Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bowling for strawmen

In the post, "Delusions of a Mars Colonist" Dr. Spudis asks some questions. Let's try to answer them...

The good doctor gives us the formula for success: arrive, survive and thrive.

Arrival, he identifies, must overcome radiation, landing and return. Except to colonize you don't need the return part. Landing is a technical problem that soon will be tested in a new landing profile using a SpaceX Dragon 2 possibly as soon as 2018. That leaves us just radiation. It is an issue, but not one we need to cower from. We've measured the radiation levels of unmanned vehicles going to mars. It's manageable for the length of the trip to mars. Had Inspiration Mars taken place we would have had an example to point to. They planned to use human waste (shit!) as the mitigating factor.

Survival; the martian surface is hostile to life. He identifies cold, cosmic rays, UV radiation and chemicals in the dust: perchlorates and peroxides. Energy is the solution to cold. Cosmic radiation even affects us on the earth's surface but on mars we will simply spend more time indoors. So making the quality of indoor living good will be a higher priority on mars. UV is a similar issue we also deal with right here on earth. We can certainly handle it on mars. The chemicals in the dust are highly reactive making it an easier issue to deal with than if they weren't. The best mitigating agent is water.

Oops, almost neglected to address plant growth. The Mars Society and others have tested plant growth in a simulated mars environment. They grow well and are not toxic to eat.

Yes, we can survive on mars, but what about thrive?

Mars has plenty of water and we can get it. We need to provide the colonists with more than enough energy. Energy, as Jerry Pournelle identified in the 70s, is the only real limiting factor. We should definitely plan to over supply the colony with an over abundance of energy. It can be done with solar power initially (directly and by producing fuel for generators) but we should get over our fear of nuclear power.

Solar arrays can be manufactured from local materials on mars. There is no perhaps about it and dust lowers energy production, but only a bit. Rovers only meant to survive 90 days on mars have lasted over a decade in part because the wind on mars itself gently cleans the dust off of solar cells. Those rovers would have died long ago if it didn't.

I agree with the doctor that thriving has been ignored. We will not. Dr. Spudis starts with a question: "How will martians make a living?" He dismisses autarky without even a thought. Is that justified? How do people make a living on earth? He correctly points out that martians will need imports from Earth, but not that much since mars has the resources (and incentive) to produce almost all they need from local resources. Where will the things they must import come from? Simple; From new arrivals as part of their personal property to be used as trade goods. It would be foolish of new colonists to bring stuff with them they can get when they arrive on mars. We can safely assume each colonist has a personal mass allotment for the trip (beyond just a spacesuit.) Even if it were only 100 kg (and it should be more like 1000 kg for each colonist) that would be worth about $100,000 (what it would cost to get that delivered from earth.) The existing martians would trade labor and materials (producing their trade goods) for those imports before the new colonists even arrive.

We've just answer his next question. "What will they have of value to trade or to sell for these imports?" But let's be explicit... habitats, life support and anything else they think they can sell. Free enterprise works everywhere.

Then he states, "we do not know if Mars contains anything that would have economic value on Earth." I'd go even further and assume it doesn't at all (although it's easy to show it potentially does.) "We have no idea [if] deposits are accessible for mining and refining," he states. This is the most ridiculous statement of all. Humans have been mining and refining since before the invention of writing. We already know that some of the most important elements they require are in the air and the dust. Other minerals will be found because they are abundant and we have the technology and knowledge to find them. The rovers have accidentally discovered useful amounts of ore already and humans on site will do it a thousand times better. "Martian products must be of sufficient worth so as to merit their transportation back to terrestrial markets," he correctly says. Which is why mars will focus on electronic data and intellectual property that has almost no transportation costs. "It is not clear that Mars is particularly rich in factual data marketable to those back on Earth." Only if you assume a level of quality we don't even expect right here on earth. Beside that, we already spend money on rovers when we would get more bang from just hiring local martian researchers for anything a rover might do. Any equipment needed would only require the marginal cost of sending it with new colonists.

"[Colonies are] established primarily for two reasons: power and wealth creation." We have other reasons. We have no need at this time to project power. Those against colonizing mars just assume there will be no wealth creation but that requires an profound ignorance of what humans are. No matter where we go, we create wealth. Suppose we have a million people living on mars one day. Can you possibly imagine them not creating wealth among themselves. This requires an inconceivable level of blindness.

Getting a million people to mars is a problem already being worked out. The thing that people are missing is that once we begin possessing a thing, it gets value. That value will grow over time. Wealth creation? Anything we imagine today will be ridiculously short of the reality tomorrow. Bet on it. The delusion is thinking otherwise.

In speculative markets people trade not on today's value, but what they believe the value will be in the future. If today's value is nearly worthless, that's a good thing from the speculators perspective.

