Tuesday, October 26, 2021
  More from the point of inflection

The April 76 issue of Computers and Automation includes a POWERFUL article by Joseph Weizenbaum, the author of ELIZA. He got everything right, and saw the dismal consequences.

Weizenbaum had originally wanted to demonstrate the limits of computers. He wanted to prove that computers were just machines. He was truly shocked to find out how ELIZA was seen, and how it affected people....
DOCTOR, as ELIZA playing psychiatrist came to be known, soon became famous around MIT mainly because it was an easy program to demonstrate. Most other programs could not vividly demonstrate the information-processing power of a computer to visitors who did not already have some specialized knowledge, say, of some branch of mathematics. DOCTOR, on the other hand, could be appreciated on some level by anyone. Its power as a demonstration vehicle was further enhanced by the fact that the visitor could actually participate in its operation.
Participation and the use of language were certainly key differences. Before ELIZA, ordinary students punched a pile of cards and submitted them to the Computing Center, which then sent you a printout several days later. No connection with the process. Nearly all instruction in computers and programming started with number theory, the most abstract and least useful part of math. Prime numbers are mental masturbation for math freaks.
The shocks I experienced as DOCTOR became widely known and "played" were due principally to three distinct events.

1. A number of practicing psychiatrists seriously believed the DOCTOR program could grow into a nearly completely automatic form of psychotherapy. I had thought it essential, as a prerequisite to the very possibility that one person might help another learn to cope with his emotional problems, that the helper himself participate in the other's experience of those problems and, in large part by way of his own empathic recognition of them, himself come to understand them. What must a psychiatrist who makes such a suggestion think he is doing while treating a patient, that he can view the simplest mechanical parody of a single interviewing technique as having captured anything of the essence of a human encounter?
This point isn't surprising. Freudians knew they weren't doing anything real. Eysenck had disproved the human value of the process, but the practice continued because it was lucrative.
2. I was startled to see how quickly and how deeply people conversing with DOCTOR became emotionally involved with the computer and how unequivocally they anthropomorphized it. Once my secretary, who had watched me work on the program for many months and therefore surely knew it to be merely a computer program, started conversing with it. After only a few interchanges with it, she asked me to leave the room.
We think computers are private. In 1976 this was more or less true, though ELIZA obviously had a built in logfile generator. Otherwise the transactions couldn't have been written up in articles. The secretary had been typing up those logs, so she knew it wasn't private. The same illusion continues. The vast majority of iPhone users worry about "Russian hackers", and go along with all the "security" needed to block "Russian hackers". The same iPhone users don't notice that Siri is listening all the time. If Siri WASN'T listening all the time, she wouldn't be able to jump in and answer your questions when you say her name.
3. Another widespread, and to me surprising, reaction to the ELIZA program was the spread of a belief that it demonstrated a general solution to the problem of computer understanding of natural language. In my paper, I had tried to say that no general solution to that problem was possible, i.e., that language is understood only in contextual frameworks, that even these can be shared by people to only a limited extent, and that consequently even people are not embodiments of any such general solution. But these conclusions were often ignored.
Deeply correct, and AI still proves it all the time. NSA and Google have been working hard on this problem for 40 years, and it's still not solved.

Here's the strongest and most prophetic part.
...the question of whether or not human thought is entirely computable. That question has, in one form or another, engaged thinkers in all ages. Man has always striven for principles that could organize and give sense and meaning to his existence. But before modern science fathered the technologies that reified and concretized its otherwise abstract systems, the systems of thought that defined man's place in the universe were fundamentally juridicial. They served to define man's obligations to his fellow men and to nature. The Judaic tradition, for example, rests on the idea of a contractual relationship between God and man. This relationship must and does leave room for autonomy for both God and man, for a contract is an agreement willingly entered into by parties who are free not to agree. Man's autonomy and his corresponding responsibility is a central issue of all religious systems.
See the loss of two-way obligations.
The spiritual cosmologies engendered by modern science, on the other hand, are infected with the germ of LOGICAL NECESSITY. They no longer content themselves with explanations of appearances, but claim to say how things actually are and must necessarily be. In short, they convert truth to provability.

Surely, much of what we today regard as good and useful, as well as much of what we would call knowledge and wisdom, we owe to science.

But science may also be seen as an addictive drug.

Not only has our unbounded feeding on science caused us to become dependent on it, but, as happens with many other drugs taken in increasing dosages, science has been gradually converted into a slow-acting poison.

Beginning perhaps with Francis Bacon's misreading of the genuine promise of science, man has been seduced into wishing and working for the establishment of an age of rationality, but with his vision of rationality tragically twisted so as to equate it with logicality. Thus have we very nearly come to the point where almost every genuine human dilemma is seen as a mere paradox, as a merely apparent contradiction that could be untangled by judicious applications of cold logic derived from a higher standpoint.

Even murderous wars have come to be perceived as mere problems to be solved by hordes of professional problemsolvers.

As Hannah Arendt said about recent makers and executors of policy in the Pentagon:

"They were not just intelligent, but prided themselves on being 'rational'. They were eager to find formulas, preferably expressed in a pseudo-mathematical language, that would unify the most disparate phenomena with which reality presented them; that is, they were eager to discover laws by which to explain and predict political and historical facts as though they were as necessary, and thus as reliable, as the physicists once believed natural phenomena to be. An utterly irrational confidence in the calculability of reality became the leitmotif of the decision making."
And now we're back in the territory of Conelrad and CDC. Predictive models control everything, and the psychopaths decide the variables for the predictive models.

The demons are simply hiding behind the computer. Most people STILL don't understand the mechanical nature of computing. Most STILL believe that computers think rationally. The latest New Superstitionist STILL says computers will achieve true thought with more power and more speed. (Translation: More grants.)

Only programmers know how powerful the programmer is.

In '76 these trends were just starting to show up, and only a few prophets saw them. At that point we could have tamed the trends, could have applied the brakes with some strong negative feedback mechanisms keyed on empathy. But we didn't. Nobody listened.


= = = = =

Irrelevant personal sidenote: I've never anthr'ized a computer, perhaps because as a programmer I know it's just a machine. I do anthrize my house to some extent, and fully anthrize the air conditioner. This odd choice started from a charming Japanese ad for Hitachi ACs. The word Kura stuck in my head, and I started calling the AC Kura. When Kura fights through an especially hard day, I pat it and praise it. When I pull Kura out of the window in October, I lay it down on a soft towel and cover it with a soft towel, and give it a sendoff to its annual long vacation. Six months of rest and dreams, with no exposure to sun and wind and rain and snow.

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Monday, October 25, 2021
  Conelrad in the new context

I've done Conelrad several times before, including one of my first items in 2005.

Seen in the context of the LATEST fake "threat" and real genocide, Conelrad has an extra resonance.

American Radio Library just added a brief brochure about Conelrad from 1957.

This brochure includes the usual tech details and propaganda blasts...
CONELRAD will go into effect simultaneously with the first warning from the Air Defense Command. The surest, safest way to know what to do when you hear the sirens is to tune to your CONELRAD station at 640 or 1240 on your AM radio dial.
Top-down authority. One commander controls absolutely everything and everybody. ADC = CDC.
With many CONELRAD stations in operation, all on 640 or 1240 kilocycles, this completely confuses the "homing" capability of the finder. Tests conducted by our own Air Force have proved that the CONELRAD system eliminates broadcasting as a navigational aid.
Technically true on its own, but broadcasting was IRRELEVANT. In the first fucking place, enemy bombers weren't going to make it over the Pacific or Atlantic or Arctic without being detected by radar. In the second fucking place, Soviets already knew where the presumed targets were. Russian spies had been mapping important locations. GPS was in the future, and presumably our Loran was turned off, but they did have gyrocompasses. We weren't blacking out lights as we had done in WW2 (also pointlessly) so visual sighting was possible at night.

