A few days ago, I moved into college. I have a dorm room. And on the dorm room wall, there is a thermostat. It looks like this:

But, being a nautrally inqusitive person, I got to wondering what lay beneath the thin veneer of beige platic. As it turns out, it’s this

The control board is conveniently labeled for the most part. There’s a thermisistor, a slidey potentiometer thing to tell it how hot you want the room, some sort of mometary button on the side, and the wires connecting it all to the actual heater.

And there’s a USB port hanging out at the top. Even more strangley, it is labeled not “superflouos USB port”, but “LO61 port” Which returns exactly no results on google, suggesting it’s something propietary or EXTEMELY obscure. A USB cable plugs into it fine, in any case.

So…does anyone have any idea what that thing is/does?

One of the interesting features of English is how words can be modified. For example, the inventors of English, realizing that women and men were essentially the same thing, save for women having more “wo”(which is presumable olde speake for “X chromosome”) set up the language with a common root. The problem is that people sometimes forget other uses of the root, resulting in some uncommon but perfectly usable phrases such as:


Derived from:recline

Definition:To move one’s seat to a more vertical position, “Could you please uncline your seat a little?”

thawing cold

Derived from:freezing cold

Definition:Used as hyperbole to express a temperature warmer than “freezing cold”, but still very cold, “this swimming pool is thawing cold!”

See also:boiling hot,carbon-dioxide-sublimating-at-1-atmosphere-of-pressure cold


Derived from:awesome

Definition:Inspiring no awe, utterly mundane “I find your refrigerator drawing aweless”


Derived from:skillfully

Definition:With no talent or ability, “After skilllessly soldering the wires, Jonathan caused an electrical fire”

Super rosa

Derived from:sub rosa


1.Completely transparent, without secrecy, “it is recommended that the election proceedings be held super rosa”

2.Literally above a rose, “the frisbee traveled super rosa”

nom om

Derived from:om nom(yes, this is technically slang, but that doesn’t make it not a phrase)


To spit out or throw up, “I ate the ham and was like ‘om nom nom’, but then it was extremely salty so I was like ‘nom om om

Synonym:mon mo


Derived from:defamation

Defintion:Making a false claim about someone to promote a positive image, “I believe that the reports of your sexual prowess are mostly famation”

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A robot participates in the 2008 FIRST Robotic...

This robot can be easily located by a computer due to its bright colors, even if the computer does not know the specific color or shape of the robot

In 2009, I had a problem.

I was in charge of designing software for a robot which would, for 15 seconds, be able to evade other robots on a playing field. The problem:I didn’t know what the other robots would look like.

For a robot, that was a serious issue. Computers are pretty good at finding a specific object in an image, but have trouble when it comes to more abstract tasks like “Identify and route around any obstacles shown in this image”. For humans(and most other predatory animals), that comes effortlessly thanks to our binocular vision, which represents everything we see as a 3D model. You don’t need to know exactly what something is and how large it is to avoid walking into it, because your brain tells you there’s an obstacle in your path.

But a camera transmits only a flat image, with no 3D information. This means that for a computer to plot out an object’s location in 3D space, it needs to know some characteristics of the object–things like distinctive color or shape–as well as its size. Since perceived size decreases the farther the robot is, it can be calibrated to have a sort of depth perception this way. In fact, we had used this exact method on the robot’s targeting system. But when the shape, size, and color of the object is unknown, this method fails.

Ultimately, we got the system to work–sort of. It turned out that robots for the FIRST competition usually had points(banners, warning lights, etc) that had unusually high color saturation(hue, saturation, and brightness are the three factors that can define any visible color). By looking for high-saturation objects, we could find the robots. But the depth problem still remained–our robot couldn’t tell the difference between a robot five feet from it with a small warning light, and one 50 feet away with a huge orange banner.

After the competition, the problem got put on the back burner, as we al refocused on building a new robot that really sucked balls. But when I started working on the hackerhat, the problem took on a new relevance. It’s hard to have an augmented reality system work if it can’t understand the 3D environment.

