Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Left hand does not know what left foot is doing...

BBC NEWS | Europe | Biofuel use 'increasing poverty

Oxfam says so-called green policies in developed countries are contributing to the world's soaring food prices, which hit the poor hardest.

The group also says biofuels will do nothing to combat climate change.

Oxfam is not exactly conservative, right side of the line, or even middle of the road. For them to point this out, is a breathtaking bit of honesty. Perhaps their motivation is disingenuous, but they are correct.

The point is sitting in between the two sides right in the middle of the road. We want combustible fuels, whether gasoline or not, and on the other end, they say no no no sticking my fingers in my ears lets all live in huts.

Okay, so why do we want combustible fuels? We want what they give. An energy storage mechanism that is dense, relatively safe, gives fast energy release on demand, and is easy to make a delivery and distribution infrastructure for.

That's it. So, if burning stuff isn't the greatest idea, then we need something that doesn't involve oxidation, but still stores energy at comparable densities with comparable ease and speed of release to usage.

We need not live in huts. We merely need to come up with an energy storage mechanism that fits the bill. Biofuels ain't it. Gas isn't. Grease in diesel engines, nope. Solid-state fusion battery systems might be. There's others. But biofuel production is driving livestock feed prices through the roof and if that keeps up, that cripples the entire meat industry altogether and that means McDonald's and so on as well as summer BBQs which while I am in favor of meat alternatives would mean a sudden economic crash as all those workers no longer have money for any meal.

The current crisis is multiply insidious like a coal seam fire, and we see it right there, and we're busy organizing a ping-pong tournament instead.

Astronomy Picture of the Day