Sunday, October 30, 2022

Do you feel comfortable driving?

One of the Mercury 7: When asked what he was thinking when he was inside their Mercury spacecraft sitting atop a live booster waiting to launch, his answer was: "This was put together by the lowest bidder."

Testimony about 2005 Camry software and a PDF of the slides: https://www.safetyresearch.net/Library/BarrSlides_FINAL_SCRUBBED.pdf Information about the details (like the number of Toyota divided the work into) was considered proprietary and scrubbed from the slides and the transcript (which has some weird systematic typos, like "parody" for "parity" and "cull" for "call").

Reading that the operations and the monitoring of the operations were both done within the same task should make your hair stand on end. Raising warnings is one thing, but you also want to know if the task is still running, and if the dead task is supposed to sit up and tell you that it's dead--I know tomorrow is Halloween, but even so...

https://xkcd.com/2030/

Saturday, October 29, 2022

The Isthmus

The local free "alternative" newspaper is The Isthmus. I used to pick it up, as I once did the Chicago Reader, partly to see what wasn't getting reported in the main papers, and partly to see "how the other half lives"--kind of morbid curiosity. Sometimes they did report interesting things that should have been picked up elsewhere, and sometimes their article provoked a "you're nuts." For a while they carried Dan Savage--once again, I read from morbid curiosity, though not infrequently the answers were along the lines of "you're being stupid/greedy/lazy; shape up". It slowly dawned on me that I knew more about sex than he did--I knew how it worked, and he knew how it didn't work. connaitre instead of savoir

They had a great photograph the weekend after a very warm snap one winter: a lady sunned herself in a bikini on the beach while an ice fisherman walked across the still-frozen lake behind her with his fishing tackle.

As we quit watching TV its listings were less use, and most of the movie and arts scene was uninteresting or unreachable (babysitting and funds needed), and the sporadic investigative articles sat in a sea of hard left takes on local events. I picked it up by habit for a while, and then trailed off. I check it now and then when I need inside details of a leftist group. If I can predict the content, what's the point? The only reason I can think of is to immerse myself in its ideas and attitudes to make them more a part of me--why I read the Bible. The Isthmus doesn't resemble holy writ--at least for me.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Wuhan Institute of Virology

I'd have thought that if you want to work with biohazards like the big boys, you'd fund your facilities to operate like the big boys. But maybe you just build the facilities and check for political reliability instead. Vanity Fair has a report on the Wuhan facility and others in China. If true, they were much worse than I expected. "when Chinese officials “describe the solution to a problem, that’s how you find out what went wrong.”"

I didn't know that stainless steels were readily corroded by cleaning agents. I'd never heard of pishi before either.

stoves and furnaces

It feels like someone's doing battle-space prep when I read about how natural gas carries pollutants: "even low-level gas leaks from kitchen stoves when they are off can generate benzene concentrations in homes up to seven times California’s recommended exposure limit."
Last month, California air regulators approved a first-in-the nation commitment to phase out the sale of gas furnaces and water heaters by 2030—a move that will transition millions of homes to electric alternatives, such as heat pumps.

Never mind that gas is more efficient than electricity, and cooks better too.

The study itself cites others which found (in California) that only 30% of the methane leaks were from the pilot lights--which surprises me. CA's benzene limit is 0.5ppb in air (reduced in 2007 from 2.5ppb in 1990--a factor of 5. The old limit is about the same magnitude as the highest enhancement cited above. I don't know about your home, but in ours the furnace and water heater exhaust outside, and we generally run the overhead exhaust fan when we cook. This doesn't sound excessively risky. But I have friends who will take the report as proof that de-carbonizing is super-urgent.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

18 months

Quilette reviews a rather grim memoir of what happened to a marriage when a man decided he was a woman. It's her telling, of course, but I've no reason to believe it isn't largely true. "You’re polished like a doll, now veiled like a widow, perfumed like a corpse."

I'll probably not look for the book. Reading about it is hard enough.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

polarization oddity

If you apply an electric field to a chunk of metal, electrons will tend to migrate to one side, leaving it more negative and the opposite side positive--polarized. A proton is made of charge quarks (and neutral gluons and various virtual particles), which under an electric field should also, on the average, migrate to one side or the other. I say "on the average" because they don't stay put anywhere, but move quite rapidly.

A Science News article on "Protons might be stretchier than they should be." points to a Nature research paper about an anomaly in the polarizability they calculate for the proton.

