Ten years of blogging

Ten years ago on April 10th, 2005 I launched this blog and posted for the very first time. It began more as a personal homepage instead of a blog, because back then I didn’t yet have a separate website for my services, but in the last 7 years or so it served more as a blog.

Ten years is a long time, even though I haven’t always been very active. Looking at the archives it looks like I’ve had at least one post every month. Right now I have 351 published posts.

I had hoped to have launched a completely new design for my blog and website by now but haven’t really been able to do a lot of work on that. Among other things, the work I do for my clients comes first. I started working on a new design in early 2014, but had to spend most of my time on other projects not long after that. I’ve since picked up working on the new design again, but in the mean time I decided to make some minor changes to the current design so I can keep using it a little longer. By doing this I can also start preparing the existing content for the changes in the new design.

One of the things that had high priority for me was automating the footnotes in my posts. I used to create and add links to footnotes manually and that took a lot of time. Now I can use custom tags that get processed when a post is loaded and the footnotes are numbered, formatted and arranged automatically. Yes, I know that there are some WordPress plugins that can be used for this, but none of them worked the way I wanted. So I wrote my own functionality as part of my custom theme for this blog (see it in action here).

I’ve also added the ability to add additional notes to my published posts, mostly for reference/background/supporting information related to my personal research. An example can be seen at the end of this post.

Also new on my blog are special kinds of posts called research notes. I’m slowly going to be bringing all my research notes online on various subjects (I used to keep much of this info in draft posts). Not only is it easier for me to manage them in this way (keeping it all in one place), but I can also start sharing this information with everyone while I’m still working on gathering information, instead of waiting until I have a complete article (which can often take a lot of time). I think this may also be very useful to other people on the Internet who are doing their own research or might be searching for the same information.

And for those who like saving and printing webpages, I’ve (finally) added a print style sheet. Just do a print preview in your browser and you’ll notice that it looks a lot better than it used to.

There’s still a lot of room for improvement (like making the blog mobile friendly), but most of that will have to wait for the new design.

In the mean time, I think I should probably take some time off today to reflect upon, and celebrate, the last ten years of blogging.

Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story NEVER Told

Much of what you’ve learned about Adolf Hitler isn’t true. For many years we’ve been deceived into believing a distorted — and often completely fabricated — version of reality. This is true for much of human history and also appears to be the case when it comes to information regarding Adolf Hitler.

In the last few days I’ve watched a 6.5 hour long documentary (consisting of 27 parts) on the life of Adolf Hitler and what really went on in Germany and the rest of the world during World War I and especially World War II. The documentary is titled “Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story NEVER Told” (IMDB) and is written and directed by Dennis Wise. It’s the 5th most popular German language documentary on IMDB at the time of this writing. It’s also already blocked on YouTube in a number of countries, among which Germany, Israel, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. When you watch the documentary, you’ll understand why it’s blocked in those countries. The full documentary is on Archive.org (embedded below); if you can’t watch it there, try watching for free on the official website (where you can also order DVDs). Alternatively, download it with a BitTorrent client from here.

This documentary is an amazing piece of work and is a must-see for anyone who wants to live a life based on truth. Dennis Wise reportedly spent 3 years researching and working on this documentary, and it shows (there’s a long list of references at the end in the credits). If history lessons were presented as well as this documentary, I would have loved learning about history in school.

Continue reading “Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story NEVER Told”

The Importance of powerful Visuals in Communication

Visual communication is many times more powerful than verbal and written communication. People remember 10% of what they hear, 30% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do. No footnote data (ID: 1) According to the book Brain Rules, “hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it; add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”

It’s much easier to remember information that is visually presented because visuals have a direct route to long-term memory. This is evidenced by the fact that memory recall can be considerably improved by using visualization, for example by using the method of loci:

In basic terms, it is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualization to organize and recall information. A lot of memory contest champions claim to use this technique to recall faces, digits, and lists of words. […] In a simple method of doing this, contestants, using various strategies well before competing, commit to long-term memory a unique vivid image associated with each item. 

There are good reasons for why this is possible. The visual cortex of the brain in primates is heavily developed. Vision is our dominant sense; up to 30% of the brain’s cortex is dedicated to processing visual input either directly or indirectly, as compared with just 8% for hearing. No footnote data (ID: 2) In fact, research estimates that up to 85% of our perception, learning, cognition and activities are mediated through vision. No footnote data (ID: 3)

This means that the more the visuals used in communications are able to speak to someone, the better the message is communicated to them, and the more likely they are to remember it. This is why “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and why powerful visuals are very important in communications — especially advertising and marketing.

