Bertha, meet Moleman.
Seattle's idiot city "government" has completely failed in its idiot effort to dig an idiot tunnel. The idiot contractors haven't yet picked up the brand-new super-high-tech idea of bearings. Forgivable, since bearings have only been around for 5000 years or so.
Bertha, the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine went down from overheating in late January, one-tenth of the way through digging the 1.7-mile State Route 99 tunnel which will carry a double-deck highway and replace the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct. Water and sand clogged the machine’s cutterhead openings and penetrated seven rubber seals meant to protect the main bearing. In repairing the machine, crews will install 216 steel ribs and plates that will add 86 tons of reinforcement to the 7,000-ton machine’s drive block and cutter drive.
But to make those repairs, workers are in the process of digging a pit 120 feet deep to access the machine before pulling its 630-ton cutterhead, drive axle and bearing to the surface in order to replace the bearing and add the steel reinforcements. The pit was initially expected to be completed by the end of this month, but construction is now expected to last into August.
Elsewhere in Seattle, one man has figured out how to dig tunnels without giant machines, but the same idiot fagass "government" is trying to stop him from digging because he hasn't acquired the necessary endangered-species permissions:
Neighbors who live near Cheasty Boulevard South say they've complained about a man who has dug up extensive ditches in the environmentally protected Cheasty Greenspace. Ed Neubold says the man is ruining some of the city's wetlands. Neighbors say he's known as the "Moleman," for digging deep ditches, caverns and steps in the parkland.
Pay billions to incompetent contractors who get stuck in the middle of a job because they haven't heard of bearings. Jail an inventive and competent digger who is REBUILDING CIVILIZATION BY DRAINING YOUR FUCKING MIASMAL SWAMPS, YOU GENOCIDAL ALL-CONSUMING SADISTIC PSYCHOPATHS..
Makes perfect sense in modern Satania.
= = = = =
Later after cooling down: Seriously, Moleman ... or actual moles ... could teach Bertha something. Instead of trying to cut through the entire radius of the tunnel at once, use a hundred little torpedo-like mechanical moles. Each is one foot in diameter, and they're spaced out around the circumference of the circle, moving in unison. The soil and rocks in the middle of the circle should fall spontaneously; if it doesn't, a firehose will do it. Place preformed rings behind the moving moles.
¶ 6:13 AM
Bonkers * 3 = Britain
From the saber-rattling in the British press and government, you'd think Russia had attacked England.
Obviously Russia has not attacked England. Facts are plain and simple. US and UK collaborated with Nudelman Chaos Partners LLC to create an anti-Russian regime in Ukraine, which has always been part of the Russian Empire. Russia responded to this invasion.
Well, sometimes you can cite history as an understandable reason for an otherwise insane attack. For instance, England might be justified in attacking France because France and England were constantly fighting from 1200 AD to 1815 AD. You can work up lots of real grudges in 600 years of steady war.
So I started looking. My knowledge of ancient history is slim, so I wasn't sure. Maybe Catherine had tried to invade England? She was certainly expansionist.
Nope. Russia has NEVER attacked England, even indirectly. Not once. Not this time, not ever in history.
England and Russia fought small wars twice.
The first time was in 1807. Napoleon defeated Russia and signed a peace treaty. England decided for some reason that this was an insult, and declared a naval blockade against Russia, followed by a few skirmishes.
The second was the Crimean War in 1854. Russia grabbed Moldavia from the apparently weak Ottomans, but the Ottomans weren't weak after all and fought back intensely. England decided for some reason that taking Moldavia was an insult. Britain joined other Euros in demanding that Russia must give up Moldavia. The tsar agreed, so England attacked Russia to punish it for agreeing to English demands. I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP. YOU CAN LOOK IT UP FOR YOUR OWN FUCKING SELF.
There's the history. The current situation aligns with the previous two. In all three cases England started a war to punish Russia for imagined "insults".
¶ 3:35 AM
Common Core arrivesSpokane public schools got their first Common Core textbooks this week, accompanied by the usual partisan idiocy.
Well, no... Actually the partisan idiocy is only halfway usual.
One side is expectable. Repooflicans are automatically and violently opposing Common Core because it was introduced by a president with D on his nametag.
The other side is surprising. Normally the teacher unions would automatically and violently support Common Core because it was introduced by a president with D on his nametag, but the unions are generally unhappy with Common Core.
I read the Common Core documents carefully when they appeared last year. At least on paper, the approach is EXACTLY right. Everything I'd dreamed about when I was teaching. Common Core emphasizes usefulness and job training, and the approach to English and Math is both utilitarian and accurate.
Repooflicans hate it. Teacher unions hate it. Real teachers like it. Those three preferences add up to a pretty good recommendation.
While thinking about this I realized .....
The public school curriculum in the '50s and '60s, when I was a student, was simply flatass wrong in most ways. The only piece that could be called correct was the basic facts of math, but the method of teaching those facts was flatass wrong and destructive.
The official English grammar was precisely, totally and bizarrely wrong from stem to stern. The wrongness of school grammar was beyond 2 + 2 = 5 or 7 * 9 = 43. It was more like
2 + 2 = hamburger or 7 * 9 = ☺◊♬♣☂⇑. This is not subjective or arguable. Grammar is a way of describing the world of language just as math is a way of describing the world of measurements, and it's perfectly possible to determine which descriptions are accurate.
Common Core uses an accurate grammatical system and suggests highly effective ways of teaching it.
If Repoofs and unions had any fucking sense, both would be welcoming CC. Obviously neither has any fucking sense.
Where's 15? There's 15.
Idiot illegitimate "governor" Inslee is squawking the standard Gaian line. The Carlton fire is supposedly the largest since statehood Because KKKarbon. We must expect things to get worse every year Because KKKarbon. We must all commit hara-kiri to save The Planet Because KKKarbon. The "fire season" has been growing steadily for the last 15 years Because KKKarbon.
First, let's look at the weather in that part of the state.
I separated out spring temp and prec and annual temp and prec. Where's the 15-year upward trend? Nowhere. Temps went up decisively about 100 years ago, and since then no long-term pattern. Judging solely by the spring data, this year would be slightly easier than usual.
So why did this fire grow faster than usual? Not because of anything extraordinary in this year's weather. It was in fact a human-caused problem, and as fucking always the humans involved CAN BE NAMED. As fucking always the humans are the state's Environmental Genocide Squad, which calls itself DNR to hide its true purposes. Instead of taking steps to halt the fire, they stood around taking pictures, undoubtedly so they could jack off later.
How about illegitimate "governor" Inslee's citation of 15 years? That's easy. Same cause. Environmental terrorists eliminated logging. Here's a description, with plenty of graphs, of Oregon's decline in logging due to terrorism. (I couldn't find similar data for Wash online.) Note especially this graph.
There's your 15 years of increased fires, fuckhead Inslee. Evil KKKarbon didn't do it. You did it.
¶ 4:29 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Another 1914 puzzle
Lots of discussion today about the formal start of WW1. Made me think back to the profoundly ODD document from the Signal Corps that I'd used before.
Previously I noted several big puzzles in this one short passage.
(1) What were we trying to accomplish by nation-building in Siberia? The real war was in France and Belgium. Russia had been fighting the Krauts, not very effectively.
(2) What were the Japs doing as part of the mission? This question is easy to answer: Japan wanted to own Siberia for Rebensraum, and later used the knowledge acquired during our 'introduction' to take over parts of Siberia. Japan had already defeated Russia in a brief 1905 war over competing claims in China.
(3) Why did we invite the Japs? Or did they simply invite themselves as part of their 1905 spoils?
(4) The casual mention of "Czecho-Slovak forces" indicates that Czechoslovakia was already a nation well before Armistice Day, or at least an entity with a government that could send troops to fight against Austria-Hungary.
Now another puzzle pops up. Russia was in the middle of its Revolution. By late 1918 Lenin was nominally in charge, though I suspect it took a while for his authority to extend into Siberia. By building telegraph and telephone lines, we were helping the new revolutionary government to extend its authority, which explains why Russian army troops were allowed/ordered to work with us. But it strengthens question (1). What did we hope to gain? Meanwhile, back at Mrs Wilson's Ranch, Mrs Wilson and Colonel House were fighting against real terrorism by a wide variety of Communist and Leftist rebels. This wasn't as much of a paradox as it seems now, because those rebels were not yet taking orders from Moscow ... but they did admire Lenin.
= = = = =
Much later: Solved the puzzle.
¶ 7:58 AM
Been working too hard to have any thoughts lately... but here's one that seems worth writing, if only for my own later reference when I have more time.
Serious Christians have been pointlessly protesting against the accelerated advance of Satan in this former country formerly called America. Romans are wasting time and money in the institutions falsely termed "courts", trying to pursue legal processes in a place where all legality has disappeared.
