Saturday, August 16, 2014

Observant morning

Big billowy cumulo nimbus on the edge of a flawless sky. The weather this week has been gorgeous.

Any time I sit in the tub for more than a half hour, some new observations about the water dynamics are bound to happen.

Water dynamics in three dimensions always fascinate me. They are teaching me something about the universe.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Thoughts about Haiti

Rick and Kathy Adams were here from 2:45 to 5:45 today. We learned a bunch about Haiti and their motivations, details of the trip, a pump system on their UF water filter, etc.

The general wisdom among agencies that help poor countries is to make hardware out of the most local and easy to fix materials as possible. In Rick's experience, they don't even fix a broken chain or rod. Even the simple manual pumps often fail and don't get fixed.
I'm thinking it might work better to use reliable high tech devices and have a trained local person who can replace modules.    For example: Replace the manual pump that seems like too much work and fails a lot with a solar panel and a standard submersible well pump.

They paid $15,000 for just the hardware for that manual pump and a four stage UF filter. With the electric pump it seems that about $5k could do it with the advantage that it takes little manual labor and it could be submersed in a well or river.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Brian Ahern is a LENR physicist. He thinks it is all about magnetics. Science has barely scratched the surface and really does not know what magnetism is.
I am feeling a sense of opportunity, perhaps insight. How can we use scale analogies; comparing magnetic scale to human scale, nation scale, planck scale?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


Lately it has been difficult to focus. I hate to think that my brain is fading, but that it what it is feeling like. This morning I realized that I don't journal anymore. That energy has been absorbed by facebook.
Journaling provided an anchor and an outlet. It helped me think and focus.
(This is mostly a duplicate post because I thought I lost the previous one.)

Ability to focus

It has been very hard to focus this summer. I hate to think that my brain is fading, but that is what it feels like. Lying in bed, I started realizing that the personal journal was a major missing link in my ability to focus. Another major influence is facebook. With any luck I will be paying much less attention to facebook and more to personal writing.

Resuming the journal habit

For decades I faithfully kept a logbook with me at all times. It recorded important details of every conversation, every business call, to do lists, promises and understandings. During non business times it recorded thoughts, theories, philosophies and dreams. It was quite the asset. Our basement has a shelf full of these journals.

When computers got good enough, I fell out of the habit of writing on paper. Computers weren't yet quite good enough to be worth carrying all the time; and they had so many easy distractions; and I no longer actually ran the details of my business. All this contributed to me falling out of the habit of writing.

The early years of this journal became the replacement. It was read by family and friends so it became more public. Rather than writing for myself I was writing for an audience. I left out the highly technical and very personal bits. Eventually I started writing some of the personal bits in another blog under another name.

Facebook came along and the audience there was much more interesting and interactive. The blogging faded and facebook absorbed that energy.

Now I realize that I really need the personal journal. My typing is better than it used to be and my handwriting is worse, so the journal will be here. There is little or no audience, so this will be written for me. It will be more personal, more technical and more boring to the average person.

My Journal is reborn.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This was written by Galen, age 13

This was written by Galen

Experience through Time
As I begin to wake up everything looks fuzzy and my head is on fire! I begin to sit up slowly. I look around and see that I am not the only one there! Grandpa Paul, Ewan, Rochester, and Ethan are all there as well. No one knows what happened or how we got there! The last thing that any of us remembers is being in the “Boom Room” at H.U.G.
Off in the distance we hear thumping and thudding! We all look at each other and ask “what was that?” Curious, we head towards the sounds. We were all nervous and asking Grandpa what the sound was but he didn’t know either! When we got closer to the sound we could see that it was a brachiosaurus! Being totally amazed we were still smart enough to keep our distance from the humongous creature.
Realizing that we were somewhere in the Triassic period, we had a lot to figure out! But first things first! We needed to find shelter and fast because it was getting to be nightfall and a storm was coming in! We found a cave but it wasn’t the deep. After gathering wood and trying to light a fire, we stayed in the cave over night.
The next morning as we are enjoying our dinosaur egg omelet we hear the whoosh and sizzle followed an explosion so loud and powerful that it knocked us to our butts. It was the meteor that ended the existence of dinosaurs! We quickly ran for the protection of our cave! We hoped that it would somehow protect us!
We waited for what seemed like an eternity to be able to safely leave our cave. Gathering particles from the meteor and some things from our pockets and grandpa’s “brains” we constructed an atom time-traveling bomb to send us back from the time we came!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Insights from my hypothesis.

In my hypothesis, mass acts like a vacuum cleaner that sucks in the tiny quantum foam particles that make up space. Those particles reappear at random locations anywhere in the universe. At any distance we are used to, it seems to act like gravity in every way that I know about.

