Line of Lenity

From Middle French lénité, from Latin lenitas.

leniency, mercy, forgiveness (plural lenities)

There comes a point in which a charitable interpretation of an interlocutor’s motivation, veracity, and ethics becomes asymptotic to unbelievable.

The person or people with whom you are speaking crosses the line of credulity.

The appropriate, nay, dutiful response must therefore be to cross the line of lenity. To not reestablish one’s position in the face of aggressive fraud is to make the world a worse place by allowing the mendacious to flourish.

The line must not be crossed with haste, nor eagerness, yet fear of failure —fear of being proved wrong —must not keep the virtuous on the wrong side of the line of lenity, whilst awaiting metaphysical certitude. To do so would be to fail in virtuous duty for the sake of selfish desire.

Social Media Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting but for social media.

There’s a huge dopamine change between once-a-day (or week, you do you) and responding to every goddamn notification all day long.

Even better, have a comms phone and an apps phone and keep one on you and one at home.

Most people can afford a second used phone off eBay (keyword: “unlocked bootloader”) that can run LineageOS (or Calyx, you do you) and if you don’t have the skills, find a friend or local tech business to help. There’s even some for sale preloaded on eBay. There might even be one in your drawer (unless you have a Verizon phone).

Doing Gain-of-Function (GoF) Safely

If a strong enough argument is made, we can do GoF and minimize risk. Here’s a start on how this might be accomplished.

  1. Antarctica only. Build a lovely facility there. Power it with a fission reactor of the type used by Navy ships. Domes with gardens and all. It doesn’t have to suck.
  2. Five Navy quarantine ships are required. Three in use at any given time. One headed South, two headed North. Each Southbound passenger spends 20 days quarantining. Northbound passengers do 20 days on the first ship and then do an isolated transfer for 20 days to the second ship before returning to society. Each physical ship gets sanitized and then sits for 20-days afer handling facility staff before being ready for the next batch. Might as well install UV bulbs in each room while building the ships and leave them on for the 20 days.
  3. Sailors don’t interact with the facility staff and the isolated Sailors who interact with their food, air, and waste (incinerated) are also subject to the same quarantine procedures. Any medical emergencies will require involved medical staff to become part of the quarantine cohort and the clock restarted.
  4. Anybody breaking quarantine is shot. If there’s any kind of quarantine break (even fire/emergency), the entire ship is quarantined for the full 40 days.
  5. Deliveries by drones, airdrops, or distanced cargo unloading only. No human-to-human contact.
  6. No outbound material. Humans only – wear a paper suit to embark when leaving. It will be incinerated.
  7. Personality profiles for all participants. Nobody low in conscientiousness can go. High agreeableness may be contraindicated.
  8. Accidents automatically start an onsite quarantine clock that preempts any other schedule and doesn’t start until remediation is complete.
  9. GoF is banned on the other six continents. Violating the protocols must be treated as a presumptive War Crime.

This is a better tour than War duty for the Sailors. Scientists who feel strongly enough about doing the work can put up with it. If they won’t put up with it they can find a different job.

It’s not cheap but the expense is manageable (if GoF is deemed worth it). Five million dead is more expensive by any measure and that is unaffordable.

It’ll be a nicer trip than Mars, so it’s a matter of finding the right personnel.

Shamans, Therapists, MDMA, and Crimes against Humanity.

MDMA is in the news lately, having successfully passed the first of many FDA-registered Phase III trials. MAPS, the life passion of Rick Doblin, has been working on this for 35 years, fighting the US Federal Government over the right to access top quality psychiatric care and is finally winning big. But our society is the biggest winner.

MDMA deactivates the amygdala, and from there trauma can be dealt with. Normally the amygdala puts up a wall of fear that prevents frontal-lobe control of the trauma emotion so the cycle of experience repeats indefinitely without resolution.

Some people are critical of the Phase III trial requiring talk therapy with the medicine, but it really is necessary to gain approval. Practiced Stoics and meditators may be able to achieve solo resolution, but most people aren’t those in 2021. And it’s always possible for any psychedelic to uncap a “bad trip” emotional storm that lies beneath a calm sea.

For these reasons, a good therapist will guide the exploration and resolution of trauma. This has been the role of the shaman since before history was recorded. It’s literally an essential part of being a human social creature. Humans have called that role by different names: mystics, shamans, priests, elders, pastors—but the need hasn’t changed even if the titles have.

