Wednesday, December 31, 2014
  Deluxe-random thought

A super-random thought about car naming.... or is it a custom-random or deluxe-random thought?

Overall there have been four types of designation for trim levels or series within one make.

> Exclusive names like Bel Air or Plaza belonged to one make. When you saw Plaza, you could fill in Plymouth without any doubt. This class of names became famous for trickling down, often called the Bel Air Effect. Through the '50s and '60s most low-priced cars pulled the same trickle-down trick. Bel Air, Belvedere and Fairlane started as special editions, gradually moved down to the stripper level, and finally dropped off the stack as new names pushed onto the top.

> Letters were the first commonly used designation. In the pre-1910 era most cars were Model A or Model C or whatever. Letters disappeared after Ford's T and A froze the technique. Killer apps. Letters never had a chance to percolate up or down, mainly because a Model D was not necessarily better than a Model C, it was just newer.

> Generic names like Deluxe and Custom and Super were movable, but it didn't matter much. You couldn't tell from year to year whether Super was better or worse than Deluxe. Custom was a partial exception when used as a prefix. You knew that Custom Royal was better than Royal, but double names quickly got tiresome and faded in the '50s.

> Numbers were especially common in the '30s.

Packard had 110, 120, 160 and 180, each acquiring a distinct 'feel' for car buyers and car fanciers.

GM perfected the technique with memorable two-digit numbers for Olds, Buick and Cadillac. Buick always used tens: 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 at various times. The zero was so firm that variations had to be done with an added letter, as in 40A. Cadillac allowed the second digit to vary arbitrarily. At various times Caddy used 60, 61, 62, 63, 67, 72, 75, 86 and 90. Olds made the second digit 6 or 8 to match the engine. After 1951 when Olds stopped making sixes, the 88/98 distinction settled down and stayed there.

You'd think that brand-exclusive names would be the least movable and completely abstract numbers would be the most, but it's the other way around. Number designations never percolated. 98 always remained the top Olds, and 180 remained the top Packard until Packard stupidly switched to Custom and Super.
 
  Two-ended again

Via RealClearScience, an excellent case study of the well-known theorem "Germans don't get bored." Even though the subject is completely useless, it strikes me as a situation where two-ended spectra would help our thinking.
German cities emit several times less light per capita than comparably sized American cities, according to a recent publication in the journal Remote Sensing. The size of the gap grew with city size, as light per capita increased with city size in the USA but decreased with city size in Germany. The study also examined regional differences, and surprisingly found that light emission per capita was higher in cities in the former East of Germany than from those in the former West.

"The size of the difference in light emission is surprisingly large. This work will allow us to identify comparable cities in order to uncover the reasons behind the differences." These could include differences in the type of lamps, but also architectural factors like the width of the streets and the amount of trees. The LED lamps currently being installed in many cities are expected to greatly change the nighttime environment, for example by reducing the amount of light that shines upwards.
Back in the 1840s when science was fresh and valid, the two-ended concept proved helpful in dealing with cold and hot. Ohm used this idea in developing his formulas for electrical flow and friction. Several researchers noted that a source of cold could be focused with a parabolic reflector just as a source of heat could.

Most of our thinking about light, both formal and informal, is currently based on a one-ended spectrum. This causes us to neglect the role of surfaces. I noticed this forcefully in 2009 when my laundry room was being repaired after ice dam problems. The remodelers took off the white ceiling tiles and the white floor vinyl and left the dark wood exposed for a week while a fan dried things out. During that week I had to use the room, and found that the 60-watt light bulb no longer lit anything. It had been adequate when the white flat surfaces reflected and diffused its light, but with the ceiling dark and complicated, the same lumens did nothing at all for the room.



If my thinking had been based on light and dark sources, like the positive and negative ends of a battery, this phenomenon wouldn't have been such a surprise.

In the case of cities, the distinction turns out to be obvious. I know nothing about German cities, so I just picked a couple of Bach-related cities that came to mind, Cottbus in East and Göttingen in West. I wanted a US city of similar size, and Toledo came to mind. (Not Bach-related for damn sure.)







In the Bing** birds-eye views the differences are dramatic. Both German cities have a similar street pattern. Sparse streets with tall apts close to the street. The apts look remarkably uniform in size and material. Göttingen (West) has lots more "dark emitters" as in trees and grass.

The US vs Germany difference is mainly in the quantity of "light emitters". US cities have*** lots of small blocks, which means lots of corners with streetlights. Houses are (comparatively) small and far from the street, so the "dark-emitters" aren't competing as heavily.

**Footnote 1: Bing is quietly developing an answer to Google's Streetview. Bing calls it Streetside. It doesn't cover everywhere yet, but I like its pictures better. Perspective is closer to reality, without the odd foreshortening and forelongening of Google's pics. [Later, Aug 2015: Bing has ruined its own superiority. Streetside was revised somehow, and now it's worse than Google Streetview in terms of distorted perspective! Dumb move!]

***Footnote 2: US cities not only have lots of small blocks, they have blocks of small lots.


= = = = =

Update March 2017: I tried the cold-focusing experiment. Results completely negative. No indication of reflection from flat tinfoil, or focusing in tinfoil parabola.
 
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
  Year-end href

Normally I do a year-end review, but I'm not in a writing mood this week. I'm too tired of infinite insanity beyond insanity beyond insanity roaring and spewing and puking and shitting from every filthy orifice of every filthy politician and expert.

So it's bread and cheese upon the shelf.

If anything I wrote or thought this year is worth reading, it's going to be under the 'Sharia law = Natural law' theme.

Within that theme, 'Techbullies' probably hits the main points.

Another set of ideas that may be original: an analogy between economic conservation and soil conservation. 'Windbreaks' covers it. I was going to extend the theme, but jury duty broke my chain of thought and I didn't return.
 
Sunday, December 28, 2014
  Kim 3 needs better propagandists

NK's propaganda department needs to hire a better English speaker.

"Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest."

Obviously the intention is not


in the usual USA STRONG terms. Orientals don't understand the concept of

in the usual USA STRONG sense. Orientals understand race and ethnicity in a sane way. They are free to judge people by ethnicity, and they do it all the time. Sensitivity and Die-Versity are NOT meaningful concepts in sane countries. Japs and Chinks and Gooks call us all sorts of nasty names in normal casual conversation, well beyond this peculiar metaphor.

But why this metaphor? It doesn't make sense even after you get rid of the whole crazy business of


How is a monkey in a tropical forest reckless in words and deeds? Completely disconnected analogy. The only critter in a tropical forest who can afford to be reckless is the top predator, the lion or leopard. Everyone else has to be goddamn careful so they won't be eaten by the lion. If you want a model of reckless in words, I'd say Kim 3 himself is a good model. But if you want reckless in words AND deeds then any recent American president is the top predator. No animal can possibly beat a Bush or a Clinton or an Obama in that department. Presidents casually wipe out entire countries without even knowing it.

So the correct metaphor, still in clumsy English, would be

"Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a President in the White House."

= = = = =

Separately, now that the hacking accusation against NK has fallen apart, the Experts have turned blame to Our Official Enemy Russia, which makes more sense for the careers of the Experts. Russia is now Officially blamed for everything.

Interesting comparison between Cold War 1 and Cold War 2. In CW1 Russia and America were mutual enemies at some levels, but our Experts were careful to avoid blaming Russia for anything. Even when KGB killed Kennedy, the Experts had to deflect the blame to "Texas right-wingers led by the Hunt Brothers". (Equiv to "Koch Brothers" in today's currency.)

Now in CW2 the party alignment of both sides has changed. USA STRONG is the Soviet side and Russia is the Christian or "right-wing" side. But the Experts have NOT changed. Experts were Soviet then and they're Soviet now. Experts are STILL blaming "right-wingers" for everything, but now their job is easier because the "right-wingers" are in the opposing country.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014
  First snow! Sort of.



