More pondering about freedom, war, reproductive control

At times, I have pondered that the 9/11 plane crash fracas would not have happened if Democrats had won the 2000 Presidency, because the Democrats would be known to not have used it as an excuse to declare war on sovereign nations that had not attacked us, even though one was harboring a person believed to have masterminded the 9/11 fracas ... for reasons not very clear.

I assume (there is that word again!) that the Democrats would not have considered the way-out-of-proportion war response as being appropriate, and the instigators would have known that, and so they would not have bothered with the plane crash fracas, clearly intended to result in the devastating response by America, ruining our economy and ruining the lives of many American soldiers and tens of thousands of non-combatants in those countries. Yikes!

And the Obama Democratic Administration's involvement in the Libyan crisis seemed in line with that, allocating it mostly to NATO activity, and keeping military folks off the ground. Maybe it was still meddling in sovereign nation's affairs, however.

In Afghanistan, there were some deeper root problems, such as the reports of the Taliban men painfully ripping out women's fingernails if they had put Westernized nail polish on them, declaring a right to be attractive to men of women's own choice. This religiously-justified control of women's freedom of reproductive opportunity choice fits well with male desires to control reproduction by an elite few males. But is it America's responsibility to war upon the Taliban to right that wrong? Well, the current GOP considers even American women to not have the right to control their own reproductive choices, either. The difference is not very clear to me, right now, other than the GOP are not ripping out women's fingernails. (No doubt some menacing guns aimed at me could change my public-viewed mind a bit, of course.)

People are complicated in the extreme, as I have often stated in this blog, especially from the view of an Asperger's socially inept person like I am.

Yet that social comprehension ineptness has driven me to expend considerable thought and effort and risk to figure it all out. Even continuing a bit, even after the gratefully received knowledge that as an Asperger-afflicted person, I am incapable of comprehending the social intricacies that apparently seem so natural to non-Asperger's people.

And, the 9/11 fracas comes to mind at times. The hotspots of North Korea, Iran, Syria, Palestine/Israel, and similar nations, provide me uneasiness that a contrived knocking the chip off a shoulder (the Twin Towers were big chips on the shoulder of America) could be in the brewing.

So far, Obama has played it fairly cool, regarding such things. As the elected American President, he has his finger within reach of the Red Button and its lesser alternatives, that I suspect that far more power-crazed men-groups would like to possess by any means possible. He appears to have adequate self-control about pushing the Red Button and its lesser alternatives. And so a question explored here is regarding will the fracas-designers of the world, consider it a waste of time to do another grand 9/11 kind of fracas, so as to pull America - and her Allies - into financially devastating resource-squandering war kind of stuff. Puts lots of money into Daddy Warbuck's pockets, however, nevermind Orphan Annie.

All this who-does-what-to-whom centered stuff seems to be horrendously distracting away from the major resource-responsibility of mankind, and would seem utterly insane activities, except it fits squarely into the ancient basic mode of control machinations of who reproduces, vs who gets "Darwin Awarded out."

The media currently is pointing out the human sacrificing being done in Syria by the Syrian seated powers that be, closely resembles similar recent happenings in Egypt and Libya.

(I point out here that sacrificing a human by shooting a tank cannon round into his or her home killing them, is no less a human sacrifice than other ways historically done. Less in-their-face and perhaps not quite as formal a ritual, but does that matter much to the targeted?)

The American Civil War was the costliest war in terms of American lives, that America has known so far. Brother fought brother to the death. It seemed different from the current uprisings in Syria etc in that the American Civil War was about ending the supposedly righteous enslavement of other human beings. About the extreme enslavement by other people, by an elite few, plantation owners, as a rule.

I wonder, are these uprisings - in Syria etc - caused by such problems? More likely by oppressions that seem unjust by the folks involved. Thus they are more like the causes of the American Revolution than the causes of the American Civil War, except the oppression is from its own government.

I can get even more confused by recalling that in the American Revolution against England, fighting for our freedom, that slaves were the norm livelihood of our esteemed leaders. The Father of our Country, George Washington, General and then President, derived his income from slaves on his plantation, and major income was from growing the now-illegal hemp which supplied essential war supplies such as paper for writing upon and strong material for sails and rigging for sailing warships; and also by the distillation of whiskey, to fill in for the social-pressure-relieving-beverage rum that had been provided previously by England to America. And slaves, presumably fairly well treated but not free to do what they choose, did the work on his plantation. Much as even that of Thomas Jefferson, often considered the wisest man in the American Presidency. It was not until much later, that we did major soul-searching and realized that enslaving others, regardless of their skin color and country of origin, was not a nice thing to do to them; and, although harder work, all that could be done by free people for the benefit of free people, including the elite.

