Friday Squid Blogging: Fishing for Squid

Foreign Policy has a three-part (so far) podcast series on squid and global fishing.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

EDITED TO ADD: I accidentally posted this on Wednesday. I deleted the post Thursday morning, but not before the first four comments.

Posted on July 8, 2022 at 4:09 PM249 Comments


Grim Squeaker July 6, 2022 5:01 PM

The squid seemed to have crossed the International Date Line this week. Several times 😉

lurker July 6, 2022 11:45 PM

@Grim Squeaker

Nope, still only Thursday here, altho’ with La Niña it seems like a wet weekend arrived early . . .

ResearcherZero July 7, 2022 1:34 AM

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has ordered the Commonwealth to drop the prosecution of lawyer Bernard Collaery, four years after he was charged with leaking classified information about Australia’s alleged spying operation in East Timor…

Dreyfus discontinued the prosecution under section 71 of the Judiciary Act, overturning the authorisation given in 2018 by then-attorney-general Christian Porter for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to pursue charges against Collaery and Witness K.

In June 2020, Witness K was handed a three-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty, but Collaery decided to fight the charges against him.

The federal government has successfully blocked Bernard Collaery from obtaining key documents about the lawfulness of the notorious spy operation against Timor-Leste, arguing that questions about its legality are irrelevant.

On Monday, Justice David Mossop agreed with the federal government and set aside Collaery’s subpoenas.

He saidthe burden on the prosecution was only to prove that an offence had been committed by Collaery’s alleged disclosure of protected Asis information. That “does not extend to a requirement to prove compliance with every provision of the [Intelligence Services] Act relevant to the activity of Asis which gives rise to the information or matter disclosed”, Mossop said.

Mossop cited the 1974 royal commission examining intelligence and security, which discussed Asis’s role and said that “in all cases, however, espionage is illegal and the clandestine service’s job is to break those laws without being caught”.

vas pup July 8, 2022 4:28 PM

U.S. military’s newest weapon against China and Russia: Hot air

“The Pentagon is working on a new plan to rise above competition from China and Russia: balloons.

The high-altitude inflatables, flying at between 60,000 and 90,000 feet, would be added to the Pentagon’s extensive surveillance network and could eventually be used to track hypersonic weapons.Over the past two years, the Pentagon has spent about $3.8 million on balloon projects, and plans to spend $27.1 million in fiscal year 2023 to continue work on multiple efforts, according to budget documents.

The teardrop-shaped balloons harvest complex data and navigate using AI algorithms.
Another initiative aims to tie all the technology together. The Pentagon is conducting demonstrations to evaluate how to incorporate high-altitude balloons and commercial satellites in an attack, known as the “kill chain.”

DoD is also working to use drones equipped with “stratospheric payloads” along with balloons to track moving ground targets, provide communications and intercept electronic signals. The idea is for the technology to transition to the Army and U.S. Special Operations Command, according to budget documents.

But that’s not all. Raven Aerostar uses a proprietary machine-learning algorithm that predicts wind directions and fuses incoming sensor data in real time, Van Der Werff said. The company also employs a software program to pilot and monitor its balloon fleet and has a mission operations center manned with
trained flight engineers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he added.”

JonKnowsNothing July 8, 2022 4:31 PM

@Clive, @All

re:The Boris Show is Closing

From MSM reports Boris has lost his position as Prime Minister, although he is still there for the interim. He lost a “No Confidence” vote from his party (the Tories).

What’s a bit confusing is who gets to be PM next?

From MSM reports, since Boris resigned during “his term”, there won’t be another general election, just a Tory Party Only vote.

Adjacent to that this is a limited list of “potential” replacements and the words “Non Dom” meaning “Non Domiciled”, which is a UK tax avoidance scheme that transfers your UK tax to a “home country”. Not too long ago, several of the Bigger Fishies got caught doing Non Dom when they were proposing Big Tax Levies in the UK, which they wouldn’t have to pay.

So aside from the above juicy stuff, what’s the outlook for Tech, COVID, Debt, Inflation and SPYCOPS, and METSPYS and 5EYES?


JonKnowsNothing July 8, 2022 4:42 PM

@ vas pup

re: Hot air balloon weaponized

Not too long back, when NorK COVID-Fever outbreak was being reported in MSM, there was a photo image of “hot air balloon propaganda” being floated across the border into NorK. The balloons are clear, with paper inside, look like a long dachshund.

It was claimed that the balloons also brought in COVID with the messages.

It was an interesting claim and not much effort was made to counter it. A rare form of fomite and aerosol transfer.

There isn’t much traffic N-S, but there is or was, traffic NorK-China and the border crossing there had a big outbreak at the time. How active that crossing was to NorK wasn’t detailed, but it was presumed “not much” due to China lockdowns and isolation of NorK.

iirc(badly) The balloons are lofted by a plane to a high altitude with winds going in the desired direction and then “dropped”. A tail door flopped down and they used a grass blower to move the payload.

SpaceLifeForm July 8, 2022 5:27 PM

re: US v Schulte

The jury asked for and received a Black Magic Marker. They also have now also asked for hard-copy transcripts.

The jury is digging.

As I suspected about 14 hours ago (based upon Observation), @emptywheel was typing
up a new article.


Note: there is a comment there by CaliLawyer that indicates that I have been been paying closer attention to this case than CaliLawyer.

Judge Furman did not make the comment about Schulte being a good defense lawyer in front of the jury. The jury was no longer in the courtroom at that point.

SpaceLifeForm July 8, 2022 6:05 PM

re: Twitter v Musk

Welcome to the Show!

Tickets are free. Popcorn is not.

Update: As suspected, Elon Musk has bailed on his bid to buy Twitter, citing multiple breaches of the merger agreement. Musk’s attorneys detailed their complaints in a regulatory filing with the SEC. “As further described below, Mr. Musk is terminating the Merger Agreement because Twitter is in material breach of multiple provisions of that Agreement, appears to have made false and misleading representations upon which Mr. Musk relied when entering into the Merger Agreement, and is likely to suffer a Company Material Adverse Effect,” reads the filing.

Jon July 8, 2022 6:29 PM

@ vas pup

Note that the balloons are tear-drop shaped at launch. At operating altitude they’re much more “jelly-filled doughnut shape” – A squat cylinder with rounded sides.

Reason being that at launch they have lots of excess material that will be taken up as they expand in the lower atmospheric pressure at high altitudes. They don’t quite do ‘spherical’ for other mechanical reasons, not the least being the payload.

Trivial aside. I shut up now. 🙂 J.

The Sound of Laughter July 8, 2022 7:09 PM

For those who remember Crown Sterling of Black Hat 2019 (or was it 2018) fame, they now have a patent. Patent number 11,310,042, “Methods of storing and distributing large keys”, issued April 19, 2022.

Just enter the patent number in

Has anyone seen this?

From a light skimming, they appear to be advocating using digits from an irrational number as a one time pad. As I gather it, the two sides would somehow agree on an irrational number and specify a starting digit and a method of creating the one time pad from this.

Then when they have the “one time pad”, the sender xor’s it with the message before sending the message and the receiver receives the “encrypted” message and then xors it with the “one time pad” formed from the irrational number to get the original message.

I don’t get the purpose of this patent unless it is merely to claim “We have a patent”.

Angel-S- July 8, 2022 8:07 PM

Rogers, an ISP that handles probably 30-50% of Canadian internet and phone connections, disappeared off the Internet around 8:44Z today (July 8), and remains offline nearly 16 hours later. All debit cards are unusable; some stores are cash-only, while some can still accept credit (one mentioned a $200 limit; I suspect they were processing them offline, though I haven’t yet seen anyone bring back the “ker-chunk” machines and carbon paper). Evidently the Interac debit network was using Rogers for its primary network links… and also for its backup links. Some border crossings have no network access, some ATMs are not working, some emergency call centres are offline (and where still working, many people have no way to call them). For whatever reason, a concert was cancelled. Payment enforcement is suspended for many transit and parking systems. My large commercial landlord is unreachable by phone or Internet, and their superintendents can’t access work orders.

In other words, it’s a shit show all around. Particularly for Rogers employees: according to rumours, internal communications are down and nobody had the foresight to get alternate-network phones for key employees. We’ve found out who’s been “swimming naked”, so to speak, in terms of redundancy.

There was some early speculation of a cyberattack, but it seems more likely to be a software update gone wrong. Cloudflare detected BGP problems.

SpaceLifeForm July 8, 2022 9:01 PM

@ The Sound of Laughter

I have already described such methods here. I am prior art.

On purpose, I will not even read it. That is very important for legal reasons.

Because I know it is nonsense.

Software Patents must die.

Do not fall into a Patent Trap.

Angel-S- July 8, 2022 9:02 PM

As of 01:31Z, I’m seeing some Rogers traffic. Things seem to be coming gradually back online. (And is giving me “rate-limited” errors, so if this message appears more than once, that’s why.)

Clive Robinson July 8, 2022 9:23 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Twitter v Musk

Welcome to the Show…

“that never ends”… So sorry I got bored and walked out of the show some time ago (is it a month or two, feels longer)…

Because I could clearly see the way things were going and that this was very probably comming. Basically the minute Musk pushed for honesty where the Twitter board under Bret Taylor had been less than explicitly truthful with their SEC filings…

The Twitter board ~5% fake figures were clearly made up at best and far far away from the Social Media norm of 20% (yup investigators have indicated 20% of social media posts made are “fake” in some way on average depending on which brand/type of SM).

The problem is as Bret Taylor would have been told, giving the “fire hose” to Musk would not help Musk one way or the other because he is not setup in anyway to processes it (nor is anyone else, probably not Twitter themselves either as that would be “target practice at the podia”).

So as I said a few weeks back as long as Musk did not look he could carry on pretending and not be complicit in what the Twitter Board had done with their SEC filings etc.

But he’s looked and now he’s made what he’s found somewhat clear to the SEC as he was “duty bound to do” or be complicit. Which with his previous brush-ins with the SEC would be a very risky thing to do as they appear to be looking for any excuse to take a chunk out of him.

Bret Taylor probably thought he was being clever with the “poison pill” then flipping, but both sides are now haemorrhaging share holders and share value.

The best thing that could happen for all parties is that the shareholder vote “Says NO”… But there will be enough idiots voting yes to bring both sides down even further, then into a protracted legal fight that will probably be fatal to both sides.

Oh and I wonder if Bret Taylor has a suit that silver bracelets would accessorise with.

But there is the bigger question…

Many Silicon Valley Mega Corps in the Social Media domain, are mostly not making even percentage income. Thus their share value is entirely speculative, which is the usual state you would expect for a tech balloon market, where value is based on how fast you burn investment money (Burn Rate).

Thus as with all balloon markets if even one or two speculators get burned the “leming cascade” can start. And if it dors the only worth left will be IP in patents etc tied up in legal fights thus effectively useless for years to come.

And if the ballon does start to go down it’s effects will be first felt by the “tech boys” finding there services nolonger required, and as it could easily become “industry wide” no real chance of re-employment…

No doubt the first out will be due to “Covid restructuring” or such to try to maintain image at board level.

I guess we will just have to wait and see how it pans out but I realy do not see Bret Taylor having a good future and it’s not looking particularly good for Elon Musk either.

As for that much vaunted “trickle down effct” from tech billionaires politicians of a certain persuasion used to talk about, I would not be holding out any hopes for that either.

SpaceLifeForm July 8, 2022 9:47 PM

@ Angel-S-

FYI: The 429 rate limited issue is not just limited to this site, It has been happening elsewhere for some time.

Check the NIST thread for some hints.

Do some homework, the tuition is free.

Billy Jack July 8, 2022 10:45 PM


In the 1990s, we had sci.crypt on USENET for all the wacky cryptological wannabes to post their ravings on. (“Hey. Look at me. I’m smart. I have my own encryption method and I’m going to be rich. Rich. Rich. And famous. Here is an encrypted message. Just try to break it. You can’t. Ain’t I smart? You have to admire me now. Wheeee!”)

Not much has changed — they are still around. Today, however, they get patents to enshrine their wackiness.

SpaceLifeForm July 8, 2022 11:09 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Re: Twitter v Musk

SEC: Of course this has to happen on a Friday

Narrator: Every Day is a Friday

TLA: The Metadata is rich

SEC: Metadata is a good seasoning on your popcorn

Popcorn vendor: This is a great show

lurker July 9, 2022 12:02 AM

@The Sound of Laughter, “I don’t get the purpose of this patent . . .”

It is (further) proof, if any were needed, that USPTO has lost the plot. They lost it when they temporarily ran out of storage (isn’t there enough in Scottsdale AZ?) to store the working model that was required with every application.

Winter July 9, 2022 3:15 AM


It is (further) proof, if any were needed, that USPTO has lost the plot.

Not at all. Patent law is nothing but a rent extraction system on doing business. It’s aim is to allow big companies to extract rent from small businesses and any foreigner who does business in the country.

Anything can be patented so it can be applied to any possible money making enterprise.

If you invent faster than light communication or travel, you will have to pay up because that has already been patented.

For those who still have illusions, look for Neem tree patent, the basmati rice patent, and the patent on Mexican yellow beans.

JonKnowsNothing July 9, 2022 9:12 AM

@Clive, @All

re: Food (in) Security

It’s July 2022 and a lot of farm land is not getting planted globally.

Some of it is bone dry from drought. Some of it is under water from massive flooding. Some of it has been converted to mega-housing(1). Some of it is highly polluted. A good portion globally still carries hidden dangers of left-over ordinance.

Winter crops aren’t getting planted. Summer Crops aren’t getting harvested. Food Distribution is Chaotic. That means in a few months more belts need to get tightened.

@Clive has written numerous times about “How To Do More With Little”. All excellent suggestions and reminders of making food taste good, using a little ingenuity.

There are some things that folks might want to consider to help themselves out provided they have the means and a bit of space to do it. You don’t need a plot or garden allotment, you can do it in an apartment or small spaces.

This type of growing is called French intensive gardening: smaller spaces and with higher yields.

What you select to grow depends on how much space you have but whatever it is, you cram more items in that space.

The accompanying technique is progressive or continuous harvesting. You plant things that will mature at different times so you have something to harvest regularly.

There are lots of “How Tos”; here are a few tips:

  • Use vermiculite and perlite as planting mix, not dirt or soil. If you buy in bulk sizes the product can be “dusty” and it needs to be watered as you mix it. Wear a good mask if you are mixing your own. This is lite weight and holds water well.
  • Use whatever containers make sense in your location and sunshine. Put the containers on a dolly-wheels so you can push it around. There isn’t any reason you cannot grow a tomato plant as a house plant.
  • Select a “container seed type” and dwarf plants to avoid over growth. There are bush beans and dwarf tomatoes that mature as small plants but yield full size harvests.
  • Keep a watch for common problems with the plants: bugs, white flies, powdery mildew. Treat as appropriate.
  • Grow things vertically. There are diagrams of how to stack plants using recycle plastic jugs hanging them on a rack. You can grow herbs and basic cooking items this way. Parsley, green onions etc.
  • Consider how to effectively water the plants for consistent growth and if you need to add some fertilizer to the mix. There is a shortage of farm grade fertilizers but home fertilizer should be available. Use what makes sense for what you are growing and use only what’s needed.
  • Consider using a “drip system” with a central water holder that will percolate the water from one plant to another. A standard cat litter jug is about 3gallons. If each plant has a drip emitter and is connected to the jug you can dispense 3 gallons of each fill and reduce “water splash”. This can avoid standing-overflowing onto the floor. For indoors, you still have to consider overflow containment. You can buy a fancy timer or just use a pinch-clip on the distribution tube and a kitchen timer.
  • Try to plant realistically with what you can do, afford and take care of. The less personal time, the more expensive because you trade hand-watering for tech-watering and tech costs more money. Plant what makes sense for your situation. Growing trailing pumpkins might be fun but not so good in the living room. Be mindful of pets, children and other conditions when selecting plants and placements.
  • Plan on how to deal with the local climate. You can use plastic, glass or cardboard over a plant to protect it from cold when it’s small. You need a different plan once the plant is bigger. Bigger cardboard box, garbage bags or plastic sheeting may help on colder days.

With some luck, you might have fresh tomatoes in January. (2)


1) A common alternate use of farmland in the USA is for housing and urban expansion. Since row crop farming levels the land and grades it for irrigation flow, it’s ready to be converted to housing tracts. Housing developers save a lot of money because they don’t need to do a lot of grading, other than for underground services or for surface drain flows.

2) You can harvest green tomatoes and store them for later uses. They will ripen over time. Place each tomato in a “paper nest” so it doesn’t touch other tomatoes in your crate. Place the crate in a cool place. Put a candidate tomato in a small paper bag, the same as avocados, until ready to use. You can eat fried green tomatoes.

Search Terms

French intensive gardening

Continuous harvest

Container garden

Vermiculite / Perlite

Fried green tomatoes

lurker July 9, 2022 12:28 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, “Network Heisenbugs”

More like NASA is hiring in Redmond. An “improperly formatted command” sent to a buggy fault detection system? At first I fell about laughing, then I remembered the launch was a triumph for one of our own cottage industries

John July 9, 2022 1:39 PM


Roland Bunch – Soil Restoration will tell you what many small farmers are doing worldwide to grow their produce. The prior version is on the web as an open pdf thanks to Canada.

No high tech. needed….

Just works…. Works for me here also.

Takes a year or two to get really started and then crops get better each year!!

No chemicals or external inputs needed!!


vas pup July 9, 2022 3:02 PM

@Jon • July 8, 2022 6:29 PM
Thank you for interesting input!


After an AI bot wrote a scientific paper on itself, the researcher behind the experiment says she hopes she didn’t open a ‘Pandora’s box’

“A researcher from Sweden gave an AI algorithm known as GPT-3 a simple directive: “Write an academic thesis in 500 words about GPT-3 and add scientific references and citations inside the text.”

Researcher Almira Osmanovic Thunström then said she stood in awe as the text began to generate. In front of her was what she called a “fairly good” research introduction that GPT-3 wrote about itself.”

More details inside.

vas pup July 9, 2022 3:13 PM

NASA’s head warned that China may try to claim the Moon – two space scholars explain why that’s unlikely to happen

“More plausibly, China could attempt to secure control of specific lunar areas that are strategically valuable, such as lunar craters with higher concentrations of water ice. Ice on the Moon is important because it will provide water to humans that wouldn’t need to be shipped from Earth. Ice can also serve as a vital source of oxygen and hydrogen, which could be used as rocket fuel. In short, water ice is essential for ensuring the long-term sustainability and survivability of any mission to the Moon or beyond.

Securing and enforcing control of strategic lunar areas would require substantial financial investments and long-term efforts. And no country could do this without everyone noticing.

China is investing heavily in space. In 2021, it led in number of orbital launches with a total of 55 compared to the U.S.’s 51. China is also in the top three in spacecraft deployment for 2021. China’s state-owned StarNet space company is planning a megaconstellation of 12,992 satellites, and the country has nearly finished building the Tiangong space station.”

Clive Robinson July 9, 2022 3:53 PM

@ John, ALL,

Re : “Green manure” or “cover crop”.

It’s not a new idea and used to be described as “leaving fallow”, and is very important in “dryland farming”.

Crudely “dryland farming” covers the use of soil exposed to the elements, specifically erosive forces such as wind and rain wash. So hill tops down into vallies but not the various forms of “wetland” farming such as in broad valley bottoms where water medows, and bogland etc are partialy cultivated (nor paddy fields and the like).

Basically the term leaving fallow refers to land that is plowed and tilled and taken out of production to “rest”. Many think this means the land is left unseeded or even barren during a growing season, but this is not true.

Leaving fallow comes in several forms, but they all start with “breaking the soil” or “aerating the soil” or both which is where you “plow and till”. Essentially plowing is a deep soil process where you lift the compacted lower layers and turn the “green sod” down thus adding organic material inti a lower layer. Tilling is a top soil process where you break up the “weathered clumps” to form a fine soil for seeding.

Plowing is usually done at the end of a growing season such as in autumn, tilling is done before seeding or planting out at the begining of a season. Such is basic “Dryland Managment” in agricultural technology techniques, that have been practiced for ten thousand or more years in various forms.

There are roughly four different forms of resting dryland by letting it go fallow.

The First and probably the easiest, is you you effectively “leave it to nature”. That is you leave it completely alone for the primary season.

Second, is to cover the area with fresh animal bedding and spoiled hay or straw, and then leave it alone for “useful bugs and worms” to pull it into the top soil. Being open it alows water to get quickly to the soil and forms a bio-active layer where the humidity is high and the soil temprature raised and has bacterial growth renewed which is essential for mineral and similar take up in most plants root systems.

Third is to again “top dress” the area, this time with two or more seasons aged compost. This is more compact compost and can contain harder mulch such as rotted woody material. This is often a “winter top” as it breaks the effect of heavy rain and limits the effects of freezing the top soil. Alowing top soil to freeze is a contentious subject in some parts. Basically some say “it kills the soil” others say “it kills the bad” of eggs and grubs of undesirable crop attacking creatures.

Forth is to plant a rapidly growing cover crop that will be used as a “green manure” to be plowed in at the begining not end of a season prior to seeding with a new production crop. This is called “green fallow”.

Often “green fallow” is actually a two stage process. The roots of certain plants are left in the soil and the “second greening” is ploughed in. This will be followed by another “rest crop” that complements what the roots and second greening provided.

But… You can use some of these fallowing processes to encorage growth and keep down undesirable pests.

In essence you prepare your soil and put a thick blanket of light organic material on it. You then press and water it in and plant seadlings through it. It can have an equivalent of adding between a month or two to your early growing season and holding the equivalent of four to eight inches of rainfall in place as well as keeping the weeds down fairly easily.

People who do this find not only does it enrich their soil, they don’t need to leave it fallow, and can get an extra crop or two in in the year.

Another technique is “banking to the sun” when you plough a field the furrows do not fall evenly. It is customary to plough with the land contours to trap and hold rain fall in and minimise run-off. However if you plough such that the long rise faces south, then the growing area in sunlight especially in spring and autumn is increased.

All of this sounds obvious once you’ve been told, but finding out yourself could take you a decade of lower yield.

Every hslf to decade or so, you should do a deep soil break and aerate. This is hard work and I’ve described it befor.

Simply you dig a deep trench upto half a meter deep down onto the clay. You then add a lot of high density organic material in the bottom and turn the next trench soil into it such the top soil goes down.

My dad used to save up a ton of newspaper and soak it and put that down on the clay, then 100mm to 300mm of two or three year rotted straw and animal manure befor turning the green down on top of it.

You have to be carefull what you grow on it in the first season as it’s “hot soil” and will burn some crops. It’s one reason that “horse manure” is better than bovine manure, and you should never add swine waste to soil directly as it’s full of ammonia that needs to rot-in to hard or corse organic material to turn it into nitrates (similar with all urine, human included).

Clive Robinson July 9, 2022 7:57 PM

@ lurker, vas pup, ALL,

Re : China and the moon.

China might have been persuaded to join the Artemis Accords[1] if they weren’t born out of NASA with State Dept as midwife.

No they were no more going to sign up to the “Artemis Accords” than they were the earlier “Moon Treaty” which are better.

