Celebrating 20 years since first hardcopy publication of KESTS to GEO

Celebrating the twenty year anniversary of the first hardcopy published article on my "KESTS to GEO" concept, I have made a web page about it. Although there was clearly ongoing interference with my efforts to communicate my technological conceptual design ideas even back then, as continues even nowadays, as a member of the all-volunteer-published slick magazine "Meditation" staff, there was some consideration of my own efforts at writing and getting published. Thus my article "TreeHouse Haven" ceased to be rejected by the magazine and finally got published, in the Winter 1990 edition.

The "TreeHouse Haven" article was written to an audience not much interested in technology; but who were interested in healthful things like meditation, and in "saving the planet" from the errors of busy goofy tunnel-visioned mankind. That issue of "Meditation Magazine" was dedicated to "Relationships," so this article focused on mankind's relationship with the planetary ecosystem and civilization's wellbeing, as potentially greatly enhanced by this "KESTS to GEO" transportation system concept, opening up civilization to high earth orbit in a very big way, due to its extremely energy efficient, electrically powered, continuous transportation capacity (in great contrast to extraordinarily energy inefficient transportation by the reaction engined vehicles exclusively exclusively used by aerospace at present.) And, it did not require the development of a super high strength material, such as was required by the more familiar anchored tether "Space Elevator" concepts. Thus the applications it would have enabled would have dealt with such problems as the need for abundant clean electrical energy and room to live well and have plentiful food, all made possible due to that very low cost access to GEO from the equatorial ground. If properly built and utilized, of course.

Sure, it got righteously ignored and suppressed by those whose fortunes were tied up in the conventional aerospace business system, who were the only ones who would be able to implement the KESTS to GEO transportation structure and space applications like finally making possible construction of large scale Solar Power Satellites in GEO. But I did my best to let people know of this great opportunity for their near future wellbeing. I had been publicly writing up the idea as as it grew in stages in my mind, such as on the GEnie network (back before the internet was available to the public) and giving talks on it at small groups in the Los Angeles area at the time. But it's principles were just too different from the conventional way of doing things, despite being only a re-configuration of existing technology uses, to apparently be comprehensible by those steeped in conventional aerospace.

And it was not until 2000, ten years later, that I finally got a formal technical article published, in hardcopy form, as a peer reviewed technical article (ASCE Space 2000 conference proceedings.) Although that article had an exclusive copyright on the article, I do have the slides of my presentation that can be seen here: vg space2000.htm

So this is really the 20th anniversary of the first hardcopy published of a somewhat non-technical article on the "KESTS to GEO" conceptual design, but also the 10th anniversary of the first hardcopy published peer-reviewed technical article on the concept. Considering the extremely difficult struggles I had over those years, living in near poverty much of the time, I think these are achievements worth acknowledging.

Congratulations, "KESTS to GEO" concept, on your 20th and 10th years as published in hardcopy articles.

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People's health is tied to business profit

We will have a working health system in this country, when the providers of health systems make the most profit when people are the healthiest. Right now, it is sick people that make the health systems the most profit. We are a nation increasingly ruled by business profit rather than people's thriving well being.

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Email filters and suppression of communication of ideas

Discovering that my main local email server provider has been blocking addresses whenever getting nuisance email from that address, often blocking out whole countries in the process, I had wondered what the purpose of the nuisance email is. Sometimes there is a bunch of them supposedly advertising viagra or wristwatches; there has been a lot of them supposedly saying one needs to buy trucks. A half dozen a day recently declare that my "federal tax payment has been rejected." Financial sales motives of such email are questionable; they just seem to only have the purpose of being obnoxious; people are likely to block them with filters.

That may be the purpose of that nuisance email, to get people to put filters in their communications. Why would that be a purpose? I remember my years as an electronics technician; jobs typically lasted about two years apiece in that profession back then. (BTW Thank goodness for the federal social security retirement system, there would be no way to get a pension from employers under the short term employment characteristic of technicians back then.)

