Friday, January 22, 2016

SAR #16022

To quantum physicists the world probably makes sense.
Angles On The Head of a Pin, For Now: An apparently impartial Harvard constitutional specialist says that it is abundantly clear, especially for the strict constructionists, that a “natural born citizen” means someone born within the sovereign territory of the United States (except for children of US public officials serving abroad). In 1789 founding father James Madison said that the US used place of birth rather than parentage as the defining criterion. Senator Cruz was not born in the US. QED.
Bullseye: “Good thing the market is composed of rational actors. Otherwise, we might really be in trouble.”
If Not Now, When? Oregon's governor, along with a lot of the rest of us, wonders when the federal government is going to do something about the group of seditious outlaws in Eastern Oregon. Where are the SWAT teams, the armored vehicles, Seal Team Six. Where are our vaunted forces of law and order to protect the public against an armed insurrection?
Asked And Answered; “Is the stock market telling us we’re headed for a recession?” Maybe. Maybe not. Nobody knows, especially not investment advisers.
Vital Signs: The Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey report had both bad news and good news. The bad news is that manufacturing activity in the US remained negative. The good news was that it wasn't as bad as it was the previous month. The Department of Labor reported a 10,000 surge in initial unemployment claims last week, the highest since last summer but added a soothing “this is still a very low level” of claims. Yep, under 300,000. Sounds good to me.
None So Blind... Billionaire Steve Schwarzmann, CEO of the Blackstone Group of Thieves, says he simply cannot understand what a large portion of the US electorate are so upset and angry about. “What,” he asks, “has made the people so unhappy?”
Statistically: At least since NAFTA, trade agreements have included Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses – a forced arbitration with the arbitrator picked by the investor, not the state. Research shows that overwhelmingly the beneficiaries of ISDS have been extra-large international companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenue and ultra rich individuals with net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The losers have been the people, who have to pay the taxes to raise the money that is regularly awarded to the already filthy rich.
Consider the Source: Former Official Wizard and Saviour of the Economy Helicopter Ben Bernanke tells us not to worry about China's $28 trillion in debt because it is “an internal problem.”
Preparations: Our masters, gathered in Davos, are worried that robots and automation and artificial intelligence will upset the economy and threaten their profits. Yes, they acknowledge with a brushing motion of the backs of their hands, a few million of you will lose your jobs and not find work ever again, but you won't be losing your dividends and they will...
You First: Plans are afoot to turn the former WWII concentration camp on Mamula Island off Montenegro into a luxury resort. But it will be done tastefully, preserving the “historical value of the island” with a “memorial room” mentioning those who were incarcerated and those who were killed or died of starvation. There will also be memorial T-shirts and coffee mugs.
The Parting Shot:


McMike said...

re Physicists. If so, then they are fooling themselves.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Well, I've thought all along that they've been trying to fool us with that string theory stuff and Quantum Mechanics stuff.

George Anderson said...

Re: Physics: Few recognize that time is a human construct just as there is almost universal acceptance of the theoretical 'speed limit'. (Just because we can't measure it doesn't mean it can't happen...) The only proof we need that time travel is impossible is the fact that time travelers haven't yet popped up and gone on a killing spree [with the resulting paradoxes destroying the space/time continium]

More interesting is how palentologists argue about the origins of war in a vaccumn, discounting how our 'diversity' may in fact be due to our evolving on different planets, and this may also explain our irrational hatred of those not sufficiently 'like' us.

[Although it could be argued that 'whitey' don't care either way, he hates everybody and particularly despises the poor, regardless of shade of brown.]

Biggest argument against the 'shipwreck theory' is the absence of a 'relic' of otherworldly origin (which is why I favor the 'prison planet' varient.) You're not going to find the ship we came here in because it left...but now that we've gone WAY 'off the reservation' I will conclude my Science Friday, er, lecture.

McMike said...

re string theory. Oh for sure, they just make that stuff up to get grants. And then have a big laugh about it back at the lab over some bathtub gin.

True story: decades ago I was at a college-age house party, standing out in the driveway talking to a friend. This guy staggers out (what we might now call "over-served), and says to us dead-pan "life is like an onion," then staggers off to his car without another word. He then gets into the parallel-parked car and proceeds to drive forward and crumple the bumper of the car in front of him, then back up into the bumper of the car behind him, then drive off down the street. His words made a lasting impression on me.

I have no problem with trying to understand the world around us in a rational and methodical way... evidence, replicability, and ATGS. I do it myself. Practical physics certainly has its place (making tools), as does geometry (playing billiards).

However, I do believe that science is fooling itself if it thinks there is an ultimate endpoint in peeling rings off the onion of life.

I also believe, that - should our species survive itself long enough - future generations will look back at us now, and marvel at our (comparative) cargo cults, magical thinking, bloodletting, flat earths, and waving of chicken bones that we currently view proudly as the pinnacle of human intellectual achievement.

But above all, I do hold the highest hope that what they will mainly marvel at is the silliness of trying. They will chuckle at the childish idea that we thought we could herd life into a corner and pin it down to dissect it to figure out what makes it work.

In other words, the circle of life will get the last laugh, and we will crawl so far up our own rear ends with complex sophisticated theories that we one day burst out the other side into the blinding light of exactly where we began.

Jim Dandy said...

Well, you know, if I can't understand something, I generally don't pay any attention to it.

George Anderson said...

When I think of future generations I cringe...they'll probably/deservedly judge us rather harshly...if we ever achieve this level of, er, 'enlightenment' again.

Let's just say confidence is none too high! I think we have the tools but the 'exploiters' will continue to refuse to step aside and take one for the team.

Anonymous said...

You first: It sounds more like a "retirement" home where the 0.01% can send their parents.