Violence and the History of Inequality

Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, the Stanford University historian Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world.

Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock, and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality. The “Four Horsemen” of leveling—mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues—have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future.

An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent—and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.

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Reklāma


Vai reklāmā ir nozieguma sastāvs?:

https://gunarsjanaitis.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/vai-reklama-ir-nozieguma-sastavs/#comment-252

Reklāma, hm, skaista tēma. Piedalīšos korī. Man ir tieši tāpat, kā to raksta GN2: Visas firmas, kas mani apmētā ar reklāmu, es neiegaumēju nemaz, bet ja kaut kas paliek atmiņā, tad tā ir skaidra izpratne: tie nav kārtīgi cilvēki, viņi ir pārkāpuši pieklājības robežu, viņi man nav prasījuši, vai es viņu troksni gribu redzēt vai dzirdēt, un vienīgais, kas paliek: ar tiem sadarboties nedrīkst, no jebkādas sadarbības jāizvairās. Manā apziņā viņi sevi ir degradējuši un viņi nav cienījami. Ja atceros, šo firmu preces pirkt izvairos. Piemēram, firmas ‘Pioneer’ aparatūra.

Daudz diletantisma. Tik daudz vienīgo patiesību. Tik vienu piemēru. T.s. mūzikas raidījumos, kuros dažu reizi (reti) ir mūzika, pēc viena gabala beigām viņi tūlīt sāk nākošo. Viņi nezina, ka emociju nodzišanas, norimšanas laiks ir 3-5-8 sekundes, lai klausītājā nospēlētais gabals radītu dziļas un skaistas emocijas, tām jāļauj izskanēt klausītāja apziņā.
Bet tie jau lētie trokšņa taisītāji. No vairākiem tūkstošiem satelīttelevīzijas kanālu esmu izveidojis 55 klausāmu (ne vienmēr) radio raidītāju sarakstu, visbiežāk tie ir Eiropas valstu ‘Klassik radio’ (vācu), vai, piemēram, franču vai Šveices ‘Classic’. Ja uzliek labas austiņas, tad to mūziku un instrumentus var pat sadzirdēt un baudīt. Līdzi šūpoties. Skaisti, skaisti skan, var dzirdēt, kā autors to pārdzīvojis, dzirdējis un pierakstījis. Kādreiz to arī pastāsta. Tur reklāmas nav. Ja kāds palaiž, tad to raidītāju no klausāmā saraksta nodzēšu.
Nekādus TV raidījumus neskatos, vienīgi Youtube kādus mākslas darbus, piemēram, nesen noskatījos franču filmu par Balzaka noveles tēmu ‘Šagrenāda’. Skaisti. Tādas filmas ir vēl, piemēram, ‘Cietsirdīgā romance’ (krievu valodā). Bez tam vēl lielu mākslinieku darbi, mūzika. Piemēram, vergu koris no ‘Nabucco’ vairākos izpildījumos, operas, lielu mākslinieku ieraksti.
Plašāk. Ja skarbi, tad, protams, ka tauta, masa tiek turēta mazliet līdzīgi vistu vai citu fermu dzīvniekiem. Bet tas ir vienpusīgs skatījums. Plašākā skatījumā mēs ieraugām evolūciju, instinktu vajadzību piepildīšanu, īsi uznākšanu, patrokšņošanu, un aiziešanu. Troksni gan mēs redzam un dzirdam, visa dzīve ar to pildīta. Bet man ir zināmi, pazīstami daži cilvēki ar jēgu un saturu. Kad satieku, tad mācos un priecājos. Kad nesatieku, tad tramīgi lūkojos, vai kaut kur neatspīdēs gaisma? Un kādreiz ieraugu, tad var pasmaidīt, un, ja veicas, iegūt draugu. Vai vismaz domas uz īsu brīdi.

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The Crisis of Western Civilization

Between 1935 and 1975, Will and Ariel Durant published a series of volumes that together were known as “The Story of Civilization.” They basically told human history (mostly Western history) as an accumulation of great ideas and innovations, from the Egyptians, through Athens, Magna Carta, the Age of Faith, the Renaissance and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The series was phenomenally successful, selling over two million copies.

That series encapsulated the Western civilization narrative that people, at least in Europe and North America, used for most of the past few centuries to explain their place in the world and in time. This narrative was confidently progressive. There were certain great figures, like Socrates, Erasmus, Montesquieu and Rousseau, who helped fitfully propel the nations to higher reaches of the humanistic ideal.

This Western civ narrative came with certain values — about the importance of reasoned discourse, the importance of property rights, the need for a public square that was religiously informed but not theocratically dominated. It set a standard for what great statesmanship looked like. It gave diverse people a sense of shared mission and a common vocabulary, set a framework within which political argument could happen and most important provided a set of common goals.

Starting decades ago, many people, especially in the universities, lost faith in the Western civilization narrative. They stopped teaching it, and the great cultural transmission belt broke. Now many students, if they encounter it, are taught that Western civilization is a history of oppression.

Counted values (reasoned discourse, property rights, public square) turned out not to be sufficient. Two values were and are missing now: the sense, the purpose of life and, based on it, the main value, the main moral law: survival of our civilization for the current moment and attainment of unrestricted lifetime on a bigger scale. More about this see Values and sense of life on this blog, but here I will add some concrete, necessary and for most people unacceptable steps for achieving this.

1. New and completely different morality: abandon the hypocritical or uneducated talking about human rights: restriction of planet’s populace, consumption and damaging of living world are much more important values, but these values are not to be reached by wars like current ones. Or current social inequality.

Death penalty is the most natural sanction for each essential violation, which natural selection has used for thousands of years. It is possible that the following generations will dare or will be forced to restore these natural processes. But today there are many principles completely unacceptable for current populace, fop example, taking the donor organs from individuals sentenced to death. Or using some drugs for individuals, who are able to manage their behavior. 

2. New and completely different sense of life: the main task and obligation, the main possibility and responsibility for every individual is the life of future generations, in order they can come to much more fulfilled and unrestricted life. This is the holiness, the sanctity of our life today, for current time. (More: Carl Sagan).

3. For achieving the united behavior of all state citizens completely new  government information politics is necessary: the state’s mass information and education has to teach its citizens the scientific basis for values and morality. All religions, ‘secret’ knowledge and mystics  are to be abandoned, we have only the evolutionary facts, physics and information theory, and on these we have to base our thinking and solutions. If we want to survive. 

4. How to come, how to reach this ‘new world’? One is clear: extermination of ‘wrong’ people and their survival conditions (environment) does not work. Although this ‘method’ is just the most used now.

Genetically inherited human reward system is outdated: strong emotions drive individuals to suicidal behavior. There is the strong necessity for completely new education system, which will prepare possibly more people to start understand and manage their lives. Education is the only way to teach people to make reasonable choices and, for the short current moment, to achieve a bit happiness. This is not easy or simple task: human beings don’t have genetic predisposition for learning complicated survival problems, but they do have predisposition for more simple tasks: to attain and have more eatable things, sex, and self -actualization. These processes dominate our societies. 

The second possibility: the evolution will use its way.  I.V. 

Continue reading the main story

It’s amazing what far-reaching effects this has had. It is as if a prevailing wind, which powered all the ships at sea, had suddenly ceased to blow. Now various scattered enemies of those Western values have emerged, and there is apparently nobody to defend them.

