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Hello

I live in Bali, am 57 years old, have bachelors in biology, a masters degree in applied math and another in statistics. The state of the ecology seems like a war situation, not in the sense of violence but a case when great focus and teamwork is needed to succeed.

I'm retired, and have no family of my own. Lately have been reading and learning many things in all areas. Recently I learned to see quantum spin, that is, polarization of light. It has been (little) known since 1840 or so and took me about ten minutes to learn. I'll post the method if anyone is interested.

My ability to calculate is poor. I like to find obscure connections, which I think is a bit too off-topic for this group. For example, I recently discovered that Stanley Kubrick got the orbiting dark monolith 2001 image from Stonehenge (obviously) melded with a near-death experience of Carl Jung which Carl described in his autobiography. My first published article! I've also been reading up on Jung's cooperation with Wolfgang Pauli in trying to start the theory of synchronicity. Pauli was quite the mystic.

I know John Baez from a decade ago when he was moderator of the Usenet sci.physics.research group. I recall when he began to devote more time to environmental issues. Lately I have been studying his lessons on the octonions. I stumbled over this web site when I confused the Hopf bifurcation with the Hopf fibration. I listen to music from all over the world, most of it from the 21st century. I bet you didn't know that South Korea has the world's best hip-hop. And don't get me started on Viet Nam or Kazakhstan.

But here I am mostly concerned about the political aspect of environmentalism. I hold a faint hope that it may be helpful to understand the psychology of our "leaders" and their baffling resistance to environmental action. If there is understanding, then perhaps a weak spot may be found. If you would like to begin a discussion of that I would be happy to. I've even made the sacrifice of reading one of Rush Limbaugh's books to see how he thought about it. Interested?

I also think that liberal institutions and liberal voters in general have some very counterproductive habits. If this could be changed I think this could make a very big difference.

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Hi! Bali is nearby for me now---whereabouts do you live, exactly? I love going to Ubud but I should visit other places too. My wife and I may or may not succeed in visiting one last time before we return to California on September 21st.

I hold a faint hope that it may be helpful to understand the psychology of our "leaders" and their baffling resistance to environmental action. If there is understanding, then perhaps a weak spot may be found.

I'm glad you say "faint hope", because otherwise I might not take you seriously.

I've even made the sacrifice of reading one of Rush Limbaugh's books to see how he thought about it. Interested?

I'm not very interested in Rush Limbaugh, but if there were a way to do better at politics by somehow dealing with people like him more effectively, that would be very important. The Azimuth Project takes a largely apolitical approach, mainly to avoid sinking into endless arguments and turning off potential contributors who have a range of different views on politics. But I think everyone who cares about the environment realizes that politics and economics are the key obstacles to saving the world.

Comment Source:Hi! Bali is nearby for me now---whereabouts do you live, exactly? I love going to Ubud but I should visit other places too. My wife and I may or may not succeed in visiting one last time before we return to California on September 21st. > I hold a faint hope that it may be helpful to understand the psychology of our "leaders" and their baffling resistance to environmental action. If there is understanding, then perhaps a weak spot may be found. I'm glad you say "faint hope", because otherwise I might not take you seriously. <img src = "http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/emoticons/tongue2.gif" alt = ""/> > I've even made the sacrifice of reading one of Rush Limbaugh's books to see how he thought about it. Interested? I'm not very interested in Rush Limbaugh, but if there were a way to do better at politics by somehow dealing with people like him more effectively, that would be very important. The Azimuth Project takes a largely apolitical approach, mainly to avoid sinking into endless arguments and turning off potential contributors who have a range of different views on politics. But I think everyone who cares about the environment realizes that politics and economics are the key obstacles to saving the world.
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I couldn't figure out how to include text neatly, so this will have to do.

Hi! Bali is nearby for me now---whereabouts do you live, exactly? I love going to Ubud but I should visit other places too. My wife and I may or may not succeed in visiting one last time before we return to California on September 21st.

I live in Penestanan, which is just west of Ubud. The name Penestanan means "The Place of Black Magicians" but the natives have assured me that said magic is used only in self-defense. I would love to meet you. Having lived here nine years I know every hidden bridge and path.

I'm glad you say "faint hope", because otherwise I might not take you seriously.

I understand why you feel that way.

I'm not very interested in Rush Limbaugh, but if there were a way to do better at politics by somehow dealing with people like him more effectively, that would be very important.

I regret to report that Rush takes the idea that human activity cannot harm the earth as an axiom. It's non-refrangible. Clearly his message resonates with many. I see logical and/or emotional argument of being of no value with such people. It is important to know that while numerous such people are a minority. Even George W Bush once slipped his leash and declared the US "the world's biggest polluter."

The Azimuth Project takes a largely apolitical approach, mainly to avoid sinking into endless arguments and turning off potential contributors who have a range of different views on politics.