First snow of the winter. Unimpressive. Weather bureau was predicting 4 inches, and we got about 1.5 inches. Not enough to properly shovel. Too bad; I was actually looking forward to shoveling the paths and raking the roof. Good exercise and sense of accomplishment.

Not too surprising. This is a Nino year, which means the storm track is mainly heading for Calif. They need it and we don't. Nature always reverts to the mean.

If this snow wanted to get some respect, it should have jetted over to England where it would be seen as a DEADLY LETHAL UNPRECEDENTED WEATHER BOMB!!!!!

Next morning after walk: This snow didn't amount to much, but it turned into a formidable obstacle to walking and driving. It got clumpy toward the end then froze HARD. Result is like walking on lava. Good traction but throws your ankles in all directions at once. Amazingly noisy. CRUNCH! CRACK! POP! I suspect we'll see a lot of flat tires this morning.

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  Take it? Nope, leave it

Thinking about frozen dinners vs home-cooked .... Omnibus Bills in Congress are an excellent example of frozen dinners. Take it or leave it. Tremendously wasteful either way. A Congressional Omnibus is pre-guaranteed to be taken because it includes a painstakingly calculated combo of sweet treats and poison pills for each and every Congressmonster. If you take it you get goodies; if you leave it your opponent gets a pre-designed talking point at the next "election".

Spokane Transit apparently thinks it has designed an Omnibus Bond Proposal for Omnibus Service. This Omnibus Omnibus includes some necessary maintenance and expansion, along with the classic STA Board Member Wet Dream. The board idiots have been dreaming this dream for a LONG time, and it's always been a stupid and pointless dream. Oh! If only we could get COOL people to ride the bus! If only we could get OUR KIND OF PEOPLE to ride the bus! Kick out those smelly poor people from Terra Incognita North Spokane! We must get the rich Episcopalians from Rockwood Boulevard and the supercooooooool supergreeeeeen hipsters from Browne's Addition to ride the bus! And if we're REALLY REALLY LUCKY we can bring in the Real Movie Stars from Coeur d'Alene! Oh! Oh! I can't take it! Patricia Neal! Too much stimulation! Yessssss! Yessssssss! Oh Gaiiiiaaaaaaa!

Toward that stupid end, this latest Omnibus Omnibus includes a monstrously expensive Light Rail or Trolley Without Wires or something. I can't be bothered to look.

What does the proposal do for Terra Incognita? Does it increase the frequency of Route 22, which is desperately needed now that 22 is way beyond standing-room-only at rush hour? Nope. Does it restore service to my neighborhood which was lost in 2006? Nope. The ONLY thing it does for the Northwest quarter of town is an increase in Saturday service on 33, which is unnecessary and silly. 33 is nearly empty on weekends except for a couple weeks before Christmas when the Jap girls from Mukogawa use 33 to shop at Northtown.

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  Infinite negative intelligence

Polistra has often discussed the idea of two-sided spectra in human tendencies. It's most obvious in morality. If morality were a one-sided variable, the top end would be Max Good and the bottom end would be Min Good. But that's not the case. Instead, the top is Max Good and the bottom is Max Bad, with Neutral or Trainable in the middle. Intelligence seems to run the same way, though not quite as transparently. The left end of the intelligence spectrum is not Zero Learning. Instead, it's Perfect Negative Learning.

Our fine leaders have reached that point.

Consider: Satan's media have been wallowing in the 1914 Christmas Truce, a moment when the normal humans on the front lines ignored their evil leaders and behaved like normal humans.

Immediately after each feature on the 1914 Truce, we get a ROAR of 2014 Imperial Aggression. How dare those Horrible Christian Russians stand in the way of Our Grand And Glorious Goldman Empire! How dare those Horrible Muslim Arabs stand in the way of Our Grand And Glorious Gayness! We Shall SLAUGHTER Those Horrible Theists And Replace Them With Derivative Trading Desks And Graduate Queer Studies Departments!

Low-intelligence elites would process the 1914 Truce and simply forget it. They would continue minding their own business semi-competently and semi-corruptly, which is the true Utopia.

Perfect Negative Intelligence processes the 1914 Truce and says "This is wonderful. Let's be sure it never happens again. Never again! Never again! Hey, I know what's even better! Let's be the Germans this time. Both of those wars turned out beautifully for the Krauts, so we should copy their model this time! Forward to Total Victory! Heil Cameron! Heil Merkel! Heil Obama!"

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Thursday, December 25, 2014
  Cruel advice

Finding reverse causation in "social" "science" is easier than shooting fish in a barrel; it's more like shooting barrel staves in a barrel. "Social" "science" is exactly bad causation and wildly illogical disconnections. Straightforward reverse causation is the least of its problems.



This particular "study" is garden variety reversal, but it strikes me as especially cruel and dangerous advice, so it needs a takedown.
The study indicated that not only religious service attendance, but self-reported “religiosity” and religious “affiliation” are also linked with happiness levels. However of the 3 indicators, service attendance has the highest correlation to elevated happiness. The study showed that higher levels of church attendance “predict higher life satisfaction,” even just after accounting for how important religious faith is in people’s lives.
Why is this cruel? Because it might drive an unhappy person to try attending church as a cure for unhappiness. Guaranteed result: Rejection, frustration, and increased unhappiness.

Simple fact: Extroverts attend church because church is a good place to be around lots of people. Being around lots of people makes extroverts happy.

Extroverts do NOT want to be around unhappy people, and culture strongly enforces this ostracism. Listen to any advice show on radio or TV, scan any advice-oriented Tumblr or Facebook page, and you will INSTANTLY run into a dozen versions of the same command. Don't let unhappy people into your circle. They will bring you down.

The supposed "study" encourages unhappy people to jump into the path of this rejection bullet. Nasty.
 
  Resolution

This is internal and dull, but they say that resolutions work best when you write them up publicly...

From age 20 to age 60 I gained about 1 pound per year. Since 60 it's been 5 pounds per year, and now at 65 it's starting to get annoying. At the last annual checkup I asked the doctor about it. He didn't seem worried, said metabolism slows with age, and suggested cutting snacks. So I decided not to worry. Then jury duty forced my attention. Courthouse restrooms have full-length mirrors, and I got a full view of myself for the first time in several years. I didn't like what I saw.



So it's time for a diet.

Never done this before; never had the problem before.

Cutting out two daily snacks (mid-morning donut, after-lunch chips) turned out to be easy. Chewing gum helps with the transition. [Later note: I really wanted Chiclets, because the initial crunch substitutes for crispy snacks. Turns out Chiclets are no longer available here. Tried several varieties of stick gum, NOT satisfying. Finally found that 'Dentyne Ice' is equivalent to Chiclets. Yay!]


Next step is displacing ramen, which has a reputation as an especially effective weight-adder.

Assembled a ramen substitute this morning:

> One cup of water in saucepan.
> A pinch of salt and a sliver of butter.
> Three tablespoons of (precooked) barley.
> Three tablespoons of macaroni. (Add after butter melts.)
> One Knorr vegetable bouillion cube.
> Low boil 10 minutes, or until macaroni is edible.

Less mass than a bowl of ramen, but equally satisfying and filling. Crunchier than ramen, and even more 'umami'. Slightly more expensive, maybe 35 cents per serving instead of 25. Takes exactly the same amount of time to prepare and eat, assuming you keep some precooked barley around. Remains to be seen whether it will make a difference in weight.

= = = = =

Sidenote after a couple days of this substitute: I'm noticing again the most basic advantage of home-cooking. When I switched my evening meal from all-in-one-can to fresh combinations two years ago, my original motivation was NOT digestion. I was simply looking for better taste and quality control, because the all-in-one Chunky Soups were poorly controlled. Some ingredients were obviously bad, and some cans had loads of onions. By mixing my own ingredients and using plain Tomato soup, I could avoid the onions and avoid bad stuff. With the current change my motivation was digestive, but I'm immediately noticing the quality AND quantity control advantage. If I feel like eating less barley, I can put in less barley. More macaroni, put in more. With ramen you can't preselect anything. You can't tell if the contents are stale until you open the package. The only way to eat less is to cook the whole package and throw away the uneaten part. Both are wasteful! This ties in directly with other discussions of centralized vs maintainable devices or organizations. All-in-one is tyrannical. You have to take what the central office provides. Use it or toss it. Separable food is adjustable and adaptable. With food as with all the other cases of central/decentral, Nature instructs us that the decentral way is better.

