Serioso And His Discontents

The title of this article is an associative memory link to:

By Sigmund Freud.

Why? Well, because it tickles me a little, and because that’s how my memory works (making wide associations between things based on even very small hooks, then filter to the relevant ones), and because Serioso wishes to psychoanalyze me at a distance, and because it is clear that my “civilization” rules here are causing him “discontent”. Besides, I had to read it for some class once and it’s sitting on my shelf and in my brain, though I don’t remember why I was studying psych… though I really liked my sister’s Abnormal Psychology books when I read them. (She was home from college and I was about 8th grade and bored. But I digress, which is how my brain works on pretty much all topics, [though I don’t type them all, or even most of them] until I prune a digression from boredom, which is now…)

In another thread on Soros, Serioso worked very hard to derail the discussion from the topic, to me. Now I personally find me a fairly boring topic and not very relevant to anything, really (more on that below… the empty vessel…) but for some reason, Serioso is fascinated with me, and especially my inner workings. So, OK, in the interest of having that thread not become a narcissistic extispicy, that particular bit of augury will be put here in its own thread.

Sidebar on me about me:

Please forgive the Druid practice references if, for some unknown reason, they offend your sensibilities. Along the way in life I picked up a Master Druid credential and, well, sometimes those thoughts fit a situation… But no worries, I don’t practice sacrifice of living things, animal or otherwise, just the odd sacrificial Cabernet with Leg-O-Lamb ;-) (Mostly I’m just happy that at 50-something I still had a sense of whimsy) I’ll be scattering some bits from me, talking about me, through this posting, in the hope that it helps Serioso to “know me” enough to let go of the fixation on me. Or at least have a reference page to refer to when looking for more about me.

The Quotes

In the other posting, the discussion distilled down to this plaintive bleat, after I’d admonished that he ought to talk about topics, things, thoughts, and basically anything but me, as ‘I am not relevant’:

End of a long comment by me:

Just follow directions, do not “personalize” or insult folks traits and abilities and we ought to be fine. Hopefully the above will help you with those social skills…

Speak about TOPICS, Theories, assertions, facts, claims, etc. No worries.

Question someone’s ability, sanity, qualifications: BZZZZT!

Oh, and avoid the classical logical fallacies if you can, it saves time…

Got it?

The response from Serioso:

Serioso says:
20 September 2016 at 5:05 am (Edit)

No I don’t get it at all! My mission here is to understand your thinking processes, and to try to figure out why some of these processes seem (to me) irrational, even crazy. So I cannot avoid what you see as insults. I do not know how to avoid making these insults, nor do you. My comments are necessarily personal because I cannot reconcile my two views of you: One view is rational and intelligent, the other irrational to the point of stupidity. It is therefore impossible for me to avoid comments about the person, because that is what interests me the most. So I plan to continue my questions about your ability, sanity, qualifications, etc. These matter to me.

That exchange is the reason for this posting, and for my “self explanatory” remarks at the top about how I chose the title, and the sidebar on choice of Druid terms of art for their descriptive imagery. Since Serioso wants it to be “about me”, and despite my having done one of these postings before (which really is about me), he wants more; so I’m going to annotate this post with some bits about how my cognition functions just so he has a ‘window on my world’. Though I doubt it will help.

Why NOT about me?

My basic persona is humble. I’m fond of Buddhism. “Be the empty vessel” speaks to me. “Mu! The Question Is Ill Formed!” is a fundamental part of my cognition. “Wanting what you can not have is the source of discontent” (something Serioso ought to ponder as he strives to understand inside of me). I also come from Amish roots where “Pridefulness is a sin” and find much risk of pridefulnesses in talking about me. I avoid pride, but some folks take facts as boast and then troubles begin. So at the risk of my mortal soul (we left Amish long ago, but were not shunned… Grandad was a working blacksmith, and that made him OK even if he wasn’t Amish, and Grandma kept a more or less Amish house. But I digress…) I’ll post some things about my abilities.

So we must first start with the fact that “there is no me”.

Certainly, there is a body, and a brain, and some kind of cognition that happens inside of it. But in terms of Ego (to use the Freudian aspect) there just isn’t. That is a fantasy created ex machina. At best, I see myself as a logic engine with a support system (that often demands attention to things like washing and sleeping via shoving discontents at the cognition engine against its will…) To quest for “who I am”, is a Mu! quest, a dive into a fantasy and void. “I’m the urban spaceman baby and now here’s the twist, I … Don’t… Exist!”… This is not MY novel thought. It isn’t even a new thought. It has been around for thousands of years. Embrace it. To understand “me”, internalize it. “I am but an egg in the process of becoming”.

I point at the Grosse Pointe Blank movie in the prior link, and in particular where the star complains ~”Why does everyone always think it’s about me?!”. The reason I point to it is because that is how it all impresses me. Feed data to a logic engine, find associative memory links, reduce to subset that contains all the information pertinent to the question and as little else as possible, type. There is no ‘me’ in that process. Yet Serioso wishes to find the ‘me’ in it… and is discontented when he can not get what he desires…

Oh, and also staunchly refuses to address the only bits that matter: Input data, associated memory findings, logic set (dumping things like non-sequiturs and ad hominems), reduction filter (I was extraordinarily high scoring on the GMAT portion that just looks at relevancy of a datum to the problem solution). All THOSE bits result in the posting he can’t believe comes from me (due to it not matching some ill described things he believes a priori…)

All of that, and a bit more, makes it very hard for ‘me’ to talk about me. How do you talk about something that doesn’t exist?

I can talk about the mechanism. I can talk about feelings. I can talk about the software ( as in: I had a formal symbolic logic class at university. For extra credit, I derived NOR and NAND operators in their symbology since they were lacking, at least in the class, and I was familiar with them from the semiconductor class I’d taken at the local Junior College while in my senior year… of high school…) But what of that has any meaning about this ‘me’ that Serioso quests for? I have no feelings about NOR and NAND beyond the vague feeling they are useful. I rarely use the formal logic tools anymore (mostly since writing them down is slow and simply having the brain set up the syllogism works faster). Saying that I’m that set of hardware, data, and logic gates doesn’t satisfy him. I’m at a loss.

When your core wisdom has realized “there is no me”, just some stickyware, it becomes very hard to talk about what is not real.

Sidebar on Links:

The frequent reader will have noticed a few more random links in this post than in most. I’m using that as an example of the associative memory effect. It’s what ‘fires off’ in the brain when I’m thinking. The nice thing is that hyperlinks let you do something similar in print. Now inside the stickyware, it just comes across as very fast flashes of visual memory, or auditory for things like songs, or smell and taste memories if I use words like chocolate or skunk. So, to understand ‘me’, or at least the hardware / memory parts, internalize the idea of constant flashes of association with every noun and many verbs. Swan Dive has a visual of a man on a board about 10 meters up, and the dive. Swim has a sensation of the pool water over my skin (about 6? years old?) and cool and wet, then a secondary echo of me at about 20 in a wet suit off Coos Bay Oregon, 40 feet down and purple lips from the cold, and shooting a Cabezon… that Cabezon linking to the web page on it that I read years later AND to the taste of it that evening…) Eventually the memory cascade dies down. (That bit on swimming happens in about 1/4 second or less). That cascade of associations then gets tied into understanding “whatever” it was that was the initiating question… It may be ‘that aspe thing‘… I don’t know how it works inside other folks brains.

But say the words “symbolic logic” and I’m back in class, visual of the prof and the paper in front of me, then in the dorm room reading the book, then… all in a rapid cascade. The chain of synapses fires, and is gone. “Like tears, in the rain”

and that clip plays on my internal screen…

The Hubris or The Facts?

Then there’s that thorny problem that I’m not normal. (Where normal is ‘average’).

It isn’t hubris on my part. I don’t have any real ego tied up in it. I’ve often said that “Intelligence is highly over rated; it does not bring joy.” or something similar. Yet “Reality just is. -E.M.Smith”, and I must acknowledge it.

In high school I took the Kuder Aptitude and Kuder Preference tests. (Hope I spelled that right, it’s been about 45 years…). I scored 99.9+ percentile (i.e. off of their scale) on everything but one that was 99.1 IIRC, and the other one, my worst score, 86 percentile in clerical. (Likely because I would get bored with string searching and the mind would wander…)

I know my I.Q. score (the ‘councilor’ didn’t realize I can read things upside down, or backward, or mirror imaged… and a glance at the upside down angled away ledger book in front of him was enough for me to pick them up. No, I’m not going to share them. I was told not to, and, well, it seems like good advice. But they are well away from average… both verbal and non-verbal nearly identical (within 1/10 of the error band).

On the PSAT scores, I was exactly the same, verbal and non, and well above average.

On the SAT scores, I was also exactly the same. They qualify me for Mensa. (99.5 percentile is their cut-off? I need to apply to them some day…)

On the GMAT, my score was high enough that Wharton School of Business solicited me. I’d not applied to them. (Some life issues caused me to not accept. I was making nearly 6 figures a year, and they wanted $50,000 a year (plus living expenses), that’s $150,000 a year net swing and I didn’t have it and would not accept that much debt. Then there was the new relationship with my now spouse…)

So those are the facts. I have hardware that works well. I’ve tried to be fairly careful about the software and got a complete and functional set (in school focused on useful things, like calculus, chemistry, logic, and avoided crap things when possible, though I did have one ill fated Sociology class where I learned they can’t think clearly… I’ve also been very careful about letting crap data in… that FORTRAN class in college and those dirty data traps in the homework had a big impact…)

So that’s “just the facts”. What do I think about them?

I think I’m lucky to have good hardware, I’m grateful to the folks who taught me good software and how to keep a tidy mind (special mention to Mr. McGuire in high school Chem & Physics – he was a champ at calling out Bull Shit and error.) I’m sad that high IQ is more burden than help in finding happiness and friends. (One of the ‘draws’ to Mensa is, as one member put it “Everyone gets your jokes!”) Imagine life where nobody gets your jokes, understands your explanations, or cares about what interests you. That was the first 18 years of my life. Well, really, about 16 for the explaining. Then I started tutoring other kids in math and science and learned how to explain things well…

BTW, that’s another point: Doing the math tutor thing, I’d look at an algebra problem and write down the answer. Then when I had to teach someone how to do it, I realized I didn’t know how to do it. It just happened. By finding ways to “explain how to do it” I taught myself some formulaic ways to go about it. That was the first time I realize not everyone has the “flash” of understanding. Many just plod through methods by hand… So to “understand me”, if you are a plodder, will be very hard, as explaining the “flash” has never worked well. Things just fit, or they don’t, and when they fit, the result is visible. FWIW, I don’t remember any case where “the flash” was wrong when subjected to a longer method proof. It has been wrong on details on first introduction to a field when I’m just learning the ropes of it, but usually it is wrong in a simplified way and does point to a ‘dig here!’ for more elaboration.

So given that, how likely is it that someone who is not 2 or 3 sigmas above the norm, who likely doesn’t have “the flash”, and who believes in the importance of the Ego (and who may not have the associative memory Aspe like firing off all the time) will come to have true understanding of the non-me of me? IMHO, the best response would be: “Mu! The question is ill formed” but I’ll leave it for him to reach that stage of enlightenment.

Specifics To The Quest(ion)

Note the parenthetical. I often have nested parenthetical thoughts. They come in “a flash’ too. 1/10 second or less kinds of things. (Now you can see how painfully slow typing it out can be…). So when thinking of a title “Specifics To Serioso’s Question” and “Specifics To His Quest” pop up in one ‘flash’ as a parenthetical construct, then I drop out the proper name putting in “The” and I’m done. Usually about that point I translate the parenthetical to normal English and “move on”, but here I’ve left it intact as an example of thought process. But internally I always hear the dual echo of “Quest” and “Question” whichever one I’ve typed for this heading…

So I had said, basically, speak to data, logic, processing, or filtering, not about me or personal traits. Serioso can’t (or won’t) ‘go there’. OK, here’s the dissection.

No I don’t get it at all!

I suspect Serioso is quite intelligent enough to ‘get it’ for “data, logic, processing, filtering”, but in fact meant “Oh No Mr. Bill, that’s not what I want!” Sloppy, at best, and being charitable. (Either that, or he’s way less smart than I think.)

My mission here is to understand your thinking processes,

Man on a mission, eh? And self centered too. I, and all of you others, are expected to indulge in a personal mission… OK, you get one posting, this one. (Well, really two, I went through the ‘not me’ one long ago, but I guess you forgot, so ‘one more’…)

Also note the “your thinking processes”, as though there is more than one “thinking” and it is a linear “process”.

First off, I just think. It’s a gestalt thing. I can also do tricks, like calculus and cooking, but those are processes, not thinking. So “on a mission” to decompose a gestalt into component parts… i.e. tilt at windmills.

and to try to figure out why some of these processes seem (to me) irrational, even crazy.

Crazy, eh?

Well, first off, you never bothered to look at the processes in postings, nor the data, nor much of anything of substance posted. Just toss insults at me, denigrate my character, intelligence, or sanity, and then bleat about it. OK, we all have our faults…

BUT, what you also seem to have been impervious to is that I have a set of certifications that make such bleats nothing but noise on the wind. (That last sets this “flash” playing in the sound centers of the mind…)

Along with the intelligence certification by many agencies listed above, I had hours of psych interviews and the MMPI, and more, to be selected for a NASA study to design the tests used to select shuttle astronauts. I’m NASA (the old, reliable one) certified sane, and a nice non-violent guy.

