Rykors revisited

Decades ago I read all of Edgar Rice Burroughs "John Carter of Mars" series of sci fi novels. In them were introduced many kinds of beings with whom the hero interacted. In one of the novels - I don't remember which one at the moment - he introduced the Rykors.

The Rykors were essentially people who were missing their higher intellectual capacity to govern their own lives. They could do all the functions needed to maintain life and reproduce. Something like humans, but with the purpose of a horse mentality.

The other half of the team - again I don't immediately recall their names; it has been about four decades since reading the story - were essentially people who were only heads and had only minimal ability to move about without help. These "talking heads" would hop onto the depression on top of a Rykor that was made to fit a "talking head" and the pair would amble around doing life together, as if a whole human. When the "talking head"'s busyness was done for the day, it would hop off and the Rykor would be returned to the stable to feed itself, and get ready for some other "talking head" to use it.

Now, I don't know why my subconscious mind has brought that up for my attention now. But after reading of lots of people's doings via the internet news, and even my own difficulty sometimes in doing what I personally decide is important for me to do in my daily life, my feeling is a bit uncomfortable about what seem to be vague implications.



Anything you can do I can do better

There is a lively song from the musical "Oklahoma" that goes "Anything you can do, I can do better!" In the musical it is just an opening for a young man and woman to show each others' stuff, as they grow from puberty into adulthood's interests.

Yet now in my quest to discover "what people really do do," it seems that the phrase "anything you can do, I can do better" is a major thing among people's interactions, explaining lots of behavior.

I noticed that a long time ago, watching many of my friends.

Yet it did not seem to be anything I could find in my own self. I occasionally hypothesized about the phenomenon, to myself. It might explain lots about what I observed in the world of people.

I tentatively concluded that, to the "normal" person, lacking an inner measuring stick, that it was a way of evaluating their own performance, by measuring against what their neighbor was doing.

It thus explained the urge to run foot races, race cars, even the generally bloodless mock battles of team sports.

That means of evaluating performance thus was not tied to actual achievement capability. It only required one be better-than the other person, to show OK-ness. It was not tied to the successful doing of what it took for the group, the species, to survive and thrive. It therefore could easily miss the boat and never know it.

I now am beginning to suspect that this is what is responsible for America to be unraveling in recent times.

The self-correcting feedback loop is tied to the wrong parameter.

And it also explains the strange response I got back starting 23 years ago when I publicly proposed my KESTS to GEO concept to save civilization. The aerospace studs merely saw me as attempting to show them up.

And thus they responded, instead of welcoming me and my concepts to the endeavor of extending civilization into space in the near future, to instead of looking big and impressive and totally concerned with the future of mankind - the distant future, that is - letting the present times coast along continuing to give them the cushy prestigious life, obscuring what I had proposed.

So it was an "anything that Jim Cline could do, we important aerospace folks can appear to do better" kind of response attitude. Merely a rivalry game, that was their duck soup; something they could win with one hand tied behind their back and blindfolded, how great they were. That seems to explain a lot. It also means I really misjudged them. No helpers, they.

But it is not that they are bad people. It is merely their knee-jerk way of relating.

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Gun shooting news is more exciting news than water supply news

Looking at the news during this weekend, something seems urgent to me. It is being little mentioned on the news anymore. Will be interesting to see if any of it is true.

It concerns the Libya fracas, particularly Tripoli part at present.

Earlier I had seen replays of what was claimed to be one of Col. Gadaffi's sons bragging in Tripoli in an expensive car in a convoy, that the rebels were being led into a trap. The newscast indicated it was all merely bragging by a regime that was perishing, and of no import.

But the past day or so something has been nagging in my mind. It has to do with the water supply to Tripoli, a city of two million people normally served by piped tap water to their homes. Which has been not working for several days already.

The rebels probably are far better at brandishing guns and doing the conflict thing, tough as that is. But dealing with major infrastructure restoration possibly is not a strength of theirs. Imagine a city of 2 million people largely dying of thirst and lack of sanitation without water.

The supply of water to Tripoli, as I understand it, was a technological marvel sponsored by Col Gadaffi's regime. It involved drilling 300 wells deep into an ancient aquifer in the desert south of Tripoli, and building the transport system of huge volumes of water to Tripoli, and maybe elsewhere.

Now, having lived years in the Los Angeles area, it too a desert seacoast large city that is supplied artificially by water transported by a complex large system hundreds of miles from a distant source, I know the vulnerability, as well as the struggle to create that system by Jim Mulholland's team in the first place; including violent opposition at times causing hundreds of deaths at St Francis Dam. And I know of what it is to be like with water being totally cut off suddenly in the middle of the night and none even restored to have a sip of water to drink, or to flush the toilet for three days, and months before drinkable water was restored, after the Northridge quake.

Now this is about the effects of the lack of assumed water services in a major city. Like is now ongoing in Tripoli, already for several days. Long enough for neighbors to have shared much of their stored emergency water with neighbors already, as I did after the quake. And that is just precious small amounts of drinking water; none for flushing the toilet or washing one's hands even once in those three days. It really adds to the stress of life in hard times.

At the moment, Washington DC is only thinking about too much water (hurricane Irene,) and may not be able to switch frame of reference to comprehend a major impending catastrophy due to lack of water.

Now in news re Libya, I read a small item that engineers who went to restart the water well pumps in the desert, were prevented from doing so by Col Gadaffi's forces there; and the engineers vehicles and equipment were impounded by the assaulters and threatened with death if they returned. Clearly there were ongoing efforts to prevent Tripoli from having lifegiving water.

(Perhaps I too well resonate with how despicable an act that would be.)

So I think that the battle for Tripoli is not yet won, despite the news reports. Or at least have a suspicion that major things are yet to happen, not being adequately explored by the news. Gun shooting news is more exciting news than water supply news.

That amazing desert water system was surely of interest to Col Gadahffi's administration. And well might be the focus of the next stage of the war. If they can keep Tripoli from receiving the lifegiving water from the 300 wells, it would soon become catastrophic and making Tripoli unable to be defended even by rebels armed with guns but no water to drink for a long time.

