Absolutes Are Evil

Friday, August 28, 2009

Injecting True Goo into a presta valve

Background: True Goo is a liquid you put in tires to prevent (not usually repair) flats. If a hole is punctured, the True Goo fills it in quickly so most of the time you never even know about the hole. I was in desperate mode this evening fixing a big blow-out before tomorrow's mountain biking and the only open store doesn't have the Presta valve tubes with the True Goo already in them.

I read several posts mentioning that unless you have one of the rare Presta valves where the valve core can be removed, injecting True Goo is a messy, arduous process. Having been warned, I tried to figure out a better way.

The first problem is that the little rubber tube provided with the True Goo is the size of a Schrader valve opening; the Presta stem is considerably smaller, so just putting the tube over the stem and squeezing is probably what led to the stories of mess and sorrow. To overcome this, I took a small rubber band and wrapped it around the Presta stem several times, forming a nice rubber gasket. With this in place, the rubber hose from the True Goo bottle fit snugly and I could tell that leaking wouldn't be a significant problem.

The next problem, however, is the dynamics of the Presta valve in the presence of liquid. The strange thing about the Presta valve is that when in the unscrewed state the little nut will prevent flow when either pushed in (due to the nut blocking the entrance) or when out very far (due to the valve inside). This results in there being a sweet spot, somewhere in the middle, where a small amount of liquid might be able to penetrate. Getting the valve apparatus to stay in the sweet spot is the challenge. I didn't really come up with something great for this, frankly because I was impatient, and I did have a system that was working, though inconsistently and slowly. The system was to squeeze in some liquid until it didn't feel like any was flowing. I then would tip the bottle down and squeeze in some air. This would jog the stem until I had it in a better position. I then repeated. It took about 10 minutes perhaps to put the prescribed 4oz of fluid in. If I were to try to solve the valve problem more elegantly, I think I would try a thin wire and wrap it around the base of the nut and around the stem to try to regulate the space. The wire from a twisty (extracted from the plastic housing) might just do it.

Anyway, I'm happy to announce that I didn't spill a single drop. The Goo only got on the valve stem and that's it. Hope this helps someone.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Obamanomics: The Hidden Agenda

This is an excellent lecture on the consequences of Obama's financial policies. If you have a business, you will especially want to pay attention:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Still fighting the same battles...

Step with me back to the Great Depression, 1937. A popular radio voice, Charles Coughlin speaks words that seem just as relevant today:
What of democracy as well as what of capitalism?
Oh, capitalism shall
never again flourish as once it did. Capitalism has been almost taxed out of
existence in an effort to meet the coupons and the bonds, in an effort to meet
the dole system that is absolutely unnecessary in a country of our
Somebody must be blamed, of course. But those in power always
forget to blame themselves. They always forget to read the Constitution of the
United States of America that says, “Congress has the power to issue and
regulate the value of money.” And blinding their eyes to that as they protect
the private issuance of money and the private fixation of money, we are going
merrily on our way.
Perhaps, perhaps another ambassador from another foreign
capital shall come upon the scene. Perhaps, despite the advice of Washington of
no foreign entanglements, despite the passage of the Jansen Act, which forbids
us to lend money to those who already have borrowed it and who have not returned
their loans, perhaps despite those things, some way, some miraculous way shall
be found to project America into the next maelstrom. And democracy once more,
thinking that it has power within its soul, shall rise up to clap and applaud,
because the youth of the land is going abroad to make the world safe for what?
Safe for dictatorship? Safe against communism abroad when we have communism at
home? Safe from socialism in France when we have socialism in America? Or safe,
safe for the international bankers?
I ask you to think seriously of your
decisions last November. You have asked for the New Deal that is an ancient deal
in all its finance. You have what you asked for. I ask you to abide by your
decision. You have been warned a thousand times. Those who warned you should now
bow their heads. Even though truth be on their side, you have paid the price,
democratic America. And now it is your turn to bear the burden in silence like
men keeping America safe for democracy.
Good evening. God bless you.

Friday, May 01, 2009

What the bleep do we know!?

I finally got around to watching the movie What the Bleep Do We Know. The movie combines an interview style documentary with a rich, highly visual drama. The movie was interesting, well made, and even funny and entertaining at parts. The authors of course arrange everything to present their world-view, which was certainly provocative in part. For the most part, however, the ideas resonated well with my beliefs including the ideas:
  • Science has it's limits and we must find meaning at a higher level
  • We are here, in our present state, in a form of Godly infancy progressing towards a higher form of Godliness.
  • We must learn to overcome our body, it's addictions and cravings.
  • We must overcome guilt and find a place where we don't desire to do destructive things to begin with.
  • We are all connected in subtle, yet powerful ways.

Some things that I was fascinated by included:

  • The discussion of how we can have a tangible affect on reality through our thoughts/faith. Don't expect this to be scientifically proven anytime soon though.
  • The observation that we can perceive back in time but not forward, or simply that things somehow move one direction in time.

