Category Archives: alongshot

from old Blogger blog

How could we possibly tell?


How could we tell whether we’ve ended up being at war with the natural defenses of the indigenous dessert community of Iraq?

The fact that the behavior of the ‘insurgency’  is seemingly so illogical and counter productive for what would be presumed to be their own interests is one good clue.   Natural system responses are not planned or based on policy analysis, but on gut reactions.   Quite often enough natural system defense mechanisms are self defeating.

Continue reading How could we possibly tell?

Risky Play

Anyone in charge of almost any kind of organization, throwing a party, running a business, etc., will want it to build up to a point where it’s exciting, but not to where you loose control. You usually want things to approach the edge of stability, but not go over it to lose resilience. It’s fun, and in business, makes money and gets the most out of everyone.Perhaps the deep sort of common experience that explains it is playing with a water hose as a kid. The fun really begins when someone turns up the pressure and the person holding the nozzle at the time (usually one of the girls) gets scared and lets go. Continue reading Risky Play

By 2020 – The Year of Clear Vision

By 2020 the investors of the world will see their self-interest and stop compounding their returns, allowing the global economy to climax at a high stable rate of change, forestalling the climax of investment with a loss of resilience, expectation failures, environmental collapse, conflict and mistakes.

The real limit of economic growth is the loss of resilience from accumulating mistakes. I mention this because exponentials are spookily explosive, seem like nothing & follow w/ major affects. If you see a road sign saying ‘Curve Ahead’ you know if the car starts tipping it’s too late to slow down. The curve of an exponential gets ever more radical the further you take it, and it’s a mistake not to slow down. Continue reading By 2020 – The Year of Clear Vision

Construction Estimate

The question is what’s our exposure on global warming.

For one small part of it we may need to build a 10 foot high sea wall on the entire world coastline. My guestimate is that that would be about $5,000/ft for the cost of straight forward construction on solid ground. It would be far less than the reimbursement of property owners for the first 10 ft elevation of their property. The earth’s coastline is about 844,000 km, though I doubt that includes the intricacies of wetlands and estuaries etc.

The places where environmental protection, waterfront access or shipping locks and other things are needed would also add to the cost. Maybe you’d just say screw it and screw them with half the world’s coastline and cut the losses with that part of it. The places that wouldn’t be saved from rising waters by a sea wall include big sand bars like Long Island New York. Continue reading Construction Estimate

Pealing the Onion

The clear root of terrorism is a major world religious community that has come to look at us with such horror and disgust that they approve of their sons blowing themselves up in protest. That seems more than strange, but no one seems to be trying to explain it. From an evidence point of view, facts are facts, though.

That community seems to see something about us from the outside that we can’t see from the inside. The difference between inside and outside views of natural systems is a common blindspot. No doubt, looking closely at someone else’s ugly reflections of us is unpleasant, and they may be really missing things too, but because any complaint has some valid basis, it could be important for us to consider it.

We long have, and still do, actually seem to be blowing ourselves to smithereens with money, and we have often appeared to hold all else in profound disregard. As our speed of change accelerates with compounding investment, and we maintain confidence that growth will solve even the exploding crop of imbalances it creates in our lives, we now seem to be loosing control of events to boot. Two cultures, at war, both mesmerized by blowing themselves up. It’s a remarkable parallel.

The right freedom to protect

Delaware Supreme Court didn’t actually give a blanket protection for the anonymity of abusive speech, though that’s how the decision has been portrayed on NPR. Biz Report says it found that Smyrna town councilman Patrick Cahill needed to make a stronger case that he and his wife, Julia, had been defamed before forcing Comcast Cable to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger.

A blanket protection for anonymous abusive speech is not what we want. We all have to accept harms to our own interests to protect the good of our common interest, and the harm of personally admitting to abusive speech is a small price to pay for protection from abusive incitement from secret sources. Continue reading The right freedom to protect

Ok Ok, I give up

What remains hidden in the hot debate over “intelligent design” and Darwin’s evolution, miraculously, is the strategic location of the odd gaps in the fossil record.

Where those gaps are located is rather embarrassing to both sides.

I think if you’re thinking clearly about the problem, not defending one side or the other, the answer is obvious. The gaps in the record contain almost all the biological change that the theory of ‘little steps’ is supposed to explain, occurring at the origin of most species. Evolution actually proceeds by big steps (the dirty truth). Continue reading Ok Ok, I give up

What’s the plan man!

I’m not getting much sleep lately, taking on too much, burning with ideas; not a good plan. But then neither is humanity’s plan for us all to make decisions 16 times faster every lifetime forever.

It indicates we’re missing something, like where the heck are we going anyway! Sounds presumptuous perhaps, but I can fix that. The underlying problem is that our perceptions of where we are operate on a sliding scale.

Continue reading What’s the plan man!

Failure in responding to Katrina

So soon after the embarrassing failure of emergency response it’s a little risky to venture an explanation.    The appearance is that government planning for emergency response to “the big one” failed to include providing food and shelter for those stranded by it.

My opinion is that the problem was mainly that FEMA kept following the plan they had on file even when it was apparently not working.   I think both key failures, the bad plan and bad leadership in response, come from the scale of the problem.    The disaster caused by Katrina was different in kind and was treated as only being different in degree.

Continue reading Failure in responding to Katrina