Unreligious Altruism

Wetted. That’s what things are this morning. The weather beavers have been rather confused and confusing in their predictions. Of course, if they are confused, as evidenced by inaccuracy the last week and disconsistency, then they are not unlikely to confuse us who depend on them. So no high marks for trust instilling, folks.

And the air temperature seems off, Supposed to be “cold” this morning but only cooling with the falling dihydrogen oxide. And while the bed of the Shoal Creek was a foot deep in that fall, the path was actually less nasty than yesterday, which indicates some difference in the structure of the fall.

Not much to think about this morning. Except whether I was hot and whether getting a bit soaked was worth remediation of the situation. And I had to make do with the middling rain coat that I bought last year when the Maine Guide Store failed to offer a replacement for mt insulated rain coat of many years. I do hate inconsistency; it’s a cheat, but I also hate incompetence. Which is compounded by the idiocy of lining sleeves with fleece, One has to wonder if it was deliberate evil?

That puts me to mind of some work out of U Chicago [Link] that indicates that children raised in relgionist environments are less altruistic than those who are not.

Can’t say I find this surprising. Many years of observation indicate that religionists practice “altruism” primarily on their fellow members of the religionist organization and not on others. One of those freedom of religion equals freedom to persecute those not of your sect things.

Which comes down to

No Charity from Religionists. Unless they are bullying you.

And raises the question of whether charity really does only occur in spite of belief?

Evolution by OS

Freya’s Day. The air temperature is adequate. I sallied to the park and had a moderately good constitutional. Not knowing the wind before I emerge from Castellum SCP, I have to guess at its speed and cooling. And my endurance of heating/cooling is shallow so some care is necessary. Gad, I hate being senior at times!

Anyway, had to bundle up a bit once I hit the trail and then debundle in the closing centameters, but otherwise moerately comfortable aside from some cramps. 

What’s a centameter? Not in most textbooks. It’s a hundred meters. Complement to centimeter, which is a hundredth of a meter. 

Not much deep thought this morning. The local constabulary is having a pharmaceutical collection this morning and FD SCP kept me bustling last evening gathering up decaying pills and potions. I shall be run off to the collection locus later unless I am surprised and she actually dons street attire. So I had to plot that a bit.

But the bulk of the staggering – mental and physical – was spent considering an an article [Link] sent me by my colleague Magnetic Inductance Force. This article is an autobiographical account of a senior who adopted Linux. That’s not news. Lots of retired folks are shedding themselves of Winders and Fruit for FOSS. And lots of them write about it. What sets this one apart is the search for independence and self-reliance.

This fellow discovered he was spending as much on annual maintenance – using Winders – someone to clean and polish his install, as on a new box. Then his maintenance chap relocated and he decided to try Linux. Love story follows. Ho hum. But what makes this different is that the fellow recognized up front and embraced that he would have to do maintenance for himself. Evidently he is one of those classical Yankees, the Thoreau of Walden Pond/Daniel Boone type that recognizes a need, hunkers down and does it. 

Very Heinleinesque. Very ’50’s science fiction protagonist. The self-propagating individual.

Like I say this is surprising only in how the fellow writes about it. If you take up Linux successfully, not as a pseudo-Winders user, then you have to take on doing it. Yes, the Linux community is modestly friendly – not pushy in the main although there are a few foaming at the mouth evangelists – but the extent of the help is advice and book loaning. No one maintains another’s computer. At least not among “REAL” Linux users.

I am obviously not talking about the people Canonical is trying to sell Ubuntu to. Admittedly Ubuntu is the minimum effort, minimum engagement distro of Linux. Lots of Linux Quakers look down on that (which really defeats the Quaker part I think,) but it is a good place for people to learn if they have the “Right Stuff”. Whether they are cybernauts. And if they can’t handle doing the small ‘it’, then they can go back to MegaHard or Apple. And if they can, then they can move on when the adamantine confines of the ‘play pen’ chafe and bruise.

Moral of story: just because we all have to do the same things we don;t all think of them the same. Or talk about them the same. Diversity increases Entropy. As in accessible states. And until you have accessed all the states, you still have learning to do. 

Unlike the folks who use Winders.

More Sensation and Measurement

Ice Cream Day. And it feels that way outside. When I left Castellum SCP for the park my thermometer read 41 degF. When I returned it read 39 degF. I am probably not going to tell my cardiologist I violated his guidance. And it wasn’t intentional or overt or even covert. I don’t have control of the temperature. FD SCP does, at least inside Castellum SCP, when the warmerizer is functioning properly, but I am not supposed to touch the thermostat. Or, evidently, since yesterday, watch her touch the thermostat. Evidently some observer effect there?

