14 May 2007
Very large amounts of pre-processing is done in the retina by neural networks . These networks are trainable .
“Scientific American” p55 “The Movies in our eyes”.
“Parallel processing in Retina Ganglion Cells” by B. Roska et al. in Journal of Neurophysiology , vol95 p3810-3822 2006
Cellular Neural Network (artificial retina chip) , L Chua , UCAL
http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Itarin” etc
To those who sneered at Itarin , I take great pleasure in saying :
“I told you so. So wheh !”
Some familiarity with neural networks is assumed .
The Retinal Network consists of :
Rod or Cones to capture light (in a 2 dimensional square )
Two types of dopsins (chemicals sensitive to certain frequencies of light.)
The Neural Network :
Input . Bipolar cellbodies of ( at least 10 types ) . Excitatory .
Intermediate .Amacrine cell bodies ( at least 27 types , in 10 layers (the plexiform layer) . Inhibitory .
Output : Ganglion cell (12 types) to brain .
The output forms a streaming video of each of the 12 pictures (ie contrasts , edges , shadows , highlights,becoming brighter , becoming darker,etc.
This is assembled in the brain .
Data missing or fuzzy in the retina stage cannot be compensated for in the brain (except for context guessing or dithering) .
But , the retinal network can be retrained .
The retinal network is ridiculously overpowered for only rod and/or cone input . Evolutionary , insects , dinosaurs and very early mammals had another dopsin than was receptive to ultra-violet . This was lost by mammals . Birds and insects live in another dimension of colour that enhances their experience of their environment by an order of magnitude . We cannot imagine what it is to see like an insect or bird , as little as a colour-blind person can imagine blue , green or the whole colour spectrum .
During mammal babyhood , as sight is trained , the neural connexions in the retinal neural network (and especially the plexiform layer) are pared away to a very simplified form . But the complex number of neural network analysis layers are retained . The UV analysis can be excised , but to reduce the number of neuronal network layers would necessitate re-evolution of the whole business . This was simply too complex an endeavour for modest gains . So the layers remained .
However , the retina and iris still retain a large number of stem cells .
Retraining the plexiform layer that already has a memory of the shape of a letter would then be a simple matter of shifting “weights” in an already existing neuronal configuration . Itarin can easily compensate for this . ( Distortion due to myopia ,etc)
If the original pattern was distorted by something like astygmatism , then new neuron connexions would have to formed . (There is no original pattern.) This will take longer .
How much longer ?
The visual system has top priority in body . Hence the few cancers in a system loaded with stem cells . Daily for 3 months should do the trick (trimester) .
Top up as needed . The learned system is dual , so alternate with glasses/without glasses .
The 10 x 27 plexiform layer is more than sufficient to enable metamaterial and stochastic resonance effects .
Example : Hold the page at an angle to a single-point light . The micron-small elevations of the print will cause slight shadows and highlights , which your eye can recognize as patterns . The reason : the metamaterial effect enables you to see little bumps smaller than the wavelength of the light .
Waving the page slightly will cause stochastic resonance , which biological systems are really good at interpreting . (Look it up.)
This is not trivial , since it means that certain fonts are easier to read than others .
And a book is always better .
An optimal font has not yet been constructed . It would involve shadings and highlights in the letters themselves . A single letter (by inkjet , for example) would be constructed of a bold , delineated left half , a middling half and shaded right half for left-to-right readers .
As it is , you will be able to read better if your reading light is to the left of the page at about a 45 degree angle (If you read left to right)
This is also why reading from the screen or palm-books never took off .
There is no shadow .
And only the Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men .
The Origins of War and Peace
20 April 2007
( see previous discussions in http://andreswhy.blogspot.com)
War is when a society sanctions other humans as prey .
If the other humans belong to another society , it is Classical War . If not , it is a Police Action .
Endless fun is had by playing around with the definitions of “human” (Nazis) , “society” (religions , political movements , criminals , etc) .
Humans have a hard-wired brain center that classifies something as “prey” . Once this switch has tripped and the fixation has taken place , it is extremely difficult to change.
Evolutionary , it derived from pack-behaviour .
Pack hunters need to identify the chosen prey which the pack-leader has designated . The pointers derive from the leader’s social behaviour like pointing , eye-fixation , words etc .
Then they need to fixate on this prey to exclusion . (The nuts-and-bolts neuronal arrangement can be traced back to infant-imprinting.)
Successful packs are those that can focus the full pack on a particular prey , even if individual members of the pack might suffer injury or death .
A subsidiary hard-wired complex developed monitoring fellow-pack members . Any attack has to have some co-ordination . Call this Social-feeling .
