“Get Off the Track!”

“Manchester Valley,” Joseph Pickett (1848-1918)

While Tom Steyer, as we learn in Joe Malchow’s excellent interview, perfects his agenda as newly-appointed head of Newsom’s task force on “re-opening” the California economy, protests at City Hall around the Golden State are scheduled for tomorrow. It all reminds me of this song, from 1840s New Hampshire.

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Feature: Improved Handling of “Mark all notifications read”

Mark all notifications readAt 21:36 UTC on 2020-04-29 I put a new feature into production which changes the handling of the “Mark all notifications read” item in the drop-down menu from the notifications bubble at the top right of the screen.  Previously, this would clear unread notifications and display the Unread Notifications page, which was pretty silly since you’d just asked to mark them all read.  Today’s change uses the mechanism implemented to support the “catch-up” feature introduced on 2020-04-12 to mark the notifications read via a lightweight query request which doesn’t replace the page you’re currently viewing with the (useless) Unread Notifications page.  After marking the notifications read, the number and drop-down list of notifications are immediately updated.

Before, there was a potential race condition where notifications that had arrived since the last automatic update to the page would be marked read even though you’d never seen them in the drop-down list.  This has been corrected: no notification will be marked read unless it has been presented to you in the drop-down list.  This means that when you click “Mark all notifications read” you may immediately see new notifications which have just arrived: this is not a bug—it’s avoiding one which was present in the old code.... [Read More]


Times They Are a Changing

There is something rewarding in seeing the leftists being caught in their own traps. The #metoo movement is coming for Dems and they don’t like it. Number one Delaware deer in the headlights is Joe Biden. His campaign says the New York Times has exonerated him but the Times disagrees.

“Buzzfeed reported on the existence of talking points being circulated by the Biden campaign that inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation found that Tara Reade’s allegation ‘did not happen.’ Our investigation made no conclusion either way,” a spokesperson for the Times said in a statement. “As Buzzfeed correctly reported, our story found three former Senate aides whom Reade said she complained to contemporaneously, all of whom either did not remember the incident or said that it did not happen.”... [Read More]


Book Review: “Earth Abides” by George R Stewart

Somehow I missed this magnificent book until now. I owe its discovery to Covid-19 and Amazon. In consideration of the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon took 75% off the price of this post-apocalyptic book and offered it to me based on its analysis of my metadata, no doubt. The story, written in 1949, yet eternally timely, is by far the most insightful exposition of human ontology I have ever read. It is hard to imagine a clearer disquisition of the topic.

‘Human’, of course, is rooted in the same Latin stem as ‘humus’, the rich, life-supporting, organic component of soil, of Earth. Here is a story which, with abundant pathos, fleshes out the meaning of the ancient wisdom, “Earth to Earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust”, as it traces out about fifty years of life in post-apocalyptic suburban San Francisco. Some modern reviewers cast the book, inevitably and tortiously, as a novel about ecology. It is no such thing. Only those who cannot check their politics at the door would view it from that perspective. To open minds, it is much more important than a tale of quasi-religious, neo-Gaia vogue. Setting forth this review takes on, for me, some urgency, you see. So affected am I by having read it that I need some release, some de-cathexis from a sense of being overwhelmed with fresh and profound knowledge of my own smallness and ineffectuality. My sentiments are running the gamut from creation to eschatology.... [Read More]



6 monkeys given an experimental coronavirus vaccine from Oxford did not catch COVID-19 after heavy exposure, raising hopes for a human vaccine

(click here to see the original article, CAUTION, this is an anti Trump website. This unauthorized, edited, somewhat sanatized reprint is to spare people the anit-Trump  rhetoric.)

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Yesterday I learned a new thing about sex: the ZW sex determination system. Everyone knows about the XY system: the girls have XX and the boys have XY chromosomes. In college we used James D. Watson’s Molecular Biology of the Gene (2nd ed.). The book is currently in its 7th edition. Early in the text, there’s a section entitled “Chromosomal Determination of Sex” from which I’ve reproduced (pun intended) the page below. Species as disparate as humans, fruit flies (Drosophila), and some plants use the XY system. I figured that’s all there was to it, aside from plants, since that’s all Mr. Watson had to say on the subject. If you already know all about the ZW system, accept my apologies, feel free to congratulate yourself on your erudition, and move on to a different post.

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General relativity (GR) denies quantum mechanics (QM) that is real world perfectly predictive, as is GR. 60 years of theoretical physics cannot find gravitation within QM.  Can GR and/or QM be observed to fail within its own rules?  To criticize is to volunteer.

Place identical left shoes inside Shrödinger’s box. Discrete reality becomes a QM wavefunction, sums of all solutions.  Open the box and look. The indeterminate wavefunction collapses into discrete reality, pairs of left and right shoes.... [Read More]