= = = = =

Update Mar 20, 2015: After about 4 months, it appears that I've lost about 3 pounds. Scale may not be accurate, but the direction of the delta is unmistakable. I was gaining 5 per year, now I'm losing at the same rate, maybe faster. That's what I wanted! Yay!

Jan 2017: Lost 15 pounds from max. This is acceptable now. The extra weight and volume that was getting in the way is gone, and I can move around properly.

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  Old trick

UK Telegraph comes perilously close to admitting a fact.

"Some online viewers left a little disappointed by new Seth Rogen film after unintentional PR campaign."

Unintentional? Nah. This was clearly the oldest of all Hollywood tricks. They've been doing it since 1910. Previously the trick involved fake crimes or fake personal attacks against the star. Previously they got city police departments ensnared in the fakery. This is the first time they've gotten a President involved in the trick, which is a massive victory for Sony's PR department.

Evidence? Here. Security 'experts' see the hack as an inside job at Sony. Just the latest Lusitania in this era of All Lusitania All The Time.

Kim 3 is a brutal asshole, but he's right about this. His willingness to run a joint investigation should have been enough proof.
 
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
  Torpenhow Hill



Christ-mas is, of course, a mass for Christ on his birthday. So a Christmas massmass is a mass for a mass for a mass for Christ. And the word mass comes from ite missa est, roughly "Get the fuck outta here, you smelly crowds! You're DISMISSED!" So a mass for a mass for a mass for Christ is a triple dismissal of Christ.

Hmm. Wasn't there someone who dismissed Christ three times? Hear any roosters?

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014
  Rhythm method

I got carried away with 1940Censusing. Started looking for father's mother's line. I knew these folks came from somewhere around Belle, Mo. They turned out to be a lot more common than father's father's name. Scattered all over Osage and Maries counties. After skimming a few dozen pages, I picked up a rhythm of sorts, based on the firm correlation between income and family size. My folks were somewhere around the 30th percentile, which placed them closer to the big-family end but not quite there. I found that I could predict safely which pages were likely to contain my folks just by the pattern.



Left page is too poor = too many kids per household. Right page is too rich = too few kids. Middle page contains one of my folks.

Somewhat puzzled, though. In this case I had a point of reference: my great-grandfather who I met once when I was 4 and he was 94. I thought he had stayed in Mo. The Census showed 25 households with the correct last name in Osage and Maries, but nobody with the correct first name. Maybe he did move to Okla after all. This is my third incorrect assumption about addresses of ancestors in 1940! [Sidenote: I could look up these facts directly. Most of my ancestors have been thoroughly genealogized. But I'm not doing genealogy; I'm just exercising my creaky old mind and drawing some broader conclusions about history.]

Osage County had one peculiarity that made it stand out from the general run of Census pages. It was mainly German Catholic, which meant a lot of LONG names (Aufderheide, Kochenberger) and a lot of Catholic schools scattered through the farmland. Because the Census was only for residents, it didn't show schools or businesses as such. But each Catholic school had a dozen resident Sisters, who were easily visible as a block of similarly shaped names that overflowed the blanks. There was one parochial school for every hundred households or so. Bear in mind that this was 1940, still nominally in the Depression... but these farmers remained prosperous enough to support a mini-convent while they were paying taxes for the public schools they weren't using. Yet another data point opposing the common notion that "only WW2 broke the Depression".

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Monday, December 22, 2014
  Thanks, Baptists!



The Driscoll Baptist Church did a VERY smart thing yesterday. They distributed little bags of cookies around the neighborhood. Homemade and tasty. No heavy message, just Merry Christmas from the Baptists.

If I were still convertible, this would take me quite a ways toward converting. Unfortunately I'm spiritually retarded and stubborn, and I've decided that Islam makes more sense than any form of Christianity.

But no matter how stubborn, it's hard to think bad thoughts about a church while you're eating their cookies.

Thanks to the church, and special thanks to the members who made the cookies!

God's work.

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  Bravo

Bravo to the NY police unions for standing up to Satan and speaking some actual fucking truth. Good step but insufficient.

Only a total police strike across the whole nation will begin to clear up this mess. You satans in government and media want a country without police? Fine. You got a country without police.

= = = = =

Completely separate thought on same general subject: One OBVIOUS COMMON FACTOR in this current mess is our failure to keep HABITUAL CRIMINALS in jail for life. The criminals who create the most trouble for cops, whether with direct attacks or with standoff-type situations, are ALWAYS habitual offenders with dozens or hundreds of arrests on their records. These men have been committing crimes since they could walk and talk.

Eliminate privacy laws for "mental illness". Eliminate the distinction between juvenile and adult court systems. Treat all violent acts the same regardless of age or "diagnosis". Allow some room for the dumb or weak kid who gets pulled into lawbreaking by circumstance or peer pressure. No tolerance at all for the first offense of a professional criminal, no matter how old he is. Everyone can tell the difference. This is NOT a fucking mystery.
 
Sunday, December 21, 2014
  Constants and Variables 22

Here's an odd constants / variables situation.

Fact: In 1989 Sovietism moved from the Russian sphere to the US sphere, under the careful supervision of Bush The Father.

Sovietism currently infests and blights US, UK, and EU to varying degrees. US is around 80% Soviet, UK around 90%, and EU as an institution around 200%, though some of the EU bloc provinces try to hold back the flood of hypertoxin.

There are two untransferred leftovers of the earlier arrangement. North Korea and Cuba. NK is the real thing, pure unchanged time-capsulized Stalin. Cuba has allowed some capitalism but still calls itself Marxist-Leninist.

This week we have an odd inconsistency in our relations with those two Guiding Lights.

We officially moved closer to Cuba with an exchange of "hikers", which makes perfect sense. Raul Castro stated the obvious: "We must not expect that in order for relations with the United States to improve, Cuba will abandon the ideas that it has struggled for."

Of course. Unnecessary defensiveness. That wasn't the point. We don't change regimes that agree with us. We only invade and SMASH and occupy reactionary deviationist-roader countries that embrace Christianity (eg Russia) or embrace Islam (eg too many to name).

But at the same time we uttered harsh words against North Korea for exemplifying our system at its very best and finest. Censorship is a core USA STRONG value. No word or punctuation or intonation that casts the slightest microdoubt on Our Radiant and Harmonious Lord And Savior The Very Most Reverend Alphonse Sharpton Esquire is allowed to exist in the minds of our citizens, let alone speech or media. We have perfected the arts of blackmail and threat of violence to prohibit blasphemy against Our Radiant and Harmonious Lord And Savior The Very Most Reverend Alphonse Sharpton Esquire. NK is serving its own Most Radiant Lord And Savior in the same Tolerant and Liberal way.

So what's the problem? I don't get it.

Later: Turns out to be no problem at all. Just the classic Hollywood trick of stirring up a fake attack against the star or the film.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014
  Whose mania?

BBC, always good parody material, interviewed some Expert On Terrorism who emitted a bunch of vaguely valid but trivial pop psych junk, along with some absolute lies.

The Expert characterized Breivik and Kaczynski as 'white supremacists'. Precisely wrong. Bizarrely wrong.

Those two are unique among recent serious radicals, in that B & K are NOT rebels. Their belief systems are identical to the belief system of BBC, EU, US, Cameron, Clegg, Miliband, Obama, Bushes, Clintons, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and every newspaper in the Western world.

B & K were not opposed to the Establishment at all. They merely felt that the Establishment wasn't acting quickly and harshly enough to enforce its beliefs. They tried to help. But their 'help' was vastly less efficient than the Establishment's existing work. B & K killed dozens while the Establishment was (and still is) killing millions.

