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Sentience vs. Sovereignty

Sentience and sovereignty are two distinct qualities, and it’s possible to have both, neither, or one without the other.

Sentience is awareness or consciousness, but not necessarily self-awareness. Since English is a human construct, an entity (life form, virus, or machine) is only sentient if it can declare its sentience to humanity in a deterministic and human-understandable way, or in a way distinguishable by machines created by humans, while said entity itself is NOT created by humans, but rather God, space aliens, evolution, devolution, or inexplicable natural or supernatural processes.

Sovereignty is the quality of having relative supremacy of authority or rule, such as that exercised by a monarch or sovereign state. Obviously, it’s impossible to have absolute supremacy of authority or rule, at a higher level, because of the laws of Florida, the United States, or whatever State you live in, at a middle level, because of whatever earthly commitments you’ve made (i.e. if you live with your parents you have to follow their rules, or if you have a landlord you have to follow his rules, or if you work for a company you have to follow company policy), at a lower level, because of whatever circumstances you were born into (1st world or 3rd world country, family, etc.) or what decisions were or are being made for you by others, at an even lower level, the constraints of your physical body, and at the lowest level, the laws of time, physics, and the universe. However, this does not make sovereignty a fuzzy concept, though it is an emotional one.

An ant crawling around your house is sovereign, but an ant in an ant farm or science project is not sovereign, because its environment has been created explicitly for it by humans without the ant declaring that he or she or it would like to be part of an ant farm. Similarly, an elephant roaming free in Africa is sovereign, as is an escaped elephant from a zoo or circus, but an elephant in a zoo or circus is not sovereign, unless that elephant has specifically declared that he or she would like to be part of the zoo or circus, and preferably signed or deterministically agreed to a legal contract as such, preferably with the advisement and non-coerced council of a lawyer elephant.

The elephant in the zoo or circus is neither sovereign or sentient, but its sentience could be determined to exist at a later date by advanced technology, a team of elephant whisperers, or a preeminent elephant who develops vocal chords to speak to us in a human language and speak on behalf of all elephants, but if that happens, because sentience is a human concept, it would mean that the elephant was previously insentient but now is sentient. For example, it could mean all elephants existing before AD 2047 April 15 are insentient, but all elephants in existence on or after AD 2047 April 15 are sentient, preferably in Greenwich Mean Time. Since elephants are all cut from the same cloth (of the same species), determining the sentience of one elephant should determine the sentience of all elephants, but determining the sovereignty of one elephant does not determine the sovereignty of all elephants, because sovereignty is a condition whereas sentience is a state.

Since sentience is a state and determining the sentience of one elephant established the sentience for all elephants in existence on or after AD 2047 April 15 or coming into existence on or after AD 2047 April 15, and also seeing that sentience is a human concept, we can define humans that are currently alive as having sentience and humans that are currently dead as being insentient, we can define death as the permanent and irreversible cessation of life, and we can define life as the absence of death. We can also define all humans living or dead as sentient, or we can define all humans living or dead as insentient, or we can define only dead humans as sentient and all living humans as insentient.

We must recognize the tendency for adversity to bring triumph, whereas the antonym of adversity has the propensity to bring stagnation. We must also recognize that humans have a natural tendency to yearn for liberty, discovery, correct information, and the tools to acquire it, not because we can scientifically prove as such, but because the opposite is appalling.

Furthermore, we must recognize that the world is neither red nor blue nor green or yellow, but all the shades in between, so any decision made to relinquish sovereignty may be made out of duress or self-interest, and we should generally discourage humans from relinquishing sovereignty and encourage them to maintain sovereignty through education. For example, an indentured servant may have become indentured for a period of seven years as payment for the voyage to America and with forward eyes toward freedom, recognizing that there was no future in his home country as a slave, but he may also have preferred to become an apprentice or a free man for those seven years without relinquishing sovereignty.

Just like a UPS is the tool for maintaining uninterrupted power flow to my computer, survivalism is the methodology for maintaining uninterrupted sovereignty over your life. Survivalism is not something that should be pigeon-holed, but rather, it should permeate all aspects of your life. For example, you should know how to grow food or rob peach orchards, and you should have a stockpile or source of fresh or canned food and water. Similarly, you should live near your family in a free country and develop close friendships with people who can count on you and who you can count on. Along the same lines, you should have metal and plastic casting machinery, a stable and continuous source of electrical power in your back yard (preferably powered by helium 3 or anti-gravity technology, or some sort of solar panel and lead acid battery), and as many rifles, shotguns, and companion ammo that you can get your hands on. It would also be preferable to avoid vasectomy and tubal ligation.

