Sleep and Such

Once more into the boundary of week out. The outer boundary. And another pseudo-shabbat. So we have to endure all manner of superstition and mysticism on the media but tomorrow will be mundane day and we may resume a modal trajectory. The temperature was not as low as threatened by the weather beavers but whether that was the usual, not-polar-vortex, weather or just being early. Sometimes the temperature continues to fall after Sol becomes visible due to increased wind. 

I did a bit different this week out. Finished a podcast episode of “The Linux Luddites” rather than the usual to provide both variation and incite cogitation. The noise was definitely more amenable. Less self-discussion of the nonsense and stupidity being uttered. But the learning material was quite different.  And the thought processes.

Noted an article [Link] that claims that seniors get adequate sleep but don’t feel it is enough. Hockitus non est! Been that way since I was in my fifties. And haven’t had a dozen good night sleep since heart attack. I am of the opinion it is about brain chemistry although the article says naught along that azimuth. So my discontent is unabated.

I was rather befuddled that the O’Bama would name a justicer as tsar of Ebola. I can see not laying the duty on a medicalist but why not a nicely fascist military guy? The kind who can order firing parties unblinkingly. If history teaches us anything it is that the rule of law functions negatively during epidemics. For the bogs, that means that being strictly legal during epidemics gets more people killed. Of course that may be the administration’s intent. They may think the country needs to lose a sizable fraction. And a lawyer can have all the nice paperwork drawn up to implement martial law and firing parties and all that, all nicely legal. And they can probably find military guys to do the dirty deeds and leave the tsar to bleed?

After all, the black plague was the womb of modern democracy, wasn’t it?

Sweet Tartarus

Now is the fall of our dissatisfaction. The primary dissatisfaction is “where did fall go?” Definitely beyond brisk this morning. Mostly because of being summer adapted, of course, but still not what is wanted for now. The weather beavers foretell some improvement but this has been a foretaste of the nasty that is winter in Alibam. Especially now with climate change.

Which leads to the matter of politicians and denialism. The two are synonyms these days. Here in Alibam, with a heavy campaign going on, the matter is an unmentionable. So the denialism is deep and cancerous. Which impacts the race for guvnuh between a dermatologist incumbent and an ambiguous oncologist. Given what all is wrong with the state of the state, I favor the latter more with the idea of jamming up the wheel spokes than actually accomplishing anything.

Along which azimuth, I read once that “Hell is people.” I forget the source and am rather too chilled this morning to go look, but I do know that politicians are Hell. And that for an introvert and the pictures of heaven proselyted by the religionist organizations, heaven is hell. So its all about people. And all people are a mixture of good and bad. But more the latter in politicians. Of which the not least bad is claiming their bad is good. 

Which reminds me of an article [Link] about how the development of the cerebellum in primates led to humans. The title was a bit trashy, talking about monkeys becoming human but what does one expect from journalists/ Another group whose good is actually bad. But maybe not as much so as politicians? And how can we measure that to decide?

I have to admit that the older I get the less difference I see between monkeys and humans. Both are very adept at slinging poo. Just in different forms. And monkeys are not as handicapped as humans because their tails are longer. And yes, Virginia, humans do have tails. And mine is broken and hurts this type of weather. 

On which note, I noted an article this morning [Link] that saccharin causes diabetes. Or perhaps more correctly, increases markedly the probability of developing adult diabetes. So it seems that sweetness is damned. If you use sugar you get fat and diabetic and if you use artificial sweeteners you get diabetes or cancer or brain seizures or some such. But since we’re gonna discorporate anyway I suspect the right answer is to use whatever you prefer. But don’t proselyte or evangelize. The relgionists do enough of that and if we can believe their prevarications (?) things will get worse after. Regardless. 

Selah. If you don’t go to pseudo-shabbes services today, it’s understandable. On several azimuths.

Smilodon Missed

Yesterday was hospital day. It served as a stern reminder that for any given sample the likelihood of it being negative, zero mean, of course, is the same as being positive. And regenerated the outlook that putting things at risk are unavoidable and hence we need to accept a certain level of risk to exist. 

