Example 1 : Cars.

Sometimes I want to throttle everyone that’s a “Nationalistic” kinda person. Because. They have totally missed the point of everything. Let me explain. Let me use lots of examples. This is going to be a series. I’ll start it with this note.

Example #1 : Cars.

Hate me all you want. But, following World War II, Europe, and Asia, made virtually no cars. Both parts of the world were tied up in repairing their countries, and rebuilding their nations. Entire cities were gone. Entire industries were wiped out.

South America, Africa, the Middle East, had no ability to build cars.

That left General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and a few others (predecessors to what we have today in the USA). American car manufacturers got to build what they wanted to build. Because, if you wanted a car, you bought what they sold. It was that simple.

The auto makers did not have to innovate. They did not have to worry about passenger safety. They did not have to worry about fuel economy. They did not have to worry about reliability. Because. If you wanted a car, you HAD to buy one from them. Period.

That changed in the 1970s. Especially in the late 1970s. That’s when Datsun, Toyota, and Honda virtually destroyed Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. Because, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler could not compete with them. Could not build cars that got the same gas mileage. Could not build cars that were as reliable. Could not build cars that were as safe for their passengers. Could not build cars that provided all those features, all those advantages over American cars, at a price that was competitive with Datsun, Toyota, or Honda.

It resulted in a bloodbath for American automobile manufacturers. American Motors died out completely, with Chrysler buying its remains. General Motors bordered on bankruptcy, but managed to negotiate with the unions to stay in business. Ford did the same. Chrysler would have folded if not for a 9 billion dollar bailout from the US Government.

It all happened back in the 1970s, and 1980s, during the days of Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.

Why did it happen? Because of isolationism in the car market. Because, for almost 40 years, the only cars in the US were from Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, with smaller players like American Motors Corporation. Because, those manufacturers only had each other to compete with, they had no other competitors.

They grew fat. They grew entrenched. They lived off the reality they could sell what they wanted. Because in the USA, if you wanted a car, you bought one from them.

Then, the market opened up, and imported cars arrived in the USA. When that happened, the consumers in the USA realized what junk the cars made by Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler were.

It’s now closing in on 50 years later, and Chrysler is gone. The name exists, but it’s just a division of the Stellantis Corporation, which is primarily Fiat and Peugeot, both of which are European automobile manufacturers. General Motors is dramatically different. Pontiac and Oldsmobile are gone. Cars are virtually gone, with only a few models left. Ford is now a truck and SUV manufacturer, having admitted it can’t make money on cars.

Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Hyundai, KIA, and others, own the car market. And they are investing heavily in the SUV and truck markets. It is these import car manufacturers that now determine the future of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Because they invest, continuously, in improving their products, and in developing new products, and new technologies.

Let me reiterate how this all happened.

The US automobile manufactures literally owned the US auto market for decades after World War II, with no competition from anyone outside of the US. Their only competition was each other. This resulted in the manufacturers becoming unable to innovate, unable to improve, unable to develop new technologies. They stopped growing, stopped evolving, because they had no reason to continue doing so.

They owned the market.

You can look further into the history of the US automobile manufacturers. As you look, you will notice they never made any significant sales in any Asian market. In Europe, they had to develop entire European divisions that ran separately from the US divisions, because the US cars did not sell in Europe. In South America, again, a similar story unfolded, with automobiles that sold in the US not selling well at all in South America.

But, that was all acceptable, because the automakers made so much money in the US, they didn’t have to worry about the rest of the world.

The result? The rest of the world passed the US Automobile Industry, and left it behind. And that industry has spent nearly 50 years trying to become competitive on the global market.

Now? Now, there are people who want to ban the imported cars. People who want Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, KIA, Volkswagen, and everyone else, banned from the US car market, as a means of forcing the US to develop its own manufacturing capability, and capacity.

These same people seem oblivious to the history of the automotive market since World War II. They seem oblivious to the truth that for decades, the US automobile manufactures were the only option US consumers had for purchasing a car. They seem oblivious to the documented history that the US automobile manufactures made awful cars, and had no interest, and no financial incentive, to improve those cars.

