(remember miscellaneous cut-pastes on User:Panic2k4/Sandbox/DumpingGround)
What matters about matter
In an universe of space-time
Visual Programming Paradigm
(http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/41550) OpenBlocks : an extendable framework for graphical block programming systems Graphical programming systems have been built to lower the threshold to programming for beginners. However, because these systems were designed to make programming more accessible to novices, they were developed with narrower intentions for their users and applications. For example, in StarLogo TNG, a graphical block programming environment, users may create games and simulations, but they cannot use this same system to create programs that can automate their computer processes, like the text-based scripting system AppleScript. Application developers can create their own programming systems, but doing so can take a significant amount of time to design and implement. This thesis describes an extendable framework called OpenBlocks that enables application developers to build and iterate their own graphical block programming systems by specifying a single XML file. Application developers can focus more on the design of their systems instead of all the details of implementation. The design and implementation of OpenBlocks are described, along with a user study conducted to test its usability and extendability.
(http://scratch.mit.edu/) Scratch is a highly engaging programming system that allows young students to create animated stories, games, interactive art, and simulations. Students use a drag and drop interface of "code blocks" to create sound, movement and actions to objects called "sprites."
(http://www.chirp.scratchr.org/blog/?p=24) Elements - a Scratch-like Smalltalk
(http://byob.berkeley.edu/) Build Your Own Blocks is an advanced offshoot of Scratch, a visual programming language primarily for kids from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. This version, developed by Jens Mönig with design input and documentation from Brian Harvey, is an attempt to extend the brilliant accessibility of Scratch to somewhat older users—in particular, non-CS-major computer science students—without becoming inaccessible to its original audience. BYOB 3, which adds first class lists and procedures to BYOB's original contribution of custom blocks and recursion.
(http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Etoys) Squeak Etoys was inspired by LOGO, PARC-Smalltalk, Hypercard, and starLOGO (see discussion). It is a media-rich authoring environment with a simple, powerful scripted object model for many kinds of objects created by end-users that runs on many platforms, and it is free and open source. It includes 2D and 3D graphics, images, text, particles, presentations, web-pages, videos, sound and MIDI, etc. It includes the ability to share desktops with other Etoy users in real-time, so many forms of immersive mentoring and play can be done over the Internet. It is multilingual, runs on more than 20 platforms bit-identically, and has been successfully used in the USA, Europe, South America (Brazil, Colombia, Argentina), Asia (Japan, Korea, India, Nepal), and elsewhere.
(http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Turtle_Art) Turtle Art is an activity with a Logo-inspired graphical "turtle" that draws colorful art based on Scratch-like snap-together visual programming elements. It is intended to be a stepping stone to Logo, but there are many restrictions compared to Logo. (Only numeric global variables and stack items are available, no lists or other data-structures. The conditionals and some of the functions only take constants or variables, not expressions. Limited screen real-estate makes building large programs unfeasible.) However, you can export your Turtle Art creations to Berkeley Logo. Turtle Art also has a (limited) facility for sensor input, so, for example, you can move the Turtle based upon sound volume or pitch.
(http://www.lively-kernel.org/projects/index.html) Lively is a new approach to web programming available as open source under the MIT license. Originally developed at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, it provides a complete platform for web applications, including dynamic graphics, network access, and development tools. Students, academics, and adventurous developers are encouraged to join the community.
(http://openquark.org/Open_Quark/Welcome.html) (http://resources.businessobjects.com/labs/cal/gemcutter-techpaper.pdf) $Commercial$ (Where's the CAL compiler? http://forums.sdn.sap.com/thread.jspa?threadID=909612) Open Quark (CAL language) available under BSD-style license. The Gem Cutter is a graphical language IDE for the convenient creation and testing of functions in the Strongly-typed Lazy Functional Language CAL
(http://www.drdobbs.com/blog/archives/2010/07/the_visual_prog.html;jsessionid=YM10KVWOVE41HQE1GHOSKH4ATMY32JVN) The 'Visual Programming' Silver Bullet
(http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/184409677;jsessionid=HLKFYDLFN00X1QE1GHOSKH4ATMY32JVN?pgno=27) Visual Programming in 3-D
(http://historical.ncstrl.org/tr/fulltext/tr/uiuc_cs/UIUCDCS-R-93-1838.txt) PROGRAMMING IN THREE DIMENSIONS BY MARC-ALEXANDER NAJORK
(http://www.cs.binghamton.edu/~reckert/3daape_paper.htm) Three-dimensional Computation Visualization for Computer Graphics Rendering Algorithms - David A. Goldman, Richard R. Eckert, Maxine S. Cohen at State University of New York at Binghamton
(http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/kodu/) Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input. (http://www.oscon.com/oscon2010/public/schedule/speaker/84626/?cmp=il-radar-conf-oscon10-emerging) Matt MacLaurin UX Director, Microsoft FUSE Labs
The Path of Human Civilization
The remarkable success of humanity as a species is not simply the result of a big brain, opposable thumbs, year-round sex, innovation or even language; it is also the result of social and cultural associations that act as a "network" for storing knowledge and good will--what we call technical and social capital.
– Charles Hugh Smith in Why I Am Hopeful (December 24, 2011).
