Archive for February, 2016

Leap of Reason

February 29, 2016

I am preparing a difficult (research) essay on why Bergson was right, and Einstein wrong, on the question of the nature of time. It’s actually hard core physics, and my vision is clear, yet the details need to be exposed carefully as I drive all over Einstein.

So let’s relax with an easy one. Today is February 29th, and “The Conversation” published an article on leap years and related issues, written by a physicist. I republish it below (with authorization).

Why is the calendar so important, aside from explaining why February has 28 days in general, but sometimes 29? How the mysteries of the calendar were elucidated, and why shows the depth of civilization. Civilization thinks, and it takes time to think.

Knowing what time of the year it was has been important ever since the genus Homo started to live in temperate climate, which is characterized by fierce winters, and all too warm summers. Archeological discoveries within the last ten years, have shown Homo (“Ergaster”) lived in the Little Caucasus, with very rigorous winters, nearly two million years ago. It was important to know when snow and spring were coming (be it only to anticipate the migrations of prey).

Astronomy became crucial with the planting of crops, in the last 20,000 years.

The Moon’s rotation around the Earth is more or less synchronized with the rotation of Earth around the Sun (gravitation is a subtle force; the rotation of the Moon on itself is fully synchronized with its rotation around the earth, so the Moon faces Earth  always with the same side).

Many biological rhythms are synchronized on the Moon. It was natural to count the time elapsed in the year by counting the 12 lunar months.

Hail Caesar!

Hail Caesar!

The first discrepancy is the fact the 12 months lunar years, the year of 12 lunar months, comes short by ten days relative to the solar year. This is why primitive calendar systems, such as the Islamist one, are all over the place. The Romans corrected this quickly, but then encountered the other discrepancies, which Julius Caesar corrected, and that stood… until the Middle Ages, when a huge 12 day leap had to be made, to fix the discrepancy between reality and the Julian calendar.

One could measure how primitive a civilization is, by how gross its calendar is.

***

Leap day: fixing the faults in our stars

The number 2016 divided by 4 equals 504, exactly – with no remainder, which makes the year 2016, like the upcoming years 2020, 2024 and 2028 (and beyond), a leap year. We will get an “extra” day, February 29.

This pattern will repeat until 2100, when the cycle breaks. Though 2100 is exactly divisible by 4, there is an exception – for years whose number is exactly divisible by 100. (On top of that, there’s another exception – for years exactly divisible by 400. So 2400 will be a leap year. Mark your calendars now.)

Where do these quadrennial liberties with our calendar originate?

In the stars, of course.

Celestial rhythms

One of the simplest joys of life is to watch the stars, night after night, month after month, year after year. They become old friends. They spend a season, and then move on. Or rather, it is we who move on – ever advancing around the sun toward next week’s deadlines, new constellations, new fashions and new ideas.


Orion, the annual visitor. Mouser, CC BY-SA

I imagine myself late one night, eight months from now, remembering the overfull recycling bin, at midnight on trash day. As I try to quietly dump wine bottles into the yellow-topped container, there striding over the eastern skyline is Orion. Back again is my ancient friend, telling me that winter is near, and that I have ridden this miraculous rock almost another full lap around my home star. Rigel shimmers its blue-white light, the twinkle in the eye (the knee, actually) of a companion who has visited me, annually, every place on Earth I have lived since childhood. Even to the Southern Hemisphere, the steady Orion came for a summer visit – cartwheeling upside down, feet over hands.

It is from these celestial cycles that our concepts of time originate, and, ultimately, from which we gain the leap day.

The sidereal year is the length of time it takes for the Earth to return to the same place with respect to the “fix’d” and “constant” stars, so that Orion appears exactly in the same place in the sky, at exactly midnight, 365.2563 days later. Stellar friends like that don’t stand you up; they keep their appointments to seven-digit precision (and more).


Right over the equator: A diagram showing the sun’s position relative to the Earth at the vernal equinox. Tfr000, CC BY-SA

Our Western calendar is tied to the tropical year – the time between successive vernal equinoxes. At that moment, the sun’s position in the sky is exactly where the ecliptic (the plane of the solar system and the path that the planets take as they move through the constellations) crosses the celestial equator (the projection of the Earth’s own equator onto the celestial sphere). Straddling the celestial equator, the sun splits its time exactly between the day side and the night side of the Earth. It returns to that place again in roughly 365.24219 days. Roughly.

Now you can see where those alternating “divisible by 4, 100 and 400” leap year rules originate.

Making up the differences

At the end of 365 days, there are still 0.24219 days (just shy of six hours) to go before Earth gets back to the equinox line.

After four years, however, this fractional 0.24219 of a day adds up to 0.96876, which is pretty close to one full day. If we were using only a 365-day calendar, the stars, and more importantly the months, corresponding to the seasons – crucial for agricultural societies – would slip behind. This was apparent to the Romans in the first century, as well as to the Olmecs and the Maya on the other side of the world.

Thus decreed Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.: that every four years an extra day would be added to February. It was called the Julian calendar. But adding one day every four years, in order to make up for that 0.96876 of a day in orbital spare change, is overcompensating. Caesar’s “every four” leap year prescription adds 0.03124 of a day too much. This makes the Julian calendar run fast by just over 600 seconds per year.


Exception after exception: Christopher Clavius, in a line engraving by E de Boulonois. Wellcome Trust, CC BY

Like with the spare coin jar in our house, small change like that takes a while to add up. It wasn’t until the age of Pope Gregory XIII, in 1582, that this mismatch was becoming a problem. After consultation, presumably with God, but particularly with his astronomer, Christopher Clavius, the pope adopted Clavius’ clever solution.

The Julian calendar runs fast by 0.03124 of a day every four years; multiply both sides by 100, and see an excess of about three days after 400 years. Clavius’ solution was to make centuries exceptions – but that would lose too much, four days in 400 years, not three. So Clavius added one back, once every 400 years, starting in 1600.

This Gregorian calendar, which we use today, has the following rules:

  • Every year divisible by 4: add February 29
  • Every century (1800, 1900, 2000, 2100): do not add February 29
  • Every century divisible by 400: add February 29

Still finer measurements

Even with this refinement, there is still orbital change left over. But now we are talking about temporal shavings that are quite small. At this level of precision, other wobbles in the relation of the Earth’s rotational period (the day) and its revolution period (the year) have to be taken into account.


When a leap second is added, digital clocks tick past 23:59:59 but don’t go directly to 00:00:00. Twid

Keeping track of minute effects like this is the job of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, which controls the addition (or deletion) of leap seconds. For example, a second was added to Coordinated Universal Time by the service on June 30, 2015, due largely to the slowing of the Earth’s rotation by the gravitational pull of the moon.

There are other sources of calendar slip: the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that triggered the Japanese tsunami on March 11, 2011, for example, shifted the planet’s mass distribution enough to decrease the length of a day by 1.8 microseconds. This will add up to about a second after 1,500 years.

Using that ‘extra’ time

Personally, I think we should make February 29, leap day, a global holiday. It should be considered a gift to ourselves, like taking that accumulated spare change to the grocery store coin-counting machine, and trading it for some easier-to-spend bills. It should be a day of celebration, a reward for saving that quarter of a day over the last four years, to be spent on something frivolous. Or it could be a special day to realign our sense of hourly routines, weekly trash pickups, the race to fulfill monthly quotas, to the celestial schedule.

Without that extra day every fourth year, our ancient friends would begin to miss their annual appointments, and start to fall behind in wishing us prompt birthday greetings, like forgetful Facebook friends. Without February 29, roughly, every four years, the “constant stars” would cease to be constant.

Apple A Criminal Organization?

February 28, 2016

In 1839, the French government bought the right to the invention of photography, from Monsieur Daguerre (his co-inventor had died in 1831). Then the French government turned around, and offered the invention to the world. Present tech giants are doing the exact opposite: they steal inventors and sell the world to enrich themselves. So doing the violate all and any local law, and ruin the world.

