Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Hating Tech? Hate Man!

July 30, 2018

Rampages against technology are fashionable: after all, we, and our entire world, depends upon it. Dependents are prisoners of their benefactor(s). The unwise will resent that. Technology is worse than a drug, then: it is the life support system of the most advanced apes who ever were. It is even more: our soul? The world-changing apes world-changed, and evolved for, and from, technology. If we have a creator specific to our species, here it is! Technology is out mother, father, what makes us possible. Hating our provider, our god: how pleasing!

Homo, the genus, and genius, is inseparable from technology. Saying technology doesn’t help, or doesn’t even help define what is human, is to have understood nothing to the genus Homo. Socrates took a stance: he posed as an anti-science, anti-tech, even anti-mental creativity type. Socrates refused even to write: after all, that’s tech too. But for his living, he depended upon an inherited stock portfolio, and his plutocratic friends and fiends. And, when, as a wealthy hoplite, he killed the enemy, it was because of his technologically superior, and very expensive armor and weapons. I can’t afford, as Socrates did, to be a hypocrite.

Diogenes too, was an anti-tech, anti-progress hypocrite: he lived in a barrel: that’s advanced technology, an expensive Gallic import… soon Gallic armies would battle down into Greece, thanks to their superior weapons due to superior metal works. Diogenes also had a dog:  another advanced technology, a Genetically Modified Organism, whose carefully twisted mind makes him love and obey his master. The reason Diogenes didn’t have to battle giant European Cave Lions was that those had been driven to extinction, thanks to superior weapons.

Also Athens existed, and could feed Socrates and Diogenes, because it imported grain from the Black Sea, two weeks of shipping away (at best). Or from Cyrenaica. Attica was too dry to feed the largest Greek city. And Athens paid back, with superior tech. Demosthenes, the philosopher, inherited also from his father. His 40 slaves were making advanced tech, sold throughout the Mediterranean. As I said, it paid for food of the last Athenian dog. It goes without saying that this imperial organization rested on the mightiest army and navy, which had persuaded cities such as Byzantium to reasonably cooperate…

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The more human we get, the more tech we get, and live from:

So on tech we go.
An interest of technology is to solve problems, which can’t be solved otherwise, lest we want to use massively the oldest methods, like cannibalism. There are countless examples, in history, of populations which have been reduced to zero, as needed by the sustainable ecological load.

As it is, we use much more planet than we have. We need another planet, or we need to quickly consume, say, 90% of humanity (the latter can easily be done, though… thanks to tech, both as an exterminator, and a redemptor).

Colonizing Mars would double the land area at our disposal. And yes, it can be done: there are giant ice cliffs on Mars: water was the big problem to terraform Mars. Up to last year, Mars looked desiccated, and it appeared one would have to crash comets into it to bring water. Now, no more. All we need is a mighty energy source. That too, tech could bring us: controlled thermonuclear fusion, already used in decent airports, looms, ever closer: a thermonuclear reactor connected to the grid is feasible… if we spent, say 100 billion dollars (5% US or EU yearly GDP).

The Counties of Alameda and Contra Costa (“AC”), in the San Francisco Bay Area form together AC Transit, which has purchased dozens of Fuel Cell Electric Buses. Those buses refuel hydrogen at dedicated service stations. Their waste? Water! Those buses aren’t just zero emission, they are the ideal complement of the photovoltaic energy rising in California. Some cities of AC provide free PV installations.

Elon Musk is an entrepreneur: he takes science invented by much deeper minds, and turns it into profitable technology. True, he got favored by Obama, in a shameless manner… while Obama killed important technologies such as Fuel Cells… to leave room to Musk, and other Silicon Valley friends Obama had (now busy making him rich). True the plutocratic connection between Musk and tech monopolies and the Obama administration was disgusting, and many involved should how be prosecuted. I wrote extensively against Musk and Bezos in the past, because they go so much help from the Obama White House. However, the fact is now both of these two plutocrat have made an important technological advance: rockets can be reused! “Space Shuttle” launches used to cost 1.5 billion dollars (yes, billion, with a b… per launch). Musk thinks he could launch a much bigger rocket for six million dollars. Indeed, doing the math, the cost of launch should be no more than a jumbo jet transcontinental flight… if the rocket is sophisticated enough.

Yet, the transition from deep science to a deeper socio-economy shouldn’t be neglected: they are entangled. No advancement of the socio-economy, no advancement of science, and reciprocally.

Rome failed because it couldn’t get going the science it needed, because its exaggeratingly fascist, pathetically impotent socio-economy (the combination of slavery and autocracy, too strong for enabling the People to contribute, not enough to crush plutocrats). Now, of course, the Romans weren’t too brainy to start with… and they kept Greece too subjugated, before finally snuffing it by mad theocracy (when the Academies were ordered closed by a Roman emperor.)

In the Tenth Century, new cultivars, of beans for the Franks, and of rice for the Vietnamese/Chinese, made a better fed Europe and East Asia forge ahead as ever more domineering civilizations… New cultivars are new technology…

Facebook is a different problem from the space adventures of Musk and Bezos. First, Facebook has no added value: all it does is spy, and find new fixes for its addicts (Instagram). Facebook is horrendously unethical, and a return to a primitivism worse than the Middle Ages. Facebook has indeed decided to censor artwork from the Middle Ages… “even if it has educational value“… Facebook grotesquely asserts. No wonder, it’s led by an uneducated grabster, used to wrap presidents around its little robotic fingers…

In general plutocracy is killing civilization. Always has, always will. However, the grandeur of Bezos’ and Musk’s missions is such, one has to make a grudging exception for them, as long as they keep on going… to Mars. That doesn’t mean we have run out of targets: all the financial derivative sector, worth 1,400 trillion dollars (yes, with a t, $1,400 thousand billions) should be destroyed. It is because it doesn’t exist in China, that China has become the world’s greatest economic power… Financiers bootstrapping themselves so they can crush us when they come down… What’s worse?
Patrice Ayme

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For comic relief, one can read Massimo Pigliucci’s and Correy Mohler’s”Diogenes the Cynic vs Elon Musk
What wisdom could the great Cynic offer to our modern-day Alexander?“. Dogs can bark, but thinking deep is not their forte… So I thank Massimo for the spark to the blistering critique above… And indeed, first, to compare Musk to Alexander the Great is beyond grotesque: Alexander is a serious, not to say mass lethal, subject. Musk is cute, but basically completely replaceable (first, consider Bezos, who is coming up with similar rockets…)

“Two Minutes To Midnight”: World As Dangerous As It Has Ever Been Since World War II

January 28, 2018

The idea of “LAUNCH ON WARNING” is that, should a nuclear strike look imminent, a warning would be ensued, and missiles would be launched, without waiting for impact(s) of incoming apparent warheads. We are living in a seriously, Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD world: several countries, or, at least the USA and Russia, maintain “Launch On Warning” (LOW) systems of nuclear bombs having the potential for killing 600 million people, or more, in 24 hours. Or more. From accident, short-circuit, wrong training tape, etc. That is, those systems can kill the equivalent of one hundred times more people than the much bemoaned holocaust of the Jews in WWII (it took four years to kill six million Jew). The elite bemoans Auschwitz, while having 100 Auschwitzes at the push of a button, and the ostriches out there see nothing wrong, deep in the sand they scrutinize every day.  

