Friday, August 18, 2017

If Concentration Of Media Ownership Reaches Critical Mass...

...Do you seriously believe you would ever hear the full truth of it?

Do you seriously  believe that you would ever hear much of anything of the whole truth again in what's going on around you?

Think about it. If one group could stay on message by having majority control over most of the  means to deliver message, do you think they wouldn't use it? Seriously?

This is Sinclair, 'the most dangerous US company you've never heard of'







Thursday, August 17, 2017

Another Mainstay In The Fabric Of Community Life Is Pulled Apart

Simply because a skill can't be compensated the way it used to be. And it really doesn't matter how "objectively" necessary the particular skill in question is, or of how much training had to go into attaining it. The mere fact that it was part of the community; that it allowed significant segments of that community feel like they had meaningful purpose in regards to the ability of things in general to continue, that was the truly important part. And if a community had pride in itself; how it looked, how it presented itself to the rest of the world, it wouldn't matter if it was just sweeping streets, washing dishes, or cleaning public toilets, every job would have value and respect; precisely because of the pride and the sense of everybody working together as a team.

From my perspective this needs adjustment only in the sense that nobody should be forced to stay stuck in any one of the more difficult, or untasteful, types of "chores" that a community needs to get done on a daily basis. That we all should share at least some the hard part of doing daily life, even as we might want to gravitate to the, perhaps, more interesting tasks that have the higher profiles, and garner the most attention, because of various aspects of what they are, and what they deal with.

And further, that, as an ongoing commitment, the community just naturally accepts the ever present task of making everyone generally more capable; so that learning gets seamlessly integrated into daily life as well, and not just the sitting away for a while, in some learning factory, trying to absorb new sets of skill facts for a skill you'll probably unlearn only a few short quarters later anyway; abandoned because somebody else was made desperate enough, some place else, to do it a great deal more cheaply than the people in our community can and still have a living wage in the bargain.

The bottom line then is that there just has to be a better way to preserve community. A way that allows us to define work as simply our mix of "it takes an entire village." I think I have found it. And whether it actually is, or not, hardly matters. It is, at the very least, a place to start the discussion.


End of the checkout line: the looming crisis for American cashiers

Donald Trump is fixated on a vision of masculine, blue-collar employment. But the retail sector has long had a far greater impact on American employment – and checkout-line technology is putting it at risk




And If We Were All Involved In Running Our Own Communites...

...In the same sense of "it takes a whole village" to do a lot of important things (at least in terms of human need), maybe we'd have more structured opportunities to understand just how important compassion can be; for both the individual, and the greater community.

Just a thought.


ANIMAL COLLECTIVE


Why humpback whales rescue seals and why volunteering for beach cleanups improves your health.






He's An Idiot If He Thinks Declaring Economic War With China Is Going To Accomplishing Anything...

...Other than create more fault lines of crisis, dispute, and ramped up probabilities for the start of hostilities no one may be able to stuff back in that big bad box of "it's too late now."

One cannot help but wonder if, not being so ignorant of media studies, as they pertain to social development, and developing forms of economies (from people McLuhan, Innis, Boorstein etc), he might have a better sense of just how profound a change it can be when you start, say, with tablets, to keep track of things. Then move to scrolls (selecting arbitrarily here), then to the repeatable type of the printing press. And then to electrons, photons, total quantum states, and perhaps even gravity at some point, to store, retrieve, and utilize information, over both space and time. But these things do have great effect, and he would know that if he took the time to look into it.

The thing is, recognizing that big changes have occurred in how we perceive, and conceptualize things, now would give us the opportunity to not only find a better direction to go in, and a better way to organize ourselves to be in alignment with that direction, but the possibility as well that, as a part of going down that path, having a good portion of the assumptions that put us at odds with others in the first place, simply go away; or at least become a great deal easier to negotiate the, "tolerable for both sides," accommodations to allow us to work together for goals that I think will then become much easier to see as a common good for all parties.

This is, of course, why I'm trying to integrate a number of specific lines technological development; especially as they revolve around the creation of hydrogen as the main, renewable fuel of choice, for the planet, and the much more aggressive development of in-solar-system automation infrastructure. Setting it up at the get go as something that we will work to include every nation, and belief group to be part of; to the best practical degree that human ingenuity, and creativity, can manage, balancing our own needs within this effort, certainly, as we proceed.

