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    Wolf ........... I always love to read your posts. They really hit home for me.
    And thank you for for giving us those very interesting youtube links. I can't
    imagine how you find them.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2018
    Thank you George. I've always been an explorer. When I was a younger man I relied on my university library to hunt books down for me and the good people at two bookstores in downtown Toronto. I still have some finely bound books I really couldn't afford but had no other way of reading them. It sometimes took months to get my hands on the answer to questions. Now it takes seconds and I rarely get 'hard copy' which saves a lot of trees.

    When we look at times before ours, we are freed from the burden of our own egos and needs stomping on everything with interpretation. Instead we can just look at it like we're in a movie theatre. It is a lesson in objectivity when we absorb that Americans (for example) went to war with each other, went to electric lighting and electricity (wall sockets were the original 'plug and play'), out of the horse and into cars, out of wooden paddle wheelers into iron steamships, out of photography and into moving pictures, and through the suffragette movement turning women from property to legally recognized citizens, and from cavalry to tanks - all in the half of your lifetime just before your lifetime started.

    I stretched a bit. The civil war ended some 60 years before you were born but the point is true. When you were born some 60% of homes in the USA had electricity. Now California is once again leading the way with it's initiative that new homes must be equipped with solar panels. That's one of the just over the horizon changes coming. The power grid and how it works will end. Distributed power grids are coming. Solar panels keep getting better and cheaper and are not coming because of global warming, but because getting power directly from the sun locally and distributing surpluses and shortfalls is what makes sense.

    As we speak, literally thousands of people are working on deciphering the human genome. We have it sequenced fairly accurately but that's like owning a flying saucer without a clue how it works. We are coming to (I'll use) Down Syndrome among thousands of others. Down Syndrome is caused by having a third copy of chromosome 21 which occurs randomly in some one in a thousand babies. It's one of the quirks in human DNA.

    Designer babies are coming and there isn't anything that's going to stop it because there are many serious diseases and conditions that will be preventable just as we then face the moral implications of improving our children. We always fear the Pandora's Box we now open but we never fear the Pandora's Boxes we have already opened like electricity, the combustion engine, heavier than air flight (impossible!!), or flush toilets.

    It's part of life experience to interpret our times through ourselves. It's wired right into being. Young men drive too aggressively and take too many chances, middle aged men tend to be more objective with what's going on around their moving vehicle, and old men tend to become fixated on what the person behind them is doing.

    History is littered with written diatribes about the slothful and out-of-control youth and how the world is doomed by the inept who come after us. For thousands of years men have said this - as they got older. Yet throughout all that time one thing has always been true. It is always modern times. As I've said, there is only one time and that is now. That was true when God first said, "ok, here we go" and popped the cork on this universe. Nice work too.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2018

    So, here is something this old man learned this year. We probably don't even see a small percentage of the existing universe, partly because the light hasn't reached us yet and partly because when you get far enough away, that light is never going to reach us over the life of the universe, but mostly because the part we do see is relatively flat in a physics sense - which is like being on the earth and seeing it to be flat. We have no idea what shape the universe overall takes.

    Just this week I learned what the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite has been up to. It's been taking unprecedented details about the position, motion, and brightness of the stars in our milky way galaxy. It has just released the data on another 1.3 billion stars. The result is a stellar atlas of undreamed of detail. There is one area so thick with stars, it looks like grains of icing sugar poured onto a sheet of black paper. They release the data to the world to use as they wish. Their first release was in 2016 and was much smaller than this one. That data is still generating an average of two scientific papers a day two years later. This new data released a few weeks ago is going to create an avalanche of new knowledge. There are more releases to come as the world turns fuzzy, generalized assumptions into an actual, three dimensional star map of what's actually there.

    Here is a show aired on February 8, 1956. The guest was the last living witness to Abraham Lincoln being assassinated. He was in the theatre and was five years old at the time, having been taken as a treat. When John Wilkes Booth jumped off the balcony and hurt his leg, he worried whether anyone was going to help the poor man who had fallen. Notice in the clip that the host is smoking and that the amount a guest who puzzled the contestants stood to win a total of $80.

