Animal’s Daily News

Twins. Not digital.

Within 5 years, it seems, we may have digital twins.  Yes, really.  Excerpt:

“When you and I die, our kids aren’t going to go to our tombstones, they’re going to fire up our digital twins and talk to them,” John Smart tells Business Insider.

As a futurist and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, Smart uses many names for the technology he predicts — digital twin, cyber-self, personal agent — but the concept stays the same: a computer-based version of you.

Using various strategies for gathering and organizing your data, digital twins will mirror peoples’ interests and values. They’ll “input user writings and archived email, realtime wearable smartphones (lifelogs), and verbal feedback to allow increasingly intelligent and productive guidance of the user’s purchases, learning, communication, feedback, and even voting activities,” Smart writes.

Here’s what I want to know – can this digital twin earn a living for me?

Relaxing BearAs a quality systems consultant to the medical device and tissue industries, it seems every year more and more of my work is being done purely electronically, via VPN, Skype, email and cloud tech.  So, if this is the case, can I program my 25+ years of industry experience into this digital twin and have it do the work, while I bum around in the mountains in pursuit of trout, or whatever else enters my mind at the time?

Somehow I suspect that level of sophistication is some years off.

(Will I be able to buy a digital twin of, say, Kate Beckinsale?)

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

An interesting piece here from National Review:  The Gelded Age.  Excerpt:

The inequality-based critique of the American economy is a fundamentally dishonest one, for a half a dozen or so reasons at least. Claims that the (wicked, wicked) “1 percent” saw their incomes go up by such and such an amount over the past decade or two ignore the fact that different people compose the 1 percent every year, and that 75 percent of the super-rich households in 1995 were in a lower income group by 2005. “The 3 million highest-paying jobs in America paid a lot more in 2005 than did the 3 million highest-paying jobs in 1995” is a very different and considerably less dramatic claim than “The top 1 percent of earners in 1995 saw their household incomes go up radically by 2005.” But the former claim is true and the latter is not.

A sure sign that you’re dealing with an economic illiterate – or an ideologue, like Paul Krugman – is when they go on and on about “income inequality.”  Why?

Fishing Trip BearBecause income inequality is, in and of itself, an inevitable fact of human existence, and as with most economic matters, the more government interferes, the worse things get.  (See:  Soviet Union.)

But the real danger behind such discussions is presented later on in this article:

You can make the straightforward case for property seizure, though Democrats generally are not all that comfortable doing so around election time, or you can ritually chant the 1,001 names of the ancient demon Inequality.

Yes, you got that right; property seizure.  Every attempt at government amelioration of “income inequality” involves taking resources, by force of law, away from one group of people to give it to another.  It involves taking property away from people who have earned it to give it to people who have not.  Further, it involves people who produce working a certain amount of their time to have their property seized with the implied force of arms, and to have the property they earned given to people who are less productive.

In what system is this a morally defensible exchange?

Animal’s Daily Rifle Musings

I’ve been watching some firearms auction sites for one of these.

Winchester 100
Winchester 100

This, True Believers, is the Winchester 100, a slick little semi-auto sporting rifle made from 1961 to 1974 and offered in three Winchester calibers; .308 Winchester, .284 Winchester and .243 Winchester.  I’ve been looking for one in .308, and – this is key – one in decent mechanical condition, but the cosmetic condition is unimportant.  Worn bluing and a buggered-up stock are not only unimportant, but might even be desirable.


The intent is to use my Model 100 for an experiment, once I’ve been thinking about trying for 20 some years now.

Win 100A bullpup rifle, for the uninitiated, is a rifle where the action is located well aft of the trigger guard; the famous Steyr AUG is an example.  But most bullpups come in military livery, and I’m interested in building a bullpup hunting rifle, one in a reasonably powered caliber capable of killing deer and (with proper loads) elk.  Further, I want to equip my bullpup sporter with a decent-looking walnut or wood laminate stock.

The design of the 100’s action will make a few design features necessary.  A bullpup design will mean the buttpad will be right behind the action, so in order to get access to the sorta-flush five-round mag, the stock will have to rise quickly from the toe of the stock to meet the line of the original pattern.

But the real trick will be the trigger.  The stock Model 100 has a pretty fair trigger, but the more linkages and twinks you add to a trigger, the harder it is to get a decent pull.  There may be a number of ways to do it; a cable linkage, a solid steel rod, even an electronic trigger.

Hunt Like a Girl.
Hunt Like a Girl.

So, how to bring, specifically, the Model 100 trigger to well forward of the action and still maintain a decent, clean, crisp trigger pull?  I haven’t worked that part out yet.  Once I find the right rifle, I may talk to an actual professional gunsmith (being just an inspired tinkerer myself) to see if that problem can be worked out.

