Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The military is no place for transgenders

Theres been alot of biased media coverage on the issue of transgender soldiers in the military. The articles published on this topic have ranged from mediocre to pathetic. One of the more groan worthy examples was released by the Washington post, which took issue with Donald Trumps claim that the acceptance of LBGT troops would harm social cohesion in the military. The hack writers were so confidant about the validity of their position that they actually had the gall to begin lecturing readers about 'myths' that supported Trumps positions. Its pretty astonishing that journalists think they can jump into this realm and begin throwing around their opinions as facts, while demonstrating that they have no grasp whatsoever of military affairs.

So what exactly did they say? Heres a quote: ''But these statements rely on two myths: that diversity reduces unit cohesion, and that unit cohesion enhances military effectiveness. In fact, there is little evidence for either.'' Haha. So right from the outset, the Washington post goons commit themselves to a 2 pronged attack that has no hope of succeeding. They could have went about their rebuttal of Trumps in any number of easier ways. They could have accused the president of being biased or prejudiced, but instead, they decided to attack a well supported theory that Trump leans on for support. The things that these writers denounce as 'myths' are actually nothing of the sort. Lets take a look at their attempted refutation.

 This was the only tolerable and professional choice

Experience and research debunk the claim that uniformity among members is required for cohesive groups to form.

You're spouting utter nonsense. The most exhaustive works we have on the subject of primary groups all conclude that 'diversity' among primary groups is harmful to their cohesion. According to authors like William Henderson, the soldiers in a unit must have a common race, religion, language, and culture in order to co-operate with high degrees of efficiency. Uniformity is therefore very much required.

A post-World War II Army survey about the experience of units that received black infantry replacements after D-Day found 80 percent of white officers and 96 percent of white NCOs stated that black and white soldiers had gotten along very well or fairly well.

So what? Black and white soldiers being nice to each other when off duty or in non-combat situations is all well and good. But it doesn't give much indication of how well these soldiers would function together as a unit when placed in an intense, stressful battle. It is an empirical fact that mixed-race units tend to 'fracture' in combat more quickly than a same-race unit. The 'survey' you cited doesn't refute this consensus.

The reason is simple: The heterogeneity of a group’s members is unrelated to its cohesiveness.

Thats completely untrue, because studys have shown that there is a major correlation between heterogeneity and low unit cohesion. The correlation becomes even stronger when you introduce greater levels of heterogeneity. To put it simply, if the unit contains soldiers of a different race, then cohesion will inherently decrease as a result. If the soldiers are of a different religion and culture, on top of that, then cohesion will decrease even further.

The argument that cohesion is crucial to a combat unit’s performance has its roots in an article written shortly after World War II by two University of Chicago sociologists, Edward Shils and Morris Janowitz.

Yes, they were both early advocates on the theory of primary groups. But their work has been improved upon by a number of different writers, including William Henderson. So try not to fall into the same trap that creationists do. Namely, their belief that nitpicking and 'disproving' Charles Darwin is a substitute for a refutation of the theory of evolution. This is a fallacious approach because scientific theorys tend to branch out and expand with time.

Furthermore, as the historian Omer Bartov has shown, German casualties were so massive that combat units were quickly annihilated, meaning that primary groups hardly had time to form, much less motivate men to fight.

Are you trying to imply that because the soldiers in questions didn't train together, that they were unnable to form primary groups? If so, then you're wrong. These units were all composed of soldiers from the same military district (wehrkreise). They hence had a common race, religion, language, and culture. You have no basis to suggest that they had low cohesion. Even if the men hadn't trained together, they had the homogeneity needed to form a primary group.

None of this scholarship supports the contention that small-unit cohesion improves battlefield performance.

You are mixing apples and oranges here. There are a wide variety of human factors that contribute to a units effectiveness in battle. There is cohesion, nationalism, discipline, rewards, punishment, etc. Even the type of war being fought can influence a soldiers state of mind. How did you come to the conclusion that these other factors are of such pivotal importance that they make the subject of cohesion irrelevant?

