Sunday, May 31, 2015
  Silly people

All the partisan bloviators are blowing hard over the possibility that laws containing the acronym "NSA" may expire tonight.

Silly. Laws are the ONLY form of communication that NSA doesn't monitor. Laws are totally irrelevant to NSA's function, or to any bureaucracy's function. The only law that a bureaucracy obeys is Parkinson's Law: Budget and workforce shall increase exponentially.

If you want to get a message to NSA, call Grandma and ask her about God's laws, or text someone an inside stock tip. NSA will be interested in those topics. They will arrest Grandma and frontrun the stock tip.

Next day: Idiot Rand Paul, named after a vicious Soviet agent, says "I'm not going to take it any more!!!!! And the American people aren't going to take it any more!!!!!"

Well now, just exactly WHAT are we not going to take? We're not going to take the existence of some words written on paper, which appear to give NSA authority for something it's always going to do anyway. In other words, Senator Named-After-Soviet-Agent is shouting and posturing against the waste of paper. Seems trivial, but I can't really complain. I hate to see paper and ink wasted on redundant nonsense, so I'm always happy to see fellow frugalites taking action.
 
  The birdshit wind scale



There must have been a pretty decent wind a couple days ago. It didn't wake me up, but it did deposit quite a few needles and foot-long branches on the street. It also deposited this mystery.

Birdshit on the screen door, circled. (My terrible photo skills made it look like a frog again, or maybe a flying Anomalocaris.)

The shit is about 14" below the eaves, and the protruding porch-like substance is about 18" out. This means the shit must have been traveling at least 60 degrees away from vertical.

First possibility: A bird perched on the gutter, tail facing out, then sort of leaned back and pooped downward and inward. Seems like a difficult and unbirdlike action, but physically possible. Second possibility: A bird was flying a few inches beyond the eave-line and happened to poop just as it passed the door. Wind carried the shit almost horizontally toward the door. Third possibility: A bird was flying parallel to the house, and the wind knocked it sideways so it bumped into the door and pooped in panic.

None of those seem highly plausible.

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  Partial contrast

This little 1960 private confession by Theodore White in the Intercept is rightfully being quoted everywhere. It should be required as preface and conclusion for EVERY news story, with names changed to reflect the current guilty. You should hear this, then hear the fraud, then hear this again.
It is all fraudulent, all of it, everywhere, up and down, East and West. The movies, radio and state and books and TV — all of them are fraudulent; and the foundations and universities and scholars, they are all fraudulent too; and the executives and the financiers … and the Commissars and the Krushchevs and the Mao Tze-tungs, they are fraudulent equally; it is all a great game; and there are two dangers in this great game: first, the fraudulent people come to believe their own lies, they come to have faith in their fraud; and second, underneath it all, because people are fundamentally good, they come to realize that we live in lies and the people get angrier and angrier and they may explode.
He went on to bemoan the great stress of knowing this and still being required to report on it.

Required? No, fuckhead. Unless you were being blackmailed, you volunteered to glorify these criminals. (Blackmail always needs to be considered, since it's more important than money in politics.) You could have used your talents to write honest fiction or comparatively honest advertising copy**. You chose to take the drug of power. You never quit the habit, never sobered up and said these things in public. You helped LBJ perpetrate Vietnam. You helped LBJ destroy our industries and cities with welfare. And all the time you knew what you were doing.

Raw evil.

= = = = =

As a nice contrast, we have this little confession by Kevin McKenna, a modern journalistic defender of the Left. He seems to be a bit more confused and conflicted than Teddy White, but he still understands that the whole game is fraud.
The concept of a life characterised by fidelity to leftwing values being analogous with the rule of St Benedict may appear absurd, but I’ve always felt that the life that many of us on the left feel called to must possess more than a degree of monasticism. ...

Lately though, I feel as if I’ve let things slip. If I were to be arrested and charged with seditious activities or revolutionary truculence, would there be enough evidence to convict me? I fear not. I recently purchased a car that the motoring supplements might refer to as a high-performance marque.
And so on. Though it's only a partial confession, and McKenna was nowhere near as sinful as White, I still have to say BRAVO for doing it publicly.

If you really want to defend laborers, you need to eliminate Free Trade and Environmentalism and Die-Versity and "Human Rights". Instead, strong tariffs, no immigration, no "endangered species", let Christians be Christians, let the police arrest criminals regardless of race, keep criminals in jail after arrest regardless of race, execute murderers instantly regardless of race.

Poor people need industrial jobs, and poor people need a firm culture with firm laws. Black poor people need these things even more than white poor people. All of the fraudulent politicians have participated in destroying jobs, culture and cops, but Labour in UK and Democrats in USA were the leading force in these moves. Left-wing parties should have been fighting these moves instead of leading them.

Just follow FDR and you'll be OK.


= = = = =

** Advertising? Sure. Those maligned 'Mad Men' were doing INFINITELY more good for poor people than faker Teddy White or his fake god JFK. When you drove a new Edsel, you were insuring good solid jobs for poor (mainly black) people in Detroit. When you smoked Luckies, you were insuring good solid jobs for poor (mainly black) people in North Carolina. You were also enriching some rich fuckheads. Squashing those industries starved the (mainly black) poor people in America without changing anything for rich fuckheads. Rich fuckheads simply switched from industrial investment to pure numerical theft, where they could steal without risk and without limit. Poor people can't do that because poor people don't have a direct Tribal connection to Bugsy Bernanke or Chair Janet.


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Saturday, May 30, 2015
  Obvious typo

CNN of course:
The New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies around the nation are increasing their surveillance of ISIS supporters in the U.S., in part to aid the FBI which is struggling to keep up with a surge in the number of possible terror suspects, according to law enforcement officials.
Typo on with. Sentence should read:
The New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies around the nation are increasing their surveillance of ISIS supporters in the U.S., in part to aid the FBI which is struggling to keep up a surge in the number of possible terror suspects, according to law enforcement officials.

 
  Exception to a generation

Overall I'm impressed with the latest generation of youngsters. From what I see in real life and from their writings and accomplishments, I'm pretty sure they could rebuild a sane society if we'd just let them. They have somehow managed to become more realistic and perceptive than the previous three or four generations.

But not all of them. This movie review in the 'War is Boring' website is by a youngster, unless his icon is misleading. He's reviewing a typically awful 1965 Made For TV movie about nuclear war and civil defense, commissioned but refused by BBC.

It's easy to see why BBC didn't want such a documentary at that time: the PM was Harold Wilson of Labour. BBC always glorifies the current or most recent Labour leader and monstrifies the current or most recent Tory leader. Exactly the same as USA STRONG media with different names on the parties. Can't lead the audience to think that Our Lord And Prophet LABOUR Wilson would let those awful Russkies attack us. It's the Other Harold, Horrible Evil TORY MacMillan, who is the real danger. We need to run scary movies when MacMillan is in charge.

Aside from that, the film was just crappy, and BBC does have professional standards along with its religious beliefs.

The young reviewer clearly doesn't know any of this, didn't live through the period, and didn't bother to ask anyone who did.

Result was this utterly absurd conclusion:

"Watkins wanted people to think about nuclear war in a time when people were still recovering from World War II and wanted to do anything but think about the consequences of the bomb that helped them win."

Wanted to do anything but think about it? Boy, we were NOT ALLOWED to do anything but think about it. The scenes in the movie were exactly the same scenes we were REQUIRED to imagine all the time, to keep us permascared and justify permanent internal tyranny and permanent infinite budgets for the Pentagon. Just like now, except the currently required scenes are Beheadings and Anthrax Poisoning instead of Explosions and Radiation Poisoning.

The movie in question wasn't a horrible new set of images, it was just an unnecessarily crappy repetition. Other moviemakers were repeating the official line much more smoothly and convincingly.

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  DO NOT INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE.

Pentagon has been sending live anthrax VIA FEDEX to a dozen places around the world FOR SEVEN YEARS. Pentagon claims this is a mistake.

DO NOT INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE. Yes, mistakes certainly happen in a large organization. But the military has excellent quality control. Actual mistakes get caught and remedied quickly. Actual mistakes don't continue routinely for SEVEN FUCKING YEARS.

This is obviously a sting operation, a way of generating deaths that can be attributed to Steven Hatfill or some other KKK Southern Christer Fundy Cracker Redneck Honky Ofay, or some "Savage Beheading Islamic Terrorist" or Putinhitler.

Create a threat by killing, then "solve" the threat with infinitely more killing.

USA STRONG at work as usual.

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  Was Jesus a Roman AP?

A careful and thorough examination of Christian nonviolence. Did Jesus mean to reinterpret the commandment Don't murder as Don't do anything remotely violent? The author doesn't specify a conclusion, but cites pretty good evidence that Jesus did mean the latter.

Survival always requires self-defense. True for bacteria, true for plants, true for animals, true for nations, true for religious movements.

Any entity that fails to defend itself will die or fade out.

