First 13, with another due out soon

“That Phenomenal Background” is “Babe in the Woods,” retitled and published by Crossroad Press, which also published “Dark Fire.”


What you don’t know about LED lighting CAN hurt you!

This one-hour TV show produced in Oregon features my long-time friend Dirk Dunning, discussing the hazards of LED lighting: hazards that he learned about, painfully and first hand, within the past year and a half.

A very unusual format: Host Dr. Don spends the first half-hour getting his guest to talk about his background, asking provocative (but not confrontational) questions to produce more than the standard resume. The second half is devoted to a specific topic of special interest to the guest, in this case, LED lighting.

Now, if you don’t care about LED lighting, maybe you should move to about halfway through the show, and go directly to Dirk’s explanation of the situation. You may find yourself more interested than is comfortable!

In any case, Dirk is a fascinating guy, as I have known for more than 15 years now, and I think you will find the show worth watching.

The wave of the future in manufacturing

I have maintained for some time now that the loss of manufacturing capability overseas is not necessarily a total loss; perhaps not a loss at all, though certainly a massive readjustment. It seems clear to me that 3D manufacturing is the wave of the future, a wave we seem to be surfing successfully so far.

A permanent and unnecessary loss

Plenty of blame to go around, and you may be sure there will be lots of finger-pointing, not all of it unearned. Besides the easy lessons to be learned here, there are also a few that aren’t quite so easy, not quite so obvious. Among them:

  • Collection is not necessarily preservation. It doesn’t do anybody any good to collect ancient Egyptian artifacts only to have them go up in flames.
  • Libertarians and Ronald Reagan to the contrary, there are some things that should not rely upon private efforts, and that cannot be done well without support for public institutions.
  • Beyond the need for digital archiving to reduce the risk of total destruction, there is the question of how our human history can be seen whole when the bits of evidence are scattered all over the place and collated nowhere.

In any case, a tragedy.

When Senator Smith stood up to Senator McCarthy

Interesting article about an interesting person. I am old enough to remember her. She was one of a vanishing breed who put statesmanship ahead of partisanship.

What does it mean to be good?

Charles sides tackles this ambitious question, in the light of his extensive reading:

Egypt builds a new capital city

I am old enough to remember John F. Kennedy’s project to send man to the moon, and Dwight Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System. Both these massive social investments helped transform the country, kick-starting technology, in the case of the space program, and facilitating new mobility, in the case of the interstates (though inadvertently damaging the railroads almost beyond repair). Those were the exuberant can-do days before Ronald Reagan and his colleagues decided that “government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem” (though you will notice they always exempted military spending and subsidies to their rich friends, such as the oil depletion allowance). The truth is closer to, “Government is sometimes the problem, sometimes the solution, and only the very feeble-minded think only the one or only the other.”

The result of this continual nay-saying? A country that has lost its self-confidence. So we have to watch countries such as Egypt and Singapore and China and most of Europe embrace the new technologies, cooperate in creating new possibilities in energy, etc., and we can’t even fix our obsolete railroads. Well, so much the better for the countries that still dare to do things, and so much the worse for Reagan and his legacy.

Of course, just because some things can only be fostered by government doesn’t mean they will be done right. Here is a somewhat jaundiced view of the same project.