Introduction to fossil records
Wide wild world
Few, far and wide
Aggression, the seed for war
Us versus wild
Community and collaboration
At this stage of human evolution, most of the human collectives were probably centered around family groups, hose size was intrinsically dependent on the size of the resources available and the effort required to gather them. This setup was both a biologic and "economic" imperative. Like many other social animals today territories were defended and prime resources fought over. The need to satisfy basic imperatives forced natures logic of the survival of the fittest, at best meetings between distinct groups would entail a large risk for conflict especially if level of competition was high due to demographic explosion (more resources, more people until equilibrium is reached) or natural events that impacted resources (drought) or health (virus).
The complexity of extending a these type of core collective into a small tribe required an huge leap in culture, an increase in the capacity of planning, of valuing knowledge and work and ultimately the ability of to communicate, that had so far been probably reduced to the basic needs. The coming together of these changes was a game changing in human history collaboration was now possible to overcome problems larger than those presented by daily life.
Work as value
Property and inheritance
It is hard to determine what came first wood tools or stone. It is however safe to assume that they must have been changes that happened very close, that is the realization about objects as tools, we are speaking of simple objects like using a bone, a branch or how to trow a stone, there is no real complexity that is added by the different material besides the possible applications. In that humans started to make a clear utilitarian distinction between objects in regards to their intrinsic qualities.
Have boat, will travel
Yeast (or how fermentation shaped human civilization)
Metallurgy and coal
Fire, Smoke and mirrors
Wide World Web
Prophets, demagogues, beliefs and figure heads
Perception is everything. One can not build an opinion about something that one does not know, that of course does not prevent one from having a view about something that its known but not understood. Most of us have a very limited knowledge base, and even more limited is the knowledge base that is created in first person, so the validity of much of what we think we know and take for granted, our intellectual scaffolding is indeed very flimsy and intrinsically dependent of the quality of the source.
When we considerer public visibility, we can see practical examples of how as a social mass often creates wrong perceptions, even makes assumptions about some of its members that are perceived as being granted deference or special attention. In fact most of the time the reason why the person is given difference and attention may not even be connected to the established public perception. Take for instance the scientist Steven Hawkins in the general public his importance to physics is extremely exacerbated when we compare it with the view of Steven Hawkins amongst its peers physicist.
There is also a tendency for generalization, that someone that excels in a field is automatically imbued with a general field of superiority and even his behavior should be exemplar. Most of the time things could not be more removed from reality, even if some of the individuals that are propped up into such leading roles will try to do their best to maintain those perceptions. We all ultimately seek to be special, to have influence, to be relevant.
"The greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive and unrealistic"
– John F. Kennedy
The biological evolution of man
Man's biology is constantly evolving, recent studies have shown that high altitude native population in the Himalayans have unique genetically differences that increase red blood cells (oxygen transporters) numbers well above the normal response to the environment.
Even if humanity has to some degree created a safer environment and provides, through society, protection to genetic alterations that would not survive in outside of a human controlled environment. In general natural selection is still a consistent factor pressing our evolution.
Until very recently the Neanderthals were seen and portrayed as brutish and more animalistic version of our species, a dead end lower branch on our genealogical tree. A derivation emerged from the requirements of facing the effects of the Ice age over Europe. This imagine has suffered a drastic shift with the discovery that this branch is not as extinguished as we thought and that their mental capabilities were not as far from ours as we believed.
The environment that shaped Neanderthals was extremely harsh. Food scarcity, extreme cold forced individuals of a hunter-gatherer culture to become hardener, bigger and stronger with a general lifespan of 30 years. The Neanderthal was a short, wide and very muscular too user. Silex blades and wood spears permitted them to be confront larger pray, even fellow apex predators, like bears, requiring them not only to be strong, capable of bench pressing 136 to 182 kilograms, but also very brave. They had fire, symbolism and art and some form of basic communication the language gene (FOXP2) is indeed present. Recent finds and detailed study indicate that Neanderthals were acute innovators, stone shaping technology seems to be even superior to those of homo-sapiens and Neanderthals may even be the first species to use an industrial process to produce a pitch (synthetic glue).
Statistical comparison of Neanderthal DNA with specific ethnic modern human DNA has provided an indication that interbreeding has occurred. European and Asian DNA shows a greater similitude with the Neanderthal DNA than African DNA.
Defining State Governance
Since Government does not have competitors for you as a customer, you are forced to use, and required by law, to fund it.
Government is a intrinsic part of the state. One cannot exist without the other.
Government is only a requirement because states have to compete with other states. In this reality a state that employs more than half its population becomes a failed state.
The state is the taxpayer money in action.
Government manages public money, it should aim to be cost effective and not aim to generate profit in any of its activities. If an activity is lucrative it should be privatized and taxed.
In a government system that permits private enterprises to fund and lobby its policy makers, several functions of the state should never be privatized, especially the banking, military and prison systems. This is a perfect formula to get a totalitarian government.
Sometimes Government interference into markets is a requirement to implement the will of the people. For instance in the matters of slavery, child labor, false and misleading advertising, dangerous products (including drugs), nuclear bombs, stolen property, pornography (including child pornography), buying votes, emergency services, military, gambling, prostitution, extortion, blackmail, land rights and immigration.
The top most function of a government is to define, prioritize and address problems in regards to national interests. Rarely does a government truly works in this primary function, it normally dedicates exclusive attention to minimization of systemic and chronic problems and in serving their own interests, that consist in guaranteeing reelection, if not in the next turn, the one after.
A government only fails to be reelected under two circumstances, being more incompetent that expected or being forced to take drastic measures due to successive governance avoidance to deal with known issues. It is even, well funny, that when a nation faces war even if the governances is bad it has a high chance of reelection, especially if it can promote an image of strength (even if false).
