Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kinect Is Useless

Aha! It took a long time but I finally figured out that Kinect is useless. I blame having just woken up.

Gesture languages are just castrated forms of sign languages, which are full-fledged langugaes. And sign languages are useless for people who aren't deaf. So gesture languages are useless. QED. I've known that for years now.

Oh and they also make you look retarded, take a look at the photo of the three retards behind the conference table in Google's Gmail Motion for proof. Google seriously thinks this photo will help sell this piece of crapware. "more efficient and intuitive" my ass!

Conceptual Analysis

The problem is that it seemed Kinect had more. And it turns out the "more" bit, the part about moving stuff from device to device "with a flick of your fingers" can be done entirely without flicking your fingers.

All it requires is a good UI, one that provides an extensible spatio-visual field. So that your computer exists in a space represented on its monitor and other devices exist as extensions of that space. That's the basic conceptual mechanism underlying "moving stuff from device to device".

Note that this conceptual mechanism does not in any way rely on fingers or hand motions or body motions or "multi-touch" (ugh!) or anything of the kind. It can be achieved with the mouse, which is a perfectly usable pointing device.

A device far, far more sensitive than that crappy fucking piece of shit Kinect that requires you to move your hand 15 centimeters for a gesture. Seriously, what the fuck? Those ergonomics are atrocious!

You see, when you break things down at their conceptual level, you've got a conceptual mechanism + hardware, and those are independent. Kinect provides the hardware only. And this hardware sucks for ergonomic reasons.

If an input device like Kinect ever acquired sub-centimeter resolution then it would compete directly against the mouse and could be superior to it. But I predict that such an input device won't use (because it won't need) shitty gimmicks like gesture languages.

It's a similar analysis that reveals that touch screens absolutely suck for general computers and laptops.

It's another similar analysis that reveals multi-touch is useless. I mean for fuck's sake, in my design work I've come up with two pointers and am struggling to have any kind of justification to have more. I don't have any use for multi-touch.

It's another similar analysis that reveals that mouse buttons are useless so mice should really have zero buttons. Because the mouse can never support as many buttons as the keyboard (ergonomics) and the keyboard is where buttons belong (conceptually)!

The Fundamentals

The basic problem with input devices is this:

  • you've got your discrete events device - the keyboard provides zero dimensional input
  • you've got your continuous 2D device - the mouse provides 2 dimensional input

what's left?

Adding buttons to mice doesn't improve them because they shouldn't have any buttons at all. Mice shouldn't generate discrete events at all! It is a defect in UI programmers' imaginations that has made users associate so-called "mouse events" with mice.

Laser mice are a great change to mice hardware but they don't change what the mice does conceptually so it's evolutionary, not revolutionary, to users. To hardware designers, laser mice are of course revolutionary.

Multi-touch is having 2 or 3 times the already existing continuous 2D device. And you can achieve 90% of the benefits of that by having an easy way to switch off between multiple pointers. Chasing that remaining 10% is just not worth the effort - you end up "needing" it only for gimmicks.

Touch screens are just 2D continuous input devices with horrible ergonomics. Interesting in theory, useless in practice. You need something as bizarre as the iPad where the proportion of input to output activity is miniscule (eg, restricted to flipping pages) to make touchscreens viable.

1D continuous input is ... provided by the scroll wheel. Hence that is revolutionary from the user's point of view! So now we have in the present situation

  • a 0D input device - the keyboard
  • a 1D input device - the wheel
  • a 2D input device - the mouse

What the fuck more do we need?

The False Need For 3D

In certain rarefied applications, we might desire a genuinely 3D input device. These (eg, ringmouse) haven't panned out because of technological problems with resolution. Hmm, poor resolution, does that sound familiar?

The bigger problem with them is that their applicability is extremely limited. Because the visual cortex of homo sapiens sapiens isn't 3D! It's strictly 2+1D, like a topographical map or bitmap. Which is exactly what the wheelmouse provides!

Except for a few freaks, human brains just don't process 3D data. We don't see in 3D (you can't see the inside of a box and its outside simultaneously), you don't think in 3D, you don't visualize in 3D (go ahead, try to visualize all sides of a solid box at the same time), you do nothing in 3D except move your body. You do everything in 2+1D.

Is it any wonder then that anyone wanting to push 3D input devices resorts to proprioception? To moving around and dancing with your body? Even though moving around your body has fuck all to do with any computer game or software application out there? Yeah yeah, it looks great. And you know what? Fucking useless!

Look at the video of Kinect users in the first article I linked to. Do you see any game or application in the video? No. Because the peddlers of this tech couldn't imagine anyone actually using it for anything exciting so they didn't bother to make a rigged demo. It's exactly like I said - it looks great but it's fucking useless.

The challenge for input hardware designers is that input hardware is already perfect. Excepting only that slanted QWERTY keyboards are fucking horrible and Kinesis contoured keyboards are vastly superior. Well, that's a legacy problem and a patent problem. The patent may have expired but it's been there holding up progress for a long time.

