Dear my kind of people:

We have been attacked by strangers in ways which have no reasonable explanation from our own actions, as many people have. Naturally, we interpret these attacks to be acts of psychosis or intentional evil, and we treat the perpetrators according to their actions.

We may consider that these attacks could be a result of twisted versions of our history, some kind of slander, but we cannot, in a stranger, tell if they are attacking because they have been manipulated by slander or because they are insane, or are otherwise motivated for evil.

My friends, we treat people with kindness and respect by default. That applies to everyone we meet. Any conflicts which arise between us and other people are entirely a result of unprovoked attacks from them against us or others, but aggressors will never know that if they approach the problem of finding the truth by attacking us. What’s more, it is our preference to avoid conflict, so we do not seek out these sorts of conflicts nor try to exacerbate or prolong them.

We just can’t help people that demonstrate themselves to be evil to us, and it doesn’t make sense for us to have to explain that part of it. There is no logical reason for us to have to say this, or for people to not treat other people as if they all also believe this same thing. It’s basic humaning, and it’s also the golden rule if you’re into that sort of thing.

Free MRI’s for everyone? How could that work?

A former coworker once told me that he used to work for a medical machine manufacturer and that he believed that everyone should have access to MRI’s.

So I asked him, how is that supposed to work? Do you know how to make MRI machines?

He replied that he didn’t.

So I said that if only some people know how to make MRI machines, and everyone has to have access to MRI machines then those people who know how to make MRI machines would either have to make more MRI machines, even if they don’t want to, or would have to teach others to make MRI machines, even if they don’t want to.

Therefore, no matter how it is implemented, giving everyone gauranteed access to MRI’s results in the use of government force to require that certain people (very smart and talented people, mind you) are doing something regardless of what they want.

How could that not be evil?

So I told him that if he or anyone else wanted to give people access to MRI’s, then the non-evil way to do it is to design your own MRI or buy someone else’s design with your own or charitably raised money, and then give people access to your MRI’s machines. That way, no one has to be forced to do anything that they don’t want to do.

In order to effectively create something.

In order to effectively create something new and with a significant level of complexity, one must have time in which one is entirely free from distraction. This time is necessary to allow one to properly focus on the task of creation. Thus, if one works in any sort of technical support or on call capacity, then there may be no possibility of effective creation at work, because the two tasks are exclusive.

Therefore, if working in such a capacity, then effective creation must be done when one is not “on call.” Which, in such a situation, is necessarily one’s free time. Of course, what one creates in their free time with their own resources should belong to that one, provided it does not utilize proprietary information or intellectual property belonging to others. Agreements may stilulate otherwise, but if the situation is I have described, than those agreements are parasitic and an evil to the creator.

I’d offered to create several things for my most recent employer, which would involve them giving me the necessary distraction free time and resources to do the work and would have entitled them to ownership, but my offers were refused. I decided that this was a mistake on behalf of my late employers, and I have taken all necessary steps to correct it, which has involved my leaving the company to insure my ownership of my work.

Digital Tool Charities

People make free software and host free services that can range from mildly interesting to incredibly useful. Many of the offerings in the incredibly useful category require a corresponding amount of effort or investment, and it is right and good to support those efforts and investments with charitable donations should one find those offerings to be of incredible utility.

I for one, have found the following to be conspicuously excellent:

Debian

Libreoffice

Wikipedia

Ecplise

Ultracap Supported UPS in Substations

In the design of battery back up systems for the protection and communication systems of bulk transmission substations, a large contributor to the capacity of the battery required and thus the cost is the requirement that the battery has to be able to not only keep the equipment powered up for the full duration of a loss of AC service, but also has to be able to supply a large momentary load near the end of its designed service time representing a major protection event such as a bus fault followed by a breaker failure during which time the battery must supply high currents to breaker trip coils. This big current draw near when the battery is discharged is really tough on all types of battery systems, and designing for it leads to larger, more expensive battery systems.

