Carping Comments – Poor Poolside Peter


Well, I’ve been busy.

As folks may have noticed, there was an outbreak of a world impacting area-war over substantially all of the Middle East and North Africa (a little extending down into Indonesia, more on that later).

Then we had an Earthquake the nature and size of which has rarely been seen in all of history and unlike the one in Chile, with a lot of video widely distributed. ( I’d love to know of a good video source for the Chile quakes and Spanish Language is OK; but the place just isn’t as populated nor as covered with video cameras.)

Right after that, the Tsunami wiped out miles of coastal Japan.

Aside from the sheer human drama of the event, this has dramatically damaged many industries in Japan. (One Biz report has 1/4 of global silicon production shut down…)

OK, some time passes as I get a couple of postings out on those, and try to figure out what this will do to global currency and stock markets. Then…

We have this intense drama of the Exploding Nuke Of The Day

For about a week we are watching live TV of nuclear facilities blow their rooves off. Panic driven MSM TV news talking about a new TMI or Chernobyl with devastation perhaps even blowing on the wind to California (where I just happen to live, so I need to figure out if there is “truth or trash”… and find where my “Iodine water purification tablets” are located.)

I have them to kill bugs in water, but they can do ‘double duty’ as thyroid protector in a pinch. Oh, and double check where my Preparedness Packs and Crisis Kits have gone off to and who has used what out of each and not replaced it…) And while I don’t have to worry much about a ‘food issue’: as you can see in Japan today (where food is short and the International busy Bodies who are not starving to death are making grand pronouncements that no food from the north half of Japan ought to be sold or eaten…) a little RAD scare and it’s hungry time. So with the MSM moaning and showing pictures of a “radiation cloud” (less radioactive than that Banana on your cereal) headed for California, it’s also a good time to check levels in the Food Storage System.

That there is a significant chance that the quake might portend something lilke the complete loss of Seattle Washington to Portland Oregon if the Cascadia has a linked behaviour and that the “quake count and size” under ME is rising (and I’m feeling that odd ‘wobbly head moment from time to time’ that I think is the magnetic sense reacting to magnetic or electrical changes on minor quakes and creep). So it’s Just A Bit Important to keep an eye on the faults and how and why they move and are moving. All of that takes some time to ‘sort out’ and report on.

And we’ve been getting walloped by a Major Cold Storm, so garden and bunnies need some extra TLC..

To The Poolside

Along the way, a couple of folks wanted to “talk about me”. I keep trying to tell folks It’s Not about ME; but they “don’t get it”. To them, it’s always about the person. For someone like me, not so much. So Peter Offenhartz got sent out to the pool to cool his heels a bit while the rest of us talked about interesting stuff around the punch bowl, like, oh, the potential for the immediate loss of Northern Japan and The Pacific Northwest (while Peter wanted to toss rocks at me, for reasons only he will ever know). (Along the way Murray got stuck in moderation too and I didn’t get back to him nearly as fast as I ought, but, well, I was busy and ‘stuff happens’… and there IS only “one of me” and that’s the one thing that IS about me, but nobody who want’s to make it a “ME” thing ever thinks of that part, time management for a staff of one, with a wife and a life.)

OK, we’ve had the market rocked up, down, and sideways and we’ve had currencies bounce all over and it’s just been a mess. But I think things are starting to stabilize a bit. We’ll see as we watch the markets.

All this time, Peter has been out by the pool hollering about him, and me, and why don’t I pay more attention to him, as he would like to pay more attention to me. Clearly has “issues” with wanting attention and wanting to feel important, along with a desire for the politics of personal attack. And, frankly, he is just not very interesting to me.

He is what I think of as a “Bridge Player”. I’m more “21” or “Blackjack”. I came up with this metaphor about 35 years ago to help sort out personality types. Now I’d put it in the context of Aspies and Neurotypicals today. Basically I see some folks who like a game with no real passion, where you can ‘beat the dealer’ by things like card counting and having an odds map in your head, and where the rules are pretty well set. The cards ARE the game. Other folks don’t like it. They often LOVE Bridge. In bridge, the cards are only a “sideshow”. They exist only as a mechanical afterthought to the main part of “the game”. That is all about social clues and cuing, winks, nods, betting “2 no trump” when you ought to bet “3 Hearts” so signal your partner that your next bid is a lie and the last one is what they need to act on (or some such code crap) and generally being all “we oriented” and not “game oriented”. I generally don’t like Bridge, and find Bridge-People a PITA to work for (though they can make good employees if you can keep them from too many political games).

At any rate, I’m seeing Peter, stuck out by the pool, desperately trying to play Bridge with himself (that doesn’t work) and shouting at me that he wants to know my BID because the game MUST be about ME…

Yeah, not exactly the scenario that makes your heart go “pitty pat” as an Aspe looking for some quick Blackjack play with a couple of folks pulling beers…

At any rate, a good host does need to eventually make a round out by the pool. Maybe even “discover” that “someone” had left the sliding back door locked… so here it is.

Poor Peter Poolside

Not particularly in chronological order, some will be out of order as I see fit. And some will be “edited for content” (mostly to try to make something interesting out of it).

There was one bit of “exchange” where Peter attempted a “thread hijack” to a topic that one presumes he felt more comfortable about. That being 15 micron CO2 absorption spectrum.

So, on that Goldfish Comments thread we were talking mostly about how to avoid being sent out to stand by the pool along with how I evaluate the merit of a comment (while reading it for content, yes, I do both at once) and decide if it’s “got issues”, or not. And yes, that is an essential function of being “moderator” and running a blog. It is not a personal choice issue. Somebody has to be the “comment janitor” and as I’m the only guy “on staff”, that’s me too.

But, buried down in the middle of it was a small “poke” by Peter about CO2. To which I’d said “not important” (Peter’s bits in bold):

No evidence given. NO statements of what DATA, FACTS, METHODS, etc are disputed. Just invective. That’s a ‘non starter’… It was at this moment that the prior “Goldfish comment” got ‘promoted’ to a carping comment lead-in…

(what part of the effects of increasing CO2 do you not agree with?

Here we get, as a double tap to the insult, an attempt at a “it’s consensus so you must be an idiot to dispute it” rhetorical question. Why do I not think it’s a real one? As he immediately follows with a “never mind” brush off…

But, to actually answer the rhetorical:

Substantially ALL of the “effects” are a fantasy. Water completely swamps the IR ‘effects’ and convection neutralized what little might be left. See the half dozen postings I’ve put up to that effect, (Especially the “Ignore the day at your peril” posting. Put “peril” in the search box next to the ‘racing stocks’ tab up top…)

OK, my fault. I actually gave an answer to his rhetorical and I KNEW the question was for manipulative reasons.

So, does Peter “Catch a Clue” and maybe think of changing his “style” a little? Nope. Comes back with a half dozen more “needling nags” arguing “to the person” and then another poke at CO2, but with specifics this time. On the off chance that he might, just maybe, be really interested in something other than personal insults, carping, and needling, I chose to point him at a reading list. (Clearly he was not finding the articles on his own, so I listed them. Frankly, the major benefit of THIS article, IMHO, will be that the “reading list” buried in a comment on that post can be more easily seen, and found, here.)

[ Half dozen “to the person” comments left out. – E.M.Smith]
It is pointless for me to continue this discussion. I have no hope of changing your mind. But, while I have the chance, let me correct an error I made. I said, and you quoted me above, that

“The media, in this case, is singular: air. Yes, one ought to include water content and thus measure enthalpic content, but I don’t think offhand the correction is large. Maybe I’ll work it out next week when I have more time.” I didn’t feel it was necessary to make the correction earlier because you held my comment in “moderation” for many months.

I did work it out, and you are correct: The correction is large. And yes, we should be studying “Global Enthalpy,” not “Global Warming.” Too bad we are not. Perhaps someone has.

Returning to the CO2 question, I would like to hear your views on the 15-micron absorption band, which (satellite measurements and theory both indicate) reduces the effective emission temperature in this region to roughly 225K. This is the only IR spectral region in which the effective emission temperature is so low. How then can you say that “Water completely swamps the IR ‘effects’ ” This statement just flies in the face of the facts.

OK, Kudos to Peter for realizing “water matters”. Then he heads back to the CO2 theoretical bit.

OK, completely off topic to the thread, but in the area we generally Do discuss on other threads. Clearly thinks he’s got an angle to “win” with (probably as other blogs have been “worrying” the 15-micron thing for a while and he’s got a set of “talking points” all cued up). He asks my “views”, but I don’t have “views” so much as I have Observations. How does the machine work, as measured and observed. My “view” of it is not relevant. But no matter, I’ll ignore that detail as Peter has yet to be able to realize “It’s not about Me”… and give a pointer to where to find my “view”, or more accurately “what I’ve found” .

Peter Offenhartz
I do have one remaining question from our previous exchange. What are your thoughts on the 225K emission temperature of the earth’s 15 micron band? I always thought this was incontrovertible evidence of the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect…

As I said before, convection simply dominates radiation. IR just does not matter.

OK, at this point I made a clear error. I was not in full-on “defend against mindless troll attackers mode” and said “IR just does not matter” instead of “IR does not matter to the heat gain mechanism / fantasy of the AGW crowd / theory that we have been discussing and that is the premise on which your comment is based. It may well matter to other things, including DUMPING heat, but does not cause heat retention.” Which would have been required to “defend against the attack of deliberate misunderstanding” but was implied and sufficient for “normal discourse”. We’ll see why this matters down below…

The rest of the comment / reading list also contains some pointed “hints” to “shape up or ship out”. Peter seems to take these as evidence of an emotional response on my part, again being hyper focused on “The Person” and missing “The Facts”; but we’ve come to expect that from some folks…

Since you clearly did NOT do as suggested and type “peril” into the search box to find the answer, here is the link for you. Now all you have to do is click it. (Yes, I’m measuring your degree of ‘commitment’ with incrementally lower hurdles of self motivation. You are now just one “click” above “minimal”…)

For a simpler view:

where you can SEE the hot air rising and dumping heat at altitude.

Of what possible importance is a theoretical model of IR emissions in a static column of air when the air is not static?

If you look in this posting (yes, you need to actually click the link and read it, then click another link in it and read the referenced paper):

You will find measurements of heat leaving the planet all in the same day. IR Be Damned.

So, all this heat goes “WHOOSH” up into the Mesosphere / Thermosphere were IR is important to dumping heat. What happens then?…34E2251O

There were obtained following values of global average cooling rate: 3, 10, 20, and 15 K/day at altitudes 90, 100, 110, and 120 km, respectively. The maximum values of cooling rate are of order 20 K/day and occur near about 110 km over the greater part of the Earth surface. For high latitudes on summer, the maximum value of cooling rate increases up to 35 K/day and occurs at altitudes about 105 km. The global average 15 μm CO2 band cooling calculated is found to be able to balance the global average heating of the atmosphere due to absorption of solar UV emission within altitude range of 100-110 km.

Now, as we’ve recently had UV fall off a cliff, there is even LESS heating from “UV emission” to “dump” so that “CO2 COOLING effect” can dump any heat from land all that much faster.

Yes, you read that right, COOLING from CO2.

Transfer of radiation in the 15 μm band of CO2 under non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) conditions is a main mechanism of cooling of the Earth mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). Exact values of rate of this cooling are necessary to interpret both the temperature structure and dynamic properties observed in the MLT, since energy budget of the atmosphere determines its circulation system. The mechanism of cooling of the atmosphere due to its thermal IR radiation has two stages: due to collisions of air molecules their kinetic energy transforms into the energy of excited molecular states followed by energy loss due to radiative transitions from these states. Photodissociation of molecular oxygen by solar UV emission results in a strong increase of atomic oxygen volume mixing ratio- (vmr) above some altitude in the mesosphere. The rate constant of V T energy transfer in collisions of CO2 molecules with O, k(CO2 -O), is more than two order of magnitude larger than those for collisions with N and O2 . So, above 80 km the2 CO2 -O collisions are a significant pathway of transfer of thermal air energy into the energy of the CO2 vibrational states excited in the 2 mode. Above about 95 km this mechanism becomes dominant.

So, convection down low makes the 15 micron CO2 IR “window” pointless “mental onanism” and at higher elevations it provides COOLING.

Of course, all that “mental flossing” with CO2 IR spectrum manipulation only matters at all if the CO2 is actually there. We assume it is, but…

Recently it’s been shown that at the temperatures “up high” you can have stable “Carbonic Gas” (that’s a CO2 with a water attached as a gas). Until just a year or so ago, folks thought that was impossible, and all the “models” are built on that assumption. But we’ve now made it in the lab:

Does it happen in nature?

No one knows… (My guess would be yes, but probably not the dominant species).

