Wednesday, October 31, 2012

War as Entropy : its permanent costs

Pure - useless - ENTROPY
"Think about Germany and Japan : smashed to pieces in the last war, but look at them now." "So, no real - permanent - harm in a little war now and then is there ?" " Boys must be boys, etc."
(Sample conversations of conventional economists their cups.)

Artillery Shells : Entropy for Economists

Politically and economically, entropy simply means that today's concentrated, useful, work-able, matter and energy invariably  becomes tomorrow's "useless-to-humans because too-finely dispersed" matter and energy. All we can hope to do, is slow the process as best we can.

Is Earth gaining or losing MASS and why this matters...

Herman Daly "GETS IT"
The vast majority of economists are in fact 'psychic' economists only, and they  greatly resent attempts of rebel economists like Herman Daly to re-establish their discipline on a physical basis.

Monday, October 29, 2012

99% of the world tacitly agrees with Italian "earthquake" court : no such thing as a natural disaster, only human negligence...

MODERNITY sentences scientists
It should be, by far, the biggest news story this year - in fact, one I feel sure historians will be referencing two centuries from now, when they try to assist citizens of the future to understand the 'spirit of the age' of this still very modernist early 21st century.

Globe and Mail : will the Commercial paywall become merely a Conservative echo chamber ?

Hoisted on his own Petard !
Ironic, ain't it ? Most of the world's loudest & most bombastic right wing newspapers have totally disappeared from public view --- behind a commercially-oriented paywall --- reducing their public influence to zero. This certainly wasn't their original intention (money,money,money was their intent) - but this situation is the totally unexpected results.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The GREAT DISCONNECT : our 200 year old party ideologies vs today's Science

Today's parties are as old as her !!
It might surprise many but all of our governing party ideologies - ALL of them - are as old as Queen Victoria.

As Brits reel from Jimmy Savile coverup scandal, Nova Scotians yawn : been there, done that, got the semen-stained T-shirt to prove it ....

Jimmy Savile "NOT GUILTY" ??
If you are a very powerful figure, someone who dines with the Queen and Prime Ministers, you can safely "interfere" with teenage girls for decades and decades and everyone in a position to do something about it will decide, on sober second thoughts ---- to do nothing at all about it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"DENIER science" aims for the stars : but sometimes hits London instead...

To Stars..or LONDON
A whole lot of Denier-Watchers themselves deny that DENIERS even have have "a science" - mostly because they insist that deniers deny and disbelieve the basic tenets of "Science".

Monday, October 8, 2012

Extreme optimism leads , inevitably, to extreme Paranoia : it sounds counterintuitive but its true

Optimistic Paranoia
If you think reality and the Natural World is far too simple and far too benign to pose much of a threat to Modern Man and you have lost your belief in the possibility of Divine (or Devilish) Acts of Providential Intervention, how do you account for why even simple things can go wrong with no obvious signs of intervention ?

Romney, calling little children "takers not makers" and "part of the 47% , says NO to Nickelodeon

Kids are "TAKERS, not makers"
Taking an axe to Big Bird on live nationwide TV, saying no to the traditional presidential candidate visit to Nickelodeon TV's "Kids Pick the President" special ---- Mitt Romney sure knows how to erase that huge, crucial, gender deficit he has with young "waitress moms" and their children doesn't he ?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Roof and Rhetoric share a word sense

Stalingrad's bubble
Just as a roof shields us from the reality of the external world - allowing us to live in our own physical bubble, so rhetoric can convince us that the facts of physical reality don't exist - even outside our physical bubble.

Are the supposedly eternal and universal laws of nature nothing but Reified Rhetoric ?

Of course they are - can't you tell by the way I posed the question ?
I was using rhetoric --- we all do - particularly scientists.
I emphasize that point because so many scientists claim they do not.
This, in itself, is a highly effective bit of rhetoric.
But when you start deluding yourself thinking that if you and enough of your colleagues say something often enough it must be true (rather like Hitler and his General Staff after the Fall of France) you are in danger of reifying your rhetoric into something that is no longer an airy claim but now a solid fact.
We can't ever know if the laws of the universe are in fact eternal and universal and it needn't matter.
No matter unless you treat science as a theology - in which case you reify limited human suppositions into unlimited universal laws.....

"Sending in the Shovels" : June 6th 1944

How Omaha got its "P"
It was never supposed to have to come to this: the smart money - and Big Science - had long promised that (a) high tech strategic bombing would force the Germans out of the war without any need of an invasion and that (b) the Allies would have lots of cheap, pure, high tech synthetic penicillin.

1850: Claude Bernard, Homeostasis and the birth of "Optimistic" Modernity

Hubris of the Skygods...
It is probably no coincidence at all that Modernity is conventionally dated to 1850, the same year that french doctor Claude Bernard first speculated publicly that all advanced life forms - like modern mankind - excel because of complex internal systems to keep them shielded from drastic changes in the external world.

Hitler was all about "The Triumph of the WORD" , not of the WILL : rhetoric = results

Triumph of mere WORDS ?
Add Churchill, FDR and Tojo to that sorry mess. All of the leaders of the biggest combatants of WWII felt that the war would be won when their opponents' morale and will was broken - not by good (bad ?) old-fashioned occupation of the opponents' home territory.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Duhig's Penicillin saved lives where Alexander Fleming failed - because of - not in spite of - "poorer" technology !

GLAXO's moral lowpoint: April '43
Briefly - very briefly - in April 1943, at the height of all the suffering and the dying of WWII, Glaxo the drug company had a tremendous technological success and an enormous moral failure.