State control versus private ownership
The principal problem with state control is government corruption.
The principal problem of private ownership is resource waste.
The principal problem of privatization is its focus being on increasing revenue.
w:Mount Athos. The self-governed region of the Holy Mountain. The Holy Mountain is governed by the "Holy Community" which consists of the representatives of the 20 Holy Monasteries, having as executive committee the four-membered "Holy Administration".
Toward a World Government
http://www.futurict.eu/ understand and manage complex, global, socially interactive systems, with a focus on sustainability and resilience.
"I think the next (21st) century will be the century of complexity." Stephen Hawking "The crisis should motivate economists to think further about their modelling of human behaviour." Ben Bernanke "An economist who is only an economist cannot be a good economist." Friedrich Hayek, Nobel Prize 1974 "I urge students to read narrowly within economics, but widely in science." Vernon Smith, Nobel Prize winner 2002
Who runs the world ?
History of slavery
Slavery had long been practiced in Europe and the MidleEast before the exploration of the African continent and the discovery of the new world and the European exploitation of African people. Slavery, much it seems to the surprise of many in the US, is not restricted or dependent on racial traits.
If the intention is to be selective refer to it as African Slave Trade, and keep in mind that even before Europeans made a stride in Africa, slavery was already prevalent there, human labor was and will be always a resource and a trade commodity.
Cast systems and generational slaves
To ensure that a slave and his/hers children will be slaves.
Breed the perfect slave
No one can be a proper citizen while at the mercy of the current economic system.
Preference for married workers.
Corporatization of slavery
Corporate ownership of people.
US Student Loans Exceed $1 Trillion - Bankruptcy will not expunge debt. (Government will have to assure payment ?!?)
"You don't need a formal conspiracy when interests converge."—George Carlin
The Space Race
Should we trust Government
"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Government is the topmost institution of any nation and a fundamental part of the state, that is to say, a state is not defined only by its government and a nation is not indistinct from the its state.
The thing about any institution that one needs to always keep in mind is that their biggest and most important asset, is trust. The trust that people place on institutions is what enables them to function and is what prevents them from being substituted. A government, like any other institution, is also dependent on this rule.
Trust is a characteristic of social relations there may be trust between people (or animals) but trust can not mean the same when used in context of a relation with a entity that does not share a sense of self, since the implications and requirements would not be the same. Thrust is a two way relationship, you may respect an institution but you should not trust it.
If we look around the world we can safely state that all citizens are in a submissive situation in regards to their government, whatever type of government they have. This simple fact arises for the imparity in the relation, a citizen is a person while the government is not only several persons, but a collective formed around the purpose of guaranteeing the implementation of policies and laws, most of the governmental structures tend to form a hierarchy.
Most forms of governments is, in non-dictatorial regimes, is done by what is normally defined as public servants. This definition covers all functionaries of the state that are not directly dependent or elections for their functions and remain after shifts in the policy establishing organs. What is also known is that most positions of leadership regarding these public functionaries tends to be with increasingly frequency appointed by those in power, making it clear that today most public servants are not really oriented to serve the public's interest but to satisfy their hierarchic superiors. This is the other side of the reality is that one primary function of governments has clearly become that of looking after itself before looking after its citizens.
"What luck for rulers that men do not think."
– Adolf Hitler, German Nazi dictator, orator, & politician (1889 - 1945)
Due to our level of interconnection of knowledge, news and economic resources any significant event that seems random or unpredictable is no longer incidental but circumstantial and so predictable to a certain degree, if not outrightly planed to occur by some players on the power networks.
There are certain rights that all humans possess simply by being human...
There are certain rights that only a society can grant to its citizens and vice versa. These rights go beyond the inalienable rights, and are granted and recognized collectively as an obligation so that the society can function, these are especially important in relations between distinct societies.
Moving the goal posts
One of the powers a government has is the capability to produce and alter legislation, and establish policies.
As an examples, one of the claimed reasons that the USA and some other Western nations (not all), have difficulties dealing with most of the middle-east nations is the lack of democracy and the track record of respect for human rights. It then becomes paradoxical that they supported and still support much of those nations when it is on their economical interests. Even when there is a general election Palestine, they failed to support the recently elected government. So what is the standard ? We will how well that goes in Tunisia...
This type of hypocrisy gets even more blatant if we compare responses to situations like Libya or Syria and then compare it to Yemen, there the government is still supported by the same powers while killing unarmed protesters.
In fact the only guide we are left are not the arguments against Islamism, lack of democratic representation or failure to protect human rights, but simply that those that do not advance those powers interest in the region will be enemies and will offer temporary protection to collaborators. This is a fact when we look at Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden this is made even more clear on how the situation in Egypt developed in regards to the passing of power from Hosni Mubarak to the Military junta. Again we will still see how it goes...
One of the major problems with most governmental bodies is that the representatives that get elected by popular vote are increasingly being selected not by their personal qualifications, past work or experience but by how good they can address and motivate the public, looks and apparency today have a higher degree of importance in governmental election than brains.