So up in that stratosphere (just below that mesosphere and thermosphere that are using CO2 to DUMP the heat) and above that troposphere that is convecting the heat up) how do you really know what is happening with the CO2? It might not be there at all…

Oh, they are still trying to figure out the IR spectrum of carbonic gas, so you get to wait a while to find out what it might do, not do, or what it would look like to satellites…

One other minor point, as the atmospheric “height” has just gotten squashed down a whole bunch and the thermosphere gotten quite a bit colder as the sun has cut UV, all those IR models based on fixed air column height and static end point temps are trash and need to be reworked…

Other than that, it’s a great model /sarcoff>

There is also this interesting little bit:

The stratosphere is layered in temperature because ozone (O3) here absorbs high energy UVB and UVC energy waves from the Sun and is broken down into monoatomic oxygen (O) and diatomic oxygen (O2). Monoatomic oxygen is found prevalent in the upper stratosphere due to the bombardment of UV light and the destruction of both ozone and diatomic oxygen. The mid stratosphere has less UV light passing through it, O and O2 are able to combine, and is where the majority of natural ozone is produced. It is when these two forms of oxygen recombine to form ozone that they release the heat found in the stratosphere.

So as the UV tanks, and then the ozone tanks, the stratosphere ought to have more “recombining” and thus more heat dumping. It also ought to happen higher up as the UV falls off. So more effective heat dump through the stratosphere when UV plunges. Interesting… (Yes, I just found this, and there might be some bits that change how this looks to work, but that’s how it looks to me on ‘first reading’.)

All the above then changes how the air flows, and that can in turn cause more cooling and albedo changes:

So if you like, you can go play with a static air column fixed UV level CO2 rich (and non-carbonic) radiative model.

But as I’m not interested in Fantasy and Science Fiction much any more, I’m going to stick with the Real Life Drama, it’s much more interesting and even useful.

Yes, I expect you to read ALL those pages. That’s where the answers are found.

Pretty clear. It’s all there. Mechanism. Published papers where you can find the data. Big Picture overview and detail under the clicks. CO2 IR spectrum does nothing of interest down low as water and convection make it a moot point. Up high, it DUMPS heat.

But I clearly made a mistake here. I said to “read” it but did not say “read and understand” it…

Does Peter want to think about this picture? How these bits of papers and mechanism fit together? Nope.

“IR just does not matter.” That’s what you said! Wow! IR is the ONLY way our planet loses energy. IR matters!

So here we have the “deliberate misunderstanding of context”. I’m clearly wrong because IR matters and CO2 matters as it increases the heat loss at altitude… Just amazing.

CO2 causes increased cooling at altitude, so the idea that it doesn’t have a way to make things warmer down low in the face of convection and water dominance is wrong somehow? It’s hard to think of a way someone could be this deviously broken without deliberate effort. Then again, as we’ve seen in the Aspe thread, NTs can lie to even themselves with great skill. (That referenced paper per lying in the comments).

Now, with the “mislead and deflect, then trap with inversion of reason” in place, he launches into the “meat” he’s just been drooling over. The Personal Attack. Never mind the dozen and one times I’ve said “It’s not about Me”. and warned him off that track, nope.

So here is MY problem. Are you STOOPID (as you would say) or ignorant or (just possibly) right?

I have read ALL of your links. None refutes the importance of the CO2 emission band/temperature. Some refer to the cooling effect of rising CO2 in the thermosphere. Big deal! If you understood the mechanisms of the Schwarzschild equation you would understand that radiative emission is impossible in the absence of molecules with the right emission characteristics. SO: Added CO2 aids emission, which reduces temperature (in the thermosphere). So what?

Then a demand on my time. Sorry Peter, you do not control my time budget.
I do.

Please take time to look into this carefully.

But at least he has noticed that failure to play nice with others gets you put out by the pool. Then again, he doesn’t think it’s any of his fault…

And, by the way, I do not like having my responses delayed for days/weeks/months/forever. If I was once 2/7 of your blocked posts, I am by now 7/12. This is not friendly. Or fair. Or nice. Or polite.

Yeah, you read that right. He’d put in a half dozen or so “sniping efforts” and not one of them had been very good. (And he’s 7/10ths of it) Now he’s off in indignation land… about something he could cure all on his own by simply reading the about box and doing what it says. (Maybe with a bit of help from the Carping Comments commentary where I’ve so much as told him, with examples, what gets you ‘filtered’). Arguments “to the person” instead of to the topic. Carping and insulting instead of pushing forward understanding. Basically, being a PITA to others is not a good way to be invited back into the party.

And Peter: It IS fair. It IS nice. And it IS polite. To others. There is more to the world than you, or me. Part of my “job” here is to keep things like snark and insult flinging and general trolling and rabble rousing to a minimum. That you don’t LIKE my suppressing folks who can’t resist “arguing to the person” instead of “to the topic” is, frankly, “not my problem”.

At this point you have shown repeated and nearly pathological inability to change that behaviour. So don’t be surprised if NONE of your future comments ever see the light of day. I have a priority queue and a time budget. LAST on the list is dealing with “slow to catch on” folks with a fixation on snark, thread hijack, carping comments, and generally seeing it as their goal to ‘attack the host’ or “argue to the person”.

New folks get moderation for a few days, then when reasonably well behaved can go to “wide open microphone”. I’m comfortable leaving them in charge while I run to the store for more punch. You were on that list for a while. I generally give folks the benefit of the doubt.

You then removed doubt. By your actions. (Remember: “It’s not about ME”)

So you went back on the moderation list to see if this was just a ‘one off’ and you could ‘clean it up’ a little, or was it ‘habitual offender’ land. After some more time, you’ve moved yourself to the SPAM list. Toss in the bit bucket first (that gets serviced AFTER the Moderation queue) and think about fishing it back out if there is anything of merit.

Don’t like it? Not My Problem. You put yourself there. Why? I’ll never know. Could be a personality problem. Could be innocent error. Could be you “want some action” and don’t care what I’ve said are the “rules”. Or could just be you don’t pay much attention to things like me saying “There is only one of me and I must do tight time management”. Like I said, I’ll never know. (And don’t really care. It’s not like your comments are very important or very interesting. Mostly just carping and trying to be a PITA. I’m sure you can find a place more suited to your particular “skills” in that area.)

BTW, the whole point behind the “BING!” metaphor was the idea of a counter, and only when you rack up enough counts is it an “issue”. Your assertion that I’ve got emotional baggage on that is just sooo wrong. I just keep a count of ‘class of issue’ and when the count is too high, put a QC Reject Stamp on it. About as emotional as counting number of blemishes on a peach and putting it in the Deluxe, Good, or Goodwill boxes.

At any rate, back at CO2, I think the listed articles, read in order, clearly show the heat transport to the Stratosphere via convection, then the CO2 helping to radiate it off into space above that point. Makes a nice set, but probably ought to be written up into a “Fifteen Micron” article in it’s own right.. Let’s see… Do what Peter wants, or make another nice new helpful article… Service the SPAM queue for Peter, or help folks who appreciated it to a new understanding?… Decisions decisions… ;-)

OK, in another of Peter’s comments he said:

I have read all the links you referred me to — at least twice. Nothing in them refutes the simple observation that (a) infrared radiation is the ONLY mechanism by which the earth can lose energy (convection simply redistributes energy among the various layers of the atmosphere) and (b) CO2 blocks radiative emission in the 15 micron band and (c) more CO2 blocks more emission. You call this “a static air column fixed UV level CO2 rich (and non-carbonic) radiative model.” I call it plain and obvious common sense, abundantly confirmed by satellite measurements. The only way these basic truths can fail to lead to global warming is if there are compensatory mechanisms such as decreasing water vapor accompanying rising CO2 as posited by Miskolczi.

So he’s now basically endorsing the “static air and IR only” view again. Peter, the convection moves the heat from down low to up high WITHOUT IR. Then it’s at a level where CO2 radiates the heat away. I just don’t know how to help you grasp that. CO2 is just not “warming”; as where it would “warm and trap IR” the IR doesn’t matter, convection matters.

And no, it’s not my OPINION. It’s not about ME. There is a published paper just two clicks in on the reading list that MEASURED it. You know, that “sciency stuff” with data and measurements. Hypothesis and TESTING. Convection rules, IR drools.

But you have your Troll Talking Points and your memorized Name Drops. Fine. I’m sure you can find a nice place to play with them. Me? I’ve got some fun stuff to look at… but first, the rest of that particular comment:

I do not understand how you can say “convection simply dominates radiation. IR just does not matter.” You know this statement is true only in the troposphere, and is demonstrably false when it comes to the overall atmosphere.

So here he even says convection dominates the troposphere… and practices his selective listening skills on the fact that CO2 enhances radiative heat loss up high… So “how I can say” it is pretty easy. Because it is what the measured data shows happens.

And why do you refer to the radiative model as “non-carbonic?” The satellite measurements clearly show that CO2 is the absorbing species in the 15 micron band, and they show as well the effective radiation temperature (and altitude) of this absorption. Do you have a problem with these measurements?

Again with the deliberate misunderstanding ploy (or really didn’t get it…). The new paper found that CO2 and Water form “Carbonic GAS” at temperatures such as those found in the stratosphere. This is new. NOBODY knows what it means to air chemistry. Heck, they don’t even know what its IR signature is. So you must ASSUME you know what it is in order to say “what the satellites are seeing”.

I’m willing to admit we just don’t know. BUT I note that that ASSUMPTION must be made. The radiative model as used at present makes two assumptions that I’m simply noting may be wrong. 1) There is NO carbonic gas. 2) We know what the IR signature of Carbonic Gas would be and it can’t possibly be confusing us.
So no, I’m not asserting that there is any specific impact from that discovery of carbonic gas. What I AM asserting is that it is an unknown that must be ASSUMED to have no impact in the present models.

But for Peter, stating a demonstrated assumption is somehow a reason to go to ‘attack dog mode’ and question my beliefs. Peter: CLUE: “It’s not about ME”.

But Peter can’t learn that. To him, everything is about the person. The idea that I can simply be reporting: “Carbonic Gas discovered. IR signature unknown. Conditions (i.e. cold) like in Stratosphere. Models assume no Carbonic Gas possible. This noted as an assumption not supported by measured data.” Well, that’s just not part of his world view…

You focus on processes that take place very high in the atmosphere, above 100 km; what does this have to do with climate in the troposphere and stratosphere? There ain’t much atmosphere above 100 km! I truly do not understand your commentary. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Ah, that “failure to see” game again.

OK, note again, the “arguing to the person”: “You focus”… Don’t get me wrong, I’m a frequent user of “you said” too. But there is a difference between the occasional use (thus it takes a lot of BINGS! to count to an issue) and the dominant style… also, here, it is used to attack the argument via assertion that the answer depends on “where I focus”. That is, the “ME” in the sentence is part of the reasoning. Whereas “you reported” is just a statement of fact…

Well, no Peter, I didn’t “focus”. I painted a broad scope big picture from lowest levels (water, convection dominate) to highest (CO2 enhances IR heat dump). That’s called “being thorough and complete”. Ignoring the convection at the bottom and attributing the effects of CO2 to IR action through the entire static air column is a “focus” applied by you, not me. I just reported the data and mechanism as shown in the links / papers, as measured and observed.; that they don’t match the theory you have is “not my problem”.

That it doesn’t make sense to you is, it seems, something I’m not able to fix.

Some Other Topics

There were some comments on other topics, too. The Fascist Doctrine one in particular

I’ll snip out the sniditude and comments directed “to the person”. What’s left? Well, not much… but this bit might hold some interest for folks:

I am deeply impressed by the depth and width of this post. There are times when I think of “Alice in Wonderland”: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean –neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humphrey Dumpty,”which is to be master– that’s all.”

The Chief takes words in their historical context. If he refers to modern governments as socialist/fascist, he is referring to modern events in the historical context of the 1920s. Words change meaning, and the Chief is very aware of this, but he chooses to use old labels to paint modern events. This is amusing, and probably accurate, but (for most of us) very confusing. It is clear that he and Murray Duffin share very similar political views, in that both are thoughtful, honest and (in my opinion) accurate; what we have is an argument as to how words are to be used. Is this useful? I think so! It reminds us that people 25 or 50 or 75 years ago understood (or misunderstood) the world in way that is hard to comprehend today.

Note again that the dominant style is of the form: “YOU DO” and not of the form “IT IS”. What IS the definition. Does “foo” match it? No, not important to Peter… To him, it’s all about ME… Hopeless, I fear.

But other than that, all well and good, so far. Yes, it can be a bit of a “Humpty Dumpty” world using some terms (such as “left wing” and “right wing”, where I’ve taken to making sure I’ve defined them with each use if possible as they are so slippery). To not do so is to have no idea what you are saying as then ‘meaning’ is left to the listener to choose… We ran into that here: where we find that LEFT and RIGHT can even invert meaning over time. And Stalin defined Fascists into the “Right Wing” as they didn’t believe in “Global Socialism” only in “National Socialism”. So yes, I make sure I know when I’m using a slippery propaganda term like “Stalin defined Left Wing” and try when possible to find alternatives that are not so encumbered. And yes, historical context is critical to understanding the flow of history into the present.

Then another “comment to the person” though this time tying me and Murray together. Odd, as Murray and I have had a few rounds of disagreements. See:

and some of the commentary preceeding that topic in other threads.

