Thursday, October 13, 2011
In reality, it is like saying he invented cement. Few think of or little note the concrete beneath wheels when a great bridge joins two regions, or the concrete in the walls of a skyscraper, or the mortar between the bricks of their house. But truth in form without that crushed lime invention none of those things would be possible. This is the grand scale of the C language. Beautiful in simplicity, and immensely powerful in application, the language consisted only of the following key words.
auto break case char const continue default do double else enum extern float for goto if int long register return short signed sizeof static struct switch typedef union unsigned void volatile while
And with that, Unix was written, the first TCP stacks were designed, and the concrete was poured on which the internet would be both built on, and built out of. It seems something of a paradox that a language so simple in composition would be heralded as one of the most powerful ever written; one of the key features of the language was that, once a function was built it could be easily re-used in other programs, in other applications by simply making an explicit call to include it. And year after year the functions built in C grew and grew, like a self improving tool that starts as a hammer and evolves on its own until it is an entire industrial facility.
C's greatness would later be used as the blue print for C++, C# and Java.
A great inventor of our age is gone, a man behind the machines, a trailblazer in the computer age when it was young.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
(Full disclosure, I do own an, Iphone and a little Ipod shuffle, however I have never, nor do I ever anticipate owning a Mac, and if someone gave me a Mac I would likely try and trade it for a PC)
Jobs and Wozniak’s first creation the Apple I, or simply the Apple Computer as it was known at the time, was truly a huge step forward in computing, and the actual start of Personal Computing. For the first time we see the three principal components of a personal computer combined; A keyboard for data input, a video monitor for data output, and a microcomputer processing core. In reality, yes all those components already existed, but never before were they combined in form to create that exact mold which would cast the defining features for personal computation for decades to come. (The earlier microcomputers used a clunky teletype, or sometimes switches and LEDs as their interface; user interfaces that made even the cold command line of DOS look positively userphilic.) Below are some pics of the original Apple I along with an original ad. Originally priced at $666.66 ($500 dealer invoice with 1/3 markup) it was within reach for middle class enthusiasts of the day. The fact that Jobs and Wozniak apparently accidentally chose both $666.66 as their market price, along with Eden’s traditional forbidden fruit as their company name and logo, is strangely prophetic on how the Apple I would mark an epoch in humanity’s journey, where we would once again make a trade of innocence for knowledge.
The Apple I did not last long on the market before the much improved Apple II, the first PC which could display in color, was introduced. Then the market space quickly crowded with the introduction of the Tandy TRS80 and the Commodore PET, and the quiet but earth shattering revolution that was the Apple I would be overshadowed by the commercial success of the Commodore 64 and the IBM PC XT.
To the extent that this ground breaker in personal computing was a simple assembly of pre-existing technologies, I would equate that statement with saying Karl Benz, who made the first gasoline powered carriage, what would later be known as the automobile, accomplished little because gasoline engines and carriages both existed prior to his combining them into personal transportation.
Jobs and Wozniak’s first collaborative work was a substantial shift in computation, for the first time the computer was personal. He continued his work in making computers more personal throughout his career, and much of the way we relate to computers today, regardless of what system you may have, was influenced by Jobs’ vision.
And on that note as I have detailed his 1st symphony, I’ll close by letting Apple detail his 9th.
Requiescat In Pace Steve
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This colorful photo essay, should leave no doubt in anyone's mind. The great accomplishments of progressive society shown in beautiful splendor. Let no one doubt.
That Progressivism is Progress.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
King James Reads below.
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
For contrast and comparison of the scholars, Young's Literal
1 And the whole earth is of one pronunciation, and of the same words,
2 and it cometh to pass, in their journeying from the east, that they find a valley in the land of Shinar, and dwell there;
3 and they say each one to his neighbour, `Give help, let us make bricks, and burn [them] thoroughly:' and the brick is to them for stone, and the bitumen hath been to them for mortar.
4 And they say, `Give help, let us build for ourselves a city and tower, and its head in the heavens, and make for ourselves a name, lest we be scattered over the face of all the earth.'
5 And Jehovah cometh down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men have builded;
6 and Jehovah saith, `Lo, the people [is] one, and one pronunciation [is] to them all, and this it hath dreamed of doing; and now, nothing is restrained from them of that which they have purposed to do.
7 Give help, let us go down, and mingle there their pronunciation, so that a man doth not understand the pronunciation of his companion.'