Now you can accept that, and see the absurdity in the “crazy” statement of yours, or reject it and continue wandering in the desert. Your choice. Just wander without me, please… if you chose that path. This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve pointed this out, yet you still like the ‘crazy’ and ‘insane’ line of attack. Slow learner I guess…

But back to the syllogism

Let’s look at some words.

[implied subject “I”] try to [figure out why] [noun clause] seem to “me” irrational, even crazy.

Note that this is “all about you” and not about me? I’m only in the noun clause and only as some ill defined “processes” of thought that in fact are indivisible in the gestalt. Now, just for moment, please, consider this:

For YOU to understand why YOU have feelings and / or attitudes about ME has a whole lot more to do with YOU than with ME.

We are all, each and every one of us, 100% responsible for our own feeling, wants, desires, attitudes, and anything else inside our head. I can not “make you angry” and you can not “upset me”. (That is the fallacy of PC speech, BTW, since only the offended can cause their own offense; to accuse someone else of doing it is daft. A Mu! thing.) Only I can let me choose to become upset, and only you can choose to make yourself angry through your choices of response to the world. (Basic Buddhism… really). So I choose to be centered, calm, and happy. (Pretty much all the time… I like it that way) You have chosen to “want what you cannot have” [understanding the ‘parts’ of a gestalt | knowing the inside of another persons brain | find fault in others to explain your fault] and so are unhappy. Sorry, I can’t help you with that. Only you can look inside yourself to find why you make yourself unhappy and seek what does not exist. Only you, the chooser of your mental state, can enquire into it and explain it.

Now, if your puzzlement is about some aspect of the data I selected to display, the associations I make of that source to other sources, or the filtering I’ve done to “leave bits out” (often called “Chiefio forgot” by those less attuned..), that I can help you with. Thus my emphasis on describing the work product posted and inquiry about it, and not “about me”.

So I cannot avoid what you see as insults.

Bull Shit. Flat out lies. It isn’t hard, at all, to avoid saying “You are stupid” “You are ignorant” “You are crazy”. People do it all day long every single day. I’m doing it right now, in fact… It is normal social grace. YOU CHOOSE to say those things, repeatedly, for your own reasons.

For example, it isn’t hard at all to say:

“I think your evaluation of Soros and his motivations is wrong, he is a fine man because of [his deeds]”

instead of

“You must be an ignorant idiot to think Soros is evil, or you are crazy”.

Very easy to choose… Well within your intellectual capacity, if not your emotional quotient.

Now I’ve spent a good 30 years forming, leading, coaching and counseling teams (mostly work teams, but also Pee-Wee Hockey… great fun, that) and happen to know my E.Q. is also quite high. And know that others, not so much, is usually true. I suggest you get an assessment done, it will help you greatly.

I do not know how to avoid making these insults,

Despite my laying it out for you with great clarity. Once again:

Do not address “to the person”, do not “personalize it”, do not attack a person’s attributes (such as intelligence, sanity, capability, etc. etc.) Basically, avoid the Alinsky Method.

I’ve chosen to Ruthlessly stamp it out whenever I encounter it. It is evil. Expect that.

BTW, “ruthlessly” always fires off “I wonder where Ruth is?” ;-)

Next up:

nor do you.

False. I did it just now. (Avoided expressing an insult). I’ve done it a dozen time above. I have also chosen a few times to put one in, since it breaks the boredom, and since they seem to motivate some folks to further learning… though you seem a bit impervious… Knowing how is not the same as choosing… If you truly don’t know how, I pity you and those you interact with. I suspect you are employing a debate device instead, though. (Feel free to correct that suspicion, and prove your limits.)

My comments are necessarily personal because I cannot reconcile my two views of you:

My [behaviour] because I [limited ability] about you…

Notice something again? The subject of that sentence is Serioso, not me… So if you would understand Serioso, why are you looking at me? Wrong target. It is YOUR limited ability to understand that’s the problem, not the “me” it can not grasp.

One view is rational and intelligent, the other irrational to the point of stupidity.

See, now you could just as easily have said:

“One view is rational and intelligent, the other seems to me irrational to the point I lost the plot. Please help.”

This puts the focus where it belongs, on you losing the plot from time to time and not following the connections. That I can help elaborate. However, helping you understand why you find me irrational for your lack of understanding, by looking at me, that is beyond my ability.

It is therefore impossible for me to avoid comments about the person,

“Argue for your limitations, and you shall keep them. -E.M.Smith”

Grow up a bit. Please.

because that is what interests me the most.

Well internet porn interests most people the most (per internet statistics and the $6 Million? price tag for yet folks manage to not post it here… This place is, generally, for what interests ME the most. It is my notebook on the world. Feel free to study it to get clue, but do not feel free to insult me, or others, in your quest to attribute to others what is inside your own limitations.

So I plan to continue my questions about your ability, sanity, qualifications, etc. These matter to me.

As I have fully answered (well, mostly fully… I’ve left out some Community College classes and some technical training in things like router configs…) those above. No, I’m not going to post my transcripts nor my resume. They will show a pretty good student at University, a Bachelors Econ., a State College (teaching college) for the teaching theory and Community College Teachers Certificate, and a 1/2 finished MBA. All with good grades. That I learned ASL and See Sign at a local J.C. isn’t all that important… Nor is the Ph.D. Religion as it isn’t an academic qualification.

You also have my sanity and E.Q. rank, via that NASA study. (I’ll leave it for you to find the published peer reviewed paper about it… it isn’t a secret, but likely only in paper form as internet publishing wasn’t that hot then).

And you know a lot about my professional qualification that I’ve posted over the years while you have been a reader.

So any further inquiry along those lines will be met with:

We’ve already fully covered that HERE (where HERE is a link to this posting.

Now you can be a pig headed obstreperous pill and ignore that…

For illustration, I’ll now translate that last sentence to the polite form, so Serioso can see how to do it:

Now you can be stubborn about this topic, continue to bring it up in inappropriate threads…

See how it works? It really isn’t all that hard to avoid “insults to the person”, if you really want to…

But bring it up, and you will get a link back to here. For any given posting, if you discuss the input data, the associations made, the conclusions reached, etc. well, that’s a discussion worth having as sometimes folks find interesting things I’ve missed. (Really missed, not just filtered. Hey, it happens ;-)

In Conclusion or Bits & Pieces

I have strong “novelty seeking behavior”. Now, since I know pretty much all there is to know about me, I find myself a boring as hell topic. Just not interested in me.

That, BTW, is also why I have postings on so many different things. I have a “Squirrel!” moment and just run off chasing after some interesting new thoughts until I’ve caught them in the butterfly net. Then I’ll summarize it and put up a posting. That’s what I like to do.

Now Serioso wants me to spend my time picking navel lint out of my eyes. Sorry, just not interested.

I’ve said all I have to say already. Most of it here, some in the earlier postings.

“Life is too short to drink bad wine” and frankly, talking about me is thin gruel; and I certainly don’t need piss & vinegar added to that.

I may amend this posting over time, as more things come to me, or some may just end up in comments. But this is THE place to ask questions about me, how and what I think, etc. etc.

Any insult sentences will be ruthlessly deleted as they are semantically null

(Oh, I forgot to mention, I had a formal linguistics class and loved it…)

So don’t be surprised if over time, more bits and pieces like that linguistics note get added here.

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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...
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75 Responses to Serioso And His Discontents

  1. catweazle666 says:

    A word to the wise, Chief.

    I think you ought to consider a famous quote from the inestimable George Bernard Shaw.

    I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

  2. Serioso says:

    Would you be so kind as to post what I wrote in its entirety? Chopped up like this, my remarks are hard to follow. Thanks.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    It is posted in entirety, both here, before the rebuttle, (second quote from the top) and in the link. So no, not a third time.


    I grew up in farm country and like a good mud wallow myself.. Hey, it’s a farm kid thing :-)

    I appreciate your concern, but frankly, I thought maybe some others would be interested in “my world” and how it looks too. I know it’s different, but many neurotypicals don’t … so I’m hoping this mode of presentation gives some hints of it. Nonlinear, visual auditory tactile synesthesia and parenthetical dynamic digression and all…

    Yeah, chaotic.. but “you say pandemonium like it is a BAD thing!” ;-)

  4. Gail Combs says:

    “… the associative memory effect…..”

    Thanks for the term E.M. I think of it as a spider web. I just can not seem to think in a linear straight line and instead think in sort of a matrix with lots of bits and pieces stuck at different nodes, all relevant, often important but not flowing linearly. Makes writing darn hard. It also made me the person the VP of a large company sent out to do troubleshooting.

  5. Gail Combs says:

    “…Yeah, chaotic.. but “you say pandemonium like it is a BAD thing!” ;-)”

    No, No it is nice to see someone else with a similar thinking method. {:>D

    How else do you deal with stuff that is not linear? And as I found most stuff isn’t. We are just lucky we can see the first order component in most cases and the second and third order are not as critical… sometimes.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    Some of what you said could have come out of my own mouth. Very similar early experience, test scores right at the top of the charts, did not fit in with other kids (could not carry on an “intelligent conversation with them” almost no confluence of interests etc.) Military scores qualify for MENSA etc.

    Like other sensory perceptions not all of us work the same way. A lot of people never understand that simple fact. I go through that every time I have to explain to “normals” what is like to be red green colorblind in a world which assumes everyone has normal color vision. I also have a tendency to do that flashes of insight thing. I once got chewed out by a calculus instructor for getting the right answer on a question but could not show my work, to his satisfaction. He assumed I cheated off of someone else. I just looked at the problem made a couple ball park estimates (ie the answer was at a limit ) so let’s just see where the answer goes if you make this dimension very small — Oh this answer is the only one it could possibly converge to. I had a firm picture in my head of a chart of a variable approaching a limit asymptotically, and you only needed a couple estimates to see where the knee of the curve was and the only reasonable value it could approach. I don’t do rote mathematics very well, my brain always wants to get close enough and then jump to the end state.

    That was a great help in mechanical problem solving — gee this thing does not work, if I push this here that goes there — Oh here’s the problem. Never understood the full mechanism but could see the path of forces in my head.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry & Gail:

    Welcome Home….

    It is nice to be among people who “get it”….

  8. Gail Combs says:

    Yes, It certainly is!

    I go into giving longer explanations because I found people just could not make the ‘leap’ from a set of data to the answer and as a troubleshooter I was always having to give talks to the higher ups, like corporate presidents and VPs.

    (In school I would get nice outline where is the paper?)

  9. Another Ian says:


    Put another way.

    There are people who want to put other folk into pigeonholes they have defined. And it is easy to help their game if you wake to it by leading them on.

    And then wreck the classification by showing some of your other responses that don’t fit it.

  10. Douglas R. Fix says:

    Perhaps Mr. Serioso is looking for the Old Same Place, and we all know that you can’t get there from here. Leaving my mukluks by the cellophane.

  11. Douglas R. Fix says:

    On the other topic, I have very little visual “memory”. No flashes just a vague sense of rightness. It works for me but I most certainly can’t explain it to someone would experiences it differently.

  12. Power Grab says:

    I was about to start talking about how I’ve decided my memory operates like a matrix, too, but Gail beat me to it. That’s OK. I know I’m not alone in that! As they say, “It’s all good!”

    Serioso reminds me of the student who was my nemesis in junior high, endlessly bullying me. I ended up spending lots of time in the counselor’s office that year. I never did understand why that student chose me to bully. My counselor said that it made the bully feel better to put others down. But even that ended up well. The junior high counselor’s husband was the vocal music director at the high school. The counselor encouraged me to try out to accompany for him the next year. I did. That was huge fun! That opened the door to one of my favorite past-times, even four decades later.

    The memory-as-matrix thing came to light this summer, after I had surgery and had to take pain killers for several weeks. Apparently, pain killers poke holes in my memory matrix. Some things that, on the surface, aren’t related to other things in my memory, became temporarily (I hope) harder to recall than before. After I fill in the holes and start using those memories again, things seem a bit better. But I’m still conscious that I might be rolling along, flowing from one memory to another, then fall off a cliff where it seems like the tracks stop suddenly. That’s not to say that the memories are particularly linear, though!

    I understand what EM is saying about the flash moments. When I was growing up, I unconsciously spent my entire elementary career attempting to achieve flash-level competence in everything. It wasn’t until I took my first programming class in college that I realized I had to learn to break down a process into tiny steps, since that was the way the computer had to have them fed in. That was quite a paradigm shift.

    If I had to characterize EM and Serioso, I would start by describing EM as a person after my own heart, who likes to solve puzzles. I describe myself that way, too. I read a lot. Sometimes I pick up something that is so foreign to my experience that it’s just chock full of disjointed (to me) puzzle pieces, but which so fascinate me that I place them on a shelf in the back of my mind. Eventually, I run into another puzzle piece that seems like it might fit with the others back on the shelf. Of course, it’s challenging to describe the fitting together of those pieces to other people. People who have any expertise in some of the puzzle pieces tend not to have the slightest interest in others.

