Friday, September 13, 2019

Why have we seen the rise of right wing populism?

Why have we had a wave of right wing populism sweeping across the world in recent years? Brexit and Trump are both the result of right wing populism, but it's not just the US and Britain where this is happening. Currently there are right wing populist governments in Russia, Turkey, India, Israel, Hungary, Poland, United States, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Italy, Greece, and China. Australia also recently joined the list with the surprise victory of a conservative prime minister in its election. Even traditionally leftist countries like Sweden have seen the rise of right wing populist political parties and ideologies.

What do I mean by right wing populism?

Right wing is the conservative section of a political system. Conservative means to hold traditional attitudes and values, to be cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion, to oppose political or social liberalization and reform.

Typically the underlying goal of conservatism is to protect the social unit, whether it be the family, village, race, culture, or nation. Therefore its themes tend to follow along those lines, e.g. family or cultural values, "ethnocentrism" (racism), culturism, and nationalism.

Populism is a political approach that appeals to ordinary people, who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite leadership. This definition of populism gives us a big clue about the rise of right wing populism.

So what do all those newly right wing populist countries have in common? Not much. The diversity of nations, cultures, races, histories, attitudes, and political systems tells us the causes of right wing populism are rooted in some fundamental aspect of human nature. I'm still trying to understand it, but the common thread seems to be breakdown of law and order, and oppression, or at least perceived oppression by existing governments. E.g. Brazil: crime and government corruption. Sweden: mass immigration leading to cultural dilution, crime, and welfare dependency. Greece and Italy: austerity measures forced upon them by the EU after the financial crisis. China: economic stagnation, crime, and mass migration. US/Trump: wealth inequality, mass migration, loss of employment from globalization of industries. Brtiain/Brexit: loss of power and authority to the EU. Germany: having to foot the bill for irresponsible financial practices by other EU members. The list goes on.

Thus, the rise of right wing populism appears to be a response to the liberalization and globalization of international affairs, cultural identity, and the financial system.
Changes in material conditions also contribute, such as urbanization, the collapse of family and village hierarchies, and historical levels of wealth inequality.
More importantly however, there is a common thread concerning "untrustable authorities" who claim to be taking care of the best interests of the population, but are really just self-serving elites who favor even greater wealth inequality, especially for themselves, and have little regard for protecting the social unit. While they speak about ideals and virtues, life for the average person has not improved much in decades.

Anxiety about order. Anger at corruption and elite self-dealing. That's what's pushing the world towards right wing populism. Whether it's fighting crime, preserving a familiar culture, protecting a nation's power and authority, or stemming the tide of people of a different culture, race, or nationality, the goal is to protect the social unit.

This blog post is actually copied from a Facebook post I made a while ago. Here are some of the replies, with names removed.

  • Nationalism and populism - bought into by people who are scared and want things to be like they were in some bygone time that they think was better than now. Normally comes with rose tinted glasses and a chunk of forgetfulness.
  • They're probably not all that scared anymore. They may think they're right and winning. All of this reflects a social change that's happening all over the world and will probably just change back when people figure out that it's not making anything better.
  • The world is shifting right because we haven't had a good world war in awhile. That could be fixed soon.
  • Because people are stupid and a big chunk of society is hard wired to be motivated by fear.
  • [My reply] Populism has given us Trump and Brexit. Populism of the left wing kind made Venezuela what it is today, a big crumbling mess. Yay populism! Yay for kicking the elitists out of the government and replacing them with people who do whatever the people want, even if it's aweful. Consider the similarities with the recent ending of game of thrones, Samwell Tarly suggests "Maybe the decision about what’s best for everyone should be left to, well, everyone?” The council laughs and someone asks "Do dogs get a vote?" and another says "I'll ask my horse". Were Benioff and Weiss trying to tell us something about populism? Perhaps the running of countries really is best left to dynastic families and elites who are familiar with the task? 
  • It's always the power and money.
  • Low wage growth. Maybe resource insecurity. Like rats in a cage

There are many articles on the topic.  I'll add links to them here as I find ones I like.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

We've often heard the expression, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg", usually in reference to the unknown origin of some object or process.  Here I will try to examine the literal meaning of the question to determine which actually came first, the chicken or the egg.
Certainly there are many examples of embryonic stages of animals that develop outside the body of the parent, and are protected from the elements by some kind of membrane or shell, and thus we define them as eggs. Many of the simpler forms of eggs are the normal mode of development of the lower vertebrates and invertebrates, and most certainly the earliest forms would have predated the eggs of chickens, birds and reptiles by hundreds of millions of years. However, since I am discussing the eggs of chickens, which are birds that descended from reptilian ancestors, here I will consider only eggs of this lineage.

In this case I define an egg as the kind with which we are most familiar, the kind with a hard shell.  Fossil evidence indicates the first eggs with hard, heavily mineralized shells first appeared in several reptile groups as early as the Lower Triassic, around 220 million years ago. Many membranous and poorly mineralized eggs probably existed among reptiles as early as 310 million years ago, but little is known about them because they didn't fossilize well [1]. The first avian ancestors appeared around 150-200 million years ago. Because early birds and egg-laying dinosaurs coexisted, it is difficult to determine the origin of fossilized eggs of this era unless the embryos are exposed or the parent is found with them. However, since birds evolved from Therapod dinosaurs that are known to have had mineralized eggs, it is reasonable to assume that the early birds also had mineralized eggs [2,3]. There are few known examples of eggs from the earliest days of avian evolution which can be positively identified as belonging to a bird. The earliest known example of a fossil bird egg is an unhatched bird in its egg found in China in 2004 and estimated to be 121 million years old [4].