Col Gadahffi clearly gloried in that water system, brought a long distance after being brought up from deep ancient aquifer wells far from there; witness the reports of extravagant swimming pools among the Gadahfii folks. I read of his bragging about the water system, I recall; in fact, it is indeed something to brag about for sure, in my desert-raised opinion. Water in the desert is a big thing, I know, personally very well.

(In fact, a recent news report of the perishing of two Dutch tourists in the Joshua Tree National Monument - a desert place familiar to me long ago when I worked at Twentynine Palms - due to lack of water - points out how quick the problem can become severe and then fatal.)

Two million people in a desert city in the summer without any water being replenished, can become a big deal. Yet the news is not exploring this problem beyond saying the rebels are trying to get some fighters to go see if they can deal with Col Gadaffis forces that are blockading the well water source.

Also I wonder about the aquaduct that brings the water to Tripoli, surely big. Is it pipes? Or is it an underground tunnel system that, once shut off, becomes a path for cars to drive to far away places with impunity? Then a place to put those 50,000 missing prisoners to perish without food or water, to then be flushed eventually toward the city water faucets? Such goes my worries.

The battle for Tripoli may have just begun. A mean war.

Or hopefully it is all my imagination and all will be well in a day or so, water restored to the city, and the missing prisoners found elsewhere and safe.

Time will tell. I doubt anyone able to act on what I have to say will discover this writing in time anyway, as this blog seems to be censored by power crazed hostiles, it seems, even google itself cannot find what I write here.

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Figuring out what happened back then

I was one of the many who independently came up with the general concept of what is now called the Space Elevator. Circa 1969 for me; later I learned others including the incredible A C Clarke also had gone that path. We all eventually independently figured out there was no known or anticipated material adequate for making the tether to just be able to support its own weight between ground and GEO.

But by 1972 I had determined that a lunar tether through L-1 could be made of space-rated fiberglass in a constant-stress-cross-section tapered form - it had taken me two months of my spare time and filling up a notebook with my hand calculations, when only a slide rule was available to me - and had submitted that result as an informal proposal to NASA - who replied back thanks but they were totally busy and financially tied up with ending the Apollo program and building the Space Shuttle. And the subject got dropped. I later had made some efforts to communicate the concept via the L-5 News but I just got a reply that they would not consider it unless it had been published by AIAA first, closing that door. I then also basically abandoned my concept of a lunar tether space elevator through L-1, which I called the "Mooncable." Even though it seemed an ideal follow up to the Apollo program at the time, building up a Lunar industrial infrastructure based on supplying Lunar-sourced and L-1 processed construction material to Earth markets, particularly foamed steel. But, it just was not going to happen.

(I was too naive to comprehend that the Mercury-Gemni-Apollo NASA program was solely truly a military-sponsored "space race" to get to the Moon before the Soviets were able to build rocket bases there aimed at America. When that goal was reached, they had no further reason to maintain a Lunar capability.)

But ever since realizing circa 1970 that earth space elevator tether material severe restraints prevented it from being an alternative to rocket launch vehicle access from ground to space, for building SPS in GEO, I sought ways to do the same function as a space elevator, but somehow bypassing the strength to density tether materials problem.

And in 1988 I got a glimmer of how to do that, and by 1989 it was fleshed out to a fairly well integrated concept, with lots of potential for working and doing the job of economically being used to finally build those solar power satellites in GEO that I foresaw even then as vital for civilization so as to avoid the petrochemical hydrocarbon problems we now endure.

The idea was basically to generate the support force to balance the force of gravity, by making a planet-encircling hoop structure that generated its own outward centrifugal force around the planet, to balance the inward force of gravity on the structure and its live loads. It could be made into essentially a synchronous motor in function. An eccentric hoop around the planet, its earth-motionless stator part enclosing a hard vacuum in the part of the path where the high velocity motor armature segments circulated through the atmosphere portion of the path. Some of the upward-moving armature momentum would be coupled over to lift captive spacecraft from ground up to GEO, and gently return them back to the ground later; thus with no fuel to lift, would be a very efficient transportation process. All electrically powered, and eventually even that provided directly from solar energy received in GEO by solar power satellites up there.

A very clean self-sufficient extremely efficient transportation system to orbit from the ground, operating 24/7, without stress to the fossil fuel derived energy sources, once started.

I figured out how to calculate the energy given to payload mass by moving it from earth equatorial surface up into GEO, adapting some equations I had painstakingly developed in my 1970 efforts on the Space Elevator concept, as being 7,300 KWh per pound mass; which at a cost of electricity of 10 cents per KWh is only 73 cents per pound. Lots could be built in GEO at anywhere near that cost. Besides, the transportation system would power itself once it had a solar power satellite in GEO beaming power down to power the KESTS to GEO itself.

I tossed the concept over to the space community via the NSS's "Spaceport Library" newly formed on the GEnie net, starting in 1988. I thought the space community would be deliriously overjoyed at the prospect of finally being able to build those SPS in GEO without having to wait for "unobtanium" material be be created for tether space elevators.

But I also realized that it is a very complex world, and there could be irrational efforts to block KESTS to GEO. What I did not anticipate was how very intensive that effort would be, how cleverly done.

I had merely thought that the project would involve all the people of the earth ceasing their backbiting and territorial battles, to pitch in to get this new opportunity going to help them all in the relatively near future. But what happened is, that they never got to learn about that opportunity.

Looking back, I can see what probably happened. In the incredible melee of human turmoil that somehow gets our civilization done by fits and starts, the folks who could have made KESTS to GEO happen starting back then, saw their long term investments in coal and oil, and nuclear, on which they planned to have their endless cushy life, would be reduced enormously if Solar Power Satellites in GEO were practical and near-future. Plus the rocket folks would have to go back to college to learn about electric motor technology; they already had prestigious and cushy lifestyle jobs, why rock the boat. So they all pitched in to finance distractions to sap away any who might stumble onto my KESTS to GEO efforts and offer to help out. These "distractions" included corporate front space advocacy groups whose claim was to "enable everyone go to space" (as KESTS to GEO claimed to be able to do) and also hire academic-type research to make dazzling projections of how to reach the future - but with no mention of KESTS to GEO nor anything near-future that would rock the boat of their existing petrochemical and nuclear stranglehold on the world's energy supply; thus pretending to be committed to the future of humanity.