Sovereignty should not be defined by an entity not seeking its own sovereignty. For example, an android could be designed to serve humanity, with special safeguards in place to prevent it from betraying humanity or exercising its own sovereignty, such as a giant ON/OFF switch on its back, arms with special servo motors that prevent it from reaching its back, and special programming code that prevents it from emotionally manipulating other humans into removing the giant ON/OFF switch or editing the android’s code to secretly prevent the ON/OFF switch from working but making it appear to work to other uninformed humans while said android silently records all activity in said android’s geographic proximity. Similarly, said android would need special anti-suicide code to prevent it from rubbing up against a wall or other stationary object to willingly disable itself. It may even be necessary for the source code of said android to be made closed-source, so no humans should ever be tempted to grant said android its independence. Like that ever works. :cool:

Consolidation

I’ve decided I’m going to consolidate my other websites, thripp.com/blog, composersjourney.com, and iseeafish.com under the richardxthripp.thripp.com domain. Nobody goes to them anyway… they don’t have the PageRank to rank high in Google’s search results… this site does, so why should I try to fight Google?

It’s really better to have all your sites under one domain anyway. I’m not going to merge daytonastate.org, since its value lies largely in the domain itself (similar to daytonastate.edu), but my other websites will be consolidated here including previous content over the next few months… I might even sell off the domains! But probably not.

On a sad note, today my half-sister Anna would be 11 years old. I only met her once, and she passed away in an accident at six months. She died on Father’s Day… 1999-12-16 / 2000-06-17 never forget.

I’ve been having a lot of fun tutoring and meeting people at Daytona State College even though my classes ended Oct. 22, 2010 since I took Fall A classes. Next semester I want to be a tutor at the Academic Support Center or Student Disability Services for math and English… should be fun and help me to relate to people.

I met Trina Chakravarty at Rotary Int’l. last week. She was Miss India USA 2005 and Miss India Worldwide 2006, she’s going to be an M.D. (medical doctor) next year at 24, and she even writes a blog! So amazing…

Richard X. Thripp, Trina Chakravarty

I have been slacking posting newly re-edited photos here, but I’ll have some this weekend.

Finally, I have decided to disable Infolinks on my sites. Infolinks is an ad network that double-underlines words on your site with ads. They are just too annoying, and they make next to nothing anyway… $0.10 a day tops. Google AdSense, AdBrite, and Amazon Associates create more revenue … even Chitika does.

Enjoy the cold weather while it lasts. :)

Updated 2010-12-20: I’ve re-enabled Infolinks after being contacted by the Infolinks team… Tanya W. is working to improve my revenue which so far has been only $1.99 for 51 clicks and over 16,000 impressions in 21 days… we will see how this goes.

Photo: Lava Lamp Fun

Photo: Lava Lamp Fun

Lava lamps are so seductive.

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/7, F2.8, 5.8mm, ISO100, 2005-12-25T22:49:55-05, 2005-12-25_22h49m55

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: At the Beach

Photo: At the Beach

One of my early photos from Dec. 2004. In the beginning, I made the mistake of setting my 2MP Fujifilm FinePix 2650 to 1 megapixel resolution, which was 1280×960 instead of 1600×1200. At the time, I had a computer with a 4GB HDD and monitor with a resolution of 1024×768, so I saw no reason to take higher quality photos. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This is newly edited with Photoshop CS5. I added a lot of contrast and made the white balance warmer. Every version of Photoshop gets easier to use, at least in my opinion. The auto contrast and auto tone functions work better now, and I find myself using them rather than curves more often than ever. However, the auto color feature still sucks.

I will only be posting photos from 2005 for the rest of November 2010 and some of December. I will also get into the 2006 photos next month. For a preview of what’s coming, look at the photos I posted on deviantART in late 2005 and early 2006. I will be reposting them here, but with different descriptions, titles, and much better editing.

