Archive for the ‘science’ Category

The great silence

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

There seem to be no great obstacles to intelligent life devouring the galaxy.  So why are we here.

If life on earth arose on earth , and produced humans in a few billion years, why not on some other planet ten billion years ago?

Simplest and most likely explanation is that life is unlikely – requiring a stupendously improbable assemblage of molecules to form.

No one has constructed a plausible high probability origin of life.

Indeed, it looks to me that water based life just cannot form spontaneously. The minimum complexity of life in water is just far too high.  RNA based life just does not work without DNA and cell membranes, and you don’t get RNA and DNA spontaneously forming in water.

Here is what I think happened:

There is some environment, perhaps a mixture of liquid cyanide, liquid formamide, and polyphosphoric acid with star tar dissolved in it, in which life can form spontaneously.

Cold temperature origins seem most likely, since cold temperature life can easily spread from planet to planet, because cold temperature planets with liquids are smaller and lower gravity than warm planets with liquids.  Volcanic eruptions etc can easily spit rocks into space.

This low temperature, non water based, life evolved, over ten billion years or so, to adapt to environments increasingly alien to its origins, eventually becoming water based life living in hot deep rocks on asteroids.

From which it infected earth. To produce complex life, you need an oxygen environment so that cells will gang together for defense and attack.  For an oxygen environment, you need a water environment.  We are the first, because it just took that long.  And, in due course we, or some other earth species if we fail, will devour the galaxy.

 

Dysgenic fertility

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Chateau Heartiste, always a great source for the Dark Enlightenment, reports:

Convicted criminal offenders had more children than individuals never convicted of a criminal offense. Criminal offenders also had more reproductive partners, were less often married, more likely to get remarried if ever married, and had more often contracted a sexually transmitted disease than non-offenders. Importantly, the increased reproductive success of criminals was explained by a fertility increase from having children with several different partners. We conclude that criminality appears to be adaptive in a contemporary industrialized country, and that this association can be explained by antisocial behavior being part of an adaptive alternative reproductive strategy.

Moral: For civilization to continue, female sexual and reproductive activity has to be placed, legally and socially, under the control of fathers and husbands. In actual practice, we tend to treat fertile age women as children, as their bad behavior does not have the legal and social consequences it would have for adult, but whereas a badly behaved child will be hauled off to the responsible adult, and the responsible adult asked to keep him in line, the badly behaved female is not hauled off to her father or her husband.

Hormones and obesity

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

There is an epidemic of obesity, and no one knows what is causing it.

One item, however, is worthy of investigation. Females with early andrenarche, (early pubic hair) in addition to going boy crazy at a disturbingly early age, tend to become obese when they finally reach puberty and their figure finally catches up with their behavior and further enables their behavior.

And these days, pretty much all girls have what once would have been called early andrenarche. So, abnormal hormones first, abnormal fat later.

So, could be that whatever is causing the obesity epidemic, is the same thing as in causing declining masculinity in males and early sexual behavior in females.

Note that the absence of a father is risk factor for early andrenarche, suggesting that the problem might not be estrogen in the water supply, but metaphorical estrogen in the metaphorical water supply.

In the ancestral environment, early sexual behavior in fatherless females would have been a survival mechanism. In the absence of a father, and the absence of Uncle Sam the big pimp, need a sugar daddy. So, when the state makes fathers weak, that weakness tends to make their daughters into fat sluts.

If early andrenarche correlates with obesity, the interesting question, to which I don’t have the answer, is: Does late (by modern standards) andrenarche correlate to less obesity? Obviously it correlates to less promiscuity.

Andrenarche can be delayed by the drug spironolactone, (safe for girls, unsafe for boys) and parents alarmed by early sexual behavior sometimes treat their daughters to delay andrenarche – the humane and reversible alternative to clitoridectomy. Perhaps all girls should have andrenarche delayed to what used to be normal. Pubic hair is an indicator of sexual interest – you probably don’t want your daughters developing pubic hair earlier than their other secondary sexual characteristics.