Nothing – I hope – permanently wrong but it was rather stressing for several hours. Largely due to some hardware failures. Which led me to reflect on the differences between the FDA and the Yankee army. Not saying one is better than the other, but instructive nonetheless.

No gym nor constitutional today. Just fatigue. Physical and mental.

Selah

The Joys of Metropolis

The weather beavers seem bent on destroying us. Every day: thunderstorms. Beginning to make up for this year’s mild tornado season. More vegetables blocking streets this morning than last couple of days – and I slept through it!

Since it is ice cream day I need to ‘hawg’ some tabs so I’ll set in here. First, I note that a robot (sic) has been prototyped to construct hamburgers from components.[Link] I would have characterized it as a robotic assembly line, but that doesn’t sounds as sexual nor menacing as “robot”. And that’s what modern journalism is all about, isn’t it?

This isn’t surprising, I think. After all, the modern fast food restaurant is little more than an assembly line. The components – hamburger patties, lettuce leaves, tomato slices … are all formed elsewhere and shipped in so there is no actually food preparation other than the application of heat to the meat (and the taters.)  So automating this activity is eminently predictable, especially now that MacDougal’s workers are getting militant and demanding an actual livable wage.

On which azimuth, this seems a portent of the future where the fraction of the population that is unemployed/unemployable is greater than today and maybe very large. Exceeding recession numbers. So the question that arises is not the automation of services and such but how we are to engineer society to adapt to this. Do we just ignore these people and end up with a highly unstable situation, do we build large euthanasia facilities ala Nazi Germany, or do we get serious about figuring out (a) how to control population growth and (b) assure some sort of reasonable existence for the folks who can’t work either through being broken or absence of opportunity, the latter being the big deal.

Second, [Link] is some work out of Loma Linda U that indicates that humor can be a useful component in maintaining health and recovering from bodily whackedness. Again, not too surprising and again, the problem is that it has been and is ignored. In fact, the medicalist apparat seems opposed to humor. This is not surprising either. Telling someone they are whacked, perhaps unto discorporation, is not a time for humor. But humor absence during less intense periods is not beneficial. I can attest to this from personal experience. After I had heart attack and stents were inserted, I tried to find humor where I could to endure the hurry-up-and-wait of bureaucracy and treatment. The best response I got was stone faced silence. A couple of times I was directly criticized for being frivolous or disrespectful. And none of that improved my attitude or made me feel better.

I was forced to conclude that the medicalist apparat is not as professional as it should be. And yes, I know they are overworked, mostly with local and government bureaucracy. That doesn’t alter the fact that they aren’t doing their best.

But then no one does their best all of the time.

But I do have to conjecture that there are a lot of people working as medicalists not because they want to be good at what they do but solely because it’s a good job. Which is another reason we need to rethink how we manage society and the whole employment thing.

Sometimes it seems that society and civilization, irrespective of capitalist or socialist or whatever, means having lumpy carpets.

And I leave the correlation between hamburgers and medicalists as an exercise for the reader.

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Lacking Flashlight

Since today is schwarz freitag it seems fitting to discuss an article [Link] I saw the other day on ordering groceries on-line. I should warn that the article is hemistercus. It only applies where it will do harm, not good.

The idea is that while one is waiting for one’s subway connection one can use one’s smartphun to order groceries that will be delivered later.(?)

Based on my (now dated) trips to large cities, never pleasant, I noted that people on the subway will do anything they can to avoid any type of social interaction with anyone else. They apply make-up, read books, abuse themselves, listen to music – until they are knifed or shot by those nearby of differing musical tastes, and eat. The whole idea of the smart phone/tablet as entertainment device is uniquely oriented to this demographic, thus punishing all those people who live not in large cities and ride not subways. Except maybe the Amish and Mennonites? Or do they just not know they’re being punished?

So perhaps using your itty bitty decadent misuse of electronics device to purchase foodstuffs is not orthogonal. But it is a bad idea. It’s MalWart and its job destruction – three for every two created, and at lower pay and worse conditions – writ cosmic. If you go to a large city, in the residential areas, you find lots of dinky small grocery stores. These are never chain businesses. They’re individual. And they are in the business of selling city dwellers, usually on their way home from work, enough groceries for tonight’s supper and tomorrow’s breakfast. And the city dwellers visit these stores every day because they don’t have room in their dinky kitchens to store more food.  And lots of people are employed running these little stores. Because they are labor intensive.

