Accusers will be dismissed as liars (Isaiah 54:17)

This prophet lived about 2700 years ago. How much longer must we wait for this to come to pass? I’m especially thinking of the new law in Texas that protects unborn children after their heartbeat is detected. Clever design of the law. But this prophecy is protection for those who accuse, not the accusers. The ESV puts it a little differently than Prof. Peterson’s paraphrase. “You shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.” The other parts of the prophecy sound good, too. Lord Jesus come quickly.

“Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied: I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise, Lay your foundations with sapphires, construct your towers with rubies, Your gates with jewels, and all your walls with precious stones. All your children will have God for their teacher— what a mentor for your children! You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, far from any trouble—nothing to fear! far from terror—it won’t even come close! If anyone attacks you, don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them, And if any should attack, nothing will come of it. I create the blacksmith who fires up his forge and makes a weapon designed to kill. I also create the destroyer— but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged. Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what God ’s servants can expect. I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.” God ’s Decree. — Isaiah 54:11–17 (MSG)

A brief introduction to the four levels of computing power and decentralization with mention of creativity tbch0409a

I’m sitting at my kitchen table in my southeast-facing nook, enjoying the view of Pikes Peak outside my window [1], writing on my mbike. That’s short for mind-bike, which is short for mind-bicycle, which is short for bicycle for the mind. I’m too lazy to research the quote. Whether or not he said it, and regardless of the context in which it was said, I’ll credit Steve Jobs with coining the description of a personal computer (PC) as a bicycle for the mind. If he said it, he said it in the earliest days of the PC, B.I. (Before the Internet), in the age of the ARPANET, of which I suspect Jobs was relatively ignorant because the ARPANET was not accessible from PCs. He was all about the PC. (Some say he invented it!) Modern mbikes unleash the power of the internet. An mbike is the third of four levels of computing power.

I have written before about the four levels of computing power. (Ducksearch it.) The lowest level is six cubic inches of wireless computing in an LGR, which is short for little glowing rectangle. Everyone else calls an LGR a phone, which is short for smartphone. I used to think I could live with three cubic inches. That was how tiny the first iPhone was. I have never owned an iPhone. Steve Jobs did not invent the smartphone. The Handspring Trēo was my first smartphone—which, remember, is an LGR—in 2003. I upgraded to a Palm Prē in 2009, still about three cubic inches. These days, now that Jobs is dead (it didn’t happen when he was alive because he was fixated on three cubic inches) at the lowest level, I need at least six cubic inches. An LG G7 suffices. It still fits in my pocket.

The highest level is defined simply by a maximum-size display—the largest display an individual can afford. I’m happy to go with the accepted term, big-screen TV, but let’s shorten that to BSTV. I still use a now-obsolete HP SmartTV.

Between LGR and BSTV are two more levels. When I want to read, I switch from my LGR to the second level: a tablet. I have an Amazon Kindle, but that’s an appliance. My iPad has more computing power than my LGR, but less than the third level, my mbike.

An mbike is bigger than a tablet and smaller than a BSTV. All the power of the internet is unleashed in mbikes. LGRs and tablets are not powerful enough to be bicycles for the mind. To be mobile, they make compromises on size, computing power, and electric power consumption. When we talk about the third level of computing power, we are talking about power with no compromises. My mbike is a notebook computer with a reasonably-sized clamshell design for integrated keyboard and display. My work mbike (wmbike for short) is a desktop tower with traditional keyboard, video (I love my 4K display!), and mouse (KVM). All are glowing rectangles: the LGR, the tablet, the mbike, and BSTV. (We spend too much time in front of glowing rectangles, don’t you think?) Anyway, the mbike is special. It is where human creativity is fully unleashed. How creative can you get without a keyboard? [2]

What about servers? you ask. What about them? I answer. Servers are mbikes. And “the cloud” is merely somebody else’s mbike—an mbike that you don’t control. The internet is simply LGRs, tablets, mbikes, and BSTVs talking to somebody else’s mbike and through that mbike to other LGRs, tablets, mbikes, and BSTVs. Soon, neighbors won’t need mbikes to use the internet. When that happens, human freedom and creativity will be expanded in peer-to-peer connections. Peer-to-peer (p2p) is not a very catchy name. It’s all about decentralizing the internet. (Ok, that term isn’t much better.) Decentralization, d14n for short (and decentralizing = d12g and decentralize = d10e and a decentralizer is a d10er), is another way of thinking about p2p. That takes us back to the way the internet used to work. Back when it was more free as in freedom. There are already some p2p services. (We won’t be truly p2p anytime soon, unless we all want to get amateur radio licenses. I’m considering it for myself, thinking of my friends Bdale and Stephen.) I’m rambling too much. That’s enough for today.

I have spoken.

[1] I would love to get to know you, Neighbor, well enough to have you at my home to enjoy my view! Let’s connect! In the accompanying photo, you can see Pikes Peak as viewed from the bridge between America the Beautiful Park and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

[2] Ok, ok, that’s not quite accurate. My tablet (at the second level) is the platform for my recording studio, so I can create raw content for podcasts without an mbike. But I move to my mbike to edit my podcasts. (Audacity rocks!) I’m talking about true human creativity. Creativity that extends beyond the effort that “thinkers” put into Facebook and Nextdoor posts and TikTok videos and tweets. We call it micro-blogging for a reason. Twitter and other micro-blog platforms compromise human creativity. God forbid if politics was ever exclusively energized by micro-blog-sized thoughts. Can you imagine the Federalist Papers as tweets? That’s a Bad Idea.

Edited to fix typos and add tbc tags; original word count was 878, character count was 5019.