Monday, 2 October 2017

Las vegas shooting

(Article under construction)

Hours after the mass shooting in las vegas, when many facts are still unknown, we can already notice a narrative beginning to take shape in the leftist media. There are energetic and widespread calls for gun control. As always, the liberals are using tragedy to push their anti-gun agenda. They never grasp the fact that this is a settled question in the united states: Regardless of how many mass shootings take place, they do not invalidate the 2nd amendment. We already learned the folly of trading freedom for security after the september 11 attacks and the patriot act. The liberals are attempting ram their policys through while the public is still in a state of shock and unable to respond logically. They push the idea that more gun laws would have prevented the atrocity, even though the shooter must have violated dozens of laws to carry out his vile deed. We need to keep an eye out for politicians who act too quickly in the wake of this mass shooting. There are treacherous elements within america who want to see the country turned into an anologue of europe: A dumbed down populace infiltrated by muslims and communists, that has been disarmed mentally and physically.

The timing of this event is certainly unfortunate, as it comes at a time when the fake 'refugee crisis' was showing signs of beginning to unravel. The narrative was crumbling under sustained attack from independent media, who were able to prove that non-government organisations (NGOs) like Save The Children and Support Refugees were engaged in illegal human trafficking. For obvious reasons, mass immigration of 3rd worlders is a bigger threat to civilisation than a few mass shootings. We have to remember to keep our eye on the ball and not get distracted by sensational tragedys. The most important thing to do at this point is to compile video archives of the event and compare them all for mutual consistency. This will allow us to verify whether the shooting was indeed done by 'just a lone nut' (TM). It will also allow us to determine whether or not there are anomolous events which are being ignored by the mainstream media.

Las Vegas shooting: Hillary Clinton leads calls for tougher gun control 

Sen. Murphy Tells Congress to ‘Get Off Its Ass’ on Gun Control

Newsom, Harris call for increased gun control in response to Las Vegas shooting

Las Vegas Shooting: John Mayer, Lady Gaga, Other Celebs Call for Gun Control

Sunday, 30 April 2017

WW2 german nuclear program

When germany invaded poland on September 1, 1939, the army ordnance office (HWA) devised a program to explore the possible development of nuclear weapons. The first meeting was organised by Kurt Diebner, a nuclear physicist who advised the HWA, and was held on September 16, 1939. The second meeting drew in major players like Klaus Clusius, Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and was held on September 26, 1939. Before the year was out, Diebner had assembled a fairly large team of scientists, formed a consensus on what goals they should pursue, and organised everyone into teams to carry out theoretical and applied research. Within germany, the nuclear program was known as the uranverein. They made alot of progress early on in the war, and were actually ahead of the british and americans until early 1942 or so. From that point on, though, the americans began to rapidly outpace them with the manhattan project and the huge resources marshaled toward it. While germany eventually lost the war and any hope of winning the nuclear race, the achievements made by their scientists were considerable. The scientists encountered numerous difficultys, most notable of which was when the HWA relinquished control of the project in July 1942. Almost as bad was when the allys began their strategic bombing campaign, which resulted in some of the laboratorys being destroyed. In spite of all this, the germans dilligently continued their work and maintained a strong research program. This was especially true for the team run by Paul Harteck, as we will eventually see. At the time, there were known to be just two approaches to weaponizing the strong nuclear force.

The first method is to enrich natural uranium by separating U-235 from U-238. The U-235 isotope is fissile, but makes up only 0.72% of natural uranium by mass. If uranium is to be used in a bomb, its U-235 concentration must be raised to 90%. The second method is to bombard natural uranium with neutrons and transmute it into plutonium. The U-238 isotope is fertile, and if it captures a neutron, it will turn into U-239, which then decays into Pu-239. If plutonium is to be used in a bomb, its Pu-239 concentration must be raised to 93%. Uranium can be enriched to weapons grade by a variety of techniques, but uranium can only be transmuted into plutonium by a reactor. In hindsight, the german nuclear program made significant steps towards uranium enrichment, but were lagging in their efforts to make a reactor. The details of this subject are complicated and sometimes convoluted, since many historians have offered many appraisals that are mutually exclusive. Authors like Samuel Goudsmit (of ALSOS fame) have such a prejudice against the nazis that it interferes with their ability to even tell a coherent narrative. Other writers go in completely the opposite direction, and try to credit the germans with all kinds of specious achievements. As always, though, only some of these appraisals can be corroborated. This article will focus on a number of myths about the german nuclear program and how it measured up to the manhattan project.