On the other hand, evidence suggests the domestication of the chicken began around 10,000 years ago in the southeast Asian peninsula, and it was likely descended from both the Red and the Gray Junglefowl native to the area. From there the chicken spread westward and reached Egypt by about 1500 BC. Interestingly, there is no mention of fowl in the Old Testament [5].This would indicate a much later origin for the chicken, certainly much later than that of the earliest known bird egg.

Based on this information it is clear that the hard shelled avian egg with which we are familiar predates the chicken by more than a hundred million years, and therefore the egg came first.

Whatever happened to white dog shit? Part two

As part of my ongoing research into the scarcity of white dog shit these days (see my previous note on the subject), I've decided to post this note with new information that has come to light on the important topic of white dog shit. The first two points of this note expand and refine my previous discussion on why white dog shit has become rarer. What's new and exciting however is the third section, which discusses the uses of white dog shit, and particularly the use of white dog shit in the leather industry.

1. Theories of white dog shit scarcity.

There are two main theories that try to explain why white dog shit is less common than it once was.

A) The Dietary Shift theory that says something changed in dog's diets some time in the 1980s that reduced the incidence of white dog shit. Many proponents of this theory say that a diet rich in bones was responsible for dog shit turning white, and this is supported by the fact that wild dog shit usually turns white. Changes in commercial dog food formulas around this time (e.g. the amount of bone in the food) may also have been responsible.

B) The Legal Theory that says dog control laws and laws requiring owners to pick up their dog's shit are responsible. This leads to less dog shit left in the open to turn white. The appearance of such laws around the 1990s coincides well with the generally accepted time frame of white dog shit disappearance.

There is also a Hybrid Theory that says both of these factors are responsible.

2. Chemistry of dog shit.

Shit generated by mammals contains a chemical called bilirubin, which is formed in the liver by the breakdown of the porphyrin ring of hemoglobin from red blood cells. This chemical is concentrated and excreted in the bile, and it is this chemical which is responsible for the most of the brown color of shit. Bilirubin breaks down in light, and this would account for the bleaching of dog shit in the sun. Also, when exposed to light, bilirubin isomerises and this photo-isomer is more soluble in water than the unilluminated isomer. This might account for some bleaching in conditions where water is present to remove the isomerized bilirubin, however the solubility of iso-bilirubin is still too low to account for significant bleaching. Further examination of dog shit undergoing the whitening process indicates that white dog shit is initially only white on the outside. This would support the idea of bleaching by light. The method by which the inner core of older specimens becomes white remains a mystery, although decomposition by bacteria is probably an important factor. White dog shit is believed to be composed mostly of calcium phosphate, the main mineral that forms bone. After the dog shit decomposes, what is left is a block of mostly calcium phosphate, with additional minerals, colorless proteins and organic chemicals.

3. Uses of white dog shit.

In Victorian England white dog shit was known as "Dog Pure" or "Dog Puer". There used to be a class of laborers known as a "Pures Collectors" who wandered the streets with baskets collecting white dog shit to sell to leather tanneries. Some even had connections to kennels where they could get a ready supply of the material. White dog shit was used because of the pancreatic enzymes present in the dog pure, which break down the non-collagenous proteins in the hide. Dog pure was used for "Puering", which is the process of softening the leather prior to tanning. Dog pure was used to prepare the extra-soft, more expensive leather used for making ladies' gloves, book covers etc, although pigeon shit was used for the finest leather. Indeed, a tannery of orthopedic leather in Colyton, Devon had a "dog shit pit" up until the 1960s, and it was said to be a foul hole.

"Pure Finding" was a well established career by 1851, but by 1935 it had disappeared. As a source of income it paid about 8 shillings per bucket. However, due to a worsening economic climate, and the popularity of pure finding as a career for those without recognized skills, the revenue eventually fell to about 1 shilling and sixpence per bucket.

There is a song about pures collectors inspired by the work of Victorian social researcher Henry Mayhew:

By the 1980s chicken guano replaced dog pure, as it was easier to obtain and still provided the same high quality results. Later, a pancreatic extract from pigs replaced dung in leather processing. Also, because dog shit can spread serious disease in humans, pure finding was discouraged from a health standpoint.

As with any profession, pures collectors had their tricks. They knew the dry limy-looking dog shit fetched the highest price as it contained the leather softening properties but didn't foul the leather. This led to the idea of adulterating dog pure. This was done by means of mortar broken away from old walls and mixed with the dog pure. In some cases the material was rolled into small balls similar in appearance to real dog pure.

Although dog pure is no longer used in leather processing, there are still those in the industry who believe dog pure was the best agent for softening leather. However, due to modern methods of mass producing leather and the health issues, white dog shit is unlikely to return to favor as a softening agent in anything other than small scale leather production.

In medievil medicine white dog shit was known as album graecum and was an ingredient in gargles and plasters for various ailments. An example is this gargle for Quinsy (a peritonsillar abcess):

A Gargle for a Quinsy.

Take Columbines 2 handfuls; inner rind of Elm 1 ounce; Jews Ears, Liquorice, Album Graecum, each half an ounce; boil in Water 2 pints and half to 26 ounces; in the strain'd dissolve Salt Armoniac 2 drams; Syrup of Raspberries, Honey of Roses, each 3 ounces.

It humects, foments and mollifies the Muscles of the Throat, when inflam'd, swol'n up 'till almost crack'd, parch'd and scorch'd with Drought and Heat. It deterges the Glands and salivale Ducts, when outwardly smear'd over with Slime, and opens them when inwardly stuffed up with Phlegm.

