February 27, 2007

Aquatic Non-scents

The reference to this called Science News a journal - it is actually a popular rag, but this is a different spin in an area that i have thought alot about. The discussion of copper as an olfactory inhibitor is interesting, but i would have to look at the references and original work to determine whether i agree with the conclusion. Selective dissemination of science is a trait of today's media - you have to wonder what the agenda is. But - cleaning up metal pollution in the rivers is a primary concern of Dr. Lenny. If the science is true - then the Formosa Zinc/Copper Mine site needs to be listed as a superfund site and cleaned up as soon as possible.

Games people play

Stress levels rise as the dollar falls. The elites may still believe in government, but do we the people believe in the elites? Life has become a winner take all children's game carnival, where we go from Candyland onto heavy Chutes and Ladders on the way to Monopoly. Hardly anybody gets Clue! nor understand the strategy of Chess, let alone the game of Life, (Art Linkletter era). So alice faces the cheshire cat, benedict blends in and stanley takes perverse liberties.

Ghandi said to be the change you wish to see. But Ghandi did not live in a world where preconditions change drastically, and yesterday's assumption is today's spectacular theory. Paradigms shift when few people are looking: the cognitive dissonance of economic chaos is a necessary turbulance in the act of getting there from here. When the moon is in the seventh house and jupiter aligns with mars then ...

February 25, 2007


hau daya micks
whutcha due wit
wuz gotta B dun
mosta duh sheeple
jus gotta mayk bux
notta getn mucha
nuthing gettin dun
porpoise? huh
F - fort? huh
lemming gowon
nobig pitcher vu
jus cog disss
jes knot frever

(c) 2007 lemme howdt

Atlas Update

Building ancillary capacity is now called redundency. Everything has to be ready the moment you need it, in the form you want it, at the price you want to pay. And as long as you are willing to buy the pap their selling, you can have it your way.

Eighty pages into Atlas Shrugged - where Wyatt tells Dagny that her railroad better be ready to service him, now that the anti dog-eat-dog act had been passed. So she gets Rearden to fast-forward his delivery schedule from a year to nine months. Imagine what today's typical american business might do with a 9-month back-order on supply. The rate of the pulse of today's society is not sustainable - but efficiency is not even looked at as a dynamic anymore.

Done did the 'how do we do what we said we would do' thing with 23 biofuels oriented people at the local grange yesterday. Doctor Lenny set howdt the timeline for the production - based on when we expect different materials to be harvested. In order to do this at maximum efficiency, we should be able to glean produce off the ground under existing trees, ferment alcohol fuels and then share the returned processed value added organic fertilizer with the land and the cooperative. This inserts another layer of value extraction into the process and hopefully derives a multiplicity of values back in material form, which can be exchanged or sold.

Ghandi said to be the change you wish to see. I see some inherent flaws in our understanding of natural process and our assuming of liberties in fields that we know little about. My continuing study of nature and natural systems is with application of chemistry using a tools called the periodic table and group theory. I hope to apply some models of chemistry to education, resource conservation and sociology by grouping individuals of similar interests and enabling them to do what they do best.

Dr. Lenny hypothesizes different models of how things work differently - no one size fits all approach could ever work fairly and equitably. Nature understands that and organizes in small stable molecules. And they change forms often to maintain the integrity of most of the system. Science will have plenty of time to figure it out again - it just matters whether the knowledge base will need to be recreated from scratch or if it will be a derivative of being able to test for oneself again. The astronomic scales came about only after we gave up the idea that earth was the center of everything in existence.

I admire SETI - but the approach looks for life on our relative order of this scale, rather than looking at the broadband of the vast scale, where everything is as everything seems to be. Perhaps the Baba Ram Dass put it better - Be here now. My break book from Atlas Shrugged is on Fractal Mathematics over huge dimension and scale. That's one means of keeping focus - make the distractions more complicated than the tasks at hand.

February 24, 2007

Magic of Symmetry

Interesting how the ideas that we work to refine seem to recur in other forms, which appear at the times that we seem to need them. Seeing another use of the same concept in demonstration will reenforce the knowledge base and create a flow of positive energy - a sharing type of bond. there is chemistry in everything, but be aware when you go with the flow.

The application of chaos theory and game theory to natural resources for development as a biomimetic learning system is the device that makes the redile system unique. As i have been struggling with form for a technical paper that is mostly written, i understand that i didn't quite have the proper words to express the complexity of how things worked. By bouncing around on the perspective of scale - i hope to look at the big picture and the little picture at the same time, while approaching the muddle in the middle, which causes the problem within current learning system. I liken it to the spaghetti of cell division of mitosis - somehow the right thing has to come out the end.

Kuwabara explains a similar approach in this year 2000 paper that was written as an honors thesis at Cornell university, using the development of Linux. Redile does not use the model in the same way - it can't, but the spontaneous application of similar memes indicates that the idea is both useful and not unique. I wonder how many other systems have taken this approach and begun development from a point source loci, as Linus Torvald. Perhaps this is the type of system that will identify the missing energy form - the reshaping of form is going to favor those that use symmetry to leverage work flow.

In fact, i daresay that the blogging community also is an application of this phenomena. I don't know if i would have grokked the context, if i hadn't been prepared yesterday by surfing jomama's elliot wave.

February 23, 2007

Natural Models

Nature is the model for achievement in chemistry. Synthetic organic chemists struggle for years to find laboratory pathways to create the very same molecule that grows in a plant. The complex biology develops chemicals for use in specific application, where every atom in the molecule plays at directing a function. Chirality is the concept of opposite handedness, the amino acids that make most proteins are left-handed.

