Monday, November 26, 2007
Where slovenliness is a fashion statement!
Perhaps it is the wives that push their spouses into what appears to be unwashed and unpressed outfits these days. Or, perhaps it is the typical laziness of men to want to look like they just got up from sleeping in their clothes, and to display an unshaven face all day. How did we manage to make bums look good and regular men look bad?
Tonight I scanned a catalog from a reputable store looking for pants and shirts. All of the pants were weird-looking, either shaped like jeans, or had drawstrings instead of a belt, or pre-killed to look old and worn--in which they succeeded. They appeared to me to be PJs in corduroy, not something to wear outside. The shirts were horrible, both in color and in looking like they had been shrunk in the wash and never pressed. And only $79!
Then I thought of shoes. The shoes on display were fit for a forester or a Dutch farmer, or not even that good because of the holes all over them. Crocs, I believe is their name. What an abomination for a shoe! So I turned to the coats, hoping to find one that I could wear on cold nights outside. There was a good selection of coats, in all the colors I like, so I spent some time to read the prospectus on them.
I am not used to paying $300 to $400 for a parka-like coat in these days of miracle fabrics and machine cutters, but that was all there was. Oh, they would keep you warm down to minus 30 F, which in my case would be a huge overkill. So I found some that came apart into three different coats as the temperature changes. This sounded nice, until I thought about it further. I go out in the afternoon wearing the light version, race back home to put on the next level as the sun goes down, and bulk it up to level three when I go out at 10 or 11 pm to walk the dogs. I would spend a lot of time just going home and changing the damn thing. The it dawned on me that the coats were as bad as the shirts and pants! They were all wrinkled and sloppy-looking, not like a $400 coat should look.
Later, as I was walking the dogs (in my old coat), I really looked at the men I encountered, noticing their coats, pants, shirts and shoes. It was as if they had just walked out of the pages of my catalog! Scruffy, unshaven, pants and shirts shrunken, bland colors, sloppy coats and crazy shoes--even sandals in November-- was all I could see. Or, as one guy went past, I noticed he had on loafers without socks. Every one of them seemed to have spent about $800 to $1,000 on their outfits, only to be readily mistaken for panhandlers.
The worse part of it is that they go to work like this! Not your old IBM blue suiters any more.
Does this degradation of clothing standards correlate with our loosened moral state?
Labels: Men's Clothes
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Say Bye Bye to the UN
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
A National Identification Card
What, pray tell, is wrong with having a high tech national identification card?
When this subject first came up, I took out my wallet and examined the cards I currently carry around. A driver's license with my SS number on it and my address and picture; my Medicare card and alternate insurance card; my honorable discharge card; three credit cards; my voter card; and sundry others, all painting a picture of my existence in the US. Through access to my credit reports, many companies and their employees can find out in great detail what I have been buying, how well I pay my bills, and on and on. If stopped by the police, I must show them my identification. If I want to fly overseas, I must show not only my driver's license, but also my passport, so airlines have a record of my flights too. TSA looks for my name on their no-fly list, which isn't there, so far! A number of services on line will research my background, the property I own, and many other facts recorded in databanks. The IRS can access my financial records , and the FBI or DOD can access my clearance records dating back to 1952 or 53, everywhere I have worked, and what I was paid.
So why would I object to being issued an identity card expressly for myself? The answer is I would not object at all. The government already has all the access they need about me if they are going rogue with the people, which I say is ridiculous. So it isn't a problem of lessened degrees of freedom.
But, it seems to me that it is a problem for those who want the US to have open borders and a flood of illegal immigrants coming into the nation and wandering all over the place. A really good ID card would be a great stopper to the illegals, so long as they cannot forge it adequately! That seems to be a technical problem we could solve.
Friday, November 09, 2007
A Working Idea for My Philosophy
The Information Content of Atoms and Molecules
Question 1: Do atoms, especially the lighter ones such as Hydrogen, carry excess information? Do heavier atoms carry excess information?
Question 2: In what manner do they carry excess information? What is the mechanism involved?
Question 3: We know that molecules have enormous excess information embedded in their structures, and we know in the case of DNA that it is encoded and algorithmic. Are there similar mechanisms at the level of the nucleus of atoms, or in the configuration and orbits of electrons, or both?
Question 4: Atoms form both heavier atoms and molecules in a myriad of ways, in particular to form the 92 elements of our makeup, during the period after the Big
Bang. What is the prescription for atom and molecule formation in the universe, and in particular DNA?
Question 5: Are atoms self-organizing as some molecules are—DNA for instance?
These are a few of the questions that I am attempting to formulate answers for from recent research. References would be helpful.
Question 6: Is the self-organizing principle really favorable to the mechanistic view of the origin of the universe, or is it a principle that must have an origin itself, and hence be favorable to the creation view?