I considered myself an idea person, and it took me decades to fully realize that even private corporations are not interested in employees ideas - except to control them, of course, lest they provide competition somehow. But back then I did not realize that. I looked into how one would submit a good idea to the company, an idea that was not related to my job assignment ongoing, but one that might be of value more widely in the company, as a new possible product, for example.

What I learned was that there was only one way to submit an idea: tell it or write it up and give it to one's immediate superior. Even if one's immediate superior was not capable of understanding the new idea, the subordinate's idea had to go through him, and any attempt to go around him was considered an extreme misconduct. It was further told to me that all one's superior could do with it was either trash it or pass it up to his immediate superior. And so on. And if it was being considered a viable idea the company might be interested in, it was widely known that the name of the originator of the idea would have been changed to that of the superior. Among the technicians it was wryly said that the only way to get one's good idea adopted, was to make one's boss think it was his idea.

This was typical corporate function back in the 1950-1960-1970-1980-1990-early 2000's, at least, and doubtless still rampant. It really discouraged creative ideas from getting produced by the technicians who were the ones most knowledgeable of the characteristics of real things in operation.

Although these were general characteristics of the situation, there were exceptions; I sometimes had several supervisors per company worked for. Most had the above-mentioned characteristics, but I had some immediate supervisors who were accepting of my ideas - some very supportively; others grudgingly. Supportive ones were found at Pertec Computer Corporation in Chatsworth, and some at Shugart Corporation in Sunnyvale, California. Some who were grudgingly supportive were experienced at Vehicle Security Electronics in Chatsworth. These were perhaps 10 percent of my supervisors; the others fit the suppressive pattern.

The internet has opened up the potential for ideas to flow much more freely from those who can produce them. Yet there still has been much suppression of technological idea flow and potential to accept and make them physical. The setting of filters in email is only one of them of course; there are lots of others in employees' life, such as technicians having to cope with the college degreed folks who consider themselves far more intelligent than technicians could ever be and therefore consider any mere technician's ideas as a challenge to their superiority, thus to get quickly squashed by any means. And the so-called employment-agreement, often required just to get a job in a technical field, demanding that all ideas the technician ever thinks of, on any subject matter, be given over to the company, and the company had no responsibility to consider utilizing the idea nor even keep from spreading the idea outside to those who steal ideas to start businesses with them, without compensation to the one who had created the idea.

I consider all this suppression of ideas as a rot in the system, dragging it down in the long run. Management apparently generally considers that ideas tend to disrupt the status quo, even could interfere with business-as-usual. Unless grabbed and controlled by those who play business games, to be used as another means of gaining wealth - and not having the prime purpose of providing the customer with new potentials for doing their lives nicely - which the originator of technological idea has in mind as the purpose of the idea.

So the obnoxious email might have a purpose after all - to get filters put in the system to block communications from "unauthorized" sources - gradually cutting down the ability of the internet to be a means of bypassing the control of the flow if ideas in the world. Fits the pattern.

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Value Added for the unemployed especially

"Value added" is an interesting concept to me. I have mentioned it in other posts, particularly disdaining sales that have raised the price without corresponding value-added to the item.

But right now am thinking that the concept might be of wider usefulness. (Note in this context, the tangle of political and corporate power plays against workers is being avoided.) There are lots of unemployed in America right now, and I consider myself one of them even though unwillingly a retiree, which thankfully provides survival money. Unemployed folks supposedly have some available time that would otherwise be consumed in a job and its commute time. This post has to do with that kind of time, especially.

The inspiration came while reading a Research & Collections newsletter I received, as a R&C volunteer for a museum. An article in it mentioned "... a workshop on the preparation of bird specimens and the “value-added” data obtained during the preparation process..."

Value-added thus can be anything done to improve the value of something. For example, you can dust off a dirty workbench to make it useful for doing something upon its now-clean surface; the dusting off added value to it.

So the idea here is to take on the viewpoint of how oneself is adding value to things by what they are doing. Anytime, anywhere. It is an attitude change. Noticing the part of what one does that adds value to anything.