They should borrow a page ... or rather a book ... from Islam, which has detailed regulations for living as Muslims in a "country" that has abandoned God.
Decouple as much as possible. Instead of worrying about the state definition of marriage, simply ignore the state. Perform your own ceremonies, recognize your own ceremonies, don't acquire state marriage licenses, don't recognize state marriage licenses. Form your own medical system and health insurance system. (The Amish provide a good example of this technique.) Don't take state subsidies, don't use tax exemptions for churches. Anything that gives the state a reciprocal claim on your loyalty should be disconnected.
¶ 4:31 AM
Monday, July 28, 2014
Kudos to Avista
Avista has completed powering up all the houses that lost power in Wednesday's storm. They got my house up in just 20 hours, even though I was in the direct path of the storm.
This was a huge job, and Avista did it with tremendous efficiency and lots of public information. Not as large as the icestorm of '96, which took out the whole town, but plenty large. This was more like a small tornado, cutting a two-mile-long stripe across the northern quarter of town. Within that stripe, every block had a dozen fallen trees, some of which hit power lines.
Meanwhile in the NON-EFFICIENT and NON-SANE parts of the city, alleged "mayor" Condon is roaring ahead with his utterly loony and wacked and GENOCIDAL plan to PLANT TEN THOUSAND NEW PINE TREES. Alleged "mayor" Condon is obviously Bloomberg's little bitch. As far as I can tell, ALL metropolitan mayors are Bloomberg's little bitches. Not surprising. Like the old Dillinger line, that's where the money is for mayors. Adhere to Gaian doctrine, agree to PULVERIZE your own city and KILL all your citizens, and you get Bloomberg's filthy silver.
¶ 2:20 AM
Saturday, July 26, 2014
DAMN, that was bad.
DAMN. That was BAD.
The Weather Bureau has more trouble forecasting in continental-influenced years like this one. And they missed this purely continental storm.
They were warning for strong thunderstorms, so I was ready for that. Unplugged the computer, closed the doors and windows, cooked supper early to avoid possible power outage.
But they didn't warn for 75 MPH wind.
It came without any natural warning. I heard a few THUMPS before I heard wind. Those THUMPS were, of course, trees dropping. The wind came all at once, step-function style. It roared, punctuated by more THUMPS. I opened the front door to see what in the holy fuck was happening, because it didn't sound like wind. Stood there transfixed, which was not smart; I should have taken cover. Watched the nearest stand of trees thrashing and bending as they always do in a big wind. The wind kept getting stronger, and then it was full of hail and rain, which made its force unstoppable. One of the trees bent 90 degrees and
fell as I watched. THUMP. Just like I'd imagined it would.
And then it was over. Maybe 5 minutes.
My house is okay. The only damage is a piece of metal siding popped loose.
Back in 2011, after another continental year, I had the trees removed from my yard. They would have squashed me this time if they'd still been around. In that same year I had the fence braced, and it remains stubbornly vertical. Also thanks to the neighbor on the west, who removed several trees in that same year. One of those trees would have been directly aimed at my house if it had still been around.
The people who didn't go for Zero Problems in previous years have Big Problems this year.
This neighborhood looks like the aftermath of a 'selective tornado'. Worst damage is along N-S and diagonal blocks. Not bad on the e-w streets. Two houses are pretty much totalled; several garages are crushed. [Later: more like 8 totalled houses.]
= = = = =
Some things realized during the power-out and web-out periods:
(1) If you want news, you're NOT going to get it from radio. Local stations put all their 'news' effort into TV. Even when their TV reporters have produced stories on the disaster, the radio side of the same station doesn't use the material. If you really want any sort of information or entertainment, you need
(2) Without information and entertainment, I was forced to spend more time working, which is good. But without the web, I couldn't find answers to questions that arose while working. Details of SVG and HTML5 and Responsive Web Design aren't found in books. Up-to-date info on web-related topics is only found in discussion forums on the web. And without the web I couldn't turn in my work. I finally found a landline phone number for the publisher and explained what was happening, so they wouldn't think my two days of unresponsiveness was a strike or illness or something.
(3) Auto-defrost refrigerators do NOT keep food cool for even an hour. Their coolness is solely produced by blowing air, and the walls of the chamber are usually warmer than room temp. When power goes off, food
quickly ends up warmer than room temp.
(4) This was a COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE disaster. ALL of the problems were caused by TALL CONIFERS. Short trees (maple, oak, apple) didn't cause any problems. Most remained intact, some lost branches but couldn't smash any houses. Houses without tall trees nearby are fine, except for a few ripped shingles and popped siding slats. Easy repairs.
¶ 11:52 AM
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Showing the flag
Just figured it was a good time to show the flag of the Colony. It's also a good time to reconstitute the Empire that once contained this colony.
"The fact is that the legislative record provides little indication one way or the other of congressional intent, but the statutory text does. (It) plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states. And in the absence of any contrary indications, that text is conclusive evidence of Congress’s intent," wrote the two judges in the majority, Thomas Griffith and Arthur Randolph, both appointed by Republican presidents.
"To hold otherwise would be to say that enacted legislation, on its own, does not command our respect — an utterly untenable proposition," their opinion said.
The panel's dissenting judge Harry Edwards, appointed by Democratic president Jimmy Carter, said the majority's judgment "defies the will of Congress and the permissible interpretations of the agencies to whom Congress has delegated the authority to interpret and enforce the terms of the ACA."
Let's see if we can untangle this. Romneycare is an R law, partly written by R Heritage Foundation and implemented by R Romney, and rebranded as a D law by D Obama for unknown idiotic reasons.
In this "decision", Satan with a red dress on disapproves of the R law rebranded as a D law, while Satan with a blue dress on approves of the R law rebranded as a D law.
Yes, makes perfect sense if you're 100 light years beyond insane, or if you're a DC alien.
In pure practical terms, I'm happy to see every obstacle placed in the path of this Wall Street monstrosity. Anything that makes life difficult for these thieves who are stealing half my income and giving nothing in return is good. Anything that creates a headache for Wall Street and DC is good. Anything that drops the share price of the evil monopolistic corporations who wrote this to create a windfall for themselves is good.
In more abstract terms, pretending for a moment that it might be possible in some mysterious alternate universe to treat any of this shit as remotely resembling law or logic:
When I write code, whether it's C or Python or JS, I don't assume that a bizarre collection of black-robed weirdnesses will magically fix it. Instead, I have to make sure that the code works in Firefox and IE and Chrome and all the other places where it might run. If it looks wrong in IE, I have to find a way to make it work properly in IE.
Legislators should do the same. If their laws do not run properly on some of the exchanges that were intended by the law, it's up to the legislators to rewrite the law so it does run properly in all the situations where it's supposed to run.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WOULD EVEN FUCKING WANT TO TRUST YOUR PRODUCT TO A BIZARRE COLLECTION OF BLACK-ROBED ALIEN WEIRDNESSES.
¶ 9:41 AM
Doesn't any fucking body ever fucking LOOK at any fucking THING???????????????????????????????????
Radar right now shows a nice solid blob of rain approaching Spokane, and more importantly approaching both of the major wildfires.
The Weather Bureau doesn't look at their own fucking radar:
And local news this morning is talking about the firefighters "working against time" to slow down the fires.
Is this union rules or just plain old idiocy?
PAY FUCKING ATTENTION!!!!!!!! OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES, FUCKING IDIOTS!!!!!!
= = = = =
7:30: Rain is here! Nice steady soaking rain. Good for the plants, good for the fires, and evidently good for my fucking mood as well.
¶ 5:10 AM
Precisely fucking backwards as fucking alwaysHeadline: "In his strongest intervention since the disaster, Cameron compares Russia's aggression to that of Nazi Germany."
A speech isn't an intervention, but leave that aside.
The most important question in any warlike situation is Who Started The Fight? And in this case we have REAL EVIDENCE that Nudelman Chaos Partners LLC started this fight, acting as a contractor for the alleged so-called "government" in DC. Nudelman arranged and financed riots that brought down a pro-Russian gov't in Ukraine, then installed Nudelman's agent Yatsenyuk. The ethnic Russian population in Ukraine didn't like this, and started seceding. At that point Russia started aiding them.
There is a parallel to the Sudetenland situation, but Dave has his history backwards.
Through the '30s, Germany had been stirring up chaos and creating subservient states in Eastern Europe, using the same LBO tricks that the EU and Nudelman are using now. Create indebtedness, impose an agent to supervise the payback. Germany stirred up chaos in Sudetenland, then moved its own government in.
However: the analogy isn't complete. In 1938 the West didn't defend its own allies against German tricks and agents, while in 2014 Russia is defending its own ethnic allies against EU/Nudelman tricks and agents.
If Churchill had been in power in 1938, the correct analogy would have been complete. Hitler becomes EU/Nudelman, Churchill becomes Putin.
