Nicholas D. Rosen's Journal|
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Nicholas D. Rosen's LiveJournal:
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|Saturday, February 6th, 2016|
|Hambly's Darwath: Hard or Soft G's?
I have a CD of Filk songs written by Mercedes Lackey, including "Gil-Shallos", which addresses Gil Patterson, the history scholar who becomes the Guardswoman Gil-Shalos in Darwath. In the song, "Gil" is pronounced with a hard G (by Leslie Fish). I did wonder about a woman called Gil with a hard G -- was her name Gilbretha or something?
Years after getting the CD, I've been reading Barbara Hambly's Darwath trilogy, and in the third book, we learn that the heroine's first name is really Gillian (normally pronounced with a soft G, the source of Jill, and these days sometimes written Jillian). Does this mean that Gil-Shalos (which means ice-spear or icicle) should also be pronounced with a soft G? A friend of mine commented that Jil-Shalos just doesn't fit.
Has anyone heard Ms. Hambly pronounce the names?
By the way, Shallos has two l's in the song title, but it's written Shalos in the trilogy.
|Friday, February 5th, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Thirty-Four
On the morning of August 7, 2015, we had Open Mike, but when I went down there, there was no one at the mike.
Then we had the Council of Georgist Organizations business meeting. We heard the Treasurer's Report, and some other reports. There were fifteen foreign visitors at our 2015 meeting, the best ever; we were holding the meeting together with the International Union for Land Value Taxation. Our 2016 meeting was to be in Orlando, Florida.
For 2017, we might go to St. Louis; also, we might have an outreach meeting in Connecticut, reaching out to politicians and activists who weren't hardcore Georgists.
I was appointed to the Bylaw Review Committee.
With some further discussion, we adjourned, and next there was a lecture on history which I'll summarize another time.
|Thursday, February 4th, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
I neither dealt with any amendments this week nor got any new ones, so I'm still at four, the same four. I did start work on my oldest amendment this afternoon.
I finished an Office Action on my oldest non-RCE Regular New case this week. Also, I joined my supervisor and another worthy in a Pre-Brief Appeal Conference this week, and initialed a form. This means that the patent applicant presented a brief argument that I was wrong to reject his claims, and asked to have me overruled; our conclusion is that I wasn't wrong, and if the applicant wants to write a full Appeal Brief, we're prepared to write an Examiner's Answer, and let the Board of Appeals decide who has the better arguments.
I'm doing the Red Queen's Race on a Thursday, because tomorrow I use some annual leave to go to New York City for a board meeting, and come back in the late evening.
|Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016|
|Hail to the Censor
Reason magazine has an article excoriating Hillary Rodham Clinton
, as pretty consistently pro-censorship in a variety of contexts: trying to censor video games, seeking to reverse Citizens United
so that those outside the mainstream media will not be able to make movies or publish books about her, prosecuting The Innocence of Muslims
filmmaker, whom she falsely blamed for Benghazi, etc.
This article deserves to be widely read.
|Monday, February 1st, 2016|
|"The Snows of Ganymede"
I have long been an enthusiast for the works of Poul Anderson, and thanks to the Intertubes and Amazon, I was able to buy a copy of "The Snows of Ganymede," of which I had heard, but never read before this weekend.
It's a pretty minor early work, but has a few nice touches, and fills a gap in Anderson's Psychotechnic history. Although not as well written as some of the great author's more mature works, it has a signature blend of sound science and engineering (at least, it would have looked sound in view of what was known in 1954), derring-do, and thinking about the course of history and the ways societies develop.
It's part of an Ace double, together with "War of the Wing-Men," a poorly titled (and shorter, I think) version of The Man Who Counts
, which raises the question of whether "The Snows of Ganymede" is also abridged; I suspect that it is. I don't think that the reader learns anything about the SPOILER COMING rot-13 bhgynjf va gur uvyyf, or that what we see of Ganymedean society could have given rise to them, and then they exist, and our heroes deal with them. Even in his younger days, I don't think Anderson would have written like that, so I conclude that the novella was abridged, perhaps by some tasteless editor, perhaps by Anderson himself in a hurry, so that it would fit in the Ace Double.
The tale isn't bad, but it's not a lost masterpiece either, and if it were the culmination of Anderson's career, rather than an early work, he would be an obscure minor pulp writer, rather than the Grandmaster of Science Fiction whose works have given me so many hours of reading pleasure and considerable food for thought.
|Saturday, January 30th, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
I got one new amendment this week, and dealt with one of my older amendments, so I'm back to four.