    However, Serioso’s approach strikes me as being the difference between “sizzle sells” and a classical scholarly journal article. However, in this case, it’s the antagonism that is the bait, meant to attract attention.

    In marketing, “sizzle sells” is often the M.O. because it can grab a viewer’s/customer’s attention at a very low level of their consciousness and lead them down the primrose path the seller wants them to go down, but without the customer’s knowing they’re being led. Somehow, the many arenas that Soros has taken control of operate like that. They seem to have taken control of many people at such a low level that they have abandoned their logical reasoning skills and just let their now-compromised gut feelings lead them along. Maybe it’s just the money. I find myself wondering if all his minions are laden with such high levels of debt that they cannot find any other way to stay afloat than to parrot everything their paymaster tells them. As they say, the borrower is slave to the lender.

    Oh, one more thing that came to mind while reading this article was “Columbo”, the old made-for-tv detective series. Columbo always came across as a shoddy fellow, one that the perps always believed they could mislead and get rid of easily. But that was all just an act. He always got them to tip their hand and make mistakes. It seemed as if the crooks could never accept that a very clever fellow could operate as if he were a bumbling fool, and end up achieving his goal.

    By the same token, honest, good-hearted people tend to find it hard to believe that evildoers can operate in such dastardly ways, as if there were no other options.

  13. Power Grab says:

    Oh, one more thing (lapsing into Columbo mode here): Yesterday I finally got to write a program that I’ve seen a need for since 1999. I recognized the need back then and would gladly have written it, but the folks who needed its output the most had no interest in using it. Finally, yesterday, they asked for it.

    It was amazing how fast it flowed together. I guess it might have been one of those creative-process things that works itself out in the back of your mind while you’re working on other things.

    Do you know how much fun it is to set a thing like that running right after you write it, and it just cranks and cooks, and you just sit there grinning like a fool?

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, I do…

    Like creating a life, and finding it is good…

    I am gratified to find so many fellow tavelers hiding among you all…

    and BTW, always loved Columbo….. On more thing….

  15. David A says:

    In Buddhism, and Hinduism it is taught that no thoughts are personal or original, but all are universally rooted. ( This applies to good bad right wrong etc)

    Tesla talked about his flash conceptions, in many instances, such as when alternating current understanding came into his counciousness.

    But let’s us consider all thoughts. Before any thought is thought, it is of necessitie there, pre existent, and the thought is just the expression of it, and the words slower still. Do we think in language? Does an infant? No, an infant learns an incredible amount at an amazing rate, unencumbered by language.

    It is my observation that any body who becomes a true expert in any field develops intuition, flash comprehension of the situation, or challenge at hand, the brain or thought only formatting the understanding for communication. This intuition is not limited to any field; carpenters and genius scientists like George Washington Carver, all develope it. It does have an element of infallibility as E.M. notes.

    Also it can be devloped. Earlier I stated that wrong thoughts are also universally rooted. In Hinduism this is rooted in the power of Maya, necessary for creation. Maya literally translates into division, the aspect of creation whereby one universal power takes on the appearance of duality, not one but two forces, positive and negative, the earth, the magnet, the atoms. All science is based on undestanding one aspect after another of unending expressions of one absolute, and thus are, as recognised, never complete. Overcoming Maya is seen as the goal of life. In the bible this is expressed where it says, ” I the Lord God created all these things, good and evil.” In order to have a play, the divine lila, it was necessary to have good and bad, light and shadows, positive and negative.

    When you dream you divide your own counciousness into all aspects of the dream, you are the actors, good and bad, you are the clotted earth, the warm sun, you are the dreamer, what is dreamed, knowing, knower, known, as one.

    Intuition is taught to be the power that cuts through the chains of agency, and perceived The single cause, in short, the all knowing power of the soul tapped into the singular counciousness of the Absolute.

    It is my view that flash understanding, is simply our counciousness tapping into the Big Guys counciousness.

  16. philjourdan says:

    I fixated on your comment about tutoring algebra (my mind does strange things as well – but not on your level). I too was asked to tutor in algebra, and like you, I always “knew” the answer, so when it came time to teach it, I failed! Hence why I never went into teaching. But your story shows I was just impatient and with practice I could have done the same. But that opportunity is long gone now. So I will let my weird mind connect a couple of unrelated dots.

    You state that “anyone can do it” and then proceed to show how to post without insult. But this is actually algebra all over again. You do it effortlessly, but others are not so blessed with that knack. They must be taught to go through the mechanics in order to separate the man from the arguments. And most never are. And that should not be a surprise to anyone.

    Why? I have seen it often stated that conservatives are great debaters because they have had to defend their arguments throughout their life, and especially in higher education that is decidedly liberal. Whereas liberals, living in an echo chamber, never develop the skills. And therein lies the crux of the issue. Serioso cannot do it because he has never learned how to do it. And since it comes naturally (you “see” the solution without having to go through the mechanics), you cannot understand why he cannot also grasp the obvious.

    It is not so much that Serioso does not “want” to do it, it is more that he just does not have the knowledge to do it. If he is sincere about wanting to do it (even without converting to a philosophy that he finds distasteful), he will have to learn how to do it. But he has to want to learn, and most on the left do not have that urge (hence why the left is about feelings and code words and not facts and rational debate).

    Your “schooling” of Serioso is you showing him the answer, but never explaining the mechanics. So he does not see it (but that can be partly his responsibility as he is comfortable in his role of attack dog and does not want to learn how to discuss/debate). Not surprising again, that is common among most of the left. I have seen some who “learn” after having their proverbial head handed to them time after time. But they are the exception, not the rule (and the sample size is not a true statistical sampling as it only involves those who are willing to venture out into the world of forums and discussions).

  17. Regis Llanfar says:

    I have had similar experiences (some college courses in 5th grade, ability to ‘just get it’, etc.) Might I suggest that music had played a large part of your youth?

    My suspicion is that we have an efficient and/or enlarged corpus callosum. I.e., the logical left brain and the intuitive right brain have a good interaction – what I like to call ‘the creative application of logic’.

  18. Reading Chiefio and the comments is often a short-cut for the work needed to have enough information to have an opinion on something. I suffer somewhat from Heisenberg syndrome – there’s always a fair amount of uncertainty over whether the consensus of opinion has enough proof or is true. A good example of this is AGW, where several years ago I went along with the consensus and accepted it as probably true since it seemed to be supported by so many entities. Looking at the source data, and knowing what the experimental errors must be, showed me the errors. Knowing a bit more about the models used, and how they all disagree with each other when projected into the future, made me certain that the “official” consensus is wrong and that the certainty with which we are told “it’s all your fault!” has no basis in truth.

    Of course that’s made me into a Climate Denier and thus subject to summary execution…. Win some, lose some.

    I’m also fairly quick at absorbing information in order to get to competence in a particular field. The nice thing about going to university was that I found people who understood my jokes. Chiefio is however obviously smarter than me, and maybe an order of magnitude faster at getting to the necessary level of understanding to be able to explain it to others. That is the real test of understanding – if you can make it understandable to a person who knows very little about it, and without using jargon or complex vocabulary, then you have the knowledge. Chiefio can do this with a lot of subjects rather than just one. Probably makes it really hard to keep a job since most managers find that scary and threatening. Some revel in it, of course, which makes the job a joy to do when you find that.

    And then there’s Serioso, who it seems can’t appreciate this cornucopia of interesting information and references for further digging. The obvious speed of typing (including time to think about it and do the reading first) amazes me. (Side point – modern keyboards seem to have timing problems and and fast typing can result in letters in the wrong order, as well as missed letters when the key _has_ been struck. Maybe they all use the same chipset. I thus need to reread what I’ve typed and fix the transpositions/missing letters and it takes longer to get the text written.) With the Popper article, that explained something that’s been nagging me for years but not important enough to go spend a few months digging. Geopolymers are also a useful thing as a start-point for further investigation. The software investigations are useful, and maybe more so in future if TSHFT. There is a lot of useful stuff here, nicely explained and then augmented by comments from people that have something to add.

    Having some conflicting opinions is not a bad thing. It’s better if there are references to back up that opinion, and if they are sufficiently good that could change my opinion about something. At any point, my opinions about something are a result of the sum of my knowledge on it and how certain I am that that knowledge is correct, so new information can and does change those opinions.

    Reality is not “all in the mind” (see Gail’s challenge of “go lie on the railway line” to someone who asserted this ( )) but should be demonstrable. We also need to understand where people who assert this are coming from, though. What are their blind spots, and where are ours so that we don’t see the same version of reality?

  19. spetzer86 says:

    Thanks for the Firesign video link! Loved those guys.

  20. Gary says:

    With that associative memory thing, you might be good at poetry. The technical skills suggest classical forms like sonnets. Ever try it?

  21. Steven Fraser says:

    Do you grok Bach?

  22. He is still my favorite classical composer. So much that Sinfonia for Contata 29 was the recessional at my wedding. Ref.

    My first exposure to non-classical was at age 13 in the Philippines – Blood Rock’s D.O.A. Probably why I’m so into Symphonic Metal these days…

  23. Gail Combs says:

    On the subject of E.M. and music….

    Do not forget art, the visual vs music, the sound.

    I took art classes in high school and college and found it took about an hour to switch from the analytical right side brain to the creative left side brain. Actually it was my college art teacher who noticed it.

    I also did a lot of tutoring starting in junior high. I looked at it as a challenge. My neighbor, a really sweet girl a year behind me, was horrible at math and science. Since she was my best friend I worked my butt off trying to find ways to explain math so she would understand. I also spent all of homeroom tutoring my classmates and some of my study halls.. The teachers never interfered.

  24. H.R. says:

    Well, E.M., we have something in common. Wharton came after me, unsolicited, after I took the GMAT.

    Something else we have in… Look! Squirrel!… now where was I?

    I type twice as fast when I use two fingers, but let me just note, without going into personal explanatory anecdotes, that I ‘get’ the visual thingy and also getting from A to G without going through B, C, D, E, & F.
    I have difficulty understanding Serioso’s mission here:
    “My mission here is to understand your [E.M.’s] thinking processes,”
    (Just my opinion, but I think my mission to pursue whirled peas will have a bigger payoff.) If E.M. gets hit by a bus tomorrow, what effect will that have on Serioso’s mission? Will Serioso go back and dissect all of E.M’s prior postings, making footnotes and annotations? I dunno.

  25. tom0mason says:

    To argue with a man who sincerely doubts your sanity is not (IMO) a good move as he obviously has some form of mental aberration of his own in trying to pursue this course.

    Otherwise E.M. I agree with your of rebuttal method and form, hopefully ‘Serioso’ has profited from the experience by learning some insight about himself and others.

  26. tom0mason says:

    From merriam-webster._com
    Definition of serioso:
    serious, grave —used as a direction in music

    Origin and Etymology of serioso:
    Italian, from Late Latin seriosus

    Now probably the most famous piece of music carrying the ‘Serioso’ direction is Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95, that has the third movement marked ‘Serioso’ and this gave the whole piece it’s name.


    The final two movements sustain a nearly unbroken arc of intensity from beginning to end. The scherzo offers brief respite in its contrasting trio and the finale begins with a slow, mournful introduction. But the bulk of the scherzo, itself marked serioso, and the majority of the finale, marked agitato, join with the first movement to make this the most unrelentingly intense of all the Beethoven quartets. Compact, dense, uncompromising and relentless, these are the essential qualities that join under the banner of Serioso. Yet Beethoven was keenly aware of his manipulative powers and knew that just as he transfixed his listener in the rapture of despair, he could shatter the mood by turning on a dime.

    [my Bold]

    For some reason I find that description quite apt.

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steven Fraser:

    Somewhere I have a vinyl of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor at the Thomaskirche (Thomas Church) on the same organ where it was composed. Just spectacular…

    It is, quite possibly, my favorite music of all time. Ripples of [something] just flow over your brain and down your spine and into the tips of your hair and toes…

    It really matters where it is played. At the Thomaskirche the reverberations are just right and there are things that reinforce the notes played in its own kind of cascade… This Youtube sounds a lot like it to me, but it doesn’t say for sure:

    (Regis: This is MY favorite… enjoy)

    The Tomaskirche one MUST be played through large speakers and on very good equipment. Some of the low notes are at the limit of human hearing and are more felt than heard (plus puts beats into the other notes). I don’t know if modern ear buds can do 15 to 20 Hz…

    It is good on other instruments, but the blending, cascading, beating, echoing are not the same… and I’m certain J.S. composed it with those as part of the music…


    It’s part of my regular ‘echos’ as I loved listening to them, too, on vinyl….


    Yes, I have a small set. Though more along the lines of e.e.cummings than sonnets… The romantic / artistic side isn’t all that controlled by the technical side…


    I can appreciate it well, but it is the production that’s a problem. Fingers too short and fat for piano, and not coordinated enough for woodwinds… The frustration gets in the way of enjoyment, so I just dropped trying… and listen instead. Similar thing with reading music. Learned the system, could pick out notes and assign them to values… but kept thinking the system was pretty crude and would wander off into how to improve it… so never got good at reading it ‘as is’.