Not considering that hair-trigger, “Launch On Warning”, nuclear bomb systems are worthy even of a conversation, is a global moral and intellectual failure of the highest order ever seen. Advocating slavery, racism, dictatorship, Inquisition, theocracy, torture, pale in comparison!

There is no reason for those LOW, except as first strike. Even then, a first strike would cause a devastating counter-strike, a second strike, so, at first sight, it’s not clear what would be achieved (if one goes deep into nuclear war planning, though, debatable advantages of a first strike can be construed). 

Epic failure. After the rocket carried by a plane, an F4 Phantom, exploded, nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise caught fire, off Hawai’i. Had the fire extended to the main hangar, the carrier, carrying more than one hundred nuclear bombs and eight nuclear reactors, could have exploded. In several accidents with nuclear bombs, many safety mechanisms failed. At least in one case, only the last trigger didn’t trigger.., And those bombs were huge (one hundred times Hiroshima, or more…) Such incidents happened even inside the USA.

The intellectual and moral failure of preceding leaders has brought this situation: the USA and Russia should have dismantled the LOW systems. LOW nearly caused nuclear apocalypses several times, for reasons such as short-circuits, or the wrong training tape. Each time, nuclear catastrophe was avoided simply because officers on watch didn’t believe nuclear war had been launched, and acted forcefully, accordingly. So accidental nuclear war was avoided only because of the fortitude of a few individuals, some American, some Soviet.

The French Republic dismantled its LOW system (founded on dozens of ballistic missiles). French deterrence is now ensured with 300 thermonuclear nuclear warheads on four very silent nuclear ballistic submarines equipped with jet propulsion (with another 300 “tetes nucleaires oceaniques” ready as backup, should more strikes be needed in a prolonged nuclear war). France has also nuclear tipped supersonic cruise missiles launched from supersonic planes, and potentially nuclear tipped cruise missiles on board one hundred meter long Barracuda attack nuclear submarines. That’s enough firepower to destroy all Russian and Chinese cities. Plus ground hits on nuclear submarines pens (which presumably would come first, if the US or UK didn’t hit them yet). 

Because it didn’t happen yet, doesn’t mean it never will. Prime targets in a serious nuclear exchange would be thermonuclear ground bursts on submarine pens. Recently released Pentagon files show Finland was supposed to be annihilated by the fallout. Call that collateral damage.

The U.S. has 14 Ohio-class submarines carrying 24 Trident II SLBMs missiles. Each Trident, like the French missiles, have up to ten independent targetable nuclear warheads. The UK has three nuclear warhead equipped Trident subs. That’s a total of 21 Armageddon subs, which, all together, could terminate Russia and China several times over.

The subs are undetectable. A few years back, in 2009, French strategic sub Le Triomphant and British Trident sub HMS Vanguard collided in the Atlantic, “at very low speed”, while at great depth: they had detected nothing. That’s not very surprising as they are not only silent, but have anti-sonar devices. As the subs are undetectable (especially as they go hide in parts of the ocean where detection is especially hard), there is no reason to keep them on hair-trigger, ready to fire at the first alert..

So why does the USA keep 430 Minutemen Launch On Warning rockets at ready to launch within seconds, 24/7, at the first alert, in other words, ready to cause accidental nuclear war?   

Counter-intuitively (they are supposed by the “left” to be right-wing bastards), the two US president Bushes (I despise W), reduced nuclear weapons of the LOW type, considerably. Clinton and Obama did very little, aside from using their mouth parts in a way the gullible found admirable…

Here is what the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists think about the situation:

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains. A printable PDF of this statement, complete with the President and CEO’s statement and Science and Security Board biographies, is available here.

To: Leaders and citizens of the world Re: Two minutes to midnight. Date: January 25, 2018

In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago—and as dangerous as it has been since World War II.

The greatest risks last year arose in the nuclear realm. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program made remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks to North Korea itself, other countries in the region, and the United States.Hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions by both sides have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation.

But the dangers brewing on the Korean Peninsula were not the only nuclear risks evident in 2017: The United States and Russia remained at odds, continuing military exercises along the borders of NATO, undermining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), upgrading their nuclear arsenals, and eschewing arms control negotiations.

In the Asia-Pacific region, tensions over the South China Sea have increased, with relations between the United States and China insufficient to re-establish a stable security situation.

In South Asia, Pakistan and India have continued to build ever-larger arsenals of nuclear weapons.

And in the Middle East, uncertainty about continued US support for the landmark Iranian nuclear deal adds to a bleak overall picture.

To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger—and its immediacy.

After colliding with the deck of aircraft carrier USS Kennedy, during a storm, this US cruiser caught fire, off Sicily. The nuclear magazine would have probably exploded, had the fire got there.

On the climate change front, the danger may seem less immediate, but avoiding catastrophic temperature increases in the long run requires urgent attention now. Global carbon dioxide emissions have not yet shown the beginnings of the sustained decline towards zero that must occur if ever-greater warming is to be avoided. The nations of the world will have to significantly decrease their greenhouse gas emissions to keep climate risks manageable, and so far, the global response has fallen far short of meeting this challenge.

Beyond the nuclear and climate domains, technological change is disrupting democracies around the world as states seek and exploit opportunities to use information technologies as weapons, among them internet-based deception campaigns aimed at undermining elections and popular confidence in institutions essential to free thought and global security.

Did wars get started accidentally? Rarely so, but this was before. Now the technology has become faster, and immensely more powerful. A case in point is the explosion of the US battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor, in 1898. It was alleged at the time by the New York Journal and New York World, owned respectively by plutocrats William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, that Spain did it. They gave the Maine destruction intense press coverage, but employed tactics that would later be labeled “yellow journalism“… Fake news! That brought a mood which led to war of the US with Spain.

US Admiral Rickover, father of nuclear submarine deterrence,  launched an inquiry, seventy years later, in the Maine destruction (it is easy to construe a scenario with a nuclear sub exploding next to Saint Petersburg, with possible detonation of nuclear bombs). It was found to have been probably accidental, from methane built-up, most explosive at 10% CH4.