Richard Dawkins, discusses nature as genetic selfishness in his renowned work, The Selfish Gene. This view has developed over the years into an orderly anarchy, and Trembley applies it to political systems.

Certainly strength in the evolutionary sense cannot be physical strength, otherwise the humble earthworm, or the frail hummingbird, would never survive. In the long-term view, strength is the capacity to keep flourishing in the face of changing circumstances, in short to adapt, and weakness is the incapacity to keep flourishing.

Seems to me that this paradigm can be seen in Atlas Shruged - now that i am 60 pages in, it is easy to see some of the parellels. How can we construct a social order that models nature better, that might allow applicants to survive in the face of disabled, non-redundant systems? A question worth some thought at other scales, and in other forms.

February 22, 2007

weather - how to know

Dr. Lenny posted a comment yesterday on a new blog in defense of George Taylor, the Oregon State climatologist. The comment is not up on the site today. I don't think the site liked what i had to say, so they may just ignore my input. I invited folks here, so maybe they will check us howdt, because they are looking for bloggers to participate. Contemporary media loves to shoot the messenger - here is yet another attempt by a climate expert at deflating the media-IPCC-borg approach to debate.

Since i attended the OSU carbon conference last week, i have been more attuned to this media version of the global warming debate. The approach is entirely contrived, as logic provided here at the Zone and other places demonstrates that climate 1) has a lot of variables and 2) has a great degree of uncertainty in its measure. To understand better, Dr. Lenny has ordered a weather station with a 5-Watt solar panel and will role up his sleeves and start measuring local climate.

Dr. Lenny lives in a unique micro-climate zone, where everything is 'sunshine, lollypops and rainbows', when it is not 'raindrop keep fallin on my head'. The weather station will be located closer to the coast - either in Reedsport at the Umpqua Discovery Center or in Elkton at the Elkton Community Education Center. Plan for now is to receive the equipment, assess the package footprint, create a space to set it up, calibrate, and start collecting data.

February 21, 2007

see a forest thru the trees

listen to the wood jockeys
run herd upon their trees
stretching the boundaries
accumulating massive leaves
carbon grow, carbon grow
add to the base of a tree
carbon grow, carbon grow
create lots of clean air for me
forests filter, grow and breed
wildlife habitat abounds
recreation fish, hunt off steed
with fondness for the grounds
carbon grow, carbon grow
metabolize over time
carbon grow, carbon grow
our forests, rise to shine

(c) 2007 lemme howdt

are salmon rent-seeking?

Spent most of yesterday working on Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers business. The PUR is the local watershed council, a quasi-political entity that was formed as a table to discuss forms and practices of watershed policy between various water related interest groups. It is a non-government organization, a 501-c(3) non-profit corporation, and a physical business that employs four full-time staff and several seasonal part-timers. Dr. Lenny is one of eighteen members of the board of directors - which includes the timber and environmental industries, local government, tribes, agriculture and in one position, a citizen representative. Originally appointed by county commissioners to deeal with fish issues, the group receives support funding through the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and is grant oriented.

The business is in installing on-the-group habitat projects and monitoring their effectiveness, It also works to coordinate data streams - a key partner in instigating the Umpqua Explorer and Oregon Explorer data bases being developed at the Institute for Natural Resources at Oregon State University. Typical projects have been featured here at the zone - they include road culvert replacement for fish passage and other restoration oriented in-stream activities. The federal and state agencies sent representatives to the meetings, and serve in an advisory capacity as the technical advisory committee. This include folks from BLM and Forest Service, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife who are always there, and a variety of individuals focused on the meeting information dispersal. Open to everyone.

As some might call it - a complete 'rent-seeking' industry. I like to think of it as an artificial means to cross boundaries and get things done. I struggle with my involvement with boards and commissions like this because there is always a conflict of interest in everybody represented at the table - nobody who is not interested in the watershed would become a director. But how would the private sector get it's pay - the salmon sure appreciate our effort. Or don't, depending on wether salmon think.

February 19, 2007

Hi Definition PCR

Paul Craig Roberts. talking about economics in science terms, may speak for himself. Dr. Lenny is in awe of how much he says in such little space.

Many American software engineers and IT professionals have been forced by jobs offshoring to abandon their professions. The November 6, 2006, issue of Chemical & Engineering News reports that "the percentage of American Chemical Society member chemists in the domestic workforce who did not have full-time jobs as of March of this year was 8.7 percent." There is no reason for Americans to pursue education in science and technology when career opportunities in those fields are declining due to offshoring.

As more and more high value-added U.S. occupations in tradable services are undercut by offshoring, the ladders of upward mobility that made America a land of opportunity are taken down. As the bulk of domestic service jobs do not require a university education, the United States will find itself over-invested in educational institutions and decline will set in.

Another problem is that the corruption of the outside world has found its way into universities. Today, universities look upon "name" professors as rainmakers who bring in funds from well-heeled interest groups. Increasingly, research and reports serve the interests that finance them and not the truth. Money rules, and professors who bring money to universities find it increasingly difficult to avoid serving the agendas of donors.

Much American economic thinking is grounded in the fact of America's past success. Many economists take it for granted that as long as the U.S. has free markets, it will continue to be successful. However, much of America's success is due to World War I and World War II, which bankrupted rivals and destroyed their industrial capacity. It was easy for the United States to dominate world trade after World War II as America was the only country with an intact economy.

