29 October 2015

Authority and Submission

Prior to working for my previous boss, I wasn't very good at my work.  Consequently, I wasn't very confident, and was rather passive-aggressive and indecisive.  Once my boss hired me and began to train me, I became more confident and decisive.

The first thing he trained me to do was paint sharp lines.  His business was predicated on provided the highest quality painting service, and to that end the first goal of every job was to make our work look as clean and crisp as possible.

The second thing he trained me to do was clean up messes.  If the first thing customer's notice is sloppy lines, the second thing they notice are messy floors.  To that end, I was expected to take precautions to avoid making messes, then go back and clean up when the work was done.
After that, he taught me how to talk to customers, how to manage job sites, and how to attend to various details that make customers want to hire you again.  In providing me with a set of values, he enabled me to focus my decision-making.  By taking responsibility for his rules, he gave me confidence to act decisively.

Thus, I learned that submission brings to itself its own type of authority.  Submitting to an authority gives you a paradigm in which to operate, thus focusing your work and making you more decisive.  Certain options are removed from before you simply because they do not fit within the framework provided by the one to whom you submit.  Furthermore, you can be confident in your decisions because, in a sense, you aren't really the one making them.

Paradoxically, submission brings forth a strong sense of authority because it gives you a framework for decisions.  The decision-making framework provides a goal and limits one's options.  Consequently, one can make decisions more quickly and confidently because one doesn't have to do any first-order thinking or parse through as many second-order options.  Thus, the reason why submission to a higher authority makes one seem more authoritative is because submission to a higher authority makes one a lower authority, extrapolating a paradigm downward.

28 October 2015

Obedience and Submission

Before I quit working for my boss, I was assigned to be in charge of an employee that everyone hated.  The kid, Drew, wasn't a bad person, though he was little weird.  He was socially awkward, vegan, a distance runner, quiet, lacking confidence, kind of dumb, and incredibly stubborn.  Customers didn't like him because he was weird and different.  Coworkers didn't like him because he was weird and generally made everyone's life difficult.  My boss didn't particularly care for him, but kept him on because he was just productive enough to be a net positive, and was pretty clean cut, which made customers feel a little bit better.

Anyhow, the number one foreman, Mike, was in originally put in charge of training the guy.  Mike tapped out after one month and threatened to quit if my boss didn't have him work with someone else.  Since I was the number two foreman, he was assigned to me.  After about two months of working with him, I quit trying to train him.  He simply did not pick up on the new processes, and simply worked how he wished to work.  Sometimes his methods meshed my boss's processes, sometimes they did not.  As such, my method for dealing with the little shithead was to only assign him to tasks that matched his methods with the boss's processes.  I picked up the rest of the slack.

I found out, through the grapevine, that he quit approximately one month after I did.  No one missed him, at least at first.  However, after my boss hired on the new guys word came back to me that he tried to hire Drew back.  It turned out that the new hires were not only extremely green, they weren't particularly motivated either.  Thus, while Drew was nowhere close to being a good employee, he at least had some bit of competence, and was at least willing to put in overtime.

What I came to realize after hearing about all this was that while I was valuable for being submissive, Drew was still a little bit valuable because he was at least obedient.  By this I mean that he would show up to work on time, carry out the tasks he was assigned (at least by me), work overtime when requested/threatened, and maintained a clean-cut appearance.  However, he was never concerned with ensuring the boss turned a profit, nor did he ever really care about making the boss's life easier.  He viewed his job as a checklist for a paycheck, and never bothered to see the boss as anything other than a check-signer and order-giver.  That didn't make him completely useless, but it did make him rather less valuable in the eyes of my boss.

More to the point, there is a distinct difference between submission and obedience.  Submission is positive and outward-focused; obedience is negative and inward-focused.  Both are good, but the former is clearly superior.

To illustrate the difference, I would say that the mindset of obedience is to avoid facing the negative consequences of disobeying one's leader.  The mindset of submission is seeking to please one's leader.  The obedient is concerned about what happens to him while the submissive is concerned about what happens to the leader.  The obedient is focused on avoiding what is bad while the submissive is focused on bringing about good.

While obedience is better than disobedience, it is not close to being as good as submission. However, obedience is a necessary prerequisite to submission.  If one wishes to be powerful, one must make the journey from obedience to submission.

27 October 2015


A couple of months ago I received a text from my former employer.  It read, "Simon, I need you to come back so I can pay you way more money I'm really swamped with work its ridiculous. [sic]"
To be honest, I was surprised by this.  I had quit four months earlier.  He still had three other guys on the crew, and had just hired a new guy who I had begun to train to replace me.  I had heard, through the guys still on the crew, that he had hired four guys after I left.  Granted, he subsequently fired one, and another guy quit.  Nonetheless, he was running a six-man crew, and the few times I'd run into subsequent to leaving, he'd made a point of telling me how good things were going for him and how busy he was.

What I came to realize was that he still couldn't replace me, even with a larger crew.  The reason I was irreplaceable was because I had submitted to him completely.

