Archive for the Science & Math Category

Music Theory Basics – Octave Paradox

Posted in Music Reviews, POB Audio, Science & Math, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2020 by Drogo

The Chromatic-Key Problem of Definition 

In music theory tone (note) scales are divided into ‘octaves’. Octave comes from the Latin root word for ‘eight’ (oct-). Octaves are 8 key notes labeled as 8 alphabet letters; A up to G repeated. The measuring of octaves is based on the ancient Greek geometrical distance method of double or half the frequency vibration of the other. Originally octave note measuring was based on strings, then tuning forks, and now modern Hz devices. Octave key notes are called ‘natural’, but notes are infinitely divisible; so there are major and minor scales with sharps (#) and flats (b). Sharps are higher than the natural note they are near, and flats are lower than their natural note; so A# is going to range higher than A until the mid-point between B where the tone becomes Bb. However B# is equal to C natural; thus begins the organic complexity of 12 note chromatic scale within an octave. Even with equal tempering, octave patterns can be more confusing than regular whole number arithmetic.   

Chromatic sharp scale (low to high) is A, A#, B, B#/C, C#, D, D#, E, E#/F, F#, G, G#. The chromatic flat scale is the reverse but with flats instead of sharps. These 12 chroma notes are similar to human voices because they do not divide the octaves equally. Voices are chromatic chords because they are not confined to natural or perfect key pitches, as the multiple sub-tones within a voice may bend sharps and flats, while the loudest sub-tone would be the note the voice registers as. What tones or chords we consider to be dissonant or harmonious are based on chromatic ratios and combinations. Pythagorean tuning was a Greek system where the frequency interval ratios are 3:2. The Pythagorean ratio is called the pure or ‘perfect fifth’, chosen because it is consonant for tuning by ear, and their cult obsession with the integer 3. The octave paradox can be explained as a chromatic-key math problem; where octave scale notes are based on multiples of 2 (such as 8 and 12), and note interval ratios are based on 3. Two is an even number, and Three is an odd number; therefore algebraic equations can express this issue of octave scales.  

Chromatic Ratio Equations:  F#/Fn = R x R x Fn = R^2 x Fn = G ; E#/Fn = R^12 ; R = 1.059

[SCOD theory by Drogo, written to understand his own confusion regarding basic music theory]

‘Math and Music 1’ youtube video


Covid Crisis Cover for Poisoning

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, biology, Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, news, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2020 by Drogo

The COVID Virus pandemic outbreak and quarantine period is exciting because it is exposing and increasing related economic and social issues that were under corporate media radar. Yes the Covid virus is real and dangerous and has plenty of attention with statistics, but corporate corruption is real too. Environmental pollution is not just a conspiracy theory, it is quite often a result of actual corporate conspiracies. In this case industrial companies wrote to Trump begging to be allowed to pollute more, and so he complied by shutting down the EPA, rather than giving the EPA proper hazmat suits for inspections.

“The EPA has been under pressure from a number of industries, including the oil industry, to suspend enforcement of a number of environmental regulations due to the pandemic. In a 10-page letter to EPA earlier this week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) asked for a suspension of rules that require repairing leaky equipment as well as monitoring to make sure pollution doesn’t seep into nearby water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the corona-virus outbreak. The temporary policy, for which EPA has set no end date, would allow any number of industries to skirt environmental laws, with the agency saying it will not “seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations.”” – The Hill

“The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to waive compliance requirements and deadlines for a range of industries, including oil refiners, water utilities and sewage plants, as it seeks to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Trump administration officials.” – March 24, 2020 Wall Street Journal

Oil Companies will be poisoning more [Article].

Coal Companies will be poisoning more [Article].

And many other companies like Dupont and Monsanto will have more lawsuits against them for poisoning us with their chemicals.