They look at the reaction: electron hits a proton to produce an electron plus a proton plus a gamma ray. In short, e+p→e+p+γ, where the γ goes somewhere undetected. Because they measure the momentum of the electron and proton they can reconstruct the missing mass and select the events with missing mass near 0 to pick those events with a photon. There's a much larger set of events set where the third particle is something else (e.g. a pion). So far so good. They can predict the photon's momentum, and that quantity squared is handy for calculations--that's what you see in the plots in the second link.

A photon has (is) an electric and magnetic field and that field interacts with the proton. They claim that the interaction is higher than expected for a photon energy of about .59 GeV, or a q^2 of .35GeV^2. Everybody expects a smooth curve--they see a bump (as others did before). It's not as big a bump as the older experiments, but their measurements are a bit more accurate.

What does this mean? It could be that the proton has some unexpected structure, and at certain electric fields it reacts more strongly than at higher or lower fields. That sounds like some kind of resonant effect, and by an opportune pun there are particles called "resonances" that might be relevant.

For example, if you bounce a pion off a proton you'll get an interaction rate that varies smoothly with energy, until you get close to a center of mass energy of 1440 MeV/c^2. Then the interaction rate jumps, and the jump is due to creating a new short-lived particle.

You might expect something similar here, like p+e → N + e → p + γ + e. The unknown "N" would have a mass somewhere around the proton mass plus the photon momentum--and there's a resonance near that. However the cross section for the 1520 resonance decaying to p + γ is quite small (110MeV width * .004 branching fraction = 0.4MeV), which means the production rate is going to be quite small also, so it probably doesn't contribute much, unless I shouldn't have ignored the phase space factors.

Very odd. I wonder if the different groups use related monte-carlo programs.

UPDATE: If they looked at the reaction rate while requiring the missing mass to be that of a pi-zero, they might see a bump in the rate at that q-squared.

exorcism

I've read, though never personally heard, people asserting that Trump was divinely anointed to be president, to defeat the forces of evil threatening our nation and the world. As far as I recall these supporters did not include any major denomination leaders, though some may have been preachers of one stripe or another. I confess to not paying a great deal of attention to the matter.

Their rhetoric wasn't far different from calling him "a fighter against the Antichrist", but nobody of stature comparable to Patriarch Kirill has said so about Trump. Or called him "chief exorcist"--though I wonder if that's really a good translation of what Kirill called Putin.

Putin says the West is serving Satan. It seems a bit rich for Putin to be using that kind of language--if he's serious about Orthodoxy and Jesus he hides it well. But I'd be unsurprised to hear the accusation from Kirill, or from a scholar at Al-Azhar. From their standpoint the West endorses seducer/deceivers trying to pull people from the true path. (I had some impractical ideas about the "war on terror" about being proactive about that--oddly enough the Trump administration almost pulled off what I thought was the hardest part.)

That "chief exorcist" phrase is interesting. In the Orthodox church exorcism is possible for laymen at a lesser level: "the whole Church, past, present and future, has the task of an exorcist to banish sin, evil, injustice, spiritual death, the devil from the life of humanity." There are prayers to help. The language of the church involves phrases like "the demon of greed". Of course the official exorcists are a clergy-level office. They were originally supposed to prepare each catechumen to be able to renounce Satan.

So a layman is supposed to be the chief?

I'm trying to imagine Putin fasting and praying to drive out the demons from the West. You can't imagine it either?

We're always tempted to hope for spiritual victories though secular means. Given his history, I don't think Kirill is serious about his claim. I hope Putin isn't.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Census

Liberia has been preparing for a census, and planning big. The winning bidder claimed to be able to use biometric tools and print ID cards on the spot. (Turns out they couldn't do the printing, and I'd be astonished if the biometric stuff worked anywhere but the city--and probably not there either.) They started training some of the census workers--and "forgot" to pay or feed them.

"... some of the teachers are already regretting their decision taken to temporarily drop the chalk to serve as enumerators for the census." I invite you to think about that for a bit.

"Authorities of LISGIS, who have been consistently accused of substituting the names of those who qualified and attended the training in the various counties for others, now face a serious task of reconciling the listings for payment."

Doesn't that inspire you with confidence in the upcoming census? They can't keep track of their own trainees. Could there be a reason for the discrepancy? Wonder no more.

