Experiments With The Surface Pro; Tell Your Friends; Is SETI dangerous; Pi for Home Schools; the Caliphate Again

Chaos Manor View, Friday, March 27, 2015

I’m told we are down a bit on viewers – there are several thousand a day, but fewer than the managing editor likes. I’m getting a bit more energy so things may pick up. Getting that abscessed tooth out is part of it: those things really use up a lot of your immune system resources.

This place is dedicated to rational discourse. I have over the years come to the conclusion that rational discourse is the best way to come to reasonable conclusions, and it does no harm at all to reexamine premises once in a while. Of course that can be done as harassment, example being the chap in undergrad discussions who immediately begins chanting “define your terms” to everything said, generally bringing the seminar to a close as everyone goes to find somewhere more interesting. We don’t allow such things here. We assume that all present are aware of the general principles of General Semantics, The map is not the territory, but we still need maps if we are going to discuss how to get someplace.

Anyway, if you like what we do, you might tell your friends. This is not a “right wing” site, and indeed I did a Ph.D. dissertation showing that right and left do not have any precise meaning and often are confusing when used http://www.baen.com/chapters/axes.htm . The political axes change over time, and left-right sometimes makes sense, but sometimes prevents discussion. This is not a right wing site, but then that term has no real meaning. One of these days I’ll get around to a full essay on this. But if you like this place, tell a friend


Saga of the Surface Pro

We have been installing Windows 10 with updates on Precious, the Surface 3 Pro, and I think this may turn into the best Windows yet, but there are some glitches, at least one of which may be in the Surface Pro. Precious normally resides in her docking station on the bay window shelf, which is a good place for her except in the mornings since the window faces east, and it’s bright out there.

Wednesday I had medical appointments and was in sort of a hurry on coming back. Precious was asleep. I pushed the button. Nothing happened. I looked at the power cable. The docking station uses a different power supply from the normal one. I took the Surface out of the dock and held the button down a long time. Nothing. I plugged in the usual power supply. Nothing. Eventually I did something else, leaving it not plugged into anything for some time, about an hour. Then I was fooling with it, put it back in the dock, and Alex asked what I was doing. I told him, he pressed the button, and whammo! it came on. Logged in, played with Cortana, the AI that’s in upcoming Windows – so far she’s a very dense girl—and went back to something else. Got a message that massive updates to the Windows 10 Beta were now available, started on them, and forgot the system. Later looked at it. Dead again. Dead, but warm. Interesting.

Left her out of the dock for several hours. Pressed the button. On she came. Said she was resuming downloads of update and would need to reset several times. Complained about wireless, which may me my fault: we have several wireless thingies here and systems do log onto the wrong one sometimes. Put her back in the dock. Worked fine and went on with massive update.

That done she went to sleep. Only once again I couldn’t wake her, but I had a theory. Took her out of the dock and let her cool a bit. On she came. Took her out to LASFS meeting where I logged on to the LASFS wireless. Seemed to work fine except there are too many users so it’s slow, but Precious was working fine. Took her to the after-meeting restaurant. She turned on fine, but said she needed to download something and there was no Internet connection and she was sulky. Put her back in my briefcase, brought her home, put her in the dock, told her never to sleep when she had external power, and so far she’s been fine ever since. Bit hard to see in the mornings because of sun coming in the east window she sit in, but she seems all right.

Next test, I suppose, will be using her portable power supply out of the dock and letting her sleep, and see if she can awake when fully charged (and then some). It may be the dock. Dunno.

Actually I do know. For two or three days in the hospital Precious was the only computer I had and never failed, and of course was using Wi-Fi, and damned slow Wi-Fi at that. Problem testing here is my confusing Wi-Fi nets. I need to get a net adapter – USB to Ethernet so she’s on Ethernet and under power but not docked. I may have one but Roberta won’t let me go upstairs and look for it. Saw Harlan Ellison at LASFS last night. Susan tells me she won’t let Harlan go upstairs either, so I guess we are recovering at about the same rate, only his handwriting is far better than mine. Speech is as good as ever, while I sound like I have hearing aids, which, come to that, I do. Anyway Harlan looks good, so I have hopes.

My Plantronics headset – an old one, but with cans, not buds; the cans work with the hearing aids, I expect they have new ones that are better, but these are pretty good – works nicely with Precious in her dock, and I’m trying to learn to talk with Cortana the AI. More when I know more. Precious the Surface Pro with Windows 10 has the potential to be what I’ve been looking for all my life, and my hands are pretty steady for using the stylus. But I think the dock overfeeds her.