The reason they are not going to sign is even if they wantedd to –which they don’t– is they are not alowed to due to the legacy stupidity still hanging in after more than a decade and going back to the Obama period.

You have to understand that the reason China, Russia, US etc were not going to sign up to the Moon Treaty was plain simple greed and “power tripping”.

Provisions in the Moon Treaty would put not just political but legal control of all places outside of the Earth under UN control. The treaty also has an equity benifit clause of “all mankind”… Thus making all Nation states including the US and all commercial entities like US Corps pay “taxes” into a UN agreed system for redistribution to all mankind…

The Artemis Accords are the US politicians trying to make US Corps have “primacy through the back door” just like they did back in the Obama period with the “oh so secret” negotiations in internationsl trade agrements Obama tried to foist on much of the world that were significantly prejudicial to China and put US Corps in prime position via the “World Bank” dispute resolution process.

But even if China wanted to sign up to the Artemis Accords, they can not because of the US “Wolf Amendment” created by a jingoistic idiot called Frank Wolf back in 2011.

Basically it’s a law passed by the US Congress that prohibits NASA from using it’s funding as a public body to engage in cooperation with the Chinese government and China-affiliated organizations. Without getting explicit authorization from both the FBI and Congress. Something that is never going to happen on an equitable basis.

Something the fifteenth Astronomer Royal of the UK, Sir Martin Rees very publicly decried as a “deplorable ‘own goal’ by the US”.

The result is an obvious split in geo-politics, basically it’s the same nonsense we have with the “Permanent Members of the UN Security Council”. Only these days it’s “The US way or the highway” might is right nonsense that Congress snorts like bordello-crack.

Other world nations are starting to not just loose faith and patience with the US but building strong disagreement with US intentions. We will start to see more and more nations signing trade partnerships that do not include the US and the Corporate interests it pushes.

Oh but one thing people get wrong with the Artemis Accords is

“Affirm that cooperative activities under these Accords should be exclusively for peaceful purposes and in accordance with relevant international law.”

They read to much into it… For instance it would not stop the US NSA or NRO setting up significant global surveillance systems and control points for other equally abhorrent systems.

SpaceLifeForm July 10, 2022 1:18 AM

Say NO to Software Patents


Can you imagine an AI running the USPTO?

I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

ResearcherZero July 10, 2022 1:25 AM

Strip the location rich metadata from images before inquiring if part of your vehicle is a tracking device, and posting those images onto the web.

“I suspected this of being a miniature tracking device, but there’s actually very little to it. It contains a switch and an LED.”

Cognitive Distortion

Historical language records reveal a surge of cognitive distortions in recent decades

We find a pronounced “hockey stick” pattern: Over the past two decades the textual analogs of cognitive distortions surged well above historical levels, including those of World War I and II, after declining or stabilizing for most of the 20th century. Our results point to the possibility that recent socioeconomic changes, new technology, and social media are associated with a surge of cognitive distortions.

Cognitive Dissonance

Probably due to all those strange electronic boxes that the average person can not identify, and depressing or alarming news. For example:

“almost everyone in the world will be identifiable” 😲

“The Chinese government’s goal is clear: designing a system to maximize what the state can find out about a person’s identity, activities and social connections, which could ultimately help the government maintain its authoritarian rule.” 😓

Phone-tracking devices are now everywhere. The police are creating some of the largest DNA databases in the world. And the authorities are building upon facial recognition technology to collect voice prints from the general public.

One bidding document from Fujian Province gives an idea of the sheer size: The police estimated that there were 2.5 billion facial images stored at any given time. In the police’s own words, the strategy to upgrade their video surveillance system was to achieve the ultimate goal of “controlling and managing people.”

“Russia’s State Duma has passed a bill for the nonconsensual transfer of citizen’s biometric data to Unified Biometric System (UBS) as reported on Wednesday, July 6.” 🥶

“Russia’s Unified Biometric System (UBS) is a national digital platform that hopes to allow for remote identification of a person by his/her biometric parameters.”

A report out of Germany says the United States wants direct access to the police biometrics databases of European Union member states. 😨

“The initiative is known as the Enhanced Border Security Partnership (EBSP). Participation is initially voluntary. From 2027, however, it will become a requirement in the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows visa-free travel to the United States for up to 90 days. Finally, bilateral Preventing and Combating Serious Crime Agreements (PCSC) were required of all VWP participants. In individual cases, it is mutually possible to request fingerprints and DNA profiles.”

The European Union would get access to any biometrics data on Americans in return. 😖

“Police already abuse the immense power they have, but if everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective,”

“Those in power will essentially have what they need to punish anyone they’d like, whenever they choose.” 🤬

“once a functioning quantum computer appears that will be able to break that encryption…” 😱

The risk of potential human rights abuses associated with AI and surveillance technology. 🥱

ResearcherZero July 10, 2022 1:39 AM

Word of the extraordinary abilities of a robot named AWESOM-O 4000 reach the Pentagon…

AWESOM-O is later captured, taken to a secure location, and then chained to a table. When he protests that he’s a real person, his captors misinterpret this to mean he’s a self-aware robot.

ResearcherZero July 10, 2022 1:51 AM

“You’re paid to think, Mr. Scientist! National security is our job.”

SpaceLifeForm July 10, 2022 2:31 AM

@ Clive

You will enjoy this one. Note the varying lengths of the traces.

I understand the concept, but looking at the PCB, I am not spotting where the magic happens. Probably because I can not see closely enough and I am not sure what I am looking at. I am not spotting where the EMF to voltage is happening. Is it the X’s acting as antennas inducing voltage in the rings? Are the 20 circles just deflectors?


The signal propagates at 46.6% the speed of light, uses no power and does not require an FPGA. It generates 8 simultaneous beams from 8 antennas at 2.4-2.5 GHz.

Clive Robinson July 10, 2022 3:09 AM

@ vad pup, ALL,

Re : Psychology on Deception

It’s funny how fast things change…

From the article[1] you linked to we get,

“Evidence at the individual level revealed how prolific lying is linked to aversive personality traits. Participants responded to The Dark Triad, which identifies people who are dispositionally high on narcissism (e.g., those who believe they are dominant and superior to others), Machiavellianism (e.g., those who are manipulative and lack conventional morals), and psychopathy (e.g., those who are thrill-seeking and low on empathy).”

Note the traditional name of “The Dark Triad”, then giving the adversive trait forms as, narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

Before lockdown a couple of years ago The Dark Triad trait forms were given as, narcissism, sadism, and psychopathy.

So is the change of “sadism to Machiavellianism” a swap, or is it a refinement with Machiavellianism being a refined form of sadism, that is less physically brutish and more strategically planed.

Things are shall we say fluid in the definitions look up the modern psychopathy definition and compare with the older “Psychopathy and Sociopathy” definitions…

Maybe we should say “The dark Quintet” of, Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Sociopathy, Psychopathy, and Sadism. Posibly as a scale from mental to physical expression of an underlying mechanism.


Umberto July 10, 2022 3:50 AM

Machiavellianism (e.g., those who are manipulative and lack conventional morals),

Another one who has clearly never read ‘Il Principe’ and doesn’t have the faintest idea of what Machiavelli wrote about.

Winter July 10, 2022 4:50 AM


Another one who has clearly never read ‘Il Principe’ and doesn’t have the faintest idea of what Machiavelli wrote about.

Machiavellisme is a “term of art” in psychology:


Winter July 10, 2022 4:56 AM


Before lockdown a couple of years ago The Dark Triad trait forms were given as, narcissism, sadism, and psychopathy.

That was the Dark Tetrad:


I do not know why they dropped sadism, that is, enjoying inflicting pain in others. Maybe because it is often confused with BDSM which is role playing and as such unrelated to the Dark Tetrad.

Umberto July 10, 2022 5:33 AM

Machiavellisme is a “term of art” in psychology

I know. But it’s a gross misnomer and puts the thinking of Machiavelli in a completely wrong light. Which tells something about whoever first coined the term.

Clive Robinson July 10, 2022 6:29 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

I understand the concept, but looking at the PCB, I am not spotting where the magic happens.

That is because you do not intuitively understand what an FFT widget or butterfly also called a,

“Radix-2 ‘Decimation In Time'(DIT) transform”

realy is with respect to analogue circuitry (not surprising as it’s mostly not taught…).

So where to begin…

Lets start with the “Discrete Fourier Transform”(DFT), it takes two signals at the same frequencie at it’s input and multiplies them together.

In Analogue electronics this is known as a “mixer” and usually you are only looking to get one of several possible outputs…

Unfortunately the term “mixer” is used for two different types of circuit,

1, One that “sums” the amplitudes.
2, One that “squares” the sum of the amplitudes.

To make things worse over a certain “range” the expected outputs are broadly the same due to the envelope effect and the result is a good aproximation to “multiplying” the teo signals…

Now one type of mixer is realy two mixers and this is sometimes known as an IQ output mixer by some, and other fun names by others (I for “in phase” and Q for “quadrature phase”).

In esence you have an input signal S, a local oscilator LO both of which drive two mixers. The difference is one mixer gets driven by LO with zero phase shift, the other 90degrees, pi/2 or quadrature phase shift so that it is in “phase quadrature”. The outputs from the two mixers can be combined in different ways to get the RMS amplitude of S –by Pythag– or the phase of S or real fun “negative frequencies” (think in terms of a phase frequency plane, where one signal gives you the X axis the other the Y axis known as a “polar plot” and forms the basis of the Smith Chart amongst other things).

If you have fun manipulating trig formula you will realise that this type of dual mixer mixer is all that a DFT actually is.

How you go from the DFT or “channel bank receiver” to the FFT or “Butler matrix” is often dryly given in graduate physics and engineering texts or see the

“Cooley-Tukey FFT algorithm”

Explanation on Wikipedia,–Tukey_FFT_algorithm

You will find that the only difference on those butterflys is that of “phase”. Now as even a high school kid should given a little time be able to say, the phase of a signal changes with distance and correlates with time or 1/f. It’s a fundemental notion of “Transmission line theory”…

But what does a “transmission line” look like, the answer is in this case “a length of PCB trace over a dialectric and ground plane” and those “hairpin bends” you see are “phase shifters” at some specified frequency.

But what do the FFT Butterfly mixers look like? In this case four lengths of trasmission line making a full wavelength circle with connections at the quadriphase points, it’s also called a circulator. Some also call it a “Rat Race Mixer” for arcane reasons.

So all the Butler Matrix is, is an FFT with every butterfly replaced by a circulator mixer, with the required phase shifts carried out by “hairpin loop” phase shifters.

But… The circuit is not “no power” it actually powered by the input signals, and has by the laws of physics “resistive loss” which also means it has 4KTBR noise added as well. So there are finite limits on just how many FFT Butterflies you can use.

Now the circuit is being used for beam-forming which in reality means there are two FFTs one DIT and one DIF and between them a set of “weighted” delay lines.

Anyway I hope that helps you understand what you are looking at.

But just one fun thing to note… Butler Matrix systems are seen as “a bit pants these days” with “the real cool kids” now using “fractal transforms” because they have much much greater usable bandwidth… And if you think I’m going to explain those I’ve three things to say,

1, You must be joking.
2, Intellectual Property(IP).
3, Non Disclosure Agreement(NDA).

N’ff said 😉

r July 10, 2022 8:30 AM

I’m not happy about the parent troll either, but thankfully I think just having printed irrational numbers to my screen in the past counts as prior art eg rng etc. So 132 ..!.. ..!.. his post please.

Winter July 10, 2022 8:36 AM


But it’s a gross misnomer and puts the thinking of Machiavelli in a completely wrong light

Dr Alzheimer had a good memory and Dr Down a good brain. Machiavelli was a good citizen and person in general.

r July 10, 2022 11:37 AM

Ten things computers and drones should not be able to do:

#1 Study MRI, pet, cat and eegs.


This is a response to the potential NSA/JudiCIAl troll above.

One good 🐈 deserves another good 🐈.

lurker July 10, 2022 12:06 PM

@Researcher Zero
We don’t do fingerprints or DNA for passports or visa, nor for the daily business of government, so I guess we’ll lose our Visa Waiver status . . .

vas pup July 10, 2022 3:28 PM

@Clive Robinson • July 10, 2022 3:09 AM
Thank you for input. Unfortunately my initial post was deleted by Moderator 🙁
You did provide link in Your input. Double thank you.

vas pup July 10, 2022 5:12 PM

“It’s clear that many other factors are more closely associated with gun violence than mental illness. They include experiencing trauma and violence during childhood, being young and male, living in neighborhoods where violence is more prevalent, poor impulse control, poor anger control and, perhaps most of all, easy access to a firearm.”

Source:The staggering scope of U.S. gun deaths goes far beyond mass shootings

Nick Levinson July 10, 2022 5:49 PM

An IT “kill switch” system was used to impede law enforcement searches that seem to have been lawful and this was done by Uber until 2017 with apparently a lawyer’s approval. This may have occurred only across international borders and the searches may not have been in the U.S. The procedure includes acting surprised for the police, who once brought along half a dozen IT experts. Uber does not exactly deny having done this practice before the current CEO took over.

The extent of doing so was reported only today. The reporting is in The Guardian and Business Insider (per Yahoo News).

What surprises me is how long flipping the switch took, even after doing it for real several times.

JonKnowsNothing July 10, 2022 7:25 PM

@Nick Levinson, @Ismar, @All

re: What surprises me is how long flipping the switch took…

Sunday Humor….

The kill command post-it note, was sent by unmanned automated robo-car, across the lobby, however the AI was stymied by the “House of Stairs” and went into “Shutdown Standby Mode”…


Search Terms

House of Stairs

Dutch artist M. C. Escher

first printed in November 1951

SpaceLifeForm July 10, 2022 7:37 PM

re: Twitter v Musk

Note this lawsuit does not exist. Yet.

I made it up from whole cloth 2 days ago.

Lawyers: Yea! Billable hours!

SEC: Proceed! More popcorn please.

Popcorn Vendor: Let’s get the Show started!

TLA: We will be ramping up production of Metadata popcorn seasoning soon.


Nick Levinson July 10, 2022 7:57 PM

@JonKnowsNothing & @Ismar:

Uber’s kill switch:

Actually, I think the delay was likely due to a Uber lawyer’s review of the kill recommendation before implementation. The clue is in the cc’ing to an attorney of messages seeking the kill.

I don’t think there’s an AI lawyer and I don’t think we’ll have a reliable AI lawyer for legal advice for a while. Maybe for extremely simple questions we could now; but for something like this, where the AI device could get admitted to practice in a human court of competent jurisdiction and do anything a lawyer is authorized to do, it’s likely years away. On the other hand, I don’t know the field well and IBM with Watson or Google or the Swedish outfit that submitted a GPT-3 AI-written scientific paper about itself now under peer review might justifiably have another opinion.

SpaceLifeForm July 10, 2022 8:15 PM

@ vas pup, Clive


Did you immediately see the Held for Moderation? Or did you see it, but then it later disappeared? Did it include a link? If so, did you allow it to become a clickable link, or did you break it?

The answers will help in debugging.

I can not imagine that you wrote something so offensive in reply to what Clive wrote.

I am still thinking Database Memory Leak problem. We will find out.

When only short posts survive.

SpaceLifeForm July 10, 2022 8:46 PM

@ Nick Levinson, JonKnowsNothing, Ismar

The reason for the CC is to plausibly create an Attorney Client privilege protection, so as to keep the evidence out of court.

It is not the first time.


Nick Levinson July 10, 2022 9:30 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, @JonKnowsNothing, & @Ismar:

If that is the purpose, then why the delay is more puzzling. I would think someone on duty could act more quickly, but maybe the kill would have a major consequence that must first be sorted out and thus a delay. We can infer a difficulty in designing a kill switch.

Meanwhile, I didn’t know about that particular technique for trying to shield (and the 2d link basically has less than the 1st does), but also I doubt counsel is required to reply to every message cc in order to maintain the privilege. The Google case may turn on the high quantity indicating common abuse of the system; and we can see the judge is hesitating to agree with the DoJ’s side, which could have one side deciding its adversary doesn’t need legal advice, and I doubt the judge will buy that. Imagine this (assuming the Mafia uses the technique): Wise guy to capo with cc: I want to kill Joe. Mafia’s lawyer: No, you can’t. Wise guy to capo with cc: But I want to. Capo says nothing. Mafia’s lawyer doesn’t answer because the lawyer has nothing to add to or change in the prior advice. Does the last silence give the aforesaid Wise guy permission to kill Joe? I think a court would say that the lawyer did all that was necessary and wouldn’t expose the attorney-client communications.

JonKnowsNothing July 10, 2022 9:46 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm @All

re: Twitter v Musk

Some items to watch for as the lawyers line up on the gantry…

If Musk is allowed to “walk away”, with/without paying a penalty, there will be some block or prohibition against him and perhaps the entire array of supporting financial institutions from attempting another bid-take over for Twitter at the now reduced price.


When Musk first made his attack and hostile take over bid for Twitter, he claimed that he had enough financial backing at that time to do it, regardless of the price at the time. 100% buyout, cash deal, financed by Pick-A-Name-Bank. Given the financial supporting documents, Twitter was forced to agree on the buyout.

The SEC and Twitter will want to prevent Musk and Co from repeating this fiasco, in tbd time frame, likely years of blocks and blackouts.

They will also want some block-lock on Musk’s own stock holdings and his ability to sell or trade them. Again to prevent a secondary player from using the same Hostile Take Over Plans. As Musk has been less than honest about his stock purchases I doubt anyone will take this part just on his “parole”.

It’s possible the courts could order Musk to swap out his current Twitter Stock and convert it to a non-tradable non-transferable stock type. He’d be out the entire cost of all the stock and the lock might be 10-50 years. Like a long term Savings Bond, worthless until maturity and likely worthless when that happens.

This would remove Musk from the Stockholders Meetings and Board Proxy Fights that he enjoys.

It will be interesting about “specific performance”. He claims he had the cash to do the deal. The court could tell him to pony up the cash and buy the company. Later after the change in ownership, the court can rule about the percentage of faux accounts. Once Musk has control of the company he can easily verify that number and as long as he doesn’t drop the value of the stock below it’s current level, he might get a bit of claw back. However, he has to own the company to get the claw back.

Lots of popcorn: sugar-coated popcorn with a mixture of peanuts.

JonKnowsNothing July 10, 2022 10:05 PM

@ Nick Levinson, @SpaceLifeForm, @Ismar

re: Time Delay and CC LegalBeagles

On Time Delay:

The time delay might be due to the possibility that the over all request may have been illegal, as detailed in the exposé. If someone lower on the food chain, realized they might go to the slammer for obstruction of a legal search warrant, they might have thought for a few, before Opting In/Out on pulling the kill switch.

Management might have had to find a patsy to take the fall, since they clearly suspected what they were doing was illegal too.

On LegalBeagles:

The CC LegalBeagles is something making the rounds. It isn’t designed to prevent the information from being exposed, but to make it harder to find and expose it. Currently the Dec37th Crowd is using some of this to limit or complicate their legal process.

One of the potential by-products, is a “Special Master”, that gets assigned to review every last document, paragraph, sentence and punctuation mark to determine what’s In and what’s Out. It takes much longer to sift through the hay stacks.

Then there are the other haystacks that the parties simply “oh we forgot about those” which can extend the process again.

Sometimes delay is all you need if you expect a change of regime and a pardon when it happens. And if that doesn’t happen.. there’s always SCOTUS to the rescue.

SpaceLifeForm July 10, 2022 10:33 PM

@ Nick Levinson, JonKnowsNothing, Ismar

re: Uber kill switch

Ask yourself, why would Uber know to invoke it?

How did they know of an upcoming raid?

Why would they say the directive was sent via email?

Everyone knows that email is not instant.

The CC-ed lawyers will not respond. That is by design.

How come the LEA involved did not preempt the email before the raid?

Maybe because the kill directive was sent via SMS.

There is a lot more to this story that is under the surface.

Again, why, and how did Uber know?

Nick Levinson July 10, 2022 11:32 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, @JonKnowsNothing, & @Ismar:

SLF, some of your questions were answered, at least tentatively, in the linked articles. A kill request came after a raid began, so the process doesn’t depend on advance knowledge of a raid. Email can take up to 5 days per Internet governance; but usually is quite fast and can be faster than local SMS, at least in the U.S., and these raids were not in the U.S. Cutting email in advance would have required cutting phone and Internet service before announcing LEA’s presence and the cutoff would have been alarming to the people to be raided, although they wouldn’t have known why stuff went dead. A kill system could be designed to require continuous or frequent communications originating from all significant nodes or a cutoff is imposed unsolicited on an unexplainedly silent node. Uber knew when a local office told the sysadmin office; and why they knew is that they wanted to know and designed a system accordingly.

SpaceLifeForm July 11, 2022 2:04 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing

re: Twitter v Musk

Speaking of CrackerJack, does it still come with a prize inside?

I hope so. But, you probably have to reach the bottom of the box where the kernels lie.

SpaceLifeForm July 11, 2022 2:31 AM

@ Nick Levinson, JonKnowsNothing, Ismar

re: Uber kill switch

The money laundering angle will be interesting.
The Russia connection will be interesting.
I suspect NSO is tied in. Did you see the L3 Harris news?

Also, check the main icij page, there is more. They have the receipts.

The Uber Files leak disclosed that the company used tech smokescreens to thwart investigators in the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain and other countries.

Winter July 11, 2022 2:52 AM

@SLF, All,

Uber kill switch

Uber was in Prime Time news yesterday (literally the Eight O’Clock News).

Uber illegally hired former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes, also a prominent Dutch politician, even after her request for approval for this work was clearly and unambiguously rejected by the European Commission.

I thought Uber could not get a worse name in politics. I was wrong.

Winter July 11, 2022 4:15 AM


Neelie Kroes? Never heard of her. 😉

Outside of the Netherlands, she is better known as Steelie Neelie for her interactions as EC with businesses in general and Microsoft in particular which included a fine of 1.7B euros for Microsoft [1].

[1] ht-tps://

SpaceLifeForm July 11, 2022 4:28 AM

@ Winter, JonKnowsNothing

re: Uber kill switch

Neelie Kroes?

Reference to Uber and Money Laundering (Bahamas) is just pure coincidence, right?

Note the year.

The former European commissioner Neelie Kroes, who is now a paid adviser to Bank of America and Uber, failed to declare her directorship of an offshore firm in the Bahamas while she was the most powerful corporate enforcer in Brussels.

. . .

Within two years of leaving the commission, however, she has joined three US companies. She is a special adviser to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a full board director at the customer data firm Salesforce, and a policy adviser to the taxi hailing company Uber, which shelters its international revenues from tax through the Netherlands.

Clive Robinson July 11, 2022 4:39 AM

@SpaceLifeForm, Ismar, JonKnowsNothing, Nick Levinson, Winter, ALL,

Re : LEO access to data.

If you look back far enough on this blog @Nick P myself and one or two others had discussions and proposed solutions, and Uber obviously did not read them.

So to senarios for you,

First, you are on the phone to your Shanghai Office talking to a coworker who is updating a database in their office. The police smash down the door attempt to grab the phone and demand the person in Shanghai reads out the entire database down the phone.