As you can see from this discussion, white dog shit research is advancing considerably. Not only are the theories of its scarcity being refined, but the chemistry of its formation is being explained. Also, the historical, cultural and economic contributions of white dog shit to our society are beginning to be appreciated. The next step will be to find more uses for this important natural resource.

Be sure to check out my original post about the disappearance of white dog shit, which was inspired by Ben Elton's 1990s comedy skit about white dog shit.

4. ENG-LIVERPOOL-L Archives, Middens and More, by Barbara Humphreys.
8. Pharmacopoeia Extemporanea, by Fuller.

Whatever happened to white dog shit? Part one

Do you remember when you were a kid and you used to mow the lawn, and every now and then, usually somewhere out near the front of the yard by the road, you'd come across white dog shit? Do you remember how you used to run that white dog shit over with the mower and *ka-chunk* it would be instantly turned to a cloud of smelly dust before disappearing forever?
Well folks, you may consider that to be just a part of growing up, a sweet childhood memory, something that we all get to experience, but I have sad news - white dog shit is almost gone! Think about it... when was the last time you saw a piece of white dog shit? It's been a long time hasn't it? What ever happened to white dog shit?

I actually know what happened to white dog shit. I figured out the answer to this great mystery more than 10 years ago. These days there are a lot of websites and blogs dedicated to white dog shit, and with a little Googling you can eventually find out to what happened to it, but to save you time here's what I know...

Obviously dog shit doesn't start out white, it starts out some shade of brown and then goes through some process to become the famous white dog shit we remember from when we were children. You probably remember white dog shit from your lawn mowing experiences as being crumbly - one hit with the lawnmower and it was instantly turned to dust. The crumbly whiteness of white dog shit is caused by calcium and other inorganic salts left behind as the water evaporates and the organic components of the crap are consumed by microorganisms and other processes. Bleaching by the sun is also responsible for some of the whitening process. So white dog shit is what's left over after most of the the organic material and water is gone from the shit and the remaining material is bleached by the sun. So why don't we still see white dog shit today? I believe the answer to this lies in two things: 1. changes in the diet of modern dogs, and 2. stricter regulation of dogs.

In the heyday of white dog shit it was common for people to go to the butcher for their meat and the butcher would usually have dog bones available for people to buy so their dogs could chew on them. Nowadays most people buy their meat at supermarkets and the bones are usually not on display or available there, plus there are many cheap varieties of processed pet food available now. So dogs these days aren't eating as much bone as they used to, and therefore they aren't crapping the same calcium rich turds that they used to. I believe this is the main reason why white dog shit has become so rare.

Not only has a different diet caused the disappearance of white dog shit, but I also think tighter regulations for dogs crapping on parks and pavements has meant that turds don't hang around for a long time in public places like they used to, giving them less opportunity to dry out and turn white. Combine this with the fact that regulations on letting your dog run free are much tighter now and the result is less dogs running around leaving less turds behind, and those that are left behind don't stick around long enough to go through the processes necessary for them to turn white.

So to conclude, a reduction in the amount of calcium rich bones in the diet of dogs, along with stricter regulations, is what's responsible for the disappearance of white dog shit.
But who knows, maybe one day these things will change and we'll see a resurgence in the occurrence of white dog shit... perhaps white dog shit will make a comeback!!

Be sure to check out my second blog post on white dog shit, which includes theories for the disappearance of white dog shit, and amazing uses of white dog shit!

-Dave Bad Person

My first voting experience

With the current US election thing going on, it reminded me of my first voting experience, which is an interesting and funny story.
I remember back in 1989 in my home town in Australia, which lies in it's own federal capital district much like D.C., we finally had self-government unwillingly thrust upon us as a replacement for the previous decades of federal rule. Turns out that 1989 was the first year I was old enough to vote, and of course I was required to do so because voting is compulsory in Australia, you get a $200 fine if you can't provide a legitimate excuse for not showing up to the polls.
Anyways, among the many mistakes made during the switch to self-government were the poor party registration laws that allowed people to register any political party they wanted for just $50.

Thus in 1989, the first time I ever voted, one of the most bizarre elections on record was held. The Australian sense of humor shone through with many less-than-serious political parties such as the Sleepers Wake Party, the Better Idea Party, the Surprise Party, the Party! Party! Party! Party! Party!, the Sun-Ripened Warm Tomato Party, and the It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To Party. There were also numerous independents running for office, and among the many parties there were even two who stood on the sole policy of abolishing themselves from government should they win: the Abolish Self-Government Party and the No Self-Government Party.

So with all these parties, the ballot paper turned out to be over a meter wide, and stretched from one wall of the polling booth to the other and happily rolled up the walls on both sides as well. As if this wasn't enough of a farce, the voters made a lot of protest votes as well, and in the end the Sun-Ripened Warm Tomato Party (at 2 per cent of the vote) out voted both the Democrats (1.6%) and the Nationals (1.3%). Unsurprisingly, a clear result wasn't forthcoming.

Needless to say the party registration laws were changed soon afterwards.

So as to lend credibility to this outlandish story, here's the Wikipedia article for the Sun-Ripened Warm Tomato Party:
- From the annals of Dave Bad Person's "Believe It or Drink"

Religion for dummies

Long ago when people were tribal and lived off the land, they didn't know much about the world around them. They had no education and knew nothing of the discoveries that science would later bring. So when they were sitting around the campfire at night they would talk, and eventually someone would ask some difficult questions like "What are the stars?" or "Where did the world come from?" or "What are rainbows?" and so on. Of course human nature being what it is, the answer to these questions was rarely "No one knows", and so people would make up stories to explain the unexplainable. All the different groups of people around the world made up different stories to explain the world, and these stories were told by one generation to the next, gradually becoming a standardized set of tales, a mythology, which answered many of the difficult questions that people might ask about the world around them.

