Saturday, July 20, 2019

Testing for dark matter, micro black holes, etc.

I propose the following experiment. Get about 20 tons of steel pipe in thick sections that can nest. Support them on the ends with bearings and a clockwork drive. Turn each piece VERY slowly at a different rate, such that they only overlap at the beginning of the experiment, and perhaps again at the end. Let them sit in a temperature controlled environment (or just heat them all to a common temperature (which is cheaper))... after a few decades, take the whole thing apart and scan the entire surface of the outside layer for holes using a tunnelling electron microscope.... if holes are found, scan the inner layers for matching holes... any hole that goes through multiple layers can tell you the date and direction of the source.

You don't even have to grind the surface first... you could do it at the end, it wouldn't really matter.

Elegant, and affordable. What do you all think?

Of course an even cheaper experiment would be to take very old structural steel and polish and scan it. The older, the better.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A long rambling post where an old white guy warns about Trump's upcoming re-election in 2020 and blames the reader.

Trump is, unfortunately, going to win again....  the left is refusing to learn the lessons of the past.  Progress is a narrative told to school children after the fact that makes it seem inevitable... a straight line from the bad old days to the spiffy new present.  (Provocative statement to get you hooked... now lets not try to ramble too much)

The real world doesn't work that way.  If you want to change society, you have to do it one person at a time. You have to be willing to listen, consider, and then challenge others if you hope to make any lasting impression.

If you are just rude, and use tricks to override others, they'll do whatever's necessary to get you to go away, and avoid you in the future. If you're foolish, you might even believe you;ve changed things and made the world a better place.

The Politically Correct, Social Justice Warrior crowd may have started from a good place, but they have become that annoying adolescent, unwilling to listen and consider before trying to have a conversation. Their virtue signalling has become consistent enough that the rest of the population can hear them coming, and keep adult conversations away from them.

We elected a black president, which should have been a stunning indication that progress has been made... but a few things when horribly wrong.  He failed to deliver the medicare for all that he promised, and an end to so called "health insurance, which is, ironically the actual death panels the other side warned about".

Obama should have pushed civil rights hard, and cemented the gains of the past, emphasising how it makes us all stronger when we take care of everyone.

Black lives matters blew it when they failed to simply add the word "Too" to their slogan.

There's a high level game afoot, and leading with your heart, while admirable, is a bad strategy, and will lose the war (and the presidency, again)

Do you really want 4 more years of Cheeto Hitler?

Keep talking only to those you agree with, and that's what you'll get.  Keep letting the DNC push Corporate candidates instead of Bernie, and that's what you'll get.  Keep virtue signalling with likes, instead of actually writing down coherent thoughts, and that's what you;ll get.

I expect to be deplatformed soon enough... and I'll be left hanging out with my fellow computer nerds,never ever venturing into anything political ever again. 

Comments, criticisms, welcome,..

(you got to the end, did I ramble too much?)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Let's use RSS and Blogs to replace "The Algorithm" at youtube.

Dirk from the Vatican does a deep dive into how Youtube does things to manage the audience. He calls for a better way... here's my answer. A better way - RSS feeds that go to your individual videos(still on youtube), with the Feed under your control, not hosted on Youtube, Someone could build a site that does this for everyone... moving the locus of control away from Google. You could even do social bookmark sharing, like used to be. It wouldn't take much. This could also help in discoverability for podcasts.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

A phase change is coming, and we're not ready.

The American Empire is about to fade from the world stage. When it does, we're not going to be able to export paper dollars for goods and services any more. This will lead to a reduction of our standard of living of at least 50%, probably more like 80%. Nobody as prepared for this, especially not the current dominant political class.
We need to unwind the financialization and refocus on our physical economy, the actual goods and services made here in America, as imports are likely to increase in price from 2 to 10 times. We need to get infrastructure projects underway asap. We need to get healthcare socialized, and get rid of the insurance industry.
If we don't do these things, we're going to have a future worse than that of the people in the Soviet Union after its collapse.

We need to break at least one of the RNC/DNC pair to fix our political system. Ideally we'd figure out how to build a conversation and movement completely outside of the election cycle, that doesn't treat Democracy as a regularly scheduled family feud, but rather as a conversation with all of the sane adults in the room who need to chart a course to the future.

Example: Obama built up a heck of an organization to get elected, then totally ignored it once in office. Instead of getting a war campaign effort up to raise funds to buy ads, why not just actively involve people in conversation, then you won't NEED to buy ads that everyone ignores anyway.

Things are broken, voting is always an exercise in game theory, not who you actually want to represent you.