The are also several recent books and films made about these issues [‘The Devil We Know‘, ‘Dark Waters‘, ‘Conspiracy of Fools‘]

The point being an emergency like this is time to gear up with hazmat suits for inspections, not give them a free pass to poison us. Trump is worse than other corporate politicians, but they have given similar passes before. Let us hope this is the climax for the worst, and let us take responsibility by increasing democracy and regulations that protect us.

more later…..









Yes Other Animals Wage War

Posted in biology, Ethics & Morals, History, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2019 by Drogo

Yes some other animals besides humans go to war. The word ‘war’ is vague enough to cover unintelligent conflicts between groups of any species. War does not require much planning besides basic organization and group collusion to wage a primitive series of battles comprising a war. In fact even many insects and other hive-minded beings go to war. War seems to be very instinctual for several species, not just our own.


An article by National Geographic disagrees, but their semantic arguments regarding ‘war’ are weak. What do you call it when ants storm other insect colonies in huge numbers simultaneously and not only kill using tactics, but also take resources and slaves to expand their own colonies? War is basically group hunting, except the ‘prey’ are groups of enemies who can engage in war or ‘group hunting’ also. 


Public consensus without studying the scientific evidence tends to be that only humans wage wars; because we have advanced brains, intentions, strategies, and technology; as with the similar claim regarding ‘art’. Clearly there are some other animals who deliberately do art, for the same basic motivations we make anything – to get mates or make nice shelters. The same is true for war. Clearly there are some other animals besides us, who deliberately decide to follow a leader into a battle, which leads to more conflicts, ultimately becoming what we call a war. As we have seen with human politics, not much is needed when the powerful decide to mobilize unquestioning underlings with threats; in fact sometimes not even legal authorization, just collusion in the form of funding support.


So yes long after homo-sapiens warred and bred with neanderthals we have retained a natural instinct for war; however it is also part of evolution for us to use our complex enlightened brains regarding violence in civilization. Intelligence can be used wisely and ethically if we can find more ways to influence others using rewards rather than threats.

[see Aldous Huxley vs George Orwell]


Ancestry DNA Revised Analysis Flawed

Posted in History, Science & Math, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2019 by Drogo

Ancestry DNA company revised results have mislabeled my Spanish AND Italian as all German, and it has to do with migrant history Y-Chromosome haplogroups R1b subsets dating back to 2300 BC. Their lazy revisions appear to be less precise because they are more generalized and less specific. despite my ancestors being documented as living in Spain and Italy and England for hundreds and hundreds of years, their shared R1b DNA marker tends to lump them together as all “GERMAN European” as all being from that migrant phase thousands of years ago, using the current Ancestry. com analysis algorithms. This leaves out major labels for hundreds of years of ancestors.


Haplogroup R* originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years ago). This haplogroup has been identified in the remains of a 24,000 year-old boy from the Altai region, in Siberia. R1b people (perhaps with J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs all across Europe with Germany as the hotspot circa 2000 BC. 

R1b is the most common genetic DNA haplogroup in Western Europe, reaching the majority of the population in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain, Germany, Russia and Asia. R1b hotspots include the Po valley in north-central Italy and Catalan Spain (over 70%), Armenia (35%), the Bashkirs of the Urals Russia (50%), Turkmenistan and Hazara Afghanistan (35%), the Uyghurs of North-West China (20%) and the Newars of Nepal (11%).  R1b-V88, a subclade specific to sub-Saharan Africa, is found in 60 to 95% of men in northern Cameroon. Menorca has 73% R1b (ancient Celtic-Germanic) and 19% E (East African), in family lines who have lived there for centuries. R-M269-DF27 (R1b1a2a1a2a) is a Y-chromosome haplogroup defined by marker DF27 (also known as S250). Along with R-U152 and R-L21, the lineage is to a significant extent associated with Proto-Celtic, Celtic and later Celtiberian movements.

It arose after European Bronze Age, and is mostly prevalent in the Pyrenees region. The regions where it has been mostly found are Basque Country, Navarre, Asturias, Galicia, Portugal, Aragon, Catalonia, Pyrénées-Atlantiques as well as a some presence in Great Britain and Ireland, though it has been found in smaller quantities as far away as Germany and Poland.