One of the big unanswerable questions that was asked around those ancient campfires was "What happens after you die?". It seems this question was always answered with some sort of story about an afterlife, in which some supernatural beings or forces applied their divine judgement to people's earthly lives based on how they had lived them. Depending on the judgement, there was either a good or a bad outcome, usually a good or a bad place where people would be sent. This led to the various mythologies all developing a set of guidelines, which if followed, would ensure people were judged favorably after they died. Due to common characteristics of human nature and interaction, these guidelines were always something like, "live a good life and be nice to people".

The fact that no religion has ever appeared twice in two different parts of the world tells us that religion arose independently each time. Also, the common characteristics of religions tell us much about human nature - that no one wants to believe that death is the end, and that people want to believe there is some sort of higher justice for how they live their lives.

Every now and then a charismatic person would come along who fired up the imaginations of people and provided a more meaningful answer to their problems than was provided by their mythology. If this person gained enough supporters, his values and the stories of his life would become included in the mythology, and a new mythology would develop. That person's values and life would then become a role model for following the guidelines of the new mythology.

Over time these various mythologies evolved - the stories were altered to meet the changing needs of people, new role models were added, and outdated stories were removed. The mythologies provided a common cultural experience that connected people with each other and with their ancestors. They provided justification for a culture's activities, customs, and  holidays. The mythologies also gave greater meaning to life and a hope for something better in the afterlife. Some of the mythologies remained popular only with small groups of people, others disappeared altogether, and some of the mythologies grew larger and eventually developed into the religions of today.

The End (for now)

-Dave Bad Person

American vs. European toilets

I'd finally like to bring to light a topic that has puzzled me (but not fascinated me) since I first visited the States in 1997, the topic of differences in toilet design.

I grew up using European-style toilets. These are basically the same as American toilets, but they have a much larger hole in the bottom for waste to pass through to the sewer, and they're not half-filled with water when idle like their American counterparts. When these European style toilets are flushed, they empty the toilet tank rapidly, and the water gains speed as it pours down the sides of the bowl, thereby providing a strong water current to effectively flush away waste.

American toilets on the other hand have a smaller hole in the bottom, are half-filled with water when idle, and tend to flush more gently than their European counterparts. The small hole at the bottom tends to block more easily if too much paper is used, and this problem is exacerbated by the large amount of water already sitting in the bowl, which reduces the velocity of the water pouring down the sides of the bowl during flushing, thereby reducing its power to remove waste. This pool of water also tends to swirl into a vortex, thereby smearing shit around the bowl, and since the object of flushing is to make the water and waste go down the hole, it puzzles me as to why you would want the water to move in any direction other than straight down the hole.

The tendency of the American toilet design to block more easily means that one often finds plungers next to the toilet in both public and private bathrooms. Furthermore, in places of business, one often discovers upon flushing that a suction system is being used to help suck waste through the small hole at the bottom of the toilet. This seems somewhat wasteful of resources, especially considering that a larger hole would solve the problem.

Now don't get me wrong, there are pros and cons of both designs. For example, the smaller distance between your ass and the waterline in the American design means there is no "splash back" when taking a crap, which is a problem often encountered in the European design, and which can only be overcome by placing a piece of paper on the surface of the water before beginning your business.

Another advantage of the American design is that it tends to make people conserve paper because it blocks easily if overloaded. However, I believe this environmental advantage is annulled by the need to use more water by flushing more times to get rid of the paper, for fear of causing a blockage - there's no bathroom disaster more terrifying than a load of shitty water overflowing onto you bathroom floor. Also, as I've said, the need for suction systems at places of businesses is clearly a waste of resources that could be alleviated with a larger hole in the base of the toilet.

A further environmental consideration is that water is a precious resource is Southern California, yet despite this I have not once seen a dual flush toilet anywhere in the region. This design is used in some parts of the world where water is scarce, and allows one to select half or full flush depending on whether you just went number one or number two. It surprises me that this idea has not made it to SoCal.

If anyone would like to elaborate on these issues, or add further points, please feel free to add a reply to this post.

-Dave Bad Person


Snoop Pussy Pussy writes:

Many issues with the American toilet came from the requirement of low flow units (1.6 gallon flush). Until recently the toilets weren’t redesigned for the smaller volume of water. There are a lot of good toilets on the market; the problem is your not going to get one for $69 , also there are many dual flush toilets on the market. I know someone who has the Eljer Titan (which he claims is the best crapper on the market). It will handle an upper decker. Personally I like Toto toilets (originally from Japan).


Sites in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

A list of the more interesting sites in Anza-Borrego Desert Park and surrounding areas. Some of these sites I have already been to, and for those I've included GPS coordinates. Other sites I have yet to visit and are in a separate list below. I will add more to this list as I remember them or find them.

Sites visited.