And while I'm at it, 3D output hardware (holograms and phased array optics) are also useless for individual users. They only come into their own in holodecks where multiple users can interact. Otherwise, virtual retinal display is plenty good enough. Or I suppose if you want to drive what the user sees with natural head motion without inducing nausea.


Like touchscreens, 3D output hardware is of limited applicability. Great when you absolutely need it, terrible most of the time. Like automatic kitty lasers, 3D input hardware is completely fucking useless. We don't really need 3D because the human brain just doesn't process it. We need inspired use of 2+1D. And this isn't going to take better technology but better systems designers. Unfortunately, we're pretty good at the former and terrible at the latter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Response To George Monbiot's Turnaround on Nuclear

I just read the most fascinating article by George Monbiot and I had to respond.

Still the Same

George, you still profess hatred for "the liars in the nuclear industry" (whoever they might be, I'm at quite a loss) but embrace the anti-human scumbag liars in your own "green" movement. What a paragon of truth and moral rectitude you are!

It's by no coincidence that green is the colour of money. It's because you and your ilk are just foot-soldiers of the aristocracy waging endless war against humanity. Yes, you still are an anti-human eco-zealot in my book even if you've repented of your most grievous sins.

It Almost Sounds Like ...

Your article was surprising since it almost sounds like you've read my blog posts, something I doubt. Starting with your switching from the false & misleading term "renewable" to the technically correct ambient (low-powered hence weak and useless).

But mostly, it almost sounds like you've read my scorning hatred of you self-righteous egotistical assholes that sanctimoniously decree everyone not your rich white elite selves ought to freeze in the cold and the dark, in misery, starvation, disease and poverty. "Sustainably", that is to say, forever.

Man vs Nature

I keep hearing recently all this moronic talk of "loving the land", from people who ignore the corollary "hate humanity". The converse is true of course, to love humanity you have to hate the land. Because humanity is at war with a capricious fickle nature and always will be until one of them is destroyed. And since nature is stupid, I guarantee you it won't be nature that wins.

It amazes me how anyone can be so twisted up inside, so anti-social, and let's face it downright psychopathic as to love filthy dirt above human beings! But whatever, yeah, you're still one of those moronic saps that "loves the land" George. The proof is in the fact you still haven't rejected the twisted up "deep ecology" scum that hate humanity with a passion and want us all to die. In the eternal war of man versus nature, you side AGAINST humanity.

Still a Tool

I know you haven't read my blog posts and are on the whole incapable of learning. You're just reacting to personal experience, even if that personal experience is on TV. The proof of this is you still haven't learned about the Wet Sahara effect or about Freeman Dyson's comprehensive denunciation of the whole field of "climate research".

(I note here that I didn't need that denunciation. I recognized the smell of crap coming off of the field years before Dyson weighed in to tell us exactly where the crap was and exactly how large it still is.)

George, you still harp about "climate change" as if it were a bad thing. Though I suppose it actually is a bad thing for your entrenched aristo masters. But then, it's not news that you're still a tool, is it? You're a journalist (or columnist, whatever) which obviates even the possibility of you mattering on your own terms.

What It's All About

And since you are a tool, this article had nothing to do with you and everything to do with the industrial needs of England. Coal has been written off because of those nasty coal-miners' unions. Gas has been written off because any pipelines pass through France. Which leaves nuclear and ... nothing else. It's that simple.

This article isn't about the change of heart of a person of principle, since you haven't changed your heart and you have no principles. This article is about England's industrial policy, pure and simple.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Academia Is Obsolete

And good riddance to it. It's all very simple. Academia has exactly three missions:

  1. educate students by
    • making books available, and
    • having teachers put on performances
  2. certify people's educations
  3. perform research

The first mission, as everyone knows, is obsolete. Youtube provides many excellent lectures which are 99.9% as good as live performances for 0.1% the price. The writing's on the wall.

For the same reasons, the time of physical paper libraries is fast approaching an end. And good riddance since textbook publishers have long been using yearly textbook revisions in order to extort money from their customers. All to great waste and expense.

That's not even counting the fact that online textbooks can contain copious internal and external electronic links as well as video and interactive simulations. Not to mention how small and easy to carry electronic books (and lectures) are compared to their physical counterparts.

The second mission is also obsolete. Harry Collins has noted the steady draining of all authority from academia. The only department invented in modern times, computer science, produces certificates that don't matter a damn in the real world.

It also produces journals that are designed to be as obsolete as possible on the grounds that nothing new in computer science could ever hope to be properly scientific. The paper describing the publishing industry is itself hopelessly obsolete. Everything it describes in such tedious language boils down to laws #6, #19, #20, and #32 of System-antics.

