Saturday, August 11, 2018

In The Face Of Such Stupidity, Why Is Faith More Important Now Than It Has Ever Been In Human History?

And why should it be someone from the tech world delivering this homely? Using some absolute nonsense, connected only to the worst possible tangent of the space program to get off on with, from the new king of nonsense of course, to illustrate this point?

And then faith? From a process guy? Having logic systems, as well as complex systems, burned into him over twenty five years of going from desktop computing, in its infancy, through all the developments of new hardware, and new software, to working eventually across a quite wide spectrum of service, and production oriented, commerce in the Pacific Northwest. Everything from mom and pop video stores, real estate offices, and small service oriented companies (like fleet maintenance, or electrical and air flow systems), to Boeing, Washington Mutual (before it got absorbed), Bogle & Gates (the law firm), Seattle City Light, Health Services Northwest (a former partnership of Providence and Swedish hospital groups), Nichirei Foods Usa inc., and finally, at the last, Microsoft (a real story in itself as I was there for the last year and a quarter of the Mobile Group).

Why should I want to be a purveyor of faith now? And from this venu?

Well, first of all, I didn't want to be a developer at all. There was a time I thought I was supposed to be a writer of science fiction, but a few years of banging my head against that wall made it clear that was not what I was supposed to be about; the only good thing there being that I kept writing, and in between bad submissions, I would write the odd essay. Essays that began to express more and more of what has always been motivating me. That the way things are are just not the way they should be. Something I am quite certain I was born into understanding. Even though I did not have the language to express it. Would not, in fact, have it for decades to come.

I came to understand computers, and programming, only because it was something that seemed essential, after I had discovered the writings of Marshall McLuhan; and from him, certainly, a blizzard of others. Essential because electrified experience retrieval was the next big "Extension" of our faculties; or so it seemed to me. That this also lent itself to falling back on, in order to earn a living, only came on the heels of my divorce from my second wife, Helen Vale (for whom, despite the divorce, I want to reiterate, there would not have been any, "Old Softy" anything, ever come to be developed). It also occurred to me, eventually, that, in order to really be able to criticize Capitalism, maybe you should spend some time dealing with it from the inside out first. That this process of investigation would take this long, however, never occurred to me at all.

Not until I was in my fifties did it finally begin to occur to me what all this experience, and struggle, was about, which was when I launched Old Softy Concerns as a non profit organization, and began running the Old Softy Concerns web site; a site that I wrote, and hosted myself, for at least ten years or so. And the odd thing about that, now that I look back on it, is that it was all going to have to be done on pure faith. And I say that not because I have always been a person of faith, but because at least one aspect of faith had finally hit home for me: you always take the "leap of faith" whenever the feeling in your bones tells you to do so. Regardless of whether you have the full "verbal" explanation for it, or not. And regardless of whether you are mistaken from time to time. And I had gotten to that faith because a form of it had served me very well in taking on ever more challenging programming projects throughout my career.

This new project would have to be taken on via faith for another important reason. And that is because a part of me has always known that I could never do this, let's call it an advocacy, as any kind of the "hard sell" that I had already lived through, all through my life, and come to hate, and ultimately define as immoral. No. I would have to do this purely as a professional analyst doing an analysis, and then presenting it; as well as to present what I thought might be an appropriate alternative. And to do nothing more than that.

Sure. There is a lot of bias involved here, and to which I've already acknowledged. I make no bones about being a Humanist Progressive, who has also come to appreciate certain aspects of Libertarianism. But the analysis itself, especially as it pertains to the technological aspects, is solid in my opinion. And because this hinges so much on technology (as well as social inequity), why shouldn't it be presented in one of the main venues of one of technology's biggest purveyors.

The main point here is that I refuse to do "whatever it takes" not only because I think it possible that I might be wrong, but also because I want to do this solely on the strength of what I have expressed, and how I have expressed it. From that point on, it must be out of my hands, and into the hands of others to make their decisions with. As is has always been with my work.