And this scheme wants to put those people out of business. To save those subway riders ten minutes. On a path they have to take anyway from the subway station to home. And eliminate their safety net by destroying those little stores on individual’s blocks. And that’s only part of the evil.

They will only implement this in the big cities. And maybe the dense suburbs. But not out in the sparse hinterland where people have to drive a whole day, getting there and back, to get to a grocery store. I live in a relatively dense area and I have to drive an hour plus to get to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill so I can buy the groceries I need. I can’t buy many groceries in Greater Metropolitan Arab. No tofu, no TVP, no granola, or bagels – not that Huntsville’s bagels are all that good, no fresh meat, especially unbrined dinosaur descendants. Just beer and salt laden snack foods and bog stuffers in Greater Metropolitan Arab. Ask for No Salt Added in WalMart and they call the constabulary and have your charged as a domestic terrorist. It’s un-MalWart to net consume five grams of sodium per diem.

But there is a hope. The grocery business is paper thin overhead. So they have cutthroat competition and are continually introducing new products. And advertising isn’t enough to sell new products, at least to all but the slime moldest of bogs. You have to let the consumers touch it on the shelf to enable a purchase. So maybe this thing will be localized. And make living in big cities even more unhealthy. And dangerous.

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Stupidity in Action

Warmer this morning, but not by much. It’s on the ragged edge of the solid-liquid phase change for dihydrogen oxide. My browser tells me 33 degF, which is now, three hours after I arose from my bed and motored out to Scant City for gym. I know it is not hot enough for me, especially with the wind leeching all my body heat.

The podcast this morning was a bit strange, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” on war, peace, and public health. The folk interviewed were all medicalists of some sort and labored under the sorts of delusions about war that most such seem to. The program started with an interview of a nonagenarian academic who flatly refused to discuss war because it was so repugnant to her. I don’t fault her her dislike but I do detest the attitude. I believe it was Lord Kelvin who said what we could not measure we did not know. I have since found that there are many things that cannot be meaningfully measured, pain, for example, but I have learned that what we will not discuss and analyze binds us in a slavery of ignorance.

My studies of war have led me to the hypothesis that it is the direct result of organization. Bear in mind this is not about violence; humans are naturally violent and will be violent irrespective of organization. The easy way to get to this hypothesis is via Clausewitz, who can be misquoted as saying that “war is an extension of policy.” Policy is a characteristic of an organization. For an individual to have policy he/she must adopt some of the characteristics of an organization. From this we can infer that war is inherent, or derivative from, organization.

It is often cited that hunter-gatherer bands, the simplest human organization known. sometimes are completely peaceful. But invariably they also live in an environment where they never have to enforce policy outside the band. Hunter-gatherer bands who do wage (primitive) war also have to enforce policy outside the band. Variance zero.

In effect then, denying or ignoring war is a form of unhealthy and unrealistic denial. It will not go away if ignored, and by ignoring it we give up any hope of control or influence. And that is poor economy. We should not stop trying to control or prevent war but not understanding it and using resources to help sick or damaged people is a waste of at least some of those resources. It is foolishness.

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Last before

My browser says 24 degF while the thermometer on my aft porch reports 30 degF. I do know that I was taking my “cool down” laps after over an hour at gym – two sets of counter-capsulization exercises and sixth minutes of pedaling – I realized I still didn’t have full feeling in my face. And I have now been home for almost an hour and after a shower and several face ablutions in hot water I still don;t have full feeling, but gratefully the sinus ache has abated a bit.

It’s not just old age, it’s also blood thinners and hence low heat capacity.

Anticipation of the loveliness and warmth today was such that my morning staff call has been cancelled and hence I can defer departure for Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill a bit. Enough at least to post this bit of blot.

I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

the other day and it keeps reminding me of the nature of weather. In the winter it’s last freeze until the next one. In the spring it’s last tornado until the next one. And so forth. Nature of like and natural processes, I suppose. But it was much easier to deal with when the aches were less.

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