Is Apple a criminal organization? Just asking. Let me roll out a few facts. You judge. Five hundred (500) people were killed or gravely injured in Paris, just because Apple, a tax-thieving corporation, which has weakened the armies of the West all over, is led by crook who cooperates with terrorists. American and French intelligence agree that they would have been able to detect the attacks in California and Paris, if not for encryption they can’t break. The master mind in Paris was a celebrity terrorist of the Islamist State, who had dragged bodies on video. He could come and go in Europe, communicating with accomplices, because of encryption. Last time he came in, that was with ninety (90) others, some in the refugee flow. To organize all this, communications through encrypted phones were essential.

Why Apple And Its Ilk Are So Rich: Because They Are Thieves, Not Because They Are Geniuses

Why Apple And Its Ilk Are So Rich: Because They Are Thieves, Not Because They Are Geniuses

All and any person facilitating the terrorist activities of mass murderers actual or potential, should be arrested immediately (lest spying on them allows to  find their accomplices). There has been enough tergiversation. Certainly the CEO of Apple seems to be such a criminal. In California, where Apple is located, a loser stealing a pizza slice have gone to prison for life, for stealing that pizza slice. Others were not that lucky, and were outright executed by the police for just looking suspicious.

I have myself witnessed several cases of police ready to shoot losers just for a traffic stop. The media has documented fatal cases. That Apple and its ilk are thieves is beyond questioning: it had 1.6 billion Euros in back taxes, in France alone. Fines were applied, because it was culprit. That it got help in this criminal scheme from the British government is besides the point.

Under Obama, the patent system was changed to help the big monopolistic corporations (the so-called tech giants). Now the giant plutocratic corporations can steal an invention legally. Because the inventor who has been stolen has to demonstrate that he or she suffered “economic damage” also irreparable harm”. So if Google steals you car, you now have to demonstrate that it hindered you economically, it’s not just a question of being stolen. This is the Obama presidency for you.

Apple lost at the ITC, a branch of the Federal Government in Washington DC (they were infringing patents of other companies). Then Obama overrode the ITC order, because he thought Apple was all-important, needed the world to have iphones.

Obama flew dozens of times to the San Francisco Bay Area to get money and further orders from his sponsors there, whom he rigged the system for (the head of Apple came several times at the White House).

Make no mistake: I am more pro-tech than anyone. And that’s precisely why I am for protecting inventors and motivating them with potential riches. Instead the present system is rigged towards the growth of plutocracy, at the cost of revolutionary technology.

Global Plutocratic Thievery Rests On Encryption And Secrecy

Global Plutocratic Thievery Rests On Encryption And Secrecy

Terrorist mass murderers as in San Bernardino or Paris should have NO privacy RIGHT, WHATSOEVER. Besides, they are dead (except for one), rightly executed by the police, or themselves. Some have objected that Apple defends the “4th amendment” of the US Constitution. Not so.

What Does the Fourth Amendment Mean?
The Constitution, through the Fourth Amendment, protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Fourth Amendment, however, is not a guarantee against all searches and seizures, but only those that are deemed unreasonable under the law.
Whether a particular type of search is considered reasonable in the eyes of the law, is determined by balancing two important interests. On one side of the scale is the intrusion on an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights. On the other side of the scale are legitimate government interests, such as public safety.

The extent to which an individual is protected by the Fourth Amendment depends, in part, on the location of the search or seizure. Minnesota v. Carter, 525 U.S. 83 (1998).

I guess it depends what one means by “people” and “reasonable” and “protect”.

Apple makes its money by paying tiny money for the companies which made its devices in Asia. This is a form of labor, and economic laws evasion. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has suggested a 45% tax on Chinese imports to compensate. That would make a lot of his fellow plutocrats very unhappy.

SILICON VALLEY CATCHES YOU WITH HONEY:

For years the so-called “tech giants” have led a symphony of lies. Some firms are real inventor, for example Intel, and smaller firms you have never heard of. However the firms making the most money are technology integrators which are basically arms of the American government as a worldwide plutocracy. The great opposition of Apple Inc. is part of that act. It’s all a big manipulation to make us believe they are the opposite of what it is. It’s not because the Polar Bear, Ursus Maritimus, is white that it is pure as the driven snow. Actually it is white, and apparently innocent, so it can eat you.

In related news, Silicon valley plutocrats have started to push for a “basic income”, European style. That’s just a smokescreen to avoid the real conversation, which should be that Silicon Valley should be paying its taxes, and should be paying for our services, when it sells our data, unbeknownst to us. It is true that Silicon Valley uses our data. So it should pay us for it. That it does not want to do so, speaks volumes.

Basic income is necessary for the indigent. However, basic income is not a new idea. It is as old as imperial Rome, where it was implemented. Thus, basic income has more to do with a system friendly with slavery.

The argument has been made by Silicon Valley that no one should know our data, thus the need for absolute encryption. That’s hypocritical: as I said, they use our data. Thus they say: fear the thieves, while stealing us.

Paul Handover worries that:”Millions of people with nothing to hide are, nonetheless, deeply concerned about a general loss of personal privacy.” That’s ironical, considering what the tech monopolies are doing with our data.

If people have nothing to hide, they have nothing to hide. They can stand in plain view of the governments. So they should not do what the tech giants want them to do. They should not behave as if they were plutocrats, and had something to hide. If they have something to hide, that nothingness should be exposed. And if the government cannot be trusted, it should be fixed. Right now, as it is, the tech giants of the USA, giants in unlawful profits, of the USA, are completely entangled with the government in Washington, DC. That should be exposed, made transparent, revealed, dismantled.

I have nothing to hide, the government can follow me all day long. What I fear is terrorists: I was attacked several times, and even bombed by right wing fascists in Europe, and got death threats. None of these attacks or threats ever came from a government, although I lived in Algeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Peru, Bolivia, Iran, Mexico, Canada, USA, the EU, etc. Yet, everywhere I went, I did not keep my mouth in my pocket.

Transparency is not something we should fear. It is something we need. We need it for two main reasons:

  1. Organized crime, such as global plutocracy, thrives on secrecy. This is what really worry Apple and its billionaire share holders: once its worldwide cheating shenanigans are exposed, it will not be able to enjoy them anymore.
  2. As technologies forges ahead, weapons of mass destruction will be feasible in all cellars. The Islamist State, for example, has made chemical weapons. (It’s not just Assad!)

Our future world will be transparent, or it will not be. The Roman Republic, since inception, was friendly to the rich.

However, the same Roman Republic blocked the rise of plutocracy absolutely, by limiting how much power individuals could control. In particular, the wealth of the richest families was capped absolutely. How did the Roman Republic do this? With the Cadastrum, the registry of all private property.

Right now, there is no world cadastrum. The plutocrats hide their money in various ways, mostly through anonymous companies. Some treasures islands have several times more anonymous companies registered than they have inhabitants. (It’s no coincidence that these treasure islands are often British, or Dutch owned, that is why the UK is so rich. And this part of the reason why it is so hard to change.)

The plutocrats want others to live in misery: this is how they feel like Gods. San Jose, the USA’s richest large city is a place, partly of utmost madness, destitution and people living in garbage. This what the Silicon Valley cool billionaires in jeans organized. Here you go, and it’s the same squalor all over the Bay Area, except in the billionaires’ enclaves:

San Jose, 2014. While Billionaires Fill Their Jumbo Jets At Government's Expense, Normal People Can See Such Scenes Everyday, A Few Miles Away

San Jose, 2014. While Billionaires Fill Their Jumbo Jets At Government’s Expense, Normal People Can See Such Scenes Everyday, A Few Miles Away

[People walk along a thrash-lined trail at the Silicon Valley homeless encampment known as The Jungle, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. City officials began posting notices on hand built structures, tents and tree trunks warning the 200 residents of what is likely the nation’s largest homeless encampment that the bulldozers are coming. People living in the Silicon Valley camp had to be out by Thursday, Dec. 4 or face arrest for trespassing. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)]

In the greatest scheme of things, it is plutocracy and the world of organized crime which has brought worldwide instability and terrorism (I have explained how in hundreds of essays, going along many threads; it’s the main story of the twentieth century). Should we not apply the brakes now, things will get much worse (think middle ages with nukes, spaceships and engineered life forms). Nazism was greatly a product of German plutocracy, aided and abaited by plutocrats from the USA. Should we want to repeat fully the performance, it would be much worse. Last time felt like the apocalypse, but it was just a warning.

