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26 March 2009

Halting Problem, Tipene O'Regan, Wages

Topolanek ... sent off to hell?

Earth hour ... what the hell is the point of burning candles? 4.7 grams of candle wax = 75Whr electric Carbon


Ada Lovelace day (24th): Famous women computer types.
There was the woman at University ca 67 who was doing X-Ray crystallography using a 1401, trays of punched cards.
A counter example to the ideas that women are poor at spatial imagination and maths.
(cant recall her name sorry)

Then in 69, Margaret (surname?), who taught me COBOL. She was wryly amused when I took to sprawling on the floor with coloured pens, trying to make sense of the "Matching Records" program which some genius had crammed into 128K ... It had Altered GOTOs - already the previous year Edsger Dijkstra had declared "GOTO considered harmful"
... the sole Govt computer, a 360/40 ... how we used to gaze at its many flickering lights, trying to decide the Halting Problem ... a practiced eye could detect repetitive patterns in the lights, indicating a Loop.

The IBM chain printer was a screaming monster, more advanced than other parts of the computer.. we would print huge reports on expensive fanfold paper, 3 inches thick, which would go to various Govt departments, where I believe they would look only at the last page summary.
I produced the first computer graph in the New Zealand Government, asterisks showing that single vehicle accidents peaked at 1:30 Sunday morning.

Mark-Sense cards - are those used anymore?

Papertape - we would take the pile of tape from the read bin and throw it down the stairwell, to make reeling it in easier. Sometimes a wag from the Navy, several floors down, would reach out and break the tape. They were safe behind guardposts.

Memory. Hard to believe but memory was hand-woven by Mexican girls. - 3 wires through each ferrite torus.

Crisis because wages are too high in the West

Packets made globalization possible
Packets in the form of 40 foot containers, which made export machines and materials, import of finished product cheap
- assuming ship/rail/truck costs remain low

Then numerically controlled machines became controlled by generic PC's
Then TCP/IP, cryptography, data packets made cross-world communication easy, so offshore subsidiaries could me managed.

Also easily done, Off-shore call centres, programming - which is database access and report generation, mostly.

Metropolitan centres like to employ a proportion of the hometown educated, so reports may still be done at home.

The next move is fab: smart, cheap numerically controlled machines making whole objects.
That, and rare oil, might bring the jobs home, after the workes have been softened up.
Still might need those Chinese girls to sew shirts...

Moreover, the capitalist economy will not automatically correct itself. It has no automatic self-regulatory device. [5] Quite the contrary, “an investment strike is a particularly formidable weapon, since it requires no planning or coordination to implement. Indeed, it will come into play ‘automatically’ if a government should come to power deemed unfriendly to business interests.” [6] As long as labor is a cost of production, investors will be highly motivated to drive wages as close to zero as possible through capital flight and capital strike. [7] [8]

Tipene O'Regan and my Grandfathers Cane
My Mothers father was the head of the PSA, the civil service union. He had a cane with a rather fine greenstone (Pounamu, Jade) handle.
Stephen O'Regan, as he was then known, was a frequent visitor to our house in Thorndon.
Friday nights, damp gaberdine coats, Bluff oysters from a sack, fried in oatmeal...
Anyway it turned out that Stephen was a Maori - the subject had never come up. Sometime in the 70s changed his name to Tipene.
Somehow he got possession of Grandad's cane - possibly borrowed in order to repair it? And then he decided that as my grandfather was white, he couldnt rightfully posses greenstone. The cane was never returned.

Tipene went on to lead Nga-i Tahu, who in the 90s negotiated treaty claims and got large chunks of the South Island and major fishing rights. Tipene got a knighthood. Maybe he is now called Sir Tipene.

I understand pre-contact Maori didnt have permanent settlements on the West Coast, Pounamu country. It is said they traveled there with groups of slaves who were victuals for the voyage. That was then.
Nowadays it is said that 'Sealord', the Nga-i Tahu fishing corporation, is laying off workers for reasons of profit, rather than necessity. Whatever that means.
One would hope for a new kind of corporation, one that wouldnt pollute nor exploit. God knows Maori are banged up in prison at world-leading rates. Something about refusal to accept quietly positions at the bottom of the heap to which the dominant cuLture assigns them.