    For visual art, I like photography. I do a lot of it, but lately mostly “documentary style’ and not artsy. I have some old B&W Night Street Scenes on ASA 400 Tri-X from the ’70s that I’m fond of as an artsy effort… that whole streetlights and glossy surfaces thing. None of it good enough to be pro or exhibited, but I like it… Mostly stuck in a box now, since we’ve gone to the digital age. A friend has a negative scanner and on my “someday” list is to scan the several thousands of slides and negatives…


    Interesting… I’ve had the same thought. That it was enhanced communication between the halves. FWIW, I feel like there are “two of me” and we share authority. Neither right nor left dominates. This shows up externally as being ambidextrous and in testing as IDENTICAL to the point scores on the PSAT, SAT, etc. I also have what I call ‘word collisions’ where it seems like two language centers were processing in sync, and then chose slightly different words for a single thought and they get combined into one on the tongue… so “I think that stupid” and “I think that dumb” shows up on the tongue as “I think that dupid”…

    Two possible explanations I like: There’s a language center on both hemispheres and the C.C. connects them well, or I am a chimera of a right and left blended. ( I also have dual ‘cowlicks’ on the scalp as there are two origin / whirls of hair, one on each side, so I can literally part my hair both ways… which leans to the chimera idea…)

    In any case, both sides work together and communicate a lot.

    To Gail’s point about switching: I can swap ‘styles’ of thought in about 2 seconds. It isn’t instant, but still very fast. I can feel the shift, too. Kind of a “here, you take it” verbal echoed by a vague feeling of acceptance the verbal me interprets as “OK, I got it”… So I’ll run verbal on writing and such, but swap styles for things like math and intuiting understanding after the words are loaded. I think it is like handing off a chunk of computes to the GPU … There’s that big ‘ol relational visual engine sitting over there not working on the words, lets hand it this nut to crack…

    Then the answer comes back fairly quickly most of the time…

    BTW, I think that process can be learned, if folks try.

    Back for the rest after I make morning tea ;-)

  28. Gail Combs says:

    “I have difficulty understanding Serioso’s mission here….”

    It depends on where you think Serioso is coming from.

    Never forget you can not control people unless you can figure them out.

    We already know the Globalists have called in the Psychologists in their war on individual freedom:

    “Professors Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Gignac have now produced papers two internet opinion surveys….” Extreme Socialist-Environmentalist Ideation as Motivation for belief in “Climate Science” Kevin Marshall the manicbeancounter.

    We know Psych-Ops has been around for years.
    Psych-Ops: Psychological Operations (Psy-Ops)

    Systemic Solutions with Martyn Carruthers

    Psychological operations (psych-ops or psy-ops) refer to the planned use of psychological knowledge to influence the behavior of groups, organizations or populations. Although associated with guerilla warfare, rebellion and subversion; many marketing and political strategies include psych-ops techniques … including office politics and social engineering.

    More recently, the American Office of War Information disseminated propaganda in the USA and abroad, and the American Office of Strategic Service (OSS) provided psychological operations against perceived or potential enemies. Other countries followed their lead.

    Peacetime applications of psych-ops are perhaps most evident in political election campaigns. Common techniques used to influence public attitude and opinion are:
    * using radio and television to distort events
    * manufacturing “news” in staged events
    * recruiting and using opinion leaders and media figures
    * adjusting appeals to group interests (e.g. trade unions)

    Large commercial interests, such as steel, oil, logging and railroad companies initiate extensive psych-ops to develop public support for legislation favorable to their interests. Similarly, civil rights and other movements may use low-budget psychological operations – for example protest marches, assemblies, picketing and sit-ins – often with much less expertise.

    Psychological operations have maximum effect with people who:
    * have little education
    * accept information uncritically
    * benefit from the proposed change
    * want to believe the propaganda
    * do not wish to understand their own motivations….

    Take a close look at that. As I just posted HERE the MSM has been outed as an American patriot hating globalist group.

    Leaders of the independent blog media like Drudge, Sundance, Jim Hoft, Tony Heller, and E.M. are NOT those who Psychological operations have any real effect on. They are too intelligent. Therefore it is IMPERATIVE for the Globalists to figure out the Surly Curmudgeons and how to influence them. Especially since the method used on ‘climate scientists’ like Mike Mann — bribery with $$$$$$$ — just does not work and it is too early to use the ‘ultimate solution’ used by Stalin.

    Therefore they are left with:
    * recruiting and using opinion leaders” and it is not working. Even worse, popular leaders are arising and leading the people in the opposite direction from Globalism!

    “Deplorables Unite” – Do you hear the people sing!!!

    Oh, yeah the Globalists hear the people singing and they see all their machiavellan plans going up in smoke.

  29. Steven Fraser says:

    Regis, Gail: Hofsteder’s ‘Goedel, Escher, Bach’ is a wonderful read on the interrelatedness of these.

  30. @EM I never considered that the reason it takes me time to reply in conversations might include that both sides had come up with an answer and I was deriving a shared mind agreement. I’d always thought that it was just that my mind was faster than my mouth.

    Born a leftie (still left eye dominant) but my grandma and application of a fork at meals ‘corrected’ that. Now I’m ambi. Made for a big advantage in college fencing.

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    @Gail Combs

    Oh, yeah the Globalists hear the people singing and they see all their machiavellan plans going up in smoke.

  32. Gail Combs says:

    Another leftie here with a bit of ambi. I can actually draw quite well with both hands. Biggest problem is muscle tone in the right hand. It wants to cramp since it was never ‘trained’ to write.

    For me, I can visualize easily but grabbing the correct words, especially on the fly when doing something physical is sometimes hard.

    Hubby is hear often asking me for the NOUN.

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    I think we have a battle going on in the back room of TPTB, part of the push for $15 minimum wage is to save their own skin by pushing higher wages to minimize discontent as noted in the article above. Unfortunately by doing it by legal mandate they are shooting themselves in the foot. After decades of higher and higher efficiency in business, just in time delivery, trimming all the excesses and achieving minimum margins which can only be profitable / sustainable in very large businesses, they have created a consumer culture that ruthlessly seeks low cost. Big businesses can eat a larger wage for lower and middle income workers and still survive but the small guys – the neighborhood book store trying to compete with Amazon is helpless to defend their market. If they grow then they need to hire help but due to the wage laws the required wages kills the business. It is catch 22 time, what they need to do to push wealth down to the lower wage earners by necessity kills jobs for that same class of worker because the inflexible law does no allow low margin businesses to grow into profitability as they get larger, it kills them in the crib.

    Remember the days when the Unions staved off collapse for a generation with their Buy American campaigns? We need to shift the public opinion back in that direction, with a Buy Local buy from small businesses movement. We are in a consumer trap (kind of like a liquidity trap) that as long as world wide wages have such a huge range from high cost of living countries to low cost of living countries, internet marketing and pursuit of low costs will steal revenue from the advanced high cost countries and drive it to low cost countries. This will level wages world wide but it will take a couple generations for that to happen. The result is massive explosive growth in places like China and India as they steal jobs and productivity from the west and a couple generations of shrinking profits and work opportunities in the west as that balancing processes takes place.

    That leaves stagnation in the most affluent advanced countries, Japan, Germany, the US. etc and run away excessive growth in the low cost countries (and as today over capacity for production through out the world).

    I doubt they can keep a lid on things while all that sorts out. NAFTA etc. Opened the doors too fast and the catastrophic shift of manufacturing resources to lower cost countries is not controllable right now, it has taken on a life of its own as everyone scrambles for their piece of the pie.

    It is resembling a food riot of starving people trying to get their share of rice off a truck that only carries enough rice for half the crowd.

  34. Gail Combs says:

    If you read the comments it is very clear they do not understand at all. They keep trying to blame Trump when all Trump did was see the mob milling about and jump ahead of it. Why else did he beat 16 other GOPe picks. Why else does he fill rallies with thousands? He is really not a good speaker, his sons are better, but he give the little guy a voice. If the internet was more advanced and people more awake it might just as well have been Ross Perot.

    The fact it is not a small movement and not restricted to just the USA says very clearly IT IS NOT TRUMP you dummkopfs, it is people getting sick and tired of being stomped on by the elite and screamed at by the PC -SJ warriors. Did these donkey’s rears actually think they could keep shovelling illogic down the throat of ordinary folk and they would not notice?

    This article, which I think you first posted, shows their arrogance.
    It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses

  35. Jon S says:

    Hi, all, from a ‘lurker’

    E.M and others., thanks for all your efforts in this blog! I seem to have similar wetware wiring to many here.

    I studied brain functional lateralization development, long ago (in rats; they don’t make good paying customers, and I’m not fond of grantsmanship: school debt – in a hole, stop digging).
    Digital troubleshooting, inventing “it can’t do that” work-arounds, and an IT degree, since then.

    My take, fwiw, is that it’s not so much creative/analytical, as macro/zoom lenses on the redundant pattern-recognition engines (hemispheres), probably related to more difuse (wider-spread) connectivity on one side (right: the neural crossover would put ‘analytical’ on the left hemi in most, regardless of handedness, and independent of ‘preferred processing style’). Another analogy (I often think in analogies) would be one side tending to top-down analysis, the other, bottom-up. Specialized areas, like human language, could be seen more as emulations running in their own evolved virtual machines, but the core wetware seems more activation of pattern matches and, enjoyably like many contributers here, sometimes also matching or synthesizing results from further afield from initial stimulus (creativity, flash-insight, etc).

    Just my particular favored analogy, with some fit to my learning and experience. It won’t be useful to everyone, ymmv. I take studying brains/awareness to be kind of like the carved figure on the cover of Goedel, Escher, Bach (without going into +/- of the book, itself). What it seems depends which way you look at it.

    Re rats, in case anyone is interested:
    – Lateral motor bias at birth,
    – behavioral controls didn’t lateralize without at least a little novelty stimulation in pup-hood
    (all 5 sq ‘ cage makes Willard a dull rat…)
    – different sub-species, and a small minority within a given sub-species, lateralized a given
    behavior differently, but statistically consistant within sub-species,
    – what lateralized were species-specific (evolved?) behaviors, not something a grad student
    dreamed up,
    – different hemispheres showed different behavioral strategies in the absence of other hemi input
    (with the caviat that in complex systems, the absence of input/feedback from one part can
    alter the behavior of other parts: loss of activation and/or inhibition),
    – some remaining-hemi strategies modified with further experience, some didn’t (net trolls?)

    H/T to Nottabaum, who’s bird-song lateralization study was ignored for around a decade – didn’t fit ‘Humans are unique’ consensus…

    Thanks, again, all (with a few exceptions, but those can unintentionally generate discussion, too)

  36. Jon S says:

    Forgot to ref comment reply, oops

    from Jon S
    21 September 2016 at ~ 2:11 pm

    Regis Llanfar says:
    21 September 2016 at 12:23 pm

  37. Larry Geiger says:

    Linear. Straight linear. I make a lot of lists. I’m good at list making, not so good at seeing relationships. Good troubleshooting because I just keep diving in over and over again. Learned early on to throw out false starts and start over. Painful but useful learning. Can do algebra, geometry, automata, and programming. Don’t understand women :-) Interesting conversation.

  38. Gail Combs says:

    Larry Ledwick says: “I think we have a battle going on in the back room of TPTB, part of the push for $15 minimum wage is to save their own skin by pushing higher wages to minimize discontent..”

    I think they are not paying attention. A federal $15 min wage is complete suicide. Even I can see that. Remember the companies here in the USA are ALREADY using illegals or H1b visa holders to pay LESS wages. Workers in the USA are competing with motivated workers in China as well as Mexico and India.

    As of 1 May 2013, the highest monthly minimum wage in China is 1,600 yuan ($266 US Dollar).
    The lowest monthly minimum wage was 1,010 yuan ( $166 US Dollar ).
    US minimum wage is ~$1250/month @ $7.25/hr.
    That is what American workers are competing against. That is why the US worker has seen his job shipped overseas. The government doubling the minimum wage will only make more jobs evaporate.

    Then there is small business the backbone of the US economy. How in Hades are they going to be able to afford DOUBLING what they pay workers?

    * Small businesses employ about 50 percent of all private sector workers.
    *Small businesses create more than 50 percent of the non-farm GDP.
    *The 22.9 million small businesses in the United States are located in virtually every neighborhood.
    *Small businesses make up 97 percent of exporters and produce 29 percent of all export value.
    *The latest figures show that small businesses create 75 percent of the net new jobs in our economy.

    Kill off small businesses and the Deplorables are REALLY going to turn from cold Anger to hot.

    Small business is already strangled by government red tape AND the US federal government darn well knows it. This is a report from a government meeting on small business.

    …..On October 24 of last year, Gallop released a poll that outlined small business owners’ most pressing concerns, and according to this poll, small business owners are most likely to say that complying with government regulations is the most important problem facing them today. That is more than taxes and more than the overall economy. The Gallop poll is mirrored by numerous trade association surveys, such as the one conducted by the United States Chamber of Commerce in March of 2012. That Chamber study found that almost half of small business owners said regulation is a greater threat to their business than taxation and litigation combined. Similarly, a poll conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 63 percent of respondents believe the rules issued by the federal government have done more to hurt small business and 74 percent believe that the federal government should focus on creating jobs instead of issuing new rules and regulations. The message is clear–small businesses need Washington to stay out of the way….

    This is exactly the same thing that Trump found. Regulation is the number one concern of small business not taxes.