The first consequence has been the rise of the illiberals, authoritarians who not only don’t believe in the democratic values of the Western civilization narrative, but don’t even pretend to believe in them, as former dictators did.

Posted in Are We doomed?, Happiness and Quality of Life, Understand and Manage Ourselves, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

The Economy Is Like a Circus

The economy is like a circus. It comes to town, and eventually it leaves town. We get paid in tickets to this circus. As long as the circus stays in town, we can use our tickets. Once the circus leaves town, we are pretty much out of luck.1

The reason the circus stays in town is because the economy stays in sufficient balance that the economy can go on. This is much like the way many other self-organized systems function. For example, our bodies continue to function as long as there are suitable balances in many different areas (oxygen, food, water, air pressure). Ecosystems continue to function as long as there is sufficient rain, adequate temperatures, and enough sunlight.

There are many different views as to what limits we reach in a finite world. Some people think we will “run out” of oil, or of energy products. Some think that the energy return will fall too low, as measured in some manner. I see the adequacy of the energy return as being very much tied to the financial system. Thus, the forecast by US Atlanta Fed GDPNow indicating that first quarter 2017 US GDP growth will only be 0.5% is likely to be a problem, assuming it is correct.

The Economy Is Like a Circus

Our economy operates on economies of scale. Once we get too close to shrinking, or actually start shrinking, we reach a point where the economic circus starts to leave town. At some point, we will discover the circus is gone. The economy we thought we had, will have left us. If some people are survivors, they will need to pick up the pieces and start over with an entirely new system.

What the Economy Needs to Do to Keep Functioning

For our economy to continue functioning, a number of variables are important:

Posted in Economics and Politics | Leave a comment

Dažas domas par mums

Mūsu problēmām ir divi dažādi avoti: pirmais ir informācijas apstrādes likumi, no kuriem nav iespējams izvairīties; otrs ir cilvēka evolūcijas mantojums, kas nav optimāls, nav piemērots mūsu dzīvei, bet kuru var ieraudzīt, saprast, un savu izvēli nedaudz un uzmanīgi pakārtot labklājībai un izdzīvošanai nākotnē.

Visu informācijas apstrādes mašīnu rīcību nosaka divi procesi: pirmais ir noteikts, ieprogrammēts algoritms, bet otrs parādās tad, kad mašīnai ir iespējams rīcību izvēlēties. Inteliģence ir informācijas apstrādes mašīnas spēja sasniegt savus mērķus, piemērojot savu izturēšanos mainīgiem ārējiem apstākļiem, izmantojot ģenētiski uzkrātu vai dzīves laikā iegūtu informāciju, un lietojot apkārtējās vides modeļus ārējās pasaules notikumu prognozēšanai.  Lai informācijas apstrādes mašīna būtu inteliģenta, tai jāspēj izveidot mērķus, lai izveidotu mērķus, mašīnas apziņā jābūt vērtībām, vajadzībām. Un lūk, vērtības un vajadzības nosaka izvēli, rīcību: ja vajadzības tiek apmierinātas, mašīna saņem apbalvojumu (labsajūtu, laimi), to AI nozarē sauc par reinforced learning. 

Mūsu, Homo sapiens gadījumā ieprogrammētie algoritmi bieži ieslēdzas tad, kad tas nepieciešams ķermeņa izdzīvošanai, bet tie ieslēdzas arī tad, kad indivīds nokļūst situācijā, kas tos ieslēdz, piemēram, parādās bailes, izmisums, naids, mīlestība.

Indivīda personīgā dzīves māksla un problēma ir: kā iegūt optimālu līdzsvaru starp labklājības un izdzīvošanas nodrošināšanu mazākā un lielākā mērogā un apbalvojumu (pozitīvām emocijām), pēc kurām mēs visi apzināti un neapzināti tiecamies. Daudzi cilvēki, varbūt pat vairākums visupirms rīkojas tā, lai saņemtu pozitīvās emocijas, un pēc tam maksā (ne vienmēr naudā, bieži tā ir slimība, trauma, zaudējumi, neveiksmīga dzīve) – lai izdzīvotu.

Kāpēc mēs nevaram iegūt kādu optimālu līdzsvaru? Viens skaidrojums ir: mēs visi tiecamies saņemt apbalvojumu tūlīt vai iespējami drīz, jo pretējā gadījumā sajūta ir nepieņemama: manai dzīvei nav jēgas. Šeit mēs ieraugām vairākumu lielo un mazo mākslinieku: realitātei atbilstošu sevis un savas sabiedrības un savas dzīves modeļu viņiem nav, viņi dzīvo savu mākslas tēlu vai sociālās vides pasaulē un tradīcijās, un viņi nevar, nav spējīgi citādāk. Jo neviena informācijas apstrādes mašīna nevar izvēlēties rīcību, kurai tās apziņā nav modeļa. Izskatās, ka ir plašāk: tā rīkojas cilvēku vairākums, gandrīz visi.

Vai no šī strupceļa ir izeja? Šķiet, ka tikai par tik, par cik mēs spējam ieraudzīt, saprast un mainīt mūsu vajadzības.

Kādēļ cilvēki daudzajos attīstības gados nav iemācījušies dzīvot labāk, būt kaut cik laimīgi un veiksmīgi, un kaut vai nekarot vismaz? Viens iemesls ir redzams visās sabiedrībās: mēs nemācam savus bērnus, lai viņi būtu laimīgāki un veiksmīgāki. Lai indivīds būtu kaut cik veiksmīgs, viņa apziņā jāizveido kaut cik realitātei atbilstošus apkārtējās vides un sevis modeļi. Tādu ir ļoti daudz, var teikt, ka tie veido katras kultūras struktūru. Visu informācijas apstrādes mašīnu ‘lāsts’ un nolemtība ir nezināt pilnīgi, iekams pats nav pieredzējis. Lai šo trūkumu kaut cik mīkstinātu, vajadzīga apsteidzoša izglītības sistēma. Šajā vietā parādās vēl viena problēma: normālā sadalījuma vidējais homo sapiens negrib garlaicīgi mācīties, bet grib mācīties tikai tā, ka tas sagādā pozitīvas emocijas. Visas kultūras ir tālu no šo prasību izpildes un apzināšanas. Mūsdienu izglītības sistēmas un kultūras ir pazaudējušas divas galvenās lietas: vērtības un izpratni. Vērtību vietā mums ir viedokļi, tā, it kā pamatvērtību un principu nemaz nebūtu. Pamatprincipi ir tik nepopulāri, ka daudzi cilvēki tos nelieto un nezin, ka tādi ir: uz realitāti, uz zinātnes principiem balstītas vērtības, pasaules un sevis modeļi. Par vērtībām daudzi mūsdienu filosofi un zinātnieki ir paziņojuši, kas tādu nav (izņemot elementārās ķermeņa izdzīvošanas un labsajūtas vajadzības), un vairākums tam ir noticējuši.

Izpratnes vietā ikdienas dzīvē un izglītībā aizvien vairāk vietas ieņem bezsaturīga mēģināšana, vulgāri sakot – bakstīšana. Bērniem skolā nemāca programmas struktūru un to, ko katrs programmas solis izmaina struktūrā, bet atbalsta aklu meklēšanu, mēģināšanu – ja izdodas iegūt rezultātu, tad uzdevums izpildīts. Jāiegaumē tik taustiņu nospiešanas secība, bet izpratne nav vajadzīga.

