Sunday, January 31, 2021
  Skills and phaetons

Reading Collectible Auto while eating as usual. Found an article about the 1961 Lincoln parade phaeton, made famous by JFK in 1963.

You'd think that LBJ would have scrapped and burned the "bad omen". Nope. He loved the car and continued using it.

SKILL-based thinking explains the mystery.

Basic rule:

When you make something, you know how it's made.

Applying the rule:

If X has successfully made Y, you can assume that X knows how to make Y, and X has made Y often enough to acquire a real skill.

This applies to common things like an omelet or a tied shoe or a folded sheet or a shoveled sidewalk or a mowed lawn. These skills are surprisingly difficult to explain verbally or softwarically. These skills haven't been robotized. BUT: After you've done them several times, you know how they're done.

This also applies to highly unusual things like a fake "emergency" or an assassination. Explaining these skills is doubly difficult because the methods are totally secret.

Applying to the current holocaust: The monsters know there's no risk. They don't muzzle or distance unless the camera is on. Why are they CONFIDENT that they won't get sick? They made the omelet, so they know what's in it. And especially what's NOT in it.

Applying to LBJ: He was CONFIDENT that he wouldn't be assassinated because he made the omelet. He knew who would be involved in the various subassemblies of an assassination because he chose those workers and assigned their jobs. He owned the human weapons.

So the Lincoln parade phaeton was simply a trophy. Like a big game hunter proudly displaying the heads of the rhinos and lions he killed, LBJ proudly displayed the head of the obstacle who stood in his way. This trophy INFORMED other would-be obstacles what would happen if they decided to stand in his way.

= = = = =

Personal example: An auto forum online was discussing the old VW cult, and mentioned that everyone who ever worked on Bugs still had the 17-mm wrench for oil changes. I verified the observation by pulling out my old wrench from the toolbox and posting the pic:

On the Allen end (grease-change end) you can see some serious wear. This tool was USED. And my muscle memory also had some serious wear. As soon as my hand grabbed the tool, the hand remembered. Pull on the handle, feel the oil plug break loose from its gasket, turn once with the wrench, drop the wrench into the bucket, finish removing the plug with fingers while the warm oil flows over the fingers into the bucket. I haven't used the tool since 1983, almost 40 years, but the entire sequence is still there in the cerebellum. (Oil changes were always done under the car at night in bad weather, with red ants crawling up your legs and biting your crotch, so the process involved one hand and no eyes and SPEED. Skills are learned and remembered best under time pressure.)

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Saturday, January 30, 2021
  Best 3000 years ago, best now

Pointed by Zuhlsdorf, a remarkable archeological find in Israel. Intact scraps of woven woolen fabric, dyed with 'royal purple', from 1000 BC in the same place and time as Solomon and David.

Not necessarily used by either Sol or Dave, but at least close to their households.

To my eyes the fabric is more impressive than the dye. The warp and woof held together perfectly, and the fibers look good as new.

The article reviews a modern attempt to make the same dye, which required several years of trial and error in a lab full of chromatographs and electron microscopes.

SCIENCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND BEAUTY is extremely old, and is still the best use of science.

Entertainment and beauty seem ephemeral and evanescent, but they tend to last a lot longer than other uses of science and technology. Beauty holds the warp and woof of civilization together. Science for the sake of theory unravels civilization.



Friday, January 29, 2021
  Probably wrong

Random thought, maybe about 20% right.

There are three basic types.

1. Emperors.

2. Courtiers.

3. Peasants.

Emperors are psychopaths. They need total power over the lives of everyone. They need to destroy and obliterate.

Courtiers are people who need to obey personal authority. Cults, whether described as cults or parties or teams, are made of Courtiers.

Peasants don't need personal authority. They need to work and live, dealing with other people and things as necessary.

Lately I've been noticing the dominance of Courtiers in places like Quora. Most of the questions are focused on superheroes, both evil and good. (Evil = Trump/Hitler/Putin, Good = all other superheroes.) High-IQ leaders, high-wealth leaders, high-power leaders. I think there's an autistic flavor in Quora, but the Courtier dominance is everywhere.

There's also an ethnic flavor, which comes through in the long-standing religious tendencies of some groups. Orientals traditionally treat the Emperor as a personal god. Their religions have other teachers such as Confucius or Buddha, but the living Emperor himself is the god who matters.

Arabs and Slavs are not personal-god followers. Allah is an abstract god, not a personalized god. The Russian Orthodox view of god is also more abstract, with less emphasis on Jesus than the western catholic view. The old American tribes are closer to the Slavic type, genetically and culturally.

Euros (and their North American descendants) are in between, with a mix of types. Catholics are more like Courtiers, Protestants are more like Peasants.

= = = = =

Later: Courtiers are willing to sacrifice all of their status and pleasure in order to be just like the Emperors. This is the point of vulnerability, the place where the Sucker Filter grabs them.

Orwell recognized the three types clearly. Inner party, outer party, proles.

Emperors know all the secrets and never sacrifice anything, because they know the sacrifices are fake. When you write a story, you know it's fiction.

Depending on the era, Courtiers give up sex or alcohol or meat or furs or cars or plastic or social contact or breathing, in order to be more like the Emperors. Courtiers do the dirty work. They try to shame the Peasants into making the same sacrifices. This works on some Peasants who have partial Courtier genes, but most Peasants simply aren't interested in Being Like The Emperor.

I fell into the Filter in hippie times, until I realized that our "activism" and "sacrifices" were being run by Deepstate for cynical DNC purposes. No, it was worse than that. I saw the cynicism IMMEDIATELY but managed to hide it from myself until it piled up so deep that I couldn't ignore it.

The Sucker Filter goes something like this: The Emperors have superior holiness and superior knowledge, so they must have a good reason for tricking us and exploiting us.

You can't break out of the Filter until you realize that the superior knowledge is NOT knowledge of Nature or knowledge of God; it's just authorial knowledge. The Emperors know how to write a story that will destroy civilization, and they know how to recruit loyal unpaid warriors to do the dirty work.


  Reprint from 2015

I linked this in previous item. It's worth a reprint. The Greek government turned out to be faking; their move toward quitting was just a negotiating tactic. The overall point is still valid.

= = = = = START REPRINT:

I see the Greek prettyboys have finally done what they should have done first. Decided to GET OUT of EU hell. They're doing it the bankshot way, of course, via a referendum, but they're still doing it.

Good. Now let's have more.

We need more quitters.

We need more people and institutions and countries who are instantly ready to GET OUT of whatever traps them. We need to save our own souls first.

Science would be in better shape if careerism didn't dominate. If students and postdocs and faculty were more willing to say "No, this project is crap and I'm not going to participate", we'd have a lot less crap.

Same applies in business and politics. Entirely too often we hear the truth about Satan from FORMER officials who spent 30 years ferociously advancing Satan. If the official had quit the first time Satan asked for his help, his talent wouldn't have been serving Satan.

What's the key?

Debt vs savings.

It's blazingly obvious with Greece, which has been living like an aristocrat on Kraut credit instead of living as a free peasant. Other small EU countries who chose the realistic peasant path (eg Slovakia) are especially irritated at Greece.

More subtle in academia. Before Tenure took over in 1970, professoring was a fairly leisurely occupation. It didn't pay very well, but it also didn't require lots of time. Many profs had 'old money' or inherited property. They lived better with the money from profing, but they could survive for a while without it. Result: a lot less crap and (comparatively) more careful and thoughtful research. Now that graduates start with a lifetime of debt, maximum employment and maximum grants are desperately necessary for survival.

= = = = =

ZIRP is no mystery, no mere accident of math. ZIRP is an intentional pogrom against savers, designed to force everyone into debt servitude.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

The principle certainly applied to Col Green, whose inherited wealth allowed him to wander in and out of bad and good activities, removing his moneypower from the bad places and leaving it in the good places. You don't need billions. You can save your soul, and move your moneypower and SKILLpower, on a much smaller scale with much smaller savings.

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  Fold em 2

Following from previous item on Col Green's brief foray into politics.

A 1901 cartoon from Tammany Times points to another historical difference and another accidental personal connection.

"Teacher" Platt was the R leader of NYC at the time. "Sethy" Low was Platt's candidate for mayor. "Weeping Willie" Jerome was William Travers Jerome, the R district attorney, an enthusiastic follower of Carry Nation.

