Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Infinite Probes2

Infinite Probes 2
Andre Willers
30 April 2008

http://andreswhy.blogspot.com/ “Infinite Probes’

From discussing this with various recipients , there seems to be a need for a simpler explanation . I thought I had explained it in the simplest fashion possible . The subject matter is inherently complex .

But , here goes .

How much must you save ?
If you save too little , a random fluctuation can wipe you out .
If you save too much , you lose opportunity costs . If you are in competition , this loss can be enough to lose the competition (ie you die)

Intuitively , you can realize there is an optimum level of saving .

Methods exist of calculating this optimum in very specific instances (ie portfolios of shares ,eg Kelly criteria , or tactics in war eg MiniMax ) .

The General Case
We need to hold a Reserve in case Something goes wrong . But we do not know what thing goes wrong .

Infinite Probes tries to answer the general case . What is really , really surprising is that a answer is possible .

The Infinite bit comes from using the mathematical expansion of the Definition of Eulers Constant e = ( 1 + 1/2! + 1/ 3! + … 1/n! + …)
Where n!= n*(n-1)*(n-2)*(n-3)*…*(1)

This approaches a constant , widely used in mathematics and physics .
(e = 2.718…) .

All we need is a system that can be subdivided indefinitely (to infinity) .

First , we divide by 1
Then 2
Then 3
Then 4

And so forth till infinity .

What is important is not that we do know what these divisions are , only that they are possible . We also do not know which one element goes wrong .

The other critical insight is that it is the relation between elements that is important . (Permutations) (The failure of an element in total isolation cannot affect the whole system by definition .)

We can count the number of relationships where there is failure of one element .
It is n! , where n is number of divisions where only one failure .

Multiple failures are handled by summing :

Our Reserve(R ) is divided by n to infinity and summed .

TotReserve= R*( 1 + 1/2! + 1/ 3! + … 1/n! + …)
TotReserve= R * e

To find the boundaries of our Reserve , we set TotReserve = Cost

Then

R = 1/e * Cost
R ~ 0.37 * Cost

What does this mean?
This method measures the upper boundary of the reserve needed to survive failures in any element of the Cost-Universe . Ie , internal fluctuations .

This is the surprising bit . Any society that keeps at least 37% reserves , can only be destroyed by something outside it’s envelope . It is internally stable , no matter what .

Empires like the Ancient Egyptians , Romans , Chinese are possible , as long as there is no climactic fluctuation , new inventions , diseases ,etc . Rare events . Hence the technological stasis of old civilizations . The two are synonymous .

This is true at any scale (except quantal , by definition.) .

Individuals too . Humans can be seen as empires of noospheres .

The upper boundary does not take any double-counting into account . It is true for any system whatsoever .

A truly remarkable precise result from such general axioms .

The Lower Boundaries .
This is where it gets interesting .
Remember , we are just counting the number of ways in which permutations of one element can fail . We then sum them to get the effect of the failures of other elements

The easiest is the business that just starts and is not selling anything . It fails on n elements on every term . It’s floor capital must then be
R=Cost/(1+e)
R=0.27*Cost

This is the initial reserve to get off the ground .
This is true in any ecosystem . This is why it is so difficult to start a new business , or why a new species cannot succeed . Or why waves of pandemics are scarcer .

For the epidemically minded , this 10% difference is responsible for the demise of the Black Death ( smallpox outcompeted bubonic plaque variants for the CR5 access site.Ironically , the reason why we have only a limited HIV plague is the high competition for this site , probably some flu vectors . As one would expect , the incidence of HIV then becomes inversely proportional to connectivity (ie flights) .

A cessation of airplane flights will then lead to a flare-up of diseases like these .
Not exactly what anybody has in mind . )

When we find that we really need the spread of infectious vectors to stay healthy , then we know we have really screwed ourselves .

These are the two main boundaries .
The literature is full of other limits the series can approach . Keep a clear head on what the physical significance is .

Fat
I cannot leave the subject without the thing closest to human hearts : appearance .
Fat and fitness .
Sadly , the present fad for leanness is just that . The period of superfluous food is coming to an end .
Rich individuals can afford to be lean because the reserves are in the monetary wealth Women have to bear children individually , so they cannot store the needed reserves externally . Hence their fat storage is close to the theoretical optimum even in Western societies (33%) . In other societies the percentage is about 37-40% .

