Saturday, February 29, 2020
  Miss Jameson and her Optophone

Earlier I had wondered why chordal technology wasn't more widespread. It seemed especially appropriate as an audio aid for the blind.

In fact a chordal machine was developed, but it couldn't compete at the time. Later on it helped to spur development of optical character recognition.

The interval between at the time and later on was 50 years, and it was bridged by one brave and patient woman.

So here's a tremendous heartfelt salute to Mary Jameson, who kept an old technology up and running for 50 years until circuitry and computing power were ready to redo the idea.

= = = = =

As soon as selenium cells were developed, inventors tried to use them to help blind people read and see pictures. The most successful effort was the Optophone, by Edward d'Albe. In 1917 he connected up with Mary Jameson, an expert Braille reader.



Miss Jameson turned out to have a unique talent and passion for the Optophone. She traveled to schools and conventions and gave demonstrations, and evangelized for it constantly.

From the d'Albe book:
This was the optophone — risen like a phoenix from its ashes — which came out into the world once more on August 27, 1918, at the British Scientific Products Exhibition held at King's College, London. The Author gave a lecture at which Sir Richard Gregory, F.R.A.S., Editor of Nature, presided. At the conclusion of the lecture Miss Jameson gave a test reading from Dante's Inferno. A page was chosen by the audience. Miss Jameson put the book on the bookrest of the optophone and began to read. The words she read were: "in the light." "Is that all?" said the Chairman. "Yes," said the blind reader. "There are only three words in this line, with a full stop after them." It turned out to be quite correct, and the words read seemed to many of those present to be very appropriate to the occasion.
Despite Miss Jameson's evangelism, the Optophone didn't achieve wide acceptance. Her talent was apparently an outlier; other blind people couldn't make the machine work properly. It was fussy about type faces and sizes, and pretty much required one standard size of line. Reprinting books for the Optophone would have been much less expensive than Brailling them, but the distinction didn't matter. If you're going to reprint for a fussy machine that nobody uses, you might as well reprint for unfussy Braille that everybody uses.

In 1970 the idea was picked up by Mauch Labs in Dayton, a prosthetics research facility with close ties to the Veterans Administration. Mauch thought the Optophone might be an easier path to reading for newly blinded Vietnam vets. Braille is like a separate language, easy to learn when young, not so easy for adults. Miss Jameson consulted with Mauch, helping them to get the feel of the concept. They expanded it in several directions, but again the results were disappointing. Other digital researchers picked up some of Mauch's extensions and ran with them, ultimately developing true OCR.

This webpage gives a detailed account of the Mauch effort, and includes a brief 1971 tape of a Mauch researcher using one of their modernized variants. You quickly get a sense of the fussiness and slowness of the process, even with an expert user.

= = = = =

I've tried to animate the version that Miss Jameson used.

Here's the setup.



The Optophone was about the size of a typewriter, and the action was similar to a typewriter's carriage return. It was powered by a battery (not included) and the output went to headphones. A book was draped over the top, and Miss Jameson scanned each line with the tracker-bar. The tracker had a governor in the reading direction and free-wheeled in the other direction, to maintain a steady speed while actually scanning.



Taking off the book and leaving just one page, transparent for clarity:



The heart of the machine is the Tracker, the pear-shaped thing. Inside the tracker is the Tone Disc, which has 5 circles of holes at different rates. The Tone Disc constantly rotates like a siren for light.



A light beam comes from a bulb mounted under the Tone Disc. The beam passes through the tone disc, interrupted by all five circles at once. I've shown the five frequencies as different colors here so you can see how the five frequencies hit the text. The outermost circle (red) is the highest frequency, and the outermost circle hits ascenders and UC letters. The innermost circle (blue) is lowest freq, and it hits descenders. The three middle freqs hit the main body of the letters.



A selenium cell mounted beside the top end of the Tracker picks up the sum of the interrupted lights after they have bounced off the text itself. Selenium changes its resistance in proportion to light. The simple circuitry uses this change to give more sound when each frequency hits black, and less sound when each frequency hits white.



The result is a constantly changing chord, similar in flavor to the changing formants of speech.

= = = = =

I rigged up a Python program to replicate the original in digital form. It sounds somewhat different from the Mauch version in the 1971 tape. It also replicates the basic failing of the original, in that the display is damned hard to sync up with the lines on the page.

My program doesn't like the two-line sample I used for the visual demo, so I tried a longer three-line sample with more satisfying results.

The three-line sample:



Here's the sound in MP3.

And here's the text lined up with the waveform envelope as seen in Audacity:



You can almost see the letters in the waveform, especially in the third line where the program got sync'd up better.


= = = = =

I've placed a ZIP of the Poser model and the python program here, for the sake of 'scientific replicability'. The ZIP is a standard Poser runtime, and the model requires Poser. The python program to produce sound will run in a typical python install and doesn't use Poser. It does require a couple of modules (PIL, Wave) that may not be present in all versions.

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Friday, February 28, 2020
  Real membership

ZH headline: Walmart developing membership program to rival Amazon's Prime

Real membership has nothing to do with Big Data. I've never succumbed to the "loyalty card" shit at Safeway and always pay cash. Despite this, the checkers know me in a non-digital non-verbal Real Data way.

Yesterday I bought my usual Purina Bachelor Chow and slapped the $20 bill on the counter as usual. The checker lady, who had never conversed with me before, said: "Think you're going to make it under 20 today?" I said "Nope, the toothpaste will take it over." She said "Yup." And sure enough, the toothpaste took it from $18 to $23.

Real Data. She knows what I buy and what I'm thinking. If I depart from my habits drastically, the checkers will notice it. I'm a member.

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  Out out, damned aristocrats!

Mentioning Shakespeare in previous item led back to an earlier reference, which led to an apt comparison.....

= = = = = START REPRINT:

OCD types have undoubtedly been around forever. It's a distinct genotype that comes through clearly regardless of circumstances.

Here's a funny 1949 episode of 'This is your FBI'. A 'germsy' kidnapper who compulsively cleans everything spoils the perfect crime by scrubbing down the abandoned tourist cabin where the gang was holding the victim. Before his cleanup, hundreds of random fingerprints were scattered in and under the dust and leftover magazines and clothing. After his scrubbing, he carefully touched every surface to check for the last particle of dust, and left perfect prints.

What would 'Germsy' have done in Elizabethan England where soap was unknown and everything rotted under layers of perfume and lead-based makeup?

Later thought: We do have evidence that the 'germsy' type existed then, and it's hardly obscure! Out, out, damned spot!

= = = = = END REPRINT.

Today's aristocrats are all Germsy. Out out damned spot!

Deplorables are not Germsy. We're content to live in a relative mess, acquiring immunity to the germs we encounter every day.

Orientals are always Germsy, always wearing masks even when no Branded Panic is present. They miss the chance to acquire immunity, which may be why these epidemics tend to start there.

Trump has always been Germsy, and all of our Lady Macbeths are exquisitely hypersensitive to the first speck of dust.

The Carbon Cult is all about OCD. Tiny nonexistent increases in a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, which is crucial to plants, are seen by aristocrats as GIANT POISON WHICH MUST BE ABSOLUTELY AND TOTALLY OBLITERATED.

Witch hunting is an OCD activity. The tiniest microfraction of suspected heterodox thought MUST BE ABSOLUTELY AND TOTALLY OBLITERATED.

The Branded Swine Flu is OCD. We're panicking about each SINGLE CASE of the Branded Swine Flu, but we never notice the THOUSANDS of new cases and DOZENS of new deaths EACH DAY from ordinary unbranded generic flu.

Flu is always serious, and this Branded version is serious because it's flu. That's all.
 
  Blurting out the straight facts

From the old Radio Moscow in 1947:

.... some of Truman's supporters who sometimes accidentally blurt out the straight facts.

Still true today.

Mulvaney, who is some kind of Deepstate official, says:

"Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. Maybe see impacts on public transportation? Sure, but we do this. We know how to handle this,"

Blurting out the straight facts. The PURPOSE of the panic is to slaughter Deplorables. When you shut down schools you starve many kids. When you shut down public transit you KILL THOUSANDS OF POOR PEOPLE. These are not 2% risks, these are IRON-CLAD GUARANTEES.

Mulvaney's "conservative" listeners ejaculated inside their $100000 suits at the thought of BUS RIDERS DYING EN MASSE. Best news they've heard in years.

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  Sounds familiar

I'm making an unusually complex and tricky Python program for the next 'Patient Things' set.

Here's a bit of my worklog from today:


2/28 But the new settable height now gives zero output in the WAV.
Where did the numbers go wrong?

It's still blank when I don't use the mouseclicks.

Well, now it's back after some meaningless fiddling.

And now it's blank again after adding a couple of ShowStatus calls to give instructions. I wonder if something in the Py dlls is getting corrupted????