Historical difference: Read the list. Sounds mighty fucking familiar, doesn't it? Now Cuomo and DeBlasio are preaching and teaching EXACTLY the same things that Platt was teaching in 1901. Prohibitionists are the same in every age. Stop all activity, halt all enjoyment, obliterate all life, "because witches" or "because alcohol" or "because virus". The cause is fake and meaningless. The OBLITERATION is what matters.

Personal connection: In 1969, William Travers Jerome the THIRD was president of the university. He was nominally more "liberal" than his grandfather, but he was equally active in publicizing and hatcheting the hippies. He called me into his office to officially expel me from the university, which was hardly necessary since I'd already dropped out. So I was dealing with two descendants of the major R players in 1901. Both were on the same side, though Hanna the Third was paid to pretend otherwise.

Broader thought about holdem/foldem: Col Green's ADHD was probably annoying to people who wanted him to be a hardass lifelong 24/7 crusader for their causes. But in fact both science and politics were better served by dilettantes. Now both science and politics have ruthlessly selected out non-fanatics who want to ENJOY LIFE. It's all cults on all sides, all ascetic witch burners and inquisitors, with no room for short-term enjoyers.

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Thursday, January 28, 2021
  Knew when to fold em

Colonel Green, the super-rich dilettante who ended up serving real science in several ways, had a short attention span. He tried out every possible way to have fun and exert influence with his inherited fortune. His first try was in Texas where he bought a short-line railroad and a flower farm and got into politics. He quickly moved to the top in politics because other politicians enjoyed the smell of his money.

But he clearly didn't enjoy the political game and wasn't suited for it. Here's a 1901 account from Tammany Times, the house organ of NYC Democrats. Tammany sounds just like CNN. Nothing new about partisan teams using dense insider jargon and heavy "irony". (Note that gas meant illuminating gas in 1901, not gasoline.)
At all events, shortly afterwards, when Hon. E. H. R. Green, the Republican boss of Texas, tried to shine at the White House, he discovered that somebody had shut off his gas, so he couldn't find his way to the pie counter. He was as much surprised as was the hayseed in the city hotel who used a match to start the electric light in his room.

In plain English, Hanna had queered Green with the President. Being no longer able to control the federal patronage for Texas, Green resigned the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, and thus the former Republican boss, like Tom Reed, Alger and other Republican cadavers, adorns a slab in our political morgue. Green got along all right as a wire-puller until he struck some of the barbed kind, which Hanna had placed where Green was so badly crippled up by it that he will not be entered at any future race for Congressional or other sweepstakes.

Now, when a Texan Republican seeks a federal appointment through the influence of Green, he discovers that he is whistling up the wrong tube. It seems to me that Green, who is Hetty's son, should have inherited enough shrewdness to know that Hanna has a way of dealing himself four aces whenever he deals his friend four kings. And the friend, generally, as in the case of poor Ned Green, doesn't find it out until Hanna has lifted the jackpot.
Politics is blackmail and extortion.

Fortunately for real science, and especially for science as entertainment, Green wandered into other areas where his talents and money were able to serve serious purposes and leave useful lifesaving legacies.

Personal sidenote: The Hanna genes didn't last either. When I was arrested for marijuana in 1969, my parents hired an attorney who was a direct descendant of Mark Hanna, believing he would be competent and influential. He was not. The Hanna legacy had regressed beyond the mean.

Historical sidenote: One thing has changed from 1901 to now. In 1901 the real powers in politics were publicly known and constantly mentioned in media. Mark Hanna was in charge of R, and Tammany Hall was in charge of D. Everyone knew who they were. Now Sheldon Adelson (recently and wonderfully defunct, but seamlessly replaced by his "wife") runs R, and Jeffrey Epstein (falsely believed to be defunct) runs D. Regular media never mentions these kingmakers, so "each" "side" is able to accuse the "other" "side" of conspiracy theories when the real powers are named.

= = = = =

Graphics note: I really should do a tribute to Green to satisfy my sense of 'beautyduty', but I can't get a handle on the proper scope of the project. His radio station had a beautiful building, but the station itself was nothing special. I've already done a '30s station. His electric runabout was unique and expressive of his personality, but it doesn't seem like enough of a tribute to balance his significant contributions to real science.

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  More fun with old pat-ents

Patent 1460954, by Carl Fairbanks of Wichita, 1923.

The title is 'Educational Sign'. Why was it educational? The innards of the sign had a complex set of worm gears turning two disks behind the two awful peepholes. Each step of the disks showed a nearsighted eye with a scene blurred appropriately, or a farsighted eye with an unblurred scene, etc. Yet another application of the wheel chart idea, which was extremely common in the '20s.

There was only one real ed-u-ca-tion involved. If you managed to look at this hor-ri-ble thing long enough to get ed-u-cat-ed, you'd definitely need the services of the op-tom-e-trist. Or a stiff drink of al-co-hol, which was unfortunately un-a-vail-a-ble in 1923.

(Calibrating: This resembles an animation I've done in neurology courseware. In that context the internal anatomy is appropriate and necessary. It's not appropriate for an advertising billboard.)


  Reminder plus historical GUTS

Reminder yet again that we have only ONE FACT about the current holocaust, the specific revelation of the March 12 trigger pull.

Nothing else has come out. A million demons are still keeping all their secrets.

BUT: We have all the information we need from the 'hot mic' or 'hot camera' moments, when the demons showed us that they know it's a hoax because they created the hoax. I guess this would be called circumstantial evidence or behavioral information.

This total secrecy is hardly new. Fake opposition politicians like Tulsi and Bernie have been loyally keeping all the secrets of all the various fake panics and genocides, while complaining that somebody else ought to be talking. Chickenshits.

Members of Congress have a unique legal privilege. They can read secrets into the public record without being prosecuted.

Only one Congressman ever used this privilege, and he needs to be saluted. Mike Gravel read a large set of Vietnam secrets into the public record in the '70s.

I can think of only one other politician who (at least implicitly) revealed an important truth while in office. Janet Reno was frustrated when Deepstate blocked her attempts to prosecute a Chinese spy. She showed real human pain in a public complaint, not quite giving away specific facts but telling us openly that the official information was wrong, and the situation was not at all what it seemed.

Several retired officials have told us a few facts, decades too late. Doesn't count.

Gravel and Reno are the only heroes who had the GUTS to speak the TRUTH while still in office.


  Quickly replaced

An unusual way of looking at sponsorship, written in 1925 when the concept of advertising on radio was brand-new.
The features come from the National Surety Company, the Bank of America, the Metropolitan Life, and a dozen other established corporations; and if you are the guiding spirit of a home, we must remind you of the cooking talks broadcast by Miss Olive Allen for Procter & Gamble, the makers of Crisco, Ivory Soap, etc.

For the privilege of giving you these talks, the abovementioned firms engage the facilities of WEAF and its affiliated stations at stated intervals. They pay the expenses and they divide the resultant benefits with you fifty-fifty; they get the incidental advertising and what business that may bring and you get the full advantage of the talk.
The studio and transmitter were seen as subcontractors, 'engaged' to perform a service for Met Life in the same way that Met Life might 'engage' a window-washer to keep its building clean.

Economically, this is an old-fashioned view of labor value. Met Life pays the subcontractor to build a product; Met Life receives part of the value as increased insurance sales, and the customer receives part of the value as increased knowledge.

This view was fleeting, quickly replaced by the newspaper model where the sponsors were merely paying to insert their advertising on the pages of the broadcast product.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
  The real business coupe

Speaking of Opera Coupes..

The latest Collectible Auto mag has some Chevy prototypes that I hadn't seen before. Around '53 all of the Big Three abandoned the distinction between business coupes, club coupes, and two-door sedans. Ford and Chevy gave all two-doors the longer sedan roof, and Plymouth gave all two-doors the mid-length club coupe roof.

To satisfy corporate customers, a new 'utility sedan' was created, simply a two-door without a back seat. These 'utility sedans' sold at the same rate as the previous business coupes, which proved that big trunk space WASN'T the important quality of a business coupe. Corporations weren't buying these cars so their salesmen could carry lots of samples. Corporations wanted a car without a back seat.

Most business coupes were driven by executives, not salesmen. Real salesmen wanted a big sedan with lots of passenger room so they could take clients (plus wives or mistresses) out for dinner and drinks.

The coupe was an executive perk, not a sample hauler. The missing back seat guaranteed that the exec wouldn't use the car for family groceries or vacations; he had to drive it from the mansion in Connecticut to the commuter rail station and back. Nothing more.

Just one year after eliminating the real business coupe, Chevy was considering a car that would truly satisfy those corporations.

