Saturday, April 19, 2014

lack of improving quality of life, rise of the non-DNA replicators

I learned about economics and have come to the opinion that the average American has not worked to improve his life or the lives of others since the 1950's, and that everything that has occurred since the transistor was invented is about manipulation and control of others, not about improving the lot of humanity on Earth, let alone the biosphere.  The lack of usefulness includes nearly all publicly traded companies that have done so much to destroy the biosphere, control Washington at the expense of all humanity and the median American's wealth, and above all to enable the manipulative to achieve wealth at the expense of those who sought to improve life.  Blind competition between people is what is giving rise to the machines. As the free energy from fossil fuels dries up, the competition will heat up and evolution of all memetic systems (including DNA) will lead to the end of the dominance of DNA in converting energy sources into copies of the replicators.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Good To Eat" by Marvin Harris and Aztec cannibalism

He tries very hard, and fails, to NOT say the unusual preponderance (for large states that need slaves and tax-payers) of cannibalism after battles for the Aztecs was NOT from the the lack of domesticated animals.  Lack of these meant that the best way to get the grain back to the capital along with some extra sorely-needed protein was to have an occassional war with the outer provinces that rebelled.  And that rebellion was built into the system because provinces knew their grain harvests might have to be marched by prisoners to the capital, and then the prisoners eaten for their protein.  Without the wheel, killing was minimized until the capital was reached. Religion being the mechanism of the procedure should carries no more weight in trying to discover "why" than it did for the middle east cultures despising pig as soon as forest disappeared, and hindus considering the cow sacred as soon as population exploded (it's more efficient for milk and plowing than eating).  The whole point of the book is to show that odd thoughts do not lead to odd food taboos, but that society-wide food production efficiency solutions lead to intelligent taboos.  A thing he finds strange is women in poor countries tabooing protien and certain foods during pregnancy, but it takes him a few pages to say "it might be because it leads to smaller children and smaller adults who need less protein and fewer calories".

Thursday, April 3, 2014

bat radar, making an echo-vision device for the blind

1)  They have a muscle in the ear connected to the stirrup bone to turn off the ear's hearing when sending out the loud pulses.  Up to 50 times a second.
2) They can increase pulse rate when needed
3) The pulses reduce in frequency over the duration of the pulse to identify how far away echos come from. 
4) The beginning of the pulse might be constant to determine how fast the target is moviing via doppler effect.
5) ears move rapidly for an unknown reason
6) can distinguish from other bat echos possibly simply by the brain filtering out any received "pictures" of the world that do not make sense

I've thought about making an ultrasound device for the blind.  Place emitter in the high the center of the chest.  Cut received frequencies down to hearing range.  Use 4 receiving microphones, 2 on each side of hips or shoulders and about 6 inches apart vertically.  Then 4 earphones, 2 in front of each ear, about 1 inch apart.  So vertical and horizontal triangulation is magnified thanks to greater separation of the microphones than the earphones.  Also use 1) and 3) above. I would make 3) follow notes on a keyboard.  A loud low frequency note would be something big, further away.  Maybe use 2 octaves, 24 notes.

Or make the emitter, recievers, and headphones all part of a hat.