01 January 2025

Where to get my books

Update 2022-12-31: Is there a next book planned?

If I get it written, I will publish it as I have bene publishing these books.  Whether or not I get it written depends on the Everything and the state of my health.  For my health, so far, the trend is recently positive.

Where to get my books

There are two options; Google Play, or the Draft2Digital publication targets. Google Play isn't available globally (though they intend to be, based on how the publisher interface sets up billing regions!). So you might need to try one of the Draft2Digital targets. Kobo seems to be a good fallback choice for availability though not for avoiding DRM. Apple is a Draft2Digital target if you're in the Apple ecosystem.

Title Google Books2Read
The Human Dress on Google Play via Books2Read
The March North (Commonweal #1) on Google Play via Books2Read
A Succession of Bad Days (Commonweal #2) on Google Play via Books2Read
Safely You Deliver (Commonweal #3)                  on Google Play via Books2Read
Under One Banner (Commonweal #4) on Google Play via Books2Read
A Mist of Grit and Splinters (Commonweal #5) on Google Play via Books2Read

My current best understanding of how to download the EPUB file from Google Play.

Update 2019-01-29:  Amazon changed their agreement with Draft2Digital to require a whole lot of information transfer to Amazon.  I have removed The Human Dress from sale at Amazon. Still up everywhere else it was available.  (And has been added to a bunch of library services.)

Mastodon is NOT a useful way to get ahold of me.

03 June 2023

There are no structural solutions in the ablative layer

 There was a recent post on Mastodon talking about this year's 0.4 C increase in sea surface temperature and why this is grounds to freak out.

I read it, and wished with my whole being that people would start applying science to the whole of the problem.

The ocean temperature data is the best science; international, interdisciplinary, broad in its data sources and consideration, actively and dynamically scrutinized, this is exemplary stuff.  The problem is not the temperature data or the emerging modelling or the projections; the problem is that none of this stuff is information—information causes change—to the sources of the problem.  If anybody is looking at that half, one doesn't hear about it.  "Why this preference for mass extinction, decreased planetary habitability, and possible human extinction over not getting richer at the maximum possible rate?"

To a first approximation, everyone making decisions about fossil carbon uses as their sole metric "What makes me the most money tomorrow?".  (Maybe next year.  Certainly not longer than that.)

That's it; that's the sole consideration.  It doesn't matter what any of the material consequences are, because that's not information.  The only things admitted to the decision making process are amounts of money. Fossil carbon forming the basis of military power, this decision making process turns out to constrain everything.

Everything else—anti-woke agendas, political supremacy movements, the movement to enslave everyone—are consequences of or social cover for that decision making process.  (Which is utterly repellant to primate notions of fairness, anybody who wants their posterity to survive, and so on.  It does need hiding.)

Any structural solution for any of the immediate, pressing, human scale problems must start with the decision making about fossil carbon, and it needs to be as simple or simpler than "what makes me the most money tomorrow?"

My take is "no slaves" and "everyone or no one".  Income and asset caps, democratic institutions absent the corrosive effects of concentrated money, and aggressive and immediate decarbonization are easy to argue from those axioms.  That might be enough structural change to permit a prosperous future.

01 March 2023

Absent friends

Via an anonymous and appreciated comment way down in the timeline:

I'm sorry to report that Shirley Allan passed away, quietly in her sleep, at 02:30 yesterday [2023-02-27], Royal Terrace, Palmerston ON.

Shirley was a mainstay of online Commonweal discussion and will be sorely missed.

11 November 2022

Should Ontario mandate masks?


We know that surgical masks aren't sufficient against Omicron; maybe 50% effective in practice.  Do not burn credibility on stuff that isn't effective, because pretending something is effective when it isn't burns credibility fast and there's already a deficit.  (Yes mask wearing has a statistical effect even with inadequate masks.  Not likely enough, and not likely emotionally for individuals.)

There's three things that should be done:

- pass a law requiring airborne precautions or better in all interior spaces, with an enforcement arm at least the same kind of enforcement power the fire marshall or the folks who inspect restaurant kitchens have.  If the inspection doesn't pass, the building isn't open.  Do this on the tightest materially possibly timeline, no exceptions.

- pass a law requiring elastomeric respirators with P100 filters for all indoor gathers at any time a designated airborne pathogen is known to be circulating.  Same law provides the things, and filters, and so on.  (Works better than masks; costs less than masks.  Existing industrial capacity.  Many options.  Put anti-price-gouging provisions in the law.  Consider direct production.)