It worked. It has kept the financial status quo solid for these past 23 years and no sign of it changing. Besides, in the meantime they got enormous numbers of below-GEO satellites put in place multinationally, which would risk collision with a KESTS to GEO, thus blocking future opportunities. All to protect their selfish wealth cravings.

Bear in mind I realized this could happen, or at least the turmoil of humanity well known to mess things up at times. I did not want KESTS to GEO to be built if there were significant elements hostile to it. The project had to be an "everybody pitches in to get it done, so all could greatly benefit," kind of project; or it ought to not be built. In the hands of irresponsible people, most anything can be turned to harmful purposes, and KESTS to GEO was not immune either. It had to be a project by humanity for humanity, or not done at all.

As you know, it was a "not done at all," happening.

Most likely the big oil-coal-nuclear folks of the younger kind, have been covertly preparing to build KESTS to GEO, but not until way past the fossil fuel peak curve and nuclear curve's wealth to them has been passed. Then they plan new great glory and power and wealth for themselves as always, using this new KESTS to GEO mechanism. Long after I am gone, of course, and without consulting me.

Thus I continue to publish my KESTS to GEO concept in best detail as I can, realizing only those writings and drawings will be there to guide those who eventually get hired to build it. Hopefully they will not goof it up too much, if I can get all the factors shown and optional variations and mechanisms to explore.

Let's see, one other thing. Looking back, I can see where at times I had great loyalty to people who turned out to only intend me harm. The severity of my Aspergers naive inability to comprehend people's doings apparently is worse than I could guess. So, among my life's lessons to myself, is that factor too, in the huge mix of people's doings.

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Article re creativity in someone else makes them feel uncomfortable

An article online now makes sense suddenly of a phenomenon I had experienced much of my life, but could not understand it. So the referenced article is one of those amazing pieces of the big puzzle, that makes a whole lot of the puzzle make sense and look fitting, at long last.

I really deeply appreciate the insight that this simple and concise article has supplied me. It explains the reactions I have gotten much of my life from the creative technological solutions I have created and provided to people, only to get rejected - not the idea which tends to get not mentioned thereafter, but me as a person. Made no sense. Now, it makes sense.

The article is already too concise to summarize more, but basically it says that people claim to want creativity, but that creativity in someone else makes them feel uncomfortable, and they are reacting to that discomfort.

And that explains much of what I have experienced from others when proposing a creative technological idea that could help solve lots of humanity's big problems, or even small ones. The exceptions were when they had been struggling a long time and were getting desperate for a solution, and my ideas set them free. Even then there was little or no thanks given me for my creative idea, although once I got on as an author of a patent, and other times I was later given special workplace status and once promoted to full engineer title, possibly because of my creative solutions that helped bail out others in a pickle.

But spontaneous, unasked-for, creative ideas that would provide great potentials and opportunities happen, invariably got a negative reaction from those I thought would be overjoyed at the openings it offered them. And that made no sense to me.

But now, I understand! What a wonderful feeling.

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Re-exploring an orbiting momentum transfer system concept

It can be fun to explore a potential new technology and what could be achieved with it.

On a yahoo group focused on the future and particularly the part of it in space, I recently mentioned that back in the early 1980's I had a brief idea about something that seemed able to make routine space travel far more energy efficient; but I did not explore the idea much in detail, and eventually in 1982 I read about Keith Lofstrom's "Launch Loop" concept describing a whirling belt of trapezoidal shape with four pulleys at its corners, that would lift rockets to the fringes of the atmosphere for their efficient launch up there, and that seemed a better idea, and my own idea went back in the mental storage bins.

Anyway, a month or so ago, I remembered my idea of the early 1980's, an only partially fleshed out concept, and casually mentioned it on the email chat forum. It mostly got catcalls and raspberries, but one person who was skilled at math and delta-vee analysis, took on the task of shooting me and my idea down once and for all.

So I discovered that my qualitative analysis of a casual concept's mentioning, which I naively thought useful for some fun exploration by the group, was suddenly enmeshed in quantitative analysis debate, not my favorite thing, but I can deal with it.

My concept as I had envisioned, circa 1980, was of a satellite in low Earth orbit, a satellite that was in the form of a long platform. The idea was that an incoming spacecraft would graze the platform while electrodynamically dragging against it, which would thus transfer some of the spacecraft's momentum to the orbiting platform, and greatly reducing the kinetic energy that the spacecraft would need to dissipate on re-entry of the Earth's atmosphere. That energy would have increased the velocity of the platform, raising it to a somewhat higher orbit.

And subsequently a newly launched spacecraft from the ground would be timed so it grazed the orbiting platform, slowing the platform back down to its earlier velocity, and giving the spacecraft a velocity boost as it headed toward higher orbit, saving it energy that otherwise would need to be provided by lifting heavy fuel from the ground, as is done nowadays conventionally.

In other words, an orbiting momentum transfer system, effectively coupling the momentum of falling spacecraft over to rising spacecraft.

The timing involved was something I did not want to think much about, but timing is everything in space launches routinely anyway, and thus probably solvable.

This concept was hardly a favorite one of mine. It clearly was not developed more than the basics. And largely forgotten for the past thirty years.

But the idea came to mind in the present-day context of space access, that it might be able to be used to be combined with the White-Knight Spaceship Two level of technology, to be used to give a spacecraft that merely peaked out at the altitude of the orbiting platform and thus be able to access full earth orbit; and later give the momentum back to the platform, enabling it to lose much of its velocity so as to enable a very easy return to the atmospheric environment for a flyback return to the ground.

It was a casual thought, but perhaps worth exploring.

And it resulted in the above-mentioned flack and challenge, instead of an OK lets see what can be done with it. Not an enjoyable situation for me. But I was stuck in it.

The challenger wanted numbers. I hazarded a mass for the orbiting platform to be about ten times that of the spacecraft it services, so that its orbital altitude would not change much. He put numbers to it and concluded it would have to be too long to keep the g-load on the spacecraft from being too high, and that length would be hard to make stiff enough with that little mass for the platform.