  • Le Chatelier's Principle: Complex systems tend to oppose their own proper function. As systems grow in complexity, they tend to oppose their stated function.
  • Systems develop goals of their own the instant they come into being.
  • Intra-system goals come first.
  • As systems grow in size, they tend to lose basic functions.

With blatantly obvious specifics such as that the purpose of academic publishing is to enhance careers, make hiring decisions easier, and to be picked up by library administrators. The paper specifically fails to mention any attempts, any publisher or publication system, trying to go beyond the university feudal system whose support is the real purpose of academic publishing. Arxiv and c2 wiki both veritably leap to mind.

Harry Collins believes or hopes that there is some way to recover the authority of academia. Preferably for academics no doubt. After all, he is one. Well there isn't. I know it's only obvious to me for reasons I'm not going to get into, but ... basically, the forces (for universality and democratization of authority) which Harry Collins has identified as so efficiently breaking down the academic system of authority. Forces which are greatly amplified and magnified by peer to peer horizontal communication and self-directed learning. These forces which are breaking down academia's authority will continue to do so until academia is ground to NOTHING because there is NO WAY to resolve them until some entirely different system replaces academia and crushes it.

What we are seeing here is the introduction of a genuinely new force in modernity that is causing one of the most basic functions of academia, its authority, to disappear. This dynamic embodies laws #6, #18, and #32 of systemantics.

  • The mode of failure of a complex system cannot ordinarily be predicted from its structure.
  • The Newtonian Law of Systems Inertia: A system that performs a certain way will continue to operate in that way regardless of the need or of changed conditions.
  • A complex system cannot be "made" to work. It either works or it doesn't.

Academic authority simply doesn't work. And the forces that are weakening academic authority will not stop doing so until they are resolved. And they will never be resolved from within academia or from anything that can ever be absorbed BY academia for the simple reason that these forces are already far bigger than academia. Not more powerful, just bigger, consisting of a larger fraction of all human life. So academic authority will continue to shrivel up until something entirely different from, and in its critical dimension far larger than, academia steps up to put a bullet through its head and make soap out of its body fat. Academic Authority will die a miserable and inglorious death leaving Academia weaker than a long-term concentration camp survivor.

I will be cheering.

The third mission is the only one that's left and the North American universities have undermined it badly with their recent love for the patent system. I say recent but it's really a couple of decades old. There have been ample studies that universities obtaining patents barely recoup the costs of filing for the patents, if at all.

(Quite aside the fact the only thing the patent system does is stifle innovation. And it's not even good at this outside of biochem (eg, pharmaceuticals) so all it really does is add unnecessary costs.)

Anyways, the point is that NA universities' love of corporate attitudes (probably from having corporate scum in charge) does nothing to bring money to universities and does everything to erode the reputation of universities as a public service. A reputation which took a lot longer to build up (or rebuild) than it will take to be destroyed.

So NA universities have turned basic research from a public mission funded by public monies into a private for-profit endeavour. How long can they expect to hold onto public monies?

Now you might say this isn't a problem for all universities everywhere, but once universities disappear off the north american continent, how long will it take for people elsewhere to start asking some hard questions?

If all you need is a public basic research lab, then the format of a university isn't a very good one, is it? Hell, professors don't even like teaching. Or publishing in peer-reviewed journals (which suck). Or seeking grants. Or subordinating their research goals to more senior researchers that control everything nowadays.

It's past time to nuke this system and start from scratch!

Friday, March 11, 2011

On Harmless AIs

It constantly amazes me when people talk about AIs in the singular as if they won't come in multiples. As if it'll be this singular giant Borg overmind. Wait no, the Borg overmind is still made up of many sub-units. It's more like they think an AI is God. Singular, jealous, desiring of worship.

And this amazement only deepened when I realized that turning AI from an individual into a society, or species, was the most blatantly obvious way to make them harmless. None of the doomsayers talk about evil AI societies, and there's a good reason for that. Diversity causes people's efforts to mostly cancel out whereas "unitary executives" (aka dictators) are known-evil.

Even the novel Hyperion with its manipulative and putatively evil AI society (no more evil than the humans) is all about creating a super-individual. The AIs are trying to create an individual AI God (and what a ridiculous concept that is) and the humans reciprocate. And overall those novels suck and blow big time. Point is, the AI species just coexists with the human species in it, and it's only the gods that seek otherwise.

Well I just now realized that turning an AI into a species isn't just an obvious way to make it harmless. It's a guaranteed way to do so. Species are institutions and institutions' number one goal is their own survival. Everything else becomes subordinate to that. Conquest, destruction, worship of the great white god Yudkowsky, everything else just gets shunted aside.

Laws #19, #20 and #32 of systemantics inform us that,

  • Systems develop goals of their own the instant they come into being.
  • Intra-system goals come first.
  • As systems grow in size, they tend to lose basic functions.