¶ 1:29 AM
Monday, July 21, 2014
Earlids ... maybe possible
Dennis Miller, semi-joking about the modern Grievance Police and Rainbowshirts, says that evolution needs to provide a solution: Earlids. If we can close our ears as easily as we close our eyes, we could avoid things that will bother us.
Of course it wouldn't really solve the Rainbowshirt problem, because these tyrants don't want to close their ears. They create grievances and lawsuits from statements that are completely innocent and inoffensive. They go out of their way to find ordinary speech that can be pivoted into censorship and blackmail.
Earlids would help normal people who have normal sensitivities. We could then block out whatever bothers us: commercials, buzzkills, rock-n-roll, classical, Breaking News, Fox, CNN, etc.
We probably don't need 'evolution'. We already have the mechanism in our middle ear, and it might be possible to make its action more voluntary. With sufficient practice and exercise, it could become a useful damper if not a complete earlid.
This is a crude animation of the middle ear action. Sound hits the (red) eardrum, moves the three little bones, and pushes on the fluid in the cochlea. The (beigish) muscle coming out into the foreground is the Tensor Tympani. It attaches onto the other side of the middle ear chamber. When it tenses, it sort of 'jams' the bearings of the ossicles, making movement harder.
Normally the Tensor Tympani acts involuntarily when a loud sound is perceived. But all involuntary muscles can be controlled voluntarily with sufficient practice.
Voluntary muscles are equipped with a beautifully complete set of built-in feedback sensors for bend, stretch, and acceleration. We know without any special mental effort when a finger is bent halfway. Involuntary muscles lack those sensors, so you have to find an indirect feedback indication and then screw around with various 'efforts' until you pick up the feedback.
For a nearby example, I learned a long time ago how to open my Eustachian tubes to pop each ear, without any visible action like yawning or chewing. The pop was the feedback, and I just kept 'throwing' effort into various 'places' until the pop happened. Now I can do it on command, almost as precisely as bending a finger.
Many people are able to control vasodilator muscles by monitoring the sense of warmth in the extremity when the arteries are open.
For the TT, the obvious signal would be a damping of steady sound input. Another possible learning path: The TT always tenses when you talk, because your own voice in such close quarters can be strong enough to damage your cochleas. Sometimes when I'm tired or sleepless, with inhibitory mechanisms presumably weakened, I can actually hear the TT acting with a 'thump' when I vocalize.
If you can master tightening and holding the TT, you'll have earlids.
¶ 10:15 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Noticed on this morning's walk that the door has been popped open on the long-vacant 'bad flip' at 4104 W. Crown. This property had an attempted McMansion wing added to a tiny original house, and it's been unfinished and open to the elements for at least 7 years. In theory the pop could be wind ... we had some 35ish gusts yesterday ... but seems unlikely. 35ish doesn't pop latched doors. Could be that the structure is starting to bend and break. Most likely transients or kids.
Later update after the 70 mph microburst windstorm on 7/23: The door is still open at the same angle. If the door had been left open by humans, this storm would have thrashed it around, possibly ripped it off. At the very least it would be standing at a different angle. Thus I conclude that it was opened by an earlier warping of the structure, causing it to jam firmly against the floor.
¶ 5:58 AM
surprisesurpriseshockedshockedshockedshoAntipope Francine hires Goldman executives to "reform" the Vatican Bank.
Come on, Miss Francine. We know where you're going by now. No reason for delay or caution or incremental half-measures. Just get it over with.
¶ 4:41 AM
Constants and variables 17
Not much to say about these Lusitania events. Pure raw evil. Get a little war going in some innocent country, then create an event that will make big headlines, then use the event to enlarge the war and kill millions of innocent people. Raw Satan.
The only interesting thing is to compare similar events that don't start wars. Two neat little controlled experiments:
Experiment 1: America designed al-Qaeda as a chaos creator. It turned out to be remarkably efficient, perhaps running beyond its original contract, or perhaps not. One of those perhaps-above-contract events was the 1993 bombing of the WTC. Killed a few people and injured many, but didn't succeed in bringing down the building. The alleged government in DC gave a minor response, catching one or two members. The same thing was tried again in 2001. This time it succeeded, killing several thousand and taking out most of Goldman's main competitor Cantor Fitzgerald. This time the alleged government used the event to create new chaos, making endless wars in two unrelated countries.
Experiment 2: Within a few months, two airliners from the same airline were brought down intentionally, killing a few hundred people each time. The first one was dunked somewhere near Australia. Cause still unannounced, but not a mechanical failure. Maybe a missile, maybe intentional crashing by pilot. No response by governments. Second airliner crashed over Ukraine. Cause announced immediately, which tells us with 100% certainty that the governments who announced the cause had also created the cause. In this case the governments are pleased with the performance of the contract, and are using it to stir up a war that could become a full sized successor to WW1 and WW2.
Both experiments leave the major question unanswered. Why no response to the first try and huge response to the second try? Was the first try a dress rehearsal? A failed deliverable by the contractor? Or is the two-part pattern a technique of chaoscraft? Sort of like drilling a pilot hole before driving a woodscrew?
= = = = =
Later: This little item from Bloomberg, about the possible bankruptcy of Malaysian Airlines, may indicate a more prosaic purpose of both operations. Just an ordinary Goldman transaction, maximizing profits on a derivative, with the usual collateral damage that gives Goldman its unmatched panache.
While most of the world is trying to diminish child labour, Bolivia has become the first nation to legalise it from age 10. Congress approved the legislation early this month, and Vice President Alvaro Garcia signed it into law on Thursday in the absence of President Evo Morales, who was travelling.
The bill's sponsors say lowering the minimum work age from 14 simply acknowledges a reality: many poor families in Bolivia have no other choice than for their kids to work. The bill offers working children safeguards, they say.
Initial response is ACK! What a dumb move!
But it deserves a more careful look.
We had terrible problems with child labor in the 1800s, and properly passed laws to control it. As usual those laws metastasized, making it difficult for families to train their own kids in the family business.
The real problem in the sweatshop era was not the presence of children in the sweatshops. The problem was the sweatshops, which were hell for ALL AGES.
Look through Lewis Hine's photos of child labor around 1900. He focused on mill workers, mine workers and newsboys. The mill workers and mine workers looked unhealthy, stunted in body and mind and soul. Those kids were dying. Those jobs needed to be reformed, and they were reformed after 1900, by major employers like Ford and NCR and Conoco.
The newsboys were entirely different. They looked healthy, lively, and businesslike. They looked like what they were: Apprentice leaders. Outside all day, shouting, fighting for territory, perfecting a sales pitch, getting acquainted with important people.
Bolivia's child laborers are not in sweatshops. They're a mix of hawkers, small business helpers, and piecework contractors. All of those jobs are comparatively healthy for mind and body.
When the law makes it hard for them to work honestly, they will find dishonest work in Bolivia, or move North to find dishonest work.
Ahem. Does the last part sound familiar?
Still on the subject of Learning From History: There's some fairly obvious history going on in Wash right now, and it should provide a learning opportunity. But it won't.
After several atypically soft fire seasons, we've got a major fire in the central part of the state. Pictures show considerable destruction in the town of Pateros. But the pictures also show some untouched and unscorched structures amid the devastation.
What do those untouched structures have in common? Brick and metal siding.
One news article quotes a resident as saying "an angel must have protected the church." No, brick sides and a metal roof protected the church. But maybe an angel gave your church management enough common sense to build with brick!
This is, of course, a very old lesson. Chicago learned it properly in 1871, and Chicago is still an all-brick city.
Will we learn it this time? Nope. We have forgotten how to remember. We're EXCEPTIONAL! USA STRONG! USA STRONG! USA STRONG!
= = = = =
Sidenote: You can't tell from the pictures, but I'd bet the houses that burned first had vinyl siding. In lots of smaller fires, vinyl siding is a blazingly obvious contributor. When something like a barbecue or a patio heater destroys a house, you can be 100% sure that the description will include "ignited the vinyl siding, which then sent flames up into the eaves."
Poor old Santayana
The trite old saying has been completely null and void for a long time. I'm not sure if it was ever a valid conditional.
Plain fact is: Governments do not learn. Governments always repeat history, until history eliminates them entirely. At that point they stop repeating, because they do not exist.
Fine illustration this morning. BBC has been running a daily feature on the 100th anniversary of the Franz Ferdinand thing, including objective analysis of the propaganda that helped both sides to stir up a war.
Immediately after this morning's episode of Sarajevo, BBC roared into pro-war propaganda against Russia, based on this year's Lusitania. No questions asked, no objectivity, no analysis. Victoria Nudelman wants a war against Russia, so we make war against Russia. Nudelman instigated it, I believe it, that settles it.
Reading history? Fuck, we can't even learn the lesson when the quiz comes one second after the lesson.
Teacher: Don't make war! Don't make war! Don't make war! Do you understand?
