Ben Franklin and the Books

Ben Franklin invented the lending library, when a group of friends pooled their books, at what is also the origin of the American Philosophical Society. The library was the first public project. He gained pledges of contributions, the “subscription” library, and began the education of the people that would be self governing. In a short while, the average American was said to be as well educated than most “gentlemen” of the artificial aristocracy. “Franklin” means a middle-class craftsman or tradesman, and Ben is an early cultivator of the Masonic attitude toward virtue. The habit of Lincoln, walking long distances to borrow and return books, and reading Jefferson, may be a result of this, another of the innumerable benefits of Franklin bestowed on mankind and his nation.

In his Autobiography, It is clear that Franklin has access to Xenophon’s Memorabilia, though it is not clear how many are the Platonic dialogues to which Franklin has access. His Latin may not have been sufficient, and the Republic was not yet translated. Similarly, Shakespeare is not quite yet accessible, until the Germans led to a British rediscovery. He writes his list of virtues as though he had not read Aristotle’s Ethics, nor known of the 4 cardinal virtues, though he has seen other lists. While he leaves out charity or liberality, he is, in addition to libraries, the cause of the fire departments, insurance, hospitals, orphanages, the Post office, Franklin stoves, lightening rods. While he leaves “wisdom” out of the list, he is a natural philosopher emerging into political philosophy, in the last third of his career, and is the teacher of Madison and Jefferson in the next generation.

Franklin writes:

“These libraries have improved the general conversation of the Americans, made common tradesmen and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in defense of their privileges.”

Imagine trying to study in the library at Alexandria, where one could not smoke or drink coffee! But seriously, to carry and own ones own books, as became possible with the printing press, is a modern marvel, giving those ion our age superior access to scholarship- though a population of 8 billion may not produce the thinkers that emerged in a single century in Athens. My own, built out of used books and books from classes, with additions from the library book sales where the best are discarded as unread, is likely far superior to that of Franklin, and he is one of the few philosophers who were not impoverished, like Anaxagoras, begging oil for his lamp of Pericles. With one’s own books, it is possible to underline in blue and red, saving a reading from 30 years ago, compounding efforts. The traditional bound paper book must make a comeback, as the E-book just is not portable!

Invention: An Internet of Integrity

   I am astonished that no one starts up an internet of integrity. The Niche is wide open, entrepreneurs! Imagine tech that does not spy on you and use you for their profit. Soon the people will be catching on, so it may well be a bull market. Imagine a Twitter that does not sell fake followers, a WordPress that does not block search term access to one’s site awaiting an extortion fee. Imagine a government obliged to obey the Bill of Rights they swore an oath to uphold, and just not use the camera and audio in every computer to take paternal and tyrannical powers over every citizen. Imagine a nation that cared to secure elections more than short term profits, and a 2016 election that was not hacked by the Russians to run Donney up the flagpole and watch the slavish Republicans salute! Perhaps we would have had Bernie or Hillary v. Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. Imagine if thee wee not a Russian hacking of U.S. hospital computers, and no Russian mob induced Oxy epidemic! We may have even had Ben Carson!

   And imagine an FBI that would admit to using the spy-tech and Russian assistance against ISIS and domestic terrorism, but made a terrible mistake in forgetting what it means to have risen through the ranks of the KGB-oops! Imagine a Congress that would regulate the internet and perhaps gun lobbies to boot, and oversee the federal executive agencies like it is supposed to, pursuing questions when these arise, rather than allowing the FBI/etc. to attack the one raising the questions.

   But that is what it means to be a Platonist, to bear the pain of knowing not that the best regime is unachievable- who cares?- but that all these evils are entirely avoidable if we would just stand up with a little integrity, even on the internet.

   So what if we set up such a thing, right alongside the old internet, now we have seen the flaws in that which will surely lead to disaster? And in the meantime, remember, the key to the discontents of modern tech is manual backup. Have they deported Emmanuel Backupez already? Senior Peace?