I just networked to her from here. Works perfectly as far as I can tell. But I think I’ll put Dragon speech recognition on another portable until I’ve got this sleep of death thing completely understood. I need it because my typing is pretty slow.



Active SETI

To all of those concerned with the hazards of active SETI, I say either relax or panic. Pick one, but don’t bother with worry. Why? We have been a peculiarly bright radio object for over a century now. Our multi-kilowatt to multi-megawatt radio and TV transmissions have been flowing out in vast torrents every minute of every day for that period of time. Our kilowatt to megawatt radar pings have been mixed in for a good portion of that time.
Again, relax or panic. There are 512 known stars within 100 light years of earth. 28 of them are G-type. I do not have a number for the K-type (see an earlier post on the habitability of the universe). Within 50 light years are 34 known stars. Anyone out there with our level of technology could be tuning into I Love Lucy and Father Knows Best right now. They will have already listened to the Golden Age of Radio, heard all of our Big Band and Swing music and suffered through reports from the World War I and World War II battlefields. They will also have been treated to the enormous energy blasts from our nuclear tests.
If they are listening, they should be frightened by what they are hearing. Maybe the Beatles will redeem us? With all of the inadvertent signals we have been sending, it might actually make sense to start broadcasting something on purpose, to let them know we are not quite as crazy and dangerous as we already sound.
Personally, I cannot find a single reason that sticks for an interstellar capable civilization to go from star to star exterminating and enslaving other species. They already have access to and control of huge amounts of inexpensive energy. Being in space, they have better access to most raw materials than a planet-bound civilization. They also have the means to manufacture in space, alleviating the hazard of damaging a biosphere. In fact, living on a planet at all might seem rather wrong to such a civilization, with uncontrollable weather, limited energy, poor waste management, and an extraordinary limitation on living space, why waste your time living at the bottom of a gravity well? So why would a civilization want to travel across the stars to exterminate us?
Perhaps there is one reason. Whenever a more technologically capable civilization meets up with a less capable one, the less capable inevitably gets destroyed, either out-right or through assimilation. If one is dedicated to ensuring the survival of one’s own culture, it would behoove one to exterminate the potential rival cultures while one has the upper hand. Get out there first, wipe the others out.
In the end, that may be a self defeating policy, though, as one’s own civilization will inevitably diversify in culture as it spreads through the galaxy. Then who is the alien culture to be destroyed?


The cultural extermination may not be intentional. There are many science fiction novels with that theme. I have no firm conclusions.


GERMAN NEWS REPORT: Co-Pilot of Germanwings Airbus Was MUSLIM CONVERT …’Hero of Islamic State’? | The Gateway Pundit

It’s no longer “cherchez la femme?” Now we have “cherchez le Moor?” It appears the German Wings pilot was a recent (2009?) convert to Islam.

Follow the “found an “item of significance” at the apartment” and the “NOT a suicide note” links. The latter is quite interesting.


——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: GERMAN NEWS REPORT: Co-Pilot of Germanwings Airbus Was MUSLIM CONVERT

…’Hero of Islamic State’? | The Gateway Pundit

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 07:03:43 -0700


Surprise or oh well – another one?

GERMAN NEWS REPORT: Co-Pilot of Germanwings Airbus Was MUSLIM CONVERT …’Hero

of Islamic State’?

Posted by Jim Hoft on Thursday, March 26, 2015, 9:48 PM





— STAYED AT Bremen Mosque

Police have reportedly found an “item of significance” at the apartment <http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/03/breaking-item-of-significance-found-at-germanwing-co-pilots-apartment/>

of the co-pilot who crashed the Germanwing passenger plane into the Alps this week.

The item was NOT a suicide note


Andreas Lubitz


28-year-old German Andreas Lubitz trained in the Phoenix, Arizona and is pictured here in San Francisco.

*A German news website claims Andreas Lubitz was a Muslim convert.* Speisa.com <http://speisa.com/modules/articles/index.php/item.1086/the-co-pilot-of-the-germanwings-airbus-was-a-convert-to-islam.html>


According to Michael Mannheimer, a writer for German PI-News, Germany now

has its own 9/11, thanks to the convert to Islam, Andreas Lubitz.

Translation from German:

*All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months

break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam* and

subsequently either by the order of “radical”, i.e.. devout Muslims , or

received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord

decided to carry out this mass murder. *As a radical mosque in Bremen is in

the center of the investigation*,*in which the convert was staying often,*

it can be assumed that he – as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York

– received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.