This seems a wise course. I feel it is safe to assume that we have all had our fill of repetitions and petty discussions that never seem to change anyone's view. It is further safe to assume that all here would agree that such efforts are at best futile dissipation.

What I'm getting at is that only people can take broad organized action to do something about the environment. Broad organized action IS politics. By participating in broad organized action one participates in politics.

But I think everyone who cares about the environment realizes that politics and economics are the key obstacles to saving the world.

Precisely. I would also say that politics and economics are inseparable, like electricity and magnetism, so they may be viewed as either one or two, whatever is convenient for the purpose at hand. These are the key obstacles. I suggest that we apply our collective intelligence to overcoming these obstacles. The first ting is to keep in mind that both politics and economics exist solely within human minds. Our goal is to change the thinking of enough human minds to make a difference. The question is, how? What should we do to achieve this effect and which actions should we avoid?

Comment Source:I couldn't figure out how to include text neatly, so this will have to do. >> Hi! Bali is nearby for me now---whereabouts do you live, exactly? I love going to Ubud but I should visit other places too. My wife and I may or may not succeed in visiting one last time before we return to California on September 21st. I live in Penestanan, which is just west of Ubud. The name Penestanan means "The Place of Black Magicians" but the natives have assured me that said magic is used only in self-defense. I would love to meet you. Having lived here nine years I know every hidden bridge and path. >> I'm glad you say "faint hope", because otherwise I might not take you seriously. I understand why you feel that way. > I'm not very interested in Rush Limbaugh, but if there were a way to do better at politics by somehow dealing with people like him more effectively, that would be very important. I regret to report that Rush takes the idea that human activity cannot harm the earth as an axiom. It's non-refrangible. Clearly his message resonates with many. I see logical and/or emotional argument of being of no value with such people. It is important to know that while numerous such people are a minority. Even George W Bush once slipped his leash and declared the US "the world's biggest polluter." > The Azimuth Project takes a largely apolitical approach, mainly to avoid sinking into endless arguments and turning off potential contributors who have a range of different views on politics. This seems a wise course. I feel it is safe to assume that we have all had our fill of repetitions and petty discussions that never seem to change anyone's view. It is further safe to assume that all here would agree that such efforts are at best futile dissipation. What I'm getting at is that only people can take broad organized action to do something about the environment. Broad organized action IS politics. By participating in broad organized action one participates in politics. > But I think everyone who cares about the environment realizes that politics and economics are the key obstacles to saving the world. Precisely. I would also say that politics and economics are inseparable, like electricity and magnetism, so they may be viewed as either one or two, whatever is convenient for the purpose at hand. These are the key obstacles. I suggest that we apply our collective intelligence to overcoming these obstacles. The first ting is to keep in mind that both politics and economics exist solely within human minds. Our goal is to change the thinking of enough human minds to make a difference. The question is, how? What should we do to achieve this effect and which actions should we avoid?
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Hi! I'm not quite up to the big questions this afternoon, having just finished a series of blog posts giving a somewhat new proof of the 'deficiency zero theorem' for chemical reaction networks. I'm only up to saying: yes, the name Penestanan is familiar to me, and I might have even walked through there one time I was visiting Ubud and staying at the Sayan Terrace Hotel. Lucky devil you! Or at least, lucky black magician!

So how did you manage to retire so young to such a nice place? (I'm 51 but will probably keep working away for decades.)

And: to what extent do you know or enjoy the music of Bali? I like gamelan music quite a bit, but when I've heard it live in Bali I've rarely felt I'm getting the really good stuff.

As I said, I'm not sure we'll be visiting Ubud this summer... but if I don't, I'm almost sure we'll visit it next summer. It would be fun to meet!

I'll say some more serious stuff some other time.

Comment Source:Hi! I'm not quite up to the big questions this afternoon, having just finished a series of blog posts giving a somewhat new proof of the 'deficiency zero theorem' for chemical reaction networks. I'm only up to saying: yes, the name Penestanan is familiar to me, and I might have even walked through there one time I was visiting Ubud and staying at the Sayan Terrace Hotel. Lucky devil you! Or at least, lucky black magician! So how did you manage to retire so young to such a nice place? (I'm 51 but will probably keep working away for decades.) And: to what extent do you know or enjoy the music of Bali? I like gamelan music quite a bit, but when I've heard it live in Bali I've rarely felt I'm getting the really good stuff. As I said, I'm not sure we'll be visiting Ubud this summer... but if I don't, I'm almost sure we'll visit it next summer. It would be fun to meet! I'll say some more serious stuff some other time.
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edited September 2012

Hi! I'm not quite up to the big questions this afternoon, having just finished a series of blog posts giving a somewhat new proof of the 'deficiency zero theorem' for chemical reaction networks. I'm only up to saying: yes, the name Penestanan is familiar to me, and I might have even walked through there one time I was visiting Ubud and staying at the Sayan Terrace Hotel. Lucky devil you! Or at least, lucky black magician!