The  B-VIII pile uranium pile in haigerloch

The uranverein was never able to develop an effective means of enriching uranium to weapons grade.

This is simply not true. Early in 1943, the research team under Paul Harteck had created a centrifuge of novel design, subdivided into multiple rotors and multiple chambers. This 'ultracentrifuge' was tested by separating isotopes of xenon gas, and then by separating uranium hexafluoride. This machine was able to enrich several grams of uranium to 7%, good enough to warrant funding from the reich research council (RFR). More centrifuges were made, and the design was constantly tinkered with. By May of 1944, a company in freiburg had built and successfully tested the MK III ultracentrifuge, which persuaded Harteck to move his laboratory there. The team set up a facility in the nearby town of kandern, where a few centrifuges were assembled into a cascade. After a few months, however, allied bombings forced them to stop work and relocate to a town called celle. Early in 1945, the facility only had 20 or so of these machines, but was still enriching 50 grams of uranium to 15% each day! The MK III ultracentrifuge was a technological marvel with a performance far exceeding the american centrifuges. [1] There were actually plans to put it into mass production, but the war ended before this could take place. Other research teams in germany had experienced similar ups and downs. By June of 1943, Erich Bagge had created an 'isotope-sluice' machine that ran uranium hexafluoride through two shutters revolving at high speed, allowing the lighter U-235 to be separated. This was a totally novel approach which never occurred to the americans, using a combination of electromagnetism, centrifugal force, and thermal diffusion.

While his first two prototypes were destroyed by air raids, Bagge was able to relocate to butzbach and set up another machine. By July of 1944, the 'isotope-sluice' had undergone an endurance test lasting 120 hours, yielding several grams of much enriched uranium. The models indicated its efficiency could be greatly increased. At around this same time, Manfred von Ardenne was testing a magnetic isotope separator, not unlike the calutrons used at the Y-12 plant at oak ridge. Both machines used magnetic fields to deflect charged particles and separate them based on differences in mass, but the german design used an ion source to sublimate the uranium. This greatly increased its enrichment capacity. Ardennes laboratory was located underground in his manor, which protected it from air raids. And since he was financially supported by the post office, work on it was able to continue unimpeded. Fortunately for the allies, however, only one of these machines were made during the war. Putting the technical details aside for now, it should be clear that the uranverein had made major strides in their knowledge and ability to separate U-235 from U-238. The problem was that these efforts were all confined to laboratorys, and were never expanded to the industrial scale that was needed for an atom bomb. There were not enough scientists and engineers working on uranium enrichment, and there was not enough funding from the RRC to produce these machines in anywhere near the numbers required. The only team that came close was the one run by Harteck.

The german ultracentrifuge, which was 
superior to the american design

German scientists were never able to achieve a self-sustaining nuclear reaction, much less a working reactor.

This point requires some background. One of the things needed for a nuclear reactor is a substance which can act as a neutron moderator, and allow a chain reaction to continue unabated. During WW2 there were only two known substances that could fulfill this role: Graphite and heavy water. Allied and axis scientists investigated each of them. In January 1941, Walther Bothe had performed experiments on the purest graphite available, to see whether it could slow down the neutrons without absorbing them. Eventually, he determined that the capture cross-section of graphite was too large to make it an effective moderator. The americans actually came to the same conclusion as him, but would quickly learn that this was due to trace amounts of boron, which could be removed by making the graphite out of petroleum instead of coke. The germans never did this extra step, and were now totally dependent on a supply of heavy water, which was synthesized at only one location in all of europe: The norsk hydro plant. By May of 1942, enough heavy water had been assembled to make a uranium pile at leipzig. The L-IV experiment by Werner Heisenberg yielded a neutron increase of 13 percent, meaning that the pile emitted more neutrons than what had been injected into it. This was a step in the right direction. [2] Unfortunately, the containment vessel exploded soon after the experiment, leaving them with a shortage of heavy water. In April of 1943, Kurt Diebner performed an experiment of his own at a laboratory in gottow. Rather than mix the uranium and heavy water together into an aluminum sphere, he had the uranium cast into cubes, and the heavy water frozen into ice. The G-II test ended with a neutron increase of 36 percent, 'an extremely favorable and unexpected result.' 