    We think so awkwardly about time. We think of the past as history or memory but it isn't. It's just the imperfect documentation of now then. If there is time, then the time is always the same - it is now; otherwise, there isn't anything at all. Time and space aren't bound together. They are aspects of the same, one thing.

    I wrote you a long essay on seeing the ineffable mastery and vitality of God in the periodic table, and how it proves how the creator of the universe uses very sound and simple ideas like to just keep adding one electron to make almost the same stuff have entirely different properties that then react differently with each other and then react differently within families and then combine differently together to form more complex things. Like 11-17. Or 6. Or 7, Or 8.

    Table salt is Sodium Chloride. Sodium has 11 electrons. Chloride has 17. Carbon has 6 electrons, Nitrogen has 7. Oxygen has 8. You've heard of 911, well 811 is water. Oxygen (8) combined with two hydrogen (1). Both highly flammable BTW. The sun is fusing hydrogen into helium (2). That's what fusion power means. You fuse a hydrogen atom into an atom that already has more electrons. The sun can only do that up to Iron (26 electrons) . After that it takes more power than the sun can produce. That's how you know for certain that the copper in your blood comes from far, far away.

    I've Got A Secret, February 08, 1956

    (actually a recording of now happening then)

    If you think this is interesting, try imagining those who will be watching this 200 years in the future. It will be now then too.
    Now Wolf ............ You've done it again.
    You have overloaded my little brain with
    countless, unbelievable things to think about.
    ..........You certainly have a way of summing
    up everything in this crazy universe that we
    are lining in .............
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018 edited
    Buckle up buttercup 'cause you ain't old yet.

    -btw, he just had another birthday a couple of weeks ago. You can add three more years on.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2018
    It's sixty degrees in a soft, steady rain with some breezes. The people that work don't get a summery day, but I have all the windows wide open and days like this can take me back to places like the massive porch at the summer house of the Mathers on the Ottonabee river.

    You can find Mather's Corners on a map of Ontario. I knew Harold Mather, who's grandfather complained about John MacDonald coming through with his whiskey wagons drumming up votes whenever there was an election. Harold was the father of one of my friends and at 80 years old, he would fell a tree single handedly, strip it after a couple of years, and with the help of some horses and a 'get-a-long' would drag it down to the house, open up the side of the house, and slip it in to replace a roof beam. No electricity. No big group of guys - just an unbelievable knowledge of how things were done.

    The water came from a spring in the woods higher up. It made unbelievable coffee. We sometimes pulled picnic tables together and fed 20-30 people. Once in a while we sat in that long, screened in porch and listened to concerts given by friends who played and their friends who came along to play. And sometimes, it rained all day and people were sitting around the massive fireplace talking or off in the kitchen cabin talking - and I had that porch all to myself.

    The Mathers lived in Mather's Corners just a few miles away, and sometimes Dianne and I rented the place for a week in the summer. We would make breakfast on the propane stove and use the propane fridge and then spend the day lazing around the rambling wooden house or go down to the dock and set out lounges stored in the boathouse and go swimming and watch the boats go by. It was on the Trent waterway and huge boats would go by on their way to the great lakes or places like Lake Champlain.

    I've painted that place a few times. It's in the background of the three friends painting and that's the boathouse behind them. It's on the Wolf Krause Flickr site although that site is in dreadful disrepair. Dianne is the one in the middle, Rita is on the right who died of cancer a few years ago, and Jennifer is the one on the left. Those two were unforgivable with Alzheimer's but I gave Jennifer that painting anyway so she could remember her two friends.

    Some would say all those things are gone, but this is just a different time. In this time I'm sitting here looking out at a similar rainy day with my coffee and I'm learning about Manazuru, a small town in Japan on the coast. I accepted the invitation to come along and have a look, and I'm glad I did. Some things do pass by, but not as many as await my arrival.

    Journeys in Japan - Manazuru
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2018
    This is the first time in many years that I regret that fall has arrived and that summer is over. I realize that means it's now spring in the southern hemisphere and that summer is on the way but that doesn't help me. Two years ago it was almost comforting that the cold weather was coming and we all would be staying indoors (where I was already bunkered in).

