Monday, July 31, 2017

We Are A Caring Nation

It's just getting ever more difficult to express, even as the need for that expression grows. But what else should you expect from an obsolete operating system founded on the economics of scarcity.


As a stopgap and communal gesture, the mini food donation boxes are great. But they also point out a much larger issue: Food insecurity is on the rise and it can't be solved by charitable donations.

Trying To Legislate Against Stupidity

We could just as easily substitute foolishness, frailty, desperation, ignorance, rage, or even greed, for our last word in this post's title, and the problem would remain pretty much the same.

This gets even more complicated because a clever law can gain a semblance of success. The problem with that, though, is that clever can span across both the "repressive," or "progressive," expression of a law, with the potential collateral damage that can be done, as a consequence, then becoming quite problematic, as well as subjective (especially in what you regard as "successful"). And that's knowing going in that most of the other time you probably aren't going to change the behavior that triggers our list of descriptive labels.

The other problem here is a function of what happens when interactions of every sort, in a vastly complex, social transaction system, now have the ability to adversely affect so much of everything else at the instant of occurrence; and that is because everything is flowing in so many, overlapping streams, of primary intent, which must then deal with the secondary, and tertiary, and so on, interactions that occur randomly along the way of any of these streams, to the actors thus propelled; which causes the interruptions, frustrations, and general hassell we call our daily working lives. And our society, then, also creates new streams of interactive intent in reaction to all of the random events gone astray; themselves, then, creating even more new streams ad nauseum.

The upshot here is that, if you do do something stupid, it can cause a lot of damaging interruptions all over the place. So what now is the shared culpability in all of these possible interactions, when at any given moment, we might all be doing something that isn't either the right level of paying attention, or didn't exercise the right level in talk back to anger that had been building for who knows how long, or talk back to a growing addiction? Or exercising more discipline, in whatever behavior regimen was recommended to you by one "professional" or another. And the list goes on.

And this is just those actions that we would include as obvious examples in our afore mentioned list. A great deal of what happens in Capitalist commercial life can be started on the most sound grounds of investment potential, technical innovation, and beneficial (in the strictest sense of economic development -- as in creating more well paying jobs, and helping our balance of payments globally) results, and yet can end up looking pretty stupid once we become fully informed of what the true costs of the process are; both in terms to our physical, and mental wellbeing, as well as to the planet as a whole.

People not paying attention while driving, or walking, is pretty stupid. And in the latter example stupid because you have just as much responsibility to avoid moving vehicles as they do in avoiding you. Just because your mass, and overall squishyness, doesn't ordinarily make you a massive missile of death and destruction, you are still a cog can can be thrown into a process stream that can cause it to react just as destructively as someone yelling "fire" in a crowded auditorium.

But where do we draw the line here? And more to the point, at least as my bias sees it, is the question: is there something structurally integral here to make all of this ever so much worse?

And in my view, obviously, an operating system that was not designed for the technological environment it now tries to encompass functionally, is absolutely making things worse. And if for no other reason than it works, by its very nature, to keep us so narrowly focused on the singular intent of our particular commercial process. Closed off. Harassed. With so many fears to deal with.

Am I going to be able to keep this job? Will my XXX payment increase (where XXX is whatever critical payment you might want to put there). Am I going to have to find the money for retraining again? Is this lump, or pain, or wheezing, something serious? Is anybody ever going to love me? Is something sagging too much, or not hanging nearly enough? Am I going to meet my quota this month? Is that new person really as scary smart as his first project makes him look? How am I going to make the rent if I don't swallow what little pride I have left and stay with this shitty job?

And so on. All the while the pace of change accelerating on an accelerator all its own (think of an endless mass driver accelerating the ability to accelerate). Which of course cannot go on forever.

The bottom line for this post is to obviously admit that I don't have all of the answer to these questions. But I do want to make sure that you are doing what you can to keep asking more questions about the bigger picture; even as you are made aware of just how complex even stupidity has become.


What's killing pedestrians at a record rate is cars, not phones.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

One Of The Biggest Problems In Providing Aid, Other Than Mustering The Will...