Now it's working again.



Does this remind you of something?

Polistra agreed to play the part....


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Thursday, February 27, 2020
  More philosophy

Another smart bit of philosophy in today's news...

Rethinking plants vs humans.

The dances of plants with birds and plants with bees are well-known, but until now those relationships were assumed to be automatic and "evolved", which excluded humans because humans are assumed to have "free will".

A better overall view assumes EVERYONE is intelligent, and everyone is strategizing ways to accomplish their specific PURPOSES.

Plants made changes in their seeds after humans started to spread plants in our peculiar ways. The changes didn't make domestication easier, so they most likely weren't caused by our selective breeding.
Spengler suggests therefore that scholars studying plant domestication need to let go of preconceptions around human intentionality and agency to better understand plant evolution.

“Domestication is not a great human innovation; it is an extension of a natural process. “By modelling domestication as an equivalent process to evolution in the wild and setting aside the idea of conscious human innovation, we can more effectively study the questions of why and how this process occurred.”
An earlier philosopher with the same name had an equally broad natural view of human history, and made a pretty good prediction about the rising power of Deepstate. Unfortunately he took the wrong side, assuming that EU and Soros would produce a long period of harmonious "Caesarian socialism" starting in 2000. Shakespeare got it right. Deepstate is Brutus, not Caesar.

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  Simple description 2

Here on the ground we have real things to worry about, but we take them philosophically.

Real things:



Taking it philosophically:



Seriously, that's a nice bit of semiotics.
 
  Patient culture

Latest item at KSHS shows the power of a strong culture. It's family snapshots of Mexican migrants working for the Santa Fe in Topeka. They're living in leftover boxcars and cabooses, but the pictures radiate order and formality.

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  Simple description

In the air, all sides of all fake "disputes" now agree that the Branded Swine Flu is the worst thing ever, and infinite panic is only a tiny tiny tiny baby step. The usual Robust Debates are bidding up the strength and expense and genocide of the panic.

On the ground, normal people are going about their business.

In short, this mess has revealed without a doubt that everyone who writes or expresses opinion for a paycheck is working for Deepstate. There are no bears and bulls, no Rs and Ds, no "independent" "freethinkers". All Deepstate.

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  Might be counterproductive

The purpose of the current Swine Flu panic, like all panics, is to slaughter Deplorables. It's perfectly obvious in China, and becoming obvious elsewhere, like Northern Italy and Persia.

This panic may be counterproductive in USA. The people who are freaking out are all non-Deplorables. NYC types, politically active "leftists" and "rightists", bulls and bears.

A good measure: Some of the UK "leftists" are saying that they need to replenish their world-end prep stuff that they had GATHERED FOR BREXIT. Now that Brexit has happened and the world didn't end, they were using up some of the world-end supplies. I'm guessing they also have CLIMATE EMERGENCY supplies on hand.

Deplorables aren't worried. Still no masks or panics, still no conversations on the subject.

Yesterday on morning walk, an older lady who always pulls into a driveway at the same moment when I walk through that block called me over to talk. I thought maybe she was asking for help with carrying a load, but she just wanted to tell me something funny. She had seen a skunk following me on the previous day's walk. We discussed the neighborhood skunks and had a laugh.

Laughter is the best protection against viruses AND tyranny.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  A valid "social" "science" study!

For once a "social" "science" study isn't trivially redundant or insanely lethally wrong. It answers an important question for marketers, and it fits real observations.

Via Eurekalert:
Weather is an ever-present force in consumers' daily lives, yet there is little marketing research on how it affects consumers and businesses. A new UBC Sauder School of Business study reveals that sunny and snowy conditions trigger consumers to mentally visualize using products associated with the respective weather, which leads to consumers placing a higher value on them. Researchers also found the link between weather and higher product valuation only works for products that are related to being outside.
I'm pretty sure old-fashioned salesmen and stores understood this point intuitively, but modern digital advertisers could use it in a more mechanical way.

This matches my observations of outdoor friendliness. In sunny or snowy weather people are more inclined to talk or participate. In rainy or windy weather everyone keeps their head down.
 
  Weird dream

I'm probably focused on aliens because of last night's WEIRD dream.

I was a Hindu type named Naresh Surabashtra. I was running a low-budget TV show on public access cable, called "Cooking as it is." In this episode I was showing how to prepare and cook an alien invader, which was a GIANT octopus large enough to cover highways with its tentacles. Preparing the alien for cooking was especially tricky because you had to process each tentacle to prevent it from regenerating a new octopus during cooking.

= = = = =

Later: This is an excellent illustration of the completely separate mental space for dreams. None of the parts of this dream correspond to my waking imagination. I've never identified with Hindus. Naresh Surabashtra is a well-formed Hindi-style name, but it's not a real name and it's not a name I've ever imagined. I never think about public access TV, and certainly never imagine myself as a chef. Giant octopuses are not part of my usual thoughts. The only possible link-point is that Surabashtra sort of rhymes with Polistra.

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  Intentional or a not?

Skimming through BBC's account of the most recent "debate".

One thing popped out:

When Steyer replied that he had sold his stock and had helped fund a bank to support black-owned businesses, Biden was ready with his rejoinder.

"Where we come from, that's called Tommy come lately," he quipped.


Tommy? What planet do we come from?

At the end of the article, BBC wrote:

Politics ain't a beanbag, as the old saying goes.

Parodying Biden, or just equally alien to real English?

Later, Bidenglish spreading is fast! On put the grammar masks!

Headline at The Federalist: A Biden Win In South Carolina Still Might Not Save Sinking His Campaign

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  Ehret hits the bullseye again

Sorosian media are loudly covering the latest protests by Firstses Nationses Indigenouses Peopleseses in Canada. The media never even ASK, let alone answer, the basic question.

Were the tribes PAID for the pipeline?

100 years ago when oil companies moved into Okla, the tribes were paid for the mineral rights. The Cherokee smartly invested their wealth to purchase the state government. The Osage used the wealth to provide subsistence annuities for all tribe members. The tribes won the battle through a proper use of capitalism.

If these Canadian protesters were well paid, they are NOT ENTITLED to protest, and the government is FULLY ENTITLED to shut down their protests.

All the media, including RT, start from the assumption that the government is simply stealing the land. Idiot Trudeau is going along with the assumption.

Which is true?

Before I started to look up the facts, good old Ehret got there first!
Crystal Smith (Chief counselor of Haisla Nation) stated “First Nations have been left out of resource development for too long, but [in this project] we are involved. We have been consulted and we will ensure there are benefits for all First Nations. I’m tired of managing poverty. I’m tired of First Nations Communities dealing with issues such as suicide, low unemployment or educational opportunities. If this opportunity is lost, it doesn’t come back.”
The actual tribes are firmly in favor of the project because they were PAID. If they use the money wisely, they can jumpstart prosperity. The protesters are NOT working for the actual tribes.

PAYING FOR VALUE, the foundation of civilization, is a totally alien concept to our Experts and media. We no longer try to generate real value, and NYC never never never never pays for anything.

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  Obvious as fuck 2

ZH points out that the Swine Flu is hitting especially hard in a Christianish cult based in Wuhan. The spread to Korea comes from missionaries sent by this cult.

As I said in the first fucking place:

The CDC (Centers for Dissident Control) and WHO have a long record of overstating "epidemics" for Parkinson reasons. Bigger panic = bigger budget.

If I had to make a hypothesis, I'd say Wuhan was brewing some kind of rebellion, and China's government decided it was time to shut the province down. Note this headline.

USA found the panic convenient as another way to sanction China.


WHO (World Holocaust Organizer) continues to require panic AND wide-open borders. Maximize the kill count.

Obvious as fuck.

Afterthought for clarity: It's obvious why wide-open borders maximize the genocide. Maybe not so obvious why WHO and CDC need to induce panic. Confident people have better immunity. Panicky people are more susceptible to microbes AND tyranny.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020
  IRS getting sloppier

I normally enjoy paying income tax. Non-NYC humans prefer to pay for services, and the government does still provide a few services along with screeching chaos and massive genocide. Social Security and the Post Office are consistent and competent services. Medicare works better than private "insurance".

Filling out tax forms was always fun for an old bookkeeper. For many years the forms were well-organized and rational. Last year the setup departed from rationality, adding an unnecessary Schedule 1 that carried a couple of redundant numbers with no purpose. This year the C-EZ form was eliminated, which resulted in MORE complexity on both ends.

For an author-type independent contractor, C-EZ was just enough info. I don't have regular hours or regular expenses. Some years I work more than full-time, and some years I don't need to work at all. I could try to write down expenses for necessary software or new computers, but those expenses wouldn't decrease the tax enough to compensate for the risk of audits.