    This weekend plastered on the front page of the arts section was a full colour, huge picture of Carol Burnett. She's coming to town soon and I actually put that picture aside and looked at it several times. She's 85 years old and has at least one unbelievably gifted surgeon. Lot's of famous people (there's a good example of Americans leaving the 'u' in), get plastic surgery done where I watched Jane Fonda just a few days ago talking about her One Fair Wage initiative and her face and neck looked great but, as is so often the case, her hands told a different story. Not so on Carol Burnett who had her hands up in the large picture and they looked like 35 year old hands. I'm certain that thousands of people are looking at her picture thinking they want to know who that surgeon is.

    Personally I'm not vain enough to get my face cut up to look younger than I actually do and I don't accept that "my fans expect it" or any variant of that holds any water. In my mind plastic surgery falls in the same category as tattoos and piercing. Many of the people who oppose piercing of eyebrows also approve piercing of earlobes. That kind of thinking is from the school of 'whatever was right when I grew up is right' which includes that other things are wrong. Thank goodness for the next generations whose brilliant idea is often to do something they're parents aren't doing.

    Take hats. Right up until the first world war it was mandatory to wear a hat. If you went out as an adult male without a hat on you would be told in no uncertain terms that you were not a decent human being or worse. After WWI wearing a hat was optional and after WWII almost nobody wore a hat. Then came baseball caps nowhere near baseball diamonds but no swing back to you MUST wear a hat outside. Nobody questions these things in modern times which is a joke because it's ALWAYS modern times. In 1878, 1878 was modern times. In 1978, 1978 was modern times. Ditto 1751 when all men wore tights. Nobody cares about these things in the revolving door of modern times.

    I don't care that much either. Understanding the past for me is part of understanding the present. The reason for populist governments is the ending of the post WWII boom period which explains why Trump and our Ford and Brexit and Italy and even Sweden and the Netherlands now. Eastern societies and African societies aren't going through this because they didn't go through the post war boom either.

    Trade, however, has always been around. It goes back into pre-recorded history. It's the reason the American continents were found. There have always been tariffs of one sort or another. It was common practice that trade routes going through someone's land meant that those people got a cut.

    It's also part of the reason that the post war boom was extended. Reducing or removing trade barriers caused trade (and ship building) to boom. Unfortunately that made multi national corporations much more viable and their main brilliant ideas were to move manufacturing to poorer countries and when wages rose there, to move again. The other big idea was to recognize their revenues in countries that had the lowest tax rates.

    That brings up the main reason for the end of the post war boom. Childbirth. Once medicine and diet were developed enough almost all children made it and so there was no reason to have six to eight children anymore. That happened at the same time that a good life for the average worker became viable in a sustained way. That led to 2 - 3 children and not having any wasn't a stigma that you were barren anymore - it became an acceptable life choice.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2018

    Two point two. That's the magic number. If the average pair of citizens has 2.2 children then the population is slowly growing. No western (white) society is doing that anymore. I may well be the first person to tell you bluntly that the white population on the planet is shrinking and will continue to shrink and not just because of the baby boomer bulge which is all those servicemen coming home from the war, but because white people are no longer replacing themselves.

    That soup of current events strongly suggests that whoever replaces President Trump will be a populist. The common theme in populism is 'us-them' where us are the victims and them are the perpetrators. That tends to run alongside the theme that the old days were better and going back to them will make things right again. The historic evidence of that working anywhere, ever is zero.

    That's in major part due to the fact that human beings are as terrible at addressing shrinkage as they are completely fixated on 'growth'. We're hunter-gatherers where no amount is enough because you never know and getting that out of our wiring takes tens of thousands of years - so not that useful right now.

    It's Japan that is out in front. They won't let anybody in and their citizens are aging and the young aren't having anywhere near enough children. The population of Japan is dropping like a stone while they're in a closed box of their own making. They are the test case of shrinkage where please don't call them white, but they went through exactly the same baby boom as no other eastern country did.

    Finally, every country that wrote about their own future at any point in time has almost always been wrong. Unforeseen things happened as they always do which changed things. That's what's going to happen now too. Nobody knows.