And so now I put my faith in not only words themselves, but also the inherent power of others to utilize words, and the idea structures that come from words. And that this will be enough, somehow, to make whatever needs to happen, happen, so that a majority of you begin to question this current bad operating system; at least to some critical degree, as I have.

So I am going to put it to you like this: If an impossible, broken kid, born of impossible, broken parents, who struggled to get to know words at all, all through the first five years of school.  A kid who had to struggle mightily to understand having a little brother tortured for all of the the six, horrible, years of his short life (and for which the flawed system was responsible for allowing). A kid who fathered his own son way too soon. Who had to deal with his mother's madness, and her greatly flawed institutionalization (that flawed system again). Of how this kid could come to have not only faith in himself, but also come to have faith in people in general; if that kid could do all of that, don't you think you might have a chance to have faith in both yourself, and in others?

So why is faith so important now? I mean other than having any conviction at all that such flawed creatures generally could come to do what was really needed, when it really mattered; when, after all it was these same idiots who put us here in the first place?

Because I can feel it in my bones now, I swear to you; by my dead brothers spirit, whom I have always felt near me, throughout my life. I feel this sense that, if we can get some workable, common agreed upon vision of what is important, and what then to do about it, we can make it happen. Because we've always been like that; especially when the chips are down, and what is important gets simplified very quickly; as it does in times of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, or even fire storms now. Times when you see just how loving, and giving people can be when they see others hurting and in need. When the mud, or the ash, or the smoke, or whatever else, make the superficial differences of our bodies disappear; and it's just another person in need.

And let's also be clear that what goes away this time is a lot more than just one more species that can't take what we've done; or one more group of faceless survivors, or refugees, or innocents just caught out in mindless collateral damage because they were in the wrong spot at the wrong time, No. This is about not having even the possibility of life as we have known it going forward at all anymore. This is about knowing what we've done and then simply giving up on doing anything more about it. And that is something that I just can't abide.

Just like the ultimate stupidity of weaponizing space. And I can say ultimate stupidity because expanding into space is absolutely mandatory if our species, and what's still left of life, is to continue. The thing is, though, nobody will get to go into space in a big way unless everybody does, because no one power can be allowed to control the high orbitals, and for a very obvious reason.

Other nations would be forced to consider "first strike" options in such a scenario because to do otherwise would be tantamount to surrender. How could it be otherwise? How long do you think anybody still left on the surface could take bombardment from the top of a significant gravity well? Where you don't even have to manufacture bombs anymore at all; you just accelerate, say tungsten rods, with the free electricity you can get out there, and then let their accumulated inertia do the rest upon impact.

Yes we are flawed. Yes we are too easily frightened. We're obstinate. Selfish sometimes, and too concerned with our personal gain; whether that's as simple as just "but I want to do it my way," all the way to "I'll do what I damn well please, and if you're in my way just be ready to get bloody."

But we are also capable of so much more. So much amazing more it would bring you to your knees if you felt it all at this very moment.

I can say that now, even though I have been getting only bits and pieces of what we are really capable of, over the last few years especially, and yet I can still assure you that I have been staggered on more than a few occasions already. And that, too, only fuels my new found appreciation for keeping faith with faith. As well as to suggest that spirit, and something that is higher, do actually exist. And it doesn't matter if you see that "higher" as a higher power, or a higher purpose, it still counts as coming to rely on that which transcends normal, Mind, Body, or Physical, meaning space explanations. A very good thing in my view; especially if it is applied as a part of seeking balance between as many diametrically opposed opposites as we can. A balance that understands that it will always have to be dynamic, and responsive to ongoing change. And that mistakes will always be made. And that we'll just have to figure out how to minimize the harm from those mistakes, even as we try to figure out how to better prepare ourselves to be better choice makers.


Are we going to Mars? Will Trump command a fleet of space ships and come to dominate the cosmos before any other space-faring nation can hope to lay claim to the resources of the infinite? The answers are, predictably, far more boring.

