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The flaws of capitalism

I recently read a bril­liant com­ment the sums up the essen­tial flaw of cap­i­tal­ism vs com­mu­nism (I edited out mis­takes and clar­i­fied the meaning):

The flaw of cap­i­tal­ism is greed & nar­cis­sism (cap­i­tal­ism rewards greed, as long as you are not caught). The fatal flaw of com­mu­nism is exactly the same (greedy peo­ple are still greedy but now they just play under dif­fer­ent rules). For as long as humans fail to address their own inher­ent per­son­al­ity dis­or­ders, any sys­tem will be vul­ner­a­ble to the machi­na­tions of clever / unscrupu­lous folks try­ing to get more for them­selves at the expense of oth­ers. That is why we see the exact same types of inequal­i­ties & ‘elites’ ruin both.”

It’s true that cap­i­tal­ism is risky and unfair (isn’t life sup­posed to be risky and unfair?), but the prob­lem with try­ing to fix these issues is that when peo­ple try, they more often than not end up mak­ing soci­ety even more inse­cure and unfair. That doesn’t mean that every pub­lic ven­ture is doomed to do more harm than good (for exam­ple roads and defense work great).

The cur­rent fail­ures of cap­i­tal­ism: monop­o­lies, debt, and grossly uneven dis­tri­b­u­tion of income result from the same peo­ple who take advan­tage of the cur­rent sys­tem as they would under any sys­tem. While no sys­tem is fool­proof, the best is no doubt a philo­soph­i­cal med­ley of left and right ideas (which is what we already have).

Some believe that cap­i­tal­ism is “doomed to destroy itself” out of prin­ci­ple but look how quickly other sys­tems destroy them­selves (com­mu­nism implodes rather quickly under bad lead­er­ship). As far as social poli­cies go, bet­ter to side with those that pri­or­i­tize free­dom than put faith in the good of bureau­crats (not that they are bad peo­ple, but there’s a rea­son we say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions).

p.s. for your enjoy­ment: ronald regan telling some funny jokes on ideology

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Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Silence

The virtue of silence explained in just 7 sen­tences, enjoy!

Silence:
Speak not but what may ben­e­fit oth­ers or your­self; avoid tri­fling conversations.

The virtue of silence is about lim­it­ing how and when you speak. Speak­ing to ben­e­fit your­self and oth­ers means keep­ing con­ver­sa­tions pos­i­tive while avoid­ing the ten­dency to gos­sip. Neg­a­tiv­ity in speech is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of neg­a­tiv­ity in thought.

Less is more

Great con­ver­sa­tion­al­ists craft their words and limit their input because they under­stand that when it comes to words, less is more.

Trans­la­tion: “I am a suc­cess­ful young male look­ing for a poten­tial part­ner for a roman­tic long term rela­tion­ship. My hob­bies include ski­ing, read­ing, and writ­ing poetry. It’s okay to feel attracted to me, most women do, but under­stand that I am look­ing for the ONE. Would you be inter­ested in hav­ing din­ner with me tonight?”


Words are a commodity

Speak­ing too often and too quickly erodes the value of each indi­vid­ual word spo­ken. Avoid­ing tri­fling con­ver­sa­tions boosts the value of your words.

Blah blah blah lib­er­als blah blah blah gays blah blah national secu­rity blah blah fair and bal­anced blah blah blah ter­ror­ists blah blah abor­tion blah blah blah blah blah.


Con­tent Awareness

Under­stand­ing the virtue of silence brings con­tent aware­ness to your speech. Oth­er­wise you might just sound like an idiot.

Exact Quo­ta­tion.


This arti­cle is part of a series on Ben­jamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues:
1. Tem­per­ance: Eat not to dull ness; drink not to ele­va­tion.
2. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your busi­ness have its time.
3. Silence: Speak not but what may ben­e­fit oth­ers or your­self; avoid tri­fling conversations.

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4 reasons you should never gamble

Under­stand­ing Money

We trade money for what we want. To get money, we trade some­thing of value we have, such as our time, to give some­one else what they want. Say you want a girl­friend but you do not have any­thing she val­ues. You real­ize that what you really need is just sex so instead you trade your time to earn money which you can then give a hooker who can use your money to get that designer bag she really wants. Money is an indi­rect way to exchange value between peo­ple who would oth­er­wise have noth­ing else to trade.

Super­fi­cially, gam­bling is about trad­ing value cre­ated by you for the chance to win the value cre­ated by oth­ers. In truth, gam­bling is actu­ally about pay­ing for play­ing games in oxy­genated air con­di­tioned room. It isn’t cheap run­ning an estab­lish­ment with deal­ers, wait­resses, bar­tenders, bounc­ers, stock­hold­ers, secu­rity, main­te­nance, clean­ers, and per­form­ers. Their salaries aren’t paid by winners.

Cap­i­tal­ism: 1) Cre­ate value, 2) Get money, 3) Be Awesome.


The Gambler’s Mistake

It can be easy to equate win­ning money to mak­ing money. The only peo­ple who “make money” from gam­bling are the peo­ple who run casi­nos. Win­ning money does not cre­ate any value but shifts the value that loser cre­ated to the win­ner. On a side note, gam­bling is actu­ally bet­ter stim­u­lus than the gov­ern­ment print­ing off reams of money because at least there is value to back up the winner’s gain in money. In either case, no value is actu­ally being cre­ated. Gam­bling and print­ing money is like steal­ing from idiots, its easy except all it cre­ates are unpro­duc­tive leeches on society.

