Friday, February 28, 2014
  Free shouldn't be better than paid.

Thought produced by a pissed-off mood.

Subscription-only websites are totally fucking defective. Paying gets you nowhere. You may miss one or two articles by not subscribing, but the info in the articles is always available elsewhere in some other form. When a scientific publication is paywalled, you find that the paid content has nothing that wasn't in the abstract. When you contribute to an indie movie, you find the final product has nothing that wasn't in the trailer.

What SHOULD you get for paying a monthly or annual fee? At least you should get RESPECT. You SHOULD get the ability to post comments in the website's forum or combox without being deleted for disagreement. Obviously you shouldn't be able to violate laws, or post crap that will get the website in trouble, but you should be able to disagree with the majority. Maybe you could even receive an occasional civilized response from the moderators.

Some websites manage to treat everyone with respect, but those are never paid sites.

In every case where I've paid for a subscription, I've been deleted or classified as a troll for attempting to bring FACTS into the discussion.

Just from curiosity, I googled some phrases to see if any website even promised to treat paid subscribers with added respect. Nothing showed up in that direction, but astonishingly quite a few health-care-related sites had the OPPOSITE promise. If you pay the insurer, you must treat the 'providers' with respect!

Not gonna pay for a subscription ever again. It's pointless.


  The Unselected

From Guardian:
Rather than collecting webcam chats in their entirety, the program saved one image every five minutes from the users' feeds, partly to comply with human rights legislation, and also to avoid overloading GCHQ's servers. The documents describe these users as "unselected" – intelligence agency parlance for bulk rather than targeted collection.
The Unselected. Perfect modern version of the proles. Not worth full focus until some algorithm finds some distant semantic connection to a Selected. At that point the laser focuses on the Unselected and one binary digit switches from 0 to 1 in a boolean flag variable. Now you're a Selected, and there's no way to flip your digit back to 0.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
  Ignoring history as usual

Three beautiful examples of completely ignoring history in today's news.

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(1) Joe Manchin, one of the few halfway sane Congresscritters, proposes banning Bitcoin. The techies are snortling and chortling in their usual way. WTF???? There's no possible way to ban Bitcoin!!!!!! Why? Because Halliburton! Because Keystone! Because West Virginia! Because neanderthal hillbillies! Because 0x4a5e1e4baab89f3a32518a88c31bc87f618f76673e2cc77ab2127b7afdeda33b! Because Bernard von NotHaus...

Oops. The Feds have succeeded in banning "alternate currencies" many times, and they have full and obvious authority to do so. It's right there in the old Constitution, though it's a rather nuanced authority. The Feds don't have to ban other currencies, and they don't have to print their own currency; but they have the power to decide which currencies are valid.

Of course the silliest thing about the Bitcoin bubble is that Bitcoin was clearly created BY the US gov't as a sting operation. How do I know that? Because unlike all previous "alternate currencies", they haven't banned it. Tells the whole story.

= = = = =

(2) Greenwald gives us an inside view of NSA/GCHQ methods for infiltrating the Net. Apparently we're supposed to be shocked. Nope.

I was hoping he'd name some names to make the news useful, but this is just normal intel stuff. Exactly the same set of ops that FBI, CIA, etc have been using in personal and radio infiltration for a century. Any activist who doesn't understand this is doomed.

There's a huge intrinsic difference between the Net and all previous communication modes.

Human speech, printing, paper mail, telegraph, telephone and radio were not designed by the intel agencies. All of them had to be used within physical boundaries that were set by Nature or by pre-existing commercial companies. When intel agencies monitor or intercept these older methods, they are limited by the same boundaries, including permission by commercial companies.

The Net was designed by NSA for the specific purpose of monitoring everything. In this case non-NSA uses are the overlaid and by-permission functions.

= = = = =

(3) As the Crimean area of Ukraine declares its independence, NATO is starting to rattle swords.
Meanwhile Nato defence ministers warned that they considered Ukraine’s future to be “key to Euro-Atlantic security” and assured the new government in Kiev that the alliance would back its “sovereignty, independence [and] territorial integrity.”

“A sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security,” they said in a statement.
Yes! Yes! Let's do it!

Forward, forward to total victory! Half a kilometer, half a kilometer, half a kilometer onward! Total victory! Just like the other time!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  Leave it alone, dammit.

Purely talking to myself here, but figure I'll stand a better chance of obeying myself if I write it here, in a semi-public place where NSA and random foreigners looking for eggstacks porn can read it and be puzzled.

I need to stop paying attention to Satan's fairyland department. It's not my department. My response to the issue is irrational because I was first introduced to the "gay lifestyle" forcibly and repeatedly while serving time at Mansfield. This left me with a literally visceral distaste for the subject.

Rationally I don't have a big problem with the issue. People are different, as I constantly say, and as I should take more seriously.

Most of all, it's not my specialty. BAD SCIENCE is my specialty. I know how to do good science and how to teach good science, so I have something useful and unique to say about bad science. In Satan's "global warming" department, my little 30-second disproofs seem to have been read by actual humans in fairly important places. I don't know how those humans responded, but at least they were reading what I wrote.

The "global warming" crime is fading now, and I need to be DEEPLY GRATEFUL for that. The fading was probably caused more by Mr FOIA's 2009 leaks of internal communications among the gang leaders than by any of our rational disproofs and facts. Satan only listens to Satan, and in that case Mr FOIA showed the governmental Satans that their "scientific" gurus were pure fakers, only interested in power and money. Which shouldn't have surprised them.... but the gov't Satans realized they couldn't sell the fraudulent shit from the "scientific" Satans any longer.

The fairyland department only intersects with BAD SCIENCE in a marginal way, which I described here. Traditional morality results from 10,000 years of painful and often fatal experimentation. Moses and Mohammed analyzed huge piles of experimental data about human behavior and consequences. When we ignore and disobey this analysis, we know what will happen.

But that's one point of intersection, and repetition would be tiresome for me. If I want to live long and stay healthy, I need to avoid focusing on viscerally disgusting matters. That's the real conclusion. Time to take the ZERO PROBLEMS approach, leaving pride aside and sticking with survival.

Somewhat later sidenote: Parallel between two kinds of input. In the last two years I've found that home-cooked food is tremendously more healthy than preprocessed food. You can select the elements and control the quality, and the nutrients and taste are superior. Same with entertainment. When you let the TV and radio preprocess your mental inputs, you're letting super-rich super-evil Satans control the quality and insert toxins. Even if you're alert enough to spit out something that tastes wrong, you're still going to get sick from it. I already know how to home-cook my entertainment, and I need to do a lot more of it!

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  Switchover devoutly to be wished

Let's look at two groups of people.

Group 1:

has a tremendous amount of power and money. They control several large cities, most of the mass media, all of the rich churches, the US milifairy, the US "court" system, and very soon all of professional sports. They have used blackmail and extortion to gain power step by step. Now they are in the enviable position of calling the shots in all realms. NOTHING happens without their permission. Despite all this, they have the monumental chutzpah to claim status as poor helpless victims, and everyone else goes along with the chutzpah.

Group 2:

has very little power and very little money. They are deeply religious (some Christian, some Muslim) and strongly devoted to family. They work hard and cleverly, constantly improvising to get around obstacles placed by their corrupt leaders.

Okay, God. If you exist, TRADE. Put Group 1 onto the continent inhabited by Group 2, and vice versa. If you exist, you know who your friends are. You know who deserves to inherit the Earth. Remember what you said about "deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles?" Well, it's time to get cracking. Time to deponere and exaltare.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Polistra has noted several times that the hammer and sickle didn't disappear in 1990; it simply jumped across the Bering Strait.

The departure of Sovietism from Russia was clear and well-marked, but its arrival on this side of the strait was more gradual and implicit. One thing is definite: Bush The Father was the carrier. After trying to assassinate the last anti-Soviet president and narrowly missing, BTF proceeded as if his bullet had done its intended job. He did everything a proper Soviet leader would do: shot Christians, gave absolute power to the EPA Terrorist Army, expanded "human" "rights", expanded "free trade". Clinton and Bush The Son continued in the same direction, bombing large numbers of Christians and Muslims here and abroad, destroying physical infrastructure and cultural infrastructure here and abroad, expanding "free trade" and "human" "rights", and generally breaking and obliterating everything that was built by previous generations of normal people.

Through all those concrete (and concrete-smashing!) steps, we never had a verbal declaration that all religious beliefs are prohibited. Now we finally have it, not that it matters very much.
Gay couples and rights supporters have launched a series of legal challenges to bans in federal and state courts in recent months following two key decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court last year. Attorneys general should base their decision on whether to defend their states in such cases, not on politics, but on questions of guarantees under the U.S. Constitution, such as equal protection of the law, Holder added. "Engaging in that process and making that determination is something that's appropriate for an attorney general to do," Holder told the New York Times.
Satan always veils his words, but Holder's meaning is easy to translate:

Thou shalt not tolerate religion.