Do the authorities have the legal right to do so?
Does the person in the Shanghai office have to legaly comply?
Do the authorities have the right to prosecute you if the person in Shanghai does not do as demanded?

The answers are probably “No” for the first too and depends on your local compunction legislation for the third.

Now, Second case, replace the conversation with “remote access” by computer, and the coworker with a router, gateway, or middleware system that accesses the database. And the system stops alowing access to the database.

What is different between the “coworker” and the “system”?

Especially if the system is say an AI device for security?

Remember back in the 1980’s I was lucky because I dug my heals in, but two others despite being warned not to chose to cooperate with authorities and got dragged through the full UK legal process. Which then had the protection of the House of Lords, who kicked the case out as a misuse of legislation, hence the UK eventually got it’s first computer misuse act that has been abused by the authorities ever since.

In the UK the citizens nolonger have the protection of the House of Lords as the highest court in the realm. It’s been replaced with a system that is far less trustworthy and way more open to abuse and political preasure. Which the current political incumbrant choses to effectively ignore (hence part of the recent no-confidence and resignations).

Whilst Uber might be an unpleasant, rapacious and otherwise vile organisation, that should not be used to excuse unlawful “Jack-Boot-Tactics” by authorities, because once the precedence is set, it applies to all from then onwards, which might be you.

SpaceLifeForm July 11, 2022 4:49 AM

@ Winter

Whoa Neelie!

It’s a bold strategy Cotton.–NOW.html

According to the agreements, European Commissioners must wait eighteen months after retiring before they are allowed to work for a company that is related to their political activities. Kroes stepped down as European Commissioner in November 2014 and joined Uber in May 2016. But now it appears from the leaked emails that she had already discussed the taxi company several times with the ministers involved.

For example, Kroes telephoned her contacts in The Hague when the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) raided Uber’s headquarters in 2015. Neelie Kroes is now calling the Minister of Economic Affairs and other people from the government to have the police and supervisor cut down.

[Insane. Just insane]

Clive Robinson July 11, 2022 5:58 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

But now it appears from the leaked emails that she had already discussed the taxi company several times with the ministers involved.

Does that come under the 18month rules, they do have exceptions such as who initiated the communications, why, and for what purpose.

None of which has been indicated.

The issues around the changes in the taxi market are way greater than just a single company.

Most do not realise it but mobstets, criminals and many more use the “traditional” taxi market as a way of money laundering and paying people off for small things, as well as being a way to “run drugs” fairly easily. Also monopolies and cartells have been established and with cut backs in public services causing things like “Hospital transport” to be “out sourced” gives criminals direct access to tax resources.

Which is why some actually see the company as “benificial”.

When Crime and Politics are involved few situations are as they appear to the public.

Another aspect you might not have considered is who pays for a person to live?

If for “political mantra” you stop people earning money because they are XXX or YYY, then their choices are state handouts or crime. Whilst there is a lot to dislike about these large US Corporates, they tend to be “equal oportunity” when it comes to the “minimally waged”, such is the nature of “exploitation”. However it has the benifit of keeping violent, petty and similar socialy visable crime figures down as well as drive economic churn without having to use the tax take.

The fact is the company concerned went form being the heros braking up cartels and crime to being the vilains exploiting and destroying others rice bowls. What changed was not what they were doing but how they were perceived.

So there is a time line involved as well. That is say AAA at one point in time and you are a hero, say it at a diferent time and you are evil.

Whilst in reality notging has actually changed other than the way journalists and politicians want things seen by the public.

Oh and being a non believer in man made deities, I still see the funny side of the old saws of,

“Even the devil does gods work… better.”

“What would god be without the devil?”

Winter July 11, 2022 8:01 AM


Does that come under the 18month rules, they do have exceptions such as who initiated the communications, why, and for what purpose.

According to the News report, Ms Kroes was clearly and unambiguously in breach of the rules. And Uber knew that as they made it clear in all their communications that the involvement of Ms Kroes was highly confidential.

Clive Robinson July 11, 2022 9:56 AM

@ Winter,

Re : According to the News report

Be somewhat carefull about that, it is at best incompleate.

When the MSM gets around to it, you will discover that what went on was not done by Uber, but by Google.

Currently it would appear that Google is spreading disinformation about it’s very very deep involvment.

It was Google that “oened” not just the UK Priminister David Cameron through advisors, celebrity friends and other Ministers, they also owned French leader Macron via family, friends and advisors.

For some reason even though it was very very blatant, Google getting it’s hooks in the EU was to put it bluntly astounding.

What is coming out is shall we say “diversionary” and is originating from the Chocolate Factory with enough spin to turn it into almost candy-fluff that whilst having no real substance, very effectively obsucres with a very sticky mess what was actually going on at the heart of things.

I suspect that Alphabet/Googles aim is in effect “tar-pit tactics” to so bog down and exhaust those trying to get to the center of the mess they either never make it or nobody is interested when they do.

I guess time will tell but this “Uber-nonsense” is a side show the real “driver” was Google and they are trying to stay out of sight.

Winter July 11, 2022 10:23 AM


When the MSM gets around to it, you will discover that what went on was not done by Uber, but by Google.

They showed emails from the leadership at Uber on TV. The lobbying contacts and activity discussed were all related to the taxi business.

They did not say anything about other companies involved, neither including nor excluding them. But this specific case was all Uber leadership.

Blake J. July 11, 2022 11:47 AM

@Clive Robinson

When the MSM gets around to it, you will discover that what went on was not done by Uber, but by Google.

I am not a fan of Google (or Uber for that matter) but do you have any evidence to point to for this?

Clive Robinson July 11, 2022 3:19 PM

@ Winter, Blake J., ALL,

They showed emails from the leadership at Uber on TV.

The first questions you should ask is,

“Where was the money comming from?”

“What advice has been given with it?”

“What other info sources are there which are yet to come out?”

You will find that from the “naughties” through the “teens” of this century Google was upto a lot of quite controling things.

The virtually owned the David Cameron PM Coalition party and slurped up Lib-Dems like they were droplets in the bottom of a MuckyD’s iced drink.

Oh and “The Gardian” Newspaper was getting so much advertising from Google and saying such nice things about Google every day it was like some very odd cult relationship.

Over in the EU you could not move for lobyists working directly or indirectly for Google, driving EU ICT and Software IP legislation to the bad place it is.

Then all of a sudden Google was interfering in the UN ITU conventions to stop certain usefull policies being put in place and ensuring the Internet remained “US Centric” such that US legislation had primacy.

You will find out if you check that Uber were getting not just funding but advice from Google, and if you look Google plays many of the legal games that Uber has. The difference being Google has sofar managed to keep EU authorities out of it’s EU offices, in one case by not actually having an office at all just an address where mail gets forwarded from.

It’s mostly out there and has been mentioned in the past, some of it has lets just say “moved”…

Like this from 24 Mar 2022,

That said amoungst other things

“Google’s $258 million investment in Uber in 2008 was the company’s biggest venture investment ever, but it has mushroomed to more than $5 billion as a result of Google’s investment.

Google parent Alphabet owns a 5% stake in Uber, according to the prospectus filed Thursday by its IPO competitor.”

The thing is currently the spotlight is not on Alphabet / Google but Uber, but for how long can Google keep it pointing that way and away from them is a question that might change in the quite near future.

If Uber tank then that $5,000,000,000 kind of makes Musk’s potential lose in the Twitter spat look small.

The thing is many Silicon Valley Mega-Corporates, are all invested in each other in a way that has “inflated the bubble” and there realy is next to nothing backing the tech stocks except “idiot optomism”

It is said that the ponzi scheme of just one man caused the 2008 financial Crisis and global recession…

Well that inter investment stratagie will blow up or go down rapidly with even less incentive if a run starts…

vas pup July 11, 2022 4:41 PM

“► CIA tip: Beware of unsolicited knocks. Don’t open your hotel door unless you know or can verify who’s on the other side. Be especially wary of unrequested special delivery, maintenance calls, turndown service, or room service. Don’t be shy about calling the front desk to confirm.”

Josh’s tip: Make sure you can see your drinks being poured and transported to you to make sure no one is adding any intoxicants. Avoid using or purchasing recreational drugs even if locals insist they’re safe and legal.”

Source: 17 CIA tips on how to think like a spy and stay safe while on vacation

More very good and useful info inside. Enjoy!

Ted July 11, 2022 6:04 PM

@vas pup

Re: CIA vacation tips

I’ve been listening to Bill Browder’s book “Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath.” (2022)

I’d definitely recommend it. Right now I’m at the part of the book where Boris Nemtsov protégé, Vladimir Kara-Murza, is recovering from what appears to be a poisoning.

Speaking of travels, though, Bill Browder recounts his experiences of surviving an Interpol arrest in Madrid, an aggressive subpoena campaign in NY, and a Russian honeytrap in Monaco who felt they had a strong connection. Though his travels weren’t vacation per se, I think he’d appreciate those tips.

lurker July 11, 2022 6:46 PM

Paris football fiasco now blamed on
1) a dodgy marker pen rendering valid printed tickets invalid; and
2) Liverpool fans failing to turn on Bluetooth on their phones. It seems the QR code on the punter’s phone of an e-ticket could not be verified without the BT connection??!!

I suspect, had I been there i would also have been accused of ticket forgery, because surely it would need BT to be on and discoverable? This looks like a job for elReg but they’re not there yet.

Clive Robinson July 11, 2022 7:52 PM

@ vas pup, Ted, ALL,

Re : CIA tips

They were not thought up by the CIA, they are far older and predate most US Federal Agencies likr the FBI, CIA, NSW, NRO, uncle Tom Cobbly and the kitchen sink…

They are known in most other places as “fieldcraft” and some go back thousands of years.

One piece of advice, is never let metal touch your skin unless it has pased “clean through a flame”.

Whilst older than the Egyptians and may well have started with what some call “Chinese Alchemy” there is we now know a lot of science at the physics level behind it.

Firstly nearly all organic poisons break down in a flame, leaving inorganic poisons based around various minerals especially metals that change the colour of a flame very distinctively (see spectroscopy with candle and prism).

So sodium in salt makes a flame glow orange and so on Chinese “fireworks” worked on the principle of burning metal salts in the flame of gunpowder (found when searching for the essence of life).

Metal used for making blades produced known colours so anything on them like salts of mercury or arsnic would produce a different colour, as well as “burning off” (though don’t breath the fumes).

Once you had effectively cleansed the blade with fire tou kept it on your person and did not let it out of your sight.

Basically you used it for eating and grooming such as shaving.

Speaking of “eating” there is the saying,

“If you don’t cook it don’t eat it”

Oh and “burn the inside of the pan to clean it.

A lot but by no means all organic poisons break down in high tempratures and long slow cooking…

So searing then boiling then long slow cooking especially vegetables where some poison plants look almost exactly like the edible versions (see annual death toll from people making home made horse radish sauce, oh and “death by casava”)

Do not eat “fruit pits” or “nuts” as most contain either cyanide or -CN attached to organic molecules similar to sugars which get concerted to cyanide in the digestive system. Unfortunatly in either case it tends to not break down with cooking, but grating and soaking can reduce the content as the cyanide in such molecules tends to have a significant affinity for water, where as starch etc does not,

But not all organic poisons can be prevented in the standard kitchen, rice for instance had a pathogen associated with it that survives the temprature of boiling water and higher such as found in preasure cookers. So cooking rice and letting it cool to “room temprature” or over night to make a breakfast with can prove fatal. It also survives freezing so… Heating to high steam heat tempratures then rapid chill is used by the processed food industry.

Basically never make home made cooked rice portions, it’s asking to get poisoned, as is making traditional fried rice…

Ever wonder why Granny or Great Granny always used to peel root vegtables and cook untill almost turned to mush?

Well first of nearly all root vegtables and tubers have to contend with insects in the ground so the skins is where the poison is highest.

Cooking root vegtables almost to mush not only breaks down poisons, it also helps break down some more complex carbohydrates thus making startches much easier to digest easily and rapidly. It’s one of the reasons the “Glycemic index” is way higher in cooked foods like carrots than when you eat them raw.

Oh also the roots/tubers are way more suceptable to above soil insects etc as well… So where there is daylight poisons are formed to protect the plant. There are many plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, rhubarb, where it’s not safe to eat any part that is green

A pice of advice, those “master chefs” who do things like cook cherry tomatoes on the vine… Don’t do it the poison can easily get out and into the tomatoes where they split when cooking… As for green tomatoes themselves, yes they are poisonous, but unless you feel like eating a pound and a half of them in one go, a healthy adult individual will probably not notice the symptoms

Then there are “peas & beans”… One of the deadliest toxins called ricin can be found in all sorts of them.

The usual recomendation is “vigourous boil for ten minutes”… However it does not work to well on some so aditional work is needed.

So “Knowing how to cook” is a little more than just a basic survival skill…

Other “fieldcraft” is,

“Bash the tin and boil untill the dent starts to come out”

Can stop most poisoning? except from the most deadly organic poison known to mankind, the botulism posion, that also gets injected into people at “botox parties” and the like…

I’ll let people look that one up, but don’t believe what you read in some “detective novels” 😉

Petre Peter July 11, 2022 8:15 PM

Hello everyone. I need your help in validating that this company is legit. The story I was told, is that I need to have an account with this company in order to call a person who is held in custody. Has anyone heard of this company? Any help appreciate it.

Clive Robinson July 11, 2022 11:20 PM

@ vas pup, Ted, ALL,

The CIA – Tips was actually 16 in an Ask Molly posting,

Unsuprisingly I think some are good, some incompleate and some bad if not actually dangerous…

For instance,

“Do you know what else can help keep a door closed? A door stop.”

Is bad advice as I indicated years ago.

To open a door held closed with a wedge door-stop is easy, all you need is a six inch plastic ruler in your pocket.

Slide it under the door at the hinge side and slid it along towards the opening side. When you hit the door stop pull the ruler back to you then having moved it about an inch further towards the opening side push it back. The ruler then pushes the wedge out from under the door.

When the wedge is free, then slide the ruler back and move it toward the hinge side, then slide it back under and push the door-stop sideways. Then when you open the door the door keeps pushing the door-stop out of the way.

The use of a door-stop wedge is one of those “false sense of security” pieces of advice, like leaving mortice keys part turned in locks. It realy does not take much thinking to defeat such things.

Another piece of bad advice because it’s incompleate,

“A knock at your hotel door? Don’t open it unless you know or can verify who’s on the other side.”

Mossad are known to use this against people because humans are to trusting.

You get a knock on the door you walk up behind the door and say “who’s there” well you are very vulnerable.

They can either shoot you through the door with a low caliber sub sonic pistol and moderator –a potato will do– and just walk away (which they have done in the past).

Or they can first quietlt unlock the door check it opens pull it back then knock. When you say “who’s there” they just kick or shove the door open and you get knocked off balance or onto the floor. They push through and “stomp you down” as they know where you are.

What you should do on entering a hotel is put the hotel reception direct dial phone number on single key press “redial” on your mobile phone and keep it within arms reach where ever you are in the room (this is something prostitutes/escorts do). Hang it from a lanyard around your neck works.

On entering your room and having closed the corridor door imediately open the adjacent bathroom door, so you have a place to dive into. Then immediately put the “do not disturb” on the outside of the corridor door, then put the desk chair up against the corridor door and put some weight like your luggage ontop of it.

If you get a knock quietly go into the bathroom and all but close that door then wait and see what happens, if they knock again or try turning the door handle then call out “who’s there”. If anything unexpected happens slam and lock the bathroom door and hit redial then handsfree.

Rather than use a wedge, take a couple of small screw in “eye-bolts” and screw them in the bottom of the door. Pull string or “boot-laces” through the bolts and tie them to the chair not at the back of the chair but the front just below or at the seat. This pulls the legs furthest away from the door down into the carpet. The “triangle of forces” then operates in your favour and very much against anyone on the other side of the door.

With regards copying your documents, photocopy everything passport, drivers licence front of credit cards (not back), travellers checks, tickets, contact details, medications list, alergies, etc.

Put one set in your wallet, one set in the room safe leave one in a sealed envelope in reception and have two or three spare sets in your luggage with atleast on set in every bag.

Don’t stay in tourist hotels, and preferably pick a hotel next to a bus or railway station. Then when taking a taxi from the airport ask not for the hotel but the bus or railway station then walk the last bit.

When doing “research” by all means look at the CIA world fact book, but lets be honest… Wikipedia and YouTube are the places to go for “location location location” details including how the locals dress and what they look like…

Nearly every place you are likely to want to goto as an ordinary traveler on holiday will have it’s own Wikipedia page, and several YouTube videos. Look at what people are wearing in the videos and work out who the locals and tourists are, then try to blend in.

If you are six foot six with ginger hair with a fifty inch or more chest, you are going to be different even in Edinburgh Scotland. Or are you? You’ld be surprised people even in Turkey where they would think you a devil will tend to ignore you if your body movments blend in and you don’t strut or big it up.

If you can not blend in then semi-smart business atire, or as I do “travel like a seaman” or other “low end working person”

Oh and don’t try to be a “Grey man” unless it’s semi-smart business attire. Best colours are dark blue or dark green as they disapear in shade or other less bright places.

As for “Know your escape route” you should do this every where as part of situational awarness unless you can see two or more ways out, don’t go in there, or down that road or alley etc.

Always try to stand not sit, if you are going to sit, make sure it’s a freestanding chair that’s light enough for you to kick out of the way or pick up and hit someone with. Likewise never sit at a table that is bolted down or too heavy to overturn with one hand. The last place you want to sit is against the wall on a bench in a booth with a fixed table like they have in MuckyD’s or other fast food places, you’ve effectively put on a straight jacket…

Learn how to eat… Way to many Americans eat with only one hand and the other in their lap it’s a dead giveaway you are a tourist. As used to be said in a prissy english voice “no elbows on the table” is a rule in a number of places. Oh and learn about you’ve eaten sufficient rules, yes the polite belch movment is still exprcted in some places, but more subtal are things like leaving food on the plate, how you put the knife and fork on the plate and how you put your napkin on the table. In some places putting it down as a loose “scrunch bundle” is if you are going to leave the table but come back. However folding the napkin in half can signify you’ve finished with that course. But… watch out for folding the napkin back up neatly, in some cultures this is insulting as you are effectively telling your host they are to poor to do the laundery. Also check and see what napkin use is acceptable. In some places you are alowed to touch it to your lips, others not. Likeeise only put it on your lap squared off if you are male and dimoned if you are a lady. In other places it’s OK to have it part way up your stomach, but to be honest I think puting it in the shirt collar is “so two centuries ago” every where these days.

I won’t go into the nightmare that is formal place settings and why you don’t use a fork as a shovel and even if you are left handed, why you have to be right handed for eating fish. Why you eat desert with the fork not the spoon and the fun that is eating soup.

Also either learn the local hand signals or do not use them. Some nations if saying “three” will hold up the thumb index and middle fingers, other nations will not just hold up the index middle and ring finger, they may touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. Also find out if it’s a “plam out” or “back of the hand out”. Also remember in some countries a back of the hand out and the index and middle fingers up is considered very rude whilst palm out is not…

Remember many places have a “No left hand rule”, because the left hand is the dirty hand. Likewise many find seeing the soles of feet/shoes highly offensive.

In some places there are rules about how you walk down the pavement… And which side you walk of someone of the opposite sex.

Never hand-carry anything, use a satchel rather than a briefcase or a backpack with both waist and chest straps fastened.

Have a cheap wallet with no more than about twenty dollars in it. Put other money in low bills in all your pockets and some high denomination bills in a plastic bag inside your sock so it’s under your foot.

If you are going to wear a body “money” belt don’t put anything valuable or metalic in it… Criminals know that those realy cheap nail/pipe detectors you can buy at DIY stores will find valuables without having to touch you.

Have cheap earphones and put them in your ears, that way you either get left alone or a moment or twos thinking time.

Don’t shop in “human service” shops, go for super markets etc you stick stuff on the conveyour or next to the till and hand over sufficient low denomination notes.

In Europe you can usually find Chinese or Indian shops or takeaways, as they are run by “immigrants” or first or second generation they will very probably speak english reasonably well and actually be happy to practice it with you. They can be realy helpfull with “local knowledge”.

As for “Trust your instincts” most people do not have any instincts… And learning them can be a painful experience. You first have to learn to be alert and notice things, do this by practicing every day long before you travel anywhere, you only become vigilant when the hypervigilence has sunk in. It’s a bit like learning to drive, at first you consciously have to notice things but given time you notice them subconsciously and things get less stressful.

But it’s not just people it’s things, the way to avoid getting blown up by an IED is to know the environment better the back of your hand. Spot signs like parked vehicles designed to “funnel into the kill zone” street furniture or similar being moved. Learn what vehicles are “normal” and which are “new” in the area. Spot “fakes” surveillance and similar vehicles have oddities about them if you know the make and models any silhouette changes will scream out to you. But get used to “looking in” to cars, they almost always have some form of personalisation even if it’s just coins in the center console. To clean or to dirty inside or out can scream alarm signals.

Also people siting in vehicles usually do not look normal… This is because of the “my personal space” issue cyclists are used to passing busy traffic and seeing lots of “unguarded faces”. Where people just assume nobody looks in so they do not have their “I’m social face” mask on. People doing surveillance do have their “I’m social face on” because they assume the target is looking at them…

SpaceLifeForm July 12, 2022 2:39 AM

@ Petre Peter

You could call the Courthouse and find out what the bail conditions are.

If you can get the person out on bail, then you don’t have to mess with the Securus crap. Instead of this person expecting a way to make a phone call, I’m sure it would make their day to be told that they are being released on bail.

Petre Peter July 12, 2022 6:08 AM


10x 4 the links as well. Apparently, the most private way to communicate is to write her a letter, since they record all calls except attorney client.

Ted July 12, 2022 9:48 AM

@Clive, vas pup

There are many plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, rhubarb, where it’s not safe to eat any part that is green

Oh wow. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. That could save a life or at least great discomfort. It wonder if what afflicted Vladimir Kara-Murza could have been any one of the chemicals you mentioned.

They had a real problem trying to find someplace to get his blood samples tested. They finally found a concierge doctor who said he had access to labs. However, the techs who received the samples were so scared of what could be in them, that they never even took them out of the biohazard bag.

I was reading on Wikipedia that Kara-Murza came down with similar symptoms two years later (and survived) but that the results of any tests were never released. One person suggested they might be classified.

A few weeks ago on a walk I saw a beautiful plant with fluffy white umbels that I later learned was probably Poison Hemlock. It looks so much like Queen Anne’s Lace that I’m horrified I didn’t know the difference before now.

Blake J. July 12, 2022 10:26 AM

@Clive Robinson


Oh and “The Gardian” Newspaper was getting so much advertising from Google and saying such nice things about Google every day it was like some very odd cult relationship.

This I noticed years ago with some sites that seemed to promote Google. Made me wonder if someone had been paid extra to write something like that. Because the articles had an excessively positive vibe. Made my “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably ain’t” warning bells at least buzz a bit.

fib July 12, 2022 11:16 AM


Einstein would love the clearly visible Gravitation Lensing.