And, as it turns out, when a camera takes an image, it doesn’t lose all of its 3D information. Here’s an experiment:go to Google Maps, and find a street in satellite view. Then, look at the same street in Street View(just look at the pavement, not the stuff around)

The street as shown on Street View is full of randomness. There are potholes, median lines, different colored patches of pavement, even different textures. But on the satellite view, the street is a featureless , uniform gray stripe. The  reason is that the street view camera is closer to the street, and thus, according to the laws of perspective, more pixels are available to capture what the street looks like. More pixels means more details.

So, can you analyze this information to find the distance from the camera? I decided to try it. One of the fundamental techniques in computer vision programming is called “blob recognition“–breaking an image into different “blobs” by identifying sharp transitions in color and luminosity. I decided to use a blob detector to count the number of discrete blobs in each part of an image. Since blob detection fragments an image where a perceptible difference exists, parts of the image with more detail(which are presumably closer to the camera) should contain more blobs.

In other words, more blobs=closer to the camera.

After a few hours of coding, I got this:

The image on the right is a photo taken from my laptop’s webcam. On the left is an automatically generated “distance map” of the image, with bright orange representing a close object, and blue a far-away one. The software correctly identified the range to my head, the couch, the keyboard stand, and the beam in the center of the roof, but miscalculated the distance to the stairs(on the far right of the image).

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In defense of piracy

August 12, 2010

Rally in Stockholm, Sweden, in support of file...
Image via Wikipedia

The other day, I was searching for a book, when I encountered a spectacularly whiny blog post written by its author, talking about the perils of the “word thieves” pirating his books.

First, let’s clear up a misconception:Piracy is not the same as theft.If something is stolen, the problem is that you can no longer access and use your property. But if something is pirated, your property is in an identical state to before it was pirated. You can still use it for anything you want..Or, as this video explains it:

The exception that most copyright holders take with piracy is not that they are “losing” their work, but rather that the piracy makes it harder to sell. Okay, I can buy that(even if the actual “statistics” that industry groups cite are a BS sandwich  on rye BS with an extra helping of BS). But still, it only makes sense that piracy is a crime, right? After all, these people are, for personal gain, reducing the ability of another to make money from their own creation.


Except by that logic, every single s film/book/art critic,staff member of Consumer Reports, anti-GMO activist, librarian, and everyday Joe who happens to say “this move is awful, don’t go see it” should go to jail. After all, it would not surprise me in the least if the total loss of revenue from negative publicity and institutions like libraries dwarfs the loss of revenue to piracy by 5 to 1.

Of course, that’s ridiculous, because the ability to spoil the end of a book, or tell someone that a movie is horrible, is both an extension of our right to free speech and a necessary part of a functioning free-market economy. In our society, those considerations get greater weight than the issue of “people are harming the creator’s ability to make money from their creation”. Are they? Yes. Are they justified in doing so? Absolutely.

What about libraries? The presence of some book, movie, music, whatever in a public library is undoubtably a detriment to the copyright holder’s ability to make money off it. Yet, again, libraries can exist because a certain level of access to information is necessary for a healthy, functioning society. As the American Libraries Associations puts it:

Equity of access means that all people have the information they need-regardless of age, education, ethnicity, language, income, physical limitations or geographic barriers. It means they are able to obtain information in a variety of formats-electronic, as well as print. It also means they are free to exercise their right to know without fear of censorship or reprisal

So, if a library is allowed to share copyrighted materials, why shouldn’t digital file-sharing systems be considered a new form of library? After all, systems like BitTorrent can be free of many of the limitations of physical libraries, offering far more translations, easy accessibility from anywhere, a multitude of different formats, a way to avoid “censorship and reprisal”, and near-zero waiting times for most media.