In the current holocaust, the focus on CASES is a similar self-deception. Real public health was never based on testing everyone in advance; real public health and real medicine started with patients FEELING SICK and deciding to see a doctor. The patient's own judgment was the radar and the compass. The new focus on CASES pretends to be fighting the enemy "virus", but in fact it only creates panic and fear in our own population. CASES force us to depend on the opaque and demonic judgment of Virus Defense Command. We're not confusing the virus, we're just spoofing our OWN internal radar with "cases" and ballgags.
Due to the reduction in transmitting efficiency and the use of only two frequencies ( 640 and 1240 kc.) throughout the Nation, interference between stations may limit coverage obtainable in many suburban and rural areas. If you are in such an area, your radio may go silent or interference may prevent you from distinguishing the civil defense message being broadcast.
In other words, we're not "protecting" the peasants. In the current holocaust, country folks are left "unprotected" because there aren't any substations of the Public Death Agency in small towns. So country folks mostly continue living a normal life, without heart attacks from panic and fear, and without strangulation from constant ballgags.
Your local authorities may order you to take SHELTER if immediate attack is threatened. CONELRAD can bring you instructions in your shelter. Because local power may fail, a battery- operated portable radio with an outside aerial is your best insurance.
SHELTER IN PLACE. No metaphor needed. Same shit every fucking time. It makes sense for an actual bomb or a tornado; inside is better than outside. It doesn't make sense for the INVISIBLE PATHOGEN OF RADIATION, which is a natural phenomenon. And it doesn't make any sense with the INVISIBLE PATHOGEN OF VIRUSES, which are a natural phenomenon. Our immune system is built to deal with BOTH of those invisible pathogens in small quantities.

The advantage of an invisible pathogen, a spiritual pathogen, is that you can't see it. With visible pathogens like mice and roaches, there's no way for experts to hijack your senses. Normally we do trust our own body's NON-VISUAL senses to tell us when we've got an invisible pathogen. But the lack of CONCRETE EVIDENCE opens the way for the hijackers to replace your internal senses. (See ASYMPTOMATIC CARRIERS and ORIGINAL SIN.) You learn to trust the official witch hunter with her PCR test, which was known from the start to be fake. Because all details of nuclear stuff and priestly stuff and medical stuff are top secret, there's absolutely no way to find out the truth.

With atom bombs, the real risk was the bomb itself, not the radiation. If you're close enough to a big bomb, nothing at all will save you. Outside of the blast range, most people survived.

EVERY FUCKING TIME, THEY KNOW IT'S A HOAX BECAUSE THEY MADE THE HOAX.
 
  Fitting finale

A fitting conclusion to my series on IBM in the '50s:

Chris Arnade, the chronicler of collapsed America, has a new article on Binghamton and Endicott, the cities where IBM flourished until it moved to China.
Binghamton's Main Street, the commercial spine, bisects downtown and then makes its way through Johnson City and to Endicott. Once you cross west over the river, things immediately feel on edge, ready to burst out at any moment. A busy road of fast-food franchises, vape shops, abandoned and reclaimed buildings, and large wooden homes of single occupancy apartments. It is also filled with college kids, drunks, and various people with no clear motives, all whooping it up and disrupting working people rushing to and from work. All of it is encased in the constant smell of weed that never leaves.

One of the boarded-up buildings, an old cleaners and leather refinisher, has a public notice pasted onto its plywood window. A notice for an upcomping hearing “for the establishment of a Crematory in this building.”

Looking around I spotted nobody who would or could take notice, because almost nobody was around, besides a few cars zooming by. The few people who drifted by looked like the time, technology, or desire to comment was beyond them. Not that anybody would listen to them anyhow.
Says it all.

Watson ran IBM in Social Economics style like NCR and Ford and Conoco, giving his employees a REASON to be loyal and efficient. So the loss was more dramatic than a company of the normal American robber baron style.

In other words, IBM maintained two-way loyalty with its customers AND its employees.

.... I just realized I'm using a Lenovo PC, made by the Chinese spinoff of IBM. Hadn't thought about the connection before. It's a good computer, quiet and fast, ten years old and still holding up. But it didn't contribute anything to the people in Endicott, and didn't use their well-developed skills.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021
  Reprint on Trinity House

I linked this in previous item. Feels like time for a reprint....

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Continuing on the theme of Trinity House, the guardian of true beacons and true science. Trinity has been running for 500 years without ever losing its sidereal focus. We need to build a new Trinity House.



With Trinity funding, Marconi used South Foreland lighthouse on the White Cliffs for his experiments with radio.



Here's a look at Marconi's transmitter in one of the wings of Foreland, based loosely on a few pics and diagrams.



There are three pieces. Two are derived from telegraphs and clocks, one is new for wireless. I'm not showing the connecting wires here to avoid confusion.



On the left, batteries provide low voltage with high current to the primary of the Transformer.

A transformer works by expanding and contracting the magnetic field. As the primary builds up, its field pushes through the windings of the secondary, developing a current in each turn. If the secondary has more turns than the primary, the output will have higher voltage.

In order to keep the field rising and falling, the Hammerbreak (more familiarly buzzer) operates by negative feedback like a clock pendulum. It begins with a closed switch, causing the magnet to charge up. As the field strengthens, it pulls the Hammer in toward the magnet, opening the switch. As the field collapses, it allows the Hammer to fall back toward the contact, closing again. The inertia of the field and the inertia of the Hammer maintain a steady frequency.

The high voltage AC from the secondary terminals goes directly to the Leyden Jars (capacitors) which are connected by another inductor. The spark is maintained by the high voltage from the secondary. A spark generates a wide range of frequencies. The capacitors tend to shunt the higher frequencies toward ground, and the inductor shorts out the lower frequencies, leaving only the middle frequencies undamped. This form of resonator (a pi-section tank) is still used on transmitters in the tube and transistor eras.

Here I've added the wires in somewhat schematic form. The key breaks the circuit between the batteries and the primary, and the Hammerbreak also breaks the circuit much faster while the key is down. The high voltage secondary goes directly to the spark gap, where the capacitors and inductor narrow down the frequency; then the somewhat tuned output goes up to the antenna.



Finally, the whole thing in operation.



Inventions don't come from theories. Like all parts of life, inventions come from PURPOSES. Inherent dreams and wishes, or perceived needs. Wireless was a perpetual dream, first documented around 300 BC. It had to wait for a long series of materials and techniques, evolved through clocks and telegraphs. None of this development came from theories. Some useful theories came from the development.

= = = = =

Footnote on Marconi, since I normally avoid the Great Names. In some ways he was similar to our tech IPO founders. Young, fairly wealthy, extroverted and charismatic. Other industry founders at the same time were older. The Great Names in the auto industry were around 40 when they founded their eponymous companies. They had already established a career in bicycles or carriages or locomotives. But Marconi was distinctly different from Zuck and Bezos and Elon. He was modest and cautious, always building on previous experience and crediting previous experience. In other words he was an engineer, not a stock scammer.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

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  Still missing the same point about alien talk

From MindMatters yet again.
The other question is, in a universe governed by the same principles of logic, mathematics, physics, and chemistry throughout, it should be possible for intelligent entities to somehow find a way of making contact. The fact that those principles of math and physics can be described abstractly at all seems to show that we do not live in a meaningless universe. Thus, in principle, there is meaning that we — and ET — should be able to find.

If extraterrestrial intelligences exist and want to communicate, it will be the same meaning. They won’t have a different “logic” or “mathematics” because they can’t.
No, no, no. Logic and math are irrelevant and unnecessary.

When we are communicating via radio waves, there is a guaranteed set of commonalities. We don't know anything about the aliens, but we know how their receiver works, and they know how our transmitter works. There are only two basic ways to create and receive electromagnetic waves. Nature does it one way, and human technology does it the other way.

Nature alters the static field by moving ions in neurons or tissue. Human tech alters the magnetic field by moving electrons in wires.

We know several of Nature's methods. Radio fish simply extend the axons of neurons out of the body in an antenna, with its length tuned to match the impedance of the mud they live in. Flowers transfer ions into petals to send a message to bees, then pull back the ions after the bees have grabbed the pollen.

Nature did it WITHOUT USING MATH, and the first humans to send and receive radio were doing it with minimal math. Mostly by trial and error, expanding in directions that seem to work, steering away from directions that don't seem to work. FEEDBACK IS LIFE.

So, as I've been saying repeatedly, the communication should be ABOUT the communication. Describe the circuits and antennas in a two-dimensional pattern that can be scanned after the receiving intelligence realizes the scanning freq.



This is how radio hams communicate across cultural barriers, especially when censors are listening. Humor and politics and religion aren't easily understood, and may be deadly. Antenna lengths and circuits can be understood by everyone in the circle.

