I’ve opted for plain and simple for my format and layout. The default presentation gives you the last few articles I’ve written in a long, scrollable format. Sometimes I add a “more” tag, which takes you to the individual post, showing the remainder of what I wrote for that article, but usually you must click the heading (to the left of the primary text blocks) to get to the specific article, since I usually just write it all, letting all show on the scrolling composite. The basic reading format doesn’t include a comment box. If you click the heading and go to the specific posting, there is a reply box at the end, after the share buttons and the tags and categories. You can also click the quote-button comment link just below the title.

So, if you happen to read something you want to reply to, please do. I will almost certainly post your comment and reply to you. I’m not into censoring.

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An unrelated article brought this to mind.

Argue all you want, complicate all you want, but God is, or God is not. If you prefer, there is a divine ultimate, or there is nothing.

If we acknowledge the divine, then we are eternal, it seems a certain consequence.

I assert free will. “Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!” (Fyodor Dostoevsky [c8p2, c8p3])

There is no free will if one may not choose eternity to at least the extent of with-God or without-God.

I assert the good. I assert that choosing to add harm to life is the evil.

We have before us life or death, good or evil. Therefore, choose life.

I aver that Martin Luther King Jr. was a pretty good example of a husband and father, and it seems fitting on the day we honor him to note that for the most part, we’ve solved the problems for women of not having husbands.

That is, in most of our circumstances, we support single mothers. We don’t shun them. We typically work with them in personal and public ways.

For the most part, a single mother’s life is hard, but it is not life-threatening as it used to be.

Thus, we have many single mothers. That is, while there are still problems, the biggest problem, the problem that made women fear being a single mother, has been mitigated. While we have improved the lot of women, we have not improved the overall lot.

Fatherlessness, lack of a husband in the family, is a problem for society. It is a serious problem for children. Fatherlessness of families results in harm.

How do we fix that? I think it is obvious money and government programs cannot fix it.

How do we fix it?

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Excellent.

Science Matters

On January 8, 2018 Ross Pomeroy published  at RealClearScience an interesting article The Six Stages of a Failed Psychological Theory

The Pomeroy essay focuses on theories in the field of psychology and describes stages through which they rise, become accepted, challenged and discarded. It has long seemed to me that global warming/climate change theory properly belongs in the field of social studies and thus should demonstrate a similar cycle.

Formerly known as CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming), the notion of “climate change” is logically a subject of social science rather than physical science. “Climate Change” is a double abstraction: it refers to the derivative (change) in our expectations (patterns) of weather. Thus studies of “Climate Change” are properly a branch of Environmental Sociology.

As a social psychology theory, CAGW/climate change bundles together three interdependent assertions.

From the beginning the claimed science, impacts and policies were bundled, which makes CAGW theory…

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Keep in mind that Pointman is viewing from across the pond. (He always seems to have a very clear view, too.)

Pointman's

Barring any unforeseen accidents and a fair breeze behind him, Trump will be sailing into the 2020 election to win it most probably by a greater margin than he won in 2016. Trump has delivered more in one year than Obama did in eight, and you have to remember under the latter’s administration, everything was either in decline or simply going nowhere.

In that year, new jobs were actually created, unemployment among both black and Hispanic Americans has hit historic lows, the flight abroad of manufacturing from America was stopped, swathes of choking regulatory nonsense has been culled ruthlessly, the stock market keeps hitting new record highs, the dumping of cheap foreign subsidised goods into America was stopped, the foreign policy disasters left behind to him by Messrs Obama, Clinton and Kerry have been unfucked one by one, the Arabic states were told to stop covertly financing terrorism in the…

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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-017-0034-6

“Meta” is an overused prefix that is often used as a standalone word. It is hard to know what it means in many contexts. In metalens, it is used to mean a lens (for focusing light) that isn’t really a lens in the generally understood sense.

Here, they are figuring out how to make surfaces that are flat (not curved) macroscopically, but with nanofins that are tuned to affect light rays the same through all the visible wavelengths. The point is to make a thinner, lighter, less complicated lens for optics. They are aiming at cheaper, too, but I bet it is overly expensive in the current state of research. Cheaper in the long run seems likely to me.

The article, which is $5 to have for a few hours for reading, or $20 to keep (I did neither), indicates the lens works from full red through blue. (Purples, apparently, will not be properly focused.) It also indicates its efficiency is 20% so far. Not adequate. I bet they figure it out though. It almost sounds too good to be true, but the engineering looks like the hard part, and that is just a matter of time, just a matter of trial and error. It might make cell-phone cameras as good as the best SLRs.

The supplemental information file is available free here: https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41565-017-0034-6/MediaObjects/41565_2017_34_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

The supplemental file is useful, and I figure everyone with some understanding of optical wave mechanics should get an intuitive feel for what is going on just from the first figure, a simple schematic showing how the surface is saw-toothed (nanoscale) to accommodate the fact that prisms spread white light into the rainbow colors as the light passes through. (The prism tips interact with the waves, too, keeping the light together, not spreading into a rainbow.)