8 And Jehovah doth scatter them from thence over the face of all the earth, and they cease to build the city;
9 therefore hath [one] called its name Babel, for there hath Jehovah mingled the pronunciation of all the earth, and from thence hath Jehovah scattered them over the face of all the earth.
Here is the central themes as I interpret them.
Postdiluvian society is unified.
They take on the collective project of building a tower to heaven, not simply to be closer to God, but for their own glory as well.
God sees this project, and upon declaring that nothing could be denied from the unified people. . .
He injects differences in the form of language to promote disunity among them.
Disunity causes the project to be abandoned.
Why am I spending time on this. I think that some important philosophical points are clearly presented in Genesis that have fundamental impacts on our understanding of the state of man and society. We learn in Genesis the knowledge of good and evil is a departure from innocence that in one way makes us like God, but in another way sentences us to a life of difficulties and strife. Following the purge of evil that was the deluge, mankind is intent of joining Earth and Heaven, two kingdoms God had created as separate places, and undertakes an epic building project to do so. Heaven represents a perfect state of existence, God's perfect world. Earth on the other hand is what Earth is, full of joy and suffering, love and hate, feast and famine, as God intended it to be.
The arrogance that we here can unify Heaven and Earth, build the perfect unified society on Earth, is sheer folly. Mankind's differences that hinder our unity do not end with our differences in language. Point at any attribute of humanity, and you will find a distribution across mankind, varied as the spectrum itself, expressing that attribute.
Some are motivated, some lazy.
Some are smart, some are dull.
Some heed their fellow man, some are criminal at heart.
Some crave freedom, some find social constructs comforting.
Some are altruistic to a fault, some are selfish.
Throughout history, model after model of the "perfect society" has been proposed. All of these perfect societies suffer from the same flaw, they cannot, even feebly, compensate for the differences that pervade humanity. Every attempt suffers in inequity to some degree and subjection to another. The values of society determining the extent to which they will tolerate either. The folly in the modern world exists mainly on one side of the scales. Those who value freedom and individuality, except for a bare few, understand deeply the inherent limitations of man, and, what role the coercive will of the collective as it manifests as man's law must play in molding a society. We are each cannot be free to do as we please, and we must, to some degree, give over some of the fruits of our labor to the common good. Atheist and Believer see clearly the role of law even in a society that deeply respects the unique nature and will of every human.
The other side of the scale, those that value equity, often times worship a form of egalitarianism that places equality in every fundamental sense as not only an obtainable objective, but one that should be sought at all costs in what they think of as a fair society. They see each step that subjugates the individual to society bringing them ever closer to an egalitarian paradise. But inequity can not be driven from man, our curse from the tower, that we WILL be different in many ways, and those differences will reflect in our society. But the egalitarian continues enslaving the individual to the whole unabated each level of control bringing him closer though as with a hyperbolic function, as much can be gained with a few laws in promoting equity, the more laws made the less that is gained with each one. So the task remains elusive, just beyond the grasp of the egalitarian. And forevermore as they cannot accept the fundamental flaws of societies on God's earth, they will want just a little more control, just a little more, and they can reach it, perfection, Heaven brought to Earth will be achieved. The evils of man finally purged away.
This is why they cannot be humored. They cannot be trusted to measure their approach or moderate their view because they cannot accept that what they want they will never achieve. Because whatever unfairness exists, no matter how small is too much for them, and no amount of freedom lost is too big for the sacrifice at the alter bearing "=". So go warned as you encounter those who talk endlessly about the unfair. Ask them, how much? When can we stop enslaving the individual? When can we say we've done what we need to do to be "fair". Where does their pursuit end? How many laws, how much intrusion, what does the fair society they want look like so that we can stop the subjection? At what point is society fair enough for them? You might get interesting answers but more likely; as someone who values uniqueness, freedom, and individuality, discusses society with those who idolize egalitarianism and fairness, you will likely find that you just talk past each other, as if the words and ideas cannot be understood across the breach of air. As if you were speaking different languages all together. But then again, that is how it is supposed to be.
