Monday, November 10, 2014

Scott Adams about being embarassed:

You can’t control luck directly, but you can move from a game with bad odds to a game with good odds. The world is like a reverse casino. In a casino, if you gamble long enough, you’re certainly going to lose. But in the real world, where the only thing you’re gambling is, say, your time or your embarrassment, then the more stuff you do, the more you give luck a chance to find you. If you do one thing and stop, you didn’t give luck a chance to find you. You only need one thing to work.

Read more:

I also like how Adams talks about combining different skills for success -
he says I'm not the best cartoonist, buisness man, writer, not the funniest guy in the world,
not the most knowledgable in the world about the corporate world,
but the combination of being decent at all these things is what created Dilbert.

I like it cause I'm trying similarly to position myself well using a combination of skills:
I'm not the best mathematician, programmer, or bitcoin expert,
but the combination of being decent at all three, seems to be rare and useful.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Israel - 4% Vegan!

By recent statistics. Whether this statistic is accurate or not, you can definitely feel Veganism getting into the mainstream in Israel: In most Gas stations you can order a Soy-milk cappucino.
All the big coffee and restaurant chains have quite a few vegan options in their menu.
This is of course in addition to hummus and tahini that were always in the main stream making Israel much more vegan-oriented even before the word vegan, or things like tofu and qinoua were known about.

People become activists and want to change the world.
Basically, there are two ways to try to change the world

- try to make others do their role differently
- change the way you do your role

and I think most would agree that the second option is more effective.
And what is our `role' in the world? I think if you are part of the western world,
whatever job you have, your main role is being a consumer.
That is, if you are working 9-5, as opposed to working 24 hour shifts in an Adidas factory in Malaysia,
your main role in the global economic system - that seems to be roughly divided to consumers, workers, and the few that run everything behind the scenes- is mainly that of a consumer.

The choices you make at the supermarket, the shoping mall and the coffee shop are where you have the most impact in this global system.
And it doesn't have to be black and white..
just making a larger percentage of those choices choices for less suffering and more peace,
you could have a tremendous impact.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Thoughts about decentralization

Many people's excitement about bitcoin is that it uses mathematics to create a system
that is inherently decentralized, where no minority can gain a lot of power.
This is the idea behind the motto `In Cryptography We Trust'.

I am skeptical about this as in any system you put human beings in,
their natural tendency would be to accumulate power, and they will find ways to do so the system had not anticipated, and ultimately the most greedy and\or talented of them will gain as much power in this system as a dictator has over his country.
Indeed this is what is happening in bitcoin with the so-called mining pools and mining farms.

This is why I first thought - technology can create a different world, and perhaps the historical process of change is an interesting experiment the universe is conducting, but it cannot create a better world.

..but maybe the following is true: The more  a system has a decentralized structure,
the less violent will the expression of power and control be.
 For example, in democracies the people controling the banks and the media might have as much power as a dictator for practical purposes, but the expression of that power tends to involve less killing and torturing, at least of their own citizens.

Why would it make it sense for this to be true?
I think because the minute those with power would use it too violently, it would break
the illusion of decentralization - the facade that the power is with the common people.
And if the system is working well for them, breaking this system is not in their interest.

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Hi! I am a computer science postdoc. For some reason google is not finding my new homepage so I added a link from this profile