    Except some. My uncle in Dearborn Michigan was a CPA and he argued somewhere around 1963 that global corporations were the scourge of the future. There weren't any at the that time but he was right and I know that because I was listening. Global corporations are stateless and it's free trade and global supply chains that created them. But liberalism has had it's long run in it's cozy period of long growth - and it's precisely trade barriers that are going to pull in those stateless behemoths and force them to land somewhere. The main story of the next few decades is learning to manage shrinkage though and tariffs and all the rest are just players in that theme.

    To a considerable degree watching Brexit where Britain is leaving the EU, is the test case to watch. They're doing a populist face plant to make Britain great again because it's much easier to reject what exists than it is to replace it with something better. They are going to hit the drop dead date with no plan in place and while the EU will likely dither with that because dither is what Europe does - Britain is going to be a good teacher for all the rest what happens when reacting is your only plan. That drop dead date is this March and they haven't even agreed on how to deal with the customs stops that will immediately have to happen at the Chunnel (the tunnel connecting them used by about 4.2 million trucks and cars and trains a year or 12,000 a day). That traffic used to just pass through. Now it all has to be stopped with passports shown and questions answered. No booths, no customs officers, no plan, six months left.

    If you're bored and looking for something to follow, start paying more attention to Brexit this winter. It's a show worth watching and it's loaded with lessons for everybody else. It's the first example of the changes coming just as Canada will be when it doesn't sign on to the USA-Mexico NAFTA replacement. The next step will be for the US to declare that NAFTA is ended which gives us some time to prepare in what might be called the second example of changes coming. I'm not worried. The USA had a trade surplus with us so our trade deficit gets better and our currency will adjust (go down) just as the British Pound will adjust. Trade and trade disputes are quite constant in history. It's post war booms lasting a lifetime that aren't. So, some things to watch.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2018
    To George:

    It was president Kennedy who saved the earth from burning up. Not by going to the moon which was his reaction to the deep shock that Sputnik caused where it became clear that the Russians could not be allowed to control the space above the USA. But by creating NASA which many bitterly opposed because it cost a staggering fortune.

    It was the two famous photographs that opened the path - Earthrise and The Big Blue Marble. When the ruinous cost of putting men up there was shut down, it was the unmanned study of the other bodies in our system that became NASA's mandate. That led to new types of instrumentation to study them from space and that led to studying the earth itself with that same instrumentation.

    It was that work, by the NASA Kennedy caused to be created, that discovered that the ozone at both poles was rapidly disappearing to the point where both poles had ozone 'holes'. Ozone is ciritical in protecting lifeforms on the surface because that layer deflected the vast majority of harmful UV rays that pound the earth every second.

    It became absolutely clear that CFC's used in hairspray and air conditioners and every which thing was obliterating the ozone layer. A single CFC molecule can break up thousands of ozone molecules. That resulted in the Montreal accord which is the only document signed by every single country on the planet. The only reason is because there were other molecules we could use and so we did.

    Had that chain of events not happened starting with Sputnik, there would have been no NASA studying the earth from space and the use of CFC's would have continued where conservative estimates are that earth would be unlivable by 2060. Instead we are charting that the ozone layer is recovering measurably and returning to normal.

    Those ozone holes are directly involved in the melting going on at the caps and one might reasonably guess that having this direct causal knowledge would have a similar reaction to the fact that even though Carbon Dioxide is only about 3% of the atomosphere, it is another trigger molecule that has an extremely outsized affect when you pour billions of tons of CO2 in the atmosphere every year. Every ice core taken documents the industrial revolution accurately.

    This time, however, the world is not dominated by a single power with that kind of might and will - might yes, will no. The problem is that everything we do creates carbon dioxide where every single average car produces 20 pounds of it per mile driven. Let alone the power plants we use to drive our industries. Producing CO2 is the lifeblood of what we do and even need now and so it is being met by disbelief and denial and reluctance to destroy our way of life to save the planet from becoming inhabitable. We even have a reference planet - Venus where CO2 ran away naturally because it is one third closer to the sun.

    It's a syllogism in physical philosphy that the most dangerous time for any species that harnesses global powers is when they have unleased some of it's enourmous powers without understanding fully the effects and without understanding the combinations of effects. As an example, Antarctica alone is releasing trillions of tons of fresh water into the oceans every day. That will change the currents of the planet for millions of years in ways that are almost completely unknown. The Gulf Stream alone altering will change the habitability of most of europe dramatically.

