The Handy SD Card

The SD (Secure Digital) card is pushed into its slot, where it clicks into place. To remove it, you push down on it a little more, and it pops up, so you can grab it. Every digital camera has one, and this where they store the photos and videos that they make. Most laptops have a SD slot you can use also – when you put a card in there, it shows up as another drive on your computer, and you can move the files on the card to your computer – or put files from the computer onto it. Very handy!

The one I am using now had been used in two cameras before it – and they had cluttered it up. I took the SD card out of the camera, plugged it into the front of my computer – and deleted all that crap.

My camera now is a Sony W800/S that seems to be doing the camera-to-computer transfer correctly. When you use the USB cable to connect between them – the camera’s SD card shows up as another drive on the computer. And you can transfer the photos and videos automatically from the camera to your hard drive.

There is even a micro SD version that is so tiny it can be easily hidden.

Having Too Much Can Be Bad for You

I am not saying anything new here – but I think it needs to be said again, because this was one of the causes for America’s downfall.

“America’s downfall?” You may ask, “What kind of nut are you, to talk like this!” But it does seem to me that America, the land I was born into, has gone into a serious decline – and that is why I left it, and now live in Costa Rica.

Since then, I have asked myself, what was wrong with America? And the answer is not easy to come by. But it has something to do with Americans favoring their things over their people.

America became the most industrialized nation in the world – and the richest. But this did not make them better. This is an important point, and I want to dwell on it.

One of the results of Industrialization was its amazing ability to make things better and cheaper. I am using one of them now, as I have my espresso coffee for breakfast. This little machine is amazing, and was so cheap!

And I can go to a supermarket, pushing my shopping cart down the aisles, stocked with items of every description. The emotional impact of this is severe – and re-enforces the message that they are important – and not the person pushing the shopping cart – who is only a consumer.

He does have a plastic credit card, that pays for everything – but he is surrounded by a huge, invisible Financial System – that keeps telling him to buy more!

The emotional result is depression, as people realize they are not important.

Shell Companies

These have probably existed forever – organizations that claim to do one thing, but were set up by other organizations to do their work for them – in secret. These were common in palace intrigues the world over. Wikipedia has an excellent discussion of these.

In our time, one of the vital activities of any businessman or politician – is to figure out who is who – relationships that are constantly changing. They all know things are not as they seem.

Shell companies were part of Big Business, that developed late in the 19th Century, and early in the 20th. Industrialists (also known as Robber Barons) formed plenty of these – but it wasn’t too hard to figure out who was behind them – the guy who ended up with all the money.

With the coming of the Computer, and its Internet – Shell Companies became much harder to detect. Bin Laden used plenty of them – and his network spread everywhere.

People wanted the bad guys to be exposed – but not them, because they are often part of some scam or other themselves.

But separating the two can be difficult.

Dreams

Some people place a lot of confidence in these – but mine are useless. Totally useless – words and images appear in random arrangements, and have no meaning at all. When my brain goes to sleep, it loses its meaningful arrangements that make it so useful – and it becomes a jumble of disconnected memories.

This, for me, it what sleep amounts to – I tell my brain I don’t need it for awhile, and it can relax and do whatever it pleases. There are theories that say it goes into a repair mode that is essential for its survival.

Perhaps so – but this is not included in all the computer models that claim to work as the brain does. They do not need time out to repair themselves.

This is one of the huge differences between computers made of silicon – and bodies (and brains) made entirely differently. Computers are logical (they cannot be anything else) but people are a strange mixture of logic and emotions. That are prone to get out of whack – and work very strangely.

I am listening to a history of WW1 – where Europe did get out of whack, very badly. Especially the Germans – the most talented people in the world, but also the craziest.

Freud was part of this crowd, and he believed in dreams – and wrote a book about them. However, his theories have been shown to have little value – and are in fact, a kind of craziness.

I had a Jungian therapist, when I was working in Silicon Valley in the Nineties. Karl Jung began as a Freudian – but broke with him, and eventually formed his own school – one of which now exists in San Francisco. I had a graduate of this school – who did me no good – but made off with quite a bit of my money – he was clever that way.

He was interested in dreams also.

The Philosophy Behind Functional Programming

The programming paradigm we have always used was Imperative Programming. A series of commands to the computer – do this, do this, and do this. This was enhanced in the Nineties with Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) where software objects were created, with their own internal programming and memory – little minicomputers of their own.

These communicated by sending messages to other objects – including the operating system (such as Microsoft’s Windows) that ran the machine they were on. Large libraries became available (such as Microsoft’s .NET) – that all the little objects could use.

The hardware all this was running also was simplified by the use of Chips (large-scale integrated circuits) that communicated over a data buss and an address buss. Messages were flying back and forth everywhere – and the situation became confusing, because some of these little pieces changed, without the other pieces knowing it.

Keeping everything sorted out became a huge nightmare that doomed many companies. If they fixed one piece of their code – something else broke down.

The solution was simple – all the little pieces had to keep functioning the same way. Mathematically, they had to perform functions, operations that never changed (were immutable). The data could flow through them, from one function to another – and would emerge in the end, as the final result.

This is so different from the usual programming style, most programmers will not use it. They insist on doing things the old way – no matter what. I have worked with these guys (and gals) and I saw this with my own eyes. They want control over their code, to do with as they please – regardless of how this affects others.

I am learning F#, a language Microsoft supports. But to do this I needed a Windows 10 computer. A bought a cheap one, for $180, but it is now in the trash – as I await the shipment of a new one costing $220.

Here I am in rural Costa Rica – but with a new laptop and a fast Internet connection. I get videos every day – giving me the latest software news – some of which are crazy.

I have to discipline myself, to only pay attention to a few of them.

If You Don’t Like the World, You Can Easily Get Out of It

And you might find you have a lot of company – in fact, most of the population, in one way or the other.

I just visited a friend, a middle-aged woman who was outstanding in her youth. She is now a wreck – badly overweight. And satisfies herself by noting the many other women who are in even worse shape.

Her sons survive by keeping out of her way – they do not want to become like her. This is a common strategy for the children of crazy parents, and crazy societies – they know something is wrong, and they come up with ways to cope with it. Often by becoming crazy themselves, but in different ways.

In the Islamic world, they may adopt radical sentiments – and become terrorists. This is explained, rather well, by the 9/11 Commision Report – that few Americans have bothered to read.

They have adopted the strategy is essay is about – being by not being. Plenty of people know what is going on (and teach courses about this) – but these guys don’t want to know.

And are very satisfied with this (unconscious) decision.

Stupidity and 9/11

I am reading the 9/11 Commission Report – formatted for the Kindle. Its going to be long read.

This part I have read so far, was about the hijacking of the aircraft – and the total incompetence of the FAA and the NORAD military. Who were supposed to communicate with each other. but didn’t.

I worked for the FAA for 12 years, and every branch of the Military, during that time also. The FAA and the Air Force ran joint-occupancy sites – huge Radar stations. I didn’t spend much time in the FAA Air Route Traffic Control Centers – huge underground buildings designed to withstand a nuclear attack.

But the people in both these places were stupid and self-important. The last time I was in the DC, I saw the FAA Headquarters Buildings – and I said to myself “I know what is going on there – nothing!” The same could be said of the Pentagon – lots of money, but no brains.

The 9/11 attacks were unusual, but there was a lot more that could have been done – if these guys had a head on their shoulders. The only people did anything were the passengers on one plane – who fought back.