Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  Real diversity

A North Carolina TV station does an interesting feature on local Sovereign Citizens. Caught me by surprise; after the intro I was expecting the "usual" set of white boys, but this group turns out to be all black, with El in their names. Apparently an offshoot of Elijah Muhammad's Black Muslims. Aside from that, their beliefs and actions are identical to the white version of Sovereigns.

They strike me as old-fashioned pre-1918 Americans, polite and firmly civilized, accustomed to a non-Soviet government, who suddenly find themselves transported to 2013. (Like Rip van Wink-El.) And they're doing what old-fashioned pre-Soviet Americans would do in that situation. They're trying to obstruct and hinder the tyrants.

Well now. The vicious bigoted hate group which absurdly names itself the "Southern" "Poverty" "Law" Center has been focusing ferociously on the Sovereign Citizens movement for a long time. Let's see if they've taken note of these Sovereign Citizens. The "S" "P" "L" C blog has a tag for Sovereigns. Let's scan through it ... Nope! I don't see any of those El names among the Sovereigns they hate. All the pictures are caucasians, for Some Mysterious Fucking Reason.

Hmm. Who's the racist here? Surprise surprise surprise surprise surprise! The "S" "P" "L" C hate group is the bigot, treating Sovereigns as a racial classification. The Sovereign movement is truly diverse in the best old-fashioned sense of the word.
 
Monday, April 29, 2013
  "New technology"?

Science writers seem to be broadly ignorant in areas of acoustics and language. I suppose they're equally ignorant in other areas, but I happen to know something about acoustics and language. (Of course their problem in areas like "global warming" or "diversity" or "economics" is NOT mere ignorance; it's raw Satanic murderous genocidal EVIL.)

Couple of nicely parallel examples in this week's science items.

(1) "New technology" finally enables the Smithsonian to read some old wax records made by Bell in 1885.

Nothing new about the technology! Since the 1930's, movie projectors have used a focused light and a photocell to read sound tracks on film. This could have been adapted quite easily to read old wax discs without touching them. Apparently nobody thought of doing it.

Even better, Bell himself was working on a light-based technique in 1885, at the same time when he made those wax records. His Photophone directed a focused beam of light at a diaphragm moved by sound waves, and sent the varying reflected light through a tube to a distant receiver. At the receiver, the varying light modulated current flow through a selenium photocell to create a current that could drive an earphone. It's truly strange that he didn't think to use this for reading a sound record. Just replace the diaphragm with the disc.

(2) "New technology" finally enables dialect researchers to track the changes in Philly's strange dialect.
"Certain changes have continued in the same direction over 100 years and everybody's doing it," said Bill Labov, who has studied the Philadelphia accent since 1971 and recorded hundreds of native speakers born between 1888 and 1992 and living in dozens of neighborhoods. ... Technological advances have allowed Labov and his colleagues to turn their decades of field recordings into voice spectrographs — computer-generated visualizations of the human voice like an EKG — to track speech variations over time. Regional dialects are cemented by adolescence, so a recording of a 75-year-old Philadelphian made in 1982, for example, should provide a snapshot of what people sounded like around 1925.
Pleasantly surprised to hear that Labov is still working. I've been familiar with his work since the '70s, and sort of assumed he'd be retired or dead by now. But there's absolutely nothing new about sound spectrographs. Bell Labs (hmm, sounds familiar) developed the technique in the late '40s, and Kay brought it to market in 1950. It's been used intensely by speech researchers ever since. The original was a complex and smelly mechanical device, but it's been all software since 1980.

= = = = =

[On the latter item, I'm speaking from directly relevant experience... Working at Penn State in the late '80s, I operated one of those smelly old Kay spectrograph machines for researchers who were analyzing Philly dialects.]
 
  A sort of door

Following on this. It's clear that the British approach to housing is drastically different from the American. We don't have nearly as many deaths from cold weather, even though we have more poverty and a whole lot more cold weather. When temperatures get just below freezing, Britain falls apart. Pipes burst and houses can't be heated. Most American housing, even in older cities, can stand 10F before systems start to fail.

While perusing an 1898 Meteorological Magazine, I encountered a stark word-picture of the difference in attitude in this account of a tornado in Este's Park.



Aside from the peculiar misspelling, note the Martian-style unfamiliarity with screen doors, which were perfectly common in America. "The outer door (a sort of door with wire gauze instead of panel) was ripped off its hinges, and is a mass of splinters."

The concept of protecting a house from bugs or weather doesn't seem to be part of the British mindset.
 
  Hope that's not accurate

Weather bureau is predicting a big wind event today. As I woke up, still no big wind. I checked the Wunderground map to see if I could spot it approaching. Along the Cascade crest, one of their little 'key' symbols seemed to have a LOT of flags on it, so I clicked on it.....



The NaN at the bottom probably indicates the instruments are out of whack. I hope so! 223 mph is a good brisk breeze.

Later in the day: Well, it got windy, but not as windy as they were predicting. Seems to be a pattern in the last two or three years. The weather bureau does a good job of predicting generally windy versus generally calm, but their use of the Wind Advisory is uncorrelated with the most serious wind. Days with tree-toppling wind often have no Advisory, while days with a Wind Advisory are often just breezy.
 
Sunday, April 28, 2013
  Good point, weird metaphor

Britain's minister for welfare is proposing a strange sort of voluntary means-testing for pension benefits:
Iain Duncan Smith says he “would encourage” elderly people who can well afford to pay for their their own heating bills, bus passes and television licences to return the money to the state.
Sounds appropriate. We don't have those benefits here, and I can't see why you'd want them in the first place. (The heating allowance has clearly created a Moral Hazard situation. It removed the pressure to insulate houses properly, and allowed the Carbon Cult to jack up energy prices without limits because the old folks were supposedly 'protected'.)

He makes another good point, but again overly kind and gentle:
In the interview, the Work and Pensions Secretary also hit out at the BBC over its coverage of his major welfare reforms, including the way the corporation has reported ministers’ moves to remove extra benefit payments for households with bedrooms which are not being used.

“We’ve had a lot of moments with the BBC,” Mr Duncan Smith says, while accusing the corporation of “misrepresenting” the reforms. “They have always tended to to look at the welfare reforms from the jar that is marked, and it’s a very leftist jar, 'less money bad, more money good’. So if you are reducing welfare you must be doing something rather nasty.”




Looking from a jar? Weird.

You don't need any metaphor to describe BBC. Objectively and precisely, BBC is Satan. That's all.
 
Saturday, April 27, 2013
  Small move toward sanity?

Sounds like federal wildlife officials are moving away from bizarre anti-science anti-Darwin "endangered species" shit, and moving back toward a more normal and scientific approach to managing critters.
A draft U.S. Department of Interior rule says roughly 5,000 wolves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes are enough to prevent the species' extinction.

It says having gray wolves elsewhere - such as the West Coast, parts of New England and the Southern Rockies - is unnecessary for their survival.

The rule would give control of wolves to state wildlife agencies, which wildlife advocates warn could effectively halt the species' expansion.
I don't know if this marks a broader change of attitude, but at least in this one case Interior has returned to the actual meaning of 'species'. Until now, the ESA defined any little population in any little location as a 'species', even when the same animal was wildly abundant elsewhere.

Until now, the feds were explicitly committed to wiping out humanity. This marks their first hesitant reversal from total genocide.
 
  Ethical sharks

I was unimpressed when the Anglican Faghouse appointed Miss Justin Welby as its chief pixie. Now I'm way beyond unimpressed.
The Archbishop, a former oil industry executive and now a member of the cross-party Banking Standards Commission, said “serious consideration” should be given to forming a professional banking body, along the lines of the General Medical Council, the enforce standards.

He said: “Banks are incredibly complicated things. The idea that people can hold hugely responsible positions in them without any kind of formal training seems to a number of us quite surprising.”

....said it was time for bankers to be required to pass exams in order to raise their professional standards and help restore public trust in their work.
Good, Missy Welby. And while we're at it, let's give sharks ethical training. Then we can place the sharks in swimming pools where they will replace lifeguards.

Unfortunately this sort of spineless idiocy is a universal product of Christianity. Though JC himself had no patience with bankers, his followers have gone along with the Marxist notion that all humans are indistinguishable inorganic particles, equally capable of following "standards" if properly trained.
 
  He stopped loving her today



Trite title, but simply unavoidable.

In 1977 I worked the desk at Sooner Inn, a truckers and tramps motel in OKC. The motel had a bar just off the main lobby, and the bar had a jukebox that played only George Jones. I suppose there were other records, but they never** got played. Why bother when you've got Jones?

The eponymous song hit a deep resonance because its truth countered toxic mass-culture feminist lies. Femistalinists tell us that males are faithless tomcats. Nope, backwards. Some people mate for life like swans, others are always ready to shop around when the current brand gets boring. Most males are swans, most females are shoppers.