 Inside galaxies where there is lots of mass, gravity dominates. At very long distances, large volumes of empty space would seem to expand, thus looking like a force that pushes galaxies away from each other.

Outside galaxies, there is vast space with virtually no mass, so the expansion force dominates. 
In our neighborhood (the closest 83 galaxies) there is roughly 10 billion times more space outside of galaxies than inside galaxies.  That expansion force pushes against the outside of the galaxies, gently squeezing each galaxy tighter at the same time it pushes them all apart from each other.

Dark Energy and Dark Matter may be the same thing

Consider that Dark Energy is a force that arises within vast regions of empty space that pushes galaxies apart.
Dark Matter is the name given to a force that acts like extra gravity within galaxies. Without that extra force, the edges of the galaxy would fly away.

If you have a force pushing galaxies away from each other, that force needs to push on something. It seems reasonable that the force would push on the outer edge of the galaxies the most, making it look like the galaxies have more gravitational mass than they really do.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Cold Fog Fire.

I am fascinated. I spent much of the evening watching colorful dancing flames of fog on the surface of a mirror.
While soaking in a hot tub of water, I happened to put my foot up near a mirror on the wall. The air was cool and dry and just a little drafty.

Warm moist air rising from my foot caused a little patch of fog on the mirror. But that warm moist air was mixing with the cool dry air that was moving about the room. The result is fog forming and evaporating so fast that it danced  like flames, or aurora borealis.

I could even blow at it and fan the flames. By changing whether I blow over warm wet legs or from the dry side, it either makes the flames bigger or smaller.

By lining up my foot just right so it blocked direct light from the lamp, I could see colors in the flames. The fog on the mirror was so thin that it caused a diffraction effect that was always changing colors.

Life is everywhere.  I feel privileged to have been given a way to visualize yet another of the countless invisible dances going on all around us all the time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Analogy for government debt.

I often contemplate the concept of government debt and how absurd it seems to be; yet every level of government seems to borrow money for its projects. Now the federal government is in such debt that failure is inevitable.

I hear the arguments that it is no problem, we owe that money to ourselves. Then i contemplate that we still have all the roads and schools and factories and stores that we had yesterday. They don't evaporate over night. What's wrong with book keeping that says we owe money to ourselves for all that stuff?

It is about false promises. Some day we will have to face the disappointment of not getting what was promised to us.
Here is an analogy to help understand it...
Let's follow a young couple who buys a piece of land to start a farm. They start with virtually nothing and work hard to create shelter and food. Eventually they build barns and houses, productive fields and workshops. They have lots of kids, hire lots of workers. They all grow into multiple generations on this productive farm.

For big jobs like barn raising, everybody chips in. People are told that if they help raise the barn, they will be well cared for (medicare) when they are old. To keep them working on the next project, they are told that they will get a certain amount of free food (social security income) when they are old. Those promises are so easy to make that they over extend themselves. When the time comes to make good on that promise, they find that the farm is just not productive enough to take care of all those non producers. People become extremely disappointed when the promises that they have relied on are not kept.

The farm wants to build another expensive project. It needs everyone to put time into it. You have been putting your spare time into creating a buggy. The farm says that if you put that time into their project now, some day they will give you even more help building that buggy. (That is the same as saving to buy a car. They borrow your savings and pay interest.) Well, that was so easy that they make the same kind of promise to many people. Pretty soon the farm simply doesn't have enough manpower to help everyone. A whole bunch of people thought that they had stored wealth; the promise of help getting that buggy built. They are very disappointed to find out that the promise can't be kept.

As the farm starts to realize they can't keep their commitments, they start to play all kinds of games to hide the problem and keep people's confidence. Those games eventually only make the problem worse. When people begin to realize that everybody else is beginning to realize the scam, they all scramble to get their promises fulfilled first. The whole situation gets very noisy.

Our federal government is very close to that stage. We who think that money in the bank is safe, or that the government will be able to do anything useful for us may be headed for huge disappointment.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In the future, Columbus will be celebrated less and Darwin will be celebrated more.

Civilization will be getting smarter due to being better connected. That means we will see some things more clearly.

Looking to the past, we will see that Columbus is not a good role model.

Looking farther into the past, we will see that all the universe, from the tiniest sub atomic forces to vast clusters of galaxies, is a result of ongoing evolution. Darwinism isn't just for biology anymore.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The physics of Attitude

The answer to whether the cup is half empty of half full depends on momentum. Do you see the cup is filling or emptying? Momentum is basic. Momentum is everywhere.

You could consider momentum as the 5th, 6th and 7th dimensions. No definition of a particle's location in physical space is complete without defining the time, spatial co-ordinates in 3 dimensions, and speed in each of the 3 dimensions. In many ways, where it is going, and how fast, is just as important as where it is.