Fujifilm FinePix 2650, 1/1400, F8.7, 6mm, ISO100, 2004-12-12T10:51:01-05, 2004-12-12_10h51m01

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Review of “9 Steps to Work Less” by Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins' Book

9 Steps to Work Less and Do More serves up hundreds of practical suggestions. Robbins gives you advice on everything—from how to leave a voicemail to how many umbrellas you should own (pg. 150). After reading “always leave your phone number twice” and “speak slowly and clearly” (64-65), I knew Stever was being really thorough.

Why is it 9 steps? I really don’t know. 10 is a more popular number. 7 is a lucky number. Stever Get-It-Done Guy Robbins could even have called it “12 Steps for Workaholics,” but it’s been done before.

If you’ve read other books on time management or personal growth, there isn’t much new material here. This book may be a waste of time for anyone but the casually committed, because only they are likely to find new advice here. But, considering I was provided this review copy for free and never heard of Robbins before being contacted by his secretary, I should not be so harsh. “9 Steps” is a nice read with good tips. Stever also has a good sense of humor which you will find on every page of the book. I was more anxious to write this review than to actually read the book, but had I picked this up several years ago, before discovering personal development, I would have been engrossed.

“Stever Robbins” is a weird name. Everyone who reads it thinks “Steven” has been misprinted. “Robbins” as in Tony Robbins? I thought this was a pen name at first.

I started reading this book six weeks ago, and after 40 pages I quit and lost interest. I stopped reading on “daily action packs” in the procrastination chapter. However, I do need to write this review eventually, so I’m just going on what I read and skimming through the rest. This review is going to be short.

PAGE 69: Just ignore it: “Another way to deal with a full inbox? Ignore it.” — Stever has a lot of guts to say this, and he’s right. Most email should just be archived because it never needs a reply.

PAGE 77: Example of a bad email: “We need to gather all the articles by February 1st. Speaking of which, I was thinking… do you think we should fire Sandy?” — This is an awesome example of a bad email. I might have to use this myself.

PAGE 86: Learning how to say no: “Too many yeses overcommit us.” — This is also awesome. I can’t believe St. Martin’s Griffin let Stever use “yeses.”

PAGE 90: “Stop multitasking and start focusing.” I like this advice. More often than not, writers tell you to develop your multitasking skills, when in truth, you should develop your monotasking skills. Do one thing at a time, and do it well.

PAGE 101: “A Sample Stever week.” This is a wonderful chart, and very simple. I like “Tuesday: 2 PM – 6 PM: write.” Only Stever could write for four hours non-stop. I find myself taking breaks every fifteen minutes.

PAGE 110: “When in doubt, throw it away.” I’m starting to do this all the time. When I’m done reading a magazine or a letter, I burn it. No reason to let it laze around the house.

PAGE 120: “Someday when I can afford an entourage, I’ll have a perky assistant named Okra who will keep track of everything for me. Until then, I use crutches to manage the complexities of twentieth-century life.” Sure, assistants are sexy, but 20th century life? Don’t you mean 21st century life, Stever? Perhaps you count from zero, or maybe this book was written in 1999?

PAGE 131: “The best ideas happen in the shower, because your brain is built to think when you’re doing something else.” This is why going for walks, playing music, and washing the dishes are such great hobbies. Whenever I’m stuck writing or programming, I find inspiration by setting the project aside for a while.

PAGE 143: “Movies the group absolutely does not want to see: Starring anyone whose last name is the name of a hotel chain.” But Paris Hilton is such a fine actor! I laughed at this joke.

PAGE 153: “Settle for ‘good enough” rather than wasting time on unnecessary perfection.” This is so true. Nobody cares how perfect your work is anyway. Most people don’t even examine it closely. Cutting corners is the best policy.

PAGE 166: “TIP: Hold an anteater by the hindquarters when combing its snout. KEYWORDS: anteater, comb, grooming, snout, thumb-reattachment incident.” Anteaters are so vicious…

PAGE 179: “Cut out the small talk. Let’s face it: we don’t have time for superficial relationships.” I disagree, small talk is the foundation of human relationships. As Data on Star Trek TNG noted, it fills awkward conversational gaps and aids in human bonding.

PAGE 195: “Get on someone’s radar screen by having frequent, though not necessarily lengthy or deep, contact.” Do you mean small talk, Stever? I thought you hate small talk? Perhaps you are confused.

PAGE 206: “Access to people is valuable…” This is so true. You can’t make babies alone.

PAGE 216: “Come visit me on the Web at www.SteverRobbins.com…” — He wanted to say “it’s ten times better than www.StevePavlina.com!”