Student: Yes, I understand. MAKE WAR! MAKE WAR! MAKE WAR!
Later thought: No, it's worse than that. Here's what we have now:
Teacher: Don't make war! Don't make war! Don't make war! Do I understand?
Teacher: Yes, I understand. MAKE WAR! MAKE WAR! MAKE WAR!
¶ 3:32 AM
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Why not handlebars?
Seriously random thought. Was looking at pictures of the earliest automobiles, in the 1885-1910 range. Nearly all of them, including the steam 'road locomotives', were steered by tillers. The wheel didn't take over until the Model T established it by force of numbers.
The steering wheel makes sense, and it's easy to see its origin in big ships. A geared-down controller for a high-torque rudder, transferred directly to a geared-down controller for a high-torque axle.
But where did the tiller come from? Small sailboats have a tiller, mounted directly on the rudder at the rear of the boat. The automobile tiller looked more like a crank, it was mounted on the front, and it was often mounted sideways. You would push to turn right and pull to turn left. Completely counterintuitive. Couldn't have been suggested directly by the small-boat tiller. In appearance it closely resembles the speed control on streetcars. But that's not a steering control, because streetcars can't be steered.
At that time, handlebars would have been the logical choice for a horseless carriage. Handlebars would have been intuitive, familiar, available, and already associated with wheels. Many of those first experimental autos were built directly from motorcycle parts. The wire wheels, engine and chain drive moved to the four-wheeler, but the handlebars didn't make it. Strange.
¶ 11:39 AM
Kudos, Vicki!Another fine project from Nudelman Chaos Partners LLC! Mazel tov, Vicki! You've beat the shit out of Tonkin Gulf! This is right up there with the Maine and Lusitania.
¶ 9:14 AM
Might be a good place 2
Microsoft is getting rid of 14% of its employees to satisfy the more-than-infinite greed of stock traders. It's cutting off the parts of its operation that make actual software, leaving only the fashionable and coooool parts.
Since the new Microcool will be competing against companies that already know how to be fashionable and Megacool, this is a highly dubious move.
The good part: There are now 18k highly competent MS employees who will be able to form a new company making functional software FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH FUCKING COMPUTERS. I don't know if they will be burdened with permanent NDAs or non-competes, but maybe the mass layoff will make those agreements practically unenforceable. (Sue 18K people at once? Not easy.)
With luck, maybe the new company will crank MS-style software back to the point where it actually WAS functional. Specifically, eliminate 7 and 8 and bring back XP. 7 and 8 are absolutely worthless bugpiles. XP was a functional operating system.
Well, we can always hope.
¶ 5:42 AM
Polistra and friends salute Australia! Abbott has made good on his major promise to get rid of the evil carbon tax, and Parliament has ratified the action!
Abbott is quite simply The Only Legitimate Leader in the Western World. Correct in both words and deeds.
Canada's PM Harper is walking the walk but sliding around on the talk. Might be necessary for practical politics, but it leaves fact-loving people in some doubt. Will he fall back to normal Western Satanism when pushed?
Semi-napping after a long hard coding session, I was hearing local drive-time radio hosts discussing the latest social media crap. I misheard them talking about "harshtags". In semi-nap/semi-dream mode I expanded the misword into a larger thought....
Twitter missed the chance to pack more meaning into those tags when it restricted the prefix to just one # symbol.
Here's how the morpheme could be packed:
♯ Sharptag or harshtag. Tells you that the following word sharpens or harshens the meaning of the original.
♭ Flattag or bongtag. Tells you that the main phrase should be taken in a more mellow or toned-down way.
♮ Nattag. Undoes an implicit sharptag or flattag. If the main phrase is likely to sound sardonic, this tells you to take it as plain fact.
Caftag. Give this subject a rest! Pause for coffee!
Vactag. Give this subject a looooong rest! Take an ocean cruise!
Fertag. Hold on a minute here! Or, the main phrase gives a surprising proof of a puzzling theorem. Or, the subject reminds me of Leela. Or, Kilroy was partly here.
and You know where I'm going with these.
Crestag. Watch out, I'm just about ready to hit the CAPS LOCK KEY.
Dectag. OKAY, you're right. Sorry. I'll turn off caps lock.
Sovtag. Implies that the main phrase begins with Yeah, right, and includes at least three somehows and two notions and must be spoken in a querulous tremulous tone. Like this.
And one final tag as a special gift for Polistra:
Freitag.You're free from mathematically precise measures! Free to use natural measures!
= = = = =
Tech note: Most of the proper musical symbols are in the five-digit Unicode range, which won't be seen unless you have a special musical font on your computer. It appears that the only fully functional musical font is Adobe Sonata, which is neither standard nor free. So I used regular font for the first three, which are in the four-digit range, and made JPGs for the rest.
¶ 5:14 PM
When I sat down at the computer this morning, I saw what appeared to be an extra cursor. After moving the real cursor around, I realized the extra was a tiny winged insect sitting on the screen. Sometimes an insect will respond to the cursor moving under its feet, but this one didn't.
My crappy camera picked up the effect: note the exact angle of the bug that caused the initial illusion.
The bug appears to be inside or behind the cursor, making the cursor seem transparent when it's actually opaque.
While playing with the bug, heard something on BBC about Satan's new euthanasia law in Britain. Made me think: Doctors are eager to administer a 'lethal cocktail' to innocent people but doctors have firmly refused to administer a 'lethal cocktail' to murderers. Pretty good definition of evil. Enthusiastically killing the innocent, refusing to punish the guilty. Loving premeditated murder, hating justice. As I tried to look up some stats or quotes to form a blog item, I hit a search page with lots of titles about "Assisted dying".
Bug flew away instantly.
¶ 2:35 AM
Monday, July 14, 2014
Why hasn't this been done?
One aspect of old-fashioned broadcasting that hasn't been transferred to the Web is volume normalization. Since the 1930s, radio and TV have used analog compression systems that instantaneously keep the volume within a constant range. You can set your volume to a comfortable level on one station, and you can be confident that you won't get blasted out of your seat. You can tune to other local stations without changing the level.
Those volume equalization circuits are fairly simple, and real-time digital processing is also possible with FIR filter techniques. So why hasn't any of this moved into computer sound systems? On the Web, all stations are local. There's no such thing as DX. Yet all stations, and all MP3 clips, and all Youtube clips, have totally different and independent settings, with no equalization at all. Some MP3 players claim to have a sort of normalization, but it doesn't work like broadcast compressors. It merely sets a single volume level compensating for the RMS average of the ENTIRE CLIP. Nearly pointless.
In the newer realm of HTML5, this should be a job for media queries. The CSS specs do include a limited set of volume properties, which might be enough for your 'receiver' to tell the 'transmitter' about your preferred volume. Pretty much the same as the normalizer on MP3s.
Again nearly pointless, unless there's an agreed-on standard level.
= = = = =
The difference may not be familiar. Here's an attempt to show it, using the processing facilities of Audacity.
Wave 1 is the original.
Wave 2 shows how the 'usual' normalizer might see the RMS average of the whole clip.
Wave 3 shows the result of 'usual' normalizing, multiplying the whole clip by a constant to bring the RMS average up to some desired number. Note that everything moves up together; the soft parts are still too soft, and the loud parts are now clipped. There's still no way to set your final volume control for comfort.
Wave 4 shows the result of REAL normalizing, with a curve similar to broadcast normalizing. Each syllable or beat is brought up or down, closing in on a median level from both directions. The DELTA between loud and soft, which is the only thing that really matters to our perception, is shorter than before.
¶ 7:09 PM
Might be a good place
The title given to this article in the RealClearScience reference made it seem worth reading: "How Cold War US Booted Women out of Science."
The article itself is a toxic pile of feminist genocide. I stopped reading after 10 words. Already tired and irritated today, no need to soil my brain any farther.
But the RCS version of the title is true, and a factual non-toxic article could be written on the point. (Reminds me of the old Okie joke, when eating in an awful cafe: "Say, this might be a good place to build a restaurant!")
Feminist destroyers have laid waste to history, leading us to believe that women were not allowed out of the kitchen until Satan Fried[m]an began spewing cyanide all over the landscape.
A hundred years ago most academic fields had plenty of women. Looking through various scientific journals from the 1910-1920 era, you'll see anywhere from 10% to 40% female names (depending on the subject) as authors of monographs or articles. It's clear that women who found those fields interesting were able to work and teach and publish in those fields.
Same in business. In the 1920s lots of businesses were owned and operated by women.
Same in entertainment. Radio comedy or variety programs in the '30s were always hosted by a male and female, generally but not always a married couple. Both were equally important. Since 1950, TV comedy and variety shows are all male.
Movies of the '30s had constant interactions between men and women, and the films wouldn't have worked without both sides. After 1960, movies were strictly about male-male interactions, with females occasionally popping up to provide a headless pair of tits.
