I will announce on May 19 whether I have anything further to announce.I don't.
Happy nineteenth, everyone.
I saw a similar effect while driving today: a truck's wheel appeared to move slowly. It was like watching the wheel under a strobe light, except that this was in daylight.
I've seen truck wheels appear to stand still before, but only at just the right angle where a wheel presents sampled views of itself (you see portions of the wheel as they appear behind openings in the wheel). Today's illusion struck me as strange, as it didn't seem to be explainable as an auto-sampling effect.
A couple hours later, I read in an article in today's NY Times:
The telling fact, for perceptual scientists, is that this illusion can also occur during normal observation of a rotating wheel, in full daylight. This suggests that the brain itself, even in the absence of a strobe light, is sampling the world in discrete chunks.To have this experience on the same day I would read about the effect: a fun coïncidence:
The NY Times article is about how consciousness is more of a pulsed rhythm than a continuous stream. That idea ties in with one of my favorite quotes from Bertrand Russell. I get how materialism has come to have negative connotations but there's a sense of the word that doesn't deserve them. We would do well to have a term for an appreciation of material itself, an affection deepened by experience. I have in mind the sense in which a sculptor knows stone, a farmer knows soil, a swordsmith knows steel.
A writer knows (among other things) words. A musician knows (among other things) rhythms. We don't think of rhythms as being material like stone is material, but how absolute is that distinction? Is there perhaps some common ground?
I'm not so much suggesting that rhythms are stuff but rather that stuff is like rhythm. Graphite and diamond are both carbon but they're night and day, and the difference is all in the organization. Rhythm is organization in time; diamond is organization in space.
I'm unmoved by schools of thought that denigrate the material world as illusory and base and just not as awesome as the spiritual. It's not that I don't like the psyche; I just think it's no disrespect to recognize cognition as an organized physical process. Never underestimate the power of organization.
The more I work with physical materials, the happier I am to accept that I'm made of them myself. Material isn't a dirty word to me.
Our state reptile.Last summer, the FBI gained access to a suspect's hotel room by staging a failure of the hotel's Internet service and posing as repairmen. A federal judge recently ruled this unconstitutional. Were it allowed, it would enable warrantless access to just about anyone's property.
As the US Attorney noted, "the government uses ruses every day in its undercover operations". Yes, but courts don't always like it. (Note the choice of term: ruses sounds less unsavory than deceit.)
Effective law enforcement is worth having but so is having authorities set a good example. The FBI's motto is Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity but it doesn't say just what they mean by integrity.
Police in the USA can lie with impunity during interrogations. This is common knowledge. Less well known among Americans, perhaps, is that it's not the case everywhere. A German statute lists deceit along with physical abuse and fatigue as unallowable means for influencing criminal suspects.
And speaking of differences between American and German norms: the USA's use of armed drones runs afoul of German law, which matters because the drones are controlled via satellite antennas sited on an air base in Germany. For years, the USA made carefully-phrased denials. And the German government could claim ignorance, at least until certain secret documents came to light detailing the chain of control.
Family members of Yemenis killed by a drone strike have been unable to get an acknowledgement or apology from the USA. They are now suing the German government for having allowed drone strikes to be controlled via facilities in their territory. This will be the first time a victim of a US drone attack gets a day in court anywhere.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the Russian aircraft did a roll in front of the U.S. aircraft and showed its belly to the pilot to indicate it was armed.Red-tailed hawks do the same thing, also as a display of arms (well, claws).