The much admired nuclear Nobel peace prize Obama didn’t do anything about reducing the danger of nuclear war happening by accident. No more than the lunatic Putin. That made them accomplices of the potential holocaust they managed. Trump? A bit too early to judge. Trump inherited a potentially disastrous military situation, especially with North Korea, but not only. Sometimes, there are no more nice exits.

Thanks to our amoral, imbecilic “leaders”, we are all in the situation of the crew of the Maine. When the battleship exploded, three quarter of the crew died. Many officers survived, as their quarters were far removed from the explosion. Similarly, crafty plutocrats buy land in New Zealand, a fully autonomous mini-continent, far removed from potential nuclear explosions.

In any case, those who value the most correct intellectual and moral positions, should exert pressure for an immediate worldwide dismantlement of “Launch On Warning” nuclear bomb systems.

Patrice Aymé  

P/S: The preceding essay, although full of data, is philosophical in nature. It may be a bit unfair to Obama, as it doesn’t mention the new START Treaty signed under that president. However, that treaty was way too timid, and didn’t eliminate LOW. Right now the USA has 399 Minutemen missiles deployed, ready to launch. 70% of existing nuclear warheads are deployed on the 14 strategic submarines of the USA, most of them deployed in Washington state. That gives an estimated 945 thermonuclear warheads deployed on US submarines (France has officially 300). All the details in:

https://fas.org/blogs/security/2018/01/new-start-full-data/

Neat Suggestion For Net Neutrality

August 15, 2016

Under Obama, the US spy networks were given full power. Paying no, or little taxes, with the full resources of the USA behind them, they were mandated, as modern-day corsairs, to seize the world. They did (in spite of the Snowden scare; Snowden revealed the entanglement between the imperial machinery of the USA and the US Internet companies).

This Internet coup is a Obama’s great achievement, proving how great and just the brown president has been for the powers that be, over the powers that don’t deserve to be.

Here is the market capitalization of the forty largest French companies (the “CAC 40”), versus that of GAFA (Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon):

Thanks Oh Great, Wise, Respected Obama, For Having Made The USA Mightier Than Ever With Your Mighty Espionage Agents

Thanks Oh Great, Wise, Respected Obama, For Having Made The USA Mightier Than Ever With Your Mighty Espionage Agents

[Was the satanic Bush a smaller devil? One shudders at the question. Just asking…]

As you can see, GAFA, those four companies, Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon, under the presidency of Barack Obama, became everything, while the French Republic stagnated between being and nothingness. This is a general pattern, with all countries. It has to do with GAFA being above all and any local laws. And there are no global laws to speak of. (The Chinese joke that GAFA is the new world empire; well, new, not really.) In particular GAFA eschews most taxes, so stand above all and any companies and firms, worldwide.

Donald Trump, hated by GAFA, has said that he would make GAFA pay taxes. Said Trump, speaking of GAFA, and, in particular, Amazon:”Oh, God, would they have problems if I became president”. But what of the rest of the world? How can the world get out of this pickle?

First GAFA should pay taxes (France wants Google to pay billions in overdue taxes, Great Britain, though, asks for only a tenth of what the French Treasury is asking. Why? Because Great Britain is onto the plot, and understands that GAFA is one way for its overlord, the USA, to seize world control, and will be rewarded for getting on the program!)

To force GAFA to pay taxes, they should be threatened with exclusion. Now, of course, that would require guts. First, suffering of being accused of “anti-Americanism” by the soon to disappear in the oubliettes of history, Barack Obama, the great enabler of GAFA. (The US already makes war against the French economy, so it may as well come up to the surface!)

Unfortunately for, say, the French, GAFA uses massively treacherous countries without much industry such as Great Britain (full of subordinate tax havens, more than a dozen treasure isles which charge no income or wealth tax), and Ireland (top corporate tax rate, 12.5% in contrast with France 33% and the USA’s 35%!)

So going to war against GAFA means that the French would have to go to war with Ireland and the British Virgin Islands (hence the UK!) If the traditional parties don’t have this sort of guts, maybe Marine le Pen will… (She will be accused of dreadful “populism”, just as the Donald is, for doing something against the multibillionaire plutocrats of GAFA, and their demonic little helpers…)

Could we try something less bloody? Well, GAFA spy on people, and then tweak what they see on the Internet, accordingly. GAFA, and its ilk know you have a health problem, so they suggest businesses associated to treatment or relief from that condition. I have noticed search engines such as Google manipulate searches according to what they think i should see. Worse: Microsoft’s Bing censors completely some of my essays. For example “Violence In The Holy Qur’an” cannot be found on Bing (even looked directly by title and author) This sort of censorship is deliberate: the essay consists essentially of 10,000 words from quoting entire verses of the Qur’an. (The English paper, The Guardian, accused me to be someone who “blogged” the Qur’an, to justify censoring me!)

If these Internet manipulations were completely unlawful, all the time, the business model of GAFA and their ilk would collapse. Of course, one does not want to be that cruel (what would Obama do?)

But here is an idea nevertheless. Why are not GAFA (and its ilk) required, by LAW, to present a neutral web if asked to do so by someone using the Internet? As I said, one does not want to be too cruel with the corsairs of modern communications: after all, they have some public utility, as they (vaguely) innovate.

So, say, every time one turns on one of the GAFA, or other Internet manipulators, one should be offered, manually, the option of a neutral web.

Simple. Drastic.

The right to neutral information is basic to enable democracy. Without it, there is no democracy. The present rule of GAFA, and their present manners, is a complete denial of democracy. Time to fight. When the philosopher Demosthenes called the Greeks to fight the (gold mines propelled) the Macedonian plutocrats, who were quickly increasing in power, he was not listened to. It sounded alarmist to go fight the rich and nasty. When it turned out Demosthenes was finally observed to be right, it was too late. Democracy was destroyed in Greece, for the next 23 centuries. And it all originated from a philosophical debate where Aristotle was prominent.

We are what we know. And we are nought if we know not. The neutral Internet is not obsolete, it’s a human right. Are those obsolete? Hmm… Wait…

Patrice Ayme’

 

Of Nukes, Dogs, North Korea, & Necessary Evil

May 28, 2016

KIM, THE HEREDITARY KING OF NORTH KOREA, MAKES A NEW NUCLEAR H BOMB EVERY SIX WEEKS. His engineers are trying to build reliable intercontinental missiles. The fear of a heat wave in Los Angeles will take a whole new meaning soon. (And what did the president do about this security problem? Less than Bill Clinton. Oops.)

Kim Jong Un killed entire “groups” of people in his own family, including his uncle, who was instrumental to get him to power: “the discovery and purge of the Jang group… made our party and revolutionary ranks purer…”[117 In 2015, the defence minister was executed by anti-aircraft fire, for “talking back”.