They were calling it an Executive Coupe. Note that it was a hardtop, fashionable at the time. (Looks like the wheel arches were in a state of flux; fortunately they kept the more trapezoidal form.)
  It's not the math

UD muses on fractals and math showing intelligent design.

Leads to a different set of musings. The math isn't the interesting part. The PURPOSE of a branched network is more interesting.

Living things have two distinct forms of branching and tributaries. One is single-directional, the other is non-directional.

As I noted earlier, jellyfish and one-celled animals have non-directional nets.

A directed net can be directed inward or outward.

Both directions are balanced in more complex animals and plants.

Blood circulation branches inward toward the lungs and heart with 'exhausted' blood, then outward from the lungs with 'renewed' blood.

The nerve net runs both ways in separate afferent and efferent channels. The separate pressure-sensing nerves in the skin branch inward toward the brain; the brain processes their inputs with more inward gathering and integration, then reaches a decision and sends it out through the spine, branching to only the muscles needed for the response.

= = = = =

Nets in human communities or organizations repeat the same simple/complex distinction.

A small town or small business is a jellyfish. Not much division of labor, no fixed direction of information. Everyone knows everything and everyone does everything. There is a boss or mayor, and there are a few specialized ganglia like the bank or post office or grain elevator, needed to deal with the outside world.

A nation or big business is more like a mammal, with highly specialized organs and precisely defined afferent and efferent channels.

Small towns or car dealers gather up the economic and cultural needs and preferences of the individual citizens or customers and integrate. The mayor or dealer sends the single representation of the town or customers to the district legislature or district sales manager, who then integrates again and sends to the national management. The national management makes decisions (ideally only the decisions relevant to all the districts) and sends out a bulk package of projects or vehicles to the districts. Each district then retails the package appropriately. Cornville needs irrigation and pickups. Haughty Heights needs a college building and limos.

Branching at all levels in both directions, division of labor and preference at all levels in both directions.

Most important, negative feedback at all levels. When Cornville complains that the district sent an opera performance or an Opera Coupe, the district responds to the error signal and sends out the correct items in the next shipment.

Negative feedback + modularity = life.

= = = = =

Where does math come in? Math loses the purpose, and computers lose it even more.

Math can WRITE equations like the non-directional everything-everywhere-ness of a jellyfish. But math can't SOLVE those equations. They must be solved by graphs or analog computers. See the Lukyanov water computer, where a set of input variables stirs up a jellyfish network of intrinsic everywhere feedback, leading to a complex pattern of changing outputs.

Math prefers unidirectional functions. A solvable equation has several inputs and ONE output.

Digital software takes the deficiency even farther. You can't even WRITE a balanced equation in software. You must only write unidirectional functions. Multiple input arguments, one return value.

Since 1990 we've been running in software mode, and 2020 took the "evolution" even farther.

There are no intermediate modules, no district governments or dealers. Software corporations and governments pull in the inputs from individual citizens or customers all at once, and send out a single bulk package for distribution everywhere according to privilege and security. Accounts with administrator privilege get all of the package, non-admin accounts get nothing.

Everything happens IN PERFECT UNISON ACROSS THE ENTIRE WORLD. All decisions are made in one place, all murder happens IN UNISON.

The customers and citizens are still sending in their needs and preferences, and many of them still foolishly believe the preferences are connected to the central processor as negative feedback. They aren't. The citizens are screaming


And the central processor treats these pleas as pornography, orgasming endlessly and sending out even more unison bulk shipments. Trillions of free dollars to admin privileges, mayhem and chaos and mass murder to non-admin.

Positive feedback + unison = death.


  Offhand mentions

A couple of details from 1938, casually mentioned, clearly not viewed as significant at the time.

= = = = =

1. From Gernsback's Radio Craft July '38, a detailed look at the mysterious '38 Olds dashboard. The futuristic dash disappeared next year (regressed to mean). Its shape finally came back in 1950, and the side-facing controls didn't return until 1990. The article doesn't mention GM or Olds, only the method of production.
Newest in automobile plastic moldings is the so-called "safety unit" here illustrated. The right-hand end of this molding incorporates radio controls as illustrated. To make the molded shell of this new control unit a "cannon" exerts 790, 000 lbs. pressure at 350 degrees.

= = = = =

2. This seems to be the first mention of tape recording in English. It's in the British Wireless World, March '38, just a small section of a larger article about various new recording methods used in Germany.
The Magnetophone recorder recently introduced by the R.R.G. is shown below. It makes use of a non-inflammable film 6.5 mm. wide which is coated with a thin layer of powdered metal. The recorded film can be stored and transported, being unaffected by jolts in moving vehicles.

The author thought mobile use was the only real advantage of tape. Open reels were never practical in cars. Cassettes were developed by Philips in 1950, but didn't reach cars until the late '70s, after a brief interregnum of 4-track and 8-track cartridges, first introduced by Madman Muntz.

= = = = =

Musing: Tape NEVER had a real advantage. It was always less convenient, less 'calibratable', more messy and hackable**, and less accessible, than either disks or cylinders. Poulsen's original wire recorder used reels, but Poulsen also tried a magnetic disk at the same time. Cylinders are unquestionably best for finding the proper track. Dictaphones were already common in 1890 before the magnetic inventions even started, so there was no excuse for missing the concept. Dictaphones had precise control of tracks on both record and play, so they could have been used in a car without jumping grooves on a bump.

Cylinders are also uniform in resolution and speed from start to finish. A disk, whether grooved or magnetic, has more resolution in the outer part than the inner, so the recording and playing have to compensate in various ways. On a cylinder, you can calculate the location of a specific second with a simple division. Locating things on a disk is much more complex.

Combining these two items serendipitously: the cylindrical control on the Olds dash could have been a Dictaphone cylinder holder. Slip a cylinder on the dash, press the record pedal, and dictate.

Dictaphones didn't need electricity, so they could have been used in the earliest autos before electric starters and generators, and could have provided entertainment for passengers before broadcasting arrived in the '20s.

It's a safe bet that some execs had dictaphones in their limos, but I can find only one mention in a trade journal:

The limousine carries five passengers in the rear compartment, and is equipped with all the usual fittings of a car of this class and also has a dictaphone for communication with the driver.

This clearly wasn't an actual dictaphone but just a loosely described speaking tube.

** Hackable: Tape can be erased from a distance by a magnet. Grooved media have to be physically destroyed by a live spy.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021
  Packard vaporware

Several old brands have been "reborn" as fakes and vaporware. Emerson radios and Elgin clocks are rebranded cheap Chinese crap.

Packard has been tried a few times. The most recent attempt started about 20 years ago and seems to be still alive as a corporation. It made one serious try to build a new car, and currently sells just one repro part for real Packards. (Why not gear up and make more repros? Much less risky than betting on regulatory approval for a complete car.)

The website has some nice pix of the prototype, which was built in 1999 and sold to a private party in 2014.

The prototype had most of the usual modern shit expected in a luxury car, but peculiarly it missed Packard's unique modern tech.

In the '30s, Packard and several other luxury makes had adjustable suspensions, with a lever on the dash that made the ride stiffer or looser.

In 1956, just before it was killed by the Studie LBO, Packard developed a fully adaptive electronic suspension, which disappeared immediately and wasn't reborn until the '90s.

The prototype doesn't have any of those modern features. It has a transverse leaf spring like the Model T. This type of suspension is unfairly described as "primitive", even though it was later used by Tatra and some Corvettes. Still, it's less "advanced" than Packard's 1930 suspension.

Older is nearly always better than newer, but if you're going to use the Packard name you should use Packard's older, not Ford's older.

Vaporware companies rarely put in enough effort to make a full prototype. I'm familiar with another exception to the rule, Custer Channel Wing, which operated in Enid for at least 20 years, doing real research in aviation and building real flying prototypes, but never going into production. I had some sideways connections with Custer, and never truly decided whether it was a tax dodge, a rich man's toy, or a serious attempt that wasn't quite serious enough. This new Packard is mysterious in the same way.



While I was fruitlessly searching for the Erla walking detector patent, running through the patent sitemap as usual, I ran across this odd little gadget. The patent sitemap includes a random assortment of patents that Google's OCR system couldn't read properly. Malfunctioning AI is always fun to read, and the list sometimes yields a bit of serendipity.

This patent is listed as a Calctjlatob. It was invented in 1925 by Carl Art of Spokane, presumably working with his brother Prior Art, the most prolific inventor in the world.

It seems to be a wheel chart or customized slide rule, formed up as a deck of cards. The front card has the title 'Tell your own fortune!'

