imageIn Monday’s column we talked briefly about the different ways that people can go “offworld.”

There was the literal version, which is what NASA and the International Space Station is about.

And there’s the virtual way which spans another array of contenders including move-in virtual worlds like Second Life and bring-backs, in the sense that Bitcoin is a currency “discovered” in virtual territory that’s being brought back into present here & now.

And most recently,, there’s Microsoft’s way-cool Hololens project that we described yesterday along with the pointer to their demo video.  Nice stuff…all of it.

What I didn’t mention then is that there’s another way that people go “offworld” a lot…and it will be the subject of this coming Saturday’s Peoplenomics report.

The foundational notion of this other “offworld” is that people do it all the time.  And there’s your Big HINT.

People are effectively offworld when they are reveling in some past moment, event, or music.  And by the same token, they are also offworld when they are daydreaming about the future and wanting to make it this way or that.

Which means what?  If you “live in the past” or are off “future tripping” you cannot, by definition be fully present in the “eternal now.”

So what does all this have to do with making a buck?

Ah…the study of time has come a very long way…and (paradoxically) quite quickly in an emergent field called retro-causality.

Be careful as you read forward from here because the great shocker is that while most of the time, the world is a “cause and effect” place, it’s also a “cause-effect-cause” place.

Wiki it:

Although philosophical efforts to understand causality extend back at least to Aristotle’s discussions of the four causes, the idea that the arrow of time could be reversed is substantially[peacock term] more recent.[dated info] In fact, retrocausality was long considered an inherent self-contradiction because, as 18th century philosopher David Hume discussed, when examining two related events, the cause, by definition, is the one that precedes the effect.[4]

The ability to affect the past suggests that causes could be negated by their own effects, creating a physical paradox,[5] such as the well-known[peacock term] grandfather paradox.

Importantly, there is some breakthrough work that has happened in the past couple of years that explain (in advanced mathematical terms) how all this works.

Unfortunately for conventional physics believers, there is now a growing body of evidence emerging that leads, according to one researcher , to a world where this sort of thing becomes real:

“Say you need to pass a written drivers license test.

You study for it on Thursday.

You go in and take the test on Friday.

Then counter intuitively, you study the test, focusing on all the right answers and ones you guessed correctly, on SATURDAY after you have already passed.

Turns out that your odds of passing the test (in a statistically valid way) will be up to 10% greater if you commit to study AFTER successfully taking a test.”

That’s from recall and very roundly what’s out there.  But in the upcoming Peoplenomics piece we’ll move a little further along the research that I’ve been working on since last weekend.

Terribly fascinating stuff..but can you imagine the economic value of a 10% improvement in investment decision-making?  It’d be huge.

And, to monetarily-oriented us, it’s therefore a valid field for additional study.  I’m gonna get them HFT suckers yet…

What this opens is a door to scientific proof that personality types (like mine) that are very hard on themselves for getting things wrong (and review tests results all the time) is actually a statistically better approach to learning than simply taking a test and not reviewing results and studying what went wrong.

Powerful – and very empowering – stuff, huh?

I mean this is right up there with the re-tuning of the musical scale to disempower people.  But we’ll save that for another morning…except to say A432 is hugely different that A440.  That ought to get you started down that rabbit hole beyond our present preoccupation with retrocausality…

Is this Why Storms are “Named?”

Reader Andrew has a heck of an interesting viewpoint that he was willing to share.  Seems to answer the question we’ve been asking about all this “Storm Naming” that has been going on.  We’ve gone from Pineapple Express on the West Coast, and Lake Effect snows to now all these named storms and it just plain didn’t make sense until…

Named storms launch differing caveats with home owners insurance. By naming the storm Juno, it puts the payouts for damage into the hurricane category for deductibles (sometimes 3% or more of home value) Vs. the standard policy deductible ($500, $1000, etc.)

I don’t know if it is true, or not… I’d have to get out our homeowner policy and read through it.  But new policies obviously could be written in such a way as to cap damages in the event of a “named” storm or whatever, and in that case, an insurance company would be able to limit its reinsurance costs while continuing to collect nearly the same premium levels.

