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THE IRONY OF MODERN COMMUNICATIONS
Overheard a conversation this morning while working on a PC in the office.
Seems one of the folks working here has had frustrations communicating with a family member since that family member gets all their email on their phone and the ones she sends get buried among all the work emails or even get dumped to a spam folder.
So to get around the problems with modern instant communications she has started writing letters... on paper... and mailing them in an envelope which the family member gets a day or two later.
Letters being a novelty her messages always get read.
NEW CATEGORY ADDED - HYPNOTISM
I've just added the new Hypnotism Category I have been working on. I put in the Medical grouping so the Index name is Medical-Hypnotism.
A lot of the books in the group are related to using Hypnotism in the medical field in place of anesthetic. That makes sense since many of them are dated in the 18040s to 1850s when there were not generally available and widely used anesthetics. Why there was a surge of interest int he subject in the late 1890 and early 1900s (well before the First World War) have no idea since anesthetics had become commonplace by then.
A lot of the books hearken to the early days when the entire subject was referred to as Animal Magnetism or as Mesmerism. Obviously the theoretical basis for the effect in many of the earlier books is silly by today's standards at the time it was heralded as a sensational breakthrough.
I retained a number of the older "theoretical" books not because the theoretical material is of much use but they included at least some material on How-To and so I felt they were worth keeping in the collection.
When I was in the Psychology field many years ago I remember reading a lot of mixed material about Hypnosis. They ranged from the position that Hypnosis was a valuable tool through opinions that it was not much more than a parlor trick and the entire gamut of positions in between those two.
I don't offer any strong opinion either way. Even today there is a wide range of opinions as to it's legitimacy and it's therapeutic use.
There are practitioners using it to treat a variety of conditions though mostly in the behavioral area such as weight loss or smoking cessation. Whether it is still used in the medical field at all I can't say.
There have been a number of requests for the Category. It's one of the more often requested so here it is finally.
Whether it is actually a viable tool in a world rebuilding from a collapse when there is a dearth of medical knowledge and skill I can't say.
But the fact that I can't definitively rule it out and state categorically that it is of no use means I'm including it.
Who knows... hopefully folks trying to rebuild a functional infrastructure will be facing the need for weight loss sooner rather than later.
Hypnosis might help with weight loss. I doubt it will help with lack of food...
A NOTE ON PRIVACY
Considering the insanity going on in much of the Tech world at places like Google and Facebook regarding Privacy, your personal information and so on I thought I'd drop a note on that issue as it relates to the Library.
I don't track who uses the Library and no registration of other information is required in order to use the site or download the files. I don't record any information about anyone except when someone orders a copy of the library. Paypal records your shipping information so I know where to ship it and your email address so that I can send you a tracking number.
The website itself doesn't record any information that I know of though I assume that if you use the contact form it stores the email address though I'm honestly not sure about that.
If you create a Login it stores whatever information you provide during the registration process but no Registration of Login is required to use any part of the site.
However, regardless of what information it DOES store I don't make any use of it or have any plans to make use of it, am honestly not even sure where it's stored (though I assume it's in the MySQL database) and I have no particular interest in finding it.
So for folks who wish to use the Library anonymously and/or through a VPN... feel free.
While I don't have the Hypnotism Category ready to add yet it's coming along and should be ready within the next couple of weeks. But in the meantime I ran across this article this morning and thought I'd go ahead and post it since it is related.
Hypnotism is one of those subjects that periodically appears, is talked about a lot then disappears again for a while. When you see the Category after it's added you'll see that there is a rash of books in the decade or so around 1840 to the 1850. There's another surge of them in the early 1890s and then a bit in the first decade of 1900.
I remember a lot of discussion about the subject when i was young though I couldn't tell you the except period. Now it's possibly reappearing as a "rediscovered" medical tool.
Not being in the medical field I can't really provide an opinion one way or the other on it's usefulness as a medical tool. However the sheer volume of material on it suggests that it has been and apparently continues to be of interest to the medical profession.
IN THE PIPELINE
To give you some idea of the additions coming in the not too distant future, here are some of the Categories I'm working on getting cleaned up and added. Not sure which ones will be first or second or in what order I'll add them.
It depends a lot on the time I have available. Sometimes it depends on the mood I'm in when I sit down to work on a Category then a different Category I saw when I sat down piques my interest or curiosity and I move over and work on that one instead.
Sometimes I start working on cleaning up volumes and end up getting totally immersed in reading one or another of the books. But then if I wasn't actually interested in what's IN many of the these books I wouldn't bother collecting them.
Some Categories I'm still doing searches on to add more to them while others already have more than enough.
But the Current List includes:
- Chambers Encyclopedia (15 Books)
- Falconry (20 books)
- World History (30 books)
- Merchant Marine (28 Books)
- Sculpture (59 books)
- Wheat (46 Books)
- Civics (155 Books)
- Hypnotism (88 Books)
There are a number of others I am still fleshing out and will continue on until I believe there is sufficient coverage of the subject such as Political Science, Beets, Rice, Peanuts Philosophy, Geology and a bunch of others.
But that will give you an idea of what's in the pipeline.
LARGE TRANSFORMER PRODUCTION
It's almost become routine to see articles and stories abut the vulnerability of the U.S. to an EMP. Sometimes I don't even bother posting a link to them because they have become ubiquitous these days.
But.... here's another article about our vulnerability and the various aspects of such an event.
I particularly like the stark facts he points out that:
- We have around 2000 large transformers in our electrical grid
- There are not large transformer manufacturers in the U.S.
