Thursday 19th of July 2018

healing humanity...

Aesculapius

with the medicine god Aesculapius

 

Looking after our selves is a hardcore business. More often than not, we don’t really care about our health. Here I am talking about men. Most women I know have a couple of pharmacies inside two cupboards at home. All the pills, liquids and powders that were ever invented since the god Aesculapius and his disciples are there, awaiting their expiry date, or be taken as prescriptive potions with a religious devotion, morning, noon and evening.

 

The pill industry is highly profitable and as you can see on TV, it’s the battle of which chains will sell you the cheapest snake-oil, fish-oil, vitamins A B C D E F G H and more, most products encased in digestible little capsules — in their cheapest on earth retail outlet.

 

Once in there, with the glimmer of product-packed shelves to the rafters especially for you, you are sold that getting a better health is not a sin, by people looking far better than you. The aim is to entice you to enjoy these venuses’ health-space by the pool of a pristine tropical island (that has already been cleared of rubbish and mosquitoes). Your wallet thins out, or your bank account vanishes in smoke since you don’t have enough cash. You pay by card that’s already maxed out. By buying the products you already feel 100 per cent better. You don’t need to take the pills. It’s psychology 101.

 

We, males, are not impartial to a bit of healthy stuff. We do thus inflict ourselves with massive hangovers by using our only valued medicine: booze. Our pharmacy is run by Bacchus — at the pub or in the home liquor cabinet. So we suffer the massive throb, possibly mediated with the help of one aspirin found in the inner sanctum of the lady’s pharmacy. Usually it’s hard to find, because aspirin is “old-hat” and all the other newer options are stacked in front. Should we change the order of the display, there will be hell to pay.

 

Guys, the simple alternative is to buy your own aspirin, hide it in your cigar box and use as needed in between benders.

 

For women, headaches soon become migraines and are “hormonal”. Men don’t have thus luxury. Ours, male, is self-inflicted and our neurones are often begging for mercy, but the sight of a glass of beer or red ned is irresistible.

 

The older one gets, the longer it takes to recover, until our liver, heart and kidneys are so badly damaged, we have to abandon the quest of trying to find what is our booze limit. We’re not scientific about it. There is a lot of guesstimate. We don’t measure our glasses of red wine. Some women do and sometimes blame the bubbles in champers for the troubled head.

 

We, male boofheads, of course compensate by eating the three food groups: Macdonald’s, Dominos and more beer.  It’s good to maintain that lovely beer gut, the skin of which is stretched like that on a drum.

 

Our cells have got used to these hardcore diet since we were students and sharing a “house” (which may have been a bit brothelical) in Glebe. 

 

The police booze buses are a bit of a killjoy, but they help us stay moderate, especially when we are the designated driver. We don’t want to stagger along a fictitious straight line that is crooked by the time we stand up.

 

Beer in hand, from the tired couch for potato bags, we can only admire the young people pushing the soccer balls at the Russian FIFA world cup. They are super-healthy but they seem to protect themselves by being conservative in their play and only manage a free-kick from time to time.

 

In our days, we would have scored three goals already, before the kick-off. And in our days, we did not have a dedicated staff of repairpeople who could spray some anti-pain lotion on our broken limbs. We carried on, in pain till we could not get up, though we had to since there were no paramedics with stretchers. A dislocated shoulder is painful and before going onto the field to do battle, the young player, now sporting beards like Ned Kelly to show some rebellious spirit in a far too heavy armour to win a game, have a team of masseurs to warm their tense juvenile body while the coach, a fully psychologised-phd former ball-kicker himself, read them the riot act to boost their confidence which will result in a “gallant” defeat. Nothing new, except the temperature.

 

When we went onto the field, the ground was minus 14 Celsius, we did know we had feet attached to our frozen legs and the ball weighed a ton of ice. After the 8-nil defeat, you could always blame the guy on the other side of the backline, for playing statue with stalagmites for legs, instead of “defender”… Mind you, the guys of the other team were professionals and about twice the size we were. Tackling for the ball was a take-your-life-in-your-hand butchery and the ref was blind — or paid off. It was fun.