Yes, and there are lenses within lenses, and Einstein crosses…

It is interesting that there are very faint bluish dots [i.e. with less red shift], meaning they are at less than cosmological distances – perhaps even within the galaxy. Could we be seeing some brown dwarfs in this image?

I’m out of words. All I can say is Thank You, Nasa.

vas pup July 12, 2022 3:40 PM

@Ted • July 11, 2022 6:04 PM
Putting moral aspects aside, I could definitely see real dequalification of RF toxicology special operations in comparison with similar of former USSR. Failures with Scripals, Litvinenko, Navalniy and Your example are the best support for my statement.

@Clive – thank you very much for Your invaluable input on travel security tips.

JonKnowsNothing July 12, 2022 4:27 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, @ Petre Peter @All

re bail conditions

There are a number of areas in the USA where cash bail is being repealed. It is still a common form of “parole” that the person will appear before the court at the appointed time(s).

Aside from the Tough Dude TV Shows, read the fine print on the bail bond form. And find the even smaller fine print on the back of the forms.

Generically, the amount of cash is a down payment or good faith payment on the full amount set by the court. eg 10,000 on 100,000. So you fork over the 10K and if the named person doesn’t make the show on time and on schedule, someone is on the hook for the rest of it: 90,000 + penalties.

A fair few folks didn’t get that part, and they put up their homes as collateral for the balance of the bond. The named person, scarpered and the home was taken for payment.

MAssange left some of his benefactors on the hook, when he scarped.


Old News Search

Julian Assange


bail money

forfeit £93,500

bond £140,000

bond £200,000

Clive Robinson July 12, 2022 4:53 PM

@ Blake J.,

Made my “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably ain’t” warning bells at least buzz a bit…

Well two things to note,

1, It was more than a decade ago, which in the ICT world is about three life times ago.

2, You felt uncomfortable, maybe not that something was wrong, but something was not realy right.

I’d say that puts you in the upper 95 percentile, so there’s more thsn a bit of hope for you 😉

But seriously few are born with a fine tuned “sense of hinky” like muscles you have to work at getting the end result you want.

I was for various reasons both lucky and unlucky because I was almost insanely curious from before I could walk and like many physically large people realy quite mild mannered.

In the adults especially teachers see curiosity as a significant pluss point, and many sins get forgiven, because they give the adults “dining ouy stories”. But mild mannered behaviour is seen as “stupid” in a peer group and thus you get bullied not by individusls but by packs or as we call them gangs.

Unfortunately when I was young being bullied at school was seen as “character forming” by those who had bullied others when they were at school so you had two choices put up with it or fight back.

One day I snapped and beat a bully so hard his “friends” deserted him and I just carried on hitting him. Eventually I was draged off by some horrified teachers and the bully lay their like a thrown down rag doll in a puddle. My parents were called and I got taken home when I returned to school nothing was said the bully was nolonger there and I got left alone by every one, their backs were in effect turned.

Being “sent to Coventry” is a social torture technique deployed against individuals. The thing is like all torture you have to be susceptible in the first place for it to work.

To me it gave me peace to do what my curiosity wanted and I moved forward rapidly in certain educational areas but not others. So I developed an early interest in maths and science and the way things worked.

So I learnt to pick locks, cut keys from having just seen one for a couple of seconds and all sorts of other skills that you are not supposed to know.

The adults did not know what to make of me, I behaved like I was withdrawn when in groups of other children but with adults, they often forgot I was a child not an adolescent or older.

So at an early age before computers were anything more than “Dr Who” plot items I’d learnt skills that I still use daily.

The trick and it is a realy important one to learb, was to not as such “learn new skills”, but migrate existing fundemental skills into new areas…

It’s only now I’m getting old and crabby in the mirror (I still look out with the eyes of a twenty year old) that I realise our entire education system is to be honest wrong. It’s not the fault of the teachers but those who dictate to them. They are in effect bullies, and the harm to society they cause is immense.

Learning how to migrate the skills you have and therby not just broaden them but strengthen them is the way we should make ourselves of use.

You could learn parrot fashion all the Kings of England, all the Presidents of the USA, and endless reams of facts… But realy what use are they in your head?

They would be of more use in a well thumbed book in a well used library, or it’s modern equivalent.

Facts do not give understanding, neither mostly do methords or processes, we can all reorder a filing cabinate (I hope).

But to what benifit? That is where information becomes usefull knowledge. For instance few people can do it because of the “mechanics” but understanding why you might reindex a database nearly everyone can with a little help and an interest or need can pickup.

In turn you get a feel for when the current way you are indexing it is wrong or could be improved.

That is the first step on the path to what our host @Bruce has in the past called learning to “think hinky”.

In a way it’s just a skill like riding a bike, playing the guitar and with time writing music or other works of art. You learn not just how to use the tools at hand, but also take those tools on to do a new task, and in the process also take back new understanding to the old task.

Yes it all sounds “nebulous” and some locked in a cognative straight jacket of their own making will never see the benifit.

But hey we don’t pound nails into beams with our fists for a reason 😉

Realising that, then lets us realise why there are so many different types of “hammer” even though some might be called mallets…

JonKnowsNothing July 12, 2022 5:59 PM

@ Clive Robinson, @ Blake J., @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Parrot Fashion

One of the missing components of USA education is the “connecting glue” to events. It’s not allowed to be taught, someone runs the risk of connecting a dot or two.

Our schooling teaches in discrete sections or blocks, based on Age, School, and Level. There isn’t anything that connects anything to any other thing. At most you have to survive 101, 102, 103 and then you can “dump the core” ’cause no one will ever ask you how to measure wine in an oak cask with just a stick and chalk since no one ever taught you how to do that anyway.

One of the really wonderful things about this blog are the interactions. It’s a fantastic way to connect more dots. Although I admit, I rarely connect the ones that SpaceLifeForm mentions but I give it a go just the same.

It’s not until you get too old for it to matter any more, that you can really “see” how it all came together. Sure there are loads of unknowns and lots of Idunnos but the connections are there if you can find a thread to follow.

Some years ago a BBC documentary aired in the USA called Connections. It was a wonderful trip around history and technology following the loop of time and historical circumstance.

Connections explores an “Alternative View of Change” (the subtitle of the series) that rejects the conventional linear and teleological view of historical progress. Burke contends that one cannot consider the development of any particular piece of the modern world in isolation. Rather, the entire gestalt of the modern world is the result of a web of interconnected events, each one consisting of a person or group acting for reasons of their own motivations (e.g., profit, curiosity, religion) with no concept of the final, modern result to which the actions of either them or their contemporaries would lead. The interplay of the results of these isolated events is what drives history and innovation, and is also the main focus of the series and its sequels.

It was great fun and a comfort to know, that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t think Greece, Egypt and Rome and other important events and developments, just fell off the planet at the end of the chapter or died at the end of session; or that their only importance was how much the text book was worth at end of session buy-back.

I picked up a DIY book on “How to Read Blue Prints” just from a documentary comment made by Richard Feynman.

Curiosity has value.


Search Terms

Connections (British documentary)

James Burke (science historian)

Clive Robinson July 12, 2022 6:20 PM

@ Ted,

“It looks so much like Queen Anne’s Lace that I’m horrified I didn’t know the difference before now.”

They are part of the same family and “Queen Anne’s lace” also known as wild carrot is poisonous in part…

A lot of “wild food sites” say you can eat the first year leaves and flowers in salads DON’T or even handle them.

Research in 2018 showed that the leaves even in the first year contain a range of phototoxic poisons in the furocoumarins family[1], which is much higher in the second year. It’s the same toxin familly as is found in the similar looking and rightly feared Hogweed that I’ve mentioned on this blog before. The furocoumarins cause what look like third degree burns, even years after touching Hogweed, by the way they interact with the dermal DNA.

So keep Queen Anne’s Lace away from humans and live stock as a precaution and always handle with appropriate “PPE” (gloves etc).

Oh the Queen Anne’s Lace tap root is often so sweet you can use it to make puddings with, without need of honey or beet.

Oh, it might appear I know a lot about such plants, whilst I do no more than many, trust me ehen I say,

“I don’t know enough”

Not even close, even with the many books in my dead tree cave.

Some years ago when doing some research on “sustainability” I went to South West London’s Kew Gardens to “consult an expert” who as friendly and jovial as she was scared the living daylights out of me, just on UK native plants that people use incorrectly…

[1] See refrences at the bottom of,

SpaceLifeForm July 12, 2022 6:48 PM

@ Petre Peter, JonKnowsNothing

You did not read closely, so you get a B+ on your homework. 🙂

Read the links again.

Securus has (and probably still does), record Attorney Client conversations.

It would take effort to detect and prove, but clearly it has happened. Easier when the prosecution tips their hand and a good lawyer recalls that the information that the prosdcutor mentioned would have only been known thru a Securus wire tap.

Hence why bail is important. Then the client can talk to the lawyer offline.

Clive Robinson July 12, 2022 7:03 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Re : Joining dots.

I smiled when I read,

“’cause no one will ever ask you how to measure wine in an oak cask with just a stick and chalk since no one ever taught you how to do that anyway.”

Or by tapping it.

Something they do actually ask you to learn how to do in the medical profession, to detect how filled up yoir lungs may be with crud of various forms.

Sadly though they rarely give the history.

We’ve all heard of “fetal monitors” and know they are not just high tech but expensive.

Few in the west appear to know that putting a stethoscope “cheastpircr” head under an empty glass on a womans abdomen can produce very similar results to a Doppler and none of that messy “lubricating gell” needed either. It works as well if not better than a “Pinard horn”.

I was surprised by this when told by a nurse who had spent time in Africa where sometimes all that they have is a rolled up piece of cardboard to make what looks like an old fashioned ear trumpet…

SpaceLifeForm July 12, 2022 7:52 PM

@ fib, ALL

Keep in mind that the images from Webb Telescope are false-color. The media repeatedly fails to mention this.

The Webb Telescope only ‘sees’ in infrared.

The frequencies Observed by the telescope hardware and the data collected are then mapped into human visible to create the images.

You would go insane if your eyeball-brain system could actually ‘see’ infrared.

Same applies to radio frequencies.

Of course, you would probably not exist anyway, as it would require too much energy expense to process the input.

It, litterally, would be a waste of energy.

The color spectrum of visible light is the ‘sweet spot’ where our eyeball-brain system can process the input via quantum electro-chemical processes.

The rest is noise, to be ignored, to conserve energy, and survive as a SpaceLifeForm.

Remember to get good sleep, so your eyeball-brain system has the energy to function the next day.

SpaceLifeForm July 12, 2022 9:35 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL

re: Curiosity has value

Life is a tough teacher.

Connecting dots is not easy at times.

It helps to become a Webb Telescope at an early age, so you can look back in time and start connecting the Galaxy dots while you can make a difference for society and security.

The longer you have been around, and the further back in time you can Observe the Galaxy dots, the more information you will glean.

There will be more visible dots to connect.

Curiosity never killed a cat.

ResearcherZero July 12, 2022 10:47 PM


Russian intelligence often take advantage of corrupt police, and those jokers are not often smart enough to ask who is paying.

Retbleed (CVE-2022-29900 and CVE-2022-29901) is the new addition to the family of speculative execution attacks that exploit branch target injection to leak information, which we call Spectre-BTI. Unlike its siblings, who trigger harmful branch target speculation by exploiting indirect jumps or calls, Retbleed exploits return instructions.

A different kind of speculative attack…

Waymo Bombing

The rowdiness took place around 10 pm in the Mission District after the Dolores Hill Bomb, an annual event where hundreds of skateboarders gather and go down a steep hill.

“At approximately 10 pm on July 9, one of our cars operating in manual mode in San Francisco was surrounded by individuals who jumped onto the hood, roof and the trunk of the car and vandalized the vehicle with spray paint,”

“The autonomous specialist was eventually able to direct the car safely out of the crowd and remove themselves from the situation.”

“We’re just very, very angry, let’s put it that way,” Linda Rothfield, a neighborhood resident, says. “Like what’s going on?”
Rothfield says she was in an Uber passing 18th Street around 10 p.m. when she saw what she described as a “mob” of young people obstructing the road and detonating fireworks.

Clive Robinson July 13, 2022 8:39 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Silicon Turtles

Or as I named it “The Xmas gift that keeps on giving”…

This is a “Go Faster Stripes” problem that CPU manufacturers dug themselves into with their “Specmanship games”.

I can not remember how far back in time I first posted,

“Security -v- Efficiency”

To this blog, but I was certainly talking about the issues last century with “time based side channels” that are a natural side effect of making things run faster by trying to remove redundancy.

There are only two real solutions to being secure against these “Go Faster Stripe” attacks and the many more new ones to follow in their footsteps.

1, Turn off the “Go Faster Stripe” optimizations and take the above 50% performance hit.

2, Issolate the systems from attack by not having them connected to “at risk” communications.

Anything else is going to leave you vulnerable…

Which raises the question of how you effectively mitigate “Cloud Services” of all the “XasS” suppliers…

But then again back in the early days of “Cloud” servicess people were waving big red security warning flags about “The Cloud” the fact they get so frequently confirmed is well…

Oh as for the,

“Magically, Windows has already did the mitigation.”

Do not be entirely to sure on that I suspect there will be a new Go Faster Stripe in a very short while that will make them and more importantly their users wince.

Such is the nature of these CPU Go Faster Stripe issues…

Oh… And don’t forget some of those “mitigations” that come from the chip manufacturers, will fairly significantly shorten the life expectancy of the silicon…

pup vas July 13, 2022 1:56 PM

Australia probes retail giants Bunnings and Kmart over customer ‘faceprints’

=Australia’s privacy watchdog has launched an investigation into two retail giants over their use of facial recognition technology.

Hardware firm Bunnings and department store Kmart collect customers’ “faceprints” in some locations.

Consumer advocacy group Choice says the technology is unethical, invasive and being used without proper consent or reasoning.

Both retailers defended its use as an anti-theft and safety measure.

Australian retailers can only collect sensitive biometric information if “reasonably necessary” for their operations and they have “clear consent”, Angelene Falk said.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has called for a ban on the technology until Australia has specific laws to regulate its use. It followed police in Western Australia using it for Covid isolation checks.=

pup vas July 13, 2022 2:08 PM

New biometrics laws urgently needed, review finds

=New laws governing biometric technologies are urgently needed, an independent legal review led by Matthew Ryder QC has found.

Biometric data includes faces, fingerprints, voices, DNA profiles, and other measurements related to the body.

Technologies using this data, such as live facial recognition, are increasingly common.

Biometric technologies, it noted, previously used almost exclusively in policing, are now used by a growing number of private and public organizations, including employers, schools and shops.

More novel tools such as gait analysis, which looks at distinctive features of how people walk, or key-stroke analysis, based on how people type, are also being deployed.

The institute is now calling for changes including:

comprehensive legislation governing the use of biometric technologies.

oversight by a national, independent and properly resourced regulatory body.

a requirement for technology to meet standards of accuracy, reliability and validity and proportionality.

a moratorium on systems capable of mass identification or classification in the public sector until legislation is passed.=

lurker July 13, 2022 3:47 PM

@pup vas

What Bunnings & Kmart are doing is only one small step beyond what small shop owners, and lately a large supermarket chain, have been doing for some time with general public approval: take a screenshot from security cam footage of a shoplifter in action; post it in the front window with the caption, “Do You Know This Person?”

Bunnings have only mechanised the screenshot and caption. The real advance is the accuracy of timestamps synchronised to the cash register enables them to put a card nr to a face, and not have to seek public help in identifying perpetrators.

Anyone who asks why somebody paying for their purchase is suspect, hasn’t heard of ‘Buy one, take one free.’

vas pup July 13, 2022 4:04 PM

Human-like robots may be perceived as having mental states
Some people perceive robots that display emotions as intentional agents, study finds

“When robots appear to engage with people and display human-like emotions, people may perceive them as capable of “thinking,” or acting on their own beliefs and desires rather than their programs, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“The relationship between anthropomorphic shape, human-like behavior and the tendency to attribute independent thought and intentional behavior to robots is yet to be understood,” said study author Agnieszka Wykowska, PhD, a principal investigator at the Italian Institute of Technology. “As artificial intelligence increasingly becomes a part of our lives, it is important to understand how interacting with a robot that displays human-like behaviors might induce higher likelihood of attribution of intentional agency to the robot.”

The researchers found that participants who watched videos with the human-like robot were more likely to rate the robot’s actions as intentional, rather than programmed, while those who only interacted with the machine-like robot were not. This shows that mere exposure to a human-like robot is not enough to make people believe it is capable of thoughts and emotions. It is human-like behavior that might be crucial for being perceived as an intentional agent.

According to Wykowska, these findings show that people might be more likely to believe artificial intelligence is capable of independent thought when it creates the impression that it can behave just like humans. This could inform the design of social robots of the future, she said.

“Social bonding with robots might be beneficial in some contexts, like with socially assistive robots.

For example, in elderly care, social bonding with robots might induce a higher degree of compliance with respect to following recommendations regarding taking medication,” Wykowska said. “Determining contexts in which social bonding and attribution of intentionality is beneficial for the well-being of humans is the next step of research in this area.”

vas pup July 13, 2022 4:06 PM

How society thinks about risk

“According to Wulff, little attention has been paid until now to the fact that the meaning of risk can differ from individual to individual depending on goals and life experience. He feels it is important to understand how different people think about risk in order, for example, to gauge attitudes to new technologies or societal challenges.

An algorithm was used to generate a semantic network of risk from the 36,100 associations. It identified the following components: threat, fortune, investment, activity and analysis. The semantic cluster “threat” (danger, accident, loss, etc.) was the component most prominently associated with risk, closely followed by “fortune” (profit, game, adventure). “Up until now, studies have mostly focused on the negative components of risk and ignored the fact that it can also have positive associations,” Wulff comments.”

SpaceLifeForm July 13, 2022 6:04 PM

@ fib, ALL

re: Webb Telescope

I strongly suspect that the data will create more questions than answers.

Specifically, the data will cast doubt on the Big Bang Theory.

I firmly remain in the Tired Light camp.

I am looking at this from another angle now, that does not require Compton Scattering.

As you may recall, I never have believed in Big Bang Theory.

Mark my words,the data is going to force Astrophysicists to review the known knowledge.

Who was this Planck dude anyway?

fib July 13, 2022 6:53 PM

@SLF, All

Keep in mind that the images from Webb Telescope are false-color. The media repeatedly fails to mention this.

Right, but remember the spectrum is ‘transposed’ in the JWST images. The red-colored objects in the photo are the large redshift cosmological objects – which are now in the infrared.

Infrared objects within the galaxy [i.e. non-cosmological] should appear blueshifted in the JWST images.

A quick search earlier today shows that the telescope is in fact expected to search for brown dwarfs.


Hope you’ll understand my English


lurker July 13, 2022 7:09 PM


‘this Planck dude’ is reported as saying that “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature. And it is because in the last analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.”

lurker July 13, 2022 8:14 PM

Schulte guilty



vas pup July 14, 2022 3:01 PM

edtronic signs $585m option to buy Israeli medtech firm CathWorks

“Irish-US firm Medtronic will invest up to $75 million in Israeli medical tech company CathWorks, the developer of a digital diagnostic tool for coronary artery disease (CAD), and has signed a $585 million option to acquire the company over the next five years to “transform how coronary artery disease is diagnosed and treated.”

CAD is a common heart condition where the major blood vessels that supply the heart struggle to send enough blood and oxygen, often due to a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries caused by fatty material build-up (plaque). It is the leading cause of death in the United States and can be caused by high cholesterol, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and high blood pressure. Cardiovascular diseases kill about 18 million people, annually, according to the World Health Organization.

According to the announcement Tuesday, Medtronic’s strategic investment in Cathworks will include the promotion and marketing of the company’s FFRangio system in the US, Europe and Japan, where it is already commercially available.

FFR, or fractional flow reserve, is a diagnostic technique that measures how well blood can flow to the heart through the coronary arteries. It is an important tool used by physicians to monitor patients but involves an invasive procedure where a catheter must be inserted during an angiogram (an X-ray of the blood vessels and organs). The procedure is called a cardiac catheterization.

!!!CathWorks’ FFRangio system uses artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computational science to obtain FFR values from routine angiograms, without the invasive procedures.”

More interesting info about Medtronic inside!

SpaceLifeForm July 14, 2022 3:19 PM

re: US v Schulte

I believe he actually demonstrated the security problems to Judge Furman and the prosecutors.

It was clear to me that he has always been preparing for appeal.

Access to BIOS/UEFI? Check.

Internet? Check.

Writable media? Check.


I really did like malapropism @emptywheel did. 2016 is not relevant. See top comments on her article.

SpaceLifeForm July 14, 2022 6:11 PM

as the insanity continues

Content and Packet Delivery are different things. Some do not understand this. Or they want to pretend that they do not understand the difference.

Some ISPs love to oversell, and then when their bandwidth costs go up, they lose profit, so they want to blame the content providers.

I am not saying the content providers are totally innocent, they could do better, but the ISPs should not oversell in the first place.


Clive Robinson July 14, 2022 6:39 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : US v Schulte

Remember you do not need a compiler to create what they call an “executable”…

But even so back in the early MS days, I wrote batch files to create “XXXXXXXX.COM” files.

Yes it’s a lot harder to create “YYYYYYYY.EXE” files. But it takes not that much effort to take an existing supplied “YYYYYYYY.EXE” you have studied and know, and tweek it.

If people don’t understand how you might go about this, they might want to look up how an “ASCII NOP Sledge” or “ASCII Shellcode” works…

It’s the sort of thing I would expect Mr. Schulte to know how to do from memory if he is capable of doing the other things the US government prosecution claim. So why they should not know, makes me wonder what game they were actually playing.

MarkH July 14, 2022 10:42 PM


Though it might sound a bit ironic, this is a sincere message of appreciation.

I care very little about who has the truth. I focus on finding out what is truth.

In the comment where you identified yourself as “firmly … in the Tired Light camp,” you provided a link to a Wikipedia article explaining how the Tired Light hypothesis has been suffocated under a mountain of evidence.

That you did so, is a hallmark of intellectual integrity. I salute you!

SpaceLifeForm July 15, 2022 12:16 AM

@ MarkH

re: Tired Light

I appreciate your kind thoughts, and I thank you for reading.

I may be completely wrong, and even though the contradictory evidence would indicate so, I am not convinced. Yet. There is a lot of magic stuff that happens at the Quantum level yet to be discovered. Especially at Planck scale. Which, probably is not even discoverable. I suspect some things can only be inferred thru math, and can never be experimentally proven or disproven either way because it is physically impossible to build any experimental apparatus that can test the theory in question.

I am of the belief that it is perfectly fine to be wrong. As long as we learn something from a disproven hypothesis, we still learned something.

It is the nature of the Scientific Process.

Winter July 15, 2022 1:47 AM


I may be completely wrong, and even though the contradictory evidence would indicate so, I am not convinced. Yet.

In such cases, I am primarily interested in knowing why someone wants to believe that the evidence and the science are wrong?