Human males have been bred (Mk III humans) for muscle and little fat (8% in a superbly fit male) . He does not have reserves to withstand even garrison duty (even little diseases will lay him low .) Note the frequent references to diseases laying whole armies low .

Note what is left out : the camp-followers . They survived The women and babyfat children . Every army seeded the invaded area with women and children .

The bred soldier has to eat a high-carb food frequently : not meat or fat , his body cannot store it . This is the definition of a wheat-eating legionary .

Ho ! Ho! Ho!
The Atkinson diet .
No wonder it does not make sense in evolutionary terms .
Mesomorphic humans have been bred not to transform expensive proteins and fats into bodymass .

The soldier-class were kept on a carbohydrate leash , which could only be supplied by farming .

The Smell of Horses .

Horses exude pheromones that promote body-leanness in humans . This has an obvious advantage to horses . Horses are breeding jockeys .

The time-span is enough : at least 8 000 years . (400 generations)

Because pregnant women cannot ride horses , there was a selection pressure to breed horses who have a pheromone that block female dominance pheromones , especially since females have to weigh more because of fat-reserve considerations .

Outside a farming environment , horses will sculpt their riders as much as the riders are sculpting them .

Small Mongolian ponies , small Mongolians .

This is why alpha-males like horses and horse-dominated societies were able to conquer and keep matriarchies .

Note the effect of the pheromones on women riders . Androgeny .
On males it becomes extreme blockage of oestrogen . It seems like a surge of male hormones , but it is just an imbalance . (If too much male hormones , the men just kill their horses )

This is why the auto-mobile had such a big sociological effect . No horses , so the men became more effeminate .

Want to be Lean and Mean ?
Sniff Horse sweat pheromone .
Perfumiers take note .

Dogs

The other leg of the human-horse-dog triumvirate .
Dogs accept female pack-leaders and have evolutionary reasons for blocking horse inhibitions of human female pheromones .

While the males are away , the females look after and rely on the dogs .
(The reason why Mongols ride from yurt to yurt: they are too scared of the dogs.)

With dogs around , the male testosterone activity is ameliorated . This is a well known effect , especially if horses are around .

Hence the female love of lap-dogs . They are actually quite ferocious , and exude large amounts of pheromones that soothes the savage male breast .

Your attention is drawn to the Pekinese lapdog , which has had a disproportionately large effect on human history .

If this sounds convoluted , it is because this is exactly how this type of bio-system operates : by inhibitions of inhibitions of inhibitions ,etc .

Andre

Serendipity and Treasure

Serendipity and Treasure .
Andre Willers
28 March 2008

Definition:
Finding something of value for which you are not looking .

From Viagra to Niagra , history is littered with examples of valuable items found while looking for something else entirely .

There is an underlying weak coupling , namely a search for something of value , enabling the recognition that a valuable thing has been found , even if it is not what has been looked for .

This effect can be dramatically enhanced by specifying the weak coupling in advance.

Generally :
The Weak Coupling can be shown to be directly proportional to the Oblique Approach in military terms .
The more oblique the approach , the weaker the coupling , but the greater the payoff .

Neurologically , two disparate end-points are set up and the brain’s feedback networks set loose to get on with making connections . A well-known recipe for creativity .

Discussion by example :
Buried treasure .
A well-picked over field , but buried hoards are still found . For example , “the most significant find of Viking treasure in 150 years by metal-detectorists David and Andrew Whelan in Harrogate” , from “History Today” Sept 2007 p9 .

Medical Instruments and Treasure .
Use the weak-coupling between medical instruments and portable wealth(coins,etc) .

The logic of the coupling :
The losers in a conflict are usually the ones that have to hide money . They are , by definition , more likely to have wounds . Refugees ditto .

They swarm around the around the only persons giving direction and treatment , namely the medics . This is a well-known phenomenon .

Attractor basin around medics .
Doctors form the center of this attractor basin . Outer elements of the swarm hide their treasure and go to the center for treatment . Many die or never return , leaving their treasure for later finders . The center of the swarm also accumulates wealth , which the doctors pool for buying food , medicine , safe-passage , etc . This money would normally be found or used . If the refugee group is overwhelmed , the medical instruments end up in the dirt . If the doctor has time , he might hide them , as these are his definition of treasure .

Search for these .

But the treasure secreted by the outer-swarm would be very unlikely to be found , as it would have been hidden by past-masters of the art of looting .