From whine to wine

One of the quirks of system at large are the small but important mechanisms of inducing buy-in from the participants. If everybody plays a role in government, by volunteering time and effort in an area of interest, then the cost savings can be passed on to us the taxpayer - except how much of the function of infrastructure management is just plain not getting done?

Creativity is stamped howdt because everybody must meet the rules of the funding source - the feds representing the taxpayers. Once you become a citizen member of a task-force or committee or panel, you are helping in the evaluation of projects in your area of expertise. For this privilege, you get to write off some of your mileage in your taxes and get to put another line on the resume. But it is a conflict of interest to actually do work in a field that your expertise is used - because you can't make money off the taxpayer while working for government. Unless of course you are elected.

so, we the people need a different school system than the current one owned and operated for the benefit of we the people and run by the state. the rand philosophy of withdrawing support and just not being on committees appears to be more in tune with the needs of we the people, rather than participating in learning amidst the cognitive dissonance of current educational institutions. so, what sort of media can take the population by storm - like yahoo or google have done - that is the next step. Individual learning, for those with the interest level to learn. Pods of people with common interest and different expertise breaking new ground.

Colleges used to be places where people learn how to put the information together, now they are all 'universities' - we need ways to allow people to enhance their skills in area of their own interest. To develop expertise in something other than the monoculture that the current system teaches, using a diversity of approach. Mebbe a video game focused on science rather than death and destruction. But then, the game would have to blow something up to get people's interest. And blowing up is what happens when you get too much energy flowing in one confined space - a fissure happens and things blow up. Hmm, virtual chemistry lab ...

Problem is, you don't find reality in a classroom and reality doesn't conform to simplistic theory. It is buried in nuance under depth of scale - where things operate over so many scales that the continuum works for whatever scale you happen to be privvy to. And as you peel back the onion skin, you find another layer of onion - similar, yet different, carrying out a redundant function, but reproducing in order to accomplish the task.

Ask yourself if a blood cell within your body could have thoughts - the ability to plug itself in from the stream of blood cells, rather than the neighbor in the stream. What if the blood cells are just little bio-chem cars that take carry around mitochondrial enzymes, who do their daily work for a living, then commute in their cell to the heart store, then pumped back back home to the kids. A day could be the time between heartbeats; an eternity, the eternity of your life.

Dr. Lenny just finished reading Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash - a novel where gangs own turf all over the world and nationality allows you to be protected in reality as you deal in an elite computer metaverse run by hackers. Interesting concepts of winners and loser's, and a very early use of the term avatar in a virtual context. Not as serious as Black Arrow, but at this second reading, i got more context than just story line. Y.T. rocks

February 18, 2007

Remedy for Photo Deficiency

This ol lady likes to push people around, with a nip and a throw. She is approaching three full decades old, and still appears feisty as ever. I am planning to accessorize my home with solar panel as the beginning of serious energy capture - both literal and figurative. Of course the path not taken is usually the one you can never return to - which gives this picture of the whirled.

February 17, 2007

Circling the Wagons - Let's Shrug

In appreciating the value of small working groups over larger one, one of the proofs in the pudding is that the 'circle the wagons effect' takes place when a large group realizes that it is out of favor with the masters. In order to attempt to restore some sort of favor, they begin trimming expenses and sideline all work outside the main focus of the group. Often, those channels hold the bright lights of the organizational future, working out their philosophy of how this point of view makes sense with the change the future brings. Cut off their resource and tell them to march in line, and you lose their willingness to be part of the groupthink. Thus the group itself stagnates and benefits the few ideologues in the inner circle as people are cleaved to allow the streamlining of said organization. If you are one of the first to go, be thankful you didn't waste your time stuck on a lame horse.

Unfortunately - the political system is that lame horse and there is no where for anybody to go. People who have traditionally actively paid attention to politics, have had their sight coopted by the one party-two face system for so long that we forget the mechanism of what the formation document, the declaration of independence, really says. If we nullified all the laws of federal, state and local grubbermints that violated the reading of the organic constitution tomorrow, then perhaps we could see what was left and redefine the size of government necessary to fit the roles that are defined. At that point, we may wish to tinker with the definitions. What we have today makes it impossible to know, for instance, what local standards a traveler is held to, or even which jurisdiction he travels in.

This actually seems to be an up/down war on the ability to travel. The control of the means of transport will only get tighter, if carbon taxes are spread into the transport system. Defining mobility in terms of the area generally covered within ones means should allow you to calculate your personal range. Range costs depends on the type of vehicle, distance from work and the ability to service the costs, with the grub taking up a large portion of the actual cost by maintaining roads. But how much energy would be saved by laying new rail on 100% of the right of way in this country? How would that disrupt current economic flow - and why reward inept management in the rail system with a new toy of control?

The next time i think to read Atlas Shrugged (coming soon for the third time), i plan to sketch thoughts about a screenplay - 1300 pages in two hours. The railroad system is an integral part of the story, so mebbe there will be some cues that can be applied currently to enable a modern fable to be extracted and produced in theme rather than form and thus duplicating function. As a way of thinking howdtside the box, let's cast the celebrity net into the roles of Rand's lead characters, I'll start with a minor key role - Ruppert Murdoch as Jim Taggert, media maven. Please - one nomination per customer, until the thread weakens, then we'll cast the rest by en masse suggestion.