Certainly the uncle was arrested, humiliated, and executed. “Despicable human scum…worse than a dog” is how North Korean state media described the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong-un. It was claimed that Jang Song Thaek admitted trying to “overthrow the state”.

Kim & Wife: Expensive Dior Purse. Feeding People To Dogs. Not Yet Personally On The Menu.

Kim & Wife: Expensive Dior Purse. Feeding People To Dogs. Not Yet Personally On The Menu.

Speaking of dogs, four star general Jan Song Thaek, once thought to be the most powerful leader in North Korea, was stripped naked, with five colleagues, thrown into a cage, and eaten alive by a pack of ravenous dogs… according to a newspaper close to China’s Communist Party. The dogs had not eaten for five days, and the execution lasted an hour. In the end, the dogs cleaned the plate. (Others said that he was executed by machine gun.)

Whatever the rumors, higher-ups in North Korea, and their families, have been executed in large numbers. Differently from Stalin, Kim does not even bother with the appearances of fake trials. Yesterday’s horrors have become quaint.

Kim has gone to the furthest, darkest side. Supremely educated in Switzerland, the North Korean dictator knows all too well that any reason too removed from the law of the jungle, would be his demise. The North Korean leaders have long made Switzerland their central access point (say to the French Riviera and French medical treatments).

With North Korea, the world is confronted with the Hitler problem, not just an uneducated immigrant loser, of the most modest origin, but with someone who is immensely rich, a proven killer, close, personal, whimsical, well-educated and in command of weapons Hitler could not even dream of.

If Kim has the choice between being eaten alive by dogs and threatening, or starting, a nuclear war, he will, of course, chose the latter. Indeed, people who brought him up have explained he was definitively a brat, even as an eight year old (see the Washington Post report of May 27, 2016).

Unfortunately, the only reasonable prospect, then, is for democracies to prepare for what Kim is, namely, the worst: very clever, and very nasty. And that reasoning with him will not help. This is clearly a case where the strongest, darkest means are required.

We have to dial back to 1935, and ponder another crazed, demonic dictator, Hitler (who had just consolidated power with an accord with the German army making him Chancellor and President).

What should have been done with Hitler? What should the democracies have done? Now we know, with today’s mentality and morality: going all out against him.

(But the sordid truth is that it was in the best national interest of the USA to proceed with Nazism and the Second World War… just as it was to have Jefferson and Jackson massacre the Indians, steal their lands, and quintuple the area of the US… Agreed, the USA has changed: the collaboration of the US with Hitler could happen, and did happen, because of the mentality reigning then).

So let’s reconsider Hitler 1935 with today’s mentality: let’s do as if we wanted to avoid World War Two, the death of 5% of humanity, and serious fears, threats, hardships and problems for much of the rest.

Before I come to what to do, we have to remember that this time the stakes are much higher: Kim intents to use nuclear blackmail, with intercontinental missiles aimed at the largest cities of the West. Kim’s government said as much last year, he will do it again, and, this time, with power to back him up.

North Korea, right now is the Nazi Reich, in a potentially even worse version, but this time, we know the program ahead of its attempted implementation, through vast annihilation of uncountable multitudes. Insane? Sure. That’s the entire point, and that is why Obama could not handle it. Obama, fed on a steady diet of Financial Times and University of Chicago, believe people are rationally greedy. But of course, there is much more to humanity than that: the Will to Extermination, for example. The Will to Extermination is a gift: like playing tennis, it can be developed to a fine art, through enough practiced. Kim had plenty of practice (just as Hitler did).

So what to do? Forget the sanctions against North Korea as a plausible long-term solution: that would be about reason. Kim is not about reason (and he can leverage China, as his family long did). Get ready for war. Nuclear war. Or then target Kim and do away with him. There is a precedent for the latter.

In 1938, Hitler’s generals approached British and American diplomats and authorities, asking their governments to declare that they would stand with France in irremediable opposition to Nazi Germany. Then, they explained they would make a coup against the Nazis, arguing that Germany was in danger. Something similar done against Kim is what should be done now.

In 1938, the British and American governments not only did not do what the German generals had asked them to do, but they warned Hitler of the plot against him. (However, Germany had been a democracy just prior, and, even under the Kaiser, was a softer sort of fascism).

Let’s learn from history; let’s not repeat history. Time for a dark and dirty vaccination. To prevent incomparably worse.

The nuclear poker of Truman on August 6, 1945, worked: Japan capitulated within 6 days. The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were moral sacrifices. However, what Kim prepares for us all, until he dies, is worldwide nuclear blackmail. Kim is only 33. And North Korean geology is very wealthy. Is that how we can live? (Kim already threatened to nuke Los Angeles and New York).)

Kim’s threats with nukes call for the darkest side… to remedy the situation. Morality comes from sustainability (that’s shown both by etymology and logic). Is a world where a few rendered insane by cruelty, fear and rage are armed with nuclear weapons sustainable? No.

Obama, and countless pacifists in the last 71 years have said they wanted to get rid of weapons of mass destruction. However, we need first to get rid of those who want to mass destroy, and that means destroying the mentalities conducive to this sort of concentration of power.

Meanwhile, the only sane, let alone moral, thing to do is to acquire military technological superiority.  Eight years ago, Obama said that Pakistani nukes were his number one worry. Rogue Pakistani Muslim supremacy and greed supreme scientists helped North Korean nukes. As president, Obama undermined the safety of the world, because he actually helped the North Korean dictatorship, and is still actively doing so.

How? By demolishing the US high-tech innovation system by fostering tech private tech monopolies. The latest example is his latest change in the laws directing the US Patent and Trademark Office. New laws guarantee that people and corporations who gave Obama big money will be favored. So what will suffer? Real innovation. And what will make democracy sustainable? Real innovation.

Hitler happened in a worldwide mental ecological system. So does Kim, and Islamism, and global plutocracy, of course. These are all examples of the rule of demonicity (plutocracy).

Ultimately, anything which favors plutocracy here,  favors plutocracy there. Such as all the colossal, blatant advantages given to those who financed Clintons, Obama and Bushes (from the Koch brothers, to the Spy Network booking your face). The North Korean dictatorship, Putin, the Islamists, and all the powerful rotten ones around the planet feel this, know this, see this, and play it like a violin.

Those “leaders” grabbing all the levers of power are not demented, they are not crazy, they are not sick, they are opportunists. And the opportunity of power, not to say power itself, has transformed them, neurohormonally, and perhaps even epigenetically (we know this happens in fishes, so why not in humans: are we not more sophisticated than fishes?) What they call reason, sustainability calls insanity: a nuclear strike on Los Angeles, successful or attempted, would make North Korea into a radioactive desert. The “leaders”, all over, have more power than ever, are more corrupt, therefore, than ever, and have become, more than ever, monsters made to rule, by all and any ways they can access.