Diebner had proven that uranium cubes were superior to the plates that Heisenberg used, and that the aluminum containment vessels were completely unsuitable. While the basic research problems had been overcome, no new reactors could be built without an adequate supply of heavy water. Progress on this area stalled as a consequence, and results came at an agonisingly slow pace. Conditions were only worsened when the allys conducted raids against the norsk hydro plant, interrupting the supply of heavy water. The months and years dragged on, and optimism soon gave way to pessimism. By the spring of 1944, Heisenbergs team in berlin finally went forward with the B-VI experiment, which had been delayed for roughly a year due to the bombings. After many months of testing and altering the layout of their uranium pile, they were unable to yield significantly higher results than Diebner. Thus, Heisenberg was forced to admit the inferiority of the plates, and to use a carbon reflector instead of light water. By the winter of 1944, they had no choice but to move their equipment to haigerloch to avoid the relentless air raids. Diebners team had already evacuated from gottow to stadtilm for the same reason. By this time, they were carrying out the G-IV test which yielded the highest neutron increase of any german reactor. Diebner was elated with the results, later claiming that his pile had briefly went critical. In the spring of 1945, Heisenbergs team began their final experiment of the war. The B-VIII pile also obtained a high result: For every 100 neutrons injected into the pile, 670 neutrons were emitted at the surface. This was a very significant achievement, but it wasn't quite enough for a self sustaining reaction.

The german reactors were very unsafe, basically an accident waiting to happen: They had no control rods, and no way to stop a meltdown from taking place.

This criticism focuses on the final two 'reactors' created near the end of the war, which used uranium cubes and heavy water. The first was run by Kurt Diebners team at stadtilm, while the second was run by Werner Heisenbergs team at haigerloch. Both of these uranium piles were assembled under very difficult circumstances. The scientists were on the run from allied armys, and had to carry all the necessary supplys by truck. A containment vessel had been built prior to their arrival: This was a simple cavity excavated into the ground, and lined with carbon to act as a neutron reflector. When the experiments were actually ran, the germans didn't use control rods: Their preparations were more haphazard. In the event of a dangerous thermal runaway, the scientists plan was to drop a lump of cadmium down the reactor chimney, which would smother the radium initiator. If this didn't shut the reaction down, their only option would be to open the cavity lid and remove the uranium cubes. This procedure could take up to 10 minutes. Most people therefore get the impression that the G-IV and B-VIII reactors were very dangerous, and could have undergone an explosive meltdown that would irradiate the entire area for centurys. This is completely false, however, because they are comparing a uranium pile to a full scale reactor. The one is related to the other by about the same amount that a toy truck is related to a caterpillar truck! A uranium pile operates at much lower power levels than a true reactor, and is physically incapable of 'melting down.' [3]

The B-VIII uranium pile, in all its glory

The uranverein never measured the fission cross section of uranium-235: Hence, they were never able to properly estimate the critical mass for an atomic bomb.

This claim is not supported by the facts. After the conquest of denmark and france in mid 1940 (among other unfortunate victims of the blitzkrieg), germany had access to cyclotrons at vienna, copenhagen, and paris. These are a type of particle accelerator that can generate 'fast neutrons', and thus allow scientists to measure the fission cross section of an element. Each of the laboratorys in vienna, copenhagen, and paris were visited by german teams during the war. This is unsurprising, because determining the critical mass of U-235 was a key parameter for which much of their work would hinge on. The scientists made fission cross section estimates at three points in the war, each more accurate than the last. [4] In August of 1941, an individual named Fritz Houtermanns (who was employed in the laboratory of Manfred von Ardenne) wrote a paper which discussed runaway chain reactions and the possibility of transmuting uranium into plutonium. This paper was circulated among members of the uranverein, eliciting a flurry of discussion. By February 1942, the HWA team had published a document outlining the critical mass for a U-235 bomb: The estimate was 10 to 100 kilograms. This was comparable to the estimate made by the NAS team in america, back in November of 1941. The baseless claims about the german scientists being unable to do these basic experiments were promulgated by authors like Samuel Goudsmit after the war, who despised the men for their deeds during the war.