Specific subclades of DF27 have been associated with specific groups of people, for example R-M167 is associated with the Catalans and R-M153 is associated with the Basques. Like other Western Europeans, among Spaniards and Portuguese the Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b is the most frequent, occurring at over 70% throughout most of Spain. R1b is particularly dominant in the Basque Country and Catalonia, occurring at rate of over 80%. In Iberia, most men with R1b belong to the subclade R-P312 (R1b1a1a2a1a2; as of 2017). The distribution of haplogroups other than R1b varies widely from one region to another.

War on Pollution

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Climate Change, Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Science & Math, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2019 by Drogo

War on Pollution – Some may boycott some industrial products, but the challenge is to replace them with less polluting alternatives that are better in all ways. We are doing it with meat, as those of us who like the taste can have those options; we need to keep pushing for system change. I am very satisfied eating less meat for 19 years, and still able to taste it and get protein. It is so important not to shame allies, because we all do what we can and have our limits of stress and tolerances for peer pressure. I do plenty of things that purist Vegans or Pacifists disdain, but i do other things that they may not do. There will be some environmentalists that do not support Bernie’s Green New Deal, but forcing people to do what we each want is not democratic freedom, but is simply chaotic egotism. I can get very irate when people do not do what i think they should, but if i can channel my anger into something constructive it becomes productive. Strikes, protests, and boycotts do help; but we cannot all do everything, or agree on everything, so it is important to focus on what we want to do. If we are each doing more to help our environment than we would do if we were not aware or motivated, than we are doing good. Some will say we are not doing good enough, but the War on Pollution should be at least as long as the War on Terror, and over time the numbers add up.

Over 130,000 veterans have committed suicide since 9/11, in part because we feel there is no hope for the future, and that we have failed to win victory over ‘the bad guys’, and that in fact we feel guilt for our national and personal crimes as well. I speak as a veteran survivor, who lives every day with ptsd, depression, and anger management. I continue SCOD work because i believe my work matters for some people in the future, which is why i enjoy what i do, even if my own joy is only internal now.

Science As Process

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, History, Science & Math, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2019 by Drogo

Scientific Sustainable Issues


I trust people who are dedicated to provable facts, and able to negotiate about debates on what constitutes “evidence”. Environmental data is debated by those scientists highly educated while it is gathered and for years afterwards in universities that are socially liberal but academically conservative; which is a reflection of conventional society and group societies and trade organizations. There will always be the fringes that ask questions, and push limits. i side with scientific consensus, regardless of corporate propaganda (probably just because i have never been bribed enough), but i always remember that minority questions can change the course of scientific progress on issues. Human philosophical rationality can be used to determine all scientific or factual conclusions, for example to determine what defines pollution and how much pollution is allowable in a given area; and those conclusions will change to adapt to the data.

2 Climate Change Theories

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Climate Change, Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military, Science & Math, Technology - Vehicles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2019 by Drogo

Scientific vs Corporate

The main climate change theory i will call the Scientific Climate Theory presented by the majority of scientists is that artificial CO2 and other man-made (in addition to natural) factors are primarily contributing to overall global warming, which causes climate change in various ways, sometimes temporarily cooling during warm seasons (which seems like a contradiction but is not because the overall trend is warming according to annual temperature averages). This consensus in Science is supported primarily by Centrist Left Wing and Radical Liberals politically, who believe that the time for debate is over and it should not be a political issue because it is true and not just an opinion.