February 16, 2007

simpler math

small groups create
habitats of human life
that function to support
individual interests
in direction beyond
scope of point of view
without burying contribution
toward taste and style
creating dimensions lost
when greater numbers
disrupt apparent symmetry
delivering convoluted ends

(c) 2007 lemme howdt

February 15, 2007

wayda whirled werkz

thinking howdtside da baax
where subtle pressure
underwhelms flow
coincident with
overpowering force
unequal in opposite direction
whoomsh, with short time constant
instant: when it's gone
then subtle pressure
returns to underwhelm flow
without institutional memory
of overpowering force
thinking inside the box
time after time,
again and again.

(c) 2007 lemme howdt

Drawing Social Value fron the Conference

It seems overwhelming at how much more there is to do upon the return from being away, than there seems that we do when we don't leave. i guess we develop a routine that allows us to take care of all those niggling details as we go, so some things take no time at all when they are adressed on the fly. But get off the fly and have them not get done, and the workload backlog builds up at the flinch points - places where the work stoppage causes a bottleneck toward further activities. Sort of like routine maintenance - if it doesn't get done - the breakdown has more impact. So, today i will spend a little bit more time catching up rather than running and mebbe by the weekend i will be able to take a creativity break.

The social structure being what it is, has little room for creativity because everybody is too busy earning a living. Opening up new avenues of thought generates a larger amount of work to redirect focus and getting back into the equilibrium of pace becomes difficult. Dr. Lenny was exposed to a different culture and it helped him synthesize the nature of the culture that he is returning to.

Rural communities face different challenges from urban communities. Our school system teaches that we face equal challenges - the diversity of opportunity depends on how you apply it. Current myth can be played to advantage by any individual that can work the system, but truth be known only if you had the first hand experience and could convey that reality to colleagues in context of their framework of knowledge.

The one size fits all approach to knowing, as demonstrated by the parade of experts at the carbon conference, leads me to amazement at the extent of groupthink and non-rigor of the current academic system. The worship of experts without regard for the facts was displayed by the entire manner of presentation, although the planners were good to have a skeptic and a regular forestry guy on the program - to demonstrate that there are different levels of understanding and interest. The economists and the state functionaries have constructed a paper fantasy system that sounds good, but doesn't yet meet the reality of the way things seem to be, from my different point of view.

I guess that i have formed a thought system for myself that requires different inputs from the ones that i received at the conference. From the experience that i had carbon counting property with wonder earth partners, i could see that the same concepts that i could not make work for the landowner involved five years ago are the very same concepts that they are introducing today - still not developed to the point where they have a working system for the people that grow trees - in fact, forestry carbon appears to be discounted by the current carbon operating system. But that happens when economists and politicians influence everyone to think that they run the show. And they do. Which really does influence the ways the scientists think in their approach to chasing the money in a rapidly changing priority society.

But , the current model is not the way nature actually works. Large groups of scientists don't make discoveries, individuals do. Galileo, Newton, Einstein, didn't accept the status quo from the consunsus of the public understanding at the time. What we choose to measure dictates what results we see. The proximity of our interest, as observer or participant influences what results we see. The analysis of results 'on the fly' allows development of new methodolgy for measuring phenomena that is not recognized by the system. Current science process does not allow the scientist the latitude to change theory on the fly, because the results are dictated by the source of the funding.

The same people that are angered by Exxon-Mobil paying scientists to deny global warming , fund a counter-groupthink effort that insists that 'you and only you can prevent global warming '. We've heard that line before from government - cute and cuddly smokey the bear dictated an awful forest management practice of denying fire a role in the toolbox, which has contributed to the severe fuel loads on federal forests today.

Science information needs a two-way flow - between reality and theory, with the latitude to observe and change while observing from different scales of operation. There really is no room for political influence, while only a marginal role for economics - with more rigor in the mathematics and less in the tracking and accountability. The schools fail to convey the essence of scientific reason.

This will cause difficulty until people accept that their own thinking ability is equivalent to the experts in all areas that the expert has not focused attention. Understanding comes with applied time and effort toward that understanding and anyone who focuses their attention on something can figure out how that something works. We all focus our attention on things we are interested in and try to do them well, so we are experts ourselves in the things within our grasp, that we apply and use. It is the recognition that there is more out there than we know that spurs us to find out more and introduces us to new fields of interest. Which take more time to learn and even more time to apply.

So now, onto substantive work.

Away gathering data on carbon people

Went to the Oregon Forest Resource Institute forestry carbon conference held at Oregon State University the past two days. I heard a lot of agreement between government sponsored people and economists about how the carbon structure is supposed to support an 'environmentally favorable' style of living, by rearranging taxing structure and enbcouraging more university research. I talked again with George Taylor, the state , er former stats, climatologist whi was fired by governor ted last week for not being on board with the scientific consensus. And he showed the overlap plot of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and global mean temperature - which map much better than the comparison plot betwee carbon dioxide concentration and g.m. temperature. And he wanted more university research money too.

I had the opportunity to walk over to the Linus Pauling Institute and talk with some of the scientists and look into an affiliations program with outside scientists. The eleven staff scientists all bring in their own research money from NIH or NSF and work both at LPI and in another university department - thus improving the biodiversity of science throughout the university system. As a micro-nutrient chemist and an alumni who met Dr. Pauling on afternoon for a research discussion, i figure partnership with the outside world would be a jump off point, but no, there was no current mechanism for affiliation. The message i got is we are perfectly pleased with inbred university science, even though we strive for diversity through science culture, we remain steadfastly monoculture in the over approach. But they do good work in an area that Linus was passionate about and i will continue with my generous support, when i have the funds.