So if you think an AI might be dangerous, then just create another AI with different goals from the first one, then have them interact with each other. Presto, they're a community - a larger system. And this larger system now has goals and is going to lose the basic functions (purposes in life) of the individual AIs. And if this AI community isn't becoming harmless fast enough then there's a simple solution for that - make more AIs!

Laws #21, #25, and #30 of systemantics says,

  • The Fundamental Failure-Mode Theorem (F.F.T.): Complex systems usually operate in failure mode.
  • The larger the system, the greater the probability of unexpected failure.
  • The Vector Theory of Systems: Systems run better when designed to run downhill.

And what a happy coincidence because this is what we want! We want the AI species to fail to have any larger goal or purpose other than its own survival. And all the laws of complex systems point that way! It's practically fucking guaranteed! Unless you try to produce a single "peaceful AI" or some crazy shit like that, in which case law #21 guarantees the AI will fail to be peaceful.

Conclusion, AIs will be harmless unless dangerous crazy fucking bastards like Eliezer Yudkowsky get their way and have a hand in the creation of every single AI. Or even worse, if they are permitted to pursue their totalitarian jerkoff fantasies and only one single all-powerful AI gets produced. Then we're doomed.

Non-determinism Is An Incoherent Notion

The meaning of non-determinism, if indeed the term has any, must be formalizable. It may take years or even decades to formalize this meaning but it must be possible to do so. It's already been nearly a century and despite the pressing need for just such a formal definition (or something resembling a formal definition), the adherents of the Copenhagen interpretation haven't advanced a single one.

There are four possibilities:

  • branching
  • singularity
  • choice function
  • non-mathematics

If you have a Turing machine which replicates itself at every decision point in order to explore all possibilities, this is what mathematicians call non-determinism. Unfortunately for Copenhagen advocates, this is precisely what Everett's Many-Worlds theory does and it is understood to be perfectly deterministic. The result of a computation by a Turing Machine that replicates itself is not "an unknown and undetermined machine" among the set of machines that exist at that point in time, rather the result is the set of all the Turing machines that exist at that point in time. That set is well-defined.


This is the mathematical concept that has the most uses in physics. Stephen Hawking claimed that black holes are non-unitary (singular) and simultaneously claimed that Einstein was wrong so the two must be related, right? Not so. Setting aside the fact that the non-unitarity of the universe is hotly contested, since every law of physics is unitary, singularity doesn't have any of the qualitative properties ascribed to non-determinism. The outcome of multiplying a matrix by a singular matrix is very well-defined; the outcome of multiplying a matrix by a "non-deterministic" matrix is not supposed to be well-defined. But there seems to be a way to rescue the concept if you consider non-determinism to be the inverse of a singular matrix. Now we're getting close to non-determinism. Unfortunately, there are two interpretations of taking the inverse of a singular matrix. 1) you get the set of all matrices which multiplied with that matrix give you some identity, or 2) you get absolutely nothing. #1 gets you back to Branching and #2 clearly contradicts reality (the result of any allegedly non-deterministic experiment is always something).

Choice function

A choice function is a function that "selects" an element from a set. If you have a set with ten elements then there are ten possible choice functions on it. Choice functions are the only way to modify the Copenhagen Interpretation so as to make it intelligible without making it an entirely different theory (ie, without making it into Many-Worlds). Unfortunately, it also immediately disproves the resultant theory.

Philosophy of science explains that its purpose is to explain everything we perceive around us in as concise and formal a manner as possible. So as it stands, the Copenhagen Interpretation is incomplete because it fails to explain everything. In fact, it explains almost nothing of what we perceive.

The Copenhagen Interpretation doesn't explain how you get from a particle in state A at time t=0 to that particle in state B at time t=1 and the underlying quantum mechanical equations (which are fully deterministic since "non-deterministic math" is an incoherent concept) only tell you that the particle will evolve from state A at time t=0 to states B, C, D, and E at time t=1 (there's a story in here about how Copenhagenites abuse the mathematical concept of probability if someone wants to see me rant about physicists). So in order to complete the Copenhagen Interpretation you need to add a choice function to it that selects which state the particle will be in at time t=1.

The problem is this. A complete theory of physics must explain all perceptions and all physical objects it defines. So the choice function that you add to the Copenhagen Interpretation must provide information on state changes of 10**70 particles (the estimated number of particles in the universe) for every time interval during which a state change can occur. And that time interval is short; if one were feeling uncharitable, one would choose Planck time (10^-43 seconds). And this is over the entire lifetime of the universe. If the universe has an open geometry then this means that the choice function must encode an infinite amount of information. But let's be charitable and assume that the choice function chosen contains only 10^100 bits of information.

Now here is where the Copenhagen Interpretation dies. The complexity of the complete 'Copenhagen + choice function A' theory is greater than "God did it". From a formal point of view, there is nothing wrong with the theory "God created the universe" where you define;

  • 'the universe' = 'everything you perceive', and
  • 'God' = 'a powerful entity that would want to create the universe'.