Meanwhile in other parts of the world (eg Africa and Russia), governments are strongly opposing Satan and supporting God.

The switchover is complete.



Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, looked to have essentially disappeared on Tuesday, with its website down, its founder unaccounted for and a Tokyo office empty

Sophisticated fools parted from their money. Anyone who fell for this grotesquely obvious and transparent scam deserves to lose MORE THAN everything. Really deserves to be in a State School For Retards, except that he would pull the IQ curve down too much.

With any luck, this will also help to puncture the MMT (Mass Murder Theory) types, who share the same suicidal pseudonotion that money can be generated without labor.
Monday, February 24, 2014
  Random note on the return of GIFs

Ars Technica has a cute article on the rebirth of GIF in the world of Tumblr.

Looking at my own output, I can see the same trend. Over the 9 years I've been doing this thing, I've made a lot of loop-type short animations. GIF and SWF are the obvious choices for short anims. I started out doing GIFs (blue line) then shifted to SWF (purple line) then dropped back to GIF.

I don't remember exactly why I thought SWF was better. Probably because you could include interactive elements.... but I only used interactivity once or twice, then decided it was way too much work for a blog with zero readers.

I remember clearly why I came back to GIF. It's a simple reason that isn't mentioned in the Ars Technica article. In building a GIF from still frames, it's easy to set a separate time interval for each frame. You can't do it in SWF. (At least in the tools I was using.) Efficient looping depends crucially on setting the interval for individual frames. Often you want a long pause on the last frame to establish a clear start and end for the loop; sometimes you have several static periods in the middle. In GIF you can set these intervals directly; in SWF you have to copy the frame image repeatedly to get a 'stay'.

= = = = =

Linguistic sidenote: The inventor of the GIF insists that it should be pronounced jif. He's wrong. He's operating on a false theory that G before a front vowel is automatically /dʒ/. This simply isn't a rule in English. It's a rule in Italian and Church Latin. Some words that came in from French or Italian do follow the Italian rule, but most newly introduced words use the 'hard' /g/ regardless of front/back vowel. When encountering an unfamiliar word, we favor /g/.

Consider Gilbey's Gin, give, gyp, gimmick, gimlet, gimbal, gimp, giblet, and especially gift. No firm rule either way, but the tendency is toward /g/ instead of /dʒ/.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
  Language update for Feb

= = = = =

Professor Polistra has a lexical oddity to explore, plus a fairly large bucket of modern wordshit.

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Lexical Oddity:

Prof P, while fully understanding that language is not meant to be logical, has always been bothered by the lack of orthogonality in some particular patterns.

Improve (used transitively) is a flagrant non-orthogonality. What's the antonym? Deprove? Exprove? Eprove? Unprove? No.

Unimproved is the opposite of improved, but only in a restricted legal context about pavements or properties. Not a general-purpose antonym.

If we look at improve as an intransitive, we have two fair but imperfect antonyms: decline and worsen. Conditions were improving / Conditions were worsening / Conditions were declining.

These fail in the transitive. I improved the car's ignition? OK. I worsened the car's ignition? No. I declined the car's ignition? Not unless the car offered its ignition to me as an award!

Worsen appears to have an antonym of its own in better as a verb, but this only works in a the context of competitions. She worsened her time in the long-jump / She bettered her time in the long-jump.

This family of words is completely dysfunctional!

= = = = =

Now the usual bucket.

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Dee. Proppo. Trosk.

From BBC, always a reliable mispronouncer of Wog Words. Reporting on protests in Dnepropetrovsk:

"Here's our correspondent in Dee. Proppo. Trosk. I'm sure I've pronounced that wrong."


= = = = =

Working progress.

As in "I'm a working progress." From this clip.

An understandable hypercorrection. Probably makes more sense than the proper phrase. Reminds me: When our high school drama class was rehearsing "Raisin in the Sun", one precise and prissy girl insisted it should be "Rising in the Sun".

= = = = =

In silico.

Nice parallel to in vitro / in vivo. Used by AI pseudoscientists who still mistakenly believe they can model thought processes with computers, even after 50 years of total abject failure. More billions! More billions! We can do the job if you'll just give us more billions!

= = = = =


Polistra noted earlier that the stress pattern of distribution has been applied to DIStribute. At that time she wondered why the same transfer of stress template hadn't happened to CONtribute.

Now it has.

BBC says: "If you want to CONtribute to Outside Source, email us at ...."

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An obnoxious unctuous sanctimonious asshole named Michael Fiore, speaking about the progress of tobacco cessation. "Unfortunately, Big Tobacco is still managing to recruit and ensnarl new addicts." Listening to this oily slimy fuckhead tempts me to take up smoking again, just for the pleasure of disobeying him.

= = = = =


When civilization has become the retronym, you know Satan's victory is complete. That is all.

= = = = =

Footnote: After re-reading, I suspect time may not be the relevant variable in long-jump competitions, but I'm determined to maintain total ignorance of all Sport-related subjects. I didn't realize it was wrong as I was writing it, so it's going to stick.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spring is not far off. Birds are already discussing their plans for the season....

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  1959 mammals

Been listening at bedtime to some segments of NBC Monitor from around 1959. (This is the only OTR program that I remember from real life; though many of the soap operas and dramas continued through 1965, I never listened to them.)

Hearing Monitor now, it's damned easy to see why 1959 was the end of an era in popular culture. It's easy to see why 'subversive elements' took over quickly after 1959.

Music was Uniform! Regimented! Hard! Sharp! Punched Out To The Edges! Sir!

Cars were Uniform! Regimented! Hard! Sharp! Punched Out To The Edges! Sir!

Extending the trend was impossible. The envelope was stretched to the limits.

What were the subversive elements? They were the opposite, at least initially. Soft, agile, rounded, variable.

In autodom, we typically give credit to VW, but the real subversive was the Rambler American. [Proof: GM thought VW was the threat, and designed Corvair to answer the threat. Wrong! Lost the sales race to Falcon, which was an answer to the Rambler threat.] Was the American new? Nope, it was a 1953 car that George Romney cleverly brought back to life.

In music, there were separate subversives in the classical and pop fields. Again the 'new' replacements returned to an earlier age. In classical, the Hard! Sharp! Punched! era was replaced by delicate precise Baroque, evangelized by conductors like Trevor Pinnock. In pop, Elvis was the central subversive, followed quickly by the Beatles. Elvis's ballads (but not his hips!) continued a 300-year tradition. The Beatles brought back Gilbert & Sullivan.

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Footnote 1: One of the comments under a Youtube clip of Mitch Miller's singalong was "This is the whitest thing on the planet." Usually such comments are egregiously false, but in this case I have to agree. White as in 'chickenshit Ohioan'. Only one modern thing might possibly be whiter than Mitch: Volksmarsch.

= = = = =

Footnote 2: Though most of pre-1960 radio has permanently vanished, a new version of Monitor has appeared in the last few years. ABC's weekend service called 'Perspective' has all the structure and flavor of Monitor. In fact Perspective is superior to the latter part of Monitor's long run, because Monitor decayed into mostly music, pretty much a national DJ show. Perspective has maintained the original Monitor concept of news, gossip and features. Kudos to ABC!
Friday, February 21, 2014

Are drones proud of the job they do?

Could a drone do this?

One thing a drone can do that a pigeon can't: A drone can be misdirected or hacked by enemy radio signals. (Yeah, the sentence is contrived, but the point is valid.)
  Think again

Think your tax return is kept safe and confidential by HR Block?

Think again!

HR Block's agency in Coeur d'Alene moved to a new location last year; the office remained vacant for several months. When the property manager was preparing the office for a new tenant, she found a cobbled-up mess, holding thousands of returns from 2006-2009.

As an ex-bookkeeper, I'm mostly bothered by the sheer sloppiness and fire-prone-ness of the filing system. Presumably these were the 'keep for records' copies, not the 'send in' copies. There's no way they could have found a client's return in these boxes if the client had wanted to see his 'keep for records' copy.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
  Constants and variables 9

Ukraine is boiling and burning. Protesters stupidly want to align with EU, a failing monster that currently creates more pain than gain for ordinary people. Ukraine's government wants to align with Russia, a successful monster that currently creates more gain than pain for ordinary people. Those tendencies could change at any time, but at this moment Russia is the superior choice.

Now the EU jumps into the fray, exhibiting its usual abysmal stupidity. Its representatives are looking at the situation in Kiyiv and proposing sanctions against the Ukraine gov't.

Even the protesters should be able to see the light now.

Think of it in personal terms. You're looking at two job offers. One offer comes from a failing company with a boss you like, who doesn't offer you any special inducements. The other comes from a growing company with a boss you hate, who offers you high wages and a big signup bonus.

Now the boss you like suddenly cuts the offered pay and says he will cuss you and whip you every day as an added inducement.

If you have any sense, your choice is made. Take the unpleasant boss who will pay you instead of whipping you.

