Monthly Archive: January 2020

SETI and METI

With the recent discoveries from planet searches–Kepler, etc.–it is clear that habitable planets are fairly common. The parameters of the Drake equation are filling in, and making it look likely there are many planets with life in the galaxy. So how to resolve the Fermi Paradox?

One possibility is that while life is common, intelligent life or technological civilization is rare. Certainly, there are no good estimates for this. But let’s assume that this is not the barrier, that say, 1:1000 planets with life develop a technological civilization.

Going past the existence of intelligent life, space is quite big. Likely FTL is impossible. Slower than light travel is expensive, slow, and difficult. So let’s assume everyone stays close to their home star.

How difficult is communication? Reception is fairly easy, but how expensive is transmission? How strong does a signal have to be to get received at 1000 light years, 100k light years? How much energy does it take? Also, the only stars that ‘count’ as communicating are those that can keep it up for a long time–100k, 1M years. Long enough for extended back and forth messaging.

The only potential communication partners we have–stars we can find by searching for messages (SETI)–are those with an active Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) program. That is, technological civilizations that have a long term program sending messages to all the nearby stars

You can run the Fermi numbers and get a reasonable chance there is a communication partner within 10k light years, but the conversation would still be slow, so the effort required is great.

Quid pro quo with a turn around time of 2X light years is very slow. So what form of communication is the most reasonable strategy? I doubt star ‘A’ wants to send a short message, and wait for a reply, leaving the channel closed 99.99%+ of the time. And yet if the star ‘B’ on the other end stops reciprocating, you don’t know for a long, long time.

Links for January 2020

Money Laundering 101 byCZEdwards

Building Prototypes Part 4 of 18 (video) by Dan GelbartMachine Shop 1 (video) by Henrik Bak HeydeEverything We Know About Birds That Glow. Owls, puffins, and lots of other flying friends exhibit fascinating patterns under blacklights. by Cara Giaimo

Can intelligence be changed? by Martin Lövdén
Broad cognitive abilities, narrow cognitive abilities, General crystallized intelligence (gc), and general fluid intelligence (gf)

The Progressive’s Guide to Corporate Democrat Speak by Richard J. Eskow

How Political Fact-Checkers Distort the Truth: Glenn Kessler and his ilk aren’t sticking to the facts. They’re promoting a moderate dogma. by Alex Pareene

Inside the Secret List of Demands Warren Gave Hillary: The Massachusetts senator pressured Clinton to stock her administration with officials very different than Obama’s team. by ALEX THOMPSON

For The Win (3rd Ed.) is field-tested to help even the smallest counties assemble a high-energy GOTV program with little money and limited computer skills. by Tom Sullivan

2016 Timeline: The future of driverless cars, from Audi to Volvo.
All these companies have blown the timelines. Very little progress since 2016!

UCHealth: Making pseudoscientific claims about acupuncture. by Orac. Shame on U of Colorado!

Michael Hudson: The Vocabulary of Economic Deception
by Yves Smith
“The income tax was a basic reform back in 1913. Only 1% of Americaís population had to pay the tax. Most were tax-free, because the aim was to tax the rentiers who lived off their bond or stock holdings, real estate or monopolies. The solution was simply to tax the wealthiest 1% or 2% instead of labor or industry, that is, the companies that actually produced something.”

Machine Shop 1 (video) by Henrik Bak Heyde
Building Prototypes Part 4 of 18 (video) by Dan Gelbart
Lathe info by BlondiHacks

“The Trials of Nina McCall” by Scott Stern
“The American Plan. The forgotten initiative had resulted over several decades in the detainment of perhaps 100,000 women or more around the country, all on the mere suspicion of carrying STIs. Many of the women were imprisoned – usually without due process – and forced to undergo painful treatments, typically injections of mercury or arsenic.”

ARS Culture Collection (NRRL) “The ARS Culture Collection is one of the largest public collections of microorganisms in the world, containing approximately 98,000 isolates of bacteria and fungi. The collection is housed within the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois.” Many beer yeasts!

Whole Foods is selling dangerous anti-vaccine propaganda in its checkout aisles. by Maddie Stone
Whole Foods carries the Well Being Journal, magazine that publishes anti-vax articles.

Precious Plastic v4 launch. Complete plastic recycling system.
How To Be a Nonconformist 1968 hand drawn pamphlet by by Elissa Jane Karg
IBM pitched its Watson supercomputer as a revolution in cancer care. It’s nowhere close. by Casey Ross

A polyploid admixed origin of beer yeasts derived from European and Asian wine populations.

Ale strains and the S. cerevisiae portion of allotetraploid lager strains were derived from admixture between populations closely related to European grape wine strains and Asian rice wine strains. Similar to both lager and baking strains, ale strains are polyploid, providing them with a passive means of remaining isolated from other populations and providing us with a living relic of their ancestral hybridization…

Serenity — Outtakes
Math 101: A Reading List for Lifelong Learners
-Mostly pop science math books. No one today needs to read Euclid.