Do this long enough, and maybe someone with money to hire, will notice and employ to utilize that value-adding to increase the value of his/her business. And thus the nation's GNP productivity will get notched up by that amount, yay!

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Writing sci fi is definitely cathartic

It is novel writing month again, participating in the's annual event, along with 176,000 other writers this year. The decision as to what to write on, this time, has to be made as of when starting to write on Nov 1; there is no time to waste as it is hard to catch up if one does not get the 1,700 words done even one day. So I am now finding myself writing a sequel to the novel about a Lava World topic that I first wrote about last year.

I notice that my novel writing is still science fiction, but continues to get less sciencey and more fictioney as time goes on. But it is still fun to do. My page is I still don't have a title for it yet, however.

Interestingly, yesterday I cranked out several chapters in advance, first time I have done that. Was it all the public focus on the voting going on, the election results about to happen and then were happening? How could that affect my writing of a science fiction novel? Have written none on the novel today, so far, and it is noon.

This is the seventh year that I have participated in the writing activity, and I have made five of the resulting novels into books, all both as paperbacks and as ebooks. Mostly, I just give them away; but a handful of people have bought a copy, and far more would need to do that to cover the cost of the ISBNs, for one thing. But it is just a hobby for me, and one expects to spend one's own money on a hobby.

For me, writing sci fi is definitely cathartic.

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Y2K still ongoing is not computer chip brains but human ones