= = = = =

** Well, I lied for the sake of a clear point. In fact exactly one non-Jones song was played constantly. Despite hearing it thousands of times, it's still my favorite country number.... Heaven's just a sin away, by the Kendalls.
 
Friday, April 26, 2013
  Lectuahs and The Operaaaaah, 2

When I wrote this a few days ago, I thought I was stretching things for parody:

Futurists always see new technologies serving Serious and Uplifting and Goddamn Nosy Busybody purposes. They never foresee that most people want plain old entertainment most of the time. As radio and television and computers started to appear on the horizon, futurists couldn't see that radio would be built by Amos & Andy, television would be built by pro wrestling, and the Web would be built by porn. No, each of those technologies would only serve to Regale The Benighted Mawwsses with The Operaaaaah, The Ballettt, The Theataaaaah, and Lectuaaaahs Upon Pseudo-non-dimorphic Leitmotifs In Pintaaaahhhh And Shakespeaaaahhh. And naturally each new tech would End War By Facilitating Communication Between Conflicting Ethnies.

Nope, not a stretch. Here's David Sarnoff in 1922, writing in Electrical World:



Sarnoff's technical prophecies were really an advertisement for coming attractions, since he knew what his engineers were working on. And NBC made a genuine long-lasting effort to provide those Lectures and Operas. But the people wanted a lower type of entertainment, so ultimately even NBC gave in.

Another item from the same source verifies a point I've made often. Did Lincoln free the slaves?



Nope. FDR freed the slaves, with help from Henry Ford.
 
Thursday, April 25, 2013
  The dreaded "Ninth Order"

Several news items about the Wash Legislature mention that the Senate may have to resort to a "rare parliamentary tactic" known as the Ninth Order. This wasn't elucidated or explained in the news items. It sounded so medieval and threatening that I wanted to find out more. Is it like Room 101? A secret fraternal society like Opus Dei or Knights Templar? The Ninth Circle of Hell?

It's not part of Robert's Rules. All Google refs to the phrase in a parliamentary context come right back to the Wash Senate, still without explanation.

So I searched the Wash Legislature webpage and located it under Senate Resolution 8601, defining the Senate Rules:



Most of those Orders don't really happen anyway; legislative sessions are rapid-fire sequences of push-button votes, with constantly repeated mentions of phrases like first reading, second reading and third reading. The Orders are slurred-over filler verbiage like an auctioneer's WholllllgimmeTenTenTenLevenLevenLeven and DoIHearFiveFiveFive.
(Watch a typical recent example)

Even so, the Orders apparently have a meaning in the bizarre minds of the senators. And in those bizarre minds, introducing a bill during "presentation of motions" is drastic and unusual. That's as far as I can take it. Still don't know why this particular bill has to be placed into the dreaded Ninth Order.
 
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
  Bunch of pixies!

I hadn't paid much attention to Salinger. Among that generation of writers, I read Updike, Steinbeck and Percy intensely and thoroughly, but didn't find others highly interesting.

Now I've gained a lot more respect for Salinger. UK Guardian covers a new trove of letters Salinger wrote when he was starting his career. He had just been accepted by the New Yorker.....

"God and Harold Ross alone know what that bunch of pixies on the staff are doing with my poor script."

Bunch of pixies! Perfect.

The odd thing is that everyone except Ross knew the New Yorker writers were a bunch of pixies. Ross had an antique countrified view of amorphodites as a sort of rare semi-mythical creature. He was convinced he had never encountered one, even while he employed a dozen of them.
 
  Truly amazing

On the investigation of the supposed 'ricin letters', the FBI started out in default form.

= = = = =

Post-1989 FBI operating system:

All crimes are committed by Klansmen.

If a crime happens, find the nearest Klansman in pointy robe.

If you can't find a Klansman in pointy robe, find the nearest beefy pasty white Southerner.

If you can't find him, find the nearest white Christian.

= = = = =

On this event, their first suspect was bog-standard: an Elvis impersonator. Simply perfect stereotypical Southerner, As Seen On TV.

But after arresting him, they did something absolutely UNPRECEDENTED. They RELEASED HIM and stated explicitly that he is NOT THE SUSPECT.

This violates every rule in the Persecuting Attorney's Handbook, not just the FBI Handbook! No persecuting attorney ever fully releases a suspect. Never never never never never NEVER admit error! Even if all the evidence immediately points to someone else, even if the first suspect died a century before the crime was committed, the first suspect remains THE REAL CULPRIT until the end of the universe. The evidence is wrong, the jury is wrong, and the judge is wrong.

I'm glad I lived to see this day. It may be a one-off, but it's still a total departure from tyrannical norms in this miserable shit-eating excuse for a former country.
 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
  Die-Versity kills everything

The Wash state legislature is wasting time and money revising all the state's laws into "gender-free language." It isn't enough that Die-Versity kills people; it must kill logic and language as well.

A few snips from SB 5077:



I suppose I should be thankful that the nastiest aspects of gendperson neutrality have passed. In the early '90s when feminism was at its full menstrual flood tide, oops I mean personsstrual flood tide, oops I mean perdaughtersstrual flood tide, oops I mean perdaughtpersonsstrual flood tide, oops I mean ppdaughtppdaughtstrual flood tide, absolutely nothing was safe. Any set of lettpersons that could possibly represent anything remotely associated with m*les or m*leness had to be dispersontled.

These modern changes are less clumsy, with one exception: OMBUDS. What's the plural? Ombudses? I can't find an example in the document, though the absurd genitive form ombuds's does appear several times.

However, ombudsman doesn't have a proper plural anyway. Ombudsmen doesn't feel correct, and we didn't borrow the Swedish plural ombudsmannen.**

Replacing achievement gap by educational opportunity gap is a vastly more toxic species of Die-Versity. The Newthink-logic is clear: We will not acknowledge that blacks and whites get different scores on tests. Those differences are just accidental random artifacts. Only the opportunity differs, and we must waste an infinite amount of money re-adjusting the opportunities to bring achievement to absolute equality, even though we know it won't happen and we won't recognize its existence in the first place.

= = = = =

**Footnote: I just realized that we often borrow foreign plurals from Latin and Greek, but we never borrow plurals from any other source. Grammar freaks inconsistently insist on using the nominative plural for some Latin and Greek words, regardless of the actual case in English. For instance, they want us to say "from these data" instead of "from this data", because data is a plural form in Latin. [If you're truly serious about Latin, you should use the ablative plural "from these datibus."] But the grammaroids never borrow any inflections from other languages, even our close cousins like Swedish.
 
  More periodicity

Speaking of periodic patterns.... This morning's news mentions that this spring is the "coldest on record" for wheat-growing regions, after last year's "hottest on record".

It's NCDC time! A little Excel graphing leads to this picture of March temperatures since 1895, from the wheat-growing portions of Kansas. (Mean of Kansas climate divisions 1,2,4,5,7,8, Excel here.)



Been here before, haven't we?

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  IRC RIP



Earlier Polistra mused on the consequences of a 'verb-like' economic system.
Catholic and Islamic thinkers saw labor as the key component of value. Islam goes farther, declaring that any attempt to place value on abstract numbers (i.e. paying interest) is a sort of idolatry.

I'm proposing one more step. Treat everything, animate or inanimate, carpenter or car, as activities instead of things. Treat everything as a source of labor. Why is a carpenter worth money? Because he works for you, doing things you can't or won't do. Why is a car worth money? Because it works for you, doing things you can't or won't do.
In fact a verb-like monetary unit has been around for a long time, but it quietly died in the US in January of this year. The International Reply Coupon or IRC is still around in most countries. It is pure verb within a narrow realm. One IRC is guaranteed by all participating countries to represent the base cost of sending an airmail letter to another participating country. This is not the same thing as currency exchanges. You always pay the same for an IRC regardless of which country you send it to; and each country must honor an IRC for its own airmail postage regardless of present postage rates or currency values. The action of sending one airmail is the value of the IRC.

I remember the IRC fondly from my ham radio days. If you wanted a ham in Poland to send you a QSL card verifying your contact, you'd send him a QSL of your own along with a couple of IRCs to compensate him for postage. Companies dealing across borders sometimes used IRCs as a universal currency for small amounts: you might send ten IRCs to purchase a magazine.

If we're ever going to set up a more verbish system, or even a more sane system, post offices would be a good backbone. Most POs ran savings and checking systems, often called Giro. The system disappeared here in 1966, but still works in many countries.
 
Monday, April 22, 2013
  Dumber than a termite

The climate wackos have scaled new heights of stupidity. They've beaten termites, ants, and paramecia in a race for minimum intelligence.
Fueled by industrial greenhouse gas emissions, Earth's climate warmed more between 1971 and 2000 than during any other three-decade interval in the last 1,400 years...
Here's what they are saying:

Today's warmth happened before, 1400 years ago.

THEREFORE today's warmth is caused by industrial greenhouse gas emissions.