So look for old medical instruments . Near them and on the retreat route , metal-detectors would have a better than normal chance of finding buried coins , armor ,etc.

Guided serendipity in action!

Off course this logic is well known . But that it is the beauty of it . You are hunting for old Roman surgical instruments , of Celtic , or Viking , or Norman , or Anglic , or Nazi .

(The Nazi’s had a completely separate organization (never penetrated by British intelligence , as it was an old-boy network) secreting caches in case of an unsuccessful invasion of Britain . Fall-back assets set up by a select group of gold-brickers who continued under one of those strange lacunae of security classifications long after Sea Lion was cancelled . They were operating from personal instructions from Hitler , who did not want it known that such a defeatist opinions were ever held by him , however good a strategic idea it might be .
This was a royal pain to Himmler , who lost no time in liquidating all of them he could get hold of after the failure of the Stauffenberg plot . Some of the locations of these caches must have been lost , and are still available to the enterprising treasure hunter . A really rare example of the faux-retreat cache .
Reputedly , the US harbours caches of this nature of USSR origin , for use by expendable cadres after a failed tactical invasion following a limited nuclear war .)

For fun and profit:
Write a book : “The Refugee Routes in Britain” . Research it with metal detectors . Any treasure found is serendipitous .

Andre

Rule of Law

Origin of The Rule of Law
Andre Willers
22 march 2008

Definition:
The Rule of Law is that there at least some Laws(Rules) which bind everybody , even the rulers and the enforcers of law .

The Law of a Third .
(As described by Caesar and Tacitus .)
When a Celtic tribe or group of tribes became overpopulated , they gathered and divided into three equal parts . This division was by individual choice .

The leaders and shamans then decided by lot (chance ) which group had to leave for fresh territories .

Once the lot had been cast , nobody was allowed to change group . The Rule was inflexible , applicable from the lowest to the highest . Everybody knew the Rule , thus could not be changed by interpretation or appeal .

Otherwise , it would not have worked . ( People emigrate into a hostile environment only if they have no choice .)

And work it did .

It has been traced back to the collapse the Bronze Age Civilization . The peoples of Central Europe (like the Unetice) , the Urnsfield cultures leading to the Hallstadt Iron age all faced the same problem . Better technology and farming practices increased their wealth and population , but they were hemmed in by population groups at near-parity as far as warfare techniques were concerned .

So , expansion by gradual population pressure was a no-no , especially against the remnants of the old Bronze-Age Empires . So they sent forth a third of their number in a combination of invasion force and volke-wanderung . These were the waves (then also known as Gauls or Germans by the Romans) that swept over North-Western Europe to Ireland and to the East as far as Armenia . They nearly conquered the Italian peninsula as well .

Even as late as 105 BC Marius had his work cut out to massacre an invasion force of about half-million at Six Springs near Marseille . Caesar treacherously massacred another tribal group on the Rhine , also about half a million strong .

Future groups (about one every 50 years according to the climatic and historical evidence) decided that the Roman nut was too hard to crack . So they struck out eastward in search of Lebensraum .
Plus-la-change . Later they would return , as the Hun Confederacy .

Population Control .
The Romans were not sitting on their hands either .
Augustus knew that uncontrolled population growth would lead to wars of expansion , thus larger armies and rebellious generals . Civil wars and fragmentation of the state would be inevitable (as did happen) . Maybe he had some Chinese help (see previous posts) .

The Romans had a workable herbal general contraceptive (Sulphicium) which originated in North Africa . Augustus classified it as a state resource , eradicated it in the wild (to maintain control) and cultivated it on high-security state latifundia . This was then added to the state-controlled water supply . (All those fancy aqueducts) .

The low Roman birthrate has been ascribed to lead poisoning , but the poisonous effect of lead had been known since Egyptian times . Lead was usually only used in non-acidic environment (like water plumbing) , where it had no effect .

The one proof is the ripple effect on the population figures : Italy’s population remained steady at about 7 million from 1AD to 200AD . This was the heyday of the Roman Empire (Source : Atlas of World Population History by McEvedy and Jones p106 , the primary source for this type of figures.) . The population of the whole Roman empire only increased from 50 million to 55 million .

This beggars belief .
In equivalent circumstances , the English-speaking peoples doubled their population every 15-20 years .

This was during a time of peace and plentiful food . Even the Antonine plagues could not have had this effect unless another factor was present . Remember , low birth rates affected poor people too , who used ceramic utensils .

