Based on the positive test results from the 1:12 scale model, the design of Quidnon nouveau-retro Chinese Junk sails is almost fully baked. But there are a couple more bothersome problems to solve. Junk sails are attached to the mast using parrels, which are short lines or straps running along the battens and around the mast. This generally works rather well, but produces a couple of unintended effects:
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Poverty Minus the Meaningless Numbers
In the meantime, in the formerly wealthy but now virtually bankrupt countries of the West, and in the United States especially, homelessness has been steadily increasing, the number of people on public assistance has been setting new records, the opioid epidemic is claiming more victims every day and major cities, such as Chicago and Baltimore, have turned into shooting galleries to such an extent that Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel has recently asked the UN to send in peacekeepers to stop what he has called “a genocide.” The result, again readily observable, is political instability and widespread dissatisfaction with the overall direction, as evidenced by such phenomena as Trump, Brexit, the electoral failure of major political parties in France, Germany, Austria and elsewhere, separatist rumblings in Spain and Italy and the manifest fecklessness of both elected national officials and the unlected EU ones in Brussels.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Quidnon: Hull Shape Revisited
|Click to enlarge|
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
The XIII Commandments of Communities that Abide
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The following list of... um... commandments has been put together by looking at lots of different communities that abide. It is not dependent on what exact kind of community it is: whether it’s patriarchal or apportions equal rights and responsibilities to both women and men, whether it’s religious or atheist, whether it’s settled, migratory or nomadic, whether it consists of farmers or carnival performers, law-abiding people or outlaws, the highly educated or the illiterate, whether it’s rigidly traditionalist or polyamorous, vegan or omnivorous...
Thursday, December 07, 2017
Community: The Final Chapter
In comparison, “intentional communities,” including ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams and so on are rather boutique, being mainly aspirational and ideological rather than practical in nature. But added together they present more or less the entire landscape of “communities” within the developed world. And all of them are degenerate cases.
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
On the other hand there are those who think that cryptocurrencies are another type of tulip mania or South Sea bubble: just another irrationally exuberant event that will end with a resounding crash. The standard retorts are “Bah, humbug!” and “This time, it’s different!” A more thoughtful retort is that Bitcoin (and other cryptos) are works of genius, based on the innovation of the blockchain (a sort of distributed ledger where every anonymous participant gets to verify every transaction) and the “proof of work” principle by which Bitcoin is “mined” using computers. In essence, instead of putting their trust in governments (which print money) and central banks (which really print money), Bitcoin users put their trust in algorithms, which are open source and defended through lack of public acceptance of any modification that might compromise them.