Monday, February 28, 2022

The Peter Principle ...

In the 20th century, Ukraine experienced two atrocities, the first being Stalin in the 30s and the second, Hitler in the 40s. Now, the country's experiencing war in the 21st, thanks to Putin's strategic blunder but there are underlying reasons as geopolitical gamesmanship never happens without initial causes like the ones seen here, issues explained in detail by Chris Hedges and William Smith.

In 1989 ...

In 2014 ...

 It's all about the money, always has been, always will be along with inept people being in charge of things they never should be in charge of. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Misalignment by 40 ...

Something totally unexpected regarding the orientation of the axis of a black hole vis a vis its binary system has been discovered, thus proving, yet again, nature is always full of surprises.

“The expectation of alignment, to a large degree, does not hold for the bizarre objects such as black hole X-ray binaries. The black holes in these systems were formed as a result of a cosmic cataclysm – the collapse of a massive star. Now we see the black hole dragging matter from the nearby, lighter companion star orbiting around it. We see bright optical and X-ray radiation as the last sigh of the infalling material, and also radio emission from the relativistic jets expelled from the system,” says Juri Poutanen, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Turku and the lead author of the publication.

And there you have it. :)

Russia's Vietnam ...

Overreach, you know, using the art of assume to do something stupid applies as Putin has done just that by turning the attack on the Ukraine into Russia's Vietnam based on the fierce resistance Ukrainians are putting up against all odds. Russia had legitimate concerns regarding NATO and the Ukraine but the response against this remote possibility goes beyond reason, an initiative that will negatively impact Russia like what Vietnam did to America.

Ukraine’s defense forces, outmanned and outgunned, waged a ferocious resistance to the Russian invasion on Saturday, battling to keep control of the capital, Kyiv, and other cities. There was intense street fighting, and bursts of gunfire and explosions could be heard across Kyiv. Here are the latest developments:

The Kremlin said that Russian forces were resuming their advance on Ukraine on Saturday, claiming that President Vladimir V. Putin had ordered a pause on Friday while possible talks with Ukraine were being considered. Russia has established attack lines into three cities: Kyiv in the north, Kharkiv in the northeast and Kherson in the south.

Videos and photos showed a residential building struck by a missile in southwestern Kyiv, about 1.5 miles from Sikorsky Memorial Airport. At least six people were injured and dozens more evacuated, according to emergency services.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said in a video that his country’s fighters had “withstood and successfully repelled enemy attacks.”

Mayor Vitali Klitschko of Kyiv announced a curfew extension, warning that “all civilians who are on the street during the curfew will be considered members of the enemy’s sabotage and reconnaissance groups.”

Across Ukraine, people huddled in air-raid shelters, lined up at bank machines and stocked up on essentials.

Welcome to Nam Vlad.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Science never sleeps :)

NASA visualization shows a black hole's warped world

A visualization of a black hole shows gas swirling around the superdense object. (Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Jeremy Schnittman)

Science never sleeps as said discipline, designed to be disproved, continues to tease apart the subtleties of nature in ways both enlightening and enchanting at the same time. Now, tech, AI and compute power, joined together, is attempting to connect the tiniest of Quantum to the vastness of Relativity using the properties of holography and black holes to unify the two into a a theory accurately describing how reality works at grand scale.

What happens inside a black hole — and how does whatever goes on inside relate to the universe outside it? It's a mystery that has evaded scientists for decades. It's also a mystery that could also redefine how we think about the nature of the universe.

In a paper published in the journal PRX Quantum on Feb. 10, physicists applied quantum computers and machine learning — the computational technology that powers facial recognition software and natural language processing — to test a possible connection.

Black holes play by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which governs the universe on large scales. Tiny particles outside of black holes play by the rules of the Standard Model of particle physics, which outlines the universe at the absolute tiniest scales. 

It gets better.

One hypothesis that might connect the two theories is an idea that the motions of particles in a two-dimensional plane above the black hole reflect the three-dimensional motions of the black hole, almost like a holographic projection. It's a concept called holographic duality.

That's the concept researchers are hoping to test. First, use a quantum computer to simulate particles that represent a projection of a black hole, then use machine learning to analyze how the particles interact with each other. The researchers hope the process will offer them insight into how both the particles and the black hole work.

Though the rabbit hole ... :)

"We hope that by understanding the properties of this particle theory through the numerical experiments, we understand something about gravity," Rinaldi said in the statement.

That's important, because holographic duality could go beyond three dimensions. Some scientists even suggest that the universe could be a projection of something with even more dimensions. 

The paper ... 

The World Island yet again ...