You'd slide the cursor on the front card to your current age, then fan out the deck to see the chart of monthly savings needed to reach a desired goal at retirement. A nice connection to the thoughts about luck and savings in previous item.

The chart assumed 4% interest on savings, verifying other observations that 4% was the standard for many decades.

The idea is still around; this ad for Ally Bank has a similar flavor and leads to a JS-based Calctjlatob for the same purpose.

But the goal is vastly harder to reach now that interest is permanently extinct.

= = = = =

Tech sidenote: Google seems to have different levels of OCR for its different departments. The OCR in the Books section manages to read all languages, and all sorts of obscure typefaces scanned from every possible angle. The Patents system fails far more often, even with patents that are cleanly scanned and easily readable by the eye. Some of these errors are almost universal and systematic. The two errors in Calctjlatob, tj for u and b for r, are extremely common. A smart AI system should be able to spot these statistically and create a rule: If result doesn't fit a word in dictionary, try these two substitutions.


  Rare productive piece

A rare piece of PRODUCTIVE writing about economics.

Most discussions of regression to the mean treat it as an unbreakable "mathematical" law, without noticing WHY it happens so often. When you're stuck in meritocracy you can't afford to notice reality.

Gary Smith breaks out of meritocracy by acknowledging the power of LUCK.
Regression happens whenever we make comparisons that involve an element of luck. The most highly rated generally have had more good luck than bad and are not as far above-average as they seem. Nor are the lowest rated as far below-average as they seem. Our lives and the world around us are not slogging to a depressing mediocrity with all companies equally profitable and all people equally tall, intelligent, healthy, and athletic.

Our lives are much more interesting than that. We are constantly buffeted by temporary bursts of good luck or misfortune. Our challenge is to recognize the important role of luck in our lives and not overreact. Life is a bumpy highway, but we should enjoy the ride.
Focusing on the power of luck immediately creates one blazing clarification.

Why does the stock market always lead to maximum evil and criminality?

Because it's a system based solely on betting. And not just simple betting; infinitely piled layers of side-side-side-side-side-bets on increasingly trivial aspects of the previous layer.

In a truly unbiased luck system, an ideal unrigged roulette wheel or dice throw, each player will come out even after a while. The only way to win consistently is CHEATING. Basing the entire economy on a bet system guarantees that the worst and most evil cheaters will rule the economy. Normal humans doing normal jobs will be dead.

The correct solution, as described by God and Mohammed and Marx, is to base the economy on SKILL. Labor is value, and more specifically the skills and styles of labor are value. Every single piece of every single living thing is designed to be USEFUL. Humans desperately need to be USEFUL, need to SERVE A PURPOSE. When the economic system favors gradual steady improvement of SKILL and USEFULNESS, everyone wins.

The Soviet system was the best approximation of a skill-improving economy. America was moving in this direction, with ups and downs, from 1920 to 1970. Since 1970 we've been breaking away from labor and skill, first slowly, then accelerating, then all at once in 2020.

= = = = =

Later thought also produced by Smith's productive insight: Luck is mainly permanent, only partly temporary. Luck has different time factors for individuals and organizations. For each person, luck is permanent and innate. If you're attractive or impressive or likable or aggressive, you will win far more often than the permanent opposites of those qualities. No way around it.

For a business or a small government, luck is much more fleeting and external. A business or farm can win or lose regardless of its innate tendencies, if weather or national governments turn the wrong way.

A city can win if railroads decide to run a track here, or governments decide to run a new highway here. Before Bloomberg turned all cities into holocaust gas chambers, city governments competed and CHEATED to gain those railroads or highways or courthouses or colleges.

There is only one semi-guarantee of permanent luck for a business or government: Save MONEY and SKILL. When you have lots of MONEY savings, you can survive bad weather or consumer fads or highway decisions. You can pause production and use your intelligence and SKILL to find new products or new ways to bring in money. When you preserve your SKILL capital, you'll have the intelligence to use those pauses productively. If you always live in debt and always repel your most experienced workers, you can't even survive normal conditions. You may be fooled by a temporary period of good external luck, but your permanent tendency to go the wrong way will use the good times to incur even more debt and fire even more experienced workers.

Functional civilizations smooth out the extremes in both spatial and temporal directions. They try to smooth out the extremes of permanent human luck. They make room for unpopular people, and constrain the evil tendencies of aggressive demons. Functional civilizations make it easy to save money and hard to get in debt. They pay high interest on savings and charge higher interest on loans. They strictly forbid casinos of all types, especially the NYC type.

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Monday, January 25, 2021

Speaking of radio and 1925, here's a catalog page with some NEAT gadgets that I haven't seen before.

1. Inductors were the arthropods of pre-Cambrian radio, assuming all sorts of truly strange forms with strange names. These balloon circloids appear to be hollow-core toroids. The jewel-box for the kit of three is an especially luxurious touch.

2. The 5-tube kit using the circloids shows how each one mated with a variable condenser; but the interesting part of the kit is the chassis. It's an open frame, with a phenolic section for the tube sockets. Getting very close to later printed circuit boards. (Ebay has one of these for sale. I'm severely tempted, but I'll resist.)

3. Walking detector! Not clear how it worked; appears to have two cams, each moving a separate catwhisker. Presumably the cams were coordinated so the two catwhiskers would 'walk' across the surface of the crystal? How? I need to find more detail, or the patent. (Ebay doesn't have one of these. If it did, I'd buy it immediately.)

From other ads it's clear that Erla was focused on serving experimenters. They made easy-to-use chassis like the above, breadboardable components, and solderless connections. These devices would have made experimenting much easier than metal chassis, but the high plate voltage of most tubes would still be an unnecessary barrier.

Erla went out of the component and kit business soon, but later reorganized as Sentinel, a well-known brand making a variety of radios from battery-powered farm radios to fancy auto-tuned consoles for 30 years. Erla was in downtown Chicago; the Sentinel factory in Evanston still exists and is part of Northwestern Univ.

= = = = =

Here's a lost and later-refound gadget, a linear pot, with an ad that probably wouldn't work today....

Dirty thoughts were simply not at the front of most minds in 1925. Separate mental spaces. Also, suggesting a mass meeting would be STRICTLY VERBOTEN in ads today, unless the ad specified with great precision that the mass meeting was solely for Individuals Of Correct Colour and Correct Gender and Correct Party Label as of the Current Microsecond.

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  Skill-estate from a different angle

American Radio History has added a 1925 book on music in broadcasting by Percy Scholes.

Broadcasting was new territory in 1925, relatively unexplored. Wireless started around 1895, with the original purpose of replacing telegraph cables and emergency communication. The idea of using radio to distribute 'copies' of text and music wasn't part of the original purpose, and began outside of official circles.

Scholes understood the concept completely in '25:
The introduction of Broadcasting seems to me to be comparable with the introduction of printing. Less than five hundred years ago the Classics, the Holy Scriptures, the legends and poetry of Europe existed only in manuscript and could be studied only by the tiny class of literate men. There were no novels and no newspapers. Ideas were preached from the pulpit, and news passed from mouth to mouth. Amongst the people at large there was a literary stagnation. Then came the invention of printing. A great extension of education naturally followed, and nowadays the whole of the world's literature is open to anyone who cares to read it.

To some extent the gramophone has already done for music what printing did for literature. But Broadcasting will do far more, for it makes fine musical performance easier to come by, and dirt cheap.
Scholes on music itself, showing a clear understanding of nature vs nurture:
Music has its times of exaltation as of depression. It passes, in imaginative interpretation, through all the phases and moods of running water. It is light and sparkling as a stream on a sunlit height. It flows placidly between grassy banks and under overhanging willows in happy pastureland. Sometimes we hear it thunder among the rocks; but it may please us best when it glances softly in the moonlight. The ability to hear the message is not possessed by all, and it is the privilege of those so equipped, whether by endowment or endeavour, to lead others to a higher appreciation. Effort is involved before the significance of music is revealed, but the study is not laborious and the reward is ample.
Scholes lays down a principle that holds true for all sorts of combinations, whether music or text or work or food:
The principle of musical form is very easy to grasp. It rests on the psychological fact that fatigue comes from overmuch repetition of anything we do — whether it be chopping wood or listening to conversation. Change is a sort of repose, so that some people, exaggerating, of course, declare that "change of work is as good as a holiday."

You cannot listen forever to music. You want conversation and reading and games and other occupations as your "change." And when listening to music you cannot listen all the time to the same pieces. You want a varied programme if you are to listen for so long as one whole evening.