I was cold in park but thanks to a brisk pace – I think; for me – I was actually warm by the time I finished. Except my face. I think about wearing a face mask but when I do I get the itches. Regardless of material. 

Speaking of temperature, does light have a temperature. I can calculate one easily enough from the wavelength and a couple of fudgy factors aka constants of Nature. But does it actually have a temperature. My conjecture right now is NO, but I haven’t thought that out. Not in fullness, that is. Part of the consideration is whether light is an ensemble unto itself or is it part of a greater ensemble? Clearly I can see stuff so the light is interacting with me, so it has to be part of the ensemble I am in so then I can ask if it is in equilibrium with me?

For that matter, am I in equilibrium? Clearly that seems to be NO. So do I have a temperature? 

It may be time to study stat mech again.

On which azimuth, I ran across an article [Link] that the El Nino (non-equilibrium) will make this winter particularly miserable. There are two aspects to this: First,

and second,

It’s hard to pick out Greater Metropolitan Arab on these maps. The state boundaries are there but pretty much contrasted out of observability. But I think we’re in the >33% band on temperature and on the edge of that band on precipitation. Which means a miserable winter.

Incidentally, cooler and warmer are perfectly good thermodynamic terms since they are comparatives. Cool and warm aren’t since they are sensations. Cool also has other meanings, often associated with leather biker jackets, I believe. Drier and wetter are similar except that we need to qualify that wet refers to amound of dihydrogen oxide and not the phenomenon of wetting. 

Anyway, we can loom forward to low temperatures and lots more snow and ice. And probably electric potential failures and all the pipe problems that entails. May be time to move to Venus?

On the positive side, I see [Link] that the Yankee government justicer system has ruled that Gooey’s copying of books is not a violation of copyright. This makes the book guild rather unhappy although I can’t quite see why. In most cases the book in question isn’t available for purchase so the service is not denying the greedy capitalist book oligarchs any pictures of discorporate euro-american politicians. And it is, much as I hate to say anything nice about Gooey, a public service. In fact, in some instances it improves the oligarch’s cash flow since some people do POD for a material copy of the out-of-print book.

It seems rather strange to live in an information age and have people demanding to control information unto denial of access. Is that the new treason? How should it be handled? How about being locked away in a sensory deprivation chamber until they relent? Or discorporate, whichever comes first.

Not that I can read any of those books when the electric potential difference is zero. But it is nice when society gets to strike back at the forces of evil. 

Talking Stick

Freya’s day. Lower Boundary of Week In. Why Lower? Because it’s depleted.

Off to the park for constitutional. Also lower bound, this time of pleasant. I was moderately chilled by the time I returned to Castellum SCP. Of course, the weather beavers are foretelling considerably lower temperatures the rest of Week Out (and into Week In.) Some forecasts are putting temperatures below the lower boundary that the medicalists say I may walk. Regardless, not eagerly anticipated. And not least the prospect of being cooped up and using the stationary bicycle.

I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

yesterday and it stirred some thought. I find the whole cartoon bemusing, which is likely what the cartoonist intended. But I am intrigued by the idea that the only people who should be allowed to talk about science stuff are scientists. The first question is who validates them. There are lots of religionist terrorists wandering about claiming to be scientists. In this case the modified rule – if you have to tell me you’re a scientist, you aren’t – seems to hold. But the problem is that the boggerate, and much of geekdom, cannot recognize scientists from arcane. 

And is the cause served by only letting scientists talk about science? Doesn’t that negate all this mumblage about outreach? Not that I am a great fan of outreach, especially when it isn’t done by scientists. But I do think an alliance is necessary because almost all of the writings of scientists for outreach that I have seen is worse than nothing. Erroneous and misleading, at best. And the stuff that gets awards is mostly self-congratulation. It falls into the bin of “if there are no awards then there is no worthiness.” So the outreachists give each other awards rather like the schules pass out awards for breathing and not killing an educationalist. 

I know I dislike (pseudo) celebrity endorsement of most things. Nothing is more irritating – ethically – than some entertainer endorsing some nerd activity, or a social derivative of a nerd activity. And the masses immediately fall into proskynesis. Typical boggery adding to the overall degradation of civilization and the extinction of the species. I am also unfond of the delusional ranting of religionist terrorists. Not that I think the bishop of rome is a particularly nasty one but some of his predecessor have been. 

And as I don’t like deluders, false pundits who spread deliberate inaccuracy, I strongly dislike denialists whose only goal is to defer any consideration of (possibly/potentially) dire threats until after it is too late. But I do acknowledge that the species is forged of insecurity and will probably self destruct in an extinction event if head hiding or subrug sweeping. 

Meanwhile I did get to think about whether light has temperature while walking. Film at Eleven.