BRT Repost ... Back in 2015, yours truly chanced upon Sir Halford Mackinder's extraordinary take on world politics with his notion that the future of world power will reside in Euro-Asia, the great landmass connecting three continents forever separate from North and South America and Australia. Seems his prescient analysis is spot on given just how inept and bankrupt the US (and west) has become regarding it's obsession with endless war and it's total lack of understanding why The Art of War really matters for the continued wellbeing of any entity wishing to call itself a viable nation.

In 2022, this 2015 notion's accurate to a fault but now, the impact of GW on the fate of the world looms ever larger as phase transitions are never linear and proof of that is seen by estimates of water rise in just 30 years exceeding the guesstimates made by researchers made just a few years ago. 

Global sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was  2.6 inches 67 mm above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of  about one-eighth of an inch 3.2 mm per year.

Click to see how high the ocean will rise. Intense without question. 

What this means to countries and the fate of the world becomes scary, dire predictions made by James Lovelock 15 years ago and now, with Alfred M. Mccoy, a superb writer who takes the long view on issues as serious as this.

Alfred McCoy, Professor of History at UW-Madison. His new book is Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation

We’re in a time of growing belligerence of a kind unknown since the Cold War. It’s already taken us to the edge of conflict with nuclear-armed great powers, whether in Ukraine or Taiwan and the South China Sea.  Meanwhile, here at home (and in other countries globally), internal divisions, flaring anger, and violence are growing. And yet the true violence, the true war, the one those aggressive great powers are already waging in a major way goes largely unnoticed and remarkably undealt with, perhaps because it’s a genuine world war on humanity and the planet itself.

In case you’re not living in the American Southwest, that region has been experiencing “megadrought” conditions.  (The whole west is, in fact, drought-stricken right now.) And that would be bad enough, but a new study by climate scientists indicates that the Southwest has been going through “the driest two decades in the region in at least 1,200 years” and, no surprise, climate change is significantly to blame. We’re talking about a catastrophe — one that, as yet, shows no signs of abating and that in the long run is only going to get worse.

If lack of water is a problem in the Southwest, here’s the “good” — actually, terrible — news: this country’s coasts are going to be anything but short of water.  According to another new study, sea levels around this country are going to rise by something like a foot in the next three decades (more even than the global average). In other words, while parts of the U.S. broil, other parts will functionally drown, with ever more disastrous flooding occurring ever more often. Again, this is due to the never-ending burning of fossil fuels (and toss in as well phenomena like the melting of Russia’s permafrost, potentially releasing vast amounts of the potent greenhouse-gas methane into the atmosphere).

The World Island ...

Consider us at the edge of the sort of epochal change not seen for centuries, even millennia. By the middle of this century, we will be living under such radically altered circumstances that the present decade, the 2020s, will undoubtedly seem like another era entirely, akin perhaps to the Middle Ages. And I’m not talking about the future development of flying cars, cryogenics, or even as-yet-unimaginable versions of space travel.

After leading the world for the past 75 years, the United States is ever so fitfully losing its grip on global hegemony. As Washington’s power begins to fade, the liberal international system it created by founding the United Nations in 1945 is facing potentially fatal challenges.

After more than 180 years of Western global dominion, leadership is beginning to move from West to East, where Beijing is likely to become the epicenter of a new world order that could indeed rupture longstanding Western traditions of law and human rights.

The new hegemon

Amid this flurry of flying dirt and flowing concrete, Beijing seems to have an underlying design for transcending the vast distances that have historically separated Asia from Europe. Its goal: to forge a unitary market that will soon cover the vast Eurasian land mass. This scheme will consolidate China’s control over a continent that is home to 70% of the world’s population and productivity. In the end, it could also break the U.S. geopolitical grip over a region that has long been the core of, and key to, its global power. The foundation for such an ambitious transnational scheme is a monumental construction effort that, in just two decades, has already covered China and much of Central Asia with a massive triad of energy pipelines, high-speed rail lines, and highways.

A short lived hegemon 

In its hell-bent drive for development, in other words, China is digging its own grave (and ours as well).

To whit

Simultaneously, soaring temperatures are expected to devastate the North China Plain between Beijing and Shanghai, one of that country’s prime agricultural regions currently inhabited by 400 million people, nearly a third of that country’s population. It could, in fact, potentially become one of the most lethal places on the planet.

“This spot is going to be the hottest spot for deadly heat waves in the future,” said Professor Elfatih Eltahir, a climate specialist at MIT who published his findings in the journal Nature Communications. Between 2070 and 2100, he estimates, the region could face hundreds of periods of “extreme danger” and perhaps five lethal periods of 35° Wet Bulb Temperature (where a combination of heat and high humidity prevents the evaporation of the sweat that cools the human body). After just six hours under such conditions, a healthy person at rest will die.

Rather than sudden and catastrophic, the impact of climate change in North China is likely to be incremental and cumulative, escalating relentlessly with each passing decade. If the “Chinese century” does indeed start around 2030, it’s unlikely to last long once its main financial center at Shanghai is flooded out and its agricultural heartland is baking in insufferable heat.

