Anyone with very little power who says they want the government to run like a business is probably saying they hate bureaucracy. Often for perfectly understandable reasons. Bureaucracies are like prosthetic limbs for society in the sense that they are answers by the government to questions brought about by a large government. They have to be fashioned top-down and imposed on society. Even a bureaucracy handing out goods and services generally feels domineering and arbitrary. Civil servants, in situ, outrank you. They are usually maddeningly rigid and dull.

The end game of monopoly capitalism is to own the organs of government, essentially using a host/parasite model. First by owning the votes of our representatives and secondly by breaking up service bureaucracies (under the guise of correcting wastefulness). The business of privatizing military support, prisons, schools, the post office, etc. Is simply monopoly capitalists guaranteeing themselves riches and power by becoming an unavoidable tax-funded state institution. In succeeding, they also become answerable to neither customers nor voters. Their lockdown on power is ordered and maintained by their subsidiary political machine. Representative government ends.

Anyone with a lot of power who says the same means that he would like some part of our government turned over to him and his cronies. Rich people who say they hate government mean that they hate REPRESENTATIVE government: That they hate any power that doesn’t channel more money to the rich. That’s why rich people are so interested in alternative schools and prisons and military support services. Taking over a piece of the government is a non-competitive gravy train.

It’s sort of like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Augustus Gloop will never accept the phrase: “That’s enough for you.”



No two people are the same; you are encouraged to customize this document to your own needs, abilities, and resources.
Copyright Sinope (, 2015. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Questions to ask before giving up

Are you hydrated?

If not, have a glass of water.

Have you eaten in the past three hours?

If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus? Maybe a piece of cheese?

Have you showered in the past day?

If not, take a shower right now.

Have you stretched your legs in the past day?

If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the energy for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip. Alternatively, do some squats till you feel it.

Have you said something nice to someone in the past day?

Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.

Have you moved your body to music in the past day?

If not, jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite tempo, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.

Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days?

If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.

Have you seen a therapist in the past few days?

If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.

Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in a generic prescription brand?

That may be screwing with your head… and also your body. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.

If daytime: are you dressed?

If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas. Put on your shoes, and ready yourself as if you were going outside. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.

If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep?

Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes — no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.

Do you feel ineffective?

Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!

Do you feel unattractive?

Take a goddamn selfie. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll help fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.

Do you feel paralyzed by indecision?

Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.

Have you over-exerted yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually?

That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.

Have you waited a week?

Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.

You’ve made it this far, and you will make it through. You are stronger than you think.


I’m enjoying the sight of Elon Musk revealed as a clueless idiot manchild, raging at the real world for contradicting his impulsive, selfish missteps as Twitter degenerates into 4chan.

It is ourselves that are valuable, conferring value onto an app by our presence in numbers. As products, we get to choose if the company selling us deserves us. We are like a product abandoning its connection to a company due to mismanagement rendering it unworthy. This is where the products decide to be customers, too. Twitter is on its way to being a derelict husk drifting toward “MySpace” status. It will end up irrelevant, and owned by the current second-level stakeholders, The Saudi Royal family, once Musk grows sufficiently afraid of the consequences of his own actions and concocts a narrative that allows him to slip away with a shred of dignity.

This is a thrilling moment, getting to watch the unraveling of a social media giant and the fantasy of “too big to fail” for such monstrosities. Facebook, you’re next, buddy! “Meta” my ass. They’ve lost $66 billion in value this year and are whistling in the dark, in denial about their failed dream of owning us all through VR headsets.

I can’t imagine anything healthier for our society right now than watching a few of these fucked up parasites collapsing in flames. Schadenfreude, it’s what’s for dinner. ?


The behavior of ball bearings as they self assemble under an electric field They seem alive, reaching for each other to form emergent structures. In fact, it’s how the molecules in living cells work,  just on a larger scale. 

Compare to this single brain cell searching for connections:

It doesn’t pay to make grand conclusions based on similar appearances, but this shows the patterns driving all of our living cells and probably something elemental about the nature of evolution itself.



“In this house, we believe science is real.”

That Sign

Science is this job:

  1. Make an observation.
  2. Ask a relevant question.
  3. Form a hypothesis or testable explanation.
  4. Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
  5. Test the prediction.
  6. Have your test and its results peer-reviewed and replicated by other scientists.
  7. Confirm that those results are statistically meaningful and consistent
  8. Iterate (repeat): And use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

This is the creation process for scientific facts. This process produces the “Proof” of science that we believe in, due to the rigorous method of science. This value only exists in results that have verifiably completed every step in this process.

A fact can only be a scientific fact if it owes its existence to the scientific method.  Concerning every other subject on earth, science is objectively not even relevant. What science isn’t is an essential aspect of understanding what it is. Or you might say that concerning any other subject on earth… science doesn’t even exist because Science only exists in this process.

There are absolutely loads of facts that are meaningful, important, and objectively true but have no connection to science at all. There are crazy shit tons of facts that are beautiful, or scary, or somewhat but not completely true. There are another insane amount of facts that are subjective, personal, and anywhere from sort of to mostly untrue objectively.

Then there are ideas, so many millions of them, that generally rest on some awkward constellation of cherry-picked examples from any sort of combination of the proceeding facts, including the scientific ones. These cannot prove or disprove whatever the cherished idea is, they are there as character witnesses called to testify in the case. Their impact on the jury is generally emotional or an appeal to existing assumptions.

The only aspects of science that even call for belief are the method itself, and the unambiguous results (when present) of that applied method. But please remember that not all scientific facts are equal. Unambiguous, repeatable results are high-quality scientific truth, 5-star scientific facts, whereas ambiguous, hard to repeat results are low-quality knockoffs coasting on the reliability of high-quality results.