Evolūcija mums iedevusi vismaz divas problēmas, kuras raksturīgas tikai Homo sapiens, un nav citu informācijas apstrādes mašīnu neatņemamas īpašības: 1) tā ir spēja nepretrunīgi, harmoniski vienā apziņā savienot pilnīgi nesavienojamas lietas, piemēram, zinātne (loģiska domāšana un fakti) un māņticība, mīlestība un realās iespējas, visaptverošs vai fanātisks naids un indivīda izdzīvošana; 2) spēja izslēgt no apziņas, noraidīt un nepieņemt argumentus un faktus, kuri kaut kādā veidā noliedz vai apšauba indivīda iekšējā pasaulē izveidotas vērtības un modeļus.

Citiem vārdiem var teikt, ka no evolūcijas mantotā apbalvojumu sistēma ir tuvredzīga.

Kopsavilkumā var teikt, ka, no vienas puses, tā ir milzīga, skaista un vērtīga evolūcijas balva – spēja dzīvot savā izveidotā pasaulē pilnīgā aizrautībā, ar dziļu mieru un harmoniju, iekšējas sakārtotības un skaistuma izjūtu, bet no otras puses, tas ir lāsts un nolemtība – nezināt, nevarēt un nespēt ieraudzīt skarbo eksistences īstenību un savu rīcību pakļaut vai vismaz pielāgot tai. Iznāk gandrīz vai tā, ka mūsu dzīves īslaicīgums ir tam piemērots.

Vai ir iespējams radīt un izveidot labākas informācijas apstrādes mašīnas? Izskatās, ka – jā. Tādas, kurās apbalvojumi tiek saņemti par realitātei atbilstošu modeļu izveidošanu. Bet tādas varēs izveidot tikai tādi programmētāji, kuriem šādi modeļi pašiem ir.

Posted in Happiness and Quality of Life, Understand and Manage Ourselves, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Defining Intelligence

https://www.edge.org/conversation/stuart_russell-defining-intelligence:

I worked on coming up with a method of defining intelligence that would necessarily have a solution, as opposed to being necessarily unsolvable. That was this idea of bounded optimality, which, roughly speaking, says that you have a machine and the machine is finite—it has finite speed and finite memory. That means that there is only a finite set of programs that can run on that machine, and out of that finite set one or some small equivalent class of programs does better than all the others; that’s the program that we should aim for.                                 

That’s what we call the bounded optimal program for that machine and also for some class of environments that you’re intending to work in. We can make progress there because we can start with very restricted types of machines and restricted kinds of environments and solve the problem. We can say, “Here is, for that machine and this environment, the best possible program that takes into account the fact that the machine doesn’t run infinitely fast. It can only do a certain amount of computation before the world changes.” 

My field of work is artificial intelligence, and since I started I’ve been asking myself how we can create truly intelligent systems. Part of my brain is always thinking about the next roadblock that we’re going to run into. Why are the things we understand how to do so far going to break when we put them in the real world? What’s the nature of the breakage? What can we do to avoid that? How can we then create the next generation of systems that will do better? Also, what happens if we succeed?

What is the nature of the problem and can we solve it? I would like to be able to solve it. The alternative to solving the control problem is to either put the brakes on AI or prevent the development of certain types of systems altogether if we don’t know how to control them. That would be extremely difficult because there’s this huge pressure. We all want more intelligent systems; they have huge economic value.

Bill Gates said that solving machine-learning problems would be worth ten Microsofts. At that time, that would have come out to about $4 trillion, which is a decent incentive for people to move technology forward. How can we make AI more capable, and if we do, what can we do to make sure that the outcome is beneficial? Those are the questions that I ask myself.

Another question I ask is: Why do my colleagues not ask themselves this question? Is it just inertia? That a typical engineer or computer scientist is in a rut? Or are they on the rail of moving technology forward and they don’t think about where that railway is heading or whether they should turn off or slow down? Or am I just wrong? Is there some mistake in my thinking that has led me to the conclusion that the control problem is serious and difficult? I’m always asking myself if I’m making a mistake.

I worked on coming up with a method of defining intelligence that would necessarily have a solution, as opposed to being necessarily unsolvable. That was this idea of bounded optimality, which, roughly speaking, says that you have a machine and the machine is finite—it has finite speed and finite memory. That means that there is only a finite set of programs that can run on that machine, and out of that finite set one or some small equivalent class of programs does better than all the others; that’s the program that we should aim for.

That’s what we call the bounded optimal program for that machine and also for some class of environments that you’re intending to work in. We can make progress there because we can start with very restricted types of machines and restricted kinds of environments and solve the problem. We can say, “Here is, for that machine and this environment, the best possible program that takes into account the fact that the machine doesn’t run infinitely fast. It can only do a certain amount of computation before the world changes.”

In economics, studying utility theory, how do you construct these functions that describe value?

A million years ago would be too early to be trying to put constraints on a technology, but with respect to global warming, I would say 100 years ago would have been the right time, or 120 years ago. We had just developed the internal combustion engine and electricity generation and distribution, and we could at that time, before we became completely tied in to fossil fuels, have put a lot of energy and effort into also developing wind power and solar power, knowing that we could not rely on fossil fuels because of the consequences. And we knew. Arrhenius and other scientists had shown that this would be the consequence of burning all these fossil fuels.

Alexander Graham Bell wrote papers about it, but they were ignored. There was no vote. Governments tend to get captured by corporate lobbies and not so much scientists. You might say the scientists invented the internal combustion engine, but they also discovered the possibility of global warming and warned about it. Society tends to take the goodies, but not listen to the down side.

It’s always very difficult for a democracy to decide on what the right regulations are for complicated technological issues. How should we regulate nuclear power?  How should we regulate medicines? Often the regulation follows some catastrophe and can be poorly designed because it’s in the middle of outrage and fear.

https://ai100.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/ai100report10032016fnl_singles.pdf:

“No machines with self-sustaining long-term goals and intent have been developed, nor are they likely to be developed in the near future”.

The goal of AI applications must be to create value for society. Our policy recommendations flow from this goal, and, while this report is focused on a typical North American city in 2030, the recommendations are broadly applicable to other places over time. Strategies that enhance our ability to interpret AI systems and participate in their use may help build trust and prevent drastic failures. Care must be taken to augment and enhance human capabilities and interaction, and to avoid discrimination against segments of society. Research to encourage this direction and inform public policy debates should be emphasized.

The measure of success for AI applications is the value they create for human lives.

AI could widen existing inequalities of opportunity if access to AI technologies—along with the high-powered computation and large-scale data that fuel many of them—is unfairly distributed across society. These technologies will improve the abilities and efficiency of people who have access to them. A person with access to accurate Machine Translation technology will be better able to use learning resources available in different languages. Similarly, if speech translation technology is only available in English, people who do not speak English will be at a disadvantage.

We, humans, are emotion-driven machines not understanding and knowing ourselves. Genetically inherited needs that determine our behavior are million years old product of evolution and are not appropriate for our current problems and survival. The only hope for long-term survival is AI – our try and possibility to move our consciousness to other, more stable physical media and to create higher and more flexible intelligence. Our try to ‘create value for human lives’ is short-sighted: we must try to escape civilization from collapse and reach long-term survival. Long-term survival of consciousness and intelligence in this part of Universe is the most important value and task of our civilization. I.V. 

