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September 2010



unabated corruption is eventually self-defeating.

September 07, 2010 – Comments (25)

This is one of those posts where I'll probably piss people off on all sides, but as usual, I don't care.  [more]



Power, Morality, Ethics, Statistics.

September 01, 2010 – Comments (6)

pow·er play_w2("P0492000") (pour)n.1. The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively.2. A specific capacity, faculty, or aptitude. Often used in the plural: her powers of concentration.3. Strength or force exerted or capable of being exerted; might. See Synonyms at strength.4. The ability or official capacity to exercise control; authority.5. A person, group, or nation having great influence or control over others: the western powers.6. The might of a nation, political organization, or similar group.7. Forcefulness; effectiveness: a novel of unusual power.8. Chiefly Upper Southern U.S. A large number or amount. See Regional Note at powerful.9. a. The energy or motive force by which a physical system or machine is operated: turbines turned by steam power; a sailing ship driven by wind power.b. The capacity of a system or machine to operate: a vehicle that runs under its own power.c. Electrical or mechanical energy, especially as used to assist or replace human energy.d. Electricity supplied to a home, building, or community: a storm that cut off power to the whole region.10. Physics The rate at which work is done, expressed as the amount of work per unit time and commonly measured in units such as the watt and horsepower.11. Electricity a. The product of applied potential difference and current in a direct-current circuit.b. The product of the effective values of the voltage and current with the cosine of the phase angle between current and voltage in an alternating-current circuit.12. Mathematics a. See exponent.b. The number of elements in a finite set.13. Statistics The probability of rejecting the null hypothesis where it is false.14. A measure of the magnification of an optical instrument, such as a microscope or telescope.15. powers Christianity The sixth of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.16. Archaic An armed force.  mo·ral·i·ty play_w2("M0418100") (m-rl-t, mô-)n. pl. mo·ral·i·ties 1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.3. Virtuous conduct.4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.  eth·ic play_w2("E0227900") (thk)n.1. a. A set of principles of right conduct.b. A theory or a system of moral values: "An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain" (Gregg Easterbrook).2. ethics (used with a sing. verb) The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.3. ethics (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics. sta·tis·tics play_w2("S0720200") (st-tstks)n.1. (used with a sing. verb) The mathematics of the collection, organization, and interpretation of numerical data, especially the analysis of population characteristics by inference from sampling.2. (used with a pl. verb) Numerical data. All definitions were taken from the free dictionary     Most of this post is going to be about power. I'll talk about the other things in relation to power. Power is given or taken. Power that is taken needs force to be kept. Power that is given needs either popularity or force to be kept. Whether its given or taken, power is always cyclical. What is given or taken will eventually be taken away. The only question is the amount of time that power can be held. The rewards of power make those in power corrupt. The fraility of power helps lead to the escalation of corruption.   Maintaining power starts about as soon as power is obtained.  You have to maintain power to continue the rewards of corruption.  There are many paths of maintaining power, but I'll talk about my 3 favorites. All 3 require manipulation. Manipulating morality is the most advantageous in my opinion. If you can promote your cause as moral, it can gain you popularity as well as power. It can also give you reason to limit the freedom of your population and in effect gain more control. I'll give you a couple examples. China is in a war on pornography. They can leverage that excuse to monitor their citizens on their cell phones. The US uses the war on terror as an excuse to limit your ability buy a pre-paid cell phone anonymously for the same reason. An entity drunk with power will start to legislate morality to extend thier favorite form of control. An extreme of this is probably Islamic fundamentalism. But, examples of this also happen in the US in regulation of homosexuality, gambling,  and abortion by the right and forced health care, cap and trade, and extortion of business on the left. I'm sure I've got a few people fired up enough now to start flaming me now, so I'll leave it at that.  Ethics are probably the easiest to manipulate, but going too far can limit your power. It's still perfectly ethical to allow banks to cash checks in the order of highest to lowest to squeeze excessive returned payment fees out of customers, and you'll get away with it for a while, but eventually you will have to concede to public outrage. Ethics are defined by those in power, but it's hard to get continuous agreement from the public unless they think it's moral. Manipulating statistics is a last chance effort to maintain power. When the public starts to question your results, you manipulate statistics. You point out that the facts don't back up thier concern until they realize that your stats don't reflect the facts.  Most people would follow up with a moral to the story. I'm not. Even if I did, morality is influenced by the people in power.  Take from this what you want to. Try to assess where we are as a population if you want. Do nothing if you want. Do something if you want.  I hope that I just helped you understand power a little bit more. Power is cyclical. Let's start the next cycle on the right foot.     [more]

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