And, if true but not “outed” by supposedly public-minded insurance commissioners, who would be the wiser?  Except the readers of fine print, who would be investing in care to guess which kind of insurance outfits?

Renewable/Solar Questions

A number of readers have been asking questions about solar systems – of the size big enough to drive a house.  So that will be up tomorrow for readers.  And it will be in response (as well) to Oilman2’s questions.  He was by on Sunday and we went over his plans to put in commercial-scale aquaponics at his bujg-out place down near Grapeland, TX.

Meantime, a reader wonders:

Great info as I learn how to set up off-grid system. Q1) flooded batteries (&AGM?)give off hydrogen when recharging…does this mean you cannot have them inside house? Q2)Are there practical limits to cable length from a)panels to controller & batteries, or b)batteries to DC output device?

1.  Absolutely.  Batteries should be located in an area where they don’t get too hot, or too cold, and they should be located where their gassing can be freely circulated to/with outside air.


This is one of those design details we will get into tomorrow because batteries work best like humans…around 65-75F is dandy for ‘em.,  And, in both cases, get outside those limits and temperature compensation becomes a very good idea.

2.  Yes, there are limits to cable lengths throughout a solar power system  Utilize what are called the 3% tables (Google it).

Remember, and this is more on the fine print stuff:  If a cable is listed as 3% voltage drop under so many amps of current flowing, there is also the return-leg to be considered.

It’s also why in a well-designed system you will most often use 24 or 48V systems. 

Let’s get back to PIE for a minute (Power = current in amps “I” times voltage “e” as in electromotive force.

Let’s give you a one horsepower aquaponics pump (which looks suspiciously like a 110V pool pump) that Oilman2 has me designing for him.

We know that the minimum wire size (go see the tables) will have to be large enough.

We know (from physics class we slept through) that one horsepower is equal to 745 watts worth of power.  And through basic algebra, we know that power divided by voltage equals current.  So now let’s see what happens at 12, 24, and 48 volts, shall we?

745/12 V = 62 a,mps     (For almost length this means wire as big as your thumb!)

745/24  V = 31 amps  (For some lengths, wire the size of your pinky.)

745/48 V = 15.5 amps  and now we’re down to where #6 house wire will get you somewhere.

The history of wire sizes is an interesting one.  Few young people remember, but cars until the 1950’s were almost all using 6V systems.  That meant really, really big wire to start the engine and that’s why the batteries were located (close by) in the engine compartment.

You can tell a lot about the sophistication of a car by where its battery is,  In my (dearly departed) Porsche 930 widebody, the battery was up front in the nose – better weight distribution.  In our airplane, it’s a sealed Concorde battery that lives in the aft cargo area (*and is vented outside, although the new technology in aircraft batteries may not strictly require it.

The “rock and hard spot” question is:  48V systems offer the lowest wire costs.  12V systems offer the greatest selection of 12 appliances (fans, water makers, etc.)  24V has been used in some RV and Marine, so it really comes down to a matter of taste.

Just like all sailboats are compromises, so too, for a given number of dollars you want to sink into copper wire (I’ve got 4-strands of #4, using a paid for the + and a pair for the – legs that are about at the 3.5% limit at 24V.

I can fudge a bit, because actual panel voltage on a really sunny day will run 39V and because we’re using a pair of MPPT controllers rate 60 amps each, we can load up to 2,000 watts from each array. 

I had to admit this publicly, but I hardly ever even think about our solar set up.  I’ve got everything set to happen automatically.  Three times a year (when I remember) I put distilled water into the golf cart batteries but that’s about it. 

Maybe on a warm day I will wander over to get something on the storage shelves at that end of the shop and see how many KWHrs I’ve sold back onto the grid, but seriously, a good system should almost run on autopilot like that.

OK, off to await housing data…

Much more depth tomorrow (including some drawings, parts specs and pricing and all that) but in the meantime, write when you break-even.


Housing: Mixed Bag
It’s Called “Winter”