The problem though, is not philosophical, but practical. Copyright holders are scared of the prospect of more efficient library-type systems, not because of any philosophical or societal objection, but because they’re scared of losing money. What’s more, they’ve managed to codify their greed into a series of laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which goes so far as to make certain kinds of computer programming illegal

But at the same time that publishing industries are bemoaning the failure of their laws to stop their loss of money, the world is becoming a radically different place. Linux, a free operating system, has become the OS of choice for high-performance computing.

Linux market share(yellow) on TOP500 supercomputer systems

Google has set up a ridiculously successful business based on giving their products away for free. Hulu has done the same for television and movies. Feedbooks , YouTube, and  DeviantArt have created platforms for creative expression with virtually no overhead for creators. Social networking systems, TV shows, and whistleblower groups are being funded entirely by voluntary donations. In short, the fee-for-service model for information is being made obsolete by better distribution and crowdsourced support.

And look around. How many companies do you see selling LP disks, horse-drawn carriages, and whale oil? It’s time to get with the program, people.

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Caution:Spoilers await below

I liked Inception. It’s definitely one of the better movies that I’ve ever seen, with a unique premise and a good ratio of philosophical discussion to shooting at things. Sure, there were a few details and deus ex machina moments that made me go “what?”(falling into water wakes you up, but being shot in the chest doesn’t? Why does your mental security take the form of paramilitary snipers with a lower accuracy rate than storm troopers, rather than, I don’t know, a giant wall of concrete? If you can bend Paris in half, can’t you materialize some barricades between you and said storm troopers?) But this isn’t Bad Astronomy, so I’ll leave those questions for now.

One thing that was more significant was at the very start of the movie:

Arthur: Right, but it’s not your idea. The dreamer can always remember the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake.

Of course, Cobb quickly jumps in to correct him, one thing leads to another, and before you know it, they’ve thought up an elaborate plan that’s basically a cross between Ocean’s 11 and the Matrix. The idea, of course, is that when the person is dreaming, you can access their subconscious without the resistance that their conscious mind would normally put up hearing a radical idea from a complete stranger. Okay, sounds good.

Incidentally, this is why it’s good to actually have some background knowledge when you’re about to do something fairly complex and/or dangerous. Because really, instead of going through three levels of dreams(which , keep in mind, a professional pretty much assured them wouldn’t work), they could just:

1.Hypnotize the person

During hypnosis, people are almost always more “suggestible”, that is, more likely to respond to instructions and suggestions of others. Such suggestions can extend outside of what we would normally consider ourselves able to adjust–people can be hypnotized to have hallucinations, for example.

Unforutnaley,  hypnosis requires a great deal of trust in the hypnotist, and is not always successful, especially when asking someone to do something that they would never normally do. For example, giving a hypnotized person a gun and telling them to shoot themself would probably not work. But, if a person was sufficiently trusting and hypnotized deeply enough, you could likely convince them that they were holding a water pistol, and tell them to squirt themself.

Of course, the Achilles heel of this method is that it requires trust in the hypnotist. But if that’s not possible, you can also go with…

2.Changing their memories

Contrary to Arthur’s statement, we DON’T always remember the source of our ideas, a phenomenon known as “source amnesia”. A dramatic example of this was Ronald Reagan’s  recount of an aerial battle he fought in during World War II;, which, when examined by third parties, was found to have never happened, but instead, was a scene from a movie he acted in.

Why does this happen? It’s because of how the human memory is intrinsically linked to imagination. Even when a memory seems vivid–like a video camera recording of something–the brain really only stores a small amount of information, and relies on the imagination to recreate a vivid memory. If you remember your mother spilling a glass of wine, for example, your brain doesn’t need to encode exactly what color the wine was, the pattern on the tablecloth, etc, because you KNOW what these things look like. When the memory is retrieved, the brain seamlessly regenerates all the missing details.

This space-saving evolution, however, makes us vulnerable to manipulation. A now-famous experiment involved showing a group of volunteers a video of Bugs Bunny greeting children at Disneyland, and then asking them if they had had the same experience. A number of them did. But then the kicker was revealed:the event that the experiment prompted them to remember never actually happened.(Bugs Bunny is a Warner Brothers, not a Disney, character). In other words, the researchers had  deliberately “implanted” an experience in the subjects heads, and made them think it was their own experience.