I also finished an RCE case before the Wednesday deadline (which would normally have been a Monday deadline, but the Patent Office was closed Monday and Tuesday), and now I'm working on my oldest Regular New case.
|Thursday, January 28th, 2016|
|"An Occasion to Weep About the Cost of Rent"
There's an article in Slate
, saying that the cost of renting a house is up, and now exceeds what was reached before the Great Recession
. Unfortunately, the article says nothing about how much of this is due to higher ground rents for land, nor does it say that a tax system that punishes the construction of homes and rewards land speculation is at fault.
My young friends, it seems you'll be staying in your parents' basements a while, since you can't afford a place of your own. If you're working three jobs to scrape up some money and pay off your student loans, you won't likely have time for my advice. However, if you can't find a job, or can't find a decently paid full-time job, at least you'll have time to read Progress and Poverty
and check out some Georgist websites. Then you'll know what hit us, and what can be done about it, which is more than can be said for President Obama or his economic advisors.
|Monday, January 25th, 2016|
I spent Saturday and Sunday indoors. Today, I've been outside a little, and plan further exploration. The federal government in the DC area is still closed, and the Metrorail lines I'd normally take to work are closed.
Later, I might perhaps go to my office anyway, if I can get there, perhaps by cab. Meanwhile, here I am with food and reading material, so things could be much worse.
I do not necessarily agree with every word Sarah Hoyt writes, and probably wouldn't agree with everything written by Larry Correia, but I definitely approve of her according to Hoyt
entry where she quotes Correia on Trump, and adds some words of her own.
If the general election comes down to Trump vs. Clinton, or Trump vs. Sanders, I will conclude that God has finally wearied of watching over fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.
|Sunday, January 24th, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Thirty-Three
To continue with the events of Thursday, August 6, there was an evening strategy session. I arrived late because I had been at an informal meeting with a bunch of people from the Center for the Study of Economics.
Karl Fitzgerald, of Prosper Australia, was talking about networking, Google ?Hangouts, mentoring, etc. He mentioned splitting the right wing: entrepreneurs versus rent-seekers.
Other pointers: show, don't tell; personal narratives; storytelling.
Nate Blair said, regarding "show, don't tell," that the first example of value capture had been removed from the Wikipedia article. (I guess that we can edit, but so can other people with different views.)
Someone spoke of research into the International Land Bubble: quantifying tax loopholes to encourage rent-seeking in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. Also, History.
There was mention of an Ideas List and a Speakers' Bureau.
|Saturday, January 23rd, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Thirty-Two
To continue with the Hackathon/Social Media session, we heard from Karl Fitzgerald, of Prosper Australia. He recommended the film at realestate4ransom.com
, saying that that gets attention. Good graphic design, arresting images, and the right words. There is also his "The Renegade Economist" radio program.
He mentioned Creative Commons images at canva.com and unsplash.com.
Framing: Who are rising real estate prices good for? And who created the location value?
He mentioned Feedly.com, an RSS -- Real Simp,e Syndication -- feed, and landvaluetax.org
He also recommended Strategy and Soul
by Daniel Hunter, a campaigner's tale of fighting billionaires, corrupt officials, and Philadelphia casinos.
Then came a Q&A session. Karl Fitzgerald said something more, but my notes don't enable me to reconstruct what it was.
I also jotted down that Edward Miller got me a round of applause, but I'm not sure for what, perhaps for getting letters published in newspapers.
|Friday, January 22nd, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
I got two new amendments this week, and dealt with one of my older amendments, so I'm at four amendments. The Patent Office closed at noon today because of the blizzard.
I finished a first action rejection on my oldest Regular New case (oldest not counting Request for Continued Examination cases).
Waiting for a bus at the Pentagon City stop after work today, I met a couple with a vey large, very furry, and quite friendly dog named Oreo, who's half retriever and half Pyrenese Mountain dog. A snowstorm to frisk in is evidently good weather for someone with that much fur. His name fits him because the sides of his head are dark, with mostly white fur in the middle.