The appeal of a light, short thumper of a hunting rifle is obvious, yes?  I may even have a target demographic in mind, should I choose to build a few more of these.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

From the “barking nuts” category:  Latest from the Fever Swamps: U.S. Defense Department Responsible for Ebola Outbreak.  Money quote:

An article appearing in a Liberian newspaper by an American professor teaching at a taxpayer-funded university accuses the U.S. Department of Defense of deliberately infecting Africans with the Ebola virus.

Cyril Broderick, a Liberian-born professor teaching at Delaware State ScrewballUniversity, believes that the Ebola outbreak was an international plot that included the injection of the Ebola virus into human test subjects just weeks before the outbreak began in Africa.

Uh huh.

We went through this same sort of nutballery with AIDS.  And the Jackassnutballery didn’t stop with the idea that the U.S. government created AIDS, but took the next kooky leap into claiming the gummint also had a cure for AIDS, but deliberately withheld it.

There are plenty of other looney conspiracy theories, ranging from Holocaust denial to the 911 Troofers.

But the problem with the particular brand of windbaggery put out by this kook Broderick is this:  He may well get some people killed, probably people who are too ignorant of the science behind modern medicine to understand that he is putting forth the purest Boneheadcorral litter.

Behind every silver lining lies a cloud, and the cloud behind the silver lining of free speech is that idiots, kooks, mendicants, con men and nutcases have the right to speak as well.  It’s just too bad that there will always be people who will listen to them.

Rule Five Friday

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (1)Paul Allen:  Another Anti-Gun Hypocrite.  Excerpt:

Paul Allen is the less well-known founder of Microsoft, and has used his billions to buy, among other things, the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. He’s an avid yachtsman, and at one point owned or had owned multiple entries in Power and Motor Yacht magazine’s list of the world’s longest yachts.

He is also an avid collector of military vehicles, which is something all SGN readers would heartily approve if that weren’t contrasted with his support of the Washington State Initiative 594, which would impose a universal background check system and 10-day waiting period on all gun purchases. 2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (2)Allen has chipped in $500,000 to support the initiative, supporting his old Microsoft partner, Bill Gates, who came in with a full million.

There is a slight element of apples/oranges here; the tank in question, along with the other various military vehicles Allen owns, is almost certainly demilled.  But there’s a marked tendency among anti-gunners to refuse to practice what they preach, and Allen’s support of restrictive gun control does seem odd in light off his hobby.

But Allen isn’t really the star hypocrite in this story.  The linked article concludes:

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (3)The late Tom Siatos, a longtime executive at Petersen Publishing Co. and regular columnist in Guns & Ammo, was having a few belts at a Los Angles Safari Club Int’l gathering when he encountered Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler, who enjoyed numerous Africa safaris.

Why, Siatos asked, was the Times reliably anti-gun when its publisher owned and used hundreds of them? “Oh, Tom,” Chandler replied, “we’ll always have our guns.”

Uh huh.

So, how about we peruse a short list of anti-gun hypocrites?

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (4)Father Micheal Pfleger.

Dianne Feinstein.

NYPD Chief Ray Kelly.

Mark Kelly.

And, last but not least, notorious liar and blowpig Michael Moore.

Let’s be fair; hypocrisy comes in all flavors, and pols and other public figures on all points of the political spectrum are prone to it; for every anti-gun hypocrite I could point out, it would be trivially easy to find, say,  a staunch GOP social-issues conservative who has had an 2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (5)extramarital affair.

But what does the overt hypocrisy of any of these people tell us?

How about a critical lack of integrity?  Of moral consistency?  Of intellectual consistency?

How about the lack of necessity of ever taking them seriously on these chosen issues, ever again?

Why should we listen to (notorious blowpig) Michael Moore whining about the need for laws to disarm law-abiding citizens when he stands behind a phalanx of armed guards?

Answer:  We shouldn’t.

2014_09_26_Rule Five Friday (6)

Animal’s Daily News

Splashing-BearsDo we have two anti-choice parties in America?  Sure; they are just anti-choice in differing areas.  Excerpt:

Democrats constantly increase limits on individual choice. President Obama won’t let people work in unpaid internships, and health officials in liberal cities ban trans fats from restaurants.I like the way Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ken.) summarized liberals’ love of crushing choice:

“It’s light bulbs. It’s toilets. It’s cars. You name it. Your freedom of choice is gone. For a party that says they are the pro-choice party, this is the most anti-choice administration we’ve seen in a lifetime.”