This winding path of pondering has led back to the question of whether outrageous happenings are not committed if the perpetrators do not expect the response to be what they want. 9/11 worked perfectly, it seems, to bring America to her knees and even instigate the internal big-brother fingers into everybody's pie, that some control-freak groups had long wanted to happen for them. And the even more basic question of Who Gets To Reproduce, so often controlled by religious groupings, it turns out if one looks. Much of women's power comes from their power to comfort men on a daily basis, using their in-built apparatus. However, that apparatus also sometimes leads to reproduction; and women declare the right to control that reproduction via their own bodies, including fixing mistakes. At the same time, some types of men unite to figure out ways to grab more than an equal number of women, for them to reproduce by, and nearly always they proclaim some religion or other, as their righteous excuse for doing this. And such men usually have brandished (or secretive) means for killing or maiming other men at hand with which to wreak this on other men, so as to eliminate the women's other options for reproduction; as well as making abusive regulations for women so as to control their reproductive options as well as their opportunity to provide comfort and relief to all men. The Afghanistan-Pakistanian Taliban are not the only folks afflicted with this game, one may notice in the current news streams.

Although it would no doubt elicit righteous rage from both men and women, were it to be said, I will sort of try to figure it out and say it, that if women were free to comfort and relieve every man on the planet on a daily basis, and had the aggregate responsibility to do so, and if there were means to prevent clever groups of men trying to prevent other men from receiving such comfort and even occasional reproductive opportunity, maybe there would be no more war. In such an idyllic scenario, who would want to launch nukes, disrupting it all, ruining a good thing?

Relieved of such stresses, and nightly bonded by loving, worldwide - we might settle down and start getting very responsible with our management of Mother Earth's finite resources, for which we supposedly are responsible: this is happening on our watch. With no more excuse of having to fiddle with the bad boy's machinations, we would have to take on the hard tasks of keeping our world alive, and of reaching out into the solar system's huge resources, bringing life there too, in time.

Labels: , ,


The food pill again

A current satirical article "Food pills: A sci-fi staple" interestingly parallels some thoughts that have been getting my attention lately. The thoughts came from a wide variety of subjects, and came to no conclusion, but that is what this jedcstuff blog post is about.

The new item in my thinking is this: for each pound of dinner I eat, a day or so later, I then output exactly the same weight of excrement. The part I utilized was a miniscule part of that pound of food and drink.

Maybe that miniscule part was all that I really needed to consume, in other words.

Now, the ancient miracle is that one can eat and drink the huge amount of material, and somehow extract that miniscule part out of the vast majority of it, discharging the rest of the material back into the world environment.

We living creatures have been doing that for eons. It works. And fairly well matches organism's needs with what is produced by the environment. By the food chain, nature doing most of the work with no effort by us.

And our digestive system making up the rest of the task's work to provide the miniscule but essential nutritional substances that get into our bloodstream and travel around to nutrify all our busy little teeming trillions of cells.

Yes it works. Yet when our human biomass becomes too large a percentage of the world biomass, nature struggles mightily to get the top fraction made for all of us. And indeed from the change from hunter-gatherer to agriculture food supply, we have bent nature's resources increasingly to slave just to our nutritional needs.

Could the next step in the progression from hunter-gatherer to agriculture to something else better matched to human needs, to directly use solar energy to convert our excrement into just the nutrition particles that we need on which to thrive?

And thus back to the ridiculed food pill.

Or maybe bulk materials designed to mimic the delicious meals we so enjoy, but actually be of cellulose fiber and contain a few squirts of that which our bodies will actually accept into our bloodstream to power our lives.

Problem is, what about our silent partners in life, that inhabit our digestive tract? The ones that now actually utilize the vast majority of the substance of our meals, converting it into bacterial biomass that forms our excrement? Nearly all of what we enjoy eating, actually goes to feed this trillions-population tiny critter zoo we carry around in our digestion tract. They also make some of the essential nutrients we need to live, as part of it all.

Maybe we can figure out ways to make this whole system a lot more efficient.

No more inhumane cattle feedlots, pigs living life in a little cage, chickens in tiny individual cages until slaughtered. Why not have far fewer of them and keep them in living conditions pleasant to each of them, while we get our nutrition through more direct means?

We human beings consider ourselves fairly smart. Even at times wise and compassionate, too.

Yet much of science is raw trial & error, ever selecting that which provides less error. (Yet hopefully not losing out on the lateral paths too.)

For example, a couple decades ago I recall buying bottles of what was labeled liquid amino acids, a major part of the stuff we actually use in food. Liquid protein, take it by the spoonful. Yet eventually there was the thought that since the stuff would not spoil, bacteria could not live on it; so most likely we humans could not utilize it either. Eventually it vanished from the store shelves, in the consumer process that efficiently evaluates such things. (Assuming, of course that we are not too bamboozled by the enormous ad machine.)

Population grows, fortunately. More hands to the task of creating better civilization. We took on the task of agriculture and made it work. It took a long struggle to refine agriculture and is still a work in progress.

Lab-grown meat is making progress nowadays, long a sci fi dream too. Just take a few cell samples from cattle, pigs, chickens, fish; and then let those archetype animals get back into their natural-world lives, while we grow food from those cell's designs, to provide our need for meat.