While I was in his employ, my attitude towards working for him was that it was my job to make sure that he turned as large a profit as possible with as few headaches as possible, and so I took it upon myself to master his business as completely as possible and manage his job sites as professionally as possible.  I was promoted to foreman within a year of working for him, and was put in charge of managing the most difficult employee he had.

I didn't particularly enjoy working for my former boss, but I can say with complete confidence that I was the best employee he ever had.  I showed up on time, worked full shifts, volunteered for all possible off-hour jobs, rarely asked for time off and gave plenty of notice when I did, made sure the crew had all the necessary supplies, made sure jobs were completed, made sure all the details were taken care of, addressed customer complaints directly, and made sure all job sites were clean and free of mistakes before wrapping up.  I volunteered for all the difficult work and crap assignments, and made a point of praising my boss whenever customers asked about him.  And then I quit.

Now, my point in all this isn't that I'm amazing or impressive (although I am, natch).  My point is that, ultimately, those who live in complete submission to authority are functionally in control of the relationship.  Because I submitted to my boss as completely as I could, I was functionally the one in charge of the relationship because through my submission I became increasingly irreplaceable while he became more replaceable.  When I gave him my three weeks notice, his immediate response was to offer me an 18% raise.  His latest offer was to nearly double what I'd been making before.

The irony in all of this is that I would not have been so valuable to him had I never submitted to him.  By respecting his authority as my boss and doing everything I could to make his business as profitable as possible, I became indispensable.  But I never could have become so valuable if I did not recognize and submit to his authority.

The truth about leadership and submission, then, is that authority belongs to those who lead but power belongs to those who follow.  Thus, a leader without followers is powerless.  An authority that does not inspire submission is impotent.  The meek, as it were, will inherit the earth.

26 October 2015

Linear Thinkers

One of the themes on blog of late, particularly in the past two posts, is that global warming apologists aren't very good at approaching science holistically.  Obviously, this is very problematic for people who wish to study global warming because analyzing a matter on a global scale will obviously require massive amounts of data and balancing a very wide array of variables.  Clearly, most climate scientists and apologists are not doing this at all.

In fact, the shrillest doomsday predictors often seem focused on variable to the near exclusion of all others.  Those who are concerned about CO2's effect on the atmosphere seem downright ignorant of its effect on plant life.  Those concerned about melting ice caps seem almost uninterested in oceanic water evaporation.  The irony is that in each case, the presumed negative effect is, to some degree, offset by the positive effect and--most importantly--inseparable.

I suppose that the biggest issue with the global warming screamers is that, while they are certainly more clever than average, they are very much linear thinkers.  In fact, I would suggest that they are probably be the smartest linear thinkers.

Unfortunately, climatology is not a branch of science that is well-suited for linear logic.  Isolating a variable and extrapolating its effects is an extremely stupid thing to do in climatology because a) every variable has multiple effects and b) no variable is truly independent in reality.  More CO2 may lead to a greater greenhouse effect, to be sure.  The point of a greenhouse, though, has always been to leverage a warmer, more humid environment into increased plant growth and yields.  Thus, an increased greenhouse effect would likely have a positive effect on crop yields and subsequently ameliorate global poverty.

Thus, applying the tool of linear logic to an isolated variable is akin to digging a hole with a shovel.  The tool simply isn't meant for the job.  So, while the global warming crowd may be quite clever at using their analytic method, when's all is said and done they are not really clever enough to realize that they are using the wrong tool for the job.  So really, they aren't even that clever.

25 October 2015

The Rising Tide

Karl Denninger:
The problem with the claim is that there's a tide gauge (actually, several of them) in the San Francisco Bay basin.  One of them with a 75 year record is at Alameda Naval Air Station. 
It shows no material change in tidal levels.
When one actually stops to compare the claim that increased global temperatures will lead to rising ocean levels to elementary school science, it becomes readily obvious that the claim is, to put it bluntly, full of shit.  More precisely, the idea that higher temperatures lead to melting ice caps, which in turn leads to rising ocean levels is an extremely simplistic model that ignores some very basic and well-established scientific theories.

In the first place, it must be noted that ice (solid water) is less dense than liquid water, as evidenced by its tendency to float on water.  To wit:
Things float when they are positively buoyant, or less dense than the fluid in which they are sitting. This does not mean that an object has to be lighter than the fluid, as in the case of a boat; objects just need to have a greater ratio of empty space to mass than the fluid.
More to the point, pound for pound, ice takes up 9.05% more volume than its liquid counterpart.  Converting liquid water into solid requires more volume; reversing the process requires less volume.  Thus, melting ice caps and oceanic ice (e.g. icebergs) wouldn't necessarily increase oceanic levels at all simply because liquid water is more dense than solid water.

Moreover, it is estimated, at least in the case of icebergs, that only 10-20% of the volume of the ice sits above the water.  Assuming that the visible area is closer to 10% of volume than 20%, an iceberg that melts completely would have virtually no effect on ocean levels, since the visible volume is basically the same as the difference in volume between the solid and liquid forms of water.  As such, as the berg melts it would condense in volume and not cause anymore displacement.

Considering that water covers 71% of the earth's surface while only 1.7% of that volume is in solid form, it seems downright illogical to assert that such a relatively small amount of water will lead to increased oceanic levels as it condenses in volume.  Granted, some solid water is on land (e.g. glaciers), but given that water condenses when it melts, it does seem remarkably ignorant to hypothesize that melting ice caps will lead to unparalleled catastrophe.

Finally, one must also account for evaporation when discussing the water cycle.  If higher temperatures led to more melted ice, they would also likely lead to an increase of water vapor in the atmosphere.  Per Wikipedia:
The main ways water vapor is added to the air: wind convergence into areas of upward motion; precipitation or virga falling from above; daytime heating evaporating water from the surface of oceans, water bodies, or wet land; transpiration from plants; cool or dry air moving over warmer water; and lifting air over mountains. [Emphasis added.]
Ocean water evaporation is very much contingent on relative temperature:
The most noticeable pattern in the time series is the influence of seasonal temperature changes and incoming sunlight on water vapor. In the tropics, a band of extremely humid air wobbles north and south of the equator as the seasons change. This band of humidity is part of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, where the easterly trade winds from each hemisphere converge and produce near-daily thunderstorms and clouds. Farther from the equator, water vapor concentrations are high in the hemisphere experiencing summer and low in the one experiencing winter. [Emphasis added.]
Obviously, if more ocean water evaporates in the summer when the temperatures are warmer, then it should make sense to assert that warmer global temperatures will generally extend and/or accelerate this cycle.  If that is indeed the case, then it should also seem reasonable to assert that the evaporation cycle would ameliorate the admittedly limited effect of melting ice.  Hell, for all anyone knows, the evaporation cycle might be severe enough to add so much water to the atmosphere that ocean levels recede and the coastline expands.

Anyhow, as Karl Denninger points out, the mere fact that ocean levels haven't risen in conjunction with temperature should suffice to refute the theory that global warming leads  to rising ocean levels.  In fact, given the basic science of the water cycle and the chemical properties of water, it seems to be a downright ignorant assertion.  Perhaps it would be best to simply start ridiculing global warming scaremongers for being so ignorant about science.

06 October 2015

The Real Cause of Global Warming

Via Karl Deninger, here's a report showing the sun's effect on global temperatures:
“The model architecture was wrong,” he says. “Carbon dioxide causes only minor warming. The climate is largely driven by factors outside our control.” 
There is another problem with the original climate model, which has been around since 1896. 
While climate scientists have been predicting since the 1990s that changes in temperature would follow changes in carbon dioxide, the records over the past half million years show that not to be the case. 
So, the new improved climate model shows CO2 is not the culprit in recent global warming. But what is? 
Dr Evans has a theory: solar activity. What he calls “albedo modulation”, the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun, is the likely cause of global warming. 
He predicts global temperatures, which have plateaued, will begin to cool significantly, beginning between 2017 and 2021. The cooling will be about 0.3C in the 2020s. Some scientists have even forecast a mini ice age in the 2030s.
So the sun is what's been driving global heating and cooling all along?! You don't say!  Next thing you know, scientists will be telling us that the moon affects the tide!

At any rate, it's nice to know that someone has taken time to analyze the sun's role in global temperature fluctuation, something I suggested two years ago.  In fact, it's rather astonishing that climate "scientists" haven't put much effort into doing this very thing given that the daily cycle of climate change corresponds almost perfectly to solar visibility, and the annual cycle of climate change corresponds strongly to the rate of solar exposure.  As such, it seems like it would be obvious to assume that if the sun is the biggest driver of climate temperature fluctuation on a micro- and mezzo-cycle, then it's probably the main driver of temperature on a macro-cycle as well.

Also, climatology isn't really a proper science given that its theories aren't generally subjected to testing and falsification.  For instance, it seems like it would be possible to hypothesize a correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperature increase.  If, say, 1,000,000 tons of CO2 emissions led to a 1-degree Celsius increase in global temperature year over year, this could be tested by generating 1,000,000 tons of CO2 emissions and observing the subsequent trends.  This is never done, of course, and for good reason:  a one degree difference in measured temperature could simply be measurement error.  Nonetheless, the complete absence of anything approaching empirical testing in climatology means that the discipline bears considerably more resemblance to the statistical analysis common in marketing research that the hard science of chemistry.  And keep in mind that statistical analysis isn't even as rigorous as mathematics.

Anyhow, given that climatology isn't rigorous to be math or science, and given that the current consensus of climatologists has been demonstrated to woefully incompetent at even statistical analysis, I think it safe to double down on my prior assertion that people who worry about climate change are really just people who like to worry.  Climatology thus exists provides them with complex jargonistic rationalizations for their feelings of crisis (read: guilt) and compels them to action to save the world (read: evangelize).  In short, climatology isn't science, it's priest craft for earth-worshiping pagans.