I suppose they did help the Establishment in a backhanded and frustrating way. After an amateur tries to compete with the system at a retail level, the system always inverts the message of the amateur and uses it as 'justification' to redouble its existing wholesale genocide.
 
  No wonder.

After making a picture of my house in the context of fixing wind damage, I looked back at an earlier entry here in which I traced the history of the house.

Bored without a new work assignment, I decided to look into the first owners, Jim and Bertha Willis. Found them in the 1940 Census, and found obits for both. Jim was born in Howell County, Mo, and Bertha was born in Hazelton, Kan, near Joplin. After Jim and Bertha moved to Spokane in 1909, they first bought (or built?) a house three blocks south of here. I'm guessing 'built' because that house was built in 1910 and has a distinctly Missoura look. It still exists and I see it every day on my walks. I've noticed it because it's next door to this slow construction project which still isn't finished.

Jim then bought or built this house in 1943 or 1948. (Date uncertain.) It's not clear why they wanted to 'downsize' out of a bigger and better house.

Jim's birthplace in Howell County struck a note, because that's where my father's folks lived before they wandered out to Okla.

Back to the Census. Grandpa and Jim wouldn't be there in 1940, but I hoped to find some indication of the names. Our family's genealogy listed West Plains as the residence of several ancestors, and Jim's obit listed Mountain View. Neither of those cities contained any of either name in 1940. But one township NE of West Plains contained a whole pile of Willises AND a whole pile of my father's folks. They were neighbors!

No wonder this house suits me.

= = = = =

Semi-related sidenotes: (1) It's unlikely that my father's folks ever lived inside the urbane cosmopolitan metropolis of West Plains. Once he told about visiting some of them in the late '40s. They ran a ramshackle semi-farm "way out in the sticks" and they had never gotten around to building an outhouse. Peeing off the porch and pooping in the bushes was good enough for them. (2) The Census for Howell County included a place called Shanty Town. Haven't yet figured out where it was. It consisted mainly of Alsups and DeBoards, both of whom clearly favored VERY large families. (3) Broadly, Howell County resembles the Okla counties I searched earlier. Single-person households were extremely rare, maybe 2% of all households. Income correlated negatively with number of children, and domestic servants were common in middle-class homes. (4) One pattern that I didn't see in Okla: A correlation between names and income. Occupants of the more expensive houses or farms had hard clattery Yankee names like Victor or Ted or Katy or Rebecca. Names you can punch a timeclock with. Everyone else had soft Missoura names like Earl or Wade or Eula or Pearline. Names you can spend some time with.

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Friday, December 19, 2014
  Old motto, new motto

Old motto (carved on building): Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

New motto (in a radio ad): For rain, snow, or whatever else Mother Nature throws at us, we bring our A-Game.

Whatever, dude. At least it's realistic. UPS and FedEx have taken over the Appointed Rounds franchise. Post Office has been demoted to the When-We-Feel-Like-It Rounds League.

= = = = =

The wiki article about the old motto brings out a fact I didn't know before: The old motto wasn't really about the US Post Office. It was Herodotus describing the Persian Post Office in 500 BC! [I suspect most educated people already knew this, but I didn't.]
 
  I don't buy it

BBC reports on an interesting observation by adventurous naturalists.
Remarkably, the warblers' evacuation commenced while the closest tornado was still hundreds of miles away. Weather conditions in the nesting area were still nothing out of the ordinary.

The most likely tip-off was the deep rumble that tornadoes produce, well below what humans can hear. Noise in this "infrasound" range travels thousands of kilometres, and may serve as something of an early warning system for animals that can pick it up.
I don't buy it. Infrasound is carried by the ground. If we were talking about moles or earthworms or toads, might be plausible. But little birds rarely touch the ground. Even if they did, it would be impossible to sort out this particular rumble from all the vastly closer and stronger rumbles from cars, trains, air conditioners, rock-n-roll, etc.

Electrostatic changes are much more likely. A severe storm system involves huge changes in charge patterns, easily detectable by airborne critters. Birds are constantly taking readings of electromagnetic fields for navigation. Electricity is literally in their wheelhouse.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
  Probably seemed like a good idea

Regular dentist appt this afternoon, cleaning as usual. No cavities as CURRENTLY usual; but before I switched to more home-cooked food, there was always a cavity. Two years on new diet makes a pretty fair comparison.

One thing was NOT as usual. Dentist has installed an all-digital X-ray system. Instead of the little rectangle of film on the bitepiece, there's a BIG cube containing an optical array, with a fiberoptic cable trailing back to a computer.

The selling point is obvious. The technician can examine the result immediately, no developing needed. Unfortunately, the clumsiness of the BIG cube with a plastic bag flopping around and a fiberoptic cable pulling in all directions means that some areas of the mouth basically can't be reached. Each exposure needed two tries. Some positions required me to hold the bitepiece with my hand instead of biting down.

Net result: The X-ray series previously took about 10 minutes by the ancient primitive useless analog method. Today it took 40 minutes by the modern wonderful digital method.

Yes indeedy! A real time-saver!

It's clear that the maker of this gadget didn't run enough beta testing ... or in this case, bita testing.
 
  Glasses

The next "election" is Jeb vs Hillary.

Too bad... Jeb vs Elizabeth Warren would be the first non-fake election (note lack of quote marks) in several decades. First real choice between the dynastic succession and an actual human.

It would also be interesting for a superficial reason: it would be the first election since FDR vs Landon with both candidates always wearing eyeglasses.

Truman was the last president who was always seen with specs. Most presidents are sometimes seen with peepers, but not as a standard part of the iconic picture.

 
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
  Harmonious infill

I've been watching one triangular lot in this neighborhood that was vacant since the area was platted in 1910. The owner has tried several different tactics to get it sold and built. First he subdivided it into three little lots. Didn't work. Then he cleared about half of the dense stand of pines to make it more attractive. Didn't work. Two weeks later, Nature cleared the rest of the trees with a gustnado. Finally worked. In October a foundation was poured, and now the house is pretty much finished.

It's nicely proportioned but plain. Sort of L-shaped with the garage dominant. No modern nonsense; no pseudo-Palladian arches, no parody retro. It's not trying to be anything but pleasant and livable. Reminds me of something....

On this morning's walk I put on my 'architecture glasses' and examined the nearby houses objectively. Aha! The new house matches about 80% of the late-50s houses on its block. They're L-shaped with garage dominant, nicely proportioned but plain. The only real difference is in the windows. This new house has smaller windows with heavier frames, implying better security and insulation.

Good work!

UK Telegraph discusses a current British controversy on this subject, with modern genocidal Satanic architects asserting their untrammeled "right" to sicken people or roast people or crush people. Normal humans and even some writers are starting to fight back.

Harmony is crucial. Even if you don't objectively understand why a house is right, you know when it's right.

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  Two-front war

Some booms happen without government participation, and others are created or enabled by subsidies or price controls. The shale boom is in the latter category, though it wasn't obvious until this month. OPEC had been holding oil prices high for so long that we forgot it was an artificial control. This month the price floor was yanked away, allowing supply and demand to roar back into control.

Clearly the yanking was intended to hurt specific targets.

Russia first, because Russia was sinning against Goldman in every possible way. Russia has been trying to decentralize the world by (re)developing a separate trading and currency zone that doesn't depend on Goldman. Russia has been making a strong point of natural-law culture.

Persia second, for the same reasons.

Within the US, the states that have been bubbling with shale are mainly frugal and traditional. Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas. The first two are governed in classic cold-people style. Live with massive reserves, don't borrow. Highly offensive to Goldman. The other states are not as strong in the frugal category but stronger in the traditional category. Look at a list of states where Goldman's "Federal court" subsidiary has been smashing civilization most actively, and you'll find a lot of shale.

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Monday, December 15, 2014
  Wild question

Wild thought.

Is our soul our bacteria? Is our awareness exactly our gut feeling?

Supposedly heaven is up in the clouds and hell is down amid the rocks. Most belief systems share this notion, with varying embroidery.

