But A good morning so far. The weather beavers are foretelling temperatures well below the phase change for the middle to end of the week and I have scant doubt they are pulling their predictions short to avoid a mod storming their station. Despite this I bundled up and ventured out to the park for a constitutional and it was enjoyable until my back began to complain about the winter inactivity cost.
But I had chance to further consider a cartoon [Link]
that I happened on the other day. In my case I am a bit older since the day of the hand held calculator started when I was in college.
A convenient starting point might be the spring of 1966 when TIME magazine broached the subject of the existence of the deity: [Link]
It is intriguing, in a warped human way, that the question was posed as it was. The idea of the deity, especially in the christianist sense, at least in Amerika, was so ingrained that it was impossible to posit that all our grrrr brrrrr might have been merest superstition and mumbo jumbo.
This was not mentioned in high schule. We had prayers uttered at most gatherings but no mention of denomination or any of the things that cause riots and head bashings. Such were reserved for teacher disciplinary actions. I have long entertained the idea that the primary reason for competitive elitist athletics in public schules is to have stalwarts with strong arms to wield the truncheons. But in the fall we went off to college and the matter was at least discussed in dark corners, away from the fanatics of the various religionist centers adjacent campus, whose buildings seem to rival the actual campus in size and number, by people who inquired of things they could not inquire of previously.
Skip ahead to the fall of 1971. I was a graduate student at the Campus of the Boneyard. And every STEM graduate student, and many of the upper class undergraduates, had an advertisement for the Hewlett Packard 35 calculator [Link]
taped to a wall for easy admiration and dreaming in idle moments. Seldom has a thing so riveted a population. The mania, strangely, even spread among the faculty. This was indeed a thing of great wonder. A rechargable calculator that would do nerdish number crunches, like logarithms and trigonometric functions, and fit in a (large) pocket (the actual leather case had a belt loop, unknown to us until years later.,) far beyond the scope of even a twenty inch slide rule. In one fell swoop the desk straining Frieden and Marchant calculators were obsolete and the numerical practice of STEM created anew.
The phenomena was nationwide, if not planet-wide. All STEMs of any metal and merit wanted one of these and alternately asked Santa Claus and the deity for one. Except for a few faculty with trust funds or extravagent but thrifty wives (STEM faculty were all men in those days, except the rare woman in maths or biochemistry) and undergraduates with doting but wealthy parents, all were disappointed. And in that season the outlook of young STEMs everywhere towards Santa/deity changed a bit, fulfilling the nature of TIME’s question. In that brief period, and courtesy of the innovation of two STEMs named Hewlett and Packard, the STEM conception of the role of the deity, like the nature of STEM itself, changed throughout the social segment. And in the terms of the cartoon, all because of the technology of a hand held calculator.
Well should we remark on it.
Marvelous. Actually warm enough I got to venture out to the park for a morning constitutional. Of course, I was more bundled than Nanook but it was a good experience.
Also good was an article [Link] I ran across that supports my repeated impression that Alibam is a third world state. Turns out there actually is some statistical data that indicates Alibam really is repressive, antediluvian, oppressive, feudal,……………
This is not satisfying. If one smells blood and finds oneself in a slaughterhouse, perception of accuracy is not satisfying. And now our council of thieves is off again oppressing women and those who are not mind ridden by superstition.
Alibam used to be a good place to live, mostly on account of the climate. Now, because of the denialists, even that isn’t the case.
Social media is all abuzz about the committment of Remington to bring a manufacturing facility to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. The reactions are either resoundingly positive or resoundingly anti-gun. My reaction is suppressed laughter.
The laughter is at the humor of the situation, how a community founded on engineering excellence has degraded itself into rot and ruin. In days previous the Huntsville community, which styled itself the “Rocker City”, built rockets that took humans to Luna (and back!) and missiles whose probability of kill given a hit (Pk|h) was 0.8 or greater by design.
Now they are giving great effort and voi9ce to a company the manufactures weapons – firearms – whose Pk|h is in the range of 1E-03 to 1E-06. Way, three to six ORDERS FOF MAGNITUDE less lethal. And the Huntsville community is excited to have such ineffective weapons manufactured there?
Perhaps they should change their stylization to “Maiming Capital of Tellus” since that’s what firearms are good for. Their Pm|h is about 0.5 or so.
And that’s why I am laughing.
