20160208 Vision Author Culture on Knowledge Forum

Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: Electric drill

Postby tahanson43206 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:27 pm

The electric drill is an example of an artifact whose description could easily consume ten years of weekly posting of messages on The knowledge Forum

A specific electric drill as it exists in 2016, is the result of contributions of hundreds if not thousands of individuals over decades.

If an author were to take on the obligation of describing such a drill so that it could be reproduced a century from now, on another planet entirely, that author would find it necessary to consider all of the physical laws that are embodied within the fixed structures and dynamic behavior of the tool.

In addition, the author would (probably) find it necessary to describe in detail the many processing steps that would yield a finished, working system.

(th)
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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: generator

Postby tahanson43206 » Mon May 02, 2016 1:29 pm

A small gasoline powered generator is another example of an artifact whose description could easily consume ten years of weekly posting of messages on The knowledge Forum

A specific portable gasoline powered generator as it exists in 2016, is the result of contributions of hundreds if not thousands of individuals over decades.

If an author were to take on the obligation of describing such a generatr so that it could be reproduced a century from now, on another planet entirely, that author would find it necessary to consider all of the physical laws that are embodied within the fixed structures and dynamic behavior of the tool.

In addition, the author would (probably) find it necessary to describe in detail the many processing steps that would yield a finished, working system.

Next week I'll post a call for a thread on the production of gasoline.

(th)
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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: Gasoline

Postby tahanson43206 » Mon May 09, 2016 3:57 pm

As a logical sequel to the progression of electric drill that draws power from a gasoline powered generator, there are two branches of knowledge that can be recorded on one hand, and pursued on the other.

At present (in 2016) gasoline is refined from petroleum which was itself created by natural forces over millions of years. It would be helpful to have available a repository of the knowledge needed to locate, retrieve, refine, store, distribute and use petroleum that yields gasoline as a deliverable.

A helpful line of investigation is knowledge that would yield long chained hydrocarbons using renewable energy and freely available feed stocks of carbon dioxide and water, on one hand, or carbohydrates on the other.

In both cases, energy is required to free up carbon and hydrogen to make long chain hydrocarbons. Techniques to isolate carbon and hydrogen are known in 2016. What is NOT known is how to assemble long hydrocarbon changes given carbon and hydrogen as inputs.

A promising line of investigation MAY be the discovery that long filaments of carbon can be teased into existence using high voltage.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semi ... f-assemble

A follow up step would be to see if hydrocarbon chains occur if the carbon filaments described in the Rice University research are subjected to hydrogen gas under pressure.

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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: 3D Printing Extended

Postby tahanson43206 » Mon May 16, 2016 3:41 pm

3D Printing with filaments of plastic is technology that is becoming well established in the United States in 2016. 3D Printing with metal is still expensive enough so that it is found primarily in companies, a few academic laboratories, and (perhaps) a few government agencies such as national laboratories.

The logical extension of 3D Printing to the atomic scale is some time away, but the success of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy in placing atoms in precise locations shows where 3D Printing is headed.

A body of knowledge on this theme could take multiple lifetimes to assemble.

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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: Sciences

Postby tahanson43206 » Mon May 23, 2016 3:36 pm

The topic offered for this week is Biological Science.

This is a field to which large numbers of human beings have already devoted entire lifetimes.

***

An author who decides to participate in this experiment will (probably) focus on more than one topic over the course of a lifetime.

By observation, I conclude that most people pass through a cycle of mastery of a topic, from total ignorance through some acquaintance to various levels of mastery, depending upon the persistence of the personality and opportunities that may become available, as well as obstacles that must be overcome.

Thus, if the knowledge won through effort is preserved at its peak, for any individual, then the preserved record will be available for review when memory and skills fade.

(th)
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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: Overview

Postby tahanson43206 » Sun May 29, 2016 12:30 pm

In reply to a question from a forum member:

Thanks for your encouragement of the authors notes idea for the Knowledge Forum!

I've been trying to think of some topics that might be appropriate. You can find them in my current thread on authors, 20160208 Vision Author Culture

What I am hoping is that (over time) the Knowledge Forum will attract a group of people who would be interested in particular topics, just as in a "real" economy, persons specialize in particular skills or arts. If Adam Smith's "invisible hand" applies to the knowledge economy as it surely does to the physical economy, there will be a process that will lead to filling of voids.

