Friday, December 8, 2017

The two fly problem

For some reason Reboot always has two and only two flies buzzing around. Never three..kill one, another shows up. Weird

Fair winds and following seas  :)

XO and Rain

Of course it is the middle of the night. Ferral cat episodes 2 and 3. Trying to get back to sleep. XO outside on leash. Each time I locked him in with me he sat on the companionway steps and howled. I put him on his leash and let him curl up outside. Thunderstorm. He fouled his leash and is caught in the rain. I go get him getting soaked in the process. Leash is wet, I figure he will stay in cockpit. No, he goes out and sits in the rain. Now totally wet he comes back inside and wants to groom sitting on my chest. 

Fair winds and following seas  :)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Repel Borders

XO has a couple of voices. There is the I want attention meow. There is the I need food meow. There is the clean my box meow. And the always unpleasant I am about to puke noise.

I was sitting in the salon at 3:30 am this morning when I heard one I have not heard in years. Hissing, screaming, spitting. Running up into the cockpit I found XO hissing at one of the local ferral cats. I don't know if it had gotten up on Reboot but it sure beat feet in retreat. We (the marina) were then subjected to 5 minutes of "take that you ...; this is my boat noises.

Fair winds and following seas  :)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

XO's Latest Trick

Since we are in a marina I rented an air conditioner. The primary reason was to keep XO cool when I left him shut up inside Reboot. He has now taken to sitting on the air conditioner. He is heavy enough that his weight resets the controls. Usually turning the unit off. Well, I tried.

Fair winds and following seas  :)

Conundrum

Human knowledge is expanding, apparently at an increasing rate. That is, not only are we getting more knowledgeable, we are getting more knowledgeable faster. Underlying this growth is the unprecedented access to information brought about by the Internet.  The English language version of Wikipedia has over 5 million articles. It appears that every major scholarly journal is also online. Yes, there is chaff in the wheat. But my perception is the wheat greatly exceeds the chaff.

Why then is ignorance celebrated on Twitter, Facebook and the like? Being ignorant and spewing your "feelings" seems to be the definition of "expertise." How did this come to pass? Why is it tolerated? No, not tolerated - applauded? How did it become an acceptable substitute for fact based analysis in the "scientific" community? How did it become socially unacceptable to point out the facts? Worse, how did it become socially acceptable to engage in ad hominem attacks in the crudest possible language against those who point out the abject failure of emotional reasoning? (I think "emotional reasoning" has eclipsed "holy war" as the greatest English language oxymoron of all time.)

A simple and very "politically incorrect" example. (It doesn't matter - Big Brother - Google and Facebook et al have already filed me in their databases as in opposition to the "narrative.") Take the statement "gender roles are culturally assigned." Five million years of the history of homo sapiens doesn't support this view. Intense studies of our closest genetic cousins - chimpanzees - doesn't support this view. And yes, chimpanzees have elaborate social organizations. The roles of male and female chimpanzees are consistent across all bands. The genetic mandate for men and women is different and in fact in opposition. None of this is new news. None of these facts take more than a couple of hours of research to validate. If I were to suggest this on Twitter I would be inviting a shitstorm from the ignorant. (I guess I just did as this blog entry will eventually end up on Twitter. Fortunately I have few followers and they rarely retweet.)

One of my mother's favorite expressions was "if wishes were horses beggars would ride." Who are these "experts" who share the drivel that gender is a "social construct?" Who are the blind that agree with them? (My apologies to those with less than perfect sight.) As a child I went to a Disney production in Madison Square Garden. Tinkerbell dies. Someone, probably Mickey tells the audience that if they clap real hard Tinkerbell will come back to life. And they clap their little hearts out. I named this the "Tinkerbell effect." If I want it badly enough it must be true. Like gender is a social construct.

(Disclaimers follow - feel free to take a pass)

Nothing that I have said supports inequality of the two genetic genders. Nothing prevents workplace equality, choise of sexual partners, modes of dress, ad nausium. Social acceptance of individual rights that do not infringe on the individual rights of others is a laudatory goal. Building the argument for such social acceptance on delusional wishful thinking is a best counterproductive.

Fair winds and following seas :)

P.S. With all this knowledge why do we still not have a clue about gravity? :)

What happened?

Twenty-five year ago I tried to encrypt my email. It didn't work. My recipients laughed and ignored my emails. Twenty-five years ago I cautioned my sons "be careful what you post on the Internet, it is forever long after the initial context is gone. They laughted. 