- pass a law requiring daily public communication of Rt, down to the health authority if you can but certainly regionally as well as provincially.  The target is an Rt less than 0.5; if it goes over 0.5, all non-essential businesses are closed.  If it goes over 0.8, those close for in-person anything, schools close, and so on.  Do the communication about exponentials.  Point out this is the spreadingest disease in human history, lasting immunity isn't currently possible, and the damage is cumulative. (and nigh-certainly permanent.)  Rt is a real measurable thing and the lower we can keep it the faster the disease goes away.  Communicate that, and keep communicating that.

This will require spending public money to get that information about the current actual Rt, but that's an appropriate use in the first place.

The Feds need to pass a law that explicitly says "public health is a matter of national defense; just as you do not get a religious exemption from a blackout, you do not get a religious exemption from public health measures" and ideally start prosecuting the organized anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers as bioterrorists.  (Y'all do recognize that the money and push behind faith-based exceptions to the law are dominionists?  They want the civil law not to apply to them because they believe, and they're very focused on it.) 

Some border control is absolutely required.  A great deal of funding for the health care system is required, long term; we need to produce more nurses, more doctors, and more everything.  That's going to take a long time and it's a larger number than it would have been with better pandemic management.

02 November 2022

An Ontario observation

Ontario health care policy under the Ford government is driven by a belief that there should not be any such thing.

"Privatization" is "give some guys access to a captive revenue stream", but none of Dougie's owners are old money who own insurance companies.  They're new money mammonites, generally developers, and they've decided that the revenue stream from taxes constitute their money.  Public spending is an affront before God unless the money goes to them.

10 September 2022

Miscomprehension of scale

So the Globe and Mail discusses someone trying to arrange for policy to support the success of an investment.  

This looks like part of a general push against the federal fertilizer emissions cap.

I am unable to decide if that push is cynical or deluded or arises from a sincere mammonism where profit is an arbiter of wisdom.

But, anyway.

"I wish to become much richer, and for my descent to be richer than I am" is an unclean motivation.  Wealth as a survival strategy makes everything worse for everyone.  It's (relatively speaking) easy, and it fulfills the primate feels, but neither of those excuse it not working.

Someone can apparently recognize that there's an ongoing loss of farmland due to climate change and not connect that to emissions.  The point to the emissions reduction policy is to try not to lose more farmland; it's inadequate, insufficient, and too late, but the intent does recognize that fewer emissions means more food.   A position that it's only possible to grow food (or only grow food profitably) if there is no such cap devours itself.

If you have to have a large enterprise -- lots of capital -- to be viable, that means either you've got high capital costs or low margins.  (E.g., the lower grocery margins get, the larger the store needs to be, since costs are discrete for many things, rather than scaling.)  Farms keep getting larger; they've got poor and shrinking margins.  The "no cap" argument is that farm viability depends on the margin not shrinking.

Climate change is shrinking the margin for farming more than any effect of policy or markets.

Saskatchewan is west of the  meteorological Hundredth Meridian; in a hot climate system, it's expected to be desert.  (The Oligocene climate we might get, if we're lucky.)  If we cut all fossil carbon extraction to zero tomorrow, farmland in Saskatchewan is probably not useable for field agriculture by 2050 at the latest, since Arctic Amplification kicked off around 2000.

We can't fix that; all the carbon sequestration schemes are at least two of "but we can keep burning diesel, right?", extractive industry FUD, delusive techno-optimism, and confused about sequestration means.  (It has to be for geological time.  "In some sort of biomass" doesn't count, it's a hard problem.)  Even if one of them works, and can be adopted -- one of the ocean seeding schemes, say -- it doesn't solve the core "rains at predictable times" problem of keeping hydrologic stationarity.  Reducing the average temperature of the earth doesn't make the rain come at predictable times.

The domain of necessity says we need to do three things -- stop adding carbon to the atmosphere, figure out how to provide food without field agriculture, and since our current social systems can do neither of those things, we need to collectively organize ourselves differently.

That's really challenging.  It's apparently not as challenging as recognizing that money does not dissolve all troubles.

28 August 2022

End of the Englightenment?

 I've seen this come up a few times lately.

Somebody synthesized perfluorocubane recently.  ("fluorinated esters as starting materials with dissolved fluorine gas in a perfluorinated solvent at low temperatures".)  Methodological naturalism is fine.  The philosophical framework of a knowable universe is fine, too.

A whole bunch of other things are not at all fine, but all of those come down to something simple that has nothing at all to do with social collapse or mysterious moral enervations.

Greed is a sin.

That's it.  All the rationalizations about how some particular flavour of greed is virtue, really it is, are how we get the things not being fine.  Greed is still a sin.

That's all.  There's nothing more to it.  Try to avoid having the mammonite propaganda get to you.