The Virus House: Nazi Germany's Atomic Research and the Allied Countermeasures, by David Irving.

German National Socialism and the Quest for Nuclear Power: 1939-49, by Mark Walker.

Heavy Water and the Wartime Race for Nuclear Energy, by Per F. Dahl.

Hitler's Nuclear Weapons, by Geoffrey Brooks.


[1] Although to be fair, funding for the centrifuge research was cancelled in 1943. Its possible that the americans could have come up with a design that was as good as that of the germans, but they never got the opportunity to do so.

[2] There were quite a few more tests after the L-IV experiment: There was the G-II to G-IV tests in gottow, along with the B-VI to B-VIII in berlin. Other teams may have carried out their own uranium pile experiments, as well.

[3] In fact, the german reactors were more safe than the chicago pile tested by Enrico Fermi in 1942. The reason for this is that heavy water is a more effective moderator than graphite, which means their design used much less uranium to generate a chain reaction.

[4] Fritz Houtermans used radium to make the 'slow neutron' measurements in 1941. Walther Bothe used the paris cyclotron to do the fast neutron measurements in 1942. Jentschke and Lintner used the vienna cyclotron to do more fast neutron measurements in 1943.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Animorphs FAQ

This is another entry into what is quickly becoming a large catalogue of thoughts on the animorphs series. The first post was an overview of what the storys were about, how they set a high bar in childrens sci fi, and have never really been surpassed in terms of thematic content. I also offered some thoughts I had about certain dilemmas that had plagued readers of the series. The second post was an attempt to determine whether the animorphs hometown had a real world analogue. I was able to firmly prove that the descriptions of their city matched those of ventura, californa. This post will take more of a FAQ format, and answer some questions that were never addressed in the books. Mostly about those big, sciency questions that people tend to shy away from. Alot of this is about the yeerk species, and how they evolved in a biological and cultural manner. When K.A. applegate sat down to wrote the animorphs series, her aim was to provide the young heros with a unique race of aliens to fight against. At first glance, they are your standard group of evil alien parasites trying to enslave humanity, thus yielding the moral high ground to the humans who were fighting in self defense. But as the series progresses, applegate presents the yeerks in an increasingly sympathetic light. Their natural bodies are so inadequate that they cannot see, hear, or do any of the things that humans take for granted. They are a race of cripples that have no choice but to enslave others.

Alien races from the series

How is it possible that a self aware race like the yeerks evolved to become parasites, and control the functions of another creatures brain? 

Were they parasites before they became sentient, or were they sentient before they became parasites? This is something that has always perplexed me. Yeerk nature is at the core of the animorphs series, the reason they came to earth and put humanity in their sights. Their parasitic nature is what compelled them to infest other self aware beings, denying them freedom so that they could be free themselves. I have a speculative theory on how this might have happened. While details from the book are scarce, what we do know is that they are hermaphrodites that reproduce through epigamy. Putting it simply, they only reach sexual maturity in very specific conditions, because the metamorphosis is irreversible and reproduction is fatal. During the spawning process, yeerks merge together and somehow 'fuse', and from them emerge juvenile 'grubs.' There appear to be both male and female yeerks, even though they carry both pairs of sex organs. Most importantly, they are an aquatic species that can move through an animals ear canal and into their actual skull, sinking into its every crevice. By attaching their neurons to those of the hosts brain, the yeerks are able to take complete control over their bodys and use them as a puppet. Can natural selection provide a explanation for such a bizarre race? My answer is an emphatic yes. 