= = = = =

By happenstance, I was listening last night to a 1963 episode of NBC's Monitor, the first long-form news and features program. At that time JFK's sanctions against Cuber were fairly new, and the newscasters (blindly loyal to the Royal Kennedy Family then as now) were cheering Canada's decision to join the sanctions.

What did those sanctions do? Pushed Castro solidly into the Soviet sphere and kept him there for 40 years. Gave the Cubern people a damn good reason to go along with Castro.

North Korea is the same. It was already in China's pocket, and our sanctions locked it in.

= = = = =

Constants and variables time! We have a fresh example of long-term sanctions that DID work the way they were intended to work. Sanctions against Persia have finally persuaded its government to make a few policy changes to break out of the sanctions.

Okay, sanctions sometimes work, sometimes not. What's the controlling variable? Looks like alignment makes the difference. Cuber already had another boss, and our sanctions pushed Cuber into total loyalty to the Russian boss. Persia didn't have another boss. It has never been a colony, never been a full-fledged client state of either side. It remembers its own days of empire, and uses sophisticated methods to maintain its own freedom of action. Give a little, take a little. The choice wasn't between two bosses but between increased poverty and decreased poverty. Sensibly, it chose decreased poverty.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014
  Always fun, Aereo edition

It's always fun, in a clinical way, to diagnose the strange brains of Cooool Techie Types.

You can see the symptoms nicely in their response to a court decision about the Aereo cable service. Aereo is a common carrier. Copyright laws, while fucked up in many ways, correctly require common carriers to pay royalties to content providers. Common carriers are like publishers, picking up one 'manuscript' and distributing many 'copies' of it for money.

Aereo doesn't pay those royalties, using a Secret Ingredient that nobody has actually seen. Supposedly each subscriber is connected (through multiplexing) to his own little teensy antenna. Supposedly each subscriber is just receiving an individual signal, as if he had an antenna on his own roof.

The judge correctly decided that the trick is irrelevant. Even if this matrix of antennas exists, which nobody outside the company knows, it's not functionally different from a single antenna with multiplexed frequency channels. In other words it's the same as any other common carrier.

Techies hate the judge's decision because they're Libertarians. Or so they say.

Ideally, what should a tech-minded libertarian favor? (1) He should favor strong copyright laws, because strong copyright laws encourage creative people to produce. (2) He should favor careful regulation of the Commons (in this case the airwaves) because without regulation a single company can snatch all of the Commons. This actually happened to the airwaves before the radio regulations of the late '20s. A few super-high-power AM stations drowned out other stations. (3) He should want to pay for everything he receives. Expecting everything to be free is EXPLICITLY socialist.

Modern Techies are on the opposite side of each issue. Thus they are not Libertarians or even capitalists. They're a strange mix of inaccurate Marxists and inaccurate Monarchists. Or in simpler terms, they're spoiled infants. They assume that the whole world should be instantly available to them without charge any time they want something, and they must never be required to obey Uncool people. They must be free at all times to slavishly and robotically follow the fashion of the Cool Royal Court.

In this case the real reason for the Techie opinion is blatantly obvious. The suit against Aereo was brought by Fox News. Nuff said.
  Not satisfying

Well, I've outlived all my enemies. There's a sort of grim satisfaction in that. But now I'm starting to outlive my friends. Not satisfying at all. Bye, Larry.

If the Christian idea of heaven and hell is accurate, one of the most powerful warriors against Satan has now assumed an even more powerful position.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
  Wrong worry

Glasgow Univ students have elected Snowden as honorary 'rector'.
Snowden, in his statement, said: "I am humbled by and grateful to the students of Glasgow University for this historic statement in defence of our shared values.

"We are reminded by this bold decision that the foundation of all learning is daring: the courage to investigate, to experiment, to inquire. If we do not contest the violation of the fundamental right of free people to be left unmolested in their thoughts, associations, and communications - to be free from suspicion without cause - we will have lost the foundation of our thinking society. The defence of this fundamental freedom is the challenge of our generation, a work that requires constructing new controls and protections to limit the extraordinary powers of states over the domain of human communication."
Well said. Can't argue with any of the principles.

But I can argue with the implied goal of slowing down government input. THIS IS NOT THE PROBLEM.

Key point is "freedom from suspicion without cause." False accusation, whether by gov't agents or evil people, is the worst tyranny. And the best defense to false accusation is lots of cameras and mics. Cops have figured this out. They now use dashcams and bodycams to tape every encounter with a culprit, so culprits can't get away with false accusations of brutality. Russians have figured this out, and run dashcams on their cars at all times to monitor both the cops and the insurance fraudsters.

Omnipresent security cams and smartphones have made many types of ordinary crime unattractive. Professional criminals understand that there's always an unbribable witness watching, so courtroom games are much less effective than before.

Thus: We shouldn't be worrying about vast gov't input, except as a hugely expensive waste of money and electricity and talent. We should be worrying about gov't attempts to PREVENT US FROM MONITORING. Jamming, kill switches, "hate speech" laws.

This seems to be starting in some places, but it's not widespread yet. When gov't has a MONOPOLY on monitoring, we have a real problem. Before 1990, gov't did have a monopoly, and it had total freedom to create false prosecutions. It still tries the Kafka routine, but it doesn't work nearly as well now. We have to assume that gov't is trying to bring back the old fun times, and we have to watch carefully.

One of the sciencey websites mentioned a project that involved "Socio-Technical Integration Research", which supposedly means applying ethics to technology. Roused my curiosity, since "ethics" in modern usage means exactly and specifically and explicitly "KILL BABIES! KILL DISABLED PEOPLE! KILL OLD PEOPLE! STARVE THE POOR! ENRICH THE BANKERS!" When you do all of those things you are ethical. When you fail to do any of those things you are unethical.

Every theory reduces to From Whom and To Whom. Usually the payer and payee, the victim and thief, are instantly obvious. Not so with STIR. Google yields an amazingly impenetrable jungle of jargon with no clear referents or stopping points.

Here's a typical passage from a Wiki entry:
Carvajal [7] states that "the rate at which uncertainty overwhelms an organisation is related more to its internal structure than to the amount of environmental uncertainty". Sitter in 1997 offered two solutions for organisations confronted, like the military, with an environment of increased (and increasing) complexity: "The first option is to restore the fit with the external complexity by an increasing internal complexity. ...This usually means the creation of more staff functions or the enlargement of staff-functions and/or the investment in vertical information systems".[8] Vertical information systems are often confused for "network enabled capability" systems (NEC) but an important distinction needs to be made, which Sitter et al. propose as their second option: "…the organisation tries to deal with the external complexity by 'reducing' the internal control and coordination needs. ...This option might be called the strategy of 'simple organisations and complex jobs'". This all contributes to a number of unique advantages. Firstly is the issue of "human redundancy"[9] in which "groups of this kind were free to set their own targets, so that aspiration levels with respect to production could be adjusted to the age and stamina of the individuals concerned".[3] Human redundancy speaks towards the flexibility, ubiquity and pervasiveness of resources within NEC.
Might be vaguely related to work and workplaces, but that's as far as I can get.


  A new use for a dictionary

From 'Electrical Age' magazine, 1905. The article also suggested that a gravity heating system could be improved by using fans in front of the outlets, with cardboard airguides.

The article didn't jump from there to the idea of putting a fan inside the heating system itself.

Sometimes you wonder. Were the celluloid collars restricting bloodflow to their brains?
Monday, February 17, 2014
  Another nice exception

Idiots, especially Catholic idiots, like to justify their Satanic refusal to execute criminals with a nonsensical bit of standard verbiage: "Much better to serve life in prison. That's real punishment."

If you're talking about a professional criminal, this is absolutely wildly ferociously murderously suicidally wrong.

For vocational criminals, prison is vacation time, planning time, practice and rehearsal time. It's a chance to get in a lot of fighting and criminal activity in a protected situation where your mistakes won't lead to instant death.

But! Again, people are different. Another bit of standard verbiage about prison is absolutely wildly ferociously CORRECT: "Prison holds the bad, the mad and the sad."

Vocational criminals are the bad. Psychopaths who always do evil are the mad. Dumb or weak kids who fall into bad company and try to act like criminals are the sad.

For the sad, prison is SERIOUS punishment. It kills them, or it rapes them into zombie jelly, or it truly reforms them.

Here's a sad dude who will be SERIOUSLY punished in prison:

Let's see now, I need to look upward without the mask to check if there's a surveillance camera. Hi, mom! Then I need to pull up the mask to hide my face while I say This Is A Stickup.

The best part is the rock-steady barista. She has this sad dude measured from the start. Okay, there's your coffee and there's your cash. Will there be anything else?

Let's hope this perfect little video gets shown to all of Sad Dude's cellmates, especially the ones who are Bad vocational criminals. They will be highly impressed by his silk-smooth robbery skills, and by his unmatched ability to inspire fear and trembling in girls. Not.