So what did happen? Basically, our brains aren’t evolved to deal with that kind of deception. Most of the subjects hadn’t specifically recorded the presence or absence of Bugs Bunny into their memories regarding Disneyland, so when it was presented to them on a video, they accepted it, and, in some cases, even drew on this “external” information when trying to remember their own experiences.

What’s more, the effect is not limited to trivial matters. Susan Clancy, a psychologist, found that false memories of alien abduction could actually cause symptoms similar to PTSD. In other words, people had emotional trauma from an event that never happened.

It seems that the most important factor of being able to implant a false memory is that the memory be plausible–not necessarily in an absolute sense, but in relation to the person’s other experiences. A person who experiences sleep paralysis can be manipulated into thinking it was an alien abduction. A person who regularly plays paintball can easily be made to believe something that never happened during a paintball game. By careful suggestion(i.e.”remember reading about how the analysts are saying to invest in Adobe?”), someone can influence another’s financial decisions.

Of course, if that doesn’t work, you can also try:

3.Plain old cognitive biases

Maybe for some reason you can’t get close to the person you’re trying to hack. No problem. In these cases, you’re not implanting your own idea in someone else’s mind, but instead merelly steering them to arrive at a conclusion that would further your idea. How? Well, what we consider “logical” reasoning n is full of biases and flaws for someone to hack. A few of the more interesting ones:

  • A person will want something disporportionatley if it has zero cost compared to something with an extremely minimal cost
  • If access to something is denied to a person, their desire and acceptance of it will increase(and access is valued more highly if it has been more recently lost than if it has been lost for a period of time)
  • If an authority figure or expert stresses that something is okay, a person will often suspend their own judgement about it.
  • If someone is given a free gift, or a favor,  even by a stranger, that person will lean towards a course of action that involves reciprocating towards the stranger–even if they have no idea as to their identity or motives.
  • Apples-to-oranges choices(where a direct comparison can not easily be made) can be biased towards one option by providing an additional option that is comparable to it, but by all measures an inferior choice

There’s a whole ton of these, check out the Wikipedia page on cognitive biases and the excellent book, Predictably Irrational. Plus you don’t need one of…whatever that thing is:

Roll your own hackerhat

August 3, 2010

Since I wrote about the Hackerhat a couple of weeks ago, the response I’ve gotten about it have broken down into about three types

type 1:“That sounds interesting, what does it do?”

type 2:“Oooh! Can I have one?”

type 3:“Are you going to use to to take over the world?”

I was a bit confused about the third one, but it turns out that there’s some book where a video game designer uses augmented reality to inspire a revolt against multinational corporations. Okay. Not part of my original plan, but I’ll leave it as an option.

Anyway, in response to the “type 2” people:I have actually always planned to make the hackerhat software and hardware an open-source design. That means that anyone can modify the design, build their own hackerhat, even sell them if they want. I just haven’t released anything because there hasn’t been anything finished to release and I didn’t want people to sue me after tumbling down the stairs because the image processor crashed.

Now, however, I have a working “alpha” version of the hackerhat , which comes with all the software and a description of how to put together the hardware. The goal is that it can be put together out of stuff that most people have lying around–a laptop, iPod, baseball cap, cheap webcam, but also be flexible enough to accommodate all sorts of hardware–different displays, cameras, processing computers, etc.

If you want to try it out, all you have to do is download the package here, and get the Processing environment here(Processing is a Java-like programming language for image processing).

People in Davis:If you want to try it out before actually building one, just shoot me a message somewhere and you can try out mine.