    Obamacare is the worst of the regs and it is not done killing off small business as more parts kick in.
    June 2013 Poll: 41% Of Small Businesses Froze Hiring Due To Obamacare, 19% Have Laid Off Employees

    …Along with the businesses that have admitted to hiring freezes or downsizing, 38 percent of small business said that they have “pulled back on their plans to grow their business” because of the health care law….

    Companies with more than 50 full-time employees under the new law must either offer full health coverage or face a $2,000 fine per worker after the first 30. The law is forcing employees to pull back on hiring and reduce employees’ hours from full to part-time in order to avoid paying fines or providing health coverage

    In other words Obummercare put the brakes on ANY small business growing over 50 full-time employees and going part time doesn’t work because of the Full-time equivalent, or FTE employees represent a composite of multiple part time employees whose hours add up to more than 30.

    And finally there is the expected response when a government goes insane.
    $2 Trillion US Underground Economy Is the Free Market Striking Back?

    April 26, 2013
    …Two trillion is, of course, a lot of money, perhaps 15 percent of the entire US economy and is one reason that this economic situation receives little if no reporting. Another may be because it could be much larger than two trillion. Most every estimate made in mainstream and academic circles seems to favor the prevailing, statist narrative.

    That is, any news or information that discomfits the state or its authority is under-reported or minimized. We figure that unemployment is twice as high as stated, tax avoidance is twice as high, criminality is twice as high, etc. We would therefore be tempted to double the figures on the underground from two to four trillion.

    Now, this may seem like a lot but if you live in the US, think back a week and try to total up your off-the-books transactions. For many people there may be a lot of them, starting with visits to the local store and including payments to electricians, plumbers, etc.

    The US – like most “advanced” countries, is chock full of transactions that avoid official standards and taxes. It has to be this way, as those advancing the bureaucratic/nationalistic narrative continue to raise taxes, add to the regulatory state and generally make it impossible for people to survive without breaking at least some laws….

    What is actually going on here is yet another confrontation between what we call the Internet Reformation and globalist dominant social themes.

    The meme is simple: Government is good and looks out for people. The reality is much different, as the Internet has increasingly revealed. As more and more people participate in the underground economy, as governments make it increasingly difficult to survive, the number of people throughout the West “dropping out” no doubt increases.

    Not only do they drop out but they also withdraw their allegiance from the state as it is and the philosophy that it enunciates. Money is power, and if people can generate their funds by circumventing modern government, they may well do so, especially if they are increasingly desperate due to lack of employment, etc.

    This expanding underground economy presents an existential threat to the powers-that-be and to business as usual. It is not remarked upon a great deal but it is no doubt beginning to provide a significant alternative to Leviathan.

    Now think about that. If the underground economy is twice what is admitted and it grows, how the heck is the government going to pay for all the goodies given to the Blacks and Illegals???

    Right Now We Have Longest Soup Lines In History of America, You Just Can’t See Them…

    “Electronic Soup Cards”

    October 23, 2013 Census: 49% of Americans Get Gov’t Benefits

  39. philjourdan says:


    The fact it is not a small movement and not restricted to just the USA says very clearly IT IS NOT TRUMP you dummkopfs, it is people getting sick and tired of being stomped on by the elite and screamed at by the PC -SJ warriors.

    We have had our differences in the past, but this is not one of them! I have been trying to convey that exact message to James (Suyts) for the past 2 months. He still does not get it. He will vote Trump, but only because he is not Hillary.

  40. gareth says:

    Hi E.M.
    I apologise in advance that I only skim read your piece (and comments). Bit too much navel gazing for a (another?) daft engineer ;-)
    To cut to the point: Occam would suggest that the bloke (or girl or LGBTPZN whatever) is just a Troll or other species of W**ker. If so, a senseless waste of human life in even engaging with it?
    Just my 2p (or 2c)
    (but loved the Bach aus die Tomaskirche!)

  41. John Silver says:

    Chefio broke the rule that’s been around since Usenet: Ignore the trolls.
    They should be banned.

  42. Gail Combs says:

    Now this is an interesting story from the beginning of the year. Sheriffs issue a call to arms: ‘Take advantage of your legal right to carry a firearm’

  43. H.R. says:

    @Gail –

    Thanks for pointing out the question of Serioso’s motivation above.

    “It depends on where you think Serioso is coming from.

    Never forget you can not control people unless you can figure them out.

    Your guess appears to me to be control. My guess, after rethinking Serioso’s one comment on this posting, is you would most likely be right. I was going to wait for a few more comments from Serioso, but I think you got it in one.

    What was his comment? A ‘request’ that E.M. does something more (just to see if E.M. will do it?). Has Serioso figured out the hot button that will get E.M. to do what Serioso want’s E.M. to do?

    Judging by E.M.’s response, Serioso pushed the wrong button. Nothing from E.M. but, “Nah. It’s already there. Now… moving right along….”

    Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of, “Mr. Serioso’s Wild Ride to The Moderation Queue.” ;o)

    Stick a fork in me. I’m done with the Serioso topic.

  44. Gail Combs says:

    WOW, talk about thinking outside the box. This is about the riots here in North Carolina.

    joshua says:
    September 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

    need to use a crop duster plane with pepper spray and purple dye…..spray the crowds and arrest anyone dyed purple the next day….fine them and put them to work on cleaning up streets and neighborhoods….hard labor in the hot sun for a few weeks…….might get the message…and anyone in a riot from outside the area of his residence goes to federal prison as a person who incited and aided a riot.

    I think with a bit of fine tuning that idea could be made to work.

  45. E.M.Smith says:


    FWIW, that econ / growth / business regs stuff would be better under a different thread. As I’ll be linking to this one every time Serioso pokes the topic, it would be best if it were more leaning toward ‘his topic’… With that said: I’m not a stickler on it and when a topic pops up in one thread, I know it is hard to move it to another one… And with THAT said:

    You seem to describe this as though it were an accidental or stupidity driven error to be strangling small business in the crib. IMHO that is not at all the case. It is a deliberate strategy.

    1st Off, it is entirely in line with the Soros guidance to ‘take down America’. So Obama and Hillary and fellow traveler NGOs and lobbyists will be 100% for that ‘take down’.

    2nd, it is entirely in line with the Bill Clinton “3rd Way” Socialism which requires that Government give “guidance” (i.e. orders) to businesses. This is done in gross form via laws, regulations, and governing “commissions” (we see that in the Trade Deals too where unelected government appointed “commissioners” get to rule on which laws get tossed out…) In fine form, it take the form of a “steering committee” with the Corporate brass, Government Rep or “regulator” and preferably also a Union Leader all deciding what the company ought to do. Now you just can’t do that when there’s only 1 person or couple owning the business and making all the decisions and there’s no union in the shop at all… So it is essential to drive as much business out of small scale and into giant scale where the information flow needed to support a Central Planning model can be had. Read up on how the Italian Fascism worked and you will see the model being pushed. Every big company had a Govt Guy and Union on their steering committee…

    3rd, It enriches the Chosen Few. The Bank Presidents, the Board of GE, the Friends Of Bill, etc. If you are GE, the very LAST thing you want is some small guy in Ohio making incandescent light bulbs cheap and not saddled with the same Union, Benefits, Debt, and Regulatory burden. But put that load on the small guy, he’s gone. Better yet, get the easy to make cheap product banned altogether by law… Small Businesses can not support a full time lobbyist in D.C., and certainly can’t put one on every Congress Critter and Committee docket…Look at the epi-pen price hike scam. DIRECTLY the result fo Federal Regs to benefit that few… ANYONE could make one of those suckers for about $10, were it not for regulatory burden and insider dealing for monopoly via government. BTW, this was true under the 3rd Way Socialisms of the Fascists in Italy and the Nazi as well. Individual companies were chosen to “succeed” and the others were told to do something else or just put out of business. That’s why the business “leaders” didn’t complain about the Govt calling the shots, they were also guaranteed nice fat excess profits for ‘just following orders’…

    (Note to Serioso: Now you will get heartburn over my description of the Fascists and Nazi as it conflates them with Socialism and one of them you have a priori decided is good and the other bad, so they can’t possibly be the same so I must have broken cognition. I suggest instead that you simply check the history of them, of their founders, and read their own writings. That’s what I did. So you will be looking for the ‘me’ in those descriptions, when there is none. I’m just reporting the summary of things I found when I went looking. THAT is the source of your ‘issue’ with my ‘cognition’. I don’t report what I like, I report what I find and validate. Similarly my talking about Bill Clinton’s “3rd Way Socialism”. That isn’t “me” either. I just saw the video of him saying his economics was “3rd Way” and I’m reporting it.)

    Psychological operations have maximum effect with people who:
    * have little education
    * accept information uncritically
    * benefit from the proposed change
    * want to believe the propaganda
    * do not wish to understand their own motivations….

    Take a close look at that. As I just posted HERE the MSM has been outed as an American patriot hating globalist group.

    Leaders of the independent blog media like Drudge, Sundance, Jim Hoft, Tony Heller, and E.M. are NOT those who Psychological operations have any real effect on.

    That’s a very nice list… And yes, clearly I have zero ability to be influenced by Psy Ops stuff.

    First off, I have a darned fine “people reader” and it starts screaming “LIAR!” like crazy on much of it. There’s a particular “micro expression” of a smirk / self-satisfaction that flits in just before a Whopper Talking Point that flags it as The Big Lie. Watching presidential press conferences is an astounding experience along those lines…

    Past that, working down the list:

    Educated: Yup, a lot including the equivalent of a few dozen Masters in topics that just interested me for a year or two (my informal self educated digging).

    Uncritical? No way. Nullius in verba!!! EVERYTHING gets tagged with veracity bits. Started doing that ‘way early’ (6? something like that) when I realized how much the world lies. I think it’s a 2 bit field, 4 states. Trash, weak, strong, truth. But some things have more gradations, so there may be a second field with more bits… So, for example, Newton is flagged as Truth(partial) and Einstein as Truth(strong, subject to review)… I’m not really sure how the data structure works, as it is below the level of awareness, but it’s there. So some “Talking Head” puts something on TV or from a Movie Star or from a Community Leader, it gets a working tag of “weak(at best-unverified)” until further inspected. A Real Scientist (new categorizing, the AGW lie forced me to split Scientists into Real and Politicized…) gets a working tag of Strong(unverified) until verified. So every single bit of information gets an initial “unverified” and then a count of verifications stacks up and eventually the bit flips to verified (ofetn with internal associative memory links to the verifying sources) Cumbersome? Yes. Unfortunately, while it slows down cognition a lot, it dramatically improves the quality of understanding…

    (Note to Serioso: See, this is WHY I don’t just roll over and play mentally dead when some Ph.D. is trotted out with an opinion.. It’s fine and all, and gets an initial tag higher than “just some guy”, but: Nullius in verba!!! For the AGW folks, when I did the validate, it came up “Trash”. The logic faults are spectacular, the Nyquist violations extreme, and most of the papers are semantically of the form “Given these conclusions what assumptions can we draw?” My logic engine just can’t swallow that kind of faults and kicks it out with a TRASH stamped across it.)

    Benefit from the change: Violates one of my core principles. Truth is supreme and it is not dependent at all on what I want. I am irrelevant. What I want is irrelevant. The only question and value that matters is “What is the Truth?” So this one will never apply to me.

    (Note to Serioso: See why looking for my “oil money check” or “self interest” hook is a dead end? Why that bit of propaganda just gets a “Hell No!” from me tossed back at anyone who dares to “go there”? It just isn’t in me…)

    Want to believe? I don’t have any desire at all to just “believe” anything. I want to find Truths. Finding Truths is orthogonal to beliefs, to the desire to believe, and “desire” is anathema to Truth Finding. So I limit my ‘desire’ to things like food, a warm house, you know, creature comforts. Has no place in reasoning. None. Zippo. Nada. Only Truth matters to reasoning and data.

    (Note to Serioso: Now in this you can also see why searching for what I “believe” is a dead end. It just has no influence on what I find. If, tomorrow, I found a good clean well reasoned proof of global warming caused by people, that dealt with all the things wrong with the AGW argument so far, I’d swap sides in a heartbeat. What I believe is that Truth Is King, and when something is good enough to get that tag, it gets the contrary beliefs changed. Truth first, Belief derived from Truths. Never the other way around. Never ever.)

    Not introspective of motivations: Well, I’m not now, but several decades ago I noticed this problem with people believing lies based on their desires and motivations, thus set up my filter rules to reject any such argument or any such feeling. So I know my motivations, and in fact, set up the barriers to keep them isolated from the data filters, validators, Truth seekers, etc. So I’d rank this one as “yes I care about my motivations and was introspective; and took action to fix it long term” so I don’t need to be introspective as much day to day.