An iterative counting brain center that could count to three evolved .
(This center’s precise location has been identified (via fMRI). Rendering it inoperative (via magnetic focused pulse) led to a normally very rare inability to gut-feel numbers . Like reading by consulting a child’s primer every step .) Called anacalculus .
Us , Them ,Prey .
Each system is iteratively further broken down into threes , etc .
Three is necessary , since Us and Them is insufficient .
The Prey has to be identified , leading to Them being broken up into Them and Prey .
An intriguing corollary is that while the sets Us and Them may comprise many diverse elements , the Prey has to be constrained to one easily identified element . This explains why hate merchants like Hitler , the schoolyard bully , etc pick on specifics . Why neighbours who know each other kill neighbours in Uganda . Why the wife/husband is the most frequent unsanctioned homicidal victim .
There can only be One Prey .
(Apologies to the Highlander.)
Certain elements in martyr religions can be more easily understood this way .
Packs are innate in any organism that cares for it’s young .
Parent(s) + kids = pack .
Iterative congeries across time of genetic relationships leads to complicated social relationships ( see inheritance of dominance in monkeys ,etc)
Human ancestors underwent a prolonged period of being cursorial raptors , developing pack behaviour on a genetic and social level to a high degree . This was convergent evolution with dogs . It is no wonder then that dogs and humans understand each other at such a deep , non-verbal level .
Parts of humans are the same as dogs .
Query : Why the insult of calling somebody a dog , a cur , a son-of-a-bitch etc ?
Answer : The insult is to the human being addressed , expressing dominance , not to dogs . In many cases , the only cultural referent understood by both human parties were doggish loyalty , which translated as slavishness between enemies . Indeed , many humans expressed their loyalty as being dogs of their ruler .
The dogs of war :
An interesting bit of propaganda by the Condottierri to put a spin on their faithless conduct .
Let’s face it , our ancestors ate each other until about 72 000 years ago .
The population density was low , making disease like kourou unlikely .
A large number of hominid evolutionary steps were driven by genetic deficiencies , necessitating obligate hunting . ( see previous discussions in http://andreswhy.blogspot.com)
Prey was everybody else except Us . This is the default Homonid setting .
MkI Homo Sapiens .
They evolved around 150 000 to 200 000 years ago .
The body was small by our standards , with little sexual dimorphism . The males were not much bigger , stronger or more aggressive than the females .
Great strength was not needed when hunting with weapons , snares and nets .
Indeed , big mass was selected against because of the significant higher energy needs that made starving to death much more likely during down-turns like droughts . Remember , there was little surplus and no way to store it .
Language was the main purview of the females . Gossiping and politics . The females were the central point of each group , together with the children . The males formed a cloud around this group . But arrangements were very loose and easy , as the living was easy .
Numbers were small , game was plentiful and other hominids made nice little packages of essential nutrients for these obligate hunters .
There is no culture as we even vaguely understand the term .
This was the end-line of development of pre-cultural homonins .
The default was that all not-Us were prey . ( Not War , not Peace , but anarchy)
MkII Homo Sapiens .
The Invention of Peace .
Then Toba happened . (72 000 BC )
The supervolcano in Indonesia caused the equivalent of a nuclear winter across the globe . Snow fell in equatorial regions and there was mass die-off of plants and their dependant animals .
The cold and hunger caused a concentration of numbers around some volcanic hotspots in the highlands of East Africa ( Remember , it snowed on the equator) . It did not happen all at once , so refugees fluxed into the survivable spots . In this crucible , human culture was invented . The numbers were small enough that certain existing epigenetic centers in the brain/body were forced evolved .
Remember , it took centuries for the land to recover .
From the genetic bottle-neck evidence , human numbers fell to between 3 000 and 10 000 . These are extinction levels
Cannibalistic diseases and inbreeding are particularly vicious in small , poorly nourished communities like these .
Co-operation and expansion of the gene-pool was essential .
The surviving communities were the ones where females took control and forced co-operation by designating non-prey .
In other words , the females ( probably led by some redoubtable dowager ) , invented Peace , and what’s more , enforced it .
This was Humanity’s greatest invention . The woman who did it deserves a Nobel prize for each year her Peace lasted .
Population was rigorously kept to sustainable levels by Matriarchal control of breeding lines and birthrates .
They did it so well that the Peace lasted about 60 000 years .
Note that the American and Australian continents where massive and quick animal extinctions took place , were populated from areas probably outside matriarchal control . Note also that the continent with the most extant animal megafauna (Africa) was where the matriarchy originated . Not too shabby ,eh?
