What if they gave a war…

Empires can wither and collapse gradually for a long time. The last step generally happens when nobody is willing to fight for imperial expansion.

We were about to reach that point after Vietnam, and the emperors forestalled it briefly by avoiding new wars for 15 years. Since 1990 we’ve been fighting more and more useless pointless losing wars, with no gain except profit for Raytheon and Lockheed. Now it appears that the natural forces of supply and demand are reaching critical mass again.

Via Straight Arrow:

The Army has gotten rid of its requirement saying potential recruits must have a high school diploma or GED certificate in order to enlist.

All statistical indicators suggest an historically low percentage of young Americans eligible and interested to serve. More young men and women than ever have been disqualified for obesity, drug use or criminal records, shrinking the eligibility pool.

Young men are ineligible because the REST of the imperial system has already collapsed. We offshored the jobs a man can do. We made young men useless and statusless and mateless. They responded accordingly.


Interest in joining is also down to an historic low. An internal Defense Department survey obtained by NBC News found only 9% of young Americans eligible to serve in the military had any inclination to do so.

Why should they want to fight for the country that has ruined them?

9% of 23% = only 2% of the military-age population is both eligible and willing.





= = = = =

In the story of the Astonishing Hammond I mentioned that the Sholes-Glidden typewriter was already in production in 1880, and as with most tech stories, the dominant product was not the best product.

This is crude and impractical, and could never have worked.

The personalities are perpetually familiar. Sholes was the unworldly idea man. Glidden was the practical engineer. Densmore was the dynamic salesman.

Densmore managed to sell this crude thing to Remington, which was chiefly making sewing machines at the time. Remington basically reinvented it as a sewing machine.

Here’s the original:

This was meant as ‘proof of concept’, but it didn’t even qualify there. It had 21 keys, weights and strings hanging all over, and the keys couldn’t have made a good impression.

The carriage was just a frame, pulled along by a dangling weight. This scanned the paper across the typehead for each line, sort of like the early Xerox machines.

The paper was advanced line by line with a separate frame riding on top of the carriage frame. In this animation I’ve made the paper transparent so you can see how the hammers were arranged.

A tight little circle under the paper held 21 hammers radially. Each short hammer pivoted at its own angle, coming around and hitting the paper from below, pushing it up against the ribbon onto a backstop. The letters would have appeared on top of the paper. The short hammers couldn’t have developed any momentum, so they were inevitably weak; and the type itself was hitting the back of the paper instead of the front.

How did the keys move the hammers? Supposedly through stiff wires, but I can’t see how that would have worked, so I didn’t even try to show it! The key and the hammer are moving by magic.

Sholes and Glidden were not taking advantage of existing knowledge and devices. Hammond took the typewheel and hammer from the Brett printing telegraph, and Hammond used the principles of physics correctly and elegantly.

Continued here with the first Remington.

= = = = = END REPRINT.


Terrible idea.

US Congress and UK Parliament are starting to consider regulations on bitcoin.

Terrible idea.

1. Regulating after the fools have lost their money won’t help anyone. If you’re going to protect fools from voluntarily losing their money, you need to do it on the boom side, not the bust side. The bust itself cures many fools and gives them the information and backbone to resist the next boom. Some are incurable.

2. Legislation is bought by the worst criminals. We can be 100% certain that the regulations will GUARANTEE constant reward for the worst criminals, and will punish the stupid and desperate participants who did NOT intend to commit a crime.

3. The only meaningful regulation is a total ban on all stocks and derivatives and abstract financial shit. The Soviet system had it exactly right. No stock market at all. Gosbank decided where to put capital to benefit the skills and needs of the people. Gosbank sometimes emphasized the wrong industries, but it never intentionally made the peasants poorer, and never offshored entire industries to kill working men. The stock market murders working men. That’s the purpose.

= = = = =

Since we’re too evil to follow the Soviet path, the best cure for scams and frauds is in media and schools, not in regulation. As I’ve repeated over and over, media formerly did a good job of dramatizing and clarifying how swindlers work. All the tricks used by bitcoiners are ANCIENT tricks, and all of them were demonstrated clearly by the old radio and TV programs.

The current media universe is purely operated by and for the swindlers. Searching Youtube for “blockchain fraud” or similar terms gives you 98% swindlers and 2% truth. Swindlers always use “fraud” or “scam” to describe OTHER BRANDS of swindle.

