Saturday, August 01, 2015

Spot The Station, Lake Shed

Link To Spot the Station

The last two nights have been our first in the new Lake Shed. It isn't home yet ... kind of camping out. No hot water yet, installing appliances -- but it it has a working bathroom, a small fridge, and a bed -- so it is working toward being home.

One thing it does have is a pretty unobstructed view to the west and less light pollution than Rochester. The last couple nights I've enjoyed the "Blue Moon" (well, OFFICIALLY only last night ... but close to full is still impressive).

I get e-mails from this site when the International Space Station (ISS) passes over, and the last couple of nights it has been blazingly bright and easy to spot! Just look off toward the SW and keep a quadrant scan for the brightest star that you can see in the S-W quadrant. It is bright, and it is obviously moving, so it is very easy to see.

I always sit and try to imagine the normally 6 people there riding 250 miles above the earth travelling at 17,000 MPH  ... 17 THOUSAND MPH! They have a different perspective from those on earth.

Is the ISS a monument to the end of the US? Our shuttle was the main vehicle that took it all up there, but today we hitch rides with the Russians so our people can get there for missions.

It is worth at least watching the bright spot move across the sky and reflecting on the final frontier ... and the nation that once led there and so many other places!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Baltimore Regresses To 1972

Baltimore Sees the Highest Number of Homicides in 43 Years | TIME:

No secret to regular readers of this Blog -- "progressives" are misnamed, they ought to be called REGRESSIVES! If one wants to look at "settled science" (political in this case), the jury is long settled on exactly how well their policies work.

Human culture took a long and painful road up from a world with no morals, meaning, or purpose beyond individual enjoyment to the pinnacle of Western Civilization -- somewhere in there between the peak of the British Empire and the Moon Landing or so. We battled Communism and Socialism (National and otherwise), and for a brief instant in 1991, one might have thought the forces of good had finally won it all -- but evil is always waiting for good men to rest.
With their deaths, this year’s homicides reached 189, far outpacing the 119 killings by July’s end in 2014. Nonfatal shootings have soared to 366, compared to 200 by the same date last year. July’s total was the worst since the city recorded 45 killings in August 1972, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore is one of those sterling "All Democrat" cities -- this is Democrat heaven! (Much like Detroit in the past!) Democrat (even BLACK!) President, Democrat Governor, Democrat (BLACK!) Mayor, Democrats in control of both houses of the state legislature!

Naturally, Time Magazine has only "more of the same" suggestions to "fix" this problem -- more programs, more welfare, more talk with police, etc. Perhaps we could legalize a few drugs? That ought to help!

Nobody cares about this. Let's maybe try to cut some minority prison sentences as BO was talking about a few weeks ago. The violent disaster that was the '70s is what moved the wave toward more strict policing that peaked in the '90s with Slick Willie signing "3 Strikes" -- which he now calls a "mistake" because the base wants to let those guys out ASAP!

All this is well known, well understood, we have been here before. Many many thousands more will have to die before there is ANY hope of the rank and file public even getting wind of what is happening around the country.
Baltimore is not unique in its suffering; crimes are spiking in big cities around the country.
... oh, but Cecil the lion got killed! Tom Brady is still fighting his 4 game suspension! No time to be focused on this! Look! I think I saw a Confederate Flag over there!
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Economy In Recession, Nobody Knows

Consumer spending bolsters U.S. second-quarter growth | Reuters:

BO has gotten very unhappy with his horrible economic numbers -- the economy shrank the first quarters of both 2014 and 2014 and barely eked out something below 2% total growth both years. Small wonder that BO, whose economic numbers have been worse than W who started from a very high economic base after the internet bubble (that crashed right after W took office) W  1.7%, BO 1.6%.

As that Forbes article said at the end ...

President Obama “inherited” (another favorite word of the president’s enablers) a low GDP base and did terribly with it, well worse in comparison to his much-maligned predecessor. He inherited a high government spending base and still managed to increase that number at a rate 50% above general growth. In a rational world, we’d stifle such a failure from still having access to the controls.

