Grumping

So I pay way to much attention to the internet though I do focus on STEM topics other than libertarian leaning current events and world view ‘stuff.’

One of my favorites is as I have said Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. You can find him on the web quite easily…well unless his support of Orange Man Bad got him kicked off at last.

But one of my grumps ever since the start of Covid has been his ‘blithely panicked’ (yes I meant that) response to what I see as a very serious but never, ever, even close to civilization ending, epidemic.

While I do not agree with those who call it just a flu, I do agree that it has been blown out of all proportion. I suspect that the response has killed more people (untreated conditions, suicide, drug overdose, ennui…) than the disease has.

Also the impact, being highly focused on people like me (a bit older with co morbidities) was tragic but after the first 3 months clearly within the realm of reasonable countermeasures to limit spread among the affected community without broad swath lockdowns (which were and are Fascistic over reactions.)

But Orange Man Bad drove a lot of folks into the fear and freak out theater business and there was nothing that reasonable people (Orange Man Bad amongst them) could do about it. Now ZombieJoe and his HenchWench will use the winding down of the fear frenzy to cover up a lot of their wild eyed supporters power grabs and revenge fantasy role playing.

Now one of the tropes is how hideous this disease is because of its lingering effects. Horrors, you may loose your sense of smell, have brain deficit issues, other health affects lasting who knows how long???

Get a Fucking Grip. I have had several serious infections due to physical damage early in my twenties (bone infection can recur more than once after 40 years!!!!) I also seem to get a really really really bad flue reaction every few years. These episodes have left me depressed and enervated for months…getting on for years. I often hear folks commenting about how serious infections drag out and lead to knock on effects.

This Covid HORROR is only something because we are paying millions of people billions of dollars to pay attention to this one thing.

What that attention has given us is a huge pile of data on what a viral infection can do the human body. And a whole bunch of youngish punkish doctors have seen this effect in detail in multiple patients for the first time and think its something new.

It’s not new, ask any group of older folks with less than perfect health records. And look at reality, this infectious vector and others have been around for hundreds of millions if not billions of years. A variant of this one might have helped kill of the Fucking Neanderthals (along with our ancestors and a few rocks and clubs.)

I was born in the year of the Hong Kong flu, probably a worse flu than this one but much less of a problem because travel was vastly less easy and people didn’t panic when an unknown disease popped up. They had lived with Polio, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, the Mumps, etc, etc most of their lives and were still stunned by the efficacy of the penicillin and its ilk.

I know that few will read this post and even if they did it would have no effect, but as with most Grumps, it helped me. Thank you for your support.

For Values of Duh

I used to be an IEEE member though I am an ME. IEEE spectrum is a great tech magazine and site. They have an article up Why Aren’t COVID Tracing Apps More Widely Used? , that seems a bit clueless, it starts…..

a new study suggests that trust and transparency are barriers for broader acceptance of the apps

Sub head of above

So…they needed a study to find this out? A type of app that tracks your location at all times and provides that to an cloud AI so it can figure out who you have been talking to, has trust issues, given what we KNOW about big tech?

Sheesh….

Tragedy of the NotCommons

https://www.pexels.com/@akos-szabo-145938

A blog tag to an article I did not read set me to thinking today. Read on if you think that the Net today is fraught with societal risk.

I have been using the WWW, Internet, since a couple of years after its start as ARPANET and MilNet for email and data transmission. Following it through the years I saw the slow exploration then the exuberant exploitation through the 80’s and 90’s even the 0ughts.

One of the things I had a hard time understanding was the effervescent froth about how this was freedom and that governments could never control it. When governments where the entity that installed it and ran it in many places. There are arguments in support of a weakish case for net freedom but for the masses it is not and will never be a truly open commons.

A big part of this is because of the way most people interface with the Net. They use it like they use a car, get in and drive, many times not knowing a thing about internal combustion engines, transmissions, etc. They are not technically savvy people, but then even people like me, an engineer, thirty plus year user of the Net, do not understand the ‘stacks’ on ‘stacks’ that are the interwoven hardware, firmware, protocols and software that makes the Net hum.

In the early days the Net was about Protocols, eMail and Hyperlink were two critical protocols that enabled communication and the creation of documents (Still, though they are called, Blogs, or Sites) that could be read out of sequence and include incredible depths of information that were simply impossible with a book or the like.

This early Net was dynamic and boisterous but largely a land of technical folks, academics, geeks and nerds. It was a natural environment for them in a way only the still evolving desktop computer had been until then.