But the conference demonstrates that soft scientists can't conceptualize the process of science as an absolute and have to accept 30 million different opinions to get to a common truth. History tells stories that are commonly accepted to prove points, but each episode has only one truth in the way it actually came down when it happened and, all embellishment aside, the participants know the truth of the situation that they observed and were part of. Inconsistencies develop in the stories over time, but the essence remains for quite a while, until we start believing things that our minds use to fill in the blanks.

I took 20 pages of notes - and made and renewed lots of contacts. It will take me all day to start the synthesis of materials to see if what i learned was consistent with what i know. Surfing the net for the first time in two days last night, led me to a ryan article on the status of education which to an eye opener on cosmic rays . I have to go now, but i have much to think about.

February 12, 2007

Green Education

Dr. Lenny has been known to hug a few trees in his time. This weekend, i attended the Umpqua Watersheds 11th annual banquet and auction. The UW group is our local national environmental organization - big enough to be heard, focused enough to be effective. While the membership doesn't necessarily come with a single minded opinion on how to deal with our wilderness problems, we all recognize that those problems need to be address. The UW enviromental activists of the year, Lois Eagleton of the Friends of Mildred Kanipe Ranch and Robin Wisdom, a former UW staffer are both close friends who share interests and goals. A program called Penny's Pearls has begun - an endowment to allow future work to be done without absolute focus on fund-raising efforts.

But putting conservation into practice is slightly different from advocating environmental concern. Connecting hands-on activities directly to impact is difficult, especially when the hands-on involves impact. One of the teachers i work with suggested that www.yourclassroom.com is allowing her to make her class more green, by using the chalkboard and message system to reduce the need for paper. The students log in to get and turn in their assignments. I am pleased to see that connection, but it wasn't how i envisioned the system to work.

Which is a good thing - doctor lenny is not a see all - know all. He collects information just like everybody else and filters it through the reasonable viewpoint that he has developed over a few years of experience. Supporting chemistry is what he offers - to help people notice how to use what they already know to leverage knowledge and figure howdt the things they don't know. When i role play the doctor lenny character, i slip into a mode where the thrill of the chase science investigation is the end all of end alls. But when i play myself in my own role - i weave much more of the social context into the equation.

This lends credence to my belief system, that other folks individually come up with methods that are variants of design from what i envision. The social acceptance of the current value system should lead to a re-evaluation of the old value system as we morph to where we wish to get to. I like to use symmetry to save time and effort - because the mathematical relationships are the same and you don't have to derive new equations for everything. Sports and science connect in philosophy through the Zone here - sports and religion connect in philosophy at Steve Scott's Pew/Bleacher, thus science and religion connect through a baseball side-channel. There is great beauty in this type of symmetry.

I love Sunni's take on valentine commerce this morning, a 'hallmark holiday' no doubt. The fact that we chose the same passage by bonner this morning is creating more of a believer out of me; this supports hive of humanity theory that parellels us with bees and ants. Making predictions and seeing if they come true is part of the joy of science - being dogmatic and thinking in absolutes is far from the creative world that i live in. Or thought i lived in. Or will live in again soon.

But to live in this world costs, in terms of money or social capital. So i am looking at the work and trying to define how better to capitalize on the services provided, because the costs of being are exceding the ability to get there. Thus the Zone may soon be accepting ad panels - which i already sorta do as the crosslynx. I am thinking on some sort of creative contest that people could enter for a minimal recurring fee, but i think i need to be a bit more creative in approach than the usual current options in the box. I like to think howdtside da baax, yanno.

An example of symmetry - the kaleidopix.

pull out the biggest guns

Bill Bonner quotes Einstein and invokes the names of Darwin and Newton in deriving an excuse for human stupidity. I hope he writes tongue in cheek, but too many people do not recognize value and hence destroy it, wittingly or unwittingly. Here is a quote - the rest of the essay is entertaining.

Humans evolved in small groups, where they could know the particulars of things. They understood the threats they faced...and knew what was valuable. But when the scale and sophistication of human civilization increased, man found himself in a situation for which his brain was not prepared. He no longer had the precise, specific, direct information he needed. Instead, he needed to rely on a new kind of knowledge made up of abstractions, generalities and slogans. This new knowledge, which Nietzsche called "Wissen" to distinguish it from the more ancient form of experience-based knowledge called "Erfahrung," trips him up, because it is too far removed from the facts. The Inverse Square law and Darwin’s law both work against him.

February 10, 2007

Anudda Sunrise

Life as a zoo

I learned a lot this week, by observing facets of life through different perspectives. People seem genuinely interested in doing things that give them some sense of control over a situation or action sphere. When they share knowledge from point of interest, people perk up and get excited sharing what they know. Civil discourse in civil society however is meant to posture - to work out acceptible positions to carry back to the groups that people represent. But nobody seems to represent anybody but themselves.

Current individual leadership of organizational groups are constricted by the goals and wills of the board of directors, which set the tasks and the missions. Generally this is where money talks louder than action. So while a ground swell effort of individuals that are willing to take action can be parlayed by successive organizations as a motivator to action, the governance often benefits by inaction, especially when it shares ideas of the leaders at the table of leaders across different social group bounds - this in itself becomes a different social group with the new limits, but the same boundary conditions.