The full Form C has a mysterious question about 'participation':

Did you “materially participate” in the operation of this business during 2019?

The accompanying instructions give a long list of criteria but don't explain the PURPOSE of the question. Online info doesn't help either. I'm guessing it's meant to distinguish silent partners? Checking the box doesn't change anything, doesn't increase or decrease tax. It's just a box.

An author 'materially participates', but the royalties come in when the product is sold, not when I work. In the last three years I've been working more than full time with very little income; in some previous years I worked very little and got good money. It depends on the publisher's selling ability. The rules about 'participation' don't leave room for this style of work.

Cutting out C-EZ made the task harder and more mysterious for me, and didn't eliminate any effort on the other end. They have one less form to set up for OCR, but they have a lot more blanks to read and evaluate.

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  Obvious as fuck

The new Sorosian occupation government of Italy is using Swine Flu to blockade and starve out areas that voted for Salvini. Final solution for "xenophobes" and "far-rights".

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Monday, February 24, 2020
  Sex, drugs and Deepstate

It's been clear for a LONG time that Deepstate is all about drugs and sex.

The sex parts have always been more dramatic, from Lady Edgar to Lady Epstein. In the world of gangs and Deepstate (same world, same people) sex is not about affection or even simple sensual pleasure, it's solely about blackmail. The supposed "victims" quickly become participants, enjoying the pleasure of raw unquestioned power.

The drug parts were less dramatic but much more pervasive. FBI started by "enforcing" Prohibition, ie favoring some booze gangs over others. In the '60s, successful drug dealers were tied to FBI or other government spy outfits. (I understood this fact FORCEFULLY in 1969, then forgot it later.)

Deepstate's foreign operations are generally about drugs without much sex. Opium in China and Vietnam and Afghanistan, pot and cocaine in South America. Constant for 120 years.

Most recently we have the news that Jordan Peterson, who always struck me as an AP or cult leader, is a drug addict.

The panics and ecstasies of the Dow Demons are unquestionably drug-caused. We know for a fact that Wall Street runs on cocaine, and many of the day traders openly admit using LSD.

Normal sober people observe this shit and don't understand what's going on. We only understand that everyone in a position of power is hopelessly crazy beyond crazy beyond crazy, and the best thing we can do is ignore them until they bomb us or blackmail us. Avoid the contagion. Shut our ears and eyes. Do our duty.

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  Time for a cheer

The Demonic Dow is showing encouraging motion in the correct direction. Time for Cheerleader Polistra to do her prayerful routine!


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  Mahathir resigns

Bad news for God's side: Mahathir was forced to resign after a power play by his main opponent.

Two of the most promising anti-Soros leaders are gone. Salvini in Italy, mostly due to his own mistake, and now Mahathir. We can be more than 100% certain that the backlash will be extreme, as it was in Italy.



I've switched Malaysia to Soros on my map. I've also switched Bolivia. To keep my spirits up, I've changed Argentina and Uruguay to God's side. Might be over-optimistic, but Kirchner is unquestionably a true Populist, and offered asylum to Evo.

Semi-related: AMLO, the best and most original of the new anti-Sorosians, is finally getting some respect and understanding from US leftists.

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  They can't avoid cant

BBC does a halfway humorous piece on apostrophes but totally fucks up the intended purpose....



I used a screencap to show the actual font.

Can you tell the difference between the single quotes and the apostrophes? There is a difference if you look with a microscope.

But there's no difference in most online fonts:

Are you absolutely confident you know your 'your' from your 'you're'? Your 'lets' from your 'let's'? Or the one that seems to trip so many up: 'its' from 'it's'?

Italics or caps would reduce confusion:

Are you absolutely confident you know your your from your you're? Your lets from your let's? Or the one that seems to trip so many up: its from it's?

Later the article cites one sane and sensible Expert:
Laurel MacKenzie, Assistant Professor in Linguistics at New York University, is not surprised that norms around apostrophe usage have changed. "Writing, spelling and punctuation conventions are always pretty arbitrary," she says. "They’re set down by people who pontificate on how they think the language should be used and written – and that tends to change; the apostrophe is subject to whims of fashion, just like other things in culture and society are."
... but concludes by sticking with the pontificators.

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Sunday, February 23, 2020
  There must be a reason...

Halfway reading an article on wood-burning at Spiked. Boris is going all in with Greta, which is not a good idea at any level. In the broad moral sense, Gaia and her prophetess Greta are satanic genocidists. In the practical political sense, Boris just won an election with the votes of the people Greta wants to slaughter. He promised to take England AWAY from Soros and Greta, not TOWARD Soros and Greta. If he kills Deplorables even faster than before, he will lose his voters.

I was thinking my usual repetitive thoughts about wood vs other heat sources. Gaians constantly play games with types of energy. Wood and coal are the dirtiest ways to get heat, but Gaians sometimes favor wood because it "sequesters carbon" by a peculiar nonsensical form of Gaian arithmetic. Despite being dirty, wood smoke smells good....

STOP. Why does wood smoke smell good?

Our intrinsic pleasure and pain detectors always serve a purpose. What's the NATURAL purpose of linking wood smoke with pleasure?

Several things commonly burn in Nature. Wood, leaves, dry grass, dry shit. In a few places coal and oil were naturally exposed and occasionally burned, but those places and times aren't common enough to need an innate response.

Among the common combustibles, burning wood is the most pleasant and burning shit is the most unpleasant. Burning animals are also unpleasant, mainly because of the hair.

I'd presume that a forest fire should signal danger, burning shit should be the cleanest way to dispose of it, and burning animals should advertise fast food.

Why is the spectrum inverted?

Forest fires are unquestionably a USEFUL AND PERMANENT part of natural patterns. Some trees can't reproduce without fire. Were we meant to do something with the results of forest fires?

Pre-technical people know what to do. They move in and start farming. Is that the designed purpose of our sensory tropism? Attracting us to new farmland?

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  Godelizer?

When I "build" my models of old tech, I spend a lot of time looking at patent drawings and descriptions. Some of the sketches and descriptions are hard to decipher because the device is irreducibly complex and undisassemblable. The draftsman showed the sections or modules, but each section was hard to understand without thinking of the entire machine.

Convective and stupid question: Was there ever an invention that was intrinsically impossible to describe or draw? A device that would instantly destroy any drawing made of it, or instantly delete and burn any description? A self-secretizer?

Immediate answer: Consciousness.

But aside from that, is there a device invented by humans that functions per the metadescription?

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  Four paths reduced to one

I've been missing real SW, so decided to use some old recordings of real SW. This 1947 broadcast from Radio Moscow is properly nostalgic, starting with the familiar interval signal and list of frequencies, then launching into a mix of news and propaganda. The news and propaganda are clearly separated, which was normal practice on all sides then. Nobody bothers to separate now.



The propaganda in this particular broadcast is not nostalgic at all. It's identical to the current situation. We're right back to 1947, with US expanding and supporting tyrannies and Russia trying to slow us down.

Here's a loose paraphrase, not a transcription. The audio is poor and the writer is verbose and heavy-handed in typical Radio Moscow style. I'm mainly interested in the four senators who were solidly anti-interventionist. Nobody in today's Senate would speak up so firmly against our aggression.

= = = = = START QUASI-TRANSCRIPTION:

Truman was giving a speech to newspapermen about his bill offering aid to Turkey and Greece. Truman wanted his audience to see in this bill an example of America's so-called aid to democracies. I don't know how many of the newspapermen agreed with Truman, but opinions expressed around the world show that ordinary people in America and Europe certainly have different ideas on this matter than Truman would like.

Senator Langer of ND, citing reasons for voting against Truman's bill, said clearly that he did not want American money to be used for strengthening the tyrannical govt now in power in Greece. The current rulers are driving into the mountains all people who attempt to express an opinion.

The NY Herald Tribune said that Greece is ruining its own people specifically to gain support from Washington. Honest Americans can see that Washington is trying to prop up some of the most tyrannical regimes.

Sen Edwin Johnson of Colorado said that the bogey of Communism was being set up in America to camouflage military maneuvering on a tremendous scale.

Sen Glen Taylor of Idaho said that American foreign policy was becoming the policy of military strength.

This is supported by some of Truman's supporters who sometimes accidentally blurt out the straight facts. Sen Vandenberg described these foreign aid bills as the last attempt to put American ideas into force without a war. Vandenberg speaks for the forces who say to the world, Accept our ideas or else. Vandenberg speaks for out-and-out expansionism seeking world domination. Of course this reminds us of certain other world leaders who also tried to cloak their expansionist aims with the bogey of Communism.

So the question arises. Who is the power behind the throne? The answer appears in the same speech to newspapermen by Truman. Truman speaks of a dark cloud hanging over American economic future, and mentions the sky-high rise of prices. High prices, of course, are a symptom of monopolies. The monopolies that control the economy want war. They favor giving money to bolster anti-democratic militarist regimes in Europe.