 

But in this world cup, played in magnificent Russian stadiums, that our glorious right-wing New South Wales government would deem insalubrious just to keep our developers’ bulldozers happy, is a pleasure to watch. There is a lot of theatre in the box. Attackers who are barely touched by the defenders, go into magnificent dives that deserve us lifting cards with numbers one to ten to show how we rate their Hollywoodian fall. You know these modern action movies where people get hit into the crumpling glass door, by fictitious punches, as their head do no connect with the incoming fist.

 

So far so good… After a few days without booze, the treatment works. Then the old arthritic pains come back with a vengeance. The old battle scars and the clarity of mind becomes untenably real…  It’s time for a Pill… a Pilsener or a red ned. Don’t be too religious about it though…

 

Religion is a bastard solution to an angsted brain. The Christian religions tell you that you are damaged goods. You used to enjoy an eternal life of plenty with no need for booze nor anything else. Glorious infinite boredom with angels blowing in trumpets you wish would stop. Perfection has its limits in so far to give you nothing else to do but to adore the Almighty who loves you in return forever after. All this is quite meaningless when you really and I mean really really look at this. Eternal bliss would require some shitty bits in order to recognise the magnificence of this pure concrete-set absolutism.

 

But we are humans with a brain that can be filled with rubbish in order to hope for better, rather than enjoy or even improve what we have. But over the years since the monkey touched the floor of the grass plains, we have designed earthly improvements that are amazing. The question of “what the f..k are we doing here” soon arose. This slow awakening led to the invention of “spirituality” which filled the brain with illusions. The social structure of the chimps in the tree tops was not enough to maintain cohesion and a more efficient breeding programme. This is where the adventure began, when there were not enough grasses for all and the land stretched beyond the horizon. Pathway had to be found out of Africa into Europe via the lands of the middle east which then would have been quite lush and more European in their vegetation. The Sahara desert was a forest and the ice was quite far south into the heart of Europe. Pathways had to be made towards the east. The monkeys now walking on two legs were protohumans, that is to say the Neanderthals and the Denisovans — and possible other species of protohumans that we have not discovered yet. By then, the new wave of Homo sapiens themselves running out grasses, possibly evolved from the Neanderthals themselves by now with a different diet of meat and carbohydrates, had also formed better associative relationships, which nature’s evolution of DNA, indicated that one could not or should not breed with one’s siblings. This complicated the relationship between tribal groups. Families had to be constructed from a mix of gene pools.

 

In order to control this natural construct of genetics, some rough rules had to be formulated by the “humans”. As well, the physical attributes of the “silverback” and the females, had to be managed on a more systematic level. The proportions of males and females would have been approximately what it is now and unless every one had their go at reproduction, the gene pool would weaken back to the monkey, in small groups. Thus the need to share by trial and error the various means of survival and reproduction led to more structured social interactions. The division of tasks became like a natural structure, like that that would have been observed in some other species, from deers to elephants — and ants.

 

Meanwhile, all these readjustments of the “thinking brain” let for more agility of the hands, better uprightness and a growing communicative skill which in turn demanded more brain space for “understanding” such development in a feed-back mechanism.

 

That a god created a man out of dust and then a woman out of the man makes as much sense as winning the lottery without having a ticket. It’s stupid nonsense that unfortunately still inhabits in the brains of some people today. Silly.

 

From then on, more streamlining happened by ageing.  The old codgers had more “experiences” at survival than the newborns or those who failed to make it by being too weak. The species of humans in comparison with other species is a weak species, with hardly any protection, nor natural attacking devices. It’s a bugger when you have to fight lions and hippos. And the further north one went, the more the need of fur became urgent. With no hair to speak of, except on the head and in the pubic areas, the humans had not much choice but to steal the hide of other animals.  The hunt was on, for food as grasses were a bit too seasonal with their offering, and for protective clothing. Invention by robbery was a massive step of discovery. Similarly, deceit to catch prey — and to fend off challenging tribes — was part of the panoply of tools, such as stones, sticks and traps…

 

So in modern humans, these characteristics still are at the core of our systems, with improvements:

 

Stones and sticks

 

Deceit

 

Control of reproduction

 

The rate of new inventions grafted on these concepts increased at the rate of knots, including fighting and copulating with the previous escapees of the homo species, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.

 

In this Leonisky philosophy we concentrate on the art of deceit that eventually led to various beliefs designed to control the ever-growing population of Homo sapiens. The evolved brains of this species needed to be streamlined to manage the social “order”.

