THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 468 May 28 - June 3, 2007
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May 28, 2007
We are in Georgetown. Tomorrow Roberta goes home. We know all is well there because we have spoken with our friend who is guarding the place. She'll get home tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, we meet for lunch in Georgetown with Tom Doherty of Tor and a bunch of other authors, plus Secretary Cohen (former Secretary of Defense) and proceed after lunch to Walter Reed Hospital where we will sign and give away books. That leaves Wednesday and Thursday for Niven and I to explore DC, one of the settings of our next book. I don't suppose I will walk as far as I used to. My leg and hip are giving me a bit of a problem. Still, we ought to get around pretty well.
It's a little shocking to see Washington all closed up for security. The Capitol Building was the people's house until recently. It's sad to see it barricaded.
Balticon was very nice and we thank our hosts for having us there. Mr. Dan Fowlkes drove us from Washington, shepherded us while we were at Balticon, and brought us to Georgetown today. He has my great thanks. I came down with some kind of allergy or cold or both that left me hoarse and drained of energy for most of Sunday and Monday, but I seem to be recovering, and I am sure I will be up to tomorrow's events.
We had a very nice dinner at Tony and Joe's, a Potomac waterfront seafood restaurant, where we overate; alas we have been overeating since we got to Washington. Not much we can do about that, I fear, but I suspect Roberta will have me on thin gruel for a week after I get home.
We're working out logistics.
|This week:||Tuesday, May
We meet for lunch then go to Walter Reed today. The books have arrived.
The book signing at Walter Reed went well, and we had dinner afterwards. It's now late. This has been a strenuous day. I had hoped to keep you all up to date on our progress here but it has been difficult.
We have more tours tomorrow starting early. I expect another strenuous day.
May 30, 2007
We have appointments all day, but you might find
interesting. Dr. Yoji Kondo was part of this group too, but didn't get there in time for the picture.
We had a tour of the CIA building today and got to sit in the Director's chair. Not sure what all that means, but it was fun. I have overeaten for a week. It's a consequence of having your editor with you...
Tomorrow I show Niven the city of Washington so he gets some feel for it for the next book we are doing.
I will not be sorry to get home. After a while it feels like exile. Roberta is home already.
A public service announcement:
** Vista Pre-Release Time Bomb Set To Explode by Keith Ward
Warning to users of pre-release versions of Windows Vista: In two days, your operating system will self-destruct, like the cassette tape at the beginning of "Mission: Impossible."
As reported earlier, tomorrow, May 31, is the last day of full functionality for Customer Preview Program versions of Vista. That includes Vista beta 2, and both release candidates.
The OS will gradually shut itself down in stages, and do it in an unusual way: Starting Friday, a user can log on to the OS for two-hour sessions only. After two hours, the OS will automatically reboot, without offering a chance to save. That leaves a two-hour window to save work, transfer settings and so on to another OS. Any work not finished within that span will be lost when the machine reboots.
Niven and I will wander Washington today. They let me go home tomorrow. Deo Gratia
Georgie Anne Geyer: A spreading terror.
- Roland Dobbins
June 1, 2007
I survived the night, which wasn't fun. I think the East Coast pollens are more vicious than California's. Or maybe it's a bug. I need my nose pump.
First thing after I get home, I pump my head out. Relief is just a continent away...
I will try to get this place up to date after I get home. Meanwhile, subscribers can read Another Step Farther Out. And I'll have more goodies in the subscriber area in a couple of weeks.
The evidence Boortz cited is on http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2007/05/08/neptune-news/
Note that this article shows that Solar irradiance has increased by steadily from about roughly 1980 to 2000. This increase in irradiance is given as percent change per year (first derivative) rather than as a change relative to a baseline irradiance, which makes it look less significant than it actually is. I don't have time to work with these numbers this morning, but the data are interesting and the correlation is dreadfully obvious -- the onset of warming, at least, corresponds precisely with the increase in irradiance. Even more significant, when that first derivative nature of the solar data is considered, is that the sun began warming long before 1920 (since irradiance has been increasing on an annual basis since the start of the data) Even a mean 0.03%/year increase in solar radiance since 1920 corresponds to a huge percentage in total solar heating -- that graph seems to be claiming that the sun is more than 2% hotter over the last century and the rate accelerated in the 1980's.
Now that the evidence for solar causation of Global Warming is in, Bush with unerring timing comes out for Kyoto. Impeccable sense.
I doubt any of the climate models have this factor built in. It certainly corresponds with temperature trends on Earth, though.