Yes, Penestanan is in between Sayan and Ubud, so you almost certainly walked through here.

So how did you manage to retire so young to such a nice place? (I'm 51 but will probably keep working away for decades.)

Having no family, working hard, saving my money, and living in dumps. I don't exactly recommend this. It is better to be doing something you like that is useful. Retirement is pleasant but boring, even here.

And: to what extent do you know or enjoy the music of Bali? I like gamelan music quite a bit, but when I've heard it live in Bali I've rarely felt I'm getting the really good stuff.

I first heard Gamelan in my home town of Ann Arbor when I was sixteen. I liked it so much that I joined, but I was never any good at playing it. The tourist version is exactly the same as what you hear at the real ceremonies. That's the traditional stuff, it never changes, and I have gotten bored with it. Young people compose new pieces and that's a lot of fun.

As I said, I'm not sure we'll be visiting Ubud this summer... but if I don't, I'm almost sure we'll visit it next summer. It would be fun to meet!

I'll say some more serious stuff some other time.

Well, this just isn't a political action group, I reckon. There are enough of those already. I can join MoveOn or the Sierra Club or both and put my money where my mouth is. It makes a difference. I 'spect they don't have much interest in octonions over there, though.

Comment Source:> Hi! I'm not quite up to the big questions this afternoon, having just finished a series of blog posts giving a somewhat new proof of the 'deficiency zero theorem' for chemical reaction networks. I'm only up to saying: yes, the name Penestanan is familiar to me, and I might have even walked through there one time I was visiting Ubud and staying at the Sayan Terrace Hotel. Lucky devil you! Or at least, lucky black magician! Yes, Penestanan is in between Sayan and Ubud, so you almost certainly walked through here. > So how did you manage to retire so young to such a nice place? (I'm 51 but will probably keep working away for decades.) Having no family, working hard, saving my money, and living in dumps. I don't exactly recommend this. It is better to be doing something you like that is useful. Retirement is pleasant but boring, even here. > And: to what extent do you know or enjoy the music of Bali? I like gamelan music quite a bit, but when I've heard it live in Bali I've rarely felt I'm getting the really good stuff. I first heard Gamelan in my home town of Ann Arbor when I was sixteen. I liked it so much that I joined, but I was never any good at playing it. The tourist version is exactly the same as what you hear at the real ceremonies. That's the traditional stuff, it never changes, and I have gotten bored with it. Young people compose new pieces and that's a lot of fun. > As I said, I'm not sure we'll be visiting Ubud this summer... but if I don't, I'm almost sure we'll visit it next summer. It would be fun to meet! > I'll say some more serious stuff some other time. Well, this just isn't a political action group, I reckon. There are enough of those already. I can join MoveOn or the Sierra Club or both and put my money where my mouth is. It makes a difference. I 'spect they don't have much interest in octonions over there, though.
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Hi. I edited your post to make it clear which parts are you talking and which parts are quotes by me. The trick is to write a little > symbol before a paragraph of quoted text. So

> this

will become

this

It now looks completely certain that I won't be coming to Bali this summer, as time runs out. I'm trying to finish writing a book!

Anyway, yes: this is not a political action group. We're trying to dream up good ways for scientists, engineers and programmers to do something useful before the political system wakes up to the reality of global warming. Right now one of our projects is to write simple climate models and make them available online as educational tools... so far mainly aimed at fairly high-end science students, but if we get better we can go for more of a 'popular' audience. I'm going to be teaching a seminar on the mathematics of climate change when I get back to Riverside California on September 21st, and this will give me a good professional reason to increase my efforts in this general direction. We are, however, open to all sorts of possibilities... with the general idea being that people here should do what they want, instead of trying to convince other people to do things.

Comment Source:Hi. I edited your post to make it clear which parts are you talking and which parts are quotes by me. The trick is to write a little > symbol before a paragraph of quoted text. So > this will become > this It now looks completely certain that I _won't_ be coming to Bali this summer, as time runs out. I'm trying to finish writing a book! Anyway, yes: this is not a political action group. We're trying to dream up good ways for scientists, engineers and programmers to do something useful before the political system wakes up to the reality of global warming. Right now one of our projects is to write simple climate models and make them available online as educational tools... so far mainly aimed at fairly high-end science students, but if we get better we can go for more of a 'popular' audience. I'm going to be teaching a seminar on the mathematics of climate change when I get back to Riverside California on September 21st, and this will give me a good professional reason to increase my efforts in this general direction. We are, however, open to all sorts of possibilities... with the general idea being that people here should do what they want, instead of trying to convince other people to do things.