Friday, May 27, 2011
A lot of folks have a bunch of opinions about ethanol subsidies. A few candidates on the Presidential campaign trail have recently discussed ethanol subsidies. But let’s focus a little better. Ethanol is not just supported by subsidies it is largely supported by mandates. States mandating that gasoline sold within their borders MUST contain a certain percentage of ethanol, this creates the government sponsored artificial demand for this expensive fuel. Subsidies and tax breaks reduce the cost of production somewhat so that ethanol can have a government sponsored market advantage to help overcome its greater production cost, transferring some of the price seen at the pump to your taxes instead to make ethanol look not quite as expensive as it actually is. Presidential candidates have held various positions on this issue at different times. However, a basic analysis is all that an intelligent person should need to draw an informed opinion about ethanol as a fuel. I will present to you the most basic analysis of the process of rendering corn into ethanol fuel allowing you to draw your own conclusion before I give you mine.
1 Gallon of Ethanol requires 26lbs of corn.
26lbs of corn has 46,000 kcal of nutrition (What a nutritionist calls calories)
Kcal is a metric unit of energy measurement for thermal energy, the English equivalent is BTU.
26lbs of corn has 182,000 BTU of usable nutritional energy.
After you get done processing ethanol, you have products totaling about 30,000 BTU of nutritional energy remaining that can be reintroduced into the food supply.
This is a net nutritional loss of about 150,000 BTU per gallon of fuel produced.
But we get energy right? Yes we do, but remember that high alcohol concentrations kill yeast so getting initial concentration above 20% alcohol to 80% water is impossible. This does not burn. It must be distilled in order to become a usable fuel. The process of boiling off all the alcohol takes 40,000 BTU. Each gallon of ethanol has about 80,000 BTU of energy.
This is a net energy gain of about 40,000 BTU per gallon of fuel produced.
Ok great. We trade a net 150,000 BTU of nutrition for net 40,000 BTU. Not the greatest deal on the planet. But how much corn is really used this way? Thanks to the huge demand from government mandates about 40% of the US crop is consumed in this manner. That is 140 million tons of corn.
The aggregate nutritional loss is about 1.5 quadrillion BTU or about 400 trillion calories; or enough food to feed one of the following for an entire year.
a. 200 Million Cows
b. 200 Million Pigs
c. 2.5 Billion Chickens
d. 500 Million People
Just for reference it is estimated that 800 million is the number of undernourished people on Earth.
But we got the ethanol! Right! It is a great fuel!
Well it costs more $/gal to produce than gasoline meaning simply it is more expensive. Then there is the added cost of blending it with the gasoline. So in general ethanol blends must cost more per gallon because of added cost of ethanol vs gasoline and these blending costs.
OK so it costs more per gallon. I bet you get GREAT millage!
Not so, ethanol per gallon only has about 2/3rds of the thermal energy as gasoline. Meaning simply; if a gallon of gasoline will carry you 200 miles, a tank 100% ethanol would only get you just beyond 130 miles. Blending the fuel in 10% and 20% blends as commonly done has a proportional effect on your mileage.
All the animals I listed above, I listed because all of them are corn fed in significant quantity at some point in their lives to the point that feed becomes the driving cost for bringing the animal to market. This wanton destruction of our feed and food stock is a serious contributor to rising costs associated with foods that rely heavily on corn; such as meat and products from the above animals.
Make your own judgments….
Mine are pretty straight forward, that even the technologically declined with some basic accounting can see the insanity of this process. Even the hard core global warming activist could not support a wasteful process such as this one for simple humanitarian reasons. In fact support of such policy could be thought of as borderline inhumane. The only rational reason to support this in my mind is if you profit from it, or are elected by or receive donations from those who profit from it; one big political kickback.
Some candidates have recently come out decrying ethanol subsidies. But like I said the subsidy is the small part the ethanol mandate is the big part that creates all the artificial demand. Before you take a candidate at face value for their born again revelations against the ethanol subsidies find out their record on ethanol mandates; see if they bought into selling this pig in a poke for political profit. Or more accurately forcing us to buy it for their political profit.
Some references I used in making this article.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Over at the UK Daily Mail
Holding her newborn son Tom for the first time, Tracy Godwin marvelled at his eyelashes, and counted every precious finger and toe.
Forty-six minutes later, and despite her desperate pleas to midwives for assistance, Miss Godwin’s son died as she held him.
the hospital has a policy not to resuscitate babies born earlier than 24 weeks into pregnancy
Read the whole story if you can get through it.
