Stimulating new products instead of new jobs

With the 787 billion stimulus money gone and little to show for it in terms of long term jobs created, the whole subject needs re-evaluation, I think.

Perhaps the focus needs to be not on creating jobs - as if magically they will happen - but to focus on creating products. Yes, supposedly that is the domain of business, corporations; but corporations do not have the well-being of the nation's economy and population as any part of their charter for existence, and therefore are not fitting for the responsibility. Tossing bread upon the waters does not work when there are lots of predators waiting to snap up that tossed bread, and provide nothing in return except more deprivation for the system.

Stimulating new products that directly can trace value to the nation's economy, might be a better focus on government stimulus money. If any can be produced again.

I avoid speaking of the huge problem of the large segment of the corporate world which is sitting on its hands smugly still waiting to show that the country cannot thrive unless they are at the helm of the nation, their politicians put back in rulership of the country. (Politicians who then again declare the only function of government is to provide for the common defense, and therefore we need more wars.)

It always has been an effort of the current administration to see if the American people, we the people, could govern ourselves; so I point out the focus on stimulus to produce useful products that directly trace their creation and value to that of increasing the American economy and environment's healthiness. Then, insofar as business, corporations, want to pitch in to help make that happen, welcome.

Labels: , , , ,


Honeybees, health, and blinders on researchers

An article about a worrisome major problem has once again brought up a question in my thoughts, regarding processes of science. "Loss of bees could be 'a blow to UK economy'" The article concludes with an urging to get the results of science into the hands of the "conservationists and to the agricultural community" as quickly as possible.

This is all important info. Yet, there is a pathway of communication that is missing, and it is typical of "science" nowadays. That communication pathway is from the "conservationists and to the agricultural community" to the scientists, especially from those in the fringe areas, commonly referred to as "alternative" or "holistic", the folks who habitually look at the whole picture, extending back from the health to the means for preserving or restoring health, and have had success at it.

For example, lists who share fringe knowledge in holistic alternative health, and health is clearly that of all living systems, not just limited to humans. Several times the thread has come up regarding the loss of honeybees, and some have made comments that suggested their own small beehives are having no problems and they have opinions as to why; many of these people are also quite knowledgeable about science in depth. Such data sets needs to be invited and explored by the scientists pursuing solutions to the decline of the honeybee population.

Ignoring sources of data does not seem very scientific to me; yet this seems to be a phenomenon quite frequently seen in recent years, maybe decades. Several times I have puzzled as to the why of this phenomenon, and found it to be a systemic problem with roots all over the place.

Some possible factors include that much of science is funded by grants from corporations that have a vested interest in the form of the outcome of the research; researchers tend to not offend their sources of grant money. Even moreso a similar effect of direct corporate provided research, which is directed by management instead of scientists, because management has only the responsibility for increasing their own business profit to satisfy the investors - who probably have no awareness of what the corporations is doing other than making money. So there is little feedback to solving the actual problems; people are so busy dancing to the tune of the system that provides them income and status.

Another factor I have noticed is what is called "credibility" but maybe sometimes more accurately called "intellectual snobbery" or simply unfamiliarity with the kind of points of view of the holistic folks. And often the scientists tie their own blindfolds even tighter by publicly labeling alternative holistic discoveries as "snakeoil and quackery" which is an automatic "stay away" to onlookers including scientists who then dare not explore those datasets for fear of losing their professional credibility. Quite a snare they have fallen into, and one for which I see no easy escape at this point. Anectdotal data is pertinent observational material that is not yet nicely packaged in the format familiar to most scientists, yet is data nevertheless and can contain the seeds of very useful pathways for research.

Similarly, the field of human health has the same weakness. Research, due to the above-mentioned factors, is mostly constrained to use of things which provide drugs, pills, shots, nuking, or the knife - all things that directly provide income to established business ranging from pharmaceutical manufacturers to GPs. If human health were the actual total goal, that itself would be the golden standard, instead of being limited to a limited set of potential avenues toward solutions which are controlled by special interests, often quite petty special interests.