This of course does not need to be grave problem depending on how one's government is structured especially the final steps of the policy decision process, if a government permits, informs and lessens to the public opinion it could even be more representative, technology is probably moving to enable such types of governments. On the other side if the government leadership is seen as something as a figure head, a father/mother figure and the public treated like children, the lack of ability of those elected to exercise rational thinking and understand the complex world we life today will further move us into bad policies and instability, this can even be aggravated if they become exclusively dependent in non-elected bureaucrats for directions. Bureaucrats tend to be appointed and rarely because of qualifications but by the ability to fallow party lines, they also create a level of protection to the government leadership, since if the situation permits they will serve as a scapegoat to diffuse the situation.
Secrecy is a state cancer
Secrecy in the working of a state may be a necessity, but mostly only in matters of national security, because of global competition between nations. Like any decease or pathogen that attempts to compromise a system, secrecy may be kept in check by the existing checks if a government is healthy, but as soon as the working of the system starts to rely on secrecy for its survival the system can be determined to have entered into critical failure.
A Government the relies too much in secrecy can think it can get away with murder, literally...
George W. Bush (and administration) lied to Congress and the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq. On July 15 The House forwarded the resolution to the Judiciary Committee with a 238 to 180 vote. That "Bush" lied about weapons of mass destruction and Iraq’s threat to the US is now beyond doubt. Former US federal prosecutor Elizabeth De La Vega documents the lies most thoroughly in her book U.S. Vs Bush, and numerous other researchers have verified Bush’s untrue statements.
A secret Justice Department memorandum from 2010, Obama administration, provided the justification for the operation involving the CIA, and military assets under CIA control for the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen in Yemen, despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war. The Washington Post 2011/09/30
9/11 Unanswered Questions of 9/11: 911 Prewarnings, Building 7 Collapse, Flight 77 and the Pentagon, Israeli Involvement, United Airlines Put-options, War games, Atta and the $100,000, 9/11 Terrorists Still Alive
The US government controversial type of secret court order to force Google Inc. and small Internet provider Sonic.net Inc. under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, in place since 1986 that requires only that the government demonstrate reasonable grounds to request relevant records and material for an investigation. Secret Orders Target Email
The US government is showing interest in the concept advanced by the science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov more than 60 years ago, in his “Foundation” series, the new science labeled psychohistory combining history, mathematics and psychology as to predict (and manage) the future. Government Aims to Build a ‘Data Eye in the Sky’
The true structure of power
"What do all men with power want? More power." - The Oracle (from The Matrix)
Battling over intellectual property
Intellectual property has increasingly been raised in importance as a national and economical interest to be defended. Sadly the same does not seem to apply to the public domain and the access and liberties of the citizens over that type of material. Most non profit oriented public interests and especially creative works under the public domain, rarely get any state defense, something that is the obligation of the government.
trademark, copyright, and patents.
Today the patent system, especially when applied to software is a house of cards supported by the convenience of the major patent fillers. Note that a patent filler is not the same as an innovator or creator. This equates to a monopolistic tendency toward the creative market (to profit by generating new ideas), where all those patent fillers attempt to extend their patent portfolios and cross-license them in ways that protects their mutual interest and at the same time excludes any other player to enter in concurrence. It has come to a point that those involved have an hard time in initiating litigations because no one knows anymore what patents may be violated or survive in court, and so the arms race continues to extend the arsenal.
A system that was created to foster and protect innovators and at the same time document for the public their intellectual property creations has been subverted into something that prevents the participation of newcomers and ultimately permits price fixing.
One thing is generally agreed most "easy" inventions have already taken place, we have long ago passed from simple solutions to compounded or merged creations often appearing in the cusp on the discovery of new technologies that do in fact depend heavily in previous works. But relying in the existence of prior art discovery, that not only depends on the existing failing system of patent attribution and skewed legal system. It is difficult and becoming increasingly hard for any new innovator to use prior art to defend their freedom to create. An assessment from USA in 2012 estimates that the costs of hiring a patent consultant able to find the previous art and the attorneys willing to devote months if not years to the legal battle would cost between at its lowest assessment between $500,000 to $1,000,000. This cost and the time it takes puts initiating such attempt outside of what is sustainable even to any small business, and creation becomes therefore a quick path for bankruptcy.
Innovation does not happen in a vacuum.
"The public's interest is ultimately dominant over all other interests." - George Lucas in 1998 speech before Congress.
"People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians,..." - George Lucas in 1998 speech before Congress.
"Attention should be paid to the interest of those who are yet unborn, who should be able to see this generation as it saw itself, and the past generation as it saw itself." - George Lucas in 1998 speech before Congress.
Recent moves by the the US culminating in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, recently passed by an almost unprecedented super-majority, demonstrates that US legislators and political appointees are shifting away from protecting the rights from inventors towards the right of property of filers. This distinction is important because not all inventors can afford to fill a patent and so it favors larger firms with well-established internal patenting procedures. This erodes the capacity to invent of the common citizen.
OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) representing 34 states. OECD work on patent statistics
The only true benefit of patents is that they document the specifics of innovations, and that aspect does not actually require any grant of exclusivity.
- encourage innovation
It is a very strange belief that a bureaucracy will enforce the exclusive profit of singular entities within a society of billions of creative individuals.
- protect innovators - Any new product or innovation will have an army of lawyers descend to destroy it. Leading to patent portfolios of a handful of the biggest corporations. What about innovations that are developed independently but simultaneously?
Examples of concurrent independent development abound. newyorker.com: Calculus - Newton and Leibniz. Evolution - Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace. Oxygen - Carl Wilhelm and Joseph Priestley. Colour photos - Charles Cros and Louis du Hauron. Logarithms - John Napier, Henry Briggs, Joost Burgi. Sunspots - Fabricius, Galileo, Harriott, Scheiner. Piston engine plane - the Wright brothers and Santos Dumont. And so and so on.