One day, if we achieve the Übermensch we can reevaluate, but for now there’s hope of moving beyond the societal trauma epidemic to a degree not seen since the Mystery Religions.

The deep tragedy in all this is that therapists were actively saving lives with MDMA in the 70’s and 80’s—describing it as a wonder drug for PTSD—and then the holy-roller politicians stepped in and illegally banned it—because it validated therapists as being effective without the priest/church apparatus being required (not that incense in churches haven’t been psychedelics over the years).

The number of cases of avoidable suicides, depression, rage stemming from depression—that leading to suicide, murder, battery, and mass killings that could have been prevented—are unspeakable. Those will all fall rapidly after approval and integration into society.

Were there justice, those politicians, if they are alive, would be held to account for a massive crime against humanity.

The thing that’s really going to bake their noodle is when many of these same people experiencing treatment believe—for the first time—that they have experienced something they can best describe as “God”.

The Folly of the “Well-rounded Collective.”

Dartmouth Medical School is in the news for both its cheating and the scandal that emerged from overbearing countermeasures. When I was at Dartmouth we operated on the Dartmouth Honor Code. Want to do your calculus exam out on the Green? No problem, just be back in time. You had a “blue book” exam packet so everybody left you alone.

About ten years later they stopped favoring “the well-rounded individual” and started looking for “An Incan trapeze artist/cellist with an interest in entomology ” in Admissions. Administrators would extol the virtue of ‘specialists’. They started to try to engineer the well-roundedness of the collective rather than the individual. I mentored some of these kids. They stood no chance of passing Calculus without cheating.

The software is a countermeasure to the symptom but doesn’t address the cause. Getting back the culture of Honor once it is gone is a Herculean task. Something that took centuries to build can be destroyed in half a decade by practitioners of a corrupt ideology.

But the alternative to not trying is to be locked in a perpetual arms race that will forever erode the culture from within—until there is nothing left.

All the mind’s a stage.

All the mind’s a stage, and all the personalities merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
They bravely fight the demons of their inner dialogue;
Occasionally offering us glimpses of the vast World within;
Truly knowable only to one.

[Review] Inkbird ITC-1000 Digital Temperature Controller

This is a review for an Inkbird ITC-1000 digital temperature controller/thermostatic switch I bought from Amazon for $15.99 in December of 2019. Its primary job in this application is to control a portable oven for making yogurt and better steaks.

Let’s get the complaint out of the way: I really don’t understand how, according to reviews at Amazon, this thing has been shipping with two incorrect wiring diagrams for four years. I left one star off for that on my review there. The actual engineers on the controller must know how to make a diagram, so who is in charge of documentation?

That said, it’s pretty easy to use if you know what the terminals do and how the circuits are intended to operate. 1&2 are power for the controller itself, 3&4 are for your temperature probe, order doesn’t matter, 5&6 are for heating, 7&8 are for cooling. 1, 5, and 7 are wired to line hot. 2 gets tied to line neutral. 6&8 are switched-hot to the heating/cooling device loads. Here, white/black/red is heating and white/black/blue is cooling.

I originally hard-wired this to the portable oven but reconsidered and wired it up to an outlet (and put a new plug on the oven…). By breaking the tab between hot screws you can use one duplex outlet for both heating and cooling loads (the neutral can remain unbroken). These wires here aren’t pushed in, just placed loosely in the holes for illustration purposes – make sure your wires are stripped far enough for the back-stab spring clamp to grab on tightly.

If you’re hard-wiring, the heater/cooler neutrals get tied to line neutral. If you’re using a two-prong plug to line power then ground ought to be tied to neutral too. Remember, on a polarized plug the big one is neutral and on a two-wire cable the side with the extra plastic ridge is neutral.

The connections were soldered and covered with heat-shrink tubing.

Be careful – the frame of the controller melts easily with a decent heat gun.

Label everything and don’t exceed its maximum rating.

Finally, some imprecise hot glue was added around all the gaps for splash protection. This is just a box I had on hand, nothing ideal, so strain-relief still needs to be added.

I wondered how the control hysteresis worked so I experimented. With the temperature set to 115 and the hysteresis set to 1, the cooling side shut off and the heating side turned on at 114. The default is 3 which is probably better for compressors but fans and resistive heaters should be fine at 1.

Overall, I’m glad I got this and the price is amazing. I last priced something like this ten years ago at about 15x this price.