And if you’re still wondering about what it does, here’s a brief overview of some of the cool features

Cool stuff it does right now:

Gestural/motion tracking interface

Object recognition

Background photo logging

Integrates with Twitter

Lets you finger-paint in midair

Object-recognition-driven scripting–run specified Java and Processing code when the hackerhat recognizes a particular object

Makes you just that much more sexy

Cool stuff that it will do in the near future

More layers!(and a pluggable layer system so anyone can easily write and distribute them)

Better object recognition

Multiple resolution support

APIs to allow layers to easily pull down and display web content

Cool stuff that’s just kicking around in my head(but might make it into a release eventually):

Google Goggles integration

Voice recognition

AR “profiles” for other users

Integration with Skynet artificial intelligence system.

Politicians and business leaders get in trouble for saying “offensive” things all the time.Whether it’s Tony Hayward talking about the “little people” or British politicians talking about “grave dodgers”, an offensive statement can end a career. But is that really deserved?

First of all, what exactly are we talking about when we mean “offensive”? According to a quick google:

  • causing anger or annoyance; “offensive remarks”
  • unsavory: morally offensive; “an unsavory reputation”; “an unsavory scandal”
  • dysphemistic: substitute a harsher or distasteful term for a mild one ; “`nigger’ is a dysphemistic term for `African-American'”
  • nauseating: causing or able to cause nausea; “a nauseating smell”; “nauseous offal”; “a sickening stench”


So if someone makes a statement that’s deemed “offensive”, that means that it is unsavory, distasteful, causes anger, and may on occasion induce vomiting. Okay, good.

Another question: what importance exactly does this have? In other words, how important is it that something not cause anger?

THis requires a brief discussion of psychology, specifically mechanisms of “empathizing” and “systematizing”. systematizing is the basic mental process that lets us make a “mental model” of our world. The brain’s systematizing systems are responsible for predicting events, pattern recognition, and logical problem-solving. However, the brain also has a second “modeling” system–the empathetic system–which is focused on predicting the thoughts, actions, and emotions of other people.

These distinctions are evident in the ways people communicate and interact with each other. Most interactions among friends and acquaintances are “empathizing-focused”, that is, the goal is to generate good feelings in the other person and oneself. When one is playing a video game with another person, the objective is not merely to achieve the goal of the video game, but also to enjoy the other person’s company.

A smaller subset of interactions are “systemizing-focused”. In these cases, the goal relates to solving some problem. The internal states of the people interacting are considered irrelevant to the quality of the interaction(which is determined by whether the external goal–solving an engineering challenge, writing an article, having a debate–is achieved or not). In some cases, such as debate, the participants assume conflicting stances or are in conflict with each other.

Interestingly, in most cases where someone’s statement is called “offensive”, it’s in the context of a systemizing-type interaction–usually a discussion about some social or political issue. Remember the defintion of “Offensive” though. Nowhere does is state that an “offensive” statement cannot be a good solution for a systematizing problem. It states that offense causes disgust, anger, and annoyance–all of which would be things to avoid in an “empathizing” interaction, but which are irrelevant in a systematizing one. In other words:

Calling a serious statement offensive is the result of incorrectly applying norms for an empathizing interaction to a systematizing interaction

The problem is that pointing at someone and saying “you’re offensive” carries substantial weight, especially in politics. Because people are wired to make decisions based on a rapid assessment of other’s character, an empathizing attack, even though it carries no logical weight, can still cause substantial loss of public support. When a Labor Party candidate in the UK called old people “coffin dodgers” during a discussion on social security, he was forced by his party to step down. The fact that he used the term “coffin dodgers”, while offensive, has no impact on the validity of his actual policies, which were promptly ignored. Essentially, the “offensive” attack allows an opponenet to take exploit the human bias to make political decisions based on perceived character traits.

But wait! You might be saying, “if a politician(or anyone) makes a statement like that, they’re showing their true colors! That obviously means that he’s going to discriminate against old people in his social security legislation!” To that, I would offer an anecdote of something that happened to me in seventh grade, when a classmate decided to regale me with the most damaging of middle-school insults:

“Your backpack’s hella gay” he said

Though a knew a little about gender identities and whatnot, I had never heard that used as an insult. What does that mean? I wondered. Had he observed my backpack in a compromising situation with another backpack of the same sex? How does one sex a backpack anyway? Do backpacks have a gender binary? How many chromosomes do they have?

