Squatter is not a 4 letter word

It was probably a mistake, but I called my step-son’s friend  a squatter. My step-son’s response was to say, “a squatter is someone who can’t pay,” and noted that Sam can pay.

But I didn’t accuse Sam of being a renter. I based the label of “squatter” on Stephen’s history of having to help Sam move under derrest in the last few places Sam, and my step-son when he doesn’t live with us, lived.

It should be interesting to hear what Sam says. Labels shouldn’t be important, but, more likely than less, they are.

Is Structural Unemployment ‘Humbug’ or Are Krugman and Baker Biased?

The above chart shows the Bureau of Labor Statisticsseasonally-adjusted employment-to-population ratio for individuals 16 and over from the Current Population Survey.

The “structure” they are talking about is in the exponent employment/population ratio. When the ration gets to 2/0 the ‘structure’ changes.

Actually it just changes structurally What’s inside the structure–culture–never changes.

So the exponent just goes to 2 and then not much happens. You just have inflation. Inflation is on the “square”, an area (the area under the graph) that has grown too big in Volume (our economy) that the area pushes the volume upward on the square, as I think the graph shows.

But then you have a lot of people with this (inflation) on their minds. The reason “this” is on so many peoples minds is because of the exponent.

As TPMB says, always beware of the exponent. Or he says something like that.

via Is Structural Unemployment ‘Humbug’ or Are Krugman and Baker Biased? | The Business Desk with Paul Solman | PBS NewsHour | PBS.

Trailer Go Bang!

I had a wonderful talk with my neighbor Hector yesterday. He has been building these Tiny Homes locally here. They seem to be the rage on the east coast, and I think they were first created to get people off-the-grid, so to speak, but I am not sure this is why Hector’s tiny homes are so popular.

From hearing Hector talk, apparently his homes are so popular because they actually pass being dropped from 10 feet and survive. If I was understanding Hector correctly, this is the test a manufactured home needs to pass, if it is going to be sold as a manufactured home that travels on federal highway. Maybe this is a State spec, I really don’t know, because we didn’t get into Construction (C of “D&C” according to Boyd) that much, just Destruction.

Hector says he is keeping the secret to his homes passing the drop test to himself, which I thought was real interesting. Everyone loves a secret, and his bring the fact up that he had a secret reminds me of a friend of mine who made some tools out of a “secret” material that can be found in most households.

My friend kept asking me if I wanted to know his secret, and after telling him that I wasn’t interested in guessing what the material was, nor interested in his secret, he finally told me. I guess my friend told me his secret, because he really wanted me to know how clever he was, because his secret was a very clever answer to a problem of what to build his specifically set of tools out of. By the way, his tools were used to pick locks with, and he could open most locks in a matter of seconds. As these tools are illegal to own, I can’t go into details, so I guess I got a secret :)

From my experience as a student enrolled in Mount Hood Community College‘s Mechanical Engineering program, I have to wonder if Hector understands the trailer’s success himself, maybe that is why he mentioned the fact that he has a secret.

The reason I have to wonder if Hector understands the secret is that much of his trailer’s success in surviving the fall of 10 feet has to do with the trailer’s moment of inertia and the impulse produced at that moment. While this doesn’t sound too complicated, but, from what I have gathered in my studying of Boyd and how energy distributes, there might be only one way the trailer travels the 10 feet, but there are three simultaneous paths the trailer takes in reaching the ground.

If much of Hector’s trailer’s success in passing the drop-test has to do a moment of inertia, as an example of complexity, when my statics class at Mount Hood Community College got to a moment of inertia, most of the mechanical engineering class didn’t do so well. I talked with one classmate and he said this was about his third time trying to pass, with his last grade being a “D”.

Now a D seems to me to be a passing grade, but, OTOH, it really might not look good on your class records. Statics class was where the “rubber meets the road” so one really needs to do good in statics class, for safety’s sake.

He did seem to land a fairly nice job with a local manufacturer of modified pickup trucks, so I hope the class turned out alright for him.

Anyway, let’s see, those that did well…?

I got an A-, so there was me and…?