“Avoid frauds and scams! Buy MY HONEST COIN, not those other horrible fraudulent coins.”

Schadenfreude is never tiring

I’m repeating this picture happily. Schadenfreude about bitcoin never gets tiring. A refreshing drink on a hot day.

Musical accompaniment.

Via Wolf Richter: Goldman created Coinbase to rope in the greater fools. Now that the Fed counterfeit press has stopped, bitcoin has stopped. After the “value” of Coinbase dropped from $400 to $40, Goldman is advising the greater fools to sell its own product.

It was perfectly fucking clear from the fucking start that bitcoin was created by Deepstate and Wall Street to serve THEIR purposes, not to assist the peasants. Now that Deepstate has identified and tinfoiled the fools, and Goldman has sucked the fools dry, the fools are no longer needed.

Fairness doctrine continued…

Continuing to look at one potential candidate for improved journalism.

After sampling for several days, I’m convinced that Straight Arrow News is genuinely trying for objectivity and neutrality.

I don’t think they’re likely to succeed because they’re skipping the most basic definitional element of news: NEW. The website doesn’t seem to change very fast, and at the moment all the front-page items are at least three days old. Small towns could support a weekly newspaper, but a world-covering newspaper needs to move a lot faster than weekly or even daily.

Later:  They’re moving again, but still not fast enough or ‘dense’ enough on new items.

Reprint from last year:

Yeah, I know Shannon was actually talking about signal/noise ratio in cables, but like Heisenberg his highly technical rule has turned into a useful broad definition.

The broad definition:

News is new. Information is surprising.

This is also the natural definition of information, embodied in every level of every nervous system. Neurons are designed to ignore unchanging data and pay SHARP ATTENTION to departures from the unchanging pattern.

“News” media have always violated Shannon, and government “investigations” and “revelations” also turn Shannon upside down. Media try to generate fake deltas and fake surprise from totally old and unsurprising data. Deepstate sometimes “leaks” shocking facts like Heat Is Hot or Gravity Exists, carefully reworded to sound new.

Today’s fake “news” is the Pandora Papers, a second chapter of the Panama Papers. Both of these “leaks” tell us that rich fuckheads never pay for anything. Heat is hot. Water is wet.

What’s the point of these specific “leaks”? We can safely assume that they are just another way to kill the competition. The “investigators” are funded by Soros, which should tell you everything. These “leaks” give the government a reason to punish dictators and fuckheads who offend Soros.

Analyzing this type of data requires holding an internal template of all the fuckheads who should be included, and comparing this template with the fuckheads who were actually mentioned in the report. We don’t have a strong natural talent for “what’s missing” questions, so we need external helpers like written checklists or McBee cards or Hollerith’s sorter or Reynold Johnson’s multiple comparator.

Interurbans lasted longer

Spending the afternoon in another Enid history FB page. One of the aerial photos seems to show the Big Horn that I wrote about a few years ago.

Most of the pics are purely local and personal interest. This one is interesting in a broader historical sense.

It shows a two-car train at the Frisco station. Interesting arrangement, a compromise between full-fledged train and interurban tram. The first car is 1/3 locomotive and 2/3 baggage. The second car is for passengers. All clean and shiny. The baggage section is carrying farm products, milk cans and sacks of grain.

One commenter mentioned that she took this train regularly to Lucien. (I’m guessing the terminus might have been Perry?) The route is among the Frisco interurbans mentioned in this 1915 description of Enid transportation.

She called it the Doodlebug, which was a common term for a yard locomotive. Judging by the Chevy next to the station, the date appears to be late ’30s, well past the golden age of interurbans.

AI does microbes

The latest Authoritative Information from CookingFlavr.com.

The computer said it, I believe it, that settles it. Math is God.

Can We Say That Protozoa Is Classified As Animals?

There is no one answer to this question as Protozoa are classified as animals by many different sources. Some classify Protozoa as animals because they have a backbone, a heart and a spinal cord. Others classify Protozoa as animals because they have a mouth and a pair of lungs. There is no one definitive answer to this question.

Is Protozoa Classified As An Animal?

Protozoa are classified as animals because they have a backbone and can breathe on their own. Protozoa are some of the simplest organisms on Earth and are responsible for many of the Earth’s diseases.

Why Are Protozoa Not Classified As Animals?

