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Universal Truths

August 3, 2010 6 comments

Smith’s Universal Truths
A universal truth is something that’s true at all times for all people.  Here are a few.

  1. Beware of any project that starts with the words, “Remove old finish.”
  2. True happiness is finding someone who will tolerate you.  The first step in finding that person is admitting that you need some tolerating.
  3. If you wonder why something is the way it is; learn who’s making money from it being that way.
  4. If it ain’t chocolate, it ain’t dessert.  Banana cream pie, for example, is just another part of the meal like the green beans or asparagus.
  5. Whenever someone tells you they are doing something “for your own good,” you can be certain that you won’t like it.  Furthermore, they will expect you to pay for it.  If they’re “protecting your morals,” you’ll have to pay double.
  6. Not all lawyers should be shot.  Some should be hanged.
  7. Beliefs, no matter how sincerely held, do not alter facts.
  8. Nothing is so perfect that someone, somewhere, won’t hate it.
  9. Real knowledge is knowing where to find the answers.
  10. The world is run by the people that show up.
  11. Information is not knowledge anymore than loose ingredients are a cake.
  12. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three rights make a left.
  13. Intellectualism must not be confused with wisdom.
  14. A problem with doing anything right the first time is that no one knows how difficult it was.
  15. Few things in life succeed as well as a power-off reset.
  16. The difference between adventure and disaster is preparation.
  17. The most popular human pastime is denial.
  18. Forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission.
  19. Any solution proposed by a politician will contain more problems than it solves.
  20. Don’t worry, you’re not the first.
  21. You can have it if you’re willing to pay for it.
  22. Man’s most precious possessions are his delusions.  No power equals that of self-deception.
  23. An entity that cannot laugh at itself has planted the seeds of its own destruction.
  24. We earn our appellations by our conduct.
  25. Any statement containing the words, “if everyone” will be void of logical content.
  26. Excuses are easier than action.
  27. The most difficult human task is thinking before speaking or acting.
  28. To most people, personal convenience is more important than courtesy or respect for others.
  29. If something “goes without saying” you can be sure that someone will say it.
  30. Sometimes it’s harder to sell the truth than it is a lie.
  31. Local customs are not laws of nature. – Marcus Aurelius
  32. The human race will never be truly free as long as it willingly submits to the tyranny of religion.
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Another Look at Green Energy

July 30, 2010 1 comment

We are seeing a lot of proposals about pollution, global warming, fossil fuels, and alternative energy sources. I think they are all missing the point. The real problem is too many people on the planet using too much energy. The most basic law of physics is the law of conservation of energy. All energy, from whatever source, eventually becomes heat.

If you create electricity from hydroelectric plants, cleaner even than nuclear plants, making the electricity creates heat. Turning the turbines creates heat, running the generators creates heat. Transmitting the electricity through wires creates heat from the electrical resistance. Using the electricity creates heat. For that matter, building the dams, turbines, and generators all create heat and often other environmental pollutants.

It’s an unavoidable law of nature. All energy creation and use makes heat. Reduce the number of people on the planet by maybe 1/2 and most environmental problems are solved.

Wind energy? The bird kill problem would be solved by a different design for windmills. Vertical axis designs have been demonstrated that are more efficient, do not kill birds, and are cheaper to make. Even so, when you build them and their necessary generators and electronics, you create heat and other pollutants.

So the real problem is heat pollution, yes, there is accompanying problems of CO2 emissions, particulate pollution and all of the others. Each of those is possible to solve. But the heat pollution will remain and will continue to get worse until the world population is substantially reduced.