Link drop September 2020


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The Mach angle of Mach 3 is almost exactly 20°, for Mach 2 it's exactly 30°.
This means a Mach 2 wing should be swept back (or delta) by about 90°-30°=60° and a Mach 3 wing should be swept back (or Delta) at 90°-20°=70°. The artist's impression does look like 50...60° delta or even less to me.

It would be weird to develop a Mach 3 aircraft with such a wing, for there are compressibility and shock wave issues. An alternative to much wing sweep is to make the wing extremely thin (which would disqualify it for the mounting of engines or carrying substantial internal fuel), but this hasn't been done much since the F-104.
For comparison; the XB-70 Valkyrie (a bomber meant to cruise at Mach 3) had a compromise wing sweep of 65.5°. 

So I suppose that aircraft may exist by 2035 (though unlikely), but I strongly suppose it won't look anything like that artist's impression given in the link.

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I did not fact check this. I think the data is to be read as difference to 2nd quarter of 2019.

Ridiculous side effect: The NATO members military spending (measured in %GDP) grew rapidly in 2020 due to the pandemic. That's how stupid that metric is.

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A few per cent would not matter, but 35% not vaccinated is too much for herd immunity even if a few per cent points were already infected. The despicable amount of fearmongering and disinformation as well as an equally-despicable tolerance towards idiots in public has led to this situation. I meant to write that I fear that Europe may have a similar problem. Sadly, even a cursory search yields that according to one poll, the figure is not 35%, but 48% in Germany.

This is horrible.

WE HAVE TO END THE TOLERATION OF IDIOTS AND LIARS. Push the idiots and liars (fearmongers, hatemongers, professional disinformants) back into the holes whence they came from about five years ago! Sunlight has to be purgatory to them again! Smack them (figuratively) whenever they show up! Let it be clear to everyone that idiots and liars are socially ostracized in public, not tolerated. IDIOTS AND LIARS HURT OUR NATIONS. To keep tolerating them is causing self-inflicted harm.

Clarification: I think the way to go regarding a properly tested and cleared vaccine against such a pandemic is to get vaccinated if you aren't part of a risk group for which no vaccination is recommended by experts. The other people (who can get vaccinated) shall vaccinate in part to protect such vulnerable people. To not get vaccinated this way is akin to a failure to assist millions of people in danger.
I do not consider any inadequately tested or dubiously promoted/cleared vaccine such as the short Russian man's advisable unless there's an even much more deadly pandemic than currently.

(I wrote this section before an international poll yielded a different result, with roughly 1/3 of Germans saying no to a vaccine.)

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My car insurance salesman wanted to talk me into accepting a small tracking emitter for a  supposedly better price of the insurance. I wanted nothing of the sort for privacy reasons, but he was obviously trained with phrases to react. He did finally shut up about it when I told him I had been member in a privacy advocacy initiative before moving. Car insurers really, really want to track your driving behaviour, and it's not a nutty conspiracy theory to think that they could get your location data through some scheme that way. 
This is something that customers should fight against for privacy reasons, and so should the national automotive driver's clubs. In worst case we should disable the 'phone home' hardware physically. I understand that's not even feasible (because of the need for software updates by mobile phone networks) in at least one brand, though.

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This is an entire blog basically telling you the same thing as the book of the same title does. I recommend it (again, I think), especially in light of what I wrote about kleptocracy-plutocracy recently. I do especially recommend it as literature to racists. I linked to the last page because reading chronologically is advised. They spilled the best beans early on.

Economic theory has many explanations for economic prosperity and economic misery that the public still don't understand, and many of the publicly-made comments of economics laymen sound about as educated and useful as a voodoo chant does to a physicist.
An example of a particularly widespread myth is about the role of the Marshall Plan which was really more of a super-expensive PR campaign than the driver of economic miracles, as I laid out a long time ago. It was a very nice and somewhat helpful gesture, but don't let it mis-educate you on the effectiveness of foreign money infusions into crippled economies.

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The human pilot flew in the simulator against the computer pilot and lost, 5:0. It's been established knowledge for years that computer pilots are superior in air combat IF they have full information and even though the competing human pilot does not suffer from the accelerations of his own flight manoeuvres.
Call me when American combat pilots can consistently discriminate between combatants and non-combatants.


Maybe the computer would stick to his mission and not become bored and kill-horny. The 'they shot in the air, so I had to return to self-defend myself after being safe the entire time' line of fake justification for mass homicide would not be used by a computer.

That being written, I'd like to emphasize that I am in favour of limiting offensive air/ground air power in funding and in its roles and munitions because I consider much of the current offensive air power to be less cost-efficient than well-structured land forces in a continental European context.
The modern allocation of resources between the armed services seems to be too much influenced by the American experience of 'we can't achieve much on the ground, so let's bomb them' from Korea, Vietnam and their illegal cruise missile non-diplomacy.