After a while businesses started to move in and the media started to look at this as a way of distributing their content without the cost and logistic drag of newsprint, TV stations or even radio. Of course what most did not see coming was that the net would make their old advertiser supported business model very difficult to support over the long term while giving new Platforms (AOL and their ilk, now TWITTER, FACEBOOK etc) a leg up as essentially the new middle man between the consumer and ‘the content.’

But even at the start with AOL et al, some philosopher technical types pointed out that these Platforms ,while they gave Joe User an easy path to the internet, put a barrier between the user and the broader Net. Some like me never went down the platform path because we wanted the depth of the Net in the raw as it were but we pay the penalty of having to work harder to get things that Platform users get for free.

Twenty years on Facebook and Twitter have paved over the Net to a very significant degree. They started as just social networks with different focuses. But they have become the principle distributor of news and opinion. They have sucked up adjacent Net onramps in their fight to gain share and suppress competition. Now they lust after your data so they can sell it to the highest bidder, while using it, somewhat unintentionally to wrap the users in ever thicker cocoons of confirmation bias. They have also strangled the legacy media in its bed by stripping away the advertiser revenue.

Why?

I see 3 main reasons, ease of use, addictive content and the network affect. Ease of Use: You might argue that some of them are not that easy today but in the beginning essentially each of them was drop dead simple, so simple a tweener cheerleader could use it in ten seconds or less. Addictive Content: Most of these tools make something you want to do easy and provide reinforcing feedback, if your tweet goes viral to a 1000 people, woohooo! If your facebook post gets a like from a dozen friends, charge UP! This is addiction. Network affect: Simply stated, a network of 10 people has 100 interconnects, 100 people have 10,000 interconnects, the more people on a platform the more valuable it is to the user as well as the owner. Since you have limited time in your life, you cannot copy identical on multiple platforms going along. Then the platforms will make it hard for you to migrate from them with your list of friends, follows, photos, blogs, whatever.

So?

The title of the article I mentioned at the start said something about Protocols vs Platforms and this was one of those epiphany things you hear about. AHA!

Platforms are largely just Net hubs and they hate open protocols because it will reduce them to pipes and strip away their ability to siphon off value from the users, both consumer and creator.

Facebook or Twitter are just Protocols of Protocols with a software wrapper. Their core are proprietary protocols & software, not open protocols so that competition is impossible. The network affect and the users addiction to the particular flavor of Platform makes changing essentially impossible.

But if the Platforms are required to open their protocols and enable users to migrate their core identity the monopoly would be broken without destroying the user side value. One could even see an anti monopoly order that required some kind of Baby Twitter / Baby Facebook disaggregation that requires the ‘Babies’ interlink and compete.

This seems relatively clear cut process . It would provide the users with competition for their core value that is simply not there today. And while it will hurt the stockholders (who are earning monopolist profits today) it does not strip their assets while providing the opportunity to earn significant returns going forward.

The NonCommons of today, the Platforms, are a tragedy for the users in that their value is stripped without much recompense beyond ease of use. If we go back to the roots of the Net, open protocols, and user value, we have a chance to build back better….and make the Net great again.

Mice with damaged spine, enabled to walk again…Faster Please…

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

JANUARY 15, 2021
Designer cytokine makes paralyzed mice walk again

by

“Thus, gene therapy treatment of only a few nerve cells stimulated the axonal regeneration of various nerve cells in the brain and several motor tracts in the spinal cord simultaneously,” says Dietmar Fischer. “Ultimately, this enabled the previously paralyzed animals that received this treatment to start walking after two to three weeks. This came as a great surprise to us at the beginning, as it had never been shown to be possible before after full paraplegia.”

Above article in MedicalXPress via Phys.org

Let’s hope this paves the way for human treatment. Not that I don’t love cyborg exoskeletons in their place, but this is far better.

The Woke Purge is Beginning

From Maggies Farm: The Woke Purge is Beginning in total because it’s short and very clear:

“ Parler being dumped by Amazon Web Services wasn’t the first shot. Gab was in 2018. Gab is still around, though it is private now and subscription only. That may be the future for Parler and others like it which fill a need.

But going private isn’t the only solution, there are other solutions. But private is probably bes. However, being aware and adept at meeting the Progressive/Leftist challenges to free speech is essential. I am particularly fond of The Mises Institute’s approach.