No sane human would think this way.



Try it out:

I got a paycheck for $600 this week.

I also got a paycheck for $600 last week.

THEREFORE I know that this week's paycheck comes from an entirely different source than last week's paycheck.



Or:

I ate an egg sandwich for lunch today.

I also ate an egg sandwich for lunch yesterday.

THEREFORE I know today's egg sandwich was made in an entirely different way than yesterday's egg sandwich.



Now let's run it down to the termite level.

Last year around this time, the temperature rose to 80 degrees for the first time. We swarmed.

Today the temperature rose to 80 degrees for the first time.

THEREFORE this is not the day to swarm. Instead we should make an egg sandwich.



Of course termites aren't that dumb. Only climate "scientists" are that dumb.

= = = = =

Quitting the analogy and going explicit, here's the basic point: Nature loves cycles. Nature hates straight lines.

When you see a pattern in Nature that looks like a cycle, you should assume the pattern is a cycle.

You should need a big fucking pile of proof to decide otherwise.



For a long time the scientific priesthood has skipped this basic rule. They consistently ignore the obvious and insist on using bizarre loony theories that run counter to all facts and observations.

In this case the priests look at an obviously cyclical pattern of temperature and decide, for no visible or provable reason, that the first part of the pattern is all natural and green and stuff, while the second part of the pattern is completely separate and caused by Evil KKKarbon.



The priesthood has a long record of similar ignorance.

In geology, simple observation led most people to suppose the continents had broken apart from a single land mass. After Wegener pointed this out and showed how it must have happened, the priesthood spent 50 years laughing at him before they finally caught on.

Same mistake with Mars. Schiaparelli saw canals and rivers and assumed they were canals and rivers. The priests spent 200 years laughing at Schiaparelli before they finally caught on.

Same mistake with evolution. For thousands of years people observed plants and animals and assumed that all the species were created 'in the beginning'. The scientific priesthood laughed at this, making the strange and unsupported assumption that species arose separately and gradually. This strange assumption has been running for 150 years, despite zero evidence of species actually arising. The priesthood hasn't caught on yet, but more and more evidence (of the type that priests should understand) is accumulating. Perhaps they may start to understand in another 150 years.

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  Radio glitches

What's going on here? For about 5 days local radio reception has been interrupted at irregular intervals. The interruptions are probably 1/5 second, about the length of one phoneme in speech. It's not power cuts; I'd notice those in the lights.

Seems to be affecting both of the AM stations I normally use, and all of the NPR-related FM stations. So it's not just one network or one satellite link. Far as I can tell, KXLY is not interrupted when purely in-studio, but was interrupted on a 'location' program. This might point to a local microwave center that serves all the stations?
 
Sunday, April 21, 2013
  Coulda had a V8?

It's been about one year since I switched my diet away from processed food, back to more home-cooked. Tomatoes have been the centerpiece of this change. After decades of avoiding them, I find that I love the taste in a nearly addictive way. Clearly my body was lacking and needing the good stuff in tomatoes, and now it can't get enough of Vitamin A and C and Lycopene and whatever else is in there. The result has been amazing. Better digestion, much more regular pooping, and measurably better circulation and stamina.

Acting by analogy, I decided to try V8 juice last week. I had tried it many years ago and hated it. Made me gag.

In theory, now that I've learned to love tomatoes, I should also like V8. Right?







Wrong! Still makes me gag. Jesus, that shit is awful!!!

There must be some kind of vegy juice that tastes halfway decent. I have a vague and probably false memory of drinking something that tasted tangy and 'greenish' instead of 'reddish'. More like cucumber than tomato. But I can't find such a product among online opinions and reviews. (Lots of tasty-sounding recipes, but I ain't gonna buy a blender just to satisfy a question about a remembered taste!)

= = = = =

This hard lesson in anticipation vs reality helped me to squash a temptation. For several years I've been lusting after my little house's Pretty Twin. She was built from the same plan in the 1940s, but maintained and remodeled much better over the years. In '08 she was for sale at $120K, which was entirely out of my range. This week she's on the market again, foreclosed at $65K. In theory, I could afford that amount without a mortgage. I could then sell existing house, probably for $30K. Tempting! So I went by and took a close look at Pretty Twin. She's not so pretty up close. Jammed between other houses, needs a new roof, and there's a tall tree almost touching her west [windward] flank. I've spent plenty of money and work removing dangerous trees from existing house, and I'd have to spend more money again on top of the dead loss of $30K.

Temptation gone. As I get older and stiffer I will need to buy a different house at some point; but prettiness can't be the determining factor. What I'll need is a bigger kitchen and bathroom for ease of maintenance. And those are exactly what Pretty Twin doesn't have.

Sticking with the Plain Twin.....

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  Крокодил fails

The pseudo-satirical magazine Крокодил, serving the Soviet Establishment loyally as always, has unintentionally failed in its assigned role.
Following FBI reports this morning that the suspects implicated in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing are of Chechen descent, efforts to thoughtlessly stereotype the alleged terrorists were impeded by the majority of Americans’ lack of basic knowledge about Chechnya or the Chechen people, a new study has confirmed. “Our research shows that, while many Americans would like nothing more than to make sweeping, insensitive generalizations about these two individuals based purely on their ethnic identity, this process is largely impeded by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans truly know next to nothing about Chechnya, including even the very barest details of what or where Chechnya is...”
I suppose it's meant to be "funny" in the usual Bill Maher way, but this time Крокодил has revealed a truth that runs counter to official Politburo axioms.

All Party Members are required to believe several hundred axiomatic assumptions, all of which are transparently, blatantly and provably false.

The germane axiom here is "Ignorance breeds prejudice."

If the axiom were true, then American ignorance about Chechens would cause us to develop all sorts of damaging bigotry about Chechens, not prevent us from developing biases.

Needless to say, the ACTUAL FUCKING FACT is that familiarity breeds stereotypes, and stereotypes are pretty good generalizations. None of them are 100% true of all members of the group, but then no statement about humans is ever 100% true. We're complex critters, we're all different, and some of our differences are closely aligned with racial and ethnic divisions.
 
Saturday, April 20, 2013
  Cell phones as seen from 1910

Futurists always see new technologies serving serious and uplifting and goddamn nosy busybody purposes. They never foresee that most people want plain old entertainment most of the time. As radio and television and computers started to appear on the horizon, futurists couldn't see that radio would be built by Amos & Andy, television would be built by pro wrestling, and the Web would be built by porn. No, each of those technologies would only serve to Regale The Benighted Mawwsses with The Operaaaaah, The Ballettt, The Theataaaaah, and Lectuaaaahs Upon Pseudo-non-dimorphic Leitmotifs In Pintaaaahhhh And Shakespeaaaahhh. And naturally each new tech would End War By Facilitating Communication Between Conflicting Ethnies.

Nice example from a Univ of Minnesota engineering journal, 1910:



Note the cellphone at the end: "We might even hint at a day when we can carry around an instrument which will give us a private line to anyone else."

But also note the total absence of entertainment. The 'aerophone' would save people in emergencies and speed business correspondence. That's all.

Especially dumb because Fessenden and others were already broadcasting music and jokes in 1906.

= = = = =

Sidenote 1: We automatically think the Titanic was the first use of wireless to save a ship. Obviously it wasn't. Presumably David Sarnoff created the Titanic legend to serve his own purposes.

= = = = =

Sidenote 2: The futurists weren't wrong about everything.... Radio, TV and the Web have all helped warmakers to propagandize, organize and run wars. "Facilitating communication among conflicting ethnies" is the best of all possible ways to guarantee war. But one recent technology has actually ended one type of war. Satellites with cameras make a massive surprise invasion impossible. Any attempt to build up troops and tanks and ships and planes will be detected by one of the major powers.

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  Chemistry

Random thought, maybe not valid. Listening to Dzhokhar's classmates praising the Universal Virtue of Die-Versity (and that's how they pronounce it!). They can't conceive of their former friend getting violent because in their shrunken toxified walnut-like "minds" all humans are identical particles, moved randomly and indeterminately, without any innate tendencies or souls.

Maybe we should think in terms of chemistry instead of quantum "physics". Chemists know precisely which elements will mix with other elements to form compounds, and which elements are cat-like and independent.

Same with races and ethnic groups. We have data. We know the affinities of most groups, know which combinations form compounds, which combinations remain separate, and which combinations explode. We know that Japs don't allow foreigners of any type into their own country, and don't mix when they emigrate. We know that Germans, Irish and Italians are good mixers. Arabs form productive compounds in some situations and explosions in others.

How about Chechens? We know that Russia has never succeeded in mixing the Chechens into the empire. They've always been agitating for separation.

Will we learn something from this data? No, we won't.
 
Friday, April 19, 2013
  Foreignish backwards

Normally our Satanic media decide on a foreignish pronunciation for foreign names, then insist that everyone must follow their lead. In a few cases the foreignish version is closer to the original than the English version, but most of the time it's worse than either the normal English or the real foreign.