In a person's mental and social space there are many more dimensions, but the concept still works. In each of those dimensions, where you are going is just as important as where you are.
Your direction is your attitude.
How well you apply your attitude is your speed.
How much of you is moving at that speed is your momentum.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Attention metaphore

Lately we have been weighing the pros and cons of our campus being the center of a television show. The extra attention it would bring to our company and its mission would be both good and bad.

I have often said that attention is the currency of life. The root of the word currency is current; a flow.

This morning I realized that attention is very much like a current. It flows. It brings vital nutrients and carries away waste. It can power and motivate things. Just like fire or any other useful tool, its power for good is balanced by its power for destruction. Small currents and large ones can both be useful, but as the current gets larger, it becomes more dangerous.

So, if we were to suddenly find ourselves in the midst of a flood of attention, we would have to be prepared to handle the extra flow. Have deeper ditches and higher bridges; more solid foundations, larger pipes, bigger rocks, etc.

If we are well prepared, we can use that current to generate useful power. Any current beyond what we can safely handle should have a safe overflow path.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Playing the scales: Regenerating Reliability

The rules change when you change scale. Little kids can do things that adults can't. Ants can do amazing things that humans can't. A little go cart can turn on a dime. A battleship is famous for being very slow to turn.

As our little business grew and eventually became a big business, we constantly had to learn new rules. Just about every time we started to get a handle on how to operate, we found that our existing techniques didn't work well anymore because we were bigger.

I became fascinated with just what things change when you change scale and what things stay the same. It helped develop a huge appreciation for how nature evolved critters of different sizes, and why they ended up with the body styles they have.

When we delve even deeper, past physiology and down into the underlying physics, a recurring pattern starts to show. It seems to me that at the lowest level of existence I can currently fathom, life starts out digital. It exists in a very noisy environment so it's first priority is to repair itself and make reliable copies of itself. As its population grows, the sum of many life units creates flows and capacities that function in analog form. Eventually some of the analog functions become stable and robust and complicated enough that they find ways to repair and copy themselves. Their organization has become digital.

The new level of digital units become very stable and successful and therefore proliferate. The huge quantity of them once again creates analog functions at a new scale. They also become building blocks that combine in ever more complicated ways. Eventually some of those functions learn to repair themselves and make copies, becoming digital, robust and prolific.

In this context, the term "digital" means a limited number of stable states.
Protons, electrons, neutrons seem to be digital. Next scale up is atoms. Perhaps the next scale up is biological cells. Then stable groups of cells that function as one unit (like animals or plants).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Persona masks and the big social brain

Yesterday, Ian was showing me a toy robot that had a mask for a face. He made a statement similar to "The mask IS the brain". That rang a bell deep inside me that is still resonating. It connected some dots that helps form a picture of the human condition.

We are all wearing masks. We selectively show only small parts of our selves to others. We wear different masks in different situations, and when dealing with different people.

We are all neurons in the big social brain. In a brain, each neuron connects to many others via synapses. The intelligence in the brain is in the weights that are assigned to each synapse. Each mask we wear when dealing with other people is a collection of weighted synapses. Just like a neuron, we each have thousands of those synapses. We have been growing the big social brain ever since we first learned to communicate selectively.

What makes humans so different from other critters is the extent that we communicate. That is what drives innovation; so much so that communication (our social interaction) has become the dominant force in our evolution. It has shaped our brains and parts of our body (such as our larynx). It has become less important how fit the individual is, and more important how fit the big social brain is.

Recently the social brain has had explosive growth in connectivity. Internet, cell phones and automated communications (like Google crawlers) are making the big brain millions of times more intelligent than ever before in history. This has to have incredible outcomes that are hard for us little neurons to fathom.

Hang in there. The next few decades are likely to be the most exciting in history.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Male sexual cycles

There is little info published about male sexual cycles. They seem irregular and confusing. This entry is an attempt to sort some of them out.

Online research tells me that men have a cycle of high and low testosterone that runs about 30 days. Beards grow faster during certain parts of the cycle.
It is overlaid with another weaker testosterone cycle that runs about a week.
Testosterone level is also raised by sexual activity, winning competition, exposure to new women, food and other things.

Then there is the ejaculation cycle. Sexual energy, tension and fluids are all discharged at ejaculation. Then they build up again, rising like a sawtooth waveform that suddenly drops again at the next ejaculation. Normal frequencies for that cycle run about once per day during teens and twenties. As you age, the frequency gradually drops to 1 per week or two in your 50s.

Overlay all these cycles, add the events that modify the cycles, and you have a nearly unpredictable waveform. However, it is useful for a thoughtful guy to understand these patterns within himself.