The minority climate change theory i will call the Corporate Climate Theory, supported by extreme skeptics of science and government (deniers), is that environmentalists are lying about the data evidence to hide that most of it is naturally either being caused by Solar irregularities or Geo-tectonic magnetic seismic shifts and volcanic activity or both. This is the side that defends those totally uninterested or ignorant in climate science as well, who doubt there are any problems with pollution that can affect global conditions. One of the issues they bring up is that storm flooding (cold) and (heat) droughts are opposites, and should not both be results of global warming. This proposed paradox does not take into account the melting of the polar ice which raises sea level, and the chaos that can result from this regarding flooding and more severe storms, freak cooling periods in some areas, but overall prolonged intense heating of the global atmosphere. Minor theories are usually supported by Radical Right Wing Conservatives and Libertarians (Corporate Centrists tend to pay lip service and not want any action on it), who believe no one should interfere in the rights of corporations to pollute, and are currently dismantling the EPA, NPS, and other branches of the government under Trump.

So to summarize, both agree that there will be more severe climate chaos like weather that is out of season. The Scientific Climate Theory says that artificially caused CO2 pollution from industry and agriculture is mainly to blame, as it can clearly be shown to increase during the Industrial Age of civilization, and not anytime in human history before this. It does have some similarities to pre-historic massive volcanic periods, but other chemical evidence and current factors rule out volcanoes as the main cause in CO2 levels currently. The most extreme Corporate Climate Theory is our government is lying to us to hide that our Sun is growing closer or more intense; which can be debunked by talking to actual scientists who observe the Sun independent of the government, and that it would make no sense for the branches of the government like the EPA or NPS or Pentagon to give false support for environmentalists, because most of the government is controlled by Corporate interests, and they do not benefit by belief in environmentalism. Corporate Green-washing is not what interests people who care about quality of life for all animals and humans, nor the military who takes the threats of Climate Change seriously due to the causes of wars that are tied to natural conditions like resources, property, shelter, and all the economics related to environmental issues. The money being made by Scientists or environmentalists currently, still pales compared to the profits of fossil fuel polluters, so the theory of profit motive causing scientists to lie about climate data is bunk as well. The debate is over for rational thinkers, but the corporate socialism vs democratic socialism debate is just beginning for a world run and terrorized by capitalists.

Time & Physical Reality

Posted in Psychology, Science & Math, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 23, 2018 by Drogo

Interesting metaphysical questions: What is Time? What is Existence?

Here are some aspects of those big questions:

Is ‘existence’ only definable by science in terms of physical reality, or must we use metaphysics only to deal with its aspects of consciousness and archetypal presence?

Does ‘yesterday’ exist?  Did it before, when it was now?

According to some theorists, no yesterday does not anymore than unicorns exist. Can memories be said to exist? If they do, they must exist in a different way than most ‘physical things’ if a memory is able to be defined in physical science way.

Many people might say something like i would, which is – “Yesterday only existed physically when it was now, but now is the only moment that exists, and now is not then.” which is funny to hear it regardless of whether someone agrees or not with what most of us probably intuitively feel.

Ok, but memory exists right?  Depends on definition of ‘existence’, but yeah sure.

What does it mean for a memory to ‘exist‘ in one’s mind?

“Memory is the faculty of the mind by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Memory is vital to experiences and related to limbic systems, it is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action.” – Wikipedia

“Defining memory is about as difficult as defining time. In general terms, memory is a change to a system that alters the way that system works in the future. “A typical memory is really just a reactivation of connections between different parts of your brain that were active at some previous time,” says neuro-scientist Nikolay Kukushkin.” – Wired, [Your brain doesn’t contain memories. It is memories]

Neurologists can describe electronic impulses between the neuron cells in our brain, and the cells and the energy certain exist and are measurable.

Time is weird, and certainly seems bound up with ‘space’ (aka physical reality), which is called the ‘time and space continuum’ when physicists try to explain reality or existence.

