Daily Reading #35A

Idle thoughts about ‘what to do?’ wrt elected officials not fulfilling promises, in fact doing the reverse. Socially optimal is a straight promise “I will do this or you may kill me”. We don’t have oaths like that in the modern world, probably will need them to straighten this system out.

Today’s blog is mostly idle thoughts, disconnected things I wrote down and hope to connect some day.

Points not often covered in the media :




McClatchy does genuine journalism. No, your church won’t protect members abused by ministers, they more often side against the member of the congregation :


‘One size fits all’ in lockstep is not the way to raise children. We want variation, we need it if we are to find higher optima. This is excellent. Ideology doesn’t work in dealing with sexual relationships. Families and communities need to deal with all this, it is not a matter for any authorities. Above all, it is for individuals to deal with. Sexual relations are the ultimate in playing the hand nature dealt you. (My note to a friend expands on that thinking below)  :


This illustrates a single article can do many roles. Here it is an elegant bit of propaganda that does double duty as a job application.

Is she guilty? Probably. But what about all of the CIA’s good friends who have been violating the sanctions for 50 years, and getting rich doing so? Without the sanctions, how would the CIA get rich?

Whatever the facts of the case, you have to keep in mind that there must be a big fight by the CIA to keep the Chinese synthetic opioids out of the US because they are ruining the market. Does the Chinese government have control over that? Probably some active help and some looking away. So US domestic politics N-levels deep are involved, but who looks?

But likely much less control than the CIA exerts over the drug trade in the rest of the world. We can be pretty sure of that, because of the speed with which China achieved a hyper-modern economy == built a very complex economy from scratch in 30 years. The Communist Party can brag all it wants, but the businessmen know who did that and are taking over the party. We can’t be sure that has worked yet, but indications are that China is on a long-term winning streak, where winning is overtaking the Western First World economies and social statistics.

Maybe, and it might fall on its face tomorrow, because it was all built on credit. Impressive, now lets see if you can sustain all of that economy along with interest on the debt. The Chinese government is no more immune to the laws of economics, whatever those turn out to be, than is any other area of the world.  Ultimately, governments need to provide conditions so that their citizens have enough wealth to life normal life spans, increasing life spans. The Chinese have sucked wealth into their country by opening the country to investment, but extracted genuine wealth from the people’s efforts to grow companies. China has done well in a long cycle of ascent as money was invested and reinvested in the country, as China learned technologies and built factories, and taught management technology to allow them to run run in European precision. Project management, … all the latest management ideas, many now being taught in quite competent universities within China.

China has done well. China is doing well, although I think less well as the stage gets larger. Engaging on a world-wide stage when you depend on the world for your food, oil and most of the minerals needed by an industrial civilization is a different class of problem than doing so within a country. So they are exporting Chinese labor and Chinese companies, ultimately printed money for which the ‘loan recipient’ who built the port or rail line or pipeline for Chinese use owes China hard dollars.  Same game as the US played for years.

All kinds of things have a period of good returns. Even when of long duration, returns can vanish in blink of an eye for all other kinds of things.

That is what a dynamic environment is. China is no more stable than is the US, not at all.


So there are now experimental anti-ebola drugs. Very good, humanity will likely outrun this disease. Again. Or this time, depending on your optimism :


Yes, but inevitable, happens in every industry that is failing for fundamental reasons like their market evaporating, so I can’t blame the vulture capitalists. This is the usual leftish diagnosis through a pinhole. It has a sharp image of the problem and local effects, but no big-picture, enough context to think with, perspective enough to decide how this fits into the rest of what is happening in the total system :


Looks pretty definitive, Ashkenazi Jews are Iranian-Turkish in genetics,  the Yiddish language originated along the old Silk Road but was heavily modified (re-lexed) by German as the people continued to migrate into Europe, and they joined the Jewish religion via conversion in known historical events, all that driven by the fact that the AJs had trade preferences in China and the ME. Genetics, history and linguistics are now limiting each other to the benefit of all their hypotheses :


I was just talking with my son while sharing an evening joint on the front steps, trying to make sense of the examples of amateurs surpassing professionals. The kid said “mental set” first. Yes, professionals get locked into a world view’s assumptions, while the know-knothings don’t have those biases in receiving and organizing information.

Simple and obvious lesson is that we need to pound into our minds the view that the deeper any human’s knowledge in any area, the less qualified that mind is in judging any other matter. Given finite minds, we trade off amplification vs bandwidth, just like transistors. Our minds work very hard at maintaining the reverse. Minds must interpret the world using the concepts they have learned. If your mind has been occupied with concepts in some deep subject, it isn’t well equipped to handle other subjects and also won’t have enough different points of view to judge its capabilities in this new area.