The lack of foreign-direct investments under the administration of President George Manneh Weah compels the score of government officials as well as hierarchies within the ruling party to implore I think he meant "explore" strategies or means to provide job opportunities for their immediate family members, friends, loved ones, and supporters.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Training for futility

AVI has had a morphing post about Tinder up for a few days--if you haven't read it recently you'll probably find more there now. The links at the end of the Day 8 section testify to some odd side effects of the tool and its algorithm--few find long-term relationships, and a surprising number are already married.

Genes/gifts provide us with a framework and the power to do things (sing, run races, find a mate) but the culture and our training shape the result. I was born with an aptitude for analytical thought, but I'd mostly be flailing around if I hadn't been trained, and some ways of training would be less than useless.

"You fight the way you train." You love the way you train too.

Tinder seems to help train its users for futility, if the links in AVI's post are true. A large fraction seem to end up concentrating on superficialities (not very stable) and practicing extremely short-term relationships (insofar as rutting with strangers is a relationship). Many claim they are trying to find a life partner. Clearly the Tinder training doesn't seem to help; if the stories are true it seems to make it worse. "Why" is another question, though some of the issues seem obvious enough.

The numbers for users "in a committed relationship" suggest that Tinder's attraction doesn't have much to do with finding a life partner. They already have one, and are looking for something else, and Tinder promises it--though maybe not explicitly.

Halloween Carols

A lunch table discussion: which is more suitable? When the Night Wind Howls or The Church's One Foundation?

Saturday, October 22, 2022

The dedication is obscure

The Man Who was Thursday is a wonderful and mysterious book, and its dedication (to his friend Edmund Bentley) likewise mysteriously hints at youthful struggles against the spirit of the age (I think). And the spirit of our age.
Round us in antic order their crippled vices came—
Lust that had lost its laughter, fear that had lost its shame.
Like the white lock of Whistler, that lit our aimless gloom,
Men showed their own white feather as proudly as a plume.
Life was a fly that faded, and death a drone that stung;
The world was very old indeed when you and I were young.
They twisted even decent sin to shapes not to be named:
Men were ashamed of honour; but we were not ashamed.
Weak if we were and foolish, not thus we failed, not thus;
When that black Baal blocked the heavens he had no hymns from us
Children we were—our forts of sand were even as weak as we,
High as they went we piled them up to break that bitter sea.

If you haven't read the book, do. I'm re-reading, and realizing I'd skipped the dedication. I had to look up some references. He called it a nightmare, and yet a nightmare that finds light despite overwhelming darkness isn't quite a nightmare.

Boring

After the past post I wasted some time with songs from Golilocks (*), including I never know when. It's not great poetry, but "My dreams all bore me now" is a good line. Been there, done that.

It's a useful time--so long as you work to find out what the dreams were missing, and don't slide into aimlessness.

And no, most retirement dreams haven't bored me.


(*) Leroy Anderson wrote the music. Light--songs like "No One'll Ever Love You (like you do)"

Friday, October 21, 2022

Gone With the Wind

In an auction: "A Gone With the Wind presentation script signed by cast members, given to the mayor of Atlanta in 1961" It is signed by many familiar names, and
"Ogden Nash" [the humorist whom Selznick was considering to write the book for the planned Gone With the Wind musical], "Leroy Anderson" [one of America's premiere composers with whom Selznick was discussing the musical]),

Apparently they collaborated on a few songs: This Lovely World "This lovely world in which we slumber..." Ogden Nash was good at bittersweet as well as humor: Speak Low from One Touch of Venus.

And Leroy Anderson could do more than just short peices--though I'm not terribly keen on his symphony.

But I'm having a bit of trouble imagining those two doing a musical of Gone With The Wind. I don't think of either of them in terms of drama--light music and humor/introspection, yes. Some parts of the story they'd be fine with. "Frankly, my dear, ..." not so much.

But maybe I don't know them well enough. Selznick thought he did.

UPDATE: Ogden Nash wrote some things that might be surprising. One verse's lyrics bother me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Reporting priorities

LA Times: "Parents want more school security, but student activists push back." "As a group, Black students were less supportive but not strongly anti-police... Support for school police was higher among school staff and higher still among parents."

The usual ideologues are making the usual assertions. There's a claim that police in schools reduce overall achievement--which seems counterintuitive. I'm trying to parse the research paper on the subject and not finding some data I'd hoped for--I may report back on that later.