“Dean Zimmerman lays out the two main philosophical conceptions of time (i.e. the A-theory, which is a dynamic conception of time, and the B-theory, which is a static conception), and argues that a certain theological view, called “open theism”, is committed to the dynamic A-theory of time, and hence to the reality of objective temporal Becoming. He then goes on to discuss what is regarded by many to be the decisive objection against the A-theory of time: namely, its apparent incompatibility with relativistic physics. Open theism is motivated by an incompatibilist or libertarian conception free will, which is inconsistent with God’s infallible foreknowledge of our future actions. According to open theism however, God can still be considered omniscient despite the fact that He doesn’t know what His free creatures are going to freely choose since, given the A-theory of time, the future has no genuine existence or reality. And given this indeterminacy, the future remains open rather than eternally fixed and settled ahead of time.” – Philosophy Overdose, Youtube

Gods of religion of course are a way of non-scientifically avoiding the questions, if there is no way to prove that gods exist. So we can talk about time in terms of History; History as a subject tends to say “things happened in the past”, even if physicists might disagree with that phrasing. History is not just a subject of what we think happened in the past, but it can also mean events that took place before now.

Heraclitus’s ‘River of Time’ flux concept ironically still seems as fair a way as any to view change in time, or rather how things change within time.

(to be continued…)

Solar Eclipse Holiday 2017

Posted in astronomy, Events / Celebrations, news, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2017 by Drogo

Moon Eclipse of the Sun for Three Hours (apx)

SCOD Astronomy August 21, 2017, Observations near Washington DC East Coast America

Commentary by Drogo Empedocles as he observed the eclipse disc geometries through special star-net glasses given by Maryland Libraries, and documented in text, audio, and video.

Recorded live from 1-4pm while watching, preoccupied with metaphoric meditation while watching the event (Observation notes corrected in post-production):

“At 1:30 Pm the Sun is traveling (sunwise) clockwise from left to right (to a person standing with their head straight up), and the moon is passing right to left, down-ward, counter-clockwise. 2:16pm Sun is over 1/2 to 3/4 covered by the circular curve of the Moon’s perimeter. Sun-light remains bright, only slightly dim. No sun-rise sun-set color tones, just dimmer. Went back inside, turned off inside house lights, so the light from the windows can slowly show the progress, and i can determine how dark it gets outside compared to enclosed darkness. Sun-light dim, Later at 2:37pm close to total eclipse, curves at thin crescent. 2:52pm Eclipse in decline, passing away, pacman’s mouth headed South…. 3:23 Eclipse in final phase. 3:54 last fragment of the Sun covered, apx. END of eclipse. Interesting how quickly the Moon began to move across the Sun, and yet lingered over for much longer than its’ initial advance seemed, according to observed interaction and clocks. At no time did the sky go black, there was always some day-light to see objects. Life has not changed; but the after effect reflection on Life and Death is much deeper, than the previous excited anticipation of the event. The visual recordings from my cell phone camera do not show much evidence of the event, oddly. Several Neighbors were out-side during the central hour of the Eclipse, also observing.”

Landscape Photos:  Did NOT show significant dimming, despite observation

Soundcloud Audio Recordings:   Verbal Only  /  Reggae Remix

Video Recordings:  Did NOT show the Moon (none of the dark curves of the eclipse are visible in the videos)  Youtube – Start 12:50 Pm  /   12:56 Pm  /  1:06 Pm  /  1:39 Pm






Corporate Chemical POISONS

Posted in Artificial Chemical Products, Commercial Corporations, Legal / Laws, Medical, Science & Math, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 23, 2017 by Drogo

First rule regarding Corporate POISONS: #1 DO NOT TRUST THE COMPANY;

Second rule regarding Corporate POISONS (and big money influence): #2: Do not trust the ‘test results’.

My grandfather was poisoned by arsenic lead that the company said was safe for farmers to breathe in the fields. It made his lungs bleed because it actually did poison him, despite their claims. Any chemical manufactured and sold commercially should not be trusted to be ‘safe’, even if ‘scientists tested it’. The only chemicals we can truly ever trust, are natural organic chemicals that humans have worked with for hundreds or better yet thousands of years. Poisons that have negative affects on some carbon-based life-form species who have DNA, probably have some adverse affects on related carbon-based life-form species who have DNA; because Ecology and Biology tend to work like that.