 

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Carl Sagans Cosmos – Episode 10 – The Edge of Forever

Posted in Cosmology, Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

Skaistums

Mēs neesam piemēroti laikam, kurā dzīvojam. To raksta E.O. Wilson, to saka Andrejs Tarkovskis, katrs saviem vārdiem un savā nozarē. Bet doma ir viena: Mēs nevaram būt laimīgi, tas iespējams tikai retiem izņēmumiem, mūsu izcelsme mums iedod ilgas, emocijas un vajadzības, kuru piepildīšana nav savietojama ar mūsu realitāti.

Kurš dzīvesveids ir vērtīgāks, vairāk cienījams? Vai tās pasaules, kurās aizrautīgi un juceklīgi dzīvo tie dvēseles mākslinieki, kuri cieš, iet bojā un dažreiz piedzīvo arī laimes mirkļus, vai tie, kuri visa pamatā liek faktus un realitāti, un laimi nepazīst, jo nezina tās valodu? Vai vēl vienkāršāk: nav sastapuši. Kā ir pareizāk?

Helen Fisher (skat. : https://www.amazon.com/Why-Him-Her-Find-Lasting/dp/1851687920/ref=cm_wl_huc_item ) neraksta par tādu aizrautīgu, narkotiskai atkarībai līdzīgu mīlestību: Rietumu sabiedrībā ir pieņemts nākotni vērtēt un pamatoti, nopietni, sakarīgi izvēlēties mēģināt.

Bet varbūt ir tā, ka lielu laimi spēj saņemt tikai stipri un gudri cilvēki? Bet varbūt, ka ir vēl vienkāršāk: nevienam nav pamata prasīt, lai viņš vai viņa būtu normālā varbūtību sadalījuma galējais, mazvarbūtīgais gadījums.

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Megan Phelps-Roper: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why

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What Romantic Regime Are You In?

Polina Aronson spent her first 16 years in Russia. There, people tend to regard love as a sort of divine madness that descends from the heavens. Love is regarded, as the sociologist Julia Lerner put it, as “a destiny, a moral act and a value; it is irresistible, it requires sacrifice and implies suffering and pain.” Russians measure one another by how well they are able to bear the upheaval love brings, sometimes to an absurd degree.

But when she was in high school, Aronson moved to America, and stumbled across an issue of Seventeen magazine. She was astounded. In America she noticed that people tended ask: Does a partner fulfill your needs? Do you feel comfortable asserting your rights in the relationship? Does your partner check the right boxes?

Aronson concluded that she had moved from the Russian Regime of Fate to the American Regime of Choice.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/what-romantic-regime-are-you-in.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20170307&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=1&nlid=74231826&ref=headline&te=1

Everything seems acceptable with one aspect added: Choice is important and useful but don’t forget the most valuable: the heavens. If you do feel that your feeling can change your both lives and yourself completely. you dare to accept it. If you are not sure, take the Choice: 

The Covenant Regime is based on the idea that our current formula is a conspiracy to make people unhappy. Love is realistically a stronger force than self-interest. Detached calculation in such matters is self-strangulating. The deepest joy sneaks in the back door when you are surrendering to some sacred promise.

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Carl Sagan – The Cosmic Perspective

There are not many words but there is a deep sense, possibility, duty and responsibility. And a future, if we will understand and accept it.

Posted in Happiness and Quality of Life, Human Evolution, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Utopia Inc

At 16, Martin Winiecki dropped out of school and left his home in the German city of Dresden to live full-time at Tamera, a 300-acre intentional community in the rolling hills of southwestern Portugal. His mother and father – a doctor and a professor of mathematics – were reluctant to let him go. ‘It was quite a shock for them,’ Winiecki remembers. Born in 1990, just a few months after the collapse of the Berlin wall, Winiecki came of age in a society in limbo. The atmosphere of the former GDR still clung to people. ‘It was a culture that was so formal. So obligation-oriented. That had no heart. No love,’ Winiecki explained. At the same time, in Winiecki’s eyes, the capitalist alternative was creating a ‘system of deep economic injustice – of winners and losers’. Neither story encompassed a humanity he wanted part of. Tamera offered an alternative.

Founded by the psychoanalyst and sociologist Dieter Duhm in Germany in 1978 and re-founded in Portugal in 1995, Tamera aspired to dissolve the trauma of human relationships. Duhm, heavily influenced by Marxism and psychoanalysis, came to see material emancipation and interpersonal transformation as part of the same project. Duhm had been deeply disillusioned by communes where he’d spent time in the 1960s and ’70s, and which seemed to reproduce many of the same tyrannies that people were trying to escape: egoism, power struggles, envy, mistrust and fear, while practices of sexual freedom often engendered jealousy and pain. In Duhm’s eyes, communes had failed to create a viable model for a new society. In Tamera, he hoped to begin a social experiment that allowed for deep interpersonal healing.

Communitarian experiments such as Tamera are nothing new, although its longevity – almost 40 years – is unusual. Generally,  intentional communities fail at a rate slightly higher than that of most start-ups. Only a handful of communities founded in the US during the 19th century’s ‘golden age of communities’ lasted beyond a century; most folded in a matter of months. This golden age birthed more than 100 experimental communities, with more than 100,000 members who, according to the historian Mark Holloway in Heavens on Earth (1951), sought to differentiate themselves from society by creating ‘ideal commonwealths’. The largest surge in communitarian ‘start-ups’ occurred during the 1840s and 1890s, coinciding with periods of economic depression. But it would be a mistake to see intentional communities merely as a knee-jerk response to hard times.

In historic terms, a broader discontent with industrial society has led to people flocking to communes, utopias and spiritual settlements, from eco-villages and ‘back to the land’ style settlements designed to create sustainable lifestyles and a stronger relationship to nature, to communities founded with spiritual or idealist visions for transforming human character and creating new blueprints of society. Of course, the ‘cult’ label is never far behind. Many intentional communities have had to fight their own public-relations battles in the wake of negative or sensational publicity.

But regardless of our suspicions, our appetite for communitarian living might even be evolutionarily hard-wired. Some sociologists have gone as far as to suggest that we are mal-adapted in modern society, and that ‘tribal’ forms of life are more viable. Theories of neo-tribalism suggest that instead of mass society, human nature is best suited to small, caring groups. The anthropologist Robin Dunbar at the University of Oxford claims that humans can comfortably maintain no more than 150 stable relationships, which suggests that communitarian living might not be so much of an ‘outlier’ or ‘experiment’. From an evolutionary perspective, modern society itself might be the anomaly. As the cultural critic Daniel Quinn writes in The Story of B (1996), for 3 million years the tribal life worked for us: ‘It worked for people the way nests worked for birds, the way webs work for spiders, the way burrows work for moles … That doesn’t make it lovable, it makes itviable.’

Why then do utopian communities so often fail? Interestingly, attrition rates for intentional communities are not all that different from many other types of human endeavour. The failure rate for start-ups is around 90 per cent, and the longevity of most companies is dismal: of the Fortune 500 companies listed in 1955, more than 88 per cent are gone; meanwhile, S&P companies have an average lifespan of just 15 years. Can we really expect more longevity from experimental communities? And if not, what can we learn from an audit of these experiments? What have been the key factors undermining communitarian living?