But everybody used water from the public fountains .

Another is the Roman Catholic Church’s attitude to contraception . It goes back to those days .
They inherited this dirty little secret when they took over the Roman State . They destroyed the farms and set up laws not to allow it again . These laws ossified .
But at the time they dare not let it out , as the mobs would have destroyed the water supply on which all depended .

There was one part of the Roman Empire where the population figures did not change from 1 AD to about 800 AD . The Netherlands and Belgium/Luxembourg (about 3 million each ) . There was no massive depopulation after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire , but for a further 200 years after the collapse , the population did not increase either . This suggests that they continued to cultivate Sulphicium , and probably still do . (Note their skill at bulbs) . Their population figures remain at suspiciously small slopes until 1800 AD (note : other countries’ population slopes start rising at 1700 AD)

This goes a long way to explain Roman Catholic hostility to these countries and their support of Protestantism . By this time , the Roman Catholic Meme had frozen on the center of it’s attractor basin : keep the masses poor via overpopulation , leach out the smart kernels of revolt via schools and the confessional , with an aristocracy as armed back-up . Something similar happened to Islam . In the West , though , the Black Death broke the meme .

The Dutch has to join the Old Kingdom Egyptians as a group that figured out a way to run a modern , zero-growth , sustainable civilization . So , it can be done .

Note that Egypt probably used Sulphicium as a population control , but after the eradication of the plant in North Africa (and presumably Egypt) , Egyptian population rose from 4 million in 1 AD to 5 million in 200 AD . The Egyptian peasants drank water from the Nile , not aquaducts . But the cities did .

Some other advantages to The Law of a Third .

1, It did not depend on literacy ( usually the big problem with illiterate legal systems).
2, The chosen third could not renege , as two-thirds were standing by to kick them out.
3, Nobody was exempt . The essence of the Rule of Law .

Note that the Greeks and Romans did not have a concept of Law applicable to everyone . The Emperor was a God , and thus defined Law (a-la-Nietzche) . Even the Republic had the concept of Dictator (only for emergencies , y’know) who was above the law . The Greeks had the concept of Dictatorship of the Masses (general democracy) .

Anybody in the Celtic third lotted to go had to go , and no weaseling out either .
This discouraged dynasties and inherited wealth .This led to the Western idea of representative democracy and no fixed leadership . No big cities with arts and culture parasites formed . But technology remained an individual effort , highly prized and innovative . But small . Smiths .

Serious R&D needs above all dissemination of ideas (like an University) , supported by some general fee structure . War production of armour , weapons and professional soldiers needs a state with taxes . This is where the Romans wiped everybody . A Roman soldier’s armour cost about a years earnings of a skilled artisan . Training him took about 2 years , during which he was totally unproductive . The logistics to supply him (food , etc) could only be run by a state with a tax based on general economic activity , not on loot . Garrison troops do not even gather loot . Which is why Augustus strictly limited the number of legions . As long as the state is prosperous and can afford the taxes , then there is Pax Romana . When the money dries up , there is a silent coup and the Army takes over the State . As happened in the late Roman Empire .

A healthy system would break up into sustainable pieces ( as some emperors tried to do) , but the Army would not allow it . You then have an Army with a state . An unsustainable state .

4, Why a third?
I refer to http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Infinite Probes”
The optimum reserve for any system is about a third of its value . In essence , the society is “swarming” , sending out its reserve .

The fascinating question is how does it know it is time , and how and who decides ?

This has direct relevance in today’s overpopulated world .
The quorum mechanism in bacteria springs to mind . Mind-altering bacteria and viruses abound . Bacteria uses two different biochemical signaling systems to switch on lethal genes .

Humans have an analogue system , called media . With the Celts it would be troubadours , poets etc . If they started espousing the glories of combat to the exclusion of everything else , the canny shaman would know it is time to hive off .

Unfortunately , today there is nowhere to go that is not defended . But some areas are less defended than others . The same situation as in 200 BC .

So , the solution would be to hive off a third of the planetary population (about 2 billion) to the future , and the remaining 4 billion kill themselves off in the orgy of violence they all crave . This fits in with the estimated casualties of a general conflict (see previous posts)

One way of looking at it is that bacteria are cultivating certain species to unsustainable levels , then harvesting them .