You should believe that science is real, where and when this process is complete.  Including unambiguous and replicable. Any fact NOT born of the scientific method is not a scientific fact. And some facts that are scientific by following the method are nonetheless preliminary, inconclusive, and unreliable.

Everything else is either data, opinion, or speculation. There is nothing wrong with data, opinion, or speculation but none of these are conclusive and none are scientific.

So please remember this, if a scientist speaks of spirituality, mysticism, religion, the meaning of life, etc. They are officially just another shmoe like all the rest of us, with no more credentials than any of the rest of us, and they deserve no more trust or belief than anyone else does.

Scientists speculating beyond hard data they are well informed about are ethically wrong if they are asserting (even tacitly ) any scientific authority. They are abandoning the scientific method, violating the principles that make it meaningful, being dishonest, and committing a famous logical fallacy:  The “Appeal to False Authority”.

This is no insult to science. We can properly celebrate the amazing power of science only by remembering its limits as well as its strengths. Remembering these limits renews the simple, solemn pact science has made to us. A promise to adhere to the very terms and conditions that it uses to define itself.



A completely random collection of glimpses from recent times (NSFW)



(Memory from 2015)

Last Sunday night I went to bed late, around 1:30. I had to get up at 6 am to get Isaac ready for school and I cursed my stupid restless brain for setting me up to get 4.5 hours of sleep. So then I’m sleeping and something is worrying at me from far off. I’m down in a dream and it’s as if I hear someone calling me. Still really unconscious I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong. I hear my front gates moving, creaking, rattling.

My front yard is enclosed by a tall fence and a set of swinging gates that I routinely lock. It’s like the front room of my house, which happens to be outdoors. I’m used to hearing the gates moving in high wind but it’s obvious to me that the night is absolutely still except for my gates. It slowly comes to me that someone is struggling with the locks, working to get them open. It’s just two hook and eye latches and a slide bolt. Unfortunately, they are set up more to send the message that I don’t want drop-ins than to defeat a concerted attempt to get in. There’s also a bungee stretched across, mainly to keep the gates from moving much in a high wind.

Someone is pushing, pulling, reaching over and under to undo them and I hear them succeeding. Adrenaline. Eyes open. The clock says it’s 4:30 am. My brain is ransacking itself for some story where this is nothing bad. Run to the dark living room and look outside. It’s just what it sounds like: Arms, legs, and torso, pushing, squeezing through the gates, held back only by the bungee now. My brain keeps trying to see in his outline someone I know, someone who is there because they need my help. Nope.

I’m naked. I can’t confront someone like this, so I run to the bedroom to find clothes, and somehow can’t find fucking anything right. Where’s my robe? There! I pull it around me while running back to the living room.

He is through the gates now and he is carefully latching them all back up from the inside. He’s middle height, dressed in black, black hair. Middle eastern? Indian? Latino? He can’t see in because it’s bright out front and dark in here.

Isaac is asleep in his room perhaps 25 feet from where I’m standing, the door slightly ajar. I have a samurai sword on a shelf nearby and I reach for it, feeling very self-conscious like this is a cringey, ridiculous thing to do. I feel like I’m filled with freezing electricity. He’s peering around at the front of the house, I’m coming closer, watching him through the window. He throws something like a cloth or a towel down in front of the front door. He reaches out and puts his hand on the doorknob.
I rap loudly on the window. He startles wide-eyed and focuses on me in the shadows.

GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY YARD!!! I shout. Suddenly thinking of Isaac, please don’t wake up.
His face leans in toward me looking upset and beseeching.

“I just need to come in for a while.” He says, his hand on the doorknob again.

GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY YARD!!! I shout again, brandishing the sword. This is bad but it feels better than the moments of hiding and watching. He looks SO sad. He returns to the gate and begins undoing the locks and squishing himself out under the bungee, still in place.

A moment later, I’m outside redoing the locks and adding things to prevent reentry. As I come back in I realize the thing he threw down in front of my door is my own welcome mat, which had been hanging up to dry after cleaning. I can’t believe it, but Isaac is still asleep. I call 911 and tell them, then somehow eventually get back to sleep. I wake at six, wake up Isaac, and make him breakfast. I don’t say a word about what happened.


“…and there, against the wall, without obstructing rag or leaf, you may look your fill upon the foulest, the vilest, the obscenest picture the world possesses–Titian’s Venus. It isn’t that she is naked and stretched out on a bed–no, it is the attitude of one of her arms and hand. If I ventured to describe that attitude, there would be a fine howl–but there the Venus lies, for anybody to gloat over that wants to–and there she has a right to lie, for she is a work of art, and Art has its privileges.

I saw young girls stealing furtive glances at her; I saw young men gaze long and absorbedly at her; I saw aged, infirm men hang upon her charms with a pathetic interest. How I should like to describe her–just to see what a holy indignation I could stir up in the world–just to hear the unreflecting average man deliver himself about my grossness and coarseness, and all that. The world says that no worded description of a moving spectacle is a hundredth part as moving as the same spectacle seen with one’s own eyes–yet the world is willing to let its son and its daughter and itself look at Titian’s beast, but won’t stand a description of it in words. Which shows that the world is not as consistent as it might be.”

Mark Twain



This graphic tracks the evolving, cross-pollinating disciplines of Complexity science, also called complex systems science. They are an essential and transformational course correction against the scientific tradition of oversimplifying virtually everything in order to avoid overstating ANYTHING. In fairness, you have to have a lot of information about a lot of different things before you can apply the lessons of complex systems.

There’s no love in a carbon atom, No hurricane in a water molecule, No financial collapse in a dollar bill.
– Peter Dodds

Below is a brilliantly straightforward exploration of many of these concepts

Complexity Explained

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