Two more Invention Ideas

   Here’s two more good invention ideas that probably already exist: The first is a fish tank filter that does not kill the baby fish, so that goldfish can have kids. Our filter broke one summer, and it was lucky because the six goldfish had six surviving babies. Then, just as the church guy prophesied, two blue heron came and ate all the adult fish except the one with cancerous growths on his skin. Had I put the chicken wire guard up in time, I would have saved them! But “…our defects prove out commodities,” says Shakespeare’s Glocester in Lear. So we had five kids to replace those, then we got a seventh from the nephew’s kid.

   I had another fish tank invention, a perpetual filter working as those siphons do, but that has already been invented. It doesn’t have enough power yet, but it adds to the electric filter on my friend’s tank.

   Here’s the main invention, though. I though of the mag lift myself, before I knew people were already working on it, quite a few years ago, and the smart shopping cart to eliminate checkout, then other people got onto that and say it doesn’t work (yet)so people are prob’ly working on this: Trucking can be done with helium balloons, as can other kinds of air transport. Then we only need energy to propel the thing forward, not to hold it aloft: Duh! The same thing would work for cars, except then they would not hold the road, for which they need weight. But for trucking, dude, that’s a no brain-er. I ain’t sayin’, though, where I got the idea. But helium tucking is indeed coming. For public transportation, maglift and helium combined might make an energy free system, who knows? Put helium compartments atop train cars! Long as they stop, who cares if they hold the ground? But we don’t even have solar collecting roof shingles yet! There’d be a bull market on helium, a nice inert gas. I wonder how to make the stuff. Stars do it by fusing two hydrogens. Calms ’em both down!

   I’m still musin’ on the perpetual motion machine made of two siphons and two tanks. Why not? High intake, low outflow, the thing should go, even in one tank!

Here is the helium idea from Google. Lanes in the sky will be designated, decreasing the cost of shipping and saving energy If I had a company working on it, our mascot would be Rocky and Bullwinkle, who discovered “upsidaisium,” remember!?

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The Rigged Game Economy

   NPR had a report discussing the new term “rigged game” as a description of the middle-class-destroying effects of Campaign finance on Congress. Billionaires are able to set the rules of the game so that only they can make money not by the value they produce and offer in the free market, but by controlling the market itself, so that it is no longer free. And everyone finds they have agreed to this by signing those consent forms no one reads but are required in order to communicate or do anything. Congress is supposed to regulate interstate commerce, and the Constitution explicitly gives Congress this power. If two factories are competing, and one can gain an advantage by poisoning a river, at the expense of the commons (as Garret Hardin discusses what he calls the tragedy of the commons), then Congress can regulate the factories on the issue, so that neither may poison for their own profit. Hence, neither can or must maximize “shareholder value” by poisoning the river for everyone, or setting a drag on the whole economy, the way extortion does. But now, if one factory thinks it is profiting greatly by poisoning the river, their lobbyists can just contribute to some campaign funds, and presto! The issue appears in a different light, and the poison is not so bad after all. And who is funding those expensive studies, say, regarding the Enbridge pipeline, while our Governor cannot receive free thoughts from citizens though the office phone? The playing field is tilted toward the unscrupulous because Congress is doing something other than its job.

   When the internet companies wanted to whore the privacy of every last person on the globe, Congress was easily persuaded to ignore the Fourth Amendment and allow this incredibly profitable and, we argue dangerous pandering.