They seem completely clueless to what will happen if they close the US automobile market to everyone except US owned manufacturers. In the 1970s, when Toyota, Datsun, and Honda exploded on the US car marketplace, front wheel drive cars were an already fully developed technology. Transverse engines were an already fully developed technology. 4 valve per cylinder engines were already fully developed. The list continues for pages.

And none of those developed technologies was available in the United States. None of them. Because, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler had no reason to make them available. Because it cut into their profit margins to modify their assembly lines to support the use of those new technologies. Because the products they had were selling well, why mess with a successful product?

Today, if you, as a consumer in the United States, have a choice between a Ford Escape, or a BMW X5 SUV, which vehicle would you like to purchase? Why?

I’ve said enough. Let me close out example 1 by saying that this is what happens when you close off the market place in your country, to protect American jobs, American workers, and American companies. When you close off the market place in your country to make your country great again.

You end up doing everything but making your country great. You end up with a country that can’t compete, that has a trapped consumer market, that has no innovation, no advancement, no growth. You end up at a dead end. And the entire world leaves you behind.

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What Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping Want For Christmas.

This is going to be an ugly thought for a lot of people.

I’m going to start with some obvious questions.

1. Would Vladimir Putin, and Russia, like full access to every last bit of technology from Space X? How about Xi Jinping, and China? Would they like full access to all of Space X’s technology?

2. Would Vladimir Putin, and Russia, like full access to every last shred of Quantum Mechanical technology at NVIDIA, IBM, D-Wave systems, Microsoft, Intel, and all the rest? Would Xi Jinping like that same kind of access?

3. What would happen if the US Military wasn’t there to protect Taiwan? How long would Taiwan exist as an independent nation, free from China, if the US Military wasn’t a threat?

4. What would happen if the US Military wasn’t there to protect Ukraine? Without the US Military threat, how long do you think Putin, and Russia, would let Ukraine exist as a separate nation?

5. If the only threat to Iran was Israel, and the threat of US Military action against Iran wasn’t there, do you think Iran would leave things as they are in the Middle East, or would Iran try to redecorate the Middle East, including removing Israel from existence?

I’ve asked five (5) questions. Only 5 questions. Each of those questions are centered on one topic. The United States Military and its power. Take your time, and answer those questions in  your own mind. I don’t want to know your answers. I don’t need to know your answers.

What I will say is:

If I was Vladimir Putin, or Xi Jinping, I’d be doing everything possible to disable the United States Military. To reduce the US Military into a politically splintered, chaotic organization. I’d do everything I could to accomplish this. I’d finance ransomware companies. I’d finance fake news organizations. I’d do anything I could to make the people of the United States want to break up their country. Anything I could to make those people enter into a Civil War with themselves. Anything that removed the presence of the United States Military from the world, and allowed, and enabled, me to do what I want to do.

Without the United States Military, I’d have access to all the semiconductor technology available at places like TSMC, Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, NVIDIA, Apple, and ARM. I’d have unlimited access to every last bit of technology from Space X, Tesla, Blue Origin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and every other major corporation, and their technology portfolios.

Without the United States Military, I’d have unlimited access to Linux, Windows, MacOS, everybody’s augmented reality research, and developments, Steam’s Virtual Reality technology, everything 5G, everything in every Cell Phone.

I’d love it if the United States Military was not able to stop me from doing anything I wanted to do.

I’ll close with this thought, in the form of another question.

6. If I was Vladimir Putin, or Xi Jinping, would I love the US political divide to become insurmountable? Would I get excited at the very thought of conservative Americans, like Marjorie Taylor Green, speaking of splitting up the United States? Would I sleep soundly at night, with dreams of supermodels sleeping with me, and doing everything I could imagine, knowing that Texas wants to secede from the United States, and become its own nation? Would I get excited at the idea of conservatives in Michigan planning to kidnap, and execute the governor of their state?

I know, if I was Putin, or Xi, I certainly would.

Wouldn’t you?

Overly Simplified.

Once more, I’ve been thinking. You’ll notice I do that, every day, forever. The past few days I’ve had many thoughts on the simplification of life, the world, the events of the world, our societies, our economies, and how everything, everywhere, works. Mostly, none of the thoughts have been good.