But then we know we don't live in a rational world, so in this one BO is still in office, and we let him cook the books! The nation has LOTS of time for "deflategate", too little pressure in NFL footballs, but NO TIME at all  for our economic numbers being

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. First-quarter GDP, previously reported to have shrunk at a 0.2 percent pace, was revised up to show it rising at a 0.6 percent rate.
The estimate of the effects of the "new accounting" for GDP was +3%, so the ACTUAL number to be used for comparison would be a .7% LOSS in GDP, putting us in the BO Recession! (Two quarters of negative GDP growth!). The column never mentions that this is now done under the new way of reporting GDP which I discussed here ... as a bonus, they blithely adjusted the first quarter up from -.2 to +.6! Erasing a recession! (they had actually revised the decline to .7% after initial reporting, but since it is now obvious these numbers are just being cooked as desired, "What does it matter now?")

So BO would have officially had a recession on his hands -- but now it looks like a quarter of REALLY tepid growth (.6%) and one that is STELLAR by BO standards ... 2.3%.  Pretty impressive, taking two successive quarters of -.7 which would be a RECESSION, and turning into what the Democrats and media will hail as "solid growth".

If you like your economy, you can elect a putz like BO and it will still all go OK!

Pretty significant difference ...

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Riots With Nobody Watching?

Articles: Panic in Pittsburgh: Media Struggling to Ignore Black Mob Violence:

The linked article purports to document a large amount of black violence going unreported ... Pittsburgh being the epicenter, but many other cities included.

Is it factual? Who would know? We are busy with Cecil the Lion, Deflategate, the Trump sideshow, etc.

Is it plausible? Regrettably, yes ... something like 6K young black men are being killed on the streets every year now and there is very little reporting.

Mostly just a marker post ... the jury is still well out, but unfortunately it may be true.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

America Finds Cecil Outrage

This American Trophy Hunter Allegedly Beheaded Zimbabwe's Most Beloved Lion | Mother Jones:

MSM and social media has been exploding with outrage over the killing of "Cecil" an African lion.

I'm wondering how many people cared to know the names of any of the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS? There have been a number of other cases of Christians beheaded .. here was a case of 30 more, hardly covered. So that is over 50 ... the total must easily break 100, but those are Christians. Who's counting?!

I'm betting that if Christians beheaded some number of Muslims, the outrage would be even larger than that for Cecil -- I'm basing this on outrage over Abu Girab, Gitmo, "extreme rendition", etc and nobody was even beheaded there.

So what gives? I can't say I have a full explanation, but here are my guesses:
  1. ISIS shoots back ... the masses assume that Cecil's killer, the Bush Administration, or "Christians" aren't likely to. 
  2. People generally don't like Christians very much ... they like lions, and Muslims are vaguely a "minority" ... modern education teaches the masses to like "minorities" 
  3. Nobody in the MSM or popular actors and such told people to be outraged about Christians being beheaded -- they tell us to be outraged over Cecil being killed, and we do what the popular media voices in our ears tell to do. 
Sounds about right. Why don't Dentists go out hunting Christians! 

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Read This Blog Post or I Shoot The Dog!

P.J. O’Rourke: How I Killed 'National Lampoon' (Guest Column) - Hollywood Reporter - Hollywood Reporter:

My Dad and his brothers used to talk somewhat incessantly about "The Good Old Days" (TGOD) -- the depression, long trudges to school, only going to school till the 8th grade, milk in cans, no electricity, loose hay, horses vs tractors, threshing bees, steam engines, fishing with a cane pole, ice for ice boxes ... as I said, it was nearly endless.

I can't say I was ever enamoured with the idea of no electricity, nor would I really like to go back to no computers, no internet, no interstate system ( I REALLY need to be able to get to see my granddaughter in Denver!).  I'd have to say that there is really nothing previous to say "1980" that makes me pine away for that version of "The Good Old Days".