It's pretty clear that JC was recommending organizational suicide, though he put it more attractively. Christians were supposed to abandon family and material goods, and Christians were supposed to avoid all self-defense.

In modern times a cult leader who made such recommendations would be instantly recognized as an Agent Provocateur. He would be telling his followers to eliminate their own movement. No modern AP is quite so obvious; instead he leads his organization into destructive and self-destructive activities that make the cause or group look horrible. (See Westboro Baptist, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Al Sharpton.)

When APs are no longer useful, the government lets the court system go ahead and punish them, but the government always acts confusingly and indecisively, washing its hands of the matter. Government doesn't want to discourage future sting operations by making its connections obvious.

Cui bono? Easy. Jews were rebelling against Rome. Rome wanted to divert much of the rebellious energy into a self-destructive movement.

In this case the movement escaped from its original purpose and quickly got rid of the suicidal message. Medieval Catholics were perfectly willing to become the government and use force. Modern Baptists are perfectly ready and willing to use force when necessary.

Now modern Catholics under Antipope Francine are returning to the suicidal rules. Don't kill anything for any reason. This should tell you which side Francine is on.



= = = = =

Later: Got thinking about 'confusingly and indecisively'. Government seems to make a point of revealing a sting, leaving all sorts of tantalizing hints. In the two cases where I was close to a sting op, the APs didn't try hard to hide their real intentions. In 1969 when I succumbed to a police drug-buying operation, the buyer was clearly a cop type and made several blatant mistakes in his cover story. In 1983 when I was part of an anti-nuke organization, the agents identified themselves as "former CIA" and "State Dept on leave". By that time I'd learned from the first situation, and got out.

Big question: WHY do they do that?

Sudden answer: It's just like Nigerian scams. It's a FILTER. When you see an email from Prince Ogunbukwu asking you to help him acquire his inheritance, you know it's fake. This means you're not a good target for the scam. The people who are good targets think it just might be a good deal, so they answer to check it out. Same with APs. If you spot the cop immediately and get the hell out, you're not a good target, so the AP doesn't want to waste his time on you. If you think he just might be a serious drug-buyer or a potential convert to your cause, you're worth the time and trouble of cultivating.

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  Joke with metapoint

I just noticed something. I was looking at this entry where I marveled at, and animated, a discovery by entomologists. It turns out that katydids, and presumably other related insects, have ears on their front legs. The ears are remarkably parallel in function and moving parts to vertebrate ears mounted in the head. Obvious example of the Grand Blueprint, design by purpose rather than by exact specification of pieces.

Remembered one of my father's science parables.

A scientist decided to train some grasshoppers to obey commands. After thousands of repetitions and reinforcements, the grasshoppers would jump every time he said JUMP! Then he started removing their legs one by one. After each removal of one leg he tried the command again. Performance got worse and worse, and finally when the grasshoppers had no legs at all, they didn't jump at all. He concluded that grasshoppers hear with their legs.

Moral of the story was obvious, or so my father thought! Don't jump to a conclusion based on one set of variables until you've eliminated all other possible explanations.

Now the joke has a metapoint. Don't make jokes about jumping to conclusions until you've eliminated the possibility that the joke itself jumps to a wrong conclusion.

Or: Don't toss out a conclusion because it sounds silly at the time, or because it sounds like something that lowly non-scientists have assumed, or because it "feeds the trolls." The last is most important for modern professional "scientists", whose sole purpose in life is to kill heretics.

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Friday, May 29, 2015
  Guiding principle

Most "news" items can be neatly explained by one simple pattern. USA STRONG is pure crime. USA STRONG is a mafia. USA STRONG punishes any business or politician or country who dares to interfere with the infinite expansion of the Correct Criminals.

Simple example: It may seem puzzling that USA STRONG punished lots of bankers in 1990 but punishes no bankers now, despite the vastly larger scale of theft by current bankers. No puzzle. The bankers who were punished in 1990 were Texas and Okla bankers. The current bank criminals are NYC bankers. Southern Gentile mafiosi are never allowed to compete with NYC mafiosi. QED.

Trying today's items:

Hastert is ethicuted for some obscure accounting error. No puzzle. He's a Repooflican criminal, so he must be ethicuted. Anyone who competes with the Correct Criminals must be wiped out.

But the ethicution of the world soccer league is a complete mystery. I know nothing about Sport, so maybe the facts are more obvious to Sport fans. But from my ignorant perspective, I can't see how soccer is a threat to any Sport business here. In USA STRONG, soccer is no threat to anything. It's only slightly more popular than chess. Soccer teams have boring names like City and United, so they pose no threat to our delicate racially sensitive ears. FIFA doesn't own any stadiums here. Americans aren't interested in betting on soccer, so there's no competition in Vegas or Atlantic City.

I can only think of one distant possibility, but it's a long stretch. Soccer fans in many other countries are currently being prosecuted for Crimespeak. Expressing ordinary truth and common sense, or in modern terms "Homophobic racist sexist transphobic hatespeech KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH". USA STRONG has a fast-growing franchise in Crimespeak prosecution. Maybe it wants to get a slice of that action in other countries, and FIFA is obstructing the expansion? There's no point in getting a slice of the Crimespeak action for soccer fans here, because there aren't any soccer fans here.

Later: Aha. It is obvious to people who know something about Sport. A British Sport journalist interviewed on RT gave the explanation. It's a much simpler mafia move than I was imagining. US wanted to get the 2022 World Cup but FIFA chose Qatar instead. Ever since, US has been on a revenge mission against FIFA.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015
  40%

Earlier I got all riled up about yet another Putin-is-Hitler "news item" and wrote a HARSH little response. Almost immediately I realized what was happening, bopped myself upside the head, and deleted the item, but of course there's no such thing as deletion.

I try to avoid such "news" items; try to decouple, try to remember at all times that "news" is the opposite of information. "News" is either a deliberate attempt to stir reactions like mine, or more often it's just a sort of accidental side-squirt from actions that are rumbling quietly under the surface. Treating such side-squirts as information is akin to analyzing the performance of a car by noticing a rock caught in its tire treads.

Suitably chastised, this time I've found a "news" item that is genuine and surprising information, and runs close enough to my experience to make sense.

Headline: 40% of workers are now Contingent.

That's scary. It's a fast-moving trend. As business becomes pure numbers, employees are becoming rocks in the treads. Pick it up for a moment, use it for traction, throw it off just as unknowingly as you picked it up.

The serious and bad side of this trend: many of these contingent jobs are factory labor, the type of job that used to give a solid living to ordinary MEN.

I'm on the good end of this trend, so I can't complain. Independent contracting has served well because I need autonomy and creativity more than I need money. I've mastered the discipline of lean living and saving.

But even this good side is being popped out of the treads. The Chosen have already eliminated interest on savings and soon will be charging for savings. They have stolen three years of my planned retirement income, and soon will steal it all.

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  Speaker's market, hearer's market

The old logic of seller's market vs buyer's market holds true in all of Nature.

When you're a plant trying to get bees to buy your pollen, you offer all sorts of attractive goodies. When you're a carmaker trying to survive the Depression, you improve your cars quickly and make them more distinctive and attractive.

When the bee has taken the pollen, you can shed your petals and stop broadcasting your negative charge. You can concentrate on building seeds. When you're a carmaker facing the postwar buying surge, you can eliminate variety and accessories. You can focus on building basic cars and selling them for luxury prices.

Does this apply to languages? When a nation or culture wants its language to spread, does it sweeten the offer? Does it make things easier? And when spreading is unwanted, do languages become more difficult and narrow?



The latter is easy. Insular cultures develop or retain all sorts of peculiarities that make it hard for outsiders to penetrate the mystery. Japan uses three separate symbol systems at once, mixing them in a way that outsiders can't fathom. And when an insular culture goes rabid, it still doesn't try to spread its language. It simply doesn't care. "If not for Hiroshima, we'd be speaking Japanese." Nope. Hiroshima cured Japan's rabies, but without Hiroshima we wouldn't be speaking Japanese. We'd just be dead. Japs would have been farming our land and mining our resources without interference from bignose pigstinks.

The former is harder to find. I can only think of two examples, and they're both weak. When Ataturk wanted to make Turkey more attractive to Euro traders and investors, he forced his country to switch from Arabic writing (which was not a good fit for vowel-rich Turkish anyway) to Latin letters. It helped to make Turkey seem more familiar, but Euros still don't speak Turkish. Around the same time, Lenin ordered a simplification of Russian spelling, and Soviet cultural scholars developed specialized versions of Cyrillic for various nationalities. Again this helped because Cyrillic fits those languages better than Arabic or Chinese symbols. But again it didn't 'sell' Russian more widely than before.

What really happens is more subtle and natural. When languages are penetrating new territories, they simultaneously simplify and regularize to some extent. English lost many of its inflections around the same time when England was colonizing the world. Russian simplified as it expanded its empire. The more insular Slavic languages (like Lusatian aka Wendish) have more complex inflections and more nuanced phonemes. Which way does the causal arrow point? Hard to tell. Maybe the simplification and the spreading are parallel results of an earlier cultural change.