It’s a complicated process to explain, this simplification of life that backfires, and results in life not working at all. But it’s all tied to an innate need people have to feel in control of their lives, and their worlds, and to feel safe.

To understand the depth, width, and scale of this topic, I need to provide many examples. It will take a while to illustrate this, so this will not be the only time I speak of this overly simplified world people insist on making.

Since this topic is observable across every aspect of life on this planet, I can start with pretty much any aspect of life, and illustrate the process. Where to start? How about here?

I have several friends who have chronic physical illnesses. These range from ME/CFS through EDS, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and an entire book of names. I’ll start with ME/CFS, just because it works as well as any of the rest of them.

ME/CFS is, typically, not considered a disease by many people. It’s considered, “laziness”, and “a play for disability benefits”. This is the case because there’s not a precise definition for ME/CFS. In other words, it has no physically documented causes. You can’t run a blood test for it. You can’t see it in an MRI scan of the patient. You can’t see it in CAT scans. Or X-Rays. Or EKGs.

Conventional medical testing used to identify the conditions people are dealing with never identify ME/CFS. This is because ME/CFS is not typical. And therein lies the problem, and the chaos that overly simplified thinking produces.

The best understanding I’ve found, to date, of ME/CFS is difficult for most people to understand. It’s something that happens at the cellular level of the human body, where the body’s cells enter into a constant, unending, self preservation state, similar to when the body is at risk of starving, freezing, or other traumatic situations. The cells go into a mode of conserving energy. They stop producing energy. They shut down.

The result is, the ME/CFS patient has no energy. It hurts to move. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to listen to the heating and cooling systems in their house. It hurts to turn on a light in the room. It hurts to pull the covers of the bed on. It hurts to take them off.

With the cells of their bodies effectively shut down, and not producing energy for use, movement becomes limited. No energy in the body, no energy produced by the cells of one’s muscles, means no movement. Movement burns what energy does exist. Movement is contrary to survival, at the cellular level. Movement shuts down. When these people do move, they end up burning what little energy they have, and can remain nearly motionless, and in intense pain, for days afterward. Sometimes, even for weeks.

Food does not solve the problem. Exercise does not solve the problem. Therapy does not solve the problem. The problem is at the cellular level of the body. Until the cells can be reset to function normally, instead of in an emergency state to conserve energy, and maintain life at all cost, the problem continues to exist.

These symptoms, this cellular condition, is something that medical testing procedures don’t address, and don’t identify. The result is the lament, “ME/CFS doesn’t exist.” With ME/CFS victims being informed there is nothing wrong with them.

Welcome to overly simplified medicine. Where medicine as practiced assumes we know everything, and test for everything, and can identify everything, and can solve everything. And anything that we can’t identify, can’t fix, can’t test, simply doesn’t exist.

We have no problem with physical conditions like broken bones. Those are easy to observe, and identify. We also have methods of solving the conditions of broken bones. Bone replacement. Bone mending. Bone reconstruction. We know how to fix broken bones, such as broken legs, and fingers.

ME/CFS? We can’t even identify its causes. So it doesn’t exist. We don’t know how it works, so it doesn’t exist. We can’t correct the problem, so it doesn’t exist.

It comes down to black and white, as a staggeringly simplified view of the world, and of diseases, and of how the human body works, and interacts with the environment we all live in. It comes down to a desperate, ingrained need to feel in control of ourselves. Of our environments. To feel safe.

For ME/CFS to exist, we have to admit we don’t know what it is, we don’t know who can or can’t get it, we don’t know how to treat it, we don’t know how it works. We have to admit we are not in control, we don’t know everything, and we aren’t nearly as safe as we want to be.

As a result, to maintain that image of safety, security, stability, and control, many people have concluded ME/CFS doesn’t exist. It can’t exist within their framework of reality. They don’t know anyone who lives with it. They don’t know anyone who knows what it is, or how it works. They know that ME/CFS victims apply for disability benefits, when medical testing shows there is nothing wrong with them.

It all adds up to an overly simplified view of life. A view limited to the perspective, and experience of the individual, and the individual’s need to feel safe, and secure, in their life.

The result? ME/CFS spreads, slowly, within a segment of the population of the world, and most people don’t even admit it exists.