Individuals like to hang out with similar individuals, who share interests, emotions and learning styles. Group leadership should feel obligated to find a means for those individuals to contribute in their own chosen patterns to the group effort, rather than have the group leaders choose the specifics and then cajole the membership to action. Most groups don't really carry the depth of true actors and the leadership fails to do much beyond sustaining fund-raising and propaganda on one side of one issue. Hierarchical structures continually add work for tracking effort and counting both money and performance goals, while missing the time value of the volunteer resource. And there always seems to be another group of individuals counterbalance with the opposite view-point, with a similar support structure. All to ensure that nothing progressive gets accomplished - within a backdrop of bread and circus.

Time keeps on slipping into the future. Perhaps we need to look at group theory and get back to working in small numbers, rather than en masse. Many small influentual groups with different ideas and approaches would be very much more fulfilling for individuals than either/or. There are alot more political animals than donkeys and elephants, but no system for novel individual expression. Time for a new zoo review.

February 09, 2007


My group interactions will be characterized in terms of chemical constituencies until i figure howdt what i'm getting to. The Woolley class was NaF - sodium fluoride - a very stable salt with a regular structure. There were two adults, nine students, so the class multiplyer will be slightly greater than one, mebbe 1.25. The Redile meeting at the arts center yesterday was O - oxygen. Eight people, three students, so no group multiplyer is in effect. However - the group assembled had a potent all inclusive conversation about the mechanism of delivery - a level seven/eight topic. Two of the three students made significant contributions and the third listened and tracked.

The key point to me is that the value of participation comes in the time spent at the experience, and the more advance prep time you place into getting the skills to be able to attain maximum value, the more value you should accumulate from the learning system. The people who know give a hand up to the people who don't know, but knowing requires active individual participation and can't be garnered from somebody just telling somebody something. It has to be integrated back into the basis set, and applied in another form before the demonstration of understanding takes place.

Eye opening to expose that level of thinking to high school students - gives them a target for how people actually get by and accomplish what they do : role models demonstrating the roles by their interplay within them. Too much of school is about giving access to only the information on the curriculum, as though the rest of life disappears because they don't see it there. Observing how others approach challenges always brings experience of different points of view.

Point of view is so important in science. The outside observer sees thing quite different from the inside observer, who is lost in the activity of the day-to-day process. As a scientist, you set up the experiment as an outside observer and then you let it go. Until the results are collated and assembled, the plan has to roll with the punches of fate and go forward to a conclusion, or end because it just didn't work. Too often the plug is pulled by the inside people, who do not have the perspective of whether it is working or not, because that doesn't matter in the experiment itself. Mixing chemicals causes reactions, but there is a pattern to the madness based on the periodic table and the properties of atoms.

We are all atoms. We resist having our plugs pulled or our chains yanked.

February 08, 2007

work - perish the thought

oh - is that how work works
chase the money or perish
publish papers or perish
work harder longer or perish
earn your keep on the treadmill
where make work only matters
significant achievement tax
ensures that nobody perishes
because everybody perishes
so chase the tail called work

(c) 2007 lemme howdt

Soil Class

Did a 2-hour general science lab at the alternative high school yesterday - the topic was soils. I collected several samples - forest duff, clay based subsoil, compost, topsoil run-off and sand. We laid the materials out on newspaper and felt the texture, looked at the colors and mixed the soils with water as we watched them settle. We didn't have the 'proper scientific tools for the task', so we made observations and talked about the context of soil use and laid out the soil profile. It was interesting to note that they didn't know that soil is silica based - a silicon/oxygen lattice with a very low (4%) carbon content. The mix of subsoil and compost looked alot like the forest run-off, in both texture and aura.

Nine student (eight girls!), plus the teacher and Dr. Lenny. Very stable - a different spin on a topic that nobody there really thought much about. Girls don't get the opportunity to get their hands dirty by playing in the mud very often. The soil samples collection by the students was an afterthought, even though it was suggested a week ago. It wasn't relevant at the time of suggestion, so it became a last minute hoop to jump through - three pop bottle of soil made it with my five. So they can, if they wish, but the motivation to wish isn't quite there.

Meanwhile - if global warming causes a shift in agricultural patters, where plants migrate away from the equator in a pattern to follow their favored climates - we will have a need to establish the top soil and mycophilic collaborations between microbes, fungi, lichen and root systems. Citrus trees take years to establish - but now might just be the time to put in limes, oranges and kumquats - by the time the trees have matured into full production, the soils and the climate will be set to support the grove. Of course, variation in micro-climates needs to be part of the equation - a misplaced frost can wipe out a whole bunch of touchy trees. The variations in the cycles need attention - so those out of the limit temperature blips, don't end the game at null.

February 07, 2007

Deep theory

Interesting how the mind and body work to allow things to happen. Woke up this morning an hour earlier than i usually do - which was just enough time to read John Taylor Gotto's treatise on schools, science and religion. There are so many gems in the package, that i collated them in a file for a future essay.

'Late 19th century education did not grow from known 17th century seeds; it was a new and unexpected genius whose ultimate character could not have been predicted and whose emergence troubled well-disposed, high-minded people.'

The text is highly interesting, very long and gives one pause to ponder. Taken in context with other things going on in the world, the premise illuminates, but only if one groks the context of religion through history. Charismatic leaders have as much sway in history, but that is usually not recognized during the time period in which that person lived, because each action contains legacy that is only found in retrospect. Rewriting history is an insidious means of changing belief. But who knows what 'we' believe any longer. Which i think is the point of the essay along with how things change when order attempts to contain chaos.

There is direct implication here to science - what it is and what it is for, in a world view sense. That will be a topic for a day when i have no pressing business.