My sense is that my Dad's generation believed that much societal change -- larger cities, less local people interaction, bigger government, was "caused" by technology. I think it is safe to say that some of it was ENABLED by technology, but technology is inert -- a gun never makes you shoot anybody, and neither do the combination of the availability of whiskey and cars make you drive drunk. Any form of technology expands your choices -- you don't HAVE to have a cell phone, and having one, you don't HAVE to USE it -- in fact, you don't even have to answer it. Those are choices -- people often let many sorts of technology rule their lives, but that is a choice. Sure, the availability enables that choice, but that is simply how the world is built.

Water similarly enables drowning -- but removal of water is not an option!

PJ hit the nail on the head about what National Lampoon was in the late seventies and early '80s ..
We remember how the publication was a font of youthful nihilism's dark, ironic genius (albeit with the obvious, pitiful, frenetic and stupid qualities that entails).
We never imagined that youthful nihilism would WIN! ... along with the "obvious, pitiful, frenetic and stupid qualities that entails"! It was"progressivism", not "progress" that destroyed my TGODs. Progress is making life faster, cheaper, more reliable, easier, higher standard of living for less work, more comfortable, etc. "Progressivism" is "alienated, sarcastic, cynical, nihilistic" -- except totally school marmish on actual humor, progress,  or real fun!

Gee an NFL player blew off a couple fingers using fireworks and some guy in Maine put a fireworks mortar tube on his head and it killed him. We better BAN FIREWORKS!
Maine Rep. Michel Lajoie told the AP he’s considering trying to introduce a measure to restrict the use of fireworks, though he wonders if it will increase safety.
So we have arrived at the time when some of us have nostalgia for a time when people realized that the dog cover was a SICK JOKE! (but the dog was pretty cute) ... however PJ says it well, basically, the inmates took over the asylum.
That kind of fun can't be had in the 21st century, where there are no normal middle-class values, all the Clark Griswolds are alienated, sarcastic and cynical, and every suburban schlub is a font of nihilism's dark, ironic genius.
BTW ... they had to do that dog picture with no photoshop (talk about the dim and distant past!). Somebody stood off to the side and yelled the dogs name loud enough it took a glance and they caught it. It was a professional model dog ... it was trained to sit and stare at the camera no matter what went on around it.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Filling That Poly Need

Two Moms, One Dad, Two Babies Make One Big Happy Polyamorous Family - ABC News:

I'm reminded of Michael Jackson "It's a bootiful thing ..."

Michael is a great glimpse into our cultural very near to here future -- certainly a self made "man" ... or, er "something".

People have always had lots of "needs" -- as covered in the ABC "News" story.

In the real world, other than say the speed of light and a bullet to the brain, pretty much everything can be made "gray", "shaded", or "surpassed".  Other than those things like Christianity, Confederate Flags, etc declared verboten by the PC Gestapo, "it's all good" ... in fact in many cases it must be CELEBRATED!! No longer is it allowable to just "turn the channel".

Today I saw a car in the lot of the RAC with a BO sticker and a "Vote No!" sticker on the back -- pretty much an advertisement for mendacity.

BO famously promised "If you like your healthcare you can keep it" as if a gargantuan, largely unknown new program was absolutely guaranteed to do no harm. It was a lie of course, but anyone with a brain knew that.

Similarly, one of the main cries of the anti-amendment people for the marriage amendment in MN was "There is no reason for an amendment -- nobody is talking about gay "marriage" for MN" ... yeah, sure ... it happened the very next year.

All moral arguments can be considered a  "slippery slope" -- they aren't speed of light or death. So we merrily slip down the now "poly" slope. ("Poly want a marriage!")

Yes, change happens just like shit, and decent people feel pretty much the same "need" afterward  -- to flush it away.

This is not the era for decent people -- just in case you were doing a Rip Van Winkle!