    (Note to Serioso: This is why looking for my “motivation” is a dead end. I have one motivation: Find new and interesting Truths. I want, more than anything else, to simply understand how things work. All things. From a paper airplane (more complicated than you would think) up to full societies. When something gums that up by being false or wrong, it really really hurts, so I simply don’t let that happen if at all possible. That requires that my desires be put away in the “irrelevant box” whenever I start working a problem or “digging here!”. And yes, I have been frequently accused of being un-emotional, a cold fish, emotionally dead, and more. I’m not, but I put it away when working… OK, a confession, we saw “The Sound Of Music” on the big screen recently… and the spouse had to hand me a tissue for some of the songs… It was just So Beautiful and SO well done. But no one would ever expect that when they see me at the keyboard… I’m basically a Mr. Fixit type. You can’t fix it if you don’t understand it, and you can’t understand it if you have preconceptions or if you want it to be other than what it is. For programming, it even has a name “Egoless Programming”. It isn’t about you, it is only about what the code actually does and can it be made better. Enforced self discipline on that line has been with me for most of my life. )

    Well, that’s the list. Interesting to see how accurately it flags me as a Surely Curmudgeon Impervious To Propaganda… FWIW, it also can get you flagged as “not a team player” until you learn to just shut up and do the work anyway as long as they pay… So I learned to just not point out the lies, failures, errors, etc. while at work; unless asked to do so (by someone who really wanted it…) Also, FWIW, I always run my teams as open truth operations. Nobody EVER gets any Bad Thing for speaking truth to me or the group. I may tell them “Yes, you are right, but V.P. WhooHaw wants it this way, so we do it this way even knowing it will fail in a year.” just so they know I “got it” about the truth, but the paycheck guy wants the lie. That let me have highly effective teams, be seen far and wide as “A great Team Player” and still be true to Truth… I also learned how to “Tell them twice” to my management that I thought an idea was broken, but in such a way that it wasn’t offensive. (Serioso: Those politeness skills help make money, too…) Things like “V.P. WhooHaw, that course of action will have the mail server die in a year, I thought you ought to know, we’ll now go build it.” State the consequence along with the obedience to rank. Oh, and do it in private, not where it might embarrass anyone…

    So I guess that makes me a Surely Curmudgeon With Acting Skilz and Social Graces ;-)

  46. Larry Ledwick says:

    Ref the electronic soup cards comment above — here is a quick back of the envelope calculation on that topic. One of the lessons that stuck from my mechanical engineering training was (thanks to slide rules) the habit of trying to get a gross estimate of the likely magnitude of a problem before you try to dissect it into smaller parts and as a “reasonableness check”.

    Click to access keydata-june-2016.pdf

    June 2016 (table 15b) Child and Adult Care food program Breakfasts = 1,996,506 lunches = 2,673,555 suppers = 76,660 supplements = 1,875,514 Total number of free meals = 6,135,974 220741.16 meals per day (30 days in june) equals one person out of every 1495 in the country is on the child and adult care food program (assuming population of 330 million) School Breakfast Program (table 9) June 2016 2,893,359 regular free and reduced cost breakfasts 62,527,978 severe need breakfasts total free and reduced cost 65,421,337 total school breakfasts served in June 2016 2,180,711 per day (30 days in june) Table 4 National school lunch program (per day) free = 10,598,208 reduced cost = 863,640 Snap program (table 2) June 2016 = 43,376,981 persons served @ $124.97 each If these people stood in line (1/2 meter for each person) the line would be 21,688.4905 Km long ( 13,446.86 miles long)

    Lets just presume that 80% of those people in the SNAP program are in the major metropolitan areas
    Then the 50 largest largest cites would each have food lines of about 215 miles long each every day if we were using the 1920’s style soup kitchens. Many of those benefiting from the lunch and adult care programs are also probably subsets of the SNAP participants so I don’t think you can add the numbers directly but the magnitude of the food supplementation is simply staggering.
    (there is also the question of how many of these “really” need the free food supplementation or are just milking an available program because it exists and the can finagle a way to qualify?

  47. Larry Ledwick says:

    Drat very last three lines should have been outside the preformated “pre” tags, runs off the windows right edge.

    [Reply: Fixed it for ya’ -E.M.Smith ]

  48. cdquarles says:

    Add me to your list of people who read you with +3 sd scores on lots of standardized tests. MENSA? I think that I was formally accepted, but I’m not sure. That was a some time ago. One bad semester kept me from graduating with honors. [Professional school (have doctorate) was fun, but getting ill ruined my grade there, too.]

    My local school system did Stanford-Binet testing routinely back then. I don’t know if they still do that now. Grade school was rough, for I had learned to read very early and the 60s were not so much fun. Once some of the troubles were over, things did get better, for the most part. In high school, for instance, I spent most of the day in class with the same 30 people and ours was the top of the overall class. Yep, The valedictorian and the salutatorian were classmates. I was number 10 out of 171. I enjoyed most of my college years, since a large fraction of us were kindred spirits, particularly those who earned science and technology degrees.

  49. Gail Combs says:

    Jon S says….

    Just a quicky. The X-husband did a study on handedness in barn cats for a science fair project. IIRCC most were ‘right pawed’ but not all. (The dairy farm had a ton of cats)

  50. John Robertson says:

    Nice post E.M.
    Your inquisitor seems to be an emoticon.
    “Look what you made me do” and “You hurt my feelings”.
    Being their favourite cries.I was just ignoring any postings by “Serisos”.
    Lots of words, no content.
    Seems to me you have his/her/its number down perfectly.

  51. philjourdan says:


    I want to find Truths.

    I am leery of that term. I prefer the term facts. I am reminded of 2 quotes from the entertainment world:

    What is truth?
    Is truth unchanging law?
    We both have truths
    Are mine the same as Yours?

    And from An Absense of Malice:

    Reporter: “You were involved with Michael Gallagher, is that the truth?”
    Megan Carter: “No, but it is accurate.”

    Truth seems to be more subjective, while facts cannot be. So I try to avoid the term “truth” in favor of facts.

  52. philjourdan says:


    I enjoyed most of my college years, since a large fraction of us were kindred spirits, particularly those who earned science and technology degrees.

    Freshman year, they stuck me on the top floor of a dorm. All the residents were all hard science majors (Math, Physics, Chemistry, etc.). It actually was a good system as we had a lot of hard core subjects, so the hall was usually quiet during exam time, and even late at night (weekends were another issue however).

    Most of us requested and got the same floor for Sophomore year before we split out into housing around the place after that.

  53. Gail Combs says:

    My college was a science, technology and Ag school. The ratio was one girl for every ten guys. {:>D
    I dated nothing but scientists and engineers. It was great. Parents sent their dumber kids south a hundred miles to the big party school.

    I caved with guys from both schools and the difference in schools was night and day in attitudes.

  54. H.R. says:

    Large Mid-west land grant Ag & Mech uni for my BS in engineering. If you survived the huge just-another-number fundamental classes, the engineering profs were easily accessible, helpful, and encouraging if you were willing to ask and listen. Since I did, they allowed me to take several graduate level courses of theirs (undergraduates with permission). That was useful.

    Small academic after-150-years-finally-became-a-university for the MBA. Great program – highly personalized instruction. Oh! One of the profs was a card-carrying communist. One class, he held a sing-along of the old union songs. You knew what you were getting up front and you didn’t have to take the class (Ethics) from him, but I’m glad I did. He brought a 360-degree look at ethics – workers, management, stockholders. No hard sell on his favored view.

  55. Gail Combs says:

    H.R. says: “Large Mid-west land grant Ag & Mech uni for my BS….”

    Sounds like my school. We were told in freshman orientation that 50% would flunk out the first year. Too bad they no longer do that.

  56. gallopingcamel says:

    I must admit that “Serioso” has made zero impact on me. Probably I read some of his comments years ago but now ignore them entirely.

    The comments I do read (in no particular order) are those made by p.g., Larry Ledwick, Gail Combs, H.R., cdquarles and many more.

    When it comes to Chiefio himself I am totally awestruck and often ask myself “How anyone can write so intelligently about so many topics?”.

  57. Gail Combs says:

    Chiefio is a true Renaissance Man.

  58. H.R. says:

    Gail – hmmmmm… “50% will be gone” “party school 100 miles south” (particularly known for the Halloween celebration?)

    We just may have the same alma mater, though there are about 3 of the land grant universities your description could apply to. I added the giveaway to my school. No need to respond if you think anything you add would give away your land grant school… and you don’t wish to have that known.
    P.S. I think we had a ‘meet and greet’ in NC about 3+/- years ago, though you didn’t know it and I only realized it might have been you 100 yards after the fact.

    Wife and I were headed to Hilton Head Island (we go 1 or 2 times per year) on I-77 on an October Saturday, noon-ish. Just before the Winston-Salem/ Yadkinville/North Wilkesboro interchange, we passed a red-ish(?) Dodge pickup towing a small livestock trailer that said something like “Children’s Parties, Ponies” or something like that, Phone# in fair-sized letters and a woman was driving. The pick-up with trailer turned off at the interchange exit and I was just reaching the middle of the interchange overpass when I realized, “Hey! That might be Gail.” You had posted some pics and made some comments on WUWT some years ago that made me think the rig might have been yours with you driving.


  59. E.M.Smith says:

    Catching up a bit:

    @Another Ian:

    Yup, a classical technique…

    @Douglas R. Fix:

    As, another fan of Firesign… ;-)

    I suspect it/’s a spectrum from “the the feeling” of the conclusion to “with flashes” to the full on synesthesia of a full Aspe and then over the top into the chaos of the Autistic… I’m lucky enough to be on the “normal” side of the sectrum (per the spouse, who tests and assigns kids ‘on the spectrum’ professionally). She said I was “a little spectrumy” and “on the spectrum” but on the normal side (i.e. would not qualify as Aspe / ADHD or any of the other service categories).

    @Power Grab:

    It was a bit of a risk to “toss it out there” but I was hoping one or maybe two folks might also “be there”… It has been very gratifying to note just how many of “us” there are here ;-)

    Per the meds: There was an interesting discovery about memory, and why it drifts over time. That led to a way to “cure” panics and fears in one shot. Memories are stored in destructive cells. When you read a long term memory, it is removed from storage. It then gets written back later. In between, it only exists in short term memory. When a drug is given that blocks short term memory, and someone is asked to remember something, they can pull it out – once. Then if fails the re-write and is gone!

    A very bright psych figured out they could use this to treat fears. So they medicate, and ask the person to remember “when the dog bites” (Sound Of Music song kicks off…) or “when the bee stings” or whatever caused them to develop their phobia. To embrace the memory of that fear… Then a few hour later when the drugs are worn off, they ask them to do something that normally would have caused that fear. Pet a dog like ‘that one’ or handle a snake. (The video showed someone who had panic at snakes holding a small constrictor of some kind w/o fear.) Since the fear was remembered, but blocked from re-write, it was no gone.

    Now two things: First, don’t ever remember things important to you when on drugs that block short term memory. Second, I suspect that the “cascade of memories” is WHY “people like me” remember so much so long. Normally memories, if not accessed, fade out after about 5 years. Don’t use calculus after college? 5 years later it is gone. But if you have the cascade, memories are constantly being refreshed all over the place for seemingly ‘no reason’… so they all persist far longer than 5 years…

    With that said: Might want to look up the impact of that drug you had on short term memory… if you can remember the name of it ;-) FWIW, I suspect this is also why M.J. causes such memory impairment… Blocking some of the re-write would cause forgetfulness… and those of us with the most active ‘refresh’ would lose the most…

    Per puzzle pieces: In the original British B&W “Avengers”, Emma Peel is reputed to be a Mensan, and one show has her doing puzzles at a Mensa event… Mensa likes doing puzzles ;-)

    Why does Soros have followers? Well, that’s a long topic… I suspect the reasons are legion. A couple of quick and simple ones (nowhere near exhaustive):

    1) Money. Someone gets a job, a paycheck, a consulting fee, a ‘head of a foundation’ whatever and just “goes along to get along”. That’s true for most people in most companies IMHO.

    2) Mentally Lazy. LOTS of people are mentally lazy. Even very bright people. I’ve got a friend who IS signed up for Mensa. Told him about the bogosity of AGW. Got 2 or 4 “Yes, but… spout taking point” or name drop… “but you say that’s ALL wrong?”… OK, now at this point the non-lazy will decide to “Dig Here!”, the easier thing is to just “forget about it”. Go back to the comfortable simplified half dozen “accepted bits” and not do any more digging. Accept on the word of “them” and assign low value to the “new” as to prove either would take work, and there’s a movie to watch… So Soros has a reputation as a Great Man (because he can do the Monkey Trick of trading well), then just accept what he says as that takes no work.

    3) Prior Indoctrination / Fellow Traveler. There’s LOTS of folks adopt an ideology. A few for well thought out reasons, most due to proximity. Most Catholics are Catholics because their family or friends were Catholics… The don’t bother “Digging In” to the issue of Christology or the full implications of Transubstantiation. Everyone does this as you must. It would take a hundred life times to “Dig Here!” on everything, so some large part of things must just be accepted whole. I accept whole that the Legal System in the USA works well and is not corrupt. (I know sometimes parts of it aren’t, but ignore those clues as “aberrations”, since I don’t care about Law much and I’m busy…) This is why it is so important to “The Left” to dominate education and shift Church Doctrine toward the Left. It makes more Fellow Travelers who will uncritically accept and join in things like Soros funded NGOs and such.

    4) A “feel good story”. Similar to prior indoctrination, but short quick episode. “Give money to WWF for the Polar Bears!” and a picture of a cute cub. “Soros is doing good, so join up, we need someone to print fliers.”

