Switched to ownCloud today!

I’m delighted to report that I finally have made the switch to ownCloud today, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Setting it up on my Debian box (running version 7.4 “Wheezy”) was as easy as following the simple instructions from this useful tutorial at debiantutorials.com:

How to install ownCloud on wheezy

I then logged into ownCloud as the admin user, immediately changed the password, and created a new user for my main account. I then set up the ownCloud Windows client which created the directory ownCloud on my computer.

After than I just moved everything from my Dropbox folder to my new ownCloud folder and that was that.

Not sure if I want to migrate my calendar from Davical running on the Debian server over to ownCloud. Davical is actually a really excellent piece of software. Too bad its not integrated into ownCloud. That would be amazing.

In the future, anyone should be able to just buy one box at the store – a combination broadband modem + wireless router + ownCloud + mail + NAS + web server. You connect the box to your broadband connection, login, and a wizard sets everythng up for you. At that point you are 100% free except for the money you pay for your broadband connection. You own all your e-mail. You control your web server and can do with it as you please, including using Open Source social networking software if you are so inclined. All your files are yours.

Not only is all this data yours, no one else in the world even has a right to know what your data is or whether it exists. It is strictly yours and strictly personal.

Except the fact that we live in America which is satanic. The major broadband providers are satanic. So is the government. Despite all the clamoring about “net neutrality”, which should mean you pay for bandwidth and you can use it however you want, the content providers (who are probably all fronts for NSA/CIA) first of all deliberately provide highly assymetrical connections to everyone so that upload bandwidth is severely restricted, and second they explicitly forbid running “servers” on “consumer” lines. They are forcing people to pay exhorbitant fees to have “business” service to run “servers”. This is satanic bullshit.

Russia acting out of weakness

Today President Obama said that Russia is acting “not out of strength, but out of weakness”. Its interesting that he said that because, witnessing the way Russia has acted over the Crimea and Ukraine, and all the bravado it has displayed, it really does look like a pathetic display not of power but of weakness.

My guess is that the Crimea is not all that important. What does it have? There’s nothing really significant about it. Its just some land by a sea. Its not like some prime geopolitical real estate. But with all the bravado that Russia is showing one would think its some super important place. Its behavior is disproportionate and really does actually make Russia just look weak, like it needs to put on some kind of lame display. All these gross middle-aged beer-gut guys putting on their paramilitary outfits and acting tough. Its kind of sad actually.

I think countries which have their shit together have better things to do than play paratrooper. One the little, pathetic game is over Russia will still be a fucked up oligarchic dictatorship with a shitty economy.

People selling stolen items openly on the street

2013.08. Mission St. stolen items vendor

2013.08 Mission St. stolen items vendor

One day was walking along this street – this particular stretch is harrowing to walk along, the squalor is so extreme – and I saw these people selling openly on the street items stolen from vehicles.

Today I spoke with a neighbor who lives down the street from me. A really nice old man who likes to walk. He is 80 and I admire his health and the fact that he gets out every day and walks.

He was telling me about the crime issues. He said his vehicle has been broken into 4 or 5 times, and was telling me that people who live in these street-level single-unit apartments down the block have had multiple break-ins.

While the elites who control this country sit inularized in their privileged realms, things are going down the drain.

It was Noam Chomsky who said many years ago already – well before 9/11 and all the ensuing BS – that America is going to end up like Brazil.  How right he was.

A few days ago I was looking at one of those sites where it maps available rentals and you can click on little place markers to see a popup of the rent. My jaw dropped to the floor to see how elite it has become around here, how astronomical the rents are. Its no coincidence that the elite realms become more elite at the same time as the wasteland spreads.

Neighborhoods which were once affordable to the middle-class have become privileged enclaves way out of reach for all but the elites. And I’m not bitching about tech jobs or Google busses or anything – its just that this is happening because – way beyond any one particular company or even industry – the fundamental structure of this society is and has been broken for a long time.

But, like Noam Chomsky said, as long as it “works” for a sufficient number of elites it effectively self-replicates and continues.

What sickens me the most is that no one is talking about the fundamentals. The basic fundamental things which enable any human being to live healthily and to thrive – that always underlies everything else.

But this satanic society in its greed profits when standards are lowered, and there is always another wave of people willing to settle for less. People who have cancer are willing to accept a heart attack as a step up, so the profiteers are able to make money off this and wipe out the standards for those who expected (and had a right to) more.

So now we witness in society the indignant heart-attackees protesting their “rights” and bitching about those who have a higher expectation of health as being “lazy” or “ungrateful”, all while the greedy elites sit back and laugh.