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The Bee Crisis Is Over, But Not the Data Crisis

Climate Change Threatens Bees: Even More Evidence : Animals : Nature World News:

The linked article tells us that it really really looks like "the bee crisis" is partially caused by Global Warming -
With the threat neonicotinoid use poses to honeybees gaining international attention, researchers are now focused on finding other factors that are contributing to a worrying decline in bees across the globe. Climate change, they say, is certainly to blame, and parasites may be one reason why.
  This article says what I've been hearing more of from  techie or "right wing" news sources the last year or so ... there isn't any bee crisis.
I have great news for honey lovers everywhere. The Canadian honeybee industry is thriving. Despite those headlines about mass die-offs and and killer pesticides, the number of honeybee colonies is at a record high. Last year, according to Statistics Canada, nearly 700,000 honeybee colonies produced $200-million worth of honey. Bee survival rates have rebounded even in Ontario, which was hard hit by unusually high winter die-offs
The purpose of this post is not to prove which position is right, although I will give my opinion. When a problem is indicated as a "crisis", we know that the title is more intended to convey emotional content and grab interest rather than provide factual information. That indication ought to have the effect of a rattlesnake rattle on our focus as to likely trouble with the assertions in the article.

Couple "crisis" with "Global Warming" -- something that has been crying wolf for over 20 years now, but for the past 15 been forced to quietly try to suppress the news that it has "paused", -- and the chances for "correctness" drop rather dramatically.

My real point here is modern data and "analysis" overload. There is so much data now being collected and so much statistical computing power available to run all sorts of "Spearman Rank Correlation", "Guttman Scaling", "Mann-Whitney U", regression, ANOVA, etc against any sort of data plucked from who knows where and get lots of REALLY impressive charts!

One can definitely show that "Women are better drivers and ice cream sales cause drownings" with no problem at all ... Who drives your car after you were out for dinner and drinks or the traffic, weather, etc are bad?  Who drives the most miles? There is a PERFECT correlation between drowning deaths and ice cream sales -- only it is because of a common third factor -- hot weather, and CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSALITY!

But our brains are wired with a bias to ASSUME that correlation IS causality -- from a primitive POV it makes all the sense in the world to believe that if A and B happen together, they are probably related. Good for survival in nature -- not good for correctness in a wired world with lots of computers. Do enough analysis on data selected with a goal in mind, and you are certain to be able to find "correlation". Add in selective and biased journalism and it is no wonder that people have all sorts of assumptions that they hold as gospel that have at best tenuous and only very specific well manicured connections to the real world.

Statistics are like gauges on your car -- they look at certain data with certain assumptions. Hook the oil pressure gauge to the water temp sensor and vice versa, you get bad readings. ANY of the data is only as good as the sensors -- the engine may have low oil pressure but the sender is not correct for example. Most likely of all, the engine is fine but the sender or gauge have failed.

Today we have bazillions of "sensors" (data collectors) hooked up to all sorts of things on which little if any data was collected before and "scientists" -- many of them little more than amature statisticians and computer software users with a HUGE pressure to "publish something impressive... maybe even about a CRISIS!" spewing "reports / studies / papers" at a rate far beyond anything seen in history. So there is almost constant "crisis".

Add to this the fact that the bulk of them are in one way or another funded by giant governments whose primary mission is the grow government power in any way they can, and it is no wonder at all that "crisis" is MUCH more common than  "boring news day when not much really happened". Remember, the goal of the government is to increase it's size and power -- so government funded research should be instantly suspect if it's result is serving that end.

The real "crisis" is an out of control government growing in power and scope every day.

A Non-Profit Prostitution Sermon

Yes, Your Opinion Can Be Wrong | Houston Press:

Perhaps in the far future, scientists will be able to develop an absolutely scientific and factual view of human  existence from the atomic through molecular to the biologic to the conscious to the societal that is consistent, complete and comprehensible. Edward O. Wilson covered this idea and named it "Consilience". The link takes you to my 2007 Blog on the book. Until we get a lot closer to level of understanding he talks of, we likely should not try to develop any new religions.

But, being human, we have developed the "modern" religion of Secular Humanism, of which a main article of faith is "Climate Change" and one of the leading sacraments is Abortion.