Good Words

Two day. Not bad. Gym sparse and one of the podcasts, an episode of Guardian Science interviewing Carlo Raveli (sp?) about his outreach book was excellent, mostly because of one statement by Raveli:

“Learning occurs in spite of School.”

Similar to Tyson’s sentiments but still congruent with my own experiences and hypotheses.

On a similar azimuth, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Don’t let the Nobel prize fool you. Economics is not a science”. In particular, the second part is accurate. Economics is not a science. The best thing that I can say about economics is that it doesn’t tell us it’s a science like political science or (maybe) computer science or social science.

I won;t go much further except that my conjecture is that economics is a con game. That’s why it gets along so well with banks and governments.

Puddle Padding

Lovely day so far. Dihydrogen oxide falleth but lightly. So I was able to execute my constitutional but had to exchange outer garments when I returned to Castellum SCP.

To set the tone, I have noted some folks using the designation dihydrogen monoxide. I suppose that could be a matter of taste but I consider it a bit pretentious. Pauli exclusion principle and all that. Forewarned.

I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

after I did catch-up – not the red non-Newtonian liquid in the intransigent bottle – and was rather taken by the humor. The overall tenor of religionist self-righteousness and arrogance lapping over into violence was excellent galgenhumor. Accurate, deadly so. See earlier blot on the Bishop of Rome and the Spanish connection. 

But I was most taken with the last panel. It caused reflection. Education is also – most importantly – about testing theories. Especialyy religious ones. They don’t fare well. That’s why they try to brainwash that testing is evil and bad. 

If it can’t be tested, it can’t be trusted.

I also ran across an article [Link] advancing that people are retaining their electronics longer. In effect, everyone is becoming ORF. (I still have my HP-35 calculator; if I could just remember where I put it.) Actually this is unsurprising. It isn’t like the old days when a new processor or memory type came out every year. In effect, we have reached the Edsel period of consumer electronics. All that Apple seems to be able to do these days is change the size of the iSlab. 

And lastly, I ran across another article [Link] entitled “To cut costs, college students are buying less food and even going hungry”. The thesis is that college students are not spending as much money on food, I offer this quote:

“When asked if they ever went without eating for an entire day because they lacked enough money for food, 7% of students at two-year colleges and 5% of students at four-year colleges said yes.”

The only problem with this is that it ISN’T NEWS! College students were this way when I was in college almost fifty years ago! My freshman year I lost 28 pounds. Of body weight. There were days when I didn’t eat because I didn’t have the money. And I didn’t have the money on me partly because I didn’t have time to go cash a check and partly because I thought I was spending money too fast.

That latter is one of the problems with college. You walk in the door and you get hit with more than 0.9 of the semester outlay in the first day or so. Tuition, room rent, books, … Not just sticker shock, sticker catatonia. 

It was worse in graduate schule. Adult activity, no running to parents. I have already bored y’all with my stories of cosmetically damaged television dinners and bulk commodity peanut butter on week old bread. Read it previously. 

But the contemporary media is good at incompetence. Part of it is an information age thing. Doing library research is unknown. It’s too hard since it isn’t electronic. So nothing that happened before the internet is defacto irrelevant. Part of why so many GEN Y are vapid, vacuous even. At least mentally. Especially the journalists. Who also seem to lack any integrity. Repackaging oldness as new. Sounds like something a corporate oligarch would do, doesn’t it? But that’s another blot.

So get used to. News isn’t if you trust journalists. 


Ear Stercus

It raineth! No complaint, just appreciation. And due to continue through much of the week. Probably a nuisance – at least – for others but I enjoy the stuff, at least intellectually. Mentally. My sinuses do not. 

The Guardian is still on holiday, so I had to find other listening for Two day and after last week’s disappointment with the decrepitude that the SCIENCE podcast has rotted into, I tried the Big Think [Link] podcast again. It was marginally better than my experience with the Science Guy episode that gave boredom new meaning. 

Evidently these people make a special effort to have really unengaging, off-putting even, people on their podcasts. I can’t recall who the fellow was this morning, he was announced as famous which meant I had never heard of him and his babblings did little to endear him to me. Not a STEM nor nerd, nor even geek, I fear.

His topic was genius and it was mediocrely done. By that I mean that half of it was utter stinking stercus and half was moderately accurate. That’s better than Sturgeon’s rule but then this is supposed to be. But it didn’t rise above average boggery. 

Of course, it is hard to do genius, especially when the speaker obviously isn’t. Some parts of the descriptions were accurate but much of the added commentary was smelly and unpleasantly yuck. It amazes me how well funded organizations can’t do decent podcasts but two good old geeks in a garage can. Is it something about success that spoils the art? 

The sole virtue of this was it diverted me for a few minutes. But I can only hope the Guardian mob returns soon. Or I find another fill-in that isn’t better unheard.