Ordinary people commit, at most, tiny little crime. The plutocrats who “lead” the world (into the abyss) commit gigantic crimes, they depend upon the lack of transparency to operate. As Quantum encryption (completely unbreakable) is on the rise, it’s urgent to require a transparent world. Moral people have nothing to fear, crooks, plutocrats, and criminals, everything.

Patrice Ayme’

No Force, No Moral

February 27, 2016

Abstract: Why didn’t Obama outright jail the Crook of Apple Inc., on the ground of aiding and abetting terrorism? For the same reason as he became lupine Putin’s obsequious butler. Morality, the Roman mores, depends upon force always. However, masters’ servants are not reputed for the creative application of force.

***

The universe is created by force. Giant supernovae explode, generating the heavy elements which can then combine and create chemistry. Some want to say the universe is not about force, just harmony, love, etc. Yes, the universe, the human universe, is also about love and harmony. But fundamentally, it’s a balance of forces.

Unbalancing those forces lead to holocausts. Or, as we can now clearly see, even worse.

Did Obama Understand What His Primary Mission Was?

Did Obama Understand What His Primary Mission Was?

… Or is it that the job of the leaders in Washington is to let the world down, so that they can come on top? (And New York’s Daily News is not cynical enough.)

The universe, and our knowledge of it, is not just about force, violence, but also about chance, serendipity.

The new LIGO observatory of space deformations detected gravitational waves when it had just been turned on for its first engineering run, after being closed for improvements, during five long years. It was supposed to officially open four days later. The observed Black Holes have masses too large for usual astrophysics. Collapsing stars are supposed to give BH no more than 11 solar masses (long story), a third of what was observed here. This is an important new riddle emerging.

There is a brand new ceasefire in Syria. Putin rules, Obama cleans his shoes (some will say that’s what, for psychological reasons, this is to be expected: after all, Putin is a wilful white man, a killer, a conqueror, an invader, not a self-important, obsequious butler).

In 2013, The French Republic was ready to strike Assad. Assad had crossed the ‘red line’ of massive, blatant usage of nerve gas (in a suburb of Damas). Who had set the ‘red line’? The USA. The President of the USA had declared, solemnly, that if Assad used chemical weapons on its own people, the USA would take him out. Indeed, the war in Syria had started with peaceful protests. Assad reacted with gunfire, and then unleashing, and feeding (by buying its oil), the Islamist State. So Assad, son of his dictator father, was as culprit as possible.

The legitimacy of it all? 1) Human Rights. 2) Syria is within the European defense zone, so to speak (as demonstrated by the refugee problem). 3)Syria as a French Protectorate (given by the SDN, after the Turkish empire got ejected). 4) Further back, Syria was part of the “Oriental Part” of the Roman empire for seven centuries, until it was invaded by the Muslim Arab army which killed all males of weapon bearing age.

One can view the latter invasion as an UNJUST war, and such wars can be reversed.

The Roman Republic rightly made a big deal of JUST wars, which were basically defense wars: Rome was attacked, and then the aggressor was taken out. This is what happened, until the Third Punic war (in which Carthage was in the right, and the right-wing, plutocratic fanatics in the Senate, in the wrong). The next problem was Caesar’s Bellum Gallicum, where there again, Caesar’s adversaries pointed out that he, Caesar, had been the aggressor in Gaul (although the situation was complex, since the (misled) Helvetii had attacked, and Caesar initially intervened to help allies against the (future) Swiss. But then Caesar and his ten legions exceeded the mandate…

In any case, re-establishing democracy and republic in places which knew these under Rome is, arguably a just war.

Instead, Obama showed the defense of human rights by the USA was a lot of hot air. Putin invaded Ukraine 6 months later. Now he is making Syria into a client state. If he follows his model in Chechnya, he will kill up to 15% of the population, to install firmly his own Pluto.

(Said Pluto in Chechnya would have killed Boris Nemtsov, exactly a year ago to the day, with four bullets in the back, below the Kremlin; that’s convenient, as the Chechen Pluto is head of state, so hard to prosecute.)

Now that it is established the USA is hot air, nobody fears it. China is promptly installing radars on islands just off the Philippines, that it just created. Obama will punish the Chinese dictatorship by looking haughty until Mr. Xi and his goons surrender.

Where does Obama’s mentality comes from? Well, European pacifists are pretty much to be accused. The only European country defending Europe’s Lebensraum (vital space in German; a term Hitler used; that does not mean it never has any validity), is the French Republic, with troops on the ground in combat in Syria, Libya, Mali, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, CAR, etc. This sort of pacifism caused two extended world wars which ravaged Europe.

In World War One, the Netherlands, with its accomplice the USA, extended the war by three years by breaking the Franco-British embargo. In World War Two, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium helped considerably in the defeat of France in 1940, and the subsequent French-Nazi ceasefire (which lasted, in practice, less than two years; yet, the evil was done, and dozens of millions died).

Obama’s lack of spine is not just about refusing to confront the Russian Caesar. Now the dark Pluto heading Apple refuses to release the communications of a mass murdering Islamist State terrorist. Why was that crook not charged with aiding and abetting mass murdering terrorism? Because such people are supposed to lead the world, and not be led by the world.

Were I president, I would arrest the crook, and apply the Patriot Act to him. He would then disappear from view. Then I would ask the same question to the second in command at Apple, five minutes later. Upon refusal, he would also be on his way to Guantanamo or somewhere. And so on down the line in the next hour, until one could crack the codes in the damn phone.

Instead we have the sorry spectacle that Apple makes the laws. Just like Apple gets its profits, hundreds of billions of them through the British Virgin Islands, to pay no tax whatsoever, Apple is supposed to keep on deciding what the law is.

It’s a matter of knowing what dominates: the law of We The People, with its equality of taxation, or the law of Them The Plutocrats, with the principle that Plutocrats decide what the law is.

Instead, civilization made laws in accordance with ethology, where all human beings are equal. Civilization arose from force, and so did the imposition of morality, which is not viable, without.

Don’t ask Obama, he is a lost little boy, in a land of big Plutos roaming, who are everything, whereas he is not much, and he needs to love them, should he want a job, next year.

The more sinister, and deeper level of analysis, of course, is that the USA’s plutocracy profited immensely from the weakening of European democracies in the Twentieth Century. Thus, cynics will argue, the morally lazy Obama is actually in the tradition of the most efficient American patriots: paying lip service to the morally correct, while implementing the dirtiest. But then, of course, most European leaders are accomplices to that… A curiosity explained by the nature of global plutocracy, and its Anglo-Saxon headquarters (including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, etc.) Several European leaders were partners at Goldman Sachs, and, one would gather, are still partners with Goldman Sachs. That may explain why the leaders of Goldman Sachs were not arrested for cooking the books in Greece.

What is most interesting in all this, is that common people are starting to notice that something is askew: most Americans think the country is “heading in the wrong direction”…

Patrice Ayme’

The Supreme Court Is Corrupt

February 26, 2016

Citizens of the USA are prone to repeat what they have heard, namely that their “system” is full of “checks and balances”. It’s not like Iran, where progressives are prevented to run for office by the theocrats (instead in the USA, progressives are prevented to be elected for office, by the plutocrats).

Question: The Supreme Court Of The USA (SCOTUS) acts as a Constitutional Court (that was not its initial mission). What checks and balances are exerted on it? Answer: none. The French Republic has a Constitutional Court (“Court Constitutionelle“, and not “Constitutional Council” as Wikipedia has it!). It has checks and balances.

Not Just California Is Corrupt. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, Especially When A One Is A Judge.

Not Just California Is Corrupt. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, Especially When A One Is A Judge.

A few year back, Mr. Roland Dumas, head of the court, was accused of conflict of interest, he had to resign. More precisely: accused in the Elf affair, Dumas resigned from the Presidency of the Constitutional Court in January 1999. Dumas’ conviction for criticising a public prosecutor in his book was found unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights in 2010, by five votes to two.