Thus, my suggestion to anyone who might like to begin this process is to think of a topic that they know something about and would like to share for posterity, or, they know little about, and would be willing to share their learning and experimentation as they go along.

Even though a good half of the "members" in Dr. Dartnell's forum are bogus computer generated spam, I would guess that a third are people who might be willing to participate in a sustained, solid, knowledge gathering and recording effort.

There are vast resources already available on the Internet, so links to Wikipedia and other resources would be appropriate and helpful.

The idea would be for each participant to endure the challenge of thinking of something to contribute to the thread they start each week. I have found it psychologically challenging to keep up a weekly contribution to the two threads I started, but so far I've been able to sustain the effort.

The critical element is the strength to NOT depend upon others for validation, but to forge ahead in hopes that someone will eventually find the work useful.

The BEST customer for a knowledge thread one builds up over time is one's self, because memories fade and skills lapse. One's best friend when trying to remember something is one's younger incarnation.

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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: Disasters

Postby tahanson43206 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:06 pm

As an example of a (possible) positive feedback loop between and among Knowledge Forum authors, I would like to point to:

Begin Quotation:
Life Altering/Destroying Disasters
Postby Guy-prog » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:00 am
End Quotation.

Here is a post which could generate numerous ten year threads, all by itself.

As a side observation ... Since reading Dr. Dartnell's book, and participating in this forum, I have become aware of the importance of Adam Smith's concept of the "Division of Labour" to any hope to deal with disaster.

If this forum were to succeed as a repository of knowledge, and as a starting point for recovery from loss of memory, let alone actual disaster, it would happen due to individuals tackling parts of the problem.

A year or so ago, I undertook an effort to build a capacitor, using household aluminum foil and household freezer paper as the dielectric. The capacitor was wound on a lathe, and inserted in a 5 inch PVC pipe. An friend who is an engineer measured the capacitance of the device at .3 microfarad. This is a trivial amount of capacity, although it is possible the capacity could withstand a reasonably high voltage before breaking down. I was disappointed by the poor showing, but the experience gave me a sense of what a person would encounter when trying to recreate "ancient" technology.

It has taken the combined efforts of millions of individuals over thousands of years to bring human culture on Earth to the complex/productive/fragile state we observe today.

An attempt to duplicate/replicate the level of "civilization" we have (in places) today on Earth, on Mars, the Moon or anywhere else, would surely require the combined and coordinated efforts of thousands of persons, if not millions.

Artificial Intelligence and a variety of robotic actuators may reduce the number of people needed eventually, as science fiction writers have been imagining for decades.

However, we are still some way from being able to call upon these resources on a wide scale.

In the mean time, this forum provides a place where thoughtful individuals can collect knowledge that would be useful.

(th)
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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: flight

Postby tahanson43206 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:10 pm

Another area of knowledge worthy of recording for posterity is flight.

There are many options in this category, but the ongoing effort by Hybrid Air Vehicles in England in 2016 inspires this call for recording of knowledge encapsulated in their Airlander vehicle.

Another example from current news is the around-the-world flight of the Solar Impulse, which flies using electric motors powered by electricity gathered from solar flux.

(th)
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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: Coatings

Postby tahanson43206 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:47 pm

Another topic worthy of recording for posterity is coatings.

In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the season for painting.

This just a guess, of course, but the knowledge alive today about coatings of various kinds must reside in thousands of minds, and that does not count the knowledge that has been forgotten, or which resides only in books or other media, or which was never passed on to succeeding generations.

(th)
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Re: 20160208 Vision Author Culture: Existing Publishing mode

Postby tahanson43206 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:28 pm

Today's installment on an Author Culture in the Knowledge Forum is inspired by a gent who writes for a local newspaper. This gent has been writing a weekly handyman article for years.

Today's article was a description of how to replace a toilet. As usual (to my eye) the article was clear, well written, and correct in every detail.

The article itself is an example of what might be published here in the Knowledge Forum. Not everyone feels ready to tackle writing for a newspaper, but (I suspect) almost everyone has experiences that are worth recording and passing along to posterity.

In another field, there is an author who has published well over 100 thoughtful articles on a scientific theme. While these articles generally appear in a print publication (presumably for compensation), I note that they are subsequently made available for free on the Internet, via the author's personal web site.

Such writings could just as easily be made available on the Knowledge Forum, so long as Dr. Dartnell is willing to pay for the infrastructure.

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