Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Bernardo de La Paz

Bernardo de La Paz's Journal
Bernardo de La Paz's Journal
December 4, 2023

Wise beyond his years. Each point is fleshed out with passion and balance and good humour

It's great!

1. You don't have to have a dream.

2. Don't seek happiness.

3. Remember, it's all luck. Empathy is intuitive but it is also something you can work on intellectually.

4. Exercise.

5. Be hard on your opinions.

6. Be a teacher. Even if you are not a teacher be a teacher.

7. Define yourself by what you love.

8. Respect people with less power than you.

9. Don't rush.

(Adding this post to my journal)
(My screen name is a teacher's name)

November 30, 2023

Electric is pretty much on/off or set at a voltage or current

A switch is on/off.

Voltage and current are primarily controlled by resistors, capacitors, and inductors. Resistors reduce current and can be used to control direct current voltage. Capacitors store electricity statically (electrons) and inductors magnetically. Their storage can be momentary so that they can be used to filter alternating current according to frequencies.

A knob can control a variable resistor or a variable capacitor or a variable inductor.

That's all electric. Simple things like electric light, transformers, and electric motors. AC/DC.

In electronics, there become ways to use electrical activity to control other electrical activity. This requires vacuum tubes or semiconductors.

Diodes (semiconductor or tube) allow current to flow in one direction or not flow at all.

Triodes (transistor or tube) can switch or modulate current. An input brings a current in on one wire and out on another, there is third wire for control. As a gate, it can switch the through-current on or off. Alternatively it can be use to pass or decrease the current according to the voltage on the control wire. There are variations that can increase the current according to the control wire, and there we get amplifiers.

Radios are electronic. The antenna is pre-tuned for the band (broadly). The tuning section uses variable capacitors generally (old days) to pass the selected station frequency. Then that signal is amplified.

Hope that helps.

November 27, 2023

The perfect is the enemy of the good. Purists are enemies of pragmatists

I think reality is so complex it requires pragmatism to deal with it. By reality, I include dealing with people. That means controlling as needed and able and negotiating when reasonable and avoiding losing interactions if possible.

Purism is 2016 voting for Jill Stein (and hence tRump) because no Democrat is perfect enough.

Pragmatism is getting things done and not fighting battles until they can be won. Sometimes battles are forced on us, and then we fight.

Internal purism leads to Maoist Cultural Revolutions. A lot of good that did China. Not.
Internal purism leads to Wahabi fighting Shia fighting Sunni fighting Sufi.
Internal purism is the Republican Party become a rump party by demanding loyalty to Hair Fuhrer.

Pragmatism is a successful strategy that gets many needed things done.

Purism gets little done. The GQP is constantly primarying itself for purity. Part of the reason the Red Wave became a pinkish slush puddle, 15 votes for Speaker, two Speakers in one year, Continuing Resolutions, etc.

Christian nationalism is purism.
Banning books is purism.
White nationalism is purism.

Don't be a Puritan or a purist.

November 26, 2023

Folks in other countries are allowed to have un-American ways of speaking.

Relax, it is a respectable figure of speech. Best not to make mountains out of molehills. Not everyone has to speak like Americans. Why should Canadians and Irish have to write "color" when they have always written "colour"? Can't people in the UK talk about the bonnet of the car meaning the hood? Is US cultural imperialism so important that people here have to step all over a well-meaning harmless statement because it doesn't meet their strict definition of (American) English?

Churchill famously said "Two countries separated by a common language", referring to the UK and USA.

"Lost" is a common respectable way of meaning things like death or disappearance.

"Lost at sea" means drowned. It does not necessarily mean never found.

"We lost my mother to cancer". It is a loss.

"He was taken hostage by sadistic thugs. He might never come back. He is lost, at least until something big changes."

November 25, 2023

Math and all academic courses SHOULD be challenging

Children are naturally curious. Challenge them and you get them involved.

If you give unchallenging curriculum, children get bored and disengaged and start losing out.

Courses can't be "enlightening and helpful and consequential and integrated" unless they are challenging.

Your post has some meaningful perspectives but does not support your title. I do disagree that solving equations is a useless skill. You write better equations if you know how to solve them. You can program computers better if you know how to solve equations. You can use computers to solve equations better if you know how to solve them yourself.

Teaching kids how to punch numbers into a computer is not teaching them what it all means. Similarly it does not equip them to be able to double check the results. Further, it gives no education on how to generate equations in the first place. It is a bogus educational strategy.

Tools do not mean you can neglect fundamentals. Fundamentals are foundations and absolutely remain important. Your strategy would not work.