Before we go any further, though, I would like to posit two separate claims. 1) That the ancestors of yeerks had a 'neural patch' as part of their anatomy. 2) That these proto-yeerks could only reproduce by migrating to some ancestral spawning ground. If both these claims are true, then we can venture the following theory. Like salmon, the yeerks must travel from an ocean up into a river, and hence, swim against strong tides and up into waterfalls. I imagine this would require incredible exertion on their part, and that some of the yeerks wouldn't complete the journey back. If so, then the bottleneck for reproduction is limited to those who can succesfully migrate back to the spawning grounds. Maybe the yeerk ancestors faced a crisis at some point, something which caused the journey to become more dangerous and more difficult? If so, it would hardly be surprising if some of the yeerks managed to cheat and find another way to get upriver... Maybe they swam into the ear canal of some creatures (like the gedd) who were taking a drink, using their 'neural patch' to direct them towards the spawning ground? * This approach would have given the yeerks in question a major advantage over their peers who were trying to swim upriver the hard way. Perhaps it created a selection pressure great enough that the yeerk anatomy changed, so successive generations had a larger 'neural patch' that could take more and more control over the gedd brain? We have seen similar instances of parasitism here on earth.

Did the yeerk empire have conflicting needs when it came to the species they tried to conquer?

Absolutely. After they set up their colony on the hork-bajir world, and their population grew to number in the billions, the yeerks faced a catch-22 situation with regards to their hosts. They have five different classifications for potential host species. Class 1 are those which are physically unfit for infestation. Class 2 are those which are fit for infestation, but suffer from severe drawbacks. Class 3 species are those that would make excellent hosts, but are few in number and can't be bred quickly. Class 4 are those that would make excellent hosts, but are too formidable to conquer. Class 5 are those fit for infestation, are large in numbers and able to breed quickly, and cannot fight back. The existential crisis plaguing the yeerks is that despite decades of searching, they had seen no examples of the desperately needed class 5 species. You see, it all comes down to agriculture. If a species doesn't have agriculture, then its population will number roughly the same as neolithic humans, I.E about 5 or 10 million. This is why the hork-bajir were rated as class 3. Their small numbers and lack of technology made them easy to conquer, but it also meant that they couldn't supply the full needs of the empire. But if a species did have agriculture, then its population would quickly explode in numbers, developing better technology and a state apparatus to manage them. (This usually implys a military) This is why humans were rated as class 5. They were harder to conquer than class 3 species, but also yielded a much greater payoff for the empire.

The huge problem here is that within just a few centurys, a species can go from type 5 to type 4 status, just as the andalites did. Technological evolution would rapidly allow a type 5 species to leave its planet, build an armada of spaceships, and colonize other worlds, which means they are no longer type 5! The central paradox for the yeerks is that the type 5 species they coveted so badly were unstable and transitionary: They were nothing more than a brief period of adolescence that was eventually grown out of. Both the yeerks and andalites believed that humanity was nearing the end of its type 5 status, and would quickly mature into a type 4 species like them. This must have been incredibly frustrating to the yeerks. Even after they had picked a needle from a haystack and discovered earth, they would not get an effortless victory over mankind. Conquering them would require scarce resources that were needed elsewhere. And the situation wouldn't have been any better if they had somehow went back in time and discovered humanity back in the 1800s (when its population only numbered 1 billion). The yeerks would have an easier time conquering earth, yes, but the payoff in hosts would be smaller. It takes about 18-19 year for humans to grow to maturity, and they literally didn't have the time to wait that long. The empire had an immediate need for huge numbers of hosts to stem back the advancing tide of the andalite fleet. It was an unenviable situation for them.

*In the movie avatar, the alien na'vi use a neural cord that can attach to those of other species and control their behaviour. Its an interesting analogue, if nothing else.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Radio jamming

This article aims to clear up some myths about electronic warfare (EW), particularly as it pertains to radio jamming. EW is a really complex subject which people have a bad habit of skipping over. They don't take the time to understand any of the details, but that doesn't step them from having all kinds of wildly unrealistic expectations. Military morons love to write breathless articles about radio jamming, and how it will allow 'our guys' to dominate the electronic battlefield. They like to bluster about how their cutting edge equipment will effectively neutralise the enemys ability to communicate by radio, without exception and without the possibility of counter-measure. Unfortunately, reality hardly ever bears out these flights of fancy. Before you can make any sortof predictions like that, you need to know the specifications of enemy radio sets, and the specifications of your own EW equipment. You also need to know the basics about radio engineering. First off, the range of an emitting radio depends on its frequency, power output, antenna type, and how clear its line of sight (LOS) to the receiver is. Second, these factors heavily influence your sides ability to actually detect the enemys comms and triangulate them. If they are using low power backpack sets in the confines of a forest, and your receivers are located miles away on top of a mountain thats getting alot of interference, then you're not even going to be aware of their presence.