Though I do have to note that the comment is just vague enough that it’s not clear if Peter is saying “I got it right in making the definitional changes noted” or “I’m distorting reality via a propaganda technique of redefining words”… or something in between. But “when in doubt” I usually assume the person is not being snide or making insulting assertions.

At any rate, it could just be “confused” a bit, as the topic is complex and easy to be confused by it. Then he goes “back to type”.

I DO have a problem with the Chief’s snide asides. He often refers to Democrats as dimocrats, with the proviso that not all Democrats are dimocrats. Fine. Understood. But why are there no snides about the TEA party?

So here we are back at the politics of personal attack. Why do I use markers like “Dimocrats”? Well, first off, they compress a few dozen words or sentences into one word. Everyone does that kind of local defining. Second, it’s cute. Third, it lets me package together my evaluation (that IS a personal opinion) of both sides that I find offensive. I usually do this as “Looney Left and Radical Right” (with the unstated assumption of post 1990 USA definitions of Left and Right. I’ve tried to move away from them since we’ve shown that “left” and “right” are really useless terms, though).

But I can only assume that Peter agrees so much with the label of Radical Right that he doesn’t see it as a ‘slam’. Well, “not my problem”… (I’m still trying to find a variation on “Republican” that captures a useable meaning… Spendican? Not close enough… Republichump? Lumpy… May take a while.)

Why nothing about the Tea Party? Well, first and foremost, they haven’t done enough of merit to need commentary. Supported some candidates that raised the Republican count a bit, got the House swapped over. Not clear yet if changing from Dimocrat leaders like Pelosi on the Democrat side to a Republican will result in rational outcomes or a Radical Right outcome. If they end up “screwing the pooch” and on a big enough scale to matter, I’ll toss rocks at them.

Second, and almost as important, I’m a Traditional Liberal that today would be called a Jeffersonian Libertarian at heart. As a lot of the Tea Party is exactly that, I agree with a lot of what they say. Pretty simple, really. (The link takes you to the posting where I finally got it sorted out how American Progressives managed to steal / break the meaning of “liberal” and make it the exact opposite of it’s original usage. Also where I coin the terms ASoLiberal for American Social Liberal and ClassiLiberal for Classical Liberal; for the simple reason that saying “liberal” can be meaning either of two exactly opposite meanings, so we need new tokens to speak clearly about them… I do that. When a word is shown to be broken I find or make words that are not broken. That’s part of how I “keep a tidy mind”.)

OK, AsoLiberals is a good bit of word play, but where is the other side? I look forward to some equal opportunity anger. The republican/tea party today insists upon (a) lower taxes and (b) lower deficits — and yet (from the Chiefio) there is no rage against the mathematical impossibility of this position. Why attack only the d(i/e)mocrats? That’s a puzzle, given that you and Murray Duffin share much the same (thoughtful/analytical) point of view. I look forward to some clarification.

Ah, back at “argument to the person” and with high emotional loading too. I freely admit that I will, from time to time, write a “Rant”. (It’s a literary style now). But “rage”? Sorry, I reserve rage for very special circumstances. It’s on a mental button I can push and turn it on if ever I am physically attacked. I carefully built that structure over 3 years of self hypnosis and early martial arts training (of my own design, before I could afford Karate classes). Only had to use it once. Then a group of about a dozen folks who where sure they were going to beat me up decided to run away instead. “Rage” can be very useful, but I keep it on a very short leash… So I’m quite capable of being a “Bear Skin Wearer” on demand. But it is a very blunt instrument. Once pushed, it’s a “nuclear option” and there are NO limits or controls. They were removed by design. Now that’s rage…

So what you see here is basically “tepid annoyance” most of the time. It’s my dominant emotional state when unhappy. (Lucky for me, my overall dominant emotional state is mild happiness. Left to my own devices I just end up happy and looking at some interesting thing…) But when pushed into it, yeah, I get annoyed at some things. Usually a stupidity of some sort or other. Oddly, I don’t mind “slow or ignorant but willing to learn” folks at all. Nice folks usually. Spent hundreds of hours teaching them, from tutoring on up to 400 person lecture halls. Everyone can improve.

No, it’s the “bright but obstinately stupid” folks that are a bother. Folks who ought to know better, or have all the tools to know better, but just won’t use them. So if someone is clearly bright, but is choosing to be stupid on something and willfully not learning, well, that’s annoying. When they do it for personal gain and / or are knowingly lying in a pretend stupid way, well, that’s just evil. Politicians do that a lot. But the Republicans do it much less than the Democrats. (though they still do it).

OK, to the points:

“Mathematical impossibility”? Of lower taxes and lower deficits? Meet the Laffer Curve:

Not only is it “mathematically possible”, it is fundamentally true. Go past the peak of the Laffer Curve and by definition “higher tax rates make higher deficits” and “lower tax rates make lower deficits”

(Trivial to demonstrate. At zero tax rate, zero tax gathered. At 100% tax rate, folks have no reason to work. Low to zero tax gathered. As tax revenues are non-zero in the real world, there must be a curve of positive numbers between them with some local maximum away from both ends.)

Oh, and there is always that whole “Cut the SIZE of Government” issue that both the Looney Side of Left and the Radical Side of Right like to ignore as it gores both their cash cows…

So you could, say, abolish the entire Federal Department of Education and Cut the Military in half; then reduce taxes by 1/2 that total. Presto. Lower taxes AND lower deficits by exactly the same amount. (And note, I’m not talking about a “cut” as in “cut the growth from 8% more to only 4% more; I’m taking about honest cut that means “to make smaller”… I don’t speak “politician” very well ;-)

The list of Federal Departments we just don’t need (and are not constitutional anyway) is very very large… Where in the constitution does it say the Feds are supposed to be my doctor and give me an old age pension, for example… (Note: Those are PERSONAL welfare benefits, not GENERAL welfare…)

So in fact it’s very easy to “cut taxes and cut the deficit”. Spend less, lower tax rates.

This isn’t a hypothetical (well, maybe the spend less part ;-) as Kennedy (the good one, JFK) did exactly that as did Ronald Reagan ( a Union Leader who eventually became president and who had spent much of his life as a Democrat, BTW…)

So why on earth would I want to “rage” against well reasoned and very functional economics?

Or the people who advocate it?

BTW, I guess you missed that point that I’ve got a Democrat Texas Uncle I adore and a Florida Friend who’s also a Democrat and BOTH of them think “Pelosi and the Dims” are turkeys destroying their party. So that’s WHY I make a distinction between the Democrats and the Dimocrats. Democrats have clue most of the time… (though they don’t always use it…) Just ask a Blue Dog Southern Democrat like my Texas Uncle… Good folks, those…

But back on “why” more Dimocrat rock tossing than Radical Right rock tossing. Mostly for the simple reason that the Republicans have been out of power basically since Baby Bush screwed the pooch. (Oh, Peter, you may not have realized it, but “Baby Bush” is not a complementary way to name a president. Folks on the Radical Right take it as a “slam” of the same type as “Dimocrat”. It’s part of the “balance”… Don’t let your agreement with it cause the presence to go unnoticed… ) So they’ve not had too many chances lately to advocate stupid things or do things that are just wrong. But don’t worry, they now have the House, so are once again heading back into the middle of the highway to play armadillo …

Now, just to make it easy for you, Peter, “Republican Idiot” is NOT redundant, it is called an “insult” by Republicans (though Dimocrats think it is “understatement”… so I’ll understand if you didn’t “get it”…)

Sidebar on Armadillos:

Interesting critters in Texas. Like to slowly cross the highway, being a bit none too bright. They have a very good protective mechanism, but don’t learn too good… When frightened, they jump up and form a ball, scale plates to the outside, then just lay there till the ‘critter’ trying to eat them goes away.

One Small Problem.

That doesn’t work too good when the “critter” is a semi-tractor-trailer doing 80 MPH on the highway and “jumping up” puts you into the frame / axel / etc.

So all over Texas, at certain times of the year, if you are driving down the road and see an Armadillo crossing the road, it will shortly be followed by a “whap” sound under the floor boards and one less Armadillo in Texas. But they never learn… They have their “trick” that they are sure is “right” and will just keep on doin’ it…

Other Threads

There was one on the Aspe thread:

A fascinating post, but it leaves me with a question: Do you think that you occasionally make errors of judgment/analysis? And what do you do about it if and when you do? That would get to the heart of Murray’s comment on “defensiveness.” I am particularly curious about this because I HAVE made just errors, some of which you have posted, but when I try to correct them it appears that you block my comments.

OK, again “speaking to the person” not the facts. But this posting IS about me, indirectly, so maybe OK. Will depend a bit on the nature of the speaking… (Note that the ONE error Peter has had “blocked” in the correction until now was the above admission that “water matters”… which was wrapped with a bunch of other dreck).

This comment starts off with an indirect “slam with a question” of the “Have you stopped beating your wife?” sort, though not as strong. Does Peter really think that I’m of the opinion I’m infallible? Or is this just a trap question: I will have to either say “I’m infallible” and look the arrogant bastard or say “I’m an idiot sometimes” and demonstrate my foolish moments. “That will be an embarrassment…” I can almost hear him thinking… But “I don’t embarrass worth a damn”… Still: What to do with a Knight Fork question? (Yes, Peter, I know about forks…)

Has he not seen the times I’ve stated “I was wrong”? Yeah, they are not that often ( I do try hard not to have them), but they are out there. One in the “Rep. Idiots” posting. (open the FIND window and enter “was wrong”) One in this weeks WSW IIRC. There was one in the prior WSW too, where I got out of a position, then failed to watch the ‘get back in’ signal. Usually about one per WSW posting that’s worth mentioning. Examples?

“Probably could have been more forceful about ‘time to exit’,”

Last time I’d said:

We’ll be saying goodby to the Gold Trade for a while. Yes, I’ll keep the chart in, but don’t expect me to do much other than sneer at it. There are Gold Short ETFs, and I might try one just to get more ‘short time’ under my belt, but it’s not high on my ‘must do’ styles. The biggy is that the chart is your friend, and the trend is your friend, and both the chart and the friend are saying gold is not your friend right now.

And that was modestly good advice, as gold then spiked down in a selloff. What I then blew was not watching the chart for a ‘reentry’ and especially on the Egypt revolution. I let sloth overcome greed. You need them in balance…

So the chart called a ‘reentry’ at the start of February and I was busy counting my toes or something

Last time I’d said:

JO (coffee) and NIB (cocoa) have the best look to them (those ITCZ floods and “issues” in Ivory Coast) while sugar looks like a ‘failure to advance’ as does FUD (food basket) and WOOD. FUE (bio-Fuels Index) looks toppy too. The “basket” fund DBA has RSI “surfing down” with MACD looking like it might “cross over upside” but also that same pattern can be “chopping down” or “stairsteps down” with Down Flat Down Flat showing loss of momentum. That ADX is at 22 or so and falling looks like it’s “Late in the trade time to start easing out”.

Well, that was a pretty good call. Yes, Jo held up ok, but NIB tumbled along with the “failure to advance” ones listed. I didn’t put on a NIB trade, even though I thought about it. Now I’m glad for my sloth…

My comment last time still holds, but you could possibly get a ‘return to the mean’ bounce trade on a very fast chart. More chaotic than I like, though…

So, my take on it, is this: It was a nice cold run. Spring is coming. It’s going to be a “Whole New Season” soon, and it’s time to start edging to the exits. IFF you want to continue in this space, I’d move to “what the farmers buy in spring”. Fertilizers companies, seed companies, tractor makers and maybe those JO and NIB funds as long as the ITCZ is dumping floods on them.

I hope you did not buy NIB (Cocoa) as it got whacked hard. I’m also glad I had a “maybe” on it… Looking at MON, MOS, POT, DE (stuff farmers buy) it’s not yet ready for an entry. Watch for now, but wait.

I’ve bolded some bits so you can find them easier.

So what do I do about them? Simple: I say “That Was Wrong” or “I screwed the pooch” or “I didn’t do {foo} well enough”. Look for what caused the error if I can identify it. Look for “mitigating behaviours for the future” and incorporate them. And then move on without dwelling on them. (Well, I try not to dwell on them, but it’s hard for a detail oriented person with a need for high precision not to dwell on them… so some bother me for quite a while, until I figure out a really good ‘fix’… )

Anyone who trades needs to be able to say “I was wrong” at least twice a day and not take it personally. It’s about the decision, not the person. So figure out where the decision process was wrong, and fix it. Record it, remember it, but get over it. Just part of the trade craft. “Cut your losers short and let your winners run”… And anyone who has written computer programs for a living loses all hope of thinking they don’t make errors by the dozen…

Everyone has losers. If you are lucky, you can get a 60/40 spread and that’s enough to make money. I’m often better than that.