Cross licensing escalates the problem by permitting the aggregation of interests in blocks, and so patents will only "serve" and "protect" closely connected groups- Where conflicting groups will be left with not choice to seek patent equilibrium to keep peace.
On state sponsored crimes
There is a clear distinction to be made about the moral implications in regards to the effective control citizens over their governments. In a totalitarian regime the blame should fall only on those that were responsible or aware of the actions, but at least in a democracy all citizens should have their share of the blame, since it was their obligation to question and establish controls that would prevent the facts.
w:Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación w:Project MKULTRA w:Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior 'Hell on earth': Detailed satellite photos show death camps North Korea still deny even exist USA covert intervention in Chile
Religion as a problem
Failing to recognize the messenger
The UFO phenomena
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn't.
– Mark Twain
A UFO, meaning unidentified flying object, is just as it is labeled, any object that fails to get identified by an observer can properly be given this label.
The label of UFO also does not restrict the object to a factual flying object, it only requires the appearance of movement or even hovering capacity. The definition is of course very broad, for instance there are reports of UFOs exiting or entering water and even outside of Earth's atmosphere.
Unidentified objects are the default state of every observed phenomena. As we take notice of things around us we automatically utilize our knowledge base and experience to provide an identity, a function, an explanation and assessment, for what we observe. Really abnormal, or rare, phenomena stands outside of this methodology that our brain uses as a way to permit us to deal with the perceived reality we must function in. These types of phenomena will require verification of records, since rarity of the events will puts them outside of one or more lifetimes of the observer, preventing him to provide a valid identification or even to rely in others around him for it. New phenomenas on the other hand, will not be present on record, they will be truly new experiences, and so require the creation of valid documentation, as a way to share and validate what was observed and hopefully repetition, so science can provide an explanation to it. In this case providing only a untestable hypothesis will not suffice to declare the phenomena as identified, but can serve as a tentative response to inquiring minds and open the path for the application of the scientific method.
Other factors of providing valid identifications, is the effect of imagination and culture. These human capabilities will at times provide a framework to create a reasonable explanation to what is observed, at least one that satisfies the observer, but in fact may not reflect reality. This increases the problem on relying on others for a report of the observation as it increases error. This is especially true when dealing with unexplained and unexpected events, as this will be a point of collision, between the factual observer and someone that is only getting the report in second hand. The other side of the problem is that some observations of unexplained events can also be dismissed as explained even more so if the observer is unable to mentally deal with it or primed to label it in another way.
Do UFOs exist ?
Yes they do, always have and probably will always exists, there is no expectation that we will ever be able to explain all the phenomena that can happen in nature, even if we reduce the range to those that occur in the atmosphere that mimic flight, every new explained phenomena will undoubtedly open up the possibility for even more discoveries.
As man first looked into the vast skies all things seemed strange and fascinating, the moon and the starts could only be speculated about, even the other planets on our solar system have been first tentatively labeled as something else, even stars and over the ages a myriad of hypothesis where put forward to explain those direct observations.
The pertinence about UFOs todays is special in two fronts, first we can now fly and with flight we must be concerned with collisions and other atmospheric phenomena that can be dangerous to that activity. The second one is security, since the sky was until very recently the uppermost higher ground it permitted observation and even attacks on national interests, especially during the cold war, and with the development and testing of new spy and stealth technologies.
How far back in time do UFOs reports go?
The supernova SN 185 was observed in 185 CE, near the direction of Alpha Centauri, between the constellations Circinus and Centaurus, by Chinese astronomers, as reported in the Book of Later Han, and was visible for eight months.
Attempts to study the phenomena
Until something is understood no valid response can be conceived.
Still, no real scientific scrutiny ?
Most Governments engage in misinformation and deception programs around UFO sightings, and the hierarchy gives clear directives for military personal to suppress information, even to government authorities. There is somewhat of a opening in South America, France, Belgium and United Kingdom in regards to access to civilian authorities and military reports.
Ufology is an activity, a field of study, specifically of UFOs, not a science. In that pursuit of understanding UFOs many sciences are useful to Ufology, like Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, History, Mathematics or Psychology.
There is no such thing as a professional Ufologist...
The observation and questioning about the nature of UFOs has certainly been persistent across human history. Most object in the skies have had at one time or another caused awe and even fear. Fear and curiosity are probably the most powerful motivators to the advancement of mankind.
To conquer fear we needed to understand (or at least justify) the nature of what we observed and with that create a feeling of control and predictability, allowing us to function amidst the unknown.
All unknown phenomena at first started to be categorized as mystical and secret, and ultimately adopted as the cornerstone or religions across the word. Only with the advent of philosophy and then astronomy, was it possible to provide some understanding about the planets and the working of our solar system, and even to create notions about the self and the meaning of life, mathematics on the other hand helped to provide a fixed and understandable model to reality, not only augmenting certainty but even to extrapolate the unobservable.
Only in recent times and with the decline of religion in the West did the more technological advancements permit to formulate the question about life elsewhere, something that strangely older and less technological advanced cultures did take for granted. With improved telescopes it was possible to observe even stranger phenomena, the observation of the channels in mars was probably the topmost promoter in the west that life could exist beyond earth this soon fallowed by the discovery of the radio, lead to the now anecdotic notion that Martians were attempting to communicate with us and so the speculation became common and with it not only rich fields for science but for literature and even new religions.
