The 1500s were much more technological than I expected. They had blast furnaces, using water wheels to drive bellows for continuous production of iron. The Catholic Church owned half of the country. OTOH, 80% of calorie intake was bread and beer, the rest ‘pottage’ a stew of vegetables and perhaps some meat or cheese. 6 acres of wheat and barley per year were needed per person, 6 bushels per acre, one crop in 4 a failure resulting in hunger in the local community :
Kurds are another ethnic group looking out for #1, and being taken advantage of by the US and Israel. Ethnic groups only need their own land and government when the former government has failed to provide Justice. Makes you wonder why we support dictators so often and so long :
George Webb and his crowd mind continue their investigations of the infiltration of a Deep State into the rest of our civilization. This is a set of mafias with official cover and secrecy :
Right after that, Larry Lessig pointing out that the systems we live within are not Democracies because of funders selecting candidates. I agree with his diagnosis and most conclusions, but the usual BS ‘globalist’ solutions. They aren’t bad because they are socialist vs anything else, they are bad because they are outmoded thinking about societies, all top-down with institutions managing aspects of the commons and society, providing justice. That architecture of society was formed by the patterns of communications and their expenses in the lives of people using them. Keeping records was expensive, communication bandwidth was limited, so the system’s optimal architecture was top down commands and bottom up information flows. Lives became compartmentalized, your MD knew some of you, the church another, your various friends pieces, etc. Thus police powers and bureaucracies, hierarchies, some variety of the institutions of a society have control over some aspects of the society, delegations of authority.
It isn’t that world any longer, the modern internet allows peer-to-peer, interest groups, friends following each other through common interests and experiences, the modern smartphone user is constantly exchanging opinions on every topic. Granted, a lot of those are not on important topics, but people’s opinions are becoming more nuanced and sophisticated by the month, it seems to me, just by listening to radio. And the understanding is all one-sided, the most religious program I have heard was accepting of Milo, ultra-swish that he is, because they liked his effects on discussions of what is ethical, acceptable in a reasoned society of respectful peers. NPR plays to their declining audience share.Larry Lessig is an NPR kind of guy, words supporting our highest ideals, excellent data, solid diagnosis of the problem, and a prescription of more government power needed to fix it.
His arguments are widely shared, shaped by the injustice built into the system, from the international crime-security ratlines with money-laundering and payoffs in cash down to Dr. Thomas Rudd of yesterday.
Such a bad dynamic, but the outcome of this episode of history will be another dimension of freedom becoming the defining thing of our age, and a layer of control growing upon it. That is the cycle of evolution, meta-life :
Right, it is so much better to have the Office of Personnel Management’s database that was stolen a couple of years ago in the hands of a foreign government, using the information to infiltrate and control the US government, than to have criminals using the information to steal banking information from individual government employees. Which is more fixable I ask myself? Note that the Mafia still exists in Italy despite 3 generations of efforts by major institutions, all crippled by informants to the mafia.
I think it is like all insurgencies, once you have such a thing in your society, it is an system-level issue. Criminals are the barbarians, just as sophisticated as you are. No more sophisticated, their livelihood depends on facade. They are the con artists. We are civilization working to avoid control by con-artist barbarians, and often failing in a few areas for a generation or two. CSTT’s interview with the coronor was an example.
When you total up the few year’s of evidence this blog has mentioned, I doubt there is an institution in America that hasn’t been involved in some too-political dealings, insider advantages, citizen disadvantage. This truly is a system biased to advantage the powerful, and to make the rich powerful by amplifying their interests in the media and throughout the political process. No kidding? What was it you thought political processes do?
We like to think of civilization as a relentless upward force producing greater human freedom, control of their destinies by individuals, level by level, individuals being more equal in law and practice. What if, level by level, chains become meta-chains? Control the goal, control the man. Control the loan, control the man. Control the law, control the man. Add a mafia or two, nodes of power willing to take chances with violating laws, depending on their own webs of influence for protection, and the likely Washington DC power player must be an N-Dimensional power playing genius.
As I do not believe N-Dimensional power play is conceptually possible with today’s science and technology, our current infestation of Mafias is likely due to a point source within our own power structure. A major structural component of that point source is the CIA. Other structural elements are the various intelligence services, all playing variants of the same game of ‘make our service look good’. The combination of secrecy and the necessity of having insiders into the various illegal flows, because their own secret operations needed to use the same channels, combined with the cash flow generated by the various illegal trades, is guaranteed to convert any group with an approval stamp and a secrecy stamp into another element in a mafia. Eventually the right person will be in the right spot, and the system unravels until detected and corrected.
Probability of detected proportional to the general, common-man honesty distribution of trying to do the right thing, multiplied by the distribution of understandings of what that might be, multiplied by the distribution of N successive levels of bureaucratic methods of correction. Oh, yes, at every level, multiplied by your level of commitment in the face of their attempt to destroying your life. The head of major NSA programs was a 7/11 cashier for a while. Whistleblowing costs most of them their wifes and homes, many their pensions.