But to get to the second part of the fork:

Yes, Peter, I am above average. No, I won’t say by how much. That would just make 99% of folks pissed at me and only 1% feeling smug ;-)

(That was a joke… no real numbers were used in the making of this joke. All jokes were supervised by the Humane Numbers Society ;-)

I have stated several times, in several comments, the Law Of Mutual Superiority. “Whatever I do, you can improve, whatever you do, I can improve”. I’ve lived that as a computer programmer and it’s true. I’ve shared the story of the “Soda Fountain Jerk Expert” and how he could tell Diet from Regular by inspection of the foam; and said that in that moment “he was Master and I was stupid student…” While I don’t think I’ve put it in a posting, I’ve also said many times in personal conversations:

“Being smart does not make you better and it does not bring happiness. It just means you can do certain mental tricks better. In my experience, it often leads to unhappiness and people who are less good, some downright evil.”

So yes, Peter, I’m smart. And it’s not very important. I wish I had more discipline and less “smart”. I regularly miss trades because I got bored and wanted to go look at something more interesting. Or stayed up to 4 AM doing something stupid like learn about earthquakes in the 1700s and miss the market open (costing me real money as I don’t trade on those days). I’m basically “out” about this whole month of trade income from lack of discipline. “Smart” was a positive detriment to my well being. So yes, I have that trait, and IT ISN’T GOOD in excess.

Now we get the “Oblique Slam By Reference” to the Murray “defensive” comment. As shown in the Aspe posting, that’s a very long topic. But to be blunt: I am not “defensive” but I DO defend. Fast and hard. Especially in the physical world.

Why? Because I’ve learned, by painful experience over the first 18 years of my life, that NT’s are violent, manipulative, mean, and prone to attack without provocation. They do NOT respond to a simple verbal description of why they ought to stop, and they only “get it” with a quick direct demonstration of why it’s a Bad Idea to badger me. Some more slowly than others, as we note that this is your “round two” in the spotlight.

My fundamental nature is simple: A person who just loves to have fun, share interesting bits, will do darned near anything for any nice person in need, and does not ever want to “fight” with anyone, physically or verbally, as it’s just not interesting nor productive. It took me a very long time to learn that a large number of folks sought out conflict and loved to attack each other “for sport”. I then took a longer period of time learning that to SAY to them: “I don’t want to play that game, please leave me out / alone”; just invites more attack.

Once that was clear, I learned to “read their social cues” and “respond with a Theory Of The Mind appropriate behaviour”. That is, kick them where it hurts, fast and hard. Grimace and Growl, and put on a wild eyed look. Flair your nostrils, and bare your teeth with a lip quiver that says “I’d really like to know what your Carotid tastes like…” That, they seem to understand. Then they leave me alone and I can go back to wondering just why the big ants stand in a different posture than the little ants… (Clue: It’s a ‘defending posture’ but they are not BEING defensive…) and thinking about ways to help that nice girl that Ivan The Terrible doesn’t understand very well… (see the Aspe thread).

I try to avoid needing to use those skills. I’m good at it. I’ve used them, with leveling adjustments, for everything from a physical assault on me in a “sports arena” where I put the guy on the ground first (“Physical Communications”) and had a knife hand strike held aimed at his throat long enough for him to realize that IF he lived or died was my decision. Once I saw in his eyes and lips that he understood that, and would NEVER want that experience again, I just melted into the crowd… and at the other extreme I’ve used a minor ‘eye squint’ and trivial ‘nose flare’ to tell folks in a ‘challenging mood’ in a professional level business meeting that “now was not the time” then finished my presentation to upper management.

So, someone phrases a “jab” in a “to the person” way; it starts off getting the “eye squint” level of “defense posture”. If they are able to learn to “speak to the question”, all is over and done. Some folks like to toss rocks for fun and sport. If they don’t catch on after a while (IMHO, fairly lengthy process of escalating communications), well, “not my problem” as I can’t fix everything for everyone.

Key Points:

1) It’s NOT about ME.

You regularly ignore that. It’s not going to work until you internalize that.

2) It IS about “what is interesting” and about “helping out”.

Tossing rocks is NOT interesting and NOT helping. It will be “discouraged”.

3) It is NOT about Bridge nor “verbal chess” and “rhetoric”; they are only “interesting” if it is helpful or dispels boredom in a fun or humorous way. Being hurtful or negative is not helpful, nor fun, nor interesting.

Ok, I’m now “into this” about 6 total hours. Six hours of my life spent “baby sitting” Peter to try to help him along life’s path. Six hours I’d have much rather used on much more interesting and productive things. Stock trading prep. Earthquake mental modeling. Doing some of those “dig here!” things …

So, to end this series, from the First Stone posting:

I presume I’m the one in ‘moderation jail.’ (Or are there several of us?) I like Ron Paul! And his best ally is my congressman, Barney (the) Frank. Go figure!

And have the courage to release me from your prison!

Starts off with an “appeal to common friends”; but missed my disclaimer about liking some of what Ron Paul says, and finding other bits a bit nutty. That is, I’m talking to a TOPIC not a PERSON in quoting Ron Paul and endorsing what he said on that topic. So “swing and a miss” on that ‘common friend plea’…

Just so you know, Peter, you are the only one. Yes, you are “special” that way. Murray had one comment I held as I wanted to make a posting out of it (and I hope I didn’t upset him doing that… there was so much going on just then and so little time) but other than that, nope, it’s all just you. Everyone else seems to learn the ropes much more swiftly.

So where do things go from here?

Don’t know. (Oh, that song is dedicated to Big Government and PITA People World Wide ;-)

Peter has not been able to demonstrate that he can handle “the Rules” and an open mic. Heck, he can’t even handle moderation very well.

My first instinct is to ‘recover the time’ and not have another several hour chunk of my life wasted on “baby sitting”. Just be heartless and let it run to the SPAM Queue.

But I’m also a generally positive guy who loves to help folks and thinks everyone can improve. So who knows. Maybe I’ll check the SPAM queue some day and find something that is positive, helpful, and interesting… and not about me… (as, frankly, I don’t find myself all that interesting… but then again, after 50 something years I’ve heard all my jokes 10 times and know what I’m going to say even before I say it ;-)

Subscribe to feed


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Carping Comments, Human Interest and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Carping Comments – Poor Poolside Peter

  1. Level_Head says:

    Amusingly, you’re dealing with a sort of Peter Principle and wary of it — you want to promote Peter back to unmoderated status, while being certain of his competence.

    And since the Peter Principle was written about extensively by Peter Drucker (though he did not coin the term) — and Drucker’s own early works were banned by the National Socialists — it’s sort of ironic that we have a Peter “banned” for being a Drecker in (inter alia) a thread on National Socialism.

    But to points raised in the conversation:

    The changes in albedo are large indeed, and efforts to measure these substantial changes get short shrift compared to CO2. The daily changes swamp a century of putative CO2 increase effects, and the annual changes are large — but the margin of error on these measurements appears to be larger than the magnitude of the CO2 absorption.

    And some clouds are “innies” and some “outies” with regard to various wavelengths, though most are a bit of both — but the net effect still seems to be surprising researchers.

    And confounding models.

    A lot of attention is paid to albedo changes in the Arctic, where incidence angles are so very low as to make these effects quite small — but direct sunlight on bright white cloud is hardly mentioned. Well, except in the same breath as denigrating any possible effects from UV and cosmic ray changes on cloud formation.

    It’s almost as though we don’t want to look in that direction.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  2. E.M.Smith says:


    My God Man you must read fast…

    Good points, though…

    There are times when you get these curious Fractal Like reflections of “coincidence” that are not quite the same, but are reminders of other times around the wheel… almost enough to make you believe in Karma and all that…

    I started to make a list of “Fundamentally wrong or ignored physics” in AWG Theory, but gave up as I got writers cramp ;-)

    (Now I’m sent off pondering “Is TIME Fractal?”… Interesting… )

  3. Malaga View says:

    Thanks for another wonderful posting… music to my eyes and ears… a nice way to start the day… sometimes its difficult to keep “focus” while I read… my “mind” is a lot faster than my reading/writing abilities… but I was doing fine until I read

    The republican/tea party today insists upon (a) lower taxes and (b) lower deficits — and yet (from the Chiefio) there is no rage against the mathematical impossibility of this position.

    My problem here is that my “mind” goes off into hyper-drive mode trying to understand the reasoning and motivation that lies behind such a statement… the quote is pure nonsense… the mathematics is very simple and very possible… it results in smaller government… but this answer is evidently “wrong” to the commentator… so he says the maths is impossible… which is just crazy… it is crazy logic and crazy tactics… but the commentator evidently thinks this is a winning argument… this I simply don’t get that on so many levels… so my mind tries to find some traction understanding this craziness… then I pull myself back to reading.

    Then I read Meet the Laffer Curve and again my mind is off in hyper-drive mode… so many thoughts… but underlying them all is the thought that perhaps this curve explains the eventual decline and fall of governments / currencies / empires… perhaps the curve should be called Laffer’s Junkies Curve… where the junkie always craves more and more… but as they increase the dose they find the incremental effect is limited… so they have to increase the dose again… and so it goes… until the reach the point where there is no longer any incremental benefit… this is the point where the junkie dies.

    As we move away from zero tax there are evident benefits… like roads, sanitation and defence… but as we move towards 50% tax the costs start to outweigh the benefits… this is the point where Keynesian economics is invented… this is where the government employs and benefits (pays off) enough people to get 51% of the vote… so taxes go up and government gets bigger… but just like the junkie they can’t stop there… so this is the point where Fascism slowly takes over… where more and more people stop working in the real world… they are dumped onto welfare or they work for the government… we are here… and this continues until the government can no longer afford the welfare cheques or the cheques become worthless… and that point feels like it is just one black swan event away… but on the other hand I wonder whether the Japanese experience will move us into Dr Strangelove territory… because there are benefits for the government in Japan… this natural disaster could disproportionately effect the older generation… removing a chunk of elderly welfare claimants while boosting revenues via death duties… perhaps I am too cynical… but I have thought for a long time that welfare states can only ever result in war… they eradicate the claimants for a noble cause while the state quietly seizes their residual assets…

    Now I am back reading… and enjoy the music… then I hit Now I’m sent off pondering “Is TIME Fractal?”… and I am back to pondering the questions I hit last night: Does a geometric CIRCLE have a fractal surface? which I subsequently rephrased as: Is a curve ultimately pixelated at an atomic level? which has led me to: Can we ever correctly explain analogue phenomena using digital/geometric techniques?… and Do we have to invent fudge factors (like 22/7 PI) to reconcile the analogue and digital world?… and so it goes :-)

  4. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “There are times when you get these curious Fractal Like reflections of “coincidence” that are not quite the same, but are reminders of other times around the wheel… almost enough to make you believe in Karma and all that…”

    Maybe the Great Universal Programmer likes to use subroutines.

    “That would just make 99% of folks pissed at me and only 1% feeling smug ;-)”

    I suspect that the truth would be closer to “99% of the top 1% would be pissed.” Honestly, I think even that is off by about a factor ten or more.

    “Being smart does not make you better and it does not bring happiness. It just means you can do certain mental tricks better. In my experience, it often leads to unhappiness and people who are less good, some downright evil.”

    Good point. I am lucky that I once worked with a woman who was — how shall I charitably put this? — dumb as a bag of hammers. I was early twenties, proud of being bright, and, because my intellectual hammer was so big, saw the entire world as filled with nails. My co-worker was, as I say, not very bright. At all. Still, she was kind, polite, compassionate, honest; she was exactly the kind of person that I should have been. I am grateful that she was an example to me. Not everything is a nail.

    “Yes, it can be a bit of a “Humpty Dumpty” world using some terms (such as “left wing” and “right wing” ”

    For some years my working definitions have been variations of —
    left wing: A style of authoritarianism marked by the use of speeches which sound like Big Mommy.
    right wing: A style of authoritarianism marked by the use of speeces which sound like Big Daddy.
    Wow! I just realized I can extend those.
    Fascism: A style of authoritarianism marked by speeches which sound like Advertisments
    Socialism: A style of authoritarianism marked by speeches which sound like a playground pedophile with candy

    “Only had to use it once. Then a group of about a dozen folks who where sure they were going to beat me up decided to run away instead.”

    Oooohhhh… pardon my monkey troop curiosity, but is there a story there that you would be willing to share?

  5. pascvaks says:

    “My first instinct is to ‘recover the time’ and not have another several hour chunk of my life wasted on “baby sitting”. Just be heartless and let it run to the SPAM Queue.”

    The older one gets, the better one’s “first” instincts usually are. Trust your gut! You’ve turned the other cheek.

    PS;-) You mean we haven’t “looked at clouds from both sides now”?

  6. Jason Calley says:

    @ Malaga View “I am back to pondering the questions I hit last night: Does a geometric CIRCLE have a fractal surface? which I subsequently rephrased as: Is a curve ultimately pixelated at an atomic level?”

    Interesting ideas, but I think that perhaps your rephrasing is a little bit off. There are very fundamental differences between “a geometric circle” and anything which exists “at an atomic level.”