Sen Albert Hawkes of NJ also indicated that the common people were displeased with Truman's plans.

= = = = = = END QUASI-TRANSCRIPTION.

Vandenberg (R) is familiar to me. He was a major driving force in the rebirth of Deepstate. I hadn't heard of the four opponents, so looked them up....

= = = = =

Wild Bill Langer (R) of North Dakota was bred for politics. His father was a lawyer and politician, and Bill started out with a good NYC law degree and offers from the best firms. He rejected them and returned to ND, rising fast in state politics through establishment circles. He ran afoul of a corrupt opponent who controlled the courts...
Because of the felony conviction, the North Dakota Supreme Court ordered him removed from office, and on July 17, 1934, the Court declared Lieutenant Governor Ole H. Olson the legitimate governor. Langer gathered with about ten friends, declared North Dakota independent, declared martial law, and barricaded himself in the governor's mansion until the Supreme Court would meet with him.[5] Langer eventually relented, and Olson served the remainder of Langer's term as governor.

In 1935 the convictions were overturned on appeal. The case against Langer was retried twice in 1935. Judge Miller, following a recusal motion by Langer, refused to step down as judge in the first retrial, which resulted in a hung jury. In between the second and third trials, U.S. Attorney Lanier filed charges against Langer for committing perjury in his recusal motion against Judge Miller. This trial, unprecedented in its nature on perjury in an affidavit requesting a recusal, resulted in a directed verdict to acquit Langer. The second retrial of the original charges, finally presided over by a judge other than Miller resulted in Langer's acquittal.
After this hard lesson in the realities of politics, Langer returned to politics with the opposite aim. He finally ended up in the Senate, where he fiercely defended his farmers, fought against war, fought for universal health care, and opposed the UN. A serious Populist in every way.

= = = = =

Edwin Johnson (D) of Colorado spent most of his life in conventional politics. He seems to have been deeply affected by the A-bomb:
Johnson is also known for the alternative he presented to mankind in November 1945: "God Almighty in His infinite wisdom [has] dropped the atomic bomb in our lap." Now for the first time the United States, "with vision and guts and plenty of atomic bombs," could "compel mankind to adopt the policy of lasting peace … or be burned to a crisp."


= = = = =

Glen Taylor of Idaho (D) was a wild outlaw from the start. He ran as VP with Henry Wallace on the Progressive ticket in '48. The Dems got tired of his antics and his anti-war ideology, and found a more amenable Senator. Would he have lasted longer without the fistfights and singing? Probably not. Under the antics he was deeply committed to sanity:
In July 1947, Taylor was asked by a United Press reporter what he thought about reports that remnants of a UFO had been found by the Air Force near Roswell, New Mexico. Taylor replied that he almost hoped flying saucers would turn out to be spaceships from another planet: "They could end our petty arguments on earth." He went on to say that no matter what the UFOs turned out to be, they "can't be laughed off."

"Even if it is only a psychological phenomenon, it is a sign of what the world is coming to," Taylor explained. "If we don't ease the tensions, the whole world will be full of psychological cases and eventually turn into a global nuthouse."
Prophecy fulfilled. Except it wasn't a prophecy, it was a PLAN by Deepstate.

= = = = =

Hawkes (R) of NJ was a businessman who served just one term in the Senate then went back to business. Wikipedia doesn't have much info on him.

= = = = =

One insider who got INSTRUCTED and turned outsider, one ordinary insider, one permanent outsider, and one temporary unsuccessful politician. All of them saw the truth about imperialism.

Politicians with real opinions, not just automatic brandbots. Real opinions and principles are gone now. All Senators approve all wars. Each brand pretends to "impeach" the president of the opposite brand because he is running the wars for the wrong brand.

We desperately need more Wild Bills and less Tame Bernards.

Later and broader observation: The real Shannon information in this piece is the FACT that I recognized Vandenberg, but hadn't heard of the non-interventionists. We reward and remember the most vicious warmongers. We forget and destroy peacemakers.

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Saturday, February 22, 2020
  It's branding

Trying to figure out why this year's Swine Flu is such an attractive Shared Lie. All the bulls and bears, all the Rs and Ds, all the "independent" "leftists" and Populists, are sharing in the panic.

It's branding.

Generic flu is just flu. It kills thousands of people every day, but it's not a brand so we can't talk about it.

Covex 19XP2™ or whatever is a BRAND. Covex 19XP2™ or whatever kills DOZENS of people every day, which is MUCH MORE than the thousands killed by ordinary generic unmarked flu. These dozens of people COUNT because they're killed by a BRAND.

It's like taxis vs Uber™. Generic taxis are just taxis. They carry millions of people every day, but taxis aren't a brand so they don't count. Uber™ is a brand. It has huge advantages over plain generic taxis. You can call a taxi by landline or iPhone, but you can ONLY call Uber™ with an iPhone. This is an advantage because it EXCLUDES uncool landline users.

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  Better proof

I was playing with my Great Smith set, and noticed a bit of logic or evidence that I hadn't taken into account before.



In the first decade of autos, American cars continued our French-influenced habit of driving on the right side of the street, and the steering wheel was also on the right. The Ford T started the transition to left steering, but the transition was slow. Some expensive cars were still right-wheeled in 1920.

Earlier I had tried to think about our road chirality, but missed this point.

= = = = = START PARTIAL REPRINT:

[The cited article] quotes a Wikipedia explanation for America's right-hand driving habit. The explanation seems to have appeared first in Popular Science in 1925.
Then the balance of power shifted. In the United States, wagons were increasingly common on the roads. Drawn by up to 20 animals, they were a popular way of transporting goods over long distances – and the men helming these vehicles liked to drive on the right. They’d sit on the rear leftmost horse, so it was easier to make sure oncoming traffic didn’t get too close if it was also on the left.

There wasn’t any arguing with the momentum of 20 1,000-pound (453kg) horses. Other road traffic quickly got used to driving on the right and the rule stuck. Hundreds of years on, right-side driving is irreversibly embedded in US street design.
Supposedly some drivers of Conestoga wagons formed a national habit. I can't prove this one wrong, but a tendency among some long-distance freighters seems unlikely to set a habit for city streets.

More likely:
In France, traditionally foot traffic had kept right, while carriage traffic kept left. Following the French Revolution, all traffic kept right.

The first keep-right law for driving in the United States was passed in 1792 and applied to the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike. New York formalized RHT in 1804, New Jersey in 1813 and Massachusetts in 1821.
Note the dates. We were consciously following French trends and erasing British tendencies after the Revolution.

= = = = = END PARTIAL REPRINT

I was using the pre-existing French habit to disprove the Popular Science logic. Our first automobiles were a much more decisive disproof. If we had formed our habits from the left-horse drivers of Conestogas, we would have placed the steering wheel on the left horse immediately and consistently. But we didn't. We began with the driver on the right horse, and gradually changed to the left horse over 20 years.

More broadly, the driving position doesn't seem to matter much. There are advantages both ways, and the outside position has more advantages. Driving near the centerline makes it easier to pull out for a pass. Driving on the outside makes it easier to see pedestrians and parked cars, and easier to see the edge of the road. We think of driving on the outside as strange, but we do it all the time in the left lane of one-way streets and divided highways.

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  Double byebye, Bernie

Bernard just moved from the useless idiot category to the active genocidal monster category.

Via BBC:
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has condemned Russia for its reported attempts to help his campaign, telling it to "stay out of American elections".

Mr Sanders said on Friday that US officials had told him last month about Russian efforts to aid his campaign. Speaking in Bakersfield, California, Mr Sanders said it was not clear how Russia intended to interfere. But the Vermont senator, 78, said he strongly opposed any attempts to do so.

He denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as an "autocratic thug" whose government has "used internet propaganda to sow division in our country".
Pure servant of Soros, pure abject slave of Hillary, pure Satan.

Come to think of it, he pulled the same trick last time. After pretending to run against Hillary, he campaigned enthusiastically for Hillary. I guess it's just the old Shared Lie trick. Generate a fake argument, R versus D or Bulls versus Bears, with "both" "sides" working in evil harmony to boost the same satanic variable.

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Friday, February 21, 2020
  Constants and Variables 146, Anglosphere edition

When Turley isn't simply boosting faker Trump, he can be interesting. His latest clip discusses Boris's speedy but cautious adoption of Populist principles. Boris is copying Canada and Australia with his quality-based immigration proposal. Immigration should ONLY fill in jobs that don't force wages down.

Constants and variables:

Variable: Australia and Canada have a functional parliament which can create real political shifts. Most of the time the governments are globalist, but not always. Manweller doesn't apply there. Elections count.

Constant: Their Populist immigration policy has remained steady despite the shifts and despite the dominant tendency toward Soros.