    To date the planet is playing with carbon tax and declaring oneself a climate change denier or believer. Coal plants are shutting down and solar power is coming along but these are like single houses in megacities. Instead one of the questions we can ask ourselves is, will we ourselves live long enough to see the first category six hurricane because that is coming. The oceans are warming and by now most people know that it is travelling over warm water that feeds a hurricane's strength.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2018 edited

    It's been like this naturally. At one time the Sahara Desert was tropical and more recently Britain was part of mainland Europe where all of Doggerland is now underwater. That was just ten thousand years ago where we mark some six thousand years of recorded history. Polar bears are adapted brown bears and the coral reefs of the world have come and gone and returned for millenniums. Parts of Los Angeles will eventually be next to San Francisco and most mountain tops everywhere have the sea shells to prove that those peaks were once underwater.

    It's too bad that we think of people who look beyond their own lives and needs as 'visionary'. Kennedy knew he couldn't let Russia dominate space and he was right. Saving the planet from burning up was never on his mind and neither was placing any importance on putting men on the moon in and of itself. It was to dominate space and it is that incredible network of information gathering instrumentation that is measuring almost everything these days, that is our best hope of finally galvanizing humanity into grasping that CO2 is on a runaway tragectory which is a fact that has to eventually be dealt with just as CFC's were.

    These are all facts that can be confirmed with investigation where facts are like gravity in which personal belief does not enter. The sea shells are there and the fossil evidence is there in the Sahara and the CFC story is well documented and the steady climb in temperatures has been measured for over a century. It's not a fact that this will continue until humanity does galvanize - that's going to be a true statement nevertheless because without change continuance leads to inevitability.

    There are no depleted fish stocks there are only overfishermen. Canada is a prime example of human viewpoint. When Cartier came over the Grand Banks were so full of fish the water seemed alive. When Canadian overfishermen kept pulling out less and smaller and less and smaller fish, they blamed the government. That's part of the issue with individualism versus sufficiency.

    It's not great corn flakes reading and yet this very kind of thing is mathematically certain to be happening so rarely in a universe where just the seen parts number in the many trillions of stars, that it must be happening all the time where life, when it gets a foothold, has so much energy and capability that splitting the atom isn't actually that hard because there is only one set of rules (which) applies everywhere.

    Finally, I'll tell you one of the fundamental things many life forms may have. It's symmetry, where you can run an imaginary line down the center of any creature even partially developed in complexity and you will find extensive evidence of symmetry. We don't have two eyes - we have opposing eyes down a symmetrical line. Ditto limbs and ears and nostrils and skeletal structure. Within that is specialization such as our organs where the two lungs are on one side and the one heart with two sets of opposing chambers is on one side and things like glands or the brain may have no symmetry because they're specialized.

    That is one possible repetitive aspect to life forms and yet there are so many variations of lifeforms on this one planet with common ancestory, that the field is wide open. It's likely though that any life forms that advance do so in groups. We may think in terms of tribalism, but ants and bees have similar roles dedicated to the hive or the queen. Whatever else, when you look at pictures of the stars or even the stars themselves, it's mathematically probable that you are looking at schmucks on some other rock grappling with their own local concerns like battling what they define as 'them' for the life giving nutrient that is divinely their own.

    I've never read a paper on the individualism of insects although I'm sure they exist. We continue to attribute individualism to self awareness while we watch every mammal everywhere display their individualism without self awareness as we think of it. Every cat and dog and sheep and pig and horse and what have you have their own personality and their own sense of self. I've been asked whether I'm not concerned about all of this and my answer is that the universe is specifically and thoroughly designed so that it doesn't matter what happens in any single area. Even Andromeda and The Milky Way hurtling towards each other isn't any concern except locally.

    Which takes me to some very good advice I once heard. Think globally, act locally. It's that first part that is still a hurdle before the adolescence of humankind. Still, fear concentrates the mind wonderfully, and continuance leads to inevitability. We're not serious enough about this yet but the evidence suggests we will be.

    It's been a pleasure George to take you somewhere and I hope it still is.