It's a stretch that the conclusions they drew were necessarily derivable from quantum mechanics as the film's interviewees imply. Instead, what conclusions they might have gotten right are probably laws that naturally surface through the search for truth as we hit the borders of what science understands. Because of these borders, science is and always will be ultimately based on belief at some level. In other words, the foundation of science, as much as we may delude ourselves to believe is based on absolutes and facts, is in fact founded on philosophy and faith. Consider, for instance, the idea we all take for granted that a mathematical formula can somehow reflect reality. When not taken for granted, this fundamental idea becomes enigmatic. Why is it that using numbers, we can make such accurate models of reality? Is there something about nature itself that is somehow a numerical manifestation?

The point is that science, as useful a tool as it is, isn't the best place to find an answer to the question that we most care about: what is the meaning of our existence? Science cannot assign meaning to things, it can only describe and model things. The illusion of meaning coming from science is only the humanity of the scientists themselves showing through. Science in it's purest form is cold and meaningless. We humans infuse science with meaning; think watching "I Love Lucy" on a heartless machine made of metal, glass, and plastic. Humans thrive on purpose and meaning, not because it serves some evolutionary cause, but because we are at a higher level of consciousness than mere evolutionary machines. It is meaning that makes us so alive and gives us our spark of Godliness.

This movie reminded me somewhat of David Hawkins' levels of consciousness.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Fractional Reserve Banking - clever economic tool, or diluted racket?

Fractional reserve banking is often understood as the bank being able to loan out more than it has on reserves. The belief is that the bank receives money from deposits and lends that money out, therefore they don’t have all of the money deposited. What many people, even those quite familiar with economic matters don’t seem to realize is that it is not just the money that is on deposit with banks that is being lent; it is 10 times that amount or more. In essence, banks are able to lend money into existence. Banks literally create most of the money they lend, which is how money enters our economy. The converse is also true though; the money that is paid back on loans disappears, though the bank keeps the interest. If you were a bank that had $25,000 you could lend someone the $250,000 they needed to purchase a house. At the end of the loan period you’ve earned perhaps $200,000 in interest on an initial outlay of $25,000. Actually due to amortization you’ve earned most of that in the first part of the loan duration.

This creation and destruction of money is why the “fed interest rate” is tied to inflation, because money is created through lending. The theory is that increasing the rate decreases the consumer’s desire to borrow, therefore decreasing the money supply (less money is created, more is destroyed as it is paid back). As you probably know, the inflation, deflation vacillation is often called the business cycle. Each time money is inflated the economy experiences short-term growth followed by increased prices. When money deflates, a recession results but prices increase. One might wonder, if the fed can control the rate, than why not keep things balanced and avoid the reactionary cycle? Keep in mind, however, that ultimately the inflation or deflation is decided by the loan consumers, which are speculative in nature. Also, allegedly, the banks have little interest in balance as they may profit each time the economy traverses the cycle, and don't forget the political factors.

Another interesting facet of the system is where the “reserves” that banks must keep come from. Basically these are lent into existence. Until the 1970s, the reserves were gold. In current times, however, the reserves come mostly from credit. Some are from deposited money which you may note originate from other people’s loans. Some come from government bonds, which is where most of the national debt originated. Some comes from the Federal Reserve bank itself, which it loans into existence. Note that for a bank that holds stock in the Federal Reserve, borrowing money from the Fed may work out to something of a wash, especially when they can loan out 10 times what they borrow.

So, presently, a great deal of our money is manufactured by banks based on our national debt. Opponents of this system argue that ultimately it comes down to regulating supply and demand, and that the current system does a poor job due to multiple variables and private interests. Another argument against the system is that if the government can create money through debt, they could instead create it directly and not owe anyone. Arguments over these matters have raged for centuries, and the issue is probably much less settled than most people realize. The U.S. has gone back and forth between a private banking system and a federally controlled money system 3 times since its inception—a constant power struggle between private bankers and those that oppose them.

I’m sure you’ve heard the news and perhaps felt the effects of the rather large inflation the dollar is currently experiencing. The longer this cycle of inflation lasts, the worse it will be for the economy when it comes time to slow the inflation, so why does the fed interest rate remain low? I don’t know the answers, but based on what I am learning from the history of economics I am increasingly losing faith in the ability of a bunch of private bankers to look after our collective best interests.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Does anybody find this disturbing?

Check out this article on designer bacteria.

"The organisms can be designed to die as soon as they leave laboratory conditions."

Have we learned nothing about life?!  It does not behave like machines!

"For the first time, God has competition."

What they are doing just an extreme version of "tweaking" life. If somebody could create life from non-life, then perhaps they could make such currently ridiculous claims. Until then, they are just the dog breeders of bacteria.

I hope they are exercising more caution then their pompous tone suggests... they are treading on dangerous territory.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Started a wiki Grand Unified Theory list

I've started a list of GUTs on the wiki my brother runs. There is a daunting amount of work to be done there.