“You’re giving up your rights.”

“You’re giving up your rights. Your rights matter because you never know when you’ll need them. People should be able to pick up the phone and call their family, should be able to send a text message to their loved one, buy a book online, without worrying how this could look to a government possibly years in the future. We have a right to privacy. Trusting anybody, any government authority with the entirety of human communications, in secret, without oversight, is simply too great a temptation to be ignored.”

— Edward Snowden

arstechnica.com: Snowden: Big revelations to come, reporting them is not a crime

I will add that this is a basic, fundamental right for all humans.

The best gel point pen

Uni-ball Signo UM-100 Gel Ink Pen – 0.5 mm – Black
image links to retailer site

I’m lucky to live near what is probably one of the coolest stationery stores in North America. I get to try out all these different, unique models of pens and notice even small subtleties in they way each performs.

I recently found this pen above and it has quickly become my favorite writing implement.

One major variation in pens is their diameter which has a significant bearing upon the physio-dynamics of how the fingers grasp and position it to write. I have a strong preference for the narrow variety of pens so someone who prefers large-diameter pens would probably not like this model.

I find however that this svelte, narrow model, combined with the gel tip, enables very precise control.

Sphincter-Inflaton dynamics

Now that inflationary B-modes polarization signals have been teased out of CMB data, confirming inflation theory, it makes me think.

I’m not an astrophysicist but I still love to think about these things: What if the Big Bang is something that continually happens? We think of the Big Bang as being an event that occurred around 13.8 billion years ago and that was that. Over. Done.

But what if that is only what we see? It could be that what we identify as the Big Bang is really an ongoing process – possibly we are inside an enormous black hole which is in the center of another galaxy “outside” of ours. As matter gets sucked in and compressed into singularity in the black hole, it spews out on the “other side” – i.e. our universe – in an ongoing Big Bang.

But what might happen is that as everything gets spit out from the Big Bang Sphincter it also travels away and/or expands away so fast that everything at a certain threshold moment after having been spit out of the Sphincter becomes “our universe”, i.e. the totality of what we can actually ever know about. But there could be an ongoing process of this Sphincter continually spitting out “universe” – i.e. universe continuum, universe substrate.

But none of this might be possible. Even a black hole is not supposed to be able to break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Black holes are currently understood to dissipate over extremely long epochs due to Hawking radiation. But maybe this dissipation can fit with the cosmology of the continually spewed-out universe substrate so that it all fits. In our “universe” (I put quotes around it because universe might just be a substrate that is continually streamed out of the black hole phincter) over billions of years everything expands and eventually the sky becomes dark. Galaxys and stars move farther and farther apart and eventually burn out until the sky is just black. But maybe this fits with Hawking radiation – it never actually burns out but just dissipates somehow back into the universe on the other side of the black hole Sphincter.

Here’s another thing to speculate about: Whether our universe came through a black hole Sphincter or not, the Big Bang occurred. Inflation occurred. This means that the primordial compression was real. By primordial compression I mean that which was at the beginning of the Big Bang (I’ve read that this is called the Inflaton).

But there’s something very, very strange about this. Think about it a minute. We are familiar with things. With matter. With energy too. Matter has properties. We are familiar with properties of matter. We are even familiar with electromagnetic properties and through science quantum properties as well. Its been such a big deal for human beings even to have become aware that there exist such properties in the first place. But – think of this – why are there these properties? What, exactly, are these properties. I don’t mean the actual descriptions of the fundamental forces, the mathematical models which describe them. I mean them themselves.

These properties – these forces or laws as they are understood – are they not like structure? But what carries that structure? What preserves that structure, even when the entire universe is compressed into an Inflaton where one would think everything – everything – would break down?

One topic that seems to relate to this is the Black Hole Information Paradox.

Is there something that is stronger than the Big Bang? Stronger than a singularity at the center of a massive black hole? How can there not be? It seems like everything would get crushed and scrambled once it is compressed to the point of an Inflaton or a black hole singularity. But it does not. Out of the Inflaton the universe expands and there are the forces, the laws. They didn’t get broken down. If you crush an object the structure gets destroyed.

Crush a clay pot and the structure of the pot gets destroyed. Crush it more and it gets increasingly pulverized to the point of becoming a soup of molecules. Keep crushing it and it becomes a soup of atoms. Keep crushing that and it becomes a soup of subatomic constituents like quarks. Keep crushing it and then what happens?