Line of sight (LOS) is a very important
factor in radio communications

Lets use a less extreme scenario that puts you and the enemy on flat grassland, with a good LOS to each other. [1] They are carelessly using an omnidirectional antenna that your receivers can actually detect. What happens then? If you have something like a AN/TLQ-17 jammer, it can find the emitting radios position, match its emission frequency, and bathe the surrounding area in white noise. As a result, nearby radios will have their reception disturbed and won't be able to receive any signals. Does this mean that they are no longer able to communicate with each other? Not at all. If the enemy becomes aware of jamming, they can re-orient the antenna to try and lessen interference, and if that fails, switch to a backup frequency and issue a briefing message. [2] Both the emitter and receiver can then relocate to a different position, somewhere less prone to interference, to continue sending radio messages to each other. Keep in mind, this ignores the possibility that enemy radios may actually be able to defeat the jamming through brute force! They can do this by keeping the distances between emitter and receiver short, by using radio repeaters, or by cleverly using antenna masking. So even in ideal situations where you have flat terrain, good signal to noise ratio, and a high concentration of jammers, a competent enemy can bypass persistent attempts at jamming.

That last point (about the number of jammers in an area) is quite important, because the enemy may have many different radio sets communicating on many different frequencys at once. Going after all of them presents a workload so high that impractical, broad spectrum jamming will be needed. [3] And if the enemy is a real jerk, he might develop a habit of triangulating your jammers, finding their position, and bombarding them with artillery. This would force you to keep them many miles behind friendly lines for safety, reducing their effective radiated power. Thats very undesirable when the enemy uses AM radios, which do not distinguish noise and interference from the true signal, and make the task of jamming them alot harder (since you need to completely saturate the receivers with white noise). At such a great distance, your jammers will have a reduced area of dominance, and might not be able to reliably blot out their communications. So again, people need to realise that electronic warfare is a complicated endeavor whose success is dependent on many variables, including how you and the enemy interact. Despite what military morons claim, you can't just press a button at divisional HQ that blots out all their comms on all frequencys. [4] Just like tanks or infantry units, your EW assets need to be deployed in the field in a manner that will enable them to succeed.

 Antenna masking is useful for evading
enemy receivers and jammers


[1] This ignores situations where the enemy needs to send only a single report over radio, as the messages brevity makes it impossible to stop. Instead, we'll focuses on the steady flow of radio traffic, and how well it can be disrupted.

[2] Thus enabling them to temporarily bypass the jammer, which needs a few seconds to analyse and match the new radio frequency being used.

[3] Broad spectrum jamming is best done with multiple jammers, rather than one by itself. After all, the larger the spectrum being jammed, the less power is available to create noise.

[4] Even with a high concentration of radio jammers, the enemy have ways of getting around this!

Note: Because of the length of their transmissions, the peculiarity of their signal, and power output, jammers are easily located and identified as targets for attack by suppressive fires.


The Infantry Battalion (Infantry, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger)

Threat Handbook: Battlefield Survival and Radioelectronic Combat

Operator's and Organizational Maintenance Manual: Radio Set AN/GRC-143

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Donald trump victorious!

A phenomenal victory for donald trump, and a spectacular defeat for hillary clinton! Trump fought against washington, fought against the media, fought against all the naysayers who said he had no chance, and he won the election fair and square. Democrats (and some republicans) used every under-handed and manipulative trick they had to marginalize trump and boost hillary. They created false dilemmas, engaged in illegal campaign co-ordination, instigated violence at political rallys, and coerced dozens of celebritys to support hillary, and they still couldn't win! Their decision to nominate and support clinton was a collossal error in judgement, as was their immense overconfidence in victory in the weeks leading up to this day. They counted their chickens before they had even hatched.