So , when population densities are low , everybody is lovey-dovey . As densities grow , conflict increases until a threshold is reached and insensate violence breaks out . Sounds familiar ? The only civilizations that last are the ones that control their numbers . This is not just ecological , but inherent in the nature of humans as composite beings .

We can interrupt this bacterial dialogue leading to the sociological lethality switch-on.
From this viewpoint , every slave-cellar in Roman latifundiae and every slave-ship from Africa to the Confederate American States pumped its load of quorum violence markers into the population .

Hence the present desperate need to get away , to have refuge away from all humans .
Get away from the genetic markers activating stress-inducing aggressive responses .
Ie hiking , holiday homes , safaris . Unluckily , humans drag others along . They do not get rid of their problems , they just select some .

Bah!

Tell everybody to F*** Off and do a Greta Garbo . It is the only way to keep your sanity (literally) .

Can we mimic this technologically ?
Yes .
UVB will break down the biochemical markers . ( It is not magic , you know , or telepathy. ) A simple bare room with UV lights (commercially available) . Preferally a stone sitting place . Switch on the UV for about an hour before you go in . Needless to say , do not expose yourself to the UV . An air ionizer would be a good idea .

Remember auto-infection . You carry and generate these markers .
Initially , zap the room with UV , go in for about 10 minutes (long-term neural exponentiating period .) Go out and zap the room with UV (half-hour or less depending on the strength of the UV lamps . The markers would have evolved to resistance to sunlight UV , so the lamps would have to stronger than that .
Go back in after UV has been switched off .
Repeat.

Doing this a number of times should be the equivalent of a two-week holiday away from any human . The number of times would depend on your stress levels .

Air-fresheners :
These have been developed specifically to lock onto molecules like the markers we are talking about . The markers evolved from pheromones , which is a scent-type molecule . A goodly percentage of them should be inactivated by something like “Oust” .

So , if you have a panic attack , go into an enclosed loo , whip out your can of air-freshener and spray .

Note that tobacco smoke plays a similar agglutinative effect . Hence its popularity in neutralizing depression or aggression pheromone markers . And they thought nicotine was the active ingredient !

Smoke-filled caves and huts .
An open fire where the smoke veers has the same effect . One of the reasons of the popularity of open-air braais . Note that a proper barbecue chimney where the smoke cannot get in your eyes does not have the same effect .

Churchill’s cigars and the smoke-filled backroom are legendary . What is not realized is that they are essential .

African or Celtic huts with a smoke-filled interior was thus essential to civilization .Likewise air-pollution in moderate degree for big cities . It is ironic to note that if they put smoke-pots in London , the crime rate will drop .

South African crime rates increased dramatically when they electrified the townships and the wood-smoke haze disappeared ..

Andre
Combs
Andre Willers
24 April 2008

The oldest profession .
Hair Dressing and Grooming .

The time-traveller with hairdressing and grooming skills can get a job anytime back to hominid days . Beats plumbing any day .

This partially explains the queer gene : Faux-queer . A cunning stratagem to get close to females without the usual male chest-beating .

Discussion:

Grooming is built-in to the hair of mammals .

Hairs get tangled and knotted ( see Theory of Knots) . Your personal experience is that after day’s activity and a night’s sleep , your hair gets tangled and knotted . The theory shows that it is nearly certain that this will occur in any system with three degrees of freedom .

Tangled hair is a bit of no-no to our homonin . It shows that it cannot get a grooming partner . Parasites also have access to unprotected skin .

Chaos first did the weaving with knots and tangles .

Un-weaving was then invented .

Initially fingernails , then a sharp , hard pointed stick ( a one-toothed comb) to tease the knots apart ..
When a favourite stick was kept , it became a tool .

A one-toothed comb .

Found all over in old sites , but usually called something else .

Plaiting of hair followed . Then some unsung woman genius inverted it and plaited grasses and other fibrous growths . Ropes and nets were invented .
Physical strength became unnecessary .
Mk I humans followed .

MkII humans followed after Toba , when weaving was invented as insulation (clothes) . So was fashion , and the world was never the same .

From the evidence , fashion seems to be a more powerful driver than anything . I would like to put an “except” here , but from the Greenland evidence where people starved to death because eating abundant fish around them was “out of fashion” with some old bishop I cannot .

What is of interest is that un-weaving was invented first , then weaving .
Note the correlation of Peace being invented before War .

Multiple-tooth combs .
An invention so ubiquitous that every human on the planet today has one and uses it at least once a day .