Suppose the govt. (any govt.) did something wise for a change and declared they would fully acknowledge title to martian property (144 million sq. km. of land.) Suppose speculators bought that land for a penny a sq. km. Would that be a smart decision? If some of that land was possessed by colonists which then paid a nickel per, that speculator would realize a 500% percent profit on the land sold and still have more land to sell at a better price in the future. Since worthless deeds are already being sold for both the moon and mars today for about $20 an acre the actual market value may already be well above worthless. At $1/acre mars is worth over $35 trillion (247 acres x 144,000,000 x $1.) In a trust fund set up for the purpose of colonists transportation that would easily pay the ticket price for more than a million colonists. So the colonists could all arrive debt free and wealthy (in trade goods needed by the colony.)

As far as terraforming goes, it's an unrequired bad idea. Practice on venus instead. We agree that the govt. space program is a ridiculous mess today, but commercial space is just beginning to come into its own. A colony is just the thing to create for them an unprecedented level of growth.

Of course I haven't addressed every issue, just touched on those the dr. brought up. Other issues are all within our ability to mitigate.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Willful blindness

Andrew says...

...I don’t disagree with the literal statements that Andrew McCarthy’s message...

Let's see if Andrew is lying. Consider these literal statements...
  1. "war-footing strategy is the only sensible counterterrorism paradigm"
  2. "The jihadists who listened to [the Blind Sheikh] did so because he is an internationally recognized authority in the political ideology that draws on Islamic scripture to inspire attacks against the West."
  3. "What matters is that there is a sharia-supremacist construction of Islam to which hundreds of millions of Muslims have adhered for centuries."
  4. "Sharia supremacism is virulently anti-Western..."
  5. "A sensible national security policy cannot regard the objective presentation of evidence as if it were the promotion of hate speech."
  6. "The goal of counterterrorism is supposed to be the prevention of jihadist attacks[, not prosecution after.]"
Six straight forward literal statements to which Andrew claims to agree.

Update: Andrew responds.

A wedding party

Last week.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ordering from

My food order from arrived today. I live on the second floor down two long halls. With my heart condition and anemia I have difficulty without carrying anything. We have a shopping cart for tenant use, but it's still difficult for me. It was so nice to have a box delivered right to my door.

I got mostly dried goods and canned food with two exceptions. One was a glass jar of pickles (sealed in its own bubble wrap) and some Mott's candies (ate half the packages today. They are so good!)

I haven't looked at salt content yet, but it will be a consideration if I make another order.

Here's what I'm up to

I don't have the tools I want, but I'm going to try to use the tools I can.

I bought a compiler from France that is just too slow regarding SQL that it was unusable. So I'm going to try something different. Euphoria can be translated to C then compiled. The code bloat is ridiculous, but I can deal with that. While I'd prefer to use a central SQL database I can distribute data among several local databases (for a mega-multi-user game I've been thinking about since the 70s. Interestingly, a non client/server architecture was my original concept.)

I'm using Notetab as my file editor (an IDE would be nice but no good one exists. I just don't like the code they produce.)

In time I may write my own IDE that will produce an exe file directly (skipping C entirely.) It's really the only way I will get the development environment I want. I've got nothing but time.

Further down the road I would like to simplify Euphoria with objects (not what euphoria calls objects) dot notation and intellisense and scoping rules that make sense to me (I used to manage a project with over a million line of VB6 code by myself. I can't do that with the tools I have today.)

The stupid fluff that coders think is important are nothing compared to the ability to drill down to a routine's definition that I had in VB. Even useful debugging tools are less than essential (nice to have, but other debugging methods work just as well.)

I don't know how far I'll get, but I've got a goal now at least. My code should work for both windows and linux if I do it right.

Stating the obvious

Power outage

Last night it took the internet down. So today I visit the library!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

China is no paper dragon

Some would mock China for lacking innovation, but after years of manufacturing and educating some of their workforce it can not be dismissed so easily. They are making real progress in 'rocket science.'

Another GPOe votes Hillary.

The insanity continues...

Spinning McConnell

The media would have you believe he was bashing Trump. That's not what he said. Keep in mind he's talking to a former Clinton employee...
I think there's no question that he's made a number of mistakes over the last few weeks. I think they're beginning to right the ship. It's a long time until November. And the burden, obviously, will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job.
That's just plain truth, not bashing.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tridymite found on mars

The implication is mars had some of the same type of volcanoes that concentrate ores on earth. The discovery was somewhat of an accident.

About Sharia

Islamic shariah is not implemented in any country of the world. This got me thinking. In the USA, Sharia is being implemented in Muslim communities. So could this also be the case in Muslim countries where it's 'not' implemented?