US immigration policy is the opposite, but we don't have any variables. Our "parties" are identical and Manweller is firmly in control. Elections never change anything. All politicians are Soros, and immigration is permanently Soros. The sole purpose of immigration is to kill working-class Americans.

Until this year Britain was more like America. All politicians were the same, all were Soros, immigration was Soros. Boris has broken Manweller's Rule by implementing Brexit, and now he's breaking some of the globalist tendencies. He's rejoining the Anglosphere.

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  Meanwhile in good old ZERO TAX ZERO TAX ZERO TAX land.....

At the state level, idiot Repooflicans continue saying only one thing:

ZERO TAX ZERO TAX ZERO TAX

and doing nothing at all to solve real problems.

An email update from State Rep Jenny Graham:
The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council issued its updated state revenue forecast for the quarter this week. With the strong state economy and a real estate market that is very active, the state is expected to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue over the next two years. Because more people have jobs – at higher wages – less people are seeking state services. Combined, this means the state is looking at a budget surplus of about $2.4 billion over the next few years!
Well, that's GOOD. A state or a nation or a company or a household is OBLIGATED to save money in the good times so we can spend it in the bad times. God says so, and every responsible moral code and pre-Goldman economic rule agrees. Even Keynes agrees.

Do Repooflicans agree?
I believe the state should give some of this money back to taxpayers. We have legislation to fully fund the $30 car tab initiative passed by voters last November. We should also substantially cut the state portion of the property tax. Homeowners are seeing property valuations go up, which is causing a noticeable spike in property taxes.
No. Repooflicans want us to voluntarily reduce our income so we can go back to living on credit and enriching the bankers.

This is immoral and crazy.
 
  Retreating into formalism

The "election" "ballot" arrived in the mail yesterday. I normally "vote" for amusing non-serious candidates like Goodspaceguy. This time I "marked" the box for Tulsi, even though she's neither amusing nor serious.

Why? Bare formalism.

Manweller and Parkinson are the only laws. Elections are never allowed to count, and bureaucracies continue growing and killing regardless of purpose and feedback. The entire system is a dead and deadly machine, grinding and growling and shooting in all directions.

When you know all gestures are deprived of meaning and consequence, you can at least make the gesture. I've registered the fact that one of the people who received the "ballot" in this area wanted to register the fact of "marking" a box advertised as "anti-war".

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  Barley shrinkflation?

Undoubtedly a dumb question.

When I switched back to vegy diet in 2010, I decided to use barley instead of rice as the 'base'. It's more nutritious and less starchy than rice. I've been buying Safeway's house brand Signature barley ever since, and the product has always been consistent.

Last month Safeway switched brands to Goya. I didn't think a commodity like barley could be different, but this is different. The grains are half the size, and they cook up with a lot more starch and less taste. Most of the grains are missing the structure of a barley grain.

With the house brand, all of the grains looked like barley when dry, and looked like fatter barley when cooked. With Goya, all of the grains are little unmarked white things when dry, and a few of them end up looking like barley when cooked.

I don't understand the difference. Maybe the Goya is milled longer, taking off more of the grain? At any rate it's less satisfying and possibly less nutritious.

I'll look in the 'organic' aisle and see if they still have unshrunk barley there.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020
  Will be interesting

Apparently an "unknown number" of Swine Flu cases have been transported to Spokane via high-security military aircraft. They may be from one of the idiot cruise ships**. It's no big deal here; I didn't know about it until I read it in one of the NYC stock demon twits.



Shorts and longs, all paid by the same master, working together to drive the "economy" ever upward.

It will be interesting to see if there's any response here, any masks or panic.

There won't be any response in this neighborhood. No snowflakes here. Hump up and take it types. Working-class whites, old vets, Russian emigres, Injuns, blacks. The snowflakes are in Browne's Addition and the new Kendall Yards 'urban haven'.

I'm more worried about the response by schizies. A certain type of schizy feels the need to participate in Official Terrorist Events. Sacred Heart has the isolation unit where the Swine Flu patients are arriving, and (I think) Sacred Heart also has a psych ward with occasionally troublesome schizies.

= = = = =

** Cruise ships are ALWAYS virus incubators. Many cruises are halted when a stomach virus takes over. I can't BEGIN to understand why anyone would want to spend thousands of dollars to mingle with thousands of idiots, all pretending to have fun, inviting all sorts of trouble. Hurricanes, diseases, pirates, capsizing. Nature takes revenge on such idiots. Unfortunately the rest of us end up paying for the revenge.

= = = = =

Later after the usual store trip: Yup. As predicted, no panic, no masks, no conversation about flu. People sneezing and coughing as usual without covering mouth, nobody worrying about it.

Equally predictably, the demon media are doing their genocidal job of creating panic and chaos and crime:



= = = = =

Next day: Yup, here we go with the schizies!

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  Erdogan is fucking crazy

It's discouraging to watch a leader who once had a firm grasp on reality descend into self-destructive craziness.

Turkey has been playing US against Russia for many decades. The coquette routine works when you're offering favors in return for favors. It doesn't work in the current situation.

Erdogan has inserted himself BETWEEN Russia and USA in Syria, fighting AGAINST both sides. And now he wants USA and Russia to give him more weapons so he can fight AGAINST both sides.

This is like parachuting into Normandy on D-Day and shooting both ways at once, then asking FDR and Hitler for more bullets to shoot more American and Kraut soldiers.



Crazy beyond crazy beyond crazy.

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  Bernie's right about this

Via ZH:

Sanders midway through took umbrage at Bloomberg for implying Bernie was a communist or, perish the thought, that socialism often leads to the totalitarian curse of communism.

“Let’s talk about Democratic Socialism. Not communism, Mr. Bloomberg. That’s a cheap shot. Let’s talk about what goes on in countries like Denmark, where Pete correctly pointed out; they have a much higher quality of life …We have socialism for the very rich. Rugged individualism for the poor,” Sanders stated, ripping into Bloomberg.

Sanders called it a “cheap shot.” It wasn’t. It was the truth.
No, it's not the truth. I don't feel like defending Bernie in general, but he's exactly right on all questions of socialism and communism. Soft socialism never leads to Soviet communism.

Soviet communism succeeded in countries where capitalism or feudalism had failed. Soviet communism DIDN'T succeed in countries where soft socialism was already in control. Socialism is a vaccine against Stalinism. FDR understood this point thoroughly.
 
  Just odd

The city of Spokane is reminding drivers not to leave their cars warming up in the driveway. Open invitation to theft. Oddly, the picture they use is a car that was never imported to the US, a mid-60s British Ford Cortina. The car is LHD, so presumably it was Canadian.

Maybe not so odd. They caught MY attention and kept it! Would it work as well for a normal viewer who isn't a fan of weird old cars?
 
  Not taking his or her own advice

From a "study" on scientific communication, aimed at killing the maximum number of Climate Denialists and Xenophobes and Vaccine Denialists:
Study participants tested the theory by completing a 19-question survey on authenticity. Survey questions were based on a description of published plant science research and a group of randomly assigned narrative messages attempting to explain that research. The group of messages included a story drawn from the real-life experiences of J. Chris Pires of how he became interested in plant science. Pires is a Curators Distinguished Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science, and an investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.

Researchers found that if a scientist shares the story of the development of the origin of his or her interest in the subject through a first-person narrative -- without use of institutional affiliations -- people are more inclined to perceive him or her as authentic.
The overall point is unquestionably true. When I see an expert introduced with a 200-word list of his Named Chairs and Directorships of Centres, I stop reading.

The introduction of Pires fails to learn the lesson of the "study".

First-person narrative isn't especially important. Impersonal objective style is fine as long as you keep it clear and uncluttered. No PC locutions, no grammarrhoid sentence structures.

= = = = =

A bit later, via Eurekalert, here's a scientific press release that gets everything right for clear communication.

Headline:

New research takes p*** out of incontinence

Best headline of the year. The article gets to the point, skips the 200-word CV for the researchers, explains the problem, and describes the limits and potentials of the solution. No obligatory mention of Climate Emergency, no obligatory mention of Evolution. Just the facts.

The explanation is so clear that it answered a question I'd been wondering about for years. After age 50 I started having short pee intervals, and assumed it was just prostate. I took some supplements for prostate, but they didn't help. At age 60 I finally got blood pressure under control, and the peeing problem disappeared. The article tells why: High blood pressure swells up all tissues, including the tissues of the bladder. Less room for urine inside. Simple.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020
  Wrong question

There's a new and pointless "debate" about eugenics, apparently started by Universal Idiot Dawkins.

Pointless because the "debate" is happening in Sorosian countries where the governments have already decided the question. At the leading edge of Sorosia, in places like California and Belgium and UK, eugenics is solidly allowed and moving fast toward required.