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Anybody who is interested and who wasn't blinded by propaganda so far already knows about the systemic and collective treason, I suppose. It's nothing new, really. Reagan and his bunch were already traitors colluding with Iran, some of them even went to prison for it (and subsequently became heroes of the right wing for their crime). There's a crooks, liars and traitor party in the United States, and it does at times control the federal government. Foreign powers have to accept and some still adapt to this reality.

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The U.S. sends a new ambassador to Germany, Douglas MacGregor. He's not an overt and all-out asshole like Grenell, but there are some issues nevertheless. He's in hot water for racism and is inappropriately friendly to Russia.

Anyway, he was a bit of a celebrity and 'military reformer' (actually military reform advocate without power) around 1997-2004 due to two books. Some U.S.Army reorganisations towards a brigade structure may have happened in part due to his efforts.

His "Breaking the Phalanx" book of 1997 was considered the work of a great military thinker for years among Americans (only among them afaik), and it bugged me. Eventually, somebody helped me understand the hype by pointing out that the things he proposed weren't novel, but would at least be improvements to the U.S.Army.
He did really not propose anything extraordinary; just a brigade structure that wouldn't have been an extraordinary idea in 1960's Germany paired with a naive and typical American overemphasis on battlefield rotary aviation. I didn't re-read the book recently, but IIRC it was typical American in its emphasis on resources and firepower rather than ideas for finesse.

Back to more recent activity, he's been a frequent commentator/contributor at a right wing propaganda TV network's show that has been nicknamed "white power hour" for a hundred reasons. (It's one of two TV shows on that network that earned this nickname, so don't get confused.)

I would reject him as ambassador if I was the German minister of foreign affairs, but I would not have tolerated Grenell, either.
There was a time when a very competent American ambassador to Germany was able to fluently converse in German and do interviews in German TV in German. You didn't need to like all American foreign policy at the time, but at least the ambassador was competent, diplomatic and relevant in non-destructive ways.



  1. I see the health-pseudoscience problem in Germany connected to the profession of "Heilpraktiker" with their globuli and healing crystals. They get paid through government health insurance and have tailor made laws for their medicine, hiding behind a law that also protects traditional phytomedicine that has verifiability. I think it will be difficult to push back against this movement, because our education fails in empowering people to competently understand and influence their environment. Pseudoscientific hogwash delivers instant "competence". I see a losing fight, but maybe you have an idea.

    1. An easy way would be to require healing professions to have an insurance that pays in case of very much below-average treatment success.
      Those who use healing crystals and stuff would not be able to afford the insurance premiums.

      The supreme court might rule against it in an analogy to the outlawing of strangling taxation, though. It's illegal to tax something out of existence because supreme court ruled that the legislative has to outlaw it right away if it wants something gone.

      The legal argument in the case of homeopathy et cetera could be that the scheme lets the market determine the failures, so it's not the legislative picking the losers directly.

      Anyway, nothing will be done with reform-nothing conservatives in power and greens (who don't suppress their pro-homeopathy faction) poised to join the next coalition.

  2. Talking about interesting links -thought you might find this interesting RE: your combined SPH/AAA idea:


    1. Turret SPHs can be adapted for the heavy AAA role with standard HE shells and normal proximity fuzes. It wouldn't be ideal, but effective enough against many targets. There is no need for a gold-plated projectile. There's no need for the Norwegian ramjet shell, either. Leonardo's 155 mm long range shell should be considered the maximum gold-plating tolerable and it should be used against high value targets like battlefield air defences and HQs only.

      Much of the U.S.Army's artillery is towed and has a poor traverse and no automated gunlaying. Those howitzers would be near-useless for an AAA mission.
      The U.S.Army REALLY needs to stop toying around in its usual ways and get a proper SPH artillery for all brigades to be combat-ready against a 1st or 2nd rate army.
      They're now toying around with towed ultra-long barrel howitzers instead of giving up on the M777 nonsense altogether.

  3. I'm all for exposing the liars to the fiery sun of facts and public disapprobation. Unfortunately, the vaccine quacks are part of a general tendency towards being accepting of quackery which has become markedly more evident. Based even on the data you present above, I would argue we are approaching a critical mass of dis-informed morons who willingly swallow this & other stuff. How is it possible to prove something if the target audience has no reliable factual context, i.e. has no clue about geography, basic history, and at least some actual science?
    How can we communicate with people with whom we don't share not just a worldview, but even once-normal standards of logic & reasoning, who are completely seduced by mysticism, symbolism, and conspiracy theoris?

    For instance, I am constantly annoyed by bowdlerised science - most "science communication" having degenerated into low-IQ marketing scams "e.g. AI will solve all our problems etc, get into your 5G software-controlled car today". It's been a much longer process to get us here than 5 years, and digging ourselves out will require something more than calls to punish deviations from common sense.