The question that bothers me is: Why does anyone care what students--teenagers with little experience and notoriously poor judgment--think about school policing policies?

nordstream video and guessing

My first naive thought was outside explosion, but I gather that internal issues can cause RUD too. Unfortunately the first publicly released video is short and doesn't show much. The top of the pipe shown is dented down, but that's not proof of an outside explosion. If you've broken a pipe you'll have seen that the last bit to fail is at the top, and the twisting around that last bit is apt to push the last contact point down into the pipe. My intuition could be wrong applied to such large pipes embedded in a trench, but it looks sort of like what's left after the previous chunk of pipe was wrenched up and away.

50 meters seems like a lot of pipe to rip away. There was a lot of gas pressure inside that thing, of course, and the sections looked about 12 meters long in the construction video (and in an estimate from the length and numbers, assuming by line they mean one of the pair). I'd guess that the pressure would blow a damaged section out of the way. One from each end, and one or more destroyed by the explosion, and we could account for the absent span.

So what would we expect to find? The continual blowing would have stirred up no end of mud (probably why we haven't seen images before now(*)), and rolled away some of the smaller debris. Unless you can find and sort-of reconstruct the pipe fragments from the point of the explosion it'd be hard to tell if it blew from the outside or the inside. They should be nearby somewhere.

The surrounding area might be partly protected from the blowing by the pipe being in a trench, which would help deflect force upward. If the water flow is largely upward, that might pull mud and debris in towards the pipe.

Let's see how well my intuition works. If the explosion were a high speed slug of hydrite ice bursting from the inside of the pipe, I'd expect the bulk of the pipe fragments to be distributed in a "cone" along the pipeline in the direction of the slug's motion, with some chunks ripped out by the initial pressure near each of the open pipe ends. Near the open pipe ends there shouldn't be much mud. (Video suggests there isn't a huge amount, but it's hard to see.) As some pointed out, there might be a secondary explosion as the hydrites evaporated on impact, which would make the debris field a little more symmetric.

If it were an external explosion (or some kind of weld failure), you'd still get chunks ripped out near each of the open pipe ends, but the main explosion point's debris would be more symmetrical, with more chunks still at the explosion site.

I wonder what they'll find.


(*) I'd be astonished if there weren't submarines from several different navies on the spots within hours of the explosions, but whatever they were able to see is probably classified. The blowing would have stirred up too much mud for video, but I assume there are other ways to inspect, but how and with what kind of resolution would be secret. Sonar might pick out the big chunks, but the noise from the pipes would be a huge background. I'm sure private exploration was deprecated until the gas dispersed.

UPDATE: Swedes say sabotage--they detected explosive residues. So everybody's first thought was right. I really really really hope it wasn't our official doing. If it is, the disconnect between the actors and what the country as a whole wants and would benefit from is so huge that I'd worry about our stability. Best case is that it was a private party, and everybody starts looking to harden their infrastructure, and nobody starts a war.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Disciplines?

Saul had to wait 3 days blind in Damascus. The disciples had to wait 10 days after the ascension before the events of Pentecost. And those are some of the shorter periods of waiting.

We honor people who jump at opportunities, hit the ground running, and don't dawdle around when given instructions. Rightly so. (I'm afraid I'm given to second-guessing, and don't jump that fast.) There's something obviously muscular about acting immediately. Waiting doesn't seem to show strength--putting it mildly.

After today's sermon I tried to put myself in Saul's place. He'd just had a vision that turned his world upside-down; everything was in flux. Maybe it took a few days for things to settle down, for the shattered parts to come together in new ways, for new bones to start to grow. God seems to value perseverance and patience as well as action--so long as they're obedient. Maybe there are two kinds of spiritual exercise--immediate actions (pray now, help now), and waiting for however long that particular trial or that Sabbath lasts. Muscle and bone.

May I tear my hair a little?

Milky Way’s Graveyard of Dead Stars Found – First Map of the “Galactic Underworld” "A new study creates the first map of our galaxy’s ancient dead stars." OK, it's a Halloween themed clickbait headline, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but when I see the word "found" I expect some data. Nope, it's a model--"Here's where we expect to see old black holes and neutron stars" My first clue was the images of the Milky Way: edge-on and face-on. Neither of those exist; we just have models. Bummer. I expected better from scitechdaily.

Taken for what it really is, it's an interesting prediction of what the distribution should be--but unfortunately they predict that the relics would be spread out over an even larger area than the visible Milky Way, so they'd be harder to find that we might have hoped. It seems that a supernova that produces a black hole is apt to give it quite a kick--one was observed going fast enough to escape the host galaxy entirely.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Making videos

I downloaded Kdenlive and found its controls extremely confusing. Does anybody have experience with using OpenShot?