“How is it gay?” I asked him

“It’s kind of stupid looking” he replied

“And that’s like…gay people are stupid looking?”

“No…not really” he said

As it turned out, he was basically using the term “gay” for the same reason he was using the adjective “hella”–because, people adopt the terms, accents, etc. that are used by the people around them. Does this mean that he thought that there was inherently anything wrong with gay people? No, it was just a case of linguistic ambiguity–that the term “gay” could, in that situation, mean either “homosexual”, or “stupid”, without any necessary link from one to the other. Such an effect probably occurs frequently–keep in  mind, that, for many things, terms that used to be inoffensive are now considered offensive, with new terms replacing them. So if someone slips and talks about “street people” instead of saying “people without residence”, does it mean they have a deep-seated hatred for homeless people? No, it probably just means that they learned the earlier term.

Is it possible that people use offensive statements because they actually have negative feelings about some group of people? Absolutely. But calling people out for being offensive probably still does more harm than good. Why? The number of people who are significantly affected by making an offensive statement is almost certainly far less than the number of people who are racist/ableist/ageist/whatever. Don’t believe me? Go to Project Implicit and take a few of the tests(preferably ones that you have never really expressed an opinion about). Chances are, at least one of them will show you have some unconcious bias. So by destroying the careers of people who advertise their bias, critics create an effect called “artificial selection”. In other words, they’re helping make politicians more sleazy by eliminating the ones who are more likely to actually show their biases.

In short, making an offensive statement has little to no predictive value–the ability to actually indicate something material about what a political candidate would do if office, but labeling something as offensive, despite having no relevance in a serious discussion context, can dramatically affect the outcomes of elections by tapping into voters irrationality.

Europe is amusing

July 15, 2010

Some rather funny pictures from my Europe trip

Thanks for the advance warning, I guess

New designer:I have a new concept for a type of shoe!

Manager:Okay, you’re hired. Do you know what a foot looks like?

Designer:No, but I’m pretty sure I can figure it out

Manager:You sure you don’t want a picture or something?

Designer:Nah, I’m good

I find it hard to take seriously the danger of anything called a “drempel”

At least the vegetables are from the South…

“Designated nose picking area”

Maybe tomorrow is open?

To all appearances I am completely crazy.

I’m standing in Arroyo Park, trying to grab an object that no one else can see. I’m wearing a hat adorned with a giant chunk of Styrofoam over my eyes, a small blue chunk of Styrofoam on my finger, and a computer mouse strapped to my other arm.  And a regular school backpack with wires trailing out of it. And grabbing that thing is really difficult–it keeps squirming out of my hand just as I’m about to get it.

Except that, unlike normal insanity, I can give it to someone else. All they have to do is put the hat on their head. That’s because the hat is actually an augmented reality system, complete with a cheap webcam mounted on the brim, and an ipod touch acting as a display. The webcam forwards its video to a computer in the backpack, which processes it and sends it to the ipod for display. Welcome to the world of augmented reality.

In a nutshell, augmented reality is a combination of computer graphics and the real world. Because the laptop in my backpack can “see” exactly what I’m seeing, it can process the data with a variety of algorithms–identifying people, for instance. Because the computer sits between the actual visual image and the person viewing it, it can also modify the video it displays, so that, to a user, it looks like someone’s twitter updates are hovering over their head, or the sky is superimposed with a weather forecast.

Although there is huge potential for this technology, development has been rather slow and limited. Most available AR systems:

  • Are limited to a specific domain(i.e.dipslaying models of the earth)
  • Only run on a specific device
  • Sometimes require specialized displays(especially for “immersive” head-mounted systems) that costs thousands of dollars

…enter the HackerHat.