In other words, is this another example of the Quran algorithm at work?

Can Texas leave?

Secession not legal, but if it was?

What would it do to the United States politically? What would it then mean for Texas?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Torches and pitchfork time

That's what will happen if the GOP doesn't get its act together and support Trump over Hillary.

Insanity at the convention?

Brexit aftermath

First I need to get this out of the way... 'Brexit' reminds me of how adolescents make up their own language. Then others can feel superior because your not up on the latest lingo. The advantage once you're up on the term is it's a useful summarizing tool. 'nuff said.

Now pundits are going to 'explain' Brexit to us.

It's xenophobia, thus dismissing decent people as nothing but rubes. With the implication of more rubes.

Trump said, "Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today's rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people."

What's wrong with that? Nothing, but it's being ridiculed by the same clueless media that wants to tell us what we all should think.

Self determination is suddenly a hostage situation? Or a self inflicted wound?

Self determination. How horrible for those that want to control other peoples lives.

Sarah Palin said, "It is time to dissolve political bands that connect us to agendas not in our best interest." Not worthy of even considering the media says. So apparently they let out of the bag that we should have connections that are against our interests. Nice of them to tell the truth for a change.

In negotiations and relationships, national leaders should first ensure they have protected the safety and legitimate interests of their own people. This principle has been eroded and Brexit is a warning for America. Our British friends have sent the message loud and clear.

It's like they read Ayn Rand or something.

Liberals by acts reveal who they are.

A positive perspective.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Radicalized by Andrew

Andrew, you've made a number of statements along these lines...
being as indoctrinated against Islam as thoroughly as you are
I would disabuse you of this line of thought. You are the one indoctrinating me, along with numerous news stories where the media continuously tries to sell a false narrative. Note the link rot on my blog for Pam Geller. Why? because it's not news there. Which reminds me I have to do some house cleaning of my links.

Andrew, I think you've got both a good heart and strong mind. I do not know to what extent you are sincere or just playing games. But suggesting that I don't think for myself is not going to win me over.

You tell me the terrorists are not representative, but the evidence you give is not persuasive. I would expect most Muslims to be peaceful because I see them as people before I see them as Muslim.

I will argue about those things that make no sense to me. I honestly tell you the problems I have with your arguments and you respond that I'm a liar. That also is not persuasive. You may dismiss me if you like, but that's your loss. Not mine.

What you don't know about Christianity is another area where you lose me. Don't try to teach me something you don't understand when I've seriously studied it from many perspectives for over half a century. I don't need to google an explanation about almost any scripture because not only have I likely read it numerous times, but I've meditated, considered cross reference, looked it up in Strong's and often discussed it's understanding among members of different sects.

You can't just assert something about me, not knowing my background, and not look foolish. When you're not doing that, I admire how you often make a decent argument even when I disagree with your conclusions Take it for what its worth.

Ed's two excellent points

Ed said...
There are a couple flaws here. First, the First Amendment would not allow the prohibition of any religion, and laws and common practices that tried to do so would be struck down under the same reasoning that got such laws and practices used against Jews struck down. Secondly, there are already Muslims in America, generations of them, so many American Muslims were born in America. How could they be deported?
June 23, 2016 at 12:58 PM

Second point first. This has nothing to do with Muslims per se. Anyone following the Quran's world domination algorithm should be stripped of citizenship and deported. I don't care where or if they are a natural born citizen. It is insane that the family members that colluded with the Florida nightclub killer will not face punishment or that we even have a support network in this country that would hide them from justice.

The first amendment does not require self extermination and not all religious beliefs are protected by it. If we come to understand the Quran as an algorithm to exterminate the non-Muslim (which although it is the end state, does not happen all that quickly) we can make law to deal with it. Paying Jizyah, for example, has an expiration date, after-which you must convert to Islam or die. Granted this is only after the return of a spirit being, but it is the Islamic algorithm's rule.

So if we see Islam as an existential threat we could just rule that it doesn't meet the requirements for 1st amendment protection. This of course would lead to a supreme court fight. The outcome would require solid evidence of the existential threat (and justices that want to see America endure.)

BTW, this fight has already started over Sharia law.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trump hammers Hillary

Update: And the left is terrified.

The solution to Islam

It's a pretentious title, but I think apt.

First we need to define the problem. The Quran is an algorithm (originally a Persian term) for conquering the world. It will succeed, if it is not understood and fought properly. It's not going to happen today or tomorrow, but it's end state is a Muslim world that does not tolerate anything outside of Islam.

Looking at its history we can clearly see it taking over countries. Occasionally some countries seem to have effectively fought back, but that's an illusion. As it gains power in a country, first by demanding minority rights and later by imposing majority rule, it becomes less and less tolerant of rivals until you have a Muslim country. Many examples, all of which began as non-Muslim countries, existing today.