It is for a new moral code invented by We The People to bar this sort of access to evil. “Equality” in “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, is not just a matter of the pursuit of happiness, but of the pursuit of survival. Of humanity as a species.

Patrice Ayme

Phobias: Trump, France, Islam, Electric Hydrogen

May 17, 2016

PC Thoughtlessly Sinking In Seas Of Protest:

The heckling and howling of do-gooders, Politically Correct critters, pseudo-leftists, false liberals, corrupt economists, government fed plutocrats, and would-be thinkers go on against Soon-To-Be-Elect President Trump, is part of much more general phenomenon. Before I get into that, let me finish with Hillary Clinton. Her latest hare brained plan is to have Bill, her husband, named special economic adviser. Bill is the guy who destroyed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Banking Act of 1933, and brought back the reign of Wall Street and other conspiring financiers of the worst type. I am sure the hilarious one will gather even more moss form Wall Street’s great sharks.

Thankfully perhaps, she will not be elected: the, just as hare brained plan of her corrupt supporters is to have the hilarious one win the states where she defeats Bernie Sanders. Which states are those? The “conservative” states. The so-called “Red States”, the states where… Republicans generally win. You know, states like Georgia, where Trump is already 4% ahead of Clinton in the polls…

Forget Electric, Bring In Fuel Cell Hydrogen. In Paris, Only Hyundai Is Cooperative, So Far.

Forget Electric, Bring In Fuel Cell Hydrogen. In Paris, Only Hyundai Is Cooperative, So Far.

What’s the connection between corrupt politicians and hydrogen cars? Well, corruption, precisely.

The brutal switch of the Obama administration out of hydrogen fuel cells (a genuinely American technology), as I said at the time, can only be attributed to corruption.

Clinton, the hysteria against President Trump (I am training to say the two words together, it’s hard) are animated, just as Brexit is, by some of the planet’s worst operatives, the brokers, hedge fund managers, one could even the say the head funds managers, as they manage the heads of politicians.

Not everybody is fooled by the Brexit madness: normal banks view Brexit as a much bigger crisis than anything they have seen before, and it is. Boris Johnson, the fat clown who wants to be British PM, just like his ex-classmate, David Cameron, now claims he wants to turn Britain into “Britzerland”. An interesting statement, demonstrating the self-mortification of Brexiters, as Switzerland is little more than a puppet state whose strings are pulled in Brussels. But never mind.

People can be fooled only that long. And the same holds in France, the USA’s sister republic, stuck on the old, incontinent continent.

Ever thought of why the Obama administration decided to deploy electric cars? Well, corruption, obviously. I am not saying Obama was personally corrupt. The poor little one had so many things to think about, moving the huge ship of state with a scooter’s engine. But some of his advisers, clearly were.

What is the advantage of electric cars? No pollution when operating, eerily completely silent from inside, powerful acceleration. However, as recently as last Sunday, coming out of an impressive mountain run (I self-impress), I left the dirt to get on a steep country road. Running down at an amazing speed, I suddenly heard a huge din behind me, ever louder. Car! Car coming, general alert! I squeezed to the left side, ready to jump back in the bush, and finally, after long seconds of aurally positioning the heavy, noisy vehicle, let pass a majestic Tesla Model S. Not the most discreet car, that Tesla Model S. I drive a Blue Tech Diesel, five person car with an 800 kilometer, 500 miles range. It’s bigger inside than the Tesla Model S, smaller outside (from experience and official measurements).

Electric cars are very heavy because of their batteries. And it turns out that this weight creates a lot of pollution. A study by the University of Edinburgh shows this.

So what is the solution? HYDROGEN! There is no solution of the GreenHouse Gas (GHG) crisis without creating a massive hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen will allow to store renewable energy.

As far as cars, planes, trains are concerned, compressed hydrogen has an energy density of 142 MJ/kg. Lithium ion batteries have an energy density of 0.6 MJ/kg. That’s 236 times as much energy per kg for hydrogen. Hydrogen cars refuel in 3 minutes to full. They cost less to make. Hydrogen cars mass is far less mass than that of electric vehicles (no more than 10% above the gasoline case).

The Politically Correct has long gone half insane. Not to say some of the madness is not fruitful. But the worst, in Europe, has long been Islamophilia. According to the Islamophiles, Islamophobia is racism. Thus, the more Islam, the better, no?

The National Front blocked Black M, a rapper, to sing in Verdun. The singer was outraged: didn’t his grandfather fight in World War One? Yes, little one. However, that little one, called France a country of “Kouffars” (= Kuffars, Kafirs), a country of “miscreants”. In Islam, “miscreants” are sub-citizens (to put it mildly). They don’t have all the rights, they have to pay a special tax. If they have intercourse with a Muslim woman, get caught, they die, etc..From recent Wahhabist behavior, being a “miscreant” is worth of the death penalty.

The ignorant Black M wanted to celebrate Verdun, by augmenting the hatred against French secularism, and thus, the French in general. Black  M is a mental dwarf, he needed to be taught, And he was taught, by the National Front. The National Front intervened with dignity. Finally the mayor of Verdun rescinded the invitation, and a hefty compensation of 47,000 Euros, for the insulter of civilization to sing in front of Merkel and the French president.

Good.

650,000 soldiers died in Verdun, in combat, over a few months, including 350,000 French soldiers who successfully defended the Republic against the fascist, ignorant, robotized, emotionally deprived, monstrously deluded horde of genuine, sophisticated, literate, and literal, barbarians.

Merkel, Chancellor of the German Republic, sister to the French Republic, is going to Verdun to celebrate the victory of the Republic, it’s not to hear a hater of civilization vomit on it, on a stage.

All of this knowledge completely eludes an idiot “socialist” woman who is minister of culture (supposedly, it’s a crime to insult a minister of the French Republic; however, it’s a duty to insult those who destroy civilization, like this idiot did). She called the controversy “nauseabonde” (sickening), bringing immediately millions more votes to the National Front… What’s sickening is that the Pope can come and attack laicity (secularism) in France, and the government does not react to this implicit alliance with the fanatics. The gov should have recalled the ambassador to the Vatican (which was created as a state by Charlemagne, no less)…

As the mess builds up, more and more voters can see that strong solutions are needed. True, Islam has lots of followers. So did Bolshevism. Here is the Nobel Prize in literature, 1950:

“Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world. Their founders would not have resisted the third of the temptations in the wilderness. What Mohammedanism did for the Arabs, Bolshevism may do for the Russians. As Ali went down before the politicians who only rallied to the Prophet after his success, so the genuine Communists may go down before those who are now rallying to the ranks of the Bolsheviks.” – Bertrand Russell in “The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism.” (1920)

Well, that was prophetic. Bolshevism brought only the reign of “Stalin”, the man of steel who started as a Christian professional (as Heidegger did, or as the guy who gave his ideas to Mahomet), and professional gangster. Stalin then made an alliance with the Nazis, against the French Republic, which later backfired.