In May 2007, Dumas received a 12-month jail sentence (suspended) for funds he mis-appropriated acting as executor of the will of the widow of Alberto Giacometti.

The New York Times censored all my comments on “Justice” Scalia, so far. And also on other “Justices”. I guess, the idea is that one should not saw through the branch on which US plutocracy is perched. The US Supreme Court is above any suspicion. I did mention the corruption of the Court in some of these comments, both philosophically, and in some explicit detail. Now, February 26, AFTER my essay of February 25th was published, and after my sedate comments were read, and censored, the New York Times mentioned part of what I called its attention on February 26, 2016, in “Scalia Took Dozens of Trips Funded by Private Sponsors“. It’s not just that: the trips were paid by clients the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) judged. The same situation as in 2001, when the SCOTUS decided who would be president (several “Justices” had closest family involved with the Bush campaign, so they gave the presidency to the one (Bush) they were entangled with, business-wise).

New York Times (after it read and blocked my comments on the subject):

“WASHINGTON — Antonin Scalia was the longest-tenured justice on the current Supreme Court and the country’s most prominent constitutionalist. But another quality also set him apart: Among the court’s members, he was the most frequent traveler, to spots around the globe, on trips paid for by private sponsors.

When Justice Scalia died two weeks ago, he was staying, again for free, at a West Texas hunting lodge owned by a businessman whose company had recently had a matter before the Supreme Court.

Though that trip has brought new attention to the justice’s penchant for travel, it was in addition to the 258 subsidized trips that he took from 2004 to 2014. Justice Scalia went on at least 23 privately funded trips in 2014 alone to places like Hawaii, Ireland and Switzerland, giving speeches, participating in moot court events or teaching classes. Just a few weeks before his death, he was in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Many of the justices are frequent expenses-paid travelers, a practice that some court scholars say is a minor matter, given that many of the trips involve public talks that help demystify the court. But others argue that the trips could potentially create the appearance of a conflict of interest, particularly when the organizations are known for their conservative or liberal views. Some groups at times use the presence of a Supreme Court justice as a way to pull in members or other paying guests.”

It is getting known, by now, that the health care system of the USA is highly non-performing. However, it is 50% more expensive, relative to GDP, than the most expensive health care systems in the world, located in Europe, which happen to be universal, and single payer for life-saving health care. Why is the US health care system so expensive? Corruption.

The prison system of the USA is the world most extensive, relative to the population, the most expensive, and the only one with private companies, for profit, which one can buy and sell on Wall Street. Why? Corruption.

Politics in the USA is, arguably, the most corrupt. Certainly the most expensive. Why? Corruption. Much of it legal, and that is even worse.

Now we see American “Justice” is rotting by the head.

See a pattern? The leading nation is leading the world in corruption.

New York Times:

“John Poindexter, who invited Justice Scalia to stay at his West Texas ranch… is the owner of J. B. Poindexter & Co., a manufacturing firm based in Houston with more than 4,000 employees. One of his companies, the Mic Group, was a defendant in an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee who unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court for a review last year.

Mr. Poindexter, according to a former general manager at the ranch, is also a leader in a group known as the International Order of St. Hubertus, a worldwide organization of hunters, as, apparently, were several other guests during Justice Scalia’s visit. The Washington Post first reported the guests’ ties to the hunting group.”

But this is all OK, says the New York Times, because, as long as it happens in the USA, it’s not corruption:

…”legal experts said they saw nothing wrong with Mr. Scalia’s accepting a free room at Mr. Poindexter’s lodge. While the Ethics in Government Act, adopted after Watergate, requires high-level federal employees, including judges, to fill out disclosure reports for reimbursements worth more than $335, the visit to the ranch might not have required a formal disclosure, because accommodations provided by a private individual are exempt under current rules.”

What would plutocracy do, without rules? Although Scalia was a rogue, as a world citizen, he was not a rogue, as a member of the Supreme Court. Luxury and corruption are the rule there. Plutocracy is all about rule. Who rules who. New York Times:

After Justice Scalia, the second most active traveler on the current court is Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who took 185 privately paid trips from 2004 to 2014, according to a database built by the Center for Responsive Politics, based on individual reports filed by the justices.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., based on a yearly average, had the fewest of these privately funded trips — a total of 48 from 2005 to 2014, the last year for which records are available. Over all, Supreme Court members disclosed 1,009 paid trips between 2004 and 2014.

The destinations often are luxurious, including the Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic, where Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. was listed as a speaker for an event last February, or Zürich, where Justice Scalia traveled at least three times on privately funded trips.

In 2011, a liberal advocacy group, Common Cause, questioned whether Justice Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas should have disqualified themselves from participating in the landmark Citizens United case on campaign finance because they had attended a political retreat in Palm Springs, Calif., sponsored by the conservative financier Charles G. Koch. Mr. Koch funds groups that could benefit from the ruling.

The disclosure report filed by Justice Thomas made no mention of the retreat. It said only that he had taken a trip, funded by the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group, to Palm Springs to give a speech.”

Plutocratic justice is nothing, if not rendered by liars.

But relax! Plutocracy is all about celebrities. The famous plutocrats who rule over you, shall fill your hearts with desire and possibility. You shall live through them. And the New York Times to conclude, indeed:

“Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, said that society could benefit when justices — who are paid about $250,000 a year, far less than they would earn in private practice — leave Washington to speak about how the court works… Dr. Hasen also found that in part through their travel, justices have increasingly gained a celebrity status, with websites like SCOTUS Map  tracking their trips, based on public announcements, long before they show up in any disclosure report.

“Justice Sonia Sotomayor runs into Hillary Clinton at a Costco, and that makes national news,” Dr. Hasen said. “Now they are celebrities, so we just hear about them more.”

So don’t worry. Learn to live through celebrities, and you will feel good about yourself. The USA? With the present mindset? Leading us down the abyss. Learn to live as a bottom feeder.

And what should progressives do? Work at changing the national mindset. The world will follow, as it often does.

Patrice Ayme’

Judicial Dictator Scalia Was A Plutocrat

February 25, 2016

The Commoners who are the first victims of plutocracy, have a very restricted notion of what “plutocracy” means. (And this is precisely this dearth of imagination and knowledge which explains why they got enslaved so easily!) The Commoners, in the naivety characteristic of their inferior class, believe that plutocracy has just to do with money. How silly. Not at all. Money is just a possible tool. In truth, plutocracy has to do with killing. This is what evolution says. And evolution is our one and only True God, The One who made us, in our image.

I will show the satanic aspect of plutocracy in the particular case of “Justice” Antonin Scalia, a recently diseased plutocrat in robe. Scalia had the demonic power, he did not need to express it through the colossal amounts of money the hundreds of billions of dollars controlled by the Gates and Walton families. Scalia managed, and imposed evil, directly.

Plutocracy is, etymologically speaking, truly the rule of Pluto, the rule of the God of Hell. What is money? How to have power onto other people. A better way to have power, is to eliminate the intermediary medium, and have power directly. Scalia had this direct power. And the enjoyable, extremely high income lifestyle of the extremely rich and famous to go with it.

Bush's Head Was Photoshopped. But the Rest of the Picture With Scalia In It Is Authentic. Plutocracy Is All About Killing, Such Is My Thesis

Bush’s Head Was Photoshopped. But the Rest of the Picture With Scalia In It Is Authentic. Plutocracy Is All About Killing, Such Is My Thesis

It turns out (see below) that Scalia was all about private jets and global, multi-centuries old secret societies (as I have long alleged). This subject has long been broached here: I have questioned the wealth of some members of the Supreme Court, considering their relatively modest salaries (many in Obama’s government are immensely rich, and became so, after getting in that “democratic” president’s administration; Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director for a few month went to Citigroup, and now has been named to the French bank Lazard. Orszag knows how to zig zag in the worldwide plutocracy; Obama’s National Security Adviser has made millions, holding mostly government positions…). The most powerful men have absolutely no qualms. Some of the most powerful men in the world belong to American clubs which still outlaw women!

Says the Wall Street Journal (the well known leftist publication I get my ideas from):

“Mr. Orszag is among a large number of former Washington insiders who have left the Beltway for Wall Street.