One effect was thus the extreme taboo against cannibalism . This is an epigenetic inheritance ( ie data transmitted by mother to offspring , not in the DNA , but not cultural either .)
Inherent in this is that the Prey designation mechanism (now also epigenetic) came under social control . Elaborate rite-of-passage ceremonies evolved to certify an organism as human . (Failures were killed or expelled)
High on the list was Prey designation : hence the emphasis on starving candidates . The original rites featured humans as prey , and the candidate who could not control himself , failed .
This became putting off present gratification for future reward , what we think of as defining feature of cultural humans .
This also means the invention of religion , since the reward can be put off into the hereafter .
They also invented clothing , many uses of fire , hairdressing , makeup , jewelry , beads , gourmet cooking and the other things that make life worthwhile
Co-operating instead of hunting each other made trade and diversication of labour possible . Tools increased in sophistication from about 70 000 BC .
There was a significant human mutation in genes controlling brain growth . This has been very roughly dated as occurring about 40 000 – 50 000 years ago . The significance is not known , but it is speculated that it has to do with the growth of human culture .
The culture was explosively radiative . The advantages of a better and richer life through the material benefits sucked in even non-human homonins ( hence the gene mixing) . Anti-social elements were designated Prey and declared outlaw (this is what it means . The ultimate sanction then and now . Declared non-human , their only options were to die or to flee . )
When these MkII Humans exploded out of Africa , they did not kill the Neanderthals and Sinienses found in Europe and Asia . Their prey instincts were under social control .
Hence the interbreeding results now being found in the fossil record or the genetic evidence of the human flea .
( Some skeletons found indicate a mixture of Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens . Doubtlessly , more will be certain once the Neanderthal genome has been sequenced in about three years . More certain seems recent evidence of Siniens interbreeding , especially the genetic evidence that some species of human lice seemed to have crossed over back to Homo Sapiens from Siniens(Erectus) . The main-line Homo Sapiens fleas evolved into head and body lice after the invention of clothing after Toba .)
The other Sexes of Man
(see http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “The Sexes of Man”)
An intriguing speculation is that various null-sexes and homosexes got an evolutionary push from the reduced fertility in crossbreeding between MkII Homo and other various cousins that were subsumed into the Homo gene-cultural pool . This would have had a major effect on the evolution of the meme of property and inheritance .
MkII Humans .
What did they look like ?
The closest survivors we have are the Bushmen .
The female is the basic unit . There is little sexual dimorphism . The male is slightly larger than the female , but not significantly better muscled or more aggressive . Weapons and intelligence are more important in hunting than strength .
Females are the cultural guardians and control the group , both epigenetically and culturally .
In fertile regions , the females and children form a nucleus with a floating cloud of males . Females select males to have children , either from personal taste or by direction of the Matriarchy . As expected , about 90% of males do not have children , as the females all select the alpha-males . This creates tension .
A Matriarchy .
Overpopulation was kept under check by infanticide of weaklings (bushmen , greeks , romans) . The limits of population were precisely known after literally tens of thousands of years of hunter-gatherer interactions .
An extremely stable form of government .
MkIII Homo Sapiens .
As can be seen from the above , the matriarchs naturally thought in terms of selective breeding . Hence their invention of agriculture and domesticated animals . (The were the finest genetic engineers the planet has yet seen , including the present poseurs.)
Yet the invention of both held the seeds of their destruction .
Domestication of animals and agriculture (circa 10 000 years ago) went hand-in-hand . Even today , most agricultural produce go to feed animals .
The net effect was a population explosion .
The old methods of estimating the carrying capacity of the land did not work with this new-fangled agriculture . The large groups of feral males expelled into the borderlands during the last 60 000 years now also increased in numbers due to end of the Ice-Age . They could be hired by surplus agricultural produce and promise of breeding women .
The matriarchs now had physical locations they had to defend against marauding clouds of feral males or males from other villages . Down-turns ( drought , winters , etc) made it worse . The inexorable logic of evolution means that no matter how many times you succeed , only one failure is enough to destroy you .
Increasing populations had led to population centers (cities) , that traded . Trade on this scale unleashed what we would call globalization . Cheaper produce and manufactures from the peripheries destroyed the livelihood of local farmers and artisans . The resulting social unrest necessitated breeding warriors from the outside stock to keep control for the oligarchy of matriarchs and priestesses .
This happened over a period of about 6 000 years . ( A Matriarchy is a really , really stable form of government .)
The result was an arms-race . The matriarchs either deliberately , or as a desperation measure , bred males for aggression and strength . This was easy in a culture that already practiced infanticide and death-by-neglect . Nubile females were directed only to mate with the jocks . Breeding stock was imported or required as tribute from the Outlands ( cf remnants like Theseus , etc)
The social structure (what we would call the Bronze Age) slowly broke down .