But in the design and contrivance of the nutritional bath in which that lab-grown meat thrives, why not just be more efficient and let it directly nutrify our own cells?

And even fruit and nuts, grain of all types, even vegetables, could their substance be more efficiently be converted into our nutrition as powered by sunlight? As well as provide the above-mentioned nutritional bath for growing meat cells, either in lab-grown meat or directly in ourselves.

Well, I cringe at the thought of enduring three nutrition injections a day, instead of nice hot tasty meals. I much prefer the above-mentioned idea of flavored and textured cellulose meals containing a few squirts of the nutritional components that we actually utilize.

I think it is time for us to go the next step beyond agriculture, and give nature back what she needs to again thrive in diversity. Can we be that smart, wise, compassionate, responsible?

Looking at most of the ongoing news, it does not look very likely.

Human thought and effort seems to mostly instead be bent to the task of destroying or effectively enslaving other humans, largely in the fantasy that specific male lineages each have superiority over the others as supposedly favoritely ordained by the Creator Himself. Reminds me too much of the battles in nature of whales and deer and wolves of one male striving to impregnate the whole next generation with his Creator's supposedly favored genes. Well, anyway, "proven" by which males survive the attacks on each other, of course.

Mankind was supposed to be lots more wise and smarter and responsible in the management of the world's nature than all that.

And, sometimes, we are.

Labels: , ,

On cellular phones and EMR physiological effects in general

A long-time acquaintance asked a question of me regarding possible effects of cellular phone usage on a person's split-second decisions. So I thought some of my ponderings about that would make a potentially useful blog post here, in my blog that seems unnoticed by others, or at least disdained. He had originally forwarded an article about electric car EMR proclamations. My reply is as follows, more or less:

Thanks for forwarding the EMR electric car item to me. I guess I replied too heavily. I have looked into the car EMR thing for over a decade and concluded that car manufacturers fixed the problem in later models OK. But the new electric cars, I don't know; would have far larger field strengths to start with, and who knows if the engineers that had fixed the older cars' EMR problems, might have not left a legacy for the newer folks. That was mostly a leukemia problem, BTW.

The case you are considering about the cell phone effects on brains and subtle decisions people make, is an important one, in my opinion.

There are large numbers of factors involved in making such decisions, and separating them out to make a particular one causative in a specific instance, such as you have described, is not easy to do.

Anatomy and neural configurations with the dynamic signal patterns ongoing, might well determine the result, if one could define all that down to the moment of decision. So one needs to make the problem smaller in hopes of making it workable to a solution.

One of the persons could be in a greater hurry, and mind engrossed in the urgent task about to be done, and stepped off the curb early so as to get a head start, but was distracted from checking re oncoming cars, by the busy thoughts. Lots of inputs could have caused the failure to stop-look-listen at that moment.

And one kind of that thought process disruption could be due to EMR effects, I think. Could be, but not necessarily so.

This is beyond the distraction effects if the person has a cell phone to ear and is talking on the phone when stepping off the curb, of course. And also beyond the subtle unobvious effects people sometimes have on each other, unrelated to cell phones and EMR. And of course is beyond the games people play against each other at times, which can get quite unobvious and even lethal if set up just right. The turmoil of bunches of people's doings is usually mostly beyond my comprehension, and too often of tragic results.

Much of my life has been spent in the presence of EMR of many kinds. It was involved in my career in electronics, as an incidental factor. I eventually came to the conclusion that there are injurious electrical fields, but one can deal with them if one knows about them and puts a bit of distance between oneself and the source.

I have concluded at this point that there are three basic kinds of EMR that can be injurious to a person, and they all blend into each other in some ways. They range from the high powered directed microwave beam that can cause a severe headache in a brief moment of being hit by it, and the resulting headache and thought disruption can last for weeks afterwards; I have been the target of such a weapon used from a vehicle but I had seen the microwave transmitter horn aimed at me too, thus was able to figure out something of the source, if not the reason. This appears to not be an accidental thing but rather a deliberate assault kind of thing. Other kinds of microwave beams can instead take a longer time but be a bit like being slowly cooked in a microwave oven, also a sneaky assaultive thing. Back at the end of the Cold War, the Soviets sold a technology to an American group, that used microwaves supposedly for sedating rowdy patients in mental hospitals from a distance - and no doubt other folks, too, as some people are ever making clever power plays on each other.

The second basic type of potentially injurious EMR is of much shorter range and much lower frequency. The common wall warts that plug into wall AC sockets to power our many electronic gadgets is one example of this kind of source. But the range of such signals is quite short, staying a few inches away often is enough for safety, as well as not being there physically very long. Some electric motors, like used in some small fans, or even older electric clocks, can put out a huge EMR field that can at least temporarily fog up a person's thinking, and might cause long lasting mental disruption. The back part of the old CRT type computer monitors were also a source of this problem, especially in the early ones; but it was not entirely solvable, so the flat screen LCD computer screens are much better - though they have their own shorter range problem from their back lighting.