HOWEVER! Considering that I've been repeating this message for years in the tiny single-culture circle of a few blogs, and nobody has heard it yet, I doubt that we have any chance of communicating to mysterious aliens.

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  A little Philco Phun

American Radio Library has added a 1931 Philco publication aimed at salesmen. Philco hadn't yet asserted its unique style of circuitry and cabinets and corporate behavior. Still, these two pictures are sort of interesting.

A display in Wanamaker's department store demonstrated car radios, a new idea. Philco later specialized in car radios and became a division of Ford. In '31 Philco receivers were mainly installed in Chrysler products. Note the common classical theme in the '31 Philco and the '31 Chrysler. The lights are on, so presumably the car's electrical accessories, including the radio, were powered by a transformer to provide a bit of drama.



Here's the control box in a Lincoln. In the early '30s the steering column was vacant and available for accessories. Earlier the hand throttle and spark control were usually on the column. Later the shift lever and turn signals. Philco took advantage of the vacant territory for the radio controls.



In other words, column selectors for receptions came before column selectors for transmissions.

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  IBM DCL

Previously I showed the 305 RAMAC, which was IBM's first equipment. The 305 was a complete setup designed to serve accountants and nobody else.

The DCL (or 650 in today's money) came slightly before the 305. First produced in 1954, it was just a processor with no input and output capabilities. It had to be connected up to a tape drive and cardpunch for permanent data storage. Later it could connect with the multiple disk pioneered by the 305.

According to Wikipedia, the DCL became the 'iconic' computer in movies, with its flashing lights catching your attention. It was also the dominant IBM machine in colleges, so it was the first machine most young programmers saw.



= = = = =

Reviewing the modes of electrical data storage:

Tape came first, as seen in the picture above. The huge disadvantage of tape is that you can't access any location in the storage quickly. Tape is suitable for reading in a long series of data in a specific order, and then writing out a long series of data in a specific order. It's not suitable for holding the numbers or categories used in actual computation or decision-making.

All calculators have some form of register, an immediately accessible store for a few numbers.

Mechanical calculators, like this one used by IBM field engineers, hold the number as the positions of rotors. More complex cash registers or adding machines had many registers, built like odometers.



Every electronic computer has at least one register formed by flipflops. A flipflop is the electronic equivalent of a snap-switch, with a pair of opposed tubes or transistors. When one tube conducts, it holds the other tube in a nonconducting state. An input to one side switches the pair to the opposite condition. There's no real difference between the tube flipflops in the IBM DCL and the extremely miniaturized transistor flipflops in the latest CPU.

Each flipflop is relatively complex, and requires current to maintain its state. So there's a practical limit to how many registers you can 'afford'.

The first solution to this problem was the magnetic core or matrix memory, which was dynamic in the modern sense.

Each ferrite core was intersected by several wires. Any current passing through any of the wires induced some magnetic field in the core, which would last for a short time before fading. The currents and the cores were designed so that a current pulse on BOTH of the XY wires through this core would leave a magnetic charge large enough to last for a longer time. I show this charge as enlarging the toroid. After the field has been induced, a much smaller pulse in the coinciding pair would be enoough to trigger a pulse in the sense wire, shown wandering around through all the cores. The sense wire is essentially the secondary winding of a transformer, with the coinciding XY wires as the primary.



That's how you'd write and read a binary ONE in this particular spot of the matrix. Writing a ZERO was the same thing with reversed polarity. Here I show the opposite induced field as shrinking the core. The sense wire would give an opposite pulse of voltage when the small read pulses coincided.



Core memory was highly dynamic, so it also needed a complex set of refresh pulses to keep it up.

= = = = =

The DCL wasn't the first to use a drum for a multiple register, but again it became the most famous. I remember seeing the DCL in a college Fortran class in 1967. The instructor showed us all the parts of the computer, and opened up the attic of the DCL to show the drum.

In essence the drum is just a very short multi-track tape loop. Instead of a long and narrow tape, it's a short and wide tape wrapped into cylindrical form. Each track holds about 50 numbers, repeating over and over.

Each of the V-shaped troughs around the half-cylinder holds a long horizontal series of read-write heads. I'm showing (abstractly) how each head was activated for part of a revolution to access one track of the 'tape'. This activation wouldn't be visible in real life.



The drum itself isn't visible; it's rotating inside the half-cylinder of heads. The drum held about the same amount of information as a core matrix, but it was non-dynamic. A track once written would stay there without any use of energy or refreshing, and it could be read or rewritten almost instantly.

The 305 RAMAC switched to multiple disks, and we're still there 65 years later. Same principle as the drum, with tracks in three dimensions instead of two.



= = = = =

Why am I calling it the DCL? Because it used Roman numbers. The lights on the front showed the contents of individual flip-flop registers. The knobs and buttons on the front selected which register you were seeing.

The top section was one 10-digit number, with a sign light on the right. Each column was like an abacus. The upper pair was First Five / Second Five. The lower lights were 0 through 4 added onto the upper pair.



The lower part of the front panel was devoted to functions. The left two columns were the opcode of the currently executing command, and the next four were the address of the current command. The lower right lights indicated what was happening now, as in calculating or reading from drum or reading from the external tape.



Here I'm showing opcode 12 and address 3456.

= = = = =

Listing related links so far:

Computers are always sorters.

Parallel is always faster.

Timelines and rentalizing

Just before the NSA web

When analog fertilized digital

Time was a whole bunch of money!

IBM had Pascal in 1957!

The 305 RAMAC

McBee cards

Not medieval enough

IBM DCL [650]

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Saturday, October 23, 2021
  Problems with scambusters

Zuhlsdorf calls attention to the scam-busters who track down the scammers and send them stink bombs or other nasties.

I have two problems with this activity.

1. It's vicarious justice, not real justice. Fun to watch, like a cop show where the bad guys always end up in jail. But nobody is really caught and jailed. Vicarious justice tends to use up some of our revenge-juice. We feel satisfied even though nothing has really changed.

The scammers are running an industrial-scale international operation, and the stink bombs seem to end up harming innocent people who are used as temporary receiving addresses. The actual scammers don't live at the address. Even if one of the actual team got stinked, it would be a meaningless bit of 'overhead'. Gangs always use disposable low-level operators.

2. Many real scams involve two fake sides, like everything else in this faked-up fucked-up world. One side poses as a scammer, and the other side poses as a cop or private investigator. You're suckered into paying the fake cop to help catch the fake criminal.

When a scambuster like Rober calls the victim to explain what he's doing, how do they know that he isn't the fake PI side of the scam? For that matter, how do WE know he isn't part of the stageplay?

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  Learning and teaching by making

In previous item I was noticing that the maker of a medieval font didn't try to draw K and W because they weren't in classical Latin. But real scribes weren't writing classical Latin. They were using Latin as a framework for a mix of local languages, and they included the local character set where necessary. Following a theoretical assumption led the fontmaker astray.

While 'building' and animating these old devices, curiosity always drives me to understand the culture and feelings of the era when they were made and used. I'm learning a lot of history, including some fairly important and rarely written history, AS A SIDELINE.

If I tried to read about these times and places in the usual history text, I wouldn't learn anything because THERE ISN'T ANY FUCKING INFORMATION in the usual history text. The usual history text is a list of battles and generals. Battles and generals have NOTHING TO DO with history.

I'm a fake artist using 3d software. I've noticed a similar tendency in the real artists who draw anime-style cartoons with real pencils. They often situate their characters in a specific time and place, and they end up learning and teaching important things about the chosen time and place.

This is my most basic and constant theme, of course. Education by experience, education by making. No subjects, just work. If you want students to learn a certain type of information, arrange the work to create curiosity about the certain type of information.

There are two extra advantages to experiential learning in history and "social studies".

1. Learning by curiosity puts you in touch with the lives of real people, not the lives of the leaders and generals.

2. Learning by curiosity gives you practice in the actual WORK OF A HISTORIAN. You're not doing any historian work when you memorize the battle scheme of the Peloponnesian War. You're just being a dumb computer. When you're trying to understand the background of what you're drawing or making, you explore original sources outside the filter of historians and propagandists.

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Friday, October 22, 2021
  Not medieval enough

A monk has built a digital font resembling Teresa of Avila's handwriting. Or more generally the typical hand of that era.

The font has a couple of unnecessary oddities. K and W were not common in the Latin used in Italy, so they are thrown in undrawn, using a generic sans font. Arabic numbers are also thrown in undrawn.

