Saturday, June 28, 2003

I spent the day sitting at the UNAU booth at the KRCL Day In Park (DIP).

On the home front, my neice gave a demonstration for a Kirby vacuum. Alas, I am now web site has been trying to sell Oreck Vacuums through my site. I even have a good tag line: Buy a vacuum through the ether.

Our family will now be torn between vacuum vendors...such cruel fate.
I must confess, I am addicted to cross sums. The great thing about cross sums is that you can come back and do the same puzzles every couple of years. It is good mind exercise.

I was roped into manning a booth at the KRCL Day In the Park for the United Nations Association of Utah. So I wont get work on web sites today.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Yahoo reports that People are adding their names to the National Do Not Call registry in droves. Yahoo reports 1,000 names a second being added to the directory.

Which brings up an important question. The only names not on the list are those who don't know about it, or have a private number. So, why not just make any telemarketing a criminal offense and charge $10k per call to the telemarketers?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

It is now time for a little more irrational stomping around, because the biggest risk to the US economy right now is inflation. The marked drop in the value of the dollar coupled with the increased cash flowing through the economy does not spell good things for our future.

The scary truth is that we could well see a spurt of inflation that is not accompanied by wage growth. It would be the worst kind of inflation...the type that makes people significantly poorer. The type of inflation where the masses see a major drop in their spending power, with fewer jobs and no increase in salary to offset costs.

The problem is that there is a good nine month lag between any action taken by the Federal Reserve board cut rates and the affects appear in the markets.

Right now we have the situation where a large number of companies have failed. Companies have pushed their sales margins to the limit, the dollar has devalued in the world market -- meaning higher priced imports. The scariest thing in our economic horizon is the $6.6 Trillion deficit.

When all is said an done, it is likely that these acts will lead to higher prices. Meanwhile, the jobless recovery threatens to keep wages low. The fed missed the clues at the end of the last cycle. My guess is that they are misreading the current cycle.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

I added a photo gallery forthe 2003 Utah Arts Festival. Hopefully the rain will clear by the afternoon. My parents are hosting a party for their RCIA group, the party is outisde, and it has been raining all morning. Let's hope for a break in the clouds.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

One of the most telling moments on Nova's special of the exploration of
U869 (a sunken German U Boat off the coast of New Jersy) was the final moments when the explorers confronted the German U-Boat historian with their evidence that U869 sunk off the coast of NJ and not Gilbralter. This historian continued to poor over all of his documents claiming the boat sank off the coast of Gilbralter...not near NJ.

First it is interesting that we depend so heavily on our papers and records and historical fact, that we have a hard time assimiliating that a humongous sunken hull of a ship is as good evidence as mark on a piece of paper. The other thing that is interesting is that the evidence in the paper work was largely dependent on itself. That is the historians worked until all the paperwork was consistent, then later assumed that the paperwork was all correct. Basically, the paperwork was dependent on the fact that sub was ordered to Gilbraltar and that a French ship recordered an explosion near Gilbraltar that may have been a sub.

The piece was a good example of how science works. Depending on paperwork for decisions is not a bad way to go, but we can see how easilyt it is to create a historical error from the data, and how easy it is for all of the paper work to remain consistent, when in fact it is in error.

Monday, June 16, 2003

One of the mantras preached by Galileo and the western scietific tradition is that the goal of science isn't to explain things, but to describe things. When it gets down to scientific exploration of an idea like gravity, Galileo didn't simply try to divine the meaning of gravity, he simply measured it. Scientitists still don't have a good explanation of why gravity exists, but are very good at describing how it behaves and how to measure it. A good scientist doesn't just blathering about theory, but spends time investigating and trying to learn about things.

One of the results of the Kantian/Hegelian/Marxist revolution has been to turn this process of scientific inquiry on its heads. The Kantian tradition isn't content with description, but tries to divine explanations for things. In generates an impression that there are hidden reasons behind actions, and it trains people to look at all events for motives and reasons.

Time and time again in history, efforts at explanations have failed, while the efforts at simply creating accurate descriptions have resulted in discovery upon discovery. Those tending to seek explanations have a nasty habit of bending facts to their ends, while those concentrating on the accuracy of the facts tend to come out with a better understanding of what is and what is not.

People who bend facts often turn into tyrants. They get everyone caught up in their game of the big lies, while they push people further and further from the truth. Dialecticians tend to become dictators as their games turn more and more away from finding truth and turn more and more toward manipulating others.