The Protozoa are not animals because they have no blood. Protozoa are single-celled creatures that can only exist in water.

How Are Protozoa Classified?

Protozoa are classified according to the way they reproduce. Protozoa reproduce through sexual reproduction, which means that the eggs and larvae are fertilized by a partner. Some Protozoa also reproduce through a process called chorion development, where the chorion is the protective shield that surrounds the embryo.

Bioethics and Roe

Wesley Smith writes an inside view of the Roe overturn. Smith has been writing and agitating against bioethics for a long time. He was involved in a 1997 Supreme case that unanimously ruled against a “right” for assisted suicide. The usual bioethics demons, plus MDs (Mengele Demons), were arguing for assisted suicide. Oddly enough the state of Washington was arguing against it. Couldn’t happen now!

Smith knows how to read the footnotes and implications, and shows how this month’s Roe overturn based its logic on the 1997 refusal of assisted suicide. Roe created a “right” that wasn’t intended by the founders and certainly wasn’t in the “constitution”. The court had summarily rejected such creations in the 1997 decision, but didn’t get around to extending the logic until now.

I started this blog in 2005 as an anguished response to the evils of bioethics. The subject is close to my soul. I’m glad to see that other writers have been championing the side more effectively and consequentially.

Proudly bankrupt

A new Pew poll of “journalists” and humans is mostly unsurprising.

“Journalists” think they’re doing a wonderful job, except for inadequate diversity in their own workplace, and except that “journalists” aren’t paid enough.

Humans know that “journalists” are demons.

Here’s the one surprising exception that deserves further thought. “Journalists” have an accurate picture of how humans see them. They know that humans see them as vicious cruel evil purveyors of war and crime and lies.

When a normal business knows that its customers hate its products, AND KNOWS THAT THE CUSTOMERS ARE LEAVING EN MASSE, the business would try to change its products to bring the customers back. “Journalism” doesn’t see any need to change. It’s proud of serving Satan, and proud of going bankrupt.

In other words, “journalists” have empathy but refuse to use it. They don’t apply empathy to improve the lives of humans, and they don’t apply empathy to increase their OWN wealth. Both of those goals would work together.

Pew didn’t try to explore or explain this peculiar disconnect, and I can’t figure it out.

That’s the purpose.

Continuing the theme of previous item, examining modern shit by trying to transpose it to an earlier era.

I’ve got Github updates on my mind today because I just finished shaving an especially dirty yak.

I’m cranking up my courseware-making tools for a new edition. One of my processing programs depends on the PIL image-handling module. I lost PIL from my main Python folder last year when a computer failed, and didn’t need it until now. PIL has now been replaced by a “new” and “improved” module called PILLOW, which doesn’t work with Python 2.7 because EOL or some such shit. PIL has now been memoryholed in all the ‘official’ archives. After figuring this out, I wandered around and found the correct installer for the real PIL in an obscure place.

Everything in every network is updated constantly, and all of the updates are connected. When one item in the chain updates, it effectively DESTROYS all the other members of the chain, which then must revise their own code to fit the new fashion. And every update makes every product WEAKER, not stronger. For instance, every update to the audio editor Audacity restricts the types of audio formats it will handle. When a format goes EOL, it doesn’t matter how many clips are still around using the format; you’re not allowed to touch it.

= = = = =

This concept doesn’t transpose to earlier eras at all. Before the computer age, there were only two common types of updates to an existing product, and neither was automatic or destructive.

[For clarity, updating an existing product is not the same thing as offering a new product. Every product, from wines to books to cars, tries to offer new vintages or editions or models as often as possible. Planned obsolescence makes you want the new, but it doesn’t  alter or delete the old.]

(1) Cars have been updated since the 1930s. When the maker decides that a new car has a SERIOUS bug that will cause quick failure or accidents, dealers receive instructions and parts for the repair, and dealers reach out to the buyers. Recalls were legally required in the ’60s, but the process was already well established.

(2) Catalogs and handbooks issued frequent Supplements of changed product details or prices. This was mostly at the business-to-business level, not retail. If you were a regular buyer of gears or wires or switches, you’d have a big annual handbook from the maker, plus an accumulating stack of monthly revisions. Often the big book was loose-leaf so you could replace old pages with new. (This resembles the pre-Github practice of voluntary updates to software.)