The third type of EMR problem is one of my own hypotheses and have not read of it anywhere in the literature. I would call it "pattern effects" and is quite mysterious to me; it seems to be an effect caused by the pattern of electrical circuitry and steady state signals ongoing in them, and has an effect only at very close distance.

All three of the above could be ongoing when one has a cellular phone to one's ear. There is the short wavelength radio frequency being emitted by the antenna. There is the low frequency magnetic fields by transformers in its power supply, in some phones. And finally, the incidental effects of the pattern of the electrical circuitry and recurrent signals flowing through them.

Whether any or all of these factors is causing a problem short or long term with a given person, is not known unless properly evaluated. And that would not be easy to do. And there is no incentive by the cellular phone people to pay to evaluate, especially if there were possibility that it might not be in their favor. Corporations usually have a physicist talk about effects of a motionless magnet of some field strength, and falsely imply that its benign effects are the same as an alternating magnetic field of the same strength. And there are many kinds of cell phones, each would need to adequately be evaluated. It is not being done, as far as I know.

There are also the previously mentioned lower frequency-specific effects of alternating magnetic fields, affecting some bodily functions, as played with by Tesla among others - remember the white-suited Mark Twain incident I mentioned.

I also have had a long time hobby that is frequency specific, but involves essentially no magnetic fields, but instead uses the small currents delivered between a couple of copper pipe handholds at a voltage around 9 volts. These are pulsed signals, and follows discoveries made by others far more informed in the field than I am. But I have built and tested instruments that push the envelope a bit and thus give me a sense of doing something potentially useful to mankind. Not likely to be used - people consider me a nobody and thus to be ignored - but I make the possibility happen. Among them are very specific bioresonant frequency signals that appear to target some kinds of parasites that sometimes set up housekeeping in the brain, such as Ascaris or Shigella flexneri; and thus the signals can help remove a potential disruptor of a person's mental function a little, if done correctly. Seems to be helping me, for example. I have made a couple web pages about that, see if interested.

I consider it best to use a headset for a cell phone, and have the cell phone itself kept in a carrying case down away from the head and preferably from important internal organs, and have something keeping it away from the body an inch or two. Or, in my case, keep the cell phone turned off unless needing to make a call or waiting for a call to arrive in a brief time, thus minimizing the exposure time.

And it is important to have enough of one's attention to be utilized in self awareness and ongoing situational awareness, to avoid the distraction factor too, but that is not necessarily part of the EMR thing, although ongoing EMR might also subtly interfere with the instantaneous decision-making of the brain.

People do not generally ask my opinion about such things, so I hope I have not bored you too much with my taking the opportunity to pour out my otherwise unexpressed opinions on the subject. Thanks for asking, it helps my frustration about it all, a bit.

Equipment can usually be designed to reduce most of such problems to a low level; but, people must actually do that, or it does not get done, and thus things become haphazard as they are now. And overall it involves some factors not taught in college electronics engineering. And, a person can only deal with so much complexity at any given time, including engineers; and their managers might not know or care.

Labels: , , ,


Ruminating about life principles and my place in it all

Another Superbowl Sunday has come and gone now, yet brings to mind football's apparent symbolism. Common male attitude of the world was to get on a team of males, act with them to undermine other males; small contests within one's own male team to climb in status hierarchy within the team; and females will obediently mate with your team if it wins against other male teams, and the higher your ranking in your team, the better opportunities you have for mating.

Taking a wife is mostly like receiving a prize for success and how pretty she is controls some of your status in the male group hierarchy. And this all is to maximize the male's reproductive success,who then strives to continue that whole system of being. Having a wife who believes her success is totally from the success of her man, she will subsequently use her resources to strengthen her husband's successes.

The archetype is for males to strive to prevent other males from reproducing with the females, so as to force the females to be limited to you as their only mate.

This gets spread a bit when lots of males exist, and a single male can be subdued by a group of males; thus the changeover to being part of a team which then strives against other teams, and also easily wipes out lone males not in teams, so as to force the females to not have the option of mating with those lone males nor other team's members.

Early in college I got enthusiastic about the home games; rah rah for the home team and boos for the opponents. I was more aware of the intensity of the excitement of the fans in the stands, than I was for the playing going on down on the field, however.

My one experience in playing football was in college PE class, which gave one personal experience in football, baseball and basketball. I clearly was unable to be adequately aware of what the rest of my team was doing, and my part in it all; and even less so aware of what the opponent team was up to. And I just didn't "get" the part about being physically violent to other people, either. At best i could carry out the appearances of functioning on the team.

This had strange consequences at times, beside the inevitable misfortune ones. For example, when I was put in the place of a lineman on the football team, best I could figure out what to do was from my memories of seeing bullfights, where the bull strove to bash the opponent with his head. So when I was paired up with the largest - and roundest - member of the opponent team - me being quite scrawny and on the short side - when the play happened where I was told to "block" him, I dove at him to bump into him with my head. Well, this did not work very well and fortunately did not injure me - I think. But later when I was exploring a fraternity, and joined it - SAE - and one of them was the same large round young man, who promptly gave me the derisive nickname "Funk El Toro," the inept bull.

