Open Thread - Thurs 20 Jan 2022 - Hello!

Hello everyone!
I am very humbled and honored to be taking on the Open Thread for Thursday slot from Dawn's Meta. I am quite sad that her current circumstances and travails forced this to happen, as I loved her Homesteading in France posts. They inspired me to start thinking about moving overseas myself!

And so, I, will attempt to fill her shoes, as much as I am able.

First: Who the heck am I? Well, I'm Sima, a long time lurker. I've been a member here since mid March 2016. I read almost every post, and am here almost every day. But I lurk, or I should say, lurked. Everyone here is so smart and on top of things, that I seldom felt I had anything of value to add.

Recently I've had some changes in my life that have freed up time, so I volunteered to do a thread if needed. JtC took me up on that offer, and here I am!

Briefly, I grew up in what became Silicon Valley, CA, left there when I was 23 or so. I finished college (degree in Sub-Atomic Physics and General Engineering, which totally didn't suit me!) before I left. I lived in Philadephia and its environs while going to Grad School for 5 or so years. I lived in northern England for several years, while studying the archaeology of the Roman army and getting a degree from Newcastle University. Living there turned me into, what would be called in the USA, a dirty socialist. I'm proud of that! After coming back from the UK I moved to the PacNW (other side of Puget Sound from Seattle) and started a micro farm. My husband and I ran an organic CSA from the farm for 15-20 years up until about 5 years ago. During that time I finally got my PhD from Penn (Anthropology - Archaeology - specialty is the Roman army). I dabble in history, was in the SCA for a long time, and still do archaeology, although it's all computer oriented for me now. The dirt digging I do is on the farm and in the garden.

I love computers and contributed a very small amount to starting RedHat, now Fedora, Linux and the Gnome desktop. I still write webpages now and then. I adore research, on anything. Everything is interesting if you dive deep enough!

So, thanks for reading and here's the open thread! Dive in!

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QMS's picture

Many thanks for investing your time in the open thread portion of this site. Have a relative from out your way, beautiful place - Gig Harbor? Visited once many moons past.

Sounds like a fascinating dual major -- Anthropology / Archaeology. Throw in some Sub-Atomic Physics, and I can imagine an engaging fiction novel of your writing.

Welcome aboard!

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Sima's picture

@QMS That's pretty close, about an hour or so drive south from me. I'm close to the very tip of the peninsula which starts down around Gig Harbor (Kitsap). It's wet, windy, and lots of trees, except in my area, which is old farmland.

Thank you for the welcome!

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2 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

@Sima There is a wooden boat building school there QMS and a yearly wooden boat festival that is pretty amazing. If you are ever visiting relatives in Gig Harbor QMS, it might be worth the trip. Way too rich for my blood but I enjoy the craftsmanship.
Or you might be closer to Sequim? The town, whose pronunciation is a test for whether you are from Washington or are an "outsider"?

Nice to meet you. I'm in Eugene, but have friends and family in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, and the San Juans. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

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Sima's picture

@peachcreek Port Townsend and Sequim are on the more western, and last, peninsula - the Olympic peninsula - in the Puget Sound area. Super familiar with those towns, as my parents live there. Me, I'm on the middle peninsula, the Kitsap peninsula. Bainbridge Island is off that peninsula, to the east, in the Puget Sound. I'm up in the northern tip, so by Hansville, Indianola, Kingston, Port Gamble... That boat building school in Port Townsend rocks. So does the wooden boats festival there, which has been cancelled the last few years due to Covid :(.

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2 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

zed2's picture

Lets save capitalism and make it human centered before it kills all of us from overwork and its race to the bottom in wages and benefits like it did John Henry.

Transformation of workplaces -rengineering idea.

The Fast food business model - as well as many other jobs done by Americans today, are based on boring, brain-crushing drudge work and ever-cheaper labor.