Leaving the numbers out makes sense, but leaving out the K and W doesn't make sense. Latin documents in most parts of Europe included K and W in local names and local words. In such documents the undigested K and W stand out.

From the Lancashire Rolls, British legal documents in the 1100s, listing people who paid debts.
Radulfus filius Bernardi reddit Compotum de cc.li. numero de firma de Lancastra. In thesauro c. et l.li. et xv.s. et vij.d.

Et in terris datis Willelmo de Valeines x.li. numero in Culfho. Et Willelmo filio Walkelini ix.li. in Stainesbeia.

Et Nigello de Greselea iiij.li. et xvj.s. in Drakelawa. Et Engelrano Portario et Rogero de Sancto Albino xx.li. numero in Crokeston. Et Warino Venatori xxv.s. et j.d. de liberatione sua per breve Regis. Et Jacobo 1.s. et j.d. de liberatione sua per idem breve. Et Gibbe xxvj.s. et iij.ob. de liberatione sua per idem breve. Et Petro Bernardi vij.s. et ij.d. de liberatione sua per idem breve.

Idem Radulfus r.c. de vj.li. de Cremento de Presteton. Et de vj.s. de firma de Mareton hoc anno. In th'ro lib. in ij. tallis.
I get the sense that Radulf was an utgota.

Other documents in the same set include AngloSaxon thorn þ, eth ð, and wynn ƿ along with the regular Latin. Scribes, like later typesetters, were flexible and adaptable. The maker of this font doesn't give the scribes enough credit.

Rewriting this using the Teresa font, the Ks and Ws are obviously wrong:



Here Polistra and Happystar are printing out the medieval document on a 'medieval' computer.



Why medieval? Because the IBM 650 on the right used the Roman system instead of decimal or binary. I'll feature the 650 in the next IBM item....

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Thursday, October 21, 2021
  Both were flipped

Continuing from here. In 1974 Suskind suggested a new Hippocratic Oath for engineers that would have made things worse SOONER.

Thinking about the parallel:

The practical oath, tradition plus Hippocrates, has been flipped upside down for BOTH doctors and engineers.

Before the flip: First do no harm. Hold steady. Stick with EXPERIMENTALLY PROVED SOLUTIONS.

After the flip: Do ONLY harm. Change everything all the time. NEVER do anything that is known to work.

Civil engineers (bridges and sewers) haven't been fully flipped yet, but they are mostly paid to do harm. Environmentalism forces them to tear down dams and bridges, and to build flood generators instead of flood controllers.

Software engineers (the main target of Suskind) were specifically flipped by Larry Ellison and Google. The new slogans are Move fast and break things and Let the fires burn. These are perfectly opposite to the tradition of engineering.

And I don't need to repeat what happened to the former "medical" profession in 2020. Move fast and kill everyone.

In short, both professions traded a Hippocratic Oath for a Psychopathic Oath.

= = = = =

Later: Here's yet another 'open letter' from the tiny fraction of doctors who have NOT flipped. This declaration emphasizes restoring the spirit of the oath:
RESOLVED, that the physician-patient relationship must be restored. The very heart of medicine is this relationship, which allows physicians to best understand their patients and their illnesses, to formulate treatments that give the best chance for success, while the patient is an active participant in their care.

RESOLVED, that the political intrusion into the practice of medicine and the physician/patient relationship must end. Physicians, and all health care providers, must be free to practice the art and science of medicine without fear of retribution, censorship, slander, or disciplinary action, including possible loss of licensure and hospital privileges, loss of insurance contracts and interference from government entities and organizations – which further prevent us from caring for patients in need. More than ever, the right and ability to exchange objective scientific findings, which further our understanding of disease, must be protected.

RESOLVED, that physicians must defend their right to prescribe treatment, observing the tenet FIRST, DO NO HARM. Physicians shall not be restricted from prescribing safe and effective treatments. These restrictions continue to cause unnecessary sickness and death. The rights of patients, after being fully informed about the risks and benefits of each option, must be restored to receive those treatments.
Of course none of this will happen. The rulers are enjoying the game. Endless orgasms. Psychopaths never give up power after they've tasted blood and turned feral. Still, I suppose it's nice to see that a few thousand members of a profession have NOT turned into monsters.

The hundred leading signers are not the 'regular crowd'. I don't see any familiar names. They're currently employed by a variety of clinics and universities, which makes their action GUTSY but still meaningless. Nothing will change, but other professionals may gain a bit of courage when they see someone in a similar position, or someone they know, speaking out and not being fired or assassinated.

From the fucking start it was clear that only MASSIVE UNION STRIKES BY PEOPLE WHO COUNT could make a difference. Recently a real strike by Southwest Airlines workers caused their demonic management to back down on vax mandates. As long as the opposition is scattered, it's meaningless.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
  Always harder to measure a fadeout....

Interesting observation from Sailer. As other Identity Subcultures get stronger, the Deaf culture seems to have faded out.

I noticed the growth of deaf culture in the '80s because I was working around speech and acoustics. After I started working from home in 2004, I lost contact with those movements and hadn't really thought about them. Still, the culture is notable by its absence in recent years.

Atypically, Sailer gets the history wrong.
It’s useful to think about why there is deaf culture but not blind culture. Wikipedia’s article on the former is vastly longer than its short squib on the latter, which sums up, “…blind people integrate with the broader community and culture, and often do not identify blindness as a defining part of their culture.”

That’s because language can be essential to identity. Just as nationalism in Europe was an offshoot of the consolidation of local spoken dialects into a standardized national written language (such as the French government’s imposition of the Parisian dialect on its sprawling domain), deaf culture exists due to the consolidation of sign languages.

Language is fundamental to communication, of course, and perhaps even to thought. So life tended to be extremely difficult for those born deaf, especially if they didn’t work out an idiosyncratic sign language with their families.
Before computers, deaf people had a much wider range of occupations than blind people. Industrial work and farm work need good eyes, but don't need ears. Noisy industrial environments are actually EASIER for deaf people than hearing people.

Deaf folks were common in printing. When I worked at Cromwells, we contracted our linotype work to Gene Laird, a deaf guy who ran his own linotype shop in a storefront. His wife handled the telephone and talked with visitors. Gene ran the machine and drove around to distribute the finished forms to Cromwells and Vaters and Daugherty. No problem after you got used to talking by writing.

Automation and offshoring were thus especially hard on deaf workers. Computers made life easier for blind people, but actually got in the way of AMERICAN deaf people because AMERICAN deaf people are not good at writing and reading English. This is NOT true in other countries. You can see the difference easily when looking at deaf Youtubers. Most Americans type incoherent descriptions and titles. Others, including Brits, write correctly.

This is not a problem with ears, it's a direct result of the deaf subculture eliminating real English from their schools. And this is a standard procedure. "Human rights" crusaders ALWAYS damage their "protected" groups. The "protected" groups must lose their native skills and niches so they need the "protection" of the NGOs and government.

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  More from the inflection point

From Computers and Automation Feb 72, an article claiming that computers will "empower" secretaries. Oops.

In this case I'm sure the author is not a poor prophet. She's starting up a new company, and the article is basically an advertisement.
The way things stand now, many women making their way up in business and industry face the formidable liability of their own secretarial skills. The better their skills, the more they are categorized as secretaries, effectively precluding their promotion into more responsible positions. Many smart women are keeping themselves ignorant of such skills in order to avoid that trap; this is passing the burden on to office managers, who find good secretarial help harder and harder to come by.
Keeping themselves ignorant? I doubt it.
The editing typewriter is very useful for a secretary for it does a lot of repetitive work for her. Not the kind of work she might enjoy or profit from, but the jobs of retyping, revising, and correcting that go with the rest of the job.
True for TYPISTS, not for secretaries. The distinction between a typist and a secretary was perfectly well known at that time. This school film from the '40s defines the two jobs clearly.
Second, she will find herself with time on her hands -- and energy. A smart secretary can use her newly-found time away from the typewriter. She can take on new jobs that will put her in closer touch with the decisionmaking levels of the corporation she works for. She will be able to attend meetings, do the first drafts of reports, coordinate and keep records, follow up past activities, handle questions, and solve problems.
Actual secretaries were already doing those tasks. I was in academia from the mid '70s through 2003, across the transition to computers. Department secretaries didn't change their job. Unlike what you see on TV, a real secretary is more like a mother than a hot babe. She knows where everyone is and what everyone is doing. She knows who has the real power, and knows how to shape the power.