    1. Most popular media products on science are infotainment, and the entertainment part creeps upwards to 100%. The Americans/Anglophone world are/is a lot more 'advanced' on this. Documentaries made in the U.S. tend to be extremely short on words and extremely long on dramatic pauses and dramatic music.
      This https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BVJlrV2vFE is an example of the contrast that's possible between information and American-style infotainment.

      The infotainment wave presents science as a lot less serious, a lot less about boring calculations (or in the case above, checklists). It gives the audience the feeling of understanding something of which they didn't see more than an advertisement actually.

      I believe that the esoteric stuff, quackery and even conspiracy theories are rooted in the people's desire to be smarter than they are. Effort and intelligence are required to be smart, and hardly anyone still wants to put in the effort.

      (I spent more than a decade reading about military history and historical military tech plus almost another decade trying to get up to speed on post-WW2 military tech before I began blogging here. That's still almost entirely autodidactic, but it's a lot more effort than a few weeks or months of reading about crystals or vaccines on weird websites.)

      The desire to be smarter than you are and the readiness to adopt simplistic explanations may be linked to the erosion of middle class biographies and drift towards less-achieving precarious worker/unemployed biographies. That's merely a suspicion of mine and I cannot provide a clear causality link yet. It's not my job, anyway - some sociologists get paid for researching stuff like this.

  4. By the way: Macgregor can speak german fluently.

  5. The Q2 economic growth chart is apples to oranges. GDP in the US is measured quarterly but "annualized". Compared to Q2 2019, the US drop is 8.6%.


    1. You do understand your link mentions the 32.9% figure as well? They write it was 31.7%, with correction of 1.2% from previous reporting. Thus the 32.9% figure was presumably official at the time of the image creation.
      I did not find your 8.6% figure at your link, and it appears to be wholly incompatible with the 31.7% figure.

      You need to prove that at least one other figure in the image follows a different definition to support an "apples and oranges" complaint.
      The 9.7% figure for Germany is an official figure relative to the previous quarter (I/2020, NOT II/2019):

      The drop wasn't as extreme because of different policies. Kurzarbeitergeld instead of hire&fire culture made an important difference, but there were many other important differences in long-standing policies and policy reactions.

    2. Yes, that's what I mean by annualized. BEA extrapolates a quarter into a year of identical quarters to generate the annualized figure of 31.7%. If you go to the tables (Tables Only) and find Table 3 (Gross Domestic Product: level and Change from Preceding Period) you'll see the actual data.
      GDP in Q2 20 was 19,486.5 billion (Seasonally adjusted at annual rates). For Q2 19, it was 21,329.9 (seasonally adjusted at annual rates). 19,486.5/21,329.9=91.36% implying an 8.64% drop. (All based off Table 3).

      Germany just does quarters, the US annualizes it.

    3. If the US were to adopt the German methodology (apples to apples), the Q2 GDP drop would be 19,486.5 from a Q1 level of 21,561.1 for a GDP drop of 9.62%

      "Hire and fire culture" had nothing to do with it.

  6. Tables only leads to excel sheet I cannot share, but here's a link to the interactive data I just mentioned.


  7. https://www.npr.org/2020/07/30/897151141/germanys-economy-suffers-biggest-quarterly-drop-on-record

    Article that compares German to US drop.Both countries have since revised data.
    "The decline in Germany's output last quarter, if calculated on an annual basis, would amount to 34.7%. That's a steeper drop than the annualized 32.9% plunge in the U.S. economy during the second quarter of 2020,"

  8. From Yale

    "Last Thursday, commentators and analysts alike were startled when the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the Gross Domestic Product, after dropping by 1.3 percent in the first quarter, had dropped by 9.5 percent in the second quarter, which meant it had contracted by 32.9 percent on an annualized basis—the amount it would contract if it dropped by 9.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. It was by far the worst quarterly drop in the GDP since the government started releasing quarterly estimates in 1947.

    But as bad as the second-quarter contraction of the U.S. economy was, the extent of contraction of the European economy announced the next day by the European Commission was worse"

  9. Now that US Q3 GDP came in at 33.1% will you now accept your chart was bogus?


    1. The chart was about a defined period, and Q3 was not part of it. What you wrote was like "now that I show you white milk, do you agree to something completely unrelated?".
      You should look up what the Q3 figure means at all. An easy explainer;

      About the graphic I posted; I ceased to look into it after I found some not here mentioned comparability issues. I left the comments as is and I have the disclaimer at the graphic, that's fine enough.

    2. Your disclaimer would have me believe that GDP in Q3 is 33.1% higher than it was in Q3 19. That's obviously and clearly incorrect. Face it, you didn't do your research on a petty meme and accidentally posted a factually incorrect graph.

    3. Learn to read. I mentioned right away that I didn't check the figures. I didn't use the graphic to bash any one country, either.
      I used it to bash the stupid %GDP military spending metric.

      You never understood that, instead you're delving in pointless hostility. Which means you're not welcome here. I've encountered enough people to recognize patterns, and you show the pattern of a useless personality (and that's the nice way to put it).