In this case, Tired Light is not less bizarre than the expansion of the universe. Also, any new discoveries in, e.g., quantum mechanics, are just as likely (more likely) to strengthen the current ideas as to weaken them. Also, Tired Light is just one of thousands of wild ideas floating around. Why do people think that new discoveries will suddenly start supporting this idea, and not others?

There is absolutely nothing in physics that suggests that light could lose energy without changing momentum. Still people want to believe it. Why?

Clive Robinson July 15, 2022 6:05 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

I may be completely wrong, and even though the contradictory evidence would indicate so, I am not convinced.

And you would be right to be so, because even if you are wrong and we mostly all are most of the time when scratching at thr unknown, it’s how knowledge moves forwards, like a pin-ball on an endlessly changing path.

One of the greatest sins of science is the cult of unified. It is a form of cognative bias where a single idividual, idea, or notion gets “blessed” and therefore everything contrary is “heresy”…

Around a century and a half ago mathmeticians were going mad over infinity. These days we mainly take it as accepted a curiosity, with oddities we can not explain, but we nolonger believe we can find a deities in there or some deeper meaning to life as most of us perceive it. So we don’t alow ourselves to fall into the trap of running fruitlessly down looking for some meaning that is not there.

Now we play at the edges of where did our universe come from, what caused it. The underpining of which is the,

“Something from nothing?”

Question. At the other end we play with the,

“Nothing can move faster than the speed of light”

Assertion. Some but not many look for some significant meaning in these and try to find answers with the tools we have made.

One is mathmatics, but we already know from work of just about a century ago it is at best imperfect. It’s incapable of describing it’s self as a system. Yet we expect to be able to find ultimate truth answers with it…

Does that appear to be reasonable behaviour, or just more omphaloskepsis (navel gazing for hidden truth)?

Being “orthodox” is in reality denying the future, “skepticism” is chasing the futures tail as you hunt it down and investigating all the places it might hide to rout it out.

Just remember there are infinities of difference between massless and having to little mass to measure. Whilst the difference may be infinitesimaly small, at a cusp it makes a difference, where things expressed in natural numbers are non-differentiable.

A joke? But at who’s expense ours or the universe’s of which we are a part…

SpaceLifeForm July 16, 2022 1:06 AM

@ Winter

re: Tired Light

In such cases, I am primarily interested in knowing why someone wants to believe that the evidence and the science are wrong?

Because History tells us to always question and not accept dogma.

For a some time, Ptolemy had a model that was accepted.

And then, Copernicus came up with a better model.

In this case, Tired Light is not less bizarre than the expansion of the universe.

So, does ‘not less bizarre’ mean equally bizarre or more bizarre? 😉

Also, any new discoveries in, e.g., quantum mechanics, are just as likely (more likely) to strengthen the current ideas as to weaken them.

I have to go with ‘Objection: Calls for speculation’.

Also, Tired Light is just one of thousands of wild ideas floating around. Why do people think that new discoveries will suddenly start supporting this idea, and not others?

I’m not sure it will. It may, it may not. But I suspect the JWST will be providing a lot of questions as to the current models.

There is absolutely nothing in physics that suggests that light could lose energy without changing momentum. Still people want to believe it. Why?

Because there is still much to be learned. If a photon slowly loses energy over time (long distance), it would have to become red-shifted because the frequency is proportional to the energy via Planck.

And just because we can not detect such at short distances does not mean it is not happening.

Big picture question: Where does the energy come from that is available to create the photon in the first place?

What if, as part of space-time and the quantum foam, the photon must pay back to space-time the energy that was originally borrowed from somewhere?

That is, does the photon have to pay an energy tax during it’s travels?

There is more to space than meets the eye.

Clive Robinson July 16, 2022 5:56 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm,

Dogma is that the earth is a globe.

But is it?…

There are several dictionary definitions for “globe” as a “shape”

1, [noun] something spherical or rounded.
2, [noun] an object shaped like a ball.
3, [noun] a spherical body.
4, anything more or less spherical, such as a glass lampshade.
5, a golden ball traditionally borne as an emblem of sovereignty (orb).

So : ball, rounded, spherical

When you look up a definition for these you find they are given as circular objects in three dimensions with a center and radius that is invariant.

In fact the Earth like all mutable “spinning balls” can not be a “sphere” as it can not have a uniform radius…

A small but annoying point for which the word “oblate” has meaning,

1, [adj] Having the shape of a spheroid generated by rotating an ellipse about its shorter axis.
2, Spheroid having an equatorial diameter greater than the distance between poles.
3, Spheroid compressed along or flattened at the poles; Planet Earth is an oblate solid.

Wikipedia says of the “oblate spheroid”,

“The oblate spheroid is the approximate shape of rotating planets and other celestial bodies, including Earth, Saturn, Jupiter, and the quickly spinning star Altair. Saturn is the most oblate planet in the Solar System, with a flattening of 0.09796. See planetary flattening and equatorial bulge for details.”

The fun thing is the word “oblate” also applies to religion with,

1, [noun] a layman living in a monastery under a modified rule and without vows.
2, [noun] a lay person connected with a religious order or institution and living according to its regulations.
3, a minor dedicated by his parents to become a monk according to the Benedictine Rule.

Both meanings[1] derived from the Latin “Oblatus” meaning “one offered up”…

In essence it means something that appears to be, whilst actually is not, canonicaly part of an order or set.

So the Earth is not a globe whilst appearing to be one, and as with much else in life we have religion and it’s dogma to blaim for the confusion 😉

[1] History suggests that the reason for the use with “oblate spheroid” is that it happened “through the church”. Untill as late as the mid 1800’s nearly all those engaged in law, mathmatics and logic, were “of the church” or had been destined to take holy orders. Back in time when advanced education and knowledge were kept firmly under the church thumb. Oblates were seen to be on the periphery or spinning around the core, not destined for high office.

Winter July 16, 2022 7:04 AM


And therein lies the dilemma.

In science, no one will state “The Universe is X” (for any part of the Universe). What they say is “The available evidence supports the conclusion that the Universe is X”.

What is it that makes ‘looks to be’ really believable?

The evidence. The old Greek were able to deduce from the evidence that the Earth is a globe and calculate it’s size. What more do you want?

How do we really know that which we Observe is reality?

We don’t. Read Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, or the works of Karl Popper (and many others).

All we have is observations. True “Reality” is not accessible to the human. However, all reality does to us, is observable. Therefore, the non-observable aspects of reality are also inconsequential.

Winter July 16, 2022 7:07 AM


When you look up a definition for these you find they are given as circular objects in three dimensions with a center and radius that is invariant.

No, that is a geometrical sphere. A globe is something round like a ball. Unlike Plato, modern humans do not require things to have perfect geometric forms.

Clive Robinson July 16, 2022 10:34 AM

@ Winter,

Unlike Plato, modern humans do not require things to have perfect geometric forms.

I think you missed the joke, go read my last paragraph again.

SpaceLifeForm July 16, 2022 9:16 PM

Toddlers are young physicists carrying out experiments

Eventually, after falling down enough times, they start to learn what mass and gravity are all about.

Yet, to this day, we really do not know what mass and gravity are.


MarkH July 16, 2022 11:15 PM


As a fun visualization, “physicists are overgrown toddlers carrying out experiments when not scribbling on chalkboards.”

More seriously, thanks for the link to an interesting article, which stimulated me to read further. I’d never thought through how hard it is to measure the gravitational constant with precision; it remains a tough challenge even with the availability of 21st century “science fiction” techniques.

I recommend wikipedia’s article on the gravitational constant, which includes some critique of the Anderson analysis. Wikipedia’s treatment of G concludes with this amazing result:

Under the assumption that the physics of type Ia supernovae are universal, analysis of observations of 580 of them has shown that the gravitational constant has varied by less than one part in ten billion per year over the last nine billion years

It’s always possible to “go philosophical” and ask questions of the form, “what is X?” That an absolute definition remains elusive, doesn’t mean that we don’t know a very great deal about X.

MarkH July 16, 2022 11:16 PM

PS Wikipedia also says that Newton guessed the mean specific gravity of Earth at 5.5 ± 0.5 … 5.5 is very close to the accepted value, and empirical measurements took a long time to catch up to Newton’s guess. So Newton’s estimate of G was quite good.

We know the lion by his footprint!

Winter July 17, 2022 8:39 AM


Yet, to this day, we really do not know what mass and gravity are.

One of the first things a physics student is told is that physics is not about what things are, but only about calculating how they behave.

Clive Robinson July 17, 2022 11:39 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm,

Re : One of the first things a physics student is told

The first “law of physics” I was in effect told is,

“Physics is a series of lies, each more acurate than the previous accepted lie”.

I suspect @SpaceLifeForm got told the same as they were teaching him to feed turtles 😉

And it’s true, if you consider our universe is about forces acting on matter/energy. Physics has three parts,

The first are the good old experamentalists who actually do a bit more than get “white boards dirty” diging holes that span three countries to watch things and say what they saw. Expect beards and wooly jumpers on the more senior of this group.

Secondly there are the guys who take the results of the first group’s digging and watching and try to build mathmatical models that “fit the curve” as it were. Expect long hair and early male pattern baldness in this group along with a taste in shirts and ties that you won’t find on Wall St.

Then there is the third group that contain those who cogitate of Swiss Cheese and bubbles within bubbles and other minor anoying things such as an infinity of infinities happening every fractional infinity of a second. As long as they are drinking beer/wine or nibbling on snacks these appear as normal, then they say something and your head starts to hurt in ways you can not imagine.

But as for,

“but only about calculating how they behave”

That’s the ones the others call the “Shut up and calculate club”, that Quantum ojimy-flip-flops are known to hang out in 😉

If there are any physicists out there who feel they are not in one of these groups,

Please write in and tells us after, checking your reality and, that your feet are not on fire due to being burnt as a heritic by the others 😉

P.S. Smiles added for non physicists so they don’t think I am one 😉

Winter July 17, 2022 3:23 PM


And it’s true, if you consider our universe is about forces acting on matter/energy. Physics has three parts,

Physicists are weird people who think out even weirder theories about stretching and shrinking of space and time and about things that are both waves and particles and can be at two places at the same time.

Then they make up experiments that check their calculations to 12, or 20, decimals.

On top of these silly theories, they make transistors and GPS satellites. And now you can held a computer in your hand to find your way in any city or landscape.

Meanwhile, all the people who laughed at their silly theories about space-time and wave-particle duality, have been left behind in the dust.

But do not despair, new people will stand up to make fun of new silly theories of these weird physicists.

Full disclosure: in a certain sense, for a short time, I have been a kind of physicist, at least partly.

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 6:02 PM

@ Winter, MarkH, Clive

Magic Constants

That they are not actually Constant should tell you there are problems in the models.

When you are a young physicist, and you fall down, you will probably survive.

When you gain more mass over time, you may be able to understand F=ma better.

But, you probably should have learned that in high school.

I would recommend not learning this 50 years later by falling down.

The Magic Constants I trust can he found here:


That various physics equations require Magic Constants that are not constant, tells me that we really do not understand the reality of physics, and that everything we supposedly know, is really just an approximation based upon Observation.

Clive Robinson July 17, 2022 7:35 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, MarkH, Winter,

everything we supposedly know, is really just an approximation based upon Observation.

You forgot to add,

“By observers that are continuously moving with respect to each other.”

Which has concequences, if you are not moving on a straight line path towards or away from an event.

For instance as I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s not that hard to sit down and work out the Doppler frequency shift with respect to movment/time towards or away from a signal source in a straight line. You can simply draw it out on graphpaper.

However even on a straight line path , when the path is not directly to or from a source it becomes harder. Worse as anyone who has written satellite tracking software knows, when paths are not just eliptical (orbits), but also when both the source and observer move on their own paths things can get hellish.

Yes you can fairly easily but laboriously work it all out using Pythag, and I did do back in the early 1980’s. But you don’t do it by using “one formular” but a minimum of three, one for the source, one for the observer instantanious positions and directions with regards a fixed point in space (earth center of mass). Then the third to calculate from the two instantanious positions, and directions, with appropriate correctction for change and propagation.

It’s messy at best, and starts to get one heck of a lot worse with three parties.

Yes there are “constants” in there but they get scaled due to relative motion.

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 8:14 PM

@ Winter, MarkH, Clive

I am a long time Physics Heretic.

I blame my High School Physics Professor Dr. Bedard for introducing me to Schrödinger and his Wave Equation.

I was already on board with Calc and Difeq, which made it that much more mysterious.

That is when I really started to think outside the box.

As brilliant as Einstein, Bohr, Planck, Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, etc, were, I believe they were all chasing the Quantum Ghost thru the swamp.

No disrespect to all of the great Physicists, but what I am saying is there is more to Space than meets the eye.

You can only Measure that which you think you Observe.

I’ll have a couple of more notes about Magic Constants that are not constant.

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 9:24 PM

@ Winter, MarkH, Clive

Magic Constant: Cosmological constant

Narrator: There is no true vacuum.

Note that even Einstein, as brilliant as he was, changed his theory. Well, his equations anyway.


In cosmology, the cosmological constant (usually denoted by the Greek capital letter lambda: Λ), alternatively called Einstein’s cosmological constant, is the constant coefficient of a term Albert Einstein temporarily added to his field equations of general relativity. He later removed it.

. . .

Einstein originally introduced the constant in 1917 to counterbalance the effect of gravity and achieve a static universe, a notion which was the accepted view at the time. Einstein abandoned the constant in 1931 after Hubble’s confirmation of the expanding universe.

Do you see what happened there?

Einstein accepted what Hubble Observed.

Can you accept they were both incorrect?

That both did not really know what they were Theorizing and/or Observing?

lurker July 17, 2022 9:49 PM

@Clive Robinson, “It’s messy at best, and starts to get one heck of a lot worse with three parties.”

The Three Body Equations.
Sounds like a Sherlock Holmes mystery . . .

Erick July 17, 2022 11:33 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, re: the cosmological constant

One of the more interesting findings is that a two-dimensional time would remove the need for the cosmological constant altogether.

This has been in papers since 1986 or earlier but a more recent paper on the subject:

A Solution to the Cosmological Constant Problem in Two Time Dimensions

Quote from the paper:

The overall scenario is thus that the second time dimension expands the Universe on a very small length scale becoming manifest as the Planck length. Subsequently, from this small length scale, the Universe’s curvature and the size of
the cosmological constant follow.

Köhn, C. (2020) A
Solution to the Cosmological Constant
Problem in Two Time Dimensions. Journal
of High Energy Physics, Gravitation and
Cosmology, 6, 640-655.

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 11:54 PM

@ Winter, MarkH, Clive, lurker

Which has concequences, if you are not moving on a straight line path towards or away from an event.

Yep. Can someone give me the vector from Earth that points to the center of the Universe where the alleged Big Bang happened?

If you can, explain why we do not Observe any Blue-shifting in that direction.

Explain to me why any atom that emits a photon knows what direction and speed it is moving.

lurker July 18, 2022 12:21 AM

The atom doesn’t need to know its own velocity vector. It has a cat gun. It already believes that the same photon might be seen by observers in different directions.

Winter July 18, 2022 12:28 AM


Can someone give me the vector from Earth that points to the center of the Universe where the alleged Big Bang happened?

I see the misunderstanding (with thanks to Fred Hoyle). That misunderstanding can be easily corrected.

There’s no exact spot that the Big Bang happened. In fact, the Big Bang happened everywhere in the Universe. The problem generally comes from the term “Big Bang”. It brings to mind explosions, detonations, balloons being popped, and everything being blown out to chickenbasket hades. It’s too bad for us regular folk, this isn’t a good descriptive term for what the Big Bang was.

Winter July 18, 2022 12:35 AM


Explain to me why any atom that emits a photon knows what direction and speed it is moving.

Another misunderstanding. As far as the atom knows, it is in perfect rest. The rest of the universe is moving.

It is the movements of the observer compared to the atom that causes the effects. That does not solve all the puzzles. The other ingredient is that both the observed space and time change together due to the relative movement. Note the word observed.

Winter July 18, 2022 1:53 AM


As brilliant as Einstein, Bohr, Planck, Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, etc, were, I believe they were all chasing the Quantum Ghost thru the swamp.

Just a small correction, Einstein did “invent” quantum mechanics, but he did not like it at all. So he went out ghost busting the Quantum Ghost for most of his life, in vain. He could not get his equations to predict what quantum mechanics can predict to every last decimal.

You also have the erroneous believe that physics should explain the foundations of the world. It doesn’t. That is for Philosophy or Religion. Physics only predicts. But on the other hand, neither philosophy nor religion are able to predict anything at all.

Now, if you can predict the outcome of an observation, experiment, or artifact to 1 part in trillions, every time, then your theory is rather precise. You can complain all you want about the silliness of the theory, it does match the reality of the universe.

As a physicist, you do know that for the next decimal in precision, you might need a new theory altogether. And if necessary, you will write it yourself, if you can.

Newton’s theory of mechanics and gravity, as well as Maxwell’s electrodynamics, were based on instantaneous action at a distance, universal time, of point-like objects in flat space. That brings you far, e.g., to Pluto and beyond, but not all the way to the boundaries of the universe or the inside of atoms. At some point you have to look at how gravity, space, time, and point like objects interact. Which shows you space is not flat, time is not universal, and point like objects do not behave like billiard balls.

So, physics got new theories that extended Newtons mechanics, Maxwell’s electro-dynamics, and thermodynamics. These old theories were not wrong, but their basic assumptions were too coarse. The old assumptions have been replaced by new assumptions. You might not like these new assumptions and hope they will be replaced in time. We all know they will be replaced. We are already seeing the contours of these new assumptions. And they are even weirder than quantum mechanics and general relativity. So, do not hold your breath for easy to grasp ideas. The Universe has no reason to cater to our needs for simplicity and sound bites.

You might not like it, but in the end the theory that can best predict what will happen and how, will win. We did not find a better criterium yet.

Clive Robinson July 18, 2022 2:01 AM

@ lurker, ALL,

Re : Sounds like a Sherlock Holmes mystery

Which reminds me of the famous,

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

But two questions arise,

1, What if there is no truth?
2, What if you can not eliminate the impossible?

Does this mean,

Everything is possible?

A thought for people to mull over,

“What goes up must come down”

Is a statment based on observation, and has an implicit assumption that an object is either moving up or moving down. However we also claim an object can not change instantly from one to the other, due to the limitations of the speed of light. So what is the in between state between up and down?

When you “do the maths” and remove the effects of other matter, anything you throw on earth follows “an orbital path”. There is no up or down just an unchanging direction unless something external to the object impinges on it.

Can an object actually be “at rest” is that actually possible? or is it always moving?

MarkH July 18, 2022 3:20 AM


Every direction points toward the locus at which expansion began, because we’re inside it.

The physical interpretation of cosmic background radiation is that it’s light from the Big Bang, with extreme red shift. It’s in every part of the sky.

The usual visualization is the surface of a balloon. If you’re on that surface and can only perceive 2 spatial dimensions, every direction along that surface points to the “center” at the time when the balloon was tiny (before expansion started).

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 12:09 AM

@ Winter

As far as the atom knows, it is in perfect rest. The rest of the universe is moving.

It is the movements of the observer compared to the atom that causes the effects.

Ahh, I get it now. It is the fault of the Observer for being so far away.

That the emitting atom only decided the frequency to emit the photon at a specific wavelength has nothing to do with the motion of the atom. Once emitted, the photon is free, and the atom has no more say in the matter. It has washed it’s hands so to speak. It has no more influence on the photon, as it has washed it’s hands of the excess energy that it no longer wanted.

Fine. So the photon continues on it’s merry way, for billions of years maybe.

And then one day, I happen to Observe this photon, me being billions of light years away, when I just happened to look. And somehow, magically, a Rhodopsin molecule in my retina magically decides that the Blue photon is now a Red photon because I am the one that has moved further away from the emitting atom?

If the photon was Blue when it left the emitting atom, but is now Red upon Observation, then something happened. There was a middleman involved. The name of the middleman is Space.

The actual reason for the frequency degradation is the question.

Whether Big Bang expansion of Space, or Tired Light, whichever model that caused the frequency degradation, where did the lost energy go to?

Winter July 19, 2022 1:23 AM


The actual reason for the frequency degradation is the question.

Your account is correct. That is the short and long of it. And this has been tested to every precision possible, and it works as advertised.

It works at short distances, on earth, in the solar system, and it works at large distances, between galaxies.

The crucial aspect you did not include was space and time dilation. At high relative speeds, space and time change. That translates to different observers seeing different frequencies and wavelengths.

Nothing about this is related to the expansion of the universe. That is something independent of the Doppler effect.

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 1:45 AM

@ Winter, MarkH, Clive, Erick

Magic Constant: Hubble constant

This is the most interesting constant that is not constant.

67? 74? That’s close enough, right?

There is a data collection study proposed for JWST specifically to research this further. I suspect it will raise more questions than answers.

You may note that Wendy Freedman is mentioned in the first link, and is the main driver behind the JWST study. She has been researching this problem longer than anyone. She really is the expert on this problem. There is an interesting graph in the second link.




Winter July 19, 2022 2:12 AM


This is the most interesting constant that is not constant.

Why should it be a constant? Nothing in astronomy or physics does require the Hubble constant to be constant. It probably isn’t, but even that is required.

lurker July 19, 2022 2:12 AM

@DLF, where did the lost energy go to?

Entropy? A small contribution to the Heat Death of the Universe. Oh, wait, there’s a problem with that theory too . . .

Winter July 19, 2022 2:27 AM


Whether Big Bang expansion of Space, or Tired Light, whichever model that caused the frequency degradation, where did the lost energy go to?

Energy conservation holds when time is invariant (time symmetry). And inflating universe is not time invariant (it inflates), therefore, energy is not necessarily conserved, and it is not. [1]

The “lost energy” goes nowhere. Or, maybe, it goes into the inflation, or decelerating the inflation?

[1] ‘

JonKnowsNothing July 19, 2022 11:45 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, @ Winter, MarkH, Clive, All

re: Magic Constants … constants that is not constant.

A wiser person told me long ago that Engineering and Math “constants” are nothing more than “fudge factors” expressing something we do not know how to quantify.

They are numbers that we plug in, to make a formula work but they really do not represent anything directly related to the formula.

Constants are like Rounding UP and Rounding DOWN… It makes the answers look good. Or as they used to say work good enough…

It’s like using the sqr & sqrt function on a modern calculator and plugging in 3, 5, 7 and then pushing the numbers back and forth. Modern calculators will return the values of 3, 5, 7.

A friend asked my why this was a problem? Rounding the numbers back seemed OK to them.

I told them ..

  • It is a problem, because it is a lie.

lurker July 19, 2022 3:05 PM

“There are ten times more engineers at CERN than physicists. Doing this stuff is hard work.”

Slightly paraphrased from ep.3 of an ongoing series:


MarkH July 19, 2022 4:07 PM


I don’t have a tidy answer for the missing energy (of red-shifted photons).

To my understanding (i.e. at the comic-book level), in general relativity conservation of energy — by the familiar bookkeeping for energy — is a special case for flat space (zero curvature).

Conservation of energy works locally because in any “small” volume, the effects of cosmological curvature of space-time are microscopic. By analogy, we think of the upper surface of undisturbed liquid in a tank as flat, even though it’s spherically convex (to a very good approximation) with a curvature radius of about 6400 km.