Erratum: rnz Media Watch erred [!] Sealord is not part owned by Ngāi Tahu it is part owned by Aotearoa Fisheries Limited
which is supposed to benefit all Maori. I look forward eagerly to a new form of Capitalism which is supposed to benefit the people.
I read that Sealord has laid off shore workers, intends to process fish onboard a new boat. May well be more efficient. Perhaps this efficiency benefits "all iwi", hard lines to the redundant workers. Capitalism and concern, can they co-exist?
[Cooperatives may be more realistic than grand promises to benefit "all iwi"]


25 March 2009


Minivan vs Nano
In 1970 I had a minivan, rather similar to the Nano
627kg 24kw 848cc
This could hold 5 hippies, although it boiled on the Mangamuka hill.
Brought Wilderlands honey to Auckland, almost a convivial vehicle
barely adequte for sleeping and fucking
I confess I souped it up with free-flow manifold, twin SU carbs (which one tuned by listening to the hiss, equalising...)

The age recycles ideas ... 2009 recycles 1970
In those days paper wasnt economic to recyle, much as now, since the Chinese have beseeched us to cease shipping our paper.
I recall one eco-freak suggesting that Auck should recycle anyway, bury all its paper in one spot. Someday it would find a use. Still good advice.
The return, recycling, of all those eco ideas from 1970, makes me weary.
If they didnt learn then, when plenty prevailed, what chance now?
lacking vigour, possesing a breadth of vision, I expect the coming of cataclysm

Tata nano, Xquic, Paleo art

Tata nano 25kW 600kg
623 cc rear engine and rear wheel drive, and has a fuel economy of 4.55 L/100 km US$2300? falling as DEpression cuts material costs? Will it sell?

This is an approach to a rational vehicle. Still somewhat heavy. The worst feature is its top speed: 106kph ... this is inhumanely fast, and will still leave society anti-convivial
strong torque, meaning high acceleration, which will leave city streets suicidally dangerous.
So 25kW is too powerful for a human society.
I dont know why Fordism/GM settled for 1.5-2 Tons and 100-200kW and 120kph. 1960s... the images were often of larger...
Somehow the level of deaths at around 200/Million was deemed OK. You can build a car to go 170kph but that seems to be just above some "Natural" level of controllability, cost,consumption and casualties.
Thats "Natural" in quotes - actually a level determined by massive commercials, indeed an entire culture predicated on the car.
Recently we have seen wider roads, crush zones, seat belts, better brakes, air bags, and ABS, ETC etc which have brought the death rate below 100, which is now lower than other forms of suicide.
The last gasp of GM was to attempt to up the "Natural" limit to 3 Tons. This seems to have killed the company, and indeed possibly the entire Auto-Industrialised civilization.
So maybe we have found a gross upper limit to the "Natural".
I know that when I suggest 30kph to typical Western "drivers" they immediately scoff, a sort of rapid cough, a mixture of indignation and perhaps embarrassment. The attraction to 100kph is deep in the "drivers" psyche. Didnt "driver" start out as Yul Brynner driving slaves?

I suggest that something like an electric golf cart is more like the "Natural" size. These are commonly used by rich people to get around their estates, old people to get around gated retirement villages, and indeed by golfers to get around their toxic "fairways" of chemical induced faux Nature.


Car ads still commonly feature a solo car in a Natural landscape. Sometimes it is a SUV actually driving down a stream-bed.
New Zealand has an odd population distribution. Mostly urban, scarcely a village to be seen, but exports are largely farm products, (after tourism, that is pre-2009 depression)
so 4wds, pickups and sheep-drenching chemicals are seen in TV ads.
Sneaking SUVs onto the eyeballs of urbanites may however have seen its last days.

NZ needs smart systems to get containers on and off trucks. Minimise truck use. Its well established that damage to road surface varies with the fourth power of axle weight. So essentially trucks do ALL the destruction of road surfaces.
One problem with container crane enthusiasm is that NZ way over-invested in wharf-side container cranes, so many ports have huge cranes idle. Need to model the rail-road interchange well.