   But back to the “rigged game.” Bernie Sanders was the first among the politicians to use the phrase, as he was the first to discuss the prescription drug abuse epidemic as a campaign issue. In a letter on the horrors of the tax process, about Christmas eve two years ago, I wrote to my representative Tim Walberg and described the economy as a rigged game because the attempt of the Billionaire interests to use the power of their wealth to set the rules of the economy in their favor. His office does read his constituent’s letters, and that was a very good letter, about how an accountant is needed to fill out the simplest tax form, but the poor cannot afford an accountant, creating an infinite obligation (contrary to due process). I often write about issues to them long before setting these things on the internet, as with the teaching regarding how dolphins do fishing, o the issue of property seizures. I may have picked the phase up somewhere too, as these things occur, but I think I know what studies led me to say this. I imagined Rand Paul and maybe Barak himself seeing that letter, then heard Bernie Sanders say “rigged game,” and recognized it. Someone, by word-of-mouth press, does seem to read the bloggers on the internet, and the CLC invites both parties to com “policy shopping,” as this is the purpose of the McDonald website, and as we do on the issues of both parties. But the phrase comes from having thee times done all that one would think needed to make a living and pay back loans, and come up completely empty. But especially, we were watching that Mob or Russian business model take over among the Googles and Microsofts, where for example payoffs ae required to publish a book, and access to the internet can be withheld for extortion fees, all made legal for a mere few million in “campaign contributions,” otherwise known as bribes. I have watched the prescription drug industry take three of my mother’s ten grandchildren, thirty percent of the next generation, so that they could make money off heroin and oxy. I have watched the press stammering and just unable to comprehend the issue of psychiatric prescription drug abuse, while public shootings now occur weekly, all done by people on antidepressants, people who were under the careful care of the mental health industry, and congress, like the press, is unable to respond.

   If Congress does not regulate according to the common good, the free market itself will be destroyed by power. This is perhaps what the Koch brothers and Republican economists did not realize from their principles, how oligarchy slides into tyranny. Free market libertarianism assumes a free government, or, it assumes that the market and private property will be defended from thievery and tyranny. But if companies can profit by destroying the GNP for their own interest, just by tricking and paying off Congress, then any companies that do not do these things cannot compete with those that do, and the whole quickly gets out of hand, as has been occurring. Business presupposes ethics, without thinking, since what is most profitable in the short term can always appear to be tyranny. The economy is then rigged against lower class attempts to rise by genuinely producing value, say, with new inventions. It is like going to Vegas and tying to win at a rigged black jack table, and these too are the studies from which the phase arises. So, ok America, do we really think that worldly success is the measure of a man and the ability to govern in a free nation? Does Trump think it wrong to rig the game if it is rigged to his advantage? Or is this not how the game came to be rigged in the first place?

   NPR was describing how the phrase is being used now, according to every partisan position, these guys saying this or that that they are against is “rigged,” or that the Washington insiders are the riggers, while these silver tongued money men, who even teach how to deceive for ones own profit, the very ones who have rigged the system by influencing both parties, plan to slide right to the side, the way the prescription drug industry evades responsibility.

   Say Hillary, if you are listening, we invented the idea of putting solar collectors into roof shingles, as potentially cheaper than solar panels, but do not even try to work on the idea, as inventions are impossible for the poor to produce.

Flint: Bottled Water Verses Rainwater

   It is very expensive to deliver bottled water to people’s homes. Rainwater is delivered quite regularly already. We, here at McDonald Philosophy, have been working on methods of rainwater collection. If a sufficient filter can be attached to any of seven models, rainwater can be collected even for drinking. But that we are not collecting rainwater for washing defies belief. In Bermuda, where the ground does not hold water any better than Americans hold new ideas, they have been collecting and drinking even roof rainwater for a century.

   Does everyone simply assume that rainwater is dirty? When we used lead in the gas, one might expect lead in the rainwater east and north of a city, but now the air is fairly clear in most places. And the water coming out of the pipes, where do we think that came from? And we think it best to first run it through the poisoned ground in Flint, then down the poisoned river and through the poisoned pipes, then try to filter it? We seem to have this image that water must be “treated” and made artificial by some government controlled process. And is bottled water tested, say, for plastic after it has sat in the sun? The challenge in inventing water collection systems is keeping the collection system clean, as roofs are exposed to bird droppings. If I leave mine out, I have to wash it good before a rain, usually washing it with well water. We have one model that folds up, so that it is covered, and unfolded before a rain. This, and my plastic and dowel on a frame model, I would have produced and delivered for sale in Flint, but there are no investors. One cannot do these things by oneself, especially if blacklisted and ostracized for having new ideas.

   With the method pictured on the Inventions page in the menu of this website, I have for nearly a year collected almost all my own drinking water. If I could afford to test it, I would, and if I could afford a sand and charcoal or graphite filter, I would have one. I use coffee filters, which work fine for the big stuff, But for the most part, my water is pristine, and leaves no film on the containers, as the well water does. That, too, we want to test, as no one has looked into the spread of poisons from Mount Salem under the ground toward Northville Township. And we watch collecting water when the wind blows from the south.