Skipping over my subsequent problems with low finances, Asperger's syndrome with no support, getting severe tinnitus in Freshman year, getting ADD and gluten intolerance problems unwittingly, dropping out of the Co-op program with White Sands Missile Range where I worked as an electronics technician, then finally dropping out of the Physics major and trying a Psych major for one semester then throwing in the towel re a formal degree; I just could not cope with the unceasing internal distractions to be able to learn anymore.

A friend sent me email re back when computers were changing over from use of vacuum tubes into using tansisors, and the playout of the above is apparent in my reply this morning, and so I will modify it a bit and put it here.

Apparently thoughts set off in my email talking about computer bits in memory and of when a bit required two vacuum tubes, a simple type called a triode, because it involved three basic parts: cathode with its heater to boil off electrons, plate to receive those electrons when it had a positive voltage applied relative to the cathode, and the grid, which was a sieve through which those electrons had to flow to to get to the plate, and the electrostatic field of the negative voltage applied to the grid, determined how easy it was for the electrons to find their way to the positive voltage plate.

Electrons have an inherent negative charge.

When transistors came along, they worked somewhat similarly, in that they were composed of three sections: the Emitter - which was similar to the vacuum tube's Cathode; the Collector - which was similar to the vacuum tubes Plate; and the Base - which was similar to the vacuum tube's Grid.

Thus transistors fit right in with the two vacuum tube triodes replaced in function by two transistors.

However, transistors were in many ways different from the vacuum tube triodes.

They operated at much lower voltages and power they used, was their main advantage at first.

But the huge racks of hot vacuum tubes along with the big air conditioning units to keep they cool enough, got replaced by transistors to save power and cooling, which got to be a big deal when huge numbers of the components were needed to do something, like in the computers of the time.

Also, the conduction of current within transistors was not limited to the electron flow, as were vacuum tubes, but also current could flow in the form of "holes" where an electron could be but wasn't. So transistors using this mode operated the opposite of the electron mode type.

These two kinds of transistors were identified by the voltage applied to each of their three sections, to make them work.

The one that used electron flow mainly was called the "NPN" type, and the type that used the flow of "holes" was called "PNP" - "N" stood for Negative voltage, and "P" stood for Positive voltage.

And the sequence NPN or PNP referred to the emitter - base - collector sections of the transistor.

The NPN and PNP designation still persists to this day, as well as does NPN vs PNP transistors.

And thus the motivation to do the conversion between vacuum tubes to transistors which you spoke of.

Another part of all this is the reason why two triodes or two transistors were needed to create one bit of data.

They were paired in a circuit called a flip-flop, which was a circuit contrived such that when one transistor was conducting current, the other was prevented from conducting current, by the other transistor.

But an outside-sourced signal could cause the pair of transistors or vacuum tube triodes, to swap states, whatever one that had been conducting before, turned off and the previously non-conducting one turned on.

And stayed that way until it got another external signal causing it to flip back to the other state.

One triode or transistor being on was a "1" for the bit; or if the other triode or transistor was on, the state of the flip-flop was a "0" for the bit.

Other types of transistors were developed too, which would change the kind of circuitry.

Particularly the FET or Field Effect Transistor, which was even more like the vacuum tube triode than the regular transistor, and also needed less power to operate, and thus has become what is mostly used in complex circuitry that needs to draw low power and stay cool.

When the need to minimize mass- weight - when launching spacecraft came along, Integrated Circuits were invented, to greatly reduce the weight and power consumption of the flip-flops in it.

Yet these flip flops were still of the transistor types NPN, PNP or FET, just made very tiny and included the resistors and capacitors that were part of each flip-flop.

My friend had written some recollections of her participation in the early days of computers.

And also of the interactions between the other males involved, how they squabbled amongst each other during routine times, to show who was "better" than someone else, yet they switched to the cooperative mode when the fortunes of all of them went up or down depending on how well they all produced as a harmonious team.

My life as a technician is now more understandable, since I did not know how to squabble and thus was always the low man in any group, yet I was also quite competent in my work, which did not jibe with being low man in the group.

Supervisors would usually then set me aside to take on some loner job that required special competence to do.

But sometimes my high skill level, yet low man status, since it did not support the "competitive" nature of their world, I would be put on a loner task that was thought to not be possible for one person to do alone - apparently to break me - but I did not know that - and sometimes I was able to do it, which must have upset them a lot, in their ego ruled games on the job, now that I think of it.

But usually it turned out that managers appreciated my excellent solutions, and despite my lowest-man group status, I got promotions anyway.

It all irritated my peers of course and sometimes they retaliated.

They did not accept me as a peer, probably because my psychetype was the opposite normally had by a technician, and people prefer to buddy up with same type of psychetype+gender. (My psychetype was more appropriate for work as a teacher or writer, than as a hands-on manipulator of the physical world.)