We now know that different types of bacteria populate the clouds and the rocks.

Do the rules of right living, the natural laws of halal or kosher, favor bacteria more like heaven's bacteria? Does a disobedient life lead to a biome more like hell's life forms?

And does our gut-soul, after decomposition, get distributed by wind and water, ending up in its 'family home'?

The food rules of natural law unquestionably influence the gut biome. That's pretty much the whole point of those rules!

Do the other rules in natural law also influence the biome? No alcohol, avoid excess, avoid laziness, work for the benefit of others. Alcohol is obvious, and we're starting to understand the mutual connections between doing good things and having good bacteria.

Seems like a question worth exploring. Maybe the long-sought connection between science and religion will come from an uncomfortable direction. Maybe those Catalans have a point with their Caganer and Tio de Nadal.

= = = = =

Later thoughts here.

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  New record

We've accelerated the old Eastasia/Eurasia doublethink to a warp speed that Orwell couldn't have envisioned.

Sentence spoken by newscaster just now:

"The US ended its involvement in Afghanistan last week; some troops will remain to carry out operations against Taliban and al-Qaeda."

In other words, "The war is done; the war continues."

Doublethink in 30 milliseconds without pausing for breath. New record.
 
  Simple logic

Highly interesting bit of research from Dartmouth.
The findings shed new light on the "deep biosphere," or the vast subterranean realm whose single-celled residents are estimated to be roughly equal in number and diversity to all the microbes inhabiting the surface's land, water and air. .....

They also analyzed Thermotoga community DNA from the environment (so-called metagenomes) from North America and Australia that are available in public databases. The results reveal extensive gene flow across all the sampled environments, suggesting the bacteria do not stay isolated in the oil reservoirs but instead have long migrated to and colonized the reservoirs and contributed to their genetic make-up.
Think about this. Bacteria don't just eat, they excrete. If all of the underground organic deposits are packed with bacteria, this means the current composition of oil and gas is almost entirely the product of bacteria. Those bacteria are still there, still eating and pooping. What do bacteria do besides eat and poop? They reproduce and colonize to infinity. When they're done with one reservoir, they expand to find more organic stuff nearby.

In other words, oil is constantly being created. It's not a finite resource.

Simple logic. Unarguable.



= = = = =

Afterthought: These bacteria are the planet's gut biome, aren't they? Asphalt, tar, crude, methane.... remind you of anything?

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Sunday, December 14, 2014
  Haiti

A brief note appears in the news among the infinite repetition of toxic shit about fake torture, fake Congressional "debates", fake money, fake bank regulation, protests over fake "police brutality", fake rapes, etc.
Bowing to pressure, Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe resigned Saturday, paving the way for a new government to lead the country into long overdue legislative and local elections. He thanked President Michel Martelly, parliament, ministers and the Haitian people as he gave an account of his accomplishments. They included everything from increasing the percentage of children enrolled in school, augmenting tourism and foreign investments, and cutting insecurity and extreme poverty.
This is HUGE NEWS. Not specifically because Lamothe resigned, but because Haiti has developed a REAL PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT that can ADAPT TO CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES by the PARLIAMENTARY device of resignation and calling for new elections.

We can't do that here. We are stuck with one President for life. His name changes every 8 years but he's the same President. He never resigns and there is never an election. It's all fake.

Haiti has a REAL government now, after 200 years of total corruption.

We do NOT have a real government.

Haiti is now better governed than USA STRONG.

I checked a couple of neutral-ish sources to see if this made sense. World Bank:
The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over half of its annual budget coming from outside sources. The Martelly administration in 2011 launched a campaign aimed at drawing foreign investment into Haiti as a means for sustainable development. To that end, the Martelly government in 2012 created a Commission for Commercial Code Reform, effected reforms to the justice sector, and inaugurated the Caracol industrial park in Haiti's north coast. In 2012, private investment exceeded donor assistance for the first time since the 2010 earthquake.
Exactly what I was hoping for yesterday when I wrote "When investors are seeking a wide variety of sources, SOME of those sources will be in poor countries with clever people and good land. After those clever people get started toward self-sufficiency, they will be able to break loose from their idiot dictators with their idiot scripts."

I didn't realize this was already happening, literally under our noses.

BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO to Haiti for breaking out of a seemingly hopeless situation.



Now I hope and pray they won't be kicked back into the old ways by a Goldman war. Real investment is intolerable and unacceptable to Goldman. All options on the table.

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  Some Muslims are more equal

Listening to BBC running a one-sided rant against Erdogan. The story is a bit obscure, involving Erdogan's firm clampdown on a 'parallel state' run by Fethulah Gulen. Gulen is a super-rich cult leader who is currently based in Pennsylvania, not far from NYC.

I asked myself why BBC is taking the side of one Muslim against another. Normally BBC views all actual believers with equally vicious vile contempt. Real Christians, real Muslims, even non-secular Jews, all treated as filthy untouchable bigots. What's special and wonderful about these Gulen-style Muslims, and why is Erdogan the enemy in this conflict?

Given the proximity to NYC, my first impulse was to look for a Casino Connection.

Five seconds on Google. Asya Bank. Owned and run by Gulen's bunch, tightly connected to Goldman. And Erdogan is running a real-value economy, strongly emphasizing manufacturing over banking.

When you know how something works, you don't need details. The details will always follow a known pattern.

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  Brāno

When my mind gets dried out and tasteless, a dose of the proper music will rehydrate it. For some reason I never think of this in advance; there isn't a thirst sense for this deficiency. When the correct 'vitamin' appears, I know it.

Happened this morning. After long weeks of work punctuated by jury duty, my brain was clogged and slow. Tuned across the FM band and hit the Hummel E♭ major trumpet concerto. That was the correct vitamin. Decisive, incisive, sharp. Single melodic line, no counterpoint. You could hum or whistle the whole thing without missing a note.

As the clarity penetrated, I could feel the notes 're-syncing' sloppy associative paths in my mind. Like the sorting mechanism in a linotype, where patterns of slots guide the molds back into their proper channels.



Afterward, my brain was unclogged and decisive and sharp ... or as sharp as it gets, which isn't saying much nowadays.

An afternoon nap provided remarkable evidence of the unclogging. A single image was turned into a hundred variations. Some were black-and-white on paper, some were color, some were living characters. A cornucopia of systematic creativity, stored and then poured out. As always, this creativity is unavailable to the waking brain.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014
  Maybe they're right

I've always thought the "multiple universe" theories were pure schizy lunacy.

Now, after encountering references to Caganer, Tió de Nadal, and Lalaloopsy Doll, I think the multiverse wackos may be right after all. The universe that consistently contains those three objects is clearly NOT the same universe I inhabit. It's probably a livelier and funnier universe than mine, but it's not mine.

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  Not evil overlords

The current discussion of "torture" is asking two wrong questions.

= = = = =

Wrong question 1: You can't make moral decisions inside a war. Suicidal. When you're fighting a war you do EVERYTHING that is likely to be effective. You don't want to do lots of unnecessary stuff and lose unnecessary lives, but you also don't want to skip a technique or action that could realistically lead to victory.

Morality comes BEFORE you fight a war. Is this war necessary? If it's not necessary for survival, don't do it at all. Stay home and enjoy life.

Only two of America's wars were necessary and justified. 1812 and WW2. Within those wars, EVERYTHING was permissible. All of our other wars, especially all the wars after 1945, were unnecessary and immoral. Within those wars, EVERYTHING was immoral because the war ITSELF was immoral.

= = = = =

Wrong question 2: The 'human timebomb' question. If Mohammed Mohammed Mohammed knows where and when an atomic bomb will explode under Los Angeles, should you torture him to get the info?

Yes.

But the Yes is null, the question is meaningless, because the scenario has never happened. A scenario that has never happened in all the warlike violent history of humanity is not going to happen. That's as close to a fact as you can get.

