November 12, 2005
The nurses are crowing about their victory:
there is now a law mandating that there be no more than five patients
assigned to each nurse. Most hospitals are understaffed, and due to the
illegal immigrants who pay nothing but hospitals cannot refuse (an unfunded
mandate) most are losing money; the governor issued an emergency executive
order changing the assignment to six patients. Now that is rescinded. The
nurses are ecstatic and talking about their victory. The hospitals will
continue to go broke, and close down emergency rooms and other wards.
Medical insurance rates will go up. And there remains a shortage of nurses.
One supposed that if it is impossible to comply with the law, the hospitals
will be fined.
This is not precisely sanity. But 'twas a famous victory.
There's some discussion of the "leaked" Microsoft
memos over in Mail. There is also
some discussion of the meaning of Moore's Law.
And I understand that Sony is "temporarily" ceasing to put their rootkit
worm on new Sony CD records. Of course it's still on all the CD's in
the market stream. Do Not Install Sony Music Software on your PC.
On the future of Microsoft: I have a good bit of mail predicting the
immanent demise of the company. That caused me to remember a story:
I recall many years ago, H L Hunt talking about his son Lamar, who was
the playboy of the family.
Hunt said to me and a couple of Pepperdine people there at his house (a
replica of Mount Vernon but five times as large) to get some of his money:
"My boy Lamar has this football team, the Wichita Chiefs or something
like that, and one of my people came to me and said, 'Mr. Hunt, Lamar lost a
million dollars on that team last year. How long can he keep that up?' So I
thought about it, and told him, 'About 83 years.'"
Bob Thompson replies that Microsoft has a lot of money but that can
change quickly. Clearly true: something Bill Gates has always worried about.
But they still have a lot of money, and a number of fairly bright people,
and they see the threat.
My view is that competition is wonderful for all of us, and we do live in
I am listening to the radio broadcast from the Podcast Convention over
in Ontario. I took the trouble to get a press pass, but it was a long
drive, and it started early, and I decided not to go. Perhaps I should
have but I think I know how to do Podcasts both audio only and video,
and I have ways of learning what I am missing. It's not a show I would
normally cover. I will admit I sort of wish I had gone.
I do wonder how many people would pay attention to Podcasts from Chaos
Manor (not the professional video that CMP apparently will support, and
which Alex and David and others are working on right now, but audio or
"guerrilla video" that consists of audio with me on camera)? I am a former
professor and there are times I miss my classroom: I do wonder if a series
of lectures on the history and development of political theory, supplemented
by some visuals I can just put on this web site, would have any legs? It's
easier to talk than to write. Usually. Sometimes. And I do get requests for
So I wonder: would about 50 lectures with book references be any use?
Worth my doing? What economic model should I use? Because I couldn't do it
for nothing. Anyway I am thinking about it.
Study Casts Doubt on Europeans' Ancestral Link
to Fertile Crescent
By Alex Raksin Times Staff Writer
November 12, 2005
Europeans are most closely related to the Stone
Age hunter-gatherers who arrived on the continent 40,000 years ago - not, as
many archeologists have long surmised, the adept migrants from the Fertile
Crescent who introduced agriculture to the continent 7,500 years ago.
That's the conclusion of the first detailed
analysis of maternally inherited DNA extracted from 24 of the migrant
The study was published Friday in the journal
"We were surprised to find close to zero"
resemblance between the early farmers' genes and those of modern Europeans,
said Peter Forster, an archeologist at Britain's University of Cambridge who
coauthored the study.
Although the farmers from the Middle East
transformed European culture, bringing agriculture, distinctive pottery and
advanced building techniques, the genetic mark they left is minuscule.
"In the worldwide database of 35,000 modern DNA
lineages, there are fewer than 50 modern Europeans" with the farmers' DNA,
The new data, however, clash with analyses of
paternally inherited DNA, derived from the Y chromosomes of living
Those genetic analyses suggest that the farmers
may have contributed up to half of the European gene pool.
R. Alexander Bentley, an anthropologist at
Britain's Durham University, said there may be an easy way to resolve the
"A simple explanation for the difference is
that indigenous hunter-gatherer females intermarried" with early farmers, he
said. Thus, maternally inherited DNA would show a connection to the
hunter-gatherers, while paternally inherited DNA would be linked to the
farmers.This has many implications. Western Civilization
developed largely from the union of European invaders with the old
shore-line civilizations in the Mediterranean. Somewhere in there Western
Civilization was born. The Great Military Family of gods (Ius Pater, Zeus,
Jupiter, the Day-Father and his relatives) and the maternal goddess based
cultures united; one doesn't have to subscribe to the Robert Graves thesis
to see that they did influence each other. But the Fertile Crescent
civilizations stayed fairly unchanged until the hunter nomads came in. The
Battle Ax people arrived, and the world changed. This is very interesting
Quote of the week:
Musical ability may not reflect g, but in my
opinion the best single filter for isolating the high g's in a population is
Appreciation of Classical Music--
By g she means the g-factor, which is what IQ tests measure.
And in case you didn't know:
Believe it or not, Google will not allow "immigration"
as as a keyword for an ad. We did it for The Occidental Quarterly and were
cut off after one week (it takes about that long for them to check Google
ads) and another publication I know of was treated the same after about a
week also using immigration. Only PC adwords are allowed on Google.
"Buchanan" is/was permitted, "Immigration" is/was not.
It would be interesting to see just how many words Google does censor as
And the bad news:
Subject: NASA prizes zeroed by Congress
Thought you might want to know. The fy'06 House-
Senate NASA appropriations conference report that just came out specifically
directs that Centennial Challenges (NASA's new incentive prize department)
be reduced from $34 million to zero in the coming year. Existing funded
prize efforts can continue, but no new ones will be funded.
Which is unsurprising, but disappointing. Prizes are still the best way
to go but this Administration spend like drunken sailors on domestic stuff,
has to finance the war, and was hit with the hurricanes. Something has to
Alas, replacing the Republicans isn't likely to get us smaller
government, bugging out in Iraq will probably cost us a lot in the long
haul: prestige costs must be paid for in real military potential; and the
Democrats won't cut any entitlement.
On Military Potential and Prestige: von Mises even pointed out that
the Vienna State Opera was worth a couple of divisions, simply because of
the national prestige. If we bug out in Iraq now, our word won't be any good
(just as after Viet Nam we had trouble getting anyone to believe we were
serious) and it's hard to estimate the costs in real military potential
required to make up for the collapse of prestige. Recall Reagan's big
Prizes remain the lowest cost way of getting great national goals
accomplished. You get the technology you wanted or you don't pay. That seems
worthwhile to me.
Hi Jerry -
Can you recommend a general knowledge computer
magazine for youngsters (age 10-15) with only moderate computer use and
The idea is to gently lead them forward without being
Well, I try to write my column for the intelligent general user, so try
www.byte.com even though much of the
magazine is high geek. Eric Pobirs used to hoard his old paper BYTE
magazines in hopes that he'd be able to understand the technology articles
in times to come.
But I have to admit I don't have an answer to your question off the top
of my head.