This is the story of a maiden, the daughter of a lord named Cuchumaquic.
A maiden, then, daughter of a lord heard this story. The name of the father was Cuchumaquic and that of the maiden was Xquic. When she heard the story of the fruit of the tree which her father told, she was amazed to hear it.
"Why can I not go to see this tree which they tell about?" the girl exclaimed. "Surely the fruit of which I hear tell must be very good." Finally she went alone and arrived at the foot of the tree which was planted in Pucbal-Chah.
"Ah! " she exclaimed. "What fruit is this which this tree bears? Is it not wonderful to see how it is covered with fruit? Must I die, shall I be lost, if I pick one of this fruit?" said the maiden.
Then the skull which was among the branches of the tree spoke up and said: "What is it you wish? Those round objects which cover the branches of the trees are nothing but skulls." So spoke the head of Hun-Hunahpú turning to the maiden. "Do you, perchance, want them?" it added.
"Yes, I want them," the maiden answered.
"Very well," said the skull. "Stretch your right hand up
"Very well," said the maiden, and with her right hand reached toward the skull.
In that instant the skull let a few drops of spittle fall directly into the maiden's palm. She looked quickly and intently at the palm of her hand, but the spittle of the skull was not there.
"In my saliva and spittle I have given you my descendants," said the voice in the tree. "Now my head has nothing on it any more, it is nothing but a skull without flesh. So are the heads of the great princes, the flesh is all which gives them a handsome appearance


Paleo art

23 March 2009

Pachamama, Daya, hypermutation

In an address at the United Nations in September 2008, Evo, as he is popularly known, proposed “Ten Commandments” to save the planet, life and humanity:

Put an end to the capitalist system

Renounce wars (Evo says “I don’t believe there can be peace under capitalism”)

Create a world without imperialism or colonialism

Honor the right to water

Develop clean energies

Respect Nature (Pachamama)

Recognize basic services as human rights

Combat inequalities

Promote diversity of cultures and economies

Seek “Vivir bien” — living well (what is known in Ecuador as “sumak kawsay,” living fully), instead of living better at the expense of others

Evo pointed out that Bolivia’s recently drafted constitution “is to support a new pact with all humanity and Pachamama, from the heart of the Andes, from the South, for all the world.”

Upon assuming the presidency, Evo ordered the CIA desk in the presidential palace removed..

Somatic hypermutation
Immune response. one week after the infection...
[rainy Sunday education, I realised I had no idea how B Cells got more accurate by 'mutation' this may be interesting to a tiny few...]
Somatic hypermutation of immunoglobulin genes occurs in many vertebrates including sharks, frogs, camels, humans and mice.
...the proliferating B cells also undergo class-switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation in their Ig V region...
... in the Spleen germinal centres ...
peaks 10- 12 days... (thats a fair while to wait for a fever to rise and fall)
error prone DNA polymerase...

...non-random the RGYW motif is the preferred target of the hypermutation machinery
R =A or G Y =C or T W =A or T
... 2k bases down from the promoter...
. most of the accumulated mutations are point mutations that alter antibody CDRs
AID an RNA editing enzyme specific to germinal centre B Cells seems to be important
converts Cytosine to Uracil (not a DNA base)
.. hi-fi DNA polymerase reads U as T
.. or U removed by uracil glycolase, then the gap filled at random by
.. Lo-Fi DNA polymerase (Error Prone)
Then the best selected by Affinity - how well they adhere to the antigen ... Presumably Self-antibodies are eliminated...
else dangers like ...lupus erythematosus,, lymphoma?. may be a result of 'rogue' hypermutated B cells... the system aint infallible ..
aint nature grand? (not the Journal, which rarely allows rubes in)
I love the idea of randomness via sloppy DNA repair as a defence against the pathogenic world ...
., Neuberger and Scott, highlight another genetic mechanism called RNA editing ??? pay-walled at ScIence .. I bet theres some hanky panky with RNA as well, cells are frantic tinkerers with their RNA.
Immunology By Sulabha Pathak, Sulabha Pathak, Ph.D., Urmi Palan see google books ...

Natural Gas Glut
March 20, 2009 ... the first globalized natural gas glut in history..
.. gas from Qatar, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria that otherwise would be going to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Spain are beginning to arriveUSA...
gas 1/5 electric utilities ..... fertilizers, plastics...
The global capacity for LNG exports of 200 MT/yr will increase by 25%...
six new plants in Qatar, Russia, Indonesia and Yemen, $48 B.. upgrading of a seventh plant in Malaysia...
NG in USA $4 per thousand cubic feet, down from a peak of more than $13 last year

2006..Russian Gas
... Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, announced that it would develop on its own ..the fabulous Shtokman deposit,..3.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 31 million tonnes of gas condensate in the Barents Sea, 360 kilometers off the coast, at a depth of 320 meters.
(thats easier than 6 miles down as off Cuba)
..it would send most of the gas ..to Europe, rather than to the United States.
Shtokman was initially expected to yield 30 bcm annually, of which 22-24bcm would be converted into 15 million tons of LNG [1 bcm = 0.63MT]
..the field will be able to produce 70-90bcm, > Norway.