Fast food restaurants are 100% based on the availability of ever-cheaper labor. Workers must realize that. I dont know if what they want is automation but that is the logical move, its possible now to make automated fast food restaurants (really almost all businesses) that vastly reduce the need for labor. Then everybody who remained could make much higher wages because they would be the technical staff who kept everything running, and a great deal of money might be saved. Imagine fast food where the same five people did everything. Far fewer workers would be employed at them, and as time passed even they would diminish. Its what happens, the human workers are there to handle exceptions that require human intervention and as time goes on more and more of these exceptions are successfully handled by the automated system, thats the main reason say two employees are there, to automate the remaining things. Eventually they move on to their next job and only three people need to work there. As eventually 100% of the tasks get handled by the process. So the goal is eventually only a very few people work there and most everything is done by various machines. People's labor is expensive so businesses endeavor to automate it. Its not their job to be employers, as much as its their job to sell the service or product. Currently. Similarly its not the employees job in life to be fast food workers. Employees of this enterprise are all part owners of a vast project to create the best possible inexpensive restaurants within a variety of different economic constraints. Say one or two dollars a meal. The result would be really good fast food and some jobs that were very interesting good jobs. People have to eat good food fast to keep everything moving. And they would do a very good job of supplying that need.

In other words we would completely re-engineer the process and transform it into a great job that didnt hmiliate its workforce by forcing them to do boring low paying work, instead they would be part of a continuing elevation of a food engineering process. .

If we were to say that its otherwise that would change everything. Recognize that other models exist (employee owned businesses, co-ops, for example) at least and stop outlawing it as we do today. But our current government may not be allowed to even discuss that by WTO.

Suppose most businesses were employee owned.

There are already lots of employee owned businesses, they are called co-ops. Or smeties, they manifest as user developed and community owned software projects, But only in a number of countries. There people or in the past, soetimes governments stepped in and helped set them up. But not any more. WTO members are not allowed to prefer any other form of business especially any that are non-profit, its forbidden.

We set up the WTO which they must join to trade with us, the US. It nipped co-ops and similar business models in the bud. The government unintentionally started open source software with its procurement policies. They demanded that software providers provide the source so if they went out of business governmnent systems could fix it if they needed to. So then people who were working for the government realized how important having that source was, because they could fix problems that arose themselves. More and more people realized they could make software too and not be enslaved to the big vendors, like IBM, who helped the Nazis round up Jews during the Holocaust, since they were a paying customer, itmade no difference to them, as long as they made money. Lesson #1 purely for business enterprises are often amoral.

Also, until 1995, governments encouraged (after starting it) for software to be open source, but then amoral corporations like Bill Gates' Microsoft stated spending millions on lobbying to stop these "anti business" rules that encouraged government to use only open source software or encourage loal businesses to do so. The way they did this is by creating a new government above governments of voters. Nullifying ones "Of by and for the people". at a higher level. One country, one vote.

Now thanks to these efforts, especially those of thousands of corporate lobbyists, government s helping create or encouraging non-profit anything is forbidden by the sew global governance organizations as being a trade barrier. A theft from corporations. Thats the WTO services agreement and its new services rules. WTO now contains 164 countries. Want public healthcare? No, its been banned. Bernie lied to us for some reason. The WTO's creation by the Quad countriues, especially the US and EU in the 1990s stopped its advance. In the documents published at the time, its obvious that thye US was framing it like a cancer that was being excised, like a dangerous CANCER that must be killed. . Thats how they really think. They just pretend to care more about health than profit. .

Housing is a good example, of a business that could be transformed, so that the permanently poor could have a life. But then the highly profitable displacement by millions of the poor by redevelopment could notkeep poor people in a permanent state of displacement, a scam that is tremendously profitable to the very rich. Saskia Sassen has written about this.

What if the business of providing housing was transitioned to employee (renter) ownership? If the act of renting built equity from some time onward? Then apartment dwellers would gradually become owners of their apartments by paying rent.

This is done in a number of cities as well as in some colleges in the US. (to provide student housing they can afford, cheaper) Sensing a threat from employee co ops to the corporate pillage model, the WTO was created in part to prevent new and highly efficient businesses from being created with the cooperation of governments. Essentially criminalizing the creation of any more co-ops, if they want to trade with us.