I'm trying to make some math animations and then dub them, but maybe I need to create the audio first and fiddle with the animation timing to fit.

I have a feeling I'm going to need some cuter animations than manim can create to keep my target audience's focus. A mascot owl or a chimp? I don't know how to animate either one, and I really don't want the project's scope to get out of hand.

UPDATE: I don't feel like monkeying with FUSE libraries. OpenShot doesn't even start without and earlier version of FUSE.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

near Horicon

Goose Haven Gun Club

public blind rentals

Monday, October 10, 2022

black frogs of Chernobyl

Frogs seem to prefer to be darker in Chernobyl now. We all know melanin helps absorb UV and protect inner tissues from its damage, but radioactivity is quite a bit more penetrating--except for alphas, and they'll leave a trail of damage no matter what they're bulling through. So why would melanin be preferred? Fungi appear to be darker in high radiation environments: "the tantalizing possibility that melanins have functions analogous to other energy harvesting pigments such as chlorophylls." (Some chemical processes go faster).

I don't think of frogs as benefitting from chlorophyl (though some people have been experimenting with tadpoles), so I guess the benefit to frogs lies elsewhere. So, end speculation, and read the article.

"In addition, it (melanin) can scavenge and neutralize ionized molecules inside the cell, such as reactive oxygen species." That I'd not heard of before, but it would certainly make for more radiation resistant skin. How much more would need study.

Looking further through the links: "Melanization has also been associated with protection against diverse biotic factors, for example, host defense against pathogens, as well abiotic factors, including heat and cold, and osmotic stresses. The immune systems of some insects and nematodes is based on melanin, and some microbial pathogens use melanin to evade host immune defenses." It's complicated: "Melanin is recognized as an amorphous polymer of high molecular weight. Although it is known that melanin is formed by the polymerization of phenolic and indolic compounds, the detailed structure of melanin remains undefined. These polymers form graphite-like planar sheets that aggregate in a hierarchal fashion to form a colloidal particle."

This isn't what I meant by breeding for radiation tolerance. I was thinking of adding redundancy--this is cheaper, though not as thorough.

fusion

I've had an interest in cold fusion ever since I read Jones' paper (in a fax of a fax of a fax). Pons and Fleichmann's work sounded exciting until you looked at it closely, and it proved difficult (impossible) to reproduce. (I reviewed a more recent work claiming it could happen inside the Earth.) And experiments that seemed to almost get extra energy were already high temperature and pressure experiments that got maybe an extra degree or so out of the apparatus--not something you'd get good heat transfer out of.

Sabine Hossenfelder has a nice overview of the situation, including some updates I'd missed. No magic power breakthroughs seem to be on the horizon, but one hears "That's funny.".

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Love of liberty

"What has most harmed modern government, including what we call representative government, is a certain quality that is seldom mentioned, though I think I have mentioned it, for I think it very serious. It is the loss of the old ideal which associated a love of liberty with a scorn of luxury. The first and best of the democratic idealists were always definite on this point. They demanded that a republican senator should show a republican simplicity." Chesterton

Chicxulub again

The Deccan Traps eruptions were roughly contemporary with the Chicxulub event; enough that there has been a lot of argument about which caused the extinctions, and I'd wondered about whether the latter could have triggered the former, as the shock waves refocused on the other side of the planet. It seems not, though the shocks seem to have triggered extra eruptions along the way.

The latest tsunami model displays, among other things, the estimated position of India at the time. The latitudes match (20N vs 20S), but their best estimate for the longitudes doesn't have India and Chicxulub on opposite sides, by about 60 degrees. A little more evidence against my theory.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Oklahoma City National Memorial

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a beautiful park--a reflecting pool with tall black walls on each side, a field of named chairs (some appropriately child-sized) that are illuminated at night, a 'survivor tree' that used to be in the parking lot for the Alfred P Murrah building (it caught fire that day, but was rescued, and volunteer teams prop it up every ice storm), a plaza and a museum next door, and across the street a "And Jesus wept" statue facing a wall with little candle-sized niches for all those killed. Parts of the old building are still there.

There's even a marshal there to explain things to people--like the meaning of the numbers on the black walls on each side. It's beautiful, and there's lots of emphasis on the people who died--and a list of names of the people who survived, too.

I'm torn. It's good to commemorate the lost. They do tend to be forgotten. But doing it without memorializing the crime and criminals...

