Thursday, September 30, 2021

Network 2021 ...

We'll tell you anything you want to hear. We lie like hell! We'll tell you Kojak always gets the killer, and nobody ever gets cancer in Archie Bunker's house… We'll tell you any shit you want to hear! We deal in illusion, man! None of it's true! But you people… do whatever the tube tells you... This is mass madness, you maniacs! — from Network, 1976

If you want to know yours truly's take on the nooze, just read the blurb above or view the clip of Howard Beale quoting said text with religious fervor as there is no news in the year of our lord 2021, only bloviation, lies and exaggeration used to sell ads and influence to the particular demographic each corporate controlled network panders to. If one looks hard, one can find viable news sources but it takes effort and smarts to do so, something simply not done anymore in the land of the brave and home of the free.

After a few days away from the news I watched Network, a movie about a mad prophet whose prophesies come true. Anchorman Howard Beale’s seminal speech described how America could commoditize anything, even the awful truth that its mass media had raised an illiterate populace that followed The Tube as the word of God. “Turn them off!” Beale screamed, just before collapsing in religious fervor, but one eye peeked out to see how his revelation was selling. True to form, even Network made a pile of money and won four Oscars.

Forty-five years later, the film’s predictions still look right, but too optimistic. Back then, a few networks dominated, and the trend was the One Big Lie: the Missile Gap, the Domino Theory, 4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident. What could be worse? Ambrose Bierce once said there were only two things more horrible than a clarinet — two clarinets. The only thing darker than Network’s dystopian future with television as the national religion is the world we’ve got: two religions. - Matt Taibbi

Paddy Chayefsky lives ... 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Through a glass darkly



To see “through a glass” — a mirror — “darkly” is to have an obscure or imperfect vision of reality. The expression comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul; he explains that we do not now see clearly, but at the end of time, we will do so.

When reading this ancient definition of reality conjured up over 2000 years by the Apostle Paul, the notion of looking back in time via telescopes like the Hubble come to mind as man has forever questioned the nature of reality since the beginning of time. 


Darkness Darkness - The Youngbloods


How do you see a region of space from which no light emanates? Scientists, surprisingly, have some solutions to this problem.

One is to build a radio telescope on the far side of the moon (that is, the side that never faces the Earth). This type of telescope could help scientists peer into the dark ages, though not necessarily all the way back to the Big Bang.

During the dark ages, astronomers believe, the hydrogen that pervaded the universe emitted very faint radio waves. And that gives astronomers some hope. “You could look back into the dark ages, because those atoms were giving off radio waves,” Hertz says.

It’s as though they were broadcasting a lonesome signal from near the beginning of time, which could make it through the fog.

“If you build the right kind of radio telescope, very large, very sensitive, then you would be able to detect the radio waves and we could study the universe before the first stars and first galaxies,” Hertz says.

But we can’t detect these faint radio waves from Earth. All the radio transmissions that are produced on Earth would drown them out.

This is where the moon comes in — as a kind of giant shield. The moon is “thousands of miles of rock, so the radio waves can’t get through that,” Hertz explains. The far side of the moon is quiet enough for us to listen in.

But seeing even further requires seeing gravity @ large scale


Currently, NASA and the European Space Agency have plans for a space-based gravitational observatory called LISA (the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), to launch in 2034. It will be a constellation of three satellites that form a triangle, with each side measuring a whopping 2.5 million kilometers.

“It measures whether the distance between the satellites has changed,” Hertz explains. “And if it changes, it’s because a gravitational wave went by and shrank or expanded space.”

Some of those gravitational waves could be coming from that hot cauldron of the post-Big Bang universe.

I can see clearly now.

The end of the beginning ...


The beginning ...









The end of the beginning ...







Until they decide to do it for themselves ...

Biodiversity 101


Biodiversity 101, you know, the base notion of maintaining said concept at all costs as without it, we're dead, is not being adhered to as the world moves ever further into the abyss of global warming thanks to the continued burning of fossil fuels to continue the growth mantra of capitalism where nature becomes a profit resource to be exploited no matter what the cost may be.

Ivory-billed woodpeckers filmed in in Louisiana in 1935, when the birds were already rare. Despite pleas from conservationists and wildlife officials, the area was later logged by the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company.CreditCredit...Arthur A. Allen/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The ivory-billed woodpecker, which birders have been seeking in the bayous of Arkansas, is gone forever, according to federal officials. So is the Bachman’s warbler, a yellow-breasted songbird that once migrated between the Southeastern United States and Cuba. The song of the Kauai O’o, a Hawaiian forest bird, exists only on recordings. And there is no longer any hope for several types of freshwater mussels that once filtered streams and rivers from Georgia to Illinois.

In all, 22 animals and one plant should be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list, federal wildlife officials announced on Wednesday.

