Archive for the ‘science’ Category

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


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.

Darkness is the norm

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Copper production shows three peaks: The Roman Empire in the west, the Song Dynasty, and modernity.

The Roman Empire in the west and the Song Dynasty had about seven times the preceding and following level of copper production, thus while those civilizations were going concerns, they had far more production and wealth than the rest of the world put together.

When the Roman Empire in the West fell, its GDP dropped about a hundred fold.

So, looking at the past few thousand years, the norm has been relatively brief periods of civilization in relatively small parts of the world.

I would guess the problem is that the state lacks the cohesion and self discipline necessary to refrain from devouring civil society, and anarchy lacks the cohesion necessary to keep the roads safe and property rights secure. Technology can advance during anarchic periods, often quite rapidly, but the amount of wealth, as indicated by copper production, shipwrecks, and such, tends to be very low indeed during such periods.  Despotic states, on the other hand, have higher wealth, probably because they can make the roads safe over a large area, but are apt to end technological progress, and often reverse it. (more…)

No real AI progress

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

AI is a hard problem, and even if we had a healthy society, we might still be stuck. That buildings are not getting taller and that fabs are not getting cheaper and not making smaller and smaller devices is social decay. That we are stuck on AI is more that it is high hanging fruit.

According to Yudkowsky, we will have AI when computers have as much computing power as human brains.

The GPU on my desktop has ten times as much computing power as the typical male human brain, and it is not looking conscious. (more…)

mens rea

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

I have been arguing that social decay is ending technological and scientific progress.  In most areas it has strikingly slowed, in some areas, going backwards in the west, as we forget how to do what once we could do.  Others, however, argue that technological and scientific progress is still running hot, or that if it has slowed, it is that we ran out of low hanging fruit.

But a big tell is that people are lying about it. The lie indicates not only failure, but that the failure is shameful – that the failure is in us, not in external circumstances.  That we are lying about it shows the failure is social decay. (more…)

Tall buildings and the social order

Monday, January 20th, 2014

To make and keep the upper stories of a tall building habitable requires routine high technology.  The lifts have to work, the water needs to be pumped, the toilets have let the poop down one hundred stories without shattering violence.  It is not all that expensive.  Current office space costs in the centers of major cities are so high that very tall buildings are immensely profitable.  It is simply difficult to do, requires able people working together, both initially to build the systems, and subsequently to keep them going.

It is habitable floors that are hard to do, and habitable floors are what generates the rental income.  So, to assess a society’s technological level, count habitable floors.

By and large, the taller the building, the more the profit.  Doubtless there is a limit, but in the center of most major cities, most tall buildings are below that limit.  If people could build taller, they would.  At our present technological level, settling space seems likely to be fatally unprofitable, but building upwards, building the city of tomorrow, is highly profitable. (more…)