... mostly through the North European Gas Pipeline that is being constructed under the Baltic Sea with German collaboration, rather than shipped as liquefied gas to the US ..
55bcm/yr to Germany ..by Russia at present, .... Shtokman could be 25-45bcm/yr
..reserves .. for 50-70 years. This creates an absolutely stable and sustainable situation in the economy and on the European energy market..
Shtokman gas would have diversified US suppliers, now mostly in the Middle East, Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago...would have been highly profitable business for US oil majors.
..Washington has been hopping mad about Russia's accelerating energy integration with France and Germany.
In 2005, EU consumed 470bcm of natural gas,... by 2010,.. 610-640bcm.
M K Bhadrakumar ..wrote this article for Asia Times.. 10, 2006..

Lotsa Gas

Rough figures: world reserves = 180E12 M³ production... 3E12M³ 2007 ... 60 years at this rate
- reserves grew a lot since 1964, but not hugely recently? consumption is set to increase a lot??
But moving the gas around requires pipes or expensive compress-ship-decompress facilities.
In a hot climate I guess evaporating LNG could give cold water, which could be used for 'district cooling' ... dont thing thats ever been economic.

If the economy still exists then LNG/pipelines look likely to heat us for way past peak oil.
Thats 100+ billion Tons of carbon.
During the recent ice ages around 200 bT has flipped from oceans to air and back. Auto-Industrial man has pushed another 200bT into the air.
So were betting that Medea-Gaia can handle another 100 bT from drilled methane, burned to CO2 of course.

Another 'Climate' 50 year event
The long stretch of minimal solar activity in 2008 and early 2009 prompted some questions about whether the Sun’s quiescence was beginning to rival that of the Maunder Minimum in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Of the 2008 minimum, solar physicist David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center says, “It’s definitely been an exceptional minimum, but only compared to the past 50 years.” Citing human observations of the Sun extending back four centuries, he continues, “If we go back 100 years, we see that the 1913 minimum was at least as long and as deep as this one.”
maybe the lack of warming is down to cool sun?
but no, eoearth pretty well demolishes that theory

I read a Singer book "Unstoppable globl warming" (Singer is a senior demialist)
Sadly, or Laughably, the apotheosis of his argument, [that cool sun = more cosmic rays = more low clouds = higher albedo = cooler earth] is completely self-trashed.
On page 194 he says cosmic rays increased (sic) by 1.2% 1975-89. [a previous reader of this library book had inked in a ? - understandable vandalism]
This is either a mis-print (of the central argument of the book) or contradicts his central argument.
pity, because it appears 6000 oil paintings had a lot of clouds during the little ice-age....

Daya in Egypt ...'traditional midwives' were associated with fgm?? regarded as anti-contraception??
How much credit do they get for Egypt halving its MMR in the 90s??
Daya (TBA) Delivery has dropped from 58% in 1986 to 34% in 1998...DAYA DELIVERY In 1912 Egypt’s first daya school was opened; by the 1930s, health centers had daya schools attached. However, in 1954 the government issued a decree to gradually abolish these schools, and by 1962 all had been closed...n 1969, the Egyptian MOH revoked the license of dayas. Despite these legal restrictions, dayas... t that time attended over 90% of deliveries in Egy ...Since the early 1980s, however, activities aimed at training daya’s, rather than excluding them, have been undertaken, including programs under the auspices of UNICEF and the Child Spacing Program of the Egypt MOH
...early detection and referral of women with obstetric complications. They ave each been handed a bag with instruments and tools that will ai Despite uch training, dayas clearly have a diminishing role today. In 2000, they did only 36 % of deliveries.

created around 300 BC and show scenes from the core Mayan mythology, the Popol Vuh.
...El Mirador, the biggest ancient Mayan city ...
On one panel, the twins are depicted surrounded by cosmic monsters and above them is a bird deity with outstretched wings. On the other, there is a Mayan corn god framed by an undulating serpent, said Hansen who worked as a consultant for Mel Gibson's 2006 movie about the Maya, "Apocalypto." (is that a recommendation?)