Monday, April 06, 2009

Comments on Belmont Club
"We are gremlins from the Kremlin"


There are possibilities as to why the satellite failed to achieve orbit.
1. Design flaw (likely)
2. Design feature (really just testing to prove they can target Guam, Taiwan,
     possibly Hawaii)
3. KInetic kill (impossible, couldn't have been kept secret)
4. Non-kinetic kill (telemetry interference, or bad data inserted into the
     programming)

Some threads back I pointed out that our muscular responses would have to start with pre-positioning supplies sufficient to feed millions of people for months. If we did that noisily and publicly there is the possibility that the NorK army would break and run for the cheese. Joshua is correct, South Korea looked at the burdens that Germany assumed when the DDR imploded and decided that they really don't like their poor suffering cousins so much that they want to pay to rehabilitate them. East Germany was a far more functional society with a more productive population than North Korea is.

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michael hoskins,
When trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

A quick search on that ditty confirmed that Heinlein used it and that he probably heard it in the Navy. He did some engineering work during WW-II and also knew L. Ron Hubbard, who had a brief career as a Junior Officer. One theory is that since the Colregs (Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea) require ships to pass port to port for safety the safest thing to do to avoid collision is to point your bow to the starboard.

The story I heard, that isn't on any source I saw in 5 minutes, is that since WW-II aircraft had no onboard radar but did have a radio, when lost they could use the radio beacon as a crude homing device and ride the beam in to the carrier. That meant that if lost a pilot would climb, circle and call for help. If they were lucky then the aircraft carrier would break radio silence, a very dangerous thing to do, and broadcast so that the lost chick could find its way home.

BTW, Gremlin is probably the prize winning worst automobile model name ever. It makes sense that the acolytes of the Answer/Acorn affiliated administration, given Answer and Acorns links to the New Party and thereby to the North Korean regime, are now arranging bankruptcy for the American automobile industry.

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Why does China support North Korea? Why do people keep large angry abused dogs in their front yards until the day a child of theirs is mauled? We make a mistake when we presume that governments, just because they employee people with American University degrees who speak better English than we do and wear decent suits and use cell phones, will act in accord with our rational expectations. It is an obvious mistake to think that about our own government so why think that about the Chinese? It is true that a rational analysis is over time the best predictor of how another party will act, unless they enter a sub Pareto optimal path to failure. It is also true that we do not know all the variables, you study the numbers you have. Westerners repeatedly make the mistake of trying to explain to the guy on the other side of the table what we think is best for him. That usually insults the other party and makes it more likely that they will not take us seriously. How many times have we seen a Western spokesman explain that Islam is really a Religion of Peace, if only the Moslems themselves would be willing to let us teach it to them?

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outa my league,
Marketing people are paid big money to consider how a name translates. We are all entertained when they screw up. Case in point the Chevy Nova. They spent a fortune trying to figure out why a car named "No Va" wouldn't sell in Latin America. Another collection of brain surgeons tried to market mens briefs in Hong Kong with the name "Homme" emblazoned across the package photo. They had neglected to find out that their product name was a homonym with the Cantonese word for "suck."

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