Simple fact: Feminism grabbed power at the same time when women disappeared from science and entertainment. Since feminism has faded, women are starting to return to science, but they still haven't returned to their 1930's position in business or entertainment.
Which way does the arrow of causation run? Truly hard to tell. Feminism looks like the leading variable, but I wouldn't bet either way.
¶ 1:05 PM
Not invented there
This piece was briefly mentioned on a PRX show about the history of sound. I had to give it a full listen..........
Gibbons is best known for unrelieved bleakness. You think Samuel Beckett and Arthur Miller are bleak? Ain't got nothing on Gibbons.
But in this one piece he picked up the joyful noise of London street vendors and wove it into a perfect harmonic fabric. The only bleakness is the pitiful whining of a fake beggar, and Gibbons makes it clear that she's a scammer.
Of course this leads me to a Grand Blueprint-ish thought.
It's blindingly obvious that music in the broadest sense is innate. We have special neural mechanisms for deciphering and remembering music, which are similar to mechanisms for speech but not the same pieces of brain tissue.
But how about formal music? Gibbons has taken a collection of informal semi-music and shifted it into full music, then shifted it yet again into formal music with a precise European structure.
The semi-music of street vendors sounds more or less the same in China and India and old London and even Spokane. Streetsong implements the same purposes as birdsong: Claiming and Offering. Streetsong and birdsong are similar in melody and rhythm. "Here I am! This is my corner! Want some of what I'm offering? Come and get it! Want a piece of me? Come and get it!"
But formal music, ultimately derived from similar semi-music, is utterly and totally unrelated in the three cultures. Europe's formal music was fairly new in Gibbons's time, and he helped to build it. China and India had developed their own formal structures much earlier, and all three are absolutely distinct.
In math and metalwork and military hardware and dozens of other areas, Europe picked up methods and styles from China or India, sometimes via Persia or Mesopotamia. In all those other areas you can identify the channels of influence.
Not music. There's no way the Chinese opera could have influenced Gibbons or Monteverdi. There's no way the Sanskrit raga could have reached Boyce or Hassler.
Conclusion: There must be a genetic need, an innate drive, to formalize music.
= = = = =
Later footnote ... 'London Cries' and its companion piece 'Country Cries' are sometimes attributed to Richard Deering or Dering, a contemporary of Gibbons. Apparently the provenance is dubious. Doesn't affect the main point I was trying to make.
What are these monsters fighting for?
I've fallen into a discouraged mood, probably aided by hot weather + full moon. In this mood, most "news" items seem like the unstoppable march of Satan.
Example: The Anglican Faghouse has three living Archfags, and all three are archly prancing and dancing and clawing for the favors of Old Scratch. Catamite fight!
Miss Justine Welby, the present Archfag, has decided to overrule her own board and force the appointment of dykes as bishops. (Bitchops?)
Miss Rowena Williams, previous Archfag, who had seemed to be dimly capable of perceiving the difference between good and evil, is now confessing that she was always firmly on the side of evil, never any sort of Christian at all.
And now Miss Georgette Carey, who was Archfag before Williams, has suddenly lent her screech to Satan's long-running campaign for universal euthanasia.
But wait! What are these fags fighting for? What is the consequence of their evil? Nothing much. They have authority over an institution that died many years ago.
The Anglican faith is alive and growing fast in Africa and Asia, where it is effectively decoupled from the London monsters. In those parts of the world, Anglicans are actual Christians with a firm moral code.
In England and America, the institution has plenty of money but no worshippers. It's literally an empty shell. Like the old shadow game: Here is the steeple. Where are the people?
And the best part: Every new gift to Satan by these alien monsters drives more actual Christians OUT of their evil grasp. Ordinary Anglicans are rather mild-mannered types, not prone to pulling away from familiar institutions. But each time they're slapped in the face by this, some of them will say "Had it. That's all."
= = = = =
Later thought: This is a variant on Polistra's Law of Inferred Intent. Broadly speaking, the Law says: Ignore words, ignore preconceptions. Look at actions. When people are competent and relatively free to choose, their behavior tells you what they want. In this corollary: Observe Godly people. Their behavior will tell you what God wants. Here we see Godly people rushing away from centralized satanized churches, heading for disorganized or local or non-hierarchical groups. But how do we know who's Godly? A fair definition, understood by both Christians and Muslims, would be Mary's Magnificat. Godly people live the Magnificat.
¶ 1:19 AM
Friday, July 11, 2014
I was looking at the Wunderground map for this area. Classic example of microclimates. Within about 80 miles, you see 113 and 70. I'm not sure if the 113 is meaningful. It's not a simple error, because it's close to a 102 and 105 at the same altitude; but it could be poorly calibrated. The 70 is more likely to be valid. Lots of mountain areas are around 70.
If the 113 (at a place called Taylor Flats) is meaningful, it's getting close to record territory. According to NWS docs, the all-time high for Wash was 118 in 1961, about 10 miles south of that location.
¶ 7:11 PM
What did our fathers fight for?
Today's promo soundbite for a local Brand-R radio talker: "I'm more of a paleo-conservative. I want to restore the America that our fathers and grandfathers fought for."
I'm with him on the need to bring back the original decentralized arrangement. Ideally, I'd prefer to bring back something like the Articles of Confederation, with the feds serving only as common defense and common currency. Practically, I don't see how to get there from here.
But Rick's reference to our fathers and grandfathers is just factually wrong.
First fact: There was only one time when our fathers fought for America, and that was WW2. All wars since then have been fighting against America. Completely unnecessary projects that created pure damage and pure hell on all levels, and dramatically weakened America. All wars before WW2, with the possible exception of 1812, were equally unnecessary and destructive.
Second fact: When our fathers were fighting for America in WW2, what kind of America were they fighting for? They were fighting for FDR. Most of the soldiers had lost jobs and money under the 'paleo' America, and had regained jobs and confidence under WPA and CCC.
Admittedly the contrast was partly inaccurate. Hoover was emphatically not paleo. He tried to apply big-government solutions but didn't make them work, for reasons that still aren't clear. Not enough experimentation, not enough will, simply the wrong man for the time.
Still, the basic fact remains. Our fathers were consciously fighting for a strong federal government, strong enough to punish banks and corporations.
¶ 4:42 AM
Thursday, July 10, 2014
From Conelrad to Captcha
Fire season is here. Hot, dry, breezy. We missed out last year because temps were atypically moderate. We're back to typical patterns this year.
A fairly large fire is burning about 10 miles north of Spokane, with visible haze. So I've been a little more alert than usual.
This morning at 3:10 the NPR station was interrupted by a non-test EAS message. I sharpened up and listened carefully. Was this important info about the fire?
The message, as always, was superimposed on the sound of a vacuum cleaner picking up gravel, and it was read by a primitive 1979 speech synthesizer that doesn't separate words and doesn't pronounce local names properly. (Kottney county, Cordaleeen) The effect, as always, was the audio equivalent of reading a Captcha. Maximally difficult pattern recognition task.
No, it wasn't about the fire. It was about some neighborhood where the 911 phone service wasn't working right.
This is how "our" "government" "works". Warnings about real emergencies DO NOT OCCUR. Warnings about meaningless semi-situations DO OCCUR, but they're presented in Captcha style to guarantee that you remain totally confused. The only clear warnings are the Custody Dispute Warnings. Those are read by actual humans with good radio voices and good pronunciation in a quiet studio environment.
Conclusion: We do not need to know about events that could kill us. We only need to know about a biological parent who DARES to repossess her kid from official custody. We are obliged to beware of biological parents. It is our duty to destroy all biological parent-child relationships.
Huxley would understand. Nobody else would.
¶ 8:06 AM
Was hyperbole, now strictly true.
Famous and true riposte to Commiejewdyke Hellman by non-commie novelist Mary McCarthy.
"Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the."
At the time when it was written, McCarthy probably meant it as a clever rhetorical flourish.
Now it's a plain literal observation. Modern Commies have made it true.
Conjunctions and articles are effectively enumerators. When you use them, you are forming a list of things, including and excluding certain objects or categories. Misuse gives a false impression of inclusion or exclusion.
= = = = =
Examples for and:
When you list several things connected by and, you are saying that all of these things exist, and all have the same qualities. When modern commies use phrases like LGBT, they are saying L and G and B and T all exist, and L and G and B and T are living in grinding poverty with no power at all. The predicate is false, of course. L and G and B are among the richest in the world, and they are THE most powerful class. And creates a falsehood when it links the T category to the other three. The other three categories of rich and SUPREMELY powerful people do actually exist, and they are able to blackmail and impoverish and kill and censor the rest of us because they own our culture. But the T category does not exist. There is no such thing, as I've discussed in detail here. By adding an extra category, the basically false predicate appears to be applied to a wider set of humans. And falsely enlarges the domain of the already-false implication.