This is the logical conclusion of framing the value of human life in terms of convenience while simultaneously designating the caretaker of life to be the State: The care of life defined as a matter of convenience to the State. Noted this baby only had about a 1 in 10 shot, but, that was a life, and I think most of us would give 1 in 10 a shot. But, if you would, that just makes you unenlightened about the good of the whole. All hail the superior morality of progressive humanity.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
So much debt, and so much deficit: Meaning that the spending habits of those in government must continually be financed by investors and foreign entities like the Chinese. How much can we borrow before our creditors start to question our ability to make good on these bonds? Many of our lenders keep their own counsel and are quite conservative; others rely upon professionals to objectively rate the risk of non-payment. Whichever happens to be the case, it is becomming abundantly clear, the US' credit card is quickly approaching the point where it is maxed out.
What happens then? When the Government can no longer borrow? Well financially governments deal with this different ways. One way is to "print money" to pay for Government. This is accomplished by having the central bank buy the bonds. This balloons the money supply and causes inflation. The other way allow bonds to be auctioned for lower prices in order to encourage their sale, this increases the yield, meaning simply, the interest on our debt goes up. How much interest are we paying right now? Right now the vig on our debt is on track to be 500 billion dollars for FY 11. The increased interest on US public debt, and its consumption of the available loanable funds puts pressure on loaning, causing all interest rates to rise.
So what is the result of all of this? A crushing economic condition where inflation and rising interest rates feed off of each other, exacerbating each other. The rising interest rates make selling bonds unaffordable, government then issuing currency to operate and avoid default causes inflation, inflation adds expected returns on all forms of investment to rise, causing interest rates to climb even higher. (It's hard to believe that just 10 years ago gold wasn't worth $300 an ounce) In the end, investment in the economy is choked, and a strong growing economy will have a whopper of a recession and suffer stagflation, stifling growth for a decade or more. If that sounds familiar it should, that was the 70's, with interest on home loan north of 20%. If this irresponsible monetary and fiscal policy happens to a weak economy, suffering from a recent financial crisis, high unemployment, and economic contraction, well history has only served us one example, some of my family can remember it; How the government promised it could borrow, spend, and tax its way out of an economic downturn. That decade of suffering is burned into the memory of any who suffered through it and its images haunt us to this day.
As we are the largest economy in the world, the pillar that supports the structure, our collapse into severe contraction like that of the 30's would be an ill omen for a world that depends on us economically. The seeds of instability, strife, tyranny, and war would be scattered far and wide as our utter collapse brought down the most power economies in the world and suffering and want spread across the world like a pandemic.
The Citizens of this great country saw the impending DOOM, and used perhaps their last chance to avert it. They voted resoundingly for fiscal sanity and austerity. They voted for a smaller government, less spending, less deficit, and hopefully lower debt. This is still seen in the polls of those in opposition to raising the federal debt limit.
Our President responded with a budget that included cuts to the attune of 750 million dollars. . . into a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit. For those suffering from big number syndrome. Say my family makes $100,000 a year, but we have a spending problem. We are $700,000 dollars in debt and going $60,000 dollars more in debt every year. So we deftly cut our annual spending by .....
Wait for it....
That's right we made the supreme sacrifice and cut out one cheap dinner, for the whole year.
It's time to get serious about our fiscal situation folks. We need to cut until it really hurts, then double the cuts. The 500 billion in the Rand Paul plan is a good starting point to make further, more difficult cuts.
The question is no longer "what kind of debt we are giving to our grand kids?" it is now "Will there be anything left to give to them at all?"
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The story that ensued was a veritable page turner. A noble member of congress, just trying to do what is best for the nation, opposed by a racist, and now openly violent political movement, all while an opportunistic political party stoked the flames of hate, themselves a culpable accomplice to the violence and tragic slaying of an innocent nine year old girl; A gripping political thriller, worthy of the New York Times Bestseller List. It had only two major flaws. First, it was reported as news instead of being printed as entertaining fiction; second, it didn’t happen that way.
Looking upon it, it went far beyond framing a narrative, a practice common to an ever more politically active media elite. It was an entire storyline, complete with protagonist, antagonist, prologue, struggle, tragedy, conclusion, and an epilogue that concluded that free speech in politics should cease, especially conservative rhetoric, and that those conservative politicians brave enough to speak out against the liberal agenda should be held responsible for the violence. A story written before it was even known who might survive, before the facts, let alone the truth, could be known.