The former House majority leader, Eric Cantor, joined boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. in late 2014, after he lost his Virginia Congressional seat in a Republican primary. In February 2015, he opened an office for the bank in Washington.

Last year, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took on roles at both Pacific Investment Management Co. and the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel LLC.

Pimco also brought in former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Mr. Bernanke’s predecessor, as an adviser to the firm from 2007 to 2011.

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, one of the architects of the federal government’s rescue of the financial system, joined the private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC in 2013.

In 2013, KKR & Co. tapped David Petraeus, the former general and Central Intelligence Agency chief, to lead an internal team focused on macroeconomic forecasting and public policy.

Former Vice President Dan Quayle and former Treasury Secretary John Snow work for Cerberus Capital Management LP. Carlyle Group has enlisted many officials from the Bush and Clinton administrations, including former Secretary of State James Baker III, in advisory roles.

Unlike Citigroup, Lazard does not have the so-called SIFI designation, and because of that, Lazard is subject to less government supervision.  The “SIFI” label, which was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, comes with stricter oversight by the Federal Reserve.”

Don’t you think all these plutocrats making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, if not billions, do not have a vague feeling that they are engaged in some sort of malfeasance? They do, thus they contrive to feel otherwise, by twisting their souls into knots. Hence our great leaders are not just vivaciously vicious, they are insane.

Plutocracy is the rule of the worst instincts and inclinations, imposed on We The People. Money is just a facilitator.

Hence, to be a plutocrat, one does not need money, necessarily. What a plutocrat needs is power onto others, and the ability to impose it to rule over the multitudes as if they were squashable critters. The very nature of the US Supreme Court endows a few with tremendous powers, for life, without checks and balances. This is obviously anti-democratic. (The framers of the Constitution thought of the Supreme Court as the ultimate superior court, not the Constitutional Court it has become; European Constitutional Courts, as in France, have checks and balances that SCOTUS does not have. They have been used.)

In the Roman Republic, the highest judicial officers were the Consuls. Their term was for a year, but they had supreme power only one month at a time. Scalia, in comparison, was a sort of judicial dictator named for life. That made him crucial to the rest of the private jet set, and his friends among it, were many. How does travelling for free in the best style, enjoying the best accommodations, for free, differ from blatant corruption? This is way worse than the FIFA (soccer scandal). Why is there no prosecution?

With the SCOTUS ruling known as “Citizens United”, which said corporations are moral persons entitled to spend as much money as they want to mold public opinion, in political matters, such as elections, Scalia empowered further his fellow plutocrats, and this awesome inheritance should make him forever honored among his satanic conspirators. Saint Scalia, plutocrat in a black robe, just like the emperor in Star Wars.

Now for some of the juicy facts just revealed about overlord Scalia. This partisan of the death penalty died as he lived. Among our superiors. From the Washington Post:

Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters:

“When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died 12 days ago at a West Texas ranch, he was among high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus, an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s.

After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 other guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s connection to the hunters, have remained largely unknown. A review of public records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are connected through the International Order of St. Hubertus, whose members gathered at least once before at the same ranch for a celebratory weekend.

Members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large cross and the motto “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” which means “Honoring God by honoring His creatures,” according to the group’s website. Some hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior and Knight Grand Officer. The Order’s name is in honor of Hubert, the patron saint of hunters and fishermen.

Logic Is Not Everything: It Can Be Anything

February 24, 2016

A common mistake among many of the simple ones, is that, as long as we keep calm and use logic, we can solve any conflict. It was understandable that one could do such a mistake due to naivety and inexperience, before the Twentieth Century. However, we have now, black on white and well known, demonstrations to the contrary, in formal systems studied by professional logicians. Besides, as The French Republic is demonstrating in Libya again, in collaboration with the USA, war has a logic which squashable critters don’t have.

Yes, I am also thinking of the famous Incompleteness Theorems, but, obviously, not only. There is way worse.

This Means All Important Choice Have to Do With Love, Esthetics, Will, Power, Craziness, The Proverbial Human Factors. Logic Can't Go Where The Heart Rules. Or Then Go Into METAlogic.

This Means All Important Choice Have to Do With Love, Esthetics, Will, Power, Craziness, The Proverbial Human Factors. Logic Can’t Go Where The Heart Rules. Or Then Go Into METAlogic.

Before I get in incompleteness and further evils, let me recap some of the traditional approach. I thank in passing Massimo P, for calling my attention to this.

The value of logic, February 23, 2016, Massimo

logicThis is going to be short and rather self-explanatory, with no additional commentary on my part necessary at all. Here is the full transcription of Epictetus’ Discourses, II.25, a gem to keep in mind for future use:

“When one of his audience said, ‘Convince me that logic is useful,’ he said, Would you have me demonstrate it?

‘Yes.’

Well, then, must I not use a demonstrative argument? And, when the other agreed, he said, How then shall you know if I impose upon you?

And when the man had no answer, he said, You see how you yourself admit that logic is necessary, if without it you are not even able to learn this much–whether it is necessary or not.”

Actually Epictetus uses “logic”, it seems to me, rather in its original sense, a discourse. Yet Massimo, like the moderns, will tend to use logic as it was meant in, say, 1900, just before Bertrand Russell objected to Frege’s forgetfulness of the “Liar Paradox” in his formal system justifying arithmetic. A further exploitation of the Liar Paradox brought the incompleteness theorems.

Logic is indeed how human beings communicate. Logic enables debate, and debate is the equivalent of sex, among ideas. It generates entirely new species. However post Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell, logic has progressed much.

Modern studies in logic show formal logic can be pretty much anything. Formal systems contradicting the most cherished axioms have been found to be consistent. Some have cute names, such as “paradoxical logic”, “fuzzy logic”, “linear logic”. Thus, Logical Pluralism has been discovered. “Classical Logic” (which neither complete nor coherent) is just a particular case. In some logics, a proposition can be neither true, nor false.

Along the line of ones of the greatest logician and mathematicians of the 20th Century, Generalized Tarski Thesis (GTT):
An argument is valid if and only if in every case in which the premises are true, so is the conclusion.
So yes, madness can be logical. “Logic”, per se, is not much of a constraint. It’s only a set of coherent rules to draw a conclusion. The only constraint is to keep on talking.
The Ancient Greeks would have been very surprised.

So if logic is not the end-all, be all, what is?

Knowledge. Knowledge of the details. In other words, knowledge of evil. That is why, when I demonstrate, using knowledge, that Marcus Aurelius, supposedly the big time Stoic philosopher, makes the apology of Intellectual Fascism, I hear the cries of the Beotians, whose pathetic logic have crushed underfoot. What happened? I went outside of their logic. So they insult me. (Should I spurn them, and make them feel that I have nothing to say, or insult them back, by showing them, and others, what idiots they are? Sitting on one’s hand in front of rabid fascism is neither wise, nor safe!)

In other news, French special forces are operating on the ground in Libya, helping, among other things, very precise US strikes. This is a case of using the same logic as the enemy. The Islamists terrorize and kill: a logic which is pretty drastic. It can also be adopted. Let see how it goes, when the country with the greatest, longest military tradition, adopts it too. (France has a long history of drastic war against invading Islamists, since the Battle of Toulouse, in 721 CE)

Speaking of the enemy, the French Internal Revenue Service is forcing Google Inc., the famous monopoly. to pay back taxes. Google has sent the clown it uses as CEO to Paris. Google was transferring profits it made in France through Ireland, and then Bermuda. The bill? 1.6 BILLION Euros. Great Britain has a similar situation and economy, but is asking for only a tenth of that. Such is plutocracy: greater in the UK than in France.

Ah, the French Defense Ministry is not denying media reports that the French army is in combat, on the ground, in Libya. Instead, the French government has announced the start of an inquiry for finding out who compromised National Defense. In other words, it wants it to be known. Or there is much more coming, which it wants to hide. Or then American paranoia is contagious.

In other news, Belgium, historically a part of Gaul, has closed its border with France, as if Belgium were Great Britain, and France, full of Huns (instead of only Afghans). Amusingly, and a testimony of how much old gripes have subsidized, the Franco-German border stays open.