WTO rules bar member governments from prefering anything like them. WTO calls any non-profit enterprise a theft from the "rightful owners" of that market. This is why our government cant expand any public service since 1995.. If Medicare is a better deal than for profit insurance, government can't provide it except to the destitute who cannot possibly ever afford to buy annuities and for-profit insurance. The "disruption" of business must be the absolute minimum possible. Otherwise it would be competing with government. This is what the new WTO rules say. Same with water. If a country has committed certain sectors, water becomes a commodity ike oil that businesses get a right to "mine" - Everything public that can be taken by "investors" of any kind and withheld from the publics use (the essence of ownership) becomes the property of corporations like Violia, a corporation that is trying to buy up and establish for profit water systems globally. They consider Water to be their turf. The WTO's creation stopped the expansion of municipal water systems and basically forced government at all levels to whenever they modified government infrastructure it was done via the private, globalized, for profit model, this is to prevent nonprofit anything which is a threat because its more efficient than most of what existed in the past, (unionized) So whats being eliminated is the well paid public jobs, and new models in the form of co-ops and employee owned business. and whats being promoted is a globalized model where low wage workers are brought in voluntarily from countries where few jobs exist and wages are much lower, this is so lots of profit can be made by the investors. Think of WTO as a welfare system for the investors - the world's wealthy. Thats designed to prevent the expansion of public services in response to the automation of many jobs.

Automation could and should free up the human race to pursue more fulfilling careers, but that path represents a threat to the wealthy's wealth.

instead WTO is designed to privatize everything and this makes things like higher education only available to the rich. It may even end up making it impossible for "debtors" to travel on roads. (People with a nagative balance) confining them to contiguous blocks of private land. This will be done by privatizing the road system and making the means of payment systems based on debiting people's bank accounts automatically.

As anybody who is in debt to the govertnment knows, the government takes their tax refunds and sometimes, garnbishes their wages. Its likely that this will leave people unable totravel once the WTO process is a bit further along and society is made cashless as they want. This will make it so busineses employ far fewer people making more people penniless and unable to use most businesses. They will be confined to home or the homeless shelters which will most certainly exist, or the woods, wherever they are. Mars, the Moon, Alaska, Siberia? (doubtful because those areas are parts of countries that will probably be controlled by the global banking system, )

Then instead of getting a good education and participating in society, the poor are forced to do perpetual panance for being poor whenever they are not making the rich richer. Since they may ow unpayable debt, especially if they got sick and incur unpayable debts charged them at uninsured rates for medical care while uninsured. Their debts will magnify due to fees of every kind for not having the money. Their entire lives will be virtual or actual slavery for minuscule wagtes, as prisoners, farming or making license plates or fast food work or whatever, all that time wasted- being forced to make the rich richer. In fact, this is slavery which was quietly kept legal by making abolition only apply to slavery by race, in the 14th Amendment. Now comission of literally any crime can be used to enslave people. Also, since the WTO prohibits prisons teaching prisoners any new skills as a cortesy to the for-profit education industry, many people waste years that theycould be learning a skill they could never afford to pay for because for-profit schools are usually expensive. Lets use Trump University as an example. The primary "education" students got there was not one that would help them in life so much as be a tiring emotional burden, intended to rub their face in the shit of injustice.
And not learn anything of value, so that the for profit sellers of adult education businesses are not 'unfairly competed' with. (prisons are ending adult education because they are prevented from offering them because of the WTO the only thing that is slowing the process is that prisons are not being told that its forbidden in any organized way as far as I know. But its true. And governments cant intervene to change that. Get it? Why aren't Democrats made aware of this?

Because someone, perhaps the Democrats leadership or a former Administration's infamous online goon squad, seem to have organized a campaign to hide all these facts from people, so people will keep voting completely unaware of this trade agreement from hell hijacking policy in every bad way.

