Thursday, November 4, 2010

Things I Believe Are True But Cannot Prove

  • There is no afterlife. When we die, that's it, we're done. Annihilated. This is the single hardest limitation for an individual to accept.

  • The idea that we forgive and accept not for others' benefit but for our own is an immensely practical one that enables us to live our lives better.

  • The socioeconomic makeup of the world is not really much different now than it has been for the last 5,000 years: about one-tenth of the world's population is privileged to consume more than their equal share of the planet's resources. The only real difference in modern times is that most of the world's privileged persons are isolated within a handful of nations rather than spread out all over the globe.

  • Most of the price of most goods and services is derived from the embodied energy in that good or service. Put another way, if some good or service, A, costs X and some other good or service, B, costs 2X, then B requires about twice as much energy to produce as does A. If you want to decrease the total amount of energy you consume, the simplest way to do this is to reduce your cost of living.

  • P != NP.

  • Discriminate use of “goto” in C is safer than the indiscriminate use of “break” and “continue” and often even the discriminate use of them.

  • The Internet doesn't pay for itself once you factor in the cost of its externalities, such as pollution and the consumption of non-renewable resources.

  • People don't choose to disagree, argue, bicker, and fight; these are compulsive actions. What we choose is how well we conduct ourselves when we do disagree, argue, bicker, and fight.

  • People are, in general, lonelier now than before the advent of cell phones and computers and other prosthetic ears and mouths.

  • That “commoners” are increasingly opinionated about party-line politics isn't good for anyone. This isn't because people are wrong in their opinions but because there is a wide range of good and noble pursuits in all of life, and party-line politics shouldn't be one of them for but a few people.

  • The biggest conspiracy is that no one is in control. The world is 1,001 special interests each holding the tiger by its tail. This is the scariest conspiracy of all because it means that the future is subject to no one and nothing save chaos.

  • The quality of American middle-class life has been on the decline since before I was born, but our increasing material wealth has distracted us from this trend. This is a big reason why recessions have the potential to hurt so much: when the distraction goes away, even just temporarily, it reveals the increasing poverty of our lives.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

P=NP...WHAT?!
You have been ingesting more than keen-wa.
Stick with "a bug that mysteriously disappears will mysteriously reappear".
Here is some code for you.

10 CMB is crazy
20 Goto 10

cmbrandenburg said...

Anonymous—Indeed, it seems like all would hinge on whether N is 1 or some other value. To think that the solution is worth $1 million…

BTW: sed -e 's/CMB/Anonymous/g' fixes that code you wrote.