We can fix this. It requires small but VERY persistent effort on all of our parts.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

An open letter to Andrew Yang

Dear Andrew,
  I watched the first 45 minutes of your interview with Joe Rogan, and I had to stop.  In summary, here's why

  • You're not responding to the things Joe says, it's supposed to be a conversation, not a speech.
  • When he fact checks you, try to move on quickly, it's supposed to be a conversation.
  • You're talking way too fast.  when you throw a bunch of new ideas at someone, you have to give them time to breath.
  • To borrow a phrase from electronics, it was an impedance mismatch.
You can win this nomination, going on Joe's show was a good idea, but it seems you didn't prepare for it properly.  You needed to schedule the day for it... not a 2 hour time slot.  As it is, you had probably 2,000,000 hours of people actually watching you... a lot of wasted opportunity if they came away with the same impression I had.  It was literally worth a year of face to face campaigning if you had 90 minutes in front of a crowd of 3,500 people every day.

You have great ideas. You've done the math. You're the first candidate who explained WHY they are so focused on money. I want you to make it to the debates, even though I don't think they are anywhere near as important as they used to be.

The internet culture has different expectations than the TV/News culture. It's a growing culture. It's very important to get it right here.

I hope you found this helpful and constructive.  Good luck going forward.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Systems fragility may be decreasing in spite of stagnant productivity.

Following up and expanding on the previous post.

I'm willing to agree for the sake of discussion that productivity is going to stagnate. I make gears for a living, and I see no way that technology is going to fundamentally make it cheaper to produce a 32 tooth 12 pitch 14.5 degree pressure angle involute spur gear any time soon. You still have to make a blank then hob it. The energy and materials inputs to 3d print in metal for the same part are unlikely to be cheaper except at the lower quantity limit of 1 piece, where setup and transport dominate costs.

The variety of parts that can be made by the home shop, without regard to cost, have never been higher, on the other hand. While mass manufacture won't get cheaper, it is now possible for a better networked set of outsiders to help lower the fragility of the overall system by making it possible to reroute around damage and/or collapse. As long as cheap NC control systems are available, amazing things can be made in ones garage, basement, or kitchen, but at lower "productivity".

Is productivity actually increasing?

I was browsing this thread on Reddit, and came across this quote (emphasis mine), which got me to thinking, and posting...

Finance is assumed to have been the driver of productivity post-stagflation, but there is a widely-held sentiment that the returns from the stock market are an illusion not based creating value. Put another way, there has been enormous sums of money produced in a series of financial bubbles based more on consumer confidence than any returns- think of the unsupported internet bubble in the 90's, or today for social media- a phenomena perhaps best epitomized by welfare-fraudster Elon Musk. Millions have been made off of investing in bitcoin, a currency which has no proven utility to date and resembles a ponzi schem. Or what about computers? What about Moore's law? To date, there has been no satisfactory evidence that computers have been used to improve real productivity. These machines support the internet and can simplify administration, but they haven't made our industrial technologies significantly faster
My world view has shifted considerably since I joined the blue collar, industrial workforce. I previously would have questioned the last sentence of the above paragraph, but now I'm not so sure.  In the making of gears, my specialty, it still comes down to making a blank, and then subtractively machining it by shaping or hobbing.  The machines and cutting tools would all be familiar to someone from the 1940s, though some of the instrumentation is a bit easier to use.

I work in a job shop, which means the quantities involved in production never exceed 1000. Mass manufacturing at scale doesn't make much of a dent at work. To make gears faster or cheaper would require new machines, and the capital outlays involved just aren't justified. It is possible to make bevel gears with 5 axis machining, but it turns out the process wouldn't be any faster, just a bit more flexible.  The return on investment isn't there.

Additive manufacturing might someday displace things, but the real inputs to the process in terms of power and materials make it highly unlikely.

These are my thoughts, I welcome yours.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

RSS still works

I came across this post by Semaphore and Cairn, which pointed to an article beyond a paywall that I can't read.... but I believe the point still applies in the context of RSS.   In the first few iterations of reading RSS first, some things just had to go because they turned out out be just too politically grating (why subscribe to a feed that consistently makes you angry?)
Turns out that BoingBoing is EASIER to read on their RSS feed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

RSS First

I've decided to change the loop I find myself in daily.... I'm going to read all my RSS feeds FIRST before doing BoingBoing, Slashdot, Facebook and Youtube.

My current RSS reader is RSS Owl.

Monday, February 11, 2019

New goal - Disprove dark matter/ dark energy on a $100 budget

Ground breaking science will happen this year, either in my garage, or at Pumping Station One in Chicago.
Dryer vent pipe, old water pipe, heavy weights, and a bit of fishing line will be used to disprove the dark matter / dark energy bullshit that has infested physics.
Hopefully I can keep the budget under $100.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Leading edge science in the home shop?

I strongly suspect that there are some elegant and affordable experiments similar to the Cavendish experiment which could help prove Mike McCulloch's Quantized Inertia theory. 

If you were to use a servo to keep weights on a torsion balance stationary, you could measure the current required and have a very sensitive gravity balance.  The suspended weights and servo could all be soldered inside a copper pipe to all but eliminate drafts and electrostatic forces as noise sources.

A computer controlled linear stage could be used to log data, and to move the test masses external to the assembly and make many measurements over weeks or months of the forces with weights and different distances.

I hope to do this experiment in the next year or two.  I welcome anyone who cares to do it before or after me.