After having sat through sermons of one sort of another in church for 90%+ of weeks for nearly 60 years (I'm sure I got something out of the early ones through osmosis), sermons are nothing new, and the attached article is clearly a sermon.

One could easily replace "Climate Change" with "Young Earth", "Virgin Birth" or "The Cross" -- The factual nature is believed "by definition" -- because it is an article of faith. Non-believers are damned -- either explicitly or implicitly. Those with the "true doctrine" are "saved" ( ... redeemed, included, worthy, blessed, etc).

While we are a long way from "Consilience", science has figured out that we are wired for religion -- (The Righteous Mind for one source). The objection I have for articles like the one linked is that they remind me of a scenario where a young man meets a young woman, they have what he believes to be a wonderful evening together, he is smitten, he is shocked / amazed / honored when she agrees to go home with him -- and then crushed / disgusted / heartbroken when she asks for payment. He thought it was one thing, but it was another.

Religion is religion -- the real contenders are thousands of years old. They all are "promising / selling / asserting" something that transcends the day to day human existence, and for the ones that in my opinion have any claims to reality, have billions of adherents over their millennia of existence.

Secular Humanism is the like the young woman until she asks for payment -- and it may even run on for a number of "dates". It is the religion that claims to be MORE than religion, while never admitting that it even IS a religion -- but it hooks into exactly the same human dreams, desires and emotions.

"“Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?” or “Do owls exist?” or “Are there hats?”" ... therefore "Climate Change" -- is the leading "argument" in this column.  I stated three things unrelated to my premise that are obviously true ... therefore my premise is clearly true, and YOU are "wrong". Oh, and BTW, you should be impressed by my "intelligence".

Modern Secular Humanism (SH)  is more of a cult religion than it is like the mainline religions. It demands that you denounce those that refuse to agree with your tenets --  and not discuss the articles of the SH faith with non-believers. Ideally you "separate yourselves" -- say from the brother, parents, etc that persist in watching "Faux News".  The big promises of SH are very much like the traditional religions ... "fellowship and care" -- as long as you adhere to ALL SH positions you can be friends with our members, not "cast out", and "The State" which is great and good will grant you your daily bread.

That "Climate Change" was one of the items selected for this supposed "wisdom sermon" was unsurprising, but apparently the real onus for the column was the damage that the Planned Parenthood videos had done to the SH honored sacrament of Abortion. The argument used in the "takedown" from "Fact" (a left wing site) was that "PP wasn't making any money off the body parts, so it is OK"!

In the SH religion, if the prostitute is "just breaking even", that makes it ok. Profit is a sin -- and prostitution is not. I suppose the SH flock feels refreshed and uplifted ... or at least smug, when they get through with a sermon like that, but sadly they are actually unwitting victims of non-profit religious prostitution.

It may feel good, but it isn't ACTUALLY a religion for your eternal soul.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Police Kill 2,993 Blacks in TX Since '08!

In Texas, an illegal immigrant crime wave | Power Line:

Wow! Now THAT is a headline that would get some real attention!

But it is really Undocumented Democrats (Illegal Aliens) that killed that number -- and that is likely quite low, because in includes only those that had been PREVIOUSLY fingerprinted!

Lots of rape and other crimes as well -- but who really cares? These are Undocumented Democrats most likely preying on other Undocumented Democrats! One can assume that the vast majority of their victims are Hispanic and possibly even Illegals -- those are also lives that don't matter. Like the 6K young black men who are gunned down by other young black men each year.

It is maddening to even think about this stuff. There is effectively no way to respond -- calling it out is immediately branded as "racist", and to the extent that the ruling powers would be interested in "doing something", the "something" would be more family killing welfare, government "day care" programs, easy divorce, aid programs to encourage young women to have more and more children out of wedlock -- the very policies that created the disaster we are looking at. Dependence, despair, decadence -- the flower of Democrat policy.