Anyway, Hector is probably an engineer, or one of those polymaths that just seem to know everything.

As for the 3 paths the trailer takes in the fall of ten feet, the first path is in Hector’s strategy in building the trailer. Most likely his “secret” is tied up in the strategy he used to build his trailer.

The second path is in the process Hector goes through in building the trailer. As the trailer follows the second path, it goes through the same process that Hector used in building the trailer. Hector Observed materials needed to build the trailer in the environment of the fall, he Oriented the materials according to the greatest advantage they have in surviving the fall, then he Decided on how to put them all together, and then he Acted against the force produced in the trailers fall. This is the OODA loop that Boyd talks about.

The third path the trailer takes in the fall is in its Destruction and Construction caused by the feed-forward from where is was to the feedback from where it is going. While this sounds complex, what really is happening to the trailer as it moves towards the ground, it is being destructed from one point and constructed back together again closer to the ground, until it hits.

It is because of the third path of D&C that for safety’s sake, one needs to understand completely all the secrets to the trailer. The reason is that when something is destroyed and put back together again, all the energy that represents the mass in the distribution of energy (the 10 foot fall) becomes available. This means any energy that is not available in the construction or destruction of the trailer may become available as the trailer hits the ground, In other words, as the trailer is being destroyed and put back together in another place and time there is a tendency to change the trailer, because of what we know and what we see along its three paths as it falls.

We know what resources we have to make the trailer, who is going to build it, and how much everything costs. This information comes from the past–we also look into the future and this information may tell us to take another path.

In other words we may “see” something in the future that we want to change. We may want to use other resources, have the trailer built by someone else, and we may need the trailer to costs less. If we don’t know why the trailer survived the fall, any change, even of equal strength may make the trailer fail its test, because all the forces, even those that are entropy, can act as the trailer is destroyed and constructed.

OTOH, It would seem to me that Hector doesn’t really need to tell the secret to his trailers successful drop-test, as long as he wants to keep building all the trailers himself.

He probably will only have to give the “secret” out if he wants to sell the business for gobs and gobs of money :).

As it is, he is making $15,000.00 per trailer, and is able to build one a month. Not bad wages for one guy, and a product worth, I think he said, around $32,000.00. This is good money as long as there is no one pushing you to build more, faster, and less costly.

Hector doesn’t seem like the type of guy to get pushed around, so he will probably do OK.

Egypt: The Opposition’s Next Steps

Now the question is whether Tamarod and the other elements of the former opposition can avoid the kind of fragmentation and divisive infighting that played a significant role in catapulting the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the first place.

Anyone going into Morsi’s position will find it hard not to seen as a Neo of the Middle East. Egypt is positioned at the center of any Arab movement. So until the Arab Spring has passed, Egypt will function as a moment of inertia.

Unlike a center of gravity, a moment of inertia follows a different “axis”, a so-called z-axis. It’s the same axis Neo followed in the movie “Matrix”.

Update: And, I should add, Neo followed the land-line in the movie, at least when leaving. That line represents the z-axis.

via Egypt: The Opposition’s Next Steps | Stratfor.

The Operational Level Of War Does Not Exist

Armies are destroyed or defeat by tactics. Wars are won and lost by strategy.

Yes but, all strategy is flawed, so to win at war you always need to keep up with the process, i.e. the OODA loop, and change, i.e. Destruction and Construction (D&C in the context of quantum movement of energy that the OODA loop represents). Strategy give war structure (the machines of war are very good against structure) between both Ends (End,Way, and Means of strategy), but the OODA loop (process) gives strategy its Means to bridge the gap between Observation/Action or Past/Future.

Meanwhile, change (D&C) gives strategy the Way to complete the process.

There is no force in the movement of mass, and when you are talking the OODA loop we are talking the movement of mass.

As Boyd would say: it’s about people stupid (I am paraphrasing here of course).

Mass (people) simply moves from where it has been (the past) to where its volume can (the future). The force developed in Observation only adds the potential of the mass. not direction, i.e. force can move in a different direction (feedforward or feedback) than the mass in a OODA loop.