The HackerHat is designed to be a general-purpose, open-source, head-mounted AR system that can be assembled from a wide variety of inexpensive  hardware. Because both the video capture system and the streaming system that it uses are open protocols, the same processing software can be used even with radically different hardware setups. Check it out, in the video below:

Want to have one? Want to help test out new versions of the software? Let me know, and I’ll help you get one set up!

I recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with a woman who vehemently believes that MMR vaccines cause autism. The conversation went something like this:

Me:But other than “Jenny McCarthy said it”, what scientific evidence actually backs this up?

(Woman spends five minutes using the terms “genetic susceptibility”, “mitochondrial DNA”, “gaussian distribution”, “corporate conspiracy”, and “bioaccumulation”, although not in a way that conforms to accepted standards of science, medicine, or sentence structure)

Me:But, is there any evidence that that actually…happens?


I decided to end the conversation at this point, but I was still fascinated with the idea. After all, these people had managed to produce an entire scientific theory without the support of a single experiment. They had literally redefined the scientific method.

Never one to miss a good paradigm shift, I quickly began thinking about this. Then, I came to the conclusion:

The increase in autism rates is caused by an increase in the amount of democracy.

Simply put, the start of the autism epidemic correlated with the fall of the Soviet Union. Democracy around the world has been increasing ever since, and so has autism.Coincidence? I don’t think so. If you’re still in doubt, look at the chart:

As you can see, there is an almost perfect causative relationship.

In light of these new findings, I’ve also compiled a brief FAQ for parents, caregivers, and other, with information you need to know

Q.How does democracy affect a child?

A.While it’s unclear, we believe that a small minority of children have genetic mitochondrial defects that prevent their bodies from properly metabolizing democracy. Democracy, unable to be eliminated from the body, collects in the brain, where it causes overgrowth of some nerve networks as well as increased susceptibility to the Candida fungus and increased immune inflammation in the brain. These factors are thought to create damage, resulting in  autism

Q.Could democracy interact with the MMR vaccination?

A.No. Children are always forced to have an MMR, regardless of their individual circumstances, religion, or other factors. Doctors who serve the heartless monster known as “public health” have, in fact, been known to hire hit men to deliver MMR shots to young children after their parents flee the city in fear. This process, controlled by a conspiracy of megapharmaceutical companies, is inherently undemocratic and introduces no additional democracy into the bloodstream

Q.But what about autism in countries where there is no democracy? How does your theory explain that?

A.The causes of autism are extremely complex. In addition to the genetic trigger component, other environmental factors could be at play. Some studies have shown that extreme cold, extreme heat, extremely median temperatures, Bon Jovi, volatile organic compounds found in the skins of imported South Asian tree frogs, and UV radiation could increase risk. But it’s mostly democracy. Just trust us.

Q.So can we reduce our children’s exposure to democracy?

A.Absolutley! Historical records, after all, show that in the past humankind has achieved periods with practically no democracy. The “Enslave Our Population” campaign is right now working on a program of lobbying and advising businesses and homeowners, with the goal of reducing democracy to 1500 AD levels by 2040. They are currently looking for a scientific advisor, and washed-out playboy models desperate for publicity are encouraged to apply.

Q.But is there anything we can do for children already suffering from democracy poisoning?

A.While a complete cure is not available, a number of therapies have been designed to reduce the amount of democracy in a child’s body. Since democracy tends to concentrate in the brain tissue, removal is difficult. However, a promising new technique, called chelation, can be effective at removing much of the accumulated democracy. In chelation, the child’s blood is temporarily removed by a machine and replaced with Soviet-era vodka, which binds to and neutralizes democracy. The treatment must be repeated fairly frequently to be effective, but it is painless and safe, especially with newer 3rd-generation procedures which have a kidney failure rate of less than 85%.

Another option is known as Applied Behavioral Analysis, which seeks to remove democracy from the brain using a behavioral approach. Other variants of ABA have already been shown to be highly effective for treating autism.The type of ABA used to reduce democracy(referred to as ABA-S) is currently undergoing testing, but the early results are very promising.

ABA-S clinical trial