The non-Soros countries, led by Russia, are moving fast in the other direction.

Eugenics is just one of many symptoms of Sorositis. Arguing against it is like trying to affect the natural weather cycle by restricting CO2. Wrong end of the process.

The question under "debate" is:

How many oddballs should we kill?

= = = = =

As always, "Robust Debates" are auctions where both "sides" bid up the kill count.

The religious "side" says we should only kill some oddballs as a first step. The Dawkins "side" says we should kill more than all oddballs immediately.

Here's the real question:

Do we want civilization or not?

= = = = =

Civilization, as defined by God, makes places for all sorts of productive talents and tastes and tendencies, but punishes or eliminates people who persistently attack and kill others.

Eugenics is NOT about eliminating killers. The backers of eugenics are EXPLICITLY against punishing professional criminals.

How do we make civilization? How do we make places where many types of non-destructive people can be useful? First we need to have lots of PLACES. Separate places. Modularity. Sovereign countries, semi-sovereign provinces and cities, separated neighborhoods, businesses that can operate solely in separated neighborhoods without predation from globalized monsters.

The non-Soros side of the world is moving toward sovereignty at all levels, and trying to block globalized monsters.

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  Elon's five-star restaurant

The TeslaCharts podcast is turning out to be a good listen, mainly because of the male and female cohosts. Most radio shows in recent decades are all-male for obvious reasons.

The latest one features 'Machine Planet', the commentator I mentioned yesterday with a slight quibble.

Usually the personality revealed in a podcast is less interesting than the personality shown in blogs or Twitter. Introverts! In this case it's the other way around. 'Machine Planet' sounds sort of numberoid and accountantish in print, but lively and extroverted in voice.

Lots of good thoughts in the podcast. The best was by cohost 'Georgia'. Discussing the immense trash piles and waste visible in all Tesla plants, which would NEVER BE ALLOWED in any other factory anywhere, 'Georgia' made a sharp comparison.

Super-rich fuckhead investors pour money into "environmentalist" Elon without noticing the trash and waste and pollution. The same super-rich fuckheads eat in five-star nouveau cuisine restaurants without noticing that the ingredients are old and spoiled, and the kitchens are rat-infested fire hazards. Symbolic status is EVERYTHING for rich fuckheads.

My comment:

Elon's trash piles would NEVER BE ALLOWED by state and federal agencies, and even before those agencies existed, the trash would NEVER BE ALLOWED by efficient manufacturers. Carmakers have always been super-careful to minimize waste and maximize REAL recycling. Every stage of forging, pressing, cutting, welding, and assembly is designed from the start to leave nothing behind. All raw material and all labor is accounted for. Elon violates all the established rules of manufacturing and still pulls in billions from investors who like to talk about "efficient markets". Elon violates all the environmental and safety laws established long before Gaia, and never gets punished or regulated by the agencies or the Gaia-worshiping investors.

When you have Epstein connections, you have absolute power. Blackmail conquers the universe.

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  Speaking of standardization....

Several months ago I "built" some semaphore towers and semaphore equipment. Now I'm making acetylene stuff, including a couple of lighthouses.

The Russian semaphore tower was built in 1858 by the Russian military under Nicholas 1. I used a sketch as guidance.

The Chumbe lighthouse was built in 1904 in the British colony of Zanzibar, presumably by British military contractors. It still exists, so I was able to use clear photos for guidance.

I always like to include some interior pieces in these buildings for completeness. If an artist wants to make an adventurous picture, his characters should be able to reach the top of a tower via ladder or stairway while fighting with Ninja swords or light sabers or whatever.

When I started to make a ladder for the Chumbe, I thought the Russian tower's ladder might be adaptable.



Sure enough, it fits with only a little adjustment.

These towers were built at different times by different people for different purposes, but their dimensions are remarkably similar. England and Russia have a history of real cooperation behind adversarial noises.

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  Bespoke radios

American Radio Library has added a few issues of a newsletter from McMurdo Silver, one of the most expensive radios of the '30s. I've never seen one. They were rare for a good reason.
In no sense of the word is the MASTERPIECE V standardized. Each one is different, each one custom built to the exact specifications and needs of its particular owner.

Basically, the MASTERPIECE V which we offer you is an extraordinarily flexible basic design having certain fundamental characteristics. Upon this flexibility is erected the structure of your own particular receiver.

With your order you give us information about your antenna location, your home, your reception conditions and your own particular desires and specifications of what you want.

With this data at hand, McMurdo Silver personally plans and lays out your own radio and supervises its building to these exact specifications. Through building and preliminary test and adjustment, this is your radio, not a standardized averaged radio, but your own special set.
Despite the 'bespoke' verbiage, all McMurdo radios looked the same.



You can see that they're all the same chassis, clumsily inserted in different cabinets. The cabinets are also clumsy and ill-proportioned.

A closeup shows an even worse problem:



The dial bezel is stylish but the knobs are generic and cheap. Ham operators and experimenters bought these knobs. No professional manufacturer used them. Better knobs were available from regular suppliers, and the professional radiomakers commissioned or made their own knobs to match their elegant cabinets. Even GenRad, which sold only to industrial customers, had its own style in dials and knobs.

Why would you pay bespoke prices for a clumsy standardized radio that looked like something a ham cobbled together from junkbox parts?

Later: Here's an exception to the rule. A ham station with high-quality knobs.
 
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
  Win-win, fun-fun

I've been trying to figure out why we're hearing all these Repooflican-style soundbites from Bloomberg. When a topic gets into the media and isn't instantly silenced, we're supposed to take in the topic and digest it. If we weren't supposed to hear this stuff, we wouldn't hear it.

Figured it out after writing a brief comment on an article about Bloomberg:

Bloomberg vs Trump is the perfect "election" for Hillary. Clinton puppet vs Clinton puppet. The Clinton mob wins both ways. Bloomberg wouldn't be as much fun because he couldn't be used as an Official Hate Target. Hillary wouldn't be able to dissociate her brand from her actions.

Aha. I was missing the point.

Here's why we're getting these Bloomberg clips that sound like the standard parody of Repooflican rhetoric on race and class. Bloomberg is being sprayed with orange paint. He's being prepared as a slightly different and shorter version of Trump, so the Epstein-Clinton mob can continue to use him as Official Hate Target. The fun must continue either way.

Why do Bloomberg and Trump stand still for the spraying? It's not obvious to non-power-seeking people, but a memory from high school helps. The principal, Mr Bishop, was a smart power seeker. He was a short bald man at a time when baldness wasn't fashionable. [Shortness is never fashionable.] Everyone called him Old Chromedome when he wasn't watching. So: At pep rallies Mr Bishop officially became Old Chromedome. When he came out to start the rally, the band played the cartoonish Parump-tee-dump, parump-tee-dump thing. Laughing was required. Miss Marley, the classic frumpy old maid who looked like a cash register, appeared after Chromedome, accompanied by The Stripper theme.

Channeling hate into Officially Approved Events makes it easier for the Official Hate Target to keep power during the Unofficial Hours. Orwell missed this point when he made Immanuel Goldstein a separate character.

Parump-tee-trump, parump-tee-trump...
 
  Too soon old, too late smart

I've been shaving with Norelco from the start. Only three shavers... first one given by parents on 16th birthday, second inherited from Grandpa in 1974, third bought in 1992. Replaced the blades a few times along the way. Very little use of materials and electricity.

After 54 years of useless experience with one type of machine, I just now figured out the right way to do it. DON'T PUSH. A light touch works. The harder you push the less you shave.

Pushing seems logical, but in this case it's wrong.

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  Archeological Sitzfleisch

Archeologists are willing to spend serious time on a task!
Professor Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, who works as the curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, spent fifteen years deciphering the clay tablets which were uncovered and excavated in Syria by French archaeologists in the early 1950s. The tablets, it has been confirmed, formed “a complete cult hymn and is the oldest preserved song with notation in the world.”
The article includes a MIDI rendition of the song with accompaniment, which probably would have been harps or lyres.

It doesn't sound anything like traditional Arab music or early European music. It sounds more Oriental, like this Korean song.
 
  More nonsense about random sequences

BBC tries to deal with the contrast between mathematical random and human random. Specifically they're talking about the tendency to bet against a streak.

This isn't a math error. It's natural, and in most situations it's a valid response to reality. It's only a counterproductive fallacy when the events are TRULY mathematically random, like the numbers in a lottery. (I was going to list some other examples like the pennies of a stock price, but lottery numbers are the ONLY common example. Stock prices are rigorously controlled down to the femtopenny by HST. Every microvariation is designed to benefit somebody, and it ain't you.)

When a streak or run happens in a natural or human-controlled sequence, it's NOT just part of randomness. It's meaningful. We should recognize it as a trend or phase, and in fact we usually do.