Logic is not all. Facts are much more important, including facts on the ground.

Patrice Ayme’

Biblical Flood Starting Anew

February 23, 2016

Abstract: update on Sea Level Rise. The meat of the essay is at the end, in the section “THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC“.

Heard of The Flood? As in the Bible? Sea level rose 120 meters (400 feet), in the period centered around 10,000 years ago. The cause? More than half of Earth’s ice melted in a few millennia,  During the rest of the early Holocene, the rate of rise of the world’s ocean reached peaks as high as 60  millimeters (2.5 inches) per year. The melting of the ice happened because Earth’s positional and orbital parameters had made northern hemisphere’s summers too warm (most of the ice shields rested on the large continents of the north). Nowadays only two enormous ice shields are left: Greenland and Antarctica.

Those who enjoy catastrophes will love it: we have 75 meters of further sea rise to enjoy pretty soon, on our way to a Jurassic climate (the Jurassic was characterized by gigantic warm shallow seas on top of the continents). Her was the situation in the Miocene, when CO2 was at 500 ppm (where we will be at in ten years, see conclusion below).

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

[Even then, that picture from the U.of Mass. did not fully collapse the Aurora Basin, up right, which I expect to collapse first. Maybe they did not drill there, and are just speculating, whereas I have a reasoning on the Totten Glacier, outlet to the Aurora extremely deep basin, which is being quickly undermined as we speak.]

Says the New York Times in “Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries”:

“The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.

Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.

The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days.

Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland.”

In a way, this is Biblical justice, perfectly appropriate for a deeply Christian community: America has sinned, being, by far, the most country most guilty in the burning of fossil fuels (and don’t brandish China: this is the place where global plutocrats, mostly of US obedience, have their factories, so that they can escape all regulations, including those trying to abate fossil fuel burning (all European countries have de facto hefty carbon taxes).

The USA is guilty of letting its plutocrats run amok, not just subjugating civilization, unleashing the terrorists, but also, even worse, burning their way through the biosphere. Now the USA has to pay the price. New York Times:

“Such events are just an early harbinger of the coming damage, the new research suggests.

“I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, the primary author of one of two related studies released on Monday. “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us. That’s true for most of the coastal floods we now experience.”

In the second study, scientists reconstructed the level of the sea over time and confirmed that it is most likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, with the rate of increase growing sharply over the past century — largely, they found, because of the warming that scientists have said is almost certainly caused by human emissions.

They also confirmed previous forecasts that if emissions were to continue at a high rate over the next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100.

Experts say the situation would then grow far worse in the 22nd century and beyond, likely requiring the abandonment of many coastal cities.

The findings are yet another indication that the stable climate in which human civilization has flourished for thousands of years, with a largely predictable ocean permitting the growth of great coastal cities, is coming to an end.

“I think we can definitely be confident that sea-level rise is going to continue to accelerate if there’s further warming, which inevitably there will be,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor of ocean physics at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, and co-author of one of the papers, published online Monday by an American journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a report issued to accompany that scientific paper, a climate research and communications organization in Princeton, N.J., Climate Central, used the new findings to calculate that roughly three-quarters of the tidal flood days now occurring in towns along the East Coast would not be happening in the absence of the rise in the sea level caused by human emissions…The change in frequency of those tides is striking. For instance, in the decade from 1955 to 1964 at Annapolis, Md., an instrument called a tide gauge measured 32 days of flooding; in the decade from 2005 to 2014, that jumped to 394 days.”

Four feet by 2100? 1,2 meter? That would be nice; it would give us plenty of time to correct the error of our ways. In truth, we are running out of time. I think a minimum of 40 feet (12 meters) is likely. By the way, we have enough refined knowledge now to know that the “Little Ice Age” between 1400 CE and 1800 CE dropped sea level by 8 centimeters.

THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC. The United Nations’ IPCC did not include in its computations the possible melting of the ice shields of Greenland and Antarctica. For three reasons: first, it was viewed as impossible, before, at least a few millennia; secondly, there was no mathematical model for the melting; finally, no plausible mechanism was held to be plausible to melt said ice shields.

My reasoning is the exact opposite: first an obvious mechanism for the melting of the ice shields exists: the ice shields can up up to 4 kilometers thick. Thus they press down on the continental crust so much, that much of Greenland and Antarctica is well below sea level. Not by just a few hundred feet, but outright, by kilometers. Deeper than the Grand Canyon. In these gigantic areas, the ice of the ice shields is in direct contact with the continental crust. Those areas are protected by rock thresholds on the margins of the ice shields (where the crust goes back up, because where the ice ends, there is no more weight pressing down on the continent).

Right now, warm water, which is denser at 4Centigrades (40 Fahrenheit), eats at the “grounding lines” of the ice shields where the ice of the shields touches the rock directly. When past the threshold, warm water will be able to drop down on the other side, deeper than the Grand Canyon, and should be able to shock fracture and melt a Texas sized ice shield ice shield in a few decades. That will be found all too soon.

Scientists presently handsomely paid to strike moderates postures will be very “surprised”.

Three scientific papers published in the last two months support my, admittedly drastic, point of view. One observed the collapse of a colossal glacier in northwest Greenland, eaten by a current at one degree C. It was a miniature reproduction of what to expect for entire ice shields. Two others observed the past, and that Antarctica was unstable at 500 ppm CO2. What they did not say is how dramatic the situation was. Indeed, sounding moderate is how they get funded by a benevolent, plutocratically ruled government (and by government, I also mean the corrupt Supreme Court, not just the latest elected buffoons). The scientists who evoked the 500 ppm of CO2 omitted two significant details, where the devil lurks. They claimed that it would take 30 years to get there. That’s not correct; at the present rate, we will add 100 ppm of CO2 within 25 years. But not just that: there are other man-made GreenHouse Gases (GHG): CH4, NOx, Fluorocarbons, etc. All these gases warm up the lower atmosphere much more than CO2. So the correct measurement is not CO2 ppm, but CO2 EQUIVALENT ppm.

We are right now ABOVE 450 ppm in EQUIVALENT CO2, and will be at 500 ppm within ten years. Let’s hope there will be more boats than on the Titanic.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: If anything, the preceding is a conservative estimate. Indeed very serious scientists evaluated already the man-made greenhouse gases at 478 ppm in 2013. This means we will be above 500 ppm in CO2 equivalent within six years, in line with my previous analyses, such as “Ten Years To Catastrophe“. See:

http://oceans.mit.edu/news/featured-stories/5-questions-mits-ron-prinn-400-ppm-threshold

Is This Why We Are Alone?

February 22, 2016

Our giant galaxy is at least ten billion years old. It has 100 billion stars. Many of them second generation stars. It would seem most stars have planets, and many of these fall in the so-called habitable zone. All right, in multiple star systems, some planets will fly away. Still, there may be 40 billion potential Earths in the Milky Way. Yes, and no.

However, ten billion years, over (more than) 100 billion planetary systems, gives plenty of time for a civilization to expand throughout the galaxy. Yes, throughout. So aliens should have visited, but all indications are that they did not: life on Earth is indigenous to earth, or the Earth-Mars system.

Why We Are Alone: Earth Is Both Very Watery & Very Radioactive

Why We Are Alone: Earth Is Both Very Watery & Very Radioactive

How did Earth get her enormous radioactive fission core? A mystery. It seems that Venus did not. Indeed, Venus has no self-generated magnetosphere (differently from Mercury, Jupiter, or Saturn; Mars is too small to have a churning metallic core, so has no magnetosphere, thus CMEs tear the Martian atmosphere away, in particular water). Instead Venus has an induced magnetosphere. A pathetic device that could not prevent Venus from being deprived of all its hydrogen, hence water, torn by the solar wind, especially during Coronal Mass Ejections CME).

The Sort of Comet from Hell On Top Is Venus. Earth, The Blue World, Is Below. Earth, With Her Complex Magnetosphere Created By Her Churning Liquid Metal Radioactive Core: Part Of The Reason Why Venus Melts Lead, & Earth Harbors Civilization. [Courtesy ESA.]