...Is having the coordinated support logistics to provide that aid in conjunction with the security to give it a chance to be applied at all. A fact that compounds the logistics because you have to supply, and support the security forces as well; usually by establishing a forward operating base of some kind; no easy thing to do when insurgents can attack it and its supply lines as well as the people you're trying to help.

What if, instead of the usual approach of bringing in all of the extra personnel to set up an FOB, you could have a tactical platform that could function as both a mobile FOB, as well as a large scale logistics delivery system, and one that would not need improved landing sites at all. A tactical platform that could defend itself even as it excels as a support, and delivery, system.

That platform exists in my design for hybrid, dirigible blimp, air trains.

With such dirigible blimps linked together you get a lot of automatic flexibility in what you task each unit to do. This is so because the twin hull design eliminates the need to either carry payloads as a part of internal hull volume, or as a suspended sling load. Here there is protected space between the hulls, up into which you can have very large, standardized containers, pulled into and secured. As such what each lift unit does is entirely dependent on the modules it carries (with one exception as regards sensors. which, to some extent at least, you could accept the weight penalty of mandating that all units have some form of basic package, and then specialize the entire lift unit only as needed). This is why any unit can be power generation, operating staff space, weapons dispenser carriage space, bulk cargo space, etc.).

Starting with a basic 5 unit train (which gives you two engine units, and three cargo units -- one for support staff, one for train specific defense, and one for your ground security force) you could have an orbiting FOB on site 24/7; the numbers then varying depending on what the situation calls for in regards to actual numbers of support staff, security soldiers you wanted to have at the ready, as well as the depth of your train specific defense. The aid supply stream would then come in on copies of the same five unit, minimum delivery train; which gives you both engine unit redundancy, and the flexibility to go into the landing zone with only one cargo unit, and engine unit, put at risk at a time.

And the really neat thing here is that, if we started this for our own needs first, because we really do need a whole new approach to what is the full scope to "public transport," but did it as a public project, for nobody's gain but the nation's, think what we could do in parallel to helping ourselves. Think what true public transport might mean to the rest of the world if we helped them set it up as well.

What kind of different moral ground could we, as a nation, be able to start from, if we were to start doing things like that on a regular basis?

It is a thing, though fragile, that brings a great deal of hope for me. Hopefully, if you think about it more, and started talking about it more, wherever you can, it could bring a bit more hope into your life as well.

Yemen, Africa Crisis is Largest in the World, Aid Agencies Say

Friday, July 28, 2017

Properly Structuring The Metadata

One cannot overstate the importance of this sort of thing. Because it is from the relationships of things that all transactions between them flow.

I started the design of a simulation engine with this in mind in fact. The idea being that, if the metadata surrounding whatever it might be that you want to simulate, were given the right structure definition tool, there would be no need for specialized simulation coding at all. All that we need to be provided would be the iterative loops required to go go through all of the specified, possible interactive characteristics. Those loops would then fire off SQL transactions (with their inherent advantages of already handling multi-threading, and memory management, and with the ability to do roll backs if required), if there were something to interact with, to a transaction server that could be load balanced across however many helper, sub servers, as the user might afford to throw at it. As such, the SQL database, as a whole, would represent the total interactional state of the environment of interaction capable objects.

I didn't take the project very far though. Both because I had gotten pretty burned out with programming in general, but also because, at the time, about the only thing I could see doing with it was trying to sell it as a piece of software, the process lost all interest to me. And now I wonder if I will ever get the bug to write software again.


Originally published in 2009 as a research poster stuck in the corner of a Miami Beach conference center, ImageNet quickly evolved into an annual competition to see which algorithms could identify objects in the dataset's images with the lowest error rate.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This Would Be Great News For Building A City On The Moon

And you do need to build at least the precursor to a City, as opposed to a lack of vision "outpost" (as some have recently proposed), because you have to make your intention to include every nation on Earth who wants to participate a matter of inherent design; so there can be no question that you are serious in that intent.

Which, of course, is another reason why the site prep has to be so extensive at the get go. The thing is, you also want to make it be a place where people would want to live and work in.