@Sima (because of the FOSS aspect)

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@zed2 to read the book, "Fast Food Nation".

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Sima's picture

@on the cusp Fast Food Nation is a good book.

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

So nice to meet you. Thank you for hosting.
I'm in a rush but want to leave a comment later today.
Very happy to hear your voice, Welcome!

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Sima's picture

@randtntx Thank you for the welcome!

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1 user has voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Lookout's picture

Thanks for your story and stepping up to provide an OT. Like so many others here at C99 your background is very diverse and interesting.

I'll look forward to your thoughts, stories, and ideas. Hope you'll chime in more often around the site. I'm sure with your background you have some interesting insights.

I know the CSA business is demanding and I bet that was quite a burden. Yet, I bet you have growing lessons to share.

Welcome to the Thursday OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Sima's picture

@Lookout I hope to share some of my experiences in the future. I loved doing the CSA, but talk about demanding, unforgiving, very low paid work. Still, I loved doing it.

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

thank you very much for taking this OT slot. You're off to a great start.

And thank you very much Dawn's Meta for all the great OTs and all you have done for c99.

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I have a witness in a trial this afternoon with a master's degree in anthropology! I hope I get a chance to just shoot the breeze with him after trial.
You could likely write 3 or 4 books about your time in England.
Or more?
From lurker to fascinating OTs...you rock, Sima!

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Sima's picture

@on the cusp Thank you! I might tell some England stories in the OTs, come to think of it Smile

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

zed2's picture

Thanks, I will try to check it out. (Fast Food Nation)

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@zed2 used throughout the country.
"Fast food" is much more insidious than horrid food.

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zed2's picture

@sima

Do you know anything about compuational archaeology using photogrammetry and rtk-gps and GIS generally?

I am looking fortools and a better idea of the processes (workflow) that might be useful for comp, archaeology.

micmac is a program that seems as if it likely lends itself well to that. It can incorporate GPS data into its calculations.

Roman army camps, being laid out in a consistent manner are probably easy to find on space or aerial imaging? Am I right?

I have pursued a similar target, trying to find DPRK political prison camps in certain areas years after they were dismantled. I look for certain patterns that sometimes persist for a long time, trenches which used to be filled with logs covered with metal sharpened spikes to create ijuries that bled - for dogs to track, and enclosed by electrified barbed wire fences.. former guard towers, prison buildings, etc.

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Sima's picture

@zed2 @zed2 Heh, I know a bit about these aspects. I use GIS mostly. A lot of analysis programs are written in RUST, right now. Me, I use C (yes I'm that old), php, sql, html, css, and so on. My expertise is Roman frontier sites, and the finds therein. If you wanna know more, let me know!

Roman army sites can be easy to find, especially if they were built in the 100s or so. They are very consistent then. After that, they vary more. Another aspect is that many, many, many north European cities (England, even Scotland, Germany, northern France, etc) have Roman army camps or forts/fortresses underneath them.

Editted to add: DPRK prison camps? That is fascinating!

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3 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

enhydra lutris's picture

Welcome because though you've been here, you've been invisible and unheard. Glad you are changing that. Thanks for the OT and for deciding to take up writing one.

I see "archaeologically" relevant stories from England now and then, but almost invariably accidental discoveries of this and that. Perhaps someday you can share some info on the state of the art there today. I read Archaeology today cover to cover and have noted the growing use of "technology" such as ground penetrating radar, isotope tracing and the like especially in Central and North American digs and such and it seems like a background in physics, no matter how abstruse, can't help but be useful these days.

In any event, pleased to meet you, so to speak. Like Lookout, I hope you'll start to participate more widely.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Sima's picture

@enhydra lutris I'd love to talk about archaeology and where it is, right now. So yes, that might be an opener or two for an OT, what a great idea. And thanks for the welcome!