Carrizo gorge railway old water tower and ruins. 32° 44.759' N 116° 8.363' W

Tamarisk camping spot. 32° 50.920' N 116° 11.254' W

Piedras Grandes morteros and petroglyphs (approx.). 32° 43.716' N 116° 8.865' W

Dos Cabezas limestone mine. 32° 45.032' N 116° 8.348' W

Domelands area. 32° 48.992' N 116° 3.583' W
32º 46.756 -116º 05.389 TURN OFF S2
32º 48.300 -116º 04.457 PARKING/TRAILHEAD
32º 48.804 -116º 04.846 RIGHT TURN UP WASH
32º 48.906 -116º 04.560 LEFT TURN OUT OF WASH
32º 48.935 -116º 04.400 RANDOM WAYPOINT
32º 49.021 -116º 04.326 SAND DOLLAR HILL
32º 49.083 -116º 04.282 TRAIL TURNS TO THE RIGHT
32º 49.036 -116º 03.887 TOP OF STEEP BIT
32º 49.016 -116º 03.701 NEAR PEAK 1662
32º 48.994 -116º 03.586 THE MAIN DOME
32º 48.961 -116º 03.473 ANOTHER DOME

Old stage coach area. 32° 52.574' N 116° 6.222' W

Canyon Sin Nombre slot canyon (the road is easier coming from the north via the Tamarisk camping spot). 32° 50.839' N 116° 9.307' W

Millers garage ruins. 32° 43.800' N 116° 0.979' W

Old Hwy 80 pavement (various sections). 32° 43.779' N 116° 1.157' W   32° 40.527' N 116° 5.648' W   32° 39.843' N 116° 6.415' W

Carrizo marsh area. 32° 52.578' N 116° 7.541' W

Banner mines area. 33° 3.743' N 116° 33.180' W

Arroyo Tapiado mud caves area. 32° 55.564' N 116° 11.451' W

Truckhaven rocks. 33° 17.397' N 116° 8.452' W

Arroyo Salado campground. 33° 16.829' N 116° 8.881' W

Calcite mine slot canyons (Palm Canyon north fork). 33° 17.665' N 116° 6.659' W

Small unnamed slot canyon. 33° 17.032' N 116° 7.618' W

17 Palms oasis. 33° 15.300' N 116° 6.637' W

5 Palms oasis. 33° 14.952' N 116° 6.402' W

The pumpkin patch. 33° 13.368' N 116° 4.118' W

Goat canyon trestle. It's worth exploring along the tracks as well for other trestles, tunnels, abandoned rail cars, and old rail camps. 32° 43.740' N 116° 11.019' W

Jacumba railway station, lots of old rail cars and junk. 32° 37.271' N 116° 11.555' W

Rock pools. 32° 39.923' N 116° 11.716' W

Blair valley pictograph rock. 33° 1.047' N 116° 20.884' W

Marshall South adobe ruins. 33° 0.061' N 116° 23.188' W

Mortero site. 33° 0.422' N 116° 22.608' W

Fonts point. 33° 15.419' N 116° 13.997' W

Airplane junk yard. 33° 6.297' N 116° 2.721' W

Elephant tree. 33° 4.043' N 116° 7.388' W

Split mountain. 33° 0.854' N 116° 6.750' W

Anticline (approx). 33° 0.619' N 116° 6.768' W

Fish creek wind caves area. 32° 59.455' N 116° 6.741' W

The layer cake. 32° 57.842' N 116° 11.382' W

Mammoth and cat footprints, other footprints nearby, birds, llama, camel, horse (approx). 32° 58.327' N 116° 12.326' W

Sandstone canyon narrows. 32° 59.312' N 116° 13.663' W

Mud palisades area. 33° 0.312' N 116° 14.694' W

BMW's claypan. 32° 59.385' N 116° 7.105' W

Mud hills area. 32° 58.960' N 116° 7.182' W

Elephant knees. 32° 58.654' N 116° 7.242' W

Pile of round concretions in Tectonic Gorge. 33° 16.057 N 116° 02.629 W 
Indian rock shelter and Blue Sun Cave (approx). 32° 45.217' N 116° 10.351' W

Split rock, has some morteros and barely perceptible petroglyphs. 33° 2.632' N 116° 16.430' W

Fossil canyon, many marine fossils. 32° 47.400' N 116° 1.305' W

Rock house and watering trough built by cattleman McCain in the 1910s. 32° 48.557' N 116° 15.367' W

Palm spring. 32° 55.171' N 116° 13.120' W

Area with two canyons containing many palm groves and one elephant tree. 32° 51.721' N 116° 13.770' W

Ranchita yeti. 33° 12.628' N 116° 31.303' W

Sheep tanks (approx). 33° 18.265' N 116° 5.876' W

Seven palms oasis. 33° 16.841' N 116° 1.658' W

Salton Sea Beach ruins. 33° 22.697' N 116° 0.651' W

Borrego mountain slot canyon. 33° 10.913' N 116° 13.018' W

Small wind caves at Borrego mountain wash. 33° 11.381' N 116° 13.233' W

1940s cattle watering trough (approx). 32° 43.250' N 116° 9.039' W

Mortero palms. 32° 43.194' N 116° 9.209' W

Abandoned railcars (others can be seen further down the railroad). 32° 39.472' N 116° 11.376' W

Crucifiction thorn preserve. 32° 40.140' N 115° 53.454' W

Yuha geoglyphs (there are at least two different locations along this same road). 32° 42.924' N 115° 54.153' W

Abandoned railcars and ruins at Coyote Wells siding. 32° 44.390' N 115° 57.942' W

Smugglers cave. 32° 38.139' N 116° 5.558' W

Elliot amethyst mine area. 32° 37.402' N 116° 4.801' W

Valley of the Moon area. 32° 37.408' N 116° 4.510' W

Nice looking camping area along the Great Southern Stage Route of 1849 (road from S22 is paved). 32° 52.322' N 116° 11.322' W

Elliot dolomite mine. 32° 49.566' N 116° 8.144' W

Old mining area. 32° 48.915 N 116° 05.795 W

2000 year old indian site, said to be a compass to find another site further south in Mexico. Has some modern rocks added to it. 32° 47.227 N 116° 4.001 W

Carrizo Creek Petroglyphs. Approach from Carrizo Creek off S2, it's about 6 miles drive up the sandy, rocky, but fairly easy road, hike for about half a mile after the road ends. N 32° 45.463'  W 116° 12.842

Solstice Cave Pictographs. Take Indian Gorge Rd off S2 and when the road forks go left into South Indian Canyon. From where the road ends it is about a 3/4 mile hike up steep boulder slopes to this cave, which is a large overhanging boulder with an east facing opening with picto graphs oof suns and other items on the ceiling. N 32° 50.383'  W 116° 17.400

Finished adding sites from my Anza-Borrego albums.  Now for new and as yet unknown sites!!