So the suggestion implied by these thoughts is, in the search for honeybee health just like in the search for human health, if efficous means are actually sought (instead of selecting means that solely provide profit and ego) that the scientific researchers interview the holistic folks who explore these subjects not as a business but doing it for a personal desire to find solutions or to keep adequate wellbeing in a holistic way. Such folks often share such knowledge on lists via the internet, and that might be a source of such data for scientists actually devoted to solving the problems without regard to the sources of their money. Anectdotal data may seem somewhat obscure at first and involve many side issues, but insofar as it is observational data, it contains valid knowledge that might well lead to optimum research solutions.

Labels: , , , ,


Thoughts about balancing the U.S. economy in the world

20100620 JEDCline

Thoughts about balancing the U.S. economy in the world

Ref: "U.S. once again cast as world's consumer of last resort" article,0,1603901.story

Since Americans use 20% of world's oil energy and produce only 2% of it, the $1 billion a day going offshore to buy oil is a major waste. Much of that oil goes to push our behemoth vehicles around to move us around everyday.

So it seems to me that if We Americans would focus on innovative ways to have much greater time, convenience, and energy efficiency in our movements, this would be an effective effort to improve our economy and reduce the trade deficit. Think changing 20% down to 2%: that is a big change; this is serious innovation, instead of incremental improvements just to keep "business as usual" going along to supply routine dividends rolling in.

While it would be nice to drag around a 4 bedroom house on wheels everywhere we go, having the luxuries and safety of home wherever we go, it is not really addressing the basic need to occasionally move ourselves and purchases around. Even moving the typical 3,000 pound car's mass simply to move our 165 pound weight to the job and back each day, clearly is not efficient. Yet the car provides a way to get to work 20 times faster than walking, and occasionally keeps the rain off and ruffians from assaulting along the way. So innovate how to do those functions without the 3,000 pounds to haul around too, that is all. View the bigger picture, how things interact, will help.

Another major item is the "stimulus money" which has gone to help create jobs, such as road construction, improving needed infrastructure. But we ought to equally use that stimulus money, as so many other nations did to jump-start their economies in the past, to focus on producing goods and services to be provided as exports, producing goods and services that efficiently compete in the world economy, as well as be useful at home.

And, in the process, it needs to increase people's being conscious of being productive and contributing to the American economy in the world system, an increased busyness including some that is paid time. This overall ideally could bring in the 10% of us who are not adequately employed, too, as well as adding some productivity even for retired folks.

Keep a notebook at hand: how much gas did you save when walking to the corner store to get a small sack of goodies, instead of firing up the big gas buggy to do it today? What was that experience like? Can you imagine some other way to have made it even more interesting, efficient and convenient?

Labels: , , ,


Space and mass

For awhile I have been toying with an idea that seems long in creation in my subconscious mind. It's not fully formed; might never be. But with the help of my daily small cup of red wine, here goes.

Think of mass, created in the Big Bang. And think of space, created at the same time. Imagine that mass is simply where space was pulled out of, and space is steadily being pulled back in to mass. Thus gravitational force is merely riding along in place as space gets pulled back into mass.

The total energy involved is given by Einstein's mass-energy equivalence equation, E = M * C^2, and was created by the stretching out of space that created the mass.

As I think about it more, a particle that has been around awhile would have more of its equivalent space reeled in than a younger particle of the same type. The sum total energy released by the annihilation of the particle, as in a positron-electron collision where the energy is converted into photons, is the energy of the energy of the space that had been reeled in already, plus the energy of the space that remains still stretched out at that point in time. Thus seems at the moment to me to suggest that the space stretch of a positron is the opposite of the space stretch of an electron. In the early formation of the universe with equal amounts of terrene and contraterrene mass, the uneven distribution apparently involved more "black holes" of CT material to swallow up more of CT mass, leaving the terrene form of mass of our familiar universe. (I can't remember how to spell "terrene" and "contraterrene", CT, as I have not really consciously thought much about this since high school days, over half a century ago.)

