August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong

Let's build something big and name it after him.

Something big on the Moon.

Addendum 20120828. I disagree with Armstrong's advocacy of business-as-usual NASA programs which were collapsing due to bureaucy and pork-barrel politics. (HT Instapundit). Today's NASA is not the agency of von Braun's time.

IMO the next step should be private-sector human spaceflight. Let the private sector create a sustainable human infrastructure in earth orbit; then, if necessary, adapting lessons learned, let the government fund early human spaceflights within the solar system.

The foregoing orderly scenario does not take into account that helter-skelter international rivalries may supervene.

No disrespect meant to Neil Armstrong or his achievements.

August 24, 2012

Schadenfreude at China

Some people, especially on the Right, are chuckling at the negative consequences of rapid growth: city-scale developments standing empty, problems with transportation infrastructure, etc.

They may stop laughing if/when China keeps its economy going, and its surplus males occupied, via increased military spending. The products thereof may not lie around unused.

As for me in 2010:
I decline to project China's future until they've gone through at least one business cycle.

I said that when they were riding fast and high, I'm saying it now that they're looking wobbly, and I expect to repeat it when they're banged up from a fall.
I'm sticking with it.

August 23, 2012

Rule of Thumb?

The longer a conspiracy theory takes to explain, the less likely it is to be true.

It occurred to me after scrolling down this.

: The foregoing is actually a corollary to Occam's Razor.

August 21, 2012

Sophisticated Voters Are Rubes

This epiphany came to me after I tried to inform myself about some issues that the parties are squabbling over. I've forgotten what they are[1].

After digging through volumes of spin, half-truths, lies, misinformation, disinformation, and bullshit---all deliberately created by both sides of the "debate"---, I still wasn't confident I had the facts straight.

It's not worth it. They're playing me for a sucker with all that stuff. They want me to feel like I'm making an informed decision, but informed decisions are the last thing they want. (That much the opposing parties agree on.)

Just as the campaigns are getting into high gear, my inclination is to tune politics out.

I'm going back to the old rule of thumb: am I better off than I was four years ago? If I am, I'll give the rascals another term. If I'm not, I'll throw the rascals out. It's that simple.

(Rules of thumb are not meant to be infallible. They exist because it is a waste of time to treat every case on its in-depth merits.)
[1] Iirc something snapped after watching Debbie Watshername Schultz refuse to acknowledge that Ryan's Medicare proposal exempts people over 55, and then following Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin's "apologies".

August 20, 2012

"Legitimate Rape" Is a Dog Whistle

I refer to Akin, of course.
"First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
The implication---the dog whistle---is that the body of a woman who was impregnated during rape did not resist. In fact, her body enjoyed it. What does that make her? Ask Rush Limbaugh about Sarah Fluke. Hey, you know, maybe she was asking for it.


Afaik the Democrats have not yet pointed the foregoing out. I expect them to do so in due course if Akin does not withdraw.

August 19, 2012

More Predation in the "Creative Community"

Some big publishers are offering contracts which transfer the author's rights over all their creative output, present and future, to the publisher; in some cases, the clause is buried in the boilerplate (HT: Sarah Hoyt).

The link emphasizes that publishers have moved beyond wanting an option on future work to demanding control of future work.

In principle I support the Constitutional enactment of intellectual property to support science and the useful arts. In practice IP is devolving, if it hasn't already devolved, into something that does more harm than good.

August 18, 2012

Arctic Ice

1. Wrt the AGW controversy, I had been watching Japanese monitoring of Arctic ice (HT: Climate Debate Daily). There was a hiatus when the satellite stopped functioning, but the monitoring has resumed[1]. The ice was seasonally robust earlier this year, but has now dropped to a low for this period, perhaps partly due to a major Arctic storm.

Jeff Masters links to ongoing analyses in the USA, Germany, and Denmark.

2. I actually visited Masters' site to keep an eye on tropical storm activity. It's a great site for that and a useful weather site overall. (I stopped subscribing when Masters became too militant for my taste about AGW.)

3. Irene spared my town last year though she was forecast to pass directly overhead; areas west and east of me got hit. Being in poor financial, physical, and psychic shape to deal with a major disruption, I'm keeping my fingers crossed to remain unscathed this year---and at least until my entrepreneurial exploit (hopefully) pays off & I recover my overall vitality.
[1] This sentence is a reminder that data does not fall like manna from heaven.

Palin's Future

My thoughts about how she can rehabilitate herself back to a serious contender for national office are here:
In exchange for delivering her constituency on Election Day, IMO she should be offered something like responsibility for putting the country on the path to energy independence (I presume that such a role can be created in a way that passes Constitutional muster).

Success at that would reposition her to run for President.
Other posts of mine in the thread are related.

August 16, 2012

Don't Get Cocky, Instapundit Warns

The Republicans could start by not taunting Obama to replace Biden with a stronger candidate.

Arrogant. Overconfident. Tempting Fate.

The Stupid Party, being stupid.

Addendum 20120818. Some people whose judgment I respect believe that the taunts are to Biden's advantage because Obama would lose face by heeding them.

August 6, 2012

The Internet: More USA-Backed
Thuggery and Corruption

Ukraine has shut down the Demonoid site as a favor to the USA.

I've said it before, here and here: the USA can no longer be trusted as an honest steward of the Internet.

For the moment we are clinging to control, but losing it is just a matter of time if things continue as they are.

As the USA remakes itself into a banana republic with a parasitical ruling class, it's understandable that other banana republics want in on the spoils.

Helpful note to UN kleptocrats: Justify your efforts to seize the Internet by pointing to US copyright imperialism, and you'll get support. Blend in anti-Semtitic hate directed at Hollywood and you'll get more.

Mars, Etc.

1. Congratulations to NASA and especially the Curiosity team. Best wishes for a successful mission.

2. Osteporosis is a problem in space which could limit long stays like interplanetary voyages. Rotationally induced gravity is a brute-force, very expensive solution.

Somewhere it is claimed that we went to the Moon fifty years too soon: Apollo was a tour de force that happened decades before sustainable technology evolved. Do the biological sciences also need to evolve before humans can take up (semi-)permanent, reversible residence in zero/low gravity?

August 5, 2012

Two Remarks

By resisting the natural tendency of government to grow, (c)onservatives and libertarians are swimming against the tide. To succeed, it’s essential to be in the right, not just on the Right.
I am a libertarian who is agnostic to the border of atheism.

Nevertheless, I would rather be governed by moonshine-drinkin’, sister-marryin’, snake-handlin’, NASCAR-lovin’ Bible thumpers than by over-educatedschooled postmodern multicultural elitist leftists of the Obama/Warren type.
One more, a restateent of Murphy's Law (added 20120820):
Your worst-case scenario is hopelessly optimistic.