The Party of God

This is one of these things which is righteous and interesting, but not for the reasons I think people bandy it around for. The Republican convention had a Seikh open with a prayer.

Think about that for a moment – that is a huge gesture. The prayer wasn’t Christianized either, it was probably how a seikh would pray. (I suspect most seikhs meditate, but whatever). The detraction is “Oh ok that’s a nice gesture, because that temple just got shot up”. No it’s much bigger than that, it’s the problems the Democrats have had for the longest time. The Republicans have the three Gs cornered (Gold, God, Guns). When you ask what the Democrats have in terms of religion – well, they don’t. Dolan is offering the closing prayer but frankly he should have told both parties to go fuck themselves with the moderate stance on abortion. Biden is anti-abortion, but being VP it doesn’t really matter. Romney is a rule-of-law person (he has to be since he lives and dies by tax code) so he’s a RvW guy. Both of these positions are offensive to the Catholic church. The Mormons go slightly easier on the topic and say:

In 1973, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement regarding abortion, which is still applicable today:

The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.

That’s a fairly centrist position as far as the religious go. But it’s also an important point: Romney is a Mormon.

What the Republicans are doing, very clandestinely, is becoming not the party of Christ, but the party of the spiritual. Some of them might even be religious. Sure there’s going to be fringe objections to this – the Republicans have to deal with the collapse and re-integration of the Tea Party the same way the Democrats have to deal with their fringe Green elements – but they split off before and they can split off again. From the sound of the Ron Paul supporters at the RNC, I suspect it’ll happen. That being said, we’re actually watching an interesting paradigm shift. Will the elections after this one be held on spiritual grounds rather than economics?

Update – Now With Video:

Building Jellybean for the Vibrant MTD (Galaxy S1)

These are Nate’s notes from the FB group. Nate runs ubuntu so all his Linux stuff is horribly broken crap but the bones are here to make this workable:

Wanna build a Paranoid Android Vibrant ROM?
I’ll point you in the right direction.
This can be applied to many devices. Want help? Just ask.
Start here:
–Install the repo
–Open your terminal and enter the following

mkdir ~/bin
curl > ~/bin/repo
chmod a+x ~/bin/repo

–Download the SDK here:
–Extract the SDK and place it in your home directory.
–I renamed my SDK to android-sdk to make it easier to navigate to.
gksudo gedit ~/.bashrc
–in terminal
–Enter your Admin. password to open the document
–Add these lines at the bottom of the file:

# Android tools
export PATH=${PATH}:~/android-sdk/tools
export PATH=${PATH}:~/android-sdk/platform-tools
export PATH=${PATH}:~/bin

–Then save and close

–Now type
gksudo gedit ~/.profile
–In terminal
–Add the following to the bottom


–Then save and close
–SDK now being set up, type this in terminal


–If you get an exception error type

sudo mount -o remount,exec /tmp

–and retry

–Now time to install packages (64 bit required)
–Paste this and enter

sudo apt-get install git-core gnupg flex bison gperf build-essential \
zip curl zlib1g-dev libc6-dev lib32ncurses5-dev ia32-libs \
x11proto-core-dev libx11-dev lib32readline-gplv2-dev lib32z-dev \
libgl1-mesa-dev g++-multilib mingw32 tofrodos python-markdown \

–Then this

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/

–Configure your USB

gksudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules

–and copy/paste this to your document.

–Save and close
–This will add all the devices to the list
–Type the following in terminal

sudo chmod a+r /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules

–Creating your working directory and add a repo
–back to terminal

mkdir -p ~/android/jellybean
cd ~/android/jellybean
repo init -u git:// -b jellybean
repo sync

–Sit back and enjoy a good movie or two. This will take a long time.
–For the time being you’ll need to sync my modified PA vendor with Vibrant support

cd ~/android/jellybean/vendor
rm -Rf pa
git clone -b jellybean pa
cd ..

–The fun stuff begins!!!
./ vibrantmtd

When complete look in /out/target/product/vibrantmtd for the zip. The one listed in terminal is your choice

Looks good but I’m only human. If I made an error, let’s talk about it.


This weekend was busy. The sink upstairs had the pinhole leak go from a small drip when you run both taps to spraying water all over. To add insult to injury, the trap was rusted out and I broke off the collar which supports the trap because of the rust. The new trap uses compression fittings and putty to hold it on, after I cut the old trap off. That really set the tone for the weekend. There’s design philosophy here – good people can engineer, great people can repair.

I’ve been interested in joining the OTO just to see what it’s about. I’ve been stalking them online and the publications are generally thought provoking even if you can’t jive with what they’re saying. I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago and the question was, “Why did you have children? What’s the reward?” Well, I had children because I enjoy bareback sex, and there’s consequences! What’s the reward is a lot harder to quantify and I had to meditate on the topic for a minute.