The Matriarchs also designated the competing groups as prey to their warrior clouds . War had arrived ..
MkIII Homo Sapiens was the result .
There is marked sexual dimorphism . The male is significantly bigger , but also grossly overpowered . Sinews and bones break continually from the overbred power .
The biggest difference is in aggression and Social-feeling . (see above)
There is a positive feedback between Aggression and Fellow-feeling . A large group focusing on a prey is more successful if the elements of the group share values more intensely . All we need to add is that large numbers of combatants are more successful than small numbers (generally true for low-energy weapons) , and you have an Army and War .
The increase in social-feeling leads to large hysterical-type religions , and (not too put too fine a point on it ) large mobs .
The other whammy :
Villages on the edges of the Ukrainian Steppes domesticated horses . Over hundreds of years , young men drifted into the steppes . Matriarchs could not follow them , since a pregnant woman cannot ride . The result was the formation of the Sky Gods religions . The horsemen turned around and made the originating villages their fiefs . From this basis they exploited every weakness of the Matriarchs .
Patriarchal religion arises .
The big Crack.
The collapse of the Late Bronze Age civilization (see http://andreswhy.blogspot.com)
This was not an overnight affair , but the later stages makes “Apocalypto” look like a picnic .
It was a combination of factors :
The breakdown of the social systems led to continual internecine warfare between city-states (ie groups of Matriarchs) . The males were being force-bred to be bigger and more aggressive . Then a climate shift caused a series of prolonged droughts from about 6 000 to 4 000 BC , seriously increasing unrest . The destruction of Minoan sea-power due to tsunamis and the inability to rebuild their fleet because they had denuded all readily accessible timber was the last straw . It took about 200 years , but the resultant spasm of war , destruction and cannibalism destroyed the matriarchies around the Middle-East and the Mediterranean .
The horse patriarchs swept over the remains and stamped patriarchal memes very firmly on the twitching remains .
Some Matriarchal memes remained in the far-west (Britain) . Hence the Druids .
Egypt and some surviving cities in the middle-east retained underground matriarchal cults ( Isis , Cybele , Earth Mother , etc , etc)
The Romans destroyed the corrupted Druid remnants .
The Roman Catholic Church later incorporated the main elements of the surviving matriarchy in the Roman Empire in the female saints and the Virgin Mary . The rest were ruthlessly exterminated . (Literally)
The only remnants of the Matriarchy that had ruled for nearly 70 000 years were some nunneries . Even here they were meme controlled ( Brides of Christ : ie connected to a male .)
Islam did the same . Note that the nun’s habit is identical with the chador .
It makes one wonder : why did the Council of Nicea decide on such a radical step ?
After all , the Roman Empire toward the end had little sex-discrimination . Constantinople had many empresses .
Why did the West suppress matriarchies ?
The suspicion arises that they did it because they felt threatened .
A meme structure like the Matriarchy that thinks in terms of 70 000 thousands of years and selective breeding of generations does not let a temporary hiatus of 5 000 years stop them . Indeed , elementary consideration would show that this could not have been the first or only reverse . Thus , they would have evolved mechanisms to survive what they consider temporary setbacks , together with some aggressive bounce-back mechanisms .
They probably tried to take over control of the Roman Catholic Church and the Western Empire . The Church destroyed most evidence , but there is Constantine’s mother , a taverners daughter who came up with some serious money to hire troops .
The killer , though , was probably the shenanigans with Attila . The Western Court at the time was even a bigger nest of snakes than usual . This was also the last time women played a significant role . If Aetius had not stopped Attila , the West would probably be a matriarchy now .
The Patriarchal meme-set seems to be long-lasting , but scared .
Some examples :
The refusal to aid Constantinople in 1453 . Indeed , the whole split . The West feels more comfortable with a patriarchal Islam than a matriarchy . Even so , Turkey seems to have been hit by a double whammy from the women : Naksh , and the enfolding and vanishment of the Circassians circa 1820 .
For those not up to speed :
Naksh (the Beautiful ) was a cousin of Josephine Bonaparte . They both came from Martinique and both became Empresses . Naksh was captured by Barbary pirates , and given as a virgin present to the Sultan . She must have been something exceptional , since he made her his principal and only wife , and more importantly , allowed her to educate her son the heir . This guy broke (well ,exterminated) the Janisseries (no mean feat) . He embarked the Ottoman Empire on the route that led to Turkey of today being a secular Islamic state (the only one) .