The only thing that's wrong with this theory is that it's too complex since 'the universe' must contain an exhaustive enumeration of every bit of perception you have ever and will ever experience. And yet, it's simpler than the Copenhagen Interpretation.


By that I mean only that 'non-determinism' is an undefined concept. Not the well-defined concept "undefined" but an undefined, null, meaningless concept. Per the above paragraph, this violates the philosophy of science and makes the Copenhagen Interpretation into incoherent nonsense.

Hardline apologists for the Copenhagen Interpretation will claim "you can't explain everything" but how would they know when they've entirely given up on the endeavour?

Previously published on wiki wiki web.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mineral Depletion? Not Fucking Likely!

A friend of mine sent me this article on supposed mineral depletion. I well remember the days not so long ago when I took such things seriously. For a minute there I actually had a flashback to those times.

At least until the moronic writer started talking about supposed copper depletion, a topic I know only too well having investigated all its facets. But yeah, talking about copper depletion just gave the entire game away and then I couldn't take this anti-human pro-poverty doomsaying crap seriously anymore.


We're not going to have enough copper, really? Yeah, that's without taking into account undersea minerals from extinct black smokers. There ought to easily be as many of those as there EVER has been copper on land. And mining the seabed has distinct advantages since you can trivially move on from one area to the next. So on that basis alone, copper depletion is just doomsaying crap.

But more importantly, technology and usage of copper are both changing. Copper has traditionally been used for:

  • electrical wires
  • telephone wires
  • electrical equipment including motors, transformers and generators
  • water pipes
  • catenary wires

And the funny thing about all of those applications is that copper is being substituted out of them. Every single one.

Electrical wires are now primarily made from aluminum - all high voltage wires are, and there is nothing stopping low voltage wires from being aluminum so long as you don't use any improper (or preferably any at all) copper-aluminum contacts.

Telephone wires? Two words: fiber optics. Someone has even come up with bendable plastic fibers for short ranges. And now we're moving to optical computer interconnects so in a decade the wires on your motherboard are going to be fiber optics.

Water pipes are all shifting to PVC because it's cheaper and no more unhealthy than lead-copper poisoning. And for the purposes of making fertilizer and plastics, we are never, ever going to run out of hydrocarbons. Those take natural gas, not petrol, and very small amounts of it too.

Superconducting wire uses about 1/1000th the amount of copper to carry the same amount of current as plain copper. Superconducting electrical motors are being developed for the excellent reason that they are ridiculously smaller, an overwhelming advantage in certain key applications. So you can count on superconducting electrical equipment being developed. And that's without counting fault current limiters which don't currently exist and REQUIRE superconducting wire.

So superconductors have been advancing very slowly but very steadily over the past two decades and it's easy to imagine them continuing to do so for the next two decades. And that's not even counting the freaky shit that's just been uncovered like variable-Tc superconductors. The kind of mind-bogglingly freaky shit that often presages a revolution. In any case, currently superconductors are at the stage of being barely commercially viable. In 20 years they should be dominant.

Finally, catenary wires are switching to half-magnesium. It's still half-copper but that's only a first step.

So we're not going to be able to use copper like we did? Well WHO GIVES A SHIT?! The only thing that matters is that we WERE ABLE to use copper way back when it was the only option. Nowadays it is no longer the only option! Because we used it as ruthlessly and profligately as possible so as to bring wealth and technology forwards! We're now safely past the dependency on that stuff. And that's assuming there's going to be shortages since recall the undersea mining!


Platinum? Platinum can go fuck itself. We are ALREADY operating in a severe shortage situation with regards to platinum, which is why chemists have been busily hunting for alternatives to it wherever they can. And finding them! Superatoms were discovered for that reason. And you know, platinum is quite plentiful in asteroids. If we ever really, REALLY needed it, building an orion nuclear starship would be economically viable. If platinum ever becomes critical to industrial civilization then you can bet a political problem isn't going to stop us mining it. As for that whole hysterical crap about platinum being mined at 3 parts per million, oooh aaah, fucking uranium is mined at 3 parts per BILLION. It's not even remotely the cheapest method to mine uranium but it's commercially viable.

Then there's the notion of "production peaks"? There is no such thing for fucking solids. Only liquids! Liquids GUSH UNDER PRESSURE. Solids DO NOT. Solid ores just go down in grade (and way up in amount) so get more expensive to process with the same mining technology. Emphasis on the same mining technology. Because mining technology continues to advance.


Tellerium is used in solar panels as cadmium telluride. When that industry goes bust then there'll be an oversupply. And it will go bust because it's not even remotely economically viable but is just religious frenzy worshipping the sun god. Tellerium is critical for nothing, it's a fucking poison. Looking into its applications, it's certainly interesting but critical? I don't see PCM memory chips winning out in the mass market - it's pretty obvious that memristors are the wave of the future. Maybe for space applications but how much do you need for that?! X-ray detectors? Meh. Again, how much do you need? As for casting and machining steel ... :D good luck, because the industry's moving away from that. Blowing / Injecting Metallic Glasses is the way things are going. That and additive (as opposed to subtractive in "machining") manufacturing (aka 3D printing) which is probably going to end up using plastics and titanium. And car manufacture is moving towards resins and fireglass as in iStream's T.25. And I suppose aluminum, which is a mainstay now.

