Monthly Archives: January 2016

Sea Container Micro Theater

Here’s an idea. Use 20′ sea containers as micro-theaters.
If you use an 84 inch TV:
You can host about 12 people per showing.
Movies would be driven from DVDs or digital distributions.
Put in 4 sets of 3 seats across (2′ per seat) for 12 seats, with each set using 3 feet in depth
Speakers for audio could be mounted anywhere, distributed throughout the container.
Imagine building these and offering for venues like Sundance or Cannes film festivals. Or put them at state/region fairs. Or private showings… Who doesn’t want their own private theater?
Put them in nearly anywhere. I can see a dozen or more of them arrayed inside a warehouse. A simple canopy to shelter the door and stairs could be prefabricated and attached at will.
The idea is there for the taking. Let me know what you think. I think one could build one for maybe $30-40k. Luxury version for $60-100k.
10 people per showing,
5 showings per day,
$20 ticket ($22 – 1 candy or popcorn + 1 drink).
$1000 / day gross
52 weekends, 2 days per
100 days = $100,000 / year gross

Side sickness – Appendicitis – from millstones?

Question: Is ancient times side-sickness or Appendicitis potentially caused by the grit from the milling of grain? Millstones of old undoubtedly shed part of themselves into the flours that all people would come to eat in the form of breads and gruels. Would these tiny grains of sand, some not so tiny, end up blocking that useless organ the appendix and thereby causing side-sickness?

Humans extend and externalize

Why are humans so successful a species?

Because they externalize.

The first example of this process came when Homo erectus externalized part of their digestion by using fire. Fire helped early pre-humans to boost their nutrition, both the availability and the quality, by cooking meats, tubers and eventually grains. The cooking process releases nutrients and reduces tough materials to palatable fare.

Next comes tools. Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalis, both used tools as a means to enhance their lethality and their efficacy in the exploitation of resources (hides, bones, stones, wood). They used simple tools to externalize their bodies’ capabilities.

Then we have machinery which allows humans to leverage physical forces like gravity, wheels, pulleys, levers and machinery in general. A human with such tools often represents a human that is twice, ten or hundreds of times as powerful or strong. Fire also is used as an advantage here to melt ores and clear land. A human can massively extend their power by externalizing through a crane, mining truck or sailing vessel.

Next we have externalized information. Information stored outside a human’s brain, whether it be in books, pictures or in digital formats, allows a human to be many hundreds or thousands times smarter (in knowledge) than a human without such externalized information.

Finally we have the advent of artificial intellects. AI. Humans can now take advantage of not only their own mental capacity with regards to problem solving, but can use increasingly useful and expanding artificial minds. These minds will augment a single human such that they will be able to not only think as one but think as many thousands.

Fire for cooking, tools for hunting, machinery mining and building, information storage for memory extension and now AI for thought expansion, all have provided externalized capabilities that give a single human the power of millions.

The Arctic is a HOT topic!

It’s good to note that with events like this becoming the norm, skeptics who require in-your-face evidence (“that water’s hot, let me force your hand into it to prove it.”) may now be getting a solid dose of reality.

One could hope. But so what?

Believe me, I sympathize with every rational mind who believes this is a problem of epic proportions. But who here have stopped commuting to work and insisted on telecommuting instead? Who here have decided to forgo airline travel? Who here have turned their thermostats down in winter and up in summer? Who here have truly made the sacrifices that must be made to change the climate? Some no doubt, or rather we hope (I have). But I’m sure we’re the equivalent to China or India. We won’t change until the other guy does.

Change is hard (right Simba?) And many of us won’t change until we get cracked in the head with evidence that directly impacts us explicitly. When a couple of ice shelves break off in Antarctica and the seas are suddenly a foot higher — yeah, that would certainly get the world’s attention. If crude oil jumped to $200/barrel, that would be a shock. If a global carbon tax were enacted, that might provide the incentive. Until then at least we’ll have a rink side seat as the ice under the players quickly turns to tepid pools.

Warm Arctic Storms Aim to Unfreeze the North Pole Again — That’s 55 Degrees (F) Above Normal For January

Fossil fuel consumption up up up

What we “need to do” and what humanity will end up doing are vastly different. The build up of fossil fuel usage to this point in history, is a peak, it would seem (and we might hope). The downslope of this consumption curve may be steeper than the upslope was but only by 2x or so. That puts continued fossil fuel use way out into the decades to come. And that’s only if China, India and the US actually bother to try. With ~$30.00 WTI CL, there is very little incentive, economically speaking, for humans and their short term views of the future, to curb consumption.