FUCK MONSANTO!!! Pirate Flag X

Quest for Consciousness

Posted in Economics, Politics, Science & Math, Spiritual, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2017 by Drogo

Over the years I have toured many college campuses and made appointments to meet with staff members in their architecture departments. As friendly as some of the professors may have been, they told me candidly there were no job opportunities for me as part of their faculty, and of course none of them were paid to help me, and therefore they did not. I did lecture them on SCOD thesis, and they verified that college politics was not in my favor; despite ‘sustainability’ being a popular theory.

While exploring the Maryland University campus again in 2017 for open-house Maryland Day, among my various conversations, I did have a fortunate discussion with quantum physics graduate students and a business school professor, outside of the Science Department. We were talking about particle-wave theory, the split-test experiment, and the question of what observer consciousness, or whether they turned the lights on or off had to do with it.

I congratulated the business professor for being concerned about whether science could account for consciousness; as we have a cross-disciplinary problem of not being able to quantitatively value life-forms and the Eco-system in direct ways that protect our existence from predatory capitalism. He recognized that this problem did indeed exist, and that he “only went into business to make money”, but he was very concerned about getting the scientific establishment to acknowledge that consciousness exists. I defended the students who had volunteered to answer public questions, by telling the business professor that he was “pushing the limits of their knowledge, because science is about conducting quantitative verifiable experiments; and I wish that spirit had a residue that we could measure, but there does not appear to be much evidence that conscious exists apart from biology.”

Our two quests are linked, because monetary currency is mutually agreed upon around the globe, but life and environmental science are often ignored for profits that do not take their worth into account as variables that have economic value. If consciousness cannot be verified, given quantitative worth, and supported in monetary terms, then how can we ever develop Economic Consciousness for Life-forms? Perhaps we can begin with Bio-diversity preservation theories that do not depend on ‘consciousness’. Climate Science is getting ignored currently also, so perhaps corrupt politics or predatory instincts are to blame. On a positive note, I went to the Art Department and explained this problem during another conversation about the value of art and artist income.


Coin Flipping Odds

Posted in Science & Math, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 2, 2016 by Drogo

Essay on Coin Flip Probability

by Tom Over-Being and Drogo Empedocles

Basically the odds of a coin toss in your favor are 1/2 right? 50/50 in other words, 50% of the time tails, 50% heads. It’s a function of how many times you toss the coin then, represented as (1/2) ^ x Where x is number of tosses. In the case of 6 coin tosses then it would be (1/2)^6 which works out to be 0.015625 or 1/64.

It is easy to understand that each time you flip a coin you are re-setting the odds. The previous result means nothing. So the fact that the chances of getting the same result over and over is not 50/50 is the weird part; as referenced in ‘Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead’ by Tomm Stoppard (Video clip). Each toss is supposed to be 50/50, but the odds of 6 results ending up one way is not the same math, and this may seem odd.

Tom O – “say I have a d4 (pyramid dice), It’s (1/4) if I toss it once, it’s (1/4)^1; if I toss it twice, and want to get “3” both times, the odds are (1/4)^2. Now with the dice the only thing that changes is the fraction coins are (1/2) dice are (1/6). Or another way of looking at it is say you have to make the best of 3 tosses. That’s the most equitable way to randomly make a decision if you don’t want to flip just once right? Well each time you toss that coin the odds of getting heads is 1/2.. You could also solve the problem by throwing 3 coins at once too right? Well that means you’ve run those odds (1/2) by themselves 3 times (1/2)^3 the exact same thing as tossing the same coin 3 times too.”

The odds of getting heads 6 times in a row are not 50/50, like in the Democratic Iowa Caucus of 2016 (‘lucky’ Hillary) that used coin flips in the ‘democratic’ process rather than votes; the odds of getting heads 6 times in row are 1-to-64 !!!