Meaning, once a system becomes less than rigorously honest in its functioning with great transparency-to-oversight the goal, the game changes from you evaluating that as 90% * 90% … becomes rigorously biased in favor of the favored. There are just too many ways to game the system when you have a secrecy stamp and control a resource, e.g. air or sea freight guaranteed to evade customs, perhaps a front import-export company specializing in handling contracts for specialized materials, the kind of things customs can’t inspect for so there is no obvious:
Another kind of infrastructure failure :
Ian Welsh is clever, this links competence and making $ in a capitalist system and political power. Running things badly means you lose power, unless you have made your power permanent. The reasoning is a bit simple for the very large and complex systems we live within, imho :
A good article from SciAm, this on quantuum physics at critical points in the organization of electrons in a material :
Smartphones have awesome technologies combined in a very constrained space :
No kidding, the government pays the NFL to stand for the national anthem? Yes, that is what we should be outraged about :
Regulation is a very poor way of controlling things. Strict liability laws do better. Yes, they require a trial after someone has a loss. OK, but that can work, and allowing contributions to legal funds can put holes large enough in a fraudster’s budget and, given management’s liability for fraud committed by their corporations, their retirement plans, both from fines and jail time. Regulations don’t work because lobbyists and regulators don’t have skin in the game. CEOs and VPs have skin in the game, so do their investors. Of course they like regulations, they personally are safe and regulations don’t work :
Record harvests of grain at the same time that 3rd world farms are being improved by modern ecosystem practices, the only people going hungry now are being starved by some government failure. It is probably too much to hope for to think that POTASH closing its mine is because organic eco-farming is gaining ground :
Another of the many opportunities for hybrid vigor, a 2 pound rat that lives in the trees and chews into coconuts :
Another in the growing list of links between ADHD and sleep problems :
Diplomacy, the technology of managing people in negotiations :
Marine archeology is finding many new things :
This is some government program run insane. Guidance packs for honeybees to allow them to pollinate despite damage from insecticides? Who writes this stuff? :
It is taking longer to understand Neanderthals because there were fewer of them and the sites are all > 30K years old, but so far, they look like modern out-of-Africa humans at the same population densities. Pop density + brain complexity control the level of technology possible. Pop density is important, no matter how smart you are, there are only so many hours in a day, and it takes effort to both stay alive in a paleolithic world and experiment with new ways of doing things, much less new things to do.
Anthropology is one area of science that benefits from government grants, I think, contrary to the link yesterday showing that government funding has killed many areas. Anthropology is one of the fields inherently tied to external reality and intrinsically multi-disciplinary, thus many cross-checks of everything. OTOH, I think it is hard to measure the replication rate, even later digs in the same cave are not quite replications, and there are few of them :
Detailed history shows the American Flag to have stood for many things, often not good. But his conclusion is wrong, a continuation of the bad parts of the past is not what modern Americans want :
This ‘climate-change causes billions in weather-related losses’ adds health costs of fossil fuels and concludes that controlling CO2 is cheaper than continuing global warming. Lousy logic, false assumptions, … combined with some true things used in misleading ways. The standard fraudulent AGW arguments. It rests on the bogus CO2 –> global warming argument + the climate models predicting the future. But the climate models have NOT predicted the future since the late 1990s.
If we wanted to reduce CO2, we should green the deserts and convert entirely to eco-farming, as those would take more CO2 out of the air than any inputs except volcanoes. In fact, the CO2 level could be climbing largely from the carbon lost in the increasing areas of deserts and very dry land? :
So I went looking for the relationships. Maybe, as ‘deforestation’ is 20% in some of the estimates. But largely, what I find are “just another climate fraud” article. This could easily have been a quantitative argument, but carefully avoids any quantities except claims and estimates. How about the oceans and volcanoes? Do not they affect all this? Any number of ‘consistent with’s and ‘in the direction of’s qualitative comparisons don’t allow you enough context to have a clue what relationship CO2 levels have with climate. This is a lawyer’s case, not a scientist’s case :
The Wikipedia section is much better, and much less alarmist, but I haven’t finished it yet :
An excellent overview of the state of artificial intelligence via neural network simulations. The critiques of NNs vs ‘real intelligence’ are certainly valid, but Watson was another kind of AI, there are several. The Generalissimo’s understanding of this issue is far ahead of current AI thinking, still, on 30 September 2017. They all need to be combined. I agree with The Generalissimo on this :
A favorite method of propaganda is to use a sociological study to associate particular ideas with people of lesser culture. This somehow uses elite privilege producing an anti-VAXX position, a heavy frame of it not being in the interests of common people.
The anti-VAXX position is much more sophisticated than the propaganda against it. They don’t deal with the data, the many examples of CDC and FDA coverup and collusion with the corporations they supposedly enforce objective scientific standards upon. A CDC Scientist committed fraud, and admitted it later, in one of the early vaccine-autism studies. Every time I look at the issue, which I haven’t for 6 or 8 years, insiders who were willing to critique those agencies have been appalled by the politics in every decision and the intentionally-bad data used to justify approvals. Clinical trials are crap shoots, only a 30 per replication rate, down at the level of psychology and sociology.
Centralization produces inefficient and ineffective operations and organizations. Of course it has to medicine. The vaccine industry is leading in detecting new $B opportunities and organizing the propaganda to eventually profit from the diseases their specialty gives them :
This is an example of the ability of all ideologies to adapt seamlessly to actual human behavior. The Conservative’s emphasis on individual responsibility would require them to keep their sexual partners fully informed, which requires testing. The Progressive’s emphasis on community and compassion would require acceptance of people with STMs as with any other temporary disability, requiring testing. Both would emphasize the public health aspects, the greater good, requiring testing. But people do what people do, and social liberals and conservatives all blame each other :