*Converts are the most important weapon of Islam.* Because their resume do

not suggests that they often are particularly violent Muslims. Thus Germany

now has its own 9/11, but in a reduced form. And so it is clear that Islam

is a terrorist organization that are in accordance with §129a of the

Criminal Code to prohibit it and to investigate its followers. But nothing

will happen. One can bet that the apologists (media, politics, “Islamic

Scholars”) will agree to assign this an act of a “mentally unstable” man,

and you can bet that now, once again the mantra of how supposedly peaceful

Islam is will continue. And worse still, the attacks by the left against

those who have always warned against Islam, will be angrier and merciless.

For now the German Islam supporters like never before have their backs

against the wall.

Michael Mannheimer, 26.3.2015

Apparently from the comments


at German PI – Andreas Lubitz was Muslim convert from his Facebook page.

*ISLAMIC STATE PRAISES GERMAN CO-PILOT AND MASS MURDERER–* Another Facebook page was set up=> Support for Andrew Lubitz, hero of the Islamic State.


(The Facebook page has since been taken down)

But *Pamela Geller* captured a screengrab <http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/germanwings-co-pilot-andreas-lubitz-praised-on-facebook-our-holy-martyr-lubitz-died-for-our-prophet.html/>

of the page before it was removed.

lubitz facebook Muslim page


A close friend of Andreas Lubitz says he was mentally unstable <https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pi-news.net%2F2015%2F03%2Fgerman-wings-absturz-kapitaen-aus-cockpit-ausgesperrt-suizid-des-co-piloten%2F&edit-text=>.


I have no great confidence in the sources given here, but if the primary thesis be true, namely that Lubitz was a recent convert and considered himself a soldier of the Caliphate, it is one more reason for war against ISIS to the extermination of that Caliphate as a governing body. On its internal logic it is not the legitimate Caliphate if it rules nothing. ISIS is not just another faction in the IRAQ war. It is a chiliastic power seeking to rule the world, and that is its attraction.

And we have:

Hello, Jerry,
The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane appears to have been diagnosed with a mental illness, although he did not tell Lufthansa / Germanwings. Police have found several notes from several doctors. Perhaps he was searching for a second / third etc. opinion to would clear him to keep flying.
One story is at the NY Times.
Washington Post has a similar story.

I do note that diagnosis of mental illness doesn’t mean a lot: in the latest DSM it’s pretty hard not to find some disorder you can diagnose.  And the Caliphate has declared war on us.

Snopes is skeptical of claims the Germanwings co-pilot was a convert to Islam:
Given that ISIS thrives on attention I suspect they would claim involvement whether he was a convert or not.
The Caliphate is our enemy – it does not help to believe and spread their propaganda.


As noted I have no great faith in the sources of that story. Alas I have little in Snopes, which also has an agenda. I seldom post breaking news, and this is an example of why.  We don’t know.  And most media are so terrified of appearing  discriminatory that they won’t publish facts.

We can only wait and see.



The disposable income of people in every country of the world in one fantastic infographic


The $60 Car Hacking story

Regarding the $60 device that can ‘hack’ your car (in Tuesday’s View https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/more-thin-gruel/ ); a ‘hobbyist’ could also do this with a Raspberry PI 2 (small ARM computer about the size of a deck of cards that costs $35) coupled with a small TFT screen (there is one for the Raspberry) and the open-source software mentioned in the article. That would remove the need for a laptop (with Linux).
A basic Raspberry PI 2 kit (the Pi plus power supply, keyboard, and OS, etc.) for about $70 (here http://preview.tinyurl.com/q9zo55v). Add a TFT touch-display (about $40 here http://preview.tinyurl.com/od32azg) and you’ll have a very small ‘car hacking device’.
The Raspberry PI 2 is a great little computer that can be used for many purposes. I’ve set up one up as a Media Server (and network storage) with a 1TB portable hard disk attached.
I have also seen reports of a Pi-based network testing tool.
Since it does “Python”, plus a kid-oriented visual programming system called “Scratch”, along with a Debian-based Linux OS, there is no limit to what can be done with the Pi. (See www.raspberrypi.org ). Many schools are using the Pi as a teaching tool for kids. Home-schoolers might also find the Pi as an interesting project.

And they get smaller, and cheaper, and smarter all the time. And yes. Pi may be a great tool for good schools and home classes. Along, of course, with the California reader… http://www.amazon.com/California-Sixth-Grade-Reader-Pournelle-ebook/dp/B00LZ7PB7E



Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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