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Update 2/21: The 'baby-face' criminal has done it again.
Spokane Police described the suspect from Mug Shots as a white male, 26-30 years old, and light brown/blonde hair. Authorities said this [new] suspect also had a baby face (pudgy but not fat), and was wearing a black and white hooded sweatshirt with dark gray pants.

“I think he’s an idiot,” said one employee.
Yes indeed. Dude is going to have SO MUCH FUN in jail. Almost makes me want to commit a crime just so I can be there to watch the entertainment.
  Nice exception

Among the "social" "science" articles that get picked up by sciencey websites, roughly 99.8% are flatly and obviously wrong because of backwards causation, and/or because they start with Lenin's genocidal assumption that all humans are identical lifeless passive grains of sand. These failures usually run together.

The 0.2% exceptions need to be celebrated.

Here's one.

Feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chances of premature death by 14 percent, according to research by John Cacioppo, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.
The positive exception shows up in the very first word. Feeling. The writer expands the point:
Although some people are happy to be alone, most people thrive from social situations in which they provide mutual support and develop strong rapport. ...

It is not solitude or physical isolation itself, but rather the subjective sense of isolation that Cacioppo's work shows to be so profoundly disruptive. Older people living alone are not necessary lonely if they remain socially engaged and enjoy the company of those around them. Some aspects of aging, such as blindness and loss of hearing, however, place people at a special risk for becoming isolated and lonely, he said.
Exactly right. People are different. Introverts are pained by excess company in the same way that extroverts are pained by insufficient company. This is obvious to normal humans, but it's almost never recognized by "social" "scientists".

Kudos to Cacioppo, and equal kudos to William Harms, who seems to be the writer of the press release.
  Tech tip about Logitech Setpoint

On my computer the Logitech Setpoint software for mouse control sometimes goes wrong. Specifically the wheel gradually stops working every couple of weeks. Software isn't supposed to behave this way! This is more like the way gears and bearings work! Nevertheless, I've found that the fadeout can be fixed by changing something in the Logitech dialog.

Pick another choice among these radiobuttons. If it's currently on Autoscroll, pick Universal Scroll. If it's currently on Universal Scroll, pick Autoscroll. Then hit OK and the wheel will start working again. (I haven't tried the other three choices because they don't seem right and because toggling the top two is enough.)
Sunday, February 16, 2014
  wheres e e cummings when you need him.

i noticed
this while
taking out

trash. balloooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnssssssssssssss
flappinnnnnnnnnnng flappinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng in
the w
this is a;
.poem ~?

= = = = =

In 10th grade Miss Marley informed us that e e cummings was a Highly Distinguished Poit who wrote Highly Distinguished Poims. If we wanted to Speak Ekritly, we must Learn To Appreciate Poit Ry. She then played a 78-rpm record of cummings. The following Youtube clip is the same recording, made slightly less nauseous by a pleasant introduction that wasn't on Miss Marley's record:

This is what I was thinkinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng about.

I wonder if all those grim old schoolmarms understood what they were doing. Did they really believe that they were Imbuing Raw Youth with a Love of Precious Culture, or were they intentionally sabotaging the culture that had deprived them of attractiveness and love? I can understand the latter.
  Nature laughs

Nature loves to make fools of fools. The nastiest fools are the linear extrapolators, the direct descendants of Swift's Laputan 'projectors', who try to hogtie Nature onto a straight line upward to infinity or downward to zero. Nature doesn't do linear. Nature always cycles up and down, always reverts to the centerpoint sooner or later.

Just after Fuckhead Obama visited California to offer blackmail welfare to drought-damaged farmers ... instead of deleting the "Endangered" "Species" rules, which he could actually do by executive order ... Nature decided to break the drought. Modesto, bone-dry until this month, has received 5 inches of rain since Feb 6.

Fuckhead BBC has finally picked up on the stuck jet stream, which I noticed in 2005. Now it appears to me, based on radar and satellite images, that the jet stream is returning to its old fast-moving ways. Not certain of this by any means, but I'd bet about $100 on it.

Fuckhead Kerry is spinning his head wildly, vomiting overmodulated imprecations on real scientists, at a time when most of his former criminal mentors in Canada, Australia and Germany have ceased their support of the criminal pseudoscientists. His purpose is transparent: He's trying to keep Indonesia sucking on the American foreign-aid blackmail tit. What is Indonesia's most influential neighbor and trade partner? Australia, which has explicitly turned its politics and its budget away from crime. [A bit later: Satan's media are working on another front in the effort to drive a wedge between Indonesia and Australia.]

I suspect that even Kerry's partners in crime winced when he compared "global warming" to WMDs. Hmmmmmmm.... Wasn't Kerry the man who was for the Iraq war based on WMD "evidence", before he was against it? Yes indeed. He was that man.


  Warm-footed trees

Another dubious observation. I've noticed often that the street near trees has less snow. Obviously pine trees hold the first inch of each snowfall in their needles, and gradually drip or evaporate it. But that didn't seem to be the whole picture. Something else was going on at ground level. Maybe.

This week gave me a good test of the constants and variables. After a solid month of unrelieved below-freezing weather with occasional but not heavy snow, the ground holds a deep reservoir of cold. Several days of above-freezing air temps haven't affected the reservoir yet. Any hint of moisture or humidity forms a thin film of super-slippery ice.... EXCEPT where tree roots are near the surface of the street. Wherever the roots bump up the pavement slightly, the pavement is bone dry. Humidity doesn't condense and freeze over roots.

Are the roots directly radiating warmth? Or is there a microbial 'community' around the roots, busily metabolizing and warming the soil? Or do the roots provide an insulating layer between the air-warmed surface and the deep cold reservoir?
  Always worth reading

The NWS forecast discussion is always worth reading....


  Love it!

Now here's an organization that's doing everything right! The Barefoot College in India. Training village women to install solar equipment on their own houses and for their neighbors.

(1) Solar power in rich countries is just another way to transfer wealth from poor uncool people to rich cool people. It provides no net power, overloads the grid, and pays rich cool people to overload the grid even more. In poor countries it's an entirely different story. In a village where no electric connections are available, solar water heaters and cookers and electric panels are a source of independence, health and comfort.

(2) Since the peasants are illiterate, the instruction is done with colors instead of numbers. Connect the red point on this box to the red point on that box, etc. PURE HOW-KNOWLEDGE. No time wasted on arithmetic and theories.

(3) In these villages most of the men have gone to The Big City to earn money and send it home. Solar work gives the women an extra source of money and eases their labor. Less time needed to gather polluting "biofuel", and less burning of polluting "biofuel".
  Stacks and styles, poles and piles.

Continuing yesterday's discussion of potential differences in electronics and economics. Thinking again of these alternate ways to describe a system.

You can start from two TYPES of force or source, two separate poles or centerpoints.... or you can treat local pieces of the system locally, dealing only with the observed gradients. Neither style is universally better. Yesterday I maintained that the internal-difference style works best for practical electronics. Now I'm thinking that the two-poles style works best for economics.

Techy types often say that the door to modern life was opened by the switch from Roman to Arabic numbers, and by later inventions like negative numbers and complex numbers. I'll go along with part of the argument: Roman numeration was horribly complex and inflexible. Place-notation, whether Chinese or Arabic, is tremendously better. No contest there.

But place-notation didn't bring negative numbers with it. Those were a recent invention, and commercial arithmetic got along without negative numbers until digital computers took over from mechanical adding machines.

When I was a bookkeeper in the '70s, none of my ledgers or adding machines used negative numbers. The columnar approach kept income and expenses as separate positive totals until it was time to reconcile. At reconciliation (whether daily, weekly or monthly) the total of income was compared with the total of expenses. If the difference favored income, you had a black-ink profit. If the difference favored expenses, you had a red-ink loss. Those numbers remained distinct in position and color, which gave them a distinct 'personality' or 'feel'.

I wouldn't suggest eliminating negatives; they're extremely handy in algebra. But I do wonder if we've become too comfortable with the idea of sliding back and forth on an endless linear axis.

= = = = =

Economics has to start with a clear understanding of human perception. Our perception has three salient qualities:

(1) Nearly all measurements are logarithmic, based on percentages. With the possible exception of touch and pressure, we don't do linear. In vision, both intensity and color are log. In hearing, both intensity and frequency are log.

Our sense of number, though not well understood, also seems to be log. When we feel an increment of income or price, we feel it in percentage terms, not linearly. "Rich enough" is my current income TIMES 2, not my current income PLUS $13000.

(2) Static states are nearly irrelevant to perception at all levels. We quickly adapt to current conditions of light, sound, heat, and wealth. We notice a change in any of these, and then we re-adapt to the new condition. In some cases (eg pitch of sound) we even adapt to the current rate of change. When decrease starts to happen faster, we notice it. When increase flattens, we notice it.

