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Reorgization: Introducing Lab Notes

The Whispers blog is expanding in scope and the categories for entries are being reorganized. The purpose of the blog is, as always:

We all have an obligation to each other and to ourselves to ‘get it right’ to help each other understand what really is and what things actually mean – not what we think might be or wish might be.

This is the hard core engineer, scientist, and technician view of things. To date, the entries have been looking at events and pronouncements and ideas in terms of measurable standards such as consistency, logic, and observation. The effort is to try to figure out how to better understand what we see and what we hear and how we evaluate ideas. “Better” in this context means that we understand the bias in our perceptions and how it influences our thinking. We can at least start to learn the differences between what actually is, what we want to be, and how we feel about things.

As noted in this blog, many of the more significant issues stimulate interesting behavior. This behavior can range from the psychological mechanisms people use to make sense of their world to the pathological efforts of some to manipulate and use ideas for their own goals. Putting this behavior on the table for examination can threaten some and greatly irritate others. That can lead to heated discussion or worse.

The blog entries that involve observing behavior are now categorized as Mind Games subcategories. The existing Education category will remain at the top of the hierarchy but its focus will be refined to include the practice and technique as well as the behavior of educators.

The scope of this blog will expand to include those things engineers, scientists, and technicians do that impact our lives. These entries will be categorized as lab notes.

Lab NotesThe tools and techniques we use to make our lives more enjoyable, more interesting, and keep our mind engaged and active.

Some of the topics that will be a part of the lab notes includeL

FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) – Linux, Open Office, Mozilla, and all the other software that is available without usage license restriction, that has the source code available for inspection and modification, and often written by volunteers in world wide organized efforts

multimedia – Storing and displaying audio and visual material

Signals – Getting a signal from here to there can take many paths and involve many techniques and processes

Computing – Information technologies including networking, data processing, and hardware

Communications – How we make links to talk to each other.

Off Grid – about energy and technologies for independent living.

Lab notes entries will be more technological and less personal. From experience in discussion forums, this won’t necessarily make them less controversial. If you already know enough to have a firm idea about how things work, feel free to offer your views and corrections.

The lab notes are intended to help readers learn what is available and how to make better decisions about it.

A case in point is a recent story in EE Times that noted that nearly 20% of big screen TV’s were returned in 2006. People who bought these TV’s did not really understand what they were getting and what was necessary to properly leverage their purchase. In response, many stores have increased their efforts to educate consumers.

The goal of Lab Notes is to help you avoid being one of those disappointed in your purchase and use of modern equipment and tools.