Opposite misuse of and: Bee colony collapse. After several years it's now clear that the problem has a whole lot of causes, some of which are constant and some of which are new. Parasites and viruses and pesticides and free trade and new beekeeping practices like hauling hives to locations for pollination service. Most news gives the impression that pesticides and, of course, Global Warming, are the only causes. Eliminates most real problems on the real list and adds a nonexistent item.
The most vicious of all ands is the Looooooooooooooooong accumulation of unnecessary non-knowledge on the subject of nature vs nurture. The question was firmly and finally settled in the 1950s by separated twins. Every taste, tendency and talent is roughly half genes and half learning. This is ABSOLUTE. Despite this GENUINELY SETTLED SCIENCE, every tenure-track grad student still finds it necessary to add another and to the series. It's not enough to say that math talent and musical talent and tennis skill and table-tennis skill and ping-pong skill and ping-pong skill with smaller paddles and ping-pong skill with squared-off paddles and ping-pong skill when facing an opponent with red hair are half innate. Nope, we need to know more. What about ping-pong skill when facing an opponent named Steven? What about ping-pong skill when facing an opponent named Stephen? Each of these must be settled separately and added to the series. Yet another and appears today: Now we're adding chimpanzees to the infinite series. Of course there's an obvious motive for maintaining this series. If we keep adding new ands, we don't have to sit back and state the simple absolute truth. Once we state the simple absolute truth, we will have to acknowledge that some ethnic groups are smarter than others, and some ethnic groups have a much greater talent for violence and theft. Acknowledging those obvious facts would destroy the evil heart of leftism, therefore it's Unthink.
= = = = =
Example for articles (the vs a):
Latest outrage from NSA: Snowden reports that NSA was monitoring specific Muslims in America who hadn't been suspected of any "terrorist" activity. Focusing on the Muslims falsely narrows the fact. In reality an American, i.e. any American you want to name, is monitored. NSA listens to EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE. EVERY FUCKING THING AND EVERY FUCKING ONE. If you are an American, NSA is listening to you.
Global warming shows the opposite misuse. Experts want us to believe that a temperature, i.e. any temperature you care to pick, is BURNING BURNING BURNING FOR OUR SINS AND INIQUITIES AGAINST THE MOST HOLY GODDESS GAIA. In reality the temperature in certain specific areas (especially areas close to the Gulf Stream) is getting warmer, while the temperature in most other areas is either getting cooler or shows no obvious pattern.
= = = = =
The sneakiest and most widespread grammatical lie wasn't mentioned by McCarthy. If is the nastiest little word. Treating an indicative situation as a subjunctive is practiced by all political factions. A politician or expert will always use this form: "If we don't do X, situation Y will get worse." Reality is always more complex. Four major possibilities: (1) Y is already maxed out.. Can't go any farther. (2) Y is nonexistent. (3) Y is completely unrelated to X. (4) X will actually make Y worse, not better.
The one thing you know for sure is that Y will not be improved by X, so the conditional form is invalid.
Classic example: If we don't fight in Iraq, the terrorists will follow us home. This fits (2) and (4). Terrorists as depicted by the politician don't exist. They are created by FBI stings. Or, if you want to define any angry Iraqi as a terrorist, fighting in Iraq will certainly increase the number of angry Iraqis who want to do us harm.
Subset of the above in today's news: France is trying to impose a new level of internal tyranny. To force the public to accept this new tyranny, the government has trotted out a single "terrorist" who was created by a government sting. If we don't impose this new tyranny, more "terrorists" will emerge. Clearly falls into (2). Threat didn't exist until created by sting.
Another: TARP. If we don't pour trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars into the bulging pockets of super-rich Jews, our economy will collapse. Wrong 3 ways. (1) Our economy was already completely fucked. Financialism and Die-Versity and Enviroterrorism had already killed the goose. (3) Making super-rich Jews even super-richer could not possibly cause any new industries to employ American workers. Super-rich Jews do not invest in production. (4) Wasting trillions in this way fattened the non-productive financial sector even more, giving the financial sector even more power over Die-Versity and Enviro regulations, making it even more impossible than impossible for a few pennies to leak into productive channels.
In today's sciencey news: Some futurist fuckhead says "Cities will die if cars dominate". (1) Cars already dominate. (3) Some car-dominated cities are doing just fine. Others are dying. No correlation.
Psychologists at the University of Bonn are amazed by the severe deficits caused by a sleepless night. ... Twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation can lead to conditions in healthy persons similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia. This discovery was made by an international team of researchers under the guidance of the University of Bonn and King's College London.
AMAZED? DISCOVERY? Mystics and monks have known this for thousands of years. Interrogators have used it for hundreds of years. Shift workers and procrastinating students also know it, though perhaps in a less systematic way.
The only amazing thing is that these "scientists" thought their "discovery" was worth writing up, and that their editors and reviewers agreed.
¶ 4:49 AM
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Polistra collects Self-Explanatory Sentences, brief utterances that pack a full biography or a full story into a few words.
This is a first. A Self-Explanatory Screen Capture, from a news story about the opening of the first legal pot store in Spokane.
[In fairness, the 2PM opening happened because the shop was scrambling to acquire enough pot to satisfy the first-day crowd. Apparently the store will run in ordinary business hours after things get settled down and a supply chain gets established.]
¶ 5:17 PM
Ask boaters, dock owners, swimmers or scientists and you’re likely to get the same answer: Eurasian milfoil is a good-for-nothing pest. ... Now a couple from Elk, Wash., have come up with a new idea: What if milfoil could be turned into biofuel? ... Currently, milfoil is pulled from lakes and streams using various equipment and simple manpower, or killed off by applying herbicides. ... Mitchell and her husband, Cesar “Sandy” Clavell, who both have backgrounds in environmental sciences, applied for a grant through the Washington state Department of Ecology. The couple received about $8,000 for initial research.
The usual dumb ecowack idea. Will inevitably use more energy than it provides.
But the inevitable brand name might justify the product: You'd have to call it Eurasian MILF Oil.
¶ 5:14 AM
Constants and variables 15
One basic bit of logic serves to explode most "endangered species" myths.
If polar bears were bothered by variations in Arctic climate, they wouldn't be here now. The Arctic has melted and frozen many times during their long occupancy. They're still here.
If elephants were bothered by deforestation, they wouldn't be here. The desert-forest boundary in Africa is always moving back and forth. Elephants have managed to compensate.
Habitat is effectively a constant, because these animals have feedback loops. (i.e. because they're ALIVE.)
In fact polar bears are increasing now, and elephants are truly endangered. What's the variable? Hunting. Humans are not hunting polar bears, and humans are ferociously over-hunting elephants.
Uncontrolled use by humans is ALWAYS the variable. When normal constraints are gone, humans will often pursue a mammal or fish or bird into complete extinction.
In this context, normal constraints = Food. Real value. When a tribe understands that its survival depends on one animal, the tribe will take pains to hunt and trap the animal cautiously.
Total extinctions happen when the animal has no food value. It may then be seen as a pest, or it may acquire an unreal "luxury" value for its pelt or tusks or fins.
Right now the real extinction threats are caused entirely by Chinese men attempting to stiffen their dicks. Rhino horn, shark fin, elephant tusks. Phallic medicines.
= = = = =
The same logic applies to human types. Right now we're seeing an extinction of several religious and ethnic subtypes in the parts of the world where we have spread chaos and disorder. The neocon argument (which I unfortunately bought for too long) claimed that Islam was unfriendly to Christians and Jews, so we needed to defend those groups from Islam.
Simple logic again: We've been bringing chaos to that part of the world since 1990. We were pretending to defend those minorities against Islam. If Islam had been bothering those minorities, they WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THERE in 1990. But in fact those minorities WERE THERE, and had been living there during the 1300 years that Islam has dominated that area. 1300 years is plenty of time to eliminate an ethnic group if that's your goal.
Normal constraints again. Real value again. In this context, the constraints were designed by Mohammed, aka the Prophet of Real Value. The dhimmi arrangement (which I had eloquently railed against when I was locked into neocon groupthink) turns out to be the constraint that keeps religious minorities alive.
Christians and other non-Muslims are required to pay a tax to the government, and required to practice their particular customs in a subdued fashion. The tax makes Christians valuable to the government, and the quietness makes them relatively invisible to a majority that sometimes grows resentful.
Did it work? Yes, for 1300 years. Now it has stopped in Arab countries where we replaced Muslim governments by our "democratic" dictators, or by our contractors like Taliban and ISIS.
For anyone who felt awkward as a teenager and desperately wanted to be popular like the ‘cool kids’ at school, a new study may seem like poetic justice. Scientists have found that teenagers who act cool in early adolescence are more likely to experience a range of problems in early adulthood, compared to their geeky peers. Children who are revered at school, for example, are more likely to have alcohol and drug problems, become involved in crime, and have problems in relationships.