(3) We don't have a smoothly sliding axis from positive through zero to negative. In every type of sensation we have distinct words and feelings for positive and negative DELTAS from the current adapted condition. Cold and hot, light and dark, noisy and quiet, rich and poor. We think of these poles as perfectly distinct entities, even though a strict numerical measurement doesn't agree. When we're adapted to a temperature of 70 degrees, 60 is Cold and 90 is Hot. When we're adapted to 50 degrees, 40 is Cold and 70 is Hot. Describing this situation with algebra leaves out the static/delta, leaves out the logness, and leaves out the poles with personalities. It's just (0 + x), (-10 + x) and (+20 + x).

= = = = =

The algebraic method makes it WAY too easy to treat borrowing as just another part of the line. Krugman/MMT starts from this inappropriate comfort, then revises history and nature to make borrowing the default condition. Purely wrong. Suicidally wrong. STORING AND SAVING are the default condition of every living thing, whether storing food internally as fat or storing aphids or nuts or grain or beer or dollars against future deficiencies. When you keep two piles in mind, you can't make the Krugmanite error. Saving is MY pile. Borrowing is GOLDMAN's pile. Every time I save, I'm increasing my own future safety and nutrition, or the safety of my descendants. Every time I borrow, I'm increasing Goldman's abundance, which is already a trillion times larger than mine.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014
  Recapitulates everything?

Tantalizing bit of clever observation in embryology. Researchers at Cambridge made a sort of fake uterus, and persuaded mouse embryos to implant in the fake uterus where they could be observed carefully. Before implantation, the embryo was a formless blastula, resulting from the first few stages of cell division. At the moment of implantation in the fake wall, the blastula reorganized itself into a radial pattern with wedge-shaped cells; then it began re-forming into a bilateral dual-tube thing that looked familiarly vertebratish.

Best pictures are in the 'Extended PDF' file. Available without paywall! Thanks, Cambridge Univ!

Plants are generally radial because they're rooted, but only a few typically sessile animals (coelenterates and echinoderms) are close to radial. Everything else is strongly bilateral.

You can imagine the designer saying: Hmm. Let's give them a chance to try amorphous, radial and bilateral, and let each creature continue with the form that suits it best.


  All sparky on the western front

This article argues against the usual water analogy in teaching electronics. The author wants us to use some modern nonsense instead. The basic problem is that the author doesn't understand how the water analogy is used!
The waterfall analogy — where the height, flow rate and number of rocky obstacles in a waterfall equate to voltage, current and resistance — has no relevance beyond simple battery-based circuits.

Worse still, it — and a lot of our language around circuits — feeds into the idea that moving electrons themselves carry energy from one part of a circuit to another. It's a lie.

The truth is way more spectacular: the energy doesn't travel through the wires at all — it shoots through the space around them, at the speed of light. (Way to bury the lead, science!).

The thing is, there's a conceptual model that explains what's happening in a simple battery/bulb circuit and that works equally well for high-end AC circuits and everything in them. The same concept that actual physicists use (see below). So kids don't need to learn a DC 'waterfall' model of current that they'll have to abandon if they go on to learn about anything more advanced than a torch.

Stupid. Real electronics teachers don't use the water model exclusively; it's just an initial transfer from ordinary life to the world of fields. By the time we get to transistors and capacitors and inductors, we're using fields AND flow. Author doesn't seem to know this.

And the proposed new model has its own problems. If you're dealing solely with the fields around the conductors, how do you visualize the pinching that happens inside the conductor of a FET? I don't see the advantage.

Beyond that, the proposed 'physics model' assumes distinct positive and negative charges, which are not really there in practical circuits. The waterfall picture DOESN'T assume opposite types of charge; it works solely with a difference of potential energy between two ends of a resistor or two ends of a battery. Electrons flow 'down' from the more negatively charged end to the less negatively charged end.

[Sidenote: this two-field model closely resembles Georg Ohm's 1827 model, which was based on an analogy with heat and cold.]

= = = = =

While pondering these two models of electricity, focusing tightly on pot diff, I suddenly looked 'backwards' and realized something new (to me!) about waterfalls. More broadly a new intuition about gravitational potential energy.

You don't need Niagara to observe a waterfall. Your kitchen sink will do just fine. You can FEEL and SEE F=MA with a faucet and a dish.

Even within this one-foot waterfall, you can SEE the acceleration and FEEL the force. Drops accelerate and break up from top to bottom, and you can feel more force at the bottom of the diff. If you want to rinse a dish faster, hold it lower. [Artistic note: I made the dish grow larger to symbolize the increased pressure. Poor symbol, but couldn't think of a better way to indicate it.]

Here's the new (to me!) intuition. Previously I had thought of pot energy in this context as a sort of subjective or arbitrary imposition. Because gravity is effectively the same at both heights, you're not really changing anything by moving the dish up and down. This felt completely unsatisfying.

Now I see. The mass of the earth is irrelevant. Only the potential difference matters. It's just the same as two ends of a resistor. The difference in voltage between the two ends of a resistor is set by everything in the circuit, the combination of all source pushes, reactances and resistances at this moment. It doesn't depend on some big globe-sized "universal voltage planet". No such thing. And it's the same with gravitational potential.

The giant mass of the earth is not the 'special' end of the pot diff. It's just a local lower end point, same as the positive (really less negative) pole of a battery.

= = = = =

In modern electrical circuitry you can't see the pot diff, but it wasn't always that way. Lady Danbo is testing her code skills here on a Signal Corps SCR-74 transmitter, used in WW1. This was an extremely primitive gadget, basically just a Model T spark coil with a key attached. No oscillator, no tuning, no antenna impedance matching. You were putting out a signal on all frequencies at once, with antenna length somewhat restricting or preferring a broad band.

= = = = =

Now let's stretch the analogy beyond its breaking point. In terms of economics as a verb, can we form an economic equivalent of pot diff? Not cleanly or objectively. You can't really map econ onto f=ma or v=ir. But the spark gap does offer a sloppy analogy. In econ, potential is blackmail force. Money that has an army of soldiers or an army of lawyers or one Sharpton or one Goldman behind it has vastly more ability to overcome the resistance of the air. Consider a medical transaction with a hospital on one side of the gap and me on the other side. As an uncool old white dude, I have less than zero force. Price comes at me rigidly, with open-circuit output impedance; no way to pull down the price. The hospital can charge me $10000000 or $10000000000000000 and I have to pay. But if I'm represented by an insurance company, my side has a high blackmail force. The insurance company can withdraw all of its patronage if the hospital doesn't charge a normal and reasonable price. Result: Spark bridges the gap. Hospital's output impedance is nearly shorted. Price pulls down to $100.

= = = = =

Artistic note for Poser types: the spark-gap transmitter is now released in this set.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
  Loud Music and justice

Radio news keeps mentioning a trial in Florida. Young dickheads were harassing an older dude and playing loud music. Older dude got annoyed and Darwined the young dickheads. Well-deserved, and the only form of justice that still exists in this fucked Satan-poisoned former so-called "nation".

Apparently the persecution is claiming that the older dude had impaired hearing, so he couldn't be bothered by loud music. This is EXACTLY WRONG. I hope the defense has an expert to counter this nonsense.

Here's why it's wrong. Our perceptual system is based solely on proportions and changes.

Let's take this graph as a baseline for normal hearing. Sound gets louder; your input to the cochlea gets louder in proportion; the perceptual system follows along.

If you have impaired hearing, your physical input starts at a higher level. You don't hear the fainter sounds at all. The perceptual system tries to maintain its full range, but it has to start where the hearing starts.

Result: Perceived loudness grows faster than it would in a normal ear.

This phenomenon is usually called recruitment, which is a poorly chosen word. It would have been better to call it something like 'stretched loudness'.
  Detective Snow at work

(1) City cops 'hired' Det Snow to help them catch a meth-soaked burglar. They were able to track him for several miles!

(2) In this neighborhood: As mentioned before, I always pass by the abandoned apt at 4001 W. Crown on my morning walks. Back in July I started noticing broken windows and made a point of posting about it, from a misplaced and futile sense of neighborhood citizenship. Futile because I've never seen any indications that anyone here in Spokane reads this. My few random readers are mostly in random countries seeking out random porn or random information about random topics like "eggstacks pain", and clearly not finding it here.

Two days ago I used Det Snow to see if someone was actually getting into the building. Sure enough, there were footprints on both porches. Apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed! Today the broken windows are finally boarded up, and there's an official "DO NOT ENTER OR OCCUPY" sign on the entrance.
  Who needs Barbie?

Who needs a dull old objectified Barbie Doll when you can have an exciting non-objectified Janet Yellen Doll! Much more sexy by leftist standards.
  Useless but good

Lefty blogger Dan Fejes has a good idea. While the two Goldman labels shout meaningless words at each other, perhaps a minimalist message with Populist implications can break through the noise. Or perhaps not.

Fejes says:
The “simple” part of the platform is important, too. Don’t try to bullshit people. Run only on those planks that have obvious and immediate benefit to citizens. Don’t talk about closing loopholes (after “reform” the tax code will be even more Byzantine and skewed in favor of those who can afford fancy tax lawyers), extending credits or creating God knows what kind of tax deferred vehicles to encourage saving. All that has the whiff of snake oil, and most people will be skeptical. Contrast that with the immediate and intuitive appeal of:

Medicare for all. A living wage. Tax the rich.