- The world's large transformer production capacity is about 200 per year
So bottom line is if the U.S. suffers an EMP that destroys the large transformers in the grid it will take over 10 years of normal production to replace them. Let's be generous and say they double production so that it only takes 5 years.... the majority of the United States without electrical power for 50 years.
Of course that overlooks one salient factor.
That assumes the countries in which large transformers are manufactured survive and EMP and that the supply chains upon which they rely also survive.
That pretty much means that replacement of those transformers would only happen in the case of a Nuclear EMP attack on the U.S. that spares the rest of the world. In the case of a Solar EMP which affects the entire world the countries which manufacture large transformers will be dealing with their own survival... not worrying about the fate of the U.S. power grid.
So it comes back once again to the issue of a low probability/high consequence events and political leadership simply ignoring those dangers which do not directly produce votes and increase election chances.
From one of the Library Patrons:
Here's a Resilio Sync key to the library contents as they were when the site went down! (~170GB in total)
Read only: BLO3TJGGNXRMCRO3ZDPKXLTPRSAGD356P
I set up a sync of these on one of my servers, so they should have share speeds of 20-50 MB/s.
Feel free to post it on the site
FARMING-GRAPES-WINE-RAISINS CATEGORY ADDED
I've added a new Category this morning named Farming-Grapes_Wine_Raisins.
As you might guess it's about growing Grapes, making Wine and Raisins though the section on Raisins is only a couple books.
Raisins aren't really that difficult to make honestly. Take some grapes, dehydrate or dry them out... VOILA... Raisins.
Wine on the other hand is one of those skills that I tried long ago and realized it would take a lot of work, a lot of practice and a lot of time to master. That's one of those things that I'd rather barter for in exchange for woodworking, carpentry or honey.
My experience with grapes is pretty well limited to a few scraggly grapes vines we've planted in the yard. A few of them are doing fairly well this year but time will tell.
Why Grapes and Wine? In a post-Collapse world who has time for luxuries like Wine anyway or grapes for the table or for jam and jelly?
That is a product of our modern sensibilities and isolation from Nature.
In movies you always see the Romans and Greeks and Medieval Europeans drinking wine constantly.
THERE WAS A REASON.
The folks in older times drank Wine and Beer not because they were alcoholics or because they were looking for a good time. They did it because watered down wine was SAFE TO DRINK.
Clean water that won't make you sick or kill you is one of the most precious commodities on Earth and one we in the West take for granted. In most parts of the non-industrialized world clean water is scarce and hard to get.
The Roman Legions carried wine with them when they went to war. Not for pleasure but to add to local water for drinking so they didn't get sick.
While they may not have understood the underlying causes such as parasites and bacteria that we understand today they did understand that drinking water straight from the source was more likely than not to make you ill or kill you, especially when travelling (or invading another country).
So Wine becomes something a lot more important than simply an alcoholic beverage that makes you drunk and silly. When mixed with water from a natural source the alcohol purifies the water making it much safer to drink.
And Raisins? Grapes don't store well unless you convert them into wine, jelly or jam. Raisins however store quite well as long as they are kept dry. Raisins are nutritious just as Grapes are and they concentrate the sugar in the Grapes so that a handful of Raisins contains a lot more sugar than a handful of Grapes. In modern times that's considered BAD but in a post-collapse world that would actually be quite Good.
In a world rebuilding it's infrastructure the survivors Primary goal each day is going to be to consume enough calories to survive, work and maintain their health until a robust and resilient food production, storage and distribution system is built and food becomes easily available to everyone.
In an early post-Collapse world the questions about diet will not be does this have more or less antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids than that other choice but simply "Does it have enough calories to keep me alive?".
So to paraphrase Rod Serling "Submitted for your approval.... Farming-Grapes, Wine and Raisins.".
p.s. The bad links in Scientific American Series 2 have been fixed.
Okay the Horses Index which contained Home Economics has been fixed and now has plenty of Horse stuff.
Hey!! Cutting and Pasting is hard work....
Should have the Scientific American Series 2 Index updated later today
p.s. The Scientific American Series 2 has been updated
I think I have all the static pages (like About and Faqs) and internal links rebuilt and working now. While for those of you familiar with the Library these are redundant, since you already know all this stuff or don't care, for new folks they can be helpful.
Only other task in the rebuild for now is to get the rest fo the Scientific American Series 2 books put back into it's Category Index since that one got messed up. Should have that restored and tested later today or tomorrow.
Then I can get back to adding some stuff that's been piling up.
I now have all of the old static pages like Storing the Library back online though I haven't set up the links to them. I'll get that done this weekend.
The Library Indexes are up and running again. I've even redirected all of the old index links to the new ones. Did a little bit of cleanup in the order since some of the indexes had gotten a bit out of order.
Renamed a couple in the Main Index but they are cosmetic changes.
Bottom line is that the files are once again accessible and can be downloaded through the Main Index and then the Category indexes.
That is, after all, the whole point of the site.... the Books. Everything else is secondary.
I still have some cleanup to do. Somehow I lost the full list of the Scientific American Series 2 book titles in my spreadsheet. It's not too difficult to recreate it and they should be back in the Index by tomorrow.
I'll have a Contact Form back up shortly which hopefully will work better than the Wordpress one. Never did get that thing working correctly.
There are a few of the Articles from the old site I'll copy over and recreate on here but only a few.
With a little luck everything ill be back online and working fully within a couple days. Once the new site is fully functional I'll start working on some of the enhancements I've been wanting to add.