A couple of days ago I posted a relatively passive commentary about the tax bill. I received a response that I thought was lucid and insightful. I asked the respondent if I could post their response without attribution. The answer was no. What was shocking was the why. 

Paraphrasing "I am unwilling to expose myself to the hateful attacks of the left to include physical danger to myself and my family." What saddened me was that I could not disagree.

Paranoia? I thought about this and the results were frightening. It was already all over. Google had read the text of his email - as they do to every email to a gmail account. Somewhere without any privacy regulation his political views were available to Google's AI. And Googles' employees. We could chat on the phone. I am in a foreign country. Do i teally believe that NSA would not sweep up the call? Do I need to start every telephone call to the States with "I am a U.S. Citizen and monitoring this call is illegal?"

This is America. I need not be concerned. Only if I am an idiot. Daily I read of corruption at the FBI, DOJ, IRS, State, and the office of the special counsel. I read ludicrous statements by politicians that illuminate their ignorance and partisan bias. I feel like a spectator in the colosseum in ancient Rome. Kill, kill, kill! The unbridled hate on Twitter is overwhelming. Kill me because I am white. Kill me because I am a man. A conservative. Not confused about my gender. Because I believe in evil people in the world.

How did we get here?




Wedding View (With picture!)

Newlywed couples stand in line to have their pictures taken with this background. I joked that we should put up a velvet rope and charge admission. 
Fair winds and following seas  :)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tax Bill

Some random thoughts:

1. There was an opportunity to greatly simplify the tax system. Based purely on the length of the bill that didn't happen.
2. Historically business reacts to tax cuts in three steps:
(1) Executives feather their own nests.
(2) Money goes into dividends (raising the value of your 401(k)) and stock buybacks (raising the value of your equity investments and stock index funds.)
(3) Money finally gets to the workers as the economy heats up (3.9% 3rd quarter growth.)
3. 2027 is an interesting year. By then we will have had 5 new Congresses, potentially 2 new Presidents (President Trump gets 2 more, next President gets 4, next President gets 4, Next President gets 4 or 8,) and very possibly 3+ new Supreme Court Judges. So from the government side a lot of change (even seesawing) is possible.
4. Also in 2027 half of the first year baby boomers (born in 1946) will be dead. (That is my birth year so I am hoping I am not one of them.) For the next 20 years (until 2047) each year will see half of that age cohort already dead. And of course the previous cohorts will continue to die off. Since boomers are the largest consumers of government health care and pensions the outlays should start to drop. (Actuaries could give us a chart, I am just mussing.) Since pensions and health care are consuming more than 50% of the total Federal budget this is a big deal.
5. Interest on the Federal debt will become a big problem even if this tax cut fails to pass. The economy has been growing above the 3% rate. That means interest rates are going up no matter what. And the interest on the debt (not to mention paying back the principal) is a big number.
6. The Defense Budget will go up (or other Government "entities" will be created and funded.) Cyberwarfare is real. And as we are seeing every day it costs money to secure the Internet. (The original Internet was designed by academic geeks with no concern for security. The whole thing is built on mud.) It is going to take big bucks to police it and even bigger bucks to fix it.
7. There will be a continuing clash of the four major civilizations: Russia, China, radical Islam, and Euro-American. See Henry the K "World Order" for background. How this plays out with respect to expenditures is anyone's guess.
8. There will be major advances in "simple AI" and workplace automation e.g. ordering kiosks at Micky "D's." This will result in many more "unemployables."

In summary I have no real idea what the impact of this tax bill will be. Nor does anyone else.

I just depressed myself. Time for a beer and watching the sunset.

Fair winds and following seas  :)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sayonara

I just finished reading "Sayonara" by James Mitchner. I have read quite a few of his books but this was the first I have read in years.

The story is a romance set during the Korean War. The theme is similar to the Puchini Opera "Madam Butterfly" which is referenced several times in the text.

Plunk plunk plunk na be ba  bump  (as the sun rises.)

This link will take you to the history. 


Beautifully written and tender. I learned about the "Takarazuka Girls", an entertainment that survives today. The word pictures of the theater performances had me closing my eyes and visualizing. A most enjoyable read. 

Fair winds and following seas  :) 

The two fly problem

For some reason Reboot always has two and only two flies buzzing around. Never three..kill one, another shows up. Weird Fair winds and follo...