Computers did eliminate typists, who were generally students on work-study in academia. The executives and professors now have to do their own typing, which is a waste of their skill and time.

In short, computers didn't empower secretaries, they wasted the talents of executives.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021
  Speaking of Thiel and Shannon....

Speaking of Thiel questions, and things I didn't know, here's a fine example.

Economist Matt Stoller narrates how we lost our industry and our country to China, leaving only the rich alive.

It was a two-sided pincer movement as always. I didn't know about the other side.

The obvious side was the Friedman twins, Milton and Thomas. Share Value is the universe. Products and factories and workers must be exterminated.

The official opposition was the Consumer Rights Movement, which said that low prices are the only thing in the universe. How do you get low prices? China.

I wasn't aware of this movement, but it fits the pattern. Deepstate always runs "two" "opposites". One side pleased the rich fuckheads, the other side pleased the consumers. BOTH AGREED that production should stop. BOTH AGREED that SKILL is irrelevant. BOTH AGREED that humans have no purpose except enriching the rich.

The consumer pincer evolved into MMT and the web's fake 'everything for free'. These movements tell us that we shouldn't have to pay for anything, which REALLY means that we're worthless and disposable. When you're not a source of money for business, you're NOT NEEDED by business.

Thanks, Stoller! You told me something I truly didn't know, and it's a non-trivial consequential piece of information.

(Incidentally, I paid for value by subscribing to Stoller's Substack. It doesn't look especially interesting, but one Shannon fact is worth plenty. Also, Substack itself has SO FAR avoided censoring unfashionable opinions, which makes it worth supporting FOR NOW.)

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  Surprising and unsurprising discoveries

Via Science Digest, a recently discovered Italian manuscript from 1340 describes the Viking settlement on the American mainland.

The authors speculate that Columbus probably knew about these stories.

NOT surprising. Historians have been aware for a long time that the Norsemen and Italians were in frequent contact. Both were traders and sailors, and there was plenty of two-way commerce. Columbus and his cohorts almost certainly knew that Greenland was close to a larger mainland.

What's surprising is that this particular manuscript was unknown until 2013! We tend to think that all old documents have already been found.

This leads to a question: Did Columbus really believe that he reached Indonesia? Or was he engaging in protective branding? Manufacturers often disguise or rebrand a new product during open testing, hoping to confuse competitors. Modern automakers just use zebra paint, which doesn't conceal the identity but makes it hard to derive contours and shapes from random photos.

Best assumption: Columbus knew the northern path to the mainland, and he was trying to find a southern path without passing through Norse-controlled areas.

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Monday, October 18, 2021
  Reprint on "whistleblowers" and Shannon

In 2019 I had a pretty decent idea. Use the Thiel test on alleged "whistleblowers". Most would fail miserably, including Snowden, Manning, and this week's Facebook "whistleblower".

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Strikes me that a slight variation on the Thiel question is a good test for people who claim to be "ex"Deepstate, or "whistleblowers" against Deepstate.

The original Thiel question:

Tell me something that's true that nobody agrees with you on.

My looser version:

Tell me something that's true that nobody else knows.

= = = = =

Variation to test the EXness of "ex"Deepstaters:

Tell me something that's true that I don't already know.

Real intel agencies use this exact question intensely and rigorously to test claimed defectors from enemy intel. We should use it for the same purpose, since CIA and FBI and NSA are enemy intel.

"Ex"es always tell us things that we already know, or give us unnecessary details about things that we had already guessed. This is NOT Shannon information.

Shannon information is fully surprising and unexpected, totally unguessable and undeducible from existing knowledge. Shannon is consequential, not trivial. When you act on Shannon information, things change.

We could formalize this by gathering (online or in person) a jury of UNPAID NONEXPERTS who have some experience dealing with aspects of Deepstate. People who have been involved in "radical" activities where CIA or FBI planted APs, or people who have worked in tech areas where NSA's tentacles are visible. Require the "Ex" to tell us something that is fresh and surprising to all jurors.


= = = = = END REPRINT.

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  Saluting Oklahoma

I haven't done a Salute in a LONG time because there hasn't been much worth saluting. Too many of my previous salutes were premature: the saluted country or ruler turned out to be the usual faker and betrayer, converging to Deepstate shortly after my praise. Maybe this one will also converge, but we'll salute anyway as a form of prayer. The EXPERIMENT is still underway, and we're still seeing the dramatic difference between states with sane governors versus states with demonic governors. Daily suicides in demonic states, normal life in sane states.

According to this data map, Oklahoma and Utah are the only states that FORBID waterboarding and torture by schools. Most of the country is in 'local option' mode, which is slightly better than total requirement of waterboarding and torture. The other Dixie states tried to ban torture but got overturned by Federal black-robed demons.

According to that same website, 21% of ALL schools are ungagged, which means the 'local option' mode is working in some places. This is an encouraging number, since 'local option' is probably the easiest to maintain against the black-robed demons.

Okla was somewhat slow in gathering up its GUTS. Late in 2020, as courage gradually spread out from Florida, Okla was among the last of the Dixie states to break free. At least as of today, Okla is free and breathing, until a black-robed demon succeeds in reinstating torture for students.

So here goes: Polistra and friends salute Oklahoma!



[Graphic sidenote: Poser seems to have inserted some lightning bugs under the platform. Definitely an Okie thing.]

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Sunday, October 17, 2021
  More 1975 inflection

Continuing from 1975 as a point of inflection in the growth of Deepstate.

Again from Computers and Automation, Feb 74 issue.

Charles Suskind narrates the history of ethics versus technology. He starts with the County Extension Agent system, a successful use of 'light-handed' government to spread the latest research to farmers. The agents had to gain the trust of farmers, the most realistic people in the world, and convince them to try new plowing methods or new seeds. It didn't always work, and the new methods WEREN'T always better than the old. Suskind doesn't seem to grasp the latter point.

Suskind then shows how Hitler expanded the allegedly 'moral' goal of euthanasia for suffering terminal patients into a total extermination of Untermenschen.

Here we have a perfect echo in this year's holocaust, which began with Gaian eugenics and euthanasia and switched abruptly to extermination of Untermenschen. Greta ordered doctors and governments to Kill Granny, and they followed the order.

Suskind suggests a Hippocratic Oath for engineers, which misses two crucial points.
I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity. I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due; I will be loyal to the profession of engineering and just and generous to its members; I will lead my life and practice my profession in uprightness and honor; whatever project I shall undertake, it shall be for the good of mankind to the utmost of my power; I will keep far aloof from wrong, from corruption, and from tempting others to vicious practice; I will exercise my profession solely for the benefit of humanity and perform no act for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggest it; I will speak out against evil and unjust practice wheresoever I encounter it; I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my work; even under threat, I will not use my professional knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity; I will endeavor to avoid waste and the consumption of non-renewable resources. I make these promises solemnly, freely, and upon my honor.
The good of humanity is the main problem. Euthanasia and eugenics are ALWAYS grounded on the greater good of humanity. Governments ALWAYS claim to be improving the breed of humanity by culling SUBHUMANS. Culling was quite open in Hitlerian language, and it's equally brazen in the language of both Gaians and Virans. "Science deniers" and "vax deniers" are subhuman vermin.

Serving INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMERS is the best way to be moral. When you want to SELL MORE PRODUCTS, you want to have MORE LIVING AND PROSPEROUS CUSTOMERS who can buy your stuff. Share Value broke this connection, leaving tech solely tied to Deepstate and Epstein.

And Epstein brings us to the other missing point, secrecy and blackmail.

Engineers were NOT secret-keepers before 1946. They respected patents and trade secrets, but patents aren't killers. A trade secret protects an amortized skill. It doesn't induce blackmail.

After the rebirth of Deepstate, the NSF and the nuclear program started bringing engineers into the fold. The sudden shift was visible in tech magazines between '45 and '46. The classic 'open source' attitude was still there in '45, spreading knowledge without breaking patents. In '46 everything was closed down to "protect against commie spies", who were of course really working for FBI.

Secrecy was well underway in 1957. I remember talking with one of my engineer uncles who was working at Los Alamos. He said he was working on rockets, and that's all he would say. In '58 Ike lamented the fast shift of tech firms from PROFIT AND CUSTOMERS to government contracts and secrecy.