Perhaps the irony is that many of the administrative and managerial forces that individuals are running away from within mainstream society are exactly the organisational tools that would make intentional communities more resilient: that regardless of how much intentional communities with utopian aims seek to step to one side of worldly affairs, they succeed or fail for the very same pragmatic reasons that other human enterprises – notably businesses and start-ups – succeed or fail.

More: https://aeon.co/essays/like-start-ups-most-intentional-communities-fail-why?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=228cd185e7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_03_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-228cd185e7-68643017

What is the right community, the right human society? Is it possible? Is there an answer? Yes, there are answers but not the ones you are waiting, you are prepared for.

Any human society must not only be based on the real human properties but to make use of them. That means that they must create the rules of game, restricting any wrongdoing by making it unprofitable. This is a hard task human societies try to accomplish since centuries: in many wars they kill innocent people but don’t punish their offenders. 

That means that they have to create the rules which allow to satisfy the basic, most important human needs for self-realization and development and the deep need for something bigger than their daily lives. This is even more hard task which is not solved almost in all human societies: the more important values are not defined. There is pluralism, relativism, superstition and religions instead . I.V. 

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В чем сила?

По данным опросов, россияне не уважают тех, кто умеет «зарабатывать деньги», и не любят тех, у кого они есть. При этом сами предпринимать ничего не хотят.

От редакции LJ MEDIA
Mūsu sabiedrībā nav citādāk. Visvairāk ir kritizētāju un nosodītāju. Zinošu padomdevēju ir mazāk. Darītāju ir pavisam maz. Tas ir kultūras mēms, pāri kuram spēj pacelties tie, kam pagadījušies darītāja gēni un ārējie apstākļi. Un vēl tie, kas apzinās savu mantojumu.
Bet ir vēl sarežģītāk. Daudzi ir darītāji pēc pārliecības un aicinājuma, bet … viņi labāk neprot. Un tā iznāk, ka tie kritizētāji viņus kritizē pamatoti. Bet … paši spēj un prot vēl mazāk. Izeja, risinājums? Klusēt un darīt. Un vērtēt sevi pēc padarītā. I.V.
Avots: http://nikitskij.livejournal.com/700297.html?media
Posted in Contemporary Society Problems | Leave a comment

Daniel Dennett: ‘The whole singularity stuff is distracting us from more pressing problems

We’re only just starting to wake up to the potential outcomes of the technology that we’re inventing but increasingly don’t understand. Human co-operation and trust aren’t givens. They’re the byproducts of a cultural process that can be reversed. And civilisation is far, far more fragile than any of us want to realise.

The real danger that’s facing us is we’ve lost respect for truth and facts. People have discovered that it’s much easier to destroy reputations for credibility than it is to maintain them. It doesn’t matter how good your facts are, somebody else can spread the rumour that you’re fake news. We’re entering a period of epistemological murk and uncertainty that we’ve not experienced since the middle ages.

Maybe people will now begin to realise that philosophers aren’t quite so innocuous after all. Sometimes, views can have terrifying consequences that might actually come true. I think what the postmodernists did was truly evil. They are responsible for the intellectual fad that made it respectable to be cynical about truth and facts. You’d have people going around saying: “Well, you’re part of that crowd who still believe in facts.”

But in your latest book, you ask if civilisation can fail and conclude that it can. You say there’s a huge and present danger because the modern world has become too complex to fix. Does that have a different resonance now than when you wrote it?
I suppose it does. When I wrote it, I thought it would be a hard sell for a lot of people. Whereas now, well, we’re all facing it, aren’t we? My optimism is well surrounded by very pessimistic thoughts, which are in some way probably more realistic.

My friend Danny Hillis gave a TED talk where he pointed out that the vital services of the nation are much more dependent on the internet than they should be. If the internet went down, and a lot of people say it’s just a matter of time, it will probably take the power grid down, cellphones, radio, television – we’ll be plunged into electronic darkness. We’re not used to that. If you thought 9/11 was scary, this is going to be a tremendous panic-inducer. We should be planning what to do about that.

One of the big themes in my book is how up until recently, the world and nature were governed by competence without comprehension. Serious comprehension of anything is very recent, only millennia old, not even a million years old. But we’re now on the verge of moving into the age of post-intelligent design and we don’t bother comprehending any more. That’s one of the most threatening thoughts to me. Because for better or for worse, I put comprehension as one of my highest ideals. I want to understand everything. I want people to understand things. I love understanding things. I love explaining things to myself and to others. We’ve always had plenty of people who, for good reason, said, “Oh, don’t bother explaining to me how the car engine works, I don’t care. I just push the ignition and off I go.” What happens when we take that attitude towards everything?

More: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/12/daniel-dennett-politics-bacteria-bach-back-dawkins-trump-interview

Serious comprehension of anything (for the current moment) is impossible and we don’ t need it. We don’t need to understand everything, but only something we are specialized in. But we do need to comprehend the whole system, our existence and values. If we will not manage our existence on a big scale, we are doomed. I.V. 

Posted in Are We doomed?, Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

U.S. Panel Endorses Designer Babies to Avoid Serious Disease

Since its invention four years ago, a powerful and precise technology for editing DNA called CRISPR has transformed science because of how it makes altering the genetic makeup of plants and animals easier than ever before.

But no possibility opened by gene-editing technology has been so exciting, frightening, or as hotly contested as its capacity to allow humanity, for the first time, to control the genetic constitution of children by applying CRISPR to human embryos, sperm, or eggs—cells which together make up the “germ line.”

On Tuesday, in a striking acknowledgement that humanity is on the cusp of genetically modified children, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s source of blue-ribbon advice on science policy, recommended that germ-line modification of human beings be permitted in the future in certain narrow circumstances to prevent the birth of children with serious diseases.

More: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603633/us-panel-endorses-designer-babies-to-avoid-serious-disease/?set=603688

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Misticism on a full scale or COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS

The assertion means that we humans, or we who are conscious beings, are significantly intertwined with what physicists call the physical universe, which they assert is “living” and “conscious,” and responds to human minds. That “the universe” affects humans is of course indisputable, but that human existence changes the universe in some significant manner is not an idea most scientists would accept.

More: http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/cosmic-consciousness-and-the-ptolemaic-principle/

It is very very simple. They write and speak about the information between humans and the environment but don’t say a word about the physical environment the information is stored, recorded, transmitted. I.V. 

Posted in Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

Carl Sagan: We Humans Are Capable Of Greatness

Videos Every thinking human being has to watch. And know and live with it.

Posted in Happiness and Quality of Life, Human Evolution, Understand and Manage Ourselves, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

IN MEMORIAM: CARL SAGAN

Carl Sagan (Nov. 9 1934 - Dec. 20, 1996)

On a Plea for Tolerance

We have held the peculiar notion that a person or society that is a little different from us, whoever we are, is somehow strange or bizarre, to be distrusted or loathed. Think of the negative connotations of words like alien or outlandish. And yet the monuments and cultures of each of our civilizations merely represent different ways of being human. An extraterrestrial visitor, looking at the differences among human beings and their societies, would find those differences trivial compared to the similarities. The Cosmos may be densely populated with intelligent beings. But the Darwinian lesson is clear: There will be no humans elsewhere. Only here. Only on this small planet. We are a rare as well as an endangered species. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.
—“Who Speaks for Earth?,” Cosmos

More: https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/#all/1591b4666eb01d7f

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Without Poetry We are Dead: With It We Die Living

By Edward Curtin, February 15 2017

Most Americans dislike poetry, or at least are indifferent to it. That is probably an understatement. We live in an age of prose, of journalese, and advertising jingles. Poetry, the most directly indirect, mysterious, condensed, and passionate form of communication, is about American as socialism or not shopping. Unlike television, texting, or scrolling the Internet, it demands concentration; that alone makes it suspect. Add silent, calm surroundings and a contemplative mind, and you can forget it, which is what most people do. Silence, like so much else in the present world, including human beings, is on the endangered species list. Another rare bird—let’s call it the holy spirit of true thought—is slowly disappearing from our midst.