With the Chechen bomber brothers, the Satanic media have gone the other way. They insist that someone's bad English version is the only way to say the name. They call the second brother "Joe Car", and then throw in as a disdainful sidenote that "His friends call him Jahár for some reason." Well, his friends are right. Jahár is simply the proper way of saying Джохар. "Joe Car" is a piss-poor anglicization typical of BBC.

= = = = =

Couple days later: Some of the American media have figured out the right pronunciation, but BBC reliably says "Joe Car". All's right with the world.


Later thought. This confusion could have been obviated by a more sensible transliteration. I don't know if the Tsarnaev family made their own transliteration, or the immigration officials did it... but in either case, there's no reason to mechanically replace Дж with Dzh, and x with kh. Russians habitually use Дж to represent the English J sound, and use Х to represent the English H. For instance, if Pravda mentioned an American named Joe Hart, he'd be Джо Харт. Applying the same mapping inversely, it would have been easier on everyone if someone had respelled the boy's name as Johar instead of transliterating as Dzhokhar.
 
  Gradients

Listening to BBC's "Fifth Floor" program, always good stuff. This morning they're interviewing a wonderfully wise Egyptian woman about the current condition of the revolution. She understands something that our Western idiots refuse to understand... Any revolution brings a Golden Dawn of Glorious Change. But by 9 AM the routine of the day has begun, and you feel the sharp cut of an internal gradient. The full-blown image of the Golden Dawn occupies your head, and you compare it with daily life that may be slightly better or slightly worse than before. Ouch!

Putting this together with other recent events, I realized something. The purpose of civilization is to stretch out gradients. When civilization works, it softens both spatial and cultural gradients.

The fertilizer plant blast is a good example of failed spatial gradients. As I noted yesterday, smart planners recognize the huge pressure gradient between the pipes of a processing plant and the normal atmosphere. They also recognize that pipes are imperfect and sometimes explode. There's nothing you can do to prevent those occasional breaks, but you can put lots of land between the pipes and the population so the gradient has room to dissipate. Because this has been understood for a LONG time, there was no excuse for building houses and schools next to the plant in Texas.

The Chechen bombers in Boston: a failed cultural gradient. Living organisms have cell walls and skin and scales and bark to maintain a gradient between their complex orderly innards and the disorderly world outside. Nations are a BIG living organism. When functioning normally, they have borders and customs checkpoints and walls and anti-missile defenses to maintain a gradient between their particular type of order and the disorderly world outside. A selectively controlled gradient is a source of energy. Let in the good elements and the positive sensory and cultural inputs gradually, keep out the bad. Sane people understand this, but modern American governments don't.

If we had maintained our national 'skin', the 9/11 attack couldn't have happened. Did we learn anything? Nope, not a bit. We're still outsourcing our labor to starve our own people, still sucking in bad cultural inputs, still letting 'disorderly' foreigners in. This is not accident or neglect; our leaders have been consciously destroying our civilization for a long time. It's their mission in life.

= = = = =

Sidenote: NPR just mentioned a factoid that illustrates the absolute reagent-quality perfection of American idiocy and self-destructiveness. Last week the DC government issued a travel ban against certain Russians. Well good! Maybe they were realizing the problem, if a bit late? No, of course not. The ban was against RUSSIAN OFFICIALS WHO HAD BEEN TRYING TO PUT DOWN THE CHECHEN REBELLION. Russians may be disorganized, sloppy and drunk, but they are basically sane. They understand borders and self-defense. And "our" government couldn't stand to have anyone who understands self-defense entering our borders. We must be PERFECTLY VULNERABLE TO ALL THREATS. We must have ZERO IMMUNITY, ZERO SKIN, ZERO CELL WALLS. All invaders must be BROUGHT IN AND SUBSIDIZED AND ASSISTED.

We're fucked.


= = = = =

Update next day: BBC quotes the Tsarnaev mother: FBI knew Tamerlan quite well and kept track of him for several years. We don't know further details yet, but based on previous situations we can assume either (1) FBI tried to run a sting with Tamerlan and succeeded magnificently; or (2) FBI decided he would destroy America well enough without a sting, and let him run. In either case, FBI's post-1989 goal of turning America into one vast bleeding open sore was nicely advanced by this case.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013
  Russian version of a Soviet law

The ADA, championed and passed in America by Soviet Agent Bush The Father, has produced thousands of pointless sidewalk ramps at corners where no sidewalk leads away from the ramp. You can get onto the three feet of sidewalk around the ramp, but then you're stuck. You would have been better off staying in the street.

Leave it to the Russians to take pointlessness to its ultimate conclusion. Some examples here and here. I especially like the tree in the middle of the ramp, with a hole carefully cut and outlined. Die-Versity for the Distinctly Enabled, and Bio-Die-Versity for the Precious Fragile Endangered Tree, all in one!

For a refreshing pre-ADA view of disability, listen to this 1939 radio feature. At 3:45 in the clip, the story about the blind mailman.
 
  Not hindsight

In the coverage of the fertilizer plant explosion, many people are correctly asking why the plant was located right next to town. Commentators are dismissing this question as 'hindsight'.

Nonsense. The dangers were well known a long time ago. In the early '70s, Farmland Industries built a similar natural-gas-to-fertilizer plant near Enid. Placed it 8 miles east of Enid intentionally. No major disasters in that plant in 40 years of operation; but if it did explode, it wouldn't blow down schools and nursing homes and houses.


 
  See what happens when you LOOK?

While the fraudulent and genocidal misuses of "science" continue to crumble, the honest parts of science continue to yield surprises.
Hydrogen sulfide, the pungent stuff often referred to as sewer gas, is a deadly substance implicated in several mass extinctions, including one at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago that wiped out more than three-quarters of all species on Earth. But in low doses, hydrogen sulfide could greatly enhance plant growth, leading to a sharp increase in global food supplies and plentiful stock for biofuel production, new University of Washington research shows.
Well, the 'biofuel' connection is criminal, but the basic observation is brilliant. Why the fuck can't you just think about FOOD?
Dooley started off to examine the toxic effects of hydrogen sulfide on plants but mistakenly used only one-tenth the amount of the toxin he had intended. The results were so unbelievable that he repeated the experiment. Still unconvinced, he repeated it again -- and again, and again. In fact, the results have been replicated so often that they are now "a near certainty," he said. "Everything else that's ever been done on plants was looking at hydrogen sulfide in high concentrations," he said.
Classic good science and good thinking. Open to serendipity, open to alternative explanations. But Dooley's supervisor is not open-minded:
Crop yields nearly doubled, said Peter Ward, Dooley's doctoral adviser, a UW professor of biology and of Earth and space sciences and an authority on Earth's mass extinctions. Hydrogen sulfide, probably produced when sulfates in the oceans were decomposed by sulfur bacteria, is believed to have played a significant role in several extinction events... At high concentrations, hydrogen sulfide killed small plants very easily while larger plants had a better chance at survival, he said, so it is likely that plants carry a defense mechanism that spurs their growth when they sense hydrogen sulfide.
Ward obviously doesn't grasp the main point. HORMESIS is not a strange special tacked-on 'defense mechanism', it's the way every living thing responds to almost every input, dammit. Small amounts are beneficial, large amounts are toxic. I hope his modern fallacy doesn't completely confuse or silence the correct thinking of his grad asst Dooley.
 
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
  Big news from EU!

The EU Parliament has just rejected an attempt to 'juice' the carbon trading system. The fraudulent bubble-market is collapsing!
"There is still a theoretical chance that the measure may pass, but that is not looking at all likely,” said Konrad Hanschmidt, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London. “Instead, we now expect waves of speculative selling, followed by industrials also liquidating their surpluses. This could lead to prices falling close to 1 euro a ton in the upcoming months.”
It's time to break out the Chateau Schadenfreude!



Gaian mass murder is solely about enriching the super-rich. If the money is no longer available for Goldman's bets-on-bets-on-bets-on-bets-on-bets, the genocide will slow down.

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Monday, April 15, 2013
  Hint for self-employed 62-66 on SS

Though lots of people are choosing to take SS at 62, there's a huge lack of information on the subject. I thought I understood the workings beforehand, but the actual mechanism is rather complicated.

During the 62-66 period, SS tries to insure that your total income doesn't drop below 14k. To keep you above this line, SS adjusts the number of payments per year, not the amount of each payment as you might guess.

How do they know what your income will be this year? For ordinary W2 employment, I suppose they use the withholding tax reports from your employer. For self-employment, it looks like they use your 1040ES estimated payments. A few days after I submitted my first 1040ES for the income year of 2013, SS sent a notice telling me when the monthly payments would begin this year.

My royalty income was very small this year, so the quarterly estimate wouldn't have been legally required. I considered skipping it, but now I'm glad I decided to continue the 1040ES routine. Otherwise I would have needed to manually trigger the SS somehow.