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  Asshole has a point

Some predictable anti-theist asshole writes that the Old and New Testament, though full of stories and parables, don't seem to have any humor.

Asshole may have a point. Though humor is always culture-specific, some types of humor cross boundaries fairly well. When you read the collected oral 'scriptures' of Western Hemisphere tribes, from Eskimos to Osages, you find a lot of recognizable humor that still works. Trickster characters, mistaken identities. The scriptures of the Palestine tribes, both Old and New Testament, lack such stories.

However! When you consider the modern output of the same Old Testament people, it's equally humorless by the same standards. I tried to watch shows like Seinfeld and Letterman because they were supposed to be "funny". I found nothing but repeated assertions of arrogance and superiority and imperial nastiness. Bullying.

Those shows reduce to:

"I can do this because I'm rich and fashionable. You cannot do this because you are poor and dumb and hopeless. LOSER LOSER LOSER LOSER LOSER NYAH NYAH NYAH NYAH."

King David can violate all of God's laws because he's rich and powerful. Same as King Dave.
 
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
  Valuable lesson

Spokane's schoolkids are learning a valuable lesson today.

Satan dba Teachers Union has called for a statewide one-day strike to protest the legislature's failure to pay INFINITE money to Satan dba Teachers Union. The strike is strictly and explicitly illegal, and also prohibited by the union contract. About 40% of the teachers here voted against it. Nevertheless, it's happening.

Lesson: Raw bloody savage force ALWAYS wins. Laws do not exist unless they agree with The Party. Contracts do not exist unless they agree with The Party. "Democracy" does not exist unless it agrees with The Party. "Consensus" does not exist unless it agrees with The Party.

Only The Party exists.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015
  Oh, that explains it

Hadn't paid any attention to the obits for "mathematician" Nash, except to notice the accidental similarity to the name of my favorite car maker.

Paid a moment of attention to a brief obit given by Bloomberg, and now I see why "mathematician" Nash is important. According to the obit, he won a Nobel for "creating game theory" and then "descended into schizophrenia."

Aha! That explains two things at once.

"Game theory" is loony and delusional and murderous. It was obviously the product of an actively schizy mind, emphatically NOT a beautiful mind. A grotesquely ugly mind.

So: Nash was always delusional. His "descent" means that he stopped producing useful tools for starving the poor and enriching the Chosen. Instead he produced useless delusions.

Nobel Prize = delusions that enrich the Chosen

Schizophrenia = delusions that serve no purpose
 
  Beak peaks

Via RCS:
Many animals feed on seeds, acorns or nuts. The common feature of these are that they have shells and there is no direct way to know what's inside. How do the animals know how much and what quality of food is hidden inside? A simple solution would be to break the shells, which often takes time and effort -- it would be a big disappointment to know that it's rotten or bad after the hard effort of opening the nuts!

Can animals evaluate the food hidden inside the nuts? This is especially important for some animals who cache the food items for later use without opening and checking each item. We can detect which one is heavier by moving the items up and down several times and focusing on the "feeling of heaviness" we perceive.
Well yeah, birds judge the weight of a nut and take the heavier one when given a choice. That's hardly worth the trouble of an experiment. But the birds are clearly doing something more interesting to judge the hardness or softness of the contents, and the experimenters didn't bother to test this with variables/constants.
When they shake the nuts in their beaks, the birds produce sounds by opening and closing their beaks around the peanut shell for brief moments. The researchers think that the jays also take this sound into account. "Our next goal is to disentangle the role of sound relative to the perception of "heaviness"...
I'd guess the birds are not producing sounds by opening and closing their beaks. More likely the birds are analyzing sounds. They're changing the size and shape of the resonator while creating transients by rattling.

Running a spectral analysis on the nut, finding peaks and troughs. A peak that happens at this jaw position indicates a good solid nut, or a peak at these two positions means a worm inside.
 
Monday, May 25, 2015
  Out of reverse

Got a proper thunderstorm from 3 to 4 AM. Moderate rain with a couple of heavy periods, a nice dose of cathartic thunder, no wind. More importantly, the storm moved in the correct W->E direction after several weeks of wrong-way storms.
 
  Asked and answered 2



Nuff said. Well, actually I could have circled the entire right column. In any aggregation of "science" articles, 99.9% will be criminally fraudulent.

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  Sorry, Ralph.

Unusual dream this morning.

Dream-scripter tried to answer the questions: What would life be like when you're attractive or impressive? What does respect feel like? How would it feel to have clusters of girls around your feet competing for your attention? Would it be nice to have people obeying your commands or at least listening when you speak? Would it be fun to be the rejector instead of the rejectee?

Dream-scripter tried to pull an Emerson, tried to show me that it would be morally difficult to reject most of the girls, that instant obedience would be uncomfortable.

Sorry, Ralph. All the evidence runs counter to those nice assumptions. Alphas live longer and happier. Alphas enjoy their power.

There are some apparent exceptions. Non-alphas who end up in positions of power don't enjoy it and don't know how to use it properly. They make bad assumptions.

Look at Nixon and Morsi. Both were unwilling to slaughter their enemies, and both ended up with a disaster. Now Morsi will be slaughtered for the crime of assuming that laws and logic and morals exist.

Laws and logic and morals do not exist. Natural status exists. Bullets exist. Bombs exist. Raw bloody savage force works every time.

= = = = =

Next day: Dream-scripter provided a much simpler dream that seems to be a counterforce or correction to the previous. I was waiting to see an undefined doctor or lawyer or something like that. The snippy receptionist called my name, having trouble with the pronunciation as receptionists normally do. I asked "Does this mean the doctor will see me now?" and she said "Yeah, that's what I was afraid of." The doctor or lawyer or whatever simply handed me a pile of old documents in big manila envelopes. Diplomas and certificates from colleges and schools, indicating things I was qualified to do. Certificates I had never bothered to pick up or keep. Most were familiar, but one was from Cal State Northridge. I've never been in Calif, so that's an oddly specific reference.

Connected to previous dream, the meaning is clear. The doctor-like figure is an Identity Restorer. Dream-scripter is saying "Oh all right. I tried fakery. Didn't work. That's what I was afraid of. Now let's try reality. See? Even though you've never been an Alpha, you have a field to plow. Concentrate on these skills and experiences."

Unnecessary reminder. In fact that's exactly what I've been doing since age 35 when I realized painfully that Alphaness was innate, not an acquirable skill.

Maybe this is a specific Emerson-centered correction from the dream-scripter. A way of saying "No, no, I didn't mean that part of Emerson. I meant this part of Emerson."
 
Sunday, May 24, 2015
  Good, by god.

As seen by Satan dba CNN:
Non-governmental organizations working in Russia awoke Sunday to a new reality -- that they operate now under a law that allows the government to prosecute them on the grounds they are 'undesirable.' And those who work for such organizations could be sentenced to as much as six years in prison. The new measure, signed into law Saturday by President Vladimir Putin, has provoked an international outcry. The U.S. State Department said it was "deeply troubled." Amnesty International said the law threatened "fundamental freedoms." Human Rights Watch called it a "piece of repressive legislation."




Putin is simply defending Russia's national interests against USA STRONG subversion and destruction. We did the same from the '50s to the '80s when Russia was trying to subvert us. Our approach was a little softer: Soviet-run organizations were infiltrated and AP'd and watched by "former" CIA agents and by "students" working for the State Dept.



Putin feels the need to use harder countermeasures against the modern subvertors run by USA STRONG. This is appropriate. Modern USA STRONG is a more aggressive and dangerous force than either side in the 50s-80s. Back then the bipolar balance kept both sides restrained. Now USA STRONG feels completely unrestrained. Time to bring back the balance.

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  Wrong honor

If you really want to give tribute to Americans who are "Protecting Our Freedom" on Memorial Day, you shouldn't be honoring the military; or at least not very much of the military.

WW2 was the ONLY war in living history that Protected Our Territory (not necessarily our Freedom) from Actual Enemies Who Actually Attacked Us. There are only a few WW2 vets still around. They unquestionably deserve honor.

All later wars were completely unnecessary and served EXACTLY AND PRECISELY AND INTENTIONALLY to destroy our freedom. The only point of post-1945 wars is to create new enemies foreign and domestic, who can be used as "justification" for more unnecessary wars and more domestic tyranny. The wars after 1990 are fought by volunteers, not draftees. Volunteers could have stopped volunteering to aid tyrants, but they keep joining. I don't feel like honoring them.

Right now we should be honoring a different set of rapidly dying heroes. All policemen are trying, against massive odds, to protect Real Freedom. Real Freedom means the expectation that normal law-abiding people can carry on a normal life without being killed or robbed or raped by professional criminals.

Real Freedom is protected by cops, NOT by soldiers.

And we should honor a much smaller group who were drafted but still continue to act with remarkable bravery. We should honor the jurors in Sharpton-infested cities who continue to defend the policemen. Cops are trying to defend their own lives AND our lives. These jurors understand.