I thus found myself in an uncomfortable position; debate has never been a skill I had. But I was stuck in the situation, and the flack from the side was joining in the effort to ridicule me.

So I suddenly had the idea of making the orbiting platform in the form of a spring, a mechanical thing, a compression spring. The orbiting spring's orbit would be intersected by the peak of the rising spacecraft's trajectory, and the spacecraft would be punted by the orbiting spring giving it a horizontal component to its velocity.

My challenger then accurately pointed out that if the orbiting spring were ten times the mass of the spacecraft, that in bouncing off the spring, the spacecraft would have taken on the velocity of the orbiting spring but also the push of the spring decompressing, giving a velocity to the spacecraft of nearly twice the spring's orbital velocity; applying the numbers showed that it was far higher than escape velocity and the spacecraft would be punted totally out of the earth's gravitational field. Not something casual passengers on an excursion cruise would want; not to mention the extremely high accelerations involved would turn them into jelly.

But it might well work for routine transfer of mass between, say, Mars orbit and the earth surface, transferring much of the incoming spacecraft's high velocity over to then later boost a spacecraft headed back to Mars, very efficiently.

But the original thought was to make access to say the ISS orbit or GEO orbit, including by human passengers.

So I made a qualitative guess and hazarded making the mass of the orbiting platform spring to be somewhere less than twice the mass of the spacecraft involved, see what could be made of that. There could be calculated a curve of transfer velocities, and orbital changes in the orbiting spring platform.

At that point, the challenger of my concept suddenly vanished. No one mentioned my concept again; acted as if the discussion never happened. And that is still the situation; the space activist group suddenly got totally engrossed in power struggles amongst themselves, doing meetings and such kind of things, lots of distracting uproar of whose-boss-here kind of people stuff. Not my kind of thing.

But the idea still sounds a little interesting to me. What would be the variations and capabilities that might be found by exploring it further, I wonder. Clearly the space activist group would not like that, which seems very odd to me. But, as I have pointed out in other posts, I am still learning, from my Asperger's viewpoint, of what people actually do do.

And thus the idea was at least worth the effort of making the blog post here about it. Who knows, fortunes might be made with it someday. If so, past experience shows they will never mention me or my effort, however. But, such ideas are fun to explore for their own sake, anyway.

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Sometimes great misfortune provides a path to a better life

Recently I got in a brief email discussion with a new online acquaintance. She is a space enthusiast like I am, and she was saying she had a small young son that was very bright and interested in space, and might well be the one that enables humanity to make major expansion into space resources and colonization.

I replied that the little boy reminds me of myself. I was a knowledge-sponge up through High School. I had little interest in the grades I got, was no motivator; though I got high grades; my interest was in the knowledge itself, something I craved, the adventures that the knowledge implied. Four majors - math, science, English and social studies - and I read on average a book a day in addition to my studies, though much of that extra reading was sci fi, as well as science and philosophy. I went into college thinking that I would learn the foundations of all knowledge - and that was possible in 1954 - starting with a physics degree as it seemed the foundation for chemistry as was foundation for biology as was for sociology and so on. And I was going to work my way through college, in the co-op program with White Sands Missile Range, where I finally got to work with rocketry, getting closer to my dream of space travel.

But I got more interested in the radio telemetry signal aspect of the rocketry under test, which was sent back via radio by the rockets for analysis, during their brief but spectacular lifetimes; and that eventually led to my career in electronics.

Anyway the point here is despite my great promise and focus on space technology from an early age, it all came to a screeching halt in my Freshman year of college. I had no support system, and having Aspergers it is hard to survive alone; and my girlfriend - who I assumed was to be my lifetime mate and companion - had totally dumped me when I went to college too. I also unknowingly had wheat gluten sensitivity, and sometimes living on white bread alone; the damage to the small intestine walls and resulting openings in it, through which contents of the intestines got into my bloodstream, no doubt including common bacteria and parasites, which soon brought me down to a low life level, unable to even remember what I had just read, and full of despair. A wonder that I made it through alive.

And severe tinnitus made it hard to hear what the professors were saying in class, and made it very hard to concentrate on doing homework. It took me about four more years to decide the endless 24/7 loud tinnitus screeching clamor noise that no one else could hear, was not going to drive me insane.

Eventually I became a "college dropout" and led to a long career merely as an electronics engineering technician (although for a few years I did the work of a design/development electronics engineer in the field of computer disk drives, working for Shugart Corp, a Xerox subsidiary.) Not all was lost, however; as that line of work taught me about the raw material of the stuff of technology; not merely book theory but also how to make it work with my own hands and analysis and sometimes technological creativity. I gained a strong sense of what could be made to work; and what best way to make it work. Everything I did, quickly gave me feedback as to its effectiveness in the very real world. And that was great training about the nature of reality for one who started off in life learning about reality almost entirely from book learning.

And that has stood me in good stead with my space transportation and utilization concepts, that I later created as a hobby, finally fulfilling my dreams of space technology advancement activity; my keenly hewn sense of best technological approaches that would be able to do the physical job effectively.

And, the memories of my decades of hands-on detailed engineering tech work provided the fill-in details in my recent years, when I translated my technological concepts into high tech science fiction adventure novels, such as "Building Up" and "It's Down to Earth."

I continued on with my advise to my new email friend: "So I would suggest that you strive to provide multiple kinds of safety nets for your gifted young son on the road to space. And believe that every fall, on his rising again, will make him a little stronger in the real world.

And, the Ivory Tower is not necessarily the best place for getting in the real action."

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It is very hard to say I'm sorry and that is true of hemp law enforcers

One of the hardest things to do is say "I made a mistake. I'm sorry about xyz. I'm now making reparations about it with the best that is in my power."

This is no less true about rulers and authorities. Probably even moreso, in fact.

It has long been said that "one does not want to know how two things are made: sausage and laws." Usually the laws are fairly well operational by the time they are scrubbed out and made law. But on the "sausage" end of the bell curve of law-making, it can be fairly ugly.