Back into the meat locker last night after a prolonged liquid dihydrogen oxygen precipitation. In anticipation of the event I dripped but semi-controlled my ramblings to hourly inspect faucets because FD SCP and I are albatross necked with the grand dogs. It is very hard to observe the positive side of Saint Valentine’s holy day if the rug rats won’t let you. So I only missed a few hours of sleep instead of a whole night.
I have been studiously trying to avoid the olympic nonsense but the media seems intent on intruding with drivel as well as nonsense and trivia. I feel rather like a prisoner incarcerated in a lower dungeon that is also used as a holding tank for fecal matter and used motor oil. If these people want to waste their lives on silly athletic competitions, that is their right but pray don’t waste my time and attention span (and wasted creativity) by spectating their antics and anguish. About all you engender in me with your efforts is a regret that said anguish isn’t an energy source. I can honestly say watching the congress in session is more entertaining than these silly competitions.
I shall maintain my dignity and not make comments on the pornographic aspects of the programming.
I did finally get to venture out yesterday and found that the roads were relatively clear except for blown and melted snow. And, of course, the obligatory suicidal Alibam drivers who seem intent on creating as large a wreck as possible. For once we can be thankful for the insecurity of Alibam politicians who witnessed the self-destruction of so many Gawjah politicians last week. Perhaps they need to take lessons from the politicians of New Joisey?
We are now halfway through February and so far it has essentially been a wasted month. Far gone are the carefree days of gripingly dripping faucets overnight between hectic commutes. Nowadays it is a multiday fest of inactivity and too little sensual challenge. Whatever happened to the sunny Sowth? The only people who have profited this month are the grocery stores. Even the guvnuh, aka the state dermatologist, has been criticized for spending too much money doing a decent job of road and power support, and despite the fact that the expenditure was more than made up by the additional taxes paid on bread, milk, and ethanol. If you can’t adapt to conditions, deny them with drugs!
And I dread to experience whatever revenge summer exacts this year. I can only hope it fries the communication circuitry of denialists Repulsians and leaves their Hamian nonsense stillborn.
Gad! Bordering on hatred! Rained all yesterday morning, effectively eradicating the snow and generally making travel possible. Not that I issued out. Then mid-afternoon the snow began and after I retired it acted down horribly.
About 2330 the electron flow ceased. FD SCP and I immediately fired up alternate heat sources and engaged drips. And I was up every hour to inspect. And then about 0430 this morning the electron flow was re-established.
I am thankful for the dedication and skills of the linesmen of the Arab Electron Uncooperative. Their management may be reactionary and antediluvian but the workers themselves were excellent this morning.
I anticipate no soon exitance of Castellum SCP. The depth of snow is sufficient that I have no intention of measuring it directly. So FD SCP and I face another day of bunkering. And I suspect the decrease in temperature tonight will obliterate at least some of tomorrow’s freedom.
But those linesmen are worthy of praise.
The weather beavers have struck again. Somewhen after 0300 the sky began to drop solid dihydrogen oxide and it is very nasty. Had to stay here and skip gym. Makes for nasty mood. And it looks to last a couple of days at least. And the weather beavers have mangled the predictions yet again!
Grump. Grump. Grump. Spent yesterday doing medicalist things so I am ready for a bit of liberty and now I get to bunker in and estivate. At least the heat is still moderate, at least till tomorrow. Maybe. If the weather beavers are accurate. Which they haven’t been.
I can only hope that the roads get choked with climate change denialist Repulsians and they destroy each other in slippery bumpers. Just not on my street. Knowing their penchant for inaccuracy my house will probably get punctured.
A moderate night. Below the phase change temperature but barely. And I did my tim on the stationary bicycle so I can now proceed with the day.
The road to “civilization” began with the desire for more gear (goods) and has evolved to the search for entertainment (diversion.) Somehow it seems rather a let down, but that is what the majority of humanity does, spend the bulk of its time being divorced from life.
And that, in large part is what the internet has come to be. It started with sharing “funny” things, like labeled cat photographs and has developed where there are serious political debates over whether preference should be given to the transport of entertainment files over the internet. So much for DARPA’s dream. Not that DARPA is very good at either dreaming or taking action on their dreams. They are more in the nature of the mathematician in the burning hotel room.
But the question is whether the entertainment on the internet, which apparently is at least half of it, has value? Is there value in diverting those who lack any form of creativity or will power from creating mischief? Perhaps. Is there value in preventing those who have creativity but inadequate will power from exercising their creativity? Only negative. Is it possible for entertainment to itself have value? Probably not, at least based on observation and history.
