Category Archives: Uncategorized

It is the year 12,017

On creating a non-Christian based original year anchor point.

What year is it? 2017? Why? Because some guy supposedly was born *maybe* around this time ~2000 years ago? That sure seems pretty damn arbitrary to me. And it is. And not only that it’s shifted around over the centuries so who knows really what year it is. But maybe it doesn’t really matter WHAT year it is. Time marches on. And we each have our own “zero” year — the year we were born.

But, let’s say we care about the year. What annual anchor point would make more sense, apply to everyone, not just Christians? Yes, there are countless alternative dating schemes that have been proposed. And even many that continue from antiquity, such as the Hindu, Chinese, Persian, Egyptian and so on dating systems.

But again, they’re all rather arbitrary. And not really applicable to everyone. So, what anchor point (and that’s the crux here — when do we start year “zero”) would make a non-arbitrary, all encompassing base for counting time?

Dating the Anthropocene

When did the Anthropocene start? Well, after the last glaciation at least. When was that? Well, when did the Holocene start? Somewhere between 11,000 and 15,000 years ago (although the Holocene supposedly is pinned to 11,700 years before today.)

But back to the Anthropocene; when did it start? If we say that about 12,000 years ago, Man discovered agriculture, and began actively altering the landscape (that is, geology) to suit itself, then if we could pin a specific date, around 12,000 years ago, that would be an excellent candidate for our agnostic dating anchor point.

So, how do you pick a date 12,000 years ago? One way is to use a celestial phenomena, one that can be accurately calculated and firmly established in the past. What if we calculated the exact date that a complete solar eclipse occurred, at the Rose Line, GMT-0, at noon, roughly 12,000 years ago. (GMT because we don’t really want to break the concept of time, just adjust the concept of years starting from zero.)

Now the question is: can we actually extract such a precise date from celestial calculations and records?

In the spirit of this project I sent the following email to Mr Eclipse…

Dear Fred Espenak,
I’m researching a possible reorganization of the concept of year dating.
Today we’re in the year 2017. Which is loosely based on the birth of a man two thousand years ago who may or may not mean something to many of us.
What would be a more appropriate, agnostic date anchoring point?
I’m suggesting, and now researching, using the start of the Anthropocene ~12,000 years ago.
But I need an exact date, all that time ago, to provide the true “zero” day.
I estimate that if a full solar eclipse, that occurred around that time, which darkened the skies above Greenwich England (GMT), at approximately noon, then that would serve as an absolute anchor point for starting the years Humanity as existed in its current form.
So, is there a way to extrapolate such a date?
Have you done this? And could you share such a date?

 

We’ll see what he has to say. If you know of a way to calculate such a number… care to share it?


Fake Meat – a collection nexus

This is a collection nexus for fake meat, lab meat, Heme meat, engineer meat etc.

The comments will contain various references as I find them.


I’ve done everything I can

What happens when “you’ve done everything you can”?

As of this writing, every one of the abhorrent people Donald Drumpf has selected for his cabinet have been confirmed. Despite millions of dollars of time spent by Democrats to stymie the appointments — every one of them went through. And no doubt the remainder will proceed apace.

The Democrats in the Senate should have gone on vacation; gone to Rio or Bermuda or to party in Sydney. The result would have been the same. They knew going in they had a rat’s chance in a tent full of terriers of blocking any of the nominations. The only saving grace is the judicial branch finally standing up and going “Uh, I think we have a say in some of these ExecOrds that the Drumpf is tossing out like paper airplanes.”

And that’s at the top, the Senate. The epitome of our governing body.

What can WE possibly do down here? Protest? Whine in the streets?

Some will say the Democrats in the Senate put forth a solid effort. That all the protests — against the egregious ExecOrds that spontaneously organized and the MSM covered — had impact.

Bullshit!

Not a god-damned-thing-changed because *Democrats or protestors*.

It’s abundantly clear what we have to do. The people in the Blue States have to infect the people in the Red States with enlightenment. Our ONLY recourse is to change the governing representatives at the CITY, COUNTY, STATE and FEDERAL levels. But not in our /already/ blue states! We have to change the governments and representatives in the BLEEDING RED STATES!

Whining in the streets in Seattle, SF, Portland or New York won’t do a fricking thing. We need to change the backwards, countryfied, ultra-religious, Luddites  who live in the RED states! We need to reach out and infiltrate and infect the Righteous Right with the Rational Left. Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Carolinas, and all the rest all need to realize the BIG-ASS MISTAKE they made by believing in the Orange Buffoon.

No shit inequality is stifling the country. No shit corporations are gouging the populace and controlling government. No shit that the economy benefits only the top 10% of society. No shit that corporate provided healthcare costs way too much. No shit that the financial industry doesn’t give two fucks about you or me or anyone with an income less that $100k. No shit that labor has been hobbled by the myths that a free market will provide for all. No shit that the military is an enormous drain on the US budget. No shit that the country’s infrastructure needs hundreds of billions of support (that could come from repatriation of foreign corporate profits).