Awareness is a complicated matter.

Patrice Ayme’

Higher Civilization: Ideas Rule

May 3, 2016

Gandhi was asked once what he thought about Western Civilization. He quipped:”It would be a good idea.” Hilarious. However, what Western civilization was became a rather uncivilized debate in 1914. What the engine of civilization is a better question. It is an idea easier to pin down. I propose:

What’s the ultimate idea generating the most civilization? That ideas should rule more than the rest.

The crazy Frenchman, Franky Zapata has now perfected the “Flyboard Air” (losing fingers in the process, as the turbines develop together 1,000 horsepower).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAy9A3LLu4I

Some will sneer that flying has little to do with the advancement of thinking, but that would be erroneous. Such a flying machine requires great advances in energy density, miniaturization, and electronic control.

Franky Zapata's Preceding Invention

Franky Zapata’s Preceding Invention

Ideas are technology dependent, and that development, in turn, is economically dependent. Telescopes were initially developed in the Netherlands to scrutinize ships from further afield (with all sorts of military and economic consequences). Then Galileo got the idea to turn one towards the Moon, or Jupiter. It is unlikely that Galileo was the first to do so, but he was the first to describe it “scientifically” what he saw. Galileo was a university professor, so he had to talk about what he saw, and was taken seriously. But that does not mean he was the true originator.

One often hears that the US invented everything, but that’s only true when one forgets that others invented the same things earlier. Thus, actually, Alzheimer helps for becoming a great inventor, in one’s mind. (Claiming the superiority of some famous Anglo-Saxon thinkers is actually part of an exploitative mood, started with the “West Country Men”, Locke, Hume, etc.)

Inventions such as the first plane, transistor, and CPU happened in France of all places, not the USA (but they are attributed to the USA, just as Poincare’s ideas are attributed to Einstein). As the case of HIV (a virus discovered in Marseilles), when there are huge economic and political advantages at stake, the US president is given a Nobel Prize: prizes and power follow where the money is, and, ultimately, that’s where fracking works… The research leader of the HIV discovery never got the Nobel Prize (although a student of his did).

Franky Zapata has already invented these crazy water jet machines on which people stand and make acrobatics above water. More than 3,000 have been sold, worldwide. He  The French military and various security and rescue services have expressed interest.

Ideas are technology dependent, and that, in turn, is economically dependent. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) just turned on again. LHC rests in winter, because electricity is too expensive then. Starting now, days are long in France (which is at the latitude of southern Canada), and French nuclear plants churn out cheap electricity. The LHC’s mighty radiation festers 100 meters below the French countryside, and nobody has complained yet that the worms were getting irradiated. Naively, physicist expressed their hope to find Dark Matter in the present run. There is five times more Dark Matter, at least, than Standard Model Matter.

For more French craziness one can consult: Highliners Versus Flysuit. Modern wingsuits were developed in France (the initial modern inventor died skydiving in Hawai’i; a century ago, a wingflier launched himself from the Eiffel Tower. He succumbed from a heart attack).

We are experiencing the richest times, ever, the mind has ever known. An example is the fighting which is developing with NASA’s future space telescope, WFIRST. WFIRST is a modernized Kepler telescope. Since the rough outline of the mission was launched, with a cost of 2.3 billion dollars, more than 5,000 planets were found. Not just that, but a flurry of questions. It is tempting to have those questions answered.

And moods are developing: first, why don’t we look if some of these planets are similar to Earth, complete with oceans and dinosaurs? Well, it turns out that now WFIRST could not block the main star light as well as it could have. Could we fix that? Yes, by floating a specially designed screen which would float far from the telescope, and whose artful geometry would prevent light to go around it (that can be done, with sharp petals interfering with light just so).

So should WFIRST be completed by a Star Shade? That’s another billion or so.

Poets of the trashy kind will say: enough of your planets, go live there if you can! Let’s go back to our landfills, help the poor, and worship the enemies of civilization! However, another mood is rising, deep down, and secretive: what if studying Earth-like planets would reveal new dangers ready to ambush Earth’s civilization? What if exo-paleontology could be a lifesaver?

Indeed. New ideas and new moods bring new, higher morality. Those who see in the Moon a message direct from god will find much easier to find a message direct from god to justify killing those they perceive as their enemies. Don’t laugh: Islamist authorities determine when the new moon happens (and of course they differ, an interesting conflict based on the refutation of the science of astronomy!)

In related news, the French Republic is threatening to withdraw from the TTIP (Trans Atlantic Infamous Plutocratic) negotiations:”Europe gives a lot, and receives very little in exchange”. French president Hollande observes: “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets… At this stage [of talks] France says ‘No.’”

When ideas rule, and new ideas are born, so does craziness. At least from the point of view of the old logic. Once shown a new theory to explain Quantum Mechanics, what I call a Sub Quantum Physics, Niels Bohr sneered:”It’s not crazy enough!”

New ideas come with their own logic. Even when they are born from the old logic, it’s only if the help of much craziness. So we should welcome innovative craziness. Nearly all great discoveries started as fun and games.

Much of the stalling between what the future was imagined to be, eighty years ago (flying cars, etc.) has to do with the lack of innovation in miniaturized, ultra-efficient energy. So welcome to the Flyboard Air!

Patrice Ayme’

Solar Roads

October 15, 2015

Solar Roads Versus Objection Mars:

Long ago, when the sun had not set yet on the will of the West to progress, a poet was visiting my home. He read some of his poetry. Humanity had just reached the Moon. The poet loftily declared that we did not need the Moon, we needed to fight hunger.

Later, the malaria parasite mutated, becoming resistant to standard treatment. Now it kills more than 1.2 million people a year. A typical objection to colonizing the Solar System is this:

“as I see it – Scott’s movie (even if I’m a sci-fi fan and I love some movies of him as well: Blade Runner is definitely a masterpiece) is a mere conservative propaganda aiming for people to agree that these extremely expensive missions to Mars are more important than saving African children from ebola, helping Syrian refugees, letting Europe be democratic yet or supporting laws against free guns in the US … Save the “american” astronaut, guys!” The answer is crushing, it holds in one picture:

French Truck On Solar Photo-Voltaic Road: the Future Has Arrived

French Truck On Solar Photo-Voltaic Road: the Future Has Arrived

There is nothing “conservative” about missions to Mars. Quite the opposite: such missions are fully progressive. They force humanity to progress.