Here's a situation where betting against a streak is a VALID response:
One team of researchers recently analysed US judges’ decisions on whether or not to grant asylum to refugees. Logically speaking, the ordering of the cases should not matter. But in line with the gambler’s fallacy, the team found that the judges were up to 5.5% less likely to grant a case if they had granted the two previous cases – a serious decline from the average acceptance rate of 29%. Consciously or not, they seemed to think that the chances of having the same judgement three times in a row was just too small, and so they were more inclined to break the streak.

The researchers next analysed bank staff considering loan applications. Once again, the order of the applications made a difference: the loan officers were up to 8% more likely to reject an application after they had already accepted two or more in a row – and vice versa.
Both of these are HUMAN-CONTROLLED sequences where we KNOW that organizations are at work. When you receive a dozen asylum or loan applications that look similar, the applications are NOT random. They were created by an NGO, a "human rights" organization attempting to storm the gates. The technique is well known by front-line agents who handle such applications. Breaking the storm is a correct and PRODUCTIVE response.

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Monday, February 17, 2020
  Good observation, inadequate reason

Comment from one of the Tesla skeptics on Elon's permanent habit of "inventing" things that have been perfectly common and ordinary for centuries:

Pardon me but I can't say this enough: Musk could never have got away with his schtick 25 or 30 years ago; it's all enabled by the collapse of science education and knowledge of popular history. We've entertained ourselves into suckerdom.

Partly right, partly open to question. For sure Elon couldn't have done it a few decades earlier. Nobody would have bought his shtick or his shtock.

But I wouldn't blame the collapse of science education. Science ed was HORRIBLE in 1970. I think it's slightly better today. It's certainly not worse or 'collapsed' today.

Science ed outside the classroom is BRILLIANTLY better today for students who take advantage of it. Beautiful and informative demonstrations and animations of every conceivable topic are easily available on Youtube. [And some of the animations are available right here in this blog!]

In 1970 you couldn't see those demonstrations or animations. Everything was text or still pictures. Even historical science events that had ALREADY HAPPENED weren't available in 1970. Physics classes watched filmstrips of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Real films existed, but we didn't see them. Now you can see the real films. The same applies to medical topics and optical demonstrations and acoustic ... and everything you can imagine.

You can see all** of Elon's fake "inventions" in their original century-old forms. Electric cars, early pneumatic subways, solar roofs, all of it.

It's all there at your fingertips, with Youtube's "suggested" serving as a helpful librarian.

If you want text and still pics, you can read centuries of real science publications in Google Books and American Radio Library and dozens of other places. A tiny fraction of those publications would have been available to a 1970 university student who was willing to trudge up and down 10 flights of narrow stairs in the Old Stacks of the library carrying hefty volumes. Most would have been completely inaccessible in other libraries and other countries.

So the problem isn't in available education and available knowledge. The problem is that nobody WANTS to take advantage of the knowledge. Elon's cultists are just as blindly loyal as any apocalyptic cult. They cut out all sources of competing knowledge.

= = = = =

** Well, not all. Some of his fake "inventions" are so catastrophically stupid that nobody would have bothered with them before. Nobody invented a long metal tube for traveling through caves because everyone who had been in a cave knew how caves are arranged.

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  Egregiously ignorant

Via ZH, Bloomberg shows his typical NYC ignorance of the real world.
"I could teach anybody, even the people in this room" to be a farmer, said Bloomberg during a 2016 talk at Oxford University in a now-viral clip in which he called agriculture a process. "You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn."

Bloomberg then described metalworkers similarly.

"You put the piece of metal in the lathe, you turn the crank in the direction of the arrow, and you can have a job."

Working in the information economy is “fundamentally different, because it’s built around replacing people with technology and the skill sets that you have to learn are how to think and analyze. And that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.”
Jesus.

Farming is the deepest and most educated skill in the world. It takes many generations to develop a good farm and a good farmer, and the two must develop together.

Bloomberg not only displayed his own typical NYC decorticate vacuous cranial cavity, he made a reverse comparison with the "information economy". Farming and metal work have been computerized longer than just about anything else.

The first time I saw a desktop computer was in 1974 at Parsons Grain Company. I was working for an elevator repair firm, and I had delivered some of our equipment to the elevator. As I was waiting to fill out forms, Mr Parsons proudly showed me his completely computerized loading and storage system, and his web-connected computer to keep track of grain prices and futures. At that time I'd never seen a computer in actual use; I'd only seen the mainframes in university facilities.

Metalwork has been computerized MUCH longer. From Wikipedia's history of CNC machine tools:
The birth of NC is generally credited to John T. Parsons and Frank L. Stulen,[3] working out of Parsons Corp. of Traverse City, Michigan. In 1942, Parsons was told that helicopters were going to be the "next big thing" by the former head of Ford Trimotor production, Bill Stout. He called Sikorsky Aircraft to inquire about possible work, and soon got a contract to build the wooden stringers in the rotor blades. At the time, rotor blades (rotary wings) were built in the same fashion that fixed wings were, consisting of a long tubular steel spar with stringers (or more accurately ribs) set on them to provide the aerodynamic shape that was then covered with a stressed skin. The stringers for the rotors were built from a design provided by Sikorsky, which was sent to Parsons as a series of 17 points defining the outline. etc....
A lathe operator has been a computer operator for many decades.

NYC ignorance is meta-ignorance. The NYC demon doesn't know anything about reality AND doesn't know that humans can instantly recognize how fucking stupid the NYC demon is.

(Next day, a somewhat smarter thought on the subject.)

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Sunday, February 16, 2020
  Multifocal fuckhead

Article by Godwin, the writer of Godwin's Law.

He's been around the net since the BBS/USENET days, and he's been a lawyer dealing with net cases most of that time.

He says he used to be pure libertarian, but now he's starting to believe that more controls are needed because the WRONG SORT OF PEOPLE are using freedom. RUSSIAN_MEDDLING can't be allowed to MALIGN_BEHAVIOR the web, and of course non-Sorosians need to be EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE. Individual Liberty requires it. Individual Liberty means Soros owns everything.

Here's one focus of idiocy:
Another thing we clearly got wrong is how large platforms would rise to dominate their markets—even though they never received the kind of bespoke regulated-monopoly partnership with governments that, generations before, the telephone companies had received. In most of today’s democracies, Google dominates search and Facebook dominates social media. In less-democratic nations, counterpart platforms—like Baidu and Weibo in China or VK in Russia—dominate their respective markets, but their relationships with the relevant governments are cozier, so their market-dominant status isn’t surprising.
Nonsense. Google was a government contractor from the start. Long before the web, big tech companies were primarily government contractors. It started in 1946 and it was already obvious in 1960 when Ike talked about it.

Second focus of idiocy:
Alternatively, as in this 2019 piece by Matt Schruers, the newly appointed president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, it’s sometimes called “the moderator’s dilemma,” where opposing incentives lead either to the suppression of viewpoint diversity or to websites “plagued with off-topic content, trolling, and abuse.”

One reason we need to keep Section 230 safe—a reason I didn’t have the foresight to champion back in the 1990s—is that it’s crucial to fighting disinformation: It allows internet platforms to curate their content without necessarily increasing liability.
Platforms have always curated content. It's called publishing. Publishers have always worked within the constraints of liability for real harm. Publishers didn't need Section 230. Moderating specialized forums has always been a hard job. Do you kick out the asshole who really knows his stuff but can't stop lording it over others? Or do you stay loose and keep the asshole's valuable knowledge while losing some newbies? Alphia Hart discussed it often in his 1950's anti-Hubbard magazine Aberree. Editors of radio hobbyist newsletters discussed it in the '30s. It's just part of the job. No easy solution.

Third focus of idiocy:
I remain skeptical as to whether tactics like microtargeting and demographic profiling, whether used by political campaigns or foreign governments, are as effective at manipulating people as some critics fear, but I see nothing wrong with using legal and policy tools to stop malicious actors from trying to use these tools.
Nothing new about profiling. It's called knowing your customers. Scammers have always done the best job of knowing their customers. The post office and Ma Bell always made efforts to stop scammers, though it was easier with mail. Also, in previous decades media tried to educate people about the techniques of scammers. Now that our entire "economy" is mobs and rackets, nobody wants to train the suckers.

But Godwin isn't talking about scammers when he says MALICIOUS ACTORS. The keyword means only one thing. Surprise surprise surprise.
I still believe that, but here in 2020 I’m also haunted by the challenges we face everywhere in the world in this century, ranging from climate change to income inequality to the (not-unrelated) resurgence of populist xenophobia and even genocidal movements.
Freedom is fine as long as the free people are 100% SorosThought. Any entity that is not 100% SorosThought is MALICIOUS_ACTOR MALIGN_BEHAVIOR and must be EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE.