Technological decline

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Konkvistador has drawn my attention to the Pu238 shortage. We stopped making Pu238 in 1988 You need Pu238 for nuclear batteries. The 2006 New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt was launched without enough Pu238 to keep all its equipment live during the Pluto flyby, and without enough Pu238 to do its Kuiper belt mission, from which I conclude that since 2011 we have been totally completely flat out of Pu238, just as the Fed is totally completely flat out of gold. For the last few decades, the government has been acting as if we are very very short of Pu238. For example, no allotment for pacemaker batteries, so people with pacemakers have to have major surgery every couple of years. The Europeans are using (dangerous and expensive) americium based nuclear batteries for their space program.

Supposedly we can simply make more Pu238, just as supposedly when the two towers fell, we could supposedly build buildings just as tall or taller, just as we can supposedly still build warplanes that can cruise at supersonic speeds, we just supposedly do not want to. Today’s businessmen are supposedly so secure in their masculinity that they do not want a higher corner office with a bigger view than the next businessman.

Maybe.

But I rather think if we could do that, we would not have run out in the first place. we would not have launched New Horizons with a half flat battery. We have been mighty short for at least a couple of decades, and since 2011 the cupboard has been just flat empty.

falling testosterone

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

For the past thirty years, testosterone has been falling at about one percent a year.

This is about the same rate of decline as that produced by aging after the age of forty. So a forty year old male today has about the same testosterone levels as a seventy year old male had in 1984. This is a change sufficient to produce a massive decline in interest in sex, and a massive increase in odd sexual deviations.

Environmentalists suggests it is estrogen like compounds in the water supply. I am inclined to believe it is metaphorical estrogen in the metaphorical water supply. Society and the education system has been treating masculinity as an evil pathology, with ever increasing severity. Maybe the problem is that we need to encourage boys to be men, to be manly, to be tough.

Technological decline

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

If we cannot build high buildings any more, progressives say we are now so sophisticated that we are now superior to status competition based on giant penis substitutes, and status competition based on having a higher corner office than the other business executives.

If high art is an aids infested trannie projectile vomiting over the audience, progressives say that we philistines just don’t get high art.

But the most important thing about a military aircraft is that it can fly faster, higher, and further than its opponents, so that you can get away from enemies, but enemies cannot get away from you.  And of these, the most important by far is to fly faster, so that you can bring trouble to your enemies, but your enemies cannot bring trouble to you.

SR 71 Blackbird, first built in 1972, about the time we put the last man on the moon.

Cruising Speed Mach 3.2
Ceiling 85 000 feet
Range 3 200 nautical miles

Today’s latest and greatest American warplane, the impressively named F-35 Lightning II. Does not that sound so much more impressive than “Blackbird”?

Cruising Speed Mach 1.6
Ceiling 60 000 feet
Range 1 200 nautical miles nautical miles

So let us make a little table:

Capability Then Now
Speed Mach 3.2 Mach 1.6
Ceiling 85 000 feet 60 000 feet
Range 3 200 nautical miles 1200 nautical miles

(more…)

wife goggles

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Notoriously, husbands tend to see their wives as hot, when they would never see some other woman of similar age as hot. If they are separated from their wife for a year or so, for example by divorce, the wife goggles fall off.

Wife goggles appear to happen primarily to fathers. If the wife does not have children, then as she grows older, she rapidly becomes less attractive, as any woman rapidly becomes less attractive past thirty.

In the ancestral environment, particularly in northerly lands, women and children were dependent on males for food. Therefore we are descended disproportionately from males who stuck around, but we are also descended disproportionately from males who only saw fertile age women as attractive.

One possible resolution of these conflicting requirements (natural selection wants man to hang out with fertile age woman, but natural selection wants man to stick with the mother of his children) is for a man to see his wife as always that age when he had children with her, or always as sexually attractive as she was at that age, which is to some substantial extent what happened to me. Which suggests that one should have children as young as possible.

Prediction, Retrodiction, Warmism and the Demon Haunted Dark

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

We are far more impressed by a scientific theory that predicts, than a supposedly scientific theory that retrodicts, even though from the Bayesian point of view they are the same.