What my fellow techs did not understand, was that I had been quite bright in high school and got a college grounding both self-taught and in first classes in physics in college, before I got hit by the severe tinnitus, gluten digestive system damage, and ADD, which had suddenly changed me from my prior reading rate of 750 wpm with comprehension, to not being able to remember what I had just read on the previous page. Very hard to study and learn that way.

And also that when working in the FAA, I went through their electronics training that was the equivalent of what an electronics engineer would learn in college; but it was not accredited and thus was unrecognized by employers, but peers did not understand my competency - which was part of their compulsive need to align in a hierarchy that supposedly was based on competency.

But that electronics education was back in the vacuum tube era, and I had to self-teach and take a correspondence course to learn about the early transistors.

And all the rest re Integrated Circuits, computers and lasers etc I learned on my own, often so as to do my work on the job - much as I had learned much of what I knew when graduating from High School - I was disappointed when I was denied college chemistry because college entrance testing showed that I already knew more chemistry than would someone who took basic college chemistry, for example.

My early jobs in electronics involved all-male co-workers.

It wasn't until my middle years in private industry jobs, that women became part of the work groups, first as "wire girls" for their craftsmanship in building things; and in the 1980s some women were showing up as engineers in the groups.

In my retired years this mostly self-taught transistorized electronics knowledge enables me to create such things as on my page

In some of those IC's are many hundreds of transistors, making it lots easier for me to design and build such things.

Labels: , , , , , ,


You are an engineer ....

Attempting today to figure out what can be saved from an external HD needed be cleared to take over some duty as supplementary disk drive space for my computer, I stumbled upon a scan of a letter that I assume has been stolen from my "secure" files in my garage, along with the ones that I know have gone, the very expert burglars who ever seem to be searching for ways to harm me.

This letter was written by my boss at the time of the peak of my career. It is a dim scan and hard to read, and was not very clear as the original. Handwritten, two pages, it was a letter handed to me at the time I (along with a room-full of other engineers) were similarly being processed through in a RIF. I had glanced at it in my daze, read a few words, saw that he was urging me to remain an engineer. Not much else filtered through my dismay at this latest difficulty in my life.

Not long before that, my father had suddenly passed away in distant New Mexico. A few months after that, the always-difficult relationship with my girlfriend had finally broken up (due to the endless pressure from her many significant others which included five mostly-grown kids, a husband who turned out was not divorced from her, and a hustler of strange relationship intensely with her; as soon as I had used much of my savings to rent a 4-bedroom house for she,her kids and I to live in, they immediately and endlessly battered me to leave, despite my desperate last-ditch efforts to have a relationship at long last, I just could not hold it all together with no help. She liked me, however; but none of the others did.) So I was still recovering from shock of my father's passing, my girlfriend and I breaking up, and I was sometimes living in my car and sometimes in a rented room somewhere, when this RIF also happened.

It was not just this bunch of engineers being laid off, a whole industry was collapsing in Silicon Valley at the same time, based on the flexible disk drive technology. It had been taken over by low-cost-manufacturing Asia; and without the manufacturing base to support engineering, engineering went too. The industry had been so prevalent that it was sometimes said that it ought to be called "Ferrite Valley" instead of "Silicon Valley."

A long story from there to the here & now. Suffice it to say that I was a non-degreed electronics engineer, competing with a huge overabundance of degreed electronic engineer for the same few jobs. Even personnel office staff clearly hated anybody who did not have a degree who applying for a position normally reserved for those who had endured the rigors of getting a formal degree, how dare he do such a thing; they would not even let me apply for a technician job.

It has been a bumpy road from here to there. I guess no other path would have gotten me here, exactly here.

Yet having stumbled upon this scan that I had made long ago, suspecting that hardcopies might vanish, a letter that I had thought about several times in recent times, was like finding a treasure. But, I could not read it coherently because of the very distracting dim handwriting. So I decided to transcribe it, so as to be able to read it well. At long last.

And in so doing, I see I missed a real opportunity back then. He might even still be alive now - but I won't go into that, since it involves a hobby of mine, which is resented by much too powerful folks, and I have prattled in this blog about it already a lot.

Anyway, here is the transcription of his note to me, with the Shugart logos and company addresses etc left off. Note at the time, my nickname had been changed to "Jed" as they were my initials - first name and two middle names - in a place full of Jim's and Tim's that all sounded alike.

I am most chagrined and not a little upset that I could not be here to give you this bad news personally, and to support you. However, the balance was between the importance of this trip for Shugart and our immediate and future tasks and the fact that Rudy knows you well and regards you as highly as I do.

Because of this, I know he will in all respects be a surrogate for me.

I think you had some premonition of this event, but you should clearly understand that it is in no way indicative of my feelings toward you or your abilities.

The plain fact is that this reduction has faced assessment on the basis only of any potential duplication of skills and knowledge which are most locally relevant to our tasks.

I am most concerned that this event not stop you from continuing to grow as an engineer. I perceive you as a very sensitive person and that you have been beginning to overcome some of your own self doubts, and to project your inner confidence, and I urge you to continue this trend.