Sites still to visit

Coyote Mountain slot canyons. 32° 49.855' N 116° 4.637' W

Calcite mine area. 33° 17.937' N 116° 6.619' W

Another possible slot, Palm Canyon south fork. 33° 17.388' N 116° 6.604' W

Una palma oasis. 33° 14.794' N 116° 6.784' W

Psychedelic eye (approx). 33° 20.678' N 116° 30.369' W

Bailey's cabin. 33° 26.449' N 116° 30.723' W

Jack Miller Cabin 33° 30.335' N 116° 19.576' W

Clark lake petroglyphs area (approx). 33° 24.016' N 116° 19.874' W

Painted gorge. 32° 48.692' N 115° 58.951' W

Old tank. 32° 51.824' N 115° 53.089' W

Wind chime memorial. 32° 49.935' N 115° 56.355' W

Castle house (approx). 32° 40.366' N 115° 51.070' W

Gas Domes. Similar to the mud volcanoes. N33°10.697' W115°56.998' 
Barrel Springs. Mesquite sand dunes that are an oasis for wildlife in the middle of the desert. The springs are so close to the ground that coyotes dig inches into the ground to drink up fresh water. N33°10.522' W116°05.945'This is a good site as a lead to various pictographs:


Piepkorn Slot. N 32° 47.147' W 116° 08.683'

F-8J crash site: 33 00' N 116 22.5 W 

Newspaper clips of the F-8J/F-4B crash

Shell Reef N33 11.368 W116 04.078 306 (notches to the north)
CJ Hill N33°18.31 W116.02.03
5 Palms N33 14.953 W116 06.388 426
Adobe Hut N33 15.001 W116 00.997 42
Artisian Well N33 09.997 W115 56.653 105
Blow Sand (Top) N33 09.670 W116 09.391 538
Bus Man N33 15.165 W116 00.713 36
Fire Hydrant N33 17 46.067 W116 03 17.500
Phone Booth N33 18 5.241 W116 01 46.942
Desert Ironwoods N33 09.027 W116 10.877 346
Gas Dome N33 10.696 W115 56.996 142

Adobe Hut 33° 15′ 0.06″ N, 116° 0′ 59.82″ W
Agua Caliente County Park N32 57.301 W116 18.120
Airplane Junk Yard N33 06.237 W116 02.759
Arch Trail at the Notches N33 18.211 W116 00.417
Arroyo Salado Trail 33° 16′ 13.8″ N, 116° 7′ 9″ W
Artesian Well 33° 9′ 59.82″ N, 115° 56′ 39.18″ W
Blo-Sand Hill 33.161167_N_-116.156517_E
Blue-Inn (Gas & Food at Octoliio Wells) 33° 7′ 30.9″ N, 116° 2′ 39.66″ W
Calcite Mine Trail 33° 16′ 51.6″ N, 116° 5′ 44.4″ W
Canyon Sin Nombre 32° 49′ 48″ N, 116° 10′ 9.6″ W
Christmas Circle Borrego Springs N33 15.402 W 116 22.500
Corral Canyon Four Corners N32 43.490 W116 33.551
Corral Canyon Sidewinder N32 42.752 W116 33.511
Coyote Canyon 33° 30′ 3″ N, 116° 37′ 48″ W
Devil’s Slide 33° 10′ 37.18″ N, 116° 7′ 0.32″ W
Devil's Canyon N32 42.852 W116 08.579
Diablo Drop Off 32°57'18.15"N 116°11'16.29"W
Dos Cabezas Crossing N32 44.769 W116 08.382
Fonts Point N33 15.406 W116 13.989
Gas Dome 33° 10′ 41.76″ N, 115° 56′ 59.76″ W
Gold Mountain Trail (Big Bear) N34 16.478 W116 49.156
Grapevine Canyon (South Entrance) 33° 12′ 45″ N, 116° 33′ 49.8″ W
Holmes Camp 33° 9′ 0.52″ N, 116° 6′ 42.36″ W
Mud Caves Area N32 55.486 W116 11.314
Ocotillo Wells SVRA 33.19103 -116.0257
Old Commune 33° 9′ 34.82″ N, 116° 1′ 19.76″ W
Oroflame Canyon Trail From the Oroflame/Rodriguez trail off of S2 take the left trail at the "Y" intersection. N33 01.006 W116 29.244
Phone Booth N33 18.083 W116 01.771
Pinyon Mtn Trail (Squeeze / Heart Attack Hill) N33 02.935 W116 17.996
Pumpkin Patch 33° 13′ 22.68″ N, 116° 4′ 6.06″ W
Reward Mine N36 45.113 W118 03.013
Rodriguez & Oroflame Canyon Trails (S2 Entrance) N33 00.429 W116 27.419
Rodriguez Canyon Trail N 33 01.173 W116 29.076
Sandstone Canyon N32 58.730 W116 12.888
Scissors Crossing (Intersection of S2 and Hwy. 78) N 33 05.796 W116 28.494
Sheep Tanks N33 18.270 W116 05.884
Shell Reef 33° 11′ 22.08″ N, 116° 4′ 4.68″ W
Six Palms N33 16.827 W116 01.671
Split Rock (after Heart Attack Hill) N33 02.684 W116 16.364
Superstition Mt OHV Sand Dam at Superstition N32 57.462 W115 50.026
Squeeze N33 02.962 W116 18.693
Truckhaven N33 16.752 W116 03.683
Pumpkin Patch N33 13.378 W116 04.101

The picture of everything

During my years as a nerdy teenage computer programmer in the 1980s, I once came up with an interesting concept, which I’ve since dubbed “The Picture of Everything”.