This is why I think the site has to be both big, and spectacularly unusual. And since you need to be underground for most of the living space for radiation protection anyway, why not start with making a city that is a kind of massive, circular, cliff dwelling metropolis. Which is also why I suggested digging an immense, minimum mile in diameter, hole in the moon surface, that would go at least a mile deep.

The idea then is to make sure nobody feels like they are in nothing more than a deep hole, and I think you do that by beaming sunlight down the center axis of that hole. This would also make collecting solar energy within the structure a great deal easier.

What you would end up with here is truly something that would be the epitome of "If you build it, they will come." Which would then give us the core army of workers it is going to take to build the automation infrastructure to really develop our solar system; as opposed to just diddling around with a few people for only scientific reasons, or to fulfill the whims of rich people to not only get richer, but to have one more option for the ultimate "gated community," and exclusive playground.

And again, I must emphasize: This is not a dream too far. This is a simple necessity if humanity is going to have any hope of real options for its ongoing survival, now that things may well start to get fairly dicy down here on gravity central.

I urge you to give this some serious thought, and to support it wherever, and however (peacefully) you can.

Moon's Interior May Hold Way More Water Than We Thought

Monday, July 24, 2017

How Is Having The Right To Choose When You Want To Die...

...Any different from letting addicts dosing themselves to death?

I have to ask myself, at least, this question because it pertains to three things that I have come to believe in: The right to chose (where it is assumed that the choice is an unhindered, fully informed one) is a fundamental human right, but associated with that is the essential requirement that you be responsible for your choices. And associated with that is the need of the rest of us to minimize harm, for us, as a practical necessity resulting from the first two assertions.

It is essential, it seems to me, that a person be allowed to choose when they want to die. The instant you make that declaration, however, is to automatically stipulate that, whatever the reasons are, the rest of us can't sit in judgement on whether it fits some sort of test of sufficiency. And precisely because of that people are going to be choosing for the entire range of absolutely understandable, to absolutely inane, tragic, selfish, or whatever other negative term you care to apply here.

From the point of view of the State, trying to control this via the means of, on the one hand either criminality, or enforced psychotherapy, and/or the medical calling's singular control of the assumption that you must keep living, is a losing proposition in the long run, creating more problems, without really stopping much of the harm that the rest of us must suffer as collateral damage, anyway.

I want to be clear here, however. This is not the same thing at all as saying that the State has no responsibility to have whatever kind of therapy, and or recovery, or medicinal need, to be at hand for all all citizens. It absolutely must have these (or what is the point of a social contract in the first place?). Just as it must take great effort, at each step in a person's choice path to death, if that is indeed their path; that it be the most informed choice it can be (for both sides of the issue here; whereas the State can be as nosey as it wants to be when any person is supposedly asking to be allowed to die, because there can certainly be criminality in someone else interfering with, or somehow manipulating, the making of this choice).

This is why I have advocated for the idea of setting up a two tiered system of drug distribution. In the first tier a person could go to provided locations (nothing fancy, just private, clean, safe, and easy to clean) and be allowed to take all of the drugs that fall within the "Controlled Substances Act." No charge. The proviso, however, would be that the individual would not be allowed to leave until the effects of the drug wore off. And if the person kept taking new doses until they died than that would be their choice. The process, though, would be mandated, at each new dose, to inform the user, in detail, what the probable outcome was going to be, as well as asking pointed questions as to why they are doing this, and how help is there to address any of the issues thus uncovered.

In the end, however, it always boils down to an adaptation of an old adage: you can lead a person to a host of better paths, but you simply cannot make them take one; not in any way, at least, where they own that choice, and in so choosing do all they are capable of to make the best of the opportunity.

The other tier, in any case, would be some option combination (especially for drugs like pot) of either taking the dose at home, and not leaving (with a technological verification system), or going to a facility with better perks, for which restitution of some form would be given.

The right to choose. You either believe in it fully or you don't believe in it at all. That's my opinion. What do you think?