So, based on 'experiment', I'd say it's a good idea to keep up the quarterly estimated payments whether required or not.
 
Sunday, April 14, 2013
  Tickle me Alva

Think voice-driven toys are new? Nope. Think monopolistic patent-pooling was invented by Steve Jobs? Nope.

From 1878:



The telephone and microphone were new in 1878, spawning all sorts of useful and useless variants. Clearly old Tom already had a talent for monopolizing patents!

Though the circuit isn't given (and the writer doesn't understand the carbon microphone) it's easy enough to imagine how it must have looked. A carbon mic in series with a solenoid. When sound comes in, the mic is compressed, resistance goes down, current increases, and the solenoid somehow pulls the cradle. (When the wind blows, the cradle will rock....)



Would it work? If the human voice were an ideal sine wave, and if carbon microphones were ideal pressure-controlled resistors, it wouldn't work. The compressions and rarefactions of sound would be equal in intensity, and the microphone's decreases and increases would also be equal. Net result: an attempt to move the cradle back and forth at more than 500 cycles per second. Obviously no cradle could keep up with that. There might be a very slight buzz, which wouldn't be sensed by the baby. He's busy screeching anyway.

But: In 1878 mixing sound with electricity was a brand new idea, and the carbon mic was a primitive design. It would have been an extreme low-pass filter... AND speech is very far from an ideal sine wave. It's always asymmetrical, usually with more summed-up energy on the compression side. A low-passed representation of the speech wave would thus be a net push on the microphone. So each 'word' of the crying might give a single pull to the cradle, which would then fall back when the baby inhaled for the next screech. Yes, it could have worked.
 
  Safeway should like this...

UK Telegraph reports that Britain's giant Tesco has abandoned its American food-store chain called 'Fresh and Easy'. The commenters, informative as always, take the topic into a direct comparison of Tesco with Safeway. The latter comes off best, for good reasons. Example:
I was visiting friends in Arizona a couple of years ago and went into a Fresh & Easy store. I knew then it would fail. Everything was self service, there were no cashiers only those hateful self service tills. No one around to offer help, and worst of all not a lot of choice. The store was almost deserted. I then visited a large Safeway where the choice was overwhelming, the service a bit over the top friendly, but they did pack my bags and even offered to take them to the car. The store was heaving.
I agree with everything they're saying about Safeway. Can't argue with all-around competence.



An earlier look at Tesco's problem gives a surprising comparison between US and UK consumers:
Fresh & Easy initially wrapped much of its produce in cellophane to preserve freshness. But skeptical U.S. shoppers — accustomed to examining their broccoli and lettuce up close — mistook the wrapping as a way to hide inferior products. American consumers assume produce in plastic bags is not as high quality as those in bulk. This led to an initial lower quality perception that has been hard to shake.
Maybe Americans are not the laziest and fast-foodiest people in the world after all!
 
  Late to the game

Wash state is passing an important law. We're behind the curve on this one, considering that Wash is responsible for a large percentage of recent grave injustice.
A bill that would make wrongly convicted inmates eligible to receive $50,000 for each year they served behind bars cleared another hurdle in the state Legislature on Tuesday. House Bill 1341... moves on to the Senate Rules Committee and a possible floor vote. The measure was passed out of the House last month on a 95-2 vote.

Under the legislation, wrongly convicted death row inmates would receive an additional $50,000. It would also provide $25,000 per year spent on parole or as a registered sex offender. Federal law currently requires payments of $50,000 per year for those wrongfully detained in a federal prison. If the measure is approved by the full Senate and signed by Gov. Jay Inlsee, Washington would join 27 other states with similar legislation.
Late to the game, but still a good move.

Even better: require the persecuting attorney and the false accuser to serve 1000 years at hard labor, with 80 lashes per day, for each microsecond of wrongful imprisonment. It still wouldn't come anywhere near compensating, but it might motivate one or two persecutors to avoid doing evil. (Well, actually it wouldn't. Persecuting attorneys are unreformable.)

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Saturday, April 13, 2013
  Maybe a man can be Secy of State after all.

I've always hated John Kerry, and I'm still glad he didn't become Pres. But he's doing remarkably good work as Secy of State. After insulting Turkey at first, he went back and gave them the respect they deserve, and even pried an apology out of Israel for the first time in 5000 years of recorded history! Now he's pushed China into stating openly that China and US have common interests in controlling Kim 3:
Kerry, on his first trip to China as secretary of State, described what he called an “unprecedented joint statement” calling for North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, although it appears to have been a verbal statement and not a formal communiqué.
Probably not a real change in China's attitude; they've been growing impatient with Kim 3 anyway. Still, the "joint appearance" is an important change in symbolism. This is how allies behave.

It helps to have a President with a less neocon mindset than the previous four... (i.e. less Exceptionalism and Moral Imperialism, less obedience to Israel, more attention to real national interest.) And it helps even more when the Secy of State shares the non-neocon mindset. Hillary is solid neocon, and she wasn't getting things done.
 
  Modern Sovietology

Back in the '50s and '60s, Sovietologists studied the pictures in Pravda carefully to spot the activities of the airbrush. When one politician disappeared from a picture, or another one reappeared after a long absence, the Sovietologist could infer the rising and falling of factions in the Politburo.

Digital airbrushing has become so easy that modern news photos aren't worth analyzing. You can safely assume that every picture has been modified for someone's purposes. But we can still infer the rising and falling of power blocs by spotting the disappearance of various people.

Last week Ben Carson, an important black medical authority, was airbrushed out of a commencement speech at Johns Hopkins because he had dared to speak the truth about fag "marriage".

For many years the dark color of Carson's skin would have made him invulnerable. He could have said anything about any subject and the Politburo would have reflexively cheered. Now he's just another Het-Honky, just another prole who can be shipped off to the Gaylag if he says the wrong word.

Inference: Blacks are no longer on top of the Politburo's Privilege Hierarchy. Fags are now Queen of the Mountain.
 
Thursday, April 11, 2013
  Why not?

NPR reports on a promising new method of detecting the trace of pain in the brain.

One of the researchers says: "I don't think that this kind of method can or should ever be used as a pain lie detector."

Why the hell not? Chronic pain is a deadly serious problem for many people, sometimes leading to suicide... AND chronic pain is also a rich source of fraudulent medical bills and fake disability claims.

RESOURCES ARE FINITE, dammit. Screechy moral scrupulosity helps nobody. If this scan can separate fakers from real sufferers, resources and payments can be focused on the real sufferers. If the public knows you're focused on a real problem, you'll have more public credibility.

Technology already serves a similar purpose in other 'subjective' areas of medicine like hearing loss. Audiologists have always been tasked with distinguishing malingerers, and newer machines like OAE and impedance audiometers can spot the frauds quickly and certainly. Why not do the same with pain?

= = = = =


















 
  A Kuhnian victory!

Genocidal theories are not stopped by facts. They only disappear when all their sadistic adherents die. One small advance toward the eventual end of the Carbon Cult's mass murdering rampage:
A scientist who has done pioneering work on global warming has been killed in a road accident, it has emerged. Dr Katharine Giles, who worked at University College London (UCL), was involved in a collision with a lorry while cycling to work on Monday. The 35-year-old had carried out important research relating to the Arctic and Antarctic. Her death comes just three months after a senior colleague, Prof Seymour Laxon, 49, died in a fall, hitting his head and suffering a brain haemorrhage.
These two weren't among the High Priests of the Cult, so possibly their contribution to genocide wasn't highly significant. Nevertheless, every loss to the Cult is a gain for the world.
 
  Measurement of postal importance

Do we still use and need the Post Office? A pretty good comparative indicator:

In 1937, as narrated in this episode of 'Can You Imagine', a Brooklyn postman got lazy and tossed several hundred pieces of mail over the course of several days. Customers complained loudly and the postman was caught quickly.

In 2010, a postman near Portland got lazy and tossed at least 35,000 pieces of mail over the course of a year before the Post Office caught him.

Looks like the 'Postal Importance Ratio' between 1937 and 2010 is about 100 to 1.
 
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
  Language update for spring



Professor Polistra brings us one old linguistic gem and a few new word-turds this season.

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First the old gem: Skate as adjective.

This seems to be totally lost to reference books, but was apparently common in tradesman circles around 1910. Found in a 1911 'Domestic Engineering Journal', aimed at plumbers and heating contractors. Seems to mean something slightly better than slipshod, perhaps just enough quality to pass inspection, and not one penny more. Later on, hack work seems to have replaced skate work. (Generally speaking, trade jargon and tech jargon have never been represented properly in dictionaries. Lexicographers included the jargon of academicians, but never plumbers or contractors or electricians.)
The skate plumber is a pest on society and his trade, but he is a product of conditions, and as long as conditions remain the same the skate will always be with us. ... The skate which is the product of ignorance is produced by a lack of knowledge of proper work, by not appreciating why certain devices and connections are needed in certain places. The other variety is by far the harder to deal with. The skate of necessity is not ignorant, not unbusinesslike, not unsuccessful; on the contrary he is often a sharp, shrewd, keenly alive skate all full of business, handling a large amount of cheap and poor patronage.