Do you know what that platform does? It negates money. People don’t need to be sold on it in any kind of marketing sense. They don’t need to be bombarded with it again and again.
Fejes appears to spend lots of time shouting "Keystone!!!!" so I'm not sure if he actually believes the simple message. Still, it's a good message regardless of the messenger. It encapsulates the Populist idea neatly and compactly.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014
  Why isn't AV the default assumption?

I don't understand why so many discussions of net security completely ignore the simple solution: Anti-virus software. Big corporations and government get hacked because they 'run barefoot', yet nobody suggests that shoes might help.

For example: When techie websites discuss Microsoft's decision to stop providing "security fixes" for XP, they always omit the only thing that matters about security. Even the commenters on such articles ignore anti-virus systems and assume the OS is solely responsible for protection.

In my experience, Windows has never protected itself. For a long time I slopped back and forth between Norton and McAfee anti-virus systems, switching when each one allowed a fatal virus to get through. A couple years ago I finally settled on AVG (paid version), which hasn't failed yet. AVG also takes much less resources than Norton, which essentially owns your CPU and HD about 80% of the time. AVG lets you schedule an automatic scan or do it manually when it's convenient.

Maybe these techie types have better protection in front of the computer, using routers and such, but it doesn't sound like they're making that assumption.

= = = = =

Side-thought: A couple years ago I compared the old Bell System security with Web security. Wondered why the Web was designed without any thought for security, given that Bell already showed how to build a giant communication net with solid protection against free riders and 'signal invaders'. Now I can see the answer: NSA didn't want a secure Web. NSA wanted a Web that could easily be 'invaded' by its own malware, and also wanted a Web that would invite dissident types so NSA could monitor them efficiently.
Monday, February 10, 2014
  Where's Kipling when we need him?

We're getting this theme from a number of sources this week....... Concisely stated by a Bloomberg announcer just now.

"Scientists have been trying to figure out why global temperature is sagging for 20 years while the amount of CO2 has soared."

So they're building epicycles on top of epicycles on top of epicycles. Evil KKKarbon turns out to be a remarkably intelligent Maxwell's Demon, capable of selecting just the right wind currents, moving just the right set of bacteria or clouds or water molecules in a highly organized and amazingly pre-planned way to create every single bad phenomenon in the world, and simultaneously covering up his actions with an even more amazingly organized campaign of countereffects.

The problem with the quoted statement is in the first word. If you cling to a theory when all the evidence is running against it, you are NOT A SCIENTIST. You are a corrupt venal shill for super-rich aristocratic monsters.

Scientists have EXACTLY ONE RESPONSE when a pet theory fails. Abandon the theory. Live without theories until a new one gradually develops FROM ACTUAL FUCKING FACTS. If you do anything else you are NOT A SCIENTIST.

Last year was Satan's Year Of Total Victory. A remarkable number of weak institutions that had been leaning toward Satan for a long time finally broke, finally declared official loyalty and adherence to Satan. Mr Elizabeth surrendered the English monarchy to Satan; Miss Justine Welby surrendered the Anglican Faghouse to Satan; and finally Miss Francine surrendered the Roman former "Church" to Satan.

This year I'm seeing a remarkable crop of just plain weird non-logic and anti-logic in all sorts of places. It's not as dramatic or final as those surrenders, but it shows the effect of Satan's Cuisinart in the brains of people who were (presumably!) capable of some sort of rational thought at some point in their lives.

Today's example:
The overuse of financial contracts known as derivatives – which were designed to help companies hedge against risk – was widely blamed for triggering the economic crisis of 2008. None other than Warren Buffet has attacked derivatives as “time bombs – both for the parties that deal in them and the economic system.”
Buffet is annoying but sane. He was perfectly correct.
But now, for the first time, researchers have found that hedging can increase firm value.

In a pioneering study published in the Journal of Finance, Michigan State University’s Hayong Yun and Stanford University’s Francisco Pérez-González show that electric and gas utilities that used derivatives to hedge against unpredictable weather experienced a “positive and significant effect” on the value of their firms.

“Many people have a perception that derivatives are evil, that they helped destroy the economy,” said Yun, MSU assistant professor of finance. “And while there is some truth to the argument that derivatives were overused, our research provides the first fundamental evidence that hedging with derivatives can improve company value.”
First: You didn't need evidence that hedging improves share value. Corporations exist solely to increase share value. Everything they do increases share value. For all X, if X doesn't massively increase share value, corporations will stop using X. Corporations use derivatives intensely. Therefore hedging increases share value.

Might as well say: "Many people have a perception that the four seasons are troublesome. While there is some truth to the argument that winter causes problems, our research provides the first evidence that the four seasons may happen because the earth's axis is tilted."

Second: The fact that companies operate solely to increase share value IS the problem. It's not a natural part of capitalism; in fact it's the precise opposite of normal profit-based capitalism. Derivatives are one evil outgrowth of the main evil problem. You don't need research to see this; you only need a functional memory and a functional logical mind.


  Bravo Switzerland!

Switzerland has just voted, via national referendum, to restrict immigration from Satan. Through most of history, of course, this wouldn't have needed a special action. Through most of human history, nations or kingdoms have automatically restricted immigration from other entities, because

Previous Kraut monsters such as Kaiser Bill and Führer Adolf RESPECTED the neutrality of Switzerland, partly because they knew that invading would be hugely difficult and costly. The current Satanic Kraut monster, and her hyperSatanic minions in Brussels, do not respect any human laws or traditions. Satan hates borders more than anything else.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
  The American occupation of Russia. Huh????????????

Did you know that the US Army occupied part of Russia at the same time as the Russian Revolution? I didn't!

We were working with Jap and Czech forces, and we built or improved 3000 miles of telegraph lines, starting from Vladivostok. That's the same distance as New York to San Francisco!

What in the hell was this about? Presumably we were all working together against the Krauts, but it's such an odd combination! Makes me wonder if any of that American equipment is still running, given that the Russian Telegraph Company is still running.

= = = = =

A bit later, noticed something even odder: using the name "Czecho-Slovak forces" in September 1918. During the war, Bohemia and Moravia and Slovakia were still provinces of Austria-Hungary, still part of the Axis. According to this Wiki, the provinces united to form the new nation of Czechoslovakia a few days after the Armistice in October 1918, and took another year to fully crystallize as a nation. It sounds like those soldiers had been working on the Allied side for a while, so the concept of an independent Czechoslovakia, or perhaps a 'shadow government', must have existed for a while. Similar to the Free French army and navy in WW2, who played a major part in the Allied victory without getting any credit from history. (The next time you're tempted to use "France" and "surrender" in the same sentence, READ THIS.)

= = = = =

Later: Finally found a larger picture of what was happening, thanks to a phrase in a book on Russian auto production. The Russians call this campaign the War Of Intervention. Here's a concise article. It did in fact include the Allies, plus Japan, plus the not-yet-formed Czechoslovakia. A poorly-planned effort to intervene on the side of the Mensheviks, and possibly to shore up an Eastern Front against Germany which turned out to be unnecessary. The Americans pulled out soon after Armistice, but the others, esp Japs, stayed until 1922, boosting Russian paranoia toward foreigners and accomplishing nothing. Good old Nation-Building. We've been doing it for at least 120 years now. Never succeeds, always creates unnecessary enemies. We keep doing it. We're fucking EXCEPTIONAL.
  MMT = Mass Murder Theory

Forceful thought hit me just now.

The advocates of MMT are the same people who like to quote 'Limits to Growth'.

Absolute contradiction. Let's follow both sides of the reductio and see why.....

= = = = =

(1) The 'Limits' philosophy makes sense, but it has been used for bad purposes by eco-genocidists.

Carrying capacity is a hard fact, and our pre-cultural instincts understand it. We produce lots of children when we feel that the children will live and be useful. When we sense that children are useless or unlikely to thrive, we produce few children. A farmer on fertile land has a fertile wife; city dwellers in crowded apartments are infertile.

This feedback mechanism works beautifully when our sense of resources and usefulness is clear and unobstructed. It doesn't work at all when we are dazzled by false mirages and impossible dreams. Best example: Peasant farmers who move into big cities because they see mirages of abundance on TV. Each abandoned farm diminishes the food resources that the city relies on, and each new city-dweller brings the city closer to non-functional collapse. Hypnotized by TV, they often continue bearing lots of kids.

= = = = =

(2) MMT is a bizarre cancerous outgrowth of the Keynes-Krugman line of economics.

Keynes originally said that government should act like a reservoir, taxing and storing up money in good times then discharging it back into the economy in bad times. This makes sense.

Trouble is, no modern gov't is capable of storing, so Keynesians end up borrowing huge amounts to "stimulate" without ever refilling the reservoir.

