between consecutive bifurcation diagram on Li / Li + 1
Saturday, August 29, 2020
between consecutive bifurcation diagram on Li / Li + 1
The Logistic Map
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Smoke & Mirrors II
Sunday, August 23, 2020
They want it bad ...
and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it bad so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club - George Carlin: The Real Owners ...
And now, Wall Street is making it's play to make it happen, aided and abetted by the Orange Turd residing in the White House.
The Trump administration is pushing dramatic changes to the American retirement system that will benefit Wall Street but push average citizens into plans that are riskier, less profitable, and loaded with high and hidden fees.
In the past two months, the Trump’s Labor Department has introduced two pending changes to deregulate vulturous private equity firms and multi-trillion dollar retirement managers like Vanguard, Fidelity, and BlackRock. A third proposed change would restrict retirement investments with an underlying environmental, social, or governance mission — mainly to boost the struggling fossil-fuel industry.
If finalized, the result will be death by a thousand cuts to Americans’ diminished retirement nest egg, amounting to an all-out Wall Street looting of American retirement.
Pushing this through is Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia — son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
George Carlin was right. They want it bad.
The Memory Hole ...
in all their schools. Time frame ... 3 years.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Pumice ... manna from heaven :)
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Rinse & Repeat ...
Wack a Mole ...
Monday, August 17, 2020
Smoke & Mirrors I
Air Pollution yet again ...
Sunday, August 16, 2020
In praise of flatulence :)
Bacchus appears frozen in mid-air, blasted from his seat – but is this the result of love or is there a more down-to-earth explanation? (Credit: National Gallery)
The BBC has conjured up a gem, detailing entertaining info about flatulence from such renowned entities as Titian and Shakespeare, info yours truly never knew about even though being an English major back in the Cretaceous and an artist who knows a smidgen about art while practicing it for nearly 60 years. Read the piece, humorous to a fault. :)
The work, inspired by a scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, depicts the instant Bacchus’s boisterous posse happens upon a heartbroken Ariadne, abandoned by her lover Theseus on the island of Naxos, and has long been cherished for its sensuous portrayal of ‘the way in which the world seems to come to a stop at the moment when people fall for each other,’ as the art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon has described it.
Smack dab in the centre of his canvas, Titian has carefully, if curiously, positioned a caper flower, whose ivory petals and radiant bristle of exploding stamens are rendered with meticulous botanical detail. Follow the trajectory of the caper's strangely overextended pistil and it catches in its stigma’s crosshairs the floating crotch of Bacchus, who, blasted from his seat, is frozen forever in mid-air, in what is surely among the most ungainly poses in all of art history.
Enter stage left, Othello :)
Famously fond of flatulence himself, Shakespeare couldn’t resist squeezing potty puns into his plays. Hanging in the air behind the phrase ‘thereby hangs a tail’, from Othello, for example, is the lingering whiff of broken wind. Rather than crude blemishes that besmirch his plays’ achievement, however, such coarse scents attest to Shakespeare’s full range of observation, his depth of sensitivity to every clench and contour of being here. They show that, in capturing all of life, Shakespeare holds nothing back (or in) and that his works embrace all of human experience – the serious and the silly, the melodious and discordant, the fragrant and the foul.
In the centre, a caper flower, which is a natural remedy for flatulence, is coupled with a satyr, a figure also associated with the condition (Credit: National Gallery)
Read the BBC piece in its entirety to learn about art, life and reality at it's most primal level. :)
Saturday, August 15, 2020
An inconvenient truth ...
JOHN VACHON, 1939 / LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The great depression of 2020 is here. With millions out of work, driven in large part by COVID-19, the US is in dire trouble, in many ways, worse off than the Great Depression of the 30s because back then, the environment was viable, manufacturing capability was intact and the populace was unified and eager to get back to work. Today, financialization, ruinous debt and environmental degradation are just some of the problems America is facing and we haven't even discussed climate change. With this optimistic view in hand, an insightful essay by Charles Hugh Smith gives one pause regarding fixed costs and how it applies to possible economic collapse of a most pernicious kind.
A collapse of major chunks of the economy is widely viewed as "impossible" because the federal government can borrow and spend unlimited amounts of money because the Federal Reserve can create unlimited amounts of money: the government borrows $1 trillion by selling $1 trillion in Treasury bonds, the Fed prints $1 trillion dollars to buy the bonds. Rinse and repeat to near-infinity.
With this cheery wind at their backs, conventional pundits are predicting super-rebounds in auto sales and other consumption as consumers weary of Covid-19 and anxious to blow their recent savings borrow and spend like no tomorrow.