Thanks, cops! Thanks, jurors!
 
  Casually weird 3



Weather Bureau is still running the same defective software. The error seems to happen in the first three segments of the forecast.

Makes me wonder if this is happening nationally. Seems unlikely that Spokane would have its own custom software, and I can't see how a hardware problem or a data entry problem could be involved. The max and min timepoints are not on manually-read gauges, they're produced by software models. If you read those points from the screen and typed them into the language-generator by hand, you'd notice this problem instantly.

A quick check of 10 other cities finds no examples of the error, but that doesn't mean much. The error is clearly intermittent, doesn't happen every day.
 
Saturday, May 23, 2015
  Weird bugs on dandelion



Two different shots of the same dandelion. These bugs are intensely working on this ONE dandelion, ignoring all the other flowers. Though my crappy pic doesn't show it, the bugs do have wings. Each one pops up, flies around for a moment, then settles back on the same dandelion. The other flowers in the yard are getting worked by bees as usual, but none have these bugs.

What's so interesting about this one flower?

20 minutes later: Bugs are still there. Looking closely, it appears that they're interested in each other, not the flower. Fighting, competing, mating, something like that. The flower is just a hotel for their convention.

5 hours later: The dandelion has popped its seeds, so there's no place for the bugs to congregate. That's a problem you don't have to worry about in a human hotel. "All guests must evacuate the premises immediately. We are about to transform our building from a hotel to a globular collection of wind-blown hotel blueprints."
 
  Fake safety worse than real danger

A dangerously dumb idea!

Some sort of competition for 'third world designs':
At 57 pounds, the desk in question is light enough for two students to carry and move around the classroom. At $35 per student, it's affordable enough for many school districts to buy in bulk. And oh yes, tests have shown it can survive a crushing weight of 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) or more
The picture shows a completely atypical situation. A single flat well-distributed weight has apparently fallen on the desk, and it holds up. I can't imagine any situation where a weight like that would come down neat and flat, hitting the right parts of the desk at the proper angles. It's usually smaller beams breaking at an angle and poking through everything below. This thing would instantly buckle and collapse under those conditions.

Or look at pictures of Haiti's last earthquake. Many buildings were stupidly built with big solid slabs for floors and roofs, and fragile brick or block walls. The entire slab came down all at once, probably 10 or 20 tons.

And what happens if the floor can't take the force exerted by the desk? The kid is still squashed, in an even more horrible way.

Wasting money on this false solution is worse than doing nothing. If you offer no "protection", the kids will be motivated to GET THE FUCK OUT of a building. But if you're going to spend money, you should pick a MEANINGFUL solution. Where earthquakes are the main threat, you want one-story wooden buildings. They may be unusable after the quake, but they will stay vertical long enough to get out. Or if you want cheap protection against EVERY threat except floods, use Quonset huts. Protecting against floods costs nothing. Don't build in flood plains.
 
Friday, May 22, 2015
  i can haz matz?

A fine start to a hot Memorial Day Weekend in Spokane. Two semis were We Haz Convoy, Good Buddyz, carrying cat food. The rear driver fell asleep and bumped the front one, jackknifing and spilling his load. Drivers are OK but I-90 is going to provide a nice fragrant surprise to out-of-town drivers passing through on the way to Seattle.

Luckily, the local animal shelter was able to haul away the unbroken packages without any red tape. Somebody haz smartz! Unusual these days.
 
  More oddness

The more news we get about the Hatton Garden jewel theft, the ODDER it gets.

Biggest oddness: These dudes are OLD.

Nine men have been arrested so far. Ages 42, 48, 50, 58, 58, 59, 67, 74, 76. Old for any physical occupation except maybe orchestra conductor, and FANTASTICALLY old for thieves.

Pro criminals are finished by 35. Shot dead, shot and disabled, permanently jailed, or just all out of adolescent idiocy.

The YOUNGEST of these fellows is 42, which is already way beyond the pull date of pro criminals.

As far as I can tell from the articles, none of them have previous records. All are middle-class with good jobs or pensions. None are broke or desperate.

The operation was highly skilled but the most basic question of SCALE was completely missed. When you steal a hundred bucks and a carton of smokes from the corner store, you can safely spend the money on drugs and enjoy the cigs. You won't automatically attract the cops by using your loot. Jewelry is entirely different. Jewelry that's valuable enough to store in a place like Hatton Garden is ALSO valuable enough to be carefully recorded, registered and photographed. You can't sell it casually. This was already well-known 50 years ago, long before the age of universal CCTV and iPhones. It should have been part of the General Knowledge of all these fellows.

That's a mistake you'd expect from your default 17-year-old robber, because he doesn't know much about how the world works. It's not a point you'd expect ALL NINE of these mature established men to miss.

Bucket list? Last fling? Might make sense for the oldest dudes. I've had a fleeting impulse in that direction, but I've had enough experience with real criminals to realize that it wouldn't work. Thief is an innate vocation, and Big Spender is also innate. If you've been a plumber or an accountant for 40 years, you won't know how to fence a million or waste a million.

The whole mess is so improbable that I wonder if it's simply a distraction, a Look Over Here! Maybe these guys were disposable pawns for a major syndicate that DOES know how to fence and spend such items, or pawns for one of the jewelers who needed an insurance claim.
 
  Wild roses 2



Continuing from previous post. (This pic includes the power line mentioned before.)

What are these roses DOING?

Creating. Working. Making a wide variety of infinitely complex products, which will be 99.9% wasted from the plant's viewpoint. But Nature knows that some of these products, these pollen grains and seeds, will help to reproduce more roses. Some of those new roses will be in far-distant places. And all of these products will end up nourishing other plants and animals, either by direct consumption or by decaying into new soil.

Is this something like debt? No. The exact opposite.

Humans made one crucial mistake about 1000 years ago. We've always sent our seeds to distant places, always explored and migrated, and we've always had to accumulate enough supplies and fat to survive an expedition. Around 1100 AD we got greedy, wanted to hurry the process, wanted to make larger and more destructive expeditions than we could supply by saving. We created banks and credit to hurry the expeditions. Formal credit removed the feedback and restraint of accumulation, and opened the way for all sorts of destructive expeditions, "discovering" and smashing places and things. Now we're reaping the suicidal fruits of total non-feedback, total lack of restraint. Our governments create "money" with no hope or plan of replacing it by real value, and use "money" to invade and destroy everything everywhere. Abstraction creates abstraction. No material universe when we're done.

Well then, is the rose betting? You could call it that, but it's more like faith, hope, and charity.

Faith that some bees will reach other rose blossoms (which is fairly certain); hope that the bees will distribute my pollen into the stamen of a fertile rose blossom (somewhat less certain); and charity in granting nectar to the bees so the bees can feed their kids. The charity gives certainty to the faith.

Plants are the creative end of Nature. They pull in air and water and sun and electrons and a few metals, and they make infinitely complex life from simple energy and simple molecules.

Animals are the transformers and destroyers. We take the life offered up charitably by plants, and turn it into more mobile forms of life that do an infinite variety of tasks.



Some of our work helps the plants and some hurts. In the simplest sense, our production of CO2 helps the plants to breathe in a world that has been short of CO2 for a long time. (Yes, fucking Gaians, that is a simple and plain fucking fact. Look at the fucking data.) We carry their pollen and seeds accidentally or intentionally. We use their flowers and fruits as tokens in our own courtship rituals, honoring their sacrifices. We use fermented fruits as more sophisticated courtship tokens and also as fuel and money. And a few of us (at least ants and humans) intentionally cultivate plants to feed ourselves or to feed our aphids and cows.

Seeds are one form of resilience, capable of storing value for many years. Root systems can also be resilient, as I noticed this year with a maple root that remained for 18 years until it saw the sun again.

When you store seeds and leave roots in place, a chopped-down culture can regrow. Russia was able to pop back after we chopped it down because Russia had not been operating on monetary or cultural debt. The Russian version of collectivism ran with little use of money and debt, concentrated on maintainable technology, and made a point of leaving cultural roots alone. A hardy and thorny perennial, like roses.

The US/UK/EU version of Gramscian tyranny is a fragile annual. It won't be able to regrow after it collapses. In recent years we've been trying to operate SOLELY on abstract money and debt, without making or transforming any actual STUFF. We force people to stop accumulating money. And we're ferociously grinding up our cultural roots. We force people to stop accumulating wisdom, and we SMASH the enforcers of normal order. Anyone who shows even the tiniest indication of rootedness SHALL BE CHOPPED AND BURNED AND VAPORIZED.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015
  Wild roses




A couple pics of the wild roses on the west side of my tiny property. (This is the same hedge or miniforest that I showed cartoonly here.)

I've never seen such a profusion of buds. The topmost open flowers in these pics are about 20 feet off the ground.

By contrast, the regular red roses by the porch are unhappy this year. I think they got fooled by a winter that started and ended with serious cold, but did nothing in between. Discombobulated their dormancy expectations or something.