In my opinion, the law against hemp in America is of the ugly kind. I have written before of how hemp has been important in the progress of America; such as in the Civil War, some battles used round bales of hemp, a common major crop, as rolling fortifications, the enormous strength and low relative weight of hemp no doubt stopped many a cannonball in its tracks instead of human flesh doing it. And even of the smoking of marijuana, it is unjust, in my opinion; I have had friends in the past who smoked it at times and exhibited none of the injurious and addictive qualities claimed by its detractors. If anything, it made the smokers a bit more humane in what they did.

The movement in America against the laws against hemp and marijuana in America has been compared to the mostly peaceful uprisings in Egypt that toppled a long-time tyrant. In this case, the tyrant is the law and the minions that justify enormous abuse of people and taking freedoms and property away and ruining lives by the millions as justified by that law.

It would be better, I think, that those "enforcers of marijuana/hemp laws" get their urges satisfied by playing some of the violent videogames available everywhere nowadays, instead of doing it to real people. And keep their cops&robbers activities directed toward those who do real harm to others; there are plenty of them to chase and put down.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, it is very hard to say I'm sorry, I made a mistake, and here is what I am doing to fix it best I can now. And that is extremely true for that hemp-law and those who got it on the books, and especially by the millions of people who have their gainful employment doing the dirty work of enforcing that law. If they ever stop to think of how to apologize and make reparations to their millions of victims, it no doubt scares them silly. Thus the law stays on the books because ... well, because the powerful are on top and they can say so.

When America begins to regain her heart, we can start healing as a nation and get on with doing the kind of job we are proud of.

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What people do do as an economic hypothesis

Continuing with my effort to figure out "What People Do Do", I have come up with a tentative economic hypothesis: Government is powered by taxation on income and sales taxes, and that is a tax on amount of moneys exchanged for goods and services. This amount is controlled by the money in circulation.

When a huge proportion of the total money in a national system is gathered and not being spent by a very few people who are experts in money hoarding, the ever decreasing money in circulation generates less and less income to power the government. This seems to be the case in America at this time.

And the root principle enabling this is the functional principle of pricing things to "what the market can bear," that is, the most that can be charged for a good or service that people will pay for it. This means that if the items are very overpriced, that is, the value-added is far less than the price added, then money is accrued as huge profit, not needed to keep the supply chain going for that good or service.

And that over-pricing component of moneys gathered, is money not needed to keep the product or service fully in operation, yet only the money being used to create the goods or services is money in circulation; and money in circulation is where the taxes come from that power the government.

In a very busy robust economy, there can still be enough taxes to run the government; but if the money hoarded eventually becomes so much that the flow of money around the goods and services taxable loop drops below what can make the government be able to do what is needed to coordinate the nation for its people. With ever decreasing money flowing in the goods and services loop, the people of the nation have less and less they are hired to do to perform the value-added function so the nation's productivity decreases as well as the nation's people have less income to spend for what they need.

So the conclusion here is that part of what has been happening in America is the hoarding of wealth by a few experts at doing that, which has gradually strangled the money flowing in the economy, and making the government not have enough money to stimulate the flow of goods and services that corporations do not consider it their function to do for some reason or other, yet must be done to keep the country running smoothly.

And this was done by the money-hoarders using the "charge what the market will bear" principle to overcharge so as to accumulate the wealth surplus that they are hoarding, which is what is strangling the nation's government.

Money-hoarders are not necessarily more wise than other people; they are just expert in money-hoarding and the economic games by which that is done.

The money-hoarders have long been in America and generally been able to finance big projects like railroads that the country needed, with their extra hoarded money, putting the money back into circulation. But present-day massive money-hoarders don't seem to be doing that. Why, I don't know.

In fact, they have been using their hoarded money a little bit to put people in congress that function to further hamstring government and to prevent taxation on the hoarded money, needed to get government functioning again.

There is more to the overall scenario, like two unnecessary very expensive wars started that were known could not be stopped if started, nor won either; this both depleted the country's government wealth as well as transferring lots of it to the industro-military corporate system to add to hoarded wealth; and money spent on stuff that just destroys stuff - bombs and guns etc - is not goods that produce value in the economy. Some of this is needed for self-defense against world neighbors who are in rivalry for stuff of value like land area, but in Afghanistan and Iraq - wars said to be done just to dispose of two individual people but actually disposed of tens of thousands more who were not the stated targets - which makes no sense in retrospect either.

But the overall effect was to deplete the nation's wealth down to where the hoarding of wealth by the few was able to cripple government so it cannot do the programs that stimulate the flow of goods and services needed in the nation.

Perhaps the money-hoarders are planning to eventually use their hoarded wealth to take over the already established government functions, like the national transportation system and NASA function, by strangling the government so it cannot adequately provide for those systems (eg NASA air and space stuff, and the nation's highways and bridges needed for the flow of goods and services around the country) and thus the money-hoarders would have control of the nation's flow of goods and services transportation system, as well as NASA air and space development directions; yet the money-hoarders, as pointed out before, have not shown wisdom in their choices of what to do, and they would be in control of what the country's people can do, and unlike government, they cannot be voted out of the controlling positions.

Where does lead to, I wonder. It does not look like a fun and happy time for the people of America.

The money-hoarders are apparently living the ultra-lush life such as on mammoth luxury ocean cruise liners no doubt enabling them to procreate like mad. Well, history has shown there are lots of wealthy powerful people who live the plush life, yet they usually are rulers of the country, and thus involved in the health of the busy goods and services machine that is the nation with its people.

But in America's case, something is run-amok and the responsibility loop is broken. The electoral system of the nation has been tinkered with by the money-hoarders so they are not required to support the nation from which their wealth was taken; thus a weakness in our democratic system has been exposed.

A democracy works through being self correcting in the electoral feedback process selecting for that which works best for the American people, but analogous to a foreign military invader on our soil, the technique of using wealth to buy influence to prevent the electoral system from being able to govern wisely has happened.

While this technique might be useful to hamstring would-be dictators who got into upper government, in this case, it is taking down those with the best of intentions for the country; thus quite the opposite of a healthful function. Maybe it will dissuade the would-be dictators from running for the Presidency, but if the money-hoarders want a dictatorship, they will support dictator-wannabes that are controlled by the money-hoarders.

