Comments? Email the editor: pjbevel[*at*]gmail[(dot)]com
Don't forget to learn about Smith Charts.
And what then, is a currency?
A way of holding value indirectly. Gold then is a currency in the sense that it holds value when you store more than you need. It has intrinsic value when it is used for something.
The properties of a desirable currency must be, off the top of my head, (1) widespread acceptance, since the wider it is accepted the more useful it is, and clearly that the existance of it can be transferred for some object/service of interest, (2) some form of regulation or method of keeping the currency from being defrauded, as "watering down" the currency weakens its value, (3) transferability, in the sense it can be moved from one thing to another in exchange for something, (4) stability, in the sense that if you have it you don't need to wonder what you will have in a weeks time, (5) legitimacy, in the sense that the organization backing or controlling it is working at least not-against the common good. That's all I can think of now.
In regards to the US dollar, it certainly satisfies (1), (2), (3) and (4), although not necessarily (5). What sucks about the dollar is that it is controlled by the US government, and recent/long-term events shows that the US government is extraordinarily inefficient and wasteful; most politicians are not qualified to sell hot dogs and yet are running this country. Given the so called governemnt's unqualified ability to govern, their authority is illegitimate. Further, given that US politicians control the dollar in the sense of perception of US strength, erronious wars, and indirectly (through the fed) the dollar supply, it stands to reason that the purchasing power of the dollar will (continue to) erode, perhaps significantly. Further, this erosion comes on the backs of the not-so-well-to-do (who inexplicably vote republican against their own best interest). Example: the 787 billion dollar bail out, orchestrated by Goldman Sachs former CEO, for the benefit of the rich "too big to fail" banks, was ultimatley used to purchase shares of their stock, and repurchase from them their failed investments. The profits went to the bank and the failures within the bank who created them; the penalty was paid by those outside the system, particularly the common tax payer who does not have tax preferred status (as in the case of Mitt Romney).
Because the US dollar supports the illegitimate system of government that it setup to keep the incompetant in power, the use of the US dollar currency is not desirable.
In terms of other widespread currencies within the US, I turn my attention to the stock market. A share of stock is currency, although only indirectly. It is 100% liquid, in the sense that it can always be rapidly converted to dollars. It is highly regulated, transferable, stability is less comparable to the US dollar, but also somewhat legitimate, in the sense that the corporation cannot outright lie and are required to give an accounting of the "state of the union" every quarter, 4 times as much as the US government does. Further, the supply of "stock" a company can issue is at the discretion of the company; rules can be changed, shares created, etc. The benefit of shifting currency from US dollars to stock is that the value of a stable company (eg. Proctor and Gamble, AT&T, exxon mobile) is expected to rise, even as the dollar is expected to fall. In this sense, it is desirable to convert one's currency from the falling in value to the rising in value. But that doesn't factor in variance, which scares the massses often.
On the subject of variance, it should be noted taht a precipitous drop in the stock market is, for a stock investor the equivalent to a good rise in the stock market for a US dollar holder. That is, the relative purchasing power shifts between the two, but over time the value of a basket of stocks will beat the dollar. The dollar has no real backing and will be inflated by the illegitimate incompetent governement at will. In this sense, it is foolish to not own any stock. The sidebar of course is that the dollar is the true accepted currency.
I don't care about the Euro or the other currencies of the world.
I do care about bitcoin. Bitcoin is defined into existance. It is a system of currency that has no backing, accept that the use is (somewhat) widespread. If people accept it, they will accept it. It is a chicken before the egg scenario. The value of the bitcoin is that it will not be rapidly depreciated. The number of bitcoins that will ever be in existance is already determined; the rate at which new bitcoins come about is already determined. The bitcoin though, avoids all government intervention. It doesn't need government. This is a big deal. It is just an intelligent system, that is self policed, that currently is worth per bitcoin a few hundred US dollars. Which is cool, because something that was defined into existance is significantly more valuable than something most people assume is the end goal. Don't get caught up in the inner workings of the bitcoin; what matters is that bitcoins exist, and that a bitcoin is a bitcoin.