What makes this line of plants grow so enthusiastically? This area never gets any extra irrigation. It's always been an informal driveway for my lot, and on the neighbor's side it's a proper paved and graveled drive. I suspect the growth factor is something that doesn't quite show in these pictures. A power line directly above the strongly-growing line of plants. See Shepardson.

Continued and expanded in next item.

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  Bing beats Google!

I'd really like to use Bing instead of Google, but Bing doesn't make it easy. Google knows what I mean 90% of the time, Bing knows what I mean 40% of the time. Still, every now and then Bing beats Google by making the right connection. These rare events are worth mentioning.

I was looking up an actress who played a tough dame in several 'This is your FBI' episodes around 1952. The name sounded like Helen Cleave or Helen Cleaves. Others clearly had the same impression because the OTR blogs list Helen Cleave in many different shows.

Tried Google, found an entirely different and much younger Helen Cleaves (in some Brit TV shows around 1977) but not the radio actress from 1952. Tried Bing, and quickly found the correct answer. It's not Helen Cleave, it's Helen Kleeb.

She unfortunately didn't look as good as she sounded. Radio face. Oh well.

Still a victory for Bing.

 
  Prog note

Been on a bit of a roll with programming lately, in C++ and Py. Revising the old AUDIN courseware to run better on new Win systems, redoing some little Perception progs that I made at the same time, and adding a few new items. Decided to set up a proper HTML page on my website, instead of just putting the ZIPs there and linking them from blog posts.

Here's the proper page.

Screenshot of what's there so far:


I'm probably triggering one of Parkinson's Laws by doing this, but I'll risk it. (An enterprise that is creative and active in improvised jury-rigged quarters, will stop creating after it gets a shiny new building.)


= = = = =

Later note in August: Yup, triggered Parkinson. Immediately after that, I switched my fun to electronic projects and stopped programming!

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  Casually weird 2



The Weather Bureau is at it again. I can parse how it happens, though I obviously don't know any of their systems. Computer models generate curves with max temp and min temp at specific times, then a natural-language creator plugs the max/min into human-sounding template sentences. Somewhere between those two stages, the timepoints for the mins and maxes are displaced by about 14 hours. [Or maybe 10 hours the other way; can't tell which.] The low should be around 5 AM, not 3 PM; and the high should be around 5 PM, not 3 AM. The natural-language creator catches the fact that these timepoints are NOT usual and writes a special text to indicate this.

It's a bit like a defective chatbot. Language-generator is clever enough to sound like it understands the abnormality, but it's not clever enough to realize how WILDLY abnormal the abnormality is. Especially when these sudden changes happen without a windstorm.

Chatbot: How tall are you?

Human: I'm 5 foot 2. Shorter than most. It's not easy.

Chatbot: Yes, I understand. I'm -9999999.99 feet tall, so I'm a little shorter than you. It's certainly no fun.



Few hours later: Fixed again. Nice to know that actual humans are checking these things! Especially since today is World Metrology Day!

Next day: The defective chatbot was accidentally halfway right. An unpredicted little thunderstorm popped up Friday at 3 PM and lowered the temp from 83 to 70. Incidentally, this storm system was yet another reverse-driver, sliding from east to west. I'm pretty sure all the storms this spring have been moving in odd directions. N-->S, S-->N, E-->W but none of the normal W-->E.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
  Zen-like again

Another of those annoying 'mid-century modern' things. Satan-Review has an article on The Ferris House, built in '55 by a real architect in the best part of the South Hill. It has 4 beds, two baths and a single carport. No basement. A couple of interesting features, a narrow kitchen (no bigger than mine!) and a flat roof. Asking price is around one million.

In my nice safe neighborhood there are plenty of solid houses with 4 beds and 2 baths, priced in the $120k to $190k range. Many of them have basements and pretty mid-century features. All of them have pitched roofs that will shed rain. For a million you could buy a whole block of these decent houses.

Or if you want to blow the million on one house, you can buy THIS, which looks like an entire neighborhood but is actually one house. It has the same design cues as the Ferris house. It has EIGHT THOUSAND square feet, and perches up on top of the rimrock with a view of the whole state of Washington.

Putting it visually....


Understandably, the seller is having trouble finding a sucker who wants to spend a million for a $180k house.
 
  Not old-fashioned 2

Branching from previous post on automotive history.

In the realm of nations and wars, the saying "History is written by the victors" is dangerously false because there is no such thing as One History. Each nation always writes its own history for the consumption of its residents and students. Winners make fatal errors when they ass-u-me that the loser has adopted the winner's history.

WW2 happened because Germany's history of WW1 was opposite to the Brit/US history. We ass-u-me-d that our delusional Wilsonian story about "democracy" was true. In fact the German version and the Middle Eastern version were closer to the truth, and today's conflicts continue to prove them correct. Since 1965 we've been creating a lot more history in the form of pointless wars, from Vietnam to Iraq to Yugoslavia to Afghanistan to Iraq again to Libya to Syria to Egypt to Ukraine and now back to Yugoslavia again. We're still running our infantile Wilsonian delusion about "democracy", and we're generating a whole lot more correct stories in the minds of the ethnic groups we destroy and starve and refugize. One million dead, ten million refugees. The dead don't know anything, but their relatives and friends do, and the refugees do. All of them have precisely accurate and highly detailed immediate memories about USA STRONG, and we still keep running our bizarre little Clutch Cargo animation about "democracy".

= = = = =

In the realm of industries and technology, "History is written by the victors" can be partly true because we do usually end up with One History of each subject. When the subject is strictly commercial, Victor simply means the sales winner.

GM has been able to write the story of auto technology and styling since 1935 because GM has been the winner in most years since 1935. So the '53 Plymouth was "old-fashioned" even though it was objectively more modern than any '53 GM product. Why? Because GM sales were waaaaay ahead of both Ford and Chrysler in '53, and because Harley Earl knew how to use publicity better than anyone else in the business. We also adopt GM's story of technology. We know that GM invented clashless shifting in 1929 even though free-wheeling gave other cars clashless shifting earlier. We know that GM invented the auto trans in 1940 even though Sturtevant actually produced a car with an automatic in 1905. We know that GM has always been the style leader, even though its actual styling was generally 3 or 4 years behind the style leader. We know these things for sure because GM won the sales race in most years and thus GM gets to tell us what we know.

In the realm of personal computers, we've adopted Bill And Steve's Excellent Altair Adventure as the complete story, skipping the 100 years of Hollerith/IBM that came first, and more importantly skipping the 20 years of DEC's personal computers that came first.



Some technology stories are so simple that no rewriting is needed. Morse vs Wheatstone, Bell vs Gray, Edison vs Davy on lighting, Westinghouse vs Edison on power distribution, Marconi vs Fessenden, Armstrong vs DeForest. The winner had better resources and better connections, and was ready and able to turn the idea into a practical and salable product. Not really a conflict, no question of unfairness. You can sometimes say that the losing concept was technically superior, but that's only semi-relevant. If you can't make people want it, superiority doesn't exist.

Other tech histories are blatantly unfair. The transistor story has been hijacked by the Quantumites, who had no part in the actual development. The idea was 100 years old in 1947, solid-state diodes were 40 years old, and the patented solid-state triode was 20 years old. Bell Labs got there first because they had deep resources and no hurry. The transistor, and every solid-state development thereafter, resulted from improvements in metallurgy, materials and manufacturing. Materials science is unromantic and modest, not inclined to grab credit and write history. Quantumites are arrogant bullies who want to rewrite everything to fit their bizarre delusions.

QUANTUM STRONG = USA STRONG.

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  Not old-fashioned, just ugly

It's obvious, and often discussed in auto-discussing circles, that automobiles have returned to 1930 in basic form. The mechanics are wildly different now, but the essential configuration has come full circle.

Starting around 1940, and hitting its stride in 1949, the three-box form lasted until 1990. Now we still have three-box cars, but the typical family vehicle is two-box. Engine in front, passenger compartment occupies the rest. Just like 1930.

Most important force in this return is a renewed realization that height matters. If a car is tall enough, you can fit more people and stuff inside the same length and width. It's not just L x W x H = V. It's also a subjective need for upward room, which applies similarly in houses.

This was understood in the '30s. When carmakers started the longer-lower trend in 1940, most people were unhappy but went along because there wasn't any choice. Now that height is back, customers are happy again, perhaps without realizing why.

KT Keller, the hat man, was right all along. In the early '50s he maintained usable height AND COMFORT in Chrysler products while GM and Ford were going long and slinky. He lost sales, and eventually gave up the battle. By '57, Chrysler products were the longest and slinkiest and least comfortable in the world.

One theme that continually pops up in these discussions is the idea that KT's cars were "old-fashioned" or "conservative" while GM and Ford were "modern" or "progressive".

This simply doen't work.



Here are the '49s, first true postwar design. Ford is unquestionably the most "modern", with straight-thru beltline and no distinct fenders. But when you look at Chevy and Plymouth objectively, they're equally "old-fashioned". Both have separate fenders, continuing the '40s pattern. Chevy had a choice of three-box or fastback, retaining the old. Plymouth was mostly three-box except for the nice (and currently more valuable) compact Concord two-door.