The Circassians were a tribe in the Caucasian mountains that reputedly for thousands of years bred their women for beauty and then sold them . This is like saying Elizabeth Taylor or Madonna is a slave . As you can imagine , even if it was not a matriarchal scheme to start off with , it would not be soon before the women ran the scheme . Reputedly , their beauty approached super-image quality , to such an extent that they had to be veiled so as not to drive men mad with visions of unattainability .
Of course the other side of the coin is more likely . For 60 000 years the matriarchy had bred and perfected women that could freeze men’s souls with their beauty and pheromones (cf Sirens , Circe , Gorgons , etc) . Brainy too . So the Circassians were breeding the beauty out , not in , to fit with modern society .
By 1820 they had to move , as the entire Caucasus mountains became very unsafe due to the Russian Empire expanding . Bullets or cannons do not care about beauty . The entire tribe moved to Constantinople and was not heard of again (of course) .
An interesting note here is that they probably had a copy of the Library of Constantinople . Very probably many of the originals . One of those ironies of history is that the Library everyone is looking for (including most of the Library of Alexandria) is right back where it started . A further ironic note is that Templars got obliterated mainly for having a copy . Contaminated by the Matriarchy . Fallout was the Albigensians and the Spanish Inquisition .
The question is : what on earth did the matriarchy do to provoke such an extreme response , one that has reverberated for thousands of years ? Even the memory of the deeds are gone (except maybe in some dusty archive) , but the emotions evoked still seem to be alive .
The only thing I can think of is a monstrous betrayal and perversion of the very bedrock of the Matriarchy’s social contract : when things got bad , they designated their people they considered useless as Prey and ate them .
This is like the Pope cutting out some nice fat American tourists on St Peter’s square and having a braai , with them as the guests of honour on the spit , all the while intoning that they should be honoured to serve .
Worse . Christianity has ritual cannibalism . No wonder this has reverberated down the ages . And it must have gone on for at least 200 years .
Shit . And I thought the high death rate in the Late Bronze age collapse was due to the quick conquest by the Sea Peoples . Instead , for hundreds of years the matriarchy and attendant nobles ate their people . The logic from their point is that the plebs should be honoured to feed their betters who know better and would be able to pull things together once the drought ends . And even when the drought ended , they could not stop . They were caught in the vested interests and , besides , it would take years before trade picked up and their shares paid a decent dividend .
The Sea Peoples were what we would call Liberators and Freedom Fighters . The capital letters are justified . Not even the Nazis or the Soviets ate the inmates of the camps , never mind put them in camps just for this purpose .
I always wondered how Rameses III could trust the Sea Peoples after the battle of the Nile to withdraw to southern Palestine . How could they exist if the area was so drought stricken ? But it wasn’t . It could support a lesser number , but not the overpopulated cities before . He had to promise to cleanse his country as well .Something he was not averse to .
But besides that , the Sea Peoples were fighting to cleanse the world of a great evil . The last holdout was in Egypt . They would have kept coming . All of them had family that was eaten .
This monumental blunder took place after the invention of agriculture , when overpopulation got out of control . I presume the present Matriarchy is determined not to make the same mistake . Overpopulation is once again out of control .
A note to the Matriarchy :
Kindly do not attempt to dispose of the surplus biomass through your stomach . It did not work too well 5 000 years ago . This time you will get crispies all round . The contract of 72 000 years ago is that either all pull through , or none do . Got it ?
The crucial Patriarchal meme:
No woman shall be without a connection with some male .
It does not matter if the male is a father , brother , husband ,son ,etc .
The intention is to prevent the build-up of a purely female powerbase . (ie a Matriarchy)
It worked for about 5 000 years .
Why it broke down :
The hidden assumption:
A high death rate due to high female death rate in childbirth .
This assumption steadily diverged from reality since about 1850 , as asepsis and birth procedures progressed .
The result was that woman outlived men by about 7 years on average . Rich woman in the US inheriting all their husband’s assets is a bigger percentage since the 1920’s . The US is a matriarchy by now .
Some 66% of US families have only one parent , namely the mother .
Crime rates have increased . This is because clouds of males are forming ,without matriarchal systems to keep them in control . At the levels of aggression and
testosterone the females have bred into them , only one thing will work :
A discreet word with Marvel Comics or some games designer might be appropriate .
And please , not SuperMama . Every Mama is a SuperMama .
MkIV Homo Sapiens .
Around 1800 the New Model Homo Saps was rolled out .
The new model is emotionally cool and is inclined to compulsive behaviour .
It welcomes uberbabes , but vehemently rejects a role as appetizer or even main course .
Aggression is not impulsive , but compulsive .
This is epigenetic .