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3 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

enhydra lutris's picture

@Sima

Archaeology today. Today keeps sending me offers to subscribe at a cut rate, which is how I came to confuse them.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

zed2's picture

Americans are being force-fed a fake definition of poverty that tells lots of poor peope they arent poor when they know they are.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/they-arent-poor-exactly-but-tens-of-mi...

Someday we will be free.

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zed2's picture

in other words, a gift to business owners of a captive low wage workforce.

A failure of competition to work in politics? Because there is in fact little competition for jobs in politics due to a practice of promoting "forever" incumbency.
.
I read a few years ago that the Democratic leadership claims they have a right to rig primaries and nominate whomever they want, even dishonestly. Because the Democratic name and brand is a private property.

Q. If youre angry what can you do, if you are not given a choice to pick anybody else? (besides Republicans)

I don't have any idea. Maybe vote with your feet? (which is exactly what they want, for people who oppose their ways to move)

ITs not helpful for people to vote for others they dont want, or for incumbents that have been unresponsive, either.

Its been (many) years since I could vote for somebody I actually wanted on the national scene.

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Sima's picture

@humphrey I may have waterfront property soon :(. Also scares me that they found those 'pristine' coral reefs recently. And publicized them, so... how long until they aren't pristine?

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

zed2's picture

Just yesterday I was reading a paperback that I have entitled "A Peoples History of England" by A.L. Morton, its pretty interesting to see the development of government in a monarchy, compared to our own government.

I would recommend reading this book, which goes up to the runup to World War I. In other words, the last three quarters of the 20'th and all of the 21st century is missing from the "first paperback edition" that I have. Which was published in 1938 after eight hardback printings.

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zed2's picture

According to NASA a substantial area of the Central Valley in California "may be directly affected" by Sea Level Rise and in fact would already be were it not for the extensive levee system in the San Joaquin and Sacramento River delta system. Ground and water levels in the delta area are already as much as 15 meters below sea level. In the past I think much of California was an inland sea.
See the following.

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/148645/the-known-unknowns-of-se...

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zed2's picture

By water if a rapid increase in sea level caused ingress of water through the California delta..

I went looking for data on that issue and of course, found the answer to this different question, about negative equity..

Around a quarter of the country (!) owe more on loans then their homes are worth. Thats pretty sobering, given where we are going job-wise. (massive outsourcing and offshoring)

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_research_072012.html

I wanted to know what if the ocean came flooding in, in someplace like the Central Valley. Entire towns would be flooded. And the houses in these towns, being in California cost a lot, and would be a complete loss, its likely. It would be impossible to stop once it starts. Too much water would be involved. And too many places all at the same time. Also, many coastal nuclear power plants would be "going nuclear" all at once.

Would they still have to pay back mortgages if their homes are underwater, literally?

1.) The people would have no place to live, unless they were fish
2.) They would owe a lot of money, for homeless people. Many would owe more than the worth of anything they owned, most of which would be worthless. They would have to continue payingfor any loans they had taken out, though.
3.) Insurance would be unlikely to pay unless they had flood insurance, which many wouldnt have.
4.) Government would be unlikely to pay because the amounts involved would be too great and it would be framed as an "Act of God" which is a common exclusion on homeowners insurance.
5.) In a cashless society the debtors would be unable to travel, buy anything, or really, anything.
6.) Any tax refunds they had coming would be taken in advance, banks would immediately try to collect their money in anticipation of them being totally destitute. They would rush in to repossess any vehicles, or any other assets they had.
7.) Any income they had would be taken. They might even try to go after their family members
8.) They would be unable to work because would not be able to travel or have any permanent place to live.

This is a risk in Holland too. They have done a lot of building since the area was pumped out.

In short, I would keep an eye on the ice, because calving of large areas of the Antarctic ice cap and Greenland Ice Sheet is inevitable given global warming and quite possibly imminent and likely to have its most catastrophic impact on sea levels and the Central Valley.

A rise in sea level will also impact my own state's coast quite catastrophically, as well as Florida. I don't see much being done to protect those areas, or prepare for the financial disaster, except setting up a financial system that will be horribly unforgiving of those with debts.

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