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Why you shouldn’t vote

One often used reason that people bring up to justify their decision to vote during elections is that if they don’t vote, they give the worst candidates a better chance of winning. By voting for the candidate that’s less evil, they lessen the damage that will be done in the future — or so they think.

This reason to justify voting was even mentioned in the past by libertarian Murray Rothbard. What he describes below (source) is in essence what you’ll often hear from other people to justify their decision to vote.

Let’s put it this way: Suppose we were slaves in the Old South, and that for some reason, each plantation had a system where the slaves were allowed to choose every four years between two alternative masters. Would it be evil, and sanctioning slavery, to participate in such a choice? Suppose one master was a monster who systematically tortured all the slaves, while the other one was kindly, enforced almost no work rules, freed one slave a year, or whatever. It would seem to me not only not aggression to vote for the kinder master but idiotic if we failed to do so. Of course, there might well be circumstances—say when both masters are similar—where the slaves would be better off not voting in order to make a visible protest—but this is a tactical not a moral consideration. Voting would not be evil but, in such a case, less effective than the protest. But if it is morally licit and nonaggressive for slaves to vote for a choice of masters, in the same way it is licit for us to vote for what we believe the lesser of two or more evils, and still more beneficial to vote for an avowedly libertarian candidates.

To that, Samuel Edward Konkin III responded as follows:

Can you imagine slaves on a plantation sitting around voting for masters and spending their energy on campaigning and candidates when they could be heading for the “underground railway?” Surely they would choose the counter-economic alternative; surely Dr. Rothbard would urge them to do so and not be seduced into remaining on the plantation until the Abolitionist Slavemasters’ Party is elected.

Samuel Edward Konkin III (source)

Like Konkin argues, instead of voting at all, it would be better to focus our time and energy on looking for, and supporting, better alternatives! Participating in this system of enslavement benefits the system and only helps it to stay alive that much longer! While it may be difficult to completely stop participating in this anti-social system, especially these days, not voting requires no effort at all.

Looking at it another way, voting for the lesser of the evils, as Rothbard would like you to do, still means that you are voting for evil! It’s aggression and idiotic to do so. The better and more logical option is not to vote for evil at all! Rothbard was simply very wrong.

This is similar to how people often mention that “government is a necessary evil.” The belief that government is a necessary evil, is a belief that evil is necessary. And I don’t think I have to explain to you why that belief is a very dangerous and destructive belief to have. It really doesn’t make sense to think that way.

Consider this analogy: If a group of your friends would decide to team up and go rob a bank, and you were opposed to that idea, would you go along with them just to lessen the damage they could do? Would you think to yourself, “well gee, I don’t like this at all, but I better go with them and try to discourage them and try to lessen the damage they are going to do?” The answer is no, you wouldn’t, because you understand that you would be complicit in the crime they were about to perpetrate. You would choose not to participate at all. At least, assuming you wanted to do what’s morally right.

The same goes for voting during elections; by voting you give your consent to all the crimes that will be committed by those who are voted into power — crimes that will be perpetrated not only against you, but even against others who don’t want to take part in this anti-social system. You become part of a criminal enterprise, whether you realize it or not. The same goes for all those politicians running for office, all the representatives of parliament and indeed everyone working for government — no matter if they have positive intentions. You cannot take part in, and support, a system that is fundamentally evil, and expect to bring about a lasting positive outcome. Like Spock would say, “that’s highly illogical, captain.”

Like I mentioned in a previous post where I described in details exactly how this anti-social system enslaves us all:

If you realize what the purpose is of the anti-social system that we live in, you’ll do everything you can to stop participating in it. At the very least you’ll stop voting, because voting means giving your consent to this anti-social system being imposed on you and everyone else. It means giving your consent to injustice being committed on a grand scale, for example by legalized theft and extortion (known as “taxation”), legalized murder through warfare, and destructive interference in people’s lives. It means giving your consent to your own enslavement and that of everyone else. Even if you do agree with the system, voting means forcing this anti-social system on others who don’t want to take part in it. And that makes you part of a criminal enterprise whether you realize it or not.

So before you decide to vote for a new slavemaster, make sure you fully understand the philosophy of liberty.