You are an engineer, all you have to do is to continue to demonstrate this! No person, or engineer for that matter, is an island unto themselves.

growth therefore always will depend upon questing for knowledge and understanding, and this comes as much from asking as from reading or doing.

I feel you will do well and paradoxically feel that in some respects this change will be good for you, I just wish I could have continued to guide and lead you.

Even though I do not know where you will end up, I hope it will be in Shugart, please feel free to come and ask me for advise and information, I am more than eager to help you in any way I can.

Yours Sincerely,
Alastair Heaslett "

The last paragraph I do not remember ever having read before. If I had followed that opportunity, my subsequent career and life might well be quite different from the way it is now.

So I now have another one of those "if only ...." things to be on my mind.

Another significant point about all this, is that Alastair was the main reason I was an electronics engineer; he talked me into it. Several years before, it had come time for me to get a raise, and he told me that I was already receiving the highest pay given to a Senior Engineering Technician, and could go no further, in terms of pay.

However, he went on, if I were to take the title of electronics engineer, I could continue to get pay increases.

I told him I did not want to be an engineer, that would require me to be too rigid thinking analytical minded; I preferred to be free to use my full capacity. He told me that I had already been doing the work of an engineer for the past year and a half; I would just continue doing what I had been doing.

So, with some misgivings, I accepted. And thus formally became a design/development electronics engineer. And a year later became a second level one.

And a year after that, the big RIF.

The letter was urging me to continue on with my capacity as a design/development electronics engineer. And the last of the letter, was not even read, where he offered to help me do that.

How different it could have been, had I done that.

In a blog post here a couple of years ago, I mentioned Alastair Heaslett; I then had received a comment from a woman saying that she was his daughter and that he had passed away long ago of cancer, at a fairly young age.

Yet despite my difficulties in my subsequent career in electronics, in which I never again reached the title of engineer, I think that Alastair's belief in me may have propelled me on to do engineering level work as a hobby, both when employed and in retirement. I had mixed it in with my lifelong interest in space, and came up with the "Centristation" and "KESTS to GEO" major concepts as part of that (I was working as a tech in a small car alarm manufacturing company when I did the major creation and development of those space transportation concepts) and even more pertinent, in the design-development-test-usage of the electro-herbalism instruments I currently create as a hobby, that I think can help mankind very much. For my latest instrument's design including schematics, see

Ref posts:

Labels: ,


Rivalry what izzit

Rivalry was, and still apparently is, mostly a mystery to me, what it is, why it is.

I think some exchanges on an email list recent days may be explainable by the other person considering himself a rival to me. Seems to make a bit more sense to me if I apply that viewpoint.

There probably have been lots of examples for me to learn from in my life, that were not recognized as such. As I look back, am reminiscing about a long ago thing that was "rivalry" or so I analyzed as so.

I had briefly transferred for one semester to UNM, in another attempt to get my high school love to again date me. Way back, she had complained about my old 41 Chevy. My first car after that was as dumpy. So I put my little money into a used car that someone had fancied up. It was a 51 Lincoln coupe, that had fender skirts, a sunshade, dual chrome plated headers. It looked like a 51 Mercury, nice looking but known to have no power. The difference was not easily noticed, in that the hood was at least a foot longer. Under that hood was a monster engine. If it got 10 mpg I would be surprised. The dual glass pack mufflers made it so I had to tool around town with a very light touch to the gas pedal.

I had parked on campus to go to a class, and when I got back to my car, I discovered that the car in front of my car was parked right up against my front bumper, and the car behind me was parked up right against my back bumper. That seemed odd, especially when there was 3 or 4 feet clearance on the other end of those cars.

I looked around, and noticed that I was parked across from the TKE frat house. I had a feeling lots of eyes in there were looking at my situation. I had a SAE frat sticker on my rear window; I was dimly recalling that among the games of being in a frat, there were rival frats, whatever that meant, and that the TKEs were our rivals.

So, it looked like I had been identified as a rival to their fraternity, parked across from their frat house, and was going to have to come beg to be able to get my car out.

What they did not realize was that extra of over a foot in length under the hood of my old Mercury-looking coupe.

Figuring this out in abstract - what rivalry was actually about, I suspect other people experience differently and more intensely than I do - I did know something about my monster of a car.

So I got in, started the engine, and put it in forward gear. It was not only powerful but it was also heavy. I gently pushed the car in front of me to skid a couple of feet forward; the engine rumbled a little while doing so, but with barely a fraction of what I knew it could do. It had a 4 speed Hydromatic transmission and it would peel rubber through the first three gears, and its roar would rattle the windows all over the place; this task was very easy for it. Then I gently backed up to contact the car behind me, and pushed it also back a couple of feet. Without a glance at the frat house across the street, I then pulled out into the street and went on my way, quickly forgetting about the weird people-stuff experience.

But my mind spends lots of post-activity trying to make sense of what had gone on in the day. And I concluded that the experience was caused by rivalry.