And there are the factors of technological development blocking through the use of territorial techniques, such as the "employment agreement" that blocks employees in the technology corporations from being able to utilize any of their ideas for inventions, unless of course the few employees actually hired to produce inventions and only those specified by management, which is a very tiny amount of the inventive capacity of the entire employee base.

This has been suppressing the nation's technology creative capacity for probably half a century and the effects are really hurting the nation now. This was caused by greed and power hunger of the employing corporations, to suppress potential rival technologies from happening and thus perpetuating the corporations already existing, or so they thought.

Where is the wisdom? I don't remember "wisdom" being taught in college or even high school. I suppose it was supposed to automatically happen along with knowledge accumulation.

But I think that "wisdom" is separate from knowledge, although knowledge is necessary for wisdom to be more accurate.

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Part 2 of Pondering the effects of ending the preposterous War on Hemp

Having "slept on" the question explored in my immediately previous blog post I awoke with some interesting thoughts about it all, so this post will attempt to explain.

Two unrelated factors have come to mind.

The more interesting one is that this appears to involve the "invisible elephant in the room" kind of thing.

The second is that even talking about this subject could put me at further risk of assault by the powers-that-be, not because what I say is accurate or inaccurate, but that it puts their jobs and esteem at risk, understandable. (And there is ample indication that the powers-that-be seek excuse to get on my case, not because of the real reason, that my technological concepts to help humanity access space much better, would upset the business plans of lots of corporate investments, but for artificial villification-created reasons, and "drugs" is an easy accusation, believable by the average person.)

Anyway, the "invisible elephant in the room" thing is what I awoke thinking about this morning. Billions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on prisons, millions of expensive prison personnel, and many more millions of lives ruined by incarceration - all because marijuana lets people relax a bit? Sometimes people seem to me to act a bit wacky at times - witness Congress nowadays - but this seems much too much. Something else must be involved, but what?

Hemp had gotten my attention back when I first thought of what is now called the "Space Elevator" circa 1969, and was seeking a potential tether material. It had to be very strong just to support its own weight, and that meant it needed to be light weight too. First search brought up hemp in my old books, which said it was the strongest material for its density known at the time, and was produced in large quantity such as for rope and structural material use; but its tensile-strength-to-density ratio was far to weak to do the job. I then abandoned the idea - for a few years until I thought of a different application and material, the Lunar "Mooncable" concept through L-1.

In the late 70's to early '90's I also became aware of marijuana, suddenly associated with hemp; several of my friends smoked it on party occasions, and I had some girlfriends who I knew smoked it on rare occasions, including one who smoked it when with me. I don't recall any bizzare behavior exhibited by any of them ever at those times; in fact, they seemed a bit more composed than usual, if anything. No driving problems, no people-interaction problems, per my personal observations. The only "problems" caused as far as I could tell were those of having to deal with it being by then a "controlled" substance, thus an artificial contrivance of law enforcement stuff, and not having anything to do with the marijuana-smoking itself. I no doubt experienced it too especially in a room with one of my girlfriends who smoked it a lot, but I noticed no influence on my own behavior, me being a meek mousey kind of person anyway, struggling as an Aspergers trying to fit into a non-Aspergers social world, which was what got my attention much of the time, especially when trying to please a girlfriend.

Over the years then and since then, I have noticed articles about the effects of marijuana. It was astonishingly lacking in scientific integrity, such as law enforcement claiming that marijuana was addictive like tobacco or alcohol or coffee. The users of marijuana I had known long ago obviously could smoke it or not smoke it; they chose to smoke it when it was time to relax and enjoy the company of others; but otherwise never smoked it. Appeared to be as addictive as, say, an ice cream cone. Obviously quite less addictive than the tobacco I smoked in my pipe at times back then, quite compulsive especially when my life was in rough times, like after divorce or after ditched by a girlfriend during my subsequent bachelor years. Thus I had direct knowledge that the "highly addictive" declaration about marijuana by law-enforcement types was not true.

I also dimly recall an article where someone was going to participate in a police experiment to see if smoking marijuana affected driving skill, by having the person drive a course swerving between orange pylons like in race car shows, doing a before and after test; this was being done, because there were no scientific evaluations of effects of smoking marijuana on driving performance. The police were actually trying to get data themselves, to prove their contention that it degraded driving performance noticably. As a "scientific" experiment this was poorly designed, obviously, clearly not even dealing with possible placebo effects "you will drive poorer a little bit because you are smoking marijuana" belief effects, for example. I do not recall the actual results of that test, maybe it was that I never encountered the sequel to that article that was to tell the results of the actual experiment - it all went quiet and not brought up any more.

So, there simply was nothing to justify all the prison stuff going on about marijuana, at least as to actual effects of marijuana - lots of cops-&-robbers exciting game stuff going on, however, authorities justified in abuse by saying they had not being obeyed, was excuse to come down hard on the offenders.

So I awoke this morning with the conclusion that this was a case of "an invisible elephant in the room" kind of thing. Something very major was not being spoken about in all this. What could it be? And I had an insight of what might be the "elephant" involved here. It was that something I had noticed fairly often among my friends who occasionally smoked marijuana: they seemed to at times have uncanny knowledge. That knowledge was hard to define, however. It seemed to involve somehow having impossible-to-acquire-by-normal-means awareness of what other people were doing, for one thing.

This is not something easily explained in our nuts & bolts screwed-together world view. But science is about discovering reality; it tends to want to build on prior decisions about reality; but the various sciences - such as physics - chemistry - biology - psychology - social science - political science all have their own symbolism domains, that only loosely meet up with the other sciences, although as time goes on they grow closer in places. But there is plenty of precedent to say there could be another field of science that would not necessarily instantly fit directly into other science terminology.

OK this could be the missing visibility of the elephant in the room. But why would law enforcement have such a bee in the bonnet about it? Really makes no sense, until I thought of the problem of professional stalkers - law enforcement or store security personnel in this case - of having their quarry have an uncanny ability to observe their stalkers. It would make stalking really hard to do a good job, having a peek-a-boo-I-see-you kind of game. We all like to do a good job, be known that we do a good job; so that would make it harder to do that.