The only genocidal movements are on your side, fuckhead. Greta is explicitly and joyfully genocidal.

Is Godwin just an idiot, or is he an AP? I'm inclined toward idiot. The centralizing nature of the web was perfectly clear in the '80s. NSA was the central node, and NSA developed the web for its own ends, not for "liberty". The other problems have been around long before the web, and didn't inspire "libertarians" to favor total censorship.

Meta-Godwins-Law left as exercise for reader.

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  Open question

Just noticed that the previous two items are metaphorically identical. Honest beacons vs corrupt beacons, honest experts vs corrupt experts.

The first problem was solved when governments took control of all lighthouses and kicked out the wreckers.

Obviously we can't eliminate the expert wreckers the same way, because government is already paying and controlling the wrexperts.

Stepping back: Who forced governments to clean up the wreckers? The shipping industry, which was crucial to the success of governments. Tariffs and excise taxes depended on ships getting from origin to destination without wrecking. Corrupt aristocrats were less important than the tariffs.

Is there a way to create the same economic counterforce or GUILD among people who want and need uncorrupted facts? Can we reverse Zuesse's idea? I can't see it, but the question is worth some thinking.

Trinity House is funded by user fees charged to ships. If you reach port safely, you have to thank the beacons and buoys and foghorns for helping you get there. What would you pay for a certified fact beacon, which always brings your thinking and writing into port safely? A sharp acetylene light that busts through all the Shared Lies and illuminates simple truth? A beacon that never disagrees with experience and observations, never agrees with theories or Deepstate or bankers or politicians or "social" "science"?

Is there a tax or benefit to government that can be threatened by a guild withdrawing support? Probably not. Sorosian dysgovernments run solely on debt, in a closed satanic circle with the demonic bankers. Print money, print bonds, buy bonds with money. Revenue no longer motivates dysgovernments. No feedback allowed.

Even aside from funding, the idea is completely impractical. If the Guild's leaders wanted to survive, the organization would have to be off-planet, unreachable by US rockets and unjammable by NSA. So it would be incapable of communicating the truth.

Could the guild be implemented without leaders? Could it be an unconquerable digital virus, penetrating all networks, halting and discarding all signals from all sources connected at any level of remoteness to Deepstate? No. Unconquerable is impossible. NSA would flip it.

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  Beacons and counterbeacons

I was thinking and reading about the remarkable continuity of beacons. This Acetylene journal has a nice long history of lighthouses and buoys, focused naturally on acetylene.

Beacons have been important parts of shipping for thousands of years, and beacons have also been an important metaphor.



From the Iliad:

So, tonight, wandering sailors pale with fears,
Wide o'er the watery waste, a light appears.
Which, on the far-seen mountain blazing high,
Streams from some lonely watch-tower to the sky.


Lighthouses and buoys used unique sequences of colors or flashes to identify their location. Radio beacons for ships and aircraft adopted the practice with identifiable sequences of Morse. Those sequences turned into call letters, which were later extended to broadcast stations.

Through the same long history, hackers have faked beacons to force shipwrecks and steal the loot:
St. Agnes, Scilly, light, built in 1680. shows an improvement by enclosing the fire with glass, forming a lantern, and the use of a stove-pipe for carrying off the smoke and products of combustion. The first keeper of this light was a wrecker and it was noted that very often his light was very dim, rarely extinguished, however, to cover himself, but dim enough to allow vessels to run on shore and be wrecked. The plunder from wrecked ships was found, after a report and investigation, under a coal pile at the lighthouse.
As I was thinking, I noticed this delicious ZH item.
For instance, those making minimum wage at a Burger King somewhere, while honorable work, may not have the luxuries of the billionaire lifestyle - but at least they never have to worry about slamming their super-yacht into the side of a prized coral reef off the coast of Belize.

Because that's the problem that hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb is being forced to deal with this week. Loeb's yacht damaged what is being called a "pristine reef" near the famous Great Blue Hole outside of Belize, according to Bloomberg.

Loeb's 200 foot yacht was filmed last Sunday anchored at Belize's Lighthouse Reef Atoll.
Obviously Loeb's crew wasn't paying attention to the actual modern lighthouse on Lighthouse Reef, nor to the modern beacons of GPS.

Or maybe a wrecker was jamming GPS? Unlikely. Modern wreckers are probably working for the bankers, just as the old wreckers were often corrupt aristocrats:
The grant by the crown for the establishment of these lights was considered to be of so much importance that one of the noted English lords, very near the court and an adviser of the king. Lord Grenville, notes in his diary : "Watch for the time when the king is in a good humor and ask him for a lighthouse." In this way many of the king's favorites absorbed many of the most important stations. This became in time such an intolerable nuisance that the shipping people petitioned the king for redress.


Henry VIII responded to the pressure by founding Trinity House, a mutual benefit association or guild for sailors, and giving it full authority over lighthouses and navigation. Trinity House still exists and still has the same functions. Remarkable continuity for an organization, breaking all of Parkinson's Laws. Serving the same purpose for 500 years, funded the same way for 500 years. Every ship that docks at British ports pays a user fee to Trinity House.

= = = = =

Irrelevant stupid footnote by a fussbudget proofreader type: The last line of Alexander Pope's translation above should be a lonely watch-tower, not some. The previous three lines have a long-legged meter that beautifully captures the light beam skipping over the waves. Some trips up the meter.

Musical footnote: British semi-modern composer Ethel Smyth wrote an opera about the wreckers.
 
Saturday, February 15, 2020
  Zuesse gets it backwards

Zuesse often shoots a sharp arrow with great precision into a conventional target.

This time he's shooting backwards. He's saying that ANY censorship is the mark of a dictatorship, and ALL censorship must be banned. He confesses that the ban is hard to imagine and hard to do in practice, but his proposed alternative is no improvement at all.
On print or broadcast media, every news-piece will be controlled in real time by its audience so as to determine what the questions are and then to bring into the presentation randomly selected scientifically qualified experts regarding each such question. For example: on the question of climate-change, the experts would be individuals who have terminal graduate-level degrees in each of the related climatology sub-specialties, such as those listed at Wikipedia, but also in essential related fields such as economics (an important climatological sub-specialty that’s not listed there). If, indeed, over 90% of climatologists agree that man-made global warming is a reality, then the result of this method of selecting the “experts” who will be presented is that that viewpoint will be represented by over 90% of the experts — and this outcome would not be controlled by the given ‘news’-medium, nor affected by its advertisers. In other words: only the subject-matter and academic qualifications — no governmental positions or background — would qualify individuals as being “experts” on the given topic. If a terminal degree isn’t a qualification for expertise on a topic, then what is?
We already do what Zuesse proposes. We trust advanced degrees because advanced degrees are given for CONFORMING TO CURRENT ORTHODOXY.

In some academic areas the current orthodoxy is uncontroversial**, so it might be correct. But in all of the areas that CONNECT WITH POLITICS AND NEWS, the current orthodoxy is determined by Deepstate.

In other words, some experts are uncorrupted, but they aren't going to be used by government or media, so they're irrelevant to this discussion.

As to the original question, I don't buy the premise. It's entirely possible to have healthy feedback from people to government in a culture with strong censorship. Most of the rulers we call 'dictators' were able to stay in power because they served the needs and interests of the people. They provided prosperity and freedom from crime, and allowed plenty of room for varied skills and talents. As long as you didn't insult the king or dictator, you could express anything you wanted.

The real problem is not LIMITED information, it's DISTORTED information. And the system Zuesse proposes, which is in fact our current system, guarantees distortion.

= = = = =

** For clarity: In those uncontroversial academic subjects that aren't closely connected to politics or media, the experts tend to be a lot more humble and open to learning and thinking. Every subject has internal orthodoxies and fashions, but it's a lot easier to break the internal fashion when government grants and accrediting agencies aren't enforcing Deepstate's preferred lies. When billions of dollars and institutional prestige depend on Deepstate, everyone will stick firmly to Deepstate's preference.

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  AI point-missing as usual

More of the same.
Seattle University, with funding provided by Microsoft, has created a free, online course intended to train businesses on the “meaning of ethics in AI.” That’s a promising move because it’s not just the tools that create problems. The developers themselves often don’t know how to think about ethical issues. Michael Quinn, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Seattle University, notes,

Many people who work in tech aren’t required to complete a philosophy or ethics course in school’, said Quinn, which he believes contributes to blind spots in the development of technology. Those blind spots may have lead to breaches of public trust…”
Philosophy or Ethics course???????????

Jesus.

The point is simple, and has nothing to do with "ethics" or ethics. The point is that the PEOPLE IN CHARGE of big data are totally immune from legalities. They are above and beyond the law. Suing them or regulating them is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE because they are paid-up members of Epstein's Blackmail Web. Lawyers and regulators and judges want to remain alive and functional.

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