The problem with KT's Plymouth is not oldness, it's ugliness. Every shape is a bit more square and 'chopped off' than it needs to be. Plymouth was actually the longest of the three, but you'd never guess it. Looks short and small. Chevy has the same overall pattern but the curves are harmonious.

Jump forward to 1953, and you'll see that Plymouth firmly joined the modern trend while Chevy was still objectively old-fashioned. Didn't help; Plymouth was still called "conservative".

= = = = =

While I'm on this, a couple of height-related oddities that haven't been discussed.

(1) From 1935 to 1990, the height of auto hoods steadily declined, especially at the front, while the height of engines, especially at the front, increased. If you look at a cross-section of a 1920s car, built to resemble a locomotive, you'll see that most of the engine compartment is air. Flathead inline engines mounted behind the front axle were LOW. The top of the engine was about even with the driver's feet. Only the carb and air cleaner jutted up into the blank space. After 1935, engines began moving forward and upward, climbing over the steering and suspension; engines switched from flathead to OHV and then OHC, also requiring more height; the suspension switched from leaf to coil springs to MacPherson struts, also requiring more underhood height. But after the locomotive theme went away, hoods had to drop lower and lower, especially in front.

(2) The lower-longer trend happened during the years when actual Americans were growing taller. Now that cars are getting taller again, Americans are getting shorter!
 
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
  Casually weird



Weather Bureau has a super-weird forecast for tomorrow. Up to 78 around noon, then down to 49 by 8 PM, then quickly back to 75 during the night.

They seem to think all of this will happen without a windstorm. Nothing mentioned in the Forecast Discussion.

Weather.com and the TV weathercasters aren't predicting anything weird. Just summer-like sinusoids.

Is this unusual precision or an error? Remains to be seen. If the winds match the delta-Ts, there will be LOTS of remains to be seen.

A bit later: Now it's even weirder. They're predicting the down-and-up is going to happen Tuesday evening instead of Wed, with the 49 predicted for 3 PM Tuesday. This version of the forecast was placed sometime after 5PM Tuesday. Right now it's 6:30 PM Tuesday, and nothing special. It's still about 75. Just plain nice. First day using the AC, though it wasn't strictly needed.


And later at 7:15: They've got it all straightened out. The whole thing was obviously an error.

 
  Wrong then, wrong now

Was listening to this 1946 episode of 'This is your FBI'.

Episode is about a "Good Government" type who threatens a cheating government contractor with a lawsuit. The contractor fights back with violence.

Pompous intro:

A little more than a year ago, the last shell was fired in WW2. A war that we fought all over the world in an effort to retain a world in which we could live in peace. That war was fought because the citizens of the world allowed themselves the luxury of neglecting their worldly duties... neglecting to clear up the festering sore spots that later threatened to infect every nation on earth. Hitler and Mussolini were petty local grafters at one time. Petty local charlatans like the man in tonight's episode. But it is a certain truth that from petty local tyrants come threatening national dictators. The place to start cleaning house is in your own back yard.

Wrong from start to finish. Wrong at the time and doubly wrong now.

Wrong at the time:

The "festering sore" of WW2 was Woodrow Wilson, a "Good Government" type. He jumped into WW1 without any national reason, then used the jump to create a situation that led to a worldwide depression and thus another war.

Given the situation, and given Germany's unquenched imperial desires, Hitler was a placeholder. A vengeful leader was bound to arise in that spot. The alternate leader would have done some things differently, and might have been a better strategist who chose his targets more effectively. The alternate leader might have conquered Western and Southern Europe in a conclusive way, without bringing Russia into the battle.

Doubly wrong now:

The current dictatorial empire is USA STRONG, assisted by UK and EU. The four major leaders in this Axis are Obama, Merkel, Cameron, and Hollande. None of them were "petty local grafters". All of them were SPECIFICALLY Good Government types, well educated and professional. Like Wilson, Merkel and Obama worked as professors before officially entering politics; Cameron and Hollande were in politics from birth.

Is it worth any effort to counter petty local grafters? Probably not. In reality they defeat themselves quickly. I suppose it's good to recognize them and avoid helping them. But you can't generalize. In some cases a 'connected' town serves only the 'connectors'; in other cases a 'connected' town runs efficiently, with low crime and good jobs for ordinary people.

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Monday, May 18, 2015
  Bravo to Tennessee!

Tenn has a system of 27 community technical colleges, not the same thing as regular community colleges. Bravo for that! Special bravo for a new program that makes tech college free to all in-state residents. The idea is: First, you try to fill your bucket with available scholarships and grants from any source. After that, the state will top it up to make tuition and fees free.

Beautiful!
 
  Sacred math, secular math

Started thinking about 'home ec' versus 'ec'. The name 'home ec' was an attempt by the humble Useful Trades to slide upward into colleges where the arrogant and imperial Useless Arts dominated. Industrial training for the farmer and the grocer and the housewife tried to wear the velvet cloaks of Holy Theory. It didn't hold up. The high priests of Sacred Uselessness eventually kicked out the Secular Useful Trades. Ideally the Secular Useful Trades shouldn't have humbly begged. Ideally they should have tortured and shot the Sacred Useless Arts and displayed their bloody heads on spikes.

This line of thought led to some questions.

= = = = =

Question #1: Is there a basic difference between Secular and Sacred math?

Answer: Yes.

High-theory math, cutting-edge math, is high-church math. It always serves a religion. A thousand years ago, high-church math served the needs of prayer and liturgy. Catholics developed astronomy and time-keeping to a high level to insure that Easter and other holy days were observed at exactly the right time. Muslims worked on geometry and trig to insure that prayers were pointing exactly at Mecca.

As the center of religion shifted, the center of scholarly math shifted as well, leading to a sudden reversal around 1800. Newton worked to serve a private mystical version of Christianity, and Laplace explicitly switched the focus to anti-theism, where it's been ever since.

Modern math scholars are always strongly religious in the modern sense. Their work specifically serves the evangelical advance of ferocious sadistic Dawkins/Darwin Gaia worship and murderous anti-theism. They are Dawkins jihadis.

Some pieces of scholarly math have escaped into non-priestly use, but they never make it all the way "down" into the secular masses. Calculus and algebra remain in the diaconate of engineers.

= = = = =

Secular math has not "advanced" into "new territory" because it doesn't feel the need. Secular math serves the merchant, the farmer, the carpenter, the cook, the housewife. Secular math includes the four basic functions and proportions and angles. (Not really trig as such; usually a written or internalized 'lookup table' for sin and cos.)

Our secular calculating devices, from written numerals to abacuses to computers, have always added and subtracted easily. Mult and div are tricky, and proportions simply don't work on these devices. We've developed other devices for proportions, often direct analog computers based on lever arms or gears. The slide rule is the ultimate proportioner, but it requires considerable skill and it doesn't SHOW the proportions nearly as well as an analog mechanism.

What's missing here? (If you've been reading this blog regularly, you know exactly what I'm going to say next.)

TANH! Everything we do in the real secular world, including everything our own bodies do with measurements, is loggish. Sometimes the result is Tanh, sometimes a two-ended Tanh with constraints at both ends. I call it a tuning curve because it's what you get from a bandpass filter.

The basic formula would be like

y = tanh(x) * tanh(c-x) where c defines the width of the hump.

Fussy but important: This shape looks like the bell curve or normal distribution, but the math for the bell doesn't conform to reality as well as the two-sided tanh. Real situations are more like a mesa than a peak, more like a mole than a zit. There's always a flat spot in the middle; sometimes the flat spot covers nearly all of the available range and sometimes the flat spot is zeroed out to provide a peak. The bell math always gives you a peak point.

Polistra tries to show the difference. First the bell curve:


Now the tuning curve:


I'm NOT saying that the bell should be replaced by tanh. I'm only showing the distinction dynamically because the tuning curve is unfamiliar. Bell works nicely for stat distributions; one-sided tanh works for most input-output situations (transfer functions) in life, and two-sided tanh it forms the life-patterns of critters and organizations.

The math for the tuning curve is complicated. Computers can handle it, but there should be a nicer way of calculating such a basic and necessary shape. Secular math ought to find a cleaner way of doing it and writing it, whether by an analog calculator or by a single button on a digital calculator.

Another piece of everyday secular math that is NOT handled by sacred math is 'bracketizing', a calculation that uses integers and continua in separate ways, boundaried by decisions, thresholds or containers. I discussed it in the grocery context here and here. Bracketizing also appears in tax forms. When Alleged Einstein called income tax the hardest math problem, he was speaking from a Sacred Math mindset. Calculations like this cannot be turned into a closed-form Sacred equation no matter how hard you try. If line 37 is greater than 3.2 times line 12a, multiply by 0.376; otherwise add 12 and divide by 5.021. A computer program can handle those mixes of decisions and operations, but ideally there should be a way to handle them in 'pure' Secular math.