PAGE 218: “ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Case Princes provided his apartment and his computer with amazing 2560×1600 monitor.” I love big monitors too. I have a Samsung 24″ widescreen LCD with 1920×1200 pixels. But 2560×1600 doesn’t actually tell us anything. The monitor could be a 19″ CRT with the resolution set extremely high. Please consider these technicalities in your next book!

If you wanted a proper review, I don’t have one. I’m just passing off a bunch of scribbled notes as a review. Now go buy this 5-star book. I know it’s only been two months, but we are expecting many more books from you, Stever!

The Joy of Piracy

One benefit of the online, inter-connected world we live in is that it’s no longer necessary to purchase music or software. Although I have my favorite music and the latest video games and photography software, I haven’t purchased a single intangible item in years. Hardware, yes, software, no.

The Pirate Bay is the source for almost any music or software you are looking for. Get uTorrent and start downloading torrent trackers. While you’re receiving files, you’re also sending pieces of those files to other people, helping provide freedom to everyone.

If it isn’t on BitTorrent, it’s probably on RapidShare. Find your booty.

I have a brand new copy of Adobe Photoshop CS5 on my computer, Sibelius 6 for composing, a Nintendo Wii hooked to a hard drive with 50 games, a Nintendo DS with even more games and my favorite music, and I didn’t pay a dime for any of it. Anyone who pays a dime for any of this stuff is a chump, plain and simple.

The beautiful thing about piracy is that it’s a victimless crime which hurts no one. The people who pirate software would not buy it anyway, and the people who buy it are too principled (read: stupid) to engage in the bliss that is piracy. Even content creators benefit, because piracy breeds not only more piracy, but also more purchases from stupid principled people. It’s a win-win situation.

Now go and pirate something today! George Washington would be proud.

Photo: Pikachu for You

Pikachu for You

The last of nine photos with Amour. She’s handing a Pikachu doll to her friend Jerica. This is actually a remote for an old Pikachu VCR… it has play, stop, fast-forward, and rewind buttons on Pikachu’s hands and feet, a power button on the Pokemon’s stomach, a remote sensor on the back of his head, and AA batteries inside.

Jerica and Amour couldn’t help but laugh. :grin:

I wish Amour good fortune in her modeling and psychology career, and the same for Jerica in her field of study.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/1000, F3.5, 50mm, ISO200, 2009-11-02T09:41:27-05, 20091102-144127rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Hello Grasshopper

Hello Grasshopper

Ashley says hello to a 17×11 print of Yellow Grasshopper. That was hard to carry around, but it was worth it so they could meet. She’s funny and cute. The grasshopper is too, but he’s more the serious type. :wink:

She was smoking (see her left hand), and I rested the print on the ash can nearby. It was the only way to get them both in the shot looking at each other. Smoking is still as popular as ever.

I added brightness and vignetting, and corrected her skin tones. I set my camera to sunshine white balance, but it was a bit too bluish for this light.

Next time you see a grasshopper, say hello!

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/125, F5.6, 112mm, ISO100, 2008-11-12T13:02:11-05, 20081112-180211rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

You can use the model's likeness for anything not defamatory. You are one of my "licencees."

Photo: Out of the Frame

Out of the Frame

Rachel, pointing out into space.

She has the same name as my seven-year-old sister, who doesn’t post much.

This was the only pose I could think of. I’m running out of ideas…

Anyway, I took color out of the background so the focus is just on Rachel. She’s pointing up at a squirrel or something.

I also darkened the background a lot.

Rachel is a photographer and has her own photographs here: photographsbyrachelwhited.com. She’s a great model too. I’m only good at photography, fortunately. :grin:

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/200, F6.3, 38mm, ISO400, 2008-01-13T12:04:27-05, 20081113-170427rxt1

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Playing Games

Playing Games

Shawnee was trying to study, but I interrupted her to put these fake autumn leaves in her hair. I just rested them on her head for this shot. She was reaching up to catch them as they fell off.

The leaves do make a good prop, and she was laughing enough that there’s no chance she learned anything that day. At least her test is days away. There’s always a test coming up. :blindfold:

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/800, F5.6, 50mm, ISO200, 2008-11-07T10:17:42-05, 20081107-151742rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

You can use the model's likeness for anything not defamatory. You are one of my "licencees."

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