Posts tagged with environment

Although partial least squares regression was not designed for classification and discrimination, it is … used for these purposes. For example, PLS has been used to:

  • • distinguish Alzheimer’s, senile dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, and vascular dementia
  • • discriminate between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans
  • • classify waste water pollution
  • • separate active and inactive compounds in a quantitative structure-activity relationship study
  • • differentiate two types of hard red wheat using near-infrared analysis
  • • distinguish transsexualism, borderline personality disorder and controls using a standard instrument
  • • determine the year of vintage port wine
  • • classify soy sauce by geographic region
  • • determine emission sources in ambient aerosol studies
Matthew Barker and William Rayens

(Source: enpub.fulton.asu.edu)




I find pro-environmental chatter so much more credible coming from an old Texan engineer with a heavy drawl from the industry, than my normal stereotype of an anti-fracking activist.

Dale Henry, Petroleum Engineer (por CitizensShale)




deepwater horizon oil spill, day 100
via the jerry curl

hi-res




Thank you, steel manufacturing companies, and thank you, chemical processing companies, for giving us the time to read. —Hans Rosling

Totally good point about how the mechanisation of the rich world has allowed us to have so many professors, doctors, photographers, lawyers, and social media managers.

 

But I wonder: why is laundry so important?

There has to be a good reason; no one working with their hands for 70+ hours a week would choose to do an extra 10 hours of labour a week if they could avoid it. But I know from experience that, in my world, if you don’t do laundry for months at a time, nothing bad happens to you.

What did I do instead of laundry? I’ve taken a few options, some of which would have been available to poor humans now or in the past:

  1. wash clothing with the excess soapy water that falls off me in the shower (not available to them)
  2. turn clothing inside out and leave it outside (requires a lot of socks but before the 19th century no one was wearing socks anyway)

The second you would think poor people could do pretty easily. I used my porch, which got sun and wind and blew away, over time, most of the smells

So what’s the reason they couldn’t do that? I have a few theories.

  • They laboured with their bodies, getting much sweatier than I do at my computer.
  • Bugs and germs were more prevalent in their environment and got in their clothing if it weren’t soaped — or at least exposed to ammonia rising off the castle pissing grounds.
  • They got dirtier, muddier, muckier. But why would you need to deal with that?
  • Having clean clothes raised your appeal to the opposite sex, and social status went along with that as it goes along with attractiveness today. Clean isn’t necessary; it’s just sexy (on average).

Anyway, I wonder if it isn’t the other changes to the modern OECD environment (reduction in bugs and reduction in manual labour) that made for the progress. Nowadays I just use the washer when I’ve exercised or played in the mud.

If the wash was always just a way of keeping up with the Joneses, however, then we can’t congratulate the washing machine for saving us necessary labour — it just helps us live out our autocompetitive rank obsessions in other ways now the elbow’s been surpassed on that dimension.




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Gauß’ divergence theorem states that, unless matter is created or destroyed, the density within a region of space V can change only by flowing through its boundary ∂V. Therefore

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i.e., you can measure the changes in an entire region by simply measuring what passes in and out of the boundaries of the region.

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"Stuff passing through a boundary " could be:

  • tigers through a conservation zone (2-D)
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  • sodium ions through a biological cell (3-D)
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  • magnetic flux through a toroidal fusion chamber
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  • water through a reservoir (but you’d have to measure evaporation, rain, dew/condensation, and ground seepage in order to get all of ∂V)
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  • in the other direction, you could measure water upstream and downstream in a river (no tributaries in between) and infer the net amount of water that was drunk, evaporated, or seeped
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  • probability mass through a set of possibilities
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  • particulate pollution through "greater Los Angeles"
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  • ¿ ideas through your head ? ¿ electrical impulses through your brain ? ¿ feelings through your soul over time ?
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  • ¿ notes through a symphonic orchestra ?
  • chromium(VI) through a human body
  • smoke or steam through an industrial cooling tower or smokestack
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  • imports and exports through an economy
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  • goods or cash through a limited liability company

Said in words, the observation that you can measure change within an entire region by just measuring all of its boundaries sounds obvious, even trivial. Said symbolically, Gauß’ discovery amounts to a nifty tradeoff between boundaries  and gradients . (The gradient  is the net amount of a flow: flow in direction 1 plus flow in orthogonal direction 2 plus flow in mutually orthogonal direction 3 plus…) It also amounts to a connection between 2-D and 3-D.

 

Because of Cartan-style differential geometry, we know that the connection is much more general: 1-D shapes bound 2-D shapes, 77-D shapes bound 78-D shapes, and so on.

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Nice one, Fred.

(Source: ocw.mit.edu)




Plum Creek Timber Company is organized as a profit-making business, not as a charity. If Montana citizens want Plum Creek to do things that would diminish its profits, it’s their responsibility to get their politicians to pass and enforce laws demanding those things, or to buy out the lands and manage them differently.

Jared Diamond, in the book Collapse

Regarding the banking industry, the financial crisis, and questions about the future of capitalism, I would extend Diamond’s recommendation like this:

It’s the government’s job to make sure that businesses get ahead by serving others and only by serving others.

The corollary, also from Diamond, is that voters must signal to the politicians that the above is what’s important — not handbags, abortion policy, gay marriage, or other cheap wins.