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About chad3006

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  • Gender: Male
  • Location: TX
  • Real name: chad
  • Interests: Lutherie, farming, and lots of other stuff

chad3006's Activity

  1. chad3006 added a post in a topic What books are you reading now?   

    I've been reading The Code Book by Simon Singh. It's pretty interesting. But the part I wanted to share was about breaking the German Enigma cipher machine. For those who don't know about it, it was a machine the Nazi's used during and just prior to WWII to encrypt their radio communications. There is a fairly well known story of how the Brits broke the code with the help of geniuses like Alan Turing and some of the first computers ever made; and the capture of an Enigma machine from a German U-boat. However, what I didn't know was that the Poles broke the ciphers of the first generation Enigma machines, completely "by hand" in the 1930s.
    The man in charge of Poland's cryptography team chose to set up shop in a small university in western Poland because there were greater numbers of Poles fluent in German there. He had also obtained a list of German Enigma keys, but chose to keep them secret from his cryptographers, knowing that the keys were only good for a year or so and he wanted his team to completely break the ciphers, not just cheat with the keys. Keep in mind this was prior to the Nazi invasion of Poland. They did just that, but unfortunately their success was relatively short-lived as the Germans beefed up their Enigma machines in 1938, causing the combinations to increase to 159 quintillion (above and beyond what they could solve without computers.) The Poles kept this a secret until Germany invaded Poland, at which point they shared what they had learned with France and England, presumably giving Turing a head start on breaking the improved Enigma machines.
    Anyway, just wanted to share that, and it gives me a little bit of pride in my Slavic heritage too. Oh and its a good book by the way.
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  2. chad3006 added a topic in Extend   

    Movie: The Martian, co-worker impressions.

    It's interesting to me, my co-workers saw the movie The Martian and said that it wasn't science fiction. Instead they said it was “realistic.” After they described the plot to me, it is what I'd consider hard science fiction. Keep in mind I haven't seen the movie, just heard about it from them. So the general public perhaps only considers soft science fiction as science fiction.
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  3. chad3006 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    Here's a video to help define fascism and how to deal with it.
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  4. chad3006 added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    The main problem with the argument “for” or “against” fascism is that the word fascism is a moving target. Even Mussolini did a piss-poor job defining it. Different groups call the other fascist whether liberal or conservative. But mostly WWII influenced our definition of fascism, which really defined it pretty narrowly AND made it an almost universally distasteful form of government. So, the only persons who would openly call themselves fascists would be crazy, fringe-types. It still exists, but its unnamed apparently, regardless of whether or not it fits the definition.
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  5. chad3006 added a post in a topic GOP recent events   

    I don't know. I didn't really even notice that part of the article. I'm guessing it's a generalization about the GOP's tendency to market their product to Southern Baptists and similar religious groups. I'm sure there are some liberals who are religious. I've never met one, but keep in mind I live in Texas.
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  6. chad3006 added a topic in Influence   

    GOP recent events
    With Boehner out and McCarthy out, I expect the GOP to install an even nuttier choice.  I don't see this so much as a fractured GOP, but a consolidation of the more far-right elements of the party.  This article sums up my take on the situation pretty well:  I'm sure it'll all prove to be ripe with all sorts of unintended consequences, which might be fun to watch if it weren't for the fact that it would likely negatively impact my life (it's all about me after all.) 
    • 13 replies
  7. chad3006 added a topic in Explore   

    Philosophy: its influence or influences
    Does philosophy influence our society (or meme) or is it the other way 'round? Or is a society's characterisitc simply reflected in its philosophy at any given time?

    I'm sure there are examples from both sides of this question, but I ask it because, as I get older, I tend to beleive more and more that philosphy is pretty much a crock of shit so to speak -- that people move along, motivated by whatever external force acts upon them, and then they write a bunch of stuff to justify or add value to thier own (or collective) ego and call it philosophy.
    • 5 replies
  8. chad3006 added a post in a topic What books are you reading now?   

    I just finished Odd John; started off interesting and got less so as I progressed. I've started Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy, which is kind of like a coffee-table-book, but very informative. Frankly, it's so informative that a lot of the stuff is over my head, but I've learned some interesting things about pterosaurs, for example, many of them had what appears to be fur.
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  9. chad3006 added a post in a topic What books are you reading now?   

    Over the past several months I've read several books that are in one way or another about seafaring. These include: Dove, Writing the Sea, In the Heart of the Sea, and The Ice Master.

    Dove was about a 16 year old kid who sails around the world (mostly) by himself. He finds his future wife along the way and she joins him for parts of the voyage. While I was surely impressed with the kid's ability, courage, and such, I just couldn't get past the immaturity he showed at certain times. Of course he was just 16, and few things in this world are more irritating that a 16 year old boy, so I just had to keep reminding myself of that fact. Furthermore, he seemed to be carrying out his father's dream, not his own. The story reminded me a lot of Catcher in the Rye, another book I read too late in life to appreciate … I guess.