Why are so many doctors opposed to assisted death? As a practicing physician, I've witnessed both sides of this grueling debate.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I'm Glad He Finally Agrees With Me

Building Gateway City on the moon is an essential first step in establishing our presence in space, especially if we're to bring the rest of the world along with us.

Now if we can only get him to stop fixating on hyperloops on the ground so much and focus instead on the mass driver tubes we will need to build up from the deepest parts of the oceans; the masstransit launch system to near earth orbit that will provide the industrial sized carrying capacity we're going to need that rockets were never meant to provide.

See Also:

What Exactly Are You Planning To Do In Space Mr. Vale?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

And Of Course Many Of These Are Poster Children For The Cliché Of Big Money Influencers

Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says

So Not Not Only Are The Institutions That Are Supposed To Inform US Day To Day Suspect...

...The institutions that would provide advanced education as well are suspect too. Unless, of course, they have the right message going now, but with the fracturing of the Right, that also seems to be in question, with several main themes contending (as in "Free Trade Globalism," as opposed to "Fortress America," with only one market that really matters; whether we can get everything we need here or not).

But wait, it gets even more complicated than that. Other, outside players are trying to put their finger on the great wheel of "Russian Roulette" that is now what we ought to call our "ideological, economic governance."

I say it that way as it serves to illustrate where the notion of majority rule by plebiscite is going, even if the trappings of said process remain. Which would be true whether the outside players were foreign nationals, or not. Or even if there were no outside players. This is so because, to make that plebiscite process a trapping, one needs to sow mistrust in all forms of not only how message gets mediated out to us (in all of its many channels now), but to also sow mistrust for rational, scientific thought; both because they have the pesky habit of creating unpleasant truths, but also because they can tend to create thoughtful, questioning, and most importantly, deeply informed, individuals.

The bottom line for me in all of this is the basic point that money, and the inherent corruptibility of the operating system that supports it, makes all of this screwing around with our institutions so much more possible in the first place; even as it also creates the lion's share of the problems that we, and the planet itself, are faced with, but for which, again, the operating system is completely inept at even seeing in the first place, let alone accepting any responsibility for.

So I say again. The simple fact of the matter is that we must demand that an alternative be found, and the plan then to implement it. This is the subject we must speak of everywhere we can, even as we also work to solve all of that "screwing around" that is now going on with the very basis of what makes us American.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Not At All If We Can Get Our Fecies Together

Which means getting rid of both the single worse force behind the earth getting hotter, as well as the single biggest impediment standing in the way of doing everything we can to avoid this calamity, now that we are more fully aware of it.

Capitalism, and its money, greed, and profits at all costs mentality, must go as a means of social organization. And no one is more suitable to do this than we are. Certainly there are few nations that would have a bigger impact on climate change if they did so than we could have; at least if we follow as much of the technological path I have outlined as we can, in the process. This is what I firmly believe. What do you think?


Plague, famine, heat no human can survive. This is not science fiction but what scientists, when they're not being cautious, fear could be our future.

The Very Seafloor Complexity That All Of Us Dreamers Need To Be Careful Of

For me, of course, it is the desire to put the base of a radical new space launch system. For others it is the resource extraction that might be possible.

I'd like to think that my use would be the least invasive, but still. At some point the idea might actually not only catch on, but do so in a big way. And a lot of such facilities, no matter how careful each individual one is, creates significant new interaction possibilities, as a whole, that you have to be very open for regardless; especially when you become more aware of new flow circuits; systems you certainly don't want to be adversely affecting.

One nice thing about my launch system proposal, though, is that it gives us a fairly benign presence for research at the bottom as a side benefit. Something that could easily be mandated if this were the public works project I think it needs to be.


Far below the surface of the sea, the seabed is being scoured by rivers of sediment that can flow thousands of miles from land.

Monday, July 10, 2017

What Will The Future Of Military Aviation Hold?

A lot of unmanned aircraft.

And this will happen whether you make taking the human out of the cockpit policy or not. But then, even that might be a moot point when you consider that hypersonic flight is itself only five to ten years off as the mainstay of attack aircraft. And once you start going that fast the idea of "dogfights" becomes rather silly, assuming flesh, and bone are still there.