It enables an individual to self-groom . You can comb out the tangles in your hair or pelt by your own , without help .

This had an enormous effect on the development of civilization . The very concept of individualism is predicated on the existence of combs .

It frees the individual from the tyranny of the group .

An unkempt individual is excluded . No ifs or buts . Look around you at the homeless people . Once grooming is lost , so is social acceptance and survival . Hence the large number of spaza-hairdressers . It is not an affectation , but sheer survival .

See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Super Refugee”

Note the insistence of disciplined groups like the military or police to hair grooming . Or the inverse , the trust civilians have for anybody with a taut haircut .

See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Old Age Markers”
Note the hairstyles of the Mandarin class in China : shaven in front , denoting wisdom from survival , and extravagant hair (plaits) at the back , denoting humanity .
Hence , a monk will shave his head denoting a divorce from human concerns .

If someone obviously not in a religious order shaves his head (like bouncers , etc) they signal an indifference to the grooming order . They are essentially doomed . An extremely interesting feedback cycle is initiated that ends in the marginalization of such individual . They tend not to have children .

It must be noted that these are universal hominin markers , operating at well below conscious perception .

Andre
Andre Willers
26 April 2008

Complexity as discussed by Jared Diamond in “Collapse” refers

Discussion.
The problem is not complexity , but reserves .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Infinite Probes"

This calculates the optimum reserves for internal chaotic events as between 27% and 37% , depending .
Globalization forces reserves below 27% . Like now .
The societal response is contraction , followed by war . The first WW is a good example .
Humans will adapt .
The things to watch out for are unrestricted bio-nuke wars .
Humans have evolved several institutions to deal with societal collapse .(Ie organised religions).

If the external insult is far outside the 38% range , the species goes extinct .

Concerns by LC :

I am not so sure that humans will/can always adapt… a lot of patterns of behaviour is hard wired into us. Witness the way the stock market behaves….yes we change our structures…like the new network model as illustrated in one of those articles…..but some had to give for that to happen…I am still of the opinion we will eventually reach breaking point in this civilization… fewer and fewer people will have the knowledge to understand and make a very complex world continue..

Also a lot of what they say in those articles appears to be happening in the very systems we have here at work. They are getting to breaking point and it is taking forever to change them/add new functionality.
Not all humans adapt… there are those who are still stuck in a 70/80’s paradigm of system development….
Over all the human race will adapt…but only the fast learners…

I don’t think the human race will ever go extinct (unless of we get nuked by man man bombs or a natural disaster such as supanova explosion etc etc)…but I certainly think social structures can collapse… wait until there are just on 10billion people in the world!

Leslie

PS. I prefer my females a little but thinner..

The Concept of Reserves .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Infinite Probes"

What reserves buy is time .
Time to fix the problems .

Of course civilizations reach breakpoints . The last century had three major breakpoints :
W W I (the destruction of aristocracies) , W W II (the destruction of fascism , which can be seen as nascent aristocracies forming in the vacuum left by WWI) and the Collapse of Communism (W W III) . Another viewpoint is that fascism and communism were both fall-back positions to earlier paradigms , but could not compete against capitalism .

The present world position might appear superficially as a victory for the capitalist camp , but in real fact the two major power blocks (EU , China) are an amalgam of socialist and capitalist systems . Even the US has major socialist elements , and is having serious problems with its unregulated capitalist components .(Cf Enron)

Complicating things are the JIT (Just In Time) camp .
"Time is Money" is a concept not in the ancient lexicons . There were no time-and-motion studies on building Stonehenge or the Pyramids . The very question is meaningless .It took as long as it took .

"Time is Money" derives from the circular velocity of money . Institutions takes a cut everytime a buck passes . In ancient societies the buck only passed once . It then vanished into a value sink (the Royal Coffers usually , or simply buried) . They were well aware of the dangers of a middle class .Note previous posts on treasure burial (not meant to be recovered) in Ancient Egypt . China allowed merchants only on the class slightly above warriors .The currency was very tightly controlled .The idea was not to maximise the slice of each transaction , but to stabilise the society .

The price was stagnation of innovation .

The aristocracy's major function was to regulate long-term things (hence Senate or House of Lords) . The loss of aristocracy must be the most deletrious effect of W W I . Short term gain then gets control of societies assets . Populists and liars have a heyday .