MMT starts from the historically false idea that money is nothing more than gov't borrowing. From this bizarre and false axiom they proceed to an infantile "system" of pure magic. All problems can be solved by ex nihilo creation of infinite amounts of money.

MMT advocates say "2008 was bad! Let's do it again, a trillion times larger! This will make it good!"

= = = = =

(3) In fact money predates humans by 400 million years. Until extremely recently money has always represented labor or potential labor. A 'rigid' labor-based economy with lots of saving and minimal borrowing keeps our feedback vision clear. When you MUST rely on your own labor and storage, AND when you CAN rely on your own labor and storage, you know your boundaries. You will consume stuff and bear children accordingly. NOTE: The conjunction of MUST AND CAN is crucial. If you can't find decent work, or you can't securely save up your money for emergencies or charity, there's no point in anything.

= = = = =

(4) So here's the collision point. When borrowing is strongly favored over savings, and when decent jobs are impossible for most ordinary people, trouble ensues. That's the present condition in Western countries. MMT wants to expand this condition to infinity.

When borrowing is effectively the ONLY way to acquire money, consumption grows without Limits and labor is crowded out. Labor is worthless when money is free. Draw your own conclusions.

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Saturday, February 08, 2014
  Finally some respect!

Nate Anderson at Arstechnica has written an astonishingly even-handed account of the Nye vs Ham debate. For the first time in living memory, a writer for the cool side has treated the square side with respect, instead of the universal standard barrage of nonsensical schoolyard insults.

Anderson focuses on the distinction between observational and historical methods. Ham says that only observational science is valid; Nye says that historical science is also valid.

I don't like those terms.

Observational means experimental or Aristotelian. If you can see or measure something actually happening, you can draw conclusions.

Historical means theoretical or Platonic. If you want a certain conclusion, you can make up a formula or theory that yields your desired conclusion.

I'm a ferociously absolute observationalist or experimentalist, which is a typical attitude among people who have worked as technicians. We know that theories and formulas can be useful for prediction, but we won't trust a theory or formula unless we have made the necessary measurements to see it in action; and we won't trust a theory or formula that wasn't derived in the first place from actual observations. Newton's laws, Ohm's laws, Faraday's laws, special relativity .... all derived from direct observation of Nature plus some applied imagination. All trustable.

Nye's side, the Platonic or theoretical side, yields Global Warming theories, Economics, Sociology, Quantum theories, Big Bang theories, Multiverse theories, and the standard evolution model. All nonsense because all derived purely from imagination and a desire for status and power and money and cooooooooooolness. Some of them are testable and repeatedly disproved; some are not testable at all.

So my sympathy goes with Ham in the context of this distinction, but my sympathy doesn't go beyond this distinction.

Big problem.... Genesis is no more observable than evolution. Both are made-up theories. Ham is violating his own standards by supporting Genesis.

Best answer? Leave both models aside for the time being. Live without theories. Many biologists have taken off their Platonic blinders and started looking closely at the genome, and they're finding a pattern that is converging ever more closely toward the notion of one big creation by one big creator. This creator may well be the God of Ham's scriptures, but it certainly doesn't have many of the attributes listed in the scriptures, and it certainly didn't work on the literal timeline of Genesis.


  Did the ocean rise before Gaia punished our sins?

All modern discussions of sea level assume as an unstated axiom that the ocean started rising when the Goddess decided to manifest Her Holy Displeasure at the Infinite Sins Of Civilization.

Since all Scientists now understand this axiomatic fact, we can safely assume that Scientists before the Fall observed a perfectly static ocean that maintained a perfectly stable level.

Let's look at an example of Scientific Reasoning from the 1919 Scientific American, which is now and always has been the Perfect Repository of Scientific Reasoning:

WHAT? NO! NO! NO! THIS CANNOT BE! These supposed "scientists" claimed to "observe" that "a universal rise of ocean level has recently taken place!" They're using recent in the geological sense, meaning "since the last glaciation".

What's more, they claimed to "observe" that volcanic islands were in a constant state of rising and falling, which meant that the sea level measured on any island depended more on the current activity of magma under the island than on overall average of the ocean. NO! NO! NO! THIS CANNOT BE! We all know that the Holy Angelic Doomed Maldive Islands are the Drowning Canary in the Flooded Coal Mine! All islands are universally fixed points with no conceivable variation! All are Doomed Doomed Doomed unless the human race abolishes itself NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In 1919, George W. Bushitlerhalliburton hadn't even been born, so there was no reason for Gaia's Fiery Vengeance. These alleged "scientists" of 1919 must have been charlatans paid by some Bush precursor, knowing full well that the evil spawn would need a cover story! Yes! That's the only possible explanation!

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Friday, February 07, 2014
  Hey fuckheads! Ever hear of "engineers"? No.

Seattle has wasted several weeks of downtime and hundreds of hours of expensive labor under deep sea diving conditions on its Big Bertha tunnel borer. After the expensive inspection, it turns out the cutting heads were clogged.


Cutting heads clogged.

Cutting heads full of rock and dirt.

I'm trying to absorb this, but not succeeding.

Dentists solved this problem 120 years ago.

Machinists solved this problem 100 years ago.

Closer to the point, oil drillers solved this problem 80 years ago.

Didn't the builders of this hugely expensive monster THINK about the possibility that a cutting head might get clogged? Didn't they ASK if this problem had been solved before? Didn't they at least put stress gages and thermocouples in appropriate locations to DETERMINE if the problem occurred? No, they obviously didn't.

Lesus H. Christ.
Thursday, February 06, 2014
  Closing the crescent

Professor Polistra loves etymologies that come around from two different paths and meet in the middle.

Best old example:

The arc-shaped phase of the moon is called crescent because it's growing. We've forgotten the original meaning; we just call arc shapes crescents. Thus the Crescent Wrench is named for its moon-like shape. But what is the most important quality of a Crescent Wrench? It grows.

Fresh example:

A network radio sportscaster was talking about the oddity of Sochi as a site for winter sports. Crimea is the only part of Russia that isn't seriously wintery. They had to save and accumulate snow for a whole year in order to have enough for skiing. Sportscaster made a joke: "Where do you save up snow? A snowbank!" Exactly right from two directions. When snow naturally lasts into summer, it's snow that has been plowed up into a bank. Flat snow doesn't last.

Incidentally, the money-type bank is often etymologized through bench, from the supposed bench-sitting work habits of Jewish bankers in one part of Italy. Seems dubious and overly specific. More likely it comes directly from the basic sense of mound or pile or stack, exactly like a snowbank or a banked fire:
Evelyn, referring to the Monte di Pieta at Padua, writes: "There is a continual bank of money to assist the poor." Blackstone also says: "At Florence, in 1344, government owed £60,000, and being unable to pay it, formed the principal into an aggregate sum called, metaphorically a Mount or Bank."
Linguists always prefer dubious multi-stage narrative theories when simpler origins are available.

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014
  Just the tracks, ma'am.

In the same way that General Winter was Russia's best military man, cold places have a top cop named Detective Snow.
A woman who told Liberty Lake police last week that she was assaulted by a black man wearing gold chains and a hoodie is now facing a charge of making false police report.

“It was completely made up,” said Sgt. Clint Gibson. The woman admitted to police this week that she made it up because she was worried about losing her job and wanted sympathy, said Gibson.

Gibson, who took the initial report from the woman at her workplace in the 24000 block of East Mission on Jan. 29, said he was suspicious from the start. The woman claimed that she had been shoved to the ground by her assailant, but her clothes were clean and dry, Gibson said.

The fresh snow also cast doubt on the woman’s story. “There were only her tracks that led from her vehicle,” he said. “We were not able to locate any specific area that could have been a crime scene.”
Most of the time Detective Snow follows dumb burglars back to their apartments. In this case he was able to eliminate a crime by the lack of tracks.

Seriously, this is excellent police work by the real cops. Especially good that they aren't afraid of the activists who always shout that every idiot tale told by a woman or child is automatically true.
  Worst use of numbers

This NFR piece on sugar intake easily wins the Worst Use Of Numbers award for the whole fucking decade. The article uses three different units (calories, teaspoons, grams). Teaspoon is a volume unit, gram is a mass unit, and calorie is not a unit at all in this context. It's an estimate of what happens in your body after you eat the sugar. None of those units are properly interchangeable or convertible, and the article tumbles around between them without ever giving a clue to the main point.

At one point the article suggests that 22 teaspoons is three times the appropriate amount. Okay, what's that in grams? What's that in calories? Doesn't say. Food packages list contents in grams, but the article never tells us a limit in grams.
Now comes a new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, which finds that Americans who consumed the most sugar — about a quarter of their daily calories — were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who limited their sugar intake to 7 percent of their total calories.

To translate that into a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, the big sugar eaters were consuming 500 calories a day from sugar — that's 31 teaspoons. Those who tamed their sweet tooth the most, by contrast, were taking in about 160 calories a day from sugar — or about 10 teaspoons per day.
Huh? I have no fucking idea what any of this means.