The announcement could also offer a glimpse of the future. It comes amid a worsening global biodiversity crisis that threatens a million species with extinction, many within decades. Human activities like farming, logging, mining and damming take habitat from animals and pollute much of what’s left. People poach and overfish. Climate change adds new peril.

An upcoming hellscape of our own making applies  here, does it not?

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Center of Gravity ...



In battle, Schwerpunkt - the center of gravity - a term used by Carl von Clausewitz - equates to victory whenever a combatant takes control over the COG of any given conflict as the COG is “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends,”








These base concepts discussing how wars are won were woefully ignored by the US in Nam, the Middle East and in Afghanistan as indigenous forces don't have to win, just outlast, something great powers like Alexander the Great, England, Russia and the US seem to just not understand but Frank Herbert, in Dune did, voicing this set of tenets the US should have known about before getting involved in the disastrous misadventures depicted in this article.


Yet another wicked problem ...


We're drowning in data but we already know that, right? It's even worse for science papers as said discipline is esoteric in nature and requires accurate storage and access of same in order for the information to be properly analyzed as science is designed to be disproved.

To whit.

Yet another wicked problem ...


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Unanswered Questions ...


Finally, a book detailing the unanswered questions from the 9/11 families who suffered the most from an atrocity costing America thousands of innocent lives. It's about time.






Have read the book. It's eminently fair with no conclusions drawn save that the questions these folks have, have not been adequately answered by the powers at be.

The Molten Ring


Gravitational lenses rule, particularly when one wants to see further than what existing tech can provide, something readily seen by the Molten Ring, an entity allowing us to view distant galaxies not even Hubble can see.

The phenomenon itself is called gravitational lensing, and while it has given us some absolutely amazing images, it also affords us brilliant opportunities to combine our own magnification capabilities – telescopes – with those of the Universe to see things that might otherwise be too far to make out clearly, or at all.

The Molten Ring (formally named GAL-CLUS-022058s) is just such an Einstein ring, magnified by the gravitational field around a huge cluster of galaxies in the constellation of Fornax. So powerful is this effect that not only does the distant galaxy appear in four distorted images, it's magnified by a factor of 20.

lensing

Illustration of gravitational lensing. (NASA, ESA & L. Calçada)

Over 10 years ...



The Intercept piece clearly explains the real expense of the dems 3.5 trillion dollar initiative over a 10 year time frame is not excessive by any stretch of the imagination, a notion conveniently not discussed by The Turtle, the nihilist senate minority leader from hell.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Immortality 101 :)

Canonically speaking ... :)

 

6 months behind ...


The dog ate my homework ...

Synchrony


Yours truly is an Aspie, not too far along the Autistic spectrum but still just enough to have to work to remain in sync when talking to friends and acquaintances alike. When reading the conversation piece in SA about making appropriate eye contact while talking struck a nerve as new findings are totally in sync with how this writer has learned to cope successfully in relating to people in normal fashion.


With Aspergers, Look me in the Eye applies as doing this, to us, seems like we are intruding but, when done properly and not staring, the rhythm of looking at a person's eye and looking away is how creativity works, something akin to jazz as varying levels of intensity, when improvising, is inevitable without question. 


Read the book to see how my reality works. Funny as hell and totally spot on. :)

Friday, September 24, 2021

1 trillion & counting ...

Afghanistan is a treasure trove of rare earths and mineral resources countries all over the world are lusting for, thanks to Russia doing the surveys back in the 60's and 70's proving the treasure trove does exist, a fact China is counting on in terms of telling the Taliban they are the only country able to get access to said resources to such a degree that will generate enough revenue for both entities to thrive, something the US had no concept of doing in it's never ending quest to feed the maw of the MIC.

Quantum Spin Ice





In English, the FSC is the basis for life as we know it.

It's all about geometry yet again.

The issue now is, can researchers actually create this most exotic of materials because if they can, the notion of existence being a multiverse construct may actually be proven to be true.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

For no good reason ...


Dr. Gonzo, a moniker actually assigned to Oscar Zeta Acosta in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a book penned by Hunter S. Thompson the "outlaw" writer who turned journalism upside down by mixing drugs, perception and outrage, viewed America as one monumental self induced hellscape.






Yours truly brings up this crazed period in American history after viewing Gonzo, the documentary on the esteemed H. S. Thomson and his faithful side kick, Ralph Steadman, an artist for the ages transforming the grotesque into something quixotically beautiful, sorta like seeing a Jackson Pollock drip painting under the influence of LSD. 






For no good reason, a 2014 flick about Steadman, works as the title for this blurb as there is no good reason to discuss the insane late 60's to early 70's unless one lived it as yours truly did. Anything did go as sex, drugs and rock & roll was the mantra in an era producing the best music and art seen in America along with the lie of Viet Nam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy and, of course, Tricky Dick, one of the 5 worst presidents in US history. 


Nixon/Agnew ... forever

Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal comes to mind here does it not?

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Zen & the art of Freediving ...