More: http://www.globalresearch.ca/without-poetry-we-are-dead-with-it-we-die-living/5574992

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Energy Multipler Fast Neutron Breeder Reactor

In this post I will be providing a basic overview of the General Atomic fast neutron breeder reactor. There has been somewhat of a renaissance in Nuclear Engineering and the Energy Multipler (EM2) is a very interesting example of some of the new and innovative designs now in progress. In my view this is the most promising of these new design offerings.

Basic Overview

Like all nuclear reactors EM2 generates electrical energy by producing heat. The EM2 utilizes the Brayton cycle, the same cycle used in gas turbines and turbojet engines. This allows for a significantly higher thermal efficiency than achievable in the normally used Rankine cycle.  Below is a simplified diagram of this design.

The basic principle is simple. EM2 is a fast neutron nuclear reactor, hence has no moderator to slow down the neutron flux to thermal energies. This allows breeding of new fuel with a factor greater than one from the fertile elements, Uranium and Thorium. In the EM 2 design this capability allows the reactor to operate for 30 years without re fueling and without fuel reshuffling the fuel rods. This offers a very important cost saving feature of this design The general design is not that different than a fossil fuel gas turbine.

However, the role of combustors has been replaced by the nuclear core and unlike fossil fueled gas turbines we have a closed gas system.  Hot gas (Helium) flows out the reactor into the turbine portion of a turbo engine. This gas is at 850 degrees C (1562 F) and a pressure of 13.1 Mpa (1900 PSI). The exhaust of the turbine flows into the tube side of the recuperator heat exchanger. The cooled gas flows into shell side of the precooler heat exchanger to get the Helium to a low enough temperature to allow efficient compression by the turbo engine compressor. The compressed gas flow out the compressor into the shell side of the recuperator heat exchanger recovering some of the energy lost to allow efficient compression and then into the inlet of the nuclear reactor.

If the EM2 is cited where there is a river, lake or ocean ultimate heat sink, it’s possible to extract additional useable energy by including an organic Rankine cycle. This cycle utilizes an organic liquid with a low enough boiling point to undergo a phase change at a fairly low temperature to drive an additional turbine. The nuclear reactor produces a design maximum thermal power of 500 MW, resulting in a 240 MWe output in the Brayton cycle generator and 25 MWe in the Rankine cycle generator giving an overall efficiency of 53%.

Both generators are Asynchronous permanent magnet three phase generators. This allows them to be high speed which is especially important for the Brayton cycle. These generators are coupled to the AC grid using Load Commutator Inverters. (LCI) These convert the high frequency generator output to DC and then invert it to grid compatible AC.  (To digress, LCI inverters are somewhat different the inverters I posted on previously. They don’t use seg fire mode for wave shaping, they depend on the load to wave shape. They therefore are able to use SCR switches rather than IGFETS because they don’t need switching off capability. However, when LCI units are used to drive an electric motor they need to feed into a reactive generator to have a wave shaping source. Therefore they can only drive synchronous motors. However at startup they must implement a seg fire mode by turning the source side AC to DC converter on and off)

The Reactor Core

The EM2 core utilizes a fuel composed of Uranium Carbide which has a melting point of 2350 degrees C. ( 4262 F ) This fuel is clad with Silicone carbide which is physically stable up 2730 Degrees C ( 4946 F) This is far higher than current reactor designs. Also the cladding used can never be a source of hydrogen as is the case for light water reactors. The fuel is enriched to an average of 6.5 % (5.5-15%) with the lower enrichment at the edge of the fuel assembly. The core contains a large quantity of fertile isotope and EM2 can use both a Thorium and Uranium fuel cycle. If the fuel utilized is reprocessed spent fuel no uranium enrichment is required. EM2 has a 97% fuel utilization, equal or better than LFTR.

Reactor control utilizes control rods and rotating core barrels around the core made of 90 % enriched Boron 10- carbide which has a melting point of 2763 C. (5005 F).  To insure maximum neutron economy the control rods are fully withdrawn during reactor operation and reactivity control rests solely with the core barrels.

In order to use core barrels the EM2 reactor is designed to require reflected neutrons to achieve criticality. This is accomplished by the relativity low enrichment for a fast neutron reactor. The core is surrounded by a Beryllium oxide reflector.  The core barrel can rotate its Beryllium oxide surface or Boron carbide surface to control reactivity. The Beryllium Oxide has a melting temperature of 2100 C. (3812 F)

Achieving a 30 year refueling cycle is accomplished by having a large fertile Uranium or Thorium core load and a system to remove fission product gasses from the fuel during power operation. The Uranium Carbide fuel is porous to fission product gasses and the fuel rod design is annular, so fission product gasses can collect in the center void in the fuel rod to be removed by a Fission gas trapping system. This fission gas removal has two advantages, the removal of this gas prevents fuel swelling and deformation, a process that limits fuel life in other nuclear reactors and the fission gas isotopes have large neutron absorption cross sections. This improves the neutron economy helping to achieve a 30 year fuel load.

Reactor Safety

There is no source of energy that is 100 % risk free. Risk is the price we must pay to have the benefits of technology. The only reasonable question that can be asked is if the risk is low enough in proportion to the benefit. In my opinion, assuming the correctness of the current safety analysis and a demonstrated need for an energy source beside renewable energy sources the answer is yes for EM2.

Nuclear power plants present all the same risks as other sources of energy. But they also a present a special risk that is unique. This is the risk of a large scale radioactive material release to the environment. I hope to show that for EM 2 this risk is low enough to make this design an attractive option to generate power from nuclear energy.

There are two different types of events that cause a large scale release of radioactive material into the environment. These are a prompt criticality accident and a core meltdown due to loss of reactor cooling and the presence of decay heat.

Prompt Criticality accident

To understand this risk a little physics is needed.

Reactor Kinematics

To understand the nuclear process, a basic description of the neutron chain reaction is needed. Some perhaps unfamiliar terms will need to be introduced. These are;

Microscopic cross section, This parameter relates to the probability that a neutron will be absorbed by a given nucleus. It is not a constant, it can be affected in somewhat complex ways by the energy of the nucleus and the neutron. The units for this parameter is area.

Number density N, This parameter is the value of the density of a given micro entity.  Its units are atoms/ unit volume.

Macroscopic cross section. This parameter relates the probability that a neutron will be absorbed by a given collection of atoms.  Its value is given by Eq 1

With units of atom/unit distance. Flux (Neutron generally)

This is the produce of the number density and mean velocity. Its units are neutrons/Unit area- second.

Reaction rate R. This is given by; Eq 2

With units of interactions/ Unit volume – time interval  Geometric Buckling

This parameter represents the geometry of the critical assembly, for our purposes we can think of it as the ratio of the effective surface area and volume of the critical assembly, though its calculation is somewhat complex for a nuclear reactor core.