It’s a shit world but the only way to change things is to change our government representatives. And the only way to do that is to get the RED states to see the light (and not the orange tinged dark that Drumpf sold them).


Nothing wrong with suicide

Why Suicide Keeps Rising for Middle-Aged Men

“Suicide rates in the U.S. continue to rise, and working-age adults – particularly men – make up the largest increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Middle-aged men in the 45 to 60 range experienced a 43 percent increase in suicide deaths from 1997 to 2014, and the rise has been even sharper since 2005. Untreated mental illness, the Great Recession, work-related issues and men’s reluctance to reach out for help converge to put them at greater risk for taking their own lives. And because men are more likely than women to use a gun, their suicide attempts are more often fatal.”

Bullshit!

Does no one realize that this may be the inevitable evolution of humanity?

Let’s face it. The Universe IS ABSURD! The reason for its existence is utterly unfounded. And, ipso facto, if the Universe is pointless anything within it is, by association, also pointless. Now don’t give me your bullshit arguments about any contrived reasons for existence — they are, by definition, contrived. Dreamed up. Fabricated by an overly large brain of an aberration species that just happens to be humanity.

Humanity is an accident brought forth in a chaotic stew of happenstance, all bound within a system of physics and phantasm that is this spontaneous creation that is the Universe. And if you THINK you’ve got a purpose, well, you undoubtedly dreamed it up, created it for your own purposes (or rather for DNA’s purpose, unbeknownst to you) to convince yourselves that life is worth living. That thoughts of suicide are an illness. Bullshit!

Suicide is simply the realization that, yes, the Universe is without purpose — AND THERE’S NO WAY YOU CAN PHILOSOPHIZE YOUR WAY OUT OF THAT FACT.

So, middle age men (me) are killing themselves more often? NO SHIT! It’s called achieving a higher understanding of the realities of existence — of which there are none. It’s intelligence, the attainment of the ultimate transcendent frame of mind. Not an illness. The only fucking reason I’m still typing this shit is that I’m a fucking coward. I’m a fraud. And the thoughts that bubble forth between unpacking the pistol, loading it with shells, finding the right time and location to vanish from existence — choke my resolve.


Super Halftime Show Bowl

What about a whole event/venue of nothing but halftime shows?

It’s not that I dislike football so much as I utterly despise it. In fact, all organized games that result in mega-million paychecks for anybody playing in a game smacks, to me, of Colosseum gladiators and barbarian behaviors that humanity is reticent to abandon. I don’t care how refined the skills of these players become — whether the game be played with a ball, a puck, or a birdie (they’re games NOT sports mind you), being paid to play a game simply points out how basic and frivolous humans actually are.

Note, the skills of such people are often worthy of accolades and acknowledgement, the skills; but NOT the money. This is corporatism at one of its ugliest moments, creating elitists from honest attention to one’s craft, corrupting any and all who subscribe to the practice.

So, yeah, I detest corporate team games — the Super Bowl being the most distasteful.

However, the halftime shows, now those appear to be different creatures entirely. They require the teamwork of hundreds if not thousands, many who volunteer. They show true art and choreography. They elevate artists displaying tasteful amalgams of songs and technical contrivances that astound.

Halftime shows are entertaining.

So, screw football. Assemble five or seven popular music artists and hold a gala-halftime show. That would be way better than some lame, crude football game.

 


Narrative Trust

Editors cannot trust the author.

Readers must trust the author.

Editors are there to seek out issues with the writing. They’re not there to get wrapped up with the story flow and character attachment. If they get too involved, if they begin to trust the author — while wearing their editor hats, they’ll miss mistakes that they are there to catch.

Readers are hoping to trust the author, to invest themselves with the writing and the characters, to abandon their doubts and get swept up with the energy and conflict. And if they attain this reverie they’ll gladly glaze over mistakes that slipped through the editing process.

Readers want to trust, but editor’s can’t afford to.

More specifically, narrative trust is the acceptance of the author’s skill that what you’re reading will not contain grammar, spelling, or cognitively jarring mistakes. It may take a chapter or five to slowly build up this trust, but once you’ve achieved it, you’ve given the author power over your immersive experience. The story takes over. The narrative quivers to life in your mind. You, as a reader are, in a word, hooked. At this point a reader trusts the author to not betray them.

Editors can never allow this aura of involvement to occur. They need to be on constant alert for errors — of any kind. Editors must remain detached, aloof from the seductiveness of the writing. Often this is not a problem as most writing lacks the perfection required to enter that reading nirvana. It’s a sad state for an editor; to blind their critical eye, to give in to a story, that experience can be blissful — that bliss is narrative trust.