It is a new operating environment. With new technology and new kinds of instrumentality. Try to get that through your heads. It absolutely demands a new way of doing things. We don't do this we will simply be indulging ourselves in falling back on old habits. Habits (horribly distorted now that a mutated operating system has had a chance to irradiate them for at least the past five decades) that have already amply demonstrated the fact that they just don't work anymore.

This is the way it is. The only question now is if the majority of you will either face the issue openly, and honestly, or if you will just go on distracting yourselves, ever so entertainingly no doubt, down a very ugly spiral of increasingly chaotic decline.

Steve Bannon Says U.S. in Economic War With China









Friday, August 11, 2017

Market Concentration May Have Provided Cheap For The Time Being Here...

...But everything changes eventually. And "cheap" is a relative term; especially when you usually don't know until years into the full life cycle of a system, what the true costs will end up to be.

And the more you resist holistic thinking the longer the time it can take for that true cost calculation to take place. As in, what good does it do to continually make things cheaper when, as demanded by cold considerations of cost, you either can't pay human workers very much for their labor at all, or you simply don't use them any more in the first place?

Thus, with everything else in life they have to pay for, and for which profit to somebody else is expected, discretionary spending is going to continue to spiral downward, because human skill as competitive commodity can't keep up.

Eventually, one supposes, the only hard copy output as commodity will be as items for the upper middle class, and the rich. The rest of us will be forced to make due with subsidized food concentrates, and VR. Which is, by the way, the basis of the dystopia my one work of fiction depicted in "The Light Of Creation."

In that story a bioelectric matrix, to do digital to nerve pulse translation, was developed that could be grafted to the spinal column, thus making it possible to do true plug in VR, only without having to plug anything in at all; accessed instead merely by laying on a properly configured bed, or reclined chair; and in this case that was limited very specifically to the one, completely free, VR internet that people got to join into, with unparalleled sensory fidelity. "America Net" it was called, and it was maintained, with a wide range of entertainments, and distractions, by one of the surviving corporate dynasties now ruling America. A net completely cut off from what was going on in the rest of the world of course, and how bad things had gotten there now that we were living "Fortress America" physically and informationally.

The point here, long term, being that this kind of concentration is quite unlikely to turn out well for the rest of us. Quite unlikely indeed.

JEFF BEZOS WILL CRUSH YOU


The implosion of the retail economy is a "silent crisis" sending shockwaves through the US economy. The culprit? Amazon.






You Have To Be Very Careful How Much You Allow Dreamers To Manage...

...The enterprises created to make their dreams happen (myself being no exception). This most especially so now in a mutated economic operating system. Also most especially when you try to turn a dreams into a money making commodity at all in the first place. But then that's just another part of why things have gotten as messed up as they have.

My fear here is that his dream filled expectations, and the harsh realities of commodities and markets, are going to collide and leave more than one community high and dry. And the larger problem we face, of course not address in the least


RED TAPE AND SLOW DRILLS


"We have no idea what we're doing" are not words that reassure city planners, let alone the folks elected to represent the people of Hawthorne, California.






Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Dig Digg, And You Should Too


THE RICH KEEP GETTING WAY RICHER


This chart captures the rise in inequality better than any other chart that I’ve seen.

In Capitalism If Money Can Be Made, It Will Be Made

Whether CVS did so here as alleged we will have to wait for a court to decide.

The larger problem a society faces with situations like this is a more fundamental one; especially for Capitalism. The problem you see is that to stay vigilant for such transgressions is also a cost factor. That this usually gets placed on government, who must then try to work that cost through via taxes, puts it into the same area of difficulty all such things have for a government. And of course it places such types of vigilance into easy reach of those who have had great success in depicting taxation as theft no matter if it is for a true public good or not. And they can do this even as they continue to claim that it is not Capitalism that has made efforts at publicly provided health care unsuccessful, but rather government waste.

That government can be wasteful is certainly no shocker, but that fact by itself is not why we do not have affordable health care. The bigger fact, it seems to me, is that there are just too many points of transaction, and interaction, within the vast multi dimensional matrix of transaction flow that is our economy, where profit gouging of one form or another can occur. And the thing is, any particular economic entity that didn't take the opportunity to take advantage of such opportunities, when presented with them, probably wouldn't last very long otherwise in the vast scheme of things; the simple logic being you have to do what you have to do to in order to survive, or what's the point in being in business in the first place? And of course for government to try and be vigilant against this across the boards creates an absurd picture of the armies of investigators, and accountants, and lawyers etc, who would have to be paid to keep them at it.