Terrorism is barbaric but focusing on that is not the solution to Islam. We could easily defeat Islam militarily, but that doesn't work either. Islam destroys from within. The mongols found this out when they beat Islam militarily (1258), but then became Islamic themselves.

The key to Islam's success is deceit. They simply move forward with their algorithm while the world is focused on the wrong things. Terrorism is a diversion.

Islam, unlike the west, is not interested in winning wars. They are only interested in conquest which is a different thing altogether. We think of war as a last method of resolving a dispute. We aren't interested in conquest, or as Colin Powell once put it, "we only ask for six feet of ground to bury our dead." Islam is only interested in conquest. The algorithm has only one final outcome: the entire world must fall under the control of Islam.

The key to Islam is they work in parallel to existing systems. Sharia is their law and they operate under it wherever they migrate, slowly changing the lands they occupy into Muslim lands. Here in America they claim sharia is only used to resolve religious issues. This is one of their many lies. They also claim not to use sharia at all (it's all just a right wing nutcase theory) but then we find it is operating in one place after another where Muslims live in America. If there were no sharia, why do Muslims cause an uproar when some legislation simply resolves that American laws will be the law of the land without even mentioning sharia? Because Muslims know exactly what they are doing.

The Muslims support 'diversity' when it suits them, then clamp down after it's served its purpose.

Lying is not only not a sin in Islam, it is a sacred duty. Taqiyya is part of the Quran's algorithm for advancing the cause of Islam - " some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them."

Even better is to use the truth to mislead. Because human's have fought wars throughout the ages, Islam can claim to be a religion of peace in comparison. Tolerating no dissent, countries that are under full Muslim control can seem relatively peaceful. Defenders of Islam even making the outrageous claim that, "Slay non-Muslims wherever you find them" doesn't mean what you think it means. Who are you going to believe? Them, who are steadfastly insistent, or your own lying brain?

The problem for Islam is when they seem to have the upper hand, they get cocky and tell the truth, like this Muslim ambassador for the 18th century Barbary pirates that said...
“[the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
American marines still talk about the shores of Tripoli.

One common tactic is to disavow Muslims that are currently seen unfavorably, like ISIS, but at the same time claim they have a justification because we first caused them some grievance. Even if they have to go back hundreds of years for some supposed justification. Not that they agree with that justification. No never that, but it's only reasonable right? They will even contradict themselves as long as it furthers the progress of the algorithm.
Does social disruption cause terrorism apart from religious considerations?
Of course it does. But this is not THE explanation for Islamic terrorists. Terrorism is just a component of the Quran's algorithm. Don't get drawn into the why's of terrorism. Terrorism exists outside of Islam, but in Islam it is part of their algorithm. Other injustices also exist outside of Islam. How can the defenders of Islam use this to support Islam? Logically they can't, but since it's useful to cause confusion and doubt, they do.

Muslims are the masters of spin. For example. The crusades were an attempt to protect pilgrims going to Jerusalem from Muslim attack. Muslim spin: The Crusades were a series of attacks and wars by European Christianity against Muslim lands. Note that this statement is technically true. Those pilgrims were going to Jerusalem which the Muslims controlled. The crusaders could not possibly protect the pilgrims without fighting on Muslim lands. The Muslim wants you to get distracted from the fact that Muslims attacking pilgrims was the entire cause.

Make any point about Muslims and their defenders will point to non-Muslims doing the same thing or worse. Never will they allow the clear pattern of the Muslim algorithm written in black and white in the Quran not be obscured. A word can have different meanings, so they will claim the most common meaning is not what the Quran is saying. They can correctly point out that some fighting is justifiably defensive but then generalize to claim all Muslim fighting is just defense (as if slaying doesn't mean what you think it means.)

The solution to Islam is intolerance which goes against our ideals. We don't want to tell others how to live. That's the weakness that Islam exploits. Islam's algorithm does not allow other systems to exist. To tolerate Islam is an invitation to destruction. There is no other solution.

So we have to implement Islam's algorithm in reverse. Islam can do what it wants in other nations, but not here in America. Other countries are reaching this same correct solution. If Muslims want to remain in America they need to renounce Islam. Any indication that they are lying should result in revocation of citizenship and expulsion. Nothing less will work. An algorithm is a step by step process with a result that is certain. We face this reality or we lose our lives.

Fighting Sharia

Muslims establishing parallel legal system, Texas fights back.

Another Wednesday

Last week.

An interesting interview

Just something different

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bond, James Bond

Will he be driving a Tesla?

Does the defense argument hold water?

No. The defense is wrong!