The neutron multiplication factor.This is the ratio of the number of neutrons in one generation and the number of neutrons in the previous generation.

Reactivity. This is the parameter that defines the degree of departure from criticality and is given by; Eq 4

Reactor Period, The time it takes the reactor to change in power by a factor of e.

Delayed Neutron fraction

In the fission process, most neutrons used to support the chain reaction are released during the fission event. However, for a select group of fission products, additional neutrons are released during the beta decay process.  This occurs because in some cases the neutron rich fission product is an excited state, which causes it to emit a neutron rather than a gamma photon as it falls back to a less excited state.  In defining the overall neutron generation time, we must average over all the neutrons that are needed to sustain fission. These delayed neutrons make the neutron generation time long enough to allow control of the chain reaction. A reactor must be designed to avoid having so much reactivity that these delayed neutrons are not needed. Such a condition is called prompt critical and is fatal for almost any reactor.   By summing over the sources of neutrons used to sustain the nuclear reaction we get the mean generation time Eq 5A &5B

Where are number of precursor atoms and  are number of prompt neutrons per generation

A closely related term is delayed neutron fraction which is given by Eq 6

Except in cases of very rapid power changes these terms are essentially equal to each other and will be considered so here.

Effective Delayed fraction

Normally this value is somewhat higher than the delayed neutron fraction because delayed neutrons are born at a lower energy and therefore more likely to avoid escape or absorption by non-fuel materials.  However, in a fast breeder there is very little neutron energy lost in the neutron cycle. So for fast breeder reactors the effective delayed neutron fraction tends to be smaller.

Power level of the reactor is given by: Eq 7

Where’ Eq 8

For all value of reactivity less than Here is the Delayed neutron precursor decay fraction, which is the ratio of precursor atoms that decay within a given time and all precursor atoms. This value ranges generally from 0.08 steady state, 0.1 for increasing power and 0.05 for decreasing power.

For values of reactivity greater than  the equation is; Eq 9

Where  the cycle time is equal to  sec We can easily see the problem here. If we can somehow get enough positive reactivity the exponential rate of power increase becomes uncontrollable. This is what happened at the Chernobyl and SL1 accidents.

Nuclear reactors can explode. They can’t explode like a nuclear bomb, they disassemble too fast, but they can release enough energy to breech any containment. So how does EM2 stack up concerning this risk? Well it can never explode the way Chernobyl did. This is because when the reactor power is sufficient to increase the fuel temperature, which is called above the point of adding heat, the natural processes of the reactor adds negative reactivity, making prompt criticality impossible to achieve.

However, what about reactor operation below the point of adding heat, the situation that occurred at SL1. Here EM2 has no advantage over any other reactor and in fact except for the special case of the TRIGA reactor, no other nuclear reactor is immune from this risk. So how large a risk is this. Very small. This type of accident can only occur at reactor start up and during reactor start up highly redundant safety systems and rigorous procedures prevent such an event.  I can go into more detail on this for those interested but I won’t here.

Reactor Meltdown

When a Nuclear reactor is shut down, the chain reaction is stopped, but the reactor core does not stop producing heat.

Decay Heat. The power level of a shutdown nuclear reactor can be calculated by summing over all the fission product isotopes decaying. Each isotope adds energy, with the shorter have life isotopes contributing the most energy. Eq 10

Summing over all the fission products we get; Immediately after Shut Down 6.5% total of the average power over the history of the reactor before shutdown.

One hour after shutdown 1.5% of average power before shutdown

One day after shutdown 0.4% of average power before shutdown

One week after shutdown 0.2% of average power before shutdown

After one week the fall off in decay heat is very slow, the spent fuel will produce just under 0.2% for years.

So how does EM2 cope with this issue? First we will look at the case where the load is lost (generator trip) and all the reactor shutdown systems fail. Given that these are highly redundant systems that need no power to operate this is very unlikely event. Under these conditions the reactor core would rapidly heat up.  However, because the EM2 core can reach such a high temperature before any fuel damage occurs this design can utilize the change of core geometry to shut down the chain reaction.  In this design a geometric reactivity factor becomes important. Looking at the core the probability of neutron escape is given by; Eq 11

Where is a constant based on core design that is less than one and is the mean free path of a neutron through the core. This is based on the geometry of the core and is given by approximately; Eq 12

Where V and A are volume and surface area. So that; Eq13

Giving us; Eq 14

This factor becomes small enough to terminate the chain reaction before the fuel temperature reaches its meltdown temperature. However, this doesn’t account for decay heat which does not shutdown when the chain reaction stops. Therefore the EM2 reactor incorporates a Direct Reactor Auxiliary Cooling System.

DRACS

A very simplified diagram of DRACS is below.

The operation of this system is simple. For normal operation this is an active system using blowers and pumps to effect the cooling of the reactor core. (There are two redundant DRACS in the EM2 design) However upon complete loss of power, valves and dampers automatically position to allow the reactor to cool by a natural convection process. This is sufficient to prevent the core from exceeding its maximum design temperature due to decay heat. However, consideration of a loss of coolant accident, that is the rupture of the primary system must be considered. This is easily demonstrated by looking at the thermodynamic relationships in the cooling process. We see that approximately we can use the equation’ Eq 15

Where heat transfer rate, is the mass flow rate and  are the Helium and Fuel temperature and is a constant based on the heat exchangers parameters.  For natural circulation flow we have; Eq 16

Here P is coolant pressure. Therefore, a loss of pressure can reduce the coolant mass flow rate causing a higher fuel temperature. If the coolant pressure dropped to atmospheric from its operating pressure of 13.1 Mpa fuel temperature would exceed safe limits. This problem can be dealt with in two ways or a combination of these two ways.  One is to limit the containment volume which limits the lowest pressure the coolant will reach on a primary system rupture. However, the external equipment installation makes this a challenge. Therefore this can be augmented by using an inert gas to pressurize the containment volume. This has the disadvantage that the reactor must be shut down and cooled before any maintenance can be performed inside the  containment , but given the design of this reactor this should only occur rarely.

This has been a rather broad stroke description of EM2. But I think this gives some basic understanding of this design and its innovative features

 

Posted in Scientific Publications, Abstracts & URL's | Leave a comment

Latvijas iekšējās drošības galvenais drauds

Jau pirms vairākiem gadiem rakstīju, ka noziegumu atklāšanā un izmeklēšanā un iztiesāšanā valda liela apjoma haoss, nenoteiktība un neskaidrības. 2016.gada februāra raidījumā “Tieša runa” sarunās apstiprinājās, ka tā pati situācija no gada uz gadu, desmitiem gadu nemainās vai mainās nenozīmīgi. Diemžēl raidījumā neizskanēja praktiski neviens kaut cik vērā ņemams viedoklis, kas un kā jādara, lai sakārtotu sistēmu. Tika runāts par izmeklēšanas problēmām, bet nedzirdējām atbildi vai ierosinājumus, kas nopietni jādara, lai policijā nodrošinātu noziedzīgu nodarījumu izmeklēšanas kvalitāti, novērstu korupciju.