End game.

After 2050, the international community will face a growing contradiction, even a head-on collision, between the two foundational principles of the current world order: national sovereignty and human rights. As long as nations have the sovereign right to seal their borders, the world will have no way of protecting the human rights of the 200 million to 1.2 billion climate-change refugees expected to be created by 2050, both within their own borders and beyond. Faced with such extreme disorder, it is just possible that the nations of this planet might agree to cede some small portion of their sovereignty to a global government set up to cope with the climate crisis.

The choice is up to us if civilization is to survive.

A planet ever more battered by climate change, one in which neither an American nor a Chinese “century” will have any meaning, will certainly need a newly empowered world order that can supersede national sovereignty to protect the most fundamental and transcendent of all human rights: survival. The environmental changes in the offing are so profound that anything less than a new form of democratic global governance will mean not just incessant conflicts but, in all likelihood, disaster of an almost-unimaginable kind. And no surprise there, since we’ll be dealing with a planet all too literally on the brink.

Any questions?

The use of hard power ...

Friends in the past have accused yours truly being a pessimist based on takes on AI, the environment, inequality and incompetency on the part of America's so-called leaders, entities bought and paid for by the MIC and significant others. Seems the opinions of this rube has been fairly accurate guesstimates based on what's happening in the world today.

The betting pool of civilizations such as ours surviving is 50/50 at best based on the aformentioned state of affairs stated above and we haven even discussed The Art of War and how it applies to the situation today in Europe as the West is rotten from the inside out and Putin understands the tenets of The Art of War without question.

In the modernization of Russia's Military, something done at a tiny fraction of the waste and incompetency of the Pentagon, said country's armed to the teeth and has the advantage of ground when waging war against the Ukraine. In the long run, however, Putin now has his Vietnam as indigenous fighters don't have to win but rather, outlast.

Summing it up ...

As for the rest of the guesstimates, AI looms in the background as per a BRT post titled Why the Future Doesn't Need Us - 2022 while the specter of GW and the future of the world will be discussed in another blurb containing "salacious" material of another kind. :)

Monday, February 21, 2022

The 4th Season ...

 Winter's the 4th season, spare, unforgiving and beautiful if one takes the time to look. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

An interesting take ...

Who wins, who loses. this is key to what's happening in Europe vis a vis, Russia, the Ukraine, the US and Germany as the stakes cannot be higher for all parties involved. 

To whit ...

The Ukrainian crisis has nothing to do with Ukraine. It’s about Germany and, in particular, a pipeline that connects Germany to Russia called Nord Stream 2. Washington sees the pipeline as a threat to its primacy in Europe and has tried to sabotage the project at every turn. Even so, Nord Stream has pushed ahead and is now fully-operational and ready-to-go. Once German regulators provide the final certification, the gas deliveries will begin. German homeowners and businesses will have a reliable source of clean and inexpensive energy while Russia will see a significant boost to their gas revenues. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

The US Foreign Policy establishment is not happy about these developments. They don’t want Germany to become more dependent on Russian gas because commerce builds trust and trust leads to the expansion of trade. As relations grow warmer, more trade barriers are lifted, regulations are eased, travel and tourism increase, and a new security architecture evolves. In a world where Germany and Russia are friends and trading partners, there is no need for US military bases, no need for expensive US-made weapons and missile systems, and no need for NATO. There’s also no need to transact energy deals in US Dollars or to stockpile US Treasuries to balance accounts. Transactions between business partners can be conducted in their own currencies which is bound to precipitate a sharp decline in the value of the dollar and a dramatic shift in economic power. This is why the Biden administration opposes Nord Stream. It’s not just a pipeline, it’s a window into the future; a future in which Europe and Asia are drawn closer together into a massive free trade zone that increases their mutual power and prosperity while leaving the US on the outside looking in. Warmer relations between Germany and Russia signal an end to the “unipolar” world order the US has overseen for the last 75 years. A German-Russo alliance threatens to hasten the decline of the Superpower that is presently inching closer to the abyss. This is why Washington is determined to do everything it can to sabotage Nord Stream and keep Germany within its orbit. It’s a matter of survival.

It's all about the money yet again.

“The only way left for U.S. diplomats to block European purchases is to goad Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest. As hawkish Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, explained in a State Department press briefing on January 27: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” (“America’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies”, The Unz Review) 

Putin has the US by the short hairs and Biden & company actually know this to be true.

Betting pool ... Putin will wait for Germany to certify Nord Stream to begin the process of Europe becoming independent from the US and NATO. After that, he withdraws his troops if he's smart as he's already got what he wanted.  But he didn't ... Hubris killed the deal with Germany and Nord Stream. 