It still does not make sense to me, other than rivalry is a kind of game some people play to make their life more interesting; and being in rival fraternities enables them to know who is on the rival team. Or something like that.



Further exploring alternate history scenario re hemp law in 1776

The sci fi character in Star trek the New Generation was called "Data" and was an android. He seemed to be from the archetype of the Asperger's Syndrome man. An episode that again has come to mind is where Data is trying to learn about "normal" people, and keeps a journal communicated to his maker, about these questions and data he had found involving the subject. I think I have written re this in prior blog posts here, although not recently.

I have been occasionally idly thinking more about my post which also was of the type of trying to comprehend the doings of "normal, non-Asperger's" people, and written a bit more politely than my more frequent posts about "what people really do do."

Although, it is a hot potato topic, inviting retaliation from somewhere. Nonetheless, it seems a unique opportunity to discover something about the workings of American politics, business, laws, and just plain egos in action.

And so, like Data might have perused in his journal, I explore further part of what I had started exploring in the referenced post, "Fragataggle."

What if the hot-topic illegalizing the growth of hemp in American agriculture, were to have been on the books back in the early days of the American colonies. I had briefly pointed out that George Washington would have been thrown in prison and his plantation's major crop burned. So following this thread, what would have happened.

Well, it depends on when this happened. Early enough, he would have been in prison before the American Revolution, and thus not have played his essential parts as General Washington in winning that war for independence.

And as pointed out earlier, without the use of hemp as the raw material for making our own paper when the British source of paper was stopped, war's communications would have been quite crippled, and knowing that, the war for Independence would not have been started, knowing it could not be waged successfully.

Whichever, there would have been no Declaration of Independence, no Constitution of the United States; we would have remained a colony of England, like Canada and Australia, among others.

And of course, without being an independent nation, the Civil War would not have been fought, so the intercontinental railroad system would not have happened to help open up the rest of America, and similarly slavery would still be the norm for colored folks. Surely President Obama would thus not be President, but more likely would be a slave on someone's plantation or manufacturing plant. Today's "Tea Party" would like that; but then, there would never have been the Boston Tea Party in the first place, knowing that we could not fight a successful war for independence without either Washington's participation nor hemp's utility available, as explored above.

Thus without the drive to expand our resources across the American continent, we would not have gotten tangled with Mexico and thus no Gadsen Purchase, and no Arizona would be, since it would still be part of Mexico.

The early Russian colonization of the northern part of California would maybe have become formed into a Russian state there; Japan had similarly made early colonization of the Southern California coast such as near Los Angeles, so Southern California might be part of Japan now. Those depend on the waning influence of Spain in those areas, of course. Otherwise the West Coast of America would be part of Spain, instead of part of Japan and Russia.

And the rest of what is now America would probably just be part of Canada now.

All because the current harsh law against cultivating and utilizing the hemp plant, had been put on the books back then instead of relatively recently.

So trying to figure out why that law got hatched up and put there, it could be useful to figure out who benefits by it. Not so much the toughs who derive fame and fortune by enforcing it, but the larger picture - thugs can go beat up on something else, does not matter to them who.

But most likely some big power and wealth gambit was what got the law against hemp on the books. And they might be those who would want the scenario explored per the above if the law had been put on early in American history. A Russian plot? Not a German plot because they would have known better than to start WWI and WWII, with the resources of America at instant disposal of Great Britain.

Who then? Mexico? Well, hemp's cousin marijuana has been having profound influence on Mexico, lots of people dying violently, but clearly lots of people getting wealth and power thereby. So, that is a possibly of instigator instead of fallout benefactor.

Or, one of the favorite games of powerful business people is to create a squeeze on some common low-cost part of American life, and force an increase in price to the consumer, thus gaining much wealth thereby, without need for increasing value-added. The famous example of soybeans in the stock market, as an example, and considered quite fair to do.

Since hemp has been part of American life since the beginning, even back in prehistoric times, it was a common item, low cost, and a major agricultural crop, such as even of President George Washington's plantation, back then. Its uses for making paper, clothing, rope, sails from its fiber is well known. The outstanding nutrition of its seeds, a grain, was probably intuitively known back long ago, but was not until scientific analysis techniques to show just how outstanding its protein blend is, and how well it is assimilated by the digestive system. And there are numerous medical uses of parts of the plant, and more being discovered, which could cut way down on medical costs as well as have a more functional population otherwise handicapped by unnecessary health problems. And of course the increase in sociability from smoking parts of the plant, called marijuana, although apparently it is concentrated enough only in a certain strain of the hemp plant. But strangely all hemp got lumped together in the same current law, and so that seems likely is the main purpose of why the whole hemp illegalization scenario was instigated.

Am sure this blog post would simply be stamped with some derisive name like "roper" - and thus not read and understood thereafter - by those who need it to be illegal, so as to continue their fame & fortune through lawfully attacking Americans.

Data might well ponder all this too, in the Startrek future, attempting to ask how to make sense of what people were doing back when.

Labels: , ,