Par katastrofālu stāvokli izmeklēšanā un iztiesāšanā jau 25 gadus notiek viena un tā pati gaušanās, augstākās amatpersonas par patiesām problēmām nopietni nerunā un nevēlas runāt, kamēr parādīsies politiskā griba kārtot lietas, kā pienākas, un tiks noteikts ar likumu, kas un kā jāreformē (reformai līdzekļi nav jāmeklē, tikai jāpārdala).

Bieži vien var sastapties ar izteicieniem, ka dažāda ranga priekšnieki vienkārši neļauj labi strādāt. Tam ir dažādi pamatoti iemesli, tajā skaitā tas, ka priekšnieki iejaucas svarīgākās lietās un nosaka ar likumu piešķirto „procesa virzību”.

Kā var runāt par kvalitāti, ja faktiski izmeklētāju institūts kā tāds neeksistē. Kā tā, jocīgs secinājums, jautās – kas tad izmeklē lietas vai, kā to sauc tagad, – kas izmeklē procesus, ja nav izmeklētāju. Atbildu, izmeklētāji nav izmeklētāji, bet tikai procesa virzītāji: ja vienlaicīgi vienā lietā ir daudz par daudz „procesa virzītāju”, grūti izvērtēt, kurš „šuva mēteli”, kurš „pogas”, tātad tā nav izmeklēšana. Izmeklēšana kā tāda ir sagrauta – padarīta par vadāmu un manipulējamu, sadrumstalota, bezatbildīga.

Izmeklēšanā valda shēma: „izmeklētājs” jau ierosinātu kriminālizmeklēšanu vai reģistrētu materiālu (atvainojos – procesu; process pošol) no policijas priekšnieka saņem ar rezolūciju un norādījumiem, ko un kā darīt.

Raidījumā tika izteikts, ka nav kvalificētu izmeklētāju. Linda Mūrniece esot likvidējusi Policijas akadēmiju. Arī par prokuroriem saka to pašu, ka nav kadru, kas var izmeklēt svarīgas lietas. Pagājuši 25 gadi, un „nav” kvalificētu kadru? Un vēl 25 gadus nebūs kvalificētu izmeklētāju un prokuroru, kamēr Krimināllikums un Kriminālprocesa likums būs tāds, kādu, manuprāt, uzrakstīja advokāti, tiesneši un prokurori savām vajadzībām un būs vadāmi izmeklētāji.

Vairāk: https://infoagentura.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/latvijas-ieksejas-drosibas-galvenais-drauds-tadu-izmekletaju-trukums-kuri-prot-veikt-izmeklesanu-un-kuriem-prokurori-un-tiesa-prieksnieciba-to-lauj-darit/

Problēma nenoliedzami ir, bet tā ir plašāka: Visur dominē cilvēku daba. Radīt sistēmu, kas uzrauga, ierobežo primātu izpausmes, ir grūts uzdevums, kurš daļēji atrisināts dažās attīstītās valstīs. Šos uzdevumus dažādas tautas risina gadiem ilgi, un to risināšanā jāpiedalās visai sabiedrībai. Mēs varam tikai gribēt un vēlēties, lai tie, kam nav iemācīta valoda, tajā runātu. Bērniem runāto valodu iemāca dažu gadu laikā, bet pieaugušajiem tas notiek ilgāk un grūtāk.

Īstuma, patiesības un vērtību valodu iemācīt tiem, kas to nav saņēmuši bērnībā, praktiski nav iespējams. Jo tā ir daudz smalkāka valoda. 

Vairāk par to pašu Rita Aksenoka žurnālā ‘Ieva’ 2017. 8. martā: … “man ļoti sāp sirds, kā vēlāk Prokuratūrā viss izmainījās. Mums radās sabiedrības elite, virsslānis, ko veidoja Saeimas deputāti, ministri, Augstākās tiesas priekšsēdētājs, ģenerālprokurors. Viņiem gribējās būt gudriem, vareniem un – lai notiktu tā, kā viņi uzskata par pareizu. Prokuratūrā darbā pieņēma cilvēkus, kas nevarēja tās lietas pavilkt. Bija cilvēki, kas, nonākuši amatos, ļoti pārvērtās. Ap viņiem izveidojās kodols no ne tiem labākajiem, uzpeldēja pielīdēji, pašlabuma meklētāji. Tie, kas gribēja strādāt šauram savējo lokam, nevis atbildīgi un godīgi, lai tautai un valstij būtu labāk. Izjutu, ka esmu kļuvusi neērta un mani grib dabūt pie malas. Izskanēja priekšlikums, ka mani prokuratūrā nevajadzētu. Aizgāju projām 1995. gadā, kad pieņēma jauno Prokuratūras likumu, un es sapratu, ka tajā daudzi punkti tika iestrādāti pašiem sev un kādam noteiktam cilvēku lokam.”

Un vēl: “Mums šobrīd ir katastrofāls morāles sabrukums. Kad paskatos, ko raksta dzeltenā prese un rāda dažādi televīzijas šovi, rodas sajūta, ka mums ir tikai attiecības. Pirmās attiecības, otrās attiecības, trešās… Es nezinu, vai mīlestība vairs ir tikai attiecības, vai laulību arī tagad sauc par attiecībām? Visās paliek bērni, un viņi taču ir morāli traumēti. Kādi viņi izaugs morālu vērtību izkropļotā sabiedrībā? Šovi, kuros bučojas svešinieki, precas svešinieki – tā taču ir pilnīga morāles degradācija! Divpadsmit trīspadsmit gadu vecumā jau ir attiecības un sekss. Tādās attiecībās jau tajā vecumā klāt nāk arī alkohols, narkotikas. ..Vardarbība ģimenē, mātes, kas dzer un bērnus atstāj mājās vienus, – tā jau kļuvusi ikdienas ziņu tēma. Man ir skumji, ka latviešiem morāles kritēriji ir sašķobījušies, ka stabila ģimene vairs nav vērtība.” 

Posted in Human Evolution, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Coming Soon to a City Near You

By John W. Whitehead
February 13, 2017

“Our current and past strategies can no longer hold. We are facing environments that the masters of war never foresaw. We are facing a threat that requires us to redefine doctrine and the force in radically new and different ways. The future army will confront a highly sophisticated urban-centric threat that will require that urban operations become the core requirement for the future land-force. The threat is clear. Our direction remains to be defined. The future is urban.”— “Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,” a Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command

The U.S. military plans to take over America by 2030.

No, this is not another conspiracy theory. Although it easily could be.

Nor is it a Hollywood political thriller in the vein of John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May about a military coup d’etat.

Although it certainly has all the makings of a good thriller.

No, this is the real deal, coming at us straight from the horse’s mouth.

According to “Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,” a Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. military plans to use armed forces to solve future domestic political and social problems.

What they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.

The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made availableonline, paints an ominous picture of the future—a future the military is preparing for—bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.

More: https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/#inbox/15a397013fa1c897

This is not for the common citizen. The staff is only for those who know, can understand and evaluate more than is written. Accept less and think more. I.V. 

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10 Steps for Getting Over Humiliation

I doubt that anyone gets through life without ever feeling utterly humiliated. But what should you do when it happens to you?Humiliation can feel so intensely painful and debilitating that advice for dealing with it may seem futile. Maybe in those early moments, it is hard to do anything but wallow in your own distress, but there are some useful tips out there.

More: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201402/10-steps-getting-over-humiliation?collection=143589

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Skaistums

 

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Skaistums

More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vvDV2kYNNY

 

Posted in Are We doomed?, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment