sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, July 28, 2017

117 Years

Audi's self-driving car.
1900 began a century of profound change.

My grandfather was born in 1902.

There were automobiles then. With the help of Harold Willis, Henry Ford designed, built, and successfully raced a 26-horsepower automobile in October 1901. With this success, Murphy (a lumber baron) and other stockholders in the Detroit Automobile Company formed the Henry Ford Company on November 30, 1901, with Ford as chief engineer. In 1902, Murphy pushed Ford out of the company bearing his name. With Ford gone, Murphy renamed the company the Cadillac Automobile Company. 

Well within my lifetime (unless a bus rolls over me), there will be self-driving automobiles as part of the common scene on American streets. Today they're experimental but they won't be for long. Driving a car will then become a choice rather than a matter of necessity. Will drunk driving become a thing of the past? Likely. 

Many auto makers want to manufacture these new cars without steering wheels or pedals. HERISY!

I'm not sure how I feel about self-driving cars. My grandfather may have mulled the merits of the Model T (horseless carriage) over the horse-drawn wagons and buggies. I wasn't there at the time.

I doubt that self-driving cars will ever reach the White Wolf Mine (near Arizona's Mogollon Rim). And I believe that my grandfather would have liked my current rig as it's set up for moving. It's a 2014 Raptor, so it's technically an old truck, but he would have liked it all the same. I know that he would have approved of the Gadsen Flag license plate.

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The first powered flight took place at Kittyhawk, NC on December 13, 1903.  My grandfather was one year old. He lived to work on the Apollo Capsule as an engineer for North American Aviation, later North American Rockwell. He saw men land on the Moon on July 20, 1969. He was gravely ill at the time but we watched the Giant Leap for Mankind together on our black and white television. Kittyhawk to the moon in 66 years. Nobody would have made that prediction and the most insane bookie wouldn't have taken that bet.

The first Boeing 1 Seaplane was named Bluebill, and the second was named Mallard. They first flew on 15 June 1916. William Böing emigrated to the US in 1868 and initially worked as a laborer; his move to America was not popular with his father and he received no financial support. He later made a fortune from North Woods timber and mineral. The fortune funded his passion for engineering and flight.

Whenever I fly now, I try to snag a ride on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner because it has an incredibly comfortable and spacious first class cabin and offers a superior ride. It was 100 years from Bluebill to my first ride on a Dreamliner, where the flight attendant schedules my massage when my menu order for the in-flight meal is taken.
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Cell phones, i-pads, notebook computers and the Internet were things that were beyond concept when my grandfather was born. Buck Rogers the comic book series was published when my father was a boy, but even Buck couldn't envision what we have today that makes our connectivity instant and worldwide. I often get a clearer signal on a phone call from China than I do from a neighboring city. But they are an integral part of who we are and how all commerce and communication works. To say that my grandfather would have been stunned is an understatement.

When I was in school, we used slide rules. Man went to the Moon on engineers with slide rules. My wife, six years my junior had never heard of a slide rule. The first time I knew that was when we were having dinner with a friend who worked for Rand, and had been the team leader on the Lunar Ascent Module's motor. She asked, "What's a slide rule?" and the table went quiet. Such was the light-speed march of progress in the last century - that continues today.
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Stretched out, the DNA from all the cells in one human body would reach Pluto. So how does each tiny cell pack a two-meter length of DNA into its nucleus, which is just one-thousandth of a millimeter across? And still, we mapped it.
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But socially, we have been far less successful. And no success in life compensates for failure in your home. American culture, often driven by Hollywood values, and the venal, corruption inside our institutions of higher learning with moral relativity is nothing to be proud of.

What happened?

I was raised by my grandparents, so the values they imparted of chivalry, honor, charity, hard work, and honesty are the values of people born at the beginning of the prior century. My family never put down women or people of other cultures. My grandfather lived in Mexico for a part of his life and spoke fluent Spanish. You could make an argument that discrimination was a chink in our armor, and I won't disagree, but all people didn't make those sorts of judgments.

In that setting, pederasts were convicted, castrated, or executed. Freaks were shunned. Today the big question is whether trannies should remain in the military in positions of honor, trust and profit. I'm not suggesting that the 1900 approach was always the correct one, but perhaps we've over-corrected.

Then there are people like White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (who apparently can do the fandango) blaggarding all of his co-workers in the press. Did President Trump sanction that sort of behavior? I can only hope not. Politics has been dirty since Cain slew Abel, and prostitution is the oldest profession.  I know all that. But the 24 hour news cycle means that everything is must-see-TV.

There are sectors (such as the Navy) when things were never that gentle. Churchill reportedly said that "rum, sodomy and the lash" were what kept the British Navy going. So I'll grant you that.

But it's gone too far. 75% of black children in America come into life without a father in the home.  The Pope is pro-homosexuality and transgenderism.

For all of our technological prowess and for all of our achievement, we have not built a kinder society, we have not built a compassionate (true compassion, not the compassion of political advantage that the progressives spew) society, and we have not built a good society.
___

And then there's the murderous, nasty, crone, Hillary Clinton, darling of the corrupt, smug, elite filthy mainstream media. She's signaling for a run in 2020 to unseat her nemesis, Donald J. Trump. At least politics is still interesting. (LOCK HER UP) MAGA


31 comments:

  1. LIKE. I mean, it’s not an Aston Martin DB9 but I wouldn’t pass it up. However, I don’t think I’d want a flashy, sporty little purrer like that and, err, not be able to drive it. I’m nearly in the Guinness Book Of Records for the most speeding tickets so I wouldn’t want to let that slip.
    Imagine James Bond careering round Italian mountain passes in a self driving car? BORRRRING.
    I’m not sure that I’d trust it either. I have to have two bottles of BA complimentary wine before I can calmly take off with a plummy voiced pilot.
    Plus, theres a pleasure in driving - particularly a nice motor. I don’t think it will be in the insurance companies interest to have self driving cars; or the coppers, they must get 2 luxury cruises a year based on the amount I’ve spent on camera captures. But, it would save a lot of lives and at the end of the day, that’s a plus point. It would also save people from a lot of rage induced heart attacks when they’re stuck behind some numpty who can’t turn left because there’s someone coming out of Alaska.
    However, as I write this I’m beginning to think a lot of people would lose jobs if self driving cars became the norm: Traffic cops, insurers, surgeons, local government (shame), DVLA test centres…. Where would they get the money from then, eh? Tell me that, Larry Lambert!

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    1. They'd all go on the dole and you'd pay them from the Smith Family Treasury. Just think of all the traffic cops, insurers, surgeons and motor vehicle bureaucrats who would be in your debt. (of course, they'd need to join the clown church)

      I'm thinking now - you could hold a drawing and give away two luxury cruises every year to the lucky out-of-work people who owe you their living... we don't want them to feel bad about themselves.

      As to the Guiness Book, you hold your record SECURE in the knowledge that you'll never be surpassed.

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  2. I'll drive myself, thank you, but would vote for computerized bambis.

    Some 100+ year old technologies still function quite well today. Railroads and self loading firearms come to mind.

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    1. Your business may have other plans. Imagine that you could work while driving. It would make you more productive if you didn't have to watch the road.

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    2. Good point. Back when I was organizing off site sales, I occasional used a driver so I could sit in the back seat of my Town Car and work. Might have worked better if the driver wasn't an attractive female.

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    3. You can't put a guy in a car with a beautiful woman and expect that any productive work will be the result. That may sound sexist - but such is the millstone that heterosexual men carry around their shoulders.

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  3. Your posts are always so full of information that it's hard to consolidate my comments, but here goes... We're Dodge Ram people here now, but I'll forgive the Ford Raptor because my first car was a Pinto and I have a soft spot in my heart for Fords. And of course, there's the Gadsen tag... who could resist that?

    Then we jump to slide rules... yes, as a science and math geek, I had one or probably two.

    I grew up with many of the values that you mentioned; chivalry, honor, charity, hard work, and honesty. My grandfather was born in Spain and my grandmother was born in Cuba, but she was the child of two Spaniards who had moved there. That's where my ancestry points... unless there were some shenanigans going on that I don't know about.

    I think it's too soon to come to a conclusion about Scaramucci, but I'm not pleased with his language. Look, I grew up in New York and I find it a bit crude... what does that tell you?

    Your posts are full of intriguing stuff. If I missed something, I'll get back to you.

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    1. Trump earned his spurs in the wicked world of NYC real estate and he likes to brawl. It's what's required for success and he was monumentally successful. That's not always what defines a good president. But he's surrounding himself with generals, and that's good.

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  4. When we held the family reunion here in 2013, there were kids who couldn't wash their hands in the bathroom because we didn't have squirting soap. They had never seen bar soap.

    Very interesting post.

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    1. Oh, wow. I use bar soap now.