Your job as a "journalist" is to pick a meaningful unit and STICK WITH THAT FUCKING UNIT. In this case grams, the unit on packages, is obviously the meaningful unit.

You also have resources that are completely unavailable to the ordinary listener or reader. As an official "journalist" working for a supercool supercommie ultraorthodox Gaia-worshipping Satan-worshipping outfit like NFR, you can call the Gaia-worshipping Satan-worshipping baby-killing AMA and demand a better explanation. If you are not going to use the resources that uniquely belong to your job, you should quit your fucking job.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
  Smiley spiney

Awww. Look at the cute happy fa... uhhh .... oops.

Well, it's still cute!
  Hellbound Coburn, at it again

What in the fuck is wrong with Coburn?

Quoted on news this morning, bitching about "pork" as always:

"We claim that we're thinking about the best interests of the nation, but we're really just thinking about the parochial interests of our own states."

What's your fucking problem? Thinking about the parochial interests of your own state is YOUR JOB. That is the CONSTITUTIONAL FUCKING DESCRIPTION OF A SENATOR'S FUCKING JOB, EXACTLY AND PRECISELY AND COMPLETELY. If you don't want to do your job, quit.

This is like a doctor saying "We claim that we're thinking about the proper functioning of the health-care system, but we're really just thinking about the health of our own patients."

Or a teacher saying "We claim to be concerned with the quality of education, but we're really just improving the minds of our own students."

Politicians constantly complain that other politicians are "divisive", or that other politicians are "politicizing" an issue.

How do they get away with this shit? You are politicians. Dividing is the basic skill of your job, and politicizing is the exact fucking NAME of your fucking job.
  Tragically false

BBC interviewing David Miliband, former Brit politician, now heading some left-wing organization. Speaking of the "necessity" of education:

"The most precious thing about knowledge is that once you've got it nobody can take it away from you."

Noble sentiment, but strictly untrue if we're talking about fact knowledge or more generally verbal knowledge, which seems to be his focus.

Let's review the How-What-Who sequence:
Three types of knowledge: How, What, Who.

All three types are necessary, and everyone uses all three types all the time, but the dominant type strongly influences the form and the success of a culture.

= = = = =

How-ism is based on skills, on knowing the way. How to build, how to cook, how to repair, how to keep people happy, how to keep them under control. How-knowledge comes directly from the senses, tempered and conditioned by comparison and proportion, with a constant awareness of feedback and cycles. (Does this work better? How can I tell when it's better? When does it repeat?) How-knowledge can be passed with no words at all from mother to daughter, father to son, master to apprentice.

What-ism is based on facts, on knowing the data. What-knowledge requires language, symbols and formulas. You can acquire what-knowledge (and some how-knowledge) by reading a book.

Who-ism is based on identity and quotation. Who-knowledge requires a strong sense of status, an up-to-date reading of comparative authority, and a tape-recorder mind. If the high-status person says "2+2=5" and wears Prada, we must say "2+2=5" and wear Prada. If the low-status person says "2+2=4" and wears J.C. Penney, we must mock "2+2=4" and discard everything with a J.C. Penney label.
Miliband is talking about What-knowledge. It's dead easy to take away What-knowledge. This is the sole purpose of Satan's media. When you're locked into TV, your entire stock of What-knowledge is under the constant and total control of the producers and advertisers. One half-hour show can whiplash your logic circuits into servile submission, and the next half-hour show can fill your memory with Who-knowledge.

How-knowledge is an entirely different proposition. When your body knows how to ride a bicycle or knead a loaf of bread or play a trumpet or jump a battery, your body knows permanently. More complex tasks may require some rehearsal after a long absence of practice, but the details will return.

Television cannot destroy how-knowledge.


Monday, February 03, 2014
  Didn't learn from Nixon, did you?

I can't begin to understand why Repooflicans continue to make the same idiot mistake that Nixon made. Never paranoid enough, always assume that the media will defend truth. Where in the fucking world do they get this bizarre delusion? Not from any fucking thing the media has ever done in our lifetimes. Before 1954 there were a few non-Satanic newspapers. Since the '54 Cohn Coup, 100.0000000000000000000000% of the media is preter-Soviet, capable of a style of organized hyperevil that Pravda and Izvestia could only dream of.

Christie was doing the right thing in the first place, using his power as governor to punish political enemies. He had a head start on continuing to do the right thing, because his established persona, his brand, was a tough guy. A heavy who could throw his weight around to keep the state running properly.

When Satan's media started its inevitable and perfectly scripted superstorm, he had an ideal chance to use his persona. "Yup, that's what I did. You gotta problem with it? You don't even know what problems are. Just wait."

Instead he pulled the Nixon thing, the modified limited hangout thing, and Satan's media, with 60 years of practice, roared ahead without hindrance. They know how to handle the Nixon sequence. They don't know how to handle a man.

Too damn bad. Christie looked like a man for a while.

[Yeah, I've already said this once before. You gotta problem with that? etc.]
Sunday, February 02, 2014
  Bang priority

Normally this neighborhood bangs a few fireworks on July 4th and a lot of fireworks on New Years. The July 4 bangs have been decreasing every year because the cops have been hardass, and because the reason for the restriction is understandable. July is wildfire season, and one good spark can set a whole county ablaze.

This year I heard exactly zero bangs on July 4, and only a handful on New Years. I was wondering if the bang-prone kids had moved out entirely. Nope. Tonight they're making up for lost booms!

Probably relates to the Big Sport Thing. I assume the local favorite team, the Hawk or the Twelve or whatever it's called, has won the Big Sport Thing.

If nothing else, it's a safe time for fireworks. Everything is nicely snowpacked, no chance of destroying anything except your own hands and eyes. Strictly Darwin.
  Stupid idea, good cartoon

This idea seemed interesting when it popped into my head in the middle of the night. In the cold light of day it's a stupid idea, but it made a good cartoon.

Struck me that the recommended shift points of an older 4-speed car like a VW, or a pickup with grannylow, are close to the shift points of a human life span. Genes and lifestyle tend to create redlines at fairly specific points.

First takes you up to 15. If you've got a deeply serious genetic problem, you're going to redline by 15. If you're totally susceptible to every infection, 15 is all she wrote.

Second takes you up to 25. Less serious innate problems (cystic fibrosis, severe CP) tend to wear the organism out by 25.

Third reaches 45. If you're unusually susceptible to cancer, or you live hard (lots of alcohol, tobacco, sex, drugs) you're done at 45. This one is probably the most precise.

Fourth reaches 62 on an old VW. If you've done everything necessary to build a heart attack, this is your redline.

If you make it past 62, you're cruising. On the old VW, you didn't get there with engine power; you're in neutral going downhill with a tailwind. In other words, you're powered by blessings and luck.
  Silliest "good" research

"Social" "science" "research" is pure raw idiocy from miles beyond the start to miles beyond the finish. Nonsensical question, absolutely false assumptions, useless method, perfectly reversed logic in the conclusion. Unfortunately all those negatives don't cancel out, they just lead to a ferocious waste of money and an absolute profanation of the word science.

Here's one basically valid study from a normally valid discipline that delves into the political realm and immediately goes blooey. Ingo Titze is a good acoustical researcher who knows how to do things properly, and his result here is objectively good but essentially useless.

The question is so obvious it didn't need any research in the first place. The answer is self-contained.

Parliamentary bodies often use voice votes. Is this valNO.

Anyone who has watched one minute of C-Span, or watched any sort of parliament or large council, knows this instantly. Titze went ahead and proved it acoustically with a class of 50, trying various combinations and proportions of Yes and No. The result was objectively and subjectively unsurprising: One good shouter matters far more than the number of 'regular' voices on both sides.

This makes sense acoustically in two ways. (1) Intensities don't add. They combine logarithmically. Robert's Rules assumes, incorrectly, that e.g. 20 'regular' voices will sound discernibly louder than 18 'regular' voices. Nope. Probably indistinguishable to an honest ear. (2) Frequency is critically important. One trained voter, with knowledge of projection and penetration, can make the perceived intensity much louder without affecting the dB as read by a meter. He can shape his throat to produce a set of formants that are not already in the mix, triggering parts of the leader's cochlea that weren't struck by the untrained mass. Result: Much more perceived loudness, because more of the leader's cochlea is vibrated.

But the acoustic stuff doesn't matter because real parliaments never use voice votes honestly. 99% of the stated and labeled voice votes in US Congress don't even happen; it's just a thing the leader says on the way to a roll call or electrical vote with predetermined result. In non-Congress situations where the voice actually happens, the leader is 100% biased, picks the side he wants 100% of the time. When the leader wants Yes, the result is Yes, even if there was dead silence for Yes.

And we can take one more step via Manweller's Rule: Democracy is not an ingredient or a cause of good government. It's just a bunch of rituals that all governments use for their own purposes. Decisions are never made by votes. The only difference is: People in so-called "democratic" countries are easier to fool than people in so-called "dictatorial" countries.

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