The Sort of Comet from Hell On Top Is Venus. Earth, The Blue World, Is Below. Earth, With Her Complex Magnetosphere Created By Her Churning Liquid Metal Radioactive Core: Part Of The Reason Why Venus Melts Lead, & Earth Harbors Civilization. [Courtesy ESA.]

Travelling throughout the galaxy is already within our reach. Nuclear fission rocket engines were very successfully tested in the 1960s. They would allow us, should we decide to do so, to make spaceships going through the galaxy at 100 kilometers per second.

That’s 1/3000 of the speed of light. The galaxy is 100,000 light years across. So, with existing technology, primitive technology of the 1960s, we could cross the galaxy in 300 million years.

Now, of course, faster tech is perfectly imaginable, such as thermonuclear propulsion. (Thermonuclear propulsion may be easier to achieve than a contained nuclear fusion motor, because containment is the most major problem of controlled fusion; an uncontained engine would be half way between an H-bomb and ITER, and pure fusion is clean; actually NASA finances, all too modestly, such research.) Whereas the temperature in a fission reactor will be at most 3000 degree Centigrade, thermonuclear fusion could reach 100 million degrees, enabling an impulsion 10,000 times greater. Thus mastery of thermonuclear fusion would allow to cross the galaxy in a few million years.

So, if there was a civilization barely more advanced technologically than we are, it would have established a galactic empire in a few million years. It should have visited our blue planet, detectable from thousands of parsecs (with existing technology not deployed by the grotesque, imbecilic plutocrats who rule us through those countless obsequious greedy critters which most politicians are).

The definition of the traditional habitable zone is naive: it is only about temperature. However it takes more than temperature to keep a planet habitable. Mars had an ocean, but lost its surface water, a little bit at a time, from repeated Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). A CME consists in a super active flame jetting out from the sun. If a CME hit Earth now, much, if not most electric circuitry on Earth would fail.

Radioactive Elements, Being The Densest, Sink Towards The Star During The Planetary System Formation. (Observed So far.). Oxygen & Hydrogen, With 5% Average Nuclear Mass Migrate Out

Radioactive Elements, Being The Densest, Sink Towards The Star During The Planetary System Formation. (Observed So far.). Oxygen & Hydrogen, With 5% Average Nuclear Mass Migrate Out

Venus does not have a strong magnetic field either. Why? We don’t know. The Earth magnetic field is a shield, and it is created by the nuclear fission engine at the core of the Earth (it makes the surface of Earth’s core hotter than the surface of the sun! That makes a metallic iron ocean above churn violently, and generate the magnetic field… And also plate tectonics, which recycles carbon deep in the mantle, preventing it to sit in the atmosphere, as in the case of Venus!).

Thus, to have the four billion of years needed to develop ADVANCED native life, one needs to have both a nuclear reactor inside a planet AND the planet enjoying surface water for four billion years.

A tough, and rare call. Moreover, life has to escape crashing dwarf planets, migrating Super-Jupiters, super stellar Coronal Mass Ejections (all the more frequent in Red Dwarfs), close encounters with passing stars, gamma ray bursts, supernovae, colliding black holes, super stars exploding, central galactic black hole eruption (many of these catastrophes were very recently revealed, and did not percolate yet to We The People). To let life develop over four billion years, we need an extraordinary confluence of circumstances. (And when I say four billion, that’s generous: the “Cambrian explosion” when animals appeared in a great number of types of species, was only 540 million years ago. Moreover, life on Earth may have been accelerated by being started on Mars, at a time when Earth was still way too hot for sophisticated chemistry, and then transported by meteorites (that this strange method of life transportation could still be done to this day, has been demonstrated, by carefully analyzing meteorites of Martian origin).

Life, Sustained Long Enough For Advanced Animals? Unlikely. The Milky Way Is Ours. And Oblivion Watches Over Us, Not Tenderly.

Life, Sustained Long Enough For Advanced Animals? Unlikely. The Milky Way Is Ours. And Oblivion Watches Over Us, Not Tenderly.

So expect life to be very frequent in the galaxy, and habitable planets to be many. As long as one is talking about bacterial life functioning on DNA like system (the details will be different, as post-DNA life was already synthesized in the lab!)

But little green men, Kzins and Doctor Spock? Not a chance. If they happen some day, they will be our descendants. That we are alone changes the stakes. We are not just threatening civilization, with our childish, yet lethal and atrocious antics, but we are threatening to annihilate the one and only crown of creation.

Patrice Ayme’

SPQR: What’s The State Good For?

February 21, 2016

The state is there to organize everything important pertaining to society. Let’s use the oldest, largest, most detailed example we have: Rome.

Rome controlled a greater percentage of the world population than any state, ever. Rome was also, arguably, the most continually constitutionally evolving state, ever. We are using Rome’s legal, institutional, and civilizational, model, to this day.

In 800 CE, the Franks proclaimed Rome “Renovated”. Several Roman public structures had been not just renovated, but massively extended, to wit, mandatory public education. Ever since, we have been renovating Rome, keeping in mind, and extending, the public-private mix which characterized Roman society. Thus if we ask what the state is for, we have to interrogate our origins, Rome.

The Roman state under the Republic, ordered the army to build public infrastructure. For example, in France, a major canal was built under Consul Marius in the Second Century BEFORE the present era (2C BCE). Then a major via was built, through south France and the Alpae Maritimae. Roman via built by the legions were one meter thick, and some are used to this day. Then Caesar drained the swamps, to fight malaria. Later, under Trajan, poor yet meritorious children had their entire education paid by the state (“alimenti“).

Segovia Aqueduct’s Construction By Ordered By Government Under Emperor Domitian (81 CE)

Segovia Aqueduct’s Construction By Ordered By Government Under Emperor Domitian (81 CE)

Segovia is a city in Spain. Segovia’s aqueduct, like all Roman public works, was ordered by government.

Need I say more? (I have broached this subject many times in the past, more recently to answer Ian Miller, “A Role For Government“.)

In Francia, France, the successor state of Rome, by the Eight Century, public education was mandatory and free. All over. A thoroughly modern police was built by 1300 CE. It allowed to arrest all Templar Monks simultaneously, all over.

Then the state organized free hospitals, all over. Leprosy disappeared.

Many Americans claim the state should be on

American anti-state propagandists are generally paid by plutocrats for saying things so stupid that they are then ready to vote for G. W. Bush, Ted Cruz, Goldman Sachs, and hedge fund managers. That has worked well, because plutocracy has fed the American people well. But now some inkling of understanding is slowly creeping in…

In France, a couple of hospitals with special services use now last resort antibiotics (against resistant TB, for example: patients come from Russia). But they are not available anywhere else.

So what is the state?

The state American plutocrats and survivalists claim, should be only about only about force:

  1. The force of defending territory
  2. The force of imposing the Fiat Currency

Those who have a bit more smarts add to this the force of imposing justice. This was actually the role of Consuls, Proconsuls and their subordinates in Rome.

There is also a metastate, in democracy, which is how We The People select the government. This, in democracy, has to be public. Not so in plutocracy, and Obama spent much of his presidency plotting with plutocrats, who, in exchange, gave him money. (OK, not to him personally, American corruption, to claim it’s not corruption, erects apparent, only apparent, firewalls…)

Is the state, reduced to this minimum, viable? No. Think about it. 20,000 years ago, the state was the tribe, with its total democracy. 10,000 years ago, the first city-states appeared. five centuries ago, most the economy of the state was agricultural. The states or cities which marked civilization the most, though were less agricultural. examples are Athens, Rome (when it became urbi and orbi), Venice, Florence, etc. And also Paris, when it was by far europe’s largest city of 200,000, around 1200 CE.

The Roman State started as a monarchy. 15 centuries later, it was officially “renovated” by the Franks. Meanwhile, much happened, including the Huns. In 390 CE marauding Gauls invaded and occupied Rome (they were bought out, and once out of Rome, consecutive to this payment, exterminated by (dictator) Camille’s army).

This showed clearly that Rome needed giant fortifications, and fast communications. In 312 BCE, the Via Appia, the first serious Roman road was built, straight down south, by the army. It’s still in use today.