So we have a situation where entertainment on the internet has a value somewhere between zero and assuredly negative. In other words, maths words, non-positive.
This is beginning to get discouraging. Is my lantern too dim? Or are there really no honest men?
Not a very fun night. Got moderately unwarm. The weather beavers once more overestimated the minimum temperature. They have a long way to go in rebuilding trust. A VERY long way. And apparently no effort in that direction.
The brrrrrrrrrrrrr gave me occasion to contemplate the value of the internet some more. From its beginning – once it got out of the direct control of the Yankee government – it has engaged in commerce. In fact, even accessing it is a matter of commerce. So the question must be addressed: is internet commerce beneficial?
Note that this is not an efficiency question, nor it is a cost question. Efficiency in the marketplace has always been a question relevant to suppliers not demanders. Customers are never efficient, only gullible. And any savings enjoyed – apparently – by customers is irrelevant since only profit is a meaningful metric.
On this basis it is very hard to make a telling argument that internet commerce has social value. There were marketplace transport arcs and market nodes prior to the internet. If the internet were to go away these or equivalent arcs and nodes would reappear. So the transport aspects of the internet are not relevant to the question.
Except, from the standpoint of centralization. In much the same way as MalWart, excessive centralization is a negative. It depletes communities of their survivability by destroying their local economies and it makes them fragile when disaster occurs by removing local concentrations of goods and services. So in this sense, the internet is an overall negative. At least from a commerce standpoint.
We do have to consider whether the diversity of goods offered on the internet is a good. This is a bit denser. Unless the thing offered is a survival thing, the diversity is irrelevant. And we have to argue that if that survival thing had not been available in the local marketplace pre-internet, then those who needed it would have found a conventional source or lived elsewhere. But since it is now available on the internet, it adds to the increased fragility of the local environment and hence is actually a negative.
In summary, the internet of goods is a negative value. So our search has to proceed.
Is the Internet worth while? That may seem a ridiculous question given what all happens on the Internet, but the question is really about effectiveness and productivity.
At gym this morning, happily sparse and surprisingly warm for so unwarm a morning, I listened to a Linux Action Show podcast episode. This one had a segment on Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge cellular telephone. I have to admit to being more appalled than intrigued with the idea of a cellular telephone that would replace all my computers.
I have to admit to being rather negative on “smart” cellular telephones. The only merit I can attribute to them is that they are at least large enough that I am not having to move the phone constantly while having a cellular conversation so I can hear what my conversant is saying and then so the microphone can pick up what I am saying. Small may be wonderful but not for telephones; I need an instrument that reaches from ear to mouth.
Would I want an Ubuntu phone? Not right now. I don’t want an Apple phone and my Android is not too bad. It is hideously slow. My old IBM PC circa 1984 CE was faster. In fact it is arguably the second or third best computer I ever had. It was well made and its only negatives were no hard drive and too few pixels. The one after it, a Wyse AT was easily the best I ever had. The build quality was almost as good as IBM’s, it had a hard drive and a few more pixels. And I could get great things done on it.
Partly because it didn’t connect to anything. Except a printer.
As a computer, my “smart” cellular is about as useful as my Radio Shack mini color computer. Maybe less. The color computer certainly was faster and the programs, which I had to write myself, were faster. And the only thing it connected to was a television and a cassette tape machine.
Yes, my “smart” cellular lets me check simple emails, and my calendar, and lots of other things that depend on wifi access and a lot of patience. And it wastes a lot of my time, and aside from the telephone part itself and maybe the calendar, it doesn’t contribute to my getting stuff done. And the helter skelter nature of Android updating assures that every time I turn it on I have to waste time updating. And then I get to recharge. So the availability factor of the thing as a computer is around 0.5.
So maybe there is something to the question
Fair evening. Rained. Bitter this morning. Still rain. Cutting wind. But about the phase change temperature. So no great nattering.
One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, forwarded me an article [Link] about a house resolution to declare 12 Feb to be “Darwin Day”. Booyah! If we can have holidays for religionists and politicians then we should have a day for the man who set the conditions for modern society more than any other.
Sadly, I suspect a zero probability of passage. Too many mystics, superstitionists, and denialists. Besides, it would impede our national progress towards a feudal, third world country. And we all know the Yankee Congress cannot impede progress. Especially when it is negative.
So as much as I like the idea I also have to admit that it is not something likely to happen in Modern Amerika where the bogs must be increased in both number and ignorance.