Andrew has argued that the Quran does not require Muslims to wage war against non-Muslims; and that I am taking certain verses out of context. He says those verses refer to warmaking and therefore are not a call to murder. Because I was tired and felt I should choose my battles I conceded the point. I am now ready to consider the link he provided as argument.

9:5 …slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way.

The link doesn't comment on that verse but does a related one...

9:29. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Or to paraphrase, "fight all non Muslims until they submit (or die.)" But wait, the link doesn't claim these refer to war, it says, "fighting unbelievers by the tongue." Frankly, the warmaking argument makes more sense. Here's the argument... God revealed this verse so that the Muslims could defend themselves... But what it's actually saying is a perpetual state of war exists between Muslim and non. By that logic, it's not murder... simply the result of war!!!

How can I possibly claim war is a perpetual state? Simple, it says "until [they all submit.]" All being people of the book and those not (all non Muslims.)

Note the convenient sleight of hand. It both refers to war and it doesn't. You simply pick the argument that most befuddles your opponent.

2:191. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them.

This verse clarifies that the fight is not just some internal struggle. Fight might refer to an internal struggle, but slay never does. In context (2:190) the argument that this refers to self defense is sound.

So does the Quran require Muslims to wage war? If non Muslims don't submit, absolutely it does. The game being played is if everyone submits there is no requirement for war (providing a technical out for their argument.) Extremely misleading at the very least.

I've only read the link Andrew provided. I'm sure there are other links that do a much better job than I did here. Here I've just discussed the text, but real world context is extremely important as well. A large percent of Muslims interpret the text exactly as I have. Andrew claims they are not representative. What percent is required before they are?

I see no reason not to continue to believe that Islam requires all non Muslims to either submit or die. Terrorist justify their acts because it is a war that Allah demands until every last person submits.

No matter how much peaceful time goes by they can always point to some wrong somewhere in the past (going back to the crusades if they have to) and claim we started it, so they are justified. Andrew claims it's only the terrorists making this claim, but his sentiments are clear.

Some Muslims are probably peaceful, but those that are not means we are in a war whether we like it or not. You don't have to fight a war, but someone has to lose.

If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way.

Otherwise, slay the idolaters wherever you find them!

It's pretty damned clear. A final word.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A space based civilization

What are the forces that will shape it?

Let's assume several lessor O'Neill colonies are established (up to about 100 people per station. Each costing about $50 million per person or about $5 billion per station. Much less than the $150B ISS which can only hold half a dozen.) Some in earth orbit, some in lunar orbit and some at the Lagrange points. Also assume some trade ships owned and operated by individuals with crews from one to a dozen (about 5 ton per crew. Cargo capacity being limited by fuel capacity.) We also have slow, high Isp, unmanned tugs.

Each ship and station will have a captain, the rest are crew. Why not a democracy? Show me any successful ship run as a democracy! For the sake of argument, let's say the stations are a democracy with elected leaders. Those leaders act as term limited captains.

How does this work? Everybody has abundant energy, that's a given. Recycling will be less than 100%. There will be trade that includes the cost of the rocket equation.

Ships will need provisions, fuel and amortization costs (20 years at perhaps a million dollars per month) which is paid for by trade profits. Stations will require bulk imports which they turn into trade goods between colonies. Unmanned tugs will be limited to probably manned destinations able to process asteroid materials although automation will have its part.

Two things should be obvious. Getting people with required infrastructure in space will cost more than the one time cost of delivering people to mars, but let's say it's the same $50M per person. Operating costs in space will be relentless (you simply can't ignore the rocket equation.)

Habitats on mars should have zero amortization costs. They will be fully paid for by the mass allotment of each incoming colonist. They will be built by local labor using local resources. A habitat on mars might cost $100K in labor and materials. A single laptop computer brought from earth could pay for that. Space habitats will cost about $50M per person.

In the far future, O'Neill cylinders could bring those cost per person down, but not in the near term. Cost to mars will also come down, but at a much quicker rate (let's see what Musk has to say this September?)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Obama administration’s abnormality

A deep ambivalence about our country that has produced a desire to see the U.S. become less powerful.
I saw this among the left over 30 years ago while living in NY. That we gave the presidency to someone like this is mind blowing. Trump is right and intelligent people are recognizing it.

The Kafir

Leland provides a link.

I was unfamiliar with the term. Thank you, Leland.

support network confirmed.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Where Zubrin got his can do spirit

Well done, Robert.

Two ways to say the same thing.

Mine. His.

I really am dry toast. Where's my passion?

I wish I were a better writer.

Three. Four.

