races, you have to go as fast as possible and never press the brakes. I guess it wasn't until months or maybe years later when I thought it might be a good idea to slow down and not crash into brick walls. When I first started trying that strategy, the game became much more fun.

Instead of crashing into walls, I experimented with using the handbrake around corners versus just slowing down before hand. I tried each time to figure out the best way to take a turn. I also experimented with the strengths and weaknesses of each car. This experimentation leads to observations which leads to learning. And without this willingness to experiment or learn, we could spend our lives driving 200 miles per hour straight into a brick wall.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Extra motivation for Wednesday. The Great Dictator Speech.

I first heard the speech from The Great Dictator from the Black Brigade. They used the speech as an intro for one of their podcasts. I'm not completely sure what the context is for this speech but each time I hear this speech, I'm just reminded of the struggle for freedom. The struggle for freedom that every man fights for.

Don't be cattle, you aren't cattle. You are men.

Don't sell yourselves into slavery.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Listen to Mister Metokur if you don't already.

Formerly the Internet Aristocrat, Mister Metokur comments on the world continuing to get crazier and more degenerate. One of is more recent videos features a man getting fired from his job for making unkind comments at a protest. While the guy was fired within hours, there were still people on the internet demanding more. These people were demanding the man's guns to be taken away, the company to be investigated, and the man's coworkers to get fired.

Today, we live in a world where a man can get fired from his job for making jokes, donating money to an unpopular organization, or posting off color comments on social media. The biggest problem I have with this is that it really shows the values of society. In other words, free speech must be curb stomped in order to prevent a person's feelings from getting hurt. This is also probably one of the factors that contribute to the 94 million Americans currently outside of the labor force.

Regardless, Mister Metokur has a lot of great content.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

You aren't your surrounding economy.

Eventually, I'll have to write a review of Enjoy the Decline. Aaron wrote the book to help depressed conservatives feel better about life. Unfortunately, I remember lending the book to a buddy of mine but he couldn't make it past chapter 3 because of how depressing it was.

The economy is still declining and I can't see it getting better anytime soon. People are still leaving the labor force, part time work is replacing full time work, and inflation is slowly eroding our quality of life. However, despite the declining economy, my financial position has always been increasing year after year.

I first started my career during the Obama administration and I was always able to save the majority of the money I made. This wasn't due to economic stimulus policies, quantitative easing, or hybrid cars. I was saving money because I made the decision to cut my expenses to the bare minimum. I didn't waste money on expensive gadgets, social events, expensive cars, or drugs.

And I think this is the most important point. Most of your environment will be out of your direct control. The people in charge of the country will most likely work against your best interest and make life more difficult for you. But despite all of that, your actions and decisions will have a much greater impact on your life.

Even if 20% of your earnings will be stolen through taxation and completely be wasted, you still have the remaining 80% to make direct decisions with. You have the choice to figure out what you will eat, how much you want to work out, where you want to live, where you want to work, and how you will get to different places. These are your decisions to make.

In the past, I would have thought it was probably better to subsist off of welfare and government assistance programs. However, even though they get provided for by the US tax payer, they are severely limited with their options. SNAP doesn't pay cash directly to the recipients, those recipients have to get food. In most states, unemployment benefits are only collectible if you are laid off from work at no fault of your own. There are at least some barriers and balances that prevent just any person from collecting them.

I am grateful I didn't go down that route because then I'd be completely dependent on the federal government for my existence. And if something should happen to make EBT cards go offline, these recipients would be hunting and killing people in the streets just to eat.

Even though the world around you may be rotting and falling to pieces, don't give up hope just yet. You still have agency. You still have a will. And you still have the chance to create NeoAmerica.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

What was the point of the last episode of Cowboy Bebop?

As one of the greatest anime of all time, there was one thing that kind of bothered me about the last episode. In episode 26, you finally see Julia. Up until that point, she was just referenced by the other characters of the show. Spike and Julia are finally reunited and decide to run away together to start a new life and put behind the sad and messy history with the red dragon gang. It was a plan that was deferred for three years.

Vicious ordered Julia to kill Spike or else Vicious would kill Julia. Instead of carrying out her orders, she went into hiding for three years. After 25 episodes, we finally got to see Spike and Julia together.

And things are going well until the couple gets ambushed in a bar and Julia gets gunned down and dies. It was tragic.

Afterwards, Spike goes back to the bebop to talk with Jet and Faye. After getting armed to the teeth with guns, C4, and concussion grenades he goes to infiltrate the red dragon headquarters. After taking out an onslaught of red dragon members, Spike has his final duel with Vicious and kills vicious while taking a mortal stab wound to the torso. Spike then exits the building to see the remaining red dragon members and then the falls to his death. It is one of the most moving and emotional scenes of anime history however I just can't get past how unnecessary it was.

After the bar shootout, Julia was already dead. Spike wasn't being pursued by the red dragon gang. He could have just left the planet and started a new life doing something else. As far as I'm considered, Spike went to kill dozens of red dragon members, blow up the headquarters, and kill Vicious all for .......... the lulz. Honestly, there was no reason to do any of that however I guess any other ending would not have been as moving or had such an impact.

Maybe Spike was motivated by revenge or maybe he felt that life just wasn't worth living without Julia but that just seems silly. Regardless, it is still the greatest anime of all time and I still do enjoy the ending. I just can't help but to think of how pointless it is.

Friday, January 1, 2016

One legitimate reason I want Trump in the White House

Up until the last few years, I never really paid much attention to politics. Before finding the red pill part of the internet, everything I knew about politics came from Comedy Central. I will admit that I was much more fond of the Republican party because I identified that party with success and being more patriotic.

Over the last few months, I've heard a lot of coverage about Donald Trump's campaign and I loved it because Trump was being an absolute man. He had no fear of the liberal media, was completely unapologetic, and he was solid.

But more important than that, he hurt the feelings of his opponents. After all, America has much bigger problems than worrying about being politically correct. Unfortunately, this was all I knew about Trump. He called the left bad and told them to feel bad. I didn't know what his platform was.

From the debates, I knew he said he wanted to complete the Mexican American border wall and make Mexico pay for it. I'm not quite sure how that would work.

My general assumptions were that Trump wanted to cut taxes and shrink the size of the government. The least I could do was check out his platform from his website.

From his website, he is aiming to cut taxes. He aims to cut corporate taxes down from 37% to 15%. On the individual level, anyone earning $25,000 or less would not owe federal income taxes and the rest of the tax brackets would be simplified and lowered. In other words, I like Trump because lower taxes that's why.

To me, this ambition alone makes me want him to win this year. I think this would be a good amount of motivation for any liberal or leftist to vote for Trump as well. At least, this should be brought to the attention to any voter that could benefit from it. Maybe some post college grads could put down the social justice if they could save a thous...... nah never mind. The ego is probably worth more to them.

I'd support any candidate that is fiscally responsible and puts the country's first priority as strengthening the economy. And not by using quantitative easing and creating massive spending programs.

With this tax policy, I think that Trump is gambling that lower corporate taxes would encourage businesses to come back to America and more individuals would start building new companies. At the same time, lower taxes for the individual should encourage more people to rejoin the labor force.
However, if this doesn't happen, our economy may take a bad hit so it is a gamble.

His policy mentioned nothing about reforming social security or medicare and these are the two programs that will eventually bankrupt our nation. This could be a secret. After all, it is political suicide to threaten those programs. If you don't know anything else about Trump other than he makes the media cry, just know that he is for lower taxes.