In the mid-1980s computer graphics were just beginning to evolve from very low resolutions with minimal colors. I had been fascinated by the way I could write bytes within the graphics memory of my computer and pixels would magically appear on the screen. It was at this time that I came up with the idea of The Picture of Everything. The idea is that since a graphics screen is just a piece of memory with values written into it, it must therefore be possible to set all the bytes in the graphics space to every possible combination of values simply by treating the graphics memory as one gigantic number, and counting from zero to the maximum value.

Back in those 1980s days, my TRS-80 computer had a maximum screen resolution of 640 x 480 pixels and at this “high” resolution it could only do black and white. If you went down to a lower resolution of 320 x 240 you could get 8 colors but they were primary colors and not much use for forming any kind of realistic image. So I decided to go with the 640 x 480 black and white. So if you consider how many bits were required for an image, it was 640 x 480 x 1 bit per pixel = 307,200 bits, or 38,400 bytes. So to go through every possible combination of values on the graphical screen meant using the graphics memory to count from 0 to 2^307,200. This counting to such gigantic numbers is actually a simple matter on a computer. You keep adding 1 to the value of a byte until it reaches 255, then it rolls over to zero and the next higher byte has a 1 added to it. When that next byte reaches 255, it rolls over to zero and a third byte has 1 added to it, and so on. In this way the tiny graphics screen of those old computers could be used to represent one huge number with 307,200 bits that could represent any integer number from zero to 2^307,200. By counting from zero to 2^307,200 it would be possible to make the screen show every number as a black and white array with dimensions of 640 x 480 pixels.

I wondered what images would be produced by this procedure. It turns out that the answer is something very amazing.

As the computer counted from zero to 2^307,200, it would cause the graphics screen to display every possible black & white image that could be represented at a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. While the resolution was very low, the screen would nevertheless produce a picture of everything.


Now let’s modernize my example. Today in the year 2016, some 30 years after my original idea, even modest image resolutions are at least 1600 x 1200 pixels and each pixel can have any one of 16 million colors. With this resolution and color space it is possible to produce some very nice images that accurately represent real life scenes. The amount of memory required for such a graphical screen is 1600 x 1200 x 3 bytes per pixel (256 possible values each of red, green, and blue). This means such a screen uses 5,760,000 bytes, or about 5.5 megabytes, which is 46,080,000 bits. So to transition through every possible combination of colors for every pixels would require counting from zero (all pixels zero, a black screen) to 2^46,080,000 (all pixels white, a white screen).

I wondered about what images would be produced by this process of counting to such a large number. Well as I said, each pixel on the graphics screen would progress through every possible color and brightness on the way from black to white, and every possible combination of different pixel colors would be represented, for a total of 2^46,080,000 possible images. This process would produce every possible image that could be represented in 1600 x 1200 pixels and 16 million colors. This seemed like a mind boggling amount and it wasn’t long before I realized just how mind boggling. The set of images created would contain a picture of everything. I thought about this for a while. Everything? EVERYTHING! The process would produce one image for each count on the way from zero to 2^46,080,000. It was pretty obvious that a lot of those images would be nonsense, just random noise and various other irrelevant patterns that no human would recognize as anything. But among them would be pictures of everything. Everything? I pondered this a little more. I figured this enormous set of images must have a picture of me in there somewhere. However, not only would it have a picture of me, but it would contain a picture of me as seen from very far away, and very close up, and everything in between. It would also have pictures of me at every possible angle. So, for example, it would contain pictures of me as seen from every possible angle and distance, or at least all that could be represented in a resolution of 1600 x 1200 x 16M colors. That seemed like a phenomenal number of images, but logic dictated that this is indeed what would be contained in the image set. I pondered further still. Not only would The Picture of Everything have a picture of me from every possible angle and distance that I could be viewed, but it would also have me in every possible color scheme - black and white, red and green, blue and yellow, and every other possible color scheme. I thought about this some more. The pictures generated by this process would also contain noise, generated by the various combinations of images that were close to the ones of me, but with various image noise consisting of dots, lines, haze, speckling, snow, and so on. So somewhere in the picture set generated by my procedure there would be a picture of me as seen from every possible angle and distance, in every possible color scheme, with every possible type and kind of noise.

My mind soared onward. The set of images from my procedure would also contain every illustration from every book ever written. It would also contain every written page of every book ever written, or at least what could be read at 1600 x 1200 resolution. The images would also contain the plans and diagrams of every device ever invented. It would contain a picture of every piece of art ever created. As if that wasn’t enough, it would also contain images of every piece of art and every diagram of every device that was ever to be invented in the future. This could be very useful for discovering new technologies! If only someone could sort through the images and find these new devices! My revelations about the all-encompassing nature of The Picture of Everything did not stop there however. Not only would it contain an image of every piece of art ever created and every piece of art that ever will be created, and a diagram of every device ever invented and ever will be invented, but it would also contain views of them from every possible angle and distance from which they could be viewed, in every possible color scheme, with every possible type and combination of noise. Wow, this was amazing! The picture of everything really was a picture of everything, and a whole lot more! What else might it contain?