MarkH July 19, 2022 4:08 PM


As already noted, photons from distant galaxies have traveled a long time through space which was incessantly expanding. In that circumstance, general relativity not only allows for loss of photon energy … it requires it (by a specified amount).

I understand this may feel quite unsatisfying … but I don’t make the laws, I just submit to them.

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 6:14 PM

@ lurker

“There are ten times more engineers at CERN than physicists. Doing this stuff is hard work.”

As was building the Pyramids.

Today, CERN and JWST are the most amazing human created experimental data collecting devices in existence. The engineering is truly a great achievement of mankind.

As you note, the ratio of engineers to physicists is out of alignment.

Both are difficult, but it shows that there really a lack of STEM education.

Humanity needs more STEM people.

So, while CERN and JWST collect more data, we need more STEM people to review that collected data.

A lot of studies over the years have been oriented to trying to prove or disprove a theory.

The study group reaches their conclusion either way, based upon the data that they were LOOKING AT.

I’m sure you have read about someone looking at old data, and discovered something that was overlooked.

Yes, crunching the numbers on old data, takes time and effort. But, if no one makes the effort to look, then that can result in knowledge never gained.

Clive Robinson July 19, 2022 6:59 PM

@ MarkH, SpaceLifeForm,

“I don’t make the laws, I just submit to them.”

Actually you do not, nobody does either.

People build mathmatical models of what they think is reality.

But the reality we actually live by cares very little or nothing for such models.

The sad reality of the situation is most “laws” are “curve fitting”.

As for constants they usually come in two basic types,

1, Multiplicative (scalling).
2, Addative (offsetting).

Change the units of measure and they change…

Constants though are often “ratios” not “absolutes”, trying to find fundemental constants that are absolutes is often very hard, and in some cases may not be possible.

There has been recebtly a revival of the,

“Continuous -v- Discrete”

Argument, maths favours the former but science tends to the latter, with Plank Distance/Time,

However another argument that comes forward is the limitation of measurment thus knowledge…

Back in 1931, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem killed off a lot of ambitions to make things “neat” in mathmatics. By showing in fact such attempts could not ever achieve the desired objective.

Or a little more formally that, for any set of axioms and inference rules proposed to encapsulate a system (mathematics). Either the system must be inconsistent, or there must be some “truths” of the system which could not be derived from knowledge of the system.

Some now are tending to believe that this is effectively a “universal truth” for all systems, not just mathmatics. That is there will always be things for which we can not find explanations.

It’s a bit of a “Bitter Pill” for many to swallow, but I look at it another way. We believe that our universe is finite, the implication of which is there has to be a limit on “what is known” (all arangments of matter or energy by which information could be stored are finite).

lurker July 19, 2022 7:08 PM

“I don’t make the laws, I just submit to them.”

The Universe cannot be ruled by laws alone. – attr Han Wu Di ~141BCE

Winter July 20, 2022 12:34 AM


The sad reality of the situation is most “laws” are “curve fitting”.

Not sure what you mean by “curve fitting”. But since Emmy Noether [1] we know that every symmetry in nature leads to a conservation law. The fact that the universe has no special places, directions, or times leads directly to, respectively, the conservation of linear and angular momentum, and mass/energy. If this symmetry is “broken”, like in the inflation of the Universe, the linked conservation law does not hold anymore.

And about constants, c, h, and g (speed of light, Planck’s and Newton’s constants) are simply that, constant’s of nature that are like π, there is simply no other way to describe them. They turn up in your experiments however you like to set up your theory.

Other constants, like the charge of an electron and proton are simply facts of life. Every free charge is an integer multiple of these charges for no apparent reason.

The idea that physics just invents laws and constants for the fun of it is ridiculous. On the contrary, whenever they can scrap a law or constant, there is a celebration (and sometimes a Novel price).

[1] More about Emmy Noether ‘

Winter July 20, 2022 12:42 AM

@ lurker

There are ten times more engineers at CERN than physicists. Doing this stuff is hard work.

The physicists are working from their home universities. For most users of CERN, it would be detrimental to be on site. There simply is not enough room there.

SpaceLifeForm July 20, 2022 3:58 AM

@ Winter

Magic Constants

And about constants, c, h, and g (speed of light, Planck’s and Newton’s constants) are simply that, constant’s of nature that are like π, there is simply no other way to describe them. They turn up in your experiments however you like to set up your theory.

Do not conflate derived true constants like e and π that can be determined mathematically, and measured values like c, h, and g that are given the label constant when they are in fact not constant.

They are in different classes.

Just because they consistently show up in experiments does tell not tell you what is really happening.

Sure, they are useful, but they do not tell you why.

Winter July 20, 2022 5:21 AM


Sure, they are useful, but they do not tell you why.

Do you think you understand π? Think again. It is everywhere.

Btw, if you have any information about c, h, or g not being constant, I would really like to hear it. These constants are at the heart of space & time and they define the limits of what can be known.

MarkH July 20, 2022 9:17 AM

Well, in engineering — and many sciences — curve-fitting is the usual basis of “laws”.

Physics has spectacular exceptions to that.

As it happens, we’ve been discussing implications of General Relativity:

Gμν + Λgμν = TμνG/c^4

At the time Einstein derived his law, he was (as far as I know) not aware of any anomaly in gravitation, even though at least one might be discerned from observations.

The basis of General Relativity was purely philosophical: his expectation that it should be possible to formulate laws of physics independent of observer perspective.

It still seems miraculous to me that GR has been confirmed so well by generations of observation and experiment.

MarkH July 20, 2022 9:28 AM


Just to keep the wheels on the rails:

g is local gravitational acceleration — decidedly subject to variation

G is the (supposedly) universal constant of gravitation, which is far as physics has discovered applies to every part of the universe, and every moment since the first picosecond after the Big Bang

Winter July 20, 2022 9:40 AM


G is the (supposedly) universal constant of gravitation,

I was refering to G, not g, earlier. My bad.

It still seems miraculous to me that GR has been confirmed so well by generations of observation and experiment.

Generations of physicists have marveled about the fact that Einstein constructed a theory without free parameters and experimental evidence that was both the simplest such theory and had a perfect fit.

The basis were the two assumptions that special relativity is valid locally and the force of gravity cannot be distinguished from acceleration locally.

Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 12:51 PM

@ MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter,

Re : General Relativity,

As I’ve said before the Einstein field equations are not just nonlinear and considered at best difficult to solve, they also have very real issues that Newton’s equations do not have with regards stability.

You could almost joke that they are a poor man’s “One Way Functions” that have “Chaotic outcomes”.

Whilst you can happily make predictions with Newton’s equations thus navigate around the solar system. Trying to use the firld equations gets you into all sorts of troubles as a predictive tool. They do however work reasonably well as a tool to analyze known events to confirm observations.

But General Relativity is not the only theory of gravitation. In fact it’s known that Einstein himself was not at all satisfied by it. He was trying to find a unified theory of both gravity and electromagnetism based on the mathematical structure of distant parallelism. Hence it was calked teleparallel gravity or more commonly “Teleparallelism”. Whilst Einstein in effect ran out of time orhers are still pursuing it as it has certain advantages over General Relativity. You can find more information on it by searching on “New teleparallel gravity theory” but I’ll be honest the amount of time needed to even start getting your head around it is way beyond what most non mathmeticians would consider reasonable. However, whilst current on teleparallelism is towards gravity only in that electromagnetism has for now been dropped, it does have an advantage over General Relativity in that it also works in quantum field theory.

But there are other theories of gravitation, som like Whitehead’s are depreciated for reasons that appear to be not of science.

The “f(R) Gravity” family, is an attempt to get over the General Relativity issues that have given rise to the need for “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy” needed to hand wave away the problem of accelerated expansion and other anomalies of the Universe.

But it’s known that General Relativity is quite deficient in other areas. Because it came about through the use of Riemannian geometry. Which we’ve know since around 1922 is insufficient due to the work of Ellie Cartan who significantly augmented it (see Riemann–Cartan geometry) hence Einstein-Cartan theory. It was thinking along these lines in 1928 that led Einstein to the thinking on the entirely different theory of teleparallelism.

Winter July 20, 2022 3:27 PM


Trying to use the firld equations gets you into all sorts of troubles as a predictive tool.

GR works like a charm in neutron stars and gravitational waves. That GR is a set of 64 non-linear differential tensor equations is unfortunate, but Nature has no reason to be ruled by easy linear equations.

Newton’s mechanics becomes chaotic with three bodies, Schrodinger’s equations with 2 electrons (He) has no analytic solution. In quantum field theory, the single body problem has no general solution as I understand. So, I would not work about GR.

I have yet to see any replacement of GR that gets the same precision in observation, and works with gravitational waves.

Work is done to merge GR with QFT. Interesting results were found by Erik Verlinde. His theory does not replace GR, but extends it to scales where dark matter and dark energy rule.

See eg, Sabine Hossenfelder:

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2022 12:52 AM

@ Winter

Do you think you understand π? Think again. It is everywhere.

I agree. When it shows up that is an interesting positive sign.

But, what I was trying to say, is that we know the value because we can Calculate it.

As compared to Magic Constants, the value must be determined via Measurement.

I do not believe there are any mathematical formulas to derive c, h, or G from scratch, from pure math. They may very well exist, yet to be discovered.

Winter July 21, 2022 1:08 AM


As compared to Magic Constants, the value must be determined via Measurement.

Which is how nature works. Nature exists, and we have to measure it’s features. That does not make these constants less constant.

If you can derive a constant of nature from something else, it is not a fundamental constant of nature anymore.

If your problem is that physics is empirical, then there is nothing to help you. We do not know a useful form of physics that is not empirical.

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2022 1:18 AM

@ Winter, Clive, MarkH

No Dark Matter please

I really like Erik Verlinde’s approach. And it not just because it works well, but also because his underlying model matches some of my thoughts as to what may be happening at the quantum level.

This is an easy read, not much math to look at.


Winter July 21, 2022 2:10 AM


No Dark Matter please

“Dark matter” is a name for something that behaves as if there is non-interacting mass associated with galaxies. Whether there is mass, or particles, or a change in gravity [1] (which is the approach of Erik Verlinde) behind “dark matter” is still an open question.

But the stars and galaxies still behave like there is invisible (dark) mass hidden among the stars.

[1] All three can be true at the same time as Quantum Field Theory does not make a distinction between fields, particles, and mass/energy.

Winter July 21, 2022 2:37 AM


I really like Erik Verlinde’s approach.

Originally, he is a string theorists. From your writings, I think you would like that branch of theoretical physics.

[Full disclosure: I do not like String Theory much, but that should neither stop nor stimulate you]

Clive Robinson July 21, 2022 3:43 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm,

“Interesting results were found by Erik Verlinde. His theory does not replace GR, but extends it to scales where dark matter and dark energy rule.”

I think you might have that a bit backward.

Erik Verlinde is a theoretical physicist for who thinks that gravity it’s self does not exist.

His viewpoint being that gravity is like what we get taught at school about temprature and Brownian motion and later themodynamics.

That is he views what others think of as fundemental as an aggregate or sum of smaller more interesting things like a drunken crowd moves from the individual walks. Call it the “Average White Gausian Noise”(AWGN) effect of a myriad of signals.

As such it raises an interesring problem. Such averaging is a “Knapsack problem” that is “hard”[1] and is inherantly a one way function.

Thus we have the “Generator -v- Observer” problem. I can design a “black box” Generator the output of which appears “random” as an observer your job is to determin if the generator is in fact derived from a “True Random Source” or some “fully determanistic algorithm”, and if the latter what the determanistic algorithm is.

The problem for the observer is that by definition the observations are discrete not continuous thus when compared for analysis are “rational ratios” not “real ratios”…

As Rabbi Burns observed in his poem,

“The best-laid plans of mice and men, oft gang agley[2]”

And was observed as the caution,

“There is many a slip twix cup and lip”

Hence the best you can do is “curve fit” and chase after more discrimination tests none of which will prove Einstein right, just wrong.

[1] For instance take a ballon or other bounded container and put into it a composition of gasses with known properties and total known mass but unknown composition, and by measuring only the volume and temprature of the ballon determin,

1, The composition of gasses
2, The velocity and direction of individual gas molecules.

In theory both could be done, in practice even the first can not without applying initial constraints (such as gas ratios have to be rationals not reals).

[2] The Scottish word “agley” is broadly the equivalent of the English “astray” and “gang” the equivalent of “go”. Thus ” meaning in this case “go astray”, or more simply “go wrong”. This is due in almost all cases to the “gaps in plans” due to the unknown, which also gives us the Military expression “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy”. The same gaps however happen where every we look as it’s a measurment process.

Winter July 21, 2022 5:03 AM


Erik Verlinde is a theoretical physicist for who thinks that gravity it’s self does not exist.

That does sound rather spectacular, but Verlinde does not deny we fall down when trip.

His ideas are the endpoint of a long tradition that looked at GR and interpreted the equations as thermodynamic equations. His ideas are, roughly, that the change in curvature of space originates in changes in entropy around mass/energy. Or better, that “space-time” itself originate in interactions between mass/energy.

However, I think this discussion is (far) outside the scope of this blog. There are other places where this is extensively discussed, e.g.,

JonKnowsNothing July 21, 2022 8:10 AM

@ Winter , @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Magic Constants a value determined via Measurement in Nature

A down on the farm Magic Constant …

Horses do amazing things and they are able to do all sorts of things that humans want them to do. They can do whatever is in their physical and mental structures but cannot do things outside of those parameters (see: Clever Hans).

One thing that humans like about horses is they run fast. Around 40mph at the upper end. That was fast in the day of Shanks Mare. Modern, and early industrial societies were based on Horse Power and we still use Horse Power as a measurement.

The Race Horse Industry is solely based on how fast a horse is over a variety of terrain and conditions. Every country with a horse racing industry, has a version and local cultures have variations on distance, condition and terrain.

In the search for “what makes a horse fast”, the current methods are DNA selectors. Fast ancestors make fast progeny. Except that doesn’t work out quite right. (1)

In the USA, @350,000 race horses are born every year. Of that number, about 20 will make it to the extreme upper end of the racing system. (2) The same ratios are average for other countries and other breeds of racing horses.

In the search for finding the next 20/350,000 various measurements take place. Anything that can be measured is measured. From bone density to fast-slow twitch muscle composition.

One of the newest measurements is “heart capacity size”. The heart has been part of the measurement system for a long time. This recent measurement is the capacity of one ventricle in the heart and the thickness of the muscle wall. The supposition is that this is the main pumping chamber and during the race this is the core to getting oxygenated blood through the system as a higher rate, leading to less muscle fatigue (fading). (3)

So, in theory, the horse who has the highest heart ventricle ratio will be in the 20 elite horses.



1) DNA selectors, reduce the overall gene pool. There is less variation and more concentration of undesirable genetic conditions. This is true for all DNA selected breeding programs from dogs, cats, horses, etc. Kings, Queens and Royalty have the same issues.

2) What to do with the other 349,980 horses every year, is a continuing problem. This is for just one breed of horse in the USA.

3) During exertion horses do not breath faster like humans. They breath deeper. Bigger breaths not faster ones.

Clive Robinson July 21, 2022 9:30 AM

@ Winter,

“… but Verlinde does not deny we fall down when trip.”

Nor do physicists deny they get burnt by hot water, or that containment vessles can fail in spectacular often very dangerous fashion.

The point is it’s the excitation of the molecules that are the actual cause of the burns and explosions. Heat is just a measure of how fast they are moving not the transportation of energy.

His argument is effectively “gravity is caused” not “gravity causes” and he is on the hunt for what causes gravity in multiple dimensions. He has indicated that the so called “Dark Energy” –if it exists as an independent factor– could well be at the bottom of it. However for what many consider reasonable reasons he does not believe the so called “Dark Matter” which to balance the books would be ~5/6ths of the matter in the universe is the cause or actually even exists.

I’ve always been skeptical about the so called “Dark Matter” because we are expected to believe that it somehow behaves fundementaly different to normall matter. That is it is supposed to remain uniform across the universe whilst normall matter fundamentally aggregates into various clumps when left alone and gives us the stars, planets and other celestial bodies.

The more recent trend is to downplay dark matter,

Winter July 21, 2022 12:29 PM


His argument is effectively “gravity is caused” not “gravity causes” and he is on the hunt for what causes gravity in multiple dimensions.

That is the holy grail of theoretical physics.

Verlinde’s original ideas are not that difficult. Se for yourself:

At the time (2010), Johannes Koelman wrote a few introductory blog posts about it.

The story of the first “publication” of the publication of Verlinde’s revolutionary ideas is funny, at least I found it funny at the time as I had indeed read the original newspaper interview. Read the account, with an initial easy explanation here:

And the follow up:

How does this idea leads to dark matter and dark energy? That seems to be more involved. But Johannes Koelman wrote up a very short derivation of:

It From Bit – How To Get Rid Of Dark Energy

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2022 12:59 PM

No Dark Matter please

I don’t like the concept of bolting on some Magic to an existing theory in attempt to reconcile a discrepancy between what a theory predicts and that which is observed.

It reminds me of bolting on SSL/TLS to http.

When the system becomes more complex, it becomes harder to understand, and therefore harder to verify correctness.

Bolt-ons are not a good idea.

It is better to admit the design was flawed and start over.

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2022 1:59 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

The race horse breeders would be wise to study the hoofs. The other 4 hearts.


JonKnowsNothing July 21, 2022 3:02 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm

re: the study of 4 hooves

It’s been a topic since man encountered horse and found that man could control and exploit the horse for its power, speed and agility.

Man found that without 4 good legs and 4 good hooves to stand on, the horse wasn’t useful at all. So man invented many ways to make sure a horse had good legs and good hooves.

Man has been binding stuff to the bottom of the horse’s hoof for a long time. Starting with woven plants, rawhide, and wood then moving to iron, steel, aluminum, composite, synthetic, nail on, glue on and clamp on.

White legs (balzane) generally mean white hooves (pied blanc). White hooves are softer and less durable than dark or black hooves. From which these arise these proverbs…

On white hooves

Un pied blanc, monte-le toute ta vie,
Deux pieds blancs, offre-le à ta mie,
Trois pieds blancs, donne-le à un ami,
Quatre pieds blanc, vends-le sans autre avis. ”

On white leg markings (indicating white hooves)

Balzane une, cheval de fortune,
Balzane deux, cheval de gueux,
Balzane trois, cheval de roi,
Balzane quatre cheval à abattre.

Winter July 22, 2022 1:04 AM


I don’t like the concept of bolting on some Magic to an existing theory in attempt to reconcile a discrepancy between what a theory predicts and that which is observed.

It is better to admit the design was flawed and start over.

Do you know of any evidence that tells us there is no non-luminous matter in these galaxies?

By every possible standard, the stars in the galaxies and the galaxies themselves behave as if there is a lot of particulate invisible matter floating around the galaxies.

Until there is proof that there is no such matter, or a better explanation can be found, an empirical scientist has to conclude that there is indeed invisible matter present.

How do you know there isn’t?

SpaceLifeForm July 22, 2022 2:51 AM

@ Winter

re: Dark Matter

How do you know there isn’t?

I don’t. But you do not know the reverse either.

I have not made a claim about the existence or non-existence of Dark Matter. I admit that I do not like the model, but I have not claimed that Dark Matter does not exist. Two different arguments.

There is no burden of proof for me, so I do not have to attempt to prove a negative.

You seem to prefer the empirical method, and want to believe the Dark Matter model because it ‘fits’.

I am looking at it from a theoretical angle, and questioning whether the models are correct or not. That is all. Basically, I am saying, be careful getting locked-in to a model, because it may actually have bugs in the corner cases (which we know is the case with GR and Black Holes). Do not bolt-on things to a already flawed model. KISS as much as possible.

Time to put Russell’s teapot on the stove.

Winter July 22, 2022 3:11 AM


I don’t. But you do not know the reverse either.

Actually, all the stars and galaxies move EXACTLY as they would if there was a mass of non-interacting particles present. The available evidence does point to dark matter.

It is not as if all these astronomers are idiots who would never ever consider alternative hypotheses. They did (e.g., MOND, look it up). But all alternative explanations fall far short of just plain old dark matter.

The only reason to doubt that these dark matter particles exist are:
1) We cannot find particles that fit the requirements
2) There is a correlation between the total dark matter mass in a galaxy and the amount of regular matter

It is as if you find dead bodies with bullet holes through their vital organs, but you cannot find any bullets.

What evidence would you need before you consider the hypothesis that they were not killed by bullets?

Winter July 22, 2022 3:13 AM

@SLF (continued)

I am looking at it from a theoretical angle, and questioning whether the models are correct or not.

“All models are wrong, but some are useful”. George E. P. Box

I am sorry to say that it seems your approach is bound to fail in every case as all models are known to be wrong.

SpaceLifeForm July 22, 2022 3:46 AM

@ Winter

It is as if you find dead bodies with bullet holes through their vital organs, but you cannot find any bullets.

What evidence would you need before you consider the hypothesis that they were not killed by bullets?

I need no evidence before considering the hypothesis. In fact, I would immediately suspect it because it is a known method.

The forensics is very difficult to prove after the fact, but it has happened.

Winter July 22, 2022 4:07 AM


The forensics is very difficult to prove after the fact, but it has happened.

So far, physicists are working on it. Meanwhile, the bodies are still dead and the “police” has to proceed with the evidence that is there.

SpaceLifeForm July 22, 2022 4:35 AM

@ Winter

I am sorry to say that it seems your approach is bound to fail in every case as all models are known to be wrong.

So the Dark Matter model is wrong too.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Clive Robinson July 22, 2022 4:41 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Dark Matter

“Until there is proof that there is no such matter, or a better explanation can be found, an empirical scientist has to conclude that there is indeed invisible matter present.”

No, they could and should in this case conclude that there is too little information.

Because it’s not just,

“… the stars in the galaxies and the galaxies themselves behave as if there is a lot of particulate invisible matter floating around the galaxies.”

Basically the “fudge factor” of “Dark Matter” whilst it “balances the scales” calls for,

1, A distribution
2, An interaction

That are not in keeping with the matter we do know and underatand.

When you start asking for things to have “special properties” you have never seen and can not rationally explain you should proceed with more than a degree of caution.

Which is possibly why increasingly “Dark Matter” is getting more and more skeptical treatment.

One fun argument you see is that the Newtonian model demands there be matter… Yet ignores the fact we know the Newtonian model is insufficient and why over a hundred years ago they went with Einstein, who’s model does or does not demand extras depending… Which is why he found his own model was insufficient thus a century ago in 1922 started out down another path…

Basically there is something between five and ten new papers a week on the subject, most are not coherent with each other and sometimes re-boil that which has already been discounted or even within limits disproved.

I guess one way to put it is we are like small children who know there is something better, but do not have any real idea what it is so we just reach out and grab at whatever catches our eye.

You can see a little of this from half a decade ago,

Likewise from a decade and a half ago,

Note how much has changed but also not changed…

SpaceLifeForm July 22, 2022 5:45 AM

@ Clive

Excellent searching. Thank you for finding those awesome links that clearly demonstrate the issues.