It’s life. Overly simplified. In the names of security, safety, and comfort.

I’ll speak more about this overly simplified life in additional posts. As I’ve said already. I see this over simplification of reality in virtually every aspect of society. There is much more to say about it.

Imperfect Copies Are A Problem

Take a freshly painted work of art, or a photograph that’s printed the first time. Now, feed it through a copy machine, and compare the copy to the original. Repeat the process, using the copy to create a second copy, then the second copy to create the third. What you find is, gradually, imperfections creep into the copy.

Take a large digital image, with 100 million pixels, and make repeated copies of it. Computers do an amazing job, but everyone knows, sooner or later, bit level errors do turn up. You can’t copy that much data perfectly every time.

Take a small clump of RNA (we call them viruses), which has millions of components, and have it replicate endlessly. You see the same process, with imperfections appearing in the copies. Tiny imperfections, certainly, but they are imperfections.

In most cases, the imperfections in copies can be ignored. Either they are insignificant in size, or they don’t change the image enough to make any difference. Sometimes, they wreck the image, and the image gets destroyed. Sometimes, they enhance the image in surprising ways.

I bring this up because it’s my understanding of how viruses work. The virus duplicates itself, endlessly, but not quite perfectly. Imperfections appear in the duplicates. Most of those imperfections are harmless, or meaningless. Some of those imperfections actually damage the virus, making the virus less virulent, and thus killing of virus copies that have those imperfections.

But, sometimes, if enough copies of the virus get made, copies show up that have improvements in them. That make the virus more virulent. That make the virus better at making copies of itself, and spreading faster. That help the virus infect animals, and spread.

When you remove all limits to the rate at which a virus can copy itself, the rate at which such changes occur may not increase, at a statistical level. However, due to the unlimited way in which the virus spreads, the appearance of such improved copies of a virus will become more frequent. It’s like making more copies in less time. The more copies you make, the better the odds that one will have an improved ability to spread, or copy itself.

This is where people can take individual actions to reduce how rapidly such changes happen in a virus. If people can take action that slows down the rate at which the virus replicates, they slow down the rate at which the imperfect replication process can produce an imperfect copy that improves the virus, and makes the virus more virulent.

Some societies understand this. They use social methods to slow down the virus replication process. They wear masks. They practice social distancing. They wash their hands thoroughly. They care about their neighbors, and want their neighbors to be safe from the virus.

Some societies do not understand this. They reject social methods to slow down the virus replication process. They refuse to wear masks. They refuse to practice social distancing. They refuse to wash their hands. They want personal freedoms above everything else, even if their neighbors get sick and die.

This is what is happening in the world now, from my perspective. A significant section of the world population is effectively not attempting to slow down the virus replication process, and instead, is letting the virus run wild, and replicate at will. This increases the number of copies of the virus that get made. And as I’ve already said, the more copies that get made, the more times the virus can make an imperfect copy that improves its ability to spread.

In the case of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, you can see this replication process at work, with new variants of the virus occurring. In each case, the significant new variants were identified in parts of the world that do not have social practices that slow the replication process of the virus down. The Delta and Omicron variants are the best examples. Simply identify where those variants first appeared, and it becomes apparent that letting the virus run wild, and make endless copies of itself, improves the odds that the virus will make an imperfect copy of itself that increases its ability to make copies of itself, simply because more imperfect copies of the virus turn up, since the virus can make more copies of itself.

Things like vaccines can help the body form defenses that limit the rate at which the virus can make copies of itself. This is why we have vaccines. Not to prevent the virus from happening, but to limit how many copies of itself it can make. If the virus can’t make copies of itself, the number of imperfect copies decreases, and the chances an imperfect copy of the virus gets made that improves the ability of the virus to spread, decreases.

A vaccine does not prevent the virus. It’s not supposed to. It’s not meant to. It’s purpose is to reduce the rate at which the virus can replicate itself. It is, again, a social tool to limit the rate of replication, and thus the rate of change, that a virus can have.

Now, we have societies, and sections within societies, that are rejecting this tool, the vaccination, and insisting on allowing the virus to replicate endlessly. As I’ve already said, this replication process is the cause of virus variants that improve the spread of the virus.