February 06, 2007

Watching Media

With the proliferation of You Tube, the ubiquitous video display has become commonplace on the net. Whereas the one thing you could be sure about was that the bandwidth was being read, now once again we are being talked at by our boxes. Shifting venue, but same old, same old. Dr. Lenny will be working with students to make videos for the envirothon competition, so i guess that once again a luddite is dragged kicking and screaming, back into the high tech whirled. Now that i know a bit more about the vortex, pehaps i'll clean up my image from fuzzy colorful teddy bear to sharp snazzy colorful teddy bear. Then, after the haircut ...

time passage

The roller coaster ride has several emotional peaks and valleys as time speeds or compresses to fit the opposite of what you expect it to be. We have conditioned ourselves to believe that time passes in units, minutes, hours and days, marked by the setting of the sun and the flipping of calendar pages. But the amount that we accomplish in the time that we have depends on what we take for a value system.

Economics is skewed, but if you wish to play the game of economics with all of your time, you can make the money you need by providing a lynchpin service - using unique skills developed by practice over time. Trading time for money gives us the opportunity to use our own time in somebody else's service. Service for money is a valid trade, providing the contract is appropriately agreed upon. The social contract of life today is all one way - if you don't believe so, read the next 'privacy policy' that you get stuffed in with a billing statement. You have to pay attention to not get taken, all the time, in every transaction. Unless, of course, you are out to score and be the taker in every transaction. That is business - make the best deal on every transaction.

Why do we have to live life as a business - cause that's capitalism? because the two political parties say so? because corporations are people under law? because few are willing to speak truth to power? I dunno, i'd be happy to devote my time to science, if i didn't have to compete in the battle of culture. Entertainment, as currently contrived, is a distraction to keep people from using their time in more productive pursuits. But - what does productive mean - and from who's perspective? Perhaps we need to define the terms and renegotiate the social contract.

February 05, 2007

Some who care

LRC has two articles that agree with my point in OINK 15 last week.

First - Baltzersen

'It has a lot to do with the tragedy of the commons, which really is a tragedy. It also has to do with factories getting and having gotten government permission to pollute the private property of others. As for carbon dioxide, it is highly debatable whether this is pollution. Humans emit carbon dioxide when breathing. It is needed for life on this planet. If the global temperature rises as an effect of increased radiation from the sun, and all else is equal, the oceans will release carbon dioxide due to temperature-dependent capacity.'

Second - Rozeff

'We greatly deceive ourselves if we believe that we will be led into the light by government reports, especially reports of inter-government organizations such as the U.N. We greatly deceive ourselves if we believe that panels of scientists working under the auspices of government agencies will lead us into the light of true knowledge.'

Now back in Dr. Lenny voice - Control of any kind is imposing order into a chaos field. Ignoring the problem, or business as usual approach is imposing chaos into an order field (or a mine field, your choice). We have forced creativity out of the minds of most of the population, by keeping them saturated with inconvenient truths which are truths only because the language has been parsed. Climate change does occur, always has, always will.

Dynamic systems do that. Stagnant systems set and accumulate and don't change with time. The stagnant system generates hot air and can't control itself - and its order degenerates into chaos. The dynamic system generates wind, growth and other alternate forms of power - and its chaos degenerates into order, as people figure out what works and do it. Without imposed controls and 1500 scientists to tell us how to do and what to do and when to do and what to use and ...

We can each be our own scientist and think about what we see and do what is intentional and convenient. If you think something is happening, collect some data and see if it supports what you think. If somebody says something that makes you think, ask a question that can be answered as evidence for or against. Taking the basis of fact and applying it in another different field is one way of building capacity and finding symmetries.

Singer spin, from a climate watcher.
A commonly cited proof for human-caused global warming claims there is a scientific consensus. This claim is based mainly on a flawed essay by Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego, which appeared in the journal Science in December 2004. But even if a majority of scientists had voted for human-caused global warming, that's not how science works. Unlike in politics, the majority does not rule. Rather, every advance in science has come from a minority that found that observed facts contradicted the prevailing hypothesis. Sometimes it took only one scientist; think of Galileo or Einstein.'

February 04, 2007

Pace and Urgency

Sometimes, it's hard to allow time to happen, when you are looking forward to an event. As we wish for things to happen faster, they invariably slow down to a snails pace. This is the way chaos and order interact - you can never get what you want until you get what you want. Sounds jaggerish. anyhow, time keeps on slipping into the future, so things happen as they happen. Boy this is rambly - i guess i'd better go take a walk and enjoy the sunshine. Nothing is so urgent that it can't wait.

Clouds at Sunrise

Sunrise on super-bowl sunday, the drums beat loudly as most lemmings get glued to the mind control boxes. As a die-hard sports-fan, today i don't attempt to flog myself for becoming part of the spectacle. i take it for what it is worth - a distraction for several hours while normality suspends to accomodate belief. Enjoying the journey is part of the pleasure of existance, but burning man might be more of my type of thrill. Could we imagine a media that could cover these two parallel events with equal indulgence? Nah.

Dr. Lenny Super Swami Prediction:

Colts get 4 touchdowns and a field goal while the Bears keep Gould busy with 5 field goals and a TD from Hester on a return. A jam packed 31-22, with a late turn-over making the score look like less of the battle it will be.