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The Last Time IBM Grew Sales, I Worked There

IBM has been dead money in Ginni Rometty era - Jul. 21, 2015:
IBM hasn't reported a year-over-year increase in sales since the first quarter of 2012. That was also Rometty's first quarter as IBM CEO. (She took over the company on January 1, 2012.)
It might be nice to imagine that it "had something to do with me". No chance -- but I do speculate a bit that my demise and the drop in IBM have related causes.

The last project I worked on was a way to move internet access (digital data breakout) to cell towers "Node B's"  .. moving logic related to being able to do data operations (caching at a minimum, but potentially much more) at the first link between the cellular end node (your phone) and the cellular network.

A nice piece of technology and we got a bunch of patents, but as the Bible says "without vision the people perish" -- as do projects and jobs. It didn't make enough revenue quick enough for the new CEOs taste, so the project was canceled with me along with it.

IBM's business  from the '60s on was being the ruler of the computing industry -- IBM up to 1990 and beyond being built on the momentum of the 360 architecture including Operating Systems (MVS, TSO, VM, etc) to run it as well as DBMS (Database) CICS (Transaction Processing), IMS (inventory and general hierarchical DB ops) ... and a lot of other expensive alphabet soup we could just go on listing.

IBM first lost it's way in the PC era -- creating the modern PC market (with Apple as an also-ran in those days), but failing to be able to exert control in the way IBM did from the 60's through the 70's in it's other markets. Disastrous projects like "Token Ring"  and  SNA -- IBM's  massive bureaucratic behemoth attempt at doing what Ethernet and TCP/IP do so elegantly and well, along with the ill fated OS/2 -- IBM being dumb enough to trust Bill Gates -- as well as not really understanding that in the PC market in those days, "he who wasted the most MIPS wins!".

When you were once exceptional -- as IBM and America once were, the rest of the world takes special joy in seeing you go down. And since the early '90s, IBM has never been able to come up with a vision for the company that would allow it to move into some new form of greatness. The IBM name has become more associated with expensive technical parlour tricks like "Deep Blue", the chess playing computer and "Watson", the Jeopardy computer. While IBM itself is in increasing "jeopardy", these slights of hand have been entertaining to many, but the results speak for themselves.

IBM attempted to shuffle hardware, software and services in various mixes. First to SOFTWARE, hardware and services -- but never really could. Too many powerful hardware people in too many high positions. Then it moved to SERVICES ... with software and hardware fighting in the background and much of services being managing customers moves away from IBM hardware and software.

When there is no overall vision for people to line up behind and in general work towards, they fight for survival for their own piece of turf. Tivoli (systems management software) developed the brilliant strategy of being a "service" wedded to expensive software. When you installed the mega expensive Tivioli package you were locked in to a long term mega expensive services contract to keep it working -- because it took a LOT of people spending A LOT of time on site to keep it running, and as a bonus (for IBM), it ate expensive hardware CPU cycles like an NFL offensive line eats steaks during training camp!

While this generally sucked for customers -- so much so that I and a group of IBMers visiting a customer were threatened with removal from the building if we so much as MENTIONED the word "Tivoli" again -- at the places that it could be enmeshed, it was a major revenue source. Revenue source for that little corner of IBM named "Tivoli" -- but a good way to help get IBM thrown out of a lot of places.

As a flip side, the S/38 -> AS/400 -> i5/OS -> iSeries-> IBM i ???  that I worked on for decades was explicitly designed and largely delivered on being a computer that you could lock in a room somewhere and run your business for years -- even forgetting where it was. (as a few customers famously did, even apparently closing off the room on the AS/400 and not being able to find the source of their computational resources).

You may now be validly wonder if this is going anywhere beyond sour grapes. Maybe not -- but here is the punchline. Computing that is "just there" is exactly what Cloud promises to deliver. IBM certainly had the foremost experts on "Utility Computing" (think of it like your electric power) in the aging iSeries crew  -- of course not without their own set of problems as in being unable to separate the utility delivered from the specific architecture they had used to provide it. The separation from functionality desired from specific example mechanisms is always a challenge.