6 heads in a row = 1 / 64

12 heads in a row = 1 / 4096

24 heads in a row = 1 / 16.87million

Khan Academy – Probability & Statistics

Other Probability Math links: Calulator / Coin Flip Pyramid Stat Basics


Posted in Science & Math with tags , , on October 12, 2014 by Drogo


You may have heard the term ‘matrix’ from Doctor Who and the film series called ‘The Matrix’. Some of us even remember matrices from school. Anyone fascinated with organizing will immediately appreciate the idea of a matrix intuitively, even if we cannot spend time on a holodeck like in Star Trek.

A Matrix is a rectangular array of numbers symbols arranged in rows and columns. The individual items in a matrix are called its elements or entries. Matrices are found in most scientific fields, including many branches of physics. Matrices are used to study physical phenomena, such as the motion of rigid bodies. In computer graphics, matrix applications are used to project a 3-dimensional image onto a 2-dimensional screen. Statistical matrices (Stochastic) comprise probability sets; as used in internet search algorithms. Matrix calculus generates classical derivatives and exponentials to higher dimensions. Finding efficient algorithms for matrix computations is part of the expanding field of numeric analysis.

Matrices chart the fabric of physical reality, and create artificial worlds of the imagination as well. Whether we are escaping or investigating, we often use matrix technology in our daily lives. The complex concept of matrix is akin to what Sartre called ‘the simulation of the simulacra’ in post-modern philosophy.

Tensions in Sustainable Transportation: Tesla Motors Not Allowed in Virginia

Posted in Science & Math, Technology - Vehicles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by Jessica Bowen

I was a bit surprised and irritated when I found out that Tesla motors, an upcoming electric car company, wasn’t allowed to have a dealership in Virginia. They still have a gallery in Tysons Corner, VA, but can’t directly sell cars from the location. Fortunately, there are other dealerships in the relatively close locations of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Raleigh, North Carolina. However, this serves as an example of how our current system works in a way that perpetuates itself, and makes it difficult to integrate new ways of doing things.  It’s another illustration of the way that our system is not yet set up to really handle sustainability.

Tesla Model S

Tesla is a relatively new manufacturer, and they sell their cars directly to consumers, with no middle-people doing the transactions.  In Virginia, as in some other states, laws are in place that make manufacturers work through a franchised dealership to sell their cars to the public. There are loopholes, in case there are no dealerships available (as in the case of Tesla.) Despite this, the Virginia state Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner, Richard D. Holcomb, ruled that there is no evidence that there is no dealership Tesla can sell through. And so they can’t sell cars in Virginia at all.

Perhaps, though, this has more to do with tax dollars than dealerships. As in the case of other states considering adopting legislation to tax electric cars more than fossil-fuel cars, keeping a Tesla dealership out of Virginia could be a way of trying to keep some number of electric cars out of the state, thereby guaranteeing more tax revenue through gas purchases by the public.

A quick Google search even revealed to me a document on Virginia’s website by Richard Holcomb, concluding that the “DMV is facing a nearly $20 million decline in revenue starting July 2013.”

(Image Copyright University of Maryland)

With this in mind, if the State does generate a good bit of money from gas sales, losing that could be intimidating to them. In my mind, that might make a state want to increase the gas tax, to maintain revenue as the (polluting) fuel becomes less available and push for the public to purchase electric vehicles or use other means of transportation. At the moment, though, it seems that we have built a system around gasoline-powered vehicles. And we do still need to fund roads, of course.

The ideology behind the free market’s supposed ability to fix social and environmental problems is a big consideration, as it has become very ingrained in our thinking and structure.

In a lighter sense, Tesla’s being denied access to public car sales in Virginia could be seen as just one hiccup in a much wider change that is happening. Despite this one dealership denial, Teslas can still be seen driving around the DC area, proving that they’re still somehow available to that public. And so, maybe the car maker’s dealership denial can be seen as both an illustration of the way our current system works to keep change out, but also an illustration of how change will find a way.

[article written by SCOD Member Jessica Bowen]