The problem here, in significant part, is that a big part of the soul of our Air Force is having a hand on the stick, feet on the peddles, and the other hand on the throttle. And the fact of the matter is that we have to honor that connection precisely because there was a huge sacrifice put into making it real. A sacrifice all the more important because having that human mind so deeply connected made the difference between success and failure so many times in the past.

As such, the Air Force has got to be, and rightly so, worried about how they're going to preserve a sense of that historic connection; the very thing that is so big a part in getting good people to want make the basic sacrifice of serving their country. Just imagine trying to do that within the now cliche context of the RV pilot using a joystick to occasionally manage the flight of his drone; inside those odes to drab military efficiency: the portable RV control module. Yeah. That just reeks of "Right Stuff," "FlyBoy" machismo.

There is a way to address this however. There is a way to keep a human more deeply connected to the immediate flight environment. Game people have been working towards this for decades now. And of course, I have my own proposal to throw into the mix as well.

What is required here is a VR setup for remote piloting that would give the user as real a dose of the experience as is humanly possible to create. And not only does this make it more compelling for the user, it provides key human preprocessing of on sight reality; something for which the data analysis people, downstream, would almost always appreciate; especially as it provides both immediate heads up, awareness, but also for immediate interpretation feedback, and verification. A win/win both tactically, and in a personnel point of view.

So how do we really, really supercharge this "simulator as remote control" device?

We do that by creating a hybrid centrifuge simulator.

This would of course be a very special kind of centrifuge. First of all, it would have to rotate on vertical shaft at least 100 feet tall. It would then require that the arm of the centrifuge be able to traverse up and down this 100 foot rotating shaft. It would also require that the arm itself be made so that the acceleration capsule (itself a modular unit so that different aircraft configurations would be attached as needed) could be moved from the outer end of the arm, to as close to the center of rotation as it is possible to engineer. The acceleration module itself, once attached, would then be gimbaled for rotation on the three axis of roll, yaw, and pitch. It might be beneficial as well if the centrifuge arm itself could swing through some further cone of motion, as well as move up and down the rotation shaft, but that might be more hassle than it is worth.

In any case, though, with something like this, and the right motion control, inertia management, software (not to mention the best cockpit window graphics you can possibly muster), you could create a flight motion simulator that would knock the socks, and that smug grin, off even the most jacked of stick jockies. And you would also, in the process, make it worth their while to continue "flying."

The main criticism for an approach of this type is certainly how much more critical data link becomes; not only because a larger bandwidth of transfer would likely be required, but also because jamming is a constant concern for all military communications. And in this, in the old days, you could almost alway count on the pilot to bring the bird back. But in this as well, I think, is just further emphasis on what I think may be a deficiency in military planning to date. And that is the over reliance on radio to be the key link for communications.

It has always seemed to me that there should be two, completely separate channels: one radio, and the other line of sight laser.

If you are sceptical of the later option I can certainly understand it, but with only a little reflection I think you can see the need for it. The problem here, of course, is that it is not only jamming that makes our communications vulnerable. It is also the very fragile nature of satellites; growing more fragile by the month it would seem, as everybody now emphasizes having the ability to take the other guy's sats out. Imagine, though, if you will, already having the ability to keep large tactical platforms airborne 24/7, continuously. Platforms that could cruise at relatively high altitudes. If you had a lot of them, all around the globe, providing not only relay services, but sensing platforms for a host of other military, and purely scientific needs, you could have your continual laser web of very high bandwidth communications. That platform being, of course, my hybrid dirigible blimps; automated remotely or not.

In any case, though, I think we owe them this boon to remote flight control; just as much as we owe it to ourselves. It would help them stay connected to what makes flying flying, and it would help us have the very best want to make a needed sacrifice for their nation. Think about it. And then talk to your members of congress. Maybe we could do this as a public works as well? Get a consortium of game companies together to help with the simulation fidelity? Maybe get them to at least do it at cost (I, of course, need no compensation)?