Well, it is time for hindsight mode again (I wonder what was in mind when that word "hindsight" was coined), or "Monday morning quarterbacking," as it is called in different circles. As the smoke from the electioneering clears today, words need writing: Once again coming to the conclusion that Americans - and most likely the rest of humanity - are far from being the best long term thrivers on this planet that we can be, thinking as I arose that there ought to now be a scientific study that uses the experiences of the election yesterday, and all that led up to it, to discover the processes that were actually used to make the results happen. Especially that which influences people in making voting decisions, and other group decisions. Well, individual decisions too, and actually it all involves that, come to think of it. Then I realized that the "GOP" which was in power when the decisions were made to make war in the Middle East desert countries and then economic system decisions that all compounded to make the mess the country is in right now (but lots of other factors too, like ordinary people getting loans to live in fine houses then resell at a profit, no value added, surely knowing it just the old "pyramid" scam again but big time) are actually increasing in power, per the voting yesterday. So the forces that determine voting must be strange indeed. If they were fully explored, without bias, and made public to everybody, would that enable America to once again be the feedback-controlled country she supposedly is, the supposedly best form of government that exists? A moment's thought showed that most likely these "hidden" voting preference principles are most likely already long known (and kept hidden, for their personal power) by those who set up the GOP "wins" yesterday ... instead of the GOP having been disbanded due to the terrible mess and loss of life etc they had caused in the first eight years of this millennium. Then I recalled the decision to make war on Iraq, which we now know was based on false intelligence gathering. (Even early in the war, when it was declared that there were no hidden Iraq WMDs, why did we not immediately stop the war and begin reparations?) (and if the having of WMD's was excuse for declaring war on a country, we ourselves have the most WMD's of any nation right now as back then too; so why was that any kind of excuse to attack whatsoever?) Yesterday in the news was a brief paragraph on the Bush Jr president's memoroirs saying he "had a sinking feeling" when WMD's were not found in Iraq, as the war was still ongoing full blast against Iraq) my thoughts went back to when I had made, as a "nobody" in a small group but who had been asked my opinion, if we should go to war against Iraq: I was sitting in a cafeteria, having stressful lunch with two people; we were the last remnants of the once highly impressive L A Chapter of the ISSS - International Society for System Sciences - and were meeting at that table in a trendy cafeteria, because there was no free meeting hall for the group to meet at anymore. We had resorted to this same cafeteria several times already; all three of us had to travel a long way to meet there but it was about equal distance for all of us. One was a PhD professor of economics at Long Beach State; the other a long time bigwig non-management in high tech defense industries; and I was a college dropout, not sure why this esteemed group had continued to invite me to the meetings for so many years. But it was my rare contact with people of intelligence, and I attended the meetings and had given some talks at the meetings too over the years. And had thereby become aware of people who were of high intelligence who were concerned with "System Science" (It had been called "GSR "General Systems Research" when I first joined the LA group) but the original group founder had suddenly gone "under cover" after linking up with a very sexy lady member, and the group occasionally mentioned this odd fact; another person, the economics professor, then volunteered to keep the group alive as best he could, but he never had the ability and connections that the suddenly-secretive & missing former leader had been, and in the years since then the group had dwindled, from a couple dozen members who were able to get a free room to meet in the prestigious and secretive RAND corporation, down to these three people munching and talking at a public restaurant, about world affairs. Anyway, I was at that table - feeling quite vulnerable due to the weird phenomena of tiny things apparently being thrown sometimes into my food or drink, that resulted in me making odd decisions afterwords - we were talking about the question of whether to go to war against Iraq or not. I was mostly just listening as usual. The guy who was the defense worker excused himself to go to the restroom, and while he was gone, I asked the economics prof how could Iraq have hidden WMDs after all the inspections that had gone on. The professor had been a Jesuit of some influence and continued to be highly connected to them he said, but had wanted to do his current path and get married eventually - he quite positively told me that there were WMD's hidden in an unfinished subway tunnel in Baghdad; he seemed absolutely sure of that. The defense worker guy returned from the restroom and the conversation resumed as before; we all stated our decision as to go to war or not. Both looked at me, what would I decide, was the question. I was on the spot, pressured, and based on the data that there were hidden WMDs hidden in a subway tunnel in Bagdad, I agreed, go to war. We finished our soup-and-salad and left to live our separate ways again. War was declared and put into action by our nation. Now yesterday when I read of Bush's despair when no WMDs were found in Iraq and we had sent the mighty power of American military might to wreak havoc against that country clearly based on false information, I can see how one could get pushed into the decision. But Congress had to approve of it too before the war started; they all to had to have had their reasons to have voted to go to war. Was it all decided just like my dinner-table suddenly-asked opinion regarding that?- and in my case clearly was being deliberately manipulated by outside influences in highly uncomfortable personal ongoing situations? (Restaurants have always been a poor place for me to be. Others don't seem to have that problem.) Again, why did we not immediately halt the war against Iraq when it was found there were no WMDs there? (And again, if the having of WMDs was an excuse to go to war, we ourselves were the currently worst offenders on that parameter) I wonder. Somehow the purpose of the war had shifted from WMD possession to that of killing the country' leader, Saddam Hussein. Boom boom continued the bunker buster bombs dropped here and there, destroying the homes and lives of rich and poor alike, excused by such things as "someone said they saw Saddam go into that house." No apology given. Among the bodies in the resulting crater, no Saddam, once again. What was going on, why had we not immediately pulled out of Iraq? Thinking back, I realize that the process of American decisions could be quite illuminated by that data, and related data. The elder Bush had wisely avoided entering Baghdad in the earlier war that was justified by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, knowing that to totally break the military might of Iraq would destabilize the Iraq-Iran impasse, resulting in turmoil of a kind we did not think desirable. We had opened up a pandora's box with the sectarianism in Iraq that was long and widely known before that. It was a really heavy thing to do. But the war continued, apparently we were hypnotized by the utter violence of it all and we were so overwhelmingly militarily powerful surely we could not lose, so we kept bashing away - this phenomenon also needs to be fully understood in its accuracy by all Americans, to learn from our mistakes, if nothing else, and hopefully be able to do better next time. Just as my pressured unexpected decision was at the restaurant, it looks like the then President also made the same wrong decision, and also Congress, were all of us suddenly getting tipped at the last instant to make the same direction wrong decision? How could that be? And then there were the causes for continuing the war, that need to be clearly found and understood and made available to all Americans, to learn from our mistakes. Well, lots of powerful people will refuse to acknowledge making mistakes, and will use their power to cover them up, and they get well prepared to do that kind of thing. In fact, I have a hunch that the present GOP push is all that phenomenon. Worse, I remember roots of this going back to the early 1960's, militant politicals still busy in the background, very cleverly and ... better not mention it. Aargh, what a mess. Although, everybody - everybody! - always does the very best they can do, based on their perception of the situation and their individual capabilities; this needs to be remembered. Yet the excitement seems to enliven the public; is it a craving for drama that is fanning the fires ... to just get relief from a boring daily routine existence? It seems that we humans could do vastly better, but something often unseen is keeping us from being that way. It would be helpful to understand it all, but that knowledge needs to be learned and known by every single person, not solely held by power-crazed groups that are puppeteering us at times while living out their own traumas.