Dept. of no intelligence

From Powerline...
During Mr. Obama’s first term, there was a thorough purge of personnel in the Intelligence Community and the Defense Department who were unwilling to follow the new party line. People were mysteriously reassigned, contracts were suddenly cancelled, meetings were delayed never to be rescheduled. The message was obvious to counterterrorism professionals.
Actions like those would normally indicate treason. Hillary and Bill followed a similar but more selective pattern. They just wanted power. The Clintons took money from China in return for secrets. With Obama it was something more. He wanted to destroy us from within (destroy may seem too harsh to some. His intent may simply have been to shift power to 'his' people [ideological, not skin color] but the result was destruction. Remember he also retired quite a few generals as well.

Some say there's only room for one more

I say, checkout that ceiling space!

About Bezos

He's worth almost $60 billion now and Amazon will insure he's worth more in the future. He formed Blue Origin two years before SpaceX and has strong opinions about earth's future. He owns the Washington Post and isn't shy about expressing his opinions. Is he good or evil?

He's human, which means he will be unintentionally both. Unlike most of us, he has the power to greatly influence the future in ways that could both help and harm. Amazon has a dominant position in its market in America and he's working to make it so worldwide. As with any dominant company it has the potential of harming healthy competition. Amazon is a great service. Hopefully, others will find a way to compete.

Business people often don't like competition even though it benefits everyone including the business that doesn't like it. Without competition things tend to stagnate. Prices stay too high and products make less improvement. There is a definite downside to market domination.

Having a larger voice in people lives is dangerous. Good intentions can lead to harm. Especially when someone thinks they know better than others what the 'rules' aught to be. Bezos thinks he does because he's expressed himself that way. It's not just that he has his opinions. He wants the earth to be a garden unspoiled by nasty industry which he wants to eventually move out to space... not by a natural evolution but by enacting laws that force others to be part of his vision.

He's not just a good businessman offering people options. He hasn't shown himself to be a bad person, but we shouldn't ignore the potential dangers either. He is and will undeniably be an influential person. He may not want to be king but isn't opposed to being the king maker. These types are sometimes more insidious. He's worth watching with some caution.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Why spies were shot

This is why.

You don't judge spies. You kill them. Who is a spy? Anyone that fights without a uniform.

Before killing them you may ring them dry. But you never treat them as common soldiers. If they want to fight then blend into a crowd, they should pay the consequences.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I'm dumbfounded

Police are selected for stupid?

I guess if they're just a tool you wouldn't want them to question what they're told to do?

It makes you wonder if they have a limit on the intelligence of judges?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

This is racist

Once Aztlan is established, ethnic cleansing would commence.

Circle the wagons

That's what democrats do no matter what heinous act their guys do. The republicans instead act like their foot is in a bear trap and try to gnaw it off. Where are the republicans focusing on the racism of an ethnic law association that promotes the breaking of law by illegal aliens and supports and aligns with the clearly racist national La Raza organization that makes no bones about taking away America to form their own separate country (as long as we continue to provide welfare.)

Trump has shown we can win the argument by simply fighting back, but the surrender monkeys are having none of that!

Fantasies about replacing Trump need to look at reality.

China going to mars?

Stories like this from last year, tell me we will focus on the future no matter how little interest policy makers have. China will go to mars because of India and light a fire under us to do the same.

But the same lack of reason is being expressed by...
[Mining the asteroid belt has] no gravity well to waste propellant on, just gobs of precious minerals hanging in the sky for the mining.
Typical lazy thinking. Did they invalidate the rocket equation? So propellant is still required. Along with that is the other false assumption that we have to export anything from that gravity well. The stuff is already where you need it to develop the colony!

BTW, I haven't read Zubrin's "Case for Mars" since it came out, but just got the revised copy. In it is my idea to sell mars real estate. He gives the example of $20 an acre (get with the metric system fella.) He's still hasn't gotten it right on whose going to do the selling (it can't be claimed by anyone a part of the OST or probably even be recognized if someone else did. Without claims you can't start a chain of title.) The martians IMHO may best agree to a charter that uses real estate income to pay for transportation to mars for anyone that wants to go. $100 trillion dollars will buy a lot of $100m tickets (and more as the price goes down.) The money is there (and the only real hurdle, others are much less of a challenge.) It's just attitude that keeps us from mars.

Media appears ok with...

...kill whitey.

Orient House, Istanbul

I was there in 2000 with my future wife (she talked me into it.) They had 3 different dancers interspersed throughout an evening dinner show, but the amazing part was the MC. Notice the flags (in the foreground) on the tables? They represent the nationality of the diners. The MC greeted everyone in their own language then during the evening sang some well known song in the diners language to which they sang along. The Asian languages were the most astounding to me (well and the Polish guys at the next table over were cool.) They also had a play with several acts and a traditional marriage ceremony as part of the story. The dancers also got people up on stage but my fiance wouldn't do that. I got a picture with my wife that had a bonus... Heather Graham was there hiding behind her purse at a nearby table during the photograph. They also tried to charge me twice for the dinner but I'd paid for it through a travel agency. It was a lot of fun. I have no memory of what we ate!