I can only think of one retail relationship involving updated publications. When you bought a complete Encyclopedia, you received annual Supplements or Yearbooks. These included new scientific or cultural developments plus errata for the permanent book.

The B2B nature of older updates gives a clue about the purpose of the new updates. Larger businesses can handle frequent changes in specs or prices. They have clerks and office managers to deal with such crap.

A casual user who isn’t trying to ACCOMPLISH anything may be annoyed by auto-updates, and will have to pay unnecessary money, but he doesn’t have an AMORTIZED TOOLBOX of homemade tools and developed skills. When the current version of his favorite videogame reaches EOL, he buys the new version automatically and goes on playing.

A small business, or an individual trying to get shit done, is SWAMPED by the constant chain of updates. I have to spend about 1/5 of my time figuring out how to keep my TOOLS working despite constant weakening and prohibitions in the chain of subtools.

That’s the purpose. Increasing chaos and complexity is hard for everyone, but it’s deadly for small businesses. This trick has been employed in regulations and tax laws for centuries, and now it’s employed in software.

= = = = =

Just for fun, here’s my unedited worklog for the shaving.

For variety, let's detour to other parts of the project.  Convert some
of the worksheet LSNS to HTML and check them on ScormCloud.

Yak shaving!

Made shortcut for svg-convert.  It needs JPGlist.dat, which must be made
by JPGlist-maker.  And in turn the JPGlist-maker needs to have PIL
installed in the Python27 folder.

This is a huge yak.  PIL won't install on a 64-bit computer, so had to
use the newer Pillow.  It comes close to installing but needs VC REDIST
9.0 or something.

No, didn't need that.  Just needed the trick that I had used earlier for numpy:


The jpglist-maker starts but doesn't do anything yet, for ordinary
non-yak reasons.  There are several specific folder refs that need to be
changed, and the JPGs need to be copied into one of those specific

Filled in those folders.

Now the jpglistmaker py starts, but hits 'imaging_C module not found'
Checking online....

AHA.  Finally found a correct and usable installer for the real PIL, not
the fake PILLOW.  Installed, and immediately the jpglistmaker worked and
generated the Txt and Dat files.  Saved the correct PIL installer to USB
for security.

The URL is

Now return to the main SVG-convert and see what else it needs.  Trying
with 90-01, the first of the worksheets.  It errs at the first ref to a
JPG.  It wants the filenames in the JpgsNeeded folder to be lowercase,
so I changed them and reran the jpglist-maker.

Now the svg-convert works, and made the complete set of htmls and css.
I moved them into a new folder, and now it works fully.

Hmm. My unedited private writing is identical to my edited public writing here on the blog, except that I cuss more in public. So in this context edit means Insert ‘fucking’ in every sentence.

The first idiocy of Web3

The picture of Gernsback looking like an idiot got me thinking again about the extreme convoluted idiocy of Web3/Metaverse/NFT/etc.

I’m being unfair to Gernsback. He and his writers came up with THOUSANDS of ideas over many decades. A good percentage of the ideas were smart and useful and predictive. This one wasn’t.

Every piece of Web3 is perfectly useless and unwanted. After you get past the hype and start thinking of PURPOSE, there’s just NOTHING.

The first piece that surfaced in libertarian and tech circles was “Own your data”. This was floating around 8 years ago, long before the Web3/Meta trademarks came out, and it seems to have been the idiotic basis for NFTs.

A good testbed for tech nonsense is to transpose the idea back a few decades and examine the concept by itself, without the unnecessary tech entities.

Businesses have ALWAYS gathered data on their customers. Small stores do it in a personal way, larger companies do it more systematically. Name, address, product preferences, credit record, complaints and refunds.

Why would you WANT to “own” what someone else knows about you?

What does it even mean to “own” such knowledge?

After you “buy” the information from Safeway or Sears or Joe’s Barber Shop, you haven’t MOVED the information. Safeway and Sears and Joe still know what they need to know about you, and they will still keep gathering more info. As you lose your hair or change your preferred style, Joe’s knowledge will change. Will you need to repurchase Joe’s new knowledge? If you fail to pay for a new couch at Sears, they will update their info and won’t let you buy again. Now the connection is broken, so there’s no way to update even if Github-style updates could happen in those days.

NFTs are meaningless in the same way. When you “buy” an indirect reference to a piece of art or text that exists somewhere else, you haven’t MOVED the information, and you can’t prevent it from changing or disappearing.