= = = = =

Now the modern shit:

= = = = =

Piece:

In a discussion of online bullying, "There's the safety piece and there's the how we treat each other piece."

= = = = =

NYE as acronym for New Years Eve:

Must have been used before, but unfamiliar. It's all over the place this year.

= = = = =

Prepone:

Logical and useful side-formation from postpone, never seen before. "Egyptian President Morsi has preponed the first elections from April 27 to April 22."

= = = = =

A Destabilizing Climate:

Latest euphemism for the Global Warming crime. Heard from some fucking genocidal mass-murderer representing the genocidal mass-murdering Sierra Club. Discussing their idiotic civil disobedience effort (undoubtedly funded by EPA) nominally aimed at "encouraging" EPA to stop the Keystone Pipeline. "The threat of a destabilizing climate"; "we need to re-stabilize the climate". Orwellian falsehood as always, since the current spell of droughts and floods is SPECIFICALLY CAUSED BY TOO MUCH FUCKING STABILITY. High pressure and low pressure remain locked in place longer than normal.

= = = = =

Long shot in the dark:

Quoting a mother who agitated for an improved intersection after her daughter was killed in a crash: "I thought it was a long shot in the dark, to be honest." Makes sense! If it's more risky than a long shot, and more risky than a shot in the dark, it's a long shot in the dark. (Incidentally, her agitation bore fruit: a full interchange is now under construction.)

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  I don't get it.

Local radio news is talking about a survey that shows huge dissatisfaction with the IRS. Least surprising news of the year. More surprisingly, the poll shows 85% of Americans favor tax evasion, "within the law" of course.

Truly and honestly, I don't get it. I've never had trouble with IRS. Been filing returns for 45 years now. Always filled out the forms myself. In the last 10 years of self-employed semi-retirement the forms have been more complicated, and I've made a few errors or missed new provisions. My errors have worked both ways; IRS has found the errors and either billed me or paid me. They've never done anything unfair or arbitrary.

Based on no data at all, I'm inclined to think: People who get trouble from the IRS are people who try to make trouble for the IRS. If you're trying something slippery, you shouldn't be surprised that it doesn't work.

The idea of "starving the beast" seemed to make sense when it was first proposed, but turned out to be rather dumb propaganda. You're not going to put the brakes on government evildoing by getting audited. You're not going to slow Satan by cutting tax rates. You're just giving the government a new excuse to borrow from China or print more counterfeit Bernanke Bucks. And those revenue sources feed the Wall Street beast, which is vastly more destructive and evil than the daily workings of the government.
 
  Required by code, or just weird?

Polistra favors the Bungalow on grounds of practicality, but not all bungalow plans were practical. A Dover book of plans by Henry Wilson shows a consistently weird practice.



Note the toilet in a room of its own, opening to the outdoors and to the hall. There's no toilet in the bathroom.

Most of Wilson's plans have variations on this theme; in some cases the toilet room is only reachable from the outside!

I can't figure out why you'd want this arrangement. Toilet in a separate room makes sense. More privacy for the smelliest part of life. But why the outside door? Seems to be the opposite of privacy and security.

Wilson was building mainly in Los Angeles, and many of the houses are photographed as built in LA. Was this a provision of the LA housing code in 1910? A vestige of the outhouse tradition?

LA bungalow plans (in Wilson's book and several others) had another odd feature: Multi-purpose rooms with built-in folding beds. These beds were often elaborate contraptions, rotating out of a closet before folding down into the living or dining room. I strongly suspect very few of these were actually built. I've never seen them in Okla and Kansas bungalows.

Later: No, the toilet it wasn't LA code. This 1911 journal of Domestic Engineering has a compendium of city plumbing codes (p.57), and LA didn't have any restrictions on location of toilets.
 
  More "evolution"

The new head of the Anglican Fag Bathhouse, on the island formerly described as Britain, is evolving even faster than expected.
The Church of England leadership has been strongly opposed to David Cameron’s plan’s to redefine marriage which it maintains must be between a man and a woman. But the new Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has spoken of having “no truck with homophobia” and described gay couples having a “stunning” level of commitment.
In other words, "We have to say the minimum necessary words to prevent the remaining handful of Christians from leaving the church prematurely, because some of them are still giving money to our Fag Bathhouse for reasons beyond anyone's comprehension. But we are strictly Satan's favorite spawn, standing firmly and violently against everything that reminds us, however distantly, of Christianity. We will be free to perform pure unalloyed evil for our Lord Satan as soon as these Neanderthal Bible-thumpers die off."
The report by the Church’s Faith and Order Commission, chaired by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, a leading traditionalist, insisted that marriage should remain between a man and a woman and said that gay relationships fell short of God’s “ideal”.

But it also condemned “censorious judgment” and urged priests not to treat the issue of recognising civil partnerships as “simply closed”, urging them to approach the question on a case-by-case basis.
Cocksworth. Nuff said.


We need sharia. Now.
God, if you're still around, send us sharia. Now.
 
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
  There's that Dry Line!

I've talked about the Dry Line a few times, but never found a map that shows it explicitly and correctly. Finally found one in a 1904 NatGeo:


[Note the unfamiliar boundary between Okla Territory and Indian Territory; Okla didn't become a state until 1908.]

Dry Line divides East from West in land and plants and culture. West of Dry Line the land is dry and flat, the plants are sparse, and the people are laconic and private. East of Dry Line the land is hills and creeks and woods, and the people are noisy and intrusive.

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  Truly fresh thinking

A 'public intellectual' type named Thane Rosenbaum was briefly interviewed on NFR yesterday. You'd think that a Thane Rosenbaum, with all the proper credentials for a New York 'public intellectual', would take the standard Commie line on everything. He would spew the same all-destroying all-consuming genocidal toxin as ACLU or Norman Lear or Jeffrey Toobin.

Nope. Not at all! Amazingly, he understands civilization and expresses his understanding in crystal-clear and thought-inviting ways. His main thesis:
Without the debt canceling, equalizing, restorative dimensions of revenge, faith in humankind is lost and the world makes less sense. That's precisely what people mean when they lament that there is "no justice in the world" — a wrongdoer has gotten away with murder, and all who depend, morally and emotionally, on the sum-certainty of vengeance are left helpless, dumbfounded, and enraged.

For much of human history, the resolution of disputes was a private matter. States were not yet in the business of maintaining legal systems or, for that matter, punishing wrongdoers for crimes committed against another. Law and order was enforced at the most local of levels. Governments became involved — essentially taking a monopoly on vengeance — only during the Enlightenment, when the social contract obligated citizens to surrender to, and faithfully accept, the rule of law.

But regardless of who becomes the designated revenge-taker — either the state, with its impersonal security apparatus, or the avenger, who is discharging his personal duty — human beings can no more suppress their revenge impulse than can they curb their instincts for sex and hunger for food. Getting even is a biological necessity.
Bravo!

Later Rosenbaum brings revenge into specifically economic terms, Satan's mother-tongue:
There is a paradox in our distaste for "an eye for an eye." Most people abhor having to accept discounts in their professional or private lives. ... And yet, when it comes to the most crushing of debts ... large-scale human suffering, an assault on dignity so great that honor is not easily recaptured — our math skills suddenly fail us, and we become reluctant to support equivalent punishments. A new calculus is created, one that doesn't add up.

So we tolerate a legal system where over 95 percent of all cases are resolved with a negotiated plea, bargained down from what the wrongdoer rightfully deserved.


I doubt that the Satans of the ACLU will ever comprehend this point, but at least now it's been written in terms that they can read. Now they have no excuse for continuing to do evil.

Example in today's news: The Satans of Die-Versity are hammering Saudi for its use of mathematically and morally proper retribution:
The UK has urged Saudi Arabia not to carry out a reported sentencing of paralysis for a Saudi man as punishment for paralysing another man. A Foreign Office spokesperson said London was "deeply concerned" by the sentence, describing it as "grotesque"
No, Satan. It's not grotesque at all. Your own smashing of OUR civilization is grotesque. Criminals actually learn from retribution. When you use endless legal proceedings and brief repeated imprisonment as "punishment", you are supporting crime. And since you're Satan, that's your goal.

A few other intellectuals seem to be picking up the idea; I've noted a piece by Dominick Lawson that shows some comprehension. But Rosenbaum hits the point precisely and completely.