As the stretching out of space, in that creation of the mass, extended throughout the extent of the universe, the annihilation of the electron-positron means the simultaneous loss of their part of "space" and that "snap" ought to be be simultaneously felt throughout the universe at the same instant. Although the means to detect the "snap" has yet to be explored.

The force of gravity exerted by the particle remains a constant since the rate of space it is pulling in is constant, the closer to the mass the stronger the pull due to the increased arc angle that the other mass intersects of that space. Since the "force" of gravity increases with the inverse of the square of the distance, instead of the cube of the distance, this suggests that that force is a two dimensional space force, which leads to further areas to explore.

This set of interrelated concepts surely ought to be able to be useful as part of a theme in some science fiction story which I have yet to write, anyway.

Labels: , , ,


Rewarding comment from former post triggers memories

On rare occasions something results from one's efforts on the net that provides a very nice feeling to oneself. One of those times was when doing a routine examination of comments that have accumulated, and this morning it resulted in finding a nice comment for bringing connection to a long past part of my life, a bit of a high point in it. (Even in the comment's news was a sad note too; the cherished supervisor, Alastair Heaslett, had long since tragically passed away from cancer.) At that gracious comment's encouragement, another related high point's memories flowed in like a wave upon the beach, bringing stuff with it.

Back in the same employment era at Shugart Corp. in Sunnyvale, CA, where I worked in floppy disk development work, one day I was asked to see if I could help out at another division, the hard disk drive division. Arriving there for the first time, I found a few people whom I had worked with in earlier years in technology development. It was explained to me that they had a problem with their new Hard Drive product, and the production line was shut down and costing $20,000 a day because of that. They showed me an environmental test chamber (much as I mentioned in the above-mentioned post) which is a large box about 5 feet on a side, with a door in front and various controls on it and openings in sides for connecting to what was within. An instrument to be tested would be put inside, and the controls set to change the internal environment to some temperature and humidity level.

Inside this one was a hard disk drive, much advanced over the hard disk drives I had worked on in development half a dozen years before at a different company, Pertec Computer Corp. in Chatsworth CA. This hard disk drive had a transparent plastic covered chamber for the disks and heads, where the actuator could be watched moving the heads across the disks. They explained that it all worked fine, except in some installations, after running awhile there would be some hard errors appearing, an unacceptable thing. It only occurred when installed in a large electronic rack and after operating a few hours, usually when unattended overnight somewhere. They suspected that it was because in that sealed bubble environment where the disks and heads were, that when it got hot, the relative humidity went down, and that the plastic insulation of the wires to the heads might then generate enough static electricity - by occasionally rubbing on the plastic of the plastic enclosure - to generate a tiny spark; but they had not been able to prove that. They had a fine digital scope - something new in those days and this one cost $70,000 I recalled as I had recommended buying it years before and they did but gave it to somebody else to use - and it was hooked up to show the signals where the scope probes were hooked to the instrument, and caught the events triggered by an error detection. But nothing correlated preceding the error signal. The events only happened a couple of times a test run and usually during the night while it was all running unattended. It would be very expensive to have a metal casting made to replace the plastic bubble cover, taking a long time to make, and it might then turn out to not fix the problem. Could I help solve the problem, they asked.

Well, if there were indeed a small spark between the read-write head wires on the actuator, as they swept past the plastic enclosure during some kinds of track span jump vibrations of the wires, perhaps the spark could be detected by a piece of metal placed on the outer surface of the plastic bubble right across from the read-write head wires. (I had started out as a physics major in college, and only got into electronics as a career when I eventually dropped out of college - but that is another story dwelled on elsewhere: Tinnitus, wheat gluten, impoverished, lost girlfriend, Asperger's without a support system, etc.) I asked one of the assemblers in the room, whom I had worked with before, if she had some aluminum foil and she said no. Asking a few other people got the same answer. I did not have any either in my own work area, so I determined the next day to bring some from home. I showed up the next day with some aluminum foil in my pocket, and taped it on the plastic bubble at the site where the read-write head wires came closest, and attached a 10 MegOhm scope probe onto the foil. Closed up the environmental chamber and coordinating to have the same test run again overnight sealed and heating.