Republicans have their own list of ways in which they want to control us. Many are not just anti-abortion (as is Sen. Paul); they’re also anti-gay marriage, anti-drugs, anti-gambling and, in a few cases, anti-free speech.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, says most of these rules are needed to protect society as a whole. When I challenge the war on drugs, asking, “Don’t I own my own body?” he answers, “It is your body, John, but the consequences are paid for by the broader society.

Dual-BearsAs to that last; that’s the other side of the libertarian coin, at least the one carried and advocated by yr. obdt.; sure, it is your body, and if you mess it up by acting irresponsibly, it is not the role of the taxpayers to bail your dumb ass out.  Screw up, and it’s all on you. 

But the gist of the article is horrifyingly accurate.  I vote GOP as the lesser of two evils, and because they are almost without exception better than the Democrats – not good, just better than the Democrats – on spending and debt, which in my considered opinion is one of the transcendent issues of our time, the resolution of which the very future of our Republic depends.

But that doesn’t mean I like every plank in their platform, either.

Sad-BearSome years back sci-fi author and libertarian scribe Robert Heinlein said, “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”

Almost everyone in government – especially the Imperial Federal government – belong in that first group.  And in my lifetime, it’s gotten a whole lot worse.

Where does it end?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Some good news – sort of – on the Second Amendment front for denizens of the Imperial City:  D.C. Council votes to allow concealed handguns.  Excerpt:

 A reluctant District of Columbia Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allow people to carry concealed handguns in the nation’s capital for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The bill was crafted to comply with a court ruling that struck down the District’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home.

Residents and visitors who want to carry a concealed handgun would have to show a specific reason that they need one, among other requirements, and District leaders are hoping that the law would withstand further court challenges. But the attorney who challenged the ban on carrying guns has said the legislation is too restrictive and does not comply with the court ruling.

Will there be some more legal wrangling?  Almost certainly – and certainly hopefully these restrictions (especially the idiotic ‘…would have to show a specific reason clause) will continue to ease.  But what’s revealing in this story are the quotes from the Council members themselves (comments from yr. obdt. added for color.)

“I don’t believe in guns. I don’t believe in carrying guns,” said Council member Marion Barry, a Democrat and a former four-term mayor. “I think the public ought to understand that all of us here are doing something we really don’t want to do.”

You “don’t believe in guns,” you crack-smoking horse’s ass?  I assure you, they exist.  And yes, we know this is something you don’t want to do, largely because you make decisions on what you ‘feel’ and what you ‘believe,’ much of which has little basis in fact.

The bill requires the signature of Mayor Vincent Gray, who has said he plans to sign it.

“This bill ensures that we will be able to meet the requirements of the Constitution while maintaining the maximum amount of safeguards possible to protect our residents, visitors, workers and public-safety officers,” Gray said in a written statement.

gun control theoryThe ‘maximum amount of safeguards’ would be to permit personal weapons by the law-abiding residents of the Imperial City.  It is a matter of irrefutable fact that CCW permit holders are far less likely to be involved in a crime than the balance of the populace.

Facts are stubborn things.  It’s telling – very telling indeed – that the Imperial City itself continues to ignore facts in order to continue to restrict the liberty of its residents.

Animal’s Daily News

Relaxing BearHere’s an interesting bit on the weird dichotomy of the Golden State, from one who knows, the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson.  Excerpt:

California is run from a sort of Pacific Versailles, an isolated coastal compound of elite rulers physically cut off from its interior peasantry.

To understand how California works — or rather does not work — drive over the I-5 Grapevine and gaze down at the brilliantly engineered artificial Pyramid Lake. Thanks to California water project deliveries, even in a third year of drought its level still fluctuates between 90 to 100% full — ensuring, along with its companion reservoirs, plentiful water for the Los Angeles-area municipalities for the next two years. The far distant watersheds and reservoirs that feed Pyramid Lake are about bone dry.

The same disconnect is true of Crystal Springs Reservoir along the I-280 near San Francisco. The Sierra watershed that supplies the now 90%+full lake is drying up. But San Francisco will have an assured water supply from its manmade reservoirs for some time, even if the drought persists.

One of then central tenets of the personal Philosophy of Animal is that the government governs best that governs least, and that government should be as local as possible.

This is why.

Witness the results when a cabal of uber-wealthy coastal elites make well-meaning policy that so adversely affects the hoi polloi in the interior.  As disconnected from the normal people of most of the state as Louis XVI was from the peasantry of France, this coastal elite has led California into fiscal insolvency.

Dr. Hanson concludes:

But for now in our pyramidal state, there is a Versailles elite on the coast, and a let-them-eat-cake mass everywhere else.

Do you remember what happened to Louis XVI?  I wonder if Jerry Brown does.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.