= = = = =

Afterthought: Though Rosenbaum brilliantly describes plea-bargaining as 'discounted justice', there is one true advantage in plea-bargaining. Under the insane conditions imposed by ACLU, a full trial is merely a bet, rigged to guarantee freedom for rich defendants. (Pretty much the same as our economic system, also designed by the same people. Nothing but rigged bets to enrich Goldman.) Even if the full trial mistakenly reaches a correct verdict for a brief moment before it's re-rigged by an appeal, the result is delayed so long that the punishment has no value to the criminal or the victim. Plea-bargaining nearly always reaches the correct result, because common criminals are nearly always guilty. Best of all, it runs fast, often only a few days from arrest to sentence. The criminal and the victim can understand what's happening.

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  Thatcher

Trying to untangle my own mixed feelings...

Thatcher was absolutely right in handling the Russians and the pro-Soviet traitors in the West. She was perfectly prescient in refusing to support the ANC in South Africa. Comrade Mandela seized power anyway, and South Africa has become just another dirt-poor super-corrupt black African country with no hope for its black people. Exactly as every sane person could foresee. A great victory for Die-Versity, a great victory for Satan.

Thatcher was absolutely wrong in destroying Britain's industry and turning London into a center of finance. At that time, with unions paralyzing the West, something needed to be done, and she did break the unions. Perhaps the rest of the curve wasn't visible at the time. Nevertheless, our current economic mess comes directly from her decisions, which have been amplified instead of countered by later leaders.
 
Monday, April 08, 2013
  I hope we do, but I know we don't

Political commentators should really refrain from Hoping.

Brief note on Thatcher's death from UK Telegraph's pet Commie Dan Hodges:



In other words, "I hope we can show a little class, but I know we can't."
 
  Tribute to floor furnaces

Purely nostalgic and random tribute to a technology that has disappeared with little trace. In Okla (and presumably other Southern states) floor furnaces were nearly universal from the '20s through the '50s. Around 1960 new houses started using forced-air heat, and by 1980 most floor furnaces had been replaced by forced-air. The switch to central heating and cooling systems was chiefly motivated by the cooling side. An Okla house needs 7 months of full-time AC and 4 months of part-time heat.

Despite their universality, I haven't found a single reference to floor furnaces in architecture books and planbooks of that era. All the specifications and pictures show central heating plants, either gravity furnaces ('octopus style') or steam radiators.

Undoubtedly the floor furnace was inefficient in numerical terms. It heated only one room unless you kept all the internal doors open. Most of its warmth went up to the ceiling and stayed there unless you had a ceiling fan to encourage convection. (Usually the bedrooms and bathroom had free-standing unvented heaters, which were rather dangerous and unsatisfying.)

But there's more to house heating than pure thermodynamics. After all, the purpose of heating a house is human comfort, not measured temperature; and the floor furnace provided more sheer comfort than any forced-air system.

After a shower, or after coming in from the cold, you could straddle a floor furnace and purr with pleasure, instantly warm from head to toe.



Forced-air registers simply can't match the experience. They blow warmish air part of the time, cold air part of the time, and no air most of the time.

The floor furnace had one important practical advantage. Because it didn't depend on electricity it continued working through a power outage, which is a fairly common occurrence in ice-storm-prone Okla.

In my Okla wanderings during the 1970s, the supposed inefficiency wasn't reflected in high gas bills. I don't recall dollar amounts, but I do remember that I never had to postpone paying a gas bill, while I sometimes had to skip the phone or electric.

Just as fireplaces require a set of equipment, the floor furnace had its own special accessories which tended to stay with the furnace even in poorly-maintained rental houses. There was a T-handled valve turner that reached through the grate to control the main and pilot valves, and a long match-holding 'reacher' that poked through the access port to light the pilot. The reacher required a fair amount of dexterity. Strike a wooden match, stab its cold end into the hole in the reacher, turn on the pilot valve, and quickly maneuver the match down to the pilot.

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  Science is mass murder.

Or to be more exact, everything that appears in public as "science" is mass murder.

Real value-neutral science still goes on, mainly in microbiology, agriculture and engineering. But it never shows up in public discussions, and it never gets the label of "science".

Here's the operational definition:

Every time you hear a politician or public figure distinguishing between two policies on the basis of "science", you can be 100% confident that the "scientific" side requires killing lots of people.

Abortion is the most blatant example. Mass murderers always claim the mantle of "science" when declaring that life begins sometime after birth, and brutally smash anyone who tries to assert the ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC FACTS. Or look at the recent decision by Korman, a black-robed Federal Satan, to require the use of abortifacient drugs. The abortion industry cheered Satan's decision, declaring that "science" had triumphed over politics.

Embryonic stem cells: a more subtle case. The "scientists" insisted that only the embryonic version could work, and went on strike when Bush made it slightly more expensive to work on embryonic cells. (And that's all he did.) ACTUAL SCIENCE had already shown that adult (self-derived) stem cells were more productive than the embryonic type, but that didn't matter to the "scientists" in America. Their sole purpose is to kill babies, not to cure disease. If they couldn't be subsidized and rewarded for killing babies, they weren't going to do "science" at all. Meanwhile, ACTUAL SCIENTISTS in other countries continue to find new and wonderful ways to use adult stem cells.

The metaphoric use of evolution is a parallel vector. Leaving aside the strict details of DNA, the common word evolution should mean a culture or attitude that helps to preserve your own species or subspecies. That's the whole point of natural selection as Darwin saw it. In recent years the metaphor has turned backwards. When you evolve toward accepting homosexual "marriage", you are killing your own species. When you evolve to soften punishment of criminals, or to insert grizzly bears and wolves into cities and farms, you are killing innocent humans. When you evolve to favor Die-Versity laws, you are killing your own ethnic subspecies.

The "global warming" crime. Those who want to starve and freeze the poor to enrich the super-rich always call their side "science", while those who like facts and want to see better conditions for all humanity are called "deniers".

= = = = =

Fresh example today, from good old reliable New Stalinist:
At present, global health investment is voluntary and few countries make sizeable donations. Since the start of the global financial crisis, investment has stagnated. Is there a way to improve the situation? We think so. Although the world does not have a lot of experience in managing global commons, there is an example we can learn from: carbon trading.

Thanks for making my point, Satan. Kill the poor in rich countries to enrich the rich dictators of poor countries.
Battling climate change is also a public good that is vulnerable to free riding. In this case, however, the world has devised a system to try to prevent free riders: carbon credit markets. These are designed to reduce carbon emissions by channelling money to the places where emissions cuts are easiest.

Unfortunately for your argument, and fortunately for civilization, those markets are failing. The parasite has killed the host.
Likewise, it is much cheaper to save a life in a poor country than it is in a rich country. And so at the National University of Singapore we have designed a prototype cap-and-trade system for global health that similarly gives incentives to high- and middle-income countries to save lives cheaply. For such a market to work, we need something to be traded. An obvious candidate is DALYs, or disability-adjusted life years.

This is clearly a Modest Proposal meant to sound outrageous to normal humans while it stirs the bloodthirsty Satans of "science" into mindless follow-the-leader activism. After the activism gets running, the concept will no longer be outrageous. It will be required thought. Anyone who dares to question it will be an unemployable Denialist Fascist Racist Nazi Halliburton. I figure this evolution or personal journey will take about one year in the streamlined turbocharged Suicide Machine that runs western "countries".
 
Sunday, April 07, 2013
  Climatologists of 1841: Just as dumb

Polistra constantly points to an earlier time when scientists were generally more humble and more willing to observe actual fucking Nature. Unfortunately, not all earlier times were smarter than the present.

Nice example from a London 'Philosophical Magazine' in 1841. [Article starts on p 39 of the PDF.]



Painfully familiar story.

Espy was the Big Dog of climate at that time, the equivalent** of Michael Mann. And like Mann, he looked only at his idiot theories. He failed to LOOK AT THE ACTUAL FUCKING FACTS. Redfield LOOKED AT THE ACTUAL FUCKING FACTS and came out right.

Love the word prostrations. Reminds us that trees are living things who must bow down to the superior force of the wind.

= = = = =

** Equivalent: Well, not 100% equivalent. Espy didn't use bad science to starve and freeze thousands of poor people in order to further enrich a few hyper-rich Jews. Aside from that minor quibble, equivalent.

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  WHAT IN THE FUCKING HELL?

Headline: NASA plans to tow asteroid INTO Earth's orbit.

No, it's not a typo. Not AWAY from Earth's orbit. INTO Earth's orbit.

Well now! Golly gee whillikers! Seems like a perfectly beautiful plan! What can possibly go wrong? Other than smashing the whole fucking planet if you miss?

NASA has been absolutely 10000000% barking bonkers wacko loony insane for a looooooooong looooooooooooong looooooooooooooong time, but this goes beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond beyond insane.

Only one possible explanation: Now that Genocide Overlord James Hansen has departed from NASA, they want him back. The only way to regain his satanic love is to show a new Total Obliteration Plan that exceeds Hansen's own dream, which is quite a trick.
 