See Also:
[Post Note: How can you not love listening to a guy like this; especially when he relates, a lot better than I do, to how important being passionate about what you do is; about how important faith is, and also about how important not giving up is. And all because he got into studying how beautiful wave interference could be; even if they are smaller than an ant's butthole. Wow. That's all I can say here. J.V.]

Meet The Man Who Made Holograms His Life's Works

General Barry McCaffrey -- Space Force Is A Thoroughly Stupid Idea’ -- The 11th Hour

Air Force  X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

What Does An Ultimate Death Valley Scenario For Our Weather Have To Do With War Without End?

Well, for one thing, it begs the next question that comes to mind; at least for me.

That's because it seems to me that, in one significant sense, asking "what are we fighting for" is also reflected in the question "what are we living for." This in the sense of greater moral, or metaphysical concepts.

There is also the parallel connected to what used to be thought of, for "what are we fighting for," and why we would want to worry about extreme weather in the first place, and that is the natural desire to want to respond to threats to our existence.

As such, as we have been threatened by real enemies from without, over the past century, it has been our very great fortune that so many (even though it is so few in comparison to our population) have been willing to "stand the wall" (to paraphrase from the movie "A Few Good Men").

The problem, these days, with both of these better aspects of wanting to respond to threats, is that we are now so much more clear, on just how muddied up the picture can become (Capitalism just loves contradictions), when what we protect becomes ever more suspect. And why, you might ask, would they become more suspect?

Well, one big reason is that information is a commodity now. A very valuable commodity. More valuable even than the skill regurgitations of increasing numbers of human beings. As such, it doesn't get shared, out and about with what was supposed to be an informed electorate, anywhere even close to what was intended when the founders of this nation began creating it. It has, in fact, become a weapon itself. Which really isn't a good thing as well if you are one of the people who have always felt the call to serve your nation.

And if that wasn't enough, you then have the many, terrible competitions going on, by the very system that has made information the new gold. The competitions that mirror the one to get more, in every aspect that might make money, information; something we normally refer to as "research and development." Those other competitions revolve around the markets that this system uses to sell things in. The limited resource aspect of our planet. And then, because the of the first ones, the always ongoing need to get the new, bigger, and better, big stick, with which to do "War without end."

I will close by reminding you that the "what are we living for" aspect here is most tragically illustrated by the notion that we are about to surrender our ability to choose at all; to surrender the most fundamental aspects of what we should value for ourselves as both thoughtful, and loving creatures.

I can only hope now that you are clear on just how dirty things have gotten. And if you still value real choice then remember the dictum: "Use it or lose it."

See Also:
[Post Note: And where do you suppose all of those folks, in all of the areas along the equator, are going to go when those areas even begin to be seen as unliveable? You think we have a refugee crisis now? You think trying to ignore the desperate need of others is going to be easier the more people that become desperate? J.V.]
Image: A woman wearing a full veil (niqab) uses a shower to cool off in hot and humid weather inside an Aqua arena during summer holidays at El Ain El Sokhna in Suez, east of Cairo
Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters file


Searing heat could make North Africa, Arab Gulf countries unlivable

In the fertile Nile Delta, rising sea levels and a rising water table are already cutting into Egypt’s precious 4 percent of arable farmland.

[Post Note: What are we living for? Do we work to live, or do we live to work? J.V.]

The country's labor policies, and a tight job market, have some people cobbling together 70-hour work weeks out of multiple jobs.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This Is Only The Beginning

For both AR, and VR utilizations.

For AR, or assisted reality, the beginning could be very useful indeed; especially if you wanted reasonably capable individuals to do skill activities ordinarily only done by specialists. A prospect made all the more conceivable if the task in question already had a lot of stored experience that could be rendered to a good, context specific AI. Because, in that context, you have succeeded in de emphasizing specialization; because de emphasis, in that context, is all you really want to try to do. Assuming, of course, you wanted to come up with another way of operating.