Wild Grape Juice Recipe

Here is a new discovery, which I will be sure to fail to find a way top market, though it is equally sure to be a lot of fun. The Wild Grapes are growing very well this yea, but, as everyone ? knows, it is very difficult to turn them into food, so that they usually go to waste. The seeds are just too big, and the skin unedible, though they are deliciously sour. These must be the grapes Leif Erickson found when visiting Newfoundland, which he called “Vinland, after the grapes.”My Grampa used to grow concord grapes and make juice, as my mum says, by pouring boiling water into a canning jar with one cup of grapes and one cup of sugar, then sealing the jar by putting the lid on tight, loosening it, and turning the jar over. So I did this with wild grapes. The flavor is astonishing. It is like that very expensive cherry juice, only better. One can feel that red wine stuff good for the heart going into one’s cells. Then I backed off the sugar to 3/4 and then 2/3, and it is even better. Next I will try 1/2 and 1/3, and when I get enough, I will replace half the sugar with honey.After I pour in the boiling water, I squish the grapes against the side of the canning jar with a big fork.

The result is a gourmet or luxury juice, a rare flavor even the rich cannot afford unless they make it themselves. I climbed the apple tree where the grapes grow, picked a bunch then separated the stems and floated off the green grapes and the junk, so that 5 quarts too 3 hours, the first time. I will freeze some cleaned grapes to make juice all winter. The ultimate will be wild grape wine and Cunjac.

I could start a business with this nitche in the market, even patenting the sale of wild Grape juice products. These weeds grow quite well in low and and aound damp areas. But for now, for all you poor, this juice costs just a few cents per gallon, and is well worth making. It will be especially artsy made with rainwater.

The Vitamin E Cigarette

The medicated E- cigarette is a very simple invention idea, again published here because it is for the common good, and there is no way in the rigged system to start companies or even gain patents, while you all, the taxpayers, are paying my school loans. Our choice as inventors is either to keep these things selfishly private or get ripped of, though we always hope some honest person will produce these and just give us a fair percentage. The e-cigarette can be medicated to heal the lungs of smokers. Popular opinion does not care any more than it cares about a less carcinogenic cigarette. Again, there is  reason to suspect that cigarettes are carcinogenic due to the additives and the pesticides and fertilizers they are grown with, and we bet that organic tobacco has never even been tested. Just don’t smoke! That is why no one seems yet to have heard of the medicated Vitamin e- cigarette. Something for the lungs that works like aloe and vitamin e for external use, though I would not put vitamin e into the vapor system without checking with the doctors. I just spoke with a respiratory specialist tonight who seemed to like the idea.

Flint Water Funds Run Dry: No Rainwater In Sight

Funds for bottled water will soon cease to flow, and Flint has still not figured out to stop relying on government and turn to rainwater, at least to supplement the leaden city water system. Rain barrels could have been providing much water for washing, but they are watching this go down the drain. Inventions for rainwater collection systems are ignored, or cycled here among a few fellow authors on WordPress, while entrepreneurs and fellow inventors play on Facebook, and Google just cannot seem to locate my website on any of the search engines. Seriously, can no one who wants to make things and make money, can no one see that it is possible to filter and collect rainwater for drinking, at half the trouble and expense of bottled water? Can no one see the possibilities for patents and inventions regarding water? Can no one see that it is possible to collect rainwater in a larger a way, for whole communities, and even to sell bottled rainwater, if it can be filtered and tested? The future use of these systems will only increase, while Flint and everyone else watches the rain water go through the poisoned ground, the poisoned rivers and poisoned pipes before they try to filter it. I can see these possibilities, and it is quite painful to watch Flint fumbling around with bottled water and new pipes while the rain flows down the drain. That is why my vice is libertarian cynicism. A bit of integrity in about five different offices and areas, and these problems would long ago have been moveing toward these obvious solutions.