Also make sure that you understand what this anti-social system that we now live in is all about. Read my post “Statism: A System for your Enslavement”, or head on over to my “Do Not Vote” website and check out the information provided there.

The Choice is Ours

Is Earth the insane asylum of the universe? The answer to that question is explored in the first two parts of a new documentary by The Venus Project that’s been released two days ago, and can now be watched online for free. The documentary is titled “The Choice is Ours” and discusses the many problems with the social system that we currently live in (generally known as Statism). The first two parts can be watched on YouTube (and embedded below).

While the focus is more on the problems in the first two parts, the third part of this documentary — due to be released later this year — will focus on possible solutions.

I think the team at the Venus Project did a very nice job of cramming all the important issues into just one hour of viewing time. It’s very nicely and efficiently done. This won’t waste any of your precious time and quickly highlights the very roots of the problems we’re currently dealing with in society. This documentary is another very valuable tool that can be used to wake people up around the world. It’s already been translated into over 28 languages (just use the closed captioning feature on YouTube).

If you make a movie of the present day culture, in the future it’ll be a horror film.

Jacque Fresco

What I also find very interesting is that the issues that are being discussed in the documentary are the very same issues I mention on my own “Do Not Vote” website that I launched about a month ago. I don’t think this is a coincidence; I’ve noticed that there’s a global coördinated (mostly behind the scenes) effort going on right now with the goal of pushing humankind into a new, much more positive direction. I’ve discussed this in the past, but it still amazes me every time when I see it happening in real-time. There are many people working independently around the world, often not knowing about each other, and yet still pushing things into the same direction with their efforts. If you’d suspect “divine” intervention, you wouldn’t be far from the truth.

So check out the documentary as soon as you possibly can, and please share it as much as possible with friends and family.

The Canon EOS 5Ds, 5Dsr and EF 11-24mm f/4L

I’ve been following the latest camera gear releases by Canon and love where they are heading. Long time readers of my blog will know that there was a time when I had only criticism when it came to Canon, but things changed starting with the release of the 1DX and later the 5D Mark III.

I love how Canon have split the 5D line into the 5Ds for the high megapixel version and the existing 5D for the lower megapixel version. This is something many people had requested, including me in my 5D Mark III review:

Please keep the sensor resolution on the 35mm sensor in the 21-24MP range. We don’t need more resolution!! It’s great where it’s at now. For people who want more resolution, consider introducing a medium format system. Or alternatively, introduce a new camera line, say a 4D, with more megapixels and more noise and slower framerate for the amateurs (as Ken Rockwell calls them) who go crazy about megapixels. But for us professionals, keep the 5D at 22MP.

Personally I don’t think I’ll be getting a 5Ds anytime soon, because low light performance and speed are a lot more important to me than resolution. I’ll wait for the 5D Mark IV which will probably be announced later this year.

In addition I’m also curious about the performance of the sensor in the 5Ds with regard to the noise and banding issues, especially in the shadows and skies. This has been a consistent problem for Canon sensors for many years now. The problem was reduced in the 5D Mark III but it is still far from what the latest Sony sensors are capable of.

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Do Not Vote

I’ve just launched another one of my personal Internet projects. This time it’s a small website dedicated to explaining to people how the current social system that we live in (Statism) is enslaving us all, and why they should seriously think about not voting anymore. There are better ways of living together, and it’s high time that we start to seriously look into this.

The previous post I published here on my blog titled “Statism: A System for your Enslavement” contained the content I used for this new website.

This was also a nice opportunity for me to practice my web design and web development skills.

I invite you to check out the website and if you agree with the content, share it as much as possible. The more people know about what’s really going on, the faster we can move towards creating a better world to live in.

Statism: A System for your Enslavement

Wake Up, You Are A Slave

You were born into a system that enslaved you from the moment you entered this world. No footnote data (ID: 1) All your life you’ve known subconsciously, if not consciously, that there was something seriously wrong with the world you live in. Even though you were brainwashed from very early childhood to ignore it, you’ve felt deep inside you that your right to life was constantly being attacked by the very system that was supposedly put in place to serve your best interests.

You’ve been trained from very early childhood — while your mind was still innocent and defenseless — to remain ignorant and docile by the “education” system. You’ve been trained not to independently think for yourself, not to question what you’re taught, to be subservient and to blindly be obedient to authority and follow the commands that you’re given. Like the famous comedian George Carlin said, those who are responsible for this “don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. That’s against their interests.” What they want are “obedient workers — people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept” their enslavement.