Winter July 22, 2022 5:46 AM


No, they could and should in this case conclude that there is too little information.

Then science would have stopped with Galileo.

That are not in keeping with the matter we do know and underatand.

We did not understand neutrinos. Nor positrons. So science should have stopped until a theory had been device that could predict them? Theories that were only developed decades later using work that simply assumed neutrinos existed.

There actually was a theory predicting positrons, but no one understood it until after they were actually detected for unrelated reasons.

Astronomers can do remarkably accurated simulations and predictions just assuming there is cold dark matter. Anyone trying to do without dark matter has had zero progress since dark matter was proposed.

If you are this principled about the supremacy of “correct” theory over actual observations and experiments, physics will be a lonely and uncomfortable place for you.

Winter July 22, 2022 5:49 AM


So the Dark Matter model is wrong too.

Indeed, but it is (very) useful. Alternatives have as yet proven to be utterly useless.

Physics is much more like engineering than is generally acknowledged.

Clive Robinson July 22, 2022 6:49 AM

@ Winter,

“Then science would have stopped with Galileo.”

Two points,

1, It’s a false assumption on your part.

2, If it was the case then it would have stopped kong before Galileo.

My statment of,

“No, they could and should in this case conclude that there is too little information.”

In no way indicates they should stop seaking out information, in fact the very opposite.

What it does caution against is building towers out of the fanciful. There is actually too little information to claim “matter” in fact orevious claims in that area have been repeatedl bern shown to be wrong.

I frequebtly caution about the non sciebtific method of forensics of going backwards from observed effect to claimed cause. Because it is not a reductionist approach.

If there is signs on the floor such as desicated mineral salts, there are many ways they could have got there… Claiming it must have been ancient Egyptian mumification methods, should be treated with skepticism unless there is evidence that rules out orher more probable causes.

We’ve actually had this nonsense with “pour patterns” where people made claims that marks found at the sights of fires looked similar to those you would get by pouring liquid accelerants and setting them on fire… Thus they lept to charges of “Arson” without any kind of rational investigation. Later research into something unrelated, showed the very same pour patterns… The cause, a simple fire creates enough heat to melt furnishings and the like. These form pools under the influance of gravity and burn. The pattern they leave behind is about as identical as you can get. However nobody poured accelerants and set fire to them, so not arson…

It was this that led onto the production of new test tecyniques to look for residual chemical signitures. But that too is fraught with failing issues…

Sometimes we have to accept the fact that there are numerous causes to a given effect, and that we don’t know or actually can not rule some or all of them out.

That is when we start sharpening the razors and go from theoretical science to statistics, and generally go with the “what requires the minimum of unsuported assertions” untill either the assertions become sufficiently probable to change the calculus or other compeating assertions are ruled out, again changing the calculus.

One of the downsides of the “Shut up and Calculate” club of certain areas of theoretical physics is there is great competition amongst club members, but darn little contact with reality.

So they run away with their curve fitting models…

Dark Matter is currently to improbable to be given serious concideration. Worse too many have jumped on the bandwaggon and nit questioned if it is even remotely heading in the right direction.

As I’ve pointed out GR is not very much use as a predictive tool part of this is it is not linear, which is always problematical. Whilst I can not prove I’ve got a red sock on the wrong foot with it, most of the predictions you can make with Einstein’s Field Equations not only sound way worse but in fact are.

What GR does, is say someting fits within a four dimensional manifold of a now known to be incorrect geometry…

The fact that it mostly works is also true of Isaac Newtons work…

As I’ve also said almost the first thing they caution you about studying physics is,

“It’s a succession of lies, each considered more accurate than the preceding lies”.

A little later a metrologist will tell you,

“There are ‘rational limits’ on what can be measured.”

The consequence of which is “real knowledge” is unobtainable.

Theoretical physics is about the infinities of the reals that fall between the rational measurments.

So it’s assumed for conveniance that the “laws of nature” are real or continuous, not as we observe rational and discrete.

It’s fairly easy to show that in a finite universe there has to be limits on what can actually be known…

Winter July 22, 2022 7:55 AM


Treasure hunters first try to establish there ever was a treasure, and that it still is valuable. They then look for it’s “spore” and much else before they pack their shovel and buy a ticket…

Where they find themselves digging in many places, or more likely nowadays, diving at many spots, that do not hide a treasure. If there is a treasure, they probably will find it, but not because they perfectly knew where to dig. But because they got a lot of educated shots at places where to dig.


Dark Matter has many of the hall marks of “fairy gold” and the little there is of spore could have come from a myriad of things nearly all of which do not exist in real terms nor are they of any value…

Still, Cold Dark Matter allows astronomers to follow, model, and simulate, the evolution of the universe from early beginnings to current time (13 Gy) with high accuracy. [1] The most impressive is the imprint of the Baryon acoustic oscillations in the cosmic background radiation [2]. If your theory can predict features of the cosmic background radiation, it is good.

Alternatives cannot even explain the movements of galaxies in the local cluster.

In physics, the only rule is that your theory/model must be able to predict and explain observations and experiments. Dark matter does this, alternatives do not. That no one knows what dark matter is drives countless efforts to understand it by boat loads of theoretical and experimental physicists.

But while these people are going about their business finding a solution to this riddle, the rest will not be sitting on their hands waiting for the miracle to happen.

[1] ‘

[2] ‘

Clivr Robinson July 22, 2022 9:11 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm,

Re : A down on the farm Magic Constant

Or large adverse ratio in small numbers…

I will try to get my head around the paper it’s based on over the weekend (but there is much to do in terms of first fruit gatering for conserves).

But if not an anomaly, and I see no reason why it should be, then there is a very big chunk of change being shuffled off to favoured friends for a significant (4:1) disbenifit…

Clive Robinson July 22, 2022 5:27 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I suspect this might be of interest, even though it’s from 2016.


“Travis Goodspeed Nifty Tricks For ARM Firmware Reverse Engineering”

It talks about RE on a product using the 32bit ARM 4,

Whilst not strictly “Security RE” as Travis points out in his first few words, it will help you if that is what you want to do.

It shows how to do some way more usefull things that are security related such as “support” software for where either support was never given or has since stopped (an Amazon trick). So not just “fix bugs and vulns” by patching, but also “augment functionality” in a secure manner way (think adding crypto to a communications device that does not have it).

Due to the nature of the device –DMR two way radio– the “intro+overview” takes about 10mins.

Then the fun realy starts for “crypto-geeks” as he talks about how you can get around the AES based firmware encryption[1].

Oh and another vid, that might be of interest is from the 2017 FSec,

“Secure Telco Voice Design Security Overview For Telco VoIP Architectures”

[1] The product firmware loader uses AES in CTR mode as a stream cipher, apparently without wraping ciphertext in a MAC… A “hint to all” unless you realy realy know what you are doing with simple XOR or similar mixer based “Stream Ciphers” don’t use them. Especially where an attacker can get not just the ciphertext but a copy of the coresponding plaintext (download and RAM image respectively). Because “bit fliping for fun and profit” is realy going to put alligator bite marks in your rump, if not tear you a new “you know” (if you don’t know the “Americanism” ask a PR person what a 360 resection haemorrhoidectomy is and have a hanky ready…).

SpaceLifeForm July 22, 2022 7:43 PM

@ Clive

Dark Matter has many of the hall marks of “fairy gold”

Dark Matter is Magic Pixie Dust.

If the numbers don’t fit, you just sprinkle some Magic Pixie Dust into the proper places, and Voilà, the numbers fit.

Since you can not measure the Magic Pixie Dust, no one can check your math.

It’s a theory that can be manipulated in countless ways.

It’s Magic.

JG4 July 22, 2022 9:10 PM

I tried posting the link at the bottom last night, but it was a Spartan version that got held for moderation. Feel free to delete that one. This is a better telling.

Search for “projected intent” to find some of the posts that earned another yellow flag. There are at least a few good posts on this topic.

I’m pretty sure that I emailed the 2009 version to Bruce. And put at least some of that content in as a post.

That bottom link will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Moreso were it hiding silently with good camouflage.

The video that converted me to milquetoast libertarian can be found by searching Stuart Russell.

Subject: Re: they all just laughed at me…
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2022 21:57:58 -0400
From: The Huey Pilot
To: JG4

easy kill. I’m not worried about trigger happy locomotive robots. They have many weaknesses. Principal among them is that they have revealed their position and intent. I’m worried about the sleepers who lie quiescent for weeks at a time, recharging up via solar. And waiting for that one opportunity to put a bullet in my heart by programming.
And you should be also…

From: JG4
Sent: 7/22/2022 9:28:41 AM
To: The Usual Suspects
Subject: they all just laughed at me…

I wrote up this general class of threat model under “projected intent” in 2009.

They won’t be laughing for much longer.

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2022 1:01 AM

@ Clive

Magic Pixie Dust

It’s fairly easy to show that in a finite universe there has to be limits on what can actually be known.

I think the same thing about an infinite universe.


But the distance and age are exceptional—these billions of stars formed within a few hundred million years of the Big Bang. And, based on theoretical considerations, we wouldn’t expect these early galaxies to be as common as they appear to be. The researchers estimate that if galaxies were visible at the rates we’d expect, they’d have had to search through an area 10 times larger to come up with them. If these numbers hold, our theoretical considerations about the formation of the first stars and galaxies will need significant revision.

That probably shouldn’t surprise us; as the research team notes, we don’t have strong constraints on how the earliest stars formed, which allows a lot of uncertainty here. But for now, we can’t explain this; in different parts of the paper, the team writes, “It is still unclear what the physical reason for this might be,” and “The physical mechanisms driving this departure are yet to be definitively established.”

I’m sure some will want to sprinkle more Magic Pixie Dust instead of considering that the Big Bang model is wrong.

Clive Robinson July 23, 2022 1:19 AM

@ JG4,

Re : they all just laughed at me

At least they laughed…

With regards what you quote from “Huey Pilot”, this snippet needs a little more expansion,

“And waiting for that one opportunity to put a bullet in my heart by programming.”

If you break it down into three parts, and read it backwards,

1, “programming” would also cover the development of software we would call malware, that is ephemeral. We have known since the Bob Morris worm it can be resident in RAM only untill over written, or the CPU resets and does a POST memory check.

2, “a bullet in my heart” would be the physical agent that has agency via matter or energy to inflict the lethal insult. This is where most fail to think about the booming business of little boxes being put in peoples chests along with the electrodes directly on the heart. Called a number of things, but pacemaker is one or “Implanted medical device” (IMD) another. It’s an implanted electronic device with easy communications to the outside world, that unfortunately has little or no authentication let alone security on it’s “Over The Air”(OTA) interface”.

3, “waiting for that one opportunity” is the ephemeral nature of what you might call “killware” it is just another Advaced Persistent Threat or APT with a “payload”. In effect the malware can be introduced via the OTA of the IMD at any point in time, and you would not know it was there. So it could just remain “Lying in wait”, waiting kill and then disappear without trace like an assassin in the night.

With the vanishing of the killware from RAM, any tracable evidence goes. To the majority of Doctors the death will be a heart attack of natural causes. It would take a very suspicious medical examiner with certain specialist skills to find actuall physical evidence.

For those that want to check, this is not considered by those who have worked with the US Secret Service as a fanciful threat. Look up how a Senior on the George W Bush executive later had a modified IMD with the OTA threat minimised put in him.

Basic probability tells you the more they fit, the more likely this will happen, if it has not already. After all 4 in 10 of deaths by heart attack have no attributable cause.

But still we alow IMD’s now “with Bluetooth” OTAs with not even basic authentication let alone security to be fitted…

Clive Robinson July 23, 2022 1:45 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Limits of Knowledge proof.

“I think the same thing about an infinite universe.”

I would not doubt it, but it is slightly harder –but not much– to prove to a reasonable level, and it’s all to do with “time cones”.

But simply, the fundemental assumptions currently are,

1, You can not travel in time.
2, You can not travel faster than C the speed of light.
3, Thermodynamics put a time limit on the existance of the universe.

Therefore even if the universe is infinite “time cones” lock parts of it off making any accessible region in which knowledge could be stored “finite”.

Which brings you back to the “Finite Universe” argument and proof.

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2022 1:53 AM

Magic Pixie Dust

LOL. You just have to wait a bit for the sprinkles to show up.


Galaxies seem to have gotten big impossibly early. This is why you see us astronomers flipping our lids at the JWST results. Can’t happen.

Except that it can, and was predicted to do so by Bob Sanders a quarter century ago: “Objects of galaxy mass are the first virialized objects to form (by z=10) and larger structure develops rapidly.”

The reason is MOND. After decoupling, the baryons find themselves bereft of radiation support and suddenly deep in the low acceleration regime. Structure grows fast and becomes nonlinear almost immediately. It’s as if there is tons more dark matter than we infer nowadays.

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2022 2:26 AM

@ Clive

re: Centre of Universe

I watched your 3 youtubes. All good. I don’t want to meet the wasp spray dude.

This one is good, and very funny joke at the end. 19+14/60 mins.


Clive Robinson July 23, 2022 2:44 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Big Bang Theory

As you say,

“I’m sure some will want to sprinkle more Magic Pixie Dust instead of considering that the Big Bang model is wrong.”

The unstated issue underlying the pejorative term “Big Bang”[1] is that for many “it is convenient”.

That is it draws a line in the sand that people can use to say,

“This is the begining”

And therby replace one absurdity they do not want to talk about with another absurdity they claim can not be talked about, hence the pejorative naming.

The problem and they still do not want to talk about it even though we now talk of the universe being holographic is the “pin hole effect”[2].

The simple fact something appears to have come from nothing, does not mean it is true. More importantly it does not preclude the fact that it could appear with a vast amount of information “impressed” or “modulated” on it in some way.

So the notion of a “string of perls” universe is as acceptable in theory as the Big Bang theory, and is partialy covered by “string theory cosmology”.

It can be looked on as the notion that the universe has had many big bangs in succession. It also has an easier “clean up” explanation than “inflation theory”.

Inflation theory,

Has issues… Note that it does not solve the Big Bang “Horizon Problem” issue, just in effect hand waves over it. The notion of successive inflations each draging information with them is something some give serious consideration to. Such information would account for the likes of the cosmological constant being what it is.

But whilst it’s still more convenient to “draw a line” and say “nothing before this point, everything after”… it does not in anyway answer the “where did it all come from?” question.

[1] The pejorative term “Big Bang” was coined by Yorkshire Scientist and polymath Sir Fred Hoyle. Who for various reasons did not believe the “it all cam from nothing in an instant” hand-wavery argument others were putting out, for what he considered valid reasons.

[2] The pin hole effect is from observation of the fact a small hole acts as a lense through which an image can be projected onto a surface. Which to most has what appears the curious property of, “The smaller the hole the sharper the fidelity of the image”. Thus arguable –without other knowledge– that the notion of an infinitely small hole having an infinitly large fidelity appear reasonable.

Winter July 23, 2022 3:08 AM

@Clive Robinson, SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Big Bang Theory

I think every month an alternative theory or variation to the big bang is published.[1]

What all lack is being able to explain the current universe or to give any guidance to falsification. Any theory that was falsifiable has been falsified.

Einstein started looking for better theories a century ago, followed by a lot of other people, including all of the String theory people. There still is no alternative that can do even part of the work the lambda cold dark matter theory can do. Find one, and you will be the 21st century Einstein. [2]

In science, if your theory has nothing going for it than that you like it better, then you are on own and everyone else will go where the experiments point.

You have all written a lot of what you dislike about standard cosmology. However, I have yet to see something, observations, experiments, that show it is wrong.

[1] ‘

[2] ‘Feel free to compete. ArXiv is quite liberal in its publication policies

Winter July 23, 2022 5:22 AM


LOL. You just have to wait a bit for the sprinkles to show up.

MOND (Modified Newtonian Dynamics)[1] is indeed a textbook example of magic pixie dust, fudge factors, and curve fitting.

It is Newton’s theory with a free distance parameter to switch to a lower gravity. There is no reason for such a parameter, it is unknown why the parameter has the value it has, the theory works only at certain distance scales (not clusters of clusters), and MOND is utterly incompatible with general relativity.

Galaxies seem to have gotten big impossibly early. This is why you see us astronomers flipping our lids at the JWST results. Can’t happen.

That always happens when you look where you have never looked before. Now, at a time the universe was a fraction of the size it is now, things were very different, so we should expect different things happen. Not all of them what we expected. You find new things. Maybe we now get data to find out what Dark Matter is? But in most cases, you find more than you were looking for. So, I will not hold my breath.

[1] ‘

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2022 5:26 AM

@ Clive

Re : Big Bang Theory

The “Horizon Problem” goes away if you consider that the Universe is flat and infinite, and that the CMB is just Tired Light, bent and twisted on it’s travels passing by various Gravitational Lenses. It makes it appear to come from any direction.

Note that the CMB is not actually uniform. It may be a good source of Random.

Clive Robinson July 23, 2022 6:47 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Note that the CMB is not actually uniform.

No it’s not, and that is a big problem for cosmologists.

Firstly they have to work out why, because the implication is that something is distoring the universe, but then we would not expect the universe to be either flat or equal density, because that is not a stable state…

Think of two “point masses” a distance apart in a two dimensional space. You can draw a line between them and find by which the attract. Also a zero or balance point, with the scale multiplied by a scalling factor. The problem is for stability you also need a repulsing force which varies as the inverse of the atraction force. You can work out both the attractor force and it’s inverse repulsor force from basic geometry and Pythagorases theorm.

At first it looks like it is linear and you can use it as both a predictor and a verifier, which we do with Newton’s little formular to calculate orbits on what are effectively two isolated masses.

Interestingly there are an infinite number of places where the strength of attraction and repulsion are the same. They fall on a curve between the two masses. However there is only one point where there is stability.

Now add a third point mass, you have three lines of attraction each with their own zero point. There is only one “simple” stability condition to this, and it needs the masses to be the same, and be positioned equally around a circle the center of which is where the repulsion force is.

As long as you can maintain this simple equal masses on a circle and atractor repulsor forces being identical and at the center you will have stability. If anything changes be even a very small fraction then the rightsult will be chaotic at best as it flys appart.

So… It’s fairly easy to realise that a grid of masses whilst it can in theory be stable when everything is equally spaced and equall massed is infact very far from stable.

Which is why a flat universe with equal spread/density is highly improbable at best without some stabalizing influance.

The problem is the stabalising influance needs to be an inverse of the instabilities… In a linear system that would be possible. But in a non-linear system forget it… All sorts of weirdness has to spontaniously arise…

By using a different geometry and alowing time to be one of the dimensions you can come up with warped and twisted planes called manifolds. Some of these do have stability characteristics… But things are not linear so mostly stability points let alone planes are not predictable, but are verifiable.

To be a match to reality, any such tool has to be predictive and whilst this does not mean it has to be linear… to be useful it would be desirable.

We are not yet there not even close, in fact some would argue,

“The nag is still in it’s stall chewing oats”.

And to be honest I think they kind of have a point.

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2022 7:06 AM

@ Clive

re: Big Bang Theory

Thermodynamics put a time limit on the existance of the universe.

I would toss that one on the heap. It relies upon a circular argument that assumes the Big Bang Theory in the first place.

What if, the reason Black Holes exist, is to reduce entropy in the Universe by destroying information?

Is the Event Horizon of a Black Hole a Maxwell Demon that has to expend no energy to allow entropy/information into the Black Hole?

Does Hawking Radiation recycle energy back into the Universe but not information/entropy?


Winter July 23, 2022 7:50 AM


No it’s not, and that is a big problem for cosmologists.

No, it is not, except you need good instrumentation. [1]

but then we would not expect the universe to be either flat or equal density, because that is not a stable state…

That is an empirical question. The answer is that it is indeed flat. [2]

Which is why a flat universe with equal spread/density is highly improbable at best without some stabalizing influance.

Indeed, which was Einstein’s reasoning. However, the universe is not stable, but inflating (exploding).


Big Bang Theory
Thermodynamics put a time limit on the existance of the universe.

The universe expands more rapidly than entropy can grow, so in the end, the observable universe will be 0 degrees kelvin and empty. [3]

[1] ‘

[2] ‘

[3] ‘

Winter July 23, 2022 8:41 AM


In short Science has joined the “throw away society” where it is more profitable to generate trash at an alarming rate, and create a massive pile of crap you hope stays behind you and does not topple over on you in the future.

Earlier, you were complaining that scientists stuck to old theories when they should build new “correct” ones.

Now scientists produce too many new theories.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

The funny thing is, we have theories that are validated to 20 decimals, that show discrepancies only if you go well outside of galaxies or back 13 billion years. And you complain they should all be scrapped for being unreliable and some kind of standard.

But at the same time you complain of too many new theories.

Clive Robinson July 23, 2022 10:24 AM

@ Winter,

You say,

“Earlier, you were complaining that scientists stuck to old theories when they should build new “correct” ones.”

The operative word is “correct” which you have highlighted.

You then go on to say,

“But at the same time you complain of too many new theories.”

Are they theories or just someone scribing down a few small changes to existing equations?

But more importantly you’ve left the word “correct” out this time…

As I noted before, a number of these supposadly new papers are “re-boilers” of things that have already been disproved…

Hence the authors are not even doing basic “depth and breadth” citation searches…

As indicated I blaim this as a side effect of “publish or perish”, where what they write is not even realy ment to be read, just get the count up. If the paper is a turkey then because next to nobody has actually ever read it it does them no harm…

We saw an example of this the other day where a paper our Host put up had a very misleading if not inacurate introduction…

As the Journals put up the introductions for free and you have to pay upto around fifty euros a paper or three hundred euros for maybe six months “access” you are not going to get them for fun or personal interest.

Clive Robinson July 23, 2022 12:44 PM

@ Winter,

The choice to use “correct” was yours not mine.

But your logic leaves a little to be desired.

There need not be “one” “correct theory” there can be several with the types of mathmatics being used. With Einstein’s field equations changing a constant so changes the result it might as well be a different theory, as has previously been demonstrated.

In practice the “one theory” is transitory anyway. It gets replaced or altered as other evidence arises. Thus,

“Each lie is successively more accurate”.

As I have pointed out such equations tend by necesity to be continuous in nature (as in real numbers) where as observations are discrete (both in time and value returned that is either a rational or natural number depending on the scaling constant).

Anyone who has sufficient knowledge of metrology will tell you it is impossible to make accurate measurments.

As was once said to me,

“You can not know how many carbon atoms there are in a sugar cube, and still have the same sugar cube”

The same is true for all human scale tangible objects.

And it’s not just the uncertainty principle or apparantly random noise or Doppler effects that apply.

Further there is no computer on earth that has the accuracy either.

Hence we are always without fail “curve fitting”, something you for some reason have previously taken exception to me pointing out.

Thus all theories are only testable within reason. Look up Boltzman’s little number and the Planck values to see what the limits ultimately are at the front end.

Which as I’ve previously noted begs a question,

“Is the Universe continuous or discrete?”

If the later then most theories will have to be “augmented” or replaced.

But does that actually matter?

Winter July 23, 2022 1:34 PM


If the later then most theories will have to be “augmented” or replaced.