And in listening to each piece in that programme, you would soon get tired if it consisted of mere repetitions of the same Tune. So just as the programme is made up of a number of pieces, each piece is made of two or more Tunes, generally designed as foils to one another, and repeated at intervals with some sort of intervening matter.
Scholes worked for BBC, assembling those programs with narration, so this was his specialty.

= = = = =

Copyrights and patents have always missed this middle territory of combiners and builders. Copyrights only applied to the text itself, or the music itself as registered on music paper.

The way of printing a text, or the style used by a conductor or narrator or chef or researcher, is not copyrightable.

Scholes's publisher nicely illustrated the importance of performance style in printing:

The choice of a typeface full of ligatures creates an artistic impression that can't be copyrighted.

With patents, the invention itself may be patented, but the tricks and tools and workflow of a craftsman or factory when building the invention are not patentable.

In a stable culture where human souls have value, the PROPERTY of performance has value. Unions and guilds and lodges formerly preserved and protected the PROPERTY of performance in a more rigorous way.

Now all culture is gone, all contact is forbidden, all communication must pass through the official Five Eyes channels, all guilds are gone, and all written laws are gone. The ever-changing sadistic cruelty of demons is all we have.

Even if this year's extreme and perfectly unprecedented cruelty gradually fades away in some places, culture and human souls have been permanently broken.

= = = = =

Footnote: Unsurprisingly, none of Scholes's broadcasts have been preserved. Even though Dictaphones were common in the '20s, radio was very rarely recorded until around '32. The definitive Goldindex of old radio has nothing by Scholes. There are a couple of snarky parody recordings on Youtube. The voice is clearly recorded live on modern equipment; I can't tell if he's reading from Scholes books or writing his own parody.

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Sunday, January 24, 2021
  It might not be a sail, but it's salient

As mentioned before, I'm inclined to respect Abraham Loeb's thinking because he has publicly opposed some (not all) of the usual "scientific" orthodoxies.

I wasn't especially impressed by his insistence that the long object called Oumuamua is alien tech.

After reading the details more carefully, I'm still not impressed by his set of statistical assumptions... BUT ... there's one basic fact about the object that IS distinctive and unusual. At least in what I've read, Loeb doesn't seem to consider this fact salient. (He may be hitting the point elsewhere.)

The salient fact is the rotation itself. The object rotates steadily every eight hours or so. Loeb uses the observed patterns from this rotation to draw conclusions which aren't nearly as convincing as the STEADY rotation.

Try rotating a metallic object in a permanent magnetic field. (EG the shaft of a stepping motor in a printer.) Hysteresis will fight hard to slow it down. You're sending energy into the field, which can be used to generate current if the device is set up properly.

If this thing is even partly metallic, it simply can't keep rotating in the sun's magnetosphere. It would have slowed to a stop long ago. Giant objects like planets have enough inertia to keep going, but even the earth is gradually slowing down from hysteresis. This skyscraper-sized object doesn't have nearly enough inertia to keep turning.
  Mental immunity

During last week's power outage (3 days without electricity, 4 days without web) I relearned and refocused a broad decision I'd made a long time ago.

I always keep propane equipment and a battery-powered radio ready for outages. The radio is mainly for noise while sleeping. At the start of the outage I tried the "local" "news-talk" station and immediately turned it off. YAARGH! A huge blast of toxic poison!

I tried Tom Read's Christian station, and stayed there for relatively harmless noise, including even some OTR at night.

But some of the Christian talkers were also taking part in the poisonfest from the "other" "side". While the conventional networks were blasting FUCKTRUMP FUCKTRUMP FUCKTRUMP at 160 dB, the evangelicals were stoutly defending Trump. Why? Israel. In their minds the ONLY NATION IN THE WORLD IS ISRAEL. When they talk about patriotism, they mean loyalty to ISRAEL. They were either too stupid to catch onto the long-standing fraud perpetrated by Lee Atwater, or they're paid participants. Trump is NOT stupid. He played this game hard, and received the reward.


= = = = =

I've never been OCD about physical germs. I understand immunity. Since 2010 I've become increasingly OCD about mental inputs. After throwing out the TV in 2010, I was able to start THINKING again. Since then I've gradually decreased other inputs. About six months ago, specifically triggered by the BLM riots, I turned off the AM radio and left it off. I've also pulled away from several "alt" websites like RT and ZeroHedge, which are clearly paid participants.

Until the power outage, I was deriving a dim distorted echo of media concerns from chance mentions in various places such as the subject lines of spam emails. Like a vaccine, those previews kept the mental immunity fresh without overwhelming it. I could tell, for instance, that Congress was farting about an absurdly futile "impeachment", but I didn't have to receive and reject the emotional impact of the grotesquely hyperidiotic "discussions".

So the outage reinforced my resolve to avoid thinking about such matters and avoid discussing them here as much as possible.

Don't Be There. When you participate in protests "for" "the" "correct" "side", you're strengthening the side you don't like. When you argue details of a currently hot topic, you're helping Deepstate to use the topic for tyranny. There are no "correct" "sides", there are only toxic topics.

As long as Side B is visible and annoying, the demons of Side A will kill Side B. When demons can't see Side B, they get bored and find other outlets. Often the other outlets are insufficiently orthodox members of Side A. Witch hunts end when they burn the initial igniters. Revolutions end when they guillotine or purge the Trotskyites or Deviationists. You can't count on this self-consumption, but it's more likely when Side B remains quiet.


  Nothing happened

After watching some fictional instant justice on old TV detective shows last night, a question popped up. Have I ever exposed a fraud? Done any "investigative reporting"?

Not in the conventional way, but I did properly and scientifically expose one fairly well-known racket a few years ago, and NOTHING HAPPENED.

I built an electronic replica of Hubbard's original E-meter as designed by Mathison.

The results were definite and scary. The E-meter wasn't a meter, it was an active nerve stimulator, with instant effects on the autonomous system controlling heartbeat and panic.

I hesitated before writing up the result, since Hubbard's cult has a long-standing reputation for suing detractors. But I went ahead anyway. REAL SCIENCE is a mission that can't be softpedaled. A real experiment must be written up. The show must go on.

Nothing happened. The blog item, like pretty much all of my blog items, was read by the two or three regulars, but it didn't even garner attention from the identifiable Deepstate connections like Amazon Ashburn. No lawsuits, no social media campaigns.

Conclusion: The Hubbard cult is vestigial. Its reputation for ferocity is based on past actions, not present strength.

Question: Where did those people go? Did they move into more fashionable cults like the "virus" cult, which exhibits the same types of ferocity?

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Saturday, January 23, 2021
  Exactly dated prediction

Reading old Collectible Auto as usual while eating. In the Aug 1996 issue, this feature caught my eye. The car is completely uninteresting, but the text mentions politics and makes a specific prediction that can be checked today. CA wisely avoids partisan crap, and rarely mentions politics except for repeating the conventional nonsense about Henry Ford.

As for appreciation, forget it. This car will still be depreciating when Bill Clinton's fourth successor is in office.

Well? Clinton's fourth successor is in office exactly now. 1 Bush Jr, 2 Obama, 3 Trump, 4 Biden.

How did the prediction hold up?

From Hemmings price guide:

Prices for 1990 Oldsmobile Toronado

The average asking price is: $7,998.50
The highest asking price is: $8,000.00
The lowest asking price is: $7,997.00

Yup. In '96 the highest price was 10k. Inflation would have made it 16k this year. Now the only price is 8k, half of what the inflated '96 value would be.


Friday, January 22, 2021
  Zuhlsdorf's mysterious mission

Zuhlsdorf is setting out on a new mission, which is somewhat mysterious.

There are only a few publicly visible writers who have an unyielding unflinching HARDASS understanding of HARDASS reality. Zuhlsdorf is one. McAfee, despite all his Bitcoin nonsense, is another. Edward Curtin and Joseph Pearce are in the same category, though more specialized.

I started reading Zuhlsdorf occasionally when he was discussing Latin vs English. He GETS language, and especially the role of grammar in building mental spaces.

Then he showed a total understanding of the "both sides" game, and gained the skills and technology for REAL alt media by acquiring a ham license.

I hadn't read him in a while. Now, unsurprisingly, he GETS the "virus" holocaust.

His new mission is inchoate and not fully established, but after three unique exhibitions of total understanding, I'm inclined to trust his intentions and help concretely.

Equipoise. Pay for value, pray for value.

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  Decided to look it up.

Why do we put the $ before the numbers?

This question popped up on Quora. It's something I've often wondered about but never took the time to look it up. Now I've taken the time, and I know part of the answer. There are lots of discussions in various forums, but all seem to be conjectures and guesses.