Meanwhile the Trump fever does seem to have broken with his recent drop in the polls, after a continuous and meteoric rise. America may be seeing through the sham behind the curtain, and be on her way home to Kansas after all regardless. That is why The Wizard of Oz is the American Myth.

Rainwater Collector #1: A Picture

Here is a picture of my simplest rainwater collector. Again, it is a 6 x 10 piece of plastic spread over a frame with a rock in it and a hole off-center, with a coffee filter and funnel underneath catching the water into a five gallon Absopure bottle set in a trough for overflow or any we miss. The edges of the plastic are rolled in dowels and a staple gun secures the system up to about a fifty mph wind. Pouring the trough water through the funnel manually takes more time. A graphite or charcoal filter would help. The hole off center collects anything solid and heavy, and pouring off the top when it is full, or overfilling the bottle, clears off anything that floats, but we get very few impurities. I collected 11 gallons in the storm before last, before the headwind of the one after that blew a frame board aside. I would like to start a company of water inventions, but cannot even afford a patent, so I am trying to find an investor or someone who will give me the twenty percent of profits usual for a good invention. But mostly, I want people to do it and have clean water!

   I have seven different models based on this idea, all patentable inventions. The second is to sew a filter pocket onto the plastic collector. The third is to make the same shape out of sheet metal like a coffee table with a top that opens and closes to keep it clean between rains. A fourth is to make interlocking plastic sections about 4 x 4 that flow into one another and are set in the ground with stakes. A fifth is made of granite like a counter top, but shaped to collect water. A sixth is out of formed mortar, and a seventh is a sculpture out of stone such as marble. Different materials like cotton are being considered for the first and simplest model. The shapes must be cleanable, and this is the great advantage compared to roof rainwater collection. 60 square feet yields enough drinking water for one person, (including 3/4 gallon per day for coffee!). I would like to test my water, but again, it appears quite clean or, pristine. If the plastic is left out, it must be washed before a rain.

Again, I am watching the people of Flint cart bottled water and drink leaden tap water. They did not even figure out to use rain barrels for washing and bathing water. They first must run the rainwater through the ground, down the river, through the pipes, then the filter. These inventions could supplement our bottled water delivery system, already over-taxed. Finally, if the system could be kept clean, this could be done in a big way, even on the roof of the factory where they bottle drinking water. Bottled rainwater would surely sell because of the beauty of the idea. Our water problems are only beginning, with road salt melting the pipes and many areas poisoned for groundwater. But there is no reason first to run the water through the ground, if only we filter it as the ground once did. Thirty percent of the world lacks clean drinking water, and how many there watch the rain go into the gutters and dirty ponds, then try to drink it?



Rainwater Testing

It is of course important to test rainwater, though we are too poor to do this ourselves. The fellow from Sydney, Australia found the rainwater there to be just fine even close to Sydney, but again, one wants to consider what is upwind. My sister plowed her garden south of my collector, and suddenly clay dust is collecting in the plastic, though most is separated due to the hole off center. We have the Mount Salem dump just two miles south. A couple weeks ago, I had a bad case of something, I am looking up Montazuma’s Revenge, and cryptosporillia. The Garage kitty is the most likely cause of cryptosporillia, though this can come from contaminated water. The second most likely, though, is that I have repeatedly got stuck with Maxwell House French Roast on sale that causes diahrea and painful gas, which is not good if one already has blocked intestines and prostate trouble!

I am using only a coffee filter on my rainwater, again due to extreme poverty. But the graphite filter that comes from California, just invented, does this thing get out the parasite that causes cryptosporillia? And are these things cleanable, by rinsing them out backwards, and affordable because they are re-usable? Devising a filter that lasts very long will be extremely difficult if it is not cleanable by rinsing.

Yet, even with these problems, rainwater is obviously incomparably superior to leaden Flint ground and tap water, or Ann Arbor dioxin water. I am still just beating my head against the wall that people do not understand the simplest ideas, and trying to find and persuade investors. Again, I have six or seven patentable rain and water inventions, but no money, because I am a thinker who works for free and not a shyster on the take at every turn, as one third of America seems to prefer.