Word 2010 and me; New Physics? New Science? Climate change accuracy; a word on Net Neutrality.

View from Chaos Manor, Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My hand is healing nicely, and my only problem is that I still cannot type as fast as I used to, so everything takes longer. I see that Word 2010 has restored the autocorrect access option, making it easy to add frequent mistypes into autocorrect: right click on a red-underlined word, see the options, and if you like, rather than merely correct the word, left-click “autocorrect” in the menu that appeared when you right-clicked, then choose the relevant word in the list that appears when you do that. But—sometimes the correction is not proper at all, but is the correction for another misspelling entirely. I don’t know why, and it does not happen often. If it does you must retype the word – either the original misspelling or the correct spelling. You will find that the autocorrect table has that correction now, as it should, and does not incorrectly autocorrect the original misspelling. I have not been able to make sense of this, and since it is not repeatable I can’t report it to Microsoft.

In general, though, autocorrect works as it should, and since my most common mistake is hitting more than one key, using autocorrect saves me a great deal of time. This whole exposition came about when I typed everythiong instead of everything in the first sentence; I right clicked it, chose everything as the correction – who would ever want that misspelling – and autocorrect changed the word to especially. I don’t know why. I then looked into the autocorrect table – file > options > proofing > autocorrect scroll down the table to find the misspelling, see that it is set to make the proper correction – and all is well. I have no idea what happened. Now I always get the proper autocorrection of the misspelling, and to get the misspelled word I have to type it, let it autocorrect, backspace into it and misspell it again, and voila! as above.

Complex as this seems, it turns out to save a lot of time, and I use it. Alas the autocorrect option on right click does not appear in Word 2013, which is a shame and very much a Microsoft error; one I hope they correct soon.

I’m late and John is here to discuss a new novel. I’ll post this, more later today.


Back from a very productive lunch with John DeChancie; we will have a finished novel by summer. Themes are interplanetary commerce, Artificial Intelligence, and social decay under crony capitalism/liberal progressivism. What my late friend called anarcho-tyranny, which seems as likely as anything. Smart robots and oligarchs.


Yet another assault on the complexity of General Relativity:

No Big Bang, no ‘dark matter’, no ‘dark energy’ – and gravitonic aether?


Roland Dobbins

Note there are some similarities to Petr Beckmann’s Newtonian alternative to Einstein, which makes local gravity the aether.  The theory of relativity predictions can be derived from Newton – see Beckmann – but perhaps not all of them; this is disputed. More later.


But then:

…If they are finding it in other galaxies, I would expect it to be in ours as well. There’s nothing particularly different about ours; we even have at least three satellite galaxies, have experienced several galactic collisions, and there is a SMBH at the core. So…yeah.

Stephanie Osborn

Interstellar Woman of Mystery

Of course dark matter and dark energy are only solutions to equations: no one has ever seen either.  Perhaps they are like the little man who wasn’t there.

Dark matter and dark energy

Hello Jerry,

“Of course dark matter and dark energy are only solutions to equations: no one has ever seen either.  Perhaps they are like the little man who wasn’t there.”

As you point out, the scientific method has been changing over the last few decades. 

Formerly, scientists made observations and devised theories to explain them.  When observational data called the theories into question, the theories were modified, or replaced with new ones that explained the observations better.

Now the theory is sacrosanct, particularly GR.  When observations contradict GR, the universe is modified to preserve GR.  In this case, the physicists, noting that matter, as observed, was not behaving as GR predicts, simply added a bunch of undetectable matter/energy until they had enough, with the proper distribution, to make the universe behave as decreed by GR. 

For what it is worth, Dr. Mike McCulloch, a physicist who teaches at a British university, has devised a theory under which the universe behaves as observed, but requires no unseen/unseeable matter/energy.  He has a blog, here:


for those who are interested.  As a side note, he claims that his theory also predicts thrust from EmDrives and the magnitude and sign of the ‘Pioneer Anomaly’, although Cal Tech has already said that it was explained by the pattern of heat radiation from the spacecraft.  I have no idea if Dr. McCulloch is right or not, but I am very predisposed to WANT to believe someone who tells me that the universe is actually made up of stuff that we can see/detect, rather than being >95% invisible/undetectable (other than being ‘detected’ by being necessary to make our sacred equations match observations).

Bob Ludwick

I remain (1) convinced that the universe is observable and comprehensible, and (2) that GR and String Theory are neither; but then I am not a physicist. I have examined the evidence for dark matter and it assumes a constancy in the speed of light and no aether. I see no experimental proof. So far as I know Beckmann’s entangled local gravity explains all observed evidence more simply. And it does not need Dark Matter.


Just to end this:

“Comments from a Marine in Afghanistan”

Dr Pournelle,
Confirm that this article has been going around since at least 2005 in various forms.  It also plays on the old stories of the AR15/M16 style direct impingement gas system rifles being fundamentally flawed, along with the 5.56mm round. This has long since been proven untrue. You will find many many articles and publications that bash it, but they can all be debunked.
It’s a not a perfect weapon/caliber, but when used properly it is very effective. In my own experience, the more experienced/well trained/elite troops tend to like it the most. When properly maintained, its advantages far outweigh its shortfalls.
It isn’t the most popular rifle in America for nothing.
Matt Kirchner
Houston, TX
Formerly Captain, IN, USA

I would not say “proven”; the debate over optimum rifle for infantry continues. For general socking around in scrub I find the old thirty-thirty more handy, but I grew up in a different era and in scrub you get few long shots.


Dear Dr. Pournelle, 
It appears that the climate debate is difficult, in part, because the temperature data is willfully falsified.


Brian P.

There are many “refutations” or defenses of climate data adjustment, but few encourage me to believe that it yields accuracy of 0,02 degrees. The error bars are greater than the differences. http://arstechnica.com/staff/2015/02/temperature-data-is-not-the-biggest-scientific-scandal-ever/ states their case, but only repeats the reasoning behind the adjustments. They must decrease the accuracy; how could they not?

The earth is warming and has been since about 1800. How much is due to CO2 is the question, and the answer to that is we don’t know,


Not in front of the telly: Warning over ‘listening’ TV

9 February 2015 Last updated at 06:20 ET

Samsung said personal information could be scooped up by the Smart TV

Samsung is warning customers to avoid discussing personal information in front of their smart television set.

The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature.

Such TV sets “listen” to every conversation held in front of them and may share any details they hear with Samsung or third parties, it said.

Privacy campaigners said the technology smacked of the telescreens, in George Orwell’s 1984, which spied on citizens.

Data sharing

The warning came to light via a story in online news magazine the Daily Beast which published an excerpt of a section of Samsung’s privacy policy for its net-connected Smart TV sets.

I don’t have a smart TV


I found this a fascinating story:


I think you will also.


Net Neutrality

I had HughesNet service for several years after moving to a rural area. So far as I could tell they followed your description of net neutrality and truth in advertising:

“We can agree on that: you must deliver what you promise. If you are going to slow down high volume users, you must tell them that if you exceed some limit your download speed will be reduced. I don’t care what you are downloading,”

I must say though, that my downloads never included movies or other large files. My weakness was lots of browsing an many small downloads.

Charles Brumbelow=

House to Probe White House Role in FCC’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Proposal – WSJ

Posted on February 8, 2015

Panel launches investigation into whether the White House improperly influenced the agency on its new rules for how broadband providers treat internet traffic.


And more. The FCC is determined to have control of the Net, and build a big regulatory agency to do it. It then will find plenty to do, to justify its existence. The administration is determined.  If you like your telephone you will enjoy FCC Net regulation.


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




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