The SPQR, Senatus PopulusQue Romanus, the Senate And Roman People were in an evolving relationship. The Senate lasted more than 13 centuries. The People’s rule, though, a much shorter time. We The People lost its fight to plutocracy (… to this day!). It lost it, after a fight which lasted more than a century (between the Gracchi’s tragic lives, until the assassination of Caesar, who whatever his flaws, was, like the Gracchi, or the two presidents Roosevelt, a top aristocrat fighting for the People).

When the fascist empire got established by Augustus, attention was paid to the cultural dimension. That was financed by the state, all over the empire. Extremely expensive, extremely well made amphitheaters and theaters were built all over.

Roman Amphitheater, Aspendos, Present-Day Turkey

Roman Amphitheater, Aspendos, Present-Day Turkey

Most Roman monuments did not survive to this day, precisely because they were of such high quality. Long lasting, they were used as building material sources later (especially by the resentful Christians). Indeed, the quality of construction was amazing: the Pantheon in Rome, model of all domed buildings ever since, is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.

On February 21, 1916, the  German fascists launched a surprise attack on the little defended city of Verdun. One million shells, many from 420 mm guns, in a few hours, shattered the French lines. However, the French counter-attacked, and the surprise failed. The French army soon brought 3,000 trucks of ammunitions and supplies a day.

The battle lasted 300 days. More than 700,000 French and German soldiers died in combat there.

So yes, the state is there for defense. But defense requires public works. And private work ordered by the state: France had only a few hundreds trucks in 1914, but soon the army ordered thousands (and thousands of planes, tanks, etc.). In the USA, under Roosevelt, the Canadian Galbraith reorganized all US industry. Later, all of the educational system was reorganized by the GI Bill.

The truth is simple:

Greed is just one human motivation dwarfed by others, which are much more fundamental: love, curiosity, sharing, teaching, communicating, caring for self & others, good life, appreciating the world…

Let’s mention in passing that this implies the futility of founding the state around the so-called “free market” and its “invisible hand” (all what’s invisible is the hand of Pluto). The state is about more important motivations (contemplate the Inca empire).

Greed unfettered, unclipped, unbowed, morphs into plutocracy, power so corrupt that Pluto’s satanic ways have to be called in to cling to it.

So the effects of greed are terrible. The entire idea of greed is to dominate, subjugate, terrify, subdue, and domesticate others. It’s intrinsically about hurt. Rome showed a more important and noble, literally and figuratively, way: public service. Public service as a mandatory passage for those who counted the most.

The state is there to enable civilization, the ability to live in cities. The state thus replaces the tribe, which was an extended family. Thus the state has to be like a sort of extended family. That means it has to be a democracy. The state is not just about killing people, and enforcing law. It’s also about public education, public hospitals… And defending against the enemy of democracy, which is what’s destroying it now, plutocracy.

Patrice Ayme’  

New Climate Lie: Magical CO2 Stop Possible

February 20, 2016

I went to a concert depicting climate change, past and future. Trust Californians to be innovative. The climate change had driven the composition of the music.

Several of the musicians sat behind computers, three sat behind real instruments, one some sort of electric piano, the other two a bass guitar, and a violin. On the planetarium screen, one could see the Earth, and then, starting in the Eighteenth Century, three graphs: CO2 Parts Per Million, Land-sea Temperature Rise, and the Earth Watts per square meters imbalance.

The, laudable, general idea is to put to music the drama of our destruction of the biosphere, and thus to make it more real to skeptics Americans. The USA is the general quarters of those who deny that burning fossil fuels is adverse to the health of the biosphere. The average American is deeply conservative, and does not perceive “climate change” as an urgent anxiety. However, the average American knows he, or she is supposed to feign interest, while going to buy its next truck.

To Stay Below 2C, CO2 Emissions Have To Stop Now. We Are On The Red Trajectory: Total Disaster

To Stay Below 2C, CO2 Emissions Have To Stop Now. We Are On The Red Trajectory: Total Disaster

Tempo depended upon the CO2 concentration, pitch upon the Earth global temperature, distortion upon the energy balance on land in watts per square meter. The numbers used were past and anticipated. After 2015, the graphs became two: one was red, the bad case scenario, the other was blue, and represented the good scenario.

As I looked at the blue graphs, the optimistic graphs, I got displeased: the blue CO2 emissions, the blue temperature, and the blue power imbalance, had a very sharp angle, just in 2016. First a sharp angle is mathematically impossible: as it is now, the curves of CO2, and temperature are smooth curves going up (on the appropriate time scale). It would require infinite acceleration, infinite force. Even if one stopped magically any human generated greenhouse gases emissions next week, the CO2 concentration would still be above 400 ppm (it is 404 ppm now). And it would stay this way for centuries. So temperature would still rise.

The composer, who was on stage, had been advised by a senior climate scientist, a respectable gentleman with white hair, surrounded by a court, who got really shocked when I came boldly to him, and told him his blue graph was mathematically impossible.

I told him that one cannot fit a rising, smooth exponential with a sharp angle bending down and a line. Just fitting the curves in the most natural, smooth and optimistic way gives a minimum temperature rise of four degrees Celsius. (There is a standard mathematical way to do this, dating back to Newton.)

The silvered hair, tall and dignified senior climate scientist, told me this was not the forum to address such concerns, and, anyway, he disagreed. I was expecting this sort of answer, and this is why I was fast and brutal, as composer and scientists, organizers, impresarios and plutocrats and the adoring public were thick about. As it turns out, it is the head of a new very important government laboratory.

 The Culprit: Distinguished Gentleman Says Climate Catastrophe Can Stop On A Dime. Perfect Say The Fossil Fuel Plutocrats

The Culprit: Distinguished Gentleman Says Climate Catastrophe Can Stop On A Dime. Perfect Say The Fossil Fuel Plutocrats

When all wisdom can give is shock, shock wisdom shall give. The alternative being respectful  silence… for infamy. Is there, indeed, a greater infamy than the disintegration of the biosphere  in the name of American coal and SUVs?

So what’s the game of these American scientists? Very simple: there were plutocrats in the audience, it was a fund-raiser. I was the only one to raise a ruckus, naturally. Everybody else was very admiring, in love. What did they admire so much?

That graph, that blue graph. The message of the (impossible) blue graph was that the effect of greenhouse gases can be instantaneously stop, should America will it. You can imagine Uncle Sam’s poster: “Earth, you shall stop acting funny, if the US wills it!” So, in the end, this was all a celebration of American righteousness: we are right to do what we are doing, because we can stop it anytime. (That’s how drug addicts feel, said Rolling Stone Keith Richards, in a self-reflective mood : they go on and on, because they think they can stop, if they want, anytime. I never do.)

The truth is much more sinister. The supremacy of the USA does not just come from owning an entire temperate continent (after destroying the Natives). It also comes from oil, coal and gas. The USA has plenty of them, cheap and available. As Obama says all the time: “God willed it” (OK, he says: “God bless the USA”).

The ongoing supremacy of the USA rests on oil, coal, and gas. This is why the Supreme Coal of the US, I mean, the Supreme Court of the US, just decided that burning coal was just, and so was bad air (and thus Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency crackdown on coal pollution was unjust, and should cease).

American plutocrats are always one step ahead of the propaganda game. After spending decades claiming the Earth was not warming, now they are pretending, thanks to this impossible blue graph, that we stop the deleterious effects on the biosphere on a dime, should the USA want it.

And the scientists are playing along… because they want the money. And the influence. And the plutocrats in the audience. And the American population confusedly feel that the USA is better off with cheap gas.

As I explained, the Moral Imperative is to think correctly, and the first imperative of scientists should be to teach what is impossible. It’s impossible to stop the nefarious effects on the biosphere on a dime. There is huge inertia in the world climate and geophysics. Right now, climate change is happening at a rate 100,000 times the rate of the preceding great extinctions (they probably had to do with huge, sustained volcanism, direct from the core).

In the best scenario of business as usual, most of energy from fossil fuels, we are on 4 degree Centigrade global warming scenario. And that means the poles will melt entirely. That will make the present Middle East disarray feel as if it had been a walk in a pleasant park.

Patrice Ayme’