It feels a bit like that time back in 2002 when we were lowering flags to half staff to honor the servicemen killed in Afghanistan. That was wrong--"raise it high and promise to avenge them" would have been right.

This park doesn't seem to have enough of a "We won't let this stop us" feel to it.

Granted, the situations were different, in that one was a war and the other wasn't (AFAIK--I've heard doubters but don't know the details well enough to sort real from speculation).

But there's something to be said for inspirational, even heroic statuary--even if it would have embarassed the subjects. We can be too fastidious.

We can be too mournful too, and too superstitious.

There was a mass murder in a McDonalds in California, and the building was razed afterwards. That makes a kind of sense. Even if there was "closure" over the deaths, there'd remain a perception of risk ("It happened here: why was this place picked and is it still a reason?") and reminder of mortality in a "happy place." The store would have probably gone broke if it tried to stay (it opened a new store not far away).

But is there any land on Earth outside of Antarctica where some Abel's blood doesn't cry out? We just don't remember whose.

A death isn't a finite loss. Hope of the resurrection can help, but until the resurrection it doesn't cure. We have to honor the dead. When a man fell from a balcony at the NY Metropolitan Opera they cancelled the opera that day(*). But not the next. To everything there is a season. And closure, either by ritual or the death of those who cared. And there's a place, and a style for mourning.

A grave is one thing, a pyramid another. The scale changes the meanings.

If we want a large place, maintained in perpetuity, it should have additional purposes--to warn, to inspire.

What do we want people to remember or learn?

Learning who the dead were is important at first, but inevitably it becomes no more than names, as those whose lives mixed with theirs also die. We can "tell their stories", but are the stories true, and who has the time to write or read them?

We can learn the circumstances of their deaths. But why? It's legitimate to make people angry, but what goal is that emotion supposed to serve--to emulate the dead or to avenge them?

The Vietnam veterans memorial seems to be a giant tombstone, and that's all. There's no hope or inspiration or urge to revenge. Somebody decided there shouldn't be, and thereby got a lot of people mad, but most of them seem to have reconciled to a tombstone. Or the complainers died, and those who came after didn't care so much.

The OCNM has been a great expression of what people cared about 27 years ago. What will visitors 27 years from now now think of it? They'll have fresh tragedies of their own.


(*) Would it have made a difference if he was obviously a suicide? I'm not sure, but I think it would, and the show would go on. It's not as though opera is a "happy place" all the time.

flying

As the sun begins to appear above the horizon, the low fog fills in between the hills, except where the wind turbines sit in divots in the mist, looking like unshaven whiskers sticking up out of follicles.

And at night before one is high enough to see the outlines of the city, it looks like white and red and blue gems scattered on black velvet.

Chesterton again

While I transcribe my handwritten notes; a little more Chesteron: The Glass Walking Stick.

For "gentleman" below, read "cosmopolitan" or "Davos-ite":

I have said much against aristocracy and shall continue to do so, but I will never deny that aristocracy has certain queer advantages, not very often mentioned. One of them is that which affects European diplomacy: that a gentleman is the same all over Europe, while a peasant or even a merchant, may be very different. A Dutch gentleman and an Irish gentleman stand on a special and level platform; a Dutch peasant and an Irish peasant are divided by all dynastic and divine wars. Of course, this means that a peasant is superior to a gentleman — more genuine, more historic, more national; but that, surely, is obvious. Nevertheless, for cosmopolitan purposes, such as diplomacy, a gentleman may be used — with caution.

He will doubtless annoy a great many people...

For it must always be remembered in this connexion that masculine costume is different at root from feminine costume — different in its whole essence and aim. It is not merely a question of the man dressing in dull colours or the woman in bright; it is a question of the object. A Life Guardsman has very splendid clothes; an artistic lady may have very dingy clothes. But the point is that the Life Guard only puts on his bright clothes so as to be like other Life Guards. But the artistic lady always seeks to have some special, delicate, and exquisite shade of dinginess different from the dinginess of other artistic ladies. Though gleaming with scarlet and steel, the Life Guard is really invisible. Though physically, no doubt, of terrific courage, he is morally cowardly, like nearly all males. Like the insects that are as green as the leaves or the jackals that are as red as the desert, a man generally seeks to be unseen by taking the colour of his surroundings, even if it be a brilliant colour. A female dress is a dress; a male dress is a uniform. Men dress smartly so as not to be noticed; but all women dress to be noticed — gross and vulgar women to be grossly and vulgarly noticed, wise and modest women to be wisely and modestly noticed.