1. The magic "I" word is missing from the article. Any serious analysis would show that the immigration is deeply hurting the middle class (unaffordable housing, unacceptable public schools, gridlock, taxes, crime, etc.) far more than it is helping (cheaper services). California is the poster child for the evils of immigration with the native-born middle class in massive flight (millions leaving).
2. The authors have the good sense to recognize that the massive accumulation of debt in the US, and trade deficits are evidence of decline, not success. Such wisdom is rare on this side of the Atlantic. The NYT actually published an article titled "The Tale of the Toaster, or How Trade Deficits Are Good" (http://classwork.busadm.mu.edu/Economics%20Newspaper%20Articles/Internation al%20Economics/2004/2004%2004%2025%20The%20tale%20of%20the%20toaster%20or%20 how%20trade%20deficits%20are%20good.PDF)
Predictably, the author, Ben Stein is an Open Borders fanatic Of course, he has multi-million dollar homes in Malibu and Beverly Hills. Cheap maids are important when you have that much property to take care of.
One of them is allegedly in gated community. Nice. Good for keeping the riffraff out.
Indeed. Neo Cons are not conservatives.
Yes, America's middle class's biggest enemy is unskilled immigration (both legal and illegal) because in our society "Third World" parents present us with "Third World" children. America's existing middle class is unwilling to have its children in "Failing Schools" and the working definition of a "F.S." is one with more than zero "Third World"-type children attending it. This has lead to a bidding war for housing in areas with "Good Schools", and the losers of those bidding wars are forced into even-more-unbearable commutes as they create new communities even further away from the Third World populations whose children they are fleeing.
Open Borders and Free Trade!
June 2, 2007
Home at last. Actually I got home about 2100 last night. Sable was glad to see me, but puzzled: Larry Niven drove me home, and when she sees Larry she is certain we will be going for a walk. Instead we got my luggage inside the compound and he drove off, leaving Sable to wonder about that.
It was a good homecoming, but my head is still stuffed up. I used my nose pump three times last night and again this morning and things are a lot better, but apparently I have a bug as well as an allergy. It will clear up.
The exile has returned.
There are piles of magazines and letters and a great deal of mail to deal with, and all that has to be caught up. I expect both column and letters will be late next week. So it goes.
Re: Well, *somethingís* happening!
My neighbor at work, with whom Iíve been having a friendly debate on global warming, plopped her latest issue of National Geographic (June 2007) on my desk. Artic sea ice has thinned perhaps 40 percent in the past 30 years. Many specific examples of glacier melts. One doesnít have to have a computer model to see a trend here. There is admittedly some journalistic slanting in their articles, but thereís still all the pictures. Maybe itís not CO2, but this *is* the kind of thing thatís been predicted. Maybe we Americans can compromise in the sense that energy independence for national security reasons could overlap and complement carbon neutral and carbon reduction schemes. Maybe we can work towards the same ends, even for different motivations.
Something may be happening indeed, but it is not due to CO2, and few claim that it is. As to what is happening, and how far off normal it may be, that isn't as clear. We have records of longer growing seasons and later frosts in England during the Medieval Warm (some claim that's all due to the Gulf Stream and not planetary) and vines in Vinland AKA Nova Scotia, and dairy farms on the west coast of Greenland (where the Gulf Stream doesn't ever go).
The Earth may be warming, which means the seas are warming, but to get the sea to warm by warming the air above the sea is a complicated process and takes a while. Easier to set off some means of hotting things up in the sea. Volcanic events come to mind.
In any event, the same people who now rush about shouting doom are those who opposed nuclear power back when everyone feared a New Ice Age; and I note that a couple of leading doomsters have left the Global Warming crowd to go back to their first love, which is anti-nuke and anti-high technology.
One may not need a computer model to see a trend here, but good records of what things were like in the Medieval Warm period would be useful. Cyclical processes look like trends depending on how long one has been watching them.
Reducing the CO2 additions we make to the atmosphere may well be a good thing to do: as I have said for years, running open ended experiments on the environment is probably not a good idea. The question is, at what cost? For the moment the "remedies" proposed would continue the transfer of technology and manufacturing jobs to China (which doesn't have to reduce emissions of CO2 just yet) and generally put a primary hamper on the United States and the rest of the West. Whether weakening Western Civilization at this time is a good idea is at least questionable.
As for me, the right course of action is more investment in nuclear power plus development of the means for space access. But then I was saying that back when everyone was running about flapping their arms over The Coming Ice Age.
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