Disease in Africa has to do with lack of governance. Lack of hospital has to do with lack of governance. In the Ebola epidemic, the countries that were struck were struck from lack of organized health care.

Senegal got one, just one, imported Ebola case. The patient got cured, and that was it. Even Mali, with better governance, in spite of a Jihadist invasion, was able to contain a few imported cases. Meanwhile, several countries next door, which are intrinsically much richer (Sierra Leone, Guinea. Liberia) saw thousands of deaths, and containment came from the efforts of NGOs, France and the USA (mostly).

When France pulled out of Africa, some particularly smart critic told a senior French government minister that the argument of “freeing” Africa from alleged colonialism made no humanitarian sense: there was no “colonialism” to speak of, and who was going to pay for one hospital every 100 kilometers in the world’s second largest continent? The minister smiled, and said: “this is precisely the point, we will not incur that expense anymore.”

Two capabilities save children in general: a) good governance. b) science.

When considering a Mars mission in this connection, one has to answer if the Mars mission will improve governance and science. Governance itself is a science. A mission to Mars is “expensive”. How much? 100 million dollars? 200 millions? How much would a Mars colonization program cost to launch? Two trillion dollars?

According to the International Monetary Fund, subsidies for fossil fuels are more than 5.5 trillion dollars a year. Enough to set-up a village on Mars, with existing technology.

Now going to Mars would force drastic progress in, say, fuel cells. The technology of fuel cells was invented for the Moon mission. After Obama became president, the research funding on this field was yanked out (probably to send money to businessmen such as Elon Musk).

Mars colonization would force enormously innovative research in energy technology, for example fuel cells, and nuclear energy (both fission and fusion).

Nothing else will.

Syrian refugees? Mars will not save Syrians? Nothing is more removed from the truth. Mars, the god of war, is what is needed in Syria, fighting for Goodness, instead of having Mars fight in the name of the devil Assad, as was mostly done so far.

The 300,000 dead in Syria, the eleven million refugees, have been caused by the rule of a single, cornered man, Assad, son of Assad, and the clique surrounding him. To solve the Syrian refugees crisis, Assad’s rule ought to be terminated, so that he could be replaced by generals open to enough democracy to keep Syrians in Syria.

Unfortunately the Franco-American decapitation strike against Assad was called off by Obama, for reasons so far unexplained. So the massacre keeps on going, with forces under the orders of Assad killing at least ten times as much what the Islamist State kills.

Fossil fuels consumption, should it go on for a few more decades, will bring the global temperature up five degrees Celsius, and massacre the biosphere. It has to stop, but can be stopped only with plentiful, cheap, new energy sources.

That, or massive war (killing billions).

How? Science to the rescue. Without evoking the spectrum of nuclear energy (fission and fusion), Solar Photo-Voltaic (SPV) is here. Normal solar panels were developed for space missions. Without space colonization, they would not have been developed. Yet, solar panels are fragile. Or, more exactly, were fragile until now.

A giant French construction company (Bouygues) deposed patents to cover-up solar cells with various materials to make them tough. Glass can be made as hard as steel. Then Bouygues engineers drove more than a million vehicles above the toughened-up panels in a few test cities (Chambery, Grenoble). Now the first solar road is under construction. Four meters of said road can satisfy a house’s needs. 100 square meters (twenty meters of the linear road depicted) are enough to drive 100,000 kilometers with an electric vehicle. If 25% of French roads were covered, 100% of French electric needs would be covered.

The future, the good future, is here: it’s enough to let science roll. But science needs challenges. Such as Mars colonization. If (very serious) scientists and mathematicians need bananas, such as the Fields Medal and the Nobel Prize, certainly humanity needs bigger motivation, and bigger prizes than that!

You want morality? More morality? Then you need a bigger science. And the way to get a better science is by setting higher objectives, greater passions, more exacting thoughts. Progress, the Will to Progress, is a mood. It cannot be confined to moral progress, because the universe juggles with evil. Moral progress means technological progress.  Mars colonization is no moral objection. Objective Mars is a moral imperative.

Patrice Ayme’

Science, Mars, Or Moral Bust

October 14, 2015

In the first democratic debate, Hillary Clinton said she was “a progressive who likes to get things done.” Let’s hope they will be less plutocratic than the “things” done by her husband. Meanwhile the question came up from others that going to Mars, or similar colossal techno-scientific progress had no humanitarian value. Before a more organized rebuttal, here goes my poetical opinion:

***

Science, Mars, Or Moral Bust

Many are the passions

Many are the tragedies

Against tragedies goodness,

All too often contend in vain.

Lest emotions move men and fate

Out of complacency, indifference,

Careers, self-admiring seriousness,

And obey the call of love for mind, sentience..

Yet, even when passions move us,

Towards the noblest goals, with the best intentions

All too often we find there is nothing

We can do at all, against pain and suffering:

When our magic, our science, come short..

To feel right and think right,

Does not mean we can do right.

For enabling goodness we need the powers,

The very powers which feed from,

By, and with, the Dark Side.

Power itself is dark.

Yet noble, and fundamentally us.

So yes, by any means,

Go to Mars.

It will nurture new emotions,

Wealth of transcendent emotions,

Not just lofty and intricate thoughts,

Humanity define.

We have always gone to Mars,

Ever since we left leafy trees.

We will stop,

Only when our fundamental lust,

What defines us,

Progress,

Dies with us.

 

How Neanderthals, Dinosaurs Disappeared?

June 23, 2015

IS THE SAME FUNDAMENTAL MECHANISM AT PLAY?

Dinosaurs are still around: they are called birds. Birds are those dinosaurs which enjoyed high metabolism. In difficult circumstances, those who acted quick could stay warm, and make the slow, or their eggs, into lunch. Mammals, too, and probably even more, exerted deadly pressure on dinosaur reproduction.

Dinosaurs were big (the smallest, like Velociraptors, were feather covered, and turkey sized). To create the same number of average individuals dinosaurs may have required a thousand times more energy as for the average bird: obvioulsy after a disaster, their population would not rebound as fast.

The Past Is Printed With DNA, & We Can Read It.

The Past Is Printed With DNA, & We Can Read It.

[As we can read DNA like a printed book, Paleontology is becoming history, complete with written documents! Represented above: the 40,000 years old Homo Sapiens jaw which was sequenced, and found to be a Sapiens Sapiens- Sapiens Neanderthal hybrid.]