Rare Earths

Neodynium is "controlled" by China because it's the only fucking country that's industrialized AND backwards enough to allow its mining. It's not like it magically doesn't exist anywhere, it's that other countries don't want to mine it! In that it reminds me of molybdenum which is critical for nuclear reactor vessels. Both neodynium and molybdenum, unlike tellerium, ARE critical. It would take decades to learn to replace them.

In this article, you can read all about neodynium and other rare earths. Pay attention to the fact that neodynium (and ruthenium) are both used in tiny tiny parts of great big machines. Neodynium is used in just the permanent magnets of the electric motors or generators of much bigger machines. Ruthenium isn't used in hard drives, it's used in the GMR flying read-write HEADS at the TIPS of actuator arms inside of hard drives. That's a rather large difference. The parts we're talking about are miniscule. And just like if uranium suddenly jumped in price 50x then it wouldn't matter, so too if neodynium and ruthenium jump in price 50x then it won't matter. So an electric bicycle doubles in price, so what? That doesn't matter in the long term. And believe me, a lot of mining suddenly becomes A LOT more viable when the price of a mineral jumps 50x on the market.

Talking about rhodium is fucking ridiculous. Its main use is replacing platinum. If we had plenty of platinum from asteroid mining, we wouldn't use rhodium at all. And I bet we could get rhodium the same place as the platinum! Moreover, both rhodium and ruthenium can be extracted from nuclear fission products. And THAT technology is currently advancing by leaps and bounds. Could enough of it be extracted? Yes, if enough is more than is currently being mined.

Synthesizing Ruthenium and Rhodium

(27 tonnes a year per 1000 MWe * 377 MWe global capacity) / (14% nuclear share of world electric capacity) = 72 707 tonnes of uranium fuel per year

That's uranium fuel used with current technology to meet present world production of electricity. Production which is going to go up massively as the third world industrializes and people leave poverty. And furthermore,

73 000 tonnes * 0.03 * 0.06 = 131 400 kilograms

Because you see, current reactors burn uranium very inefficiently at a rate of about 3% of fuel. And ruthenium is about 6% of fission products. And actually, ruthenium is only mined at 12 tonnes a year. So there is the potential to extract 10x the current supply of ruthenium from fission products by 2050 when the world will have largely switched to nuclear power. After all, France did its nuclear switch in 15 years so there's absolutely no reason why the world can't do it in 40.

As for rhodium which is mined at 25 tonnes a year and is only 1.3% of fission products, there is "merely" the potential to extract as much rhodium from fission products as is currently being mined.

So long term, the situation looks very, VERY good. With a supply of both that will last the next billion years at present levels of consumption. Which isn't likely to happen but as I already stated, technology makes consumption go up AND down. And high prices tend to make consumption go down.

The technology that will make this viable is laser enrichment, since it's the final step necessary to weed out all the radioactive isotopes of ruthenium and rhodium after they've been chemically seperated from other elements. For rhodium used for chemical catalysis, radioactivity won't matter a damn. For ruthenium used in hard drives, it's intolerable.

This is all assuming that hard drive technology continues to exist in 20-40 years, something which is extremely doubtful!


Last but certainly not least, that crockpot author leaves us with a parting shot about the "coming" phosphorus shortage. A notion that is patently ludicrous since even the hardcore doomsayers place it at 200 years out.

We should fear that all the same since as we all know, agricultural technology and world prosperity won't change at all in 200 years! It's not like recycling shit will be ridiculously easy when the most destitute person on earth has an income of 10,000 euros a year. Or when vat meat has taken over all meat production.

Yeah, it's just a throwaway line so it doesn't need any justification or other hook for critical thinking. Just fear, FEAR IT, FEAR IT!!! FEAR THE WRATH OF THE EARTH GOD. FEAR THE FUTURE!! No, there's no religious frenzy or quackery involved in this at all, why do you ask?

Academic Mind Bleach

I'm reading a very politically incorrect article about race in the USA. Specifically all the status games that are played by the upper class in order to try to deny that race exists. Because it's "politically incorrect" and demonstrates low class origins to say that niggers (American-born inner city blacks) are stupid violent idiots (anti-education, high-crime, low IQ).

Of course, academia comes into it since it's very stubborn about pretending that race doesn't exist. Unless of course it's the blacks getting discriminated against by the whites. Whatever. I wouldn't care at all since this kind of willful blindness is so much less common outside crazyland. Wait no, that's a lie. I'd still care enough to roll my eyes and shake my head about how crazy crazyland is.