The supplemental videos aren’t useful, and only the last two (essentially the same) are cool to watch. (The videos show the thing works. Good to know, but worthless for intuition and understanding.)

BTW, “An optical system with the ability to produce images with angular resolution as good as the instrument’s theoretical limit is said to be diffraction limited.” That is, the discussed metalens is theoretically as good as possible in focusing potential.

After thought: Journals, especially Nature, are much too proud of their status. This research was paid for by public money (USAF & NSF tax-funded research). The journals argue that the fees for articles (or subscriptions) pay for their services, primarily peer review and editing. Well, maybe a bit, but it is overpriced and overrated. Journals provide piss poor quality of service in the majority of instances.

A few additional references, information found by searching for the contract number (indicating it is giving out several millions of dollars, which I deduce considering all the references):

https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/muri_metasurfaces/overview

https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/muri_metasurfaces/publications

https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/muri_metasurfaces/people/federico-capasso

This chunk has given out $3M so far:

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1541959

I’m not going to explain any of my own history, but I identify fully, exactly, with Jordan Peterson. #jordanbpeterson @jordanbpeterson
Also with Lindsey Shepard.
My views don’t align well with any group I know of. I suspect Peterson would say the same of himself, except maybe for some of his fellow clinical psychiatrists.
 
If he happens to see this, I encourage him to stay strong and to focus on doing what is right. Stay faithful to your heart, your convictions, and the truth as best you can see it.
 
I stand pragmatically. I stand for all I know of history and science, and for realizing what can work, and what cannot.
 
Freedom is the only thing that can work.
 
Coercion is evil, always.
 
Stand for everyone, every group, every segment, no matter their differences, no matter their color, no matter their age, no matter their politics, no matter their religion, no matter their nationality, no matter their conformity. Stand for the individual! Stand for free exercise of conscience.
I support Peterson in his stand against using public education as indoctrination. https://youtu.be/s0EuQe6BOWo
I stand for the abolition of coercive, compulsory education laws.
There are many things that need fixed in education, including basic civility, respect, and freedom in all regards, but none of it matters while we officially coerce parents to force their children to conformity. Public education fails because its only true goal is to make conforming drones, compliant to the political will of the dominant faction.
We are free people, free individuals. It is fundamental. Everywhere freedom is suppressed, every time people resist, and resistance is not futile.
Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

Sin

We usually define it as messing up, missing the mark. We know, for the most part, what we need to aim at, yet we often miss, either from simple failings or bad choices.

We don’t get around to doing the things we should. We don’t show a kindness when it was deserved. Or we know good and well we shouldn’t do a thing, yet we did it.

Most such, we deal with by repenting, formally for the religious, but in other ways for all the rest. Charitable giving, resolutions (especially at the New Year), we all do it, trying to make right, trying to do better. Good. That is the way of it, and nearly all of us get it, and most of us are pretty tolerant of it because we’ve been there, done that.

There is another sin, though, of knowingly causing harm, inflicting suffering. In general, such are what we, as a society, judge as worthy of punishment and prison. For the most heinous intentional harms, we tend to want our officials to take the sinner’s life. For better or worse, that is the way it is. (It could change. Perhaps we should engage.)

There is a sin, however, one that causes grave harm, that nearly everyone commits, and no one is ever punished for: Supporting compulsory education.

Making laws and forcing people to send their children to government schools, school designed to indoctrinate and to regiment, schools necessarily forcing compliance, conformance, and all things sedentary. These schools would be better for simply removing the compulsory requirements. Why do you support something that so obviously, demonstrably, repeatably, results in harm for so many?

You force it. You cause it. You are responsible. Why do you persist?

Outlaw truancy laws. End this intentional harm.

 

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Side note: I started young with this, just like with YEC. I started speaking out against YEC notions when I was only in grammar school, in the ’70s. I started speaking out against global warming (similar in many regards) in the ’80s. I’ve done more homework over the years. If I seem a bit curt a times, know that I’ve been there, done that, and answered it before, studied it over and over, tried to understand the contrary view, yet I keep coming back to reality. We live on a very stable watery planet, and it has been remarkably stable for an unimaginably long time, under many and varied conditions, with extraordinary perturbations and long-term changes. And, yes, I love my grandchildren, and theirs, and theirs too. I am doing my best to leave them something worth having. I’m quite confident that will make the most of it.

Watts Up With That?

By Andy May

This is the seventh and last post in my series on the hazards of climate change. In this post we examine the effects of climate change on glaciers and sea level rise. The first six examined the effect of humans on the environment, the effect of the growing human population, climate change and the food supply, the cost of global warming, the effect of man and climate change on extinctions, climate (or weather) related deaths, and extreme weather and climate change.