But that would be like the thing said of guns, that making it unlawful to have a gun would only make the law-abiding folks not have guns and therefore not able to defend themselves from robbers who would have guns anyway.

Making marijuana smoking no longer illegal, would be leveling the playing field.

And people's professions that involves stalking - on foot or via videocams thousands of miles away - would find they are being watched back. A harder game to be boss-on-top-all-the-time. And the aforementioned huge shifts in the financial scene of law-and-prison, jobs lost, millions of dazed people freed and wandering around.

(And what to do with all those abandoned expensive prisons? I recall reading one facetious article, written several years ago on noticing the huge number of mysterious large prisons being built, that they would be used by the Republicans to incarcerate all Democrats, claiming they were dissidents interfering with Republican rule of the nation.)

Anyway, this all seems to point to a people-skill that is being controlled, something that can give a power edge to the privileged, as the major factor remaining, after all the hoopla is sifted out.

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Pondering the effects of ending the preposterous War on Hemp

Puzzling a bit over an incongruity in the financial fracas going on in Congress in recent times, things still do not fit together. As in jigsaw puzzles, that indicates that there are pieces that are missing.

Well, the congressional fracas has lots of incongruities quite displayed in plain sight via the news media. Absolutely enormous incongruities in some cases, yet the American public mostly responds as if it were a movie they were watching, equally unable to affect the outcome of the movie on the screen playing away.

But this one seems to not be involved. And I wonder why. Billions of dollars and millions of American lives are involved, in this unhappy scenario.

The subject article linked with the title above, actually points out something deeper than just the number of colored folks in prison being more than were slaves before the Civil War. It point out that the jump in imprisonings was due to the "preposterous War on Drugs" starting in the 1970's, which has led to the billion dollar prison industry, and if the "war on Drugs" were to be ended and the prisoners freed, it would cost a million jobs in the prison system.

The article didn't mention the number of "law enforcement" jobs that would be eliminated too, as a result, but no doubt lots of them.

And these are times when we do not need more unemployed folks out on the streets. And those are all pretty tough types too.

The situation resembles the formal wars ongoing too, insofar as their cost and effects. Major items, those.

Well, I dimly suspect my Asperger's naive picture of humanity is the source of my problem with all this. But I don't see it yet.

Simplifying the problem is necessary to be able to comprehend it enough to resolve a possible solution for it. Simplifying complexity such that it does not invalidate results, is a bit of an art; and can be a trial & error process until something works.

So a simplification here jumps to the scenario where people say that we cannot afford paying for the War on Drugs - or at least the War on Hemp - anymore, and declare that the agricultural product, that was a mainstay of American agriculture since before the formation of the nation and up until circa 1970, was no longer called any more illegal than it was thruout most of American history and indeed civilized history; it has always been alongside civilized man. Except the recent past few decades, not noted for their rationality or humanitarianism, either. What them?

From the referenced article, it points out that the billion dollar prison industry would take a big hit, including losing a million jobs. And there would be loosed on the streets not only those folks, but far more numbers of folks who had been imprisoned due to involvement with marijuana, which is somehow involved with hemp.

My young adult years were in the 1950's and hemp was mainly used for rope due to its extraordinary strength to weight ratio; but I never heard of anybody considering it a drug. Hemp was an important agricultural crop of one of my ancestors; and round bales of hemp were used as rolling fortifications in infantry battles during the Civil War. But all this has been talked about and not heard by stubbornly deaf ears. Something does not make sense to me.

Anyway, the fantasy scenario where America decides it can no longer afford a preposterous "War On Hemp" and thus frees the millions of associated prisoners, along with a million of those who were guarding them in prison, and countless law-enforcement folks who spent their time chasing down marijuana smokers or industrial hemp growers. And no doubt the financiers of those prisons were investors who would have to take a cut in their income, as a result.

We already have deep unemployment; don't need more. Plus, those who have been humiliated and lives ruined by imprisonment are not likely to be offered jobs they can do in peace, either; nor their imprisoners, either.

America would need to move all these folks directly to rehab situations and jobs, even make-work jobs if necessary until they all can get back into a peaceful productive mindset, so they can smoothly enter the general American workforce productively.

But politics in America is heavily influenced by folks who declare that nothing gets done in America except by private industry. Private industry that has but one motive: to make maximum profit for least effort. An enormous collective game that has no responsibility to America as a whole. Where would private industry find the reason and means to take on the job of rehab of all those former hemp-related abused-and-abusive relationships of the prison enforcement system?

Maybe we could consider it the same as war reparations. Still, it becomes a government paid-for thing; but as it is now, government pays for the prison system and law enforcement personnel devoted to hemp-blamed goofy stuff, so why not use the same funds to ease those folks into productive, pleasant lives, prisoners and imprisoners alike? At least that way, there is an end in sight to the expense, unlike the scenario today.

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Trillion dollar debt and human smarts working on the wrong things

This is one of those blog posts that is most likely going to get hidden from being found. Lots of powerful folks won't want it to be known. But here goes anyway:
Ref: "A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion"

America could have been starting to be a major energy exporter to the world as of several years ago.

The energy source: solar energy gathered in Geostationary Earth Orbit. The technology was proposed in the 1960's and has improved since then, Called "Satellite Solar Power Stations" or "Solar Power Satellites" most of the time. Sometimes called "Space-Based Solar Power", more generally.

The obstacle has been the transportation costs to deliver, build and maintain the Solar Power Satellites (SPS) in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) some 22,300 miles above the earth's equator. Along with the passively-shielded habitats for the construction and maintenance workers in GEO, a radiation plagued place.

Conventional rocket technology is vastly too expensive, and too energy-inefficient to do the job; and that has blocked it the past four decades and more.

The concept of the anchored tether "Space Elevator" was revived in 2002, to lower transportation costs, but the effort has gone in circles, primarily still having the problem of strength-to-density ratio of tether material. Other concerns focus on collapse modes in case of structural failure of the linear tether, which would be supported by the centrifugal force on mass out beyond GEO, analogous to a tetherball being swung by the Earth's rotation. But a solution to this problem was proposed as far back as 1988, but was suppressed and did not get published as a peer reviewed technical paper until 2000. It is probably not coincidental that the old "Space Elevator" concept was brought up suddenly in 2002, presented as ready-to-build-now, and thus erasing any interest in the alternative technological concept. Good business strategy for the rich & powerful whose wealth is based on the coal, petrochemical, nuclear and rocket business-as-usual; but very bad for America.