The actual finding is clear and unambiguous and ancient. Those who TRY TO BECOME COOL end up in trouble. Valid. No problem.
But the explanatory comment by the profs and by the media shows a complete failure to understand social hierarchies.
These are NOT the popular kids, NOT the 'revered' kids, NOT the cool kids. The cool kids don't need to do anything. They are automatically desired and revered and obeyed, no matter what they do. They are innately attractive and impressive, which means they generally come from parents with the same characteristics. Members of the leadership class don't run wild because they don't need to. (Think St Bernards and Chihuahuas.)
I'm not at all surprised to find the media stupidly misunderstanding this point. Media get everything wrong. I'm puzzled by the main prof speaking to the media. He seems to be equally stupid.
I get the sense that the grad students who developed and performed the study do understand coolness because they weren't cool. The prof who claims the credit and speaks to the media must have been innately cool and thus blind to the hierarchy.
¶ 4:22 PM
Sunday, July 06, 2014
Can't read that shit
Listening this afternoon to Test Kitchen, the only modern radio program I make a point of hearing every week. I never use their fancy recipes, but there's always something interesting and there's never anything annoying or lethal. It's a positive contribution to culture.
This week featured an interview with Ron Finley, who calls himself the Guerrilla Gardener. He's attempting to spread the gospel of the soil in places that need it most. 100 years ago, the poor parts of town could have taught these lessons to the rich parts; now, thanks to 50 years of LBJ's welfare and Betty Friedman's feminism and Milton Friedman's financialism, it's the other way around.
Finley does presentations to schools where he passes out bags of fast-food snacks and tells the kids "Don't open the bag. Read the bag." Some hapless kid will try to read it out loud. "Sugar, salt, di-pro-gly-can't read any more."
Finley then says "If you can't read that shit, don't eat that shit."
It's excellent advice. Strikes me just now that the obverse side of the sentence is equally good.
If you can write that shit, it means you've made that shit. Di-poly-gly-whatever can be precisely named because it's SYNTHETIC. It was produced by a specified sequence of reactions, mixings, catalysts, etc.
If you can't write it, you didn't make it. Nature made it.
We still can't write the NATURAL contents of food. The only honest way of listing the ingredients of a tomato is
We know in a reductionist sense what's in a tomato: we can weigh the atoms of carbon, oxygen, phosphorus, iron, etc. And we know a little bit of the chemical compounds: sugars, ascorbic acid, nicotine, etc.
But we're just beginning to realize (or re-realize) that Tomato and Parsnip and Bacon are VERBS, not nouns. And we're just barely beginning to parse those verbs. (Can I resist saying "parse the parsnip"? No.)
At the front end of the verb: Epigenetics hints strongly that the mood of the plant at harvest, or the mood of the animal at slaughter, determines the quality of the fruit or meat. We're especially retarded in diagramming this morpheme, because God already gave us the proper grammar. Kosher, halal, "astrological" harvest rules.
In the next part: Color and smell alert our salivary glands and stomach glands. Chewing signals the brain both mechanically and via the trigeminal nerve. Each gland then knows which enzymes to pour out and which chemicals to absorb.
In the last part: Our bacterial organs finish the processing and ingestion, learn epigenetically about the quality of the contents, and inform us by altering our mood.
All verb from start to finish. Mood to food to mood, with an infinite amount of action and excitement along the way.
Most of this fragmentary knowledge is extremely old and extremely new. The halal/astrology knowledge, direct from God via long painful experimentation, is 50,000 years old. The specifics of epigenetics and bacteria are just 10 years old.
Between those poles we passed through a terrible era of dead[ly] certainty and dead[ly] nounism. We believed with 100.00000% precision that our reductionist analysis was perfect.
Some parts of science have opened their eyes and ears and noses and hands in the last 10 years, and are busy confessing what they should have been confessing all along: We are ignorant fuckheads. Remember what we said about cholesterol? We were wrong. Remember what we said about cancer screening? We were wrong.
This advice is jarring but necessary. Before we can [re]learn the verbs we have to banish the nouns.
Other parts of science are still cranking out the same old synthetic nouns, adding new epicyclic syllables to their big words and getting multisyllabic sums of nominal money in return. Global warming, economics, cosmology, quantum, "social" "science".
These charlatans can read that shit, because they wrote that shit. Synthesized it from pure theory.
First world problem
When I headed for bed last night, I thought I was turning the air conditioner down from High Cool to Low Cool. I didn't notice that it was already on Low Cool, so I actually turned it down to Fan Only. When I woke up the house was still warm, and I was sweating just a little bit. But I slept well anyway, probably because the white noise of the fan wasn't interrupted by the thumps and bumps of the compressor switching on and off.
Waaaah! I'm forced to choose between slightly noisy sleep and slightly sweaty sleep! My life is horrible!
I've got a couple of highly welcome days without new work assignments, so I've been expanding to fill the available time. Catching up chores, letting out some pent-up graphics energy, reading a 1912 Manual for Army Cooks.
Most of it is what you'd expect. Managing a mess hall with insubordinate privates, recipes for feeding a hungry platoon. Each soldier was expected to know the basics of cooking, so he could carry dry ingredients when out on a solo scout mission. A more interesting section described living off the land, for situations where your supply line has failed. How to butcher rabbits, how to detect bad mushrooms, how to poach "acquire" crops from farm fields.
The recipes look hearty but remarkably repetitive.
Everything from bacon to steak to eggs to parsnips to sweet buns is based on BACON. Strips of bacon, bacon fat, bacon drippings. Bacon is the universal ingredient of all recipes, just as "global warming" is the universal boogeyman of all research.
Reading these, I realized this was exactly how my mother cooked. I wasn't allowed in the kitchen, but the BACON ingredients BACON were BACON obvious BACON enough BACON. She must have picked this up from her ...
NO. She didn't pick it up from her mother! I ate with Grandma often in the '70s when I lived in Ponca. By then I had been cooking for myself, so I could understand the process. Grandma's food was entirely different. Crisp, precise, lean, German. Like Grandma. The base ingredient was not bacon, it was vinegar. Again like Grandma.
So where did my mother learn to cook like a 1912 mess sergeant? It's a puzzle!
¶ 5:01 PM
A stolen Tesla speeding through Los Angeles-area streets went out of control and was torn in half in a fiery crash with other vehicles that injured six people. The crash early Friday left the back end of the electric car wedged between two walls of a synagogue in the city of West Hollywood and the front end down the street among other wrecked cars and a toppled traffic signal.
ELECTRIC KAR-MA. DARWIN + DARWIN + DARWIN = TRIFECTA.
¶ 6:24 AM
I've always believed (and I've written here several times) that the system of registering and naming broadcast stations began with naval beacons and ship-to-shore communications. The legalities and call letters were then gradually transferred to entertainment stations as the latter category grew.
Noticed a 1921 list of all call letters. This gives a different flavor to my belief. It's not essentially wrong, but the main purpose of the original stations was not official naval work or general commercial ship-to-shore.
Here's one page of the three-page list of land stations:
See it? The vast majority of those 'American' stations were in Alaska, Hawaii and Philippines, not the US mainland. Most were owned by fish-packing companies! Alaska was peculiarly rich in radio because it was rich in fisheries.
Broadcasting and networks turn out to be accidentally literal words.
¶ 4:42 AM
Edison beats Tesla yet again
The Tesla coil has an unshakable hold on a certain type of techie. Some scamster in Russia is trying to exploit that hold by crowdfunding an experimental Tesla power supply system.
Granted, the usual way of doing things is not always best. Too often we get locked into a system or a tech style by financial and emotional investment. After we spend billions of dollars and billions of manhours setting up something that works pretty well, there's no motivation to switch.
Sorry, techboys. That argument doesn't justify using a giant induction coil for wireless transmission of power.
There are several excellent reasons why it won't work.
Power is distributed through wires for the same reason that water is distributed through pipes.
If we distributed tap water the Tesla way, we'd send tidal waves across the land, flooding everything in the area. Houses could conveniently suck up their share of water from the flood. Of course you'd have to replace all soil with perfectly sealed concrete, and you'd have to rebuild all the houses 10 feet off the ground, and you'd have to switch from cars to boats, and you'd have to prevent birds and people from shitting in the water. Trivial. Just a minor engineering problem.
Same with electricity. When you flood the ether with a terawatt-size radio wave, EVERYTHING receives it. You can't turn things on and off. Every metallic object is picking up the waves and producing an alternating gradient. The aluminum siding on your house will be sparking to the rosebushes. The gutters will be sparking to the trees. You'll need to wear lineman's gloves before you touch any metal object. Fillings in your teeth will be zapping your brain. All fluorescent lights will be glowing all the time. Radios and computers will be instantly destroyed. You're basically living inside a giant microwave oven.