Not even col­lege can save you from unpro­duc­tive leeches.


Only idiots fight uphill

Gam­bling is an unfair bat­tle between the minds of hun­dreds of engi­neers and psy­chol­o­gists who designed the machines, games, and com­pe­ti­tions and the chumps who play their games. While their goal is to fur­nish a casino while mak­ing a profit, the gam­blers are usu­ally des­per­ate men and women who dream of being so much more. The games are designed to pro­vide short term wins for long term losses. Every aspect of a casino’s busi­ness from the “awe­some” buf­fet to the free pen­cils was engi­neered to part patrons with their money.

It’s an unfair battle.


Oppor­tu­nity cost

Time spent gam­bling is time spent gam­bling. The oppor­tu­nity cost other than the money spent is the time lost. Time and money that could have been spent on things that actu­ally pro­cure long term hap­pi­ness such as romance/career/family. Psy­chol­o­gists have found that mice will ignore food and sex and admin­is­ter elec­tric shock to them­selves to push a lever that alle­vi­ates their addiction.

How psy­chol­o­gists study chumps.


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1 rule for being better than average at everything

“Expe­ri­ence keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.” ~Ben­jamin Franklin

Ben Franklin believed that only fools pay the dear price of learn­ing from expe­ri­ence. The wise learn from the mis­takes of those before them. Ven­tur­ing into the unknown if far less daunt­ing when you bear the light of oth­ers who have walked the same path. Those who have suc­ceeded before often chart their jour­ney in the form of books so that their expe­ri­ences may be passed down.

Before you begin
Before begin­ning any new endeavor, a lit­tle research saves both the time and frus­tra­tion of being an ama­teur. Com­mon mis­takes can be eas­ily avoided with guid­ance. Books are more valu­able than gold for those who see their worth. They allow authors to teach read­ers in few hours what took them many years to learn.

Bet­ter to learn from the mis­takes of oth­ers than from your own
First learn from the mis­takes of oth­ers, sec­ond from your own. Learn­ing from expe­ri­ence is costly due to poten­tial set­backs or fail­ure. You are also lim­ited by time, resources, and energy. Read­ing the work of oth­ers pro­vides effec­tive lever­age by lift­ing these restric­tions. Those who start by research begin bet­ter than the fool who leaps into action to make as many mis­takes as possible.

Learn­ing as pro­cras­ti­na­tion to action
A book is a guide, it is not the voy­age itself. Read suf­fi­ciently, act accordingly.

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Intellectually Transmitted Diseases

What is an ITD?

An intel­lec­tu­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease (ITD), is an ill­ness that is trans­mit­ted between minds though indoc­tri­na­tion, evan­ge­lism, and brain­wash­ing. A ITD impairs ratio­nal­ity or logic which degen­er­ates the abil­ity to accu­rately per­ceive real­ity, ideas, con­cepts, and theories.

His­tory of ITDs

Intel­lec­tu­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases have been known since Socrates suc­cess­fully diag­nosed nar­cis­sism. Mod­ern his­tory has seen sev­eral major epi­demics of ITDs includ­ing the Catholi­cism of the dark ages, Fas­cism dur­ing WWII, and Com­mu­nism through­out the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. Suc­cess­ful ITDs are sub­tle at first (like HIV) but slowly cor­rupt ratio­nal­ity until faith breaches reason.

Trans­mis­sion

ITDs can spread faster than viruses as trans­mis­sion does not require a whole­some under­stand­ing of the dis­eased idea(s). The fastest routes of infec­tion occur between inti­mately con­nected minds; within close social cir­cles which then branch out to sus­cep­ti­ble younger minds.

Philo­soph­i­cal

Altru­ism: ser­vice to oth­ers above ser­vice to self negates the rights of the exis­tence of self and thus altru­ism equates to the destruc­tion of both self and ser­vice. Self-sacrifice before self-gratification turns indi­vid­ual rights into col­lec­tive rights and col­lec­tive rights into com­mu­nism. Speak­ing of communism…

Com­mu­nism: false promises inspire false hope. The ideal of com­mu­nism enslaves the indi­vid­ual to the col­lec­tive. Who is the collective?

He is the collective

One death for com­mu­nism is okay, one mil­lion deaths for com­mu­nism is much better.


Mys­ti­cism: any­one who trades rea­son for faith ele­vates non-reality above real­ity and delu­sions above truth.

Epis­te­mo­log­i­cal

Faith: Faith is the accep­tance of knowl­edge (an effect) with­out or against evi­dence (cause). It is essen­tially an epis­te­mol­ogy that deliv­ers effect with­out cause. Exam­ples include home­opa­thy or sal­va­tion.

Vac­cine

The vac­cine for ITDs is ratio­nal­ity. The appli­ca­tion of rea­son to any idea ster­il­izes it from rot­ting the mind. The process by which ratio­nal­ity is devel­oped and main­tained is through ratio­nal devel­op­ment. It is why this web­site is called ratio­nal devel­op­ment instead of per­sonal devel­op­ment (which includes irra­tional hog­wash).