August 19

Ref, the stacks in the cornfield. Actually the area under wheat & barley was about the same, & the crop makes 4 stacks, 2 of 30’ x 18’ x 24’ (high) & 2 of 18’ x 15’ x 20 (high.) This works out at about 28, 000 cubic feet of stack for 22 acres. Yesterday fine and rather windy. A fair number of ripe blackberries. Elderberries changing colour rapidly. Hazel nuts almost fully formed. Valerian & mulleins over.
For improving finish of cement.

[NEWSPAPER CUTTING]

London, W.C.1. You can, however, hasten the setting, improve the strength and wearing qualities, and reduce porosity, by treating the finished work with a special solution after the cement has set. These solutions have the effect of slowing up the drying if mixed with the gauging water, but they increase speed of curing or final setting if applied in the form of a wash. Common washing soda 1lb. To 2 gallons of water is one method of hardening. A superior result can be got by a wash of sodium silicate (water glass) by adding 1 part of liquid sodium silicate to 4 parts of water (5 parts altogether). The tiles are washed with a rose can a week after making, and the silica sinks into the pores of the cement and forms a “gel” which chemically hardens and renders the cells further water and oil resisting. A second was a few days afterwards gives still further improvement. (7363)

Weather today cold, blowy & rather wet. Haws getting quite red. Some rain in the afternoon.

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19 Responses to August 19

  1. Ken says:

    Weather here in NW England is ‘cold, blowy & rather wet’ today!!

  2. Andy Roberts says:

    Here in 2008 the weather is pretty similar and the valerian has gone to seed. We tend to regard it as a bit of a weed these days, so I’m intrigued that you mentioned it. I don’t suppose you’ve been trying to drink it in infusions as a cure for insomnia by any chance?

    Thanks for the warning about Stalinism by the way, but you needn’t have worried, it was capitalism that turned out to be the bigger threat in the end.

  3. Terry says:

    Yes, because capitalism has killed 30 million people through a violent purge in a single country. Capitalism world-wide killed 500 million people within a generation or two. Let me check my numbers again. Oh wait, sorry that was the totalitarian communist and socialist regimes in places such as Russia, China, Cambodia, Eastern Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

    It must really stick in the craw of left wing radicals that corporate globalization has improved the worldwide standard of living. Not because corporations are particularly good stewards of labour and the environment, but because any economic activity is better after the regimes that followed the ideology of Marx destroyed a few generations of people.

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  5. Ix says:

    On the other hand, absolute anarcho-capitolism has its price. One merely has to look at simple examples from game theory to see the so called “Price of Anarchy”. Testing and optimising political methodologies takes a long time, and its far from being an exact empirical science as it stand today.

    I do agree that communism and the Marxist ideology fails, but with absolute capitalism the “price of anarchy” as its stands today can be too high, especially with 6 billion individuals we have the possibility of destroying that which keeps us alive, unless the price of anarchy is artificially projected into the price we pay as individuals in order to compensate for hidden costs (e.g. Emissions Quota trading is a perfect example).

  6. “George, two gentlemen to see you. From Scotland Yard. About that cement.”
    :shock:
    The door flies open and concrete dust swirls up his nostrils as the Superintendent instantaneously tosses the unsub onto the sizzling-hot grill:
    “How is it, sir, that an anarchist–in a state of anarchic euphoria–can artificially project the price of said anarchy? And: Is it even possible for there to be a ‘we’ in anarchy?”

  7. Terry says:

    Communism has been tested over and over again. The Phenomonology of the Spirt by Hegel and the entire philosophical movement that followed him was based on bad science and worse history.

    As for capitalism being bad for the environment, there is perhaps a case to be made. However, whenever you have taken away private property and disenfranchised the citizenry the environmental costs have been horrific as well. Only when people have their own money and their own political power can they bring those resources to bear on institutions exploitating natural resources or causing pollution that would lower the quality of life for everyone.

    That is not to say of course that perhaps we should be paying what our energy is worth so we cannot consume so much and so frivolously.

  8. Ix says:

    While the price of anarchy is a mere mathematical definition, one could argue it is a socially significant one. It projects the difference between an optimised social situation, and hence one without free choice on a particular matter, and that of an anarchistic situation (i.e. every man for himself). Whether social optimisation of a particular issue is moral and/or desirable depends on ones definition of morality and ones disposition to particular social conventions. One could argue that social optimisation reaps benefits for individuals when considered over the stretch of their lifetime.

    As for defining the word “we” in a situation of anarchy, one could consider many types of sets of human beings which have nothing to do with the particular political and judicial conventions they uphold. One could for example use the word to describe the in habitants of a particular Island, a geographical expanse, or an ecosystem. Most relevant perhaps are populations sharing natural resources, I would postulate that this is precisely the factor which has led us to create our political systems.

    For more information, consult the sum on human knowledge, conveniently stored on servers connected to a global digital network which seems to be connected to your personal computer. Amongst other sources on this network is:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_of_anarchy

  9. Ix says:

    Or, If you prefer, watch the movie “A beautiful Mind” in particular the scene in the bar when Nash realises the concept of such an optimised equilibrium….

  10. sluggo says:

    I think Orwell’s math is off here. By my calculations, the four stacks work out to about 36,720 cubic feet, not 28,000.

    But it might be clearer if the measurements were converted to parsecs. Or angstroms. Either one.

  11. 36,720 cubic feet works out to just over 28,000 (British Imperial) bushels.

  12. Fearless Frank says:

    Ah, cubic has replaced cubit – all’s well with the world!
    Sluggo, I agree with your maths.

    I like the cement finishing tip – I knew GO was a practical sort of chap, but I don’t recall him mentioning doing any cement work. I wonder if you can still get the ingredients? Not by those names, I’ll bet.

  13. danielearwicker says:

    Stalin wasn’t so bad. He looked out for people, took care of them – he was kind of like a big brother.

  14. Carl Johnson says:

    Although I’m no scholar on the subject, it is my understanding that there has never been a communist or socialist state that would have been recognized as such by either Mark or Lenin. The usual culprits, Russia and China, are better described as practicing “State Capitalism”. The workers never actually took the reins of govenment in either of these cases or their off shoots. In fact, Marx believed that only a borderless international communist system would be viable and that such a system could only arise after a long trial and error process by which the working class would gradually aquire the sklls needed to run it. It remains a valid question whether any such system could ever materialize. Greed, fear and the resulting lust for power make it doubtful. Ultimately we must solve the riddle “hoard or share”.

  15. Carl Johnson says:

    Oh yes, and it’s fun to see so much interest in OR’s cement after all the complaints about his enties being too concrete.(sorry)

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  17. MarvinTPA says:

    To Ix and Terry – please read Animal Farm…

  18. andyroberts says:

    Orwell was a fabian socialist republican who fought in the Spanish revolutionary war against the right wing Francoist and alongside the left-anarchist POUM. This is documented in ‘A Homage to Catalonia’ together with his eyes being opened to the betrayal of socialist ideology by the stalinist led international communist parties, a fact which was ignored by his leftwing intellectual peers at the time. So ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’ should be read as indictments of Stalinism and the degeneration of the Soviet Union without in any way endorsing free-market anarchic capitalism as a viable alternative.

  19. perde says:

    While the price of anarchy is a mere mathematical definition, one could argue it is a socially significant one. It projects the difference between an optimised social situation, and hence one without free choice on a particular matter, and that of an anarchistic situation (i.e. every man for himself). Whether social optimisation of a particular issue is moral and/or desirable depends on ones definition of morality and ones disposition to particular social conventions. One could argue that social optimisation reaps benefits for individuals when considered over the stretch of their lifetime.

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