Source: Mike Lester

The IPCC AR5 report has the following to say about the risks of sea-level rise:

“Risks increase disproportionately as temperature increases between 1°–2°C additional warming and become high above 3°C, due to the potential for a large and irreversible sea level rise from ice sheet loss. For sustained warming greater than some threshold [Current estimates indicate that this…

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Frankly, I don’t understand why this isn’t the standard, the consensus. We live on a water planet. The water self-regulates with clouds, et al.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Reflecting upon my previous post, Where The Temperature Rules The Sun, I realized that while it was valid, it was just about temperature controlling downwelling solar energy via cloud variations. However, it didn’t cover total energy input to the surface. The total energy absorbed by the surface is the sum of the net solar energy (surface downwelling solar minus surface reflections) plus the downwelling longwave infrared, or DWIR. This is the total energy that is absorbed by and actually heats the surface.

According to the CERES satellite data, globally, the solar energy absorbed by the surface averages 162 W/m2. The downwelling longwave averages 345 W/m2. Conveniently, this means that on average the earth’s surface absorbs about a half a kilowatt per square meter on an ongoing basis. (And no, I have no interest in debating whether downwelling longwave radiation actually exists. It’s been measured…

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“There are only (roughly) ten thousand practitioners of applied meteorology in the US, yet they have produced vast savings in money and lives.”

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: Today’s post reviews a fun book about some of the systems that make us safe — but which we too often ignore or even mock. The headline is exaggeration for effect (progress has been beyond what most people would imagine a century ago, with more to come – but we’ll never fully “tame” nature).

Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the WeatherAvailable at Amazon.

Review of Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.

The true story of how science tamed the weather.

By Mike Smith (2010).

Warnings tells a well-written and exciting story about natural disasters, the progress of science, and the workings of America’s bureaucracy. It is a story about the advances in meteorology (one of the many technologies which makes our world run) and a government service (the National Weather Service). Many Americans are oblivious or contemptuous of…

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Seems important enough to repeat.

Watts Up With That?

Brief Note from Kip Hansen

roundup_smOn December 18, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a paper titled “Revised Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential” as part of a larger release of its latest findings on glyphosate, the main active ingredient in the world’s most used weed killer, Monsanto’s Roundup.
The revised issue paper was part of a larger timed release of a number of EPA statements on the 18th December.

The finding?

“For cancer descriptors, the available data and weight-of-evidence clearly do not support the descriptors “carcinogenic to humans”, “likely to be carcinogenic to humans”, or “inadequate information to assess carcinogenic potential”. For the “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential” descriptor, considerations could be looked at in isolation; however, following a thorough integrative weight-of-evidence evaluation of the available data, the database would not support this cancer descriptor. The strongest support is for “not likely to be…

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I’ve been listening to Jordan Peterson @JordanBPeterson #JordanBPeterson, an activity I highly recommend, and he often mentions the big five personality characteristics. His comments suggest I’m high in openness. So, I have been looking into it, and four online tests each rated me medium-high to high in openness.

One of the online tests had other tests, one being “morality.” I took that test too.

I didn’t think the questions were thoroughly thought through, but it seemed legit enough. Here is the oddity, while ~31% liberal and ~68% conservative didn’t surprise me, being listed as low in openness (being listed as quite closed minded) did surprise me. Perhaps there is some prejudice involved.

That will be on my mind for a while.

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The proposals implied here are simply evil.

We might as well call these efforts Borg 1.0.

Resistance is not futile.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to advocates the “AI For Earth” is here to help – but human Behaviour must Change to save the planet.

Microsoft is Expanding “AI for Earth” Program to Fight Climate Change

WRITTEN BY
Christianna Reedy

IN BRIEF

Microsoft is expanding its “AI for Earth” program with a $50 million investment over the next five years. This could yield new artificial intelligence applications to enable scientists, businesses, and even farmers to better protect the environment.

AN AI INVESTMENT

The tech giant Microsoft is deploying artificial intelligence to the task of protecting our planet.  Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, announced on Dec. 11 that the company would be investing $50 million in their AI for Earth program over the next five years in order to “monitor, model, and manage the Earth’s natural systems.”

“AI can be trained to classify raw data from…

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I’m repeating because this is the kind of thing I’d do, or even say. Anyway, it is cool that they exhale before diving. They don’t want pressure on their lungs (due to depth) to cause problems, and their systems have lots of reserve oxygen. (We don’t.)

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Mike Jonas

The UK’s public broadcaster, the BBC, reported on 7 December 2017 that:

Narwhal escape: Whales freeze and flee when frightened

Scientists who fitted heart rate-monitoring tags to Arctic narwhals have discovered a strange paradox in how the animals respond to threats.

When these tusked whales are frightened, their hearts slow, but at the same time they swim quickly to escape.

Scientists say the response could be “highly costly” – because they exert themselves with a limited blood supply.

The findings are published in the journal Science.

They raise questions about how the enigmatic “unicorns of the sea” will cope with increasing human intrusion on their Arctic habitat.

Historically, narwhals have not come into contact with much human disturbance, because they live mainly hidden among Arctic sea ice. But in recent decades, as the ice has declined, this is changing.

“Shipping and exploration for oil and…

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