    Speaking of the nature of geometric cirlces, I have to think that no, they are not fractal. First they are not self similar at all scales, and secondly, their fractal dimension really is one, not somewhere more than one but less than two, as a fractal would have.
    By the way, there seems to be something wired very deeply inside us which ties together our sense of nature, esthetics and fractal dimension. For example, most natural objects have a fractal pattern and hence a fractal dimension. Trees, clouds, ripples in water — all are fractals. Interestingly, calculations made of the fractal dimension of artistically arranged stones in Zen gardens show that their patterns have very closely the same fractal dimensions as common types of trees. The eye sees something in the stones which is beautiful and natural. The eye sees something in a tree which is also beautiful and natural. Perhaps we perceive fractal dimension without realizing it.

    But speaking of fractal dimension brings me to the “pixelated at an atomic level” part of your post. You may very welll be on to something there. Quite a few physicists think that the real world is pixelated. Of course the pixels are REALLY small, as you would expect. So small that only God would notice. This makes sense. We know that the world is recursive structure. What happens right now is a function of what was just a very brief moment ago. We know that that recursive fuction produces fractal structures because many of the forces involved are non-linear (and besides, we can see the fractal shapes in nature.) Barring infinite computational powers, the substructure HAS to be quantized, otherwise we would never pass from one moment to the next.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it… :) Then again, I may be wrong.

  7. pascvaks says:

    FWIW – It may help some to think of clouds as glumps of billions of tiny crystal prisms and they’re all “pointed” or “alligned” differently. The net effect is actually nothing more than the preponderence of a constantly changing glump;-)

  8. @E.M.Smith:
    So in fact it’s very easy to “cut taxes and cut the deficit”. Spend less, lower tax rates…..
    The problem is that the people in charge are the same in charge of fighting “Climate Change”, promoting carbon trade, selling faked bonds and building pyramids (ponzi schemes)
    It´s a mad, mad world!

  9. Jason Calley says:

    @ pascvaks “It may help some to think of clouds as glumps of billions of tiny crystal prisms and they’re all “pointed” or “alligned” differently. ”

    With the rare exception.

  10. gnomish says:

    we paranoids habitually exercise the habit of semantic analysis on anything anybody says and we have the amazing ability to recognize a pattern without seeing it twice…lol

    it’s a great trick whose systematic description follows:

    -for anything anybody says:
    1- of all the possible things in the universe they could be doing, they have chosen to speak, to somebody about something. why?

    2- of all possible topics that could be chosen, this particular one was – why?

    3- of all possible ‘slants’ to take on that topic, one was selected over the others – why?

    4- of all possible cognitive tools that could be used to manipulate the concepts of the topic, particular words were selected. Why?

    of course the question of ‘why’ implicitly addresses motivation and sometimes it may be preferable to substitute ‘how is it that’. usually not, if the person is acting on his own volition.

    so it happens that by application of semantic analysis one can extract much information that sometimes the speaker is unaware of leaking.
    there are rare birds who are highly skilled impersonators who can deliberately contrive a presentation to perform any sort of imposture at will, too.

  11. Malaga View says:

    I think that perhaps your rephrasing is a little bit off

    I go through lots of iterations and connections… its the “top down” and “bottom up” trying to meet “in the middle”… sometimes I sense that “the bulb” has “light up”… but I don’t know “why”… so I hunt around looking for the reason or the question or the connection…. I am still hunting….

    Speaking of the nature of geometric circles, I have to think that no, they are not fractal.

    I am not so sure…that’s why I rephrased the question… because a “curve” might just be an optical illusion… take a circle printed by a laser printer… it is formed by printing dots… the dots are formed by “dots” of fused toner… and fused toner is made out of lots of “dots” of toner granules… and toner granules are “dots” of toner… etc… etc…etc… perhaps the same sort of analysis applies to a circle drawn by a pencil on a piece of paper… perhaps there are lots of little dots (or dashes) on the paper… so perhaps pixelated and fractal are connected concepts… because I doubt that a fractal surface can have an infinite number of levels.

    clouds as glumps of billions of tiny crystal prisms

    But they are a collections of “charged” prisms that are also shaped by upwards convection and cross winds… so glumps doesn’t have the right feel to it in my book… perhaps they are flowing and billowing :-)

    because there are benefits for the government in Japan

    James Quinn is making introductions: Japanese Beetle Meet Windshield… interesting read from my perspective:
    Tsunami Accelerates Japan’s Economic Meltdown Driven by Debt and Demographics

  12. gnomish says:

    more pot pourri about circles for fun:

    they make manhole covers round so they can’t be dropped thru the hole…
    it turns out that any regular polygon with an even number of sides can be dropped thru a hole of the same shape but smaller size but a regular polygon with an odd number of sides can not.
    with a geometric circle, the only way it could be passed thru a hole of the same size (not smaller, tho) without interference or distortion is if it has no thickness.
    does that mean a circle has an odd number of sides? lol
    no. it has infinite tangents and infinite normals, yet all are constrained by origin and radius – it’s the simplest set of data that describes a 2 dimensional object.

    any coordinate on the circle is computer modeled by using a trigonometric function that is a serial approximation – i think this is because pi never ends and shows no pattern at all so you have to just decide what resolution you want to use since in reality the numerical representation is an infinite series (what would one expect, tho, in a base-one universe?)

  13. pyromancer76 says:

    Poor Poolside Peter, indeed. He has now received verbally what that group of a dozen received physically. In that 6+ hours you also have summarized information from other posts, especially about CO2, that was helpful to me.

    I would like to comment on that bit about lower taxes and lower deficits in addition to the Laffer Curve. What Peter purposefully (consciously, unconsciously) leaves out is the first and most important part of what I take to be the crux of the TeaParty Movement — limited government. Therefore, we can have lower taxes and pay down the deficit. We must get our fiscal house in order and we can only do that if we limit government from interfering in American’s lives and economic development. Many cabinet positions must go as we eliminate some and downsize all departments.

    As I read this a.m. George Soros-funded group is involved in Obama’s decision to go-Lybia, I become highly suspicious that the humungous debt, Obama’s stopping our energy development, and pulling out all stops for cap-and-trade is for certain global elites/corporations to get rid of us and keep the fruits of amazing American riches for themselves. At this point I am beginning to think that the marxists and islamists are being “used” as well — to keep the TeaPartiers off the scent and not to notice when the bad smell wafts off Republicans, Baby Bush a prime example. The Google is evil essay: take a look at all their investments. Google is an integral part of “the plan” (damn conspiracy theory, there you go again).

    I know you don’t have time, but can you tell Anthony and Willis — at least he has a few qualms — that this Berkeley project is nonsense (unless I am being too Neurotypically emotional)! Stop giving them (it) their scientific blessings. A global climate temperature? What absolute arrogance.

  14. P.G. Sharrow says:

    It sounds like our host may also have a bit of cabin fever.
    Out here in sunny California, we have been enjoying “brisk air and liquid sun shine” ( stormy weather) for over a month.
    This is really getting old. I need a couple of weeks of spring for farming, warmth and sunshine. Even wandering through the net is getting tiring. pg

  15. Malaga View says:

    @ pyromancer76
    I usually find WUWT informative… but increasingly I find that I am living on a different planet… one day its is trying to explain why a Revenue Neutral Energy Tax is an oxymoron… although it wasn’t phrased like that… and the next it is extolling the virtues of short series and uncertainty estimates plus the concept of a new global climate temperature record.

    The postings are one thing… the comments are another… combined they frequently leave me speechless…. I occasionally try to “lob in” a foolish / ironic / sarcastic / stupid comment as a response to the craziness I perceive… I call this technique if I don’t laugh I will cry syndrome… but increasingly I realise that the WUWT party is over for me… the shrills and the trolls have moved in… it’s time to move on… it’s time to do some serious thinking.

  16. Jason Calley says:

    @ pyromancer “I become highly suspicious that the humungous debt, Obama’s stopping our energy development, and pulling out all stops for cap-and-trade is for certain global elites/corporations to get rid of us and keep the fruits of amazing American riches for themselves. ”

    It makes me feel good to read that; maybe I am not crazy for thinking the same thing. My suspicion is that the very visible and prospering example of a nation based on individual rights and freedom for the masses, was becoming an embarassment. If you are someone who feels that you and your friends were born with spurs and all others were born with saddles, the last thing you want is the obvious example of undomesticated humans – especially when they are thriving.

  17. Jason Calley says:

    @ Malaga View “I am not so sure…that’s why I rephrased the question… because a “curve” might just be an optical illusion…”

    I may be misunderstanding you. For me, a “geometric circle” is an abstraction, like a “geometric point.” Geometry is perfect because it is the limiting conceptual (conceptual but not physical) case of things. Points have zero dimensions, circles, arc and lines have one dimension, etc. In this physical world, there is no such thing as a circle, merely approximations of circles. Of course some of them are very good approximations, but absolutely, you are right that they have thickness, and “pixels.”

    As an example, the circles that I run around in are far from perfect. :)

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @Malaga View:

    Ah, the joys of knowing a Fellow Traveler in My World ;-)

    FWIW: One of the “bits” I’ve never settled on, as I think it varies from person to person, is that question of “why do they present the obviously broken argument?”

    1) Stupidity – They just don’t know about the Laffer Curve.

    2) Ploy – They know about it, but hope I don’t.

    3) Rejection – “I reject your reality and substitute my own!”

    4) Emotional Tool – Intent is to annoy and “bait”, not be right.

    I’m sure their may be other possibles, but those seem to cover most cases. So are they deliberately doing #4 for the purpose of sending you off to “spin dry” land? To cause your brain to spiral down that hole?

    So, in case it’s #1, I present the answer. This also covers #2 as it shows the ploy won’t work (#2 folks will then try to spin it and wiggle away from the original ploy; watch for that and nail the position in place.)

    But now the “Hard Bit”: Are they Manipulative Bastards or just Out Of Touch With Reality? Those who are OOTWR are, frankly, a bit hopeless. I’ve recovered one or two, but it takes a great deal of work and effort. Usually you must start at fundamental ground truths and work back up from there, as they will have created a great and complicated fantasy world where each “non-fit” piece will have been made to fit and is now assumed true. You get to find them all, one by one.

    Most AGW Folks seem to be in this group. They just KNOW it must be CO2, so convection gets ignored (it’s only in the lower tropospere when it really goes to the bottom stratosphere) and heat dump from the mesosphere being enhanced by CO2 doesn’t matter as “there isn’t much air there”… Until you find ALL those “oopsies” and fix them, they don’t change nor progress. And they don’t want to find the “oopsies”…

    The M.B. just want to “Play Bridge” with words. They are in it for the “juice” of the verbal duel. No desire for truth. No desire for “intellectual honesty”. Just a desire to “get you angry” and “spin you up”. They are usually very unhappy with me as I simply never get angry and never “spin up”. Often their approach is heavily laden with “YOU this” and “YOU that”. “I Accuse!” has been used for a very long time to “Get your goat”. The only unfortunate thing is that they also never learn. It seems to become a challenge for them to “break the iceberg”. (My speculation).

    At any rate, having dealt with this set for a very long time, I give a “fair number of trials” and if someone has a dominant mode that’s #4, I’ve no interest in them. (Trolls are typically a stellar example). The #3 folks who show willingness to examine their beliefs can often be helped, slowly and gently. Folks who always practice #2 can become a bit tedious. They need to catch on that “sometimes is OK but all the time is flush fodder”. I’ve only a modest acceptance level for “consistent deception”…

    At any rate, when you see a “Catastrophically Stupid” statement, perhaps sorting it into those paths will help you to not be ‘spun’ by it…

    Hmmm… Interesting point on circles… Is physical reality fractal due to the quantum nature of it? If so, is that the point at which time becomes fractal too? I don’t know if I have the tool kit to answer those… I think it’s going to be “Idle Daemon” fodder for a long time…


    Only a short version. High school. Senior year.

    At that point in my life, I’d had a few months of “Combat Judo” taught by the local County Sheriff. I was an Eagle Scout in a “Law Enforcement Troup”. (Like “Sea Scouts” are to the sea… but with mace ;-0 As explained by Sensei, this was what was used in the military (where he learned it), not “sport” and we learned things that would damage and kill banned in “sport”. It also had direct attack movements in it (i.e. not passive waiting for an attacker) I also got books on Karate and some others for “home study”.

    Regular crowd, most on the football team. PE class. The Field was about a block away from the showers and between field and showers was an unpatrolled “no mans land”. They liked to ambush there. I’d spent a “few years” knowing all the patterns.

    Got some books on various martial arts. Built the needed mental structures to “not be me” on demand. (Very useful skill, that… ). Mental practice of “order of battle”. (One guy was the Center. Big, heavy, slow and with ‘modest’ legs. I knew I’d have time to go “body sideways” into his knees and he’d not walk again. He comes in late on his attack, being slow. (Empathy shutdown was part of ‘the button’). Another guy always led with his “pitching arm”. Light and fast, he would be first in. He would connect, being fast. Then: A right hand trap, left hand palm strike elbow and he would never pitch again. Etc. About “Center Legs” time it has to go improv, and somewhere near that point I figure I’ll get “hospitalization level” injuries and probably have some police time…. But after a decade or so of this shit, well, that’s sounding like an OK trade.