My vision is that within the next "10 years", someone -- Google, AT&T, Verizon, HP, Oracle ... or someone new, maybe even Apple, or some Chinese company. Will figure out that the Internet is best served from the Node B -- no reason to have a bunch of wires anymore. May as well have all the storage, software, etc managed by "someone else" at the first hop on the network. "Information Technology" (IT) becomes a task of interfacing with a "provider" -- just like electricity or water today.

Like all "visions", this may well not happen, or happen significantly differently  -- and there are LOTS of "technical / legal / business / regulatory / etc" hurdles left in making it happen -- HOWEVER, this is being written on a Chromebook using Google's "Blogger" ... Gdrive is my go to place to put data, photos, etc now. A lot is happening down this road.

Kinda like the old Six Million Dollar Man -- "we have the technology" -- or more to the point, at the time I left IBM we had people with the knowledge to provide computing capability that could be locked in a closet and forgotten (like a Node B), and we had some of the seminal technology to deliver that computing from the first hop from your cell (or laptop, iPad, etc).

Plus, the name IBM hadn't sunk as badly as it has and continues to do now -- while the numbers are rapidly shrinking, there were and likely still are companies that could see IBM as being the the right company to have a "vision" for Cloud Computing that would be worth turning that critical function over to as they do their electricity generation.

Today we have IBM as "dead money"  -- the world of "if" is sometimes bittersweet.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Little Climate Ice for Your Summer Drink

Arctic expedition to study global warming put on hold because of too much ice [photos] | Twitchy:

Here in the upper midwest we are enjoying a quite moderate summer -- somewhat on the wet side, maybe a bit on the coolish side, but generally very normal.

In Hudson Bay they appear to be having some significant ice problems -- like "worst in 20 years".

Do either of these mean anything relative to climate on a global scale? Only if aggregated with LOTS of other data and trend lines over LONG periods -- at least 100's of years.

Just like news of heat waves, droughts, and now all "extreme weather" -- but while the media will focus on those and be certain to at least mention "Climate Change", a whole bunch of ice in Hudson Bay is not a story you will likely see much of ... nor for that matter the recent released (with ALL sorts of caveats!) story of arctic ice growing 33% in 2013 alone.

"It would suggest that sea ice is more resilient perhaps - if you get one year of cooler temperatures, we've almost wound the clock back a few years on this gradual decline that's been happening over decades," said Rachel Tilling.
Sometimes even "settled science" has a few "twists" like finding that at least a significant cause for the melting of one of the glaciers in Antarctica that has been a GW poster child is geothermal ...

Always remember -- the stuff that you DON'T see reported is often what is really important to having anything close to a real picture.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Scarlet H, Fooled Again

Articles: Every Day, A New Way to Hate:

No ... not Hillary! HATE -- the all purpose way to brand those that fail to rigidly follow all the doctrines of the left.  (although it is not hard to see the connection!)

There was once a book called "The Scarlet Letter" -- it talked of the evil of the Puritans labeling Hester Prynne with a scarlet "A" for Adultery.

Our natures all carry the desire to be "better" -- on the whole, the urge is beneficial for our development as individuals and societies. But our natures also include the desire for "shortcuts" ... for example the idea that by labeling others as "less worthy", our status can be artificially improved with no effort save our adherence to some set of rules or conventions.

Our nation has taken a nasty leftward lurch in the past 6 years -- the work ethic is at lows not seen since the sad 1970's, and all manner of leftward social thought is in rapid ascension. "Puritanism" is part of our wiring  -- it can be directed in any direction. When the standards used for morals for thousands of years are torn down, the same impulses that enforced those standards need a mooring -- so they find it.

So now you either applaud gay "marriage" or you get a Scarlet H. Same for having the opinion that the Confederate Flag is a symbol of the old south -- with all sorts of connotations, both positive and negative -- as all human symbols embody. Transgender -- the list will just grow and grow as the new puritans grow in power.