 

One event that led to a massive change in these beliefs was the end of the Ice Age that changed the geographical spaces, the status of the grasses and the temperatures of the atmosphere. Nature had flipped. Humans HAD TO ADAPT — and adapt they did. Uncertainty of the next made them believe more and more that some supernatural forces were manipulating the environment.

 

By 10,000 BC, we, humans, started to manipulate the environment beyond its natural settings. We selected grasses and grew them especially. By then, events such as seasons and natural disasters had to be associated with behaviour of the group and supervised by a deity.

 

This misunderstanding was powerful. And it is the driver of much of humanity till today.  Good and Evil still appear in the words of many world leaders. Some are trying to speak a different language of evolution. It’s difficult. The deceit is ingrained deep in the fabric of this human brain. We dream. We have illusions and delusions that try to maintain our nature away from our monkey.

 

With the recognised anthropogenic global warming, which will change the surface of this planet very much like the end of the last Ice Age did, it’s time to revise our deceptive practices. Why? Because deception and religious practices won’t settle our relationship with the incoming changes.

Sciences are “the new thinking”, in which a truer picture of the evolution of humans in relation to the evolution of the protein soup, from which we come from. Still battling religious fallacies, sciences has no choice but to push on, explaining bit by bit, the non-god given universe.

Is this the end of deceit? Not quite. We have a long way to go and much red ned to drink. In moderation, whatever that is, of course. Cheers.

 

 

Gus Leonisky

 

Your local moderate philosophicaloranter

the breakfast club...

Charles Babbage KH FRS (/ˈbæbɪdʒ/; 26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English polymath.[1] A mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer.[2]

Considered by some to be a "father of the computer",[2][3][4][5] Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex electronic designs, though all the essential ideas of modern computers are to be found in Babbage's analytical engine.[2][6] His varied work in other fields has led him to be described as "pre-eminent" among the many polymaths of his century.[1]

Parts of Babbage's incomplete mechanisms are on display in the Science Museum in London. In 1991, a functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage's original plans. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage's machine would have worked.

 

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage

 

-------------------------

 

William Whewell FRS FGS (/ˈhjuːəl/ HEW-əl; 24 May 1794 – 6 March 1866) was an English polymathscientistAnglican priestphilosophertheologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. In his time as a student there, he achieved distinction in both poetry and mathematics.

What is most often remarked about Whewell is the breadth of his endeavours. In a time of increasing specialisation, Whewell appears as a vestige of an earlier era when natural philosophers dabbled in a bit of everything. He researched ocean tides (for which he won the Royal Medal), published work in the disciplines of mechanicsphysicsgeologyastronomy, and economics, while also finding the time to compose poetry, author a Bridgewater Treatise, translate the works of Goethe, and write sermons and theological tracts. In mathematics, Whewell introduced what is now called the Whewell equation, an equation defining the shape of a curve without reference to an arbitrarily chosen coordinate system.

 

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Whewell

 

------------------------

 

"The Breakfast Club" on The Science Show ABC Radio National

 

 

Read from top.

mini brains...

Scientists no longer need a time machine to study Neanderthal cognitive abilities, after a group of geneticists managed to successfully create miniature Neanderthal brains.

A group of geneticists at the University of California, San Diego led by Professor Alysson Muotri conducted a breakthrough experiment, engineering miniature pea-sized versions of the Neanderthal brain.

The results of this unprecedented experiment were presented at June’s UCSD conference called ‘Imagination and Human Evolution.’


According to Muotri, his team has infused human stem cells with Neanderthal DNA that they extracted from the fossilized remains to artificially grow mini brains that mimic the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of real brains.

According to Professor Muotri, the brain activity of these tiny so-called organoids should be similar to that in our brains and should give us some idea about the core differences between human and Neanderthal brain and how they process information and feelings.

There is at least one more team working to create Neanderthal ‘mini-brains,’ this one at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

The Institute’s director, Professor Svante Paabo, says we’re way off from resurrecting an actual living Neanderthal, but the mini-brains could unlock a lot of mysteries.

What the scientists are hoping to understand is how the long-extinct creatures planned, socialized and used language.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/430837-scientists-create-neanderthal-brains/

 

Read from top.

The mother of invention...