Saturday, April 06, 2013
  Oh stop it.

Listened briefly to a second-string Repooflican radio show this aft. At least they've stopped hammering on the pointless Benghazi stuff, which was THE ONLY SUBJECT for about six months. Now they're talking about North Korea and Kim 3, which is a valid concern. But the specific choice of worries is way out of date: worrying about EMP bombs, and describing the method as if it's brand new.

EMP bombs have been a known threat since the '60s, and they were a serious worry in the '80s when solid-state electronics were universal but not yet connected by the Web.

Now you don't need the trouble and expense of detonating an A-bomb, which would be immediately detectable and traceable. Software can do the same job much more efficiently, without easy detection. Hackers are ALREADY doing the same job for all sides.

On the domestic side of the discussion, it's still Takers and Makers and it's still 47% and it's still vote themselves largesse from the public treasury and it's still ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS! ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS!

Well, I guess I can tune out for another year or two. Nothing new there.
 
Friday, April 05, 2013
  So that's where the wind comes from!

We're getting some wind this morning, 30-35, not highly serious. Decided to peek at the Wunderground radar to see the pattern. Sure enough, a typical picture around here. Spokane at the locus of a parabola. Wind follows after rain and pushes the rain out of the way. But where is the wind coming from?



Coming from red-eyed pig-nosed Mr Westwind, that's where!
 
  Bad conclusion as usual

An interesting observation and an invalid conclusion:
Children born to parents in former East Germany between 1991 and 1993 are at least 50 percent more likely to become criminals as they grew up than children born in the West, the research states. The researchers say this is because the sudden collapse of the Communist regime created uncertainty about starting families, and led to a huge drop in the birthrate. Those women who did have children were "younger, less educated and more likely to be unmarried mothers," the study says.
A 50% difference is definitely worth noticing! And the assumption that the parents themselves were a different cohort is also valid. But the rest is nonsense.

Age, education and marriage were not causative factors here; they were parallel results of the difference in parents. Quite simply, only criminal types had children in those years of uncertainty, because criminal types don't notice uncertainty. They are only conscious of immediate gratification. Their kids inherited the tendency, because criminality is a human tendency and all human tendencies are partly heritable.

Non-criminal types thought about the future and decided it didn't look good. Later on, after reunification (more or less) succeeded, the future looked tolerable again. So non-criminals decided it was okay to bring children into the world again.
 
  Ten is not magic

Polistra always favors natural and experience-based measuring systems, but finds it hard to argue against the convenience of moving the decimal point. It feels easy and automatic to convert 300,000 Kilothings to 300 Megathings, or .007 Things to 7 Millithings.

This convenience turns out to be nothing more than habit induced by long use of decimal currency and measures. In 1833, when metrication was still fresh and unsettled, the Franklin Institute decided firmly to keep the English system here in the States. The Institute formalized standards for the state of Pennsylvania and strongly urged the other states to adopt them. One factor in their decision: Even France, under the total tyranny of its Revolution, had to back off from metrication because it didn't serve the purposes of commerce.

Relevant passage:



Pulling the relevant text out of the image:

"The decimal notation, though long use has made it habitual, is by no means the most convenient for the calculations of arithmetic; it seems to have originated in no other cause than the habit of counting upon the fingers in the infancy of society.... It is not applicable to the divisions of the unit in [practical use]. For this last purpose a system admitting of binary division is alone fitted."

Those scientists and mathematicians, in an era when decimal was not yet fully acculturated, could still see clearly that ten is not magic.

Now that computers and calculators handle all the details of arithmetic, there is no good reason to force metrication into areas where it doesn't already exist. Computers don't use tens at all. Their basic arithmetic is binary, but it runs so fast that no system of numeration has a real advantage over the others.

Best proof: Measurements about computers are the newest of all measurements. Are they decimal? Nope, they're binary, because memory space is naturally partitioned by powers of 2. One Kilobyte is not 1000 bytes, it's 1024 bytes. One Megabyte is 1048576 bytes. Natural and appropriate measurement has returned! Or more precisely, it never went away.

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Thursday, April 04, 2013
  View from a sane country

These are some frames from a mainstream Russian fashion show.



Unabashed innocent nationalism, no problem with showing a Chinese-looking "victim". Above all, recognizing the difference between symbols and reality. This is on stage, it's just a show.

THIS IS HOW A SANE COUNTRY BEHAVES.

What would be the nearest equivalent in an "American" fashion show? Impossible. Total unthink in the Orwell sense of the word. Crimethink. Couldn't get within a million miles of this. If you tried, FBI would bomb you down to bedrock.

Maybe an "American" model could help a grizzly bear dismember and eat a Christian. That would be permissible. Correct form of patriotism, correct target.
 
  Salute to Spitzer

Eliot Spitzer appeared on some NFR program yesterday. An amazing burst of plain truth and objective thinking.

He said three blazingly true things that no political type has EVER said before in any national forum.

(1) There are different types of political sin, and our judgment of these types is changing.

(2) Changing moral codes are NOT NECESSARILY "EVOLUTION", and we shouldn't automatically assume the latest judgment by the coolest Satanic assholes is better and more enlightened than previous judgments by normal humans.

(3) Politics is the strongest of all addictions. No politician ever leaves politics willingly, no matter how many times he gets caught or defeated or jailed.

Bravo, bravo, bravo!
 
  Real nukes!



Polistra finally gets to do her Nuke Dance for a REAL EVENT! Two new reactors are ACTUALLY STARTING CONSTRUCTION in South Carolina and Georgia. FOUNDATIONS HAVE BEEN POURED!

Her joy is somewhat tempered by the fact that she read the news in New Stalinist mag. New Stalinist favors nukes for the wrong reasons, but nevertheless it carried the news.

Why wasn't this front-page news in American media? The answer is obvious. Team R, which would normally cheer for new reactors, can't give Obama credit for the good news. Team D can't cheer for new reactors at all. And both teams are too busy with symbolic Satanshit like fag "marriage" and gun "control" to discuss anything real or important.

Plain fucking facts: Despite all his green rhetoric, Obama has quietly allowed both petroleum and nukes to resume normal growth in America. Despite all his capitalist rhetoric, Bush prevented drilling and stopped nuke development.

Quoting my father yet again: "If you want Democrat policies, vote Republican. If you want Republican policies, vote Democrat."
 
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
  Spring!

Spring! 70 degrees!



First lawn mowing and first sound of the Ice Cream Truck!

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013
  Form fakes function

Reading a Dover book of house plans produced during the postwar boom to advise GI Bill buyers. It includes a number of small and medium houses, all done by real architects and all showing the skill of the architect.

For instance, this is one of the smallest. Note the vestibule, the breakfast nook, and the attention to traffic flow and sight lines. A family could live here for a long time without feeling cramped.



The book includes lots of useful info and details for the new house buyer, starting with a broad sense of style:
Today more than ever before, both architects and architecture are divided and subdivided according to the often heard professional expression Form follows Function. It is a perfectly logical axiom, and is by no means limited exclusively to modern designers and modern houses. When one studies the old houses of Cape Cod, Williamsburg, or Charleston, there are few forms which cannnot be traced to fit the needs of a particular function. ... The houses in this book were all designed by leading architects in the small house field. ... Cape Codders, Colonials, Regencies, Georgians, Ramblings, and a few slightly in the Modern trend.
...
It matters little which style you choose as long as it is suitable for the conditions in the area where you build. Be careful to choose a style that will appear appropriate in your neighborhood. If you lean toward the Modern, remember than simplicity of line and mass requires skill if the result is to be effective. Also remember that as far as can be seen today you must anticipate a very limited resale market for Moderns.
Exactly right, and still true. The Brutal Bauhaus Modern has always been popular among fancy architects and fancy people, but nobody really likes to live in a house with guaranteed roof leaks and high heating and cooling costs. Direct descendants of Cape Cod and Bungalow are still the most functional, as the book says. Brutal Bauhaus has a form that appears to represent pure function, but in fact it's the least functional and most frivolous of all styles. Its form follows fashion, not function.

Unfortunately the book's guidance on mortgages is no longer true:
Mortgage lending institutions are ready and willing to loan money for the building of a new home or the purchase of an existing house. Bank deposits at present are at their all time high and lending rates are exceedingly favorable.
A real blast from the honest past.

Numerically speaking, today's rates have returned to the 'exceedingly favorable' 4% range that the book used in its sample calculations. But the present rates are not driven by supply of deposits because banks no longer pay to get deposits and charge to make loans. It doesn't matter how high the deposits are; they're just a pile of cash waiting for Cypruscation. Loan interest is low because Bugsy Bernanke wants to have Americans totally indebted to his Mafia buddies. All money must be in the Casino, all money must be available for Goldman's bets. Like the Brutal Modern House, our Brutal Modern Bank appears to have a functional form, but its real purpose is solely to satisfy the infinite greed and bizarre tastes of the elite.
 

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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