Just the oppressive flow of information required to feed this interactive beast, let alone the wages require by the direct participants, would represent forms creation processes, filling out processes, preservation processes, and retrieval requirements of staggering proportions. And at every turn, certainly, is another cost source.

This is another way of saying that the bigger problem truly is the system itself. And the fact that this system is now under the influence of the movement of electrons, as opposed to having things be manipulated only in terms of the movement of people. Several hundred years ago, seeing this primarily as the movement of people made perfect sense because other than the manipulation of a limited set of draft animals, fire, and taking what little advantage they could from the movement of water, there wasn't much else available for them to work knowledgeably with. But boy things have certainly changed now, haven't they.

This is the fundamental problem humanity is faced with now. It is a problem based on the fact that certain accumulations of change must be met by completely rethinking how a process is to be accomplished, and what the organizational parameters must now become to do that in the new realities a new situation must necessarily place you in. These are relationships that everybody in business, and government know already. Which of course makes it all the more perplexing why there is so much resistance to see this reality in this larger context.

And unfortunately the many clocks of ticking problems not addressed still wind inexorably down to the point where they will be ignored no longer. All because people seem to perversely enjoy ignoring the obvious, as things get crazier and crazier. That might be precisely because we're so entertainingly distracted these days, or it might simply be one of those quirks of madness sanity will never be able to figure out completely. In any case, though, sanity better wake up soon, or there won't be any sanity left to be woken at all.

CVS Charges More for Generic Drugs Paid for With Insurance, Lawsuit Claims






Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In The Age Of Electrified Facade What Else Would You Expect?

The real worry now is that this way of doing "representational government" will become institutionalized beyond our ability to demand otherwise.

The moral of this story is that a mutated economic operating system is bound to create mutations in the subsystems that operate within it. The question then becoming: What are you going to do about the larger problem then?


TWO LIES AND A TRUTH


President Trump is not the first president to be caught in lies. But the degree to which he has trafficked in falsehoods is raising questions about whether standards for veracity have eroded.





Monday, August 7, 2017

And How Will A Cost Based Economy Factor These New Charges Into A Competitive Pricing Structure?

By the only way open to them of course, get rid of the squishy, weak, and complaint prone wetware and go to properly mechanized software. Perhaps, then, the only make work jobs that might be left to us in the growing "barely habitable" zones will be hauling our own ice, from government distribution points, to the apartments that nobody else can stand to live in.

On the bright side, in all of that heat, is that the rents there will probably finally become affordable.


IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT, WHAT'S NEXT?


Workers laboring outdoors in southern states are wrestling with the personal and political consequences of a worsening environment.




Sunday, August 6, 2017

I Also Hesitate On Posting On Jobs Numbers Anymore

The problem here being that, on the one hand it is undeniably true that it is a good thing that more people are gainfully employed. More to the point, though, that people deserve bits of good news to focus on as necessary counterweight to all of the bad news that predominates.

That being said, however, still doesn't change the fact that, not only are so few of those jobs paying anything even near a true living wage, so many other things are crumbling around us even as this one, isolated metric ticks up. Where our children, in fact, in increasing numbers, no longer see the point in living any more, even before they enter the ever more insane world of making your own way.

How do we hold on to the good bits, even as we recognize the continuing deficiencies? Hower we can I guess, because there are no simple, one size fits all answers there.  I guess it boils down to why you still keep going now in general. I keep at it because I still see hope in finding a new shared vision for this nation. As well as my firm belief that, if we can ever regain that shared vision, there isn't anything this nation can't accomplish.

U.S. Added 209,000 Jobs in July, Unemployment Holds at 4.3%







Can You Imagine Being A Kid Now?

When I see reports of health issues like this one (related to addiction, mental illness in general, or any debilitating disease), whether it involves children exclusively, or not, I always hesitate to say anything on an expressive channel that is, bottom line, advocating for something. That this can way too easily stray into uncomfortable realms of overexploitation (think of starving children on TV for a religious charity, or graphic pictures of animals being mistreated for donations to a political organization).