I wasn't really going anywhere with this. Thanks for your time.
Have you noticed the clocks changed??????
Today we look at the history of Halloween costumes at PeteRules headquarters:
Herein I try to compile photos of my Halloween costumes, over the years. I've made a habit of dressing up every halloween my entire adult career, 3 times at Boeing (2006-2009), 4 times at apple (2009-2012), 1 time at google (2013). I've got the streak going so I will try to document it as best as possible.
The first photo I have goes all the way back to 2003, when I was first year Master's student at Stanford. Back then San Francisco used to have a big citywide halloween thing, and here is me, dressed in what I'm not sure exactly, along with Ross (Chigi de Santos) and Freddo:
7:35pm, October 13th, 2013.
Just got back from Taiwan, and boy are my arms tired. Here's my favorite photo, a panorama taken with the iPhone 5C. It's the Taipei 101 (left), the Hyatt Taipei (center), the moon, and if you look closely, that's venus in the lower right side. Much brighter in real life of course:
Here's me on top of said skyscraper, or at least as close to the top as you can get as a non-billionaire:
What's cool about that building, is that inside they have like 10 meter radius sphere, that is used to dampen oscillations from wind, typhoons, earthquakes, etc. That's pretty cool. It wasn't clear how it worked, but supposedly they figured out how to transfer some of the push on the building to sway in the sphere, which is then transferred to the sphere which can then transfer the energy to the support pistons. Apprently this is a common thing among ultra tall buildings (it's in the trump tower apprently), and here's a pic of it, which is publically viewable:
Anyway, so yeah I went to Taiwan for a few days last week. Not particularly noteworthy, but first trip to Asia as a googler. And for what its worth, working at google is not nearly as awesome as the movie internship makes it out to be, or as awesome as one might observe from the outside.
Moving on...Jesus. I've about finished the book "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth". Fantastic book. I first heard about this when the guy was interviewed on some foxnews program (which I didn't watch), and the dumbass blonde lady interviewing him was asking him why he would write about Jesus if he wasn't a christian. She couldn't quite understand it, but working at foxnews she doesn't need to understand much. The guy's interview wasn't good, I thought he was a douche, but ended up downloading the book on the iBookstore.
The reason it was fantastic is that, for me, I sat in church for 18 years, going to christian schools, and had the "infallible word of God" story on the bible rammed down my throat. This book discusses the historical background for the times of the bible, and references historical records and early writings to really set the record straight. Some interesting notes:
1. Jesus's birth story is told in two different ways. In Mathew/Luke, which tell the story, in one version King Herod was going around killing children and Jesus family escaped. In another, his father went to Betheleham to have the child per a census. Neither of these stories is true, and both are written after the fact to try and justify random Old Testament arbitrary scriptures about the messiah. And you know what? I never really noticed. The other books don't even mention Jesus' supposedly divine birth.
2. It talks about how Paul was completely at odds with Peter, James (the real early church leader), etc. It talks about how he was preaching "there is no more law from old testament times". This is the commonly accepted version of Christianity we hear about. However, James, the real leader of the early church and Jesus brother, clearly spells out in the book of James that "whoever is guilty of not upholding all of the law is guilty of it all". So what happened was Paul would go around preaching his nonsense, and then Peter, James, etc would try to clean up after his nonsense. And I never noticed these inconsistencies, but I should have. And Paul gets the bulk of the New Testament, because after Christianity and Jerusalem was destroyed around 60 AD, the center shifted to Rome, and the religion needed to be modified to be acceptable to the non-Jewish community.
If you didn't grow up in the church, this book would be a waste of time, as all it does it set a lot of things straight from the completely nonsensical bible. But for me, it really was a "wow" book. To really see what you were taught your whole life turn out to be utter nonsense (I mean, at a level I wasn't even aware of before), was quite profound. I've been an atheist for a while (only one of the 6 children in my religious family), but this book really cemented how incredibly nonsensical the Bible is. Do any of the Christians who read this crap all day (including my mom) ever notice how inconsistent it is? Apprently not. But at the end of the day - it just takes faith.