I thought about all the possible images that could be produced. It wasn’t long before I realized that the image set would contain every frame of every movie and television show ever made. So somewhere in there would be every image from the movie Star Wars for example. Even more profound, there would be every frame as seen from every possible angle and distance, in every possible color scheme, with every possible type and combination of noise. This was getting ridiculous.

After some time I realized that the image set would not only contain a picture of everything in existence, but also everything that would never exist. For example, it would contain a picture of every piece of art that would ever be created, as well as every piece of art that would never be created. This seemed very strange. How can we have images of art that will never be created? Is the computer some sort of artistic genius? And not only would the image set would contain the plans for every device ever to be invented, but it would also contain the plans for devices that would never be invented. As if that wasn’t enough, it would also contain the plans for every device ever to be invited but with every possible mistake, error, and flaw in the design. And of course, it would also have all of these things as viewed from every possible angle and distance, in every possible color scheme, and with every possible type and combination of noise.

The picture of everything would contain the face of every person that has ever been born, or ever would be born, as well as the faces of people who would never be born, as seen from every possible angle and distance, in every possible color scheme, with every possible type and combination of noise.

The picture of everything would contain a picture of every single place in the universe, at every moment throughout all of time, and all the things that have ever been imagined or ever will be imaged, as well as all the things that would never be imagined. Huh? And it would have images of them as seen from every possible angle and distance, in every possible color scheme, with every possible type and combination of noise.

This was an amazing revelation. My procedure of treating the computer graphics screen as a giant number and counting from zero to some phenomenally large number would produce a picture of everything ever to exist, as well as everything that would never exist, plus it would have them as seen from every possible angle and distance, in every possible color scheme, with every possible type and combination of noise, and probably a lot of other transformations that I hadn’t considered. There would not be anything in the universe real or imagined or never-to-be-imagined that the procedure would not produce an image of. The procedure would produce a picture of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!

Back at my TRS-80 computer in the 1980s I began doing some assembly language coding. I decided to go with the 640 x 480 resolution because it was the highest resolution, and because the 8 primary colors of the 320 x 240 resolution wasn’t much good for representing anything. Also the single bit black & white per pixel would reduce the number of generated images enormously. So now I had 640 x 480 x 1. Now I only had to count from zero to 2^307,200 and quickly came up with the simple program that would start from zero and repeatedly add one to the number until it reached 2^307,200. When I was done I would have a low resolution black & white image of everything that would ever exist in the universe, and all that would never exist, as well as a lot of junk images that could be discarded. I started the program running. It produced a dancing series of dots in a line along the bottom right of the computer screen. As the program ran, more and more pixels along this line began to light up, but as time went by the speed at which the line progressed got slower and slower, until eventually the progress was so slow that I gave up and stopped the program.

While my concept of The Picture of Everything was something ultra-grandiose, a picture of everything ever to exist as well as everything that would never exist, the practicalities of producing the image set were equally mind-boggling. Each new pixel that lit up would take twice as long to appear as the previous one. To put things in scale my black and white screen of 640 x 480 pixels has 2^307,200 possible images it can produce. How much is 2^307,200? Unfortunately there are no calculators I have access to that can handle such an extremely large number, so I’m not able to do a direct calculation. However we can get some idea. Converting to base 10 so we can perhaps understand it better, the calculator on my PC tells me that 2^30,000 is 7.94 x 10^9030. That’s about the biggest power of 2 that I can calculate, so I’ll work with that. So 2^307,200 would be 2^30,000 multiplied by itself just over 10 times, or (2^30,000)^10.24. So I can only assume that 2^307,200 is somewhere in the order of 10^92,467. That’s a 10 with 92,467 zeros after it. To put that in perspective, it’s guesstimated there are about 10^80 atoms in the observable universe, give or take a few orders of magnitude. My “Picture of Everything” was 92,387 orders of magnitude greater than that. It seemed that to store the image set produced by my program would require more memory storage than could be stuffed into the volume of the entire universe.

What about the amount of time it would take to calculate all the images? Even if each image only took 1 billionth of a second, one nanosecond, 10^-9 seconds, it would still take 10^92,458 seconds to calculate. A billion years is 3.15 x 10^16 seconds, so presumably the calculation of the images at one per nanosecond would still take almost 5.8 trillion years, or about 413 times the current age of the universe.

So even to calculate the full set of images with a low resolution of 640x480 and only one bit per pixel would take vastly longer than the age of the universe, and to store the images so they could be accessed in a useful way would require more storage than could fit into the universe. I won’t go into details on calculations for a more modern version of The Picture of Everything using a high definition screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels and 24 bit color, but the number of images produced is more than 49 million orders of magnitude greater than my 1980s example, and would take more than 49 million orders of magnitude longer to calculate at one image per nanosecond. That’s about 3.1 quadrillion years, or more than 222,000 times greater than the age of the universe.

Then of course there would be the problem of going through all the images to determine which ones are good and which aren’t, an insurmountable problem that I dare not even fathom.
So to create “The Picture of Everything”, the set of images that contains a picture of everything that exists, everything that ever has existed, and everything that ever will exist, as well as everything that doesn’t exist and never will exist, as seen from every possible angle and distance from which it can be viewed, in every possible color scheme, and with every possible type and combination of noise, it would require more vastly space and time than the universe has available.

Some years later I wrote a similar program on a newer computer that had a much faster processor. The little line at the bottom right of the screen merely progressed a little further along before it became so slow that I gave up.
The Picture of Everything turned out to be a monumental idea for a teenager to come up with,. It had had enormous potential for discovery of many new things. However the practical aspects of the problem meant that it was utterly impossible.

-Dave Bad Person