February 03, 2007

love bites

how long the secrecy
how vast the empire
the plays within the plays
the feint within the feint
for the benefit of the faint
'what do you get
when you fall in love'
with a conceptualization
begat from a nightmare
on a whirled world stage
they spied on king
they spied on ghandi
they spied on abbie hoffman
what's to say, to say, to say
they haven't spied on me
living an ineffectual life of
controlled degeneracy
to not empower desire
she lives in a different world
where delusions of grandeur
are to be middle class
in the land of the poor
while the rich, oh very rich
descend the spanning scale
consume natural wealth
by re-evaluating value
externalizing cost in skew
while people incapable of
reinventing any wheels
eat seed corn and belch anger

(c)2007 lemme howdt

February 02, 2007

OINK #15 : Carbonated


Dr. Lenny Howdt

Online ‘Integrated’ New Kast

Carbon seems to have the focus of the whole world. The IPCC releases their report today, but couched in political correctness will be the result – we’re screwed. The time to have made corrections was long ago and now we are simply pissing into the wind.

The powers that be have an interest in retaining the status quo. Consumption of resources necessary to support the dynamic population of species is imbalance in both the plant and animal kingdoms. Climate change is creating new weather patterns as the carbon flux – the amount of carbon in redox circulation – diminishes.

The carbon viewpoint differs based on world perspective. The Financial Times is a London based newspaper that tracks European opinion on climate change with multiple daily articles. The FT perspective takes the basis of the Kyoto Protocol, a United Nations treaty that the United States government has not bought. The approach involves carbon credits for activities that sequester, capture or otherwise reduce the quantity of greenhouse gasses. The credits can be sold to corporations as offsets for carbon pollution, while encouraging new technologies to capture carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas. This represents a survey of articles from FT for the week of Jan 13-20, to see how carbon economics play on a world stage.

The major news was from Nicholas Stern – a former World Bank economist, who now plays a curmudgeon role. He questions whether the capture and storage technology being developed would make it onto the world scene for industry to meet the new regulatory efforts. He claims the cost should be 40% lower than currently found. Thus commerce should be constrained in a ‘carbon-neutral manner’ to fit a ‘smaller carbon footprint’. The need to replace highly polluting coal powered electric generators will be met by ‘looking to favor the nuclear power industry’.

Countries like China are already exploiting loopholes in the Kyoto treaty by creating overcapacity to scrub the most harmful greenhouse gasses, while industries like the airlines are claiming grandfathered privilege to pollute on a business as usual basis, while passing penalty costs onto travelers. Meanwhile Gazprom, the Russian oil concern, and Dresdner Bank, a German Financier swap billions of credits for cash. The UN Global Compact solicits ‘voluntary corporate citizenship’ while the average landowner is left completely out of this high level bureaucratic control system, except for the actual land controls.

The game is still loot the public – use tax incentives and real cash payments to reward polluting industries for marginal efforts as long as they endorse the command and control scheme – which limits actual carbon reductions ‘to fixing leaks and overhauling compressors’. No serious effort appears to be made to support research into alternative energy, just carbon paper games.

The state of California, with governor Arnold Schwartznegger leading the charge, is ‘strongly pushing’ reduced carbon content in fuels, calling for a 25% reduction over the next 15 years. But does anyone take any of this seriously?


hidden in plain sight
plane site crash
excuse for chains
clanking callously
as freedom surfs
slippery slopes

lemme howdt (c) 2007

Waging Peace

Negotiation is a chess game among rivals for power to see who can beat whom and outwit whom. How many simultaneous chess games can a top leader play? What qualifies him to play these games skillfully?

This is why mike rozeff is on my short list of immediate reads. He can boil down essence by analogy, to something that people can get. The guys at Scheming Mind will also get a chuckle and maybe we will get some discussion going that spills howdt to the bloggosphere. Building alternative communications networks on an interpersonal basis seems a necessary pre-condition for changing the world view from war to peace.

By the way - i currently have about 50 games going at Scheming Mind - maybe 10% are real chess. Too many, considering what i am considering, but the model of chess has helped me understand how i think in an area where i can be creative. Now the trick is to explain the how - to figure out chemically where the energy comes from when we think. Chaos and Order align with Peace and War - we do not fear peace - why the repulsion toward chaos?

Archr: I tried to comment on the blog. I think I was blacked by java (no java on my phone). So... Good metaphor. The main point of chess--the only goal--is the king. Winning all the pieces and losing the K is exactly the same as losing all the pieces and losing the king. In negotiation, it seems, one should start by precisely defining the goal. Then one should proceed with with unwavering focus. But what are worthy goals? We will never agree this side of death. So while one of is playing "Chicken Chess" and thinks he is winning, the other is playing "Racing Kings" and thinks he is doing pretty well. Archr "shooting strait (along the diagonal)"
added by lemme 02/03

February 01, 2007

Dr. Lenny's classroom

Yesterday - Dr. Lenny teamed up with Chris, Alan and Ron of the forest service and Joe A's middle school class (with Kris, 16, a science-literate junior) and the Wolf Creek Job Corps to do a day of tree planting (ponderosa pine - >300, when i left at 1:00) at the Alder Creek Children's Forest. Creative learning experience is available through Your Classroom - a tool for people who wish to share their knowledge with youth. At this moment, it is natural resources science oriented, but i am working behind the scenes with a few folks to expand the content selection for fall. I could use three pilot organization that wish to invest some funds into the framework - and can apply their look to a marketing program developed for 'howdt ta skul apple eyed larnin'.

Continuing the theme

Angelo Mike presents an answer to yesterday's skul quandry.

'The other reason that students don’t do well in school is that they know better. ... They don’t apply themselves because they know that school just gets in the way of their education. For them, school is a place that imposes constraints on how to express themselves.'