    5) Celebrity / FOAF (Friend Of A Friend) Chains. I like Mark Cuban and he endorses Hillary and Hillary says Soros is good, therefor I accept all of them as good. (Yes, a special case of #2, but a very important one). Companies spend $Billions on Celebrity Endorsements for just this reason. {Foot Ball Player] is on the front of Wheaties therefore Wheaties must be good… You see it a lot in social circles too. The Boss likes Pepsi and hates Coke, so all the V.P.s make sure to stock / drink Pepsi and pretty soon it’s what’s in the cafeteria as the Manager gets lots of requests for it and a Director whispered in his ear… Same thing with Soros…

    You see some of this same stuff in Religions, Corporate Image Programs, and more.

    @David A:

    Those glimpses into Hinduism are fascinating… I know only a bit about it, but know I want to know more… The way the ages of a Brahma (or something like that) reflect the expected age of the universe and likely big bang cycles is creepy … in a good kind of way ;-)

    I think it was via some Hindu stuff (long long ago before I learned you are supposed to keep a source tag on things… maybe 9?… we had some Hindus in my home town…) I ran into that idea of each of us as individuals just being fragments of the Big Consciousness… and that enlightenment came from connecting to more of it… Later ran into the idea of multidimensional space in the same context, that our “matter” might be extended into dimensions we could not sense… and that could provide the mechanism for that universal consciousness… Wonderful fun theory. Without a thing to point at as proof. Sigh. So ends up tagged “Speculative”.


    You seem to have ‘caught me out’ doing a ‘make a method’ and teach without my being aware of it… I guess that’s become habit now after decades of teaching.

    FWIW, I suspect part of the focus on “feelings” is about that mental laziness. It is strongly encouraged (“use the force”… and don’t bother with all that analysis and logic rules and fact checking…) Some more the “feel good story”. Just surrender your sense of self worth to me, and I’ll tell you what ought to make you feel good, you can agree to it, and then you will feel good. No work required….

    Mr. McGuire made us work. Every Single Day. He made use prove things and show how we figure it out. One day I made the mistake after class of asking him “What is gasoline?”. He looked square at me with that look of “Sure I Know, but do YOU know how to know?” and said: “Well, Mr. Smith, go look it up and report back to me next week.” (or something close to that.) Well, I did find out (pre-internet and small town library and all…) and now I have a great deal of understanding of petrochemical processing… Most folks a) would not have been curious at the start. b) would not have asked the teacher. c) would not have bothered to do the follow-up learning – there were not ‘points’ for it. Just a bit of self respect on the line…

    So 90%+ will take the “no work feel good” path, and the rest of us don’t matter to them.


    “Heisenberg Syndrome”, I love it! I’m going to steal it ;-)

    FWIW, I, too, started from the “Lazy” position of “Global Warming must be bad” and “Authority” with “Look at all the important names espousing it”… but when I did my usual “Trust but Verify”, it didn’t verify… so I asked a few “inconvenient questions” and got “shouted down” as a Denier! and worse at {the usual suspects advocacy web sites} who thankfully tossed slurs at WUWT, which I’d never heard of, so went there to ask questions and got nice clean answers…

    Per keeping a job: The first few… but I learned fast how to hide when on the job (most fo the time, anyway). It’s a bit of a stiff / slightly formal sock puppet, but it works OK. Over time, I’ll let bits show and gauge the response… If it’s good, a bit more. I’ve had a few bosses who loved it and I’ve worked for them at several places… Then, as a contractor, folks just want a quick fix and don’t care to get to know you that much. Makes it easier to be a non-person.

    Per keyboards: Old keyboards cost as much to make as a modern computer… so they’ve gone to cheap Chiclet keys and membranes and other cheap methods. Oddly enough, my favorite keyboards are those from old White Box PCs from about 1980 to 1990. I’m using one now from an Aspire computer I got from a computer recycle / parts store about 1985… Just a wonderful ‘touch’ to it. Having learned on a mechanical typewriter and employed a clerk on an IBM Selectric, my touch type speed demands a good spring under each key…


    Kind of fun, isn’t it? I still have that Wharton letter somewhere in my memento box…

    FWIW, there’s a couple of explanations possible for Serioso’s mission. I’ve pondered it a bit where staring at Yet Another Insult. But it isn’t possible to know the motivation inside another person’s brain. But you might enjoy some of the options.

    1) My favorite: He’s paid by one of the NGOs like things and I’m his assignment. For a while, it seemed like I’d have the “New Troll Of The Quarter” (when I did a lot more Climate Analysis stuff). I’ve seen something similar at WUWT. Like when the new class starts and the professor assigns a project to go “practice here”. (Hey, I did it. I’d assign that each student in Intro To Computers would go out and ‘shop for a computer’ and do a report on it. So I know each semester there were a flood of ‘new customers’ at the local store… No, I didn’t feel bad about wasting the sales staff time, as some of them DID buy a computer.) Over time, it tailed off, but Serioso remained.

    2) The more likely. He’s an AGW Believer who came over to kibitz and found it interesting and at times perhaps a bit of a challenge. Then could not believe I could persist in not believing after being roundly insulted and told I was not in the In-Boys-Club… and is having cognitive dissonance over the whole thing, so now stuck in a pair of dimes… ;-0 (An example of an inner pun where the link image is substituted for the real word that caused the link image…)

    3) He really is as limited as he claims and is just fascinated by the insides of the clockwork he can’t understand. So many shiny things and different colors and little wheels with teeth on them and springs and that odd bit over there… and apparently easily amused.

    4) Just your typical Troll Personality type who gets kicks out of insulting folks and causing mayhem, and having gotten sand in his teeth here a few times is trying to polish is Troll Skilz as sort of a professional pride issue. (FWIW, this is why I do postings like this one… to practice MY Anti–Troll Skilz… and test out strategies.)

    there are more, but that’s enough, and besides, I need mid-morning tea… Back for the rest after that… (and hopefully it won’t take a day and a half like the last time I said that ;-)

  60. philjourdan says:

    1) My favorite: He’s paid by one of the NGOs like things and I’m his assignment.

    Do not discount this one. I have noticed, over the past month (as the poll numbers tank, the comments increase) that the number of liberals pretending to be conservative and spouting racism and other liberal misconceptions about conservatives have increased dramatically. I always read Walter Williams columns (long story, but I have been following him for about 40 years now). Most of the time, he gets a few dozen to maybe 100 comments on his commentary. Lately that has mushroomed! And of course almost all the new commenters are racist bigots. Now, his column appears on a conservative site that has maybe a handful of regular racist postings. So I can only surmise that these are Soros idiots who think they are imitating conservatives, and only showing their true feelings coming out.

    I have noted the same behavior on any topic related to AGW. And the posts are not the standard faux science, but merely pure hatred.

  61. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting comment about drugs and short term memory, so perhaps that explains why hard core liberals an such who endorse drug usage can’t remember the failures of their own party candidates? They live in an echo chamber so the memories regarding the evil opposition get regularly refreshed but they dare not talk honestly about Gore and Clinton’s association with the Chinese etc.?

    Second observation on that as I understand it adrenaline acts exactly the opposite. Any strongly experienced event that occurs while the person is on a major adrenaline high is burned indelibly in the memory and lasts for decades.

    Sounds like a good treatment for PTSD if that short term memory block method can over power the adrenaline permanent write effect. I think I recall that event memories that occur under strong adrenaline stimulation might be written in many places instead of with just one association for recall (sort of a human RAID) although I can’t recall where I saw that.

    As I understand memory it is the associative link that allows recall of the memory (reason why various memory tricks help recall), you create better and easier to access links by using mnemonics and visualization etc.
    The question is does the associative link get erased or the actual memory.

    I have problems with names especially of movie stars and such which I don’t much care about but if trying to recall someone, I can auto suggest that I will recall in a few minutes and I catch my self running a mental search routine, sounds like …. blond …. etc. and then after a while suddenly the memory is accessible (classic light bulb in the cartoon world) like a switch was closed or I opened the right file.

  62. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, we do things for our own reasons. I “have hope” (quasi eternally…) that anyone can learn. I think part of it comes from being a teacher and married to a teacher of special ed kids. If you don’t have infinite patience and hope you just can’t do that job; and well, we get along for a reason ;-)

    Then the subtext is that I’m practicing some of my own skilz. Season with “warning shot” where I put the stake down that “going forward” insults get a) deleted and b) link here. It lets me establish guidelines for future expectations.

    And yes, curiously apt. ;-)

    @John Silver:

    Why not just ban? Because I don’t want to make an echo chamber. Some amount of grit in the teeth is needed to make a pearl..


    I think there is also merit in demonstrating what kind of person can not be controlled in that way. Others can see, and model on it if they like.

    Interesting the percentage of ‘slightly left’ and ambi’s… Interesting clue… Lots of non-verbal mixed with ability to be verbal… thus ‘flashes and song’…

    He does, well that’s what implication is for! ;-)


    The problem facing TPTB is they only take enough time to learn the Crib Notes on things like econ. That is, “lower interest rates / more growth” “government spending stimulates the economy”. They don’t learn about “Liquidity Traps” and that ZIRP breaks “price of money” signals in markets. Then they get to do OJT as we all suffer for a decade…

    I think they are now arguing over what to do next because they only have Crib Notes and the 2 set types do not agree…

  63. Gail Combs says:

    H.R. says….
    Yes could have been though the pickups are black, white with grey or blue.

  64. Gail Combs says:

    Oh, and my school had one of the Moon landing Astronauts as a student….

  65. philjourdan says:

    My school had Pat Paulsen as a student. :-)

  66. H.R. says:

    @Gail – OK, not the same uni. I believe mine is one state east. I worked with several engineering grads from your uni and I respected that program very much.

    Re possibly crossing paths by coincidence – can’t recall the truck color for sure but it was a Dodge. How many others are working the same type gig in your neck of NC? If it’s 2 or 3, then we’ll just leave it at ‘possible.’

    Still, if I’d recalled more from the pics you posted, made a positive ID in time, and attempted to honk/wave/get your attention/ follow for a brief time… whatever, you would have been taking evasive maneuvers immediately to get away from the ‘nutzo’ couple and reaching for a side arm all the while my wife is screaming “What the @#%! are you doing?!?” at me. So it’s best it played out as it did, eh? [smile & a chuckle]

  67. Gail Combs says:

    We often show on Sundays at the exit before the truck way station on 40/85 if we have no other gigs and the weather is above 45F and below ~90 F for at least a good portion of the day.

  68. andysaurus says:

    Your comments on mental processes remind me of three seemingly disparate bits of information that came my way some time ago and seemed to click.
    (one) It seems that when a hologram is created on a block of glass, cutting that block in two still keeps the entire image but reduces the resolution.
    (two) There are many brain injuries that have a similar result as (one). nothing is forgotten or lost, but fine details are erased.
    (three) If you take a page and shine a light onto it through a hologram of a particular word, that word will appear more bright than the rest of the page, even if it is in a different font.
    To me, this seems to be very similar to my information retrieval mechanism in my brain. I set up a filter (the hologram in the (three)) and run it over the contents, but it isn’t serial, it’s holistic. Results may modify the filter (self modifying code is such a thrill) which causes the eureka jumps.
    I would love to hear if this rings any bells with you E.M. or with the other fascinating followers of your great blog.

  69. H.R. says:

    @Gail – I’ll keep that in mind if we start changing our destination (which we have been considering) but the villas on HHI all rent Saturday to Saturday so for now that’s our travel day. We always like to stay at the Seacrest Oceanfront next to Coligny Plaza. I can take the elevator down, walk out and start fishing.

    You’ve mentioned your hubby since you started posting on WUWT and here. He’s the mystery guy it would also be nice to meet some day. Reminds me of Mr. Wilson on the “Home Improvement” TV show; you never saw him, only his hat :o) I’ll keep my eyes peeled out for y’all if I’m ever that way on a Sunday.

    I’m slightly familiar with that neck of the NC woods. Our major customer for the company where I worked until I retired this year, is Deere-Hitachi Construction Machinery, located in Kernersville, NC. I would make the occasional trip there for trouble-shooting. Whenever there was a problem with a production lot, they were always convinced the problem was on our end (else, why call?) so I’d sometimes have to go down and sort it out. But quite often the problem was on their end. However, I could visualize what their people were doing wrong or perhaps see that an Engineering change on another component was probably affecting our part, but didn’t get an ECO on our part so that features would match up. My boss had that ability too. So he/I/we usually had the problem diagnosed and told them the fix, even if it was at their end, without making a trip.

    Related story that actually shocked me: The Procurement Manager at Deere-Hitachi, who had the buyers of our product in her group, hadn’t visited us for a long time. I didn’t deal with buyers, so I was aware that she was up for a tour and smoothing some electronic ordering issues. I was not asked or invited to meet with her.

    As she was heading out the door at the end of the day with our CEO (my boss) and our VP of Operations, they all stopped by my office door so we could get a brief introduction. When I gave my name she exclaimed, “Oh! You’re famous at our plant!” My flabber was completely gasted, I’ll tell you, and I was fumbling for words to choke out a polite response. I managed to get out a ‘thank you’ and ‘so nice to meet you’… I think.

    The P.S. to this story is that my boss looked at me a little differently from then on, for some odd reason ;o)

  70. E.M.Smith says:


    There’s also a couple of other things. The time it takes to shift from visual dominant hemisphere to verbal dominant, and one other interesting one.