Adding to the political hubub

A friend recently wrote me about the voting decisions needing made. I wrote back that yes, it is a sad circus out there. The voting up here is all done by snail mail, so people mostly have already done it by now. And yes, it seems to me to be a choice between voting for the ones who are struggling somewhat blindly to help the nation recover, vs the powerful obstructionist party, that knows that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Interesting that MCarthyism purging does not happen when the shoe is on the other foot. The whole thing reminds me of the kind of sports where teams win by causing the other team to lose: nothing constructive gets done. From the outside, one might say that the nation has been systematically destroyed from within starting in Y2K. How (and why) this could happen has long been a puzzle to me; but some answers seem to again be in the four temperaments that people can have one each, and that some temperaments are susceptible to having radio-TV going on in the background that has music, ads, and emotionally powered distorted news reports with warped interpretations of the news, with occasionally some fundamentalist-type passionate pastor proclaiming disaster is happening so be ready for it. But still I would think that lots of people would see through all that and disregard the massive brainwashing going on, and help fix up the place; but something is causing people to dysfunction, maybe it is the brains getting slightly damaged each day by cell phone radiation, or the hypnotics of the TV screen, and/or by the slow neurological damage by MSG in the foods they are fed, blimping them out too. Can America clean up her act, or will the fate be that the giant megacorporate conglomerates will rule the nation, using the hordes of working class as serfs, as the right-wingers have long envisioned and is being urged by big finance input by those megacorporations into the electoral process ongoing. Jobs are the key, good jobs; and guess who has the jobs in their pocket: the big corporations. No wonder they are so smug and confident they will rule totally, just drag their feet until the nation collapses enough. And do they have the integrity to rule America, corporations who have to send jobs offshore so as to make the most profit for the investors? What kind of responsibility for America is that?

One thing that is different is that there no longer is the apathy toward the political-government process, that there was as of when the right-wingers took over a decade ago, enabled by the apathy. The mess has got some attention.

As we try to compete in the world marketplace, price is a key factor. Our employees must bring in a huge income, as compared to those in the developing countries, because our housing costs are so huge; and our housing costs are so high because, well partly because the houses tend to be nicer than in third world countries, but mainly because of the business system where the price gets frequently jacked up without corresponding value-added to the property. Thus America workers need a much higher skill level to earn more to pay for a much more expensive place to live (etc); some of this can be provided by on-the-job-training - in fact often has to be, due to the specialization - but we tend to assume that formal education will raise the skill level. But higher education has been having troubles for a long time, even lower levels too. And we are competing with older civilization countries which have learned (no doubt the hard way, long ago) to educate both halves of the brain, not just the "left side" of the brain as our educational system tends to do nowadays. Two halves work much better than just one half; we miss out on the envisionary big picture capacity, which keeps things in perspective. And the world is changing so rapidly that the traditional 3 R's is not enough to prepare people for the modern workforce requirements. Plus, it is not just me that is getting a bit dingy - I'm old enough to excuse it - but lots of younger folks seem to be getting a bit that way too. How can businesses count on them to do the job always well?

Well, let's hope lots of people somehow manage to get out there and vote, best as they can manage to figure it out under the circumstances.