A brief snapshot from my 2-year anniversary dinner with said wife:
To describe what it is like to work at google.
Me: How many iPhones did Apple sell on this opening weekend? Guess?
Coworker: I'm not sure. 20,000?
Me: 9 Million.
Google is no where close to apple on hardware development and production. But you never know, things change.
Well we have a solution to one of the great mysteries of physics - courtesy of A.ron - who has figured out why the diffraction limit was violated in the December 23rd, 2012 experiment on diffraction. Basically, we could see a line about 20 times farther away than we should have been able to, according to the classical diffraction limit everyone takes for granted.
Aron goes through the physics and math and looks at what happens when you don't use a point source for light - but rather the spreading due to an edge (or cliff - basically a step function that has light to one side and nothing to the other side). What happens is this edge actually falls off faster than a point source. And he goes through and calculates what type of diffraction limit you would be able to see with your eye, and got a limit bout 20 times farther than the standard limit - in line with what we saw! This is a great victory for all of science. Congrats to A.Ron on this great accomplishment, and he will forever be immortalized in the annals (prounounced anal-s) of PeteRules.
The study, in all its glory: A.Rons Solution to Diffraction Problem
We are still trying to figure out why we can't see any spreading between blue and red light no matter what we do, but that will have to be left for another day.
Childhood Goal: Be a Professional Football Player.
Goal at 32: Stay awake during a professional football game.
7:08pm, September 5th, 2013.
My $50,000 idea, which has raised $1, on indiegogo. The antenna extender. I took an iPhone 4 or 4S, and made the antenna bigger with copper tape. I had to use a lot of copper tape just to get 3 dB (100%) of gain. Which isn't that much. Anyway, if nothing else, you'll know now that those stickers you could put on the back of your cell phone never did shit - they were a scam all right. As were the griffin iPhone cases as well. But - those people selling that crap made money, and mine that actually does something is scoffed at. But I never cared that much anyway. Oh, and it is on indiegogo because kickstarter rejected it. Pigs. Here's the link. You can donate - as if I don't hit $50,000 in about 50 days you will get your money back anyway!
RIP Christianity. Approximately 300 AD when the emperor Constantine legalized it, to 1995.
Proof of end:
Genesis 6:3 - Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years."
And so basically said Christian jesus was like "people won't live longer than 120". But then it has been verified in 1995 of one Jeanne Calment, who passed 120 that year, and lived to be about 122.5:
So there you go, direct observable contradictory evidence of some of the bible's made up propositions. So it turned out to be fake all along! They had me going for a while. Anyway, it had a good run, but christianity is officially dead. Thank you for all your support.
10:44pm, august 13th, 2013.
An image from my 32nd birthday. In San Francisco at about 6pm, prior to attending a Phish concert. I had mistakenly taken 2 sleeping pills 2 hours prior that I thougth were Benadryl. I thought the bar tender had roofied me. From left to right, Nick, Pete, Paullie, Jessica, Nadya, Jen.
11:44am, august 11th, 2013.
Here are some recent videos of somewhat pete-related interest. First, having received 17 calls in the middle of the night from a P. Stellwoman, I concatenated them into a 9 minute video:
Now, I also took my so-called google glasses on a surf trip, in which they lasted about 8 minutes. But they still were able to upload the videos online, so here is that experience:
9:12pm, about Agusut 1st, 2013.
Another installment in the now 6-part series on diffraction! Diffraction part 6!
9:14pm, about July 2nd, 2013
The dream may be over. If you've been following the adsense chronicles of the great Dr. Drinkwater, you would have noticed previously that the website has been growing at 3 dB per 8.5 months (much more than double every year). But the last few months we fell off the trend line. I will now present the data:
Here's the per month revenue in US dollars, per month:
And here's the same data plotted in decibels:
So this could be a hickup or the dream could really be over. You'd think working at google would reverse this trend.....