    Writing the Sea was written by Newfoundland native Cassie Brown. The short little book was part memoir, part odds and ends. She shared some humorous stories of her childhood in Newfoundland, as well as some tragedies that took place in the area. It was an entertaining read.

    In the Heart of the Sea was an extremely well written account of the sinking of the Essex, a whaling ship circa 1820. This was one of those books that really packed a lot of information in a relatively short space. The author not only tells a well researched account of the ship's sinking, but also gives the reader a good primer on the history of whaling in North America, the characteristics of starvation/dehydration, and some of the rationale behind the crew's ill fated decisions. All that and it flowed coherently too! It was really a top notch read – I think even for someone not particularly interested in seafaring tales.

    Finally, The Ice Master was overall a well written book, but after reading In the Heart of the Sea anything else would wouldn't quite measure-up. Still it wasn't bad. This was the story of a Canadian government funded expedition to find new land to exploit in the Great White North. The man in charge was more snake oil salesman than scientist and soon abandoned the captain and the rest of the crew of the Karluk (a poorly outfitted ship) to the pack ice, under the auspice of going for help. Instead he continued his exploration, finds a new island or two, and winds up being something of a hero and has his picture printed on some Canadian stamps. The captain of the Karluk winds up trudging across ice flows, across the Bering Straight in order to find help for the remaining survivors stuck on inhospitable Wrangel Island. For his trouble, the captian was brought up on charges in maritime court – luckily for him, none of the charges stuck.
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  10. chad3006 added a post in a topic How the Right Went Wrong   

    I think one aspect of the whole “free markets at any cost” movement is that the true directors of the game, like leaders of think tanks, can keep the movement at arms length, thus giving them a certain ethical/moral buffer from the action. They aren't the ones actually carrying out the actions and the ones carrying out the actions are just happy to be a part of a “winning team.”
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  11. chad3006 added a post in a topic Technology or Strategy?   

    Here's a note on the predictability of more advanced/disciplined armies. Santos Gonzales was a good friend of my father and was a WWII vet who fought in Europe. The OP reminds me of a story he told of his experience. I don't remember if he was fighting in France or where exactly, but he said his “outfit” stayed in a perpetual state of being lost. They were unfamiliar with the territory and couldn't ever seem to find where they were supposed to be.

    His “outfit” was eventually put in charge of a makeshift prison camp after a large group of Germans soldiers were captured. Santos was on guard duty one time when an English speaking German soldier told him that the Germans had good intelligence on American troop movements, and they could have defeated them, but the Americans were never where they were supposed to be. The Germans would mobilize their army to be in place for an ambush, but it was never fruitful and in fact turned out to be detrimental for them, because they wasted so much time and resources to eventually be captured themselves by stumbling onto a group of American soldiers in a place they didn't expect to see them.
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  12. chad3006 added a post in a topic Evaluating scientific consensus   

    I book I recently read called "Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us" is written by a paleontologist, not a climate scientist. I think the author does a pretty good job contrasting Earth's past (natural) climate changes to our current one, which seems to be a major sticking point with many climate change deniers (many tend to think it is a natural cyclical change.) Anyway, the book may be worth a look to bolster interdisciplinary arguments about human instigated climate change.

    However, like Peter mentioned, the rational argument will only go so far. Academics who believe otherwise will likely have their ego and/or their funding tied to their opinions to the point they won't change them. If there is any science behind the deniers, I think it is behavioral science; and there's money there.

    I read an article about a study of the Moral Foundations Theory being applied to effectively “guilt” people with contrary political opinions into caring about the environment. I was going to provide a link here, but I am unable to find that article at the moment. You can Google Moral Foundations Theory and find their website-- perhaps there is something useful there for you. While I mention the theory here, I'll say I'm not entirely sold on how effective it may be.
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  13. chad3006 added a topic in Explore   

    Art and suffering
    Somewhere on the forum The Heretic posted something about a conversation he had with someone about art and suffering. I didn't have time to read the entire post, and I can't find it now (once again I'm somewhat rushed now). So I'll post this here … just for the Hell of it.

    Heretic said something to the effect: Good art requires suffering. And our modern culture doesn't include sufficient suffering so our art is crap.

    To expand on that, I'd say perhaps more to the point, good art requires the artist to have so called “life experiences,” which many times does involve a goodly amount of suffering. Our culture seems to insulate us from life experiences, making us instead sheep-like consumers. I'm sure we all realize that.

    I know I'm at my most creative after I've dealt with some trial in my life, the more real the trial, the better the creativity.

    Furthermore I think this lack of real living contributes to our cultural penchant for creating drama out of the most ordinary situations. It seeps into our media, news, tv, etc.

    Anyway, I gotta go.
    • 3 replies
  14. chad3006 added a post in a topic Introduce yourself here...   

    Welcome back Nivenkumar!
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  15. chad3006 added a post in a topic Music you like...   

    Yeah, he's good. His sound is like Stanley Jordan meets Leo Kottke.
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