 

As I have mentioned before on this lovely site, the mother of invention isn’t necessity. It’s laziness. But, mind you, there’s a gulf of difference between being lazy and bludging. The bludgers are people who don’t invent anything despite having great disposition, due to their magnificent laziness. 

These professional bludgers might acidentally invent extended tongs with a couple of broomsticks to turn the sausages on their barbecue, from the comfort of their hammock. It’s limited in scope and does not count, unless they build a factory and retail outlets that sell their invention to the other barbecue loving lazy bastards.

That’s the way economics work. The barbecue is traditionally the domain of maledom. Women can make the healthy salads, while the burnt snags need to show as much health as a piece of coal, as so proudly displayed in parliament by our economic genius, Morrison. 

The real lazy inventor thinks of something that will revolutionise laziness by letting people having less and less to do, eventually making us all become fat, sitting on our arse all day, while watching the robots do their thing — whatever it is — and by being entertained by the TV circus Minimus, where the comedy acts seem to be getting lazier and lazier… At this level, there is a limit at which a lazy Gus can accept lazy profanities that have no other value than being profanities. We need a tad of double-entendres...

This is why some of our next inventions have been the torture instruments at the gym. They produce nothing. Imagine all this equipment being linked to the electricity grid as we do our push-ups with 20 kilograms of dead weights, all in order to burn some calories. These calories are not even lazy. They are wasted. Laziness is intentional. Waste is carelessness. All the dudes on machines do, with their effort-limiters, is warm up the atmosphere some more. Imagine 7 billion people doing push-ups on a weight-bench at the same time and the global temperature jumps by 0.3 degrees Celsius.

So we are defeating the health equation, especially when breathing the stale recycled air conditioning in the sweat factory, when we try to shed a few extraneous kilos. All we do is recycle oxygen into CO2. Not good.

With 50 people on cycling machines, one could power at least two and half average houses in Newtown per 50 grams of weight-loss. That is not negligible.

But we are too lazy to invent an inverted cycling engine. The main problem is the cost versus the cash return. At about 6 cents per kilowatts for your solar panels, is this worth the effort, in a lazy situation?

This is where we need to visit some of the inventors of economics, to balance the books. Not the first one to fiddle the equations, we should look at Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto. Born Wilfried? Fritz? Pareto (1848 – 1923), he was an Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and philosopher, known for his 80/20 rule. He made an important study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices. He was responsible for popularising the use of the term "elite" in social analysis. "Lazy elite" comes to mind considering this class usually delegate the hard yakka to the "less elite” people who dream of being lazy. But being “elite” demands a lot of inventive fiddle to minimise one’s work. This is the contradiction of Capitalism. It’s the art of being lazy by working at using cash to do business.

The Pareto efficiency quotient comes from his observation that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by about 20% of the population (the “elite”?). Economics thus evolved from being part of moral philosophy, as idealised by Adam Smith, into a data intensive field of scientific research and mathematical equations. 

But, despite the economic models, no matter how one looks at it — economics is not a science but a flexible ART form, with tables of statistics, rows of integral signs and equations, intricate charts and graphs, in which we accept the variable value of laziness and the inventive salesmanship, like we value a Picasso. 

Marie-Esprit-Léon Walras (1834 – 1910) was a French mathematician economist and Georgist. Georgism is an economic philosophy holding that, while people should own the value they produce themselves, economic value derived from land (including natural resources and natural opportunities — i. e. mining) should belong equally to all members of society. Good man.

"I mean that the tendency of what we call material progress is in nowise to improve the condition of the lowest class in the essentials of healthy, happy human life. Nay, more, that it is still further to depress the condition of the lowest class.… It is as though an immense wedge were being forced, not underneath society but through society. Those who are above the point of separation are elevated, but those who are below are crushed down.” 

Welcome Malcolm and the IPA...

Yet most people think that economics was invented by Adam Smith in the late 18th century, through what has become known as the first, or "classical," period of modern economic developed out of Smith, through David Ricardo, including the aggregative approach, the cost-of-production and a labor theory of value.