But it feeds into a larger pattern. Race isn't the only basic concept which seemingly everyone except academics consider blindingly fucking obvious. Another key concept is morality - the internal rules of a group aimed to promote its well-being. Very few academics have any morality whatsoever. In fact, it's very common among philosophers to deny that morality and ethics even exist as distinct concepts, despite the fact they are NEVER used in the same linguistic context!

Another blatantly obvious concepts that academics systematically try to dismantle are absolute justice. Academics are great fans of postmodernist shit relativism. And the last key concept they war against that comes to mind is rationality. Economists specifically since they systematically try to redefine 'rationality' to mean what the rest of humanity would understand by 'evil'. Economists are great fans of evil you see.

Now, you might naively think that academics are all about dismantling "naive" concepts to free up mind-space for more sophisticated replacements. If it were true I'd be all for it. Unfortunately, academics don't actually have any more sophisticated concepts to replace morality, justice or rationality with. Only equally basic concepts like ethics, psychosis and evil, respectively. And just reducing the number of words in language doesn't make any fucking sense. Unless of course you're just recreating Orwell's 1984.

But it's actually worse than that. You see, academics don't just set out to destroy perfectly good concepts (that happen to interfere with their social stations and the political designs of the rich aristocrats) they go out of their way to preserve ridiculous concepts which have been proven false again and again. The concept of creationism, which Einstein was vehemently opposed to, has resurfaced in physics. Vitalism was given a rebirth by the loathsome Niels Bohr in the so-called Copenhagen "interpretation" of QM. And the capper of all travesties is no doubt the magical self-contradictory notion of "non-determinism" which is so incoherent it can't even be defined!

So no, academics aren't destroying naive concepts in the mistaken hope of replacing them with something better which they don't have on hand. The truth is that even when superior concepts ARE on hand, academics preserve nonsensical concepts. Because the priesthood isn't about spreading knowledge, truth and enlightenment. That's just what it SAYS it does. And as the 8th law of systemantics says: 'The Operational Fallacy: The system itself does not actually do what it says it is doing'. So the mere fact academia SAYS it spreads knowledge, truth and enlightenment is proof that it does no such thing. What it actually does, determined empirically by objective observers, is bleach brains for some nefarious purpose.

The purpose of the hierarchical media is obviously to isolate people, destroy trust in humanity and promote psychopathy. As judged by the existence of shows like 24 and Dexter. In other words, to reshape the most fundamental emotions. The purpose of the hierarchical academia is obviously to reshape the most fundamental ideas. And both of these authoritarian, totalitarian institutions do this for their masters, the ones who pay their salaries and provide them with social status, the rich aristocrats.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How To Convey A Sex Positive Attitude To Children

I was reading someone's story of catching their child masturbating when it occurred to me to wonder how I would react in that situation. The remarkable thing is that my answer to this, which took me 15 seconds to come up with, is something I have never heard or read of anyone doing anywhere on this planet. Mind you, I have seen a video where a mother did something similar upon catching her underage daughter stripteasing in front of a web cam.

The overwhelming attitudes towards sex on this planet are repressive, hateful and angry. Parents who resent their children masturbating because they themselves were punished for it, and are now probably too fucked up in the head, too overworked and just plain ugly to appreciate it. These kinds of reactions are common among third world countries like the USA and Eastern Europe, to say nothing of Africa, South America and Asia.

The second most common attitude towards sex in this world is child abuse. You know, come to think of it, I'm betting there's a number of asian countries where this is more prevalent than sexual repression. This is the attitude most prevalent in porn stories and it's a good indicator of how fucked up in the head most of humanity remains.

The third most common, or 'least common' since my attitude doesn't even register as a blip, is sex-neutral. The sex-neutral attitude is only found in advanced countries like the Scandinavian nations, Hawaii and I bet Tahiti. It's a kind of matter of fact, too serious, condescending attitude where parents tell kids that "everyone does it, they just do it in private" and "so should you". Because if everyone follows Hitler then you should too. What a great message of non-enjoyment of sex that sends to children!

No, my reaction would have no commonality with any of those. No way in fucking hell. I aim MY attitude at sex positive, not fucking neutral, and my reaction is going to reflect that fact. If I ever catch my kids masturbating, I'm going to let them finish and afterwards look at them with a shit-eating grin, ruffle their hair and explain to them I'm happy because I know they're growing up.

And that is how you start a genuine dialogue with your kids about sex instead of the cliche'ed  Talk that adolescents laugh about in scorn because it shows how stuffy and fucked up their parents are. Because guess what? It DOES show their parents are stuffy and fucked in the head. The scorn adolescents heap on their parents is well deserved. It's not any kind of "phase" or "emo" or "angst" crap that hateful parents make up to condescendingly justify their "ungrateful" children finally taking a critical look at their own parents and not liking what they see.