On the one hand, of course, if bad things are going on, we do need to know about it, and in measured doses, we also need to get a visceral sense of the tragedy; whereupon some photo, and video journalism, though heart renderingly stark in the physical reality of the tragedy in question, are needed so that both the rational mind, and the other half beyond rational, get the full, "this we cannot abide" message. And on the other hand the always possible falling to excess.

The tension between competing concerns here gets more complicated, obviously, when you honestly feel that you have discovered connections that lead you to believe these tragic events are related to the problem for which your advocacy is concerned.

One of the things I do now, especially when it involves children, is to take time, in my pause before writing anything, to imagine what it must be like now to be a kid.  Now that they are thrown into life these days in the predominant environment of unstable everything.

Because of that instability, how much of anything can be counted on now in a kid's life, and I mean for the majority of kids.

The really interesting thing here is that fate conspired, decades ago, to make sure that me, and my family, would be really early adopters of "not being able to count on much" as a growing up life style. To this day I don't know much of anything about my mother's parents other than her mother gave them up for adoption, leaving her, and her sisters, to live most of their lives in orphanages. And my father's family was almost completely destroyed by the Great Depression, putting his father in a bottle for decades, and his mother in charge of surviving. As such both my mother and father were two dysfunctional time bombs waiting to meet and create the inevitably dysfunctional family of Donald W., and Gloria, Vale

I mention all of this as prelude because I want to emphasize the fact that I have ample background, as well as a huge imagination, with which to proceed with here.

I hasten to add, however, that it is also, obviously, not just about the lack of stability. And that, also, was predicted early on by none other than John Goodman, and his book "Growing Up Absurd." A book that looked at the question of that day (why are young men resisting the normal socialization process of fitting into the new, post world war two, industrial economy of prosperity), by suggesting that the fault was not in worrying over how this fitting in process should be conducted, but rather to ask if there might be something fundamentally wrong with the life path this "fitting in" would require in the first place; noting along the way that there might, in fact be problems; assuming, of course, that your goal is a well adjusted, self motivated, individual who has been filled both with a broad sense of possibilities, as well as a confidence on their hold of knowledge, tools, and delayed gratification, so as to go forth and try to accomplish some things.

Because the economy was building back up so well at the time, certainly, Mr. Goodman's misgivings were not paid a huge amount of attention to. And there was still, because of that growth, a lot of wiggle room for creative people to grow up and still be creative people.

But now that technology has changed things so much. Now that global competition has become so intense, and speeded up. Now that production has reached such dizzying heights that the encouragement of consumption must be redoubled seemingly every quarter. Things are quite different.

And then there are all of the true costs of things we've been sold on for decades now that we didn't pay for when we purchased a product. All of the life cycle costs, as well as the corners cut up front during the completion of whatever process made the product. All of the things that have made for such a happy planet of late. And because of that, as well as the secondary competitions for dwindling resources, instability goes hand in hand with the building disparities of those who have, and those who do not; disparities that the fundamental principle of scarcity, that supports Capitalism, only severs to exacerbate.

And all of these increased discrepancies are in our faces. Just as the all of the possible abhorrent aspects of every other group of people around the world are now in our faces. Just as the increasing acts of rage thus engendered are in our faces. Just as the increasing acts of, seemingly pointless, self destruction are in our faces. Only there, in that situation, there is in fact a point, which is that these indirect, or direct, suicides are telling us that the people involved simply don't see the point in living anymore. Which is an expression of no meaning in one's life that should be like a lightening strike for a wake up call; a wake up call, at least, for those of us who still care about the heart and soul of a society.

So I ask you. Try to imagine being a kid now. Try to imagine especially being a young girl now. The probabilities are that there will be little parental stability, with either separation being involved as a part of relationship breakup, and/or a de facto separation by fact of underlying economic necessity; be that necessity the requirement of multiple jobs to make ends meet, or that the work itself is so professionly demanding. hardly matters; if you are unable to be there to provide important interactions with a child, the child will try to fill the void as haphazardly, and inappropriately, as you would expect of individuals whose brains aren't fully formed yet.