Last week.

Hillary wants your vote

Your republican vote.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Trump University

I've taken real estate courses in AZ. Nothing came of it. Should I sue?

Obviously not. I paid my money. They taught the classes. That's all you can expect from an education. You can't expect or hold the institution to some favorable outcome. It just doesn't work that way.

Trump says a judge is biased against him. He says he's  Mexican. What are the facts? The judge was born in America of Mexican parents. He's a member of a legal association that promotes illegal aliens. He very well could have a bias against Trump. He wouldn't be the only one.

A person has a right to be biased... unless they're a judge. A biased judge is supposed to excuse themselves. Trump, like it or not, has a point.

Reporters are supposed to be unbiased and certainly try to pretend to be but sometimes reveal themselves.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Mars advantage

This is so obvious to me I wonder why I beat my head against the wall trying to get others to see it while getting insulted in the process. The mars advantage can be summed up in one word: GROWTH.

O'Neill colonies? Take a good look at the ISS. How's its growth rate been? You're saying something a hundred times it's size or more will happen quickly? That they can cancel the rocket equation? (Not just from earth to LEO, but anywhere they go for resources.)

The moon? Missing essential elements. Does anybody have a clue to how that effects growth? Apparently not. Space and the moon require infrastructure that will be a long time coming even if they did focus on it which today they do not. Someday perhaps.

I claim mars can be bootstrapped. (The idiots that only know how to ridicule can leave now.) What this means is mars only needs two things to grow. A good start (as little as 10 tons of supplies per each colonist for the first dozen colonists, just one ton each thereafter. They can skimp on the thereafter, but shouldn't. Elon plans for a much greater ratio of supplies which is good to hear... can't wait to hear more in Sept.) and a steady inflow of people. The reason this works and results in growth not seen since the space age began is because of bootstrapping.

Martians will not need the imports that other destinations can not survive without.

At this point somebody will bring up computers (or if they're really stupid something the martians can make for themselves which happens much more often than you'd expect from otherwise intelligent people.) They can live on mars without computers as humans have for thousands of years, but they don't have any need to. New colonists will bring all the things martians can't make for themselves with them. Any ticket should include some personal property mass which becomes a valuable asset for new arrivals. They should avoid bringing things with them the martians can provide.

What this means is the fastest growth possible. Mars can handle and needs as many people as will go. Earlier colonists will be raising the level of habitation before the new colonists arrive using easily collected and abundant resources. Resources they literally pull out of thin air and dust. For the one time cost of getting them there, colonists will produce a lifetime of wealth. Both Zubrin and Musk believe they can get the travel costs down to where a middle income person could finance their own ticket. I hope they're right.

Iron for machinery is so abundant and easy to get they won't even bother to refer to an iron age.

Carbon and hydrogen, required for plastics and food will be pulled out of their surroundings with no need to prospect. Water is so abundant they'd have to make an effort not to find it.

Chemistry is not an unknown and the entire earth is available to assist. Mining and construction are also not unknowns. The only unknowns are rates and evidence suggest some of those rates (like plant growth in a carbon rich environment) will even be greater on mars than on earth. Side question: If plants evolved on earth why are they carbon deprived? Just wondering.

Dealing with the rest.

I've discussed why mars gravity does not prevent us from starting a mars colony, now to dispose of the rest...
...the degree of toxicity of the soil, and necessary techniques to detoxify it, the difficulty in excavating and beneficiating it, the types of chemical reactions that will be required to extract useful minerals from it, the maintenance requirements for using machinery there…
toxicity of the soil

He's referring to highly reactive perchlorates in mars soil. The highly reactive is the good part. It means when they go from a toxic environment to their clean shirtsleeve habitats it will be very easy to clean. They may just need some humidity in the airlock and correct pressure flow from their main living area. I've worked in such environments and it's no big deal. Mars doesn't need toxic soil to kill ya. They will follow certain protocols is all.

excavating and beneficiating

This is known as grasping at straws. Mining is not a recent invention. Humans have been doing it for thousands of years.

chemical reactions that will be required to extract useful minerals

More straws, this time only hundreds of years (for modern chemistry.)

maintenance requirements

Things wear and things break. Now we're back to the thousands of years threshold. This deserves a bit more discussion. You know who fixes things? The people these ridiculers look down on. They have contempt for those that can do things they can't do themselves. It's unfreaking believable. I can't true a lathe, something most machinists can do with out even thinking about it. But I would never disparage them for not being great CNC programmers which is not generally their thing. They can repair parts. They can make those parts from raw material. They can make the tools to make those parts. They don't even need a 3D printer to do any of it, but will certainly use one when available.