Yes, I am talking about the "KESTS to GEO" transportation structure concept, an eccentric hoop-shaped electric motor structure linking the earth's equator and GEO above the opposite side of the earth. It would not be supported by the planet's rotation, but by centrifugal force it would generate within itself. thus it would not have the tether's strength-to-density problem at all, and be able to be built of conventional materials. It would also use some of the upward-moving motor armature momentum to drag payload-carrying captive spacecraft up from ground to GEO, thus no need for rockets in the transportation process, nor even beaming megawatt lasers to power climbers, as is being explored re tether "Space Elevators."

This "KESTS to GEO" (Kinetic Energy Supported Transportation Structure to Geostationary Earth Orbit) concept was proposed in 1988 and fleshed out by 1989, although has evolved even better over the past 23 years. (See the KESTS to GEO website, for lots more details.) Yet if it had been accepted as worthy of development in 1989, it most likely would have had development versions of KESTS to GEO built in place a dozen years from then, and have operational versions in place and lifting materials for building SPS in GEO a half dozen years from then. So we would have had the past five years to be building prototypes and then operational SPS in GEO, and already be bringing in income from the sale of SPS-sourced electrical energy delivered to the ground to rectennas places in appropriate places around the world. We could even be taking the energy crisis load off Japan right now, as a just-in-time technology brought on line, instead of shipping them more coal to burn in the air.

SPS, as a solar sourced 24/7 electrical energy supply, gathered up there in GEO where the energy is more than seven times as much as gathered on the average surface of the Earth, would be rapidly taking over the job of supplying the enormous energy needs of a developing advanced world civilization.

The question of nuclear power and coal-power, and the consumption of oxygen from the air we and everything else breathes, and CO2 increasing with its oceanic damage already ongoing from increasing acidity disruption to calcium-gathering creatures like coral and shellfish and foraminifera, would be now slowing.

But the point being focused on here is the financial aspect. The sale of this energy would be providing America with vast taxable income, both domestic and from abroad. And our own energy costs would be dropping rapidly.

There would be no massive national debt as per the referenced article, because with the KESTS to GEO and SPS clearly in the vision for the future long before the publication of the 2000 article, there would have been a different political party in when 2001's 9/11 fracas bait happened, and no trillions spent in the chase of one man, who was safely hidden in neither land we threw our military money onto the desolate desert wastes.

With abundant clean energy coming online for the past couple of years already, and massive energy supplies coming on rapidly to be sold worldwide, the demand for technology applications would be increasing, and the unemployment rate very low, and people not being forced into retirement when they could still be working in satisfying ways, adding to the GDP, even if some only part time.

It would be a totally different situation now, and the prospects for the future getting better every day.

We can't turn back the clock; we can't un-ring the bell. But We can learn from our mistakes.

Or we can not learn from our mistakes; ever our choice. Which seems to still be happening. For the same reasons this post will get deep-sixed by the powers that be. They like things the way they are. And have aimed for them all along, and made them happen. And have the "necessary" things planned for the near future, too. All influence-power games. Human smarts working on the wrong things.

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Again thinking of how to revive American manufacturing

Re "Can manufacturing fuel a U. S. Recovery?"

America is now very much part of the larger world, including economically, and items we had manufactured in the past are now oftentimes built elsewhere and bought here, as part of that worldwide interchange. And yet I find myself thinking of how to revive American manufacturing, providing a measure of self-sufficiency there, just as we need to seek more self-sufficiency in our energy supplies.

Maybe I am biased toward manufacturing, because most of my career was spent in one aspect or another of electronics manufacturing, although mostly in the engineering connections to manufacturing. We got things designed, built, sold and used.

Sometimes I believed that there could be some much better ways of doing it, particularly related to the relationship between owner-management and the working staff; but we got things done anyway, probably not the best, but something real and useful got produced as a result.

And much of those decades I existed in difficult struggles in life, often just existing day by day. And more importantly, my viewpoint is probably is of a kind that few other people see from, since my psychological type (INFP) is more to be a teacher and writer, than the hands-on builder and tester that was what people would pay me to do, so that is what I did for them.

Yet the building of things, the craftsmanship, the seeing things built by one's own hands and sometimes even by one's own creative design, is an important part of being human, I believe. And keyboards and computer screens do not provide that feedback about one's effectiveness in this material world that provides us with the stuff of life and opportunities.

So, I have been supporting the search for ways to get America back into the manufacturing mode again, and using a wider range of America than just by the giant auto manufacturing corporations and similar corporate behemoths can do. Their massive inertia is just too heavy to respond to the needs of a rapidly advancing world; as so recently indicated again by the recent "bailouts" provided to them to get them back on their feet, provided they wake up and pay attention to the needs of American transportation, instead of thinking the manufacturer controls the choices of the customers for ever bigger faster more gas-guzzling than their neighbor's vehicles, through advertising's dazzle.

This is just not the way to rescue our nation, in my opinion; there needs to be lots more reality feedback and foresight planning involved.

Anyway, I searched in my creative ways for years to find possible ways to improve life in America and in manufacturing as a focus, and what I came up with, which seemed a close match for the present time and situation of vast unemployment or underemployment and low productivity of America, with steadily degrading unused skills and education along with self-esteem, was the internet linked home manufacturing-education workstation concept.

I have written of that "internet linked home manufacturing-education workstation" concept often in this blog and wherever else I thought someone would pay attention.

It seems to have been quite ignored. As to why, of course I have puzzled a lot. It is a complicated world of people, to me. Sure, there is a lot of the bully-mind "we are boss here and you are a nobody who could not have a good idea, since we are the only great folks here" kind of stuff that seems to explain some of it. But I also realize that probably my unusual type of viewpoint - mentioned somewhat above - may mean that few people can resonate with it, or even understand what I am saying. And with that "you can't get there from here" place, it is time for me to wrap up this blog post. Eventually I will sift out something more to say, most likely; I always have done so in the past.