What was earlier seen as supernatural phenomena, the field of religions and Gods was now open to the recently acquired freedom to reason and express divergent views and even publish them, leading to the rise of science.
Today it is not uncommon to speculate that some UFOs have extraterrestrial origin, not because of the nature of the phenomena but because we already much of what normally occurs, somethings that would before been simply explained as a signal of Gods, angels and daemons require not an explanation based on faith but in science.
Known causes for UFO reports
Akin to the objective of personal fame, but with the specific intent not of promoting one individual but a set of ideas and concepts in the context of UFOs and Aliens.
Other possible causes for UFO reports
Unexplainable UFO reports
- The 25-year-old Kentucky Air National Guard Thomas Mantell pilot crash and death in January 7, 1948. A local journal from Dayton, Ohaio, reported in April 27, in the article mentions parts of the report assembled at Wright-Patterson Air Force base. Including several quotes, one stating that the flying saucers "are not a joke".
- July 1952, UFOs over Washington D.C. With fighter pilots engaging in chases that lasted up to 6 hours. Objects were picked up by radar.
- 1976 September, Iran. Two F4 try to intercept an UFO and shoot it down. Weapons and communications are disabled. Event documented by the USA State Department.
- Mexico City 1992, world's largest metropolitan area.
The increasing problem of the Media ridiculing any reported observation, especially if linked to aliens or extraterrestrials, generates a powerful motivation for self censure and ultimately suffering, not only for the witnesses themselves, but to the advance of science and general understanding of phenomena.
Even if we disregard that it would be on the government interest, from security to national interest perspective to obscure or suppress any information leaking to the public. The problem is that this hard censorship, that to be fair has been decreasing in recent years with more and more nations at least appearing to be more proactive on the subject, admitting not interest (UK,USA) or extreme interest (Brazil, France) in the phenomena, the trend still forces a soft censorship on society in general. Most people discussing the subject have an hard time being taken seriously.
Most mass sightings, in regards to witnesses and objects seen, seemingly occur in waves.
- Roswell, New Mexico, USA, July 1947 - In July 8 and 9 most media outlets across the globe made the first and last announcement that the USA Government had captured a flying saucer.
Steve Schiff, Congressman, New Mexico (2004 PRG Political Courage Award): "I cannot say that the Roswell incident was a cover-up. But I can certainly say that the government back then, and today, acted as like it was a cover-up and has been subject to been accused of a cover-up."
Jimmy Carter; Ronald Reagan
Krawetz: Image analysis and forensics - http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/files/bh-usa-07-krawetz.pdf
Uncensored and reliable public video broadcasts
- NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-48, 12 September 1991, during Commander John O. Creighton camera filming of the planet's horizon, for a live broadcast of the images, many viewers could see a UFO. Since then NASA no longer allowed public access to live video broadcasting from shuttle missions.
UFOs and war
UFOs and nukes
- 1945 USA first atomic bomb test.
UFOs and religion
From the League of Nations to the United Nations
Guide to civil disobedience
Understanding body language
Dealing with suppression weapons
Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD)
The trade of lies
When a population is kept in general state of ignorance, their judgment can more easily be controlled or even discarded as irrelevant without any internal opposition.
Any information is only valid if it is based in facts and any views expressed can be sourced, useful information is one that is relevant to the consumer, and not artificially artificially made relevant, to be transparent it must presents multiple view points and enables the viewer to make it own mind about those reelvant subjects.
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer.
One thing that anyone will understand as a given fact is that any war will be preceded and accompanied by a propaganda campaign, it is also expectable and an almost inevitability, that this campaigns will be even more utilized and effective, toward nations hose political systems depend on popular support.
"...among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages."
– Samuel Johnson, The Idler, 11/11/1758
Propaganda by itself may not constitute a lie, but undoubtedly will only serve to promote the view or interests of the propagandist.
An example of propaganda is the use of mass media to spread misinformation. This is done by governments and interest groups to promote their views to the public. In this instance simple disinformation becomes propaganda because it is backed up and promoted by the institutional powers as reality.
Youtube Video of RT.com report on statements made by Hillary Clinton, that the US Losing Information War to Alternative Media, rt.com, is an Internet service published by the Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation (ANO) “TV-Novosti” (Russia).
Disinformation can serve to propagate lies, misdirect, confuse or weaken opposing views. Consider the damage one can create to the discussion of a topic if one can direct the opposition toward topics that are easily refuted or make the portraying the opposing side stupid by defending those issues.
"The daily press and the telegraph which in a moment spreads inventions over the whole world, fabricate more myths ... in a day than could have formerly been done in a century"
– Karl Marx, 1871
Disinformation is closely related to the motivation why people lie and what is defined as the truth, most of the time the truth is not a static objective notion, and this makes it easier to shift viewpoints about what the reality really is. As any illusionist knows the best way to hide something in plain sight is to distract the audience with something else.
There is an important distinction to keep in mind, lies came in a different shapes. From the simple omission of the truth (that often is not even recognized as a lie, as the intention to deceive can not be ascertained) to the direct contradiction of the truth. It can serve as protection, deterrent and even be half-truth or inexact truth (without getting deeply in what the truth is). What defines a lie as negative is that if it consist in suppressing information that others require to perform an informed decision, to be free to make their own choices.