This means that he can only be reasoned with . Emotional pressure points like fear , hate , love will play no role in behaviour .
Once an aggressive course is determined , nothing will stop it except superior force or logic .
The development of industrial technology required people that can concentrate for hours at a time on technical things like lathes , mathematics , etc , etc . The Fellow-feeling center in the brain suddenly became the cannon-fodder center .
A previous pathology ( Autism spectrum ) was dusted off and selection pressures are busily selecting and modifying . Aspergers (which did not exist before , suddenly is a desirable condition . The rough edges are being filed off .
It also means that the political control both Patriarchies and Matriarchies had is evaporating . The levers are turning to mush under their fingers .
Both have failed . They think the solution is in killing off their constituents when things get tough . This is no longer a viable solution from their viewpoint , as they have already lost control of the technical aspects . They are the most likely ones to do the tumbrel dance when things go ape .
MAD and preparations for War.
14 April 2007
The probability of war in the Far East , Pakistan North-India region has increased from about 40% to 80%+ . Limited nuclear strikes in Iran , North Korea , Taiwan , Japan and Chinese regions close to Taiwan are in orders of 70%-90% .
Stay away .
Mutual Assured Destruction .
A games theory which had the hidden assumption that there is an end to the game (ie a point where one could tot up the gains and losses to ascertain the winner.) .
This formed the basis of Cold-War strategy between the US and the USSR . The mutual assured destruction part comes from the assumption that at end of the game , the opponent might have more assets . These must then be destroyed as well if you have the capability . This cascades down to the destruction of all assets .
This nice little scenario had two major flaws:
In real life there is no end except extinction . Present decisions had to made on very putative future guesswork . The wrong guess is not extinction , but endless misery .
The threshold of initial MAD response is dependant on future estimations . This ties in with the above . (At what stage do you bet your civilization , your wife and children , and yourself? )
The only person who could actually have enforced a world-wide hegemony of this nature was Harry Truman , when the US had the monopoly of nuclear weapons .
There is a RAND study (circa 1947) about the consequences of the US nuking Moscow and other USSR centers and occupying the country .
The study concluded that while democratizing Germany and Japan was possible with minimal occupation , the same would not be true of the USSR . It would be an enemy occupation , and the democratization of Europe (which had very strong Communist leanings (close to 50%) ) , would necessitate the militarization of the US . The US would not be able to sustain an occupation of both Europe and Asia , unless they were willing to practice genocide .
Truman decided against it .
Once there are two players with large destructive capacity , the game of MAD is possible .
What we have now , is the US and Russia with true MAD capability , and numerous small entities with 1-10 nuclear weapons . Remember that destructive energy delivery of nuclear proportions were routinely used in WWII . ( I define such an event as one that generates a firestorm . Hamburg , Dresden , Tokyo qualify) .
Like Big MAD , Mini-MAD is played by stretching the threshold levels and the ends .
North-Korea and Iran make threatening noises and moves (thresholds) and posit “what-if” scenarios in international forums for the ends .
The nightmare .
Ironically , the world is now safer from a NuclearBiologicalChemical spasm after a proliferation of nuclear weapons . The US or Russia is not going to go into a MAD exchange if a nuclear explosion takes place in Pakistan , Korea , Japan , China ,India or Taiwan . They will cheer from the sidelines .
Wars between countries with limited NBC destructive capability .
Taiwan vs China , North-Korea vs Japan , etc , etc .
There are nine(9) nuclear armed nations around the China Sea , each with an independant nuclear command system . The number of ways they can gang up on each other is 2^9-1 = 511 ways . This is extremely unstable .
For instance , Japan finds the threat to Tokyo from North-Korean nukes intolerable .
China finds the independence of Taiwan intolerable .
Taiwan finds the threat of China intolerable .
And so forth , and so forth , until nothing is left excepting fishes .
How threatening are they really ?
We have virgin field comparisons from history :
The Americas (smallpox,measles,whooping cough) contagious by touch or air and the Black Death in Europe , ditto) . The relative death rates were 95% and 35% . The difference is explained by quarantine . A social phenomenon , not a biological one , since neither of the populations had any resistance . The trick is to prevent any exposure .
A primer is a previous infection that renders the organism more susceptible to later variants . A sleeper with sudden death as the payoff .
I know of one primer in history : the Aug-Nov 1918 flu had a primer in March 1918 . The major epidemic burned out for no known reason . (Some people think that a Global Wishing Machine was used .)
Early syphilis and HIV are primers . So are all the bacteria in humans without their lethal genes switched on .
This begs the question : which diseases can be defined by the body’s defence lethal genes being switched off ? And why should this happen ?
The Flicker Response .