Even if it is compressed – along with everything else in the entire universe – down into an Inflaton – then it expands out again – the forces which defined those subatomic constituents and everything above that comes back, as if it was always there. But how could it have withstood such pulverisation? And what, exactly is it that we are talking about? To say it implies something, but even when compressed to a singularity-like level of incomprehensibly vast intensity, whatever it is that “carries” that structure, those laws – however you want to describe them – continues to exist.

The Inflaton is strange because it is something which by definition it seems impossible for anything to exist, but yet clearly something does exist. We are talking about a singularity which defies what we know in quantum physics. It seems like a defiance of reality because we know of no structure, no substrate or mechanism by which there can exist the fundamental forces yet doesn’t have form.

Maybe the Inflaton and the Sphincter are two different things, like two primordial things, and all the “laws” or “forces” come into existence through the dynamic interaction of the two? A lot of what cosmologists seem to be describing and dealing with now is Sphincter-Inflaton dynamics.

Maybe gravity is somehow associated with the Sphincter whereas the electromagnetic, weak, and strong nuclear forces are associated with the Inflaton which is maybe why theorists have been unable to unify gravity and the other three forces into a comprehensive theory.

AB1266 is wrong

AB1266 is wrong. AB1266 is a bill in California that become law which now says that transvestite children have a legal right to use the bathroom of the opposite sex which they claim to be.

But it should be clear that transvestism is completely different than transsexualism. Cross-dressing is not the same as a transsexual who is a person who receives medical treatment to actually cause physiologic and other changes to their mind and body, in accord with their identified gender.

Just saying that one feels they are the opposite gender is not enough and to treat that as sufficient is unfair and wrong. It is extremely misguided.

AB1266 creates damage instead of helping the situation, because it considers transvestism as equivalent to being transgender.

But if the blood serum levels of sex hormones of a transvestite are examined, they are identical to their birth sex, not their claimed sex. The organs and tissues in their body, their brain – everything – is still as their birth gender.

It is important that this be understood.

Transsexualism is not a fetish. It is not about “looking” like anything. It is not about having a butch haircut, or having big boobs and wearing a wig, despite what media might present as being such.

I am transsexual. When I first started taking hormones years ago, I was very relieved to be doing so, not because I was going to grow boobs. In fact, it initially didn’t matter to me at all to have boobs.

To a transsexual, being who you feel you really are since birth is something inside you. This is almost the exact opposite of what drives transvestism, and a lot of what gets claimed to be transsexualism.

While things should be getting clearer in society in this regard – for example there has been a lot of progress in understanding the physiologic bases for gender for things like athletes who compete in things like the Olympics – AB1266 has just fucked things up and set them off in the wrong way.

In some parts of the world, and even some parts of the US, there is a lot of misunderstanding about transgenderism. It is important for the rights of transgenders to have a sound, clear, and universally-accepted definition of what transgenderism is and that definition is based on physiology. Blood serum doesn’t lie.

If you were to take my blood right now and check for sex hormone levels, it would be identical to a genetic female’s. It would be indistinguishable.

In some countries such as in the mideast transgenders have had a lot of issues even in the legal systems and courts of their countries, because the current, universally-accepted physiological/medical basis for understanding gender is not understood.

A trans female will be derided by legal authorities and considered a homosexual male. This is completely wrong. It is physiologically and medically completely wrong.

When there are debates about trans females being given the legal right to use restroom facilities of their medically-established, physiologic gender, often they are considered homosexual men and people, including legal authorities, argue against it. This is dead wrong.

Now AB1266 comes along and fucks everything up, just so some state politicians who have nothing better to do can score some PC brownie points.

Well thank you government of California for fucking things up for me because, as an actual transsexual female, you have made things more difficult for me.

I understand if people care about kids having equal opportunities, but male is male and female is female, and the definition is based on physiology, not just because what a person says or claims.

If a young genetic male feels that he really is a female and he is not able to just use a male restroom until he is able to actually start medical treatment for transgenderism, then I think there might be something wrong with him. Possibly there are some other issues going on.

Another thing is that genderism should not get blown out of proportion, which is what this law is doing. The law is imparting genderism, it is genderizing situations which are probably best left alone.

If an individual wants to explore medical treatment and counseling because they feel they should be the opposite gender to what they were born, they can do so freely. But it should not become this huge issue, which it now is.

AB1266 massively fucks things up and is wrong. I am disgusted at the government of the State of California for getting it so wrong.