In the 1812 ledgers from the Missoury Fur Company, the ledger entries have the letter P or S after the number, represented within the column by ditto marks, but the sum on each column (here a sum carried forward) has the Pesos symbol in front of the amount:

The use of specific symbols is relatively recent. According to wiki, the pound sign seems to have started in the 1600s.

The earliest preserved English ledger is the pipe rolls of Lancashire in the 1100s. One item with the translation and explanation, from a 1902 book:
Idem vicecomes reddit Compotum de lxvj. li. et xiij. s. et iiij.d . de Communi Assisa Comitatus de Lancastra, pro defaltis et miseri cordiis. In thesauro lxj .li . et viij . d . Et debet c. et xij . s. et viij . d .

The Sheriff renders an account of £66 13s . 4d ., arising from a general Assize of the County of Lancaster, for defaults and amercements, whereby it appears that this sum was not the result of an Eyre of the Justices, but was a composition or general fine, assessed by competent persons, to discharge the county from liability on account of various negligences, purprestures and trespasses within the widely extended forest lands of Lancaster. The Sheriff paid £61 Os . 8d . into the Exchequer and owed £5 12s. 8d . on balance.
Translating only the numbers:

lxvj. li. et xiij. s. et iiij.d.


66 li. and 13 s. and 4 d.

Li = libri or pounds, s = solidi or shillings, d = denarii or pence.

Pure conjecture: The £ symbol might have arisen, or become popular, to avoid reading li as 51? S and D wouldn't have been confusing, so they didn't need substitutes. (D means 500, but it was very rarely used.) BUT: Any confusion seems unlikely, since humans are extremely good at 'code-shifting', and bookkeepers have especially well-trained bimetral symbol vision.

At that time all of the units were simple abbreviations, not symbols, and all were after the numbers just as in speech, both English and Latin. (Some adjectives and articles were after the noun in Latin, but numbers were before the noun.)

This book of Worcestershire county records comes close to pinning down the transition point, which agrees with the mention in Wikipedia.

These two passages from English court documents were recorded and 'transliterated' by the same author.



Records are continuous and dense between these two years, but items with money amounts are sparse. I couldn't find a closer pair with money. In 1591 the units are all abbreviations, and Latin phrases are vestigial. In 1616 the whole text is English and pounds are £.

The author doesn't discuss terminology, so we can't see WHY the change happened, only WHEN. Presumably we can trust that he was consistent.

Incidentally, many of the items in these records read just like modern police blotters. OCD Karens complaining about trivial violations of etiquette, drunks doing what drunks always do. The one I quoted from 1616 shows that privately run prisons haven't changed in 400 years.

Linguistic sidenote: England was under Roman rule from about 50 AD to 400 AD. By 1100 the Romans had been gone for 700 years, but the ruling class was still writing in Latin. That's impressive permanence and persistence. Advantage: You don't need explicit encryption or secrecy when the commoners can't read or understand what the rulers are saying among themselves. Question: Were there commoners who quietly learned how to read and understand Latin, and used the skill to help other commoners prepare for the next psychopathic STOMP from the insane rulers? Vicilici?

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Thursday, January 21, 2021
  No longer anonymous!

I've been loving and appreciating and advertising the anonymous and PERFECT musicians who worked for Transco Syndication. Tonight I was looking for an alternate rendition of one of their masterpieces, heard in this episode of Can You Imagine That. The first item that popped up in Youtube:

Here they are!

The Transco Chorale! The same group (I think) was heard more intensely in Down Our Way.

This Youtube channel has dozens of numbers by the Chorale, including all the pieces I've heard within various episodes. Unfortunately the individual singers are still anonymous. The web doesn't seem to contain any further information. 'Transco' is a generic company name used by hundreds of more recent businesses, drowning out possible older references. The real Transco is mentioned a few times in broadcasting business journals of the '30s, but those don't discuss the music.


  Community is self-sustaining when permitted

KSHS has a brief burst of activity again. They feature some pictures from Elk Falls, taken around 1890. A mill was built on the falls, which was already decrepit and abandoned at the time of the pictures. So the town never had a serious central industry.

Elk Falls is in the SE part of the state around Coffeyville. The town was never large, but in 1920 it had a newspaper:

Pop 271, weekly paper with circulation of 250. Enough to keep a business going. Before we burdened businesses with infinite compliance requirements and huge "health" "care" costs, a tiny town could support a variety of skills profitably.

Is anything left? Not much, but still more or less running and more or less maintained.

Googlestreet starts with a bonus '50 Buick plus two auxiliary Yugos, parked by a building that might have been a bar at one time:

Here's the rest of the business district, with PO and one active store. Note the wide sidewalk, typical of small towns.

Across from downtown is the city park, with a restroom that also seems to be maintained:

There are several other portapotties scattered around town. Maybe for migrants?

And in the leafy suburbs, the sidewalks continue. Streets are mowed and maintained, and there are trash bins out for collection. This corner shows an interesting remnant of a grand traffic circle, and a courageous local citizen who seems to recognize that the camera is the Eye of Satan.

Graybill doesn't apply to dogs. They continue doing their jobs and using their skills regardless of offshoring and mandates.

Later: The original town map shows a circle in the middle of a theoretical market square:

but it's not quite the same location. I was probably misreading an intersection of sidewalks, deluded by the mower's circular path. The local citizen wasn't deluded. He knows Satan when he sees it.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021
  Fussy semantic quibble about digital vs analog

The basic D vs A opposition is almost always misleading. It doesn't match the real distinction between ways of thinking.

Strictly, digital simply means on/off, and analog simply means continuous. Integer vs rational.

BUT: Many familiar digital and analog systems are a complete mix of the two modes.

Example 1: A light switch is strictly digital. It's designed to be either perfectly conducting or perfectly insulating, with as little time as possible between the two extremes. But it controls a light bulb which is strictly analog. An incandescent bulb starts to glow as soon as any current flows, and its light output rises smoothly (but not linearly) with increasing current. An LED lamp is mostly analog, with an area of zero conduction near zero voltage. Fluorescent is closer to digital, requiring a high initial voltage to start, but still varies with voltage after it starts.

Example 2: A thermostat on a heating system or electric stove is an analog knob or slider, controlling the pulse width of a strictly digital system. The burner itself is either all on or all off.

The important distinction is not on/off vs gradual.

The real distinction is digital software versus all other types of systems.

Digital software operates in a series of discrete snapshots of time, and operates in only one direction. There is never any actual feedback in a software system, and there is never any actual motion. Software CANNOT represent reality no matter how fast or powerful the CPU, no matter how many cores or threads are running in parallel. The boundary is perfectly unbridgeable.

It's hard to express this distinction accurately because the precise wording is syntactically clumsy.

So: When I say digital, I mean software, and when I say analog, I mean non-software, which generally includes both on/off and gradual elements.


  Reviewing fluidic computers

Thinking about the natural basis of calculus reminded me of the Lukyanov fluidic computer, which reminded me that I've featured several fluidic computers this year.

First and most elegant, the Willson automatic buoy. Willson used nothing but natural forces, placed in constant and elegant equipoise. Water pressure counterbalanced acetylene pressure, with the rate of change supplied by combustion.

Next was the Dalen sun valve, using the heat of sunlight to control the flow of acetylene.

Willson and Dalen were practically useful and lifesaving beacons, tied to the Trinity House theme. They represented the original meaning of artificial intelligence, a self-sustaining machine with lifelike properties helping to solve human problems.

The most beautiful and mysterious is the Ridhwan water clock, which used a true fluidic computer to control a series of doors and bells and birds and pointers and lamps.

A medieval night clock used the combustion of oil by a flame versus gravity to count hours and signal end of work, without any mechanism at all.

The Gabry flame clock used combustion versus oil pressure to drive a mechanical pointer.

The Tiffereau water clock used water flow in equipoise to 'tick' a full-fledged clock escapement.

And finally the Lukyanov, a genuine analog computer using nothing but water flow for logic and calculation.

All of these devices are infinitely closer to the natural use of calculus than the lookup tables in books or silicon.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
  Calculus is more natural than arithmetic

The position of math in the universe has been a constant pointless dispute among "philosophers", and it's still an active pointless discussion among tech-monster types and Intelligent Design types.

Plato and Aristotle staked out the two sides, which haven't changed and haven't settled the issue in 2000 years. A question that can't be settled isn't a real question. It's just a way for "philosophers" to justify their grants.

