Bonsai Gardening

Once more into week in. Gym was survivable, the population was sparse and the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealt with (human) parasites. There is a certain thrill to knowledge of yucky things that are maybe good for one. Rather like obligatory reproductive activity?

I ran across an article [Link] this weekend out of Michigan State U that debunks the idea that one can devote 10 K man-hours (MH) to learning something and become a master at that thing. This work establishes that one has to have talent for this thing or those 5 MY are wasted. I now feel much better that I abandoned juvenile athletics as quickly as possible, much to the disappointment of my parents. I have always contrasted the original assertion, now proven conditional, with the idea that one needs to change “jobs” every five years.

I was fortunate in that my parents did not “force” me to do many learned activities. My father wanted me to do sports but I was so abysmal that he quickly subsided. My mother was more determined with ballroom dancing. I still cannot dance to this day despite three summers of lessons as an adolescent. Nonetheless, I have always viewed this as a form of child abuse and was always careful with SCPdatter to help her do things she wanted to do, that I considered worthwhile, and not force her to do things I thought she should do. Other than schule work, of course. Now that I am a grandparent I fear she is morphing into a helicopter. With bumpers. Revenge of the species?

I am not sure it matters much. Children must find their own paths in life. They will be alienated from parents regardless of our acts. But I still fell more comfortable letting children make up their own way. And that’s probably as best as it can be?


Coffee and Industry

This is supposed to be a week of liquid dihydrogen oxide falling. No complaints. Better than solid phase falling. Typical two day at gym. Pleasantly vacant of educationalists and weight bouncers. And the podcasts, various science orts was diverting if not engaging. 

The medicalist mafia has done a spin flop again. [Link] Seems they have now decided more coffee is good. And they have given a meaningful, if not useful, standard, 0.4 g of Caffeine per diem.

The problem is that you can’t find that out from the bag your home coffee comes in or from the barristra (sorta) at you favorite coffeeorum. It approximately corresponds to a 0.6 L “cup” of Starbucks’ something or other that I have never heard of, but then I avoid Starbucks like a White Whale. Their coffee is over-roasted (burnt for the realists) and nasty. Drinkable only by bogs who have destroyed their taste sensors with chain food. 

Next, a study at U Waterloo indicates a correlation between “smart” cellular telephone use and laziness. [Link] I have to admit to a bit of cynicism here. Laziness is not a damnation; it may be a blessing. Quite often lazy folk are more efficient, productive, and efficient than industrious folk. But the assertion that the use of a “smart” cellular telephone gets in the way of learning is right on with my own observations. So while I don’t mind that bogs with “smart” cellular telephones take them to Starbucks, I defriend any of my acquaintances and colleagues who don’t keep theirs in pocket while we are having good brew at our (unchain) coffeeorum.

And yes, the good estimator shy of a chemistry laboratory is 0.6 L per diem. 

Food Stupidity

Two day. Threat of thunderstorms. Solid dihydrogen oxide tomorrow. What was that series Harry Harrison wrote? Death World? Seems like we have created our own.

On which azimuth I think I have a conjecture as to why all (?) politicians are climate change denialists. Could it be guilt? Do politicians know they are the cause? 

At least I got to gym this morning. It was nicely sparse and the podcasts, science episodes, were diverting if not entirely engaging. But I was struck by one about some fellow who did a linguistic analysis of restaurant reviews. After one got past the jargon and pseudo-science one was struck by the apparentcy that Amerikans are whacked when it comes to food.

I have long muttered that a diet is not something you do for a period of time to reduce one’s weight but one’s lifetime regime of eating. I don’t expect to change the way the bogs prattle but I do have a fair collection of ears from the effort. But what I am muttering about today is different.

As I listened to the podcast I kept hearing the adjectives “good” and “bad” referred to food. Bad seemed to be rather subjective with maybe a small objective component associated with medicalism. Otherwise it was not organic, sustainable, …..

Stercus Tauri.

Food is what we eat that is digestible to provide energy to run our bodies. Plain and simple. Good food is food that does this well, even – maybe – lapping over into feeling. Bad food is food that detracts from providing energy to the body. If food makes us sick and we use a bunch of energy countering it, then that was bad food. 

Doesn’t matter if it isn’t organic or sustainable or whatever. If the body gets energy out of it without flummoxing the body, then it ain’t bad. And since food that damages the body, even if it takes decades, detracts from that energy intake, medicalist demerits may be valid. If they are backed up by something more than procedural opinions. Quite frankly, medical experiment statistics are the sort of thing college stats profs use to demonstrate how NOT to do stats. Or design experiments. But that’s another blot.

Waiting for the weather.

Passenger Pigeons of Amerika

Once more to week out, and the nastiness of the weather seems to be on the increase. So FD SCP and I are doing the we-hate-dripping angst in preparation.

I have noticed lately an increase in disagreements among different "professional" "types". I put both those in quotes because, in the first case, everyone in the Yankee republic, including garbage gatherers and used motorcar retailers consider themselves to have a professional aspect, and, in the second, that the taxonomy is popular rather than exact. Anyway, there is a interdisciplinary board that is supposed to arbitrate differences between "professions" and their workload of late has been increasing, mostly between physicians and other folks with doctorates. So I got interested in demographics and did some looking up on the internet.