What is not gender:

  • The appearance of a person’s genitals
  • Who a person is attracted to sexually
  • Other aspects of appearance, such as haircut, dress style, etc.
  • Verbal statements without physiological/medical agreement
  • A person whose blood serum levels of sex hormones do not match with what is claimed except perhaps for exceptional medical circumstances
  • What any legal authority simply says is or is not. Otherwise it is very dangerous (and morally wrong) territory
  • A person who has just started medical treatment for transgenderism but whose blood serum levels do not yet match with the identified gender (it takes time).
  • Mannerisms, behavior: Mannerisms and behavior can definitely be on a spectrum of masculine-feminine, but these alone do not constitute gender at all.
  • All the things above can definitely be ranked – usually based on cultural things – on a scale of masculine-feminine, but they alone (nor in combination) do not constitute gender

What is gender:

  • What is understood and commonly accepted medically as physiologically constituting gender
  • A person whose blood serum levels of sex hormones agree with claimed gender, e.g. prolactin and testosterone levels identical to genetic female for trans females
  • A person who receives medical treatment in the form of exogenous hormone replacement therapy and other medicines (such as anti-androgens), which is usually taken for life or until blood serum levels of sex hormones match those of identified gender without needing exogenous hormones or other medicines.

Some scenarios:

A trans female who lives in a middle-east country with restrictive laws, who has been taking hormones and has lived as her identified gender, is arrested and put on trial. In the trial, the prosecution and/or judge accuses the woman of being a homosexual male, which is outlawed in their country. Because the country did not use the commonly-accepted medical standard for gender, she is convicted of homosexuality and punished.

A trans female in a society which otherwise appears to be progressive in terms of enactment of human rights legislation, is arrested and incarcerated into prison. In prison, the guards taunt her and say things like “You’re a man, aren’t you?” “You’re really a man!”. When the female shows her legal identification which states her gender as female, they respond “But you have a penis! You’re a man!” Nothing is done to counteract the severe sexual harassment she received because the medical standard for gender was not universally acknowledged in her state and the state’s own laws muddle the issue rather than clarify it further.

A person with a rare genetic abnormality has a rare mixture of both female and male DNA which occurs in a very small percentage of the population. The person has lived their life as a female. In the past she has been very successful in sports competitions and now wants to compete in the Olympics. Medical staff for the Olympics check her blood and find that her serum level of testosterone is in the range of a genetic male. Because this would give her a significant advantage in competition over genetic females, she is not allowed to compete as a female.

A genetic male who claims to identify as female wants to compete in high school sports in California as a female. Because of AB1266 he is allowed to and has a significant physiological advantage over genetic females. Other females who must compete against him feel slighted, but because of the state law there is nothing they can do.

A genetic male who is attracted to males and not females one day says that he identifies as female. He wants to wear makeup and talks and dresses “feminine”. According to California State Law, he is now legally a female, even though he might only be homosexual and like cross-dressing.

A teenage genetic male goes to a counselor and says that he identifies as being female. He continues to obtain care of medical staff and ultimately it is decided to to undergo treatment. Because of his young age however he is not immediately put on full hormone-replacement therapy. Instead he is given anti-androgen therapy to delay the onset of male puberty, while continuing to be under medical care. After a determined period of time his adjustment is monitored and his physician completes paperwork he needs to change his gender to female and obtain a court order for change of gender. Even though this person’s blood serum level of female sex hormones would not be identical to those of a genetic female of similar age, the fact that she is under ongoing medical care and that the levels of male sex hormones have been reduced or blocked through medication clearly support her medical and legal gender status as female. In this case, I don’t see how AB1266 would have helped this person because once her gender has been changed medically and legally no school nor other institution would legally be able to prevent her use of facilities or programs designated for her gender which is the way it should be dealt with under law.

Nice docu about major town in Xinjiang

Documentary about Uighur city of Kashgar and challenges it is facing.

I’ve been writing a number of posts related to Xinjiang recently. Its a huge provence of far western China where ancient caucasoid mummies were discovered not long ago with haplotype R1a which is distinctly European. Some of the mummies had textiles that were a twill plaid design very similar to those found in European archaeological sites.

Not only that, but DNA from an ancient tooth found in a cave just north of the region was found to be a previously unknown lineage of human ancestor, named Denisovan after the cave it was found in.

In 2013 the oldest ancient human ancestor DNA ever sequenced – a mind-blowing 400,000 years old – from remains found in Spain was found to be most similar to the Denisovan DNA.

So cute!

vlcsnap-2014-03-03-00h15m43s187

A tourist’s camcorder got taken by a monkey in Bali and it filmed itself.

So cute!

vlcsnap-2014-03-03-00h16m09s215

I wish there were monkeys here where I live. I think life would be happier.

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