This is a space in which I’m uniquely informed and aware. I’ve been seeing this slowly developing for years, and it’s been a growing concern. I’ve been told for years “oh it will never get that bad” and now it really is that bad. Many said Net Neutrality was necessary because the provider of the pipes would throttle, reduce and limit ability for sites and apps to work. Ironically, the purported supporters of Net Neutrality are the very same businesses who are throttling free speech – you know, the free speech they felt Net Neutrality was required to prevent OTHERS FROM THROTTLING THEM. Except, they will argue, ‘this is different’. It’s not. And Net Neutrality would have given these tech oligarchs more power to do this very kind of thing.

That said, because all this has happened slowly at first, then suddenly (due to the Capitol incident), Hemingway’s description of bankruptcy fits these moves restricting the freedoms on speech very well. When it’s taken, unlike bankruptcy – which is usually noticeable, this is going largely unnoticed and unmentioned. Or, at least, it’s being done in a manner many consider ‘acceptable’. Because the main beneficiaries are the very groups doing damage to free speech – the tech oligopolists. Who know ‘better than you’ about how things should be done, how you should live your life, and what you can or should say.

Don’t get me wrong. Tech in’t bad. Social media isn’t bad. It’s not inherently evil. It is ambivalent to morality. But individuals themselves can be good or bad, and as a result can have overbearing and long-lasting impacts on our realities. I’m sure Gutenberg was not loved by leaders of the day and “War of the Worlds” certainly sent many scurrying to talk of the damage radio can do. TV was described as a “vast wasteland” and Bill Gates felt there was little commercial value to the internet.

What is happening now requires individual awareness and action. It does NOT require fighting or violence. Just intelligence and smart, cordial and meaningful action. The Progessives are just starting, in my view. I don’t believe violence will help solve issues – it will be used to justify positions. But being louder, smarter and more aware will make a difference.Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 17:06 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
. “

Lethal load out

U.S. Navy Amphibious Warship To Deploy With Anti-Ship Missiles Next Year
Containerized missile launchers would give amphibious warfare ships a new way to protect against hostile warships, as well as engage other threats.
BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK JANUARY 11, 2021

Article in The Drive’s WarZone.

So the Naval Strike Missile, a middle weight anti ship missile will be mounted on an Amphib to provide integral defense and a little bit of offense capacity. The main purpose of this deployment is for experimentation with the fleet, to see if it changes the nature of the game when at sea. The Amphib is a big ship but is in essence a sea going ferry for the marines, a fast freighter. But these ships are big and impressive and sometimes used to show the flag. They have defensive weapons but nothing to ‘shoot the archer’ usually that is left to an escort. Having some rounds on board would change the dynamics and utility perhaps in a positive way.

While the preliminary deployment will have the missile amidships like a warship might. But the missile could be mounted on a truck that is being transported, just drive it out onto the flight deck, lock it down and shoot. With all sorts of truck mounted ordinance such as Hellfire, 155mm Cannons, HIMARS GPS Guided Rockets, there are a lot of options that this could provide for protection or force projection.

With the continued growing cost of specialized warships this sort of flexible tactical utilization looks like a good use of modern precision weapons. One can and should argue that it does not provide any kind of one for one replacement for a warship. But is a warship; a frigate, destroyer, cruiser… really what we need? Maybe its a combination of gnat weight autonomous missile slingers supporting heavy flex fighters like this Amphib.

Freedom vs Liberty

We talk a lot about freedom but it seems to me that this is a word that has a lost its gravitas in the current era. Maybe the older more difficult word liberty is the one we should use when we talk about fundamentals.

Freedom starts with that word Free, which may have had a noble meaning once but essentially triggers the ‘free stuff’ consumer sales instinct today. Free education, Free care, Free food, Free….whatever it is you think someone should have a right to for whatever reason.

The very word Free has been degraded to a economic term that means ‘worth less’ or worthless. One could see this as intentional neo-marxist thought war. It is certainly one of the reasons that a lot of low info types don’t realize that what they are asking for is has a great cost. Gov’t Free stuff is not free.

The word Liberty still has its gravitas. When you say you have liberty of conscience, liberty of person, liberty of property, liberty of word, liberty of action, you are saying things that seem to have weight and maybe make you and others think.

The US was set up as a nation of individual liberty, the individual sovereign over the government, the state strictly limited in its ability to interfere with the individual.

Giving up Freedom of speech to some seems almost trivial, it was free after all right? But if you are saying the government is effectively limiting your liberty of conscience, word and action, I think even those with a limited understanding of the issue might think again.

Society, Xiciety, Techocracy, what next?

Too many things that I could post to be able to post anything. The reality is that we are in the crux of the flux and nothing is visible through the smoke and dust.