After lunch, I went grocery shopping, and found that there was a limited selection, since plenty of other people had already stocked up. I managed to get everything I should really need, and I may have an opportunity to get a red onion by the time I make chili and guacamole in the middle of next week.
|Wednesday, January 20th, 2016|
It was snowing this evening, and after I arrived at the Pentagon City Metro station, I waited for an apartment shuttle bus, and then waited for a Metro bus, and waited and waited, and then walked home. There were times when I was walking faster on the sidewalk than the vehicles on the road.
|Tuesday, January 19th, 2016|
|Bernie Sanders and Land Trusts
Bernie Sanders is one of the plurality of presidential candidates who keep sending me emails asking for campaign contributions. He also used to be mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and according to an article in Slate, he helped set up a land trust there
. This means, essentially, that people can buy houses cheaply, because they don't buy the land underneath, and when they sell the houses, they don't profit from reselling the land, which stays owned by the land trust.
Apparently, the land trust had enemies on both the left and the right (much like Georgism). There is interest in land trusts in Georgist circles, although not 100% enthusiasm. If nothing else, land trusts illustrate how the cost of land is a major barrier to affordable housing.
|Sunday, January 17th, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Thirty-One
To continue with the Hackathon/Social Media session, Edward Miller, spoke on "Effective Georgism," and said that we're largely spinning our wheels: internal debates on what terminology to use, few political victories, no new Single Tax colonies, committed Georgists not joining our ranks.
By far e most effective means of spreading Georgism has been one-on-one. Putting it all together is a long philosophical journey. No amount of marketing can substitute for a process of personal reflection.
Spreading Georgism should be distributed but cohesive. Google accounts, meetings online, etc.
Edward Miller is an empiricist in his approach.
To be continued.
|Friday, January 15th, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
I dealt with my oldest regular amendment this week, and my one Special Amended case left that docket after I repeated what I had done last week, but posted the action a different way, so I'm now down to three amendments, all regular items on the Amended docket.
I finished an Office Action on my oldest RCE case in time to get it counted for the previous biweek and previous quarter, and I'm now working on my oldest non-RCE Regular New case.
|Thursday, January 14th, 2016|
|Financial Disclosure and Stock Sale
This week, I filled out and signed my annual Financial Disclosure Form, which was more complicated than in previous years, because I inherited some stocks and bonds upon my mother's death. In particular, there's Microsoft; I have examined patent applications assigned to Microsoft, and to its competitors, which doesn't forbid me from owning any Microsoft stock, but would pose a problem if I owned more than a certain dollar amount.
Going over the brokerage statement so that I could fill out the form, I found that between the directly owned stock and the IRA, I didn't go over the limit, but I got closer than I would like, and if Microsoft stock went up, there might be a problem, so today I called the brokerage, and sold over half of the Microsoft stock, buying stock in two other companies. I don't think patent applications from either of them are very likely to land on my docket, and even if that happens, I don't own enough stock in either to have to recuse myself.
|Wednesday, January 13th, 2016|
The first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016 ended this weekend (actually, we were given until 3:00 PM Tuesday, instead of Monday, to turn work in, because there had been some computer problems). I was at 103% of production for the quarter, when I often have to struggle to meet the minimum level required to avoid trouble, which is 95%. And now I'm at work getting things done for the new quarter.
|Sunday, January 10th, 2016|
|Georgist Conference in Southfield, Part Thirty
Later in the afternoon of Thursday, August 6, we had "Hackathon: What Works (and Doesn't Work) in Social Media," with Jacob Shwartz-Lucas, Edward Miller, and Karl Fitzgerald. Jacob described how he emailed a thousand economists, social entrepreneurs, etc. in the world, seeking guidance on what could be done. He has a Master's Degree Biology. He realized that policy issues prevent him and other people from using science and other tools to help people.
He was reading about the margin of production in political economy. He toured South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia with a San activist, and saw San grazing their cattle on the side of the road between the asphalt and the fence -- there is a literal margin. They didn't have access to the fenced-off land that was owned by other people.
Last year, there was a conference with over a hundred attendees. Pictures.
Earth Sharing website. Google grant of half a million dollars worth of ads. Getting more people to sign up as community members.
Succesful replicators [Dawkins]: fidelity, fecundity, longevity. That means, for us, preserving data, books, etc.
Predictive modeling. We need to scale up; a newsletter with 50,000 subscribers would have bargaining power, and be able to exchange links and articles.
To be continued.
|Saturday, January 9th, 2016|
|The Red Queen's Race
This week, I got two regular Amendments, and one Special Amended case. I dealt with the Expedited case I had, and I also dealt with the new Special Amended, but it's still on my Special Amended docket; I think someone else is going to have to finish processing it. So I'm up to a total of five amendments, one of which I have, in a sense, dealt with.
I also did a first action rejection in my oldest non-RCE Regular New case, and I have started on my senior Request for Continued Examination case.