By 1974 this shift was complete in electronics, but hadn't yet infected the newer software industry. Other writers in the same magazine were seeing it, but Suskind missed it.

His first example, the county extension program, belongs to the open source world. Serving the customer with some help from the government. His second example, Hitler's euthanasia/eugenics, belongs to the secret-keeping world, slaughtering the customer with plenty of help from the government. Engineers were already in the secret-keeping world in '74, so no pledge could pull them back.

Suskind also salutes Gaia at the end of his pledge, which would have helped to enable Greta's euthanasia/eugenics.

I'll try to be charitable and assume he was just a poor prophet, but I'm not in a charitable mood this year.

= = = = =

Continued here.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021
  McBee

McBee cards were an obscure but surprisingly long-lived alternative to IBM's fully mechanized sorters and organizers. Especially in biology and chemistry, they were still around in the 1990s.

Hollerith cards were punched by machine and sorted by machine all the way from the start in 1880.



McBee cards could be punched and sorted by machine. The punching side was partly mechanized, but the sorting side was usually done by hand.

This has advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is cost. For McBee you need to order some cards, and you need a ticket-punch and an icepick and some boxes. The cards are the only real cost. For IBM you need to order some cards, and you also need to rent a keypunch and a sorter for about $150 a month (equals $1000 a month today). Individuals and small businesses could afford McBee.

When modeling and animating these processes I'm on halfway familiar ground. In the '50s I often helped my father with mechanical grading and categorizing for his college lecture classes. It was a job I truly enjoyed. I did a lot of sorting, and a little bit of hand-punching, but never encountered the punching machine illustrated below.

A typical McBee card had punchable fields all around the edge, and a writable area in the middle. The open central area was another advantage over Hollerith, which was solidly filled with punchable numbers. You could type or handwrite a considerable amount of info or diagrams in the center.



Cards were printed in a wide variety of individual styles for each business or purpose. Some had specialized non-numerical categories, some were all numerical, some were mixed alphanumeric.

McBee cards had a unique arithmetic system, based on 1 2 4 7. The system isn't a proper base-15, though it ranges from 0 to 14. The choice of these four digits was supposedly a compromise to minimize the number of punches needed. You could form all the digits from 0 to 9 with one or two punches. This was slightly more efficient than 4-bit binary.



Letters were formed with 1 2 4 7 plus an extra, called NZ for nonzero. This was NOT more efficient than a 5-bit binary system, but the familiarity probably made it faster. Binary digits were totally foreign to most people until the 1980s, and it's always better to amortize an existing skill.

[Here's a comparison of efficiency in terms of total punches needed.]

One definite advantage of hand-sorted cards is flexibility of form. When the stack is going to be handled carefully and personally, you can include samples of material or photo images on or in each card. McBee cards with inset X-ray images were useful in medical records:



These inclusions couldn't pass through an IBM sorter or card-reader.

Hand punching was done with a special triangular hand punch that looked a lot like a ticket punch. My father didn't have the special, so we just used a ticket punch.

= = = = =

This punching machine was shown in one detailed description of McBee systems. No other information is available, so I'm semi-guessing the way it worked. I'm assuming that you would set up the patterns using the 8 columns of buttons for up to 8 numerical fields on one side of the card, then hit the big button on the right to punch these. The long side of a typical card contained 6 or 7 fields, so the 8 columns would usually handle one side of a card. I don't know what the 8 buttons on top were supposed to do. Maybe reset for each column? The process would have been like an adding machine except that you were consciously forming the 1247 pattern for each field.



Mr McBee has just punched in 1309, so the card would look like this after turning it over:



Now Polistra will demonstrate the first step of the selecting process. Assume she's looking for cards with 1309. She begins by finding cards with a 1 in the thousands place.

McBee selection is inverse to the usual way of thinking. It's more like the military volunteer method, where the soldiers who are NOT volunteering to check out the minefield are asked to step back, leaving the volunteers and the sleepers in the original row.

The poker was called a tumbler for some unknown reason. (It should have been a stinger.) Polistra inserts the tumbler into the 1 hole of the thousands field. Cards that were NOT punched in this slot can be pulled up, while the cards with a PUNCH in this digit stay down. She then places the UNWANTED cards in the red box, leaving only the few WANTED cards in the original blue box.



She would then tumble a 1 and a 2 in the hundreds field, to complete the 3; then do nothing for the zero in the tens field; then tumble the 2 and 7 in the ones field.

All remaining cards in the original blue box would then be 1309.



This may seem tiresomely slow, but the basic IBM sorter in that era also sorted one field at a time, with repeated sorts of the smaller remainders. The difference is that the IBM processed all digits in a numeric field at once. For cards with non-numerical fields, where each value in the field represented one value of a category (like M/F gender or Small/Medium/Large size) McBee and IBM would need the same number of passes.

McBee later made a more IBMish puncher and sorter, but no info is available online except this one picture:



This machine didn't gain popularity for an obvious reason. When you OWN a niche, you need to claim and optimize the niche. Customers bought McBee BECAUSE it was naturally visual and lo-tech. McBee customers weren't buying McBee because they WISHED it was more like IBM.

Admittedly their marketers finally picked up the beehive theme!

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  Rogan and Gupta

This week's hardass interview of Gupta is obviously refreshing and maybe just a teensy fraction hopeful.

Rogan had all the EXPERIENTIAL FACTS on his side, not EXPERT THEORIES. He RELENTLESSLY pursued Gupta, who had only the usual media murder on his side. No pause, no quarter, no room for "agree to disagree". These are the facts and you are LYING LYING LYING LYING. Gupta finally buckled, after playing all the usual shit games, and admitted that he was LYING.

In a totally busted and de-trusted former civilization, where all leaders and influencers are either holocaustal NAZI NAZI NAZI demons or fake Pied Pipers, RELENTLESS hammering on the side of facts is vanishingly rare.

Why is this possibly micro-hopeful?

Because in this instance CNN was punching up, not punching down. Rogan's audience is bigger than CNN's audience, and his audience is paying specifically for his program, not just part of a Basic Cable Package.

Media are accustomed to punching down, slaughtering the low-status Deplorables. Rogan looks like a Deplorable to them, but his AUDIENCE IS BIGGER. The usual condescension and arrogance doesn't work when you're punching upward.
 
Friday, October 15, 2021
  Edmund Berkeley on Parkinson

From an article in Computers and Automation, Sept 73, p 6 of the PDF.

He's discussing Establishments in the broadest sense.
From my study of and experience with establishments, I believe the following natural laws apply:

• Because an establishment develops to perform a function, usually at the outset it performs the function very well, and so it derives a great deal of its strength from its belief in the "obvious" importance and worthwhileness of its function.

• As an establishment ages over the years, it tends to become more and more blind and bureaucratic in its behavior.

• An establishment develops fashions, fads, and mythology such as the "national security" blanket; the "peace with honor" hoax; etc.

• An establishment will not willingly tolerate truth that puts it in an unfavorable light.

• An establishment is a kind of system, and therefore should be made subject to all the laws for the proper functioning of systems, INCLUDING FEEDBACK CONTROL.

In other words, for nearly all the years that an establishment is in existence, the correction and modification of that establishment by applying truth to it is vitally necessary.

Here is another reason why those persons who are now ca!led "computer professionals" need to concern themselves with truth, in great variety and on many levels. Information processing is really important only if you are dealing with the truth.
Unfortunately it didn't happen. The total transition from analog to digital removed feedback from the technical understanding of the profession. Share Value removed feedback from the economic side of the business. Epstein removed facts and truth.

The economic end would probably be easiest to fix, by restoring profit to business and restoring the profit MOTIVE to establishments and governments. Ideally an establishment should gain money by SOLVING problems, not by UNSOLVING problems. I've been discussing this fix in the Trinity House theme.

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  Constants and Variables 168, Lowenstein edition

Since I just bashed Unz, let's balance it with praise for ONE of the columnists. Barrett appears (at the moment anyway) to be a relatively true beacon. He hasn't showed the Pied Piper colors YET.

His latest audio clip is an interview with a pair of high-status hippies, Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould. Unlike most high-status hippies, Paul and Elizabeth didn't join Deepstate. They continued working on the side of truth.