These social behaviors that make no effort to limit the rate of replication of a virus leave me wondering how the societies based on them have survived, and how many times those societies have endured hardships, and diseases, they didn’t need to endure.

Suffice to say, it is an educational experience to watch how the societies of the world behave when a virus, such as the SARS-Cov-2 virus, spreads to every society. It becomes very apparent, looking at virus case numbers, which societies believe in limiting the rate of replication of the virus, and which societies don’t. It also becomes very apparent how limiting the rate of replication limits the number of imperfect copies that improve the virulent nature of the virus, while not limiting the rate of replication increases the rate at which imperfect copies appear that improve the ability of the virus to spread, and make additional copies of itself.

It is something I have been watching, and thinking about a great deal in the past two years, as the COVID-19 virus has spread across the planet.

When The Baby Has No Bowels At Birth

There are things I always have to ask, always have to think about, always wonder about. Like this one, for example.

I have a cousin, I won’t name him, but he’s within two years of my age, and he has daughters. One of his daughters recently gave birth to a baby boy. The baby boy was born with his bowels outside of his body. His bowels are dead. The baby can’t digest food of any kind, and is dependent on intravenous feeding. Obviously, the baby can’t survive by conventional means.

After a couple of months, there is an option to try to keep the baby alive. It’s not an inexpensive option, and there is no guarantee it will work. In fact, there is a high probability it won’t work, and the baby will die.

The option requires the baby, and baby mother, to be flown across the country to a specialty hospital that has baby bowels available, and can attempt to transplant at least some bowels into the new baby.

The family has some insurance, but not enough. And Medicaid has declined to fund the procedure. Statistically, as I have indicated above, the procedure is high risk, and does not have a good chance of being successful. From a financial perspective, where managing risk, and limiting losses and failures are concerned, the Medicaid decision makes sense. It’s likely the baby will die even if the surgery is performed, and is a success.

The result is, the family is now trying to raise the money for the surgery, in an effort to give the baby any chance at all of surviving, knowing that even with the surgery, the baby might not survive.

I bring this up because of thoughts. In particular, about the abortion rights question, and about the topic of giving every unborn baby a fighting chance. In particular, I ask the question, what would you have done, and what would you do?

That the baby was born with his bowels outside his body says much about prenatal care, and well baby checkups during the pregnancy. In particular, it says that the checkups and care were not performed adequately. Given the current capabilities of ultrasound systems, and other imaging technologies, it would have been, and should have been, obvious during the development of the baby, over the course of his mother’s pregnancy, that this was a problem.

Instead, due to the costs of such care, and the limits of insurance in the country, the state of the baby was not known until the baby was born.

Had the condition of the baby been known, what would have been the appropriate action or actions to take to correct the condition. Would it have been possible to perform in-vitro surgery on the baby to open the baby up, and move the bowels back inside the baby, to allow them to develop? Or, would it have already been too late, as the bowels, outside the baby’s body, died, having been cut off from blood flow, and the protection they would have had inside the baby’s body?

If it became apparent during the pregnancy that the baby would be born with no bowels, and would die without surgery that had a low success rate, what would have been the best option for the family, for the mother?

I am left questioning the idea of bringing such babies to full turn, and having them born, only to have them die in a few weeks, or months, knowing that the medical system in the country can’t really help them.

And yet, here we are, as a country, rapidly banning the use of abortion in all cases of pregnancy, and forcing babies to be carried to term, no matter what. With the result that we will have babies born with such conditions. Babies that will not survive. Babies that will be born dead, due to lack of functioning body parts, such as hearts with holes in them, skulls that did not close, leaving brains exposed, brains that did not form, and other such problems.

I have heard the argument of it being a natural process, and working as designed by God. But I’m left wondering why God would allow us to develop the technologies to identify such difficult pregnancies before the babies are born, if we aren’t supposed to use them to make decisions about the viability of such babies.

I have always questioned the black and white perspective of any topic, and as you can see from the above, I have questioned that perspective with much thought and observation. I don’t see any black and white answers to such a question. But I do wonder if, sometimes, abortion is the correct thing to do, because such problems as these occur.