Much spectacular progress is made in paleontology, every month. In the latest, some dinosaur protein would have been isolated. Sequencing and making a Jurassic Park, someday, is not science fiction anymore. Such was the truth, in June 2015. (In the preceding month, that would have sounded like science-fiction.)

Now we have a new fact supporting the theory I hold that Neanderthal’s traits were outbred. Here is yesterday’s recap from Nature:

http://www.nature.com/news/europe-s-first-humans-what-scientists-do-and-don-t-know-1.17815

Neanderthals are also still around. Or more exactly Neanderthal genome: 1% to 3% (although some claim up to 9% of combined Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry!). And more so in East Asia and among Native Americans. Some find strange that Neanderthal genome disappeared more in Europe, where Neanderthal reigned so long.

But it just means that genetic competition between Sapiens Neanderthal and Sapiens Sapiens traits was more in favor of the later there… Perhaps simply because winters are milder in Europe.

Neanderthals had evolved from Archaic Homo Sapiens, and ruled Europe for 300,000 years. Most of the time, the continent was in the grip of glaciation. Neanderthals evolved genetic adaptations to these Arctic conditions, such as a larger body mass, and a more compact, more muscular, powerful body.

However technological advances such as clothing, burning coal (!), the propeller (to launch javelins further), and the bow made those Neanderthal genetic modifications obsolete, moot, duplicative. A prime defect was higher mass. Reproducing the same number of Neanderthals required more energy than the same number of more gracile forms of Homo Sapiens.

When in competition, the reproductive advantage of the more gracile traits grow exponentially in time:
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/why-did-neanderthals-disappear/

It is not about Homo Sapiens Sapiens enjoying superior traits relative to Neanderthals.

The disappearance of Neanderthals is about most Sapiens Neanderthal traits having become excess evolutionary baggage. So the traits got out-selected. One should expect that the heavy, Arctic genetic traits were weeded out, and only superior traits (the 3%) were kept. As observed. And more so in Europe, as winters are milder there than in the rest of the Eurasian land mass (South Asia excluded). As observed. In other words, after an Arctic excursion, Neanderthals transmutated back into what they came from, keeping some useful mutations (many having to do with skin).

The tree of evolution is rather a network (with a non-trivial topology).

A case in point is Homo itself. The first prototypes (so to speak) may have separated from chimpanzee like ancestors, ten million years ago. But the official theory has it, at this point, that there was some interbreeding with chimpanzees, around six million years ago again.

BTW, it is not true that no Neanderthal DNA is found in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s so yesteryear, 2014. Neanderthal DNA has been found all the way down to South Africa’s tip (2015 discovery), and the migration route traced.

Patrice Ayme’

Tech, Science, Thinking, Stalled By Plutocracy

May 26, 2015

TECH STALLED BECAUSE SO IS SCIENCE, & THINKING, AS OUR MASTERS DESIRE

Technology, Energy, Science, Economy all entangled, & Stalled:

Some have observed tech is bringing up more hype than progress: we did not get flying cars, but 140 characters. Productivity is stagnating. The Internet hype led a devolution of thinking, for all to see. Some sites seem popular, mostly because they induce a parody of thinking (even on “academic” sites).

Against the will to stupidity, genius roars in vain.

So much of the “high Tech” is not truly high tech, or at least new tech. It’s no big deal, indeed. The “high tech” monopolies, with their “big data” will allow to make with robots what our ancestors used to have with domesticated animals (an ass, horse, or an ox are clever, and respond to voice commands, like the day after tomorrow’s robots).

There is not enough financing of the possible avenues of futuristic research. Here is one:

Real high tech would mean progress in energy production: this is the core of what defines our species. An obvious possibility, indeed, is thermonuclear fusion. H-Bombs work splendidly, and are very small. Making a thermonuclear engine has been difficult, but propulsion in space could turn around a lot of the difficulty we presently have.

Krugman noticed some of this in “The Big Meh” [I sent wise comments, therefore all censored by the New York Times; the Times later sent me kindly an unsolicited letter to justify its censorship; there is no excuse: the New York Times should not censor serious and cogent comments, this is a misuse of technology].

Krugman: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”… began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”… Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch…

O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.”

We evolved as a technological species: weapon and tool usage precedes the apparition of Homo:

Technology preceded the apparition of Homo Erectus, two million years ago. So we can only conclude that technology, and its attached science, and scientific method, created the ecological niche in which Homo, even homo Erectus, evolved.

The fundamental evolutionary niche our very distant ancestors, pre-Homo Erectus, chose was to improve the quantity and quality of energy at our disposal. They went to explore, far from trees and cliffs, armed with stone tools and weapons, with a bias towards a much more carnivorous diet.

Technology and science are us. This is as human as we get. That does not mean anything goes. Just, that’s how humanity gets going.

Thus, our very evolution is entangled with our mastery of energy. Neanderthals used coal (lignite!) already 80,000 years ago. When our ancestors learned to domesticate animals and then invented agriculture, we improved our mastery of energy considerably. In the last 2,000 years, wood was progressively replaced by fossil fuels.

However, fossil fuels have become unsustainable. It is not just that they have put so much CO2 in the lower atmosphere, warming it, melting the ice, rising the seas, and into the ocean, making it acid.

The Return On Investment (ROI) of fossil fuels is now terrible. Major oil companies do not make much profits on new fields: they cost too much to find and exploit. Fracking makes money, but only because the states, and others, pay the price. Remember: 5.3 trillion dollars of fossil fuel subsidies out there.

However progress in economic matters is all about ROI in energy. Without energy we have no food, no shelter, we die.

We don’t have flying cars because we did not improve our mastery of energy as much as that would require (the very first plane, part of a French military program, did not fly very far: it used a heavy steam plant; shortly after, the internal combustion engine allowed to take-off more clearly; right now Airbus sells an electric plane, and intents to develop that technology much further).

Fundamental progress in energy technology has been stalled by lack of advances in fission, fusion, and batteries. Only solar photovoltaics is making really spectacular progress.

This stalling of major technological progress where it counts, in energy management is why society, and the planet, are threatened. This stalling is directly related to a dearth of fundamental research funding, itself related to the rise of a non-tax paying plutocracy. We are in whirlpool of disaster, and the greed of an oligarchy is its nature.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: Latest News: Amazon Inc. just announced it would stop hiding its European profits in Luxembourg, and would set-up tax paying subsidiaries in various countries: it was threatened by incoming British and French laws. However, skepticism is widespread about the fine print in Amazon’s proposal…

The future was not stalled in the past: Contrarily to what happened around the era from, say, 1900 to 1970, when many futuristic technologies were researched; the USA operated nuclear rocket engines, France flew a “statoreacteur” (“ramjet”) plane, etc.; the inception of motorized flight, from the French steam plane, all the way to jet engines, took around 50 years!