There is an alternative, however. This alternative is a combined battery and ultracapacitor UPS. Ultracapacitors can deliver large short term load currents at any time without damage to their longevity and without requiring any additional maintenance, and if working in parallel with a battery, they will reduce the peak current drawn from the battery (because the source impedance of the ultracaps is considerably less), and then will draw current from the battery to recharge over a longer period of time. But the Ultracaps need not be simply connected in parallel for substation protection systems. Rather, they can be charged when the system is at nominal voltage and switched in by protection relays at the time when protection events actually occur which provides the perfect power at the perfect moment. Such a system would therefore separate the continuous load required to keep IEDs and SCADA systems online from the momentary load of protection events, which means smaller, cheaper batteries.

Income disparity and Laissez Faire Capitalism

First of all, income disparity is not in itself a problem for society to deal with unless it involves some other forms of crime and violations of rights. Individuals can and typically should try to make as much money as they can without doing things that will reasonably result in loss of their enjoyment of life (like crimes and violating the rights of others.).

But it is reasonable to wonder as a share holder or owner of a company how one person’s time could possibly be worth 1,000 dollars per hour while most other capable people’s time is worth 20 dollars per hour. How can that one person, for instance, outperform a chief executive team of 25 engineers making 40 dollars per hour, or 50 skilled laborers making 20 dollars per hour? Maybe that one person can, but it won’t be by some extraordinary labor, skill, or reasoning ability. Instead, the reason for that outperformance will lie in some possession of that individual such as some key knowledge, or relationship, or some piece of property. As such, it would be reasonable for a group of shareholders or a private owner that no longer wishes to run the company to explore the replacement of CEO’s with CET’s in cases where a single CEO cannot outperform a CET, and it would be reasonable for a company to seek to purchase whatever asset the perspective single CEO has that would permit them to outperform a CET, rather than try to obtain its use indirectly by hiring the CEO at extreme price. One might think that this approach will inevitably result in unreasonably high salaries for members of a CET, but CET’s, unlike CEO’s, have time to train new members in house and under contract, which allows for continuity of talent for the company while preventing exploding costs to the owner/shareholders.

Tennis

There is an ongoing controversy regarding tennis star Serena Williams and an official because the official acted to stop Serena from making inappropriate outbursts during the game. Since then the official has been accused of sexism, because male tennis players in the past have famously gotten away with worst.

My take is that the official acted appropriately. Any outburst by an adult professional athlete during a tennis match contributes to psyching out the opponent. Since the tennis match is supposed to be determining who is the best tennis player instead of who is the best combination of tennis player and psychological manipulator, the rules prohibit all actions which are psychological manipulation rather than tennis playing. Thus, the official was acting in defense of the other player, and acting to insure that the tennis match was in fact deciding who was the best tennis player.

So what about the past lax enforcement? Well, the governing body needs to commit to its policy and act to insure that all of its officials adhere to it, and the history of lax enforcement followed by seemingly targeted enforcement raises real issues about the integrity of that organization.

The proper way to handle these sorts of things is to announce an intention to alter enforcement policies before hand.  Anything else is suspect.

Myanmar: Individual Rights vs. State Rights

It is a fact that the Myanmar government has by law denied the Rohingya people citizenship and rights. It is also a fact that a minor insurgency arose among them and attacks were made by them against Burmese government forces. Finally, it is a fact that Myanmar acted to suppress this insurgency with military action in order to preserve their sovereignty over the Rakhine state.

So who is in the wrong? The Myanmar state is fighting for the State’s right to sovereignty, and the Rohingya people are fighting for their individual rights. I assert that the Myanmar state is in the wrong. Since the Rohingya people are not permitted to be citizens of Myanmar, they are neither represented by nor are a part of the Myanmar state. Therefore, the lands and property long held by the Rohingya cannot reasonably be said to be owned by and subject to the sovereignty the Myanmar state. Furthermore, since the Myanmar state consists of and represents only the Burmese people, the Burmese forces which have been stationed in Rohingya territory are occupying lands which do not belong to them and subjugating an otherwise independent group of people. Therefore, this is not a case of a state rightfully combating a criminal/rebellious element, but is instead a case of a state punishing a small subjugated state that wants out of their subjugation.

Thinking about that old concept of “Too big to fail.”