By professional I essentially mean a traditional knowledge worker, someone who is paid for their knowledge as well as their skills. This eliminates the garbage gatherers and used motorcar retailers from consideration.

I should also preface by saying that I could not find any demographic data on the total numbers of either MBAs or men-of-the-cloth.

Excepting that, I found the populations of the Yankee republic is approximately 324 Megapeople (Mp). Of these 1.8 (also approximately but I am dropping the explicit statement as now implied,) Mp. That’s about 0.056 of the total population. Slightly more than 1 in 20 on a sampling basis.

There are about 1.5 Mp engineers, 1.2 Mp lawyers, and 0.9 Mp physicians.

Within STEMs, and I don’t include physicians in that "type", there are also 85 Kp chemists, 18 Kp physicists, and 3 Kp mathematicians.

I couldn’t get good data on how many doctorates there were by "type" but it seems that what we have here is a bunch of rare birds fighting over worms.

But it still grates me when physicians can’t call other "doctors" by their degree.

Dies Vis

The day of stress has arrived. But after yesterday it seems refreshing, at least at this slack moment. After yesterday I have no doubts that I am an Intro; the crowding of family repast and the house social after were as exhausting as a day of cap trooper training. To say nothing of the time wasted. Not that I am likely to have accomplished anything with it but perhaps I might have and certainly I did not with this.

I am not against family. It can be abided and even, occasionally, joyful, but any large gathering immediately puts intros in bunker mode and all ones energy is dedicated to not shivering in abject rejection.

I did run across this cartoon: [Link]

the other day and I was taken by it. It is inaccurate but that is in keeping with an almost uneducated adolescent. Assuming the cartoonist isn’t also so deficient, which is a holiday gift.

A Neatist technically is one who is against disorder and for false order, which is not quite the same as portrayed here but probably beyond the comprehension of many bogs. There are, in this case, two types of order: room order and mental order. The sum of the two is approximately a constant although the constant depends on the individual.

What intelligent, rational people do is to maximize mind order and thereby minimize room order. What unintelligent, maybe ration, people do is maximize room order. This is especially the instance with parents who have lost comprehension of the nature of mind order of adolescents. That memory gets eroded by too much socio-economic reality. Only those who can rise above this morass can identify with all stages of mind order.

And simply put, they’re both "wrong" because the adolescent’s grasp of order is incomplete and will remain so absent the right education, which is becoming increasingly rare.

The problem is acerbated by emotionally engaging containers. Which tends to prove "das ding an sich". Holiday Humor. Sadly isn’t punday. Selah.

How Long?

Into week out. A day closer to surviving this holiday season. Each year I vow to go off on a trip and hide from all of this stress, never actuating, perhaps because I know the stress is internal and I will drag it along with me.

Speaking of dragging along, the news services have finally (several months!) caught up with the work at the Gawjah Institut of Technology of how long it takes a mammal to urinate. [Link] I forget when I first ran across this work but it set off a spate of micturation logging. The reports I have seen have not included human data but I suspect we are skewed to the long side from social pressure. For some reasons we humans consider too frequent micturation to be some sort of stigma.

Which is doubly difficult if one is an introvert.

I have a habit of reflecting on my memorable micturations when I review this. In particular the urination when first I arrived on the campus of the Black Warrior. Part of it was the long car trip with my father steadfastly refusing any intermission in the motoring and the second was my first trough urinal. The U was in the midst of modernizing and eliminating such but I had the good fortune to experience it before it became a Smithsonian thing. And I began to learn about the social aspects of motoring and micturation. Or perhaps I should say "or"?

FD SCP and I have a social engagement this evening and it has given me some quandry on my dihydrogen oxide intake. I have a fairly regular schedule. Plastic enough for day trips but it has been quite a while since we had an evening do and it presents subtle challenges to my scheduling. Ah! The joys of age and intro.

Film at Eleven.

Art and Current

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! No, the air temperature isn’t that low, it’s just that there was a wind and my heat capacity starved corpus couldn’t take a full constitutional. So I stopped one lap short and fretted until the misting cleared on my eyeglasses. I knew things were marginal when I robed myself but I went anyway because the worst constitutional is better than the best stationary bike ride.

In some ways still better than yesterday. At least I didn’t have to exchange wet clothings for dry. But there is still a bit of shiver to my bones. Not that I am not a bit happier than in past days, which seems strange since next week is marathon dental week when I have to visit two different dentists.

Perhaps the exhilaration is due to the news [Link] that room temperature superconductivity has been achieved. Maybe? I can recall when John Bardeen and company got the Nobel for superconductivity. And John asking the President of the U if that meant he got a second free (didn’t have to pay for) parking place. Showed what was important. No prizes, but certainly relief from nasty, mind destroying, bureaucratic trivia. I sometimes conjecture that civilization is likely going to be the cause of the extinction of humanity.

And the first "art" has been discovered. [Link] At least until some older is found. But this is an incised sea shell that is 0.5 MY old. Yep. Mage-year! And it wasn’t marked up by homo sapiens. No, homo erectus did the deed. Which sorta indicates that art is way easier than science. The ranking of politics is still out, but my guess it will ultimately be ranked with miscegenation and genocide. Not that either of those really make any sense, but then neither does politics.

That’s enough. Going back to enjoying the feeling because with the holidays onrushing I know that feeling won’t last long.