In a perfect world there would not be any reason to lie and have secrets, but in a world that is imperfect and becoming increasingly transparent there are specific areas of information that do need protection. From personal information to information that simply could be used against you. One could say that there is no moral justification for a lie except as a way to diplomatically deny access to information that others have no reason to have. This same rational is not valid for secrets, since secrecy is the intentional suppression of information that others need, here the the moral balance is harder to ascertain and depends exclusively on the reason for secrecy being of self preservation. Secrets came from shame and fear, and often lead to escalation of distrust and greater entanglement. All dirty deeds prefer the darkness.
Today disinformation is all around us, directed by those that control the media channels in order to advance their goals and reduce visibility of subjects that they would prefers not being public knowledge. Well made disinformation dissemination will avoid being too obvious (unless that also serves a purpose). One easy way to detect disinformation is to find reputable source for the information, and corroborating reports. This of course in turn leads to perpetrator of the deception to intentional shift of the efforts of disinformation from the real data to the data sources, in an attempt to discredit them.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false"
– William Casey - CIA Director during the Reagan's administration.
Recent events in Libya in 2011 for instance when relating the ware-abouts of Kadhafi suns or even statements statements regarding the progress of the rebels that can serve as a clear example how the progress, strengths and feats was being amplified, at the same time wile governments negated that on TV international forces where on the ground helping the rebels.
"When a well packaged web of lies is sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous, and it's speaker a raving lunatic."
– James Dresden.
Another interesting case is the USA and UK media pressure and negativism regarding the euro currency. It is clearly unbalanced if you consider the origin and its interests and those countries national situations and the original sinners in this economic chaos. It would be expected that if someone should panicking it would be China since it has brought much of the euro debt and would suffer locally if the euro collapsed, to some degree China is strengthening its internal consumption, even creating internal imbalances. We could even argue that it would be in the national interests of the USA-UK coalition to have a fragile China and increase its dependency on them for exports. The paradox here is that the USA is also dependent on a strong Europe for trade (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c0003.html) and military support (NATO).
Censorship is not only focused in hiding information from the targeted public, but can also consist creating artificial difficulties in accessing it. It is basically a suppression of information technique, that is also part of a process of disinformation, with a secondary result that it not only negates access to some information but promotes the value of the remaining information, solely by the fact that it is more accessible.
Video News Releases
The easiest way of ensuring control over information is the creation of artificial choke points and dependencies.
Documentary on how the media lies to manipulate us by Brian Springer
The creation of the Internet has brought forth evidential prof of the efforts governments and commercial interests are willing to exert in the control of information. Control over access, movement and even creation of information in a distributed medium is something new and still evolving.
From simpler indexer, search engines have evolved beyond general information gatherers and portals into complex information channels, they now can monitor personal behaviors, location and interests, this shift for a personalized interaction arouse for the need to generate revenue, not by monetizing access but by the creation of indirect revenue streams. It started by simply permitting sites to get higher relevance to the addition of adds and now users have become also a commodity, where the data points they generate when interacting with the service is a valuable resource that others are willing to pay to have access.
With the rise of the social network...
The spin doctor
- Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, justified by a border conflict.
- USA attack on Vietnam, the actions used for justification.
- USA lead intervention on Kosovo (Kosovo War), justified by claims of the existence of atrocities.
- USA lead attack on Iraq, justified by a claim of existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Censorship is the suppression of information.
Fish deaths may precede quakes due to temperature shifts and general alteration on the quality of water induced by vibrations. Underground water table/tidal effects.
Why buildings collapse
Quakes and volcanoes
Volcano tectonic earthquake
Symbolism and rituals
Deconstructing the War on Drugs
Most government agencies that deal with security and crime have to provide evidences that they are effective as a justification to continue to exist, to validate their spendings and to obtain more funding. It becomes then a priority to guarantee results (especially directed to the metrics used in performance evaluation), maintain a sense of urgency and increase the importance to their field of action. This will most often lead to quantity, but not quality and also to the direct or indirect generation of a symbiotic interdependent relation between the agencies and the target of their action.
Who benefits from the status quo
The question runs very parallel to those that promotes the war on drug.
External policy impact
The problem with time travel
Towards the Heart's core
To some equations are like uncompromisable hieroglyphs, but at the core they are in fact non-abstractive works, that attempt to explain the universe we live in. There are in fact some equations that are more important than others, masterpieces that hold some of the foundations of our understanding of reality.
An equation is a mathematical statement that asserts the equality of two expressions, that is the right side of the equality must be the same as the left side of it. This not only requires that we understand and know the value of both sides but that these values must match.
There are many approaches to categorize the beauty of equations, the concept of beauty as always is on the eye of the beholder, in mathematical terms it is both of the beholder understanding or knowledge and the need to employ that same knowledge. So the mathematical beauty of equations can be a function of its usefulness, simplicity or even complexity, in this later cases much like a painting, we can marvel not only on what is represented but on the work done by its creator (in mathematical terms its discoverer).
E = MC^2
This is probably one of the most famous equations in the world. It brings to mind its discoverer, Einstein and the nuclear age. Its publishing in 1905 starter a scientific revolution.
Euler's Number Triangle
All about nothing
the word nothing defines emptiness
the inexistence of emptiness
what is vacuum
Considerations about euthanasia
Generalities of story telling
Recipes for jokes, gags and all things funny
The secret for invisibility
Environmental influences on the human body
the impact of natural birth to the baby immune system (the problem with cesareans)
teeth and mouth flora
the human toleration to non-human milk
the function of the appendix
Investment strategies before and after a calamity
Where there is ruin, there is hope for treasures.