The reward (and challenge) to children is they force you to take a long hard look at your life and moral fabric. There’s plenty of children bred out of lust and they’re bred for welfare paychecks and similar ignoble means and ends. It’s sad, really, and it speaks volumes towards the moral quality of the parent. So what happens when we’re actually interested in raising kids? One ends up thinking about the nature of war and poverty in addition to the joys of untempered discovery and inquisition. What do we tell our children of the problems in Africa and the Middle East? How do we raise children to be tolerant but also stand up for themselves? What is the definition of “polite” when it comes to inquiring about why someone might be handicapped or transgendered? You can tell more about the person under the facade they put forth by their children then thousands of blog posts from them on the web. We’ve confounded the problem with soft identity. Do we really know the people that we meet, on the street, each day?

That being said in order to “beta test” the process I’ve decided that finding a place to have moral discussion which isn’t the standard facebook bumper sticker braindead crap was to throw myself headlong into mixing up my real life circles of friends and joining a place people do have discussions about kids. The irony isn’t lost on me – Crowley thought the average voter was a moron and the lodges have enough progressive morality that gays are overrepresented in the population. The gay population doesn’t bother me but it has the same problem other churches have where either gays are under-represented or over-represented. A gay couple with a kid is a rare bird.

I found the Xanadu Oasis first, OTO bodies are camps, oasises, or lodges. We met at Craft Ale House and had a few beers. What was supposed to be a half hour meeting turned into a two hour discussion, Darryl is a nice guy and came along with a woman who’s name I didn’t catch. She didn’t speak too too much. They typically operate out of people’s houses and host, so it’s a bit like a coffeehouse without the coffee. The big plus for me is that it’s a smaller group and Darryl is an approachable guy who’s knowledgeable to boot. He’s got degrees in psychology and nursing so he’s educated and well spoken. I will probably try to hang out with these guys more.

In contrast I also managed to get the guys at Thelesis to mail me back. The problem with Thelesis is the building isn’t accessible and mostly a jumble of rooms. Howard, the guy in charge, can’t seem to delegate and while the people attending the meeting were friendly and outgoing, trying to get a foot in the door (literally) was an effort in trying to contact them and then trying to wring a response out. If you’re new to the whole thing, little time is spent going over the motions of the mass and I got all of 10 seconds to try to incorporate it. Frankly, it’s not enough. To further add insult to injury someone apparently can’t let things just flow and has to conduct it again this coming weekend. Two in a month? Someone apparently is butthurt about how things went and it’s an unpleasant current. It seems like it runs well enough under the hood so I will probably be back but it’s not newbie friendly. More on the point I suspect at some point this attitude will breed contempt and it’s a bit like sitting on the grenade.

So finally the crux of the topic – I really don’t think Crowley is the be all and end all of these things and I tend to worry people take it way too seriously. The kabalah is completely neglected in favor of chakras, for instance. If you’re saying “Wait, these don’t line up nicely”, you’re correct and I think it’s to the detriment of the practice. However, what is anyone to do? Putting “golden dawn” into google maps results in a bunch of diners rather than lodges and I think the GD is probably dead in the united states (blog readers – prove me wrong). So, I’ll take what I can get for my particular worldview at this time and we’ll see where it goes from there.


We’ve entered a new age of trading: Perception based high frequency trading.

It used to be some trader somewhere would try to get their hands on a new press release, or make a guess using out-of-band information about what a company or person was going to do. Based on that, they could figure out if a company was going to make money or have a killer product or continue to sort of plod along. These realities are still important and drive the majority of insider trading law, but whats a market to do when there’s a vacuum of information and innovation because the economy still sucks?

We trade on perception.

However it gets even more interesting than that. When the trade happens on perception, and not on actual fact, it generates much less movement than a stock going public or some company announcing a new contract. What we used to have were bots looking for stock trends and then buying a few hundred thousand shares to generate money on the resale. While this requires high speed access to the markets to both see the trend and execute the buy and sell, this is relatively simple. The stock would rise, the machines would buy, they would immediately sell, and make a few cents on the shares as the stock continued to rise.

Someone, somewhere realized the risk was proportional to how long the stock was held and by the volume of stock purchased. How do we get around that idea?

The machines got faster and the market started doing something new. The machines would buy less stock, sell it faster, and then wash, rinse, repeat. Big companies can do it because they pay for a subscription to the market rather than per trade. Suddenly, the trading volume skyrocketed at open, lunch, and closing. Why? Because thats when humans tend to trade. They go to home, they watch the evening news, they make up orders for the next day. Before going to lunch they move some stocks around figuring less people are watching, and before they go home they buy (or sell) based on lunchtime discussions and news. It’s all hunky dory until we realize it’s one big circle-jerk. Buying any volume of stock and then immediately selling it results in profit now because of all the bots hanging around trying to get a piece of the action. Suddenly, instead of buying things based on actual worth, they’re buying things based on perception when they perceive the stock might rise.

This is a recipe for disaster. Not only are we buying things which have no worth (and actually aren’t strictly property), but we’re not buying because they might have worth (a part of a company) but we’re buying because we see others doing the same thing. More on the point when no-ones watching what actually is going on, the opposite can be true also. A stock might have “bottomed out” but then when people start purchasing them, the robots get in on it. If the people then immediately sell, it’s very very likely a massive order could simply tank the automated process if one person is holding all the options. It’s generally non-optimal.

It’s also the plot of the latest Batman film! Go see it!