The mass in the OODA loop has to keep moving forward, as it is able, unless something collapses, such as its Orientation.

An Orientation is a position of advantage in the environment Observed. The Orientation itself doesn’t need to collapse to cause problems, only its position that gives it an advantage.

I mean at the same time you are relying so heavily on strategy, one needs to be able to look at the energy not available in the system and compare it to the energy available, and decide, “how healthy are you?”

Hannibal couldn’t do it, neither could Napoleon.

Today’s military commanders can do it, because they not only have access to open-source intelligence (OSI) that are able to Observe the flaws in the narrative (its the narrative that strategy uses to build structure with), but military commanders are also able to judge what they are doing, because OSI are able to compare the narrative to a specific time/space in the future/past, and make available the entropy of the system in their judgement, or they are judged by and with the entropy of the system itself.

via The Operational Level Of War Does Not Exist.

The Economics of the Indo-Pacific Pivot

As I have said before, all war is about economic considerations and fought by people with few economic consideration.

Much has been said, in our pivot towards the Asian Pacific, about the people with few economic considerations.

We have heard about the saber-rattling of China in the disputed South China Sea and elsewhere.  This saber-rattling doesn’t really seem to be much about economics. Perhaps now is the time we need to talk about the economic considerations in the Pivot.

Basically, economically we are going to do for those nations under our Indo-Pacific pivot what we did for the Middle East. We are going to use our military to uphold the relevancy of the US dollar.

Perhaps the quip used by one of the characters in the movie “Tinker, Tailor,  Soldier,  Spy” can be used to clarify what I mean by “doing” to the Indo-Pacific what we did for the Middle East.

In the movie there was a change of leadership in the “Circus”. The Circus is where  the odd performers of the British secret service get together and put on a show for everyone else in the Service to see. The new Ringleader, to show his knowledge of how things are in the world made the statement that, “you can rent an Arab, but never buy one.”

I don’t know if that statement is true or not, but by literally throwing billions of dollars into the environment of Iraq, after our invasion,  we “rented” thousands of Arabs. (I know the dollars in my wallet are mainly there for me to rent. They never stay in my wallet long enough to actually own.)

In other words, economics is not just about interest (which collecting interest is not popular in most areas of the Middle East) but a strong economy also depends a great deal on whose hard currency runs the show.

While there were many reason made for going to war in Iraq, strategically it was in the US’s interest to make sure “petrol dollars” also meant the US dollar.

As many experts have said, the Iraq war wasn’t about the US grabbing Iraq’s oil. The US doesn’t get its oil from the Middle East. The oil coming out of the Middle East is mostly going to China and other developing nations.

But what is important,economically for the US is that whoever buys oil in the Middle East uses US dollars. The US economy depends on the fact that they do.

With Turkey threatening to join the EU, France heavily into buying oil from Saddam, and rumors of Russia and China making gold the currency for oil, the relevancy of the US dollar was disappearing. I suggest that is no longer true.

While all strategy is flawed, and there is an on-going civil war throughout the Middle East, in the most part the US currency is still “the” currency of the world.

My guess is that the US dollar is the most relevant it has ever been in the Middle East, but the same cannot be said in the Asian Pacific.


A 1.6 billion infusion of US dollars and an occupation of US Marines may counteract that train of thought.


My online activity has been eating into my time, so I have deleted my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. I have found no willpower to resist engaging online, so I hope this drastic action will help focus my activity locally.

I am in the process of remodeling our home. I have made my wife live in this shack too long, and now that she is retiring, I hope to give her something more worthy for her to retire in.

But to accomplish this task we basically have to move out, and that is what I am up to. We not only have to pack and move our stuff (read here cherished belongings) and put them mostly in storage, but we also need to find temporary living accommodations. So far these temporary living accommodations have gone from building a home on our bare lot next door to erecting a yurt.

I also placed my web site into private, but have decided to open it again to the public for those of you who like to check in every so often.

Beauty sent my a message on LinkedIn, but because my account is closed I can’t reply.

So far everything is good. Will post changing conditions on this web page if I find the time.