Historically this has happened over and over . The systems have learned to a certain extent . Organised religions are systems regulating long-term things . (Nothing gets longer term than death) Hence the influence of the Roman Catholic Church , Islam , Buddhism ,etc . These systems have evolved to carry over civilization after a catastrophic collapse .

What has this to do with today?
Short-term concentration on profits has led to a massive run-down of society's reserves . Food reserves , maintenance of infrastructure (which a form of wealth) , zero-sum hedging (which is plundering future wealth) , bubbles here and bubbles there .Like a bunch of children playing in a soap-bath and crying to adults to fix it when the water dries out .

Will populations decrease drastically ?
Almost certainly yes . Probability 85%

It is happening as we speak . The food riots have been long predicted . These are not from systemic problems . The world has simply run out of enough food to supply everybody , especially those making no effort to control their numbers or to do even subsistence farming .

The children have been fed only on sweets , and now is stomach ache time .

You see, if there are sufficient reserves , when if the system breaks down due to over-complexification , there is sufficient time to reconfigure the system . Humans are very good at emergency systems if they can survive long enough .

What is happening now is a perfect storm scenario . Nations that export food (like Vietnam to Filipines) are putting panic export bans in place . They are not sure of getting paid , because of the global credit limitations caused by futures market activities .
This is reminiscent of the Great Depression , when exports came to halt for the same reason . If trade ceases , millions will starve . Literally . I have discussed this ad nauseam before . The overpopulation belts (Africa , Middle East , India , Indonesia , Filipines , Mexico , South America - mostly Roman Catholic or Islamic countries which have not made the least effort to curb their population growth .)

Pockets of survivors form in various countries .

Why do I rate the probabilty of drastic population decrease as only 85% ? The Club of Rome and other interested organizations would rate it at 99.9% .

Because the horse might learn to sing .

Because of the unsung heroes who keep the civilization going . The guys at NSA who prevented nuclear war in 1991 . The teachers and healers . The best of the species , who are actually the majority . Things could be much , much worse . You would not believe the time-lines that hive off after 1815 .

But , mainly because humans are lucky . Lucky to survive the leopards . Lucky to survive the other homonins . Lucky to survive Toba . Lucky to survive the various plagues . Especially lucky with the 1918 flu epidemic , a real show-stopper . By rights , it should have exterminated humans . A cynic might say that God is looking after them.

That's the good news . The bad news is 90% extermination levels are acceptable . But , hey , remember , the human mortality rate is 100 % . 6 billion alive now , 6 billion dead in a few years . What counts is the gene and meme transmissions to give the illusion of meaning to the flickering lives .

Humans are social animals , defining themselves by the herd .Hence solitary confinement is considered a harsh punishment . But many humans (hermits , mountainmen ) fancy a lonely life . Yet the knowledge of the species outside remains . How many could maintain their sang-freud if they were the last and only of the species ? This question has been answered on a large scale : This is the Norse religion , where Gotterdammerung awaits and everybody ceases to exist .

In one of those delicious human ironies , one would expect them to be extremely short-term in outlook . But in real life , they thought in terms of lineages and dynasties . The conservation of game and forests in England was due to this outlook , compared to the Roman exploitation in Gaul . If this was the only real life , your influence can only be felt through your descendants . A Christian or Buddhist would try to buy his way into heaven by actions . A Norman only hoped to give his descendants an easier life . They had no salvation . No wonder the Christians won . But they kept the conservation principles .

Would you keep on fighting , even knowing for certain that you will lose ? Keep on when there is no hope ?
Even if you are the last of your species in some alien zoo ? and no belief in afterlife?

Can humans have a balanced ecology ?
Yes .
We know this because it has been done very successfully on at least three occasions:
1.Egypt .For about 3 000 years the narrow strip around the Nile has nurtured a civilization that gave us the alfabet and the compund bow , plus other goodies . Hi-tech.
2.Holland : Population remained stable during collapse of the Western Roman Empire . Nobody messed with them either (the Huns steered well south .) Masters of the Knights and Castles defence . Even 1000 years later the super-power of the time (Spain) , powered by literally thousands of tons of gold and silver , could not reduce them .
3. Let us not forget China . They have been farming the same strips for at least 3 000 years . Even an immediate collapse will still leave some survivors . That is if the major rivers are not poisened by radioactive pollution .

Others like Papua-NewGuinea and some obscure islands have been nominated . But they survived by contraction , not what we would call a worthhile existence .