Improvement to organizations can be of 2 types, more and deeper expertise and better synthesis of ideas. It seems to me that people really like being in that kind of group, individually important yet in a cooperative enterprise. That describes the average research environment and also the average system-level R&D project in sets of servers with networks.

So many examples and in such unlikely circumstances, I have to find a compendium of these ordinary folk humbling the great. Strange I don’t know of one.

Even more than that, however, one would think that these events have been noticed, and that some organization somewhere would have organized itself so as to find the kind of advantage that including ensigns in war games produced. I don’t know of one of those, either.

Knowing little of a lot of different things, thinking about them from new points of view, keeping myself entertained, and being humble is my justification for having opinions on things I have not personally studied. It is weak rationalization.

With all that in mind, I have high hopes for citizen science vs the institutionalized version. The rate of discovery of rarely-witnessed events has been increasing everywhere cameras and microphones are deployed, for humans as well as animals, so we can expect big improvements as citizen politics replaces the institutionalized version also :


Over-reach in foreign policy is a common failing :


I didn’t read much of this, as it is just another example of bureaucracy taking over a functioning system and destroying it. Now-a-days, one of the best examples of amateurs outdoing the professionals is investigative journalism. When did the BBC last break anything anywhere? Where are the analyses of media in terms of the average time between George Webb or one of the other bleeding edge researchers breaking a story and a particular legacy media reporter or news program getting it? I predict that the BBC lags the average, which must be true because it has only one source of funding. One source of funding is fatal at every scale. There is another analysis I don’t recall reading, why is it that countries with only one source of income, e.g. oil or ??


Dramatically new science, a new class of transmissible protein brain diseases, same idea as prions, mad cow disease, Jacob-Kreutzfeldt. Surgical instruments could transmit prions after being sterilized of normal life, one of the attributes which made them unbelievable for medical science for some time. Here we go again. Scary shit :


Such BS, greener-than-thau press release masquerading as science. Of all the ways that humans have affected the geological record, I hardly think that chicken bones are a large issue. Agree with the moral issue of raising food animals or the particular ways we do that, but there are remarkably few facts in this, beyond a big number of 65B broilers eaten on earth every year. 7 billion people, that is less than 10 broilers per year. A broiler wouldn’t last a week for most people, so less than 10 weeks of protein for most people. Not so many, proportionally.

Chickens are the biggest protein bang for the input buck. Factory farming at a large scale, and they get ever-more efficient at producing a pound of chicken flesh. Ecofarm people should be impressed, chicken is cheaper than  farm raised fish :


A note to a friend :

I find it easy to imagine a society more like Margaret Mead’s version, which may or may not have been partly real, depending on which revisionist anthropologist social commentator I believe, where sex just wasn’t that big a thing among the young. It was something you did when you felt like it and nobody thought to control you, not that that would be a realistic possibility in many societies.
Had to be that way some time, and sex is still a generally benign thing for both sexes, physically, if physiologically mature. Psychologically is socially determined, we could choose different within a wide range and justify the choices fully as well as our current social-political-legal system.
In short, my view is that sex is the ultimate game where you play the hand that the world has dealt you, and nobody outside your mind can make your choices for you. The ultimate in individualism, however standard the behaviors. Advise all you want, but social rules and merely social control, legal can’t get into it.
Beyond that definition of the issue as ultimately individual, we elders have considerable interest in our genetic heritage continuing our bloodline. In that context, intelligent parents would do a much better job of acquainting their children with the facts of sex and the thoughts of wise people about guiding their desires into paths that benefit them the most. Sex should be central to the study of philosophy, nexus of everything that it is.
When do you suppose was the last society to do that? Pre-Christian, I think it must have been. Paul fucked Western Civilization with his hangups, as I weakly understand that bit of history.

Is this reasoning both sound and consistent with civilization, in your opinion?

You have not replied to my question about studies of amateurs beating professionals. You should certainly do that in your own interests.
As a literary figure who must want Masters Theses  and Ph.D. Dssertations written about her, your responsibility is to give them something to write about. Things that make an author’s scintillating thoughts and the depths of her mind clear to the world. Stuff like email exchanges with mad men like me. As a chance to look good, surely there can be no better foil than a mad man, right?
IMHO, beyond your failure to publicize yourself and depriving your family and friends, especially me, of reflected glory, you are also failing higher education. The number of  theses and dissertations to be written by the exponentially-increasing numbers of Liberal Arts graduate students requires much more content, more authors and more letters among them. As so much of this data will be online, all of those fields will require more statistical analysis, increasing the need for examples of all kinds of interchanges.
So you have to get serious here. It is a serious responsibility we share.
Love you, lousy correspondent tho you are.

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