The democratic party has now suffered a major setback and loss of credibility, and they have NO ONE to blame but themselves. Trump and pence did a phenomenal job on the ground of convincing ordinary americans to vote for them, while clinton and caine bought their votes through proxies and committees. So disingenous... In any case, america has taken a major step in the right direction. Disaster was certainly averted, but the battle is not yet over! The fact that hillary clinton was able to embark on a presidential race, much less come close to winning at one point, is an alarming sign of how much corruption there is in america. The mainstream media needs to be punished for their absurdly biased reporting that verged on propaganda. Hillary clinton needs to go to prison for all the laws she broke in aiding her globalist friends. Its time to drain the swamp!

Onward to victory!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Science fiction plausibility

This post will examine numerous works of science fiction, and determine where they rank in terms of accuracy. The entrys herein will involve movies and games rather than books. About 15 years back, alan kazlev published an excellent guide to this subject on his personal website. The chart uses multiple criteria in order to come to a rating, so even if the story is accurate in terms of physical laws (no superluminal travel without time travel), it can still run afoul of other blunders (like a galaxy full of alien civilizations). The scale is balanced in a way that penalizes the more speculative technologys and phenomenon, resulting in an inherently lower score: Anything involving femtotech, time travel, or the like will qualify for this penalty. Consequently, futuristic space operas get lower ratings than techno-thrillers because more ambition equals a greater amount of risk taking WRT accuracy! Of course, just because a film is set in the current day doesn't mean it can't get a very low rating. For instance, armageddon has a plausible set up involving astronauts sent to destroy an asteroid heading for a collision with earth, but makes so many mistakes and errors along the way that it devolves into sheer absurdity. Scientific accuracy is not as simple as it might seem at first. While the guide is very good at establishing its criteria, there are a few headscratchers present. For instance, kazlev says that plausibly hard sci fi should have no unobtainium, but then goes on to place reactionless drives in the plausibly hard category... Even though they require exotic matter (unobtainium) to work. *

Ultra hard

Metal gear solid. Why does it qualify for this ranking? MGS1 has crude nanomachines used for communication and medicine, genetically engineered viruses that can select targets based on their DNA (!), and walking battle tanks that can launch nuclear ordnance. MGS2 has sentient artificial intelligence, 4th generation nuclear weapons, and virtual reality simulation. That last point is especially relevant, if you subscribe to the VR theory.

Plausibly hard

The 6th day. Why does it qualify? This is a typical spy thriller with the usual near-future setup, I.E, self-piloting cars, affordable VTOL craft, energy weapons, holograms. What sets it apart from others is the weird, pseudo-cloning technology that features prominently in the story. An individuals DNA is implanted into an adult sized 'embryo', which rapidly grows into an exact duplicate of them. This would probably require nanotechnology rather than mere biotechnology.


Avatar. Why does it qualify? Avatar posits outrageous growth of the economy by 2154, such that a fleet of interstellar ships like the ISV venture star can be supported. While the ship doesn't violate relativity by traveling FTL (faster than light), it does handwave away problems with waste heat. The alien na'vi are also very human like in their appearance, despite the astronomical unlikelihood of evolution following such similar paths. There are also minor problems like the floating mountains of unobtainium, the mental link between avatar and human, etc.


Alien. Why does it qualify? Alien is the prototypical space horror film starring a very realistic alien species. The xenomorphs are different enough that they obviously don't originate from earth, but not so different that they are morphologically and biochemically impossible, either. (Hence, they manage to stay within the golden middle) The story would get a higher rating, were it not for the non-explained FTL travel, and rapid technology development early in the 21st century.


Soldier. Why does it qualify? The society in question develops very advanced technology early in the 21st century (including FTL travel), uses a planet many light years away for a rubbish dump, and posses fridge-sized bombs that can destroy an entire planet! Even star wars managed to be more realistic in this regard, since it took a battlestation the size of a small moon to do that. However, their depiction of superhuman soldiers was both realistic and disturbing.

* Case in point: Objects that have a negative mass are just as absurd as objects with a tensile strength equal to the strong nuclear force. Nevertheless, larry nivens ringworld gets a lower rating than stephen baxters xeelee sequence.