By contrast, when you buy a physical book or a physical DVD of a videogame, you have MOVED the information into your home, and you CAN prevent your copy from changing or disappearing when the government censors the book or the publisher goes bankrupt.

Instant sale

For ten years I’d been walking and watching one vacant apartment building in the neighborhood. The renovation process was LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG at the start and fast at the finish. Five years of occasional activity, followed by five months of real work.

They rented the apts on 11/25/21. Then they immediately started building two new houses across the street. The start was superfast: both houses dried in after just one month. Since January they’ve been working steadily on the interiors, and now they’ve finished. A good example of 80/20. The supposedly hard part was done fast, the supposedly easy part took a lot longer.

Yesterday they were digging up the street and yard to connect the sewers.

Today both houses are occupied! Cars in the driveway, curtains in the windows, packing boxes in the garage.

The apts were never listed on Zillow, just a For Rent sign in the yard. The houses weren’t listed either, and Zillow hasn’t updated its map to include them. Maybe they were commissioned in advance, not built on spec?

Changed assumption

Thinking about the bitcoiners following their gurus, and thinking about the Google guy with his beloved AI, leads to a counterintuitive conclusion.

There are always lonely people who fall into cults, and there are always poor people who fall for gambling and lotteries.

A functional civilization should try to minimize those problems in two ways. You can’t make unwanted people popular, but you CAN make them useful and financially secure, and above all you CAN shape the culture to minimize FRUSTRATION.

In the 1930s, movies and radio made room for unpopular people. In the 1950s and 1960s a wide variety of solid useful jobs gave unpopular people meaning and utility.

Since 1968 we’ve been eliminating the jobs a man can do, and we’ve been MAXIMIZING frustration. Songs and ads and movies tell us that everyone can find love. This is a cruel prank.

What’s counterintuitive? Until now I’ve been assuming that only math freaks could achieve wealth by work. As part of our surrender to China, we emphasized math skills and destroyed physical skills.

The huge cult of bitcoin, which is simultaneously MLM and gambling, shows that math freaks are just as useless and poor as printers or tailors.

A better assumption: In every field of endeavor, only popular attractive superstars and monstrous demonic criminals can succeed. There is no area of life where honest work can lead to wealth and success.

Fairness Doctrine returns?

Denyse called attention to a fresh news organization called Straight Arrow News. It was founded by a cancelled USA Today editor.

I’m trying it out. Unlike most of the Cancelleds, it isn’t OBVIOUSLY converging to Deepstate YET.

Unlike any other news organization, it has a direct feedback mechanism. When you watch the short videos of stories, you can register an opinion on the Bias Meter. Too blue, too red, or neutral. I watched their story on the Roe overturn. It’s strictly neutral, true to the spirit of the Fairness Doctrine. Just the facts and nothing more. No loaded words, no sneaky phrasing. I rated it as neutral, which appears to agree with the other readers.

The real feedback variable, of course, is engagement. If this subject is interesting enough that you’re willing to watch the whole piece and make a choice in response, it’s a subject worth hitting harder.

Later, a nice direct contrast with one of those bait-n-switch Cancelleds. Her headline on the subject: Political and practical questions in an America without a constitutional right to abortion. Classic sneaky phrasing. In FACT there was NEVER a constitutional “right” to abortion. Read the fucking manual. If you claim to have a written constitution you MUST obey what it says. Since 1803 we’ve been lying. We pretend to have a written “constitution” but in FACT we have no written laws at all. Deepstate does what it wants to do. That’s the whole story. Britain is more honest, stating openly that their “constitution” is whatever the government wants to do at the moment.

Looks familiar somehow

Hugo Gernsback imagined this in 1936, and thought the world was ready in 1960……

It didn’t sell in 1936,  it didn’t sell in 1960, it didn’t sell in 1980, and it doesn’t sell now. Only stupid venture capitalists think this is a worthy idea.

= = = = =

I can’t figure out VCs. There’s nothing new about investing in a losing business. Corporations have always bought losses to counterbalance profits in their real business, in order to zero out taxes. VCs don’t seem to be following this pattern. They don’t have a real business with profits to cancel out. Many of them are managing money for retail investors, who are simply desiring a yield, not trying to lose. For this purpose the target startup should have a goal that makes sense, a business model with a history of gain. The big startups in recent years have no business model and no chance of success.