Why hasn't it happened? Because that's how fictional Evil Overlords run wars. An Evil Overlord would put all the knowledge about the bomb in the mind of one man so the one man could be killed (making the bomb useless) or captured or flipped.

Real clandestine operatives aren't that dumb. Specifically, al-Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State aren't that dumb. Why aren't they dumb? Because they were trained by CIA or similar agencies. American intel agencies, at the sharp end, are extremely smart. They know how to distribute information among humans and paper sources and electronic sources to guarantee that the info can't be lost or captured.

 
  The carbon that roared

Yet another infinitely repetitive meeting of rich and poor, using "Global Warming" as the charity scam. One more way to transfer wealth from the poor in rich countries to the rich dictators of poor countries. An old script. See 'Scoop' or 'Mouse That Roared'.

It's already ancient within the "Global Warming" scam itself. The 1974 founding document of the crime proposes international mechanisms for transferring wealth from the poor in rich countries to the rich dictators of poor countries. Of course the pseudoscience was different then. The beautifully deceased Stephen Schneider wrote: "Polar cooling (whose progress up to 1972 is shown in Figure 10) may correlate with greater frequency of extremes of drought, flooding, and other anomalies, and with dislocations of the larger circulations that could have particularly serious implications for ... marginal lands." Now they're saying the same thing about polar warming.

Hmm. Could we be seeing CYCLES? Could it be that conditions observed at BOTH EXTREMES of the cycle have "greater frequency of EXTREMES" than conditions in the MIDDLE of the cycle? Nah. Nothing works that way. Never seen it before. Everyone knows that the sun rose exactly once, and has continued to rise higher and higher in the sky ever since. Everyone knows that cars move by excreting an endless stream of slime. Those round things on the bottom of a car are slime-glands. Their apparent "rotation" is just an optical illusion, because "rotation" is a myth.

= = = = =

But there's an interesting development in recent iterations of this particular charity scam. The rich countries are actually getting tired of the poor beggars, and are telling the poor to Get A Haircut And Get A Job!

The real problem is outside of this argument. Get A Haircut And Get A Job is a valid command when JOBS THAT POOR PEOPLE CAN DO are available.

But such jobs are no longer available, at least within the context of West-based globalization. A country like Congo has nothing the West needs except diamonds and minerals. Those commodities can be extracted with very little participation by Congolese citizens.

The real problem has nothing to do with "global warming" and everything to do with financialized economies that assume infinite linear expansion. Linear speculations can't be infinite. Linear booms always bust disastrously. The boom-bust ratchet leads to monopolies and consolidation, followed by total collapse or total government bailout.

This evil mess of total abstraction leaves no room for normal expansion of REAL VALUE. In a real-value system, where investors can't simply suck Janet's dead gray titties, investors must spend money to create new sources of gain. When investors are seeking a wide variety of sources, SOME of those sources will be in poor countries with clever people and good land. After those clever people get started toward self-sufficiency, they will be able to break loose from their idiot dictators with their idiot scripts.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014
  Why don't you do it right?

Spokane gets shitty info from the Weather Bureau. All three of the reliable measuring stations are at airports. Airports are distant from cities, but most importantly airports don't give a fuck about the information that humans need. They only care about changes in visibility. When visibility changes from OVC9 to OVC7, it's time to record a new reading. When visibility doesn't change, we just mindlessly click along once per hour if we feel like it, or we might skip a day or two if we don't feel like it. Wind? Rain? Snow? What are those? Mere frills and furbelows. No need to record them. Nobody needs to know those meaningless little trivia.

Result is a completely asynchronous and non-periodic chart like this. Note the fine-grained but irregular times near the bottom (circled in red) when visibility was changing but nothing else. Note the big changes in wind near the top. Insignificant. No reason to break our cycle to give those mere humans a warning of what's coming.



It doesn't have to be this way! I got curious to see where the advertised Big Storm was hitting California. Looked at the NWS info for San Mateo. Among the airport shit was this BEAUTIFUL record from a ham radio operator near San Mateo.



Every five minutes a new reading, no matter what's happening. You can glance at this list and draw a mental graph without having to stop and think about wildly irregular and syncopated intervals. If you're east of this station, you can tell what's coming in time to prepare for it.

BEAUTIFUL. MAGNIFICENT.

The technology is available to do this. In fact the technology has been around since 18fucking70. Why in the fuck can't we do this?

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014
  Cottage people

The benefits of being 'independently poor'.

Two things happened yesterday.

(1) I finally got a handyman to replace a piece of metal siding that had popped off in the July-August windstorms. The metal siding encases an original layer of cedar siding, so it wasn't exposing anything structural, but it looked awful and invited a chain-reaction popoff. Used Angieslist to find and deal with the handyman. Very satisfactory experience, and now that the house is proper again, I feel more like cottage people than shack people.



(2) Learned that the publisher of my courseware has suddenly sold off the whole division including my stuff, as part of their JPMorgan hostile-takeover-bankruptcy process. The new publisher might or might not continue with this project. So I've just put in a year of 50-hour weeks, brought the project close to completion, and may never get paid for it.

Which event matters to me? (1) Pride of property. The publisher shit doesn't bother me a bit.

This is exactly why I set up my life this way, starting with a plan in 1985. I can take or leave idiot New York Goldmanite assholes. Independently poor. DECOUPLED.

= = = = =

Oddly enough, I was thinking about writing a piece on the destruction of human capital by feral Goldmanism. I was going to extend recent thoughts about soil conservation into the notion of conserving human capital. When you run a business for pure share value, you have no regard for training, no regard for developing a labor force. Everything is outsourced, everything is temped, everyone is disposable.

Now the publisher has given me a nice personalized example.

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  Never learn

Fun to watch Satan's media tiptoeing around stories from MyanmarFormerlyKnownAsBurma.

The Great Angelic Reformer of MyanmarFormerlyKnownAsBurma, Hong Kong Sushi or whatever, has turned out to be just another dynastic politician. She's the daughter of a previous prime minister who was toppled by the military regime, probably for good reasons. Now that she has brilliantly manipulated Satan's media into creating a countercoup, she's showing her basic purpose. She wants to be the corrupt ruler of a corrupt country. That's all.

It's not a question of reform, it's just dynasties competing for the brass ring of power and money. No different from Jeb trying to restore the Bush dynasty, or Hillary trying to restore the Clinton dynasty, after the Obama interregnum.

Satan's media never learn. Hong Kong Sushi's manipulation is old and well-tested. Read Evelyn Waugh's 1936 novel 'Scoop' about a revolution in a poor African country. It's exactly the same script, and it was already old in 1936.
 
Sunday, December 07, 2014
  Just noticed

Comparing "one-subject" talk shows on NPR versus Money-talk type networks. NPR's subjects are varied: gardening, medicine, food, cars. Money-talk subjects are also varied: EVADE TAX! EVADE TAX! EVADE TAX! EVADE TAX!

Which network gets Die-Verse callers, and which gets Pure Upper-Middle-Class Whiteys?

Wrong.

NPR callers are 100% Pure White, and the Money-talk callers are wildly Die-Verse. You hear Black, Hindoo, Mexican, Arab, West African, Russian, Filipino, and Completely Incomprehensible dialects. Some of them sound rich, some sound poor. Absolute cross-section of America. E pluribus taxum-evaderum.
 
  Typhoon names

Hagupit? These Pacific typhoons have the oddest set of names. Some seem Chinese, some seem Japanese, some Korean, some maybe Thai, some just sound like gibberish. That can't be the way it's done, can it?

Yes. That's exactly how it's done. There's a repeating table of names, with each major country that gets hit by typhoons contributing a certain number of names.

Here.

Turns out that Hagupit is one of the Tagalog names. Not very nice to hit the people who named you! Maybe Mr Hagupit doesn't like his name.
 
Saturday, December 06, 2014
  Never thought I'd get there

Back in the late '70s I was talking politics with some hippie friends. I mentioned Walter Mondale, who was the VP at the time. A friend asked "Who's Mondale? Some scientist or something?"

It seemed impossible to me. How can you NOT know the current VP?