They see more or less the same things I'm seeing, from a different angle. I see these monstrosities from a scientist/engineer temperament. Paul and Elizabeth (and Barrett as well) see the trends from a historian/journalist temperament.

The story starts with a point of intersection between the two angles, a 'controlled experiment' that shows the distinction between high-status and low-status hippies. The constant in the experiment is Allard Lowenstein.

Paul Fitzgerald met Allard Lowenstein while involved in the 1980 Teddy Kennedy campaign. Lowenstein recognized him as a distant relative of the Kennedys, and confided in him that the truth about the assassinations would eventually come out. (Of course it hasn't yet.)

I met Lowenstein in Jamestown NY while I was campaigning for Gene McCarthy in 1968. A group of Bobby Kennedy campaigners was also working in Jamestown. Lowenstein gathered up both crews and gave us a pep talk. So I got a handshake from Lowenstein.

High status vs low-status.

Paul and Elizabeth discuss four important themes at length in the interview.

1. The Fairness Doctrine WORKED, and we need to bring it back.

2. Medieval mode. We're back in 1300.

3. Endless wars and staged "threats".

4. Psychopaths are in charge, and psychopaths have a burning need to OBLITERATE EVERYTHING. Each demon wants to be the SOLE OCCUPANT OF THE UNIVERSE.

In each case, Paul and Elizabeth treat these subjects from a historical and theological angle, while I treat them from neurology and the predestined course of the universe. Both angles are needed for a complete picture.

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  An odd type of identity theft

Sometimes I'll look at an old article on a website and see a comment that looks like something I'd write. Hey, there's a kindred spirit! Then I notice the name and realize it WAS me, under the handle of Polistra or one of my older Ockham-style handles.

What's the opposite? Seeing a comment that DOESN'T look like something I'd write, then checking the name and seeing it was posted by Polistra.

The latter doesn't happen often because most websites don't allow you to pick a name that's already used.

Apparently Unz doesn't follow that rule. I hadn't been commenting much there because I got tired of the false flags. Nearly everything on Unz is obvious 'controlled opposition', steering dissidents into positions that can be tinfoiled.

Now I'm seeing prolific comments under my handle, and they're NOT the sort of thing I'd write. Many of these comments are being 'moderated'.

I don't think there's any meaningful way to take action, and the spoof is probably harmless unless the spoofer gets seriously illegal. Unz's moderators are pretty careful about seriously illegal stuff.

All I can do is post a notice, here and at Unz, that 'the original Polistra' will never comment again, so everything under this handle from now on will be from 'the spoof Polistra'.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021
  RAMAC

In 1957 IBM's RAMAC system brought together a number of trends and patterns into a new EQUIPMENT.

Trend 1:

Ramac was the first EQUIPMENT for business. In military procurement an equipment is a complete system including all parts necessary. An equipment for pigeoneers included a mobile loft, a prefab stationary loft, cages, feeding dishes, and pigeons. An equipment for aircraft radio included the transmitter and receiver in the aircraft, the transmitter and receiver on the ground, and all necessary wires and microphones and earphones and dynamotors and batteries and antennas.

IBM had been producing individual machines for business (hence the name) since 1890, but hadn't made an equipment before. RAMAC was designed from end to end for the needs of accounting, not for any other skill or department. The acronym was Random Access Method of Accounting and Control.

The M was a little tricky, and the AC was a pun of sorts. M originally stood for Memory, but some other company had the trademark, so M had to be Method. AC habitually stood for Automatic Computer in the usual acronyms, so the name was recognizable as meaning an Automatic Computer even though it 'really' meant Accounting and Control. And it was explicitly for accounting:



Note that the input and output were IBM's default cards. The system included at least one memory drum, which was an established machine at the time, and several magnetic memory matrices. Those weren't the New and Improved part. Reynold Johnson's multiple disk was the iconic part of RAMAC.

= = = = =

Trend 2:

Recording and storing sound and data have mostly taken separate paths, occasionally converging and then diverging again.

Recording and storing DATA has gone through three stages.

Tape, cylinder, disk.

Cards are a subset of tape. Jacquard stored programs on a chained set of metal cards, essentially a jointed tape. Early telegraph systems used punched tape, and computers continued the form well into the 1970s.

Hollerith established free-standing cards as the default physical data holder for computers in 1890.

Magnetic recording began with Valdemar Poulsen, primarily responsible for the wire recorder. Poulsen also tried a magnetic disk, similar in size and shape to the RAMAC disks.



Wire started widening into tape around 1940, as plastic manufacturing matured. Wire was never used for data, but magnetic tape quickly became the standard for internal storage of data, with cards as the human-readable inputs and outputs.

= = = = =

Trend 3:

Reynold Johnson joined IBM in the '30s and brought the world of analog thinking and sense transducing into the mechanistic and digital world of sorters and collators. Johnson's team was responsible for the multiple hard disk that formed the unique center of RAMAC.

= = = = =

IBM threw a nationwide party to introduce RAMAC, with showings in major cities, following GM's Motorama trend.



Again the name had to be slightly offbase. Ramarama wouldn't do.

Later, RAMAC served to keep score at the 1960 winter Olympics, with more hoopla.





Note the lack of OCD. Smoking and eating around the computer were EXPECTED. Machines and humans were both designed to tolerate normal life.

= = = = =

As an Equipment, RAMAC was meant to be set up in exactly one configuration, and IBM provided all necessary cabling to set it up.

Proper setup:



The floor plan with exact measurements:



= = = = =

Now my version, demonstrated as usual by Polistra and Happystar.





Unlike the other memory devices, the 350 hard disk had a glass front. Ramarama again.



It was sometimes called the Jukebox Memory for obvious reasons. Each disk was coated on both sides, and the arm traveled radially in and out to reach any point on any of the 50 disks in a few milliseconds. The up/down and in/out movements were both driven by servomotors. Up/down was on a pulley, and in/out was a rack and pinion. The base of the 305 box included an air compressor, with hoses to each head to maintain spacing from the surface.



Other parts of the system were older technologies, mainly using cards.

Each machine had at least one internal plugboard, continuing the programming technique that began with Hollerith's first 1880 census tabulator:



A fast printer was available:



The console at right had a card reader:



And a conventional typewriter for output in more readable form:



Only a few thousand RAMACs were installed, but they changed the landscape of computing.


= = = = =

Footnote: Credit to Ed Thelen's RAMAC site for most of the necessary information.

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  Reprint on closure

From 2016, a different angle on the sequence of closing the physical world and then closing the virtual world.

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Infrastructure is meant to be STATIC. Roads and bridges and sewer systems and rules of morality and rules of discussion and written laws and computer operating systems are all supposed to HOLD STILL so you can USE THEM to get things done. Navigating a fast-changing set of social or moral rules is like driving on Galloping Gertie. There may be a line down the middle where you can slowly crawl across to your destination, but the risk is so obvious that a sane human just doesn't bother. Your best bet for survival is to stay where you are. Shelter in place until the shaking reaches you and kills you.

I first grasped this point in 1978, realizing that a classroom conducted with old-fashioned decorum was MORE OPEN to discussion of new ideas. Classrooms conducted by Alinskyan 'anything goes' behavior were dominated by bullies and tyrants who enforced orthodox doctrine.

Constants allow variables, variables force constants.

I considered the same point in the realm of culture and religion here.

In the technical world:

When building an EXE for use in Windows, you can count on a consistent set of API rules. The native Win functions are well defined, and the workings of C++ are well defined. Provided you understand both of these rule sets and use them correctly, you can predict what will happen when you write something like

MoveToEx(this->hdc,NewPt.x,NewPt.y,NULL);

When you put all those pieces together into a self-contained EXE, you know it will run on the Win versions that were specified in the rules. If there are problems, you can be 99% sure the problems are your own fault, even though you'll always waste time by blaming Windows first.

In the new world of HTML5 and CSS and SVG and JS, none of those certainties exist. All of those standards are only partly standardized and constantly changing, and you can't count on a package running on all common platforms. If it runs today, a version change by Firefox or Chrome may blow it up tomorrow.

In other words, 'platform-independent' really means 'excruciatingly platform-dependent.'

The platform-makers obviously love this, because they have finally reclaimed the power they lost when Windows owned the universe.

= = = = =

Comes down to this pair:

When the rules are stable, ordinary people can function.

When the rules are changing all the time, only the rulemakers can function.