– Rumi, the poet.
Five senses and counting...
On the concept of nation
Primer for Open Source licenses
Strategies for security
The nature of security
In the natural world
Lessons from biology
Security across history
Gears of History↑Jump back a section
The ET question
Mankind has the unique ability to ignore the obvious, specially when the facts reveal a disturbing truth. Statistically speaking, odds are there is intelligent life somewhere in the Universe. There is even evidence that life may at least have existed elsewhere in our own solar system. It is therefore an inevitability that at some point in the future we will have to face the implications of that reality.
Since chances are that will be here (or they may already be here) long before we find them on our terms, the questions that first arise are:
- Where are they coming from?
- What are they doing here?
- What can we do about it?
The origin of life
RNA to DNA
Alien vs Extraterrestrial
There is an intrinsic need in human society to explain all the phenomenons we live surrounded by, that explanation needs to be only as good as we need need it to be, as technology and cultures evolve so does the need for depth and logic on what we cannot readily explain.
Folk tales and legends have been in several occasions proven to describe not only real events but to offer plausible explanations for the events to those lived near the time they occurred, this tales, that have been passed from generation to generations have been an immense repository of knowledge before the written word and after in a time were alphabetization was very low, and the practice is still relevant to some cultures from all around the world.
Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)
Flaying sources and other alien crafts
For a government to retain their authority and comply to their obligations to the citizen and to the preservation of the state, any acknowledgment of a power, especially of a technological nature, that is superior to them and outside of their control is an anathema.
United States of America
The Brookings Institution report from December 14, 1960, funded by the USA Federal Government states "Earth's Civilization Might Topple if Faced by a Race of Superior Beings".
A federal law passed by congress in 1969 makes it illegal for any American to make contact with any extraterritorial, and defines the whoever willfully violates it should be fined by $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both (1211.108 Violation).
In the 1995 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manual, named "Fire Officer's Guide To Disaster Control" by William M. Kramer, Ph.D. and Charles W. Bahme. J.D, published in 1992, Chapter 13 is dedicated to teaching techniques to communicate with aliens and deal with a crashed extraterrestrial craft.
To be possible to verify the existence of extra terrestrial life, there must be something that can be repeatedly observed by scientific methods and in a scientific setting. We can not forget that scientist are ultimately humans, prone to error and other human fragilities, repetition of the experience and equality in the findings is what validates a scientific discovery. Even more that an acceptance by its pears, reporting the exact findings on a correctly performed scientific investigation is how ultimately human knowledge evolves, even in fields that do not rely primarily in the scientific method. Those who succeed in adding new findings to the human knowledge are diffidently immortalized.
United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOoOSA)
There is also the issue that hypnosis is used to recovered "lost" memories, the problem with using hypnosis in this tasks is that the operator (the hypnotist) can easily, even unwilling, direct the subject to create false memories or interpretation, under hypnosis memory is extremely fluid and missing details are often recreated by imagination, but nevertheless the sheer number of subjects with similar reports would still constitute a good indication of a repeated phenomenon. Purportedly abducteess, report that most abductions start in childhood and continue for many many years, even across generations.
Most people have had at least one experience of night-terrors, these are often presented as an explanation for the reports of the phenomenon or an entry point to the later recovering of "lost" memories, this can be a possible explanation to some cases, for instance per-technological societies labeled these cases incubus, sucubos and other types of mystical and fantastic creatures, it could be that today easy of access to information helps the subjects to report so cases, dialogs and settings that are extremely similar with each-other. But then we are faced with the case of reported medical anomalies and implants on these same subjects.
Criminality in the 21st Century
The decline of physical cash
Robing a slaughter house for the meat will have a greater return and a lesser risk that to steal a motorcycle.
The rise of digital goods
Digital scrap yards
Remember the time that scrap yards were used by criminals, especially organized crime, not only to dispose of incrimination material but to reuse vehicle's licenses. In the digital age the created digital scrap yard is not only a literal gold mine (since there are indeed gold on those hill) but there is also a huge amount of sensitive and valuable data.
The value is not only found in the rare minerals that are necessary in create the digital tools but there is a myriad of after-market "business" opportunities. From shady recycling are reselling of discarded but still "functional" trash to the booming illegal (but often non opposed) export of trash that local regulations would deem as environmental hazardous to more "understanding" locations.
Data for ransom and blackmail
IT infrastructure as a extortion hostage
It is all monetized now...
Online black market
Change of focus
On the subject of skepticism
Cannibalism across the ages
On death and taxes
Out of the box
A work about believable ideas, and supporting theories, that failed to fully materialize, by simple physical impossibility or lack of resources (time, contextual practicality) and other factors.
The human creativity is endless, as we imagine the impossible we extend the boundaries of reality. (me)
Taking apart a literary work
Feminisms and Society
Intellectual property and Copyright history
Weapons fabrication and modification
Hydrogen also has another interesting implication, for instance in endothermic reactions it affect the flame temperature that substances can reach, for instance the endothermic dissociation of water, around the 2000°C prevents flames temperatures to rise above 3000°-4000°C. This is why Dicyanoacetylene a compound of carbon and nitrogen with chemical formula C4N2 is has the record of burning in oxygen at a temperature of 4990°C fallowed by Cyanogen also carbon and nitrogen with chemical formula C2N2 that burns at ~4525°C.