Organisms that flicker lethal genes on and off utilizes the body’s learning ability to extend the immune system’s lower threshold .
The immune system is not switched off , just sort of stretched .
Autoimmune and HIV:
The culprit would seem to be one or two chemical compounds from the palm tree (palm trees have a vested interest in keeping human populations low) plus a rare trace mineral (unknown , but most likely something like iridium for evolutionary reasons . To keep numbers down after the KT boundary.)
The vector is soap .
The HIV primer was first transmitted via the LA bathhouses . The truckroutes through Africa was characterized by soap dispensers in the toilets .
Oversensitization of the immune system can be seen in asthma , also correlated with a specific soap usage since the early 1800’s .
The Revenge of the Palm . Those veggies will be the death of you yet .
But those humans will probably get you first .
Preparations for War .
The single most important chokepoint in modern war is not oil .
It is Chrome .
It is absolutely essential for high-temperature , high-strength steel . This means the turbine-blades for jet-engines . There is no substitute at the moment . The lack of chrome has already played a major role in history . The german Me262 jet fighter production was scaled down 1941 because the lack of chrome .
Turbine engines for tanks , ships and aircraft need at least 20% chrome in the blade-steel (ie thousands of tons) . So does armour , though that can be worked around .
This year (2007) south Africa announced that it would cease export of chrome to China . SA has about 70% of the world reserves , and 100% of available ores (the rest is in Russia , and they are not selling to anybody.)
The ostensible reason given was that SA needs all the chrome for domestic consumption . This is an outright lie . SA cannot use even a fraction of the production . the only conclusion is that the US leaned on the SA government to sell only to US stockpiles .
The conclusion from this (since chrome is needed for many items exported from China to the US) is that a near and lengthy war is being planned for .
Oil and Biofuel .
The US has quietly built up a huge biofuel capability . At least half of it’s maize stocks are being used for fuel .
The interesting thing here is that the US seems to have written off supplies of oil from the middle-east . Indeed , some think that the entire Iraq war and focusing of interest on middle-east oil supplies is a misdirection , masking the immense US efforts in biofuels while this transition is taking place .
It is a matter of premiums and future values .
The cost of a barrel of Saudi-Arabian light crude at the well-head is about $5 . Transport is about $4 per barrel . The present spot price is about $68 a barrel . That difference of about $60 a barrel represents the present value of future estimated scarcity . OPEC reckons that it can use the premium to pay for the food the grossly overpopulated areas of the middle-east needs . The US reckons that it can survive even a total cut-off of middle east oil . It might be a pinch , but hundreds of millions of tonnes of maize is being converted to fuel (industrial fuel , the important bit) (about 60% of US agricultural output is now being converted to fuel . Didn’t know that crucial little bit , did you? Who do you think ate that millions of tons of food before it was blown out of an exhaust ?
The US is probably going to turn isolationist . Nuke Iran and withdraw completely from the middle-east . Pick up the top-up oil cheap from the spot market . Africa and the middle east will starve .
Everybody expects a China-US war .
In this scenario , China will be left alone against hordes of starving refugees from the middle east . Russia will be hard pressed to defend Siberia . The US will renege on the letters of credit (treasury bonds) , slap on heavy tariffs and tell everybody to f***off . (It is already extremely difficult even for a tourist to get into the US .) The country is turning isolationist regardless of it’s political leadership .
All the local bullies will come out to play . The whole of far east and middle east will dissolve in a welter of war , with about 20% survival rate .
Nazca lines and Seismic Prediction .
11 April 2007
Megalithic figures are most probably meant to be seen from underneath , not from the top.
The Nazca makers were right on the edge of a highly active seismic region . Their lives and fortunes were greatly affected by earthquakes and volcanic events . It is thus likely that they ascribed them to subterranean gods ( Cf Greek Poseiden) .
The figures were an attempt to communicate with these gods . Naturally they would form them in a way to appear normal from underneath .
The gist would be “ Hey there are people up here . Please be more careful.”
“Help here” . “ Zap there” .
In other words , the usual human panoply of threats , promises , bargains and pleas
Watch the way the monkey’s tail curves !
Ley Lines and Megalithic Buildings .
Seeing what these look like from underneath is really interesting . Especially what a pyramid does to p-waves and s-waves from an earthquake . The siting of the Gizeh pyramids are then no accident , as they would ameleriorate liquefaction of the great canyon underlying the Nile delta . This was formed during the periodic drying-up of the Mediterranean , when the Nile carved kilometer deep canyons .
A little prediction :
The remains of a similar pyramidal structure(s) should be found near the mouth of the old Rhone . It has the same canyons .