I'm including The Who, "We Won't Get Fooled Again" because of it's line "Meet the new boss Same as the old boss", but unfortunately, that is not true. The "old boss" was a limited government purposely hamstrung by a Constitution and a careful separation of powers. The "new boss" has no limits -- God is replaced by a "government god". Earthly and flawed, but with Promethean powers. We have been fooled -- very likely for the last time.

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55 Million Lives That Don't Matter

Brit Hume Delivers the Best 1.5 Minute Commentary on Abortion Ever Heard on Network News | TGC:

I mostly put this out to save the link to the Britt Hume commentary.

In the Democrat party saying "All lives matter" needs an apology.

To think, "liberals"  used to love to say things like "a society can be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable" ... now they seek to hide selling the body parts of the most vulnerable.

"Progressives" just keep on "progressing".

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Trapped On An Ancient Starship

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility

The  linked article has spotted a problem -- they think. People are getting dumber -- but compared to what? Some list of "facts" that they feel are important? But WHY do they "feel" that those particular facts are important?  

What is REALLY disturbing is that they never even mentioned Philosophy, Literature or Religion. If you want to study knowledge, it gets kinda scary when somebody trying to be judge and jury on intellectual pursuits fails to drag out the $5 word epistemology! 

In order to decide if people are "dumber", you need some standard to compare to. You need to understand something about what it would mean to be "knowledgeable" -- or even WISE!

"God and Man at Yale", "The Closing of the American Mind", "A Conflict of Visions", "Ideas Have Consequences"  are great set of books to understand the basic shape of the problem. I did a shorthand version here linked to a GREAT article if you want to dig a slight bit deeper.

Philosophy was the Queen of the Academy -- along with Literature and Religion. Meaning, values, a sense of "being a part of something important" and LASTING -- (say "Western Civilization", "Christianity", "America" -- the old one, with a Constitution)

Our technical focus is a major part of this problem -- it gives us "stuff". Some of it useful and good, but much of it distracting and alienating. It also has a giant bias toward the idea that the latest hootch to drip from the still of "knowledge" is better than the 20 - 30 or 1000 year old "Scotch of Wisdom". If the latest is always greatest, then the past is useless -- so our lives are inherently useless going forward except for whatever personal pleasure we can have in our short stay. The brighter more technically advanced future always makes the lives of the poor present dwellers to be pitied.

The core problem is the doctrine of "progressivism" -- it is the inherent enemy of meaning. Without meaning there is no way to choose what is "the good". When man has no concept of what is of ultimate value there can be no "body of knowledge" to be achieved to be an "educated person".

It is all equally valued atomized "facts" -- and even the very concept of "truth" has become largely discounted in many "intellectual" quarters. "Everyone has their slice" -- but nobody knows what it is a slice OF. What it all degenerates into is POWER -- might becomes right. The article degenerates into pure politics masquerading as "intelligence" 
74% of Republicans in the U.S. Senate and 53% in the House of Representatives deny the validity of climate change despite the findings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and every other significant scientific organization in the world;
If you do science, even if 100% of all organizations domestic or interstellar claim that "Climate Change" is gospel deduced from unicorn farts, if the earth doesn't warm as they predict (and it hasn't so far), they are STILL wrong! Your attempt to claim that it is somehow "Republicans" that are "stupid" for failing to read the unicorn farts is a sure sign you need to look up epistemology -- especially the "scientific method" part! 

I often feel like Spock (sorry Spock -- FIGURATIVELY, I know you don't "feel"!) on one of those old Star Treks where they come upon the planet or ship which "the old ones" built, but the current residents have no concept of how it operates. Western Civilization was built by "the old ones", and well over 90% of even highly educated moderns have no clue of why it once operated successfully and is now in rapid decline.

As the article notes -- the decline is becoming more and more obvious and precipitous, but the knowledge of how we rose and why we are falling as a civilization is nearly lost. 

Oh -- and mixing political hackery with pseudo intellectualism makes for a rather unsavory stew.

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