But I'm the delusional one!!! What disappoints me is from all the intelligent commentors over there to jump on the ridicule band wagon rather than use reason. I know they know better.

My left foot

Ah bureaucracy. My foot is developing another wound like the one that put me in the hospital last time for six months and cost me three bones. So I went to make an appointment Friday with my wound guy. The office gal says I first need to make an appointment with my doctor to get a referral, so I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow.

I've caught it early enough. The last time I could have died because of incompetence by quite a few health 'professionals.' Someone finally noticed my white count and I went into surgery the next day. The problem was known a month before that because I complained to everyone in earshot.

The death rate for just one of the 18 things I have (from kidney to heart failure) that could kill me was 25%. They even fitted me with a portable defibrillator which I refuse to wear. I have an oxygen compressor but don't use it the 24/7 I'm supposed to because I don't want to become dependent on it (as was happening. I'd rather fight for breath.)

But what really bothers me is we live in a day when this almost completely defines the right. So much so that I am assured of being ridiculed even to suggest.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bezos vs. Musk

This post will be a long comment.

Gregg is absolutely right about Bezos and I'd go further in that the first reaction of the vast majority is to tell others what they should do (even at the trivial level)... I may sound like that with my focus on mars, but the reality is I couldn't back the following statement any greater:
...allowing people to go wherever they want, including Mars, should be the goal.
...and assuming this definition I am certainly not the following:
[Planetary chauvinism] is a term to describe a commonly held belief that human society will always be planet-based (even if extended beyond Earth.)
I do believe going to mars now is the best way to open up the entire solar system and beyond. I will try to explain...

I've been playing strategic games for over forty years. One thing you can't help but notice is little choices have huge influences on future expansion. If you don't think games have real world application you haven't paid attention to how the military trains. They don't have the luxury of less effective measures. Games are serious. (Here's one that can take months of commitment.)

So I look at expansion into the universe as an economic and social game. What's the most effective way to do it?

The first principle is top down or bottom up. People like Bezos, that would tell us all what we should do, are top down people. This only works within limits and is severely counter productive outside those strict limits. This is the communist model. Musk just wants to sell tickets. If you don't want to go to mars then don't buy a ticket. If you do buy a ticket you are free to make your own choices once on mars. Musk will still try to sell you stuff, but not to limit your choices. This is the free enterprise model. (Off topic: Mars One wants colonists to all be their employees and doesn't support private property rights.)

What leads to the fastest expansion is individual freedom of choice... a very bottom up way of doing things. Ironically, almost every published plan to colonize mars is of the top down variety. Done that way, mars offers little advantage over other options. Why mars is the preferred first colony is because it's the only place in the solar system that does offer the freedom of individual actions. Nothing else comes close. Why?

Once on mars, colonists can independently gather their own choice of resources to pursue their own individual dreams. This is a major restriction both in space and on the moon. Space certainly has vast resources but gathering them for use is the problem. The moon is worse since some resources are missing and will have to be imported. Paradoxically, having vast resources can be a problem when you have more than you need of some things but not of others. That vastness does you no good when it's more than you can use. Productivity and expansion happen fastest with just enough resources along with the individual pursuit of happiness.

In space, you live on a ship... perhaps a big ship having smaller boats, but still a ship. Ships have captains (by definition these are top down rulers.) As a member of the crew, your choices are limited to what you are allowed. Unless your dream is limited to the ships you can't follow them. Down the road you may be able to change to other ships that more closely align with personal goals (maybe?) but that will not be the case for quite some time.

A mars colony will also stimulate space infrastructure. With a steady flow of colonist, ways to improve costs will have what Musk calls a forcing function. Elon correctly points out that growth is not automatic. Without these forcing functions things can easily become stagnate. What looks like advances may only be spinning wheels (leaving behind a series of very expensive and wasteful ghost town ventures.)

I don't want to get into the weeds about how mars allows individual freedom (which seems self evident to me) so I'll just end this here.

Update: I don't think I've been clear enough about individual freedom. How can it be denied? One way is to be the only source of a critical need. That can't happen when free people are multiple providers. Think about attacks on ball bearing factories during WW2. I mean, why ball bearings? Because it was a critical need for war machines (well almost any machine actually.) The moon will have critical imports of basic life essential elements that are rare on the moon... thus not independent (being only three days away doesn't help independence either.)

Mars is not missing a single essential element and not being picked over for thousands of years means lots of low hanging fruit for the early colonists. It will be an industrial paradise. Unless the top down control freaks find a way to prevent it.

It's Wednesday - Dream On