Thursday, October 18, 2012

Secret Blog

I have decided to preach to the choir and have started another blog.  I want to keep this one just to running.  The new blog will be my environmental ramblings, details from my binders full of women, my childhood stuff, political BS...and whatnots.  It's going to be members only.  If you'd like to read it send me a note or comment on this post.  If you don't get a response that means you're better off not reading it.  It'll require you to login.  If you don't want to read my crap or don't want the trouble of logging in I won't be hurt not receiving a request from you.

Blog name is TerribleThinking. 

I may drop all the posts from previous blogs on there in an archive to be made into an autobiography later.  For now I'm still occasionally slogging away at my book and might start posting chapters online.  We'll see.  It's a fictional post-collapse story about a family contracted by the collection of North Eastern States that remain, to rebuild the C&O canal.

For a good brain stimulator today...and a sample of stuff you'll get on my super secret private blog....

This guy Geoffrey West is one of them smaht fellers.  He outlines how growth is measurable and how it scales.  For example you can show that one cell takes x amount of energy and lives y amount of days.   Then you can see that for every 10 to the 4th power of cells that you have the lifespan doubles due to efficiency.  Since we're all made up basically of the same cells you can then measure other things based on this theory.  Mice live 2 years, dogs 15, humans 100 etc based on this doubling.  Beyond that you can measure the other benefits and limitations size brings...for example mice sleep 15hrs a day, humans 8hrs, elephants 4hrs, and whales 2hrs a day. 

Once he establishes this he goes on to tell how you can do the same with cities.  He asks the question is New York a scaled up version of San Francisco.  Is San Fran a scaled up version of smaller city, etc.  What are the scalability of cites.  What components (cells) are necessary and how much energy do those take.  Interesting stuff.  It's a long video but really good.


First few minutes while he's setting up the biology is tough but it gets better as you go.

here's my favorite part starting around 23min in.

"Cities are the cause of the problem, and they're also the cause of the good life. They are the centers of wealth creation, creativity, innovation, and invention. They're the exciting places. They are these magnets that suck people in. And that's what's been happening. And so they are the origin of the problems, but they are the origin of the solutions."

and another spot.

"One of the bad things about open-ended growth, growing faster than exponentially, is that open-ended growth eventually leads to collapse. It leads to collapse mathematically because of something called finite times singularity. You hit something that's called a singularity, which is a technical term, and it turns out as you approach this singularity, the system, if it reaches it, will collapse. You have to avoid that singularity in order to stop collapsing. It's great on the one hand that you have this open ended growth. But if you kept going, of course, it doesn't make any sense. Eventually, you run out of resources anyway, but you would collapse. And that's what the theory says.

How do you avoid that? Well, how have we avoided it? We've avoided it by innovation. By making a major innovation that so to speak, resets the clock and you can kind of start over again with new boundary conditions. We've done that by making major discoveries or inventions, like we discover iron, we discover coal. Or we invent computers, or we invent IT. But it has to be something that really changes the cultural and economic paradigm. It kind of resets the clock and we start over again.

There's a theorem you can prove that says that if you demand continuous open growth, you have to have continuous cycles of innovation. Well, that's what people believe, and it's the way people have suggested that’s how you get out of the Malthusian paradox. This all agrees within itself but there is a huge catch."

He later describes that eventually you'd need major inovations faster and faster which isn't possible. 


  1. Count me in on the new post son......the national weather service says the west will be extremely warm and dry this winter......keep feeling that we are going to enter another dust bowl shortly! love dad

  2. Hey Terry, I like reading your blog. Would like to keep reading both.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


    Working on setting you all up right now.

  5. send me an email to terrible (dot) terrik (at) gmail instead of commenting. I need the email address your profile is associated with to set you up. So far I only have Chris and Tom setup.