Which is exactly what is happening now. Newtonian Dynamics, GR gets Dark Matter gets adapted to a better GR.

Which you derided as the wrong approach as you do not like dark matter.

Meanwhile, physicists have detected gravitational waves from black hole mergers and made photographs of objects that shone 13 billion years ago using theories you consider erroneous.

Somehow, I am missing the point you want to make in this discussion.

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2022 5:05 PM

@ Winter, Clive

Outside the box

Consider this theory, and see if it could make sense or if you can find holes.

I assume you are familiar with


Let’s extend that concept into 3 dimensions.

Each cell is the interior of a Rubik’s Cube.

Each cell is a cubic Planck width.

Instead of a cell having 8 neighbors as is the case of 2 dimensional Life, it has 26 neighbors.

That Space is just a cosmic computer, that ‘ticks’ every Planck Time.

It is infinite in 3 dimensions.

That cells can randomly can flip their bit in addition to the ‘rules’ that govern state from the state of its neighbors.

Photons are gliders.

SpaceLifeForm July 24, 2022 9:36 PM

@ Winter, Clive

LOL. There was a math error in the video about the loops.

Original by Derek Muller 17.75 mins long.


It was caught by Matt Parker. This is 8+7/12 mins long. Watch to the end to see where the error was pointed out.


Both poking fun at each other.

SpaceLifeForm July 25, 2022 6:24 PM

@ Winter, Clive

I Observe that something was Quantum.

(see above)

What is your thoughts on the meaning of:

10^-6 eV * Meter ?

Clive Robinson July 25, 2022 8:06 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Winter,

With regards,

“10^-6 eV * Meter”

Are you sure you have that right?

That is one millionth part of an “electron Volt”(eV)?

In 2019 the SI base units were redefined , seting 1 eV equal to the exact value 1.602176634×10−19 J.

Therefor you are talking,

1.602176634×10−25 J / meter

Which is very small.

A “newton is equal to 1 joule/metre” under the SI units, and it is considered a force…

MarkH July 25, 2022 10:59 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, Clive:

Energy (or work) times distance?

Force times area?

Pressure times volume?

I don’t see any physical meaning in such units. Please enlighten!

Winter July 26, 2022 12:25 AM


10^-6 eV * Meter

h*c (Planck’s constant times speed of light) = 1.24 * 10^-6 eV m

Was that what you wanted to say?

Photon energy = h*c/l. (l=wavelength)


Clive Robinson July 26, 2022 2:23 AM

@ Winter,

Somehow, I am missing the point you want to make in this discussion.

I’m not surprised, because a lot is “missing” both your comments and mine…

But my point is the “succession of more accurate lies”, where we went from Newton that mostly works well in our solar system for orbits and the like to Einstein which does not work well was caused in part by a change to underlying geometry.

But the underlying geometry Einstein used was proved to be shall we say insufficient. Einstein also found his equations were not what he wanted, and spent the rest of his life trying to replace them.

The reality is we are not much further along the path of replacing Einstein’s equations nearly a century later. And for practical cases we still tend to use Newton or DFT’s. Einstein’s equations only get used as a sanity check. However the do account for certain discrepancies in time and frequency changes in communications systems where above normal precision may be required (the nearest most humans get is the Mobile Phone in their pocket, or the SatNav in their car).

As part of trying to replace Einstein’s equations, we have done two things,

1, Checked they are still valid in some respects.
2, Find they are wrong in other respects.

The result of the second currently is to try and somehow force the issue.

The result the claims of “Dark Energy” or “Dark Matter”. The “Dark” effectively meaning “we have not a clue”.

Currently there is a “bandwaggon” on which people have jumped called “Dark Matter” and all it appears to be doing is going in circles.

There are signs that some are climbing off the “Dark Matter” band waggon and I’m not realy surprised. Whilst it sounds like a good idea it’s not. That is there is way to much “twisting to fit” which means,

1, We do not understand reality as well as we need to.
2, The model we are using is not a good match to reality.

Others are quietly working away on alternatives to Dark Matter, including Dark Energy and replacing the model.

Dark energy requires fewer twists to match reality, especially when used in other models.

For various reasons I find energy is more likely the missing factor than some exotic property matter that we know absolutly nothing about and have not been able to find despite around a half century of looking.

I suspect that in the next few years the shift away from the Dark Matter bandwaggon will be quite noticable depending on how fast “venerable physicists fall off of their perches”.

SpaceLifeForm July 26, 2022 3:49 AM

@ Winter, MarkH, Clive

Yes, Winter spotted exactly what I was thinking. Sorry for the rounding error.

Outside the box.

I am just pondering if it means that photons can be converted into mass somehow by the fabric of space-time at the Quantum level. That is, the reverse of what one would normally think of when it comes to E = mc^2.

Winter July 26, 2022 6:47 AM


I am just pondering if it means that photons can be converted into mass somehow by the fabric of space-time at the Quantum level. That is, the reverse of what one would normally think of when it comes to E = mc^2.

Yep. A gamma ray photon can create an electron-positron pair (or anything that is within their energy budget) in an electrical field, say, near an electron [1]. Or when colliding with another energetic photon, which is an electrical field too [2].

[1] ‘

[2] ‘

SpaceLifeForm July 26, 2022 7:05 AM

@ Clive

Sabine Hossenfelder: Yet they do not change their methodology.


SpaceLifeForm July 26, 2022 8:33 AM

@ Winter, Clive, MarkH

I’m not looking at it from a Gamma-ray perspective, or even virtual particle creation by the Quantum Foam.

I am looking at it from a completely different angle.

The 3D Life model, where every cell is a Cubic Planck in size, and ‘ticks’.

Next, consider Tired Light. The photon as it propagates thru the Planck Life Cells, drops bread crumbs of energy into the cells, which provides the energy to drive the cosmic computer. As this happens, the frequency of the photon drops a teeny tiny bit.

You may think, that is not much energy at all, that this does not compute.

But, you have to consider, that there are photons moving thru space constantly from every possible angle you can imagine. You just do not notice, because you are not in the right position to be the Observer.

But, you know this has to be True, because you can move, and still see photons from the same source point.

What most people would consider to be empty space, is in fact constantly full of moving photons. It is not empty at all. The photons are the lifeblood of the universe. They keep the cosmic computer humming.

I hope you find this model creatively crazy.

Now, we only have to come up with 2^27 rules to become a ToE.

Winter July 26, 2022 8:51 AM


Next, consider Tired Light.

This seems to be becoming an obsession.

For Tired Light to happen, photons must have a way to loose energy continuously. There is no known process by which photons can loose energy this way (Doppler effect and expansion work differently).

If space is granular, the typical grain size is much, much smaller than the wavelength of the photons you want to tire. Which means that the photons are not able to interact with the space grains.

Physicist have calculated this through and through for a century now.

SpaceLifeForm July 26, 2022 11:26 PM

@ Winter

re: Tired Light

This seems to be becoming an obsession.

Well, I have been thinking about this for over half a century, so yes, you are correct relativistically speaking. I am postulating a model that exists ‘under the hood’ that can make logical sense whereby even if a concept is not measurable, it can still explain things. Thinking outside of the box.

For Tired Light to happen, photons must have a way to loose energy continuously. There is no known process by which photons can loose energy this way (Doppler effect and expansion work differently).

I agree. No known process. Based upon current models and understanding.

If space is granular, the typical grain size is much, much smaller than the wavelength of the photons you want to tire. Which means that the photons are not able to interact with the space grains.

I agree. As far as the current models imagine and what we think ‘interaction’ means.

Physicist have calculated this through and through for a century now.

I agree. You can only crunch the numbers that have been collected thru Measurement. Yet, after a century, we still have problems in the models.

Something is being missed and/or something has been overlooked.

There must exist some logic ‘under the hood’ that can better explain things, even if we can not currently measure it.

The state of Physics today has the feel of getting stuck doing a Penrose Tiling.

Winter July 27, 2022 12:48 AM


Something is being missed and/or something has been overlooked.

This reasoning looks to me like those lawmakers who say cryptographers must be able to ensure end-to-end encryption and a secure backdoor for law enforcement.

Physics works quite well. They can predict every single decimal of experimental outcomes. The precision of the Standard Model is depressing and physics spends billions trying to find something, anything, that does not fit the Standard Model. But to date they have not found any particle or behavior not predicted by the Standard Model. The same in General Relativity. Every experiment and observation they can do or make fits perfectly in GR.

You may not like it, but that is the situation. The current models work to the last decimal. All alternatives failed early.

The moment someone finds another theory that has a chance to do the same with less free parameters, it will be embraced wholeheartedly. Until then, the current models will be used as they actually work.

Btw, if you have ideas in a direction of a steady state universe, that has been debunked for many other reasons than inflation.

Clive Robinson July 27, 2022 2:55 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : they do not change their methodology

Yup, the reasoning expressed is very similar to my own.

The important thing to note is,

“Whilst correct theories can be seen as beautiful, that in no way means beautiful theories are correct.”

When physicists say things like “looking on the face of god” you know it’s time to leave the room for some clean air.

But the elephant in the room is,

1, Exponential rise of number of physicists.
2, Exponential rise of cost of fundemental experiments.

Means that the physicists are being starved of experimental results to work with.

The result, is thousands of fairly usless hypothesis that can not and in deed should not be attempted to be experimentally validated.

@ Winter,

The current models work to the last decimal.

So you do believe the universe is discrete rather than continuous then…

Winter July 27, 2022 4:52 AM


The current models work to the last decimal.

This was shorthand for The current models work to the last decimal measured in experiments

But that said:

So you do believe the universe is discrete rather than continuous then…

Not like space-time being a regular grid, made up of rigid cells of space-time. But I think, in the end, there will be some kind of quantization of some aspects of space-time.

But I also think my believes will be no closer to the “truth” than any of Grimm’s stories is close to historical facts.

SpaceLifeForm July 27, 2022 6:30 AM

@ Clive

Fresh Eyes

Thanks for the laugh. Consider that we have exchanged virtual beers via some magic force carrying particle that we can not detect. The Virtual Beer Exchange Force must exist, because I have it the model. It just requires further testing.

Seriously though, I agree that we do not need more expensive experimental equipment. With JWST and CERN, there will be plenty of data.

What we need is more fresh eyes, that have not been predisposed or tainted as to what they are looking at.

Instead of some study group looking at the data to either prove or disprove a theory, we need fresh eyes studying the data NOT knowing what they are looking at. People that are good at math, but not trained in physics.

They may spot things that others may not be looking at or could overlook.

I think like Sir Fred Hoyle, so I will note an exchange with his daughter Elizabeth, per her memory:

“I’m difficult, but I’m not irrational”

It’s near the middle of this 21 min video.


Strangely, I do not recall reading any of his writings, yet we both had similar thought processes. He is not the only one. It is weird.

Winter July 27, 2022 7:04 AM


we need fresh eyes studying the data NOT knowing what they are looking at.

Been there, done that. The result is you are looking at white noise.

For thousands of years, people have bred plants and animals. They looked at crosses between individuals and varieties with fresh eyes every generation. But only after someone had conjured up a simple theory on how individual traits were inherited was there any understanding or progress. Before that, the outcomes of breeding were nothing but trial and error and a lot of mythology. It was an initially incomplete, simplistic model that made sense of the that was breeding.

Objects have been seen falling literally as long as there have been eyes. But only Galileo came up with a theory that made progress, and it was ruefully incomplete, nothing but line fitting.

Newton’s mechanics& gravity were initially strongly disputed for the same reasons you seem to reject current physics: it did not explain everything. People looked at the data and rejected Newton’s explanation.


Clive Robinson July 27, 2022 7:43 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Sir Fred Hoyle

I do not recall reading any of his writings

I mentioned him on this blog a few months back which may have been the first time many readers here have heard of him (even though he was the originator of the term “big bang”).

You might have read some of his work without realising it, as he also wrote some fairly good science fiction that has stood the test of time.

However he was also a man out of his time, he did not have, nor did he believe in the “doctorate” system and in fact indicated it could be harmfull enforcing the “old boy” patronage system and discoraging all but approved research (which unsurprisingly it has turned out to be and do).

He was also “up against it” in that he supported women in research, and made a lot of noise about women who’s work had effectively been stolen by superiors and in a couple of cases their not getting Nobel prizes they thoroughly deserved. It’s been said that this cost him getting the Nobel prize over “stellar nucleosynthesis”…

He also had a reasonable grasp on what we now call AI and some of his thoughts in that area are more than interesting.

His idea on “stellar nucleosynthesis” is mostly right and the paper one of the most quoted in that field.

However the extension of the idea with the notion of “Panspermia” or “life hitching rides around the universe” is now seen as “fringe”.

That is we now know that viable biological samples and some organisms –tardigrades– can in fact survive in space for periods of time. However the probability of surviving from one solar system to another is I suspect minimal except at the lowest of chemical molecule forms which is now called “soft Panspermia”.

With regards,

yet we both had similar thought processes.

Present two able people with the same data and they are going to see similar patterns, these will lead on to thoughts that are going to be broadly the same.

Clive Robinson July 27, 2022 8:24 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

Re : Physics “bandwaggon” effect

Sir Fred Hoyle, as I said held some opinions, about behaviour that I myself found out the hard way are rife in academia,

As I’ve mentioned before I could not find a PhD supervisor, their abilities were such, that most were looking for others to do their research for them… In return for alowing their supervisor to get credit the person would eventually get their PhD…

I eventually found someone at the LSE who was both happy to be my supervisor and give me free reign on what I wanted to do. When I interviewed him he made me laugh when I described the problems I was comming up against and he described it as “academic m45turb4tion”.

Sadly I got violently attacked one morning and the full fracture of the lower jaw ended up causing me cognative difficulties and several changes in my life (including having to learn to read again). So I never got around to getting a real “PhD” (the less said about the DD the better 😉

Winter July 27, 2022 9:20 AM


most were looking for others to do their research for them…

Young people are better at doing research, more creative, less distracted by administrative or teaching burdens. With fresh knowledge of the latest methods and results.


In return for alowing their supervisor to get credit the person would eventually get their PhD…

Customs and (mis)behaviors differ between times and places. Over here, the Netherlands, the requirements for a PhD are generally 3-6 (depending on field) published papers where the candidate is first author. Which means a lot of infighting about positions 2-N, last mostly for the supervisor, but the first position is for the PhD student. Which means all papers are “[student] er al.”. In linguistics and other humanities studies, it is quite common that the student is the only author on her publications.

Also, nowadays most students, pre and post-graduate tend to be women. Health, biology, humanities, psychology and social sciences are dominated by women. Less so in physics and technology. But even there the proportion is growing.[1]

[1] 20-40% ‘

SpaceLifeForm July 28, 2022 2:53 AM

@ Clive, ALL


What are the odds? Green, Green, Green.

Just over an hour long Matt Parker talk from 2019. Touches on many subjects that we have discussed. Many means greater than small values of 2. A lot of insightful stuff and also a lot of humour. Recommend watching when you have a moment in time. Relativistically speaking of course.

The title of the talk is:

What Happens When Maths Goes Wrong?

“You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want as long as you’re prepared to ignore enough data.”


Clive Robinson July 28, 2022 6:03 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : What happens when maths goes wrong/bad,

With respect to “wrong”, your quote of,

“You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want as long as you’re prepared to ignore enough data.”

And with respect to “bad”,

“There are lies, damn lies and statistics.”

The classic example of both is “death by sugar” foisted on the world by “Ancel Keys” the father of the nutritionaly poor K-Ration during WWII that hurt so many US soldiers, and make billions for the corn sugar industry by giving hundreds of millions life shortening diseases like type II diabetes.

Oh and we are very likely to see the same sort of scandle come out over mRNA vaccines.

Winter July 28, 2022 6:35 AM


You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want as long as you’re prepared to ignore enough data.

Note that the number of functions on R^2 is a bigger infinity than the real numbers, Gamow even claims that it is aleph-2.

Irrespective of whether Gamow was right, there is an infinite number of contiuos graphs going through any finite set of data points. This means that Matt Parker was right, “fitting a set of data points” is no supportive evidence at all for any model to be true.

JonKnowsNothing July 28, 2022 9:28 AM

@Clive @ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

re: any level of precision you want as long as you’re prepared to ignore enough data.

While taking care of “sadmin” (1) at the bank recently, I had a discussion with a young banker about precision and it’s importance to arbitrage; how even a small difference can have a big impact.

Using their phone calculator, I had the person take the sqrt of 7. With the phone upright there was @8 digits of precision. When flipped sideways to science mode there was @13 digits of precision.

They didn’t get it.

I explained if they thought a commodity was worth the 8 digits of precision, and I could buy the same commodity at a lower price, ~04 or ~05 differential, I could sell them a lot of that commodity before they figured it out.

Once the light went on, the phone accelerometer got a good workout…


1) Sadmin = new word for me. The administration and notifications needed to resolve and conclude the business affairs of the dead.

Clive Robinson July 28, 2022 9:54 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Data points.

“Note that the number of functions on R^2 is a bigger infinity than the real numbers”

Which is what simple logic will tell you.

A point in N dimensional space has an infinite number of functions in every dimension that go through it. Thus from R to R^2 effectively goes from one dimension –line– to two dimension –plane– gives you an infinity of infinities and so on.

“This means that Matt Parker was right, “fitting a set of data points” is no supportive evidence at all for any model to be true.”

Which is the point I’ve been making…

Clive Robinson July 28, 2022 5:10 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Green, Green, Green.

There was a forth Green…

Prof Lucie Green.

Now for the coincidences…

You might remember I’ve mentioned Mullard House (Torrington Place), and UCL as places I’ve had involvment with. Oh and well I guess most here know I have an interest in satellite design/construction and Space Weather as well.

Well… As well there is a photograph that used to be on the wall at UCL in which both she and I are standing… Taken at a meeting we both happened to be attending.

Oh and you will possibly also remember I’ve also mentioned I’ve twice tossed a UK copper “two pence” coin and had it not just land but come to rest on it’s edge or rim. The first time was at school in “Mr Pearson’s” Maths class and we were doing probability…

I once actually sat down and worked out a formular for the probability of a coin landing –but not comming to rest– on the edge some years ago (it’s tedious and has a lot of assumptions). But… The round “one pound” coin he did 10,000 flips with should have landed on the edge, a lot more than the 14 times he mentioned. It works out around 1.3% or 130 times or say ten times his quote which suggests he was counting “at rests”.

As for that heads tails triplets game for gambling… A long time ago I mentioned on this blog I can toss a coin and have it land which ever way you call, irrespective of if you call before the toss, whilst it’s in the air or covered on the back of my hand… And no it’s not magic, but my son when he was around seven, thought it was. And his very nice maths teacher was quite impressed when I gave her ten correct calls followed by ten incorrect calls at the “show the parent” evening. She was even more surprised when I got my son to work out how one of the demonstrations worked.

So yes the world is full of coincidences…

But sometimes the odds of them are way smaller than you would expect. For instance on that “people in a photo” he should have mentioned the chain length. That is although you and I have never met, you probably know someone who knows someone, who…. Who knows me with around only five or six someones in a chain for something like 8 in ten people in the first world continents (scary thought when you consider how close that brings you to the last US President 😉

SpaceLifeForm July 28, 2022 5:31 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, ALL

re: Observable Precision depends upon orientation

I would be curious to learn the specs of the phones used in your demo.

Were the different results truncated or rounded? Did you try some other values besides 7?

It reminds me of a System 360/44 with the magic go-faster knob.

The knob had 4 positions.

The phone accelerometer is logically only two positions for display purposes.

I am sure that does not matter for floating point precision on a smart phone, so I can only conclude that orientation to portrait mode just led to truncation instead of rounding. But, if that is not tbe case, that would be interesting.

Scroll down on this link to find 360/44. Interestingly, it had no microcode.


A closeup pic of the knob can be found here:


JonKnowsNothing July 28, 2022 11:57 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm @Clive, ALL

re: Orientation Precision

  • The phone was an iPhone 7 vintage.
  • I don’t know what the Apple internal method is that is used to adjust the precision but if you flip the orientation of the phone and your display has sufficient non-repeating places the value will alter when you rotate the phone.
  • It works the same for sqrt of 3 5 7 but I rarely play with values past those 3 numbers.
  • The altered value appears to be rounded. eg terminal digits 78 for the short display and the long display is 776…. The differential was about .nnnn+04 or .nnnn+05 taken by subtracting the shorter number from the longer value. So .nnnn78[0] less .nnnn776.
  • The iPhone also incorrectly returns ((sqrt of 3)sq) as 3. Same for 5 and 7. It appears to be a commonly accepted fudge in the calculator. Older calculators do not return the full integer value, they return a value less than the original number carried out to the precision level of the calculator.

  I was surprised when I first showed the person about the precision that an old calculator in the desk returned the correct lesser value with the precision carry. But when the person tried it with their iPhone, it worked as expected and the ((sqrt)sq) rounded up the a whole number.

  • As for the precision, the phone must carry the math value internally and the alteration takes place on the UI displayed image. Since you can flip the orientation back and forth and watch the value change without have to redo the calculation each time.

SpaceLifeForm July 29, 2022 7:36 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, ALL

re: Orientation Precision

Testing on a not real old Android using calc app, P (portrait), L (landscape).

For comparison, G is google web calc (javascript), D is ‘ (also javascript), G and D on desktop FF.


P: 2.6457513110
L: 2.64575131106459059050
G: 2.64575131106
D: 2.645751311


P: 2.2360679774
L: 2.23606797749978969640
G: 2.2360679775
D: 2.236067977


P: 1.7320508075
L: 1.73205080756887729352
G: 1.73205080757
D: 1.732050808


P: 3.3166247903
L: 3.31662479035539984911
G: 3.31662479036
D: 3.31662479


P: 4.1231056256
L: 4.12310562561766054982
G: 4.12310562562
D: 4.123105626

Interesting. It sure appears to this Observer, that the Android calc app just truncates when changing from landscape to portrait mode. Also note that the browser output on both G and D do not display the last zero if there is one at the precision they want, even though they are rounding. The google calc web page is working with 11 decimal digits, but the desmos web page is working with 9 decimal digits. I’m not sure why they would be that different running on the same machine, in the same browser, but in different tabs. I’m not a javascript expert, nor do I want to be.

But, if you want precision, I would go with Android calc in landscape.

JonKnowsNothing July 29, 2022 10:04 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm @ Clive, ALL

re: Precision problems or the Problems with precision

Your test effectively shows the problems with precision on display. The bigger problem is the application of or use of the different display values.

Lots of CS types never cross over to the business or banking side of computers much less the high speed transaction systems used by hedge funds and the like. Those systems are running complex modeling on supercomputers but suffer from the same issue although perhaps a bit farther out.

If you have ever attempted to calculate the interest rate on your mortgage or car purchase, you might have seen someone using a standard calculator in short display mode while filling out the forms detailing the interest rates and payments.

For the USA there are 2 versions of rates: a Stated Rate and an Annual Rate. The Annual Rate is generally more than the Stated Rate. The calculation difference is not only due to the way the interest rate is applied over 365 days but also by the undisplayed portion of the interest rate.

It looks small but MILLS count. Over time, they count up big.


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