    So, The Day came. I’d not intended it that day, but it did. Another very nice kid, but not a very sturdy one like me, rather a frail kid, had been tripped by the pack. One of their favorite “sports” when we were running the perimeter of the Field was to stick a foot under you and trip you. Sometimes as a double team with another guy pushing from behind. Nice kid goes down. And Breaks His Wrist.

    Leroy. Leroy was a “friend of mine”… No, not a real friend, I only had a few of those. But a “Fellow Traveler” at the time. I think he eventually became a dentist. But then he was just a skinny frail guy who was nice. Easy “target” material.

    The “crowd” heads back to the lockers when “coach” (who thought it would “build character” if we got hurt, hazed, and beat up, so usually did a very poor job of being “policeman” on the grounds) realizes he’s got a broken wrist to deal with.

    You know I have empathy… Strong empathy.

    You know I care for the innocent victim, to the point where I will step in front to protect them and “take the bullet”.

    Well, despite this build up, the story ends with a whimper…

    I know where they will be, and I know that Baseball Arm comes first, then a couple of others (one eye out, two broken ribs, one throat crushed, then Center Legs) all programmed, ready to roll.

    I walk directly into the “kill zone”. Not my usuall “attempt to get past them or run around it”, but right into it. Then I “push the button”. It includes a “preamble speech”. Delivered with full “social cueing” expression and voice tone…

    I basically tell them they have broken Leroys arm. That they are a bunch of scum buckets who deserve nothing better than to rot for eternity and I’m ready to send them there, even though I’m pretty sure I’ll be joining them. Ending with “So come on you [snip snip snip] suckers, I’m waiting for you.”

    Strangely, they didn’t come. A dozen on one.

    Nervouse glances, some muttered attempts at ‘ginning up’, and then some nervous laughter and the ‘leaders’ turned to jog off to the showers.

    I was left standing alone with more adrenaline that I thought possible (raise adrenalin levels on demand was one the ‘tricks’ practiced in the self-hypnotic commands list) and ready to “kill and be killed” and NOTHING.

    Several months passed to the end of the school year and they never, singly or in groups, ever bothered me again. Or Leroy.

    Sometimes I wish to God they had advanced. I was so wanting it. Other times I’m glad I don’t have “Felony Self Defense” on my history.

    So after a few years I took formal martial arts training. A bit of Aikido, many years of Karate. Learned to do the same things without “the button”. It’s still there, should I ever need it. I’ve not taken the time to “go under” and remove it. Takes a lot of work. Besides, some day I might be on some street corner and see a gang of thugs preparing to beat an innocent girl…
    “For that day.- Joubert”…

    All I can figure is that they were “bright enough” to realize someone was going to be hurt, it was going to include at least 1/2 of them, and me, and I was OK with that. I’d also grown from “modest” size to about 180 lbs and almost 6 foot, then lost the “pudge”… Oh, and I was in a “break parts off and eat them” mood…

    And that was not as appealing as “beat up an innocent”…


    It’s not paranoia when they ARE out to get you… I’ve been “warden” at enough places to know the difference.


    Remember that George Soros made his first $Billions shorting the UK Pound as he RAILED that they could not support their wellfare state and needed to get their house in order… It’s a very “short” step from that to “Well, if they won’t listen, I’ll just have to exploit it”… So now he FUNDS that thing which gives him the “easy shorting opportunity” in the currency…

    And it’s not a “Conspiracy Theory” if it is happening ;-)

    More criminals are arrested with some type of “Conspiracy to {foo}” than just about anything else….

    I’ve seen the Berkeley Project method, and it is a significant step forward in honesty. Yes, it leaves in place 2 very significant “issues”:

    1) Instrument quality and siting.
    2) An average of an intensive variable means what?

    It will allow us to illuminate #1, and focus on #2, as the other junk will be out of the way…

    So I’d count it as a big improvement, though you are correct, it can never be “right” as the meaning of an average of temperatures of different things from different times is null.

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    As I sit here staring out my window at ANOTHER wet, raining, cold, miserable day, I’m preparing to go sit under the Lizard Lamp with hot cocoa or coffee to see if that helps lift the spirits… Yeah, some sun would be nice… but in a pinch I can make my own ;-)

    I’d drive to LA to get some sun and visit The Kid, but they are worse off than I am ;-)

  19. TGSG says:

    1) Stupidity – They just don’t know about the Laffer Curve.

    I would call it ignorance rather than stupidity. Our esteemed leader looked a bit surprised when he was reminded about it during the last election. It just never was a part of his “world view”. He thought it more important to spread the wealth than increase it.

  20. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. Thanks for the details on the “berserker” incident. It is easy, as adults, to misremember the sheer animus of adolescents in a pack, to sugarcoat the experience of highschool and youth. Just as you spoke earlier about the fact that a single person can be smart while “people” can be incredibly stupid — well, same thing with kindness. I do not like being in any gang, even if benign, and would especially not want to be part of a group of teen raptors. Large crowds like football games? Don’t like ’em. There is something deeply disturbing about the loss of individual empathy and responsibility that happens when we beknighted humans start to think of ourselves as members of a group. Something is lost. Glad that you did NOT end up in the hospital — or in jail. I suspect that your life would have been different, and not in a good way.

    By the way… if I ever find myself in a imilar situation, I hope I have the gumption to react the same.

  21. Level_Head says:


    1) Stupidity – They just don’t know about the Laffer Curve.

    I would call it ignorance rather than stupidity. Our esteemed leader looked a bit surprised when he was reminded about it during the last election. It just never was a part of his “world view”. He thought it more important to spread the wealth than increase it.

    I remember that Obama bit on the Laffer curve. It was during the debate with Hillary Clinton, in which the moderator pointed out to Obama that the capital gains tax RATE reduction had actually increased the tax revenue. Obama talked about “fairness” — indeed, wealth redistribution has been a major issue for him as he’s said.

    MR. GIBSON: You have however said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton, which was 28 percent.”

    It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling if you went to 28 percent. But actually Bill Clinton in 1997 signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.


    MR. GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.


    MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

    SENATOR OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That’s not fair.

    That expression, “that’s not fair” … it is almost as chilling to me as “workers of the world, unite.” In both cases, the goal is the destruction of the free enterprise system. And in the quoted piece, Obama makes it clear that even if it costs the government money, it’s worth harming the free enterprise system, because (as he said later) “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money.”

    Obama would replace the Laffer curve with the Whiner curve.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    In the particular case of the Laffer Curve, yes, it usually is ignorance. For the general case sorting method, I use the “stupidity” marker as that covers more turf ( i.e. I don’t need a sub-sort into “by ability vs by exposure”). It’s a bit sloppy, but “good enough for daily use”.

    @Jason Calley:

    Part of why I was willing to “share”… so that maybe some other “teen-something” in a similar situation might benefit from hindsight without the need to go through it and then wait a decade…

    I would have ended up in the hospital as the “end run” card was right after “ALL THREATS NEUTRALIZED”… if they had moved toward me, I’d have stopped when I was no longer able to attack in any way or they were all dispatched. Otherwise “I” was not to interfere. (“Set Ego=null” be the empty vessel).

    OH, BTW, that “break parts off and eat them” was not hyperbole… Part of the “rule set” was “Once in the grapple stage, if any pokey out parts or dangly bits end up near your face, chew them off, then spit, or not…” Fingers, noses, ears, all sorts of things end up “in your face” when in the grapple. Or “near enough”.

    I’d discovered the prior year?, when we first did wrestling in PE that I was ‘good at it’. Much to the surprise of the bullies, a couple of whom I pinned; and even the ones who I couldn’t, couldn’t pin me… Seems I have rather great “grip strength” with large “farmers hands” and my highly flexible joints mean most twists and grabs don’t cause me much discomfort. I also had a good grasp on the physics. I think those are Neander traits…

    So I figured when I had a “dog pile” on me, I’d just start finding bits I could break off, chew off, or otherwise work on…

    Think Pankration ‘without the rules’ and remember Sostratos “the fingers breaker’

    Did I mention “I read a lot” ;-)

    The “pack” depended on the lack of “referees and fairness” to be bullies and on my “playing by the rules”. So I’d just have to “remove the rules”… and anything else that got in the way.

    At any rate, the general guildeline is that in less than a minute most fights end up on the ground grappling… That “improvise” part… Maybe they remembered my “grip”…

    Don’t know if life would have been better, or worse. I do know mine would have improved from where it was and theirs would have become much worse. They did not have artifical joints in those days… It’s a bit hard make a case in court that you were the injured party when there were a dozen of you, you had just broken one kids arm, and the other kid in despiration “fell into your knees”…

    Then again, the missing nose and Hannibal Lecter moment might have been hard to explain ;-)

    Frankly, at this point, with several decades and a lot of Buddhism and Karate layered on top of the command stack, I don’t know if it even still works. And I’m not real interested in finding out…

    The strangest part, for me, is that I know that at any time I could have “done them all in” and without anyone knowing. I was well versed in poisons and ‘perfect accidents’ as “I read a lot”. It was only a very strong moral compass between them, and there.

    “Set Moral Compass = OFF” was one of “The Stack” elements…

    “There is no me. There is no right or wrong. There is no doubt. There is only the moment. The now. The act.”

    (God, gives me chills to repeat it again all these years…)

    Setting up a deliberate and methodical “go open loop, no controls” subroutine is hard. Having one with a “recover to normal” is harder… and only parts can be tested, in isolation. Frankly, it took me about an hour to “idle down” and get back to “normal”. The showers were ‘interesting’. I’d never had folks get out of MY way before. Somehow they seemed to figure out they were one “towel snap” from eternity. By the next day I think I was pretty much back to “Moral Compass=ON” and other bits back in their proper places.

    So my ‘biggest fear’ was not that I’d end up in the hospital, I expected that. Nor that I’d have “face time” with the police. I expected that too. (Having a police uniform with Scouts emblems on it wouldn’t hurt my case though ;-)… No, my biggest fear was that I’d find a way to crawl out of my hospital bed and “finish the job”. I didn’t know that the “Stop. Exit” parts would work…

    Per “Packs”:

    There is some evidence that the major “advantage” Cromags had over Neanders was a greater tendency to irrational violence and acting in packs in larger numbers.

    I think we can still see that “advantage” today.

    Individual Neander, meet “organized warfare”… Just take a look at anywhere in North Africa to Soutern Asia for your evidence of “the advantage”…

    At any rate, I think I’d have rather spent that time ( used building the Stack) watching ants some more. I’d only gotten through Argentine and Red ants and there were these sporadic big black ones that were VERY interesting as they were more “individual” and less “pack”. I wrote a poem about them once, about Freshman year of high school (though not for school, only for me)… wonder what box it’s in…

    “My Favorite Ant”…

    Ah, well, water under the bridge and all that. I think I need a bit more “sun lamp time” and maybe a glass of wine to “take the edge off”. Just remembering has started the “adrenalin auto-rise activate awareness oxigenate warm muscle …” stack… maybe a nice Merlot and see if the ants in the garden are about…

  23. Jerry says:


    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

  24. pyromancer76 says:

    Now we know why “moderate” drinking (alcohol, of course) keeps us healthy — takes the edge off. Almost time for happy hour here — cheers to you, E.M. Thanks for communicating your experience within the context of your unique blog. Interesting to look back on a life well lived; we can be quite amazed at our abilities called out and developed by experience that show us our “natural” capacities. Never would have guessed at the beginning, certainly for myself!

    You continue to mention Neanderthal heritage; there must be something of it in traditional American myth and humor — Mike Fink, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, etc. Once others believe you are larger than life (your training and willingness to go all out), the path opens before the hero.

    In that part of my life as an analyst, my only role has been to help people find, understand, and be able live the truths of their lives (facts, not phantasies). They are the experts; I offer only alternative perspectives for them to evaluate. Again, amazing the strengths people find in their lives even when they, at first, believe they did not live them (their lives) well.

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, it doesn’t fall inside the definition of “moderate” but at the moment I’ve finished off a bottle of White Zin and I’m Almost back to “base state”. Adrenaline is amazing stuff, and it looks like “The Button” is still there. I’m just glad I didn’t think the “trigger phrase”… That was just the warm up mantra…

    So I’ve run to Whole Foods for another $1.99 “Chuck the Chuck” Merlot, just in case….

    Though the ants, being smart, were not to be found in the garden. (They ought to be under the paver stones where it’s dry and where they build their nests… but it would be rude to take a peak when it’s cold and wet…. they clean up my garden for me, so I’d not want to be rude to them.)

    Per Neanders and American Myth:

    The genetics is clear, Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal genes. What is less clear is the issue of “Do some populations have more than others?” and “Which genes?”. IMHO, the answer will be “Celts have more” and “Asians and Europeans share some brain genes, but differ on the physical genes”.

    No, no “proof”, just “reasons to believe”.