The World Island/Heartland Theory comes to mind here without question. 

Mackinder’s Concept of the World Island, From The Geographical Journal (1904)

Qanon ...

The cipher that's Qanon is no longer, thanks to computational sleuthing finally discovering who the originators are of this truly stellar enterprise.

End result ...

The Swiss team said its accuracy rate was about 93 percent. The French team said its software correctly identified Mr. Watkins’s writing in 99 percent of tests and Mr. Furber’s in 98 percent.

Now, the real question to ask is ... How much money have these guys made?

To boldly go/rev X

Say what you want about Musk but he gets things done and he is a visionary without question. 

Elon Musk may usually be a man of few words where Twitter is concerned, but when he does speak, the internet is always there to listen. This time, Musk sent out two very succinct tweets about the recently revealed SpaceX Starship Animation video. The animation comes as part of a keynote, delivered by Musk himself on February 11, 2022, in which the SpaceX and Tesla CEO details the company's great plan to send humans to Mars — and not just in some distant, vague future, but soon.

If successful, this will change spaceflight forever.

The information war ...

Aljazeera's take on how governments try to dominate the news is truly excellent with emphasis on Ukraine. This kind of in-depth reporting is not done in the US in any way, shape or fashion.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Digital with Analog override/rev II

But this isn't about the Blown-away Man and Maxell but rather about digital with analog overrode and how it applies to the uncanny valley and AI. 

As corollary, the impedance to ubiquitous AI has been the amount of power said tech uses as neural nets are analog, taking measurements of the outside world while computationally, the backend evaluates the data input crunching bits, thus creating a computational mismatch requiring enormous power to overcome, a problem considered to be almost impossible to solve until now.


1. Fake

2. Real

Rewired ...

Brains adapt just as life adapts when faced with different environments, something readily seen with astronauts dealing with weightlessness.

The tech used ...

Friday, February 18, 2022

Time Dilation yet again ...

Einstein's right yet again in terms of time dilation, space/time and all things related to gravity. 

The idea that time would be affected by gravity was first proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915, as part of his theory of general relativity. Space and time are inextricably linked, and large masses warp the fabric of spacetime with their immense gravitational influence. This has the effect of making time pass more slowly closer to a large mass like a planet, star, or, in the most extreme example, a black hole. This phenomenon is known as time dilation.

Here on Earth, time dilation effectively means that time moves more quickly at higher elevations. So for instance, time passes faster on the summit of Mount Everest than at sea level, but it applies over smaller distances too – someone living in a 10th floor apartment will age faster than someone on the first floor, and your head ages faster than your feet.

The problem with physics is the very small of quantum remains separate from the very large of relativity, a nonissue with nature but in terms of finally understanding how the two scientifically relate to one another is something this experiment hopes to resolve.

The team says that this work could not only help make atomic clocks 50 times more precise than they are now, but it could open up new tools to probe the mysteries of physics. Currently, the force of gravity can’t be explained in terms of quantum physics, but being able to measure its effects on smaller and smaller scales could unlock its secrets and perhaps reveal the missing link between quantum and classical physics.

Jam @ Sugar Hollow - JD & Friends

Blues Rock - This time, Low Down Dirty Shame, written by Moanin' Bernice Edwards & Ollie Shepard. Intense cover without question.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Situational Awareness/rev II

A Quiet Dread, posted in BRT on 12/21/21, details the possibility of COVID mutating into a nightmare of biblical proportions if it decides to incorporate SARS or MERS into its dataset along with the transmissibility of Omicron in order to better survive the vagaries of reality that all life must face. Seems William A. Haseltine, a renown expert on infectious disease, concurs ...

As SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has spread throughout the world, many observers have failed to take note of the millions of illnesses and deaths caused by HIV—another virus that has approached pandemic status during its history. Now an HIV variant that is more virulent and transmissible has been discovered in the Netherlands, where it apparently has been circulating for decades, according to new research. Luckily, none of the variant’s new mutations make it resistant to widely used therapies. But the finding may offer a warning for how the COVID pandemic could proceed in the coming months: viruses do not necessarily evolve to become milder.

As often stated, there is no certitude, only probabilities, a notion apropos to Covid without question.

First of all, the virulence of SARS-CoV-2 has been very stable—with the exception of Delta, which is twice as likely to land you in the hospital. Delta was a warning shot across our bow, showing the virus can become both more transmissible and more virulent. There is nothing that we know of that restrains this virus from becoming as lethal as its cousin SARS-CoV-1. We still have no clue whether one genetic change or many make SARS-CoV-1 so much more virulent than SARS-CoV-2. As long as we are in the dark about what it is that determines the virulence of the virus, we have no idea which direction the next variant will come from. So I’ve been telling policy makers to be optimistic about the upside but prepare for the downside.

Truer words never spoken ...