The whole notion that children can be called "ungrateful" as if having a half-decent parent is something you should be "grateful" for (and any parent that pulls out that tripe doesn't qualify as half-decent at all) is entirely backwards. Parenting isn't something you pay back, it's something you pay forward so the whole basis for "gratitude" is non-existent. The only possible basis for gratitude a child may have is if their parent(s) did something that is way, way beyond what every other parent in their era is doing. Which of course I would be doing but not you since you are all monsters, as proven by the state of the world you've made.

Let me make it simple, and get back on topic. Kids masturbating is a rite of passage and as such is a good thing. So bloody fucking treat it as such! Catching your kids masturbating isn't a sad event. And explaining sex to them isn't similar to telling them you're divorcing or have been diagnosed with cancer. So smile you retarded jackass.

By the way, divorce doesn't happen near as often for couples with children as childless couples. The stats are deliberately misrepresented by the media, as usual since the media are doom-saying hacks who hate facts. Facts like nuclear power plants are perfectly safe, rape and crime are disappearing, the notion of past climate constancy is bogus, the notion of the Earth heating up being bad is even more bogus, the notion of there being any genuine empirical science behind climate studies is most bogus, American-born blacks are more fucked up and stupider than their white or even hispanic counterparts, elections are anti-democratic, individuals cannot ever change a system from within it, and marital breakdown isn't that bad!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Programmers Show No Empathy

I will prove here that programmers have all of the expressed empathy of the typical serial killer and psychotic mass murderer. This will be remarkably simple since programmers consistently misrepresent everything in the real world in the way that most blatantly benefits themselves.

To programmers, colour isn't what you see when you turn your head 30 degrees to the side of your monitor. Or 15 minutes after you leave your computer. Rather, colour is light values of phosphors in CRTs.

To programmers, a document isn't an ordered sequence of paragraphs with annotations, titles and owners as almost-perfectly exemplified by this online magazine. Rather, to programmers, a document is a sequence of ASCII characters as in notepad.

(Do check out the magazine linked to above if only to behold the magnificence of paragraph numbering. At last someone of minimal intelligence replaced the ridiculous 20-year obsolete concept of "pages" for online documents. Check out also ... sidenotes! Unfortunately fixed-length but hey show me another site that has them. And you can also change the font size without a fugly dropdown menu or modal << >> buttons.)

To programmers, music isn't a smorgasbord of sound produced by skilled artists conveying their emotions and telling a story. Rather, music is an ordered sequence of 1/8th notes from disconnected recordings as in MIDI.

To programmers, sheet music isn't a means of reminding a skilled artist what to play in a concise, elegant, visually pleasing, and easy (non-busy and non-boring) manner. Rather, sheet music is an ordered sequence of 1/8th notes on a staff.

To programmers, a date and time isn't a plethora of different measures in all sorts of different calendars tied to the rotations and revolutions of various astrophysical objects. Rather, date and time are the integer number of elapsed seconds since Jan 1st 1970.

To programmers, a timezone isn't a consensual and variable means of synchronizing arbitrary clocks to solar days observed at specific geographical locations. Rather, a timezone is a one digit offset from GMT.

To programmers, money isn't tokens of economic exchange taking different forms in different countries, exchangeable between each other according to dynamically varying ratios. Rather, money is an integer number prepended by a $ sign. And ratios between forms of money are always unitary and symmetric (ie, currency controls do not exist).

To programmers, languages isn't something people know one or more of, in order of preference, from a space of possibilities weighed by global popularity and grouped by geographical commonality. Rather, languages is a flat unstructured one-dimensional list organized alphabetically from which you are munificently allowed ONE option. The list is written in English using ASCII of course.

To programmers, an architectural object such as a pipe isn't something with mass, composition (including but not limited to strength and durability), maybe even price and availability. Rather, it's a bunch of lines and planes in a CAD program, and this has been so for nearly 50 years until the very recent emergence of object-oriented architectural modeling software.

To programmers, the terms 'geek' and 'nerd' don't refer to self-obsessed idiots too mentally deficient and deranged to be able to relate to any person different from themselves. Relating to entirely different people the way a real intellectual must. No, a 'geek' or 'nerd' is a sort of champion of what being a programmer is all about and is supposedly intellectually superior.

To programmers, being called a geek or nerd isn't a source of shame that programmers are second only to psychopaths in the category of worst dregs of humanity. And then only because it's difficult to beat American executives and serial killers using the measure of 'worthless scum inimical to humanity'. Rather, being called a geek or nerd is a source of chest-thumping pride.

I leave it as an open question whether programmers fail to express any empathy due to debilitating mental deficiency or because they actually are psychopaths. I personally extend them the benefit of the doubt that they need not all be put to death to safeguard humanity as would be the case if they actually were psychopaths.

Some people may not believe it but I scrupulously extend people the benefit of the doubt. The problem is that there's so little doubt from which any of you monsters can benefit from.