Then the facts came, one by one; each one fitting the story worse than the last. But did the story change? Well there were twists and turns introduced to the story already written to incorporate some early discoveries; then some facts stretched to the breaking point to make them fit the story, then others outright ignored. But that precious conclusion and epilogue never faltered. My favorite stretch: The stretch connection between a belief that the government uses grammar as mind control, stretched to a similar though far from identical belief of a fringe individual, himself only loosely connected with a small independent libertarian movement whose goal is to use legal argument to live under English Common Law, a movement despite anti-corporate beliefs stretched to be the “Far Right” of the political spectrum, the “far right” stretched to be the Tea Party movement, which although unabashedly independent itself is stretched to be under the control of major Republican political figures and conservative commentators, and therefore, the violence was the fault of major commentators and politicians who instigated it by using “heated” political rhetoric. See how that conclusion never falters as it hurdles all the facts in its way?
When the smoke cleared, the people of the US were left with a story that didn’t match the known facts, and known facts left out of the story. In the end Arthur Brisbane, the Public Editor of the New York Times, a position that serves as a retroactive content ombudsman for the Grey Lady, cited that the time pressures driving a need to get news published as soon as possible, and a disposition by reporters, ingrained deeply by their education and culture, to frame all news as a story, rather than an aggregation of relevant facts, is what drove the tall tale that we received.
Two major things about this incident are harbingers to the death of the elitist media as we know it. First, if the story they told sounded familiar. It is because the elitist media has been trying to find facts to fit the story they wanted to tell for a little more than year and half now; you know the one with the heroic Democrats trying to save the world from ignorant violent tea partiers and opportunistic Republicans? It is one thing to strive to make a piece of news into an interesting story, one might at least be able to make an argument for objectivity if the journalists mind was open, it is another thing to take every piece of news, every arbitrary aggregation of facts on a subject, as an opportunity to tell the same story over and over. This tells us that the preconceptions and bias, which even the most respected news sources in our country carry with them, is so strong, that the story that will be told has little to do with those facts, and everything to do with that bias. The heroes, the villains, the story that is so important that it must be written before the facts are known, is so obvious, the informed could tell you what the story outline would be the day before an event as easily as the day after. Ultimately my question back to the media is: what informative value is news framed as a story, if the story is already known and the story is independent of the facts related to the news? Answer: To the media, to ‘shape public opinion’.
This leads me to the second harbinger of death to our elitist media. The public doesn’t believe their stories anymore. They don’t want to know the media’s story, they just want the facts, and then they turn to their favorite bloggers for analysis, and finally they decide for themselves what the story is.
To be certain the traditional media keeps its importance in the discovering and reporting of facts, the job of the reporter; no replacement is possible for feet on the ground investigating critical events. But the elite of media have lost the ability to drive public opinion with their storytelling. We now see emerging the model of future news in America. Where the giants can do little more for the news than provide us with facts, to be aggregated analyzed by a kaleidoscope of critical thinkers and writers, and ultimately framed into a story by the American People themselves.
HT Hot Air
Monday, January 17, 2011
A more subtle question is why did God, in all of his wisdom, choose to withdraw all tangible manifestation from mankind? I think we can learn much of the answer to this question by observing our own children and their most obvious attribute. They grow and evolve. A child’s need for its parent’s guiding hand goes through an evolution from simple orders of yes and no, rewards and punishment, guiding words of wisdom and advice, to eventually one day, you will have taught them all that you can. For them to continue growing they must do so as adults; armed with the wisdom you have taught them, and their own experiences, they face the world and start their own journey. It is only in this way, stepping out on their own, even if a proud parent still watches lovingly from afar, that our children achieve their potential not only as an individual person but as part of humanity. So too, our relationship with God has grown; from the early covenant of Abraham, to the Ten Commandments and God’s law revealed in the Old Testament, to the wisdom and advice spoken by God’s word made man. Thereafter God has remained in the intangible, and we started our own spiritual adulthood as a people, with a free choice to believe in faith and virtue, or not to believe; We must do so without stone tablets etched by a heavenly hand so holy that the unclean would be struck down for merely standing in their presence, we must do so without God himself standing before us as a man that Satan could not corrupt and that death could not claim. We are now given a choice, not only free of the coercion of such tangible divinity, but also with full knowledge of the implications. We can accept God into our lives, and use his moral wisdom to build a better world, or we can deny him, fill the void in our souls with ever greater amounts of hedonism, and watch our world fall apart. Whichever, we must now go forward; standing only on the wise words and advice we have been given. We have to be adults now to live up to what we could be: what God wants us to be.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.