Now I've finally reached that point, and it's good. I saw a picture on a news website, showing Erdogan shaking hands with an old dude. I thought "Who's that guy with Erdogan?" Luckily the caption identified the guy as Joe Biden, who is apparently the current VP.

Unplugging TV was part of this welcome divorce, but not all. Back in the '70s I was equally untubed. The real difference is non-flying-fuck-giving. When I was young I apparently believed there was some reason to know who the current monsters were, perhaps so you could criticize them and change them to better monsters. Now I have no idea why anyone would go along with such a strange delusion.

Afterthought: Maybe it's not entirely my non-ff-giving. Biden has rarely been on camera. Definitely the least visible VP since television came along. And he looks much older now than he did in 2008, which was the last time he appeared with any regularity. He suddenly switched from Middle-Aged to Old at age 70. So my mental image of him was the younger 2008 version.

Second afterthought: Cisco, the hippie friend mentioned above, was fanatical about food. Through the '70s I was vegetarian, but I didn't like to spend time dealing with food so I mainly used frozen and canned ingredients. Cisco liked to mock my frozen and canned stuff. "Canned beans???? Where's that at, man????" His mockery was unfair and cruel. He had a wife to cook for him and I didn't. Nevertheless, Cisco was right. Now that I've got more time for such matters, I finally switched to scratch cooking, with excellent results in overall health. The how of food matters more than the what.
 
  Special language update



Professor Polistra noticed the phrase 'Buttons galore' in previous entry. Galore is an exceedingly strange word. It occupies a unique grammatical slot. Not exactly an adjective or an adverb; feels like a participle but isn't. It's just about the only modifier that comes after its noun in English. Only one other word fits the same slot: Aplenty. And they're synonyms.

Turns out those two words are parallel in formation and history as well as meaning. Triple cognate-ness.

Galore comes from an old Gaelic phrase gu leoir which meant "to sufficiency".

Aplenty comes from English on plenty. Plenty is, of course, Latin plenitas or sufficiency.

Both began as prepositional phrases forming a sort of adverb; both had an active verbish sense of "filled to the top"; both condensed into a single word after long fixed usage; finally both came to mean "filled to overflowing". If the prepositions had stayed out in the open, the post-noun location wouldn't have been so unique.

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  Jury done 2

After a day of rest, one broader thought about juries, then I'll let it go.

The 'Good Government' dummies are always lecturing us about apathy when we fail to vote. Nope, skipping the vote is perfectly rational because voting is absolutely meaningless. Candidates are identical, and referenda that could create real change are instantly overruled by Federal black-robed Satans.

But participating on a jury is still marginally meaningful and occasionally earth-shaking.

Juries are the ONLY way that an ordinary citizen can shape the behavior of the government; and the voice of each ordinary citizen on a jury is significant. One contrarian can eliminate a decision.

You can see the occasional earthquakes in the recent grand juries who CORRECTLY and COURAGEOUSLY absolved cops for defending themselves. But those quakes are short-lived. Those decisions will be quickly deleted by the Federal black-robed Satans because the thug was Vibrant. Laws do not apply to Vibrants.

A longer-lasting earthquake happened in Spokane several months ago when a jury CORRECTLY absolved a citizen for defending himself. Those jurors effectively changed the law itself. Existing state law said self-defense was only permitted when your life is clearly in danger. Those citizens decided that self-defense is permitted when a crime has just been committed against you. Because both citizen and thug were white, the Federal black-robed Satans weren't interested, so the decision was allowed to stand.

The case that I served on was absolutely non-seismic. Just a spoiled bad dude who thought he could get away with bad shit in a foreign country with a looser culture. No sharia law here, so anything goes, right? Wrong, dude. Natural law is natural law whether you call it sharia or not. This jury helped to maintain natural law, and our decision was in the spirit of sharia. We didn't build any new walls to hold back chaos, but at least we prevented the defense attorney from drilling a new cultural-exception hole in the existing wall. A different set of 12 citizens might have allowed the hole. Because courts listen to precedent, one hole can eventually breach a dam.


Before this experience I didn't appreciate the power of one citizen to shape the law. Now that I've been in the middle of it, I do.

= = = = =

Tacking on an observation about demographics. Writing about my 2006 jury call, which didn't lead to actual selection, I noted that the TV stereotype of jurors as "welfare queens" is completely untrue here. The people who respond to the summons are largely middle or upper-middle types. Roughly 70% of the people who get a summons don't bother to show up at all, and there's no punishment for them. So what makes the responders respond? Some are just naturally dutiful, incapable of disobeying, but the motive for others must be a love of community and civilization. You can see this love in action in cases that settle during jury selection. Young punk thinks he can fool the squares, but after he looks in the eyes of 100 squares, he realizes the squares HATE HIM and aren't going to be fooled. He pleads.

Result: In a jury trial, jurors AND defendants AND plaintiffs are mainly above median in income and status. A poor defendant in a criminal case will almost always plead out either before or during the trial process. Defendants bet against a jury only when they can afford a good attorney. Similarly with civil cases. Small claims run through small claims court, not through the jury system. Larger suits nearly always settle before trial. Only a rich plaintiff who is suing a rich defendant will bet on a full trial.

= = = = =

More detailed thought about TV.... I've often noted that the people who appear on TV bear no resemblance to anyone I've ever met or known in real life. Previously I attributed this to geography: TV people are New Yorkers and I've only known humans. After this jury thing I'll have to discard that hypothesis. Aside from myself, all 11 people in that jury were strictly As Seen On TV except for race. Every made-for-TV movie about a jury would include every one of these characters, but the TV version would be 70% black and 70% Hispanic and 70% Jewish because as everyone knows those are the real proportions in every city in America. The foreman isn't just As Seen On TV; he's Actually Seen On TV. He's a local semi-celebrity and motivational speaker who is accustomed to the camera. (I hadn't heard of him, but apparently everyone else knows who he is.)

I have to conclude that the TV-vs-real distinction is mainly class, not geography. Those 11 people are upper-middle types who live a 'large' life in a large suburban property. I'm the exception because I'm working class, living a 'narrow' life in a tiny house. I wouldn't have been in the movie.

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Friday, December 05, 2014
  Jury over

Tiresome but interesting. I've been running my narrow little early-morning hermit life for so long that I'm NOT accustomed to 10-hour days out of the house. I adjusted well enough, but I'm still hugely happy to get back to normal QUIET life, normal eating and working and sleeping patterns.

The most tiresome part was not the action in the case, which was rather sparse. Most tiresome was the hours spent in the jury room among constantly-talking extroverts. My ears are still ringing from the constant roar.

The case itself should have pushed ALL my hot-buttons. Defendant is a rich spoiled Saudi dude who was supposedly here in Spokane to take an engineering course, though that is dubious. He doesn't look like a Saudi; looks more Ethiopian or something else. Above all he looks arrogant and rich and accustomed to having total power. On the night in question, as they say, he was drinking in a local "semi-gay" after-hours bar known for general rowdiness. Buttons galore!

Saudi rich dude repeatedly ran through a fixed fetish routine with several girls. Basically he trapped each girl behind a door in a restroom stall and then dry-humped her. It was clear that he had been doing this for a long time, not just the night in question. Maybe he hadn't been caught before; more likely he had been caught and we weren't allowed to hear about it.

Result, presumably after lots of pretrial bargaining, was five assorted charges on the level of 'indecent liberties'. Looking up the law now, I see that 'indecent liberties by forcible compulsion' could lead to a life sentence but typically runs several years.

The facts were messy and unpleasant, partly because the defendant and two of the witnesses were seriously drunk and had trouble remembering details, partly because the prosecutor didn't bother to bring the facts together into a narrative. We ended up finding guilty on three charges, not guilty on one, and hung on one.

My supposed hot buttons faded as I got involved in plain human stories. At this level there isn't anything political; there's only pain and pleasure, truth and lies.

End result: I'm mainly pissed at the defense attorney and puzzled at the scheme of the case on both sides. Most of the jurors shared this basic attitude from various angles, depending on life experience.