= = = = =

Question #2: If everything in our life and senses runs logly, why did so much of secular math develop as pure linear addition and subtraction?

Answer: Because one important sense is NOT loggish.

Our senses of pressure and weight are linear. When I put one item, two items, three items, in your hand, the weight-measuring inputs to your brain are linear and even countable. A fast series of pulses from your muscle spindles.

What does that remind you of? Money. One shell, two shells, three shells. One coin, two coins, three coins. Money began as weight, and many monetary units still denote weights.

Because we weighed gold and silver, we became accustomed to treating money, and then transactions involving money, in linear form ... EVEN THOUGH the transactions and our judgments and feelings about the transactions are loggish.

Our sense of relative income is unquestionably log or percentage-based. Even economists have figured this out. As with decibels or lumens, our judgments are the log of the underlying quantity. "My neighbor is one step above me in income" = neighbor has 3 * my income. "If I could jump one step up in wealth I'd be satisfied" = If I had 3 * current wealth I'd be satisfied.

Actual prices of actual goods are also loggish. This is somewhat disguised by the piecewise linearity of a small part of any curve, but when you scale up you can see it. Two cans of soup = same price as one can + one can. Twenty cans of soup cost less than 20 * one can. A thousand cans cost MUCH less than 1000 * one can.

Because overhead is relatively constant, price is a loggish function of quantity.

= = = = =

Question #3: How would commerce and everyday life differ if we had a more loglike system of secular math?

Unanswered for now. As usual, I'm hoping to return to this. As usual, I probably won't.

Later partial answer or starting point.

= = = = =

Bonus:

I've supplied an attempted 'easy proportioner' or 'software slide rule' as mentioned above.



The proportioner is here. The ZIP contains a (hopefully) self-explanatory Python program. It has an Input side, a Ratio, and an Output side. When you fill in either the numerator or denominator on the Input side, the Ratio shows and the Output side changes appropriately. When you fill in numerator or denominator on the Output side, the Ratio doesn't change, but the other member on the Output side changes.

I've been wanting this little helper for a long time, especially to deal with Aspect Ratio in images. You may find other uses.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015
  Non-self-explanatory but neat

Latest in Kpop: Cooking Nanta. Sort of like cooking and religious ceremonies and pop music and Three Stooges all rolled into one. The cooking doesn't seem to be real, but the music is mostly made with the cooking utensils. Fun to watch for a couple minutes.
 
  Aleph-sub-aleph bonkers

Via Reuters:

"A U.S.-supplied missile shield to protect Gulf nations against Iranian attacks will take years to complete, requiring a step-up in regional trust, more U.S. sales of sensitive weapons, and intensive U.S. training to avoid mishaps in the volatile region."

Protecting our enemies against a myth.

The country that DID attack us on 9/11 is now being protected, at great expense, from a country that DID NOT attack anyone since 700 AD.

It's impossible to make analogies to sane times, but I'll try.

May 1942: President Roosevelt builds anti-aircraft systems in Tokyo to protect our dear Japanese friends and allies against attacks from Martian robot warriors.

Comes close, but there's just no way to match this degree of infinite x infinite x infinite wackitude.
 
Friday, May 15, 2015
  Food Revolution Day!

Chef Danbo reminds me that today is Food Revolution Day, aimed at restoring Home Ec to its proper place in schools.



Of course it can't be called Home Ec now; it has to be Food Ed or something similar. That's fine. Home Ec was a sneaky name in the first place, designed to slip a useful course into useless colleges under the guise of a useless pile of theoryshit like Economics.

The basics of food preparation and sanitation are crucially important for everyone. More advanced courses are needed for housewives and restaurant workers.

There's a petition to push for more Food Ed at change.org.

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  Historic crime

An alien entity under the title of "Inslee", criminally and fraudulently posing as the alleged "governor" of this zone formerly known as the "State of Washington", has illegally and criminally declared the entire state to be in a "historic drought."

So I sez Ho Kay. Let's look at good old NCDC. In this case I've started the graphs at 1950, because there's no particular need to crowd them. The results are painfully obvious. First statewide, then the 10 NCDC districts.























And for fairness, because the above graphs don't include the first part of 2015, here's the graph of Jan-April from 1950 to 2015. This year is on the low side of average but well within the fat part of the bell curve. I can count 14 years since 1950 that were below this year. Hardly notable or historic, especially since it comes right after a major wet year.



In short, NO FUCKING DROUGHT. There is a problem with low snowpack, which affects the reservoirs. Needless to say, the fraudulent murderous criminal anti-scientific ANTI-FUCKING-DARWINIAN "needs" of the "Endangered" "Species" Act come before the needs of farmers and electricity. All humans must DIE to avoid insulting the image of the Holy Salmon Prophet.

Fuckers. Unspeakable monstrosities.

Later: I see the genocidal monsters are calling this a "wet drought". We're done. We're fucked.

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  Paddle-powered

Satan in action:
Paddle-powered activists hit the waters of Elliott Bay in kayaks Thursday to throw an “unwelcome party” for a massive Shell drilling rig as it reached the Port of Seattle. The protesters, opposed to the Port serving as a base for Shell Oil’s Arctic fleet, met the Polar Pioneer rig in more than 20 kayaks. Then they linked together and unfurled a banner with the message, “Arctic Drilling = Climate Change.”
Paddle-powered. Paddle-powered.

Hmm. How did the protesters paddle those kayaks TO the port?

Hauled them on their shoulders from their trillion-dollar mansions on Mercer Island?

Carried them on wooden-wheeled all-recycled carbon-neutral bicycles from their trillion-dollar mansions on Mercer Island?

Paid Pocahontas and Sacajawea in Bit-wampum to pull the kayaks in travois behind their free-range non-GMO-fed ponies from their trillion-dollar mansions on Mercer Island?

Loaded the kayaks on the city bus (hybrid coach, of course) from their trillion-dollar mansions on Mercer Island?

Can't think of any other modalities.

Well, okay, there's one, but it's impossible and unthinkable. Carried the kayaks in their $70,000 550HP Porsche Cayenne Turbo S SUVs from their trillion-dollar mansions on Mercer Island. Nah. Environmentalists would never do such a horrible thing.

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  Resilience

A little tribute to the resilience of Nature. Or something.

Back in '97 after the icestorm, Avista went around town doing what it should have done before the icestorm. Trimming and cutting trees that were threats to power lines. They cut a little maple on my property that was growing directly under the line.

Bad picture of the stump: (Looks like a frog for some reason!)



The maple was right next to the neighbor's wooden fence. In recent years the fence has been leaning more and more toward my side. Though it wasn't properly anchored, it wasn't bothered much by windstorms. Just gradually tipped until it reached a mysterious stable state at an angle of 40 degrees. More like a roof than a fence. Even last summer's 'nado didn't finish it off.

Earlier this year the neighbor removed the fence, which opened this little area to full sun.

Since then I've noticed two or three maple suckers.





They're not immediately next to the stump; maybe two feet away, roughly where the base of the fence was.

For 18 years this tree has been sitting underground, paused. As soon as it got full sun, it resumed.

Resilience. God's work.

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  Political technologies

Wonderful clarity from Russian MP Irina Yarovaya:
"The boost in US spending on Russian NGOs can be described as aggressive humanitarian intervention. This money is destroying civil consciousness, they organize informational provocations and teach technologies that can destroy the nation’s sovereignty and security.

Ukraine is the most vivid example of their ‘successful democracy’ – with all the murders of civilians, an anti-constitutional coup and the rehabilitation of Nazism.”
She's talking about the National Endowment for Democracy, which has been pouring millions into creating and funding various NGOs in Russia for a LONG time.

Aggressive humanitarian intervention is a powerful phrase. Makes the same point I've been making lately that humanitarians are warmongers and war-extenders.

Of course there's a strong sense of turnabout here. The Switchover in action. Before 1989 when Sovietism was based in Russia, Sovietism was doing the same sort of thing to America. Sponsoring NGOs, using courts and 'political technologies' to 'destroy civil consciousness'.

Now that Sovietism is based in USA STRONG, it's still committing the same genocidal crimes inside America, using the same fully owned courts and media and NGOs to 'raise consciousness' (which should be spelled 'raze') and using 'political technologies' to starve the poor and enrich the Chosen. But Sovietism is unhappy that Russia has rejected it, and it's working hard to re-grip its bloody talons in Russia as well.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015
  Dumb dream generator!

In tonight's dream I was using a Bekesy audiometer, which emits an automatically controlled sequence of blips, with decreasing and increasing amplitudes. The client pushes a button or moves a lever to indicate when he hears a blip, and his responses are recorded on a chart. The Bekesy is especially popular for fast screening because it doesn't require a skilled operator.

The word blip leads me to suspect that the Dream Generator had been chewing on Petrov's radar screen, digesting it into something more familiar. I'm thoroughly familiar with the Bekesy; used it often in the '70s, and repaired and adjusted it often in the '90s. So the visual and functional aspects were accurate in the dream.

But oddly the name was wrong. It was called a Robot Odometer!