I hesitate in mentioning this, but the major beneficiaries of crude oil production, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela are all essentially, bad boys. It would seem that a certain nefarious activity, at a certain location in a US state that starts with the letter “O” that hosts much of the storage of WTI for the US, might instantly push the price of oil way way up. Yet such an action has failed to materialize. And that surprises me. None of those countries mentioned are happy places right now. Primarily due to the insanely low price of oil. Why haven’t they, ahem, done *something* to boost the price?

It’s the consumer of oil, the other “bad boys”, those that are wreaking the most havoc on the current and future climate, who are rubbing their hands together in conspiratorial glee. If the price of crude oil can stay low through the US election… then the likelihood of a Democrat election rises appreciably. An ugly correlation I’ll admit.

Nonetheless, what we “need” is oil at $200+/barrel. What we “need” are expanded subsidies for electric everything, solar top-of-things, renewable anything. What we “need” is adoption of a global carbon exchange. What we won’t get is the instant cessation of the consumption of fossil fuels.

Drake Equation, more on the topic

The Drake Equation, as you must all know, is a way to guestimate how prominent intelligent life might be in the Milky Way Galaxy.


I have briefly searched on this forum for the following association but I must have missed it…

I posit that Dr. Dartnell’s recent article on Aeon regarding the link between fossil fuels and the ultimate fruition of humankind into a species capable of grand civilizations may be a factor in the Drake Equation.

That is, do intelligent electro-magnetic energy manipulating species require some massive, stored energy source, provided at just the right time in their evolution, to push them into advanced technologies? Technologies capable of the manipulation of electromagnetic energy and the eventual support of said species’ distribution into its solar system and eventually its galaxy?

If extra-terrestrial intelligences don’t get a super cheap energy boost, like humans got from fossil fuels, will they fail to evolve into EMEM species? (electro magnetic energy manipulator).

In direct support of this supposition is the assumption that such nearly free energy (coal, crude oil and natural gas) has given humanity the ability to explode its population beyond a threshold point; expanding to a critical state where the chain reaction of ideas blending with ideas from millions of people supported by the food made available by fossil fuels, allowed humanity to blossom through the industrial revolution, the computer revolution and now the information/knowledge revolution.

Fossil fuels = food = lots of people = lots of idea = EMEM species.

And therefore, without nearly free energy (NFE) any alien intelligences would never evolve to the level humanity has attained.


Employee Income Inequality Tax

Here’s a way to level the playing field: 

• Employee Income Inequality Tax
• Income Inequality Maximum Dividend

Essentially, corporations must pay a tax based on employee income equality. The greater the inequality, the greater the tax.

Additionally, corporation dividends are limited to the inverse of their employee’s income inequality. As inequality increases the maximum dividend allowable decreases.

Simple rules that will incentivize corporations to ensure that their pay scales are as level as possible.

For a company that pays everyone equally, there is no tax and no limit to the dividend. (The spreadsheet shows a fractional tax and a 10% dividend but this is just an example calculation).

For a company that exhibits the worst disparity, a 500 to 1 ratio, the tax would be 5% of gross income and a maximum of 0.0% dividend. Corporate boards will be sure to make sure they reduce disparity for such companies as they will be penalized for such ugly inequality.

I probably have some of these numbers goofy or are inappropriate. BUT the bottom line is, create simple rules that anyone can understand that will apply as incentives for corporations to do the right thing.

“Corporations respond only to the whip.” — Anonymole

Employee Income Inequality Tax (EIIT)
Income Inequality Dividend Maximum (IIDM)
MaxIncome MinIncome Ratio Tax Penalty Max Dividend
$200,000.00 $200,000.00 1 0.01% 10.00%
$200,000.00 $100,000.00 2 0.02% 8.88%
$200,000.00 $80,000.00 3 0.03% 8.53%
$200,000.00 $60,000.00 3 0.03% 8.06%
$200,000.00 $40,000.00 5 0.05% 7.41%
$1,000,000.00 $200,000.00 5 0.05% 7.41%
$1,000,000.00 $100,000.00 10 0.10% 6.29%
$1,000,000.00 $80,000.00 13 0.13% 5.94%
$1,000,000.00 $60,000.00 17 0.17% 5.47%
$1,000,000.00 $40,000.00 25 0.25% 4.82%
$5,000,000.00 $200,000.00 25 0.25% 4.82%
$5,000,000.00 $100,000.00 50 0.50% 3.71%
$5,000,000.00 $80,000.00 63 0.63% 3.35%
$5,000,000.00 $60,000.00 83 0.83% 2.88%
$5,000,000.00 $40,000.00 125 1.25% 2.23%
$20,000,000.00 $200,000.00 100 1.00% 2.59%
$20,000,000.00 $100,000.00 200 2.00% 1.47%
$20,000,000.00 $80,000.00 250 2.50% 1.12%
$20,000,000.00 $60,000.00 333 3.33% 0.65%
$20,000,000.00 $40,000.00 500 5.00% 0.00%