Monty Hall Problem

I wonder if the paradox of the Monty Hall problem is based on the initial observer or on the ‘choices’ themselves?  So if player 1 selects a door and an incorrect door is then opened leaving only two doors remaining if the game is then abandoned and player 2 is brought in to select a door, then does one door still have a 66% chance of being the correct door?  Or do both doors then subsequently have a 50% chance of being correct?

Theory of Relativity Strangeness

A thought occurred to me a little while ago, regarding the Theory of Relativity.  I usually hear the relativistic effects of traveling near the speed of light described with 2 objects, typically earth and a space craft.  It’s fairly easy to understand that the people traveling on the space craft might experience less time than the people on the Earth, but what happens when there are 2 space craft going to the same destination?  For example, both spacecraft are going to a point that is 100 light years away.  Space craft 1 travels at 99.9% of the speed of light and gets there in ~100 years.  Thousands of years pass by on Earth and only 100 years pass by on the space craft.  Space craft 2 travels at 1% of the speed of light and gets there in thousands of years too.  The two space ships arrive at their destination at almost exactly the same time in Earth years, even though one of them was moving 100 times faster than the other one was.  The math might need to be worked out by someone smarter than I am to determine exactly the correct speed that the two ships would have to be traveling, but that situation is entirely possible.

It makes me think that there’s a lot going on in our universe that we don’t understand yet.

Thought Experiment

I was mulling over the conflict in the Middle East today, trying to come up with a solution to it.  (Haha, I know, I know)  At some point I started to wonder if the cause of the problem was the fact that people have divided themselves into countries and that they feel responsible for making their own country better.  Then I wondered if the Israelis and the Palestinians would be better off if their countries didn’t exist, if they were just people inhabiting that particular area of the world.  I came to a pretty depressing conclusion shortly thereafter.  If there were no countries in that area, then factions would form to consolidate power.  They would bully and strong-arm and bargain and deal and take until the strongest were in charge of the most territory.  They would grow as much as they could grow before they started to collapse under their own weight and could no longer manager themselves.

Then I realized that just about every country on Earth got its start in pretty much exactly that way.  And after that I realized there are only two reasons why we have countries at all anymore.  The first reason is because we haven’t yet learned how to manage people well enough to consolidate into larger entities.  And the second reason is because the countries we have now have, over the years, become new reasons to discriminate against each other.

Political Parties

We really should dissolve all the political parties in this country.  It would force politicians to actually have their own opinions about issues, rather than the opinion of their parties.  While we’re at it, we should also do away with all private funding for political campaigns at any level.  He who is wealthiest wins isn’t a very good system to pick our political figures from.

Soldiers Life Insurance

Did you know that soldiers have to buy their own life insurance?  15 bucks a month when I was in the army.  It really gets under my skin that the government doesn’t even consider it worth their time to pay benefits to the soldiers who die in battle.  Somebody in an insurance company somewhere is getting money every month from soldiers and making a huge profit.

Economic Alternatives

So, I’ve been wanting to get this one out for a while.  It’s my best solution to try to fix the broken economy around the world today, and it addresses future problems that are going to start popping up in 20-30 years.

First of all, we need to form a disconnect between politicians and the economy.  Politicians need to have ancillary connection to spending at best, they should help to establish guidelines but have no direct control over money.

We need a new civilian or government agency dedicated to directing government spending AND, more importantly, taxation and fines.

This agency needs actual economic professionals running it.

The agency should look at economic policies that encourage businesses and individuals to behave in ways the benefit the whole economic landscape.

Tax code has to be rewritten from the ground up to be more fluid and dynamic with more room for quick changes that may happen several times during the course of one year.  Possibly businesses might even pay their taxes on a monthly basis.  Taxes and fines should be used to incentivize desired and deincentivize undesired behavior.  This could encourage businesses to move jobs to areas of high employment or to maintain a certain percentage of its work-force as full time employees with benefits while giving sufficient tax credits to ensure that they don’t loose their competitive edge.

Sometime in the next few decades machines will be able to perform almost all of the jobs that humans currently do.  This isn’t science-fiction, it IS going to happen at some point.  When it does, the economy needs to be flexible enough to handle the fact that most people will no longer be needed for employment.  If an incentive based system is already in place it will be a much smoother transition and will result in a lot less economic turmoil.

Government Economics

I am astonished sometimes that we allow politicians to so strongly influence our economy.  Unfortunately, I think it goes back to the founding of the country.  Benjamin Franklin got some really nice printing contracts from the newly founded government after all.  People still tend to treat government contracts like lottery tickets.  I was a soldier for a while, working in satellite communications, and I had to order replacement equipment when something broke.  I first realized the government was seriously overpaying for things when I had to order what amounted to a 5.25 floppy drive with a few extra wires and an aluminum frame for $55,000 USD (In 1997).  The off-the-shelf value of all the components probably amounted to about $50 dollars, and that’s being generous.  I even asked my supervisor about it at the time, and he explained to me that the government bought those things on long term contracts.  So they might have been cheap when the contract was originally created, but the cost to the government stayed the same as the price to produce the product dropped.

We end up with the same problem with government spending in just about every area.  Part of this is the government’s fault, and part of it is on the businesses who are selling to (ripping off) the government.

I wonder how many of these bloated government contracts were awarded as payment for helping some politicians get elected, or for their support on some piece of legislation or another?

India recently spent less money to send a probe to Mars than it cost Hollywood to make a movie about space.  That should give everyone an idea about how well money is spent in the U.S. than other places around the world.

Poverty

Poverty is the chief cause for ALL of the wrongs in the whole world today.  This poverty doesn’t have to exist.  We, meaning the human race, have the technological know-how to completely end poverty.  The problem, then, is that collectively, we SEEM to be okay with things how they are, OR we are okay with the sloooooooooow improvement over decades or centuries that we have been experiencing since the dark ages.  Without poverty there would almost certainly be much fewer terrorists, there would be fewer divorces, there would be fewer suicides, there would be less abuse.  The list goes on.  The emotional and physical toll caused by poverty is enormous.

Resumes

So recently I was trying to write an updated resume.  I’ve had some very sporadic job history in my life.  I’ve always done well at whatever job I’ve worked, but I’ve always been too mercurial to stay in one position very long.  I always got this nagging feeling in the back of my mind like I was wasting my life by doing whatever job I was in at the time.  But I digress…

While I was doing some research about what I should write on my resume, I kept running into all of these suggested methods for glossing over all the bad stuff on the resume.  I started searching for what I should put on the resume if I just didn’t work very much.  What kept popping up was different ways to cover up the fact that I haven’t been what would be considered an ideal employee.  All this started to make me realize that what employers are REALLY looking for when they are browsing resumes, is either group A: the people who are the absolute best in their fields, or group B: the people who are the best at lying about being best in their fields.

Translation?  If you aren’t very good at a job, that’s okay.  You just have to be good at bullshit.

First Time Blogger

Since this is my first time blogging, it’s probably going to look nothing like other people’s blogs.  I just thought I should jot down some thoughts and observations about the world I see around me.  Enough with the introduction, onto the substance.