Many very sane people have overloaded and said things they will later regret. Some very sane people have ‘locked up’ and done the same or not said enough. At the end of the day mostly this is about living in a time when the chaos of reality overwhelms individual, and even more, group, ability to absorb and organize, let along rationalize, what is going on.

What bothers me the most is the absolute arrogance of the tech oligarchs in control of Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook. They have essentially locked out what they see as the ‘other side’ they are signaling that they feel that the opposition has no rights, utterly at odds with the ethos of the US origin. As I have noted several times one could see the US as essentially a soft focus vision of China.

The problem with the Techocracy above abbreviated would not be so savagely pernicious if it weren’t that they essentially represent de facto monopolies. While legalistically one could (and lawyers have) argued that they are not monopolies, they effectively each and every one, are, because they make it hard for the ordinary user to avoid them. As a group they absolutely are because one way or another they control 99.99 % of personal and probably >90 % of business communications.

When they collude as Google and Apple are to force 3rd parties such as Parlor and other platforms competitive with FB and Tw, to conform to some squishy leftist censoring standards they have in essence moved us closer to Xiciety. When you also see them pushing hard against anything that limits their freedom to use foreign slave and gulag labor one gets the feeling that they have seriously lost their way.

  • Are the 4 evil?
    • De facto, yes.
  • But they are corporations, ok they have powerful CEO’s but they are American and they are teams not really individuals.
    • But those teams are closed, self or leader selected, cliques from a very small ‘genetic’ head space on the west coast, with generally young and woke workforce’s enforced by the Uber woke HR departments.
  • But, but they are Woke, Diverse, MultiCultural, Free Market, Open Market, MultiNational…they want freedom, civil rights!
    • But that litany is not actually about freedom and civil rights beyond keeping the base population passivated. The reality is that the F&CR ‘they’ want are free this and free that and happy multicolored faces. Not the core human freedoms laid out in the Decleration of Independence and Bill of RIghts. Those core freedoms would mean that the 4 would be forced to compete, we failed years ago when it became clear the 4 were in reality a quartet.
    • These ARE publicly traded multi national firms who cannot depend on the US for their profits any longer. This means they have to maintain an image acceptable to China and Europe at the very least. And both of those use the litany and talk F&CR, they use them as propaganda weapons to keep the base of the population in its place.

What next?

It is far too soon to tell. It will take weeks to get our heads around what happened. It will take months for the ramifications to start to become clear. Years to start to see the reactions, and probably a decade for the ring down. Trump did what he was hired to do, upset the apple cart, open a lot of eyes, unsettle the settled.

Who knows were this all goes. Civil War? Doubt it but it is more likely today than it was last week, or last October. Violence…who knows, could be, might not be, to be honest this does not look like a situation where the use of force has much applicability unless the Democrat/Techocracy decides that they either have the upper hand or need to strike while the iron is hot. Either mistake could lead to violence and devolve into Civil War and that would end the US as it exists today, just like the last one did.

No road leads us back to where we were at any time in the past. The tragedy is that those who think getting rid of Trump improved things are fools who did not see that 2019 may have been the best time in US history. Their butt hurt from Trumps wins forced them to break everyone’s toys.

And so we move into a future. As usual with no signposts. But now with the light of enthusiasm largely extinguished.

My read on the Capital crud storm

So I got a concerned eMail from an aunt in England after the crud storm in DC yesterday. Below is my way longer than she probably wanted explanation of what was going on after pointing out that the ‘broke’ media over reported something while casting the worst possible light on it. Below that is a take on the political posturing that led up to it.

The reality is that 4 years ago the Democratic Party screwed up and did not cheat sufficiently to beat the groundswell of support that carried Trump to the presidency. The apparatchiks who thought they had a lock on the future of the country were horrified.

They started a low level insurgency in the gov’t and in the streets where of municipalities where they had absolute hold. Make no mistake, up until yesterday every place you heard about that was having street protests and really riots and violence were in deeply Democratic centers where the mayors and councils could neuter the police and had already neutered the ability of the people to push back.

This last time the Democratic Party was prepared for the Trump support and overwhelmed it. To my mind it looks like cheating put Biden over the top, but that is hard to prove since it would have been a passively cellular network of cheating in densely populated centers they already controlled. Suppressing Trump votes (which were still huge by historical standards) and expanding their own. Much of the issue both pro and con were changing the rules due to ‘COVID’ and a huge concerted drive by both sides to expand the vote, providing a jungle of confusion regarding the reality.