I was looking again at my courseware product in its old EXE form and in its new JS form. The old form was packed with ORIGINAL graphics and ORIGINAL ways of presenting material and asking questions. The new form looks just like any other Imperial web page, with rounded buttons telling User to SUBMIT. Why? Because I was required to use the 'Twitter Bootstrap' pre-written code as the base of the presentation. And why did I have to use 'Twitter Bootstrap'? Because it's AUTHORITATIVELY VARIABLE. It's not contained in my code. It's strictly owned and controlled by the MASTERS OF VARIATION.

POINT: You can't have your own tools.

You must borrow the tools provided by the Master, because only the Master knows which tools will work at this millisecond on the systems run by the Master. When the Empire DDOS's Twitter to prevent Assange from insulting the Empress, everything that actively uses Twitter resources, even indirectly or unintentionally, also goes down.

= = = = = END REPRINT from 2016.
 
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
  Since I'm focusing....

Since I'm focusing on blackmail today, here's a post from last year that deserves more attention. The main point is that Deepstate uses blackmail to suppress rebellion, and ALSO uses blackmail to recruit competent blackmailers. It's a double-action tool. This was dramatically obvious in the Epstein story.

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Basic generality: All factions of Deepstate are blackmailers.

Blackmailer is another name for secret-keeper. Any profession that has the habit of confidentiality will end up blackmailing and destroying normal people if it's not rigidly constrained.

The first Deepstate was Rome. Priests hear confessions, which gives them material for blackmail. Priests commit every crime in the book, and use Original Sin to make normal people feel guilty for the priestly crimes, while the priests are officially infallible, protected from prosecution by the secrets they own.

Later versions of Deepstate picked up the Roman model. Keep secrets to create blackmail, force normal people to bear the guilt. (Are you helping the Commies? Helping the RadicalIslamicTerrorists? Helping the AltRightQanonTrumpNazis? Helping the "virus"? You are, whether you know it or not.) Modern Deepstates always include spies and intel agencies, the best secret-keepers and blackmailers of all.

Wilson's version of Deepstate was developed by Lady Edgar, the ideal Roman and the champion blackmailer, starting the apostolic succession of Roy Cohn and Jeffrey Epstein. (Who comes after Epstein? No need for the question since Epstein is still running the show. He was simply castled.)

The tech Deepstate of the last two decades reproduces the priestly pattern with NDAs as the seal of confidentiality and social media as the confessional, letting Jobs and Zuck and Ellison know the innermost thoughts and detailed daily movements of the sinners.

This year's priesthood arises from the former "medical" profession, another gang of secret-keepers, specifically enabled by HIPAA. This year's Original Sin is "mask deniers" and "superspreaders". We must comply more and more in thought and deed while the rulers openly and brazenly violate their own rules and commit every crime in the book plus an infinite number of new crimes unimagined before. Infallible priests.

= = = = =

EXCEPTION: One branch of Deepstate doesn't quite fit the pattern. Environmentalism certainly has Original Sin, and has Carbon Offsets, an exact copy of indulgences. But it doesn't have an obsession with secrecy, and doesn't actively commit blackmail. The 2009 hack showed Michael Mann and his cohorts concealing data and pulling dirty tricks against competing academics. The tricks were just unfair, not forcible extortion. Smart competitors can counteract data suppression** and ruthless competition. You can't defend against forced extortion.

I was reminded of this by a splendid article in Unherd, written by an experienced British forester and farmer. Boris achieved Brexit so he could be MORE free to commit genocide. He started with "climate" genocide then smoothly jumped into the "virus" holocaust. This article points out the natural harm of planting trees as indulgences. Trees are imperialists. An overgrown forest is NOT a balanced landscape; everything in it is designed by the trees to favor the trees. There's more biodiversity in a cleared meadow under a powerline than in the virgin forests around the clearing.

Some of the "climate" operatives use social media to find and shame "climate" BadThinkers, but this isn't a formalized blackmail network, and there isn't a tradition of confessional secrecy in environmentalism.

When I see a major exception like this, it's a pretty good sign that I'm missing some of the facts. I'll keep watching.

= = = = =

** HIPAA and secrets are just plain impossible with natural data. Mann had a proprietary set of tree-ring and ice-core measurements that supposedly supported his evil theories. Well, you don't have to wait for him to reveal his data, and you don't have to file futile FOIA suits. You can find other tree rings and ice cores and make your own measurements. BE YOUR OWN BEACON.


= = = = = END REPRINT.

See also. And see also.
 
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
  Another closure sequence

Thinking about closure of info, here's another category of previously available info that is closed off now. I've discussed this many times. Radio and TV and newspapers used to warn us about frauds and rackets and blackmail. All the common methods were described and dramatized clearly, and prosecuted harshly.

Now we're not allowed to learn how scams work, and all talk of blackmail is tinfoiled into oblivion. Blackmail is rarely prosecuted because it's a government program.

Ran into a good example of the old style in this Charlie Chan movie. Chan has exposed a 'psychic' cult leader who was profiting massively from blackmail. His followers were required to gather info to serve his 'telepathy' act, and he then used the same info to blackmail others.



Blackmail plus Big Data, 1938 style. Now it's much easier, but we're not allowed to see how it works.
 
  Sequence of closure

Here's a half-baked or maybe milli-baked thought.

Since 1946, Deepstate first closed down the physical channels to information and then closed down the mental channels to information.

Before the Web, acquiring information took physical work, skills and knowledge. You had to own a shortwave radio, or run your own experiments, or take care of your own body, or search on foot through the old stacks of a library, or find and subscribe to obscure newsletters.

Those activities were physically difficult and sometimes expensive, but they were AVAILABLE AND LEGAL. Shortwave receivers were common, and stations were all over the world. You could buy all sorts of chemicals and medications at the hardware store or pharmacy. The libraries were open to anyone. Obscure newsletters were eager to gain new customers.

The physical channels are already closed, and the "replacement" virtual channels are starting to close as well. The shortwave band is abandoned. All chemicals are forbidden by EPA. All medicines are forbidden by FDA. All methods of maintaining health and immunity are LETHALLY forbidden by CDC. Google's online library is removing entire classes of info and maps. Newsletters are published via Facebook, which is shutting them down.

Result: First we lost the SKILLS of acquiring and distributing info physically, and then we lost the CHANNELS for acquiring info without skills.

Parallel to the central/decentral timeline for media described here.

Parallel to Deepstate's ruination of industry. First we offshored the skills to China, and now we're closing down access to the remote skills in China.

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  IBM had Pascal in 1957!

No, not Turbo Pascal. Pascal's adder.

Continuing my 1957 IBM theme:

IBM's field engineers sometimes needed to figure in hexadecimal. IBM made sure its engineers were equipped with superdeluxe pocket-size hex calculators.

But they weren't electronic. IBM's engineers were using the original mechanical adding machines while servicing the most advanced electronic sorting machines.



I saw this on Ebay and had to buy it. Closeup view:



On the back it says MADE IN USA, and lists Patent number 2797047. The patent (for decimal, not hex) was granted to Sterling Plastics in New Jersey in 1957.



Somebody had scratched 'Bad Carry' on the back, but the carry action works fine. It just needed to be loosened up. The only problem is that it doesn't have a convenient way to reset to zero. The older Addometer pictured above it had a reset lever.

Sterling sounded familiar but I couldn't place it at first. I have several slide rules made by Sterling.



The Slide Rule Museum gives a history of Sterling and shows its decimal adders, which were sold commercially. Presumably the hex version was a special 'fleet order' for IBM.

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  Epstein prophecy

Continuing from ACM, Oct 1969. Those dissidents knew what would happen when an Epstein, aided by Big Data, was able to monitor everyone in real time.

This author was noticing proposals for a National Data Bank, and proposals for a cashless society. He wrote a parody, supposedly dated 1987.



Swift and SWIFT would be proud.

= = = = =

1987 was an interesting date. Roy Cohn, who operated the old-fashioned way, stopped blackmailing in 1986. Epstein started his blackmail business in 1981, and took over Cohn's government contracts after 1986. But Epstein didn't take over the tech world until the mid 90s. Of course the government itself had been using computerized data for its own blackmail operations since 1890. The older tech firms had been part of Deepstate since the '50s. Epstein's contribution to the extortion industry was flipping those Silicon Valley outsiders, not bringing in tech as such.

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