DUMB set of associations! Why was the name dimly seen through the frosted glass of metaphor and Sounds-Like, while the device itself was accurate and finely detailed?

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
  Watch those mirrors!

This sounds like old-fashioned detective fiction.
The fire earlier this year completely ravaged the home of a young couple in Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, leaving them homeless. But now a senior fire investigation has revealed the probable cause of the blaze was a magnifying shaving mirror left near a window, which caused the fire by reflecting the sunlight onto paperwork and upholstery.
Bonfire of the vanities! Sounds funny at first, but obviously wasn't funny to the people who lost their house.

Wonder why there haven't been specific Fire Inspector shows on radio or TV? Would have been a good source of drama. Cop shows occasionally deal with arson, mainly as a mode of murder. I can only think of one fire-based series. It was in the '30s and it was definitely aimed at kids, with a didactic tone.
 
  Poachers love you

Via Seattle Times, a stupidly dangerous effort by idiot billionaire Paul Allen.
Initiative 1401 would cover 10 species threatened with extinction in part due to the market for their body parts. The list includes the elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, lion, leopard, cheetah, marine turtle, shark, ray and pangolin.

Violations would carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $10,000 fine. The measure would exempt museums as well as certain antiques and musical instruments, and sales from estates.
When rich fuckheads get into There Oughta Be A Law mode, the result is sometimes merely useless. This law would be positively dangerous to the animals in question.

THIS IS EXTREMELY SIMPLE. Basic economics. Supply and demand.

Poaching is worth the trouble because:

(1) Thanks to the one-child policy and selective abortion, Chinese men are overabundant. Because they're overabundant, they feel a need to stiffen and lengthen their dicks. Chinese medical traditions prescribe phallic animal parts as a remedy. Chinese men believe that it works, and that's enough. (Placebo is real and important.)

(2) Because Chinese men have more money than stiffness, there's a huge demand for phallic animal parts. Lots of money available for a supplier.

(3) Because international laws ALREADY FORBID poaching and selling these animals, there's a limited supply.

Now idiot Allen wants to add one more law to the ALREADY EXISTING laws against poaching and selling phallic animals. This will INCREASE THE PRICES, and therefore INCREASE THE POACHING. It won't have any other effect. These animals DO NOT EXIST IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, so anti-poaching laws aren't needed here.

I assume Allen is being funded and assisted by the Zimbabwe Poachers Union and the Hundred Orchids Powdered Shark Fin Factory.

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  Improving maintainable-ness

Houses and humans both need attention as they get older. My house has a winter shutoff valve for the outside faucet. The shutoff valve is under the floor, reached through a little trapdoor inside a kitchen cabinet. It's a tricky spot that requires some flexibility. I've aged and weakened to the point where I can still turn the valve, but can't do anything fancy in there; can't maneuver a wrench easily. This year when I turned the valve on, it started dripping, and I couldn't make it stop by tightening the packing nut.

So I found a plumber (via Angieslist) and had him replace the old valve with one of those 90-degree lever units. This lever can be moved 'by fingertips', so it should continue to be usable for a while.

Mainly it doesn't drip. After I got rid of termites in 2008, I vowed that I'd never let the crawl space get wet again, because deeply damp soil is what attracts them.

The plumber also replaced the outer faucet, which looks nice but (unlike previous repair) isn't really noticeable and doesn't really matter.



Expensive at $400, but worth it.

Maintainable-ness has two sides. Parts should be replaceable, and adjustments should be reachable. This old house doesn't score well on either side. Everything is non-standard and hard to reach. Every step to improve maintainable-ness helps both me and the house to age better.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015
  Thanks, Petrov!

The newly publicized story of Stanislav Petrov slaps us with a couple of big lessons.

Petrov is the sanest man in the world, and thus the grumpiest man in the world.

Petrov saved the world from nuclear destruction in 1983.

He was manning the controls for part of Russia's nuclear arsenal, watching his radar and computer screens. Suddenly a blip appeared to be coming across the Arctic from North America. Then it was joined by four more blips in the same direction, but no more. Just five blips.

He had to think fast. There were four possibilities, formed into a truth table.

False indication, don't respond: End of his career. No other harm.

False indication, respond: Instant end of America, eventual end of humanity.

True indication, don't respond: Instant end of Russia, eventual end of humanity.

True indication, respond: Instant end of humanity.


His decision was based on a knowledge of all these possibilities, plus an understanding of his instruments and the meaning of their readings. He decided that five blips could not be a real USA STRONG attack, because USA STRONG understood the End Of Humanity logic as well as he did. If USA STRONG was going to attack, it would be sending hundreds of missiles all at once because there wouldn't be a chance to send the rest after Russia's response.

He chose not to push the button, and we're all alive because he did.

Thanks, Petrov!

It didn't exactly end his career, but he didn't get any rewards either. Now he's barely surviving on a pension, but he's fiercely loyal to Russia.

Lesson #1: Trust technicians. Trust metrology. A technician who understands his instruments will make the right decision far more often than a Professional who understands theories. The Professional will ignore obvious indications of bad readings, and will often intentionally falsify the readings, to keep his theory and his grants running.

Lesson #2: Especially for the beyond-evil hypermonsters who have been misruling USA STRONG since 1989. Don't underestimate Russians. Don't assume that they will surrender because you impose some economic hardships. They are accustomed to self-sufficiency and they are good at improvising. Above all, Russians are unconditionally Russian.

Hardships work on Americans because Americans are only conditionally American. When Goldman imposed economic sanctions on all non-Goldman Americans in 2008, non-Goldman Americans meekly obeyed. We didn't rise up against Goldman, we didn't endanger our careers by deciding not to respond, because we've been trained to obey The Master Race above all. We just keep pushing the button. Borrowing and consuming and borrowing and consuming.

Petrov vs Pavlov. We follow Pavlov.

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Monday, May 11, 2015
  Gateway virus

Via NPR:

Epidemiologists have noticed for a long time that vaccinating for measles alone seems to protect against other diseases as well. The initial assumption was that getting vaxed for measles was just an indication of better health care in general, but that wasn't the whole story.

Instead, it appears that the measles virus is especially nasty. It weakens the immune system in general, and can delete previously acquired immunities. Lots of data from Euro countries with good health care systems bears this out. When kids get several viral diseases in a short time interval, measles tends to come first.

Conclusion would be obvious: In a poor health care system like USA STRONG, where budgets and time are limited, where you may not get a chance to do a long series of shots, do measles first.
 
Sunday, May 10, 2015
  Pigs, bears

Headline: Castro meets Pope, promises to start praying and going to church.

This is one of those events that was so wildly improbable it was actually used as a rhetorical impossibility like snowballs in Hell or flying pigs. "Tell you what, asshole. You'll get this job when Castro turns Catholic."

Unfortunately it's not what the rhetorician assumed. This rhetorical impossibility happened BECAUSE another rhetorical impossibility happened first. Castro was able to agree with the Pope because the Pope stopped being Catholic, not because Castro stopped being Communist.

But pigs are still grounded, and bears still shit in the woods. At least as of right now. Wouldn't count on tomorrow.
 
  Asked and answered

Asked and answered.

= = = = =


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  Depassivation

Common Core involves quite a bit of standardized testing, ultimately to evaluate the schools and teachers. Thus the teachers unions and the educrats hate Common Core for valid if venal reasons. I have no idea why Repooflicans hate Common Core, but they do.

This common contempt for Common Core by mutually exclusive organizations creates a fine opportunity for symmetrical scapegoating.

And sure enough, we've got it. In many places the online testing is performed by small tech startups who saw a fine opportunity for gov't contract profits. Some of these startups weren't ready for the job, and even ETS, the biggest and oldest tester in the country, wasn't ready.

Typical case:

What appears to be a denial of service cyber attack may be responsible for preventing hundreds of thousands of students statewide from logging in and taking the Common Core computerized tests Thursday, according to Oakland Unified School District.

“As far as we know, it was intentional,” Flint added. “The state was subjected to some sort of attack and that’s what caused the system to bog down.” He adds that the state told his district the issue was sabotage on the school server system, although it’s not clear which server system may have been affected.

At the same time, the state department of education says those reports are unfounded. ... “The system was in the process of an upgrade and was coming back online at the time when students were attempting to log onto the system.”

California’s testing vendor is Educational Testing Service or ETS.
Blaming a "cyberattack" for your own failure: opposite of passivation. [Later: No, I guess it's not the opposite. It's a variant of passivation. The "cyberattack" plays the same role as the "unpredictable natural disaster" which "nobody could have possibly expected" in deflecting blame from your own directly created problem.]

ETS really should know better. They've been administering computer-graded tests since the 1950s. Aside from the question of system capacity, they've violated one of the basic rules of testing. Don't change the process in midstream. Don't update your software in the middle of a run. Even if the update doesn't crash, you've invalidated the test by changing ANYTHING during the run.

But everything is OK if you can blame the Christians and the KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH Repoofs KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH. Can't sue us, nyah nyah nyah.
 

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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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