What is going on now is a knock on to that. The reality is that the laws regarding our national elections (in a republic of very differently governed states) are Byzantine in their complexity. What I think few have realized until this last 2 months is that the system has no real way of dealing with systemic breakdown in voting which is highly state centric. While the ‘news’ says that the thousands of accusations of fraud have been ‘proven’ invalid nothing like that has happened. Except in a few trivial cases nothing has actually reached the point of presenting proof. In every significant case the court has refused to take the case because:1) The protest should have been made before the election, once the election happened the protest is void (even though there was no time before the election to know what was happening.) 2) The person(s) making the protest had no standing because they were not directly harmed. 3) The court did not have jurisdiction and thus even if they took the case could not remedy any fault found. 4) The court did not have any remedy period…which is essentially what the US Supreme Court said when the States protested other States patently fraudulent election results.

The above and Trumps refusal to back down is what triggered yesterday which was very peaceful until an idiot shot an unarmed protestor in the capital building where she in fact had something of a right (as a citizen) to be. It should also be noted that this was a Potemkin affair, the Mayor (deep rabid Democrat) pulled the police and closed things down to enable violent rioting (that did not happen.) Also pulled the police from the capital and the protective services essentially did not push back when the crowds started building up. Then the politicos went into deep political posturing for the cameras thus providing all sorts of wonderful propaganda fodder for the ‘new.’

Should the invasion have happened, no. Did Trump make it possible, yes. Did his opposition PULL the crowds in for propaganda purposes, YES. Did the capital burn down or suffer any significant damage, NO.

What you see is the marxist left pulling the liberal idiots into their grip so that they can start stripping the country of its assets as they have been doing in the UK for the last couple of decades (from my view over the pond.)

An interesting blog piece on the background I discussed above from Mark Tapscott at Instapundit:

“….. the more fundamental question is whether Congress has the authority to set aside a state’s Electoral College votes. In my view, there are two key aspects of the question:

First, is there sufficient evidence of fraud in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and others to justify the decisions of Republican senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri to register objections to the acceptance of their Electoral College votes? I haven’t had the opportunity to review all of the evidence for all of the allegations, but, as explained, for example, in this
“American Thought Leaders” interview on The Epoch Times with the Data Integrity Group, the evidence of vote manipulation in multiple states is substantial and cries out for a critical investigation.

Second, Congress has an absolute right to set aside the Electoral College votes, according to President Abraham Lincoln, who
told Congress on February 9, 1865, that “the two Houses of Congress, convened under the twelfth article of the Constitution, have complete power to exclude from counting all electoral votes deemed by them to be illegal, and it is not competent for the Executive to defeat or obstruct that power by a veto …”

The
process seen in Wednesday’s Joint Session, interrupted as it was by the riot around and within the Capitol, was conducted as prescribed in the Constitution. Each properly framed and submitted objection to the acceptance of a state’s certified Electoral College votes gets two hours of debate in the Senate and the House, at the end of which members of both chambers vote on whether to accept or reject the objection.

Congress considered objections in 1969 (the “faithless elector” of North Carolina) and 2005 (Democrat objection to awarding Ohio’s votes to President George W. Bush) under this process and rejected the propositions. But Congress could have accepted the objections, which would have left Electoral College votes on the floor.

This reality should not surprise anybody who is familiar with the manner in which the Founders wrote the Constitution as a “legislative supremacy” document. So long as the Senate and House are of one will, Congress has, as Willmoore Kendal and George Carey
wrote, “all of the ultimate weapons in any showdown with either of the other two branches.”

Congress doesn’t like a program or action favored by the President? Congress can defund it. To cite but two examples: Congress doesn’t like how the Supreme Court is ruling? Congress can change the composition of the Court. If Congress has the will, the Founders gave it the power to do pretty much as it pleases so long as it respects the Bill of Rights.

Bottom Line: There is substantial evidence that Congress could have relied upon,
had it chosen to do so, in deciding to exclude the Electoral College votes of any of the challenged states Wednesday and thereby made either Joe Biden or Donald Trump our next Chief Executive.

Had I been a senator or representative Wednesday, I would have voted to uphold the challenges presented for Arizona and Pennsylvania (as well as those planned prior to the riot for Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada), on the basis of the Data Integrity Group’s statistical analysis, not because doing so would have given Trump another four years in office, but because somebody ought to go to jail after pulling off what is likely the biggest election theft in American history.

Either we have honest elections or we don’t.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader CptNerd for
this link to much easier to read version of the full Lincoln quote. I used the Congressional Globe link because the whole page makes interesting, though difficult to decipher in places, reading.”

Nuff said…