And then how do we keep them from swimming in the vast ocean now of total, multidimensional, message, that is the info sphere. That ocean where commodity sharks create currents of attraction that can plug one into channels of message whose only sense of inhibition is to do nothing to benefit the receiver.

Try to imagine being that little girl swimming in that ocean. Try to imagine keeping a good sense then of what a girl is, let alone what healthy body image is. Try to imagine how you would go about finding something of meaning that you could hang your behavioral hat on. Something that didn't involve selling yourself, in an almost infinite numbers of ways, that didn't make it all so confusing as to what gender was for in the first place, other than, perhaps only as means to power, and self gratification. And please don't hesitate to do the same imagining exercise for little boys as well.

Try to imagine that now and see if young suicides don't take on a disturbing connection to the way things are now. Other things are involved as well, certainly, but the way things are has to be quite prominent among them. That is my honest opinion.

What do you think?

Suicides in Teen Girls Hit 40-Year High






Saturday, August 5, 2017

It Is Extremely Complicated If You Think You Can Operate A Big Chunk Of Socialism...

...Inside of a Capitalistic economic operating system. So complicated in fact that you risk making things generally much worse over all. Most especially so now because we not only have an economic operating system mutated by the introduction of electrified experience retrieval, but also because it now winds along, in its chaotically accelerating manner, with the weight of at least one hundred years of laws, and regulations, and procedures, implemented to reform it from the viewpoint of a range of interpretive idea systems. As such, changes now, no matter the idea source, risk unintended side effects that are impossible to anticipate. Which is why even the best of very complex pieces of software have to be abandoned eventually.

The point here being that, eventually, you have to accept the fact that things have changed so much that it's time to start over. And by start over I mean time to both reassess not only the solution to addressing your requirements, but to also freshly assess what those requirements actually ought to be now, in that new environment. And the greater the change in the environment you operate in, from when the original system was first conceived, to now, then the more fundamentally important both sides of your reassessment must be.

Is this not obvious? Is this so hard to grasp?

I can tell you honestly, from someone who was involved deeply in the business of software development, as well as the mind set of systems overview, and analytical description, for more than twenty years, it sure doesn't seem so to me.


THIS SHIT IS COMPLICATED


The health-care debate is moving to the left. But if progressives don't start sweating the details, we're going to fail yet again.






Friday, August 4, 2017

Yes it is a Problem...

...But for the same same reason that having only one group traditionally associated with being in police work in particular, as well as in law enforcement in general, is a problem. The same reason having only traditionally repetitive people in public service is a problem. And likely so on through other professions, though perhaps not quite so glaringly critical.

And at its base the problem is this: doing something difficult, and/or unsavory, over time, can tend to jaundice anyone's views of the particulars that make up the interactive elements of that task (rightly or wrongly), as well as its purpose. And the thing is, the mutual exclusion that is going on here between the exclusively populated task group, and those not in that group, works to also make the latter likely jaundiced towards the former. And after observing this sort of thing for a while now I feel safe in saying that it is not a situation that a society can long tolerate.


This gets worse, though, because this kind of separation is a part of the foundation of Capitalism. And because Capitalism is also the economics of scarcity, the whole competition of who pays, and who benefits, gets ever more complicated still because the already described tendency towards mutual group discordance serves only to make crumbling debate about what should be priorities, or how we should distribute the "payment/benefit" mix, ever the more difficult; because lines get drawn ever more starkly about shifting combinations of more "us against them" kinds of thinking.

This is another part of why we are fracturing along so many diverse fronts. Another aspect of why, in not structurally being set up to engage each other on a regular, broadly integrated fashion, day to day (seeing how the reality is from a broader range of task perspectives, on a constantly rotating basis), as well as from the perspective of those in receipt of the task's purpose; of how being in that separation exacerbates that fracturing.

Electrified environments of vastly expanded instrumentality, and channels of information flow, require involvement in depth. Our sensibilities now demand we have involvement in depth so that we can better achieve a true sense of meaning, and that we matter. The structure of Capitalism is the antithesis of these needs and demands. And we are suffering in just about every way you can think of because we refuse to recognize the fundamental requirement to rethink, and then replace, what we have as socio economic operating system.

Sometimes it really does come down to change or die.


AT YOUR SERVICE


America increasingly relies on a small group of multigenerational military families to fight its wars. That’s a problem.




Yes, Wind Turbines Need To Be Bigger...