This post is tbci0828a; tbch0429a is a tag (Ducksearch it)

Paralympics

I remember when POTUS41 George Herbert Walker Bush (RIP) signed the Americans with Disabilities Act #MMPTBAA

And now, today, it MMPTBAA to know that the Paralympics are under way in Tokyo and NBC is broadcasting it!

As Josh Blue (exParalympic soccer player) so cleverly puts it, we’re all just one bad #bike ride away from joining the disabled community. (Made Simon Cowell laugh on AGT.) (Twittered first.)

Another milestone toward civil war

As I said earlier this year, I fear civil war. Today, another milestone. @lsanger Twittered links to a couple anthems by Five Times August (Dallas based singer/songwriter/guitarist Bradley James Skistimas): “Jesus… What Happened To Us?” and “God Help Us All.” They sound like folk songs to fuel a revolution inspired by resentment over the way the American government handled the pandemic. I’m not buying it. Skistimas calls on Jesus and God (note lack of mention of the Father and the Holy Ghost). I studied the lyrics, and I allowed the images to flow over me at 2x speed. I muted sound to eliminate the strong level of negative emotion the song incites. Yes, it is a call for revolution. Yes, God—but by God I mean Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—God help us! We shall see.

I am concerned about another American civil war

My friend Paul Hsieh Twittered, “One of my friends is a Trump supporter and they just posted this. I don’t agree with the sentiment, but I think it is important that people understand what a significant part of the country is thinking. (2 screen captures. Post anonymized.)”

God—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—have mercy if this indeed represents what a signficant number of neighbors in my belovèd country are thinking. Before the election another friend, Eric Schwartz, persuaded me to listen to Dan Carlin (DC). DC talked about civil war. I blogged about it. I am more concerned now than I was then. Not yet fearful, but closer to fear. That is all I can bear to say about that today.

tbci0131b

On Chinese clocks, Roman numerals, and Twitter engagement

This is the end of a journey I started on Twitter last year: “Would you please share a picture of a clock in a public place on Chinese soil that has Roman numerals?” It has 2,958 impressions and 14 engagements, still counting. Nobody responded to my request, though.

I tried again in June. Only 211 impressions and 4 engagements: “Would you please share a picture of a clock in a public place on Chinese soil that has Roman numerals? And I am not afraid of CCP. …

Next, in October, I Twittered, “Do you have a picture of a clock in a public place in mainland China that has Roman numerals? Please show me,” and paid $5 to promote it. That was a fun experiment. As I write, it continues to draw attention: 34,802 impressions and 1,892 engagements, etc.

Twitter stats 1 of 2 Twitter stats 2 of 2

But still no help.

Last month, Mega Wolf @WolfEyeRight asked, “So. You still haven’t got that result?

I replied, “Kinda spooky. I’ll chalk it up to serendipity. I got motivated this afternoon. As you Twittered this, I was searching and found several results on my own.…

It turns out, results are easy to find. I think I still have those search results open on my notebook. I’m writing on my desktop though, too lazy to check. I simply searched Flickr today for china clocktower, beijing clocktower, and tianjin clocktower. I’m only going to share one: Here’s a crop of what I was looking for, from a typical picture of the China Railway Museum’s clocktower in downtown Beijing by kitmasterbloke. clock face with Roman numerals

Wolf saw my ad and Retweeted because they thought it was “weird” that I would pay to promote my request. And they wondered “why someone wants to find out something so specific.” Well, Wolf, this may be disappointing, but here’s why. Last year it struck me that China has a long history all its own, and the Chinese have invented many devices ahead of or in parallel with the West. I wondered what place, if any, Western clocktowers, Roman numerals and all, hold in Chinese architecture. After I got that in my head, I attached it to Twitter and wondered if any Tweeps would see my request. When I got no reply, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could pay a modest sum to motivate a response. Not the response I was looking for, but I’m glad you asked, anyway.

It’s been fun. Moving on…

Clocktower of China Railway Museum, downtown Beijing” by kitmasterbloke is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Highlights of Dan Carlin Common Sense 320 Steering Into the Iceberg

I listened to Common Sense 320 Steering Into the Iceberg by Dan Carlin aka DC. He grates on me. He meanders way too much. Whenever I listen to him I find myself shouting at the player, “Get on with it! Make your point!” I did it at a friend’s urging. It was tolerable at 1.7×. I calculate I saved 30 minutes. Here are highlights. He spends the first several minutes talking about … nothing. Total waste of time. Around 19:53 he is reflecting on POTUS45’s call for his supporters to refuse to accept his defeat at the polls. A rigged election will be the battle cry for civil war. I say who’s surprised? POTUS45 admires Putin and Kim Jong Un. At 29:35 I was thinking about DC’s references to Caesar crossing the Rubicon. He says Congress did nothing. But the House sent impeachment articles to the Senate. It’s the Republican Senate who is not leading. Now I understand how Rome ended up with Caesar. Around 34:45 he calls for oppositional voting. Vote against the authoritarian. He rants about POTUS45 with his finger on the nuclear button. He urges us to steer away from the civil war iceberg. Plus the harmful conspiracies iceberg. At 42:00 he names QAnon. At 51:40 he talks about non-violence. Then he riffs on the idea that the US is a democratic republic. By 1:07:00 he is using the metaphor of a bus with 60 steering wheels. He is Jeffersonian,” a we the people guy.” Wraps up with a desire for a ”meeting of the minds.”Oh the drama, ending with Franklin’s quote: ”A republic, if your can keep it.” Mic drop, ending at 1:13:00.

On the Avengers movies and life in the Universe

Nobody has an adequate concept of how large the Universe is, so the plot of the Avengers movies was flawed from the start. Guardians of one mere galaxy are inconsequential on the scale of the Universe. I will believe that God created the entire Universe just for life on Earth until we have evidence otherwise. I want to keep searching for life so we can keep not finding it and so materialists and evolutionists can get more and more frustrated.