Readers, on the other hand, want to suspend their distrust of the author’s ability. They want to believe the author, the writing, the story will unfold like a petaled flower, like a well crafted puzzle, like an exquisitely wrapped Christmas present. If it does, the experience is sublime. If it doesn’t, then the clunk the reader feels when shaken out of the narrative dream is unsettling. Tiny mistakes will often be overlooked by a reader in-the-groove. That’s why editors can never allow themselves the luxury of narrative immersion.

Achieving such a state of author trust is the goal of every reader. Creating such a narrative that induces such a state — the goal of every author. Editors ride the line between the two.

Narrative trust:

  • If you’re an editor, it’s a state that must, sadly, be avoided.
  • If you’re a reader, it’s a state that hopefully awaits your next page turn.
  • If you’re a writer, good luck evoking it for it is one elusive endeavor.

An associate, I’ll link his blog but don’t want to risk disparaging his good name on this controversial site, pointed out that there were additional aspects to building narrative trust, which had nothing — directly — to do with the actual writing. In response I penned the following…

Author credibility absolutely enters into the equation. And as you say, it would be the initial hindrance or impetus regarding attaining narrative trust, depending on initial impressions of the author, the publisher, the cost, the venue (hardback, softback, kindle), the source (recommended or random find), and the genre (is it a drama, sci-fi or mystery, a genre you’re interested in?) — all this even before you’ve cracked the cover.

New authors, like myself, have it doubly hard convincing any reader that they won’t, first off, waste their time reading our work, and secondly, they will achieve a sense of narrative trust, sometime (hopefully early) in their literary consumption of our stories. Having none of the credibility granted to any novelist already established, new authors must realized the imperative of presenting the epitome of a perfect manuscript to readers.

It’s rather a conundrum: fresh authors have little experience in producing perfection but must endeavor to do so else they’ll never get read. Experienced, credible authors have a reduced need to convince readers to trust their stories as, well, they’re credible authors, yet they’ve the experience to produce a higher quality product. Catch-22.


Induced Ice Age – feed the world

Over on Isaac Arthur’s Youtube channel he presented some theories on terraforming. One thought that came to mind was if society could place shades and/or mirrors in solar geosynchronous orbit to match Earth’s orbit (to block or enhance light falling on the planet), why not shade the poles – and over time refreeze the waters there.

If we could return to glacial periods, induce an artificial ice-age, but only at the poles, how much land would we lose to the ice — but how much land would we gain as the sea drops?

Here’s a chart with which to start:

Let’s say we target 100 meters of sea level drop refrozen as icecap ice. How much land would that expose to farming? Realize that during the last glacial maximum humans wandered across millions of additional square kilometers of land. If you examine most coast lines you’ll find that the continental shelves are not that deep and extend for tens of kilometers from current coasts.

But how much would there be?

Well, search as I might I couldn’t come up with accurate estimates. I think between 10% and 20% might be reasonable. Some areas would expand considerably, like low flat countries and states (like Florida or Bangladesh). But would it be economically viable? Maybe, if the land exposed was rich and arable and not take too much reparation to get to a production state.

Some haphazard evidence I found…


“We address this issue by calculating an estimation of habitable land area during the Last Glacial Maximum (between 22 and 19 kya) when sea level was 120 m lower than today using the polygon creation function in Google Earth. We then subtract areas of land that were likely uninhabitable during the LGM – either due to glacier cover, extreme aridity, elevation, or areas at high latitudes. From this, the combined habitable land areas of Eurasia, Africa and the Australian landmass are estimated as 76,959,712.4 km2
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440315001211)


“The maximum amount of water trapped in glacial ice occurred roughly 26,000 years ago.  This point in time is referred to as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). At the time of the LGM, the Earth’s ocean levels were at their lowest point and extensive reaches of dry land were exposed along the continents’ coasts. As the glaciers began to melt, sea level rose worldwide, resulting in nearly a 10% reduction of the Earth’s entire landmass. In the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico, this translates to the inundation (covering with water) of more than 350,000 km2 of what had been dry land, which in turn forced the relocation of plants, animals, and — what is of primary interest to our research — people.

Compared to today, LGM Florida encompassed twice its present land area and was probably slightly cooler and dryer. Furthermore, Florida’s Pleistocene landscape was not as extensively traversed by rivers as it is today. Instead, groundwater was much deeper in the rock and closer to the coasts, as it ran to its lowest level.  Typically the greatest amount of surficial fresh water is within 10km of the ocean coastline.”

(http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/12newworld/background/sealevel/sealevel.html)


“In the last major glacial period some 20,000 years ago, New Zealand’s land area was much larger, as the sea was 120–30 metres lower than its present level. The three main islands were joined together as a single island. During this period, rivers such as the Clutha, Rakaia and Waimakariri carried huge loads of sediment all the way to the edge of the continental shelf. The Waikato River (dashed line) originally flowed north and entered the sea on the eastern side of the North Island. About 20,000 years ago it changed to its present course.”
(http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/map/5599/new-zealands-coastline-in-the-ice-age)


(https://www.iceagenow.com/Ice-Age_Maps.htm)