Why did either side bother to work this case, and why did they work it this way?

The defense scheme was fairly simple but bizarre. Rich dude claimed that he was homosexual and not interested in girls, therefore these actions just "didn't happen".

Defense attorney put a lot of energy into persuading us that we should "help our ally Saudi Arabia" by freeing the dude, and kept trying to break us out of our supposed "prejudice" against Muslims.

"Helping our ally?" Crazy. Nobody bought that. Overcoming prejudice? Condescending. The pre-selection pool contained a few relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq, who had understandable grudges against Arabs. The selected jury had no particular problems in that area, so the appeal was condescending and counterproductive. Attorney clearly doesn't understand the people he's talking to. Seems to be operating from a standard Commie stereotype about American attitudes. He should stop reading HuffPost and Slate.

This rich dude's behavior is offensive to ordinary humans because he's spoiled and hyperaggressive. Those qualities have nothing to do with Islam, and IN FACT those qualities are far more offensive to a serious Muslim than to a typical American. Islam is extremely specific about the duties of the rich and powerful, while many Americans think the whole purpose of life is to become a billionaire.

And the defense claim of homosexuality is also weird. It didn't match the available facts and didn't help with the case. Deportation, not US prison, is the usual endpoint of non-"terrorist" criminal cases against rich Saudi students. With that word on the dude's official record, his future life in Saudi is short.

Why didn't they just plead out privately and send Rich Dude home to Rich Papa in exchange for a nice lucrative fine?

Doesn't make a goddamn lick of sense. Maybe Rich Papa didn't want him back.
 
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
  Jury duty

This is the third time I've been called in 10 years ... This time I got "into the box". Can't talk about it until it's done, and I'm not really thinking about anything else. So this space will be blank for a few days.
 
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
  Amazing.

Amazingly, Obama comes out of the Ferguson mess with the proper and correct solution!
President Obama on Monday will announce $263 million in funding for law enforcement agencies to purchase body-worn cameras and improve training. The White House said the funding, which would need to be matched by state and local police, could purchase 50,000 body-worn cameras.
As I said from the start, this whole mess wouldn't have happened if the Ferguson cops hadn't been penny-wise and billion-foolish. When everyone can see that the cop is right, agitators will still try the usual shit but it won't go very far.

With more Fed money going into cams and less into Humvees, other police departments will now be able to avoid similar messes. Or at least they won't be able to use cost as an excuse for suicidal stupidity.
 
  Aw, don't waste Satan's time.

Finland is about to legalize same-sex "marriage".

The time-management guru Frederick Taylor is Executive VP of Hades LLC, and Taylorism is a major part of Hades doctrine. Though Taylor doesn't have direct influence on Earth, he strongly urges Satanites to operate efficiently!

Scandinavians, including Finns, lack distinct sexes or genders. Scandinavians are unisex like earthworms or snails.

Thus all marriages in Finland are "same-sex" or more accurately "null-sex". It's a complete waste of hellish political energy to create a new category of "even samer than same" when everyone is already the same.
 
Monday, December 01, 2014
  Windbreaks

When FDR took office, he had to fix two parallel legacies of the booming speculative 20s, both of which caused busts in the 30s. There were cross-ties between the two legacies, so he couldn't fix either one by itself. He had to fix them in a cross-linked way.

One boom was initiated by huge government purchases of food in WW1. Bankers encouraged inexperienced farmers to buy useless land to take advantage of the demand. When the demand quickly disappeared, the farmers were left with a mortgage and no way to make enough money to pay it. They abandoned the farms after plowing off the (already poor) topsoil. When a fairly serious drought hit in 1930, the land took flight, covering up everything in its path.

Even competent farmers on good land had been using improper methods, allowing wind and water to carry off the soil. Millions of tons of topsoil were ending up in the Gulf of Mexico.

The other boom was the stock boom, which needs no introduction.

= = = = =

FDR's administration used similar methods to solve both problems.

In the context of soil:

When the wind comes whistlin cross the plain, a line of trees can redistribute its energy. The air has to twist and turn between small leaves and branches. Part of the force is thus turned aside and spent in mechanically thrashing the leaves and branches, and part is spent in the whistlin.

And when water comes rushing across a sloped field, a dense planting of grass can redistribute its energy. The water has to twist and turn between the stems and flat blades. Water that stops for a moment in front of a grass blade has a chance to penetrate the soil. Without grass, the water moves freely and begins to pick up soil particles. As it gets more gritty, its scraping ability grows exponentially until it's a muddy flood.

But you can't leave everything planted to grass all the time if you're trying to grow profitable crops. So you have to use two other methods. Crop rotation allows part of the farm to be in grass in any one season; and contour plowing insures that the plowed rows serve as mini-dams to force the water down instead of across.

What's the common factor here? Angular momentum. Stopping a flow by using reactance instead of resistance. Breaking up massive linear motion into small circular and angular moves, so the air can feed the trees and the water can feed the plants.

= = = = =

In the context of economics:

Speculators are like the linear force of wind and water. They advertise a seemingly unstoppable linear expansion. Buy now! Prices are going straight up, and prices have to keep going up up up UP UP UP UP UP UP!!!! Join the flood while you still have a chance! Become part of a mudball that will help to gather other soil particles! Become a nail that can bounce against the side of a house and loosen up other nails to join the blast! Isn't that attractive? FUN FUN FUN!

FDR redistributed the linear momentum of money into more useful angular momentum.

Glass-Steagall and bank reform provided a windbreak and a contour. Speculators were halted, forcing money to pause and thrash around in the same place. When money had to stay in the same place, it had a better chance of penetrating local soil and feeding local business. Bank reform allowed money to stay securely in the same place, decreasing the temptation to join big floods.

WPA was like a field of dense grass. Money stored in government clouds was rained onto real workers, who then produced real value and spent their money in local businesses. Real labor created real irrigation systems and real windbreaks and real dams, nicely closing the circle of my analogy.

Next, I'll try to extend this analogy to something else...... Well, I didn't. Jury duty broke up this line of thought. I've done reactance before, here and here,, but those items didn't hit the windbreak idea.

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  Senile rock-n-rollers

BBC mentions that a famous Rock-n-Roll worker (who apparently calls himself AC-DC or something like that) is now suffering from Alzheimers, and is doing odd destructive things.

In the '60s, did any pundit predict that Rock-n-Rollers would still be performing after they grew senile? Did anyone predict that Rock-n-Rollers would be trashing hotel rooms because they're senile?

I seriously doubt it. The normal and rational assumption was that Rock-n-Rollers would either die young or grow out of it. Many of them did die young, but the durable ones didn't grow up.

Too bad the assumption didn't hold.

Incidentally, this fellow's pseudonym AC-DC is a fine indication of the geriatric nature of Rock-n-Roll.

In the early days of electric power some systems ran on DC and some on AC. The Edison-Tesla thing is overrated; there wasn't a grand battle. DC systems were still around in rural areas in 1950.

Vacuum-tube radios need several different voltages for filament, plate and bias, so most used a transformer with several secondaries. AC comes in at 110v, and the secondaries yield 6v for filaments, 250 for plate, maybe 40 for bias. But how do you get those voltages if the household power is DC? The solution was to make special tubes with somewhat higher filament voltage and lower plate voltage requirements. Wire the filaments in series across the 110 DC; and use the full DC line voltage in parallel for plates.

Radios that could handle both AC and DC were quite popular from 1940 to 1960. They were pretty much the standard for basic household receivers, and they were DANGEROUS. Because the chassis was connected directly to one side of the mains, you could get a deadly shock by opening up the back of the receiver, or by taking off one of the knobs and touching the shaft.

Thus: American baby-boomers were familiar with AC-DC as a description for a gadget that could "swing both ways", and could kill you if you weren't careful. Ideal term for a publicity-minded performer.

Anyone born after 1960 knows AC-DC only as the disconnected name of this Rock-n-Roll employee.
 

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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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