However, this account is incorrect. Modern economic thoughts that explain the market economy, developed half a century before Smith's Wealth of Nations, and not in Britain, but in France. The French “economists", despite their divergence, were not pre-Ricardian but proto-Austrian, as forerunners of the individualistic, microeconomic, deductive, and subjective-value approach that originated in Vienna in the 1870s. See the Coppet Institute:


The free market has often been wrongly conceived of as a mainly Anglo-Saxon phenomenon. This philosophy of freedom has ancient roots, but it has undergone in France a particularly original development. Unlike the English, the French derive freedom from natural rights rather than utilitarianism. They defend free trade in the form of laissez-faire capitalism. They were primary opponents of collectivist, interventionist and protectionist ideas. Historically, the French School prefigures the modern Austrian School.



The honour of being the "father of modern economics” belongs to an Irish merchant, banker, and adventurer who wrote the first treatise on economics more than four decades before the publication of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Richard Cantillon (1680s–1734), one of the most fascinating characters in the development of social/economic thought, died a multimillionaire. He was born in County Kerry in a family of Irish gentry who had been dispossessed of lands by the English invader, Oliver Cromwell. Richard Cantillon's once-removed first cousin, also named Richard, emigrated to Paris to become a successful banker, as a religio-political exiled from Britain to France.

Our economist Richard Cantillon emigrated to Paris in 1714, becoming the chief assistant in his "cousin" (Richard)’s bank. Richard's mother's uncle, Sir Daniel Arthur, a banker in London and Paris, had named Richard's cousin as the Paris correspondent of his London-based bank. Within two years, Richard Cantillon bought his cousin's ownership of the bank and made it rich.

His Essai is considered the first complete treatise on economics. His contribution include the "cause and effect" methodology, monetary theories, the concept of the entrepreneur as a risk-bearer, and the development of "spatial economics” where location in relation to economic activity, is related to questions of proximity, concentration, dispersion, and similarity or disparity of spatial patterns. The spacial economics are vastly modified by improvements in transports such as trains — as shown by Michael Portillo — and planes that can carry produce to the other side of the world in a day. The “why” of spacial economics relates to the various elastic economists' arty farty views.

Cantillon’s Essai had significant influence on the early development of political economy, including the works of Adam Smith, Anne Turgot, Jean-Baptiste Say, Frédéric Bastiat and François Quesnay.

The history of economic thought deals with many different thinkers and theories in the subject that are political fiddles, from the ancient world to the present day. 

Ancient Greek writers such as the philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the ART of wealth acquisition, and questioned whether property was best left in private or public hands. In the Middle Ages, scholars such as Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price. Here we have to do a short detour via the Cathars whose principle of economics were to finance enterprising adventurers, with rewards far more than lucrative. A sect that believed that the world was intrinsically evil and ruled by a dark deity, Rex Mundi (King of the World, i. e. Satan) while the god of light and goodness, whom they worshipped, existed only in spiritual realms. They also believe in the equality of men and women, as well as lending cash with hefty interest. The evil pope’s army and the nasty inquisition destroyed them. 

As mentioned, in the Western world, economics was part of philosophy until the 18th/19th century Industrial Revolution and the 19th century Great Divergence, which accelerated economic growth, wars and income disparity. 
David Ricardo (1772–1823) was born in London. By the age of 26, he had become a wealthy stock market trader, and bought himself a constituency seat in Ireland to gain a platform in the British parliament's House of Commons. Ricardo's best known work is On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817), which contains a critique of barriers to international trade and a description of the manner in which income is distributed in the population. Ricardo made a distinction between workers, who received a wage fixed to a level at which they could survive, the landowners, who earn a rent, and capitalists, who own capital and receive a profit, a residual part of the income.

If population grows, it becomes necessary to cultivate additional land, whose fertility is lower than that of already cultivated fields, because of the law of decreasing productivity. Therefore, the cost of the production of the wheat increases, as well as the price of the wheat: The rents increase also, the wages, indexed to inflation (because they must allow workers to survive) as well. Profits decrease, until the capitalists can no longer invest. The economy, Ricardo concluded, is bound to tend towards a steady state.

Ricardo was dreaming of course, from the deck of his yacht… I made this up. What disturbs ALL the economic parameters in this equation is the investments in DEFENCE and the governments going into massive debts, while squeezing the populace into submission and rewarding the rich. Cronyism and deceit is a major part of economics.

So, these days economics is still a battle between the poor workers and the rich who for whatever reasons manage to pay less tax proportionally. This is where the Gus Leonisky school of artful economics will come in. 


Gus leonisky
Sunday local fete economist.


Read from top...