Continue reading “Statism: A System for your Enslavement”

The story of how I got robbed

I know for a fact that there is good in every human being on this planet. I’ve dedicated an entire post to human nature in the past, where I’ve argued that humans are intrinsically good. And it’s not just humans, but all organisms in the universe. And this is because the fundamental programming that drives all life in the universe (consciousness) is designed to be in support of life.

And yet we live in a world now where we see humans exhibiting extreme and antisocial behavior. To me the reasons for this aren’t a mystery anymore; I’ve shown in a previous post where this kind of behavior comes from, namely from the environment that we live in. Our societies are structured in such a way where the right to life of every individual is constantly being attacked in one way or another.  Put any organism in such a hostile environment, and you will get extreme behavior.

I find that people can still be skeptical about this, especially when they hear this for the first time. And if I want to be honest, I can only admit that many years ago, perhaps even I might have been skeptical, though I would be open to the idea. One of the reasons why I know the above is true is because I also know it from experience; it’s not just theory for me. And I’ll share one of my experiences with you below. It was a long time ago so I’ll try to share it with you as best I can remember.

Continue reading “The story of how I got robbed”

Loading…

On the morning of June 23rd, 2013, I had a very strange experience. You could call it a dream, but I’m not sure it was a dream.

Right before I woke up at around 11am that Sunday morning, a blue screen presented itself before me. My whole field of vision was filled with a solid blue color, no matter where I looked. It was as if I was standing inside a blue sphere. There were no walls and no corners.

Then right in the middle, a small white window popped up with a progress bar with the text “LOADING…” above it, aligned to the left. It looked exactly like the image pictured above. I can guarantee that because as soon as I later woke up, the first thing I did was walk over to my computer and draw what I had seen in Photoshop after which I posted it to Facebook. :)

It took what seemed to be a minute for the progress bar to reach 100%. While it was slowly moving to the right, I remember thinking “Well, this is new…” and then later “It’s sure taking a long time…”

And when it finally reached 100% my bedroom crossfaded into view. It was a really smooth crossfade, too. I think I opened my eyes, but it almost seemed like my eyes were open all that time, and I could just see the “load screen” until it faded away into my bedroom.

After the “load screen” faded away, I found myself staring at the ceiling, thinking what the hell just happened. Was it a dream? If so, it’s the weirdest dream I ever had. And I would have dismissed it as just a weird dream if it weren’t for the fact that, as I lied there in bed, I had the best feeling I ever had.

It’s hard to describe how I felt; the best way I can describe it is feeling extremely well rested. I had never felt that way before, and so far, have never felt it again after that one experience. To me that was an indication of the fact that this had to be more than just a simple dream.

It was a very interesting experience, considering the fact that science is beginning to come to the realization that humans are very much like the robots we’re now beginning to build ourselves. Nikola Tesla used to refer to humans as “meat machines.” And that could be true; we could be meat machines being run by software we call our consciousness. Is it just coincidence that scientists have found that the human mind boots up just like a computer when we wake up in the morning?

“Just as a computer must boot up its operating system before running involved applications like spreadsheets, nitric oxide released as the brain wakes up may set the stage for more complex brain operations by enhancing information at the earliest processing steps,” said Godwin.

Like I mentioned in a recent post, the human body is really a biological supercomputer with many trillions of nodes (the individual cells). Every cell in the human body is a fully featured computer, and once hooked up to the communications infrastructure of the body (the body’s Internet), contributes all its resources to the body’s mind, specifically its processing and storage capacity (yes the mind is not in the brain; it’s distributed throughout the body in every cell).

It’s probably no coincidence either that Russian scientists have found that DNA is part of a biological Internet, basically what Rupert Sheldrake refers to as morphic resonance (what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious).

This could explain why I often just simply know things via “intuition.” Once I know something, I then go out to find supporting information in order to explain it to others in an acceptable way (i.e. so I can say something is true for other reasons than simply because I just know it).

The next 50 to 100 years are going to be very exciting when it comes to research into the nature of consciousness. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the recent past doing my own personal research on this. I often wish I could have been free from all the issues in life, and didn’t have to worry about earning a living, so I could dedicate myself completely to my personal research. It’s one of the few things I can still be passionate about in life.

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