Well, I'm sure we can find workarounds. Make everything out of wood (but how do you cut and nail the wood?) and switch to steam-powered computers using high-tech non-metallic ceramics. You won't be able to send and receive anything via radio. No smartphones, no landline phones. All wavelengths will be jammed. Easy workaround. Just write messages on sheets of wood pulp using ink-filled feathers, and use horses with wooden harnesses to pull wooden carts to transport the messages. Trivial. Minor engineering problem.
None of this is impressive to techboy. Techboy no want word. Techboy want NUMBER. EQUATION.
Okay, techboy. Numbers.
Here's a Tesla coil set on top of my brick steampunkish Signal Tower. We've placed a wooden Default Spokane House out at a distance of 1/4 mile (1300 feet) to serve as a single sample point.
Closeup of the house. Note the metal doorknob. Probably won't bother Danbo since she's made of cardboard, so that's OK. Make a note to replace doorknobs with wood or glass before putting a human into the house.
View of the Tesla transmitter from the house.
Now we'll add a sphere representing the waves as they flood out from the transmitter.
The surface area of the spherical wavefront at 1300 ft is 6.7 million sqft.
Assume we can use the roof of house as an antenna to pick up the house's share of the Tesla wonderpower. House is 32 x 28 = 900 sqft; half of that is 450 sqft; angled at 45 degrees = about 600 sqft of receiving surface.
How much power does this antenna get? 600/6.7million = roughly 1/10000 of available power. Not bad.
But if we move the house out to a radius of one mile, it won't get 1/40000 of available power, because the
total area of the sphere increases with the square of the distance. So each house at one mile would get 1/160,000 of the available power. Go out to 10 miles and it's 1/16,000,000 of available power.
A radius of 10 miles would be about like Spokane's metro area. Thus: if we want to give a
typical house at the outer edge about 1 kilowatt, the radiated power at the central coil
would need to be 16 gigawatts.
Back to our 1/4 mile house now: 1/10000 of 16 gigawatts = 1.6 megawatts absorbed by the roof. But we only need about one or two kilowatts, so how do we throttle it down? All the wires will be absorbing their share of the 1.6 megawatts directly, so they won't be able to restrict anything. Transformers? Pots? SCR phase-choppers? All melted when the Tesla turned on. Won't help.
See? Trivial. Engineering problem. Just rebuild the entire society from scratch, and take technology back to 3000 BC. But it's worth all the trouble to have Magic Tesla Power! YESSSSS!
When cosmic rays hit the upper atmosphere, they send high-energy particles, such as neutrons, showering down towards the surface. So an interesting question is how these neutrons influence things on the ground. Researchers have long known that high-energy neutrons can smash into atomic nuclei causing all kinds of damage to the structure of materials. This is one cause of errors in computer memories. Indeed, back in 2004, a group of researchers from IBM measured the flux of neutrons from cosmic ray collisions and used their results to predict the error rate in computer memories another electronic logic devices. Their predictions closely matched the observed rate of error, suggesting that neutrons are indeed an important source of problems in computing.
I thought this was "settled science" back in the '70s. I remember learning it from proper textbooks, and later teaching it. So it wasn't even checked until 2004? And it wasn't checked, but only guessed with models???
That finding has captured the imagination of Augusto González at the Institute of Cybernetics, Mathematics and Physics in Havana, Cuba. If background neutron radiation can cause errors in computer circuitry, then it ought to have a similarly destructive effect on another much more common information processing system–life. Evolutionary biologists have long known that spontaneous mutations occur at a rate that has a crucial influence on the nature of evolution. But exactly what causes spontaneous mutation has never been properly understood.
Again, I learned back in the '60s that cosmic rays were a major source of those mutations. It was "settled science" in proper textbooks. They're just now getting around to asking about it????
The question that González addresses is whether this mutation rate can be explained by the background neutron radiation. He does this by creating a mathematical model of the environment in which bacteria grow, which is essentially water.
He calculates that high-energy neutron would enter the water on a bacterial sample about once every 125 seconds. This high-energy neutron would then transfer its energy to water molecules creating a relatively short track of ions. He says that a single neutron would generate some 300 ions over a track length of about 100 nanometers and about 30 ions at a distance of 0.1 mm
No, they're not even checking it. They're just fucking around with computer models. As always.
- - - - - THIS IS NOT SCIENCE. - - - - -
You asked for forgotten, you got forgotten!
European commies had been agitating for a "right to forget" law that could remove Google's links to things that displeased the commies. They got the law from EU.
Now the same commies are unhappy because some of the forgettings interfere with their own needs:
The fallout of the EU’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ ruling has impacted a number of European news publications who suddenly found some of their “inadequate” and “irrelevant” pieces disappear from the web search engine results pages. The search engine now stands accused of heavy-handedness by several media outlets, links to which have disappeared due to Google's fear of potential legal issues. The Guardian, the BBC, and Sky News were among those who received an ominous email in the past 48 hours saying that certain articles could no longer be linked to – articles which arguably could be deemed both relevant and in the public interest.
Arguably? No, you can't argue with Google.
You asked for it, you got it, assholes!
More seriously, the real problem is journalistic laziness. Before Google, each newspaper kept its own morgue, run by an archivist who knew what was important. When you have your own DECOUPLEDstorage and archiving system, you don't have to depend on the vagaries and tyrannies of Imperial Agencies like EU, NSA, Google and Amazon.
And most seriously of all, Privacy Laws ALWAYS serve evil purposes. Privacy Laws allow bureaucrats and corporate monsters to silence their own misdeeds and "accidentally leak" the misdeeds of heretics or competitors.
Bit later: Ack! I just felt a picosecond of sympathy with Google! Realized that Google is pulling a Chuck here. The old sergeant-breaker routine. "So I sez Ho Kay, we'll do it your way!" I understand and (gargggghhh) despite all my better instincts, I sympathize.
See what happens when you DON'T look?
While biologists who deal with plants and invertebrates are giving us a super-golden age of amazing discoveries, "social" "scientists" continue to produce lethal idiocy.
This article claims to "prove", using very little evidence and reverse causation, that dogs don't really know what blindness is. Guide dogs are just mechanically trained to provide certain services.
DIDN'T YOU EVER LOOK AT FUCKING YOUTUBE?
Just fill in "guide dog for blind dog" in Youtube's search blank, idiot anthropologist. You'll immediately see 5 unquestionable case studies. These services weren't created by Pavlovian conditioning, because nobody even thought about training the sighted dog. These services happened BECAUSE DOGS HAVE EMPATHY.
People who constantly work with dogs are also familiar with the phenomenon. Note this 'pet of the week' segment where the lady from the pound is trying to sell a blind dog named Nacho. She says it would be a good idea to have another similar-sized dog in the house, so the other dog will serve as a guide for Nacho. Does that sound like idle speculation?
"Social" "scientists" and physicists and "global warming" wackos are too firmly locked inside their idiot theories to LOOK AND LISTEN. Biologists have somehow broken out of their theory-bubble after spending several decades inside it.
Maybe we should assign a guide biologist to each "social" "scientist" to lead them into the light. Nah, wouldn't work. They're beyond blind.
¶ 8:19 AM
See what happens when you LISTEN?This will go unnoticed by the BIG-money BIG-insanity wackos who run physics and "global warming".
It should be noticed by all lovers of science and Nature. It should be trumpeted across the world.
This is the BIGGEST discovery of the decade, and it's an elegant experiment as well. [Plus a bonus aptronym.]
"Previous research has investigated how plants respond to acoustic energy, including music," said Heidi Appel, [at Univ of Missouri]. "However, our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration. We found that feeding vibrations signal changes in the plant cells' metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars."
In the study, caterpillars were placed on Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard. Using a laser and a tiny piece of reflective material on the leaf of the plant, Cocroft was able to measure the movement of the leaf in response to the chewing caterpillar.
Cocroft and Appel then played back recordings of caterpillar feeding vibrations to one set of plants, but played back [silence or other vibrations] to other plants. When caterpillars later fed on both sets of plants, the researchers found that the plants previously exposed to feeding vibrations produced more mustard oils, a chemical that is unappealing to many caterpillars.
In simple terms,
PLANTS GOT BRAINS.
Plants are able to distinguish between precise patterns of sound. This is WAY more than simply spotting the existence of vibrations or detecting a touch. This requires sequential memory, a cochlea (or something analogous), and a template comparator. Where are these mechanisms? Completely unknown at the moment. Can this be done with epigenetic switching, like some other plant senses? Seems dubious.
We already know that insects can read the vibrations and calls of other insects through the stems of plants. Now we know that the plants are not just acting as 'telephones' in this process; they're also listening in on the line. Bugging the bugs.
Absolutely amazing. I'm glad I lived to see this.
= = = = =
Bit later: Just realized that the Rex Cocroft who worked on this project is the same Rex Cocroft who recorded those wonderful leafhopper sounds. So the connection between studying insect communication and studying plant hearing is not coincidental; it's clearly part of a larger research plan.
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.