A possibly more fruitful subdispute arises in math teacher circles, as well as the AI and ID types.

Is calculus more important than arithmetic?

My teacherly position is that the fine details of calculus are only needed by engineers, and even engineers don't really carry on the type of thinking that happens in a calculus class. They just use lookup tables for the results of specific equations, and multiply the results by constants as appropriate. Before computers the lookup tables were paper, now they're silicon. Same thing.

= = = = =

Here's a somewhat fresh thought, based more on neurology than teaching.

Integrals and derivatives are basic and universal parts of life. Arithmetic is NOT a basic part of life. Arithmetic is an overlaid skill invented late in history by humans.

Every neuron is a derivative. We process only changes, not constants. As the signal moves up through higher layers in the ganglia and cortex, it is differentiated several more times. Some feature detectors respond to linear upsweeps in frequency. Second derivative. Others respond only to accelerated upsweeps. Third derivative.

Many neurons are also integrators. They pick up changes from a network of input dendrites, and sum up the total of the changes over time. Some of the changes are additive (excitatory), some subtractive (inhibitory). The neuron will typically emit a series of pulses when its integral reaches a threshold set by yet another field of inputs. These pulses may feed into higher-level integrators that sum up the readings from the first layer.

And the whole system is a constantly running infinite set of balanced equations. Negative feedback balances or counteracts inputs to maintain a steady state of temperature or muscle tension or anxiety or weight.

By contrast, simple arithmetic is rare in the nervous system. There are a few integrators specialized as counters, but there's no explicit addition or multiplication of counting numbers.

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  Hartness to Mont-gros, back to Hartness.

When I don't understand how something works, I build it. With electronic stuff I can build the real thing using tubes and transistors and capacitors and so on. With mechanical stuff I don't have the needed skills or tools or workspace, so I have to "build" it and animate it digitally.

I had previously focused on the Altitude-Azimuth way of reaching all available angles. When I read about the Hartness scope, I realized there were other systems. The Hartness scope itself was a mystery, so I followed his discussions and started with the two other equatorial scopes.

Rehashing the relevant parts of the Mont-gros item:

= = = = = START REPRINT:

This bit of graphics started from thinking about James Hartness, the semi-pro astronomer who became governor of Vermont in the '20s. Hartness invented a specialized form of telescope that enabled him to stay comfortably inside, without having to pivot around with the end of the scope.

I didn't understand how this worked, so I started looking it up. Turns out he didn't invent it. The system is called the Equatorial coudé or bent equatorial, and it was invented by Maurice Loewy in 1871. Loewy was a detail-oriented astronomer who spent his career compiling and editing tables and books of star locations and star photographs. Hartness himself, writing about his variation on Loewy, gave proper credit to Loewy. The claim of invention was only in popular magazine features about the telescope.

= = = = =

But why was it needed and how did it work?

One of the best known coudé scopes was at Mont-gros, an observatory in Monaco.

Here's the real Mont-gros around 1890:

My abbreviated version represents only the three buildings at the right end of the overview. (The big central observatory has already been modeled in the realm of Google Sketchup, so I didn't need or want to duplicate it.)

From left, the Coupole Schmausser, the coudé, and a small building housing a sidereal transit.

The Coupole still exists.

As does the coudé.

This small building is no longer there, judging by various pix.

= = = = =

The coudé was specialized from a more general Equatorial. The Equatorial reaches all parts of the sky in a peculiar way, unlike the more ordinary and understandable Altitude and Azimuth system. Here we run the Equatorial through all of its gyrations, with Happystar desperately trying to hold on and observe.

The coudé runs through the same pattern, reaching all angles of the sky, but it's bent (coudé) in the middle with two mirrors. The bend enables the eyepiece to remain in one place, so it can pass through a single weatherstripped hole in a wall without needing a rotating dome or a retractable cover. The astronomer can stay in one chair, comfortably heated or cooled, unhassled by birds or bugs, while the business end of the scope remains outside with no thermal differences to distort the air.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

Now I can finally return to the Hartness scope itself. He described its advantages and disadvantages clearly, but the mechanism still didn't look like it could even move. After studying his wonderfully clear patent, I finally grasped it well enough to animate it.

Here's an outer view of the mostly underground chamber:

And various inner views. The upper floor was the scope workspace, and the lower floor was for calculating and recording. The long tunnel leads back to the Hartness mansion.

Now animate, showing the two separate motions and the eyepiece wandering all over the place with Happystar hanging on and trying to observe:

After animating it, I can see the pros and cons, and it seems to me that the cons outweigh the pros. Hartness eliminated one of the two mirrors in the equatorial coudé, and expanded the range of available angles somewhat, but he lost the stable eyepiece. His version is certainly less mobile than the simple Altitude-Azimuth scope. The astronomer can stand in one small area, but he still has to move around and look up and down and sideways, in often uncomfortable or painful angles.

Hartness could have regained the perfectly still eyepiece while retaining the expanded range, by adding another mirror like this:

It's not clear why he didn't add this extra angle.

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  Checking in with the ONLY FREE COUNTRY

I've been occupied with wind and power outages, and haven't checked in with Tanzania lately. This video by Mark was two days ago. He's in Mwanza now, which is just as free as Dar es Salaam. As usual he wanders through streets and stores. Precisely zero muzzles, zero fear, zero panic, zero distancing. Just NORMAL FREE HAPPY PEOPLE, working and living a NORMAL FREE HAPPY LIFE, in a prosperous-looking city.

Eternal infinite super-blessings to Magufuli, the ONLY NON-DEMONIC RULER IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD and not coincidentally the ONLY TRUE SCIENTIST IN A POSITION OF POWER.

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Monday, January 18, 2021
  Let's Riberty! Let's Lushmore!

Somehow I get the feeling that the Japs didn't enjoy being occupied by Yank troops in 1950. They gained a much more serious and meaningful revenge a few years later, by picking up all the industries and jobs we were suicidally discarding.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021
  Helped by the record

I've been keeping this blog for 16 years, about 1/5 of my life. The near-daily record tends to keep me honest. I can't claim to have been "always right" or "always wrong" about any specific issue. There are a few exceptions, a few big things that I understood clearly almost from birth. Language and grammar, experiential education, constants and variables.

But most opinions have changed during these 16 years, and the record shows it.

This morning I decided to use the record to see when I clearly caught onto the Deepstate "both sides" game. The recognition feels fairly recent. Was it?

Answer: It was gradual. In 2005 I already knew the two-teams trick:
This has been obvious in any Internet forum for many years. Whether the subject is Mac vs PC, Windows vs Linux, Jesus vs Darwin, Universal Health Care vs Free Choice ... you name it, you'll find exactly two teams, and each team has a standard playbook of permitted opinions. As long as you stick to the playbook, you'll get cheers from your side and jeers from the other. But if you ask a deeper question, or (worst of all) favor side A for the wrong reasons, you'll be thrown out with remarkable alacrity and consonance.
But in 2005 I definitely DIDN'T SEE THE TRICK in the political realm. Just one illustration of hundreds:
The Red Cross is putting out some strange PSA ads. A dry-voiced feminist recites "I don't talk like you, I don't dress like you, I don't go to your church, .... but I will help you." Who is this appeal aimed at? Other feminists? Academic multiculturalists? It ertainly isn't aimed at traditional-minded Americans, or males of any stripe. I lost all faith in the Red Cross two days after 9/11 anyway. On 9/12 I gave a substantial contribution, then the next day the local chapter REFUSED a contribution from a local rifle range (gun club), because the club had put a picture of Osama on its paper targets. It was too late to stop my check, but I'll never give another penny to this pro-terrorist organization.
When did I start to see the "terrorism" fraud as just another two-sided stageplay? Hard to spot by keywords, but the first doubts showed in 2007. The 'Dubai port' thing helped me to see that Bush wasn't really fighting Saudi, but I still didn't see that fighting Saudi was a fraud. Using terrorist as a keyword, this 2009 item shows similar incipient doubts.
The strange 'buzzing' of New York by the substitute Air Force One may have been a really, really dumb mistake, but I don't buy it. In the first place, as everyone has noted, you don't need real planes to "update your photos". Anyone familiar with graphics could create this picture digitally in a few minutes, if you wanted this picture.

And that's the first question: Why in the hell would the gov't want this picture? How in the hell would a 9/11-style picture be part of your media publicity packet? What would the caption be? "Lookie here! We're still vulnerable! You can get away with another 9/11 easily!"

