September 15th, 2001 - Open Knowledge
Sep. 15th, 2001
10:27 am - Cryonics and mental illness...
Doug Skrecky, a frequent poster to Cryonet, a mailing list devoted to cryonics, made the following observation after one of the frequent bouts of sniping between members of rival cryonics organizations.
"...after seeing and evaluating the behaviour of a number of people involved in
cryonics, I've reluctantly concluded that a number are mentally ill.
A possibly relevant study was done on creativity and psychopathology in
291 world-famous men (British Journal of Psychiatry 165: 22-34
1994). Guess which profession was associated with the highest incidence of
psychopathology? No, it wasn't politicians, of which 17.8% suffered from
severe illness, including Hitler, Woodrow Wilson and Lincoln. The group
that scored the worst was writers. one is reminded of the saying: genius
is next to insanity. The breakdown for writers was as follows:
Degree of Psychopathology None Mild Marked Severe 2% 10% 42% 46% _____________________________________ Maupassant Chekov Balzac Conrad France Bennett Dostoevsky Hauptmann Brecht Faulkner Melville Camus Gide Orwell Dickens Gogol Dumas(pere) Hemingway Flaubert Hesse Galsworthy Ibsen Gorky Joyce Hardy Kafka Hugo Kipling Huxley (A) Lawrence James (H) Mann (T) Maugham (S) Manzoni Pasternak Proust Pirandello Sartre Shaw Scott Fitzgerald Thackeray Stendhal Trollope Strindberg Turgenev Tolstoy Zola Waugh (E) Wells Wilde
Unfortunately, my own observations tend to support Skreky's contention. (Present company excepted, of course...:>)
05:28 pm - Satan's Cough Syrup
05:41 pm - Expatriation
According to the Tax Foundation, in 1998, the combined burden of
federal, state, and local taxes claimed 39.0 percent of a median
two-income family's total income ($68,605). As a percentage of income,
taxes have more than doubled since 1955. Taxes now claim a greater
share of the median two-income family's income than
food (8.9 percent), clothing (3.9 percent), housing (15.9 percent),
and transportation (6.9 percent) - combined.
In my opinion, much of this money is badly misallocated, and is often used to restrict the freedom of U.S. citizens.
For example, Osama bin Laden, received training and funds from the CIA during Afghanistan's war with the Soviet Union. Afghanistan, which harbors bin Laden, derives much of its income from the sale of opium-derivatives--Afghanistan would not have these profits, but for the U.S.'s draconian drug policy. Other terrorist groups get the bulk of their funds the same way.
According to drugwarfacts.org, at the end of 1999, more than 2 million prisoners were incarcerated in the U.S., making ours the world's largest prison system. Roughly 1 out of 143 U.S. citizens are incarcerated. Each of these prisoners costs over $71,000 per year in corrections, judicial, legal, and police costs. Prisoners arrested for drug offenses constitute 61% of the Federal prison population, and 21% of the state prison population.
Worse, federal forfeitures totaled approximately $730 million in 1994. Yet 80% of the people who had property forfeited were never charged with a crime.
I would strongly prefer that my money were not used to enforce such poor laws. Therefore, I've given a fair bit of thought to expatriating (well before the recent attack). Here's some of my preliminary thoughts on the matter.
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