      Yes, I know that I'm a neanderthal, but I never knew that it could be define by bar soap.

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    2. I fully believe that a lot of the trouble with diseases and such have been brought about by people being overly concerned with cleanliness.
      We use bar soap, too. So what if one of the boys used it before me?

      Of course bar soap is not logical in a public location simply because it would never stay on the sink.

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  5. I was taught how to use a slide rule, oddly, and I agree.

    LOCK HER UP

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    1. You're too young to have used a slide rule...

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  6. Sometimes the past is closer than we think--

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/special-features/2014/11/141111-veterans-day-150-anniversary-civil-war-memories/

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    1. And now people are trying to destroy and rewrite that history. Sad.

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    2. It will always be the "War of Northern Aggression" in my house.

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    3. Agreed, LL. And I grew up in Michigan.

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  7. The advances ARE truly stunning... And mind boggling to imagine how far we may go in the next 100 years!

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    1. We'll either be transformed beyond belief, or we'll be back to sticks and stones. I can't predict which.

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  8. Observed from distance it is not easy to understand what is going on less what the future will bring. Sometimes it is helpful to use a dictionary to gain insight what it means and from there it is possible to interpret and hopefulle also understand without being an insider. The dictionary give information.

    scaramucci
    the fluids or solids resulting from one's inability to control bowel movements; stool (feces) which has leaked unexpectedly from the rectum. Scaramucci can range from being an accidental or occasional leakage of stool while passing gas, to a full-blown loss of bowel control.

    I really hope the ordinary US citizen get information from other sources than the MSM or even better if they experience real change and positive progress.

    From an outsiders point of view it looks confusing. Especially if the dictionary gives a hint about what the future will bring.

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    1. It's confusing from the inside too.

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  9. One of my relatives on my Mom's side had seen Orville and Wilbur fly at an exhibition when he was a small boy. He told me he never thought man would get to the Moon, let alone see it live on TV.

    He's the same guy that told me whne I was little that the one thing that most amazed him about TV was that it had "no moving parts" in it.

    He had quite a perspective on life....

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    1. The last century was the "age of wonder".

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  10. When telling about the values you experienced had a positive effect and made a significant effect on the way you behave and live your life, it is interesting to take a look at the map Transparency International /TI) use to present their findings from their global survey. https://goo.gl/ek2igk The ones growing up in countries having a different tradition, culture and religion seems to lack something you got when TI comes up with their figures. The consequences of corruption do something with the attitude of the people and when people are moving do they also bring with them the parts that caused the reasons from wanting to harvest from the benefit other can offer in the US or the countries being on the opposite side of the scale they are moving from? To build a society and make it functional and wealthy you need to have loyalty to "the nation" and follow the common rules. It used to be like that. Today it seems not being political correct to be a patriot and loyal to the values that shaped the attitude that created the wealth and good society. Now everything is equal even if the results tell you there is a difference.

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    1. Society is taking that disturbing path (that only leads to misery and ultimately to destruction). Western cultures seem to want to bring in Mohammedans from broken parts of the world, who only wish to spread their diseased culture. Nothing good comes from that. And nothing good comes from political correctness.

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  11. I'll say it before and I'll say it again: I find much of what the current Pope says disedifying and disturbing, to the point where I have to tune most of it out, but he has nevertheless come out against gender ideology. Yet even if he is in favor of homosexuality and transgenderism, the Catholic Church is not and never will be.

    P.S. Don't say "chink in our armor." "Chink" is "racist." https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/01/30/army-deletes-tweet-referring-to-chinks-in-armor-after-racism-accusations/?utm_term=.c6c3e169487e

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    1. If I replace "chink" with FLAW, I'll have the Asians after me. Political correctness is an endless battle.

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    2. Before you know it, breathing will be racist and we'll all be told to die.

      PC is going to be the death of America as we knew it.

      I agree with you on the Pope. He seems more of an Anti-Christ than a man of God. And though it may seem wrong, I forgive him, as I want God to forgive me.

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    3. I'm not suggesting that the Pope is beyond forgiveness, but I think he could set a better example. The natural reaction to that sort of statement is, "who are you to judge?" And the answer is that I'm just a guy who makes a few (generally worthless) observations.

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    4. Your readers might disagree about your observations, but liberals would probably agree with you.

      And yes. He should set a better example.

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  12. The advances ARE truly stunning... And mind boggling to imagine how far we may go in the next 100 years!


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It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life