The second question: If it was just a photo-op, why was the fighter jet apparently trying to intercept the airliner? From what I've seen, the fighter looked fairly serious. I can't imagine the Air Force risking its aircraft and pilots on a just-for-fun gag shot.

This was either a real practice run (war game) or a real incident. Perhaps a pilot gone insane, rather than a real terrorist?
I wasn't able to stand back and see both teams on this question until I threw away the TV in 2010.

The point of inflection is shown clearly by a series of basic questions in 2011. From the first of the series:
Isn't it odd?

The whole point of the Enlightenment in religion and science was to trust your own logic and senses, and distrust the flat statements of the priesthood.

And who's Enlightened?

The Muslim world and the Soviet world are Enlightened. They understand from long experience that government lies 100% of the time. They want to see evidence that they can trust.

America's experience with 100% transparently false government is shorter, basically beginning in 1964 with the Warren Report. So the population of Enlightenment thinkers here is large but far from universal.

The American media, and the blind followers of the Parties, are pre-Enlightenment thinkers. Party members implicitly trust whatever My Party says and distrust what The Other Party says. Since the two Goldman Sachs "parties" create "fair and balanced debate" on only a few trivial and numerical points, the Party people end up trusting government on nearly all important questions, no matter how obviously absurd.

To the priesthood of media and government, Enlightenment thinkers are "conspiracists" or "paranoids" or "deniers" or "skeptics" or "truthers" or "birthers", who can be safely tossed overboard without a proper religious burial ceremony.
In those questions I finally stood back and saw the fraud.

= = = = =

And I'm still unable to see both teams on 'color revolutions' like Brexit. I'm totally bamboozled until the revolution (and the country) is finished. I was fully on Boris's side until Brexit was fully consummated. He immediately started to follow Greta's Gaian genocide, then smoothly switched to the "virus" holocaust. That's when I saw that Brexit was meant to free Boris from EU constraints, not to free Britain from EU constraints.

= = = = =

Why does this learning feel recent? The Skripal stageplay, though not especially important in itself, gave me a HUGE burst of learning in 2018. "Both" "sides" were starting from the assumption that a poison EXISTED. They were arguing over timelines and point of origin. Was the poison from Russia, or from the bioterrorism lab in the same city? Ockham orders us to eliminate all UNNECESSARY entities. The poison was an unnecessary entity. When you start from the assumption that no substance existed, the whole picture is perfectly clear and consistent. The only NECESSARY assumption is the FACT that the Skripals were employees of UK Deepstate. They were willing actors, not unwilling victims. Thus the entire thing was a stage production.

This Ockham learning helps to understand the current holocaust. There's no reason to assume that an actual microbe is involved. The entire picture makes vastly more sense from the viewpoint of branding and labeling. The deaths attributed to the "virus" are deaths that would have happened around now anyway, so the label doesn't change any facts and can't be logically traced by police procedures. Relabeling those deaths doesn't save or kill anyone. The "necessary" "measures" "to" "beat" "the" "virus" are doing all the killing. In order to prevent those inevitable deaths from being relabeled, we're killing everyone else. But we're NOT relabeling the inevitable deaths back to non-"virus", so we're not doing anything at all for those dead people, even symbolically. The deaths caused by lockdowns and loss of medical services and unemployment and despair and starvation and loss of immunity are NOT inevitable. These are actual new deaths.

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Saturday, January 16, 2021
  Wonder if he'd regret....

Wandering through Gernsback magazines, found this from Feb 39.

Clearer picture from QST:

The tower was built as a rich man's toy by Frederick Smyth, who was NH governor just after Madman Lincoln's War. As governor Smyth was mainly concerned with trying to help the Union veterans.

WPA was planning to renovate the tower for use as local emergency communications center by hams. An unusual recognition of the importance of hams.

Did they finish the job? Yes. It took only six months, and the tower was used by the local club W1LVK until the war started. Then it was used for the same purpose by the city's official Civil Defense.

After the war the estate was turned into a VA hospital, appropriately following Smyth's main mission, and the tower was abandoned again. In '78 the VA was getting ready to demolish the tower, but it was preserved as a historical landmark through the efforts of the Smyth estate.

Wonder what Smyth would think now that the VA is a centerpoint of a "bioterrorism" war against the entire country? Well, since this "bioterrorism" war is a huge expansion of Madman Lincoln's genocide of Deplorables, and since the enemies are in Dixie again, maybe he'd approve.

[Sidenote: This tower is my kind of place. I'm going to 'build' one, which will provide an opportunity to 'build' some WW2 era electronics. I haven't done much in that decade yet.]


  Unfashionable regrets

It's fashionable to say "I regret the things I didn't do, not the things I did."

I'm unfashionable. I mainly (but not entirely) regret stupid things I did. The potentially smart things I failed to do mostly turned out to be stupid in hindsight, or even in direct sight**.

Here's a nice pair of regretting action vs regretting inaction. The pairing is congruent in time and space, involving two 10th grade teachers whose rooms were adjacent.

= = = = =

Mr Dickerson taught history. He was a highly competent teacher. He wanted us to discuss rationally, and he actively and consistently encouraged discussion.


Not Mr Dickerson. He meant it. So I took him up on it, idiotically correcting his pronunciation of Nazi as Naxi. He took the criticism rationally, without flaring up. But I wasn't really arguing, and I didn't have anything MEANINGFUL to say at that point. I was just being an adolescent dickhead. Like most older men in 1965, Mr Dickerson had actually fought the Naxis, so he was entitled to call them whatever he wanted.

= = = = =

In the next room, Miss Marley "taught" "English". She ruthlessly and rigorously enforced all the false and malicious grammarhoid "rules". And not just in class. When she heard us using "bad grammar" in casual discussions before class, she stormed over and "corrected" us.

These "corrections" always ended with YOU MUST SPEAK EK RIT LY. She carefully enunciated the three distinct syllables of EKRITLY, providing an example of EKRIT SPEECH to enlighten the unwashed masses.

I regret that I didn't stand up to Miss Marley. At that time I knew FAR MORE about real grammar than she did. I had been reading serious linguistics books for many years, and I knew the real grammar of English. I could have assembled a rigorous response to each of the grammarrhoid "rules", using real authorities.

= = = = =

In the first instance I was imitating Miss Marley, "correcting" Mr Dickerson's insignificant pronunciation "error". I should have been resisting Miss Marley, not imitating her.

= = = = =

** Footnote: There isn't a proper word for this. We need a midpoint word between hindsight and foresight, meaning clearly true by the facts available at the time when the judgment was made. Maybe nowsight would do the job?

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  Storm note

Just for the record, we had a major windstorm here 1/13 morning. This neighborhood wasn't the main target; only a couple full trees down, lots of branches busted. Houses and roofs untouched. Previous windstorms ruined many roofs.

Power out for 3 days, managed with propane as usual. Thinking about getting a natural gas hookup to avoid the hassle.... also, cooking with propane always reminds me of the absolute superiority of gas over electric cooking.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021
  Quora jackpot

Quora is 98% toxic shit, but every now and then it pays off. The personal stories are usually worth reading, sometimes funny, and occasionally important.

This long piece was written by the son of a German officer who took part in the siege of Stalingrad. His main point is that the Krauts knew they were done in late '42. They couldn't sustain petroleum or ammunition or food. They kept trying to fight because they had no choice, but the soldiers and officers knew it was futile after that.

An important piece of history, never heard in our books or media.


Monday, January 11, 2021
  Emerson vs Blood Money

Emerson says that undeserved money should be paid out as fast as possible.

I received a mysterious card in the mail which apparently represents the $2000 blood money from the federal demons. I don't need or want this money, so it goes out BEFORE it goes in.

The previous blood money in May went to a couple of local charities. Since then I've seen that the Spokane government is an eager participant in Mad Bomber Inslee's holocaust, so I won't help anyone here. All local businesses have worked with the Mad Bomber. None have offered even token fake resistance.

You chose not to help us, we choose not to help you.

Moving money around is the only TINY MICROSCRAP of power that ordinary people still have, so we need to use it.

So I sent $2000 to the dog sanctuary in Tennessee. Mostly just paying for value. I get joy and comfort from watching their videos. Partly because Tennessee is a sane state, and likely to remain sane. Tenn Gov Lee has been holding firm and preventing cities from imposing their own muzzle mandates. I can see in the OFSDS clips that their employees are unmuzzled, so the reality is verified. Taxes and other secondary outputs from my donation will go to support a sane governor.

Later, after "activating" the mysterious card, turns out I only got $600 blood money instead of the $2000 implied by the letter. That's fine. Emerson recommended overpaying.

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