Something to think about.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Was The Moment We Went From The DOS, Command Line Driven World Of Programming...

...To the event driven world of graphical, master interface, operating system software, a telling metaphor for the recognition that singular linearity, and segmentation of process, launched manually, and in sequence isolation, was just not up to the multiplicity of flow done in parallel, and cross communicating, that modern, electrified information networks required? Basically what our multi media infosphere is made of today. And I express this as metaphor because this really harkens back to a more basic point: that the "segmented linearity" I just spoke of is of the same nature as both the typography that brought it into being, and the original nature of the industrial oriented economic operating system we call Capitalism.

One thing you have to understand about programming, at it's still quite mechanistic core, is that it is, in essence, setting up assembly lines; just as McLuhan described print on a page, going from left to right, putting together the needed word construct, one repeatable, assembly module after another. In programming the thing being assembled are switching instructions. We see them as commands of a fashion, as in adding or subtracting. And, as coincidence would have it, adding and subtracting, aside from either getting or putting, is all that the switching is really concerned with. We may think of it as comparing things so that a decision can be made, but it is still just basic arithmetic (even if the end result math, as a needed process, is very high end). Everything else the switching does is just more elaborate getting or putting; especially as it concerns the graphics, or linking through the web.

What takes your breath away in this, though, is remembering what can emerge from being able to change the entire switch state of a switching system with billions of switches, in increments of billionths of a second. The underlying mechanistic nature blurs away into insignificance as the outward result turns static frames of state into living reality.

In any case, though, it seems to me that the metaphor I described here might be another good indication of just how obsolete Capitalism is; as well as to provide ample justification for why it might have been mutated by the technological change it was never meant to handle in the first place. What do you think?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Would You Need Nearly A Billion Dollars In New, Light Attack Craft...

...If you were already fielding a tactical, and logistics platform that could provide you close, or near close, support for ground attack as well?

A five segment hybrid, dirigible blimp train combination (one engine unit, three cargo units, and one defense unit with emergency backup power) would give you at least a two and a half C130 Gunship equivalent that would have much greater linger times, greater self protection (with the use of large numbers of cheap, automated, flying claymore mines -- kept aloft by tethered, flying recharging stations) as well as supporting a much more sophisticated sensor package.

You can do that, of course, because, as far as each dirigible blimp unit is concerned, all that is carried within the very large, centerline cargo area, of each unit, are standardized container modules, just like on container ships, only these would be made of considerably lighter materials.

Just another benefit to be had if we used the development of hybrid, dirigible blimps, that could be linkable, as a public works, infrastructure project. The one that would also benefit the other public works project we need to undertake: building floating, Yen Tornado Turbines at sea to produce liquid hydrogen.


You Have To Love The Feeling, and Ideals, Expressed Here

Having said that, though, I have to admit that I would never go back to a typewriter. And trust me, I spent a lot a time on one in the years past.

For me it started out that I had to revert to typing as my cursive writing always sucked big time, and my block printing has never been all that good either. I was, in fact, told in Highschool that I would have to either learn typing, or forget about continuing with my education at all. So I took typing in highschool, and have never done cursive since, save sign my name; so much so that I can't do cursive at all anymore otherwise.

In any case, though, when you can hardly keep up with your thoughts even if you were an expert typist, and you suffer from flipping words around all of the time anyway, typos are going to be a way of life for you; and there is just nothing for it other than doing your typing via a digital editing system. You do that even as you miss the wonderful physicality of mechanical key strokes; that pounding out that is as much the percussion of drums across the land, as it is words on paper. Or at least you always hoped so.

California Typewriter Official Trailer #1 (2017) Tom Hanks, John Mayer Documentary Movie HD

Talk About "The Extensions Of Man"

Being a student of Marshall McLuhan, "Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man" was only one of the books he did that had a big effect on me. Still, it was a pretty big effect indeed. And to see how that cleverly gets expressed, continuously now, with ever more amazing creativity, is an ongoing wonder to me. And the linked example below (via Digg) is just another lovely example.

This 'Third Thumb' Prosthetic Is Just Insane