For VR utilizations it will be a disappointment, at least initially. Not only are they going to need a lot better resolutions delivered to each eye, they'll need the full body, haptic setup, and better physical motion, to digital scenario integration (the running and jumping and whatnot, in a limited space problem), in order to really make it take off. The thing is, though, anybody who gets something even pretty close to, "sorta real," is likely to blast into the next dimension of profit potential. So much so, in fact, that it will make all the cryptocurrency, gold rushing, now going on, look tame in comparison. You only need pay attention to how much Magic Leap has gotten in VC capital so far to see how much the big guys are already salivating over the potential here, to understand this.

Ultimately, certainly, they will figure out a way to directly connect to the spinal column, so that direct digital, to electro neural impulse, will be achieved; at least as far as the primary senses are concerned. And after that all bets are off as to how far you can take addiction into fantasy, and fantasy into addiction.

Fortunately, or not, depending on your point of view, the planet will not let them get anywhere near completing this madness.

If you were of the mind that we ought to try and fix things, and thought that there might even be a chance to do so, if we could work together enough; if you were to do that, though, you might want to consider also putting some effort into taking the main incentive away that spurs folks to this madness in the first place. And since you are going to have to mobilize as a nation anyway to do the fixing, why not just do a bit more, organizationally, to make both the fixing possible at all, but also so as to do away with what is essentially a hothouse environment for the manipulation of all of our base instincts.  The very system that made us have to stop everything and do the planet fix that Capitalism itself has only just started to fully begin to accept exists, much less take responsibility for.

Magic Leap's Headset Is Now Available | CNBC

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Today, secretive augmented reality company Magic Leap finally released the first product: the Magic Leap One. And folks, it's okay that it was overhyped.

Monday, August 6, 2018

It Just Goes To Show You How Important How We Can Conceive Of Things Is

This is a wonderfully challenging illustration of just how far our ability to do instrumentality has come, as it demonstrates real imagination on new ways to consider complex, interactive, structures.

Man what description. As a process guy I think I nearly had a geek-gasm listening to this. And mind you, I don't claim to understand all of the finer aspects of the engineering possibilities here, but you really don't need to be an expert to appreciate what this might suggest.

Way to go Disney creative people. I doff my hat, and give a big salute out to you guys on this one.

Scientists Have Come Up With A Novel, Digital Way To Determine The Mechanics Of Materials

Friday, August 3, 2018

An Uplifting New Instrumental Song List On YouTube

This is just the right kind of instrumental pick me up you need for a very chaotic life. Trust me on this because I have relied on these songs for a long time now.

An Uplifting New Instrumental Song List On YouTube

If We Are Fundamental To The Duality Of Energy, Of Course We're Special

A humanist has to say that certainly. As well as to say that we have had little chance to touch but a little of what we are really capable of.

That being said doesn't change the fact that we must still live life on a path of balance because we will still be frail, all too squishy, all too prone to fear, entities that sprung from the basis of biological life.

It's certainly going to take some time to work on that.

In the meantime, however, we must still do the one thing that is still a high mark for miracles to me: that anything could come into being, solely by the process of aggregation by interactive association, over time (lots and lots of time), so that ever more emerging complex structure could itself aggregate anew, for interactive association, to begin again to make new interactive pieces; that this process could then yield an entity able to make sentient choice. Able indeed to grasp the very idea of "getting a handle on things," so as to begin to understand that you can actually have your reach exceed your grasp.

Choice. And new instrumentality that makes choice about as absolutely important as anything can be because that ability to "exceed" now threatens the survival of all life as we know it. The problem then becomes how we go about encouraging the upbringing of good choice makers. And in that must there be now real Revolutionary thinking. And yes, with a capital R. Across the boards for life as we've known it in all of our social institutions. Because this is where we need to pivot to a new direction so that we can have a chance to actually realize the potential that we've yet to unlock in ourselves, even as we start looking out, and moving out, into the stars as we have never done before. All just more of the, quite difficult balancing act we're going to have to figure out how to do. A balancing act that will require compromise, and cooperation, with the many diverse meaning systems out there that currently motivate people now. And the sooner we get to that very difficult task the better.


We presume ourselves to be so special that the question "Where is everybody as complex and important as ourselves (or more)?" cannot be taken seriously.