We're already in a post-normal world because the expansion of globalization and financialization needed to fuel the Old Normal has reversed into contraction. This reversal is an extinction event for all sectors and institutions with high fixed costs: air travel, resort tourism, healthcare, higher education, local government services, etc. because their fixed cost structures are so high they are no longer financially viable if they're operating at less than full capacity.
Only getting back to 70% of previous capacity, revenues, tax receipts, etc. dooms them to collapse.
And there's no way to cut their fixed costs without fatally disrupting all the sectors that are dependent on them.
Most operational costs are mandated and cannot be reduced: union contracts, property taxes, regulatory burdens, tax accounting, debt service, employee healthcare costs, minimum wages, etc. Other essential expenses such as commercial rent are difficult to renegotiate lower, as the landlord also has the same high fixed costs and any reduction comes directly out of his pocket.
To whit ...
A good example of this collapse dynamic is a restaurant with high fixed costs. It can't survive financially at 50% of capacity because it can't reduce its expenses by 50%. The owners can reduce staff but there are operational limits on this: even if there are only 10 customers rather than 100, you still need a kitchen and wait staff. Stripped to the bone, the owners might be able to reduce costs by 15% to 20%. In other words, if business rebounds to 80% of pre-pandemic levels, the restaurant can survive but not generate any profit.
It might survive at 70% if the owners do double shifts, but that isn't sustainable. Eventually, the overworked owners burn out and collapse.
Reducing costs is even more difficult for institutions such as hospitals, colleges and government agencies. Most of these institutions are unable to cut more than a few percent of expenses; a 10% reduction in expenses would require the closure of entire departments and eliminating core services.
In essence, it means reconstructing America on a more modest level as the complexification of almost everything thanks to financialization has reached its limits thus making the painful reset inevitable.
Friday, August 14, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Serious Tech ... Serious Car
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
In search of "TRUTH" ...
Why us? Over the past few months, I’ve been watching us fall behind practically every other country on Earth in terms of Covid-19 prevention and thinking to myself, Why America? Why are we so vulnerable to misinformation that we have both citizens AND leaders who don’t just ignore the basic truths of the virus, but mock them outright? WHY ARE WE SO FUCKING STUPID?
If you wanna understand why Americans are so hopelessly addicted to lies, you need to understand the unceasing comfort those lies provide.
But that’s been true of America since well before the pandemic. We are a callow nation built on comfortable lies. You see Americans getting cozy with these lies constantly now. Columbus was the progenitor of Native American genocide? Well, okay, but excuse me, he DISCOVERED this country. The Founding Fathers? Yes, they had slaves, but they still built this joint. Slavery itself? Well, we got rid of that (eventually). Racism? Dude, we elected a Black president and then reelected him four years later over the whitest possible alternative.
The police are bad guys? I’m sorry, but I need to know someone out there is protecting me from all the bad people. President Trump is a fascist? Please. That’s just the haters clutching their pearls because Trump had the courage to completely upend a government that every American already despised. They quietly applaud his brashness even if they have to virtue signal some form of tacit disapproval. Why would we elect a fascist? We’re the good guys. Every Spielberg movie said so.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Ceres ... yet another ocean world
Ocean worlds are cropping up all over with Ceres joining Enceladus, Europa and Ganymede as entities containing the elements needed to harbor life as we know it.
Data from NASA's recent Dawn mission answers two long-unresolved questions: Is there liquid inside Ceres, and how long ago was the dwarf planet geologically active?
NASA's Dawn spacecraft gave scientists extraordinary close-up views of the dwarf planet Ceres, which lies in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. By the time the mission ended in October 2018, the orbiter had dipped to less than 22 miles (35 kilometers) above the surface, revealing crisp details of the mysterious bright regions Ceres had become known for.
Scientists had figured out that the bright areas were deposits made mostly of sodium carbonate - a compound of sodium, carbon, and oxygen. They likely came from liquid that percolated up to the surface and evaporated, leaving behind a highly reflective salt crust. But what they hadn't yet determined was where that liquid came from.
By analyzing data collected near the end of the mission, Dawn scientists have concluded that the liquid came from a deep reservoir of brine, or salt-enriched water. By studying Ceres' gravity, scientists learned more about the dwarf planet's internal structure and were able to determine that the brine reservoir is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) deep and hundreds of miles wide.
Ceres doesn't benefit from internal heating generated by gravitational interactions with a large planet, as is the case for some of the icy moons of the outer solar system. But the new research, which focuses on Ceres' 57-mile-wide (92-kilometer-wide) Occator Crater - home to the most extensive bright areas - confirms that Ceres is a water-rich world like these other icy bodies.