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User Journal

Journal Journal: NO PATENTS ON IDEAS / Jefferson's Letter to Isaac McPherson

"Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from any body." -- Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, August 13, 1813

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Southern States, & the history of Presidential Elections

{This Journal Article is incomplete.}
{ I'm in the process of writing it.}

Southern States:
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Border States:
Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

(Note: Often Delaware, and Maryland are listed as Border States, for the purpose of my thesis I am excluding these two states as Border States. I do this as Delaware never considered secession, and Maryland rejected secession on April 27, 1861. Thus, these two states have never been considered culturally to be Southern. In general these two states are best categorized as Mid-Atlantic States culturally, and politically.)

*No Democratic Candidate has ever won a general election without carrying at least four Southern States.

*No Presidential Candidate since 1924 has won a general election without carrying at least four Southern States.

*No Presidential Candidate since 1900 has won a general election without carrying at least two Border States.

*No Presidential Candidate since 1888 has won a general election without carrying at least one Border State.

If the historical facts above are any indicator, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for a Democratic Candidate to win in 2008 without carrying at least four Southern States.

Thus, the overriding question for the Democratic Party for the 2008 Presidential Election will be what candidate can they field who can win in the South.

In the Presidential Elections after WWII, JFK was the only none Southern, or Border-State Democrat to be elected President, and he is a special case. JFK would have not been able to win without LBJ as his running mate. Without LBJ, JFK would not have carried Texas, nor is it likely that he would have be able to carry North Carolina, nor Missouri. In this case Nixon would have won in 1960. The choice of LBJ to be JFK's running-mate is without question the most brilliant example of ticket balancing in history.

After the Amercian Civil War only three Democratic nominees who were elected President were not from the South, or a Border State. Grover Cleveland, FDR, & JFK.

1948: Truman (Missouri) vs. Dewey (New York [Born in Michigan])
1952: Eisenhower (Kanas [Born in Texas]) vs. Steveson (Illinois [Born in California])
1956: Eisenhower (Kanas [Born in Texas]) vs. Steveson (Illinois [Born in California])
1960: Kennedy (Massachusetts) vs. Nixon (California)
1964: Johnson (Texas) vs. Goldwater (Arizona)
1968: Nixon (California) vs. Humphery (Minnesota [Born in South Dakota])
1972: Nixon (California) vs. McGovern (South Dakota)
1976: Carter (Georgia) vs. Ford (Michigan [Born in Nebraska])
1980: Reagan (California [Born in Illinois]) vs. Carter (Georgia)
1984: Reagan (California [Born in Illinois]) vs. Mondale (Minnesota)
1988: Bush(Elder) (Texas[Born in Massachusetts]) vs. Dukakis


User Journal

Journal Journal: Why Copyright violation is NOT theft. 3

My Father was a master aircraft mechanic. He could build some really amazing things with just a few tools. After retirement my Dad end up building several items of furniture for my Mom.

Mom would see something that she liked in one of the local furniture stores and take several pictures of it with her camera. She would have the photos developed, and then show the photos to my Dad.

He would then go to the furniture store and take between a half-dozen, and a dozen measurements of the item of furniture, and make 3 or 4 freehand sketches of said item. He would then *repair* to his shop in the backyard and construct an exact copy (at least in terms of appearance and functionality) of the afore mention item of furniture.

Did my Dad 'steal' anything in the above process?
No of course not. He ****COPYED**** the item of furniture, he did NOT steal it.

Furniture stores would have gotten absolutely nowhere if that had tried to prosecute him for theft. The fact is that while I'm sure that would have not liked having an item of furniture that they had for sale copied they would have never accused my Dad of theft, and risked having a slander suit slapped on them.

My Dad did nothing wrong, nothing illegal.

Under law *copying* copyrighted material may, depending on the circumstances, be illegal, but it is NOT theft.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Body Mass Index

The BMI: Body Mass Index = m/h^2.

Density: p = M/V

The above formulae clearly illustrate the problem with the BMI. The BMI in SI units would be kg/m^2, whereas the density is kg/m^3. Further the m^2 is from only one dimension, rather than from three mutually normal dimensions. The purpose of the BMI is to determine adiposity. For this purpose it may serve as a semi-useful metric in statistical studies of a epidemiological, or actuarial nature.

However, as a diagnostic metric in a clinical setting it is worse than useless. This is due to the fact that it (the BMI) does not, in any way, measure body density. It is the body density that allows for a determination of adiposity. As density is the ratio of mass to volume then a single dimension is totally inadequate to provide even a guess as to the volume of the object in question.

Consider three men all 1.7 meters tall. A is both thin in terms of depth, and has a narrow width. B is thin in terms of depth, but broad in width. C is broad in both depth, and width. If all three are of the same average body denisty, then clearly A will have less mass than B, and B in turn will be of lower mass than C, due to the greater body volume in turn of A, B, and C.

Futher, even if A, B, and C all have the same *standing* height, depth, and breadth. The ratio of their respective sitting height to standing height may differ. The one with the larger sitting to standing hight will be the most massive, with the one with the smallest sitting to standing height ratio being the least massive.

To conclude the BMI fails to take in to account variations in in body dementions which effect the volume of a persons body where the persons body is of optimal average density.

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