    Words are stored in banks, conveniently called a ‘data store’. Not all words are stored in the same one, and different people group words differently. Some folks, like me, store people proper names in a data store distinct from the one for all the day to day stuff.

    It takes 2 seconds to swap data stores (this has been measured!).

    Now, let’s say you have the math / work data store loaded up and running, someone walks up and says “Hi, remember my sister”, you say …”Hi…. There!”… remembering the face but not the name. Yet just a few seconds later, you remember it…

    Now, the bad bit: Anxiety blocks swapping data stores. IF you feel anxiety at recalling “that sister’s name you met and you ought to know and you recognize her face and Oh No I Forgot!”, you can’t swap data stores and can’t remember it.

    If, however, you know this about data stores, you can think “OK, that will come to me in a few seconds, stay happy” and instead you say “Hi, there, it’s been, what now, a week? Were you at that dinner … oh wait, I remember your brother brought us drinks, that was fun wasn’t it… Barbara?”

    So depending on how you organize your data stores, and what words are grouped together, at various times some kind of remembering can be a couple of seconds away from recall and subject to stress lock out…

    So “choosing the right words” can in fact be exactly that. Swapping to the data store with the words in it for that particular topic!


    I suspect there may be another pressure working too. They’ve been pushing “population control” now for long enough that the most susceptible types have “done the right thing” while the “Up Yours!” and the “not listening” and the “deplorables” have just got on with life. The are selecting for people who don’t listen to them… It takes ever stronger propaganda and every stronger force to overcome that with each generation. (or import a new batch of gullibles…)

    So for example, I know a childless couple who chose to “save the planet”, about my age. Compare with my 2, and compare with the Obstinate Moslem Family half dozen… “Demographics is Destiny” in more ways than one… The population gets tone deaf to the message rapidly via psych conditioning, but long term via selection it become a herd trait.


    Yes, the speed has been a big issue. But NAFTA only a small part. They thought they had NAFTA on board, and were so full of themselves at how well it had gone (not realizing it takes a decade or two to just dump a factory… you want to wear out the investment first) and added China to the WTO and India into the mix (all those IT H1b Visas) and, well, stuffing 2.5 Billiion poor nearly free-wage people into a 1/2 Billion EU-USA economy goes bad a lot faster… China boomed at 12 – 15% y/y for a while, now it’s all locking up. Next the bubble pops…

    Hubris. My favorite sin… (Better than “Vanity – my favorite sin.” Devil’s Advocate.)

    @Jon S:

    Welcome Lurkers!

    In Sis’s Abnormal Psychology book, and in subsequent reading, found out some interesting bits. There are 4 kinds of handedness.

    For most folks, the hand goes through the crossover to the other hemisphere. So there are Right-Brain Artistic Left handed (My brother-in-law… astounding drawings and painting, mediocre on that whole talking thing…) Left-Brain speech-analytical right handers (most ‘average’ people now – though maybe not in the wild population not heavily speech indoctrinated since birth…). Then the two types that Didn’t get the crossover wiring. Right-Right and Left-Left. IIRC, the left handers who curl the hand strongly over the top in an upside down J to write are usually L-L. Analytical-language type, but left handed. R-R and L-L are fairly rare.

    There’s also a small percent of “laterally reversed” so even the hemispheres are swapped in function (which would make a vanishing small set of the R-R who are really laterally reversed L-L type…)

    There are ways to test for all of these…

    The “typical” left handed stats are about 10%. In one classroom, they had 30%. Looking into it, they kindergarten and 1st grade teachers were both lefties. They didn’t push kids into left, but neither did they ‘encourage’ right… So the authors speculated that was closer to the ‘natural’ range and that the 20% swing meant about a 40% in the middle were ‘mailable’. I.e. people like me and some of you who had a slight left leaning as infants, but ‘trained right’ easily enough…

    The net net conclusion was that “Handedness, It’s complicated” more or less ;-)

    Also they have folks with hemispherectomies and severed corpus collosum (stops some seizures) and iron bars driven though parts of the brain (how they found out which part did what prior to active MRI… Hey, an iron bar through here and he doesn’t talk anymore!)

    One of the really weird bits? It is VERY much “Use it or lose it” in the brain. If a finger is lost, the patch of brain connected to the missing finger gradually gets handed over to the adjoining brain areas to improve their performance options. Math, if unused, has those cells (despite years of math classes…) handed over to the adjacent area. (Some other symbol processing IIRC) It’s all been pretty much mapped out now. They could actually see the electrical activity for, say, the index finger, move over bit by bit into the space of the missing middle finger, and the ring finger electric activity moving in from the other side…

    So the brain is way more plastic than they thought before that. And the visual centers of blind folks really WILL be handed over to other duties and make those work better…

    USUALLY (but not always… everyone is a bit different) Language comes from the left over the ear… and long range planning from the frontal lobes. Why a Prefrontal-lobotomy “cures” worry about the future… it destroys your ability to think about / plan ‘out there’… Not a trade off I’d like…

    Like the notion of dedicated virtual machines… it would explain some of the function moving bits, and why some folks lose the language center then slowly get limited language back as it moves over and boots a new, smaller, VM…

    @Larry G;

    Let me guess: Strongly right handed and good at throwing sports?


    And what if the goal is to cripple the USA so that the Global Socialism doesn’t have us in the way anymore? Gee, moving even MORE manufacture to China (where they own more of the factories and get more kickbacks) and to Socialist Latin America would be just the ticket… and increase profit too.

    It is helpful to think in therms of a Global 3Rd Way Socialist and how they would “Do well by doing good” for them and their Cronies who control it all…

    Interesting link, but not surprising. That’s the way it was in my home town for years… and country is still country… When SHTF, the Sheriff knew who to call for “Civilian Backup”… (His wife, for one. Remember being at their house ( about 17, Law Enforcement Eagle Scout he was pack leader…) and the spouse opened her clutch on the counter to get something out. Inside? Her “Reserve” badge and a nice Walther PPK… I got called to dive on a drowning and search canal bottom … by hand as it was murky… they found him up current from me… shoelaces caught on some rebar in a chunk of concrete rip-rap…

    How about a small drone so outfitted? With the down wash to apply the colored pepper spray…


    Glad you liked that tune… that Organ is just spectacular.

    “Even a rat makes good target practice”…

    Yeah, I’m not fond of naval gazing either, but “it’s just once”…


    About 1970? when the free food stuff was new, they distributed real commodities. One of THE major reasons for the program was to funnel money to major Ag operators (little farmers can screw off as far as DC is concerned). Well, the Dairy Lobby had scored big, so blocks of Cheddar were in way over supply. The local “office” pleaded for anyone to take it. If you showed up with a pulse, you got 10 pounds of cheddar…

    Until the local grocers complained it was killing their sales…

    Not too many years later they went to “give them a voucher they can spend at the grocery” and everyone was happy…

    BTW, after the first 5 pound block, I was really tired of cheddar… Yes, we owned a restaurant and no, we didn’t need the cheese help… but one of the neighbors had gotten 4 blocks and was sick of it after the first one ;-) so palmed a couple off on us. But the cheese lobby was happy.


    There do seem to be a lot of us here ;-)

    My graduating class was 142 or so. We were all in the same kindergarten picture too, modulo a couple… “we’ve met” doesn’t even come close. Two girls in my class were in bassinets either side of me in the hospital. We were all born 1 day apart. Literally within 2 miles of each other almost constantly from birth to high school graduation. Very small town…

    @John Robertson:

    My general method is to just state the observable facts clearly and cleanly. Alinksy practitioners hate it, Trolls get huffy and hate it, etc. etc. Those who really are “slow learners” usually appreciate the extra time I’ll sink into trying to help them understand, so “failure to accept that” is a clear red flag of “not really a slow learner, but deliberate ploy”. Endlessly offering help usually drives real Trolls batty after a while, that, and they can’t STAND not getting the emotional hit of having a cat fight break out… as that is what they live for.

    I’ve been polishing my technique for Trolling Trolls since before WWW existed and things were done in News Groups on UUCP over phone lines ;-) Not much I haven’t seen…


    I deliberately chose “Truths” as that IS what I look for.

    Facts are nice, but they are just data items and don’t illuminate much. Assemble them very very carefully and test, you can find nice ground truths that are very useful.

    Boyle’s Law, Charles’s Law, Lechateler’s Principle etc. etc.

    A table of logs is not as useful as what you can do with them.

    I think it was Geometry class what did it to me. Protractor, straight edge, compass, and a couple of postulates. Then EVERYTHING else must be proved before accepting as a truth you could use… Something similar with Algebra… And Physics…

    It’s that level of Law or Truth that I like to collect… plus a few things lest solid, but with a tag qualifying them. Things like “The race is not always to the fast, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet!”… and “Don’t piss into the wind”… and “Sometimes it IS the compiler that is the problem, so don’t assume it can’t be the compiler”…

    Basically, a pile of clean facts and some rigorous processing off of them. Everything else is opinion and hypothetical…

    @H.R. & Gail:

    Hmmm… another interesting group parallel:

    I’m from a UC Ag school with 3000 acres… had the same ‘FOO% of you will flunk out’ but I think it was 25%…

    @G.C. & Gail:

    Likely a result of the biggest mistake of my life. I set out to be a Renaissance Man.

    In about 5th grade History the idea was presented. Then the Edict: It was no longer possible to be a Renaissance Man as NO ONE could know everything that existed now.

    I took that as a challenge. So went out of my way to “drink broadly” of understanding. We got an old encyclopedia set (about 12?) and I set about reading it… all of it. Read 2 dictionaries end to end. Would stop at the library on the way home from school and read every tech / howto magazine. Scientific American from cover to cover from when I was about 8 and much of it made my head hurt and was nonsensical until it started to make sense. Yards and yards of other how to and history and tech books, and the whole sci-fi section… and more.

    What I eventually concluded was that I was wrong. You can know ABOUT everything, but the detail kills you eventually. So when I read the anatomy book I came away with a good understanding of anatomy and what parts were well, and the major names, but not all the names of all the little parts… (Though it sometimes spooks the doctors when they are doing the simpleton explanation and I’ll pop the Latin name ;-) Helped a lot when I worked as a medical records technician proofing medical records …)

    So while I likely could have been a stellar Post-Doc in Just One Thing, I’d set out to drink broadly and just couldn’t stand the straight jacket and blinders… It was just so… so… limited and stupid.

    Well, after about 40 years of doing that, you get a well rounded understanding of things…

    It didn’t hurt that I started University as Pre-Med, swapped to Engineering for a year, and then finished as Econ… plus all the electives… and then there are the dozen or so J.C., pardon, Community College classes just for fun… and the State College MBA / Teaching Credential… Wish I’d finished the MBA, but after the third quarter in a row of signing up for leftovers because “the computer lost me”, I gave up on the school… It’s a long story and I was making loads of money without it…

    Oh, and I hung out with physics, chem, and engineering majors… some of which do now have Ph.Ds and one of which made nukes for a living… but I digress…. but it did get me interested in nukes…


    Look up “Correct The Record”. We absolutely know there is an entire cadre of paid folks working the system. We also know instructors assign “lab work” like that (since I did it…). Then there was the “on the semester boundary like clockwork” new trolls at WUWT…

    That is all known.

    The only part not known is which bucket is the one Serioso regenerates in… (DS9 ref Odo…)

    And with that, I think I’ve (finally) caught up on this thread…

    But do note, in passing, that giving Serioso a thread to discuss EXACTLY what he claimed to want to discuss, he’s been highly absent. I think saying all insults would be summarily deleted left him “speechless” ;-)

  71. E.M.Smith says:


    Now I knew all that… why didn’t I put it together… Good catch!

    I think it sounds about right. I’ll need to ponder some on how holograms work and see if I can connect that to how synapses work…

    There is a theory that genes work like a hologram, and that would likely be a good place to start as it is a physical system acting “holographically”…

    Then another that maybe memory is written in DNA…

    Added together, you get a very interesting “Dig Here!!”…

  72. Maybe worth checking on as to how to hand-draw holograms.

  73. Larry Geiger says:

    My school had Jim Stafford (“I don’t like spiders and snakes…”) and Carrot Top. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Where does that leave me?

  74. cdquarles says:

    The basic electrochemistry of synapses is this; 1. excitatory electric signals dump excitatory chemicals into the gap (cyclic AMP, serotonin, cyclic GMP, dopamine, others) that cross and induce Na+ into the dendrite/K+ out of the dendrite and 2. inhibitory signals dump inhibitory chemicals into the gap (cyclic AMP, serotonin, GABA, dopamine, cyclic GMP, others) that reduce Na+ into the dendrite/K+ out of the dendrite. The dendrite sums up the membrane potential and fires if a threshold is crossed and doesn’t fire otherwise. Integrate this over the vast interconnected network. Note that some of the chemicals overlap and cell type determines whether a given neurotransmitter is excitatory, neutral, or inhibitory. Lots of feedback loops are involved, with and without amplifiers.

  75. cdquarles says:

    Long term memory storage? I think that it is a combination of encoded electrical state and chemical state. I vaguely recall some work done (animal model) where protein synthesis inhibitors were given at mapped locations and found that long term memory storage and retrieval were affected.

    People need to recall that sleep is not the same thing as anesthesia and neither are the same thing as intoxication.

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