    So in America, we have a large “Celtic Thread”. This, IMHO, brings with it a lot of the Neander cultural artifacts that survive to date. Clan first vs Army of Angry. Women as leaders and strong. The Celtic tradion of The Hero’s Portion. And so much more…

    For those not familiar with it, the Hero’s Portion was a tradition where a person would stand up and “Claim The Hero’s Portion” of the animal on the spit. Clans would meet in large common lodges at the end of the day and roast the biggest critter hunted. Someone could “Claim The Hero’s Portion” and that gave them first rights to the best cut of whatever size they wanted.

    All well and good.


    The Rules…

    You had to have done something that DESERVED the Hero’s Portion. Someone else could despute your claim. At that moment, you could agree that THEY deserved the Hero’s Portion, or not.


    Yes. Not. At that point, the two of you would have a fight to the death to decide who deserved the first and largest cut of meat.

    To say the Romans were a bit “put off” by this was an understatement. They never could quite understand the idea that if you invited a Celt to dinner it might mean an honorable “Fight To The Death” if you told them they did NOT deserve first cut…

    So when I’m looking at the world, and wondering about who “needs a bit of help” or as you put it “alternative perspective”, I sometimes think of those Romans, with a Celt leader they have “invited ot dinner” and them trying to explain that the “Proconsul” always gets the first slice of lamb…

    At times like that I do wonder just how far back in time does “The Hero’s Portion” run, and down which ancestral line…

    And if folks were willing to fight to the death over a lambchop, just how unusual was my “button”?…

    Or not…

  26. Tony Hansen says:

    ‘……….it turns out that any regular polygon with an even number of sides can be dropped thru a hole of the same shape but smaller size but a regular polygon with an odd number of sides can not’.
    I was told that a triangular cover can be passed through – but some definitions of polygons do not include triangles – although most do.(?)

    ‘…….does that mean a circle has an odd number of sides? lol
    no. it has infinite tangents and infinite normals,….

    I’ve always thought infinity was a bit of an odd number :)

  27. gnomish says:

    by golly, i think you’re right.
    now i have to question if there is any validity to the statement at all! got some brain sweeping to do, eh?

  28. pyromancer76 says:

    “Moderate” has different meanings for different folk. It also has different meanings for different times of life. Enjoy moderating, E.M., and find satisfaction in a heroic blog.

    Glad to have help moderating my own anxiety about “conspiracy theories” and to find company in the true fears.

    I very much enjoy the math conversations even if all I can do is listen. Hope one of the grandchildren will take to it like a “duck to water”. I know it just happens, or not, although, analysis can help some with math anxiety. If you can’t count to 1, 2, or 3 internally, math usually is experienced as a tormenter.

  29. E.M.Smith says:


    You are a joy…

    At any rate, the Merlot is now gone…

    I think there is an area where I need do some “moderating” and I’m not sure how to approach it. So long ago, dare I open that pit and try to re-write those orders? Or just leave it be, walk away, and remember that “Here there be dragons”? I’d not realized it was still so… so… “Active”… and that just “casting the spell” would work as well as it did the first time….

    So I’m now “hovering” around the last known vicinity of “normal” and trying to decide if 3/4 gallon just to keep things “damped” is the best strategy or if going “under the hypnotic knife” is best… ’tis a terrible thing to know how to build a “nuke”, and build one, they burry it, then try to forget… Worse when you go back and dig it up again…

    I’ve an intense desire to kill some folks who are already dead… I think I need to revisit Bodidarma and ask his opinion on the matter ;-)

    Remind me not to revisit this memory again ;-)

    Math isn’t very hard, really, just forget the numbers and think of it as “reason with limits on some values”. FWIW, being “good with arithmetic” is often not a good thing for being “good with math”…

    I think I shall visit the local grocer and see about the Zin… as I’m not ready to go “under” and, well, the “energy” is not fading…

  30. Level_Head says:


    I do read fast; it was the only way I could get an education.

    Managing your mind is crucial, and you evince extraordinary success at rubbing that lamp and evoking the genie that you have created and trapped within. I do a bit of that myself.

    But in order for the management to be complete, stuffing it back in much be able to be done on command as well. You’re almost there.

    I hope peace and comfort find you quickly — and arrive at your bidding.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  31. David says:

    on 23 March 2011 at 4:53 pm Malaga View
    @ pyromancer76
    I usually find WUWT informative… but increasingly I find that I am living on a different planet… … but increasingly I realise that the WUWT party is over for me… the shrills and the trolls have moved in… it’s time to move on… it’s time to do some serious thinking.”

    I hope not. Sheer volume lowers the average level of response. In a different context someone once said , “The keen edge of hospitality is lost in the super abundance of people.” Just as living in a city jungle requires greater effort to retain politeness, so WUWT needs thoughtfull “Aspe” like responses, so please consider to continue.

  32. H.R. says:

    “And if folks were willing to fight to the death over a lambchop, “

    Seems to me like natural selection codified.

    Way back when, food availability was uncertain. The biggest and baddest made sure they survived through the Hero’s Portion. I’m sure it was also a good way to attract the best babes. We still see a little of that as many women have forever been attracted to the star atheletes.

  33. David says:

    1) Stupidity – They just don’t know about the Laffer Curve.

    I would call it ignorance rather than stupidity. Our esteemed leader looked a bit surprised when he was reminded about it during the last election. It just never was a part of his “world view”. He thought it more important to spread the wealth than increase it.

    ” He thought it more important to spread the wealth than increase it.”

    Thanks, an encapsulating quote I will remember.

    Regarding the Laffer Curve, exactly where the switch to greater govt. revenue is varies by location and time, that it exists though is not reasonably argued.

  34. David says:

    “that it exists though is not reasonably argued.”
    I meant, the fact that it exists though, is not reasonably argued against.

  35. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. White Zin? Merlot? You surprise me, Sir.

    I would have expected Amontillado. By the cask. :)

    I am sorry if I have pressed you to revisit an unpleasant subject. Not to belabor the obvious, but there actually are a few disadvantages to having a poor ability to forget.

    “And if folks were willing to fight to the death over a lambchop”

    Ah, one more Heinlein quote: “The average man will kill you over a can of tomatoes.” Indeed. A hungry man, a man trying to feed a hungry family, really will kill over a can of tomatoes. I am sometime surprised at how little imagination most people have, how little ability to see themselves in some different circumstance. “Would you eat insects if you were starving?” “Oh! That is disgusting! I would NEVER eat bugs!” You have mentioned that one of the markers for NTs is a constant sort of social lying. I think you may be on to something there. I find it easy to see some advantage to lying to others — after all, in any interaction between two people, the person with the most accurate information is usually (always?) at an advantage. But self lying? “I would NEVER eat bugs!” or “I would NEVER kill, even in self defense!” What sort of survival advantage does self lying do?

    “I think I need to revisit Bodidarma and ask his opinion on the matter ;-)”

    There is a wonderful movie, Korean, titled “Why Has Bodhidharma Left For The East?”
    It has been voted in unscientific polls as “The best Zen movie ever made.” Worth watching, lovely cinematography.

  36. Level_Head says:

    @Jason Calley
    “The average man will kill you over a can of tomatoes.”

    Lazarus didn’t have tomatoes when this adage was demonstrated once again — canning was still in their future, as I recall. But he had Dora, food on the table, and a bit of slightly-improved land. It was enough for the looters disguised as moochers to try to kill him and take her.

    That didn’t work out; fortunately, the looters were insufficiently imaginative to understand what they were up against, and too narrowly focused on one activity.

    As Heinlein might have said, with a nod to our host: “Specialization is for neurotypicals.”

    (I still have that poetry in my head:
    Stand with me on Man’s old planet
    Gazing north when sky has darkened
    Follow down the Dipper’s handle
    Half again and veering leftward…

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  37. Jason Calley says:

    @ Level_Head “It was enough for the looters disguised as moochers to try to kill him and take her.”

    And besides, anyone who would steal the tombstone from a dead mule deserves to be shot! :)

    By the way, veering slightly OT, but speaking of science fiction — when younger I read scifi voraciously. Not so much for the last twenty or so years. Not enough hours in the day! However, if you still enjoy science fiction, by all means look up Corwainer Smith. Fascinating individual. Real name Paul Linebarger, adviser to the White House, author of the US Army’s first book on psychological warfare, god-son of Sun Yat Sen. Perhaps the most creative mind who ever wrote scifi. Short stories such as “Think Blue, Count Two”, “Alpha-ralpha Boulevard”, “When The People Fell”, and his only novel, “Norstrilla.” I suspect that Frank Herbert used Norstrilla as inspiration for Dune — Norstrilla and hallucinogenic mushrooms!

  38. BlueIce2HotSea says:

    Your story of growing pains as delivered by bullies brought back memories of my own similar experiences. My showdown was also triggered by a small victim incident, except the bully was alone.

  39. @Level_Head

    Some people understand the “Laffer curve” as a “Laugh-at curve”… :-)
    In spite of the fact that it represents a general law found everywhere in the physical world.

  40. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. Giant rabbit skeleton found in Minorca.
    Just thought you should know…

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    A New day (rainy, cloudy, cold, again… what has happened to “Springtime in Califorinia”? )


    For most things I can turn on / off all sorts of mental bits. Makes for being a decent actor. Tears on command, then stop. Happy, sad, alternating. All “on tap”. My favorite is that “empty vessel” calm with deep breathing. (Oddly, the state I’ve entered when using Karate the only two times I’ve needed it – i.e. outside the dojo…)

    But a key part of that old particular conditioning (done repeatedly over a couple of years to be SURE it was well integrated) is the “I can’t shut it off” command. You see, I tend (tended?) to be hyper-rational and empathetic; so if someone said something like “Stop, that hurts” I would stop… I needed to assure that, once started, “I” could not stop things… as the other 11 would just swoop in… That whole “Nuclear Option” kind of thing… once you launch the missiles, no turning back…

    At any rate, after the third bottle (yup, took 3/5 gallon…) I was pretty much feeling calm and normal again. Then about 2 hours later the adrenaline wore off…

    OK, a nice long nap later, and it’s time for tea…

    @David & Pyromancer76:

    I find that the “conversation” has left at WUWT just because threads fly by so fast. I know, I ought to just pick one or two a week that interest me and “subscribe” to them and follow the thread as it rolls off the list at the right, but I don’t. By the time I’ve read all the “new” articles and tried to get a handle on the comments, next day it’s a whole NEW set.. And I’m reluctant to put more comments on a thread with a few hundred already…

    @Jason Calley:

    I like Sherry, but usually just one small glass every few months. It is to be slowly sipped, with aspiration, not ‘guzzled for effect’… For “medicinal purposes” most any swill will do… even White Zin

    Why is “self lying” of benefit? Makes it easier to not “Piss Off” the guy running the tribe, army, large group. As the group mutters among itself with minor discontents, then the “leader”comes in to check on things, you find yourself agreeing with HIM that he’s an OK guy and doing a good job afterall… and he decides not to do you in… eventually one of his underlings DOES do him in, and you find that you never did like that old bastard much afterall but this new guy’s all right… and never need to deal with the inherent conflicts…

    Basically, it makes things efficient at the expense of accuracy and precision.

    So “I’d never eat bugs!” becomes “Those are pretty good toasted” when that’s all there is, and the person never had to take the path of pondering about eating bugs or dealing with their irrational feelings about it prior to ‘the moment’…

  42. E.M.Smith says:


    With the present lack of predation in pet rabbits, the “Island size effect” is also showing in some of them:

    Not that far off the same size… Search on “world’s largest rabbit” for a lot more pictures.

    Nice to know they existed in the past, too. (Though I note that the author of the article again indulges in rampant speculation dressed up as science…. “Small eyes and poor vision”. Like a humming bird can’t see? Look like normal rabbit sized eyes to me in the reconstruction. So it doesn’t need 6 x larger eyes just because the body got bigger.)

    Oh well. The bones tell their own story.

    Rabbits have an ‘odd quirk’ of genetics. Their size is indeterminate when crossed with another line that has been genetically isolated for a “long time”. So take two lines of “large bunnes” that have been isolated from each other for many generations. Cross them. You will get some larger, some the same, and some much smaller bunnies.

    Sort of like natures way of saying “Things have changed, roll the size dice again and find what size works now”…

  43. Level_Head says:

    @Jason Calley

    “However, if you still enjoy science fiction, by all means look up Corwainer Smith.”

    I will do so. I not only enjoy science fiction, I write it — hard science rather than the current “dragons and magical science” trend. And I (obviously) am a big fan of Heinlein — Starship Troopers was required reading (and understanding) if you wanted to reach a management position in my company.

    Not long ago I was writing about Chiang Kai-Shek and the time he had to ask the Japanese to delay their surrender to him, as he wasn’t ready to take over Nanking.

    Sun Yat Sen is a fascinating character — and reasonably well acted when he “appeared” in a debate in Steve Allen’s “Meeting of Minds” (other participants included Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Aquinas, and Empress Theodora of Byzantium if I remember correctly).

    I will seek out works by Corwainer Smith. Thank you!