This amazing GQ photograph showing Alexey Molchanov starting his free dive bespeaks the notion of Zen in describing a sport demanding both physical prowess and mental transcendence at the same time. 

Like other activities in which the sublime is sought, danger is an animating feature. Blackouts are frequent, especially at shallow depths, even for the most skilled divers. Pressure, which builds as one goes deeper, can rupture the soft tissues of the ears, throat, and lungs if it's not properly managed. The risks are deceptive. There is a temptation to go deeper before one is ready, which means that even the world's best tend to bite off only incremental gains in depth. There are no shortcuts in freediving; no cheat codes to water pressure, buoyancy, and gravity. At the surface, after reacquainting with the air, there can be loss of motor skills, uncontrollable shaking, blackouts, blood. Death is rare, but ever present. At this same competition in the Bahamas eight years ago, a young American from Brooklyn who was quickly ascending the ranks of the world's elite divers (perhaps too quickly, some say) died in this very cove, above this very blue hole. Safety protocols are always improving, but the specter lingers. It is not a stretch to suggest that when we humans deliberately cut off our access to oxygen, and then exert ourselves in athletic performance, we are inviting disaster, or at least tempting fate. And yet this is what it's all about. When we tempt fate in this way, our bodies and minds surprise us. This is the allure of the practice of freediving.




Read the entire GQ piece to learn why Zen is so important to the concept of Freediving 


Luna yet again


Harvest Moon 21


Mood Indigo


The Traveler


Reflections


Harvest Moon 2

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

"That's a fine payday,"



Well, the first would be bounty hunter is "gonna" sue a doctor who performed an abortion in Texas under the dictates of SB.8. Seems he might need the money given the fact he can't practice law these days. 

To whit ...

‘Cranky’ Disbarred Lawyer Sues Texas Doc Who Broke Abortion Ban

“A libertarian sorta fella" tells the Beast that he’s suing an abortion provider to test the new law—and “if there's money to be had, it's going to go in Oscar's pocket.”

Oscar Stilley, a 58-year-old Arkansas man, got up early on Monday morning and decided to sue Dr. Alan Braid, the San Antonio doctor who's openly defied Texas' state ban on most abortions.

"I was cranky," Stilley joked. "So I filed a lawsuit."

"That's a fine payday," said Stilley, but the cash is only part of why he filed the complaint against Braid.

Stilley said he's been watching the saga unfold from his home in Arkansas. "I know what the proponents of this law are doing," he explained. "They're trying to inject uncertainty so that the doctors are going to say, 'Oh, my goodness, this could bankrupt me.'"

A sterling citizen to be sure.

In his complaint, Stilley describes himself as "a disbarred and disgraced former Arkansas lawyer" currently "on home confinement" from prison, where he's 11 years and 5 months into a 15-year sentence for tax evasion and conspiracy.

In Stilley's words, his sentence is a product of having gotten "crossways with the tax division." (Prior to that, he was a lawyer for 19 years, during which time he was also jailed twice on charges of contempt.)

It's just the beginning as the US doesn't have loser pays

Friday, September 17, 2021

Steganography

HOTLITTLEPOTATO

Steganography (/ˌstɛɡəˈnɒɡrəfi/ (About this soundlisten) STEG-ə-NOG-rə-fee) is the practice of concealing a message within another message or a physical object. In computing/electronic contexts, a computer file, message, image, or video is concealed within another file, message, image, or video. The word steganography comes from Greek steganographia, which combines the words steganós (στεγανός), meaning "covered or concealed", and -graphia (γραφή) meaning "writing".[1]

Said practice is used for good and bad depending on who's using the tech.

YOU KNOW ALL too well at this point that all sorts of digital attacks are lurking on the internet. You could encounter ransomware, a virus, or a sketchy phish at any moment. Even creepier, though, some malicious code can actually hide inside other, benign software—and be programmed to jump out when you aren't expecting it. Hackers are increasingly using this technique, known as steganography, to trick internet users and smuggle malicious payloads past security scanners and firewalls. Unlike cryptography, which works to obscure content so it can't be understood, steganography's goal is to hide the fact that content exists at all by embedding it in something else. And since steganography is a concept, not a specific method of clandestine data delivery, it can be used in all sorts of ingenious (and worrying) attacks.

Steganography is an ancient practice. When spies in the Revolutionary War wrote in invisible ink or when Da Vinci embedded secret meaning in a painting that was steganography. This works in the digital world, too, where a file like an image can be stealthily encoded with information. For example, pixel values, brightness, and filter settings for an image are normally changed to affect the image's aesthetic look. But hackers can also manipulate them based on a secret code with no regard for how the inputs make the image look visually. This technique can be used for ethical reasons, such as to evade censorship or embed messages in Facebook photos. But these methods can also be used nefariously. For security defenders the question is how to tell the difference between an image that’s been modified for legitimate reasons and one that’s been changed to secretly contain malicious information.


Hidden in plain sight ...