(Use side scan- and ground penetrating radar . The regular density layers should be a signature , or at least pointer if there was a catastrophic canyon-collapse .)
Lesser structures (like Carnac) on both sides of the English channel are known .
Similar structures should be detectable on the English side .
How could the ancients have known ?
Water Dowsing .
This is a well known method and reliable as far as water is concerned .
Water dowsing is not paranormal . It is too repetitively reliable . It should be classified under “Unknown science” .
The earth has continual small tremors . Land-fills on old riverbeds , fractures and faults amplify these by micro-liquifaction as refractions from different density layers concentrate small tremors at random along a long length . The dowser picks this up , but it is a relative measurement . He has to move to get a broader picture .
Earthquake dowsing .
Most big earthquakes would have an increase in these micro-liquifactions as precursors . Therefore , monitoring the intensity of these over time over established weakness lines gives an indication of the probability of a major breach . Most likely , there would be a specific pattern as precursor .
Still , false alarms would be a problem , especially in a non-scientific culture ( heck , it is problem in a scientific culture , as witness the 0.25 million corpses of the 2004 tsunami , when warning was available , but not heeded) .
High casualty , low-probability events are normally handled by religion in humans .
The establishment and maintenance of seismic warning networks would be a religious duty . Temples would be established on the lines of maximum weakness (ley lines) . During the end of the last ice age (12 000 – 4 000 BC ), seismic and tsunami activity was much higher , as the continents rose after the ice-melt . Huge tsunamis thundered across low-lying areas as ice-dams broke or glacier moraines collapsed . Undersea moraine collapses would be particularly treacherous . Most habitations would be on high-lying areas (like in Britain in this period) .
Maintaining an early-warning network was vital . Most megalithic buildings were probably just amplification sensors . The pyramids seems to be an attempt at amelioration .
The joker is , as the crust and the oceans stabilized , the number of threats decreased and the old religion lost it’s power . The lowlands became populated and human numbers exploded . The Bronze age civilization followed , and it’s subsequent collapse . The knowledge was lost ( no longer applicable , cost/benefit analysis shows that it is cheaper to tolerate a few major earthquakes in the few populated areas , than maintain a very expensive early-warning system that is no longer needed .)
Some hints as to megalithic earthquake predictors .
Stonehenge does measure star-angles . But it is to measure the flex of the underlying crust . Hence its position on the most stable piece of real-estate in Britain . What was needed was large (massive , to cancel small effects) inelastic pylons to measure small shifts in the underlying crust . Note that no theory of plate-mechanics is needed , as a purely experimental mapping of Britain using dowsing would have given an equivalent result .
In areas where short-term effects would be more important (eg on the channel like Carnac) , the meters are smaller and more frequent . Whether the small divergencies from starlight measurements will be measurable after all this time at Carnac is a good question .
A more promising site is Malta .
The center of this civilization seems to be the Mediterranean . This sea is particularly vulnerable to tsunamis and seiches , because it is so small . The question is then , why wasn’t civilization wiped out by the more frequent seismic events as the ice-age wound down ?We have flourishing bronze-age civilization with lots of trading going on since at least 8 000 BC . (Cf the revised dates of some megalithic structures.) .
We can theorize that during this unstable geological period , sensitive early warning systems centered around Egypt , Malta , Old Marseilles , Stone Henge and to a lesser degree Carnac , Greece and Turkey ensured that populations in vulnerable areas could evacuate .
These events are easily survivable if there is warning .
An example is the opening of the Dardanelles about 7 000 years ago , due mostly to rising sea levels . There was no depopulation in the Meditteranean basin due to the seiches sloshing back and forth (and the waves must have been hundreds of feet high in the Adriatic ).
So why the catastrophe of Santorini ?
Partly because of the breakdown of the early-warning system (immortalized in Cassandra ) as well as the breakdown of the entire society due to drought and globalization effects . ( see http://andreswhy.blogspot.com)
So what does this mean to us?
The good news :
A workable seismic warning system is possible , because it has been done .
We can reuse some parts of the old systems (pyramids , megaliths) because the have precisely known large masses , elasticities and positions . Note that pyramids occur in all continents . The largest ones are in China .)
Just park some sensitive GPS units on top of all the churches , temples , pyramids and megalithic monuments in the world .
The bad news :
The Earth is entering a period of renewed seismic instability , mainly due to the shifting of water masses due to melting of ice . The present human system of politics and science is insufficient to maintain a sufficiently high level of alert . A few really large disasters (like Cape Verde tsunami) will unleash a Gaia-type religious response . Nothing makes for true-believers like a billion drowned corpses and another two billion starved .
Be happy in your humanity