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  44. Murray says:

    He is what I think of as a “Bridge Player”. I’m more “21″ or “Blackjack”. I came up with this metaphor about 35 years ago to help sort out personality types. Now I’d put it in the context of Aspies and Neurotypicals today. Basically I see some folks who like a game with no real passion, where you can ‘beat the dealer’ by things like card counting and having an odds map in your head, and where the rules are pretty well set. The cards ARE the game. Other folks don’t like it. They often LOVE Bridge. In bridge, the cards are only a “sideshow”. They exist only as a mechanical afterthought to the main part of “the game”. That is all about social clues and cuing, winks, nods, betting “2 no trump” when you ought to bet “3 Hearts” so signal your partner that your next bid is a lie and the last one is what they need to act on (or some such code crap) and generally being all “we oriented” and not “game oriented”. I generally don’t like Bridge, and find Bridge-People a PITA to work for (though they can make good employees if you can keep them from too many political games).

    Need one say more? Bridge requires social interaction and sensitivity, which you perceive as winks, nods,and lies and codes. Deride what you are not cut out for. The derision is a sufficient and factual description, but of what – Bridge, or the describer. The reason you don’t like bridge is that you lack, and therefore disdain the necessary skills, but you can’t ever admit it. I know, its not about you.

    I really wanted your take on the quake, tsunami, nuke, etc, but after the enticement you went off on the “me” tangent, kind of like the MSM. You are soo much better on the hard materials.
    Cheers, Murray

  45. BlueIce2HotSea says:

    I’d say let sleeping dragons R-I-P; do not disturb! But if it’s trying to go off the chain for no apparent reason, it’s time for some R&R and maybe a shot of B-12. FWIW.

  46. BlueIce2HotSea says:

    “…kind of like the MSM..”

    It seems like a raw nerve has been touched when Bridge players start swinging below the belt. Do they celebrate collusion or is it a guilty secret?

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    Ah, another example of “Murray off the rails”.

    He takes “I don’t LIKE Bridge” and turns it into “I am not capable of understanding people”. Just so wrong.

    I can play bridge. I just find it BORING. The codes and games playing are just so transparent and pointless. It takes less attention and effort than knitting, and is about as interesting. (No, knitting is more interesting now that I think about it…)

    Then he goes and leaps of the cliff of conclusion that I lack “sensitivity” and somehow can’t handle “social interaction”. Incredibly broken.

    I ran a company of my own for about a decade, keeping 12 folks employed, including all the marketing and sales and was pulled in on more sales calls at a couple of other companies where I worked. (Oh, and did all the HR stuff too…) Why? Precisely because I am highly capable of understanding people, very sensitive to their nuance, and do “social interaction” rather well. That I often find it uninteresting, well, that must mean I’m broken… Nope: It means it is transparent. Mastery was a long time ago, and now it has nothing new in it.

    IMHO, Murray has decided I’m a full blown Autisitic of the sorts seen in Rainman. Having completely missed the statement that I’m “High Function BORDERLINE Aperger’s” which is to say, just about identical in emotional function and social skill to anyone else who’s normal. But having made up his mind on too little evidence, Murray will now seek out bits to hold up in confirmation of his preconcevied conclusion. Typical NT style. Decide first, then look for data to fit.

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t bother to watch the video at the bottom of the Aspe thread showing the full blown Autistic being very much in touch with cows, and having lots of empathy for them, so much that it turned her into a Ph.D. in cow behaviour, nor did he listen to the part where she tells how it was STRONG emotions that were her problem. No, that doesn’t fit his paradigm, so must be rejected… never mind that it is real.

    And, true to type, continues to want to make it “about Me”. Even in the face of repeatedly saying that use of an “about me” filter will result in broken conclusions. Oh well, NTs never can take verbal guidance at face value. Always need “the angle” on it… Oh, and I note in passing that he just must be judgemental about it in terms of the person. (That last bit about good at hard stuff).

    Stuck in a rut and he can’t get out of it.

    Oh, and you will find there has been plenty posted on the quakes, nukes, etc. See the links in the right hand panel (though several have already rolled off the bottom as they were posted BEFORE the “not about ME” posting. That is, they had priority service. Oh, wait, that’s a fact not in keeping with your already decided view of things… got to be a way for you to hide that… )

    At any rate, folks on the “Looney Side of Left” have their paradigm and their agenda; anything that conflicts with those must be: deleted, rewritten, denegrated, denied, attacked, destroyed, or just ignored. But never, ever examined dispassionatly to see if there is truth in it… That, it seems, is a Bridge To Far, and anyone suggesting it must be broken…

    3 No trump

  48. Jeff Alberts says:

    The only Laffer curves I’m familiar with are the ones from Leisure Suit Larry ;)

  49. dougie says:

    level_head & Jason Called

    Jason – “I suspect that Frank Herbert used Norstrilla as inspiration for Dune — Norstrilla and hallucinogenic mushrooms!”

    interesting – Dune probably is my fav SF book series (30 yrs ago maybe) but disappoints after his death with the son etc trying to milk it (some may like this).

    PS. dune was a arid desert world which when teraformed proved lethal to the indigenous life forms.

    what imagination & lessons by good SF.

    PPS. hope the bunnies are ok E.M

  50. E.M.Smith says:


    The bunnies don’t like the rain (there is nothing quite as pathetic as a wet bunny looking at you with that “Why do you let this stuff fall from the sky?” look…

    But their fur is so thick that the wet never seems to get past the “guard hairs” (the longest most coarse hairs – as that is their purpose…) and the undercoat is always like warm soft down… (that’s ITS purpose…)

    But when it dumps, I’ve got stratgic cover placed for them. Usually they make a “huddle” under the large “bunny hutch” (that was used to house bunnies before I went “free range”) where the food dish lives. I have large black plastic “construction tubs” leaned against on on all 4 sides, so they can chose exits in all directions, or sit under a “lean-to” tub.

    So I look out and see them all ’round the food dish looking at the rain “out there” and wondering if the “salad bar” will dry out this afternoon ;-)

    One of them sometimes ventures up the ramp into the hutch which is also dry inside, and where I put tiles on the screen so they have a flat comfortable platform for their feet. He likes to head up there for a good “lookout point” while still being out of the rain and protected by a roof and wires from predatory birds. Stays just long enough to look things over, see that it’s raining all the way down at the far end of the yard too, and then goes back to be with friends at the food dish…

    Whenever the rain stops, they will hit the ‘salad bar’ part of the yard. Then return to the food dish and clean any mud or dirt out from between their toes. Bunnies like to be clean…

  51. Jason Calley says:

    @ dougie Like you I was very impressed by Dune, and then less so by the later books of the series. Like Arakis, the planet Norstrilia was a desert world, this one inhabited by extraordinarily tough and individualistic human colonists who had left Old Australia two thousand years before. A native virus on the planet infected the animals, turning them into horrific, mutated lumps of flesh that just happened to be the source of the most valuable drug in the universe, a life extending drug available from nowhere but Norstrillia. As you can see, there are some rather close parallels with Arakis.

    As for the hallucinogenic mushrooms — that was a rather recent surprise to me. I was reading a book “Mycellium Running” by renowned mushroom expert Paul Stamets. It so happens that Herbert was an amateur mushroom grower and friend of Stamets. In his book, Stamets reports that Herbert personally told him (Stamets) that Dune was strongly influenced by his (Herbert’s) experiences with the psilocybe family of mushrooms.

    For those interested, here is Stamets at a TED talk:

  52. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Jason Calley, I also read the Dune books about 25 years ago. Interesting, a lot of overtones of desert muslum bediouns. Had a lot of extra time that year. Studied Nostradamus and UFOs as well. The former was good intertainment, the latter were of greater real value.

    The prophecies of Nostradamus gives me a good idea of what to expect in this era and the physics of EMF propulsion has occupied my mind for a very long time. Maybe this year I”ll have time to carry out some more high energy tests. pg

  53. Level_Head says:

    @P.G. Sharrow

    Most of the “famous” Nostradamus quatrains were actually created by a team of Nazi propaganda writers. The British, not to be outdone, formed a team to create Nostradamus propaganda for their side.

    Then there were quatrains featuring “a great power from across the sea” — a US propaganda team had joined the Nostradamus-writing fun.

    James Randi has written a book detailing the history of Nostradamus and his works.

    I picture Nostradamus singing lyrics to the tune of “Listing To You” from the rock opera Tommy:

    “When I am wrong
    No one remembers
    When I am right
    No one forgets”

    Many of us might complain about getting the reverse of this in our daily lives.

    It takes a great deal of stretching, and ignoring a lot of history, to interpret his vague notions as being anything like accurate projections of the future.

    So it seemed to me when I dug into this fellow at length decades ago. He was certainly knowledgeable and clever, and would have made a smooth politician indeed. In a sense, he was exactly that in his relations with the folks in power at the time.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  54. Jason Calley says:

    @ P.G. Sharrow “the physics of EMF propulsion has occupied my mind for a very long time.”

    Actually, me too. Any links, websites or ideas on the subject would be appreciated. Over the years I have ran across a lot of different ideas, but they never seem to make it past the “interesting idea” stage. Actually, there was one that I found very interesting, but it has — as far as I can tell — disappeared from the literature. Gosh, I want to say maybe 30 or 35 years ago. I have looked around but my search skills never turned up more info on it. Briefly it is this: Assume, just for the sake of simplicity of explanation, that you are sitting somewhere roughly on top of the North Magnetic Pole. The local field is pointing pretty much straight up. Assume you have a loop of superconducting wire, that is perhaps a hundred feet in diameter and horizontal. If you push enough amps through your loop and create an opposing field to the local magnetic field, it will lift straight up. Of course everything else is details — how much amperage, how much lift, how much diameter, etc. If you are not in a vertical local field then you will move at an angle. I saw an article with all the math some decades ago. The directional problem of field vector is pretty straight forward to solve, just use three or more coils at angles to each other. Anyway, the math seemed to indicate that the principle was actually doable. Even if you need liquefied gases for cooling the conductors, the mass vs power still looked good. I was surprised by that. My gut response at first had been, “Naw… local field is too weak to make such an approach work.” Turns out that a big loop has a whole bunch of field inside it.

  55. gnomish says:

    nice post and iconic tune, level_head; and lyrics. nice.

    btw, randi bumbled climategate badly – something that diminished his reputation, i think. one could wish for such characters to bat 1000, but it seldom happens.

  56. Level_Head says:

    There’s an intersection between iconic tunes and ClimateGate, beyond the “Hide the Decline” piece.

    I re-wrote lyrics to several songs right after ClimateGate broke, including:
    “The Wreck of Al Gore’s Copenhagen”
    “I Wonder What the Team is Doing Tonight”
    “Sympathy for the Climate”
    “Graphs of a Clown”
    “I’m Goin’ to Greenland”

    It helps if you’re familiar with the originals.

    Some folks at the American Physical Society got a kick out of them, but I’ve not published them anywhere.

    One starts:

    The legend is stored on the ClimateAudit board
    Of the source code and CRU emails
    A hacker they said sent the zip file that led
    To reveal, that November, the details

    When a load of data files brought a million more smiles
    On the skeptical scientists’ faces
    The whole CRU was a bone to be chewed
    With each one of their email-linked places

    The CRU plied the American side
    Coming back with emailed indiscretions
    As big scandals go it was bigger than most
    And it filled up a thousand blog sessions…

    I had fun with it. I enjoy writing original poetry from America-themed to rather whimsical material, but these song parodies seemed to instantly suggest themselves.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  57. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ Level_Head; Nostradamus wrote and published 780 quantrains nearly 500 years ago. All later “discoveries” are false. Many have translated and explained by different people to suit their purpose. Randi is a contarian that weaves truth and fiction to make a point and sell books.

    @ Jason Calley; There are a number of blogs that discuss this field, none of which I can recommend, sorry. To create the needed device one must understand the causes of mass/inertia as well as gravity. I believe a “rich” magnetic field can confuse Mass/inertia and negate gravity.

    More of these things are OT and bad manners. pg

  58. Level_Head says:


    Nostradamus wrote and published 780 [quatrains] nearly 500 years ago. All later “discoveries” are false.

    Do you mean that those quatrains that are described as having been created by someone after Nostradamus (i.e. Germany, UK) were really written by him?

    The number published by him seems to be rather larger than 780, by the way. The Omnibus collection is said to have 942, and is not considered complete.

    Many have translated and explained by different people to suit their purpose.

    Absolutely! It appears that in almost no case can the spelling or punctuation be relied upon, since there were so many versions of “identical” quatrains published by various sources. We have approximations, a bit like the early Shakespearean folio collections — and probably not even that reliable.

    If you have a link to someone who has documented criticisms of Randi’s work on Nostradamus in particular; it will likely address the other sources I’ve read as well. Randi’s work didn’t come out until the 1990s, I think.

    Randi is a [contrarian] that weaves truth and fiction to make a point and sell books.

    That description could fairly apply to many people, from me to President Obama. But I’m keen to see the evidence you’re thinking of. (With regard to Randi, I mean.)

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  59. Verity Jones says:

    Song parodies (about climate stuff) seem to come to me too. I just can’t seem to help it. Once my brain gets working on one there, it has to be finished.

    Very good – do post more. Mine pale by comparison.

Comments are closed.