The next morning I came over there and asked what the result was; they said that indeed, every time there had been an error signal, it had been preceded by a blip from the probe I had connected to the aluminum foil, as recorded by the pre-triggered digital scope. The problem was solved; it was thus proven that it was caused by static electricity discharge under the extreme condition of low hot humidity and particular motions of the read-write head actuator wire motion during a few of the random test jumps between tracks, due to proximity to the plastic of the transparent housing. The need for me was over so I turned and left, returning to my normal job in the floppy disk development area.

Although nobody ever thanked me or commented on it, I think that maybe that event contributed to my being put into a design-development engineer's position.

I had forgotten about all that long ago. But now with memories coming back as stimulated by that woman's nice comment on my blog post, daughter of the cherished manager back then, I now realize that those times had some pleasant memories too.

And moreso, back to that previous post I made re management, I recall that most of my immediate supervisors over my career were competent and considerate managers. Even the rare upper management that I had any connection with over my lifetime, seemed like very fine people.

As for those who were inspiration for my science fiction's Ownma Corp and TANFL Corp inimically powerful management, most likely it was my frustration with upper management at my last two electronics jobs, people that I rarely if ever met but whom seemed quite hostile towards my efforts to get exceptions from their employment agreements regarding my prior personal creation of my space transportation concepts, particularly my KESTS to GEO concept and my Centristation concept. They refused to respond to my emails, and the HR lady when I hired in who said that of course the record would be made modifying the Employment Agreement, would not respond either and then soon was replaced. I began to suspect there was something afoot attempting to rob me of my authorship of those concepts, but was stonewalled whenever attempting to contact HR and upper management either directly or up through my immediate supervisor.

There was a bit of indirect help, however, in working then for a company named "Orbital Sciences Sensor Systems Division," in that in my efforts to get a technical paper accepted for formal presentation and publication finally got an acceptance for the ASCE space conference to be held in 2000, shortly after I started working for Orbital Sciences in Pomona. (Having an employer named Orbital Sciences - nevermind in what capacity - apparently somehow got me into a peer-classification with those space industry folks; in contrast to my being employed by a small car alarm manufacturing company when I first came up with the integrated KESTS to GEO concept and the Centristation concept.) That broke the ice and eventually I also was invited to present technical papers on my KESTS to GEO concept in 2002, 2004 and 2005, getting published each time in the conference proceedings. Although it was too late to cheer my mother, who had financed my first formal presentation of the KESTS to GEO concept at the 1997 space conference at Princeton at the Space Studies Institute, where I was laughed away after I gave my extremely stressful presentation in the huge auditorium, and they refused to publish my paper, without giving any reasonable reason. Looking back I realize it was a huge academic ego thing, most likely; how dare I, an academic nobody, come up with a concept that they themselves had not thought of to enable large scale space activity in the near future; but that did not help cheer my mother's faith in me, and she soon passed away after my 1997 space paper's failure to be published, no doubt frustrated at my performance, which now is known as Asperger's, or "high functioning autism;" but at the time was not recognized as other than being sometimes a bit odd as well as gifted.

Ah, the memories. I guess that is mostly all an old man has anymore. And also the opportunity to write high-tech science fiction novels, where I get to finally live out the adventures of creating systems using my space transportation and utilization concepts - if only in the virtual world of sci fi writing. Sometimes, like this morning reading the comment to my post last March, brings a nice comfy feeling of being appreciated.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Diagram of people inter-relationships

I have been using the mind map diagramming software to create a spectrum of modes of people inter-relationships. Here is the result:

Click on the diagram to bring it up to view much more clearly; use the back button to return here. Looking at it now, I see that there needs to be an added item, "co-worker" perhaps clockwise from "employee" although that seems to be a subcategory that does not yet fit smoothly into the diagram. Perhaps it is like "lover" in that it needs to be in both the upper and lower halves of the diagram.

Labels: , ,