One of the most damaging tricks of the German idealist dialectics is the process of assigning base motives to your enemies and high motives to your friends. It is really easy to assign motives to others, and when you get everyone in the game of questioning other people's motives, the dialectician can often weasel their way into power.

Think about office gossip. Why did Jack say good morning to Jill? He didn't say good morning to Jane! (The answer might be that Jill's desk faced the door, Jane was on the phone, Jack and Jill happen to be friends, but you can also assign motives to Jack. He was trying to get sex, or was bucking for promotion, or is trying to manipulate Jill.)

People used to teach that men should open doors for women. I remember a great deal of debate in school about the ulterior motives men had for opening doors for women. The teacher was convinced that it was a horrid form of oppression. Men opened doors for women as a matter of politeness and respect. Assigning the act a base motive can acheive the goal of denigrating your enemy.

Instead of talking about what people do and how they behave, the dialectic gets people into this act of questioning motives.

Of course, to make the dialectical questing of motives more entrenched the dialectician teaches his students that their every action has a motive. While studying education theory, my professor emphasized that every action of a teacher is either a praxis in the revolution or an act of oppression (This is the central theme of Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed). A teacher must always consider the impact of their actions and whether their actions will advance social cause or continue the tyranny of the American system.

The professor's world view created a nightmarish world where there was a dubious motive behind everyone's actions, and he re-inforced his world view because he had conciously assigned ulterior motives to his actions.

The scientific system where we simply look to describing the world, and not trying to explain it has provided us with a lot more than the dialectics of hidden motives.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

I was upset last night. I caught a blurb from Entertainment Tonight (which is apparently some sort of Hollywood celebrity gossip fest.) The anchor made an extremely disparaging remark. about the Antique Road Show. I don't have the exact quote. It was essentially "The Antique Road Show is popular because people hope to find an extremely valuable antique in their closet."

I was upset because I realized that this is how Hollywood views its audience. It seems to me that Hollywood tends to assign all the world these extremely base ulterior motives to all of their actions then tries to fit the world to their skewed set of base motives such as greed, sex, fear and hate.

Undoubtedly, there are some people who are motivated by these base feelings some of the time, but I suspect the world falls far short of Hollywood's view that all the people are compelled by base motives all the time. Unfortunately, the industry is so powerful, that petty little gossip shows like ET can have a widespread negative impact on our culture.

A case in point is the reality shows like Survivor. I was intrigued by the concept of man pitting himself in nature, and I was interesting in seeing real live people like me on the screen in exotic parts of the world. Unfortunately, the show was really about this absolutely stupid political game. Most of the viewers turned off the show after the first episode or so. The networks polled their readers and found of the people weren't turned off by the political game, that they were intrigued by the political. Hence, Hollywood's polls supported its preconceived notions.

Anyway, back to the popularity of the Antique Road Show. I think when you get down to it, most people are interested in the show because they are interested in learning about history, and to learn about what we as a society value. People enjoy hearing the prices of appraisals because the mathematics of assigning relative values to items is a very interesting process. I remember reading a poll about the nightly news. They discovered that the weather report is the most popular part of news shows in LA, because it involves reporting numbers. Many non investors are enchanted by the DOW Industrial average and employment statistics, because they provided objective numbers that give us information on how the world works.

The problem is that Hollywood's assigning base motives for the popularity of the show might some day affect the format...reducing the quality of one of PBS's most popular creations.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Well, my RHM CD sale was a bust. It only got two bids, and the CD went for $1.25...well below cost. I figured it is worthwhile to run a test or two to work out the selling process, but there has to be a better way to get new music in front of the ears of the public.

Monday, June 09, 2003

The Salt Lake City Dining directory had grown too large; so I split it into categories. I also realized how few restaurants I've actually eaten at.

Yesterday a helicopter crashed into Mount Olympus three miles south of here. I had been intending to climb the mountain this Spring, but have too many projects to complete.

Friday, June 06, 2003

I thought I'd try a penny auction for a Ryan Hiller CD to see if it would bring any traffic to his web site, or to Ryan's MP3 page. The first hours of the auction brought squat. We will stir, wait seven days, and see what it is like in the end. I hope the CD goes for more than a penny. It is always embarassing when a penny auction gets only one bid.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

June is busting out all over. My parents will have a party on the 21st, and had decided to tear apart the house to prepare for the occasion. Can they get the house back together in time?

As for me, I finally started uploading my work on the
prime numbers, I hope I have time to complete the project, but people are very good at stealing my time and keeping me from completing the projects I care about to work on their projects. I hope I can get time to work on the project.