Successful prediction tells us that this is an actual theory, rather than a slippery and ambiguous pile of vague fudge factors subject to post hoc reinterpretation.

As you probably know, Global Warming models are 100% successful at precisely “predicting” (retrodicting) the alleged past, even though past climate is not in fact known very accurately.  They are totally unsuccessful at predicting.

By and large, Warmism is not incorrect science, but anti science. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is an attempt by skeptics to make sense out of the Warmist position, to construct a plausible scientific theory that makes the predictions that Warmists predict, but Warmists are not much interested in making sense.

The theory attributed to the Warmists by the skeptics is that water vapor provides positive feedback, clouds also provide postive feedback, so any small nudge tends to have large effects on the climate.

Do Warmists believe the theory that skeptics attribute to them?

Perhaps.  To find out, you would have to sue the model builders under the freedom of information act, and the model builders would stone wall, the courts would favor them, and the model builders would complain they are being persecuted by big oil.

The term “multiplier” in the sense that skeptics use it never appears in Warmist works, only in critiques of Warmism. The term “climate sensitivity” does appear in Warmist works, but it does not seem to be used in the same meaning as in skeptic works. It is not a ratio that can be larger or smaller than unity, not a number, but more like sin and purity, not the kind of thing where one might say the “the climate sensitivity is 2.7” To a Warmist, to assert that the climate sensitivity is 2.7 would be as ridiculous as if a Roman Catholic priest were to say that that the sinfulness of adultery is 2.7 A Warmist paper will say that climate sensitivity is greater than we thought, but will not give a number for what we supposedly used to think it was, nor a number for what we now supposedly think it is – which does not stop them from deducing from this unspecified change in this unspecified number that the temperature in 2100 will be precisely six degrees hotter.

I have not read much of the Warmist literature.  Perhaps there is some that understands the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming attributed to the Warmists by the skeptics, but what I have read seems to me more like inspiration by the spirit of Gaia decorated almost at random by scientific sounding words.  It could be that the author understands and believes a scientific theory that makes the required doomful predictions, but there is no very clear indication that he does.

Steve McIntyre argued that it is likely that clouds create negative feedback. Do Warmists attempt to argue with him? Do Warmists say “no, clouds create positive feedback”? Do Warmists even know the difference between positive and negative feedback?  Nasa discussing clouds sound like they use the terms correctly, but then fail to apply them when discussing the stability of temperatures between the wet season and dry season in the tropics, even though this is an obvious case of negative feedback.

Rather, Warmism is a revival of the old demon worshiping cults. The priests announce the gods are angry, any unusual weather event being evidence of the wrath of the demon gods, and that to appease these hostile and wrathful beings sacrifices shall be made, which sacrifices the priests get to administer.

Recap on Warmism

Friday, March 14th, 2014

I have been ignoring the issue of Global Warming for a while, because it is pretty much settled.  Anyone who still believes in Warmism is stupid, crazy, or lying.  Usually stupid.

But, a short summary: (more…)

Exhaustion of the low hanging fruit, or moral decay?

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Photolithography is limited by the wavelength of light.  Below 160 nanometers, UV is not light, but ionizing radiation.  So at some point, have to switch from photolithography to contact lithography, such as imprint lithography, or direct contact printing.  But did they stop shrinking stuff before we reached that limit? That they are lying about it suggests moral decay, rather than exhaustion of the low hanging fruit.

Current photolithography is stuck using UV at 193 nanometers.  Could they have gone lower?

Nitrogen and fused quartz, which they are already using, is good down to 160 nanometers.  They are using water for their high refractive index fluid, and water becomes opaque below 193.  Perfluorocarbons, however are good all the way down to 160 nanometers.  So they did not push current technology to its final limit.  It was not exhaustion of the low hanging fruit that caused the current alarmingly indefinite pause in Moore’s law.

My prediction is that if humans resume technological advance, will resume in China, and will resume using contact lithography or direct contact printing, as there is little point in recreating from scratch a technology that has reached its ultimate limit.  And if humans don’t resume technological and scientific advance, it will be a long, slow, painful and messy descent into a dark age, until harsh conditions cause natural selection to resume.