Andre

PS
Females and fat : the generally accepted range for healthy female aged 20-59 is 21%-34% . The reason is that woman are at the choke point of human reproduction . Human males of the same age are 8%-22% . But of course , males are throw-away . The evolutionary choke-point are the females . And every extra erg helps .
Zaftig wins as far as reproduction goes .

An interesting note here is the "giow" of an expectant mother . This is actually a symptom of sulfur deficiency . The body extracts sulfur from the skin and hair to construct the cells of the foetus . The skin gets thinner and seems to be translucent(glowing) . The same effect is seen in TB , to construct lung tissue coughed up . All that material does not come from nowhere , you know . If somneone has TB , pump in large amounts biologically active sulfur compounds . The body can usually repair itself if it has the raw materials . else it deserves to die .

There is a double whammy if the female then is exposed to UVB (sunlight) . The skin is too thin to prevent folic acid breakdown . The result is spontaneous abortion as foetus abnormalities trigger rejection mechanisms. The answer is to stay out of the sun . Even taking MSM or Folic Acid supplements are not sufficient .
Why ? Because even minor fluctuations of folic acid below the right level results in in spontaneous abortions . Hence all the kappies . For women without artificial protection (read native blacks) , the skin pigmentation gave some protection but it was still part of the eco-system's protection mechanism preventing runaway population growth of a too-successful organism .

Bah . Sometimes evolution can be quite depressing .

.
xxxxxxx

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Combs
Andre Willers
24 April 2008

The oldest profession .
Hair Dressing and Grooming .

The time-traveller with hairdressing and grooming skills can get a job anytime back to hominid days . Beats plumbing any day .

This partially explains the queer gene : Faux-queer . A cunning stratagem to get close to females without the usual male chest-beating .

Discussion:

Grooming is built-in to the hair of mammals .

Hairs get tangled and knotted ( see Theory of Knots) . Your personal experience is that after day’s activity and a night’s sleep , your hair gets tangled and knotted . The theory shows that it is nearly certain that this will occur in any system with three degrees of freedom .

Tangled hair is a bit of no-no to our homonin . It shows that it cannot get a grooming partner . Parasites also have access to unprotected skin .

Chaos first did the weaving with knots and tangles .

Un-weaving was then invented .

Initially fingernails , then a sharp , hard pointed stick ( a one-toothed comb) to tease the knots apart ..
When a favourite stick was kept , it became a tool .

A one-toothed comb .

Found all over in old sites , but usually called something else .

Plaiting of hair followed . Then some unsung woman genius inverted it and plaited grasses and other fibrous growths . Ropes and nets were invented .
Physical strength became unnecessary .
Mk I humans followed .

MkII humans followed after Toba , when weaving was invented as insulation (clothes) . So was fashion , and the world was never the same .

From the evidence , fashion seems to be a more powerful driver than anything . I would like to put an “except” here , but from the Greenland evidence where people starved to death because eating abundant fish around them was “out of fashion” with some old bishop I cannot .

What is of interest is that un-weaving was invented first , then weaving .
Note the correlation of Peace being invented before War .

Multiple-tooth combs .
An invention so ubiquitous that every human on the planet today has one and uses it at least once a day .

It enables an individual to self-groom . You can comb out the tangles in your hair or pelt by your own , without help .

This had an enormous effect on the development of civilization . The very concept of individualism is predicated on the existence of combs .

It frees the individual from the tyranny of the group .

An unkempt individual is excluded . No ifs or buts . Look around you at the homeless people . Once grooming is lost , so is social acceptance and survival . Hence the large number of spaza-hairdressers . It is not an affectation , but sheer survival .

See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Super Refugee”

Note the insistence of disciplined groups like the military or police to hair grooming . Or the inverse , the trust civilians have for anybody with a taut haircut .

See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Old Age Markers”
Note the hairstyles of the Mandarin class in China : shaven in front , denoting wisdom from survival , and extravagant hair (plaits) at the back , denoting humanity .
Hence , a monk will shave his head denoting a divorce from human concerns .

If someone obviously not in a religious order shaves his head (like bouncers , etc) they signal an indifference to the grooming order . They are essentially doomed . An extremely interesting feedback cycle is initiated that ends in the marginalization of such individual . They tend not to have children .

It must be noted that these are universal hominin markers , operating at well below conscious perception .

Andre