My initial thought: “No company is too big to fail, and the failure of a company by its own neglect or malfeasance is a positive thing.”

Imaginary Adversary: “But I work for Big Company, what if I lose my job?”

Response: “If Big Company was operating in a market where money can still be made, then some other company or companies, perhaps formed by people displaced from Big Company will replace Big Company. Since the new company or companies will require experienced staff, you will be well placed to find new employment. Furthermore, the government and therefore the tax paying individuals are not compelled to provide risk insurance to all employees, especially since it is has no power to manage whatever level of risk Big Company decides to take on.”

Imaginary Adversary: “But it wasn’t my fault that Big Company failed, why should I be forced to find a new job?”

Response: “You are not being forced to find a new job. You willingly joined Big Company. Big Company was willingly incompetent, and as a result can no longer afford to pay you. You are free to react to this inability to pay you in accordance with your principles.”

Imaginary Adversary: “But what about all of the charity work that Big Company has done or is doing? If they go away then who will take over that?”

Response: “If other companies or individuals wish to support those charities or charitable works formerly supported by Big Company, then they are free to do so or not.  Big Company’s charitable side clearly has not saved it from the problems caused by its malfeasance or incompetence. Thus, much of the charitable work done by Big Company may well have contributed to its overall incompetence. If Big Company wishes to ask for charity in return for their own work, then they are free to ask individuals or charity organizations for said charity. However, it is an evil for Big Company to solicit charity from the government. Charity from the government is paid by taxes which are collected by the force of law regardless of whether a given individual taxpayer is willing to be charitable or not.”

Imaginary Adversary: “So things like welfare or other beneficial programs, even though the majority of the people’s elected representatives agree upon them, are evil? Is that what you’re saying?”

Response: “What I have said is clear, and you clearly understood it. Your question is formulated to cast me in an evil light. Gaslighting, it is called.”

Imaginary Adversary: “But I’m your imaginary adversary, so aren’t you gas lighting yourself?”

Response: “Not at all. This just serves me to help to demonstrate some of the evils commonly used to evade or attack Reason in arguments. You are my creation and you serve my purpose.”

Why is using a high voltage probe to burn wood more dangerous than, say, using a table saw?

Many amateurs have had success burning lichtenberg fractals into pieces of wood without incident, just as many woodworkers, including myself have used any number of potentially dangerous tools such as table saws, miter saws, circular saws, routers, and dremel tools. Each of those tools can cause massive traumatic injury or death, but by and large, the injuries from these tools are injuries to the hands resulting from momentary carelessness, or inattention. In order to cause fatal injuries, these tools must be used in such a way that an incident causes an injury to the neck or some other artery. Such incidents are much less common.

Contrary to conventional tools, the danger of high voltage burning probes are not isolated to a single, localized spinning blade or tool. Instead, the danger is “catching” in that, the probe is dangerous, but so is potentially any other metal or conductive material that the high voltage comes into contact with. Thus, a mishap with an enegized probe can occur more easily than with a rotating machine. Furthermore, high voltages in contact with a human body have the potential of damaging large portions of the body, and especially the heart. A typical high voltage contact will result in a localized burn at the contact point where the concentrated current enters the body, and potentially a localized burn at the exit point where current leaves the body. The current will naturally perfer to travel through the body through the medium which offers the least electrical resistance. Blood is electrically similar to salt water, and as such will be one of the perferred media. Thus, any high voltage contact incident which involves entrance on one limb, and exit from another, will result in an electrical current passing through the heart, which will cause undesired contractions of the cardiac muscle and can stop the heart temporarily or permanently. Because of this heart seeking, or perhaps heart perferring phenomenon, incidental high voltage injuries are more likely to cause death than incidental spinning blade injuries. In addition to the burns and potential heart injury, the current can also cause unwanted skeletal muscle contractions and failures resulting in flailings and falls that can lead to secondary injuries.

Thus, because of the somewhat incipient (or at least, spreadable) and heart-perferring hazard that can be caused by momentary carelessness or inattention when working with high voltages, additional safety measures are required above and beyond the simple plastic guards used to improve the safety of saws and rotating tools.