...But not like this.

What you see in the discussion here of making ordinary blade turbines bigger (from the linked article below from Mach) is a recitation of the physical limits of blades that make it difficult to scale such turbines up. Which is, of course, precisely why traditional blades remain within the category of low power density types of generation.

And the main problem here is really a quite simple one: the fact that the blades themselves are both the inclined plane, surface collection area, in which to translate the contact of wind force into shaft torque, as well as the the force translator itself. In effect having the wind to surface contact area having to spin around with the the shaft to the generator, which generates (all puns intended) all sorts of vibration, and flexing problems for propellor blades big enough to collect a significant portion of the wind that blows past them.

This difficulty has been eliminated with the genius of the Yen Tornado Turbine. In this design, the process of collecting the wind, as opposed to translating that wind force into shaft torque, is separated. Collection is done by having an immense vertical column get wind inputs into it from whatever direction, and vertical height. The original idea that Dr. Yen had was to have, say spring loaded doors, around the entire vertical circumference of the collecting column; doors that would easily allow the wind in, but not let it out (at least from the column walls). With such inputs coming in, and the preservation of the angular momentum turning the interior circulation into a cyclonic like spin, you then create a tremendous pressure differential at a base, center throat; a narrowing channel into which multi stage, turbine fan rotors, much like a jet engine, can be placed, to do the actual translation of wind to shaft energy.

As the years have progressed, and I have thought more about this design, it has occurred to me that the many input door approach might not actually be the best way to do this. And I say that for two main reasons. First, all of those doors represent a potential, very big maintenance issue. And secondly, as I recall the original proof of concept design they used in their wind tunnel study (originally reported by Aviation Week & Space Technology, back in the seventies), there were no doors used at all. What they had then was simply a vertical slit, going up one side of the column to allow the wind in (much like an elongated conch shell). As such, you might be able to simplify the entire huge structure by creating four such slits, at each compass point, that just wrap around, and underneath, the next slit, at the next compass point, tapering the interior, exit slits depth, down to some optimum for the best preservation of laminar flow once the air comes into the column's interior.

The tradeoff here, of course, is that you limit some of the inherent flexibility that the doors gave you in being able to collect wind from all directions; something that I think might be ameliorated significantly simply by utilizing the red sails you see in my Tornado Turbine model. The idea there was to use such sails, suspended from tracks that would allow the sails free movement around the column, to snatch up as much wind as possible from beyond the nominal circumference of the column. Angle these properly and I think most of the wind outside of a compass point input slit, could still be captured. But this, of course, would all have to be a part of the overall R&D to finalize a production design.

In any case, though, scaling up a Tornado Turbine column, to very large sizes, is child's play compared to doing the same for traditional blade turbines. Which is why the model I constructed would be capable of generating nuke plant levels of power. And the even better part here is that the incredible amounts of waste heat that are created when both electrolyzing water, and then cooling the hydrogen gas to a liquid, would be easily recaptured by radiating it inside the column itself (Dr. Yen originally wanted to build these near coal seams so that coal plant waste heat could be used) to encourage the updrafts necessary to amplify your translation throat air flow.

To be sure, though, this is still not trivial engineering we're talking about here as the column my model tries to illustrate is something like a thousand feet tall, and over 3 hundred feet in diameter. And since the best place to put them is out at sea in the first place, (where wind and water are abundant), making such a structure seaworthy is no small task at all; and why the thing is built as a kind of radial A-frame structure, as well as why the outrigger arms, for the guy wiring, had to be so substantial.

The bottom line here is that the Yen Tornado Turbine would be a big part of the answer of how solar energy can go prime time, and how it can put the world into an effective hydrogen energy economy. Even though the idea is now decades old, it still has tremendous merit, and one cannot imagine why we wouldn't want to use it.

Julian Stratenschulte / AFP/Getty Images
Super-Colossal Wind Turbines May Be on the Horizon










Tuesday, August 1, 2017

This Is Also What Can Happen When We Engage Each Other With Civility...

As well as an honest desire to find consensus on what is the best way to share the burden, as well as share the benefits.


TWO PARTIES SUPPORTING ONE GOOD THING


In Washington State, Democrats and Republicans worked together with unions and business owners to create a cutting-edge paid family leave system that works for everyone. How'd that happen?