Your last paragraph is insightful, but is not an argument for abandoning learning how to solve equations. New Math, which I was given decades ago in Canada in the first wave of it, was very useful and did not abandon equations.

November 15, 2023

Yes. magats are gullible and seek confirmation. Science tries to break theories

magats and strong-religion-believers are constantly looking for analysis and factoids that confirm their beliefs. "A dog-catcher in Podunk accepted a doughnut from a bystander - that proves all democrats are corrupt!"

Science is the opposite.

Science constantly tests theories by trying to disprove them. Science never proves a theory. Rather, it has theories that have withstood all the tests trying to disprove them. Gravity is only a theory (Einstein's theory includes Newton's theory), but it has been tested so many times that you should not try to disprove it by walking out of a tenth story window.

It's why I sometimes cruise RW sites looking to see what they might have uncovered. Due to their propensity for confirmation-seeking, my readings there tend to cause more head-shaking and mirth than insight, though I have gained insight into what makes magats tick.

November 14, 2023

Forget fatcat. Think Profit

Words like fatcat are evocative, colourful, and provocative. We love them, but they are not the issue.

The media corporations are highly efficient at generating profit due to advancing technology and professional management.

To generate profit they need eyeballs. They attract eyeballs by shock, awe, and controversy. When real news is slow, fall back on controversy.

To make profit from controversy, they must normalize extreme positions (more commonly found on the right) so they can set it up as "both sides".

I think poster you replied to is wrong about them "preferring" authoritarianism. I think they are so narrow-mindedly efficient that they don't give it much thought.

November 13, 2023

You are spot on to say so many in USA need a history lesson re how fascism creeps in

First, extreme views are normalized.

Then certain groups of people are declared vermin. Use this as a way to generate outrage in the Right Wing Authoritarian Followers (magats). Use that base as a solid dependable voting block.

Next, fracture the opposition or control parts of it in various ways.

With a solid base, become the single largest political unit or the most powerful, even if a minority because the opposition is split.

Get just enough support from wobbly third parties and groups to get operational power.

Use power to get more power, reducing limits steadily. Squeeze until there is no effective opposition. Torture. Extra-judicial killings. Violent militias.

Rule with an iron fist.

November 8, 2023

Steady now: Mass media desperate for any 2024 horse race since both noms are NOT horse races

The Mass Media (including attention-driving social media) are desperate for any kind of horse race in the 2024 Presidential election. They need one to increase profits.

With the rump's "legal troubles" and looming trial schedules, I'm confident he will become more a wanna-be Emperor with no clothes. I am doubtful he'll even be the nominee, but until the legal machinery grinds further the "perceived narrative" is that tRump gets the nomination. Hence no drama on the GQP side with respect to 2024.

However, even if tRump is the nominee, he will be defeated, resulting from hard work by many Democrats as Robert Reich today encourages Get Out the Vote.

There is no drama on the Democratic Party side, except for what is ginned-up by RepubliConners and foreign bad actors.

So with no profit-making drama for the mass media on either side, they are desperate to create drama between the two men where there is little. tRump flop-sweats and blusters his way through odious lies and revealing authoritarian appeals to his base.

Biden abides undramatically, calmly.

Hence we get torrents of poorly conducted "polls", repeated questions using the RepubliCon narrative of Biden's age, and so forth.

Ignore most of it. Don't become flustered, outraged, derailed, anxious, or exhausted. Keep calm, stay focused and maintain a steady sustainable pace.

November 5, 2023

Reich Wingers have been told "mention socialism with 'nazi' as often as you can"

It's a framing thing (see George Lakoff's work).

The "socialism" in Nazi (National Socialist party) was a ploy in the early 1930s to win power when the left was fractured between communists and anarchists and who knows what else.

It was incidental to Nazism, not fundamental. Further, Nazi policies working hand in glove with corporations were anti-socialist. The Nazis did some socialist things like making the Autobahn, but that was in fact built so Hitler could move tanks and munitions efficiently for blitzkrieg.

The framing the Reich Wing uses in the US today is to reinforce the (bogus) notion that socialism is tyrannical and fascistic. Simply mentioning the two terms together plants the idea in minds and strengthens it where it has taken seed.

It's a way to build a straw man out of socialism they can demolish and pretend to be defending the US Constitution while all the while they are creating the corporate fascism that the Nazis created.

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 10:36 PM
Number of posts: 47,448

About Bernardo de La Paz

Canadian who lived for many years in Northern California and left a bit of my heart there. (note to self: https: //images.dailykos.com/images/1043361/original/2016.09.19_sunflowers_header.jpg . https://i.imgur.com/1VKgdmc.jpeg)

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Bernardo de La Paz's Journal